Imágenes de página
PDF
ePub

At the N. W. extremity also they are loosely connected with the mountains of Germany.

Face of the country.) Norway and Sweden are mountainous The countries included in the three southern peninsulas, viz. Portugal, Spain, Italy and Turkey, are also traversed by mountain ranges. The same description applies to a large portion of Hungary, the southern half of Germany, nearly the whole of Switzerland, and the southeastern part of France. All the northern and western parts of France are hilly. The rest of continental Europe, comprising Netherlands, Denmark, the northern part of Germany, Prussia, and Russia, consists chiefly of plains.

Climate. As respects climate Europe may be divided into three regions, very unequal in extent.

extent. The first comprehends all below the parallel of 45° N. lat. This is the climare of the olive, the vine, the mulberry and the orange. The second, and much the largest, includes all between the parallels of 45° and 65°. This is the climate of wheat, flax, oats, hemp, &c. The vine is also cultivated successfully as high up as the parallel of 50°. The third region, including all above the parallel of 65°, has a gloomy and desolate aspect. The pines and firs at first cover the hills with their constant mantle of dark green, but towards the northern part every species of vegetable which is useful to man entirely fails ; and nothing appears but dwarf trees and a few scattered bushes.

GREAT BRITAIN.

Situation and Extent.] Great Britain, the largest of the European islands, is situated between 50 and 58: N. lat. and is bound-. ed N. by the Atlantic Ocean ; E, by the North sea or German Ocean ; S. by the English channel, and w. by St. George's channel and the Atlantic Ocean." Iť is 580 miles long from porth to south, and on an average 150 broad, the area being computed at 88,573 square miles. The figure of the island is very irregular, but bears some' resemblance to a wedge, being narrow in the northern part, and growing broader towards the south, and its whole coast is deeply penetrated by bays, creeks and estuaries, which afford many safe and commodious harbors.

Divisions.] Tue island is divided into North-Britain or Scot land, and South-Britain or England including Wales.

ENGLAND.

Situation and Extent.] This country is bounded N. by Scotland, from wbich it is separated by the river Tweed, and a line run

ning in a southwesterly direction to the Frith of Solway; E. by the German Ocean ; S. by the English channel; and W. by St. George's channel. It extends from 50° to 55° 40' N. lat. and contains 58,335 square miles, of which number 50,210 are in England and 8,125 are in Wales.

Divisions.) England is divided into 40 counties, and Wales into 12, which are given in the following table, arranged in geographical order.

Counties. Sq. miles. Pop. in 1811. Chief towns.

Northumberland, *1,809 172,161 Newcastle. Six Cumberland, 1,497 133,744 Carlisle. northern Durham,

1,040 177,625 Durham. coun Yorkshire, 6,013 973,113 York. ties. Westmoreland, 722

45,922 Appleby. Lancashire, 1,806 828,309 ·Lancaster. Four Cheshire,

1,017 227,031 Chester. border- Shropshire, 1,403 194,398 Shrewsbury. ing on Herefordshire, 971

94,073 Hereford. Wales. Monmouthshire, 516 62,127 Monmouth.

Nottinghamshire, 774 162,900 Nottingham.
Derbyshire, 1,077 185,487 Derby.
Staffordshire, 1,196 295,153 Stafford.
Leicestershire, 816 150,419 Leicester.
Rutlandshire,

200 16,380 Okeham. Twelve Northamptonshire, 965 141,350 Northampton. midiand. Warwickshire, 984

228,735 Warwick.
Worcestershire, 674 160,546 Worcester.
Gloucestershire, 1,122 283,514 Gloucester.
Oxfordshire, 7.12 119,191 Oxford.
Buckinghamshire, 748 117,650 Aylesbury.
Bedfordshire, 430 70,213. Bedford.
r Lincolnshire, 2,787 237,891 Lincoln

Huntingdonshire, 345 42,208 Huntingdon.

Cambridgeshire, 686 101,109 Cambridge. Eight Norfolk,

2,013 291,999 Norwich. eastern. Suffolk,

1,566 236,211 Ipswich. Essex,

1,525 252,473 Chelmsford: Hertfordshire,

602 111,654 Hertford. Middlesex,

297 953,276 London. Three Surry,

811 323,851 Guilford. south Kent,

1,462 373,095 Maidstone.. eastern. (Sussex,

1,461 190,083 Lewes. Four Berkshire,

744 118,277 Reading. Wiltshire,

1,283 193,828 Salisbury. south

Hampshire, 1,533 245,080 Winchester. ern

Dorsetshire, 1,129 124,693 Dorchester Three Somersetshire,

1,549 303,180 Taunton. south Devonshire,

2,483 383,308 Exeter. Western Cornwall, 1,407 216,667 Launceston.

Six Nortli Wales.

Counties. Sq. miles. Pop. in 1811. Chief towns.
Flintshire,

309

46,518 Flint
Denbighshire, 731 33,111 Denbigh.
Carnarvonshire, 775 49,336 Carnarvon.
Anglesea,

402 37,045 Beaumaris.
Merionethshire, 691 30,924 Bala.
( Montgomeryshire, 982 51,931 Montgomery.

Radnorshire, 455 20.900 Presteign.
Cardiganshire, 726 50,260 Cardigan.
Pembrokeshire, 575 60,615

60,615 Pembroke.
Caermarthenshire, 926 77,217 Caermarthen.

Brecknockshire, 731 37,735 Brecknock. (Glamorganshire, 822 85,067 Caerdiff, ,

Six South Wales.

Mountains.) Along the whole western side of the country, from Cornwall to Scotland, there are ranges of mountains, which may be considered as forming one connected chain. They overspread all the counties of Wales, in which country they attain their greatest elevation; Snowdon, the loftiest summit in South-Britain, rising here to the height of 3,517 feet, and Plynlymon to 2,463 feet. Two lower ranges of hills also commence in the S. W. part of the island, and extend completely across the country; one, passing in an easterly direction through the southern counties, terminales near the strait of Dover; and the other, stretching towards the N. E. in an irregular waving line, passes through the centre of the kingdom, and terminates on the eastern coast near Flamborough head, in lat. 54° 9' N.

Face of the country.) The face of the country in England is beautifully variegated. In some parts verdant plains extend as far as the eye can reach, watered by copious streams, and cov. ered with innumerable cattle. In others the pleasing vicissitudes of gently rising hills and bending vales, fertile in corn, waving with wood, and interspersed with meadows, offer the most de. lightful landscapes of rural opulence and beauty. Some tracts abound with prospects of the more roinantic kind; lofty mountains, cragy rocks, deep narrow dells and tumbling torrents. Nor are there wanting as a contrast to so many agreeable scenes, the gloomy features of black, barren moors and wild uncultivated heaths. On the whole, however, few countries have a smaller proportion of land absolutely sterile and incapable of culture.

Climate.) The climate of England is liable to sudden and frequent changes, and to great variations of dryness and moisture. Owing to its insular situation, the extremes boih of heat and cold are tempered, and neither the rigor of winter nor the heats of summer are felt here in the same degree as in corresponding latitudes on the continent. Hence, while in winter the seaports of Germany and the Netherlands are locked up with ice, ihose of England are open at all seasons. No country in the world perhaps displays such a rich and uniform verdure during so large a portion of the year; for the cold in winter is never so severe as to destroy vegetation, nor in summer does the bloom of nature

wither under parching heats as in more southern climates. The summer seldom begins with any effect or constancy before the middle or end of June. The ensuing months of July, August and September are often oppressively hot. In the northern counties, the month of October may be said to usher in the winter with raw, wet, unsettled wea er, and November seldom advances far before the same weather commences in the south.

Soil and Productions.)The richest soil is found in the southern and midland counties. Towards the north the country partakes of the barrenness of the neigboring Scotland; the eastern coast is in many parts sandy and marshy, while Wales and all the western counties are covered with mountains, interspersed indeed with vales of great fertility. In no country is agriculture more thoroughly understood or pursued in a grander style. The nobility and gentry mostly residing upon their estates in summer, often retain considerable farms in their own hands, and practise and encourage every agricultural improvement. Of the 32,000,000 acres which England is supposed to contain, it is calculated that about 10,500,000 are in tillage, 14,000,000 in pasturage, and the remainder uncultivated. Of the 10,500,000 acres in tillage, about 3,500,000 are occipied with barley and oats, 2,000,000 with peas, beans, buckwheat, vetches, &c. 2.000,000 with wheat, and the remaining 3,000,000 remain as fallow, or in a course of turnips. Of the uncultivated lands about 3,000,000 acres are capable of being brought into a state of cultivation.

Rivers. The four largest rivers are the Severn, in the S. W. the Thames, in the S. E. the Humber, in the N. E. and the Mer. sey, in the N. W. The Severn rises in the mountain of Plynlymon in North Wales, and after pursuing an easterly course for some distance, turns to the south, and then to the southwest, and falls into the Bristol channel. It is 200 miles loog, and is navigable almost to its source, though with difficulty on account of the shallows. Its principal branches are the Avon from the east, and the Wye from the west.

The Thanies rises in the western part of the kingdom, near Gloucester on the Severn, and pursuing a course S. of E. for 140 miles, falls into the German ocean. It is navigable for large merchant ships to London, 60 miles from its mouth, and for barges almost to its source.

The Humber is a broad river, or rather estuary, formed by the union of the Trent and the Ouse. The Trent rises near the centre of the kingdom, and pursues a northeasterly course of more than 100 miles before it joins the Ouse. It is navigable to Burton. The Ouse is formed by the union of the Yore and ihe Swale, and flowing S. E. receives the Wharfe, the Derwent and the fire. It thus forms the drain by which nearly all the waters of the extensive county of Yorkshire are conveyed to the Humber.

The Mersey falls into St. George's channel by a broad mouth, after a southwesterly course of not more than 50 miles in a direct line. it is navigable nearly to its source.

The other considerable rivers are the Tweed, which forms part of the boundary between England and Scotland; the Tyne, the Wear and the Tees, which discharge themselves into the North sea between the Tweed and the Humber; the Witham, the Welland and the Great Ouse, which fall into the estuary called the Wash; and lastly, the Dee, which falls into St. George's channel near the mouth of the Mersey.

Chief Towns.) The four principal commercial towns stand on or near the four principal rivers ; London, on the Thames, in the S. E. ; Bristol, near the Severn, in the S. W' ; Liverpool, on the Mersey, in the N. W.; and Hull, on the Humber, in the N. E.

London, the capital of the kingdom, the greatest city in Europe, and in commerce, wealth, manufactures, arts, literature, and cbaritable institutions, the first city in the world, stands on both sides of the Thames, 60 miles from its mouth. In its widest sense, Lon. don comprehends the city of that name and its liberties, with the city and liberties of Westminster, the borough of Southwark, and nearly 30 of the contiguous villages. Its greatest length is from E. to W. nearly seven miles : the circumference is about 30 miles, and the included area 11,520 acres. The city of London, the eastern division, is the place where business is transacted, and consists chiefly of shops, warehouses, wharves, &c. Westminster, the western division, contains the royal palaces, the houses of Iords and commons, the courts of law and government offices. Southwark, the southern division,on the south side of the Thames, is devoted to commerce andʻship-building, and is distinguished by a vast number of manufactories, iron-founderies, glass-houses, &c.

The main streets of London run parallel with the Thames from E. to W. and the cross streets run mostly from N. to S. Some of them are narrow, but they are all well paved, with granite stones in the middle, and Aag stones for foot passengers, on the sides. Underneath the pavements are large vaulted sewers, which carry off all the filth of the city into the Thames, The subterranean works of London, consisting of sewers, drains, water-pipes and gas-pipes,form an extensive and curious collection.

The following are the most remarkable public buildings : 1. The Cathedral church of St. Paul, the chief ornament of the city, and the most distinguished specimen of architecture in the British empire, is 500 feet long, 223 broad, and 340 high, to the top of the cross. 2. Westminster-Abbey is a grund Gothic edifice, and is the sanctuary of the illustrious dead, kings, statesmen, warriors, poets and philosophers. 3. The three royal palaces in Westminster, viz. St. James' Palace, Buckingham House, and Carlton House. 4. The Tower of London, anciently a royal palace, but now used as a state-prison and depository for arms, records, jewels and other property belonging to the crown. 5. The Bank of England, an immense pile of building. 6. Westminster Hall, one of the largest rooms in Europe. 7. The Munsion House, the residence of the Lord Mayor of London. 8. The London Monument, a noble pillar, 202 feet high, erected to commemorate the great fire of 1666. 9. Waterloo Bridge, one of the noblest struc

« AnteriorContinuar »