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and from the main land by the sound of Jura ; Mull, a large island containing 350 square miles, and 9,183 inhabitants ; Icolmkill, or Iona, a small island, only three miles long and one broad, but the most celebrated of all the Hebrides, having been from the beginning of the 7th century to the reformation, the residence of the regular clergy of the order of St. Columba, who from this secluded spot diffused the light of learning and religion among the savage clans of Caledonia ; Staffa, eight miles north of Icolmkill, noted for its beautiful basaltic columns, and for one of the most surprising curiosities of nature, the vast basaltic cavern called Fingal's cave or grotto ; Tiree and Coll lie N. W: of Mull. Skye, the largest of all the Hebrides, contains 18,000 inhabitants, and more than 500 square miles, of which not one tenth is arable. Lewis, the most northerly of the Hebrides, is nearly as large as Skye but contains only half as many inhabitants. North Vist and South Uist lie to the south of Lewis.
The ORKNEYs lie between 58°3' and 59° 45' N. lat. and between 2° 0' and 3° 14' W. Jon. They are separated from the northern coast of Scotland by Pentland frith, a strait about 11 miles broad. The number of the islands is 67, of which 29 are inhabited. The whole group may contain 600 square miles or 384,000 acres, of which about one quarter is productive land, and yields more than enough for the support of the inhabitants Among the animals are a small but spirited breed of horses, about 50,000 sheep, and a large number of swine. The population in 1811 was 24,693.
Pomona, or Mainland, the principal island, near the centre of the group, is about 30 miles long and contains mor than 200 square miles. Kirkwall, the chief town, has an excellent harbor with considerable trade and a population of 2,621. The other principal islands are Hoy and Waes which lie to the S. W. of Por mona, and at low tide form one island; South Ronaldshay, lying E. of Hoy ; Shapinshay, Stronsa, Eday, Sanday, North Ronaldshoy, Papay Westray, Westray, and Rowsay, which lie to the N. and N. E. of Pomona.
The SHETI.AND ISLANDS liè about 18 leagues N. E. of the Orkpeys, between 59° 46' and 61° 11' N lat. Like the Orkneys they consist of one principal island, and numerous smaller ones, of which 17 are inhabiied. The soil is in general barren, and has a peculiarly wild, dreary and desolate aspect, ye: it is computed that there are about 25,000 acres of arable land, and 23,000 of good meadow and pasture. The climate is variable, and disturbed with rains and thick fogs. Storms are also frequent, and for five or six months of the year the sea swells and rages in such a manner that the islands are almost inaccessible. The inhabitants have several vessels engaged in the fisheries, the produce of which forms the principal article of export. The population in 1811 was 21,470.
Shetland or the Mainland, the principal island, is 60 miles long, and on an average 12 broad, and contains upwards of 14,000 inhabitants. Lerwick, the capital, is on the east coast, and is noted for its convenient harbor, cailed Bressay Sound, where vessels
xray safely ride at all seasons. It is a trading town with 1,400 inhabitants, and is the rendezvous of tishing vessels from various countries. Yell and Unst lie to the north of the Mainland, and are next to it in size and population. The other islands are small and thinly inhabited.
Situation and Extent.] Ireland is bounded on the E. by St. George's channel, which separates it from Great Britain, and ca all other sides by the Atlantic ocean. It lies between 51° 25' and 55° 22' N. lat. and between 5° 20' and 10° 20 W. lon. Its greatest length is about 300 miles, and its greatest breadth 160. The area is estimated at 32,000 square miles, or 20,480,000 acres. lo shape Ireland resembles a diamond, or an oblique-angled parallelogram, with its longest diameter pointing to the N. E. and S. W.
Divisions. ] Ireland is divided into four provinces, viz. Ulster, in the N. E. ; Connaught, in the N. W. ; Leinster, in the S. E. and Munster in the S. W. These provinces are subdivided into the following 32 counties, which are again divided into 3,436 parishes. Counties.
Counties. 1. Donegal.
17. Longford. 2. Londonderry.
18. Westmeath. 3. Aptrim.
19. Dublin. 4. Tyrone.
20. King's county. 5. Fermanagh.
21. Kildare. 6. Monaghan
22. Queen's co ur 7. Armagh.
23. Wicklow. 8. Down.
24. Carlow. 9. Caven.
25. Kilkenny. 10. Leitrim.
26. Wexford. 11. Sligo.
27. Clare. 12. Mayo.
28. Tipperary. 13. Galway.
89, Waterford. 14. Roscommon.
30. Limerick. 15. Louth.
31. Cork. 16. Meath.
The nine first named are in Ulster, the five next in Connaught, the twelve next in Leinster, and the six last in Munster.
Bays and Harbors.] The coast is deeply indented, especially on the west and north, and the bays and harbors are very numerous. The most important on the southern coast are Waterford and Cork harbors ; on the S. W. Bantry and Dingle bays; on the W. the estuary of the Shannon, and the bay of Galway ; on the
N. W. Donegal bay, of which the bay of Sligo forms a part ; on the N. are Lough Swilly and Lough Foyle. On the eastern coast there are none possessed of great natural advantages ; yet from the greater improvements of the adjoining country, and the vicinity of England, there are many which are much frequented, especially the Belfast and Carlingford bays, and the harbors of Drogheda, Dublin and Wexford.
Capes.). The remarkable capes and headlands are Nialinhead, the most northerly point of the island; Fairhead, at the N E. extremity ; Clogher head, on the eastern coast, a little N. of Drog. heda; Howth head, the north point at the entrance of Dublin bay ; Wicklow head, near the town of the same same; Carnsore point, at the S. E. extremity of the island; Cape Clear, on an island at the southern extremity; Mizen head, at the S.W. extremity; and Kerry head, the south point at the mouth of the Shannon.
Rivers.] The Shannon is much the largest river. It rises in the N. W. part of the island, in a small lake, near the head of the bay of Sligo, and runs in a southerly direction to the centre of the island, where it turns, and runs to the S W. till it reaches Limerick, after which its course is nearly west till it falls into the Atlantic ocean, 60 miles below that city. It is navigable nearly to Limerick for sbips of the greatest burden, and for small vessels throughout its whole course ; and if a canal of only four miles in length were cut from the lake in which it rises to a small river which falls into Sligo bay, it would open a navigable communication from the northern to the western coast through the centre of the island. In various parts of its course the Shannon expands into lakes of a considerable size, the principal of which are Lough Ree and Lough Derg.
The other important rivers, beginning in the S. W. are the Lee, which passes by the city of Cork, and falls into Cork harbor 15 miles below; the Blackwater, which, after a course of 60 miles, falls into the sea at Youghall, near the middle of the southern coast ; the Barrow, which rises about 40 miles west of Dublin, and pursuing a southerly course receives from the west the Nore and the Suire, and falls into Waterford harbor; the Slaney, a small river, the mouth of which forms Wexford harbor; the Liffy, on which the city of Dublin stands, a small river, and of no use for iniand navigation, on account of the falls near its mouth, and the numerous shallows and rapids with which it abounds; the Boyne, which rises near the source of the Barrow, and flowing N. E. passes by Drogheda, and falls into the sea four miles below; the Bann, which rises near the eastern coast, a little north of Carlingford bay, and running N. W. falls into the southern side of Lough Neagh, and issuing again from the northern side of the lake, continues its course in a N. W. direction, and passing by Colerain, falls into the sea four miles below; and lastly, the Foyle, which passes by Londonderry and expands into the spacious bay called Lough Foyle.
Lakes. The lakes of Ireland are numerous, especially in the west and north. The term Lough, corresponding with the Scot
tish Loch, is sometimes applied to an estuary or to an inlet of the sea, such as the Swilly, the Foyle, &c. The chief lake of fresh water is the Ern, which consists of two parts united by a short river or strait. It is 30 miles long, and 12 in its greatest breadth, and discharges itself through a river of the same name into the bay of Donegal, three miles below Ballyshannon. Lough Neagh in the N. E. is 22 miles long and 12 hroad, and discharges its waters into the sea through the river Bann. The lake of Corrib is on the N. side of the bay of Galway,inio which it discharges its waters through a short rocky stream. Lough Ree and Lough Derg are mere expansions of the Shannon. Lough Lane, or as it is more commonly called the lake of Killarney, is in the S. W. part of the island and discharges its waters through Lane river into Dingle bay. It is a small lake but celebrated for the beautiful and romantic scenery with which it is surrounded.
Mountains.) The mountainous chains of Ireland are neither numerous nor important, for though the country contains many single summits of considerable eleration, vet ihey are not collected into such masses as 10 give to Ireland the character of a mountainous countrv. The most considerable connected chain is the ridge of hills which passes through the island from S. W. to N. E. forming the height of land between ihe waters which low east into St. George's channel and those which flow west into the Atlantic. The Irish mountains generally form short lines or detached groups, which are so dispersed through the country, that there are te w places in which the prospect is not lerminated by this majestic scenery, forming a back ground seldom more remote than 213 miles. On the west and south side of the lake of Killarney is one of the highest ridges in the coup'ry ; Mangerton, the loftiest summii, rising to the height of 2,693 feet above the level of the sea' There are many other single inountains in different parts of the island which exceed 2,500 feet, but there are none which reach to the height of 3,000 feet.
Face of the country. The face of the country is agreeably diversifer with mountains, hills, plains and valleys. The most mountainous parts are near the coast, particularly towards the south and west. The hills are in general easy of ascent, and admit of culture a considerable way up their sides. The most extensive levels are about the middle of the island.
The boga of Ireland form a very remarkable feature in the face of the country. They are supposed not to be of very great antiquity, and the most probable account of their origin seems to he that they were formed out of the ruins of forests, which having been thrown down, the trees were suffered to lie on the spot,and in this position intercepting and confining streams of water with the various rubbish brought with them, they became graduaily covered with a vegetation of moss, sedgy grass, rushes and various aquatic plants. These bogs are rarely level, but generally rise into hills. The reclanning of these immense wasies has long been accounted an object of great national importance, and in 1809 commissioners were appointed to inquire into their extent
and the practicability of draining and cultivating them. In their reports, they state that the bogs cover more than one tenth of the surface of Ireland, but that they are contined principally to the . middle section of the island ; it being supposed that a line drawn from Wicklow-head to Galway, and another drawn from Howthhead to Sligo would comprise between them nearly six-sevenths of all the bogs in the island. This extensive tract resembles in its form a broad belt drawn across the centre of Ireland, with its narrowest end nearest the capital, and gradually extending in breadth as it approaches the Western ocean. The commissioners were convinced that it was perfectly practicable to drain these bogs and convert the land to the purposes of tillage, and that the return from the drained land would much more than pay the expense of the undertaking.
Climate! The climate does not differ essentially from that of Great Britain. The principal difference is that it is more moist, the country lying more open to the Atlantic ocean, and westerly and southwesterely winds being more prevalent. Generally speaking, the mean temperature of the north of Ireland is about 48° of Fahrenheit, of the middle 50°, and of the south 52°. Persons advanced in life complain of an unfavorable change in the climate within the last 60 or 70 years, saying that it is much severer and more uncertain than it used to be ; and some facts have been stated, which appear to confirm this account. The pa tree, especially that species called the Scotch fir, formerly grew on many of the mountains, and on parts of the northeru and western coasts. Vast rools and noble trunks of this species of pine have been seen and examined with attention, in situations where human industry cannot now rear a twig of the hardiest tree.
Soil and Productions.). The soil is generally speaking a fertile loam, but remarkably shallow, the rocks appearing in many places on the surface, or at no great depth, even in the most flat and fertile parts. The quantity of cultivated land is greater in proportion than in England. Agriculture is in a backward state, though in many counties improvements begin to be adopted. Oats are most extensively cultivated, and form the principal food of the people. Ireland has long been celebrated for the immense qnantites anil excellent quality of the potatoes which it produces. Flax is chiefly raised in the northeastern counties, and wheat in the southern. Many of the southern counties also and some of the western are principally occupied with dairy farms. The principal mineral productions are coal, which occurs in various parts of the island, and iron, which is abundant and in some instances of a very superior quality.
Chief towns] Dublin, the second city of the United kingdom in point of population, stands about a mile from the west side of Dublin bay, near the mouth of the Liffy, which passes from west 10 easi through the centre of the city, and divides it into two neariv equal parts. The bay is of a circular form, and about six miles in diameter ; but though spacious it is neither commodious nor