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inhabitants of Otaheite, Eimeo, and several of the adjacent islands, with very few cxceptions, renounced idolatry and embraced Christianity. They have in consequence relinquished their former cruel customs, and now regularly assemble in congregations of 400 or 500, decently attired, for the purpose of Christian worship. About 6,000 in the several islands have learned to read in the Taheitean language, which the missionaries have given them in a written form. Schools have been established, many of the useful arts have been introduced, and the despotic power of the sovereign, himself a baptised convert of the missionaries, has been limited by a code of laws.
The MARQUESAS are a cluster of small islands lying N. E. of the Society islands. They extend from 138° 45' to 140° 30' W. lon. and from 8° 30' to 10° 30' S. lat. Various accounts are given of the soil of these islands, but all navigators agree that the inhabitants are remarkable for the beautiful form of their bodies and the regularity of their features. They are all strong, tall and extremely active. The population is estimated at 50,000.
Situation and Extent.] Africa is bounded N. by the Mediter: ranean sea, which separates it from Europe ; Ň. E. by the Red sea, which separates it from Asia ; S. E. by the Indian ocean; and W. by the Atlantic. It extends from lat. 34o S. to 37° 30' N. and from lon. 18° W. 10 51° E. The area is estimated by Hassel at 11,652,442 square miles.
Divisions.) Africa is divided into a great inany petty kingdoms, but they may be conveniently classed under 5 divisions. i. Northern Africa, or the countries on the coast north of the tropic of Cancer; viz. Egypt, Barca, Tripoli, Tunis, Algiers, and Mo.
2. Eastern Africa, or the countries on the eastern coast between the tropic of Cancer and the tropic of Capricorn ; viz. Nubia, Abysinia, and the small states south of Abysinia. 3. Southern Africa, or the countries south of the tropic of Capricorn. 4. Western Africa, or the countries on the west coast between the tropics. 5. Central Africa, or the countries in the interior between these four divisions.
Isthmus and Straits.] The isthmus of Sucz separates the Red sea from the Mediterranean, and connects Asia with Africa. The straits of Gibraltar connect the Mediterranean with the Atlantic. The straits of Babelmandel connect the Red sea with the Indian
Capes.) Cape Guardafui is the most eastern point of Africa; cape Serra, the most northern; and cape Verde, the most western.
The cape of Good Hope is near the southern extremity, and capes Blanco and Bojador are on the western coast north of cape Verde.
Mountains. ] The Mountains of the Moon commence near cape Guardafili, and running in a westerly direction completely across the continent, terminate at cape Verde. The eastern part of the chain is called also the Abysinian Alps, and the western part, the mountains of Kong. The central part has never been explored by Europeans, and the continuity of the chain cannot be considered as fully established.
The Mount Atlas chain commences on the western coast near cape Bojador in lat. 26° 16' N. and running at first in a portheasterly and afterwards in an easterly direction, passes through Morocco, Algiers, Tunis, Tripoli and Barca to the borders of Egypt. The highest and broadest part of the range is in the kingdom of Morocco, where it rises in some places to the height of 13,000 feet above the level of the sea. As it proceeds eastward through Algiers, it preserves its breadth but is less elevated, and in Tripoli and Barca it becomes narrow and gives birth to iewer streams.
Rivers.] The Nile rises in the mountains of the Moon, under the name of the Bahr el Abiad or White river, and after running for some distance in an easterly direction along the foot of the mountains, turns to the north and receives its two principal tributaries, the Abawi or Bahr el Azrek and the Tacazze, after which it pursues a circuitous course through Nubia, and near the frontier of Egypt forms two cataracts, the lowest of which is at Syene. Below the cataracts it continues its course in a northerly direction for 500 miles, till a little below Cairo it divides and discharges itself into the Mediterranean through two principal channels, which inclose between them what is called the Delta of the Nile.
The Niger, called also the Joliba, and by the Moors the Nile el Abeede, or
Nile of the negroes, rises in the mountains of Kong, and flowing in a northeasterly direction passes near lon. 1° W. through lake Dibbie, beyond which the river has never been traced by a European. The various and contradictory rumors relative to its course and termination have excited an extraordinary degree of interest in Europe, and many expeditions have been recently fitted out for the sole purpose of determining this question. After the discoveries of Park, who traced the river through the early parts of its course, the opinion which became generally established, was that of Major Rennell, coinciding in some measure with the previous one of D’Anville, by which the Niger, after issuing from lake Dibbie, was supposed to flow eastward through the country of Houssa, and finally to lose itself in the lakes and marshes of Wangara. A very different hypothesis has been started by travellers into Northern Africa. Jackson and Hornemann both state the universal conviction there to be, that the Niger flows eastward and joins the Nile, being in fact the Nile itself. The Moors express their astonishment when they hear Europeans doubting the identity of the two streams.
Notwithstanding these testimonies, however, this opinion has been decidedly rejected by the ablest geographers. A more recent hypothesis, the fame of which has nearly absorbed every other, is that by which the Niger is supposed, after a long course to the south, to discharge itself into the Atlantic through the Congo or Zaire, which empties in lat. 6° S. This opinion is founded on the vast quantity of water which that river pours into the ocean, and on the fact that a great rise takes place at a period when no rains have fallen on the south side of the line. These arguments had so much weight with the British government, that they determined, in 1816, to fit out an expedition on a great scale, to settle this grand question in modern Geography. It was divided into (wo parts, one of which, of a military character, was commanded by major Peddie, and was destined to penetrate across the country to the Niger, and to descend its stream ; the other, of a naval description, under captain Tuckey, was to ascend the Congo in boats. The hopes which were raised of the success of this expedition have been sadly disappointed. The party of captain Tuckey, overcome by fatigue and the heat of the climate, were seized with a pestilential disorder, which proved fatal to most of them. All the leaders of that of major Peddie fell also a sacrifice to the climate, before they had even approached the Niger.
The Senegal rises in the mountains of Kong, near the sources of the Niger, and flowing in a northwesterly direction, discharges itself into the Atlantic ocean under lat. 16° N, after a course of more than 1,000 miles.
The Gambia rises also in the mountains of Kong, and discharges itself into the Atlantic under lat. 13° 30' N. after a course of about 600 miles, for 400 of which it is navigable.
Deserts.) Africa is distinguished from the other quarters of the world by its immense sandy deserts. The Sahara or Great Desert stretches from the Atlantic on the west, with few interruptions, to the Nile on the east, a distance of 3,000 miles; and from the Barbary states on the north to the countries watered by the Niger on the south, a distance of 800 or 1,000 miles. It is thus by far the most extensive desert in the world, and presents, almost throughout, the spectacle of a naked, burping plain of sand, destitute alike of water and vegetation, except in the few fertile spots, called oases, which are occasionally interspersed, and serve as resting and watering places for the caravans in their journies over these dreary wilds. When the caravans are disap. pointed in finding water at these places, in consequence of a peculiarly dry season, they frequently die from thirst. In 1805 & caravan of 2,000 men and 1,800 camels entirely perished.
Situation and Extent.) Egypt is bounded N. by the Mediterranean'; N. E. by Asiatic Turkey; E. by the Red sea, which separates it from Arabia ; S. by Nubia; and W. by the Libyan desert. It lies between 22° and 32° N. lat. extending along the Danks of the Nile for about 700 miles, from its mouth upward. It nominally comprehends also a breadth of 200 or 300 miles, from the Red sea to an ill defined boundary in the Libyan desert, but the only territory of any value is that lying immediately on. the banks of the river. The area is estimated at 190,000 square miles, of which only 19,000, or one tenth part of the whole, is capable of cultivation.
Divisions.] The cultivated region is divided by nature into two parts; Lower Egypt, composed of the Delta of the Nile; and Upper Egypt, which extends more than 500 miles along the river above its separation.
Face of the Country.] Upper Egypt consists of a long, parrow belt of land, intersected by the Nile, and interposed between two parallel ranges of mountains, which stretch along the opposite sides of the river, usually at the distance of 8 or 10 miles from the banks. As they approach Lower Egypt the two chains, still following the course of the river, diverge from each other, one branch running in a N. W. and the other in a N. E. direction to the Mediterranean. The country beyond the moun- · tains, both to the east and west, is a sandy desert.
River.] The Nile is the only river in Egypt, and its overflowings are the source of all its fertility. The rise of the river begins about the middle of June and continues till the begioning of September, when it is at its height, and all the level parts of the country are overflowed. The waters then gradually retire, and leave behind them a thick mud or slime which is peculiarly fertilizing. It is a clayey substance, and is capable of being formed into bricks, and also into pipes or vases of different kinds. The water of the Nile is peculiarly light and wholesome, but during the inundation it becomes muddy, and cannot be drunk without being clarified. The cause of the inundation is the periodical rains, which fall in Abyssinia from June to September. The river is navigable to the borders of Nubia for vessels of 60 tons.
Lakes.] The coast is lined by lakes or lagoons, separated from the sea by long, narrow sand banks. That of Mareotis or Alexandria, the most western, is not more than 18 inches deep in winter, and in summer is quite dry. Lake Menzaleh, the largest and most eastern, is nearly 50' miles long and 12 broad. It communicates with the sea through several narrow inlets.
Climate.] The climate is characterized by the entire absence of rain; when a few drops fall they are viewed by the inhabitants almost as a miracle. Thunder and lightning are almost equally rare. The prevalent winds are from the north, but is
the spring, for about fifty days, Egypt is liable to the simoom, a terrible wind from the desert, which from its intense heat and dryness, threatens, when long continued, almost the extinction of animal life ; fortunately, however, it seldom lasts above three days. The heat of summer is more intense in Egypt than in other countries under the same latitude. This circumstance, with the want of cleanliness and of all precaution, probably generates the plague, a malady which is supposed to be indigenous in this country, and to spread its ravages from thence as from a centre, The opthalmia, a severe disease affecting the eyes, is also peculiar to Egypt, but the cause of it is not yet satisfactorily ascertained.
Agriculture.] The lands inundated by the Nile require scarcely any labor; the ground, softened by long moisture, requires only to be slightly stirred, and the seed being thrown in, sinks by its own weight, and produces abundantly. Great attention, however, is everywhere paid to irrigation. In Upper Egypt, where the river is confined within high banks, the water does not overflow, but is raised by artificial means, and distributed over the lands. In Lower Egypt there are numerous canals, dug by human labor, which intersect the country in every direction and everywhere circulate the waters of the inundation.
Productions.] The soil produces the fruits both of the torrid and temperate zone. Corn and rice grow in perfection in the Delta, while wheat and barley flourish in Upper Egypt. The best fruits are the orange, the lemon, the citron, the apricot and the tamarind.
Chief Towns.] Cairo or Grand Cairo, the capital of Egypt, is near the east bank of the Nile, with which it is connected by a canal, about 10 miles above the upper angle of the Delta. The streets of this famous city are narrow, crooked, unpaved, and interspersed with large, open spaces, which become lakes during the inundation of the Nile, and are gardens during the rest of the year. It is the most populous city in Africa and carries on an extensive commerce, by means of caravans, with Syria, Arabia, Abyssinia, the Barbary States and the interior of Africa. The city contains 300 mosques, all adorned with lofty migarets, and 300,000 inhabitants.
Alexandria is situated 125 miles N. W. of Cairo, on the long and narrow neck of land included between lake Mareotis and the Mediterranean. It has two harbors and communicates with the western arm of the Nile by a canal, which at once supplies the city with water, and affords facilities to its commerce with the interior. This city was founded in the year 331 before Christ, by Alexander the Great, who conceived the grand idea of making it the centre of commerce to all the three continents. For many centuries it engrossed the trade of India, the goods being brought up the Red sea, and carried across to the Nile, where they were embarked and conveyed down the river and through a canal to the city. Alexandria became, at the same time, the centre of science, and was distinguished for its immense library, and for na