« PreviousContinue »
Metals And Minerals. Gold is usually found in a perfectly pure state, ai tho foot of large ranges of mountains, from which it is washed down hy the rivers. The countries which furnish the most gold are Brazil, Peru, Mexico, East and West Africa, and the islands of Sumatra, Borneo, and Celebes.
Silver. By for the richest silver mines in the world are those of Mexico and Peru. In the course of three centuries, it is estimated that tliey have yielded 316,000,000 lbs. of pure silver. More than nine-tenths of all the silver in the world comes from the mines of Spanish America.
Iron, the most useful of the metals, is very generally diffused. The iron mines which are most extensively wrought are in Great Britain and France. The following table shows the estimated annual produce of iron mines in different parts of the world.
1. Great Britain, 8,000,000
2. France, 4,500,000
3. Russia, 1,675.000
4. Sweden, 1,500,000
5. Austria, 1,010,000
6. United States, 480,000
7. All other countries, 1,015.000
Copper. Great Britain produces more copper annually fhan all the rest of Europe. This metal occurs also in Norway, Sweden, Austria, and many other parts of the world.
Lead. Great Britain produces more lead annually than all the rest of Europe. There are lead mines also in France, Germany, Austria, Spain and the United States.
Tin is of less frequent occurrence. The principal mines in the world are in Cornwall in Great Britain. It is found also in Saxony and Spain; and Banca, a small island near Sumatra, is almost entirely composed of it.
Quicksilver. There are no mines of quicksilver of any importance, except those of Almaden in Spain, ldha in Austria, and Guancavelicain Peru.
Question*. 1. Where is gold usually found? 2. What conntr produce it in greatest abundance? 3. Where are the richest silver mines in the world? i. How large a portion of all the silver in the world comes from Spanish America? 5. What country contains the most extensive iron mine*? 6. What four countries yield the greatest quantity of iron 1 7. What country produces most lead? 8. Where are the principal tin mines in the world t
9. What island in the East Indies contains tin in great quantities?
10. Where axe the quicksilver mines?
Vegetables. The number, size, and luxuriance of vegetables are greatest in the the torrid zone, and diminish as you go toward the poles. Our hemisphere may be divided, as respects vegetables, into four parts, the torrid zone, the southern part of the temperate zone, the northern part of the temperate zone, and the frigid zone. 1. Among the most remarkable vegetable products of the tor: rid zone are, the sago palm, which yields a juice so thick and nutritious, that it is used for food ; the bread fruit tree and plantain, which produce a fruit resembling bread; the teak of India, which is used for ship-building, and surpasses even the oak in firinness and durability; the mighty Baobab, which grows on the banks of the Senegal, and attains a circumference of 60 and 70 feet; and the great fan palin of India, one leaf of which will cover ten or a dozen men. Mahogany, logwood, the cinnamon, the clove, the nutmeg, myrrh, balsam and frankincense grow only in the torrid zone. 2. The most important vegetables in the southern part of the temperate zone are, the vine, from the fruit of which wine is made; the mulberry, which affords the means of making silk; the olive, which subserves many agreeable purposes; wheat and barley, the grains which yield the most nutritious bread. 3. The northern part of the temperate zone comprehends, among other regions, Britain, a great part of Germany, of Russia, New-England and the adjacent British provinces. Wheat grows with difficulty in the higher lautudes of this climate; but oats, hemp and flax are raised in perfection. The pastures are rich and verdant; and the forests are fine, yielding the oak, the ash, the elm, &c. This region is little favored by nature, but is in- . habited by the most active, enterprizing, and industrious body of men on earth. 4. In the frigid zone, and even as low as the parallel of 60°, nature assumes a gloomy and desolate aspect. The punes and firs rear their tall heads, and cover the hills with their constant mantle of dark green. In proceeding towards the north, every species of vegetable which yields food to man entirely fails; and nothing appears but dwarf trees, and a few scattered bushes.
Questions. 1. In what zone do spices grow 2 2. What zone is most favorable for the vine ! 3. What zone is most favorable for wheat and barley 7 4. In what zone are the pastures richest ? 5. What zone is best for oats, hemp and flax? 6. What zone contains the most enterprizing and industrious men 7 7. What vegetables grow in the frigid zone * 8. What is the teak used for 3 9. What is the sago palm valuable for 7 10. What tree affords the means of making silk 7 11. Where does the Baobab grow and what is its greatest circumference 7
ANrMALS. The torrid zone is as luxuriant in its animals as ia its vegetables. The mighty elephant here dwells in the depth of ancient forests, while the rhinoceros and the hippopotamus roll their enormous bulk along1 the banks of the streams. The most ferocious animals in this zone are the /ton, the tiger, the lenpard, the panther, the ounce, and the hyama. Here also is the gentle and beautiful antelope, and the useful camel, without whose aid the deserts would be impassable. This burning zone generates swarma of reptiles and serpents of an enormous size. Crocodiles and alligators till all the great rivers, and are ready to devour the unwary passenger. The largest birds are the ostrich, the cassowary, and the condor. The insects are inconceivably numerous. The locusts wadjlies move in such close and immense armies as to lay waste the earth and drive nations before them. Among the marine insects are the corals, animals insignificant in themselves, but remarkable for the effects which they produce. They have stony cases which remain after the death of the animal, and gradually accumulating and adhering to each other, at length form large rocks and even islands. The Pacific ocean, from NewHolland to the Friendly islands, is entirely a coral sea, and navigators are in perpetual danger of striking against rocks of this substance. New-Holland is in a manner walled round with coral rocks, which render the navigation very dangerons.
In the temperate zone there are very few monstrous or ferocious animals; but the horse, the ox, the sheep, and other valuable domestic animals are found in great perfection nearly to the 60th degree of latitude.
As we approach the 60th degree of latitude, the country, almost deserted by man, is covered with the elk, the martin, the sable, the beaver, the ermine, animals protected from the cold with a covering of rich and beautiful fur, which is eagerly sought after by man for purposes of comfort and luxury, and hence these frozen countries have become the region of .an extensive fur trade. The most useful domestic animal in this climate is the reindeer.
In the frigid zone the quadruped species again assume a fierce and formidable character. The bear stalks horrid amid his frozen solitude, and fiercely defends it against the daring approach of man. But the great scene of life over the polar regions is in the ocean. It is here that the mightiest of the animal creation, the enormous whale, rolls through the sea, and mingles his frightful roarings with the sound of the tempest. Besides these lords of the ocean, the Northern seas swarm with herrings, which, during the winter, proceed in vast shoals to the seas of the temperate zone, where they afford the foundation of valuable fisheries.
Questions. 1. What are some of the largest animals in the torrid zone? 2. Which are the most ferocious? 3. Of what use is the camel? 4. What ferocious animals inhabit the rivers of the torrid zone? 5. Which are the largest birds? 6. What effeet n produced by the locusts? 7. What effect is produced by the corals? 8. What parts of the world are troubled with the corals? 9. What animals nourish in the temperate zone?
10. What animals are found near the 60th degree of latitude?
11. What parts of the world produce the best furs? 13. What ferocious animal inhabits the frigid zone? 13. What remarkable fish in the polar seas?
Temperature. The two leading causes which affect the temperature of any region are distance from the equator, and elevation above the level of the sea. In proportion as you go front the equator towards the poles the cold increases, and in proportion as you ascend above the level of the sea the cold increases. Hence, under the equator, low countiies are excessively hot and unhealthy, but regions elevated 6,000 or 8,000 feet enjoy a delightful temperature, while at 13,000 or 14.000 feet, the climate is the same as in the frozen zone, and at 15,000 feet is the region of perpetual congelation, where ice never melts, and all mountains are covered above this height with eternal snow. The following table shows the mean temperature at the level of the sea, in all the successive latitudes, and the height at which perpetual congelation takes place.
Citations. 1. What are the two leading causes which affect the temperature of any place? 2. In ascending a lofty mountain does the climate become wanner or colder? 3. What is the climate of low countries in the torrid zone? 4. What n (lie climate of places near the equator, which are elevated 6,00u or 8,000 feet above the level of the sea? 6. What is the climate at the height of 15,000 feet under the equator? 6. What is the climate at 9,000 feet in the latitude of 40s? 7. How high must n mountain ri*e in latitude 80° before its top will be covered with perpetual snow? 8. What is the mtuu temperature at the level •f the sea, under the equator?
Aix la Cbapelle
Alexandria, D. C.
Arkansas river 72,
517 Aruba island
571 Augusta, Maine,
133 Augusta, Georgia,
100 Bahama islands