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facts respecting the character and condition of its inhabit. ants, selected with judgment, and arranged with method, ere far the most suitable for young students, as they interest the mind, without burdening the memory.
In a few instances the common orthography is corrected, by retrenching a superfluous letter. Thus the true primitive spelling of lether and fether, which has been corrupt. ed in modern times, by introducing a, is here restored. On investigation, I find that modern writers have, in many instances, perverted the pure orthography of our language, while the pronunciation remains unchanged. This has created a difference between the orthography and pronunciation, which did not originally exist, and which ought not to be permitted in our elegant language. Several examples are mentioned in the Preface to my Compendious Dictionary. These errors may gradually be amended, without inconvenience.
Having been long perplexed with the discordant opinions of English authors, no two of whom agree in the orthogra. pihy of words, I have resorted to an investigation of the primitive English, as it was written before the Norman conquest, with a view to ascertain what is right, and what is wrong, in the English books, and to fix a standard of propriety, on original principles. This examination will enable me to solve the doubts and reconcile the differences of opinion, which have existed on this subject. This is a field which no English author has fully explored; and the practice of settling controverted points by the opinions of tinis or that writer of distinction, has only multiplied disagreements, and increased the embarrassments of the student. If my fellow citizens should approve of my purpose, and continue to afford me the liberal encouragement I have hitherto received, I will endeavor to give them a more uniform, and correct standard of writing than they yet possess.
New-HAVEN, JULY, 1806.
Sec. 1. DOUNDARIES AND EXTENT. The Great Eastern Continent, the first seat of mankind, the most populous and first civilized portion of the globe, is bounded by the Atlantic Ocean on the west, and the Indian and Pacific Oceans on the east and south, and by the Arctic Ocean on the north. From north to south, it is about 7500 miles in length; and from east to west, about 7000 miles in bredth.
2. Of the Seas on this Continent. The chief inland Seas which are contained in this part of the globe, are the Mediterranean, the Baltic, the Euxine, the Egean, the Caspian, and the Red Sea.
3. The Mediterranean. The Mediterranean enters this Continent from the west, by a strait of 7 or 8 leagues wide, called the strait of Gibraltar, in the 35th degree of north latitude. After passing the southern side of Spain, it opens to a bredth of 450 miles, but is again contracted between Sicily and Africa, and terminates on the east by the shore of Syria. It is about 2000 miles in length, and almost divides the Continent into two parts.
4. The Euxine. The Euxine or Black Sea lies between the 41st and 47th degrees of north latitude, and between the 28th and 420 degrees of east longitude; bee ing at least 600 miles in length, and 450 in bredth, On the north side, the Crimea, a large peninsula, projects into this sea, and on the north east of this peninsula, is an expanse of water called the Sea of Azof. The Eux. ine is connected with the Mediterranean by narrow straits, called the Bosphorus, and the Hellespont, now called Dardanelles and the strait of Constantinople.
5. The Egean Sea. The Egean Sea, or Archipelago, is a deep Gulf or Bay of the Mediterranean, included between Asia and the Grecian territories. It is about 250 miles in length, and from 100 to 150 in bredth. It receives the waters of the Euxine by the straits of Dar. danelles and Bosphorus, and is crowded with islands, which were the birth places of Grecian sages, poets, and heroes.
6. The Baltic Sea. The Baltic enters the Continent between Denmark on the south, and Norway and Swe. den on the north, in the 58th degree of north latitude, by a strait called Skagerrack. Then bending southward to the 54th degree, it embosoms Zealand, Funen and other islands; then winding round Sweden, it runs northward to the 65th degree of latitude, pro. jecting north into the gulf of Bothnia, and east into the gulf of Finland. Its length is about 700 miles, and its greatest bredth about 250.
7. The Red Sea. The Red Sea, or Arabian Gulf, enters the continent by the strait of Babelmandel, in the 12th degree of north latitude, and runs to the 30th degree, where it approaches within 70 miles of the Mediterranean. It is about 1500 miles in length, but in general not more than one hundred and fifty in bredth. It separates Arabia from Egypt, and over this sea passed the Israelites, when they left Egypt, under the guidance of Moses.
8. The Caspian Sea. In the heart of Asia is the Caspian, between the 37th and 47th degrees of north latitude, and the 48th and 53d of east longitude. Its length is nearly 700 miles, and its bredth from 200 to 250. It receives the waters of several large rivers, among which is the Volga, the largest river in Europe, but it has no outlet into the ocean.
9. Other Seas. The White Sea is a deep Bay from the Arctic Ocean, on the northern border of Russia ; the Yellow Sea is a like bay on the.coast of China ; and
the Okhosk on the northern coast of Asia. Of these, we have only general descriptions.
10. Lakes on the Eastern Continent. There are few Lakes on the Eastern Continent of a like magnitude with the large Lakes in America. The Aral, in Asia, east of the Caspian, about 250 miles in length, and 120 broad; Baikal, in Siberia, 320 miles in length and 80 in bredth, are the principal. Numerous smaller Lakes are mentioned in the description of the countries to which they belong.
11. Gulfs and Bays. The Bay of Biscay forms a spacious recess on the western shore of France and the northern border of Spain. The Gulf of Lyons is a smaller recess on the southern shore of France, at the mouth of the Rhone. The Gulf of Venice, or Adri. atic Sea, is a deep recess of 450 miles in length, by about 100 in bredth, separating Italy from the ancient Greece, Illyricum and Dalmatia.
12. The Persian Gulf. The Gulf of Persia extends from the Indian Ocean about 600 miles into the Continent, between Arabia and Persia. It is from 150 to 180 miles wide, and receives the celebrated rivers Euphrates and Tigris. The Gulfs of Siam and Tunkin deeply indent the southeastern shore of Asia; and innumerable smaller recesses of the land, too minute to deserve particular notice, diversify the shores of this Continent.
13. Of the division of the Eastern Continent. The Eastern Continent, has, from very ancient times, been described under three grand divisions. Europe on the west, Asia on the east, and Africa on the south.
EUROPE. 14. Situation of Europe. Europe is comprehended between the latitudes of 36 and 72 degrees north, and extends through about 70 degrees of longitude, from the 10th degree west to the 60th degree east of London.
15. Boundaries of Europe.-Europe is bounded by the Atlantic Ocean on the west ; by the Mediterranean on the south; by the Northern or Arctic Ocean on the the north, and by the Hellespont, the Euxine Sea, the rivers Don and Volga, and the Uralian Mountains on the east.
16. Extent of Europe. From the western coast of France, Spain and Lisbon, to the Uralian Mountains, the utmost length of Europe east and west is about 3200 miles. From the Mediterranean on the south to the North Sea, the utmost bredth is about 2500 miles.
17. Chief Mountains in Europe. The highest mountains in Europe are the Alps, which form two immense chains, extending, in a semicircular form, from the Gulf of Genoa, to the Adriatic, between Italy and Germany.
18. Helvetian Alps. The northern, or Helvetian. chain, on which chiefly are situated the Swiss Cantons, contains a number of very elevated summits, among which are the Schreekhorn or peak of terror; the Grimsel, the Twins, and St. Gothard. These peaks elevate their inaccessible summits among the clouds, and are covered with everlasting snow,
19. Italian Alps. The southern chain of the Alps forms the northern barrier of Italy. Its principal peaks are Mont Rosa, Cervin, St. Bernard, and Blanc. Of these, Mont Blanc is the highest ; its altitude being about fourteen thousand seven hundred feet, and it is agreed to be the highest mountain in Europe. Mont Rosa is nearly as high.
20. General view of the Alps. The name Alp, which signifies white, indicates a prominent feature of these majestic works of nature. The tops of the high elevations, mounting into the region of perpetual winter, exhibit to the astonished spectator, piles of snow and ice, sustaining the clouds with their immense summits. In the vast valleys between these mounts, lie the glaciers, or fields of ice, which are never wholly dissolved.
21. Particular uses of the Alps. The Alps furnish the sources of the chief rivers of Europe. Embosoming vast reservoirs of water, supplied by rains, and the grad. ual melting of snow, these lofty mountains pour forth innumerable springs, to form the Po in Italy, the Rhone in France, the Rhine of Germany and the majestic Danube. From the snowy summits of the Alps, pro, ceed also cooling north winds to refresh the sultry plains of Italy.