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consisting of numerous islands in the Pacific Ocean, under the general name of Australasia, or Southern Asia, the extent of which may be estimated at five millions of square miles, and its inhabitants, at twenty millions.
The water is divided into five great oceans; the Pacific, Atlantic, Northern, Southern, and Indian. The Atlantic bounds Europe and Africa on the west, and North and South America on the east. The Pacific divides Asia from America. The Indian lies south of Asia, and east of Africa, and extends to about forty degrees south latitude. The Northern Ocean bounds Europe, Asia, and North America on the north. The Southern extends round the South Pole, and unites with the Indian, Atlantic, and Pacific Oceans. These five oceans, with their numerous branches which form the inland seas, occupy at least 142 millions of
square miles. The remaining 56 millions form the five portions of land already mentioned, of which Europe contains four; Asia, sixteen; Africa, eleven; and America, seventeen millions. Australasia, which comprehends New-Holland and the adjacent islands, may be estimated at five millions. Polynesia, or the numerous smaller islands, scattered over the Pacific Ocean, and not included in the great divisions, may possibly occupy the remaining three millions. The whole population of the earth is variously stated. The most probable estimate is, that it does not much exceed 800 millions.
Laplander civilization emergency
astronomer inseparable independent experienced connexion
peculiarity inexpert domesticated endurance
persevering THE rein-deer is a native of the polar regions, another of the many forcible examples of the inseparable connexion of animals, with the wants of human society, and of the goodness of God, in providing for his creatures, The rein-deer has been domesticated by the Laplanders from the earliest ages; and has alone rendered the dreary regions in which this portion of mankind abides, at all supportable. The civilization of those extreme northern regions entirely depends upon the rein-deer. A traveller going from Norway to Sweden, may proceed with ease and safety even beyond the polar circle, but when he enters Finmark, he cannot stir without the rein-deer. The rein-deer alone connects two extremities of the kingdom, and causes knowledge and civilization to be extended over countries, which, during a great part of the year, are cut off from all communication with the other portions of mankind.
As camels are the chief possession of an Arab, so the rein-deer comprise all the wealth of a Laplander. The number of deer belonging to a herd is ordinarily from three hundred to five hundred; with these a Laplander can do well, and live in tolerable comfort. He can make in summer a sufficient quantity of cheese for the year's consumption; and during the winter season, can afford to kill deer enough to supply him and his family pretty constantly with venison. With two hundred deer, a man, if his family is small, can manage to get on. If he has but one hundred, his subsistence is very precarious, as he cannot rely entirely upon them for support. Should he have but fifty, he is no longer independent, nor able to keep a separate establishment.
As the winter approaches, the coat of the reindeer begins to thicken in the most remarkable manner, and assumes that colour which is the great peculiarity of polar quadrupeds. During the summer, this animal pastures upon green herbage, and browses upon the shrubs which he finds in his march; but in winter, his sole food is the lichen or moss, which he instinctively discovers under the snow.
Harnessed to a sledge, the rein-deer will draw about three hundred pounds, though the Laplanders generally limit their burdens to two hundred and forty pounds. The trot of the rein-deer is about ten miles an hour, and their power of endurance is such, that journeys of one hundred and fifty miles, in nineteen hours, are not uncommon. There is a portrait of a rein-deer, in one of the palaces of Sweden, which is said to have drawn, upon an occasion of emergency, an officer, with
important despatches, the incredible distance of eight hundred English miles, in forty-eight hours. Pictet, a French astronomer, who visited the northern parts of Lapland in 1769, for the purpose of observing the transit of Venus, started three rein-deer in light sledges for a short distance, which he actually measured, in order to know their speed, and the following was the result: the first deer performed three thousand and eightynine feet in two minutes, being at the rate of nearly nineteen English miles in an hour; the second did the same in three minutes, and the third, in three minutes and twenty-six seconds: the ground chosen for the race was nearly level. The reindeer requires considerable training, to prepare him for sledge travelling, and he always demands an experienced driver. Sometimes when the animal is ill broken, and the driver inexpert, the deer turns round, and rids himself of his burden, by the most furious assaults; but such instances of resistance are exceptions. He is ordinarily so docile, that he scarcely needs any direction, and so persevering, that he toils on, hour after hour, without any refreshment, except a mouthful of snow, which he hastily snatches. To the Laplanders, this animal is a substitute for the horse, the cow, the sheep, and the goat; the milk affords them cheese; the flesh, food; the skin, clothing; the horns, glue; the bones, spoons; the tendons, bow-strings, and when split, thread. A rich Laplander has sometimes more than a thousand reindeer.
LIBRARY OF ENTERTAINING KNOWLEDGE.
VIRTUES OF THE EARLY CHRISTIANS.
Believed replenished evangelical
indicated incident co-operating In the practice of religion nothing can appear more charming than the picture drawn by St. Luke, of the infant Church, in his Acts of the Apostles. He assures us, that the vast numbers who believed in Jesus Christ, had but one heart and one soul. All being animated with the same spirit, they were united in the same bonds of perfect charity. No one appropriated the least thing to himself, exclusive of his neighbour; for all things were common amongst them. They who sold their lands or houses, brought their money to the Apostles for the public use, that each one might be relieved according to his wants. Each person's wants were no sooner known, than charitably supplied. The consolation of the Holy Ghost dwelt amongst them; their placid looks indicated the spiritual sweetness, that replenished their souls. Their fervent piety embraced every kind of public virtue in an eminent degree. Their hospitality, their attention to the social duties of fraternal charity, their daily presence in the temple at the stated