Графични страници
PDF файл
ePub

been anything accurately ascertained; but, from that retentiveness of all belonging to the past which characterized this people, it appears most probable that their favourite instrument was kept sacredly unaltered; and remained the same, perhaps, in later times, when it charmed the ears of English poets and philosophers, as when it had been modulated by the bard, Cronan, in the sixth century, upon the banks of the lake Kee. It would appear that the church music, likewise, of the Irish, enjoyed no inconsiderable repute in the seventh century, as we find Gertrude, the daughter of the potent Maire du palais, Pepin, sending to Ireland for persons qualified to instruct the nuns of the abbey of Nivelle in psalmody; and the great monastery of Bangor, or Benchoir, near Carrickfergus, is supposed, by Ware, to have derived its name from the white choir which belonged to it. A certain sect of antiquarians, whose favourite object it is to prove that the Irish church was in no respect connected with Rome, have imagined some mode by which, through the medium of Asiatic missionaries, her chant, or psalmody, might have been derived to her directly from the Greeks. But their whole hypothesis is shown to be a train of mere gratuitous assumption; and it is little doubted, that, before the introduction of the latin or Gregorian chants by St. Malachy, which took place in the twelfth century, the style of music followed by the Irish, in their churchservice, was that which had been introduced by St. Patrick and his companions from Gaul.

Moore.

LESSON VII.

AFRICA.

Barbary

Morocco Zanguebar
Barca

Senegambia Abyssinia
Tripoli
Guinea

Nigritia
Tunis

Caffraria Timbuctoo Algiers Mocaranga Bambarra Fez

Mozambique Bournou AFRICA, considered in relation to her place on the map of the world, forms an extensive continent, situated nearly in the centre of the earth. It is bounded, north, by the Mediterranean Sea ; west, by the Atlantic Ocean ; south, by the Southern Ocean; and east, by the Indian Ocean, the Red Sea, and the Isthmus of Suez. Its length from the Mediterranean Sea to the Cape of Good Hope, is nearly 5,000 miles; and its greatest breadth, from Cape Verd to Cape Guardafui, about 4,700. It contains eleven millions of square miles, and a population of seventy millions. Its principal divisions are Barbary, comprehending Barca, Tripoli, Tunis, Algiers, Fez, and Morocco; Sahara, or the Great Desert, Senegambia, Upper Guinea, and Lower Guinea ; Cape Colony, Caffraria, and the country of the Hottentots; Mocaranga, Mozambique, Zanguebar, Ajan, Abyssinia, Nubia, and Egypt; Negroland, or Nigritia, or (as the Arabs call it) Soudan, comprehending Timbuctoo, Bambarra, Houssa, Bournou, and Darfur. The interior and southern part of Africa were totally unknown to the great nations of antiquity. There is no reason to suppose, that they thought of extending their conquests to regions, which, on account of the intense heat of the sun, they deemed uninhabitable. To the Portuguese, who, in the close of the fifteenth century, discovered and sailed round the Cape of Good Hope, are we indebted for our first knowledge of the shape and extent of this continent. They remained strangers, however, to the interior of the country, and notwithstanding the enterprise of modern travellers, we are yet comparatively unacquainted with these vast regions; the excessive heat of the climate, the burning sands of the deserts, and the total absence of interior communication by water, presenting insuperable obstacles to our inquiries. One peculiarity of Africa is, that it is situated almost entirely within the torrid zone, and thus placed under the immediate dominion of the sun, the consequence of which is, that at least one-half of this vast continent is converted into hot and sandy deserts.

The Sahara, or Great Desert, with the exception of the long and narrow valley of the Nile, extends across the entire continent, presenting a dry and arid waste, in which, for several days, the traveller meets not a single drop of water, nor the slightest trace of life or vegetation. The sands are occasionally raised in large masses, which roll along like the waves of the ocean, and beneath which, it was formerly thought, large caravans, and even tribes, had been sometimes buried. Small spots of great beauty and fertility, called oases, are

interspersed through this vast desert, which serve as agreeable resting places for the traveller. They are densely peopled, carefully cultivated, and governed by petty princes. The countries bordering on the Mediterranean Sea were distinguished in ancient history. Egypt had attained a high degree of civilization at a very remote period; and Carthage, the first commercial nation of antiquity, disputed with Rome the empire of the world. These countries are remarkable for their fruitfulness, and, under proper culture, may be made to vie with the most favoured regions of the earth. The countries along the eastern and western coasts are also fruitful, producing the most delicious fruits, and plants of extraordinary size.

The Nile is the only river in Africa, of any considerable magnitude, which falls into the Mediterranean Sea. The rivers which flow into the Atlantic are numerous, but inconsiderable when compared with the great rivers of other continents. The principal are the Niger, Senegal, Gambia, Rio Grande, Congo, Orange, and Zambezi. The termination of the Niger was long unknown; it is now generally believed, that after a course nearly as long as that of the Nile, it flows through different mouths into the Gulf of Benin. Numberless African rivers never reach the ocean, but terminate in lakes, or are lost in the sand.

The mountains are more remarkable for their breadth than height: they form, as it were, one great platea presenting towards each coast a succession of terraces, on which, during the rainy season, immense sheets of water, or temporary lakes, are formed. These overflow their boundaries, and pour down large volumes of water, which cause the regular annual overflowing of the Nile, Niger, Senegal, and many minor rivers.

Africa, considered either in a political or moral point of view, occupies the lowest place among the divisions of the earth. It contains three distinct varieties of inhabitants : in the north, the Moors, descended from the Mahometan Arabs, resembling Europeans, except in their complexion, which is dark; in the middle, the Negroes, distinguished by their black skin, thick lips, and woolly hair; and in the south, and south-east, the Caffres, varying in complexion, from a yellowish brown to a shining black, and having the hair and features less strongly marked with the Negro character.

A.

LESSON VIII.

THE SEVEN CHURCHES.

Wicklow

recollection controversy loneliness

dissipation philosophy religious

regularity tenements sanctuaries mysterious superiority thoughtlessness persuasive fundamental agitating

ingenious artificial A GENTLE morning in spring beheld the writer descending the sequestered road which leads to

« ПредишнаНапред »