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emotion; while the informed ear finds it additionally delightful, as affording an admirable illustration of those laws of sound which human ingenuity at last has traced,

ARNOTT.

LESSON XV.

AMERICA.

Columbia America Alleghanies
Mexico La Plata Cotopaxi
Guatimala Chili

Chimborazo
Guiana Patagonia Americus
Brazil Mississippi Nova Scotia
Peru

Missouri Cayambre This great division of land is called the New World, because discovered at a comparatively recent period. It was unknown to the Europeans until 1492, when it was discovered by Christopher Columbus, a Genoese, in the service of Spain, in attempting to explore a western passage to the East Indies. In the following year, Amerigo Vespucci sailed thither, and, from the interesting account which he gave of the country, the whole continent has obtained his name. It is naturally divided into two great portions, called by geographers, North and South America. Its mountains, rivers, forests, and lakes, are on scales of the first magnitude; and, as a whole, it is the longest mass of land on the globe, extending from Cape Horn to the Icy Ocean, a distance of more than 9,000 miles.

North America extends in length, from ten degrees north latitude, towards the polar regions, 4,500 miles ; its breadth from Nova Scotia to the mouth of the river Columbia, is nearly 3,000 miles. And its superficial area, including the West India islands, may be estimated at about nine millions of square miles, or more than double the size of Europe. Its principal divisions are Greenland, British America, Russian Territory, United States, Mexico, Guatimala, and the West India islands. South America reaches from the Caribbean Sea to Cape Horn; and, though nearly 200 miles longer than North America, and greater in breadth at the parallel of Cape Blanco, yet its superficial area, on account of its shape, is considerably less than eight millions of square miles. It comprises Columbia, Guiana, Brazil, Peru, Paraguay, La Plata, Chili, and Patagonia.

The stupendous mountain-chain which traverses this continent from north to south, is composed of several great groups and series of chains enclosing vast plains. The great rivers of both divisions have their sources in the mountains, and the intermediate plains form the basins of these immense currents of fresh water. The valleys of the Mississippi and Missouri are bounded on the west by the Rocky Mountains, and on the east by the Alleghanies. The Rio-de-La-Plata flows in a great central valley, running from north to south, and may be compared with the valley of the Mississippi ; while the Amazon, the great drain of the low lands that stretch from the Andes to the Atlantic, may be compared with the St. Laurence of North America. This beautiful river, the outlet of the Canadian Seas, 2,000 miles long, and 90 miles broad at its mouth, is navigable for the largest vessels, 400 miles from the ocean. The Mississippi, double the length of the St. Laurence, drains a surface of a million of square miles; and yet, the vast quantity of water which these rivers pour into the Atlantic, is inconsiderable when compared with the immense volumes discharged into it by the Amazon and La Plata.

The Andes assume their greatest elevation in the vicinity of Quito, and what is commonly called the Valley of Quito, is, in reality, a vast plateau or table-land, as high as the loftiest summits of the Pyrenees, bounded by stupendous mountains, whose peaks are from 18,000 to 20,000 feet above the level of the sea. Here the most considerable volcanoes of the Andes are situated; Cotopaxi is the highest and most remarkable, and its explosions are the most dreadful. Its form is the most regular and beautiful of all the summits of the Andes, being that of the most perfect cone. Its appearance at sunset is one of the most splendid sights in nature ; its snow-clad sides reflecting the parting rays of the sun, shine with the most dazzling lustre against the azure vault of heaven. Cayambre ranks next to the celebrated Chimborazo in elevation; its form is that of a truncated cone; it is crossed by the Equator, and stands, says Humboldt,“ like one of the colossal and eternal mountains placed by the hand of nature to mark the grand divisions of the globe.” From the burning plains to the snow-clad summits of America, all the climates and natural productions of our hemisphere are exhibited in miniature, and the zones of the mountains, as they increase in elevation, produce everything as varied and as peculiar to themselves, as the different zones or climates of the earth.

The lakes of America, like its mountains and rivers, are on the grandest scale. Lake Superior exceeds in extent every other body of fresh water at present known in the world. Its length is about 400 miles, and its breadth, 160. It receives the waters of about forty rivers, some of which are of considerable magnitude. The water of this lake is remarkable for its great transparency, so that fish may be seen at a vast depth.

The aboriginal inhabitants of America are distinguished from their Asiatic progenitors by the bronze hue of the skin, which, with a few exceptions, is common to almost all the nations of this continent. How the first emigrants passed from the old to the new world is a matter of conjecture: the most probable opinion seems to be, that they crossed Behring's Straits, and gradually peopled this continent. Christianity prevails almost universally throughout America. Nearly three-fourths of those who profess it are Roman Catholics. The entire population of North and South America is estimated at 40 millions.

A.

LESSON XVI.

STEAM NAVIGATION.

Navigation advantageous occupied application contemporary arrangements experiment

dimensions mechanical succeeding capacity apparatus imitated cylinders

substantial rapidity consumption decorations The first idea of steam navigation was set forth in a patent, obtained in 1736, by Jonathan Hulls, for a machine for carrying vessels against wind and tide, or in a calm. In 1778, Thomas Paine proposed, in America, this application of steam. In 1781, the Marquis de Jouffroy constructed a steamer on the Soane; and in 1785, two Americans wrote and published a book upon it. In 1789, Symington made a voyage in one on the Forth of Clyde Canal; and in 1802, the experiment was repeated with success. Soon after, Mr. Fulton went to America, and in 1807, started a steam-boat on the Hudson's River, which succeeding, was imitated by hundreds. In June, 1819, the Savannah, of 350 tons, came from New York to Liverpool by steam. Our own rivers at the present day give sufficient proofs of the rapidity with which we have multiplied this advantageous method of increasing commerce and profits.

The contemporary, if we may be allowed thus to express it, with the Great Western, is the equally

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