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Nitre, in Spain, Hungary, and Russia.
Soda, chietly from countries on the Mediterranean. In Spain its manufacture occupies many of the inhabitants of the maritime districts.
Amber, in Russia.
3. “Mention the articles of manufacture for which each country on the Continent of Europe is most distinguished, and the principal seats of each.”
France is noted for silk goods, chiefly manufactured at Lyons ; for laces, of which Valenciennes is the chief seat; for watches and jewellery, chiefly at Paris ; for gloves, chiefly at Lisle ; for wines, over most of the south and south-west, as Champagne and Burgundy ; for brandy, in the neighbourhood of Cognac.
Spain supplies wines from Heres, &c.
Italy affords wines throughout its whole extent, and straw-plait and similar products from Tuscany.
Germany manufactures linens at Elberfield, and clocks in many towns.
Holland and Belgium manufacture linens, lace, and carpets ; gin; and works in metal ; and in connection with these articles, as enumerated above, may be mentioned, Rotterdam, Brussels, Amsterdam, and Namur.
Prussia supplies carpets from Berlin, and sail-cloth and cordage from Dantzic.
The remaining countries have no characteristic manufacture.
1. “Give some account of the climate of Hindostan, and of the periodical rains ; name the presidencies into which the British dominions in India are divided, and what religions prevail in those countries."
India, in common with all tropical countries, pre
sents no resemblance, in respect to climate, to the spring, summer, autumn, and winter of temperate regions. Its only seasons are the rainy and the dry ; the former lasting from the end of April till the end of October; and the latter occupying the remainder of the year without the intervention of a shower or a cloud. The forest and jungles only maintain their verdure against the prolonged drought of the dry
The plains become parched and denuded of every trace of vegetation ; but a few days of rain suffice to effect a magic transformation, to displace desolation and aridity by a luxuriant and enchanting verdure. The low-lands are soon inundated by the incessant torrents ; and, for weeks together, not a gleam of sunshine can penetrate the frowning canopy of massive clouds that overhang the land. The preceding account applies to India generally ; but the length of the rainy season is by no means uniform in all parts of that great country. In some parts the rains continue for eight months of the year—in others but two.In respect to temperature, too, great variéty is observable from almost insufferable heat, to intense cold; dazzling clearness, of atmosphere—dense and unwholesome fogs; intolerable sultryness, and unremitting rains : such are the vicissitudes of the climate of Bengal. Within recent years our troops have had bitter experience of the severity of winter in the elevated regions of northern India.
British India is divided into three great governments, called presidencies; Bengal, under the direct rule of the governor-general of India ; Madras, and Bombay. The majority of the Hindoos are Polytheists, their principal deities being Brahma, Vishun, and Siva-i.e., the creator, the preserver, and the destroyer. Their superstitions and idolatrous worship is generally called the Brahminical religion, as their priests are Brahmins.
The Mahommedans are numerous especially in the northern provinces. The Christians of St. Thomas, inhabiting the southern part of the Malabar Coast, profess to have derived their creed and discipline from the missionary labours of the apostle whose name they bear. Ancient and independent traditions in the Christian church of the west, give countenance to this claim, which is further corroborated by the episcopal government and other institutions of these primitive confessors of the cross. Buchanan, in his “ Christian Researches," supplies most interesting details on this subject. The operations of our own missionaries are daily becoming more encouraging; but never had a new faith such difficulties to contend with as in the case of the deep-rooted professions of the Hindoos.
2. Describe and account for the Monsoons, the Trade Winds, and the Gulf Stream.”
Since the Monsoon is a modification of the Trade Wind, it will be more convenient to describe the latter first.
The direct rays of the sun in the tropics produce a rarefaction and displacement of the air, varying in amount with the nearness to, or distance from, the centre of the heated belt lying under the vertical sun. The rarefied and buoyant air ascends, leaving a partial vacuum, towards which the denser atmosphere of colder latitudes continually flows. But the currents of cooler and heavier air have less westward motion than the lower latitudes of the rotating surface over which they pass; for the motion caused by the daily revolution of the earth on its axis, varies with the latitude, being about 1000 miles per hour at the equator, and nothing at the poles. Hence, these supplying currents lie on the moving surface of the earth; or, more precisely, only acquire its motion by such a gradual process as
to present a distinct tendency towards the west, the direction from which the earth turns. But the resultants of these two forces, the one acting towards the equator and the other from east to west, is a continuous north-east and south-east wind; and its uniformity, and great utility to seamen, have acquired for it the name of the Trade Wind. Its limits are from the equator to about 30° N. and S. This account applies in strictness to the wide expanse of the open ocean only. Local variations occur, sometimes of a perfectly inexplicable nature ; but the common disturbing causes to the regular operation of the Trades are—the intervention of land, the greater or less capacity of that land for the reception and radiation of heat, changes in the direction of the aerial current by mountain ranges, &c.
The Monsoons are periodical winds that prevail in the Indian Ocean, their direction being from the N. E. for six months of the year, and from the S. W. the remaining six months. The north-east Monsoon is simply the Trade Wind, and the period of its continuance is from the autumnal to the vernal equinox. The south-west Monsoon lasts while the sun is to the north of the equator, and when, consequently, the land which bounds the Indian Ocean on the north is more heated than the neighbouring ocean. The cooler and denser air from the sea supplies the place of the rarefied air over the land, and carries with it, to its higher latitude, the greater velocity that pertains to it from its previous rate of rotatory motion with the earth from west to east. Hence, besides its motion to the northward, it has an increased tendency to the east, and forms the south - west Monsoon. Terrific thunders and lightnings, variable winds, storms, heavy squalls, accompany the changes of the Monsoons.
The Gulf Stream is a portion of the great equatorial current of the sea, produced by analogous causes to those which give rise to the trade winds. The great heat of the tropics causes a rapid and extensive evaporation, to supply which, the water of higher latitudes flows towards the equator ; but in doing so, it does not acquire the rate of motion belonging to the equatorial regions, and hence is left behind; or the earth has a greater velocity from west to east than the waters within certain limits of the equator, so that, in effect, the water flows to the west. The body of water which, in obedience to this law, flows from Africa towards America, on striking the shores of Brazil, becomes divided into two parts. One of these flows to the south-west into the Pacific; the other passes into the gulf of Mexico, sweeps round its shores, from Yucatan to Florida, and passes through the straits of Florida under the name of the Gulf Stream. The comparatively narrow gorge through which it flows, with its vast accession of waters from the rivers of North America, combine to increase its velocity at the point of its exit. This acquired velocity suffices to carry it along the shores of the United States, whence it strikes off in a north-easterly direction to the banks of Newfoundland, and thence in a south and east course to the Azores, to the shores of Europe and Africa, the starting point of its grand tour.
SECTION IV. 1. “Mention the principal mountain ranges of the world, with the elevation of their highest summits."
The most elevated mountain-chain in the world is the Himmalaya, between India and Tartary, and its highest point is Dharwaligeri, or Dharvalagiri. Various heights are given for this mountain, from 29,000 to 26,800 feet.
The Andes rank next in height; and their most conspicuous peaks are Sorata, 25,400; Antisana, 19,136; Cotopaxi, 18,167; Chimborazo, 21,436. The great knot of mountains, called Hindoo