Chief Towns.

parallel lines to each other, at distances of from three tleman who farms this fishery from Mr Martin, the to ten feet: the intermediate spaces, though appa- principal proprietor of the country. There is a very rently but a waste of rock and stone, supply the finest productive salmon-fishery below the thriving town of sheep pasture in the kingdom.

Ballina, on the river Moy, from which large quantities The great central limestone district of Ireland oc- of salmon are sent to the London market. cupies the southern portion of this province, which to the eye forms an exception to the general character of limestone countries, appearing so exceedingly bar- Galway, reckoned the capital of the west, and, in ren, that in passing over tracts of Galway and Mayo, point of population, the fifth town in the kingdom, is the traveller almost doubts whether he is not journey- situated in a valley lying between the bay which bears ing over a great cemetery covered with tombstones, its name and Lough Corrib. The town is of considerrather than over places where the sheep could find able antiquity, and consists of streets and lanes huddled pasture or the peasant plant potatoes. There are, together without any regard to comfort or convenience. however, some exceptions to this prevailing sterility, The whole partakes of the appearance of a Spanish for nowhere are finer sheep-walks found than in some town, the result probably of its early intercourse with parts even of the southern counties of Connaught. Spain; and a small open space near the quay retains The tillage of this province principally confined to the name of Spanish Parade. The principal ecclesiasoats and potatoes, as best suited to the shallow moun- tical buildings are the parish church of St Nicholas, tain bog-soil, which so largely prevails in the western founded in 1320, a Presbyterian meeting-house, and baronies. The extreme moisture of the climate is so the Roman Catholic chapel. The Franciscans, Augusinimical to the growth of wheat, that except in a few tines, and Dominicans have monasteries here. The parts of Galway, Connaught cannot be said to grow its chief public buildings are—the County Court-House, own bread-corn. There is a great export of oats and a handsoane cut-stone edifice, erected in 1815, with a potatoes from the ports of Galway, Westport, and Sligo. portico of four Doric columns; and the Tholsel, built With regard to husbandry, though it certainly is im- during the civil wars of 1641. The schools in Galway proving, it is yet much inferior to that of the other are mostly under the superintendence of the Roman provinces. The landholders pride themselves on the Catholic religious orders. There is also one on the breed of long-wooled sheep, their great source of wealth; foundation of Erasmus Smith, one belonging to the and the celebrated Fair of Ballinasloe, where from National Board, and about sixteen parish schools. 80,000 to 100,000 are usually sold, year after year ex. Galway possesses a house of industry, an asylum for hibits an improvement in this branch of rural economy. widows and orphans, a Protestant poorhouse, and a Horned-cattle, and horses, especially hunters, are also Magdalen asylum, which is supported by two benevobred extensively in Galway. What has been said of lent Roman Catholic ladies. Munster applies in a still more aggravated degree to The chief manufacture of Galway is flour. There Connaught. The property of an absentee landlord is are a bleach-mill and green on one of the islands, an usually divided into portions ruinously small; and if extensive paper-mill, and several breweries and distil. the proprietors do not quickly interfere, deplorable leries, in the town. The exports consist principally of consequences must result from the subdivision system. grain, kelp, marble, wool, and provisions; the imports The grazing farms are let in large portions, which it is of timber, wine, coal, salt, hemp, tallow, and iron. In the policy of the farmer not to diminish. Rents vary 1845, the vessels entered inwards numbered 141, of an from £l to £1, 10s. an acre, except in the vicinity of aggregate burthen of 13,000 tons; while the vessels the towns, where they usually rise to £2 and £3; and cleared outwards amounted to 145, with a tonnage of wages are from 10d. to ls, a day in summer, and from 15,531. In 1840 a splendid dock was opened, from 8d. to 10d. in winter.

which great expectations are formed of the increase of There have been many attempts to introduce the trade. A steamer in this bay is highly necessary for linen manufacture into Connaught, and markets for towing out vessels in adverse winds. In 1845 there its sale were established in Sligo, Castlebar, Westport, were 18 vessels belonging to the port, with a tonnage of and Galway; but though it thrives to an extent suffi- 2700; and the gross customs duties amounted to cient to supply the rural population, there is reason to £28,000. In 1831, the population of the town was believe that little if any linen is exported from the 27,775; and in 1841, 32,511. province. There is, from the ports above-mentioned, a Across the country in a northern direction, and also pretty large export of oats, whisky, and potatoes. situated at the head of a bay bearing its name, stands

The peasantry in Connaught are as poor as poverty Sligo, a town of a much smaller population than Galcan be without amounting to destitution; and except way, but more important as respects its commerce. It in the mountain districts, their situation is daily be- bas carried on for several years a considerable trade, coming worse--so much so, that poverty, in times of both export and import, and is still increasing, notwithscarcity, which, on an average, occur about once in standing the bad state of its harbour. The exports are seven years, increases to destitution, and appeals to wholly limited to agricultural produce, and of late years the richer members of the empire to save the labour- have amounted to about 60,000 pigs, worth £200,000; ing classes from actual starvation become unavoidable. 6000 black cattle, worth £60,000 ; 50,000 firkius The food of those who are the best off is generally dry butter, worth £125,000; 22,600 tons of oats, worth potatoes, with occasionally a herring or an egg. In £132,000; and 12,000 tons of oatmeal, worth £132,000, Connaught, the indigent peasant is reduced to a state In 1845, Sligo had about 26 vessels, with a tonnage of of greater poverty, by grasping at the temporary relief 3000; and the gross receipts of customs’ duties was afforded by the system called by the Irish name of £31,000. The retail trade is extensive, articles of every gambeen (exchange), of which the principle is to fur- description in demand being supplied to a large and nish provisions to the poor, allowing time for payment, populous district. The streets in the older part of the but generally charging an exorbitant interest. This town are narrow, dirty, and ill-paved, and bådly suited system has led to the most deplorable results. to the bustle of an export trade. But convenient

There is a good salmon-fishery near the town of Gal- markets have been erected, and the extension of the way, and one for cod, haak, and haddock, which, from town, by regularly-built wide streets, is expected to the poverty of those engaged in it, prevents them remedy the inconvenience and irregularity of the older from providing suflicient tackling for their boats, and parts. Some good public buildings embellish the prois thus less productive than it might be. In some years minent points in and about the town, and the river the sun-fish, or basking-shark, are abundant of the Garwogue, which bears the surplus waters of Lough shores of Galway, and much excellent oil is produced; Gill to the bay, and turns several large flour-mills in but this fish is so capricious, that the fishery cannot be its course, is a fine feature in the scene. The suburbs looked to with any certainty. The salmon of Ballina- are beautiful and picturesque. In 1831 the population hinch are regularly sealed up in tin cases by the gen- was 15,152; but in 1841 it was only 14,318.

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Asia--the most extensive, the most diversified, and, so by the Indian Ocean; and west by Africa and Europe far as the early history of mankind is concerned, the -being separated from the former by the Red Sea and most interesting of the great divisions of the globe—is the Isthmus of Suez, and from the latter by the Medisituated between lat. 1° 28' and 78° north, and long. terranean, Black Sea, Caucasus chain, Caspian Sea, and 26 and 190° east. It thus occupies the greater portion the Oural Mountains. The region thus enclosed lies of the Eastern Hemisphere, and is bounded on the compactly together, the only irregularities in its boundnorth by the Arctic Ocean; east by the Pacific; south / ing outline being that succession of peninsular pro

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jections and intervening gulfs which give character to steppes; that is, level countries with a sandy, gravelly,
its eastern and southern seaboard. Its greatest length, or clayey bottom, destitute of trees, unless along some
along the 40th parallel, is 5500 miles; the greatest of the river banks, and covered partly with low shrubs,
breadth, from Cape Romania in the Malayan Peninsula and partly with coarse yrass, which affords in summer a
to North-East Cape, along the 104th meridian, 5300 scanty pasture. Here also there are numerous swamps
miles; and area, at the lowest estimate, 16,152,000 and salt-marshes, and only the first stage of the ascent
square miles, or nearly four times that of Europe. towards the Altai is capable of a rude cultivation.

Between the Yenesei and Lena the country has more

of an undulating character, is covered with forests of
The physical aspect and construction of the continent pine and birch, has finer pastures, but, in consequence
exhibits every species of diversity-vast mountain of the cold, offers no facilities for agriculture. *East-
chains and elevated table-lands, broad level steppes ward of this the surface becomes high, bleak, and only
and sandy deserts, luxuriant plains watered by the in sheltered situations affords a stunted growth of birch,
largest rivers, tracts doomed to everlasting snow, or to willow, and pine; while all north of the Arctic Circle
scorching sterility, salubrious valleys of incessant ver the country is one flat bog-moss or tundra, interspersed
dure, and noisome jungles of the grossest growth. by lakes, frozen for ten months of the year, and even
With such a variety of character, it is impossible to during summer the thaw does not penetrate beyond
speak of it as a whole, and consequently geographers eight or ten inches.
distinguish the following well-defined zones :

2. Central Asia, lying principally between the 30th and 1. Northern or Russian Asia, including the whole of 50th parallels—having the Altai and Iablonnoi Mounthe continent north of the Altai and lablonnoi Moun- tains on the north, the Himalaya and Hindoo Koosh tains—a region traversed by large rivers, bleak and on the south, the Khing-Khan and Yun-Ling ranges on barren, suffering under an intense cold, thinly peopled, the east, and the Highlands of Tartary on the west. and almost physically incapable of improvement. West This region comprises Mongolia, the Desert of Kobi, of the river Yenesei this tract presents a succession of Thibet, and part of Tartary, and consists of a series of No. 67.


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ascending plateaux, diversified by mountain ridges, and and southern parts spreading out into sandy, gravelly
intersected by valleys. That of Mongolia and Kobi, plains, from 1200 to 2000 feet high, only partially in-
for example, is supposed to have an absolute elevation tersected by narrow valleys in the west, and stretching
of not less than 3000 feet, with its ridges rising to 10,000 | into the arid moving deserts of Beloochistan in the
feet or upwards; that between the confines of China east. Turkey is more diversified than any other part
and Thibet is still more elevated, and more diversified of Western Asia; has several high ranges, the peaks of
by ridges; while that of Thibet consists of several steps, which are above the snow-line; a number of fertile
the lowest of which is said to have an absolute eleva-valleys; a few rather bleak and elevated table-lands;
tion of not less than 10,000 feet, and the highest from some sandy and brackish tracts in the south; and the

12,000 to 14,000 feet. On the Tartary side the country large low alluvial valley of the Tigris and Euphrates
again begins to fall, and is more diversified by sandy in the south-east. Arabia is altogether a high isolated
steppes, lakes, hill-ridges, and fine fertile valleys. The table-land, consisting principally of arid, sandy desert,
whole of the central table-land, however, must not be interspersed with hilly ridges and narrow shrubby val-
considered as bleak and monotonous desert; for although leys-unknown to all save the wandering tribes, who
the higher ridges are covered with perpetual snow, and find a scanty subsistence on its plains.
much of it is rugged and sterile, yet there are many
plains affording good pasture, and sheltered valleys
which produce grain, cotton, wine, and various fruits. The geology of Asia is very imperfectly known :

3. Eastern Asia, consisting of Mandshuria, China Pro- nothing like a general sketch of the succession and re-
per, and the adjacent island of Japan; upon the whole, lation of its formations has been, or indeed can yet be,
a low-lying and somewhat arid region, though traversed attempted. All that we know for certain is, that most
by several of the largest rivers in the world. Mand- of its great plains are of very recent formation; that
shuria is rather hilly and desert, particularly the parts active volcanoes are still within its limits; that its
towards the west and north; and the eastern coast is tertiary and post-tertiary deposits have, at no very
fenced by a rugged ridge which descends abruptly to distant date, been subjected to volcanic forces; and
the sea; but the interior is well-wooded, and though that almost all the older formations have been noticed
enduring a severe winter of four months, is capable of at isolated points by successive travellers. Thus the
producing rice, cotton, and silk, China, on the other great plain of Siberia consists of post-tertiary clays,
hand, is more uniform in surface, if we except the gravels, and sands, in which the remains of elephants,
western provinces, which are intersected by numerous rhinoceroses, and other huge animals, no longer existing
ramifications from the Yun-ling, Pe-ling, and other there are found in abundance; the great plain of China
mountain-ranges. Eastward, towards the embouchures is strictly alluvial, and still in course of formation; so
of the Hoang-Ho and Yang-tse-Kiang, the country likewise are those of the Ganges and Indus; and the
assumes the character of an alluvial plain, extending sandy tracts of Arabia and the west, with their petrified
from the 30th parallel to the Great Wall, a length woods and nummulite limestones, point to a compara-
of 700 miles, and rarging in breadth from 100 to 150 tively recent elevation from the waters of the ocean.
and 300 miles. Though part of this great plain is soft | The depressions of the Dead Sea, Caspian, Cutch, &c.
and marshy, yet, upon the whole, it is in a high state point also to recent geological changes; while the moun-
of cultivation and fertility, yielding rice, wheat, sugar, tain-ranges and table-lands-already described under
cotton, tobacco, and other produce.

PHYSICAL GEOGRAPHY, vol. i., p. 57-seem to have been
4. Southern Asia, including Hindoostan, or India cold and permanent for ages.
within the Ganges ; and Birmah, Siam, Laos, Annam, Economically, coal is found in the north of China, in
and Malaya, or India without the Ganges. This is de- Syria, and in Hindoostan; salt in China, Hindoostan,
cidedly the finest region of Asia, is diversified by minor West Siberia, Persia, Arabia, and Turkey; marble in
hill-ranges and well-watered valleys, enjoys a high, Turkey; asphalte in Syria, Persia, and the Caspian;
though not an oppressive temperature, has only a rainy gold in Japan, China, west borders of Siberia, Birmah,
season for its winter, and except during long droughts, and the Malayan Peninsula , silver in China, Japan,
presents in every district an unfailing verdure. India West Siberia, and Turkey; tin in China, Birmah, Siam,
without the Ganges consists of a curious alternation of and the Malayan Peninsula ; quicksilver in China,
parallel ridges and valleys--the former rising to no Thibet, Japan, Hindoostan, and Ceylon; copper in
great height, unless in the north; and the latter rather Japan, West Siberia, Thibet, Turkey, India, and Persia;
narrow, but of great fertility, though liable to inun- iron in the Oural, India, China, Siam, Japan, Turkey,
dations during the rainy season. India within the Persia, and Affghanistan ; lead in China, the Cural,
Ganges exhibits greater diversity: the plains of the Turkey, Georgia, Persia, Siam, and Japan; and precious
Indus and Ganges (including the Punjaub, or district stones, including the diamond, in India, the Oural,
between the five tributaries of the former, and the sun- Chinese Empire, and Persia.
derbunds, or alluvial delta of the latter) exhibit well-
marked features of tropical verdure and fertility; but

there are also large sandy or gravelly deserts between The seas, bays, and gulfs which indent and intersect
those plains doomed to utter barrenness. South of those the surface of Asia are in many respects peculiar, but
plains the country becomes hilly, and passes in the in noway so remarkable as those which give character
Deccan, or peninsular part, into a high dry table-land, to Europe. On the north the Gulf of Obi, a large shal-
fenced by the Eastern and Western Ghauts, and rendered low basin, for ten months in the year covered with ice,
irregular in surface by the Nilgherry and other hills. is the only important inlet. On the east the large and

5. Western Asia, which, with a few minor exceptions, little-known sea of Okhotsk; the island-surrounded
may be said to consist of high sandy plains, studded Sea of Japan, with its volcanic coasts; the basin of the
with salt lakes, very inadequately watered by rivers, Yellow Sea, and its subordinate Gulf of Petchili, so
and, on the whole, a hot and arid region. It embraces shallow, that there is scarcely six fathoms of water 100
Arabia, Turkey, Persia, Beloochistan, Affghanistan, miles off shore; the Gulfs of Tonquin and Siam. On
and South-Western Tartary; the minor exceptions to the south the Gulf of Martaban; the large open Bay of
the general character being the hilly districts of Aff. Bengal, terminating in the numerous navigable mouths
ghanistan, Georgia, and Western Turkey. The desert of the Ganges; the Persian Gulf, celebrated for its pearl
steppe of Western Tartary is of no great elevation, fisheries, about 550 miles long, and 150 in breadth, con-
skirts the whole of the Caspian, and passes insensibly nected with the Gulf of Oman by a strait 30 miles
into that sandy tract already described under Russia across; the Red Sea, with its numerous islets and reefs,
in Europe, p. 208. The table-land, or rather table- 1420 miles long, average breadth 135-terminating in
lands of Persia, are of varied character-high (5000 the small Gulfs of Suez and Akaba; the former 180
feet), rugged, and cold in the north-east; descending miles by 22, the latter about 120 by 13.
to 3000 feet a little farther south; and in the central The principal straits are those of Bab-el-Mandeb,

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forming the entrance to the Red Sea, less than 20 miles across; Palk's Strait, between Ceylon and the mainland of Hindoostan; Straits of Malacca, forming the high- The climateric effects have been already adverted to, way between the Indian and Chinese Seas, about 520 in a general way, under the description of the respecmiles long, and from 25 to 180 broad; the Channels of tive regions; but there are certain specialities which Fokien and Formosa, on either side of that island; the require consideration. As a whole, the continent of Straits of Corea and La Perouse, running between Asia does not enjoy the same modifying and mollifying Japan and the mainland the continent; and Beh- influences as Europe. A large proportion is situated ring's Straits, separating. Asia from America, at its on the confines of the Polar Circle; a still larger section narrowest part not exceeding 36 miles.

raised to an enormous altitude: it lies comparatively The islands more immediately connected with Asia unbroken by intersecting seas; it has no burning sandy are the Liakhov group in the Arctic Ocean; the Aleu-tracts on the south to send warm breezes, as Africa tians in the Sea of Kamtchatka; the islands of Japan; does, to Europe; while even its southern tropical disSagbalien, Formosa, Hainan, and Chusan off the coast tricts are cooled by currents from the snow-clad central of China; Ceylon, the Andaman and Nicobar Isles in plateaux. It therefore suffers what Humboldt calls an the Indian Ocean; and Cyprus in the Levant. The excessive climate—that is, excessively hot in summer, Japan Isles, forming the empire of that name, consist and excessively cold in winter, or differing greatly durof Niphon, Yeso, Kiusiu, Sikoke, and the Kuriles, ing these seasons from the mean annual temperature. altogether occupying an area of 266,600 square miles, Thus excellent grapes come to maturity on the borders of volcanic origin, subject to destructive earthquakes, of the Caspian, and yet the thermometer in winter falls of average fertility, rich in minerals, and peopled by to -28° Fahrenheit. At Tara in Siberia the temperaa busy and ingenious people. The fine island of Ceylon, ture of the air in July and August rises to 82°, and yet now a free colony, has an area of 24,500 square miles, a few inches under the surface the soil remains perand whether as regards its vegetable, animal, or mineral petually frozen. The snow-line in the Elburz is found produce, is one of the most valuable of the British pos- at 11,000 feet, on the south side of the Himalaya at sessions. [The large islands of Sumatra, Java, Borneo, 12,000 feet, and yet in Thibet the mountains are clear Celebes, &e. generally known as the East India Islands, at an elevation of 16,000 feet. In Arabia, after a night are treated under the head Malaysia in a subsequent of hoar-frost, the day-heat is often as high as 114'. number—68, p. 281.]

At Bombay the mean annual temperature for 1844 was The lakes or inland seas of Asia constitute one of its 811-being in January 75°, February 76°, March 794", peculiar features, most of these being salt or brackish, April 84°, May 86°, June 851°, July 82°, August 811, having no visible outlet, and in some instances con- September 80°, October 834*, November 80}, and Desiderably beneath the general level of the ocean. The cember 79°; the greatest cold experienced being 55} largest of these is the Caspian, having a length of 760 in January, and the greatest heat 92° in May. The miles, with an average breadth of 200, receiving the wet season in the same year--that is, June, July, rivers Wolga and Oural, but with no outlet; its waters August, and part of September - yielded, by rain. brackish, and of unknown depth, and its surface-level gauge, upwards of 66 inches of rain. fully 116 feet beneath that of the Black Sea. Next is the Sea of Aral, about one-fifth of the size of the Caspian, with brackish or bitter water, receiving the The vegetation of Asia, as might be expected from its streams of the Jyhoun and Sihon, but having no river varied climate, soil, altitude, and other physical causes, of discharge. Of the same character are the smaller is more abundant and diversified than that of any lakes Tenghiz, Khasselbach, Oubsa, Koko, Bosteng, other region. The general features have been already &c.--all in the high central plateaux; and Van, Ouru- adverted to under the different regions into which we mia, Koch-Hissar, the Dead Sea, and others in West divided the continent; but in addition to these we may Asia--the last being not less than 1312 feet beneath notice the following as more especially characteristic: the level of the Mediterranean. Of fresh-water lakes --Of forest trees—the teak, cedar, sycamore, cypress, with outlets, the principal are Baikal in Siberia, 400 savin, mangrove, bamboo, banyan, plantain, cocoa, and miles long, and from 40 to 60 broad, abounding in seals a variety of other palms, besides aloes, ebony, ironand fish ; Tchang, formed by the Irtish; Erivan in wood, rosewood, sandalwood, and other ornamental Armenia ; Tongting, Poyang, and Hai in China ; and hardwoods. Of fruits--the grape, orange, shaddock, Tabaria in Syria, 328 feet beneath the Mediterranean. lemon, lime, tamarind, mangosteen, mulberry, olive,

Of the rivers which water the continent, a large pomegranate, walnut, almond, cocoa, bread-fruit, cashew, number are of the first class; and others, though of betel, banana, pine-apple, melon, quince, date, apricot, minor volume, become interesting from their historical and all the garden fruits known in Europe. Of spices associations. The bleak regions of the north are tra- and kindred trees and shrubs — cinnamon, nutmeg, Tersed by the Obi, with its large tributaries Irtish and clove, camphor, cassava, tea, coffee, cotton, sugar-cane, Tobol, by the Yenesei, the Lena, and Indigirka-all sago-palm, &c. Of grains, cultivated roots, &c.-rice, of which fall into the Arctic Ocean, and, from being wheat, dhourra, maize, barley, pease, beans, lentils, frozen for so many months, are of little use to internal and other leguminosæ; potato, yam, lotus, arrowroot: communication. In Eastern Asia we find the Amour, of plants yielding drugs and dye-stuffs-indigo, arnatto, Hoang-ho, Yang-tse-kiang, and Hong-kiang, all of saffron, gamboge, galls, poppy, rhubarb, castor-oil, sarwhich are slow flowing rivers, and navigable for a long saparilla, ginseng, and many others. way into the interior. India without the Ganges is Of the animals characteristic of Asia, we may enumewatered by the rapid but little-known rivers Camboja, rate among the mammaliathe apes and monkeys of Meinam, Thaleain, and Irawady; and Hindoostan by the south; the elephant and rhinoceros of India; the the Brahmapoutra, the sacred Ganges, and not less lion, tiger, leopard, panther, ounce, and other felinæ celebrated Indus, with its classical tributaries Sutluj, in the south and west; the wolf, jackal, blue and black Ravee, Chenab, and Jelum. The Ganges, though sub- fox, and numerous varieties of the dog; the horse, ass, ject to annual inundations, and to a very rapid and and dziggetai of Arabia ; the common ox, buffalo, dangerous tidal bore, is one of the most valuable rivers auroch, yak, and musk ox; the elk, reindeer, axis, in the world, being, with most of its tributaries, navi- argali of Siberia, Angora goat, ibex, moufflon, and fatgable to the very basis of the mountains. The same, tailed sheep; porcupine, jerboa, curious bats, marmot, however, cannot be said of the Indus, which, though lemming, beaver, ermine, &c.; bears, badgers, gluttons, of ample volume, has an obstructive and shifting delta, sea-otters, seals, morses, manati, and other cetacea. which renders it of little avail, unless to small steamers. Among birds—the peacock, pheasant, white partIn Western Asia are the Tigris and Euphrates—the ridge, and innumerable pigeons; eagle, vulture, falcon; latter, as has been recently proved, navigable for flat- parrots, paroquets, macaws, &c.; stork, heron, corbottomed steamers so high as Bir.

morant, pelican; birds of paradise, and others of gay

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