Page images



1. Ce"-le-bra-ted, pret. made famous.

Cre-a'-ted, pret. made. 2. Fer-ti"-li-ty, s. the quality of producing plenty. 3. Sul-try, a.'hot and close ; hot without any current of wind, suf.

focating with heat. 5. Con'-fines, s. pl. limits, bounds; the utmost edge or verge of any

thing or place.

1. Asia is celebrated as having been the scene of the most important transactions : for here it was our first parents were created : it also became the nursery of the world after the deluge: here it was the first empires and kingdoms were founded : the confusion of tongues :* the scene in which Jesus Christ exerted himself to reform and save the human race: and also here churches were gathered in the Christian name, which, however, has long been banished from it.

2. Asia is remarkable from the serenity of its air, and the richness and fertility of its soil, which pro

* This happened 2247 years before the birth of our Saviour. Until this period there had been but one common language, which formed a bond of union that prevented a separation of mankind into distinct nations. Here it is to be observed, that the language prior to this and those spoken after (caused by the arrogance of Noah's posterity in builing the tower of Babel), until the written language was formed by Cadmus, King of Thebes, in Greece, were oral, that is, delivered by the mouth only, and not written. But, most certainly, they had their signs or symbols, to express their various ideas to each other, and to give names to the different objects around them; but be that as it may, it is of little consequence to know this precisely, since the Scriptures are silent on this bead; and after all that can be said, it is still conjecture.

duces the most delicious fruits, fragrant shrubs, spices, valuable drugs, gums, &c.

3. It is of very large extent, stretching itself into all climates, from the frozen wilds of Siberia, where the hardy inhabitants are clothed in furs, and drawn in sledges by dogs, over immeasurable tracts of snow, and the roving Tartar on his fleet and active steed, scours along the wild deserts, to the sultry regions of India and Siam, where, riding in state upon the lofty elephants, the people shelter themselves from the scorching sun by the spreading umbrella.

4. The Tartars, like their ancestors (the Scythians), are celebrated for being a hardy race of people, who live in tents, and lead a roving life.

5. They are to be seen in bodies of some thousands together, with their families, their cattle, and all they possess : they wander about in the temperate parts and vast solitudes of the Asiatic continent, from the confines of Europe to the Great Pacific Ocean.

6. On meeting with a fertile and pleasant situation, they pitch their tents, and continue in the place till the grass is consumed, when they again set forward in search of another inviting spot.

Asia continued.

2. Wrecks, s. pl. ruins, remains in a ruinous state. As-sert', v. to affirm a thing as true. (To claim a thing as one's

due; to defend both by words and actions.) 5. Ga-zet'te, s. a paper of news, containing mostly foreign articles,

and published by authority. Of-fi"-ci-al, a. conducive towards performing or forwarding any

public charge, or any important circumstance of good authority. Mag-ni”-fi-cent, a. grand in appearance; striking the eye with

an appearance of riches, pomp, or splendour. 8. Punc-til”-i-ous, a. (pro. punk-til-yus,) nice, exact, too nice in

trivial parts of breeding. Li-ti”-gi-ous, a. (pro. li-tid-jus) quarrelsome, disputable, fond

of law-suits. Pre"-ju-di-ced, part. filled with foolish notions that they are better

than other people, whereby they injure themselves in the eyes of

the world. 12. Ef-fem'-in-ate, a. void of the qualities which distinguish and

adorn the male sex, acting or behaving like a woman. 20. Ac-cess', s, admittance, approach.

1. Asta comprehends China, Persia, Arabia, India, part of Turkey, part of Russia, Great Tartary, the Birman Empire, Siam, and the island of Japan, with others of less note.

2. Turkey is covered with wrecks of ancient splendour, which was once very rich and fertile, containing many flourishing kingdoms, and a great number of celebrated cities; but now quite barren, the people miserable, and cities few.

3. Turkey in Asia contains four great provinces ; viz. Natolia, Tercomania, Diarbeck, and Syria. 4. In the last-mentioned province was situated Palestine or the Holy Land, Canaan, Judea, Phenicia; Jerusalem, the celebrated city; and Bethlehem, rendered so illustrious by the birth of our Saviour.

5. China is one of the most polished nations of

[ocr errors]

Asia, which is very large and populous. Some writers assert the population of China to be the enormous number of three bundred and thirty-three millions; but according to the Pekin gazette, recently copied into the Paris official papers, it has but fifty-nine millions, which is by far more probable.

6. In China is a celebrated wall, now upwards of two thousand


since it was built. It was made to divide China from Tartary, in order to keep the Tartars from plundering their country.

7. This wall is one thousand two hundred miles, long, twenty-five feet bigh, and eighteen thick.

8. The Chinese are said to be mild, industrious, polished, sensible, and magnificent; but punctilious, litigious, and much prejudiced in favour of their own nation.

9. The capital and remarkable cities are Pekin, and Nankin; the former containing three millions of inhabitants, and the latter, the largest city in circumference, in the world, being thirty-six miles round.

10. Persia is a very large kingdom, about half as large again as Spain, containing about ten millions of inhabitants. Its chief city is Ispahan.

11. It is said that no country in the world bears a more different character than this, being extremely mountainous, barren, and cold, in the northern parts; in the middle, very wild, and sandy, but enjoying a temperate air; and in the south, level and extremely fertile, though for several months it is scorching hot.

12. The Persians are said to be very luxurious and effeminate; well-shaped, robust, neat, sensible, affable, jealous, and revengeful.

13. Arabia is a large country, something larger than Spain, situated east of the Red Sea, and south of Turkey. It contains about ten millions of inhabitants. The chief city is Mecca.

14. Arabians generally live under tents in the open air ; the greater part are wandering tribes, like the Tartars; committing depredations and robberies wherever they can.

15., The Arabian horses are said to be the best in the world.

16. India is a very large country, receiving its name from the river Indus. It is divided into two great portions, the peninsula of India on this side the Ganges, and the peninsula beyond the Ganges: including Hindostan, the Birman Empire, &c. It is sometimes called the Indies.

17. The population of the Indies is supposed to be one hundred millions.

Hindostan contains sixty millions in population.
The Birman Empire seventeen millions.
Siam about five millions.

18. The Indians are said to be extremely mild, and by no means adapted to hard labour or war.

19. Great Tartary is a large extent of country, situated on the north of India and China. It is called Great Tartary, in distinction from the Lesser, which is in Europe. The Tartars, for the most part, are wanderers.

20. Japan is a very large country on the east of Asia, with the title of an empire; composed of a great number of islands difficult of access; the principal of which are Niphon, and Saikokf or Tonsa,

« PreviousContinue »