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castes which exist are regarded as more or less pure: all beneath these are called pariahs, and are in a very degraded state. Besides the Hindoos who profess Brahminism, there are in India multitudes of people and numerous tribes, differing from each other in origin, religion, and habits of life. Among these we may name the Bheels, Budhuks, Coolies, Goorkhas, Jarejahs, Jauts, Mahrattas, Parsees, Rajpoots, Sikhs, and Thugs. Of the European residents, the British are by far the most numerous and powerful. As regards religion, "Of all idolatries I have ever read or heard of," says Bishop Heber," the religion of the Hindoos really appears to me the worst. Next after Brahminism comes Buddhism, a sort of religion of reason. In the native states, the governments are rude despotisms. The superintendence, direction, and control of the whole civil and military government of the British territories and revenues in India is vested in a GovernorGeneral and Councillors, styled "The Governor-General of India in Council." These are subject to the orders of the Court of Directors of the East India Company, acting under the superintendence of the Board of Control in England, and ultimately responsible to the British Parliament.
283. Political Divisions and Chief Towns:
Comprehending all the countries north of the Nerbudda River, and south of the Himalaya Mountains.
284. Situation and Boundaries.-This extensive region is bounded on the north by Thibet and China; west, by Hindoostan and the Bay of Bengal; south, by the Straits of Malacca and the Gulph of Siam; and east, by the Gulph of Tonquin and the Chinese Sea. It lies between 1° 30′ and 26° N. lat., and between 92° and 108° E. long. Its length, from north to south, is 1800 miles; and its breadth, from east to west, 960 miles.
285. General Description.-This region forms a large peninsula, projecting from the borders of India and China southwards into the Indian Ocean, and terminating in a long narrow promontory, forming the southern extremity of the continent. The surface is occupied by several long ranges of mountains, which extend from north to south, forming between them wide valleys and maritime lowlands, which are drained and watered by large rivers rising in the mountainous regions between India and China. The principal rivers are the Irawady, in the Birman Empire; the Saluen; the Meinam, in Siam; the Mekon; and the Saung, in Lower Cambodia. The principal of the numerous islands are Tantalem, Junk-Ceylon, and Penang.
286. Climate, Soil, and Natural Productions.-In the Birman Empire, the seasons are regular, and the air is salubrious and of moderate temperature. In Siam, the winter, which resembles a European summer, is dry; the summer is moist. The
climate of the Empire of An-nam is generally fine, but various; that of Cambodia and Tonquin resembles that of Siam: in Cochin-China the seasons are reversed. The soil of the Eastern Peninsula is generally fertile. The forests are extensive, especially those of teak. The other vegetable productions are rich and various.
287. People and Government.-Birmah is inhabited by many distinct tribes. The Siamese belong to the Mongolian variety. The people of An-nam consist of various races. The Laos seem to be the parent stock of both the Siamese and the Assamese. All the governments are pure despotisms. The Malays are notorious pirates.
288. Political Divisions.-The whole peninsula may be divided into six portions: the Birman Empire, the Kingdom of Siam, the Empire of An-nam, the Country of the Laos, the British Provinces, and the Malay States. Birmah comprises Ava and Pegu. The Empire of An-nam comprises Cambodia, Tonquin, and Cochin-China. The British Provinces are Martaban, Penang or Prince of Wales' Island, Malaca, and the Island of Singapore.
289. Chief Towns.-Ava, the capital of Birmah; Bankok, of Siam; Hue, of Cochin-China; Ketsho, of Tonquin; Saigon, of Cambodia. Moulmein is the capital of the British province of Moulmein or Martaban; and Georgetown of Prince of Wales' Island.
290. Situation and Boundaries.-China is situated between 20° and 42° N. lat., and between 97° and 123° E. long. It is bounded on the north by Chinese Tartary; on the west, by Thibet; on the south, by the Eastern Peninsula; and on the east, by the Pacific Ocean. Its greatest length, from north to south, is 1500 miles; its greatest breadth, from
east to west, about 1100. Area, 1,298,000 square English miles. Population, probably not less than 362 millions.
291. General Description.-China consists of a series of river-basins, and of lowlands along the seacoast, divided by ranges of hills which rise in some places to a very considerable elevation. The principal gulphs, &c. are the Gulph of Tonquin, the Gulph of Canton, the Strait of Formosa, the Yellow Sea, and the East Sea. The chief islands are Hainan, on the south; Tai-wan or Formosa, and the LooChoo Islands, on the south-east; and Macao, in the Bay of Canton. The principal rivers are the Kiang or Blue River, one of the longest and largest rivers of Asia, flowing eastward through the middle of China; the Whang-ho or Yellow River, in the north; and the Si-kiang or Pearl River, flowing past the city of Canton.
292. Climate and Natural Productions.-The temperature of China is considerably lower than that of the European countries in the same latitudes, and is more subject to excessive variations; yet upon the whole it is highly salubrious. The southern provinces possess the usual products of tropical regions. Rice is the principal object of cultivation. The most remarkable production is the tea-plant, of which the Chinese botanists reckon 200 species.
293. Manufactures and Commerce.-The industry of the Chinese is wonderful. Agriculture is well understood. They excel in the manufacture of silks, cottons, and porcelain; also in embroidery, dyeing, ivory-cutting, and similar delicate works of art. The internal commerce of China is much more important than the foreign, and is carried on by means of rivers and canals. All foreign commerce is conducted through certain Hong merchants, eighteen in number. The chief port is Canton, whose principal export is tea.
294. Religion, Government, and Political Divisions.-The principal false religions of the Chinese are those of Buddha or