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Fo, and of Confucius, their great philosopher, who was contemporary with Solomon. But almost every form of false religion prevails; "the gods of China," to use their own expression, are in number like the sands of Havy River." The government is a sort of patriarchal despotism; limited, however, by the fixed rights of a literary aristocracy. China is divided, for administrative purposes, into eighteen large provinces. The public functionaries are divided into nine ranks their common title is Quan; but by Europeans they are commonly called Mandarins.

295. Chief Towns.-Pe-king, the capital of the empire; Nan-king, celebrated for its porcelain pagoda; Sou-chew-foo, a very large and flourishing commercial city; Canton, or Quang-chou-foo, the grand emporium of European and American commerce.

296. Territories beyond China Proper.-The principal of these are the six following:-1. MONGOLIA; an elevated valley inclosed between the Altai Mountains and those of Thibet. The people, though naturally warlike, are of pas toral habits. The country is divided into several principalities, independent of each other, but all under the military rule of China. 2. LITTLE BUCHARIA; a wide plain extending eastward from the Belur-tagh: Yarkhand is one of its largest cities. 3. MANTCHOURIA forms, with Corea, one geographical region, lying along the eastern coast of Asia, between China and Siberia. The greater part of Mantchouria is occupied by the basin of the Amoor and its affluents. The Mandchews conquered China in 1640. 4. COREA lies between the Yellow Sea on the west, and the Sea of Japan on the east: its capital is King-ki-tao. 5. THIBET is a region of tablelands, deep valleys, and high mountains, lying between India on the south, from which it is separated by the Himalayas ; China, on the east; Chinese Tartary, on the north; and the unexplored countries, forming the basin of the Upper Indus, commonly called Little Thibet, on the west. Religion, which is a variety of Buddhism, is the basis of the political and social system: every district has its Lama; the chief of whom is the Grand Lama, who resides at Lassa. Thibet is neither an independent kingdom nor a province of China: it is merely a geographical region divided into a number of states

tributary to the Grand Lama, who is under the protection of the Emperor of China. 6. LOOCHOO is an insular kingdom in the Pacific, eastward of Formosa.



297. Situation and Boundaries.-This country lies between 36° and 51° N. lat., and 45° and 78° E. long. From east to west it extends about 1350 miles; and from the northern frontier of Persia to the frontier of Russia, about 1260. It is bounded on the north by Siberia; west, by the Caspian Sea; south, by Persia and Affghanistan; and east, by Chinese Tartary. Area, 800,000 square miles.


298. General Description.-The greater part of the country is composed of sandy plains, intersected by a few rivers, and studded with small lakes. rises gradually from the shore of the Caspian and Aral towards the south and east; on both which sides it is inclosed by high mountains, which give rise to its principal rivers. The largest river is the Amoo, or ancient Oxus, falling into the Sea of Aral. The Sea of Aral is a lake in the western part of Turkestan. There are several lakes in the Steppes of the Kirghiz.

299. Climate and Natural Productions.-The climate of the plains and steppes of Turkestan is subject to extremes of heat and cold. The natural productions peculiar to this country are comparatively few and unimportant: the horses are the most valuable domestic animals.

300. Natural and Political Divisions.-Turkestan has never been all subjected to the same sovereign. It may be con


sidered as naturally divided into, 1. The Steppes of the Kirghiz; 2. The Transoxana of the Latin geographers, between the rivers Amoo and Sir; 3. The Hill Countries, along the southern and eastern borders. It is divided politically into numerous states of unequal extent and population. The principal of these are the Khanats of Bokhara, Khokand or Ferghanah, Khiva, and Koondooz. The independent tribes of the Kirghiz Steppes have no fixed residences: they dwell in tents. The chief towns of Bokhara are Bokhara, Samarcand, and Balkh; of Khokand, Khokand; of Khiva, Khiva; and of Koondooz, Kulm,



301. Situation and Boundaries.-Asiatic Russia is situated between 38° and 76° N. lat., and between 60° E. and 190° E. or 170° W. long. Its length, from east to west, is 4880 miles; its breadth, from north to south, 1800 miles. Area, 5,370,000 square miles. Population, about 8 millions. It is bounded, north, by the Northern Ocean; west, by Russia in Europe; south, by Tartary, Turkey, Persia, and the Caspian Sea; east, by the Pacific Ocean.

302. General Description.-Asiatic Russia is a continuation of the great plain which extends from the German Ocean to the Oural Mountains. This vast plain, sloping upwards from the Arctic Ocean to the Altai and Oural Mountains, forms the basins of the great rivers that flow towards the polar regions. It consists almost entirely of steppes and marshes, though along the southern borders it is fertile and

luxuriant. It terminates with Kamtschatka, which is a bleak and barren country, abounding in volcanoes. The principal mountains are Mount Caucasus, between the Black and Caspian Seas; the Oural Mountains, on the European border; and the Altai Mountains, between Asiatic Russia and Tartary. The chief capes are Cape Severo, in the north; East Cape, at Behring's Strait; and Cape Lopatka, in the south of Kamtschatka. The largest lakes are Lake Baikal, in Siberia; and Lake Erivan, in Armenia. The principal rivers are the Oby, with its tributary the Irtis, the Yenisei, the Lena, flowing into the Northern Ocean; the Volga, the Oural, and the Kur, flowing into the Caspian Sea. The Aleutian Islands lie between Kamtschatka and America; and the Kurile Isles between Kamtschatka and Japan.

303. Climate and Natural Productions.-In the south, the air is pure and the soil fertile. In the centre, vegetation is greatly checked by severe cold. Towards the north, the vast marshy plains are covered with almost perpetual snow. There are extensive forests in the south, and the general agricultural produce is abundant. The mines of Asiatic Russia are valuable.

304. Manufactures and Commerce.-The chief manufactures are those of leather, salt, and isinglass. The chief exports are sables and other furs, iron, caviar, and other natural productions.

305. Divisions.-The Russian Empire in Asia comprehends several countries and provinces of vast extent, which may be distributed into the Caucasian Provinces and Siberia. The Caucasian Provinces include Georgia, Shirvan, the Russian portions of Armenia and Azerbijan, Imeritia, Mingrelia, part of Guriel, Abkhaz, Circassia, Daghestan, Lesghistan, and the old province of Caucasus. Siberia is divided into two great regions, called Eastern and Western Siberia.

306. Chief Towns.-The chief town of Georgia is Teflis; of Russian Armenia, Erivan; of Eastern Siberia, Irkutsk; of Western Siberia, Tobolsk.



307. General Description.-The empire of Japan consists of a group of islands in the Pacific Ocean, to the north-east of China, between 30° and 42° N. lat., and 128° and 143° E. long. The principal islands are Niphon, Kiu-siu, Sikokf, and Jessai. These have a very uneven surface, interspersed with rocky hills, several of whose summits are active volcanoes. Earthquakes are frequent and destructive. The climate is extremely variable: hurricanes are frequent. Rice and tea are extensively cultivated. Japan is peculiarly rich in minerals, especially gold. The silk and cotton manufactures rival those of Europe. The porcelain is even more esteemed than that of China. The internal trade is very extensive; but all foreign commerce, except with the Dutch, is strictly prohibited. The government is an hereditary absolute monarchy, holding the supreme power over a number of absolute hereditary principalities. The chief towns are Miyako, Yedo, and Osaka.

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