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by the Caribbean Sea and the Isthmus of Darien; west, by the Pacific Ocean; south, by the Southern Ocean; and east, by the Atlantic Ocean. Its length, from north to south, is 4660 miles; its breadth, from east to west, 3160 miles. Area, 8 millions of square miles. Population, 15 millions.
383. General Description.-South America is a triangular peninsula, of which about three-fourths lies between the tropics, and one-fourth in the south temperate zone. From the configuration of its surface, this peninsula may be divided into five distinct physical regions:-1. The low country skirting the shores of the Pacific Ocean, of which the two extremities are fertile, but the middle portion is a sandy desert. 2. The basin of the Orinoco, surrounded by the Andes and their branches, and forming a region of extensive plains or llanos, covered with very long grass. During the dry season, the heat of these plains is intense, and the parched soil opens into long rents, in which lizards and serpents lie in a state of torpor. 3. The basin of the Amazon, a vast plain whose area exceeds two millions of square miles, possessing a rich soil and a humid climate. It is covered almost everywhere with dense forests, which harbour innumerable wild animals, and are thinly peopled by savages, who live by hunting and fishing. 4. The great southern plain, watered by the numerous affluents of the Rio de la Plata, and generally covered with a strong growth of weeds and tall grass, which furnish food for prodigious herds of oxen and beeves. 5. The high country of Brazil, eastward of the Parana and the Araguay; which presents alternate ridges and valleys, thickly
covered with wood on the side next the Atlantic, and opening into pasture lands in the interior.
384. The principal mountains of South America are the Andes or Cordilleras, extending along the whole western coast. The principal rivers are the Magdalena and Orinoco, in Colombia; the Essequibo, in Guiana; the Amazon and Francisco, in Brazil; and the Rio de la Plata, in La Plata. The principal gulphs and bays are the Gulphs of Darien and Maracaibo, on the north of Colombia; the Bay of All Saints, on the east of Brazil; and the Gulph of Guayaquil and Bay of Panama, west of Colombia. The principal capes are Cape St. Roque, in the east of Brazil; and Cape Horn, in the south of Tierra del Fuego. The principal straits are the Straits of Magellan, between Patagonia and Tierra del Fuego; and the Straits of La Maire, between Tierra del Fuego and Staten Island. The principal islands are Tierra del Fuego, south of Patagonia; the Falkland Islands, east of Patagonia; Juan Fernandez, west of Chili; and the Galapagos, west of Colombia. The largest lakes are Lake Maracaibo, in Colombia; and Lake Titicaca, in Peru.
385. Countries.-These we shall consider in the following order: Colombia, Peru, Bolivia, Chili, La Plata, Paraguay, Uruguay, Brazil, Guiana, and Patagonia.
386. General Description.-Colombia comprises the three republics of Venezuela, New Granada, and
Ecuador. It is naturally divided into three zones: the first comprehending the region between the Pacific Ocean and the Caribbean Sea and the Andes; the second, the mountainous region; the third, the immense savannahs which stretch southward and eastward from the Andes to the river Amazon, with the mountain border of the basin of the Orinoco.
387. Venezuela.-Venezuela comprises the eastern part of the country, stretching along the Atlantic Ocean and the Caribbean Sea, from the river Essequibo to the west side of the Gulph of Maracaybo. Caracas is the capital.
388. New Granada.-New Granada comprises the Isthmus of Panama and the adjacent northwestern part of South America. Bogotá is the capital. Carthagena, an episcopal city, possesses one of the finest harbours in America.
389. Ecuador.-Ecuador is so named from its lying under the equator. Its chief towns are Quito and Guayaquil.
390. General Description.-This republic is situated on the western side of South America, and comprises an area of more than 500,000 square miles. Its western portion is occupied by the highest ranges of the Andes, while the eastern portion slopes down into the great plains which occupy the centre of the continent. Its capital is Lima, still the emporium of its trade. This country is more subject to earthquakes than any other.
BOLIVIA OR UPPER PERU.
391. General Description.-This country has Peru (or Lower Peru) on the north and north-west, and comprises an area of about 320,000 square miles. In the west it is traversed by lofty mountains, while in the east it stretches into immense plains. It is most unfavourably situated for com
Its capital is Chuquisaca. Potosi, a decayed city, stands near the celebrated silver mines.
392. General Description.-Chili comprises the country between the crests of the Andes and the Pacific Ocean. The climate is equable, and the soil productive. Commerce, chiefly with Great Britain, is prosperous. Valparaiso is the commercial centre, and the principal port. Santiago is the capital.
393. General Description.-The united provinces of La Plata, or the Argentine Republic, comprise the greater part of the vast country lying between Brazil
and the Cordillera of Chili and Peru. The greater part of this region is a vast plain, traversed in its northern and central portions by the numerous affluents of the Plata, and stretching out to the southwest into the boundless pampas. It is divided into thirteen provinces, whose political relations are as yet unsettled. The provincial government of Buenos Ayres is the most powerful. The capital is Buenos
394. General Description.-Paraguay extends along the eastern bank of the river Paraguay, from the Rio Parana to the Rio Blanco; and is bounded on the south and east by the Parana. Asuncion (Assumption) is the capital: it is the centre of a considerable trade in hides, tobacco, timber, and other articles, including the yarba-maté, a peculiar species of tea.
URUGUAY, OR THE BANDA ORIENTAL.
395. General Description.—This is a very compact territory, extending along the northern shore of the Plata, and bounded on the west by the river Uruguay. Its chief town is Monte Video, on the Plata.