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A LAUGHABLE MISTAKE.
A YOUNG Parisian going a few years since to Amsterdam, was struck with the beauty of a country house which stood by the side of the canal down which he was sailing; for in Holland there is little else but water carriage. The Parisian addressed himself to a Dutchman, who sat beside him in the boat, and said, “ May I take the liberty, Sir, to ask whose house that is ?" The Dutchman replied, in his own language, Ik kan niet verstaan, Mynheer, which sigaifies, I do not understand you, Sir; but the young Frenchman, never imagining be was not understood, took this answer of the Dutchman to be the name of the proprietor. “Aha!” said he, “it belongs to Mr. Kaniferstan, does it ? Upon my word, Mr. Kaniferstan ought to think himself very agreeably off in such a house; the situation is charming, and the gardens delightful. I remember nothing more delicious; it is really superb; one of my friends has just such another on the banks of the Seine, though I absolutely think I should give this the preference," with much more of the same kind, to which the Hollander answered not a word.
Being come to Amsterdam, he saw a very beautiful woman walking arm in arm with a gentleman upon the quay, and asked a passenger, “ Pray, Sir, who is that elegant lady?” The reply was, Ik kan niet verstaan. “ Ho!" said he,- is she the wife of Mr. Kaniferstan, whose chateau I have seen upon the borders of the canal ? Upon my word, Mr. Kaniferstan is a very happy man : who would not envy him so fine a house and so charming a wife?"
Proceeding on a little farther, his attention was suddenly attracted by the beating of drums, and sounding of trumpets, before the door of a man who had gained the highest prize in the Dutch lottery for that year. The Parisian's curiosity was again awakened; he desired to know the name of the happy mortal, and again was answered, Ik kan niet verstaan. “Upon my word,” said he, “this is too much. What! Mr. Kaniferstan, who owns ibat delightful house, and is married to that beautiful lady, must he get the highest prize in the lottery too? It is really astonishing ; and we must allow that some men have very singular good fortune in this world."
At last he met a funeral procession, and asked a by-stander who it was they were carrying to their last home with all that solemnity; Ik kan niet verstaan, once more was the reply; upon which, starting three paces back, the wondering Parisian exclaimed— Alas, Mr. Kaniferstan! Poor Mr. Kaniferstan! to die so suddenly, after having obtained so magnificent a chateau, so charming a wife, and the highest prize in the lottery! What a pity! I am certain he must be very loath to die; but indeed I thought his happiness was too great to last long.” So passed he on to bis inn, moralizing and making reflections upon the mutability of all human affairs, and the untimely death of poor Mr. Kaniferstan.
THE BENEFITS ATTENDING
STUDY OF THE SCIENCES.
It will no doubt be readily allowed, as it has already been hinted in the introduction to this work, that the education of both sexes, should not, in general, be exactly alike, because they are not destined for the same duties and occupations; but it does not follow that a knowledge of the first principles of Geography, Astronomy, &c. will form an improper part of the education of females.
By an attention to these subjects, in which, according to Dr. Watts, “ there is not a son or daughter of Adam that has not some concern,” the mind is abstracted from the trifling objects which too often engage the attention of youth, and through the defect of education, more particularly of female youth; it is also led, by an increasing knowledge of the works of creation, to form more enlarged views of the wisdom, power, and goodness of the great Creator. The following brief outline of these interesting subjects will give a general idea of their nature and importance: and perhaps inspire a wish to know more than the limits of this work will allow; a wish which may be easily gratified by an application to more voluminous publications,
GEOGRAPHY is that science which describes the sur. face of the earth, the constituent parts of which are land and water.
The land consists of Continents, Islands, Peninsulas, Isthmuses, Promontories, Capes, &c.
The water consists of Oceans, Seas, Straits, Gulfs, Bays, Lakes, Rivers, &c.
A Continent is a large portion of land, not separated by water : there are only two; the old continent, which conThe Young Woman's Companion, fc. 187 tains Europe, Asia, and Africa; and the newly-discovered continent of America.
An Island is a portion of land surrounded by water : as, Great Britain, Ireland, &c.
A Peninsula is a tract of land surrounded by water, except at one narrow neck.
An Isthmus is the narrow neck of land which unites the peninsula to the continent.
A Promontory is a piece of land stretching itself into the sea. A Cape is the point of land at the end of the promontory.
WATER. An Ocean is a large collection of waters without any separation of its parts by land, as the Atlantic, the Pacific, the Indian Ocean, &c.
A Sea is a smaller collection of waters, confined by the land, and communicating with the ocean; as the Mediterranean, the Black Sea, &c.
A Strait is a narrow part of the sea, forming a passage from one sea to another; as the Straits of Gibraltar, Magellan, &c.
A Gulf or Bay is an arm of the sea, which runs a considerable way into the land; as the Gulf of Mexico, the Bay of Biscay, &c.
A Lake is a large collection of waters, entirely surrounded by land; as the Lakes of Geneva, Constance, &c.
A River is a large stream or body of running water; as the Thames, the Severn, &c.
OF THE EARTH IN GENERAL. The earth is a large globe, the diameter of which is nearly eight hundred thousand miles, and its surface contains pearly two hundred millions of square miles.
More than two-thirds of the globe is covered with water; the land is occupied by at least a thousand millions of human beings, and is divided into four great parts or quarters; Europe, Asia, Africa, and America.
EUROPE. Europe is particularly distinguished from the other quarters of the globe; though it is the smallest, it is that in which the human mind has made the greatest advances in arts and sciences, whether of war or of peace; its climate, in general, being temperate, and its soil fertile.
It is bounded on the north by the Frozen Ocean, on the west by the Atlantic Ocean, on the south by the Mediterranean Sea, and on the east by the continent of Asia, extending about 3,000 miles in length, from Cape St. Vincent in the west, to the river Oby in the north-east; and 2,500 in breadth, from the North Cape of Norway to Cape Metapan in the Morea; lying between the 36th and 72d degrees of north-west latitude, and containing about 160,000,000 of inhabitants.
The principal divisions of Europe are, Lapland, Norway, Sweden, Denmark, Russia or Muscovy, Poland, Prussia, Germany, Holland, France, Swisserland, Italy, Portugal, Spain, Turkey, and the united kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland.
Its chief islands are Great Britain and Ireland, Iceland, Zealand, Sicily, Sardinia, Corsica, Candia, Majorca, Minorca, and Ivica.
Its chief seas, the Mediterranean, the Bristish Channel, the German Ocean, as it is called, the Baltic, and the White Sea.
Its principal rivers and lakes are the Wolga, the Danube, the Dwina, the Neiper, the Rhine, the Elbe, the Tiber, the Tagus, and the Thames; the principal lakes are the Ladoga, and Onega, Geneva, Constance, Como, Lough Neagh, and Loch Loinond.
Its principal mountains, the Alps, the Pyrenees, the Appenines, the Carpathian, and the Dofrafeld mountains.
Its principal capes, the North Cape, the Naze, the Land's End, Cape la Hogue, Finisterre, St. Vincent, and Metapan.
The volcanoes, or burning mountains in Europe are vesuvius and Stromboli in Italy, Mount Etna in Sicily, and Mount Hecla in Iceland.
Except in Turkey, where they are Mahometans, and in some parts of Lapland, where Paganism prevails, the Christian religion is universally professed in Europe; divided however into the Catholic, the Greek, and the reformed churches.
Lapland. This wild and desolate country, which belongs partly to Denmark, Sweden, and Russia, is covered with vast forests of pines, affording, however, some spots for pasture and cultivation. For two months in summer the sun never sets, and the same space in winter it never rises. The character of the natives is hospitable and generous ; they derive their chief comforts from their rein deer, by means of which