Private Tutor

Containing a Variety of uſeful Subjects;


I. Directions for Reading with Elegance and Propriety. V. Table of Weights and Meaſures.
II. The ancient and preſent State of Great Britain; with a compendious hiſtory of England.
VI. The Seven Wonders of the World.
III. An Account of the Solar Syſtem.                  
VII. Proſpect and Deſcription of the burning Mountains.
IV. Hiſtorical and Geographical Deſcription of the ſeveral Countries in the World; with the Manners, Cuſtoms and Habits of the People.
VIII. Dying Words and Behaviour of great Men, when juſt quitting the Stage of Life; with many uſeful Particulars, all in a plain familiar way for Youth of both Sexes.

[This chapter should more properly be called "Letters, Tales and Fables".]

With Letters, Tales and Fables, for amu
ſement and Inſtruction.


Printed for DARTON and HARVEY, Gracechurch-ſtreet, CROSBY and LETTERMAN, Stationers-Court,  and E. NEWBERY,  St. Paul's Church-yard; and B.C. COLLINS,  Saliſbury.

[Price One Shilling.]

Reverse of title page:
Printed by
B.C. COLLINS, Canal, Saliſbury.

Front Page and Owner's Handwriting:
Image 1 Image 2

Transcriber's Notes:


I AM very much concerned when I see young gentlemen of fortune and quality so wholly set upon pleasure and diversions, that they neglect all those improvements in wisdom and knowledge which may make them easy to themselves and useful to the world.  The greatest part of our British youth lose their figure, and grow out of fashion, by that time they are five and twenty.  As soon as the natural gaiety and amiableness of the young man wears off, they have nothing left to recommend them, but lie by the rest of their lives among the lumber and refuse of the species.  It sometimes happens, indeed, that for want of applying themselves in due time to the pursuit of knowledge,  they take up a book in their declining years, and grow very hopeful scholars by the time they are threescore.  I must therefore earnestly press my readers, who are in the flower of their youth, to labour at those accomplishments (iv) which may set off their persons when their bloom is gone, and to lay in timely provisions for manhood and old age.  In short, I would advise the youth of fifteen to be dressing up every day the man of fifty, or to consider how to make himself venerable [i.e. worthy of veneration] at threescore.

Young men, who are naturally ambitious, would do well to observe how the greatest men of antiquity made it their ambition to excel all their contemporaries in knowledge. Julius Cæsar and Alexander, the most celebrated instances of human greatness, took a particular care to distinguish themselves by their skill in the arts and sciences. We have still extant several remains of the former, which justify the character given of him by the learned men of his own age. As for the latter, it is a known saying of his, that he was more obliged to Aristotle, who had instructed him, than to Philip, who had given him life and empire. There is a letter of his recorded by Plutarch and Aulus Gellius, which he wrote to Aristotle upon hearing that he had published those lectures he had given him in private.  This letter was written in the following words, at a time when he was in the height of his Persian conquest:  (v)

"You have not done well to publish your books of select knowledge; for what is there now, in which I can surpass others, if those things which I have been instructed in are communicated to every body? For my own part, I declare to you, I would rather excel others in knowledge than in power."

We see by this letter, that the love of conquest was but a second ambition in Alexander's soul.  Knowledge is indeed that, which, next to virtue, truly and essentially raises one man above another.  It furnishes one half of the human soul.  It makes life pleasant to us, fills the mind with entertaining views, and administers to it a perpetual series of gratifications.  It gives ease to solitude, and gracefulness to retirement.  It fills a public station with suitable abilities, and adds a lustre to those who are in possession of them. 

Learning, by which I mean all useful knowledge, whether speculative or practical,  is in popular and mixt governments the natural source of wealth and honour.  If we look into most of the reigns from the conquest, we shall find that the favourites of each reign have been those who have raised themselves.  The greatest men are generally the growth of that particular age in which they flourish.  A superior capacity for business, and a more extensive knowledge, are the steps by which a new man often mounts to favour, and outshines the rest of his contemporaries.  But when men are actually born to titles, it is almost impossible that they should fail of receiving additional greatness, if they take care to accomplish themselves for it.

The story of Solomon's choice does not only instruct us in that point of history, but furnishes out a very fine moral to us, namely, that he who applies his heart to wisdom, does, at the same time, take the most proper method for gaining long life, riches, and reputation, which are very often not only the reward, but the effects of wisdom.


Writing and Printing.

Before I begin to lay down rules for reading, it will be necessary to take notice of the several points or marks used in printing or writing, for resting or stopping the voice, which are four in number, called


1. The Comma    (,) 
3. Colon      (:)         
2. Semicolon       (;) 4. Period     (.)

These points are to give a proper time for breathing when you read, and to prevent confusion of sense in joining words together in a sentence. The Comma stops the reader's voice till he can tell one, and divides the lesser parts of a sentence.  The Semicolon divides the greater parts of a sentence, and requires the (2) reader to pause while he can count two.  The Colon is used where the sense is complete, and not the sentence, and rests the voice of the reader till he can count three.   The Period is put when the sentence is ended, and requires a pause while he can tell four.

But we must here remark, that the Colon and Semicolon are frequently used promiscuously, especially in our bibles.

There are two other points, which may be called marks of affection; the one of which is termed an Interrogation, which signifies a question being asked, and expressed thus (?); the other called an Admiration or Exclamation, and marked thus (!).  These two points require a pause as long as a period.

We have twelve other marks to be met with in reading, namely,

1. Apostrophe  (’)             

7. Section       (§  )             
2. Hyphen        (-)
8. Ellipsis        (―)
3. Parenthesis   ( )
9. Index          (index)
4. Brackets      [  ]
10. Asterisk     (*)
5. Paragraph    (¶ )
11. Obelisk      (†)
6. Quotation     (“)
12. Caret         (^)

Apostrophe is set over a word where some letter is wanting, as in lov'dHyphen joins syllables and words together, as in pan-cakeParenthesis includes something not necessary to the sense, as, I know that in me (that is in my flesh) liveth, &c.   Brackets include a word or words mentioned as a matter of discourse, (3) as, The little word [man] makes a great noise, &c.  They are also used to enclose a cited sentence, or what is to be explained, and sometimes the explanation itself.  Brackets and Parenthesis are often used for each other without distinction.  Paragraph is chiefly used in the bible, and denotes the beginning of a new subject.  Quotation is used to distinguish what is taken from an author in his own words.  Section shews the division of a chapter.  Ellipsis is used when part of a word or sentence is omitted, as p―ce.  Index denotes some remarkable passage.  Asterisk refers to some note in the margin, or remarks at the bottom of the page;  and when many stand together, thus ***, they imply that something is wanting, or not fit to be read, in the author.  The Obelisk or Dagger, and also parallel lines marked thus (||), refer to something in the margin.  The Caret, marked thus (^), is made use of in writing, when any line or word is left out, and wrote over where it is to come in, as thus,

A certain man two sons:     

Here the word had was left out, wrote over, and marked by the Caret where to come in.

It may also in this place be proper to mention the crooked lines or Braces, which couple two or three words or lines together that tend to the same thing; for instance, (4)

                                                      braces example
This is often used in poetry, where three lines have the same rhyme.

The other marks relate to single words, as Dialysis or Diæresis, placed over vowels to shew they must be pronounced in distinct syllables, as Raphaël.  The Circumflex is set over a vowel to carry a long sound, as Euphrâtes.  An Accent is marked thus (á), to shew where the emphasis must be placed, as negléct;  or to shew that the consonant following must be pronounced double, as hómage.  To these may be added the long (¯) and short (˘) marks, which denote the quantity of syllables, as wātĕr.

When you have gained a perfect knowledge of the sounds of the letters, never guess at a word on sight, lest you get a habit of reading falsely.  Pronounce every word distinctly.  Let the tone of your voice be the same in reading as in speaking.  Never read in a hurry, lest you learn to stammer.  Read no louder than to be heard by those about you.  Observe to make your pauses  regular, and make not any where the sense will admit of none.   Suit your voice to the subject.  Be attentive to those who read well, and remember to imitate their pronun- (5) ciation.  Read often before good judges, and thank them for correcting you.  Consider well the place of emphasis, and pronounce it accordingly:  For the stress of voice is the same with regard to sentences as in words.  The emphasis or force of voice is for the most part laid upon the accented syllable; but if there is a particular opposition between two words in a sentence, one whereof differs from the other in parts, the accent must be removed from its place:  for instance, The sun shines upon the just and upon the unjust.  Here the emphasis is laid upon the first syllable in unjust, because it is opposed to just in the same sentence, without which opposition it would lie in its proper place, that is, on the last syllable, as we must not imitate the unjust practices of others.

The general rule for knowing which is the emphatical word in a sentence, is, to consider the design of the whole; for particular directions cannot be easily given, excepting only where words evidently oppose one another in a sentence, and those are always emphatical.  So frequently is the word that asks a question, as, who, what, when, &c. but not always.  Nor must the emphasis be always laid upon the same words in the same sentence, but varied according to the principal meaning of the speaker.  Thus, suppose I enquire, Did my father walk abroad yesterday?  If I lay the emphasis on the word father, it is evident I (6) want to know whether it was he, or somebody else.   If I lay it upon walk, the person I speak to will know, that I want to be informed whether he went on foot or rode on horseback.   If I put the emphasis upon yesterday, it denotes, that I am satisfied that my father went abroad, and on foot, though I want to be informed whether it was yesterday, or some time before.


There are two ways of writing on a subject, namely, in prose and verseProse is the common way of writing, without being confined to a certain number of syllables, or having the trouble of disposing of the words in any particular form.  Verse requires words to be ranged so, as the accents may naturally fall on particular syllables, and make a sort of harmony to the ear:  This is termed metre or measure, to which rhyme is generally added, that is, to make two or more verses, near to each other, and with the same sound; but this practice is not absolutely necessary; for that which has no rhyme is called blank verse.

In metre the words must be so disposed, as that the accent may fall on every second, fourth, and sixth syllable, and also on the eighth, tenth, and twelfth, if the lines run to that length.  The following verse of ten syllables may serve for an example:


The mónarch spóke, and stráit a múrmur róse.

But English poetry allows of frequent variations from this rule, especially in the first and second syllables in the line, as in the verse which rhymes with the former, where the accent is laid upon the first syllable.

Lóud as the súrges, whén the témpest blóws.

But there are two sorts of metre, which vary from this rule; one of which is when the verse contains but seven syllables, and the accent lies upon the first, third, fifth, and seventh, as below:

                                                           Cóuld we, whích we néver cán,
                                                           Strétch our líves beyónd their spán;
                                                           Beáuty líke a shádow flíes,
                                                           Ánd our yóuth befóre us díes.

The other sort has a hasty sound, and requires an accent upon every third syllable; as,

           'Tis the vóice of the slúggard, I heár him compláin,
           You have wák'd me too soón, I must slúmber agáin.

You must always observe to pronounce a verse as you do prose, giving each word and syllable its natural accent, with these two restrictions:  First, If there is no point at the end of the line, make a short pause before you begin the next.  Secondly, If any word in a (8) line has two sounds, give it that which agrees best with the rhyme and metre; for example the word glittering must sometimes be pronounced as of three syllables, and sometimes glitt'ring, as of two.

The USE of CAPITALS, and the different LETTERS used in PRINTING.

The names of the letters made use of in printed books are distinguished thus:  The round, full, and upright, are called Roman;  the long, leaning, narrow letters are called Italic; and the ancient black character is called English.  You have a specimen as follows, viz.


The Old English is seldom used but in acts of parliament, proclamations, &c.  The Roman is chiefly in vogue for books and pamphlets, intermixed with Italic, to distinguish proper names, chapters, arguments, words in any foreign language, texts of scripture, citations from authors, speeches or sayings of any person, emphatical words, and whatever is strongly significant.

The use of capitals, or great letters, is to begin every name of the Supreme Being, as (9) God, Lord, Almighty, Father, Son, &c.  All proper names of men and things, titles of distinction, as King, Duke, Lord, Knight, &c. must also begin with a capital.  So ought every book, chapter, verse, paragraph, and sentence after a period.  A saying, or quotation from any author, should begin with a capital; as ought every line in a poem.  I and O, when they stand single, must always be capitals; any words, particularly names or substantives, may begin with a capital; but the common way of beginning every substantive with a capital is not commendable, and is now much disused. 

Capitals are likewise often used for ornament, as in the title of books; and also to express numbers, and abbreviations.



Ancient Britons




ENGLAND and Scotland, though but one island, are two kingdoms, viz. the kingdom of England and the kingdom of Scotland; which two kingdoms being united, were in the reign of James I. called Great-Britain.  The shape of it is triangular, as thus triangle, and 'tis surrounded by the seas.  Its utmost extent or length is 812 miles, its breadth is 320, and its circumference 1836; and it is reckoned one of the finest islands in Europe. (11) The whole island was anciently called Albion, which seems to have been softened from Alpion; because the word alp, in some of the original western languages, generally signifies very high lands, or hills; as this isle appears to those who approach it from the Continent. -- It was likewise called Olbion, which in the Greek signifies happy; but of those times there is no certainty in history, more than that it had the denomination, and was very little known by the rest of the world.

The people that first lived in this island, according to the best historians, were the Gauls, and afterwards the Britons.  These Britons were tall, well made, and yellow haired, and lived frequently a hundred and twenty years, owing to their sobriety and temperance, and the wholesomeness of the air.  The use of clothes was scarce known among them.   Some of them that inhabited the southern parts covered their nakedness with the skins of wild beasts carelessly thrown over them, not so much to defend themselves against the cold as to avoid giving offence to strangers that came to traffic among them.  By way of ornament they used to cut the shape of flowers, and trees, and animals, on their skin, and afterwards painted it of a sky colour, with the juice of woad,  that never wore out. [Wikipedia gives its botanical name as Isatis tinctoria; it also states that, in addition to its use as a tattooing ink, it is believed that woad was used as an astringent - it produces quite a bit of scar tissue, but heals very quickly, and no blue is left behind. It may have been used specifically for closing battle wounds.] They lived in woods, in huts covered with skins, boughs, or turfs.  Their towns and villages were a confused parcel of huts, placed at a little distance from each other, (12) without any order or distinction of streets. --  They were generally in the middle of a wood, defended with ramparts, or mounds of earth thrown up.  Ten or a dozen of them, friends and brothers, lived together, and had their wives in common.  Their food was milk and flesh got by hunting, their woods and plains being well stocked with game.  Fish and tame fowls, which they kept for pleasure, they were forbid by their religion to eat.

The chief commerce was with the the Phœnician merchants, who, after the discovery of the island, exported every year great quantities of tin, with which they drove a very gainful trade with distant nations.

In this situation were the Ancient Britons when Julius Cæsar, the first Emperor of Rome, and a great conqueror, formed a design of invading their island, which the Britons hearing of, they endeavoured to divert him from his purpose by sending ambassadors with offers of obedience to him, which he refused, and in the 55th year before the coming of our Saviour upon earth, he embarked in Gaul (that is France) a great many soldiers on board eighty ships.

At his arrival on the coast of Britain he saw the hills and cliffs that ran out into the sea covered with troops, that could easily prevent his landing, on which he sailed two leagues farther to a plain and open shore, which the Britons perceiving sent their chariots and horse (13) that way, whilst the rest of their army advanced to support them.  The largeness of Cæsar's vessels hindered them from coming near the shore, so that the Roman soldiers saw themselves under a necessity of leaping into the sea, armed as they were, in order to attack their enemies, who stood ready to receive them on the dry ground.   Cæsar perceiving that his soldiers did not exert their usual bravery, ordered some small ships to get as near the shore as possible, which they did, and with their slings, engines, and arrows so pelted the Britons, that their courage began to abate.  But the Romans were unwilling to throw themselves into the water, till one of the standard-bearers leaped in first with his colours in his hand, crying out aloud, Follow me, fellow soldiers, unless you will betray the Roman Eagle into the hands of the enemy.  For my part I am resolved to discharge my duty to Caesar and the Commonwealth.  Whereupon all the soldiers followed him, and began to fight.  But their resolution was not able to compel the Britons to give ground; nay, it was feared they would have been repelled, had not Cæsar caused armed boats to supply them with recruits, which made the enemy fall back a little.  The Romans improving this advantage advanced, and getting firm footing on land, pressed the Britons so vigorously that they put them to the rout.  The Britons, astonished at the Roman valour, and fearing a more obstinate resistance would (14) but expose them to greater mischiefs, sent to sue for peace and offer hostages, which Cæsar accepted, and a peace was concluded four days after their landing.  Thus having given an account of Ancient Britain, and Cæsar's invasion, we shall proceed to the History of England, and the several Kings by whom it has been governed.




AS England was long governed by Kings who were natives of the country, so it may not be improper to distinguish that tract of time by the name of the British Period. -- Those Kings were afterwards subdued by the Romans, and the time that warlike people retained their conquest we shall call the Roman Period.  When the Saxons brought this country under their subjection, we shall denominate the time of their sway the Saxon Period. -- Lastly, when the Danes invaded England, and conquered it, we shall term the series of years they possessed it the Danish Period.

This country was originally called Albion; but one Brutus, a Grecian hero, having landed (15) here about 1100 years before Christ, changed the ancient name to Britannia [unlikely etymology]; from which time, to the arrival of Julius Cæsar here, there had reigned sixty-nine Kings, all natives of England.

In respect to the Roman Period we may observe, that Julius Cæsar first landed in Britain from Gallia, and made it tributary to the Romans; but soon after the birth of Christ the Emperor Claudius brought this country entirely under his subjection, and the Emperor Adrian [today usually called Hadrian] built the long wall between England and Scotland.

In the beginning of the second century the Christian religion was planted in England; and in the fifth century the Britons, finding themselves overpowered by the Scots, called over the Saxons to their assistance, who were so charmed with the country that they determined to continue here, and subdue it.

The most remarkable occurrences in the Saxon Period are, that such of them who embarked for England had been particularly distinguished by the name of Angles, and from them the name of Britannia was changed to that of Anglia.  The Saxons also divided the country among themselves into seven kingdoms, known by the name of the Saxon Heptarchy, viz. -- 1. Kent, 2. Essex, 3. Sussex, 4. Wessex, 5. East Anglia, 6. Mercia, 7. Northumberland.  But at length Wessex over- (16) powering the rest, formed them all into one monarchy.

One of those West-Saxon Kings, called Ina, made many good laws, some of which are still extant: he also was the first that granted Peter's pence to the Pope [Gregory II].  

In regard to the Danish Period we shall only remark, that the Danes had for a long time acted as pirates or sea robbers upon the English coasts, and made several incursions into the country, when their King Canute [Cnut or Knut] possessed himself of the crown of England; however their government did not continue long.

Canute reigned eighteen years, and left three sons, Harold [Harald], Canute, and Sueno [Svein]; to the first he gave England, to the second Denmark, and to the third Norway.

Harold reigned five years, and was succeeded by his half-brother Hardi-Canute [Harthacnut], who died two years after, and with him ended the tyrannical government of the Danes in England.





WE shall divide this part of our history into four periods;  -- 1. The Kings of the Norman Line; 2. Those of the House of Anjou; 3. Of the House of Lancaster; 4. Of the House of York.

WILLIAM I. sirnamed [sic] the Conqueror, gained a signal victory over King Harold, by which means he procured the crown of England.   This Prince was the son of Robert, Duke of Normandy, by one of his mistresses called Harlotte [Herleve or Arlette], from whom some think the word harlot is derived; however, as this amour seems odd, we shall entertain the reader with an account of it.  The Duke riding one day to take the air passed by a company of country girls, who were dancing, and was so taken with the graceful carriage of one of them, named Harlotte, a skinner's daughter, that he prevailed on her to cohabit with him, and she was ten months after delivered of William, who, having reigned 21 years, died at Rouen, in September, 1087.


WILLIAM II. sirnamed Rufus, succeeded his father; he built Westminster-hall, rebuilt London-bridge, and made a new wall round the Tower of London.  In his time the sea overflowed a great part of the estate belonging to Earl Goodwin, in Kent, which is at this day called the Goodwin Sands.  The King was killed accidentally by an arrow in the New Forest, and left no issue.  He reigned fourteen years, and was buried in Winchester Cathedral.

HENRY I. youngest son of William the Conqueror, succeeded his brother William II. in 1100.  He reduced Normandy, and made his son Duke thereof.  This Prince died in Normandy of a surfeit, by eating lampreys after hunting, having reigned 35 years.

STEPHEN, sirnamed of Blois, succeeded his uncle Henry I. in 1135; but being continually harassed by the Scotch and Welsh, and having reigned 19 years in an uninterrupted series of troubles, he died at Dover in 1154, and was buried in the Abbey at Feversham, which he had erected for the burial place of himself and family.

HENRY II. son of Geoffrey Plantagenet, Earl of Anjou, succeeded Stephen in 1154. -- In him the Norman and Saxon blood was united, and with him began the race of the Plantagenets, which ended with Richard III.  In this King's reign Thomas à Becket, son to a tradesman in London, being made Lord (19) High Chancellor, and afterwards Archbishop of Canterbury, affected on all occasions to oppose and to be independent of the court. -- The King hearing of his misbehaviour, complained that he had not one to revenge him on a wretched priest for the many insults he had put upon him.  Hereupon four of his domestics, in hopes to gain favour, set out immediately for Canterbury, and beat out Thomas's brains with clubs, as he was saying vespers in his own cathedral, in so cruel a manner, that the altar was covered with blood.  King Henry subdued Ireland, and died there in 1189, in the 34th year of his reign.

RICHARD I. ["the Lionheart"] succeeded his father Henry II. and was no sooner crowned than he took upon him the cross, and went with Philip, King of France, to the Holy Land in 1192 [the end of the 3rd Crusade].  On his return he was detained by the Emperor Henry VI. and was obliged to pay 100,000 marks for his ransom.  In a war which succeeded [followed] between England and France, Richard fought personally in the field, and gained a complete victory over the enemy, but was afterwards shot by an arrow at the siege of the Castle of Chalus, and died of the wound April 6, 1199.

JOHN, the fourth son of Henry II. took possession of the crown on Richard's decease, though his nephew Arthur of Bretagne, son of his elder brother Geoffrey Plantagenet, had an undoubted title to it.


His encroachments on the privileges of his people called forth the opposition of the spirited and potent Barons of that day:  John was reduced to great straits; and Pope Innocent III. with the usual policy of the Holy Fathers, sided with John's disaffected subjects, and fulminated the thunders of the church against him, till he had brought him to his own terms: the King surrendered his crown at the feet of the Pope's Legate, who returned it to him on his acknowledging that he held it as the vassal of the Holy See, and binding himself and successors to pay an annual tribute thereto.  The Barons and their cause were to be sacrificed to the Pope's interest, and the Legate commanded them to lay down their arms; they were however bold enough to make head against this powerful league, and by their steady opposition to the King, and their moderate demands when their efforts were crowned with success, immortalized their names: John was obliged to sign out two famous charters -- the first called Magna Charta, or the Charter of Liberties; the second the Charter of Forests; which two charters have since been the foundation of the liberties of this nation.  [Gentle reader, let us not be too quick to give up our hard-won liberties.] Some time after, having thrown himself into a fever by eating peaches, he died at Newark October 28, 1216.

HENRY III. succeeded his father John in 1216, being but nine years old.  He reigned 56 years, during the greatest part of which he (21) was embroiled in a civil war.  He founded the house of converts, and an hospital, in Oxford, and died at St. Edmundsbury in 1272.

EDWARD I. though in the Holy Land when his father died, yet succeeded him, and proved a warlike and successful Prince.  He made France fear him, and forced the King of Scotland to pay him homage.  He created his eldest son Prince of Wales, which title has been enjoyed by the eldest son of all the Kings of England ever since.  In his last moments he exhorted his son to continue the war with Scotland, and added, "Let my bones be carried before you, for I am sure the rebels will never dare to stand the sight of them."  He died of a bloody flux at Burgh on the sands [sic], a small town in Cumberland, July 7, 1337, having reigned 34 years, and lived 68.

EDWARD II. succeeded his father, but proved an unfortunate Prince, being hated by his nobles, and slighted by the commons: he was first debauched by Gaveston his favourite, and afterwards by the two Spencers, father and son, whose oppressions he countenanced to the hazard of his crown.  But the Barons taking up arms against the King, Gaveston was beheaded, the two Spencers hanged, and he himself forced to to resign the crown to Prince Edward his son.  Soon after which he was barbarously murdered at Berkeley Castle, by means of Mortimer, the Queen's favourite. -- (22) He reigned twenty years, and was buried at Gloucester.

EDWARD III. who succeeded his father on his resignation, claimed the crown of France, and backed his claim by embarking a powerful army for that country, where he made rapid conquests: the Scots favouring the French, invaded Cumberland, but were defeated by Edward's Queen Philippa, who took David Bruce, their King, prisoner.  Edward's eldest son, sirnamed the Black Prince, gained two surprizing [sic] victories, one at Cressi [now usually spelled Crécy], the other at Poitiers, in which he took King John, with his youngest son Philip, prisoners.  Thus England had the glory to make two Kings prisoners in one year.  This reign is also memorable for the institution of the most noble Order of the Garter, and for the title of Duke of Cornwall being first conferred upon the Black Prince, and continued as a birthright to the Prince Royal of England.

In this reign lived John Wickliff, who strenuously opposed the errors of the Romish Church.  Peter's Pence were now also denied to the church of Rome; and the manufacture of cloth was first brought into England.

Edward the Black Prince died in 1336, and his untimely end hastened that of his father, who died soon after at Shene, in Surry [Surrey], having reigned thirty years, and was buried at Westminster.


RICHARD II. son to Edward the Black Prince, succeeded his grandfather; but he had neither his wisdom nor good fortune.  He was born at Bourdeaux in France: his conduct in England made his reign very uneasy to his subjects, and at last deprived him of his crown.  He raised a tax of 5d. per head [5 pence - the infamous "poll tax"], which caused an insurrection by the influence of Wat Tyler, who being stabbed by William Walworth, Mayor of London, the storm was quelled [www.historyguide.com says that the Mayor knocked Wat off his horse with a broadsword, and one of the king's squires stabbed him as he lay on the ground].  The smothering of the Duke of Gloucester, and the unjust seizure of the Duke of Lancaster's effects, with an intent to banish his son, were the two circumstances which completed the King's ruin.

For after this tyranny and cruelty, being forced to resign the crown, he was confined in Pomfret Castle, in Yorkshire, where being barbarously murdered, he was buried at Langley, having reigned twenty-two years.  In his time lived Chaucer, the famous poet.

The House of Lancaster, called the RED ROSE.
HENRY IV. who succeeded his cousin Richard on his resignation in 1399, was the son of John of Gaunt, Duke of Lancaster, who was fourth son of Edward III.  In his turbulent reign, which lasted thirteen years and a half, we find little remarkable, except the act then passed (24) for burning the Lollards or Wickliffites [sic - followers of John Wycliffe], who separated from the church of Rome. 

HENRY V. succeeded his father, and, though a loose Prince in his youth, proved a wise, virtuous and magnificent King. He banished all his lewd companions from court, and claimed the English title to the crown of France in so heroic and effectual a manner, that with 14,000 men he beat the French at Agincourt, though 140,000 strong. Hereupon Queen Katherine prevailed upon her husband Charles VI. then King of France, to disinherit the Dauphin, and to give Katherine his daughter to Henry, so that he was declared heir to the crown of France, and regent during the King's life, which measures were ratified and confirmed by the states of that kingdom, though he did not live to sit on the throne.   He reigned but ten years, died at Vincennes, a royal palace near Paris, and was buried at Westminster, in 1422, in the 39th year of his age.

HENRY VI. when only eight years old, succeeded his father, but was no less unfortunate at home than abroad; and though he was crowned at Paris King of France, in the year 1423, yet he lost all that his predecessors had acquired in that kingdom, Calais only excepted.  The crown of England was disputed between him and the house of York; which occasioned such civil wars in England as made her bleed for 84 years, when all the Princes of (25) York and Lancaster were either killed in battle or beheaded.   The French laying hold of this favourable opportunity, shook off the English yoke, and recovering their liberty in five years, placed the young Dauphin upon the throne, who was then Charles VII.  The crown of England was now settled by Parliament upon the House of York and their heirs, after the death of King Henry, whose heirs were excluded for ever.  This Prince passed through various changes of life, and was at last stabbed to the heart by Richard Duke of Gloucester, who had before murdered Edward, the only son of this unfortunate King.

The House of York, called the WHITE ROSE.
EDWARD IV. who had dispossessed Henry VI. in 1460, was the first King of the line of York, and nobly maintained his right to the crown by mere dint of arms; till at last subduing the party which opposed him, he was crowned at Westminster June 28, 1461.  In this King's reign the ART OF PRINTING was first brought into England.  At this time also the King of Spain was presented with some Cotswold sheep, from whose breed, 'tis said, came the fine Spanish wool, to the prejudice of England.  Edward reigned 22 years, and was buried at Windsor in 1483.

EDWARD V. eldest son of Edward IV. succeeded his father when only twelve years old; but his bloody uncle, Richard Duke of Gloucester, caused both him and his brother [the "little princes in the tower"] to be smothered in their beds in the Tower of London, in the second month of his reign, and before his coronation.

RICHARD III. having dispatched his two nephews, succeeded to the crown, and was the last King of the House of York.  He was an usurper, and his cruelty had incensed the Duke of Buckingham, his favourite, to such a degree, that he contrived his ruin, and offered the crown to Henry Earl of Richmond, the only surviving Prince of the House of Lancaster, then at the court of France, on condition that he would marry Elizabeth, the eldest daughter of Edward IV. in order to unite the Houses of York and Lancaster -- Richard being informed of the affair, ordered the Duke to be instantly beheaded without a trial.  However, this did not discourage Henry, who had accepted the offer.  He came over with a small force, and landed in Wales, where he was born, his army increasing as he advanced.  At length having collected a body of 5000 men, he attacked King Richard in Bosworth field, in Leicestershire, in 1485.  Richard fought bravely till he was killed in the engagement, which made way for Henry to the crown of England. [In the interests of fairness, we should add that some people think Richard was not as terrible a person as he has been made out to be - see e.g. http://www.richard111.com/ .]





We shall divide this branch of English history into four periods, namely: 1. The Kings of the House of Tudor.  2. The Kings of the Stuart family.  3. King William of the House of Orange, and Queen Anne.  4. The Kings of the House of Hanover.

The House of TUDOR.
HENRY VII. succeeded Richard III. in 1485: he obtained the crown by force of arms, tho' he pretended a tight to it by birth; being of the House of Lancaster.  The name of his father was Edmund Tudor, Earl of Richmond; and he married Elizabeth, the daughter of King Edward IV. by which marriage the Houses of York and Lancaster were united.  This Prince had great sagacity, but was very cruel and unjust.  Edward Plantagenet, Earl of Warwick, and the last Prince of the House of York, was beheaded by him for attempting (28) his escape, after being imprisoned from nine years old; for which cruel act Henry's name will be hated for ever.   As he grew old, he grew covetous, and to increase his treasure, he caused all penal laws to be put in execution.  His chief instruments herein were Empsom and Dudley, who afterwards paid dear for their extortion.  He built the chapel at Westminster which is at this day called Henry the Seventh's.  The 48 gentlemen of the privy chamber, and the band of gentlemen pensioners, were first settled in his reign.  He died at the palace of Richmond, which he built, and left in ready money to his successor 1,800,000l. [pounds sterling] having reigned 24 years.

HENRY VIII. born at Greenwich, in 1491, the only surviving son of Henry VII. came to the crown in the 18th year of his age, and in 1509.  He reigned for some years with great applause; but being vitiated by Cardinal Woolsey, luxury and cruelty obscured his virtues, and stained his former glory.  He had six wives, of whom he divorced two, and caused two to be publicly beheaded.  In his reign began the reformation; and the King was, by act of parliament, declared supreme head of the church of England.  Before he fell off from the Pope, he wrote a book against Luther.  On this account Pope Leo honoured him with the title of defender of the faith; which the parliament made hereditary to all succeeding Kings of England.  His govern- (29) ment was more arbitrary and severe than that of any of his predecessors since William the Conqueror.  He reigned about 38 years, died Jan. 28, 1547, and was buried in Windsor chapel.

EDWARD VI. only son of Henry VIII. succeeded his father at ten years old; and in the six years during which he reigned, he, by the indefatigable zeal of Archbishop Cranmer, made a great progress in the reformation. -- This good Prince founded our two famous hospitals, called Christchurch and St. Thomas, one in the city of London, the other in the suburbs.  This reign is memorable for the discovery of the north-east passage to Archangel, made by Richard Chalinour, till then unknown, and since become the common passage from Asia into Europe.  Edward reigned but six years, and was buried at Westminster.

MARY, eldest daughter of Henry VIII. by his first wife, succeeded her half brother Edward VI.  She restored the Roman Catholic Bishops, and commenced a hot persecution against the protestants; in which Archbishop Cranmer, and six other Bishops, were burnt alive.  In her reign, Calais was taken by the French, after it had been in our possession 200 years; and the same year, which was 1558, she died of grief for the loss of that city. -- With her life ended a reign, begun, continued, finished in blood, and happy in nothing but its short duration [the original "Bloody Mary"] .  She was buried at Westminster.


ELIZABETH [I.], daughter of Henry VIII. by Anna Bullen [usually referred to now as Anne Boleyn], his second wife, succeeded her half-sister Mary.  She proved an excellent Queen, the glory of her sex, and admiration of the age she lived in.  She was crowned at Westminster, Jan. 15, 1558.    In her time the protestant religion was again restored.  She humbled the pride of Spain, both in Europe and America.  Memorable is the year 1588, for the Spanish invasion attempted by King Philip, with his invincible armada; the  greatest part of which was destroyed by the English fireships and a providential storm.  The very names of our chief commanders, Howard, Norris, Essex, Drake, and Raleigh, struck a terror in her enemies.  They took and burnt several places in Spain, particularly Cadiz and the Groyne [La Coruña]; intercepted their plate fleets [Wikipedia: annual convoys of merchant and military escort vessels from Cuba to Spain; referred to as the Spanish plate fleets, the ships carried gold, silver and gemstones from the mines of Mexico and Peru, and porcelains, silks, pearls, spices and other highly sought goods from Asia], and reduced that haughty monarch so low, that he has never since recovered it.   This Queen quelled the two rebellions of O'Neal [O'Neill] and Tir-Owen [Tir-Eoghain, Tyrone] in Ireland.  She protected the new republic of Holland, and the protestants of France.  She commanded the ocean, which spread her fame around the globe, and made her name respected every where.  With much reluctance she signed the dead warrant [sic] for the execution of Mary Queen of Scots, charged with high treason.  She grieved much for the death of the Earl of Essex, whose fall was owing to her favour, and survived him only two years.  In her reign the two English (31) inquisitions were erected, I mean the Star-Chamber, and the High Commission Court, which grew oppressive, and the judges so arbitrary, that they were suppressed by an act of Charles I.  She had a peculiar taste for learning, which flourished in her reign.  She spoke five or six different languages, translated several books from the Greek and French, and took great pleasure in the study of mathematics, geography, and history.  She died in 1603, in the 45th year of her reign, and the 70th year of her age, leaving her kinsman James VI. of Scotland, her successor.

JAMES I. of England, arrived at London May 7, 1603, and the feast of St. James following was fixed for his coronation.   In 1604, Nov. 5, the powder plot was discovered, the memory whereof has been hitherto religiously observed [Guy Fawkes' Night; Wikipedia mentions the quote "the only man to ever enter parliament with honourable intentions"].   Among the remarkable things of this reign, may be reckoned the two visits his Majesty received from Christian IV. King of Denmark, whose sister Ann was King James's consort: the creation of a new order called Baronets, next to a Baron, and made hereditary: the fall of Lord Chancellor Bacon, and of Sir Walter Raleigh, at the instigation of the Spanish Ambassador: the office of the (32) master of the ceremonies was first established.  As to the character of this Prince, it must be confessed, that he was too much of a scholar, and too little of the soldier.  Though he was brought up in the Scotch presbytery, he thought episcopacy so necessary for the support of his crown, that he often used to say, No Bishop, No King. He died at Theobalds, March 27, 1625, in the 23rd year of his reign, and 59th year of his age.  Thus ended a peaceable but inglorious, a plentiful but luxurious reign, to make room for another more turbulent and tragical.

CHARLES I. the only son of King James, succeeded next: he was born at Dumferling, in Scotland, 1600, and crowned at Westminster, 1625.  His crown may be called a crown of thorns, as his reign ended in blood.  He married Henrietta, daughter to Henry IV. King of France, who was bigotted to the catholic religion, and gained the ascendancy over him.  His wonderful compliance with the Queen caused him to act in many respects contrary to the laws of the kingdom, and his unbounded favour to the Duke of Buckingham, incensed the people to that degree, that this favourite was afterwards stabbed by Felton, merely for the public good.  These, and such like weaknesses, made him continually at variance with the parliament, which at last broke out into a civil war.  Several battles were fought between the royalists and republicans or (33) rumps [see http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rump_Parliament].  The King was taken prisoner by the Scots, who sold him to the parliament for 200,000l [pounds sterling].  Hereupon the parliament erected a high court of justice, and gave them power to try the King; and though the generality of the people were against such arbitrary proceedings, yet they arraigned him of high-treason.  The King maintained his dignity, and refusing to acknowledge the authority of these pretended judges, had sentence of death passed upon him, and was accordingly beheaded on a scaffold erected for that purpose, before the palace, Jan. 30, 1648.  In this reign two great ministers,  viz. Archbishop Laud, and the Earl of Strafford, were beheaded.

CROMWELL, one of the most considerable members of the high court who condemned King Charles, was now sent to subdue Ireland.  After which he marched against the Scots, who had taken up arms in favour of the late King.  The Dutch also, who had sent a fleet to assist the King, having met with many losses and disappointments, sued for peace, which Cromwell sold them at an exorbitant price.  Now Cromwell was made Lord Protector to the British dominions, and acted with the same authority as if he had been King.  He was a terror both to France and Spain, and died Sept. 3, 1658.  His son indeed succeeded to that high station, which his father filled with universal applause; but having neither an equal share of ambition, nor a head turned for government, modestly resigned to the right heir


CHARLES II. [referred to as the "Merry Monarch"] son of Charles I. succeeded his father, but was kept from the crown above eleven years, during which time England was reduced to a commonwealth.  The King was at the Hague when his father was beheaded.  But on his yielding to some conditions imposed on him by the kirk of Scotland, he was received by the Scots, and being crowned at Scoon [or Scone], they sent an army with him into England to recover that kingdom; which being totally defeated at Worcester, he wandered about for six weeks, and made his escape to France, then to Spain, but without any hopes of restoration, till the death of Oliver Cromwell:  when a free parliament, having met in April 1660, voted the return of King Charles II. as lawful heir to the crown.  The power of the Rump Parliament, by the conduct and courage of General Monk, had been on the decline for some time, and the King's interest greatly increased, especially in the city of London, where he was proclaimed May 8.  He landed at Dover, and made a most magnificent entry, May 29, 1660, being his birthday; and the 23d [sic] of April following, being St. George's day, he was crowned at Westminster with great state and solemnity.  Among the remarkable things of this reign, we may reckon the parting with Dunkirk to France for a paltry sum; the blowing up Tangier in the Streights, after immense sums had been expended to repair and keep it [Wikipedia: In 1679, the sultan Moulay Ismail of Morocco made an unsuccessful attempt to seize the town and maintained a crippling blockade which ultimately led to a British retreat. The British destroyed the town and its port facilities prior to their departure in 1684]; the shutting up the Exchequer when full of loans, to the (35) ruin of numerous families [eh.net encyclopedia explains: ... to free the money needed to launch his scheme (joining France against the Dutch), Charles stopped servicing many of his debts in an act called the Stop of the Exchequer, and, in Machiavellian fashion, Charles isolated a few bankers to take the loss (Roseveare 1991)]; the two Dutch wars, which ended with no advantage on either side, but served only to promote the French interest; the great plague with which this nation was visited during the first Dutch war; the fire of London that happened soon after; and the Popish plot, for which many suffered death.  On the 2d of Feb. 1684, the King fell sick of an apoplexy; he died four days after, in the 37th year of his reign, and was privately buried at Westminster.

JAMES II. succeeded his brother Charles, but proved very unfortunate to himself and his people, on account of his zeal for the Romish religion.  He invaded the rights of the universities, and made Magdalen [pronounced Maudlin] College in Oxford a prey to his violence.  He sent seven bishops as criminals to the tower, who upon trial were honourably acquitted.  Father Peters, a Jesuit, and several Popish Lords, sat in the Privy Council, and some Popish Judges on the bench.   The Pope sent a Nuncio from Rome, who was suffered to make his public entry in defiance of our constitution.  These barefaced practices made the Protestant party think it high time to check the growth of popery.  Hereupon the Prince of Orange was requested to vindicate his consort's right, and that of the three nations.   In the beginning of this reign the Duke of Monmouth was proclaimed King in the West, in opposition to King James; but his party being defeated, he was beheaded July 15, 1685.  Judge Jeffries (36) [later known as "the Hanging Judge"] was afterwards sent by the King to try those who had assisted the Duke, of whom he hanged no less than 600, glorying in his cruelty, and affirming, that he had hanged more than all the Judges since William the Conqueror.  The  Chevalier St. George [James Francis Edward Stuart (son of James II.), called "The (Old) Pretender"] was born July 10, 1688, two days after the bishops were imprisoned. -- The Prince of Orange landed at Torbay Nov. 5, and King James abdicated the crown, and went over to France, Dec. 23.  Hereupon an interregnum ensued till the 13th of February, 1688-9, when William and Mary, Prince and Princess of Orange, were offered the Crown, and accepted it.

The House of ORANGE.

WILLIAM III. and MARY II. succeeded James II. upon the vote of the Convention.  The day after their arrival in London, which was Feb. 13, 1688-9, they were seated under a canopy of state in the Banqueting-house, and both Houses of Convocation waited upon them, proffering them the crown in the names of the Lords Spiritual and Temporal, and the Commons, assembled at Westminster: Accordingly they were proclaimed King and Queen of Great-Britain the following day, and solemnly crowned at the Abbey on the 21st of April.  Several plots were formed against the King, but all of them proved abortive.  He carried out a war with France, (37) and with King James's party in Ireland, for nine years successively, till at last France was obliged to acknowledge him lawful King of Great-Britain, in the peace of Ryswic, 1697.  He died March 8, 1701, aged 51, after he had survived his consort Mary Stuart, daughter to James II. five years, who died Dec. 21, 1696, and whose funeral was performed with great elegance and solemnity.  July 2, 1700, William Duke of Gloucester, the only surviving issue of Princess Anne of Denmark, departed this life at Windsor, aged twelve years.  And King James died at St. Germains in Sept. 1721.

ANNE,  second daughter to James II. succeeded King William, whose death was joy to France, but a great misfortune to England. -- Anne was born Feb. 6, 1664, and married George Prince of Denmark, who was High Admiral of England, and a happy assistant to her in steering the ship of state.  She was crowned Queen of Great-Britain April 23, 1702.   On the 4th of May following war was proclaimed at London, Vienna, and the Hague, against France and Spain.  The success of this war is worthy admiration [sic], and almost incredible.  The conquest of the Spanish Guelderland [province in E. central Netherlands], the Electorate of Cologn [sic], and the Bishopric of Liege; the prodigious victory over the French and Bavarians at Blenheim, under the surprising conduct of the Duke of Marlborough; the retaking of Landau; the conquering all the estates of the Duke of (38) Bavaria in Germany; the forcing the French and Bavarians out of their lines in Brabant, which was deemed a thing impracticable; the battle of Ramillies; the victory at Oudenard; the taking of Lisle and Tournay; the defeat of the French army at Blarenies; the reducing of  Mons, &c. &c. are such events as will render her Majesty's reign famous to all posterity.  If we look towards Spain, how bold and successful was our attempt upon Vigo, where we took and destroyed their whole plate fleet, both men of war and others, to the amount of 38 sail, of which not one escaped:  Did we not also take Gibraltar with a small force in one morning, and keep possession of it against the joint strength of France and Spain?  Barcelona likewise being taken by the English and Dutch, under the conduct of the Earl of Peterborough, was soon after besieged by King Philip with a great army, which was soon forced to a shameful retreat into France.  Hereupon Catalonia, Arragon, Valencia, and other provinces, submitted to Charles III. [Archduke Charles of Austria, styling himself Charles III. of Spain; not to be confused with Charles III. of Spain, who came later] by the influence of her Majesty's arms.  Who could have expected the dismal turn of the affairs of France and Italy, which happened in 1707, by the powerful interest of England? -- A numerous army of French and Spaniards were destroyed before the walls of Turin, by the Duke of Savoy and Prince Eugene.  Thus Piedmont was abandoned, the Mantuan, the Milanese, the Modenese, Parmasan, and Montferrat, yielded up.


This Queen also brought about the strict union between England and Scotland, after sundry fruitless attempts of the same kind for a century past.  In short, the successes of her reign justly denominate her one of the most triumphant Monarchs of former ages, and her piety and virtue will ever be acknowledged by the British nation. The four last years of Queen Anne's reign were attended with much perplexity, which was owing to her Ministers, who prevailed upon her to consent to the peace of Utrecht;  and, 'tis said, her death was occasioned by her ill conduct, which she laid too much to heart [Wikipedia says it was gout, ending in erysipelas].  She died Aug. 1, 1714; and in her the succession of the Stuart line ended.

The House of HANOVER.

GEORGE I. who was heir-apparent to the crown of Great-Britain on the death of Queen Anne, and which had been confirmed to him some years before by various Acts of Parliament, and by a special article in the peace of Utrecht, was born 1666, and proclaimed King the very day Queen Anne expired.  He landed at Greenwich Sept. 18, 1714, and was crowned Oct. 20.  A thorough change in the ministry was made on his accession, wherein he distinguished his friends from his enemies [sounds familiar, doesn't it?]. --  Among the latter the chief were the Duke of Ormond, the Earl of Oxford, and the Viscount Bolingbroke, who were deemed to be firmly (40) attached to the interest of the Pretender.  In 1715 a plot was supposed to be brooding in the West, where several gentlemen were suspected of having a design to bring in the Pretender, and to place him on the throne of his ancestors.  He had already been proclaimed King of Scotland, by the Earl of Mar, against whom the Duke of Argyle marched.  On the 13th of November they came to a decisive battle near Dumblain, where the rebels were defeated, and put to flight.  At the same time a body of 5000 rebels assembled at Preston in Lancashire, headed by the Earl of Derwentwater, of whom General Wills, who commanded some of his Majesty's troops on the borders of Scotland, being informed, he marched directly against them, and obliged them to surrender prisoners of war.  They were afterwards sent up to London, and many of the ringleaders tried and condemned.  Among these were the Earls of Derwentwater and Kenmure, who were beheaded on Tower-Hill; several others were executed at Tyburn, and the remainder pardoned.  Some other conspiracies were formed against the King's person; but, by timely discovery, prevented from being carried into execution.  Aug. 2, 1718, the quadruple alliance was signed between their Imperial, Christian, and Britannic Majesties [encyclopedia.com lists these as Great Britain, France, the Holy Roman emperor, and the Netherlands];  and the Spanish fleet was destroyed in the Mediterranean by the English.  In 1720 Spain acceded to the quadruple alliance, and a fleet was sent into the Baltic in favour of Sweden.  This year (41) was also remarkable for the South-Sea scheme [the infamous "South-Sea Bubble", which historyhouse.com calls "the greatest of many stock market bubbles"], by which many families were deluded and entirely ruined; and the government was obliged to interpose, to prevent the ill consequences of the people's despair.  On enquiry into the affair it appeared, that besides stock-jobbers and directors some persons of distinction were concerned in it.  This fatal stroke to the British trade was in some measure remedied by the assiento [tiscali.co.uk gives the meaning as "contract; treaty, especially with Spain for supplying slaves to Spanish America"] contract, concluded at Madrid in 1722.  In the same year, the funeral of the Duke of Marlborough, who, since the accession of King George, had been restored to the honours he so justly deserved, was solemnized with great pomp.  In 1723, a conspiracy for raising an insurrection was discovered; hereupon the Duke of Norfolk, Lord North and Grey, the Bishop of Rochester, and Counsellor Layer, were taken into custody; after a long trial the Bishop was banished, and Layer was hanged.  In 1724, the Ostend East-India Company was established.  In 1725 the Hanover treaty was agreed to, between France, Great-Britain, and Prussia. -- June 11, 1727, George I. died at  Osnaburgh, in the very chamber where he was born, in the 67th year of his age, and the 13th year of his reign.

GEORGE II. was proclaimed as soon as as the news of his father's death came to London, and his coronation was solemnized in October following.  The new Parliament met on the 2d of January, and chose for their Speaker (42) Arthur Onslow, Esq. and loyal and affectionate addresses were presented to the King by both houses.  The land forces were fixed at 22,950 men, and the number of seamen at 15,000. --  An enquiry was made into the state of the public gaols, and from this it appeared that great cruelties and oppressions had been exercised on the prisoners, particularly on Sir William Rich, Baronet, who was found in the fleet prison loaded with irons, by order of the Warden.  For these and the like barbarities, Thomas Bambridge, the Warden, and several of his accomplices, were committed to Newgate.  In May, 1729, his Majesty declared his intentions of visiting his German dominions, and leaving the Queen as Regent.  His design in going to Germany was to compromise some differences that had lately arisen between the Regency of Hanover and the King of Prussia; and about this time the Duke of Mecklenburgh was deposed by the Emperor, for his cruelty, tyranny, and oppression.  By the fall of Emperors and Kings it is that we learn the Omnipotence of the Almighty, whose arm strengthens and supports the crown of the righteous and takes away the kingdom from unjust Princes.  About this time great licentiousness prevailed among all ranks of people, particularly among those of the lower class, who indulged themselves in every kind of wickedness; and among other methods of injuring their fellow subjects, circulated incendiary letters, demanding sums of money of (43) certain individuals, on pain of reducing their houses to ashes [see also www.infopt.demon.co.uk/grub/arson.htm];  this species of villainy had never been known before in England.  In the course of the summer seven Indian Chiefs were brought over to England.  In 1731 a duel was fought in the Green Park, between Sir William Pulteney and Lord Hervey, on account of a remarkable political pamphlet [see also en.wikipedia.org/wiki/William_Pulteney,_1st_Earl_of_Bath].--  Lord Hervey was wounded, and narrowly escaped with his life.  The Latin tongue was abolished in all law proceedings, which were ordered for the future to be in English.  Rich. Norton, Esq. of Southwick, in Hampshire, left his estate of 600l. [600 pounds sterling] per annum, and a personal estate of 60,000l. [60,000 pounds sterling] to be disposed of in charitable uses by the Parliament.  One Smith, a book-binder, and his wife, being reduced to extreme poverty, hanged themselves at the same time, and by common consent, after having made away with their only child.

On the 27th of April, 1736, his Royal Highness Frederic, Prince of Wales, espoused Augusta, sister to the Duke of Saxe Gotha. --  In the course of this year a remarkable riot happened at Edinburgh, occasioned by the execution of one Wilson, a smuggler.  Porteus, captain of the city guard, a man of a brutal disposition, and abandoned morals, being provoked by the insults of the mob, commanded his soldiers to fire upon the crowd, by which precipitate orders several innocent persons were killed;  Porteus was tried and condemned to die, but obtained a reprieve from the Queen, (44) who was then Regent.  The mob, however, were [sic] determined to execute the sentence; they accordingly rose in a tumultuous manner, forced open the prison doors, dragged forth Porteus, and hanged him on a dyer's pole; after which they quietly dispersed.   On the 24th of May, 1738, the Princess of Wales was delivered of a Prince, who was christened by the name of George, now our most gracious Sovereign.  One Buchanan, a sailor, who had been condemned for murder, was cut down from the gallows by his companions, who actually brought him to life, and carried him off in triumph.

War was declared in form against Spain, at London and Westminster, Oct. 23, 1739.-- The same year Admiral Vernon destroyed Porto Bello, and the March following demolished Fort Chagre.  In 1740 there was a severe and lasting frost, which extended all over Europe, and occasioned a fair to be kept on the River Thames.  In 1741 Admiral Vernon, with a strong fleet, joined with General Wentworth, who had a considerable number of forces under his command, made an unsuccessful attempt on Carthagena [sic]; the greater part of the land forces being either killed or cut off by an epidemical distemper.   In 1742, Captain Middleton made a fruitless attempt to discover the North West passage into the South Seas.  The year following the battle of Dettingen was fought.  There was also this year a bloody engagement before Toulon, between the English (45) fleet and that of the French and Spaniards; when that brave commander Captain Cornwall was killed in the Marlborough, after a most resolute and surprising resistance.  Commodore Anson returned to England, having made a voyage round the globe; and war was mutually declared between England and France.

In 1745 the battle of Fontenoy was fought, in which the French had the advantage, which was followed by the taking of Tournay.  A rebellion broke out in Scotland; the rebels defeated Sir John Cope, at Preston Pans, came forward into England, took Carlisle, and marched to Derby, from whence they were obliged to make a precipitate retreat, being closely pursued by the Duke of Cumberland, who retook Carlisle.   When the rebels were returned into Scotland, they defeated the King's forces under General Hawley, near Falkirk, and laid siege to Stirling, but raised it on the Duke's approach.  This year Cape-Breton was taken by Admiral Warren.  In 1746 the memorable battle of Culloden, in Scotland, was fought, wherein the rebels were totally destroyed: The Earls of Balmerino and Kilmarnock, with Mr. Ratcliff, brother to the late Earl of Derwentwater, were taken prisoners, and beheaded on Tower-Hill; as was Lord Lovat in the year following.  Now also the French took all Dutch Flanders, and there was a battle between them and part of the allied army, after which the latter retreated under the cannon of Maestricht.  Admirals (46) Anson and Warren, after a hot engagement, took several French men of war in the Mediterranean, among which was the ship in which their Admiral sailed.  In 1748 a Congress was held at Aix-la-Chapelle for a general pacification, and the articles of peace therein agreed to were signed in April.

A Bill was passed for the encouragement of the British herring fishery; and a proclamation issued for inciting disbanded soldiers and sailors to settle in Nova Scotia.  Mr. Pelham now lowered the interest of money in the funds, first to three and a half per cent. [sic] afterwards to three.  The importation of iron from America was allowed; and the African trade laid open.

In the year 1752, the French spirited up the Indians against our colonies of Nova Scotia, and built a chain of forts on the back of our American settlements.  This occasioned a new war, carried on with great cruelty in those parts.  Monckton drove the French from their encroachments in Nova Scotia; and General Johnson gave them a defeat; but Braddock, through his own rashness, was defeated and slain.  The English took many ships from the enemy, without declaring war.

In 1756, the Hessians and Hanoverians were brought over, to the number of ten thousand.  Presently after Minorca was taken by the French; and Admiral Byng was shot at Portsmouth for not having relieved it.  On the 17th of May, war was declared in form, and the (47) King entered into a treaty with the Empress of Russia [Elizabeth Petrovna] for the security of Hanover; and afterwards into an alliance with Prussia.  This was followed by an unnatural [sic] treaty between France and the Queen of Hungary, to which the Empress of Russia acceded.  And a war [The Seven Years' War; according to Wikipedia, Winston Churchill described it as the "first world war"] was kindled by the intrigues of France between  Prussia and Sweden; while the Elector of Saxony favoured the Austrians.  The King of Prussia therefore entered Saxony, and obliged the Saxon troops at Pirna to surrender prisoners of war.   He invaded Bohemia, defeated the Austrian General, and gained another victory near Prague.  But attacking the Austrians at a disadvantage near Kolin, he was defeated, and obliged to raise the siege of Prague.

The French now passed the Weser, and drove the Hanoverians before them.  They made a stand however at Hastenbeck, under the Duke of Cumberland [Prince William Augustus, a younger son of George II], where they were attacked, and forced to retreat towards Stade, and laid down their arms in consequence of the treaty of Closterseven.

In the East-Indies we were also successful; for, by Colonel Clive's vigilance and courage, the province of Arcot [sometimes called Carnatic, near Chennai, in Tamil Nadu] was cleared of the enemy, the French general taken prisoner, and the favourite Nabob, whom we supported, was reinstated in his government.  But some months after, the Viceroy of Bengal declared against the English, and took Calcutta by assault.  Here one hundred and forty-six persons were crowded into a narrow prison, called (48) the Black-Hole, where they were suffocated for want of air, only twenty-three surviving; several of whom died by putrid fevers, after they were set free.

The Dutch at Batavia now dispatched seven armed ships to Bengal, having eleven hundred land forces, with orders strongly to fortify their settlement at Chincura, and secure the salt-petre trade to themselves.   But the ships were all taken by three English East-India ships, which were in the river, and their troops were totally defeated at land by Colonel Ford.

Colonel Coote also took the city of Wandewash [now Wandiwash], reduced the fortress of Carangoly, and defeated Lally [Thomas Arthur, comte de Lally].  This was followed by the surrender of the city of Arcot.  Pondicherry now sustained a siege in turn, and the French therein were reduced to feed on dogs and cats.  Eight crowns were given for the flesh of a dog.  At length the English took possession of the place.  And this conquest terminated the power of France in India.

Mr. Pitt was at the head of the English Ministry, when Louisbourg in Cape Breton was besieged by General Amherst, and surrendered by capitulation.  The French lost a fine navy in the harbour.  Fort Du Quesne [Pennsylvania] also was taken.  But the operations against Crown Point and Ticonderoga [both in New York] miscarried.

The year 1759 was remarkable for the conquest of Canada.  The French deserted Crown Point and Ticonderoga, which were possessed by General Amherst.  Sir William Johnson (49) defeated them, and became master of the Fort of Niagara.  And the Admirals Saunders, Holmes, and Durel, sailed for Quebec, attended by a land army, under General Wolfe.  In the battle which ensued, both Wolfe and Montcalm, the chief commanders on each side, were slain, and Quebec surrendered.

In 1760 the French forces endeavoured to recover Quebec, but the place was relieved by an English fleet under Lord Colvill.   Montreal submitted to General Amherst, and that extensive country fell totally under the power of Great Britain; a larger territory than ever was subject to the Roman empire.  The prodigious march of Amherst, on this occasion, can be compared only to that of Jenghiz Can [now usually written Genghis Khan], or Tamerlane, who over-ran all Asia with their Tartars.

In Europe the operations of war were astonishing, and the great efforts of the King of Prussia secured his safety beyond all human expectation.  Almost the whole power of the Continent was united against him.  The King of Great Britain, his only ally, seemed inclined to forsake him.  In this terrible situation he relied on his natural subjects, and still adhered to his fortitude.  Yet he expostulated warmly, and his expostulations at last succeeded.

The French forces, and those of the Imperialists, had made a successful campaign in the summer; yet seemed determined that the rigour of the winter should not interrupt their proceedings.  In the depth of it, they laid siege (50) to Leipsic [Leipzig], and were confident of carrying that important city.  This greatly alarmed his Prussian Majesty.  He contrived his measures so artfully, as to appear before the place when he was least expected.  Vanquished as he was, the terror of his arms raised the siege.  The French army, though greatly superior in number, rose and retreated with precipitation.

His Prussian Majesty, not satisfied with having raised the siege of Leipsic, followed the French army, whose fears, he imagined, would befriend him.  He came up with them near a little village, called Rosbach [Rossbach, where Wikipedia says that "Frederick the Great defeated the allied armies of France and the Holy Roman Empire"]. An action came on, and he obtained one of the most signal victories recorded in history.  Had not the night saved them, their whole army had been devoted to destruction.

In another part of the empire the Austrians were again victorious, and took the Prince of Bevern, the King of Prussia's Generalissimo, prisoner.  The King himself, in the depth of winter, made a march of two hundred miles, and engaged the enemy in the neighbourhood of Breslau, the capital of Silesia.  He was much inferior in strength, but his forces were disposed  with such admirable judgment [sic], that he gained a compleat [sic] victory, in which he took fifteen thousand prisoners.  Breslau itself, after the battle, surrendered to the Conqueror, tho' it had a garrison of ten thousand men.  These successes disheartened his enemies, and raised the spirit of his friends.


The magnanimous King of Prussia now began to fight with his enemies upon more equal terms.  He attacked them every where, was attended for the most part with remarkable success, and rarely met with any considerable disadvantage.  He carried on the campaign throughout the winter, escaped many dangers, was exhausted by no fatigues, nor terrified by any numbers.

England is so happily situated, that she has little need to concern herself with the disturbances on the Continent.  Yet the people in general at this time seemed in a disposition to encourage and assist the German subjects of their King.

At the meeting of the Parliament, the reasonableness of engaging in a war upon the Continent was taken into consideration, and admitted.  Liberal supplies were granted, to enable the army, now collected in the King's Hanoverian dominions, to act with vigour, in conjunction with the King of Prussia.  Supplies were also granted to his Prussian Majesty.

A spirit of enterprise now seemed to animate all ranks of people.  A body of British forces was sent into Germany, under the command of the Duke of Marlborough, to assist Prince Ferdinand of Brunswick and the Hanoverians; and who afterwards behaved with great bravery.

The English fleet in the mean time invaded France, and burnt the French shipping at St. Malo's.  It then moved towards Cherburgh [now written Cherbourg], (52) but was obliged by the weather to return home.

On the 1st of August, 1758, the fleet under Commodore Howe, with the transports, again set sail for Cherburgh.  They landed with little opposition from the French, and entered the town.  Immense sums had been there laid out upon the fortifications, and the harbour was one of the strongest in Europe.  The work of all this labour and expence [sic] was now totally destroyed by the English, who found more difficulty in demolishing than in conquering the place.  All the ships in the harbour were burnt, and a contribution raised upon the town.

On the 16th of August, the British fleet and army having remained in France unmolested for ten days, set sail for Cherburgh, and carried off all the brass cannon and mortars taken there.

The English troops landed again in the Bay of St. Lunar, in the neighbourhood of St. Malo, but found it impracticable to make any impression upon the place.  While the troops were ashore the Commodore found himself obliged, from the danger of the coast, to move up to the Bay of St. Cas, about three leagues to the westward; while the army marched over land to the same place, where they all embarked, except the last division, consisting of the grenadiers of the army, and the first regiment of guards.  These were attacked by the Duke d'Aiguillon, Governor of Brittany, (53) at the head of twelve battalions, and six squadrons of regulars, besides two regiments of militia, against whom, though they made a most gallant resistance, about six hundred of them were killed, and four hundred taken prisoners, not being able to reach the boats.

The English had already made themselves masters of Senegal and Goree [Gorée], in Africa; and though they had now lost Minorca, yet they remained victorious in the Mediterranean, and continued to ruin the French marine.

Towards the end of the year, a squadron of nine ships of the line, with sixty transports, containing six regiments of foot, was fitting out for the conquest of Martinico [now written Martinique]. But tho' a conquest of that island was judged, after a slight attempt, to be impracticable, they achieved the more important reduction of Guadaloupe [now written Guadeloupe].

On the 28th of July, the Hereditary Prince was detached with six thousand men to cut off the enemy's communication with Paderborn.  And on the 29th, Prince Ferdinand advanced from his camp on the Weser, leaving a body of troops under Wangenheim, on the borders of that river.

The next day was fought the battle of Minden, as glorious to the English, as those of Cressy [Crécy] and Agincourt had been to their ancestors.  The centre of the French was entirely composed of horse, who attacked six English regiments, supported by two battalions of Hanoverian guards.  These sustained the whole (54) shock of the battle, and, to the amazement of the German General himself, obtained a compleat victory.  The French lost seven thousand men, and the English twelve hundred.

The French were greatly disappointed in their views by sea this year.  Thurot, a marine freebooter [www.isle-of-man.com describes him as "French naval captain and one time smuggler with Manx connections"], with three ships and a considerable body of land forces, landed in Ireland, and alarmed the people of Carrickfergus [he attacked it and held it for 7 days] .  Putting to sea again, he was met by three British frigates, of a force inferior to his own, and after a severe encounter he was killed, and his ships led in triumph by the English commanders to the Isle of Man.

A grand fleet was intended to invade England, under Marshal Conflans and the Duke d'Aiguillon; but this fleet was ruined by Admiral Hawke on the 20th of November.

In the year 1760, Lord George Sackville was tried by a court-martial for his conduct in the battle of Minden, and declared incapable of serving his Majesty for the future in any military capacity whatever [Wikipedia calls this "one of the strangest or strongest verdicts ever rendered against a general officer"]; he was however afterwards raised to the highest civil employments, being secretary of state to George III. and having a considerable share in those unfortunate councils, which severed for ever thirteen provinces from the crown of England.  On the 5th of May, Lawrence Shirley, Earl Ferrers, was hanged at Tyburn for the murder of Mr. Johnson, his steward.  On the 25th of October, between seven and eight o'clock in the morning, died King George II. in the 77th (55) year of his age, and the 34th of his reign.  He had risen at his usual hour, called his page, drunk his chocolate, and inquired about the wind, as if anxious for the arrival of foreign mails; soon after which he fell speechless on the ground, and being laid on his bed, expired in a few minutes.

GEORGE III. grandson of George II. and eldest son of the late Frederick Prince of Wales, succeeded to the throne, and was proclaimed King on the day after the death of his grand father.  He was married on the 8th of September, 1761, to his Queen, Charlotte, Princess of Mecklenburgh Strelitz, and they were solemnly crowned together on the 22d of the same month.

The war was still carried on betwixt France and England, in Germany, when Augsburgh was pitched upon by both parties as a proper place to negociate [sic] a peace in; and, with respect to the disputes in America, Mr. Bussey was named by the French Court to repair to London, as Mr. Stanley was by the English to treat at Paris.

The former of these offers a memorial [I assume we would say "memoir" today] to the British minister, importing that the King of Spain apprehended a new war, unless the British court would make satisfaction to Spain for ships taken under Spanish colours; permit the claim of Spain to a share in the Newfoundland fishery; and destroy the English fortifications in the bay of Honduras.  This put an end to the negociation.


The French and Spanish courts now entered into a Family Compact, in which the two Sicilies were included; the most extraordinary treaty which this age can produce; it being a consolidation of the rights and interests of the two crowns and their subjects in all respects, but those relating to the Spanish American commerce.

Mr. Pitt, the British minster, gained intelligence of the family compact, and made strong remonstrances at the council-board for an immediate declaration of war against Spain, which were not relished.  On this Mr. Pitt resigned.

The flota [www.suite101.com translates this as 'treasure fleet'] arrived in the bay of Cadiz, and the Spaniards resolved on a war with England. 

January 2, 1762, his Britannic Majesty's proclamation of war against Spain was published in London.  And the King of Spain proclaimed war against England on the 16th of the same month.

The French and Spaniards insisted upon the King of Portugal's taking part in the war against England.  He declined the invitation, and vindicated his alliance with England.

The Spanish army marched towards the frontiers of Portugal, and all commerce between the two kingdoms was prohibited.  And war was declared by the King of Spain against that kingdom on the 15th of June.

Many English officers repaired to the assistance of the King of Portugal, and were followed by large supplies of troops, artillery, arms, provisions, and money.


A small army of English and Portuguese take the field.  Count La Lippe is sent over to command them.  Brigadier Burgoyne [now written Bourgoyne]  surprizes [sic] Valenca d'Alcantara in Spain, and destroys one of their best regiments there.  A sejeant [sic] and six men only engage a Spanish subaltern with twenty-five dragoons, unbroken, kill six of their men, and bring in the rest prisoners, with every horse of the party.  Soon after Brigadier Burgoyne and Colonel Lee surprize the Spanish camp at Villa Vehla [should be Vila Velha]; and the Spaniards are obliged to leave Portugal, and to make winter quarters in their own country.

On the 12th of August, his Royal Highness George Augustus-Frederick, Prince of Wales, was born.

The English take Martinico and Granada [now written Grenada] from the French, and the city of Havannah [Havana], in the island of Cuba, from the Spaniards.  This induces both powers to think of peace, for which a negociation was set on foot; and the negociators on all sides having adjusted the points in dispute between Great Britain and Portugal on the one side, and  France and Spain on the other, a definitive treaty was signed at Paris on the 10th of Feb. 1763; by which peace was once more restored to Europe.

By this glorious war, England acquired the large and extensive province of Canada, East and West Florida, in America, together with several large and valuable islands in the West Indies; among which is the island of Granada, one of the most extensive and important colo- (58) nies belonging to the empire.  This island, which produces pine-apples, oranges, citrons, and all the most delicious tropical fruits, is beautifully interspersed with an infinite variety of rivers, which, with the warmth and salubrity of the climate, render it the most pleasing situation between the tropics [i.e. between Cancer and Capricorn]; it is the residence of a number of rich planters and merchants, who have acquired large fortunes therein, and live in the greatest splendour and hospitality.  It is not improperly called the Princess of the isles of the Western world.

From the year 1763 to 1774, England felt all the blessings of peace;  agriculture and commerce were improved and extended; the polite arts, such as painting and sculpture, were patronized by his Majesty, and a royal academy instituted for the purpose, in the year 1768.  We might call this the Augustine age; and Great-Britain promised to its posterity universal empire.  But the colonies of North America revolted from their allegiance to Great-Britain in the year 1775, and formed a congress, under the title The Congress of the Thirteen United Provinces, which assumed all the powers of government;  in the following year it declared the States of America independent of the crown and parliament of Great-Britain.  The government of France assisted them against the forces of this nation both by sea and land; and Spain also declared war against this country, as a diversion to its arms in favour of America.  Holland also became (59) a party in the cause, to humble a nation which had arrived to such a pitch of greatness; and the general struggle at last terminated in the peace of 1783, in which the government of Great-Britain acknowledged the Americans to be independent; in consequence, the provinces of Canada and Nova Scotia only remain to us, of all our immense possessions on the continent of America.

This country, in the year 1787, began to arm in favour of the Prince Stadtholder of the Seven United Provinces, who had been driven from his palace by a French party; but that business was terminated by their submission to the Duke of Brunswick, who entered Holland, and restored the former government.  The Spaniards dispossessing our settlers at Nootka Sound, in 1790, was made the pretext for equipping a formidable armament; and though the difference with the Spaniards was speedily settled by negociation [sic], the jealousy entertained of the French Anarchists occasioned our Government to keep the country in armed preparation; till the indignation universally excited by the decapitation of the unfortunate French King, and the invasion of Holland by the armies of the French Republic, caused us to enter into that war, whose wide-extended fluence [obs. word meaning "flow"] has deluged the continent of Europe with blood, tumbled the papal throne in ruins, dethroned the Kings of Naples and Sardinia, the former of whom is however yet struggling for his rights, annihilated the ancient Republics

(60)  of  Venice, Genoa, &c. &c. extinguished the authority of the House of Orange in Holland, endangered the very existence of the House of Austria and the Germanic Empire, and by the invasion of the Egypt and Syria, has even alarmed the Sultan of the Turks for the safety of his capital, whilst the hardy bands of Russia have been called forth into action both to defend her former inveterate foes, and to wrest the classic ground of Italy from the gripe of the modern Vandals, the French! -- Yet amid all this carnage, the horrors of the war, if we except the enormous expenditure attending it, have scarcely been felt in this country; two attempts of invasion by the enemy have been frustrated; the captured fleets of France, Spain, and Holland, have been triumphantly brought into our harbours; our own Colonies and distant settlements have been secured, many of the most important of those of the enemy have been taken; and the India Company has established its power, by the complete conquest of the kingdom of Mysore, Tippoo Sultaun having fallen in defending his palace at Seringapatam. But it is a remarkable feature in this war, that after so sanguinary a contest for seven years, Peace appears, at the close of the year 1799, more distant than it did at its commencement [since then, of course, we have had the Napoleonic Wars, the Franco-Prussian War, WW I, WW II, the Korean War, the Vietnam War, and countless smaller wars - peace still appears distant...].






[This chapter should more properly be called Geography and Government of England, and pre-Norman History.]

Its Situation.

SOUTH-BRITAIN, that is, properly speaking, ENGLAND and WALES, is situate in the Atlantic Ocean, between two degrees east, and six degrees odd minutes western longitude, and between 49 degrees 55 minutes, and 55 degrees 55 minutes north latitude; and being of a triangular figure, is bounded by Scotland on the north; the German sea, which separates it from Germany and the Netherlands, on the east; by the English Channel, which divides it from France, on the south; and by St. George's Channel, which separates it from Ireland, on the west.  It is 525 statute miles in length on its west side, 345 on its east side, and 340 on its south side, nearly in straight lines; and about 100 only across the north.

Its Air.]  Is much warmer here than in the Netherlands and Germany, tho' under the same parallel; and, unless in the fens and marshy grounds, it is for the most part very healthy.


There are very few mountains; the highest hills, however, are in Wales, and in the west and north of England.  The rest of the country consists of moderate hills and vallies [sic], woodlands, pasture and meadow grounds; extensive corn fields, and plains which feed numberless flocks of sheep, horses, and other cattle. -- Though the largest oxen, horses, and sheep, are to be met with in Lincolnshire and Leicestershire; yet the finest breed of horses for running and hunting are produced in Yorkshire.  And besides there are a great number of royal forests, chaces [the FreeDictionary gives this as "a privately owned, unenclosed game preserve" - usually spelled "chase"], and parks, which afford plenty of deer and other game.

Its Soil.]  Is either clay, or gravel, or sand; the clays produce excellent wheat and beans; the gravel and sand, rye, barley, peas, and oats; and of late years the light lands have been improved, and rendered as valuable as the clays, by sowing them with turnips, clover, saintfoin [a leguminous plant (Onobrychis sativa) cultivated for fodder], &c. but more particularly in wet years; a wet season, however, by no means agrees with the clay.  In such years, for the most part, there is a great scarcity of wheat; but then, to compensate for that deficiency, there is a plenty of pasture and other grain.

Its Trees.]  The timber that grows in England is oak, ash, elm, beech, and hornbeam.  The walnut-tree is particularly used in cabinets, and other curiosities of the like nature.  But besides these,  there are a great number of other trees, which, though they do not fall, indeed , under the denomination of  (63) timber, serve for shade, ornament, and inferior uses. 

In Kent there are extensive orchards, the trees whereof produce abundance of cherries.  In Devonshire and Herefordshire likewise are vast quantities of apple-trees, the produce whereof makes far better cider than any other county whatever can boast of.

Its Plantations.]  In Kent, as well as Worcestershire, Surrey, &c. are large plantations of hops; and in divers other counties, of flax and hemp.

In Essex and Cambridgeshire are large plantations of saffron; and in Bedfordshire there are large fields of woad or wad [obsolete word for 'woad'], for the use of dyers.

Its Rivers.]  Its principal rivers are, 1. The Thames, 2. The Medway.  3. The Trent.   And, 4. The Severn.

The Thames, on which the two cities of London and Oxford stand, runs generally from west to east.  This river is navigable for ships as high as London, which is one of the largest ports in the world.

The Medway unites with the Thames near its mouth, and receives the largest men of war as high as Chatham; where, if we except our own arsenals at Portsmouth and Plymouth, are the finest docks, yards, and magazines of naval stores, in Europe.

The Trent runs from the south-west to the north-east across England, and divides it into north and south.  When united with other (64) streams near its mouth, it is called the Humber, which discharges itself into the German ocean.

The Severn rises from North Wales, and, running for the most part south, falls into the Irish sea.  On this river stand the two cities of Worcester and Gloucester.

Its Contents.]  In England and Wales there are 52 counties, 2 archbishoprics, 24 bishoprics, 2 universities, 29 cities, upwards of 800 towns, and near 10,000 parishes; in which are about seven millions of people.

There are scarce any manufactures in Europe which are not brought to great perfection in England.

Its Constitution.]  England is a limited monarchy; the power of making and altering laws, and raising taxes, being lodged in the King, Lords, and Commons.

Its Administration of Justice.]  This is the business of the courts in Westminster-hall, viz. the Court of Chancery, the Courts of King's Bench, Common Pleas, and Exchequer; the courts of the respective corporations, the sheriffs, and other inferior courts; the last resort, in all civil cases, being to the House of Peers.

Its Ecclesiastical Government.]  Is in the archbishops and bishops, who administer justice in their respective courts by their chancellors, officials, archdeacons, and other officers.

Of the Convocation.]  Whenever a parliament is called, the King always convokes a national synod of the clergy, to consider of the state of the church.


The clergy of the province of Canterbury, of the generality, assemble in St. Paul's cathedral, in London, and from thence adjourn to the chapter-house, or Westminster.

In this province there are two houses, the upper and the lower; the former consists of 22 bishops, of whom the archbishop is president; the latter consists of all the deans, archdeacons, the proctors of every chapter, and two proctors for the clergy of each diocese; in all 166.

The archbishop of York may hold a convocation of his clergy at the same time; but neither the one nor the other has been suffered to enter upon business for many years, though they are always regularly summoned to meet with every parliament, being looked upon as an essential part of the constitution.

Of the Parliament.]  Every parliament is summoned by the King's writs to meet forty-eight days before they assemble.  A writ is directed to every particular lord, spiritual and temporal, commanding him to appear at a certain time and place, to treat and advise of certain weighty affairs relating both to church and state.

Writs also are sent to the sheriff of every county to summon those who have a right to vote for representatives, to elect two knights for each county, two citizens for each city, and one or two burgesses for each borough.

Every candidate for a county ought to be possessed of an estate of 600l. per annum; and every candidate for a city, or corporation, of 300l. per annum.


The Lord Chancellor, or keeper for the time being, is always Speaker in the House of Peers; but the Commons elect their Speaker, who must be approved by the King.

No Roman Catholic can sit in either house; nor any member vote till he has taken the oaths to the government.

The ancient STATE of ENGLAND.

Having thus given our young readers a transient idea of the present state of South-Britain; we shall now proceed to give a succinct account of the ancient state of England, which, in regard to its constitution, was originally a monarchy, under the primitive Britons; after that, a province, subordinate to the Romans; then an heptarchical government under the Saxons; then again a kingdom in subjection to the Danes; next after them, under the power and dominion of the Normans; but at present, (after all the before-mentioned revolutions,) a monarchy again under the English; of all which we shall treat, as briefly as possible, in their proper order.

The whole island was anciently called Albion, which seems to have been softened from the word Alpion; because the word Alp, in some of the original western languages, generally signifies high lands, or hills, as this isle appears to those who approach it from the Continent.  It was likewise called Olbion, (67) which, in the Greek language, signifies happy; but of those times there is no certainty in history, more than that it had the denomination, and was very little known by the rest of the world. [Wikipedia states that the name is perhaps of Celtic origin or older, associating it with the Proto-Indo-European root meaning both "white" and "mountain".]

As the name of Britain, however, excepting that of Albion, or Olbion, just before mentioned, has been liable to as many derivations as the origin of the Britons; we shall content ourselves (for brevity's sake) with the following extract from Camden, who has given (in our humble opinion at least) the best and most natural derivation of the term.

"The ancient Britons (says he) painted their naked bodies and small shields with woad of an azure-blue colour, which by them was called Brith; on this account the inhabitants received the common appellation from the strangers who came into the island to traffic from the coasts of Gaul, or Germany; to which the Greeks, by adding the word tania, or country, formed the word Britannia, or the country of the painted men, and the Romans afterwards called it Britannia."

Here it may be observed, that the Romans were extremely fond of giving their own terminations to many uncivilized countries, and of forming easy and pleasant sounds out of the harshest and most offensive, to such elegant tongues and ears as their own. [Wikipedia states that Britannia is from the P-Celtic name for the Picts (the "painted people"): Prydyn.]



Their government, like that of the ancient Gauls, consisted of several small nations, under divers petty Princes, apparently the original governments of the world, deduced from the natural force and right of paternal dominion; such were the hords [sic] among the Goths, the clans in Scotland, and the septs in Ireland: but whether these small British principalities descended by succession, or were elected according to merit, is uncertain.

Their language and customs were, for the most part, the same with those of the Gauls before the Roman conquests in that province; but they were entirely governed in their religion and laws by their Druids, Bards, and Eubates.

Their Druids were held in such high veneration by the people, that their authority was almost absolute.  No public affairs were transacted without their approbation; nor could any malefactor (though his crimes were ever so heinous) be put to death without their consent.

Their Bardi, or Bards, were priests of an inferior order of their Druids; their principal business being to celebrate the praises of their heroes in verses and songs, which were set to music and sung to their harps.


Their Eubates were a third sort of priests, who applied themselves to the study of philosophy.

Each order of these priests led very simple and innocent lives, and resided either in woods, caverns, or hollow trees.  Their food consisted of acorns, berries, or other mast [the freedictionary defines this as "the nuts of forest trees accumulated on the ground"]; and their drink was nothing but water.  By this abstemious course of life, however, they procured an universal esteem, not only for their superior knowledge, but their generous contempt of all those enjoyments of life which all others so highly valued, and so industriously pursued.

The most remarkable TENETS of their DRUIDS.
1.   Every thing derives its origin from heaven.

2.   Great care is to be taken in the education of children.

3.   Souls are immortal.

4.   The souls of men after death go into other bodies.

5.   If ever the world should happen to be destroyed, it will be either by fire or water.

6.   All commerce with strangers should be prohibited.

7.   He who comes last to the Assembly of the states ought to be punished with death [strong motivation for punctuality!].

8.   Children should be brought up apart from their parents, till they are fourteen years of age.


9.    There is another world; and they who kill themselves to accompany their friends thither will live with them there.

10.  All masters of families are kings in their own houses; and have a power of life and death over their wives, children, and



1.   Danmonii,

Cornwall and Devon.

2.   Durotriges,


3.   Belgæ,

Somerset, Wilts, and the north part of Hants.

4.   Attrebatii,


5.   Regni,

Surrey, Sussex, and the south part of Hants.

6.   Cantii,


7.   Trinobantes,

Middlesex, Hertfordshire, & Essex.

8.   Iceni,

Suffolk, Norfolk, Cambridge, and Huntingdon.

9.   Catieuchlani,

Bucks and Bedford.

10.  Dobuni,

Gloucester and Oxford.

11.  Silures,

Hereford, Monmouth, Radnor, Brecon, & Glamorgan.

12.   Dimetæ,

Carmarthen, Pembroke, and Cardigan.




13.  Ordovices,  

Flint, Denbigh, Merioneth, Montgomery, & Carnarvon.

14.  Cornavii,

Chester, Salop, Stafford, Warwick, and Worcester.

15.  Coritani,

Lincoln, Nottingham, Derby, Leicester, Rutland, and Northampton.

16.  Brigantes,

York, Lancaster, Westmoreland, Cumberland, & Durham.

17.  Ottadini,


Their general CHARACTER.

They were a great and glorious people, fond of liberty and property; but peculiarly remarkable for their rigid virtue, and their readiness to die with pleasure for the good of their country.  They long lived in a perfect state of peace and tranquility till the year of the world 3950 [counting from Archbishop Ussher's 4004 BC], at which time its monarchy, by the boundless envy and ambition of Julius Cæsar, (when Rome was in the meridian of all her glory) was totally subverted, and Britannia became a province subordinatte [sic] to the Romans.

Cæsar, at his first landing on the island, found it not under a sole monarchy, but divided into divers provinces, or petty kingdoms.

Soon after having defeated Cassibelan [various spellings: Wikipedia has Cassivellaunus; in the Mabinogion his name is spelled as Caswallawn], and taken several British provinces, he left the (72) island, and the Romans entirely abandoned it for ninety years and upwards.

However, in the year of our Lord 42, Claudius Cæsar, the 5th Emperor of Rome, sent his General Plautius, with great force, into Britain, and following him soon after in person, subdued a great part of the island, by which means he procured the title of Britannicus.

In the year 50, London is supposed to have been built by the Romans.

In this year Ostorius, the Roman general, defeated Caractacus [Caradoc, Caradawg, etc.], the chief of the British Princes, and having taken him prisoner, carried him to Rome.

The Christian religion, about this time, was first planted in Britain.

In the year 61, the Britons, under the conduct [leadership] of Boadicea [Boudica, Boudicca], a British Queen, destroyed 70,000 Romans.

The next year Suetonius, the Roman general, defeated the Britons, and killed 80,000 of them upon the spot; whereupon Boadicea poisoned herself.

In the year 63, the gospel was first preached in Britain by Joseph of Arimathea, and eleven of St. Philip's disciples.

The PERSECUTIONS against the CHRISTIANS consequent thereupon.

1.   First persecution was begun by Nero, soon after he had burnt the city of Rome, which was in the year 65.


2.   The second, by Flavius Domitian, in the year 83.

3.   The third, by Ulpius Trajan, in the year 111.

4.   In the year 162, the fourth was raised by Marcus Aurelius Antoninus, and his associate Lucius Verus.

5.   The fifth was begun by Septimus Severus, in the year 193.

6.   In 235, the sixth was raised by Maximinus.

7.   Trajanus began the seventh in the year 253.

8.   In 255, the eighth was raised by Valerianus.

9.   Valerianus Aurelianus began the ninth in the year 272.  And

10. Dioclesian [should be Diocletian] and Maximianus carried on the tenth with the utmost severity.

After the Romans, however, had been in the possession of Britain for near 500 years, they left it to its ancient inhabitants again, who being at that time sunk into the lowest state of degeneracy, were soon after invaded by the Scots and the Picts; and trembling at the approaching storm, they were prevailed on by Vortigern, their chief monarch, about the year 447, to send a deputation to the Saxons, who were the only persons (as he insinuated) capable of giving them that aid and assistance which the unhappy situation of their affairs immediately required.  This plausible pretence of that Prince succeeded, and one and all concurred in his opinion; and by the resolution which they then took thereupon, they (74) brought on the total destruction of their country.

Ambassadors from the Britons were accordingly sent to Witigisel [now written Wihtgisl], the then Saxon general, who immediately summoned an assembly to hear what the Britons had to propose.  The latter (like men in absolute despair) offered to submit to any terms that their said assembly should think proper, provided they did but protect and stand by them so far in their pressing necessities, as to enable them to drive their enemies out of their country.  The proposal was approved of, and the negociation [sic] accordingly concluded.

The terms were, that the Saxons should send 9000 men into Britain, who were to be put into possession of the Isle of Thanet, and to be paid and maintained likewise at the expence [sic] of the Britons.

Hengist and Horsa, both sons of the Saxon General Witigisel, who were brave and resolute men, fit for, and fond of such an expedition, were appointed, in the year 450, to command the Saxon troops intended for the relief of Britain.

Tho' these two heroes arrived at Ebbesfleet, in the island of Thanet, with 1500 men only, instead of 9000, yet they were received with the utmost respect by Vortigern, who put them immediately, according to promise, in full possession of that island.

As the Picts and Scots, at that time, were advancing their forces against the Britons, (75) Hengist joined Vortigern, and inspiring the British troops with new courage, a battle was fought near Stamford, in Lincolnshire, wherein the Picts and Scots were so absolutely defeated, that they were obliged to abandon their conquests, and retire into their own country.

Hengist had a beautiful daughter, named Rowena, with whom Vortigern fell deeply in love, and demanded her in marriage of her father, who, ever attentive to enlarge his dominions, refused his consent, unless the amorous Briton would put him in possession of the whole county of Kent.  The terms were readily accepted, and the match concluded.  In short, this love-sick passion, this seemingly trivial circumstance, occasioned the greatest revolution that had ever been felt in Britain.

We shall now take a transient view of the Saxon Heptarchy, consequent thereupon.
I. The Kingdom of Kent.

The first was the kingdom of Kent, founded by Hengist, in 453, and contained only that county; being inhabited by the Jutes.  It continued 368 years, and ended in 823, having been governed by ten of its own Kings, and seven doubtful or foreign Princes; of whom four were Pagans and three Christians.  Its principal places were Canterbury, Dover, Rochester, Sandwich, Deal, Folkstone, and Reculver.


II. The Kingdom of the South Saxons.

The second was the kingdom of the South Saxons, founded by Ella in 491, and contained the counties of Sussex and Surrey, whose principal city was Chichester.  It continued about 109 years, and ended about the year 600; having only five monarchs, of whom two were Pagans, and three Christians: it was mostly under the power of the Kings of Kent, and the West Saxons.

III. The Kingdom of the West Saxons.

The third was the kingdom of the West Saxons, founded by Cerdic in 419; and contained Cornwall, Devonshire, Dorsetshire, Wiltshire, Somersetshire, and Hampshire, with the Isle of Wight and Berkshire, though the remains of the Britons likewise inhabited Cornwall: the principal places were Winchester, Southampton, Portsmouth, Salisbury, Dorchester, Sherborne, and Exeter: it continued till the Norman Conquest, being 547 years, and ended in 1066, having been governed by 17 monarchs, during the heptarchy, of whom five were Pagans, and 12 Christians: the last of whom was Egbert, who, in 829, became sole monarch of England.
IV. The Kingdom of the East Saxons.

The fourth was the kingdom of the East Saxons, and contained Middlesex, Essex, and (77) part of Hertforshire; where the principal places were London and Colchester: it was founded in 527, by Erkenwin, and continued 220 years, ending in 747; having been governed by 12 monarchs, of whom two were Pagans, and the rest Christians.

V. The Kingdom of Northumberland.

The fifth was the kingdom of Northumberland, founded by Ina, in 547, and contained Lancashire, Yorkshire, Durham, Cumberland, Westmoreland, Northumberland, and part of Scotland, as far as Edinburgh Frith [Forth]: the principal places being York, Durham, Carlisle, Hexham, and Lancaster: it continued 245 years, and ended in 792; having been governed by 20 Princes, of whom four were Pagans, and the rest Christians, whose subjects were Angles, and called the Northumbrian Angles.
VI. The Kingdom of the East Angles.

The sixth was the kingdom of the East Angles, which contained Norfolk, Suffolk, and Cambridgeshire, with the Isle of Ely; where the principal places were Norwich, Thetford, Ely, and Cambridge.  It was founded by Uffa in 575, and continued 218 years, ending in 792, when it was united to the kingdom of the Mercians.


VII. The Kingdom of the Mercians.

The seventh and last was the kingdom of the Mercians, or the Middle Angles, founded by Cridda in 582; and contained Gloucestershire, Herefordshire, Worcestershire, Warwickshire, Leicestershire, Rutlandshire, Northamptonshire, Lincolnshire, Huntingdonshire, Bedfordshire, Buckinghamshire, part of Berkshire, Oxfordshire, Staffordshire, Shropshire, Nottinghamshire, and Cheshire;  the principal places being Lincoln, Nottingham, Warwick, Leicester, Coventry, Litchfield, Northampton, Worcester, Gloucester, Derby [pronounced Darby], Chester, Shrewsbury, Stafford, Oxford, and Bristol: it continued 292 years, and ended in 874; having been governed by 18 monarchs, of whom four were Pagans, and the rest Christians.

Egbert the Great, first King of England.

In the year 829, Egbert, the 17th King of the West Saxons, became sole monarch of all the seven kingdoms, and was crowned at Winchester, in Hampshire, by the unanimous consent both of the clergy and laity, King of England;  and immediately afterwards a proclamation was published, whereby it was ordered, that no future distinctions should be kept up among the Saxon kingdoms; but that they should all pass under the common name of England.


Though Egbert was a wise and fortunate Prince, and though the English were a brave and numerous people, after the expulsion of the Picts and Scots; yet no sooner was he well established on the throne, but this island was exposed to new invasions.

In 832, the Danes, having made two descents before, landed a third time with great force at the Isle of Sheppey, in Kent; and in some few months afterwards at Charmouth, in Dorsetshire, with 18,000 men.

In 835, they landed again in Cornwall; but Egbert was then prepared for them, and gave them a total defeat.  They renewed their depredations, however, in 836, but were again repulsed.  Soon after which, this Prince having reigned King of the West Saxons 36 years, and sole monarch of England upwards of eight, died as great as he lived, and was buried at Winchester, where he was crowned.  He was the father, in short, of the English monarchy, and therefore justly entitled to the name of Egbert the Great.

Ethelwulf, the Second King of England.

Ethelwulf, the elder surviving son of Egbert, succeeded his father in 836.  Till he became a King, he had been only a priest, or, at most, only bishop of Winchester.  He obtained, however, a dispensation from Pope Gregory IV. and assumed a secular life.


In the first year of his reign, the Danes landed at Southampton, in Hampshire, but were routed with great slaughter.  In 837, however, they made a second descent upon Portland, in Dorsetshire, and succeeded in their attempt.

In 838, they made another descent about Romney, in Kent, with such success, and great slaughter, that they over-ran the country.

In short, they made fresh visits for several years afterwards successively, for the sake of plunder only, without the least intention of making a settlement in the kingdom.

Ethelwulf, however, in 852, assembled a numerous army, with the assistance of his brother Athelstan, met them at Okely, in Surry [sic]; and there, after a desperate engagement, proved so victorious, that the slaughter of their enemies was almost incredible.

In 855, Ethelwulf went to Rome, in order to pay a visit to the Pope in person; and, on receiving his benediction, he not only gratified the vanity of the papal see by his devotion, but satisfied likewise its most avaricious expectations by his royal bounty.

In 857, after having reigned one and twenty years, he divided his kingdom between his two eldest sons, Ethelbald and Ethelbert, and soon after died, and was buried at Winchester.

III. [sic] Ethelbald and Ethelbert, joint Kings of England.
Ethelbald, whose reign was but short, and no ways remarkable, died in 800, and was buried at Sherborne, in Dorsetshire.

Ethelbert, the fourth King of England.

Though Ethelbert bore an excellent character, yet he was no favourite of fortune;  for from his coronation in 860, to his death in 866, he had one continued conflict with the Danes.  He was interred at Sherborne, near his brother.

Ethelred, the fifth King of England.

In 866, Ethelred, third son of Ethelwulf, succeeded to the crown: in whose reign the Danes committed great ravages through the kingdom.

Notwithstanding, in 868, a great famine and plague happened in England, yet those merciless and blood-thirsty Pagans the Danes, in 869, through their aversion to Christianity, set fire to the religious houses in the city of York, murdered the monks, ravished the nuns, and made a sacrifice of Edmund, titular King of the East Angles, by first shooting his body full of arrows, and afterwards cutting off his head.  He was soon after interred at St. Edmundsbury, in the county of Suffolk, from whom it has ever since been distinguished by that name, as the manner of that Prince's death entitled him to the honour of martyrdom.

Ethelred, after having reigned six years, was buried at Winbourn, in the county of Dorset.

Alfred the Great, sixth King of England.

In the year 872, Alfred the Great (the fourth son of Ethelwulf) succeeded his brother (82) Ethelred, whose moral virtues endeared him so far to his subjects, that they honoured him with the appellation of the Father of the English Constitution [Alfred, presumably, not Ethelred].  He was crowned at Winchester.

In the year 878, the Danes settled themselves in divers parts of England, with whom Alfred fought many battles, with various success; but at length gave them a total overthrow at Eddington, in Somersetshire, and not only obliged their leader Guthrun [usually written Guthrum], the chiefs of their army, and the main body of their people, to be baptized, but afterwards to retire out of the kingdom.

This illustrious Prince, in 882, rebuilt the city of London, which had been burnt and destroyed by the Danes in 839.

As he was an excellent scholar himself, he founded, or at least greatly augmented, the University of Oxford.

In 893, the Danes, with 300 ships, under one Hastings [usually written Haesten], invaded England again, but were defeated by Alfred's army, at Farnham, Surry [sic].

In 897, a plague happened, and raged throughout the land for three years successively.

In the year 900,  Alfred died of a contraction of the nerves, after he had lived 51 years, and reigned 29.

Edward the Elder, seventh King of England.

On his decease, Edward the Elder (so called to distinguish him from Edward the Martyr, and Edward the Confessor) succeeded his father, and was crowned at Kingston upon Thames.


This Prince was a brave warrior, and tho' invaded by the Danes, in the year 905, he defeated them in Kent.

In the year 911, he improved the University of Cambridge, much after the same manner as Alfred his father had augmented Oxford.

In 921, he was in the height of his glory, all the Princes in Britain either submitting to his allegiance, or courting his favour.

He died in the 24th year of his reign, at Farringdon, in Berkshire, and was buried at Winchester.

Tho' he had three wives, and several children, yet Ethelstan, his son by one Egwinna, a shepherd's daughter, succeeded to his kingdom.

Ethelstan, eighth King of England.

He was crowned in the 13th year of his age, at Kingston upon Thames, in the year 924.

In the year, 938, he defeated both the Danes and Scots, and made the Princes of Wales pay him a tribute of 20 pounds of gold, 300 pounds of silver, and 25,000 head of cattle.

The same year he caused the Bible to be translated into the Saxon, which was then the mother tongue.

Much about this time the renowned Guy, Earl of Warwick, is said to have encountered Colebrand [the more common spelling is Colbrand; apparently Guy of Warwick never existed, but his legend was very popular in England and France between the 13th and 17th centuries] , the famous Danish giant, and, after a sharp contest, to have killed him on the spot at Winchester.







Adapted to the Capacities of Children.

THE SUN, which is the fountain of light and heat, is placed in the centre of the universe; and the several planets, namely, Luna, luna (the moon); Mercury, mercury; Venus, venus; the Earth, earth; Mars, mars; Jupiter, jupiter; Saturn, saturn; and Georgium Sidus [so named by its discoverer, Frederick William Herschel; it was later renamed Uranus]; move around him in their several orbs, and borrow from him their light and influence: on the surface of the sun are seen certain dark spots, but what they are is not known.  They often change their place, number, and magnitude; and if they are really in the sun's body, as to all appearance they are, we must suppose that he moves around his axis in about twenty-five days and six hours; otherwise those various changes and alterations cannot be accounted for on the principles of reason and philosophy.  The daily motion of the sun from east to west is not real; for, as I have observed before, the sun is fixed in the (85) centre, and can have no motion but upon its own axis, that is, of turning round in the same space.  The apparent motion, therefore, from east to west, must arise from the true and real motion of the earth on which we live, as I shall prove by and by.  The body of the sun is so immensely large, that his diameter or thickness is computed to be 822,145 English miles [now known to be 865,000 miles, or 1,390,000 km], and a million of times larger than the globe of our earth; stupendous and amazing magnitude!  which is supposed to be all fire, and by whose beams of light the whole system of beings about it is made visible.

The fixed stars which enamel and bespangle the concave expanse, or canopy of heaven, by numbers and lustre, make the night beauteous and delightful, which would otherwise be dark and horrible.  The UNIVERSE has no determinate form or figure at all; for it is every way infinite and unlimited, and is called the MUNDANE SPACE, in which all worlds have their place and being.

The MOON, which is the next planet, or body, we are to consider, is, as to matter and form, not unlike our earth; for her body is uneven and spherical.  The bright portions we see in her are the more prominent and illuminated parts of the land, as mountains, islands, promontories, &c. to which we are obliged for the light that is reflected to us; for the dark parts, which are supposed to be seas, lakes, vales, &c. are incapable of reflecting any light at all.  Some of our philosopers [sic] (86) assert , that there is an atmosphere of air about her; and, if so, then is she subject to the wind, clouds, rain, thunder, lightning, and other meteors [in the old sense of "atmospheric phenomena"], as well as the earth, and of consequence may be inhabited by men and animals.  The diameter or thickness of the moon, is about 2175 English miles [now known to be 2160 miles, or 3476 km].  The moon revolves round the earth in about 27 days, 7 hours, and 43 minutes.  According to the different position of the moon in her orb, with respect to the sun and earth, she puts on different aspects or phases, as new, horned, full, &c.  And since, at the same distance from the sun, she never appears of a different face, it is evident that she has a diurnal motion round her own axis, which is completed in the same time as her periodical revolution is about the earth.  So that the Lunarians, or people of the moon, (if there are such) have their days and months perpetually of equal length.

The other planets, i.e. Mercury, Venus, the Earth, Mars, Jupiter, Saturn, and the Georgium Sidus,* all revolve in the same manner about the sun as the centre of the system; and in the order from the sun as they are named in the following figure of the UNIVERSE.

*  The Georgium Sidus is a later discovery, having two moons; without the orb of Saturn, and not represented in the following scheme, for want of room.



The real motion of them all is from west to east, though sometimes they appear to move from east to west; and at other times seem not to move at all.  And hence they are said to be direct, retrograde, and stationary.  The Earth, Jupiter, and Saturn, are often eclipsed by the interposition of their respective moons, or satellites, between the sun and themselves; and these eclipses are sometimes partial, sometimes total, and sometimes central.  The orbit of the earth (or the circle which the sun seems (88) to describe round the earth), is called the ecliptic, which is divided into twelve equal parts, called signs, and are distinguished by the following names and marks, viz.  Aries, the Ram, Aries; Taurus, the Bull, taurus; Gemini, the Twins, gemini; Cancer, the Crab, cancer; Leo, the Lion, leo; Virgo, the Virgin, virgo; Libra, the Balance, libra; Scorpio, the Scorpion, scorpio; Sagittarius, the Archer, sagittarius; Capricornus, the Goat, capricornus; Aquarius, the Water-bearer, aquarius; Pisces, the Fishes, pisces.

There are many other things peculiar to the planets; but as they are not within the compass of my design, I shall pass them over, in order to speak more particularly of the earth.

Of the EARTH, considered as a PLANET.

THE Earth, by its revolution about the sun in 365 days, 5 hours, and 49 minutes, makes that space of time which we call a year.

The line, which the centre of the earth describes in its annual revolution about the sun, is called the Ecliptic.

The annual motion of the earth about the sun, is in the order of the signs of the zodiac; that is, from west to east.

Besides its annual revolution about the sun in the ecliptic, the earth turns round also on its own axis in 24 hours.


The turning of the earth on its own axis every 24 hours, whilst it moves round the sun in a year, we may conceive by the rolling of a bowl [a ball used in lawn bowling] on a bowling-green; in which not only the centre of the bowl hath a progressive motion on the green, but the bowl, in going forward, turns round about its own axis.

The turning of the earth on its own axis makes the differences of day and night; it being day in those parts of the earth which are turned towards the sun; and night in those parts which are in the shade, or turned from the sun.

The annual revolution of the earth in the ecliptic is the cause of the different seasons, and of the several lengths of days and nights, in every part of the world, in the course of the year.

If the diameter of the sun be to the diameter of the earth as 48 to 1, (as by some it is computed), the disk of the sun is above 2000 times bigger than the disk of the earth; and the globe of the sun is about 100,000 times bigger than the globe of the earth.

The distance of the earth's orbit from the sun is above 20,000 semidiameters of the earth; so that if a cannon ball should come from the sun with the same velocity it hath when discharged from the mouth of a cannon, it would be 25 years in coming to the earth.

We shall now consider the earth in another sense, and speak of the several divisions made by geographers.



Which are used by GEOGRAPHERS to explain

the Properties of the NATURAL GLOBE.

You may suppose the following figure to be a globe or sphere, representing the earth.  The outermost circle, marked with the letters A, D, B, C, is called the meridian; and on this circle the latitude is reckoned, either from C towards A or B, or else from D towards A and B.

The equator is the line C, D, which upon the globe is a circle, and is sometimes called the equinoctial:  Upon this circle the degrees of longitude are reckoned, beginning at C, and counting all round the globe till you come to C again; and O is the middle of the world between A and B, which are the two poles thereof: A representing the North Pole, B the South Pole.

The circles E F, and G H, are called the Tropics, beyond which the sun never moves.



The line G F, which upon the globe is a circle, is termed the Ecliptic, in which the sun is perpetually moving from G to F, and F to G again.  When the sun is in O, he is then in the Equinoctial, and the days and nights are of equal length to all the world, except under the Poles.  When he is at F, which is called the Tropic of Cancer, days are at the longest to all those who dwell under the North side of the Equator.  When the sun is at G, which is called the Tropic of Capricorn, days are at the longest to all those dwelling on the South side of the Equator, and at the shortest to those on the North side.

The circles LM and I K are called the Polar Circles, because to those inhabitants who dwell under these circles, the longest day is (92) 24 hours; so that the sun sets not, but moves quite round their horizon.  Thus much may suffice for the circles of the sphere; only note this, that every circle, whether great or small, is divided into 360 equal parts or degrees; so that a degree is no certain measure, but only the three hundred and sixtieth part of the circle; and these degrees are again supposed to be divided into sixty equal parts, which are called minutes.  Now, therefore, if a circle which will reach round the earth be divided into 360 parts, then one of those parts is equal to a degree, which was looked upon by the ancients to be equal to sixty miles, and thus one mile was exactly equal to a minute.

Of the ZONES.


The Zones are certain tracts of land, whose boundaries are made by the circles before described, and are five in number, namely, the Torrid Zone; the Northern Temperate Zone; the Southern Temperate Zone; the Northern Frigid Zone; the Southern Frigid Zone. --- 1.The Torrid Zone contains all that space of land which lies between the circles E F and G H; for to those inhabitants who dwell betwixt the said limits, the sun, at some time of the year, becomes vertical, i.e. right over their heads.   2. The Northern Temperate Zone is all that space betwixt the circle E F, named the Tropic of Cancer, and the line L M, called the Northern Polar Circle; and to all the inhabitants within this compass, the (93)  sun, when in their several meridians, casteth their shadows directly north.  3.  The Southern Temperate Zone is that tract of land which lies between the circular line G H, called the Tropic of Capricorn, and the Southern Polar Circle I K.  To all the inhabitants within this space, the sun, when in their meridian, casteth their shadows full south.  4.  The Northern Frigid Zone, is that part of the earth which lies between the Northern Polar Circle L M, and the North Pole at A;  to all these inhabitants the sun, at a certain season, and when in the Tropic of Cancer, does not set, but moves in view quite round the horizon, casting their shadows every way.  5.  The Southern Frigid Zone is that part of the earth which lies between the Southern Polar Circle I K, and the South Pole at B.  To all the inhabitants within these limits, the sun, when in the Tropic of Capricorn, sets not, but moves in sight as before, casting their shadows also every way.



The Climates are reckoned from the Equator to the Poles; under the Equator the day is always 12 hours long, and under the Polar Circles the longest day is 24 hours.  Geographers make 24 climates between the Equator and each of the Polar Circles, because there are 24 half hours difference between the length of day under the Equator, and the longest day under the Polar Circle; so that any place where the longest day in that place is half an hour (94) longer or shorter than that of another place, is of a different climate.  The first climate begins at the Equator; the second where the longest day is 12 hours and a half; the third where it is 13 hours, and so on.  There are in all 48 climates of hours, that is, four [sic] from the Equator to the Polar Circle, either Northward or Southward.  Besides the aforesaid 48 climates of hours, there are 12 more, called climates of months, that is, six from each of the Polar Circles to the Poles.  They are called climates of months, because the longest day in the end of the first climate is one whole month, the longest day at the end of the second two whole months, and so on.



The whole globe of the earth is called terraqueous, consisting of two bodies, namely, Land and Water, which may be divided in the following manner, viz.

LAND into Continents, Islands, Peninsulas, Isthmuses, Promontories, Mountains.

1.  A Continent is a large tract of land, comprehending divers countries, kingdoms, and states, joining altogether, without any separation of its parts by water, of which we have four, viz. Europe, Asia, Africa, and America.

2. An Island is a part of land encompassed round with water.

3. A Peninsula, called also Chersonesus, is a piece of dry land every where environed (95) with water, save only a narrow neck of land adjoining the same to the Continent.

4.  An Isthmus  is that narrow neck of land which joins the Peninsula to the Continent, by which people go from one to the other.

5.  A Promontory is a high piece of land, stretching out into the sea, the extremity whereof is commonly called a Cape.

6. A Mountain is a rising part of dry land, overtopping the adjacent country, and appearing the first at a distance.

WATER is divided into Oceans, Seas, Gulfs, Straits, Lakes, and Rivers.

7.  Ocean is a vast collection of water, environing a considerable part of the Continent.

8.  The Sea is a smaller body of water, intermixed with Islands, and for the most part environed with land.

9.  A Gulf is a part of the Sea, every where encompassed with land, except only one passage, whereby it communicates with the main ocean.

10.  A Strait is a narrow passage, either joining a Gulf to the neighbouring Sea or Ocean, or one part of the Sea or Ocean to another.

11.  A Lake is a small collection of deep standing water, surrounded by land, and having no visible communication with the Sea.

12.  A River is a considerable stream of fresh water, rising out of one, or various fountains, continually gliding along in one or more currents, till it empties itself into the sea or ocean.







A Swedish Man and Woman in their proper Dresses. Swedish couple

An Historical and Geographical Account of


SWEDEN is one of the Northern Kingdoms, great and populous; is bounded on the North by Lapland, Norway, and the (97) Frozen Sea; on the East by Muscovy; on the South by the Baltic Sea; on the West by Denmark and Norway.  It is divided into six parts, contains seventeen cities, the capital is Stockholm; the air is cold, but wholesome; it abounds with all the necessaries of life; the inhabitants are long-lived; they trade in brass, lead, iron, steel, copper, skins, furs, deals [fir or pine wood, as a building material], oak, pitch, and tar: They are civil, and so industrious that a beggar is not to be seen among them; good soldiers, strong and healthy.   It was formerly elective, but now hereditary. -- It is governed by a King and the States, which consist of the nobility, clergy, and the merchants; their religion is Lutheranism, and dialect Teutonic and German.
An Account of DENMARK.

DENMARK lies to the North of England, is but a small kingdom, Copenhagen is the metropolis.  The King of Denmark is also Sovereign of Norway, Greenland, Fero [also written Faro], &c.  The air is very cold, the country fruitful; there is store of deer, elks, horses, cattle, &c. also fish, especially herrings; their commodities are chiefly tallow, timber, hides, and rigging for ships:  The crown is hereditary, the government entirely in the power of the King, and their religion the same as in Sweden.

An Account of NORWAY.

NORWAY is a kingdom on the North-West shore of Europe, belongs to the King of Denmark, is separated from Sweden by a ridge of mountains always covered with snow; the chief town is Drontheim [corruption of Trondheim].  It is mountainous, barren, and extremely cold, therefore but thinly peopled; they are a plain people, of the same religion as those of Denmark.  The produce of the country is good for timber, oak, pitch, tar, copper, and iron; and their seas abound with fish, which the inhabitants dry upon the rocks without salt, and sell them to most nations in Europe, to victual their ships in long voyages.  They have very little corn grown in the country; and the inhabitants feed on the flesh of bears, wolves, and foxes; and the poorer sort make bread of dried fish ground to powder, while the better sort exchange the commodities above-mentioned for corn, fruits, wine, and other necessaries.  Their longest day in the northern parts is two months, and shortest in the southern about eight hours.


A Moscovite, or Russian Man and Woman in
their proper Dresses.

Russian couple

An account of


MOSCOVY is the largest country in Europe, and which comprehends all that vast country which obeys the Czar, or Czarina.  It is bounded by the Northern Ocean on the North; the rivers Oby and Tanais on the East; the Little Tanais, the rivers Desna and Sosa, with Lesser Tartary, on the South; Narva [on the border with Estonia; now part of Estonia], Poland, Sweden, and Norway on the West:  It contains about forty provinces; is a marshy country, not well inhabited, full of forests and rivers; the winter is long, and very cold;  They sow only rye before winter, (100) and the other corn in May, though their harvest is in July and August.  They have plenty of fruit, melons, fowl, and fish;  and their commodities are salt, brimstone, pitch, tar, hemp, flax, iron, steel, copper, and Russian leather, much valued in England.  They wear long beards, short hair, and gowns down to their heels; are a mistrustful and cruel people, cunning in trading, and deceive with impunity, it being counted industry; naturally lazy and drunken [hopefully Western attitudes to other cultures have improved in the last 200 years], and lie on the ground or benches, all excent [sic] the gentry.  Until Czar Peter the Great (who polished the people, as well as enriched and improved the country), they were barbarous and savage; but he setting up printing-houses and schools in his dominions, banished ignorance, and introduced the liberal arts.  Their government is hereditary and absolute, their religion is that of the Greek church.  They have a number of clergy, and divers monasteries for friars and nuns.  The Emperor of Moscovy is called the Czar, and Empress the Czarina.

A French Man and Woman in their proper Dresses.

French couple

An Historical and Geographical Account of


FRANCE is one of the finest and largest countries in Europe, lies in the middle of the Temperate Zone, is washed by the ocean to the west, by the Mediterranean Sea to the South, joins to the Low Countries to the North, Germany and Italy lie to the East, and Spain to the South.  Its length and breadth is about 225 leagues each.  Its chief city is Paris; there are ten universities, and many very stately palaces, the chief of which is that at Versailles, about eleven miles from Paris, where their Kings used to reside.  It abounds with all the necessaries of life, which made the Emperor Maximilian say, "That if it were possible he himself were God, his eldest son should succeed him, and the second should (102) "be King of France."  The common people were reckoned industrious, and the better sort very polite, well bred, extremely gay in dress, and civil to strangers, till their late wonderful revolution destroyed all distinctions, and involved them in a contest with the rest of Europe;  which seems to have reversed their manners, and renders it impossible to say what will in future be the distinguishing traits of the national character, when they shall again cultivate the arts of peace.  Their commodities are brandy, wine, salt, silks, linen and woollen, hemp, canvas, paper, soap, almonds, olives, &c.  To take a view of the country, their fields are long and open, intermixed with corn and vines, and every hedge so beset with choice fruits, that eyes can hardly have fairer objects.

'Twas in this country that Master Tommy Courtly and his sister, who went over with their papa, learnt all that good manners and genteel behaviour, which made every body love and admire them so much at their return home; which had such an effect on their brother Jack, (who was a rude, ill-natured, slovenly boy), that he soon grew better; and to prevent himself being utterly despised, and turned out of doors, by his papa and mamma, for his undutiful behaviour, he immediately mended his manners, and in a very little time was beloved and admired, almost equally with his brother Tommy.  It has now, however, ceased to be the school of Europe; and as the late extraordinary events, which brought their (103) Monarch to the block, and occasioned the people to declare for a Republican government, have been attended with a total loss of trade, and the destruction of the arts, it must be many years before travellers can again visit this country with hope of similar advantages.

Germans in their proper Habits.

German couple

An Account of GERMANY.

GERMANY is a large, fruitful, and pleasant country, which has the title of an Empire.  It is bounded on the North by the Baltic Sea, Denmark, and the German Ocean;  on the East by Hungary, Prussia, and Poland; on the South by the Alps; on the West by the Netherlands, Lorrain, and French Compte [today Franche-Compté].  It is divided into higher and lower; (104) its whole length is about 840 Italian miles, and breadth about 740; the soil is very fertile, and furnishes every thing necessary; the chief rivers are the Danube, the Rhine, Elbe, Oder, and Weser. -- Tacitus, speaking of the Ancient Germans, says, -- "They sung [sic] when they marched to fight, and judged of the success by the shouts and huzzas at the onset.  Their wives, as martial as themselves, accompanied them to the war to dress their wounds, and provide them with necessaries.  They esteemed nothing so infamous as to throw away or lose their shield.  They buried the bodies of their noblemen on a funeral pile, with their arms and horse."  The Germans of our age are laborious [hard-working], simple [straightforward], and brave, but ready to serve for money, constant in their religion, true friends, open enemies.

The inventions of printing, gunpowder, and fire-arms are attributed to them.  There are above three hundred different Sovereignties in Germany, most of which are subject to the supreme head, the Emperor, who is chosen by the nine Electors, viz. the Archbishops of Mentz, Triers, and Cologn; the King of Bohemia; the Duke of Bavaria; the Duke of Saxony; the Marquis of Brandenburgh, (King of Prussia); the Prince Palatine of the Rhine; and the Elector of Hanover, (King of England).  The Electors are the principal members of the Empire, and absolute Sovereigns in their own dominions.  Their religion, for the greatest part, is Popery; but in several states and cities, (105) particularly Prussia, the Protestant prevails.  The chief city is Vienna, in the Dukedom of Austria, which is the seat of the Emperor.

A Dutch Man and Woman in their proper Habits.

Dutch couple

HOLLAND and  FLANDERS, which are called the Seven Provinces, and the Netherlands, are inhabited by the Dutch.

This country is also in Germany, though mostly independent of the Empire;  the greatest part belongs to the Dutch, part to the French, and part to the Emperor:  Its capital city is Amsterdam, a place of vast trade and riches.  The air is moist and foggy; the country, lying low, is naturally wet and fenny, and employed chiefly in grazing of cattle; little corn grows there, but they import abundance from other countries; the soil is fertile, the natural pro- (106) duce is chiefly butter and cheese, in which their trade has been great, but that of herrings the most considerable; and they had manufactures of various kinds, carrying on a prodigious trade to most parts of the world. They are a plain and frugal people, and very laborious.  Their form of government was very peculiar; but their independence having been absorbed in the vortex of the French revolution, it is uncertain what form it may assume in a short period.   Their language is a dialect of the German.  The reformed religion, according to the doctrines of Calvin, is the established one, though all are tolerated.

A Spanish Man and Woman in their proper Habits.

Spanish couple

An Account of SPAIN.

SPAIN is separated from France by the Pyrenean Hills, and on all other sides is surrounded by the Mediterranean Sea, the (107) Straits of Gibraltar, and the Atlantic Ocean.  The King has the most lands of any Prince in the world, on which account some of their predecessors have boasted, "That the sun never sets in their dominions, as having possessions in all the four parts of the world."  He is stiled [sic] his Catholic Majesty.  His Court is different from all others, he gives audience but one day in a week, and the rest he is shut up in his palace, the courts of which are full of merchants' shops, and resemble the cloisters of religious houses.  The air of Spain is pure and dry, but very hot;  the soil is sandy, and mostly barren, though where fertile not well cultivated, through the pride and laziness of the people, to which they are much addicted; though what they want in corn is made up in a variety of excellent fruits and wines, of which they have great plenty.  Their chief commodities are wine, oil, fruits of various sorts, wool, lamb-skins, honey, cork, &c.  The people are grave and majestic, faithful to their Monarch, delicate in point of honour, jealous, lascivious, and tyrants over a vanquished enemy; look upon husbandry and the mechanical arts with the greatest contempt.  Their government is an absolute Monarchy, and their crown hereditary as well to females as to males.  Their religion is Roman Catholic, nor is any other tolerated.  Madrid is their capital city, which stands near the middle of the country, on top of a hill, by the little river Manzanares.

A Portuguese Man and Woman in their proper Habits.

Potuguese couple

An Account of PORTUGAL.

PORTUGAL joins to Spain, and to the East is bounded by Spanish provinces; the capital city is Lisbon, a place of great trade and riches, with an excellent harbour: The soil of this country is poor, and produces but little, except wine and fruit.  The nobility and gentry are magnificent and hospitable, but the common people much addicted to thieving.  It is governed by its own King, who is by much the richest crowned head in Europe.  His government is absolute, and crown hereditary.  The established religion is Popery, though others are tolerated, but are under a necessity of being very reserved and cautious, (109) for fear of the inquisition, which is a court or tribunal for the examination and punishment of offenders, whom they torture in the most cruel manner [jewishvirtuallibrary.org states that the last auto-da-fe in Portugal took place on October 27, 1765.  Not until 1808, during the brief reign of Joseph Bonaparte, was the Inquisition abolished in Spain].

Lisbon, the capital city, as before-mentioned, is about six miles in length, built on seven hills, surrounded with a wall, on which are 77 towers, and 36 gates; is reckoned to contain 30,000 houses, and 150,000 inhabitants, (whose foreign trade is equal to any city in Europe, except London and Amsterdam.)-- There is a cathedral, 37 parish churches, 23 cloisters, several handsome squares, and sumptuous buildings, the largest of which is the King's palace.  Such was the state of this opulent city till the 1st of November, 1755, when the greatest part of it was reduced to a heap of ruins by a most tremendous earthquake, which was followed by a terrible fire.  A gentleman who was present, giving an account of the calamity to his friend in England, says, "It is not to be expressed by human tongue, how dreadful and awful it was to enter the city after the disaster; in looking upwards one was struck with terror, in beholding frightful ruined fronts of houses, some leaning one way, some another; then, on the contrary, one was struck with horror in beholding dead bodies, by six or seven in a heap, crushed to death, half buried, half burnt; and if one went through the broad squares, nothing to be met with but people bewailing their misfortunes, wringing their (110) "hands, and crying the world was at an end:  In short, 'twas the most lamentable scene that eyes could behold."

The King, in his letter on the melancholy occasion to the King of Spain, concludes thus: "I am without a house, in a tent, without servants, without subjects, without money, and without bread."

An Italian Man and Woman in their proper Habits.

Italian couple

An Historical Description of

ITALY in the scriptures is called Chittim [encyclopedia.com says Kittim was Cyprus], and Mesech [said to be sixth son of Japheth; not known what group they were].  Pliny (an ancient Latin writer) gives it this character: "Italy is the nurse-mother of all nations, elected by the Gods to make the Heavens more glorious, (111) "and unite the dispersed governments of the world." &c.   The situation is very advantageous, being towards the midst of the Temperate Zone.  It is bounded by the Alps on the North, which separates it from Germany; on the East by the Adriatic Sea; on the South by Mare Inferum, or the Sea of Tuscany; and on the West by a part of the Alps, and the River Var, which are its bounds towards France and Savoy.  The air of this country is temperate and healthful; the soil so fruitful, that there seems to be a continual spring:  It abounds with grain, fruits, and flowers, and a variety of living creatures, as well for pleasure as profit; on which account Italy is called the Garden of Europe.  The people are polite, dexterous [sic], prudent, and ingenious, extremely revengeful, jealous, and great formalists;  their genius lies much for poetry, music, antiquities, &c. and, in short, all the liberal arts.  Their tongue is derived from the ancient Latin.  The cities are fair, well built, and magnificent;  Rome is looked on as the capital, and is called the Holy, Naples the Noble, Florence the Fair, Genoa the Proud, Milan the Great, Venice the Rich, Padua the Learned, and Bonia the Fat.   There are 300 bishoprics in it, and many universities.  It was governed of old by Kings, then by Consuls, and last of all by Emperors, who raised it to the highest pitch of glory.  Only the Roman Catholic religion is professed in Italy; neither are the Protestants suffered there, though the Jews are permitted (112) in some cities.  This country affords more entertainment to travellers than any other in the world, in which may be seen many remains of the greatest, wisest, and bravest people that ever lived, namely, the old Romans [it's a pity we can't ask the Etruscans how they felt...].  The present people are inured to slavery, harassed with tyrannies and impositions of their priests.  The country is but badly cultivated; its commodities are wine, oil, corn, rice, velvets, silk, glass, &c.
A Turkish Man and Woman in their proper Habits.

Turkish couple

An Account of TURKEY.

TURKEY, or the Empire of the Turks, comprehends many provinces in Europe, Asia, and Africa; so it is with reason the (113) Sultan is called Grand Signior.   The empire is divided into 25 governments, of which there are seven in Europe, seventeen in Asia, and Egypt makes one of itself; two of the governments have what they call Beglerbergs [Beylerbey; from Turkish Beylerbeyi, "Bey of beys"] at the head of them, and the rest are governed by Bashaws [Pashas; from Persian padshah or padeshah , "king"].  Most of these countries are fruitful, but neglected through the laziness of the Turks, and oppressions the Christians lie under, who chuse [sic] rather to let the land lie untilled, than cultivate it for others.  It is thin of inhabitants, occasioned by frequent plagues and continual wars, which carry off great numbers.  They are very temperate, robust, and good soldiers.  Their religion, whereof Mahomet was the author, comprehends six general precepts, viz. circumcision, prayer, fasting, alms, pilgrimage, and abstinence from wine.  Friday is their most solemn day of the week, which they distinguish only by being longer at prayer on that than other days.  They observe an extraordinary fast on the ninth month, which whoever breaks is certainly punished with death:  They keep it so strict, that labourers ready to faint with thirst dare not taste a drop of water.  They have a sort of monks called Dervises [sic], who live a very austere life, keeping a profound silence, go barefoot, with a leather girdle round their bodies, full of sharp points to mortify the flesh, and sometimes beat and burn themselves with hot irons: they are very charitable, and spare nothing for the maintenance of the poor. The (114) government is monarchial; the Grand Signior, or Sultan, is absolute master of the lives and fortunes of his subjects; his orders are above the laws, which are but few.  If his ministers grow rich, they certainly suffer death, right or wrong, their wealth (which goes to the Sultan) being esteemed a clear proof of their guilt.

The customs and ways of the Turks are very different from ours: the left is the upper hand with them; they bury in the dark, and carry the dead head-foremost; their books are all manuscripts, for they suffer no printing among them.  Their commodities are chiefly raw silks, oil, leather, cake-soap, honey, wax, and various fruits and drugs.   Constantinople, which was formerly Thrace, by the Turks called Stamboul, is their capital, and seat of the Ottoman or Turkish Emperor.



A Man and Woman of Tartary in their proper Habits.

Tartary couple

An Account of


TARTARY, which is the same country as the ancient Scythia, comprehends all the North of Europe, and almost a third part of Asia.  At present the Russians possess the North part and have given it the name of Siberia.  It is a cold barren country, generally covered with snow, and very thinly inhabited.

Their wealth consists in cattle, and their employment in grazing.  They carry on neither manufacture nor trade, except in slaves and horses, and rove about in herds or clans.  The Emperor of Russia is supreme Lord of the Western as well as North part of Tartary, (116) especially since the time of the late Czar Peter the Great, who extended his conquests even to the Northern coast of the Caspian Sea.

The Chinese are masters of the South and East parts of Tartary. The Tartars are divided into four different nations, namely, the Tartars properly so called, the Calmucks, and the Usbeck and Moguls. The Calmuck Tartars acknowledge themselves subjects of Russia; the Usbeck Tartars were once independent, but since subdued by Kouli Khan, the late Sovereign of Persia [also known as Nadir Shah, sometimes described as the "Persian Napoleon", assassinated 1747; one of the unlucky owners of the fabulous Koh-i-Noor diamond], who took possession and plundered their capital city Bochara, which was extremely populous and wealthy. This country of Usbeck Tartary is situate in a very happy climate and fruitful soil, and carries on a very brisk trade to the East and West parts of Asia: it was the country of the victorious Tamerlane, who subdued most of the kingdoms of Asia.

The Tartars, as to stature, are generally thick and short, having flat square faces, little eyes, little round short noses, and an olive complexion. They are reckoned the best archers in the world, and eat all manner of flesh but hog's-flesh. They are very hospitable, and take a pleasure in entertaining strangers. Their religion is mostly Paganism, they worship the Sun, Moon, and Stars, and a variety of images, but not in temples or churches, for they worship in groves and on the tops of monntains [sic]; but those that live near the Mahometan countries are mostly Maho- (117) metans. The Southern provinces lie in a temperate climate, and would produce all manner of corn and vegetables; but the inhabitants pay no regard to it, and lead a rambling life, driving great herds of cattle before them to such parts of the country where they can meet with the best pasture, and here they pitch their tents, but seldom remain long enough in a place to reap a crop of corn, even if they were to plough the land and sow it.

A Chinese Man and Woman in their proper Habits. 

Chinese couple

An Account of CHINA.

THE Empire of China is a great and spacious country, on the East of Asia, famed for its fruitfulness, wealth, beautifulness of towns, and incredible number of inhabitants.


It is divided into seventeen kingdoms, which contain 160 large cities, 240 lesser, and 1200 towns; the chief of all is Pekin [now Beijing].  The air is pure and serene, and the inhabitants live to a great age.  Their riches consist in gold and silver mines, pearls, porcelain or China ware; japanned or varnished works; spices, musk, true ambergris, camphire [sic], sugar, ginger, tea, linen, and silk; of the latter there is such abundance, that they are able to furnish all the world with it.   Here are also mines of quicksilver, vermillion, azure-stone [lapis lazuli], vitriol [sulfuric acid, or various sulfates], &c. So much for the wealth:  Now as to the inhabitants, they are so numerous, that the great roads may be compared to a perpetual fair, such numbers are continually passing, which made a Portuguese, who went thither, ask, "If the women had not nine or ten children at a birth?"   Every inhabitant is obliged to hang a writing over his door, signifying the number and quality of the dwellers.  The inside of their houses is very magnificent.  The men are civil, well-bred, very ingenious, polite, and industrious, but extremely covetous, insomuch that they will not scruple to sell their very children, or drown them, when they think they have too many.  This desire of wealth lets them never be idle, and makes them have a great aversion to strangers that come to settle among them.  The men go neatly dressed, and carry a fan in their hand, and when they salute each other (for they are very courteous) they never put off their hat, (119) but with their hands joined before their breast bow their bodies.  Here is no Nobility but what depends on learning, without any regard to birth, except the Royal Families; and the more learned any one is, the more he is advanced in honour and government.  The King, who is called the Tartar [the current (Qing) dynasty was Manchurian], keeps a guard of forty thousand men.  When he dies his body is buried on a pile of paper, and with him all his jewels, and every thing else, except living creatures, that he made use of in his life-time.  His Counsellor, Priest, and Concubines, that devoted themselves wholly to his soul, sacrifice their lives as soon as he dies;  but have the liberty to chuse what kind of death they please, which is generally beheading.  In this country there is a stupendous wall, built to prevent the incursions of the Tartars, which is at least 1700 miles long, near 30 feet high, and broad enough for several horsemen to travel on it abreast.  Their established religion is what they call the Religion of Nature, as explained by their celebrated Philosopher Confucius; but the greatest part of them are Idolaters, and worship the Idol Fo [Buddha; Buddhism arrived in China in the 2nd cent. BCE].   The Mahometans have been long since tolerated, and the Jews longer.  Christianity had gained a considerable footing here by the labour of the Jesuits, till the year 1726, when the missionaries being suspected of a design against the Government, were quite expelled.


An Indian Man and Woman in their proper Habits.

Indian couple

An Account of INDIA.

INDIA, one of the greatest regions of Asia, is bounded on the East by China, on the West by Persia, North by Great Tartary, and on the South by the Indian Sea.  It is divided into three parts, viz. Indostan, or the Empire of the Great Mogul; India on this side the Ganges, and India beyond; the cities of Deli [sic] and Agra are the two chief, and, by turns, the residence of the Great Mogul, at each of which he has a very splendid palace.  The most noted city on the coast is Surat, a place of great trade, where the English have a factory.  India on this side the Ganges contains many petty kingdoms.  On the coast are Goa, belonging to the Portuguese, which is their staple for East-India goods; and Bombay, a little island (121) and town belonging to the English.  On this coast are Pondicherry, Fort St. David [in Cuddalore near Devanampattinam], and Fort St. George [in Chennai], which belong to the English, who in fact possess the supreme dominion of the country, most of the native princes being either dependent on them, or happy to enter into alliance with them.  India beyond the Ganges, is also divided into various kingdoms, and contains a great number of large and populous cities, of which we have no knowledge besides their names.  The people are for the most part tawny, strong, and big, but very lazy.  They eat on beds, or tapestry spread on the ground.  They burn most of their dead, and their wives glory in being thrown into the funeral piles, and there consumed to ashes [sati, or suttee, remained legal in some princely states for a time after it had been abolished in lands under British control. The last such state to permit it, Jaipur, banned the practice in 1846].  The Great Mogul is a Mahometan, and esteemed the richest King in the world in jewels; one of his thrones is said to have cost five millions sterling [over 350M sterling in today's terms, according to eh.net].  Their commodities are silks, cottons, callicoes [www.straw.com/sig/dyehist.html states The East India Co. began importation of calico from Calicut in India in 1631-1633], muslins, sattins [sic], carpets, gold, silver, diamonds, pearls, porcelain, rice, ginger, rhubarb [this would have been the medicinal variety - www.rhubarbinfo.com says it became a major state monopoly for Russia and an important commodity for the East India companies], aloes, amber, indigo, cinnamon, cocoa, &c.  They are mostly Pagans, and worship idols of various shapes, and the rest are Mahometans, except a few Christians.  Their monarch is absolute, and so are all the petty Kings; who are so fond of titles that they often take them from their jewels, furnitures, equipage, and elephants, to make up a number.  This country is so exceeding rich, that it is thought by many to be the Land of Ophir, where Solomon sent for gold.



THIS vast continent takes in Natolia [also called Asia Minor], Arabia, Phœnicia, Judea, or Palestine, and the Euphratian Provinces.  The people are chiefly Mahometans, though there are many Jews and Christians in some places among them.  There are various governments, but they are all subject to the Grand Signior, who depopulates these fine countries, and discourages industry; so that the Phœnicians, formerly famous for commerce, are at present a poor despicable people; and Judea, the land which heretofore flowed with milk and honey, is in general still fruitful, abounding in corn, wine, and oil, where cultivated, and might supply the neighbouring countries with all these, as they anciently did, were the inhabitants equally industrious.  The parts above Jerusalem, its once famous capital, are mostly mountainous and rocky; but they feed numerous herds and flocks, and yield plenty of honey, wine, and oil, and the vallies [sic] abound with large crops of corn. 
Shaw's Travels.



An Egyptian Man and Woman in their proper Habits.

Egyptian couple

An Account of


EGYPT, a country in Africa, is parted from Asia by the Red Sea, and bounded on the north by the Mediterranean; on the east by Arabia Petræa; on the south by Æthiopia and Nubia; and on the west by Barbary.  The air of this country is very unhealthy, occasioned by the heat of the climate.  The soil is made fruitful by the river Nile, which overflows the country annually, from the middle of June to September, and supplies the want of rain, of which there is very seldom any.  It abounds with corn, and does not want for rice, sugar, dates, sena [senna], cassia, balm, (124) leather, flax and linen cloth, which they export.  Diodorus Siculus relates, that there had been formerly in Egypt, eighteen thousand great towns; the most noted of which was Alexandria.  In the eastern parts, beyond the river Nile, is the famous country of Thebais, with its desarts [sic], where St. Anthony, St. Paul, and other anchorets [anchorites; ascetics], had their cells.  Beyond the Red Sea there is another desart, where the children of Israel lived forty years.  The modern inhabitants are fine swimmers, handy, pleasant, and ingenious, but lazy.  This kingdom was first governed by the Pharaohs; afterwards conquered by Alexander the Great; and in the sixteenth century, Selim, the Turkish Emperor, conquered the Mamulucks [Mamluks; originally slave soldiers, who became a powerful military caste, occasionally seizing power for themselves, as in Egypt], or Saracens; for in the year 1516, defeating and killing Camson [Qansuh I-Ghawri], Soldan [Sultan] of Egypt, and Tomumbey [Tuman Bey] the next year after, Egypt was perfectly conquered by the Ottomans or Turks, who have governed it ever since by their Bashaws [Pashas].  The old religion of this country was idolatry, but now Mahometanism prevails most, through there are some few Christians.
An Account of BARBARY.
BARBARY is bounded by Egypt on the east, Mount Atlas on the south, the Atlantic Ocean on the west, and the Mediterranean to the north.  Though this country be under the Torrid Zone, yet the mountains (125) and sea coasts, between the Straits of Gibraltar and Egypt, are more cold than hot.  The men of this country are allowed many wives though they seldom are married to more than one.  The women are always veiled in the presence of men; so that a man knows no more of the beauty of the woman he marries, than what he learns from her parents, till they are actually married.  The people are of a good mild humour, and such as live abroad under tents, as the Arabians or shepherds, are laborious, valiant, and liberal; but they who live in cities are proud, covetous, and revengeful; and though they traffic much, know but very little, and have neither banks nor bills of exchange.  Their commodities are beef, hides, linen, and cotton; raisins, figs, and dates.  It is a rich country, and governed, part of it, as Fez and Morocco, by Kings; and the other, as Algiers, Tunis, and Tripoli, by Bashaws from the Grand Seignior [sic].   As for religion, they have the Christian, Jewish, and Mahometan, and they who live in the mountains and fields with their flocke [sic], which are a great number, have hardly any at all.  When any one dies, his friends have women that cry and scratch their faces, and take on seemingly with great grief for the deceased.  They live mostly on rice, beef, veal, mutton; but wine is forbidden by Mahomet's law.

A Description of ZAARA, or the Great Desarts


THE air of this country is very hot, so that the people are forced to keep in their little huts, or seek refreshment in caverns, the most part of the day; these desarts have a great number of lions, tigers, and ostriches.  The inhabitants are unpolished, savage, and very bold, for they will stand and meet the fiercest lion or tiger.  They are divided into families or clans, each head of a family is sovereign in his own canton, and the eldest is always head; they follow the Mahometan religion, but are no strict observers of it.  The country is a mere desart, as the name imports, and so parched for want of water, that the caravans from Morocco to Negroland are obliged to carry both water and provisions, the province producing hardly any thing for the support of life.


A Negroe Man and Woman in their proper Habits.

Negro couple

An Account of the Land of the NEGROES.

THIS country lies along the river Niger, on both sides of it, between Zaara and Guinea.  It contains fourteen kingdoms. ---  The inhabitants of the sea coast are somewhat civilized by their commerce with the Portuguese; but those that dwell up higher in the country are savage and brutal.  They are continually at war with one another, and all the prisoners they take in war they sell for slaves.  They sow neither wheat nor barley, but only millet; and their chief food is roots and nuts, pease and beans.  The country is surrounded with woods, and abounds with (128) elephants.  They have no wine, but a pleasant sort of liquor, which they get from a certain sort of palm trees, in this manner --- they give three or four strokes with a hatchet on the trunk of a tree, and set vessels to receive the distilling juice, which is very sweet, but in a few days grows strong, yet will not keep long, for in fifteen days it grows sour.  One tree will yield near a gallon in twenty-four hours.  The commodities of this country are gold, ostrich feathers, amber, gums, civit [sic], elephants teeth, and red-wood.

An Account of ÆTHIOPIA.
ÆTHIOPIA is about one-half of Africa, and divided into the Upper and Lower Æthiopia.  This country is pretty full of mountains. much higher than the Alps or Pyrenees, but level, spacious, and well inhabited, and fruitful on the top; the soil near the Nile is fruitful, but at a distance chiefly sandy desarts.  The people comely and well shaped, though black or swarthy.  Their cattle are very large, their horses and camels courageous and stout.  Their kings sit at table alone. --- Their messes not being very neat or costly, are served in black clay dishes, covered with straw caps finely woven;  they use neither knives nor forks, spoons nor napkins, and think it beneath them to feed themselves, and so have youths on purpose to put the meat in (129) their mouths.  They have no towns, but live in tents, which are so very numerous where the King is, that they resemble a great city; and they have also their officers to prevent disorder, and things are so well managed, that they can remove speedily on all occasions without confusion.  Their commodities are metals, gems, cattle, corn, sugar, canes, wine, and flax.  They are a mixture of Jews, Mahometans, Pagans, and Christians.  The government is subject to an Emperor, who is called Prestor [sic] John [Prester John, a supposed Christian monarch, originally placed in the Far East, then later in Africa - in the early 1500s equated with the Christian King of Abyssinia].  In Lower Æthiopia the commodities are silver, gold, ivory, pearls, musk, ambergris, oil, lemons, citrons, rice, millet, &c.  The people have hitherto been esteemed barbarous and savage; but if the relations of Bruce [presumably James Bruce, author of "Travels to Discover the Source of the Nile], the celebrated traveller, are in the least to be depended on, we have done them great injustice in this respect; and we are well assured that they are not generally canibals  [sic], as we have been accustomed to think them.  The Hottentots [the name is now considered derogatory; the name Khoikhoi is preferred] inhabit part of the country, who are the most odious of all the human species, for they besmear their bodies with grease and all manner of filth, and adorn themselves with hanging the guts of bears about their arms, legs and necks.

An Account of GUINEA.

GUINEA is a kingdom of Africa; the country is very extensive, and the people of Europe drive a great trade in it.  The French were the first who discovered it, about the year 1346.  The soil of this country is fertile, but the heat insupportable by any but the natives, who are counted the blackest of all the Negroes, and most of them go quite naked.  Ignorance and stuperstition [sic] reign among them, and it is said that they offer human sacrifices.  They look on God to be a good being, and for that reason only are civil to him; they worship the devil, and pray earnestly he may do them no mischief.  Their commodities are cotton, rice, sugar, canes, elephants, peacocks, apes, and pearls.  Several small Princes and states in the inland country, who are generally at war, sell their prisoners for slaves to the Europeans; others traffic to different countries for purchasing slaves, or steal them, and bring them down to the coast; and some will sell their children and nearest relations, if they have an opportunity.



American couple

An American Man and Woman in their proper Habits.

AMERICA, the fourth and last quarter of the world, is divided into North and South America.  North America contains Mexico, (or New Spain,) New Mexico, and California, Florida, Canada, (or New France,) Nova Scotia, New England, New York, New Jersey, Pennsilvania [sic], Maryland, Virginia, and Carolina.  South America contains Terra Firma, the land of the Amazons, Brazil, Peru, Chili [sic], Paraguay, and Terra Magellanica.

An Account of MEXICO, or NEW SPAIN.

MEXICO is so called from its chief city; and New Spain since the Spaniards settled there.  It has the sea of Mexico on the east, its gulph [sic], Florida, and New Mexico on the north, and the southern sea on the west and south.  The air is temperate and healthful, and the soil fruitful, producing wheat, barley, pulse, and maize; and variety of fruits, as citrons, lemons, oranges, pomegranates, apples, pears, cherries, cocoa nuts, figs, &c. with great plenty of roots, plants, and herbs.  There are some rich mines of gold and silver, in which about 4000 Spaniards continually work.  The people are civil, and excel in painting and music: they are subject to the King of Spain: their religion is a mixture of Paganism and Christianity.
An Account of NEW MEXICO, or GRANADA.
THIS part of the world is not fully discovered by the Europeans.  The soil is sandy and barren, the air healthful and temperate, but not a little subject to hurricanes, thunder and lightning.  There are some silver mines, turquoise, emeralds, crystal, &c.  The natives are naturally good and civil, governed by a captain named Casich [Probably "cacique"? Wikipedia.com says "cacique" is a tribal chief in Latin America, particularly of the Spanish West Indies and Brazil from the 16th century. The term is a Spanish or Portuguese variation of the Taíno word cacike or the Arawak word kassequa, both meaning "chieftain"], whom they choose themselves.  They are given to idolatry, and some adore the sun, others believe in a God, and some of them have no religion at all.
An Account of FLORIDA.
FLORIDA is a large and fruitful country in North America, bounded on the north-east by Carolina, on the south, and some part of the west, by New Galicia [comprised roughly the present states of Jalisco and Nayarit with S. Sinaloa, in W. Mexico] and some countries not yet discovered. The air is very temperate, and soil extremely fertile, and produces grain, herbs, and fruit in great abundance. --- Ferdinando Soto, after the conquest of Peru, entered this country May 25, 1538, and gave it the name Florida, because the flowers were then on the ground, but died of grief, for being disappointed of the treasures which he expected.  The native inhabitants were extirpated by the Spaniards, who disregarded every principle of humanity when the security of their acquisitions in the New World was in question; but this fine country was conquered from them by the English, to whom it was confirmed by the peace of Paris [in 1763]; its importance was however never sufficiently considered by them, and to gratify the jealousy of Spain it was restored to her at the peace of 1783 [in separate preliminary articles to the 1783 treaty of Paris]. --- It was divided into East and West: St. Augustine and Pensacola are its chief towns; and its commodities furs, pearls, and the most delicious fruits.  The Spaniards regard it as forming a desirable frontier between them and the United States of America; but as the soil and climate are inferior to none in the world, it will doubtless one day emerge from its obscurity, become populous, and hold a high rank in the world [good prediction - especially with retirees!].

An Account of CANADA.

CANADA is the chief province now possessed by the English in America; it is bounded by New Britain [in the Schreibers map of the 1740s, Nouvelle Bretagne is given as an alternate name for the Labrador] and Honduras Bay on the North and East [this probably refers to the earlier bounds of New France, which included Louisiana]; by Nova Scotia, New England, and New York on the South; and by some of the great lakes, the new settlements of the United States, and the yet remaining possessions of the native Indians, on the West.  The soil and climate are not very different from those of New England,  though it has a much severer winter; but the air is very clear, the summer hot and pleasant. --- The meadow grounds are well watered, yield excellent grass, and breed vast numbers of cattle.

This country was originally settled by the French; and in so doing Louis XIV. seems to have formed the vast design of consolidating all North America under his dominion: the English, under Wolf [sic], Amherst, and Monkton [sic], conquered it in the years 1759 and 1760; and it was confirmed to us [the British] at the peace of 1763. --- The inhabitants were guaranteed in all their privileges; and the Roman Catholic religion is yet the most prevalent, though all others are tolerated.  It has been lately divided into two provinces, Upper and Lower Canada, each having its separate government and legislature.  Its trade and population are annually and rapidly increasing.


Quebec, its capital, is situated at the confluence of the rivers St. Laurence and St. Charles, about 320 miles from the sea, and is very strong both by nature and art; when taken by the immortal Wolfe it was supposed to contain about 15,000 inhabitants, independent of the garrison, and has since had considerable additions.  The trade between Canada and England, the greater part of which centers here, is supposed to employ eight sail of shipping, and near 2000 seamen.

An Account of TERRA FIRMA.
TERRA FIRMA, or the Firm Land [today's Venezuela], is a large country of South America, and contains eleven governments, subject to the King of Spain.  The air here is extremely hot, though wholesome, the soil very fertile, when well manured.  The natives are tawney [sic], robust, healthful, long lived, and go naked about the middle.  The commodities are gold, silver, and other metals; balsam, rosin, gum, long pepper, emeralds, sapphire, jasper, &c.  Here is one Spanish archbishopric and four bishoprics; but the natives are idolaters.
An Account of PERU.

PERU is in South America, a large country, divided into six provinces.  The air in some parts is very hot, in others sharp and piercing.  The soil is the richest of all the (136) Spanish plantations, abounding with exceeding high mountains and large pleasant vallies.  The commodities are vast quantities of gold and silver, valuable pearls, medicinal drugs, cochineal [a crimson dye produced from the cochineal insect], tobacco, abundance of cotton, &c.  The natives are of a copper colour, tall and well made; but are so depressed by the Spaniards, it is impossible to form any judgment of their genius, virtues, or vices.

Of the Land of the AMAZONS.

THIS country is very little known, but as far as discovered the air is temperate, and the soil fertile.  There are on the banks of the river Amazon about fifty nations of fierce savage people, said to eat human flesh. --- The commodities are gold, silver, sugar, ebony, cocoa, tobacco, &c.  Their religion is Paganism, and language unknown.

An Account of BRAZIL.

BRAZIL is in the east of South America, bounded on the east by the Atlantic Ocean, on the west by some undiscovered countries between it and the mountains called Andes, on the north by Guiana, and on the south by Paraguay.  It was discovered by the Portuguese in 1501, and is still in great part subject to them.  The air is very temperate and wholesome, though under the torrid zone; (137) the soil fertile, and the country produces red or Brazil wood, sugar, amber, rosin, balm, tobacco, train oil [most likely whale oil], confectionary, &c.  The natives are reckoned cruel, but ingenious; have faint notions of religion, and speak several different languages, though they cannot pronounce either of the three letters L, F, R.  They are all naked, and neither sow nor reap, but live by hunting and by the fruits which the land produces of its own accord.

An Account of CHILI.

CHILI [the name is still spelled this way in French] is also a great country of South America, 400 leagues in length from north to south, is divided into three governments, and subject to the King of Spain.  In summer the air of this country is very warm, but in winter so extremely cold that it often kills man and beast.  The mountainous parts are generally dry and barren, but the vallies exceedingly fertile in maize, wheat, and other grain.  The people are white, tall, courageous, an warlike, but very gross Idolaters, the chief object of their worship being the devil, whom they call Eponamon, i.e. powerful.  The country is enriched with several mines of gold, and great quarries of jaspar [sic]. --- The commodities are gold, silver, maize, corn, honey, ostriches, and metals.  Most of them use the Spanish tongue, but some their ancient jargon.


A Persian Man and Woman in their proper Habits.

Persian couple

An Account of PERSIA.

PERSIA is a famous kingdom of Asia, called by the inhabitants Farsistan, and the Empire of the Sophy [www.bibliomania.com states that this name came from Sufi, Sàfavi, or Safi, the name of the dynasty which reigned over Persia for more than two centuries (1449–1722, nominally to 1736). The first king of the family was Isma’il, whose surname of Sufi or Safi is generally supposed to have been taken from Shaikh Safi-ud-din, the first of his more recent ancestors to become famous, and who belonged to the class of Sufis or philosophic devotees.].  It is bounded by the Caspian Sea, India, Persian Gulph, and Arabia Deserta.  The air of this country is temperate towards the north, but very hot in the summer towards the south.  Their grain is barley, millet, lentil, pease, beans, and oats; and all their provinces produce cotton, which grows upon bushes; their fruits are excellent, and they have vines in abundance, but in obedience to Mahomet's commands drink no wine, but sell it all to the Arminians [sic].  They (139) are suffered to make a syrup of sweet wine, to which they add an acid, and it serves them for their common drink.  They have a great number of mulberry trees for silk worms, silk being the principal manufacture in this country.  The people are of a middle stature, well set and thick, and of a tawny complexion; are neat and sharp, have good judgment, are civil to strangers, and very free of their compliments.  ---  Thus  a Persian that desires his friend to come to his house usually says, "I entreat you to honour my house with your presence: I so devote myself to your desires, that the apple of my eye shall be a path to your feet," &c. They are just in their dealings; and their commodities are rich silks, carpets, tissues, gold, silver, seal skins, goat skins, alabaster, metals, myrrh, fruits, &c. --- Their religion is Mahometanism, and their language has a great tincture of the Arabic.  Ispahan is the capital city.  The kingdom is hereditary, and government so despotic, that the Sophy, or King, makes his will his law, and disposes as he pleases both of the lives and estates of his subjects, who are very obedient, and never speak of their sovereign but with extraordinary respect.



An Account of DAYS, WEEKS, MONTHS, and YEARS.

THE day is either natural or artificial; the natural day is the space of twenty-four hours, (including both the dark and light part) in which time the sun is carried by the first mover from the east into the west, and so round the world into the east again.  The artificial day consists of twelve hours, i.e. from the sun's rising to its setting; and the artificial night is from the sun's setting to its rising.  The day is accounted with us for payment of money between the sun's rising and setting; but for indictment for murder the day is accounted from midnight to midnight, and so likewise are fasting days.

The Hebrews and Chaldeans begin their days at sun rising, and end at the next rising.

The Jews and Italians from sun-set to sun-set.  The Romans at midnight. The Egyptians from noon to noon, which account astronomers follow.

A week consists of seven mornings, or seven days, which the Gentiles call by the names of the seven planets (which they worshipped as Gods); the first day of the sun; the second day of the moon, &c.  In a week God made the world, i.e. in six days, and rested the seventh.


All civilized nations observe one day in seven, as a stated time of worship; the Turks and Mahometans keep the sixth day of the week, or Friday; the Jews the seventh, or Saturday; the Christians the first, or Sunday.

Of months there are various kinds; a solar month is the space of thirty days, in which time the sun runneth through one sign of the zodiac. 

A lunar month is that interval of time which the moon spendeth in wandering from the sun, in her oval circuit, through the twelve signs, until she returns to him again, (being sometimes nearer, sometimes farther from the earth) i.e. from the first day of her appearing next after her change, to the last day of her being visible, before her next change, which may be greater or lesser, according to her motion.

The usual or common months are those set down in our almanacks, containing some 30, some 31, and February but 28 days, according to these verses: 

Thirty days hath September,
April, June, and November;
February twenty-eight alone,
All the rest have thirty-one;
But when leap-year comes, that time
Has February twenty-nine.
A year is the space of time in which the sun runs through all the 12 signs of the zodiac:  containing 12 solar months, 13 lunar months, (142) 52 weeks, 365 days, and six hours, which six hours, in four years time, being added together, make one day, which day on every fourth year is added to February, making that month 29 days, which at other times is but 28; and this year with the additional day is called leap-year.

To find the Leap-Year.

Divide the year of our Lord by 4, and if there be no remainder, it is leap-year; but if there remains 1, 2, or 3, then that denotes the first, second, or third after leap-year [this ignores the rule that only centuries exactly divisible by 400 are leap-years (adopted in 1582)].


                                Troy Weight.


24 Grains [64.8 mg *]  --- 1 Pennyweight                      dwt.
20 Pennyweights 1 Ounce ---   oz.
12 Ounces --- 1 Pound  [0.373 kg]   lb.

By this weight are weighed jewels, gold, silver, corn, and all liquors.

                                Avoirdupois Weight.


16 Drams [1.772 g]  --- 1 Ounce ---                           oz.
16 Ounces --- 1 Pound ---   lb.
28 Pounds [0.454 kg] --- 1 Quar. of a hun.   qr.
20 Hundreds -- 1 Ton   ---   ton.


By this weight, which is now generally used in England, are weighed butter, cheese, groceries, &c.

N.B. One pound avoirdupois is equal to 14 oz. 11 dwts. 15½ grains troy; and one ounce troy is equal to 1 oz. 1 dram, and something above an half, avoirdupois.

                                Apothecaries' Weight.


20 Grains   1 Scruple ---                 scruple
3 Scruples --- 1 Dram  ---   dram
8 Drams   ---- 1 Ounce  ---                            ounce
12 Ounces --- 1 Pound ---   pound

By this weight apothecaries compound their medicines; but buy and sell their drugs by avoirdupois weight.

                               Wine Measure.

In short.       

2 Pints --- 1 Quart                  qrt.
4 Quarts --- 1 Gallon ---   gall..
63 Gallons --- 1 Hogshead ---   hhd.
2 Hogsheads --- 1 Pipe ---   pipe.
2 Pipes --- 1 Tun  ---   tun.

                                Beer Measure.


2 Pints --- 1 Quart  ---                  qrt.
4 Quarts --- 1 Gallon ---   gall.
9 Gallons --- 1 Firkin  ---   firk.
2 Firkins --- 1 Kilderkin ---   kild.
2 Kilderkins -- 1 Barrel ---   bar.
Barrel --- 1 Hogshead --   hhd.
3 Barrels, or 2 hhds. 1 Butt ---   butt.

N.B. Eight gallons make a firkin of ale.


                                Cloth Measure.

 In short.        

4 Nails --- 1 Quarter ---   qr.
4 Quarters -- 1 Yard ---   yd.

Note, An ell English is 5 quarters of a yard, and an ell Flemish is 3 quarters.



60 Seconds --- 1 Minute
60 Minutes --- 1 Hour 
24 Hours --- 1 Natural Day
7 Days 1 Week
4 Weeks 1 Month
13 Months, 1 day, and 6 hours, is   One
52 Weeks, 1 day, and 6 hours, is   Julian
365 Days, and 6 hours, is   Year.
8766 Hours, is

Note, An exact solar year is equal to 365 days, 5 hours, 48 minutes, 48 seconds, 57 thirds: and one lunar month is equal to 29 days, 12 hours, and 45 minutes.

                                Dry Measure.

In short.       

8 Pints --- 1 Gallon ---   gall.
2 Gallons --- 1 Peck ---   peck.
4 Pecks --- 1 Bushel  ---   bush.
4 Bushels --- 1 Coomb --   coomb.
2 Coombs -- 1 Quarter --   qr.
5 Quarters -- 1 Wey ----   wey.
2 Weys --- 1 Last ---   last.

                                Land Measure.


40 Square Perches --- 1 Rood                                           
4 Roods ---- 1 Acre

Note, 5 feet is a geometrical pace, and 1056 geometrical paces 1 English mile.


Long Measure.

12 Inches             ---- 1 Foot                                                 
3 Feet                    --- 1 Yard
5 Yards and ½    --- 1 Pole or perch
40 Poles   ---               --- 1 Furlong
8 Furlongs or 1760 yards 1 English mile

* see http://www.m-w.com/mw/table/weight.htm for other conversions



















































































THE use of this table is to find how many any one figure multiplied by another will make: suppose I wanted to know, how many seven  times eight is, I look into the table for 7 in the first rank of figures on the left hand, and for 8 in the top line; then carrying my finger strait from 7 in the first rank of figures, till  I come to that which has the figure 8 on the top of it, I there find 56, which is the exact number of 7 times 8, or 8 multiplied by 7.   So in all other instances look for the first figure in the left-hand rank or column, and for the figure you want to multiply by in the first or top line, and which ever square these two meet in, there is the amount.



Pence is
shilling and

---- 4

---- 2

---- --

---- 10

---- 8

---- 6

---- 4

---- 2

---- --

---- 10

---- 8

---- 6

---- 4

---- 2

---- --

---- 10

---- 8

---- 6

---- 4

---- 2

---- --

The above table shews how many shillings are contained in any number of pence from 20 to 240, and likewise how many pence there are in any number of shillings from 1 to 20; which will be found a great use in reckoning ma[?]ll money, and ought to be learned by heart, [ ]os [so as? (letter dropped)] to be ready on all occasions.





THO' the Pagans were grossly ignorant of the most important truths, with respect to God and religion; yet the virtuosi of this and preceding ages have been forced to acknowledge, that their tastes were elegant, sublime, and well-formed, with respect to works of sculpture, statuary, and architecture.  As a proof of this, in behalf of the ancients, 'tis only requisite we should take a cursory view of those noble and magnificent productions of art, commonly called THE SEVEN WONDERS OF THE WORLD.


Temple of Ephesus

THE first of these Seven Wonders was the Temple of Ephesus, founded by Ctesiphon, consecrated to Diana, and, (according to the conjectures of natural philosophers) situated in a marshy soil, for no other reason than that it might not be exposed to the violent shocks of earthquakes and volcanos.   This noble structure, which was 425 feet long, and 220 feet broad, had not its bulk alone to raise it above the most stately monuments of art, since (149) it was adorned with 127 lofty and well proportioned pillars of Parian marble, each of which had an opulent monarch for its erector and finisher; and so high did the spirit of emulation run in this point, that each succeeding potentate endeavoured to outstrip his predecessor in the richness, grandeur, and magnificence of his respective pillar.  As it is impossible for a modern to form a just and adequate idea of such a stupendous piece of art, 'tis sufficient to inform him, that the rearing of the Temple of Ephesus employed several thousands of the finest workmen of the times for 200 years: but as no building is proof against the shocks of time, and the injuries of the weather, so the Temple of Ephesus falling into decay, was, by the command of Alexander the Great, rebuilt by Dinocrates, his own engineer, the finest architect then alive.



Walls of Babylon

THE works of the cruel, though ingenious and enterprising Semiramis, next command our wonder and admiration.  These consisted of the walls erected about Babylon, and the pleasant gardens formed for her own delight.  This immense, or rather inconceivable profusion of art and expence [sic], employed 30,000 men for many years successively, so that we need not wonder when we are told by historians, that these walls were 300 or 350 stadia in circumference (which amount to 22

English miles), fifty cubits high [25 yards, or about 23 metres], and so broad that they could afford room for two or three coaches a-breast without any danger.  Though ancient records give us no particular accounts of the gardens, yet we may reasonably presume, that if so much time and treasure were laid out upon the walls, the gardens must not have remained without their peculiar beauties: thus 'tis more than probable that the gardens of Semiramis charmed the wondering eye with unbounded prospect, consisting of regular vistas, agreeable avenues, fine parterres, cool grottos and alcoves, formed for the delicious purposes of love, philosophy, retirement, or the gratification of any other passion, to which great and good minds are subject.



Tomb of Pharos

WE shall next take a view of the splendid and sumptuous Tomb of Pharos, commonly called the Egyptian Labyrinth. This structure, though designed for the interment of the dead, had nevertheless the pomp of a palace designed for a monarch, who thought he was to live for ever; since it contained sixteen magnificent apartments, corresponding to the sixteen provinces of Egypt; and it so struck the fancy of the celebrated Dedalus [usually called Daedalus], that from it he took the model of that re- (153) nowned labyrinth which he built in Crete, and which has eternized [sic] his name, for one of the finest artists in the world.

[There seems to be some confusion here - this wonder is usually given as the Lighthouse of Pharos, and the woodcut clearly shows some kind of lighthouse.  Conversely, the so-called Egyptian Labyrinth, while described by Herodotus in the 5th century BC as being more impressive than the pyramids, is not usually listed among the Seven Wonders.  Flinders Petrie suggested it was located at Hawara near Fayyum, but it is hard to see how such a vast structure could disappear so completely - so it may actually still be waiting to be rediscovered.  See www.catchpenny.org/labyrin.html]


Pyramid of Egypt

IF the amazing bulk, the regular form, and the almost inconceivable duration of public or monumental buildings call for surprize [sic] and astonishment, we have certainly just reason to give the Pyramids of Egypt a place among the Seven Wonders. These buildings remain (154) almost as strong and beautiful as ever, 'till this very time.  There are three of them; the largest of which was erected by Chemnis, one of the Kings of Egypt, as a monument of his power when alive, and for a receptacle of his body when dead [another name for Cheops, or Khufu].  It was situated about 16 English miles from Memphis, now known by the name of Grand Cairo, and was about 1440 feet in height, and about 143 feet long, on each side of the square basis.  It was built of hard Arabian stones, each of which is about 30 feet long.  The building of it is said to have employed 600,000 men for twenty years.  Chemnis however was not interred in this lofty monument, but was barbarously torn to pieces in a mutiny of his people.  Cephas [Chephren, Khafre(?)], his brother, succeeding him, discovered an equally culpable vanity, and erected another, though a less magnificent pyramid.  The third was built by King Mycernius [Menaure, Menkare] according to some, but, according to others, by the celebrated courtesan Rhodope.  This structure is rendered still more surprising, by having placed upon its top a head of black marble, 102 feet round the temples, and about 60 feet from the chin to the crown of the head [reference to the Sphynx?].


Tomb of Mausolus
THE next is the celebrated monument of conjugal love, known by the name of the Mausoleum, and erected by Artemesia, Queen of Caria, in honour of her husband Mausolus, whom she loved so tenderly, that, after his death, she ordered his body to be burnt, and put his ashes in a cup of wine, and drank it, that she might lodge the remains of her husband as near to her heart as she possibly could.  This structure she enriched with such a pro- (156) fusion of art and expence, that it was justly looked upon as one of the greatest wonders of the world, and ever since magnificent funeral monuments are called Mausoleums.

It stood in Halicarnassus, capital of the kingdom of Caria, between the King's Palace and the Temple of Venus.  Its breadth from N. to S. was 63 feet, and in circumference 411, and about 120 feet high.  Pyrrhus raised a pyramid on the top of it, and placed thereon a marble chariot drawn by four horses.  The whole was admired by all that saw it, except the philosopher Anaxagoras, who, at the sight of it, cried, "There is a great deal of money changed into stone."


The COLOSSUS of the SUN.

Colossus of Rhodes

THE Colossus of Rhodes, is justly accounted the sixth Wonder; a statue of so prodigious a bulk, that it could not have been believed, had it not been recorded by the best historians.   It was made of brass by one Chares of Asia Minor, who consumed twelve years in finishing it.   It was erected over the entry of the harbour of the city, with the right foot on one side, and the left on the other.  The largest ships could pass between the legs without lowering their masts.  It is said to have cost 44,000l. [44,000 pounds Sterling]  English money.  It was 800 feet in height, and all its members proportionable; so that when it was thrown down by an earthquake, after having stood 50 years, few men were able to embrace its little finger.   When the Saracens, who in 684 conquered the island, had broken this immense statue to pieces, they are said to have loaded above 900 camels with the brass of it.
 The IMAGE of Jupiter.

Image of Jupiter

THE last, most elegant, and curious of all these works, known by the name of the Seven Wonders, was the incomparable statue (159) of Jupiter Olympus, erected by the Elians, a people of Greece, and placed in a magnificent temple consecrated to Jupiter.  This statue represented Jupiter sitting in a chair, with his upper part naked, but covered down from the girdle, in his right hand holding an eagle, and in his left a sceptre.  This statue was made by the celebrated Phidias, and was 150 cubits high [225 feet].  The body is said to have been of brass, and the head of pure gold.  Caligula endeavoured to get it transported to Rome, but the persons employed in that attempt were frightened from their purpose by some unlucky accident.

Thus having given an Account of the Seven Wonders of the World, let us take a View of the Burning Mountains, or Volcanos, called Mount Vesuvius and Mount Ætna; than which there is, perhaps, nothing in the whole Course of Nature more worthy our Notice [sic] , or so capable of raising our Admiration; and which, when considered in a religious sense, may, with Justice, be said to be one of the wonderful Works of GOD.

MOUNT VESUVIUS stands about six miles from the city of Naples, and on the side of the Bay towards the East.  The plains round it form a beautiful prospect, and on one side are seen fruitful trees of different kinds, and vineyards that produce the most excellent wine; but when one ascends higher, on the side which looks to the South, the face of things is entirely changed, and one sees a tract of ground, which presents only images of horror, viz. a desolate country covered with ashes, pumice-stones, and cinders; together with rocks burned up with the fire, and split into dreadful precipices.  It is reckoned four miles high, and the top of it is a wide naked plain, smoking with sulphur in many places; in the midst of which plain stands (161) another high hill, in the shape of a sugar-loaf, on the top of which is a vast mouth or cavity, that goes shelving down on all sides about a hundred yards deep, and about four hundred over; from whence proceeds a continual smoke, and sometimes those astonishing and dreadful eruptions of flame, ashes, and burning matter, that fill the inhabitants around with consternation, and bear down and destroy all before it.  Among the many eruptions which it has had, at different times, we need instance only one, which happened on the fifth of June, 1717, and is thus related by Mr. Edward Berkley, who was present at the time, in his letter to Dr. Arbuthnot in England, viz. That he with much difficulty, reached the top of Vesuvius on the 17th of April, 1717, where says he, I saw a vast aperture full of smoke, and heard within that horrid gulph certain odd sounds, as it were murmuring, sighing, throbbing, churning, dashing of waves; and, between while, a noise like that of thunder or cannon, attended constantly, from the belly of the mountain, with a clattering like that of tiles falling from the tops of houses into a street.   After an hour's stay, the smoke being moved by the wind, I could discern two furnaces, almost contiguous; one on the left, which seemed to be about three yards diameter, glowed with red flames, and threw up red hot stones with a hideous noise, which, as they fell back, caused the fore-mentioned clattering.

On May 8, ascending to the top of Vesuvius, I had a full prospect of the crater, which ap- (162) peared to be about a mile in circumference, and a hundred yards deep, with a conical mount in the middle of the bottom, made of stones thrown up and fallen back again into the crater:  And the left-hand furnace, mentioned before, threw up every three or four minutes, with a dreadful bellowing, a vast number of red hot stones, sometimes more than a 1000, but never less than 300 feet higher than my head, as I stood upon the brink, which fell back perpendicularly into the crater, there being no wind.  This furnace or mouth was in the vortex of the hill, which it had formed round it.  The other mouth was lower, in the side of the same new-formed hill, and filled with such red hot liquid matter as we see in a glass-house furnace, which raged and wrought as the waves in the sea, causing a short abrupt noise, like what may be imagined from a sea of quicksilver dashing among uneven rocks.  This stuff would sometimes spew over, and run down the convex side of the conical hill, and appearing at first red hot, it changed colour, and hardened as it cooled, shewing the first rudiments of an eruption, or an eruption in miniature:  All which I could exactly survey by the favour of the wind, for the space of an hour and a half; during which it was very observable, that all the vollies [sic] of smoke, flame, and burning stone, came only out of the hole to our left, while the liquid stuff in the other mouth worked and overflowed.

On June 5, after a horrid noise, the mountain was seen, at Naples, to spew a little out of (163) the crater, and so continued till about two hours before night on the 7th, when it made hideous bellowing, which continued all that night, and the next day till noon, causing all the windows, and, as some affirm, the very houses in Naples (about six miles distant) to shake.  From that time it spewed vast quantities of melted stuff to the South, which streamed down the side of the mountain, like a pot boiling over.

On the 9th, at night, a column of fire shot at intervals out of its summit.

On the 10th, the mountain grew very outrageous again, roaring and groaning most dreadfully, sounding like a noise made up of a raging tempest, the murmur of a troubled sea, and the roaring of thunder and artillery, confused altogether.  This moved my curiosity to approach the mountain.  Three or four of us were carried in a boat, and landed at Torre del Greco, a town situate at the foot of Vesuvius to the S.W. whence we rode between four and five miles before we came to the burning river, which was about midnight; and as we approached, the roaring of the volcano grew exceeding loud and terrible.   I observed a mixture of colours in the cloud over the crater, green, yellow, red, and blue.  There was likewise a ruddy dismal light in the air, over the tract of land where the burning river flowed; ashes continually showering on us all the way from the sea-coast, which horrid scene grew still more extraordinary, as we came nearer the stream.  Imagine a vast torrent of liquid fire rolling from the top down the side (164) of the mountain, and with irresistible fury bearing down and consuming vines, olives, fig-trees, houses, and, in a word, every thing that stood in its way.

                       Death, in a thousand forms, destructive frown'd,

                       And Woe, Despair, and Horror rag'd around.

Æneid II. by Pitt [i.e. Virgil's Aeneid, tr. Rev. Christopher Pitt, 1753].
The largest stream of fire seemed half a mile broad at least, and five miles long.  During our return, at about three o'clock in the morning, we constantly heard the murmur and groaning of the mountain, which sometimes burst out into louder peals, throwing up huge spouts of fire, and burning stones, which, falling down again, resembled stars in our rockets.  Sometimes I observed two, and at others three distinct columns of flames, and sometimes one vast one, that seemed to fill the whole crater; which burning columns, and the fiery stones, seemed to be shot 1000 feet perpendicular above the summit of the volcano.

On the 11th, at night, I observed it from a terrace, at Naples, to throw up incessantly a vast body of fire, and great stones, to a surprising height.

On the 12th, in the morning, it darkened the sun with smoke and ashes, causing a sort of an eclipse.  Horrid bellowings, on this and the foregoing day, were heard at Naples, whither part of the ashes also reached.


On the 13th we saw a pillar of black smoke shoot upright to a prodigious height.

On the 15th, in the morning, the court and walls of our house in Naples were covered with ashes.  In the evening a flame appeared in the mountain through the clouds.

On the 17th, the smoke appeared much diminished, fat, and greasy.  And

On the 18th, the whole appearance ended, the mountain remaining perfectly quiet.

To this memorable account it cannot be amiss to add, that the first notice we have of this volcano's casting out flames, was in the reign of the Emperor Titus.  At which first eruption, we are informed, that it flowed with that vehemence, that it entirely overwhelmed and destroyed the two great cities Herculaneum and Pompeia [now usually called Pompeii], and very much damaged Naples itself, with its stones and ashes.

In 471, if we may credit tradition, this mountain broke out again so furiously, that its cinders and liquid fire were carried as far as Constantinople; which prodigy was thought, by superstitious minds, to presage the destruction of the empire, that happened immediately after, by that inundation of Goths, which spread itself all over Europe.

There are several other eruptions recorded, but not so considerable as the former, until 1631, when the earth shook so much as to endanger the total destruction of Naples and Benevento.  This did inestimable damage to the neighbouring places; and it is computed near 10,000 lost their lives in the flames and ruins.


The air was infected with such noxious vapours that it caused a plague, which lasted a long time, and spread as far as the neighbourhood of Rome [now known to be bubonic plague].  Since which time, the most memorable are the eruptions in 1701, (of which Mr. Addison, who saw it, has left us a good description), and in 1717, as described above, by a curious spectator.

There have been eight eruptions within the last 30 years; of some of which Sir Wm. Hamilton has favoured the world with very particular and interesting accounts.

                  What tongue the dreadful slaughter could disclose;

                  Or, oh! what tears could answer half their woes?

Explanation of the Cut of Mount Vesuvius.

  1. The Southern Summit, out of which the fire proceeds.

  2. The Northern Summit.

  3. The Rocks on the North.

  4. The Valley between the two Summits.

  5. The Opening on the Side where the fiery Torrent broke out.

  6. The first Opening, called the Plain.

  7. The Course which the last fiery Torrent took.

  8. The Chapel of St. Januarius.

HAVING been so particular in describing Vesuvius, we need say the less concerning ÆTNA, which is the greatest mountain in Sicily, eight




miles high, and sixty in compass.  There are many of its furious eruptions recorded in history, some of which have proved very fatal to the neighbourhood; we shall instance only one, that began the 11th of March, 1669, and is thus described in the Philosophical Transactions [wikipedia.com states that this is a scientific journal published by the Royal Society; begun in 1665, it is the oldest scientific journal printed in the English-speaking world, and it is still being published], viz.

It broke out towards the evening, on the south-east side of the mountain, about twenty miles from the old mouth, and ten from the city of Catanea.  The bellowing noise of the eruption was heard a hundred miles off, to which distance the ashes were also carried.  The matter thrown out was a stream of metal and minerals, rendered liquid by the fierceness of the fire, which boiled up at the mouth like water at the head of a great river; and having run a little way, the extremity thereof began to crust and cruddle [obsolete term for "curdle"], turning into large porous stones, resembling cakes of burning sea-coal.  These came rolling and tumbling one over another, bearing down any common building by their weight, and burning whatever was combustible.  At first the progress of this inundation was at the pace of three miles in 24 hours, but afterwards scarcely a furlong [8th of a mile] in a day.  It thus continued for fifteen or sixteen days together, running into the sea close by the walls of Catanea, and at length over the walls into the city, where it did no considerable damage, except to a convent, which it almost destroyed.

In its course it overwhelmed fourteen towns and villages, containing three or four thousand inhabitants; and it is very remarkable, that (during the whole time of this eruption, which was fifty-four days), neither sun nor stars appeared.


But though Catanea had at this time the good fortune to escape the threatened destruction, it was almost totally ruined in 1692 by an earthquake, one of the most terrible in all history.  This was not only felt all over Sicily, but likewise in Naples and Malta.  The shock was so violent, that the people could not stand on their legs, and those that lay on the ground were tossed from side to side, as if upon a rolling billow.  The earth opened in several places, throwing up large quantities of water, and great numbers perished in their houses by the fall of rocks, rent from the mountains.   The sea was violently agitated, and roared dreadfully.  Mount Ætna threw up vast spires of flame, and the shock was attended with a noise exceeding the loudest claps of thunder.  Fifty-four cities and towns, with an incredible number of villages, were destroyed, or greatly damaged; and it was computed, that near 60,000 people perished in different parts of the island, very few escaping the general and sudden destruction.

There have been ten other eruptions, one of which, subsequent to the preceding in 1753, was a very large one.  Mr. Brydone, in his tour of Sicily and Malta, has given many ingenious particulars concerning it.


Explanation of NUMBERS expressed by Letters.

Roman Numerals


A less Numerical Letter, set before a greater, takes away from the greater so many as the letter stands for; but being set after the greater, adds so many to it as the letter stands for. ---  For example, V stands for five alone, but put I before it, thus IV, and it stands for four; and put I on the other side, thus VI, and it stands for six.  So X alone stands for ten, but put I before it, thus IX, and it stands for nine; and put I to it on the other side, thus XI, and it becomes eleven.  So L stands for fifty; put X before it, thus XL, and it stands for forty, but put the X on the other side, thus LX, and it is sixty.  So C stands for one hundred, place X before it, thus XC, and it is but ninety; again, put the X on the other side, thus CX, and it is one hundred and ten.  So in all other cases.





A Letter from Master JACKY CURIOUS, in London, to his Mamma in the Country, giving a Description of the Tower, Monument, and St. Paul's Church.             Honoured Madam,

AT my departure, I remember you ordered me to send you accounts of every thing I saw remarkable in London; I will obey your commands as well as I can; but pray excuse my defects, and let my will plead for my inability, to entertain my absent friends.

I am just now come from seeing the tower, monument and St. Paul's cathedral, (places which I remember to have heard much talk of in the country, and which scarce any body that comes to London omits seeing).  The tower, which stands by the Thames, is a large strong building, surrounded with a high wall, about a mile in compass, and a broad ditch supplied with water out of the River Thames.  Round the outward wall are guns planted, which on extraordinary occasions are fired.  At the entrance, the first thing we saw was a (172) collection of wild beasts, viz. lions, panthers, tygers [sic], &c. also eagles and vultures: These are of no sort of use, and kept only for curiosity and shew.  We next went to the mint, (which is in the tower observe) where we saw the manner of coining money, which is past my art, especially in the compass of a letter, to describe.  From thence we went to the jewel room, and saw the crown of England, and other regalia, which are well worth seeing, and gave me a great deal of pleasure.  The next is the horse armory, a grand sight indeed; here are fifteen of our English monarchs on horseback, all dressed in rich armour, and attended by their guards; but I think it not so beautiful as the next thing we saw, which was the small armory:  This consists of pikes, muskets, swords, halberts [sic], and pistols, sufficient, as they told us, for three-score thousand men;  and are all placed in such different figures, representing the sun, star and garter, half moons, and such like, that I was greatly delighted with it; and they being all kept clean and scowered, made a most brilliant appearance.  Hence we went and saw the train of artillery, in the grand storehouse, as they call it, which is filled with cannon and mortars, all extremely fine:  Here is also a diving-bell, with other curiosities too tedious to mention; which having examined, we came away and went to the monument, which was built in remembrance of the fire of London: It is a curious lofty pillar, 200 feet high, and on the top a gallery, to which we (173) went by tedious winding stairs in the inside: from this gallery we had a survey of the whole city:  And here having feasted our eyes with the tops of houses, ships, and multitude of boats on the River Thames, we came down and went to St. Paul's Cathedral, which is a most magnificent pile, and stands on high ground, near the centre of the city.  This noble building struck me with surprise, and is admired by the whole world, as well for its beautiful architecture as height and magnitude; it has a grand awful [awe-inspiring] choir, chapel, a dome finely painted by that masterly hand Sir J. Thornhill, a whispering gallery, and other curiosities, with which I conclude my first letter, and am,


                             Your very dutiful son,

                                           JOHN CURIOUS.


       Honoured Madam,

I NOW proceed to acquaint you with my next excursion, in search of the curiosities of this famous city; which was to Westminster Abbey.  This is really a magnificent ancient building; but what most surprised me, was the vast number of beautiful monuments and figures with which the inside is adorned.  Among such as were pointed out to me, as being remarkable either for their costliness or (174) beauty, I remember were those of the Duke of Newcastle, a magnificent and expensive piece, Sir Isaac Newton, General Stanhope, the Earl of Chatham, General Wolf, and that exquisite statue of Shakepeare, which, I am told, is inimitable.  When I had for some time enjoyed the pleasure of gazing at these, I was conducted into that part of the church where the Royal monuments are placed.  These, I thought, were exceeding grand.  But nothing surprised and delighted me so much as King Henry the Seventh's chapel, which, for beauty and magnificence, I am told, far surpasses any thing of that kind in Europe.   Here too I saw the chair in which the Kings of England are crowned, which, I believe, is more regarded for its antiquity, and the honourable use it is assigned to, than for any great beauty it has, at least that I could discover.

The next sight that entertained me, was the effigies of King William and Queen Mary in wax, as large as the life, standing in their coronation robes; they are said to be very well done, and to bear a great resemblance to the life.  Queen Anne, the Duchess of Richmond, the Duke of Buckingham, &c. all of the same composition, and richly dressed, are there also.  In short, there are so many curiosities contained in this venerable repository, that, to describe one half of them would as far exceed the compass of a letter, as of my abilities to do justice to them:  However, I shall just mention some which appeared to me most (175) worthy of notice.  But these must be the subject of a future letter, from,

                                      Honoured Madam,

                                                    Your, &c.

           Honoured Madam,

AS I have the pleasure to find that my letters, however mean in themselves, are agreeable to my dear parent, I shall continue my account of some of those many curiosities which I saw in Westminster-Abbey.  Among the monuments of our ancient Kings is that of Henry V. whose effigy has lost its head, which being of silver, I am told, was stolen in the civil wars.

Here are two coffins covered with velvet, in which are said to be the bodies of two Ambassadors, detained here for debt; but what were their names, or what Princes they served, I could not learn.

Our guide next showed us the body of King Henry the Fifth's Queen, Catherine, in an open coffin, who is said to have been a very beautiful Princess; but whose shrivelled skin, much resembling discoloured parchment, may now serve as a powerful antidote to that vanity with which frail beauty is apt to inspire its possessors.


Among the waxen effigies, I had almost forgot to mention King Charles II. and his faithful servant General Monk, whose furious aspect has something terrible in it.

Not far from these is the figure of a lady, one of the Maids of Honour to Queen Elizabeth [Queen Elizabeth I, of course], who is said to have bled to death by only pricking her finger with a needle [probably hemophilia].

I must now return to those monuments, which are in the open part of the church, and free to every one's sight; for those I have been speaking of are inclosed [sic], and not to be seen without a small gratuity to the conductor.

Among these, then, on the north side, stands a magnificent monument erected to Lady Carteret, for whose death some reports assign a cause something odd, viz. the late French King Louis the XIV.'s saying, That a lady (whom one of his Nobles compared to Lady Carteret) was handsomer than she [can anyone shed light on this?].

Near this stands a grand monument of Lord De Courcy, with an inscription, signifying that one of his ancestors had obtained a privilege of wearing his hat before the King.

Next these follow a groupe [sic] of  Statesmen, Warriors, Musicians, &c. among whom is Col. Bingfield, who lost his head by a cannon ball, as he was remounting the Duke of Marlborough, whose horse had been shot under him.

The famous musicians Purcell, Gibbons, Blow, and Crofts, have here their respective monuments and inscriptions; as has also that eminent painter Sir Godfrey Kneller, with an (177) elegant epitaph by Mr. Pope.  As you enter the west door of the church, on the right hand stands a monument with a curious figure of Secretary Craggs, on whom likewise Mr. Pope has bestowed a beautiful epitaph.  On the south side is a costly monument, erected by Queen Anne to the memory of that brave Admiral Sir Cloudesley Shovel, who was shipwrecked on the rocks of Scilly.  In the same aisle, and nearly opposite to this, is a beautiful monument of white marble, to the memory of Thomas Thynne, of Long-Leat, in the county of Wilts, Esq. who was shot in his coach, on Sunday the 12th of February, 1682:   In the front is cut the figure of him in his coach, with those of the three assassins who murdered him.  At the end of this aisle, and on one side of what is called the Poets' Row, lies covered with a handsome monument, and his effigy a large as the life, the very famous Dr. Busby, Master of Westminster School, whose strict discipline and severity are every where so much talked of.

I must now take notice of the Poets, whose monuments stand mostly contiguous.  Here are the ancient monuments of Chaucer and Spencer, with those of Ben Johnson, Drayton, Milton, and Butler; also of the great Dryden, the ingenious Phillips, the divine Cowley, the harmonious Prior, and the inimitable Shakespeare, of whose curious effigy I have spoken before: nor must I omit the gentle Mr. John Gay, to whose memory his Grace the Duke of Queensberry has erected a noble monument, (178) which Mr. Pope has adorned with a very elegant inscription in verse.  I must here end my remarks, but cannot take leave of this venerable place, without observing, that it has many curious painted windows, a noble choir, a fine organ, and a magnificent altar-piece.

                   I am, Honoured Madam, &c.

A memorable Saying of the Duke de ORLEANS, at the Surrender of Gravelling, with a generous Action of that Prince. WHEN Gravelling was surrendered to the Duke of Orleans, just as he entered into town he was heard to say these words:  "Let us endeavour, by generous actions, to win the hearts of all men; so we may hope for a daily victory.  Let the French learn from me this new way of conquest, to subdue men by mercy and clemency." [Many states of our day and age could benefit from this advice!]

With what a matchless virtue did this Prince dismiss a gentleman that was hired to murder him!  This assassin was suffered to pass into the Duke's bedchamber one morning early, pretending business of grave moment from the Queen.  As soon as the Duke cast his eyes on him, he spoke thus:  "I know thy business, friend: thou art sent to take away my life.  What hurt have I done thee?  It is now in my power, with a word, to have thee cut in pieces before my face.  But I pardon thee; go thy way, and see my face no more."


The gentleman, stung with his own guilt, and astonished at the excellent nature of this Prince, fell on his knees, confessed his design, and who employed him; and having promised eternal gratitude for his Royal favour, departed without any other notice taken of him; and fearing to tarry in France, entered himself into the service of the Spanish King.  It was his fortune afterwards to encounter the Duke of Orleans in a battle in Flanders.  The Duke, at that instant, was oppressed with a crowd of Germans, who surrounded him; and, in the conflict, he lost his sword; which this gentleman perceiving, nimbly stept to him, and delivered one into the Duke's hand, saying withal, "Now reap the fruit of thy former clemency.  Thou gavest me my life, now I put thee in a capacity to defend thy own."  The Duke by this means at length escaped the danger he was in; and that day the fortune of war was on his side.  The French had a considerable victory.

You see by this, that heroic actions have something divine in them, and attract the favours of Heaven.  No man was a loser by good works; for though he be not presently rewarded, yet, in length of time, some happy emergency arises to convince him, "That virtuous men are the darlings of Providence."


The remarkable Story of GIOTTO, an Italian Painter, and his Crucifix.
IT was a cruel and inhuman caprice of an Italian Painter (I think his name was Giotto), who designing to draw a crucifix to the life, wheedled a poor man to suffer himself to be bound to the cross an hour, at the end of which he should be released again, and receive a considerable gratuity for his pains.  But instead of this, as soon as he had him fast on the cross, he stabbed him dead, and then fell to drawing.  He was esteemed the greatest master in all Italy at that time; and having this advantage of a dead man hanging on a cross before him, there is no question but he made a matchless piece of work on't.

As soon as he had finished his picture he carried it to the Pope, who was astonished, as at a progidy [sic] of art, highly extolling the exquisiteness of the features and limbs, the languishing pale deadness of the face, the unaffected sinking of the head:  In a word, he had drawn to the life not only that privation of sense and motion which we call death, but also the very want of the least vital symptom.

This is better understood than expressed. -- Every body knows that it is a master-piece to represent a passion or a thought well and natural. -- Much greater is it to describe the total absence of these interior facilities, so as to dis-

(181) tinguish the figure of a dead man from one that is only asleep.

Yet all this, and much more, could the Pope discern in the admirable draught which Giotto presented him.  And he liked it so well, that he resolved to place it over the altar of his own chapel.  Giotto told him, since he liked the copy so well he would shew him the original, if he pleased.

What dost thou mean by the original, said the Pope? [odd punctuation]  Wilt thou shew me Jesus Christ on the cross in his own person?  No, replied Giotto, but I'll shew your Holiness the original from whence I drew this, if you will absolve me from all punishment.  The good old father suspecting something extraordinary from the painter's thus capitulating with him, promised, on his word, to pardon him, which Giotto believing, immediately told him where it was; and attending him to the place, as soon as they were entered, he drew a curtain back which hung before the dead man on the cross, and told the Pope what he had done.

The Holy Father, extremely troubled at so inhuman and barbarous an action, repealed his promise, and told the painter he should surely be put to an exemplary death.

Giotto seemed resigned to the sentence pronounced upon him, and only begged leave to finish the picture before he died, which was granted him.  In the mean while a guard was set upon him to prevent his escape.  As soon as the Pope had caused the picture to be delivered

(182) into his hands, he takes a brush, and dipping it into a sort of stuff he had ready for that purpose, daubs the picture all over with it, so that nothing now could be seen of the crucifix, for it was quite effaced in all outward appearance.

This made the Pope stark mad; he stamped, foamed, and raved like one in a phrenzy: he swore the painter should suffer the most cruel death that could be invented, unless he drew another full as good as the former, for if but the least grace was missing, he would not pardon him; but if he would produce an exact parallel he should not only give him life, but an ample reward in money.

The painter, as he had reason, desired this under the Pope's signet, that he might not be in danger of a second repeal; which was granted him; and then he took a wet sponge, and wiped off the varnish he had daubed on the picture, and the crucifix appeared the same in all respects as it was before.

The Pope, who looked upon this as a great secret, being ignorant of the arts which the painters use, was ravished at the strange metamorphosis.  And to reward the painter's triple ingenuity, he absolved him from all his sins, and the punishment due them; ordering moreover his steward to cover the picture with gold, as a farther gratuity for the painter.  And, they say, this crucifix is the original, by which the most famous crucifixes in Europe are drawn.


FABLE of the HARE and many FRIENDS. By Mr. GAY.

Hare and friends

FRIENDSHIP, like love, is but a name,
  Unless to one you stint the flame,
The child whom many fathers share,
Hath seldom known a father's care;
'Tis thus in friendship; who depend
On many, rarely find a friend.
   A hare, who, in a civil way,
Complied with ev'ry thing, like Gay,
Was known by all the bestial train
Who haunt the wood, or graze the plain;
Her care was, never to offend,
And ev'ry creature was her friend.

  As forth she went at early dawn,
To taste the dew-besprinkled lawn,
Behind she hears the hunter's cries,
And from the deep-mouth'd thunder flies;
She starts, she stops, she pants for breath;
She hears the near advance of death;
She doubles to mislead the hound,
And measures back her mazy round;
'Till, fainting in the public way,
Half dead with fear she gasping lay.
  What transports in her bosom grew,
When first the horse appear'd in view!
  Let me, says she, your back ascend,
And owe my safety to a friend;
You know my feet betray my flight,
To friendship every burden's light.
  The horse replied, poor honest puss,
It grieves my heart to see thee thus;
Be comforted, relief is near,
For all your friends are in the rear.
  She next the stately bull implor'd,
And thus replied the mighty lord;
Since every beast alive can tell
That I sincerely wish you well,
I may, without offence, pretend
To take the freedom of a friend;
Love calls me hence; a fav'rite cow
Expects me near yon barley mow;
And when a lady's in the case,
You know all other things give place.
To leave you thus might seem unkind,
But see, the goat is just behind.


  The goat remark'd her pulse was high,
Her languid head, her heavy eye;
My back, says he, may do you harm;
The sheep's at hand, and wool is warm.
  The sheep was feeble, and complain'd
His sides a load of wool sustain'd,
Said he was slow, confest his fears;
For hounds eat sheep as well as hares.
  She now the trotting calf addrest,
To save from death a friend distrest.
  Shall I, says he, of tender age,
In this important care engage?
Older and abler past you by;
How strong are those!  how weak am I!
Should I presume to bear you hence,
Those friends of mine may take offence:
Excuse me then.  You know my heart,
But dearest friends, alas, must part!
How shall we all lament:  Adieu!
For see the hounds are just in view. 

[Pretty depressing - I was expecting a happy ending!]


The dying Words and Behaviour of three great
Men, when just quitting the Stage of Life.

SIR Francis Walsingham, towards the end of his life, grew very melancholy, and writ to the Lord Burleigh to this purpose: "We have lived long enough to our country,. to our fortunes, and to our Sovereign;  it is high time we begin to live to ourselves, and to our God."

Sir Henry Wotton, who had gone on several embassies, and was intimate with the greatest Princes, chose to retire from all, saying,  The utmost happiness a man could attain to, was to be at leisure to be, and to do good;  never reflecting on his former years, but with tears, he would say, "How much time have I to repent of! and how little to do it in!"

Philip III. King of Spain, seriously reflecting upon the life he had led in the world, cried out upon his death-bed, How happy were I, had I spent those twenty-three years that I have held my kingdom, in a retirement!  saying to his confessor, "My concern is for my soul, not my body."