« AnteriorContinuar »
On a former occasion, we laid before our readers a concise view of Geology, or the Earth in its former condition; the object of the present volume is to offer a general outline of the EARTH AS IT IS.
Geology may be compared to Ancient History, around which, distance of time and partial obscurity throw the halo of classical interest. Physical GEOGRAPHY, on the other hand, resembles Modern History, or rather, perhaps, records of daily recurring events,—events in which our own personal interests are concerned. And should it be thought that our present subject does not possess the peculiar charm with which antiquity invests the science of Geology, it will be found, that it does not yield to that, or to any other, in importance, or in the interesting views it unfolds.
Our design being to give a general outline of the Earth in its present condition, both as regards the laws by which it is governed, and its more striking natural features, it has appeared to us, that this end would be more effectually attained by uniting Physical with Descriptive Geography. We have, therefore, not confined our attention to the subjects usually embraced in treatises on Physical Geography, but have superadded a brief description of the leading features of the terrestrial globe, collated
from the most modern and authentic sources. And it is hoped, that by this arrangement each branch of our present subject will tend to elucidate the other; and, that not only will the science of Physical Geography appear in a new and very generally interesting light, but also, that a more comprehensive view of the Earth as it is, will be obtained ; and the desideratum of a concise and popular outline of Natural Geography in its present advanced state, be in some measure supplied.
It would be an almost endless task to enumerate the various authorities from which valuable information has been derived; but the Author cannot refrain from mentioning more especially, the writings of Whewell, Leslie, and Traill; the Journals of the Royal Geographical Society; Murray's Encyclopædia of Geography; and the Reports of Dr. Richardson, Colonel Sykes, and others, to the British Association of Science.