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9. Many people believe that long ages ago the land which now forms the bottom of the North Sea was once higher, and that our islands were then part of the mainland.

10. The Atlantic Ocean, which beats against the western shores, brings warm currents and sends warm clouds of moisture over the British Isles, which make the climate mild and the crops luxuriant.

11. The position of our islands, with sea on all sides, and midway between the eastern and western continents, is of great advantage for trade and commerce. Our ships carry goods to and from all parts of the world, and distribute our manufactures to every land.

SCOTLAND.

LESSON 2.--ITS EXTENT.

1. Scotland, the northern portion of the island of Great Britain, was a separate kingdom till its king, James VI., ascended the throne of England as heir to Queen Elizabeth in the year 1603, and united the two countries under one ruler.

2. The deep inlet of Solway Firth and the line of the Cheviot Hills and moorlands between the Solway and the Tweed, together with the lower portion of that river, form the boundary between England and Scotland. In former times the boundary line was never very carefully marked; and petty raids and cattle-stealing expeditions formed constant pretexts for border warfare.

3. Armies passed between the two countries most easily by the low coast-lands near the mouth of the Tweed; and the fortified town of Berwick-upon-Tweed (Ber'-ik),

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which stands here on the north bank of the river, was looked upon as the key to Scotland.

4. The remaining boundaries of Scotland are marked by the ocean. The North Sea lies between the east coast and the peninsulas of Denmark and Scandinavia. The north and west coasts are washed by the Atlantic Ocean. On the south-west the coast approaches the north-eastern shores of Ireland, from which it is separated by the North Channel. The short piece of southern coast is washed by the Irish Sea.

5. Islands extending northward and others flanking the coast on the west, give the country an appearance of greater size than it really has. The extreme points of the mainland—the Mull of Galloway in the south and Dunnet Head in the north—are 288 miles apart; Buchan Ness in the east and Ardnamurchan Point (Ard-na-mur'-kan) in the west are 175 miles apart.

6. The country is very irregular in shape. The broadest part is in the centre, while in the northern part the seas of the east and west (Dornoch (Dor’-nok) Firth and Loch Broom) approach within 24 miles of each other. Farther south, the distance from the Firth of Forth to the Firth of Clyde is but 30 miles. The total amount of the surface or area of Scotland, including the many islands, is 30,000 square miles.

LESSON 3.—THE COASTS.--I.

1. No country shows in a more marked manner than Scotland the wearing effects of the ocean on the land. This is seen notably on the west, where the ocean seems to have eaten its way into the land so as to give it a very ragged appearance. The coast of the country is 2500 miles long, or, including the larger islands, 3500 miles.

2. The eastern coast has two estuaries in the souththe Firths of Forth and Tay; and two large inlets in the north —the Moray (Mur'-y) and Dornoch Firths.

3. The principal capes are—St. Abb’s Head in the south, a lofty island-like promontory; Fife Ness, the projecting headland of the Fife peninsula; and Buchan Ness (Buck'-an), the most easterly point of the country.

4. The few rocky islets off this coast are only remarkable for the sea-birds which frequent them, and for the shipwrecks which have taken place upon them. The most famous of these dangerous places is the Bell Rock or Inch Cape, off the entrance to the Firth of Tay, which is hidden at high water, and but six or eight feet above sea-level at low tide. A tall lighthouse surmounts it, but in ancient times there was a bell fastened upon the rock, which was rung by the action of the waves, and bells are still tolled in the lighthouse in foggy weather.

5. There is a legend about the Inchcape Rock which the poet Southey has put into verse. It tells of Ralph the Rover, a pirate, who was sailing away on an expedition when he wickedly cut from its float the warning bell which a good Abbot of Arbroath (or Aberbrothock) had placed upon the rock.

“Down sank the bell with a gurgling sound:
The bubbles arose and burst around.
Quoth Sir Ralph, 'The next who comes to the rock
Will not bless the priest of Aberbrothock.'

“Sir Ralph the Rover sailed away;
He scoured the seas for many a day;
And now grown rich with plundered store,
He steers his course for Scotland's shore.”

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