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February brings the rain,
GREAT, wide, beautiful, wonderful World,
The wonderful air is over me,
You friendly Earth ! how far do you go,
MATTHEW BROWNE. From “ Good WORDS FOR THE YOUNG.”
MANY of you have friends who live in distant countries. Almost all of you have relations living in different parts of England.
When you grow up, you may wish to travel in search of work; so, for many reasons, you ought to know something about geography.
Geography tells us about the world in which we
That world is nearly round, though it does not look so to us. Some children think that it is flat, like a table. If it were, and we travelled straight on, we should look over the edge; whereas, if we travel straight on, we come back to the very place from which we set out. If a fly crawled straight forward on an orange he would get back to his starting-place.
The world moves round, just as your top does when you spin it, only, besides whirling on its own axis, as it is called, as you see the globe does when you give it a twist, the earth also goes round the sun every year.
The world takes about one day to go round on its own axis. When the part of the world on which we live is turned towards the sun, it is day; when it turns away, it is night. The sun stands still. The world is about 24,000 miles round.
You will see on the map, that the world is covered by land and water. But there is three times as much water as land ; so the fish have a fine time. .
The land is divided into two great parts, called the Old and New World. The New World was only discovered by the people living in the Old about 300 years ago. The New World consists of North and South America and a good many islands. North and South America are much the shape of two shoulders of mutton. The Old World is divided into Europe, Asia, Africa, and Australia, and some smaller islands.
The top of a map is usually called the north, the bottom the south; the right-hand side is the east, and the left the west.
The land in the world is divided into islands, peninsulas, isthmuses, and capes or promontories.
An island is a bit of land with water all round it. England, Scotland, and Wales, joined together, make an island.
A peninsula is land with water round it on every side but one. Africa is a peninsula.
An isthmus is a narrow bit of land joining two others together. The little bit of land which joins North to South America is an isthmus.
A cape or promontory is a bit of land that runs out into the sea, like the Cape of Good Hope, in Africa.
The divisions of water are oceans, seas, lakes, straits, gulfs or bays, and rivers.
An ocean is an enormous piece of water stretching thousands of miles, and so deep that it cannot be measured. In some parts, where it is shallow, we can see the beautiful sand and sea-weed at the bottom, and fish swimming about.
Find the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans on the map.
A strait is a narrow bit of water joining two larger ones together.
Find the Straits of Dover, at the south of England, which join together the North Sea and the English Channel.
A gulf, or bay, is where the water runs into the land.
Find the Bay of Biscay.
A river is a stream of water, beginning generally amongst hills, flowing down, and emptying itself into the sea.
Find the River Thames, in England.
We said that England, Scotland, and Wales make one Island. Ireland, another island close by, belongs also to our Queen. These four countries are called the British Isles.
Now you must learn the names of the pieces of water that wash the edge of the land all round England, Scotland, and Wales.
On the north is the Northern Ocean, where, if you go far enough, it is so cold that mountains of ice may be seen sailing about it.
On the south is the English Channel, which, in one place, separates us by only 21 miles from the coast of France.
On the east, is the German Ocean, over which blows the east wind that gives us coughs and colds.
And on the west is the big North Atlantic Ocean, reaching to America.