A description of the four parts of the world

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A description of the four parts of the world (1800)
by John Hadding
3208265A description of the four parts of the world1800John Hadding




Four Parts of the World,



With the Several Kingdoms, &c. contained therein.

Together with the Religion, Nature of the Air, Soil, and different Traffick of each Province or Kingdom.

To which is added,

An Introduction for the more easy understanding the Form of the World.

Stirling, Printed by C. Randall.



For the more easy understanding the Form of the World.

THE whole globe of the Earth is considered as a body of land and water, divided as follows, viz.

Land into Continents, Islands, Peninsulas, Isthmusles, Promontories, Mountains———Water into Oceans, Seas, Gulphs, Streights, Lakes, and Rivers.

1. A Continent is a large piece of dry land, comprehending divers countries, kingdoms, and states, joining altogether without an entire separation of its parts by water.

2. An island is a part of dry land environed round with water.

3. A Peninsula is a part of dry land every where enclosed with water, save one neck adjoining the same to the Continent.

4. An Isthmus is that narrow neck of land annexing the Peninsula to the Con-tinent, by which people may enter into one from the other.

5. A Promontory is a high part of land stretching out itself into the sea, the extremity whereof is commonly termed a Cape or Head-Land.

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

7. The Ocean is a large rendezvous, or great collection of waters, environing a considerable part of the Continent.

8. The Sea is a smaller collection of waters, intermixed with islands, and entirely or mostly environed with land.

9. A Gulph is a part of the sea every where environed with land except one passage, whereby it communicates with the neighbouring sea or main ocean.

10. A Streight is a narrow passage, whereby either joining a gulph to the neighbouring sea or ocean, or one part of the sea or ocean to another.

11. A Lake is a smaller collection of deep standing waters entirely surrounded with land and having no visible or immediate communication with the sea.

12. A River is a considerable stream of fresh water issuing out of one or various fountains, and continually gliding along in one or more channels, till it disgorgeth itself at last into the ocean.


Of EUROPE in General.

EUROPE, the least of the four parts of the world, yet not inferior to the rest in the generosity of the people, their riches, worth and virtue; and exceeds them, if we consider the true religion; it is said to take its name from Europea, the daughter of Agenor, King of Phenicia, containing many flourishing kingdoms. It is 2800 miles in length, 1200 in breadth; bounded on the West with the main ocean, on the East with the Ægean sea, Pontus Euxinus, the fens of Moetus, and the river Tanias; and from the bay of Granvicus, it is disjointed from Asia. In the North it is bounded by the Hyperborean sea, and on the South with the Mediterranean, divided in continents and islands, the continents are all entire, and the islands dispersed in the Greek, Iconion, Ægeion, Adriatic, Mediterranean, Cretan and the Northern seas; divided chiefly into France, Spain, Italy, the Alps, Germany, Britain, Belgium, Denmark, Swedeland, Hungary, Sclavonia, Russia, Poland, Dacia, and Greece, with the dispersed islands. In Europe are divers tongues, such as Latin (which was the original) French, Italian &c. &c. It has been twice famous for giving laws to all the world, and at this day, though the least of the four parts it excels in what may be called Solid Good.


The air is cold, and the soil not very fruitful; however, it abounds with various sorts of filth, and several mines of tin, brass, iron, and copper. The longest day here is sixteen hours and the shortest six and a half. Its chief commodities are metals, ox hides, skins, furs, tallow, tar, honey, and oaks. Lutheranism is the established religion.


This kingdom lies north of England, the air is cold and misty, the soil is good and affords plenty of corn and pasturage. Its chief commodities are fish particularly herrings, furniture for ships, armour hides, tailow, fir, wainscot &c. Longest day 17 hours and a half shortest eight and a half. Religion Lutherism.


The air is very cold and the soil so barren, that it is but thinly inhabited. Its commodities are stock fish, which the poor people dry, and use in instead of bread, rich furs, train oil, pitch, masts cables, deal boards, which they exchange for corn, and other necessaries of life. The longest day two months the shortest six hours and a half. They are a hardy people, but very mean and ignorant; professing Lutheranism, but know little of it.


The dominions of Muscovy or Russia are of very great extent, the people hardy and vigorous and since the Czar Peter very much polished. The air very cold during three quarters of the year and the short summer is very hot. The sun does not set in the northern parts of this country for near two months and the shortest day is nine hours and a half. The chief commodities are wax, honey, tallow, oil caviere flax, hemp, iron, skins, &c. The government absolute, and the people so ignorant that they think the Czar knows all things. The religion is christianity, but mixt with many Romish superstitions.


France, though under absolute government, and professing the Romish religion, is the most flourishing kingdom in Europe. The air temperate, pleasant, and healthful; the soil extraordinary fruitful; and the commodities salt fish, corn, wine, pepper, skins, silk, &c. The days the same length as in England. The language so universally prevails, that it is used in most courts in Europe. The manners of the people very polite, and the last century has produced many great men of almost every branch of polite and useful learning.


Germany is divided into three parts; the North, Middle, and South. The air and soil differs according to its situation. This empire comprehends 300 different Sovereignties, yet most or all of them are subject to the Emperor of Germany.———Their language is High Dutch. The people are famous for sincerity in their dealings, and much ingenuity in mechanical inventions.


The government of this country is an elective monarchy, and on that account is often harassed with civil wars and divisions. The air cold, but the soil fruitful. Its commodities are wax, pitch, soap, rosin, flax, butter, cheese, corn, furs &c. The days much the same as in England. The established religion is Popery, but all others are tolerated.


The climates are very hot, particularly Spain, and the people lazy, proud, formal, and much bigotted to their religion; and very jealous of their wives, who are given to intrigues. The commodities are wine, sugar, rice, silk, flax, raisins, almonds, oranges, &c. The longest day fifteen hours three quarters, the shortest nine and a quarter.


This is the most entertaining country in the world for travellers, as it contains the remains of the bravest people that ever lived, viz. the Romans. The air is pure, temperate, and healthful; the soil exceeding fruitful; but the people so broke with slavery, and harrassed with the tyrannies, impositions, and oppressions of their priests, that it is not cultivated in the best manner. Its commodities are corn, wine, oil, rice silks, velvets, gold wire, armour, glasses, &c. The people are ingenious, and excel in the arts of statuary, architecture, music, and painting.


This country comprehends Hungary, Greece, Little Tareary, and the Danubian provinces. The air of these countries is very different that of Greece pure and temperate, the others the contrary; the soil fruitful in corn, roots, and various sorts of fruit. There are several mines of copper, iron, quicksilver, antimony and salt. Their religion in Hungary, is that of Rome; in Greece, Little Tartary and the Provinces, Mahometism. Constantinople is the seat of the Grand Seignor, to whom they are subject.


Of ASIA in General.

ASIA is larger than Europe and Africa, bound on the West by the Mediterranean and Ægean seas, on the North by the Sythian ocean, on the East by the Streights of Annian, and on the South by the Arabian Bay or Red Sea, which parts it from Africa. It takes its name from Asia the daughter of Ocean, and Thetis the wife of Japerus and mother of Prompheus. This is the noblest part of the world, and said to contain the earthly paradise. Here the Law was given, and here our blessed Saviour perfected the Stupendous work of our Redemption. Hence sprung the noble sciences that the Greeks learned of the Hebrews, and flourished under the monarchy of the Medes, Persians, and Astyrians.


The air is very different, by reason of its vast extent from North to South. The longest day in the North is about two months, and the shortest in the South nine hours and three quarters. The people are rude and barbarous, their food is horse-flesh, and live in tents and open fields. The religion is Paganism in the North, and Mahometism in the South. They never speak to the Cham, who is an absolute monarch, but on their knees with their faces towards the ground; his subjects stile him the Shadow of God, he looks upon himself as the monarch of the whole world; Every day after he has dined, he causes a trumpet to sound thereby giving leave to the Kings and Princes of the earth to go to dinner.———Their chief commodities are sable, martins, silk, camblets, flax, musk, cinnamon, and rhubarb.


This is thought to be the most populous country in the world; the air cold but temperate, and the soil so very fruitful, that they have two or three harvests in a year. The longest day is fourteen hours three quarters, and the shortest ten hours three quarters. It abounds in silver, diamonds, quicksilver, porcelane, silks, cottons, &c, The people are ingenious, and lovers of science. The Cham of Tartary is the governor, and the relion is Idolatry.


This vast country comprehends all between Persia and China, viz. The Mogul’s empire, and the two Peninsulas of India, the one within, and the other without the Ganges. The air in the Mogul’s empire is cold, and the soil barren. Their commodities are aloes, musk, rhubarb, borax, silk and cotton, indigo, & c. The religion Paganism, the government arbitrary, and the Great Mogul is heir to every man’s estate, which he disposes of at his pleasure; the throne he sits upon is the richest in the world. In the peninsula within the Ganges, the air is very hot, and the soil exceeding fruitful; and the longest day is thirteen hours and a half, and the shortest eleven and a half. The chief commodities are metals, silk, cotton, pearls, drugs, dates, corals, rice, ginger, cinnamon, pepper, cassia &c. The religion Mahometism, the government various, and in some parts none at all———In the peninsula, beyond the Ganges the air is more temperate and if possible, the soil more fruitful. It abounds with gold mines, and great quantities of precious stones, and is thought to be the land of Ophir, to which Solomon sent his ships for gold. The commodities and days are the same as the other.


The air is temperate in the North, but very hot in the South; and the soil generally fruitful. The longest day fourteen hours and three quarters, and the shortest 13 hours and a quarter. Its commodities burious silks, carpets, gold manufactures, skins, alabaster, and all sorts of metals. The people are civil to strangers luxurious, extravagant in their expences and much addicted to astrology. The religion Mahhometism, and the government absolute, being entirely subject to will of the Emperor, who is stiled the Sophia of Persia.


This vast extended body comprehends Natolia, Arabia, Syria, Phœnicia, Palestine or Judea, and the Euphratian provinces. The religion of these countries is generally Mahometism but in some parts there are a great many Christians and Jews. Their governments are various, but all subject to the Grand Seignor, the tyranny of whose sway so discourages industry, that those Phœnicians, which of old were so famous for commerce, are now become poor and despicable; and Judea, the land which for its fruitfulness was said to flow with milk and honey, is now become a barren and uncultivated place.


Of AFRICA in General.

AFRICA is larger than Europe, but less than Asia; is bounded on the East by the Red Sea, on the West by the Atlantic Ocean, on the North by the Mediterranean Sea, and on the South by the Æthiopic ocean, and joins Asia by an Isthmus of sixty miles. Africa has its name from Affro or Apher, descended from Abraham, and contains six principal regions, viz. Barbary, Egypt, Numidia, Sarra, and the country of the Negroes and the dominion of Prestor John, and is in form like a pyramid reversed. It contains 1920 Italian miles, is very narrow, and by reason of the torrid zone lies a great part uninhabited. It abounds with little brooks, cedar, and other trees has store of delicate fruit, and is a land not to be despised.


The air is hot and unwholesome, the soil as fertile as any in the world, occasioned by the overflowing of the Nile; but that it never rains here is a very vulgar error. The longest day is fourteen hours and a half, the shortest ten and a half. The commodities are sugar, flax, rice, &c. The Grand Seignor’s government, and the religion Mahometism.


The air temperate and healthful, and the soil fruitful. Its commodities are honey, wax oil, sugar, & c. Days near the same as Egypt. This country comprehends Morocco, Tunis, Algiers; all subject to the Grand Seignor, and profess Mahometism.


They are partly subject to the Turks, and partly to the Emperor of Morocco. The climate not very wholesome, and the soil indifferent. The people savage and ignorant, and the little religion they have is Mahometism. Their few commodities are corn, cattle, dates, indigo.

Of the Land of NEGROES.

The air is very warm, yet esteemed so healthy, that sick persons are brought there to recover. The soil rich, and some parts overflowed by the Niger. Here is great store of corn, cattle, and various herbs; also elephants and other beasts, both wild and tame. The longest day 13 hours and a quarter, the shortest 11 and a quarter. Its commodities ostrich feathers, gums, amber, gold, redwood, civit, and elephants teeth.


The air hot and unwholesome to strangers, the soil fruitful. It has gold mines, and rivers which afford pearl and gold dust, and abounds with elephants. Longest day 12 hours and three quarters, shortest 11 and three quarters. They are the blackest of all Negroes, and go mostly quite naked. They offer human sacrif-ces, think God a good Being, and are civil to him; but pray to and worship the Devil, because he should not hurt them.


It is divided into two parts, Interior and Exterior.———Interior, the air hot and soil fruitful. The longest day 13 hours and a half and the shortest 10 and a half. The people Jews, Pagans, Mahometans and Christians.———Exterior, the air and soil various. Their commodities gold, silver, pearls, corn, sugar-canes &c. The people are barbarous and savage, exposing human flesh for sale as common as beef and mutton. They are called Hottentots, are the filthiest of all creatures, besmearing themselves with grease, and themselves finely adorned with the guts of beasts hanging about their necks. They are subject to an Emperor called Prestor John, whose dominions are of great extent.



AMERICA is the South division of the world, and takes its name from one Americus Vespuous, an adventurous Florentine who not many centuries ago first discovered it, and therefore by some it is called the New World. It is bounded on the East by the Atlantic and Virginian Seas, on the West by the Pacific ocean, on the South by the same dividing it from Asia, and on the North its bounds are not known. It is divided into Peninsulas, Mexico, and Peru, and the circumference of the known part computed to be about 3000 miles. The Spaniards have often talked of cutting the Isthmus here to make it join the Streight of Darien, and so shorten the way to China but have never put it into execution.


The air temperate and healthful, being refreshed by cool breezes from the sea; the soil fertile, producing of corn, pomgranates, oranges, cherries, pears, apples, and plenty of herbs, roots, and plants; as also mines of gold and silver, The longest day 14 hours three quarters the shortest 13 and a half. The people civil, and excel in painting and playing on musical instruments. The Spanish government and a mixture of the Paganism and Christian Religions.


This country is not fully discovered; the air temperate, though subject to terrible tempests; the soil dry and barren. Cattle is the only trading commodity. The natives have captains of their own; but the Spaniards residing there are subject to their King; together with some few of the civilized natives. Their religion is Paganism, but very few have any notion of religion at all.


The climate here is so temperate, that the inhabitants live to a great age; the soil very fruitful, producing corn, herbs, fruit, gold and silver mines; and the rivers vast quantities of pearls. Longest day 14 hours and a quarter, shortest nine The people naturally white, but they colour themselves so as to appear olive colour, and all naked, except a small piece of deer skin round the middle.


Consists of several very large countries, chiefly belonging to the English, such as New England, New York, Margland, New Jersey, Pensylvania, Virginia, Carolina, &c. The air of all these are temperate and healthful, and the soil fruitful. The commodities skins of almost all wild beasts, oil, cotton, indigo, ginger, tobacco, &c. The longest day 15 hours, and the shortest nine.


This comprehends Greenland, Spitzburg, Nova Zembla, Terra de Jeffe, New North Wales. Of these countries little more is known, than that they are very cold and barren, and afford very few commodities.


The climate is hot, yet not unwholesome; the soil fruitful producing much corn and fruit. It abounds with precious stones, and mines of gold silver, brass, &c. Longest day 12 hours and a half, the shortest 12 hours. The religion idolatry, the government the King of Spain.


This is the richest of the Spanish plantations. The air in some places very hot, and in others very cold; so also is the soil various. Its commodities are gold and silver, pearls, cotton, tobacco, cochineal, drugs, &c. The longest day 12 hours and a quarter, the shortest ten and a half. This country was formerly governed by Kings called Incas, but it is now almost entirely subject to the King of Spain. The natives worship the sun, moon, stars; thunder, lightening, &c.




Creation of the World.

ETERNAL Wisdom, thee we praise,
Thee the Creation sings
With thy loud name rocks, hills and sea,
and Heaven’s high palace rings.

Downwards I turn my wondering eyes,
on clouds and storms below,
Those under regions of the skies
they numerous glories shew.

There like-a trumpet loud and strong,
thy thunder shakes our coasts,
While the red light’ning waves along,
the banners of thy host.

Now to the earth I bend my song,
and cast my eyes abroad,
Glancing the British Isles along,
blest Isles confess your God.

How did his wond’rous skill array
yon fields in charming green,
A thousand herbs his art display,
a thousand flowers between.

His glories blaze all nature round,
and strike the gazing sight,
Thro’ skies and seas, and solid ground,
with terror and delight,

Infinite strength and equal skill
shine thro' the world abroad,
Our souls with vast amazement fill,
and speak the builder GOD.


This work was published before January 1, 1929, and is in the public domain worldwide because the author died at least 100 years ago.

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