The Baldwin Library
- 0 A- /. / ,V
BASIS OF GEOGRAPHY.
Br PETER PARLEY,
TALKS ABOUT NATURAL HISTORY; THE SEA AND PACIFIC OCEAN, BTC.
FOR THE USE OF FAMILIES.
ILLUSTRATED BY MAPS, ENGRAVED ON STEEL FROM THE. LATEST AUTHORITIES.
t)t Sixty Edition.
LONDON: WILLIAM TEGO
WCorqaodalc & Co., Printers, LondonWorks, Newton.
The idea of embracing, in the compass of this little volume, anything like a tolerable outline of Universal History, would doubtless excite a smile on the lip of a college professor, should he ever condescend to peep into our humble title-page. But let my object be clearly understood, and then I hope the attempt I have here made will not be deemed either ridiculous or presuming.
A work which gives in detail the history of mankind must necessarily be voluminous. It is therefore beyond the utmost stretch of the youthful intellect to compass it; the young reader shrinks back in despair, even from undertaking the task of its perusal. He looks upon the formidable row of octavos, in which such a wilderness of lore is collected, as a maze in which he is sure to get lost, and he therefore prudently resolves to keep clear of it.
Abridgments of general history have been usually liable to still greater objections. They are little more than dry lists of dates, presenting no pictures to the imagination, exciting no sympathies an the heart, and imparting few ideas to the understanding. J, by dint of labour, a meagre chronological table
is extracted by the reader, and fixed in the memory, it is of no practical use. It is but a skeleton, without flesh, sinews, or soul; a mass of words, to which the mind can assign no clear definitions.
And yet it is very desirable that every person should, at an early period of life, have-4mprinted on his mind, in bright and unfading colours, a clear outline of the story of mankind, from its beginning in the plain of Shinar, down to the present hour. The advantages of this are obvious. It makes all subsequent reading and reflection on the subject of history both useful and interesting; it becomes a stimulus to research; it is ever after a clew to guide the inquirer through the labyrinths of historical lore.
The task of preparing a work which may accomplish this desirable object in respect to the young, is doubtless difficult. To steer clear of bewildering diffuseness on the one hand, and repulsive chronological brevity on the otherand at the same time to weave into a few pages, a clear, vivid, and continuous tale of the great human familyone that may be both comprehensible and entertaining to the young reader demands a nicer understanding of the youthful heart and intellect, and more art in the adaptation of language to simple minds, than can often be at the command of any man. But though the undertaking be discouraging, it is perhaps worth the trial; if I fail, I do but follow the fortunes of others; if I have not the power to command success, accident may come to my aid.
So I have written my book, and the world may take it for what it is worth, I have based History upon Geography, illustrating them by maps. I have written for the Young; but as I desire that this volume may not be forced upon anybody as a monitor or master, I say in the title-page, that it is designed for families. I wish it to be permitted to enter the family circle, and take its chance to make its way. If it is placed, not as a task-book, but rather as a story-teller, on the table, perhaps the children may patronize it; perchance the parents may deign to look into it. The chapters are short, and questions are added at the end. I do not ask any one to read these questions; but if parents, brothers, or sisters, wish to hear the young beginner recite the chapters, they have the easy means of doing so. I have dealt pretty largely in anecdotes and sketches, hoping, thereby, to reconcile the reader to the dryer parts of the work. Having interspersed my chapters with tales and legends, I venture to wind up with an occasional chronological table, and ask the reader to look at it. I wish him to read, and as he reads, to think and feel. If he does this, he will gain a knowledge of events, and extract useful lessons from them, and thus the end I have desired will be attained.
There is one feature of the work upon which I wish to add a few remarks. Before giving the history of any country, I tell the reader where it is; I give him a sketch of its present condition; I direct his attention to its place on the map, and
ask him to observe its position in relation to other places.
Having thus given the country a "local habitation and a name," in the mind of the reader, I proceed to relate its story. Thus it will be seen that I have made Geography the basis of History; a point of much importance, as I think, in teaching this subject to children. In a larger work, it is less necessary, for it may be presumed that older readers are acquainted with geography, before they enter upon the study of history.
There is one point of great delicacy in unfolding the events of history to the young mind. A large part of the actions of men, as related by the historian, are evil. As you lift the curtain of the past, mankind seem from age to age engaged in constant strife, battle, and bloodshed. The master spirits generally stand forth as guided only by ambition, and superior to other men in wickedness as in power. To reveal these dark pictures to youth, and yet prevent the bright and sunny landscape of the heart from being permanently sullied or shadowed by the acquisition of such knowledge, demands great care. I hope I have not been insensible of the responsibility of my task in this respect. It is necessary that history should be known, that we may learn the character and capacity of man; but in telling of the vices and crimes that soil the pages of the past, I have taken advantage of every convenient occasion to excite hatred of injustice, violence, and falsehood, and promote a love of truth, equity, and benevolence.
1. About Travelling in the Car of a Balloon, and wliat curious
Things one may meet with....... 1
2. About History and Geography, and other Matters ... 3
3. How the World is divided into Land and Water .... 6
4. About the Inhabitants of Asia, Africa, and other Countries 7
5. About the different Kinds of People in the World ... 9
6. About the Climate. Productions, Mountains, People, and
Animals of Asia, and other Things......11
7- About the Creation. The Deluge......14
8. How Noah and his Family came out of the Ark. How the
People settled in the Land of Shinar. About Babel 15
9. More about Babel..........18
10. About the great Assyrian Empire, and Reign of Queen Semiramis 19
11. Queen Semiramis sets forth to Conquer the World, but is
defeated by the King of the Indies.....22
12. About Ninyas. Reign of Sardanapalus, and Ruin of the Assy-
13. About the Hebrews or Jews. Origin of the Hebrews. The
Removal of Jacob and his Children to Egypt. .26
14. The Bondage in Egypt. Flight of the Hebrews, and Destruction
of Pharaoh and bis Host........29
15. About the Wanderings of the Israelites in the Wilderness 33
16. Overthrow of the Midianites. Samson, Judge of Israel 36
17. Samson's Exploits and Death....... 38
18. Beginning of the Reign of Saul....... 40
19. Combat of David and Goliath....... 42
20. The Reign of David. Wisdom of Solomon..... 44
21. Building of the Temple. Visit of the Queen of Sheba 46
22. The Decline of the Jewish Nation...... 50
23. The Hebrew Prophets......... 63
24. Crucifixion of the Saviour. Destruction of Jerusalem 66 26. Cyrus conquers Babylon. His Death...... 69
26. Reign of Cambyses......... 62
27. Expedition of Xerxes into Greece...... 64
28. AfFairs of Persia till the Saracen Conquest..... 67
29. Modern History of Persia........ 70
80. Early History of China........ 78
31. Anecdotes of the Chinese Emperors...... 75
82. Cities of China. Manners of the Chinese..... 78
33. Origin of the Arabs. Rise of Mahomet..... 81
34. Sequel of the History of the Saracens...... 84
85. About Syria, Phoenicia, and Asia Minor..... 87
86. A brief View of Several Nations....... 91
37. Review of the History of Asia....... 94
38. Chronology of Asia......... 98
39. About the Geography of Africa. The Inhabitants .101
40. Early Sovereigns of Egypt........ 104
41. Egyptian Architecture and Sculpture...... 107
42. The Ptolemies and Queen Cleopatra...... 110
43. Sequel of the Egyptian History....... 114
44. Summary of Ethiopian Matters....... 116
45. Origin of the Barbary States, and their Piracies on the Chris-
tians ............ 118
46 Fables and Facts about Africa....... 121
47. History of the Slave Trade........ 123
48- Chronology of Africa......... 125
49. Introductory Remarks on its Geography, and other Matters 127
50. About Greece. Where is it situated. Appearance of the Coun-
. try. Climate.......... 132
51. The Extent of Greece. First Settlement of the Country 134
52. The Grecian Lawgivers........ 137
53. War with Persia.......... 139
54. Affairs of Athens.......... 141
55. Beginning of the Theban War....... 144
56. Sequel of the Theban War........ 146
67. Grecian Religion or Mythology....... 149
68- The Grecian Philosophers........ 152
69. The Grecian Philosophers continued...... 154
60. Something more about Philosophers. About the Greek Poets 167
61. About the mode of life among the ancient Greeks 160
62. Philip of Macedon conquers Greece...... 164
63. Conquests of Alexander the Great...... 167
64. Sequel of Alexander's Career....... 169
65. Greece invaded by the Gauls ...... 172
66. End of Grecian Independence....... 174
67. Modern History of Greece........ 176
68. Chronology of Greece......... 179
69. About Italy as it now is........ 180
70. Founding of Rome by Romulus. Its early state 183
71. Battle of the Horatii and Curiatii...... 187
72. From the Reign of Ancus Martius till the Expulsion of the
73. The Story of Coriolanus........ 192
74. Rome invaded by the Gauls. The first Punic War .195
75. Second and Third Pnnic Wars....... 198
76. Scipio's Triumph.......... 200
77. Sylla and Marius.......... 203
78. Cneus Pompey and Julius Caesar...... 205
79. Casar usurps the supreme power...... 207
80. Assassination of Julius Caesar....... 209
81. Consequences of Caesar's death....... 211
82. About the great Power and Extent of the Roman Empire in the
Time of Augustus......... 213
83. The means by which Rome acquired its Power .... 216
84. Rome under the Emperors........ 219
86. Fall of the Western Empire of the Romans .... 221
86. Progress of the Decline of Rome....... 224
87. Manners and Customs of the ancient Romans .... 227
88. About Religion. Deities. Temples. Marriage .229
89. About Funeral Rites and Ceremonies..... 232
90. Roman Farms. Mode of Ploughing. Farm-houses. Grain.
Cattle. Superstitions of the Farmers. Gardens. Vines 236
91. Country Houses. Description of Pliny's Villa. Aqueducts 239
92. Military Affairs of the Romans. Division of the Army. The
Imperial Eagle. Music. Arms. Dress. Military Rewards.
Crowns. The Triumph........ 243
93. About Naval Affairs. The War Galley. Commerce. Shows
of wild Beasts. Exhibitions of Gladiators .... 246
94. Sports. Chariot Racing. The Circus. Carriages. Private
Entertainments. Supper Rooms. Convivial Parties.
95. About Theatres. Clocks and WaUhes. The Fine Arts. Books
and Writing. Costume. Conclusion...... 262
96. Rome under the Popes........ 265
97. About several other Italian States...... 269
9a Chronology of Rome......... 261
99. About the Ottoman Empire. Turkey in Europe. Turkey in
Asia. About the Climate, People, and other Things 263
100. About the Saracens. How the Turks overturned the Saracen
Empire. How the Ottoman Turks founded the Ottoman
Empire. About Bajazet, Timour, and others 266
101. Sequel of the Turkish History....... 269
102. Early History of Spain. The Moorish Conquest 272
103. Wars between the Moors and Spaniards..... 276
104. The Spanish Inquisition........ 278
105. The Invincible Armada. Curious death of a Spanish King.
Eecent Affairs of Spain ...... 280
106. A short Story about Portugal....... 283
107. Chronology of Turkey, Spain, and Portugal .... 286
108. Description of France. Its Climate. Cities. Manufactures.
Manners and Customs of the People..... 287
109. About the Gauls and other Tribes of Barbarians. How the
Southern Parts of Europe were first settled, and how the
Northern Parts were settled afterwards .... 290
110. Story of the Barbarians continued...... 292
111. The Gauls. Origin of the French Nation. Little King Pepin 295
112. About Clovis and Little King Pepin...... 297
118. The Reign of Charlemagne....... 299
114. About the Crusades or Holy Wars...... 302
116. About the Feudal System........ 305
116. About Chivalry or Knight-Errantry...... 310
117. More about Chivalry......... 313
118. King Philip and Pope Boniface. Wars of the French and
119. The Reigns of several French Kings...... 320
120. The Reigns of Louis the Great and his Successor -322
121. The French Revolution........ 326
122. The Rise of Napoleon Buonaparte...... 329
123. The Fall of Buonaparte........ 331
124. Recent Affairs of France ..... 333
125. Chronology of France ....... 335
126. About Germany.......... 338
127. About the ancient Tribes of Germany, Charlemagne, &o. 340
128 Affairs of Switzerland........ 343
129. Sequel of the German History....... 346
130. About Austria, Hungary, &c....... 348
131. About Hungary, Bohemia, the Tyrol, &c..... 351
132- About Prussia.......... 353
133. History of Prussia......... 355
134. Chronology of Germany, Austria, Hungary, and Prussia. 358
135. Description of Russia......... 359
136. Description of Russia continued....... 362
237. The Reign of Peter the Great....... 365
138. The successors of Peter the Great...... 367
139. About Sweden........., 370
14a Charles the Twelfth and his Successors..... 373
141. About Lapland, Norway, and Denmark..... 876
142. Brief Notices of several Kingdoms and States .... 379 143- Chronology of Russia, Sweden, Lapland, Norway, Denmark,
Holland, Belgium, &c. ........ 382
144. Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland..... 384
146. About London, and other cities of England, Wales, Scotland,
and Ireland.......... 386
146. Origin of the British Nation. The Druids : 388
147. Saxon and Danish Kings of England..... 391
148. Norman Kings of England........ 393
149. English Wars and Rebellions....... 896
160. The Lancastrian Kings of England...... 899
16L Wars of the Roses......... 402
162. Reigns of the Tudor Princes....... 404
163. The Reign of Elizabeth........ 407
164. Accession of the House of Stuart...... 410
155. Wars of the King and Parliament...... 412
156. The Protectorate and the Restoration..... 416
167. The Revolution of 1688, and other Matters .... 418
168. The Hanoverian Kings of Great Britain..... 421
169. The Story of Wales......... 424
160. The Story of Scotland........ 427
161. About Ireland ......... 481
162. Matters and Things......... 434
163. Chronology of Great Britain....... 437
164. Review. The Dark Ages. Important Inventions, &c . 439 166. Chronology of Europe........ 445
166. About America.......... 448
167. The first inhabitants of America...... 462
168. Discovery of America by Columbus...... 464
169. A few words about Iceland and Greenland. Settlements of
the French in America........ 457
170. The French Colonies conquered by the English 461
171. Description of the United States....... 463
172. Settlement and Colonial History of New England . 466 178. Affairs of New England continued...... 467
174. Early History of Virginia........ 470
175. Settlement of the other Colonies...... 472
176. Causes which led to the Revolution...... 473
177. The American War......... 475
178. Affairs of the United States since the Revolution 477
179. General Remarks upon the History of the United States 480
180. About South America- El Dorado, and the Fountain of
Youth ......... 482
181. History of the Mexican Territories. Guatumala 484
182. Spanish Peruvian Territories....... 487
183. Account of the Brazilian Territories...... 489
184. The West Indies.......... 491
185. The West Indies continued........ 494
186. The West Indies continued........ 497
187. Chronology of America........ 600
188. About Oceania. The Malaysian Islands..... 502
189. The Australian Division of Oceania...... 504
190. Polynesia. The Sandwich Islands...... 507
191. Polynesia continued. The Society Islands. The Bounty 510
192. Story of the Bounty concluded....... 512
193. Chronology of Oceania........ 515
194. Duration of Empires. Asia- Africa..... 516
195. Duration of Empires continued. Europe..... 520
196. Ancient Names of Countries, &c....... 527
197. The Origin and Progress of Government..... 580
198. Architecture. Agriculture. Gardening..... 533
199. Commerce........... 536
200- Painting, Sculpture, and Music....... 544
201. Origin and Progress of various Arts...... 549
202. Dates of Discoveries and Inventions...... 553
203. Reigning Monarchs......... 558
ABOUT TRAVELLING IN THE CAB OP A BALLOON, AND what CUBIOCS
THINGS ONE HAT MEET WITH.
1. If you could get into the car of a balloon, rise into the air, and sail over the country, how many interesting things you would see! At one moment you would be passing over a city, at another you would look down upon a valley, or a river, or a hill, or a mountain!
2. What a pleasant method this would be of studying "what is called geography! for geography, you know, is a description of ci'ies, rivers, valleys, hills, mountains, and other things that a traveller meets with.
3. How much more delightful this would be than to look Dver maps, which only give you a sort of picture, showing where towns are placed, how rivers run, and where mountains lie. But as very few of us can travel about with balloons, we must be content with maps* arid learn geography from them as well as we can.
4. Suppose that in travelling in some distant eountry we fchould meet with a building different from any we had
ever seen; suppose that it was built of stone, covered with moss, and marked with great age, as if it had been erected at least five hundred years ago:
5. Suppose that, on entering this building, we should find strange, dark rooms of vast size; suppose that we should find in this building the graves of persons who died two or three hundred years ago, with their names carved upon the stones beneath which their bones repose!
6. Now, what do you imagine we should think of all thisf Should we not be curious to know why this building was erectedwhen, and by whom it was built? Should we not be anxious to know something of the people who constructed such a wonderful building? Should we not desire to go back five hundred years, and learn the story of that distant time?
7. And if we could meet with some old man who had lived so long, should we not wish to sit down by his side and hear him tell how and when this edifice was built? Should we not ask him a thousand questions about the people who built it, and those who had been buried in it?
8. Now, if you were to travel in foreign countries, you would meet with a great many such buildings as I have described. You would, indeed, find many that are more than five hundred years old.
9. If you were to extend your travels to Italy, or Greece, or Egypt) or some parts of Asia, you would often meet with the ruins of temples, palaces, and cities, which existed in a perfect
state two or three thousand years ago. Some of these would excite your wonder on account of their beauty, and some on account of their grandeur.
10. Such things you would meet with in foreign lands, but no man could be found Old enough to tell you their story from his own observation. Whnt then would you do ? Perhaps you would be content, after returning from your travels, to sit down with old Peter Parley, and hear the history of those ancient times.
11. Well, I suppose that most of my readers have either travelled about, or read of distant countries. Perhaps, then, they are curious to hear an old man tell of the olden time. If the reader is not already tired of my stories, I beg him to sit down and hear what I have to say.
Questions.1. What would a person see if he were to sail over the-country in the ear of a balloon ? 2. What is geography? 8 What are maps? 4. Suppose we should meet with some eld building, what should we desire to know? 6. What would a traveller meet with in foreign lands? 6. What would he meet with in Italy, Greece, Egypt,, or Asia ? What would these ancient ruins teach ?
Chap. n.Introduction continued.
about history and geography, and other matters.
1. I suppose you have often met with the words History and Geography. History is the story of mankind since the world was created, and may be compared to an old man
who has lived for thousands of years, and who has seen cities built and fall into decay; who has seen nations rise, flourish, and disappear; and who, with a memory full of wonderful things, sits down to tell you of all that has happened during so many ages.
2. Geography, as I have before said, is a description of towns, rivers, mountains, and countriesthe things which a traveller sees in going from one place to another. Geography, then, may be compared to some roving fellow who has been all over the world in ships, stage-coaches, steamboats, and railroad carriages, and who has come back to give us an account of all he has seen.
3. You will see, then, that history is a record of events which have happened, and that geography tells you of the places where they happened. In order to understand the former, you must know something of the latter. In this little book I shall, therefore, sometimes put on the old greybeard of History, who has lived for thousands of years, and tell you of what has come to pass; and sometimes I shall take you in a balloon or vessel, and carry you with me to the places where the events I relate have occurred.
4. I shall, in the progress of my story, tell you how the first man and woman were made, how they had a large family, how these increased and spread themselves throughout the different countries. I shall tell you of the great nations that have existed, of the great battles that have been fought, and of the deeds of celebrated persons.
5. But, before I proceed, I must remind you that the world is round, and that men and animals live upon the surface; that the face of the earth is divided into land and water; that on the land trees, grass, herbs, and flowers grow; men and animals dwell; and towns, cities, and villages are built.
6. A high piece of land, you know, is called a mountain or hill; a low piece of land is called a valley. You often see water running in a stream through a valley; this ,is called a river : and you sometimes see a still piece of water surrounded by hills; this is called a lake.
7. About one third of the face of the earth is land, and two thirds are water. The land is divided into two great continents; the western continent consists of North and South America; the eastern continent consists of Europe, Africa, and Asia.
8. If you will turn to page 7, you will see a map of the eastern continent; and on page 8, you will see a map of the western continent.
Questions.1. What is history? To what may it be compared? 2 What is geography? To what may it be compared? 5. What is the shape of the earth ? Where do men and animals live ? How is the face of the land divided? What grow upon the land? What live upon the land? What are built upon the land? 6. What is a mountain or hill? A valley? A river? A lake? 7. What part of the face of the earth is land? What portion is water? How is the land divided? What or the western continent ? The eastern ?
Chap. HI.Introduction continued.
how the world 13 divided into land and water.
1. I have said that about two thirds of the face of the earth are covered with water. This water is one vast salt sea, but to different parts of it we give different names.
2. That part which lies between Europe and America is called the Atlantic Ocean, and is about three thousand miles wide; that part which lies between America and Asia is called the Pacific Ocean, and is about ten thousand miles wide. There are many other names given to other parts of the great salt sea.
3. Ships, as you well know, sail from one country to another upon the water, and in this way a great deal of trade or commerce is carried on. But, as mankind live on the land, my stories will chiefly relate to what has happened there.
4. I suppose you have heard people speak of the four quarters of the world. By this they mean Europe, Asia, Africa, and America. Besides these, there are a great many pieces of land encircled by water, called islands.
5. In the Pacific Ocean there are many of these, the inhabitants of which are very numerous. These islands axe considered a fifth division of the world, which is called Oceania. Many people divide the world into six parts, thus: Europe, Asia, Africa, America, Australasia, and Polynesia. Oceania, however, comprehends the two latter.
6. Now, what I am going to tell you has happened in these different parts of the world. In order to understand my stories, it is necessary you should look over the maps which are here given. These will show you where the different countries are about which I am going to speak.
Questions.1. What of the great mass of water that covers two thirds of the earth? 2. What of the Atlantic Ocean? The Pacific? 3. What of ships? What of the land? 4. What are the four quarters of the world ? What is an island ? 5. What of Oceania ?
/ wish you to answer l/ie following questions from the maps.
What ocean lies east of America? What lies to the west? Into what two parts is America divided ? Which way is Europe from America ? Which way is Africa? How far is Europe from America? How far is Africa? What ocean lies west of Europe? What lies to the west of Africa? What to the south of Africa and Asia? What to the east of Asia? How is Europe bounded? Which way is it from Africa? How is Africa bounded ? How is Africa separated from Asia? What sea lies between Africa and Europe ? Are Europe and Asia separated by water, or do they lie together in one piece of land? How is Asia bounded? Point your finger toward Asia. Toward Europe. Toward Africa.
Chap. IV.Introduction continued.
abodt the inhabitants of asia, africa, and other countries.
1. Br fore I proceed farther, I must tell you that Asia is a vast country with a multitude of cities, occupied by a great many different nations.
2. The principal of these nations arethe Tartars, who wander from place to place, and dwell chiefly in tents; the Arabs, who have large flocks of camels and fine horses,
with which they roam over the desert; the Hindoos, or inhabitants of India, who travel about on elephants, and worship idols; the Persians, who are very fond of poetry, and have splendid palaces; the Chinese, from whom we get tea; and the Turks, who sit on cushions instead of chairs.
3. The whole population of Asia is about five hundred and ninety millions, which is more than half the inhabitants of the whole globe. It has ten times as many people as the whole of North and South America put together.
4. Africa, you know, is the native land of the negroes. It has a few large cities, but the whole number of people is but eighty six millions.
5. Europe is divided into several nations, such as the English, French, Italians, Spaniards, Germans, Russians, and others. It has many fine cities, and about two hundred and sixty nmillions of inhabitant*?.
6. America has some large cities, and many pleasant towns and villages, but more than half the country is uninhabited. The whole population is about fifty millions.
7. Oceania, as I have before said, consists of many islands in the Pacific Ocean. One of these, Australia, is the largest island on the globe. On account of the continual additions made, the population of these places cannot be stated with any degree of correctness.
Questions 1: What of Asia? 2. What are the principal nations of Asia? 3. Population of Asia? 4. What of Africa? Population?
5. What of Europe ? Population? 6\ What of America? Population? 7. What of Oceania? In which direction are the Oceanic islands from Liverpool? What do we get from Oceania? Population? Where are the Oceanic islands ?
Chap. V.Introduction continued.
about the different kinds of people in the world.
1. Perhaps the whole number of the inhabitants upon the globe is nearly one thousand millions. All these are descended from Adam and Eve, who, the Bible tells us, lived in the garden of Eden !
2. What an immense family to have proceeded from one pair! You may well believe that it has taken many years for the human family to increase to this extent.
3. Jf you were to travel in different countries, you would observe that the inhabitants differ very much in their colour, dress, and mode of living.
4. Some have dark skins, like the colour of a dead leaf, as the American Indians; some have a yellowish or olive colour, like the Chinese; some are a deep, sooty brown, like
the Hindoos; some are black, like the Negroes; and some are white, like the English, and the people of the United States.
5. In some countries the people live in huts built of mud or sticks, and subsist by hunting with the bow and arrow. These are said to be in the savage state. The American
Indians, some of the negroes of Africa, some of the inhabitants, of Asia, and most of the Oceanians, inhabitants of the Pacific Isles, are savages.
6. In some countries the people live in houses partly of stone and mud. They have few books, no churches or meeting-houses, and worship idols. Such are most of the negroes of Africa, and many tribes in Asia. These are said to be in the barbarous state, and are often called barbarians. Many of their customs are very cruel.
7. In some countries the inhabitants live in tolerable houses, and the rich have fine palaces. The people have many ingenious arts, but the schools are poor, and but a small portion are taught to read and write. The Chinese, the Hindoos, the Turks, and some other nations of Asia, with some of the inhabitants of Africa and Europe, are in this condition, which may be called a civilized state.
8. In many parts of Europe, and in the United States, the people live in good houses; they have good furniture, many books, good schools, churches, meeting-houses, steamboats, and railroads. These are in the highest state of civilization.
9. Thus you observe that mankind may be divided into four classesthose who are in the savage state, those who are in the barbarous state, those who are merely civilized, and those who are in the highest state of civilization. The four little pictures at the beginning of this book will make you better understand, and remember the subject.
Questions.1. What is the whole population of the globe? Where did Adam and Eve live? 3. What would you observe in travelling through different countries? 5. What of people in the savage state? 6. What of people in the barbarous state? 7. What of people in the civilized state? 8. What of people in the highest state of civilization? 9. Into what four classes may mankind be divided ?
about the climate, productions, mountains, people, and animals
of asia, and other things.
1. I have already said that Asia is a vast country, containing a great many cities, and a multitude of inhabitants. It lies on the opposite side from us of the eastern continent; and you may go to it either by sailing round the Cape of Good Hope and across the Indian Ocean, or by crossing Europe, or by passing between Europe and Africa, over the Mediterranean Sea.
2. In the southern portion of Asia the climate is warm. These parts are chiefly inhabited by the Chinese, Hindoos, Persians, Arabians, and Turks. In many places the country is fertile, and in the valleys, beautiful flowers, spicy shrubs, and fragrant trees are found.
3. Wild birds of the most brilliant colours are often seen in the forests. Peacocks, pheasants, and other domestic fowls are natives of these sunny regions. Oranges grow wild in some parts, and many of our most splendid garden flowers
are to be found growing on the hills and in the valleys of Southern Asia.
4. In the centre of Asia there are some mountains whose tops are covered with everlasting snow. These are the loftiest peaks in the world, and are nearly six miles in height. To the north of these is a cold region, where there are vast plains, with scattered tribes of Tartars roaming over them for the scanty pastures they afford for their camels and horses.
5. In these gloomy tracts there are few towns or cities. The inhabitants are, for the most part, wanderers, who build no houses but dwell in tents, and live upon the milk and flesh of their flocks. They also hunt the wild deer, antelopes, and other animals that are found in these regions.
6. The native animals of Asia are many of them very remarkable. The elephant is found in the thickets, the rhinoceros along the banks of rivers, the lion in the plains, the royal tiger in the forests, monkeys and apes of many kinds abound in the hot parts, and serpents thirty feet in length are sometimes met with.
7. In the southern portions of Asia hurricanes are common, and these sometimes are so violent as to overturn the houses, rend the forests in pieces, and scatter ruin and desolation over the land. The country is often parched with drought, and destructive famine follows. Sometimes millions of locusts come upon the wind, and devour every green thing, so that nothing is left for man or beast. Pestilence
often visits the people, and sweeps away thousands upon thousands.
8. Such is Asia, a land of wonders hoth in its geography and history. It is the largest of the four quarters of the globe; it contains the loftiest mountains, it affords the greatest variety of animal and vegetable productions, and the seasons here display at once their most beautiful and their most fearful works.
9. Asia, too, is the most populous quarter of the globe ; it contained the first human inhabitants, and from this quarter all the rest of the globe has been peopled. Here, too, the most remarkable events took place which belong to the history of man. Here the most wonderful personages were born that have ever trod this earth; and here, too, the mighty miracles of Jehovah were wrought.
Questions.How is Asia bounded on the north ?0 East? South? West? Which way is Asia from Europe? In what part of Asia is Persia? In which direction from Persia is Arabia? Hindostan? China? Tartary? Siberia? Red Sea? Egypt? Mediterranean Sea? In what part of Asia is the river Euphrates? 1. What of Asia? Where is Asia? How can you go to it? Point your finger toward Asia. 2. Climate of Southern Asia? What nations live in Southern Asia? Productions? 3. Birds? Fruits? Flowers? 4. Mountains? What of Northern Asia? 5. Inhabitants? 6. Animals of Asia? 7. Southern parts of Asia? 8. For what is Asia very remarkable as to its geography ? 9. For what is Asia very remarkable as to its history ?
Chap. VII.Asia continued.
about the creation. the deluge.
1. The first portion of the world inhabited by mankind was Asia; the next was Africa; the next was Europe; and the last was America. How long it is since this latter country was first peopled by the Indians we do not know; but the first white people went there three hundred and sixty years since!
2. Let us now go back to the creation of the world. This wonderful event took place about six thousand years ago. The story of it is beautifully told in the first chapter of Genesis.
3. Adam and Eve were created in Asia, and were placed in the garden of Eden, not far from the river Euphrates. This river is in, the western part of Asia.
4. Adam and Eve were for a time the only human beings on this vast globe. Yet they did not feel alone, for God was with them. At length they had children, and in the course of years their descendants were very numerous.
5. These dwelt in the neighbourhood of the Euphrates, and there they built towns, cities, and villages. But they became very wicked. They forgot to worship God, and were unjust and cruel.
6. The Creator, therefore, determined to cut off the whole human family, with the exception of Noah and his children,
both as a punishment to the disobedient, and as a warning to all future nations that evil must follow sin.
7. Noah was told of the coming destruction, and therefore built an ark, a kind of huge ship, into which he gathered his family and a single pair of the various kinds of land animals. It then began to rain, until all countries of the earth were covered with a deluge of water.
8. Thus all the nations were cut off, and the world once more had but a single human family upon it. This event occurred sixteen hundred and fifty-six years after the creation.
Questions.1. Which quarter of the globe was first inhabited? Which quarter was next inhabited? Which next? Which quarter was inhabited last? When was America first peopled by the Indians? When by white people? 2. How long is it since the world was created? Tell the story of the creation as related in the first chapter of Genesis. 3. Where did Adam and Eve live? Where is the river Euphrates? What ocean would you cross in going to the river Euphrates? 5. Where did the descendants of Adam and Eve dwell? What did they do? What did God determine to do? Why did God determine to destroy mankind? 7. What of Noah? Describe the deluge. 8. What was the effect of the deluge? When did the deluge take place?
Chap. VIII.Asia continued.
how noah and his family came out Of the abc how the people settled in the land of the S1IINAR. about babel.
1. The people who lived before the flood are called antediluvians. We know nothing about them except what is told
in the Bible. It is probable that they extended over but a small part of Asia, and that no human beings dwelt either in Africa, Europe, or America, before the flood.
2. The deluge is supposed to have commenced in November, and the rain is thought to have ceased in March. After a while the waters subsided, and Noah's ark rested upon the top of a tali mountain in Armenia, called Ararat, which is still to be seen.
3. Noah and his family and animals now came out of the ark, and from them the world was again peopled. The animals spread themselves abroad, and after many centuries they were extended into all countries.
4. Noah had three sons, Shem, Ham, and Japheth. These with their families, proceeded to the country of Shinar, which lies to the south of Mount Ararat, and near the great rivers Euphrates and Tigris, as you will see marked in the map.
5. Here they settled themselves on the borders of the river Euphrates, probably the same country that had been inhabited by the antediluvians. It is in this region that the first nations were formed.
6. The people increased very rapidly, and at the end of a hundred years from the deluge they were quite numerous. Most of Noah's family at this time were alive. They had told their descendants how the world had been overflowed with water, which destroyed all the animals, and all the people except those that were in the ark.
7. All who remembered the deluge, or had heard of it, were afraid that the wickedness of mankind would again be punished in a similar way. They, therefore, resolved to build a tower, that they might mount upon it, and save themselves from destruction.
8. Accordingly they laid the foundation of the edifice on the eastern bank of the river Euphrates. Perhaps they expected to rear the tower so high, that its top would touch the blue sky, and enable them to climb into heaven.
9. Their building materials were bricks that had been baked in the sun. Instead of mortar, they cemented the bricks together with a sort of slime or pitch.
10. The workmen laboured very diligently, and piled one layer of bricks upon another, till the earth was a considerable distance beneath them. But the blue sky, and the sun, and the stars, seemed as far off as when they first began.
Questions.1. What of those who lived before the flood? 2. When did the deluge begin and end? What of Mount Ararat? 3. What of the people that came out of the ark? The animals? 4. What three sons had Noah? What did the descendants of Noah do? 5. Where did they settle? Where was the land of Shinar? 6. What of the people? 7. Why did they resolve to build the Tower of Babel ? 8. Describe the building of the tower.
Chap. IX.Asia continued.
more about babel.
1. One day, while these foolish people were at their labour, a very wonderful thing took place. They were talking together as usual, but, all of a sudden, they found it impossible to understand what each other said.
2. If any of the workmen called for bricks, their companions at the bottom of the tower would mistake their meaning, and bring them pitch. If they asked for one sort of tool, another sort was given them. Their words appeared to be mere sounds without any sense, like the babble of a little child before it has been taught to speak.
3. This event caused such confusion that they could not go on building the tower. They therefore gave up the idea of climbing to heaven, and resolved to wander to different parts of the earth.
4. It is likely that they formed themselves into several parties, consisting of all who could talk intelligibly together. They set forth on their journey in various directions.
5. As each company departed, they probably threw a sad glance behind them at the tower of Babel. The sun was perhaps shining on its loftiest summit, as it seemed to rise into the very midst of the sky; and we may believe that it was long remembered by these exiles from their country.
6. The descendants of Shem are supposed to have distributed
themselves over the country near to the Euphrates. The descendants of Ham took a westerly direction, and proceeded to Africa. They settled in Egypt, and laid the foundation of a great nation there. The descendants of Japheth proceeded to Greece, and thus laid the foundation of several European nations.
7. Some travellers in modern times have discovered a large hillock on the shore of the Euphrates. It is composed of sunburnt bricks cemented together with pitch. They believe this hillock to be the ruins of the tower of Babel, which was built more than four thousand years ago.
Questions.1. Describe the confusion of languages. 3. What was the consequence of this confusion of languages? 6. What of the descendants of Shem? Of Ham? Of Japheth? 7. What have some travellers discovered ? What is the hillock supposed to be?
Chap. X.Asia continued.
about the great assyrian empire, and reign op queen' semibamis.
1. When the rest of mankind were scattered into different parts of the earth, there were a number of people who remained near the tower of Babel. They continued to inhabit the land of Shinar, which was a warm country, and very fertile. In course of time they extended over a much larger tract of country, and built towns and cities.
2. This region received the name of Assyria. It was the first of the nations of the earth. Its boundaries varied at
different times, but its place on the map may be seen m the vicinity of the two rivers Tigris and Euphrates, northward of the Persian Gul
3. Ashur, the grandson of Noah, was the first ruler of Assyria. In the year 2229 b.c. he built the city of Nineveh, and surrounded it with walls a hundred feet high. It was likewise defended by fifteen hundred towers, each two hundred feet in height. The city was said to be so large that a person would have travelled a hundred miles merely in walking round it; and many beautiful sculptures have been brought to England lately by some travellers who have dug them out of the ruins of this great city.
4. But the city of Babylon, which was built a short time afterwards, was superior to Nineveh both in size and beauty. It was situated on the river Euphrates. The walls were so very thick that six chariots drawn by horses could be driven abreast upon the top, without danger of falling off on either side. In this country we do not surround our cities with Avails: but in ancient times walls were necessary to protect the people from their enemies.
5. In this city there were magnificent gardens, belonging to the royal palace. They were constructed in such a manner that they appeared to be hanging in the air without resting on the earth. They contained large trees, and all kinds of fruits and flowers.
6. There was also a splendid temple dedicated to Belus, Bel, or Baal, who was the chief idol of the Assyrians. This
temple was six hundred and sixty feet high, and it contained a golden image of Belus forty feet in height.
7. The city of Babylon, which I have been describing, was first built by Nimrod, that mighty hunter of whom the Bible tells us. But the person who made all the beautiful gardens and palaces, and who set up the golden image of Belus, was a woman named Semiramis.
8. She had been the wife of Ninus, king of Assyria; but when king Ninus died, queen Semiramis became sole ruler of the empire. She was an ambitious woman, and could not content herself to live quietly in Babylon, although she had taken so much pains to make it a beautiful city.
9. She was tormented with a wicked desire to conquer all the nations of the earth. So she collected an immense army and marched against the rich and powerful king of the Indies, who lived in what we now call Hindoostan, a country lying to the south-cast of Assyria.
Questions.1. Did all the people leave the land of Shinar after the confusion of languages? Did the people of the land of Shinar increase? What did they do? 2 What name did the country around Shinar receive? What was the first empire or great nation of the earth? In which direction was Assyria from the Persian Gulf? Which way from the Mediterranean Sea? Which way from Egypt? 3. Who was the first ruler of Assyria? What city did he build? Describe the city of Nineveh. 4. Where was the city of Babylon? Describe this wonderful city. Why did the ancients surround their cities with walls? 5. What of the hanging gardens? 6. The temple of Belus? 7. Who built Babylon? Who made the hanging gardens, the image of Belus, &c? 8. What of Semiramis? Was she content with Babylon? 9. What
foolish and wicked desire had she? What did she do? Where did the king of the Indies live ? In which direction was India from Assyria ?
Chap. XLAsia continued.
queen semiramis sets forth to conquer the world, but is defeated by the king of the indies.
1. When the king of the Indies, who was very rich and powerful, heard that queen Semiramis was coming to invade his dominions, he mustered a vast number of men to defend them. Besides his soldiers, he had a great many elephants.
2. Each of these enormous beasts was worth a whole regiment of soldiers. They were taught to rush into the battle and foss the enemy about with their trunks, and trample them down with their huge feet.
3. Now, queen Semiramis had no elephants, and therefore she was afraid that the king of the Indies would overcome her. She endeavoured to prevent this misfortune by a very curious contrivance. In the first place, she ordered three thousand brown oxen to be killed.
4. The hides of the dead oxen were stripped off, and sewed together in the shape of elephants. These were placed upon camels, and when the camels were drawn up in battle array, they looked pretty much like a troop of great brown elephants. Doubtless the king of the Indies wondered where queen Semiramis had caught them.
5. When the battle was to be fought, the king of the Indies, with his real elephants, marched forward on one side, and
queen Semiramis, with her camels and ox-hides, came boldly against him on the other.
6. But when the Indian army had marched close to the hast of the Assyrians, the former perceived that there was no such thing as an elephant among them. They therefore laid aside all fear, and rushed furiously upon queen Semiramis and her soldiers.
7. The real elephants put the camels to flight; and then, in a great rage, they ran about, tossing the Assyrians into
the air, and trampling them down by hundreds. Thus the Assyrian army was routed, and the king of the Indies gained a complete victory.
8. Queen Semiramis was sorely wounded; but she got into a chariot, and drove away at full speed from the battlefield. She finally escaped to her own kingdom, but in a very sad condition.
9. She then took up her residence in the palace at Babylon. But she did not long enjoy herself in the beautiful gardens which she had suspended in the air. It is said that her own son, whose name was Ninyas, put his mother to death, that ho might get possession of the throne, and reign over the people.
10. Such was the melancholy end of the mighty queen Semiramis. How foolish and wicked it was for her to spend her life in trying to conquer other nations, instead of making her own people happy! But she had not learned that golden rule, Do to another as you would have another do to you."
Questions.1. What did the king of the Indies do when he heard that Semiramis was going to make war upon his kingdom ? What sort of an army had he? 2. What of the elephants? 3. By what contrivance did Semiramis endeavour to match the elephants of the king of India? 5. Describe the battle. What was the result of the battle? 8. What of Semiramis? 9. What became of her? 10. Was the conduct of Semiramis good or wise? Do you think she was happy? Do you think any person can be happy who does not try to make others so?
Chap. XII.Asia continued.
about ninyas. reign of sardanapalus and ruin of the assyrian
1. After Ninyas had wickedly murdered his mother, he became king of Assyria. His reign began about the year 2000 b.c., or about three hundred and fifty years after the deluge.
2. Ninyas was not only a very wicked man, but a very slothful one. He did not set out to conquer kingdoms, like his mother, but shut himself up in his palace, and thought of nothing but how to enjoy himself.
3. He knew that his people hated him; and therefore he kept guards in his palace; but he was afraid to trust even his guards. Whether he was murdered at last, or whether he died quietly in his bed, is more than I can tell, for history does not inform us.
4. After the reign of Ninyas, there was an interval of eight hundred years, during which it is impossible to say what happened in the kingdom of Assyria. It is probable
that most of the kings were like Ninyas, that they wasted their time in idle pleasures, and never did anything worthy of remembrance.
5. When Pul was king of Assyria, he conquered the Israelites, and forced them to pay him tribute. He is supposed to have been the king of Nineveh to whom the prophet Jonah was sent to preach repentance, about eight hundred and sixty years before Christ.
6. Some years afterwards, there was a king upon the throne of Assyria whose name was Sardanapalus. He is said to have been a beautiful young man; but he was slothful, and took no care of his kingdom, and made no attempt to promote the welfare of his people.
7. He never went outside of his palace, but lived all the time among the women. And in order to make himself more fit for their company, he painted his face, and sometimes put on a woman's dress. In this ridiculous guise, the great king Sardanapalus used to sit down with the women, and help them to spin.
8. But while Sardanapalus was feasting, and dancing, and painting his face, and dressing himself like a woman, and helping the women to spin, a terrible destruction was impending over his head.
9. Arbaces, governor of the Medes, made war against this unworthy monarch, and besieged him in the city of Babylon. Sardanapalus saw that he could not escape, and that, if he lived any longer, he should probably become a slave.
10. So, rather than be a slave, he resolved to die. He therefore collected his treasures, and heaped them into one great pile in a splendid hall of his palace, and then set fire to the pile. The palace was speedily in a blaze, and Sardanapalus, with his favourite officers, and a multitude of beautiful women, were burnt to death in the flames. Thus ended the great Assyrian monarchy, the country being conquered by Arbaces.
Questions1. What of Ninyas ? When did his reign begin ? 2. What was his character? What did he do? 3. What else of Ninyas? 4. What of Assyria for eight hundred years after Ninyas? 5. What of Pul? About what time did Jonah go to preach repentance to the Ninevites? 6. What of Sardanapalus ? 7. How did he live ? 9. AVhat of Arbaces? 10. What did Sardanapalus do? What was the end of the Assyrian empire? Do you think it was right for Sardanapalus to live only for his own pleasure, and not to try to make his people happy ? Does not this Story show that even a king cannot be idle without bringing destruction upon his people, and misery upon himself?
Chap. XIII.Asia continued.
about the "hebrews or jews. origin op the hebrews. the removal of jacob and his children to egypt.
1. The founder of the Hebrew nation was Abraham, the son of Terah. He was born about two hundred years after the deluge. The country of his birth was Chaldea, which formed the southern part of the Assyrian empire.
2. The rest of the inhabitants of Chaldea were idolaters,
and worshipped the son, moon, and stars; but Abraham worshipped the true God whom we worship. In the early part of his life he was a shepherd on the Chaldean plains. When his father was dead, God commanded him to leave his native country, and travel westward to the land of Canaan.
3. This region was afterwards called Palestine. It lies north of Arabia, and is on the eastern border of the Mediterranean Sea. It was a rich and fertile country, and God promised Abraham that his descendants should dwell there.
4. Many years of Abraham's life were spent in wandering to and fro. His wife Sarah went with him, and they were followed by a large number of male and female servants, and by numerous flocks and herds. They dwelt in tents, and had no settled home.
5. Abraham and Sarah had one son, named Isaac. His father loved him fondly; but when God commanded him to sacrifice the child, he prepared to obey. But an angel came down from heaven, and told him not to slay his son.
6. The life of Abraham was full of interesting events, but I have not room to relate them all here. He lived to be a hundred and seventy-five years old, and then died at Hebron in Canaan. His burial place was in a cave at Machpelah, where Sarah had been buried many years before.
7. The Jews and the Arabians are descended from this ancient patriarch. They have always called him father Abraham. It is said that to this day they show the place where Abraham and Sarah He buried, and that they consider
it a holy spot. Many travellers at the present day go to see it.
8. Isaac, the son of Abraham, left two children, Esau and Jacob. The younger, Jacob, persuaded his brother to sell his birthright for a mess of pottage. He likewise obtained a blessing which his father intended to bestow on Esau.
9. Jacob had twelve sons, whose names' were Reuben, Simeon, Levi, Dan, Judah, Naphtali, Gad, Ashur, Issachar, Zebulon, Joseph, and Benjamin. The posterity of each of these twelve afterwards became a separate tribe among the Hebrews.
10. My young reader must look into the Bible for the beautiful story of Joseph and his brethren. I can merely tell him that Joseph was sold into captivity and carried into the land of Egypt, and that there he was the means of preserving his aged father and all his brothers from death by famine. He died 1635 B.C.
11. Jacob and his twelve children removed to Egypt, and took up their residence there. It was in that country that the Hebrews first began to be a nation ; so that their history may be said to commence from this penod. Jacob died 1689 B.C.
Questions.1. What of Abraham? When was he born? How long ago? Ans. Nearly four thousand years. What was the native country of Abraham ? 2. What of the worship of the Chaldeans ? Of Abraham ? What of the early life of Abraham ? What did God command Abraham to do? Which way was Canaan from Chaldea? How far was Chaldea from Canaan ? Ans. About five hundred miles. 3. Where is the land
of Canaan? What is it now called ? Which way is it from where you live ? How would you go to the land of Canaan or Palestine ? Ans. In a ship, across the Atlantic Ocean and the Mediterranean Sea. 4. What of the life of Abraham ? Who went with him from Chaldea to Canaan ? 5. What of Isaac? 6. What else of Abraham? What of the Jews? 8. What of Isaac? What did Esau do? What is meant by birthright? Ans. The eldest son in ancient times enjoyed many privileges over his younger brothers. These Esau sold to Jacob for a single meal of victuals. Thus Jacob became the head of the Jewish people. 9. Who were the twelve sons of Jacob? What of the descendants of these twelve sons of Jacob ? 10. Can you tell the story of Joseph as related in Genesis, chap, xxxvii. &c? 11. Where did Jacob go with his family ? Which way was Egypt from Canaan ? How far? Ans. About two hundred miles.
Chap. XIV.Asia continued.
the bondage in egypt. flight of the hebrews, and destruction
of pharaoh and his host.
1. Egypt, you know, is in Africa. It has many cities, and a famous river called the Nile runs through the country. But this land is less populous now than in the time of Joseph. It was then full of people, and they were the most learned and civilized of all the nations of the earth. There are many ruins to be seen in Egypt, which show that the palaces and cities of ancient times were very splendid.
2. But I must tell you of the Hebrews. Pharaoh, the good king of Egypt died, and Joseph likewise. Another king then ascended the throne, who hated the Hebrews, and did all in his power to oppress them.
3. The Egyptians treated them like slaves. All the hardest labour was performed by the Hebrews. It is thought by some writers that the immense piles of stone called the Pyramids were built by them. These vast edifices are still standing on the banks of the Nile.
4. The cruel king of Egypt was named Pharaoh, like his predecessor. One of the most wicked injuries that he inflicted
on the Hebrews was the following :
5. He commanded that every male child should be thrown into the river Nile the instant he was born. The reason of this horrible cruelty was, that the Hebrews might not become more numerous than the Egyptians, and conquer the whole country.
6. One of the Hebrew women, however, could not make up her mind to throw her son into the Nile. If she had positively disobeyed the king's order, she would have been put to death. She therefore very privately made a little ark or boat of bulrushes, placed the child in it, and laid it among-the flags that grew by the river's side.
7. In a little while the king's daughter came down to the river to bathe. Perceiving the ark of bulrushes, she went with her maids to fetch it. When they looked in it, they found a little Hebrew boy there.
8. The heart of the princess was moved with compassion, and she resolved to save his life. She hired his own mother to nurse him. She gave him the name of Moses, and when he grew old enough to be put to school, she caused him to be
instructed in all the learning of the Egyptians. At that period they were the most learned people on earth.
9. But though he himself was so well treated, Moses did not forget the sufferings of the other Hebrews. He remembered that they were his brethren, and he resolved to rescue them from their oppressors.
10. He and his brother Aaron received power from God to perform many wonderful things, in order to induce Pharaoh to let the Hebrews depart out of Egypt. Ten great plagues were inflicted on the Egyptians, and these were so terrible that at last Pharaoh gave the Hebrews leave to go.
11. But scarcely were they gone, when the king was sorry that he had not still kept them in Egypt, that he might oppress them, and compel them to labour for him as before. He, therefore, mustered his warriors, and rode swiftly after the fugitives.
12. When he came in sight of them, they were crossing the Red Sea, which lies between Egypt and Arabia. The Lord had caused the waters to roll back, and form a wall on each side. Thus there was a path of glistening sand for the Hebrews through the very depths of the sea.
13. Pharaoh and his army rode onward, and by the time that the fugitives had reached the opposite shore, the Egyptians were in the midst of this wonderful passage.
14. As the Hebrews fled, they looked behind them. There was the proud array of the Egyptian king, with his chariots
and horsemen, and all his innumerable army, and Pharaoh himself riding haughtily in the midst.
15. The affrighted Hebrews looked behind them again, and, lo! the two walls of waters had rolled together. They were dashing against the chariots, and sweeping the soldiers off their feet. The waves were crested with foam, and came roaring against the proud and wicked king. In a little time the sea rolled calmly over Pharaoh and his host, and thus they all perished, leaving the Jews to proceed on their journey.
16. This was a terrible event, but Pharaoh had been very cruel; he therefore deserved his fate. This story may teach us, that not only wicked rulers, but those who follow them, have reason to fear the judgments of heaven.
Questions.1. What of Egypt? Which way does it lie from you? Which way does the Nile flow ? In which of the four quarters of the globe is Egypt ? In which part of Africa is Egypt ? What of Egypt in the time of Joseph ? 2. How were the Hebrews treated after the death of Joseph? What of the pyramids? How high is the tallest of the Egyptian pyramids? Ans. About five hundred feet. 4. What cruelty did Pharaoh inflict upon the Hebrews ? 6. What did one of the Hebrew women do ? 7. What of Pharaoh's daughter? 8. What of Moses ? 9. What did he resolve to do? 10. What of Moses and Aaron? To what did Pharaoh consent ? 11. Did he change his mind ? What did he do ? Which way was the Red Sea from Egypt ? 12. What miracle did God perform ? How did the Hebrews cross the Red Sea ? 15. What became of Pharaoh and his army ?
Chap. XV".Asia continued.
about the wanderings op the israelites in the wilderness.
1, It was now two hundred and fifteen years since Jacob had come to settle in Egypt. His descendants had multiplied so rapidly, that, at the time of their departure, the Hebrew nation are supposed to have amounted to at least two millions of people. Moses, their leader, was eighty years old, but his step was steady; and, though of meek and humble manners, he was a man of great wisdom and firmness of character.
2. The Hebrews intended to go directly from Egypt to the land of Canaan. This latter country is now called Palestine. Before reaching it the children of Israel were to pass through a part of Arabia.
3. In order that they might not go astray, a vast pillar of mist or cloud, moved before them all day long, and at night the pillar of cloud was changed to a pillar of fire, which threw a radiance over the regions through which they journeyed.
4. The country was desolate and barren, and often destitute of water, but the Lord fed the people with manna and with quails; and when they were thirsty, Moses smote upon a rock, and the water gushed out abundantly. This was a great relief, for the climate there was exceedingly hot Beside all this, the Hebrews received divine assistance
against the Axnalekites, and were enabled to conquer them in battle.
5- But, in spite of these various mercies, the Israelites were an ungrateful and rebellious people. They often turned from the worship of the true God, and became idolaters.
6. At the very time when the Lord was revealing himself to Moses on the summit of Mount Sinai, the people compelled Aaron to make a golden calf. They worshipped this poor image instead of Jehovah, who had brought them out of Egypt
7. On account of their numerous sins, the Lord often inflicted severe punishments upon them. Many were slain by pestilence and some were swallowed up in the earth. The remainder were compelled to wander forty years in the deserts of Arabia, though the whole distance in a direct line from Egypt to Canaan was but two hundred and fifty miles.
8. Before they came to the land of Canaan, most of those who had fled out of Egypt were dead. Their children inherited the promised land, but they themselves were buried in the sands of the desert. Even Moses was permitted merely to gaze at the land of Canaan from the top of Mount Pisgah. Here he died, at the age of one hundred and twenty years.
9. After the death of Moses, Joshua, the son of Nun, became leader of the Israelites. Under his guidance they entered the promised land, and subdued the people who inhabited it The territory of Canaan was then divided among-the twelve tribes of Israel.
Questions.1. How long was it from the time that Jacob settled in Egypt to the departure of the Israelites ? What was the number of the Israelites at this time ? How old was Moses ? What was his character ? 2. In which direction is Canaan from Egypt ? What country lies between Canaan and Egypt ? In what country did the Hebrews wander? 3. How were the Hebrews guided ? 4. What sort of country did they travel through? How were they fed? When they could find no spring or river, how were they supplied with water? Why was this supply of water necessary? What other divine assistance was rendered to the Hebrews? 5. Were the Hebrews grateful for all the mercies bestowed upon them ? 6. What did they do when Moses was on Mount Sinai ? Were not the Hebrews very foolish and wicked to worship the image of a calf rather than to worship God ? When children disobey their parents and seek their own pleasure rather than do their duty, are they not like the Hebrews in this instance? 7. What evil resulted from the disobedience of the Hebrews? Do you not know that evil always follows disobedience? How long did the Hebrews wander? What is the distance in a straight line from Egypt to Canaan? 8. Did most of the Hebrews who left Egypt reach Canaan ? What of Moses? Where is Mount Pis-gah ? 9. Who became leader after the death of Moses ? How was the land of Canaan divided ? What part was given to the tribe of Ashur ? To the tribe of Naphtali? OfZebulon? Issachar? Why are the names ofEphraimand Manasseh among the tribes? Ans. Because they were sons of Joseph, and their descendants formed two tribes. Where was the tribe of Manasseh placed? Ephraim? In what part was the tribe of Gad? Dan? Benjamin? Reuben? Simeon? Judah? What portion was given to the tribe of Levi? Ana* The Levites, being priests, had towns assigned them among the other tribes.
Chap. XVI.Asia continued.
OVERTHROW of the midianites. samson jcdge OF ISRAEL.
1. After their settlement in Canaan the Israelites lived under the authority of judges. These were their rulers in times of peace, and their generals in war. Some of them were very remarkable personages, and did many things worthy of remembrance.
2. The name of one of the judges was Gideon. While he ruled Israel, an army of Midianites invaded the country, and oppressed the people for seven years. But the Lord instructed Gideon how to rescue the Israelites from their power.
3. Gideon chose three hundred men, and caused each of them to take an earthen pitcher, and put a lamp within it. With this small band he entered the camp of the Midianites by night. There was an immense army of them, sleeping in their tents, without apprehending any danger from the conquered Israelites.
4. But their destruction was at hand. Gideon gave a signal, and all his three hundred men broke their pitchers, at the same time blowing a loud blast upon trumpets which they had brought. This terrible clamour startled the Midianites from their sleep.
5. Amid the clangour of the trumpets they heard the Israelites shouting, "The sword of the Lord and of Gideon."
A great panic seized upon the Midianites. They doubtless imagined that all the Hebrew army had broken into their camp.
6. Each man mistook his neighbour for an enemy; so that more of the Midianites were slain by their own swords, than by the swords of the men of Israel. Thus God wrought a great deliverance for his people.
7. The most famous of all the judges of Israel was named Samson. He was the strongest man in the world; and it was a wonderful circumstance, that his great strength depended upon the hair of his head.
8. While he continued to wear his hair long, and curling down his neck, he had more strength than a hundred men put together. But if his hair were to be cut off, he would be no stronger than any single man.
9. In the days of Samson the Philistines had conquered the Israelites. Samson hated them on account of the injuries which they inflicted upon his countrymen. He made use of his great strength to do them all the harm in his power.
Questions.1. How were the Hebrews governed after their settlement in Canaan? What of the judges? 2. What of Gideon? 3. Tell how Gideon contrived to overcome the Midianites. 7. What of Samson? In what did his strength lie? 9. What of the Philistines? Why did Samson dislike them?
Chap. XVII.Asia continued.
samson's exploits and death.
1. On one occasion Samson slew a thousand of the Philistines, although he had no better weapon than the jaw-bone of an ass. At another time, when they had shut him up in the city of Gaza, he took the gates of the city upon his shoulders, and carried them to the top of a distant hill.
2. But, though Samson hated the Philistines, and was always doing them mischief, there was a woman among them whom he loved. Her name was Delilah. She pretended to love Samson in return ; but her only object was to ruin him.
3. This woman used many persuasions to induce Samson to tell her what it was that made him so much stronger than other men. At first Samson deceived her. He said that if he were bound with seven green withes, his strength would depart; or, that if he were tied with new ropes, he should be as weak as an ordinary man.
4. So Delilah bound him first with seven green withes, and afterwards with new ropes. But Samson snapped the withes like burnt tow, and the ropes like thread. At length, however, Delilah prevailed upon him to tell her the real cause of his great strength.
5. When she had found out the secret, she cut off the hair of his head while he was sleeping, and then delivered him to her countrymen, the Philistines. These pot out his eyes, and
bound him with fetters of brass, and he was forced to labour like a brute beast in the prison.
6. Samson was able to work very hard, for pretty soon his haii* began to grow, and so his wonderful vigour returned. Thus he became the strongest man in the world again.
7. One day the Philistines were offering a great sacrifice to their idol whose name was Dagon. They feasted, and their hearts were merry. When their mirth was at its height, they sent for poor blind Samson, that he might amuse them, by showing specimens of his wonderful strength.
8. Samson was accordingly brought from prison and led into Dagon's temple. His brazen fetters clanked at every step. He was a woful object with his blinded eyes. But his hair had grown again, and was curling upon his brawny shoulders.
9. When Samson had done many wonderful feats of strength, he asked leave to rest himself against the two main pillars of the temple. The floor and galleries were all crowded with Philistines. They gazed upon tins man of mighty strength, and they triumphed and rejoiced, because they imagined he could do them no more harm.
10. But while they gazed, the strong man threw his arms round the two pillars of the temple. The edifice trembled as with an earthquake. Then Samson bowed himself with all his might, and down came the temple with a crash like thunder, ovemhelming the whole multitude of the Philistines in its ruins.
11. Samson was likewise crushed, but in his death it appears that he triumphed over his enemies, and lay buried beneath the dead bodies of lords and mighty men.
Questions.1. With what weapon did Samson kill a thousand Philistines? What of the gates of Gaza? 2. What of Delilah? 3. How did Samson deceive her ? 5. How did Delilah deprive Samson of his strength? What did the Philistines do to Samson? 6. What happened when Samson's hair grew again? 7. Tell how Samson destroyed the Philistine temple.
chat. XVILT.Asia continued.
beginning of the reign of saul.
1. Many other judges ruled over Israel, in the space of about four hundred years from the time that Moses led the Hebrews out of Egypt. But at length they became dissatisfied with this mode of government, and demanded that a king should be placed over them.
2. Samuel was then the judge of Israel. He was an old man, and a wise one; and besides the wisdom that he had collected in the course of a long life, he possessed wisdom from on high.
3. When the people demanded a king, Samuel endeavoured to convince them that they were much better off without one. He described the tyrannical acts which kings have often been in the habit of committing, when they have had the power to do so.
4. But the Israelites would not hearken to this wise and
good old man. They still wished for a king. They imagined that none but a king would govern them well in time of peace, or fight successfully against their enemies in war.
5. Samuel therefore consulted the Lord, and was directed to find out a king for the Israelites. The person who was fixed upon was a young man named Saul, the son of Kish. He possessed great beauty, and was a head taller than any other man among the Israelites. Samuel anointed his head with oil, and gave him to the Israelites as their king.
6. For a considerable time king Saul behaved like a wise and righteous monarch. But, at length, he began to disobey the Lord, and seldom took the advice of Samuel, although that good old priest would have been willing to direct him in every action of his life.
7. In the course of Saul's reign, the Israelites were often at war with the neighbouring nations. At one time, when the Philistines had invaded the country, there was a great giant in their host, whose name was Goliath, of Gath.
8. He was at least ten or twelve feet high, and was clothed from head to foot in brazen armour. He carried an enormous spear, the iron head of which weighed as many as thirty pounds.
9. Every day did this frightful giant stride forth from the camp of the Philistines, and defy the Israelites to produce a champion who would stand against him in single combat. But, instead of doing this, the whole host of Israel stood aloof from him, as a flock of sheep from a lion.
Questions.1. For how long a time were the Hebrews governed by judges? 2. What of Samuel? 3. What did he do when the people demanded a king? 4. What did the Israelites think? 5. What of Saul? 6. What did Saul do? 7. What of Goliath?
Chap. XIX.Asia continued.
combat op david and goliath.
1. At last a young shepherd, of the name of David, happened to come to the camp of the Israelites, and heard the terrible voice of Goliath, as he thundered forth his challenge.
2. Young as he was, David had already slain a lion and a bear; and, with the help of the Lord, he thought himself able to slay this gigantic Philistine. He therefore obtained leave of king Saul to accept the challenge.
3. But, instead of wearing the king's armour, which Saul would willingly have lent him, David went to the battle in his shepherd's garb. He did not even buckle on a sword.
4. When the two combatants came into the field, there was the youthful David on the side of the Israelites, with a staff in one hand, and a sling in the other, carrying five smooth stones in a shepherd's scrip or pouch.
5. On the side of the Philistines, forth strode the mighty Goliath. He glistened in his brazen armour, and brandished his great iron-headed spear till it quivered like a reed. When the giant spoke, his voice growled almost like thunder rolling overhead.
6. He looked scornfully at David, and hardly thought it
worth his while to lift up his spear against him. Come hither," quoth the giant, and I will feed the fowls with your flesh!"
7. But little David was not at all abashed. He made a bold answer, and told Goliath that he would cut off his head, and give his enormous carcass to the beasts of the field. This threat so enraged the giant, that he put himself in morion to slay David.
8. The young man ran forward to meet Goliath, and as he ran he took a smooth stone from his scrip, and placed it in his sling. When at a proper distance, he whirled the sling, and let drive the stone. It went whizzing through the air, and hit Goliath right in the centre of the forehead.
9. The stone penetrated to the brain; and down the giant fell at full length upon the field, with his brazen armour clanging around him. David then cut off Goliath's head with his own sword. The Philistines were affrighted at their champion's overthrow, and fled.
10. The men of Israel pursued them, and made a prodigious slaughter. David returned from the battle, carrying the grim and grisly head of Goliath by the hair. The Hebrew women came forth to meet him, danced around him, and sang triumphant anthems in his praise.
Questions.1. Who was David? What did he do? 2. What had David done? What did he think? 3. Tell the story of David and Goliath. 9. What effect had the death of Goliath upon the Philistines ? 10. What honours were paid to David?
Chap. XX.Asia continued.
THE REIGN OF DAVID. WISDOM OP SOLOMON.
1. Davii> had won so much renown by his victory over Goliath, that Saul became envious of him, and often endeavoured to kill him. But Jonathan, the son of Saul, loved David better than a brother.
2. During the lifetime of Saul, David was forced to live in exile. But, after a reign of about twenty-four years, king Saul was slain on the mountains of Gilboa, in a disastrous battle with the Philistines. Jonathan was likewise killed.
3. When David heard of these sad events, he expressed his sorrow by weeping and rending his garments. Yet he gained a kingdom by the death of Saul and Jonathan, for the men of Judah first elected him to reign over them, and afterwards the whole people of Israel chose him for their king.
4. A great part of David's life was spent in war. He gained many victories, and enjoyed high renown as a gallant leader. He conquered many of the surrounding nations, and raised his kingdom to a higher pitch of power than it ever enjoyed before or afterwards. But he also won a peaceful kind of fame, which will last while the world endures, and be remembered through eternity.
5. He won it by his heavenly poesy; for king David was the sweet Psalmist of Israel; and, in all the ages since he lived, his psalms have been sung to the praise of the Lord.
It is now about three thousand years since David died, yet to this hour every pious heart loves to commune with God in the beautiful words of this inspired man.
6. In the latter part of his life David wa3 much grieved by the rebellious conduct of his son Absalom. But it grieved him more when Absalom was slain by Joab, who found him hanging by his long hair on the branches of an oak, and pierced his body with three darts.
7. When David had reigned forty years, and was grown a very old man, he died in his palace in Jerusalem. The kingdom was inherited by his son Solomon. This prince was very young when he ascended the throne, but he was wiser in his youth than in his riper years.
8. Not long after he became king, two women came into his presence, bringing a little child. Each of the women claimed the child as her own, and they quarrelled violently, as if they would have torn the poor babe asunder. It seemed impossible to find out whose the child really was.
9. "Bring hither a sword," said king Solomon; and immediately one of the attendants brought a sharp sword. Now," continued Solomon, that I may not wrong either of these women, the thing in dispute shall be equally divided between them. Cut the child in twain, and let each take half."
10. But when the real mother saw the keen sword glittering over her poor babe, she gave a scream of agony. Do
not slay the child!" she cried. "Give it to this wicked
woman. Only let it live, and she may be its mother!"
11. But the other woman showed no pity for the child.
"I ask no more than my just rights," she said. Cut the
child in two! I will be content with half." Now Solomon
had watched the conduct of the two women, and he knew the
true mother by her tenderness for the poor babe. Give the
child alive to her who would not have it slain," he said.
" She is its mother."
Questions.1. Why was Saul envious of David ? What did Saul do ? What of Jonathan? 2. How was David obliged to live? What of Saul ? Jonathan? 3. What effect had these events upon David? Who became king of Israel after the death of Saul? 4. How was a great part of David's life spent? To what condition did he bring the Hebrew nation ? What better feme did he acquire than that of a conqueror? 5. Who was the author, of the Psalms? What can you say of the Psalms? How long since David lived? 6. What of Absalom ? 7. How long did David reign ? Who succeeded him ? What of Solomon? 8. Tell the story of the child.
Chap. XXI.Asia continued.
building op tiie temple. visit of the queen op siieba.
1. Kino David, as I before told you, had increased the power and wealth of the Hebrew nation, so that it was now a great kingdom. Silver and gold were very abundant in the country, and king David had made preparation for the building of a splendid temple, to be dedicated to the worship of the true God.
2. The chief event of Solomon's life was the building of this temple. This was done by the special command of the Lord. It was now four hundred and eighty years since the Israelites had come out of Egypt; and in all that time there had been no edifice erected to the worship of God.
3. Solomon made an agreement with Hiram, king of Tyre, that he would give him a yearly supply of wheat and oil, in exchange for cedar and fir. Tyre was a great commercial city on the coast of the Mediterranean Sea, to the northward of Jerusalem. It belonged to Phoenicia, a country which has the credit of having first engaged in commerce.
4. With the timber which he procured from Tyre, and with a large quantity of hewn stone, Solomon began to build the temple. The front of this building was one hundred and twenty feet- long, thirty-five feet broad, and forty-five feet high, with a porch or entrance of much greater height. It extended around a large square, and, with the various buildings attached to it, covered twenty acres of ground.
5. But no pen can describe the richness and admirable splendour of this sacred edifice. The interior was constructed of the most costly kinds of wood; and the walls were carved with figures of cherubim, and other beautiful devices. The walls and floors were partly overlaid with gold.
6. The temple was furnished with altars, and tables, and candlesticks, and innumerable other articles, all of the purest gold. The whole edifice must have shone almost as if it had been built entirely of that precious metal.
7. Seven years were employed in building this temple. It was just about three thousand years from the creation that it was finished, and one thousand years before the birth of Christ. "When it was finished, Solomon assembled all the chiefs, and elders, and great men of Israel, in order to dedicate it. The priests brought the ark, containing the two tables of stone which God had given to Moses more than four centuries before.
8. The ark was now placed in the holiest part of the temple. It rested beneath the broad wings of two cherubims that were overlaid with gold. No sooner was the ark set in its place than a cloud issued forth and filled the temple. This was a token that the Lord was there.
9. After the building of the temple, Solomon became so renowned for his wisdom and magnificence, that the queen of Sheba came from her own dominions to visit him. Her country is supposed to have been in Africa, to the southward of Egypt
10. She travelled with a great multitude of attendants; and she had likewise a train of camels, laden with gold and precious stones, and abundance of spices. The sweet perfume of the spices scented the deserts through which she passed.
11. When she came to Jerusalem, she beheld Solomon seated on a great throne of ivory overlaid with pure gold. His feet rested on a golden footstool. There were lions of gold about the throne. The king had a majestic look; and
the queen of Sheba was astonished at his grandeur: but when they had talked together she admired his wisdom even more than his magnificence. She acknowledged that the half of his greatness had not been told her.
12. If the queen of Sheba could have seen Solomon a few years-afterwards, she would have beheld a lamentable change. He turned from the true God, and became an idolater. This wise and righteous king, who had built the sacred temple, now grew so wicked that he built high places for the worship of heathen deities.
13. For this reason God determined to take away the chief part of the kingdom from his descendants. Accordingly, when Solomon was dead, ten of the tribes of Israel revolted against his son Rehoboam.
Questions.1 What had David done? What of silver and gold among the Hebrews? 2. What was the chief event of Solomon's reign? By whose command was the temple built? 3. What agreement did Solomon make with Hiram, king of Tyre? What of Phoenicia? In what part of Canaan was Jerusalem? How far from the Mediterranean Sea? Ans. About forty-five miles. Where was Tyre? In which direction from Jerusalem? What of Tyre? In which direction is Jerusalem from Babylon? From Egypt? 4. With what did Solomon begin to build the temple? Where was the temple of Solomon built? Ans. On a hill in Jerusalem called Mount Moriah. Describe the extent of the temple. 5. Describe the interior of the temple. 6. With what was the temple-furnished? 7. How long were they in building the temple? How long after the creation was the temple finished? How long before Christ? How long ago? Describe the dedication of the temple. 9. What of the queen of Sheba? Where is it supposed she came from? 10. Describe
her visit to Solomon. 12. What change took place in Solomon? 18. What evil followed the idolatry of Solomon?
Chap. XXII.Asia continued.
the decline of the jewish nation.
1. In consequence of the revolt of the ten tribes, Rehoboam reigned over only the two tribes of Judah and Benjamin, these being called the kingdom of Judah. Beside the loss of so large a part of his kingdom, he suffered other misfortunes. Shishak king of Egypt, made war against him, and- took Jerusalem. He carried away the treasures of the temple and of the palace.
2. The other ten tribes of Israel, which had revolted from Rehoboam, were thenceforward governed by kings of their own, the country being called the kingdom of Israel. Most of these kings were wicked men and idolaters. Their palace and seat of government was in the city of Samaria.
3. When the kingdom of Israel had been separated from that of Judah about two hundred and fifty years, it was conquered by Salmaneser, king of Assyria, He made slaves of the Israelites, and carried them to his own country, and most of them never returned to the land of Canaan.
4. The people of the two tribes of Judah and Benjamin continued to reside in Canaan. They were now called Jews. The royal palace and seat of government was at Jerusalem. Some of the Jewish kings were pious men, but most of them offended God by their sinfulness and idolatry.
5. The whole nation of the Jews were perverse, and underwent many severe inflictions from the wrath of God. In the year 606 B.C. Nebuchadnezzar, king of Babylon, took Jerusalem. He destroyed the temple, and carried the principal people captive to Babylon.
6. Afterwards, when Zedekiah was king, Jerusalem was again besieged and taken by Nebuzaradan, a general under Nebuchadnezzar. He broke down the walls of the city, and left nothing standing that could be destroyed. The Jews remained captive in Babylon seventy years.
7. When Babylon was taken by Cyrus, king of Persia, the Jews were permitted to return to their own country. They rebuilt the temple, and resumed their ancient manner of worship. Till the time of Alexander the Great, about 330 B.C. the nation was dependent on the kings of Persia,
8. It is said that Alexander the Great intended to take Jerusalem. But, as he advanced with his army, the high priest came forth to meet him, in his robes of office, at the head of a long train of Levites and the people. Alexander was so struck with their appearance that he agreed to spare the city.
9. In the course of the two next centuries, the Egyptians invaded the Jewish kingdom, and afterwards the Syrians reduced the inhabitants to bondage. They suffered great calamities from the tyranny of these conquerors.
10. But, in the year 166 before the Christian era, Judas Maccabasus, a valiant Jewish leader, drove the Syrians out
of the country. When the king of Syria heard of it, he took an oath that he would destroy the whole Jewish nation. But, as he was hastening to Jerusalem, he was killed by a fall from his chariot.
11. The descendants of Judas Maccabzeus afterwards assumed royal authority and became kings of the Jews. In less than a century, however, the country was subdued by Pompey, a celebrated Roman general. He conferred the government on Antipater, a native of Edom.
12. In the year 37 before the Christian era, the Roman
senate decreed that Herod, the son of Antipater, should be
king of the Jews. It was this Herod who commanded that
all the young children of Bethlehem should be slain, in order
that the infant Jesus might not survive. The period of that
blessed infant's birth was now at hand.
Questions.1. Who was Rehoboam? Into what two kingdoms was the Hebrew nation divided during his reign? What name was given to the ten tribes which revolted? What name was given to the two tribes? What of Shishak? 2. How was the kingdom of Israel governed? In which part of Canaan were the ten tribes? In which part was the kingdom of Judah? What of the kings of Israel? Where did these kings dwell? Where was Samaria? How far from Jerusalem? Ans. Forty miles. 3. What of Salmaneser? 4. What were the people of Judah now called? Where was the seat of government? What of the kings of Judah? 5. What of the Jewish nation? What of Nebuchadnezzar? 6. What of Nebuzaradan? How long did the Jews remain captive in Babylon? 7. What of Cyrus? What did the Jews do on their return from captivity? How long was the nation dependent upon Persia? 8. What of Alexander the Great? 9. What happened after the time of Alexander? 10. What of Judas Maccabasus? What of the king of
Syria? In which direction was Syria from Canaan? 11. What of the descendants of Judas Maccabasus? What of Pompey? Whom did he appoint to govern Judah? 12. When did the Roman senate appoint Herod the king of the Jews ? What of Herod?
Chap. XXIII.Asia continued.
the hebrew prophets.
1. I must now glance backward, and say a few words respecting a class of men who appeared at various times among the Hebrews. These men were called prophets. They held intercourse with God, and he gave them the knowledge of things that were to happen in future years.
2. One of the most remarkable of the prophets was named Elijah. Many wonderful things are told of him. While he was dwelling in a solitary place, the ravens brought him food. He restored the son of a poor widow from death to life.
3. He denounced God's vengeance against the wicked king Ahab, and foretold that the dogs should eat the painted Jezebel, his queen. All this, afterwards, came to pass. He caused fire to come down from heaven, and consume two captains, with their soldiers. He divided the river Jordan by smiting it with his mantle, and passed over on dry ground.
4. At last, when his mission on earth was ended, there came a chariot of fire, and horses of fire, and carried EHjah by a whirlwind up to heaven.
5. Elijah's mantle fell from the fiery chariot. It was
caught up by a person named Elisha, and he likewise became a very celebrated prophet. He cursed some little children because they laughed at his bald head; and soon afterwards two she-bears tore forty and two of them in pieces.
6. When Elisha was dead, and had lain many months in his sepulchre, another dead man happened to be let down into the same darksome place. But when the corpse touched the hallowed bones of the prophet Elisha, it immediately revived, and became a living man again.
7. Jonah was another prophet. A whale swallowed him, and kept him three days in the depths of ocean, and then vomited him safely on dry land. Isaiah was also a prophet. He foretold many terrible calamities that were to befal Israel and Judah, and the surrounding nations, as did also Ezekiel; and Jeremiah bewailed, in plaintive accents, the sins and misfortunes of God's people.
8. The prophet Daniel foretold the downfal of Belshazzar, king of Babylon. He was afterwards cast into a den of lions in Babylon, at the command of king Darius. The next morning the king looked down into the den, and there was Daniel alive and well!
9. King Darius then ordered Daniel to be drawn out of the den, and his false accusers to be thrown into it. The moment that these wicked persons touched the bottom, the lions sprang forward and tore them limb from limb.
10. Numerous other prophets appeared at various times,
and most of them performed such wonderful works that there could be no doubt of their possessing power from on high. Now it was remarked that all these prophets, or nearly all, spoke of a king, or ruler, or other illustrious personage, who was to appear among the Jews.
11. Although they foretold the most dreadful calamities to the people, still there was this one thing to comfort them: A descendant of king David was to renew the glory of the Jewish race, and establish his sway over the whole world.
12. This great event was expected to happen in about fifteen hundred years after Moses led the Israelites out of Egypt. And it did then happen. When the appointed period had elapsed, there appeared a star in a certain quarter of the heavens.
13. Three wise men from the east beheld the star, and were guided by it to a stable in the little village of Bethlehem. It was about five miles from Jerusalem. There, in a manger, lay the infant Jesus!
Questions.1. "What of the prophets? 2. What is told of Elijah? 5. What of Elisha? 7. What of Jonah? Isaiah? Ezckiel? Jeremiah? S. What of Daniel? 10. What can you say of the prophets? Of what did the prophets all speak? 11. What cheering prospect did the prophets hold out to the Jews? 12. About how long after Moses did Christ appear? What of the star in the east? 13. What of Bethlehem? Whom did the wise men find in a stable?
Chap. XXIV.Asia continued.
crucifixion op the saviour. destruction of jerusalem.
1. The greatest event, not only in the history of the Jews, but in the history of the world, had now taken place. This was the coming of the Saviour. But my readers must not expect me to relate the whole story of this divine personage in the little book which I am now writing.
2. The Jews rejected him. They had been long looking for an earthly potentate; and when they beheld the meek and lowly Jesus, they despised aud hated him. From the time that he proclaimed himself the Messiah, they sought to take his life.
3. They brought him before the judgment-seat of Pontius Pilate, who was then the Roman governor of Judea. Pilate sentenced him to death, and the Saviour of the world was crucified between two thieves. He, however, rose from the dead, after being buried three days, and ascended into heaven.
4. Such is the brief story of Jesus Christ. After his death, his apostles proceeded to preach the gospel throughout the land of Canaan and other countries. Of all the apostles, Paul was the most active and successful.
5. He visited various parts of Palestine, Syria, Asia Minor, and Greece. At length he was sent as a prisoner to Rome, to be tried by the emperor. He went with other
prisoners in a small vessel, nearly the whole Jength of the Mediterranean Sea.
6. In the course of the voyage, the vessel was wrecked upon the island of Malta during a terrible gale. After this the vessel proceeded on its voyage, and Paul reached Rome sixty-one years after Christ. Here he remained in prison a long time; but many persons came to visit him, and he preached to them all the doctrines of Christianity. Paul was at length released, but it is believed that he was beheaded by order of the emperor Nero.
7. The apostles had now sown the seeds of the gospel in many countries, and the fruits began to appear. Nearly all the civilized world were worshippers of the Roman gods ; but this heathen faith gradually gave way before the gospel, and, in process of time, Christianity was diffused over nearly the whole of Europe.
8. Long before the crucifixion of Christ, the Jews had become completely subject to the Roman power. But, about forty years after his death, they rebelled against their masters.
9. Titus, the Roman general, immediately marched to besiege Jerusalem. A most dreadful war ensued. The inhabitants were shut up in the city, and soon were greatly in want of food. Hunger impelled one of the Jewish women to devour her own child. When Titus heard of it, he was so shocked that he vowed the destruction of the whole Jewish
race; and more than a hundred thousand persons perished during this frightful siege!
10. At length the city was taken in the night-time, and set on fire. The flames caught the temple. The hills on which Jerusalem is situated were all blazing like so many volcanoes. The blood of the slaughtered inhabitants hissed upon the burning brands.
11. Ninety-seven thousand Jews were taken prisoners. Some were sold as slaves. The conquerors exposed others to be torn in pieces by wild beasts. A few people remained in Jerusalem, and partly rebuilt the city. But it was again destroyed by a Roman emperor named Adrian. He levelled the walls and houses with the earth, and sowed the ground with salt.
12. The Jews were scattered all over the world. This catastrophe had long been prophesied. There are now between three and four millions of them in different parts of the earth. They still keep their religion, and many of their old customs. Jerusalem has been partially restored, but it is now very different from what it was in the time of our Saviour.
Questions.1. What is the greatest event that has occurred on the globe? How long is it since Christ was born? How long after the creation did Christ appear? Ans. Four thousand and four years. How long after the flood? 2. How did the Jews receive Christ? 3. What of Pilate? The crucifixion? 4. What did Christ's apostles do after his death? What of Paul? 5. What countries did Paul visit? Where was he at
length sent? 6. Where was Paul's vessel wrecked? When did he arrive at Borne? To whom did he preach Christianity? What is supposed to have been his fate? 7. What had the.apostles done? What of the worship pf the heathen deities? What of Christianity? 8. To whom had the Jews been long subject? What occurred forty years after the death of Christ? 9. What of Titus? Describe the siege of Jerusalem. 11. What of Adrian? 12. What became of the Jews? What event had been foretold by the prophets? What of Jerusalem?
Chap. XXV.Asia continued.
cyeus conquers babylon. bis death.
1. In a former part of this book I have told the story of Assyria, the first great empire of ancient times. It was situated, as you remember, in the land watered by the rivers Tigris and Euphrates. Its place is shown on the map which is there given. In this region the climate is warm, and the soil exceedingly fruitful. Here the human race seemed to multiply in the most wonderful manner.
2. Thus many nations soon sprang up and increased, till the whole surrounding country was filled with multitudes of people. Assyria, at one time, extended its dominion over most of these nations; but at length Persia became a powerful monarchy, and not only Assyria, but a great many other nations became subject to it.
3. The first inhabitants of Persia were descended from Elam, the eldest son of Shem. They were therefore called Elamites. Very little is known of their history till about
eighteen centuries after the deluge. Cyrus, a great conqueror, then ascended the throne of Persia. Some historians have spoken of Cyrus as a wise and excellent monarch, but it appears probable that he was no better than most other conquerors.
4. Cyrus continued to extend his empire in all directions. Media, Parthia, Mesopotamia, Armenia, Syria, Canaan, and parts of Arabia, were subdued, and made portions of his kingdom. One of his chief exploits was the taking of the city of Babylon, the capital of Assyria. The walls of this great city were so thick and high, that it would have been impossible for any enemy either to break them down, or to climb over them. It was, therefore, a very difficult matter to take this strong place.
5. Now, the channel of the river Euphrates ran directly through the centre of Babylon. Cyrus caused deep ditches to be dug around the city, so that he could draw off the water of the river, and leave the channel dry. When the ditches were completed, he waited for a proper time to draw off the river.
6. On a certain night, Belshazzar, king of Babylon, made a great festival. His guards, and nearly all the inhabitants, were eating and drinking, thoughtless of the enemy on the outside of their walls. The Persians seized this opportunity to throw open the dams of the ditches.
7. The whole water of the Euphrates immediately flowed into them. Cyrus put himself at the head of the Persian
army; and, where the mighty river had so lately rushed along there were now the trampling footsteps of an innumerable host. Thus the Persian troops entered the city.
8. The guards of the royal palace were surprised and slain. Belshazzar heard the clash of arms, and the shrieks of dying men, as he sat with his nobles in the banquet-hall, But it was too late to escape. They were all slaughtered, and their blood was mingled with the wine of the festival. Thus Babylon was taken, and Assyria became a part of Persia.
9. Cyrus afterwards marched against the Scythians, a brave
nation, who dwelt to the north-east of the Caspian Sea.
But Tomyris, their queen, collected an army, and fought a
bloody battle with the Persians. Cyrus was defeated, and
taken prisoner. The son of the Scythian queen had been
killed in the battle, and she resolved to avenge his death.
She ordered her attendants to kill Cyrus, which was done in
a horrible manner.
Questions.1. What was the first great empire of the world? Where was Assyria situated? Climate of this region? Soil? The human race? 2. Increase of mankind? What of Assyria? Persia? Which way was Persia from Canaan? Arabia? Caspian Sea? What gulf lies south of Persia? 3. What of the first inhabitants of Persia? At what time did Cyrus ascend the throne of Persia? What of Persia before the time of Cyrus? Character of Cyrus? 4. What were some of the countries conquered by Cyrus? In which direction from Persia was Media? Parthia? Mesopotamia? Armenia? Syria? Canaan? Arabia? Describe the taking of Babylon. 8. What event terminated the Assyrian empire? 9 Where did the Scythians live? Their character? What of Cyrus?
Chap. XXVI.Asia continued.
beign of cambyses.
1. Cambyses, the son of Cyrus, seems to have been a worse man than his father. He was addicted to drinking wine; and Prexaspes, a favourite courtier, hinted to him that he injured his health and faculties by this practice. When Prexaspes had done speaking, Cambyses called for wine, and drank off several large goblets. Now we shall see," said he, "whether the wine has dimmed my sight, or rendered my hand unsteady!"
2. He then called for a bow and arrow, and ordered the son of Prexaspes to stand at the further end of the hall. The boy did so ; and, while his father looked on, the cruel Cambyses took aim at the poor child, and shot an arrow directly through his heart.
3. I am very sorry, my dear young reader, to tell you such horrible stories as these. I would not tell them but that they are true, and they may teach us good and useful lessons: they may show us how wicked and miserable even kings may be.
4. They may also make us rejoice that we live in an age when such things do not happen. You must recollect that I am telling you of what took place many ages since. The people were then thought to be merely the playthings of their kings, and only made to serve them. Since that time,
Christ has come and told us that it is the will of God that each man should do to another as he would he done by.
5. It is true that in many countries, particularly in Asia, the divine laws of Christ are not known; but in most places the kings are better than they were in the time of Cambyses. In America we have no kings, and therefore the stories I am telling you about the cruelties of the ancient monarchs of Asia appear very shocking.
6. But I must go on with my story. Cambyses made war against the Egyptians. At the siege of one of their cities, he-contrived a very cunning method to take the place. The Egyptians believed that cats and dogs were sacred, and they worshipped them as gods. This foolish superstition induced Cambyses to collect all the cats and dogs in the country, and place them in front of his army.
7. The Egyptians were afraid to discharge their arrows, lest they should kill some of these divine animals. The Persians therefore inarched onward, with the dogs barking and the cats mewing before them, and the city was taken without the slightest resistance.
8. The chief deity of the Egyptians was a great bull, to whom they had given the name of Apis. Cambyses killed this holy bull, and bestowed the flesh on some of his soldiers for dinner. Soon afterwards, to the great joy of the Egyptians, he killed himself accidentally with his own sword.
Questions.1. What of Cambyses? What story can you tell of him? 8. What lessons may we learn from these painful tales of ancient kings?.
4. What was thought of the people in these ancient times? What has Christ since told us? 5. Where are the laws of Christ not known? What of kings now? 6. How did Cambyses capture an Egyptian city? 8. What of the Egyptian god Apis? How was Cambyses slain ?
Chap. XXVII.Asia continued.
expedition op xerxes into greece.
1. Another king of the Persians was named Darius. He was likewise a cruel tyrant. When he was going on an expedition against the Scythians, he compelled an old man's three sons to join his army. These were all the children the old man had. He came into the king's presence, and earnestly entreated that one of his sons might be left at home.
2. I am very poor and infirm," said the old man. I am unable to work. If you take away all my three children, I shall starve to death!" Indeed !" answered king Darius, in a very compassionate tone, "then they shall all three remain with you." Immediately he ordered the three young men to be slain, and gave their dead bodies to their poor old father*
3. While Darius was preparing to make war on Greece, he fell sick and died. His successor was his son Xerxes. This monarch invaded Greece with nearly two millions of men on land, and more than half a million on board his fleet.
4. You may well believe that a king who could collect so large an army had great wealth and power. At this time
the Persian empire was of vast extent, but still Xerxes wished to conquer other nations. His capital was Persepolis, one of the most splendid cities that ever existed.
o. Here Xerxes had magnificent palaces; he had gold and silver in abundance, he had precious stones more than he could count, he was indeed surrounded with pomp and magnificence; but all these could not bring contentment. He was still desirous of conquering other nations; and for this purpose he collected the greatest army of which history gives us any account.
6. When Xerxes arrived in Greece, it so happened that a great mountain, called Mount Athos, stood directly in the way that he wished his ships to sail. He therefore wrote a letter to the mountain, commanding it to get out of his way; but Mount Athos would not stir one step.
7. In order to bring his land forces from Asia into Greece, Xerxes built a bridge of boats across a part of the sea called the Hellespont. But the waves broke the bridge to pieces, and Xerxes commanded the sea to be whipped for its disrespectful conduct.
8. The greater part of the cities of Greece submitted to Xerxes; but Sparta and Athens made a stubborn resistance. Though they could muster but few soldiers, these were far more valiant than the Persians.
9. At Thermopylae, Xerxes wished to lead his army through a narrow passage between a mountain and the sea. Leonidas, king of Sparta, opposed him with six thousand men. Seventy
thousand Persians were slain in the attempt to break through the pass.
10. At last, Leonidas found that the Persians could not be kept back any longer. He therefore sent away all but three hundred men, and with these he remained at the pass of Thermopylae. The immense host of the Persians came onward like a flood; and only one soldier of the three hundred escaped to Sparta to tell the rest were slain.
11. But Xerxes did not long continue to triumph in Greece. His fleet was defeated at Salamis, and his army at Plataea. In escaping, he was forced to cross the Hellespont in a little fishing-vessel; for the sea in spite of its being whipped, had again broken his bridge of boats.
12. Not long after his return to Persia, the proud Xerxes was murdered in his bed. This event happened about the year 465 B.C. His son, Artaxerxes, made peace with the Greeks.
13. The story of Xerxes may teach us the folly of ambition. Had he been content with staying at home and governing his people so as to make them happy, he might have been happy himself. But, having too much, he.still strove to acquire more, and thus brought misery upon himself and millions of his fellow-men.
14. Let us be content in more humble situations, for we see that happiness is not always associated with wealth and power. Let us remember, too, that pride and vanity made even Xerxes ridiculous with all his magnificence.
Questions.1. "What of Darius ? Tell a story of his cruelty. 3. Who was the successor of Darius ? How large was the army of Xerxes when he invaded Greece? Where is Greece? Ans. In Europe. How far from Persia? Ans. About fifteen hundred miles. In which direction from Persia? Ans. North-west. What of the Persian empire in the time of Xerxes? What of Persepolis? In which direction was it from Babylon? Jerusalem? 5. What of the wealth and magnificence of Xerxes ? Which was the greatest army ever known ? 6. What of Mount Athos? 7. What of the Hellespont? 8. What of Greece? 9. What of Thermopyke? 10. Whatof Leonidas? 11. What of Salamis? Platsea? How did Xerxes return? 12. Death of Xerxes? When did this event happen? Who succeeded Xerxes? 13. What may the story of Xerxes teach us.? How might he have been happy? How did he bring misery upon himself and others? 14. Why should we be content? What should we remember?
Chap. XXVIII.Asia continued.
affairs of persia till the saracen conquest.
1. Between one and two centuries after the death of Xerxes, that is, about three hundred and thirty years before Christ, Persia was invaded by Alexander the Great, king of Macedon. Darius the Third was then king of Persia. Being defeated by Alexander, two of his own subjects bound him with golden chains, and put him in a covered cart.
2. They intended to murder Darius, and get possession of the kingdom. But Alexander came suddenly upon the conspirators, and forced them to take flight. As they rode away, they discharged their darts at Darius, and slew him.
3. After this time, Persia became subject to the Parthians, whose country had formerly been a province of the Persian empire. It continued under the government of the Parthian kings nearly five hundred years. About the year 230 after the Christian era, a Persian, named Artaxares, excited a.rebellion, and made himself king.
4. His descendants occupied the throne for many generations. One of the most distinguished was Chosroes the Great, who lived about six hundred years after Christ. He made war against the Romans, and ravaged their provinces in Asia.
5. One of his successors was likewise named Chosroes. This hateful monster caused his own father to be beaten to death. But Heaven punished him by the wickedness of his eldest son, whose name was Siroes. He dethroned his father, and murdered all his brothers in his presence.
6. Siroes then ordered his father to be thrown into a dungeon. Here, instead of killing the old king at once, he tormented him for a long time by pricking him with the points of arrows! Chosroes died at last, in great agony.
7. These things may seem too shocking to tell, but it is perhaps necessary that my young readers should know how very cruel men may become when given up to the influence of passion. Let us be thankful that the religion of Christ has taught us to look upon such crimes as were often practised by the Persian kings with horror and disgust.
8. Isdigertes, who ascended the throne in the year 630 of
the Christian era, was the last of this dynasty of Persian kings. During his reign, the Saracens, a warlike people of Arabia, invaded Persia, and conquered it. Isdigertes was killed in battle.
9. Persia then became a part of the Saracen empire. It was ruled by the caliphs who resided at Bagdad, a splendid city which they built on the river Tigris.
10. This celebrated place was founded in 672, and once contained two millions of inhabitants. It was then filled with costly buildings, but it is now in ruins. The modern city is poorly built, and comparatively insignificant.
Questions.1. When was Persia invaded by Alexander the Great? Who was then king of Persia? What happened to Darius? 2. How was he killed? 8. To whom did Persia become subject after the death of Darius? How long did it continue under the government of Parthia? Which way is Parthia from Persia? When did Artaxares make himself king? 4. What of his descendants ? Chosroes the great? When did he live ? What did he do ? What of the successor of Chosroes the Great ? What wickedness did Siroes commit ? 7. How may men become very cruel? For what should we be thankful? 8. When did Isdigertes ascend the throne ? What of him ? What did the Saracens do during his reign ? How was Isdigertes killed ? 9, Of what empire did Persia become a part? How was it ruled? Where did the caliphs live ? 10. What of Bagdad ?
Chap. XXIX.Asia continued.
modern bistort of persia.
1. ?n the year 1258 of the Christian era, the empire of the Saracens was subverted by the Tartars. Persia was governed by them for a considerable time. It was afterwards
ruled by monarchs called Sophis, or Shahs. The first of these was named Ismael, a man of Saracen descent. He
took possession of the throne by violence, and reigned twenty-three years.
2. The greatest of these monarchs was named Shah Abbas. He ascended the throne in 1589. Abbas fought against the Turks, and gained many splendid victories. He also deprived the Portuguese of the island of Ormuz at the entrance of the Persian Gulf.
3. But the best of all the kings of this family was Shah Husseyn; and he was also the last, and the most unfortunate. He began to reign in the year 1694. Husseyn and his subjects met with many disasters; and he was, at length, compelled to surrender his throne to a rival.
4. But before he took off the crown from his head, Husseyn went on foot through the principal streets of Ispahan, which was then the capital. The people thronged around him with tears and lamentations. The excellent and kind-hearted monarch endeavoured to comfort them.
5. He told them that the new king, whose name was
Mahmoud, would not love them better than he himself had, but that he would know better how to govern them, and how to conquer their enemies. So the good Husseyn took off his crown, which had been only a trouble to him, and bade his people farewell.
6. In 1730, Kouli Khan took possession of the throne of Persia. He called himself Nadir Shah. He was a famous conqueror and tyrant, and was assassinated in his tent after a reign of about seventeen years.
7. Since his death, there has been much bloodshed in Persia. Ambitious men have often aspired to the throne, and involved the country in- civil war.
8. The Royal Palace of Persia is in the city of Teheran. But there is another beautiful palace at Ispahan, called the Palace of Forty Pillars. Each of the forty pillars is supported by four lions of white marble. The whole edifice looks as if it were built of pearl, and silver, and gold, and precious stones.
9. I have now done with the story of Persia. Like that of most other eastern countries, it abounds in tales of cruelty, battle, and bloodshed. In ancient times, the people worshipped the sun, and bowed down to idols. But, for more than a thousand years, they have been believers in a false prophet, called Mahomet.
10. They have never become acquainted with the religion of Jesus Christ, which teaches us to be gentle and forgiving
one to another; and thus cruelty has ever been common among them.
11. The climate of Persia is mild, and the country abounds in beautiful and fragrant trees, shrubs and flowers. The people are less warlike than in former times. The rich live in splendid palaces, and the poor in mud huts. The kingdom is small, compared with the vast empire of Xerxes. Persepolis, the ancient capital, is now a heap of ruins. Teheran and Ispahan, the two principal cities, are of comparatively modern date.
12. From what I have told you, you will not like the Persian character; yet it is not altogether bad. The people are very fond of reading and telling instructive stories; many of these were written ages since, and are exceedingly beautiful. The people also have a taste for poetry, and they appear to be fond of the beauties of nature, and to have a love of virtue.
Questions.1. What of the empire of the Saracens in the year 1258? How was Persia governed ? What of Israael ? 2. Who was Shah Abbas? When did he ascend the throne? What did he do? 3 What of Shah Husseyn? 4. Describe the manner in which he surrendered his crown. 6. When did Kouli Khan come to the throne? What other name had he? What of him? 7. What of Persia since the death of Kouli Khan?
8. Where does the monarch of Persia reside? Describe the palace.
9. What of the story of Persia? What was the worship of the ancient Persians ? "What is now the religion of the people ? 10. What has always been common among them? 11. What of the climate of Persia? The soil? People? How does the extent of the country compare with what
it wasinthetimeof Xerxes? What of Pereepolis? Teheran? Ispahan? 12. What of the Persian character?
Chap. XXX.Asia continued.
EARLY HISTORY OP CHINA.
1. The territory of the Chinese empire is nearly the same at the present day that it has been from the earliest records. It is bounded on the north by Asiatic Russia, on the east by the Pacific Ocean, and on the south by the Chinese Sea and Farther India. On the west there are mountains and sandy deserts, which divide it from Thibet and Tartary.
2. This empire is very ancient, and has continued longer than any other that has ever existed. Its history goes back four thousand years from the present time. The name of its founder was Fohi, whom some writers suppose to have been the same as Noah.
3. There have been twenty-two dynasties, or separate families of emperors, who have successively ruled over China. If their history were to be particularly related, it would fill at least twenty-two great books. Yet few of the emperors did anything that was worthy of remembrance.
4. Before the time of Fohi, the Chinese believe that men lived pretty much like brutes; that they had no settled homes, but wandered up and down in the forests, seeking for food; and when they caught any animals or birds, that
(hey drank the blood, and devoured even the hair and feathers.
5. We find nothing very remarkable about the Chinese emperors till the reign of Chaus, who lived about a thousand years before the Christian era. He was extremely fond of hunting, and used to gallop into the midst of the rice-fields in pursuit of game. In this manner he did so much mischief, that his subjects resolved to destroy him.
G. There was a large river, which the emperor was often in the habit of crossing. On the shore of this river the people placed a boat, as if for the accomodation of Chaus. The next time that the emperor returned from hunting, he and his attendants got on board the boat, and set sail for the opposite shore.
7. But the boat had been contrived on purpose for his destruction. In the middle of the river it fell to pieces, and all on board were drowned. Thus, to the great joy of his subjects, the emperor Chaus went down among the fishes,
and never again came a-hunting in the rice-fields.
8. The emperor Ching, who reigned about two thousand years ago, built a great wall, in order to protect his dominions against the Tartars. This wall still remains. It is forty-five feet high, and eighteen feet thick, and it extends over mountains and valleys, a distance of fifteen hundred miles.
9. When Ching had completed the wall, he thought himself so very great an emperor, that none of his predecessors were worth remembering. He therefore ordered all the his-
torical writings and public records to be burnt. He also caused four hundred learned men, who were accustomed to writing histories to be buried alive.
10. If the emperor Ching could have caught poor old Peter Parley, he certainly would have buried him likewise, with his four hundred learned brethren; and so the world would have lost this Universal History!
Questions.1. What of the Chinese empire? Boundaries? What divides it from Thibet and Tartary? Which way is China from Persia? Hindostan? Siberia? The Birman empire ? 2. What of the antiquity and duration of the Chinese empire? How far back does its history extend? Who was its founder? What do some writers suppose? 8. What of the dynasties or families that have ruled over China? 4. What do the Chinese suppose was the state of China before the time of Fohi? 5. When did Chaus live ? What of him? 6. Relate the manner in which the people destroyed him. 8. When did the emperor Ching live? Describe the great wall. Does it still remain ? 6. What orders did Ching give respecting historical books, records, and learned men ?
Chap. XXXI.Asia continued.
anecdotes op the chinese emperors.
1. The emperor Vati lived about the time of the Christian era. This emperor was desirous of reigning till the world should come to an end, and perhaps longer. He therefore spent his time in endeavouring to brew a liquor that would make him immortal. But, unfortunately, before the liquor was fit to drink, the emperor died.
2. Another emperor, instead of attending to the affairs of the nation, appHed himself wholly to study. His prime minister took advantage of his negligence, and raised a re-hellion against him. When the emperor heard the shouts of the rebels, he shut his book, and put on his armour. But, on ascending the ramparts of the city, he saw that it was too late to resist. He then returned to his library, which contained one hundred and forty thousand volumes.
3. The emperor knew that these books had been the means of his losing the vast empire of China, by withdrawing his attention from the government. He therefore set fire to them with his own hands, and the whole library was consumed. The rebels afterwards put him to death.
4. The emperor Si-gu-en began to reign in the year 617 after the Christian era. He dwelt in a magnificent palace. After the emperor's death, his son came to the palace, and was astonished at its splendour and beauty. "Such a residence is good for nothing but to corrupt a monarch, and render him proud," exclaimed he. Accordingly he commanded this great and costly edifice to be burnt to the ground.
5. Chwang-tsong, who had been a brave soldier, was made emperor about eight hundred years ago. He was a person of very frugal habits. It was one of his singularities, that he never slept in a bed, but always on the bare ground, with a bell fastened to his neck. If he turned over in his sleep, the
ringing of the hell would awaken him; and he then considered it time to get up.
6. In the year 1209, Genghis Khan invaded China with an immense army of Tartars. He and his descendants conquered the whole empire, and governed it during many years.
7. The emperor Ching-tsa ascended the throne three or four centuries ago. A mine was discovered during his reign, and precious stones of great value were dug out of it. Some of them were brought to the emperor, but he looked scornfully at them.
8. "Do you call these precious stones?" cried he. "What are they good for? They can neither clothe the people, nor satisfy their hunger." So saying, he ordered the mine to be closed up, and the miners to be employed in some more useful kind of labour.
9. About a hundred years ago, in the reign of Yong-tching, there was the most terrible earthquake that had ever been known. It shook down nearly all the houses in the city of Pekin, and buried one hundred thousand people. A still greater number perished in the surrounding country.
10. The name of the present emperor is Sze Hing. He succeeded to the throne in the year 1850, is about twenty-one years of age, and he is a Tartar monarch, though he governs the Chinese nation; but it is said that his subjects are now rebelling against him, and trying to set a Chinese king on the throne, and subvert the Tartar race which has governed China for more than six hundred years.