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TREAT BRITAIN, the largest island in
England and Scotland, with the principality of Wales. Its latitude, at the Lizard Point in Cornwall, according to Moll, is 50° north, and at the head-land at Caithness in Scotland, 58° 30'; so that, according to the geometrical measure of English ftatute milés, which is 69 miles and 864 feet to a degree, the length of the island, measured in a direct line, without attending to the hills and wind. ing of the roads, is 587 miles. Its longitude, Te. neriffe being the first meridian, is 9° 45' at the Land's-End in Cornwall, and at the South Foreland in Kent, 17° 15. Now every degree of longitude in this latitude being about 38 statute miles, the breadth therefore between these two extremities will be 285 miles.
As an island, this country has some peculiar natural advantages and disadvantages : it is subject to perpetual varieties of heat and cold, wet and dry s but the heats in summer, and the colds in winter, are more temperate than in any part of the Continent that lies in the same latitude: the harbours in Holland, Germany, and Denmark, are blocked up Vol. VII.
with ice, while ours, which lie in the same latitudes are open. To this moderation of the climate is attributed the long lives of many of the inhabitants ; and to the same cause is owing that almost perpetual verdure, in a manner peculiar to this country; which in the summer is frequently refreshed by seafonable showers, and by the warm vapours of the sea, in winter, is generally secured from any long continuance of frost and snow.
This happy situation of our island can never be ' sufficiently valued, as it renders Great Britain a world,
as it were, within itself, intirely independent of other nations; and furnishes her with all the necessaries of life, in such abundance, as enables her to supply other nations.
That. part of Great Britain which lies toward the. Western Ocean, is mountainous, as Cornwall, Wales, and Cumberland; likewise some of the interior counties, as part of Derbyshire, Yorkshire, Westmorland, Northumberland, and near one half of Scotland. The eastern and southern parts of the country, chiefly consist of little fruitful hills and vallies, champaign fields, inclosed grounds of arable, pasture, and meadow lands; agreeably intermixed with wood and water; and being much inclosed and cultivated, it abounds with prospects that in beauty can scarcely be exceeded, even by the fictions of imagination.
It has on all sides very convenient harbours, and many extensive navigable rivers, that convey the riches of all the nations of the knotin world into the very centre of the kingdom. The most consider- able rivers in England are the Thames, Severn, and Humber; in Scotland, the Forth, Clyde, and
Various are the names by which this island hath been known, and as different are the reasons assigned for them. It was called Albion by the Greeks, Bretanica by the Phænicians, and Brittannia by the Ro
mans, who distinguished that part, now the Highlands of Scotland, by the name of Caledonia.
The inhabitants of Great Britain and Ireland, according to fome calculations, fo late as the year 1758, allowing six persons to each house, are computed at eight millions ; viz. in England and Wales 5,700,000, in Scotland 1,300,000 ;, and in Ireland 1,000,000; to these may be added near 2,000,000 supposed to be in the British settlements in Asia, Africa, and America.
With respect to the persons and character of the - English, they are generally of a strong active make, well shaped, and of good ftature. They are industrious, lovers of the liberal arts, and capable of carrying them to the greatest perfection. They are neither so heavy as the Germans, nor so exceedingly mercurial as the French; but are observed to be generally open and blunt in their behaviour, and particularly averse to servility and cringing. Their good nature, generosity and humanity, have been frequently Thewn to their enemies, in such a manner as to do honour even to human nature. The lenity of their laws in capital cases; their compassion for convicted criminals; even the general humanity of highwaymen and robbers of this nation; compared with those of other countries; are all convincing proofs that the spirit of humanity is natural to them. The many noble foundations for the relief of the miferable and the friendless; the large annual supplies from voluntary charities to these foundations, and on every other occasion where their benevolence is solicited, are also striking proofs of true goodness of heart and greatness of soul, for which this nation has been always distinguished
In point of courage no people exceed, and very few equal the English; whu are remarkable for this particular, that no people thew a more resolute obstinacy in battle, though under the greatest disadvanrages. Their valour and bravery, both by sea and B 2