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year 1767, the Chinese, with an army of fifty thousand men, invaded the kingdom of Ava, or the Birman empire.* This army was all cut to pieces by the Birmans, except two thousand and five hundred Chinese, who were made prisoners, and put to hard labor for the remainder of their lives. The Birmans, although they have not explored the depths of science, or reached to excellence in the finer arts, have yet an undeniable claim to the character of a civilized people. - *A knowledge of letters is so widely diffused that there are no mechanics, few of the peasantry, or even of the common watermen (usually the most illiterate class) who cannot read and write in the vulgar tongue... Symes.
* Between the advanced frontier of the Chinese empire, and that of the British possessions in India, there now intervenes (according to a late London Review) only a narrow territory, about one degree of latitude,
B Baal's TEMPLE, a vast temple in the city of Babylon, erected to Belus, Bell or Baal, each name signifying Lord, in the eastern language. It was a square building, measuring about twelve hundred feet on each side ; and out of the middle of it rose a solid tower, or pyramid, also of a square figure, six hundred feet high, and of an equal width from the base. On the top of that tower was formed a spacious dome, which served as an observatory to the ancient Chaldean astronomèrs. In this dome was a table of gold, and a pompous bed, but no statue. The lower part or body of the temple, which surrounded the tower, was adorned with sacred furniture in the same precious metal ; a golden altar and table, and a magnificent statue of the god, seated on a throne of solid gold.... Russel. See Host and ZABIANS.
BABOON, an animal of the monkey kind, from three to four feet high when standing erect, very strong built, with a thick body and limbs, and canine teeth. Its hands as well as its feet are armed with long sharp claws; and
it can easily overcome more than a single man, unless armed. At the Cape of Good-Hope, they set about robbing an orchard or a vineyard with surprising skill and regularity ; forming a line reaching all the way from the orchard or vineyard to their place of rendezvous, and tossing the fruit from one to another all along the line, till it is safely deposited at their head quarters. The natives of the Cape often take the young of these animals, and feeding them with sheep or goat's milk, accustom them to guard their houses; which duty they perform with great punctuality.... Goldsmith.
BABYLON, an ancient city, which in its prosperity, was one of the wonders of the world for magnificence ; situated on a watery plain, at no great distance from the river Tigris, in Asia, and was the capital of the Chaldean empire. It is said to have been fifteen miles square, with walls three hundred and fifty feet high, and eightyseven feet thick, and with beautiful gardens suspended aloft in the air. This famous city, during the impious feast of Belshazzer, was taken by Cyrus; who having turned the course of the river that run through it, marched his army into the city, along the river's bed. Babylon has been, for thousands of years, vast heaps of mouldering ruins, till at last it can hardly be told where it stood ; and it is remarkable, that, while this city was yet in its glory, the manner of its capture, and its utter destruction, were clearly and circumstantially foretold by the proplets.
BAGDAD, a city of Asiatic Turkey, near the spot where ancient Babylon stood. It is thought to contain more treasure than any city of equal size in the world ; and the immense quantity of specie found in the coffers of the late Rya (or prime minister) of Bagdad, seems to warrant such a conjecture. He was murdered (a few years ago) by conspirators employed against him by his successor in office; and when the bashaw seized on his property, an exact account was taken of his treasure, which amounted in value to upwards of three millions sterling...Jackson.
BAIA, an inconsiderable town of Italy, situated at
the bay of Naples. This town was once famous for its hot baths and elegant palaces. The Romans, when sunk in luxury and voluptuousness) constructed on the shores of Baia, saloons underneath the waves of the sea, in order to enjoy the coolness and the murmuring noise of the water, during the summer..... St. Pierre.
BAIDARES, a kind of boat formed of whalebone, and covered with the skins of seals. In this boat the Sibe. rians, (a people belonging to the Russian empire) sail in one day, during the summer, from the continent of Asia to the western coast of the continent of America. During winter, they pass from one continent to the other, in a day, with rein deer..... Cooke's Voyage.
BALBEC, (anciently the celebrated Heliopolis, or city of the Sun) a town of Syria, situated near Mount Lebanon. Many incidents, together with the pernicious government of the Turks, had contributed to the gradual ruin of this once famous town; when an earthquake, in the year 1759, completed its destruction.This earthquake is said to have destroyed, in the valley of Balbec, upwards of twenty thousand persons....a loss which was never repaired. For three months, the shocks of it terrified the inhabitants of Lebanon so much as to make them abandon their houses, and dwell under tents..... Volney.
BALOON, a thin light tegument, filled and inflated with inflammable air; which being seven times lighter than common air, it will, according to the established laws of specific gravity, rise in the common atmosphere. The first human being that adventured in this ærial navigation, was M. Pilatre de Rozier, a Frenchman, who rose in a large baloon from a garden in the city of Paris, on the 15th of October, 1783, and remained a considerable time suspended in the air. In the month of June, 1785, de Rozier, together with M. Romain, rose in a baloon, from Boulogne ; and after having been a mile high, for about half an hour, the baloon took fire, and they were both dashed to pieces by their fall. Mr. Rozier (says doctor Darwin) was a philosopher of great talents and activity, joined with such ur
banity and elegance of manners, as conciliated the affection of his acquaintance, and rendered his misfortune universally lamented. Miss Susan Dyer, an amiable young lady, was engaged, in a few days to marry this gentleman, who had promised her to quit such dangerous experiments in future. She was a spectatress of this terrible accident, lingered some months, and died from excessive grief.
BALTIC, a large inland sea in the north of Europe ; having on its coasts Denmark, Sweden, Russia, Prussia and Germany. In the Baltic is neither ebt nor flow ; yet there are always two opposite currents ; an upper current that sets through the sound into the ocean, and an under current that is perpetually rushing in from the
Hence a boat in the sound may be kept stationary, by means of a basket full of stones : when this is thrown overboard, and suspended at a proper depth by a rope, the boat is prevented from being carried along with the upper current, by the pressure
of the opposite current beneath on the basket. In winter this sea is commonly frozen for three or four months ; owing probably to the influx of several large rivers into it, which render its waters so fresh that they may in some meas, ure be used for culinary purposes. There is said to have been a constant gradual decrease of the waters of the Baltic, and that it recedes from its shores at the rate of about forty-five inches in a century; perhaps, however, it inay have gained as much in some parts of its coasts as it has lost in others.
BAMBARRA, a kingdom of Africa on the river Niger. The land is fruitful, and highly cultivated ; the face of the country is charming ; the people are civil. ized, but are terrified at the sight of a white man. Mungo Park arriving at a village in this kingdom, was regarded with astonishment and fear, and no man would admit him into his house : meanwhile night was coming on, a black cloud denoted an approaching tempest, and the wild beasts were roaring for their prey. In this forlorn situation a venerable negro woman happened to find him ; her pity overcame her fears; she conducted him to her dwelling, lighted up a lamp, fed him with boiled
rice, spread a mat upon the floor, and told him to sleep there without apprehension. Her female domestics, who had stood gazing on him, in fixed astonishment, she then ordered to resume their task of spinning cotton, in. which they continued to employ themselves through the. night. They lightened their labor by songs, one at least of which was evidently composed extempore ; for Park himself was the subject of it. It was sung in a sweet and plaintive tone of voice, by one of the young women, the rest joining in a sort of chorus : the words, literally translated, are these :.....“ The winds roared, “ and the rains fell; the poor white man, faint and weary,
came and sat under our tree. He has no mother to " bring him milk ; go wife to grind his corn." Chorus. “Let us pity the white man; no mother has he."
BAMBOO, a kind of reed, that grows to the height and size of large trees. The trunk is hollow, and divided at certain spaces by knots, but is very strong, and capable of sustaining an enormous weight. The bamboo reeds are used as pipes to convey water; when split lengthwise and divided into thin slips, they are woven into mats, trunks, and various other works ; paper is also made from a certain paste procured from them, after they have been bruised, and steeped in water. Some build houses of bamboo reeds. At Marevelle-island, as Perouse relates, they came to a village consisting of about forty houses; the foundations of which were raised about four feet from the ground ; the walls and floors being made of bamboo, and the roofs covered with leaves. They had the appearance of bird cages suspended in the air. The whole materials of such a house, he says, would most propably, not weigh more than two hundred pounds.
BANANA TREE, a tree of invaluable utility to the inhabitants of some tropical countries. This, (says St. Pierre) in the opinion of some, is the most useful tree in the world, because its fruit m ces excellent food, without any art of cookery; having a most agreeable flavor, and possessing very nutritious qualities. It produces a cluster of sixty or four-score fruit, which come to maturity all at once; but it pushes out shoots, of every de