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Lapland and Greenland could not possibly subsist without the rein deer..... Goldsmith.
RHINOCEROS, a native of the deserts of Asia and Africa, and is usually found in those extensive forests that are frequented by the lion and the elephant. It is equal to the elephant in bulk; and if it appears much smaller to the eye, the reason is that its legs are much shorter, The skin, which is of a dirty brown colour, is so thick as to resist a musket ball. From its snout there grows a horn, which is sometimes found from three to four feet and an half long ; it is composed of the most solid substance, and pointed so as to inflict the most fatal wounds. This animal, defended as he is on every side, by a thick horny skin, which the claws of the lion or the tiger are unable to pierce, and armed before with a weapon which even the elephant does not choose to oppose, reigns absolute monarch of the forests. The natives of Caffraria, in South Africa, represented the rhinoceros to Captain Stout, as driving a whole herd of lions before him like a flock of sheep: and describes them as making every effort in their power to avoid an encounter with them.
RHODE-ISLAND, one of the smallest of the United States; its greatest length being forty-seven miles, and its greatest breadth thirty-seven. It is bounded north and east by the commonwealth of Massachusetts ; south by the Atlantic Ocean, and west by Connecticut. The principal towns are Newport and Providence.... Morse. The island upon which Newport stands, and from which the state takes its name, is thirteen miles in length, and its average breadth is about four miles. Its soil, climato and situation are so fine, that, in its former flourishing state, it was called by travellers the Eden of America. Providence is the oldest town in the state, and was first settled by Roger Williams and his followers, in 1636, It is situated on both sides Providence river, thirty-five miles from the sea, and thirty miles north by west from Newport: it is a very flourishing commercial town.
RHONE,“ a large and rapid river of Europe, which rises in Swisserland, and running through the city of
RHUBARB....RICE ...RIVER HORSE.
Geneva, passes to Lyons, and through several other towns of France, and falls into the Mediterranean, by several mouths.” A judgment may be formed, simply from the map, whether the rivers which water any country are slow or rapid, and whether that country is flat or elevated, by the angle which the confluent rivers forın with their courses. Thus, most of those which throw themselves into the Rhone, form right angles with that river to check its impetuosity. Some of these confiuent rivers are real dykes, which cross the main river from side to side, in such a manner, that the river crossed, which was running very rapidly above the confluence, flows very gently below it. On the other hand, in a flat country, where the main river flows slowly, the latteral rivers form an acute angle with its source, to accelerate its stream.... St. Pierre.
RHUBARB, a plant of China and Turkey, whose roots are of great use in medicine. The stem of rhu. barb resembles a small bamboo, or Chinese cane; it is hollow and exceedingly brittle ; it rises to the height of three or four feet, and is of a dusky violet colour. The roots of rhubarb reckoned best, are those which are heaviest and most variegated with veins. The Chinese, af. ter having cleansed the roots, cut them in slices an inch or two in thickness, and dry them on stone slabs, so as to free them from all their moisture. A pound of the best rhubarb in China costs only two pence....Winterbotham.
RICE, a valuable grain that will grow only in hot climates, and on a boggy soil, which must, a part of the year, be necessarily covered with stagnant water : consequently rice countries are always unhealthy. A rice field produces a much greater quantity of food than the most fertile corn field. Two crops in the year, from thirty to sixty bushels each, is said to be the ordinary produce of an acre, in Asia : in Carolina, the fields produce only one crop in the year....A. Smith.
RIVER HORSE, or Hippopotamus, probably the Behemoth mentioned in the book of Job. This surprising animal inhabits the rivers and lakes of Africa, living, as
occasions require, either in the water, or upon the land. He is twice the size of the largest ox. He has four legs which are short and thick: his head is near four feet long, and nine feet round; his jaws are about iwo feet wide ; and his teeth above a foot in length. His skin, generally, is so thick that a sword will not pierce it, and even a bullet can hardly enter it; and his voice is loud and horrible. They chiefly keep at the bottom of deep lakes and rivers, especially in the day time, catching fish and feeding upon them. Sometimes, however, they walk upon the shore, and sometimes invade the fields of standing corn; whence they are driven back by the cries and shouts of the people who inhabit the country, and keep watch against this fearful enemy. This animal is remarkably constructed for his manner of walking. He is furnished with a cloven foot, and, above the pastern, with two small horny substances, which bend backward as he walks, so that he leaves on the ground an impression which seems to have been made by the pressure of four paws to each foot. By this peculiar structure of his feet he is kept from sinking, at the bottom of lakes and rivers, and upon oozy shores....Goldsmith, St. Pierre.
ROMANS, an ancient nation of Italy ; from which we have derived the principles of our jurisprudence, a considerable part of our language, and most of our learning. About seven hundred and fifty years before our Saviour's birth, Romulus, a bold politic young man, who artfully pretended to be the son of the god Mars, gathered under him a horde of vagrants and fugitives from justice, to the number of about three thousand, and settled on the banks of the river Tiber, where they fortified their encampment and built them huts; thus laying the foundations of a city and a state, which was afterwards to swallow up the most powerful kingdoms. Romulus, by a series of victories increased his subjects to the number of forty-seven thousand; when, becoming tyrannical, he was privately assassinated, and his body hid: meanwhile it was reported that he was translated to heaven, and exalted to godship. He was succeeded by Numa, a wise prince, who laid the foundation of that system of policy which exalted the nation to the highest
pitch of power and grandeur. The Romans had a succession of kings, with limited power, for the space of two hundred and forty-four years: their last king was Tarquin, surnamed the Proud, who was banished, with all his family, partly for his own tyranny, but principally by reason of the outrage of his son Sextus against the chaste Lucretia. After the abolition of royalty, two magistrates were chosen annually from the body of the pa. tricians or aristocracy, who exercised the royal authori. ty, under the appellation of consuls; and a new magistrate was at length created for temporary and great emergencies, called dictator; whose power was absolute, but continued only six months. The patricians had engrossed all the important offices both civil and military, and by their increasing insolence and tyranny, provoked the plebeians to a general insurrection; who, encamping upon a mountain near Rome, and threatening vengeance and destruction, extorted from the patricians the privilege of having officers called tribunes of the people, vested with the power of stopping the proceedings of the senate by a veto, and whose power constantly increased and was often abused. An office peculiar to the Roman republic was that of censors; whose business was to watch over the manners of the people, and who were empowered to punish and degrade any citizen, of whatever rank, that should be found offending against the established rules of morality and decorum. Among the Romans, in the best days of the republic, labor was honored, and poverty was no disgrace. Cincinnatus was twice called from the plough to lead their armies, and to sustain the highest civil office in the state, namely that of dictator; and while Regulus was at the head of an army in Africa, against the Carthagenians, the senate supported his family at home, by defraying the expense of tilling his little field. The Romans had been a nation three hundred years before they had any written laws; and their first laws that were committed to writing, were inscribed upon twelve tables of oak, which were exposed to the view of the public. About four hundred years from the foundation of Rome, the plebeians were admitted to the consulship; and in the mean while a new officer was created, called praetor, who performed the duties of the consuls in their absence, and was eligi
ble only from the body of the patricians. In the whole space of five hundred years, there is not recorded a single instance of divorce from the marriage alliance. This people, (though always ferocious and cruel) having been remarkable, during the long space of five centuries, for an unconquerable love of liberty and an invincible courage in its defence, and for industry, temperance, frugality, and a sacred regard to their promises and oaths; they at last were ruined by their victories, their conquests, and the vast extension of their dominions and increase of their wealth. Luxury, voluptuousness and debauchery, pervaded the nation ; venality was practised with unblushing impudence; every thing was put to sale. ' Thus they prepared themselves for the fetters of slavery with which they were speedily bound. The Ro: man republic was subverted, and a military despotism was established on its ruins. The noble spirit of the nation was lost for ever. The Roman senate used such fawning adulation to Tiberius, one of the most tyrannical of their emperors, that he exclaimed, O servile race, that hug your chains ! The Romans, who for hundreds of years, held all the accessible parts of Asia and Africa, as well as Europe, under their yoke, fell an easy prey, in the fifth century, to hordes of semi-savages, called Goths, Vandals, and Huns. Although the nation is entirely obliterated, the Roman language, or Latin, has acquired immortality, not only by its own intrinsic excellence, but still more by the orations of Cicero and the poetry of Virgil and Horace.
ROME, a celebrated city of Italy, situated in latitude 41° 54' north, on the river Tiber, which runs through a part of it. This city is famous for its antiquity, and for the extensive power and tyranny it exercised during a long succession of ages. Rome numbers almost twenty-six hundred years from its foundation. For about six hundred years it exercised an intolerable despotism over a great part of Europe, Asia, and Africa; and for near a thousand years it held almost all Christendom in the chains of a horrible ecclesiastical tyranny. This.city, though it is now one of the largest and finest in Europe, was anciently thrice its present dimensions. The church of St. Peter is one of the finest buildings in the world.