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AT THE REQUEST OF THE DENOMINATIONAL BOARD OF EDUCATION,
LIEUT-COLONEL SIR T. L. MITCHELL,
PARAMATTA, AND J. BRODERICK, MAITLAND,
THIS MEW YORK
ASTOR, LINOX AND
SYDNEY: Printed by ROBERT BARR, 124, York--street
For the author's guidance in this little work various elementary books of Geography were sent to him, and he had commenced the arrangement by question and answer, before he had an opportunity of reading some able works on education, in which it is objected to.
He is not now convinced, however objectionable sat questions and answers may be for the purpose of teaching other branches of education, that Geography may not admit of this plan without objection. 1. One word (a name) represents a place, and the primary geographical circumstances are shewn by the lines of a map. A question relative to any place connects it with an idea, and requires the exercise of thoughts, having reference in this work) to relative position, productions, trade, or whatever else has been found of most interest in larger geographical works.
Teachers will adopt their own methods of instruction no doubt, but it is hoped that the Inder will be found a convenient guide to the matter in the body of the work. Thus, for example--if Guayaquil were given to the student as an exercise, op turning to pages 42 and 44, he finds that it is situated on the South American coast, and he is obliged to read some interesting facts about the ocean-currents, &c.; at page 46, the duration of voyages from Guayaquil to various places ; at page 47, how much faster steamers now make these voyages ; at page 72, that insects are so extremely numerous there that it is impossible to keep candles burning, except in a lantern ; that there is a species of centipede a yard in length, whose bite is mortal, &c. ; at page 74, that the rainy season is between January and Jane at Guayaquil - the inundations so great that the inhabitants retire, with their herds, up the sides of the Andes—and that fevers, diarrhoea, dysenteries, vomiting, and spasms, then prevail,
and that the mortality is great ; that from April to December the heats are terrible and destructive, and the black vomit prevails; at page 76, that the river of Guayaquil is one of two which form the means of communication between the province of Quito and the l'acific Ocean; and, at page 93, that Guayaquil, in conjunction with Maracaybo and the Carraccas, supplies Mexico with the whole it consumes of cacao, amounting annually to 3,300,000 lbs.
Thus the name of any place may be invested with facts and circumstances sufficient to fix it in the memory ; especially when, by means of a map, the locality is made the primary idea.
In sifting the matter in any page, for information respecting a given place, knowledge respecting other places must be also gathered ; and more readily when in this form, being in small separate parcels, to be easily taken up.
The intelligent teacher will perceive that the matter is thus available for combinations, to any desirable extent to which he may think fit to direct the student's exercises.
The general plan of the work has been suggested by the position of Australia, the oceans surrounding this great island, and the shores bounding these oceans. The countries along the various coasts are examined in regular succession from east to west, beginning with those of South America. Mercator's Chart, shewing Great Britain at each extremity, and Australia near the centre, is very convenient for this order of study. From this centre, or new point of view, the opposite coasts possess a new interest; while the serial arrangements, derived from the apparent course of the sun, connect all ideas of locality with onr true position on the planet.
The harbour of Port Jackson, in the centre of lines of communication radiating by sea on so many countries, seems unmatched elsewhere in position, as a seat of commerce and of naval power.
The natural divisions of land and water-the established dependance of one part of the world upon another, for their mutual intercourse, for their necessary supplies, or their luxurious gratifications and viewed with reference to the insular situation of Australia—are what the author has attempted briefly to sketch in this book.