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the names of countries, cities, &c., have been added, whenever these appeared to be sanctioned by common usage, or by the authority of some writer of established reputation. Thus from DENMARK are derived the adjective Danish, and the noun Dane designating the inhabitant of the country;—from SWEDEN, Swedish and Swede ; &c. In most instances the adjective and inhabitant are expressed by the same word, as Algerine, Neapolitan, &c. These have never been given, that we are aware of, in any former gazetteer, and it is hoped they will form no unimportant addition to the value of the present work, at least as a school book. While we have dictionaries of almost every description, and adapted to every stage of intellectual development, to which the pupil may refer for the definition, correct spelling, and pronunciation, of ordinary English words, it is somewhat remarkable, that there has hitherto been no work of any authority which one might consult respecting the proper mode of spelling and pronouncing this numerous class of words, the use of which, with the progress of geographical knowledge, is daily becoming more extensive.
It may be further stated, that the ancient Greek or Roman names of places on the old continent, and occasionally their signification, have been carefully given from the best authorities. This we trust will be found useful and interesting, not only to the classical scholar, but likewise to the ordinary reader, more especially as in many instances it points out the derivation of the present name, and at the same time, perhaps, associates it with some important historical or topographical fact, as in the case of TRIPOLI, TRAPANI, MAESTRICHT, UTRECHT, &c. We have also given the signification of modern foreign names, or those of foreign origin, whenever it seemed that this would teach or impress any useful fact, as Porto Bello, i. e.,“ beautiful port;” BOMBAY, i. e., “good harbour;" INNSPRUCK, (originally Innsbrücke) i. e., the “Bridge of the Inn," &c.
Independently of the advantage, whatever it may be, resulting from this work, considered merely as a system of orthoepy, another may be mentioned, which, it is hoped, will be found not an unimportant one, viz: Such a pronouncing gazetteer would dispel the perplexity and error into which the learner is constantly liable to fall, in consequence of the diversity which prevails in the mode of spelling many foreign, especially oriental, names. There is a town of some note in Upper Egypt, which is usually spelled in our gazetteers after the French manner, Aboutige, while on some of our maps it is written Abootish, which is the English mode of expressing the same sound. Abootizh, however, would represent it more exactly. Is it probable that any mere English scholar, however well educated, would know, unless he were expressly taught, that by these two words was indicated one and the same place ? or that Tchernigoff, and Czernigow, are but different spellings of the same name, and represent, in fact, the same sound? We find the capital of Afghanistan frequently spelled in three different ways, usually Cabul, according to the German, Italian, and Portuguese, more seldom Cabool, after the English, and Caboul, after the French mode. Oorfa, an important town of Asiatic Turkey, is often written in works of the highest character, Urfa, and Ourfa, the first being the English, the second the Italian or German, and the last the French mode Innumerable instances of a similar kind might be adduced.
As might be expected, this diversity in spelling geographical names frequently leads to important errors. In some of our gazetteers we find the same name introduced twice, the authors naturally supposing the different spellings to represent the names of different places. We may cite a single instance, which occurs in one of our most popular geographical dictionaries. Schirvan (more properly Schirwan,) the German, and Shirvan, the English spelling of the
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name of a Persian province, are given under different heads, as designating two distinct territories. It happens, also probably in consequence of a discrepancy in the works from which the compilation was made—that the boundaries, as well as the latitude and longitude, are laid down differently, so that it is impossible that any one should know, without referring to some other work, that Schirvan and Shirvan, are properly one and the same name.
It will be seen, from the fifteenth section of our Introduction, that the plan which we have pursued, precludes the possibility of any mistakes of this kind, at the same time that it furnishes an easy clue to the labyrinth of perplexity, into which the various modes of writing the same geographical names, must, of necessity, lead the inexperienced reader.
With regard to the descriptive, statistical and historical portions of this gazetteer, it may be remarked, that we have endeavoured to consult, on every subject, the best authorities with which we are acquainted. We have aimed to make, as far as practicable, Balbi's celebrated Abrégé de Géographie (last edition—1842,) a production of unequalled merit, the basis of our work. We have, also, drawn largely from the geographical department of the Penny Cyclopædia, which, at least, so far as regards the correctness of the information it conveys, is unquestionably the best work on geography in the English language. McCulloch’s New Geographical Dictionary, Malte Brun's Geography, and the Edinburgh Gazetteer, have likewise been extensively consulted.
In a work so limited as the present, when so much must he omitted, and so little, comparatively speaking, could be inserted, it has been a point of the highest importance to make a judicious selection of matter. Without claiming to have made such a selection, we may, as an act of justice to ourselves, affirm, that it has been our sincere endeavour, to
comprise the greatest possible amount of useful information in a small compass; and should it appear that some important subjects are omitted, while to others of less consequence, a place has been given in our dictionary, we doubt not that the candid reader will bear in mind, that there must always be some difference of judgment in matters of this kind, and that even among the most intelligent and enlightened, perhaps no two individuals can be found, who will assign to a number of different subjects, the same relative importance.
It will be seen that a smaller proportion of names belonging to our own country, is inserted in this work, than is usual in gazetteers published in the United States. We admit that, generally speaking, it is more important to possess information about places in our own country, than those in distant parts of the globe, but as in this instance the great object has been to give the pronunciation of geographical names, it seemed proper, in a book of so limited a compass, to prefer the difficult names of foreign countries, to those of our own which might be readily pronounced without the aid of a dictionary
To the following gentlemen we are chiefly indebted for our information respecting the pronunciation of the names of places in foreign countries, as well as for the general principles of pronunciation of the different foreign languages noticed in our Introduction. Justice, however, requires us to state distinctly, that these gentlemen are in nowise responsible for any errors that may occur in our gazetteer; it being impossible in a work like the present (in which the names of each country are scattered through the entire volume), to avail ourselves of the benefit which might result from their revision. .
GEORGE R. GLIDDON, Esq.,
ARABIA AND EGYPT.
M. Felix DROUIN,