Brookes’ Universal Gazetteer, page 195
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eller, Humboldt, to the height of 19,300 feet above
the level of the sea, when a chasm several hun-
dred feet wide prevented the summit being attain-
ed ; the extreme altitude of which is 21,440 feet.
At the height attained, the cold was intefcse, and
respiration rendered difficult by the extreme te-
nuity of the air. The peak is about 100 m. N. N.
E.of Guavaquil, and presents a most magnificent
spectacle for many leagues out at sea in the Pa-
cific Ocean.

Chimera, a town of European Turkey, in Al-
bania, with a fort, seated on a rock, at the entrance
of the Adriatic, 24 miles S. of Avlona.

China, an empire of Asia, extending from the
lat. of 21. 30. to 41. N. and from 98. to 122. of
E. long, giving an extreme length of about 1,400
miles, and about the same number in an extreme
breadth; but its boundaries being somewhat ir-
regular if resolved into a square, it would comprise
about 15 1-2 degrees of lat. between 22. 30. and 38.
N.and 18 degrees of long, between 102. and 120. E.
thereby giving a superficial area of about 1,200,000
square miles, or more than 20 times the extent of
England and Wales, exclusive of the eastern
provinces of Leaotong and the Corea, and the
vast territory of Tartary on the north, (each of
which see, under their respective heads). The
aOove limits, comprise what may be considered
as constituting
China Proper, which has about

1.70 I miles of sea coast, on the S. S. E. and E.
from the long, of 108. E. in the lat. of 21. 30. N.
to the long, of 120. E. in the lat. of 40. N. or
from the Gulf of Tonquin to the Gulf of Leao-
tong. The N. and N. E. part of China Proper is
bounded by a wall, which divides it from Mongul
Tartary, and the west by Kokonor and Sifan,
provinces of Thibet, at present hut little known ;
and the S. W. province of Yun nen, borders on
the Briman Empire, and the territory of Tonquin
or -Tonkin. Every part of this extensive territo-
ry appears to be intersected by streams of water,
falling into two grand rivers, both rising in Thi-
bet, and falling into the sea, one in the lat. of 31.30.
and the other in lat. 34. N. the most northerly
of these is called the Hoang-ho or Great Yellow
River, and the other the Kiang-keou, or the
Great River, (each of which see, under their res-
pective heads). There are also several lakes in
the interior; two, south of the Kiang-keou, called
Tong-tong and Poyang ; each contains about 300
square miles of surface, and in the latter are sev-
eral islands. The coast also, from the Gulf of
Tonkin to the mouth of the Great River, is
flanked bv a chain of small islands; and, as for-
ming an integral part of China Proper, are the
the Islands of Hainan Formosa; the former at
the south extremity of the empire, intersected by
the lines of 19. N. lat. and 113. of E. long., and
the other, intersected by the line of the Tropic
of Cancer, and the 121st of E. long.; and the de-
pendent islands, are the Loo Clioo Group, the
principal qf which is about 150 miles in length,
from north to south, and 30 to 40 in breadth, in
the long, of J3L E. and the lat. of 26. N. Be-
tween these and Formosa is another group 30 or
40 in number, neariv ail of which are inhabited.
Mountain ridges, run in various directions ovnr
nearly every part of China Proper : but there
are none remarkable for their altitude ; and, in
and aggregate sense, it may be considered a lev-
el, rather than a mountainous country.

Of all the communities at present existing,
that of China is unquestionably the most ancient,
ind, from a very early period it had obviously
made great progress in the arts of social life /
but of the origin of the community, nothing
satisfactory is at present known ; for although
their records appear to have been preserved with
great care, the peculiarity, and formerly supposed
difficulty of acquiring a knowledge of the written
characters of their language (being symbolic)
together with the peculiarly jealous character of
the people, had antecedent to the close of the
18th century, precluded Europeans from obtain
ing any correct knowledge either of the past or
present extent and condition of the people. In
the absence of all authentic, and correct data
on the subject, numerous, vague, and exagger
ated statements, relating alike to their antiquity
and extent of numbers, obtained current belief
in Europe ; but since the commencement of the
19th century, the supposed difficulty of acquiring
a knowledge of their language has proved er-
roneous, and the details of the several local di-
visions and institutions of the county are be-
coming every year more extensively and accu-
rately known.

Of their origin, the most rational supposition,
is, that about 4,000 years before the Christian era,
the Chinese were among the first portion of the
wandering tribes spread over the northern hem-
isphere, dispersed from some of the populous dis-
tricts of that time, who formed themselves into
a social community; whilst an examination of
the localities and natural advantages of the ter-
ritory of China Proper, as well with reference to
the natural fertility of its soil, as the variety and
adaptation to the wants of a social community,
of its indigenous productions, will sufficiently ac-
count for the numerical extent and peculiarity
of manners of its population. By the writings of
Confucius (the only Chinese that appears to have
obtained immortality among them) who flourish-
ed 520 years before our era, China had then at-
tained nearly, if not quite as high a degree of
sociality and refinement as prevails there at the
present time. In the 15th century, China Proper
may be considered as having been subjected to
the arms of the Mongul Tartar chief' Genghis
Khan, who subverted the ruling power, and es-
tablished a Tartar dynasty in the government of
China ; but notwithstanding this change ’in the
government instead of the territory of China yield-
ing itself up as a dependent province of Tartary,
the superior fertility of China brought Tartary
into its subservience ; thereby reversing the usual
result of conquest, and the conquerors became the
dependents. The dynasty of Genghis gradually de-
clined in influence, until it became entirely sup-
planted again by one of Chinese origin, which
ruled undisturbed until the commencement of the
17th century, when a host of Manchoo Tartars
from the N. E. part of Asia poured down their
arms and the ruling power in China was again sub-
verted, but with the same result to the country
as in the former instance, the revolution having
only extended itself to the central government,
and the substitution of a Tartarian, for a Chi-
nese sovereign. Manchoo like Mongul became
a dependent province on China; and amid the
various changes which have taken place in the
ruling power, no material alteration appears to
have been effected in the character, habits, or
manners of the people.

According to an account furnished by an intel-
ligent native of China to the agents of the English
East India Compuny, in Canton, in 1823, the terri-
tory of China Pri per was then divided into 19 eivil

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Brookes' Universal Gazetteer of the World (1850)


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