General History and Collection of Voyages and Travels - Volume 18 - By Robert Kerr














































































































 - A GENERAL HISTORY AND COLLECTION OF VOYAGES AND TRAVELS,

ARRANGED IN SYSTEMATIC ORDER:

FORMING A COMPLETE HISTORY OF THE ORIGIN - Page 1
General History and Collection of Voyages and Travels - Volume 18 - By Robert Kerr - Page 1 of 524 - First - Home

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A GENERAL HISTORY AND COLLECTION OF VOYAGES AND TRAVELS,

ARRANGED IN SYSTEMATIC ORDER:

FORMING A COMPLETE HISTORY OF THE ORIGIN AND PROGRESS OF NAVIGATION, DISCOVERY, AND COMMERCE, BY SEA AND LAND, FROM THE EARLIEST AGES TO THE PRESENT TIME.

BY ROBERT KERR, F.R.S. & F.A.S. EDIN.

VOL. XVIII.

WILLIAM BLACKWOOD, EDINBURGH:

AND T. CADELL, LONDON.

MDCCCXXIV.

PREFACE.

The curiosity of that man must be very feeble and sluggish, and his appetite for information very weak or depraved, who, when he compares the map of the world, as it was known to the ancients, with the map of the world as it is at present known, does not feel himself powerfully excited to inquire into the causes which have progressively brought almost every speck of its surface completely within our knowledge and access. To develop and explain these causes is one of the objects of the present work; but this object cannot be attained, without pointing out in what manner Geography was at first fixed on the basis of science, and has subsequently, at various periods, been extended and improved, in proportion as those branches of physical knowledge which could lend it any assistance, have advanced towards perfection. We shall thus, we trust, be enabled to place before our readers a clear, but rapid view of the surface of the globe, gradually exhibiting a larger portion of known regions, and explored seas, till at last we introduce them to the full knowledge of the nineteenth century. In the course of this part of our work, decisive and instructive illustrations will frequently occur of the truth of these most important facts, - that one branch of science can scarcely advance, without advancing some other branches, which in their turn, repay the assistance they have received; and that, generally speaking, the progress of intellect and morals is powerfully impelled by every impulse given to physical science, and can go on steadily and with full and permanent effect, only by the intercourse of civilised nations with those that are ignorant and barbarous.

But our work embraces another topic; the progress of commercial enterprise from the earliest period to the present time. That an extensive and interesting field is thus opened to us will be evident, when we contrast the state of the wants and habits of the people of Britain, as they are depicted by Caesar, with the wants and habits even of our lowest and poorest classes. In Caesar's time, a very few of the comforts of life, - scarcely one of its meanest luxuries, - derived from the neighbouring shore of Gaul, were occasionally enjoyed by British Princes: in our time, the daily meal of the pauper who obtains his precarious and scanty pittance by begging, is supplied by a navigation of some thousand miles, from countries in opposite parts of the globe; of whose existence Caesar had not even the remotest idea. In the time of Caesar, there was perhaps no country, the commerce of which was so confined: - in our time, the commerce of Britain lays the whole world under contribution, and surpasses in extent and magnitude the commerce of any other nation.

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