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ISLE OF WIGHT.
THIS island is situated opposite the coast of Hampshire, from which it is separated by a channel, varying in breadth from two to seven miles; it is considered as part of the county of Southampton, and is within the diocese of Winchester. Its greatest length, extending from east to weit, measures nearly twenty-three miles; its breadth, from north to south, above thirteen. The air is in general healthy, particularly in the soathern parts: the soil is various; but so great is its fertility, that it was many years ago computed, that more wheat was grown here in one year than could be consumed by the inhabitants in eight; and it is fupposed that its present produce, under the great improvements of agriculture, and the additional quantity of land lately brought into tillage, has more than kept pace with the increase of population. A range of hills, which afford fine pasture for sheep, extends from east to west, through the middle of the island. The interior parts of the island, as well as its extremities, afford a great number of beautiful and picturesque prospects, not only in the pastoral but also in the great and romantic style. Of these beauties the gentlemen of the island have availed themselves, as well in the choice of situations for their houses, as in their other improvements. Domestic fowls and poultry are bred here in great numbers; the outward-bound ships and vessels at Spithead, the Mother-bank, and Cowes, commonly furnishing themselves from this island.
Such is the purity of the air, the fertility of the soil, and the beauty and variety of the landscapes of this isand, that it has been called the garden of England; it has some very fine gentlemen's seats; and it is often vifited by parties of pleasure on account of its delightful scenes.
The island is divided into thirty parishes; and, according to a very accurate calculation made in the year 1777, the inhabitants then announted to eighteen thousand and twenty-four, exclusive of the troops quartered there. Moit of the farm-houses are built with stone, and even the cottages appear neat and comfortable, having each its little garden.
The town of Newport stands nearly in the centre of the irland, of which it may be considered as the capital. The river Medina empties hself into the channel at Cowes harbour, diftant about five miles, and, being navigable up to the quay, is very commodious for trade. The three principal streets of Newport extend from eaft to west, and are crofied at right angles by three others, all which are spacious, clean, and well paved.
Carisbrook caftle, in the Me of Wight, has been rendered remarkable by the confinement of king Charles I. who, taking refuge here, was detained a prisoner, from November 1647, to September 1648. After the execution of the king, this castle was converted into a place of confinement for his children: and his daughter, the princess Elizabeth, died in it. There are several other forts in this iland, which were all erected about the 36th year of the reign of Henry VIII. when many other forts and blockhouses were built in different parts of the It is rather extraordinary, that even modern authors are not agreed to the divisions of Ireland; some dividing it into five circuits, and fo into four provinces, those of Leinster, Uiter, Connaught, and MA fter. The last division is the most common, and likewise the most eient.
King's County Philipstown
Naas and Athy
Carrick on Shannon
Roscommon Cemaught, 5 counties Mayo
Ballinrobe and Caftlebe
Kerry Munfter, 6 counties
Waterford. CLIMATE, SEASONS, AND SOIL.] The climate of Ireland differ not much from that of England, excepting that it is more moit, 11 seasons in general being much wetter. From the reports of various to gifters, it appears that the number of days on which rain had falle in Ireland was much greater than in the same years in England. B without the evidence of registers, it is certain that moisture (even wid out rain) is not only more characteristic of the climate of this idem than that of England, but it is also one of the worst and most inconve nient circumstances. This is accounted for by observing, that, "th westerly winds, fo favourable to other regions, and so beniga even this, by qualifying the rigour of the northern air, are yet hurtful in the extreme. Meeting with no lands on this fide of America to break the force, and proving in general too powerful for the counteraction the shifting winds from the eastern and African continents, they wa hither the vapours of an immense ocean. By this cause, the sky in Ir land is much obscured; and, from the nature of rest and condensation hefe vapours descend in such conftant rains, as threaten deftruction
the fruits of the earth in some seasons. This unavoidable evil from natural causes is aggravated by the increase of it from others, which are either moral or political. The hand of industry has been long idle in a country where almost every advantage must be obtained from its labour, and where discouragements on the labourer must necessarily produce a state of languor. Ever since the negleet of agriculture in the ninth century, the rains of so many ages subsiding on the lower grounds, have converted most of the extensive plains into mossy moralles, and near a tenth part of this beautiful isle is become a repository for stage nated waters, which, in the course of evaporation, impregnate the air with noxious exhalations. But, in many respects, the climate of Ireland is more agreeable than that of England, the summers being cooler, and the winters less severe. The piercing frosts, the deep frows, and the dreadful effects of thunder and lightning, which are so frequently observed in the latter kingdom, are never experienced here..
The dampness above alluded to, being peculiarly favourable to the growth of grass, has been urged as an argument why the inhabitants Thould confine their attention to the rearing of cattle, to the total desertion of tillage, and consequent injury to the growth of population ; but the soil is so infinitely various, as to be capable of almost every species of cultivation suitable to such latitude, with
a fertility equal to its variety. This is so confpicuous, that it has been observed by a respectable English traveller, that “ natural fertility, acre for acre, over the two kingdoms, is certainly in favour of Ireland; of this there can scarcely be a doubt entertained, when it is considered that some of the more beautia ful, and even beft cultivated counties in England owe almost every thing to the capital art and industry of its inhabitants."
We shall conclude this article with the further sentiments of the same author (Mr. Young), whose knowledge of the subject, acquaintance with the kingdom, and candour, are unimpeachable.
“ The circumstance which strikes me as the greatest fingularity of Ireland is the rockiness of the soil, which should seem at firit fight against that degree of fertility; but the contrary is the fact. Stone is so general, that I have good reason to believe the whole island is one vast rock of different strata and kinds rising out of the sea. I have, rarely heard of any great depths being funk without meeting with it. In general it appears on the farface in every part of the kingdom ; the flattest and most fertile parts, as Limerick, Tipperary, and Meath, have it at no great depth, almost as much as the more barren ones. May we not recognise in this the hand of bounteous providence, which has given perhaps the moft ftony soil in Europe to the moistest climate in it; If as much rain fell upon the clays in England (a foil very rarely met with in Ireland, and never without much ftone), as falls upon the rocks of her sister iland, those lands could not be cultivated. But the rocks here are clothed with verdure; those of lime-stone with only a thin covering of mould, have the foftest and most beautiful turf imaginable.
« The rockiness of the soil in Ireland is so universal, that it predominates in every fort. One cannot use with propriety the terms clay, loam, sand, &c. it must be a ftony clay, a stony loan, a gravelly fand. Clay, especially the yellow, is much talked of in Ireland; but it is for want of proper discrimination. I have once or twice seen almost a pare clay upon the furface ; but it is extremely rare. The true yellow dlay is usually found in a thin stratum, under the surface mould, and