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MDCCCXLII.

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TAI-WAN i Taywan) is the Chinese name of an island | action, and sulphur constitutes an important article or which in Europe is known by the name of Formosa, and export. Hermosa, and, according to the Dutchman Valentyn, is The mountains have a steep declivity on both sides, but called by the aborigines Pekan or Pæk-and. It lies be- on the west side they terminate at a considerable distance tween 21° 58' and 23° 15' N. lat., and between 120o and from the sea, so as to leave a wide tract between them 1220 E long., and extends from south by west to north by and the shore. This tract has an undulating surface, and east about 240 miles. In width it varies much. From its terminates on the sea in a low sandy beach. The admost southern point, where it is only about four miles joining sea is full of sand-banks and shoals, and can only wide, it increases gradually, so that at 23° N. lat. it is 60 be approached in a few places by vessels drawing more miles wide, and at 24° Ñ. lat. nearly 100 miles. Its than eight feet of water. On the east of the Ta-shan northern portion decreases in width, but very slowly, for range the mountains seem to occupy nearly the whole near its northern end it is still 60 miles wide. A rough space between the crest of the range and the sea, and calculation gives the surface an extent of about 14,000 high rocks line the shore. There are no soundings along square miles, which is about half the area of Ireland, and this coast. This circumstance, united to the strong cur3000 square miles more than that of Sicily.

rent which sets along this side from south to north, is The north-western point of Taï-wan is only about 80 probably the reason why this part of Taï-wan has never miles from the coast of the Chinese province of Fukian, or been visited by European vessels ; nor does it appear that Fokian; but farther south the channel of Fokian, as the Japanese or Chinese vessels have any intercourse with sea between Taï-wan and China is called, grows wider. In this part of the island. It is an unknown portion of the the parallel of Amoy, 24° 40' N. lat., it is 150 miles across, globe. and still wider south of that parallel. This part of the Rivers are numerous on the west side, but as they oriChina Sea contains several banks, and the soundings are ginate in a very elevated region, from which they descend also extremely irregular, especially in the vicinity of the in continuous rapids and cataracts, they bring down a conPonghu or Phenghu Islands, called also Pescadores, or siderable quantity of earthy matter, which they deposit at Fisher Islands. The southern extremity of Taï-wan is their mouths, forming bars, which have so litile water as divided from the Bashee Islands, which are south-east of to admit only small vessels: this however seems to be no it, by the channel of Formosa, which is nearly 80 miles great disadvantage, as there are numerous islands along wide, and has also very irregular soundings.

the shore, between which junks of ordinary size (about 200 The broad promontory which terminates the island on tons burden) find good anchorage. Some of the rivers the south, and forms the south-east and south-west cape, is however are said to be navigable for a considerable disa low flat, but at the distance of about two miles the tance inland, especially the Tan-shuy-khy, which falls into country suddenly rises into mountains, which continue to the Tan-shuy-kiang Bay, which lies in the narrow part of run in an unbroken chain northward nearly through the the channel of Fukian. The rivers also offer the great middle of the island to its northern extremity, terminating advantage of an abundant irrigation, though they are with high cliffs at the north-east cape. As it is certain sometimes destructive to the crops by their inundathat this range of mountains, which is called Ta Shan, or tions. Great Mountain, is nearly, the whole year round covered No portion of the ocean is subject to such violent gales with snow, its elevation has been estimated by Humboldt as the sea surrounding Taï-wan on the west and east. at about 12,000 feet above the sea. The declivities of | Both monsoons, the north-eastern and the south-western, these mountains, with the exception of the crests of the blow in the direction of the channel of Fukian, and as most elevated portion, are covered with fine trees and they are confined between two high mountain-ranges, the pasture-grounds, and thus the island, when seen from the mountains of Fukian and of Taï-wan, their violence is sea, presents a very pleasing appearance, whence it was much increased. At the change of the monsoons the called Hermosa by the Europeans who advanced thus' most violent gales come on suddenly, and are accomfar into the Indian Sea. These mountains have never panied by typhons, whirlwinds, and waterspouts. Many been visited by Europeans, but from the accounts of the Chinese vessels are annually lost at these seasons. The Chinese geographers, which have been collected by Kla- Japan Sea, which lies north of Taï-wan, is noted for proth, it appears that there is more than one volcano on its terrible tempests. In the vicinity of the island this island. The Tshykang (Red Mountain), south of the the north-eastern monsoon generally lasts nine months, town of Fung-shan-hian, was once an active volcano, and as it continues to blow to the beginning of June. there is still a lake of hot water on Shin Mountains. In other respects the climate of the island is very temThe Phy-nan-my-shan, south-east of Fung-shan-hian, perate, neither the heat nor the cold being excessive on emits in the night-time a brilliant lustre. The Ho-shan the plains along the western coast. The island is subject (Fire-Mountain), south-east of Tshu-lo-hian, is said to to earthquakes, and they are sometimes very violent. In contain many wells from which flames issue. There are 1782 the whole lower portion was laid waste, and the sea some other mountains which exhibit traces of volcanic | inundated the conntry to the base of the mountains for P. C., No. 1488.

VOL. XXIV.--B

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