The Malay Archipelago.
compact in shape, is probably larger than Borneo. Sumatra is about equal in extent to Great Britain; Java, Luzon, and Celebes are each about the size of Ireland. Eighteen more islands are, on the average, as large as Jamaica; more than a hundred are as large as the Isle of Wight; while the isles and islets of smaller size are innumerable. The absolute extent of land in the Archipelago is not greater than that contained by Western Europe from Hungary to Spain; but, owing to the manner in which the land is broken up and divided, the variety of its productions is rather in proportion to the immense surface over w^hich the islands are spread, than to the quantity of land which they contain.
Geological Contrasts.a One of the chief volcanic belts upon the globe passes through the Archipelago, and produces a striking contrast in the scenery of the volcanic and non-volcan-ic islands. A curving line, marked out by scores of active and hundreds of extinct volcanoes, may be traced through the whole length of Sumatra and Java, and thence by the islands of Bali, Lombock, Sumbawa, Flores, the Serwatty Islands, Banda, Amboyna, Batchian, Makian, Tidore, Temate, and Gi-lolo, to Morty Island. Here there is a slight but well-marked break, or shift, of about 200 miles to the westward, w^ha ere the volcanic belt again begins, in North Celebes, and passes by Siau and Sanguir to the Philippine Islands, along the eastern side of which it continues, in a curving line, to their northern extremity. From the extreme eastern bend of this belt at Banda, we pass onward for 1000 miles over a non-volcanic district to the volcanoes observed by Dampier, in 1699, on the north-eastern coast of New Guinea, and can there trace another volcanic belt, through New Britain, New Ireland, and the Solomon Islands, to the eastern limits of the Archipelago.
In the whole region occupied by this vast line of volcanoes, and for a considerable breadth on each side of it, earthquakes are of continual recurrence, slight shocks being felt at intervals of every few weeks or months, while more severe ones, shaking down whole villages, and doing more or less injury to life and property, are sure to happen, in one part or another of this district, almost every year. In many of the islands the years of the great earthquakes form the chronological epochs of the native inhabitants, by the aid of which the ages