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Nature has provided commensurate outlets for the infinite productions of a country which is rich alike in everything that is to be found either on the face or in the bowels of the earth; for the mines and quarries abound with precious metals and marbles, from gold to iron, from the agate to coal, while a fertile soil and every possible variety of climate admit of unlimited cultivation of the natural productions of the temperate or tropical zones: thus in the province of Granada the sugar-cane and cotton-tree luxuriate at the base of ranges which are covered with eternal snow: a wide range is thus afforded to the botanist, who may ascend by zones, through every variety of vegetable strata, from the hothouse plant growing wild, to the hardiest lichen. ...The Moorish geographer Alrasi was the first to take difference of climate as the rule of dividing the Peninsula into distinct portions; and modern authorities, carrying out this idea, have drawn an imaginary line, which runs north-east to south-west, thus separating the Peninsula into the northern, or the boreal and temperate, and the southern or the torrid, and subdividing these two into four zones: nor is this division altogether fanciful, for there is no caprice or mistake in tests derived from the vegetable world; manners may make man, but the sun alone modifies the plant: man may be fused down by social appliances into one uniform mass, but the rude elements are not to be civilized, nor can nature be made cosmopolitan, which heaven forfend.
About Richard Ford, the Author:
He was the eldest son of Benjamin Booth's daughter and heiress, who married Sir Richard Ford, an MP in 1789 and for many years chief police magistrate of London. ...In the summer of 1851, Richard Ford married his third wife, Mary Ford, née Molesworth, (1816-1910), who was a daughter of Sir Arscott Ourry Molesworth, 7th Baronet (1789-1823).