Numerous small archipelagoes and islands, of which the chief are Belle Tie, Groix and Ushant, fringe the Breton coast.- North of the Bay of St Michel the peninsula of Cotentin, terminating in the promontories of Hague and Barfleur, juts north into the English Channel and closes the bay of the Seine on the -west.
Other archipelagoes are described in their respective places.
It is noticeable that the patriotic spirit is strongest in those places where people are brought most intimately into relation with the land; dwellers in the mountain or by the sea, and, above all, the people of rugged coasts and mountainous archipelagoes, have always been renowned for love of country, while the inhabitants of fertile plains and trading communities are frequently less strongly attached to their own land.
She has explored seas and archipelagoes which had no chart, where no Cook or Vancouver had ever sailed.
They contain round archipelagoes of romantic isles, even as the Polynesian waters do; in large part, are shored by two great contrasting nations, as the Atlantic is; they furnish long maritime approaches to our numerous territorial colonies from the East, dotted all round their banks; here and there are frowned upon by batteries, and by the goat-like craggy guns of lofty Mackinaw; they have heard the fleet thunderings of naval victories; at intervals, they yield their beaches to wild barbarians, whose red painted faces flash from out their peltry wigwams; for leagues and leagues are flanked by ancient and unentered forests, where the gaunt pines stand like serried lines of kings in Gothic genealogies; those same woods harboring wild Afric beasts of prey, and silken creatures whose exported furs give robes to Tartar Emperors; they mirror the paved capitals of Buffalo and Cleveland, as well as Winnebago villages; they float alike the full-rigged merchant ship, the armed cruiser of the State, the steamer, and the beech canoe; they are swept by Borean and dismasting blasts as direful as any that lash the salted wave; they know what shipwrecks are, for out of sight of land, however inland, they have drowned full many a midnight ship with all its shrieking crew.
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