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Life And Travels Of Mungo Park In central Africa (fiscle part-IV)

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User: paul
Life And Travels Of Mungo Park In central Africa (fiscle part-IV)
Progress Of African Discovery, Before Park'S First Expedition.--Park'S
Early Life._




The First Information We Have Respecting The Interior Of Africa Is
Derived from Herodotus, Who, During His Residence In egypt, Endeavoured
To Collect As Much Intelligence As Possible Respecting The General Aspect
Of The Country. He Describes It As Far Less Fertile Than The Cultivated
Parts Of Europe And Asia, And Much Exposed to Drought, With The Exception
Of A Few Verdant Spots. To The Northern Coast, He Gives The Name Of The
Forehead Of Africa; And Says That Immediately South From It, The
Comparative Fertility Of The Soil Rapidly Decreases. There Are Natural
Hills Of Salt, Out Of Which The Inhabitants Scoop Houses To Shelter
Themselves From The Weather; Rain They Have Not To Fear, As Scarcely A
Drop Ever Alights Upon That Sultry Region. Farther South Still, There Is
No Food To Support Man Or Beast--Neither Shrub, Nor A Single Drop Of
Water; All Is Silence And Utter Desolation. Herodotus Then Proceeds To
Relate A Number Of Monstrous Fables, Which Bear An Overwhelming
Proportion To The Parts Of His Narrative Which Are Now Known To Be True.
He Also Describes A Large Inland River, Which Some Have Supposed to Be
The Niger, Flowing From West To East. He Acquired this Information From
The Reports Of Various Travellers, Who Stated that After A Long Journey
To The Interior, They Had Themselves Seen It. This Account Was Confirmed
By Several Other Ancient Authors; But For A Long Time The Question Was
Agitated by Modern Writers As To Whether The Gambia Or The Senegal Was
Not The River Spoken Of; Some Even Denying The Existence Of The Niger
Altogether.

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