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From the North American Review for July and October, 1875


University Press


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THERE was perhaps never a time when so much general interest was felt in geographical work as at the present. Geography is decidedly the fashionable science; that is to say, not exactly geography, but geographical exploration, or, in other words, the investigation of the yet unknown portions of the earth. All the European nations are vying with each other as to which shall be the lucky country to secure the honor of being the first to solve some one of the few great geographical problems wbich yet remain to be worked out. England soon starts her expedition to the farthest North, roused to action in this direction, after many years of waiting, by the successes of the Americans, the Swedes, and the Austrians. The Germans themselves are attacking the one great question which Africa has yet to offer, namely, the tracing of the mighty Congo River to its source; while an Englishman is also struggling — unless he has already succumbed to some one of the many dangers of African exploration - to follow the connection of the lakes about which Livingstone's last work was done, and which he believed to be the head. of the Nile, but which are now known, almost to a certainty, to belong to the hydrographical basin of the Congo.

Geographical societies and journals were never more numerous in Europe, or more fully patronized, than they now are ; geographical papers find their way into the quarterlies and monthly literary magazines ; and the sale of photographs of scenery is rapidly increasing, and tending powerfully to develop an interest in all peculiar features of the earth's surface, and

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