Travels in the Interior Districts of Africa: Performed Under the Direction and Patronage of the African Association, in the Years 1795, 1796, and 1797
"Until the publication of Park's book in 1799 hardly anything was known of the interior of Africa, apart from the north-east region and coastal areas. Having sent out four expeditions to the Niger, all of which had failed, the African Association in 1795 charged Mungo Park with the task. Park, a Scot. set sail [on 22 May 1795] to find and explore the Niger. Travelling eastward from the English factory at Pisania (where he learned the Mandingo language) along the River Gambia, Park reached the Niger at Segou and followed its course for about one hundred miles to Sulla, where difficulties forced him to turn back [and on being taken ill he returned to England in 1799] ... Park's Travels had an immediate success and was translated into most European languages. It has become a classic of travel literature, and its scientific observations on the botany and meteorology of the region, and on the social and domestic life of the negroes, have remained of lasting value. Park's career was short but he made the first great practical advance in the opening-up of Central Africa. Park did not solve the problem of the Niger: he believed it to be a tributary of the Nile or to be really identical with the Congo; but he set the further exploration of the region in the right direction" (Printing and the Mind of Man). -- abebooks website.
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Eingeschränkte Leseprobe - 2011
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Seite 244 - At this moment, painful as my reflections were, the extraordinary beauty of a small moss in fructification irresistibly caught my eye. I mention this to show from what trifling circumstances the mind will sometimes derive consolation ; for though the whole plant was not larger than the top of one of my fingers, I could not contemplate the delicate conformation of its roots, leaves, and capsula, without admiration. Can that Being...
Seite 263 - I never addressed myself in the language of decency and friendship, without receiving a decent and friendly answer; with man it has often been otherwise.
Seite 243 - I turned, nothing appeared but danger and difficulty. I saw myself in the midst of a vast wilderness, in the depth of the rainy season ; naked and alone; surrounded by savage animals, and men still more savage.
Seite 197 - ... the night threatened to be very uncomfortable, for the wind rose, and there was great appearance of a heavy rain ; and the wild beasts are so very numerous in the neighbourhood, that I should have been under the necessity of climbing up the tree, and resting among the branches.
Seite 244 - I could not contemplate the delicate conformation of its roots, leaves, and capsule without admiration. Can that Being (thought I), who planted, watered, and brought to perfection, in this obscure part of the world, a thing which appears of so small importance, look with unconcern upon the situation and sufferings of creatures formed after his own image ? — surely not ! Reflections like these would not allow me to despair ; I started up, and disregarding both hunger and fatigue, travelled forwards,...
Seite 177 - Here then, thought I, after a short but ineffectual struggle, terminate all my hopes of being useful in my day and generation ; here must the short span of my life come to an end.
Seite 279 - European to see a child suck a piece of rock-salt as if it were sugar. This, however, I have frequently seen ; although, in the inland parts, the poorer class of inhabitants are so very rarely indulged with this precious article, that to say a man eats salt with his victuals is the same as saying he is a rich man.
Seite 198 - I might sleep there without apprehension) called to the female part of her family, who had stood gazing on me all the while in fixed astonishment, to resume their task of spinning cotton ; in which they continued to employ themselves great part of the night.
Seite 236 - I therefore wrote the board full from top to bottom on both sides ; and my landlord, to be certain of having the whole force of the charm, washed the writing from the board into a calabash with a little water, and having said a few prayers over it, drank this powerful draught : after which, lest a single word should escape, he licked the board until it was quite dry.