The Congo and Coasts of Africa - Richard Harding Davis

The Congo and Coasts of Africa

By Richard Harding Davis

  • Release Date - Published: 1907-01-01
  • Book Genre: Africa
  • Author: Richard Harding Davis
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The Congo and Coasts of Africa is a historical book. No matter how often one sets out, "for to admire, and for to see, for to behold this world so wide", he never quite gets over being surprised at the erratic manner in which "civilization" distributes itself; at the way it ignores one spot upon the earth's surface, and upon another, several thousand miles away, heaps its blessings and its tyrannies. Having settled in a place one might suppose the "influences of civilization" would first be felt by the people nearest that place. Instead of which, a number of men go forth in a ship and carry civilization as far away from that spot as the winds will bear them. When a stone falls in a pool each part of each ripple is equally distant from the spot where the stone fell; but if the stone of civilization were to have fallen, for instance, into New Orleans, equally near to that spot we would find the people of New York City and the naked Indians of Yucatan. Civilization does not radiate, or diffuse. It leaps; and as to where it will next strike it is as independent as forked lightning. During hundreds of years it passed over the continent of Africa to settle only at its northern coast line and its most southern cape; and, to-day, it has given Cuba all of its benefits, and has left the equally beautiful island of Hayti, only fourteen hours away, sunk in fetish worship and brutal ignorance.

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