Here are the few paragraphs from the book,
The nineteenth century, now nearing its close, has made an indelible impression upon the history of the world, and never were greater things accomplished with more marvellous rapidity. Every branch of science, without exception, has shared in this progress, and to it the daily accumulating information respecting different parts of the globe has greatly contributed. Regions, previously completely closed, have been, so to speak, simultaneously opened by the energy of explorers, who, like Livingstone, Stanley, and Nordenskiöld, have won immortal renown. In Africa, the Soudan, and the equatorial regions, where the sources of the Nile lie hidden; in Asia, the interior of Arabia, and the Hindoo Koosh or Pamir mountains, have been visited and explored. In America whole districts but yesterday inaccessible are now intersected by railways, whilst in the other hemisphere Australia and the islands of Polynesia have been colonized; new societies have rapidly sprung into being, and even the unmelting ice of the polar regions no longer checks the advance of the intrepid explorer. And all this is but a small portion of the work on which the present generation may justly pride itself.
Distant wars too have contributed in no small measure to the progress of science. To the victorious march of the French army we owe the discovery of new facts relative to the ancient history of Algeria; it was the advance of the English and Russian forces that revealed the secret of the mysterious lands in the heart of Asia, whence many scholars believe the European races to have first issued, and of this ever open book the French expedition to Tonquin may be considered at present one of the last pages.
Geographical knowledge does much to promote the progress of the kindred sciences. The work of Champollion, so brilliantly supplemented by the Vicomte de Rougé and Mariette Bey, has led to the accurate classification of the monuments of Egypt. The deciphering of the cuneiform inscriptions has given us the dates of the palaces of Nineveh and Babylon; the interpretation by savants of other inscriptions has made known to us those Hittites whose formidable power at one time extended as far as the Mediterranean, but whose name had until quite recently fallen into complete oblivion. The rock-hewn temples and the yet more strange dagobas of India now belong to science. Like the sacred monuments of Burmah and Cambodia they have been brought down to comparatively recent dates; and though the palaces of Yucatan and Peru still maintain their reserve, we are able to fix their dates approximately, and to show that long before their construction North America was inhabited by races, one of which, known as the Mound Builders, left behind them gigantic earthworks of many kinds, whilst another, known as the Cliff Dwellers, built for themselves houses on the face of all but inaccessible rocks.
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