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Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 56.djvu/273

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SKETCH OF FREDERICK C. SELOUS.

sport and a hunter's prowess, and was regarded in that light by the critics and the general public. The Royal Geographical Society, however, perceived other qualities in the story he had to tell, and gave him successively honorable mention, the Cuthbert Peake grant, and, in 1883, the Founder's Gold Medal, the highest honor it had to bestow.

Among the earliest testimonials paid by this society to the value, as yet not generally appreciated, of Selous's work was that given by Lord Aberdare, president, in his anniversary address, delivered in May, 1881, to the services rendered to geography in the regions west of Lake Nyassa by Mr. Selous, who had "hitherto been known as a mighty hunter of large game. . . . This gentleman, we learn, in 1878 penetrated for one hundred and fifty miles the unknown country north of the Zambezi, in the direction of Lake Bangweolo. He has since crossed in various directions the Matabele country south of the Zambezi, discovering two new rivers and. defining the course of others which had previously been laid down from vague information." Selous's Notes on the Chobi, it appears, had already been published by the Geographical Society.

Mr. Selous has spent most of his time since he began his African wanderings in 1871, except for occasional visits to England, in traveling and hunting over that part of the African continent with which his name as an explorer is associated. In 1877 he and some companions penetrated into Matabeleland to hunt elephants. Relating the story of his wanderings in an address to the Royal Geographical Society in 1893, he described his experiences with fever and ague, the attacks of which began in Griqualand in 1872, but came on only when he halted anywhere a few days. North of the Zambezi he made several journeys among the Balongas, and spent a wretched rainy season, almost without equipment, on the Manica tablel-and, of the luxuriant vegetation of which, with sweet-smelling flowers after the rains, he gave a glowing description in his address. Interesting observations wore made on some of the northern rivers. The curious phenomena of the steady rise of the waters of the Chobi and Machabi—an outlet of the Okavango—was observed from the first week in June till the last week in September, when the flood began to recede.

From 1882 the journeys acquired additional geographical importance, and Mr. Selous proceeded to rectify the maps of Mashonaland made by earlier travelers, taking constant compass bearings, sketching the courses of rivers, and fixing the positions of tributaries. The value of this work was made manifest in a magnificent large scale map of the country.

This map, which was published in 1895, was intended, first and