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Chapter 30: our criticism of foreign visitors

Few things seem more unreasonable than the demand we habitually make on foreign visitors that they should know something of American geography, because we know something of European geography. It seems unreasonable that we should even be surprised that they expect, as they often do, to see the Rocky Mountains from New York Harbor. It is as if a son who has removed far from his old home should expect his father to find his way about a newly built house in Omaha, merely because he himself remembers every nook and corner of the old house in East Belchertown. How much do we ourselves know about any part of the continent, new or old, which we have never visited? How many American citizens could draw, off-hand, a recognizable sketch-map showing the relative positions of Nova Scotia, New Brunswick, and Newfoundland?

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