I Should Have
Omitted To Enlarge On This Subject, To Avoid Tiring The Reader, And That I
Might Not Be Obliged To Condemn The Opinions Of Others, Were It Not That
Many Persons, To Detract From The Honour And Reputation Of The Admiral,
Have Made Great Account Of These Notions.
Besides, it appeared that I
should not fully perform my duty by merely recounting with all sincerity
and truth, the motives and incitements which inclined the admiral my
father to undertake his unparalleled enterprize, if I should suffer what I
know to be a manifest falsehood to pass uncensured.
Wherefore, the better
to detect the mistake of Oviedo, I shall first state what Aristotle has
said on this subject, as related by F. Theophilus de Ferrariis, among the
problems of Aristotle which he collected in a book entitled De Admirandis
in Natura auditis, in the following strain:
"Beyond the pillars of Hercules, it is reported that certain Carthaginian
merchants discovered an island in the Atlantic, which had never before
been inhabited except by beasts. This island was not many days sail from
the continent, was entirely covered over with trees, and abounded in all
the usual productions of nature, having a considerable number of navigable
rivers. Finding this a beautiful country, possessing it fertile soil and
salubrious atmosphere, these Carthaginians began to people it; but the
senate of Carthage, offended with this procedure, passed a decree
forbidding any person to go to that island under pain of death, and they
ordered all those who had already gone there to be slain; meaning thereby
to prevent all other nations from acquiring any knowledge of the place,
lest some other and more powerful state might take possession, to the
detriment of their liberty and commercial interest."
Oviedo had no just grounds for asserting that this island must have been
Hispaniola or Cuba.
Enter page number
Page 50 of 789
Words from 13592 to 13901