A General History And Collection Of Voyages And Travels - Volume 3 - By Robert Kerr












































































































 -  I should have
omitted to enlarge on this subject, to avoid tiring the reader, and that I
might not be - Page 50
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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.

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