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Here is a sample excerpt from CHAPTER II. of General History And Collection Of Voyages And Travels Vol 3:
ACCOUNT OF THE FIRST DISCOVERY OF AMERCIA, BY CHRISTOPHER COLUMBUS; FROM THE HISTORY OF THE WEST INDIES, BY ANTONIO BE HERRERA, HISTORIOGRAPHER TO THE KING OF SPAIN.
Of the Knowledge of the Ancients respecting the New World.
With the generality of mankind, so far from imagining that there could be any such country as the new world or West Indies, the very notion of any such thing being supposed to exist was considered as extravagant and absurd, for every one believed that all to the westwards of the Canary islands was an immense and unnavigable ocean. Yet some of the ancients have left hints that such western lands existed. In the close of the second act of his tragedy of Medea, Seneca says, "The time will come, when the ocean shall become navigable, and a vast land or New World shall be discovered." St Gregory, in his exposition of the Epistle of St Clement, says, "There is a new world, or even worlds, beyond the ocean." We are informed by other authors, that a Carthaginian merchant ship accidentally discovered in the ocean, many days sail from our ancient continent, an incredibly fruitful island, full of navigable rivers, having plenty of wild beasts, but uninhabited by men, and that the discoverers were desirous of settling there; but, having given an account of this discovery to the senate of Carthage, they not only absolutely prohibited any one to sail thither, but put all who had been there to death, the more effectually to prevent any others from making the attempt.
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