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particulars, which it is not lawful for me to reveal; but there will be enough left to give you satisfaction.
You shall understand that which perhaps you will scarce think credible) that about three thousand years ago, or somewhat more, the navigation of the world (especially for remote voyages) was greater than at this day. Do not think with yourselves, that I know not how much it is increased with you
within these threescore years: I know it well; and yet I say greater then than now: whether it was, that the example of the ark, that saved the remnant of men from the universal deluge, gave men confidence to adventure upon the waters, or what it was, but such is the truth. The Phænicians, and especially the Tyrians, had great fleets. So had the Carthaginians their colony, which is yet farther west. Toward the east, the shipping of Ægypt, and of Palæstine, was likewise great. China also, and the great Atlantis, (that you call America) which have now but junks and canoes, abounded then in tall ships. This island (as appeareth by faithful registers of those times) had then fifteen hundred strong ships, of great content. Of all this, there is with you sparing memory, or none; but we have large knowledge thereof.
At that time, this land was known and frequented by the ships and vessels of all the nations before
named. And (as it cometh to pass) they had many times men of other countries, that were no sailors, that came with them; as Persians, Chal. dæans, Arabians; so as almost all nations of might and fame resorted hither; of whom we have some stirps and little tribes with us at this day. And for our own ships, they went sundry voyages, as well to your streights, which you call the pillars of Hercules, as to other parts in the Atlantic and Mediterranean seas; as to Peguin, (which is the same with Cambalaine) and Quinzy, upon the oriental seas, as far as to the borders of the east Tartary,
At the same time, and an age after, or more, the inhabitants of the great Atlantis did Aourish. For though the narration and description which is made by a great man with you, that the descendants of Neptune planted there; and of the magnificent temple, palace, city and hill; and the manifold streams of goodly navigable rivers, which (as so many chains) environed the same scite and temple; and the several degrees of ascent, whereby men did climb up to the same, as if it had been a scala coeli; be all poetical and fabulous: yet so much is true, that the said country of Atlantis, as well that of Peru then called Coya, as that of Mexico then named Tyrambel, were mighty and proud kingdoms, in arms, shipping, and riches: so' mighty,
as at one time (or at least within the space
of ten years) they both made two great expeditions; they of Tyrambel, through the Atlantic to the Mediterranean Sea; and they of Coya, through the South Sea
upon this our island : and for the former of these which was into Europe, the same author amongst you, (as it seemeth) had some relation from the Ægyptian priest, whom he citeth. For assuredly, such a thing there was. But whether it were the ancient Athenians that had the glory of the repulse, and resistance of those forces, I can say nothing: But certain it is, there never came back either ship, or man, from that voyage.
Nei ther had the other voyage of those of Coya upon us, had better fortune, if they had not met with enemies of greater clemency. For the king of this island, (by name Altabin,) a wise man, and a great warrior; knowing well both his own strength, and that of his enemies; handled the matter so, as he cut off their land forces from their ships, and entoiled both their navy, and their camp, with a greater power than theirs, both by sea and land; and compelled them to render themselves without striking a stroke: and after they were at his mercy, contenting himself only with their oath, that they should no more bear arms against him, dismissed them all in safety. But the divine revenge overtook not long after those proud enterprizers. For
within less than the space of one hundred years, the great Atlantis was utterly lost and destroyed : not by a great earthquake, as your man saith, (for that whole tract is little subject to earthquakes ;) but by a particular deluge, or inundation: those countries having, at this day, far greater rivers, and far higher mountains, to pour down waters, than any part of the old world. But it is true, that the same inundation was not deep; not past forty foot, in most places, from the ground: so that, although it destroyed man and beast generally, yet some few wild inhabitants of the woods escaped. Birds also were saved by flying to the high trees and woods. For as for men, although they had buildings in many places, higher than the depth of the water; yet that inundation, though it were shallow, had a long continuance; whereby they of the vale, that were not drowned, perished for want of food, and other things necessary. So as marvel you not at the thin population of America, nor at the rudeness and ignorance of the people; for you must account your inhabitants of America as a young people; younger a thousand years at the least, than the rest of the world: for that there was so much time between the universal flood, and their particular inundation. For the poor remnant of human seed, which remained in their mountains, peopled their country again slowly, by little and
little; and being simple and a savage people, (not like Noah and his sons, which was the chief family of the earth) they were not able to leave letters, arts, and civility to their posterity; and having likewise in their mountainous habitations been used, (in respect of the extreme cold of those regions,) to cloath themselves with the skins of tygers, bears, and great hairy goats, that they have in those parts; when after they came down into the valley, and found the intolerable heats which are there, and knew no means of lighter apparel, they were forced to begin the custom of going naked, which continueth at this day. Only they take great pride and delight in the feathers of birds; and this also they took from those their ancestors of the mountains, who were invited unto it, by the infinite flights of birds, that came up to the high grounds, while the waters stood below. So you see, by this main accident of time, we lost our traffic with the Americans, with whom, of all others, in regard they lay nearest to us, we had most commerce. As for the other parts of the world, it is most manifest, that in the ages following, (whether it were in respect of wars, or by a natural revolution of time), navigation did every where greatly decay; and especially far voyages, (the rather by the use of gallies, and such vessels as could hardly brook the ocean) were altogether