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what more, the navigation of the world, especially for remote voyages, was greater than at this day.b Do not think with yourselves that I know not how much it is increased with you within these sixscore 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 further west. Toward the east the shipping of Egypt and of Palestina 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, Chaldeans, 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 straits, which you call the Pillars of Hercules, as to other parts in the Atlantic and Mediterranean seas; as to Pegu, which is the same with Cambalu, and Quinsay upon the Oriental seas, as far as to the borders of East Tartary.
“At the same time, and an age after or more, the inhabitants of the great Atlantis did flourish. For though the narration and description which is made by a great man, with
V It is of course necessary to understand the Atlantic oracle cum grano; though certainly the expeditions of Hanuo, of Pharaoh Necho, of Nearchus, and others (rather less, indeed, than three thousand years ago), might give some colour to his ideas. His lordship had probably formed grander notions of the fleets and navigations he Tyrians, Carthaginians, and other commercial nations of antiquity than the present age entertain. See on this subject Heeren's Africa (Bohn). c Plato, in whose Critias all these marvellous descriptions occur.
It is not a little extraordinary that persons roaming through literature in search of pleasure, should so seldom enter upon the domains of this
you, of 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 site 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 as 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 Tyrainbel 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 Egyptian 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. Neither 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 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 enterprises; 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,d for that
Archimago, where so many magical sights and shows abound. Spenser is not more fanciful, Shakspeare not more imaginative, Milton not more sublime.-J. A. St. John.
d The western coast of America is liable still more than the western coast of Europe to the shock of earthquakes. Indeed, it might almost be said that the earthquake has its home among the Andes, where it
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 wood 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 the 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 clothe themselves with the skins of tigers,e 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 has, within the memory of men now living, wrought fearful havoc, and effected wonderful changes in the aspect of the globe. For an account of some of these, the reader may be referred to Humboldt's description of the country round Chimborazo, whose unscaleable peak a bold party of travellers some years ago attempted to ascend. See his Personal Narrative (Bohn's Ed.).
• The tiger is not a native of the American continent; but this haz not been ascertained in Bacon's time.
infinite flight of birds that came up to the hig while the waters stood below. So you see by accident of time we lost our traffic with the with whom, of all others, in regard they lay nea we had most commerce. As for the other parts of it is most manifest that in the ages following, were in respect of wars, or by a natural revolutio navigation did everywhere greatly decay, and est voyages, the rather by the use of galleys and such could hardly brook the ocean, were altogether omitted. So then, that part of the intercourse w be from other nations to sail to us, you see how it since ceased, except it were by some rare accident, yours. But now of the cessation of that other
P tercourse, which might be by our sailing to other must yield you some other cause ; for I cannot shall say truly, but our shipping for number, mariners, pilots, and all things that appertain to na is as great as ever; and therefore why we should sit I shall now give you an account by itself, and it nearer to give you satisfaction to your principal que
“There reigned in this island, about one thous hundred years ago, a king, whose memory of all o most adore, not superstitiously, but as a divine ins though a mortal man : his name was Solomona, esteem him as the lawgiver of our nation. This kir large heart, inscrutable
for good, and was wholly bent his kingdom and people happy. He therefore, tak, consideration how sufficient and substantive this land maintain itself without any aid at all of the foreigne five thousand six hundred miles in circuit, and fertility of soil in the greatest part thereof; and find the shipping of this country might be plentifully set o both by fishing and by transportations from port to p likewise by sailing unto some small islands that are from us, and are under the crown and laws of this sta recalling into his memory the happy and flourishing wherein this land then was, so as it might be a th ways altered to the worse, but scarce any one way better ; thought nothing wanted to his noble and h intentions, but only, as far as human foresight might
6 That king
lo give perpetuity to that which was in his time so happily established; therefore amongst his other fundamental laws of this kingdom he did ordain the interdicts and prohibitions which we have touching the entrance of strangers, which at that time, though it was after the calamity of America, was frequent; doubting novelties and commixture of manners. It is true, the like law against the admission of strangers without license is an ancient law in the kingdom of China, and yet continued in use ; but there it is a poor thing, and hath made them a curious, ignorant, fearful, foolish nation. But our lawgiver made his law of another temper. For, first, he hath preserved all points of humanity, in taking order and making provision for the relief of strangers distressed, whereof you have tasted.” At which speech, as reason was, we all rose up and bowed ourselves. He went on. also—still desiring to join humanity and policy together, and thinking it against humanity to detain strangers here against their wills, and against policy, that they should return and discover their knowledge of this state, he took this course. He did ordain, that of the strangers that should be permitted to land, as many, at all times, might depart as would, but as many as would stay should have very good conditions and means to live from the state.
Wherein he saw so far, that now in so many ages since the prohibition, we have memory not of one ship that ever returned, and but of thirteen persons only at several times that chose to return in our bottoms. What those few that returned may have reported abroad, I know not; but you must think, whatsoever they have said could be taken where they came but for a dream. Now for our travelling from hence into parts abroad, our lawgiver thought fit altogether to restrain it. So is it not in China, for the Chinese sail where they will, or can ; which showeth that their law of keeping out strangers is a law of pusillanimity and fear. But this restraint of ours hath one only exception, which is admirable, preserving the good which cometh by communicating with strangers, and avoiding the hurt; and I will now open it to you. And here I shall seem a little to digress, but you will, by-and-by, find it pertinent. You shall understand, my dear friends, that amongst the excellent acts of that king, one above all hath the pre-eminence ; it was the erection and institution of an