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guat ses where spoke of the religion of metams you cared and founded besides on Sie sur she isthor of the church."
Soms is a smreg whom it is with Page 1 sm campanied to mention Lopez de Gume me fun da Lei insinuate that the CaTra lemg erratran the land of promise by E vs seinad with soch panie that they iai. Fong beband than, until, stopping + Iceutt. the found themselves safe in Imerin is het terught peither their national Ingung mitmars, De features with them, it i suunasshet Lashem behind in the hurry
she ficti. I cannot give my faith to his Iess are the supposition of the learned GroIn who being bota sin ambassador and a Dutchme zboot, entitled to great respect: that North America was pespied by a strolling company of Saragists and that Peru was founded by a camere China-Mance, or Mungo Capac, the fis Iare being himself a Chinese. Nor shall I more than barely mention, that Father Kircher agrides the settlement of America to the Egyptisas Bodback to the Seandinavians, Charron to the Gsek, Juftredas Petri to a skating party from Friesland. Mins to the Celtæ, Marinocus, the Satan, to the Romans, Le Comte to the Phoeni. cians, Postal to the Moons, Martin d'Angleria to the Abyssinians, together with the sage surmise of De Laet, that England, Ireland, and the Orcades may contend for that honour.
Nor will I bestow any more attention or credit to the idea that America is the fairy region of Zipangri, described by that dreaming traveller Marco Polo, the Venetian; or that it comprises the visionary island of Atlantis, described by Plato. Neither will I stop to investigate the heathenish assertion of Paracelsus, that each hemisphere of the globe was originally furnished with an Adam and Eve : or the more flattering opinion of Dr. Romayne, supported by many nameless authorities, that Adam was of the Indian race: or the startling conjecture of Buffon, Helvetius, and Darwin, 80 highly honourable to mankind, that the whole human species is accidentally descended from a remarkable family of the monkeys !
This last conjecture, I must own, came upon me very suddenly and very ungraciously. I have often beheld the clown in a pantomime, while gazing in stupid wonder at the extravagant gambols of a harlequin, all at once electrified by a sudden stroke of the wooden sword across his shoulders. Little did I think at such times that it would ever fall to my lot to be treated with equal discourtesy, and that while I was quietly beholding these grave philosophers emulating the eccentric transformations of the hero of pantomime, they would on a sudden turn upon me and my readers, and with one hypothetical flourish metamorphose us into beasts ! I determined from that moment not to burn my fingers with any more of their theories, but content myself with detailing the different methods by which they transported the descendants of these ancient and
respectable monkeys to this great field of these retical warfare.
This was done eithez by migrations by land or transmigrations by water. Thus Padre Joseph Acosta enumerates three passages by land, first, by the north of Europe, secondly, by the north of Asia, and thirdly, by regions southward of the Straits of Magellan. The learned Grotius marches his Norwegians by a pleasant roate across frozen rivers and arms of the sea, through Iceland, Greenland, Estotiland, and Naremberga. And various writers, among whom are Angleria, de Horn, and Buffon, anxious for the accommodation of these travellers, have fastened the two continents together by a strong chain of deductions-by which means they could pass over dryshod. But should even this fail, Pinkerton, that industrious old gentleman, who compiles books, and manufactures Geographies, has constructed a natural bridge of ice from continent to continent, at the distance of four or five miles from Bebring's Straits, for which he is entitled to the grateful thanks of all the wandering aborigines who ever did or ever will pass over it.
It is an evil much to be lamented, that none of the worthy writers above quoted, could ever commence his work, without immediately declaring hostilities against every writer who had treated of the same subject. In this particular, authors may be compared to a certain sagacious bird, which in building its nest is sure to pull to pieces the nests of all the birds in its neighbourhood. This unhappy propensity tends grievously to im
pede the progress of sound knowledge. Theories are at best but brittle productions, and when once committed to the stream, they should take care that like the notable pots, which were fellow voyagers,
they do not crack each other. For my part, when I beheld the sages I have quoted gravely accounting for unaccountable things, and discoursing thus wisely about matters for ever hidden from their eyes, like a blind man describing the glories of light, and the beauty and harmony of colours, I fell back in astonishment at the amazing extent of human ingenuity.
If, cried I to myself, these learned men can weave whole systems out of nothing, what would be their productions were they furnished with substantial materials !—if they can argue and dispute thus ingeniously about subjects beyond their knowledge, what would be the profundity of their observations, did they but know what they were talking about! Should old Rhadamanthus, when he comes to decide upon their conduct while on earth, have the least idea of the usefulness of their labours, he will undoubtedly class them with those notorious wise men of Gotham, who milked a bull, twisted a rope of sand, and wove a velvet purse from a sow's ear.
My chief surprise is, that among the many writers I have noticed, no one has attempted to prove that this country was peopled from the moon-or that the first inhabitants floated hither on islands of ice, as white bears cruise about the northern oceans-or that they were conveyed hither by balloons, as modern aeronauts pass from Dover to Calais-or by witchcraft as Simon Magus posted among the stars — or after the manner of the renowned Scythian Abaris, who, like the New England wiiches on full-bloodedbroomsticks, made most unheard-of journeys on the back of a golden arrow, given him by the Hyperborean Apollo.
But there is still one mode left by which this country could have been peopled, which I have reserved for the last, because I consider it worth all the rest; it is—by accident! Speaking of the the islands of Solomon, New-Guinea, and NewHolland, the profound Father Charlevoix observes, “ in fine, all these countries are peopled, and it is possible, some have been so by accident. Now if it could have happened in that manner, why might it not have been at the same time, and by the same means, with the other parts of the globe? This ingenious mode of deducing certain conclusions from possible premises, is an improvement on syllogistic skill, and proves the good father superior even to Archimedes, for he can turn the world without anything to rest his lever upon. It is only surpassed by the dexterity with which the sturdy old Jesuit, in another place, cuts the Gordian knot—"Nothing,” says he, “is more easy. The inhabitants of both hemispheres
are certainly the descendants of the same father. The common father of mankind received an express order from heaven to people the world, and accordingly it has been peopled. To bring this about, it was necessary to overcome all difficulties in the way, and they have also been overcome !” Pious logician !