The Principal Navigations, Voyages, Traffiques and Discoveries of the English Nation ? Volume 06 / Madiera, the Canaries, Ancient Asia, Africa, etc.
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Early Voyages to Terra Australis, Now Called Australia:
When, at a period comparatively recent in the world?s history, the discovery was made that, on the face of the as yet unmeasured ocean, there existed a western continent which rivalled in extent the world already known, it became a subject of natural enquiry whether a fact of such momentous importance could for so many thousands of years have remained a secret. Nor was the enquiry entirely without response. Amid the obscurity of the past some faint foreshadowings of the great reality appeared to be traceable. The poet with his prophecy, the sage with his mythic lore, and the unlettered seaman who, with curious eye, had peered into the mysteries of the far-stretching Atlantic, had each, as it now appeared, enunciated a problem which at length had met with its solution.