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not otherwise have referred to them as authorities, without encumbering the page with an insertion of their full titles. To any person who may choose to follow me in this path of inquiry, the catalogue must be very useful..
My readers will observe, that in mentioning sums of money, I have uniformly followed the Spanish method of computing by pesos. In America, the peso fuerte, orduro, is the only one known, and that is always meant": when any sum imported from America is mentioned. The peso fuerte, as well as other coins, has varied in its numerary value; but I have been advised, without attending to such minute variations, to consider it as equal to fourshillings and sixpence of our money. It is to be remembered, however, that in the sixteenth century, the effective value of a peso, i. c. the quantity of labour which it represented, or of goods which it would purchase, was five or six times as much as at present..
N. B. Since this cdition was put into the press, a Hisa: tory of Mexico, in two volumes, in quarto, translated from the Italian of the Abbé D. Francesco Saverio Clavigero, has been published. From a person who is a native of New Spain, who has resided forty years in that country, and who is acquainted with the Mexican language, it was natural to expeci much new information. Upon perusing his work, however, I find that it contains. hard!uj ary a vui!ion to the ancie:t History of the Media til empire, as relutei by Acosta ani Ilerrera, but what
I is derived from the improbable narratives and fanciful
conjectures of Torquemada and Boturini. Having copied their splendid descriptions of the high state of civilization in the Mexican empire, M. Clavigero, in the abundance of his zeal for the honour of his native country, charges me with having mistaken some points, and with having misrepresented others, in the History of it. When an author is conscious of having exerted industry in research, and impartiality in decision, he may, without presumption, claim what praise is due to these qualities, and he cannot be ir.sensible to any accusation that tends to weaken the force of his claim. A feeling of this kind has induced me to examine such strictures of XI. Ciavigero on my History of America, as merited any attention, especially as these are made by one, who seemed to possess the means of obtaining accurate information ; and to shew that the greater part of them is destitute of any just foundation. This I have done in notes upon the passages of my History, which gave rise to his criticisms.
COLLEGE OF EDINBURGH,
Narch 1, 1783.
VOLUME THE FIRST.
BOOK 1. PROGRESS of navigation among the ancientsView of their
discoveries-Imperfection of ancient navigation Revival of commerce and navigation in Europe Invention of the mariner's compass-First regular plan of discovery formed by Portugal Progress along the western coast of Africa-Hopes of discovering a new route to the East Indies.
BOOK II. Birth and education of Columbus-Acquires naval skill in the serrice
of Portugal-Conceives hopes of reaching the East Indies by holding a westerly course-His negociations with different courts Voyage of discovery--Return to Spain--Astonishment of mankind on this discovery of a New World-Papal grant of it-Second voyageColony settled-War with the Indiang-First tax imposed on them—Third Voyage~He discovers the continent-Voyage of the Portuguèse to the East Indies by the Cape of Good Hope Discoveries made by private adventurers in the New WorldName of America given to it-Columbus disgraced and sent in chains to Europe Fourth voyage of Columbus-His discoveries-His death,
BOOK III. State of the colony in Hispaniola-Cruelty of the Spaniards-First
colony planted on the continent-Conquest of Cuba.Discovery of Florida-of the South Seam-Negroes imported into America-Discoveries towards the West Yucatan-Campeachy-New Spain.
VOLUME THE SECOND.
BOOK IV. T'iew of America when first discovered-Vast extent of America-Its mountains-Rivers Lakes-Temperature Predominance of cold
Cau ses of this-Its animals-Soil-Condition of the Americans -Bodily constitution of the Americans considered- Qualities of their minds--Domestic state-Potitical state and institutionsanm System of war and public security-Arts with which they were acquainted Religsous ideas and institutions--General review of their rirtues and defects.
* VOLUME THE THIRD.
BOOK V. continued.
History of New England to the year 1652.