« PreviousContinue »
BEING À CONTINUATION
The HISTORY of AMERICA.
Government, Cuftoms, and Manners, of the ancient
H E origin of nations is so involved in obscurity, that Account of little can be related with certainty, respecting the the ancient
earlier periods, and remoter ages, of the most civilized Peruvians. people, that has any pretensions to antiquity. What fables are intermixed with the histories of Rome and Athens! Even the origin of modern nations, though pofterior to the use of letters, hath its difficulties, and every day furnishes matter of debate among antiquaries: how, therefore, can we expect to find truth unmixed with falfhood and absurdity, in the accounts given by the barbarous natives of the origin of those kingdoms and empires, whose subversion afforded the first inlet to the enlightening beams of science, and the bright dawn diffused over every object, by the use of those characters invented happily to carry our ideas to pofterity, with the same precision they occured to our own minds? Accordingly we find, that nothing can be more improbable, fuperftitious, and ridiculous, than the account given of the Peruvians, before they were reduced by their Incas to a regular form of government, unless we except the means by Mon. HLET. Vol. XXXIX.