of the New World was anything more than the western boundaries of the Asiatic continent; Columbus never wavered from this conviction; the Cabots fancied that our Atlantic shores were those of China; and though Balboa, in 1513, waded waist-deep into the Pacific off Darien, and claimed it for Spain, yet the massive immensity of America was not suspected. There was not space for it on the globe as then plotted by geographers; it must be a string of islands, or at best but an attenuated outlying bulwark of the East. News spread slowly in those days; Vasco da Gama had reached India round the Cape of Good Hope before Balboa's exploit; Columbus, on his third voyage, had touched the mainland of South America, and young Sebastian Cabot, sailing from Bristol under the English flag, had driven his prow against Labrador ice in his effort to force a northwest passage; and still the truth was not fully realized. And when, a century later, the English colonies were assigned their boundaries, these were defined north, south
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