ries before it did. It was human ignorance deeper than the Atlantic, and bigotry stormier than its waves, which walled the western horizon of Europe for so long. But for that, Columbus himself would have found America ten years sooner than he did; and for that matter, America would not have waited for Columbus's five-times-great-grandfather to be born. It was really a strange thing how the richest half of the world played so long at hide-and-seek with civilization; and how at last it was found, through the merest chance, by those who sought something entirely different. Had America waited to be discovered by some one seeking a new continent, it might be waiting yet.
Despite the fact that long before Columbus vagrant crews of half a dozen different races had already reached the New World, they had left neither mark on America nor result in civilization; and Europe, at the very brink of the greatest discovery and the greatest events in history, never dreamed of it. Columbus himself had no imaginings of A
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