directed the Governor of Costa Firme, the old name for the Panama district, to survey the valley of the Chagres, the river which supplies the water for the upper reaches of the American canal. This gentleman, however, seems scarcely to have shared the royal enthusiasm. He may be supposed to have known the isthmus at these points very well, and his scepticism about the prospect of canal construction there in those days was not wholly groundless. The Spanish historian Gomara, who wrote a history of the Indies in 1551 and dedicated it to Charles V., declared a canal to be quite feasible along any of the four routes mentioned by Galvano. It is true he recognized obstacles. "There are mountains," he wrote, "but there are also hands. If determination is not lacking, means will not fail; the Indies, to which the way is to be made, will furnish them. To a king of Spain, seeking the wealth of Indian commerce, that which is possible is also easy."
But Charles V. died without making any practical advance in this
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