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ELDORADO

BY LEVI BISHOP

As our travelers exhibited much curiosity to see the country, the host introduced them to a very old gentleman, who was said to be the wisest man in the kingdom, and who was very communicative. This gentleman took them into a house which was very plain, for the door was nothing but silver, the wains coating though worked with much taste, was only of gold, the ante-chambers were encrusted only with rubies and emeralds, and the whole house appeared to be arranged with the utmost simplicity. The old gentleman received the strangers upon sofas upholstered with the feathers of hummingbirds; and having presented them wine in vases of diamonds, proceeded to satisfy their curiosity in the following words:
"I am now one hundred and seventy-two years of age: I learned of my late father, who was shield-bearer to the king, of the extraordinary revolution in Peru of which he had been a witness. This is the ancient kingdom of the Incas, who many years ago, sallied out from here very imprudently in order to subjugate another part of the world, but who were finally destroyed 'by the Spaniards. The princes of their family who remained in the country acted a wiser part, for they decreed, with the consent of the nation, that no inhabitant should ever thereafter leave our little kingdom. This is what has preserved to us our innocence and our felicity. The Spaniards have long had a confused knowledge of this country. They call it the Eldorado, and an Englishman by the name of Ralegh approached it about one hundred years ago; but as we are surrounded on all sides by unapproachable precipices, we have been, down to the present time, sheltered from the rapacity of Europeans.

Michigan


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