Its western tributary, the Meta, had, however, been ascended for some distance, and the wide plains at the eastern foot of the Andes of New Granada, about which our information is even at the present day far from perfect, had been traversed again and again by searchers after the fabulous city of "El Dorado"—the Golden Monarch. Of the Orinoco, the shortest of the three, less had been explored, as the cataract of Atures had turned back more than one adventurous voyager.The contributions of so many previous workers in the field have been drawn upon that it is impossible to acknowledge the indebtedness in each separate case; more especially as the narrative is based on notes collected during a long series of years. Both in the north and south, vast expanses of ocean remained untraversed, and the exploration of these, especially in the south, was one of the principal tasks of the coming century.A few of the more particular obligations must however find expression. In the Arctic regions some advance had already been made before the close of the sixteenth century, the new period having in fact been ushered in by the early enterprise of the English and Dutch in this quarter, from about 1550 onwards. From the copy in Leupe's edition of the voyage, 1858. In spite of all this activity vast tracts of forest, especially in the Amazon basin, remained unexplored, and the whole southern extremity of the continent was entirely neglected whilst, even where travellers had penetrated, the geographical knowledge obtained was often of the vaguest, and imaginary delineations of lakes and rivers long filled the maps.
Whilst original sources of information have been consulted as far as possible, it is obvious, in view of the extent of the field, that this could not be done universally, in a text-book that does not, primarily at least, profess to present the results of original research. The information brought home with respect to those seen was very vague and fragmentary, and for the most part they can with difficulty be now identified.In deference to modern usage, such forms as Hudson's Bay, the Straits of Magellan, have been discarded, though at a certain expense of picturesqueness, and, in the second case, even of strict accuracy. Guillemard, not only for the great interest he has taken in the book from the outset, but for his unstinted aid in proof-reading, and for his many valuable suggestions, which have eliminated not a few inaccuracies. The strait which bears his name is correctly drawn, as well as the discoveries of Barents in Spitsbergen and Novaya Zemlya.In conclusion, my warmest thanks are due to the Editor of the series, Dr F. In the Far East, too—whence, as we shall see later, Davis had recently returned—the map gives a very correct representation of the Archipelago, Japan, etc. From Shea's copy of the portrait by Hamel (after Montcornet) in the Parliament House at Ottawa. Under the latter the site of the city changed its locality, and the southern tributary of the Orinoco, the Caroni, became the imagined channel of access to its fabled lake; but little success attended his efforts to penetrate in this direction. These included German adventurers like Georg von Speier, Nicholas Federmann, and Philip von Huten, as well as Spanish captains like Hernan Perez de Quesada and Antonio de Berrio.