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[38] the earthly paradise, whither no one can go but by God's permission. But this land which your Highnesses have now sent me to explore is very extensive; and I think there are many countries in the south, of which the world has never had any knowledge.

I do not suppose that the earthly paradise is in the form of a rugged mountain, as the descriptions of it have made it appear, but that it is on the summit of the spot which I have described as being in the form of the stalk of a pear. The approach to it from a distance must be by a constant and gradual ascent; but I believe, that, as I have already said, no one could even reach the top. I think, also, that the water I have described may proceed from it, though it be far off, and that, stopping at the place which I have just left, it forms this lake. There are great indications of this being the terrestrial paradise; for its site coincides with the opinion of the holy and wise theologians whom I have mentioned. And, moreover, the other evidences agree with the supposition; for I have never either read or heard of fresh water coming in so large a quantity, in close conjunction with the water of the sea. The idea is also corroborated by the blandness of the temperature. And, if the water of which I speak does not proceed from the earthly paradise, it appears to be still more marvellous; for I do not believe that there is any river in the world so large or so deep.

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