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 The reader must receive the account of this country with indulgence, for it lies at a very great distance, and few persons of our nation have seen it; those also who have visited it have seen only some portions of it; the greater part of what they relate is from report, and even what they saw, they became acquainted with during their passage through the country with an army, and in great haste. For this reason they do not agree in their accounts of the same things, although they write about them as if they had examined them with the greatest care and attention. Some of these writers were fellow-soldiers and fellow-travellers, as those who belonged to the army which, under the command of Alexander, conquered Asia; yet they frequently contradict each other. If, then, they differ so much respecting things which they had seen, what must we think of what they relate from report?
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