"Once I thought learning was a multifold experience and I would not refuse to travel [even] ten thousand Li to be able to question wise men and visit celebrated countries. But how long is a man’s life? It is certain that many years are needed to acquire a complete science, based on a vast number of observations: and that’s where one becomes old without the time to make use of this science. Is this not a painful thing? And this is why I put great store by [geographical] maps and history: history for fixing [these observations], and maps for handing them on [to future generations]. Respectfully written by the European Matteo Ricci on 17 August 1602."
Preface for Kun Yu Wang Guo Quan Tu - A Map of the Myriad Countries of the World (1602) by Matteo Ricci