Charles V, King of Spain, at the suggestion of Hernado Cortez, entertained the idea of digging a canal to connect the Atlantic and the Pacific oceans. In 1567, Philip II, the successor of Charles V, sent a party of engineers to survey the Nicaraguan route, but the report was unfavorable to the success of the work. Impressed by the representations made in favor of a canal, notwithstanding the unfavorable report, the king, in his perplexity, is said to have laid the matter before the Dominican Friars, who, desirous of obeying the mandates of the king, were, in their ignorance of the problem, in probably a greater state of perplexity, so they turned to the Scriptures for consolation and relief, hitting upon the following verse, which they concluded had a direct reference to a canal: "What God hath joined together, let no man put asunder". With this injunction from the Holy Writ, they reported against the undertaking. This was a sufficiently good argument for King Philip to abandon further consideration of the subject, which was thereafter put aside and not again considered, for death was to be the penalty for any one who sought a better route across the Isthmus than the paved road which had been constructed from Porto Bello to Panama.