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workhouse at home. The advantages difficulties would be obviated by the are so evident, the necessity is so steam-boat, and by nothing else. The strong, and the opportunity is so natural process, therefore, would be, prompt and perfect, that they must to embark the expedition in a well apresult in a national plan of constant pointed and well provisioned steamer; emigration, until Australia can contain to anchor it at the necessary distance no more-an event which may not from the coast, which in general has happen for a thousand years.
deep and sheltered water, within the It happens, also, by a striking coin- great rocky ridge; and then send out cidence, that Australian discovery has the explorers for fifty or a hundred just assumed new vigour ; and that miles north and south, making the instead of the barrenness and de- steamer the headquarters. Thus they formity which were generally sup- might ascertain every feature of the posed (to form the principal cha- coast, inch by inch, be secure of subracteristics of this vast territory, sistence, and be free from native hosimmense tracts have been brought to tility. European knowledge for the first Yet all the expeditions have been time, exhibiting remarkable fertility, overland, generally with the most imand even the most unexpected and minent hazard of being starved, and singular beauty. We now give a occasionally losing, some of their sketch of the journey in which those number by attacks from the natives. discoveries were made.
Thus also the present expedition of To explore the interior of this great the surveyor succeeded but in part, country has been the object of suc- though it had the merit of discovering cessive expeditions for the last five- that the reports of Australian barrenand-twenty years. But such was the ness belonged but to narrow tracts, want of system or the want of means, while the general character of the that nothing was done, except to in- country towards the north was of crease the tales of wonder regarding striking fertility. The purpose of the middle regions of Australia. The Sir T. Mitchell's late expedition was, theorists were completely divided ; to ascertain the probability of a route one party insisting on the existence of from Sydney to the Gulf of Carpena mediterranean or mighty lake in the taria. But as this route was to be central region, because there was a made dependent on a presumed river tendency in some of the small rivers flowing into the gulf, the actual obof the coast to flow inward. Others, ject was to reach the head of that with quite as much plausibility, laugh-river- an object which could have ed at the idea; and, from having felt been more effectually attained by a hot wind occasionally blowing from tracing it upward from the gulf; and, the west, had no doubt that the cen- in consequence of not so tracing it, tral region was a total waste, a desert the expedition ultimately failed. of fiery sand, an Australian Sahara ! To establish an easy connexion bewhile both parties seem to have been tween the colony of New South Wales equally erroneous, so far as any actual and the traffic of the Indian Ocean, discovery has been made.
had long been a matter of great inteBut it seems equally extraordinary, rest. Torres Strait, the only channel that even the only two expeditions to the north, is a remarkably dangerwhich within our time have added ous navigation ; while, by forming an largely to our knowledge, alike should overland communication directly with have neglected the most obvious and the Gulf of Carpentaria to the west of almost the only useful means of dis- the strait, the commerce would find covery. The especial object of ex- an open sea.
A trade in horses had ploration must be, to ascertain the also commenced with India, which existence of considerable rivers pour- was impeded by the hazards of the ing into the sea, because it is only strait. There had also been a steam thus that the government can effec- communication with England by Sintively form settlements. The espe- gapore, and there was a hope that this cial difficulty of the explorers is, to line might be connected with a line find provisions, or carry the means of from the gulf. subsistence along with them. Both The idea of tracing a river towards
the north was a conjecture of several the antipodes of all poetry and proyears' standing, in some degree found- priety, simply because man's better ed on the natural probability that an half is wanting. Under this unfavourimmense indentation of the land could able aspect the white man comes before not but exhibit some outlet for the the aboriginal. Were they intruders, course of a considerable fall of waters, accompanied with wives and children, and also that there had been a report they would not be half so unwelcome. by a Bashman, of having followed its In this, too, consists one of the most course to the sea.
striking differences between settling After some difficulties with the go- and squatting. Indeed, if it were an vernor, which were obviated by a vote object to uncivilise the human race, I of the Colonial Legislature of £2000 know of no method more likely to for the expenses of the expedition, it effect it, than to isolate a man from the set out from Paramatta on the 17th gentler sex and children. Remove of November 1845. The expedition afar off all courts of justice and means consisted of Sir Thomas Mitchell ; E. of redress of grievances, all churches B. Kennedy, Esq., assistant-surveyor; and schools, all shops where he can William Stephenson, Esq., surgeon make use of money, and then place and naturalist ; twenty-three convicts, him in close contact with savages. who volunteered for the sake of a free "What better off am than a black pardon, which was to be their only native!' was the exclamation of a payment; and three freemen. They shepherd to me.” had a numerous list of baggage con- A general description of the aspect veyances, &c. &c. ; eight drays, of New South Wales would be diffidrawn by eighty bullocks; two boats, cult, from its extreme diversity in thirteen horses, four private horses, parts; but the general face of the three light carts, and provisions for a country is marked by lines of granite year, including two hundred and fifty hills; short water-courses, which in sheep, which travelled along with summer are dry, or retain the water them, constituting a chief part of their only in pools; clumps of trees, geneanimal food. They had also gelatine rally dotted over the soil, and occaand pork. The surveyor-general sional prairies. But the soil is gepreferred light carts, and horses in nerally fertile, and, in the spring, place of bullocks ; but it was sug- exhibits a great variety of flowers. gested that the strong drays were Thus the land is every where fit for necessary, and that bullocks were European life, though in the same more enduring than horses—the latter latitude with the hottest portions of an opinion soon found to be erro- Africa. It has occasional gushes of neous. It is rather singular, that intense heat, but they seem not to either opinion should not have been have affected the health of the expesettled fifty years ago.
dition; and with that progress of comSome natural and well-expressed forts which follows all civilisation, the reflections arise, in the course of this heat and cold alike may be successvolume, on the lonely life of the fully mitigated. We have not heard settler. Its despondency, and its in- of any endemic in Australia; the epiutility to advance his moral nature, demic has never visited its shores. The are in some measure attributed to the chief want in the pasture-grounds is absence of the “ gentler sex.”
water, but even that is merely the re" At this sheep station,” says Sir sult of the rudeness of early settling ; Thomas, " I met with an individual for vast quantities of water run to who had seen better days, and had waste, or are lost in swamps, which lost his property amid the wreck of future colonists will receive in tanks, colonial bankruptcies; a' tee-totaller,' and check with dams. The capricious with Pope's · Essay on Man' for his abundance and deficiency of this prime consolation, in a bark hut. This man necessary of life, for it is more essenspoke of the depravity of shepherd life tial than food, is shown in a striking as excessive. . ... The pastoral life, passage of this picturesque Journal. so favourable to the enjoyment of na- They were still within the sheepture, has always been a favourite with feeding country. Water was much the poets. But here it appears to be wanted. Mr Stephenson, the natu
raisi, was sent out on the inquiry. the almost total absence of waterlle returned soon, having met two of suffering excessively from thirst and the mounted police, who told him that extreme heat,-I am convinced the "a tlood was coming down from the scene can never be forgotten! There Turon Mountains."
came abundance at once, the product " But the little encampment was of storms in the far-off mountains, held in suspense. Still, the bed of the that overlooked our homes! My first Macquarie continued so dry, that the impulse was to have welcomed this report could scarcely be believed. To- flood on our knees; for the scene was wards evening, a man was stationed sublime in itself, while the subject, an with a gun, to give a signal on the ap- abundance of water sent to us in & pearance of the flood. The shades of desert, greatly heightened the effect evening came, but no flood; and the to our eyes. I had witnessed nothing man returned. This was a period of of the kind in all my Australian traconsiderable anxiety, for the need of vels." water was urgent.
But the writer is an accomplished * Some hours later, and after the man of science, and he leads the conmoon had risen, a murmuring sound, templation to still more glorious things. like that of a distant waterfall, mingled “Even the heavens presented some. with occasional cracks, as of breaking thing new, at least uncommon,
and timber, drew our attention." They therefore in harmony with this scene. then returned to the river bank. Still The variable Star of Argol had inno flood appeared, though they con- creased to the first magnitude, just tinued to hear the sounds of the above the beautiful constellation of crashing timber. At length an in- the Southern Cross, which slightly crease of the sounds told them that inclined over the river, in the only the water was in the next bend. All portion of sky seen through the trees. this, in a serene moonlight night, was That very red star, thus increasing new. At length it came, and came in magnitude, might, as characteristic in power and beauty.
of her rivers, be recognised as the " It rushed into our sight, glittering "Star of Australia,' when Europeans in the moonbeams, a moving cataract; cross the line. The flood gradually tossing before it ancient trees, and filled up the channel nearly bank high, snapping them against its banks. It while the living cataract travelled onwas preceded by a point of meander- ward much slower than I had exing water, picking its way, like a pected to see it; so slowly, indeed, thing of life, through the deepest parts that more than an hour after its first of the dark, dry, and shady bed of arrival, the sweet music of the head of what thus again became a flowing the flood was distinctly audible from river.” The phenomenon might make my tent, as the murmur of waters and a fine subject for the pencil, if our crash of logs travelled slowly through artists were not divided between the the tortuous windings of the river bed. palace and the pigstye. The noble I was finally lulled to sleep by that river rolling along under a tropical melody of waters." moon; the wild country around, with It has been often remarked, that its forests and hills touched by the Europeans once accustomed to a life light; the bronzed faces and bold of wandering, can never return to the figures of the men of the expedition, life of cities, and even the clever jourgazing with natural surprise and glad nalist before us appears to have been ness at this relief, and at the majestic a little captivated with this life of the object before them; and even the wilderness. It may be easily admitted, cattle hurrying up from the encamp- that vigorous health, and active exerment, to cool the thirst which had cise, variety of objects
, even if those pressed so severely on them during objects are no more than new ridges the day, all were made for the finest of mountains or new rills of water; with efforts of the pencil.
keen appetite and sound sleep, are all "By my party," says Sir T. Mit- excellent things in their style. But, chell, “ situated as we were at the is life given to man only to eat, gaze; time-beating about the country, and and sleep? What is the life of the wil. impeded in our journey solely by derness above that of the brute? The true improvement of man, and, there- gallant Colonel regards as its “ degrafore, the especial employment in- dation of man by classes," produces tended for man, is, that increase of quite the contrary effect; for the humknowledge, of command over the bler the class, generally the more vipowers of nature, and of the various gorous--as the peasant is a stronger means of adding to the conveniences, man than the artisan, and the artisan comforts and value of human exis- than the nobleman. Even the idea tence, which, delivered down to us by that savage limbs can do more than our forefathers, it is our part to de- civilised, is equally erroneous. A well liver with increase to our posterity. clothed and well fed Englishman, if Batthe savage improves in nothing; he well formed, and with some training, is as much a brute this year as he was will outwork, outrun, and outwres2 thousand years ago. Savagery is, tle any savage from pole to pole. in practice, a total defeat and denial of A ropedancer, a tumbler, or a horseall the original purposes for which our rider, at any of our theatres, though nature was made. And it is with some bred in the very heart of civilisation, regret and more surprise, that we or even in the hotbed of its temptaquote, from such a source, such lan- tions, will perform feats of activity guage as the following:
which would defy all the muscles of "We set out, guided by our native a generation of savages. The truth is, friend,” (a savage whom they had hired that civilisation improves the features, to lead them to some water-courses.) the form, and the powers of the human ** He was a very perfect specimen of frame. Men in society may be indolent, the genus homo, and such as is never to and throw away their advantages; but be seen, except in the precincts of sa- society is the place for man. Rousvage life, undegraded by any scale of seau once made a noise by talking graduated classes; and the countless nonsense on this subject; but Rousseau bars these present to the free enjoy- knew that he was talking nonsense. ment of existence." Whether this is Whether his imitators are equally actually a recommendation that we cognisant of their own performances, should throw off our clothes and walk is another question ; but we come to in nudity, for the purpose of recover- better things. ing the original elegance of our shapes, This journey settled the disputed or whether it is the borrowed rapture point of “ horses or bullocks, light of some savage in person which the carts, or heavy drays." The bullocks gallant officer has transplanted into and the drayz were a perpetual annoyhis pages, to vary his more rational ance; to feed and water the one, and conceptions, we know not; but he has todrag the other,soon became the grand not made us converts to the pleasures difficulty of the expedition. We find of cold, hunger, filth, and bloodshed, the Colonel perpetually leaving them which furnish the realities of savage to follow, when any peculiar object life, even in the paradisaic solitudes of exploration was in view. At length of Australia.
the whole “ park" was left to take its The savage, in his original state, is rest, under the second in command; and simply an animal, superior to his own the Colonel, with eight men, two native dog only in sharpness of intellect; but boys, fourteen horses, and two light wholly inferior to his dog in fidelity carts, with provisions for ten weeks, and affection. All savages are tyran- moved to the northward, to trace nical-cruel to their wives, if wives where the division of the waters was they can be called--and in general to be found, and then follow some of cheating and plundering wherever them down to the Gulf. they can. As to their bodily organs, We were not prepared for the beauty of course, they cannot be perverted sometimes exhibited by the Australiai where they cannot reach temptation ; landscape. The Journal compares it but no savage comprehends moral re- to a succession of Ruysdaels. " The straint, and he gets drunk whenever masses of rock, lofty trees, shining he has the opportunity, and robs sands, and patches of water in wild wherever he finds any thing to steal. confusion ; the mimosa, the AnthiOn the other hand, civilisation neces- stiria-grass, of a red brown, contrastsarily enfeebles no man, and what the ing most harmoniously with the light green bushes ; all those again so the European ear, in the 'merry month opposed to the dark hues of the casu- of June.' arinæ, mimosæ, and rifted rocks, that Advancing still to the north, a a Ruysdael or a Gainsborough might country of an extraordinary kind was have found an inexhaustible stock of reached in July; and they had now subjects for the pencil.”
found, that most important of all obThis wild travelling has its discom- jects in a wilderness, a fine “flowing forts, and now and then its dangers; stream, full of sparkling water to the but it is a perpetual source of exciting margin." The Journalist seems quite sensations. Every step is new, and enamoured with the surrounding scene, every day's journey may place the a miniature Australian Switzerland:traveller within some region of unex- “ The hills overhanging it surpassed pected value or beauty. One of the any I had ever seen, in picturesque hopes of the Journalist, on commenc- outline. Some resembled Gothic catheing this portion of his travels, was to drals in ruins; some, forts; other discover a chain of hills to the north- masses were perforated; and being west, from which he might trace the mixed and contrasted with the flowcourse of a river to the Gulf. At lasting outlines of evergreen woods, and this chain rose before his eyes. having a fine stream in the foreground,
“ The most interesting sight to me gave a charming appearance to the was that of blue pics at a great dis- whole country. It was a vision worthy tance to the northwest, the object of of the toils of a pilgrimage. Those all my dreams of discovery for years. beautiful recesses of unpeopled earth No white man had before seen them. could no longer remain unknown. There we might hope to find the The better to mark them out on any division of the waters still undis- map, I gave to the valley the name of covered—the pass to Carpentaria still Salvator Rosa. The rocks stood out unexplored. I called this hill Mount sharply and sublimely from the thick First-View, and descended, delighted woods, just as John Martin's fertile with what I had seen from its rocky imagination would dash them out in crest." The latitude was 27°, yet the his beautiful landscapes. I never saw thermometer at sunrise was but at any thing in nature come so near those 45°, at noon 689, and at 9 P.M. 45°. creations of genius and imagination.”
The captivations of the scenery were But this river, which they followed for equal to the delights of the tempera- some time, ran so far to the east, thas ture, though so near the tropics.- they justly began to doubt its being "An Australian morning is always the one of which they were in search, charming. Amid those scenes of pri- and they turned again to the north. mæval nature it seemed exquisitely so. They now passed into a fine level The barita or gymnoskina, the organ- country, incomparably formed for setmagpie, was here represented by a tlement. “ An almost boundless exmuch smaller bird, whose notes, re- tent of the richest surface in a solitude sembling the softest breathings of a corresponding to that of (southern) flute, were the only sounds that met China, yet still unoccupied by man. the ear. What the stillness of evening A great reserve provided by Nature adds to such sounds in other climes, for the extension of his race. is felt more intensely in the stillness They left the Salvator between the of morn in this."
21st and 22d degrees of latitude, and The forms of the vegetation, both moved to the north-west. There at tree and shrub, are picturesque, and length their aspirations, though only the colours are finer still :-"Instead partially, were probably realised, of autumnal tints, there is a perpetual În the middle of September they blending of the richest hues of autumn reached some heights, from which lay with the most brilliant verdure of before them a vast extent of open spring; while the sun's welcome rays downs traversed by a river, traceable in a winter's morning, and the cool to the utmost verge of the horizon, breath of the woods in a summer and falling to the north-west! “Ulloa's morning, are equally grateful. This delight at the first view of the Pacific was in the depth of the Australian could not have surpassed mine," is the winter, and, which sounds oddly to natural exclamation of the Journalist.