Imatges de pÓgina
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implicitly depend, a considerable number of new facts, as well as the means of correcting a few mistakes in former writers. In short, I have endeavoured to make the book a “ Picture of Australia," -a mere outline, it is true, but still, I hope, faithful to the original in the principal features.

In treating of a great continent, of which the coasts only are known, and some of these but very imperfectly, it has not been possible to connect the several parts without occasionally offering an opinion. I trust, however, it will be found, that I have done that, generally, with so close an allusion to the established phenomena, as will induce the candid reader to see and to confess that, whatever faults there may be in the execution of my little book, the intention has been upright.

Respecting the Colonies and Colonists, I have not ventured to write much, as I found that the picture of these is in sunshine or shadow, according as the delineator has or has not been fortunate himself; and thus, as I could not implicity believe the reports myself, I did not feel that I should be justified in laying them before that public, from which I have already received much more attention than I had any title to expect.

THE AUTHOR. September, 1829.

CHAPTER I.

Page GENERAL DESCRIPTION—Situation ; its Advantages Compa

rison with other countries—Geographical Positions in New
Holland—Shores, Bays, and Mouths of Rivers_Rivers, and
Mountains Positions, Bays, &c., in Van Diemen’s Land
Rivers and Mountains...

1_56

CHAPTER II.
SEAS, ISLANDS, REEFS, &c.— General Character of the Seas

Islands --Reefs—The Great Barrier Reef_Reefs in Torres'
Strait-Formation of Reefs by the Coral Insect-Winds and
Currents, and their Causes-Tides.....

57—88

CHAPTER HII.

CLIMATE, SOIL, AND APPEARANCE OF THE COUNTRY

Dry and rainy Season_Meteorology, with some tables—Temperature Floods in the Rivers, with their Causes—Appearance of the different Districts, and kinds of Surface-Appearance of Van Diemen's Land....

89-115

CHAPTER IV.

NATIVE MINERALS AND PLANTS~Coal Iron_Sandstone

Limestone_Other Rocks - Pumice-General Estimate of Plants -Peculiarities - Trees - Some new ones Descriptions of twenty Specimens of Timber from New South Wales—Esculent Vegetables and Fruits–Vegetable Substances—Vegetable Curiosities...

116-156

CHAPTER V.

ANIMALS.—Peculiarities of Australian Zoology-Exceptions

the Native Dog—the Rat- Hints on the Economy of Pouched Animals, Kangaroos - Kangaroo Rat- Koala -Wombat Opossums, Squirrels, and Badgers (of the Colonists)- Dasyuri

THE

PICTURE

OF

AUSTRALIA.

CHAPTER I.

GENERAL DESCRIPTION.

THE extensive lands in the Great Southern Ocean, for the knowledge of which the civilized world is chiefly indebted to British enterprise; on several portions of which British colonies have been established with unprecedented success; and on other portions of which similar colonies may be expected from time to time to be formed, and to be equally successful ; have many claims on the attention of every one to whom knowledge and the extension of civilization are desirable ; and particularly to those who may be dis

B

posed to seek a home and prosperity in those distant lands. But, desirable as this information is, it has to be gleaned from so many sources, and collated with so much care, that the labour of the acquisition is very great : not because the information is not authentic, for there is no country of which our knowledge, so far as it extends, is so well substantiated; but on account of the voluminous form in which it exists. A summary which shall embrace all the points—which shall describe the natural state of those countries, the resources which they afford, and the advantages which they offer in respect both of their productiveness and their position—which shall confirm those general views by a statement of what has been effected by the existing colonists—and which shall point out the most likely means by which the adventurer may ensure success—is, therefore, a desideratum. This it is the object of the following pages to supply; and if it be a failure, the fault must be in the execution, for the published authorities have been carefully consulted and compared, and many additional facts, some of which are of

very recent date, have been obtained from unpublished journals, and conversations with persons who have visited the colony, and were well qualified for judging of it, both in an economical and a philosophical point of view.

The enticements which Australia holds out to the intended settler are, a boundless extent of soil, unappropriated by any other people for purposes of

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