Page:Australia, from Port Macquarie to Moreton Bay.djvu/134

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CONTRASTED WITH AUSTRALIA.

and submit to more annoying precautions than in India itself; it being necessary, for instance, to wear thick cloth clothes in the hottest weather, &c.

There are many inexplicable causes which produce wonderful diversity of climate. Thus, if I were called upon to judge from analogy, I should have no hesitation in saying that Australia was a most unhealthy country for Europeans; for the estuaries of its rivers, its creeks, salt-water inlets and mud flats, abound in mangroves, which have been considered by the best authorities the chief cause of the unequalled unhealthiness of the rivers on the coast of Western Africa. Again, there are in Australia an infinite number of tea-tree morasses, and reedy swamps, covered with stagnant water and rank vegetation; and the changes in the temperature, between day and night, are probably greater in Australia than in any other country, and are also very sudden. Nevertheless, the experience of upwards of half a century has now ascertained that no country in the world is more exempt from all that class of disorders which originate in impure air, and deleterious miasma, than Australia. Indeed, when I informed some persons in Sydney a few years ago, that ague was prevalent at the lower part of the MacLeay river, I was listened to with great incredulity, it seemed to them so totally incompatible with the climate of the colony; yet the reader will not wonder that cases of ague should occur at the MacLeay, for beside the mangrove