Page:A Voyage to Terra Australis Volume 1.djvu/104

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[Prior Discoveries.


written, as in the original, on the point of land between the inner and outer bays: I conceive the name was intended to comprise both.[1]


More than a century had elapsed after this celebrated voyage of Cook.
Tasman, and the eastern limit of Terra Australis remained still unknown. But the British nation was then taking the lead in discovery; and the new and liberal principles upon which His Majesty, George III. ordered it to be prosecuted, was a sure indication that so considerable a part of the globe would not long escape attention. Captain James Cook, accompanied by Mr. Green, was sent in the Endeavour to observe, at Taheity, the transit of Venus over the sun's disk; and after accomplishing that object, and making a survey of New Zealand, he continued his course westward, in order to explore the east side of the Terra Australis Incognita.

In the morning of April 19, 1770, the land was seen bearing from (Atlas, Pl. I.) north-east to west; the furthest part, in the latter direction, being judged to lie in 38° south, and 148° 53' east. But captain Cook could not determine whether it did, or did not, join to Tasman's Van Diemen's Land.

It would be superfluous, here, to follow our great navigator in his discoveries along the coast, northward to Botany Bay and from thence to Cape York. Such an abstract as suits the plan of this Introduction would be little satisfactory to the reader; when, by an easy reference to the original narrative, so much interesting information upon this new country, its productions, and inhabitants, may be obtained.[2]

This voyage of captain Cook, whether considered in the extent of his discoveries and the accuracy with which they were traced, or in

the labours of, his scientific associates, far surpassed all that had

  1. In Vol. III. just published, of captain Burney's History of Discoveries in the South Sea, a copy is given of Tasman's charts, as they stand in the original.
  2. Hawkesworth's Voyages, Vol. III, page 77, et seq.