Page:A Voyage to Terra Australis Volume 1.djvu/24

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Accordingly, the following voyage was undertaken by command of His Majesty, in the year 1801; in a ship of 334 tons, which received the appropriate name of the Investigator; and, besides the great objects of clearing up the doubt respecting the unity of these southern regions, and of opening therein fresh sources to commerce, and new ports to seamen, it was intended, that the voyage should contribute to the advancement of natural knowledge in various branches; and that some parts of the neighbouring seas should be visited, wherein geography and navigation had still much to desire.

The vast regions to which this voyage was principally directed, comprehend, in the western part, the early discoveries of the Dutch, under the name of New Holland; and in the east, the coasts explored by British navigators, and named New South Wales. It has not, however, been unusual to apply the first appellation to both regions; but to continue this, would be almost as great an injustice to the British nation, whose seamen have had so large a share in the discovery, as it would be to the Dutch, were New South Wales to be so extended. This appears to have been felt by a neighbouring, and even rival, nation; whose writers commonly speak of these countries under the general term of Terres Australes. In fact, the original name, used by the Dutch themselves until some time after Tasman's second voyage, in 1644, was Terra Australis, or Great South Land; and when it was displaced by New Holland, the new term was applied only to the parts lying westward of a meridian line, passing through Arnhem's Land on the north, and near the isles of St. Francis and St. Peter, on the south: all to the eastward, including the shores of the Gulph of Carpentaria, still remained as Terra Australis. This appears from a chart published by Thevenot, in 1663; which, he says, "was originally taken from that done in inlaid work, upon the pavement of the new Stadt-House at Amsterdam."[1] The same thing is to be inferred from the notes of Burgo-

  1. " La carte que l'on a mise icy, tire sa première origine de celle que l'on a fait tailler de piéces rapportées, sur le pavé de la nouvelle Maison-de-Ville d'Amsterdam." Rélations de divers Voyages curieux.—Avis.