Page:A Voyage to Terra Australis Volume 1.djvu/67

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North Coast.]
xlv
INTRODUCTION.

Bampton and
Alt
1793.

south-westward, leaving on the starbord hand a very extensive bank, on which the long boat had 2 fathoms water: the soundings from the Hormuzeer were from 3 to 7 fathoms. At noon, the latitude was 9° 27', and no land in sight. The soundings then increased gradually; and at sunset, no bottom could be found at 40 fathoms. A swell coming from S. S. W. announced an open sea in that direction; and that the dangers of Torres' Strait were, at length, surmounted.

This passage of the Hormuzeer and Chesterfield in seventy-two days, with that made in nineteen by the captains Bligh and Portlock, displayed the extraordinary dangers of the Strait; and appear to have deterred all other commanders from following them, up to the time of the Investigator. Their accounts confirm the truth of Torres having passed through it, by shewing the correctness of the sketch contained in his letter to the King of Spain.

 

The sole remaining information, relative to the North Coast of Conclusive
Remarks.
Terra Australis, was contained in a note, transcribed by Mr. Dalrymple, from a work of burgomaster Witsen upon the Migration of Mankind. The place of which the burgomaster speaks, is evidently on the coast of Carpentaria, near the head of the Gulph; but it is called New Guinea; and he wrote in 1705. The note is as follows; but upon whose authority it was given, does not appear:

"In 16° 10' south, longitude 159° 17'" (east of Teneriffe, or between 142° and 143° east of Greenwich,) "the people swam on board of a Dutch ship; and when they received a present of a piece of linen, they laid it upon their head in token of gratitude: Every where thereabout, all the people are malicious. They use arrows, and bows of such a length, that one end rests on the ground when shooting. They have also hazeygaeys and kalawaeys, and attacked the Dutch; but did not know the execution of the guns."

On summing up the whole of the knowledge which had been