Page:A Voyage to Terra Australis Volume 1.djvu/78

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[Prior Discoveries.


Endragt than to the tropic of Capricorn, where he quitted his examination, and returned to Batavia.

The chart published by Thevenot, in 1663, gives a form to the Western Coasts, and joins them to the northern Van Diemen's Land; but it is evident from Tasman's instructions, that the part between De Witt's Land and Cape Van Diemen was unknown to the Dutch government at Batavia in 1644. And since there is no account of its having been seen during the intermediate nineteen years, it may be concluded, that the North-west Coast was first explored by him; and Dampier says ( Vol. III. p. 96), that he had Tasman's chart of it; though none bearing his name can now be found.[1]

The notes of burgomaster Witsen shew, that the North-west Coast was visited by Tasman; and as they give the earliest information of the inhabitants, and are curious in themselves, they are here transcribed from Mr. Dalrymple's Papua.

"In lat. 13° 8' S. lon. 146° 18'" (probably about 129½° east of Greenwich), "the coast is barren. The people are bad and wicked, shooting at the Dutch with arrows, without provocation, when they were coming on shore: It is here very populous."

In 14° 58' S. lon. 138° 59' (about 125° east), the people are savage, and go naked: none can understand them."

"In Hollandia Nova,[2] in 17° 12' S. (lon. 121° or 122° east) "Tasman found a naked, black people, with curly hair; malicious and cruel, using for arms, bows and arrows, hazeygaeys and kalawaeys. They once came to the number of fify, double

armed, dividing themselves into two parties, intending to have

  1. The French editor of the Voyage de Découvertes aux Terres Australes, published in 1807, Vol. I. p. 128, attributes the formation of the North-west Coast in the common charts to the expedition of the three Dutch vessels sent from Timor in 1705. But this is a mistake. It is the chart of Thevenot, his countryman, published forty-two years previously to that expedition, which has been mostly followed by succeeding geographers.
  2. This expression indicates, that the before-mentioned places were not then included, under the term New Holland by Witsen: he wrote in 1705