Page:A Voyage to Terra Australis Volume 1.djvu/91

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South Coast.]


journal of this discovery seems to have been lost; or possibly was either suppressed or destroyed, according to what is thought to have been the Dutch policy of that time. It was, therefore, from the chart, and the above passage in the recital, alone, that any particulars could be drawn. If the extent of a thousand miles were taken to be in a straight line, and to commence at Cape Leeuwin, the end of Nuyts' Land would reach nearly to the longitude of 135° east of Greenwich; but if, as was probable, the windings of the shore were included, and a deduction made of one-sixth to one-seventh in the distance, then the Isles of St. Francis and St. Peter might be expected to be found between the 132nd and 133rd degrees of east longitude.


With the exception of Mons. de St. Alouarn, who is said to have Vancouver.
anchored near Cape Leeuwin in 1772, the south coast of Terra Australia, though occupying much attention from geographers, seems to have been left unvisited from 1627 to 1791. In this year, captain George Vancouver, being on his way to North-west America, made the South Coast on Sept 26, at Cape Chatham, in latitude 35° 3' south, and longitude 116° 35' east, not many leagues beyond where Nuyts appears to have commenced his discovery. He sailed eastward, from thence, along the shore, till the 28th; when he anchored in a sound, to which was given the name of King George the III.

The country in the neighbourhood of the Sound, and of its two harbours, was found to be agreeably variegated in form; to be clothed with grass and wood; and, though generally more barren than fertile, yet affording many spots capable of cultivation. No considerable river was discovered; but fresh water was every where abundant for domestic purposes; and the climate was judged to be as healthy as the temperature was found to be agreeable, Kanguroos did not appear to be scarce; nor were the woods ill tenanted

by the feathered tribes; and reptiles and other noxious animals were