Page:A Voyage to Terra Australis Volume 1.djvu/98

From Wikisource
Jump to navigation Jump to search
This page has been proofread, but needs to be validated.
[Prior Discoveries.


ever since been considered as a great curiosity ; and as such, has been translated into many languages."[1]

If a judgment may be formed from the translations, Rembrantz must have omitted great part of the nautical details concerning Van Diemen's Land, a defect which is remedied in the following account. It is taken from a journal containing, besides the daily transactions and observations throughout the whole voyage, a series of thirty-eight manuscript charts, views, and figures. The expression by me, which often occurs in it, and followed by the signature Abel Jansz Tasman, shews that if this were not his original journal, it is a copy from it: probably one made on board for the governor and council of Batavia. With this interesting document, and a translation made in 1776, by Mr. C. G. Woide, chaplain of His Majesty's Dutch chapel at St. James's, I was favoured by the Right Hon. Sir Joseph Banks.[2]


Captain Abel Jansz Tasman sailed from Batavia on Aug. 14, Tasman.
1642, with the yacht Heemskerk and fly-boat Zeehaan; and, after touching at Mauritius, steered south and eastward upon discovery. Nov. 94, at four p. m., high land was seen in the E. by N., supposed to be distant forty miles. The ships steered towards it till the evening; Atlas
Plate. VII.)
when there were high mountains visible in the E. S. E., and two smaller ones in the N. E. They sounded in 100 fathoms, and then stood off from the land, with the wind at south-east.

In the morning of Nov. 25., it was calm; but on a breeze spring-

  1. Complete Collection of Voyages and Travels, originally published by John Harris, D. D. and F. H. S. London, 1744. Vol. I. page 335.
  2. I am proud to take this opportunity of publicly expressing my obligations to the Right Hon. President of the Royal Society; and of thus adding my voice to the many who, in the pursuit of science, have found in him a friend and patron. Such he proved in the commencement of my voyage, and in the whole course of its duration; in the distresses which tyranny heaped upon those of accident; and after they were overcome. His extensive and valuable library has been laid open; and has furnished much that no time or expense, within my reach, could otherwise have procured.