Page:The life of Matthew Flinders.djvu/555

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upon things, which I have taken care to make exact as possible.

1st.—Present Establishments of the English.

Whilst in Europe they are spoken of as the colony of Botany Bay, as a matter of fact there is no establishment there. Botany Bay is a humid, marshy, rather sterile place, not healthy, and the anchorage for vessels is neither good nor sure.

Port Jackson, thirteen leagues from Botany Bay, is unquestionably one of the finest ports in the world. It was in these terms that Governor Phillip spoke of it, and certainly he did not exaggerate when he added that a thousand ships of the line could easily manoeuvre within it. The town of Sydney has been founded in the heart of this superb harbour. It is already considerable in extent, and, like its population, is growing rapidly. Here reside the Governor and all the principal Government officers. The environs of Sydney are sandy and not very fertile; in almost all of them there is a scarcity of water during the hot summer months.

Parramatta is the largest town founded by the English. It is in the interior of the country, about six leagues from Sydney, from which it can be reached by a small river called the Parramatta River. Small vessels can proceed close to the town; larger ones have to discharge some distance away. A very fine road leads overland from Sydney to Parramatta. Some very good houses have been built here and there along the road. Already people who have made considerable fortunes are to be found there. The land around Parramatta is of much better quality than that at Sydney. The country has been cleared to a considerable extent; and grazing in particular presents important advantages.

Toongabbie, further inland, three or four leagues from Parramatta, is still more fertile. Its pastures