Page:Transportation and colonization.djvu/209

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ment, and its vast importance to Great Britain in a variety of lights, will appear in the sequel, and will doubtless suggest themselves to every intelligent reader whenever its proposed situation is indicated. That situation is Port Essington, a harbour second only to Port Jackson, and beyond all comparison the best yet discovered on the north coast of the Australian continent. It is situated at the northern extremity of the Coburg peninsula, to the westward of the Gulf of Carpentaria, and forms unquestionably one of the most commanding positions for a British settlement, whether in a commercial, in a political, or in a moral and religious light, on the face of the globe. Such a settlement, for example, would eventually command the commerce of the Great Eastern Archipelago, with its rich and varied productions, and its millions of inhabitants. It lies in the track of the Malay fleet that annually visits the northern coasts of New Holland, for trepang, or beche la mer, as well as in the direct route of all vessels bound from the east coast of that continent, through Torres's Straits, to India or China. And, besides the likelihood of its speedily becoming a favourite and extensive emporium of trade for the Eastern world, a settlement in that locality would doubtless very soon attract numerous Hindoos, Chinese, and Cin-