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dangerous medium of judgment. We have no room to enter into a formal and laborious discussion of his opinions: but it is impossible not to see that they are, in many respects, of the most visionary character. As society is constituted, and property unequally divided, in these kingdoms, it is impossible, even if it were admitted to be desirable, that the legislative body should be otherwise than aristocratic; and nothing less than a revolution and a total disruption of all the existing links of order, can burst the bonds of this necessity. For moderate reform in Parliament-such reform as should produce a far more fair and equal division of the representative voice among the people, and break the hereditary dominion of great families and individuals-we have ever declared ourselves the zealous advocates. Moreover, we are persuaded, that this degree of reform might be rendered practicable, safe, and of easy application and we believe, too, that, combined with a return to triennial parliaments, it would produce a representative body more closely connected with, and dependent upon, the people, than at present, and therefore less easily swayed in its majorities by the mere dispensation of government patronage, or the selfish interests of party. But to expect that such a system of parliamentary reform, or any system short of an entire revolution of property, would throw the legislative functions out of the hands of the great body of the aristocracy, we must hold to be altogether a delusion. Whoever may be the electors, and however independent or numerous, the elected will be determined by the natural weight of property and the fair influence of hereditary station in the country; nor can we desire that it should be otherwise. But we do not despair of witnessing the day, when the rapid diffusion of intelligence among all ranks of the people, and the increasing power of public opinion, will force upon parliament itself an effectual, and, we devoutly trust, a peaceful reform in the existing system of representation.

The unqualified and unreasonable hatred of the aristocracy of the country, which the writer before us is at no pains to conceal, detracts very much from the good sense, liberality, and prudence of his views. It is thus that a tone of almost malignant asperity is conveyed to his whole production, which induces a suspicion of his candour, and materially injures the force of his reasoning, even where his censures are well founded. The reader must rise from the perusal of his strictures with little pleasure at their bitterness, and therefore with the less profit from the instruction which they are otherwise well fitted to yield. It would not, on this account, however, be just to deny to many of his essays, the praise of great acuteness and enlarged information; and we cannot conclude without expressing a hope, that the continuation of the work, in future years, will be distinguished by equal ability with the volume before us, and a larger share of moderation and charitable judgment.

ART. IV. Narrative of a Survey of the Intertropical and Western Coasts of Australia: performed between the years 1818 and 1822. By Capt. Philip King, R.N. With an Appendix. 2 vols. 8vo. 36s. London: Murray. 1827.

ALTHOUGH much of the Terra Australis may be said still to remain incognita, yet it would be unjust to withhold from the Admiralty the praise that is certainly due to its exertions in that quarter. We are glad to find, that the true and only useful spirit of economy has at last prevailed on Lord Melville and Lord Bathurst, to have such expeditions as they send upon the tedious and dangerous duties of surveying unknown coasts, equipped upon a suitable scale. Not only the character of the nation, as the first of naval powers, but the safety of the officers and men appointed to such duties, require, at least, that a decent attention should be given to the means, upon which the successful accomplishment of their undertaking depends.

We must be permitted to observe, that neither the honour of the country, nor the safety of its servants, nor the attainment of the important object in view, was at all consulted in the different expeditions, if such they may be called, which Captain King describes in these volumes. The manner in which he was equipped, for his first voyage particularly, was a disgrace to the colonial department. He was directed by Lord Bathurst to make the best of his way from this country to New South Wales, to take the command of an "expedition which was to be fitted out there, for the purpose of exploring the yet undiscovered coast of New Holland, and for completing, if possible, the circumnavigation of that continent." But when he arrived at Port Jackson, instead of finding an "expedition fitted out," or even in preparation there, he was informed by the governor, that there were only two vessels belonging to the colony that would suit his purpose; one of 100 tons, which had been lately launched, and the other a brig of 70 tons, that for the preceding ten years had been used as a coal-vessel! Upon examination, the former was found in every way unfit for the service for which it was required; and, as the latter wanted a new keel, stern-post, and cut-water, besides new decks, with many new beams, it could not be sufficiently repaired within less than four months!

Such were the prospects of Lord Bathurst's" expedition fitted out at New South Wales," when, by the merest chance in the world, a cutter, The Mermaid, of 84 tons, arrived from India; and, as it was in good condition, though otherwise offering many inconveniences, it was purchased by the governor, and appropriated to Captain King's use. In consequence of the opposition and inattention of the engineer,' who, we hope, has been dismissed from the public service, the vessel was not completed for sea, until after the expira

tion of more than three months, and even then it was so wretchedly provided, that nothing but an ardent zeal for the accomplishment of his object, which induced him to suppress all sense of personal danger, could have led Captain King to proceed on the expedition. Will it be believed, that beside Mr. Bedwell and Mr. Roe, his mates, and Mr. Allan Cunningham, the botanical collector, he had only twelve seamen and two boys, to assist him on a service which, of all others, demands the most ample resources, and the most unwearied attention? Will it be further believed, that in a climate that was at least new to the officers and men, and in some latitudes rather unwholesome, they were without a surgeon, during the whole of the first voyage? When we compare the equipment of this expedition with that of Commodore Baudin, by the French government, we would almost be inclined to believe that our Colonial department had been trying its hand at a practical burlesque.

It is due to Captain King, however, to say, that even with such miserable means, he has performed much more than could have been expected from him. Those means were, indeed, considerably improved on his fourth and last voyage, but still they were always so shamefully inadequate, that he was obliged to leave some of the most important parts of his instructions unfulfilled. A great portion of his time, and of that of his men, was necessarily devoted to the exigencies brought on by the unfitness of the vessels for the service in which they were engaged. The manliness with which they encountered the various dangers in which they were involved, and the coolness and discretion of the commander, particularly, on those trying occasions, are honourable to them, in the highest possible degree. It is, of course, to be expected, that the same inadequacy of means which restrained Captain King from even attempting much of what he was instructed to perform, must, in proportion, diminish the interest and value of his narrative. In truth, all that is of any novelty in it, might easily have been contained in one volume. An officer engaged on such a service, and who, from a well-founded distrust of the amicable dispositions of the natives of a country new to him, proceeds only along the coasts, marking their trendings and indentations, and now and then meeting only a few straggling groups of savages on his way, may perhaps produce a good chart, correct many errors, and enlarge our geographical knowledge very considerably. All this Captain King has unquestionably done; but at the same time, we must own that his narrative, when stripped of its geographical value, is very little better than a log book. All the vessel's movements, the changes of the weather, the rocks and shoals, and storms which he encountered, are described with the greatest minuteness; and, for the purposes of navigation, these details are undoubtedly of great value. But, to general readers, they offer very little attraction. Indeed, we imagine that the short analysis which we are about to give of the results of Captain King's expeditions, will save such readers the trouble of referring to his volumes at all.

The principal object of his mission, as stated in Mr. Croker's instructions, was "to examine the hitherto unexplored coasts of New South Wales, from Arnhem Bay, near the western entrance of the Gulf of Carpentaria, westward and southward, as far as the northwest Cape; (these instructions were afterwards extended to the western coast); including the opening, or deep bay, called Van Diemen's Bay, and the cluster of islands called Rosemary Islands, and the inlets behind them." The chief motive for causing the survey to be made, was to discover whether there be any river on that part of the coast, likely to lead to an interior navigation into that great continent. During the six years (1817-1823) of his absence from England, on this service, Captain King succeeded thus far in the execution of these instructions; besides being enabled to lay down a very safe and convenient track for vessels bound through Torres' Strait, and to delineate the coast line between Cape Hillsborough, in 20° 54's., and Cape York, the northern extremity of New South Wales; a distance of six hundred and ninety miles; he, in the more immediate performance of the task assigned to him, examined the northern and part of the northwestern coasts, to the extent of seven hundred and ninety miles. We must permit him to state the other results in his own words.

The coast also between the North-west Cape and Depuch Island, containing two hundred and twenty miles, has been sufficiently explored; but between the latter island and Port George the Fourth, a distance of five hundred and ten miles, it yet remains almost unknown. The land that is laid down is nothing more than an archipelago of islands fronting the main land, the situation of which is quite uncertain. Our examinations of these islands were carried on as far as Cape Villaret, but between that and Depuch Island, the coast has only been seen by the French, who merely occasionally saw small detached portions of it. At present, however, all is conjecture; but the space is of considerable extent, and if there is an opening into the interior of New Holland, it is in the vicinity of this part. Off the Buccaneer's Archipelago, the tides are strong, and rise to the height of thirty-six feet. Whatever may exist behind these islands, which we were prevented by our poverty in anchors and other circumstances from exploring, there are certainly some openings of importance; and it is not at all improbable that there may be a communication at this part with the interior, for a considerable distance from the coast.

The examination of the western coast was performed during an almost continued gale of wind, so that we had no opportunity of making any very careful observation upon its shores. There can, however, be very little more worth knowing of them, as I apprehend the difficulty of landing is too great, ever to expect to gain much information; for it is only in Shark's Bay that a vessel can anchor with safety.'-Vol. ii., pp. 230-232.

Such was the limited extent of Captain King's success, owing to the very imperfect means with which he was provided. Nevertheless, if we compare his chart with those maps of Australia, which we had previously possessed, we shall find that his discoveries are by no means inconsiderable. The whole extent of the southern and east

ern coast, as well of the shores of the Gulph of Carpentaria, had been already surveyed by Captain Flinders; some few parts of the western coast had been visited by the French expedition under Commodore Baudin; but the north-west, and western shores, remained to be explored by Captain King, and we have just seen, that he has left the principal part of the duty assigned to him, to be performed by his successors. It remains for us, therefore, only to notice a few of the most striking incidents which occurred to him in the course of his survey.

The Mermaid left Port Jackson on the 22d of December, 1817, and proceeded along the eastern side of Van Diemen's Land, through Bass' Strait, occasionally touching on the coast, in order to give the gentlemen an opportunity of landing and examining the country. The vessel rounded the north-west cape early in the February following, and towards the latter end of April anchored in Knocker's Bay. During their progress, the gentlemen fell in so frequently with groups of the native Indians, that we suppose the continent, or at least its coasts, must be tolerably well inhabited. Generally, the Indians manifested an unfriendly disposition: in the neighbourhood of Knocker's Bay, they proceeded to open acts of hostility. After anchoring, Captain King proceeded to examine an opening in the mangroves, at the bottom of the bay; as he was returning, the boat was impeded by the roots of a mangrove bush, and while the boat's crew were employed in clearing the rudder, a party of Indians surrounded them, and leaped into the water, armed with their usual weapons, spears and clubs. A discharge from one or two muskets, over their heads, had the effect of dispersing them; but they rallied again soon after, and assailed the party with a shower of spears and stones, happily, without doing any damage. To the western side of this bay, Captain King has given the name of Port Essington, after the late vice-admiral Sir William Essington; and he considers it equal, if not superior, to any port which he has ever seen. From its proximity to the Moluccas, and new Guinea, and its being in the direct line of communication, between Port Jackson and India, he justly infers, that at no very distant period, it must become a place of great trade and importance.

On sailing out of Port Essington, and passing round its western head, Captain King hauled into a small bay, and steering round the next head, entered the "Great Bay of Van Diemen," the examination of which was a prominent feature in his instructions. Both in this, and in the small bay which he had just left, he observed a Malay fleet of several proas, and learned from them, that their appellation for this part of the coast, was Marega. After inspecting it, Captain King proceeded round Cape Van Diemen, and anchored off a tabular-shaped hill, in what he imagined to be a river-like opening. He and his party landed, and ascended the summit of the hill, in order to take, with the theodolite, the

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