The aboriginal connexion of Australia with other lands must be proved, as far as language is concerned, by a general resemblance of the words, and not merely by a few examples of coincidence, which can only be considered as accidental: and as our knowledge of the Australian languages, except in the vicinity of Port Jackson, does not yet exceed thirty or forty words, no comparison, derived from such limited information, can be employed with any certainty to determine the question. The connexion must be sought for, probably, where the continent, at its north-eastern extremity, most nearly approaches other lands; but even then the chain will remain imperfect until New Guinea and its neighbouring islands are explored, and correct and extensive vocabularies of their languages obtained. Forster,* who has paid considerable attention to this subject, and whose opinions are the more valuable from their being the result of personal observation, seems to be convinced that the New Hollanders are not an original race, but have derived their origin from New Guinea. It is therefore to be hoped, that this subject will not be forgotten by our trans-Atlantic and Australian colonists; more particularly by those of the new settlement on the north coast at Melville Island, who, from their vicinity to New Guinea, have the best opportunities of throwing light upon the question.
SITUATIONS OF THE PLACES MENTIONED IN THE PRECEDING LIST WITH RESPECT TO PORT JACKSON.
King George the Third’s Sound is on the South-west Coast, 1660 miles from Port Jackson.
Caledon Bay is near the north-west extremity of the Gulf of Carpentaria, 1500 miles from Port Jackson.
Endeavour River, in latitude about 15 degrees South, is on the North-east Coast, about 1180 miles from Port Jackson.
Burrah-Burrah, about 90 miles in the interior, west of Port Jackson.
Limestone Creek, about 140 miles in the interior, west of Port Jackson.
Port Macquarie, on the East Coast, 168 miles north of Port Jackson.
Macquarie Harbour, on the West Coast of Van Diemen’s Land.
Bruny Island, at the south-east extremity of Van Diemen’s Land.