A General History and Collection of Voyages and Travels — Volume 13 eBook

Robert Kerr (writer)
This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 794 pages of information about A General History and Collection of Voyages and Travels — Volume 13.
two great problems in nautical astronomy, viz. the deducing the longitude from lunar distances, and the latitude from two altitudes of the sun, have been brought within the reach of every one who is in full possession of elementary arithmetic.  See a Collection of Tables for those important, purposes, by Joseph de Mendoza Rios, published at London, 1806,—­an account of which is given in the Edinburgh Review, vol. viii. p. 451.]


Departure from New South Wales; a particular Description of the Country, its Products, and People:  A Specimen of the Language, and some Observations upon the Currents and Tides.[88]

[Footnote 88:  All these particulars will be more fully illustrated hereafter.  The present account is certainly imperfect, but it has its value; and it could not have been omitted without some disparagement to the original work, and some loss of interest to the reader.  It is worth while to possess all the histories, and more especially the original ones, of a country like New Holland, which, its extent, position, and nature, as well as some peculiar contingencies, are likely to render more and more conspicuous in the records of mankind.  There is another reason for wishing to retain the account now given, and which would not apply to any equally imperfect one of any other country or people where civilization had made greater progress.  Dr Robertson, referring to this very description, says, “This perhaps is the country where man has been discovered in the earliest stage of his progress, and it exhibits a miserable specimen of his condition and powers in the uncultivated state.  If this country shall be more fully explored by future navigators, the comparison of the manners of its inhabitants, with those of the Americans, will prove an instructive article in the history of the human species,”—­Note 33, in the ninth volume of his works.  What was held as a desideratum by this historian, has been accomplished in so far as additional materials are concerned:  How far it has been so in a philosophical point of view, may be afterwards considered.—­E.]

Of this country, its products and its people, many particulars have already been related in the course of the narrative, being so interwoven with the events as not to admit of a separation.  I shall now give a more full and circumstantial description of each, in which, if some things should happen to be repeated, the greater part will be found new.  New Holland, or, as I have now called the eastern coast, New South Wales, is of a larger extent than any other country in the known world that does not bear the name of a continent:  The length of coast along which we sailed, reduced to a straight line, is no less than twenty-seven degrees of latitude, amounting to near 2000 miles, so that its square surface must be much more than equal to all Europe.  To the southward of 33 or 34, the land in general is low and level;

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