« ZurückWeiter »
ous savage that ever bade good human voice. The Fish river is not so morrow. Compliments are difficult picturesque as Cox's; but it is a full things to an unpractised tongue; and rapid stream with rippling falls, but thou wert naturally polite; and and equally rich in flowers. The I owe thee, at least, this poor return fish would not bite, but we shot a for the grace and dignity of thy wood-duck for breakfast. Here we compliments. And thou too, Cogy! killed a brown snake above six feet never shall I forget thy intoxicating long. laugh; and the recollection of thy Friday, Oct. 11.-Having rested good-humoured face will come across till noon, we proceeded to a settler's me in other climes, and at distant farm at O'Connell plains, also on the days, like a picture that will never Fish river (14 miles). The country lose its interest. Very pleasant wert is now very open, lightly timbered thou to me, Cogy, when pleasures with dwarf trees, clothed with good with me were very rare.
grass, and well watered. Passed ! After leaving Cox's river, we Šidmouth valley, now granted to a ascended a very steep hill, called Cisalpine settler-a pretty stockMount Blaxland, and saw Went- farm. O'Connell plains is the first worth’s and Lawson's Sugar-loaves, naturally cleared land, that the New as Governor Macquarie called them. South Wales traveller sees; and They are mere hummocks, lumps strongly reminded me, both in its of sugar. These three gentlemen, brown soil, and tufty grass, of the namely, Messrs. Gregory Blaxland, “ High Plains” of Van Diemen's William Wentworth, and Lieutenant Land, only it is much better watered. Lawson of the Royal Veteran Com- It is singular that the geology and pany, are exclusively entitled to the botany of Australia should run in pamerit of exploring this pass over the rallels of meridian ; but such is the barrier mountains of the colony.* fact, within reasonably isothermal
A change now takes place in the latitudes, as constantly observed by botany of the country: a beautiful Mr. Oxley, in his expeditions into new banksia (verticillata, to whirl the interior of this country. The euthe snow off, according to my theory) calyptus (cordata) and mimosa (Deris very frequent; and we took leave wentia) of Van Diemen's Land, I of the banksiæ serrata and ericæfolia found perpetually recurring on this in a very stunted state on the moun- side of the Blue Mountains of New tains. Henceforward the anguilla- South Wales, being more in the ria dioica is the most common flower longitude of the river Derwent than all the way; but the most universal Cumberland county. How came the on both sides of the mountains is a world planted and animalled, to say species of euphrasia.
nothing of manned? Why planted The quiet of a beautiful night on in longitudinal furrows ? Are the the Fish river led me to remark upon artificial measurements of the globe “ rural sounds." The notes of the by men recognized by Him, “ who birds of New Holland are rather cries hath weighed the mountains in scales, than songs; but many of them are and the hills in a balance ?” The pleasing and plaintive. Some are evisceration of passage-birds cannot harsh and vulgar, like those of the account for the transportation of parrot kind, the cockatoo, the coach- seeds. Nonsense. As well might man’s-whip bird, the bell bird (which the roc of the Arabian Nights convey I call the creaking-wheel bird), the beasts and men from one country to razor-grinder, and the laughing jack- another. « The distribution of orass; but a sort of cuckoo-noted bird ganic beings on the globe (says Baron sings at night, something between Humboldt) depends not only on very the English cuckoo, and the bark of complicated climatic circumstances, a dog. The river treated us with a but also on geological causes, with frog-concert all night,-a constant which we are entirely unacquainted, common croaking, timed by bass- because they are connected with the notes, like a deep sheep-bell, or the original state of our planet." +
* In this attempt the enterprising Mr. Bass, Mr. Caley the botanist, and Ensign Barallier of the 102d regt. had failed.
+ Edinburgh Philos. Journal, vol. vi. p. 280.
This farm is a beautiful English- emerging into anything like Eurolooking spot-meadow and river. pean scenery will be duly appreciHere the fish bit readily. They con- ated. sist both in the Fish river and in the At Bathurst, saw the species of Macquarie, into which it runs, of bustard, called the native turkey. only two kinds-one a fresh-water Quartz pebbles now form the surtasted, perch-like fish, and the other face of the geology. more cod-like, and sometimes grow- Sunday, Oct. 13.-An English sabing to the size of twenty pounds bath morning-heavy mist slowly rollweight.
ing away, lingering with a light cloud A bird is frequent here, called the across the tops of the hills. The prinspur-winged plover. It has a dull cipal chaplain of the colony (the Rev. yellow lappet-like hood, and is arm- Mr. Marsden), who happened to be ed with a claw of the same colour on here on a visit, performed divine service the shoulder of each wing.
in the Government Granary (a large Saturday, Oct. 12.—Rain, which brick building) to about sixty peocame on last evening, set in to-day, ple, including soldiers and convicts. and detained us at this farm till noon, After service, I visited a few of the when the weather cleared up, and settlers' huts, and found the parents' the evening proved beautiful. Our cleanly and the children even exroad now lay over a succession of pensively dressed. Rum, the bane plains, still more clear and fine than of colonies, has scarcely yet found its O'Connell plains. These are called, way over the mountains; and hapMacquarie plains and Bathurst pily the town of Bathurst is not yet plains. In the former the Fish river large enough to support a publicjoins the Macquarie. Arrived in house. The afternoon proved stormy, good time at the township of Ba- and the night rainy. thurst. Here we set up our rest, Monday, Oct. 14.–Cloudy mornand pitched our tent for the sabbath ing with constant rain all day, which on the naturally cleared land of the confined me to my tent from my inwinding banks of the Macquarie, tended excursions round Bathurst. which are here and there edged with The river is rising rapidly. a few casuarinæ. I could hardly Tuesday, Oct. 15.-Morning windy believe I was travelling in New Hol- and cloudy, but the day proved fair. land this day; so different—so En- The Macquarie very high and still glish—is the character of the scenery rising. Left Bathurst at half past -downs, meadows, and streams in 10 o'clock for the Stock-location of a the flat-no side-scenes of eucalyp- Cisalpine settler at King's Plains, tus. But by “ the white daisy of the 25 miles to the SW. through Queen sod,” I suppose Mr. Evans must mean Charlotte's Valley, and arrived there either the gnaphalium or the aster. before sun-set ;-a beautiful ride The scarcity of wood now takes through fertile plains (Evans's), or away the American log appearance thinly dwarfly wooded grazing land, of the cottages: they build of turf richly watered with creeks and here, and roof with straw or reeds, swamps (which horned cattle love) instead of wooden shingles. You emptying themselves into the Macmay see as far as the eye can reach; quarie river. These (after the late stockmen, cattle, and sheep occa- rains) assumed the appearance of rasionally form your horizon, as in Old pid streams or boggy land, but the Holland ;-a Paul Potter or Cuyp spring-grass promised all the better, effect, rare in New Holland. At and the water soon drains off the unsun-set, we saw wooded hills, dis- dulations of this beautiful country. tant enough to display that golden The waters abounded with fine black blue or purple, which landscape- ducks, two of which formed our suppainters love. The smoke of the lit- per; and we saw a pair of that species tle village of Bathurst is seen for of bittern, called by the colonists the miles off, which that of no other town native companions (ardea antigone), in Australia is. These things may fly elegantly over our heads. seem trifling to an English reader; Procured a cod-fish from a creek but by an American, or an Austras of the river Macquarie, which we lian, accustomed to travel through crossed in our way, weighing ninethe eternal valley of the shadow of teen pounds. This is truly a land monotonous woods, the chance of flowing with milk and honey, if there
were but dairymen and bees. The who have a passion for a bush-rangsettlers' convict-servants (stockmen ing life, to commit a capital crime by and sheep watch-men) do little but stealing the calves. drone about their filthy turf-huts, The country which I rode over toand have as much milk, fish, mut- day is of the same description as that ton, and flour, as they can eat and of yesterday. Saw hundreds of ducks drink. The stockmen do not see in the streams, black, musk, and their cattle once in six months per- wood-ducks: also another pair of haps ; and the shepherds are propor- native companions; and quails, tionally negligent. The settler who snipes, cockatoos, parrots, and par. would live on his own farm could roquets without number. not fail to thrive in a country like Thursday, Oct. 17-Still settled this.
fine weather. Rode to the stockWednesday, Oct. 16.---The day per- locations of two more Cisalpine setfectly fine. Rode completely over tlers, 10 miles to the westward. All this stock-location. These occupa- fine grazing country for both cattle tions (with the exception of a reserve and sheep; but more swampy than of 10 miles round Bathurst) are free this station, from the circumstance ly accorded by the present Govern, of the waters not being drained by ment of New South Wales to Cisal- creeks. pine settlers, whose grants of land Saw this day the first and only are surcharged by the increase of kangaroo. These stock-settlements their cattle and sheep ; and whose are great enemies to this beautiful home-runs are now hemmed in by and unique species of game: the neighbouring grantees. They con- stockmen hunt them, and the cattle şist of a ticket of occupation, at six and sheep supplant them. In a few months' notice to quit, of two miles years, the kangaroo will be as rare of pasturage each way from a centre. as “the native burghers of this deThis is a most liberal feature in the sart city" themselves. So the beaver administration of Sir Thomas Bris- and wild deer of North America are bane. The wild ill-bred cattle of becoming extinct; and thus is man the crown have now strayed away necessarily advanced from the hunter hundreds of miles on the Lachlan rin to the pastoral state. And these ver, and to the north of Bathurst, and stock-keepers will be the best and will spoil the improved breeds of the cheapest explorers of the country, transalpine settlers for ever, just as The great graziers are obliged each the two bulls and five cows, which to go beyond the other; so that in strayed away from the Port Jackson no long time, the land on the banks camp in the year 1788, and were dis- of the Macquarie being chiefly good covered at the Cow-pastures in 1795, pasture, it will be certainly known have, in the persons of their innu- whether there is any channel out of the merable wild progeny, adulterated shoal-lake, in which Mr. Oxley found the fine breed of Mr. M'Arthur. It that river to terminate, like the Niger, is high time that effectual measures according to Major Rennel. The should be taken to eradicate these Quarterly Review says, that“ the cir. animals from the face of the country, cumstance of the freshness of the waSome from the Cow-pastures have ter would decide the question of the been caught for the Government termination of the river in a Mediter, stores; but as they lose all their flesh ranean sea, or of its course being re. in taming for the slaughter-house, sumed beyond the expanse of wathey had better be shot in the woods, ters.” There is no doubt of the and salted down on the spot, if that freshness of the lake. If it had been will pay the expense of men and salt, Mr. Oxley would have mentioned horses to hunt them. They used to so singular a change from the waters of be preserved politically, under a no- the river, and a quality so different tion that they would always be a re- from the lakes of Wagara, in which source against famine ; but the co- the Niger is supposed to terminate. lony has long got beyond all danger Now, could the boat-party, which of that kind; and they now merely was victualled for a month's voyage serve to seduce away some, and de- on the lake, have existed, if the wa, base the breed of others of the set- ter had been salt? But I cannot tlers' better stock, and to hold out agree with the Quarterly Reviewer a temptation to the many convicts, in his criterion; and am rather dis.
posed to adopt the theory of that character; not a single auxiliary great practical geographer, the Ba- stream falling into the former, in a ron Humboldt, as propounded in his sluggish and winding course of 600 Personal Narrative, even before the miles; whereas the latter is fed by cases of the Lachlan and the Mac- half a dozen other rivers, and its quarie were known to him. “ It is course is less winding ;-the one probable (says he) that in the lapse of spending the rains in flooding a barages, several rivers of Soudan and of ren country, instead of improving New Holland, which are now lost in even its own channel ; the other runthe sands or in inland basins, will open ning a wide and deep course, as long themselves a way towards the shores as its supplies last, and "ever while of the ocean. We cannot at least it lives, flowing between its banks,” doubt, that in both continents, there and fertilizing them, as a river are systems of interior rivers, which should do. may be considered as not entirely Supposing the Lachlan to run to developed, and which communicate the nearest point of the sea, namely, with each other, either in the time at Cape Jervis, on the south west of great risings, or by permanent bi- coast, it would give a fall of only furcations." This is no new theo- half a foot per mile for the whole ry: the Baron quotes it from Carl river. Supposing the Macquarie to Ritter; and it may be found in an find its shortest way, namely, to excellent article on rivers in the En- near Smoky Cape, on the east coast, cyclopædia Britannica. “ Herodo- it would have more than two feet of tus, whom Strabo has not disdained descent for every mile. One foot per to follow, relates a tradition, that mile is as great a descent as the Thessaly was originally one vast Thames has for its last 40 miles; and lake, without visible outlet, till an it is clearly shown in the Encycloearthquake, rending Olympus from pædia Britannica, that the beds of Ossa, formed the colony of Tempe.”+ rivers by no means form themselves The Edinburgh Review, in an igno- in one inclined plane, but that the rant and flippant article upon this continued track of a river is a succountry, says, " it does not appear cession of inclined channels, whose why Mr. Oxley turned back;” and slope diminishes by steps, as the this, just after it has quoted the fol- river approaches to the sea. But lowing words of his journal: “ There the current of the Macquarie marshes was no channel whatever among the (as the Edinburgh Review calls ocean of reeds, which surrounded them) was still northerly; and it is us.” Mr. Oxley, although his health impossible that a river, the regular is broken by these two long and un- course of which has been north-wessuccessful expeditions, which make terly for 300 miles, should suddenly such sport to reviewers, is anxious turn due east; and Mr. Oxley (if to see how the end of the Macquarie we are to rely upon the Surveyor may look in a different season, and General's heights) makes the Macwould readily undertake another quarie fall more than 500 feet in journey; but economy is now the or- about 40 miles, from the Fish branch der of the day, and liberal science must to the Campbell branch, and 750 in bend to national distress and political about 50 miles from the head of the system. Yet I cannot help thinking Campbell to its junction with the that, since money can be found for Macquarie. Sir Thomas Brisbane's Arctic and
African explorations, and measurements give a fall of more than as Great Britain expended no less a 1000 feet from the Fish branch to sum than 34,2961. in making surveys the Bathurst, which is only five or six of North America, the labour of a miles further than the Campbell. So few convicts and spare horses might that as far as the fall of the Macquarie still be afforded by the crown, to see waters has been ascertained, accordwhat becomes of the last drop of its ing to the lowest estimate, it is highown singular New Holland rivers, ly improbable, that either the Lachthe Lachlan and the Macquarie, lan or the Macquarie should ever alike in their apparent termination, reach the ocean. but totally different in every other I know not what is the least avere
* Vol. iv. 8vo. p. 150.
+ Mitford's Greece, vol. i. p. 43.
age fall, that rivers running into the base of hills, through large scattered sea require. According to Azara,* and piled masses of rock, forming the great river Paraguay does not little falls and strong ripples. The fall above one foot between the 18th second half lay over Evans's clearest and 22d parallels of south latitude. plain ;-a fine country, but not so The head of the Volga, a river which well watered or so beautiful as is 2600 miles in length, is not more Queen Charlotte's valley. Dined at than 470 feet above the surface of a settler's farm on the other side of the ocean ; but then it falls into the the Macquarie near Bathurst. There Caspian sea, which 306 feet below. was an English air of neatness about the level of the ocean. So that if the the homesteads and paddocks. Some Lachlan and the Macquarie should of these were matted with English ultimately end in large interior salt grapes, and stocked with fine-woolled seas, there is no saying how small sheep, and lambs as big as sheep. an elevation from the ocean level, Saturday, Oct. 19.—The rain came the rivers need have. Mr. Oxley on to-day, and kept me under canvas. had not the means of measuring the Sunday, Oct. 20.-Still rainy and height of the rivers, either during windy. The principal chaplain atheir course, or at their apparent gain performed divine service to a termination, only at their heads, congregation of about a hundred the Macquarie giving 2643, and the people. Lachlan 600 feet; but another ex- Monday, Oct. 21.-Cloudy, windy pedition, barometrically appointed, and cold, with squalls of hail. Dewould, perhaps, set the question at parted from Bathurst on my homerest, whether these rivers from their ward journey at 9 o'clock, a. m. and heights above the surface of the arrived at Sidmouth valley in good ocean, can possibly fall into the main time (24 miles). The hills, which
If Government decline the ho- shut this valley in, are really picnour of these discoveries, some pri- turesque in their outline and shavate individual will run away with dows,-lightly wooded to the top, it, as was the case with the passage showing there like a fringe. This across the Blue Mountains ; for, in farm is watered by a swampy creek spite of its want of navigable rivers, from the Fish river. I returned New Holland seems destined to be hither by a different and longer route one day a great pastoral country. than through O'Connell plains, name
Returned by the huts of a sheep- ly, without crossing the Macquarie location, and found them deserted by river, over the Campbell river (Goreason of recent plunder, on the part vernor Macquarie's seventh encampof the native Indians. These, and a ment). This is a rapid stream, runfew more serious accidents, will hap- ning through a beautiful country, on pen till the natives become more do- which Lieutenant Lawson, the premesticated among the settlers them- sent commandant of Bathurst, has a selves (their servants do not know farm. The Campbell and Fish rivers how to treat them); but their thefts together form the Macquarie; but are generally confined to a toma. (strange to say) the latter is scarcely hawk or an axe, the temptation of so large as the Fish river alone. possessing which is too irresistible The Campbell can never lay claim to for black human nature. But the the “ very considerable magnitude," aborigines of this new country very that Governor Macquarie assigns to rarely appear in combined numbers ; it. But a great quantity of water and are easily scared by guns, horses, runs through them all together some or even English dogs.
whither. Stranger still that it should Friday, Oct. 18. Cloudy and all end in a vast swamp! Yet a siwindy morning, but the rain kept off milar flatness of country is found in for the day. Returned to Bathurst South America, spreading the rains by a shorter route, through another into shallow lakes, which evaporate of Evans's plains to the westward of before they form rivers. Such is the Queen Charlotte's valley. The first celebrated lake of Los Xarayes, in half of this diversion was highly ro- the viceroyalty of Buenos Ayres, the mantic; the creek winding at the length of which is 330 miles, and the
* Voyages en Amerique Meridionale, depuis 1781 jusqu'à 1801.