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most inseparable continuation of the Historical Account. 3. An Historical Atlas, of which the greater part has appeared, and which is designed by Messrs. Lesueur and Petit, engraved by Messrs. Nee, Roger, Fortier, and other artists of the first rank. 4. An Hydrographical and Geographical Atlas, with explanatory memorials, by Mr. Freycinet, of these we have seen some Charts surveyed and drawn up with admirable care, and which for richness of detail, and exactness of method, leave far behind the best works of the English. 5. A collection of meteorological observations and others, relative to the temperature of the sea. 6. The scientific description of all the objects of Natural History, collected in the voyage.
It is impossible for us to state in a single article all the important results of this great work. However, we believe that till we can in subsequent articles, follow the travellers step by step, the public will learn with pleasure what are the principal fruits of so many labours.
The Eastern and Southern coasts of Van Diemen's Land have been examined and surveyed with the greatest detail. The discoveries of former navigators, partially or imperfectly known, have been connected together, corrected and completed. In this Island, which commands the entrance of the Great Pacific Ocean, they have discovered several canals and ports capable of becoming the seats of very important Colonies.
The question whether New Holland is a single mass of land, or a collection of great Island, has been decided. The part of the Southern coast connecting Nuytsland, with New South Wales, has been discovered, and received the name of Napoleon Land. That vast country presents two gulfs, one called Bonaparte, and the other honoured with the name of Josephine, but neither of these gulfs opens the entrance of that Mediterranean Sea, which some had supposed in the centre of New Holland. The Peninsula Cambaceres, and the Islands Decres and King have been surveyed with great detail. There does not appear to be any great river on this coast.
The West and Northwest coast so much dreaded by navigators have been also examined in detail. Shark's Bay is found to be much more extensive than it appears in former charts. The Archipelago Bonaparte, the Islands Lacepede and Forestier, and a multitude of shoals and rocks border these inhospitable shores, where little salt rivers flow across stony and sandy soils. There is nothing which indicates an opening in this extent of coast. On the other side Captain Flinders has examined anew the gulf of Carpentaria, and all the Eastern coast without being able to penetrate anywhere into the interior of the country. It seems then decided, that New Holland is at least on the coasts, a vast desert without rivers, or straits to facilitate access to the
interior. Even on the coast, however, there are fertile spots where the vegetation is often very rich, but fresh water is extremely rare. On whatever side you approach this great island, or this continent, you feel a burning wind which seems to rise from the centre of this vast country, and spread itself equally to all the coasts. From this phenomenon, we would be tempted to suppose, that New-Holland is full of sandy deserts, like those of Sahara in Africa : though how to reconcile this dryness and heat, with the extreme height of the mountains, which have resisted all the attempts of the English to cross them, is still a great question to resolve.
Although the island of Timor has been often mentioned by others, the interesting researches made there by our travellers may be considered as equal to a second discovery. Even on the Canary Islands, the beaten track of all voyages, Mr. Peron has found means to be original. The judicious observations of Mr. Bailly refute all the imaginary systems on the island Atlantis.
The interviews which they had with the savages of the different countries are related by Mr. Peron in a manner extremely engaging and instructive. His experiments on the physical force of the individuals of different races of men destroy the opinion entertained of the superiority of savages: in this point of view, the picture of the English colonies he will draw, in the second volume, will excite the liveliest interest in the political world.*
We shall now advert to the observations made by our travellers on the moral and physical character of the savages they visited. The philosophers of Greece saw in savage life only a degradation of the human race, and to make the wandering hordes of the forest submit to the mild yoke of civilization, to exchange their acorns and water for the use of grain, the vine, and the olive, were the exploits which tradition ascribed to the gods themselves. The gratitude of nations raised altars to the inventors of the early arts of social life, and to the legislators, who, by the wisdom of their institutions, enchained the natural ferocity of man. That temple is still standing which the Athenians dedicated to the manes of Theseus, the hero whose victorious arm destroyed, on their rocks and in their caverns, the remains of an incorrigible race, who, in the bosom of rising civilization, wished still to enjoy the unjust advantages which the savage state ensures to force and violence. The ancient historians never so far violated truth as to represent the sa
• It was understood, before this work was published, that these experiments proved the superior physical strength of the English ; a result, to publish which, must have required a sacrifice of national partiality very honouras ble to Mr. Peron.
vage life as enviable. When they describe the Celts immolating every stranger who had fallen into their hands, the Geloni dressing themselves in the skins of the enemies they had slain, the Tibarenians precipitating from rocks their old men, that they might no longer be obliged to support them, the Hyrcanians throwing to the vultures the dead bodies of their fathers, they certainly did not mean to praise the mildness or the humanity of these hordes. But if the savage state, properly so called, present only a disgusting picture, it is not so with that middle state, between barbarism and civilization, which may be termed the spring of social life.' Those heroic efforts of an infant nation fighting for its altars and its firesides, that amiable familiarity which assembles in the same temple, and at the same festival, the Prince and the people, high-minded Poverty and modest Wealth, that frank and simple love of country which warms every heart, strengthens every arm, and directs every action: that sweet ingenuousness which pervades the morals and the manners of every class from the throne to the cottage, that character of interest, and even of wonder, that attaches itself to the smallest enterprizes, the most petty wars, or the shortest journies; in short, all that characterizes growing civilization offers a certain bloom of youth, of freshness, and of grace, which ceases with the maturity of civilized life, and above all, is lost in the melancholy old age of nations and empires. It is there that some ardent gloomy spirit, some Tacitus or Rousseau, indignant at the corruption which surrounds them, shocked at the sight of all the vices, perhaps too, secretly weary of the monotony of long civilized society, look around with an unquiet glance, to seek in some region of time or space, the reality of that better world whose image they feel in their own hearts: they believe they have found it in past ages and in distant countries, since distance embellishes everything, while the light and shade of antiquity in displaying only the beauty of the masses conceal whatever might be less agreeable in the details. Those philosophers, however, who, to much imagination, unite a certain degree of firmness and justice, do not seek their ideal world beyond the beauties of civilization--they do not go back to the hapless of mankind, nor the fables of the golden age; they stop at the ages of Homer and of Suidas, of Achilles and of Leonidas, the brilliant adolescence of a few nations privileged by heaven. But the haughty sophists, the ignorant phrasemakers, the political dreamers, all those, in short, who have too often usurped the name of philosophers are not content with these beautiful but simple pictures presented by this happy era of growing refinement. No it is in the cave of the Cyclops, the bloody forest of the Druids, in the midst of the cannibals of Africa and America, that they seek the models of those portraits by which they would persuade us that the sa
vage state is the most natural, the happiest, and the noblest to which man can aspire. Then come the travellers, either full of childish vanity and pretensions to what fools call genius, or else delivering their pompous accounts to be published by self-stiled men of letters, who know nothing but their own language. These little rhetoricians cooly repeat, as so many facts, all the fictions of philosophers and the falsehoods of sophists in favour of savages; and, on their word, good-natured readers consider it all as incontestible truth. Thus it is, that the prejudices in favour of savage life arise, and strengthen, and spread, prejudices which the vulgar deem highly philosophical, though precisely the reverse.
Mr. Peron and his companions had the advantage of living in the midst of these children of nature so much admired by our academicians and romance writers. Alas! these travellers can scarcely boast of the reception they had from the children of nature. In return for the benefits offered to them they acted with the blackest perfidy, and a ferocity without bounds. Mr. Peron thus represents one of the tribes, the least intractable, that which inhabits the island of Maria:
“The physiognomy of these savages is very expressive, the passion's display themselves with force and succeed each other with rapidityvariable as their affections, the features of the face follow and are moulded by them-frightful and wild in menace-in suspicion uneasy and treacherous-in laughter of foolish and almost convulsive gayety among the old, the countenance is sad, hard, and gloomy, and in all persons, generally, at whatever moment they are seen, their look has always something wicked and ferocious which cannot escape an attentive observer, and which but too well corresponds with their character.” Neither the presents made to them, nor the amusements they were permitted to enjoy, seemed to inspire them with the the least sentiment of good will. They regarded them only as the tribute offered by weakness, and endeavoured to plunder our travellers by force of all that they carried with them. More than once they threatened to pierce with their sagais the author whose account we follow.
“I had scarcely escaped,” says he, “ from this danger when I found myself exposed in a manner if not as perilous, at least very disagreeable. One of the gold rings I had in my ears excited the wishes of another savage, who, without saying anything, slipped behind me, put his finger slyly into the ring, and pulled it with such force that he would certainly have torn my ear if the ring had not opened. When it is remembered that these were men on whom we had heaped presents, whom we had, if I may so express myself, loaded with lookingglasses, knives, handkerchiefs, snuff-boxes, &c. that I had stripped myself of almost all the buttons of my coat, which, being of gtit brasses. seemed from their shining to be particularly valuable, that we had yielded to all their caprices and wishes without asking any return for all our presents, it may be seen how perSidious and unjust was their conduct towards us. I might even positively assert, that without Mr. Rouget and his means of frightening them, Mr. Petit and myself would have fallen victims to these wild men. I ought frankly to declare, that all their actions bore the stamp of a perfidy and ferocity, shocking to myself and my comrades, and on comparing what we saw with what had previously happened in the canal to several of our companions, we concluded, that no one should visit these people without sufficient force to restrain their violence or repel their attacks.” This opinion of Mr. Peron is, unfortunately, applicable to all savage nations, as may be seen in the accounts of travellers. Even in places where the inhabitants are most praised for their gentleness, Europeans, when alone, or too weak, have ryn great risks, and very often been the victims of their Confidence and generosity. What particularly characterises savage life is the slavery of the women, as, at the other end of the chain, the too great influence of the fair sex announces the corruption of civilized society. The women in Australasia are considered as mere beasts of burden destined to the hardest and most servile labours,
We will finish this sketch by asserting, according to Mr. Cuvier, that all the English travels together have not produced so great a number of discoveries in Natural History. Mr. Leschenault, who left the expedition at Timor, and since travelled into the interior of Java, will give very extensive and valuable information on the botanical part of the voyage. The mineralogy of that part of the world resembles much that of the rest of the globe. Mr. Bailly will, however, inform us of many interesting subjects of physical geography. Zoology is the brilliant part of the voyage. The collection of specimens in this science amounts to more than one hundred thousand pieces, and it is believed contains some thousands of new species. They are principally small quadrupeds, amphibious animals, and the genera mollusca, and zoophyta, to which two last classes chiefly belong the most beautiful discoveries of Mr. Peron, and the most elegant designs of his friend and coadjutor.
Men of letters, who declaim so absurdly against what they call the spirit of minutiæ, that is, the essential spirit of every solid science, will do well to cast a glance on the plates representing the most rare of these animals. They will then, perhaps, permit the judicious part of the public to believe that there are no studies more interesting, more noble, more worthy of man than those which have for their object the wonders which an all-powerful hand has scattered over the whole surface of the globe, from the summits of the Alps and the Ani des to the bosom of the earth and the abyss of the seas.