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of dry salt lakes, for which no outlet could be found. Unable to penetrate any further towards the south, Mr. Gregory proceeded to the head of the Gulf of Carpentaria, but, finding no stores to meet him there, he was forced to retreat on Sydney by Dr. Leichhardt's old route.
Nothing further remains to be noticed until we come to the late explorations of Mr. Stuart from Adelaide, and of the expedition under the command of Messrs. Burke and Wills from Melbourne. Nor have we anything to add to the accounts of these so recently published, save to endeavour to award to each of these travellers his fair share in the solution of the two problems which had so long resisted the efforts of Australian explorersto reach the centre, and to cross the continent. It is quite true that Mr. Stuart solved the one, and Messrs. Burke and Wills the other. Yet this is a judgment scarcely fair to Mr. Stuart. He has certainly done something more. If to cross the continent means to cross from known to known, then Mr. Stuart had solved both problems before the expedition under Messrs. Burke and Wills had left Melbourne. If to cross the continent means to cross from sea-beach to sea-beach, then had Mr. Stuart been repulsed from almost every point of the compass, in no less than seventeen attempts, and been twice driven back on Adelaide before Messrs. Burke and Wills gazed on the waters of the Gulf. A rapid sketch of the results of Mr. Stuart's explorations may not be uninteresting, more especially as it will afford a view of the relative position of the two expeditions in the field.
Since the return of Captain Sturt from Central Australia, the people of Adelaide had sought in vain for an extension of territory. They always kept explorers in the field, and Messrs. Hack, Swindon, Freeling, Warburton, and lastly Mr. Babbage, had cleared up a good deal that was vague and uncertain in and around the Torrens Basin. The large flockowners, too, were not idle, and many of them had eaten their way into the surrounding country as far as safety allowed. Yet the colony of South Australia was still little more than the Adelaide district in an immense and unknown wilderness. At length, in 1858, Mr. Stuart made some discoveries of great importance to the colonists. Penetrating to the west of Lake Torrens with one white man, and a native — who treacherously deserted them he came upon an extensive district of country abounding in natural springs, and clothed with the Kangaroo grass so highly prized by the Australian flockowners. For this discovery the Colonial Government presented him with a large tract of land within the district.
Towards the close of 1860, news arrived in Adelaide that Mr. Stuart and two men had reached the centre and crossed over to the north coast, and, in a few days, Mr. Stuart himself arrived in Adelaide, and lodged his maps and papers in the hands of the Government. As these documents alter all preconceived opinions of the character of the interior, we make an extract here and there. Mr. Stuart and his two men commenced their exploration on March 1, 1860, from Chambers' Creek, in the district discovered by him in 1858, and journeyed in the direction of the centre:
'March 29.- The country travelled over to-day is the best I have
'March 30.- Struck another large gum creek [a creek fringed by the gum tree, or eucalyptus], coming from the south of west, and running to the south-east. It is a fine creek: its courses of water spread over a grassy plain a mile wide. The water holes are long and deep, with immense plants growing on its banks, indicating permanent water. The wild oats on its banks are four feet high. The country gone over to-day, although stony, is completely covered with grass, and even better than that passed over yesterday.
April 3.-We passed over a plain of as fine country as any man could wish to see a beautiful red soil, covered with grass a foot high. .. I have not passed such splendid country since I have been in the colony.
'April 12.-Again struck the creek coming from the west, and several other gum creeks coming from the range. We have now entered the lower hills of the range, and have travelled through a splendid country for grass.
'April 15.-The country in the ranges is as fine a pastoral country as a man could wish to possess, having grass to the tops of the hills, and an abundance of water through the ranges.
'April 22.—I find, from my observations of the sun, that I am now camped in the CENTRE of AUSTRALIA. About two and a half miles to the N.N.E. is a high mount. I wish it had been in the centre. I shall go to it to-morrow, and build a cone of stones, plant the British flag, and name it, Central Mount Stuart. .. Splendid grass all around.
April 23.- Centre. Took Keckwick and the flag, and went to the top of the mount, which I find to be much higher and more difficult than I supposed; but, after numerous slips and knocks, we reached the top. It is as high as Mount Serle, if not higher. The view to the north is over a large plain of gum, mulga, and spinifix, with watercourses running through. The large gum creek that we crossed winds round this hill, in a north-east direction; at ten miles, it is joined by another. . . . Built the cone of stones, in the centre of which I placed a pole, with the British flag nailed to it. On the top of the cone I placed a small bottle, in which is a slip of paper,
stating by whom it was raised. We then gave three hearty cheers for the flag.'
We have extracted sufficient to show that Central Australia is very far from being the worthless country which it was so long supposed to be. Our extracts are from the rough notes of Mr. Stuart taken down at the end of each day's journey, and placed in the care of the Colonial Government without any further revision. Beyond the centre, their great difficulties commenced. Mr. Stuart made three efforts to reach the coast by a north-west course, and each time was driven back on the centre by dense belts of scrub and scarcity of water, both men and horses suffering severely from illness and fatigue. A north-west course to the sea was at length abandoned, and Mr. Stuart attempted to reach the coast by a north-east course from the centre. On this course, as our readers are aware, Mr. Stuart and his small party were attacked by savages, and obliged to retire. His extreme northern point, in this year, was lat. 18° 47', long. 134° 0'. Mr. Gregory, we have seen, descended from the north, along his Sturt's Creek, to lat. 20° 16. Mr. Stuart, therefore, even on this occasion, overlapped the explorations of Mr. Gregory by close on 11 degrees of latitude. In fact, Mr. Stuart had arrived within a district already marked by the routes of Mr. Gregory, Captain Stokes, and Dr. Leichhardt. This attack of natives occurred in June, 1860, when the exploring expedition under Messrs. Burke and Wills was still in Melbourne. With the first day of the new year, 1861, Mr. Stuart again started from Adelaide, with a party of twelve men under his command, for the purpose of actually reaching the sea-coast. And now the two expeditions were in the field. Mr. Burke's expedition had left Melbourne in August, 1860; but Messrs. Burke and Wills did not start from Cooper's Creek on their journey to the Gulf of Carpentaria until December 14, just a fortnight before Mr. Stuart left Chamber's Creek. The two routes through Central Australia are pretty parallel, the distance of Cooper's Creek from Chamber's Creek, about 300 miles, being mainly adhered to. On this occasion, Mr. Stuart found no difficulty in making good his former route, and was able to advance nearly two degrees beyond its extremity-his extreme northern point now being lat. 17° 0', long. 133° 0'. The continuation of his former route, also, opened some fine country-wide grassy plains consisting of black alluvial soil from 16 ft. to 20 ft. deep, and covered with luxuriant grasses, 4 feet and 5 feet 6 'inches high,' chains of lakes, some of them 10 and 12 miles long, abounding with fish, and lined along their banks with
troops of pelicans, white cranes, ibises, and native com'panions'—and, as Mr. Stuart confidently states, accessible to cattle from Adelaide at all seasons of the year. This fine country, however, towards the north was backed by belts of dense scrub, and from it attempts were made, in no less than fourteen different directions, to force a passage to the coast. In June, 1861, the task was abandoned; while in February, Messrs. Burke and Wills had actually visited the shores of the Gulf of Carpentaria by a more easterly, and entirely independent, route. With the few particulars of this route, found among the rough notes and charts of Messrs. Burke and Wills, the public are acquainted from the papers recently laid before Parliament. Their solution of the last problem of Australian Exploration is perfect. From the shores of Port Phillip Bay to the shores of the Gulf of Carpentaria, they laid down a direct and practicable route for their fellowcolonists, and returned to their Depôt on Cooper's Creek-to find it abandoned. How bitter their disappointment-how protracted their sufferings-how nobly they died, when thus forsaken in the desert, we may spare ourselves to recount. When Australian settlement shall have spread into the interior, and occupied the shores of the great Gulf, it will still be remembered that Burke and Wills were the first to overcome all obstacles, and to force a passage from shore to shore. Still will be remembered the tribute paid to them by the Governor of their colony *:- So fell two as gallant spirits as ever sacrificed life for the extension of science, or the cause of 'mankind. Both were in their prime; both resigned comfort ' and competency to embark in an enterprise by which they 'hoped to render their name glorious; both died without a mur'mur, evincing their loyalty and devotion to their country to 'the last.' To the representatives of Richard O'Hara Burke the Royal Geographical Society has most deservedly awarded its great Gold Medal-perhaps the highest honour a scientific body can bestow.
* Despatch of Sir Henry Barkly, Governor of Victoria, 20th November, 1861.
ART. II. Supplementary Despatches, Correspondence, and Memoranda of Field-Marshal Arthur Duke of Wellington, K.G. Edited by his Son, the Duke of Wellington, K.G. Vols. VI., VII., VIII. London: 1860, 1861.
WE respect the filial pride which induces the Duke of Wellington to complete the records of his father's correspondence. The Supplementary Despatches of the great Duke throw light on several parts of his career which the Gurwood series had left untouched, and, bringing us more closely in contact with the man at all points of his memorable life, convey a still more perfect notion of his individual genius and character. In the three volumes we are about to examine we see, for the first time, the views of the Duke in reference to the Copenhagen expedition, and to the projected attack on New Spain, which possibly contributed to the Peninsular War; and we gather from them much valuable information respecting the military and political events which marked our continental struggle with Napoleon. No other work contains so full and accurate an account of the difficulties thrown in Wellington's path by the incapacity of the feeble governments which ruled England from 1808 to 1814; and we doubt if even the 'Gur'wood Despatches' disclose more clearly the arduous tasks which were cast on him as a general and a statesman. Independently too of its positive worth, this book possesses a negative value which induces us to commend its publication. Exhausting, as it does, the correspondence of the Duke, and revealing to us his public life from the inner side in all its details, it brings his character to the strictest test; and Englishmen must rejoice to learn that in no respect will it really detract from their estimate of their great fellow-countryman. If it shows that Wellington was not omniscient on all questions of speculative politics, it fully attests his marvellous sagacity and commanding genius as a general and an administrator; and it adds, if possible, to the list of the proofs we already possess of his sterling patriotism and his single-minded devotion to duty.
In a former article we followed the career of Sir Arthur Wellesley as Chief Secretary of Ireland. In this capacity he simply carried out the policy of quieting the Orange oligarchy by gorging it with corrupt patronage, of steadily upholding Protestant ascendancy, and of meeting the claims of the Catholic nation by open force and acts of oppression. A sub