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Saturday, Oct. 18th, 1823.-Rode from the neighbourhood of Liverpool, through the district of Airds (in which are the small church and court-room of Campbell Town) to Appin, to breakfast; and thence to Illawarra, or the Five Islands, to dinner, a distance of sixty miles south of Port Jackson. The range of the Blue Mountains, which divides the east coast from the western interior of New South Wales, terminating with the cliffs of the Five Island coast and Shoal Haven, the road from Appin presents the same rocky, sterile country, as the Blue Mountain pass, and the same flora, with the additions of the doryanthes excelsa, or gigantic lily, and the crinum australe: on the Five Island beach is also found granite, as at Cox's River. Passed the source of the Nepean River, forming a small cataract, under which the stream hides itself in a picturesque glen; and indeed it afterwards finds a subterraneous passage through the sandy rocks to the Cow Pastures. The descent from this range of mountains to the sea-shore is very precipitous, grand, and even tropically luxuriant in point of vegetation. Here may be seen, for the first time in this colony, the cabbage palm (corypha australis) towering above all the trees of the forest, to the height sometimes of a hundred feet, with its bunches of leaves only at the top, flabelliform, peltate, round, and fan-like. These trees once also characterized the neighbourhood of Port Jackson; but they have long been exhausted, the spungy trunks having been used for splitting into hut-logs, and the large leaves for thatch; for thus simply were even the officers of the first fleet, the Romuluses of the colony, lodged. The absence of these trees has taken away much from the tropical character of Sydney, which can only be restored by the garden-cultivation of them, together with the banana and the New Zealand bamboo, for the climate is not hot enough for the cocoa-nut. The jungle sides of this Illawarra Mountain were also AUG. 1824.

enriched with the arborescent fern (alsophila australis), the trunk of which, not growing so tall as the palm, lifted none of the beauty of its large feathery leaves out of the reach of our sight.

At the foot of this range of mountains is scattered the red cedar tree, of which the colonists make their furniture, and with which they fit up the insides of their houses. It is a genus of cedreleæ, allied to flindersia. The procuring of this timber occupies many sawyers and boatmen from Port Jackson. The cedar planks, as they are formed by sawyers at the pit, are carried on men's backs up to the mountain summit, whence carts (approaching by a narrow road cut through the forest on the ridge) convey the planks to all parts of the colony, or they are carted to the shores of Illawarra, and navigated to Port Jackson in large open boats. The government have not (by reason of their ample supply from Hunter's River and Port Macquarie) secured any portion of these cedar grounds to themselves, simply compelling each person to take out a permit from the Colonial Secretary's office, which must specify the number of feet of timber required, and without which protection, the horse and cart, or boat, and the cedar, are liable to seizure by any constable. In a new run in the wild forest, the sawyers have to perform the preparatory labour of clearing their path, and a fall for the trees, which would otherwise be prevented from reaching the ground by amazingly strong vines (scandent or volubilous plants). They then pit the stem, cut into short cylinders of from 8 to 12 feet in length, and saw them into planks of one or two inches thick. For these they receive of the cartmen 22s. for every hundred feet, from which sum is to be deducted 6s. per hundred, paid to the carrier from the pit to the cart, leaving 16s. to be divided between the pair of sawyers. The cartmen, after carrying an average load of 300 feet in the plank upwards of 60 miles to Paramatta, over a road, in part



Journal of an Excursion to the Five Islands and Shoal Haven, [Aug.

very rocky and difficult, obtain 45s. or 50s. per hundred feet, from builders, carpenters, &c. It is to be regretted, that so few of the timbers that grow on this mountain are known. Excepting the red cedar, the wild apple (achras australis), the plum (cargillia australis), the sassafras (cryptocarga glaucescens), the rosewood, so called from its scent not colour (a genus of meleace?), and the turpentine tree (tristania albicans); the wood-cutters had no names for the many trees of gigantic growth which cover this mountain.

Illawarra is a fine district of good grazing, and some excellent arable, land close to the sea-shore; insomuch that, though distant and difficult from Sydney by land, it was settled in Governor Macquarie's time, when he refused to let anybody go on the other side of the Nepean. As a marine situation, it is very beautiful. The Five Islands show like one large and two small ones, and look picturesque seaward, while the back ground presents a line of hills, among which the Hat Hill of Capt. Cook and Mount Molle are conspicuous.

Sunday, 19th October.-Rested, or only walked over the miles of Illawarra farm, the property of David Allan, Esq. late Commissary General of the Colony, who had the merit of setting the example of settling the Five Island district. The creek ravines still presented a tropical luxuriance of vegetation-palms, ferns, and vines, or parasitical trees, the last festooning and twining their branches in all directions, and greatly relieving the tall leafless monotony of the gum-trees. Epidendra also built their nests among them, the asplenium nidus, the acrostichum alcicorne, and the dendrobium æmulum. There is also a large-leaved tree, the slightest touch of which brings away hairs like cowhage: it is an undescribed species of urtica.

Monday, 20th October.-Rode to Shoal Haven, thirty-six miles still further to the south, six or seven of which were through a mass of vegetation, requiring pioneers to penetrate it. The vines or lianas wreathed the trees, like the boa constrictor, and festooned the way, as if they were placed for one of Astley's equestrians to leap from the horse

over them, or hung dangling like the ropes in a belfry. The valley reminded me of Humboldt's descriptions of South American vegetation. The ground was unequal to boot, so that travelling through the jungle was extremely difficult and fatiguing. Here we first saw the seaforthia elegans, a palm equal in size to the cabbagetree, with pinnate, ferny, or cocoanut leaves, from whose broad membranous leaf-stalks, or the spathe of the flowers, the natives make their water-buckets, simply by tying up each end, like their bark canoes; in the same manner the dairy farmers make milk pails and cream pans; and of the leaves they make hats and thatch-the cedar, both white and red; and another smaller fern-leaved palm-tree, yet undescribed, of great beauty, its trunk more ligneous, and its leaves more palmy, than the common arborescent fern. Our way through the dark dingle crossed the same freshwater creek fifteen times. The crinum here re-appeared, together with a large arum.

In the first part of our journey, this day, we crossed the shallow entrance from the sea of Illawarra Lake, a large opening a little to the south of the Tom Thumb's lagoon of Captain Flinders. The lake was illustrated by natives in their canoes, looking very characteristic and beautiful, now that the progress of English civilization has disarmed this part of the coast of those savage dangers, with which it threatened Captain Flinders and Mr. Bass, when they were here in the Tom Thumb open boat. The view was so picturesquethe lake, the hills, and the Indians, "the spirit of them all,"-as to deserve a painter. Our route admitted of two or three long gallops along the sands, which afforded great reliefs to the tedium of the forest paths and the fatigue of the jungle. Although we set out almost at sun-rise, yet it was nearly sun-set before we arrived at Shoal Haven, where Mr. Alexander Berry has taken his grant of land, on either side of the Shoal Haven river. This is the gentleman who first learnt at New Zealand the fate of the ship Boyd, which was cut off by the savages in the year 1809, and who brought away the very few sur

vivors of that massacre. He has, since his final settling in this colony, explored the geology of this coast, with great ardour, from Port Stephens to Jervis's Bay, and read be fore the Philosophical Society of the colony an excellent paper upon the subject.

Thursday, 21st October.-Ascended with Mr. Berry the mountain called by the natives Coolingatta, under which he is building his house. From this considerable, but well-grassed, eminence, we saw, as in a map, the sea, the river, and the coast, from Cape George, which is the south head of Jervis's Bay, to Black Head or Point Bass of Captain Flinders, a fine point of grazing land (some of it naturally clear), which we had passed in our way the day before, including Bowen Island off the Bay, Crook Haven (the Shoal Haven of the charts) and Shoal Haven River. The mist prevented us from seeing the Pigeon House Hill of Captain Cook, still further to the southward. The entrance of Shoal Haven River from the sca is dangerous even for boats, and that of Crook Haven, three miles to the southward, or the real Shoal Haven of Flinders, is not very safe. One of the arms of Shoal Haven is separated from Shoal Haven River by an isthmus not a hundred and fifty yards broad; and across this Mr. Berry has cut a canal, being the first canal in Australia. "The land at the back of Shoal Haven (says he), and south of the river, is low and swampy, so as in some places to be incapable of producing trees. There is, however, a more elevated border along the immediate bank of the river;" and this he has cultivated. He has been up the river more than twenty miles, when he was stopped by a long rapid. At this place the river was about a hundred and fifty yards wide, and was flowing perhaps double that distance over small water-worn stones, which it hardly covered. The tide flows thus far, which may be considered the termination of the inland navigation. So much for Shoal Haven River. Although I am afraid that these grants of land will hardly ever repay Messieurs Berry and Wollstonecraft for their out-lay upon them, yet who

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ever extends the settling of New South Wales further than any body has gone before him, is a benefactor to the colony. I am afraid, in this case, that Man has taken possession before Nature has done her work. Immense swamps and lagoons have only been just left by the sea, and, the forest land is yet indifferent for grazing; but, though the cedar grounds end before Shoal Haven, the sea is open for any exportable produce that can be raised on patches of alluvial soil, on the alternate projecting points of the river; and Mr. Berry need not be alarmed lest any occupation of the immediate back country should shut in his cattle-run.

Returned to Illawarra this day, though very rainy and stormy. Overtook some natives, the women (as is usual among all savages) carrying the children and baggage, and the men nothing but a spear and a firebrand. The men led our horses through the difficulties, while we dismounted, and both men and women kept up with our horses a whole stage, upon the promise of sharing our luncheon at the end of it.

Wednesday, 22d October.- Rested this morning, and in the evening went to see the natives fish by torchlight. They make torches of bundles of bark, beaten and tied up, and with the light of these, scare the bream into motion that lie among the rocky shallows, when they either spear them with the fiz-gig, or drag them from under their hiding-places with the hand, bite their heads, and throw them high and dry on the shore. The sight is very novel and picturesquethe torch being flashed in one hand and the spear poised in the other though there were but few natives here at this time, the majority being absent feasting upon a whale which chance had thrown upon the coast. The Indians, however, by no means attribute this to chance, but to the kind providence of the spirits of their fathers, whom they believe to be transformed into porpoises (dolphins) after death, like Bacchus's pirates in Homer, and who, in that shape, drive the whales on shore. With this view, the natives obsecrate the porpoises by songs, when they see them rolling. I found also that the abo

Constable's Edinburgh Magazine, vol. ii. p. 403.

rigines of New Holland were strictly divided into two classes, the hunters and the fishers; and that they did not dare to encroach upon each other's mode of gaining a livelihood. Red Point of Captain Cook was the scene of our torch-fishing. Much of the rock was flat, and veined in squares, as if it had been paved, seemingly the effect of iron and fusion. Captain Flinders says, the cause of its being named Red Point escaped his and Mr. Bass's notice, but it was plain to us that the iron gave it a reddish appearance.

Thursday, 23d October.-Returned to the neighbourhood of Liverpool this day, though very showery. The ascent of the Illawarra Mountain was very steep and difficult, the worse

for the rain that had fallen. We were obliged to climb dismounted. The hill appeared to me worse than the pass up Mount York on the Bathurst road; but the route that avoids it is not preferred.

So much for the county of Camden, which contains the celebrated Cow Pastures of New South Wales, and is full of excellent grazing land, at the back of the mountain ridge, and well watered, which Governor Macquarie's good agricultural districts of Appin and Airds are certainly not. The country at the back of that is called by Mr. Berry," the verdant, well-watered, and very desirable pastoral district of Argyleshire." B. F

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The slayer is slain,
And the slain slain again.

MR. EDITOR.-I disagree, in one respect or other, with all your Correspondents, on the subject of Female Genius. It has never been rated so high as the author of " False Distinctions appears to think. His assertion is a libel on the judgment of the world. Mrs. Hannah More may, if she pleases, hold that "women have more imagination than men;" so likewise a Monboddite may hold, that men have (naturally) more tail than monkies; but one dogma is just as far as the other from expressing the sense of the public. The above very respectable lady's opinion of her own sex, is little more than individual: it exercises no influence whatever on the general mind, beyond the short radius of her own coterie. No such "Distinction," as that women have more imagination than men, has ever obtained in the world, at least with those of the many-headed multitude whose opinions are worth a refutation, or who could appreciate a refutation were it given. In this instance, therefore, I cannot but think that your Contributor X.Y.Z. has only raised a shadow for the simple and amusive purpose of laying it. The Distinction which has been made, and which is not "False," but unquestionably true, is,—that women have a readier

sense of what may be called the prettily fanciful, than men. Thus you will see a forest of ivory, with amber and ebony foliage, bent over the pit of a theatre, when Cupid in silver wings and red slippers, or a Goddess in white muslin short petticoats, descends upon the stage; whilst the very same objects are damned with the faint praise of "Very pretty, indeed," by the beau, hung upon the end of his nose by the man of genius, and plainly anathematized, piously consecrated to Hades, by the critic. Again, if we listen to female judgments passed on literary works, we shall find the sex always select and rapturously commend the little, light, pretty, and fanciful passages, overlooking the magnificent, solid, sublime, and daringly imaginative. Look at their own works: does their imagination soar, or does it merely sport? Will you liken them to eagles or to butterflies? What would a lady take, to talk in the vein of

Pity, like a naked new-born babe, Striding the blast, or heaven's cherubim horsed

Upon the sightless couriers of the air.—

Or rather when she attempts this style, do we not immediately set her down as a woman of masculine ge

nius? For the female sex, I think, it will scarcely be denied, that Parnassus needs no pinnacles; Pegasus, too, ambles like a palfrey when he feels the side-saddle, and the soft burthen in it. When the feminine imagination does take wing, do you find it careering with the storm, and scaling the empyrean? or do you find it glittering over the meadows of Terra Firma, within an inch of the surface, to which it is bound as well by its will as its weakness? And why? Why because of that ready and satisfiable sense of beauty which I have remarked in the sex, who are pleased with what we almost despise. Our inordinate and ever-craving appetite for the superexcellent, makes us spurn the earth and all its pleasures; but the impulse carries us to heaven. Finally, list to their conversation; it is, generally speaking, far more engaging than that of men; but it is nevertheless wholly made up of prettinesses, delicate turns of thought and expression, without anything either of strength or sublimity; their auditors always smile, but never stare. This proceeds from the same, I will not say, less fastidious, but readier (a word which will suit any theory) sense of the beautiful, which distinguishes women in general; their conversation is the exponent of their taste, and that taste acknowledges beauty there where the taste of one half our sex is too dull to perceive it, of the other too critical to allow it.

Whatever the fair sex are willing to claim on the above score, I am equally willing to grant; but that any one who has either reading, practical experience, or judgment, should maintain that women, generally speaking, have more imagination than men (i. e. higher in quality and greater in quantity) seems to me next door to maintaining that modest astronomical paradox, that the moon is made of green cheese. I cannot but think that the flagrant absurdity of the assertion (if indeed he ever did hear it made) was the reason of our "impeccable logician" X. Y. Z.

treating it so very illogically; it would be superfluous to bowl down a sublunary nine-pin with one of the spheres. His arguments, I do allow with SURREY, are as easily overturned as a castle of cards; but I contend that they are not to be held as arguments, but as illustrations. X. Y. Z. is in all likelihood as peccable, even in logic, as a Pope in theology; one race of his pen, however, through half a dozen lines would, Í am convinced, have demolished this false distinction (as he calls it) had he chosen to attack it secundum artem. To ask-"Where is Mrs. Shakspeare?" is, I acknowledge, as conclusive in that sense as to askWhere is Mr. Venus de Medicis? in another. The former query no more proves that women are comparatively inferior as to nobility of mind, than the latter that men are comparatively inferior as to beauty of person ;-though perhaps the assertion in both cases is about equally incontrovertible. In the same way, to inquire for a female Rape of the Lock, or VertVert, and let judgment go by default, is, like almost all other arguments drawn from particular instances (as our impeccable must well know) as illegitimate a mode of ratiocination as natural logic delights to sport withal. A female Hudibras or Dunciad, also, or a good female Play, being not to be found in rerum naturâ, is no more an argument against the intellectuality of the sex, than the non-existence of a male treatise on Needlework or Clear-starching is against the mechanical ingenuity of ours. But very possibly, this popular and loose kind of logic is more than sufficient to confirm most people, who are convinced already by their own experience and reflection. X. Y. Z. would not conjure up a storm to blow a gossamer; the False Distinction which he so generously put into the public mouth, scarcely merits, and therefore probably did not obtain, from him, a serious refutation.

As X. Y. Z. is right in his position but wrong in his arguments, so

The world's opinion in one word! This epithet of "masculine" is applied to Joanna Baillie, and generally to all women of a vigorous imagination; thus proving that the public have never made the False Distinction now for the first time so injuriously ascribed to them.

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