The Vessels Were Then To Make A Fuller
Exploration Of The Western And Northern Shores Than Had Hitherto Been
Achieved, To Attack The South-West Of Papua (New Guinea), And To
Investigate The Gulf Of Carpentaria.
No instructions seem to have been
given relative to a further examination of the eastern coasts of the
Cook's work there was evidently thought to be sufficient,
though Flinders found several
fresh and important harbours. The programme, as Peron pointed out,
involved the exploration in detail of several thousands of miles of
coasts hitherto quite unknown or imperfectly known, and its proper
performance was calculated to accomplish highly important work in
perfecting a knowledge of the geography of the southern hemisphere.
The French Government fitted out the expedition in a lavish and elaborate
fashion.* (* "Les savans ont vu avec le plus grand interet les soins que
le gouvernement a pris pour rendre ce voyage utile a l'histoire naturelle
et a la connaissance des moeurs des sauvages." Moniteur, 22nd Fructidor.)
Funds were not stinted, and the commander was given unlimited credit to
obtain anything that he required at any port of call. The best scientific
instruments were procured, and the stores of the great naval depot of
Havre were thrown open for the equipment of the ships with every
necessity and comfort for a long voyage. Luxuries were not spared; "in a
word," says Peron, "the Government had ordered that nothing whatever
should be omitted that could assure the preservation of health, promote
the work of the staff, and guarantee the independence of the expedition."
Two vessels lying in the port of Havre were selected.
Enter page number
Page 160 of 299
Words from 44296 to 44566