Terre Napoleon. A History Of French Explorations And Projects In Australia By Ernest Scott

 -  There is, first, the interest arising from the
observations of so intelligent a foreign observer as Peron* was,
concerning the - Page 200
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There Is, First, The Interest Arising From The Observations Of So Intelligent A Foreign Observer As Peron* Was, Concerning The

British colony within fifteen years after its foundation; and there is, secondly, the special interest pertaining to the reception and

Treatment of the expedition by the governing authorities, their suspicions as to its motives, and the consequences which arose therefrom. (* Curiously enough, there was another Peron who visited Port Jackson in a French ship in 1796, and gave an interesting account of it in a book which he wrote - Memoires du Capitaine Peron, two volumes Paris 1824. But the two men were not related. The nautical Captain Peron was born at Brest in 1769.)

Apart from Peron's writings, we have a considerable body of documentary material, in the form of letters and despatches, which must be considered. We cannot complain of an insufficiency of evidence. It covers the transactions with amplitude; it reveals purposes fully; the story is clear.

What Peron saw of the infant settlement filled him with amazement and admiration. "How could we fail to be surprised at the state of that interesting and flourishing colony," cried the naturalist. It was only so recently as January 26, 1788, that Captain Arthur Phillip had entered the commodious and beautiful harbour which is not eclipsed by any on the planet. Yet the French found there plentiful evidences of prosperity and comfort, and of that adaptable energy which lies at the root of all British success in colonisation. Master Thorne, in the sixteenth century, expressed the resolute spirit of that energy in a phrase:

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