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














































































 -  Remembering
the banquets and the plaudits that marked the despatch of the expedition,
those of its members who expected a - Page 250
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Remembering The Banquets And The Plaudits That Marked The Despatch Of The Expedition, Those Of Its Members Who Expected A Demonstration May Well Have Been Chilled By The Small Amount Of Notice They Received.

But the public as well as the official mood was conceivably due rather to intense concentration upon national affairs, during a period of amazing transition, than to the prejudice which Freycinet's ruffled pride suggested.

"It would be difficult to explain," he wrote, "how, during the voyage, there could have been formed concerning the expedition an opinion so unfavourable, that even before our return the decision was arrived at not to give any publicity to our works. The reception that we met with on arriving in France showed the effects of such an unjust and painful prejudice."* (* Preface to the 1824 edition of the Voyage de Decouvertes.)

When Le Naturaliste arrived at Havre in the previous year, the Moniteur* (* 14th Messidor, Revolutionary Year 10. (July 3, 1803).) gave an account of the very large collection of specimens that she brought, and spoke cordially of the work; and in the following month* (* 27th Thermidor, Revolutionary Year 11. (August 15).) Napoleon's organ published a long sketch of the course of the voyage up to the King Island stage, from particulars contained in despatches and supplied by Hamelin. The earlier arrival of Le Naturaliste had the effect, also, of taking the edge off public interest. This may be counted as one of the causes of the rather frigid reception accorded to Le Geographe.

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