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














































































 -  One can only judge
from the evidence available. On some of Flinders' charts there are dotted
lines to indicate coasts - Page 270
Terre Napoleon. A History Of French Explorations And Projects In Australia By Ernest Scott - Page 270 of 299 - First - Home

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One Can Only Judge From The Evidence Available.

On some of Flinders' charts there are dotted lines to indicate coasts which he had not been able to explore fully.

He would not set down as a statement of fact what he had not verified. History, too, has its dotted lines, where supposition fills up gaps for which we have no certain information. There is no harm in them; there is some advantage. But we had better take care that they remain dotted lines until we can ink them over with certainty, and not mistake a possibly wrong guess for a fact.

It is also necessary to distinguish between the exalted motives of which we may think the First Consul capable in 1800, and for a year or two after, and the use he would have made five, eight, or ten years later of any opportunities of damaging the possessions and the prestige of Great Britain. In the full tide of his passionate hatred against the nation that mocked and blocked and defied him at every turn of his foreign policy, he would unquestionably have been delighted to seize any opportunity of striking a blow at British power anywhere. He kept Decaen at Mauritius in the hope that events might favour an attempt on India. He would have used discoveries made in Australasia, as he would have used Fulton's steamboat in 1807, to injure his enemy, could he have done so effectually. But to do that involved the possession of great naval strength, and the services of an admiral fit to meet upon the high seas that slim, one-armed, one-eyed man whose energy and genius were equal to a fleet of frigates to the dogged nation whose hero he was; and in both these requirements the Emperor was deficient.

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