Page:Philosophical Transactions - Volume 096.djvu/288

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Mr. Flinders's Observations

acquisition of the first importance: in a more extended view, I may say, that the patriot and the philanthropist must join with the philosopher and the mariner in desiring its completion. So long and widely-extended a course of observation, however, seems requisite to form even a basis for it, that a complete system is rather the object of anxious hope than of reasonable expectation. Much has been done towards it, but so much appears to remain, that any addition to the common stock, however small, or though devoid of philosophical accuracy, I have thought would be received by the learned with candour. With this prepossession, I venture to submit to them some observations upon the movement and state of the mercury upon the coasts of New Holland and New South Wales, the Terra Australis, or Australia, of the earlier charts.

The principal circumstance that has led me to think these observations worth some attention, is the coincidence that took place between the rising and falling of the mercury, and the setting in of winds that blew from the sea and from off the land, to which there seemed to be at least as much reference, as to the strength of the wind or state of the atmosphere; a circumstance that I do not know to have been before noticed. The immediate relation of the most material of these facts, it is probable, will be more acceptable than any prefatory hypothesis of mine; and to it, therefore, I proceed; only premising, that a reference to the chart of Australia will be necessary to the proper understanding of some of the examples.

My examination of the shores of this extensive country began at Cape Leuwen, and continued eastward along the south coast. In King George's Sound, December 20, 1801,