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EXPLORATORY EXPEDITION TO THE CENTRE OF NEW HOLLAND

The arrangements for the expedition into the interior, undertaken by Mr. Eyre, having been completed, His Excellency the Governor and Mrs. Gawler issued cards to a number of the principal colonists and personal friends of Mr. Eyre, to meet him at Government House on the morning of his departure. On Thursday last accordingly (the anniversary of Waterloo, in which His Excellency and the gallant 52nd bore so conspicuous a part) a very large party of ladies and gentlemen assembled. After an elegant DEJEUNER A LA FOURCHETTE, His Excellency the Governor rose and spoke as nearly as we could collect, as follows:—

“We are assembled to promote one of the most important undertakings that remain to be accomplished on the face of the globe—the discovery of the interior of Australia. As Captain Sturt in substance remarked in a recent lecture, of the five great divisions of the earth, Europe is well known; Asia and America have been generally searched out; the portion that remains to be known of Africa is generally unfavourable for Europeans, and probably unfit for colonization; but Australia, our great island continent, with a most favourable climate, still remains unpenetrated, mysterious, and unknown. Without doing injustice to the enterprising attempts of Oxley, Sturt, and Mitchell, I must remark that they were commenced from a very unfavourable point—from the eastern and almost south–eastern extremity of the island—and consequently the great interior still remains untouched by them, the south–eastern corner alone having been investigated. As Captain Sturt some years since declared, this Province is the point from which expeditions to the deep interior should set out. This principle, I know, has been acknowledged by scientific men in Europe; and it is most gratifying to see the spirit with which our Colonists on the present occasion have answered to the claim which their position imposes upon them. Mr. Eyre goes forth this day, to endeavour to plant the British flag—the flag which in the whole world has “braved for a thousand years the battle and the breeze”—on the tropic of Capricorn (as nearly as possible in 135 degrees or 136 degrees of longitude) in the very centre of our island continent. On this day twenty–five years since, commencing almost at this very hour, the British flag braved indeed the battle, and at length floated triumphant in victory on the field of Waterloo. May a similar glorious success attend the present undertaking! Mr. Eyre goes forth to brave a battle of a different kind, but which in the whole, may present dangers equal to those of Waterloo. May triumph crown his efforts, and may the British flag, planted by him in the centre of Australia, wave for another thousand years over the pence and prosperity of the mighty population which immigration is pouring in upon us! Of the immediate results of his journey, no one, indeed, can at present form a solid conjecture. Looking to the dark side, he may traverse a country useless to man; but contemplating the bright side, and remembering that but a few years since Sturt, setting off on an equally mysterious course, laid the foundation for the large community in which we dwell, it is in reason to hope that Mr. Eyre will discover a country which may derive support from us, and increase the prosperity of our Province. I must express my gratification at the manner in which this enterprise, noble, let its results be what they may, has been supported by our colonists at large. It is a greater honor to be at the head of the government of a colony of enlightened and enterprising men, than at that of an empire of enslaved and ignorant beings in the form of men. I count it so. May the zeal which has been exhibited in the colony in the promotion of every good and useful work ever continue. Some ladies of Adelaide have worked a British Union Jack for Mr. Eyre. Captain Sturt will be their representative to present it to him. After that we will adjourn to the opposite rooms to invoke a blessing on the enterprise. All here, and I believe the whole colony, give to Mr. Eyre their best wishes, but to good wishes right–minded men always add fervent prayers. There is an Almighty invisible Being in whose hands are all events—man may propose, but it is for God only to dispose—let us therefore implore his protection.”