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of its Topography, Natural History, &c. &c. By P.
sons. By Thomas M-Crit, D.D.
ART. I.-Two Years in New South Wales; a Series of Letters,
comprising Sketches of the actual State of Society in that Colony; of its peculiar Advantages to Emigrants ; of its Topography, Natural History, &c., &c. By P. Cunningham, Sur
geon, R.N. 2 vols. 12mo. London. 1827. THE days are gone by when an author, to beget the serious
attention of his readers, deemed it a matter of indispensable necessity to procure the meretricious aid of " laudatory epistles,' or commendatory verses,' from his very good friends and patrons. All that an author of the present time feels himself called on to do, is to state, in a brief preface, his claims to be considered competent to the task he has undertaken. Mr.P. Cunningham has modestly and satisfactorily acquitted himself of this duty: he has, it seems, made no less than four voyages to New South Wales, as surgeon-superintendant of convict ships, in which were transported upwards of six hundred convicts of both sexes,—whom he saw landed at Sydney without the loss of one single individual ;a fact of itself quite sufficient to attest his judgment and ability in the treatment and management of a set of beings not easily kept in order. He has besides resided two years, at occasional intervals, in the colony, and has travelled over a considerable portion of it; he has enjoyed, he tells us, the society of the most thriving and respectable inhabitants of Sydney ;-and, lastly, he has had the fortune to be brought into contact, in a variety of ways, with the aboriginal natives.
With such opportunities of acquiring knowledge, and the talent of observation which he obviously possesses, it would have been difficult for Mr. Cunningham to produce any other than an amusing and instructive book.
We do not pretend to say that the perusal of his performance has added much to the knowledge of this colony which we had previously obtained from Commissioner Bigge's reports, and Wentworthi's recent volumes; but the information is conveyed in a more agreeable manner than in either of those collections, and in somewhat better taste than the latter of these gentlemen has thought proper to adopt:—not that we think there is much to be said in favour of Mr. Cunningham's style, which constantly sins against good taste and the sober march of narrative, by the too frequent
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