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The Endeavour Journal of Joseph Banks 1768–1771 [Volume Two]

10. Sydney Parkinson to Mrs Gomeldon

10. Sydney Parkinson to Mrs Gomeldon

[Parkinson's Journal, p.I of four additional pages bound up in some copies only of the book.]

Batavia, October 16, 1770.

My dear cousin,

Fain would I have excused myself from writing, could I have found any excuse, I am so hurried and fluttered about here; but, when I considered what a pleasure it would give thee to hear of our safe arrival here, I thought it would be unjust to withhold it. I therefore proceed to tell thee, that we arrived safe at Rio de Janeiro, where we were but indifferently treated, and then went to Terra del Fuego, where we staid a week; went round Cape Horn as easy as if it had been the North-Foreland, and so through the South-Seas to George's Island, where we staid three months. Were I to enter even into general things, I should not finish I do not know when: but these things will serve for many discourses. From Otaheite, or George's Island, we went to some other islands, and from thence to New-Zealand, which we circumnavigated in six months. We ran upon a rock on the coast of New-Holland, and should inevitably have all perished, had not the kind providence of God interposed in our favour. We had many hair-breadth escapes on this coast, which is so dangerous, that I am of opinion our account of it will deter any from going that way again. I have spared no pains, during the voyage, to pick up every thing that is curious for thee; and I flatter myself that I shall make a considerable addition to thy museum. In most things we have been very successful, and have made great discoveries. We shall stay here about two months, to refit; so that thou mayest expect me home about the month of June next; at which time I hope to have the pleasure of seeing or hearing from thee. Till then I remain

Thy obliged friend,

Sydney Parkinson

To Mrs. Gomeldon.