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Voyages in the Southern Hemisphere, Vols. II - IIIVoyaging Accounts
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Introduction (continued)

Mr. Banks kept an accurate and circumstantial journal of the voyage, and, soon after I had received that of Captain Cook from the Admiralty, was so obliging as to put it into my hands, with permission to take out of it whatever I thought would improve or embellish the narrative. This was an offer of which I gladly and thankfully accepted: I knew the advantage would be great, for few philosophers have furnished materials for accounts of voyages undertaken to discover new countries. The adventurers in such expeditions have generally looked only upon the great outline of Nature, without attending to the variety of shades within, which give life and beauty to the piece.

The papers of Captain Cook contained a very particular account of all the nautical incidents of the voyage, and a very minute description of the figure and extent of the countries he had visited, with the bearings of the headlands and bays that diversify the coasts, the situation of the harbours in which shipping may obtain refreshments, with the depth of water wherever there were soundings; the latitudes, longitudes, variation of the needle, and such other particulars as lay in his department; and abundantly shewed him to be an excellent officer, and skilful navigator.

But in the papers which were communicated to me by Mr. Banks, I found a great variety of incidents which had not come under the notice of Captain Cook, with descriptions of countries and people, their productions, manners, customs, religion, policy, and language, much more full and particular than were expected from a Gentleman whose station and office naturally turned his principal attention to other objects; for these particulars, therefore, besides many practical observations, the Public is indebted to Mr. Banks. To Mr. Banks also the Public is indebted for the designs of the engravings which illusstrate and adorn the account of this voyage, all of them, except the maps, charts, and views of the coasts as they appear at sea, being copied from his valuable drawings, and some of them from such as were made for the use of the artists at his expence.

As the materials furnished by Mr. Banks were so interesting and copious, there arose an objection against writing an account of this voyage in the person of the Commander, which could have no place with respect to the others; the descriptions and observations of Mr. Banks would be absorbed without any distinction, in a general narrative given under another name: but this objection he generously over-ruled, and it therefore became necessary to give some account of the obligations which he has laid upon the Public and myself in this place. It is indeed fortunate for mankind, when wealth and science, and a strong inclination to exert the powers of both for purposes of public benefit, unite in the same person; and I cannot but congratulate my country upon the prospect of further pleasure and advantage from the same Gentleman, to whom we are indebted for so considerable a part of this narrative.


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© Derived from Vols. II-III of the London 1773 edition: National Library of Australia call no. FERG 7243,, 2004
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