Some particulars that are related in one voyage will perhaps appear to be repeated in another, as they would necessarily have been if the several commanders had written the account of their voyages themselves; for a digest could not have been made of the whole, without invading the right of each navigator to appropriate the relation of what he had seen: these repetitions, however, taken together, will be found to fill but a few pages of the book.
[Footnote 6: These repetitions have been studiously avoided in this work, wherever omission could be practised, or reference to different parts of the collection seemed unembarrassing.—E.]
That no doubt might remain of the fidelity with which I have related the events recorded in my materials, the manuscript account of each voyage was read to the respective commanders at the Admiralty, by the appointment of Lord Sandwich, who was himself present during much the greatest part of the time. The account of the voyage of the Endeavour was also read to Mr Banks and Dr Solander, in whose hands, as well as in those of Captain Cook, the manuscript was left for a considerable time after the reading. Commodore Byron also, Captain Wallis, and Captain Carteret, had the manuscripts of their respective voyages to peruse, after they had been read at the Admiralty in their presence, and such emendations as they suggested were made. In order thus to authenticate the voyage of Captain Cook, the account of it was first written, because it was expected when his journal was put into my hand, that he would have sailed on his second voyage in less than five months.
[Some paragraphs, containing reasons or apologies for certain minute specifications of courses, bearings, &c. &c. are here omitted, as unnecessary where the things themselves, to which objections were anticipated, are not given. Some cuts also alluded to are of course unsuitable to this work, and the references to them are in consequence left out. Dr Hawkesworth occupies the remainder of this introduction in discussing two subjects, about which it is thought unadvisable to take up the reader’s attention at present—the controversy respecting the existence of giants in Patagonia, asserted by Byron, Wallis, and Carteret; and the justifiableness of attempting discoveries, where, in prosecution of them, the lives of human beings in a savage state are of necessity sacrificed.]
* * * * *
An account of A voyage round the world, in the years 1764, 1765, and 1766, by the honourable commodore Byron, in his majesty’s ship the Dolphin.
The Passage from the Downs to Rio de Janeiro.
[The longitude in this voyage is reckoned from the meridian of London, west to 180 degrees, and east afterwards.]