I could no longer defer sending you the agreeable news of the arrival of
D[octo]r Solander and M[iste]r Banks, from their voyage round the World,[a][a] : MS. 1 the World [added above
the line] laden with Spoils, particularly of the Vegetable world, some few rare ones of the Animal Kingdom; but I don’t hear much of the mineral kingdom. They were all very healthy till they got to Batavia, where a violent fever carried off almost half their Ships crew. D[octo]r Solander has been very ill, but is now very well.
They have made great discoveries in Geography: the account of their Voyage will soon be publish’d, but as to their Natural History, I fear I shall not live to see it. They have sufficient for one thousand folio plates. They unfortunately lost both their painters, but the last died between Batavia and the Cape. So that most of their rarest things were drawn, but not completely finishd.
They are so very busy getting their things on shore, and seeing their Friends, after an absence of three years, that they have scarce time to tell us of any thing but the many narrow escapes they have had from imminent danger. I long to hear from you, and fear you have been ill, otherwise you would have wrote to me.
Be so good to inform D[octo]r Solander’s Friends of the Success he has had in returning safe after so many perils, Laden with the greatest treasure of natural History that ever was brought into any country at one time by 2 persons.
They came last from St. Helena, with 11 East India men, who have, I hear, brought a great many rare plants from China.
I hope D[octo]r Solander will write to you soon himself; I shall beg of him not to defer it.