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[May 12 1793]

Sydney-Cove, Port-Jackson, New-South-Wales, May 12th, 1793. MY EVER REVERED AUNT,

EMBRACING the opportunity of a returning vessel, I would waft you, from this place, a second testimonial of my insuperable attachment and remembance. My first letter per the Atlantic, I hope you have received before; but should it be otherwise, after speaking to the present state of my mind, I shall hastily recapitulate its principal contents.

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In my saddest hours, and God knows there are many of them, I have observed you are then most busy with my memory. Melancholy's sombre shadow louring over my soul, endears the fleeting moment by impelling me to write to you. Indeed, it is solely owing to this despondent state of mind, that ought I have produced for those last four years proceeds. When this gloom frowns dreadful over the vista of my being, I but too much indulge the dreary prospect — exploring the wide domain of adversity terminated only by the impending darkness;— hence it is, that whatever flows from my pen, or is laboured by my pencil, affects, in some degree, the tone of mind that possess me at the period of its production.

Recurring now to my former letter:— it informed that I had wrote you from Rio de Janeiro; that I had escaped at the Cape of Good-Hope, where I was betrayed by the mercenary Dutch, and remanded to captivity; whence, after seven months of imprisonment, the Royal Admiral E. Indiaman landed me here; where the pur-blind jurisprudence of a Scottish tribunal, doubtless, first intended me.

To lead you through the labyrinth of all my sufferings, from the 28th of December, 1791, down to the present period, is a thing utterly impossible; neither is it my duty to harrow up your feelings by the attempt. — It better becomes me to soothe those sorrows that vague report in the public prints has most likely excited, than to give an additional stab to so valued a life — a life I have already, though innocently, almost extinguished.

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Yet not to pass over all too rapid; and to shew how dear you were to me in my most prosperous state, take the subsequent specimen intended for you, when I deemed myself a favored denizen of heaven — breathing a few hours of inestimable liberty.