“I must beg you to present my warmest and most affectionate compliments to Dr. Solander, and assure him I leave the world replete with the most social ideas for his much-esteemed and ever-respected friendship.
“I must beg leave to recommend to your notice Mr. Will. Ellis, one of the surgeon’s mates, who will furnish you with some drawings and accounts of the various birds which will come to your possession. He has been very useful to me in your service in that particular, and is, I believe, a very worthy young man, and, I hope, will prove worthy of any services that may be in your way to confer upon him.
“The two clerks of the two ships, Mr. W. Dewar and Mr. Greg Santham, have, I believe, been very honest servants in their stations, and having by Captain Cook’s (and very soon by my death) lost those to whom they looked up to for protection, are, I fear, destitute of friends. If it should be in your power to render them any services, I flatter myself they will be worthy of such attention.
“If I should recollect
anything more to say to you, I will
trouble my friend Mr. King with it, who is so kind as to be my
amanuensis on this occasion. He is my very dear and particular
friend, and I will make no apology in recommending him to a share
in your friends ship [sic: friendship], as I am perfectly assured
of his being
deserving of it, as in that also of the worthy doctors.
“Now, my dear and honoured friend, I must bid you a final adieu. May you enjoy many happy years in this world, and in the end attain that fame your indefatigable industry so richly deserves. These are most sincerely the warmest and sincerest wishes of your devoted, affectionate, and departing servant,
It will take nothing from the fame of Cook to call his connection with the discovery of Australia an accident. He himself says that, having circumnavigated New Zealand, “we intended to return home by the Cape of Good Hope or by Cape Horn to determine the question of a southern continent,” but the season of the year was against this course, and “we ultimately resolved to return by the East Indies. With this in view, we resolved to steer west till we should fall in with the coast of New Holland, and then follow that coast to the north till we should arrive at its northern extremity.”
Having adopted this course and having reached the coast, Cook made the very best use of his time, and surveyed it as probably no other man then living would have done, but that he did so is unquestionably due to the fact that the season did not admit of the old regulation pursuit of explorers—the search for the solution of the southern continent problem.