No apology, it is presumed, need be given, for the insertion of so able a specimen of philosophical discernment, and judicious reasoning. Few men have exhibited happier talents for this department of literature, than the younger Forster; and it is perhaps the more generous to yield him this commendation now, as his merit has hitherto been almost totally immersed in the celebrity of greater names. His work is glaringly superior, in perhaps every particular, to the compilation of Dr Hawkesworth; and the writer for one, would feel ashamed of himself, if he had not courage to avow his opinion, that it manifests greater excellencies than Cook’s own relation, for which, indeed, it would be easy to specify many reasons. This comparison, it may be said, is invidious, the two men being so differently constituted, as to habits and education, and having such different objects in view in their undertakings, as to imply legitimate and specific dissimilarity. Be it so, in the main. But how is justice to be done them unless by comparison? As navigator and naturalist, they have few or no common features, and cannot, therefore, be confronted; but as authors describing the manners and appearances of distant and singular people, and relating occurrences and transactions common to both, they have only one sort of character, which will and ought to be judged of by the public, according to the same standard.—E.
Passage from Amsterdam to Queen Charlotte’s Sound, with an Account of an Interview with the Inhabitants, and the final Separation of the two Ships .
About the time we were in a condition to make sail, a canoe, conducted by four men, came along-side, with one of those drums already mentioned, on which one man kept continually beating; thinking, no doubt, the music would charm us. I gave them a piece of cloth and a nail, for the drum; and took an opportunity to send to my friend Attago some wheat, pease, and beans, which I had forgot to give him when he had the other seeds. As soon as this canoe was gone, we made sail to the southward, having a gentle gale at S.E. by E.; it being my intention to proceed directly to Queen Charlotte’s Sound in New Zealand, there to take in wood and water, and then to go on farther discoveries to the south and east.