And here it seems to be incumbent upon us to add, as another instance of munificent attention, that care was taken to mark, in the most significant manner, the just sense entertained of the human and liberal relief afforded to our ships in Kamtachatka. Colonel Behm, the commandant of that province, was not rewarded merely by the pleasure which a benevolent mind feels in reflecting upon the blessings it confers, but also thanked in a manner equally consistent with the dignity of his own sovereign and of ours, to whose subjects he extended protection. A magnificent piece of plate was presented to him, with an inscription, worthy of a place in the same book where the history of his humanity to our countrymen is recorded, and which, while it does honour to our national gratitude, deserves also to be preserved as a monument of our national taste for elegant composition. It is as follows:
VIRO EGREGIO MAGNO DE BEHM; qui, Imperatricis Augustissimae Catherinae auspiciis, summaque animi benignitate, saeva, quibus praeerat, Kamtschatkae littora, navibus nautisque Britannicis, hospita praebuit; eosque, in terminis, si qui essent Imperio Russico, frustra explorandis, mula multa perpessos, iterata vice excepit, refecit, recreavit, et commeatu omni cumulate auctos dimisit_; REI NAVALIS BRITANNICAE SEPTEMVIRI in aliquam benevolentiae tam insignis memoriam, amicissimo, gratissimoque animo, suo, patriaeque nomine, D.D.D. MDCCLXXXI.
This testimony of public gratitude, reminds the editor that there are similar calls upon himself. He owes much to Captain King for his advice and direction, in a variety of instances, where Captain Cook’s journal required explanation; for filling up several blanks with the proper longitude and latitude; and for supplying deficiencies in the tables of astronomical observations.
Lieutenant Roberts was also frequently consulted, and was always found to be a ready and effectual assistant, when any nautical difficulties were to be cleared up.
But particular obligations are due to Mr Wales, who, besides his valuable communications for this Introduction, seconded most liberally the editor’s views of serving Mrs Cook, by cheerfully taking upon himself the whole trouble of digesting, from the log-books, the tables of the route of the ships, which add so greatly to the utility of this publication.
Mr Wegg, besides sharing in the thanks so justly due to the committee of the Hudson’s Bay Company, for their unreserved communications, was particularly obliging to the editor, by giving him repeated opportunities of conversing with Governor Hearne and Captain Christopher.
The Honourable Mr Daines Barrington had the goodness to interest himself, with his usual zeal for every work of public utility, in procuring some necessary information, and suggesting some valuable hints, which were adopted.
It would be great injustice not to express acknowledgements to Mr Pennant, who, besides enriching the third volume with references to his Arctic Zoology, the publication of which is an important accession to natural history, also communicated some very authentic and satisfactory manuscript accounts of the Russian discoveries.