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Robert Kerr (writer)
This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 630 pages of information about A General History and Collection of Voyages and Travels Volume 15.

The vocabularies of the Friendly and Sandwich Islands, and of the natives of Nootka, had been furnished to Captain Cook, by his most useful associate in the voyage, Mr Anderson; and a fourth, in which the language of the Esquimaux is compared with that of the Americans on the opposite side of the continent, had been prepared by the captain himself.  But the comparative Table of Numerals was very obligingly drawn up, at the request of the editor, by Mr Bryant, who, in his study, followed Captain Cook, and, indeed, every traveller and historian, of every age, into every part of the globe.  The public will consider this table as a very striking illustration of the wonderful migrations of a nation, about whom so much additional information has been gained by our voyages, and be ready to acknowledge it as a very useful communication.

One more communication remains to be not only acknowledged, but to be inserted at the close of this Introduction.  The testimonies of learned contemporaries, in commendation of a deceased author, are frequently displayed in the front of his book.  It is with the greatest propriety, therefore, that we prefix to this posthumous work of Captain Cook, the testimony of one of his own profession, not more distinguished by the elevation of rank, than by the dignity of private virtues.  As he wishes to remain concealed, perhaps this allusion, for which we entreat his indulgence, may have given too exact direction to the eyes of the public where to look for such a character.[66] Let us, however, rest satisfied with the intrinsic merit of a composition, conveyed under the injunction of secrecy; and conclude our long preliminary dissertation with expressing a wish, or rather a well-grounded hope, that this volume may not be the only place where posterity can meet with a monumental inscription, commemorative of a man, in recounting and applauding whose services, the whole of enlightened Europe will equally concur with Great Britain.

[Footnote 66:  This is understood to be spoken of the Honourable Admiral Forbes, Admiral of the Fleet, and General of the Marines, to whom, on the authority of Sir Hugh Palliser, the eulogium is ascribed in the Biog.  Brit.  He is said to have known Cook only by his eminent merit and extraordinary actions.  The testimony, therefore, is the more to be prized, as it cannot be charged with the partiality of friendship.—­E.]

TO THE MEMORY OF

CAPTAIN JAMES COOK,

The ablest and most renowned Navigator this or any other country hath produced.

He raised himself, solely by his merit, from a very obscure birth, to the rank of Post Captain in the royal navy, and was, unfortunately, killed by the savages of the island Owhyhee, on the 14th of February, 1779; which island he had, not long before, discovered, when prosecuting his third voyage round the globe.

He possessed, in an eminent degree, all the qualifications requisite for his profession and great undertakings; together with the amiable and worthy qualities of the best men.

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