Cool and deliberate in judging; sagacious in determining; active in executing; steady and persevering in enterprising vigilance and unremitting caution; unsubdued by labour, difficulties, and disappointments; fertile in expedients; never wanting presence of mind; always possessing himself, and the full use of a sound understanding.
Mild, just, but exact in discipline: He was a father to his people, who were attached to him from affection, and obedient from confidence.
His knowledge, his experience, his sagacity, rendered him so entirely master of his subject, that the greatest obstacles were surmounted, and the most dangerous navigations became easy, and almost safe, under his direction.
He explored the southern hemisphere to a much higher latitude than had ever been reached, and with fewer accidents than frequently befal those who navigate the coasts of this island.
By his benevolent and unabating attention to the welfare of his ship’s company, he discovered and introduced a system for the preservation of the health of seamen in long voyages, which has proved wonderfully efficacious; for in his second voyage round the world, which continued upwards of three years, he lost only one man by distemper, of one hundred and eighteen, of which his company consisted.
The death of this eminent and valuable man was a loss to mankind in general; and particularly to be deplored by every nation that respects useful accomplishments, that honours science, and loves the benevolent and amiable affections of the heart. It is still more to be deplored by this country, which may justly boast of having produced a man hitherto unequalled for nautical talents; and that sorrow is farther aggravated by the reflection, that his country was deprived of this ornament by the enmity of a people, from whom, indeed, it might have been dreaded, but from whom it was not deserved. For, actuated always by the most attentive care and tender compassion for the savages in general, this excellent man was ever assiduously endeavouring, by kind treatment, to dissipate their fears, and court their friendship; overlooking their thefts and treacheries, and frequently interposing, at the hazard of his life, to protect them from the sudden resentment of his own injured people.
The object of his last mission was to discover and ascertain the boundaries of Asia and America, and to penetrate into the northern ocean by the north-east Cape of Asia.
Traveller! contemplate, admire, revere, and emulate this great master in his profession; whose skill and labours have enlarged natural philosophy; have extended nautical science; and have disclosed the long-concealed and admirable arrangements of the Almighty in the formation of this globe, and, at the same time, the arrogance of mortals, in presuming to account, by their speculations, for the laws by which he was pleased to create it. It is now discovered, beyond all doubt, that the same Great Being who created the universe by his fiat, by the same ordained our earth to keep a just poise, without a corresponding southern continent—and it does so! “He stretches out the north over the empty place, and hangeth the earth upon nothing.”—Job, xxvi. 7.