Strange it must appear that the account of perhaps the most celebrated and, certainly to the English nation, the most momentous voyage of discovery that has ever taken place--for it practically gave birth to the great Australasian Colonies--has never before been given to the world in the very words of its great leader. It has fallen out in this wise.
After the return of the Endeavour it was decided that a full and comprehensive account of the voyage should be compiled. COOK'S JOURNAL dealt with matters from the point of view of the seaman, the explorer, and the head of the expedition, responsible for life, and for its general success. The Journals of Mr. Banks and Dr. Solander looked from the scientific side on all that presented itself to their enthusiastic observation.
What could be better than to combine these accounts, and make up a complete narrative from them all?
The result, however, according to our nineteenth-century ideas, was not altogether happy. Dr. Hawkesworth, into whose hands the Journals were put, not only interspersed reflections of his own, but managed to impose his own ponderous style upon many of the extracts from the united Journals; and, moreover, as they are all jumbled together, the whole being put into Cook's mouth, it is impossible to know whether we are reading Cook, Banks, Solander, or Hawkesworth himself.