Page:The life of Matthew Flinders.djvu/93

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62
LIFE OF MATTHEW FLINDERS

feeling of respect for the writer, so simple-minded, so kind-hearted, such a brave old sailor of his time—rough, no doubt, in manners and language, but with an earnest and genuine piety that shows itself from time to time in little ejaculations and prayers, contrasting, it must be owned, rather strongly with the terms in which the 'rascally Yankies' are alluded to in the same pages." What Howe thought of him is recorded in a letter which he sent to the Rear-Admiral a fortnight after the battle, regretting that "the services of a friend he so highly esteemed and so gallant an officer, capable of such spirited exertions, should be restrained by any disaster from the continued exertion of them." There is also on record a letter to Pasley from the Prime Minister, a model of grace and delicate feeling, in which Pitt signified that the King had conferred on him a baronetcy "as a mark of the sense which His Majesty entertains of the distinguished share which you bore in the late successful and glorious operations of His Majesty's fleet," and assured him "of the sincere satisfaction which I personally feel in executing this commission."

On the south-western coast of Australia, eight years later, Flinders remembered his first commander when naming the natural features of the country. Cape Pasley, at the western tip of the arc of the great Australian Bight, celebrates "the late Admiral Sir Thomas Pasley, under whom I had the honour of entering the naval service."[1] On some current maps of Australia the cape is spelt "Paisley," an error which obscures the interesting biographical fact with which the name is connected.

It is noteworthy that though the career of Flinders as a naval officer covers the stormiest period in British

  1. Flinders, Voyage to Terra Australis I., 87.