Page:The life of Matthew Flinders.djvu/365

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had referred to being debilitated in health, "and I fear in constitution"; and in this one he mentions that he, like the ship's cat, Trim, was becoming grey. Such hard unsparing service as he had given was writing its tale on his form and features, and there were worse trials to come: "Mr. Fowler is tolerably well and my brother is also well; he is becoming more steady, and is more friendly and affectionate with me since his knowledge of our mutual loss. Mr. Brown is recovering from ill health and lameness. Mr. Bauer, your favourite, is still polite and gentle. Mr. Westall wants prudence, or rather experience, but is good-natured. The two last are well, and have always remained on good terms with me. Mr. Bell[1] is misanthropic and pleases nobody. Elder[2] continues to be faithful and attentive as before; I like him, and he apparently likes me. Whitewood I have made a master's mate, and he behaves well. Charrington is become boatswain, and Jack Wood is now my coxswain. Trim, like his master, is becoming grey; he is at present fat and frisky, and takes meat from our forks with his former dexterity. He is commonly my bedfellow. The master we have in poor Thistle's place[3] is an easy, good-natured man." In another letter to his wife[4] he tells her: "Thou wouldst have been situated as comfortably here as I hoped and told thee. Two better or more agreeable women than Mrs. King and Mrs. Paterson are not easily found. These would have been thy constant friends, and for visiting acquaintances there are five or six ladies very agreeable for short periods and perhaps longer."

In a previous chapter it was remarked that Flinders and Bass did not meet again after their separation following on the Norfolk voyage. Bass was not in

  1. The surgeon.
  2. Flinders' servant.
  3. John Aken.
  4. Flinders' Papers.