Page:The life of Matthew Flinders.djvu/371

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the botanist,[1] and Bauer, the botanical draftsman. desired to remain in Port Jackson to pursue their scientific work, but Westall accompanied Flinders, who with twenty-one of the remainder of the Investigator's company, embarked on the Porpoise. She sailed on August 10th, in company with the East India Company's ship Bridgewater and the Cato, of London, both bound for Batavia. It was intended to go north, and through Torres Strait, in order that further observations might be made there; and Fowler was ordered to proceed "by the route Captain Flinders may indicate." Had not Flinders been so eager to take advantage of this as of every other opportunity to prosecute his researches—had he sailed by the Bass Strait and Cape of Good Hope route—the misfortunes that were soon to come upon him would have been averted. But he deliberately chose the Torres Strait course, not only because he considered that a quick passage could be made at that season of the year, but chiefly for the reason that "it will furnish me with a second opportunity of assuring myself whether that Strait can or cannot become a safe general passage for ships from the Pacific into the Indian Ocean."

He was destined to see once again the settlement at Sydney, whence had radiated the series of his valuable and unsparing researches; but on the next and final occasion he was "caught in the clutch of circumstance."

  1. Brown, in the preface to his Prodromus (which, being intended for the elect, was written in Latin), made but one allusion to the discovery voyage whereby his botanical researches became possible. Dealing with the parts of Australia where he had collected his specimens, he spoke of the south coast, "Oram meridionalem Novae Hollandiæ, a promontorio Lewin ad promontorium Wilson in Freto Bass, complectentem Lewin's Land, Nuyt's Land et littora Orientem versus, a Navarcho Flinders in expeditione cui adjunctus fui, primum explorata, et paulo post a navigantibus Gallicis visa: insulis adjacentibus inclusis."