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The Flinders papersletters and documents about the explorer Matthew Flinders (1774-1814)
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Letter from Matthew Flinders to Ann Flinders (31 of 41) (FLI25) Page 2

that he has told me nothing, is no proof that nothing has been received. Should this hope not
prove, like all those which I have hitherto entertained, to be a mere phantom, I may depart in
the French cartel for the Cape, by which this is sent; and which is to sail on the 8th of this month:
all the prisoners have received orders to be ready to embark on the 5th . This interval of three days
without any apparent reason for it, has excited my suspicion, that it may be intended to call me
to the port town, so soon as they shall have quitted it, and to give me the three days to arrange
my affairs. But alas! I fear to indulge so pleasing a hope, having been cruelly deceived so
often before, when appearances were much more promising. The arrival of this letter will be
information to thee, that the cartel has sailed without me.
      A French frigate, la Canonniàre, let to the merchants, is to sail for France
armée en flute, in the month of October; but if no order should arrive before that time, and it
is not the season for arrivals, I cannot hope to be sent in her. Every thing continues to demon-
strate the captain-general's intention to keep me here so long as he can, by any possible means or
pretexts. It is an animosity, which is extraordinary both from its cause and its long duration.
Unfortunately, history furnishes some examples which shew it to be a principle in human nature
to forgive injuries done to us, much sooner than those we have done to others; and the greater have been
the injuries, the greater and more durable is the animosity.
      Thou wilt conceive, that on receiving information that a cartel was to go to the
Cape, and the Canonniàre to France, how desirous I must have been to know, whether there was
any intention of suffering me to quit the island by one or the other opportunity. I knew that no re-
quest or representation of mine could obtain for me this information, and I tried other means:
I wrote a letter, of which the inclosed is a copy. If the subject of it was granted, I should know that
no order had been received, and that there was no intention of letting me go: Was it refused, the
reasons that might be given for the refusal would be some, perhaps much information to me: Were
no reasons given, I should judge that it was intended to send me by one or the other occasion, if no-
thing in the wording of the letter contradicted it. What I most feared was, that no answer whatever
would be given, and this has taken place. One small hope, however, remains: If I am to go in the
cartel, I may have an answer on the fifth, when the other prisoners shall be embarked. I should
much wish to tell thee the result of this affair; but on the 5th it will be too late, most probably,
to write to thee by the cartel.
      I enjoy tolerably good health, my love, in the midst of all the agitations,
vexations, and disappointments which I have so long had to bear; but which I hope will not
continue many months longer. A project, of which I have before given some hints, approaches
its term of execution; but as it does not depend wholly upon me, it is doubtful. I continue
to remain in the same friendly family and estimable family of Madame D'Arifat, where

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Related people
Chappelle (Flinders), Ann
Fleurieu, Charles Pierre Claret, Comte de
Bougainville, Louis Antoine, Comte de
Bergeret, (Captain)
Baudin, Charles
Baudin, Nicolas
Bonaparte (Buonaparte), Napoléon.
De Caen, Charles Mathieu Isadore
Flinders, Matthew
Flinders family
Monistrol, (Colonel)
Riviere, Viscount de

Ile de France (Mauritius)
Cape of Good Hope

La Semillante
Piedmontaise (Piémontaise)

Words and phrases

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