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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 Chappelle (6 of 41) (FLI25) Page 2

life; but I will now endeavour to try what life is without it.
Thou askest a very serious question, and which requires
a direct answer. "Is there a poƒsibility of our living together?"
Yes, my dearest Annette, there is a poƒsibility, but a distant
one. Thy interest, and what I take to be the rule of right and
wrong, forbid me to ask thee to keep it in view. So my
friend — seize happineƒs as soon as it presents itself. Think
not on me. I have ten-thousand difficulties and dangers to
encounter. I have undertaken an Herculean labour, which
if I pay proper attention to, will keep thy memory from
often rising into view. Thou art deeply engraven on the
bottom of my heart; but I must keep thee down, or the requi-
-site energy will fly from me, and leave me to disgrace.
So well am I satisfied of the instability of human nature,
that notwithstanding I love thee above everything, yet will I
not answer that it shall be so after five years of such a life
as I am likely to lead. Place no dependence on me. I think
Annette, that I should almost be glad to see thee happy, even
in the arms of another, in five years hence. Now, I have
not sufficient friendship for thee to bear it.
Thou art surprised, my dear Annette, to hear me talk upon
love with composure! Hadst thou given me any encourage-
ment, I would have roused up the subject of our correspon-
dence from its beginning — have given thee every explanation
— traced the rise of our sentiments, — and indeed thou shouldst
have had candour [sic] from me. Thy silence distreƒsed me
then from one cause, but now the reflection of it distreƒses
me from an opposite one.

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Chappelle (Flinders), Ann
Tyler, (Reverend) William
Flinders, Matthew



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