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The Flinders papersletters and documents about the explorer Matthew Flinders (1774-1814)
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FLI/11 Matthew Flinders' biographical tribute to his cat Trim 1809 (FLI11) Page 8

sistance, Trim preferred following his master on board the Minikin schooner, to going with the rest of the ship's company to China in a large vessel, giving thereby a memorable example of faithful attachment. The Minikin being very leaky, was obliged to stop at the Isle of France; and there poor Trim, his master and a few followers were all made prisoners; under the pretext that they had come to spy out the nakedness of the land; though it was clear as day, that they knew nothing of the war that had taken place a few months before. Trim was confined in a room with his master and another officer, and ^ as he possessed more philosophy than ^ we did, he contributed by his gay humour to soften our strait captivity; but sometimes also he contrived to elude the vigilance of the sentinel at the door, and left to make little temporary excursions in the neighbourhood. It is probable that he made some new secret acquaintances in these visits, for they became more frequent than was prudent; and for ^ fear of accident, we were obliged to shut him up after supper.
      On our being removed to the Maison Despeaux amongst the prisoners of war, a French lady offered to be Trim's security, in order to have him for a companion to her little daughter; and the fear of some clandestine proceedings on the part of the soldiers of the guard, induced me to comply, on finding it would give no umbrage to His Excellency the French governor and captain-general. A fortnight had scarcely passed, when the public gazette of the island announced that he was no where to be found; and offered a reward of ten Spanish dollars to any one who would conduct him back to his afflicted little mistress. My sorrow may be better conceived than described; I would with pleasure have given fifty dollars to have had my friend and companion restored to me. All research and offers of recompense were in vain, poor Trim was effectually lost; and it is but too probable, that this excellent unsuspecting animal was stewed and eaten by some hungry black slave, in whose eyes all his merits could not balance against the avidity excited by his sleek body and fine furred skin.
      Thus perished my faithful intelligent Trim! The, sporting, affectionate, and useful companion of my voyages during four years. Never, my Trim, "to take thee all in all, shall I see thy like again"; but never wilt thou cease to be regretted by all who had the pleasure of knowing thee. And for thy affectionate master and friend, – he promises thee, if ever he shall have the happiness to enjoy repose in his native country, under a thatched cottage surrounded by half an acre of land, to erect in the most retired corner, a monument to perpetuate the memory and record thy uncommon merits. And this shall be thy epitaph.

                    To the memory of
        the best and most illustrious of his Race, –
            the most affectionate of friends, –
                  faithful of servants,
              and best of creatures.
  He made the Tour of the Globe, and a voyage to
    which he circumnavigated; and was ever the
    delight and pleasure of his fellow voyagers.
  Returning to Europe in 1803, he was shipwrecked
          in the Great Equinoxial Ocean;
  This danger escaped, he sought refuge and assistance
            at the Isle of France, where
      he was made prisoner, contrary to the laws of
            Justice, of Humanity, and of
              French National Faith;
    and where, alas! he terminated his useful career,
  by an untimely death, being devoured by the Catophagi of
                      that island.
  Many a time have I beheld his little merriments with delight,
      and his superior intelligence with surprise:
          Never will his like be seen again!
  Trim was born in the Southern Indian Ocean, in the year 1799,
        and perished as above at the Isle of France
                        in 1804.

              Peace be to his shade, and
                Honour to his memory

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De Caen, Charles Mathieu Isadore
Flinders family
Flinders, Matthew

Cape of Good Hope
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Ile de France (Mauritius)
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Wreck Reef


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