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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 (16 of 41) (FLI25) Page 2

daring, the subject, or the succeƒs with which his bold attempt
was crowned. Eve in innocence, shewed me the excellence of my
beloved wife; and think not Ann, my dearest, but that in
innocence we yet remain. With ourselves it rests to keep or mar
the excellence which the Great Omnipotent has given us. — Eve
fallen, pourtrayed [sic] to me the consequences of thy lapse from love
and faith: — then bitter remorse, diƒsimulation, accusation and
reproach, and final seperation; — dreadful! dreadful con-
-sequence of womans fall from innocence and truth. This is
indeed to fall, and render just the heavy curse, which else suits
not with common right, how much leƒs then with mercy. But
in thee I have more faith than Adam had when he, complying
with Eve's request of seperation in their labours, said, go
thou best, last gift of God, "go in thy native innocence". But
how much dearer art thou here than our first mother! — our
seperation [sic] was not sought by thee, — reverse! thou borest
it as the vine whose twining arms when torn from round
the elm lie prostrate, broken; — life scarcely left enough
to keep the withering leaf from falling off. — What — if but
the smallest tendril of this vine fall near another tree, will
it not soon, with renovated life, creep up this other elm, and
cling with scarce leƒs fastneƒs than it did before? — Ah me!
how will the first support and comfort of this vine, torn from
its arms by strongest force — neceƒsity, alas how strong! — this
elm, returned from finishing the great behests of him that sent
it; — its strength, its foliage, decayed in part by climate and
by time, but promising itself fresh leaves, and youth, and hap-
-pineƒs, from second junction with its dearest vine, — how
could it, thus bereft and disappointed, keep its head above the
humid earth? To it its sap would soon descend, and moul-
-dering decay, begun at heart, would lay its withered trunk
soon prostrate.
    There's misery in this picture, and not truth; I'll therefore
quit it, and be stedfast [sic], as till now, in firm aƒsurance of
thy love and truth.

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