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The Flinders papersletters and documents about the explorer Matthew Flinders (1774-1814)
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Loose pages from Flinders' private letterbook (3 of 6). To Christopher Smith 1800. (FLI04) Page 3

desireable. The thing is my dear friend, I am tired of serving for
a pittance, and as it were living from hand to mouth, whilst others
with no better claim are making hundreds and thousands. The exam-
-ples which have occurred in this place have opened my eyes a little
to my own intrest [sic]; and besides, I want to be my own master, and not
to be subject to the caprices of whomsoever the Lords above may
please to set over me. You must have learnt and seen some of these
things as well as myself. Between ourselves, I have some hopes
that my relations in England will advance me two or three thou-
-sand pounds to forward my mercantile plans, which if they
do (and they are perfectly able to do it), and moderate succeƒs
should attend me, a few years will probably see me independent
of the world.
        You may judge from all this, my dear friend, that I am no bi-
-got to the naval service; the truth is, I am no bigot to any.
The honour of being an honest man and ranked as a gentleman,
is sufficient for me. I look round the world, – consider every
port from Cape Horn to the North Cape, – from the sultry
regions of Ceylon to the bleak harbours of the N.W. of America
and consider what mart they afford for each others commodi-
-ties. I know some little of these things and wish to know a great
deal more. You are in a situation to learn a good deal if you think
it proper to pay attention to it; nay you are in a situation to pro-
-fit by that knowledge; you have the command of some money
and are, I should suppose, in the midst of opportunities. As I sincerely
believe you wish me well, I make no scruple to ask for any in-
-formation you can get, and to point out any opening that may
be suited to my capacity; to correct your ideas of which, I shall
only say, that six years experience is added to my stock since
we were together, and I am not grown much more idle since that;
but then one half of that e time has been employed in gaining in-
-formation which does not apply directly to the point in question,
but will collatterally [sic] some way or other. And here ends this subject
      On inquiry from Mr Campbell, I find that Mr Dickson of Co-
-vent garden is your correspondent if not agent; now I shall

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Related people
Smith, Christopher
Campbell, Robert
Flinders, Matthew
Wiles, James

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