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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 (20 of 41) (FLI25) Page 2

carried away all the other English prisoners, and the French governor then per-
-mitted me to leave the prison and chuse [sic] a residence in the inland part of
the island, under my parole of honour not to go further than six miles
from it without permiƒsion. I had the offer of three or four different resi-
-dences, several of the inhabitants of this island, acquainted with the circum-
-stances of my imprisonment, being emulous to be foremost in their civilities
to me. I chose this, nearly in the middle of the island, as being least likely
to be objected to by the government; it was offered me by Madame D'Ari-
, an elderly widow lady, of an excellent understanding and disposition
and respectable character. Her family consists of three sons and three daugh-
-ters, four of whom, are grown up, and compose one of the most amiable fami-
-lies this island can boast; but it is with the eldest son, of about 27 years,
and the eldest daughter of about 20 that I have more particularly at-
-tached myself. Thou canst not conceive how anxious they are to see and
be acquainted with thee. Though unknown, I scarcely think thou art leƒs dear
to Mademoiselle Delphine D'Arifat than to many of thy relations. She
talks of making a voyage to England in the peace in order to see more
of our English manners and to make acquaintance with thee.
      In this retreat, my time is either employed in visiting those places
within my six miles which have any thing of curious or interesting in them, — in visiting the gentry of the neighbourhood, or in learning French. The
whole family are my instructors, and in return, I am the tutor of the
greater part of the family in the English language: one day we speak no-
-thing but French, and another all English, and we reciprocally make a
tolerable progreƒs. From ten o'clock to dinner time we are employed in
reading and writing: they correct my bad pronunciation and my mistakes
and I do the same for them. Thus we are mutually useful and I believe a-
-greeable to each other: We even talk upon religion and politics, and though
we are almost constantly of different interests and opinions, yet we never se-
-perate but upon good terms.
      This has been my course of life, generally, since the family arrived from
the town to this their country residence, which was about six weeks since,
before that time I was rather solitary; but the novelty of the situation
and my books even then found me full employment. Comparitively [sic] with
my situation in this island for the first 20 months, I am now very happy;

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Related people
Chappelle (Flinders), Ann
Banks, Sir Joseph
Flinders, Henrietta
Flinders family
Pitot, Thomas
Tyler, (Reverend) William
De Caen, Charles Mathieu Isadore
Franklin family
Franklin, John
Lound, Sherrard
Flinders, Samuel
Tyler, Isabella (Belle/Bell)
Standert, A.
Flinders, Matthew

Ile de France (Mauritius)

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