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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 (6 of 6). Letters to Charles Desbassayns on financial matters and magnetic research. (FLI04) Page 1

Cover sheet:
Letter on
Magnetic Researches,
Capt Matthew Flinders
M. Charles Desbassayns
12 June 1808

    Cut from Private Letter Book, to be
    Restored to it when done with


hes had taken had produced any benefit, at the same time I wrote you to inform
you of these circumstances, and requesting to be acquainted with requesting to be informed of the state of the af-
fair, offered to write to Mr A. Baudin should you not have found means
to convey the information to Mr H; for when the question was to obtain means
for a servant to enter the prison, I thought it too trivial, but now that the
liberty of my countryman appeared to depend upon ^ his interference, the case was become dif-
ferent; and I repeat, that the it was never the idea of compromising Mr
A Baudin with the government that prevented me from writing to him, but
the small importance of the affair compared to ^ the person to be employed, and the little intimacy I have
with him: the first is too refined for the comprehension of an Englishman.
      After the This, my friend, is the state of the matter, as I have consider-
ed it. The man who has been honoured with your friendship, ought not to
^ pass over in silence the charge that he sought to engage the friends of another in an affair which he found too dangerous to risk his own, and I leave it to your candour
to say whether I have merited it.
      No, my friend, I have had seen too many proofs of the goodness of your
heart, and have received too many myself, to believe you can be indifferent
to the lot of an honest man; but you will acknowledge, that according to
my ideas as expressed of the subject as expressed above, with which I was
born and with which perhaps I shall die, and knowing, as I do, the active
benevolence of your disposition, that it was a matter of surprise to me
that you should find have so much difficulty in finding amongst your numerous
acquaintances, some one who would perform the little offices for which we had
occasion; and according to my manner of thinking, I could only attribute it to the
fears of Mr Pitot ^ under the existing circumstances, which seem to be pushed to the extreme I could not comprehend with whose wishes I know you almost made it a passion
to conform. Had I considered the matter as you do, I should have had
no surprise, but neither perhaps should I have ^ dared to write written to Mr de Kerjean
for now I see, that this step on my part must appear to him equally incon-
siderate as if some one was to address himself ^ at this time to Mr Pitot for a simi-
lar service, one being no for the one is no better more in the good graces of the government than
the other, or possessing more friends. Think not, my friend, that I am indifferent
to your position, on the contrary, it has given me much pain that you should
have adopted the step of writing to Mr Humphreys yourself, since you, who know
much better than me the light in which the government may consider it, think
it may produce disagreeable consequences. I know that heretofore you had en-
gaged Thomy Laverge to visit a prisoner in the position of Mr Humphreys, and
I could

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Flinders, Matthew
Desbassayns, Charles
Pitot, Thomas

Ile de Bourbon
Ile de France (Mauritius)

La Semillante

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