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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 Chappelle (2 of 41) (FLI25)

Miƒs Chappelle
Mr Arton's
    Market Place

Annotation: Sept 1800

                      H.M.S. Reliance at the Nore. Sept. 25. 1800
My dear friend
          Have you received my letter of March 16. and Sept. 1
1799, and another of Sept 2. 1798? You answer yes. Then my dear friend
the last letter which I have received from you is dated September 1797
! If you think that I esteem you and value your friendship, it will
be in your power to form a judgement of the uneasineƒs I have suffered on your
account. From Thomas I learn that you are in the land of the living, and at
present on a visit at Barton. My imagination has flown after you often
and many a time, but the lords of the admiralty still keep me in confine-
-ment at the Nore. You must know, and your tender feelings have often
anticipated for me, the rapturous pleasure I promised myself on return-
-ing from this antipodean voyage, and an absence of six years; and
if I mistake not, your feeling heart will well picture my disappoint-
-ment and distreƒs, on finding my best beloved sister and the friend of
my bosom both torn from my arms by that scythe-bearing villain. It
is a shock to my spirits and the ardency of my hopes that will not
hastily be done away. I shed no tear, — the world is full enough of sor-
-row without my plaints being added to the sum; but a stupid
languor seems to have taken poƒseƒsion of me, and all the flattering
marks of attention which the friends I have already ^ met have honoured
me with, seem to have nothing more than a momentary effect. Oh
my sister! thy meekneƒs and benevolence, — thy resignation to the
will of fate in the great hour of diƒsolution, only shew us how
much greater is the loƒs of thee, than before we were sensible of.
Enough. – the handkerchief has paƒsed the eye, and sorrow shall
retreat back to the heart.
      As you are one of those friends whom I consider it indispen-

-sibly neceƒsary to see, I should be glad to have some little account
of your movements, — where you reside and with whom; that my mo-
-tions may be regulated accordingly. As for my own movements they
will be these; — as soon as we shall be ordered up to Woolwich or to
Deptford, which we expect daily, to be paid off, I shall go up to London
occasionally to put the busineƒs I have got to do into a fair training;
and after the ship is paid off shall reside there altogether till the prin-
-cipal part is executed; and this will probably take two months and
more. But if the absence of people from London at this time, should ob-
-lige me to defer some part till they return, then I shall take that oppor-
-tunity of coming into Lincolnshire, if so long a time as three weeks
can be spared.
      You see that I make everything subservient to busineƒs. In-
-deed my dearest friend, this time seems to be a very critical period of
my life. I have been long absent, — have done services abroad that
were not expected, but which seem to be thought a good deal of. I have
more and greater friends than before, and this seems to be the moment
that their exertions may be most serviceable to me. I may now per-
-haps make a bold dash forward, or may remain a poor lieute-
-nant all my life.
      When you write, direct to me at Deptford or at the Nore;
in expectation of which, immediately on the receival of this, I con-
-clude with aƒsuring my dear friend Annette, that with the greatest
sincerity I am her most affectionate friend and brother
                                    Mattw Flinders
P.S. Inclosed with this is a letter from the Rev. Mr Johnson, in-
-trusted to my care. I left his family well and himself tolerably
so. His son is now at school in Yorkshire, and came home a little
before us.
      I ought to have began my letter by saying that six dif-

-ferent times before this, I have been going to write to you, but the
melancholy subject of my dearest Betsey and my dear friend Mary (I
was going to smile and call her brother Molly,) was too ready
to to aid the ink's blackneƒs and tinge the whole sheet with its hue;
I therefore desisted till a more favourable moment should occur for
writing a miscellaneous letter.

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Related people
Chappelle (Flinders), Ann
Franklin, Thomas
Flinders family
Flinders, Matthew
Franklin family
Franklin, Elizabeth
Franklin, Mary

The Nore


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