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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 (1 of 41) (FLI25) Page 1

                                    H.M.S. Reliance March 16th 1799

Short as may be the probable time before we sail; and uncertain as it is
that any conveyance may present itself, for this little meƒsenger to call the
remembrance of my dearest friend to this verge of the enlightened world. And
perhaps the author of its existence may himself enjoy that too often anticipated
pleasure before its arrival; yet impelled by my feelings at this moment,
I cannot resist. It is like opening my bosom to thee, — to a friend who can feel,
and whose sensibility can inhale the rising the rising thought.
    My reading this morning, has called up a train of recollections; which, in
my present situation at least, ought to be suppreƒsed. I read the first vo-
-lume of Mrs Radcliffs {Adolphs}, which I had not seen before. Thou,
I think, hast; for from the specimens of poetry in this, it will surprise me
not to find thy beautiful lines on Autumn in a future volume.
    The parting description at the end, recalled to my remembrance what my
feelings were, on something like a similar situation. Fatal, enervating,
moment! I have never since been satisfied with my profeƒsion; and,
strange as it may appear, when mature deliberation was called, to de-
-cide upon the question; it aided the sentiment and condemned the
sea. Let those cases be excepted, where it can be made use of as a stepping
stone to fortunes favours; and thence, to the more perfect complete enjoyment of rational
life, and a more perfect obedience to the dictates of nature and reason. But
to be cooped up in a wooden box; year after year; one decade after another;
and the ultimate object not a bit more forward! Thus to sink down hill,
— not a new friend raised up to smooth the path, and the old dead; or what
is worse, forgotten by them! Is this right? Say — ye whose hearts
can feel the delights of love and friendship? — you will answer, that the
bosom which is alive to those, ought not to be so situated. No, my
friends! it is for that where apathy resides, — for those, whose senses ad-
-mit not the beauties of nature, or the finer arts; — who feel not the extacy [sic]
arising from the contemplation of such. But such, I trust, is not my case.
Sea; I am thy servant; but thy wages must afford me more than a bare sub-
-sistence; I do not mean to be always insulated. Thou art but a rough mas-
-ter; hast little mercy upon the lives and limbs of thy followers; but some-
-times thou bestowest favours. Half my life I would dedicate to thee, but the
whole I cannot. If thou keepest me in penury all the morning and noon
of life —
    March 19th I meant to have expreƒsed my feelings to thee, on something like a

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


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