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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 2

similar occasion to that, which has so pathetically called forth the powers of
the Authoreƒses pen, at the end of the first volume; but had somehow wandered
away from it.
    How comes it that I selected thee, of all people in the world, for such a reci-
-tal? Why not my sister, or my friend Thomas, or my father; or why not Mary?
No — thine was the only image that presented itself to my confidence. Marys
once benign face, is too much embittered to hear my tale with patience; and for
Thomas, however great my esteem and friendship might be; yet I should feel a
repugnance in such a communication, even to a brother; so much do I fancy
female sensibility to be superior to that of man. Well, but to a sister —? yes,
I could communicate with a sister; but then — she is married! And somehow,
my affection for her has, since that, run into a different channel. She wants
not my protection now, — another has a just claim to even a superior share of
her affection! I still love her, much; but differently. Can you fancy the
alteration that would take place, on receiving offers of service and aƒsistance,
mingled with the memorials of affection from a sister whom I had always
considered as under my protection, next to that of her father; and for whose
fair reputation and happineƒs I was continually in anxiety. But now —
it is unneceƒsary; — she is independent of me. I could have quarreled with
her husband for thus taking her from my arms. — There said I, 'tis by this
and such like means, that I shall be deprived of all my friends. They will
have others, whose superior claim upon their hearts I must not dispute.
But — have I not another sister? my Susan! I melted into tenderneƒs,
and would have taken her into the very skin with me. I sat down to write
to her with a redoubled ardor of affection. Alas, in a few years, she also
will be taken from me. And thou too, my Annette, and Mary: I shall lose
you all. I feel, that the moment it takes place, the warmth, or rather
that delightful energy of friendship which raises one almost above mor-
-tality, will subside into mere esteem. — I fancy this, my friend; think you
it will be so? Can you understand these distinctions of fraternal love,
Annette? You have no brother, — but oh how you have wished for one!
Tis from that want, that you have sometimes honoured me with the appel-
-lation; and I will believe, (don't be offended) with some part of the af-
-fection that seems of right to appertain to it.
    I have strayed again widely from my intention — , it is no matter
now. However, every word which drops from the pen, directed by a heart
altogether unveiled, as I believe mine now is; will pourtray [sic] something
characteristic of the writer. Hence what has been said will not be useleƒs,
for I wish you to know mine in its receƒses; but it is a strange heart,
Annette. I fear you are some years from a perfect knowledge of it. It is not a
very insensible one, I think; but it may have acquired some degree of morbid

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


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