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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 (18 of 41) (FLI25) Page 2

sentinel to prevent us from going beyond it. Our allowance from the
French government is sufficient to furnish a tolerable table; and indeed
as prisoners, we have little to complain of except that we are not
permitted to live at large upon our parole, or to partake of any amuse-
-ments beyond our limit garden wall. We are divided into two meƒses, — Mr Aken, master of the Investigator, and Meƒsrs Deal and Seymour, two
midshipmen of the Dedaigneuse frigate and myself, form one, and three
captains of the army and another gentleman, form the other meƒs. Oh how
earnestly I have desired to have thee with me; I should hardly call myself
unfortunate had I thy fond delightful society. Couldst thou my dearest be
satisfied to be here? — I think indeed thou wouldst, for a time; nei-
-ther wouldst thou be without female society. There were four ladies
taken prisoners; two have been permitted to go with their husbands to In-
-dia, and the others are living at a house about 4 miles in the country;
they have met with handsome treatment upon the whole, their husbands
being indulged with a country house on their account, instead of being
shut up in this house which is the common place of confinement for other
officers. I am not without friends even amongst the French, on the con-
-trary I have several, and but one enemy; unfortunately the last is all-
powerful here, nor will he, on any persuasion, permit me to paƒs the walls
of the garden, although some others who are accounted leƒs dangerous
have had the indulgence occasionally. Had I indeed every indulgence
that could be given, still it would not do away the injustice in detain-
-ing me contrary to the expreƒs orders of the French government as con-
-tained in my paƒsport; but the unneceƒsary hardship and indignity
with which I was sometime treated, certainly adds to the injury. Did
the governor know from whom he keeps me, and what extatic [sic] happi-
-neƒs awaits my return, the least spark of humanity would be suf-
-ficient to make him hasten instead of retard my departure; but this
man knows no humanity for Englishmen. I look forward indeed
with hope, that the French government will order my immediate release
,and also that this order will arrive by or before December. In that
case I shall arrive ^ be in England about April or May. The moment
of landing I shall write to thee to meet me in London; or if thou hast
any visit to pay in London about that time, perhaps thou wilt be
there in May. It would indeed be delightful to meet thee there; and
the moment I arrive I shall fly to Mr Bonner in Fleet Street for
information. Heaven grant that no sickneƒs, no misfortune may
prevent thee from meeting me and being preƒsed to my enraptured

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Related people
Tyler, (Reverend) William
Chappelle (Flinders), Ann
Aken (Aiken), John
De Caen, Charles Mathieu Isadore
Tyler, Isabella (Belle/Bell)
Flinders, Matthew
Franklin family

Boston (England)
Gulf of Carpentaria
Ile de France (Mauritius)


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