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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 (16 of 41) (FLI25)

The Revd Mr Tyler
    Partney near Spilsby
For Mrs Flinders
Annotation: Recd 26 Agt 1804
Annotation: April 27th 1802

                      Investigator — Off Timor
                                    March 28. 1803
    Since leaving the Cape of Good Hope, my dearest love, the follow-
-ing letters have been addreƒsed to thee. One dated May 31 — June
1 and 4th 1802. Another dated July 20. 1802, and another on Oct 18
1802. I mention them that thou mayest know whether any are
    Our voyage has hitherto gone on prosperously upon the
whole, but the poor ship is worn out, — she is decayed both
in skin and bone. I am going to Coupang Bay to get refresh-
-ments for my noble fellows, that they may the better stand the
fatigues of the remaining part of the voyage. It is neither
altogether proper, or would it be of any use detailing to thee
the particulars of our labour; it will be sufficient for thee
to know, that the voyage is nearly half completed, and that
we are all in good health spirits and tolerable health.
    Not knowing what opportunity may offer of sending home letters;
I have begun to write already: but as the greater part of what I
have to say must depend upon the occurring circumstances at Coupang,
my writing must cease till they are known. If I did not consider
aƒsurances of faith and love to be idle words between those whose
affection is so dear as mine to thee, thou shouldst not be without
abundance of them. Mankind being subject to change and I being
one of them may indeed be suspected; but I trust thou will find
that this characteristic of our species is far from universal. I am
indeed, my only beloved, thine with all the fervor with which I
loved thee after marriage; for before that time, I thought indeed
I loved thee much, but knew not what much was till afterward.
In evenings I oft take a book, reclining on my little couch, and
running o'er some pleasant tale or sentiment, perhaps of love,
my mind retraces with delight, our joys, our conversation, our
looks, our every thing of love. The loves and, alas! the fall
of our first parents, told with such majesty by him whose
eyes lacked all of what he threw with hand so masterly oer this
great subject, dark before and intricate; — these with delight
I last perused, not knowing which to admire most, the poets

daring, the subject, or the succeƒs with which his bold attempt
was crowned. Eve in innocence, shewed me the excellence of my
beloved wife; and think not Ann, my dearest, but that in
innocence we yet remain. With ourselves it rests to keep or mar
the excellence which the Great Omnipotent has given us. — Eve
fallen, pourtrayed [sic] to me the consequences of thy lapse from love
and faith: — then bitter remorse, diƒsimulation, accusation and
reproach, and final seperation; — dreadful! dreadful con-
-sequence of womans fall from innocence and truth. This is
indeed to fall, and render just the heavy curse, which else suits
not with common right, how much leƒs then with mercy. But
in thee I have more faith than Adam had when he, complying
with Eve's request of seperation in their labours, said, go
thou best, last gift of God, "go in thy native innocence". But
how much dearer art thou here than our first mother! — our
seperation [sic] was not sought by thee, — reverse! thou borest
it as the vine whose twining arms when torn from round
the elm lie prostrate, broken; — life scarcely left enough
to keep the withering leaf from falling off. — What — if but
the smallest tendril of this vine fall near another tree, will
it not soon, with renovated life, creep up this other elm, and
cling with scarce leƒs fastneƒs than it did before? — Ah me!
how will the first support and comfort of this vine, torn from
its arms by strongest force — neceƒsity, alas how strong! — this
elm, returned from finishing the great behests of him that sent
it; — its strength, its foliage, decayed in part by climate and
by time, but promising itself fresh leaves, and youth, and hap-
-pineƒs, from second junction with its dearest vine, — how
could it, thus bereft and disappointed, keep its head above the
humid earth? To it its sap would soon descend, and moul-
-dering decay, begun at heart, would lay its withered trunk
soon prostrate.
    There's misery in this picture, and not truth; I'll therefore
quit it, and be stedfast [sic], as till now, in firm aƒsurance of
thy love and truth.

    Coupang Bay — Timor — April 4. I find no opportunity, my
love, of sending this letter in any reasonable time; for it
must wait here, then at Batavia, from thence to the Cape of
Good Hope, perhaps, and Amsterdam, before it will reach Eng-
-land; my next letters, therefore, will probably reach thee
from Port Jackson sooner. Should it be otherwise, write
to my father saying generally how we proceed, for at this
time I am not going to do it; Thomas has two or three lines.
    Good bye, my love, for two months, until we arrive at
Port Jackson. Pray offer my affectionate regards to Mr
Tyler, thy mother, my sister Belle, and to Mrs Mallison
; and rest aƒsured of the sincere love of thy
                  Mattw Flinders

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Related people
Tyler, (Reverend) William
Chappelle (Flinders), Ann
Franklin, Thomas
Flinders family
Tyler, Isabella (Belle/Bell)
Mallison Family
Flinders, Matthew

Port Jackson
Cape of Good Hope


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