Page:The life of Matthew Flinders.djvu/437

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mitted by me but what passes under the inspection of the officer who might be appointed for that purpose.

"If your Excellency does not think proper to adopt any of these modes, by which, with submission, I conceive my voyage of discovery might be permitted to proceed without any possible injury to the Isle of France or its dependencies, I then think it necessary to remind the Captain-General that since the shipwreck of the Porpoise, which happened now six months back, my officers and people as well as myself have been mostly confined either on a very small sandbank in the open sea, or in a boat, or otherwise on board the small schooner Cumberland, where there is no room to walk, or been kept prisoners as at present; and also, that previous to this time I had not recovered from a scorbutic and very debilitated state arising from having been eleven months exposed to great fatigue, bad climates and salt provisions. From the scorbutic sores which have again troubled me since my arrival in this port the surgeon who dressed them saw that a vegetable diet and exercise were necessary to correct the diseased state of the blood and to restore my health; but his application through your Excellency's aide-de-camp for me to walk out, unfortunately for my health and peace of mind, received a negative. The Captain-General best knows whether my conduct has deserved, or the exigencies of his Government require, that I should continue to remain closely confined in this sickly town and cut off from all society.

"With all due consideration, I am,
"Your Excellency's prisoner,
"Matthew Flinders."

To this petition Decaen returned no reply. Feeling therefore that his detention was likely to be prolonged, Flinders, weary of confinement, and longing for