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A French Geographer. Interview with Count de Fleurieu.

[By our Special Reporter.]

Those who made the recent trip with the Ministerial party to the west coast were looking forward to meeting Count Alphonse de Fleurieu, a descendant of a

famous French family, whose religion is geography. particularly in regard to tie re tention of French names where they were the first to be applied to Ihe map. At the last moment, owing to there being only a fortnightly service to Oodnadatta, the Count decided to make the railway journey to the head oC the great northern line. Since his return I have had several inte restihs; conversations with the Frenchman, who possesses axcharming personality. ? —Fleurieu Peninsulal— Mr. Rodney Cockburn. in las 'Nomen- clature of South Australia,' says:— 'Cape Jervis was christened by Fjinders on March 23, 1802. Jervis ig the family name of Lord St. Vincent, who presided over the Ad miralty at the time mentioned. Baudin gave the name of Fleurieu Peninsula to that neck of land which ends in Cape Jervis, but, prior discovery having been mode byFiinders, the latters christening was retained. Baudin's name honoured Count de Charles Pierre Claret Fleurieu, a French naval officer, and one of the most learned hydVographers of the time, who bore a considerable share of the expense of Baudin's expedition; He invented the sea chronometer, was French Minister of Marine in 1790, survived the Reign of Terror after having been committal to

prison, became a member of the Council of State, was Governor of the Tuilleries, and died in 18101 Some years ago a great grandnephew of Count de Flenneu visited Adelaide, and tried to induce the Govern ment to. restore the name of Fleurieu Peninsula to our map, but did not succeed. He failed in a similar mission to Tasmania. Seeing that Lord St. Vincent's name occurs elsewhere in our nomenclature, no harm would have been done by changing Cape Jervis to Fleurieu.' ? —Count Fleurieu Explains.— 'Five yeara ago,' remarked Count flenneu, 'I came to Australia to see places wbich were included in the French charts, and ,was astonished at the time to find now the French names had' passed out. I tried on iny return to France to study the question, and I have come back to the Commonwealth with the object of learning Australian ideas on the subject, how some of the names have been changed, and the {'story of the words. It is in history that Minders, coming from the west, and Baudin. from the east, met at Encounter Bay. thnders's discoveries extended from the cast end, of Nuyt's .Land to hnconnter Bay, and Baudin's from Encounter Bay to Cape Banks, discovered by Grant. According to geo graphical regulation the names given to places by the first discoverer should be re tained. French names were kept for the south coast of Kangaroo Island, which was first charted by Baudin, and they are partly retained on the west coast of Wes tern Australia, and on the eouth-eastern coast of South Australia, which upon the French maps is called Terra, de Baudin. The French navigator gave names to many places not mapped by Flinders, but with few exceptions, snch as Murat Bay and Decres Bay, these are not observed. The peninsula named Fleurieu by Baudin has no English name. On the coastline of1 St. Vincent's Gulf Flinders gave two and Baudin 21 patronymics. I think, there fore, that 19 of the French names should have been retailed. Wardang or Waural tee Island on the west coast was not seen as an island by Flinders, but was named Dalberg by Baudin.' —The Neptunes. — When on the Governor Musgrave re cently Capt Weir told me that as there were two islands each in the north and south groups of the Neptunes, it would be| helpful if each one had. a name instead! of having to say, for instance, the north I island of the north group, or the south island of the south group. Count Fleurieu told me that Baudin called the Neptunes I Isles Catibat, the four separate names | being d'Assos, Valbelle, Villars, and Mont morency. - — Admirer of Flinders.— Count Fleurieu is a great admirer of Matthetf Flinders. He feels sorry every time he thinks pf the imprisonment of the great navigator at Mauritius. He says that ; Decaen states in hb memoirs that had Flinders accepted, an invitation to breakfast given by Mr; Decaen the whole position would in all probability have been altered, but the discoverer of South Aus tralia refused the invitation, ' and eo the opportunity for a personal explanation of the circumstances was lost. . Recently Mr. T. N. Stephens, in courteous response to eaquiries, showed to a 'representalive of The Register an original lettet written by Oapt. Flinders to his wife during his capti vity at Mauritius. It was presented to Mr. Stephens by the late Mr. J. J. Shillinglaw, who for 25 years was engaged in writing 'a life of Flinders, .which, owing to cit crnnstances beyond Bis control, he. was not 1 able to publish. A brother of the lategen- 1 tlemah, who is Thanager of the National; Bank, London, is in possession of the docu ments. —A Beautiful Letter.- ( The- letter, which has never Itf fore been published, is as follows:— Isle of Francs, July 7, 1805. Mv Dear Love. ? . fiirice the siiling of Mr. Aken, the fol lowing circumstances have occurred. He had been gone but few days before ah j English squadron -.under Commodore Os born arrived off this island, which, had he been a fortnight later, would have ef fectually stopped him. Not very bug afterward arrived a cartel1 from Calcutta, bringing Canlaih Bergeret and the French officers of La Psyche with Some others ; upon their parole: and for the purpose of taking bark, 'all the Ensdiah prisoners in this island to India. By this .cartel, I have received an answer to my letter written in 11 av. 1804, to the Manjuis Wel leslty, Governor-General of India, which

contains the following extract from Hia Excellency's letter to the French General De Caen:—'! avail myself of this oppor tunity to request your Excellency's par ticular attention to the truly severe case of Captain Flinders, and earnestly re quest your Excellency to release Captain Flinders immediately, and to allow him, either to take his passage to India in the Thetis (the cartel) or to return to India in the first neutral ship.' Thi6 letter I received through the me dium of the secretary of General De Caen wrth one accompanying it, wherein the secretary says:— 'I should desire with all my heart that the captain-geneial could accede to the demand of His Ex cellency M. the Marquis Wellesley, but the motives of your detention havmg been of such a nature they had to be 6ub lnitted to the French Government. The captain-general cannot before he receives an answer change the procedure which has been taken in your case,', so that I now know upon good authority what 1 have to trust to. Privately. I am also in formed, that an officer with despatches from France is expected every week, and then, if the French Government shall not have forgotten me, and shall not be de sirous to keep me a prisoner in this island any longer I nay expect to arrive either in France or in England. about February or March next.' I tell thee the circum stances without any gloss or palliation, for I scarcely know myself what confi dence to put in the hope of liberation, for it is liable to be overturned bv so many circumstances; ?the conclusion aDove drawn is upon the most, favourable side, and rests upon chance for its accomplish ment. Pray, my love, if thou knowest Mr. Aken's address, write him the heads of these circumstances, they will be in'te resfcins; to him; my friends and relations, also, I wish to be informed of what little hope I have of liberty. I am in tolerable health, and as there is some prospect of obtaining a little more liberty for exer- cise, after all my countrymen are gone, and I shall be the only English prisoner in this island, I hope to gain an accession of health and strength; for ?ftis climate is far from being a bad one, though, upon the whole, it is too hot. My faithful ser vant Elder still continues with me. I gave him his choice to go away with the other prisoners in the cartel, but he seems determined to stay by me until we shall weather this storm of adversity. I think, my love, that the family at Braton are more thy favourites than any other of my relations. Pray write my affec tionate remembrances to William and his family in particular. I think Mr. Hurst houses's family at Jidd are, upon the whole, nry greatest favourites, and it is their kind and. generous conduct to' my cousin Henrietta that has inclined the balance in their favour; but by so much the more as I love and respect thee above any one in the world by so much shall I be most attached to them, whom, on my return, I shall find to have been most kind and attentive to thee. Adieu, my dearest love, rest confident in the in violable love and esteem of . . ? thy Mattw. Flinders. Aug. 20. — I have 'seen in a newspaper, with much concern, the bankruptcy of my cousin William at Boston. I know not . what to think of it. I write this frorn the house of my friends Pitot. where I am remaining two or tnree days previous to my going into the country, for which I have at last obtained permission; all the other English prisoners being gone . from the island. When, my love, shall I obtain complete liberty and return to thee? Soon, I hope, ah. very soon, I will hope. ? The extract from tne letter of the secre tary to Gen. De Caen was in French, and was translated by Count de Fleurieu. who possesses copies of interesting docu ments and charts concerning the discoveries of Flinders and Baudin. The Count was; as everybodv who reads will be, charmed with the beautiful and dignified sentiments contained in the letter.