Library Collections: Document: Full Text
Diary Of Laurent Clerc's Voyage From France To America In 1816
Page 1 All Pages
To Mr. Guy B. Holt of Hartford, great-great-grandson of Laurent Clerc, we are indebted for this extremely interesting diary written by Laurent Clerc on his initial voyage to our country from France in 1816. This diary has been preserved in the Clerc family for five generations.
It may be surprising to our readers that Laurent Clerc was able to master the English language in such short time, but a complete reading of his diary will enable the reader to fully appreciate Clerc's wonderful intellect and wide knowledge.
This diary also brings to light the wonderful companionship that Thomas H. Gallaudet and Laurent Clerc entertained for each other.
It is truly a remarkable writing and should enthrall all who are interested in the history of deaf education.
Printed at the American School for the Deaf
West Hartford, Connecticut
Laurent Clerc was born in La Balme, France, on the 26th of December, 1785, to a family of superior lineage. His father, Joseph Francis Clerc, a notary public profession, was the mayor of La Balme from 1780 to 1814. His mother, Elizabeth Candy was the daughter of Mr. Candy of Crimieu, also a notary public.
It happened that when Laurent was about a year old, he was left alone in a chair by the fireside, and fell into the fire, which, it is believed resulted in the loss of the senses of hearing and smell. His right cheek was burned so badly in this accident that a permanent scar remained. When Laurent was seven years old, his mother, hearing that there was a certain physician in Lyons, a city not far from La Balme, who could cure deafness, took him there. Treatment was began immediately, but after two weeks of daily injections of various liquids into the ear, Laurent returned home with his mother still as deaf as before.
Laurent's early childhood was unexceptional, he indulged in the usual pastimes of children. His formal education did not commence until he was about twelve years old, when his uncle, Laurent Clerc, took him to Paris and placed him in the Royal Institution for the Deaf, where, for most of the eight years of his pupilage, he was under the personal instruction of the Abbe Sicard. He was gifted with uncommon mental powers and soon distinguished himself so well as a scholar that, upon completion of his course of study, he was appointed an assistant teacher in the Institution. In the process of time, the good Abbe, noting his ability, placed him in charge of the highest class in the school.
During the political upheavel in France in the spring of 1815, the Abbe Sicard, accompanied by his two teachers, Massieu and Clerc, journeyed to London and gave several public lectures in that city, explaining his method of teaching the deaf, which he illustrated by the attainments of the two deaf teachers who had been his pupils. It so chanced that Thomas Hopkins Gallaudet had been in London at that time and had attended one of these public exhibitions. At the conclusion of the lecture he was introduced to the Abbe Sicard and his assistants and was cordially invited to visit the Institution at Paris. Dr. Gallaudet was quick to accept the invitation and in the spring of 1816 journeyed to Paris.
Gallaudet was a daily visitor at the school and began by attending the lowest class and progressing upward until he came to the highest class which was in charge of Clerc. Clerc had, therefore, a great opportunity to see him often and to converse with him and they soon became good friends. Gallaudet was very anxious to learn the sign language and the methods of teaching employed by Clerc, but the latter informed him that it would take at least six months to acquire a tolerable amount of signs, and a year of method's study before he would be qualified to teach. Dr. Gallaudet was most impatient to be back in America to carry on his work, so at his earnest request, Mr. Clerc who had meantime been instructing him in the use of signs, consented to come to this country and introduce the French system of educating the deaf. The good Abbe Sicard was most, reluctant to part with his prize teacher, but, recognizing the needs of the deaf in America finally wrote to Gallaudet saying: "I have with pleasure made the sacrifice you demanded of me."
With Mr. Gallaudet, Mr. Clerc left France on the 18th of June, 1816, in the ship "Mary Augusta". Owing to adverse winds and frequent calms, the voyage lasted fifty-two days. During that time, Clerc taught Gallaudet method of signs for abstract ideas and Dr. Gallaudet taught Clerc the English language. They made arrangements for the journeys they expected to undertake for the collection of funds for the institution they were about to establish; they reformed certain signs which they thought would not well suit American manners and customs. They arrived in New York on the 9th of August. After visiting dignitaries in New York and New Haven for a time, they made their way to Hartford and set to work.
Mr. Clerc was very quick to grasp the English language. In April, 1817, he prepared an address which was delivered by Dr. Gallaudet at the Center Church in Hartford before an assembly of the Governor and both houses of the Legislature of Connecticut and a crowd of citizens. In this paper which dealt with a public examination of the pupils, Clerc showed complete familiarity with the theory and practice of the Abbe de l'Epee and that of his successor, Sicard. He urged that public support for the impartation of education to deaf children be broadcast. Thus began a series of travels over the New England and Middle Atlantic states in which Clerc's assistance was invaluable in raising funds to establish the first free school for the deaf in America.
On April 15, 1817, the first school opened at Hartford, Connecticut, with Thomas Hopkins Gallaudet as its first principal and Laurent Clerc as its first teacher. In addition to his duties as teacher, Clerc assumed the added duties of instructing Gallaudet and new teachers in methods of instructing the deaf and also in the sign language.
In the spring of 1819, Clerc married Miss Elizabeth Boardman, a former pupil. Six children were born to them, two dying in infancy. In later years, Clerc expressed a desire to visit France to renew old acquaintances and to see his relatives. This was readily granted by Gallaudet. He made several trips and each time he returned with renewed strength and courage.
In October, 1821, Clerc was invited to go to the Pennsylvania Institution for the Deaf to act as principal until a permanent one could be found. During his stay there he introduced fully the teaching methods practiced at the Hartford school and gave valuable aid to the teachers. When new schools were established throughout the nation, the staff members came to Hartford to receive instruction from Clerc in his methods of education for the Deaf.
Clerc retired from active teaching in 1858 at the age of 73. From this time till a few months prior to his death he enjoyed life as well as most men of his age. "Happy in his domestic and social relations, he might be seen in the streets and in the post office and reading rooms of Hartford almost everyday, meeting his friends with a pleasant smile and a graceful salutation; and expressing a deep interest in public events relating to the welfare of the country and especially to the prosperity of his beloved asylum."
He died on the 18th of July, 1869, in the eighty-fourth year of his age, respected and honored by all. He ranks as one of the greatest deaf men of all time, and is probably second only to Gallaudet as a benefactor of the deaf of this country.
-Reprinted from the Buff and Blue
A Recital of all that I have done and seen, since my departure from Havre till my arrival at New York. I warn the Reader who may read this relation, that I have not written it for him, but for myself, and particularly to exercise and perfect myself in the English Language. -Laurent Clerc
THE ship named Mary-Augusta the provisions all being ready in the morning of Tuesday the 18th of June 1816, we waited for nothing but the high water to take our departure. In fine, at three o'clock in the afternoon, the tide having risen, we left Havre, a pretty little City of France, surrounded by a crowd of spectators. The persons who knew us wished us a happy voyage and good health. We were in number six passengers without counting the Captain, whose name was Mr. Hall, and twelve strong and skillful sailors. Among the passengers are four Americans, to wit: 1. M. Gallaudet, 2. Mr. Wilder, and two other gentlemen whose names I do not know, and two Frenchmen, to wit: myself and another whom I do not know, and who is very unhappy; he does not understand English. We have pitied him. He has no father, nor mother. He goes to workat New York, where he has some relations.
We left Havre with some difficulty. A Commissioner of the Marine-House came with a soldier to examine our passports. Ours were found correct, those of two other gentlemen not being so, the Commissioner ordered them to leave the ship, to follow him to land and to go to the Marine-House to get their passports vised. They obeyed him, and the soldiers stayed with us, in the Commissioner's absence to have a watchful eye upon us. In about half an hour, our companions returned with their passports corrected. When we were far from Havre, the soldier who watched us, restored us our passports and returned to land. And also Mr. Wilder's friends who had accompanied him in the ship. We soon lost sight of Havre. We descended into our cabin where we supped; after supper, we prayed to God, and after prayer, we wished each other a good evening and went to bed. For my own part, I slept very profoundly.
Wednesday, June the 19th, 1816. I awoke at five o'clock, and I fell asleep again immediately. I awoke again at seven o'clock, and I rose upon the spot, lest I should fall asleep again. I dressed myself, I washed my face and my hands. I combed my head. Afterwards I went to take the air upon deck, and at the same time to rinse my teeth. I soon went again into our cabin where my friends waited for me to breakfast. I sat at table between Mr. Wilder and one of our companions, and over against Mr. Gallaudet. We took off our hats and prayed to God. Our breakfast consisted of coffee, tea, butter, buttered bread,cold meat, fish, radishes, cool eggs, cider and wine. I ate some of all. Mr. Wilder only never takes coffee, nor tea, nor meat. After our breakfast and our prayer, we all ascended upon deck. It was fair weather, the sun lighted the land, but the sea was a little agitated. I cast my eyes upon the ocean and admired God's works. By turns I walked, read, wrote, talked with Mr. Gallaudet and amused myself by fishing or by seeing others fish.
At two o'clock, (P. M.) the steward gave us notice that the dinner was ready. We all descended into our cabin, and sat in our own places. After having asked God for his benediction, we hastened all to the mess which covered the table. Our dinner was good enough, and as good as is possible in a ship. We said Grace, rose from the table and went upon deck. The weather had changed and become cold. I soon went and threw myself all dressed on my bed. I took my book and whilst I read it, I fell asleep in spite of myself. At seven, M. Gallaudet came, awoke me and told me that supper waited for me. I was up in a trice; but I had no appetite. I drank only two bowls of tea with some buttered bread. I returned to bed as soon as I had prayed to God and wished my friends a good night, and I slept till the next day.
Thursday, June the 20th. The hour of our breakfast being fixed at eight o'clock, that of our dinner at two o'clock and that of our supper at eight o'clock, I take care to rise every morning half an hour before breakfast, which consists usually of the same things which I have before related. I employed all the morning in studying English, and in making some exercises on some verbs which I judge convenient to record here:
to let down ...... They let down, during the night, the lanterns of the streets to light them.
to abridge ...... Your letter is too long, you must abridge it.
to shorten ...... My pantaloons are too long, I must get them shortened.
to buy .......... M. Gallaudet has bought all that we want for our voyage.
to finish ........ Be so kind as to wait a moment, I shall finish your shoes in an hour.
to pay .......... I shall pay your debts.
to admire ........ I admire the works of nature.
to address ...... Adieu, my dear friend. I am going away to the United States, address your letters to me according to the following directions: To M. Clerc, to the care of U.S.A. Gallaudet, New York.
to strengthen .... If you do not strengthen that black plank, it will fall at the moment when you least expect it.
to put up ....... They put up the playbills at the corners of the streets of the city.
to weaken ...... That sickness has weakened him much.
to agitate ...... The wind agitates the leaves of the trees.
to make greater... Your room is too little, one must make it greater.
to whet ........ These knives do not cut, they must be whetted.
to lengthen ...... Lengthen my coat if you please.
to bring ......... My uncle has just arrived; he has brought me some letters from my
mother. She is well, I am glad of that.
to bring ......... Bring me that child.
to amuse ........ Amuse him, that he may not be weary.
to appease ......... Appease his anger.
to quiet ............ There were some disorders at Grenoble, a town of France; the King of France has sent a General with a great number of various troops to quiet that City.
to call .......... Walk home, your mother calls you.
to pull out ...... I have a tooth which is loose, I am going directly to a dentist, that he may pull it out.
I did nothing extraordinary the rest of the day, except, that having perceived one of our companions had mounted the shrouds, I thought that it was necessary that I should advise the Captain of it. I took then a sheet of paper and wrote this to the Captain with my pencil: "Sir, it is forbidden to the passengers to mount, the shrouds, under pain of being condemned to pay an honorable forfeit, but that gentleman has ascended in spite of that prohibition. I advise you to condemn him to pay to the sailors six bottles of wine." Before showing this advertisment to the Captain, I presented it to Mr. Gallaudet, begging him to correct it. He cast a glance of the eye upon it, with the goodness which characterizes him, and when he had corrected it, I wrote it fair. The Captain in reading it, laughed, and agreed that I had reason in what I had said, but he did not follow my advice. He asked me where I had learned that prohibition. I answered him that it was when I went from France to England.
It being two o'clock, we descended into our cabin and dined without ceremony. After dinner, we ascended upon deck, and to our great surprise, we discovered around us several vessels which we supposed to belong to the English, and so much the more when we discovered their coast at a distance. It soon was night and we went to supper, to prayer and to bed.
Friday, June the 21st. I was up at eight o'clock and wished my friends a good morning as soon as I saw them. I asked them how they had passed the night. They answered me that they had slept well. I told them that I was very glad of it, and that I wished them, each night the continuation of it. After breakfast, M. Gallaudet desiring to encourage me to learn good English, suggested to me the thought of writing this journal, and it is in consequence of his advice that I do it. I began it therefore on the spot and I wrote my diary of the 18th of June, which busied me all the day. It was a long time for so small a matter, but if you deign to consider that I was obliged, every moment, to seek in my dictionary the words which I did not understand, you would say of it, I am sure, that I could not do it more quickly. When I had finished my first day, I presented it to Mr. Gallaudet, praying him to correct it. He did it with his ordinary kindness. Afterwards I wrote my work fair in my stitched book. Hardly had I done when the steward spread the table-cloth and served the dinner. I dined with a good appetite, and drank proportionately. After dinner I took a walk upon deck for an hour, and applied myself to the study of the English language till supper, which consists of the remainder of our dinner with tea added to it. After having well supped, I returned upon deck to walk a little, after which we all went again into our cabin to pray to God, and then every one went to bed. I need not say that I usually sleep well.
Saturday, June the 22nd. The weather being fair, I passed all the morning upon deck to write my diary of the preceding days, and all the evening to talk with M. Gallaudet, who, at my request, gave me the description of an American dinner, of a marriage, and of the manners and customs of the inhabitants of that country; so that in arriving thither I may be familiar with them, and that the people may take me for a true American citizen and not for a stranger. This long conversation, all amusing and interesting as it was, did not fail to fatigue us a little. We endeavored to divert ourselves by walking and playing, which we did while supper was preparing. After supper and prayer, and a moment before going to bed, M. Gallaudet told me that tomorrow would be Sunday, and that consequently he should not be able to correct my English, if I had a mind to study. I answered him that my religion commanded me not to work that day, but to consecrate it to the glory of God, and we found that both our religions were almost the same.
Today is the anniversary of our embarking from Havre. We have experienced no grievous accident. Let us give thanks to God for it, and let us pray him to deign to continue to keep us in safety.
Sunday, June the 23rd. When I awoke, I learned that it was rainy weather and hardly was I risen, when I ascended upon deck to judge myself of the state of the weather, but what did I see! What a spectacle! What a novelty for me! The sun did not appear in the horizon, the heavens were covered with clouds, the wind blew with violence. The sea was agitated and murmured. Waves came in a mass to dash themselves against our ship and made it reel from one side to the other, so that when we were upon the deck. We reeled as if we were drunk. Sadness was painted on every face, some of us stood in fear, but confidence was in all hearts, every one trusted to the goodness of God who never abandons the persons who address themselves to him when they are in danger. Thus we took courage again in consequence of that thought.
After each of us had shaved, we washed our faces and our hands, and changed our linen. We sat at table to breakfast and we breakfasted upon a sort of table made so that the motion of the sea might not be able to upset our dishes, nor our food. The rain soon ceased, but the weather continued to be bad, and the motion of the sea augmented by little and little. At ten o'clock, we all descended into our cabin with a part of the sailors to pray to God. We said, so to speak, a mass in our spirit. M. Gallaudet preached, and I believe that his sermon made some impression on his auditory. For my own part, I prayed by memory. Our prayer continued long, it was about half after eleven o'clock when we finished. We saw with satisfaction that the weather grew mild and that the sea became appeased. We passed the afternoon upon deck, we did not work, we did not play, we talked together a little, we thought of God in walking or in sitting on the bench. In time, the hour of supper approached, and after supper and prayer, which is made by Mr. Gallaudet and Cowperthwaite by turns, everyone went to bed. As for myself, I did not sleep at all. It was the first time of my wakefulness, and I do not know what was the cause of it. I wished much or I had a strong desire to sleep, but I could not.
Monday, June the 24th. The morning was a little cold, the wind continued to blow and to be contrary, but the sea was less agitated than the day before. Almost all the companions of my voyage were more or less indisposed, and principally poor M. Gallaudet, who suffered so much that I pitied him. From time to time he paid a tribute to Neptune. As for myself, thanks to God, I have not yet been sick since I left Havre, I attribute that happiness to my constitution. I passed all the morning upon deck and sat in the sunshine to write my journal. When I had dined, I applied myself to study English and passed the rest of the evening in argument with M. Gallaudet, M. Cowperthwaite and the Captain on the differences of different religions. I went to bed as soon as I had supped and prayed.
Tuesday, June the 25th. I had passed the night without being able to shut my eyes, but in the morning towards five o'clock, I fell asleep so profoundly that I should have slept till noon-day if one had not come to awake me and to tell me that the hour of breakfast had nearly expired. I was sorry that my slumber had been interrupted. I should have preferred that my friends might have breakfasted without me, but since I was awake, I must rise, and I rose in a moment. I seemed to be yet quite asleep, but when I had washed my face, I was as fresh as a rose. My friends had risen half an hour since; I saluted them; I found them all in good health, except M. Gallaudet who continued to suffer with sea-sickness. We sat at table, and for myself, I ate with an appetite. Besides a good bit of cold meat and another fish and buttered-bread, I drank two bowls of coffee and afterwards a glass of cider to refresh me. I went upon deck, and in walking, I stood from time to time, my eyes on the ocean, and looked upon the waves. I discovered no vessel. I conversed with M. Gallaudet. He spoke to me of New York and told me that he longed to arrive there and to see his relations and his friends, and especially Dr. Cogswell and his other Hartford friends.
The weather having become gloomy and cold, we passed all the evening in our cabin. Some slept sitting, some read, some wrote, some talked together, and after supper and prayer, our companions having gone to bed, M. Gallaudet and I remained in our cabin. He showed me the recital of his voyage from America to England; of all that he had done during his residence in this last country, and of his voyage from England to France. That busied us till eleven o'clock when we retired.
I think it necessary to say here that I have been in London, and that I was there whilst Mr. Gallaudet was there also. He saw me with that The Abbe Sicard and two of my French friends at a lecture which we gave to the English public. I also saw him but I was too busied, and I did not give enough attention to him to enable me to recognize him when he came to Paris. I did not recollect him until after some time.
Wednesday, June the 26th. The whole day was bad, the weather always windy, the sea always agitated, the wind always contrary, so that we made but little way. My friend M. Gallaudet always indisposed, and all my companions melancholy. Indeed, all that were well were wearisome. Moreover, how much we wished to be in New York, but we ought to have patience. This day was without controversy, the worst we have passed since we left Havre. The evening principally tired us, we did not know what to do. One while we ascended upon deck, another while we descended into our cabin; one while it was fine weather, another while it rained, although it was the best season of the year.
I talked a little with M. Wilder. We spoke at first of Proctor and afterwards of marriage. He asked me if I should like to marry a deaf and dumb lady, handsome, young, virtuous, pious and amiable. I answered him that it would give me much pleasure but that a deaf and dumb gentleman and a lady suffering the same misfortune could not be companions for each other, and that consequently a lady endowed with the sense of hearing and with the gift of speech was and ought to be preferable and indispensable to a deaf and dumb person. Mr. Wilder replied nothing, but I am sure that he found my argument just.
Thursday, June the 27th. How idle I have been! It was almost nine o'clock when I awoke. I sat at table to breakfast as soon as I was up. After breakfast, I passed all the morning upon deck at work. I had three days of my diary in arrears. I finished them that I may be less busied in the following days, and when M. Gallaudet had corrected my blotted paper, I wrote it fair in my stitched book. And when I had finished it I came again upon deck, and whilst I recreated myself, I perceived upon the surface of the water several fishes, named porpoises (marsonins), which amused themselves by appearing and then vanishing out of sight. We all took pleasure in looking upon them. Hardly had we lost sight of them when one of our companions cried: "Ho there! My friends, ho there! There is a monster, a horrible monster! See! Yes, see there!" We all ran toward him and had a strong desire to see that large animal. We cast our eyes this way and that way, but in vain. We could discover nothing. It appears that the monster was afraid and had fled. We stood some moment, hoping that the animal would appear again, but seeing that he did not come, we returned to sit in our places. We soon went to dinner, after which I ascended again upon deck. By turns I studied, sitting in the sunshine. I talked with M. Gallaudet who spoke to me of the American deaf and dumb, and especially of Miss Alice, of her father, of her mother, of her brother and of Miss Gilbert and of her marriage, and of her extreme intelligence. We were going to continue our conversation when one came to give us notice that supper was served. We ceased there our conversation with regret and descended to supper. After supper we all ascended again upon deck, and M. Gallaudet and I took up again the thread of our conversation, which continued till nine o'clock, at which time we went to prayer and to bed.
M. Gallaudet gave me different pieces of his composition written in English. They are so precious that I will keep them. I am then going to copy them here, and when I shall have copied them I shall translate them into French. That exercise will serve much to perfect me in English.
MEDITATIONS AT SEA
The morning is as sweet as the smile of an infant. We have slept in safety, for God has preserved us. "In Him we live and move and have our being." The morning is calm like the breast of the innocent, but who is innocent save the Angel of God! We all have sinned, and our breasts have been like the troubled sea, gloomy and agitated. Christ once bade the waves cease and they were still. We alone by his grace can calm the storm that agitates our bosoms and shed a sweet calm over them like the calm of this morning. Let us always trust in him.
Another day, another week is almost fled. The sun sinks beneath the wave of the west. The night will soon enshroud us in its gloom- so there will be a bright morning beyond the grave for all who trust in Jesus-the morning of an eternal day which will be cheered with the lustre of the Glory of God. Oh let us be prepared for that day, that we may rejoice and be glad in its beams. Let us trust in Christ who will be the sun of eternity.
The waves are subsiding. The wind is favorable. We bend towards our destined port. The morning is clear. All is serene and cheerful. Let our hearts overflow with gratitude to God for his goodness. May his grace make our voyage towards eternity equally promising. May a sense of his love calm the tumult of our breasts. May his wisdom guide and his spirit continually keep us in our course toward Heaven. May no clouds of unbelief or of sin obscure the beams of the sun of righteousness, but always rejoicing in his light, may our path be like that of the just and shine more and more unto the perfect day. Amen.
A PRAYER IN ENGLISH
Almighty God! I thank thee that thou hast kept me in safety during the past night. Be near me this day. Teach me to understand what I must do to secure thy love. I am ignorant, will thou enlighten me. I am sinful, will thou pardon me. Purify my heart by faith in Jesus Christ. Enable me to keep all thy commandments. Help me to love and to serve thee while I am in the world, to do good to others and when I die, receive me where thou art. I ask all for Christ's sake. Amen.
I must do it; if I do not, my master will punish me. When we shall arrive at New York, our friends will be glad to see us. Do you think that you can understand the gestures of the deaf and dumb in America?
CONVERSATION BETWEEN M. GALLAUDET AND MYSELF
At what age do you think it will be best to admit the deaf and dumb into our institution?
You can admit at all ages those who will pay their board, because they will be able to remain there as long as they may wish. For those who may be at the expense of the Government, I think that it will be best not to admit them, except at ten years of age.
How long a time do you think that the Government will grant to the deaf and dumb persons who may be at its expense?
I shall endeavor to have them. continue 7 or 8 years. The children of the rich can stay longer. I shall write some few directions for parents who have deaf and dumb children, that they may teach them the alphabet and the names of material things before they come to us. What do you think of this? I mean for such as cannot be sent to us when young.
But if the children are ten years of age, the parents can send them immediately. If, on the contrary, the children are too young, that is, if they are 6 or 7 or 8 or 9 years of age, what you have just said will produce a good effect.
Take care of that little book, do not suffer the writing to be effaced, for I wish to preserve it.
God alone is omnipotent, no other being is so. God is displeased only with the wicked and with no other beings.
Do any of the passengers wear spectacles? I, alone, of all the passengers wear spectacles. Do you wear spectacles? Yes, and I only of all the passengers wear them.
He is only laughing. He only is laughing. He alone is laughing. He is laughing alone.
In winter he wears only a coat and never puts on a surcoat. In winter he alone wears a coat, the rest of the savages wear a blanket.
You alone understand French. You understand French alone. You understand only French.
When alone or only qualifies a substantive, that substantive stands by itself and is separated from all other beings or things of the same kind.
When alone or only qualifies a verb, the quality expressed by that verb is separated from all other qualities.
The King alone is supreme. The King is only a man. The King only rides, he never walks. The King alone rides, his attendants walk.
Friday, June the 28th. The sun shone brightly when I rose. Its beams penetrated even into my chamber and seemed to announce fair weather for all the day: in effect it was so. The wind blew softly; the waves were calm, the ship navigated the sea peaceably; in a word, the day was one of the finest in the world. We were very glad of it, because it enabled us to be well. The latter part of the breakfast, being yet at table, M. Gallaudet and I took occasion to speak of London, and he asked me what I thought of the Houses of Peers and of Commons in England and of those of France, and if I had seen each one. I answered him that I had seen all; that I was at the English House of Peers when the Prince Regent came there to announce in a fine discourse the victory of Waterloo, the flight of the Emperor Napoleon and his second abdication of the Throne of France, and the future happiness and repose of all the nations of Europe; and that I was at the House of Commons when a member of that illustrious assembly proposed to raise a monument to the honour of the Hero of Waterloo (the Duke of Wellington). I questioned afterwards Mr. Gallaudet on our own houses of France. He told me that he had seen each one, with this difference, that when he was at the Chamber of Peers, there was nobody in it, and that when he was in that of Commons, there was a crowd. He found the exterior of the House fine and yet the interior finest. He praised the uniforms and regular manner in which the members were dressed. He did them the justice to acknowledge the dignity of their character and their talents. He admired the place distinguished and raised in the middle of the House, where every orator can conveniently pronounce his discourse; but that the same time, he censured their motions of body and their gestures, and the manner in which they discoursed. He found that they made too much noise. He would wish that they did not shake the head, nor hand, nor arm so much: in a word, he would seem to wish that they would stand like statues. I rejected Mr. Gallaudet's argument and assured him that the manners of the French orators were much better than those of the English, who, though celebrated by their light and knowledge, made their discourse but little interesting, since they do not accompany it with some motion of the body to give some idea of the beauty of expression, and since they discourse with their head fixed and arms crossed. M. Gallaudet and I were going to continue to speak for and against, when one gave the sign of rising from table and that caused our debate to cease. We are not yet agreed. Every one of us wishes to have reason in what he says. I leave it to the reader who may read my paper to say who had the best of the argument.
We ascended upon deck and I passed all the morning in copying the different pieces of the composition of M. Gallaudet, which are above. After dinner, I continued to copy and when I had finished, M. Gallaudet made me acquainted with the different pieces of American money and with the value of each, and after supper he related to me the history, or rather he gave me by signs, the description of the manner in which the seamen make the passengers pay their tribute to Neptune in passing the Equinox when they cannot give the former some bottles of wine. His account amused me much and excited my laughter a great deal. A moment before descending into our cabin, M. Wilder came to sit near me and proposed to me the questions which I am now going to insert.
How do you enjoy yourself on board a ship?
As much as it is possible. However, the time hangs heavy upon me.
You are fortunate not to be seasick.
Thanks to God, I have a good constitution.
You must have patience. You are under the protection of God who directs all human events.
Whilst I read, M. Wilder removed himself from me and descended into the cabin. I soon followed him there, and when we were all assembled, we prayed to God and went to bed, and I fell asleep as soon as I was in bed.
Saturday, June the 29th. After having washed and arranged my dress and breakfasted, I ascended upon deck and retired apart to write my journal of the preceding day. It was almost two o'clock when I finished. M. Gallaudet asked to see what I had done, but as I was a little fatigued, I proposed to him to delay correcting my English till after dinner. He consented to it and I walked and relaxed my mind. We dined and after dinner, we went to take the air upon deck during half an hour, after which we descended again into our cabin. We sat there side by side. I presented my blotted paper to him with the same fearfulness which a scholar feels when he shows his lesson to his master. In correcting my English, M. Gallaudet told me that I began to make fewer faults than formerly, and that if I continued to apply myself faithfully, in a short time I should not make any more. When he had finished the correction, he went to shave himself, and when he had done, I shaved myself in my turn. I employed much water. The steward perceived it and complained of it. He requested me to use it economically because it began to fail. I answered him that I must have considerable water everytime I shaved myself, but that for the future, I should do it with as little as possible. Supper was soon ready and we all took our seats at table. After supper I conversed with M. Gallaudet who gave me some lessons in English, and I retired after having prayed to God together with the rest.
Sunday, June the 30th. It is scarcely ever fair weather for two days together. Yesterday was fair so that I foresaw that the following day would be entirely bad. My foresight was realized. The morning of Sunday was cold, rainy and windy, which rendered us all sad; but we did not murmur. We resigned ourselves to the will of God who does all that he pleases. He is our Creator, our Lord, our Maker, and we ought to be submissive to him.
After breakfast I learned that yesterday evening a sailor had let a block tumble and that it had fallen behind Mr. Wilder, but without having touched him. He became pale, thoughtful and pensive. By little and little he took courage again and set his confidence in God whom he thanked for having preserved him from that accident. We joined our prayers to his, and immediately asked God to keep us all in safety, and we hope that he will protect us. Mr. Gallaudet having again become sick, could not preach as he did the pre- ceding Sunday. Everyone passed the day as best he could. For myself, having received from M. Gallaudet a little book entitled: "The Dairyman's daughter", an authentic and interesting narrative. I threw myself, all dressed, on my bed to read it with more attention. That religious work interested me infinitely and I read it till the end with much pleasure. I was moved to pity Elizabeth's letters to the Minister, her tender care towards her younger sister and towards her relations, the latter part of her life and her Christian life, all that was a happiness but seldom to be found. I have no doubt that she found in Heaven a deserved reward for her labours. If I should ever be so fortunate as to find a companion for my wife like Elizabeth of whom I read this day, happy indeed I shall be in this world as well as in the next. When I had finished the reading of this excellent work, I rose from my bed and ascended upon deck. The sun shone, but the wind continued to blow with violence and to be contrary. After dinner we passed all the evening up on deck; we walked and talked together till the hour of supper and as soon as we had prayed to God, we went to bed.
Monday, July the 1st. I did nothing extraordinary this day. Consequently the reader ought not to expect to find anything interesting in it. Nevertheless, if he wishes to know what I did, I shall tell him that I passed all the morning in writing my diary of yesterday, and the afternoon in transcribing my work in my journal, The rest of the evening was employed in conversing upon deck alternately with the companion of my voyage, either sitting, standing or walking, and if one desires to know the subject of our conversation, his curiosity will be satisfied in hearing that we spoke of American, of its inhabitants, of their manner, of their customs, of their habits, of their religion, of their domestic happiness and of the care which must be taken when one is in their society; not to offend the chaste ears or eyes of the ladies, not to excite their blushes. That information surprised me much, and so much the more as I never had seen, or heard anything like it, and as this singularity of the manners of the American ladies was a very striking contrast to those of the European ladies who are not so scrupulous in things of a like nature, and who tolerate all sorts of liberty in conversation, except licentiousness. But wishing to render myself agreeable to everyone, I shall endeavor to familiarize myself with the customs of those amiable persons.
Tuesday, July the 2nd. I devoted all the morning to the study of the English language, and before noon I laboured with M. Gallaudet in translating the French prepositions into English.
I have forgotten to say in the beginning of my journal that we have in our ship different species of living animals for our daily nourishment, among which are six hogs, several ducks and several cocks and hens. We have also some canary birds to tickle the ears of the passengers by the agreeable sound of their singing. Ah well!! After dinner I was told that one was now going to kill a hog. In truth, I saw two strong sailors seize the poor animal by his feet, throw him down and thrust a large knife in his neck. The blood flew and gushed-such a spectacle caused too much pain. After a little walk upon deck for our digestion, M. Gallaudet and I sat on benches over against one another, and he told me that if I was disposed to hear a terrible history, he would relate it to me upon the spot. I answered him that whatever might be the novel history which he was going to tell me, I was all ready to hear. Then he gave me the particulars of a wreck which happened twelve years since. Ah! What a wreck! What a terrible wreck! How much my heart was grieved at it! I had nevertheless the strength to hear the recital till the end, and when M. Gallaudet had ceased to speak. I could not think of it without horror. I dare not under- take to give here the full account of it, lest the reader would tremble or quake as I had done. I will spare his sensibility, and I am sure that he will be obliged to me for it.
I rose from the bench to dissipate the disagreeable impression which that narrative had made on my mind, and in walking, I perceived some seabirds named Mauette in French as I think, and in English, sea gulls or sheer water. They are neither larger nor smaller than the sparrows. They flew this way and that way, up and down, and in the same manner as the swallows do. I stopped and took pleasure in looking upon them. They continued to fly during several hours around our ship; and when they felt themselves fatigued, they reposed on the surface of the water and committed themselves to the waves; sometimes they dipped into the sea which leads me to think that they are amphibians, or else that there are rocks to which they retire.
After supper I asked the mate of the Captain how many miles we had made during the fifteen days in which we had been on the sea. He answered me that we had made but 600 miles. I was chagrined and said that we had made a very little way and having gone to look for some chalk in the cabin, I came again quickly and having calculated, I told my friends that if the wind continued to make as little way in fifteen days, we should not be able to arrive at New York under ninety days. Oh! not so long a time! cried out M. Gallaudet and some others. But, yes, certainly, replied I. I maintain that that will take place unless the wind should change in our favour. In the meanwhile, the Captain desiring, according to what I thought, that the time should not hang heavy upon us, told us that if the wind became favorable, we should make 200 miles in 24 hours and that consequently we should arrive in America in 15 or 18 days. That assurance was going to satisfy us, but M. Wilder, instead of adopting the sentiment of the Captain, augmented our fears by saying that we should arrive not 24 hours from the 12th of August. I spoke in my turn and said that if philosophy was true, the months which had the letter J in them, were entirely bad, and that consequently the advice of Mr. Wilder seemed just to me. One asked me the reason for what I advanced. I gave it in answering that the letter J brought ill luck since it was the letter of the name Judas. My companions laughed and found my answer ingenious. We all soon went to prayers and to bed.
Wednesday, July the 3rd. I do not know how it happens that I have become, contrary to my custom, less careful and attentive. One while I break a glass, another while I throw down a bottle on the table, again I spill some water here and there in my room and upon my bed, another while I run the risk of committing some faults yet still more serious. In truth, I have become quite heedless. I attribute this inconsideration to the trouble which affects my mind for want of recreation. This morning after rising I ascended upon deck with a glass in my hand. My intention was to fill it up with water to rinse my teeth. Before rinsing them I had the glass for a few moments on a bench. In the. meantime a sudden gust of wind caused it to tumble. The noise which it made in breaking drew towards me the looks of the persons who were upon deck and I believe that inwardly they blamed me. I was indeed a little ashamed and sorry for that imprudence. When I had breakfast I retired apart and sheltered myself from the beams of the sun. I was busy there in writing my preceding day. All was finished before the hour of dinner, and after our meal, M. Gallaudet corrected my bad English. I afterwards relaxed my mind in talking a moment with M. Cowperthwaite:
How long do you expect to stay ill America, should you be so fortunate as to arrive there safety?
I hope to stay there three years. Then I shall return to France. The time hangs heavy upon me here. I wish much to arrive at New York.
How long have you been studying the English language?
I knew almost nothing before my departure from Havre. I had neglected to learn English when I went to London.
I have seen your journal and I think that you make great progress. You have a very good instructor in M. Gallaudet. You should be very thankful for so good a guide and I hope you are.
I shall endeaver to make better progress when I shall be on shore. Yes, I have a good instructor in M. Gallaudet and I hope to speak English in a short time.
I hope your labours will be blessed to that poor class of Deaf and Dumb in America. You should pray to God for his blessing upon your exertions for their good.
I shall not fail to pray to God for his blessing upon our exertions for their good.
I have prayed to him several times and I hope our wishes have been heard.
It is a great happiness that we may have that privilege to pray to God. He has promised that he hears our prayers if we pray in a proper manner. Do you pray with or without a written form of prayer, or do you use both?
I always pray with a book, but mine is in my trunk. I am obliged to pray from memory.
I am afraid that you will get out of patience with me, but these questions and answers will fill up our time which hangs heavy upon us. If you have no objections to it, I will ask some more, or if you please you may put some questions to me.
Your conversation gives me much pleasure, I assure you, and the more I converse with you, the more I shall become learned in your language, but I must go to write fair my blotted paper of this morning. I ask your permission to do this, and at the same time I beg you to leave me this paper that I may transcribe in my journal, our conversation of this day.
I descended into the cabin. I had hardly written two pages when the steward came to give me notice that the supper was going to be served. I was then obliged to rise from the table and to defer to the next day, the remainder of my journal. I went to rejoin my companions upon deck and found them in conversation on the anniversary of the independence of their country, which would take place the next day, and on the project which they had of celebrating the day as one of their best days. It was proposed that one should pronounce a discourse on that occasion. We applauded this proposition. We promised to listen with the greatest attention, and to be better understood. We advised the orator to pronounce his discourse upon a place very much raised. There is not, said one, a place more raised than the shrouds. The gentlemen would do well to pronounce his discourse there. No, No, said another. The gentlemen would do much better to pronounce it higher,--up the mast. He would be better heard and understood and he would feel better from above the impressions which his oration might produce upon the minds and in the hearts of his auditors. We amused ourselves with this little raillery because we knew that he had not really any intention of pronouncing any discourse. Afterwards we went to supper; then to walk; then to prayers and then to bed.
Thursday, July the 4th. As I said yesterday, I continued my journal after breakfast, and when I had finished it, having learned that every one of my friends would pronounce in dining, a sentiment applicable to the anniversary of their independence, I prepared one for my own part, for I wished to take my share in the festival and mingle my joy with theirs. The dinner was soon ready, and we all sat at table. We had an extraordinary dinner. At the desert, everyone gave a toast. We began at the eldest and descended to the youngest. We were in number six persons. The eldest was Captain Hall. He spoke then the first and gave this toast:
"The 4th of July-may it be celebrated by patriots and true Republicans while time continues!"
Then Mr. Wilder gave his:
"As we did by true blessings of God and our own valor, secure on this day forty years ago our national independence, so may we by the Grace of God, a strict adherence to the principles and practice of the Religion of our Saviour, and relying on His merits, secure to ourselves a happy reception into that blessed Kingdom, whose law is peace, whose king is love, and whose duration is eternity."
Then Mr. Cowperthwaite gave his:
"May the free-born sons of America on the ocean join in unison with their Brethren this day on shore in ascriptions of praise to God as the author of their independence; may they ever be united in preserving the same to the latest posterity."
Then Mr. Gallaudet gave the following toast:
"Patriotism is a virtue if it does not degenerate into national prejudice. While Americans are grateful for the blessings which their own country enjoys, may they be anxious to diffuse civil liberty and religious truths throughout the world."
When my turn came, I drew my sentiment from my pocket and gave it to Mr. Gallaudet, requesting him to read it with a loud voice:
"Today is the 4th of July. This day ought to be a fine day for all the Americans, for it its the anniversary of their liberty, of their independence and of their happiness. May this anniversary long return. May this liberty long continue! May this Republic long exist!
"Long live the memory of the great Washington! How much his name ought to be revered from generation to generation and continue till the most remote posterity! Let us never forget that this illustrious general was seconded by the French in his generous undertakings!!
"The French have always been the friends of the Americans and it is to be wished that they may always be so! Let us drink to the friendship and the good harmony which now reign between the two countries, and let us address prayers to God for their common felicity!
"May the citizens of the United States ever feel how great a happiness it is for man to be free! May their President always be an able and worthy magistrate!
"Let us drink also to the health of the amiable and virtuous American ladies, without whom there would be no true bliss in this world!!"
To conclude, the last toast was given by Mr. Gregory who drank to the health of General Jackson:
"Gentlemen! Whilst we celebrate the day, let us not forget the noble defender of our country in the last war. If the Misissippi River should dry up and all its branches let its noble hero, Andrew Jackson glitter on its bank forever."
We drank a small glass of Bordeaux wine to each toast. We were more than an hour at table. At length we rose and went to walk upon deck. As for me, I did not walk long. I had a wish to sleep and went and threw myself on my bed and slept till one awoke me to take tea. I rose immediately and went to bed again as soon as I had supped and prayed to God.
Friday, July the 5th. This day was one of our most tedious days. It rained, it was cold, and to increase our unhappiness the wind continued to be contrary, which it had been for seventeen days, and caused all of us to be sad, melancholy and indisposed. The majority of us went to bed at noon-day and endeavored to sleep that the time might not hang so heavily upon us. We nevertheless did not murmur. We had a good ship and a good Captain, and as God directed the winds, it was our duty not to complain. We still trusted in him and hoped that he would sooner or later change the wind in our favour. That thought encouraged us. The confidence we felt revived us and joy appeared again on our faces. At evening when all were in bed, M. Gallaudet and I stayed in the cabin and conversed together till about eleven o'clock. We talked of London and of the persons whom we had reciprocially known there, especially of M. Wilberforce, General Macauley and Mr. Babington to each of whom we gave a sign to distinguish them. Slumber soon began to seize our sense and invited us to go to bed.
Saturday, July the 6th. I have a pretty little room in the ship. If my friends are to be believed, it is the best of all. I agree to this because it is indeed very convenient. Nevertheless, the air does not penetrate thither enough, so that when I am in bed, I perspire although I am lightly covered. This heat causes me not to sleep as well as I should wish. I do nothing but turn all the night from right to left and from left to right and over and over. That continual stirring disorders my bed. At length, at the break of day, after having turned and stirred a great deal, in spite of myself, I feel myself so fatigued that slumber comes and agreeably surprises me. I continue to sleep profoundly whilst my friends dress themselves and when one comes to see or to awake me, he finds me in this state, and my profound slumber leads him to think that I have passed a good night and that I like much to sleep. What an error! What a mistake! It is not wonderful that after so bad a slumber I have a mind to sleep in the day, My friends were up, half an hour before me; breakfast was ready; they waited only for me; it was then my duty to rise and I rose immediately. When I had breakfast, I laboured till dinner to write or to study, and after dinner, I shaved myself to be neat the next day; but I did not yet change my linen, our French custom being to change it on Sunday in the morning and not before. When I had entirely finished, I ascended upon deck and passed all the evening in talking with Mr. Gallaudet. It was fine weather all the day, the morning was fresh, the afternoon warm, and the evening, embellished by the moon, promised fine weather for the next day.
Sunday, July the 7th: How inconstant and variable the weather is in this month!! Our hope of yesterday was not realized. It was very cloudy in the morning, but it began to clear up. One perceived that the wind had changed a little in our favour, so that the Captain ordered the sails to be set for a direct course. About eleven o'clock we all descended into the cabin to pray to God. M. Gallaudet preached. His sermon did not tire his auditors because I perceived they heard him with great attention. He always says good things and he has the talent of saying them well. I have reason to say so, for after dinner, M. Wilder told me that he much regretted that I was deprived of the advantage of hearing his sermon today and that I must ask him to permit me to peruse it. I answered M. Wilder that M. Gallaudet would be so kind as to give me all his written sermons to read when we should be on land. M. Wilder was glad of it and removed from me. The bad weather fatigued me much and I thought of my relations and of my friends in France. I awoke and rose a moment before supper and ascended upon deck to take the air. After supper and prayers, M. Gallaudet and I spoke a long time of France, of America and of England. This conversation made us both glad, for nothing is so agreeable as to speak of one's country and of his acquaintances.
Monday, July the 8th. I have nothing to say on this day because I did scarcely anything, except that I passed the morning in writing my diary of yesterday, and the evening in studying English. After supper and prayers, I talked with M. Gallaudet as usual. We spoke of things of so small value that they are not worth the trouble of being related here. We had not, at first, a wish to sleep, but by dint of conversing, slumber came and surprised us by degrees. We began to nod, so that we rose from our seats and went to bed after having wished each other a good night.
Tuesday, July the 9th. I have said above that I slept ill. It was true, but at present I sleep better than I have done for some days. The reason for this is that we leave the door and the windows of our cabin open during the night and that the air penetrating everywhere, inclines us to sleep. It rained. We were of course obliged to stay down after breakfast; but the rain soon ceased, the sun appeared again and embellished the Heavens. I was not yet upon deck when a gentleman came to inform me that a whale (un Baleine) was passing through the waves and advancing toward the ship. I had a great wish to see this large fish and ascended quickly, but it had already disappeared and did not appear again. I conversed a little with M. Gallaudet and told him that the speaker of the House of Commons in London was a man of mean parentage, and that nevertheless he was not a mean orator, and that he had made his way by his merits and talents; a wonderful, admirable and unusual event!!! Afterwards I translated from memory into English a passage out of "Paul and Virginia". Then I laboured with M. Gallaudet on the method of figures which we employ, in France, to facilitate the progress of our deaf and dumb pupils in the contruction of phrases and periods. Then we dined. Then I walked a little. Then, with the aid of my dictionary, I took a lesson in geography and learned to write in English the names of all the nations or states of Europe. When M. Gallaudet had corrected my work he saw, with regret, that I spoke nothing of America. I answered him that America was not comprehended in Europe; that it was another part of the world and that I should learn all its principal states when I should be there. That answer seemed to content M. Gallaudet, who, in the meanwhile, was so kind as to give me the list of all the provinces of his country, but I did not keep them because I shall learn them at Hartford. We had hardly ceased speaking when the steward came bareheaded and barefooted to tell us graciously that tea was served and that if we delayed longer to descend it would soon grow cold, and that consequently it would he impossible to warm it again, the fire being extinguished. We were reluctant to sup so early, and so much the more as we had no appetite, but the advice of our servant prevailed and we all went to the table. Two bowls of tea and a piece of buttered bread were all that I took.
I profit by this opportunity to speak of our steward and cook; and when I shall have spoken of the first, I shall speak of the second. Our steward is named Joseph Sexton. He is a young man, very intelligent, diligent, laborious, dexterous, civil, complaisant, obliging and all that we could wish. When we are up in the morning, he presents to us some water to wash our faces and our hands. When we are yet in bed and sleepy, he never forgets to awake us and to tell us that breakfast is soon to be ready. At breakfast he takes care that we want nothing. At dinner he is very watchful and changes our plates, knives and forks in proportion to the number of courses served, and at supper he is not less provident. Besides all that he makes our beds well every day and sweeps our rooms and cabin as neatly as possible.
Our cook is also a young man but taller and stronger. He is a negro man and a very skillful cook. In the morning he makes us good coffee and serves us with fresh eggs or an omelet. At noon he prepares for us a well-seasoned thigh or side of a hog, an excellent dish of rice pudding, another of choice victuals, another of fine beans, another of exquisite fish, another of rare cabbages, another of choice potatoes. He dresses and roasts every day two admirable ducks or hens or cocks. In the evening he prepares good tea. Indeed, our cook is an excellent man, and I do not doubt that if any lord knew him, his lordship would entice him away.
Wednesday, July the 10th. How little provident I have been! I brought with me but one quire of paper, and I believed it would be sufficient for all the time of my passage from Havre to New York. In this I was deceived. I began to fail of paper yesterday, and today I entirely fail of it. M. Gallaudet and our other companions were not more provident. They fail of it as well as me, and I was sorry that I could not continue my journal. Luckily we were informed that the mate possessed two slates and that he could lend one of them to us. We asked it of him and he cheerfully lent it to us. It is then on this slate I prepare my diary, and when M. Gallaudet shall have corrected it, I shall transcribe it in my stitched book. This day was the finest day possible. The sun overflowed with splendour, the sea was calm, the waves quite subsided, and in the evening, the moon dissipated the darkness of the night and the stars embellished the Heavens. But if this day was favorable to us, it was not so to our voyage. There was no wind at all, so that the ship being not able to advance, we did not make any way. The interior of our ship abounds with mice. Now and then we see some running here and there. From time to time we kill some, and every day we hear them cry in their holes. They make a horrible ravage among our effects. They gnaw our books, papers, linen, clothes, provisions, etc. We have a cat, it is true, but she is so little that she cannot make war on them, and even if she were larger she would not know how to catch them, because she is spoiled and because she is nourished deliciously. She thus loses the taste of the most of the mice. Some one lately presented her with a dead mouse which she smelled and disdained. By way of retaliation our ducks are more warlike and courageous. We once threw a dead mouse upon deck and they pounced upon it, tore it in pieces, disputed over it and endeavored to eat it. And another time they swallowed, in a trice, several little mice which were put before them. I was extremely surprised at seeing that and I said that since ducks eat mice dead or live, doubtless we also eat mice when we eat ducks. I requested, therefore, that I should no more be served duck at dinner.
The weather was likewise pleasant to the inhabitants of the ocean. It was, so to speak, one of their holidays. In the morning we saw a multitude of porpoises sporting in groups on the surface of the water and amusing themselves by leaping, appearing and disappearing by turns. They were even bold enough to approach us. Full of indignation that such little animals dared to brave us, we prepared ourselves to make them repent of their temerity. A sailor, armed with a destructive instrument, mounted upon the bowsprit and waited for them with firmness, but it happened that they were informed of the snare which we had laid for them since they removed from us. In the evening we saw other groups of them but they smelled us from afar and had the same prudence. I shall speak no more of our breakfast, dinner, supper and prayers to avoid repetition. I caution the reader of this. However, if some extraordinary event should happen during our meals, then I shall not fail of returning to them.
Thursday, July the 11th. The weather was as fine as yesterday, but much warmer. At noon the sun darted its beams on our head. The deck was burning. We could find shade nowhere, so that we were forced to descend into our cabin, hoping to find there some air. In this we were deceived. The cabin was also very warm. We, however, stayed within, not being able to do better.
Our ducks have been constantly locked up since our departure from Havre. The Captain, seeing such fine weather, thought they ought to be set at liberty to make them better. He therefore opened their cage, and as they are set free, jump against each other and peck with their beaks. One of them especially was so glad that he lost his senses and fell into the sea. Had the ocean been agitated there would have been an end to him. The poor duck would have perished, but happily for him the sea was calm and pleasant and there was no danger of his sinking. The Captain called, then, some sailors and ordered them to unite and put down the Jolly-boat. (1) They proceeded to do it and when the boat was upon the sea, they descended within it. The unfortunate duck did what lay in his power to keep himself upon the water. They came to save him. At length he was saved. We were very glad of it, because our provisions would not be diminished. We must use them with great care, and so much the more, the wind being always contrary, our passage consequently will be the longer. The sailors continued to be upon the water where they perceived a great way off, I do not know what kind of a fish floating in the ocean. They boarded it, and what they took was a tortoise. When the Jolly-boat was hoisted up and set again in its place, the sailors deposited the tortoise upon the boo- by-hatch, and we all ran about him to examine it.
Note 1. This gives me an opportunity to say that besides this Jolly-boat we have also a long boat on the middle of the ship, which will serve to carry us in safety in case that the ship is wrecked.
In the evening towards six o'clock, we thought we perceived something at a little distance from us. The Captain thinking it might be an excellent fish, again ordered the Jolly-boat to descend. Whilst three sailors, among whom was the second mate (2) were descending into the boat, a cord broke and the boat tumbled. The mate dexterously sized another cord and got happily upon deck. The two other sailors fell with the boat, but they suffered no harm. The boat was half full of water. The Captain hastened to procure for them a bucket to empty it. All was quickly done, and the mate having descended again by means of another cord, they set themselves in pursuit of the prey which was already at a great distance. The Captain observed them with his telescope, and having seen them hook it, said that the fish was taken and that tomorrow we should make a good dinner of it. When the sailors had returned, they deposited, on the boo-by-hatch, not the excellent fish which the Captain was so kind as to promise us, but in effect a piece of wood surrounded with vermin or little insects. Each of us wished to know what kind of wood it was, and each having examined and smelled it by turns, pretended to know it. It is, said one, of a cherry tree. No, said another, it is of a walnut tree. Oh! how ignorant you are! said a third; No, it cannot be either a cherry tree or a walnut tree, it is cedar. Yes, a cedar, I tell you so in truth. His opinion got the advantage and we were obliged to agree to it.
Note 2. The Captain has two mates with him. The one is aged, the other young. The former acts with a great deal of prudence and never plays: the latter, on the contrary, in spite of his wisdom, laughs often and sometimes amuses us with his tales. It is of him I speak above.
Friday, July the 12th. I had told M. Gallaudet yesterday evening that this day would not be as fine as the two preceding. He asked me how I would know that. I answered him I was half a prophet. Indeed, my prediction was true, for the whole day was rainy, windy, cold and fine by turns. In the evening our Jolly- boat went some distance on the sea, but it took nothing.
Saturday, July the 13th. In the morning we discovered at a great distance before us, a ship which we supposed to be an English ship. We looked at it with our telescope to see whether it went from or whether it came toward us, and we ascertained that it held the same course with us. At noon, it rained apace but it was only a shower. In the evening, as soon as we had supped, we overtook the snip we had perceived in the morning. It was a Scotch ship sailing from Greenock to Quebec. It was full of persons of each sex. When we were over against it we had a little conversation together. The two captains reciprocially spoke and also our mate. It happened that our second mate knew the Captain of the other ship to be his countryman. The Captain knew his relations and gave him some news from them, and told him, among other things, that his brother had married the girl who he himself had loved. To conclude, we passed by that ship and soon lost sight of it. A moment before going to bed I spoke with M. Gallaudet on religion, on God, on Jesus Christ, and on what we ought to do to go to Heaven.
Sunday, July the 14th. It rained and was fine weather by turns. We prayed to God and M. Gallaudet preached as on the first Sunday. In the evening, we discovered two other ships, the one before us and the other behind. We hoped to overtake also tomorrow the one that was before us, and if we do, I shall speak of it and say what it is. Afterwards M. Gallaudet and I sat upon deck and spoke of America, and of the origin and cause of white men, of red men, of black men and of yellow men.
Monday, July the 15th. It was very fine weather all day. The two ships of which I spoke yesterday were yet in sight, but we did not overtake the forward one, as we had flattered ourselves we would do. It took a direction different from ours. As to the one behind, which, as I said, was a ship of war, it sailed towards the north, and when it had come up with us, it fired a cannon to give us notice to hoist our flag. Seeing that we did not answer, it fired a second time towards us. Our Captain understood then what it would say and ordered the flag to be hoisted. The ship of war was satisfied and ceased firing. Then our flag descended. At this opportunity I said: "That English ship of war humbles us by demanding that we hoist our flag to inform them who we are. What a humiliation for the Americans!!" Mr. Wilder told me that it was in the right, for it had cannon and we had none, and that it was we who were in the wrong! But Captain Hall wishing to avoid all political conversations knew how to conciliate us in assuring us that it was no humiliation, but a matter of etiquette which all seamen understood as well as a Frenchman understood to put his hand to his hat, which he will do to any persons. In the evening, we lost sight of these two ships. After supper, being seated upon deck, we saw a meteor in the sign Libra, falling and scattering its light which struck our eyes, and in doing which it made a little noise which was heard by some of the passengers.
Tuesday, July the 16th. I have nothing to say on this day. We did nothing extraordinary; neither did we discover anything on the ocean. The weather was fine and serene, the sun shone brightly, the wind blew but little, the sea did not murmur, the waves were silent. In a word, all was in peace around us. From time to time we saw a great number of porpoises, which sported hither and thither.
P.S. I have almost forgotten to say that we have also with us a bitch belonging to Captain Hall, and certainly I should never have named her without the event which has just happened and which now gives me an opportunity to speak of her. She yesterday evening became the mother of a pretty large family, seven in number, of whom three died and were cast into the sea. The other four who have out-lived the rest, grow while we are looking at them. The mother is extremely careful and watchful. She routs our hogs when they approach her kennel.
Wednesday, July the 17th. The weather suddenly changed. Yet the morning was rather fine, but in the afternoon it drizzled and the wind blew so violently that we began to fear our ship would be in danger, but happily the weather softened by degrees, though it continued to rain at intervals. We passed the evening very sadly; but for myself, I studied and I had no time to be weary.
Thursday, July the 18th. It continued to rain at intervals and to blow with violence, but much more violently than the preceding day, and so violently that the gallant sail of our ship was rent. Nobody perceived it except the Captain who saw it after dinner. He at once called all the sailors and ordered them to mount above. They did it, and when they were there, they busied themselves in uniting and letting down the top gallant sail, in order to substitute another in its place. This was soon done, and our ship continued her way as she had been doing.
Almost at the same time we discovered before us another ship which we soon overtook and passed by, but without having approached it, for it was at the north and we at the west, and we always have it in sight, but at a great distance. In the evening, the sea was extremely agitated. It cast water here and there upon deck, and also a certain kind of I do not know what fish, which the sailors gathered and showed us. After supper, being seated on deck near M. Gallaudet who held my slates, I took it from him and wrote upon it that the East was very avaricious, for since thirty days we have been on the sea and it has not granted us a single morsel of wind. He laughed upon reading it. The Captain having come up to sit at my side, I told him that, seeing the bad wind, we should yet be on the sea during a month and a half, and that I was rather uneasy lest we should begin to fail of water; but he removed my fears by saying that if we used our provisions with economy we might remain at sea three or four months longer and yet fail of nothing.
Friday, July the 19th. Fair weather, a calm and peaceful sea, but not a breath of wind and consequently not the least progress. The Captain wishing to assure himself whether we advanced or whether we went back or whether we stopped, ordered the second mate to let down the Jolly-boat and to go with two sailors at a distance to ascertain which way the current ran. They did it and the result of their experiment was that the current ran across the course of the ship. After dinner, a second hog was killed, but I was not present. The first time had caused me too much pain to be a witness twice to such a spectacle. I passed all the evening in reading a book entitled: "Napoleon's Abode in the Island of Ella", which the French passenger had lent me, and when I had terminated it I returned it to him.
Saturday, July the 20th. The morning was rainy, the forenoon clear and also the afternoon; the evening cloudy and in the night which became extremely stormy, it rained apace, lightened and thundered all at once. We all descended quite frightened into our cabin and whilst we prayed to God, the lightning lighted us from time to time. We did not fail to ask God to preserve us and that no accident whatever might happen to us. It appears that our wish was favorably heard, for the weather soon began to be fair again. Two hours before this we took a Dolphin (un Dauphin) which struggled with death upon deck during a quarter of an hour. To conclude, it died and the Captain dissected it. M. Gallaudet anatomized one of its eyes and preserves it as a remembrance of the victory which we had obtained on that sea animal. We ate a part of it at our supper and found it excellent, and the rest at our breakfast of the next day.
I was at this point going to terminate my diary when M. Gallaudet reminded me that I had not said all about this fish. I was then obliged to return to it and give a more ample description of it. That Dolphin was about three feet in length and eight or nine inches in width, and from two to three thick. Its head was bigger than all the other members of its body. Its eyes were quite round and as big as those of an ox. Its mouth was pretty large. It had a fin on each side near the neck and a common tail, and upon the back a large comb which opens and shuts itself as a fan, as the animal moves it, and under the belly a similar comb, but smaller. Its skin is not less remarkable. Besides that it is marked here and there with certain little black spots. It presents the image of many colours. I saw yellow on the right side, green on the left, white under the body, black above, red elsewhere, and all those colours changed as the fish moved itself. It seemed to be very strong, for it struggled long upon deck and in struggling, it made a great noise.
Sunday, July the 21st. We sanctified this Holy day as the preceding and as well as we could. Our cabin presented the image of a simple chapel, and we prayed there as if we were in a true church. At ten o'clock, we were all assembled and disposed to hear M. Gallaudet preach; but the sailors whom we should have been very glad to have with us, that our prayers might be the more efficacious, not being ready, we confined ourselves to the reading of a chapter of Saint Paul's Epistle to the Romans, and delayed the sermon till noon, an hour which would be more convenient to the sailors. In time, noon arrived, and we all descended into our chapel and sat in our usual places. The sailors soon followed us there. They were more numerous than formerly, and indeed they would all have been there, if the Captain had not been obliged to except some to watch upon deck and to direct the helm.
All being uncovered and seated in circle, and Mr. Gallaudet being in the middle of us, we seemed to present the image of the Disciples themselves, and our preacher that of Jesus Christ himself, and to hear his sermon with the same attention that the Disciples of Jesus Christ gave to his Discourses. While we thus prayed, it was sultry and still more so during our dinner. We perspired, we had not a breath of air, so that we did not eat with a good appetite. The weather, however, was cloudy. This was the presage that the night would be very stormy. Indeed, it was so. It lightened and thundered, and the wind changed very often in different directions, so that our ship being agitated in different manners, we all passed a very bad night.
Monday, July the 22nd; Tuesday, July the 23rd; Wednesday, July the 24th. I discovered nothing new during these three days, neither on the sea, nor in the Heavens, so that I have nothing interesting to announce to the readers. The weather was by turns fair, rainy, cool, moist, foggy, stormy, so that the companions of my voyage were almost all sad and tired, I, myself, was not less so, but I was somewhat relieved, one while in studying and another in sleeping.
Thursday, July the 25th. Though this day and above all, the morning ,was as sad and weary as the preceding, nevertheless it was in the afternoon much more amusing for us. During a long time we had ceased to fish, because we were in the middle of the sea, where it was impossible to take any fish. But this day we arrived on the Banks, and there, so to speak, was the abode of the Cod (Morne) and other kinds of fishes. Being favored with pleasant weather, the Captain first cast his line into the sea and a cod soon came and took the bait. When it was laid upon deck everyone of us was filled with joy and leaped and danced around it. Almost all the sailors then quit their usual business and became fishermen. More than thirty cod, one larger than the other, one halibut also, were taken in a short time, and we should have taken a greater number of them if the Captain seeing that we had more than sufficient had not ordered the fishing to cease. The sailors immediately busied themselves in cleaning the fish. Our deck had the appearance of a real butcher's hall. We tied some of the heads of the fish above the deck as a mark of our triumph. We ate one at our supper and found it very excellent, and so much the more as it was a long time since we have eaten anything equally fresh.
Friday, July the 26th. Whether the sauce which I had taken yesterday at supper with my portion of fish, was too cold, or whether I was in the wrong to mingle it with oil and vinegar, or I do not know from what the cause, when I awoke, I felt myself attacked with a sad colic which made me suffer dreadfully, but thinking that it would be a transient evil, I said nothing to anybody. It was the first time I had suffered since I left France. Thanks to coffee, I drank two bowls of it and it warmed me again and my colic was removed by degrees. I was very well at the hour of dinner, and I dined with a good appetite. As the day was rainy at intervals, we were compelled to stay constantly in our cabin, and for want of air, we were indisposed, one more than the other, and each from time to time went to bed. I, myself, did so likewise.
Saturday, July the 27th. This day was equally divided with regard to weather. The morning was fair and the evening rainy. In the morning the sailors spread their clothes upon deck to dry them by the sun, for they had been all wet the foregoing day, and the deck presented the appearance of a broker's ship. In the evening, the rain having ceased for a moment, I ascended upon deck, and in casting my eyes on the sea, I discovered at a great distance two new vessels, one of which apperared to be a fishing boat, coming from New York, which led me to think that we approached this city, and so much the more as we had this day such a wind as might have been wished for.
Sunday, July the 28th. We passed this day in the most religious manner in thinking of God and Jesus Christ, and in reading pious books, M. Gallaudet preached as he used to do, and he was heard with the same attention. It rained now and then, and from time to time the sun shone. The wind was rather favorable to us in the morning, but in the afternoon it ceased to blow, and we made not the smallest progress. Our ship agitated by the waves balanced about and about, and rocked us nearly as a nurse rocks a child. In the night the wind became favorable again, and we continued on our way.
Monday, July the 29th. The wind was tolerably good, but the weather did not improve. I was in arrears for several days of my journal. I therefore passed all this day, morning and evening, in writing it and I soon overtook the last day, and when
I had finished all, I went with a book in my hand, to take a little walk upon deck, and when I felt myself rather fatigued, I sat on the bench and began to read. By this means I was not tired and the time fell less heavily upon me.
Tuesday, July the 30th. How many inconveniences are on the sea! Besides many dangers which one runs there, such as wrecks, failures of provisions and above all, of sweet water, sickness, indisposition, weariness and a thousand other accidents, one is besides very incommodiously situated in a ship. One while one complains of too great heat and of not a breath of air, another while one finds it is too cold, and while one bemoans on account of the moistness of both the interior and exterior of the ship, another while one murmurs against the contrary wind, and often when one is on the water, one wishes to return to land. To say in a few words, one's wishes are turned topsy- turvy. Indeed, the voyages on the ocean are quite distasteful, and I pity with all my heart those who, knowing not these inconveniences, would yet go on the sea. I could say other things on the same subject, but it would be to discourage travellers, and it is what I should not be willing that they should feel.
I admire moreover, the patience of these poor sailors who have passed almost all their life on this terrible element, and who are so good as to transport us from one country to another, where our own interest or affairs of trade call us, and who consent to suffer cold, heat, hunger, thirst, and privations of all sorts, and who even make the sacrifice of their life for their love of us.
Such were the reflections I had this day, and I have judged convenient to insert them in my journal, having no other things to say.
Wednesday, July the 31st. The weather being pretty fair, and the sun having appeared again after an absence of three days, we made good use of it to pass the day upon deck to dry us, for the preceding bad weather had made all moist and also our clothes. Whilst I was seated upon a bench having Mr. Gallaudet near me, we saw the sailors pass and repass before us by turns. That led us to speak of them. M. Gallaudet to whom the Captain had given some days previous, some particulars about each of them, knew them almost individually. Consequently he could easily satisfy me on all that I wished to be informed of respecting them, and I was told that we were all from different countries of the world.
Among the sailors were a Dutchman, a Russian, two Englishmen (and they were the Captain and our Steward), a Scotchman (and he was the Second Mate), two negro men among whom was our cook. All the remainder of the sailors were Americans. Among the passengers were two Frenchmen (myself and another); all the others were Americans. See the beginning of my journal. This assemblage of individuals of different nations, who have expatriated themselves, reminds me of the dispersion of the ancient peoples, and ought to lead us to think much of the future.
At this moment we perceive four vessels around us; one is to the north, another to the south; a third to the west, and a fourth to the east. If we succeed in overtaking any of them, I shall speak of it tomorrow.
Thursday, August the 1st. In the morning, the four vessels of which I spoke yesterday were yet in sight, but in different directions. At noon, we saw one directing her course towards us, and when she was nearer, she hoisted her flag, probably to persuade us to raise ours also, that she might know who we were. We then hoisted ours, and certainly we were each agreeably surprised to see that each flag bore the same colors and that consequently we were both from the same nation. I thought the aforesaid vessel might be that of Captain Burke whom we had seen in Havre and who was to go away one or two days after us. This thought which I suggested to Mr. Wilder, proved to be just for the two vessels were soon abreast of each other and the two Captains having talked together by means of a speaking trumpet, made themselvess reciprocially known. Their conversation was the following dialogue:
"Who are you?" asked the Captain of the other ship.
Answer: "Mary-Augusta, Captain Hall, and you?"
"Captain Burke. What is your longitude?" continued the latter.
"Sixty-four degrees", replied Captain Hall, and what is yours?"
"You are right", was the answer. "That is a Paddy's answer" said our Captain.
Then we had so separated that the conversation ceased and the passengers of each ship saluted each other by removing their hats from their heads. We were astonished that she had overtaken us, and since she has overtaken us I doubt not that she will arrive first.
Friday, August the 2nd. During all this day we enjoyed fair weather and a pleasant breeze. We made some progress especially in the morning, which infinitely rejoiced us, for the wind had continually been contrary for a long time, and it was very natural to be joyful this once. In the forenoon we perceived a plank floating on the sea. The Captain ordered the Jolly-boat to be put down, and two sailors having at their head the second mate, went to get it.
I had been slightly indisposed, so that this day, when I had waked, I took physic, and though I continued to take it during three days, it resulted in no wholesome effect as I had hoped. Nevertheless, little by little I recovered my good health, thanks to the Divine goodness.
Saturday, August the 3rd. It continued to be fine weather, but we did not make any progress for want of wind. I studied in the morning. In the afternoon I prepared myself for the next day, which was a Sunday. I passed the remainder of the evening upon deck walking, talking, and reading by turns, and when it was night, I sat on bench to contemplate the full moon which lighted brightly and silvered the surface of the sea.
Sunday, August the 4th. The weather was rather gloomy than fair. The sun shone faintly, and now and then it drizzled. At noon, at the moment in which we were going to descend into our cabin to hear Mr. Gallaudet's sermon as on the preceding Sundays, we perceived on the right and the left of our ship a great numbers of fishes of different sizes and kinds, which swam helter-skelter on the sea. We wished much to take some, but we could not; none took the bait. M. Gallaudet had waited for us an hour in order to begin service. We hastened then to descend, and when we were all assembled, he began service by the reading of a chapter of the Holy Bible, and after having pronounced the sermon, our worship was terminated by the singing of a psalm in verse. I heard nothing, but I did not lose my time, for I read a religious French book. It was two o'clock when we finished, and it was the hour of dinner. The steward hastened then to spread the tablecloth and while he thus prepared our meal, we were taking a little walk upon deck. We passed the afternoon as we used to do, that is to say, we read religious books and thought of God. Sometimes to recreate our mind, we suspend our reading, and wearied our sight on the ocean, but we discovered nothing. The sun hardly set when a thick fog came and benighted the horizon, so that we could see nothing around us. We then descended into the cabin, where after a short conversation on indifferent subjects, we prayed to God, and after prayers our companions went to bed, except M. Gallaudet and myself, who had not yet a wish to sleep. Seated abreast on the sofa, the fog was the subject of our conversation, and led M. Gallaudet to relate to me the following history.
"The fog," said he, "is very dangerous and above all when one is on the sea. Sometimes ago, M. Williams, an American, went from Hamburg to America in a ship with several passengers. The ship was not far from land, when she was surprised by a fog like that of this day. The Captain and all the passengers were in the cabin playing at cards. There was upon the deck but only the mate and one or two sailors to watch, but they could see and distinguish nothing, because the fog was excessively thick. It chanced to happen that M. Williams was in his berth, and at this time, suddenly the ship rapidly knocked against another ship going from America to England. The former on which was M. Williams was sunk by the latter. Captain, mates, sailors, passengers, were shipwrecked without anyone in the other ship having perceived or heard it. By a very happy providence, M. Williams who had immediately after the knock, run on deck, seized a cord, saved himself and arrived upon the deck of the other ship after many difficulties. He believed himself on his own ship. He was soon surrounded by the crew. Oh astonishment! Oh thing unheard! Oh strange event! What did he see! New faces! New persons! New cabin! New ship! The surprise of the other passengers was not less great. They questioned among themselves. M. Williams asked where he was, and the passengers how he had been introduced. There was surprise, fright, consternation on both sides. At length, all was explained, all was cleared up. They grieved and pittied on another". Reader! See there a terrible effect of the fog! But consider that which happens in the wicked world, happens by the will of God. It is to warn us to be prepared for death. That relation caused me much pain. I trembled in proportion as M. Gallaudet spoke. To terminate the history of M. Williams, I shall say that he was brought to England without money, linen or raiment. Arrived in London, he by degrees made progress in commercial transactions, and at present he is one of the richest bankers of London. He has in Paris a brother who is soon to marry the daughter of M. Hottinger; also a rich banker in Paris. M. Gallaudet and I felt ourselves fatigued and above all affected by the horrible event he had been relating, and we soon went to bed.
Monday, August the 5th. When I had risen, I ascended upon deck and saw with reluctance the fog was not yet wholly dissipated. The horizon seemed to be all in smoke. The sun, nevertheless, appeared from time to time in the morning, but its beams were too weak to be able to remove the fog. Casting my eyes upon the ocean as I usually do, I discovered a ship behind us. I asked the mate if she was the same as that of the other day. "Oh, no" answered he, "she is another and I am also ignorant who she is." She soon overtook us for being of a light construction, she had a speed superior to ours. When we were abreast the two captains held a parley together and had the following dialogue:
1. Captain of the Wm. P. Johnson: "From whence came you?"
2. Captain Hall: "From Havre de Grace."
1. "How many days out?"
2. "Forty-seven days." 1.
2. "From whence came you?"
1. "From Liverpool".
2. "How many days out?"
1. "Fifty days."
2. "Pray, what ship is that?"
1. "The Wm. P. Johnson bound for Philadelphia."
2. "How far to the westward do you suppose yourself?"
1. "68 Degrees"
2. "Did you get an observation yesterday?"
2. "Have you got any soundings?"
1. "Yes, 20 fathoms, have you?"
2. "Yes, 41 fathoms."
They had hardly ceased to ask one another the things which they reciprocally wished to know, when the rain coming on unlooked for, obliged us to descend into our cabin again. It soon ceased to rain, but a new fog yet more thick succeeded to it and concealed the ship from our sight. It augmented little by little so that it was night at noon day and we could hardly distinguish the objects around us. The deck was all in winter, we thought we were in the heart of winter. We passed almost all the remainder of the day in our cabin, and we were extremely tired, and to increase our unhappiness, we made not the smallest progress. The Captain knowing not in what longitude we were, directed during the night our ship towards the south, lest we should meet rocks or some other accidents towards the west, being already as he thought, near them. I conversed after prayers with M. Gallaudet for an hour, after which we went to bed, wishing each good night.
Tuesday, August the 6th. In the morning the fog began to remove and in the evening it was wholly dissipated. After sunset the Heavens, especially to the west, were embellished with fine and different colours. It was a good passage for the next day. No news on the sea nor in the ship nor around us, except that the Captain, for some days, sounded every evening and found it was one worth forty-one fathoms, another while fifty fathoms, and once profoundity could not be measured.
Wednesday, Augut the 7th. My presage of yesterday was realized. During all this day we enjoyed fair weather and a pleasant breeze. The wind was favorable and we made great progress. Towards one o'clock afternoon, we approached a fishing boat of the adjacent parts of Boston. The two captains spoke together as is usual. Ours asked the other who he was, when he had left land whence he came and where he went. In what longitude he supposed himself and whether he had got any soundings. Having received a satisfactory answer to the above enquiries, the talk ceased, but a moment after, Captain Hall recollecting that he had not asked all, renewed conversation and requested his colleague to give him some news from America. The latter said there was no news, nothing extraordinary, and that things continued in their usual course. The two ships were then so far the one from the other, that the conversation entirely ceased.
Thursday, August the 8th. Oh, great joy among us all! We are told that we are approaching America, that if the wind continues, we shall be in sight of New York in two days at latest. May God grant that this hope may be realized! But whatsoever He may please to command, we are all disposed to resign ourselves to His orders, and whatsoever may happen, I shall mention it tomorrow. It is very fine weather today and I hope it will continue to be so tomorrow.