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JQA Diary, volume 28 6 August 1809
JQA Neal Millikan Travel and Touring (international)
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6. Sunday.— On rising this morning we found ourselves out of sight of land— Weather cool and foggy— Winds light, and rather scant— About South; with some East— All the LadiesCharles—and Mr: Everett who has never before been to sea, are sick. Mr: Gray, who likewise is a new Sailor, has not yet been so— Mr: Smith and myself scarcely perceive that we are at sea.

This is the fourth time that in the course of my life, I have embarked from Boston for Europe— The first was 11. Feby: 1778. in the Boston Frigate, Captain Tucker— The second 14. November 1779. in the Sensible, French Frigate, Captain Chavagnes. The third 17. September 1794. In the Alfred, merchant-ship, Captain Macey— On the first and second of these voyages, I accompanied my father, who was going abroad upon public missions— On the third, I went in a similar character myself, and was accompanied by my brother— The separation from my family and friends has always been painful; but never to the degree, which I feel it now— The age of my Parents, weakens both in them and me the hopes of our meeting again; and I now leave two of my own infant children behind— My father and Mother are also deeply affected by my departure, and I received yesterday from my Mother a letter which would have melted the heart of a Stone.— The ties which bind me to my Country have multiplied with the increase of my years, and the difficulties and dangers of every kind, which present themselves in anticipation upon this occasion, exceed those of any former time— Excepting however the dangers of War to which on my two first voyages I was exposed; and which do not threaten us now— My Motives for accepting this Commission are various— That of serving my Country, in the Station which its regular organs have chosen to assign me, stands foremost of them all; and though it neither suits my own inclination, nor my own private judgment, I deem it a duty to sacrifice them both to the public sense, express’d by the Constitutional authority.

I had yesterday previous to my embarking, completed my preparatory arrangements, as far as they could be completed. I leave my brother my Agent, for the transaction of all my business in America— I had settled with Mr: Gray, and paid him for our passage; and after we came on board, I gave my brother a check for the balance due me at the U.S. Bank—Boston. I called in the forenoon at Mr: William Smith’s and Dr: Welsh’s— And took leave of their families— Of the rest of my friends I took no particular leave— Heaven bless them all!— My brother had come into Boston the Evening before last—to be with us at the time of our departure— He had a son born in the morning; before he came from Quincy.

The weather and the winds are among the most interesting objects to navigators upon the Ocean— We had a thick fog, the greatest part of this day. The wind fair, but scanty and not strong— We saw at a distance two schooners, but spoke neither of them— Our course has been about East & by South— Latitude by Observation this day 42:34. The variation at Boston is about 8 degrees— About 4 this afternoon we came to the Northern extremity of St: George’s Bank, 42 leagues from Boston.— I employed part of the morning in writing, and arranging my papers— And it being Sunday, I read the second and third Sermons of Massillon’s Carême— The one, on the motives for Conversion, and the other on the truth of Religion— There is too much sameness in the method of these Sermons— In the former there is a very eloquent passage of invective upon the vices of the time; with a fine example of repetition from Psalm 101.20. [“]Prospexit de excelso sancto suo.”— And there are frequent melancholy allusions to the misfortunes of France at that period—the close of the reign of Louis 14.— The political views of these Sermons should be compared with those of Saurin’s, and Tillotson’s, on the same occasions, to see how improper almost all Politicks are for the pulpit— There is also here a little controversy against the Protestants. He insists on the antiquity of the Catholic Faith, as a proof of its Truth— He urges also the importance of the church’s precepts of abstinence, and complains that they are not sufficiently respected even by the true believers— His arguments on this head are chiefly from authority, of jewish examples— The strongest is the parallel, between the sin of Adam, in eating an apple against the injunction of abstinence, and that of Cain in killing his brother, in violation of the injunction against homicide.