Diary: James P. Stabler, 1827 (Volume 1)

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them for some distance around - - and themselves resembling a brilliant spark of fire, of every shade from the white-heat to the cherry-red _ or so many spangles from the rainbow _ or its fragments strewn over the deep _ in fact It might not be a degrad'g comparison to say to those possessing "fine imaginations" that the "gems of Golconda" could only find their counterpart in these little specimens of the beautiful works of that all-creative hand which Spoke them into existence.

It is impossible for the eye to hear music, or the ear to perceive the fragrance of the lilly _ and just so, with beaties [sic] of these things _ The pen completely fails - and the tongue is mute in conveying to the understanding of another, what the eye only can appreciate, or what the minds only can appreciate, upon being assured of its existence thro the medium of the natural vision _

To them then we confidently

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ascribed the luminous appearance before mentioned, but the ascription was blown sky-high, upon removing them to a dark place, _ when no ray of light was reflected upon the disappointed experimentors. — The conclusion now, is that the effect is phosphorscent, from the salt water, like the light produced by the collision of two pieces of [Coal/looss/loaf? ?igan] in the dark:_ When the air is clean it is much less so than when damp. that is, the luminous effect is much less — and only seen when the water is agitated – –

Among the rest of the expts I endeavornd to ascertain the proportion of Sea salt in a pint of water _ and by a rough expt (having no scales to weigh it). I suppose it is not less than two table spoonful moderately heaped. — It was done by graduating a weighted cork to the bouyancy of sea water and then with the same cork which sank in fresh water adding as much salt as made the cork rise to the same point.

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Saw a large fowl feeding on a fish in the water this forenoon of a very duck-like appere _ also a Miller or mosquetoe ._ which are said to be symptomatic of land _ a head _ The calm continus to night a some fog and drisling which puts a stop to my participation in the deck experiments and I leave them, to come below and say that I am sorry there is such an enmity betwen our inclinations and the task of writing — This alone must account for the meagre fare you will experienc on receiving this _ for I am sure if I was on land and had seen and felt so many strange and new sensations, that I could have clothed them with a more interesting expression — at least I could have spoken of many more things that might have amused you

7th day 7th

Twenty one days out to day and not a little anxiety expressd on all hands for winds to blow

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us into port. A slight wind from NE and our course SE by S1/2S. at the rate of two or three knots — at 11 or 12 increased a little to four or 4 1/2 which is the extent of our furrowing. during the day – damp & foggy – sometimes misty so that I could not be on deck. clouds hang heavily around us but now and the Sun peeps forth on deck and [anow] when all is mist we can sea bright spot on the water quite distant where his beams [fale/full] unobstructed through the openings of the clouds. Very little swell in the sea to day — a large school of porpoises but not near eno' to "cover" well with the harpoon — I forgot to mention having seen a distant "water spout" after we were out a few days — they are similar to a whilwind on land, that raises the leaves &c. – those at sea raising water — so these mariners say. – Learned the good old Captain short hand, by way of amusement who seems "mightily taken" with

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it. {shorthand} For the sake of variety I may mention that I dreamed last night (and not for the first time for there is scarcely a night passes but more of my waking as well as sleepy thoughts are with you oftener than in the day time) of receiving some letters from home with which I was vastly pleased altho they appeard to have been written some "centuries" ago.— I was in a terrible splutter about answering them, being very much afraid to send them so far not knowing under what circumstances they would find you — At one time I dreamed they were opend before reaching their destination – and at another that they were cast away — I was in a peck of trouble, for fear you would think I was lost or had ceased to care about you — and finally concluded come what would I could not dare to write at all and must put you parience

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