Aboard the Oiseau, 8 May 1685
“…’When the wind changes, the weather does as well’, M. Commeler says. It doesn’t allow of moving. This morning Father de Fontenei has begun public lessons about the Sphere. I wonder if I should mention that it has passed without batting an eyelid. When he will become a great Mandarin, the Chinese Emperor’s favourite, I will say: “That’s he who has taught me the Divine movement of heavens”. He has announced us today that every morning he will teach us something. After all, we will advance in learning as much as we are able to. We have found the first (lesson) very delightful. He speaks easily & has an excellent air of spirit that a man who teaches must have after having spent twelve years in the Jesuit College of Paris.
In the afternoon M. Vachet has arranged a meeting concerning reasons of consciousness. We have enjoyed it: these are so important & so necessary matters for Missionaries. They pray about them twice a week. A meeting regarding devotion will be held on Saturday. We have started playing some games of chess. M. Chevalier de Fourbin has become a great rival of mine. He makes me dreaming & sometimes beats. I don’t know if he is a more advanced player than me or, on the contrary, I’m too bad one. I believe that it is the second. Whatever, it is always a pure joy for both of us. Don’t you consider that it is good to have a small entertainment, an innocent pleasure?…”
Aboard the Oiseau, 9 May 1685
“…The weather is not as we would like. We sail about twenty five lieuës per hour. And would like to make fourty…We do all we can to return back faster. Nevertheless, we will arrive to Bantam before the 10th of August & we must hope to reach Siam this year. It will be tedious. What a precious year it is when you are a man of forty!…”
Dieu Vous Ait en Sa Sainte Garde,
Vostre l’Abbé de Choisy ”
Image: Aubusson, tapestry.