13th Dec 1831

An idle day; dined for the first time in Captains cabin & felt quite at home. Of all the luxuries the Captain has given me, none will be so essential as that of having my meals with him.

I am often afraid I shall be quite overwhelmed with the numbers of subjects which I ought to take into hand. It is difficult to mark out any plan & without method on ship-board I am sure little will be done. The principal objects are 1st collecting observing & reading in all branches of natural history that I possibly can manage. Observations in Meteorology — French & Spanish, Mathematics, & a little Classics, perhaps not more than Greek Testament on Sundays. I hope generally to have some one English book in hand for my amusement, exclusive of the above mentioned branches.

If I have not energy enough to make myself steadily industrious during the voyage, how great & uncommon an opportunity of improving myself shall I throw away.

May this never for one moment escape my mind, & then perhaps I may have the same opportunity of drilling my mind that I threw away whilst at Cambridge.

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