My Dear Father:
My first duty, as it is my highest pleasure, is to comply with your command to write you as soon as I should arrive at Jerusalem, and this letter, while it conveys intelligence of my arrival, will confirm to you my filial obedience.
My journey hither occupied many days. When we traveled in sight of the sea, which we did for three days, I enjoyed the majesty of the prospect, it seemed so like the sky stretched out upon the earth. I also had the good fortune to see several ships, which the Rabbi informed me were Roman galleys, bound some to Sidon, and others into the Nile; and after one of these latter, as it was going to you, I sent a prayer and a wish. Just as we were leaving the sea-shore to turn off into the desert, I saw a wrecked vessel. It looked so helpless and bulky, with its huge black body all out of the water, that it seemed to me like a great sea-monster, stranded and dying; and I felt like pitying it. How terrible a tempest must be upon the sea! I was in hopes to have seen a Leviathan, but was not gratified in the wish. The good Rabbi, who seemed to know all about these things, told me that they seldom appear now in the Middle Sea, but are seen beyond the pillar of Hercules at the world's end.