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tion, and obstinately would not promise to row. being becalmed off Block Island, our crew
. Had it been known that I depended on any point we had in hand, yet by degress lead-
that he seriously proposed my being his col. I presented him an inventory of a little league in a project he had of setting up a new printing house, amounting by my computation sect. He was to preach the doctrines, and I to about one hundred pounds sterling. He was to confound all opponents. When he liked it, but asked me if my being on the spot came to explain with me upon the doctrines, in England to choose the types, and see that I found several conundrums, which I objected every thing was good of the kind, might not to, unless I might have my way a little too, be of some advantage ; “ then,” said he, and introduce some of mine. Keimer wore “ when there you may make acquaintance, and his beard at full length, because somewhere establish cerrespondences in the bookselling in the Mosaic law, it is said, “ Thou shalt not and stationary way." I agreed, that this might mar the corners of thy beard.” He likewise be advantageous. " Then,” said he, “get kept the seventh day Sabbath; and these two yourself ready to go with Annis;" which was points were essential with him. I disliked the annual ship, and the only one at that time both; but agreed to them on condition of his usually passing between London and Phila- adopting the doctrine of not using animal food. delphia. But as it would be some months be- I doubt, said he, my constitution will not bear fore Annis sailed, I continued working with it. I assured him it would, and that he would Keimer, fretting extremely about the money be the better for it. He was usually a great Collins had got from me, and in great appre-eater, and I wished to give myself some dihensions of being called upon for it by Vernon; version in half starving him. He consented this however did not happen for some years to try the practice if I would keep him comafter.
pany: I did so, and we held it for three I believe I have omitted mentioning, that months. Our provisions were purchased, in my first voyage from Boston to Philadelphia, Icooked, and brought to us regularly by a wa
man in the neighbourhood, who had from me, no stock, he might by his diligence and a list of forty dishes, which she prepared for punctuality recommend himself to employus at different times, in which there entered ment as a factor, and in time acquire whereneither fish, flesh nor fowl. This whim suited with to trade on his own account. me the better at this time, from the cheapness ed, for my part, the amusing oneself with poetof it, not costing us above eighteen pence ry now and then, so far as to improve one's sterling each per week. I have since kept language, but no further. On this it was proseveral lents most strictly, leaving the com- posed that we should each of us at our next mon diet for that and that for the common, meeting produce a piece of our own composabruptly, without the least inconvenience. So ing, in order to improve by our mutual obserthat I think there is little in the advice of vations, critcisms, and corrections. As lanmaking those changes by easy gradations. Iguage and expression was what we had in view, went on pleasantly, but poor Keimer suffered we excluded all considerations of invention, by zrievously, grew tired of the project, longed agreeing that the task should be a version of for the flesh-pots of Egypt, and ordered a roast the eighteenth psalm, which describes the pig. He invited me and two women friends descent of a deity. When the time of our to dine with him, but it being brought too soon meeting drew nigh, Ralph called on me first, upon table, he could not resist the temptation, and let me know his piece was ready: I told and ate the whole before we came.
him I had been busy, and having little incliI had made some courtship during this time nation, had done nothing. He then shewed me to Miss Read; I had a great respect and af- his piece for my opinion, and I much approved fection for her, and had some reasons to believe it, as it appeared to me to have great merit. she had the same for me; but as I was “ Now," said he, “Osborne never will allow about to take a long voyage, and we were the least merit in any thing of mine, but both very young, (only a little above eighteen) makes a thousand criticisms out of mere it was thought most prudent by her mother to envy: He is not so jealous of I wish prevent our going too far at present; as a therefore you would take this piece and promarriage, if it was to take place, would be duce it as yours; I will pretend not to have more convenient after my return, when I had time, and so produce nothing; we shall should be, as I hoped, set up in my business. then hear what he will say to it.” It was Perhaps too she thought my expectations not agreed, and I immediately transcribed it, that so well founded as I imagined them to be. it might appear in my own hand. We met:
My chief acquaintances at this time were Watson's performance was read; there were Charles Osborne, Joseph Watson, and James some beauties in it, but many defects. Os Ralph; all lovers of reading. The two first borne's was read; it was much better: Ralph were clerks to an eminent scrivener or con- did it justice; remarked some faults, but apveyancer in the town, (Charles Brogden,) the plauded the beauties. He himself had no other was a clerk to a merchant. Watson was thing to produce. I was backward, seemed a pious, sensible young man, of great integrity: desirous of being excused, had not had suffithe others rather more lax in their principles cient time to correct, &c., but no excuse of religion, particularly Ralph, who as well could be admitted; produce I must. It was as Collins had been unsettled by me; for read and repeated : Watson and Osborne gave which they both made me suffer. Osborne up the contest, and joined in applauding it. was sensible, candid, frank-sincere and af- Ralph only made some criticisms and proposfectionate to his friends; but in literary mat- ed some amendments; but I defended my ters too fond of criticism. Ralph was inge- text. Osborne was severe against Ralph, and nuous, genteel in his manners, and extremely told me he was no better able to criticise than eloquent; I think I never knew a prettier to compose verses. As these two were retalker. Both were great admirers of poetry, turning home, Osborne expressed himself and began to try their hands in little pieces. still more strongly in favour of what he Many pleasant walks we have had together thought my production; having before reon Sundays in the woods on the banks of the frained, as he said, lest I should think he Schuylkill
, where we read to one another, and meant to flatter me. “ But who would have conferred on what we had read. Ralph was imagined,” said he,” “ that Franklin was cainclined to give himself up entirely to poetry, pable of such a performance; such painting, not doubting but he might make great pro such force, such fire! He has even improved ficiency in it, and even make his fortune by on the original. In common conversation he it. He pretended that the greatest poets must, seems to have no choice of words, he hesiwhen they first began to write, have commit- tates and blunders; and yet, good God, how ted as many faults as he did. Osborne en- he writes !” When we next met, Ralph disdeavoured to dissuade him, assured him he had covered the trick we had played, and Osborne no genius for poetry, and advised him to think was laughed at. This transaction fixed Ralph of nothing beyond the business he was bred to; in his resolution of becoming a poet. I did " that in the mercantile way, though he had all I could to dissuade him from it, but he continued scribbling verses till Pope cured with a birth in the steerage, and none on board him.* He became however a pretty good knowing us, were considered as ordinary perprose writer. More of him hereafter. But sons. But Mr. Hamilton and his son it was as I may not have occasion to mention the James, since governor) returned from Newother two, I shall just remark here, that Wat- castle to hiladelphia, the father being reson died in my arms a few years after, much called by a great fee to plead for a seized
ship. lamented, being the best of our set. Osborne And just before we sailed, colonel French comwent to the West Indies, where he became an ing on board, and shewing me great respect, eminent lawyer and made money, but died I was more taken notice of; and with my young. He and I had made a serious agree- friend Ralph invited by the other gentlemen ment that the one who happened first to die to come into the cabin, there being now room; should, if possible, make a friendly visit to the accordingly we removed thither. other, and acquaint him how he found things Understanding that colonel French had in that separate state. But he never fulfilled brought on board the governor's dispatches, I his promise.
asked the captain for those letters that were The governor seeming to like my company, to be under my care; he said all were put had me frequently at his house, and his set into the bag together, and he could not then ting me up was always mentioned as a fixed come at them, but before we landed in Enthing. I was to take with me letters recom- gland I should have an opportunity of picking mendatory to a number of his friends, besides them out; so I was satisfied for the present, the letter of credit to furnish me with the ne- and we proceeded on our voyage. We had a cessary money for purchasing the press, types, sociable company in the cabin, and lived unpaper, &c. For these letters I was appointed commonly well, having the addition of all Mr. to call at different times, when they were to Hamilton's stores, who had laid in plentifully. be ready, but a future time was still named. In this passage Mr. Denham contracted a Thus we went on till the ship (whose depar- friendship for me, that continued during his ture too had been several times postponed) was life. The voyage was otherwise not a pleaon the point of sailing. Then when I called sant one, as we had a great deal of bad to take my leave and receive the letters, his weather. secretary, Dr. Baird, came out to me and When we came into the Channel, the cap said the governor was extremely busy in tain kept his word with me, and gave me an writing, but would be down at Newcastle be opportunity of examining the bag for the gofore the ship, and then the letters would be vernor's letters; I found some upon which delivered to me.
my name was put, as under my care : I pickRalph, though married, and having one ed out six or seven, that by the hand-writing child, had determined to accompany me in I thought might be the promised letters, esthis voyage. It was thought he intended to pecially as one of them was addressed to Basestablish a correspondence and obtain goods to ket, the king's printer, and another to some sell on commission; but I found after, that stationer. We arrived in London the 24th having some cause of discontent with his December, 1724. I waited upon the stationer, wife's relations, he proposed to leave her on who came first in my way, delivering the their hands and never return to America. letter as from governor Keith. I don't know Having taken leave of my friends, and ex- such a person, said he: but opening the letter, changed promises with Miss Read, I quitted O! this is from Riddlesden. I have lately Philadelphia, in the ship, which anchored at found him to be a complete rascal, and I will Newcastle. The governor was there, but have nothing to do with him, nor receive any when I went to his lodging, his secretary letters from him. So putting the letter into came to me from him with expressions of the my hand, he turned on his heel and left me to greatest regret that he could not then see me, serve some customer. I was surprised to find being engaged in business of importance; but these were not the governor's letters; and, that he would send the letters to me on board, after recollecting and comparing circumwishing me heartily a good voyage and a spee- stances, I began to doubt his sincerity. I dy return, &c. I returned on board a little puz- found my friend Denham, and opened the zled, but still not doubting.
whole affair to him. He let me into Keith's Mr. Andrew Hamilton, a celebrated lawyer character, told me there was not the least of Philadelphia, had taken his passage in the probability that he had written any letters for same ship for himself and son, with Mr. Den- me; that no one who knew him, had the ham, a Quaker merchant, and Messrs. Oniam smallest dependence on him; and he laughed and Russel, (masters of an Iron Work in at the idea of the governor's giving me a letMaryland,) who had engaged the great cabin; ter of credit, having, as he said, no credit to so that Ralph and I were forced to take up give. On my expressing some concern about
what I should do, he advised me to endeavour * " Silence, ye Wolves, while Ralph to Cynthia howls, getting some employment in the way of my And makes night hidious:-answer him ye Owls!”
Pope's DUNCIAD, b. iii. v. 165. business. Among the printers here, said he.
you will improve yourself, and when you re- public amusements; we had nearly consumturn to America, you will set up to greater ed all my pistoles, and now just rubbed on advantage.
from hand to mouth. He seemed quite to We both of us happened to know, as well have forgotten his wife and child; and I by as the stationer, that Riddlesden, the attorney, degrees my engagements with Miss Read, to was a very knave; he had half ruined Miss whom I never wrote more than one letter, Read's father, by persuading him to be bound and that was to let her know I was not likely for him. By his letter it appeared there was a soon to return. This was another of the great secret scheme on foot to the prejudice of Mr. errata of my life which I could wish to corHamilton, (supposed to be then coming over rect, if I were to live it over again. In fact, with us ;) that Keith was concerned in it
, with by our expenses I was constantly kept unable Riddlesden. Denham, who was a friend of to pay my passage. Hamilton's, thought he ought to be acquaint
Ať Palmer's I was employed in composing ed with it; so when he arrived in England, for the second edition of Woollaston's Reliwhich was soon after, partly from resentment gion of Nature. Some of his reasonings not and ill will to Keith and Riddlesden, and part- appearing to me well-founded, I wrote a little ly from good will to him, I waited on him, metaphysical piece, in which I made remarks and gave him the letter. He thanked me cor- on them. It was intitled “ A Dissertation on dially, the information being of importance to Liberty and Necessity, Pleasure and Pain.” him; and from that time he became my I inscribed it to my friend Ralph ; I printed friend, greatly to my advantage afterwards a small number. It occasioned my being on many occasions.
more considered by Mr. Palmer, as a young But what shall we think of a governor play- man of some ingenuity, though he seriously ing such pitiful tricks, and imposing so gross- expostulated with me upon the principles of ly upon a poor ignorant boy! It was a habit my pamphlet, which to him appeared abomihe had acquired; he wished to please every nable. My printing this pamphlet was ano body, and having little to give, he gave ex- ther erratum. While I lodged in Little Bripectations. He was otherwise an ingenious, tain, I made acquaintance with one Wilcox, sensible man, a pretty good writer, and a good a bookseller, whose shop was next door. He governor for the people; though not for his had an immense collection of second-hand constituents the proprietaries, whose instruc- books. Circulating libraries were not then tions he sometimes disregarded : several of in use, but we agreed that, on certain reasonour best laws were of his planning, and passed able terms, (which I have now forgotten,) I during his administration
might take, read, and return any of his books; Ralph and I were inseparable companions. this I esteemed a great advantage, and I made We took lodgings together in Little Britain, at as much use of it as I could. 3s. 6d. per week; as much as we could then My pamphlet by some means falling into afford. 'He found some relations, but they the hands of one Lyons, a surgeon, author of were poor, and unable to assist him. He now a book intitled “ The Infallibility of Human let me know his intentions of remaining in Judgment," it occasioned an acquaintance London, and that he never meant to return between us; he took great notice of me, to Philadelphia. He had brought no money called on me often to converse on those sub with him, the whole he could muster having jects, carried me to the Horns, a pale alehouse been expended in paying his passage. I had in lane, Cheapside, and introduced me fifteen pistoles; so he borrowed occasionally to doctor Mandeville, author of the Fable of of me to subsist, while he was looking out for the Bees, who had a club there, of which he business. He first endeavoured to get into the was the soul, being a most facetious, enterplay-house, believing himself qualified for an taining companion. Lyons too introduced me actor ; but Wilkes, to whom he applied, ad- to doctor Pemberton,* at Baston's coffeevised him candidly not to think of that em- house, who promised to give me an opportuployment, as it was impossible he should suc- nity, some time or other, of seeing sir Isaac ceed in it. Then he proposed to Roberts, a Newton, of which I was extremely desirous; publisher in Pater-Noster Row, to write for but this never happened. him a weekly paper like the Spectator, on I had brought over a few curiosties, among certain conditions; which Roberts did not ap- which the principal was a purse made of the prove. Then he endeavoured to get employ- asbestos, which purifies by fire. Sir Hans ment as a hackney writer, to copy for the sta- Sloane heard of it, came to see me, and intioners and lawyers about the Temple; but vited me to his house in Bloomsbury square, could not find a vacancy.
showed me all his curiosities, and persuaded For myself I immediately got into work at me to add that to the number; for which he Palmer's a famous printing house in Bartho- paid me handsomely. lomew Close, where I continued near a year.
* F. R. S. author of " A View of sir Isaac Newton's I was pretty diligent, but I spent with Ralph a good deal of my earnings, at plays and Philosopby,” and “A Treatise on Chemistry:* died VOL 1.-C
In our house lodged a young woman, a mil-ed to take some liberties with her, (another liner, who, I think, had a shop in the cloisters; erratum,) which she repulsed, with a proper she had been genteelly bred, was sensible, degree of resentment. She wrote to Ralph lively, and of a most pleasing conversation.-- and acquainted him with my conduct; this Ralph read plays to her in the evenings, they occasioned a breach between us; and when grew intimate, she took another lodging, and he returned to London, he let me know he he followed her. They lived together some considered all the obligations he had been time, but he being still out of business, and under to me as annulled ; from which I conher income not sufficient to maintain them cluded I was never to expect his repaying me with her child, he took a resolution of going the money I had lent him, or that I had adfrom London, to try for a country school, which vanced for him. This however was of little he thought himself well qualified to under consequence, as he was totally unable; and by take, as he wrote an excellent hand, and the loss of his friendship I found myself rewas a master of arithmetic and accounts.- lieved from a heavy burden. I now began to This however he deemed a business below think of getting a little beforehand, and exhim, and confident of future better fortune, pecting better employment, I left Palmer's to when he should be unwilling to have it known work at Watts's, near Lincoln's Inn Fields, a that he once was so meanly employed, he still greater printing house; here I continued changed his name, and did me the honour to all the rest of my stay in London. assame mine ; for I soon after had a letter Atmy first admission into the printing house from him, acquainting me that he was settled I took to working at press, imagining I felt a in a small village in Berkshire, (I think it was want of the bodily exercise I had been used where he taught reading and writing to ten to in America, where press-work is mixed with or a dozen boys, at 6d. each per week,) re- the composing. I drank only water; the other commending Mrs. T.... to my care, and desir- workmen, near fifty in number, were great ing me to write to him, directing for Mr. drinkers of beer. On occasion I carried up Franklin, schoolmaster, at such a place. He and down stairs a large form of types in each continued to write to me frequently, sending hand, when others carried but one in both me large specimens of an epic poem, which he hands; they wondered to see from this and was then composing, and desiring my re- several instances, that the Water-American, marks and corrections. These I gave him as they called me, was stronger than themfrom time to time, but endeavoured rather to selves who drank strong beer! We had an discourage his proceeding. One of Young's alehouse boy, who attended always in the satires was then just published: I copied and house to supply the workmen. My companion sent him a great part of it, which set in a at the press drank every day a pint before strong light the folly of pursuing the Muses.* breakfast, a pint at breakfast with his bread All was in vain, sheets of the poem continued and cheese, a pint between breakfast and dinto come by every post. In the mean time, ner, a pint at dinner; a pint in the afternoon Mrs. T.... having on his account lost her about six o'clock, and another when he had friends and business, was often in distresses, done his day's work. I thought it a detestaand used to send for me and borrow what ble custom; but it was necessary, he suppos money I could spare to help to alleviate them. ed, to drink strong beer that he might be I grew fond of her company, and being at that strong to labour. I endeavoured to convince time under no religious restraint, and taking him that the bodily strength afforded by beer, advantage of my importance to her, I attempt- could only be in proportion to the grain or
*"Th' abandoned manners of our writing train
“Ye restless men! who pant for letter'd praise, With whom would you consult to gain the bays ? With those great authors whose fam'd works you
“An author, 'tis a venerable name!
“ Thus ends your courted fame-does lucre then,
YOUNG, Vol. III. Epist. II. p. 70.