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gad being drowsy from my last night's labour and want of rest, I fell into a sound sleep. In this state I continued till the assembly dispersed, when one of the congregation had the goodness to wake me. This was consequently the first house I entered, or in which | slept in Philadelphia.
I began again to walk along the street by the riverside; and, looking actentively in the face of every one I met with, I at length perceived a young quaker whose countenance pleased ine. I accosted him, and begged him to inform me where a stranger mignt find a lodging. We were then near the sign of the Three Mariners. They receive travellers here, said he, but it is not a house that bears a good character; if you will go with me, I will show you a better one. He conducted me to the Crooked Billet, in Water-street.
There I ordered something for dinner, and, during my meal, a number of curious questions were put to ine; my youth and appearance exciting the suspicion of my being a runaway. After dinner my drowsiness returned, and I threw myself upon a bed without taking off iny clothes, and slept till six o'clock in the evening, when I was called to supper. I afterwards went to ked at a very early hour, and did not awake till the next morning.
As soon as I got up I put myself in as decent a trim as I could, and went to the house of Andrew Bradford, the printer. I found his father in the shop, whom I had seen at New-York. Having travelled on horsehack, he had arrived at Philadelphia before me. He introduced me to his son, who received me with civility, and gave me some breakfast; but told me he haft no occasion at present for a journeyman, having late. ly procured one. He added, that there was another printer newly settled in the town, of the name of Keje mer, who might perhaps employ me; and that in case of refusal, 1 should be welcome to lodge at his house, and he would give me a little work now and then, till soinething better should ofter.
The old man offered to introduce me to the new printer. When we were at his house, “ Neighbour,”! said he, “ I bring you a young man in the printing blsiness; rerhaps you may haye need of lis services,
Keimer asked me some questions, put a composing. stick in my hand, to see how I could work, and then said, that at present he had nothing for me to do, but that he should soon be able to employ me. At the same time, taking old Bradford for an inhabitant of the town well-disposed towards him, he communica. ted his project to him, and the prospect he had of success. Bradford was careful not to discover that he was father of the other printer; and from what Keimor had said, that he hoped shortly to be in possession vi the greater part of the business of the town, led him, by artful questions, and by starting some difficulties, to disclose all his views, what his hopes were founded upon, and how he intended to proceed. I was present, and heard it all. I instantly saw that one of the two was a cuaning old fox, and the other a perfect novice. Bradford left me with Keimer, who was strangely surprised when I informed him who the old man was.
I found Keimer's printing materials to consist of an old damaged press, and a small fount of wom out English letters, with which he himself was at work upon an elegy on Aquila Rose, whom I have mentioned above, an ingenious young man, and of an excellent character, highly esteemed in the town, secretary to the assembly, and a very tolerable poet. Keimer also made verses, but they were indifferent ones. He could not toe said to write in verse, for his method was to set the lines as they flowed from his muse; and as he worked without copy, had but one set of letter-cases, and the elegy would probably occupy all his types, it was impossible for any one to assist him. I endeavoured to put his press in order, which he had not yet used, and ot which indeed he understood nothing: and, having promised to come and work off his elegy as soon as it should be ready, I returned to the house of Bradford, who gave me some trifle to do for the present, for which I had my board and lodging.
In a few days Keimer sent for me to print off his elegy. He had now procured another set of letterGases, and had a pamphlet to re-print, upon which he set me to work.
The two Philadelphia printers appeared destute
of every qualification necessary in their profession. Bradford had not been brought up to it, and was very illiterate. Keimer, though he understood a little di the business, was merely a compositor, and wholly in. capable of working at press. He had been one of the French prophets, and knew how to imitate their su. pernatural agitations. At the time of our first acquaintance he professed no particular religion, but a little of all upon occasion. He was totally ignorant of the world, and a great knave at heart, as I had afterwards an opportunity of experiencing.
Keimer, could not endure that, working with him, I should lodge at Bradford's. He had indeed a house, but it was unturnished, so that he could not take me in. He procured me a lodging at Mr. Reed's, his landlord, whom I have already mentioned. My trunk and effects being now arrived, I thought of making, in the eyes of Miss Reed, a more respectable appearance than when chance exhibited me io her view, eating my roll, and wandering in the streets.
From this period I began to contract acquaintance with such young people as were fond of reading, and spent my evenings with them agreeably, while at the same time, I gained money by my industry, and, thanks to my frugality, lived contented. I thus forgot Boston as much as possible, and wished every one to be ignorant of the place of my residence, except my friend Collins; to whom I wrote, and who kept my secret.
An incident however arrived, which sont me home much sooner than I had proposed. I had a brother-inlaw, by the name of Robert Holmes, master of a trad. ing sloop from Boston to Delaware. Being at New castle, forty miles below Philadelphia, he heard of me, and wrote to inform me of the chagrin which my sudden departure from Boston had occasioned my pa. rents, and of the affections which they still entertain. ed for me, assuring me that, if I would return, every thing should be adjusted to my satisfaction; and he was very pressing in his entreates; i answered his letter, thanked him for his advice, and explained the reasons which had induced me to gait Boston, with
such force and elearness, that he was convinced I had been legs to blame than he had imagined.
Sir William Keith, governor of the province, was at Newcastle at the time. Captain Holmes, being by chance in his company when he received my letter, took occasion to speak of me, and showed it him. The Governor read it, and appeared surprised when he learned my age. He thought me, he said, a young man f very promising talents, and that, of consequence, Qught to be encouraged; that there were al Philadei. whia nɔne but very ignorant printers, and that if I were io set up for myself, he had no doubt of my success; that, for his own part, he would procure me all the pub." lic business, ana would render me every other service in his power. My brother-in-law related all this to me afterwards at Bosto:1; but I knew nothing of it at the tiny; when one day Keimer and I, being at work together near the window, we saw the Goverriør and ano. ther gentleman, Colonel French, of Newcastle, hand. somely dressed, cross the street, and make directly for our house. We heard them at the door, and Keimer, believing it to be a visit to himself, went immediately down; but the Governor inquired for me, came up stairs, and, with a condescension and politeness te which I had not at all been accustoined, paid me many compliments, desired to be acquainted with me, obligingly reproached me forizot having made myself known to him on my arrival in the town, and wished me to accompany him to a tavern, where he and Col. French were going to taste some excellent Madeira wine.
I was, I confess, somewhat surprised, and Keimer appeared thunderstruck. I went, however, with the Governor and the Colonel to a tavern, at the corner of Third-street, where, while we were drinking the Ma deira, he proposed to me to establish a printing-house. He set forth the probabilities of success, and himself and Colonel Frerch assured me that I should have their protection and influence in obtaining the printing of the public papers of both governments; and as I appeared to doubi whe:her my father would assist me in this enterprise, Sir William said he would give ine a letter to him, in which he would represent the ad. vantages of the scheme, in a light which he had no
doubt would determine him. It was thus concluder! that I should return to Boston by the first vessel, with the letter of recommendation, from the Governor to my father. Meanwhile the project was to be kept se. cret, and I continued to work for Keimer as before.
The Governor sent every now and the: to invite me to dine with him. I considered this as a very great honour; and was the more sensible of it, as he conversed with me in the most affable, familiar, and friendly manner imaginable.
Towards the end of April, 1724, a small vessel was ready to sail for Boston. “I took leave of Keimer, upon the pretext of going to see my parents. The Go. vernor gave me a long letter, in which he said many Aa:tering things of me to my father; and strongly recommended the project of my settling at Philadelphia, as a thing which could not fail to make my fortune.
Going down the bay we struck on a dat, and sprung a leak. The weather was very tempestuous, and we were obliged to pump without intermission; I took my turn. We arrived, however, safe and sound, at Bos. ton, after about a fortnight's passage.
I had been absent seven complete months, and my relations, during the interval, had received no intelligence of me: for my brother-in-law, Holmes, was not yet returned, and had not written about me. My un. expected appearance surprised the family ; but they were all delighted at seeing me again, and, except my brother, welcomed me home. I went to him at the printing-house. I was better dressed than I had ever been while in his service: i had a complete suit of clothes, new and neat, a watch in my pocket, and my purse was furnished with ncarly five pounds sterling in money. He gave me no very civil reception; and, having eyed me from head to foot, resumed his work.
The workmen asked me with eagerness where I had been, what sort of a country it was, and how I liked it. I spoke in the highest terms of Philadelphia, the happy life we led there, and expressed my inten. tion of going back again. One of them asking what sort of money we har, I displayed before them a handful of silver, which I diew from my pocket. This was a cariosity to which they were not accustomed, paper