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We had seriously engaged, that whoever died tirse should return, if possible, and pay a friendly visit tu the survivor, to give him an account of the othe: world; but he has never fulfilled his engagemert.
The Governor appeared to be fond of my company, and frequetitly invited me to his house. He always spoke of his intention of settling me in business, as a point that was decided. I was to take with me letters of recommendation to a number of his friends; and particularly a letter of credit, in order to obtain the necessary sur for the purchase of my press, types, and paper. He appointed various times for me to come for these letters, which would certainly be ready; and, when I came, always put me off to another day.
These successive delays continued till the ressel, whose departure had been several times deferred, was on the point of setting sail; when I again went to Sir William's house, to reccive my letters and take leave of him. I saw his secretary, Dr. Bard, who told me, that the Governor was extremely busy writing, but that he would be down at Newcastle before the vessel, and that the letters would be delivered to me there.
Ralph, though he was married and had a child, determined to accompany me in this voyage. His object was supposed to be the establishing a corres. pondence with some mercantile houses, in order to sell goods by commission; but I afterwards learned that, having reason to be dissatisfied with the parents of his wife, he proposed to himself to leave her on their hands, and never return to America again.
Having taken leave of my friends, and interchang. ed promises of fidelity with Miss Read, I quitted Ph uadelphia. At Newcastle, the vessel came to anchor. The Governor was arrived, and I went to his lodgings. His secretary received me with great civility, told me, on the part of the Governor, that he could not see me then, as he was engaged in affairs of the utmost importance, but that he would send the letters on board, and that he wished me, with all his heart, a good voyage and speedy return. I returned, some. what astonished, to the ship, but still without entertaining the slightest suspicion. , Mr. Hamilton, a celebrated varrister of Philadel
phia, had taken a passage to England for himself and his son, and, in conjuncticn with Mr. Denham, a quaker, and Messrs. Oniam and Russel, proprietors of 2 forge in Maryland, nag agreed for the whole cabin, so that Ralph and I were obliged to take up our ladying with the crew. Beiog unknown to every body is the ship, we were looked upon as of the commor OFder of people: but Mr. Hamilton and his son (it was James, who was afterwards governor) left us at Nercastle, and returned to Philadelphia, where he was recalled at a very great expense, to plead the cause of a vessel that had been seized; and just as we were about to sail, Colonel French came on board, and showed me many civilities. The passengers upon this paid me more attention, and I was invited, together with my friend Ralph, to occupy the place is the cabin which the return of the Messrs. Hamiltong had made vacant; an offer which we very readily
accepted. • Having learned that the despatches of the Govery
had been brought on board by Colonel French, i askea · the captain for the letters that were to be entrusted ti my care. He told me that they were all put together in the bag, which he could not open at present; but, before we reached England, he would give me an oy portunity of taking them out. I was satisfied with inis answer, and we pursued our voyage.
The company in the cabin were all very sociabic, and we were perfectly well off as to provisions, a we had the advantage of the whole of Mr. Hami? ton's, who had laid in a very plentiful stock. Durin, the passage, Mr. Denham contracted a friendship for me, which ended only with his life: in other respeet the voyage was by no means an agreeable one, as w had much bad weather.
When we arrived in the river, the captain was goou as his word, and ailowed me to search in tly bag for the Governor's letters. I could not find single one with my name written on it, as committec 1 to my care; but I selected six or seven, which I judge from the direction to be those that were intended for me; particularly one to Mr. Basket, the King's printer, and another to a stationer, who was the first
We had seriously engage should return, if possible, the survivor, to give him world; but he has never
The Governor appeared and frequently invited me spoke of his intention of se point that was decided. Iy of recomnendation to a ne particularly a letter of cro necessary sunn for the pur and paper. He appointed come for these letters, which and, when I came, always
These successive delays whose departure had been se on the point of setting sail; William's house, to receive of him. I saw his secretary that the Governor was extrems he would be down at Newcas that the letters would be deliv
Ralph, though he was marr termined to accompany me in! ject was supposed to be the pondence with some mercan sell goods by commission : bu that, having reason to be dissa of his wife, he proposed to their hands, and never return
Having taken leave of my ed promises of fidelity with Philadelphia. At Newcastle, chor. The Governor was arm lodgings. His secretary recei ity, told me, on the part of the not see me then, as he was en utmost importance, but that he on board, and that he wished a good voyage and speedy retur what astonished, to the ship, taining the slightest suspicion.
Mr. Hamilton, 2 celebrated
play so scurry a trick, and thus grossly deceive a poor young lad, wholly destitute of experience? It was a practice with him. Wishing to please every body, and having little to bestow, he was lavish of promises. He was, in other respects, sensible and judicious, a very tolerable writer, and a good governor for the people; though not so for the proprietaries, whose instructions he frequently disregarded. Many of uur best laws were his work, and established during his administration.
Ralph and I were inseparable companions. We took a lodging together at three and sixpence a week, which was as much as we could afford. He met with
senie relations in London, but they were poor, and not • able to assist him. He now, for the first time, inforin
ed me of his intention to remain in England, and that he had no thoughts of ever returning to Philadelphia. He was totally without money; the litile he had been able to raise having barely sufficed for his passage. I had still fifteen pistoles remaining; and to me he hadi from time to time recourse, while he tried to get em. ployment.
At first belicving himself possessed of talents for the stage, he thought of turning actor; but Wilkes, to whom he applied, frankly advised him to renounce the idea, as it was impossible he could succeed. He nest proposed to Roberts, a buokseller in Paternoster-row, to write a weekly paper in the manner of the Spectator, upon terms to which Roberts would not listen. Lastly, he endeavoured to procure employment as a copyist, and applied w the lawyers ind stationers about the Temple, but he could find no vacancy. .
As to myself, I inmediately got engaged at Palmer's, at that time a noted printer in Bartholomew-close, with whom I continued nearly a year. I applied very assiduously to my work; but I expended with Ralph almost all that I earned. Plays, and other places of amusement, which we frequented together, having exhausted my pistoles, we lived after this from hand to mouth. He appeared to have entirely forgotten his wife and child, as I also, by degrees, forgot. my engagements with Miss Read, to whom I never wrote more than one letter, and that merely to inforın her
that I was not likely to return soon. This was another grand error of my life, which I should be desirous of correcting were i to begin my career again.
I was einployed at Palmer's on the second edition of Woolaston's Religion of Nature. Some of his arguments appearing to me not to be well founded, I wrote a small metaphysical treatise, in which I ani madverted on those passages. It was entitled a "Dissertation on Liberty and Necessity, Pleasure and Pain." I dedicated it to my friend Ralph, and printed a small number of copies. Palmer, upon this, treated me with inore consideration, and regarded me as a young man of talents; though he seriously took me to task for the principles of my pamphlet, which he looked upon as abominable. The printing of this work was another crror of my life.
While I lodged in Little Britain, I formed an acquaintance with a bookseller of the name of Wilcox, whose shop was next door to me. Circulating libraries were not then in use. He had an immense col. iection of books of all sorts. We agreed that, for a reasonable retribution, of which I have now forgotten the price, I should have free access to his library, and take what books I pleased, which I was to return when I had read them. I considered this agreement as a very great advantage; and I derived from it as much benefit as was in my power.
My pamphlet falling into the hands of a surgeon, of the name of Lyons, author of a book entitled, “Infallibility of Human Judgment," was the occasion of a considerable intimacy between us. He expressed great esteem for me, came frequently to see me, in order to converse upon metaphysical subjects, and introduced me to Dr. Mandeville, author of the Fable of the Bees, who had instituted a club at a tavern in Cheapside, of which he was the soul: he was a facetious and very amusing character. He also introduced me, at Batson's coffee-house, to Dr. Pemberton, who promised to give me an opportunity of seeing Sir Isaac Newton, which I very ardently dea sired; but he never kept his word.
I had brought some curiosities with me from Ame.. rica; the principal of which was a purse nade ef