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ful and polite, and her conversation agreeable. Her apartment was neat; but the whole furniture consisted of a mattress, a table, on which was a crucifix and a book, a chair, which she gave me to sit on, and over the mantlepiece a picture of St. Veronica displaying her handkerchief, on which was seen the miraculous impression of the face of Christ, which she explained to me with great gravity. Her countenance was pale, but she had never experienced sickness; and I may adduce her as another proof how little is sufficient to maintain life and health.
At the printing-house, l contracted an intimacy with a sensible young man of the name of Wygate, who, as his parents were in good circumstances, had received a better education than is common among printers. He was a tolerable Latin scholar, spoke French fluently, and was fond of reading. I taught bin, as well as a friend of his, to swim, by taking then twice only into the river; after which they strod in necd of no farther assistance. We one day made a party to go by water to Chelsea, in order to see the College, and Don Soltero's curiosities. On our return, at the request of the company, whose cilriosity Wygate had excited, I undressed myself, and leaped into the river. I swam from near Chelsea the whole way to Black-friars-bridge, exhibiting, during iny course, a variety of feats of activity and address, both upon the surface of the water, as well as under it. This sight occasioned much astonishment and pleasure to those to whom it was new. In my youth I took great delight in this exercise. I knew, and could execute, ali the evolutions and positions of Theveno“; and I added to them some of my own nvention, in which I endeavoured to unite graceful ness and utility. I took a pleasure in displaying them all on this occasion, and was highly flattered with the admiration they excited.
Wygate, besides his beir.g desirous of perfecting himself in this ar was the more attached to me from there being, in other repects, a conformity in our tastes and studies. He at length proposed to me tu make the tour of Europe with him, maintaining ourselves at the same time by woiking at our professions.
I was on the point of consenting, when I mentioned it to my friend, Mr. Denham, with whom I was glad to pass an hour whenever I had leisure. He dissuaded me from the project, and advised me to think of retuming to Philadelphia, which he was about to do himself. I must relate in this place a trait of this worthy man's character.
He had formerly been in business at Bristo!. but failing, he compounded with his creditors, aiu de parted for America, where, by assiduous application as a inerchant, be acquired in a few years a very considerable fortune. Returning to England in the same vessel with myseif, as I have related above, te invited all his old creditors to a feast. When assembled, he thanked them for the readiness with whicis they had received his small composition; and, while they expected nothing more thau a simple entertainment, each found under his plate, when it came to be removed, a draft upon a banker for the residue of his debt, with interest.
He told me that it was his thtention to carry back with him to Philadelphia, a great quantity of goods, in order to open a store; and he offered to take me with him in the capacity of clerk, to keep his books, in which he would instruct me, copy letters, and superintend the store. He added, that as soon as I had acquired a knowledge of mercantile transactions, he would improve my situation, by sending me with a cargo of corn and flour to the American islands, and by procuring me other lucrative commissions ; so thol, with good management and economy, I might in time begin business with advantage for myself.
I relished these proposals. London began to'tiro me; the agrecable hours I had passed at Philadelphia presented theniselves to my minu, and I wished to see them revive. I consequently engaged myself to Mr. Denham, at a salary of fifty pounds a year. This was indeed less than 1 tarred as a compositor, but then I had a much fairer prospect. I took leave, therefore, as I believed for ever, of printing, and gave myself up to my new occupation, spending all my time either in going from house to house with Mi. Denham to purchase goods, or in packing them up, or in expediting the workmen, &c. &c. When every thing, however, was on board, I had at last a few days leisure.
During this interval, I was one day sent for by a gerileman, whom I knew only by name. It was Sir William Wyndham. I went to his house. He had by some means heard of my performances between Chelsea and Blackfriars, and that I had taught the ar'swimming to Wygate and another young man in the course of a few hours. His two sons were on the point of setting out on their travels; he was desirous that they should previously leam to swim, and offered me a very liberal reward if I would undertake to instruct them. They were not yet arrived in town, and the stay I should make was uncertain; I could not therefore accept his proposal. I was led, however, to suppose from this incident, that if I had wished to remain in London, and open a swimming school, I should perhaps have gained a great deal of inoney. The idea struck me so forcibly, that, had the offe. been made sooner, I should have dismissed the thought of returning as yet to America. Some years after, you and I had a more important business to settle with one of the sons of Sir William Wyndham, then Lord Egremont. But let us not anticipate events.
I thus passed about eighteen months in London, working almost without intermission at my trade, avoiding all expense on my own account, except gning now and then to the play, and purchasing a few books. But my friend Ralph kept me poor. He owed me about twenty-seven pounds, which was so much money lost, and when considered as taken from my little savings, was a very great sum. I had, notwiths'anding this, a regard for hiin, as he possessed many amiable qualities. But though I had done nothing for myself in point of fortune, I had increased my stock of knowledge, either by the many excellent books I had read, or the conversation of learned and literary persons with whum I was acquainted.
We sailed from Gravesend on the 23d of July, 1726. For the incidents of my voyage I refer you to my Journal, where you will find all its circumstances minutely related. We landed at Philadelphia on the ilth of the following October.
Keith bad been deprived of his office of governor. and was succeeded by Major Gordon. I met him walking in the streets as a private individual. He appeared a little ashamed at seeing me, but passed on without saying any thing.
I should have been equally ashamed myself at meeting Miss Read, had not her family, justly des. pairing of my return after reading my letter, advised her to give me up, and marry a potter, of the name of Rogers; to which she consented: but he never inade her happy, and she soon separated from him, refusing to cohabit with him, or even bear his name, on account of a report which prevailed, of his having another wife. His skill in his profession had seduced Miss Read's parents; but he was as bad a subject as he was excellent as a workman. He involved himself in debt, and fled, in the year 1727 or 1728, to the West Indies, where he dicd.
During my absence, Keimer had taken a more considerable house, in which he kept a shop, that was well supplied with paper, and various other articles, He had procured some new tyres, and a number of workmen; among whom, however, there was not one who was good for any thing; and he appeared not to want business.
Mr. Denham took a warehouse in Water-street, where we exhibited our commodities. I applied my. self closely, studied accounts, and became in a short time very expert in trade. We lodged and eat toge- . ther. He was sincerely attacheu to me, and acted towards me as if he had been my father. On my side, I respected and loved him. My situation was bappy ; but it was a happiness of no long duration.
Early in February, 1727, when I entered into my twenty-second year, we were both taken ill. I was attacked with a pleurisy, which had nearly carried me off; I suffered terribly, and considered it as all over with me. I felt indeed a sort of disappointment wben I found myself likely to recover, and regretted that I had still to experience, sooner or later, the same disagreeable scene again.
I have forgotten what was Mr. Denhanı's disorder; but it was a tedious one, and he at last sunk under it. He leit me a small legacy in his will, as a testimony of his friendship; and I was once more abandoned to myself in the wide world, the warehouse being confided to the care of the testamentary executor, who dismissed me.
My brother-in-law, Holnies, who happened to be at Philadelphia, advised me to return to my former profession; and Keimer offered mo a very considerable salary if I would undertake the inanagement of his printing-office, that he might devote himself entirely to the superintendence of his shop. His wife and relations in Londor had given me a bad character of him; and I was loth, for the present, to hare any concern with him. I endeavoured to get employment as a clerk to a merchant; but not readily find. ing a situation, I was induced to accept Keimer's proposal.
The following were the persons I found in his printing-house.
Hugh Meredith, a Pennsylvanian, about thirty-five years of age. He had been brought up to husbandry, was honest, sensible, had some experience, and was fond of reading; but too much addicted to drinking,
Stephen Potts, a young rustic. just broke from school, and of rustic education, with endowments rather above the common order, and a competent portion of understanding and gayety ; but a little idle. Keimer had engaged these two at very low wages, which he had promised to raise every three months a shilling a week, provided their improvement in the typographic art should merit it. This tuture increase of wages was the bait he had made use of to ensnarc them. Meredith was to work at the press, and Potts to bind books, which he had engaged to teach them. though he understood neither hirnself.
John Savage, an Irishman, who had been brought up to no trade, and whose service, for a period of four years, Keimer had purchased of tho captain of a ship. He was also to he a pressinan.
George Webb, an Oxford scholar, whose time he had in like manner bonght for four years, intending