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the remainder of his life. I believe him to have been what is called an itinerant doctor ; for there was no town in England, or indeed in Europe, of which he could not give a particular account. He was neither deficient in understanding or literature, but he was a sad infidel; and some years after, wickedly undertook to travesty the Bible, in burlesque verse, as Cotton has travestied Virgil. He exhibited, by this means, many facts in a very ludicrous point of view, which would have given umbrage to weak minds, had his work been published, which it never was.
I spent the night at his house, and reached Burlington the next morning. On my arrival, I had the mortification to learn that the ordinary passage-boats had sailed a little before. This was on a Saturday, and there would be no other boat until the Tuesday following. I returned to the house of an old woman in the town who had sold me some gingerbread to eat on my passage, and asked her advice. She invited me to take up my abode with her till an opportunity offered for me to embark. . Fatigued with. having travelled so far on foot, I accepted her invitation. When she understood that I was a printer, she would have persuaded me to stay at Burlington, and set up my trade; but she was little aware of the capital that would be necessary for such a purpose! I was treated while at her house with true hospitality. She gave me, with the utmost good will, a dinner of beefsteaks, and would accept of nothing in return but a pint of ale.
Here I imagined myself to be fixed till the Tuesday in the ensuing week; but, walking out in the evening by the river side, I saw a boat with a number of persons in it approach. It was going to Philadelphia, and the company took me in. As there was no wind, we could only make way with our oars. About midnight, not perceiving the town, some of the company were of opinion that we must have passed it, and were unwilling to row any farther; the rest not knowing where we were, it was resolved that we should stop. We drew towards the shore, entered a creek, and landed near some old palisades, which served us for firewood, it being a cold night in October. Here we staid till day, when one of the company found the place in which we were to be Cooper's Creek, a little above Philadelphia ; which, in reality, we perceived the moment we were out of the creek. We arrived on Sunday about eight or nine o'clock in the morning, and landed on Market Street wharf.
I have entered into the particulars of my voyage, and shall, in like manner, describe my first entrance
into this city, that you may be able to compare beginnings so little auspicious, with the figure I have since made.
On my arrival at Philadelphia I was in my working dress, my best clothes being to come by sea. I was covered with dirt; my pockets were filled with shirts and stockings; I was unacquainted with a single soul in the place, and knew not where to seek for a lodging. Fatigued with walking, rowing, and having passed the night without sleep, I was extremely hungry, and all my money consisted of a Dutch dollar, and about a shilling's worth of coppers, which I gave to the boatmen for my passage. As I had assisted them in rowing, they refused it at first; but I insisted on their taking it. A man is sometimes more generous when he has a little than when he has much money; probably because, in the first case, he is desirous of concealing his poverty.
I walked towards the top of the street, looking eagerly on both sides, till I came to Market Street, where I met with a child with a loaf of bread. Often had I made my dinner on dry bread. I inquired where he had bought it, and went straight to the baker's shop which he pointed out to me. I asked for some biscuits, expecting to find such as we had at Boston; but they made, it seems, none of that sort at Philadelphia. I then asked for a threepenny loaf. They made no loaves of that price. Finding myself ignorant of the prices, as well as of the different kinds of bread, I desired him to let me have threepenny worth of bread of some kind or other. He gave me three large rolls. I was surprised at receiving so much. I took them, however, and having no room in my pockets, I walked on with a roll under each arm, eating the third. In this manner I went through Market Street to Fourth Street, and passed the house of Mr. Read, the father of my future wife. She was standing at the door, observ. ed me, and thought with reason, that I made a very singular and grotesque appearance.
I then turned the corner, and went through Chesnut Street, eating my roll all the way ; and having made this round, I found myself again on Market Street wharf, near the boat in which I arrived. I stepped into it to take a draught of the river water; and finding myself satisfied with my first roll, I gave the other two to a woman and her child, who had come down the river with us in the boat, and was waiting to continue her journey. Thus refreshed, I regained the street, which was now full of well dressed people, all going the same way. I joined them, and was thus led
to a large Quaker's meeting-house near the marketplace. I sat down with the rest, and, after looking round me for some time, hearing nothing said, and 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 I slept, at Philadelphia,
I began again to walk along the street, by the river side ; and, looking attentively in the face of every one I met with, I at length perceived a young Quaker, whose countenance pleased me. I accosted him, and begged him to inform me where a stranger might 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 me; 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 my clothes, and slept till six o'clock in the evening, when I was called to supper. I afterwards went to bed 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 horseback, 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 had no occasion at present for a journeyman, having lately procured one. He added, that there was another printer newly settled in the town, of the name of Keimer, who might perhaps employ me, and that in case of refusal, I should be welcome to lodge at his house, and he would give me a little work now and then, till something better should offer. • 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 business; perhaps you may have need of his services."
Keimer asked me some questions, put a composingstick 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
nexts soon as I got up to the house of Anglop, whom
same time taking old Bradford for an inhabitant of the town well disposed towards him, he communicated his project to him and the prospect he had of success. Bradford was careful not to discover that he was the father of the other printer ; and from what Keimer had said, that he hoped shortly to be in possession of 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 cunning 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 worn 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 be 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 lettercases, 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 of which indeed he understood nothing; and, having proprised 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 letter cases, and had a pamphlet to reprint, upon which he set me to work.
The two Philadelphia printers appeared destitute 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 of 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 super natural 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 unfurnished , so that he could not take me in. He procured me a lodging at Mr. Read's, his landJord, whom I have already mentioned. My trunk and effects being now arrived, I thought of making, in the eyes of Miss Read, a more respectable appearance than when chance exhibited me to 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 sent me home much sooner than I had proposed. I had a brotherin-law, of the name of Robert Holmes, master of a trading sloop from Boston to Delaware. Being at Newcastle, 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 parents, and of the affection which they still entertained for me, assuring me that if I would return, every thing should be adjusted to my satisfaction; and he was very pressing in his entreaties. I answered his letter, thanked him for his advice, and explained the reasons which had induced me to quit Boston, with such force and clearness, that he was convinced I had been less 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 of very promising talents, and that, of consequence, I ought to be encouraged ; that there were at Philadelphía none but very ignorant printers, and that if I were to set up for myself, he had no doubt of my success; that, for his own part, he would procure me all the public business, and would render me every other service in his power. My brother-in-law related all this to me afterwards at Boston ; but I knew nothing of it at the time; when one day Keimer and T, being at work together near the window, we saw the governor and another gentleman, Colonel French, of Newcastle, handsomely dressed, cross the street, and make di
his entryice, and Boston,, had