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At Newport we t iok on board a number of passengers ; among whom were two young women, and a grave and sensible quaker lady with her servants. I had shown an obliging forwardness in rendering the quaker some trifling services, which led her, probably, to feel some interest in my welfare ; for wheii she saw a familiarity take place, and every day in* 'crease, between the young women and me, she took me aside, and said, "Young man, I am in pain for thee. Thou hast no parent to watch over thy conduct, and thou seemest to be ignorant of the world, and the snares to which youth is exposed. Rely upon what I tell thee: those are women of bad characters: I perceive it in all their actions. If thou .dost not take care, they will lead thee into danger. They are strangers to thee, and I advise thee, by the friendly interest I take in thy preservation, to form no connection with them." As I appeared at first not to think quite so ill of them as she did, she related many things she had seen and heard, which had escaped my attention, but which convinced me she was in the right. I thanked hef for her obliging advice, and promised to follow it. When we arrived at New-York, they informed me where they lodged, and invited me to come and see them. I did not however go, and it was well I did not; for the next day, the captain, missing a silver spoon and some other things which had been taken from the cabin, and knowing these women to be prostitutes, procured a search warrant, found the Stolen goods upon them, and had them punished. And th.s, after having been Saved from one rock Concealed mder water, upon which the vessel struck during our passage, I escaped another of a more dangerous nature.
At New-York I found my friend Collins, who had arrived some time before. We hud been intimate from our infancy, and had read the same books together; but he had the advantage of being able to devote more of his time to reading and study, and an astonishing disposition for mathematics, in which he left me far behind him. When at Boston, I had been accustomed to pass with him almost all my leisure hours. He was then a sober and industrious lad ; his knowledge had gained him a very general esteem, and he seemed to promise to make an advantageous figure in society. But, during my absence, he had unfortunately addicted himself to brandy, and I learned, as well from himself as from the reports of others, that every day since his arrival at New.York he had been intoxicated, and had acted in a very extravagant manner.
He had also played and lost all his money; so that I was obliged to pay bis expences at the inn, and to maintain him during the rest of the journey i a burthen that was very inconvenient to me.
The gove-nor.of New-York, whose name was Burnet, hearing the captain say that a young man who was a passenger in his ship had a great number of books, begged him to bring me to his house. I accordingly went, and should have taken Collins with me, had he been sober. The governor treated me with great civility, shewed me his library, which was a very considerable one, and we talked for some time upon books and authors. This was the second governor who had honored me with his attention; and to a poor boy, as I then was, these little axlventures did not fail to be pleasing.
We arrived at Philadelphia. On the way I received Vernon's money, without which we should have been unable to have finished our journey.
Collins wished to get employment as a merchant's clerk; but either his breath or his countenance betrayed his bad habit j for, though he had recommendations, he met with no success, and contmued to lodge and eat with me, and at my expenseKnowing that I had Vernon's money, he was continually asking me to lend him some of it; promising to repay me as soon as he should get employment. At last he had drawn so much of this money, that I was extremely alarmed at what might become of me, should he fail to make good the deficiency. His habit of drinking did not at all diminish, and was a frequent source of discord between us: for when he had drank a little too much, he was very headstrong.
Being one day in a boat together, on the Delaware, with some other young persons, he refused to take his turn in rowing. You shall row for me, said he, till we get home. No, I replied, we will not row for you. You shall, said he, or remain upon the water all night—As you please. Let us row, said the rest of the company; what signifies it whether he assists or not. But, already angry with him for his conduct in other respects, 1 persisted in my refusal. He then swore he would make me row, or would throw me out of the boat; and he made up to me. As soon as he was within my reach I took him by the collar, gave him a violent thrust, and threw him head.foremost into the river. I knew that he was a good swimmer, and was therefore under no apprehensions for his life. Before he could turn himself, we were able, by a. few strokes of our oars, to place ourselves out of his reach; and whenever he touched the boat, we asked him if he would row, striking his hands with the oars to make him let go his hold. He was nearly suffocated with rage, but obstinately refused making any promise to row. Perceiving at length that his strength began to be exhausted, we took him into the boat, and conveyed him home in the evening,
completely drenched. The utmost coldness subsisted between us after this adventure. At last the captain of a West-India ship, who was commissioned eo procure a tutor for the children of a gentleman at Barbadoes, meeting with Collms, offered him the place. He accepted it, and took his leave of me, promising to discharge the debt he owed me with the first money he should receive; but I have heard nothing of him since.
The violation of the trust reposed in me by Vernon, was one of the first great errors of my life; and it proves that my father was not mistaken when he supposed me too young to be intrusted with the management of important affairs. But Sir William, upon reading his letter, thought him too prudent. There was a difference, he said, between individuals ; years of maturity were not always accompanied with discretion, neither was youih in every instance devoid of it. Since your father, added he, will not set you up in business, I will do it myself. Make out a list of what will be wanted from England, and I will send for the articles. You shall repay me when you can. I am determined to have a good printer here, and I am sure you will succeed. This was said with so much seeming cordiality, that I suspected not for an instant the sincerin of the offer. I had hitherto kept the project, with which Sir William had inspired me, a secret at Philadelphia, and still continued to do so. Had my reliance on the governor been known, some friend, better acquainted with his character than myself, would doubtless have advised me not to trust him; for I afterwards learned that he was universally known to be liberal of promises, which he had no intention to perform. 'But having never solicited him, how could I suppose his offers to be deceitful? On the contrary, I believed him to be the best man in the world.
I gave him an inventory of a small printing office; the expence of which I had calculated at about a hundred pounds sterling. He expressed his ap. probation ; but asked if my presence in England, that Ifmight choose the characters myself, and see that every article was good in its kind, would not be an advantage. You will also be able, said he, to form an acquaintance there, and establish a correspondence with stationers and booksellers. This I acknowledged was desirable. That being the case, added he, hold yourself in readiness to go with the Annis. This was the annual vessel, and the only one, at that time, whi; h made regular voyages between the ports of London and Philadelphia. But the Annis was not to sail for some months. I therefore continued to work for Keimer, unhappy respecting the sam which Collins had drawn from me, and almost in a continued agony at the thoughts of Vernon, who fortunately made no demand of his money till several years'.after,
In the account of my first voyage from Boston to Philadelphia, I omiited I believe a trifling circumstance, which Will not perhaps be out of place here. During a calm which stopped us above Block-island, the crew employed themselves in fishing for cod, of which they caught a great number. I had hitherto adhered to m\ resolution of not eating any thing that possessed life ; and I considered on this occasion, agreeably to the maxims of my master Tryon, the capture of every fish as a sort of jnurder, committed without provocation, since these animals had neither done, nor were capable of dor ing, the smallest injury to^any one that should justify the measure. This mode of reasoning I conceived to be unanswerable. Meanwhile I had formerly been extremely fond of fish; and when one of these.cod was taken out of the frying-pan I