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board a ship and conveyed to America, without ever writing to inform his parents what was become of him. His mental vivacity, and good natural disposition, made him an exc'llent companion; but he was indolent, thoughtless, and to the last dcgi ee imprudent.
John, the Irishman, soon ran away. I began to live very agreeably with the rest. They respected me., and the more so as they found Keimerincapabie of mstructing them, and as thc\ learned something IroNm me every day. We never worked on a Sam relay; it being Kennel's Sabbath ; so that I had two days a we k lor reading.
I encreased my acquaintance with persons of knowledg and information in the town. Keimer hunseit Heated me with grea civility and apparent esteem; and i had nothing to.give me uneasiness but m;' debt to Vernon, which I was unable to pav, my savings as vet being verv little. He had the goodUt.5f>, however, not to ask me for the mone\.
Our press was frequently in want of the necessary quantitity of letter ; and there was no such trade as that of letter.founder in America. I hadseenthe practice of this art at ihe house of James, in London; but had at the same time paid it very little attention. I howi ver contrived to fabricate a mould. I madi useofsuih letters as we had for punches, founded new letters of lend in matrices of clav, and thus suppli. d. in a tolerable manner, the wants that Were mosi pressing.
1 also, up.mocc sion, engraved various ornaments, made ink, tjave an eye to the shop ; in short, I w a^ in tv rv respect uV factotum. But useful as I made mvsell, I percei\.d that me services became every ckv o'I.s.importance, in" proportion as the oiher i»„n. improved; aud when Kcimcr paid me my second quarter's wages, he gave me to understand that they were too heav), and that he thought I ought to make an abatement. He became by degrees less civil, and assumed more the tone of master. He frequently found fault, was difficult to please, and seemed alwa\s on the poiut of coming to an open quarrel with me.
I continued, however, to bear it patientlv, conceiving that h:s ill-humor was parti) occasioned by the derangement and embarrassment of his affairs. At last a slight incidt nt broke our connection. Hearing a noise in the neighborhood, I put my head out of the window to see what was the matter. Keimer being in the street, observed m.e, and in a loud and angry tone told me to mind mv work; adding some reproachful words. which piqued me the more as they were mured in the. street; and the neighbois, whom the noise b'l attracted to the windows, were witnesses of the manner in whi' $ I was treated. He immediately come up to the p'uning room, and continued to exclaim against me. The quarrel became warm on both sides, and he gave me notice to quit him at the expiration of three months, as had been agreed between us; regretting that he was obliged to give me so long a term. I told him that his.regret was superfluous, as I was ready to quit him instantly ; and I took mv hat and came out of the house, begging Meredith to take care of some things which I left, and bring them to my lodgings.
Meredith came to me in the evening. We talked for some time upon the quarrel that had taken place. He had conceived a great veneration for me, and was sorry I should quit the house while he remained in it. He dissuaded me from returning to my native country, as I began to think of doing. He reminded mo that Keimer owed more thau he. possessed 5 that his creditors began to be alarmed; that he kept his shop in a wretched state, often selling things at prime cost for the sake of ready money, and continually giving credit without keeping any accounts; that of consequence he must very soon fail, whhh would occasion a vacancy t'rom which I might derive advantage. I objected my want of money. Upon which he informed me that his father had a very high opinion of me, and from a conversation that had passed between them, he was sure that he would advance whatever might be necessary to establish us, if I was willing to enter into partnership with him. "My time with Keimer," added he, "will be at an end next spring. In the mean time we may send to London for our press and types. I know that I am no workman.; but if you agree to the proposal, rour skill in the business will be balanced by the capital I will furnish, and we will share the profits equally." His proposal waS reasonable, and I fell in with it. His father, who was then in the town, approved of h»—» He knew that I had some ascendency over his son, as I had been able to prevail on him to abstain a longtime from drinking brandy; and he hoped that when moreclosely connected with him, I should cure him entirely of this unfortunate habit.
I gave the father a list of what it would be necessary to import from London. He took it to a merchant, and the order was given. We agreed to leep the secret till the arrival of the materials, and I was in the mean time to procure work, if possible, in another printing-house; but there was no place vacant, and I remained idle. After some days, Keimer having the expectation of being employed to print some New Jersey money-bills, that would require tvpes and engravings which I only could furuioh, and fcaiful that Bradford, hy tngaging me, might deprive him of the undertakings sent me a very civil message, telling me that old friends ought not to be disunited on account of a few words, which were the effect onlv of a momentary passion, and inviting me to return to him. Meredith persuaded me to comply with the invitation, particularly as it would afford him more opportunities of improving himself in the busmess by means of my instructions. I did so, and we lived upon better terms than before our separation.
He obtained the New-Jersey business; and iff order to execute it, I constructed a copper plate printing-press; the first that had been seen in the country.. I engraved various ornaments and vignettes for the bills; and we repaired to Burlington together, where I executed the whole to the general satisfaction; and he received a sum of money for this work, which enabled him to keep his head above water for a considerable time longer.
At Burlington I formed acquaintance with the principal personages of the province; many of whom were commissioned by the assembly to superintend the press, and to see that no more bills. were printed than the law had prescribed. Accord* inglv they were constantlv with us, each in his turn; and he that came commonly brought with him a friend or two to bear him companv. Mv mind was more cultivated by reading than Kilmer's; and it was for this reason, probably, that they set more more value on my conversation. They took me to their houses, introduced me to their friends, and treated me with the greatest civility; while Keimer, though master, saw himself a little neglected. He was, in fact, a strange animal, ignorant of the common mod's of life, apt to oppose with rudenes* general received opinions, an enthusiast in ccnaiaj G %
points of religion, disgustingly unclean m his pet* .Son, and a liule knavish'withal.
We remained there nearly three months; and at the expiration of this period I could include in the list of my friends. Judge Allen, Samuel Bustil, secretary of the province, Isaac Pearson, Joseph Cooper, several of the Smiths, all members of the Assembly, and Isaac Deacon, inspector-general. The last was a shrewd and subtle old man. He told me, that, when a boy, his first employment had been that •of carrying clay to brick-makers; that he did not learn to write till he was somewhat advanced in life; that he was afterwards employed as an underling to a surveyor, who taught him his trade, and that by industrv he had at last acquired a competent for. tune. "I foresee," said he one dav to mf, "that you will soon supplant this man," speaking of Keijner, "and get a fortune in the business at Philadelphia." He was totally ignorant at the time of my intention of establishing mvself there, or any where else.. These friends were verv serviceable ,to me in the end, as was I also, upon occasion, to some of them; and they have continued ever since their esteem for me.
Before I relate the particulars of mv entrance into business, it may be proper to inform you what was at that time the state of my mind as to moral principles, that vou may seethe degree of influence they had upon subsequent events of mv life.
Mv parents had given me betimes religious impressions; anil I received from mv infancv a pious education in the principles of Calvinism. But pcarcelv was I arrived at fifteen vears of age, when, alter having doubted in turn of diff .rent tenets, ac-fording as t found them combated in the diflf.rent i>uoks iha.t I read, I began to doubt of revelation it*