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its appearance for some months in my name.
At length, a new difference arising between my brother and me, I ventured to take advantage of my liberty, presuming that he would not dare to produce the new contract. It was undoubtedly dishonorable to avail myself of this circumstance, and I reckon this action as one of the first errors of my life; but I was little capable of estimating it at its true value, embittered as my mind had been by the recollection of the blows I had received. Exclusively of his passionate treatment of me, my brother was by no means a man of an ill temper, and perhaps my manners had too much impertinence not to afford it a very natural pretext.
When he knew that it was my determination to quit him, he wished to prevent my finding employment elsewhere. He went to all the printing-houses in the town, and prejudiced the masters against me; who accordingly refused to employ me. The idea then suggested itself to me of going to New York, the nearest town in which was a printing-office. Farther reflection confirmed me in the design of leaving Boston, where I had already rendered myself an object of suspicion to the governing party. It was probable, from the arbitrary proceedings of the assembly in the affair of my brotuer, that, by remaining, I should soon have been exposed to difficulties,which I had the greatest reason to apprehend, as, from my indiscreet disputes upon the subject of religion, I began to be regarded by pious souis, with horror, either as an apostate or an atheist. I came, therefore, to a resolution; but my father, in this instance, siding with my brother, I presumed that if I attempted to depart openly, measures would be taken to prevent me. My friend Collins un dertook to favor my flight.
He agreed for my passage with the captain of a New-York sloop, to whom he represented me as a young man of his acquaintance, who had bad an affair with a girl of bad character, whose parents wished to compel me to marry her, and that of consequence I could neither make my appearance, nor go off publicly. I sold part of my books to procure a small sum of money, and went privately on board the sloop. By favor of a good wind, I found myself in three days at New-York, nearly three hundred miles from iny home, at the age of seventeen, without knowing an individual in the place, and with very little money in my pocket.
The inclination I had felt for a seafaring life had entirely subsided, or I should now have been able to gratify it; but having another trade, and believing myself to be a tolerable workman, I hesitated not to offer my services to the old Mr. William Bradford, who had been the first Printer in Pennsylvania, but had quitted the province on account of a quarrelwith George Keith, the governor. He could not give me employment bimself, having little to do, and already as many persons as he wanted: but he told me that his son, printer at Philadelphia, had lately lost bis principal workinan, Aquila Rose, who was dead, and that if I would go thither he believed that he would engage me. Philadelpbia was a hundred miles further. I hesitated not to embark in a boat, in order to repair, by the shortest cut of the Bea, to Amboy, leaving my trunk and effects to come after me by the usual and more tedious conveyauce. In crossing the bay we met with a squall, which shattered to pieces our rotten pails, and prevented us from entering the Kill and threw us upon Long-Island.
During the squall, a drunken Dutchman, who like myself was a passenger in the boat, fell into the sea. At the moment when he was sinking, I seized him by the fore-top, saved him, and drew him on board. This immersion sobered him a little, so that he fell asleep, after having taken from his pocket a volume, which he requested me to dry. This volume, I found to be my old favorite work, Bunyan's Pilgrim, in Dutch, a beantiful impression on fine paper, with copperplate engravings; a dress in which I had never seen it in its original language. I have since learned that it has been translated into almost all the languages of Europe, and next to the bible, I am persuaded it is one of the books,which has had the greatest spread. Honest John is the first that I know of, who has mixed narrative and dialogue together; a mode of writing very engaging to the reader, who, in the most interesting passages, finds himself admitted, as it were, into the company, and present at the conversation. De Foe has imitated it with success in his Robinson Crusoe, his Moll Flanders, and other works, as also Richardson in his Pamela, &c.
In approaching the island, we found that we had made a part of the coast where it was not possible to land, on account of the strong breakers produced by the rocky shore. We cast anchior and veered the cable towards the shore. Some men, who stood upon the brink, balloed to us, while we did the same on our part; but the wind was so high, and the waves so noisy, that we could neither of us hear each other. There were some canoes upon the banks, and we called out to them, and made signs to prevail on them to come and take us up; but either they did not un. derstand us, or they deemed our request imprace ticable, and withdrew. Night came on, and
nothing remained for us, but to wait quietly the subsiding of the wind; till when, we determined, (that is, the pilot and 1,) to sleep if possible. For that purpose we went below the hatches, along with the Dutchiman, who was drenched with water. The sea broke over the boat, and reached us in our retreat, so that we were presently as completely drenched as he.
We had very little repose during the whole night; but the wind abating, the next day we succeeded in reaching Amboy before it was dark, after having passed thirty hours without provisions, and with no other drink than a bottle of bad rum, the water upon which we rowed being salt. In the evening I went to bed with a very violent fever. I had somewhere read, that cold water, drank plentifully, was a remedy in such
I followed the prescription—was in a profuse sweat for the greater part of the night, and the fever left me. The next day I crossed the river in a ferry-boat, and continued my journey on foot. I had fifty miles to walk, in order to reach Burlington; where I was told I should find passage boats that would convey me to Philadelphia. It rained hard the whole day, so that I was wet to the skin. Finding myself fatigued, about noon I stopped at a paltry inn, where I passed the rest of the day and the whole nightbeginoing to regret that I had quitted my home. I made besides so wretched a figure, that I was suspected to be some runaway servant. This I discovered by the questions that were asked me; and I felt that I was every moment in danger of being taken up as such. The next day, however, I continued my journey, and arrived in the evening at an inn, eight or ten miles from Burlington, that was kept by one Dr. Brown.
This man entered into conversation with me,
while I took some refreshment, and perceiving that I had read a littre, he expressed towards me considerable interest and friendship: Our acquaintance continued during the remainder of his life. I believe him to be 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, nor 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 inorning. On my arrival, I had the mortification to learn that the ordinary passage-boats had sailed a little before. This was on Saturday, and there would be no other boat till 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 I 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