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play so scurvy a trick, and thus grossly deceive a poor younglad, wholly destitute of experience? It was apractice w'tli hhn. Wishing to please every body, and having little to bestow, he was lavish of promises. He was, in other respects,sensible and judicious, a very tolerable writer, and a good governor for the people; though not so for the proprietaries, wiiose instruction! lie frequently disregarded. Many of our Lest law were his work, and established during his admin istra ■on.
Ralph and I were inseparable companions. We took a lodging together at three and sixpence a-week, which was as much as we could afford. He met with some relations in London, but they were poor, and not able to assist him. He now, for the first time, informed me of his intention to remain in England, and that he had no thoughts of ever returning to Philadelphia. He was totally without money: the. hide he had been able to raise havmg bately sulhced fin his passage. I had still fifteen pistoles remaining; and to me he had from time to time recourse, while he tried to get employment.
At first believing himself possessed of talents for the stage, he thought of tinning a.-tor; but Wilkes, tc whoix he applied, frankly advised him to renounce the idea, as it was impossible he should succeed. He next proposed to Roberts, a bookseller in Paternoster-row, to write a weekly paper in the manner of the Spectator, upon terms to which Roberts would not listen. Lastly, he endeavoured to procure employment as a copyist, and applied to the lawyers .tnd stationen about the Temple, but he could find no vacancy. As to myself, I immediately got engaged at Palmer's, at that time a noted printer in Bartholomew-close, with whom I continued nearly a year. I applied very assiduously to my work; but I expended with Ralph almost all that I earned. Plays, and other places of amusement which we frequented together, having exhausted my pistoles, we lived after this from hand to mouth. He appeared to have entirely forgotten his wife and child, as I also, by degrees, forgot my engagements with Miss Read, to whom I never wrote more than one letter, and that merely to inform bar
that I was not likely to return soon. This was another grand ertorof my life, which I should be desirous of correcting were I to begin my career again.
I was employed at Palmer's on the second edition of Woolaston's Religion of Nature. Some of his arguments appearing to me not to be well founded, I wrote a small metaphysical treatise, in which I ani madvertedon those passages. It was entitled a"Diswruition on Liberty and Necessity, Pleasure and Pain ./dedicated it to my friend Ralph, and printed a smal n»mber of copies. Palmer upon this, treazed me wilh move consideration, and regarded me as a ymmgman of talents; though he seriously took me to task for the principles of my pamphlet, which he looked upon as abominable. The printing of this work was another error of my life.
While I lodged in Little Britain I formed an acquaintance with a bookseller of the name of Wilcox, whose shop was next door tome. Circulating libraries were not then in use. He had an immense collection of books of all sorts. We agreed that, for a reasonable retribution, of which I have now forgotten the price, I should have free access to his library, and take what books I pleased, which I was to return when I had read them. I considered this agreement as a very great advantage; and I derived from has much benefit as was in my power.
My pamphlet falling into the hands of a surgeon, of the name of Lyons, author of a book entitled, "In fallibility of Human J udgment," was the occasion of a considerable intimacy between us. He expressed great esteem for me, came frequently to see me, in order to converse upon metaphysical subjects, and introduced me to Dr. Mandeville, author of the Fa rie of the Bees, who had instituted aclub at a tavern in Cheapside, of which he was the soul: he was a facetious and very amusing character. He also introduced me, at Batson's coffee-house, to Dr. Pemberton, who promised to give me an opportunity of seeing Sir Isaac Newton, which I very ardently de»ired; but he never kept his word.
I had brought some curiosities with me from Antelica; the principal of which was a purse made of the asbestos, which fire only purifies. Sir Hans Sloans hearing of it, called upon me, and invited me to his house in Bloomsbury-square, where, alter shewing me every thing that was curious, he prevailed on me to add this piece to his collection; for which he paid me very handsomely.
There lodged in the same house with us a young woman, a milliner, whohad a shop by the sideof the Exchange. Lively and sensible, and having received an education somewhat above her rank, her conversation was very agreeable. Ralph read plays to her every evening. They became intimate. She took another lodging, and he followed her. They lived for some time together; but Ralph being without employment, she having a child, and the profits of her business not sufficing for the maintenance of three, he resolved to quit London, and try a country school. This was a plan in which he thought himself likely to succeed; as he wrote a fine hand, and was versed in arithmetic and accounts. But considering the office as beneath him, and expecting some day to make a better figure in the world, when he should be ashamed of its being known that he had exercised a profession so little honourable, he changed his name, and did me the honour of assuming mine. He wrote to me soon after his departure, informing me that he was settled at a small village in Berkshire. In his letter he recommended Mrs. T. the milliner, to my care, and requested an answer, directed to Mr. Franklin, school, master, at N***.
He continued to write to me frequently, sending me large fragments of an epic poem he was composing, and which he requested me to criticise and correct 1 did so, but not withuut endeavouring to prevail on him to renounce this pursuit. Young had just published one of his Satires. I copied and sent him a great part of it; in which the author demonstrates the folly of cultivating the muses, from .he hone, by their instrumentality, of rising in'.he world. It was all to no purpose; paper after paper of his poem continued to arrive every post.
Meanwhile Mrs. T*** having lost, on his account, both her friends and business, was frequently in disj tress. In this dilemma she had recourse to mer and, to extricate her from her difficulties, I lent her all the money I could spare. I felt a little too much fondness for her. Having at that time no ties of religion, and, taking advantage of her necessitous situation, I attempted liberties (another error of my life,) which she repelled with becoming indignation. She informed Ralph of my conduct; and the affair occasioned a breach between us. When he returned to London lie gave me to understand that he considered all the obligations he owed me as annihilated by this proceeding; whence I concluded that I was never to expect the payment of what money ' had lent him, or advanced on his account. I was the less afflicted at this, as he was wholly unable to pay me; and as, by losing his friendship, I was relieved at the same time from a very heavy burden.
I now began to think of laying by some money. The printing-house of Watts, near LincolnVinnticlds, being a still more considerable one than that in which I worked, it was probable I might find it more advantageous to be employed there. I offered myself, and was accepted; and in this house I continued during the remainder of my stay in London.
On my entrance I worked at first as a pressman, conceiving that I had need of bodily exercise, to which I had been accustomed in America, where the printers work alternately as compositors and at the press. I drank nothing but water. The other workmen, to the number of about fifty, were great drinkers of beer. I carried, occasionally, a large form of letters in each hand, up and down stairs, while the rest employed both hands to carry one. They were surprised to see, by this and many other examples, that the American Aquatic, as they used to call me, was stronger than those who drank porter. The beer-boy had sufficient employment during the whole day in serving that house alone. My fellow-pressman drank, every day a pint of beer before breakfast, a pint with bread and cheese for breakfast, one between breakfast and dinner, one at dinnei, one again about six o'clock in the afternoon, and another after he had finished his day's work. This custom appeared to me abominanle; but he had need, he said, of all thi> boor, in order to acquire strength to work.
I endeavoured to convince him that the bodily strength furnished by the beer, could only be in proportion to the solid part of the barley diss* ivfid in the water of which the beer was composed; that there was a larger portion of flour in a penuv loif, and that consequently if he ate this loaf, and drain a pint of water with it, he would derive more strength from it than from a pint of beer. This reasoning, however, did not prevent him from drinking his accustomed quantity of beer, and paying every Saturday night a score of four or five shillings a-week for this cursed beverage; an expense from which I was wholly exempt. Thus do these poor devils contir uti all tlicii livs in a state of voluntary wretchedness and poverty.
At the end of a few weeks, Watts having occasion for me above stairs as a compositor, I quitted tht p.-esj. The compositors demanded of me garnish-money afresh. This I considered as an imposition, having already paid below. The master was of the same opinion, and desired me not to comply. I thus remained two or three weeks out of the fraternity. I was consequently looked upon as excomn nnicated; and whenever I was absent, no little trick that mahce could suggest was left unpractised upon rue. I fou ml my letters mixed, my pages transposed, my matter broken, &c. &c. all which was attributed to the spirit that haunted the chapel,* and tormented those that were not regularly admitted. I was at last obliged to submit to pay, notwithstanding the protection of the master; convinced of the folly of not keeping up a good understanding with those among whom we are destined to live.
After this I lived in the utmost harmony with ny fellow-labourers, and soon acquired considerable influence among them. I proposed feme alteialioii in the laws of the chapel, which I carried without opposition. My example prevailed with several of thera
* PriiUma:-hoii8ciim ^enernl are thin dcur.mmHteJ by the vorkiuea the tpirtt the* call by the nam', of RaLfk'