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evening to an inn, within eight or ten miles of Burlington, kept by one Dr. Brown. He entered into conversation with me, while I took some refreshment, and finding I had read a little, became very obliging and friendly. Our acquaintance continued all the rest of his life. He had been, I imagine, an ambulatory quack doctor, for there was no town in England, or any country in Europe, of which he could not give a very particular account. He had some letters, and was ingenious, but he was an infidel, and wickedly undertook some years after to turn the Bible into doggrel verse; as Cotton had formerly done with Virgil. By this means he set many facts in a ridiculous light, and might have done mischief with weak minds, if his work had been published; but it never was. At his house I lay that night, and arrived the next morning at Burlington; but had the mortification to find, that the regular boats had gone a little before, and no other expected to go before Tuesday, this being Saturday. Wherefore I returned to an old woman in the town, of whom I had bought soine gingerbread to eat on the water, and asked her advice: she proposed to lodge me, till a passage by some other boat occurred. I accepted her offer, being much fatigued by travelling on foot. Understanding I was a printer, she would have had me remain in that town and follow my business; being ignorant what stock was necessary to begin with. She was very hospitable, gave me a dinner of ox cheek with great good-will, accepting only of a pot of ale in return; and I thought myself fixed till Tuesday should come. However, walking in the evening by the side of the river, a boat came by, which I found was going towards Philadelphia with several people in her. They took ine in, and as there was no wind, we rowed all the way; and about midnight, not having yet seen the city, some of the company were confident we must have passed it, and would row no further; the others knew not where we were, so we put towards the shore, got into a creek, landed near an old fence, with the rails of which we made a fire, the night being cold, in October, and there we remained till daylight. Then one of the company knew
the place to be Cooper's creek, a little above Philadelphia, which we saw as soon as we got out of the creek, and arrived there about eight or nine o'clock, on the Sunday morning, and landed at Market-street wharf.
I have been the more particular in this description of my journey, and shall be so of my first entry into that city, that you may in your mind compare such unlikely beginnings, with the figure I have since made there. I was in my working dress, my best clothes coming round by sea. I was dirty, from my being so long in the boat: my pockets were stuffed out with shirts and stockings, and I knew no one, nor where to look for lodging. Fatigued with walking, rowing, and the want of sleep, I was very hungry; and my whole stock of cash consisted in a single dollar, and about a shilling in copper coin, which I gave to the boatmen for my passage. At first they refused it, on account of my having rowed, but I iusista ed on their taking it. Man is sometimes more generous when he has little money, than when he has plenty; perhaps to prevent his being thought to have but little. I walked towards the top of the street, gazing about still in Market-street, where I met a boy with bread. I had often made a meal of dry bread, and inquiring where he had bought it, I went immediately to the baker's he directed me to. I asked for biscuits, meaning such as we had at Boston: that sort, it seems, was not made in Philadelphia. I then asked for a threepenny loaf, and was told they had none. Not knowing the different prices, nor the names of the different sorts of bread, I told bim to give me three-penny worth of any sort. He gave me accordingly three great puffy rolls. I was surprised at the quantity, but took it, and having no room in my pockets, walked off with a roll under each arm, and eating the other. Thas I went up Market-street as far as Fourth-street, passing by the door of Mr. Read, my future wife's father; when she, standing at the door, saw me, and thought I made, as I certainly did, a most awkward ridiculous appearance. Then I turned and went down Chestnut-street and part of
Walnut-street, eating my roll all the way, and coming round found myself again at Market-street wharf, near the boat I came in, to which I went for a draught of the river water; and being filled with one of my rolls gave the other two to a woman and her child that came down the river in the boat with us, and were waiting to go farther. Thus refreshed, I walked again up the street, which by this time had many clean-dressed people in it, who were all walking the same way: I joined them and thereby was led into the great meeting house of the Quakers near the market. I sat down among them, and after looking round awhile, and hearing nothing said, being very drowsy, through labor and want of rest the preceding night, I fell fast asleep, and continued so till the meeting broke up, when some one was kind enough to rouse me. This therefore was the first house I was in, or slept in, in Philadelphia.
I then walked down towards the river, and looking in the faces of every one, I met a young Quaker man whose countenance pleased me, and accosting him, requested he would tell me where a stranger could get a lodging. We were then near the sign of the Three Mariners. “ Here,” said he, “ is a house where they receive strangers, but it is not a reputable one; if thou wilt walk with me, I'll shew thee a better one;" and he conducted me to the Crooked Billet in Waterstreet. There I got a dinner; and while I was eating, several questions were asked me; as from my youth and appearance I was suspected of being a runaway. After dinner my host having shewn me to a bed, I lay myself on it, without undressing, and slept till six in the evening, when I was called to supper. I went to bed again very early, and slept very soundly till next morning. Then I dressed myself as neat as I could, and went to Andrew Bradford, the printer's. I found in the shop the old man his father, whom I had seen at New York, and who, travelling on horseback, had got to Phi. ladelphia before me. He introduced me to his son, who received me civilly, gave me a breakfast, but told me he did not at present want a hand, being lately supplied with one; but there was another printer in town lately set up, one Keimer, who perhaps might employ me: if not, I should be welcome to lodge at his house, and he would give me a little work to do now and then till fuller business should offer.
The old gentleman said he would go with me to the new printer; and when we found him, “ Neighbor,” said Bradford, “I have broughì to see you, a young man of your business; perhaps you may want such a one.” He asked me a few questions, put a composing stick in my hand to see how I worked, and then said he would employ me soon, though he had just then nothing for me to do; and taking old Bradford, whom he had never seen before, to be one of the town' people that had a good will for him, entered into a conversation on his present undertaking and prospects; while Bradford, (not discovering that he was the other printer's father,) on Keimer's saying he expected soon to get the greatest part of the business into his own hands; drew him on by artful ques. tions, and starting little doubts, to explain all his views, what influence he relied on, and in what manner he intended to proceed. I who stood by and heard all, saw immediately, that one was a crafty old sophister, and the other a true novice. Bradford left me with Keimer, who was greatly surprised when I told him who the old man was.
The printing house, I found, consisted of an old damaged press and a small worn-out fount of English types, which he was using himself, composing an elegy on Aquilla Rose, beforementioned; an ingenious young man, of excellent character, much respected in the town, secretary to the assembly, and a pretty poet. Keimer made verses too, but very indifferently. He could not be said to write them, for bis method was to compose them in the types directly out of his head; there being no copy, but one pair of cases, and the elegy probably requiring all the letter, no one could help bim. I endeavored to put his press (which be had not yet used, and of which he understood nothing) into order to be worked with; and promising to come and print off his elegy as soon as he should have got it ready, I returned to Bradford's, who gave me a little job to do for the present, and there I lodged and dieted. A few days after Keimer sent for me to print off the elegy. And now he had got another pair of cases, and a pamphlet to reprint, on which he set me to work.
These two printers I found poorly qualified for their business. Bradford bad not been bred to it, and was very illiterate; and Keimer, though something of a scholar, was a mere compositor, knowing nothing of press-work. He had been one of the French prophets, and could act their enthusiastic agitations. At this time he did not profess any particular religion, but something of all on occasion; was very ignorant of the world, and had, as I afterwards found, a good deal of the knave in his composition. He did not like my lodging at Bradford's while I worked with him. He had a house indeed, but without furniture, so he could not lodge me; but he got me a lodging at Mr. Read's, beforementioned, who was the owner of his house: and my chest of clothes being come by this time, I made rather a more respectable appearance in the eyes of Miss Read, than I bad done when she first happened to see me eating my roll in the street.
I began now to have some acquaintance among the young people of the town, that were lovers of reading, with whom I spent my evening's very pleasantly; and gained money by my industry and frugality. I lived very contented, and forgot Boston as much as I could, and did not wish it should be known where I resided, except to my friend Collins, who was in the secret, and kept it faithfully. At length, however, an incident happened, that occasioned my return home much sooner than I had intended. I had a brother-in-law, Robert Holmes, master of a sloop that traded between Boston and Delaware. He being at New Castle, forty miles below Philadelphia, and hearing of me, wrote me a letter, mentioning the grief of my relations and friends in Boston, at my abrupt departure, assuring me of their good will to me, and that every thing would be accommodated to my mind if I would return; to which he intreated me earnestly. I wrote an answer to his letter, thanked him for his advice, but stated my reasons for