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quitting Boston, so fully and in such a light, as to convince bim, that I was not so much in the wrong as he had apprehended.
Sir William Keith, governor of the province, was then at New Castle, and captain Holmes, happening to be in company with him, when my letter came to hand, spoke to him of me, and shewed him the letter. The governor read it, and seemed surprised when he was told my age. He said I appeared a young man of promising parts, and therefore should be encouraged: the printers at Philadelphia were wretched ones, and if I would set up there, he made no doubt I should succeed; for his part he would procure me the public business, and do me every other service in his power. This my brother-in-law Holmes afterwards told me in Boston: but I knew as yet nothing of it; when one day Keimer and I being at work together near the window we saw the governor and another gentleman, (who proved to be col. French of New Castle, in the province of Delaware) finely dressed, come directly across the street to our house, and heard them at the door. Keimer ran down immediately, thinking it a visit to him: but the governor inquired for me, came up, and with a condescension and politeness I had been quite unused to, made me many compliments, desired to be acquainted with me; blamed me kindly for not having made myself known to him, when I first came to the place, and would have me away with him to the tavern, where he was going with colonel French to taste, as he said, some excellent Madeira. I was not a little surprised, and Keimer stared with astonishment. I went however with the governor and colonel French to a tavern the corner of Third-street, and over the Madeira he proposed my setting up my business. He stated the probabilities of my success, and both he and colonel French assured me I should have their interest and influence to obtain for me the public business of both governments. And as I expressed doubts that my father would assist me in it, sir William said he would give me a letter to hiin, in which he would set forth the advantages, and he did not doabt, he should determie him to comply. So it was con
cluded I should return to Boston by the first vessel, with the governor's letter to my father. In the mean time it was to be kept a secret, and I went on working with Keinier as usual. The governor sent for me now and then to dine with him, which I considered a great honor, more particularly as he conversed with me in the most affable, familiar, and friendly manner.
About the end of April, 1724, a little vessel offered for Boston. I took leave of Keimer, as going to see my friends. The governor gave me an ample letter, saying many flattering things of me to my father, and strongly recommending the project of my setting up at Philadelphia, as a thing that would make my fortune. We struck on a shoal in going down the bay, and sprung a leak; we had a blustering time at sea, and were obliged to pump almost continually, at which I took my turn. We arrived safe, however, üt Boston in about a fortnight. I had been absent seven months, and my friends had heard nothing of me; for my brother Holmes was not yet returned, and had not written about me. My unexpected appearance surprised the family; all were, however, very glad to see me, and made me welcome, except my brother: I went to see him at his printing house. I was better dressed than ever while in his service, having a genteel new suit from head to foot, a watch, and my pockets lined with near five pounds sterling in silver. He received me not very frankly, looked me all over, and turned to his work again. The journeymen were inquisitive where I bad been, what sort of a country it was, and how I liked it? I praised it much, and the happy life I led in it, expressing strongly my intention of returning to it; and one of them asking what kind of money we had there, I produced an handful of silver, and spread it before them, which was a kind of raree-show they had not been used to, paper being the money of Boston. Then I took an opportunity of letting them see my watch; and lastly (my brother still grum and sullen) gave them a dollar to drink and took my leave. This visit of mine offended him extremely. For when my mother sometime after spoke to him of a reconciliation, and of her wish to see us on good terms together, and that we might live for the future as brothers; he said I had insulted him in such a manner before his people, that he could never forget or forgive it. In this, however, he was mistaken.
My father received the governor's letter with some surprise; but said littlc of it to me for some time. Captain Holmes returning, he shewed it to him, and asked bim if he knew sir William Keith, and what kind of a man lie was; adding that he must be of small discretion, to think of setting a youth up in business, who wanted three years to arrive at man's estate. Holmes said what he could in favor of the project, but my father was decidedly against it, and at last gave a flat denial. He wrote a civil letter to sir William, thanking him for the patronage lie had so kindly offered me, and declining to assist me as yet in setting up, I being in his opinion too young to be trusted with the management of an undertaking so important, and for which the preparation required a considerable expenditure.
My old companion Collins, who was a clerk in the Post Office, pleased with the account I gave him of my new country, determined to go thither also: and while I waited for my father's determination, he set out before me by land to RhodeIsland, leaving his books, which were a pretty collection in mathematics and natural philosophy, to come with mine and me to New York; where he proposed to wait for me.
My father though he did not approve sir William's proposition, was yet pleased that I had been able to obtain so advantageous a character from a person of such note where I had resided; and that I had been so industrious and careful as to equip myself so handsomely in so short a time; therefore seeing no prospect of an accommodation between my brother and me, he gave bis consent to my returning again to Philadelphia, advised me to behave respectfully to the people there, endeavor to obtain the general esteem, and avoid lampooning and libelling, to which he thought I had too much inclination; telling me, that by steady indastry and
prudent parsimony, I might save enough by the time I was one-and-twenty, to set me up; and that if I came near the matter he would help me out with the rest. This was all I could obtain except some small gifts as tokens of his and my mother's love when I embarked again for New York, now with their approbation and their blessing. The sloop putting in at Newport, Rhode Island, I visited my brother John, who had been married and settled there some years. He received me very affectionately, for he always loved me. A friend of liis, one Vernon, having some money due him in Pennsylvania (about thirty-five pounds currency) desired I would recover it for him, and keep it till I had his directions what to employ it in. Accordingly he gave me an order to receive it. This business afterwards occasioned me a good deal of uncasiness.
At Newport we took in a number of passengers, amongst wbich were too young women travelling together, and a sensible matron-like quaker lady, with her servants. I had shewn an obliging disposition to render her some little services, wbich probably impressed her with sentiments of good will towards me; for when she witnessed the daily growing familiarity between the young women and myself, which they appeared to encourage; she took me aside, and said, “ Young man, I am concerned for thee, as thou hast no friend with thee, and seems't not to know much of the world, or of the suares youth is exposed to: depend upon it these are very bad women; I can see it by all their actions; and if thou art not upon thy guard, they will draw thee into some danger: they are strangers to thee, and I advise thee, in a friendly concern for thy welfare, to have no acquaintance with them.” As I seemed at first not to think so ill of them as she did, she mentioned some things she had observed and heard that had escaped my notice, but now convinced me she was right. I thanked her for her kind advice, and promised to follow it. When we arrived at New York, they told me where they lived, and invited me to come and see them, but I avoided it, and it was well I did. For the next day the captain missed a silver
spoon and some other things that had been taken out of his cabin, and knowing that these were a couple of strumpets, he got a warrant to search their lodgings, found the stolen goods, and had the thieves panished. So though we had escaped a sunken rock, which we scraped upon in the passage, I thought this escape of rather more importance to me.
At New York I found my friend Collins, who had arrived there some time before me. We had been intimate from children, and had read the same books together: but he had the advantage of more time for reading and studying, and a wonderful genius for mathematical learning, in wlich he far outstript me. While I lived in Boston, most of my hours of leisure for conversation were spent with him, and he continued a sober as well as industrious lad; was much respected for bis learning by several of the clergy and other gentlemen, and seemed to promise making a good sabit of in. But during my absence he had acquirent.ccount, as well as thi put bundy. and I found by his own an ry day since his arrival at New Y
epil in a very extravagant manner. He had
imsenost his money, so that I was obliged to disgamed too, and froings, and defray his expenses on the road
Ind shia; which proved a great burden to me. The
nor of New York, Burnet, (son of bishop Burnet,) then con Tom the captain, that one of the passengers had a
any books on board, desired him to bring me to see waited on him, and should have taken Collins with Ja he been sober. The governor received me with great City, shewed me bis library, which was a considerable one,
we had a good deal of conversation relative to books and andhors. This was the second governor who had done me the
hop to take notice of me; and for a poor boy like me, was ry pleasing. We proceeded to Philadelphia, I received in Je way Vernon's money, without which we could hardly bave Znished our journey. Collins wished to be employed in some Mounting house; but whether they discovered his dram-drink