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prospect. I took leave, therefore, as I believed forever, of printing, and gave myself up entirely to my new occupation, spending all my time either in going from house to house with Mr. Denham to purchase goods, or in packing them up, or in expepediting the workmen, &c. &c. thing however was on board, I had at last a few davs leisure.
During this interval, I was one day sent for by a gentleman, whom I knew only by name.
It was Sir William Wyndham. I went to his house. He had by some means heard of my performances bee tween Chelsea a id Blackfriars, and t! at I h. d taught the art of swimming to Wygate and another young men in the course of a few hours.
His two Sons were on the point of setting out on their travels ; he was desirous that they should previously learn to swim, and offered me a very liberal reward is I would undertake to instruct them. They were not yet arrived in town, and the stay
I should make myself was uncertain ; I could not therefore accept his proposal. I was led however to suppose from this incident, that if I had wished to remain in London, and open a swimming-school, I should perhaps have gained a great deal of money. This idea struck me so forcibly, that, had the off r been made me sooner, I should have dismissed the thought of returning as yet to America.
Some years after, you and I had more important business to settle with one of the sons of sir William Wyndham, then Lord Egremont. But let us not anticipate events.
I thus passed about eighteen months in London, working almost without intermission at my trade, avoiding all expence on my own account, except gring now and hen to the play, and purchasing a iew books. But my friend Ralph kept mc pour
He owed me about twenty-seven pounds, which was so much money lost; and when considered as taken from my little savings, was a very great sum. I had, notwithstanding this, a regard for him, as he possessed many amiable qualities. But though I had done nothing for myself in point of fortune, I had increased my stock of knowledge, either by the many excellent books I had read, or the conversation of learned and literary persons with whom I was acquainted. - We sailed from Gravesend the 23d of July, 1726. For the incidents of my voyage I refer you to my journal, where
will find all the circumstances minutely related. We landed at Philadelphia on the 11th of the following October.
Keith had been deprived of his office of governor, and was succeeded by Major Gordon. I met him walking in the streets as a private individual. He appeared ashamed at seeing me, but passed on with out saying any thing.
I should have been equally ashamed myself at meeting Miss Read, had not her family, justly despairing of my return after reading my letter, advised her to give me up, and marry a potter, of the name of Rogers ; to which she consented: but he never made her happy, and she soon separated from him, refusing to cohabit with him, or even bear his name, on account of a report which prevailed, of his having another wife. His skill in his profession had seduced Miss Read's parents; but he was as bad a subject as he was excellent as a workman. He iu. volved himself in debt, and fed, in the year 1727 or 1728, to the West Indies, where he died.
During my absence Keimer had taken a more considerable house, in which he kept a shop, that was well supplied with paper, and various other are
ticles. He had procured some new types, and a number of workmen; among whom, however, there was not one who was good for any thing; and he appeared not to want business.
Mr. Denham took a warehouse in Water-street, where we exhibited our commodities. I applied myself closely, studied accounts, and became in a short time very expert in trade. We lodged and eat together. He was sincerely attached to me, and acted towards me as if he had been father. On my side, I respected and loved him. My situation was happy; but it was a happiness of no long duration.
Early in February 1727, when I entered into my twenty-second year, we were both taken ill. I was attacked with a pleurisy, which had nearly carried me off; I suffered terribly, and considered it as all over with me. I felt indeed a sort of disappointment when I found m; self likely to recover, and regretted that I had still to experience, sooner or later, the same disagreeable scene again.
I have forgotten what was Mr. Denham's disors der; but it was a tedious one, and he at last sunk under it. He left me a small legacy in his will, as a testimony of his friendship; and I was once more abandoned to myself in the wide world, the warehouse being confided to the care of the testamentary executor, who ilisinissed me.
My bro her-in-law, Holmes, who happened to be at Philadelphia, advistd me to return to my former profession; and Keimer offered me a very consid. erable salary if I would undertake the management of his printing-office, that he might devote himself entirely to the superintendance of his shop. His wife and relations in London had given me a bad character of him; and I was loath, for the present, to have any concern with him. I endeavored to get employment as a clerk to a merchant; but not readily finding a situation, I was induced to accept Keimer's proposal.
The following were the persons I found in his printing-house:
Hugh Meredith, a Pennsylvanian, about thirtyfive years of age. He had been brought up io husbandry, was honest, sensible, had some experience, and was fond of reading : but too much addicted to drinking.
Stephen Potts, a young rustic, just broke from school, and of rustic education, with endowments rather above the common order, and a competent portion of understanding and gaiety ; but a little idle. Keimer had engaged these two at very low wages, which he had promised to raise every three months a shilling a week, provided their improve. ment in the typographic art should merit it. This future increase of wages was the bait he made use of to ensnare them. Meredith to work at the
press, and Potts to bind books, which he had engaged to teach iht m, though he understood neither himself.
Juhn Savage, an Irishman, who had been brought up to no traciė, and whose service for a period of four years, Keiner had purchased of the captain of a ship. He was also to be a pressman.
George Webb, an Oxford scholar, whose time he had in like manner bough: for four years, intend. ing him for a compositor. I shall speak more of hin presently.
Lastly, David Harry, a country lad, who was apprenticed to him.
I soon perceived that Keimer's'intention, in engag. ing ine at a price so much above what he was accustomed to give, was, that I migiit form ail these raw
journeymen and apprentices, who scarcely cost him any thing, and who, being indentured, would, as soon as they should be sufficiently instructed, enable him to do without me. I nevertheless adhered to my agreement. I put the office in order, whicha, was in the utmost confusion, and brought his people, by degrees, to pay attention to their work, and to execute it in a more masterly manner.
It was singular to see an Oxford scholar in the condition of a purchased servant. He was not more than eighteen years of age ; and the following are the particulars he gave me of himself. Born at Gloucester, he had been educated at a grammar school, and had distinguished himself among the scholars by his superior style of acting, when they represented dramatic performances.
He was a member of a literary club in the town; and some pieces of his composition, in prose as well as in verse had been inserted in the Gloucester papers. From hence he was sent to Oxford where he remained a. bout a year ; but he was not contented, and wish. ed above all things to see London, and become an actor. At length, having received fifteen guineas to pay his quarter's board, he decamped with the money from Oxford, hid his gown in a hedge, and travelled to London. There, having no friend to direct him, he fell into bad company,soon squandered his fifteen guineas, could find no way to be introduced to the actors, became contemptible, pawned his clothes, and was in want of bread. walking along the streets, almost famished with hun. ger, and not knowing what to do, a recruiting bill was put into his hand, which offered an immediate treat and bounty-money, to whoever was disposed to serve in America. He instantly repaired to the house of rendezvous, inlisted himself, was put on
As he was