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of his acquaintance, who had had 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 publiciy. I sold part of my books to procure a small sum of money, and went privately on board the sloop. By favour of a good wind I found myself in three days at New York, nearly three hundred miles from my home, at the age only of seventeen years, without knowing an individual in the place, and with very little money in my pocket.
The inclination I had felt for a seafaring life was entirely subsided, or I should now have been able to gratify it; but having another trade, and believing myself 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 that province on account of a quarrel with George Keith, the governor. He could not give me employment himself, 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 his principal workman, Aquila Rose, who was dead, and that if I would go thither, he believed he would engage me. Philadelphia was an hundred miles farther. I hesitated not to embark in a boat in order to repair, by the shortest cut of the sea, to Amboy, leaving my trunk and effects to come after me by the usual and more tedious conveyance. In crossing the bay we met with a squall, which shattered to pieces our rotten sails, 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 modrient that 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 favourite work, Bunyan's Voyages, in Dutch, a beautiful 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 has Richardson in his Pamelia, &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 anchor and veered the cable towards the shore. Some men, who stood upon the brink, hallooed 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 bank, and we called out to them, and made signs to prevail on them to come and take us up; but either they did not understand us, or they deemed our request impracticable, and with drew. 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 Dutchman, who was drenched with water. The sea broke over the boat, and reached us in our retreat, so that we were presertly 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 cases. I fola lowed 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 night, beginning 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 little, he expressed towards me considerable interest and friendship. Our acquaintance continued during the remainder of his life. I believe him to have been 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, undertook to travesty the Bible in burlesque verse, as Cotton has travested Virgil. He exhibited, by this means, many facts in a ludicrous point of view, which would have given umbrage to weak minds, had his work been published, which it never
I spent the night at his house, and reached Burling. ton the next morning. On my arrival, I had the mortification to learn that the ordinary passage-boats had sailed a little before. This was on a 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 utnost goodwill, a dinner of beef-steaks, 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 in the evening by the river side, I saw a boat with a number of persons in it approach. It was going to Philadelphia, and the compapy took me in. "As there was no wind, we could only make way with our cars. About midnight, not perceiving the town, sonie of the company were of opinion that we must have passed it, and were unwilling to row any farther; the rest not knowing where we were, it was resolved that we should stop. We drew towards the shore, entered a creek, and landed near some old palisades, which served us for fire-wood, it being a cold night in October. Here we stayed till day, when one of the company found the place in which we were to be Cooper's Creek, a little above Philadelphia, which in reality we perceived the moment we were out of the creek. We arrived on Sunday about eight or nine o'clock in the morning, and landed on Market street wharf.
I have entered into the particulars of my voyage, and shall in like manner describe my first entrance into this city, that you may be able to compare beginnings so little auspicious, with the figure I have since made.
On my arrival at Philadelphia I was in my working dress, my best clothes being to come by sea. I was covered with dirt; my pockets were filled with shirts and stockings; I was unacquainted with a single soul in the place, and I knew not where to seek for a lodging. Fatigued with walking, rowing, and having passed the night without sleep, I was extremely hungry, and all my money consisted of a Dutch dollar, and about a shilling's worth of coppers which I gave to the boatmen for my passage. As I had assisted them in rowing, they refused it at first; but I insisted on their taking it. A man is sometimes more generous when he has little than when he has much money ; probably because in the first case, he is desirous of concealing his poverty
I walked towards the top of the street, looking eagerly on both sides, till I came to Market street, where I met a child with a loaf of bread. Often had I made my dinner on dry bread. I inquired where he had bought it, and went straight to the baker's shop which he pointed out to me. I asked for some biscuits, expecting to find such as we had at Boston; but they made, it seems, none of that sort at Philadelphia. I then asked for a three-penny loaf. They made no loaves of that price. Finding myself ignorant of the prices, as well as of the different kinds of bread, I desired him to let me have three penny-worth of bread of some kind or other. He gave me three large rolls. I was surprised at receiving so much: I took them, however, and having no room in my pockets, I walked on with a roll under each arm, eating the third. In this manner I went through Market street to Fourth street, and passed the house of Mr. Read, the father of my future wife. She was standing at the door, observed me, and thought with reason that I made a very singular and grotesque appearance.
I then turned the corner. and went through Chesnut street, eating my roll all the way; and having made this round, I found myself again on Market street wharf, near the boat in which I had arrived. I step ped into it to take a draught of the river water; and finding myself satisfied with my first roll, I gave the other two to a woman and her child, who had come