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board a ship and conveyed to America, without eve er writing to inform his parents what was become of him. His menial vivacity, and good natural dis. position, made him an exc-llent companion; but he was indolent, thoughtless, and to the last degree imprudent.
John, the Irishman, soon ran away. I began to live very agrerably with the rest. They respected me, and the more so as they found Keimer.incapabie of instruciing them, and as they learned something from me every day. We never worked on a Saiu riay; it being Keimer's Sabbath ; so that I had two days a we. k for reading.
I encreased my acquaintance with persons of knowledg and information in the town. Keimer hinseil treated me with grea civility and apparent esteem; and I had nothing to give me uneasiness but mi debt to Vernon, which I was unable to pay, my savings as yet being very little. He had the good. ness, however, not to ask me for the money.
Our press was frequently in wani of the necessary quantisicy oi letter ; and there was no such irade as that of liter-founder in America. I had seen the practice of this art at the house of James, in London; but had at the same time paid it very little attention. I however contrived to fabricate a mould. I made use of such leiters as we had for punches, founded new letters of lead in matrices of cla , and thus suppliid, in a iolerable manner, the wants that were mosi prossing: · Láiso), 'ipnoec sion, engraved various ornaments, made ink, Save an eve to the shop; in short, I was in evry rospect th factotum. But useful as I made mysell, I perceiv.d that my services became every dirolis:in irtance, in proportion as the oiher Da doverored ; and when Keimer paid nie my
second quarter's wages, he gave me to understand that they were too heavy, and that he thought I ought to make aii abatement. He became by degrees less civil, and assumed more the tone of mas. ter. He frequently found fault, was difficult to please, and seemed always on the point of coming to an open quarrel with me.
I continued, however, to bear it patiently, con. ceiving that his ill-humor was parıly occasioned by the derangement and embarrassment of his affairs. At last a slight incident broke our connection. Hearing a noise in the neighborhood, I put my head out of the window to see what was the matter. Krimer being in the street, observell me, and in a loud and angry tone told me to mind my work ; adding some it proachful porrls, which piqued me the more as they were nttoed in the street ; and the neighbors, whom the noise had atirarted to the windows, were witnesses of the manner in whir". [ was treated. He immediately come up to the prince ing room, and continued to exclaim against me. The quarrel becaine warm on both sides, and he gave me notice to quit him at the expiration of three months, as had been agreed between us ; re. gretting that he was obliged to give me so long a term. I told him that his regret was superfluous, as I was ready to quit him instantly ; and I took my hat and came out of the house, begging Merce dith to take care of some things which I left, and bring them to my lodigings.
Meredith came to me in the evening. We talk, ed for some time upon the quarrel that had taken place. He had conceived a great veneration for me, and was sorry I should quit the house while he remained in it. He dissuaded me from returning to my native country, as I began to think of doing. He reminded me that Keimer owed more than he possessed; that his creditors began to be alarm ed; that he kept his shop in a wretched state, often selling things at prime cost for the sake of ready money, and continually giving credit with out keeping any accounts ; that of consequence he must very soon fail, which would occasion a vacancy from which I might derive advantage. I abjected my want of money. Upon which he informed me that his father had a very high opinion of me, and from a conversation that had passed between them, he was sure that he would advance whatever might be necessary to establish us, if I was willing to enter into partnership with him. “My time with Keimer," added he, “ will be at an end next spring. In the mean time we may send to London for our press and types. I know that I am no workman; but if you agree to the proposal, four skill in the business will be balanced by the capital I will fur. nish, and we will share the profits equally.” His proposal was reasonable, and I fell in with it. His father, who was then in the town, approved of item He knew that I had some ascendency over his son, as I had been able to prevail on him to abstain a long time from drinking brandy; and he hoped that when more closely connected with him, I should cure him entirely of this unfortunate habit.
I gave the father a list of what it would be necesam sary to import from London. He took it to a mer. chant, and the order was given. We agreed to keep the secret till the arrival of the materials, and I was in the mean time to procure work, if possible, in another printing-house ; but there was no place vacant, and I remained idle. After some days, Keimer having the expectation of being em. ployed to print some New Jersey money-bills, that would require types and engravings which I only could furuish, and fearful that Bradford, by engag- . ing me, might deprive him of the undertaking, sent me a very civil message, telling me that old friends ought not to be disunited on account of a few words, which were the effect oulv of a momentary passion, and inviting me to return to hima Meredith persuaded me to comply with the invitation, particularly as it would afford him more opa portunities of improving himself in the business by means of my instructions. I did so, and we lived upon better terms than before our separation.
He obtained the New-Jersey business; and in order to execute it, I constructed a copper plate printing-press; the first that had been seen in the country. I engraved various ornaments and vigo nettes for the bills; and we repaired to Burlington together, where I executed the whole to the general satisfaction; and he received a sum of money for this work, which enabled him to keep his head above water for a considerable time longer.
At Burlington I formed acquaintance with the principal personages of the province ; many of whom were commissioned by the assembly to suiperintend the press, and to see that no more bills were printed than the law had prescribed. Accorde ingly they were constantly with us, each in his turn; and he that came commonly brought with him a friend or two to bear him company. My mind was more cultivated by reading than Keimer's ; and it was for this reason, probably, that they set more more value on my conversation. They took me to their houses, introduced me to their friends, and treated me with the greatest civility; while Kei. mer, though master, saw himself a little neglectedo He was, in fact, a strange animal, ignorant of the common mod's of life, apt to oppose with rudeness general received opinions, an enthusiast in certaine
points of religion, disgustingly unclean in his pets .sun, and a litle knavish'withal.
We remained there nearly three months ; and at the expiration of this period I could include in the list of my friends, Judge Allen, Samuel Bustil, secretary of the province, Isaac Pearson, Joseph Cooper, several of the Smiths, all members of the Assembly, and Isaac Deacon, inspector-general. The last was a shrewd and subtle old man. He told me, that, when a boy, his first employment had been that of carrying clav to brick-makers; that he did not learn to write till he was somewhat advanced in life ; that he was afterwards employed as an underling to a surveyor, who taught him his trade, and that by industry he had at last acquired a competent fortune. “I foresee,” said he one day to mr, “ that you will soon supplant this man,”? speaking of Keje mer, “ and get a fortune in the business at Pnila delphia." He was totally ignorant at the time of my intention of establishing myself there, or any where else. These friends were very serviceable to me in the end, as was I also, upon occasion, to some of them; and they have continued ever since their estet m fur me.
Before I relate the particulars of my entrance into business, it may be proper to inform you what was at that time the state of my mind as to moral prin. ciples, that you may see the degree of influence they had upon subsequent events of mr life. -, Mi parents had given me betimes religious im. pressions ; and I received from my infanci a pious education in the principles of Calvinism. Bus scarcely was I arrived at fifteen years of age, when, i after having doubted in turn of diffrent teners, aca.
cording as I found them coinhated in the riff-rent books that I read, I began to doubt of revelation its