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The following were the persons I found in his printing-house :
Hugh Meredith a Pennsylvanian, about thirtyfive years of age.
age. He had been brought up to husbandry, was honest, sensible, had some experience, and was fond of reading; but too much ad. dicted to drinking.
Stephen Potts, a young ruftic, 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 improvement in the typographic art should merit it. This future increase of wages was the bait he made use of to ensnare them. Meredith was to work at the press, and Ports to bind books, which he had engaged to teach them, though he understood neither himself,
John Savage, an Irishman, who had been brought up to no trade, and whole service, for a period of four years, Keimer had purchased of the captain of a ship. He was also to be a prefinan. .
George Webb an Oxford scholar, whose time he had in like manner bought for four years, intending him for a compofitor. I shall speak more of him prefently.
Lastiy, David Harry a country lad, who was apprenticed to him.
Iron perceived that Keiner's intention, in engaizing me at a price fo much ab've what he was accustomed to give, was, that I might form all of raw journ ymen and apprentices, who scarcely cost hun anything, and who, being inden, tured, 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, which 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 fingular to see an Oxford scholar in the condition of a purchased fervant. 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 diftinguibed himself among the scholars by his superior style of acting, when they represented dramatic performances
. He was member of a literary club in the town; and some pieces of his composition, in profe as well as in verse, had bet n inserted in the Gloucester papers. Froin hence he was fint to Oxford, where he remained about a year: but he was not contenteil, and wished above all things to see London, and become an actor. At length having received fifa teen guineas to pay his quarters board. he decamped with the m ney from Oxford, hid his gown in a hedge, and travelled to London. There, having no fiend to direct bim he fell into bad company, foon squandered his fifteen guineas, could find no way o being introduced so the act rs, becam- contemptile, pa i ned his clo hes, and was in want of bread. As he was walking along i he trecis, aln oft familhed with hunger, and not kno ing u hat to do, a ricruiting bill was put into his hard, utrich offered an immediate ir at and bouni y - 11:01101 10 whoever was disposed to terve in America. He inftantly repaired to the house of rendezvous, illlifted himself, was put on board a ship and cinveyed to America, without ever writing to inform his parents what was become of him. His mental vivacity, and good natural disposition, made him an excellent companion; but he was indolent, thoughtless, and to the last degree imprudent.
Joha, the Irishman, soon ran away. I began to live very agreeable with the rest. They respected me, and the more so as they found Keimer incapable of instructing them, and as they learned something from me every day. We never worked on a Saturday, it being Keimer's fabbath ; so that I had two days a week for reading.
I increased my acquaintance with persons of knowledge and information in the town. Keimer himself treated me with great civility and apparent esteem; and I had nothing to give me uneasiness but my debt to Vernon, which I was unable to pay my savings as yet being very little. He had the goodness, however, not to ask me for the money
Our press was frequently in want of the necessary quantity of letter; and there was no such trade as that of letter-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 letters as we had for punches, founded new letters of Lead in matrices of clay, and thus supplied in a tolerable manner, the wants that were molt pressing.
I also, upon cccasion, engraved various ornameilts, 12 de ink, gave an eye to the shop; in short, I was in ev Ty respect the factotum. But ufefuil as I made myself, I perceived that my services becant
every day of less importance, in proportion as the other men iinproved; and when Keimer paid me my second quaters wages, he gave me to understand that they were too heavy, and that he thought I ought to make an abatement. He became by degrees less civil, and affumed more the tone of master. 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, conceiving that his ill-humour was partly occafioned by the derangement and embarrassment of his affairs. At last a flight incident broke our connection. Hearing a noise in the neighbourhood, I put my head out of the window to see what was the
Keimer being in the street, observed me, and in a loud and angry tone told me to mind my work; adding some reproachful words, which piqued me the more as they were uttered in the street; and the neighbours, whom the same noise had attracted to the windows, were witnefles of the manner in which I was treated. He immediately came up to the printing-room, and continued to exclain against me. The quarrel became warm on both sides, and he gave me notice to quit him at the expiration of three months, as had been agreed between us ; regretting 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, hegging Meredith to take care of fome things which I left, and bring them to my lodgings.
Meredith came to me in the evening. We talked 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 renained in it. He dissuaded me fron returning to my native country, as I began to think of doing. He reminded me that Keimer owed inore than he possessed; that his creditors began to be alarmed; that he kept his shop in a wretched ftate, often felling things at prime cost for the lake of ready money, and continually giving credit without keeping any accounts; that of consequence he must very soon fail, which would occasion a vacancy from which I might derive advantage. I objected my want of money. Upon which he informe 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, your skill in the business will be balanced by the capital I will furnish 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 it. 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 neceliary to import from London. He took it to a merchant, and the order was given. We agreed