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apprentices to different
and already regarded mily. The promptitude
y. I had learned to read, ve been ever without this uragement of his friends, ild one day certainly bemed him in this design. d also of the schere, and columes of sermons, writ
hort-hand of his finven is to learn it. cely a year at the gramhort interval, I had riser of my class, froin thence of Nantucket
ae grassy had rient » tþenna peq 118 fpe Ligter
fastening it, open, with pack-threads across the leares, on the inside of the lid of the close-stool. When my greal-grandfather wished to read to his family, t.e rë versed the lid of the close-stool upon huis kuces, and passed tne leaves from one side to the other, which were held down on each by the pack-thread. One of the children was stationed at the door, to give no tice if he saw the procio. (an officer of the spiritual court) make his appearance: in that case, the lid was restored to its place, with the Bible concealed under it as before. I had this anecdote from my uncle Benjamin.
'The whole family preserved its attachment to the Church of Ergland till cowards the close of the reign cf Charles II. when certain ministers, who had been rojertell as nonconformists, having held conventicles in Northamptopshire, iney were joined by Benjamin and Josias, who adhered to them ever after. The rest of the fansily continued in the episcopal church. My father, Josias, marrieri early in life.
He went, with his wife and three children, to New-England, about the year 1682. Couvent.cles being at that time pirohibited by law, and frequently disturbed, sone considerabie persons of his acquaintance determined 10 go to America, where they hoped to enjoy the free exercise of their religion, and my father was prevailed on to a company ti:c!).
My father had also, by the same wife, four children born in America, and ten others by a second wife, making in all seventeen. I reinember to have seen thirteen seated together at his table, who all arrived at years of maturity, and were married. I was the last of the sons, and the youngest child, excepting tiro daughters. I was born at Boston, in New-Enghanri. My mother, the second wite, was Abiah Folger, daughter of Peter Folger, one of the first colonists of New England, of whoin
Cotion Mather makes honourable mention, in his Ecclesiastical History of that province, as a pious and learned Englishman,' if I rightly recollect his expression. I have been told of ais having written a variety of little pieces; but there appears to be only one in print, which I' met with many years ago. It was pubijshed in the year 1675,
und is in familiar verse, agreeably to the taste of the tiines and the country. The author addresses himself to the governors for the time being, speaks for liberty of conscience,
and in favour of the anabaptists, quakers, and other sectaries, who had suffered persecution. To this persecution he attributes the wars with the natives, and other calamities which afflicted the counory, regarding them as the judgments of God in pun ishment of so odious an offence, and he exhorts the goverment to the repeal
law3 so contrary to charity. The poein appeared to be written with a manly freedom and a pleasing simplicity. I recollect the six concluding lines, though I have forgotten the order of words of the two first; the sense of which was, that his censures were dictated by benevolence, and that, of consequence, he wished to be known as the author; because, said he, I hate from ny very soul dissimulation.
From Sherburn,* where I dwell,
I therefore put my name,
My brothers were all put apprentices to different trarles. With respect to myself, I was sent, at the age of eight years, to a grammar-school. My father destined me for the church, and already regarded me as the chaplain of my family: The promptitude with which, from my intancy, I had learried to read, for I do not remember to have been ever without this acquirement, and the encouragement of his frienus, who assured him that I should one day certainly become a man of letters, confirmed him in this design. My uncle Benjamin approved also of the schere, and promised to give nie all his volumes of sermons, writ ien, as I have said, in the short-hand of his pinven tion, if I would take the pains to learn it.
I remained, however, scarcely a year at the gram mar-school, although, in this short interval, I had risen from the iniddle to the head of my class, froin thence
• Towp in the island of Nantucket,
to the class immediately above, and was tn pass, at the end of the year, to the one next n order. Bul iny father, burdened with a numerous fair.dly, found that he was incapable, without subjecting himself to difficulties, of providing for the expenses of a colio giate education; and considering, besides, as I hearo hiin say in his friends, that persons so educated were often poorly provided for, he renounced his first inten. tions, took me from the grainmar-school, and sent me to a school for wri'ing and arithunetic, kept by a ME George Brownwell, who was a skilful master, and succeeded very well in his profession by employing gentle means only, and such as were calculated to encourage his scholars.
Under him, I soon acquired an excellent hand; but I failed in arithinetic, and m.ađe therein no sort of progress.
At ten years of age, I was called home to assist m; father in nissoccupation, which was that of soap-boiló and allow-chandier; a business to which he had served no apprenticeship, but which he embraced ove his nrrival in New England, because he found his own, that of dier, in too little request to enable him in maintain his family. I was accordug'y eniployed in cutting the wicks, filling the moulds, taking cave of the shop, carrying messages, &c.
This business displeased me, and I felt a strong inclination for a sea life; but my father set his face against it. The viciniiy of the water, however, gave me frequent opportunities of ve, turing myself both upon and within it, and I soon acquired the art of swimming and of nialiaging a boat.' When embark. ed with other children, the helm was commonly deputed to me, particularly on difficult occasions; and, in every other project, I was almost always the lead. er of the troop, whom I sometimes involved in em. barrassinents. I shall give an imstance of this, which deinonstrates an eariy disposition of mind for public enterprises, though the one in question was not conducted by, justice.
The mill-pond was terminatec on one sii's by a marsh, upon the borders of which we were sccus. tomed to take our stand, at high water, to a je for small fish. By dint of walking, we had co se verted
perfect quagmire. My proposal was to erect a wharf nat should afford us firin twing; and I pointed our to my companions a large heap of stones, intended for the building a new house near the marsh, and which were well adapted for our purpcse. Accord ingly, when the workmen retired in the evening, 1 assembled a number of iny play-fellows, and by la. bow ing diligently, like ants, sometimes four of us uniting our strength to carry a single stone, we remove) hem ail, and constructed our little quay. The work men were surprised the next morning at not finding their stones, whicn had been conveyed to our whart. Inquiries were made respecting the authors of this conveyance; we were discovered; complaints were exhibited against us; and many of us underwent correction on the part of our parents; and though I strenuously defended the utility of the work, my fa. ther at length convinced me, that nothing which was not strictly honest could be useful.
It will not, perhaps, be uninteresting to you to know what sort of a man my father was. He had an ex cellent constitution, was of a middle size, but well made and strong, and extremely aclive in whatever he undertook. He designed with a degree of neatness, and knew a little of inusic. His voire was sonorous and agreeable; so that when he sang a psalm or hymn, with the accompaniment of his violin, as was his frequent practice in an evening, when the labours of the day were finished, it was truly delightful to hear him. He was versed also in mechanics, and could, upon occasion, use the tools of a variety of trades. But his greatest excellence was a sound un. derstanding and solid julgment, in inatters of pru. deixe, both in public and private life. In the former, ndeed, he never engaged, because his nunerous family, and the ineciocrity of his fortune, kept him unre. mittingly employed in the duties of his profession. But I well iemember, that the leading men of the placo used frequeutly to come and ask his advice respecting the affairs of the town, or of the church to which he belonged, and that they paid much defer. wce to his opinion. Individuals were also in the