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that to remain grave exceeded all powers of face. The roar of the sea was lost in the combined laughter that arose from the Captain, passengers, and ship's company. Farmer Curtis, whom the tythes exacted from him by the parson of his parish had nearly ruined, now revenged himself on the cloth by a peal of laughter that shook the ship from stem to stern; not even the priest could refrain from a smile; though, perhaps, it was rather a sardonic grin; a distortion of the countenance, without any gladness of heart.
On the 8th of March, we saw the Isles of Sile, and three days after weathered the breakers of Nantucket; from whence, coasting to the southward, we made Long Island, and ran up to Sandy Hook. The wind subsiding, we let go our anchor, and the next morning, at an early hour, I accompanied the Captain and two of the cabin passengers on shore. It was Sunday, March 18th.
On the parched spot, very properly called Sandy Hook, we found only one human habitation, which was a public house. The family consisted of an old woman, wife to the landlord, two young girls of homely appearance, a negro man and boy. While breakfast was preparing, I ascended, with my companions, the light house, which stood on the point of the Hook. It was lofty, and well furnished with lamps. On viewing the land round the dwelling of our host, I could not help thinking that he might justly exclaim with Selkirk:
“I'm monarch of all I survey,
My right there is none to dispute,
I am lord of the fowl and the brute."
The morning passed away not unpleasantly. The vivacity of the Captain enlivened our breakfast, which was prolonged nearly till noon; nor do I think we should have then risen from table, had not the Mate, who was left in charge of the snow, like a good seaman, hove short, and loosened his sails in readiness to avail himself of the breeze which had sprung up in our favour.
The Captain, therefore, clamoured for the bill, and finished his last bowl of grog with the favorite toast of Here's to the wind that blows, the ship that goes, and the lass that loves a sailor.
In our progress to the town, we passed a British frigate lying at anchor. It was sunset, and the roll of the spirit-stirring drum brought to my recollection those scenes, that pomp, pride, and circumstance of glorious war, that makes ambition virtue.* We moored our vessel to one of the wharfs, and I rejoiced to find myself on a kindred shore.
Pursuits at New-York. Interview with Mr. Burr.
A Walk to Philadelphia. A Tribute to James Logan. Yellow Fever desolating the City.
Embark for South-Carolina. UPON
my landing at New-York, my first care was to deliver a letter of recommendation which I had been favoured with by a friend to a merchant in the city; together with a volume of Travels from Boston to Philadelphia, which he had recently published.* But I cannot say that I was received with the urbanity I had anticipated. Neither my friend's letter, nor his book, could soften the features of the stern American; and were the world to read the volume with as little interest as he, it would soon be consigned to the peaceful shelf.
I was now to become the architect of my own fortune. Though on a kindred shore, I had not even an acquaintance to whom I could communicate my projects; the letter had failed me that was to decide my fortune at one blow, and I found myself solitary and sad among the crouds of a gay city.
[* Journal of an Excursion to the United States of North America in the Summer of 1794. By Henry Wansey, F. A. S. Salisbury, 1796.]
But I was not long depressed by melancholy reflections over my condition, for I found a friend in a man, who, having himself been unfortunate, could feel for another in adversity. A concurrence of circumstances had brought me into the company of Mr. Caritat,* a bookseller, who, being made acquainted with my situation, addressed me with that warmth, which discovers a desire to be useful, rather than a wish to gratify curiosity
He inquired into my projects. I told him that my scheme was to get into some family as a private tutor. A private Tutor! said he. Alas! the labour of Sisyphus in hell is not equal to that of a private Tutor in America! Why your project puts me in mind of young Mr. Primrose. And your exclamations, said I, remind me of his cousin in London. Just enough, rejoined Mr. Caritat, and let me examine you a little after the manner of his cousin.
Do you write a good hand, and understand all the intricacies of calculation? No. Then you will not do for a private Tutor. It is not your Latin and Greek, but your handwriting and cyphering, that will decide your
(* This was H. Caritat, of the title page, who later removed to Paris. Cf. Sabin, No. 5205. Bibliothèque Américaine & l'analyse des ouvrages scientifiques de ce pays, ainsi que de ceux des Européens qui y ont voyagé &. Paris; Caritat et Barrois Fils. 1807. 3 vols.)
character. Penmanship, and the figures of arithmetic, will recommend you more than logic and the figures of rhetoric. Can you passively submit to be called Schoolmaster by the children, and Cool Mossa by the negroes? No. Then you will not do for a private Tutor. Can you comply with the humility of giving only one rap at the door that the family may distinguish it is the Private Tutor; and can you wait half an hour with good humour on the steps, till the footman or housemaid condescends to open the door? No. Then you will not do for a private Tutor. Can you maintain a profound silence in company to denote your inferiority; and can you endure to be helped always the last at table, aye even after the clerk of the counting-house? No. Then you will not do for a private Tutor. Can you hold your eyes with your hands, and cry Amen! when grace is said; and can you carry the childrens' bibles and prayer-books to church twice every Sunday? No. Then you will not do for a private Tutor. Can you rise with the sun, and teach till breakfast; swallow your breakfast, and teach till dinner; devour your dinner, and teach till tea-time; and from tea-time to bedtime sink into insignificance in the parlour? No. Then you will not do for a private Tutor. Do you expect good wages? Yes. Then you will never do for a private Tutor.