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mother; on which occasion I returned to my paternal roof, to console my remaining parent, with whom I remained a few months. During my stay on this melancholy occasion, I took some little part in the farm business; but having many unoccupied hours, I passed most of them with our benevolent pastor, my former kind schoolmaster, the Reverend Mr. William Goldsmith; between whose amiable family and my father's, there had existed the kindest feeling from our infancy; and these additional happy hours improved it on my part and on theirs.
One morning, as my father and I were talking over my future prospects in life, I received a letter from my uncle, in which he stated that he wanted me to go to Virginia in one of his vessels as supercargo. I was delighted with the proposal; to which my dear father made no objection, as he might hope soon to see me again. In a few days I took leave of our friends at the parsonage, and of my own family. At parting, my father gave me his blessing and my mother's Bible; and with these much valued gifts, I left the village of my education and nativity.
My uncle received me kindly, and took much pains to instruct me in the business which he had appointed me to manage. I was delighted with every thing connected with my preparation for the voyage; and I sailed on the 5th of April, 1733, in the Mary brig, for America, with an assortment of goods.
We arrived in the Chesapeak Bay on the 2d of June, which was considered a good passage, and on the following day proceeded up the river to
Baltimore. On my arrival, our correspondent was civil to me, but that was all. He did not like a supercargo being sent in the vessel, and therefore threw many obstacles in the way of my disposing of the cargo, and of purchasing tobaccos to advantage; but, owing to the friendship of a Scotch merchant, of whom our correspondent in consequence became jealous, I experienced in a short time that conduct from him which he should have observed to me at first. I did not, however, resent his former behaviour, but received the assistance he was disposed to render me, in perfect good humour, and thanked him for each instance of his attention and kind offices. My cargo was at length completed to my satisfaction, and our correspondent gave me reason to think I had gained his esteem before we parted. He made me a present of a Virginia nightingale; a beautiful red bird, about the size of a thrush, with a feathery crest. "This," said I to myself, "is for my aunt." I should have liked to have procured another for Eliza Goldsmith; but as I could not bring one for each of her sisters and my own also, I prudently gave up the wish. But I got some capital tobacco seed, which, with a few heads of Indian corn, and a few pumpkin seeds, I put up; intended for my poor dear father to try them on his farm, as I thought those plants might perhaps thrive well in England.
On the 8th of August I took leave of my friends at Baltimore: and after a stormy passage, but with a fair wind generally, we arrived at the port of Bristol on the 15th of September; to the great surprise and delight of my uncle, who did not expect
the brig at least for a month to come. I was much elated by the novelty and success of my voyage, and hastened to the town as soon as we dropped anchor in Kingroad. Quick as my movements were, he had received notice of my coming, so that he met me at the door of his house. A crape on his hat arrested my attention. I cast my subdued eye, heart-struck, on it, then, looking at him earnestly, said, "Have I lost my father?" Without answering, he turned and went into the house, and I followed him. "God's will be done, Ned!" said he to me; "how many hogsheads of tobacco have you brought home?" "My dear uncle," I replied, "my heart is too full to speak on business at present; let me retire for a few minutes, or go and see my aunt, and after that I will give you every information you desire." Saying this, I left him in the passage, and went into the parlour, where I found my aunt; who always had been kind to me, but now she was doubly so; she wiped the tear from my eye, and endeavoured to stay my grief by every comforting expression that goodness could suggest: : but nature would pay the tribute of sorrowing, in spite of every attempt to prevent it. My aunt, perhaps, now tired of saying the same thing over and over again, left me alone. In a short time I began to feel myself composed, and my aunt returning, told me the particulars of my dear old. father's illness and death; which had taken place a month before. Tea was brought in, and my uncle followed it. He took me by the hand, saying, "Poor Ned! thou hast a tender heart; poor boy! -but thy father was a good father, Ned, and it is
honest and creditable to thee to show decent sorrow for the loss of such a parent: but he hasn't left thee any thing, Ned; what little he had, he has bequeathed to thy brother and sisters; they are young, thou knowest: he thought thee might get thy own bread"-" And he thought right, I hope, dear uncle,” I replied; "he did righteously; and I revere his memory the more for taking care of the most helpless."-" But how many hogsheads of tobacco didst thou bring home, Ned?" "Three hundred, sir; but if you will allow me till after tea, I will then go with you into the counting-house, and give you every information you require respecting the cargo and the voyage."-" Wouldst like to go again, Ned ?"-" Yes, sir, certainly, if it be your wish after I have made a short visit to my brother and sisters, I should be very glad to make a second voyage."—"I don't think thee'll go to Virginia again, Ned; here is a letter for thee from my son Tom, at the bay of Honduras, and I think thee will find a proposal there more to thy mind." I thought it right to do as he wished, and instantly read the letter, which, although from a near kinsman, was quite a letter of business; proposing that I should join him at Honduras, and that he would give me a share of the profits, if I would reside there, and allow him to return to England: he would take the part in England his father had been doing, and I should step into his shoes there, as his father wished to retire. I required time to consider of it; and soon after going with my uncle to the counting-house, entered into a detail on the subject of my recent voyage. Throughout he was
well satisfied, and frequently said, I was “no fool:" which expression, from him, meant no ordinary compliment.
On the next day he asked me if I had made up my mind on the proposal of going to Honduras. I said, I had been turning the subject over in my mind, and found that I could say nothing about it. "What dost mean by that?" exclaimed my uncle, testily. "I mean, sir," said I, "that as I neither have money, nor any thing else, but what I derive from you, that it does not become me to say any thing about it, further than I am ready to do whatever you may think me qualified to undertake, and that may be for my welfare."-" That'll do, Ned," said my uncle; "I'll guide thee right, my boy: and Tom is no churl, he will not grudge thee a good outfit, and thy fair earnings. But if he were, am I not thy uncle, and his father? and the staff is my own hand; I will make no difference between him and thee; thou art a good boy, Ned, and I loved thy father; and thou hast shown thy willingness to lean on me, and be guided by me, and I will not disappoint thee in thy desire: go into the country, and visit thy brother and sisters; and when thou returnest, the brig shall be ready to sail with an investment for Jamaica and the Bay."
The Virginia nightingale had been brought on shore while I was closeted with my uncle. I had not said any thing about it to my aunt, for fear of some accident happening to it; but I came into the parlour as she was admiring it. "La! what a pretty bird, dear Edward; who have you brought that pretty bird for?" cried she. "For you, aunt,