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the more likely to succeed well in that capacity, for having been an industrious, careful, and wellbehaved journeyman. Such cases are by no means rare; and although all cannot be masters, much less wealthy masters, yet all may be worthy and intelligent men, and, being such, may reasonably look for a sufficient maintenance, and also for much real and lasting enjoyment."

Holding in respect the principles and character of this good man, I was gratified when he asked me to look over the 'Memoirs,' which he had been preparing for several years. His wish was to publish them by subscription. In their original form they were incomplete, as far as regarded the period of his life to which they came down ; and they were somewhat too diffuse in particulars which could only be interesting to himself and his family. I recommended him to continue them with brevity to the present time; to curtail such matters as most retained the quality of "garrulous old age," of which tendency he was quite aware; but on no account to suppress what would be interesting to all—the history of the formation of his habits of thought, and thence of his system of conduct-the development of his intellectual and moral life. Upon receiving the Manuscript thus altered and completed, I pro

posed to publish it in the Weekly Volume. This is the extent of my editorial duty. I have not added, nor have I altered, a single word. The purity of its style is one of the most remarkable characteristics of this little book.


January 17, 1845.


DURING the last ten or twelve years, I have often thought of writing some account of myself, but was deterred from doing so by various and, at the time, insurmountable obstacles. Having, however, about four years ago, mentioned my wishes to several friends on whose judgment I could safely depend, they advised me to undertake the task. Thus encouraged, I went to work, and, at length, have brought it to a conclusion.

As some apology for the imperfections which will, doubtless, be manifest to the judicious reader, I have to say, that the manuscript was written at uncertain intervals, under many literary disadvantages, and in the midst of various difficulties, among which that of much bodily disorder and weakness must be specially noted.

Should what I have thus committed to paper be at all amusing or instructive to the reader, I shall not have wholly misapplied my labour.





WITHIN a hundred miles of London there is a large and pleasantly situated town, which is remarkable for its antiquity, and also for its having been the scene of some important historical events. It is, moreover, worthy of notice on account of the many remains of buildings and other works of ancient art which still exist within its boundaries, as also in its immediate neighbourhood.

The town is said to have been founded by a colony of Romans, and further to have been one of the earliest of the Roman settlements in Britain.

There I was born, but neither of my parents were native inhabitants. My mother came hither from a small town nearly twenty miles distant, and my father from the remoter part of a neighbouring county.

Of my ancestors I know nothing, but from the family surnames I infer that they were poor persons. The surname of those on my father's side was evidently taken from the occupation of him who first bore it, and denotes that he was a vassal of the

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