had some dis-position to be a scholar, and was resolved at least to know my letters:
but the master of the workhouse put me to business as soon as I was able to
handle a mallet; and here I lived an easy kind of life for five years. I only
wrought ten hours in the day, and had my meat and drink provided for my labor.
It is true, I was not suffered to stir out of the house, for fear, as they
said, I should run away; but what of that?
Business well enough
had the liberty of the whole house, and the yard before the door, and that was
enough for me. I was then bound out to a farmer, where I was up both early and
late; but I ate and drank well; and liked my business well enough, till he
died, when I was obliged to provide for myself; so I resolved to go seek my
this manner I went from town to town, worked when I could get employment, and
starved when I could get none; when, happening one day to go through a field
belonging to a justice of peace, I spied a hare crossing the path just before
me; and I believe the devil put it into my head to fling my stick at it. Well, what
will you have on’t?
killed the hare, and was bringing it away, when the justice himself met me; he
called me a poacher and a villain, and collaring me, desired I would give an
account of myself. I fell upon my knees, begged his worship’s pardon, and began
to give a full account of all that I knew of my breed, seed, and generation;
but though I gave a very true account, the justice said I could give no
account; so I was indicted at the sessions, found guilty of being poor, and
sent up to London to Newgate, in order to be transported as a vagabond.
may say this and that of being in jail, but, for my part, I found Newgate as
agreeable a place as ever I was in in all my life. I had my belly full to eat
and drink, and did no work at all. This kind of life was too good to last
forever; so I was taken out of prison, after five months, put on board of ship,
and sent off, with two hundred more, to the plantations.