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the violence of his feelings. The two Loyalists narrowly escaped tarring and feathering. A tub of tar, which had been set in a conspicuous place in one of the streets for that purpose, was overturned by an officer intimate with our family. My father, however, did not escape entirely from personal injury. One of the stones thrown by the mob gave him such a severe blow on the head, as not only laid him swooning in the cart, but dimmed his sight for life, so as to oblige him from that time to wear spectacles. At length, after being carried through every street in Philadelphia, the two captives were deposited, in the evening, in a prison in Market-street. What became of Dr. Kearsley, I cannot say. My father, by means of a large sum of money given to the sentinel who had charge of him, was enabled to escape at midnight. He went immediately, on board a ship in the Delaware, that belonged to my grandfather, and was bound for the West Indies.
She dropped down the river that same night; and my father went first to Barbadoes, and afterwards to England, where he settled.
My mother was to follow my father as soon as possible, which she was not able to do for many months.
The last time she had seen him, he was a lawyer and a partisan, going out to meet an irritated populace. On her arrival in England, she beheld him in a pulpit, a clergyman, preaching tranquillity. When
father came over, he found it impossible to continue his profession as a lawyer. Some actors, who heard him read, advised him to go on the stage ; but he was too proud for that, and went into the Church. He was ordained by the celebrated Lowth, then Bishop of London; and he soon became so popular that the Bishop sent for him, and remonstrated against his preaching so many charity sermons. He said it was ostentatious in a clergyman, and that he saw his name in too many advertisements. My father thought it strange, but acquiesced. It is true, he preached a great many of these sermons. I am told, that for a whole year he did nothing else; and perhaps there was something in his manner a little startling to the simplicity of the Church of England. I remember when he came to that part of the Litany where the reader prays for deliverance “ in the hour of death and at the day of judgment,” he used to make a pause at the word “death,” and drop his voice on the rest of the sentence. The effect was striking; but repetition must have hurt it. I am afraid it was a little theatrical. His delivery, however, was so much admired by those who thought themselves the best judges, that Thomas Sheridan, father of the late Sheridan, came up to him one day after service, in the vestry, and complimented him on having profited so well from his Treatise on Reading the Liturgy. My father was obliged to tell him, that he had never
I do not know whether it was Lowth, but it was some Bishop, to whom my father one day, in the midst of a warm discussion, being asked “ if he knew who he was ?” replied, with a bow, Yes, my Lord; dust and ashes.” Doubtless the new clergyman was warm and imprudent. In truth, he made a great mistake when he entered the profession. By the nature of the tenure, it was irretrievable; and his whole life after was a series of errors, aris
ing from the unsuitability of his position. He was fond of divinity; but it was as a speculator, and not as a dogmatist, or one who takes upon trust. He was ardent in the cause of Church and State ; but here he speculated too, and soon began to modify his opinions, which got him the ill-will of the Government. He delighted his audiences in the pulpit; so much so, that he had crowds of carriages at the door. One of his congregations had an engraving made of him ; and a lady of the name of Cooling, who was member of another, left him by will the sum of £500, as a testimony of the pleasure and advantage she had derived from his discourses. But unfortunately, after delighting his hearers in the pulpit, he would delight some of them a little too much over the table. He was neither witty nor profound; but he had all the substitutes for wit that animal spirits could supply ; he was shrewd, spirited, and showy: could flatter without grossness; had stories to tell of lords whom he knew ; and when the bottle was to circulate, it did not stand with him. All this was dangerous to a West Indian who had an increasing family, and was to make his way in the Church. It was too much for him; and he added another to the list of those who, though they might suffice equally for themselves and others in a more considerate and contented state of society, and seem born to be the delights of it, are only lost and thrown out in a system of things, which, by going upon the ground of individual aggrandizement, compels dispositions of a more sociable and reasonable nature either to become parties concerned, or be ruined in the refusal. It is doubtless incumbent on a husband and father to be careful under all circumstances : and it is very easy for most people to talk of the necessity of being so, and to recommend it to others, especially when they have been educated to that habit. Let those fling the first stone, who, with real inclination and talent for other things, (for the inclination may not be what they take it for,) confine themselves industriously to the duties prescribed them. There are more victims to errors committed by society themselves, than society choose to suppose. But I grant that a man is either bound to tell them