I remained some time in a deep reverie, during which the various circumstances and adventures of my life were passed in a rapid panorama before me. I felt that I had little to plead in my own favour, much to condemn—that I had passed a life of fraud and deceit. I also could not forget that when I had returned to honesty, I had been scouted by the world. “And here I am,” thought I, “once more with the world before me; and it is just that I should commence again, for I started in a wrong path. At least, now I can satisfactorily assert that I am deceiving nobody, and can deservedly receive no contumely. I am Japhet Newland, and not in disguise.” I felt happy with this reflection, and made a determination, whatever my future lot might be, that, at least, I would pursue the path of honesty. I then began to reflect upon another point, which was, whither I should bend my steps, and what I should do to gain my livelihood.
Alas! that was a subject of no little difficulty to me. A person who has been brought up to a profession naturally reverts to that profession—but to what had I been brought up? As an apothecary—true; but I well knew the difficulty of obtaining employment in what is termed a liberal profession, without interest or recommendation; neither did I wish for close confinement, as the very idea was irksome. As a mountebank, a juggler, a quack doctor—I spurned the very idea. It was a system of fraud and deceit. What then could I do? I could not dig, to beg I was ashamed. I must trust to the chapter of accidents, and considering how helpless I was, such trust was but a broken reed. At all events, I had a sufficient sum of money, upwards of twenty pounds, to exist upon with economy for some time. I was interrupted by a voice calling out, “Hilloa! my lad, come and hold this horse a moment.” I looked up and perceived a person on horseback looking at me. “Do you hear, or are you stupid?” cried the man. My first feeling was to knock him down for his impertinence, but my bundle lying beside, reminded me of my situation and appearance, and I rose and walked towards the horse. The gentleman, for such he was in appearance, dismounted, and throwing the rein on the horse’s neck, told me to stand by him for half a minute. He went into a respectable-looking house opposite the inn, and remained nearly half an hour, during which I was becoming very impatient, and kept an anxious eye upon my bundle, which lay on the seat. At last he came out, and mounting his horse looked in my face with some degree of surprise. “Why, what are you?” said he, as he pulled out a sixpence, and tendered it to me.