My uncle began his story as follows:—
“When I left Philadelphia, I had no definite object in view. I left without seeing my brother, to avoid the pain of parting, for we tenderly loved each other. His disposition and mine were widely different; he was quiet, industrious, and very persevering in whatever he undertook; while I, on the other hand, was rash, impulsive, and very impatient of restraint. My adopted father apprenticed me to learn the art of printing, without in the least consulting my wishes in the matter. It seemed to me that he might have granted me the privilege of choosing my employment; and, his failing to do so roused my indignation and doubled the dislike I already felt to the occupation of a printer. It was very hard for me to leave without seeing my brother; but I decided that, as he was very well contented in his situation, I had best go away quietly, so that, whatever might befall me, I should not be the means of bringing trouble to him. I had decided to leave my master the first opportunity that should offer for so doing. He one day gave me a sharp and, as I thought, unmerited rebuke, and ended by striking me a blow. That blow caused me to form the decision of leaving him at once, and that very night I left Philadelphia. I made my way to the city of New York, where I managed to live for a time by selling newspapers; but my profits were so small that I soon became disgusted with the employment, and I obtained the situation of waiter in a large hotel, where I remained for some time. I often thought of writing to my brother; but I was aware that the knowledge of my employment would be painful to him, for he was of a proud and sensitive nature. Time passed on, and I at length sailed as cabin-boy in a vessel bound for Liverpool, in England. I followed the sea for many years; and, in the bustle and turmoil of a sailor’s life, I almost forgot my brother, from whom I had been so long separated. Yet sometimes, in the lonely hours of my night-watch on deck, when out in mid-ocean, would my thoughts turn to that once-loved brother, and tears would dim my eyes as memory recalled the days of our early childhood.