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初到费城--本杰明·富兰克林

2006-07-12 19:26

  I walked up the street, gazing about till near the market-house I met a boy with bread. I had made many a meal on bread, and, inquiring where he got it, I went immediately to the baker's he directed me to, in Second-street, and asked for biscuit, intending such as we had in Boston; but they, it seems, were not made in Philadelphia. Then I asked for a three-penny loaf, and was told they had none such. So not considering or knowing the difference of money, and the greater cheapness nor the names of his bread, I bade him give me three-penny worth of any sort.

  He gave me, accordingly, three great puffy rolls, I was surprised at the quantity, but took it, and, having no room in my pockets, walked off with a roll under each arm, and eating the other. Thus I went up Market-street as far as Fourth-street, passing by the door of Mr. Read, my future wife's father; when he, standing at the door, saw me, and thought I made, as I certainly did, a most awkward, ridiculous appearance. Then I turned and went down Chestnut-street and part of  Walnutstreet, eating my roll all the way, and, coming round,  found myself again at Market-street wharf, near the boat I came in , to which I went for a draught of the river water; and, being filled with one of my rolls, gave the other two to a woman and her child that came down the river in the boat with us, and were waiting  to go farther.

  Thus refreshed, I walked again up the street, which by this time had many clean-dressed people in it, who were all walking the same way. I joined them, and thereby was led into the great meeting-house of the Quakers near the market. I sat down among them, and, after looking round awhile and hearing nothing said, being very drowsy through labor and want of rest the preceding night, I fell fast asleep, and continued so till the meeting broke up. When one was kind enough to rouse me. This was, therefore, the first house I was in, or slept in, in Philadelphia.

  Walking down again toward the river, and, looking in the faces of people, I met a young Quaker man, whose countenance I liked, and, accosting him requested he would tell me where a stranger could get lodging . We were then near the sign of the Three Mariners. “Here”, says he “is one place that entertains strangers, but it is not a reputable house; if thee wilt walk with me, I'll show thee a better.” He brought me to the Crooked Billet in Water-street. Here I got a dinner; and, while I was eating it, several sly questions were asked me, as it seemed to be suspected form my youth and appearance, that I might be some runaway.

  After dinner, my sleepiness returned, and being shown to a bed, I lay down without undressing, and slept till six in the evening, was called to supper, went to bed again very early, and slept soundly till next morning. Then I made myself as tidy as I could, and went to Andrew Bradford the printer's. I found in the shop the old man his father, whom I had seen at New York, and who, traveling on horseback, had got to Philadelphia before me. He introduced me to his son, who received me civilly, gave me a breakfast, but told me he did not at present want a hand, being lately supplied with one; but there was another printer in town, lately set up, one Keimer, who, perhaps, might employ me; if not, I should be welcome to lodge at his house, and he would give me a little work to do now and then till fuller business should offer.

  The old gentleman said he would go with me to the new printer; and when we found him, “Neighbor,” says Bradford, “ I have brought to see you a young man of your business; perhaps you may want such a one.” He asked me a few questions, put a composing stick in my hand to see how I worked, and then said he would employ me soon, though he had just then nothing for me to do……

  我沿街而下,四处张望直到在市场附近碰到一个拿着面包的孩子。吃面包对我来说习以为常,随即我问他在哪儿买的,然后就立即奔向他指给我的在第二大街的那家面包店,上前问问有没有我们在波士顿吃的那种饼干;但好像费城这里不做饼干。于是我就要买三便士的长条面包,可他们说没有。不知道是不是钱不一样,或是过于廉价,要么就是叫不上他的面包的名字,我让他随便给我三便士的什么。

  他给了我三个又暄又大的面包圈。多的真令我吃惊,不过也得拿着,口袋里装不下,胳膊下顺势夹两个,吃着另一个。就是样子我沿着市场街走到了第四大街,来到我未来岳父里德先生的家门口,他正站在门口瞧着我,我想我一定是一副尴尬滑稽的样子。接着我转身沿粟子大街和核桃大街走着,边走边啃着我的面包圈,突然发现自己又到了市场街的码头,在靠近我来的渡船的地方,我喝了一大口河水,吃了那一个面包圈我就饱了,于是就将另外两个给了和我一同乘船来并等着要继续走的母子二人。

  这时我恢复了精力,便又来到大街上,这时街上有了许多衣冠齐整的行人,他们都朝着同一方向走去。我便跟着这股人流来到市场附近教友会的教堂。我坐在其中,环顾一阵四周后,没听到有人讲话,因为一路劳累困顿,头一夜没能休息,我很快就睡着了,一直到祈祷结束时,有人好心地叫醒了我。这样,这间房子成了我在费城进过,或者说睡过的第一幢。

  继续朝着那条河畔走,同时瞧着人们的面孔,我碰到一个面善的年轻教友会教徒,与他搭讪,请他告诉我生人可在哪里借宿。我们来到挂有“三海员”招牌的地方。 “这里”,他说,“是个接待陌生人的地方,但这地方名声不好,如果你愿意跟我再走一走,我会指引给你好一些的住处。”我带我来到秀水街的克鲁克德宿营地。我在这儿吃了午饭;吃饭的时候,人们问了我几个拐弯抹角的问题,因为从我的年纪和外表看,我像是个离家出走者。

  午饭后,困意又起,有人把我带到一张床边,我便和衣服睡下,直到晚上六点,有人叫我用晚餐,之后我便早早就寝,一直睡到第二天早晨。于是我梳洗一番,尽可能地把自己打扮得干净整洁,然后便动身去安德鲁·布雷福德的印刷厂。在厂里我见到先前曾在纽约见过的那位长者,他是先于我骑马来到费城的。他把我引见给他的儿子,他儿子礼貌地接待了我,招呼我吃了早茶,但却对我说目前不需要帮手,因为刚找了一个;可城里还有另外一家新建的印刷厂,一个名叫凯麦的人可能会用我;如果不用,欢迎我在他这儿借宿,他可以让做些零工,直到有更正式的工作可做。

  这位长者说他会陪我去那家新印刷厂,到了那里,布雷福德说:“街坊,我带来一个干你这一行的小伙子,或许你需要这么一个。”他问了我几个问题,将一根排字棒放在我手中看看我是怎么用的,之后他说他很快就会用我,不过现在还没什么事可做……

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