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BY THE AUTHOR OF
“ Peter Simple,” “ Naval Officer," “ King's Own," &c.
“ Bound 'prentice to a waterman,
I learnt a bit to row;
GENTLE READER, I was born upon the water-not upon the salt and angry ocean, but upon the fresh, and rapid flowing-river. It was in a floating sort of box, called a lighter, and upon the River Thames, and at low water, that I first smelt the mud. This lighter was manned (an expression mounting to bull. ism, if not construed kind-ly) by my father, my mother, and your humble servant. My father had the sole charge—he was monarch of the deck; my mother, of course, was queen, and I was the heir apparent.
Before I say one word about myself, allow me dutifully to describe my parents. First, then, I will portray my queen mother. Report says, that when first she came on board of the lighter, a lighter figure and a lighter step never pressed a plank; but as far as I can tax my recollection, she was always a fat, unwieldy woman. Locomotion was not to her taste -gin was. She seldom quitted the cabin; never quitted the lighter-a pair of shoes may have lasted her for five years, for the wear and tear that she took out of them. Being of this domestic habit, as all married women ought to be, she was always to be found when wanted; but although always at hand,