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If I cannot narrate a life of adventurous and daring exploits, fortunately 1 have no heavy crimes to confess: and, if I do not rise in the estimation of the reader for acts of gallantry and devotion in my country's cause, at least I may claim the merit of zealous and persevering continuance in my vocation. We are all of us variously gifted from Above, and he who is content to walk, instead of to run, on his allotted path through life, although he may not so rapidly attain the goal, has the advantage of not being out of breath upon his arrival. Not that I mean to infer that my life has not been one of adventure.
As well as I can recollect and analyse my early propensities, I think that, had I been permitted to select ray own profession, I should in all probability have bound myself apprentice to a tailor; for 1 always envied the comfortable seat which they appeared to enjoy upon the shopboard, and their elevated position, which enabled them to look down upon the constant succession of the idle or the busy, who passed in review before them in the main street of the country town, near to which I passed the first fourteen years of my existence.
But my father, who was a clergyman of the Church of England and the youngest brother of a noble family, and a lucrative, and a 'soul above buttons,' if his son had not. It has been from time immemorial the hearthenish custom to sacrifice the greatest fool of the family to the prosperity and naval superiority of the country, and, at the age of fourteen, I was selected as the victim. If the custom be judicious, I had no reason to complain. There was not one dissentient voice, when it was proposed before all the varities of my aunts and cousins, invited to partake of our New-year's festival.