Excerpt from Sir Edward Seaward's Narrative of His Shipwreck: And Discovery of Certain Islands in the Caribbean Sea
Born of loyal and honest parents, whose means were just sufficient to give a common education to their children, I have neither to boast of pedigree nor of learning; yet they bequeathed to me a better inheritance - a stout constitution, a peaceable disposition, and a proper sense of what is due to my superiors and equals: for such an inheritance I am grateful to God, and to them.
I had not left school long when I felt an inclination to see foreign parts, and under this impression I desired earnestly to go to sea; but my poor dear mother would not hear of it, and I could not find it in my heart to grieve her, even for a moment; so I yielded up my inclination to my duty, and during two years was content to assist my father in the management of his little farm; taking the diversions of fishing and shooting, in their seasons, by way of amusement and recreation. At the expiration of this time, my paternal uncle sent for me to Bristol, and placed me in his counting-house. Within a year from this event, I lost my dear mother; on which occasion I returned to my paternal roof, to console my remaining parent, with whom I remained a few months. During my stay on this melancholy occasion, I took some little part in the farm business; but having many unoccupied hours, I passed most of them with our benevolent pastor, my former kind schoolmaster, the Reverend Mr William Goldsmith: between whose amiable family and my father's there had existed the kindest feeling from our infancy: and these additional happy hours improved it on my part and on theirs.
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