From that time I firmly believed that except I was born again I should in no case see the kingdom of God, so that convictions followed me sharp and often, sometimes constrained to weep bitterly. But alas! as I grew up they went fewer and fainter. About nine or ten years old I went to work to stamps, and continued there until 15 or 16. I worked to ba1(a mine, tin or copper) , as I think, until I was about 17, and from thence went with my two oldest brothers to Porth Leah (this name is now lost) or the King's Cove fishing and smuggling, and I think about 18 or 19 went at times, with Folstons (? Folkestone) people and sometimes with Irish, as supercargo, whom we freighted.
Before this time I learned to write, and so far so, that I would keep my own accounts. I think I might have been about 25 when I went in a small sloop, about 16 or 18 tons, with two men beside myself, asmuggling, where I had very great success; and after a while I had a new sloop built for me, about 32 tons. (The sizes of all his vessels are given in old measurement. Before 1835 ships were measured by the following elaborate rule. Subtract three-fifths of the greatest breadth from the length of the keel, multiply this by the breadth, and the result by half of the breadth ; divide the result so obtained by 94, and the answer is the size of the ship in tons (see 13 Geo. III. c. 26, § 7¢). They are now measured by the cubical contents. It is difficult to render these figures in modern measurement, but this sloop was probably about the size which would now be called 10 tons.)
My success was rather beyond common, and after a time we bought a small cutter of about, 50 tons and about ten men. I sailed in her one year, and I suppose made more safe voyages then have been ever made since or before with any single person. So by this time I begun to think some thing of myself, convictions still following sharply at times. I always had a dislike to swearing, and made a law on board, if any of the sailors should swear, was punished.
Nevertheless my intention was not pure; I had some byends in it, the bottom of it was only pride, etc. I wanted to be noted to be something out of the common way of others, still I always had a dislike to hear others swearing. Well, then, I think I was counted what the world calls a good sort of man, good humoured, not proud, etc. But man is short sighted, who can discern spirits when the heart is deceitful above all thing and desperately wicked, oftentimes burning and boiling within in a blaze of passion, though not to be seen without. Nevertheless in the meantime was capable to be guilty of outward sins the same as others of my companions, and often times, when went out on a party, crying and praying to keep me from a particular sin, was often the first that was guilty of committing it. Then conscience, after staring me in the face, oh what a torment within I felt. So I went on for many years sinning and repenting.
Well, then, in the course of these few years, as we carried a large trade with other vessels also, we gained a large sum of money, and being a speculating family was not satisfied with small things. Built a new cutter, about 197 tons, then one of the first in England ; expecting to make all our fortunes in a hurry.