Chapter 6: Dover
So, off I started, with about eighteen Pence in my Pocket. When I got half way to Dover, I stopped at a Public House, got supper and a Bed. This took all my Money, so that I had to start on the Road without Breakfast. When I got some distance on the Road I began to be very Hungry. In those days there were large Vans covered-in on the Road between Dover and London, carrying Lace, imported from France. Well, one of these Vans was on the Road before me, in whose track I was following. The driver or guard was peeling Turnips, and left the Peelings on the Road. Thought I, "This will do for my Breakfast!" So I gathered them up, and so had my Breakfast. I got into Dover sometime in the Forenoon. I immediately went to where the Boats lay, and found that, as far as there was any Chance of getting a Berth, it was nil.
Now I made my Way into the Castle and got among the Soldiers, the 60th Rifles were there - my Father's Old Regiment. I got among the Officers. They asked me my name, I told them "Jager". They said that was a right name for the Rifles: "Would I like to enlist?" I said "Most gladly, if I was fit" But I was too short. They asked me "Had I a taste for Music?" If I had, they would take me in the Band. I was sorry, I was fit for neither. Now I went among the Soldiers, who were having Dinner. They invited me to have some, of which I was Very Glad: so I was set up for the Day. After Dinner, I went round the Castle, and saw Queen Anne's Pocket Piece, as it was called, a Very Long Gun, and read the inscription: "Load me well and Keep me Clean: I will carry a Ball to Calais Green". After going round the Castle, I went on to the Heights, where I saw an Old Sailor with a large Telescope looking over to Calais. I asked him to allow me to look through, which he did, and I saw the Red-tiled Houses.
After this, I sauntered up and down the Heights till Dusk. Going down, I met a Young Man and his Sweet-heart going up for a Walk. I was thinking "What should I do for my Lodging?". I bethought me of a Silk Handkerchief I had about my Neck. I took it off and asked the Young Man would he give me three Pence for it?, to pay my Lodging. Very properly, he would not buy it, but offered me a Halfpenny, which I would not take, as it would not pay for my Lodging. And to beg - I had not yet thought of it. I walked into the Town and up and down till all places shut up. Now I bethought me to go to the Watchhouse and ask the Keeper to allow me to sit up there till Morning, and he might throw me out as soon as he liked, to which he consented and turned me out at about three o'clock in the Morning, and I went on straight the way to Chatham along the Road.