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He carries an axe in his belt] A vagrant may sweat where a bear will freeze. I am hot. And while you are dragging it out, the other one goes farther in. And the rain beats into your face like a snowstorm! Oh, yes; I remember. I knew you by your eyes! I call myself after whatever passport God gives me. What are you talking about, making mountains out of mole-hills? The people here are all right The police are fast asleep in their feather beds now To Kuban?

They say the birds there, and the beasts are—my God! The authorities, they say Happiness goes behind you A poor lot. Turn away! All right, Orthodox brothers! Be quiet, you crooked old woman! What right have you? Stole it Like a beastly wife Like steam, like air Just blow into the air. When I was a boy, I used to walk in the woods at night on purpose to see the demon of the woods I used to go and walk about the churchyards at night, I wanted to see the ghosts—but the women lie.

I saw all sorts of animals, but anything awful—not a sign. Never mind, it does happen that you do see In our village a man was gutting a wild boar You skeleton! A sin! Take this crooked old woman, for instance. What are you frightening them for? A great pleasure! The wind, the wind! Shall I tear the door down, or suppose I tear up the inn by the roots!

Your eyes are like the eyes of a devil before cockcrow! Let him look, pilgrims! Just half a glass! Where am I to get it? A glass of it only costs you two copecks, and it will save me from suffering! I am suffering! Go and tell that to someone else, not to me Spare five copecks! My inside asks for it. How I am degrading myself! I was joking! Thought I heard it tinkling just now in my pocket What shall I do, my God! Out into this darkness, wherever my feet take me Chuck him out!

Eh, the people are cruel nowadays. A savage people! A rope would cost money. Quiet, old wolf! Sellers of your souls! Look sharp now! Quick now! Am I talking to you or the wall? Well, well Here have a glass Have a drink, now! People, what do I want? Do I want him to stand me vodka, or to take off my boots?

They wait in silence. The devil brought you here! Come on now. Put them side by side Like that Look here, suppose I give you something made of gold I will give it to you. It may be mean and wicked on my part, but what am I to do? Take it, only on condition that you return it later, when I come back from town.

I give it to you in front of these witnesses. You will be my witnesses! Well, take the portrait, too! Only mind this I was rude to you, my dear fellow, I was a fool, but forgive me and All right, then, drink You look somewhere else! A pause.

A real lady Look at her cheeks, her eyes Hair coming down to her waist It is lifelike! She might be going to say something A woman like that gets a hold on one and There stands an inn upon my way. Shall I drive or walk past it, say? You can pass your own father and not notice him, but you can see an inn in the dark a hundred versts away. Make way, if you believe in God!

Hullo, there! God gave us arms to wave about. Oh, Lord, it was bad! So you sleep on the ground Over seventy years! What are you doing in this place? A miserable sufferer. In an inn, my goodness! Semyon Sergeyevitch and Mr. Have you ever seen such a state?

What does he look like? Give me some more! What a shame! No, my friend, it was something else He used to be great and rich and sober Such bold and noble horses! A carriage on springs, of the best quality! He used to own five troikas, brother Five years ago, I remember, he cam here driving two horses from Mikishinsky, and he paid with a five-rouble piece It all happened because of his cowardice! From too much fat.

First of all, children, because of a woman A fool may love as much as a wise man. Always winking at one! Always laughing and laughing No sense at all. Well, he fell in love, and his luck ran out. He began to keep company with her, one thing led to another Why should you?

What has my life got to do with them? Pour out some more. He was a man of means He was a solid, dignified, sober gentleman He was holding her white, little hand, and she was all fiery and kept on getting closer and closer, too And he, like one of the damned, walks about from one place to another and brags, the coward, about his happiness Gives one man a rouble, and two to another Gives me money for a horse.

Oh, why tell them all about it? It hurts! They asked me! What do I care for them There was nothing else. Pour out another drop for Kusma the stony! Why the time the wedding took place, when the gentlefolk sat down to supper afterwards, she went off in a carriage What do you think of her now? Just at the very moment! She would be let off lightly if she were killed for it! He went mad And he still loves her.

Look at him, he loves her! The post drives off, the bells ringing. One could rob the post in weather like this—easy as spitting. And if I do go! He took it into his head to stand surety at the bank for 30, roubles for his brother-in-law. So our man had to pay up the whole thirty thousand. Every man has his grief, a snake that sucks at his heart, and does that mean that he must drink?

Take our village elder, for example. His wife plays about with the schoolmaster in broad daylight, and spends his money on drink, but the elder walks about smiling to himself. How much does it come to? Good-bye, children! Good-night and pleasant dreams! She must be getting wet with waiting, poor thing Drink mine, too, sir!

Vodka takes grief away It is hot! Dive it here! Ran off after the wedding. What a woman! Pour him out another glass, Tihon. Let him drink mine, too. General excitement. You moujik! You boor! Have another drink and go to sleep.

The fool! If you please! Stop that talking! Let people go to sleep. Lie down, lie down Oh, anywhere The floor will do Is this it? Do I lie down here? Looking at me out of the frame and laughing You look out, as Schastlivtsev says, and Why do you keep on going round? Looked too long at the portrait. They try to cure every sort of disease, and it never occurs to them that more people die of women than of disease Sly, stingy, cruel, brainless The mother-in-law torments the bride and the bride makes things square by swindling the husband From the beginning of the ages, since the world has been in existence, people have complained Not for nothing!

Just like the gentleman I walked about like one of the damned, bewitched, blessing my stars Never you mind If you kill, you are sorry for it She can live and be happy! Whom have the devils brought Please let me in, Tihon. Be a father to me and help me! My lady is going to Varsonofyev from the town Do be a good man and help! Have you gone mad, or what? Ten roubles! You mad dog! Profiting by our misfortunes!

Good evening, Orthodox people! Well, give me the string! Let them sleep, the two of us can manage. Foo, I am tired! Another thing, dear Have you got a little room in here for the lady to warm herself in? What does she want a room for? Just lie on the floor for an hour, and let the lady get warm. Sit up! TIHON bows. Our room is very humble, full of blackbeetles! This way, your highness! Open the door, at any rate! Make it fifteen. This minute Where do you come from?

I [Laughs loudly] My wife! Where am I? People, a light! Get away from me! Her voice, her movements Marie, it is I! I was drunk My God! Stop, stop A group collects around the husband and wife. Stand back! Get away, fellow! Let go my hand! Just let me say one word to you One word, so that you may understand Just wait Just throw a glance at him, with only one eye if you like! Or say only just one kind little word to him! General confusion. Everybody jumps up noisily and with cries of horror.

After this all stand as if turned to stone. A prolonged pause. My God, my God! What an accursed night! Woe is me! Have pity on me, Orthodox people! My dear fellow, whom do I see! Ivan Vassilevitch! I am extremely glad! We just get along somehow, my angel, to your prayers, and so on.

Sit down, please do My dear fellow, why are you so formal in your get-up? Evening dress, gloves, and so on. Can you be going anywhere, my treasure? Then why are you in evening dress, my precious? Not once or twice have I already had the privilege of applying to you for help, and you have always, so to speak I must ask your pardon, I am getting excited.

I shall drink some water, honoured Stepan Stepanovitch. You see, Honour Stepanitch I beg pardon, Stepan Honouritch One moment Yes, indeed, and all that sort of thing. May God give you both His help and His love and so on, and I did so much hope What am I behaving in this idiotic way for? Oh, with all my soul Why, of course, my darling, and The great thing is, I must have my mind made up. Natalya Stepanovna is an excellent housekeeper, not bad-looking, well-educated What more do I want?

In the second place, I ought to lead a quiet and regular life But the very worst of all is the way I sleep. I no sooner get into bed and begin to go off when suddenly something in my left side—gives a pull, and I can feel it in my shoulder and head And this may happen twenty times Well, there! Sit down. Then smoke Here are the matches How much hay have you stacked?

I ought to have waited a bit. Well, I never! Are you going to a ball, or what? Tell me, why are you got up like that? I shall try to be brief. You must know, honoured Natalya Stepanovna, that I have long, since my childhood, in fact, had the privilege of knowing your family.

My late aunt and her husband, from whom, as you know, I inherited my land, always had the greatest respect for your father and your late mother. The Lomovs and the Chubukovs have always had the most friendly, and I might almost say the most affectionate, regard for each other.

And, as you know, my land is a near neighbour of yours. You will remember that my Oxen Meadows touch your birchwoods. Excuse my interrupting you. What are you talking about? Oxen Meadows are ours, not yours! Just think, Ivan Vassilevitch! How long have they been yours? But you can see from the documents, honoured Natalya Stepanovna. Both my grandfather and great-grandfather reckoned that their land extended to Burnt Marsh—which means that Oxen Meadows were ours. What a surprise!

Ivan Vassilevitch, I can hardly believe my own ears They only come to five dessiatins [Note: Hear me out, I implore you! So there! Your behaviour, Ivan Vassilevitch, is strange, to say the least! Up to this we have always thought of you as a good neighbour, a friend: last year we lent you our threshing-machine, although on that account we had to put off our own threshing till November, but you behave to us as if we were gipsies.

Giving me my own land, indeed! You can shout yourself hoarse in your own house, but here I must ask you to restrain yourself! Papa, please tell to this gentleman who owns Oxen Meadows, we or he? But, please, Stepan Stepanitch, how can they be yours? Do be a reasonable man! The peasants used the land for forty years and got as accustomed to it as if it was their own, when it happened that Excuse me, my precious Dear one, why yell like that?

Why should I? You may take it that I know whether I have the right or not. You call my land yours, and then you want me to talk to you calmly and politely! To court? You can take it to court, and all that! You can! You pettifogger! All your people were like that! All of them! Never mind about my people! The Lomovs have all been honourable people, and not one has ever been tried for embezzlement, like your grandfather!

Your grandfather was a drunkard, and your younger aunt, Nastasya Mihailovna, ran away with an architect, and so on. And your mother was hump-backed. My head My left foot has gone to sleep Oh, my heart! I can see stars My heart! Which way? What a rascal! The monster! First he takes our land and then he has the impudence to abuse us. And that blind hen, yes, that turnip-ghost has the confounded cheek to make a proposal, and so on! A proposal!

So he dresses up in evening clothes. The stuffed sausage! The wizen-faced frump! To propose to me? Bring him here. What have they done to me! Fetch him back! Fetch him! Oh, what a burden, Lord, to be the father of a grown-up daughter! I will, indeed! Forgive us, Ivan Vassilevitch, we were all a little heated I remember now: Oxen Meadows really are yours.

My Meadows My eyebrows are both twitching The Meadows are yours, yes, yours Do sit down I did it on principle My land is worth little to me, but the principle Yes, the principle, just so The more so as I have evidence. Yes, yes, let that pass Oh, have you heard? My dog Guess, whom you know, has gone lame. Must have got twisted, or bitten by some other dog I gave Mironov roubles for him. Papa gave 85 roubles for his Squeezer, and Squeezer is heaps better than Guess! Squeezer better than. What an idea!

Excuse me, Natalya Stepanovna, but you forget that he is overshot, and an overshot always means the dog is a bad hunter! Why, how can you? Anybody you like has a dog as good as Squeezer Twenty-five roubles would be a handsome price to pay for him.

First you pretend that the Meadows are yours; now, that Guess is better than Squeezer. I see, Natalya Stepanovna, that you consider me either blind or a fool. You must realize that Squeezer is overshot! Why talk rot? Madam, please be silent My heart is going to pieces A hundred times worse!

Be hanged to your Squeezer! His head Papa, tell us truly, which is the better dog, our Squeezer or his Guess. Stepan Stepanovitch, I implore you to tell me just one thing: is your Squeezer overshot or not? Yes or no? And suppose he is? What does it matter? Allow me Your Guess certainly has his good points Excuse me, my heart And with good reason. The dogs are running after a fox, when Squeezer goes and starts worrying a sheep! You no sooner notice that some dog is better than your Guess than you begin with this, that I remember everything!

What sort of a hunter are you? You ought to go and lie on the kitchen oven and catch blackbeetles, not go after foxes! Yes really, what sort of a hunter are you, anyway? You ought to sit at home with your palpitations, and not go tracking animals. You could go hunting, but you only go to argue with people and interfere with their dogs and so on. And are you a hunter? You only go hunting to get in with the Count and to intrigue Everybody knows that—oh my heart!

My feet I fall, I fall! There, there, there Where is my shoulder? I die. Look, papa! What have you done to me? My word! A doctor! What am I waiting for? Give me a knife! Give me a pistol! Drink some water! Hurry up and get married and—well, to the devil with you! I give you my blessing and so on. Only leave me in peace!

Kiss whom? Oh, now I understand Natalya Stepanovna Have some champagne! A large table, laid for supper. Waiters in dress-jackets are fussing round the table. An orchestra behind the scene is playing the music of the last figure of a quadrille.

Where are you off to? What about the grand ronde? You had much better be dancing than upsetting me with your speeches. I am a serious man, and I have a character, and I see no amusement in empty pleasures. You must excuse me, maman, but there is a good deal in your behaviour which I am unable to understand. For instance, in addition to objects of domestic importance, you promised also to give me, with your daughter, two lottery tickets.

Where are they? If only it thawed! I only found out to-day that those tickets are in pawn. The cook asks if you would like the ices served with rum, madeira, or by themselves? With rum. Tell him to prepare some more Haut Sauterne. And where is he?

Yesterday he came to see us and promised to bring a perfectly real general. A general, of course Everybody, including yourself, maman , is aware of the fact that Yats, that telegraphist, was after Dashenka before I proposed to her.

Why did you invite him? Surely you knew it would be unpleasant for me? Oh, how can you? You are horrid, really horrid. Oh, oh! Then behave honourably. I only want you to do one thing, be honourable! These two remain behind. Oh, what a man! To be so cruel—if I may express myself—and to have such a beautiful, beautiful voice! For example, how divinely you do that fioritura There, wave this fan for me Well, what are you so thoughtful about?

Marriage is a serious step! Everything must be considered from all sides, thoroughly. What beastly sceptics you all are! I feel quite suffocated with you all around Give me atmosphere! Fan me, fan me, or I feel I shall have a heart attack in a minute.

Tell me, please, why do I feel so suffocated? Beg pardon! Drink and be merry You can drink Your health! And lions too. He may come yet There must be a lot of swindling. The Greeks are just like the Armenians or gipsies. They sell you a sponge or a goldfish and all the time they are looking out for a chance of getting something extra out of you.

What do you want to go on having another for? Ladies and gentlemen, please! Young people! They all noisily seat themselves at the table. I must tell you this We are going to have a great many toasts and speeches. Ladies and gentlemen, the newly married! Glasses are touched. I must say, ladies and gentlemen, giving honour where it is due, that this room and the accommodation generally are splendid!

Excellent, wonderful! Into every country electric light has already been introduced, only Russia lags behind. In my opinion electric lighting is just a swindle You must have a fire, you understand, which is natural, not just an invention! They want to squeeze our last breath out of us We know then, these And, young man, instead of defending a swindle, you would be much better occupied if you had another yourself and poured out some for other people—yes!

I entirely agree with you, papa. Why start a learned discussion? Go to your educated friends! I have always sincerely wished Daria Evdokimovna a good husband. In these days, Nastasya Timofeyevna, it is difficult to find a good husband. Nowadays everybody is on the look-out for a marriage where there is profit, money Present company is always excepted I was only in general You be careful what you say.

I cared for her more than if she was an emerald jewel, my little girl And you go and believe him? Thank you so much! Please get out of this! I want you to be as straightforward as I am! In short, please get out! Leave him alone! Sit down! Is it worth it! Let him be! Stop it now! I never Is it worth it, just for such trifles? Dear guests! We thank you very humbly! Maman is disturbed at your coming separation. But I should advise her rather to remember the last talk we had.

Just think what are human tears, anyway? Just petty psychiatry, and nothing more! Ladies and gentlemen, a speech! With this description of the domestic arrangements of my new home, I may here recount a circumstance which is deeply impressed on my memory, as affording a bright gleam of a slave-mother's love, and the earnestness of a mother's care. I had offended Aunt Katy. I do not remember in what way, for my offences were numerous in that quarter, greatly depending upon her moods as to their heinousness, and she had adopted her usual mode of punishing me: namely, making me go all day without food.

For the first hour or two after dinner time, I succeeded pretty well in keeping up my spirits; but as the day wore away, I found it quite impossible to do so any longer. Sundown came, but no bread; and in its stead came the threat from Aunt Katy, with a scowl well suited to its terrible import, that she would starve the life out of me.

Brandishing her knife, she chopped off the heavy slices of bread for the other children, and put the loaf away, muttering all the while her savage designs upon myself. Against this disappointment, for I was expecting that her heart would relent at last, I made an extra effort to maintain my dignity, but when I saw the other children around me with satisfied faces, I could stand it no longer.

I went out behind the kitchen wall and cried like a fine fellow. When wearied with this, I returned to the kitchen, sat by the fire and brooded over my hard lot. I was too hungry to sleep. While I sat in the corner, I caught sight of an ear of Indian corn upon an upper shelf. I watched my chance and got it; and shelling off a few grains, I put it back again.

I did this at the risk of getting a brutal thumping, for Aunt Katy could beat as well as starve me. My corn was not long in roasting, and I eagerly pulled it from the ashes, and placed it upon a stool in a clever little pile. I began to help myself, when who but my own dear mother should come in. The scene which followed is beyond my power to describe.

The friendless and hungry boy, in his extremest need, found himself in the strong protecting arms his mother. I have before spoken my mother's dignified and impressive manner. I shall never forget the indescribable expression of her countenance when I told her that Aunt Katy had said she would starve the life out of me. There was deep and tender pity in her glance at me, and a fiery indignation at Aunt Katy at the same moment, and while she took the corn from me, and gave in its stead a large ginger cake, she read Aunt Katy a lecture which was never forgotten.

That night I learned as I had never learned before, that I was not only a child, but somebody's child. I was grander upon my mother's knee than a king upon his throne. But my triumph was short. I dropped off to sleep, and waked in the morning to find my mother gone and myself at the mercy again of the virago in my master's kitchen, whose fiery wrath was my constant dread.

My mother had walked twelve miles to see me, and had the same distance to travel over again before the morning sunrise. I do not remember ever seeing her again. Her death soon ended the little communication that had existed between us, and with it, I believe, a life full of weariness and heartfelt sorrow. To me it has ever been a grief that I knew my mother so little, and have so few of her words treasured in my remembrance.

I have since learned that she was the only one of all the colored people of Tuckahoe who could read. How she acquired this knowledge I know not, for Tuckahoe was the last place in the world where she would have been likely to find facilities for learning. I can therefore fondly and proudly ascribe to her, an earnest love of knowledge. Page 24 That a field-hand should learn to read in any slave State is remarkable, but the achievements of my mother, considering the place and circumstances, was very extraordinary.

In view of this fact, I am happy to attribute any love of letters I may have, not to my presumed Anglo-Saxon paternity, but to the native genius of my sable, unprotected, and uncultivated mother--a woman who belonged to a race whose mental endowments are still disparaged and despised. IT was generally supposed that slavery in the State of Maryland existed in its mildest form, and that it was totally divested of those harsh and terrible peculiarities which characterized the slave system in the Southern and South Western States of the American Union.

The ground of this opinion was the contiguity of the free States, and the influence of their moral, religious, and humane sentiments. Public opinion was, indeed, a measurable restraint upon the cruelty and barbarity of masters, overseers, and slave-drivers, whenever and wherever it could reach them; but there were certain secluded and out of the way places, even in the State of Maryland, fifty years ago, seldom visited by a single ray of healthy public sentiment, where slavery, wrapt in its own congenial darkness, could and did develop all its malign and shocking characteristics, where it could be indecent without shame, cruel without shuddering, and murderous without apprehension or fear of exposure, or punishment.

Just such a secluded, dark, and out of the way place, was the home plantation of Colonel Edward Lloyd, in Talbot county, eastern shore of Maryland. It was far away from all the great thoroughfares of travel and commerce, and proximate to no town or village. There was neither school-house nor town-house in its neighborhood.

The school-house was unnecessary, for there were Page 26 no children to go to school. The children and grand-children of Col. Lloyd were taught in the house by a private tutor a Mr. Page from Greenfield, Massachusetts, a tall, gaunt, sapling of a man, remarkably dignified, thoughtful, and reticent, and who did not speak a dozen words to a slave in a whole year.

The overseer's children went off somewhere in the State to school, and therefore could bring no foreign or dangerous influence from abroad to embarrass the natural operation of the slave system of the place. Not even the commonest mechanics, from whom there might have been an occasional outburst of honest and telling indignation at cruelty and wrong on other plantations, were white men here.

Its whole public was made up of and divided into three classes, slaveholders, slaves, and overseers. Its blacksmiths, wheelwrights, shoemakers, weavers, and coopers, were slaves. Not even commerce, selfish and indifferent to moral considerations as it usually is, was permitted within its secluded precincts. Whether with a view of guarding against the escape of its secrets, I know not, but it is a fact, that every leaf and grain of the products of this plantation and those of the neighboring farms, belonging to Col.

Lloyd, were transported to Baltimore in his own vessels, every man and boy on board of which, except the captain, were owned by him as his property. In return, everything brought to the plantation came through the same channel. To make this isolation more apparent it may be stated that the adjoining estates to Col. Lloyd's were owned and occupied by friends of his, who were as deeply interested as himself in maintaining the slave system in all its rigor. These were the Tilgmans, the Goldboroughs, the Lockermans, the Pacas, the Skinners, Gibsons, and others of lesser affluence and standing.

The fact is, public opinion in such a quarter, the reader must see, was not likely to be very efficient in protecting the slave from cruelty. To be a restraint upon abuses of this nature, opinion must emanate from humane and virtuous communities, and to no such opinion or influence was Col. Lloyd's plantation exposed. It was a little nation by itself, having its Page 27 own language, its own rules, regulations, and customs. The troubles and controversies arising here were not settled by the civil power of the State.

The overseer was the important dignitary. He was generally accuser, judge, jury, advocate, and executioner. The criminal was always dumb--and no slave was allowed to testify, other than against his brother slave. There were, of course, no conflicting rights of property, for all the people were the property of one man, and they could themselves own no property.

Religion and politics were largely excluded. One class of the population was too high to be reached by the common preacher, and the other class was too low in condition and ignorance to be much cued for by religious teachers, and yet some religious ideas did enter this dark corner. This, however, is not the only view which the place presented. Though civilization was in many respects shut out, nature could not be.

Though separated from the rest of the world, though public opinion, as I have said, could seldom penetrate its dark domain, though the whole place was stamped with its own peculiar iron-like individuality, and though crimes, highhanded and atrocious, could be committed there with strange and shocking impunity, it was to outward seeming a most strikingly interesting place, full of life, activity, and spirit, and presented a very favorable contrast to the indolent monotony and languor of Tuckahoe.

It resembled in some respects descriptions I have since read of the old baronial domains of Europe. Keen as was my regret, and great as was my sorrow, at leaving my old home, I was not long in adapting myself to this my new one. A man's troubles are always half disposed of when he finds endurance the only alternative.

I found myself here; there was no getting away; and naught remained for me but to make the best of it. Here were plenty of children to play with, and plenty of pleasant resorts for boys of my age and older. The little tendrils of affection so rudely broken from the darling objects in and around my Page 28 grandmother's home, gradually began to extend and twine themselves around the new surroundings.

Here for the first time I saw a large wind-mill, with its wide-sweeping white wings, a commanding object to a child's eye. This was situated on what was called Long Point--a tract of land dividing Miles river from the Wye. I spent many hours here watching the wings of this wondrous mill.

In the river, or what was called the "Swash," at a short distance from the shore, quietly lying at anchor, with her small row boat dancing at her stern, was a large sloop, the Sally Lloyd, called by that name in honor of the favorite daughter of the Colonel. These two objects, the sloop and mill, as I remember, awakened thoughts, ideas, and wondering. Then here were a great many houses, human habitations full of the mysteries of life at every stage of it.

There was the little red house up the road, occupied by Mr. Seveir, the overseer; a little nearer to my old master's stood a long, low, rough building literally alive with slaves of all ages, sexes, conditions, sizes, and colors. This was called the long quarter. Perched upon a hill east of our house, was a tall dilapidated old brick building, the architectural dimensions of which proclaimed its creation for a different purpose, now occupied by slaves, in a similar manner to the long quarters.

Besides these, there were numerous other slave houses and huts, scattered around in the neighborhood, every nook and corner of which, were completely occupied. Old master's house, a long brick building, plain but substantial, was centrally located, and was an independent establishment. Besides these houses there were barns, stables, store houses, tobacco-houses, blacksmith shops, wheelwright shops, cooper shops; but above all there stood the grandest building my young eyes had ever beheld, called by everyone on the plantation the great house.

This was occupied by Col. Lloyd and his family. It was surrounded by numerous and variously shaped out-buildings. There were kitchens, wash-houses, dairies, summer-houses, green-houses, hen-houses, turkey-houses, pigeon-houses, and arbors of many sizes and devices, Page 29 all neatly painted or whitewashed--interspersed with grand old trees, ornamental and primitive, which afforded delightful shade in summer and imparted to the scene a high degree of stately beauty.

The great house itself was a large white wooden building with wings on three sides of it. In front a broad portico extended the entire length of the building, supported by a long range of columns, which gave to the Colonel's home an air of great dignity and grandeur. It was a treat to my young and gradually opening mind to behold this elaborate exhibition of wealth, power, and beauty. The carriage entrance to the house was by a large gate, more than a quarter of a mile distant. The intermediate space was a beautiful lawn, very neatly kept and cared for.

It was dotted thickly over with trees and flowers. The road or lane from the gate to the great house was richly paved with white pebbles from the beach, and in its course formed a complete circle around the lawn. Outside this select enclosure were parks, as about the residences of the English nobility, where rabbits, deer, and other wild game might be seen peering and playing about, with "none to molest them or make them afraid.

These all belonged to me as well as to Col. Edward Lloyd, and, whether they did or not, I greatly enjoyed them. Not far from the great house were the stately mansions of the dead Lloyds--a place of somber aspect. Vast tombs, embowered beneath the weeping willow and the fir tree, told of the generations of the family, as well as their wealth.

Superstition was rife among the slaves about this family burying-ground. Strange sights had been seen there by some of the older slaves, and I was often compelled to hear stories of shrouded ghosts, riding on great black horses, and of balls of fire which had been seen to fly there at midnight, and of startling and dreadful sounds that had been repeatedly heard.

Slaves knew enough of the Orthodox theology at the time, to consign all bad slaveholders to hell, and they often Page 30 fancied such persons wishing themselves back again to wield the lash. Tales of sights and sounds strange and terrible, connected with the huge black tombs, were a great security to the grounds about them, for few of the slaves had the courage to approach them during the day time. It was a dark, gloomy and forbidding place, and it was difficult to feel that the spirits of the sleeping dust there deposited reigned with the blest in the realms of eternal peace.

Here was transacted the business of twenty or thirty different farms, which, with the slaves upon them, numbering, in all, not less than a thousand, all belonged to Col. Each farm was under the management of an overseer, whose word was law. Lloyd at this time was very rich. His slaves alone, numbering as I have said not less than a thousand, were an immense fortune, and though scarcely a month passed without the sale of one or more lots to the Georgia traders, there was no apparent diminution in the number of his human stock.

The selling of any to the State of Georgia was a sore and mournful event to those left behind, as well as to the victims themselves. The reader has already been informed of the handicrafts carried on here by the slaves. These mechanics were called "Uncles" by all the younger slaves, not because they really sustained that relationship to any, but according to plantation etiquette as a mark of respect, due from the younger to the older slaves.

Strange and even ridiculous as it may seem, among a people so uncultivated and with so many stern trials to look in the face, there is not to be found among any people a more rigid enforcement of the law of respect to elders than is maintained among them. I set this down as partly constitutional with the colored race and partly conventional.

There is no better material in the world for making a gentleman than is furnished in the African. Among other slave notabilities, I found here one called by everybody, white and colored, "Uncle" Isaac Copper. It was seldom that a slave, however venerable, was honored with a surname in Maryland, and so completely has the south shaped the manners of the north in this respect that their right to such honor is tardily admitted even now.

It goes sadly against the grain to address and treat a negro as one would address and treat a white man. But once in a while, even in a slave state, a negro had a surname fastened to him by common consent. This was the case with "Uncle" Isaac Copper.

When the "Uncle" was dropped, he was called Doctor Copper. He was both our Doctor of Medicine and our Doctor of Divinity. Where he took his degree I am unable to say, but he was too well established in his profession to permit question as to his native skill, or attainments.

One qualification he certainly had. He was a confirmed cripple, wholly unable to work, and was worth nothing for sale in the market. Though lame, he was no sluggard. He made his crutches do him good service, and was always on the alert looking up the sick, and such as were supposed to need his aid and counsel. His remedial prescriptions embraced four articles. For diseases of the body, epsom salts and castor oil; for those of the soul, the "Lord's prayer," and a few stout hickory switches.

I was early sent to Doctor Isaac Copper, with twenty or thirty other children, to learn the Lord's prayer. The old man was seated on a huge three-legged oaken stool, armed with several large hickory switches, and from the point where he sat, lame as he was, he could reach every boy in the room. After standing a while to learn what was expected of us, he commanded us to kneel down.

This done, he told us to say everything he said. Everybody in the South seemed to want the privilege of Page 32 whipping somebody else. Uncle Isaac, though a good old man, shared the common passion of his time and country. I cannot say I was much edified by attendance upon his ministry. There was even at that time something a little inconsistent and laughable, in my mind, in the blending of prayer with punishment. I was not long in my new home before I found that the dread I had conceived of Captain Anthony was in a measure groundless.

Instead of leaping out from some hiding place and destroying me, he hardly seemed to notice my presence. He probably thought as little of my arrival there, as of an additional pig to his stock. He was the chief agent of his employer. The overseers of all the farms composing the Lloyd estate, were in some sort under him.

The Colonel himself seldom addressed an overseer, or allowed himself to be addressed by one. To Captain Anthony, therefore, was committed the head-ship of all the farms. He carried the keys of all the store-houses, weighed and measured the allowances of each slave, at the end of each month; superintended the storing of all goods brought to the store-house; dealt out the raw material to the different handicraftsmen, shipped the grain, tobacco, and all other saleable produce of the numerous farms to Baltimore, and had a general oversight of all the workshops of the place.

In addition to all this he was frequently called abroad to Easton and elsewhere in the discharge of his numerous duties as chief agent of the estate. In the kitchen were Aunt Katy, Aunt Esther, and ten or a dozen children, most of them older than myself. Anthony was not considered a rich slave-holder, though he was pretty well off in the world. He owned about thirty slaves and three farms in the Tuckahoe district.

The more valuable part of his property was in slaves, of whom he sold one every year, which brought him in seven or eight hundred dollars, besides his yearly salary and other revenue from his lands. I have been often asked during the earlier part of my free life at the north, how I happened to have so little of the slave accent in my speech. The mystery is in some measure explained by my association with Daniel Lloyd, the youngest son of Col. Edward Lloyd.

The law of compensation holds here as well as elsewhere. While this lad could not associate with ignorance without sharing its shade, he could not give his black playmates his company without giving them his superior intelligence as well. Without knowing this, or caring about it at the time, I, for some cause or other, was attracted to him and was much his companion.

I had little to do with the older brothers of Daniel--Edward and Murray. They were grown up and were fine looking men. Edward was especially esteemed by the slave children and by me among the rest, not that he ever said anything to us or for us which could be called particularly kind. It was enough for us that he never looked or acted scornfully toward us. The idea of rank and station was rigidly maintained on this estate.

The family of Captain Anthony never visited the great house, and the Lloyds never came to our house. Equal non-intercourse was observed between Captain Anthony's family and the family of Mr. Seveir, the overseer. Such, kind readers, was the community and such the place in which my earliest and most lasting impressions of the workings of slavery were received--of which impressions you will learn more in the after coming chapters of this book. ALTHOUGH my old master, Captain Anthony, gave me, at the first of my coming to him from my grandmother's, very little attention, and although that little was of a remarkably mild and gentle description, a few months only were sufficient to convince me that mildness and gentleness were not the prevailing or governing traits of his character.

These excellent qualities were displayed only occasionally. He could, when it suited him, appear to be literally insensible to the claims of humanity. He could not only be deaf to the appeals of the helpless against the aggressor, but he could himself commit outrages deep, dark, and nameless. Yet he was not by nature worse than other men. Had he been brought up in a free state, surrounded by the full restraints of civilized society --restraints which are necessary to the freedom of all its members, alike and equally, Capt.

Anthony might have been as humane a man as are members of such society generally. A man's character always takes its hue, more or less, from the form and color of things about him. The slaveholder, as well as the slave, was the victim of the slave system.

Under the whole heavens there could be no relation more unfavorable to the development of honorable character than that sustained by the slaveholder to the slave. Reason is imprisoned here and passions run wild. Could the reader have seen Captain Anthony gently leading me by the hand, as he sometimes did, patting me on the head, speaking to me in soft, caressing tones and calling me his little Indian boy, he would have Page 35 deemed him a kind-hearted old man, and really almost fatherly to the slave boy.

But the pleasant moods of a slaveholder are transient and fitful. They neither come often nor remain long. The temper of the old man was subject to special trials, but since these trials were never borne patiently, they added little to his natural stock of patience.

Aside from his troubles with his slaves and those of Mr. Lloyd's, he made the impression upon me of being an unhappy man. Even to my child's eye he wore a troubled and at times a haggard aspect. His strange movements excited my curiosity and awakened my compassion. He seldom walked alone without muttering to himself, and he occasionally stormed about as if defying an army of invisible foes. Most of his leisure was spent in walking around, cursing and gesticulating as if possessed by a demon.

He was evidently a wretched man, at war with his own soul and all the world around him. To be overheard by the children disturbed him very little. He made no more of our presence than that of the ducks and geese he met on the green. But when his gestures were most violent, ending with a threatening shake of the head and a sharp snap of his middle finger and thumb, I deemed it wise to keep at a safe distance from him.

One of the first circumstances that opened my eyes to the cruelties and wickedness of slavery and its hardening influences upon my old master, was his refusal to interpose his authority to protect and shield a young woman, a cousin of mine, who had been most cruelly abused and beaten by his overseer in Tuckahoe. This overseer, a Mr. Plummer, was like most of his class, little less than a human brute; and in addition to his general profligacy and repulsive coarseness, he was a miserable drunkard, a man not fit to have the management of a drove of mules.

In one of his moments of drunken madness he committed the outrage which brought the young woman in question down to my old master's for protection. The poor girl, on her arrival at our house, presented a most pitiable appearance. She had left in haste and without preparation, and probably without the knowledge Page 36 of Mr. She had traveled twelve miles, bare-footed. Her neck and shoulders were covered with scars newly made, and not content with marring her neck and shoulders with the cowhide, the cowardly wretch had dealt her a blow on the head with a hickory club, which cut a horrible gash and left her face literally covered with blood.

In this condition the poor young woman came down to implore protection at the hands of my old master. I expected to see him boil over with rage at the revolting deed, and to hear him fill the air with curses upon the brutal Plummer; but I was disappointed.

He sternly told her in an angry tone, "She deserved every bit of it, and if she did not go home instantly he would himself take the remaining skin from her neck and back. I did not at that time understand the philosophy of this treatment of my cousin.

I think I now understand it. This treatment was a part of the system, rather than a part of the man. To have encouraged appeals of this kind would have occasioned much loss of time, and leave the overseer powerless to enforce obedience.

Nevertheless, when a slave had nerve enough to go straight to his master, with a well-founded complaint against an overseer, though he might be repelled and have even that of which he complained at the time repeated, and though he might be beaten by his master as well as by the overseer, for his temerity, in the end, the policy of complaining was generally vindicated by the relaxed rigor of the overseer's treatment.

The latter became more careful and less disposed to use the lash upon such slaves thereafter. The overseer very naturally disliked to have the ear of the master disturbed by complaints, and either for this reason or because of advice privately given him by his employer, he generally modified the rigor of his rule after complaints of this kind had been made against him.

For some cause or other the slaves, no matter how often they were repulsed by Page 37 their masters, were ever disposed to regard them with less abhorrence than the overseer. And yet these masters would often go beyond their overseers in wanton cruelty. They wielded the lash without any sense of responsibility. They could cripple or kill without fear of consequences.

I have seen my old master in a tempest of wrath, full of pride, hatred, jealousy, and revenge, where he seemed a very fiend. The circumstances which I am about to narrate, and which gave rise to this fearful tempest of passion, were not singular, but very common in our slave-holding community.

The reader will have noticed that among the names of slaves, Esther is mentioned. This was a young woman who possessed that which was ever a curse to the slave girl--namely, personal beauty. She was tall, light-colored, well formed, and made a fine appearance. Esther was courted by "Ned Roberts," the son of a favorite slave of Col. Lloyd, who was as fine-looking a young man as Esther was a woman. Some slave-holders would have been glad to have promoted the marriage of two such persons, but for some reason, Captain Anthony disapproved of their courtship.

He strictly ordered her to quit the company of young Roberts, telling her that he would punish her severely if he ever found her again in his company. But it was impossible to keep this couple apart. Meet they would, and meet they did. Had Mr. Anthony been himself a man of honor, his motives in this matter might have appeared more favorably.

As it was, they appeared as abhorrent as they were contemptible. It was one of the damning characteristics of slavery, that it robbed its victims of every earthly incentive to a holy life. The fear of God and the hope of heaven were sufficient to sustain many slave women amidst the snares and dangers of their strange lot; but they were ever at the mercy of the power, passion, and caprice of their owners.

Slavery provided no means for the honorable perpetuation of the race. Yet despite of this destitution there were many men and women among the slaves who were true and faithful to each other through life. But to the case in hand. Abhorred and circumvented as he was, Captain Anthony, having the power, was determined on revenge. I happened to see its shocking execution, and shall never forget the scene. It was early in the morning, when all was still, and before any of the family in the house or kitchen had risen.

I was, in fact, awakened by the heartrending shrieks and piteous cries of poor Esther. My sleeping-place was on the dirt floor of a little rough closet which opened into the kitchen, and through the cracks in its unplaned boards I could distinctly see and hear what was going on, without being seen. Esther's wrists were firmly tied, and the twisted rope was fastened to a strong iron staple in a heavy wooden beam above, near the fire-place.

Here she stood on a bench, her arms tightly drawn above her head. Her back and shoulders were perfectly bare. Behind her stood old master, with cowhide in hand, pursuing his barbarous work with all manner of harsh, coarse, and tantalizing epithets. He was cruelly deliberate, and protracted the torture as one who was delighted with the agony of his victim. Again and again he drew the hateful scourge through his hand, adjusting it with a view of dealing the most pain-giving blow his strength and skill could inflict.

Poor Esther had never before been severely whipped. Her shoulders were plump and tender. Each blow, vigorously laid on, brought screams from her as well as blood. Oh, mercy! The whole scene, with all its attendants, was revolting and shocking to the last degree, and when the motives for the brutal castigation are known, language has no power to convey a just sense of its dreadful criminality.

After laying on I dare not say how many stripes, old master untied his suffering victim. When let down she could scarcely stand. From my heart I pitied her, and child as I was, and new to such scenes, the shock was tremendous. I was terrified, hushed, stunned, and bewildered. The scene here described was often repeated, for Edward and Esther continued to meet, notwithstanding all efforts to prevent their meeting. The author's early reflections on Slavery--Aunt Jennie and Uncle Noah-- Presentment of one day becoming a freeman--Conflict between an overseer and a slave woman--Advantage of resistance--Death of an overseer -- Col.

Lloyd's plantation home--Monthly distribution of food--Singing of Slaves--An explanation--The slaves' food and clothing--Naked children --Life in the quarter--Sleeping places--not beds--Deprivation of sleep-- Care of nursing babies--Ash cake--Contrast. THE incidents related in the foregoing chapter led me thus early to inquire into the origin and nature of slavery. Why am I a slave? Why are some people slaves and others masters?

These were perplexing questions and very troublesome to my childhood. I was told by some one very early that " God up in the sky " had made all things, and had made black people to be slaves and white people to be masters. I was told too that God was good and that he knew what was best for everybody. This was, however, less satisfactory than the first statement. It came point blank against all my notions of goodness. The case of Aunt Esther was in my mind.

Besides, I could not tell how anybody could know that God made black people to be slaves. Then I found, too, that there were puzzling exceptions to this theory of slavery, in the fact that all black people were not slaves, and all white people were not masters.

An incident occurred about this time that made a deep impression on my mind. One of the men slaves of Captain Anthony and my Aunt Jennie ran away. A great noise was made about it. Old master was furious. He said he would follow them and catch them and bring them back, but he never did it, and somebody told me that Uncle Noah and Aunt Jennie had gone to the free states and were free.

Besides this occurrence, which brought much light to my mind Page 40 on the subject, there were several slaves on Mr. Lloyd's place who remembered being brought from Africa. There were others that told me that their fathers and mothers were stolen from Africa.

This to me was important knowledge, but not such as to make me feel very easy in my slave condition. The success of Aunt Jennie and Uncle Noah in getting away from slavery was, I think, the first fact that made me seriously think of escape for myself. I could not have been more than seven or eight years old at the time of this occurrence, but young as I was I was already a fugitive from slavery in spirit and purpose.

Up to the time of the brutal treatment of my Aunt Esther, already narrated, and the shocking plight in which I had seen my cousin from Tuckahoe, my attention had not been especially directed to the grosser and more revolting features of slavery. I had, of course, heard of whippings and savage mutilations of slaves by brutal overseers, but happily for me I had always been out of the way of such occurrences.

My play time was spent outside of the corn and tobacco fields, where the overseers and slaves were brought together and in conflict. But after the case of my Aunt Esther I saw others of the same disgusting and shocking nature. The one of these which agitated and distressed me most was the whipping of a woman, not belonging to my old master, but to Col. The charge against her was very common and very indefinite, namely, " impudence.

He could create the offense whenever it pleased him. A look, a word, a gesture, accidental or intentional, never failed to be taken as impudence when he was in the right mood for such an offense. In this case there were all the necessary conditions for the commission of the crime charged. The offender was nearly white, to begin with; she was the wife of a favorite hand on board of Mr. Lloyd's sloop and was besides the mother of five sprightly children. Vigorous Page 41 and spirited woman that she was, a wife and a mother, with a predominating share of the blood of the master running in her veins.

Nellie for that was her name had all the qualities essential to impudence to a slave overseer. My attention was called to the scene of the castigation by the loud screams and curses that proceeded from the direction of it.

When I came near the parties engaged in the struggle, the overseer had hold of Nelly, endeavoring with his whole strength to drag her to a tree against her resistance. Both his and her faces were bleeding, for the woman was doing her best. Three of her children were present, and though quite small, from seven to ten years old I should think, they gallantly took the side of their mother against the overseer, and pelted him well with stones and epithets.

Amid the screams of the children " Let my mammy go! Let my mammy go! His purpose was to tie her up to a tree and give her, in slave-holding parlance, a "genteel flogging," and he evidently had not expected the stern and protracted resistance he was meeting, or the strength and skill needed to its execution. There were times when she seemed likely to get the better of the brute, but he finally overpowered her, and succeeded in getting her arms firmly tied to the tree towards which he had been dragging her.

The victim was now at the mercy of his merciless lash. What followed I need not here describe. The cries of the now helpless woman, while undergoing the terrible infliction, were mingled with the hoarse curses of the overseer and the wild cries of her distracted children. When the poor woman was untied, her back was covered with blood.

She was whipped, terribly whipped, but she was not subdued, and continued to denounce the overseer, and pour upon him every vile epithet she could think of. Such floggings are seldom repeated by overseers on the same persons. They prefer to whip those who were the Page 42 most easily whipped. The doctrine that submission to violence is the best cure for violence did not hold good as between slaves and overseers.

He was whipped oftener who was whipped easiest. That slave who had the courage to stand up for himself against the overseer, although he might have many hard stripes at first, became while legally a slave virtually a freeman. I do not know that Mr. Sevier ever attempted to whip Nelly again.

He probably never did, for not long after he was taken sick and died. It was commonly said that his death-bed was a wretched one, and that, the ruling passion being strong in death, he died flourishing the slave whip and with horrid oaths upon his lips.

This deathbed scene may only be the imagining of the slaves. One thing is certain, that when he was in health his profanity was enough to chill the blood of an ordinary man. Nature, or habit, had given to his face an expression of uncommon savageness.

Tobacco and rage had ground his teeth short, and nearly every sentence that he uttered was commenced or completed with an oath. Hated for his cruelty, despised for his cowardice, he went to his grave lamented by nobody on the place outside of his own house, if, indeed, he was even lamented there.

In Mr. James Hopkins, the succeeding overseer, we had a different and a better man, as good perhaps as any man could be in the position of a slave overseer. Though he sometimes wielded the lash, it was evident that he took no pleasure in it and did it with much reluctance. He stayed but a short time here, and his removal from the position was much regretted by the slaves generally. Of the successor of Mr. Hopkins I shall have something to say at another time and in another place.

For the present we will attend to a further description of the business-like aspect of Col. Lloyd's " Great House " farm. There was always much bustle and noise here on the two days at the end of each month, for then the slaves belonging to Page 43 the different branches of this great estate assembled here by their representatives to obtain their monthly allowances of corn-meal and pork. These were gala days for the slaves of the outlying farms, and there was much rivalry among them as to who should be elected to go up to the Great House farm for the " Allowances ," and indeed to attend to any other business at this great place, to them the capitol of a little nation.

Its beauty and grandeur, its immense wealth, its numerous population, and the fact that uncles Harry, Peter, and Jake, the sailors on board the sloop, usually kept on sale trinkets which they bought in Baltimore to sell to their less fortunate fellow-servants, made a visit to the Great House farm a high privilege, and eagerly sought.

It was valued, too, as a mark of distinction and confidence; but probably the chief motive among the competitors for the office was the opportunity it afforded to shake off the monotony of the field and to get beyond the overseer's eye and lash. Once on the road with an ox-team, and seated on the tongue of the cart, with no overseer to look after him, he felt himself comparatively free. Slaves were expected to sing as well as to work. A silent slave was not liked, either by masters or by overseers.

This, and the natural disposition of the negro to make a noise in the world, may account for the almost constant singing among them when at their work. There was generally more or less singing among the teamsters at all times. It was a means of telling the overseer, in the distance, where they were, and what they were about. But on the allowance days those commissioned to the Great House farm were peculiarly vocal. While on the way they would make the grand old woods for miles around reverberate with their wild and plaintive notes.

They were indeed both merry and sad. Child as I was, these wild songs greatly depressed my spirits. Nowhere outside of dear old Ireland, in the days of want and famine, have I heard sounds so mournful. In all these slave songs there was ever some expression of praise of the Great House farm--something that would please the pride of the Lloyds.

O, yea! O, yea These words would be sung over and over again, with others, improvised as they went along--jargon, perhaps, to the reader, but full of meaning to the singers. I have sometimes thought that the mere hearing of these songs would have done more to impress the good people of the north with the soul-crushing character of slavery than whole volumes exposing the physical cruelties of the slave system; for the heart has no language like song.

Many years ago, when recollecting my experience in this respect, I wrote of these slave songs in the following strain:. I was, myself, within the circle, so that I could then neither hear nor see as those without might see and hear.

They breathed the prayer and complaint of souls overflowing with the bitterest anguish. They depressed my spirits and filled my heart with ineffable sadness. The remark in the olden time was not unfrequently made, that slaves were the most contented and happy laborers in the world, and their dancing and singing were referred to in proof of this alleged fact; but it was a great mistake to suppose them happy because they sometimes made those joyful noises. The songs of the slaves represented their sorrows, rather than their joys.

Like tears, they were a relief to aching hearts. It is not inconsistent with the constitution of the human mind, that avails itself of one and the same method for expressing opposite emotions. Sorrow and desolation have their songs, as well as joy, and peace. It was the boast of slaveholders that their slaves enjoyed Page 45 more of the physical comforts of life than the peasantry of any country in the world.

My experience contradicts this. The men and the women slaves on Col. Lloyd's farm received as their monthly allowance of food, eight pounds of pickled pork, or its equivalent in fish. The pork was often tainted, and the fish were of the poorest quality. With their pork or fish, they had given them one bushel of Indian meal, unbolted, of which quite fifteen per cent.

With this one pint of salt was given, and this was the entire monthly allowance of a full-grown slave, working constantly in the open field from morning till night every day in the month except Sunday. There is no kind of work which really requires a better supply of food to prevent physical exhaustion than the field work of a slave.

The yearly allowance of clothing was not more ample than the supply of food. It consisted of two tow-linen shirts, one pair of trowsers of the same coarse material, for summer, and a woolen pair of trowsers and a woolen jacket for winter, with one pair of yarn stockings and a pair of shoes of the coarsest description. Children under ten years old had neither shoes, stockings, jackets, nor trowsers. They had two coarse tow-linen shirts per year, and when these were worn out, they went naked till the next allowance day--and this was the condition of the little girls as well as the boys.

As to beds, they had none. One coarse blanket was given them, and this only to the men and women. The children stuck themselves in holes and corners about the quarters, often in the corners of huge chimneys, with their feet in the ashes to keep them warm.

The want of beds, however, was not considered a great privation by the field hands. Time to sleep was of far greater importance. For when the day's work was done most of these had their washing, mending, and cooking to do, and having few or no facilities for doing such things, very many of their needed sleeping hours were consumed in necessary preparations for the labors of the coming day.

The sleeping apartments, if they could have been properly called such, had little Page 46 regard to comfort or decency. Old and young, male and female, married and single, dropped down upon the common clay floor, each covering up with his or her blanket, their only protection from cold or exposure. The night, however, was shortened at both ends.

The slaves worked often as long as they could see, and were late in cooking and mending for the coming day, and at the first gray streak of the morning they were summoned to the field by the overseer's horn. They were whipped for over-sleeping more than for any other fault. Neither age nor sex found any favor. The overseer stood at the quarter door, armed with stick and whip, ready to deal heavy blows upon any who might be a little behind time.

When the horn was blown there was a rush for the door, for the hindermost one was sure to get a blow from the overseer. Young mothers who worked in the field were allowed an hour about ten o'clock in the morning to go home to nurse their children. This was when they were not required to take them to the field with them, and leave them upon "turning row," or in the corner of the fences.

As a general rule the slaves did not come to their quarters to take their meals, but took their ash-cake called thus because baked in the ashes and piece of pork, or their salt herrings, where they were at work.

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