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PinkMonkey.com Digital Library-Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass


to live with Mr. Hugh Auld, brother to my old
master's son-in-law, Captain Thomas Auld. I re-
ceived this information about three days before my
departure. They were three of the happiest days
I ever enjoyed. I spent the most part of all these
three days in the creek, washing off the plantation
scurf, and preparing myself for my departure.

The pride of appearance which this would indicate
was not my own. I spent the time in washing, not so
much because I wished to, but because Mrs.
Lucretia had told me I must get all the dead skin
off my feet and knees before I could go to Balti-
more; for the people in Baltimore were very cleanly,
and would laugh at me if I looked dirty. Besides,
she was going to give me a pair of trousers, which I
should not put on unless I got all the dirt off me.
The thought of owning a pair of trousers was great
indeed! It was almost a sufficient motive, not only
to make me take off what would be called by pig-
drovers the mange, but the skin itself. I went at it
in good earnest, working for the first time with the
hope of reward.

The ties that ordinarily bind children to their
homes were all suspended in my case. I found no
severe trial in my departure. My home was charm-
less; it was not home to me; on parting from it, I
could not feel that I was leaving any thing which I
could have enjoyed by staying. My mother was dead,
my grandmother lived far off, so that I seldom saw
her. I had two sisters and one brother, that lived in
the same house with me; but the early separation of
us from our mother had well nigh blotted the fact
of our relationship from our memories. I looked for
home elsewhere, and was confident of finding none
which I should relish less than the one which I was
leaving. If, however, I found in my new home hard-
ship, hunger, whipping, and nakedness, I had the
consolation that I should not have escaped any one
of them by staying. Having already had more than
a taste of them in the house of my old master, and
having endured them there, I very naturally inferred
my ability to endure them elsewhere, and especially
at Baltimore; for I had something of the feeling
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PinkMonkey.com Digital Library-Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass



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