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


rence. From my earliest recollection, I date the en-
tertainment of a deep conviction that slavery would
not always be able to hold me within its foul em-
brace; and in the darkest hours of my career in slav-
ery, this living word of faith and spirit of hope de-
parted not from me, but remained like ministering
angels to cheer me through the gloom. This good
spirit was from God, and to him I offer thanksgiving
and praise.

CHAPTER VI

My new mistress proved to be all she appeared
when I first met her at the door,--a woman of the
kindest heart and finest feelings. She had never had
a slave under her control previously to myself, and
prior to her marriage she had been dependent upon
her own industry for a living. She was by trade a
weaver; and by constant application to her business,
she had been in a good degree preserved from the
blighting and dehumanizing effects of slavery. I was
utterly astonished at her goodness. I scarcely knew
how to behave towards her. She was entirely unlike
any other white woman I had ever seen. I could not
approach her as I was accustomed to approach other
white ladies. My early instruction was all out of
place. The crouching servility, usually so acceptable
a quality in a slave, did not answer when manifested
toward her. Her favor was not gained by it; she
seemed to be disturbed by it. She did not deem it
impudent or unmannerly for a slave to look her in
the face. The meanest slave was put fully at ease
in her presence, and none left without feeling bet-
ter for having seen her. Her face was made of heav-
enly smiles, and her voice of tranquil music.

But, alas! this kind heart had but a short time to
remain such. The fatal poison of irresponsible power
was already in her hands, and soon commenced its
infernal work. That cheerful eye, under the influ-
ence of slavery, soon became red with rage; that
voice, made all of sweet accord, changed to one of
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PinkMonkey.com Digital Library-Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass



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