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


ter, on Colonel Lloyd's plantation. We of course
were now almost entire strangers to each other. He
was to me a new master, and I to him a new slave.

I was ignorant of his temper and disposition; he
was equally so of mine. A very short time, however,
brought us into full acquaintance with each other.

I was made acquainted with his wife not less than
with himself. They were well matched, being equally
mean and cruel. I was now, for the first time during
a space of more than seven years, made to feel the
painful gnawings of hunger--a something which I
had not experienced before since I left Colonel
Lloyd's plantation. It went hard enough with me
then, when I could look back to no period at which
I had enjoyed a sufficiency. It was tenfold harder
after living in Master Hugh's family, where I had
always had enough to eat, and of that which was
good. I have said Master Thomas was a mean man.
He was so. Not to give a slave enough to eat, is
regarded as the most aggravated development of
meanness even among slaveholders. The rule is, no
matter how coarse the food, only let there be enough
of it. This is the theory; and in the part of Maryland
from which I came, it is the general practice,--though
there are many exceptions. Master Thomas gave us
enough of neither coarse nor fine food. There were
four slaves of us in the kitchen--my sister Eliza, my
aunt Priscilla, Henny, and myself; and we were al-
lowed less than a half of a bushel of corn-meal per
week, and very little else, either in the shape of
meat or vegetables. It was not enough for us to
subsist upon. We were therefore reduced to the
wretched necessity of living at the expense of our
neighbors. This we did by begging and stealing,
whichever came handy in the time of need, the one
being considered as legitimate as the other. A great
many times have we poor creatures been nearly
perishing with hunger, when food in abundance lay
mouldering in the safe and smoke-house, and our
pious mistress was aware of the fact; and yet that
mistress and her husband would kneel every morn-
ing, and pray that God would bless them in basket
and store!

Bad as all slaveholders are, we seldom meet one
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PinkMonkey.com Digital Library-Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass



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