There Were Two Little Slave Boys In The House, On Whom She Vented Her Bad Temper In A Special Manner: Modern Literature Essay, TCD, Ireland

There were two little slave boys in the house, on whom she vented her bad temper in a special manner. One of these children was a mulatto, called Cyrus, who had been bought while an infant in his mother’s arms; the other, Jack, was an African from the coast of Guinea, whom a sailor had given or sold to my master. Seldom a day passed without these boys receiving the most severe treatment, and often for no fault at all.

Both my master and mistress seemed to think that they had a right to ill-use them at their pleasure; and very often accompanied their commands with blows, whether the children were behaving well or ill. I have seen their flesh ragged and raw with licks.–Lick–lick–they were never secure one moment from a blow, and their lives were passed in continual fear. My mistress was not contented with using the whip but often pinched their cheeks and arms in the cruelest manner.

My pity for these poor boys was soon transferred to myself; for I was licked, and flogged, and pinched by her pitiless fingers in the neck and arms, exactly as they were. To strip me naked–to hang me up by the wrists and lay my flesh open with the cow-skin, was an ordinary punishment for even a slight offense. My mistress often robbed me too of the hours that belong to sleep. She used to sit up very late, frequently even until morning; and I had then to stand at a bench and wash during the greater part of the night, or pick wool and cotton; and often I have dropped down overcome by sleep and fatigue, till roused from a state of stupor by the whip, and forced to start up to my tasks.

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