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    Chapter 7

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    Chapter 8
    Previous Chapter
    _Life in the Great House_

    COMFORTS AND LUXURIES--ELABORATE EXPENDITURE--HOUSE SERVANTS--MEN
    SERVANTS AND MAID SERVANTS--APPEARANCES--SLAVE ARISTOCRACY--
    STABLE AND CARRIAGE HOUSE--BOUNDLESS HOSPITALITY--FRAGRANCE OF
    RICH DISHES--THE DECEPTIVE CHARACTER OF SLAVERY--SLAVES SEEM
    HAPPY--SLAVES AND SLAVEHOLDERS ALIKE WRETCHED--FRETFUL DISCONTENT
    OF SLAVEHOLDERS--FAULT-FINDING--OLD BARNEY--HIS PROFESSION--
    WHIPPING--HUMILIATING SPECTACLE--CASE EXCEPTIONAL--WILLIAM
    WILKS--SUPPOSED SON OF COL. LLOYD--CURIOUS INCIDENT--SLAVES
    PREFER RICH MASTERS TO POOR ONES.

    The close-fisted stinginess that fed the poor slave on coarse
    corn-meal and tainted meat; that clothed him in crashy tow-linen,
    and hurried him to toil through the field, in all weathers, with
    wind and rain beating through his tattered garments; that
    scarcely gave even the young slave-mother time to nurse her
    hungry infant in the fence corner; wholly vanishes on approaching
    the sacred precincts of the great house, the home of the Lloyds.
    There the scriptural phrase finds an exact illustration; the
    highly favored inmates of this mansion are literally arrayed "in
    purple and fine linen," and fare sumptuously every day! The
    table groans under the heavy and blood-bought luxuries gathered
    with painstaking care, at home and abroad. Fields, forests,
    rivers and seas, are made tributary here. Immense wealth, and
    its lavish expenditure, fill the great house with all that can
    please the eye, or tempt the taste. Here, appetite, not food, is
    the great _desideratum_. Fish, flesh and fowl, are here in
    profusion. Chickens, of all breeds; ducks, of all kinds,
    wild and tame, the common, and the huge Muscovite; Guinea fowls,
    turkeys, geese, and pea fowls, are in their several pens, fat and
    fatting for the destined vortex. The graceful swan, the
    mongrels, the black-necked wild goose; partridges, quails,
    pheasants and pigeons; choice water fowl, with all their strange
    varieties, are caught in this huge family net. Beef, veal,
    mutton and venison, of the most select kinds and quality, roll
    bounteously to this grand consumer. The teeming riches of the
    Chesapeake bay, its rock, perch, drums, crocus, trout, oysters,
    crabs, and terrapin, are drawn hither to adorn the glittering
    table of the great house. The dairy, too, probably the finest on
    the Eastern Shore of Maryland--supplied by cattle of the best
    English stock, imported for the purpose, pours its rich donations
    of fragant cheese, golden butter, and delicious cream, to
    heighten the attraction of the gorgeous, unending round of
    feasting. Nor are the fruits of the earth forgotten or
    neglected. The fertile garden, many acres in size, constituting
    a separate establishment, distinct from the common farm--with its
    scientific gardener, imported from Scotland (a Mr. McDermott)
    with four men under his direction, was not behind, either in the
    abundance or in the delicacy of its contributions to the same
    full board. The tender asparagus, the succulent celery, and the
    delicate cauliflower; egg plants, beets, lettuce, parsnips, peas,
    and French beans, early and late; radishes, cantelopes, melons of
    all kinds; the fruits and flowers of all climes and of all
    descriptions, from the hardy apple of the north, to the lemon and
    orange of the south, culminated at this point. Baltimore
    gathered figs, raisins, almonds and juicy grapes from Spain.
    Wines and brandies from France; teas of various flavor, from
    China; and rich, aromatic coffee from Java, all conspired to
    swell the tide of high life, where pride and indolence rolled and
    lounged in magnificence and satiety.

    Behind the tall-backed and elaborately wrought chairs, stand the
    servants, men and maidens--fifteen in number--discriminately
    selected, not only with a view to their industry and faithHOUSE SERVANTS>fulness, but with special regard to their personal
    appearance, their graceful agility and captivating address. Some
    of these are armed with fans, and are fanning reviving breezes
    toward the over-heated brows of the alabaster ladies; others
    watch with eager eye, and with fawn-like step anticipate and
    supply wants before they are sufficiently formed to be announced
    by word or sign.

    These servants constituted a sort of black aristocracy on Col.
    Lloyd's plantation. They resembled the field hands in nothing,
    except in color, and in this they held the advantage of a velvet-
    like glossiness, rich and beautiful. The hair, too, showed the
    same advantage. The delicate colored maid rustled in the
    scarcely worn silk of her young mistress, while the servant men
    were equally well attired from the over-flowing wardrobe of their
    young masters; so that, in dress, as well as in form and feature,
    in manner and speech, in tastes and habits, the distance between
    these favored few, and the sorrow and hunger-smitten multitudes
    of the quarter and the field, was immense; and this is seldom
    passed over.

    Let us now glance at the stables and the carriage house, and we
    shall find the same evidences of pride and luxurious
    extravagance. Here are three splendid coaches, soft within and
    lustrous without. Here, too, are gigs, phaetons, barouches,
    sulkeys and sleighs. Here are saddles and harnesses--beautifully
    wrought and silver mounted--kept with every care. In the stable
    you will find, kept only for pleasure, full thirty-five horses,
    of the most approved blood for speed and beauty. There are two
    men here constantly employed in taking care of these horses. One
    of these men must be always in the stable, to answer every call
    from the great house. Over the way from the stable, is a house
    built expressly for the hounds--a pack of twenty-five or thirty--
    whose fare would have made glad the heart of a dozen slaves.
    Horses and hounds are not the only consumers of the slave's toil.
    There was practiced, at the Lloyd's, a hospitality which would
    have astonished and charmed any health-seeking northern
    divine or merchant, who might have chanced to share it. Viewed
    from his own table, and _not_ from the field, the colonel was a
    model of generous hospitality. His house was, literally, a
    hotel, for weeks during the summer months. At these times,
    especially, the air was freighted with the rich fumes of baking,
    boiling, roasting and broiling. The odors I shared with the
    winds; but the meats were under a more stringent monopoly except
    that, occasionally, I got a cake from Mas' Daniel. In Mas'
    Daniel I had a friend at court, from whom I learned many things
    which my eager curiosity was excited to know. I always knew when
    company was expected, and who they were, although I was an
    outsider, being the property, not of Col. Lloyd, but of a servant
    of the wealthy colonel. On these occasions, all that pride,
    taste and money could do, to dazzle and charm, was done.

    Who could say that the servants of Col. Lloyd were not well clad
    and cared for, after witnessing one of his magnificent
    entertainments? Who could say that they did not seem to glory in
    being the slaves of such a master? Who, but a fanatic, could get
    up any sympathy for persons whose every movement was agile, easy
    and graceful, and who evinced a consciousness of high
    superiority? And who would ever venture to suspect that Col.
    Lloyd was subject to the troubles of ordinary mortals? Master
    and slave seem alike in their glory here? Can it all be seeming?
    Alas! it may only be a sham at last! This immense wealth; this
    gilded splendor; this profusion of luxury; this exemption from
    toil; this life of ease; this sea of plenty; aye, what of it all?
    Are the pearly gates of happiness and sweet content flung open to
    such suitors? _far from it!_ The poor slave, on his hard, pine
    plank, but scantily covered with his thin blanket, sleeps more
    soundly than the feverish voluptuary who reclines upon his
    feather bed and downy pillow. Food, to the indolent lounger, is
    poison, not sustenance. Lurking beneath all their dishes, are
    invisible spirits of evil, ready to feed the self-deluded
    gormandizers which aches,
    pains, fierce temper, uncontrolled passions, dyspepsia,
    rheumatism, lumbago and gout; and of these the Lloyds got their
    full share. To the pampered love of ease, there is no resting
    place. What is pleasant today, is repulsive tomorrow; what is
    soft now, is hard at another time; what is sweet in the morning,
    is bitter in the evening. Neither to the wicked, nor to the
    idler, is there any solid peace: _"Troubled, like the restless
    sea."_

    I had excellent opportunities of witnessing the restless
    discontent and the capricious irritation of the Lloyds. My
    fondness for horses--not peculiar to me more than to other boys
    attracted me, much of the time, to the stables. This
    establishment was especially under the care of "old" and "young"
    Barney--father and son. Old Barney was a fine looking old man,
    of a brownish complexion, who was quite portly, and wore a
    dignified aspect for a slave. He was, evidently, much devoted to
    his profession, and held his office an honorable one. He was a
    farrier as well as an ostler; he could bleed, remove lampers from
    the mouths of the horses, and was well instructed in horse
    medicines. No one on the farm knew, so well as Old Barney, what
    to do with a sick horse. But his gifts and acquirements were of
    little advantage to him. His office was by no means an enviable
    one. He often got presents, but he got stripes as well; for in
    nothing was Col. Lloyd more unreasonable and exacting, than in
    respect to the management of his pleasure horses. Any supposed
    inattention to these animals were sure to be visited with
    degrading punishment. His horses and dogs fared better than his
    men. Their beds must be softer and cleaner than those of his
    human cattle. No excuse could shield Old Barney, if the colonel
    only suspected something wrong about his horses; and,
    consequently, he was often punished when faultless. It was
    absolutely painful to listen to the many unreasonable and fretful
    scoldings, poured out at the stable, by Col. Lloyd, his sons and
    sons-in-law. Of the latter, he had three--Messrs. Nicholson,
    Winder and Lownes. These all lived at the great house a
    portion of the year, and enjoyed the luxury of whipping the
    servants when they pleased, which was by no means unfrequently.
    A horse was seldom brought out of the stable to which no
    objection could be raised. "There was dust in his hair;" "there
    was a twist in his reins;" "his mane did not lie straight;" "he
    had not been properly grained;" "his head did not look well;"
    "his fore-top was not combed out;" "his fetlocks had not been
    properly trimmed;" something was always wrong. Listening to
    complaints, however groundless, Barney must stand, hat in hand,
    lips sealed, never answering a word. He must make no reply, no
    explanation; the judgment of the master must be deemed
    infallible, for his power is absolute and irresponsible. In a
    free state, a master, thus complaining without cause, of his
    ostler, might be told--"Sir, I am sorry I cannot please you, but,
    since I have done the best I can, your remedy is to dismiss me."
    Here, however, the ostler must stand, listen and tremble. One of
    the most heart-saddening and humiliating scenes I ever witnessed,
    was the whipping of Old Barney, by Col. Lloyd himself. Here were
    two men, both advanced in years; there were the silvery locks of
    Col. L., and there was the bald and toil-worn brow of Old Barney;
    master and slave; superior and inferior here, but _equals_ at the
    bar of God; and, in the common course of events, they must both
    soon meet in another world, in a world where all distinctions,
    except those based on obedience and disobedience, are blotted out
    forever. "Uncover your head!" said the imperious master; he was
    obeyed. "Take off your jacket, you old rascal!" and off came
    Barney's jacket. "Down on your knees!" down knelt the old man,
    his shoulders bare, his bald head glistening in the sun, and his
    aged knees on the cold, damp ground. In his humble and debasing
    attitude, the master--that master to whom he had given the best
    years and the best strength of his life--came forward, and laid
    on thirty lashes, with his horse whip. The old man bore it
    patiently, to the last, answering each blow with a slight shrug
    of the shoulders, and a groan. I cannot think that HUMILIATING SPECTACLE>Col. Lloyd succeeded in marring the flesh
    of Old Barney very seriously, for the whip was a light, riding
    whip; but the spectacle of an aged man--a husband and a father--
    humbly kneeling before a worm of the dust, surprised and shocked
    me at the time; and since I have grown old enough to think on the
    wickedness of slavery, few facts have been of more value to me
    than this, to which I was a witness. It reveals slavery in its
    true color, and in its maturity of repulsive hatefulness. I owe
    it to truth, however, to say, that this was the first and the
    last time I ever saw Old Barney, or any other slave, compelled to
    kneel to receive a whipping.

    I saw, at the stable, another incident, which I will relate, as
    it is illustrative of a phase of slavery to which I have already
    referred in another connection. Besides two other coachmen, Col.
    Lloyd owned one named William, who, strangely enough, was often
    called by his surname, Wilks, by white and colored people on the
    home plantation. Wilks was a very fine looking man. He was
    about as white as anybody on the plantation; and in manliness of
    form, and comeliness of features, he bore a very striking
    resemblance to Mr. Murray Lloyd. It was whispered, and pretty
    generally admitted as a fact, that William Wilks was a son of
    Col. Lloyd, by a highly favored slave-woman, who was still on the
    plantation. There were many reasons for believing this whisper,
    not only in William's appearance, but in the undeniable freedom
    which he enjoyed over all others, and his apparent consciousness
    of being something more than a slave to his master. It was
    notorious, too, that William had a deadly enemy in Murray Lloyd,
    whom he so much resembled, and that the latter greatly worried
    his father with importunities to sell William. Indeed, he gave
    his father no rest until he did sell him, to Austin Woldfolk, the
    great slave-trader at that time. Before selling him, however,
    Mr. L. tried what giving William a whipping would do, toward
    making things smooth; but this was a failure. It was a
    compromise, and defeated itself; for, immediately after the
    infliction, the heart-sickened colonel atoned to William for the
    abuse, by giving him a gold watch and chain. Another fact,
    somewhat curious, is, that though sold to the remorseless
    _Woldfolk_, taken in irons to Baltimore and cast into prison,
    with a view to being driven to the south, William, by _some_
    means--always a mystery to me--outbid all his purchasers, paid
    for himself, _and now resides in Baltimore, a_ FREEMAN. Is there
    not room to suspect, that, as the gold watch was presented to
    atone for the whipping, a purse of gold was given him by the same
    hand, with which to effect his purchase, as an atonement for the
    indignity involved in selling his own flesh and blood. All the
    circumstances of William, on the great house farm, show him to
    have occupied a different position from the other slaves, and,
    certainly, there is nothing in the supposed hostility of
    slaveholders to amalgamation, to forbid the supposition that
    William Wilks was the son of Edward Lloyd. _Practical_
    amalgamation is common in every neighborhood where I have been in
    slavery.

    Col. Lloyd was not in the way of knowing much of the real
    opinions and feelings of his slaves respecting him. The distance
    between him and them was far too great to admit of such
    knowledge. His slaves were so numerous, that he did not know
    them when he saw them. Nor, indeed, did all his slaves know him.
    In this respect, he was inconveniently rich. It is reported of
    him, that, while riding along the road one day, he met a colored
    man, and addressed him in the usual way of speaking to colored
    people on the public highways of the south: "Well, boy, who do
    you belong to?" "To Col. Lloyd," replied the slave. "Well, does
    the colonel treat you well?" "No, sir," was the ready reply.
    "What? does he work you too hard?" "Yes, sir." "Well, don't he
    give enough to eat?" "Yes, sir, he gives me enough, such as it
    is." The colonel, after ascertaining where the slave belonged,
    rode on; the slave also went on about his business, not dreaming
    that he had been conversing with his master. He thought, said
    and heard nothing more of the matter, until two or three weeks
    afterwards. The poor man was
    then informed by his overseer, that, for having found fault with
    his master, he was now to be sold to a Georgia trader. He was
    immediately chained and handcuffed; and thus, without a moment's
    warning he was snatched away, and forever sundered from his
    family and friends, by a hand more unrelenting than that of
    death. _This_ is the penalty of telling the simple truth, in
    answer to a series of plain questions. It is partly in
    consequence of such facts, that slaves, when inquired of as to
    their condition and the character of their masters, almost
    invariably say they are contented, and that their masters are
    kind. Slaveholders have been known to send spies among their
    slaves, to ascertain, if possible, their views and feelings in
    regard to their condition. The frequency of this had the effect
    to establish among the slaves the maxim, that a still tongue
    makes a wise head. They suppress the truth rather than take the
    consequence of telling it, and, in so doing, they prove
    themselves a part of the human family. If they have anything to
    say of their master, it is, generally, something in his favor,
    especially when speaking to strangers. I was frequently asked,
    while a slave, if I had a kind master, and I do not remember ever
    to have given a negative reply. Nor did I, when pursuing this
    course, consider myself as uttering what was utterly false; for I
    always measured the kindness of my master by the standard of
    kindness set up by slaveholders around us. However, slaves are
    like other people, and imbibe similar prejudices. They are apt
    to think _their condition_ better than that of others. Many,
    under the influence of this prejudice, think their own masters
    are better than the masters of other slaves; and this, too, in
    some cases, when the very reverse is true. Indeed, it is not
    uncommon for slaves even to fall out and quarrel among themselves
    about the relative kindness of their masters, contending for the
    superior goodness of his own over that of others. At the very
    same time, they mutually execrate their masters, when viewed
    separately. It was so on our plantation. When Col. Lloyd's
    slaves met those of Jacob Jepson, they seldom parted without
    a quarrel about their masters; Col. Lloyd's slaves contending
    that he was the richest, and Mr. Jepson's slaves that he was the
    smartest, man of the two. Col. Lloyd's slaves would boost his
    ability to buy and sell Jacob Jepson; Mr. Jepson's slaves would
    boast his ability to whip Col. Lloyd. These quarrels would
    almost always end in a fight between the parties; those that beat
    were supposed to have gained the point at issue. They seemed to
    think that the greatness of their masters was transferable to
    themselves. To be a SLAVE, was thought to be bad enough; but to
    be a _poor man's_ slave, was deemed a disgrace, indeed.
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    Chapter 8
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