the interesting narrative of the life of olaudah equiano annotations

I answered, ‘Yes.’—’Then,’ said he,’do you not read in the bible, he that offends in one point is guilty of all?’ I said, ‘Yes.’ Then he assured me, that one sin unatoned for was as sufficient to damn a soul as one leak was to sink a ship. This reduced me to great perplexity; for if I should be compelled to submit to this degrading necessity, which every black freeman is under, of advertising himself like a slave, when he leaves an island, and which I thought a gross imposition upon any freeman, I feared I should miss that opportunity of going to Montserrat, and then I could not get to England that year. I likewise could not help remarking the particular slenderness of their women, which I did not at first like; and I thought they were not so modest and shamefaced as the African women. However, before Mr. Mondle had got four steps from his cabin-door, she struck our ship with her cutwater right in the middle of his bed and cabin, and ran it up to the combings of the quarter-deck hatchway, and above three feet below water, and in a minute there was not a bit of wood to be seen where Mr. Mondle’s cabin stood; and he was so near being killed that some of the splinters tore his face. Here we expected every minute that she would have gone to pieces, and each moment to be our last; so much so that my old captain and sickly useless mate, and several others, fainted; and death stared us in the face on every side. I thought this exceedingly hard usage; though indeed I found it to be too much the practice there to pay free men for their labour in this manner. 9; and what was appointed for me I must submit to.

I proceeded immediately to that philanthropist, Granville Sharp, Esq.

‘Those that honour their Maker have mercy on the poor.’ ‘It is righteousness exalteth a nation; but sin is a reproach to any people; destruction shall be to the workers of iniquity, and the wicked shall fall by their own wickedness.’ May the blessings of the Lord be upon the heads of all those who commiserated the cases of the oppressed negroes, and the fear of God prolong their days; and may their expectations be filled with gladness! We still continued to attend this man, and were with him even on the last day he lived, till very late at night, when we went on board. The assembly is separated into four divisions, which dance either apart or in succession, and each with a character peculiar to itself. I pointed out to them many objections to my going; and particularly I expressed some difficulties on the account of the slave dealers, as I would certainly oppose their traffic in the human species by every means in my power. Is it not enough that we are torn from our country and friends to toil for your luxury and lust of gain? The worthy man nursed and watched me all the hours of the night; and I was, through his attention and that of the doctor, able to get out of bed in about sixteen or eighteen days. One day, before this, I could not help observing the providential hand of God, that ever supplies all our wants, though in the ways and manner we know not. I asked the people what they were going to do with these alligators; and I was told they were to be eaten. The Spanish officers here treated our officers with great politeness and attention; and some of them, in particular, used to come often to my master’s tent to visit him; where they would sometimes divert themselves by mounting me on the horses or mules, so that I could not fall, and setting them off at full gallop; my imperfect skill in horsemanship all the while affording them no small entertainment. The captain was now very sorry he had not taught me navigation, and protested, if ever he should get well again, he would not fail to do so; but in about seventeen days his illness increased so much, that he was obliged to keep his bed, continuing sensible, however, till the last, constantly having the owner’s interest at heart; for this just and benevolent man ever appeared much concerned about the welfare of what he was intrusted with.

I have even known them gratify their brutal passion with females not ten years old; and these abominations some of them practised to such scandalous excess, that one of our captains discharged the mate and others on that account.