The Interesting Narrative of the Life of Olaudah Equiano, Or Gustavus Vassa, The African eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 243 pages of information about The Interesting Narrative of the Life of Olaudah Equiano, Or Gustavus Vassa, The African.

I have already acquainted the reader with the time and place of my birth.  My father, besides many slaves, had a numerous family, of which seven lived to grow up, including myself and a sister, who was the only daughter.  As I was the youngest of the sons, I became, of course, the greatest favourite with my mother, and was always with her; and she used to take particular pains to form my mind.  I was trained up from my earliest years in the art of war; my daily exercise was shooting and throwing javelins; and my mother adorned me with emblems, after the manner of our greatest warriors.  In this way I grew up till I was turned the age of eleven, when an end was put to my happiness in the following manner:—­Generally when the grown people in the neighbourhood were gone far in the fields to labour, the children assembled together in some of the neighbours’ premises to play; and commonly some of us used to get up a tree to look out for any assailant, or kidnapper, that might come upon us; for they sometimes took those opportunities of our parents’ absence to attack and carry off as many as they could seize.  One day, as I was watching at the top of a tree in our yard, I saw one of those people come into the yard of our next neighbour but one, to kidnap, there being many stout young people in it.  Immediately on this I gave the alarm of the rogue, and he was surrounded by the stoutest of them, who entangled him with cords, so that he could not escape till some of the grown people came and secured him.  But alas! ere long it was my fate to be thus attacked, and to be carried off, when none of the grown people were nigh.  One day, when all our people were gone out to their works as usual, and only I and my dear sister were left to mind the house, two men and a woman got over our walls, and in a moment seized us both, and, without giving us time to cry out, or make resistance, they stopped our mouths, and ran off with us into the nearest wood.  Here they tied our hands, and continued to carry us as far as they could, till night came on, when we reached a small house, where the robbers halted for refreshment, and spent the night.  We were then unbound, but were unable to take any food; and, being quite overpowered by fatigue and grief, our only relief was some sleep, which allayed our misfortune for a short time.  The next morning we left the house, and continued travelling all the day.  For a long time we had kept the woods, but at last we came into a road which I believed I knew.  I had now some hopes of being delivered; for we had advanced but a little way before I discovered some people at a distance, on which I began to cry out for their assistance:  but my cries had no other effect than to make them tie me faster and stop my mouth, and then they put me into a large sack.  They also stopped my sister’s mouth, and tied her hands; and in this manner we proceeded till we were out of the sight of these people.  When we went to rest the following night they offered us some

Copyrights
Project Gutenberg
The Interesting Narrative of the Life of Olaudah Equiano, Or Gustavus Vassa, The African from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.