ehold! that very discontentment which Master Hugh had predicted would follow my learning to read had already come, to torment and sting my soul to unutterable anguish. As I writhed under it, I could at times feel that learning to read had been a curse, rather than a blessing. It had given me a view of my wretched condition, without the remedy. It opened my eyes to the horrible pit, but to no ladder upon which to get out. In moments of agony, I envied my fellow-slaves for their stupidity. I have often wished myself a beast. I preferred the condition of the meanest reptile to my own,--any thing, no matter what, to get rid of thinking! It was this everlasting thinking of my condition that tormented me. There was no getting rid of it."
As a necessary result of his learning to read, Douglass loathed slavery, and detested his enslavers. If he had never read, his eyes would never have been fully opened to the extent of his wrongs; and what is true of him is true of all other slaves. Any slave who can