My new mistress proved to be all she appeared when I first met her at the door- a woman of the kindest heart and feelings. She had never had a slave under her control previously and prior to her marriage she had been dependent upon her own industry for a living. She was by trade a weaver, and by constant application to her business, she had been in a good degree preserved from the lighting and dehumanizing effects of slavery. I was utterly astonished at her goodness. I scarcely knew how to behave towards her. My early instruction was all out of place. The crouching servility, usually so acceptable a quality in a slave, did not answer when manifested toward her. Her favor was not gained by it; she seemed to be disturbed by it. She did not deem it to be impudent or unmannerly for a slave to look in the face. The meanest slave was put fully at ease in her presence, and none left without feeling better for having seen her. But alas! This kind heart had but a short time to remain such. The fatal poison of irresponsible power was already in her hands, and soon commenced its internal work.
Very soon I went to live with Mr. and Mrs. Auld; she very kindly commenced to teach me the A, B, C. After I had learnt this, she assisted me in learning to spell words of three and four letters. Just at this point of my progress, Mr. Auld found out what was going on , and at once forbade Mrs. Auld to instruct me further, telling her that it was unlawful, as well as unsafe, to teach a slave to read. Further he said, "If you give a slave an inch, he will take a mile. A slave should know nothing but to obey his master - to do as he is told to do. Learning would spoil the best slave in this world. "Now," said he, "If you teach that boy (speaking of myself) how to read, there would be no keeping him. It would forever unfit him to be a slave. He would at once become unmanageable, and of no value to his master. As to him, it could do him no good, but a great deal of harm. It would make him discontented and unhappy. "These words sank deep into my heart, stirred up sentiments within that lay slumbering, and called into existence an entirely new train of thought. I now understood what had been to me a most perplexing difficulty - the white man's power to enslave the black man. From that moment, I understood that pathway from slavery to freedom. Though conscious of the difficulty of learning without a teacher, I set out with high hope, and a fixed purpose, at whatever cost of trouble, to learn how to read. The very decided manner with which my master spoke, and strove to impress his wife with the evil consequences of giving me instruction, served to convince me that he was deeply sensible of the truths he was uttering. It gave me the best assurance that I might rely with the utmost confidence on the results which, he said, would flow from teaching me to read. What he most dreaded, that I most desired. What he most loved, that I most hated. That which to him was great evil, to be carefully shunned, was to me a great good, to be diligently sought; and the argument which he so warmly urged, against my learning to read, only served to inspire me with a desire and determination to learn. In learning to read, I owe almost as much to the bitter opposition of my master, as to the kindly aid of my mistress. I acknowledge the benefit of both.
Q. For which of the following reasons does Mr. Auld forbid his wife to educate the slave?
A. Providing slaves with an education violates the law
B. He believes slaves lack the capacity for education
C. He fears education would leave the slave less submissive