'But these extraordinary accounts and discourses, together with the controversies between the mother and sons, made me think that they know many matters of which I was totally ignorant. This created in me a desire for knowledge, that I might know who was right and who was wrong. But to my great mortification, I could not read. I knew most of the letters, and a few easy words, and I set about learning with all my might. My mistress would sometimes instruct me; and having three-halfpence per week allowed me by my mother, this money I gave to John (my master's youngest son) and for every three-halfpence he taught me to spell one hour. And this was done in the dark, as we were not allowed a candle, after we were sent upstairs to bed.'