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Full text of "Uncle Tom's cabin; or, Life among the lowly"

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UNCLE TOM'S CABIN 



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UNCLE TOM'S CABIN ; 



OR, 



LIFE AMONG THE LOWLY. 



BY 



7)U-^. HARRIET/t(^EECHERJ STOWE. 



ILLUSTRATED EDITION 



COMPLETE IN ONE VOLUME. 



ORIGINAL DESIGNS BY BILLINGS ; ENGRAVED BY BAKER AND SMITH. 



B O S 'V O N : 

.JOHN V. .lEWETT AND COMPANY. 

CLEVELAND, OHIO: 

JEWETT, I'ROCTOU, AND WOKTIIINGTON. 

1 8 5 .3 . 



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Entered according to Act of Congress, in the year 1852, by 

JOHN P. JEWETT AND COMPANY, 

In the Clerk's Office of tlio District Court of the District of Massachusetts. 

BE'^UEST 
DORSEV W HYDE JR 
SEPT 1 1955 



STEREOTYrED AT THE BOSTON STEHEOTVPE FOUNDRT. 

I'Ktss OF GEO. c. UAXD, cunsiiii.i., iiosro.\'. 



PREFACE. 



The scenes of this story, as its title indicates, lie 
among a race hitherto ignored by the associations of 
polite and refined society ; an exotic race, whose ances- 
tors, born beneath a tropic sun, brought with them, 
and perpetuated to their descendants, a character so 
essentially unlike the hard and dominant Anglo-Saxon 
race as for many years to have won from it only 
misunderstanding and contempt. 

But another and better day is dawning ; every 
influence of literature, of poetry, and of art, in our 
times, is becoming more and more in unison with the 
great master chord of Christianity, — " Good will 
to man." 

The poet, the painter, and the artist now seek out 
and embellish the common and gentler humanities of 
life, and, under the allurements of fiction, breathe a 
humanizing and subduing influence, favorable to the 



b PREFACE. 

development of the great principles of Christian broth- 
erhood. 

The hand of benevolence is every where stretched 
out, searching into abuses, righting wrongs, alleviating 
distresses, and bringing to the knowledge and sympa- 
thies of the world the lowly, the oppressed, and the 
forgotten. 

In this general movement, unhappy Africa at last is 
remembered ; Africa, who began the race of civilization 
and human progress in the dim, gray dawn of early 
time, but Avho, for centuries, has lain bound and bleed- 
ing at the foot of civilized and Christianized humanity, 
imploring compassion in vain. 

But the heart of the dominant race who have been 
her conquerors, her hard masters, has at length been 
turned towards her in mercy ; and it has been seen how 
far nobler it is in nations to protect the feeble than to 
opjiress them. Thanks be to God, the world has at 
last outlived the slave trade ! 

The object of these sketches is to awaken sym- 
pathy and feeling for the African race, as they exist 
among us ; to show their wrongs and sorrows, under 
a system so necessarily cruel and unjust as to defeat 
and do away the good effects of all that can be 
attempted for them, by their best friends, under it. 

In doing this, the author can sincerely disclaim 



i'ui:face. 



any invidious feeling towards those individuals who, 
often without any fault of their own, arc involved in 
the trials and embarrassments of the legal relations 
of slavery. 

Experience has shown her that some of the noblest 
of minds and hearts are often thus involved ; and no 
one knows better than they do, that what may be 
gathered of the evils of slavery from sketches like 
these is not the half that could be told of the un- 
speakable whole. 

In the Northern States, these representations may, 
perhaps, be thought caricatures ; in the Southern States 
are witnesses who know their fidelity. What per- 
sonal knowledge the author has had of the truth of 
incidents such as here are related will appear in 
its time. 

It is a comfort to hope, as so many of the world's 
sorrows and wrongs have, from age to age, been lived 
down, so a time shall come when sketches similar to 
these shall be valuable only as memorials of what has 
long ceased to be. 

AVhen an enlightened and Christianized community 
shall have, on the shores of Africa, laws, language, 
and literature drawn from among us, may then the 
scenes of the house of bondage be to them like 
the remembrance of Egypt to the Israelite — a 



8 PEEFACE. 

motive of thankfulness to Him who hath redeemed 
them ! 

For, while politicians contend, and men are swerved 
this way and that by conflicting tides of interest and 
passion, the great cause of human liberty is in the 
hands of One, of whom it is said, — 

" He shall not fail nor be discouraged 
Till He have set judgment in the earth." 

" He shall deliver the needy when he crieth, 
The poor, and him that hath no helper." 

" He shall redeem their soul from deceit and violence, 
And precious shall their blood be in his sight." 



TABLE OF CONTENTS. 



CHAPTER I. 

PAfiK 

In avhich the Reader is introduced to a Man of 

Humanity, 13 

CHAPTER II. 
The Mother, 25 

CHAPTER III. 
The Husband and Father, 30 

CHAPTER IV. 
An Evening in Uncle Tom's Cabin, 37 

CHAPTER V. 

Showing the Feelings of living Property on chan- 
ging Owners, 51 

CHAPTER YI. 
Discovery, CI 

CHAPTER VII. 
The Mother's Struggle, 73 

CHAPTER VIII. 

Eliza's Escape, 8S 

■-) 



10 CONTENTS. 

CHAPTER IX. 
In which it appears that a Senator is but a Man, . 107 

CHAPTER X. 
'I'liE Propektt is carried off, 126 

CHAPTER XI. 

In which Property gets into an improper State of 

Mind, 139 

CHAPTER XII. 
Select Incident of lawful Trade, 155 

CHAPTER XIII. 
The Quaker Settlement, 175 

CHAPTER XIV. 
Evangeline, 186 

CHAPTER XV. 

Of Tom's new Master, and various other Matters, . 198 

CHAPTER XVI. 
Tom's Mistress and her Opinions, 217 

CHAPTER XVII. 
The Freeman's Defence, 238 

CHAPTER XVIII. 

Miss Ophelia's Experiences and Opinions, 258 

CHAPTER XIX. 

Miss Ophelia's Experiences and Opinions, continued, 277 

CHAPTER XX. 

ToPST 299 



CONTENTS. , 1 1. 

CHAPTER XXI. 
Kentuck, 3J7 

CHAPTER XXII. 
"The Grass withereth — the Flower fadeth," , . 824 

CHAPTER XXIII. 
Henrique, 333 

CHAPTER XXIY. 

FORESHADOWINGS, 343 

CHAPTER XXV. 

The little Evangelist, 351 

CHAPTER XXVI. 
Death, 357 

CHAPTER XXVII. 
"This is the Last of Earth," 378 

CHAPTER XXVIII. 
Reunion, 882 

CHAPTER XXIX. 
The Unprotected 399 

CHAPTER XXX. 

The Slave Warehoi^se, 408 

CHAPTER XXXI. 
The Middle Passage, 420 

CHAPTER XXXII. 
Dark Places 428 

CHAPTER XXXIII. 
Cassy, 489 



12 CONTENTS. 

CHAPTER XXXIV. 

TnK Quadroon's Story, . 448 

CHAPTER XXXV. 
Tqe Tokens, 461 

CHAPTER XXXVI. 
Emmeline and Cassy, 469 

CHAPTER XXXVII. 
Liberty, 478 

CHAPTER XXXVIII. 
The Victory, 486 

CHAPTER XXXIX. 

The Stratagem, . 498 

CHAPTER XL. 
The Martyr, 510 

CHAPTER XLI. 
The Young Master, 519 

CHAPTER XLII. 
An authentic Ghost Story, 527 

CHAPTER XLIII. 
Results, 535 

CHAPTER XLIV. 
The Liberator, 545 

CHAPTER XLV. 
Concluding Remarks 550 




CHAPTER I. 




IN WHICH THE READER IS INTRODUCED TO A MAN OP HUMANITY. 

ATE in the afternoon of a chilly day in Feb- 
ruary, two gentlemen were sitting alone over 
their wine, in a well-furnished dining parlor, 

in the town of P , in Kentucky. There 

were no servants present, and the gentlemen, 
with chairs closely approaching, seemed to be 
discussing some subject with great earnestness. 

For convenience' sake, we have said, hitherto, two gentle- 
men. One of the parties, however, when critically examined, 
did not seem, strictly speaking, to come under the species. 
He was a short, thick-set man, with coarse, commonplace fea- 
tures, and that swaggering air of pretension which marks a 
low man who is trying to elbow his way upward in the world. 
He was much overdressed, in a gaudy vest of many color?, a 



14 UNCLE tom's cabin ; OR, 

blue neckerchief, bedropped gayly with yellow spots, and ar- 
ranged with a flaunting tie, quite in keeping with the general 
air of the man. His hands, large and coarse, were plentifully 
bedecked with rings ; and he wore a heavy gold watch chain, 
with a bundle of seals of portentous size, and a great variety of 
colors, attached to it, which, in the ardor of conversation, he 
was in the habit of flourishing and jingling with evident satis- 
faction. His conversation was in free and easy defiance of 
Murray's Grammar, and was garnished at convenient intervals 
with various profane expressions, which not even the desire to 
be graphic in our account shall induce us to transcribe. 

His companion, Mr. Shelby, had the appearance of a gentle- 
man ; and the arrangements of the house, and the general air 
of the housekeeping, indicated easy, and even opulent cir- 
cumstances. As we before stated, the two were in the midst 
of an earnest conversation. 

"That is the way I should arrange the matter," said Mr. 
Shelby. 

"I can't make trade that way — I positively can't, Mr. 
Shelby," said the other, holding up a glass of wine between 
his eye and the light. 

" Why, the fact is, Haley, Tom is an uncommon fellow ; he is 
certainly worth that sum any where, — steady, honest, capable, 
manages my whole farm like a clock." 

" You mean honest as niggers go," said Haley, helping him- 
self to a glass of brandy. 

" No ; I mean, really, Tom is a good, steady, sensible, pious 
fellow. He got religion at a camp meeting four years ago ; 
and I believe he really did get it. I've trusted him, since 
then, with every thing I have, — money, house, horses, — and 
let him come and go round the country ; and I always found 
him true and square in every thing." 

"Some folks don't believe there is pious niggers, Shelby," 
said Haley, with a candid flourish of his hand, " but / do. I 
had a feller, now, in this yer last lot I took to Orleans — 'twas 
as good as a meetin', now, really, to hear that critter pray ; 
and he was quite gentle and quiet like. He fetched me a good 
sum, too ; for I bought him cheap of a man that was 'bliged to 
sellout; so I realized six hundred on him. Yes. I consider 



LIFE AMONG THE LOWLY. 15 

religion a valeyable thing in a nigger, when it's the genuine 
article and no mistake." 

" Well, Tom's got the real article, if ever a fellow had," 
rejoined the other. " Why, last fall I let him go to Cincinnati 
alone, to do business for me, and bring home five hundred dol- 
lars. ' Tom,' says I to him, ' I trust you, because I think you're 
a Christian, — I know you wouldn't cheat.' Tom comes back, 
sure enough ; I knew he would. Some low fellows, they say, 
said to him, 'Tom, why don't you make tracks for Canada?' 
'Ah, master trusted me, and I couldn't.' They told me about 
it. I am sorry to part with Tom, I must say. You ought to 
let him cover the whole balance of the debt ; and you would, 
Haley, if you had any conscience." 

" Well, I've got just as much conscience as any man in busi- 
ness can afford to keep, — just a little, you know, to swear by, 
as 'twere," said the trader, jocularly ; " and, then, I'm ready 
to do any thing in reason to 'blige friends ; but this yer, you 
see, is a leetle too hard on a feller — a leetle too hard." The 
trader sighed contemplatively, and poured out some more 
brandy. 

" Well, then, Haley, how will you trade ? " said Mr. Shelby, 
after an uneasy interval of silence. 

" Well, haven't you a boy or gal that you could throw in 
with Tom?" 

" Hum ! — none that I could well spare ; to tell the truth, it's 
only hard necessity makes me willing to sell at all. I don't 
like parting with any of my hands, that's a fact." 

Here the door opened, and a small quadroon boy, between 
four and five years of age, entered the room. There was some- 
thing in his appearance remarkably beautiful and engaging. 
His black hair, fine as floss silk, hung in glossy curls about his 
round, dimpled face, while a pair of large, dark eyes, full of 
fire and softness, looked out from beneath the rich, long 
lashes, as he peered curiously into the apartment. A. gay 
robe of scarlet and yellow plaid, carefully made and neatly 
fitted, set ofi^ to advantage the dark and rich style of his 
beauty ; and a certain comic air of assurance, blended with 
bashfulness, showed that he had been not unused to being pet- 
ted and noticed bv his master. 




16 UNCLE tom's cabin ; OR, 



" Holloa, Jim Crow ! " said Mr. Shelby., whistling, and snap- 
ping a bunch of raisins towards him, " pick that up, now ! " 

The child scampered, with all his little strength, after the 
prize, while his master laughed. 

" Come here, Jim Crow," said he. The child came up, and 
the master patted the curly head, and chucked him under the 
chin. 

"Now, Jim, show this gentleman how you can dance and 
sing." The boy commenced one of those wild, grotesque songs 
common among the negroes, in a rich, clear voice, accompany- 
ing his singing with many comic evolutions of the hands, feet, 
and whole body, all in perfect time to the music. 

" Bravo ! " said Haley, throwing him a quarter of an orange. 

" Now, Jim, walk like old Uncle Cudjoe, when he has the 
rheumatism," said his master. 

Instantly the flexible limbs of the child assumed the appear- 
ance of deformity and distortion, as, with his back humped up, 
and his master's stick in his hand, he hobbled about the room, 
his childish face drawn into a doleful pucker, and spitting from 
right to left, in imitation of an old man. 

Both gentlemen laughed uproariously. 

" Now, Jim," said his master, " show us how old Elder 
Robbins leads the psalm." The boy drew his chubby face 
down to a formidable length, and commenced toning a psalm 
tune through his nose, with imperturbable gravity. 

"Hurrah! bravo! what a young 'uu!" said Haley; "that 
chap's a case, I'll promise. Tell you what," said he, sud- 
denly clapping his hand on Mr. Shelby's shoulder, "fling in 
that chap, and I'll settle the business — I will. Come, now, 
if that ain't doing the thing up about the rightest!" 

At this moment, the door was pushed gently open, and a 
young quadroon woman, apparently about twenty-five, entered 
the room. 

There needed only a glance from the child to her to iden- 
tify her as its mother. There was the same rich, full, dark 
eye, with its long lashes ; the same ripples of silky black hair. 
The brown of her complexion gave way on the cheek to a 
perceptible flush, which deepened as she saw the gaze of the 
strange man fixed upon her in bold and undisguised admira- 



LIFE AMONG THE LOWLY. 17 

tion. Her dress was of the neatest possible fit, and set off 
to advantage her finely-moulded shape ; — a delicately-formed 
hand and a trim foot and ankle were items of appearance that 
did not escape the quick eye of the trader, well used to run 
up at a glance the points of a fine female article. 

"Well, Eliza?" said her master, as she stopped and looked 
hesitatingly at him. 

" I was looking for Harry, please, sir ; " and the boy bound- 
ed towards her, showing his spoils, which he had gathered in 
the skirt of his robe. 

" Well, take him away, then," said Mr. Shelby ; and hastily 
she withdrew, carrying the child on her arm. 

"By Jupiter," said the trader, turning to him in admiration, 
"there's an article, now! You might make your fortune on 
that ar gal in Orleans, any day, I've seen over a thousand, 
in my day, paid down for gals not a bit handsomer." 

" I don't want to make my fortune on her," said Mr. Shelby, 
dryly ; and, seeking to turn the conversation, he uncorked a 
bottle of fresh wine, and asked his companion's opinion of it. 

"Capital, sir, — first chop!" said the trader; then turning, 
and slapping his hand familiarly on Shelby's shoulder, he 
added, — 

" Come, how will you trade about the gal? — what shall I 
say for her ? — what'll you take ? " 

" Mr. Haley, she is not to be sold," said Shelby, " My wife 
would not part with her for her weight in gold." 

"Ay, ay! women always say such things, cause they ha'n'fc 
no sort of calculation. Just show 'em how many watches, 
feathers, and trinkets, one's weight in gold would buy, and 
that alters the case, I reckon." 

"I tell you, Haley, this must not be spoken of; I say no, 
and I mean no," said Shelby, decidedly. 

" Well, you'll let me have the boy, though," said the trader ; 
" you must own I've come down pretty handsomely for him." 

" What on earth can you want with the child ? " said Shelby, 

" Why, I've got a friend that's going into this yer branch 

of the business — wants to buy up handsome boys to raise for 

the market. Fancy articles entirely — sell for waiters, and 

so on, to rich 'uns, that can pay for handsome 'uns. It sets 

3 



18 UNCLE tom's cabin; or, 

oflf one of yer great places — a real handsome boy to open 
door, wait, and tend. They fetch a good sum ; and this little 
devil is such a comical, musical concern, he's just the article." 

"I would rather not sell him," said Mr. Shelby, thought- 
fully ; " the fact is, sir, I'm a humane man, and I hate to take 
the boy from his mother, sir." 

"0, you do? — La! yes — something of that ar natur. I 
understand, perfectly. It is mighty onpleasant getting on 
with women, sometimes. I al'ays hates these yer screechin', 
screamin' times. They are mighty onpleasant ; but, as I 
manages business, I generally avoids 'em, sir. Now, what if 
you get the girl off for a day, or a week, or so ; then the 
thing's done quietly, — all over before she comes home. Your 
wife might get her some ear rings, or a new gown, or some 
such truck, to make up with her." 

" I'm afraid not." 

"Lor bless ye, yes! These critters an't like white folks, 
you know ; they gets over things, only manage right. Now, 
they say," said Haley, assuming a candid and confidential 
air, " that this kind o' trade is hardening to the feelings ; 
but I never found it so. Fact is, I never could do things 
up the way some fellers manage the business. I've seen 'em 
as would pull a woman's child out of her arms, and set him 
up to sell, and she screechin' like mad all the time ; — very bad 
policy — damages the article — makes 'em quite unfit for service 
sometimes. I knew a real handsome gal once, in Orleans, as 
was entirely ruined by this sort o' handling. The feller that 
was trading for her didn't want her baby ; and she was one 
of your real high sort, when her blood was up. I tell you, 
she squeezed up her child in her arms, and talked and went 
on real awful. It kinder makes my blood run cold to think 
on't ; and when they carried off the child, and locked her 
up, she jest went ravin' mad, and died in a week. Clear 
waste, sir, of a thousand dollars, just for want of management, 
— there's where 'tis. It's always best to do the humane 
thing, sir ; that's been my experience." And the trader 
leaned back in his chair,, and folded his arms, with an air of 
virtuous decision, apparently considering himself a second 
Wilberforce. 



LIFE AMONG THE LOWLY. 19 

The subject appeared to interest tlie gentleman deeply ; for 
while Mr. Shelby was thoughtfully peeling an orange, Haley 
broke out afresh, with becoming diffidence, but as if actually 
driven by the force of truth to say a few words more. 

" It don't look well, now, for a feller to be praisin' himself ; 
but I say it jest because it's the truth. I believe I'm reckoned 
to bring in about the finest droves of niggers that is brought 
in, — at least, I've been told so ; if I have once, I reckon I 
have a hundred times, — all in good case, — fat and likely, and 
I lose as few as any man in the business. And I lays it all 
to my management, sir ; and humanity, sir, I may say, is the 
great pillar of my management." 

Mr. Shelby did not know what to say, and so he said, " In- 
deed ! " 

" Now, I've been laughed at for my notions, sir, and I've 
been talked to. They an't pop'lar, and they an't common ; but 
I stuck to 'em, sir ; I've stuck to 'em, and realized well on 
'em ; yes, sir, they have paid their passage, I may say ; " and 
the trader laughed at his joke. 

There was something so piquant and original in these eluci- 
dations of humanity, that Mr. Shelby could not help laughing 
in company. Perhaps you laugh, too, dear reader ; but you 
know humanity comes out in a variety of strange forms now- 
adays, and there is no end to the odd things that humane 
people will say and do. 

Mr. Shelby's laugh encouraged the trader to proceed. 

"It's strange now, but I never could beat this into people's 
heads. Now, there was Tom Loker, my old partner, down 
in Natchez ; he ' was a clever feller, Tom was, only the very 
devil with niggers, — on principle 'twas, you see, for a better 
hearted feller never broke bread ; 'twas his system, sir. I 
used to talk to Tom. ' Why, Tom,' I used to say, ' when your 
gals takes on and cry,-vvhat's the use o' crackin' on 'em over 
the head and knockin' on 'em round ? It's ridiculous,' says 
I, ' and don't do no sort o' good.. Why, I don't see no harm in 
their cryin',' says I ; ' it's natur/ says I, ' and if natur can't 
blow oft' one way, it will another. Besides, Tom,' says I, 'it 
jest spiles your gals ; they get sickly, and down in the mouth ; 



2C UNCLE tom's cabin ; ou, 

and sometimes they gets ugly, — particular yaller gals da, — 
and it's the devil and all gettin' on 'em broke in. Now,' says 
I, ' why can't you kinder coax 'em up, and speak 'em fair ? 
Depend on it, Tom, a little humanity, thrown in along, goes 
a heap further than all your jawin' and crackin' ; and it pays 
better,' says I, ' depend on't.' But Tom couldn't get the hang 
on't ; and he spiled so many for me, that I had to break off 
with him, though he was a good-hearted fellow, and as fair a 
business hand as is goin'." 

'' And do you find your ways of managing do the business 
better than Tom's ? " said Mr. Shelby. 

" Why, yes, sir, I may say so. You see, when I any ways 
can, I takes a leetle care about" the onpleasant parts like 
selling young 'uns and that, — get the gals out of the way — 
out of sight, out of mind, you know, — and when it's clean 
done, and can't be helped, they naturally gets used to it. 
'Tan't, you know, as if it was white folks, that's brought up 
in the way of 'spectin' to keep their children and wives, and 
all that. Niggers, you know, that's fetched up properly, ha'n't 
no kind of 'spectations of no kind; so all these things comes 
easier." 

" I'm afraid mine are not properly brought up, then," said- 
Mr. Shelby. 

" S'pose not ; you Kentucky folks spile your niggers. You 
mean well by 'em, but 'tan't no real kindness, arter all. Now, 
a nigger, you see, what's got to be hacked and tumbled round 
the world, and sold to Tom, and Dick, and the Lord knows 
who, 'tan't no kindness to be givin' on him notions and expec- 
tations, and bringin' on him up too well, for the rough and 
tumble comes all the harder on him arter. Now, I venture to 
say, your niggers would be quite chopfallen in a place where 
some of your plantation niggers would be singing and whoop- 
ing like all possessed. Every man, you know, Mr. Shelby, 
naturally thinks well of his own ways ; and I think I treat 
niggers just about as well as it's ever Avortli while to treat 
'cm." 

" It 's a happy thing to be satisfied," said Mr. Shelby, with 
a slight shrug, and some perceptible feelings of a disagreeable 
nature. 



LIFE AMONG THE LOWLY. 21 

" Well," said Hale)^, after they had both silently picked 
their nuts for a season, " what do you say ? " 

"I'll think the matter over, and talk with my wife," said 
Mr. Shelby. " Meantime, Haley, if you want the matter car: 
ried on in the quiet way you speak of, you'd best not let your 
business in this neighborhood be known. It will get out 
among my boys, and it will not be a particularly quiet busi- 
ness getting away any of my fellows, if they know it, I'll 
promise you." 

" 0, certainly, by all means, mum ! of course. But I'll tell 
you, I'm in a devil of a hurry, and shall want to know, as 
soon as possible, what I may depend on," said he, rising and 
putting on his overcoat. 

" Well, call up this evening, between six and seven, and you 
shall have my answer," said Mr, Shelby ; and the trader bowed 
himself out of the apartment. 

"I'd like to have been able to kick the fellow down the 
steps," said he to himself, as he saw the door fairly closed, 
" with his impudent assurance ; but he knows how much he 
has me at advantage. If any body had ever said to me that 
I should sell Tom down south to one of those rascally traders, 
I should have said, ' Is thy servant a dog, that he should do 
this thing ? ' And now it must come, for aught I see. And 
Eliza's child, too ! I know that I shall have some fuss with 
wife about that ; and, for that matter, about Tom, too. So 
much for being in debt, — heigh-ho! The fellow sees his advan- 
tage, and means to push it." 

Perhaps the mildest form of the system of slavery is to bo 
seen in the State of Kentucky. The general prevalence of 
agricultural pursuits of a quiet and gradual nature, not re- 
quiring those periodic seasons of hurry and pressure that are 
called for in the business of more southern districts, makes 
the task of the negro a more healthful and reasonable one ; 
while the master, content with a more gradual style of acqui- 
sition, has not those temptations ta hardheartedness which 
always overcome frail human nature when the prospect of 
sudden and rapid gain is weighed in the balance, with no 
heavier counterpoise than the interests of the helpless and 
unprotected. 



22 UNCLE tom's cabin; or, 

Whoever visits some estates there, and witnesses the good- 
humored indulgence of some masters and mistresses, and the 
aJBfectionate loyalty of some slaves, might be tempted to dream 
the oft-fabled poetic legend of a patriarchal institution, and 
all that ; but over and above the scene there broods a porten- 
tous shadow — the shadow of law. So long as the law con- 
siders all these human beings, with beating hearts and living 
affections, only as so many things belonging to a master, — so 
long as the failure, or misfortune, or imprudence, or death of 
the kindest owner may cause them any day to exchange a life 
of kind protection and indulgence for one of hopeless misery 
and toil, — so long it is impossible to make any thing beautiful 
or desirable in the best regulated administration of slavery. 

Mr. Shelby was a fair average kind of man, good-natured 
and kindly, and disposed to easy indulgence of those around 
him, and there had never been a lack of any thing which might 
contribute to the physical comfort of the negroes on his estate. 
He had, however, speculated largely and quite loosely ; had 
involved himself deeply, and his notes to a large amount had 
come into the hands of Haley ; and this small piece of infor- 
mation is the key to the preceding conversation. 

Now, it had so happened that, in approaching the door, 
Eliza had caught enough of the conversation to know that a 
trader was making offers to her master for somebody. 

She would gladly have stopped at the door to listen, as she 
came out ; but her mistress just then calling, she was obliged 
to hasten away. 

Still she thought she heard the trader make an offer for 
her boy ; could she be mistaken ? Her heart swelled and 
throbbed, and she involuntarily strained him so tight that 
the little fellow looked up into her face in astonishment. 

"Eliza, girl, what ails you to-day?" said her mistress, 
when Eliza had upset the wash-pitcher, knocked down the 
work-stand, and, finally, was abstractedly offering her mistress 
a long night-gown in place of the silk dress she had ordered 
her to bring from the wardrobe. 

Eliza startcrl. "0, missis!" she said, raising her eyes; 
then, bursting into tears, she sat down in a chair, and began 
sobbing. 



LIFE AMONG THE LOWLY. 23 

"Why, Eliza, child! what ails you?" said her mistress. 

" 0, missis, missis," said Eliza, " there's been a trader talk- 
ing with master in the parlor ! I heard him." 

" Well, silly child, suppose there has." 

" 0, missis, do you suppose mas'r would sell my Harry ? " 
And the poor creature threw herself into a chair, and sobhed 
convulsively. 

" Sell him ! No, you foolish girl ! You know your master 
never deals with those southern traders, and never means to 
sell any of his servants as long as they behave well. Why, 
you silly child, who do you think would want to buy your 
Harry? Do you think all the world are set on him as you 
are, you goosie ? Come, cheer up, and hook my dress. There 
now, put my back hair up in that pretty braid you learned 
the other day, and don't go listening at doors any more." 

" Well, but, missis, ymi never would give your consent — 
to— to — " 

" Nonsense, child ! to be sure I shouldn't. What do you 
talk so for ? I would as soon have one of my own children 
sold. But really, Eliza, you are getting altogether too proud 
of that little fellow. A man can't put his nose into the door, 
but you think he must be coming to buy him." 

Reassured by her mistress's confident tone, Eliza proceeded . 
nimbly and adroitly with her toilet, laughing at her own fears, 
as she proceeded. 

Mrs. Shelby was a woman of a high class, both intellectu- 
ally and morally. To that natural magnanimity and gener- 
osity of mind which one often marks as characteristic of the 
women of Kentucky, she added high moral and religious 
sensibility and principle, carried out with great energy and 
ability into practical results. Her husband, who made no 
professions to any particular religious character, nevertheless 
reverenced and respected the consistency of hers, and stood, 
perhaps, a little in awe of her opinion. Certain it was that 
he gave her unlimited scope in all her benevolent efforts for 
the comfort, instruction, and improvement of her servants, 
though he never took any decided part in them himself. In 
fact, if not exactly a believer in the doctrine of the efiiciency 
of the extra good works of saints, he really seemed somehow 



24 



UNCLE TOM S CABIN ; OR, 



or other to fancy that his wife liad piety and benevolence 
enough for two — to indulge a shadowy expectation of getting 
into heaven through her superabundance of qualities to which 
he made no particular pretension. 

The heaviest load on his mind, after his conversation with 
the trader, lay in the foreseen necessity of breaking to his 
wife the arrangement contemplated, — meeting the importuni- 
ties and opposition which he knew he should have reason to 
encounter. 

Mrs. Shelby, being entirely ignorant of her husband's em- 
barrassments, and knowing only the general kindliniess of his 
temper, had been quite sincere in the entire incredulity with 
which she had met Eliza's suspicions. In fact, she dismissed 
the matter from her mind, without a second thought ; and 
being occupied in preparations for au evening visit, it passed 
out of her thoughts entirely. 





CHAPTER II 



THE MOTHER. 




LIZA had been brought up by her mistress, from 
girlhood, as a petted and indulged favorite. 

The traveller in the south must often have 
remarked that peculiar air of refinement, that 
softness of voice and p^ianner, which seem in 
^j many cases to be a particular gift to the quad- 
roon and mulatto women. These natural graces in the quad- 
roon are often united with beauty of the most dazzling kind, 
and in almost every case with a personal appearance prepos- 
sessing and agreeable. Eliza, such as we have described her, 
is not a fancy sketch, but taken from remembrance, as we saw 
her, years ago, in Kentucky. Safe under the protecting care 
of her mistress, Eliza had reached maturity without those 
4 



26 UNCLE TOM's cabin ; OK, 

temptations which make beauty so fatal au inheritance to a 
slave. She had been married to a bright and talented young 
mulatto man, who was a slave on a neighboring estate, and 
bore the name of George Harris. 

This young man had been hired out by his master to work 
in a bagging factory, where his adroitness and ingenuity caused 
him to be considered the first hand in the place. He had in- 
vented a machine for the cleaning of the hemp, which, consid- 
ering the education and circumstances of the inventor, dis- 
played quite as much mechanical genius as Whitney's cotton 
gin.* 

He was possessed of a handsome person and pleasing man- 
ners, and was a general favorite in the factory. Nevertheless, 
as this young man was in the eye of the law not a man, but a 
thing, all these superior qualifications were subject to the 
control of a vulgar, narrow-minded, tyrannical master. This 
same gentleman, having heard of the fame of George's inven- 
tion, took a ride over to the factory, to see what this intelli- 
gent chattel had been about. He was received with great 
enthusiasm by the employer, who congratulated him on pos- 
sessing so valuable a slave. 

He was waited upon over the factory, shown the machinery 
by George, who, in high spirits, talked so fluently, held him- 
self so erect, looked so handsome and manly, that his master 
began to feel an uneasy consciousness of inferiority. What 
business had his slave to be marching round the country, in- 
venting machines, and holding up his head among gentlemen ? 
He'd soon put a stop to it. He'd take him back, and put him 
to hoeing and digging, and " see if he'd step about so smart." 
Accordingly, the manufacturer and all hands concerned were 
astounded when he suddenly demanded George's wages, and 
announced his intention of taking him home. 

" But, Mr. Harris," remonstrated the manufacturer, " isn't 
this rather sudden ? " 

"What if it is? — isn't the man miiie?" 

" We would be willing, sir, to increase the rate of compgn- 
sation." 

* A machine of this description was really the invention of a young colored 
man in Kentucky- 



LIFE AMONC THE LOWLY, 27 

"No object at all, sir. I don't need to hire any of my 
hands out, unless I've a mind to." 

" But, sir, he seems peculiarly adapted to this business." 

" Dare say he may be ; never was much adapted to any 
thing: that I set him about, I'll be bound." 

" But only think of his inventing this machine," interposed 
one of the workmen, rather unluckily. 

"0, yes! — a machine for saving work, is it? He'd invent 
that, I'll be bound ; let a nigger alone for that any time. 
They are all labor-saving machines themselves, every one of 
'em. No, he shall tramp ! " 

George had stood like one transfixed at hearing his doom 
thus suddenly pronounced by a power that he knew was irre- 
sistible. He folded his arms, tightly pressed in his lips, but 
a whole volcano of bitter feelings burned in his bosom, and 
sent streams of fire through his veins. He breathed short. 
and his large, dark eyes flashed like live coals ; and he might 
have broken out into some dangerous ebullition, had not the 
kindly manufacturer touched him on the arm, and said, in a 
low tone, — 

" Give way, George ; go with him for the present. We'll 
try to help you, yet." 

The tyrant observed the whisper, and conjectured its import, 
though he could not hear what was said ; and he inwardly 
strengthened himself in his determination to keep the power 
he possessed over his victim. 

George was taken home, and put to the meanest drudgery, 
of the farm. He had been able to repress every disrespect- 
ful word ; but the flashing eye, the gloomy and troubled brow, 
were part of a natural language that could not be repressed 
— indubitable signs, which showed too plainly that the man 
could not become a thing. 

It was during the happy period of his employment in the 
factory that George had seen and married his wife. During 
that period, — being much trusted and favored by his em- 
ployer, — he had free liberty to come and go at discretion. 
The marriage was highly approved of by Mrs. Shelby, who, 
with a little womanly complacency in match-making, felt 



28 UNCLE TOM's cabin ; OR, 

pleased to unite her handsome favorite with one of her own 
class who seemed in every way suited to her ; and so they 
were married in her mistress's great parlor, and her mistress 
herself adorned the bride's beautiful hair with orange-blos- 
soms, and threw over it the bridal veil, which certainly, could 
scarce have rested on a fairer head ; and there was no lack 
of white gloves, and cake and wine, — of admiring guests to . 
praise the bride's beauty, and her mistress's indulgence and 
liberality. For a year or two Eliza saw her husband fre- 
quently, and there was nothing to interrupt their happiness, 
except the loss of two infant children, to whom she was pas- 
sionately attached, and whom she moiu-ned with a grief so 
intense as to call for gentle remonstrance from her mistress, 
who sought, with maternal anxiety, to direct her naturally 
passionate feelings within the bounds of reason and religion. 

After the birth of little Harry, however, she had gradually 
become tranquillized and settled ; and every bleeding tie and 
throbbing nerve, once more entwined with that little life, 
seemed to become sound and healthful, and Eliza was a happy 
woman up to the time that her husband was rudely torn from 
his kind employer, and brought under the iron sway of his 
legal owner. 

The manufacturer, true to his word, visited Mr. Harris a 
week or two after George had been taken away, when, as he 
hoped, the heat of the occasion had passed away, and tried 
every possible inducement to lead him to restore him to his 
fprmer employment. 

" You needn't trouble yourself to talk any longer," said he, 
doggedly ; " I know my own business, sir." 

" I did not presume to interfere with it, sir. I only thought 
that you might think it for your interest to let your man to 
us on the terms proposed." 

" 0, I understand the matter well enougli. I saw your wink- 
ing and whispering, the day I took him out of the factory : 
but you don't come it over me that way. It's a free country, 
sir ; the man's mine, and I do what I please with him, — 
that's itl" 

And so fell George's last hope; — nothing before him but 



LIFE AMO\(; THE LOWLY. 



29 



a life of toil and drudgery rendered more bitter by every 
little smarting vexation and indignity which tyrannical in- 
genuity could devise. 

A very humane jurist once said, The worst use you can put 
a man to is to hang him. No ; there is another use that a 
man can be put to that is worse. 





CHAPTER III, 



THE HUSBAND AND FATHER. 




RS. Shelby had gone on her visit, and Eliza 
stood in the veranda, rather dejectedly look- 
ing after the retreating carriage, when a hand 
> was laid on her shoulder. She turned, and a 
bright smile lighted up her fine eyes. 

" George, is it you ? How you frightened 
me ! AVell, I am so glad you's come ! Missis is gone to spend 
the afternoon ; so come into my little room, and we'll have 
the time all to ourselves." 

Saying this, she drew him into a neat little apartment open- 
ing on the veranda, where she generally sat at her sewing, 
within call of her mistress. 

"How glad I ami — why don't you smile? — and look at 
Harry — how he grows ! " The boy stood shyly regarding his 



LIFE AMONG THE LOWLY. 31 

father through his curls, holding close to the skirts of his 
mother's dress. "Isn't he beautiful?" said Eliza, lifting his 
long curls and kissing him. 

" I wish he'd never been born ! " said George, bitterly. " I 
wish I'd never been born myself! " 

Surprised and frightened, Eliza sat down, leaned her head 
on her husband's shoulder, and burst into tears. 

" There now, Eliza, it's too bad for me to make you feel so, 
poor girl ! " said he, fondly ; " it's too bad. 0, how I wish you 
never had seen me — you might have been happy ! " 

" George ! George ! how can you talk so ? What dreadful 
thing has happened or is going to happen? I'm sure we've 
been very happy till lately." 

" So we have, dear," said George. Then drawing his child 
on his knee, he gazed intently on his glorious dark eyes, and 
passed his hands through his long curls. 

" Just like you, Eliza ; and you are the handsomest woman 
I ever saw, and the best one I ever wish to see ; but, 0, I wish 
I'd never seen you, nor you me ! '■ 

" George, how can you ! " 

" Yes, Eliza, it's all misery, misery, misery ! My life is bit- 
ter as wormwood ; the very life is burning out of me. I'm 
a poor, miserable, forlorn drudge ; I shall only drag you down 
with me, that's all. What's the use of our trying to do any 
thing, trying to know any thing, trying to be any thing ? 
What's the use of living ? I wish I was dead ! " 

" 0, now, dear George, that is really wicked ! I know how 
you feel about losing your place in the factory, and you have a 
hard master ; but pray be patient, and perhaps something " 

" Patient ! " said he, interrupting her ; " haven't I been 
patient? Did I say a word when he came and took me 
away, for no earthly reason, from the place where every body 
was kind to me ? I'd paid him truly every cent of my earn- 
ings, — and they all say I worked well." 

" Well, it is dreadful," said Eliza ; " but, after all, he is your 
master, you know." 

" My master ! and who made him my master ? That's what 
I think of — what right has he to me?- I'm a man as much' 
as he is. I'm a better man than he is. I know more about 



32 UNCLE tom's cabin ; OR. 

business than he does ; I am a better manager than he is ; I 
can read better than he can ; I can write a better hand — 
and I've learned it all myself, and no thanks to him, — I've 
learned it in spite of him ; and now what right has he to make 
a dray horse of me? — to take me from things I can do, and 
do better than he can, and put me to work that any horse can 
do ? He tries to do it ; he says he'll bring me down and hum- 
ble me, and he puts me to just the hardest, meanest, and dirti- 
est work, on purpose ! " 

" George ! George ! you frighten me ! Why, I never 
heard you talk so ; I'm afraid you'll do something dreadful. 
I don't wonder at your feelings, at all ; but 0, do be careful 

— do, do — for my sake — for Harry's ! " 

" I have been careful, and I have been patient, but it's grow- 
ing worse and worse ; flesh and blood can't bear it any longer ; 

— every chance he can get to insult and torment me, he takes. 
I thought I could do my work well, and keep on quiet, and 
have some time to read and learn out of work hours ; but the 
more he sees I can do, the more he loads on. He says that 
though I don't say any thing, he sees I've got the devil 
in me, and he means to bring it out ; and one of these 
days it will come out in a way that he won't like, or I'm 
mistaken ! " 

" dear ! what shall we do ? " said Eliza, mournfully. 

" It was only yesterday," said George, " as I was busy load- 
ing stones into a cart, that young Mas'r Tom stood there, 
slashing his whip so near the horse that the creature was 
frightened. I asked him to stop, as pleasant as I could, — he 
just kept right on. I begged him again, and then he turned 
on me, and began striking me. I held his hand, and then he 
screamed and kicked, and ran to his father, and told him that 
I was fighting him. He came in a rage, and said he'd teach 
me who was my master ; and he tied me to a tree, and cut 
switches for young master, and told him that he might whip 
me till he was tired ; — and he did do it ! If I don't make 
him remember it, some time ! " and the brow of the young 
man grew dark, and his eyes burned with an expression that 
made his young wife tremble. " Who made this man my 
master ? That's what I want to know ! " he said. 



LIFE AMONG THE LOWLY. 33 

"Well," said Eliza, mournfully, "I always thought that I 
must obey my master and mistress, or I couldn't be a Chris- 
tian." 

" There is some sense in it, in your case ; they have brought 
you up like a child; fed you, clothed you, indulged you, and^ 
taught you, so that you have a good education ; that is some 
reason why they should claim you. But I have been kicked, 
and cuffed, and sworn at, and at the best only let alone ; and 
what do I owe? I've paid for all my keeping a hundred 
times over. I wonH bear it. No, I wonH!'' he said, clinch- 
ing his hand with a fierce frown. 

Eliza trembled and was silent. She had never seen her 
husband in this mood before ; and her gentle system of ethics 
seemed to bend like a reed in the surges of such passions. 

"You know poor little Carlo, that you gave me," added 
George; "the creature has been about all the comfort that 
I've had. He has slept with me nights, and followed mo 
around days, and kind o' looked at me as if he understood 
how I felt. Well, the other day I was just feeding him with 
a few old scraps I picked up by the kitchen door, and mas'r 
came along, and said I was feeding him up at his expense, 
and that he couldn't afford to have every nigger keeping his 
dog, and ordered me to tie a stone to his neck and throw him 
in the pond." 

" George, you didn't do it ! " 

"Doit? not I! — but he did. Mas'r and Tom pelted the 
poor drowning creature with stones. Poor thing ! he looked 
at me so mournful, as if he wondered why I didn't save him. 
I had to take a flogging because I wouldn't do it myself. 
I don't care. Mas'r will find out that I'm one that whip- 
ping won't tame. My day will come yet, if he don't look 
out." 

"What are you going to do? George, don't do any 
thing wicked ; if you only trust in God, and try to do right, 
he'll deliver you." 

" I an't a Christian like you, Eliza ; my heart's full of bit- 
terness; I can't trust in God. Why does he let things be 
so?" 

5 



34 UNCLE tom's cabin ; OR, 

" George, we must have faith. Mistress says that when 
all things go wrong to us, we must believe that God is doing 
the very best." 

" That's easy to say for people that are sitting on their 
sofas and riding in their carriages ; but let 'em be where I 
am, I guess it would come some harder. I wish I could be 
good ; but my heart burns, and can't be reconciled, any how. 
You couldn't, in my place, — you can't now, if I tell you all 
^.'ve got to say. You don't know the whole yet." 

" What can be coming now ? " 

" Well, lately mas'r has been saying that he was a fool to 
let me marry off the place ; that he hates Mr, Shelby and all 
his tribe, because they are proud, and hold their heads up 
above him, and that I've got proud notions from you ; and 
he says he won't let me come here any more, and that I shall 
take a wife and settle down on his place. At first he only 
scolded and grumbled these things ; but yesterday he told 
me that I should take Mina for a wife, and settle down in a 
cabin with her, or he would sell me down river." 

" Why — but you were married to me, by the minister, as 
much as if you'd been a white man 1 " said Eliza, simply. 

" Don't you know a slave can't be married ? There is no 
law in this country for that ; I can't hold you for my wife, if 
he chooses to part us. That's why I wish I'd never seen you, 
why I wish I'd never been born ; it would have been bet- 
ter for us both, — it would have been better for this poor 
child if he had never been born. All this may happen to 
him yet ! " 

" 0, but master is so kind ! " 

"Yes, but who knows? — he may die — and then he may be 
sold to nobody knows who. What pleasure is it that he is 
handsome, and smart, and bright? I tell you, Eliza, that a 
sword will pierce through your soul for every good and 
pleasant thing your child is or has ; it will make him worth 
too much for you to keep ! " 

The words smote heavily on Eliza's heart ; the vision of 
the trader came before her eyes, and, as if some one had 
struck her a deadly blow, she turned pale and gasped for 



LIFE AMONG THE LOWLY. 35 

breath. She looked nervously out on the veranda, where 
the boy, tired of the grave conversation, had retired, and 
where he was riding triumphantly up and down on Mr. Shel- 
by's walking-stick. She would have spoken to tell her hus- 
band her fears, but checked herself. 

"No, no, — he has enough to bear, poor fellow!" she 
thought. " No, I won't tell him ; besides, it an't true ; missis 
never deceives us." 

"So, Eliza, my girl," said the husband, mournfully, "bear 
up, now ; and good by, for I'm going." 

" Going, George ! Going where ? " 

" To Canada," said he, straightening himself up ; " and when 
I'm there, I'll buy you ; that's all the hope that's left us. You 
have a kind master, that won't refuse to sell you. I'll buy 
you and the boy ; — God helping me, I will ! " 

" 0, dreadful ! if you should be taken ? " 

" I won't be taken, Eliza ; I'll die first ! I'll be free, or I'll 
die ! " 

"You won't kill yourself!" 

" No need of that. They will kill me, fast enough ; they 
never will get me down the river alive ! " 

" George, for my sake, do be careful ! Don't do any 
thing wicked ; don't lay hands on yourself, or any body 
else! You are tempted too much — too much; but don't — 
go you must — but go carefully, prudently; pray God to 
help you." 

" Well, then, Eliza, hear my plan. Mas'r took it into his 
liead to send me right by here, with a note to Mr. Symmes, 
that lives a mile past. I believe he expected I should come 
here to tell you what I have. It would please him, if he 
thought it would aggravate 'Shelby's folks,' as he calls 'em. 
I'm going home quite resigned, you understand, as if all was 
over. I've got some preparations made, — and there are those 
that will help me ; and, in the course of a week or so, I shall 
be among the missing some day. Pray for me, Eliza ; perhaps 
the good Lord will hear ymi.^^ 

" 0, pray yourself, George, and go trusting in him ; then 
you won't do any thing wicked." 



36 



UNCLE TOM's cabin ; OR, 



"Well, now, good by" said George, holding Eliza's hands, 
and gazing into her eyes, without moving. They stood silent ; 
then there were last words, and sobs, and bitter weeping, 
— such parting as those may make whose hope to meet again 
is as the spider's web, — and the husband and wife were 
parted. 





CHAPTER IV. 

AN EVENING TN UNCLE TOM'S CABIN. 

HE cabin of Uncle Tom was a small log build- 
ing, close adjoining to "the house," as the 
negro par excellence designates his master's 
dwelling. In front it had a neat garden 
' patch, where, every summer, strawberries, rasp- 
P berries, and a variety of fruits and vegetables, 
flourished under careful tending. The whole front of it was 
covered by a large scarlet bignonia and a native multitlora 
rose, which, entwisting and interlacing, left scarce a vestige 
of the rough logs to be seen. Here, also, in summer, various 
brilliant annuals, such as marigolds, petunias, four-o'clocks, 
found an indulgent corner in which to unfold their splendors, 
and were tlie delight and pride of Aunt Oliloe's heart. ^ 
Let us enter the dwelling. The evening meal at the house 




38 UNCLE tom's cabin ; OB, 

is over, and Aunt Chloe, who presided over its preparation as 
head cook, has left to inferior officers in the kitchen the busi- 
ness of clearing away and washing dishes, and come out into 
her own snug territories, to " get her ole man's supper ; " there- 
fore, doubt not that it is she you see by the fire, presiding with 
anxious interest over certain frizzling items in a stew pan, and 
anon, with grave consideration, lifting the cover of a bake 
kettle, from whence steam forth indubitable intimations of 
" something good." A round, black, shining face is hers, so 
glossy as to suggest the idea that she might have been washed 
over with white of eggs, like one of her own tea rusks. Her 
whole plump countenance beams with satisfaction and content- 
ment from under her well-starched checked turban, bearing on 
it, however, if we must confess it, a little of that tinge of self- 
consciousness which becomes the first cook of the neighborhood, 
as Aunt Chloe was universally held and acknowledged to be. 

A cook she certainly was, in the very bone and centre of lier 
soul. Not a chicken, or turkey, or duck, in the barn yard, but 
looked grave when they saw her approaching, and seemed evi- 
dently to be reflecting on their latter end ; and certain it was 
that she was always meditating on trussing, stuflfiug, and roast- 
ing, to a degree that was calculated to inspire terror in any 
reflecting fowl living. Her corn cake, in all its varieties of 
hoe cake, dodgers, muffins, and other species too numerous to 
mention, was a sublime mystery to all less practised compound- 
ers ; and she would shake her fat sides with honest pride and 
merriment, as she would narrate the fruitless efl^orts that 
one and another of her compeers had made to attain to her 
elevation. 

The arrival of company at the house, the arranging of din- 
ners and suppers "in style," awoke all the energies of her 
soul ; and no sight was more welcome to her than a pile of 
travelling trunks launched on the veranda, for then she fore- 
saw fresh efforts and fresh triumphs. 

Just at present, however. Aunt Chloe is looking into the 
bake pan ; in which congenial operation we shall leave her till 
we finish our picture of the cottage. 

In one corner of it stood a bed, covered neatly with a snowy 
spread ; and by the side of it was a piece of carpeting, of 



LIFE AMONC; THE LOWLY. 39 

some considerable size. On this piece of cari)eting- Aunt Chloo 
took her stand, as being decidedly in the upper walks of life ; 
and it and the bed by which it lay, and the whole corner, in 
fact, were treated with distinguished consideration, and made, 
so far as possible, sacred from the marauding inroads and dese- 
crations of little folks. In fact, that corner was the dramino- 
room of the establishment. In the other corner was a bed of 
much humbler pretensions, and evidently designed for use. 
The wall over the fireplace was adorned with some very bril- 
liant scriptural prints, and a portrait of General Washington, 
drawn and colored in a manner which would certainly have 
astonished that hero, if ever he had happened to meet with 
its like. 

On a rough bench in the corner, a couple of woolly-headed 
boys, with glistening black eyes and fat shining cheeks, were 
busy in superintending the first walking operations of the baby, 
which, as is usually the case, consisted in getting up on its 
feet, balancing a moment, and then tumbling down, — each suc- 
cessive failure being violently cheered, as something decidedly 
clever. 

A table, somewhat rheumatic in its limbs, was drawn out in 
front of the fire, and covered with a cloth, displaying cups and 
saucers of a decidedly brilliant pattern, with other symptoms 
of an approaching meal . At this table was seated Uncle Tom, 
Mr. Shelby's best hand who, as he is to be the hero of our sto- 
ry, we must daguerreotype for our readers. He was a large, 
broad-chested, powerfully-made man, of a full glossy black, and 
a face whose truly African features were characterized by an 
expression of grave and steady good sense, united with much 
kindliness and benevolence. There was something about his 
whole air self-respecting and dignified, yet united with a con- 
fiding and humble simplicity. 

He was very busily intent at this moment on a slate lying 
before him, on which he was carefully and slowly endeavoring 
to accomplish a copy of some letters, in which operation he 
was overlooked by young Mas'r George, a smart, bright boy 
of thirteen, who appeared fully to realize the dignity of his 
position as instructor. 

"Not that way, Uncle Tom, — not that way,'' said he, briskly, 



40 UNCLE tom's cabin ; OK, 

as Uncle Tom laboriously brought up the tail of his g the wrong 
side out ; " that makes a q, you see." 

" La, sakes, now, docs it ? " said Uncle Tom, looking with a 
respectful, admiring air, as his young teacher flourishingly 
scrawled 9's and g-'s innumerable for his edification ; and then, 
taking the pencil in his big, heavy fingers, he patiently recom- 
menced. 

" How easy white folks al'ays does things ! " said Aunt Chloe, 
pausing while she was greasing a griddle with a scrap of ba- 
con on her fork, and regarding young Master George with 
pride. " The way he can write, now ! and read, too ! and then 
to come out here evenings and read his lessons to us, — it's 
mighty interestin' ! " 

" But, Aunt Chloe, I'm getting mighty hungry," said George. 
" Isn't that cake in the skillet almost done ? " 

" Mose done, Mas'r George," said Aunt Chloe, lifting the lid 
and peeping in, — " browning beautiful — a real lovely brown. 
Ah ! let me alone for dat. Missis let Sally try to make some 
cake, t'other day, jes to lam her, she said. ' 0, go way, missis,' 
says I ; ' it really hurts my feelin's, now, to see good vittles 
spiled dat ar way! Cake ris all to one side — no shape at all ; 
no more than my shoe ; — go way." 

And with this final expression of contempt for Sally's green- 
ness, Aunt Chloe whipped the cover off the bake kettle, and 
disclosed to view a neatly-baked pound cake, of which no city 
confectioner need to have been ashamed. This being evident- 
ly the central point of the entertainment, Aunt Chloe began 
now to bustle about earnestly in the supper department. 

" Here you, Mose and Pete ! get out de way, you niggers ! 
Get away, Polly, honey, — mammy '11 give her baby somefin, by 
and by. Now, Mas'r George, you just take off dem books, 
and set down now with my old man, and I'll take up de sau- 
sages, and have de first griddle full of cakes on your plates in 
less dan no time." 

"They wanted me to come to supper in the house," said 
George ; " but I knew what was what too well for that. Aunt 
Chloe." 

"So you did — so you did, honey," said Aunt Chloe, heaping 
the smoking batter cakes on his plate ; " you know'd your old 



LIFE AMONG THE LOWLY. 41 

aimty'd keep the best for you. 0, let you alone for dat ! 
Go way ! " And, with that, aunty gave George a nudge with 
her finger, designed to be immensely facetious, and turned 
again to her griddle with great briskness. 

"Now for the cake," said Mas'r George, when the activity 
of the griddle department had somewhat subsided ; and with 
that the youngster flourislied a large knife over the article in 
question. 

" La bless you, Mas'r George ! " said Aunt Chloe, with ear- 
nestness, catching his arm, " you wouldn't be for cuttin' it wid 
dat ar great heavy knife ! Smash all down — spile all de pret- 
ty rise of it. Here, I've got a thin old knife, I keeps sharp a 
purpose. Dar now, see ! comes apart light as a feather ! Now 
eat away — you won't get any thing to beat dat ar." 

" Tom Lincon says," said George, speaking with his mouth 
full, " that their Jinny is a better cook than you." 

" Dem Lincons an't much count, no way ! " said Aunt Chloe, 
contemptuously ; " I mean, set alongside our folks. They's 
'spectable folks enough in a kinder plain way ; but, as to gettin' 
up any thing in style, they don't begin to have a notion on't. 
Set Mas'r Lincon, now, alongside Mas'r Shelby ! Good Lor ! 
and Missis Lincon, — can she kinder sweep it into a room like 
my missis, — so kinder splendid, yer know ! 0, go way ! don't 
tell me nothin' of dem Lincons ! " — and Aunt Chloe tossed 
her head as one who hoped she did know something of the 
world. 

"Well, though, I've heard you say," said George, "that 
Jinny was a pretty fair cook." 

"So I did," said Aunt Chloe, — "I may say dat. Good, 
plain, common cookin' Jinny '11 do; — make a good pone o' 
bread, — bile her taters jfar, — her corn cakes isn't extra, not 
extra now. Jinny's corn cakes isn't, but then they's far, — 
but. Lor, come to de higher branches, and what can she do ? 
Why, she makes pies — sartin she does ; but what kinder crust ? 
Can she make your real flecky paste, as melts in your mouth, 
and lies all up like a puff? Now, I went over thar when Miss 
Mary was gwine to be married, and Jinny she jest showed 
me de weddin' pies. Jinny and I is good friends, ye know. 
I never said nothin' ; but go long, Mas'r George ! Why, I 
6 



42 UNCLE tom's cabin ; OR, 

shouldn't sleep a wink for a week, if I had a batch of pics 
like dem ar. Why, dey wan't no 'count 't all." 

"I suppose Jinny thought they were ever so nice," said 
George. 

" Thought so ! — didn't she ? Thar she was, showing 'em, 
as innocent — ye see, it's jest here, Jinny don't know. Lor, 
the family an't nothing ! She can't be spected to know ! 
'Tan't no fault o' hern. Ah, Mas'r George, you doesn't know 
half your privileges in yer family and bringin' up ! " Here 
Aunt Chloe sighed, and rolled up her eyes with emotion. 

" I'm sure. Aunt Chloe, I understand all my pie and pudding 
privileges," said George. " Ask Tom Lincon if I don't crow 
over him every time I meet him." 

Aunt Chloe sat back in her chair, and indulged in a hearty 
guffaw of laughter, at this witticism of young mas'r's, laughing 
till the tears rolled down her black, shining cheeks, and vary- 
ing the exercise with playfully slapping and poking Mas'r 
Georgcy, and telling him to go way, and that he was a case 
— that he was fit to kill her, and that he sartin would kill 
her, one of these days ; and, between each of these sanguinary 
predictions, going off into a laugh, each longer and stronger 
than the other, till George really began to think that he was a 
very dangerously witty fellow, and that it became him to be 
careful how he talked " as funny as he could." 

" And so ye tolled Tom, did ye ? Lor ! what young uns 
will be up ter ! Ye crowed over Tom ? Lor ! Mas'r George, 
if ye wouldn't make a hornbug laugh ! " 

" Yes," said George, " I says to him, ' Tom, you ought to see 
some of Aunt Chloe's pies ; they're the right sort,' says I." 

"Pity, now, Tom couldn't," said Aunt Chloe, on whose 
benevolent heart the idea of Tom's benighted condition seemed 
to make a strong impression. " Ye oughter just ask him here 
to dinner, some o' these times, Mas'r George," she added ; " it 
would look quite pretty of ye. Ye know, Mas'r George, ye 
oughtenter feel 'bove nobody, on 'count yer privileges, 'cause 
all our privileges is gi'n to us ; we ought al'ays to 'member 
that," said Aunt Chloe, looking quite serious. 

" Well, I mean to ask Tom here some day next week," said 
George ; " and you do your prettiest, Aunt Chloe, and we'll 



LIFE AMONG THE LOWLY. 43 

make him stare. Won't we make him eat so he won't get over 
it for a fortnight ? " 

"Yes, yes — sartin," said Aunt Chloe, delighted; "yon'll 
see. Lor ! to think of some of our dinners ! Yer mind dat 
ar great chicken pie I made when we guv de dinner to General 
Knox ? I and missis, we come pretty near quarrelling about 
dat ar crust. What does get into ladies sometimes, I don't 
know ; but, sometimes, when a body has do heaviest kind o' 
'sponsibility on 'em, as ye may say, and is all kinder ^ seris' and 
taken up, dey takes dat ar time to be hangin' round and 
kinder interferin' ! Now, missis, she wanted me to do dis 
way, and she wanted me to do dat way ; and, finally, I got 
kinder sarcy, and says I, 'Now, missis, do jist look at dem 
beautiful white hands o' yourn, with long fingers, and all a 
sparkling with rings like my white lilies when de dew's on 
'em ; and look at my great black stumpin' hands. Now, don't 
ye think dat de Lord must have meant me to make de pie crust, 
and you to stay in de parlor ? ' Dar ! I was jist so sarcy, Mas'r 
George." 

" And what did mother say ? " said George. 

" Say ? — why, she kinder larfed in her eyes — dem great 
handsome eyes o' hern ; and says she, ' Well, Aunt Chloe, I 
think you are about in the right on't,' says she ; and she went 
off in de parlor. She oughter cracked me over de head for 
bein' so sarcy ; but dar's whar 'tis — I can't do no thin' with 
ladies in de kitchen ! " 

"Well, you made out well with that dinner, — I remember 
every body said so," said George. 

" Didn't I ? And wan't I behind de dinin' room door dat 
bery day? and didn't I see de gineral pass his plate three 
times for some more dat bery pie? — and says he, 'You must 
have an uncommon cook, Mrs. Shelby.' Lor ! I was fit to split 
myself. 

"And de gineral, he knows what cookin' is," said Aunt 
Chloe, drawing herself up with an air. " Bery nice man, de 
gineral ! He comes of one of de bery fastest families in Old 
Virginny ! He knows what's what, now, as well as I do — 
de gineral 1 Ye see, there's pints in all pies, Mas'r George ; 
but tan't every body knows what they is, or orter be. But the 



44 UNCLE tom's cabin ; OE, 

gineral, he knows ; I knew by his 'marks he made. Yes, he 
knows what de pints is ! " 

By this time, Master George had arrived at that pass, to 
which even a boy can come, (under uncommon circumstances,) 
when he really could not eat another morsel ; and, therefore, 
he was at leisure to notice the pile of woolly heads and glis- 
tening eyes which were regarding their operations hungrily 
from the opposite corner. 

" Here, you Mose, Pete," he said, breaking off liberal bits, 
and throwing it at them ; "you want some, don't you? Come, 
Aunt Chloe, bake them some cakes." 

And George and Tom moved to a comfortable seat in the 
chimney corner, while Aunt Chloe, after baking a goodly pile 
of cakes, took her baby on her lap, and began alternately 
filling its mouth and her own, and distributing to Mose and 
Pete, who seemed rather to prefer eating theirs as they rolled 
about on the floor under the table, tickling each other, and 
occasionally pulling the baby's toes. 

" 0, go long, will ye ? " said the mother, giving now and 
then a kick, in a kind of general way, under the table, when 
the movement became too obstreperous. " Can't ye be decent 
when white folks comes to see ye ? Stop dat ar, now, will ye ? 
Better mind yerselves, or I'll take ye down a button-hole 
lower, when Mas'r George is gone ! " 

What meaning was couched under this terrible threat, it is 
difficult to say ; but certain it is that its awful indistinctness 
seemed to produce very little impression on the young sinners 
addressed. 

" La, now ! " said Uncle Tom, " they are so full of tickle all 
the while, they can't behave theirselves." 

Here the boys emerged from under the table, and, with 
hands and faces well plastered with molasses, began a vigorous 
kissing of the baby. 

" Get along wid ye ! " said the mother, pushing away their 
woolly heads. " Ye'll all stick together, and never get clar, if 
ye do dat fashion. Go long to de spring and wash yerselves 1 " 
she said, seconding her exhortations by a slap, which resounded 
very formidably, but which seemed only to knock out so much 
more laugh from the young ones, as they tumbled precipitately 



LIFE AMONG THE LOWLY. 45 

over each other out of doors, where they fairly screamed with 
merriment. 

"Did ye ever see such aggravating young uns?" said Aunt 
Chloe, rather complacently, as, producing an old towel, kept 
for such emergencies, she poured a little water out of the 
cracked teapot on it, and began rubbing off the molasses from 
the baby's face and hands ; and, having polished her till she 
shone, she set her down in Tom's lap, while she busied herself 
in clearing away supper. The baby employed the intervals in 
pulling Tom's nose, scratching his face, and burying her fat 
hands in his woolly hair, which last operation seemed to afford 
her special content. 

" Ain't she a peart young un ? " said Tom, holding her from 
him to take a full-length view ; then, getting up, he set her 
on his broad shoulder, and began capering and dancing with 
her, while Mas'r George snapped at her with his pocket hand- 
kerchief, and Mose and Pete, now returned again, roared after 
her like bears, till Aunt Chloe declared that they "fairly took 
her head off" with their noise. As, according to her own 
statement, this surgical operation was a matter of daily occur- 
rence in the cabin, the declaration no whit abated the merri- 
ment, till every one had roared, and tumbled, and danced 
themselves down to a state of composure. 

"Well, now, I hopes you're done," said Aunt Chloe, who 
had been busy in pulling out a rude box of a trundle-bed; 
" and now, you Mose and you Pete, get into thar ; for we's 
goin' to have the meetin'." 

" mother, we don't wanter. We wants to sit up to 
meetin', — meetin's is so curis. We likes 'em." 

" La, Aunt Chloe, shove it under, and let 'em sit up," said 
Mas'r George, decisively, giving a push to the rude machine. 

Aunt Chloe, having thus saved appearances, seemed highly 
delighted to push the thing under, saying, as she did so, " Well, 
mebbe 'twill do 'em some good." 

The house now resolved itself into a committee of the 
whole, to consider the accommodations and arrangements for 
the meeting. 

" What we's to do for cheers, now, / declar I don't know," 
said Aunt Chloe. As the meeting had been held at Uncle 



46 UNCLE tom's cabin ; OR, 

Tom's, weekly, for an indefinite length of time, without any 
more "cheers," there seemed some encouragement to hope that 
a way would be discovered at present. 

" Old Uncle Peter sung both de legs out of dat oldest cheer, 
last week," suggested Mose. 

" You go long ! I'll boun' you pulled 'em out ; some o' your 
shines," said Aunt Chloe. 

" Well, it'll stand, if it only keeps jam up agin de wall ! " 
said Mose. 

" Den Uncle Peter mus'n't sit in it, cause he al'ays hitches 
when he gets a singing. He hitched pretty nigh across de 
room, t'other night," said Pete. 

" Good Lor ! get him in it, then," said Mose. " and den he'd 
begin, ' Come, saints and sinners, hear me tell,' and den down 
he'd go," — and Mose imitated precisely the nasal tones of the 
old man, tumbling on the floor, to illustrate the supposed 
catastrophe. 

" Come now, be decent, can't ye ? " said Aunt Chloe ; " an't 
yer shamed?" 

Mas'r George, however, joined the offender in the laugh, 
and declared decidedly that Mose was a "buster." So the 
maternal admonition seemed rather to fail of effect. 

"Well, ole man," said Aunt Chloe, "you'll have to tote in 
them ar bar'ls." 

" Mother's bar'ls is like dat ar widder's, Mas'r George was 
reading 'bout, in de good book, — dey never fails," said Mose, 
aside to Pete. 

" I'm sure one on 'em caved in last week," said Pete, " and 
let 'em all down in de middle of de singin' ; dat ar was failin', 
warn't it ? " 

During this aside between Mose and Pete, two empty casks 
had been rolled into the cabin, and being secured from rolling, 
by stones on each side, boards were laid across them, which 
arrangement, together with the turning down of certain tubs 
and pails, and the disposing of the rickety chairs, at last 
completed the preparation. 

" Mas'r George is such a beautiful reader, now, I know he'll 
stay to read for us," said Aunt Chloe ; " 'pears like 'twill be 
so much more interestin'." 



LIFE AMONO THE LOWLY. 47 

George very readily consented, for your boy is always ready 
for any thing that makes him of importance. 

The room was soon filled with a motley assemblage, from the 
old gray-headed patriarch of eighty to the young girl and lad 
of fifteen. A little harmless gossip ensued on various themes, 
such as where old Aunt Sally got her new red headkerchief, 
and how " missis was a going to give Lizzy that spotted muslin 
gown, when she'd got her new barege made up ; " and how 
Mas'r Shelby was thinking of buying a new sorrel colt, that 
was going to prove an addition to the glories of the place. A 
few of the worshippers belonged to families hard by, who had 
got permission to attend, and who brought in various choice 
scraps of information, about the sayings and doings at the 
house and on the place, which circulated as freely as the same 
sort of small change does in higher circles. 

After a while the singing commenced, to the evident delight 
of all present. Not even all the disadvantage of nasal intona- 
tion could prevent the effect of the naturally tine voices, in airs 
at once wild and spirited. The words were sometimes the 
well-known and common hymns sung in the churches about, 
and sometimes of a wilder, more indefinite character, picked 
up at camp meetings. 

The chorus of one of them, which ran as follows, was sung 
with great energy and unction : — 

" Die on the field of battle, 

Die on the field of battle, 

Glory in my sonl." 

Another special favorite had oft repeated the words — 

" 0, I'm going to glory, — won't you come along with me 1 
Don't you see the angels beck'ning, and a calling me away 1 
Don't you see the golden city and the everlasting day ? " 

There were others, which made incessant mention of " Jor- 
dan's banks," and " Canaan's fields," and the '' New Jerusa- 
lem ; " for the negro mind, impassioned and imaginative, 
always attaches itself to hymns and expressions of a vivid and 
pictorial nature ; and, as they sung, some laughed, and some 
cried, and some clapped hands, or shook hands rejoicingly with 
each other, as if they had fairly gained the other side of the 
river. 



48 



UNCLE TOM's cabin ; OB, 



Various exhortations, or relations of experience, followed, 
and intermingled with the singing. One old gray-headed 
woman, long past work, but much revered as a sort of chroni- 
cle of the past, rose, and leaning on her staff, said, — 

" Well, chil'en ! Well, I'm mighty glad to hear ye all and 
see ye all once more, 'cause I don't know when I'll be gone 
to glory ; but I've done got ready, chil'en ; 'pears like I'd 
got my little bundle all tied up, and my bonnet on, jest a 
waitin' for the stage to come along and take me home : some- 
times, in the night, I think I hear the wheels a rattlin', and 
I'm lookin' out all the time ; now, you jest be ready too, for 
I tell ye all, chil'en," she said, striking her staff hard on the 




floor, " dat ar glory is a mighty thing ! It's a mighty thing, 
chil'en, — you don'no nothing about it, — it's wonderftd.^' And 
the old creature sat down, with streaming tears, as wholly 
overcome, while the whole circle struck up, — 

" Canaan, bright Canaan, 
I'm bound for the land of Canaan." 



Mas'r George, by request, read the last chapters of Revela- 
tion, often interrupted by such exclamations as "The sokes 
now!" "Only hear that!" "Jest think on't!" "Is all that 
a comin' sure enough ? " 

George, who was a bright boy, and well trained in religious 



LIFE AMONG THE LOWLY. 49 

things b}'- liis motlier, finding himself an object of general 
admiration, threw in expositions of his own, from time to 
time, with a commendable seriousness and gravity, for which 
he was admired by the young and blessed by the old ; and it 
was agreed, on all hands, that " a minister could'nt lay it off 
better than he did ; " that " 'twas reely 'mazin' ! " 

Uncle Tom was a sort of patriarch in religious matters, in 
the neighborhood. Having, ' naturally, an organization in 
which the inwale was strongly predominant, together with a 
greater breadth and cultivation of mind than obtained among 
his companions, he was looked up to with great respect, as a 
sort of minister among them ; and the simple, hearty, sincere 
style of his exhortations might have edified even better edu- 
cated persons. But it was in prayer that he especially excelled. 
Nothing could exceed the touching simplicity, the childlike 
earnestness, of his prayer, enriched with the language of Scrip- 
ture, which seemed so entirely to have wrought itself into his 
being as to have become a part of himself, and to drop from 
his lips unconsciously ; in the language of a pious old negro, 
he " prayed right up." And so much did his prayer always 
work on the devotional feelings of his audiences, that there 
seemed often a danger that it would be lost altogether in the 
abundance of the responses which broke out every where 
around him. 



While this scene was passing in the cabin of the man, one 
quite otherwise passed in the halls of the master. 

The trader and Mr. Shelby were seated together in the 
dining room aforenamed, at a table covered with papers and 
writing utensils. 

Mr. Shelby was busy in counting some bundles of bills, 
which, as they were counted, he pushed over to the trader, 
who counted them likewise. 

" All fair," said the trader ; " and now for signing these 
yer." 

Mr. Shelby hastily drew the bills of sale towards him, and 
signed them, like a man that hurries over some disagreeable 
business, and then pushed them over with the money. Haley 
7 



50 



UNCLE TOM S CABIN ; OR, 



produced, from a well-worn valise, a parchment, which, after 
looking over it a moment, he handed to Mr. Shelby, who took 
it with a gesture of suppressed eagerness. 

" Wal, now, the thing's done ! " said the trader, getting up. 

" It's dom ! " said Mr. Shelby, in a musing jtone ; and, fetch- 
ing a long breath, he repeated, " Ks done ! " . 

" Yer don't seem to feel much pleased with it, 'pears to 
me," said the trader. 

" Haley," said Mr. Shelby, " I hope you'll remember that 
you promised, on your honor, you wouldn't sell Tom, without 
knowing what sort of hands he's going into." 

" "Why, you've just done it, sir," said the trader., 

" Circumstances, you well know, obliged me," said Shelby, 
haughtily. 

" Wal, you know, they may 'blige rrve, too," said the trader. 
" Howsomever, I'll do the very best I can in gettin' Tom a 
good berth ; as to my treatin' on him bad, you needn't be a 
grain afeard. If there's any thing that I thank the Lord for, 
it is that I'm never noways cruel." 

After the expositions which tjie trader had previously given 
of his humane principles, Mr. Shelby did not feel particularly 
reassured by these declarations ; but, as they were the best 
comfort the case admitted of, he allowed the trader to depart 
in silence, and betook himself to a solitary cigar. 





CHAPTER Y. 

SHOWING THE FEELINGS OP LIVING PROPERTY ON CHANGING 

OWNERS. 




R. and Mrs. Shelby had retired to their apart- 
ment for the night. He was lounging in a 
large easy chair, looking over some letters that 
'had come in the afternoon mail, and she was 
standing before her mirror, brushing out the 
complicated braids and curls in which Eliza 
had arranged her hair ; for, noticing her pale cheeks and hag- 
gard eyes, she had excused her attendance that night, and 
ordered her to bed. The employment, naturally enough, 
suggested her conversation with the girl in the morning ; and, 
turning to her husband, she said, carelessly, — 

" By the by, Arthur, who was that low-bred fellow that you 
lugged in to our dinner table to-day ? " 



52 UNCLE TOM's cabin ; OR, 

" Haley is Ms name," said Shelby, turning himself rather 
uneasily in his chair, and continuing with his eyes fixed on a 
letter, 

" Haley ! who is he, and what may be his business here, 
pray ? " 

" Well, he's a man that I transacted some business with, 
last time I was at Natchez," said Mr. Shelby. 

" And he presumed on it to make himself quite at home, and 
call and dine here, ay ? " 

" Why, I invited him ; I had some accounts with him," said 
Shelby. 

" Is he a negro trader? " said Mrs. Shelby, noticing a certain 
embarrassment in her husband's manner. 

" Why, my dear, what put that into your head ? " said Shel- 
by, looking up. 

" Nothing, — only Eliza came in here, after dinner, in a great 
worry, crying and taking on, and said you were talking with a 
trader, and that she heard him make an offer for her boy — the 
ridiculous little goose ! " 

"She did, hey?" said Mr. Shelby, returning to his paper, 
which he seemed for a few moments quite intent upon, not per- 
ceiving that he was holding it bottom upwards. 

" It will have to come out," said he, mentally ; " as well now 
as ever." 

" I told Eliza," said Mrs. Shelby, as she continued brushing 
her hair, " that she was a little fool for her pains, and that you 
never had any thing to do with that sort of persons. Of 
course, I knew you never meant to sell any of our people, — 
least of all, to such a fellow." 

" Well, Emily," said her husband, " so I have always felt and 
said ; but the fact is, that my business lies so that I cannot get 
on without. I shall have to sell some of my hands." 

" To that creature ? Impossible ! Mr. Shelby, you cannot be 
serious." 

" I'm sorry to say that I am," said Mr. Shelby. " I've agreed 
to sell Tom." 

"What! our Tom? — that good, faithful creature! — been 
your faithful servant from a boy ! Mr. Shelby ! — and you 
have promised him his freedom, too, — you and I have spoken 



LIFE AMONG THE LOWLY. 53 

to liim a hundred times of it. Well, I can believe any thing 
now, — I can believe noio that you could sell little Harry, poor 
Eliza's only child ! " said Mrs. Shelby, in a tone between grief 
and indignation. 

" Well, since you must know all, it is so. I have agreed to 
sell Tom and Harry both ; and I don't know why I am to be 
rated, as if I were a monster, for doing what every one does 
every day." 

" But why, of all others, choose these ? " said Mrs. Shelby. . 
" Why sell them, of all on the place, if you must sell at all ? " 

" Because they will bring the highest sum of any, — that's 
why. I could choose another, if you say so. The fellow made 
me a high bid on Eliza, if that would suit you any better," said 
Mr. Shelby. 

" The wretch ! " said Mrs. Shelby, vehemently. , 

"Well, I didn't listen to it a moment,-^ out of regard to 
your feelings, I wouldn't ; — so give me some credit." 

" My dear," said Mrs. Shelby, recollecting herself, " forgive 
me. I have been hasty. I was surprised, and entirely unpre- 
pared for this ; — but surely you will allow me to intercede for 
these poor creatures. Tom is a noble-hearted, faithful fellow, 
if he is black. I do believe, Mr. Shelby, that if he were put to 
it, he would lay down his life for you." 

" I know it, — I dare say ; but what's the use of all this? — I 
can't help myself." 

" Why not make a pecuniary sacrifice ? I'm willing to bear 
my part of the inconvenience. Mr. Shelby, I have tried — 
tried most faithfully, as a Christian woman should — to do my 
duty to these poor, simple, dependent creatures. I have cared 
for them, instructed them, watched over them, and known all 
their little cares and joys, for years ; and how can I ever hold 
up my head again among them, if, for the sake of a little pal- 
try gain, we sell such a faithful, excellent, confiding creature 
as poor Tom, and tear from him in a moment all we have 
taught him to love and value ? I have taught them the duties 
of the family, of parent and child, and husband and wife ; 
and how can I bear to have this open acknowledgment that we 
care for no tie, no duty, no relation, however sacred, compared 
with money ? I have talked with Eliza about her boy — her 



54 UNCLE tom's cabin ; OR, 

duty to him as a Christian mother, to watch over him, pray for 
him, and bring him up in a Christian way ; and now what can 
I say, if you tear him away, and sell him, soul and body, to a 
profane, unprincipled man, just to save a little money ? I have 
told her that one soul is worth more than all the money in the 
world ; and how will she believe me when she sees us turn 
round and sell her child? — sell him, perhaps, to certain ruin of 
body and soul ! " 

" I'm sorry you feel so about it, Emily, — indeed I am," said 
Mr. Shelby ; " and I respect your feelings, too, though I don't 
pretend to share them to their full extent ; but I tell you now, 
solemnly, it's of no use — I can't help myself. I didn't mean 
to tell you this, Emily ; but, in plain words, there is no choice 
between selling these two and selling every thing. Either they 
must go, or all must. Haley has come into possession of a mort- 
gage, which, if I don't clear off with him directly, will take 
every thing before it. I've raked, and scraped, and borrowed, 
and all but begged, — and the price of these two was needed 
to make up the balance, and I had to give them up. Haley 
fancied the child ; he agreed to settle the matter that way, and 
no other. I was in his power, and had to do it. If you feel 
so to have them sold, would it be any better to have all sold ? " 

Mrs. Shelby stood like one stricken. Finally, turning to her 
toilet, she rested her face in her hands, and gave a sort of 
groan. 

" This is God's curse on slavery ! — a bitter, bitter, most ac- 
cursed thing ! — a curse to the master and a curse to the slave ! 
I was a fool to think I could make any thing good out of such 
a deadly evil. It is a sin to hold a slave under laws like ours, 
— I always felt it was, — I always thought so when I was a girl, 
— I thought so still more after I joined the church ; but I 
thought I could gild it over, — I thought, by kindness, and 
care, and instruction, I could make the condition of mine bet- 
ter than freedom — fool that I was ! " 

" Why, wife, you are getting to be an abolitionist, quite." 

" Abolitionist ! if they knew all I know about slavery they 
might talk ! We don't need them to tell us ; you know I 
never thought that slavery was right — never felt willing to 
own slaves." 



LIFE AMONG THE LOWLY. 55 

" Well, therein you differ from many wise and pious men," 
said Mr. Shelby. " You remember Mr. B.'s sermon, the other 
Sunday ? " 

" I don't want to hear such sermons ; I never wish to hear 
Mr. B. in our church again. Ministers can't help the evil, per- 
haps, — can't cure it, any more than we can, — but defend it ! 
— it always went against my common sense. And I think you 
didn't think much of that sermon, either." 

" Well," said Shelby, " I must say these ministers sometimes 
carry matters further than we poor sinners would exactly dare 
to do. We men of the world must wink pretty hard at vari- 
ous things, and get used to a deal that isn't the exact thing. 
But we don't quite fancy, when women and ministers come out 
broad and square, and go beyond us in matters of either mod- 
esty or morals, that's a fact. But now, my dear, I trust you 
see the necessity of the thing, and you see that I have done the 
very best that circumstances would allow." 

" 0, yes, yes ! " said Mrs. Shelby, hurriedly and abstractedly 
fingering her gold watch, — "I haven't any jewelry of any 
amount," she added, thoughtfully ; " but would not this watch 
do something ? — it was an expensive one, when it was bought. 
If I could only at least save Eliza's child, I would sacrifice any 
thing I have." 

" I'm sorry, very sorry, Emily," said Mr. Shelby, — " I'm sorry 
this takes hold of you so ; but it will do no good. The fact 
is, Emily, the thing's done ; the bills of sale are already signed, 
and in Haley's hands ; and you must be thankful it is no worse. 
That man has had it in his power to ruin us all, — and now he 
is fairly off. If you knew the man as I do, you'd think that 
we had had a narrow escape." 

"Is he so hard, then? " 

" Why, not a cruel man, exactly, but a man of leather, — a 
man alive to nothing but trade and profit, — cool, and unhesi- 
tating, and unrelenting, as death and the grave. He'd sell his 
own mother at a good percentage — not wishing the old woman 
any harm, either." 

" And this wretch owns that good, faithful Tom, and Eliza's 
child!" 

" Well, my dear, the fact is that this goes rather hard with 



56 UNCLE tom's cabin; or, 

me ; it's a thing I hate to think of. Haley wants to drive mat- 
ters, and take possession to-morrow. I'm going to get out my 
horse bright and early, and be off. I can't see Tom, that's a 
fact ; and you had better arrange a drive somewhere, and carry 
Eliza off. Let the thing be done when she is out of sight." 

" No, no," said Mrs. Shelby ; " I'll be in no sense accomplice 
or help in this cruel business. I'll go and see poor old Toni, 
God help him, in his distress! They shall see, at any rate, 
that their mistress can feel for and with them. As to Eliza, I 
dare not think about it. The Lord forgive us ! What have 
we done, that this cruel necessity should come on us ? " 

There was one listener to this conversation whom Mr. and 
Mrs. Shelby little suspected. 

Communicating with their apartment was a large closet, 
opening by a door into the outer passage. When Mrs. Shelby 
had dismissed Eliza for the night, her feverish and excited 
mind had suggested the idea of this closet ; and she had hid- 
den herself there, and, with her ear pressed close against the 
crack of the door, had lost not a word of the conversation. 

When the voices died into silence, she rose and crept 
stealthily away. Pale, shivering, with rigid features and com- 
pressed lips, she looked an entirely altered being from the soft 
and timid creature she had been hitherto. She moved cau- 
tiously along the entry, paused one moment at her mistress's 
door, and raised her hands in mute appeal to Heaven, and then 
turned and glided into her own room. It was a quiet, neat 
apartment, on the same floor with her mistress. There was 
the pleasant sunny window, where she had often sat singing at 
her sewing ; there a little case of books, and various little 
fancy articles, ranged by them, the gifts of Christmas holi- 
days ; there was her simple wardrobe in the closet and in the 
drawers : — here was, in short, her home ; and, on the whole, 
a happy one it had been to her. But there, on the bed, lay her 
slumbering boy, his long curls falling negligently around his 
unconscious face, his rosy mouth half open, his little fat hands 
thrown out over the bed clothes, and a smile spread like a sun- 
beam over his whole face. 

" Poor boy ! poor fellow ! " said Eliza ; " they have sold 
you ! but your mother will save you yet ! " 



LIFE AMON(; THE LOWLY. 57 

No tear dropped over that pillow ; in such straits as these, 
the heart has no tears to give, — it drops only blood, bleeding 
itself away in silence. She took a piece of paper and a pencil, 
and wrote, hastily, — 

"0 missis! dear missis! don't think me ungrateful, — don't 
think hard of me, any way, — I heard all you and master said 
to-night. I am going to try to save my boy — you will not 
blame me ! God bless and rcAvard you for all your kindness ! " 

Hastily folding and directing this, she went to a drawer, and 
made up a little package of clothing for her boy, which she 
tied with a handkerchief firmly round her waist ; and so fond 
is a mother's remembrance, that, even in the terrors of that 
hour, she did not forget to put in the little package one or two 
of his favorite toys, reserving a gayly-painted parrot to amuse 
him, when she should be called on to awaken him. It was 
some trouble to arouse the little sleeper ; but, after some effort, 
he sat up, and was playing with his bird, while his mother was 
putting on her bonnet and shawl. 

" Where are you going, mother ? " said he, as she drew near 
the bed, with his little coat and cap. 

His mother drew near, and looked so earnestly into his 
eyes, that he at once divined that something unusual was the 
matter. 

" Hush, Harry," she said ; " musn't speak loud, or they will 
hear us. A wicked man was coming to take little Harry away 
from his mother, and carry him 'way off in the dark ; but 
mother won't let him — she's going to put on her little boy's 
cap and coat, and run off with him, so the ugly man can't catch 
him." 

Saying these words, she had tied and buttoned on the child's 
simple outfit, and, taking him in her arms, she whispered to 
him to be very still ; and, opening a door in her room which 
led into the outer veranda, she glided noiselessly out. 

It was a sparkling, frosty, starlight night, and the mother 
wrapped the shawl close round her child, as, perfectly quiet 
with vague terror, he clung round her neck. 

Old Bruno, a great Newfoundland, who slept at the end of 
the porch, rose, with a low growl, as she came near. She 
gently spoke his name, and the animal, an old pet and play- 



58 UNCLE tom's cabin; or, 

mate of hers, instantly, wagging his tail, prepared to follow 
her, though apparently revolving much, in his simple dog's 
head, what such an-4ndiscreet midnight promenade might mean* 
Some dim ideas of imprudence or impropriety in the measure 
seemed to embarrass him considerably ; for he often stopped, 
as Eliza glided forward, and looked wistfully, first at her and 
then at the house, and then, as if reassm^ed by reflection, he 
pattered along after her again. A few minutes brought them 
to the window of Uncle Tom's cottage, and Eliza, stopping, 
tapped lightly on the window pane. 

The prayer meeting at Uncle Tom's had, in the order of 
hymn-singing, been protracted to a very late hour ; and, as 
Uncle Tom had indulged himself in a few lengthy solos after- 
wards, the consequence was, that, although it was now between 
twelve and one o'clock, he and his worthy helpmeet were not 
yet asleep. 

" Good Lord ! what's that ? " said Aunt Chloe, starting up 
and hastily drawing the curtain. " My sakes alive, if it an't - 
Lizy ! Get on your clothes, old man, quick! — there's old 
Bruno, too, a pawin' round ; what on airth ! I'm gwine to _ 
open the door." 

And, suiting the action to the word, the door flew open, and 
the light of the tallow candle, which Tom had hastily lighted, . 
fell on the haggard face and dark, wild eyes of the fugitive. 

"Lord bless you ! — I'm skeered to look at ye, Lizy! Ave jg_ 
tuck sick, or what's come over ye ? " 

"I'm running away — Uncle Tom and Aunt Chloe — carrying 
ofi" my child — master sold him!" . 

" Sold him ? " echoed both, lifting up their hands in dismay. - 

" Yes, sold him ! " said Eliza, firmly ; " I crept into the closet- 
by mistress's door to-night, and I heard master tell missis that 
he had sold my Harry, and you, Uncle Tom, both, to a trader ; 
and that he was going off this morning on his horse, and that- - 
the man was to take possession to-day." 

Tom had stood, during this speech, with his hands raised, and"- 
his eyes dilated, like a man in a dream. Slowly and gradually, 
as its meaning came over him, he collapsed, rather than seated 
himself, on his old chair, and sunk his head down upon his 
knees. 

" The good Lord have pity on us ! " said Aunt Chloe. " 0. 



LIFE AMONG THE LOWLY. 59 

it don't seem as if it was time ! What has he done, that mas'r 
should sell him ? " 

"He hasn't done any thing, — it isn't for that. Master don't 
want to sell; and missis — she's always good. I heard her 
plead and beg for us ; but he told her 'twas no use ; that he 
was in this man's debt, and that this man had got the power 
over him ; and that if he didn't pay him off clear, it would end 
in his having to sell the place and all the people, and move ofi". 
Yes, I heard him say there was no choice between selling these 
two and selling all, the man was driving him so hard. Master 
said he was sorry ; but 0, missis — you ought to have heard 
her talk ! If she an't a Christian and an angel, there never 
was one. I'm a wicked girl to leave her so ; but, then, I can't 
help it. She said, herself, one soul was worth more than the, 
world ; and this boy has a soul, and if I let him be carried off, 
who knows what'll become of it ? It must be right ; but, if 
it an't right, the Lord forgive me, for I can't help doing it ! " 

"Well, old man!" said Aunt Chloe, "why don't you go, 
too ? Will you wait to be toted down river, where they kill 
niggers with hard work and starving ? I'd a heap rather die 
than go there, any day ! There's time for ye, — be off with 
Lizy, — you've got a pass to come and go any time. Come, 
bustle up, and I'll get your things together." 

Tom slowly raised his head, and looked sorrowfully but 
quietly around, and said, — 

"No, no — I an't going. Let Eliza go — it's her right! I 
wouldn't be the one to say no — 'tan't in natur for her to stay ; 
but you heard what she said ! If I must be sold, or all the 
people on the place, and every thing go to rack, why, let me be 
sold. I s'pose I can b'ar it as well as any on 'em," he added, 
while something like a sob and a sigh shook his broad, rough 
chest convulsively. "Mas'r always found me on the spot — he 
always will. I never have broke trust, nor used my pass no 
ways contrary to my word, and I never will. It's better for 
me alone to go, than to break up the place and sell all. Mas'r 
an't to blame, Chloe, and he'll take care of you and the 
poor " 

Here he turned to the rough trundle bed, full of little woolly 
heads, and broke fairly down. He leaned over the back of 
the chair, and covered his face with his largo hands. Sobs, 



60 UNCLE TOM's cabin ; OR, 

lieavy, hoarse, and lond, shook the chair, and great tears fell 
through his fingers on the floor ; just such tears, sir, as you 
dropped into the coffin where lay your first-born son ; such 
tearSr woman, as you shed when you heard the cries of your 
dying babe. For, sir, he was a man, — and you are but another 
man. And, woman, though dressed in silk and jewels, you are 
but a woman, and, in life's great straits and mighty griefs, ye 
feel but one sorrow ! 

" And now," said Eliza, as she stood in the door, " I saw my 
husband only this afternoon, and I little knew then what was 
to come. They have pushed him to the very last standing- 
place, and he told me, to-day, that he was going to run away. 
Do try, if you can, to get word to him. Tell him how I went, 
and why I went ; and tell him I'm going to try and find Canada. 
You must give my love to him, and tell him, if I never see him 
again," — she turned away, and stood with her back to them for 
a moment, and then added, in a husky voice, — " tell him to be 
as good as he can, and try and meet me in the kingdom of 
heaven." 

■' Call Bruno in there," she added. " Shut the door on him, 
poor beast ! He musn't go with me ! " 

A few last words and tears, a few simple adieus and bless- 
ings, and clasping her wondering and aftrighted child in her 
arms, she glided noiselessly away. 



■^^ 





CHAPTER Yl 



DISCOVERT. 




R. and Mrs. Shelby, after their protracted dis- 
cussion of the night before, did not readily 
sink to repose, and, in consequence, slept some- 
what later than usual the ensuing morning. 

"I wonder what keeps Eliza," said Mrs. 
Shelby, after giving her bell repeated pulls, 
to no purpose. 
Mr. Shelby was standing before his dressing glass, sharp- 
ening his razor ; and just then the door opened, and a colored 
hoj entered, with his shaving water. 

" Andy," said his mistress, " step to Eliza's door, and tell her 
I have rung for her three times. Poor thing ! " she added, to 
herself, with a sigh. 

Andv soon returned, with eyes very wide in astonishment. 



62 UNCLE tom's cabin ; OR, 

" Lor, missis ! Lizy's drawers is all open, and her things all 
lying every which way ; and I believe she's just done clared 
out!" 

The truth flashed upon Mr. Shelby and his wife at the same, 
moment. He exclaimed, — 

"Then she suspected it, and she's off!" 

" The Lord be thanked ! " said Mrs. Shelby. " I trust she is.'/ 

" Wife, you talk like a fool ! Really, it will be something 
pretty awkward for me, if she is. Haley saw that I hesitated 
about selling this child, and he'll think I connived at it, to get 
him out of the way. It touches my honor ! " And Mr. Shelby 
left the room hastily. 

There were great running and ejaculating, and opening and 
shutting of doors, and appearance of faces in all shades of 
color in different places, for about a quarter of an hour. One 
person only, who might have shed some light on the matter, 
was entirely silent, and that was the head cook. Aunt Chloe. 
Silently, and with a heavy cloud settled down over her once 
joyous face, she proceeded making out her breakfast biscuits 
as if she lieard and saw nothing of the excitement around her. 

Very soon, about a dozen young imps were roosting, like so 
many crows, on the veranda railings, each one determined to 
be the first one to apprise the strange mas'r of his ill luck. 

" He'll be rael mad, I'll bo bound," said Andy. 

" WonH he swar ! " said little, black Jake. 

" Yes, for he does swar," said woolly-headed Mandy. " I 
hearn him yesterday, at dinner. I hearn all about it then, 
'cause I got into the closet where missis keeps the great jugs, 
and I hearn every word." And Mandy, who had never in her 
life thought of the meaning of a word she had heard, more 
than a black cat, now took airs of superior wisdom, and 
strutted about, forgetting to state that, though actually coiled 
up among the jugs at the time specified, she had been fast 
asleep all the time. 

When, at last, Haley appeared, booted and spurred, he was 
saluted with the bad tidings on every hand. The young imps 
on the veranda were not disappointed in their hope of hear- 
ing him " swar," which he did with a fluency and fervency 
which delighted them all amazingly, as they ducked and dodged 



LIFE AMONG THE LOWLY. 



63 



hither and thither to be out of the reach of his riding whip ; 
and, all whooping off together, they tumbled, in a pile of im- 
measurable giggle, on the withered turf under the veranda, 
where they kicked up their heels and shouted to their full 
satisfaction. 




" If I had the little devils ! " muttered Haley, between his 
teeth. 

" But you han't got 'em, though ! " said Andy, with a tri- 
umphant flourish, and making a string of indescribable mouths 
at the unfortunate trader's back, when he was fairly beyond 
hearing. 

" I say now, Shelby, this yer's a most extror'nary business ! " 
said Haley, as he abruptly entered the parlor. " It seems that 
gal's off, with her young un." 

"Mr. Haley, Mrs. Shelby is present," said Mr. Shelby. 

" I beg pardon, ma'am," said Haley, bowing slightly, with a 
still lowering brow ; " but still I say, as I said before, this 
yer's a sing'lar report. Is it true, sir ? " 

" Sir," said Mr. Shelby, " if you wish to communicate with 
me, you must observe something of the decorum of a gentle- 
man. Andy, take Mr. Haley's hat and riding whip. Take a 
seat, sir. Yes, sir ; I regret to say that the young woman, 
excited by overhearing, or having reported to her, something 
of this business, has taken her child in the night, and made 
off." 



64 UNCLE tom's cabin ; OR, 

"I did expect fair dealing in this matter, I confess," said 
Haley. 

" Well, sir," said Mr. Shelby, turning sharply round upon 
him, " what am I to understand by that remark ? If any man 
calls my honor in question, I have but one answer for him.". 

The trader cowered at this, and in a somewhat lower tone 
said that " it was plaguy hard on a fellow, that 4iad made a 
fair bargain, to be gulled that way." 

" Mr. Haley," said Mr. Shelby, " if I did not think you had 
some cause for disappointment, I sliould not have borne from 
you the rude and unceremonious style of your entrance into 
my parlor this morning. I say this much, however, since 
appearances call for it, that I shall allow of no insinuations 
cast upon me, as if I were at all partner to any unfairness 
in this matter. Moreover, I shall feel bound to give you 
every assistance, in the use of horses, servants, &c., in the 
recovery of your property. So, in short, Haley," said he, 
suddenly dropping from the tone of_ dignified coolness to 
his ordinary one of easy frankness, " the best way for you 
is to Jieep good natured, and eat some breakfast, and we will 
then see what is to be done."^. 

Mrs. Shelby now rose, and said her engagements would 
prevent her being at the breakfast table that morning ; and, 
deputing a very respectable mulatto woman to attend to the 
gentlemen's coffee at the sideboard, she left the room. 

'' Old lady don't like your humble servant, over and above," 
said Haley, with an uneasy effort to be very familiar. 

"I am not accustomed to hear my wife spoken of with such 
freedom," said Mr. Shelby, dryly. _ 

" Beg pardon ; of course, only a joke, you know," said Haley, 
forcing a laugh. 

" Some jokes are less agreeable than others," rejoined Shelby. 

"Devilish free, now I've signed those papers, cuss him!" 
muttered Haley to himself; "quite grand, since yesterday!" 

Never did fall of any prime minister at court occasion wider 
surges of sensation than the report of Tom's fate among his 
compeers on the place. It was the topic in every mouth, every 
where ; and nothing was done in the house or in the field, but 
to discuss its probable results. Eliza's flight — an unprece- 



LIFE AMONG THE LOWLY. 65 

dented event on the place — was also a great accessory in 
stimulating the general excitement. 

Black Sam, as he was commonly called, from his being 
about three shades blacker than any other son of ebony on 
the place, was revolving the matter profoundly in all its 
phases and bearings, with a comprehensiveness of vision and 
a strict lookout to his own personal well being, that would 
have done credit to any white patriot in Washington. - 

"It's an ill wind dat blows nowhar, — dat ar a fact," said 
Sam, sententiously, giving an additional hoist to his panta- 
loons, and adroitly substituting a long nail in place of a miss- 
ing suspender button, with which effort of mechanical genius 
he seemed highly delighted. 

" Yes, it's an ill wind blows nowhar," he repeated. " Now, 
dar, Tom's down — wal, course der's room for some nigger 
to be up — and why not dis nigger? — dat's de idee. Tom, 
a ridin' round de country — boots blacked — pass in his pocket 
— all grand as Cuffee — who but he? Now, why shouldn't 
Sam? — dat's what I want to know." 

"Halloo, Sam — Sam! mas'r wants you to cotch Bill and 
Jerry," said Andy, cutting short Sam's soliloquy. 

"High! what's afoot now, young un?" 

" Why, you don't know, I s'pose, that Lizy's cut stick, and 
clared out, with her young un ? " 

"You teach your granny!" said Sam, with infinite con- 
tempt ; " knowed it a heap sight sooner than you did ; this 
nigger an't so green, now ! " 

" Well, any how, mas'r wants Bill and Jerry geared right 
up ; and you and I's to go with Mas'r Haley, to look arter her." 

" Good, now ! 'dat's de time o' day ! " said Sam. " It's Sam 
dat's called for in dese yer times. He's de nigger. See if I 
don't cotch her, now ; mas'r'll see what Sam can do ! " 

" Ah ! but, Sam," said Andy, " you'd better think twice ; 
for missis don't want her cotched, and she'll be in yer wool." 

" High ! " said Sam, opening his eyes. " How you know 
dat ? " 

" Heard her say so, my own self, dis blessed mornin', when I 
bring in mas'r's shaving water. She sent me to see why Lizy 
didn't come to 'dress her ; and when I telled her she was off, 



66 UNCLE TOM's CABIN; OR, 

she jest ris up, and says she, ' The Lord be praised ; ' and 
mas'r, he seemed rael mad, and says he, ' Wife, you talk like a 
fool.' But Lor ! shell bring him to 1 I knows well enough 
how that'll be, — it's allers best to stand missis' side the 
fence, now I tell yer." 

Black Sam, upon this, scratched his woolly pate, which, if it 
did not contain very profound wisdom, still contained a great 
deal of a particular species much in demand among politicians 
of all complexions and countries, and vulgarly denominated 
" knowing which side the bread is buttered ; " so, stopping 
with grave consideration, he again gave a hitch to his panta- 
loons, which was his regularly-organized method of assisting 
his mental perplexities. 

" Der an't no sayin' — never — 'bout no kind o' thing in dis 
yer world," he said, at last. 

Sam spoke like a philosopher, emphasizing this — as if he 
had had a large experience in different sorts of worlds, and 
therefore had come to his conclusions advisedly. 

" Now, sartin I'd a said that missis would a scoured the 
varsal world after Lizy," added Sam, thoughtfully. 

" So she would," said Andy ; " but can't ye see through a 
ladder, ye black nigger ? Missis don't want dis yer Mas'r 
Haley to get Lizy's boy ; dat's de go ! " 

" High ! " said Sam, with an indescribable intonation known 
only to those who have heard it among the negroes. 

" And I'll tell yer more'n all," said Andy ; " I specs you'd 
better be making tracks for dem horses, — mighty sudden, too, 
— for I hearu missis 'quirin' arter yer, — so you've stood 
foolin' long enough." 

Sam, upon this, began to bestir himself in real earnest, and 
after a while appeared, bearing down gloriously towards the 
house, with Bill and Jerry in a full canter, and adroitly throw- 
ing himself off before they had any idea of stopping, he 
brought them up alongside of the horse post like a tornado. 
Haley's horse, which was a skittish young colt, winced, and 
bounced, and pulled hard at his halter. 

" Ho, ho ! " said Sam, " skeery, ar ye ? " and his black vis- 
age lighted up with a curious, mischievous gleam. " I'll fix ye 
now ! " said he. 



I 



LIFE AMONG THE LOWLY. 67 

There was a large beech tree overshadowing the place, and 
the small, sharp, triangular beech nuts lay scattered thickly on 
the ground. With one of these in his fingers, Sam approached 
the colt, stroked and patted, and seemed apparently busy in 
soothing his agitation. On pretence of adjusting the saddle, 
he adroitly slipped under it the sharp little nut, in such a man- 
ner that the least weight brought upon the saddle would annoy 
the nervous sensibilities of the animal, without leaving any 
perceptible graze or wound. 

' " Dar ! " he said, rolling his eyes with an approving grin ; 
" me fix 'em ! " 

At this moment, Mrs. Shelby appeared on the balcony, beck- 
oning to him. Sam approached with as good a determination 
to pay court as did ever suitor after a vacant -place at St. 
James's or Washington. 

" Why have you been loitering so, Sam ? I sent Andy to 
tell you to hurry." 

" Lord bless you, missis ! " said Sam, " horses won't be 
cotched all in a minit ; they'd done clared out way down to 
the south pasture, and the Lord knows whar ! " 

" Sam, how often must I tell you not to say, ' Lord bless you,' 
and ' the Lord knows,' and such things ? It's wickedj' ■ 

" 0, Lord bless my soul ! I done forgot, missis ! I wjon't 
say nothing of de, sort no more." 

" Why, Sam, you just have said it again." 

" Did I ? Lord ! I mean — I didn't go fur to say it." 

'' You must be careful^ Sam." 

" Just let me get my breath, missis, and I'll start fair. I'll 
be bery careful." 

" Well, Sam, you are to go with Mr. Haley, to show him the 
road, and help him. Be careful of the horses, Sam ; you 
know Jerry was a little lame last week ; donH ride them too 
fast." 

Mrs. Shelby spoke the last words with a low voice, and 
strong emphasis. 

" Let dis child alone for dat ! " said Sam, rolling up his eyes 
with a volume of meaning. " Lord knows ! High ! Didn't 
say dat ! " said he, suddenly catching his breath, with a 
ludicrous flourish of apprehension, which made his mistress 



68 UNCLE TOM S CABIN ; OR, 

laugh, spite of herself. " Yes, missis, I'll look out for de 
bosses ! " 

" Now, Andy," said Sam, returning to his stand under the 
beech trees, " you see I wouldn't he 'tall surprised if dat 
ar gen'lman's crittur should gib a fling, by and by, when he 
comes to be a gettin' up. You know, Andy, critturs vMl do such_ 
things ; " and therewith Sam poked Andy in the side, in a 
highly suggestive manner. 

" High ! " said Andy, with an air of instant appreciation. 

"Yes, you see, Andy, missis wants to make time, — dat ar's 
clar to der most or'nary 'bserver. I jis make a little for her. 
Now, you see, get all dese yer bosses loose, caperin' permiscus 
round dis yer lot and down to de wood dar, and I spec mas'r 
won't be off in a hurry." 

Andy grinned. 

"Yer see," said Sam, "yer see, Andy, if any such thing 
should happen as that Mas'r Haley's horse should begin to act 
contrary, and cut up, you and I jist lets go of our'n to help 
him, and weHl Jielp him — 0, yes ! " And Sam and Andy laid, 
their heads back on their shoulders, and broke into a Ioav, 
immoderate laugh, snapping their fingers and flourishing their 
heels with exquisite delight. 

At this instant Haley appeared on the veranda. Somewhat 
mollified by certain cups of very good coffee, he came out 
smiling and talking, in tolerably restored humor. Sam and 
Andy, clawing for certain fragmentary palm leaves, which. 
they were in the habit of considering as hats, flew to the horse- 
posts, to be ready to " help mas'r." 

Sam's palm leaf had been ingeniously disentangled from all 
pretensions to braid, as respects its brim ; and the slivers, 
starting apart, and standing upright, gave it a blazing air of 
freedom and defiance, quite equal to that of any Fejee chiefs- 
while the whole brim of Andy's being departed bodily, he 
rapped the crown on his head with a dexterous thump, and 
looked about well pleased, as if to say, " Who says I haven't 
got a hat ? " 

" Well, boys," said Haley, " look alive now ; we must lose 
no time." 

" Not a bit of him, mas'r ! " said Sam, putting Haley's rein 



LIFE AMONG THE LOWLY. 



69 



in his hand, and holding his stirrup, while Andy was untying 
the other two horses. 

The instant Haley touched the saddle, the mettlesome crea- 
ture bounded from the earth with a sudden spring, that threw 
his master sprawling, some feet off, on the soft, dry turf. Sam, 
with frantic ejaculations, made a dive at the reins, but only 
succeeded in brushing the blazing palm leaf aforenamed into 
the horse's eyes, which by no means tended to allay the confu- 
sion of his nerves. So, with great vehemence, he overturned 
Sam, and, giving two or three contemptuous snorts, flourished 
his heels vigorously in the air, and was soon prancing away 
towards the lower end of the lawn, followed by Bill and Jerry, 




whom Andy had not failed to let loose, according to contract, 
speeding them off with various direful ejaculations. And now 
ensued a miscellaneous scene of confusion. Sam and Andy 
ran and shouted, — dogs barked here and there, — and Mike, 
Mose, Mandy, Fanny, and all the smaller specimens on the 
place, both male and female, raced, clapped hands, whooped, 
and shouted, with outrageous ofi&ciousness and untiring zeal. 

Haley's horse, which was a white one, and very fleet and 
spirited, appeared to enter into the spirit of the scene with 
great gusto ; and having for his coursing ground a lawn of 
nearly half a mile in extent, gently sloping down on every side 
into indefinite woodland, he appeared to take infinite delight 



70 UNCLE TOMS CABIN ; OR, 

in seeing how near lie could allow his pursuers to approach 
him, and then, when within a hand's breadth, whisk off with a 
start and a snort, like a mischievous beast as he was, and 
career far down into some alley of the wood-lot. Nothing 
was farther from Sam's mind than to have any one of the troop 
taken until such season as should seem to him most befitting, — 
and the exertions that he made were certainly most heroic. 
Like the sword of Coeur de Lion, which always blazed in the 
front and thickest of the battle, Sam's palm leaf was to be seen 
every where when there was the least danger that a horse could 
be caught; — there he would bear down full tilt, shouting, 
" Now for it ! cotch him ! cotch him ! " in a way that would set 
every thing to indiscriminate rout in a moment. 

Haley ran up and down, and cursed, and swore, and stamped 
miscellaneously. Mr. Shelby in vain tried to shout directions 
from the balcony, and Mrs. Shelby from her chamber window 
alternately laughed and wondered, — not without some inkling 
of what lay at the bottom of all this confusion. 

At last, about twelve o'clock, Sam appeared triumphant, 
mounted on Jerry, with Haley's horse by his side, reeking with 
sweat, but with flashing eyes and dilated nostrils, showing that 
the spirit of freedom had not yet entirely subsided. 

" He's cotched ! " he exclaimed, triumphantly. " If 't hadn't 
been for me, they might a bust theirselves, all on 'em ; but I 
cotched him ! " 

" You ! " growled Haley, in no amiable mood. " If it hadn't 
been for you, this never would have happened." 

" Lord bless us, mas'r," said Sam, in a tone of the deepest 
concern, " and me that has been racin' and chasin' till the sweat 
just pours off me ! " 

" "Well, well ! " said Haley, ''you've lost me near three hours, 
with your cursed nonsense. Now let's be off, and have no 
more fooling." 

" Why, mas'r," said Sam, in a deprecating tone, " I believe 
you mean to kill us all clar, hosses and all. Here we are all 
just ready to drop down, and the critters all in a reek of sweat. 
Why, mas'r won't think of startin' on now till arter dinner. 
Mas'r's hoss wants rubben down : see how he splashed hisself ; 
and Jerry limps too ; don't think missis would be willin' to 






LIFE AMOX<; THE LOWLY. 71 

have us start clis yer way, no how. Lord bless you, mas'r, we 
can ketch up, if we do stop. Lizy never was no great of a 
walker." 

Mrs. Shelby, who, greatly to her amusement, had overheard 
this conversation from the veranda, now resolved to do her 
part. She came forward, and, courteously expressing her con- 
cern for Haley's accident, pressed him to stay to dinner, say- 
ing that the cook should bring it on the table immediately. 

Thus, all things considered, Haley, with rather an equivocal 
grace, proceeded to the parlor, Avhile Sam, rolling his eyes 
after him with unutterable meaning, proceeded gravely with 
the horses to the stable yard. 

"Did yer see him, Andy? did yer see him?" said Sam, when 
he had got fairly beyond the shelter of the barn, and fastened 
the horse to a post. " Lor, if it warn't as good as a meetin', 
now, to see him a dancin', and kickin', and swarin' at us. Didn't 
I hear him ? Swar away, ole fellow, (says I to myself ; ) will 
yer have yer hoss now, or wait till you cotcli him ? (says I.) 
Lor, Andy, I think I can see him now." And Sam and Andy 
leaned up against the barn, and laughed to their hearts' content- 

" Yer oughter seen how mad he looked, when I brought the 
hoss up. Lord, he'd a killed me, if he durs' to ; and there I 
was a standin' as innercent and as humble." 

" Lor, I seed you," said Andy ; " an't you an old hoss, 
Sam ? " 

" Rather specks I am," said Sam ; " did yer see missis up 
stars at the winder ? I seed her laughin'." 

" I'm sure, I was racin' so, I didn't see nothing," said Andy. 

" Well, yer see," said Sam, proceeding gravely to wash down 
Haley's pony, " I'se 'quired what yer may call a habit o' bobser- 
vation, Andy. It's a very 'portant habit, Andy ; and I 'com- 
mend yer to be cultivatin' it, now yer young. Hist up that 
hind foot, Andy. Yer see, Andy, it's bobservation makes all de 
difference in niggers. Didn't I see which way the wind blew 
dis yer mornin' ? Didn't I see what missis wanted, though she 
never let on? Dat ar's bobservation, Andy. I 'spects it's 
what you may call a faculty. Faculties is different in different 
peoples, but cultivation of 'em goes a great way." 



T2 



UNCLE TOM S CABIN ; OE, 



" I guess if I hadn't helped your bobservation dis mornin', 
yer wouldn't have seen your way so smart," said Andy. 

"Andy," said Sam, "you's a promisin' child, der an't no 
manner o' doubt. I thinks lots of yer, Andy ; and I don't feel 
no ways ashamed to take idees from you. We oughtenter 
overlook nobody, Andy, cause the smartest on us gets tripped 
up sometimes. And so, Andy, let's go up to the house now. 
I'll be boun' missis'll give us an uncommon good bite, dis yer 
time." 





CHAPTER YII 



THE MOTHERS STRUGGLE. 




T is impossible to conceive of a human creature 
more wholly desolate and forlorn than Eliza, ~ 
when she turned her footsteps from Uncle 
Tom's cabin. 

Her husband's suffering and dangers, and 
the danger of her child, all blended in her 
mind, with a confused and stunning sense of the risk she was 
running, in leaving the only home she had ever known, and 
cutting loose from the protection of a friend whom she loved 
and revered. Then there was the parting from every familiar 
object, — the place where she had grown up, the trees under 
which she had played, the groves where she had walked many 
an evening, in happier days, by the side of her young hus- 
band, — every thing, as it lay in the clear, frosty starlight, 
10 



74 UNCLE TOM's cabin ; OR, 

seemed to speak reproaclifully to her, and ask her whither 
could she go from a home like tliat. 

But stronger than all was maternal love, wrought into a 
paroxysm of frenzy by the near approach of a fearful danger. 
Her boy was old enough to have walked by her side, and, in an 
indifferent case, she would only have led him by the hand ; but 
now the bare thought of putting him out of her arms made her 
shudder, and she strained him to her bosom with a convulsive 
grasp, as she went rapidly forward. 

The frosty ground creaked beneath her feet, and she trem- 
bled at the sound ; every quaking leaf and fluttering shadow 
sent the blood backward to her heart, and quickened her foot- 
steps. She wondered within herself at the strength that 
seemed to be come upon her ; for she felt the weight of 
her boy as if it had been a feather, and every flutter of fear 
seemed to increase the supernatural power that bore her on, 
while from her pale lips burst forth, in frequent ejaculations, 
the prayer to a Friend above — " Lord, help ! Lord, save 
me ! " 

If it were your Harry, mother, or your Willie, that was 
going to be torn from you by a brutal trader, to-morrow morn-, 
ing, — if you had seen the man, and heard that the papers were 
signed and delivered, and you had only from twelve o'clock 
till morning to make good your escape, — how fast could you 
walk ? How i\iany miles could you make in those few brief 
hours, with the darling at your bosom, — the little sleepy head 
on your shoulder, — the. small, soft arms trustingly holding on 
to your neck ? 

For the child slept. At first, the novelty and alarm kept 
him waking ; but his^ mother so hurriedly repressed every breath 
or sound, and so assured him that if he were only still she. 
would certainly save him, that he clung quietly round her 
neck, only asking, as he found himself sinking to sleep, — 

" Mother, I don't need to keep awake, do I ? " 

" No, my darling ; sleep, if you want to." 

" But, mother, if I do get asleep, you won't let him get me ? " 

"No ! so may God help me !" said his mother, with a paler 
cheek, and a brighter light in her large dark eyes. 

" You're sure, an't you, mother ? " 



LIFE AMOX(; THE LOWLY. 75 

" Yes, sure ! " said the mother, in a voice that startled her- 
self ; for it seemed to her to come from a spirit within, that 
was no part of her ; and the boy dropped his little weary- 
head on her shoulder, and was soon asleep. How the touch of 
those warm arms, the gentle breathings that came in her neck, 
seemed to add fire and spirit to her movements ! It seemed to 
her as if strength poured into her in electric streams, from 
every gentle touch and movement of the sleeping, confiding 
child. Sublime is the dominion of the mind over the body, 
that, for a time, can make flesh and nerve impregnable, and 
string the sinews like steel, so that the weak become so mighty. 

The boundaries of the farm, the grove, the wood-lot, passed 
by her dizzily, as she walked on ; and still she went, leaving 
one familiar object after another, slacking not, pausing not, till 
reddening daylight found her many a long mile from all traces 
of any familiar objects upon the open highway. 

She had often been, with her mistress, to visit some connec- 
tions, in the little village of T , not far from the Ohio 

River, and knew the road well. To go thither, to escape 
across the Ohio River, were the first hurried outlines of her 
plan of escape ; beyond that, she could only hope in God. 

When horses and vehicles began to move along the high- 
way, with that alert perception peculiar to a state of excite- 
ment, and which seems to be a sort of inspiration, she became 
aware that her headlong pace and distracted air might bring 
on her remark and suspicion. She therefore put the boy on 
the ground, and, adjusting her dress and bonnet, she walked on 
at as rapid a pace as she thought consistent with the preserva- 
tion of appearances. In her little bundle she had provided a 
store of cakes and apples, which she used as expedients for 
quickening the speed of the child, rolling the apple some yards 
before them, when the boy would run with all his might after 
it ; and this ruse, often repeated, carried them over many a 
half mile. 

After a while, they came to a thick patch of woodland, 
through which murmured a clear brook. As the child com- 
plained of hunger and thirst, she climbed over the fence with 
him ; and, sitting down behind a large rock, which concealed 
them from the road, she gave him a breakfast out of hei little 



76 UNCLE tom's cabin ; OR, 

package. The boy wondered and grieved that she could not 
eat ; and when, putting his arms round her neck, he tried to 
wedge some of his cake into her mouth, it seemed to her that 
the rising in her throat would choke her. 

"No, no, Harry, darling ! mother can't eat till you are safe. 
We must go on — on — till we come to the river ! " And she 
hurried again into the road, and again constrained herself to 
walk regularly and composedly forward. 

She was many miles past any neighborhood where she was 
personally known. If she should chance to meet any who 
knew her, she reflected that the well-known kindness of the 
family would be of itself a blind to suspicion, as making it an 
unlikely supposition that she could be a fugitive. As she was 
also so white as not to be known as of colored lineage with- 
out a critical survey, and her child was white also, it was much 
easier for her to pass on unsuspected. 

On this presumption, she stopped at noon at a neat farm 
house, to rest herself, and buy some dinner for her child and 
self ; for, as the danger decreased with the distance, the super- 
natural tension of the nervous system lessened, and she found 
herself both weary and hungry. 

The good woman, kindly and gossipping, seemed rather 
pleased than otherwise with having somebody come in to talk 
with ; and accepted, without examination, Eliza's statement, 
that she " was going on a little piece, to spend a week with 
her friends," — all which she hoped in her heart might prove 
strictly true. 

An hour before sunset, she entered the village of T , by 

the Ohio River, weary and foot-sore, but still strong in heart. 
Her first glance was at the river, which lay, like Jordan, 
between her and the Canaan of liberty on the other side. 

It was now early spring, and the river was swollen and tur- 
bulent ; great cakes of floating ice were swinging heavily to 
and fro in the turbid waters. Owing to the peculiar form of 
the shore on the Kentucky side, the land bending far out into 
the water, the ice had been lodged and detained in great quan- 
tities, and the narrow channel which swept round the bend 
was full of ice, piled one cake over another, thus forming a 
temporary barrier to the descending ice, which lodged, and 



LIFE AMONG THE LOWLY, 77 

formed a great, undulating raft, filling up the whole river, and 
extending almost to the Kentucky shore. 

Eliza stood, for a moment, contemplating this unfavorable 
aspect of things, which she saw at once must prevent the usual 
ferry boat from running, and then turned into a small public 
house on the bank, to make a few inquiries. 

The hostess, who was busy in various fizzing and stewing op- 
erations over the fire, preparatory to the evening meal, stopped, 
with a fork in her hand, as Eliza's sweet and plaintive voice 
arrested her. 

" What is it ? " she said. 

" Isn't there any ferry or boat, that takes people over to 
B , now ? " she said. 

" No, indeed ! " said the woman ; " the boats has stopped 
running." 

Eliza's look of dismay and disappointment struck the woman, 
and she said, inquiringly, — 

" May be you're wanting to get over? — any body sick? Ye 
seem mighty anxious." 

" I've got a child that's very dangerous," said Eliza. " I 
never heard of it till last night, and I've walked quite a piece 
to-day, in hopes to get to the ferry." 

" Well, now, that's onlucky," said the woman, whose mother- 
ly sympathies were much aroused ; " I'm re'lly consarned for 
ye. Solomon ! " she called, from the window, towards a small 
back building. A man, in leather apron and very dirty hands, 
appeared at the door. 

" I say, Sol," said the woman, " is that ar man going to tote 
them bar'ls over to-night ? " 

"He said he should try, if 'twas any way prudent." said 
the man. 

" There's a man a piece down here, that's going over with 
some truck this evening, if he durs' to ; he'll be in here to sup- 
per to-night, so you'd better set down and wait. That's a 
sweet little fellow," added the woman, offering him a cake. 

But the child, wholly exhausted, cried with weariness. 

" Poor fellow I he isn't used to walking, and I've hurried him 
on so," said Eliza. 

" Well, take him into this room," said the woman, opening 



78 UNCLE TOM's cabin ; OR, 

into a small bed room, where stood a comfortable bed. Eliza 
laid the weary boy upon it, and held his hands in hers till he 
was fast asleep. For her there was no rest. As a fire in her 
bones, the thought of the pursuer urged her on ; and she gazed 
with longing eyes on the sullen, surging waters that lay 
between her and liberty. 

Here we must tajke our leave of her for the present, to 
follow the course of her pursuers. 



Though Mrs. Shelby had promised that the dinner should be 
hurried on table, yet it was soon seen, as the thing has often 
been seen before, that it required more than one to make a 
bargain. So, although the order was fairly given out in Ha- 
ley's hearing, and carried to Aunt Chloe by at least half a 
dozen juvenile messengers, that dignitary only gave certain 
very gruff snorts, and tosses of her head, and went on with 
every operation in an unusually leisurely and circumstantial 
manner. 

For some singular reason, an impression seemed to reign 
among the servants generally that missis would not be par- 
ticularly disobliged by delay ; and it was wonderful what a 
number of counter accidents occurred constantly to retard 
the course of things. One luckless wight contrived to upset 
the gravy ; and then gravy had to be got up de novo, with 
due care and formality. Aunt Chloe watching and stirring 
with dogged precision, answering shortly, to all suggestions 
of haste, that she " wan't a going to have raw gravy on the 
table, to help nobody's catchings." One tumbled down with 
the water, and had to go to the spring for more ; and another 
precipitated the butter into the path of events ; and there was 
from time to time giggling news brought into the kitchen that 
" Mas'r Haley was mighty oneasy, and that he couldn't sit in 
his cheer no ways, but was a walkin' and stalkin' to the winders 
and through the porch." 

" Sarves him right ! " said Aunt Chloe, indignantly. " He'll 
get wus nor oneasy, one of these days, if he don't mend his 
ways. His master'll be sending for him, and then see how 
he'll look ! " 



LIFE AMONG THE LOWLY, 



79 



" He'll go to torment, and no mistake," said little Jake. 

" He desarves it ! " said Amit Cliloe, grimly : " he's broke a 
many, many, many hearts, — I tell ye all ! " she said, stopping, 
with a fork nplifted in her hand ; " it's like what Mas'r 
George reads in Ravelations, — souls a callin' nnder the altar! 
and a callin' on the Lord for vengeance on sich ! — and by 
and by the Lord he'll hear 'em — so he will!" 

Aunt Chloe, who was much revered in the kitchen, was lis- 
tened to with open mouth ; and, the dinner being now fairly 
sent in, the whole kitchen was at leisure to gossip with her, 
and to listen to her remarks. 




" Sich'll be burnt up forever, and no mistake ; won't ther ? " 
said Andy. 

" I'd be glad to see it, I'll be boun'," said little Jake. 

" Chil'en ! " said a voice that made them all start. It was 
Uncle Tom, who had come in, and stood listening to the 
conversation at the door. 

" Chil'en ! " he said, " I'm afeard you don't know what ye'ro 
savin'. Forever is a dre'ful word, chil'en ; it's awful to think 
on't. You oughtenter wish that ar to any human critter." 

"We wouldn't to any body but the soul-drivers," said 
Andy ; " nobody can help wishing it to them, they's so aw- 
ful wicked." 

"Don't natur herself kinder crv out on 'em?'^ said Aunt 



so UNCLE tom's cabin ; OK 

Chloe. " Don't dey tear der suckin' baby right off his mother's 
breast, and sell him, and der little children as is crying and 
holding on by her clothes, — don't dey pull 'em off and sells 
'cm ? Don't dey tear wife and husband apart ? " said Aunt 
Chloe, beginning to cry, " when it's jest takin' the very life on 
'em? — and all the while does they feel one bit? — don't dey 
drink and smoke, and take it oncommon easy? Lor, if the 
devil don't get them, what's he good for ? " And Aunt Chloe 
covered her face with her checked apron, and began to sob 
in good earnest. 

" Pray for them that 'spitefully use you, the good book says," 
said Tom. 

" Pray for 'em ! " said Aunt Chloe ; " Lor, it's too tough ! I 
can't pray for 'em," 

'■ It's natur, Chloe, and natur's strong," said Tom, " but the 
Lord's grace is stronger ; besides, you oughter think what an 
awful state a poor critter's soul's in that'll do them ar things, 
— you oughter thank God that you an't like him, Chloe. I'm 
sure I'd rather be sold, ten thousand times over, than to have 
all that ar poor critter's got to answer for." 

" So'd I, a heap," said Jake. " Lor, shoiddivt we cotch it, 
Andy?" 

Andy shrugged his shoulders, and gave an acquiescent 
whistle. 

" I'm glad mas'r didn't go off this morning, as he looked to," 
said Tom ; " that ar hurt me more than sellin', it did. Mebbe 
it might have been natural for him, but 'twould have come 
desp't hard on me, as has known him from a baby ; but I've 
seen mas'r, and I begin ter feel sort o' reconciled to the 
Lord's will noAv. Mas'r couldn't help hisself ; he did right, 
but I'm feared things will be kinder goin' to rack, when I'm 
gone. Mas'r can't be 'spected to be a pryin' round every 
whar, as I've done, a keepin' up all the ends. The boys 
all means well, but they's powerful car'less. That ar trou- 
bles me." 

The bell here rang, and Tom was summoned to the parlor. 

" Tom," said his master, kindly, " I want you to notice that 
I give this gentleman bonds to forfeit a thousand dollars if 
you are not on the spot when he wants you ; he's going 



LIFE AMONG THE LOWLY. 81 

to-day to look after liis otlier business, and you can have the 
day to yourself. Go any where you like, boy." 

" Thank you, mas'r," said Tom. 

" And mind ycrself," said the trader, " and don't come it 
over your master with any o' yer nigger tricks ; for I'll take 
every cent out of him, if you an't thar. If he'd hear to me, 
he wouldn't trust any on ye -^slippery as eels !" 

"Mas'r," said Tom, — and he stood very straight, — "I was 
jist eight years old when ole missis put you into my arms, 
and you wasn't a year old. ' Thar,' says she, ' Tom, that's to 
be your young mas'r ; take good care on him,' says she. 
And now I jist ask you, mas'r, have I ever broke word to- 
you, or gone contrary to you, 'specially since I was a Chris- , 
tian ? " 

Mr. Shelby was fairly overcome, and the tears rose to his 
eyes. 

" My good boy," said he, " the Lord knows you say but the 
truth ; and if I was able to help it, all the world shouldn't 
buy you." 

" And sure as I am a Christian woman," said Mrs. Shelby, 
" you shall be redeemed as soon as I can any way bring to- 
gether means. Sir," she said to Haley, " take good account 
of whom you sell him to, and let me know." 

" Lor, yes, for that matter," said the trader, " I may bring 
him up in a year, not much the wuss for wear, and trade him 
back." 

" I'll trade with you then, i^nd njake it for your advantage," 
said Mrs. Shelby. 

" Of course," said the trader, " all's equal with me ; li'ves 
trade 'em up as down, so I does a good business. All I want 
is a livin', you know, ma'am ; that's all any on us wants, I 
s'pose." 

Mr. and Mrs. Shelby both felt annoyed and degraded by the 
familiar impudence of the trader, and yet both saw the abso- 
lute necessity of putting a constraint on their feelings. The 
more hopelessly sordid and insensible he appeared, the greater 
became Mrs. Shelby's dread of his succeeding in recapturing 
Eliza and her child, and of course the greater her motive 
for detaining him by every female artifice. She therefore 
il 



82 UNCLE tom's cabin ; OR, 

graciously smiled, assented, chatted familiarly, and did all she 
could to make time pass imperceptibly. 

At two o'clock Sam and Andy brought the horses up to the 
posts, apparently greatly refreshed and invigorated by the 
scamper of the morning. 

Sam was there new oiled from dinner, with an abundance of 
zealous and ready bfl&ciousnes^. As Haley approached, he was 
boasting, in flourishing style, to^Andy, of- the evident and emi- 
nent success of the operation, now that he had "farly come 
to it." 

"Your master, I s'pose, don't keep no dogs," said Haley, 
thoughtfully, as he prepared to mount. 

" Heaps on 'em," said Sam, triumphantly ; " thar's Bruno — 
he's a roarer ! and, besides that, 'bout every nigger of us keeps 
a pup of some natur or other." 

"Poh! " said Haley, — and he said something else, too, with 
regard to the said dogs, at which Sam muttered, — 

" I don't see no use cussin' on 'em, no way<" 

" But your master don't keep no dogs (I pretty much know 
he don't) for trackin' out niggers." 

Sam knew exactly what he meant, but he kept on a look of ' 
earnest and desperate simplicityi 

" Our dogs all smells round considable sharp. I spect 
they's the kind, though they han't never had no practice. 
They's far dogs, though, at most any thing, if you'd get 'env 
started. Here, Bruno," he called, whistling to the lumbering 
Newfoundland, who came pitching tumultuously towards them. 

" You go hang ! " said Haley, getting up. " Come, tumble 
up now." 

Sam tumbled up accordingly, dexterously contriving to tickle 
Andy as he did so, which occasioned Andy to split out into a 
laugh, greatly to Haley's .indignation, who made a cut at him 
with his riding whip. 

" I's 'stonished at yer, Andy," said Sam, with awful gravity. 
"This yer's a seris bisness, Andy. Yer mustn't be a makin' 
game. This yer an't no way to help mas'r." 

"I shall take the straight road to the river," said Haley, 
decidedly, after they had come to the boundaries of the estate. 
" I know the way of all of 'em, — they makes tracks for the 
underground." 



LIFE AMONG THE LOWLY. 83 

"Sartin," said Sam, "dat's de idee. Mas'r Haley hits de 
thing right in de middle. Now, der's two roads to de river, — 
de dirt road and der pike, — which mas'r mean to take ? " 

Andy looked up innocently at Sam, surprised at hearing' this 
new geographical fact, but instantly confirmed what he said, 
by a vehement reiteration. 

" Cause," said Sam, " I'd rather be 'clined to 'magine that 
Lizy'd take de dirt road, bein' it's de least travelled." 

Haley, notwithstanding that he was a very old bird, and 
naturally inclined to be suspicious of chafi', was rather brought 
up by this view of the case. 

" If yer warn't both on yer such cussed liars, now ! " he said, 
contemplatively, as he pondered a moment. 

The pensive, reflective tone in which this was spoken ap- 
peared to amuse Andy prodigiously, and he drew a little be- 
hind, and shook so as apparently to run a great risk of falling 
off his horse, while Sam's face was immovably composed into 
the most doleful gravity. 

" Course," said Sam, " mas'r can do as he'd rather ; go de 
straight road, if mas'r thinks best, — it's all one to us. Now 
when I study 'pon it, I think de straight road de best, 
d^ridedly." 

" She would naturally go a lonesome way," said Haley, 
thinking aloud, and not minding Sam's remark. 

" Dar an't no sayin'," said Sam ; " gals is pecular ; they never 
does nothin' ye thinks they will; mpse gen'lly the contrar. 
Gals is nat'lly made contrary; and so, if you thinks they've, 
gone one road, it is sartin you'd better go t'other, , and then 
you'll be sure to find 'em. Now, my private 'pinion is, Lizy, 
took der dirt road ; so I think we'd better take de straight 
one." 

This profound generic view of the female sex did not seem 
to dispose Haley particularly to the straight road ; and he 
announced decidedly that he should go the other, and asked 
Sam when they should come to it. 

"A little piece ahead," said Sam, giving a wink to Andy 
with the eye which was on Andy's side of the head ; and he 
added, gravely, " but I've studded on de matter, and I'm quite 
clar we ought not to go dat ar way. I neber been over it no 



84 UNCLE TOM S CABIN ; OR, 

way. It's despit lonesome, and we might lose our way, — whar 
we'd come to, de Lord only knows." 

" Nevertheless," said Haley, " I shall go that way." 

" Now I think on't, I think I hearn 'em tell that dat ar road 
was all fenced up and down by dcr creek, and thar, an't it, 
Andy?" 

Andy wasn't certain ; he'd only " hearn tell " about that 
road, but never been over it. In short, he was strictly non- 
committal. 

Haley, accustomed to strike the balance of probabilities 
between lies of greater or lesser magnitude, thought that it 
lay in favor of the dirt road aforesaid* The mention of the 
thing, lie thought he perceived, was involuntary on Sam's part 
at first, and his confused attempts to dissuade him he set down 
to a desperate lying on second thoughts, as being unwilling to 
implicate Eliza. 

When, therefore, Sam indicated the road, Haley plunged 
briskly into it, followed by Sam and Andy., 

Now, the road, in fact, was an old one, that had formerly 
been a thoroughfare to the river, but abandoned for many 
years after the laying of the new pike. It was open for about 
an hour's ride, and after that it was cut across by various farms 
and fences. Sam knew this fact perfectly well, — indeed, the 
road had been so long closed up, that Andy had never heard 
of it. He therefore rode along with an air of dutiful submis- 
sion, only groaning and vociferating occasionally that 'twas 
" desp't rough, and bad for Jerry's foot." 

" Now, I jest give yer warning," said Haley, " I know yer ; 
yer won't get me to turn off this yer road, with all yer fussin' — 
so you shet up ! " 

" Mas'r will go his own way ! " said Sam, with rueful submis- 
sion, at the same time winking most portentously to Andy, 
whose delight was now very near the explosive point. 

Sam was in wonderful spirits, — professed to keep a very 
Vn-isk lookout, — at one time exclaiming that he saw "a gal's 
bonnet " on the top of some distant eminence, or calling to 
Andy " if that thar wasn't ' Lizy ' down in the hollow ; " always 
making these exclamations in some rough or craggy part of 
the road, where the sudden quiekening of speed wa« a special 



LIFE AMONG THE LOWLY. 85 

inconvenience to all parties concerned, and thus keeping Haley 
in a state of constant commotion. 

After riding about an hour in this way, the whole party made 
a precipitate and tumultuous descent into a barn yard belonging 
to a large farming establishment. Not a soul was in sight, all 
the hands being employed in the fields ; but, as the barn stood 
conspicuously and plainly square across the road, it was evi- 
dent that their journey in that direction had reached a decided 
finale. 

" Wan't dat ar what I telled mas'r ? " said Sam, with an air 
of injured innocence. " How does strange gentlemen spect 
to know more about a country dan de natives born and 
raised ? " 

"You rascal!" said Haley, "you knew all about this." 

" Didn't I tell yer I know'd, and yer wouldn't believe me Z 
I telled mas'r 'twas all shet up, and fenced up, and I didn't 
spect we could get through — Andy heard me." 

It was all too true to be disputed, and the unlucky man had 
to pocket his wrath with the best grace he was able, and all 
three faced to the right about,, and took up their line of march 
for the highway. 

In consequence of all the various delays, it was about three 
quarters of an hour after Eliza had laid her child to sleep in the 
village tavern that the party came riding into the same place. 
Eliza was standing by the window, looking out in another 
direction, when Sam's quick eye caught a glimpse of her.. 
Haley and Andy were two yards behind. At this crisis, Sam 
contrived to have his hat blown off, and uttered a loud and 
characteristic ejaculation, which startled her at once ; she 
drew suddenly back ; the whole train swept by the window, 
round to the front door. 

A thousand lives seemed to be concentrated in that one 
moment to Eliza. Her room opened by a side door to the 
river. She. caught her child, and sprang down the steps 
towards it." The trader caught a full glimpse of her, just as 
she was disappearing down the bank ; and throwing himself 
from his horse, and calling loudly on Sam and Andy, he was 
after her like a hound after a deer. In that dizzy moment her 
feet to her scarce seemed to touch the Grround, and a moment 



8G UNCLE tom's cabin ; OK, 

brought her to the water's edge. Right on l^^nd they came ; 
and, nerved with strength such as God gives only to the des- 
perate, with one wild ery and flying leap, she vaulted sheer 
over the turbid current by the shore, on to the raft of ice 
beyond. It was a desperate leap — impossible to any thing 
but madness and despair ; and Haley, Sam, and Andy instinc-, 
tively cried out, and lifted up their hands, as she did it.— 

The huge green fragment of ice on which she alighted 
pitched and creaked as her weight came on it ; but she staid 
there not a moment. With wild cries and desperate energy 
she leaped to another and still another cake ; — stumbling — 
leaping — slipping — springing upwards again ! Her shoes 
are gone — her stockings cut from her feet — while bloo4 
marked every step ; but she saw nothing, felt nothing, till, 
dimly, as in a dream, she saw the Ohio side, and a man helping 
her up the bank. 

" Yer a brave gal, now, whoever ye ar ! " said the man, with 
an oath. 

Eliza recognized the voice and face of a man who owned 
a farm not far from her old liomQ. 

" Mr. Symmes ! — save me — do save me — do hide me ! " 
said Eliza. 

" Why, what's this ? " said the man. " Why, if 'tan't Shelby's 
gal ! " 

"My child! — this boy! — he'd sold him! There is his 
mas'r," said she, pointing to the Kentucky shore. " Mr. 
Symmes, you've got a little boy ! " 

" So I have," said the man, as he roughly, but kindly, drew 
her up the steep bank. " Besides, you're a right brave gal. I 
like grit, wherever I see it." - 

When they had gained the top of the bank, the man 
paused. 

" I'd be glad to do something for ye," said he ; " but then 
there's nowhar I could take ye. The best I can do is to 
tell ye to go ^Aar," said he, pointing to a large white 
house which stood by itself, off the main street of the village. 
" Go thar ; they're kind folks. Thar's no kind o' danger but 
they'll help you, — they're up to all that sort o' thing." 
• The Lord bless you ! " said Eliza, earnestly. 



LIFE AMONG THE LOWLY. 87 

"No 'casion, no 'casion in the world," said the man. 
" What I've done's of no 'count." 

" And 0, surely, sir, you won't tell any one ! " 

" Go to thunder, gal ! What do you take a feller for ? In 
course not," said the man. " Come, now, go along, like a 
likely, sensible gal, as you are. You've arnt your liberty, 
and you shall have it, for all me." 

The woman folded her child to her bosom, and walked firmly 
and swiftly away. The man stood and looked after her. 

" Shelby, now, mebbe, won't think this yer the most neigli- • 
borly thing in the world ; but what's a feller to do ? If he 
catches one of my gals in the same fix, he's welcome to pay 
back. Somehow I never could see no kind o' critter a strivin,' 
and pantin', and tryin' to clar theirselves, with the dogs 
arter 'em, and go agin 'em. Besides, I don't see no kind of 
'casion for me to be hunter and catcher for other folks, 
neither." 

So spoke this poor, heathenish Kentuckian, who had not 
been instructed in his constitutional relations, and conse- 
quently was betrayed into acting in a sort of Christianized 
manner, which, if he had been better situated and more 
enlightened, he would not have been left to do. 

Haley had stood a perfectly-amazed spectator of the scene 
till Eliza had disappeared up the bank, when he turned a 
blank, iiiquiring look on Sam and Andy. 

" That ar was a tolable fair stroke of business," said Sam. 

" The gal's got seven devils in her, I believe ! " said Haley. 
" How like a wildcat she jumped ! " 

"Wal, now," said Sam, scratching his head, "I hope 
mas'r'll 'sense us tryin' dat ar road. Don't think I feel 
spry enough for dat ar, no way ! " and Sam gave a hoarse 
chuckle. 

" You laugh ! " said the trader, with a growl. 

" Lord bless you, mas'r, I couldn't help it now," said Sam, 
giving way to the long pent-up delight of his soul. "She, 
looked so curis, a leapin' and springin' — ice a crackin' — and 
only to hear her, — plump! ker chunk! ker splash! Spring! 
Lord ! how she goes it ! " and Sam and Andy laughed till the 
tears rolled down their cheeks. 



88 UNCLE TOM S CABIN ; OR, 

" I'll make ye laugh t'other side yer mouths ! " said the 
trader, laying about their heads with his riding whip. 

Both ducked, and ran shouting up the bank, and were on 
their horses before he was up. 

" Good evening, mas'r ! " said Sam, with much gravity. 
" I bery much spect missis be anxious 'bout Jerry. Mas'r 
Haley won't want us no longer. Missis wouldn't hear of our 
ridin' the critters over Lizy's bridge to-night ; " and, with a 
facetious poke into Andy's ribs, he started off, followed by the 
latter, at full speed, — their shouts of laughter coming faintly 
on the wind. 





CHAPTER VIII. 




LIZA made her desperate retreat across the 
river just in the dusk of twilight. The gray 
mist of evening, rising slowly from the river, 
enveloped her as she disappeared up the bank, 
and the swollen cuiTent and floundering masses 
of ice presented a hopeless barrier between her 
and her pursuer. Haley therefore slowly and discontentedly 
returned to the little tavern, to ponder further what was to be 
done. The woman opened to him the door of a little parlor, 
covered with a rag carpet, where stood a table with a very 
shining black oilcloth, sundry lank, liigh-backed wood chairs, 
with some plaster images in resplendent colors on the mantel- 
shelf, above a very dimly-smoking grate ; a long hard wood 
settle extended its uneasy length by the chimney, and here 
Haley sat him down to meditate on the instability of human 
hopes and happin~ess in general.^ 
12 



90 UNCLE tom's cabin ; OR, 

" What did I want with the little cuss, now," he said to him- 
self, " that I should have got myself treed like a coon, as I, am, 
this yer way ? " and Haley relieved himself by repeating over 
a not very select litany of imprecations on himself, which, 
though there was the best possible reason to consider them as 
true, we shall, as a matter of taste, omit. 

He was startled by the loud and dissonant voice of a maji 
who was apparently dismounting at the door. He hurried to 
the window. 

" By the land ! if this yer an't the nearest, now, to what I've 
heard folks call Providence," said Haley. " I do b'lieve that 
ar's Tom Loker." 

Haley hastened out. Standing by the bar, in the corner of 
the room, was a brawny, muscular man, full six. feet in height, 
and broad in proportion. He was dressed in a coat of buffalo 
skin, made with the hair outward, whicli gave him a shaggy 
and fierce appearance, perfectly in keeping with the whole air 
of his physiognomy. In the head -and face every organ and 
lineament expressive of brutal and unhesitating violence was 
in a state of the highest possible develojiment. Indeed, could 
our readers fancy a bull dog come unto man's estate, and 
walking about in a hat and coat, they would have no unapt 
idea of the general style and effect of his physiqiie. He was 
accompanied by a travelling companion, in many respects aii 
exact contrast to himself. He was short and slender, lithe and . 
catlike in his motions, and had a peering, mousing expression 
about his keen black eyes, with which every feature of his face 
seemed sharpened into sympathy ; his thin, long nose ran out 
as if it was eager to bore into the nature of things in gen- 
eral ; his sleek, thin, black hair was stuck eagerly forward, 
and all his motions and evolutions expressed a dry, cautious 
acuteness. The great big man poured out a big tumbler half 
full of raw spirits, and gulped it down without a word. The 
little man stood tiptoe, and putting his head first to one side 
and then to the other, and snuffing considerately in the direc- 
tions of the various bottles, ordered at last a mint julep, in a 
thin and quivering voice, and with an air of great circumspec- 
tion. When poured out, he took it, and looked at it with a 
nharp, complacent air, like a man who thinks he has done about 



LIFE AMONG THE LOWLY. 91 

the right thing, and hit the nail on the head, and proceeded to 
dispose of it in short and well-advised sips, 

" Wal, now, who'd a thought this yer luck 'ad come to me? 
Why, Loker, how are ye ? " said Haley, coming forward, and 
extending his hand to the big man. 

" The devil ! " was the civil reply. " What brought you here, 
Haley?" 

The mousing man, who bore the name of Marks, instantly 
stopped his sipping, and, poking his head forward, looked 
shrewdly on the new acquaintance, as a cat sometimes looks at 
a moving dry leaf, or some other possible object of pursuit. 

" I say, Tom, this yer's the luckiest thing in the world. I'm 
in a devil of a hobble, and you must help me out." 

" Ugh ? aw ! like enough ! " grunted his complacent ac- 
quaintance. "A body may be pretty sure of that, when 
youWe glad to see 'em ; something to be made off of 'em. 
What's the blow now ? " 

" You've got a friend here ? " said Haley, looking doubtfully 
at Marks ; " partner, perhaps ? " 

" Yes, I have. Here, Marks ! here's that ar feller that I was 
in with in Natchez." 

" Shall be pleased with his acquaintance," said Marks, 
thrusting out a long, thin hand, like a raven's claw. " Mr. 
Haley, I believe?" 

" The same, sir," said Haley. " And now, gentlemen, seein' 
as we've met so happily, I think I'll stand up to a small matter 
of a treat in this here parlor. So, now, old coon," said he to 
the man at the bar, " get us hot water, and sugar, and cigars, 
and plenty of the real stuff, and we'll have a blow out." 

Behold, then, the candles lighted, the fire stimulated to the 
burning point in the grate, and our three worthies seated round 
a table, well spread with all the accessories to good fellowship 
enumerated before. 

Haley began a pathetic recital of his peculiar troubles. 
Loker shut up his mouth, and listened to him with gruff and 
surly attention. Marks, who was anxiously and with much 
fidgeting compounding a tumbler of punch to his own peculiar 
taste, occasionally looked up from his employment, and, poking 
his sharp nose and chin almost into Haley's face, gave the most 



92 UNCLE tom's cabin : oi;, 

earnest heed to the whole narrative. The conclusion of it ap- 
peared to amuse him extremely, for he shook his shoulders and 
sides in silence, and perked up his thin lips with an air of great 
internal enjoyment. 

''So, then, ye'r fairly sewed up, an't ye?" he said ; "he! he! 
he! It's neatly done, too." 

" This yer young-un business makes lots of trouble in the 
trade," said Haley, dolefully. 

" If we could get a breed of gals that didn't care, now, for 
their young uns," said Marks ; " tell ye, I think 'twould be 'bout 
the greatest mod'rn improvement I knows on," — and Marks 
patronized his joke by a quiet introductory sniggle. 

" Jes so," said Haley ; " I never couldn't see into it ; young 
uns is heaps of trouble to 'em ; one would think, -now, they'd 
be glad to get clar on 'em ; but they arn't. And the more 
trouble a young un is, and the more good for nothing, as a 
gen'l thing, the tighter they sticks to 'em." 

"Wal, Mr. Haley," said Marks, "jest pass the hot water. 
Yes, sir ; you say jest what I feel and all'us have. Now, I 
bought a gal once, when I was in the trade, — a tight, likely 
wench she was, too, and quite considerable smart, — and she 
had a young un that was mis'able sickly ; it had a crooked 
back, or something or other ; and I jest gin't away to a man 
that thought he'd take his chance raising on't, being it didn't 
cost nothin' ; — never thought, yer know, of the gal's takin' on 
about it, — but, Lord, yer oughter seen how she went on. Why, 
re'lly, she did seem to me to valley the child more 'cause Hwgs 
sickly and cross, and plagued her ; and she warn't making 
b'lieve, neither, — cried about it, she did, and lopped round, 
as if she'd lost every friend she had. It re'lly was droll to 
think on't. Lord, there an't no end to women's notions." 

" Wal, jest so with me," said Haley. " Last summer, down 
on Red River, I got a gal traded off on me, with a likely-lookin' 
child enough, and his eyes looked as bright as yourn ; but, come 
to look, I* found him stone blind. Fact — he was stone blind. 
AVal, yer see, I thought there warn't no harm in my jest pass- 
ing him along, and not sayin' nothin' ; and I'd got him nicely 
swapped off for a keg o' whiskey ; but come to get him away 
from the gal, she was jest like a tiger. So it was before we 



LIFE AMONG THE LOWLY. 



93 



started, and I hadn't got my gang- chained up ; so what should 
she do but ups on a cotton bale, like a cat, catches a knife from 
one of the deck hands, and, I tell ye, she made all fly for a 
minit, till she saw 'twan't no use ; and she jest turns round, 
and pitches head first, young un and all, into the river, — went 
down plump, and never ris." 

" Bah ! " said Tom Loker, who had listened to these stories 
with ill-repressed disgust, — "shif'less, both on ye! my gals 
don't cut up no such shines, I tell ye ! " 




"Indeed! how do you help it?" said Marks, briskly. 

" Help it ? why, I buys a gal, and if she's got a young un to 
be sold, I jest walks up and puts my fist to her face, and says, 
'Look here, now, if you give me one word out of your head, 
I'll smash yer face in. I won't hear one word — -not the begin- 
ning of a word.' I says to 'em, 'This yer young un's mine, 
and not yourn, and you've no kind o' business with it. I'm 
going to sell it, first chance; mind, you don't cut up none o' 
yer shines about it, or I'll make ye wish ye'd never been born.' 
I tell ye, they sees it an't no play, when I gets hold. I makes 
'em as whist as fishes ; and if one on 'em begins and gives a 

yelp, why, " and Mr. Loker brought down his fist with a 

thump that fully explained the hiatus* 

" That ar's what ye may call emphasisj' said Marks, poking 
Haley in the side, and going into another small giggle. "An't 



94 UNCLE tom's cabin ; OR, 

Tom peculiar ? he ! he ! he ! I say, Tom, I s'pect you make 
'em understand, for all niggers' heads is woolly. They don't 
never have no doubt o' your meaning, Tom. If you an't the 
devil, Tom, you's his twin brother, I'll say that for ye ! " . 

Tom received the compliment with becoming modesty, and 
began to look as affable as was consistent, as John Bunyan 
says, " with his doggish nature." 

Haley, who had been imbibing very freely of the staple of 
the evening, began to feel a sensible elevation and enlargement 
of his moral faculties, — a phenomenon not unusual with gentle- 
men of a serious and reflective turn, under similar circumstances. 

" Wal, now, Tom," he said, " ye re'lly is too bad, as I al'ays 
have told ye ; ye know, Tom, you and I used to talk over these 
yer matters down in Natchez, and I used to prove to ye that we 
made full as much, and was as well off for this yer world, by 
treatin' on 'em well, besides keepin' a better chance for comin' 
in the kingdom at last, when wust comes to wust, and thar an't 
nothing else left to get, ye know." 

" Boh ! " said Tom, " donH I know ? — don't make me too sick 
with any yer stuff, — my stomach is a leetle riled now ; " and. 
Tom drank half a glass of raw brandy. 

" I say," said Haley, and leaning back in his chair and ges- 
turing impressively, " I'll say this now, I al'ays meant to drive 
my trade so as to make money on't, fust and foremost, as much 
as any man ; but, then, trade an't every thing, and money an't 
every thing, 'cause we's all got souls. I don't care, now, who 
hears me say it, — and I think a cussed sight on it, — so I may 
as well come out with it. I b'lieve in religion, and one of 
these days, when I've got matters tight and snug, I calculates 
to tend to my soul and them ar matters ; and so what's the 
use of doin' any more wickedness than's re'lly necessary? — it 
don't seem to me it's 'tall prudent." , 

" Tend to yer soul ! " repeated Tom, contemptuously ; " take 
a bright lookout to find a soul in you, — save yourself any.. 
care on that score. If the devil sifts you through a hair sieve, 
he won't find one." 

"Why, Tom, you're cross," said Haley; "why can't ye take 
it pleasant, now, when a feller's talking for your good ? " 

"Stop that ar jaw o' yourn, there," said Tom, gruffly. "I 



LIFE AMONG THE LOWLY, 95 

can stand most any talk o' youru but your pious talk, — that 
kills me right up. After all, what's the odds between me and 
you? 'Tan't that you care one bit more, or have a bit more 
feelin', — it's clean, sheer, dog meanness, wanting to cheat the 
devil and save your own skin ; don't I see through it ? And 
your 'gettin' religion,' as you call it, arter all, is too p'isin 
mean for any critter; — run up a bill with the devil all your 
life, and then sneak out when pay time comes! Boh! " 

" Come, come, gentlemen, I say ; this isn't business," said 
Marks. " There's different ways, you know, of looking at all 
subjects. Mr. Haley is a very nice man, no doubt, and has his 
own conscience ; and, Tom, you have your ways, and very good- 
ones, too, Tom ; but quarrelling, you know, won't answer no 
kind of purpose. Let's go to business. Now, Mr. Haley, what 
is it? — you want us to undertake to catch this yer gal ? " 

" The gal's no matter of mine — she's Shelby's ; it's only the 
boy. I was a fool for buying the monkey ! " 

" You're generally a fool ! " said Tom, gruffly. 

" Come, now, Loker, none of your huffs," said Marks, lick- 
ing his lips ; " you see, Mr. Haley's a puttin' us in a way of a 
good job, I reckon ; just hold still, — these yer arrangements 
is my forte. This yer gal, Mr. Haley, how is she ? what is 
she?" 

" Wal ! white and handsome — well brought up. I'd a gin 
Shelby eight hundred or a thousand, and then made well on 
her." 

" "White and handsome — well brought up ! " said Marks, his 
sharp eyes, nose, and mouth all alive with enterprise. " Look 
here, now, Loker, a beautiful opening. We'll do a business 
here on our own account ; — we does the catchin' ; the boy, of 
course, goes to Mr. Haley, — we takes the gal to Orleans to 
speculate on. An't it beautiful ? " 

Tom, whose ^reat heavy mouth had stood ajar during this 
communication, now suddenly snapped it together, as a big 
dog closes on a piece of meat, and seemed to be digesting the 
idea at his leisure. 

"Ye see," said Marks to Haley, stirring his punch as he did 
so, "ye see we has justices convenient at all p'ints along shore, 
that does up any little jobs in our line quite reasonable. Tom, 



96 UNCLE tom's cabin ; OR, 

he does the knockin' down and that ar ; and I come in all 
dressed up — shining boots — everything first cl^op, when the 
swearin' 's to be done. You oughter see, now," said Marks, in - 
a glow of professional pride, "how I can tone it off. One 
day, I'm Mr. Twickem, from New Orleans ; 'nother day, I'm 
just come from my plantation on Pearl River, where I works 
seven hundred niggers ; then, again, I come out a distant rela- 
tion of Henry Clay, or some old cock in Kentuck. Talents is 
different, you know. Now, Tom's a roarer when there's any 
thumping or fighting to be done ; but at lying he an't good^ 
Tom an't — ye see it don't come natural to him ; but. Lord, if 
thar's a feller in the country that can swear to any thing and 
every thing, and put in all the circumstances and flourishes 
with a longer face, and carry't through better'n I can, why, 
I'd like to see him, that's all ! I b'lieve my heart, I could get 
along and snake through, even if justices was more particular 
than they is. Sometimes I rather wish they was more partic- 
ular; 'twould be a heap more relishin' if they was, — more 
fun, yer know." 

Tom Loker, who, as we have made it appear, was a man of 
slow thoughts and movements, here interrupted Marks by 
bringing his heavy fist down on the table, so as to make all 
ring again. " Wll do ! " he said. 

" Lord bless ye, Tom, ye needn't break all the glasses I " said 
Marks ; " save your fist for time o' need." 

"But, gentlemen, an't I to come in for a share of the 
profits?" said Haley. 

"An't it enough we catch the boy for ye?" said Loker. 
"What do ye want?" 

" Wal," said Haley, "if I gives you the job, it's worth some- 
thing, — say ten per cent, on the profits, expenses paid." 

" Now," said Loker, with a tremendous__Qiith, and striking 
the table with his heavy fist, " don't I know i/ow, Dan Haley ? 
Don't you think to come it over me ! Suppose Marks and I 
have taken up the catchin' trade, just to 'commodate gentle- 
men like you, and get nothin' for ourselves? — Not by a long 
chalk ! we'll have the gal out and out, and you keep quiet, or, 
ye see, we'll have both, — what's to hinder ? Han't you show'd 
us the game ? It's as free to us as you. I hope. If you or 



LIFE amonct tee loavly, 97 

Shelby wants to chase us, look wliere the partridges was last 
year ; if you fiucl them or us, you're quite welcome." 

" 0, wal, certainly, jest let it go at that," said Haley, 
alarmed ; " you catch the boy for the job ; — you allers did 
trade far with me, Tom, and was up to yer word." 

" Ye know that," said Tom ; " I don't pretend none of your 
snivelling ways, but I won't lie in my 'counts with the devil 
himself. What I ses I'll do, I will do, — you know that, Dan 
Haley." 

" Jes so, jes so, — I said so, Tom," said Haley ; " and if 
you'd only promise to have the boy for me in a week, at any 
point you'll name, that's all I want." 

" But it an't all I want, by a long jump," said Tom. " Ye 
don't think I did business with you, down in Natchez, for 
nothing, Haley ; I've learned to hold an eel when I catch him. 
You've got to fork over fifty dollars, flat down, or this child 
don't start a peg. I know yer." 

" Why, when you have a job in hand that may bring a clean 
profit of somewhere about a thousand or sixteen hundred, why, 
Tom, you're onreasonable,^' said Haley. 

" Yes, and hasn't we business booked for five weeks to come, 
— all we can do ? and suppose we leaves all, and goes to bush- 
whacking round arter your young un, and finally doesn'4; 
catch the gal, — and gals allera^is the devil to catch, — what's 
then? would you pay us a cent — would you? I think I see 
you a doin' it — ugh! No, no ; flap down your fifty. If we 
get the job, and it pays, I'll hand it back ; if we don't, it's for 
our trouble, — that's /ar, an't it, Marks?" 

" Certainly, certainly," said Marks, with a conciliatory tone ; 
" it's only a retaining fee, you see, — he ! he ! he ! — we lawyers, 
you know. Wal, we must all keep good natured, — keep easy, 
yer know. Tom'll have the boy for yer, any where ye'll name \, 
won'iye,tTom?" 

"If I find the young urt, I'll bring him on to Cincinnati, 
and leave him at Granny Belcher's, on the landing," said 
Loker. 

Marks had got from his pocket a greasy pocket book, and 
taking a long paper from thence, he sat down, and fixing his 
keen black eyes on it, began mumbling over its contents : 
13~ 



98 UNCLE tom's cabin ; OR, 

"Barnes — Shelby county — ;boy Jim, three hundred dollars 
for him, dea'd or alive. 

"Edwards — Dick and Lucy — man and wife, six hundred 
dollars ; wench Polly and two children — six hundred for her 
or her head. 

" I'm jest a runnin' over our business, to see if we can take 
up this yer handily. Loker," he said, after a pause, "we 
must set Adams and Springer on the track of these yer ; 
they've been booked some time." 

" They'll charge too much," said Tom. 

" I'll manage that ar ; they's young in the business, and 
must 'spect to work cheap," said Marks, as he continued to 
read. " Ther's three on 'em easy cases,^'cause all you've got 
to do is to shoot 'em, or swear they is shot ; they couldn't, 
of course, charge much for that. Them other cases," he said, 
folding the paper, " will bear puttin' off. a spell. So now, 
let's come to the particulars. Now, Mr. Haley, you saw this 
yer gal when she landed ? " 

" To be sure — plain as I see you." 

" And a man helpin' on her up the bank ? " said Ijoker. 

"To-be sure, I did/' 

"Most likely," said Marks, "she's took in somewhere; but 
where, 's a question. Tom, what do you say ? " 

" We must cross the river to-night, no mistake," said Tom, 

"But there's no boat about," said Marks. "The ice is 
nmning awfully, Tom ; an't it dangerous ? " 

" Don'no nothing 'bout that, — only it's got to be done," 
said Tom, decidedly. 

"Dear me," said Marks, fidgeting^" it'll be — I say," he said, 
walking to the window, "it's dark as a wolf's mouth, and^ 
Tom " 

" The long and short is, you're scared, Marks ; but I can't 
help that, — you've got to go. Suppose you want to lie by 
a day or two, till the gal's been, carried on the underground 
line up to Sandusky or so, before you start."- 

" 0, no ; I an't a grain afraid," said Marks, "only-^^ — " 

"Only what?" said Tom. 

" Well, about the boat. Yer see there an't any boat/' 

" I heard the woman say there was one coming along this 



LIFE AMONG THE LOWLY. 99 

evening, and that a man was going to cross over in it. Neck 
or nothing, we must go with him," said Tom. 

" I s'pose you've got good dogs," said Haley. 

" First rate," said Maries. " But what's the use ? you han't 
got nothin' o' hers to smell on.'' 

" Yes, I have," said Haley triumphantly. " Here's her shawl 
she left on the bed in her hurry ; she left her bonnet, too." 

" That ar's lucky," said Loker ; " fork over." 

" Though the dogs might damage the gal, if they come on 
her unawars," said Haley. 

" That ar's a consideration," said Marks. " Our dogs tore 
a feller half to pieces, once, down in Mobile, 'fore we could 
get 'em off." 

" Well, ye see, for this sort that's to be sold for their looks, 
that ar won't answer, ye see," said Haley. 

" I do see," said Marks. " Besides, if she's got took in, 'tan't 
no go neither. Dogs is no 'count in these yer up states where 
these critters gets carried ; of course, ye can't get on their 
track. They only does down in plantations, where niggers, 
when they runs, has to do their own running, and don't get 
no help." 

" Well," said Loker, who had just stepped out to the bar to 
make some inquiries, ." they say the man's come with the boat ; 
so, Marks " 

That worthy cast a rueful look at the comfortable quarters 
he was leaving, but slowly rose to obey. After exchanging a 
few words of further arrangement, Haley, with visible reluc- 
tance, handed over the fifty dollars to Tom, and the worthy 
trio separated for the night. 

If any of our refined and Christian readers object to the 
society into which this scene introduces them, let us beg them 
to begin and conquer their prejudices in time. The catching 
business, we beg to remind them, is rising to the dignity of a 
lawful and patriotic profession. If all the broad land between 
the Mississippi and the Pacific becomes one great market for 
bodies and souls, and human property retains the locomotive 
tendencies of this nineteenth century, the trader and catcher 
may yet be among our aristocracy. 



100 UNCLE tum's cabin ; OR, 

While this scene was going on at the tavern, Sam and Andy, 
in a state of high felicitation, pursued their way home. 

Sam was in the highest possible feather, and expressed his 
exultation by all sorts of supernatural howls and ejaculations, 
by divers odd motions and contortions of his whole system. 
Sometimes he would sit backward, with his face to the horse's 
tail and sides, and then, Avith a whoop and a somerset, come 
right side up in his place again^and, drawing on a grave face, 
begin to lecture Andy in high-sounding tones for la'tighing and 
playing the fool. Anon, slapping his sides with his arms, he 
would burst forth in peals of laughter that made the old woods 
ring as they passed. With all these evolutions, he contrived 
to keep the horses up to the top of their speed, until, between 
ten and eleven, their heels resounded oa tlie^ gravel at the 
end of the balcony. Mrs. Shelby flew to the railings. 

" Is that you, Sam ? Where are they ? " 

" Mas'r Haley's a restin' at the tavern ; he's dreflul fatigued, 
missis." 

" And Eliza, Sam ? " 

" Wal, she's clar 'cross Jordan. As a body may say, in the 
land o' Canaan." 

" Why, Sam, what do you mean ? " said Mrs. Shelby, breath- 
less, and almost faint, as the possible meaning of these words- 
came over her. 

" Wal, missis, de Lord he presarves his own. Lizy's done 
gone over the river into 'Hio, as 'markably as if de Lord took 
her over in a charrit of fire and two hosses." 

Sam's vein of piety was always uncommonly fervent in his 
mistress's presence ; and he made great capital of scriptural 
figures and images. 

" Come up here, Sam," said Mr. Shelby, who had followed^ 
on to the veranda, " and tell your mistress what she wants. _ 
Come, come, Emily," said he, passing his arm round her, " you 
are cold and all in a shiver ; you allow yourself to feel too 
much." 

"Feel too much! Am not I a woman, — a mother? Are^ 
we not both responsible to God for this poor girl ? My God ! 
lay not this sin to our charge.'^ 



LIFE AMONG THE LOWLY. 101 

"What sin, Emily? You see yourself that we have only 
done what we were obliged to." 

"There's an awful feeling of guilt about it, though," said 
Mrs. Shelby. " I can't reason it away." 

" Here, Andy, you nigger, be alive ! " called Sam, under the 
veranda ; " take these yer hosses to der barn ; don't ye hear 
mas'r a callin' ? " and Sam soon appeared, palm leaf in hand, at 
the parlor door. 

" Now, Sam, tell us distinctly how the matter was," said Mr. 
Shelby. " Where is Eliza, if you know ? " 

" Wal, mas'r, I saw her, with my own eyes, a crossin' on the 
floatin' ice. She crossed most 'markably ; it wasn't no less nor 
a miracle ; and I saw a man help her up the 'Hio side, and then 
she was lost in the dusk." 

" Sam, I think this rather apocryphal, — this miracle. Cross- 
ing on floating ice isn't so easily done," said Mr. Shelby. 

" Easy ! couldn't nobody a done jt, widout de Lord. Why, 
now," said Sam, " 'twas jist dis yer, way. Mas'r Haley, and 
me, and Andy, we comes up to de little tavern by the river,, 
and I rides a lee tie ahead, — (I's so zealous to be a cotchin' 
Lizy, that I couldn't hold in, no way,) — and when I comes by 
the tavern winder, sure enough there she was, right in plain 
sight, and dey diggin' on behind. Wal, I loses off my hat, and 
sings out nuff to raise the dead. Coui"se Lizy she hars, and she- 
dodges back, when Mas'r Haley he goes past the door; and 
then, I tell ye, she clared out de side door ; she went down de 
river bank; — Mas'r Haley he seed her, and yelled out, and 
him, and me, and Andy, we took arter. Down she come to 
the river, and thar was the current running ten feet wide by 
the shore, and over t'other side ice a sawin' and a jiggling up 
and down, kinder as 'twere a great island. We come right 
behind her, and I thought my soul he'd got her sure enough,- — 
when she gin sichTa screech as I never hearn, and thar she was, 
clar over t'other side the current, on the ice, and then on she 
went, a screeching and a jumpin', — the ice w^ent crack ! c'wal- 
lop ! cracking ! chunk ! and she a boundin' like a buck ! Lord, 
the spring that ar gal's got in her an't common, I'm o'pinion." 

Mrs. Shelby sat perfectly silent, pale with excitement, while 
Sam tohlhis story. 



102 UNCLE tom's cabin; oe, 

" God be praised, she isn't dead ! " she said ; " but where is 
the poor child now ? " 

" De Lord will pervide," said Sam, rolling up his eyes pious- 
ly. " As I've been a sayin', dis yer's a providence and no mis- 
take, as missis has allers been a instructip,' on us. Thar's aller^ 
instruments ris up to do de Lord's will. Now, if t hadn't been 
for me to-day, she'd a been took a dozen times. Warn't it I 
started off de bosses, dis yer mornin', and kept 'em chasin' till 
nigh dinner time? And didn't I car Mas'r Haley nigh iive 
miles out of de road, dis evening, or else he'd a come up with 
Lizy as easy as a dog arter a coon ? These yer's all providences." 

" They are a kind of providences that you'll have to be 
pretty sparing of. Master Sam. I allow no such practices with 
gentlemen on my place," said Mr. Shelby, with as much stern- 
ness as he could command, under the circumstances. 

Now, there is no more use in making believe be angry with 
a negro than with a child ; both instinctively see the true state 
of the case, through all attempts to affect the contrary ; and 
Sam was in no wise disheartened by this rebuke, though he 
assumed an air of doleful gravity, and stood with the corners 
of his mouth lowered in most penitential style. 

"Mas'r's quite right, — quite; it was ugly on me, — there's 
no disputin' that ar ; and of course mas'r and missis wouldn't 
encourage no such works. I'm sensible of d'at ar ; but a poor 
nigger like me's 'mazin' tempted to act ugly sometimes, when 
fellers will cuf up such shines as dat ar Mas'r Haley ; he an't 
no gen'l'man no way ; any body's been raised as I've been can't 
help a seein' dat ar." 

" Well, Sam," said Mrs. Shelby, " as you appear to have a 
proper sense of your errors, you may go now and tell Aunt 
Chloe she may get you some of that cold ham that was left of 
dinner to-day. You and Andy must be hungry." 

" Missis is a heap too good for us," said Sam, making his 
bow with alacrity, and departing. 

It will be perceived, as has been before intimated, that Mas- 
ter Sam had a native talent that might, undoubtedly, have 
raised him to eminence in political life, — a talent of making 
capital out of every thing that turned up, to be invested for his 
own especial praise and glory ; and having done up his piety 



LIFE AMONG THE LOWLY. 103 

and humility, as he trusted, to the satisfaction of the parlor, 
he clapped his palm leaf on his head, with a sort of rakish, 
free-and-easy air, and proceeded to the dominions of Aunt 
Chloe, with the intention of flourishing largely in the kitchen. 

" 111 speechify these yer niggers," said Sara to himself, " now 
I've got a chance. Lord, I'll reel it oft' to make 'em stare! " 

It must be observed that one of Sam's especial delights had 
been to ride in attendance on his master to all kinds of politi- 
cal gatherings, where, roosted on some rail fence, or perched 
aloft in some tree, he would sit watching the orators, with the 
greatest apparent gusto, and then, descending among the vari- 
ous brethren of his own color, assembled on the same errand, 
he Avould edify and delight them with the most ludicrous 
burlesques and imitations, all delivered with the most imper- 
turbable earnestness and solemnity ; and though the auditors 
immediately about him were generally of his own color, it not 
unfrequently happened that they were fringed pretty deeply 
with those of a fairer complexion, who listened, laughing and 
winking, to Sam's great self-congratulation. In fact, Sam con- 
sidered oratory as his vocation, and never let slip an opi)or- 
tunity of magnifying his office. 

Now, between Sam and Aunt Chloe there had existed, from 
ancient times, a sort of chronic feud, or rather a decided cool- 
ness ; but, as Sam was meditating something in the provision 
department, as the necessary and obvious foundation of his 
operations, he determined, on the present occasion, to be emi- 
nently conciliatory ; for he well knew that although " missis' 
orders" would undoubtedly be followed to the letter, yet he 
should gain a considerable deal by enlisting the spirit also. 
He therefore appeared before Aunt Chloe with a touchingly 
subdued, resigned expression, like one who has suffered im-. 
measurable hardships in behalf of a persecuted fellow-crea- 
tm^e, — enlarged upon the fact that missis had directed him to 
come to Aunt Chloe for whatever might be wanting to make 
up the balance in his solids and fluids, — and thus unequivo- 
cally acknowledged her right and supremacy in the cooking 
department, and all thereto pertaining. 

The thing took accordingly. No poor, simple, virtuous 
body was ever cajoled by the attentions of an electioneering 



104 UNCLE tom's cabin ; OR, 

politician with more ease than Aunt Chloe was won over bj 
Master Sam's suavities j^Jincl if he had been the prodigal son 
himself, he could not have been overwhelmed with more mater- 
nal bountifulncss ; and he soon found himself seated, happy 
and glorious, over a large tin pan, containing a sort of olla 
podrida of §,11 that had appeared on the table for two or three 
days past. Savory morsels of ham, golden blocks of corn cake, 
fragments of pie of ever}^ conceivable mathematical figure, 
chicken wings, gizzards, and drumsticks, all appeared in pic- 
turesque confusion ; and Sam, as monarch of all he surveyed, 
sat with his palm leaf cocked rejoicingly to one side, and pat- 
ronizing Andy at his right hand. 

The kitchen was full of all his compeers, who had hurried 
and crowded in, from the various cabins, to hear the termina- 
tion of the day's exploits. Now was Sam's hour of glory. 
The story of the day was rehearsed, with all kinds of orna- 
ment and varnishing which might be necessary to heighten its 
effect ; for Sam, like some of our fashionable dilettanti, never 
allowed a story to lose any of its gilding by passing- through 
his hands. 'Eoars of laughter attended the narration, and were 
taken up and prolonged by all the smaller fry, who were lying, 
in any quantity, about on the floor, ov perched in every corner. 
In the height of the uproar and laughter, Sam, however, pre- 
served an immovab^le gravity, only from time to time rolling^ 
his eyes up, and giving his auditors divers inexpressibly droll 
glances, without departing from the sententious elevation of 
his oratory. 

" Yer see, fellow countrymen," said Sam, elevating a turkey's 
leg. with energy, " yer see, now, what, dis yer chile's up ter, for , 
fendin' yer all, — yes, all on yer. For him as tries to get one o' 
our people, is as good as tryin' to get all ; yer see the principle's 
de same, — dat ar's clar.. And any one o' these yer drivers that, 
comes smelling round arter any our people, why, he's got me in ^ 
his way : Vm the feller he's got to set in with, — I'm the feller 
for yer all to come to, bredren, — I'll stand up for yer rights, — 
I'll fend 'em to the last breath ! " 

" Why, but, Sam, yer tolled me, only this mornin', that you'd 
help this yer mas'r to cotcli Lizy ; seems to me yer talk dou't- 
hang together," said Andy. 



LIFE AMONG THE LOWLY. 105 

" I tell you now, Andy," said Sam, with awful superiority, 
" don't yer be a talkin' 'bout what yer don't know hothin' on ; 
boys like you, Andy, means well, but they can't be spected to 
collusitate the great principles of action." 

Andy looked rebuked, particularly by the hard word col- 
lusitate, which most of the youngerly members of the com- 
pany seemed to consider as a settler in the case, while Sam 
proceeded. 

" Dat ar was conscience, Andy ; when I thought of gwine 
arter Lizy, I railly spected mas'r was sot dat way. When I 
found missis was sot the contrar, dat ar was conscience more 
yet, — cause fellers allers getsjnore by stickin' to missis' side, — 
so yer see I's persistent either way, and sticks up to conscience, 
and holds on to principles. Yes, prmciples," said Sam, giving 
an enthusiastic toss to a chicken's neck, — "what's principles 
good for, if we isn't persistent, I wanter know ? Thar, Andy, 
you may have dat ar bone, — 'tan't picked quite clean." 

Sam's audience hanging on his words with open mouth, he 
could n(ft but proceed. 

" Dis yer matter 'bout persistence, feller-niggers," said Sam, 
with the air of one entering into an abstruse subject, " dis yer 
'sistency's a thing what an't seed into very clar, by most any- 
body. Now, yer see, when a feller stands up for a thing one 
day and night, de contrar de next, folks ses, (and nat'rally 
enough dey ses,) why, he an't persistent, — hand me dat ar bit 
o' corn cake, Andy. But let's look inter it. I hope the 
gen'lmen and der fair sex will sense my usin' an w'nary sort o' 
'parison. Here ! I'm a tryin' to get top o' der hay. Wal, I 
puts up my larder dis yer side ; 'tan't no go ; — den, cause I don't 
try dere no more, but puts my larder right de contrar side, an't 
I persistent ? I'm persistent in wantin' to get up which ary,, 
side my larder is ; don't you see, all on yer? " 

" It's the only thing ye evgr was persistent in, Lord knows ! " 
muttered Aunt Chloe, who was getting rather restive ; the 
merriment of the evening being to her somewhat after the 
Scripture comparison, — like "vinegar upon nitre." 

" Yes, indeed ! " said Sam, rising, full of supper and glory, 
■ for a closing effort, " yes, my feller-citizens and ladies of the 
other sex in general, I has principles, — I'm proud to 'oon 
14 



106 UNCLE tom's cabin; or, 

'em, — they's perquisite to dese yer times, and ter all times. I 
lias principles, and I sticks to 'em like forty, — jest any thing 
that I thinks is principle, I goes in to't; — I wouldn't mind 
if dey burnt me 'live, — I'd walk right up to de stake, I would, 
and say. Here I comes to shed my last blood for my principles, 
for my country, for der gen'l interests of s'ciety." 

" Well," said Aunt Chloe, " one o' yer principles will have 
to be to get to bed some time to-night, and not to be a keepin' 
every body up till mornin' ; now, every one of you young uns 
that don't want to be cracked, had better be scase, mighty 
sudden." 

'Niggers! all on yer," said Sam, waving his palm leaf with 
benignity, " I give yer my blessin' ; go to bed now, and be 
good boys." 

And with this pathetic benediction, the assembly dispersed. 





CHAPTER IX, 



IN WHICH IT APPEARS THAT A SENATOR IS BUT A MAN. 




HE light of the cheerful fire shone ou the rug 
and carpet of a cosy parlor, and glittered on 
the sides of the teacups and welH^rightened 
teapot, as Senator Bird was drawing off his 
boots, preparatory to inserting his feet in a 
pair of new, handsome slippers, which his wife 
had been working for him while away on his senatorial tour. 
Mrs. Bird, looking the very picture of delight, was superin- 
tending the arrangements of the table, ever and anon mingling 
admonitory remarks to a number of frolicsome juveniles, who 
were effervescing in all those modes of untold gambol and 
mischief that have astonished mothers ever since the flood. 
"Tom, let the door-knob alone, — there's a man! Mary! 
Mary! don't pull the cat's tail, — poor pussy ! Jim, you musn't 



108 TJNCLE TOM's cabin ; OR, 

climb on that table, — no, no! — You don't know, my dear, 
what a surprise it is to us all, to see you here to-night ! " 
said she, at last, when she found a space to say something t9 
her husband. 

" Yes, yes, I thought I'd just make a run down, spend the 
night, and have a little comfort at home. I'm tired to death, 
and my head aches ! " 

Mrs. Bird cast a glance at a camphor bottle, which stood in 
the half-open closet, and appeared to meditate an approach to 
it, but her husband interposed. 

" No, no, Mary, no doctoring ! a cup of your good hot tea, 
and some of our good home living, is what I want. It's a 
tiresome business, this legislating ! " 

And the senator smiled, as if he rather liked the idea of 
considering himself a sacrifice to his country. 

"Well," said his wife, after the business of the tea table 
was getting rather slack, "and what have they been doing 
in the Senate?" 

Now, it was a very unusual thing for gentle little Mrs. 
Bird ever to trouble her head with what was going on in the 
house of the state, very wisely considering that she had. 
enough to do to mind i\er own. Mr. Bird, therefore, opened- 
his eyes in surprise, and said, — 

" Not very much of importance." 

" Well ; but is it true that they have been passing a law 
forbidding people to give meat and drink to those poor colored 
folks that come along ? I heard they were talking of some 
such law, but I didn't think any Christian legislature would 
pass it!" 

" Why, Mary, you are getting to be a politician, all at 
once." 

" No, nonsense ! I wouldn't give a fip for all your politics, 
generally, but I think this is something downright cruel and 
unchristian. I hope, my dear, no such law has been passed." 

" There has been a law passed forbidding people to help off 
the slaves that come over from Kentucky, my dear : so much 
of that thing has been done by these reckless abolitionists, 
that our brethren in Kentucky are very strongly excited, and 
it seems necessary, and no more than Christian and kind, that 



LIFE AMONG THE LOWLY. 109 

something should be done by our state to quiet the excite- 
ment." 

" And what is the law ? It don't forbid us to shelter these 
poor creatures a night, does it, and to give 'em something 
comfortable to eat, and a few old clothes, and send them quietly 
about their business ? " 

" Why, yes, my dear ; that would be aiding and abetting, 
you know." 

Mrs. Bird was a timid, blushing little woman, of about four 
feet in height, and with mild blue eyes, and a peach-blow 
complexion, and the gentlest, sweetest voice in the world ; — 
as for courage, a moderate-sized cock turkey had been known 
to put her to rout at the very first gobble, and a stout house 
dog, of moderate capacity, would bring her into subjection 
merely by a show of his teeth. Her husband and children 
were her entire world, and in these she ruled more by entreaty 
and persuasion than by command or argument. There was 
only one thing that was capable of arousing her, and that 
provocation came in on the side of her unusually gentle and^ 
sympathetic nature ; — any thing in the shape of cruelty would 
throw her into a passion, which was the more alarming and 
inexplicable in proportion to the general softness of her 
nature. Generally the most indulgent and easy to be entreated 
of all mothers, still her boys had a very reverent remembrance 
of a most vehement chastisement she once bestowed on them, 
because she found them leagued with several graceless boys of 
the neighborhood, stoning a defenceless kitten. 

" I'll tell you what," Master Bill used to say, " I was scared 
that time. Mother came at me so that I thought she was 
crazy, and I was whipped and tumbled off to bed, without any 
supper, before I could get over wondering what had come 
about ; and, after that, I heard mother crying outside the door, 
which made me feel worse than all the rest. I'll tell you 
what," he'd say, " we boys never stoned another kitten ! " 

On the present occasion, Mrs. Bird rose quickly, with very 
red cheeks, which quite improved her general appearance, and 
walked up to her husband, with quite a resolute air, and said, 
in a determined tone, — 

" Now, John, I want to know if you think such a law as that 
is right and Christian." 



110 UNCLE tom's cabin : OR. 

" You won't shoot me, now, Mary, if I say I do ! " 

" I never could have thought it of you, John ; you didn't 
vote for it?" 

" Even so, my fair politician." 

" You ought to be ashamed, John ! Poor, homeless, houseless 
creatures ! It's a shameful, wicked, abominable law, and I'll 
break it, for one, the first time I get a chance ; and I hope I 
shall have a chance, I do ! Things have got to a pretty pass, 
if a woman can't give a warm supper and a bed to poor, 
starving creatures, just because they are slaves, and have been 
abused and oppressed all their lives, poor things ! " ''; 

" But, Mary, just listen to me. Your feelings are all quite 
right, dear, and interesting, and I love you for them ; but, 
then, dear, we musn't suffer our feelings to run away with our 
judgment ; you must consider it's not a matter of private feel- 
ing, — there are great public interests involved, — there is such 
a state of public agitation rising, that we must put aside our 
private feelings." 

" Now, John, I don't know any thing about politics, but I can 
read my Bible ; and there I see that I must feed the hungry, 
clothe the naked, and comfort the desolate ; and that Bible I 
mean to follow." 

" But in cases where your doing .so would involve a great 
public evil " 

" Obeying God never brings on public evils. I know it can't. 
It's always safest, all round, to do as He bids us." 

" Now, listen to me, Mary, and I can state to you a very 
clear argument, to show " 

" 0, nonsense, John ! you can talk all night, but you wouldn't 
do it. I put it to you, John, — would you, now, tiu"n away a 
poor, shivering, hungry creature from your door, because he 
was a runaway ? Would you, now ? " 

Now, if the truth must be told, our senator had the mis- 
fortune to be a man who had a particularly humane and 
accessible nature, and turning away any body that was in 
trouble never had been his forte ; and what was worse for 
him in this particular pinch of the argument was, that his wife 
knew it, and, of course, was making an assault on rather an 
indefensible point. So he had recourse to the usual means of 



LIFE AMONG THE LOWLY. Ill 

gaining time for such cases made and provided ; he said 
" ahem," and coughed several times, took out his pocket hand- 
kerchief, and began to wipe his glasses. Mrs. Bird, seeing the 
defenceless condition of the enemy's territor^^ had no more 
conscience than to push her advantage. 

"I should like to see you doing that, John — I really 
should ! Turning a woman out of doors in a snow storm, for 
instance ; or, may be, you'd take her up and put her in jail, 
wouldn't you ? You would make a great hand at that ! " 

" Of course, it would be a very painful duty," began Mr. 
Bird, in a moderate tone. 

" Duty, John ! don't use that word ! You know it isn't a 
duty — if^can't be a duty ! If folks want to keep their slaves 
from running away, let 'em treat 'em well, — that's my doc- 
trine. If I had slaves, (as I hope I never shall have,) I'd risk 
their wanting to run away from me, or you either, John. I 
tell you, folks don't run away when they are happy ; . and when 
they do run, poor creatures ! they suffer enough with cold, and 
hunger," and fear, without every body's turning against them ; 
and, law or no law, I never will, so help me God ! " 

" Mary ! Mary ! My dear, let me reason with you." 

"I ha^e reasoning, John, — especially reasoning on such 
subjects. There's a way you political folks have of coming 
round and round a plain right thing ; and you don't believe in 
it yourselves, when it comes to practice. I know you well 
enough, John. You don't believe it's right any more than I 
do ; and you wouldn't do it any sooner than I." 

At this critical juncture, old Cudjoe, the black man-of-all- 
work, put his head in at the door, and wished " missis would 
come into the kitchen ; " and our senator, tolerably relieved, 
looked after his little wife with a whimsical mixture of amuse- 
ment and vexation, and, seating himself in the arm chair, 
began to read the papers. 

After a moment, his wife's voice was heard at the door, in a 
quick, earnest tone, — " John ! John ! I do wish you'd come 
here, a moment." 

He laid down his paper, and went into the kitchen, and 
started, quite amazed at the sight that presented itself : — A 
young and slender woman, with garments torn and frozen. 



112 UNCLE TOM'S cabin ; OR, 

with one. shoe gone, and the stocking tore away from the cut 
and bleeding foot, was laid back in a deadly swoon upon two 
chairs. There was the impress of the despised race on her 
face, yet none could help feeling its mournful and pathetic 
beauty, while its stony sharpness, its cold, fixed, deathly aspect, 
struck a solemn chill over him. He drew his breath short, 
and stood in silence. His wife, and their only colored domes- 
tic, old Aunt Dinah, were busily engaged in restorative meas- 
ures ; while old Cudjoe had got the boy on his knee, and was 
busy pulling ofi" his shoes and stockings, and chafing his little 
cold feet. 

" Sure, now, if she an't a sight to behold ! " said old Dinah, 
compassionately ; " 'pears like 'twas the heat that made her 
faint. She was tol'able peart when she come in, and asked if 
she couldn't warm herself here a spell ; and I was just a askin' 
her where she come from, and she fainted right down. Never 
done much hard work, guess, by the looks of her hands." 

" Poor creature ! " said Mrs. Bird, compassionately, as the 
woman slowly unclosed her large, dark eyes, and looked 
vacantly at her. Suddenly an expression of agony crossed 
her face, and she sprang up, saying, "0, my Harry ! Have 
they got him?" 

The boy, at this, jumped from Cudjoe's knee, and, running 
to her side, put up his arms. " 0, he's here! he's here!" she 
exclaimed. 

" ma'am ! " said she, wildly, to Mrs. Bird, " do protect us ! 
don't let them get him ! " 

" Nobody shall hurt you here, poor woman," said Mrs. Bird, 
encouragingly. '• You are safe ; don't be afraid." 

" God bless you ! " said the woman, covering her face and 
sobbing ; while the little boy, seeing her crying, tried to get 
into her lap. 

With many gentle and womanly offices, which none knew 
better how to render than Mrs. Bird, the poor woman was, in 
time, rendered more calm. A temporary bed was provided 
for her on the settle, near the fire ; and, after a short time, she 
fell into a heavy slumber, with the child, who seemed no less 
weary, soundly sleeping on her arm ; for the mother resisted, 
with nervous anxiety, the kindest attempts to take him from 



LIFE AMONG THE LOWLY. 113 

her ; and even in sleep, her arm encircled him with an unrelax- 
iiig clasp, as if she could not even then be beguiled of her 
vigilant hold; 

Mr. and Mrs.' Bird had gone back to the parlor, where, 
strange as it may appear, no reference was made, on either 
side, to the preceding conversation ; but Mrs. Bird busied 
lierself with her knitting work, and Mr. Bird pretended to be 
reading the paper. 

" I wonder who and what she is!" said Mr. Bird, at last, as 
he laid it down. 

" When she wakes up and feels a little rested, we will sec," 
said Mrs. Bird. 

" I say, wife ! " said Mr. Bird, after musing in silence over 
his newspaper. 

"Well, dear!" 

"She couldn't wear one of your gowns, could she, by any 
letting down, or such matter? She seems to be rather larger 
than you are." 

A quite perceptible smile glimmered on Mrs. Bird's face, as 
she answered, " We'll see." 

Another pause, and Mr. Bird again broke out, — 

" I say, wife ! " 

"Well! what now?" 

" Why, there's that old bortibazine cloak, that you keep on 
purpose to put over me when I take my afternoon's nap ; you 
might as well give her that, — she needs clothes." 

At this instant, Dinah looked in to say that the woman was 
awake, and wanted to see missis. 

Mr. and Mrs. Bird went into the kitchen, followed by the 
two eldest boys, the smaller fry having, by this time, been 
safely disposed of in bed. 

The Avoman was now sitting up on the settle, by the fire. 
She was looking steadily into the blaze, with a calm, heart- 
broken expression, very different from her former agitated 
wildness. 

" Did you want me ? " said Mrs. Bird, in gentle tones. " I 
hope you feel better now, poor woman ! " 

A long-drawn, shivering sigh was the only answer : but 
she lifted her dark eyes, and fixed them on her with such a 
15 



114 UNCLE tom's cabin; or, 

forlorn and imploring expression, that the tears came into 
the little woman's eyes. 

" You needn't be afraid of any thing ; we are friends here, 
poor woman! Tell me where you came from, and what you 
want," said she. 

"I came from Kentucky," said the woman. 

" When ? " said Mr. Bird, taking up the interrogatory. 

" To-night." 

"How did you come?" 

" I crossed on the ice." 

" Crossed on the ice ! " said every one present. 

" Yes," said the woman, slowly, " I did. God helping me, 
I crossed on the ice ; for they were behind me — right behind 
— and there was no other way ! '\ 

" Law, missis," said Cudjoe, " the ice is all in brokcn-up 
blocks, a swinging and a teetering up and down in the water ! " 

"I know it was — I know it!" said she, wildly; "but I 
did it! I wouldn't have thought I could, — I didn't think 
I should get over, but I didn't care ! I could but die, if I 
didn't. The Lord helped me ; nobody knows how much the 
Lord can help 'em, till they try," said the woman, with a 
flashing eye. 

" Were you a slave ? " said Mr. Bird. 

" Yes, sir ; I belonged to a man in Kentucky." 

" Was he unkind to you ? " 

"•No, sir ; he was a good master." 

" And was your mistress unkind to you ? " 

" No, sir — no! my mistress was always good to me." 

" What could induce you to leave a good home, then, and 
run away, and go through such dangers ? " 

The woman looked up at Mrs. Bird, with a keen, scrutiniz- 
ing glance, and it did not escape her that she was dressed 
in deep mourning. 
, " Ma'am," she said, suddenly, "have you ever lost a child ?" 

The question was unexpected, and it was a thrust on a new 
wound; for it was only a month since a darling child of the 
family had been laid in the grave. ^ 

Mr. Bird turned around and walked to the window, and Mrs. 
Bird burst into tears ; but, recovering her voice, she said, — 



LIFE AMONG THE LOWLY. 115 

" Why do yon ask that ? I have lost a little one." 

"Then you will feel for me. I have lost two, one after 
another, — left ein buried there when I came away; and I 
had only this one left. I never slept a night without him ; 
he was all I had. He was my comfort and pride, day and 
night ; and, ma'am, they were going to take him away from 
me, — to sell him, — sell him down south, ma'am, to go all ^ 
alone, — a baby that had never been away from his mother- 
in his life! I couldn't stand it, ma'am. I knew I never _ 
should be good for any thing, if they did ; and when I knew 
the papers were signed, and he was sold, I took him and came 
off in the night ; and they chased me, — the man that bought 
him, and some of mas'r's folks, — and they were coming down 
right behind me, and I heard 'em. I jumped right on to the 
ice ; and how I got across, I don't know, — but, first I knew, 
a man was helping me up the bank." 

The woman did not sob nor weep. She had gone to a place 
where tears are dry ; but every one around her was, in some 
way characteristic of themselves, showing signs of hearty 
sympathy. 

The two little boys, after a desperate rummaging in their 
pockets, in search of those pocket handkerchiefs which mothers 
know are never to be found there, had thrown themselves 
disconsolately into the skirts of their mother's gown, where 
they were sobbing and wiping their eyes and noses, to their 
hearts' content ; — Mrs. Bird had her face fairly hidden in 
her pocket handkerchief; and old Dinah, with tears streaming 
down her black, honest facCj, was ejaculating, "Lord, have 
mercy on us ! " with all the fervor of a camp meeting ; — while 
old Cudjoe, rubbing his eyes very hard with his cuffs, and 
making a most uncommon variety of wry faces, occasionally 
responded in the same key, with great fervor. Our senator 
was a statesman, and of course could not be expected to cry,, 
like other mortals ; and so he turned his back to the company, 
and looked out of the window, and seemed pai'ticularly busy in 
clearing his throat and wiping his spectacle glasses, occasion- 
ally blowing his nose in a manner that was calculated to 
excite suspicion, had any one been in a state to observe 
critically. 



116 UNCLE Tom's cabin; or, 

" How came you to tell me you had a kind master ? " lie 
suddenly exclaimed, gulping down very resolutely some kind 
of rising in liis throat, and turning suddenly round upon 
the woman. 

" Because he was a kind master ; I'll say that of him, any 
Avay ; — and my mistress was kind ; but they couldn't help 
themselves. They were owing money ; and there was some 
way, I can't tell how, that a man had a hold on them, and 
they were obliged to give him his will. I listened, and heard 
him telling mistress that, and she begging and pleading for 
me, — and he told her he coiddn't help himself, and that the 
papers were all drawn ; — and then it was I took him and 
left my home, and came away. I knew 'twas no use of my 
trying to live, if they did it ; for't 'pears like this child is all 
I have." 

" Have you no husband ? " 

" Yes, but he belongs to another man. His master is real 
hard to him, and won't let him come to see me hardly ever ; 
and he's grown harder and harder upon us, and he threatens 
to sell him down south ; — it's like I'll never see him again ! " 

The quiet tone in which the woman pronounced these words 
might have led a superficial observer to think that she was 
entirely apathetic ; but there was a calm, settled depth of 
anguish in her large, dark eye, that spoke of something far 
otherwise. 

" And where do you mean to go, my poor woman ? " said 
Mrs. Bird. 

" To Canada, if I only know where that was. Is it very 
far off, is Canada ? " said she, looking up, with a simple, 
confiding air, to Mrs. Bird's face. 

" Poor thing ! " said Mrs. Bird, involuntarily. ' 

" Is't a very great way off, think ? " said the woman, 
earnestly. 

" Much farther than you think, poor child ! " said Mrs. 
Bird ; " but we will try to think what can be done for you. 
Here, Dinah, make her up a bed in your own room, close by 
the kitchen, and I'll think what to do for her in the morning. 
Meanwhile, never fear, poor woman ; put your trust in God ; 
he will protect you." , 



LIFE AilONG THE LOWLY. 117 

Mrs. Bird and her husband reentered the parlor. She sat 
down in her little rocking chair before the fire, swaying 
thoughtfully to and fro. Mr. Bird strode up and down the 
room, grumbling to himself, " Pish ! pshaw ! confounded 
awkward business ! " At length, striding up to his wife, he 
said, — 

" I say, wife, she'll have to get away from here this very 
night. That fellow will be down on the scent bright and 
early to-morrow morning ; if 'twas only the woman, she could 
lie quiet till it was over ; but that little chap can't be kept 
still by a troop of horse and foot, I'll warrant me ; hell 
bring it all out, popping his head out of some window or door. 
A pretty kettle of fish it would be for me, too, to be caught 
W' ith them both here, just now ! No ; they'll have to be got 
off to-night." 

" To-night ! How is it possible ? — where to ? " 

" Well, I know pretty well where to," said the senator, 
beginning to put on his boots with a reflective air ; and, 
stopping when his leg was half in, he embraced his knee with 
both hands, and seemed to go off in deep meditation. 

" It's a confounded awkward, ugly business," said he, at 
last, beginning to tug at his boot straps again, " and that's a 
fact ! " After one boot was fairly on, the senator sat with 
the other in his hand, profoundly studying the figure of the 
carpet. " It will have to be done, though, for . aught I see, — 
hang it all ! " and he drew the other boot anxiously on, and 
looked out of the window. 

Now, little Mrs. Bird was a discreet woman, — a woman 
who never in her life said, " I told you so ! " and on the 
present occasion, though pretty well aware of the shape her 
husband's meditations were taking, she very prudently forbore 
to meddle with them, only sat very quietly in her chair, and 
looked quite ready to hear her liege lord's intentions, when he 
should think proper to utter them. 

" You see," he said, " there's my old client. Van Trompe, 
has come over from Kentucky, and set all his slaves free ; and 
he has bought a place seven miles up the creek, here, back in 
the woods, where nobody goes, unless they go on purpose ; 
and it's a place that isn't found iii a hurry. There she'd be 



118 UNCLE tom's cabin; ok, 

safe enough ; but the plague of the thing is, nobody could 
drive a carriage there to-night, bfit me." 

" Why not ? Cudjoe is an excellent driver." 
v "Ay, ay, but here it, is. The creek has to be crossed 
twice ; and the second^ crossing is quite dangerous, unless one 
knows it as I do. I have crossed it a hundred times on horse- 
back, and know exactly the turns to take. And so, you see, 
there's no help for it. Cudjoe must put in the horses, as 
quietly as may be, about twelve o'clock, and I'll take her over ; 
and then, to give color to the matter, he must carry me on 
to the next tavern, to take the stage for Columbus, that 
comes by about three or four, and so it will look as if I had 
had the carriage only for that. I shall get into business bright 
and early in the morning. But I'm thinking I shall feel 
rather cheap there, after all that's been said and done ; but, 
hang it, I can't help it ! " 

" Your heart is better than your head, in this case, John," 
said the wife, laying her little white hand on his. Could I 
ever have loved you, had I not known you better than you 
know yourself ? " And the little woman looked so handsome, 
with the tears sparkling in her eyes, that the senator thought 
he nmst be a decidedly clever fellow, to get such a pretty 
creature into such a passionate admiration of him ; and so, 
what could he do but walk off soberly, to see about the car- 
riage ? At the door, however, he stopped a moment, and then 
coming back, he said, with some hesitation, — 

" Mary, I don't know how you'd feel about it, but there's 
that drawer full of things — of — of — poor little Henry's." 
So saying, he turned quickly on his heel, and shut the door 
after him. 

His wife opened the little bed-room door adjoining her 
room, and, taking the candle, set it doAvn on the top of a 
bureau there ; then from a small recess she took a key, and 
put it thoughtfully in the lock of a drawer, and made a sud- 
den pause, while the two boys, who, boylike, had followed 
close on her heels, stood looking, with silent, significant 
glances, at their mother. And ! mother that reads this, 
has there never been in your house a drawer, or a closet, the 
opening of which has been to you like the opening again of a 



LIFE AMONG THE LOWLY. 119 

little grave ? Ah ! happy mother that yon are, if it has not 
been so. 

Mrs. Bird slowly opened the drawer. There were little 
coats of many a form and pattern, piles of aprons, and rows 
of small stockings ; and even a pair of little shoes, worn and 
rubbed at the toes, were peeping from the folds of a paper. 
There was a toy horse and wagon, a top, a ball, — memorials 
gathered with many a tear and many a heartbreak ! She sat 
down b}^ the drawer, and, leaning her head on her hands 
over it, wept till the tears fell through her fingers into tlic 
drawer ; then suddenly raising her head, she began, with 
nervous haste, selecting tlie yjlainest and most substantial 
articles, and gathering them into a bundle. 

" Mamma," said one of the l)oys, gently touching her arm, 
"are you going to give away those things?" 

" My dear boys," she said, softly and earnestly, " if our 
dear, loving little Henry looks down from heaven, he would 
be glad to have us do this. I could not find it in my heart to 
give them away to any common person — to any body that 
Avas happy ; but I give them to a mother more heart broken 
and sorrowful than I am ; and I hope God will send his 
blessings with them ! " 

There are in this world blessed souls, whose sorrows all 
spring up into joys for others ; whose earthly hopes, laid in 
the grave with many tears, are the seed from which spring 
healing flowers and balm for the desolate and the distressed. 
Among such was the delicate woman Avho sits there by tlie 
lamp, dropping slow tears, while she prepares the memorials 
of her own lost one for the outcast wanderer. 

After a while, Mrs. Bird opened a wardrobe, and, taking 
from thence a plain, serviceable dress or two, she sat down 
busily to her work table, and, with needle, scissors, and thim- 
ble at hand, quietly commenced the " letting-down " process 
which her husband had reconmiended, and continued busily at. 
it till the old clock in the corner struck twelve, and she heard, 
the low rattling of wheels at the door. 

" Mary," said her husband, coming in, with his overcoat in 
his hand, "you must wake her up now ; we must be off." 

Mrs. Bird hastily deposited the various articles she had 



120 UNCLE tom's cabin; or, 

* 

cellected in a small plain trunk, and locking it, desired lier 
husband to see it 'in the carriage, and then proceeded to call the 
woman. ' Soon, arrayed in a cloak, bonnet, and shawl, that had 
belonged to her benefactress, she appeared at the door with her 
cliild in her arms. Mr.yBird hurried her into the carriage, 
and Mrs. Bird pressed on after her to the carriage steps. 
Eliza leaned out of the carriage, and put out her hand, — a 
hand as soft and beautiful as was given in return.- She fixed 
her large, dark eyes, full of earnest meaning, on Mrs. Bird's , 
face, and seemed going to speak. Her lips moved, — she tried 
once or twice, but there was no sound, — and pointing up- 
ward, with a look never to be forgotten, she fell back in the . 
seat, and covered her face. The door was shut, and the 
carriage drove on. 

What a situation, now, for a patriotic senator, that had been, 
all the week before spurring up the legislature of his native 
state to pass more stringent resolutions against escaping 
fugitives, their harborers and abetters !- 

Our good senator in his native state had not been exceeded 
by any of his brethren at Washington, in the sort of eloquence 
which has won for them immortal renown ! How sublimely ho 
had sat with his hands in his-pockets, and scouted all senti- 
mental weakness of those who would put the welfare of a few 
miserable fugitives before great state interests ! . 

He was as bold as a lion about it, and "mightily convinced" 
not only himself, but everybody that heard him; — but then 
his idea of a fugitive was only an idea of the letters that spell 
the word, — or, at the most, the image of a little newspaper 
picture of a man with a stick and bundle, with " Ran away 
from the subscriber " under it. The magic of the real presence 
of distress, — the imploring human eye, the frail, trembling hu- 
man hand, the despairing appeal of helpless agony, — these he 
had never tried. He had never thought that a fugitive might 
be a hapless mother, a defenceless child, — like that one which 
was now wearing his lost bo} 's little well-known cap ; and so, 
as our_poor senator was not stone or steel, — as he was a man, 
and a downright noble-hearted one, too, — he was, as every 
body must see, in a sad case for his patriotism. And you need 
not exult over liim, good brother of the Southern States ; for 



LIFE AMONG THE I.OWLY. 121 

we have some inklings that many of you, mider similar circum- 
stances, would not do much better. We have reason to know,, 
in Kentucky,- as in Mississippi, are noble and generous hearts,, 
to whom never was tale of suffering told in vain. Ah, good 
brother ! is it fair for you to expect of us services which your 
own brave, honorable heart would not allow you' to render,, 
were you in our place? 

Be that as it may, if our good senator was a political sin- 
ner, he was in a fair way to expiate it by his night's penance. 
There had been a long, continuous period of rainy weather, 
and the soft, rich earth of Ohio, as every one knows, is admi- 
rably suited to the manufacture of mud, — and the road was an 
Ohio railroad of the good old times. 

" And pray, what sort of a road may that be ? " says some 
eastern traveller, who has been accustomed to connect no ideas 
with a railroad but those of smoothness or speed. 

Know, then, innocent eastern friend, that in benighted re- 
gions of the west, Avhere the mud is of unfathomable and sub- 
lime depth, roads are made of round, rough logs, arranged 
transversely side by side, and coated over in their pristine 
freshness with earth, turf, and whatsoever may come to hand, 
and then the rejoicing native calleth it a road, and straightway 
essayeth to ride thereupon. In^process of time, the rains wash 
off" all the turf and grass aforesaid, move the logs hither and 
thither, in picturesque positions, up, down, and crosswise, with 
divers chasms and ruts of black mud intervening. 

Over such a road as this our senator went stumbling along, 
making moral reflections as continuously as under the circum- 
stances could be expected, — the carriage proceeding along 
much as follows, — bump! bump! bump! slush! down in the 
mud ! — the senator, woman, and child reversing their posi- 
tions so suddenly as to come, without any very accurate adjust- 
ment, against the windows of the down-hill side. Carriage 
sticks fast, while Cudjoe on the outside is heard making a 
great muster among the horses. After various ineffectual pulU 
ings and twitchings, just as the senator is losing all patience, 
the carriage suddenly rights itself with a bounce, — two front 
wheels go down into another abyss, and senator, woman, and- 
child all tumble promiscuously on to .the front seat, — senator's 
16 



122 UNCLE TOM's cabin ; OE, 

hat is jammed over his eyes and nose quite unceremoniously, 
and he considers himself fairly extinguished ; — child cries, and 
Cudjoe on the outside delivers animated addresses to the horses, 
who are kicking, and floundering, and straining, under repeated 
cracks of the whip. Carriage springs up, with another bounce, 
4- down go the hind wheels, — senator, woman, and child fly 
Vover on to the back seat, his elbows encountering her bonnet, 
and both her feet being jammed into his hat, which flies off in 
the concussion. After a few moments the " slough " is passed, 
and the horses stop, panting ; — the senator finds his hat, the 
woman straightens her bonnet and hushes her child, and they 
brace themselves firmly for what is yet to come. 

For a while, only the continuous bump ! bump ! intermingled, 
just by way of variety, with divers side plunges and compound 
shakes ; and they begin to flatter themselves that they are not 
so badly off, after all. At last, with a square plunge, which 
puts all on to their feet and then down into their seats with 
incredible quickness, the carriage stops, — and, after much 
outside commotion, Cudjoe appears at the door. 

" Please, sir, it's powerful bad spot, this yer. I don't know 
how we's to get clar out. I'm a thinkin' we'll have to be a 
gettin' rails." 

The senator despairingly steps out, picking gingerly for 
some firm foothold ; down goes one foot an immeasurable 
depth, — he tries to pull it up, loses his balance, and tumbles 
over into the mud, and is fished out, in a very despairing 
condition, by Cudjoe. 

But we forbear, out of sympathy to our readers' bones. 
Western travellers, who have beguiled the midnight hour in 
the interesting process of pulling down rail fences, to pry their 
carriages out of mud holes, will have a respectful and mourn- 
ful sympathy with our unfortunate hero. We beg them to drop 
a silent tear, and pass on. 

It was full late in the night when the carriage emerged, 
dripping and bespattered, out of the creek, and stood at the 
door of a large farm house. 

It took no inconsiderable perseverance to arouse the in- 
mates ; but at last the respectable proprietor appeared, and 
undid the door. He was a great, tall, bristling Orson of a 



LIFE AMON(; THE LOWLY. 123 

fellow, full six feet and some inches in his stockings, and 
arrayed in a red flannel hunting shirt. A very heavy mat of 
sandy hair, in a decidedl}- tousled condition, and a beard of 
some days' growth, gave the worthy man an appearance, to say 
the least, not particularly prepossessing. He stood for a few 
minutes liolding the candle aloft, and blinking on our travel- 
lers with a dismal and mystilied expression that was truly 
ludicrous. It cost some eflbrt of our senator to induce him to 
comprehend the case fully ; and w^hile he is doing his best at 
that, we shall give him a little introduction to our readers. 

Honest old John Van Trompe was once quite a considerable 
landholder and slave owner in the State of Kentucky. Hav- 
ing "nothing of the bear about him but the skin," and being 
gifted by nature with a great, honest, just heart, quite equal to 
his gigantic frame, he had been for some years witnessing with 
repressed uneasiness the workings of a system equally bad for 
oppressor and oppressed. At last, one day, John's great heart 
had swelled altogether too big to wear his bonds any longer ; 
so he just took his pocket book out of his desk, and went over 
into Ohio, and bought a quarter of a township of good, rich 
land, made out free papers for all his people, — men, women, 
and children, — packed them up in wagons, and sent them off 
to settle down ; and then honest John turned his face up the 
creek, and sat quietly down on a snug, retired farm, to enjoy 
his conscience and his reflections. 

" Are you the man that will shelter a poor woman and child 
from slave catchers ? " said the senator, explicitly, 

" I rather think I am," said honest John, with some consider- 
able emphasis. 

"I thought so," said the senator. 

" If there's any body comes," said the good man, stretching 
his tall, muscular form upward, " why, here I'm ready for him ; 
and I've got seven sons, each six foot high, and they'll be 
ready for 'em. Give our respects to 'em," said John ; " tell 
'em it's no matter how soon they call, — make no kinder differ- 
ence to us," said John, running his fingers through the shock 
of hair that thatched his head, and bursting out into a 
great laugh. 

Weary, jaded, and spiritless, Eliza dragged herself up to 



124 UNCLE TOM'S CABIN ; OR, 

the door, with her child lying in a heavy sleep on her arm. 
The rough man held the candle to her face, and uttering a 
kind of compassionate grunt, opened the door of a small bed 
room adjoining to the large kitchen where they were standing, 
and motioned her to go in. He took down a candle, and 
lighting it, set it upon the table, and then addressed himself 
to Eliza. 

" Now, I say, gal, you needn't be a bit afeard, let who will 
come here. I'm up to all that sort o' thing," said he, pointing 
to two or three goodly rifles over the mantel-piece ; "and most 
people that know me know that 'twouldn't be healthy to try to 
get any body out o' my house when I'm agin it. So now you 
jist go to sleep now, as quiet as if yer mother was a rockin' 
ye," said he, as he shut the door, 

" Why, this is an uncommon handsome uu," he said to the 
senator. " Ah, well ; handsome uns has the greatest cause to 
run, sometimes, if they has any kind o' feelin, such as decent 
women should. I know all about that." 

The senator, in a few words, briefly explained Eliza's history. 

" ! ou ! aw ! now, I want to know ! " said the good man, 
pitifully : " sho ! now sho ! That's natur now, poor critter ! 
hunted down now like a deer, — hunted down, jest for havin' 
natural feelin's, and doin' what no kind o' mother could help 
a doin' ! I tell ye what, these yer things make me come 
the nighest to sweariu', now, o' most any thing," said honest 
John, as he Aviped his eyes with the back of a great, freckled, 
yellow hand. " I tell yer what, stranger, it was years and years 
before I'd jine the church, 'cause the ministers round in our 
parts used to preach that the Bible went in for these ere cut- 
tings up, — and I couldn't be up to 'em with their Greek and 
Hebrew, and so I took up agin 'em, Bible and all. I never 
jined the church till I found a minister that was up to 'em all 
in Greek and all that, and he said right the contrary ; and 
then I took right hold, and jined the church, — I did now, fact," 
said John, who had been all this time uncorking some very 
frisky bottled cider, which at this juncture he presented. 

"Ye'd better jest put up here, now, till daylight," said he, 
heartily, " and I'll call up the old woman, and have a bed got 
ready for you in no time." 



rjFE AMONG THE LOWLY, 



125 



" Thank you, my good friend," said the senator, " I must be 
along, to take the night stage for Columbus." 

" Ah ! well, then, if you must, I'll go a piece -with you, and 
show you a cross road that will take you there better than the 
road you came on. That road's mighty bad." 

John equipped himself, and, with a lantern in hand, was soon 
seen guiding the senator's carriage towards a road that ran 
down in a hollow, l)ack of his dwelling. When they parted, 
the senator put into his hand a ten dollar bill. 

" It's for her," he said, briefly. 

" Ay, ay," said John, with equal conciseness. 

They shook hands, and parted. 





CHAPTER X. 



THE PROPERTY IS CARRIED OFF. 




HE February morning looked gray and driz- 
zling through the window of Uncle Tom's 
cabin. It looked on downcast faces, the 
images of mournful hearts. The little table 
stood out before the fire, covered with an 
ironing cloth ; a coarse but clean shirt or two, 
fresh from the iron, hung on the back of a chair by the fire, and 
Aunt Chloe had another spread out before her on the table. 
Carefully she rubbed and ironed every fold and every hem, 
with the most scrupulous exactness, every now and then rais- 
ing her hand to her face to wipe off the tears that were coursing 
down her cheeks. 

Tom sat by, with his Testament open on his knee, and his 
head leaning upon his hand ; — but neither spoke. It was yet 



LIFE AMONG THE LOWLY. 127 

early, and the children lay all asleep together in their little 
rude trundle bed. 

Tom, who liad, to the full, the gentle, domestic licart, which, 
woe for them ! has been a peculiar characteristic of his unhappy 
race, got up and walked silently to look at his children. 

" It's the last time," he said. 

Aunt Chloe did not answer, only rubbed away over and 
over on the coarse shirt, already as smooth as hands could 
make it ; and finally setting her iron suddenly down with a 
despairing plunge, she sat down to the table, and "lifted up 
her voice and wept." 

" S'pose we must be resigned ; but, Lord ! how ken I ? 
If I know'd any thing whar you's goin', or how they'd sarve 
you ! Missis says she'll try and 'deem ye, in a year or two ; 
but, Lor ! nobody never comes up that goes down thar ! They 
kills 'em ! I've hearn 'em tell how dey works 'em up on dem 
ar plantations." 

" There'll be the same God there, Chloe, that there is here.'' 

" Well," said Aunt Chloe, " s'pose dere will ; but de Lord 
lets drefful things happen, sometimes. I don't seem to get no 
con>fort dat way." 

'^ " I'm in the Lord's hands," said Tom ; " nothin' can go no 
furder than he lets it ; — and thar's one thing I can thank him 
for. It's Tne that's sold and going down, and not you nur the 
chil'en. Here you're safe ; — what comes will come only on 
me ; and the Lord, he'll help me, — I know he wjll." 

Ah, brave, manly heart, — smothering thine own sorrow, to 
comfort thy beloved ones ! Tom spoke with a thick utterance, 
and with a bitter choking in his throat, — but he spoke brave 
and strong. 

" Let's think on our marcies ! " he added, tremulously, as 
if he was quite sure he needed to think on them very 
hard indeed. 

" Marcies ! " said Aunt Chloe ; " don't see no marcy in't ! . 
'tant right ! tan't right it should be so ! Mas'r never ought- 
ter left it so that ye ccmld be took for his debts. Ye've arnt 
him all he gets for ye, twice over. He owed ye yer freedom, 
and ought ter gin't to yer years ago. Mebbe he can't help 



128 UNCLE tom's cabin : or, 

himself now, but I feel it's wrong. Nothing can't beat that ar 
out o' me. Sich a faithful critter as ye've been, — and allers 
sot his business 'fore yer own every way, — and reckoned on 
him more than yer own wife and chil'en ! Them as sells heart's 
love and heart's blood, to get out thar scrapes, de Lord'll be 
up to 'em ! " 

" Chloe ! now, if ye love me, ye won't talk so, when perhaps 
jest the last time we'll ever have together ! And I'll tell ye, 
Chloe, it goes agin me to hear one word agin mas'r. Wan't 
he put in my arms a baby ! — it's natur I should think a heap 
of him. And he couldn't be spected to think so much of poor 
Tom. Mas'rs is used to havin' all these yer things done for 
'em, and nat'lly they don't think so much on't. They can't be 
spected to, no way. Set him 'longsicle of other mas'rs — who's 
had the treatment and the livin' I've had? And he never 
would have let this yer come on me, if he could have seed it 
aforehand. I know he wouldn't." 

" Wal, any way, thar's wrong about it someichar/' said Aunt 
Chloe, in whom a stubborn sense of justice was a predominant , 
trait ; " I can't jest make out whar 'tis, but thar's wrong 
somewhar, I'm clar o' that." 

" Yer ought ter look up to the Lord above — he's above all — 
thar don't a sparrow fall without him." 

" It don't seem to comfort me, but I spect it orter," said Aunt 
Chloe. "But dar's no use talkin' ; I'll jes wet up de corn 
cake, and gef ye one good breakfast, 'cause nobody knows 
when you'll get another." 

In order to appreciate the sufferings of the negroes sold 
south, it must be remembered that all the instinctive affections 
of that race are peculiarly strong.^ Their local attachments 
are very abiding. They are not naturally daring and enter-, 
prising, but home-loving and affectionate. Add to this all the 
terrors with w^hich ignorance invests the imknown, and add to 
this, again, that selling to the south is set before the negro 
from childhood as the last severity of punishment. The threat 
that terrifies more than whipping or torture of any kind is the 
threat of being sent down river. We have ourselves heard this 
feeling expressed by them, and seen the unaffected horror with 



LIFE AMONG THE LOWLY. 129 

which they will sit in their gossiping hours, and tell frightful 

stories of that " down river/' which to them is 

" That undiscovered country, from -whose bourn 
No traveller returns." 

A missionary among the fugitives in Canada told us that 
many of the fugitives confessed themselves to have escaped 
from comparatively kind masters, and that they were induced 
to brave the perils of escape, in almost every case, by the 
desperate horror with which they regarded being sold south, 
— a doom which was hanging either over themselves or their 
husbands, their wives or children. This nerves the Afri- 
can, naturally patient, timid, and unenterprising, with he- 
roic courage, and leads him to suffer hunger, cold, pain, the 
perils of the wilderness, and the more dread penalties of 
recapture. 

The simple morning meal now smoked on the table, for 
Mrs. Shelby had excused Aunt Chloe's attendance at the great 
house that morning. The poor soul had expended all her 
little energies on this farewell feast, — had killed and dressed 
her choicest chicken, and prepared her corn cake with scru- 
pulous exactness, just to her husband's taste, and brought out 
certain mysterious jars on the mantel-piece, some preserves 
that were never produced except on extreme occasions. 

" Lor, Pete," said Mose, triumphantly, " han't we got a bust- 
er of a breakfast ! " at the same time catching at a fragment 
of the chicken. 

Aunt Chloe gave him a sudden box on the ear. " Thar, 
now I crowing over the last breakfast yer poor daddy's gwine 
to have to home ! " 

"0 Chloe!" said Tom, gently. 

" Wal, I can't help it," said Aunt Chloe, hiding her face in 
her apron; "I's so tossed about, it makes me act ugly." 

The boys stood quite still, looking first at their father and 
then at their mother, while the baby, climbing up her clothes,^ 
began an imperious, commanding cry. 

" Thar ! " said Aunt Chloe, wiping her eyes and taking up 
the baby ; " now I's done, J hope, — now do eat something. 
17 



130 UNCLE tom's cabin ; OR, 

This yer's my nicest chicken. Thar, boys, ye shall have some, 
poor critters ! Yer mammy's been cross to yer." 

The boys needed no second invitation, and went in with 
great zeal for the eatables ; and it was well they did so, as 
otherwise there would have been very little performed to any 
purpose by the party. 

"Now," said Aunt Chloe, bustling about after breakfast, 
'' I must put up yer clothes. Jest like as not, he'll take 
'em all away. I know thar ways — mean as dirt, they is ! 
Wal, now, yer flannels for rhumatis is in this corner ; so be 
earful, 'cause there won't nobody make ye no more. Then 
here's your old shirts, and these yer is new ones. I toed 
off these yer stockings last night, and put de ball in 'em 
to mend with. But, Lor ! who'll ever mend for ye ? " and 
Aunt Chloe, again overcome, laid her head on the box 
side, and sobbed. " To think on't ! no critter to do for 
ye, sick or well! I don't railly think I ought ter be gopd 
now ! " 

The boys, having eaten every thing there was on the break- 
fast table, began now to take some thought of t];e case ; 
and, seeing their mother crying, and their father looking 
very sad, began to whimper, and put their hands to their, 
eyes. Uncle Tom had the baby on his knee, and was letting 
her enjoy herself to the utmost extent, scratching his face and 
pulling his hair, and occasionally breaking out into clamorous 
explosions of delight, evidently arising out of her own internal 
reflections. 

" Ay, crow away, poor critter ! " said Aunt Chloe ; " ye'U 
have to come to it, too ! ye'll live to see yer husband 
sold, or mebbe be sold yerself; and these yer boys, they's 
to be sold, I s'pose, too, jest as like as not, when dey 
gets good for somethin' ; an't no use in niggers- havin' 
nothin ! " 

Here one of the boys called out, " Thar's missis a com- 
in' in ! " 

" She can't do no good ; what's she comin' for ? " said Aunj; 
Chloe. 

Mrs. Shelby entered. Aunt Chloe set a chair for her in a 



LIFE AMONG THE LOWLY. 131 

manner decidedly gruff and crusty. She did not seem to 
notice either the action or the manner. She looked pale and 
anxious. 

" Tom," she said, " I come to " and stopping sud- 
denly, and regarding the silent group, she sat down in the 
chair, and, covering her face with her handkerchief, began 
to sob. 

"Lor, now, missis, don't — don't!" said Aunt Chloe, burst- 
ing out in her turn ; and for a few moments they all wept in 
company. And in those tears they all shed together, the 
high and the lowly, melted away all the heartburnings and 
anger of the oppressed. 0, ye who visit the distressed, do 
ye know that every thing your money can buy, given with a 
cold, averted face, is not worth one honest tear shed in real 
sympathy ? 

" My good fellow," said Mrs. Shelby, " I can't give you 
any thing to do you any good. If I give you money, it 
will only be taken from you. But I tell you, solemnly, and 
before God, that I will keep trace of you, and bring you 
back as soon as I can command the money : and, till then, 
trust in God ! " 

Here the boys called out that Mas'r Haley was coming, 
and then an unceremonious kick pushed open the door. Ha- 
ley stood there in very ill humor, having ridden hard the 
night before, and being not at all pacified by his ill success 
in recapturing his prey. 

" Come," said he, " ye nigger, ye'r ready ? Servant, ma'am ! " 
said he, taking off his hat, as he saw Mrs. Shelby. 

Aunt Chloe shut and corded the box, and, getting up, looked 
gruffly on the trader, her tears seeming suddenly turned to 
sparks of fire. 

Tom rose up meekly, to follow his new master, and raised 
up his heavy box on his shoulder. His wife took the baby in 
her arms to go with him to the wagon, and the children, still 
crying, trailed on behind. 

Mrs. Shelby, walking up to the trader,, detained him for 
a few moments, talking with him in an earnest manner ; 
and while she was thus talking, the whole family party pro- 
ceeded to a wagon that stood ready harnessed at the door. 



132 UNCLE tom's cabin ; OE, 

A crowd of all the old and young hands on the place stood 
gathered around it, to bid farewell to their old associate, 
Tom had been looked up to both as a head servant and 
a Christian teacher, by all the place, and there was much 
honest sympathy and grief about him, particularly among the 
women, 

" Why, Chloe, you bar it better'n we do ! " said one of the 
women, who had been weeping freely, noticing the gloomy 
calmness with which Aunt Chloe stood by the wagon. 

" I's done my tears ! " she said, looking grimly at the trader, 
who was coming up. " I does not feel to cry 'fore dat ar old 
limb, no how ! " 

" Get in ! " said Haley to Tom, as he strode through the 
crowd of servants, who looked at him with lowering brows. 

Tom got in, and Haley, drawing out from under the wagon 
seat a heavy pair of shackles, made them fast around each 
ankle. 

A smothered groan of indignation ran through the whole 
circle, and Mrs. Shelby spoke from the veranda, — 

" Mr. Haley, I assure you that precaution is entirely un- 
necessary." 

" Don'no, ma'am ; I've lost one five hundred dollars from 
this yer place, and I can't afford to run no more risks." 

"What else could she spect on him?" said Aunt Chloe, 
indignantly, while the two boys, who now seemed to compre- 
hend at once their father's destiny, clung to her gown, sob- 
bing and groaning vehemently. 

" I'm sorry," said Tom, " that Mas'r George happened to be 
away." 

George had gone to spend two or three days with a com- 
panion on a neighboring estate, and having departed early 
in the morning, before Tom's misfortune had been made pub- 
lic, had left without hearing of it. 

" Give my love to Mas'r George," he said, earnestly. 

Haley whipped up the horse, and, with a steady, mourn- 
ful look, fixed to the last on the old place, Tom was whirled 
away. 

Mr. Shelby at this time was not at home. He had sold Tom 
under the spur of a driving necessity, to get out of the power 



LIFE AMONG THE LOWLY. 



133 



of a man whom he dreaded, — and his first feeling, after the 
consummation of the bargain, had been that of relief. But 
his wife's expostulations awoke his half-slumbering regrets ; 
and Tom's manly disinterestedness increased the unpleasant- 
ness of his feelings. It was in vain that he said to himself 
that he had a right to do it, — that every body did it, — and 
that some did it without even the excuse of necessity ; he 
could not satisfy his own feelings ; and that he might not 
witness the unpleasant scenes of the consummation, he had 
gone on a short business tour up the country, hoping that all 
would be over before he returned. 

Tom and Haley rattled on along the dusty road, whirling. 




past every old familiar spot, until the bounds of the estate 
were fairly passed, and they found themselves out on the open 
pike. After they had ridden about a mile, Haley suddenly 
drew up at the door of a blacksmith's shop, when, taking out 
with him a pair of handcuffs, he stepped into the shop, to 
have a little alteration in them. 

" These yer's a little too small for his build," said Haley, 
showing the fetters, and pointing out to Tom. 

" Lor ! now, if thar an't Shelby's Tom. He han't sold him, 
now ? " said the smith. 

" Yes, he has," said Haley. 

"Now, ye don't! well, reely," said the smi'th, "who'd a 



134 UNCLE tom's cabin ; OR, 

thought it! Why, ye needn't go to fetterin' him up this yer 
way. He's the faithfulest, best critter " 

" Yes, yes," said Haley ; " but your good fellers are just the, 
critters to want ter run off. Them stupid ones, as doesn't care 
whar they go, and shifless, drunken ones, as don't care for 
nothin', they'll stick by, and like as not be rather pleased to 
be toted round ; but these yer prime fellers, they hates it like 
sin. No way but to fetter 'em ; got legs, — they'll use 'em — 
no mistake." 

" Well," said the smith, feeling among his tools, " them plan- 
tations down there, stranger, an't jest the place a Kentuck nig- 
ger wants to go to ; they dies thar tol'able fast, don't they ? " 

" Wal, yes, tol'able fast, ther dying is ; what with the 'cli- 
mating and one thing and another, they dies so as to keep the 
market up pretty brisk," said Haley. 

" Wal, now, a feller can't help thinkin' it's a mighty pity to 
have a nice, quiet, likely feller, as good un as Tom is, go down 
to be fairly ground up on one of them ar sugar plantations," 

" Wal, he's got a fa'r chance. I promised to do well by 
him. I'll get him in house servant in some good old family, 
and then, if he stands the fever and 'climating, he'll have a 
berth good as any nigger ought ter ask for." 

"He leaves his wife and chil'en up here, s'pose? " 

"Yes; but he'll get another thar. Lord, thar's women 
enough every whar," said Haley. 

Tom was sitting very mournfully on the outside of the shop 
while this conversation was going on. Suddenly he heard the 
quick, short click of a horse's hoof behind him ; and, before 
he could fairly awake from his surprise, young Master George 
sprang into the wagon, threw his arms tumultuously round his 
neck, and was sobbing and scolding with energy. 

" I declare, it's real mean ! I don't care what they say, any 
of 'em! It's a nasty, mean shame! If I was a man, they 
shouldn't do it, — they should not, so ! " said George, with a 
kind of subdued howl. 

" Mas'r George ! this does me good ! " said Tom. " 1 
couldn't bar to go off without seein' ye ! It does me real good ; 
ye can't tell ! " Here Tom made some movement of his feet, 
and George's eye fell on the fetters. 



LIFE AMONG THE LOWLY. 135 

"What a shame!" he exclaimed, lifting his hands. "I'll 
knock that old fellow down — I will!" 

" No, you won't, Mas'r George ; and you must not talk so 
loud. It won't help me any, to anger him." 

" Well, I won't, then, for your sake ; but only to think of it 
— isn't it a shame ? They never sent for me, nor sent me any 
word, and, if it hadn't been for Tom Lincon, I shouldn't have 
heard it. I tell you, I blew 'em up well, all of 'em, at home ! " 
" That ar wasn't right, I'm 'feard, Mas'r George." 
" Can't help it ! I say it's a shame ! Look here, Uncle Tom," 
said he, turning his back to the shop, and speaking in a mys- 
terious tone, " Vve brought you my dollar ! " 

" ! I couldn't think o' takin' on't, Mas'r George, no ways 
in the world ! " said Tom, quite moved. 

" But you shall take it 1 " said George ; " look here — I told 
Aunt Chloe I'd do it, and she advised me just to make a hole, 
in it, and put a string through, so you could hang it round 
your neck, and keep it out of sight ; else this mean scamp 
would take it away. I tell ye, Tom, I want to blow him up J 
it would do me good ! " 

"No, don't, Mas'r George, for it won't do 7ne any good." 
"Well, I won't, for your sake," said George, busily tying his 
dollar round. Tom's neck ; " but there, now, button your coat, 
tight over it, and keep it ; and remember, every time you see 
it, that I'll come down after you, and bring you back. Aunt 
Chloe and I have been talking about it. I told her not to fear ; 
I'll see to it, and I'll tease father's life out, if he don't do it." 
" ! Mas'r George, ye musn't talk so 'bout your father ! " 
" Lor, Uncle Tom, I don't mean any thing bad." 
" And now, Mas'r George," said Tom, " ye must be a good 
boy ; 'member how many hearts is sot on ye. Al'ays keep 
close to yer mother. Don't be gettin' into any of them foolish 
ways boys has of gettin' too big to mind their mothers. Tell 
ye what, Mas'r George, the Lord gives good many things 
twice over ; but he don't give ye a mother but once. Ye'll 
never see sich another woman, Mas'r George, if ye live to be- 
a hundred years old. So, now, you hold on to her, and grow 
up, and be a comfort to her, thar's my own good boy, — you 
will now, won't ye ? " 



136 UNCLE tom's cabin ; OR, 

" Yes, I will, Uncle Tom," said George, seriously. - 

" And be careful of yer speaking, Mas'r George. Young 
boys, when they comes to your age, is wilful, sometimes — it's 
natur they should be. But real gentlemen, such as I hopes 
you'll be, never lets fall no words that isn't 'spectful to thar 
parents. Ye an't 'fended, Mas'r George?" 

" No, indeed. Uncle Tom ; you always did give me good 
advice." 

"I's older, ye know," said Tom, stroking the boy's fine, 
curly head with his large, strong hand, but speaking in a 
voice as tender as a woman's, " and I sees all that's bound 
up in you. 0, Mas'r George, you has every thing, — I'arnin', 
privileges, readin', writin', — and you'll grow up to be a great, 
learned, good man, and all the people on the place and 
your mother and father'll be so proud on ye ! Be a good 
mas'r like yer father ; and be a Christian, like yer moth- 
er. 'Member yer Creator in the days o' yer youth, Mas'j* 
George." 

" I'll be real good, Uncle Tom, I tell you," said George. 
" I'm going to be 2^ first-rater ; and don't you be discouraged. 
I'll have you back to the place, yet. As I told Aunt Chloe 
this morning, I'll build your house all over, and you shall have 
a room for a parlor with a carpet on it, when. I'm a man. 0, 
you'll have good times yet ! " 

Haley now came to the door, with the handcuffs in his 
hands. 

" Look here, now, mister," said George, with an air of great 
superiority, as he got out, " I shall let father and mother know- 
how you treat Uncle Tom ! " 

"You're welcome," said the trader. 

"I should think you'd be ashamed to spend all your life 
buying men and women, and chaining them, like cattle ! I 
should think you'd feel mean ! " said George. 

" So long as your grand folks wants to buy men and women, 
I'm as good as they is," said Haley ; " 'tan't any meaner sellin' 
on 'emithan 'tis buyin' 1 " 

" I'll never do either, when I'm a man," said George ; " I'm 
ashamed, this day, that I'm a Kentuckian. I always was 
])roud of it before ; " and George sat very straight on his 



LIFE AMONG THE LOWLY, 



137 



horse, and looked round with an air, as if he expected the 
state would be impressed with his opinion. 

" "Well, good by, Uncle Tom ; keep a stiff upper lip," said 
George. 

" Good by, Mas'r George," said Tom, looking fondly and 
admiringly at him. " God Almighty bless you ! Ah ! Ken- 
tucky han't got many like you I " he said, in the fulness of 
his heart, as the frank, boyish face was lost to his view. 
Away he went, and Tom looked, till the clatter of his horse's 
heels died away, the last sound or sight of his home. But 
over his heart there seemed to be a warm spot, where those 
young hands had placed that precious dollar. Tom put up 
his hand, and held it close to his heart. 




'• Now, I tell ye what, Tom," said Haley, as he came up to 
the wagon, and threw in the handcuffs, " I mean to start fa'r 
with ye, as I gen'ally do with my niggers ; and I'll tell ye 
now, to begin with, you treat me fa'r, and I'll treat you fa'r ; 
I an't never hard on my niggers. Calculates to do the best 
for 'em I can. Now, ye see, you'd better jest settle down 
comfortable, and not be tryiu' no tricks ; because niggers' 
tricks of all sorts I'm up to, and it's no use. If niggers is 
quiet, and don't try to get off, they has good times with me ; 
and if they don't, why, it's tliar fault, and not mine." 

Tom assured Haley that he had no present intentions of 
18 



138 



UNCLE TOM'S cabin ; OR, 



running off. In fact, the exhortation seemed rather a super- 
fluous one to a man with a great pair of iron fetters on his 
feet. But Mr. Haley had got in the habit of commencing his 
relations with his stock with little exhortations of this nature, 
calculated, as he deemed, to inspire cheerfulness and confi- 
dence, and prevent the necessity of any unpleasant scenes. 

And here, for the present, we take our leave of Tom, to 
pursue the fortunes of other characters in our story. 





CHAPTER XI. 



IN WHICH PROPEKTY GETS INTO AN IMPROPER STATE OF MIND. 




T was late in a drizzly afternoon that a travel- 
ler alighted at the door of a small country 

hotel, in the village of N , in Kentucky. 

In the bar room he found assembled quite a 
miscellaneous company, whom stress of weather 
had driven to harbor, and the place presented 
the usual scenery of such reunions. Great, tall, raw-boned 
Kentuckians, attired in hunting shirts, and trailing their loose 
joints over a vast extent of territory, with the easy lounge 
peculiar to the race, — rifles stacked away in the corner, shot 
pouches, game bags, hunting dogs, and little negroes, all rolled 
together in the corners, — were the characteristic features in 
the picture. At each end of the fireplace sat a long-legged 
gentleman, with liis chair tipped back, his hat on his head, and 



140 UNCLE tom's cabin ; OR, 

the heels of his muddy boots reposing sublimely on the mantel- 
piece, — a position, we will inform our readers, decidedly favor- 
able to the turn of reflection incident to western taverns, where 
travellers exhibit a decided preference for this particular mode 
of elevating their understandings. 

Mine host, who stood behind the bar, like most of his coun- 
trymen, was great of stature, good natured, and loose jointed, 
with an enormous shock of hair on his head, and a great tall 
hat on the top of that. 

In fact, every body in the room bore on his head this char- 
acteristic emblem of man's sovereignty ; whether it were felt 
hat, palm leaf, greasy beaver, or fine new chapeau, there it 
reposed with true republican independence. lu truth, it ap- 
peared to be the characteristic mark of every individual. 
Some wore them tipped rakishly to one side — these were 
your men of humor, jolly, free-and-easy dogs ; some had them 
jammed independently down over their noses — these were 
your hard characters, thorough men, who, when they wore 
their hats, wanted to wear them, and to wear them just as they 
had a mind to ; there were those who had them set far over 
back — wide awake men, who wanted a clear prospect ; while, 
careless men, who did not know, or care, how their hats sat, 
had them shaking about in all directions. The various hats, 
in fact, were quite a Shakspearian study. 

Divers negroes, in very free-and-easy pantaloons, and with 
no redundancy in the shirt line, were scuttling about, hither 
and thither, without bringing to pass any very particular 
results, except expressing a generic willingness to turn over 
every thing in creation generally for the benefit of mas'r and 
his guests. Add to this picture a jolly, crackling, rollicking 
fire, going rejoicingly up a great wide chimney, — the outer 
door and every window being set wide open, and the calico 
window curtain flopping and snapping in a good stiff breeze 
of damp, raw air, — and you have an idea of the jollities of a 
Kentucky tavern. 

Your Kentuckian of the present day is a good illustration 
of the doctrine of transmitted instincts and peculiarities. His 
fathers were mighty hunters, — men who lived in the woods, 
and slept under the free, open heavens, with the stars to 



LIFE AMONU THE LOWLY. 141 

hold their candles ; and their descendant to this day always 
acts as if the house were his camp, — wears his hat at all 
hours, tumbles himself about, and puts his heels on the tops 
of chairs or mantel-pieces, just as his father rolled on the 
greensward, and put his upon trees and logs, — keeps all the 
windows and doors open, winter and summer, that he may get 
air enough for his great lungs, — calls every body " stranger," 
with nonchalant bonhommie, and is altogether the frankest, 
easiest, most jovial creature living. 

Into such an assembly of the free and easy our traveller 
entered. He was a short, thick-set man, carefully dressed, 
with a round, good-natured countenance, and something rather 
fussy and particular in his appearance. He was very careful 
of his valise and umbrella, bringing them in with his own 
hands, and resisting, pertinaciously, all offers from the various 
servants to relieve him of them. He looked round the bar 
room with rather an anxious air, and, retreating with his 
valuables to the warmest corner, disposed them under his 
chair, sat down, and looked rather apprehensively up at the 
worthy whose heels illustrated the end of the mantel-piece, 
who was spitting from right to left, with a courage and energy 
rather alarming to gentlemen of weak nerves and particular 
habits. 

" I say, stranger, how are ye ? " said the aforesaid gentle- 
man, firing an honorary salute of tobacco juice in the direction 
of the new arrival. 

" Well, I reckon," was the reply of the other, as he dodged, 
with some alarm, the threatening honor. 

" Any news ? " said the respondent, taking out a strip of 
tobacco and a large hunting knife from his pocket., 

" Not that I know of," said the man. 

" Chaw ? " said the first speaker, handing the old gentle- 
man a bit of his tobacco, with a decidedly brotherly air, 

"No, thank ye — it don't agree with me," said the little 
man, edging off. 

" Don't, eh ? " said the other, easily, and stowing away the 
morsel in his own mouth, in order to keep up the supply of 
tobacco juice, for the general benefit of society. 

The old gentleman uniformly gave a little start whenever 



142 



UNCLE tom's cabin ; OR, 



his loug-sided brother fired in his direction ; and this being 
observed by his companion, he very good naturedly turned 
his artillery to another quarter, and proceeded to storm one 
of the fire-irons with a degree of military talent fully sufficient 
to take a city. 

"What's that?" said the old gentleman, observing some of 
the company formed in a group around a large handbill. 

" Nigger advertised ! " said one of the company, briefly. 

Mr. Wilson (for that was the old gentleman's name) rose up, 
and, after carefully adjusting his valise and umbrella, pro- 
ceeded deliberately to take out his spectacles and fix them 
on his nose ; and, this operation being performed, read as 
follows : — 



" Ran away from the subscriber, my mulatto boy, George. Said George six 
feet in heiglit, a very light mulatto, brown curly hair ; is very intelligent, speaks 
handsomely, can read and write ; will probably try to pass for a white man ; is 
deeply scarred on his back and shoulders ; has been branded in his right hand 
with the letter H. 

" I will give four hundred dollars for him alive, and the same sum for satisfac- 
tory proof that he has been killed." 

The old gentleman read this advertisement from end to 
end, in a low voice, as if he were studying it. 

__^ The long-legged veteran, 

Klif^ ~Wh\ who had been besiegingjhe 

^^'__ fire-iron, as before related, 

■^ ''"?*iir'*'*"j*"'" ' iiow took down his cum- 

•'-f^ni.'kEwA-ibrous length, and rearing 

, aloft his tall form, walked 

up to the advertisement, 

and very deliberately spit 

II full discharge of tobacco 

juice on it. 

" There's my mind upon 
that!" said he, briefly, 
^^-.. and sat down again. 

" Why, now, stranger, 
what's that for ? " said 
mine host. 
" I'd do it all the same to the writer of that ar paper, if he 




LIFE AMONG THE LOWLY. 143 

was here," said the long man, coolly resuming his old employ- 
ment of cutting tobacco. " Any man that owns a boy like 
that, and can't find any better way o' treating on him, deserves 
to lose him. Such papers as these is a shame to Kentucky ; 
that's my mind right out, if any body wants to know ! " 

" Well, now, that's a fact," said mine host, as he made an 
entry in his book. 

" I've got a gang of boys, sir," said the long man, resuming 
his attack on the fire-irons, " and I jest tells 'em — ' Boys,' says 
I, — ' nm now ! dig ! put ! jest when ye want to ! I never shall 
come to look after you ! ' That's the way I keep mine. Let 
'em know they are free to run any time, and it jest breaks up 
their wanting to. More'n all, I've got free papers for 'em all 
recorded, in case I gets keeled up any o' these times, and they 
knows it ; and I tell ye, stranger, there an't a fellow in our 
parts gets more out of his niggers than I do. Why, my boys 
have been to Cincinnati, with five hundred dollars' worth of 
colts, and brought me back the money, all straight, time and 
agin. It stands to reason they should. Treat 'em like dogs, 
and you'll have dogs' works and dogs' actions. Treat 'em like 
men, and you'll have men's works." And the honest drover, in 
his warmth, indorsed this moral sentiment by firing a perfect 
feu de jok at the fireplace. 

" I think you're altogether right, friend," said Mr. Wilson ; 
"and this boy described here is a fine fellow — no mistake 
about that. He worked for me some half dozen years in my 
bagging factory, and he was my best hand, sir. He is an 
ingenious fellow, too : he invented a machine for the cleaning 
of hemp — a really valuable affair ; it's gone into use in sev- 
eral factories. His master holds the patent of it." 

" I'll warrant ye," said the drover, " holds it and makes 
money out of it, and then turns round and brands the boy in 
his right hand. If I had a fair chance, I'd mark him, I reckon, 
so that he'd carry it one while." 

" These yer knowin' boys is allers aggravatin' and sarcy," 
said a coarse-looking fellow, from the other side of the room ; 
" that's why they gets cut up and marked so. If they behaved 
themselves, they wouldn't." 

"That is to say, the Loud made 'em men, and it's a hard 



144 UNCLE tom's cabin ; OR, 

squeeze getting 'em down into beasts," said the drover, 
dryly. 

" Bright niggers isn't no kind of 'vantage to their masters," 
continued the other, well intrenched, in a coarse, unconscious 
obtuseness, from the contempt' of his opponent ; " what's the 
use o' talents and them things, if you can't get the use on 'em 
yourself? Why, all the use they make on't is to get round 
you. I've had one or two of these fellers, and I jest sold 
'em down river. I knew I'd got to lose 'em, first or last, if 
I didn't." 

" Better send orders up to the Lord, to make you a set, and 
leave out their souls entirely," said the drover. 

Here the conversation was interrupted by the approach of a 
small one-horse buggy to the inn. It had a genteel appear- 
ance, and a well-dressed, gentlemanly m^n sat on the seat, with 
a colored servant driving. 

The whole party examined the new comer with the interest 
with which a set of loafers in a rainy day usually examine 
every new comer. He was very tall, with a dark, Spanish 
complexion, fine, expressive black eyes, and close-curling hair, 
also of a glossy blackness. His well-formed acquiline nose, 
straight thin lips, and the admirable contour of his finely- 
formed limbs, impressed the whole company instantly with the 
idea of something uncommon. He walked easily in among 
the company, and with a nod indicated to his waiter where to 
place his trunk, bowed to the company, and, with his hat in his 
hand, walked up leisurely to the bar, and gave in his name as 
Henry Butler, Oaklands, Shelby county. Turning, with an 
indifferent air, he sauntered up to the advertisement, and 
read it over. 

"Jim," he said to his man, "seems to me we met a boy 
something like this up at Bernam's, didn't we ? " 

" Yes, mas'r," said Jim, " only I an't sure about the hand." 

" Well, I didn't look, of course," said the stranger, with a 
careless yawn. Then, walking up to the landlord, he desired 
him to furnish him with a private apartment, as he had some 
writing to do immediately. 

The landlord was all obsequious, and a relay of about sevea 
negroes, old and young, male and female, little and big, were 



LIFE AMONG THE LOWLY. 145 

soon whizzing- about, like a covey of partridges, bustling, hur- 
rying, treacling on each other's toes, and tumbling over each 
other, in their zeal to get mas'r's room ready, while he seated 
himself easily on a chair in the middle of the room, and entered 
into conversation with the man who sat next to him. 

The manufacturer, Mr. Wilson, from the time of the entrance 
of the stranger, had regarded him with an air of disturbed 
and uneasy curiosity. He seemed to himself to have met and 
been acquainted with him sonaewhere, but he could not recol- 
lect. Every few moments, when the man spoke, or moved, or 
smiled, he wOutd start and fix his eyes on him, and then sud- 
denly withdraw them, as the bright, dark eyes met his with 
such unconcerned coolness. At last, a sudden recollection 
seemed to flash upon him, for he stared at the stranger with 
such an air of blank amazement and alarm, that he walked up 
to him, 

" Mr. Wilson, I think," said he, in. a tone of recognition, and 
extending his hand. " I beg your pardon, I didn't recollect 
you before? I see you remember me, — Mr, Butler, of Oaklands, 
Shelby county." 

" Ye — yes — yes, sir," said Mr. Wilson, like one speaking 
in a dream. 

Just then a negro boy entered, and announced that mas'r's 
room was ready. 

" Jim, see to the trunks," said the gentleman, negligently ; 
then addressing himself to Mr. Wilson, he added, " I should 
like to have a few moments' conversation with you on business, 
in my room, if you please." 

Mr. Wilson followed him, as one who walks in his sleep ; 
and they proceeded to a large upper chamber, where a new- 
made fire was crackling, and various servants flying about, 
putting finishing touches to the arrangements. 

When all was done, and the servants departed, the young- 
man deliberately locked the door, and putting the key in his 
pocket, faced about, and folding his arms on his bosom, looked 
Mr. Wilson full in the face. 

" George ! " said Mr. Wilson. 

" Yes, George," said the young man. 

" I couldn't have thought it 1 " 
19 



146 UNCLE tom's cabin ; OR, 

" I am pretty well disguised, I fancy," said the young jnan, 
with a smile. " A little walnut bark has ma'de my yellow_ 
skin a genteel brown, and I've dyed my hair Ijlack ; so you see„ 
I don't answer to the advertisement at all.-" 
S/ " George ! but this is a dangerous game you are playing. 
I could not have advised you to it." 

" I can do it on my own responsibility," said George, with 
the same proud smile. 

We remark, en passant, that George was, by his father's side, 
of white descent, His mother was one of those unfortunates 
of her race, marked out by personal beauty to be the slave of 
the passions of her possessor, and the mother of children 
who may never know a father. From one of the proudest 
families in Kentucky he had inherited a set of fine European 
features, and a high, indomitable spirit. From his mother he 
had received only a slight mulatto tinge, amply compensated 
by its accompanying rich, dark eye. A slight change in the 
tint of the skin and the color of his hair had metamorphosed 
him into the Spanish-looking fellow he then appeared ; and as 
gracefulness of movement and gentlemanly manners had always 
been perfectly natural to him, he found no difficulty in playing 
the bold part he had adopted — that of a gentleman travelling 
with his domestic. 

Mr. Wilson, a good-natured but extremely fidgety< and 
cautious old gentleman, ambled up and down the room, 
appearing, as John Bunyan hath it, "much tumbled up and 
down in his mind," and divided between his wish to help 
George, and a certain confused notion of maintaining law and 
order : so, as he shambled about, he delivered himself as 
follows : — 

"Well, George, I s'pose you're running away — leaving your 
lawful master, George — (I don't wonder at it) — at the same 
time, I'm sorry, George, — yes, decidedly — I think I must say 
that, George — it's my duty to tell you so." 

" Why are you sorry, sir ? " said George, calmly. 

" Why, to see you, as it were, setting yourself in opposition 
to the laws of your country." 

" My country ! " said George, with a strong and bitter em- 



LIFE AMONG THE LOWLY. 147 

phasis ; " what country have I but the grave, — and I wish 
to God that I was laid there ! " 

"Why, George, no — no — it won't do; this way of talk- 
ing is wicked — unscriptural. George, you've got a hard 
}naster — in fact, he is — well, he conducts himself reprehensi- 
bly — I can't pretend to defend him. But you know how the 
angel commanded Hagar to return to her mistress, and submit 
herself under her hand ; and the apostle sent back Onesimus 
to his master." 

"Don't quote Bible at me that way, Mr. Wilson," said 
George, with a flashing eye, " don't ! for my wife is a Chris- 
tian, and I mean to be, if ever I get to where I can ; but to 
quote Bible to a fellow in my circumstances is enough to make 
him give it up altogether. I appeal to God Almighty ; — I'm 
willing to go with the case to Him, and ask Him if I do wrong 
to seek my freedom." 

" These feelings are quite natural, George," said the good- 
natured man, blowing his nose. " Yes, they're natural, but it 
is my duty not to encourage 'em in you. Yes, my boy, I'm 
sorry for you, now ; it's a bad case — very bad ; but the apostle 
says, ' Let every one abide in the condition ii^ which he is 
called.' We must all subniit to tlje indications of Providence, 
George, — don't you see ?" 

George stood with his head drawn back, his arms folded 
tightly over his broad breast, and a bitter smile curling his 
lips. 

" I Avonder, Mr. Wilson, if the Indians should come and take 
you a prisoner away from your wife and children, and want to 
keep you all your life hoeing corn for them, if you'd think it 
your duty to abide in the condition in which you were called. 
I rather think that you'd think the first stray horse you could 
find an indication of Providence — shouldn't you?" 

The little old gentleman stared with both eyes at this illus- 
tration of the case ; but, though not much of a reasoner, he 
had the sense in which some logicians on this particular 
subject do not excel, — that of saying nothing, where nothing 
could be said. So, as he stood carefully stroking his umbrella, 
and folding and patting down all the creases in it, he pro- 
ceeded on with his exhortations in a general way. 



148 UNCLE tom's cabin ; OR, 

" You see, George, you know, now, I always have stood your 
friend ; and whatever I've said, I've said for your good. Now, 
here, it seems to me, you're running an awful risk. You can't 
hope to carry it out. If you're taken, it will be worse with 
you than ever ; they'll only abuse you, and half kill you, and 
sell you down river." 

" Mr. Wilson, I know all this," said George. " I do run a 

risk, but " He threw open his overcoat, and showed two 

pistols and a bowie knife. " There ! " he said, " I'm ready for 
'em ! Down south I never will go. No ! if it comes to that, I 
can earn myself at least six feet of free soil, — the first and 
last I shall ever own in Kentucky ! " 

" Why, George, this state of mind is awful ; it's getting 
really desperate, George. I'm concerned. Going to break 
the laws of your country ! " 

" My country again ! Mr. Wilson, ymi have a country ; but 
what country have /, or any one like me, born of slave mothers ? 
What laws are there for us ? We don't make them, — we don't 
consent to them, — we have nothing to do with them ; all they 
do for us is to crush us, and keep us down. Haven't I heard 
your Fourth of July speeches? Don't you tell us all, once a 
year, that governments derive their just power from the con- 
sent of the governed? Can't a fellow think, that hears such 
things ? Can't he put this and that together, and see what it 
comes to ? " 

Mr. Wilson's mind was one of those that may not unaptly 
be represented by a bale of cotton, — downy, soft, benevolently 
fuzzy, and confused. He really pitied George with all his 
heart, and had a sort of dim and cloudy perception of the 
style of feeling that agitated him ; but he deemed it his duty 
to go on talking good to him, with infinite pertinacity. 

" George, this is bad. I must tell you, you know, as a friend, 
you'd better not be meddling with such notions ; they are bad, 
George, very bad, for boys in your condition, — very ; " and 
Mr. Wilson sat down to a table, and began nervously chewing 
the handle of his umbrella. 

" See here, now, Mr. Wilson," said George, coming up and 
sitting himself determinately down in front of him ; " look at 
me, now. Don't I sit before you, every way, just as much a 



LIFE AMONG THE LOWLY 



149 




man as you are? Look at my face, — look at my hands, — 
look at my body," and tlie young man drew himself up proud- 
ly ; " why am I not a man, 
as much as any body ? 
Well, Mr. Wilson, hear 
what I can tell you. I had 
a father — one of your Ken- 
tucky gentlemen — who 
didn't think enough of me 
to keep me from being sold 
with his dogs and horses, 
to satisfy the estate when 
he died. I saw my mother 
put up at sheriff's sale, 
with her seven children. 
They were sold before her 
eyes, one by one, all to 

different masters ; and I was the youngest. She came and 
kneeled down before old mas'r, and begged him to buy her 
with me, that she might have at. least one child with her ; and 
he kicked her away with his heavy boot. I saw him do it y 
and the last that I heard was her moans and screams, when 
I was tied to his horse's neck, to be carried ojBf to his place." 

" Well, then ? " 

"My master traded with one of the men, and bought my 
oldest sister. She was a pious, good girl, — a member of the 
Baptist church, — and as handsome as my poor mother had 
been. She was well brought up, and had good manners. At 
first, I was glad she was bought, for I had one friend near me. 
I was soon sorry for it. Sir, I have stood at the door and 
heard her whipped, when it seemed as if every blow cut into 
my naked heart, and I couldn't do any thing to help her ; and 
she was whipped, sir, for wanting to live a decent Christian 
life, such as your laws give no slave girl a right to live ; and 
at last I saw her chained with a trader's gang, to be sent to 
market in Orleans, — sent there for nothing else but that, — 
and that's the last I know of her. Well, I grew up, — long 
years and years, — no father, no mother, no sister, not a living 
soul that cared for me more than a dog ; nothing but whip- 



150 UNCLE TOM's cabin ; OR, 

ping, scolding, starving. Why, sir, IVe been so hungry that 1 
have been glad to take the bones they threw to their dogs ; 
and yet, when I was a little fellow, and laid awake whole 
nights and cried, it wasn't the hunger, it wasn't the whipping, 
I cried for. No, sir ; it was for my mother and m,y sisters, — it 
was because I hadn't a friend to love me on earth. I never 
knew what peace or comfort was. I never had a kind word 
spoken to me till I came to work in your factory. Mr. Wil- 
son, you treated me well ; you encouraged me to do well, and 
to learn to read and write, and to try to make something of 
myself ; and God knows how grateful I am for it. Then, sir, 
I found my wife ; you've seen her, — you know how beautiful 
she is. When I found she loved me, when I married her, I 
scarcely could believe I was alive, I was so happy ; and, sir, 
she is as good as she is beautiful. But now what ? Why, 
now comes my master, takes me right away from my work, and 
my friends, and all I like, and grinds me down into the very 
dirt ! And why ? Because, he says, I forgot who I was ; he 
says, to teach me that I am only a nigger ! After all, and last 
of all, he comes between me and my wife, and says I shall give 
her up, and live with another woman. And all this your laws 
give him power to do, in spite of God or man. Mr. Wilson, 
look at it ! There isn't one of all these things, that have bro- 
ken the hearts of my mother and my sister, and my wife and 
myself, but your laws allow, and give every man power to do, 
in Kentucky, and none can say to him nay ! Do you call these 
the laws of my country ? Sir, I haven't any country, any more 
than I have any father. But I'm going to have one. I don't 
want any thing of your country, except to be let alone, — to 
go peaceably out of it ; and when I get to Canada, where the 
laws will own me and protect me, that shall be my country, 
and its laws I will obey. But if any man tries to stop me, 
let him take care, for I am desperate. I'll fight for my liberty 
to the last breath I breathe. You say your fathers did it ; if 
it was right for them, it is right for me ! " 

This speech, delivered partly while sitting at the table, and 
partly walking up and down the room, — delivered with' tears, 
and flashing eyes, and depairiug gestures, — was altogether too 
much for the good-natured old body to whom it was addressed, 



LIFE AMONG THE LOWLY. 151 

who had pulled out a great yellow silk pocket handkerchief, 
and was mopping up his face with great energy. 

" Blast 'em all ! " he suddenly broke out. " Haven't I always 
said so — the infernal old cusses ! I hope I an't swearing, now. 
Well ! go ahead, George, go ahead ; but be careful, my boy ; 
don't shoot any body, George, unless — well — you'd better not 
shoot, I reckon ; at least, I wouldn't hit any body, you know. 
Where is your wife, George ? " he added, as he nervously rose, 
and began walking the room. 

" Gone, sir, gone, with her child in her arms, the Lord only 
knows where ; — gone after the north star ; and when we ever 
meet, or whether we meet at all in this world, no creature 
can tell." 

" Is it possible ! astonishing ! from such a kind family ? " 

" Kind families get in debt, and the laws of cuLr country allow 
them to sell the child out of its mother's bosom to pay its 
master's debts," said George, bitterly. 

" Well, well," said the honest old man, fumbling in his pocket. 
" I s'pose, perhaps, I an't following my judgment, — hang it, I 
won^t follow my judgment ! " he added, suddenly ; " so here, 
George," and taking out a roll of bills from his pocket book, 
he offered them to George. 

" No, my kind, good sir ! " said George ; " you've done a great 
deal for me, and this might get you into trouble. I have money 
enough, I hope, to take me as far as I need it." 

" No ; but you must, George. Money is a great help every 
where ; — can't have too much, if you get it honestly. Take it, 
— do take it, now^ — do, my boy! " 

" On condition, sir, that I may repay it at some future time, 
I will," said George, taking up the money, 

" And now, George, how long are you going to travel in this 
way? — not long or far, I hope. It's well carried on, but too 
bold. And this black fellow, — who is he ? " 

" A true fellow, who went to Canada more than a year ago. 
He heard, after he got there, that his master was so angry at 
him for going off that he had whipped his poor old mother ; 
and he has come all the way back to comfort her, and get a 
chance to get her away." 

" Has he got her ? " 



152 UNCLE TOM's CABIN; OR, 

" Not yet ; he has been hanging about the place, and found 
no chance yet. Meanwhile, he is going with me as far as 
Ohio, to put me among friends that helped him, and then he 
will come back after her." 

" Dangerous, very dangerous ! " said the old man. 

George drew himself up, and smiled disdainfully. 

The old gentleman eyed him from head to foot, with a sort- 
of innocent wonder. 

" George, something has brought you out wonderfully. You 
hold up your head, and speak and move like another man," 
said Mr. Wilson. 

"Because I'm a freeman!'''' said George, proudly. "Yes, 
sir; — I've said mas'r for the last time to any man. Vm 
free!'' 

" Take care ! You are not sure, — you may be taken." 

" All men are free and equal in the grave, if it comes to that, 
Mr. Wilson," said George. 

" I'm perfectly dumbfoundered with your boldness ! " said 
Mr. Wilson, — " to come right here to the nearest tavern ! " 

" Mr. Wilson, it is so bold, and this tavern is so near, that 
they will never think of it ; they will look for me on ahead, 
and you yourself wouldn't know me. Jim's master don't live 
in this county ; he isn't known in these parts. Besides, he is 
given up ; nobody is looking after him, and nobody will take 
me up from the advertisement, I think." 

" But the mark in your hand ? " 

George drew off his glove, and showed a newly-healed scar 
in his hand. 

" That is a parting proof of Mr. Harris's regard," he said, 
scornfully. " A fortnight ago, he took it into his head to give 
it to me, because he said he believed I should try to get away 
one of these days. Looks interesting, doesn't it ? " he said, 
drawing his glove on again. 

"I declare, my very blood runs cold when I think of it, — 
your condition and your risks ! " said Mr. Wilson. 

" Mine has run cold a good many years, Mr. Wilson ; at 
present, it's about up to the boiling point," said George. 

" Well, my good sir," continued George, after a few mo- 
ments' silence, " I saw you knew me ; I thought I'd just have 



LIFE ^MONG THE LOWLY. 153 

this talk with you, lest your surprised looks should bring me 
out. I leave early to-morrow morning, before daylight ; by 
to-morrow night I hope to sleep safe in Ohio. I shall travel 
by daylight, stop at the best hotels, go to the dinner tables 
with the lords of the land. So, good by, sir ; if you hear that 
I'm taken, you may know that I'm dead ! " 

George stood up like a rock, and put out his hand with the 
air of a prince. The friendly little old man shook it heartily, 
and after a little shower of caution, he took his umbrella, and 
fumbled his way out of the room. 

George stood thoughtfully looking at the door, as the old 
man closed it. A thought seemed to flash across his mind. 
He hastily stepped to it, and opening it, said, — 

" Mr. Wilson, one word more." 

The old gentleman entered again, and George, as before, 
locked the door, and then stood for a few moments looking on 
the floor, irresolutely. At last, raising his head with a sudden 
eff"ort, — 

" Mr. Wilson, you have shown yourself a Christian in your 
treatment of me, — I want to ask one last deed of Christian 
kindness of you." 

" Well, George." 

"Well, sir, — what you said was true. I am running a 
dreadful risk. There isn't, on earth, a living soul to care if 
I die," he added, drawing his breath hard, and speaking with 
a great effort, — "I shall be kicked out and buried like a dog, 
and nobody'll think of it a day after, — only my poor wife! 
Poor soul ! she'll mourn and grieve ; and if you'd only con- 
trive, Mr. Wilson, to send this little pin to her. She gave it 
to me for a Christmas present, poor child ! Give it to her, 
and tell her I loved her to the last. Will you? Will you? " 
he added, earnestly. 

"Yes, certainly — poor fellow!" said the old gentleman, 
taking the pin, with watery eyes, and a melancholy quiver in 
his voice. 

" Tell her one thing," said George ; " it's my last wish, if 

she can get to Canada, to go there. No matter how kind her 

mistress is, — no matter how much she loves her home; beg 

her not to go back, — for slavery always ends in misery. Tell 

•20 



154 



UNCLE TOM S CABIN ; OK, 



her to iDring up our boy a free man, and then he won't suffer 
as I have. Tell her this, Mr. Wilson, will you ? " 

" Yes, George, I'll tell her ; but I trust you won't die ; take 
heart, — you're a brave fellow. Trust in the Lord, George, 
I wish in my heart you were safe through, though, — that's 
what I do." 

" Is there a God to trust in ? " said George, in such a tone 
of bitter despair as arrested the old gentleman's words. " 0, 
I've seen things all my life that have made me feel that there 
can't be a God. You Christians don't know how these things 
look to us. There's a God for you, but is there any for us ? " 

"0, now, don't — don't, my boy!" said the old man, almost 
sobbing as he spoke ; " don't feel so ; there is — there is ; 
clouds and darkness are around about Him, but righteousness 
and judgment are the habitation of his throne. There's a God, 
George, — believe it ; trust in Him, and I'm sure He'll help 
you. Every thing will be set right, — if not in this life, in 
another." 

The real piety and benevolence of the simple old man in- 
vested him with a temporary dignity and authority as he 
spoke. George stopped his distracted walk up and down the 
room, stood thoughtfully a moment, and then said, quietly, — 

" Thank you for saying that, my good friend ; I'll think of 
that" 





CHAPTER XII. 



SELECT INCIDENT OF LAWFUL TEADE. 



"In Ramah there was a voice heard, — weeping and lamentation, and great 
mourning ; Rachel weeping for her children, and would not be comforted." 

;f K. Haley and Tom jogged onward in their 
,. wagon, each, for a time, absorbed in his own 
reflections. Now, the reflections of two men 
sitting side by side are a curious thing, — seat- 
ed on the same seat, having the same eyet^, 
ears, hands, and organs of all sorts, and having 
pass before their eyes the same objects, — it is wonderful what 
a variety we shall find in these same reflections ! 

As, for example, Mr. Haley : he thought first of Tom's 
length, and breadth, and height, and what he would sell for, 
if he was kept fat and in good case till he got him into 
market. He thought of how he should make out his gang ; 




156 UNCLE tom's cabin ; OR, 

he thought of the respective market value of certain supposi- 
titious men, and women, and children who were to compose it, 
and other kindred topics of the business ; then he thought of 
himself, and how humane he was ; that, whereas other men 
chained their "niggers" hand and foot both, he only put 
fetters on the feet, and left Tom the use of his hands, as long 
as he behaved well ; and he sighed to think how ungrateful 
human nature was, so that there was even room to doubt 
whether Tom appreciated his mercies. He had been taken 
in so by " niggers " whom he had favored ; but still he was 
astonished to consider how good natured he yet remained! 

As to Tom, he was thinking over some words of an unfash- 
ionable old book, which kept running through his head again 
and again, as follows : " We have here no continuing city, 
but we seek one to come ; wherefore God himself is not 
ashamed to be called our God ; for he hath prepared for us 
a city." These words of an ancient volume, got up princi- 
pally by "ignorant and unlearned men," have, through all 
time, kept up, somehow, a strange sort of power over the 
minds of poor, simple fellows, like Tom. They stir up the 
soul from its depths, and rouse, as with trumpet call, courage, 
energy, and enthusiasm, where before was only the blackness 
of despair. 

Mr. Haley pulled out of his pocket sundry newspapers, and 
began looking over their advertisements, with absorbed inter- 
est. He was not a remarkably fluent reader, and was in the 
habit of reading in a sort of recitative half aloud, by way of 
calling in his ears to verify the deductions of his eyes. In 
this tone he slowly recited the following paragraph : — 

"Executor's Sale, — Negroes! — Agreeably to order of court, will be sold,^ 
on Tuesday, February 20, before the court-house door, in the town of Washing- 
ton, Kentucky, the following negroes : Hagar, aged 60 ; John, aged 30 ; Ben, 
aged 21 ; Saul, aged 25 ; Albert, aged 14. Sold for the benefit of the creditors 
and heirs of the estate of Jesse Blutchford, Esq. 

Samuel Morris, 



Thomas Flint, ^ Executors.- 



" This yer I must look at," said he to Tom, for want of 
somebody else to talk to. 

"Ye see, I'm going to get up a prime gang to take down 



LIFE AMONG THE LOWLY. 157 

with ye, Tom; it'll make it sociable and pleasant like ; — good 
company will, ye know. We must drive r>glit to Washington 
first and foremost, and then I'll clap you into jail, while I 
does the business." 

Tom received this agreeable intelligence quite meekly ; 
simply wondering, in his own heart, how many of these 
doomed men had wives and children, and whether they woidd 
feel as he did about leaving them. It is to be confessed, 
too, that the naive, off-hand information that he was to be 
thrown into jail by no means produced an agreeable impres- 
sion on a poor fellow who had always prided himself on a 
strictly honest and upright course of life. Yes, Tom, we must 
confess it, was rather proud of his honesty, poor fellow, — not 
having very much else to be proud off ; — if he had belonged 
to some of the higher walks of society, he, perhaps, would 
never have been reduced to such straits. However, the day 
wore on, and the evening saw Haley and Tom comfortably 
accommodated in Washington, — the one in a tavern, and the 
other in a jail. 

About eleven o'clock the next day, a mixed throng was 
gathered around the court-house steps, — smoking, chewing, 
spitting, swearing, and conversing, according to their respec- 
tive tastes and turns, — waiting for the auction to commence. 
The men and women to be sold sat in a group apart, talking 
in a low tone to each other. The woman who had been ad- 
vertised by the name of Hagar was a regular African in 
feature and figure. She might have been sixty, but was 
older than that by hard work and disease, was partially 
blind, and somewhat crippled with rheumatism. By her side 
stood her only remaining son, Albert, a bright-looking little 
fellow of fourteen years. The boy was the only survivor of 
a large family, who had been successively sold away from 
her to a southern market. The mother held on to him with 
both her shaking hands, and eyed with intense trepidation 
every one who walked up to examine him. 

" Don't be feard. Aunt Hagar," said the oldest of the men ; 
" I spoke to Mas'r Thomas 'bout it, and he thought he might 
manage to sell you in a lot both together." 

"Dey needn't call me worn out yet," said she, lifting her 



158 UNCLE tom's cabin ; OR, 

shaking hands. " I can cook yet, and scrub, and scour, — I'm 
wuth a buying, if I do come cheap ; — tell 'em dat ar, — you tell 
'em," she added, earnestly. 

Haley here forced his way into the group, walked up to the 
old man, pulled his mouth open and looked in, felt of his teeth, 
made him stand and straighten himself, bend his back, and per- 
form various evolutions to show his muscles ; and then passed 
on to the next, and put him through the same trial. Walking 
up last to the boy, he felt of his arms, straightened his hands, 
and looked at his fingers, and made him jump, to show his 
agility. 

"He an't gwine to be sold widout me ! " said the old woman, 
with passionate eagerness ; " he and I goes in a lot togedder ; 
I's rail strong yet, mas'r, and can do heaps o' work, — heaps 
on it, mas'r." 

" On plantation ? " said Haley, with a contemptuous glance. 
" Likely story ! " and, as if satisfied with his examination, 
he walked out and looked, and stood with his hands in his 
pockets, his cigar in his mouth, and his hat cocked on one 
side, ready for action. 

" What think of 'em ? " said a man who had been following 
Haley's examination, as if to make up his own mind from it. 

" Wal," said Haley, spitting, " I shall put in, I think, for the 
youngerly ones and the boy." 

" They want to sell the boy and the old woman together," 
said the man. 

"Find it a tight pull ; — why, she's an old rack o' bones, — 
not worth her salt." "*■ 

" You wouldn't, then ? " said the man. 

" Any body'd be a fool 'twould. She's half blind, crooked 
with rheumatis, and foolish to boot." 

"Some buys up these yer old critters, and ses there's a 
sight more wear in 'em than a body'd think," said the man, 
reflectively. 

" No go, 'tall," said Haley ; " wouldn't take her for a pres- 
ent, — fact, — I've seen now." 

" Wal, 'tis kinder pity, now, not to buy her with her son, — 
her heart seems so sot on him,-^ 'spose they fling her in cheap." 

"Them that's got money to spend that ar way, it's all well 



LIFE AMOXG THE LOWLY. 169 

enough. I shall bid off on that ai* boy for a plantation hand ; 
— wouldn't be bothered Avith her, no way, — not if they'd give 
her to me," said Haley, 

" She'll take on desp't," said the man. 

"Nat'lly, she will," said the trader, coolly. 

The conversation was here interrupted by a busy hum in 
the audience ; and the auctioneer, a short, bustling, important 
fellow, elbowed his way into the crowd. The old woman 
drew in her breath, and caught instinctively at her son. 

" Keep close to yer mammy, Albert, — close, — dey'll put, us 
up togedder," she said. 

" mammy, I'm feard they won't," said the boy. 

" Dey must, child ; I can't live, no ways, if they don't," 
said the old creature, vehemently. 

The stentorian tones of the auctioneer, calling out to clear 
the way, now announced that the sale was about to commence. 
A place was cleared, and the bidding began. The different 
men on the list were soon knocked^off at prices which showed 
a pretty brisk demand in the market ; two of them fell to 
Haley. 

" Come, now, young un," said the auctioneer, giving the 
boy a touch with his hammer, " be up and show your springs, 
now." 

"Put us two up togedder, togedder, — do please, mas'r," said 
the old woman, holding fast to her boy. 

" Be off," said the man, gruffly, pushing her hands away ; 
" you come last. Now, darkey, spring ; " and, with the word, 
he pushed the boy toward the block, while a deep, heavy groan 
rose behind him. The boy paused, and looked back ; but there 
was no time to stay, and, dashing the tears from his large, 
bright eyes, he was up in a moment. 

His fine figure, alert limbs, and bright face, raised an instant 
competition, and half a dozen bids simultaneously met the ear 
of the auctioneer. Anxious, half frightened, he looked from 
side to side, as he heard the clatter of contending bids, — now 
here, now there, — till the hammer fell. Haley had got him. 
He was pushed from the block toward his new master, but 
stopped one moment, and looked back, when his poor old 
mother, trembling in every limb, held out her shaking hands 
toward him. 



160 



UNCLE TOM's cabin; OR, 



" Buy me too, mas'r, for de dear Lord's sake ! — huj me — I 
shall die if you don't ! " 

"You'll die if I do, that's the kink of it," said Haley,— 
" no ! " And he turned on his heel. 

The bidding for the poor old creature was summary. The 
man who had addressed Haley, and who seemed not desti- 
tute of compassion, bought her for a trifle, and the spectators 
began to disperse. 

The poor victims of the sale, who had been brought up in 
one place together for years, gathered round the despairing 
old mother, whose agony was pitiful to see. 

" Couldn't dey leave 
me one? Mas'r allers 
said I should have one, 
— he did," she repeated 
over and over, in heart- 
broken tones. 

" Trust in the Lord, 
Aunt Hagar," said the 
oldest of the men, sor- 
rowfully. 

"What good will it 
do ? " said she, sobbing 
passionately. 

" Mother, mother, don't ! don't ! " said the boy. " They say 
you's got a good master." 

" I don't care, — I don't care. Albert ! 0, my boy 1 
you's my last baby. Lord, how ken I ? " . 

" Come, take her off, can't some of ye ? " said Haley, dryly ; 
" don't do no good for her to go on that ar way." 

The old men of the company, partly by persuasion and 
partly by force, loosed the poor creature's last despairing 
hold, and, as they led her off to her new master's wagon, 
strove to comfort her. 

" Now ! " said Haley, pushing his three purchases together, 
and producing a bundle of handcuffs, which he proceeded to 
put on their wrists ; and fastening each handcuff to a long 
chain, he drove them before him to the jail. 




LIFE AMONG THE LOWLY. 161 

A few days saw Haley, with his possessions, safely deposited 
on one of the Ohio boats. It was the commencement of his 
gang, to be augmented, as the boat moved on, by various other 
merchandise of the same kind, which he, or his agent, had 
stored for him in various points along shore. 

The La Belle Riviere, as brave and beautiful a boat as ever 
walked the waters of her namesake river, was floating gayly 
down the stream, under a brilliant sky, the stripes and stars of 
free America waving and fluttering overhead ; the guards 
crowded with well-dressed ladies and gentlemen walking and 
enjoying the delightful day. All was full of life, buoyant, and 
rejoicing ; — all but Haley's gang, who were stored, with other 
freight, on the lower deck, and who, somehow, did not seem to 
appreciate their various privileges, as they sat in a knot, talking 
to each other in low tones. 

" Boys," said Haley, coming up, briskly, " I hope you keep 
up good heart, and are cheerful. Now, no sulks, ye see ; keep 
stiff upper lip, boys ; do well by me, and I'll do well by you." 

The boys addressed responded the invariable " Yes, mas'r," 
for ages the watchword of poor Africa ; but it's to be owned 
they did not look particularly cheerful ; they had their various 
little prejudices in favor of wives, mothers, sisters, and chil- 
dren, seen for the last time, — and though " they that wasted 
them required of them mirth," it was not instantly forthcoming. 

" I've got a wife," spoke out the article enumerated as "John, 
aged thirty," and he laid his chained hand on Tom's knee,-^ 
" and she don't know a word about this, poor girl ! '' 

" "Where does she live ? " said Tom. 

" In a tavern a piece down here," said John ; " I wish, now, 
I could see her once more in this world," he added. 

Poor John ! It ivas rather natural ; and the tears that fell, 
as he spoke, came as naturally as if he had been a white man. 
Tom drew a long breath from a sore heart, and tried, in his 
poor way, to comfort him. 

And over head, in the cabin, sat fathers and mothers, hus- 
bands and wives ; and merry, dancing children moved round 
among them, like so many little butterflies, and every thing 
was going on quite easy and comfortable. 

" mamma," said a boy, who had just come up from below, 
21 



162 uxcLE tom's CABIX ; OR, 

" there's a negro trader on board, and he's brought four or five 
slaves dovrn there." 

" Poor creatures ! " said the mother, in a tone between grief 
and indignation. 

" What's that ? " said another lady. 

" Some poor slaves below," said the mother. 

"And they've got chains on," said the boy. 

" What a shame to our country that such sights are to be 
seen ! " said another lady. 

" 0, there's a great deal to be said on both sides of the sub- 
ject," said a genteel woman, who sat at her state-room door 
sewing, while her little girl and boy were playing round her. 
" I've been south, and I must say I think the negroes are better 
off than they would be to be free." 

" In some respects, some of them are well off, I grant," said 
the lady to whose remark she had answered. '' The most 
dreadful part of slavery, to my mind, is its outrages on the 
feelings and affections, — the separating of families, for 
example." 

"That is a bad thing, certainly," said the other lady, hold- 
ing up a baby's dress she had just completed, and looking 
intently on its trimmings ; " but then, I fancy, it don't occur 
often." 

" 0, it does," said the first lady, eagerly ; " I've lived many 
years in Kentucky and Virginia both, and I've seen enough to 
make any one's heart sick. Suppose, ma'am, your two children 
there should be taken from you, and sold ? " 

" We can't reason from our feelings to those of this class 
of persons," said the other lady, sorting out some worsteds 
on her lap. 

" Indeed, ma'am, you can know nothing of them, if you 
say so," answered the first lady, warmly. " I was born and 
brought up among them. I know they do feel, just as keen- 
ly, — even more so, perhaps, — as we do." 

The lady said, " Indeed ! " yawned, and looked out the cabin 
window, and finally repeated, for a finale, the remark with 
which she had begun, — " After all, I think they are better off 
than they would be to be free." 

" It's undoubtedly the intention of Providence that the Afri- 



LIFE AMONG THE LOWLY. 163 

can race should be servants, — kept in a low condition/' said a 
grave-looking gentleman in black, a clergyman, seated by the 
cabin door. " ' Cursed be Canaan ; a servant of servants shall 
he be,' the Scripture says." 

" I say, stranger, is that ar what that text means ? " said a 
tall man, standing by. 

" Undoubtedly. It pleased Providence, for some inscrutable 
reason, to doom the race to bondage, years ago ; and we must 
not set up our opinion against that." 

" Well, then, we'll all go ahead and buy up niggers," said the 
man, " if that's the way of Providence, — won't we, squire ? " 
said he, turning to Haley, who had been standing, with his 
hands in his pockets, by the stove, and intently listening to the 
conversation, 

"Yes," continued the tall man, "we must all be resigned 
to the decrees of Providence. Niggers must be sold, and 
trucked round, and kept under ; it's what they's made for. 
'Pears like this yer view's quite refreshing, an't it, stranger ? " 
said he to Haley. 

" I never thought on't," said Haley. " I couldn't have said 
as much, myself ; I han't no larning. I took up the trade just 
to make a living ; if 'tan't right, I calculated to 'pent on't in. 
time, ye know." 

" And now, you'll save yerself the trouble, won't ye ? " said 
the tall man. " See what 'tis, now, to know Scripture. If ye'd 
only studied yer Bible, like this yer good man, ye might have 
knowed it before, and saved ye a heap o' trouble. Ye could 
jist have said, ' Cussed be ' — what's his name ? — ' and 'twould 
all have come right.' " And the stranger, who was no other 
than the honest drover whom we introduced to our readers in 
the Kentucky tavern, sat down, and began smoking, with a 
curious smile on his long, dry face. 

A tall, slender young man, with a face expressive of great 
feeling and intelligence, here broke in, and repeated the words, 
"'All things whatsoever ye would that men should do unto 
you, do ye even so unto them.' I suppose," he added, " that is 
Scripture, as much as ' Cursed be Canaan.' " 

" Wal, it seems quite as plain a text, stranger," said John the 
drover, " to poor fellows like us, now ; " and John smoked on 
like a volcano. 



164 UNCLE TOM's cabin ; OR, 

The young man paused, looked as if he was going- to say 
more, when suddenly the boat stopped, and the company made 
the usual steamboat rush, to see where they were landing, 

"Both them ar chaps parsons?" said John to one of the 
men, as they were going out. 

The man nodded. 

As the boat stopped, a black woman came running wildly up 
the plank, darted into the crowd, flew up to where the slave 
gang sat, and threw her arms round that unfortunate piece of 
merchandise before enumerated, — " John, aged thirty," — and 
with sobs and tears bemoaned him as her husband. 

But what needs tell the story, told too oft, — every day 
told, — of heartstrings rent and broken, — the weak broken 
and torn for the profit and convenience of the strong ! It 
needs not to be told ; — every day is telling it, — telling it, 
too, in the ear of One who is not deaf, though he be long 
silent. 

The young man who had spoken for the cause of humanity 
and God be^re stood with folded arms, looking on this scene. 
He turned, and Haley was standing at his side. " My friend," 
he said, speaking with thick utterance, ." how can yon, how 
dare you, carry on a trade like this? Look at those poor 
creatures ! Here I am, rejoicing in my heart that I am going 
home to my wife and child ; and the same bell which is a sig- 
nal to carry me onward towards them will part this poor man 
and his wife forever. Depend upon it, God will bring you 
into judgment for this." 

The trader turned away in silence. 

" I say, now," said the drover, touching his elbow, " there's 
differences in parsons, an't there ? ' Cussed be Canaan ' don't 
seem to go down with this un, does it ? " 

Haley gave an uneasy growl. 
• " And that ar an't the worst on't," said John ; " mabbe 
it won't go down with the Lord, neither, when ye come to 
settle with Him, one o' these days, as all on us must, I 
reckon." 

Haley walked reflectively to the other end of the boat. 

" If I make ])retty handsomely on one or two next gangs," 
he thought, " I reckon I'll stop oif this yer ; it's really getting 



LIFE AMONG THE LOWLY. \Q5 

dangerous." And lie took out his pocket book, and began 
adding over his accounts, — a process which many gentle- 
men besides Mr. Haley have found a specific for an uneasy 
conscience. 

The boat swept proudly away from the shore, and all went 
on merrily, as before. Men talked, and loafed, and read, and 
smoked. Women sewed, and children played, and the boat 
passed on her way. 

One day, when she lay to for a while at a small town in 
Kentucky, Haley went up into the place on a little matter of 
business. 

Tom, whose fetters did not prevent his taking a moderate 
circuit, had drawn near the side of the boat, and stood list- 
lessly gazing over the railings. After a time, he saw the trader . 
returning, with an alert step, in company with a colored 
woman, bearing in her arms a young child. She was dressed - 
quite respectably, and a colored man followed her, bringing 
along a small trunk. The woman came cheerfully onward, 
tallving, as she came, with the man who bore her trunk, and so 
passed up the plank into the boat. The bell rung, the steamer 
whizzed, the engine groaned and coughed, and away swept the 
boat do-wn the river. 

The woman walked forward among the boxes and bales of 
the lower deck, and, sitting down, busied herself with chir- 
ruping to her baby. 

Haley made a turn or two about the boat, and then, coming 
up, seated himself near her, and began saying something to her 
in an indiflerent undertone. 

Tom soon noticed a heavy cloud passing over the woman's 
brow ; and that she ansAvered rapidly and with great vehe- 
mence. 

"I don't believe it, — I won't believe it !" he heard her say. 
" You're jist a foolin' with me." 

" If you won't believe it, look here ! " said the man, drawing 
out a paper ; " this yer's the bill of sale, and there's your mas- 
ter's name to it ; and I paid down good solid cash for it, too, I 
can tell you, — so, now!" 

" I don't believ^' mas'r would cheat me so ; it can't be 
true ! " said the woman, with increasing agitation. 



166 UNCLE tom's cabin ; OR, 

" Yon can ask any of these men here, that can read writing. 
Here!" he said to a man that was passing by, "jist read this, 
yer, won't you? This yer gal won't believe me, when I tell 
her what 'tis." 

" Why, it's a bill of sale, signed by John Fosdick," said the 
man, "making over to you the girl Lucy and her child. It's 
all straight enough, for aught I see." 

The woman's passionate exclamations collected a crowd 
around her, and the trader briefly explained to them the cause 
of the agitation. 

" He told me that I was going doAvn to Louisville, to hire 
out as cook to the same tavern where my husband works, — 
that's what mas'r told me, his own self; and I can't believe 
he'd lie to me," said the woman. 

"But he has sold' you, my poor woman; there's no doubt 
about it," said a good-natured looking man, Avho had been 
examining the papers ; "he has done it, and no mistake." 

" Then it's no account talking," said the woman, suddenly 
growing quite calm ; and, clasping her child tighter in her 
arms, she sat down on her box, turned her back round, and 
gazed listlessly into the river. 

" Going to take it easy, after all ! " said the trader. " Gal's 
got grit, I see." 

The woman looked calm, as the boat went on ; and a beau- 
tiful soft summer breeze passed like a compassionate spirit over 
her head, — the gentle breeze, that never inquires whether the 
brow is dusky or fair that it fans. And she saw sunshine 
sparkling on the water, in golden ripples, and heard gay voices, 
full of ease and pleasure, talking around her every where ; but 
her heart lay as if a great stone had fallen on it. Her baby 
raised himself up against her, and stroked her cheeks with his 
little hands ; and, springing up and down, crowing and chat- 
ting, seemed determined to arouse her. , She strained him 
suddenly and tightly in her arms, and slowly one tear after 
another fell on his wondering, unconscious face ; and gradually 
she seemed, and little by little, to grow calmer, and busied 
herself with tending and nursing him. 

The child, a boy of ten months, was uncommonly large and 
strong of his age, and very vigorous in his limbs. Never, for 



LIFE AMONG THE LOWLY. 167 

a moment, still, lie kept his mother constantly busy in holding 
him, and guarding his springing activity. 

'' That's a fine chap ! " said a man, suddenly stopping 
opposite to him, with his hands in his pockets. " How old is 
he?" 

" Ten months and a half," said the mother. 

The man whistled to the boy, and offered him part of a stick 
of candy, which he eagerly grabbed at, and very soon had it 
in a baby's general depository, to wit, his mouth. 

" Eum fellow ! " said the man. " Knows what's what ! " 
and he whistled, and walked on. When he had got to the 
other side of the boat, he came across Haley, who was smoking 
on top of a pile of boxes. 

The stranger produced a match, and lighted a cigar, saying, 
as he did so, — 

" Decentish kind o' wench you've got round there, stranger." 

" Why, I reckon she is tol'able fair," said Haley, blowing 
the smoke out of his mouth. 

" Taking her down south ? " said the man. 

Haley nodded, and smoked on. 

" Plantation hand ? " said the man. 

" Wal," said Haley, " I'm fillin' out an order for a planta- 
tion, and I think I shall put her in. They tolled me she was 
a good cook ; and they can use her for that, or set her at the 
cotton picking. She's got the right fingers for that ; I looked 
at 'em. Sell well, either way ; " and Haley resumed his cigar. 

" They won't want the young un on a plantation," said the 
man. 

" I shall sell him, first chance I find,'' said Haley, lighting 
another cigar. 

" S'pose you'd be selling him tol'able cheap," said the 
stranger, mounting the pile of boxes, and sitting down com- 
fortably. 

" Don't know 'bout that," said Haley ; " he's a pretty smart 
young un, — straight, fat, strong ; flesh as hard as a brick! " 

" Very true, but then there's all the bother and expense of 
raisin'." 

" Nonsense ! " said Haley ; " they is raised as easy as any 
kind of critter there is going ; they an't a bit more trouble 



168 UNCLE tom's cabin : OR, 

than pups. This yer chap will be rimniug all round, in a 
month." 

" I've got a good place for raisin', and I thought of takin' in 
a little more stock," said the man. '• One cook lost a young 
im last week, — got drownded in a wash tub, while she was a 
hangin' out clothes, — and I reckon it would be well enough to 
set her to raisin' this yer." 

Haley and the stranger smoked a while in silence, neither 
seeming willing to broach the test question of the interview. 
At last the man resumed : — 

" You wouldn't think of wantin' more than ten dollars for 
that ar chap, seeing you must get him off yer hand, any how ? " 

Haley shook his head, and spit impressively. 

" That won't do, no ways," he said, and began his smoking 
again. 

"Well, stranger, what will you take?" 

" Well, now," said Haley, " I could raise that ar chap myself, 
or get him raised ; he's oncommon likely and healthy, and he'd 
fetch a hundred dollars, six months hence ; and, in a year or 
two, he'd bring two hundred, if I had him in the right spot ; — 
so I shan't take a cent less nor fifty for him now." 

" stranger ! that's rediculous, altogether," said the man. 

" Fact ! " said Haley, with a decisive nod of his head. 

" I'll give thirty for him," said the stranger, " but not a cent 
more.'" 

"Now, I'll tell ye what I will do," said Haley, spitting again, 
with renewed decision. " I'll split the difference, and say forty- 
five ; and that's the most I will do." 

" Well, agreed ! " said the man, after an interval. 

" Done ! " said Haley. " Where do you land ? " 

" At Louisville," said the man. 

" Louisville," said Haley. " Very fair ; we get there about 
dusk. Chap will be asleep, — all fair, — get him off quietly, 
and no screaming, — happens beautiful, — I like to do every 
thing quietly, — I hates all kind of agitation and fluster." And 
so, after a transfer of certain bills had passed from the man's 
pocket book to the trader's, he resumed his cigar. 

It was a bright, tranquil evening when the boat stopped at 
the wharf at Louisville. The woman had been sitting with 



LIFE AMONG THE LOWLY. 169 

her baby in her arms, now wrapped in a heavy sleep. When 
she heard the name of the place called out, she hastily laid the 
child down in a little cradle formed by the hollow among the 
boxes, first carefully spreading under it her cloak ; and then 
she sprung to the side of the boat, in hopes, that among the 
various hotel waiters who thronged the wharf she might see 
her husband. In this hope, she pressed forward to the front 
rails, and, stretching far over them, strained her eyes intently. 
on the moving heads on the shore, and the crowd pressed in 
between her and the child. 

" Now's your time," said Haley, taking the sleeping child up, 
and handing him to the stranger. " Don't wake him up, and 
set him to crying, now ; it would make a devil of a fuss with 
the gal." The man took the bundle carefully, and was soon 
lost in the crowd that went up the wharf. 

When the boat, creaking, and groaning, and puffing, had 
loosed from the wharf, and was beginning slowly to strain her- 
self along, the woman returned to her old seat. The trader 
was sitting there, — the child was gone ! 

"Why, why, — where?" she began, in bewildered surprise. 

" Lucy," said the trader, " your child's gone ; you may as well 
know it first as last. You see, I know'd you couldn't take him 
down south ; and I got a chance to sell him to a first-rate- 
family, that'll raise him better than you can." 

The trader had arrived at that stage of Christian and 
political perfection which has been recommended by some 
preachers and politicians of the north, lately, in which he had 
completely overcome every humane weakness and prejudice. 
His l^art was exactly where yours, sir, and mine, could be 
brought, with proper effort and cultivation. The wild look of 
anguish and utter despair that the woman cast on him might 
have disturbed one less practised ; but he was used to it. He 
had seen that same look hundreds of times. You can get used 
to such things, too, my friend ; and it is the great object of. 
recent efforts to make our whole northern community used to 
them, for the glory of the Union. So the trader only regarded 
the mortal anguish which he saw working in those dark fea- 
tures, those clinched hands, and suftbcating breathings, as 
necessary incidents of the trade, and merely calculated whether 
22 



^ 



s 



170 UNCLE TOMS CABIN ; OR, 

she was going to scream, and get up a commotion on the 
boat ; for, like other supporters of our peculiar institution, he 
decidedly disliked agitation. 

But the woman did not scream. The shot had passed too 
straight and direct through the heart for cry or tear. 

Dizzily she sat down. Her slack hands fell lifeless by her 
side. Her eyes looked straight forward, but she saw nothing. 
All the noise and hum of the boat, the groaning of the ma- 
chinery, mingled dreamily to her bewildered ear ; and the 
poor, dumb-stricken heart had neither cry nor tear to show 
for its utter misery. She was quite calm. 

The trader, who, considering his advantages, was almost as 
humane as some of our politicians, seemed to feel called on to 
administer such consolation as the case admitted of. 

" I know this yer comes kinder hard, at first, Lucy," said he ; 
"but such a smart, sensible gal as you are won't give way to 
it. You see it's necessary, and can't be helped ! " 

" 0, don't, mas'r, don't ! " said the woman, with a voice like 
one that is smothering. 

" You're a smart wench, Lucy," lie persisted ; •' 1 mean to do 
well by ye, and get ye a nice place down river ; and you'll 
soon get another husband, — such a likely gal as you " 

" mas"r, if you only won't talk to me now," said the 
woman, in a voice of such quick and living anguish that the 
trader felt that there was something at present in the case 
beyond his style of operation. He got up, and the woman 
turned away, and buried her head in her cloak. 

The trader walked up and down for a time, and occasionally, 
stopped and looked at her. 

" Takes it hard, rather," he soliloquized, " but quiet, though ; 
— let her sweat a while ; she'll come right.by and by ? " 

Tom had watched the whole transaction from first to last, 
and had a perfect understanding of its results. To him it 
looked like something unutterably horrible and cruel, because, 
poor, ignorant black soul ! ^he had not learned to generalize, 
and to take enlarged views. If he had only been instructed 
by certain ministers of Christianity, he might have thought 
better of it, and seen in it an every-day incident of a lawful 
trade — a trade which is the vital support of an institution 



LIFE AMONG THE LOWLY. 171 

which some American divines tell us has no evils but such as 
are inseparable from any other relations in social and domestic 
life. But Tom, as we see, being a poor, ignorant fellow, whose 
reading had been confined entirely to the New Testament, 
could not comfort and solace himself with views like these. 
His very soul bled within him for what seemed to him the 
wrongs of the poor suffering thing that lay like a crushed reed 
on the boxes ; the feeling, living, bleeding, yet immortal thing 
which American state law coolly classes with the bundles, and 
bales, and boxes, among which she is Iving. 




Tom drew near, and tried to say something ; but she only 
groaned. Honestly, and with tears running down his own 
cheeks, he spoke of a heart of love in the skies, of a pitying 
Jesus, and an eternal home ; but the ear was deaf with 
anguish, and the palsied heart could not feel. 

Night came on, — night calm, unmoved, and glorious, shining 
down with her innumerable and solemn angel eyes, twinkling, 
beautiful, but silent. There was no speech nor language, no 
pitying voice nor helping hand, from that distant sky. One 
after another, the voices of business or pleasure died away ; 
all on the boat were sleeping, and the ripples at the prow 
were plainly heard. Tom stretched himself out on a box, and 
there, as he lay, he heard, ever and anon, a smothered sob 
or cry from the prostrate creature, — " 0, what shall I do ? 
Lord! good Lord, do help me!" and so, ever and anon, 
until the murmur died awav in silence 



172 UNCLE TOM's cabin ; OR, 

At midnight, Tom waked with a sudden start. Something 
black passed quickly by him to the side of the boat, and he 
heard a splash in the water. No one else saw or heard 
any thing. He raised his head, — the woman's place was 
vacant! He got up, and sought about him in vain. The 
poor bleeding heart was still, at last, and the river rippled 
and dimpled just as brightly as if it had not closed above it. 

Patience ! patience ! ye whose hearts swell indignant at 
wrongs like these. Not one throb of anguish, not one tear 
of the oppressed, is forgotten by the Man of Sorrows, the Lord 
of Glory. In his patient, generous bosom he bears the an- 
guish of a world. Bear thou, like him, in patience, and labor 
in love ; for sure as he is God, " the year of his redeemed shcM 
come." 

The trader waked up bright and early, and came out to see 
to his live stock. It was now his turn to look about in per- 
plexity. 

" Where alive is that gal ? " he said to Tom. 

Tom, who had learned the wisdom of keeping counsel, did 
not feel called on to state his observations and suspicions, but 
said he did not know. 

" She surely couldn't have got off in the night at any of the 
landings, for I was awake, and on the lookout, whenever the 
boat stopped. I never trust these yer things to other folks." 

This speech was addressed to Tom quite confidentially, as if 
it was something that would be specially interesting to him. 
Tom made no answer. 

The trader searched the boat from stem to stern, among 
boxes, bales, and barrels, around the machinery, by the chim- 
neys, in vain. 

" Now, I say, Tom, be fair about this yer," he said, when, 
after a fruitless search, he came where Tom was standing. 
" You know something about it, now. Don't tell me, — I know 
you do. I saw the gal stretched out here about ten o'clock, 
and ag'in at twelve, and ag'in between one and two ; and then 
at four she was gone, and you was a sleeping right there all 
the time. Now, you know something, — you can't help it." 

" Well, mas'r," said Tom, " towards morning something 
brushed by me, and I kinder half woke ; and then I hearn 



LIFE AMONCx THE LOWLY. 173 

a great splash, and then I clare woke up, and the gal was 
gone. That's all I know on't." 

The trader was not shocked nor amazed ; because, as we said 
before, he was used to a great many things that you are not 
used to. Even the awful presence of Death struck no solemn 
chill upon him. He had seen Death many times, — met him in 
the way of trade, and got acquainted with him, — and he only 
thought of him as a hard customer, that embarrassed his prop- 
erty operations very unfairly ; and so he only swore that the 
gal was a baggage, and that he was devilish unlucky, and that, 
if things went on in this way, he should not make a cent on the 
trip. In short, he seemed to consider himself an ill-used man, 
decidedly ; but there was no help for it, as the woman had 
escaped into a state which 7iever will give up a fugitive, — not 
even at the demand of the whole glorious Union. The trader, 
therefore, sat discontentedly down, with his little account 
book, and put down the missing body and soul under the head 
of losses ! 

"He's a shocking creature, isn't he, — this trader? so unfeel- 
ing ! It's dreadful, really ! " 

" 0, but nobody thinks any thing of these traders ! They 
are universally despised, — never received into any decent 
society." 

But who, sir, makes the trader ? Who is most to blame ? 
The enlightened, cultivated, intelligent man, who supports the 
system of which the trader is the inevitable result, or the poor 
trader himself? You make the public sentiment that calls for 
his trade, that debauches and depraves him, till he feels no 
shame in it ; and in what are you better than he ? 

Are you educated and he ignorant, you high and he low, you 
refined and he coarse, you talented and he simple? 

In the day of a future judgment, these very considerations 
may make it more tolerable for him than for you. 

In concluding these little incidents of lawful trade, we must 
beg the world not to think that American legislators are entire- 
ly destitute of humanity, as might, perhaps, be unfairly inferred 
from the great efforts made in our national body to protect 
and perpetuate this species of traffic. 



174 



UNCLE tom's cabin : OR. 



Who does not know how our great men are outdoing them- 
selves in declaiming against the foreign slave trade. There 
are a perfect host of Clarksons and Wilberforces risen up 
among us on that subject, most edifying to hear and behold. 
Trading negroes from Africa, dear reader, is so horrid ! It is 
not to be thought of! But trading them from Kentucky, — 
that's quite another thing! 





CHAPTER XIII. 



THE QUAKER SETTLEMENT. 




QUIET scene now rises before us. A large, 
roomy, neatly-painted kitchen, its yellow floor 
^" flossy and smooth, and without a particle 
of dust ; a neat, well-blacked cooking stove ; 
^ rows of shining tin, suggestive of unmentiona- 
^ ble good things to the appetite ; glossy green 
wood cnau\-5, old and firm ; a small flag-bottomed rocking- 
chair, with a patchwork cushion in it, neatly contrived out 
of small pieces of difterent colored woollen goods, and a 
larger sized one, motherly and old, whose wide arms breathed 
hospitable invitation, seconded by the solicitation of its feather 
cushions, — a real comfortable, persuasive old chair, and worth, 
in the way of honest, homeJy enjoyment, a dozen of your plush 
or brochetelle drawing-room gentry ; and in the chair, gently 



176 UNCLE tom's cabin ; OR, 

swaying back and forward, her eyes bent on some fine sewing, 
sat our old friend Eliza. Yes, there she is, paler and thinner 
than in her Kentucky home, with a world of quiet sorrow lying 
under the shadow of her long eyelashes, and marking the outline 
of her gentle mouth ! It was plain to see how old and firm the 
girlish heart was grown under the discipline of heavy sorrow ; 
and when, anon, her large, dark eye was raised to follow the 
gambols of her little Harry, who was sporting, like some trop- 
ical butterliy, hither and thither over the floor, she showed a 
depth of firmness and steady resolve that was never there in 
her earlier and happier days. 

By her side sat a woman with a bright tin pan in her lap, 
into which she was carefully sorting some dried peaches. She 
might be fifty-five or sixty ; but hers was one of those faces 
that time seems to touch only to brighten and adorn. The 
snowy lisse crape cap, made after the strait Quaker pattern, — 
the plain white muslin handkerchief, lying in placid folds 
across her bosom, — the drab shawl and dress, — showed at 
once the community to which she belonged. Her face was 
round and rosy, with a healthful, downy softness, suggestive of 
a ripe peach. Her hair, partially silvered by age, was parted 
smoothly back from a high placid forehead, on which time had 
written no inscription, except peace on earth, good will to 
men, and beneath shone a large pair of clear, honest, loving 
bro^vn eyes ; you only needed to look straight into them, to 
feel that you saw to the bottom of a heart as good and true 
as ever throbbed in woman's bosom. So much has been said 
and sung of beautiful young girls, why don't somebody wake 
up to the beauty of old women ? If any want to get up an 
inspiration under this head, we refer them to our good friend 
Rachel Halliday, just as she sits there in her little rocking 
chair. It had a turn for quacking and squeaking, — that chair 
had, — either from having taken cold in early life, or from some 
asthmatic aflection, or perhaps from nervous derangement ; 
but, as she gently swung backward and forward, the chair 
kept up a kind of subdued " creechy crawchy," that would 
liave been intolerable in any other chair. But old Simeon 
Ilalliday often declared it was as good as any music to him, 
and the children all avowed that thev wouldn't miss of hcarinij 



LIFE AMONG THE LOWLY. 177 

motlier's chair for any thing- in the world. For why ? for twen- 
ty years or more, nothing but loving words, and gentle morali- 
ties, and motherly loving kindness, had come from that chair ; — 
headaches and heartaches innumerable had been cured there 
— difficulties spiritual and temporal solved there, — all by one 
good, loving woman, God bless her ! 

" And so thee still thinks of going to Canada, Eliza ? " she 
said, as she was quietly looking over her peaches. 

'"Yes, ma'am," said Eliza, firmly. "I must go onward. T 
dare not stop." 

" And what'll thee do, when thee gets there ? Thee must 
think about that, my daughter." 

" My daughter " came naturally from the lips of Rachel Hal- 
liday ; for hers was just the face and form that made "mother " 
seem the most natural word in the world. 

Eliza's hands trembled, and some tears fell on her fine work ; 
but she answered, firmly, — 

" I shall do — any thing I can find. I hope I can find 
something." 

" Thee knows thee can stay here as long as thee pleases," 
said Rachel. 

"0, thank you," said Eliza ; "but" — she pointed to Harry — 
" I can't sleep nights ; I can't rest. Last night I dreamed I 
saw that man coming into the yard," she said, shuddering. 

" Poor child ! " said Rachel, wiping her eyes ; " but thee 
mustn't feel so. The Lord hath ordered it so that never hath 
a fugitive been stolen from our village. I trust thine will not 
be the first." 

The door here opened, and a little, short, round, pincushiony 
woman stood at tlie door, w^itli a cheery, blooming face, like a 
ripe apple. She was dressed, like Rachel, in sober gray, with 
the muslin folded neatly across her round, plump little chest. 

" Ruth Stedman," said Rachel, coming joyfully forward ; 
" how is thee, Ruth ? " she said, heartily taking both her hands. 

" Nicely," said Ruth, taking off her little drab bonnet, and 
dusting it with her handkerchief, displaying, as she did so, a 
round little head, on which the Quaker cap sat with a sort of 
janty air, despite all the stroking and patting of the small 
fat hands, which were liusily apjilied to arranging it. C'er- 



178 UNCLE tom's cabin ; OR, 

tain stray locks of decidedly curly liair, too, had escaped 
here and there, and had to be coaxed and cajoled into their 
place again ; and then the new comer, who might have been 
five and twenty, turned from the small looking glass, before 
which she had been making these arrangements, and looked 
well pleased, — as most people who looked at her might have 
been, — for she was decidedly a wholesome, whole-hearted, chir- 
ruping little woman, as ever gladdened man's heart withal. 

" Ruth, this friend is Eliza Harris ; and this is the little boy 
I told thee of." 

"I am glad to see thee, Eliza, — very," said Ruth, shaking 
hands, as if Eliza were an old friend she had long been expect- 
ing ; "and this is thy dear boy, — I brought a cake for him," 
she said, holding out a little heart to the boy, who came up 
gazing through his curls, and accepted it shyly. 

"Where's thy baby, Ruth?" said Rachel. 

" 0, he's coming ; but thy Mary caught him as I came in, 
and ran off with him to the barn, to show him to the children." 

At this moment, the door opened, and Mary, an honest, rosy- 
looking girl, with large brown eyes, like her mother's, came in 
with the baby. 

" Ak ! ha ! " said Rachel, coming up, and taking the great, 
white, fat fellow in her arms ; how good he looks, and how 
he does grow ! " 

" To be sure he does," said little bustling Ruth, as she took 
the child, and began taking off a little blue silk hood, and 
various layers and wrappers of outer garments ; and having 
given a twitch here, and a pull there, and variously adjusted 
and arranged him, and kissed him heartily, she set him on 
the floor to collect his thoughts. Baby seemed quite used to 
this mode of proceeding, for he put his thumb in his mouth, (as 
if it were quite a thing of course,) and seemed soon absorbed 
in his own reflections, while the mother seated herself, and 
taking out a long stocking of mixed blue and white yarn, 
began to knit with briskness. 

"Mary, thee'd better till the kettle, hadn't thee?" gently 
suggested the mother. 

Mary took the kettle to the well, and soon reappearing, 
placed it over the stove, where it was soon purring and 



LIFE AMONG THE LOWLY. 179 

steaming, a sort of censer of hospitality and good cheer. The 
peaches, moreover, in obedience to a few gentle whispers from 
Rachel, were soon deposited, by the same hand, in a stew pan 
over the fire. 

Rachel now took down a snowy moulding board, and, tying 
on an apron, proceeded quietly to making up some biscuits, 
first saying to Mary, — "Mary, hadn't thee better tell John 
to get a chicken ready ? " and Mary disappeared accordingly. 

" And how is Abigail Peters ? " said Rachel, as she went 
on with her biscuits. 

" 0, she's better," said Ruth ; " I was in this morning ; made 
the bed, tidied up the house. Leah Hills went in this after- 
noon, and baked bread and pies enough to last some days, 
and I engaged to go back to get her up, this evening." 

"I will go in to-morrow, and do any cleaning there may be, 
and look over the mending," said Rachel. 

" Ah ! that is well," said Ruth. " I've heard," she added, 
" that Hannah Stanwood is sick. John was up there last 
night, — I must go there to-morrow." 

" John can come in here to his meals, if thee needs to stay 
all day," suggested Rachel. 

" Thank thee, Rachel ; will see to-morrow ; but here comes 
Simeon." 

Simeon Halliday, a tall, straight, muscular man, in drab coat 
and pantaloons, and broad-brimmed hat, now entered. 

" How is thee, Ruth ? " he said, warmly, as he spread his 
broad open hand for her little fat palm ; " and how is 
John ? " 

" 0, John is well, and all the rest of our folks," said Ruth, 
cheerily. 

" Any news, father ? " said Rachel, as she was putting her 
biscuits into the oven. 

" Peter Stebbins told me that they should be along to-night, 
with friends," said Simeon, significantly, as he was washing 
his hands at a neat sink, in a little back porch. 

"Indeed!" said Rachel, looking thoughtfully, and glancing 
at Eliza. 

" Did thee say thy name was Harris ? " said Simeon to Eliza, 
as he reentered. 



180 UNCLE TOMS CABIN ; OR, 

Rachel glanced quickly at lier husband, as Eliza tremulously 
answered " yes ; " her fears, ever uppermost, suggesting that 
possibly there might be advertisements out for her. 

" Mother ! " said Simeon, standing in the. porch, and calling 
Rachel out. 

" What does thee want, father ? " said Rachel, rubbing her 
floury hands, as she went into the porch. 

" This child's husband is in the settlement, and will be here 
to-night," said Simeon. 

" Now, thee doesn't say that, father ? " said Rachel, all her 
face radiant with joy. 

" It's really true. Peter was down yesterday, with the 
wagon, to the other stand, and there he found an old woman 
and two men ; and one said his name was George Harris ; and. 
from what he told of his history, I am certain who he is. He 
is a bright, likely fellow, too." 

" Shall we tell her now ? " said Simeon. 

" Let's tell Ruth," said Rachel. " Here, Ruth, — come here." 

Ruth laid down her knitting work, and was in the back 
porch in a moment. 

" Ruth, what does thee think ? " said Rachel. " Father says 
Eliza's husband is in the last company, and will be here 
to-night." 

A burst of joy from the little Quakeress interrupted the 
speech. She gave such a bound from the floor, as she clapped 
her little hands, that two stray curls fell from under her 
Quaker cap, and lay brightly on her white neckerchief. 

" Hush thee, dear ! " said Rachel, gently ; " hush, RuthJ 
Tell us, shall we tell her now ? " 

" Now ! to be sure, — this very minute. Why, now, suppose 
'twas my John, how should I feel? Do tell her, right off"." 

" Thee uses thyself only to learn how to love thy neighbor, 
Ruth," said Simeon, looking, with a beaming face, on Ruth. 

" To be sure. Isn't it what we are made for ? If I didn't 
love John and thababy, I should not know how to feel for her.. 
Come, now, do tell her, — do!" and she laid her hands per- 
suasively on Rachel's arm. "Take her into thy bed room, 
there, and let me fry the chicken Avhile thee does it," 

Rachel came out into the kitchen, where Eliza was sewing, 



LIFE AMONG THE LOWLY. 181 

aud opening the door of a small bed room, said, gently, " Come 
in here with me, my daughter ; I have news to tell thee." 

The blood flushed in Eliza's pale face ; she rose, trembling 
with nervous anxiety, and looked towards her boy. 

" No, no," said little Ruth, darting up, and seizing her hands. 
" Never thee fear ; it's good news, Eliza, — go in, go in ! " And 
she gently pushed her to the door, which closed^after.her : and 
then, turning round, she caught little Harry in her arms, and 
began kissing him. 

" Thee'll see thy father, little one. Does thee know it ? Thy 
father is coming," she said, over and over again, as the boy 
looked A^onderingly at her. 

Meanwhile, within the door, another scene was going on. 
Rachel Halliday drew Eliza towards her, and said, " The Lord 
hath had mercy on thee, daughter ; thy husband hath escaped 
from the house of bondage." 

The blood flushed to Eliza's cheek in a sudden glow, and 
went back to her heart with as sudden a rush. She sat down, 
pale and faint. 

" Have courage, child," said Rachel, laying her hand on her 
head. " He is among friends, who will bring him here to-night." 

" To-night ! " Eliza repeated, " to-night ! " The words lost 
all meaning to her ; her head was dreamy and confused ; 
all was mist for a moment. 



When she awoke, she found herself snugly tucked up on the 
bed, with a blanket over her, and little Ruth rubbing her hands 
with camphor. She opened her eyes in a state of dreamy, de- 
licious languor, such as one has who has long been bearing a 
heavy load, and now feels it gone, aud would rest. The'tension 
of the nerves, which had never ceased a moment since the first 
hour of her flight, had given way, and a strange feeling. Qf_ 
security and rest came over her; and, as she J.ay,_with_her_ 
large, dark eyes open, she followed, as in a quiet dreani, the. 
motions of those about her. She saw the door open into the 
other room ; saw the supper table, with its snowy cloth ; heard 
the dreamy murmur of the singing teakettle ; saw Rutli trip- 



182 UNCLE tom's cabin ; OE, 

ping backward and forward, with plates of cake and saucers 
of preserves, and ever and anon stopping to put a cake inta 
Harry's hand, or pat his head, or twine his long curls round 
lier snowy fingers. She saw the ample, motherly form of 
Rachel, as she ever and anon came to the bedside, and 
smoothed and arranged something about the bed clothes, and 
gave a tuck here and there, by way of expressing her good 
will ; and was conscious of a kind of sunshine beaming down 
upon her from her large, clear, brown eyes. She saw Ruth'^s 
husband come in, — saw her fly up to him, and commence whis- 
pering very earnestly, ever and anon, with impressive gesture, 
pointing her little finger towards the room. She saw her, with 
the baby in her arms, sitting down to tea ; ske saw them all at 
table, and little Harry, in a high chair, under the shadow of 
Rachel's ample wing ; there were low murmurs of talk, gentle 
tinkling of teaspoons, and musical clatter of cups and saucers, 
and all mingled in a delightful dream of rest ; and Eliza slept 
as she had not slept before, since the fearful midnight hour 
when she had taken her child and fled through the frosty 
starlight. 

She dreamed of a beautiful country, — a land, it seemed to 
her, of rest, — green shores, pleasant islands, and beautifully 
glittering water ; and there, in a house which kind voices told 
her was a ^ home, she saw her boy playing, a free and happy 
child. She heard her husband's footsteps ; she felt him coming- 
nearer ; his arms were around her, his tears falling on her face, 
and she awoke ! It was no dream. The daylight had long- 
faded ; her child lay calmly sleeping by her side ; a candle 
was burning dimly on the stand, and her husband was sobbing 
by her pillow. 



The next morning was a cheerful one at the Quaker house. 
" Mother " was up betimes, and surrounded by busy girls and 
boys, whom we had scarce time to introduce to our readers 
yesterday, and who all moved obediently to Rachel's gentle 
"Thee had better," or more gentle "Hadn't thee better?" in 
the work of getting breakfast ; for a breakfast in the luxuri- 
ous valleys of Indiana is a thing complicated and multiform, 



LIFE AMONG THE LOWLY. 183 

and, like picking np tlie rose leaves and trimming the bushes in 
paradise, asking other hands than those of the original mother. 
While, therefore, John ran to the spring for fresh water, and 
Simeon the second sifted meal for corn cakes, and Mary ground 
coffee, Rachel moved gently and quietly about, making bis- 
cuits, cutting up chicken, and diffusing a sort of sunny radi- 
ance over the whole proceeding generally. If there was any 
danger of friction or collision from the ill-regulated zeal of so 
many young operators, her gentle " Come ! come ! " or " I 
wouldn't, now," was quite sufiicient to allay the difficulty. 
Bards have written of the cestus of Yenus, that turned the 
heads of all the world in successive generations. We had 
rather, for our part, have the cestus of Rachel Halliday, that 
kept heads from being turned, and made every thing go on 
harmoniously. We think it is more suited to our modern 
days, decidedly. 

While all other preparations were going on, Simeon the 
elder stood in his shirt sleeves before a little looking glass in. 
the corner, engaged in the anti-patriarchal operation of shav- 
ing. Every thing went on so sociably, so quietly, so harmoni- . 
ously, in the great kitchen, — it seemed so pleasant to every 
one to do just what they were doing, there was such an atmos 
phere of mutual confidence and good fellowship every where, 
— even the knives and forks had a social clatter as they went 
on to the table ; and the chicken and ham had a cheerful and 
joyous fizzle in the pan, as if they rather enjoyed being cooked 
than otherwise; — and when George, and Eliza, and little 
Harry came out, they met such a hearty, rejoicing welcome, no 
wonder it seemed to them like a dream. 

At last, they were all seated at breakfast, while Mary stood 
at the stove, baking griddle cakes, which, as they gained the 
true exact golden-brown tint of perfection, were transferred 
quite handily to the table. 

Rachel never looked so truly and benignly happy as at the 
head of her table. There was so much motherliness and full 
heartedness even in the way she passed a plate of cakes or 
poured a cup of coffee, that it seemed to put a spirit into the. 
food and drink she offered. 

It was the first time that ever Georare had sat down on 



184 UNCLE tom's cabin ; OR, 

equal terms at any white man's table ; and he sat down, at 
first, with some constraint and awkwardness ; but they all 
exhaled and went off like fog, in the genial morning rays of 
this simple, overflowing kindness. 

This, indeed, was a home, — hotne, — a word that George had 
never yet known a meaning for ; and a belief in God, and trust 
in his providence, began to encircle his heart, as, with a golden 
cloud of protection and confidence, dark, misanthropic, pining, 
atheistic doubts, and fierce despair, melted away before the 
light of a living gospel, breathed in living faces, preached b)^ 
a thousand unconscious acts of love and good will, which, like 
the cup of cold water given in the name of a disciple, shall 
never lose their reward. 

" Father, what if thee should get found out again ? " said 
Simeon second, as he buttered his cake. 

" I should pay my fine,'"' said Simeon, quietly. 

" But what if they put thee in prison ? " 

" Couldn't thee and mother manage the farm? " said Simeon, 
smiling. 

'"Mother can do almost every thing" said the boy. "But 
isn't it a shame to make such laws ? " 

" Thee mustn't speak evil of thy rulers, Simeon," said his 
father, gravely. " The Lord only giA^es us our worldly goods 
that we may do justice and mercy ; if our rulers require a 
price of us for it, we must deliver it up." 

''Well, I hate those old slaveholders !" said the boy, who 
felt as unchristian as became any modern reformer. 

" I am surprised at thee, son," said Simeon ; " thy mother 
never taught thee so. I would do even the same for the slave- 
holder as for the slave, if the Lord brought him to my door in 
affliction." 

Simeon second blushed scarlet ; but his mother only smiled, 
and said, " Simeon is my good boy ; he will grow older, by and 
by, and then he will be like his father." 

" I hope, my good sir, that you are not exposed to any diffi- 
culty on our account," said George, anxiously. 

" Fear nothing, George, for tlierefore are we sent into the 
world. If we would hot meet trouble for a good cause, we 
were not worthv of our name.'' 



LIFE AJIOXG THR LOWLY. 



185 



" But for me," said George, " I could not bear it." 

"Fear not, then, friend George;- it is not for thee, but for 
God and man, we do it," said Simeon. " And now thou must 
lie by quietly this day, and to-night, at ten o'clock, Phineas 
Fletcher will carry thee onward to the next stand, — thee and 
the rest of thy company. The pursuers are hard after thee ; 
we must not delay." 

" If that is the case, why wait till evening ? " said George. 

" Thou art safe here by daylight, for every one in the set- 
tlement is a Friend, and all are watching. It has been found 
safer to travel by night." 
24 





CHAPTER XIV. 

EVANGELINE. 

" A young star ! which shone 
O'er life — too sweet an image for such glass ! 
A lovely being, scarcely formed or moulded ; 
A rose with all its sweetest leaves yet folded." 



HE Mississippi! How, as by an enchanted 
wand, have its scenes been chanfjed, since 
Chateaubriand wrote his prose-poetic descrip- 
tion of it, as a river of mighty, unbroken soli- 
tudes, rolling amid undreamed wonders of 
vegetable and animal existence ! . 
But, as in an hour, this river of dreams and wild romance 
has emerged to a reality scarcely less visionary and splendid. 
What other river of the world bears on its bosom to the ocean 
the wealth and enterprise of such another country ? — a coun- 




LIFE AMONG THE LOWLY. 18T 

try Avhose products embrace all between tlie tropics and the 
poles ! Those turbid waters, hurrying, foaming, tearing along, 
an apt resemblance of that headlong tide of business which is 
poured along its wave by a race more vehement and energetic 
than any the old world ever saw. Ah! would that tliey did 
not also bear along a more fearful freiglit, — the tears of the 
oppressed, the sighs of the hel])less, the bitter prayers of poor, 
ignorant hearts to an unknown God — unknown, unseen, and 
silent, but who will yet " come out of his place to save all the 
poor of the earth ! " 

The slanting light of the setting sun quivers on the sea-like 
expanse of the river ; the shivery canes, and the tall, dark 
cypress, hung with wreaths of dark, funereal moss, glow in the 
golden ray, as the heavily-laden steamboat marches onward. 

Piled with cotton bales, from many a plantation, up over 
deck and sides, till she seems in the distance a square, massive 
block of gray, she moves heavily onward to the nearing mart. 
We must look some time among its crowded decks before we 
shall find again our humble friend Tom. High on the upper 
deck, in a little nook among the every where predominant 
cotton bales, at last we may find him. 

Partly from confidence inspired by Mr. Shelby's representa- 
tions, and partly from the remarkably inoifensive and quiet 
character of the man, Tom had insensibly won his way far 
into the confidence even of such a man as Haley. 

At first he had watched him narrowly through the day, 
and never allowed him to sleep at night unfettered ; but the 
uncomplaining patience and apparent contentment of Tom^s 
manner led him gradually to discontinue these restraints, and 
for some time Tom had enjoyed a sort of parole of honor, 
being permitted to come and go freely where he pleased on 
the boat. 

Ever quiet and obliging, and more than ready to lend a hand 
in every emergency which occurred among the workmen below, 
he had won the good opinion of all the hands, and spent many 
hours in helping them with as hearty a good will as ever he 
worked on a Kentucky farm. 

When there seemed to be nothing for him to do, he would 
climb to a nook among the cotton bales of the upper deck, and 



188 UNCLE tom's cabin ; OK, 

busy himself iu studying over his Bible, — and it is there we 
see him now. 

For a hundred or more miles above New Orleans, the river 
is higher than the surrounding country, and rolls its tremen- 
dous volume between massive levees twenty feet in height.. 
The traveller from the deck of the steamer, as from some 
floating castle top, overlooks the whole country for miles and 
miles around. Tom, therefore, had spread out full before him, 
in plantation after plantation, a map of the life to Avhich he was 
approaching. 

He saw the distant slaves at their toil ; he saw afar their 
villages of huts gleaming out in long rows on many a planta- 
tion, distant from the stately mansions and pleasure grounds 
of the master ; — and as the moving picture passed on, his 
poor, foolish heart would be turning backward to the Ken- 
tucky farm, with its old, shadowy beeches, — to tlie master's 
house, with its wide, cool halls, and, near by, the little cabin, 
overgrown with the multiflora and bignonia. There he seemed 
to see familiar fiices of comrades, who had grown up with him 
from infancy ; he saw his busy wife, bustling in her prepara- 
tions for his evening meals ; he heard the merry laugh of 
his boys at their play, and the chirrup of the baby at his 
knee ; and then, with a start, all faded, and he saw again 
the cane brakes, and cypresses, and gliding plantations, and 
heard again tlie creaking and groaning of the machinery, all 
telling him tuo plainly that all that phase of life had gone by 
forever. 

In such a case, you write to your wife, and send messages 
to your children ; but Tom could not write, — the mail for him 
had no existence, and the gulf of separation was uubridged by 
even a friendly word or signal. 

Is it strange, then, that some tears fall on the pages of his 
Bible, as he lays it on the cotton bale, and, with patient finger, 
threading his slow way from word to word, traces out its 
promises ? Having learned late in life, Tom was but a slow 
reader, and passed on laboriously from verse to verse. Fortu- 
nate for him was it that the book he was intent on was one 
which slow reading cannot injure, — nay, one whose words, 
like ingots of gold, seem often to need to be weighed separate- 



LIFE AMONG THE LOWLY. 189 

]y, that the mind may take in their priceless value. Let us 
follow him a moment, as, pointing to each word, and pronoun- 
cing each half aloud, he reads, — 

" Let — not — your — heart — be — troubled. In — my — 
Father's — house — are — many — mansions. I — go — to — 
prepare — a — place — for — you." 

Cicero, when he buried his darling and only daughter, had 
a heart as full of honest grief as poor Tom's, — perhaps no 
fuller, for both were only men ; — but Cicero could pause over 
no such sublime words of hope, and look to no such future 
reunion ; and if he had seen them, ten to one he would not 
have believed, — he must fill his head first with a thousand 
questions of authenticity of manuscript, and correctness of 
translation. But, to poor Tom, there it lay, just what he 
needed, so evidently true and divine that the possibility of a 
question never entered his simple head. It must be true ; for. 
if not true, how could he live ? 

As for Tom's Bible, though it had no annotations and helps 
in margin from learned commentators, still it had been embel- 
lished with certain waymarks and guideboards of Tom's own 
invention, and which helped him more than the most learned 
expositions could have done. It had been his custom to get 
the Bible read to him by his master's children, in particular by 
young Master George ; and, as they read, he would designate, 
by bold, strong marks and dashes, with pen and ink, the pas- 
sages which more particularly gratified his ear or affected his 
heart. His Bible was thus marked through, from one end to 
the other, with a variety of styles and designations ; so he 
could in a moment seize upon his favorite passages, without 
the labor of spelling out what lay between them ; — and while 
it lay there before him, every passage breathing of some old 
home scene, and recalling some past enjoyment, his Bible 
seemed to him all of this life that remained, as well as the 
promise of a future one. 

Among the passengers on the boat was a young gentleman 
of fortune and family, resident in New Orleans, who bore the 
name of St. Clare. He had with him a daughter between five 
and six years of age, together with a lady who seemed to claim 
relationship to both, and to have the little one especially under 
her charge. 



190 UNCLE tom's cabin ; OR, 

Tom had often caught g-limpses of this little girl, — for she 
was one of those busy, tripping- creatures, that can be no more 
contained in one place than a sunbeam or a summer breeze, — 
nor was she one that, once seen, could be easily forgotten. 

Her form was the perfection of childish beauty, without its 
usual chubbincss and squareness of outline. There was about 
it an undulating and aerial grace, such as one might dream of 
for some mythic and allegorical being. Her face was remark- 
able less for its [)erfect beauty of feature than for a singular 
and dreamy earnestness of expression, which made the ideal 
start when they looked at her, and by which the dullest and 
most literal were impressed, without exactly knowing why. 
The shape of her head and the turn of her neck and bust were 
peculiarly noble, and the long golden-brown hair that floated 
like a cloud around it, the deep spiritual gravity of her violet- 
blue eyes, shaded by heavy fringes of golden brown, — all 
marked her out from other children, and made every one turn 
and look after her, as she glided hither and thither on the 
boat. Nevertheless, the little one was not what you would 
have called either a grave child or a sad one. On the con- 
trary, an airy and innocent playfulness seemed to flicker like 
the shadow of summer leaves over her childish face, and 
around her buoyant figure. She was always in motion, al- 
ways with a half smile on her rosy mouth, flying hither and 
thither, with an undulating and cloudlike tread, singing to 
herself as she moved as in a happy dream. Her father and 
female guardian were incessantly busy in pursuit of her, — 
but, when caught, she melted from them again like a summer 
cloud ; and as no word of chiding or reproof ever fell on her 
ear for whatever she chose to do, she pursued her own way 
all over the boat. Always dressed in white, she seemed to 
move like a shadow through all sorts of places, without con- 
tracting spot or stain ; and there was not a corner or nook, 
above or below, where those fairy footsteps had not glided, 
and that visionary golden head, with its deep-blue eyes, fleeted 
along. 

The fireman, as he looked up from his sweaty toil, some- 
times found those eyes looking wonderingly into the raging 
depths of the furnace, and fearfully and pityingly at him, as 



LIFE AMONU THK LOWLY. 191 

if she tliouglit him in some dreadful danger. Anon the steers- 
man at the wheel paused and smiled, as the picture-like head 
gleamed through the window of the roundhouse, and in a mo- 
ment was gone again. A thousand times a day rough voices 
blessed her, and smiles of unwonted softness stole over hard 
faces, as she passed ; and when she tripped fearlessly over 
dangerous places, rough, sooty hands were stretched involun- 
tarily out to save her, and smooth her path. 

Tom, who had the soft, impressible nature of his kindly race, 
ever yearning towards the simple and childlike, watched the 
little creature with daily increasing interest. To him she 
seemed something almost divine ; and whenever her golden 
head and deep-blue eyes peered out upon him from ])ehind 
some dusky cotton bale, or looked down upon him over some 
ridge of packages, he half believed that he saw one of the 
angels stepped out of his New Testament. 

Often and often she walked mournfully round the place 
where Haley's gang of men and women sat in their chains. 
She would glide in among them, and look at them with an 
air of perplexed and sorrowful earnestness ; and sometimes 
she would lift their chains with her slender hands, and then 
sigh wofully, as she glided away. Several times slie appeared 
suddenly among them, with her hands full of candy, nuts, and 
oranges, which she would distribute joyfully to them, and then 
be gone again, 

Tom watched the little lady a great deal, liefore he ven- 
tured on any overtures towards acquaintanceship. He knew 
an abundance of simple acts to propitiate and invite the ap- 
proaches of the little people, and he resolved to })lay his part 
right skilfully. He could cut cunning little baskets out of 
cherry stones, could make grotesque faces on hickory nuts, or 
odd jumping figures out of elder pith, and he was a very Pan 
in the manufacture of whistles of all sizes and sorts. His pock- 
ets were full of miscellaneous articles of attraction, which he 
had hoarded in days of old for his master's children, and 
which he now produced, with commendable prudence and econ- 
omy, one by one, as overtures for acquaintance and friendship. 

The little one was shy, for all her busy interest in every 
thing going on, and it was not easy to tame her. For a wliile. 



192 UNCLE tom's cabin ; OR, 

she would perch like a canary bird on some liox or package 
near Tom, while busy in the little arts aforenamed, and take 
from him, with a kind of grave bashfulness, the little articles 
he offered. But at last they got on quite confidential terms. 

" What's little missy's name ? " said Tom, at last, when he 
thought matters were ripe to push such an inquiry. 

"EvangeJine St. Clare," said the little one, "though papa 
and every body else call me Eva. Now, what's your name ? " 

" My name's Tom ; the little chil'en used to call me Uncle 
Tom, way back tliar in Kentuck." 

" Then I mean to call you Uncle Tom, because, you see, 
I like you," said Eva. " So, Uncle Tom, where are you going ? " 

" I don't know. Miss Eva." 

" Don't know ? " said Eva. 

" No. I am going to be sold to somebody. I don't know 
who." 

" My papa can buy you," said Eva, quickly ; " and if he buys 
you, you will have good times. I mean to ask him to, this 
very day." 

" Thank you, my little lady," said Tom. 

The Ijoat here stopped at a small landing to take in wood, 
and Eva, hearing her father's voice, boimded nimbly away. 
Tom rose up, and went forward to offer his service in wood- 
ing, and soon was busy among the hands. 

Eva and her father were standing together by the railings, 
to see the boat start from the landing-place ; the wheel had 
made two or three revolutions in the water, when, by some 
sudden movement, the little one suddenly lost her balance, and 
fell sheer over the side of the boat into the water. Her father, 
scarce knowing what he did, was plunging in after her, but 
was held back by some behind him, who saw that more eflB.- 
cient aid had followed his child. , 

Tom was standing just under her, on the lower deck, as she 
fell. He saw her strike the water, and sink, and was after her 
in a moment. A broad-chested, strong-armed fellow, it was no- 
thing for him to keep afloat in the water, till, in a moment or 
two, the child rose to the surface, and he caught her in his 
arms, and, swimming with her to the boat side, handed her up, 
all dripping, to the grasp of hundreds of hands, which, as if 



LIFE AMONG THE LOWLY. 



193 



they had all belonged to one man, were stretched eagerly out to 
receive her. A few moments more, and her father bore her, drip- 
ping and senseless, 
to the ladies' cab- 
in, where, as is usu- 
al in cases of the 
kind, there ensued 
a very well-mean- 
ing and kind-heart- 
ed strife among 
the female occu- 
pants generally, as 
to who should do 
the most things to 

make a disturb- __^-^ -- 

ance, and to hinder her recovery in every way possible. 




It was a sultry, close day, the next day, as the steamer drew 
near to New Orleans. A general bustle of expectation and 
preparation was spread through the boat ; in the cabin, one and 
another were gathering their things together, and arranging 
them, preparatory to going ashore. The steward and cham- 
bermaid, and all, were busily engaged in cleaning, furbishing, 
and arranging the splendid boat, preparatory to a grand 
entree. 

On the lower deck sat our friend Tom, with his arms folded, 
and anxiously, from time to time, turning his eyes towards a 
grou]) on the other side of the boat. 

There stood the fair Evangeline, a little paler than the day 
before, but otherwise exhibiting no traces of the accident 
which had befallen her. A graceful, elegantly-formed young 
man stood by her, carelessly leaning one elbow on a bale of 
cotton, while a large pocket book lay open before him. It 
was quite evident, at a glance, that the gentleman was Eva's 
father. There was the same noble cast of head, the same large 
blue eyes, the same golden-brown hair ; yet the expression 
was wholly diiferent. In the large, clear blue eyes, though in 
form and color exactly similar, there was wanting that misty, 
25 



191 UNCLE tum's cabin; or, 

dreamy depth of expression ; all was clear, bold, and bright, 
but with a light wholly of this world : the beautifully-cut mouth 
had a proud and somewhat sarcastic expression, while an air 
of free-and-easy superiority sat not ungracefully in every turn 
and movement of his line form. He was listening, with a 
good-humored, negligent air, half comic, half contemptuous, to 
Haley, who was very volubly expatiating on the qualit}^ of the 
article for which they Avere bargaining. 

" All the moral and Christian virtues bound in black mo- 
rocco, complete ! " he said, when Haley had finished. " Well, 
now, my good fellow, what's the damage, as they say in Ken- 
tucky ? in short, what's to be paid out for this business ? How 
much are you going to cheat me, now ? Out with it ! " 

" Wal," said Haley, " if I should say thirteen, hundred dol- 
lars for that ar fellow, I shouldn't but just save myself; I 
shouldn't, now, re'ly." 

" Poor fellow ! " said the young man, fixing his keen, mock- 
ing blue eye on him ; " but I suppose you'd let me have him 
for that, out of a particular regard for me." 

'' Well, the young lady here seems to be sot on him, and 
nat'lly enough." 

" ! certainly, there's a call on your benevolence, my friend. 
Now, as a matter of Christian charity, how cheap could you 
afford to let him go, to oblige a young lady that's particular 
sot on him ? " 

"Wal, now, just think on't," said the trader ; "just look at 
them limbs, — broad chested, strong as a horse. Look at his 
head ; them high forrads allays shows calculatin' niggers, 
that'll do any kind o' thing. I've marked that ar. Now, a 
nigger of that ar heft and build is worth considerable, just, 
as you may say, for his body, supposin' he's stupid ; but come 
to put in his calculatin' faculties, and them which I can show 
he has oucommon, why, of course, it makes him come higher. 
Why, that ar fellow managed his master's whole farm. He 
has a strornary talent for business." 

" Bad, bad, very bad ; knows altogether too much ! " said 
the young man, with the same mocking smile playing about his 
mouth. "Never will do, in the world. Your smart fellows 
are always running off, stealing horses, and raising the devil 



LIFE AMONG THE LOWLY. 195 

generally. I think you'll have to take off a couple of hundred 
for his smartness." 

" Wal, there might be something in that ar, if it warn't for 
his character ; but I can show recommends from his master 
and others, to prove he is one of your real pious, — the most 
humble, prayin', pious critter ye ever did see. Why, he's been 
called a preacher in them parts he came from." 

" And I might use him for a family chaplain, possibly,*' added 
the young man, dryly. " That's quite an idea. Religion is a 
remarkably scarce article at our house." 

" You're joking, now." 

"How do you know I am? Didn't you just warrant him 
for a preacher? Has he been examined by any synod or 
council? Come, hand over your papers." 

If the trader had not been sure, by a certain good-humored 
twinkle in the large blue eye, that all this banter was sure, in 
the long run, to turn out a cash concern, he might have been 
somewhat out of patience ; as it was, he laid down a greasy 
pocket book on the cotton bales, and began anxiously studying 
over certain papers in it, the young man standing by, the 
while, looking down on him with an air of careless, easy 
drollery. 

" Papa, do buy him ! it's no matter what you pay," whispered 
Eva, softly, getting up on a package, and putting her arm 
around her father's neck. " You have money enough, I know. 
I want him." 

" What for. Pussy ? Are you going to use him for a rattle 
box, or a rocking horse, or what ? " 

"I want to make him happy." 

"An original reason, certainly." 

Here the trader handed up a certificate, signed by Mr. Shel- 
by, which the young man took with the tips of his long fingers, 
and glanced over carelessly. 

" A gentlemanly hand," he said, " and well spelt, too. Well, 
now, but I'm not sure, after all, about this religion," said he, 
the old wicked expression returning to his eye ; " the country 
is almost ruined with pious white people : such pious politicians 
as we have just before elections, — such pious goings on in all 
departments of church and state, that a fellow does not know 



196 UNCLE tom's cabin; or, 

who'll cheat him next. I don't know, either, about religion's 
being up in the market, just now. I have not looked in th& 
papers lately, to see how it sells. How many hundred dollars, 
now, do you put on for this religion?" 

"You like to be a jokin', now," said the trader ; "but, then, 
there's sense under all that ar. I know there's dilBferences in 
religion. Some kinds is mis'rable : there's your meetin' pious ; 
t]jere's your singin', roarin' pious ; them ar an't no account, in 
black or white ; — but these rally is ; and I've seen it in nig- 
gers as often as any, your rail softly, quiet, stiddy, honest, 
pious, that the hull world couldn't tempt 'em to do nothing 
that they thinks is wrong ; and ye see in this letter what 
Tom's old master says about him." 

" Now," said the young man, stooping gravely over his book 
of bills, " if you can assure me that I really can buy this kind 
of pious, and that it will be set down to my account in the 
book up above, as something belonging to me, I wouldn't care 
if I did go a little extra for it. How d'ye say ? " 

"Wal, rally, I can't do that," said the trader. "I'm a 
thinkin' that every man'll have to hang on his own hook, in 
them ar quarters." 

" Rather hard on a fellow that pays extra on religion, and 
can't trade with it in the state where he wants it most, an't 
it, now ? " said the yomig man, who had been making out a roll 
of bills while he was speaking. " There, count your money, 
old boy ! " he added, as he handed the roll to the trader. 

" All right," said Haley, his face beaming with delight ; and 
pulling out an old inkhorn, he proceeded to fill out a bill of 
sale, which, in a few moments, he handed to the young man. 

" I wonder, now, if I was divided up and inventoried," said 
the latter, as he ran over the paper, " how much I might bring. 
Say so much for the shape of my head, so much for a high 
forehead, so much for arms, and hands, and legs, and then 
so much for education, learning, talent, honesty, religion! 
Bless me! there would be small charge on that last, I'm. 
thinking. But come, Eva," he said ; and taking the hand of 
his daughter, he stepped across the boat, and carelessly putting 
the tip of his finger under Tom's chin, said, good humoredly, 
" Look up, Tom, and see how you like your new master." 



LIFE AMONG THE LOWLY. 197 

Tom looked up. It was not in nature to look into that gay, 
young, handsome face, without a feeling of pleasure ; and Tom 
felt the tears start in his eyes as he said, heartily, " God hless 
you, mas'r ! " 

" Well, I hope he will. What's your name ? Tom ? Quite 
as likely to do it for your asking as mine, from all aecountb. 
Can you drive horses, Tom?" 

" I've been allays used to horses," said Tom. " Mas'r Shelby 
raised heaps on 'em." 

" Well, I think I shall put you in coacliy, on condition that 
you won't be drunk more than once a week, unless in cases of 
emergency, Tom." 

Tom looked surprised, and rather hurt, and said, " I never 
drink, mas'r." 

" I've heard that story before, Tom ; but then we'll see. It 
will be a special accommodation to all concerned, if you. 
don't. Never mind, my boy," he added, good humoredly, 
seeing Tom still looked grave ; " I don't doubt you mean to 
do well." 

" I sartin do, mas'r," said Tom. 

" And you shall have good times," said Eva. " Papa is very 
good to every body, only he always will laugh at them." 

" Papa is much obliged to you for his recommendation," said 
St. Clare, laughing, as ho turned on his heel and walked away. 





CHAPTER XV 



OP TOMS NEW MASTER, AND VARIOUS OTHER MATTERS. 




INCE tlie thread of our liumble hero's life has 
now become interwoYen with that of higher 
one?, it is necessary to give some brief intro- 
duction to them. 

Augustine St. Clare was the son of a 
wealthy planter of Louisiana. The family 
had its origin in Canada. Of two brothers, very similar in 
temperament and character, one had settled on a flourishing 
farm in Vermont, and the other became an opulent planter in 
Louisiana. The mother of Augustine was a Huguenot French 
lady, whose family had emigrated to Louisiana during the days 
of its early settlement. Augustine and another brother were 
the only children of their parents. Having inherited from his 
mother an exceeding delicacy of constitution, he was, at the 



LIFE AMONG THE LOWLY. 199 

instance of physicians, during many years of his boyhood, sent 
to the care of his uncle in Vermont, in order that his con- 
stitution might be strengthened by the cold of a more bracing 
climate. 

In childhood, he was remarkable for an extreme and marked 
sensitiveness of character, more akin to the softness of woman 
than the ordinary hardness of his own sex. Time, however, 
overgrew this softness with the rough bark of manhood, and 
but few knew how living and fresh it still lay at the core. 
His talents were of the very first order, although his mind 
showed a preference always for the ideal and the a3sthetic, 
and there was about him that repugnance to the actual busi- 
ness of life which is the common result of this balance of the 
faculties. Soon after the completion of his college coarse, his 
Avhole nature was kindled into one intense and passionate 
effervescence of romantic passion. His hour came, — the hour 
that comes only once ; his star rose in the horizon, — that star 
that rises so often in vain, to be remembered only as a thing of 
dreams ; and it rose for him in vain. To drop the figure, — 
he saw and won the love of a high-minded and beautiful 
woman, in one of the Northern States, and they were affianced. 
He returned south to make arrangements for their marriage; 
when, most unexpectedly, his letters were returned to him b}- 
mail, with a short note from her guardian, stating to him that 
ere this reached him the lady would be the wife of another. 
Stung to madness, he vainly hoped, as many another has done, 
to fling the whole thing from his heart by one desperate effort. 
Too proud to supplicate or seek explanation, he threw himself 
at once into a whirl of fashionable society, and in a fortnight 
from the time of the fatal letter was the accepted lover of the 
reigning belle of the season ; and as soon as arrangements 
could be made, he became the husband of a fine figure, a pair 
of bright dark eyes, and a hundred thousand dollars ; and, 
of course, every body thought him a happy fellow. 

The married couple were enjoying their honeymoon, and en- 
tertaining a brilliant circle of friends in their splendid villa, 
near Lake Pontchartrain, when, one day, a letter was brought 
to him in that well-remembered writing. It was handed to 
him while he was in full tide of gay and successful convcr- 



200 UNCLE tom's cabin; or, 

sation, in a whole room-full of company. He turned deadly 
pale when he saw the writing, but still preserved his compo- 
sure, and finished the playful warfare of badinage which he 
was at the moment carrying on with a lady opposite ; an.d, a 
short time after, was missed from the circle. In his room, 
alone, he opened and read the letter, now. worse than idle and 
useless to be read. It was from her, giving a long account of 
a persecution to which she had been exposed by her guardian's 
family, to lead her to unite herself with their sou ; and she 
related how, for a long time, his letters had ceased to arrive ; 
how she had written time and again, tiU she became weary and 
doubtful ; how her health had failed under her anxieties, and 
how, at last, she had discovered the whole fraud which had 
been practised on them both. The letter ended with expres 
sions of hope and thankfulness, and professions of undying 
affection, which were more bitter than death to the unhappy 
young man. He wrote to her immediately : — 

"I have received yours, — but too late. I believed all I 
heard. I was desperate. / am married, and all is over. Only 
forget, — it is all that remains for either of us." 

And thus ended the whole romance and ideal of life for 
Augustine St. Clare. But the real remained, — the real, like 
the flat, bare, oozy tide mud, when the blue sparkling wave, 
with all its company of gliding boats and white-winged ships, 
its music of oars and chiming waters, has gone down, and there 
it lies, flat, slimy, bare, — exceedingly real. 

Of course, in a novel, people's hearts break, and they die, 
and that is the end of it ; and in a story this is very conven- 
ient. But in real life we do not die when all that makes 
life bright dies to us. There is a most busy and important 
round of eating, drinking, dressing, walking, visiting, buying, 
selling, talking, reading, and all that makes up what is com- 
monly called living, yet to be gone through ; and this yet 
remained to Augustine. Had his wife been a whole woman, 
she might yet have done something — as woman can — to mend 
the broken threads of life, and weave again into a tissue of 
brightness. But Marie St. Clare could not even see that they 
had been broken. As before stated, she consisted of a fine 
figure, a pair of splendid eyes, and a hundred thousand dollars ; 



LIFE AMONG THE LOWLY. 201 

and none of these items were precisely the ones to minister to 
a mind diseased. 

When Augustine, pale as death, was found lying on the sofa, 
and pleaded sudden side headache as the cause of his distress,, 
she recommended to him to smell of hartshorn ; and when the 
paleness and headache came on week after week, she only said 
that she never thought Mr. St. Clare was sickly ; but it seems 
he was very liable to sick headaches, and that it was a very un- 
fortunate thing for her, because he didn't enjoy going into com- 
pany with her, and it seemed odd to go so much alone, when 
they were just married. Augustine was glad in his heart that 
he had married so undiscerning a woman ; but as the glosses 
and civilities of the honeymoon wore away, he discovered that 
a beautiful young woman, who has lived all her life to be ca- 
ressed and waited on, might prove quite a hard mistress in do- 
mestic life. Marie never had possessed much capability of affec- 
tion, or much sensibility, and the little that she had had been 
merged into a most intense and unconscious selfishness ; a sel- 
fishness the more hopeless, from its quiet obtuseness, its utter 
ignorance of any claims but her own. From her infancy, she 
had been surrounded with servants, who lived only to study her 
caprices ; the idea that they had either feelings or rights had 
never dawned upon her, even in distant perspective. Her father, 
whose only child she had been, had never denied her any thing 
that lay within the compass of human possibility ; and when she 
entered life, beautiful, accomplished, and an heiress, she had, of 
course, all the eligibles and non-eligibles of the other sex sigh-^ 
ing at her feet, and she had no doubt that Augustine was a 
most fortunate man in having obtained her. It is a great mis- 
talce to suppose that a woman with no heart will be an easy 
creditor in the exchange of affection. There is not on earth a 
more merciless exacter of love from others than a thoroughly 
selfish woman ; and the more unlovely she grows, the more 
jealously and scrupulously she exacts love, to the uttermost 
farthing. When, therefore, St. Clare began to drop off" those 
gallantries and small attentions which flowed at first through 
the habitude of courtship, he found his sultana no way ready 
to resign her slave ; there were abundance of tears, poutings, 
and small tempests, there were discontents, pinings, upbraid- 
26 



202 UNCLE tom's cabin : OR, 

ings. St. Clare was good natured and self-indulgent, and 
sought to buy off with presents and flatteries ; and when Marie 
became mother to a beautiful daughter, he really felt awa-, 
kened. for a time, to something like tenderness. 

St. Clare's mother had been a woman of uncommon eleva-. 
tion and purity of character, and he gave to this child his 
mother's name, fondly fancying that she would prove a repro- 
duction of her image. The thing had been remarked with 
petulant jealousy by his wife, and she regarded her husband's 
absorbing devotion to the child with suspicion and dislike ; all 
that was given to her seemed so much taken from herself. 
From the time of the birth of this child, her health gradually 
sunk. A life of constant inaction, bodily and mental, — the 
friction of ceaseless ennui and discontent, united to the ordi- 
nary weakness which attended the period of maternity, — in 
course of a few years changed the blooming young belle into 
a yellow, faded, sickly woman, whose time was divided among 
a variety of fanciful diseases, and who considered herself, in 
every sense, the most ill used and suffering person in existence. 

There was no end of her various complaints ; but her princi- 
pal forte appeared to lie in sick headache, which sometimes 
would confine her to her room three days out of six. As, of 
course, all family arrangements fell into the hands of ser- 
vants, St. Clare found his menage any thing but comfortable. 
His only daughter was exceedingly delicate, and he feared that, 
with no one to look after her, and attend to her, her health and 
life might yet fall a sacrifice to her mother's inefficiency. He 
had taken her with him on a tour to Vermont, and had persuad- 
ed his cousin. Miss Ophelia St. Clare, to return with him to 
his southern residence ; and they are now returning on this 
boat, where we have introduced them to our readers. 

And now, while the distant domes and spires of New 
Orleans rise to our view, there is yet time for an introduction 
to Miss Ophelia. 

Whoever has travelled in the New England States will re- 
member, in some cool village, the large farm house, with its 
clean-swept, grassy yard, shaded by the dense and massive 
foliage of the sugar maple ; and remember the air of order 
and stillness, of perpetuity and unchanging repose, that seemed 



LIFE AMONG THE J.OWI.Y. 203 

to breathe over the whole place. Nothing lost, or out of or- 
der ; not a picket loose in the fence, not a particle of litter in 
the turfy yard, with its clumps of lilac bushes growing up 
under the windows. Within, he will remember wide, clean 
rooms, where nothing ever seems to be doing or going to be 
done, where every thing is once and forever rigidly in place, 
and where all household arrangements move with the punc- 
tual exactness of the old clock in the corner. In the family 
"keeping room," as it is termed, he will remember the staid, 
respectable old bookcase, with its glass doors, where Rollings 
History, Milton's Paradise Lost, Bunyan's Pilgrim's Progress, 
and Scott's Family Bible, stand^side by side in decorous order, 
with multitudes of other books, equally solemn and respecta- 
ble. There are no servants in the house, but the lady in the 
snowy cap, with the spectacles, w]io sits sewing every after- 
noon among her daughters, as if nothing ever had been done, 
or were to be done, — she and her girls, in some long-forgotten 
fore part of the day, " did up the trork" and for the rest of 
the time, probably, at all hours when you would see them, it is 
" done up.'' The old kitchen floor never seems stained or spot- 
ted ; the tables, the chairs, and the various cooking utensils 
never seem deranged or disordered ; though three and some- 
times four meals a day are got there, though the family wash- 
ing and ironing is there performed, and though pounds of 
butter and cheese are in some silent and mysterious manner 
there brought into existence. 

On such a farm, in such a house and family. Miss Ophelia 
had spent a quiet existence of some forty-iive years, when 
her cousin invited her to visit his southern mansion. The 
eldest of a large family, she was still considered by her father 
and mother as one of •' the children," and the proposal that she 
should go to Orleans was a most momentous one to the family 
circle. The old gray-headed father took down Morse's Atlas 
out of the l)Ookcase, and looked out the exact latitude and 
longitude ; and read Flint's Travels in the South and West, to 
make up his own mind as to the nature of the country. 

The good mother inquired anxiously "if Orleans wasn't 
an awful wicked place," saying, " that it seemed to her most 
equal to going to the Sandwich Islands, or any where among 
the heathen." 



204 UNCLE tom's cabin ; OR, 

It was known at the minister's, and at the doctor's, and at 
Miss Peabody's milliner shop, that Ophelia St. Clare was 
" talking about " going away down to Orleans with her cousin ; 
and of course the whole village could do no less than help 
this very important process of talking about the matter. The 
minister, who inclined strongly to abolitionist views, was quite 
doubtful whether such a step might not tend somewhat to 
encourage the southerners in holding on to their slaves ; 
while the doctor, who was a stanch colonizationist, inclined to 
the opinion that Miss Ophelia ought to go, to show the Or- 
leans people that we don't think hardly of them, after all. 
He was of opinion, in fact, that southern people needed 
encouraging. When, however, the fact that she had resolved 
to go was fully before the public mind, she was solemnly 
invited out to tea by all her friends and neighbors for the 
space of a fortnight, and her prospects and plans duly can- 
vassed and inquired into. Miss Moseley, who came into the 
house to help to do the dress making, acquired daily acces- 
sions of importance from the developments with regard to 
Miss Ophelia's wardrobe, which she had been enabled to 
make. It was credibly ascertained, that Squire Sinclare, as 
his name was commonly contracted in the neighborhood, had, 
counted out fifty dollars, and given them to Miss Ophelia, and 
told her to buy any clothes she thought best ; and that two 
new silk dresses, and a bonnet, had been sent for from Boston. 
As to the propriety of this extraordinary outlay, the public 
mind was divided, — some affirming that it was well enough, all 
things considered, for once in one's life, and others stoutly 
affirming that the money had better been sent to the mis- 
sionaries ; but all parties agreed that there had been no 
such parasol seen in those parts as had been sent on from 
New York, and that she had one silk dress that might fairly 
be trusted to stand alone, whatever might be said of its mis- 
tress. There were credible rumors, also, of a hemstitched 
pocket handkerchief ; and report even went so far as to state 
that Miss Ophelia had one pocket handkerchief with lace all 
around it, — it was even added that it was worked in the 
corners ; but this latter point was never satisfactorily ascer- 
tained, and remains, in fact, unsettled to this day. 



LIFE AM(>N(; THE LOWLY. 205 

Miss Ophelia, as you now behold her, stands before you, in 
a very shining brown linen travelling dress, tall, square 
formed, and angular. Her face was thin, and rather sharp 
in its outlines ; the lips compressed, like those of a person 
who is in the habit of making up her mind definitely on all 
subjects ; while the keen, dark eyes had a peculiarly searching, 
advised movement, and travelled over every thing, as if they 
were looking for something to take care of. 

All her movements were sharj), decided, and energetic ; and, 
though she was never much of a talker, her words were re- 
markably direct, and to the purpose, wdien she did speak. 

In her habits, she was a living ira]3ersonation of order, 
method, and exactness. In punctuality she was as inevitable 
as a clock, and as inexorable as a railroad engine ; and she 
held in most decided contempt and abomination any thing of a 
contrary character. 

The great sin of sins, in her eyes, — the sum of all evils, — 
was expressed by one very common and important word in 
her vocabulary — " shiftlessness." Her finale and ultimatum 
of contempt consisted in a very emphatic pronunciation of the 
word " shiftless ; " and by this she characterized all modes of 
procedure which had not a direct and inevitable relation to 
accomplishment of some purpose then definitely had in mind. 
People who did nothing, or who did not know exactly what 
they were going to do, or who did not take the most direct 
way to accomplish what they set their hands to, were objects ■ 
of her entire contempt — a contempt shown less frequently by 
any thing she said, than by a kind of stony grimness, as if she 
scorned to say any thing about the matter. 

As to mental cultivation, she had a clear, strong, active 
mind, was well and thoroughly read in history and the older 
English classics, and thought with great strength within cer- 
tain narrow limits. Her theological tenets were all made up, 
labelled in most positive and distinct forms, and put by, like 
the bundles in her patch trunk ; there were just so many of 
them, and there were never to be any more. So, also, were her 
ideas with regard to most matters of practical life, — such as 
housekeeping in all its branches, and the various political 
relations of her native village. And, underlaying all, deeper 



206 ixcLE tom's cabin ; OR, 

than any thing else, higher and broader, lay the strongest 
principle of her being — conscientiousness. Nowhere is con- 
science so dominant and all-absorbing as with New England 
women. It is the granite formation, which lies deepest, and 
rises out even to the tops of the highest mountains. 

Miss Ophelia was the absolute bond slave of the " oughts 
Once make her certain that tlie " path of duty," as she com- 
monly phrased it, lay in any given direction, and fire and 
water could not keep her from it. She would walk straight 
down into a well, or up to a loaded cannon's mouth, if she 
were only quite sure that there the path lay. Her standard 
of right was so high, so all-embracing, so minute, and making 
so few concessions to human frailty, that, though she strove 
with heroic ardor to reach it, she never actually did so, and 
of course was burdened with a constant and often harassing 
sense of deficiency ; — this gave a severe and somewhat gloomy 
cast to her religious character. 

But how in the world can Miss Ophelia get along with 
Augustine St. Clare, — gay, easy, unpunctual, unpractical, 
sceptical, — in short, walking with impudent and nonchalant 
freedom over every one of her most cherished habits and 
opinions ? 

To tell the truth, then. Miss Ophelia loved him. When a 
boy, it^ had been hers to teach him his catechism, mend his 
clothes, comb his hair, and bring him up generally in the way 
he should go ; and her heart having a warm side to it, 
Augustine had, as he usually did with most people, monopo- 
lized a large share of it for himself, and therefore it was 
that he succeeded very easily in persuading her that the 
" path of duty " lay in the direction of New Orleans, and 
that she must go with him to take care of Eva, and keep 
every thing from going to wreck and ruin during the frequent 
illnesses of his wife. The idea of a house without any body 
to take care of it went to her heart ; then, she~ioved the 
lovely little girl, as few could help doing ; and though she 
regarded Augustine as very much of a heathen, yet she loved 
him, laughed at his jokes, and forbore with his failings, to an 
extent which those who knew him thought perfectly incredi- 
ble. But what more or other is to be known of Miss 



1-IFK .\MOXO THE LOWLY. 



207 




Ophelia our reader must discover by a j^ersonal acquaintance. 
There she is, sitting now in her state room, surrounded by a 
mixed multitude 
of little and big 
carpet bags, box- 
es, baskets, each 
containing some 
separate responsi- 
bility which she 
is tying, binding 
up, packing, or 
fastening, with a 
face of great ear- 
nestness. 

"Now, Eva, have 
you kept count of y)i,i ihing>? Of course you haven't, 
— children never do ; there's the spotted carpet bag, and 
the little blue band box with your best bonnet. — that's two ; 
then the India rubber satchel is three ; and my tape and 
needle box is four ; and my band box, five ; and my collar 
box, six ; and that little hair trunk, seven. What have you 
done with your sunshade ? Give it to me, and let me put a 
paper round it, and tie it to my umbrella with my shade ; — 
there, now." 

" Why, aunty, we are only going up home : — what is the 
use ? " 

"To keep it nice, child ; people must take care of their 
things, if they ever mean to have any thing ; and now, Eva, is 
your thimble put up ? " 

" Really, aunty, I don't know." 

" Well, never mind ; I'll look your box over, — thimble, wax, 
two spools, scissors, knife, tape needle ; all right, — put it in 
here. What did you ever do, child, when you were coming on 
with only your papa? I should have thought you'd a lost 
every thing you had." 

•' Well, aunty, I did lose a great many ; and then, when we 
stopped any where, papa would buy me some more of whatever 
it was." 

" Mercy on us, child, — what a way ! " 



\ 



208 UNCLE tom's cabin ; or, 

" It was a very easy way, aunty," said Eva. 

" It's a dreadful shiftless one," said aunty. 

" Why, aunty, what'll you do now ? " said Eva ; " that 
trunk is too full to be shut down." 

" It must shut down," said aunty, with the air of a general, 
as she squeezed the things in, and sprung upon the lid ; — still 
a little gap remained about the mouth of the trunk. 

" Get up here, Eva ! " said Miss Ophelia, courageously ; 
" what has Ijeen done can be done again. This trunk has got 
to be shut and locked — there are no two ways about it." 

And the trunk, intimidated, doubtless, by this resolute state- 
ment, gave in. The hasp snapped sharply in its hole, and Miss 
Ophelia turned the key, and pocketed it in triumph. 

" Now we're ready. Where's your papa ? I think it time 
this baggage was set out. Do look out, Eva, and see if you 
see your papa." 

" 0, yes, he's down the other end of the gentlemen's cabin, 
eating an orange." 

" He can't know how near we are coming," said aunty ; 
" hadn't you better run and speak to him ? " 

" Papa never is in a hurry about any thing," said Eva, " and 
we haven't come to the landing. Do step on the guards, aunty. 
Look ! there's our house, up that street ! " 

The boat now began, with heavy groans, like some vast, 
tired monster, to prepare to push up among the multiplied 
steamers at the levee. Eva joyously pointed out the various 
spires, domes, and waymarks, by which she recognized her 
native city. 

" Yes, yes, dear ; very line," said Miss Ophelia. " But 
mercy on us ! the boat has stopped ! where is your father ? " 

And now ensued the usual turmoil of landing — waiters 
running twenty ways at once — men tugging trunks, carpet 
bags, boxes — women anxiously calling to their children, and 
every body crowding in a dense mass to the plank towards 
the landing. 

Miss Ophelia seated herself resolutely on the lately van- 
quished trunk, and marshalling all her goods and cliattels in 
fine military order, seemed resolved to defend them to the last. 

"Shall I take vour trunk, ma'am?" " ShaJ] I take vour 



LIFE AMONG THE LOWLY. 209 

baggage?" " Let me 'tend to your baggage, missis." " Shan't 
I carry out these yer, missis ? " rained down upon her unheed- 
ed. She sat with grim determination, upright as a darning 
needle stuck in a board, holding on her bundle of umbrella 
and parasols, and replying with a determination that was 
enough to strike dismay even into a hackman, wondering to 
Eva, in each interval, " what upon earth her papa could Ijc 
thinking of ; he couldn't have fallen over, now, — but some- 
thing must have happened ; " — and just as she had begun to 
work herself into a real distress, he came up, with his usually 
careless motion, and giving Eva a quarter of the orange he 
was eating, said, — 

" Well, Cousin Vermont, I suppose you are all ready." 

" I've been ready, waiting, nearly an hour," said Miss Ophe- 
lia ; "I began to be really concerned about you." 

" That's a clever fellow, now," said he. " Well, the car- 
riage is waiting, and the crowd are now off, so that one can 
walk out in a decent and Christian manner, and not be pushed 
and shoved. Here," he added to a driver who stood behind 
him, " take these things." 

" I'll go and see to his putting them in," said Miss Ophelia. 

" 0, pshaw, cousin, what's the use? " said St. Clare. 

" Well, at any rate, I'll carry this, and this, and this," said 
Miss Ophelia, singling out three boxes and a small carpet bag. 

" My dear Miss Vermont, positively, you musn't come the 
Green Mountains over us that way. You must adopt at least 
a piece of a southern principle, and not walk out under all 
that load. They'll take you for a waiting maid ; give them 
to this fellow ; he'll put them down as if they were eggs, 
now." 

Miss Ophelia looked despairingly, as her cousin took all 
her treasures from her, and rejoiced to find herself once more 
in the carriage with them, in a state of preservation. 

"Where's Tom?" said Eva. 

" 0, he's on the outside, Pussy. I'm going to take Tom uj) 
to mother for a peace-offering, to make up for that drunken 
fellow that upset the carriage." 

" 0, Tom will make a splendid driver, I know," said Eva ; 
"he'll never get drunk." 
27 



210 UNCLE tom's cabin ; OE, 

The carriage stopped in front of an ancient mansion, built 
in that odd mixture of Spanish and French style, of which 
there are specimens in some parts of New Orleans. It was 
built in the Moorish fashion, — a square building enclosing a 
court yard, into which the carriage drove through an arched 
gateway. The court, in the inside, had evidently been ar- 
ranged to gratify a picturesque and voluptuous ideality. Wide 
galleries ran all around the four sides, whose Moorish arches, 
slender pillars, and arabesque ornaments carried the mind 
Imck, as in a dream, to the reign of Oriental romance in Spain. 
In the middle of the court, a fountain threw high its silvery 
water, falling in a never-ceasing spray into a marble basin, 
fringed with a deep border of fragrant violets. The water 
in the fountain, pellucid as crystal, was alive with myriads 
of gold and silver fishes, twinkling and darting through it 
like so many living jewels. Around the fountain ran a walk, 
paved with a mosaic of pebbles, laid in various fanciful pat- 
terns ; and this, again, was surrounded by turf, smooth as 
green velvet, while a carriage drive enclosed the whole. Two 
large orange trees, now fragrant with blossoms, threw a deli- 
cious shade ; and, ranged in a circle round upon the turf, were 
marble vases of arabesque sculpture, containing the choicest 
flowering plants of the tropics. Huge pomegranate trees, 
with their glossy leaves and flame-colored flowers, dark-leaved 
Arabian jessamines, with their silvery stars, geraniums, luxuri- 
ant roses bending beneath their heavy abundance of flowers, 
golden jessamines, lemon-scented verbenum, all united their 
bloom and fragrance, while here and there a mystic old aloe, 
with its strange, massive leaves, sat looking like some hoary 
old enchanter, sitting in weird grandeur among the more per- 
ishable bloom and fragrance around it. 

The galleries that surrounded the court were festooned with 
a curtain of some kind of Moorish stuff, and could be drawn 
down at pleasure, to exclude the beams of the sun. On the 
whole, the appearance of the place was luxurious and romantic. 

As the carriage drove in, Eva seemed like a bird ready' tcT 
burst from a cage, with the wild eagerness of her delight. 

" 0, isn't it beautiful, lovely ! my own dear, darling liomejj' 
she said to Miss Ophelia. " Isn't it beautiful ? " 



LIFE AMONG THE LOWLY. 211 

" 'Tis a pretty place," said Miss Ophelia, as she alighted ; 
" though it looks rather old and heathenish to me." 

Tom got down from the carriage, and looked about with an 
air of calm, still enjoyment. The negro, it must be remem- 
bered, is an exotic of the most gorgeous and superb countries 
of the world, and he has, deep in his heart, a passion for all 
that is splendid, rich, and fanciful ; a passion which, rudely 
indulged by an untrained taste, draws on them the ridicule of 
the colder and more correct white race. 

St. Clare, who was in his heart a poetical voluptuary, smiled 
as Miss Ophelia made her remark on his premises, and turning 
to Tom, who was standing looking round, his beaming black 
face perfectly radiant with admiration, he said, — 

" Tom, my boy, this seems to suit you." 

" Yes, mas'r, it looks about the right thing," said Tom. 

All this passed in a moment, while trunks were being 
hustled oif, hackman paid, and while a crowd, of all ages and 
sizes, — men, women, and children, — came running through 
the galleries, both above and below, to see mas'r come in. 
Foremost among them was a highly-dressed young mulatto 
man, evidently a very distingue personage, attired in the ultra 
extreme of the mode, and gracefully waving a scented cambric 
handkerchief in his hand. 

This personage had been exerting himself, with great alac- 
rity, in driving all the flock of domestics, to the other end of 
the veranda. 

" Back ! all of you. I am ashamed of you," he said, in a 
tone of authority. " "Would you intrude on master's domestic 
relations, in the first hour of his return ? " 

All looked abashed at this elegant speech, delivered with 
quite an air, and stood huddled together at a respectful dis- 
tance, except two stout porters, who came up and began 
conveying away the baggage. 

Owing to Mr. Adolph's systematic arrangements, when St., 
Clair turned round from paying the hackman, there was nobody 
in view but Mr. Adolph himself, conspicuous in satin vest, gold 
guard chain, and white pants, and bowing with inexpressible 
grace and suavity. 

" Ah, Adolph, is it you ? " said his master, oflering his hand 



212 UNCLE tom's cabin ; OR, 

to him ; " how are you, boy ? " while Adolph poured forth, 
with great fluency, an extemporary speech, which he had been 
preparing, with great care, for a fortnight before. 

" Well, well," said St. Clare, passing on, with his usual air 
of negligent drollery, " that's very well got up, Adolph. See 
that the baggage is well bestowed. I'll come to the people in 
a minute ; " and, so saying, he led Miss Ophelia to a large 
parlor that opened on to the veranda. 

While this had been passing, Eva had flown like a bird 
through the porcli and parlor, to a little boudoir opening 
likewise on the veranda. 

A tall, dark-eyed, sallow woman half rose from a couch on 
which she was reclining. 

" Mamma ! " said Eva, in a sort of a rapture, throwing herself 
on her neck, and embracing her over and over again. 

"That'll do, — take care, child, — don't; you make my head 
ache," said the mother, after she had languidly kissed her. 

St. Clare came in, embraced his wife in true, orthodox, hus- 
bandly fashion, and then presented to her his cousin. Marie 
lifted her large eyes on her cousin with an air of some 
curiosity, and received her with languid politeness. A crowd 
of servants now pressed to the entry door, and among them a 
middle-aged mulatto woman, of very respectable appearance, 
stood foremost, in a tremor of expectation and joy, at the 
door. 

" 0, there's Mammy ! " said Eva, as she flew across the room ; 
and throwing herself into her arms, she kissed her repeatedly. 

This woman did not tell her that she made her head ache, 
but, on the contrary, she hugged her, and laughed, and cried, 
till her sanity was a thing to be doubted of; and when released 
from her, Eva flew from one to another, shaking hands and 
kissing, in a way that Miss Ophelia afterwards declared fairly 
turned her stomach. 

" Well ! " said Miss Ophelia, " you southern children can 
do something that / couldn't." 

" What, now, pray ? " said St. Clare. 

" Well, I want to be kind to every body, and I wouldn't have 
any thing hurt ; but as to kissing " 

" Niggers," said St. Clare, " that you're not up to, — hey ? " 



LIFE AMONG THE LOWLY. 213 

" Yes, that's it. How can slio ? " 

St. Clare laughed, as he went into the passage. " Halloa, 
here, Avhat's to pay out here ? Here you all — Mammy, Jim- 
my, Polly, Sukey — glad to seemas'r?" he said, as he went 
shaking hands from one to another. " Look out for the 
l)abies!" he added, as he stumbled over a sooty little urchin, 
who Avas crawling upon all fours. " If I step upon any body, 
let 'em mention it." 

There was an abundance of laughing and blessing mas'r, as 
St. Clare distributed small pieces of change among them. 

" Come, now, take yourselves off, like good boys and girls," 
he said ; and the w^iole assemblage, dark and light, disap- 
peared through a door into a large veranda, followed by Eva, 
who carried a large satchel, which she had been filling with 
apples, nuts, candy, ribbons, laces, and toys of every descrip- 
tion, during her whole homeward journey. 

As St. Clare turned to go back, his eye fell upon Tom, who 
was standing uneasily, shifting from one foot to the other, 
while Adolph stood negligently leaning against the banisters, 
examining Tom through an opera glass, with an air that Avould 
have done credit to any dandy living. 

" Puh ! you puppy," said his master, striking down the 
opera glass ; "is that the way you treat your company ? 
Seems to me, Dolph," he added, laying his finger on the 
elegant figured satin vest that Adolph was sporting, " seems 
to me that's my vest." 

" master, this vest all stained with wine ; of course, a 
gentleman in master's standing never wears a vest like this. 
I understood I was to take it. It does for a poor nigger 
fellow, like me." 

And xidolph tossed his head, and passed his fingers through 
his scented hair, with a grace. 

" So, that's it, is it ? " said St. Clare, carelessly. " Well, 
here, I'm going to show this Tom to his mistress, and then 
you take him to the kitchen ; and mind you don't put on any 
of your airs to him. He's worth two such puppies as you." 

" Master always will have his joke," said Adolph, laughing. 
" I'm delighted to see master in such spirits." 

" Here. Tom," said St. Clare, beckoning. 



2U 



UNCLE TOM S CABIN ; OR, 



Tom entered the room. He looked wistfully on the velvet 
carpets, and the before unimagined splendors of mirrors, pic- 
tures, statues, and curtains, and, like the Queen of Sheba 
before Solomon, there was no more spirit in him. He looked 
afraid even to set his feet down. 

" See here, Marie," said St. Clare to his wife, " I've bought 
you a coachman, at last, to order. I tell you, he's a regular 
hearse for blackness and sobriety, and will drive you like a 
funeral, if you want. Open your eyes, now, and look at him. 
Now. don't say I never think about you when I'm gone." 

Marie opened her eyes, and fixed them on Tom without 



risino;. 




" I know he'll get drunk," she said. 

" No, he's warranted a pious and sober article." 

" Well, I hope he may turn out well," said the lady ; " it's 
more than I expect, though." 

" Dolph," said St. Clare, " show Tom down stairs ; and, 
mind yourself," he added ; " remember what I told you." 

Adolph tripped gracefully forward, and Tom, with lumber- 
iug tread, went after. 

" He's a perfect behemoth ! " said Marie. 

" Come, now, Marie," said St. Clare, seating himself on a 
stool beside her sofa, "be gracious, and say something pretty 
to a fellow." 

" You've been gone a fortnight beyond the time," said the 
lady, pouting. 



^: 



LIFE AMONG THE LOWLY. 215 

" Well, you know I wrote you the reason." 

" Such a short, cold letter ! " said the lady. 

" Dear me ! the mail was just going, and it had to be that 
or nothing." 

" That's just the way, always," said the lady ; " always some- 
thing to make your journeys long, and letters short." 

" See here, now," he added, drawing an elegant velvet case 
out of his pocket, and opening it ; " here's a present I got for 
you in New York." 

It was a daguerreotype, clear and soft as an engraving, 
representing Eva and her father sitting hand in hand. 

Marie looked at it with a dissatisfied air. 

" What made you sit in such an awkward position ? " she said. 

" Well, the position may be a matter of opinion ; but what 
do you think of the likeness ? " 

" If you don't think any thing of my opinion in one case, I 
suppose you wouldn't in another," said the lady, shutting the 
daguerreotype. 

•' Hang the woman ! " said St. Clare, mentally ; but aloud he 
added, " Come, now, Marie, what do you think of the likeness ? 
Don't be nonsensical, now." 

" It's very inconsiderate of you, St. Clare," said the lady, 
" to insist on my talking and looking at things. You know 
I've been lying all day with the sick headache ; and there's 
been such a tumult made ever since you came, I'm half 
dead." 

" You're subject to the sick headache, ma'am ? " said Miss 
Ophelia, suddenly rising from the depths of the large arm . 
cliair, where she had sat quietly, taking an inventory of the 
furniture, and calculating its expense. 

" Yes, I'm a perfect martyr to it," said the lady. 

" Juniper-berry tea is good for sick headache," said Miss 
Ophelia; " at least, Auguste, Deacon Abraham Perry's wife, 
used to say so ; .and she was a great nurse." 

" I'll have the first juniper-berries that get ripe in our gar-, 
den by the lake brought in for that especial purpose," said St, 
Clare, gravely pulling the bell as he did so ; " meanwhile, 
cousin, you must be wanting to retire to your apartment, and 
refresh yourself a little, after your journey. Dolph," he add- 
ed, " tell Mammy to come here." The decent mulatto woman 



216 



UNCLE TOM'S cabin ; OR. 



whom Eva had caressed so rapturously soon entered ; she was 
dressed neatly, with a high red and yellow turban on her head, 
the recent gift of Eva, and which the child had been arraii^ 
ging on her head. " Mammy," said St. Clare, " I put this lady 
under your care ; she ' is tired, and wants rest ; take her to her 
chamber, and be sure she is made comfortable ; " and Mi^^s 
Ophelia disappeared in the rear of Mammy. 





CHAPTER XVI, 



TOM S MISTRESS AND HER OPINIONS. 




ND now, Marie," sp-id St. Clare, " your golden 
days are dawning. Here is our practical^ 
business-like New England cousin, who will 
take the whole budget of cares off your 
shoulders, and give you time to refresh your- 
self, and grow young and handsome. The 
ceremony of delivering the keys had better come off forth- 
with." 

This remark was made at the breakfast table, a few morn- 
ings after Miss Ophelia had arrived. 

" I'm sure she's welcome," said Marie, leaning her head lan- 
guidly on her hand. "I think she'll find one thing, if she 
does, and that is, that it's we mistresses that arc the slaves, 
down here." 

28 



218 UNCLE tom's cabin ; OR, 

" 0, certainly, she will discover that, and a .world of whole- 
some truths besides, no doubt," said St. Clare. 

" Talk about our keeping slaves, as if we did it for our con: 
venience," said Marie. " I'm sure, if we consulted that, we might 
let them all go at once." 

Evangeline fixed her large, serious eyes on her mother's face^ 
with an earnest and perplexed expression, and said, simply, 
" What do you keep them for, mamma ? " 

" I don't know, I'm sure, except for a plague ; they are the 
plague of my life. I believe that more of my ill health is 
caused by them than by any one thing.; and ours, I know, are 
the very worst that ever any body was plagued with." 

" 0, come, Marie, you've got the blues, this morning," said 
St. Clare. " You know't 'tisn't so. There's Mammy, the best 
creature living, — what could you do without her ? " 

" Mammy is the best I ever knew," said Marie ; " and yet 
Mammy, now, is selfish — dreadfully selfish ; it's the fault of 
the whole race." 

" Selfishness is a dreadful fault," said St. Clare, gravely. 

" Well, now, there's Mammy," said Marie, " I think it's selfish 
of her to sleep so sound nights ; she knotvs I need little at- 
tentions almost every hour, when my worst turns are on, and 
yet she's so hard to wake. I absolutely am worse, this very 
morning, for the efforts I had to make to wake her last night." 

"Hasn't she sat up with you a good many nights, lately, 
mamma ? " said Eva. 

" How should you know that ? " said Marie, sharply ; " she's 
been complaining, I suppose." 

" She didn't complain ; she only told me what bad nights 
you'd had, — so many in succession." 

" Why don't you let Jane or Rosa take her place, a night or 
two," said St. Clare, "and let her rest?" 

" How can you propose it ? " said Marie. " St. Clare, you 
really are inconsiderate. So nervous as I am, the least breath 
disturbs me ; and a strange hand about me would drive me 
absolutely frantic. If Mammy felt the interest in me she 
ought to, she'd wake easier, — of course she would. I've 
heard of people who had such devoted servants, but it never 
was my luck ; " and Marie sighed. 



LIFE AMONG THE LOWLY. 219 

Miss Ophelia had listened to this conversation with an air 
of shrewd, observant gravity ; and she still kept her lips 
tightly compressed, as if determined fully to ascertain her 
longitude and position, before she committed herself. 

" Now, Mammy has a sort of goodness," said Marie ; " she's 
smooth and respectful, but she's selfish at heart. Now, she 
never will be done fidgeting and worrying about that husband 
of hers. You see, when I was married and came to live here, 
of course I had to bring her with me, and her husband my 
father couldn't spare. He was a blacksmith, and, of course, 
very necessary ; and I thought and said, at the time, that 
Mammy and he had better give each other up, as it wasn't 
likely to be convenient for them ever to live togetlier again. 
I wish, now, I'd insisted on it, and married Mammy to some- 
body else ; but I was foolish and indulgent, and didn't want 
to insist. I told Mammy, at the time, that she mustn't ever 
expect to see him more than once or twice in her life again, 
for the air of father's place doesn't agree with my health, and 
I can't go there ; and I advised her to take up with somebody 
else ; but no — she wouldn't. Mammy has a kind of obstinacy 
about her, in spots, that every body don't see as I do." 

" Has she children ? " said Miss Ophelia. 

" Yes ; she has two." 

" I suppose she feels the separation from them." 

"Well, of course I couldn't bring them. They were little 
dirty things — I couldn't have them about ; and, besides, they 
took up too much of her time ; but I believe that Mammy has 
always kept up a sort of sulkiness about this. She won't 
marry any body else ; and I do believe, now, though she 
knows how necessary she is to me, and how feeble my health 
is, she would go back to her husband to-morrow, if she only 
could. I do, indeed," said Marie ; " they are just so selfish, 
now, the best of them." 

"It's distressing to reflect upon," said l^t. Clare, dryly. 
Miss Ophelia looked keenly at him, and saw the flush of 
mortification and repressed vexation, and the sarcastic curl 
of the lip, as he spoke. 

" Now, Mammy has always been a pet with me," said Marie. 
" I wish some of your northern servants could look at her 



220 UNCLE tom's cabin ; OR, 

closets of dresses, — silks and muslins, and one real linen 
cambric, she has hanging there. I've worked sometimes whole 
afternoons, trimming her caps, and getting her ready to go to 
a party. As to abuse, she don't know what it is. She never 
was whipped more than once or twice in her whole life. She 
has her strong coffee or her tea every day, with white sugar 
in it. It's abominable, to be sure ; but St. Clare will have 
high life below stairs, and they every one of them live just as 
they please. The fact is, our servants are over-indulged. I sup- 
pose it is partly our fault that they are selfish, and act like 
spoiled children ; but I've talked to St. Clare till I am tired." 

" And I, too," said St. Clare, taking up the morning paper. 

Eva, the beautiful Eva, had stood listening to her mother, 
with that expression of deep and mystic earnestness which 
was peculiar to her. She walked softly round to her mother's 
chair, and put her arms round her neck. 

" Well, Eva, what now ? " said Marie. 

" Mamma, couldn't I take care of you one night — just one ? 
I know I shouldn't make you nervous, and I shouldn't sleep. 
I often lie awake nights, thinking " 

"0, nonsense, child — nonsense!" said Marie; "you are 
such a strange child ! " 

" But may I, mamma ? I think," she said, timidly, " that 
Mammy isn't welL She told me her head ached all the time, 
lately." 

" 0, that's just one of Mammy's fidgets ! Mammy is just like 
all the rest of them — makes such a fuss about every little 
headache or finger ache ; it'll never do to encourage it — 
never ! I'm principled about this matter," said she, turning to 
Miss Ophelia ; " you'll find the necessity of it. If you encour- 
age servants in giving way to every little disagreeable feeling, 
and complaining of every little ailment, you'll have your hands 
full. I never complain myself — nobody knows what I en- 
dure. I feel it a duty to bear it quietly, and I do." 

Miss Ophelia's round eyes expressed an undisguised amaze- 
ment at this peroration, which struck St. Clare as so supremely 
ludicrous, that he burst into a loud laugh. 

" St. Clare always laughs when I make the least allusion to 
my ill health," said Marie, with the Toice of a sujffering martyr. 



LIFE AMONG THE LOWLY. 221 

" I only hope the day won't come when he'll remember it ! " 
and Marie put her handkerchief to her eyes. 

Of course there was rather a foolish silence. Finally St. 
Clare got up, looked at his watch, and said he had an engage- 
ment down street. Eva tripped away after him, and Miss 
Ophelia and Marie remained at the table alone. 

'* Now, that's just like St. Clare ! " said the latter, with- 
drawing her handkerchief with somewhat of a spirited flourish 
when the criminal to be affected by it was no longer in sight. 
" He never realizes, never can, never will, what I suffer, and 
have, for years. If I was one of the complaining sort, or ever 
made any fuss about my ailments, there would be some reason 
for it. Men do get tired, naturally, of a complaining wife. 
But I've kept things to myself, and borne, and borne, till 
St. Clare has got in the way of thinking I can bear any 
thing." 

Miss Ophelia did not exactly know what she was expected 
to answer to this. 

While she was thinking what to say, Marie gradually wiped 
away her tears, and smoothed her plumage in a general sort 
of way, as a dove might be supposed to make toilet after a 
shower, and began a housewifely chat with Miss Ophelia, con- 
cerning cupboards, closets, linen presses, store rooms, and other 
matters, of which the latter was, by common understanding, to 
assume the direction, — giving her so many cautious directions 
and charges, that a head less systematic and business-like 
than Miss Ophelia's would have been utterly dizzied and 
confounded. 

"And now," said Marie, "I believe I've told you every 
thing ; so that, when my next sick turn comes on, you'll be 
able to go forward entirely, without consulting me ; — only 
about Eva, — she requires watching." 

" She seems to be a good child, very," said Miss Ophelia ; 
" I never saw a better child." 

" Eva's peculiar," said her mother, " very. There are things 
about her so singular ; she isn't like me, now, a particle ; " and 
Marie sighed, as if this was a truly melancholy consideration. 

Miss Ophelia in her own heart said, " I hope she isn't," 
but had prudence enough to keep it down. 



222 UNCLE tom's cabin ; OE, 

" Eva always was disposed to be with servants ; and I think 
that well enough with some children. Now, I always played 
with father's little negroes — it never did me any harm. But 
Eva somehow always seems to put herself on an equality with 
every creature that comes near her. It's a strange thing 
about the child. I never have been able to break her of 
it. St. Clare, I believe, encourages her in it. The fact is, 
St. Clare indulges every creature under this roof but his 
own wife." 

Again Miss Ophelia sat in blank silence. 

"Now, there's no way with servants," said Marie, "but to 
put them down, and keep them down. It was always natural 
to me, from a child. Eva is enough to spoil a whole house 
full. "What she will do when she comes to keep house herself, 
I'm sure I don't know. I hold to being kind to servants — I 
always am ; but you must make 'em know their place. Eva 
never does ; there's no getting into the child's head the first 
beginning of an idea what a servant's place is! You heard 
her offering to take care of me nights, to let Mammy sleep! 
That's just a specimen of the way the child would be doing all 
the time, if she was left to herself." 

" Why," said Miss Ophelia, bluntly, " I suppose you think 
your servants are human creatures, and ought to have some 
rest when they are tired." 

" Certainly, of course. I'm very particular in letting them 
have every thing that comes convenient, — any thing that 
doesn't put one at all out of the way, you know. Mammy can 
make up her sleep some time or other ; there's no difficulty 
about that. She's the sleepiest concern that ever I saw ; sew- 
ing, standing, or sitting, that creature will go to sleep, and 
sleep any where and every where. No danger but Mammy 
gets sleep enough. But this treating servants as if they were 
exotic flowers, or china vases, is really ridiculous," said Marie, 
as she plunged languidly into the depths of a voluminous and 
pillowy lounge, and drew towards her an elegant cut glass 
vinaigrette. 

" You see," she continued, in a faint and ladylike voice, like 
the last dying breath of an Arabian jessamine, or something 
equally ethereal, "you see, Cousin Ophelia, I don't often speak 



LIFE AMONG THE LOWLY. 223 

of myself. It isu't my habit ; 'tisn't agreeable to me. In fact, 
I haven't strength to do it. But there are points where St. 
Clare and I differ. St. Clare never understood me, never 
appreciated me. I think it lies at the root of all my ill 
health. St. Clare means well, I am bound to believe ; but 
men are constitutionally selfish and inconsiderate to women. 
That, at least, is my impression." 

Miss Ophelia, who had not a small share of the genuine 
New England caution, and a very particular horror of being 
drawn into family difficulties, now began to foresee something 
of this kind impending ; so, composing her face into a grim 
neutrality, and drawing out of her pocket about a yard and a 
quarter of stocking, which she kept as a specific against what 
Dr. Watts asserts to be a personal habit of Satan when peo- 
ple have idle hands, she proceeded to knit most energetically, 
shutting her lips together in a way that said, as plain as words 
could, "You needn't try to make me speak. I don't want 
any thing to do with your affairs," — in fact, she looked about 
as sympathizing as a stone lion. But Marie didn't care for 
that. She had got somebody to talk to, and she felt it her 
duty to talk, and that was enough ; and reenforcing herself by 
smelling again at her vinaigrette, she went on. 

"You see, I brought my own property and servants into 
the connection, when I married St. Clare, and I am legally 
entitled to manage them my own way. St. Clare had his 
fortune and his servants, and I'm well enough content he 
should manage them his way ; but St. Clare will be interfering. 
He has wild, extravagant notions about things, particularly 
about the treatment of servants. He really does act as if he 
set his servants before me, and before himself, too ; for he lets 
them make him all sorts of trouble, and never lifts a finger. 
Now, about some things, St. Clare is really frightful — he 
frightens me — goodnatured as he looks in general. Now, he 
has set down his foot that, come what will, there shall not be 
a blow struck in this house, except what he or I strike ; and 
he does it in a way that I really dare not cross him. 
Well, you may see what that leads to ; for St. Clare wouldn't 
raise his hand, if every one of them walked over him, and 
I — you see how cruel it would be to require me to make 



224 UNCLE tom's cabin ; oe, 

the exertion. Now, you know these servants are nothing but 
grown-up children." 

" I don't know any thing about it, and I thank the Lord that 
I don't ! " said Miss Ophelia, shortly. 

" Well, but you will have to know something, and know it 
to your cost, if you stay here. You don't know what a pro- 
voking, stupid, careless, unreasonable, childish, ungrateful set 
of wretches they are." 

Marie seemed wonderfully supported, always, when she got 
upon this topic ; and she now opened her eyes, and seemed 
quite to forget her languor. 

"You don't know, and you can't, the daily, hourly trials 
that beset a housekeeper from them, every where and every 
way. But it's no use to complain to St. Clare. He talks the 
strangest stuff. He says we have made them what they are, 
and ought to bear with them. He says their faults are all 
owing to us, and that it would be cruel to make the fault 
and punish it too. He says we shouldn't do any better in 
their place ; just as if one could reason from them to us, you 
know." 

" Don't you believe that the Lord made them of one blood 
with us ? " said Miss Ophelia, shortly. 

" No, indeed, not I ! A pretty story, truly ! They are a 
degraded race." 

" Don't you think they've got immortal souls ? " said Miss 
Ophelia, with increasing indignation. 

" 0, well," said Marie, yawning, "that, of course — nobody 
doubts that. But as to putting them on any sort of equality 
with us, you know, as if we could be compared, why, it's 
impossible 1 Now, St. Clare really has talked to me as if 
keeping Mammy from her husband was like keeping me from 
mine. There's no comparing in this way. Mammy couldn't 
have the feelings that I should. It's a different thing alto- 
gether, — of course it is — and yet St. Clare pretends not to 
see it. And just as if Mammy could love her little dirty babies 
as I love Eva ! Yet St. Clare once really and soberly tried 
to persuade me that it was my duty, with my weak health, 
and all I suffer, to let Mammy go back, and take- somebody 
else in her place. That was a little too much even for me to 



LIFE AMONG THE LOWLY. 225 

bear. I don't often show my feelings. I make it a principle 
to endure every thing in silence ; it's a wife's hard lot, and I 
bear it. But I did break out, that time ; so that he has never 
alluded to the subject since. But I know by his looks, and 
little things that he says, that he thinks so as much as ever; 
and it's so trying, so provoking ! " 

Miss 0[)helia looked very much as if she was afraid she 
should say something ; but she rattled away with her needles 
in a way that had volumes of meaning in it, if Marie could 
only have understood it. 

" So, you just see,'"' she continued, " what you've got to 
manage — a household without any rule ; where servants 
have it all their own way, do what they please, and have 
what they please, except as far as I, with my feeble health, 
have kept up government. I keep my cowhide about, and 
sometimes I do lay it on ; but the exertion is always too much 
for me. If St. Clare would only have this thing done as 
others do " 

"And how's that?" 

" Why, send them to the calaboose, or some of the other 
places to be flogged. That's the only way. If I wasn't such 
a poor, feeble piece, I believe I should manage with twice the 
energy that St. Clare does." 

" And how does St. Clare contrive to manage ? " said Miss 
Ophelia. " You say he never strikes a blow." 

" Well, men have a more commanding way, you know ; it 
is easier for them ; besides, if you ever looked full in his eye, 
it's peculiar, — that eye, — and if he speaks decidedly, there's 
a kind of flash. I'm afraid of it myself ; and the servants 
know they must mind. I couldn't do as much by a regular 
storm and scolding, as St. Clare can by one turn of his eye, 
if once he is in earnest. 0, there's no trouble about St. 
Clare ; that's the reason he's no more feeling for me. But 
you'll find, when you come to manage, that there's no getting 
along without severity, — they are so bad, so deceitful, so 
lazy." 

" The old tune," said St. Clare, sauntering in. " What an 
awful account these wicked creatures will have to settle, at 
last, especially for being lazy ! You see, cousin," said he, as 
29 



226 UNCLE tom's cabin ; or, 

he stretched himself at full length on a lounge opposite to 
Marie, " it's wholly inexcusable in them, in the light of the 
example that Marie and I set them, — this laziness." 

" Come, now, St. Clare, you are too bad ! " said Marie. 

" Am I, now ? Why I thought I was talking good, quite 
remarkably for me. I try to enforce your remarks, Marie, 
always." 

" You know you meant no such thing, St. Clare," said Marie. 

" 0, I must have been mistaken, then. Thank you, my dear, 
for setting me right." 

"You do really try to be provoking," said Marie. 

" 0, come, Marie, the day is growing warm, and I have just 
had a long quarrel with Dolph, which has fatigued me exces- 
sively ; so, pray be agreeable, now, and let a fellow repose in 
the light of your smile." 

"What's the matter about Dolph?" said Marie. "That 
fellow's impudence has been growing to a point that is per- 
fectly intolerable to me, I only wish I had the undisputed 
management of him a while. I'd bring him down I " 

" What you say, my dear, is marked with your usual acute- 
ness and good sense," said St, Clare. "As to Dolph, the case is 
this : that he has so long been engaged in imitating my graces 
and perfections, that he has, at last, really mistaken himself for 
his master ; and I have been obliged to give him a little in- 
sight into his mistake." 

"How?" said Marie. 

" Why, I was obliged to let him understand explicitly that 
I prefer to keep soj7ie of my clothes for my own personal 
wearing ; also, I put his magnificence upon an allowance of 
cologne water, and actually was so cruel as to restrict him to 
one dozen of my cambric handkerchiefs. Dolph was particu- 
hirly huffy about it, and I had to talk to him like a father, to 
bring him round." 

" St. Clare, when will you learn how to treat your ser- 
vants ? It's abominable, the way you indulge them ! " said Marie. 

" Why, after all, what's the harm of the poor dog's wanting 
to be like his master ; and if I haven't brought him up any 
better than to find his chief good in cologne and cambric hand- 
kerchiefs, why shouldn't I give them to him ? " 



LIFE AMONG THE LOWLY. 227 

" And why haA'cn't you brouglit him up better ? " said Miss 
Ophelia, with blunt determination. 

"Too much trouble, — laziness, cousin, laziness, — which ruins 
more souls than you can shake a stick at. If it weren't for 
laziness, I should have been a perfect angel myself. I'm in- 
clined to think that laziness is what your old Dr. Botherem, 
up in Vermont, used to call the ' essence of moral evil.' It's 
an awful consideration, certainly." 

" I think you slaveholders have an awful responsibility upon 
you," said Miss Ophelia. " I wouldn't have it for a thousand 
worlds. You ought to educate your slaves, and treat them like 
reasonable creatures, — like immortal creatures, that you've 
got to stand before the bar of God with. That's my mind," 
said the good lady, breaking suddenly out with a tide of zeal 
that had been gaining strength in her mind all the morning. 

" 0, come, come," said St. Clare, getting up quickly ; " what 
do you know about us ? " And he sat down to the piano, and 
rattled a lively piece of music. St. Clare had a decided genius 
for music. His touch was brilliant and firm, and his fingers flew 
over the keys with a rapid and birdlike motion, airy, and yet 
decided. He played piece after piece like a man who is trying 
to play himself into a good humor. After pushing the music 
aside, he rose up, and said, gayly, — " Well, now, cousin, you've 
given us a good talk, and done your duty ; on the whole, I 
think the better of you for it. I make no manner of doubt 
that you threw a very diamond of truth at me, though you see 
it hit me so directly in the face that it wasn't exactly appre- 
ciated, at first." 

" For my part I don't see any use in such sort of talk," said 
Marie. "I'm sure, if any body does more for servants than we 
do, I'd like to know who ; and it don't do 'em a bit good, — 
not a particle, — they get worse and worse. As to talking to 
them, or any thing like that, I'm sure I have talked till I was 
tired and hoarse, telling them their duty, and all that ; and 
I'm sure they can go to church when they like, though they 
don't understand a word of the sermon, more than so many 
pigs, — so it isn't of any great use for them to go, as I see ; 
but they do go, and so they have every chance ; but, as I said 
before, they are a degraded race, and always will be, and 



228 UNCLE tom's cabin ; OR, 

there isn't any help for them ; you can't make any thing of 
them, if you try. You see, Cousin Ophelia, I've tried, and you 
haven't ; I was born and bred among them, and I know." 

Miss Ophelia thought she had said enough, and therefore 
sat silent. St. Clate whistled a tune. 

"St. Clare, I wish you wouldn't whistle," said Marie; "it 
makes my head worse." 

" I won't," said St. Clare. " Is there any thing else you 
wouldn't wish me to do ? " 

" I wish you loould have some kind of sympathy for my 
trials ; you never have any feeling for me." 

" My dear accusing angel ! " said St. Clare. 

"It's provoking to be talked to in that way." 

" Then, how will you be talked to ? I'll talk to order, — 
any way you'll mention, — only to give satisfaction." 

A gay laugh from the court rang through the silken curtains 
of the veranda. St. Clare stepped out, and lifting up the cur- 
tain, laughed too. 

" What is it ? " said Miss Ophelia, coming to the railing. 

There sat Tom, on a little mossy seat in the court, every 
one of his button holes stuck full of cape jessamines, and Eva, 
gayly laughing, was hanging a wreath of roses round his 
neck ; and then she sat down on his knee, like a chip-sparrow, 
still laughing. 

" Tom, you look so funny ! " 

Tom had a sober, benevolent smile, and seemed, in his quiet 
way, to be enjoying the fun quite as much as his little mistress. 
He lifted his eyes, when he saw his master, with a half-depre- 
cating, apologetic air. 

" How can you let her ? " said Miss Ophelia. 

"Why not?" said St. Clare. 

" Why, I don't know, it seems so dreadfid ! " 

" You would think no harm in a child's caressing a large 
dog, even if he Avas black ; but a creature that can think, and 
reason, and feel, and is immortal, you shudder at ; confess it, 
cousin. I know the feeing among some of you northerners 
well enough. Not that there is a particle of virtue in our not 
having it ; but custom with us does what Christianity ought to 
do, — obliterates the feeling of personal prejudice. I have 



LIFE AMONG THE LOWLY. 229 

often noticed, in my travels north, how mucli stronger this was 
with you than Avith us. You loathe them as you would a snake 
or a toad, yet you are indignant at their wrongs. You would 
not have them abused ; but you don't want to have any 
thing to do with thcni yourselves. You would send them 
to Africa, out of your sight and smell, and then send a 
missionary or two to do u]) all the self-denial of elevating them 
compendiously. Isn't that it?" 

"Well, cousin," said Miss Ophelia, thoughtfully, "there may 
be some truth in this." 

" AVhat would the poor and lowly do Avithout children ? " 
said St. Clare, leaning on the railing, and watching Eva, as 
she tripped off, leading Tom Avith her. " Your little child is 
your only true democrat. Tom, now, is a hero to Eva ; his 
stories are Avonders in her eyes, his songs and Methodist 
hymns are better than an opera, and the traps and little 
bits of trash in his pocket a mine of jewels, and he the 
most Avonderful Tom that ever Avorc a black skin. This is 
one of the roses of Eden that the Lord has dropped down 
expressly for the poor and lowly, Avho get few enough of 
any other kind." 

" It's strange, cousin," said Miss Ophelia ; " one might almost 
think you Avere a professor to hear you talk." 

" A professor ? " said St. Clare. 

" Yes ; a professor of religion." 

"Not at all; not a professor, as your toAvnfolks have it; 
and, what is Avorse, I'm afraid, not a jnadiser either." 

" What makes you talk so, then ? " 

" Nothing is easier than talking," said St. Clare. " I believe 
Shakspeare makes somebody say, * I could sooner shoAV twenty 
Avhat Avere good to be done, than bo one of the twenty to 
follow my own shoAving.' Nothing like division of labor. 
My forte lies in talking, and yours, cousin, lies in doing." 



In Tom's external situation, at this' time, there was, as the 
world says, nothing to complain of. Little Eva's fancy for 
him — the instinctive gratitude and loveliness of a noble 



230 UNCLE tom's cabin ; or, 

nature — had led her to petition her father that he might 
be her especial attendant, whenever she needed the escort 
of a servant, in her walks or rides ; and Tom had general 
orders to let every thing else go, and attend to Miss Eva 
whenever she wanted him, — orders which our readers may 
fancy were far from disagreeable to him. He was kept well 
dressed, for St. Clare was fastidiously particular on this point. 
His stable services were merely a sinecure, and consisted 
simply in a daily care and inspection, and directing an under 
servant in his duties ; for Marie St. Clare declared that she 
could not have any smell of the horses about him when he 
came near her, and that he must positively not be put to any 
service that would make him unpleasant to her, as her nervous 
system was entirely inadequate to any trial of that nature ; 
one snuff of any thing disagreeable being, according to her 
account, quite sufficient to close the scene, and put an end to 
all her earthly trials at once. Tom, therefore, in his well- 
brushed broadcloth suit, smooth beaver, glossy boots, faultless 
wristbands and collar, with his grave, good-natured black face, 
looked respectable enough to l)e a Bishop of Carthage, as men 
of his color were in other ages. 

Then, too, he was in a beautiful place — a consideration to 
which his sensitive race are never indifferent ; and he did 
enjoy with a quiet joy the birds, the flowers, the fountains, 
the perfume, and light and beauty of the court, the silken 
hangings, and pictures, and lustres, and statuettes, and gild- 
ing, that made the parlors within a kind of Aladdin's palace 
to him. 

If ever Africa shall show an elevated and cultivated race, — 
and come it must, some time, her turn to figure in the great 
drama of human improvement, — life will awake there with 
a gorgeousness and splendor of which our cold western tribes 
faintly have conceived. In that far-off mystic land of gold, 
and gems, and spices, and waving palms, and wondrous flowers, 
and miraculous fertility, will awake new forms of art, new 
styles of splendor ; and the negro race, no longer despised 
and trodden down, will, perhaps, show forth some of the latest 
and most magnificent revelations of human life. Certainly 
they will, in their gontlcncss, their lowly docility of heart. 



LTFE AMONG THE LOWLY. 231 

their aptitude to repose on a superior mind and rest on a 
higher power, their childlike simplicity of affection, and 
facility of forgiveness. In all these they will exhibit the 
highest form of the peculiarly Christian life, and, perhaps, 
as God chasteneth whom he loveth, he hath chosen poor Africa 
in the furnace of affliction, to make her the highest and noblest 
in that kingdom which he will set up, when every other king- 
dom has been tried, and failed ; for the first shall be last, and 
the last first. 

Was this what Marie St. Clare was thinking of, as she stood, 
gorgeously dressed, on the veranda, on Sunday morning, clasp- 
ing a diamond bracelet on her slender wrist ? Most likely it 
was. Or, if it wasn't that, it was something else ; for Marie 
patronized good things, and she was going now, in full force, 
— diamonds, silk, and lace, and jewels, and all, — to a fash- 
ionable church, to be very religious. Marie always made a 
point to be very pious on Sundays. There she stood, so slen- 
der, so elegant, so airy and undulating in all her motions, her 
lace scarf enveloping her like a mist. She looked a graceful 
creature, and she felt very good and very elegant indeed. 
Miss Ophelia stood at her side, a perfect contrast. It was not 
that she had not as handsome a silk dress and shawl, and as 
fine a pocket handkerchief ; but stiffness and squareness, and 
bolt-uprightness, enveloped her with as indefinite yet appre- 
ciable a presence as did grace her elegant neighbor ; not the 
grace of God, however, — that is quite another thing ! 

"Where's Eva?" said Marie. 

" The child stopped on the stairs, to say something to 
Mammy." 

And what was Eva saying to Mammy on the stairs. Listen, 
reader, and you will hear, though Marie does not. 

" Dear Mammy, I know your head is aching dreadfully." 

" Lord bless you. Miss Eva ! my head allers aches lately. 
You don't need to worry." 

"Well, I'm glad you're going out; and here," — and the 
little girl threw her arms around her, — "Mammy, you shall 
take my vinaigrette." 

"What! your beautiful gold thing, thar, with them dia- 
monds ! Lor, miss, 'twouldn't be proper, no ways." 



232 UNCLE tom's cabin ; OK, 

"Why not? You need it, and I don't. Mammy always 
uses it for headache, and it'll make you feel better. No, you 
shall take it, to please me, now." 

" Do hear the darlin' talk ! " said Mamma, as Eva thrust it 
into her bosom, and, kissing her, ran down stairs to her 
mother. 

" What were you stopping for ? " 

" I was just stopping to give Mammy my vinaigrette, to take 
to church with her." 

" Eva ! " said Marie, stamping impatiently, — " your gold 
vinaigrette to Mammy ! AVhen will you learn what's proper? 
Go right and take it back, this moment ! " 

Eva looked downcast and aggrieved, and turned slowly. 

" I say, Marie, let the child alone ; she shall do as she 
pleases," said St. Clare. 

" St. Clare, how will she ever get along in the world ? " 
said Marie. 

" The Lord knows," said St. Clare ; " but she'll get along 
in heaven better than you or I." 

"0 papa, don't," said Eva, softly touching his elbow; "it 
troubles mother." 

" Well, cousin, are you ready to go to meeting ? " said Miss 
Ophelia, turning square about on St. Clare. 

"I'm not going, thank you." 

" I do wish St. Clare ever would go to church," said Marie ; 
" but he hasn't a particle of religion about him. It really isn't 
respectable." 

" I know it," said St. Clare. " You ladies go to church to 
learn how to get along in the world, I suppose, and your piety 
sheds respectability on us. If I did go at all, I would go 
where Mammy goes ; there's something to keep a fellow 
awake there, at least." 

" What ! those shouting Methodists ? Horrible ! " said 
Marie. 

" Any thing but the dead sea of your respectable churches, 
Marie. Positively, it's too much to ask of a man. Eva, do 
you like to go? Come, stay at home and play with me." 

" Thank you, papa ; but I'd rather go to church." 

"Isn't it dreadful tiresome?" said St. Clare. 



LIFE AMONG THE LOWLY. 233 

" I think it is tiresome, some," said Eva ; " and I am sleepy, 
too, but I try to keep awake." 

"What do you go for, then?" 

" Why, you know, papa," she said, in a whisper, " cousin told 
me that God wants to have us ; and he gives us every thing, 
you know ; and it isn't much to do it, if he wants us to. It 
isn't so very tiresome, after all." 

" You sweet, little obliging soul ! " said St. Clare, kissing 
her; "go along, that's a good girl, and pray for me." 

" Certainly, I always do," said the child, as she sprang 
after her mother into the carriage. 

St. Clare stood on the steps and kissed his hand to her, as 
the carriage drove away ; large tears were in his eyes. 

" Evangeline ! rightly named," he said ; " hath not God 
made thee an evangel to me ? " 

So he felt a moment ; and then he smoked a cigar, and read 
the Picayune, and forgot his little gospel. Was he much 
unlike other folks? 

"You see, Evangeline," said her mother, "it's always right 
and proper to be kind to servants, but it isn't proper to treat 
them just as we would our relations, or people in our own class 
of life. Now, if Mammy was sick, you wouldn't want to put 
her in your own bed." 

" I should feel just like it, mamma," said Eva, " because then 
it would be handier to take care of her, and because, you know, 
my bed is better than hers." 

Marie was in utter despair at the entire want of moral per- 
ception evinced in this reply. 

" What can I do to make this child understand me ? " she 
said. 

" Nothing," said Miss Ophelia, significantly. 

Eva looked sorry and disconcerted for a moment ; but chil- 
dren, luckily, do not keep to one impression long, and in a few 
moments she was merrily laughing at various things which she 
saw from the coach windows, as it rattled along. 

"Well, ladies," said St. Clare, as they were comfortably 
seated at the dinner table, " and what was the bill of fare at 
church to-day?" 

30 



234 UNCLE tom's cabin ; OR, 

" 0, Dr. G preached a splendid sermon," said Marie. 

" It was just such a sermon as you ought to hear ; it expressed 
all my views exactly." 

" It must have been very improving," said St. Clare. " The 
subject must have been an extensive one." 

" Well, I mean all my views about society, and such things," 
said Marie. " The text was, ' He hath made every thing beau- 
tiful in its season ; ' and he showed how all the orders and 
distinctions in society came from God ; and that it was so 
appropriate, you know, and beautiful, that some should be high 
and some low, and that some were born to rule and some to 
serve, and all that, you know ; and he applied it so well to all 
this ridiculous fuss that is made about slavery, and he proved 
distinctly that the Bible was on our side, and supported all our 
institutions so convincingly. I only wish you'd heard him." 

"0, I didn't need it," said St. Clare. "I can learn what 
does me as much good as that from the Picayune, any time, 
and smoke a cigar besides ; which I can't do, you know, in a 
church," 

" Why," said Miss Ophelia, " don't you believe in these 
views?" 

"Who, — I? You know I'm such a graceless dog that these 
religious aspects of such subjects don't edify me much. If I 
was to say any thing on this slavery matter, I would say out, 
fair and square, ' We're in for it ; we've got 'em, and mean to 
keep 'em, — it's for our convenience and our interest;' for 
that's the long and short of it, — that's just the whole of 
what all this sanctiiied stuff amounts to, after all ; and I think 
that will be intelligible to every body, every where." 

"I do think, Augustine, you are so irreverent!" said Marie. 
" I think it's shocking to hear you talk." 

" Shocking ! it's the truth. This religious talk on such mat- 
ters, — why don't they carry it a little farther, and show the 
beauty, in its season, of a fellow's taking a glass too much, and 
sitting a little too late over his cards, and various providen- 
tial arrangements of that sort, which are pretty frequent 
among us young men ; — we'd like to hear that those are 
right and godly, too." 

" Well," said Miss Ophelia, " do you think slavery right or 
wrong ? " 



LIFE AMONG THE LOWLY. 235 

" I'm not going to have any of your horrid New England 
directness, cousin," said St. Clare, gayly. " If I answer that 
question, I know you'll be at me with half a dozen others, each 
one harder than the last ; and I'm not a going to define my 
position. I am one of the sort that lives by throwing stones 
at other people's glass houses, but I never mean to put up one 
for them to stone." 

" That's just the way he's always talking," said Marie ; " you 
can't get any satisfaction out of him. I believe it's just 
because he don't like religion, that he's always running out in 
this way he's been doing." 

" Religion ! " said St. Clare, in a tone that made both ladies 
look at him. "Eeligion! Is what you hear at church reli- 
gion ? Is that which can bend and turn, and descend and 
ascend, to fit every crooked phase of selfish, worldly society, re- 
ligion ? Is that religion which is less scrupulous, less generous, 
less just, less considerate for man, than even my own ungodly, 
worldly, blinded nature ? No ! When I look for a religion, I 
must look for something above me, and not something beneath." 

" Then you don't believe that the Bible justifies slavery," 
said Miss Ophelia. 

" The Bible was my mother^s book," said St, Clare. " By it 
she lived and died, and I would be very sorry to think it did. 
I'd as soon desire to have it proved that my mother could 
drink brandy, chew tobacco, and swear, by way of satisfying 
me that I did right in doing the same. It wouldn't make me 
at all more satisfied with these things in myself, and it would 
take from me the comfort of respecting her ; and it really is 
a comfort, in this world, to have any thing one can respect. 
In short, you see," said he, suddenly resuming his gay tone, 
" all I want is that diiferent things be kept in different boxes. 
The whole framework of society, both in Europe and America, 
is made up of various things which will not stand the scrutiny 
of any very ideal standard of morality. It's pretty generally 
understood that men don't aspire after the absolute right, but 
only to do about as well as the rest of the world. Now, when 
any one speaks up, like a man, and says slavery is necessary to 
us, we can't get along without it, we should be beggared if we 
give it up, and, of course, we mean to hold on to it, — this is 



236 UNCLE TOM's CABIN; OE, 

strong, clear, well-defined language ; it has the respectability 
of truth to it ; and if we may judge by their practice, the ma- 
jority of the world will bear us out in it. But when he begins 
to put on a long face, and snuffle, and quote Scripture, I incline 
to think he isn't much better than he should be." 

" You are very uncharitable," said Marie, 

"Well," said St. Clare, "suppose that something should 
bring down the price of cotton once and forever, and make 
the whole slave property a drug in the market, don't you think 
we should soon have another version of the Scripture doctrine ? 
What a flood of light would pour into the church, all at once, 
and how immediately it would be discovered that every thing 
in the Bible and reason, went the other way ! " 

" Well, at any rate," said Marie, as she reclined herself on 
a lounge, " I'm thankful I'm born where slavery exists ; and I 
believe it's right, — indeed, I feel it must be ; and, at any rate, 
I'm sure I couldn't get along without it." 

" I say, what do you think. Pussy ? " said her father to Eva, 
who came in at this moment, with a flower in her hand. 

"What about, papa?" 

"Why, which do you like the best, — to live as they do at 
your uncle's, up in Vermont, or to have a house full of ser- 
vants, as we do ? " 

" 0, of course our way is the pleasantest," said Eva. 

" Why so ? " said St. Clare, stroking her head. 

" Why, it makes so many more round you to love, you know," 
said Eva, looking up earnestly. 

" Now, that's just like Eva," said Marie ; "just one of her 
odd speeches." 

"Is it an odd speech, papa?" said Eva, whisperingly, as 
she got upon his knee. 

" Rather, as this world goes. Pussy," said St. Clare. " But 
where has my little Eva been all dinner time ? " 

" 0, I've been up in Tom's room, hearing him sing, and Aunt 
Dinah gave me my dinner." 

" Hearing Tom sing, hey ? " 

" 0, yes ! he sings such beautiful things about the New 
Jerusalem, and bright angels, and the land of Canaan," 

" I dare say ; it's better than the opera, isn't it ? " 



LIFE AMONG THE LOWLY. 237 

" Yes, and he's going to teach them to me." 

"Singing lessons, hey ? — you are coming on." 

" Yes, he sings for me, and I read to him in my Bible ; and 
he explains what it means, you know." 

" On my word," said Marie, laughing, " that is the latest 
joke of the season." 

" Tom isn't a bad hand, now, at explaining Scripture, I'll 
dare swear," said St. Clare. " Tom has a natural genius for 
religion. I wanted the horses out early, this morning, and I 
stole up to Tom's cubiculum there, over the stables, and there I 
heard him holding a meeting by himself ; and, in fact, I haven't 
heard any thing quite so savory as Tom's prayer this some 
time. He put in for me with a zeal that was quite apostolic." 

"Perhaps he guessed you were listening. I've heard of 
that trick before." 

" If he did, he wasn't very politic ; for he gave the Lord 
his opinion of me pretty freely. Tom seemed to think there 
was decidedly room for improvement in me, and seemed very 
earnest that I should be converted." 

"I hope you'll lay it to heart," said Miss Ophelia. 

"I suppose you are much of the same opinion," said St. 
Clare. "Well, we shall see, -L shan't we, Eva?" 





CHAPTER XYII 



THE FREEMAN S DEFENCE. 




HERE was a gentle bustle at the Quaker house, 
as the afternoon drew to a close. Rachel 
Halliday moved quietly to and fro, collecting 
from her household stores such needments as 
could be arranged in the smallest compass, 
for the wanderers who were to go forth that 
night. The afternoon shadows stretched eastward, and the 
round, red sun stood thoughtfully on the horizon, and his 
beams shone yellow and calm into the little bed room where 
George and his wife were sitting. He was sitting with his 
child on his knee, and his wife's hand in his. Both looked 
thoughtful and serious, and traces of tears were on their 
cheeks. 

" Yes, Eliza," said George, " I know all you say is true. 



LIFE AMONG THE LOWLY. 239 

You are a good child, — a great deal better than I am ; and 
I will try to do as you say. I'll try to act worthy of a free 
man. I'll try to feel like a Christian. God Almighty knows 
that I've meant to do well, — tried hard to do well, — when 
every thing has been against me ; and now I'll forget all the 
past, and put away every hard and bitter feeling, and read 
my Bible, and learn to be a good man." 

"And when we get to Canada," said Eliza, "I can help 
you. I can do dress-making very well ; and I understand fine 
washing and ironing ; and between us we can find something 
to live on." 

" Yes, Eliza, so long as we have each other and our boy. 
0, Eliza, if these people only knew what a blessing it is for 
a man to feel that his wife and child belong to him ! I've 
often wondered to see men, that could call their wives and 
children their own, fretting and worrying about any thing else. 
Why, I feel rich and strong, though we have nothing but our 
bare hands. I feel as if I could scarcely ask God for any 
more. Yes, though I've worked hard every day, till I am 
twenty-five years old, and have not a cent of money, nor a roof 
to cover me, nor a spot of land to call my own, yet, if they 
will only let me alone now, I will be satisfied — thankful ; I 
will work, and send back the money for you and my boy. 
As to my old master, he has been paid five times over for all 
he ever spent for me. I don't owe him any thing." 

" But yet we are not quite out of danger," said Eliza ; " we 
are not yet in Canada." 

" True," said George, " but it seems as if I smelt the free 
air, and it makes me strong." 

At this moment voices wore heard in the outer apartment, 
in earnest conversation, and very soon a rap was heard on the 
door. Eliza started and opened it. 

Simeon Halliday was there, and with him a Quaker brother, 
whom he introduced as Phineas Fletcher. Phineas was tall 
and lathy, red haired, with an expression of great acuteness 
and shrewdness in his face. He had not the placid, quiet, 
unworldly air of Simeon Halliday ; on the contrary, a par- 
ticularly wide-awake and au fait appearance, like a man 
who rather prides himself on knowing what he is about, and 



240 UNCLE tom's cabin; or, 

keeping a bright lookout ahead ; peculiarities which sorted 
rather oddly with his broad brim and formal phraseology. 

" Our friend Phineas hath discovered something of impor- 
tance to the interests of thee and thy party, George," said 
Simeon ; " it were well for thee to hear it." 

" That I have," said Phineas, " and it shows the use of a 
man's always sleeping with one ear open, in certain places, as 
I've always said. Last night I stopped at a little lone tav- 
ern, back on the road. Thee remembers the place, Simeon, 
where we sold some apples, last year, to that fat woman, with 
the great ear rings. Well, I was tired with hard driving ; 
and, after my supper, I stretched myself down on a pile of 
bags in the corner, and pulled a buffalo over me, to wait 
till my bed was ready ; and what does I do, but get fast 
asleep." 

" With one ear open, Phineas ? " said Simeon, quietly. 

" No ; I slept, ears and all, for an hour or two, for I was 
pretty well tired ; but when I came to myself a little, I found 
that there were some men in the room, sitting round a table, 
drinking and talking 5 and I thought, before I made much 
muster, I'd just see what they were up to, especially as I 
heard them say something about the Quakers. ' So,' says 
one, ' they are up in the Quaker settlement, no doubt,' says 
he. Then I listened with both ears, and I found that they 
were talking about this very party. So I lay and heard them 
lay off all their plans. This young man, they said, was to be 
sent back to Kentucky, to his master, who was going to make 
an example of him, to keep all niggers from running away ; 
and his wife two of them were going to run down to New 
Orleans to sell, on their own account, and they calculated to 
get sixteen or eighteen hundred dollars for her ; and the child, 
they said, was going to a trader, who had bought him ; and 
then there was the boy Jim, and his mother, they were to go 
back to their masters in Kentucky. They said that there 
were two constables, in a town a little piece ahead, who would 
go in with 'em to get 'em taken up, and the young woman was 
to be taken before a judge ; and one of the fellows, who is 
small and smooth spoken, was to swear to her for his property, 
and get her delivered over to him to take south. They've got 



LIFE AMONG THE LOWLY. 241 

a right notion of the track we are going to-night ; and they'll 
be down after us, six or eight strong. So, now, what's to be 
done ? " 

The group that stood in various attitudes, after this com- 
munication, were worthy of a painter. Rachel Halliday, who 
had taken her hands out of a batch of biscuit, to hear the 
news, stood with them upraised and floury, and with a face of 
the deepest concern. Simeon looked profoundly thoughtful ; 
Eliza had thrown her arms around her husband, and was look- 
ing up to him. George stood with clinched hands and glowing 
eyes, and looking as any other man might look, whose wife was 
to be sold at auction, and son sent to a trader, all under the 
shelter of a Christian nation's laws. 

" What shall we do, George ? " said Eliza, faintly. 

" I know what / shall do," said George, as he stepped into 
the little room, and began examining his pistols. 

" Ay, ay," said Phineas, nodding his head to Simeon ; " thou 
seest, Simeon, how it will work." 

" I see," said Simeon, sighing ; " I pray it come not to 
that." 

"1 don't want to involve any one with or for me," said 
George. " If you will lend me your vehicle and direct me, I 
will drive alone to the next stand. Jim is a giant in strength, 
and brave as death and despair, and so am I." 

" Ah, well, friend," said Phineas, " but thee'll need a driver 
for all that. Thee's quite welcome to do all the fighting, thee 
knows ; but I know a thing or two about the road, that thee 
doesn't." 

" But I don't want to involve you," said George. 

" Involve," said Phineas, with a curious and keen expres- 
sion of face. " When thee does involve me, please to let me 
know." 

" Phineas is a wise and skilful man," said Simeon. " Thee 
does well, George, to abide by his judgment ; and," he added, 
laying his hand kindly on George's shoulder, and pointing 
to the pistols, " be not over hasty with these, — young blood 
is hot." 

" I will attack no man," said George. '• All I ask of this 
country is to be let alone, and I will go out peaceably ; but," 
81 



ii4:2 UNCLK tom's cabin ; OR, 

— lie paused, and his brow darkened, and his face worked, — 
" I've had a sister sold in that New Orleans market. I know 
what they are sold for ; and am I going to stand by and see 
them take my wife and sell her, when God has given me a 
pair of strong arms to defend her ? No ; God help me ! I'll 
fight to the last breath, before they shall take my wife and son. 
Can you blame me ? " 

" Mortal man cannot blame thee, George. Flesh and blood 
could not do otherwise," said Simeon. " Woe unto the world 
because of offences, but woe unto them through whom the 
offence cometh." 

" Would not even you, sir, do the same in my place ? " 

" I pray that I be not tried," said Simeon. " The flesh is 
weak." 

" I think my flesh would be pretty tolerable strong, in such 
a case," said Phineas, stretching out a pair of arms like the 
sails of a windmill. " I an't sure, friend George, that I 
shouldn't hold a fellow for thee, if thee had any accounts to 
settle with him." 

" If man should ever resist evil," said Simeon, " then George 
should feel free to do it now : but the leaders of our people 
taught a more excellent way ; for the wrath of man worketh 
not the righteousness of God ; but it goes sorely against the 
corrupt will of man, and none can receive it save they to whom 
it is given. Let us pray the Lord that we be not tempted^." 

" And so I do," said_ Phineas ; " but if we are tempted too 
much — why, let them look out, that's all." 

" It's quite plain thee wasn't born a Friend," said Simeon, 
smiling. " The old nature hath its way in thee pretty strong 
as yet> 

To tell the truth, Phineas had been a hearty, two-fisted back- 
woodsman, a vigorous hunter, and a dead shot at a buck ; but, 
having wooed a ])retty Quakeress, had been moved by the 
power of her charms to join the society in his neighborhood ; 
and though he was an honest, sober, and efficient member, and 
nothing particular could be alleged against him, yet the more, 
spiritual among them could not but discern an exceeding lack 
of savor in his developments. 

" Friend Phineas will ever have ways of his own," said 



LIFE AjrONG THE LOWEY. 243 

Rachel Halliclay, smiling ; " but we all think that his heart 
is in the right place, after all." 

" Well," said George, " isn't it best that we hasten our 
flight ? " 

" I got up at four o'clock, and came on with all speed, full 
two or three hours ahead of them, if they start at the time 
they planned. It isn't safe to start till dark, at any rate ; for 
there are some evil persons in the villages ahead, that miglit 
be disposed to meddle with us, if they saw our wagon, and 
that would delay us more than the waiting ; but in two hours 
I think we may venture. I will go over to Michael Cross, 
and engage him to come behind on his swift nag, and keep a 
bright lookout on the road, and warn us if any company of 
men come on. Michael keeps a horse that can soon get ahead 
of most other horses ; and he could shoot ahead, and let us 
know, if there were any danger. I am going out now to warn 
Jim and the old woman to be in readiness, and to see about 
the horse. We have a pretty fair start, and stand a good 
chance to get to the stand before they can come up with us. 
So, have good courage, friend George ; this isn't the first 
ugly scrape that I've been in with thy people," said Phineas, 
as he closed the door. 

" Phineas is pretty shrewd," said Simeon. " He will do the 
best that can be done for thee. George." 

'• All I am sorry for," said George, " is the risk to you." 

" Thee'll much oblige us, friend George, to say no more 
about that. What we do we are conscience bound to do ; we 
can do no other way. And now, mother," said he, turning to 
Rachel, " hurry thy preparations for these friends, for we must 
not send them away fasting." 

And while Rachel and her children were liusy making corn 
cake, and cooking ham and chicken, and hurrying on the et 
ceteras of the evening meal, George and his wife sat in their 
little room, with their arms folded al)out each other, in such 
talk as husband and wife have when they know that a few 
hou.rs may part them forever. 

" Eliza," said George, " people that have friends, and houses, 
and lands, and money, and all those things, can't love as we do, 
Avho hnve nothing but each other. Till I knew vou, Eb"za. no 



244 UNCLE tom's cabin ; OR, 

creature ever had loved me but my poor, heart-broken mother 
and sister. I saw poor Emily that morning the trader carried 
her off. She came to the corner where I was lying asleep, and 
said, " Poor George, your last friend is going. What will 
become of you, poor boy ? " And I got up and threw my 
arms round her, and cried and sobbed, and she cried too ; and 
those were the last kind words I got for ten long years ; and 
my heart all withered up, and felt as dry as ashes, till I met 
you. And your loving me, — why, it was almost like raising 
one from the dead ! I've been a new man ever since ! And 
now, Eliza, Ell give my last drop of blood, but they shall not 
take you from me. Whoever gets you must walk over my 
dead body." 

" Lord, have mercy ! " said Eliza, sobbing. " If he will 
only let us get out of this country together, that is all we ask." 

"Is God on their side?'' said George, speaking less to his 
wife than pouring out his own bitter thoughts. " Does he see 
all they do ? Why does he let such things happen ? And they 
tell us that the Bible is on their side ; certainly all the power 
is. They are rich, and healthy, and happy ; they are members 
of churches, expecting to go to heaven ; and they get along so 
easy in the world, and have it all their own way ; and poor, 
honest, faithful Christians — Christians as good or better than 
they — are lying in the very dust under their feet. They buy 
'em and sell 'em, and make trade of their heart's blood, and 
groans and tears, and God lets them." 

"Friend George," said Simeon, from the kitchen, "listen to 
this Psalm ; it may do thee good." 

George drew his seat near the door, and Eliza, wiping her 
tears, came forward also to listen, while Simeon read as 
follows : — 

" But as for me, my feet were almost gone ; my steps had 
well nigh slipped. For I was envious of the foolish, when 
I saw the prosperity of the wicked. They are not in trouble 
like other men, neither are they plagned like other men. 
Therefore pride compasseth them as a chain ; violence cov- 
ereth them as a garment. Their eyes stand out with fatness ; 
they have more than heart could wish. They are corrupt, and 
speak wickedly concerning oppression ; they speak loftily. 



LIFE AMONG THE LOWLY. 245 

Therefore his people return, and the waters of a full cup are 
wrung out to them, and they say, How doth God know ? and 
is there knowledge in the Most High ? " 

" Is not that the way thee feels, George ? " 

"It is so, indeed," said George, — "as well as I could have 
written it myself." 

"Then, hear," said Simeon : "When I thought to know this, 
it was too painful for me until I went unto the sanctuary of 
God. Then understood I their end. Surely thou didst set 
them in slippery places, thou castedst them down to destruc- 
tion. As a dream when one awaketh, so, Lord, when thou 
awakest, thou shalt despise their image. Nevertheless, I am 
continually with thee ; thou hast holden me by my right hand. 
Thou shalt guide me by thy counsel, and afterwards receive 
me to glory. It is good for me to draw near unto God. I 
have put ray trust in the Lord God." 

The words of holy trust, breathed by the friendly old man, 
stole like sacred music over the harassed and chafed spirit of 
George ; and after he ceased, he sat with a gentle and subdued 
expression on his fine features. 

" If this world were all, George," said Simeon, "thee might, 
indeed, ask, where is the Lord ? But it is often those who have 
least of all in this life whom he chooseth for the kingdom. 
Put thy trust in him, and, no matter what befalls thee here, 
he will make all right hereafter."' 

If these^words had been spoken by some easy, self-indulgent 
exhorter, from whose mouth they might have come merely as 
pious and rhetorical flourish, proper to be used to people in 
distress, perhaps they might not have had much effect ; but 
coming from one who daily and calmly risked fine and impris- 
onment for the cause of God and man, they had a weight that 
could not but be felt, and both the poor, desolate fugitives 
found calmness and strength breathing into them from it. 

And now Rachel took Eliza's hand kindly, and led the way 
to the supper table. As they were sitting down, a light tap 
sounded at the door, and Ruth entered. 

"I just ran in," she said, ''Avith these little stockings for the 
boy, — three pair, nice, warm woollen ones. It will be so cold, 
thee knows, in Canada. Does thee keep up good courage, 



246 UNCLE tom's cabin ; OR. 

Eliza ? " she added, tripping round to Eliza's side of the table, 
and shaking her warmly by the hand, and slipping a seed cake 
into Harry's hand. "I brought a little parcel of these for 
him," she said, tugging at her pocket to get out the package. 
" Children, thee knows, will always be eating." 

" 0, thank you ; you are too kind," said Eliza. 

" Come, Ruth, sit down to supper," said Rachel. 

" I couldn't, any way. I left John with the baby, and some 
biscuits in the oven ; and I can't stay a moment, else John will 
burn up all the biscuits, and give the baby all the sugar in the 
bowl. That's the way he does," said the little Quakeress, 
laughing. " So, good by, Eliza ; good by, George ; the Lord 
grant thee a safe journey ; " and with a few tripping steps, 
Ruth was out of the apartment. 

A little while after supper, a large covered wagon drew up 
before the door ; the night was clear starlight ; and Phineas 
jumped briskly down from his seat to arrange his passengers. 
George walked out of the door, with his child on one arm and 
his wife on the other. His step was firm, his face settled and 
resolute. Rachel and Simeon came out after them. 

" You get out, a moment," said Phineas to those inside, 
" and let me fix the back of the wagon, there, for the women 
folks and the boy." 

" Here are the two buffaloes," said Rachel. " Make the 
■seats as comfortable as may be ; it's hard riding all night." 

Jim came out first, and carefully assisted out his old mother, 
who clung to his arm, and looked anxiously about, as if she 
expected the pursuer every moment. 

" Jim, are your pistols all in order ? " said George, in a low, 
firm voice. 

" Yes, indeed," said Jim. 

" And you've no doubt what you shall do if they come ? " 

" I rather think I haven't," said Jim, throwing open his 
broad chest, and taking a deep breath. "Do you think I'll 
let them get mother again ? " 

During this brief colloquy, Eliza had been taking her leave 
of her kind friend, Rachel, and was handed into the carriage 
by Simeon, and, creeping into the back part with her boy, sat 
down amonar the buffalo skins. Tlie old womnn was next 



LIFE AMONG THE LOWLY. 247 

liiindeLl ill and seated, and George and Jim placed on a rough 
board seat front of them, and Phineas mounted in front. 

" Farewell, my friends," said Simeon from without. 

" God bless you ! " answered all from within. 

And the wagon drove off, rattling and jolting over tlie frozen 
road. 

There was no opportunity for conversation, on account of 
the roughness of the way and the noise of the wheels. The 
vehicle, therefore, rumbled on, through long, dark stretches of 
woodland, — over wide, dreary plains, — up hills and down val- 
leys, — and on, on, on they jogged, hour after hour. The child 
soon fell asleep, and lay heavily in his mother's lap. The 
poor, frightened old woman at last forgot her fears ; and even 
Eliza, as the night waned, found all her anxieties insufficient to 
keep her eyes from closing. Phineas seemed, on the whole, 
the briskest of the company, and beguiled his long drive with 
whistjing certain very unquaker-like songs, as he went on. 

But about three o'clock George's ear caught the hasty and 
decided click of a horse's hoof coming behind them at some 
distance, and jogged Phineas by the elbow. Phineas pulled 
up his horses, and listened. 

"That must be Michael," he said, "I think I know the sound 
of his gallop ; " and he rose up, and stretched his head anx- 
iously back over the road. 

A man riding in hot haste was now dimly descried at the 
top of a distant hill. 

" There he is, I do believe," said Phineas. George and Jim 
both sprang out of the wagon, before they knew what they 
were doing. All stood intensely silent, with their faces turned 
towards the expected messenger. On he came. Now he went 
down into a valley, where they could not see him ; but they 
heard the sharp, hasty tramp, rising nearer and nearer : at last 
they saw him emerge on the top of an eminence, within hail. 

" Yes, that's Michael ! " said Phineas ; and, raising his voice, 
" Halloa, there, Alichael ! " 

"Phineas! is that thee?" 

" Yes ; what news — they coming ? " 

" Eight on behind, eight or ten of tliem, hot with brandy, 
swearing and foaming like so many wolves." 



248 UNCLE tom's cabin ; or, 

And, just as he spoke, a breeze brought the faint sound of 
galloping horsemen towards them. 

"In with you, — quick, boys, wi/" said Phineas. "If you 
must fight, wait till I get you a piece ahead." And, with the 
word, both jumped in, and Phineas lashed the horses to a run, 
the horseman keeping close beside them. The wagon rattled, 
jumped, almost flew, over the frozen ground. But plainer, and 
still plainer, came the noise of pursuing horsemen behind. The 
women heard it, and, looking anxiously out, saw, far in the rear, 
on the brow of a distant hill, a party of men looming up 
against the red-streaked sky of early dawn. Another hill, 
and their pursuers had evidently caught sight of their wagon, 
whose white cloth-covered top made it conspicuous at some 
distance, and a loud yell of brutal triumph came forward on 
the wind. Eliza sickened, and strained her child closer to her 
bosom ; the old woman prayed and groaned, and George and 
Jim clinched their pistols with the grasp of despair. The pur- 
suers gained on them fast ; the carriage made a sudden turn, 
and brought them near a ledge of a steep, overhanging rock, 
that rose in an isolated ridge or clump in a large lot, which 
was, all around it, quite clear and smooth. This isolated pile 
or range of rocks rose up black and heavy against the 
brightening sky, and seemed to promise shelter and conceal- 
ment. It was a place well known to Phineas, who had been 
familiar with the spot in his hunting days ; and it was to gain 
this point he had been racing his horses. 

" Now for it," said he, suddenly cheeking his horses, and 
springing from his seat to the ground. " Out with you, in a 
twinkling, every one, and up into these rocks with me. 
Michael, thee tie thy horse to the wagon, and drive ahead 
to Amariah's, and get him and his boys to come back and 
talk to these fellows." 

In a twinkling they were all out of the carriage. 

" There," said Phineas, catching up Harry, " you, each of 
you, see to the women ; and run, wow, if you ever did run ! " 

There needed no exhortation. Quicker than we can say it, 
the whole party were over the fence, making with all speed 
for the rocks, while Michael, throwing himself from his horse, 
and fastening the bridle to the wagon, began driving it rapidly 
away. 



LTFE AMONG THE LOWLY. 249 

" Come ahead," said Phineas, as they reached the rocks, and 
saw, in the mingled starlight and dawn, the traces of a rude 
but plainly-marked foot path leading up among them ; " this 
is one of our old hunting dens. Come up ! " 

Phineas went before, springing up the rocks like a goat, 
with the boy in his arms. Jim came second, bearing his trem- 
bling old mother over his shoulder, and George and Eliza 
brought up the roar. The party of horsemen came up to the 
fence, and, with mingled shouts and oaths, were dismounting, 
to prepare to follow them. A few moments' scrambling 
brought them to the top of the ledge ; the path then passed 
between a narrow defile, where only one could walk at a time, 
till suddenly they came to a rift or chasm more than a yard in 
breadth, and beyond which lay a pile of rocks, separate from 
the rest of the ledge, standing full thirty feet high, with its 
sides steep and perpendicular as those of a castle. Phineas 
easily leaped the chasm, and sat down the boy on a smooth, 
flat platform of crisp white moss, that covered the top of the 
rock. 

" Over with you ! " he called ; " spring, now, once, for your 
lives ! " said he, as one after another sprang across. Several 
fragments of loose stone formed a kind of breastwork, which 
sheltered their position from the observation of those below. 

" Well, here we all are," said Phineas, peeping over the stone 
breastwork to watch the assailants, who were coming tumultu- 
ously up under the rocks. "Let 'em get us, if they can. Who- 
ever comes here has*to walk single file between those two 
rocks, in fair range of your pistols, boys, d'ye see ? " 

" I do see," said George ; " and now, as this matter is ours, 
let us take all the risk, and do all the fighting." 

" Thee's quite welcome to do the fighting, George," said 
Phineas, chewing some checkerberry-leaves as he spoke ; " but 
1 may have the fun of looking on, I suppose. But see, these 
fellows are kinder debating down there, and looking up, like 
hens when they are going to fly up on to the roost. Hadn't 
thee better give 'em a word of advice, before they come up, 
just to tell 'em handsomely they'll be shot if they do ? " 

The party beneath, now more apparent in the light of the 
dawn, consisted of our old acquaintances, Tom Loker and 
32 



250 



[JNCLE TOM's cabin ; OR, 




Marks, with two constables, and a posse consisting of sucli 
rowdies at tlie last tavern as could be engaged by a little 

braxid}^ to go and 
help the fun of 
trapping a set of 
niggers. 

"Well, Tora, 
yer coons are farly 
treed," said one. 

" Yes, I see 'em 

sio up right here," 

--aid Tom ; " and 

here's a path. I'm 

for going right 

u]). They can't 

jump Ju\> u ih u hurr} , and it \\ On t take long to ferret 'em out." 

" But, Tom, they might fire at us from behind the rocks," 

said Marks. " That would be ugly, you know." 

" Ugh ! " said Tom, with a sneer. " Always for saving your 
skin, ^larks ! No danger! niggers are too plaguy scared !" 

" I don't know why I shoxddnH save my skin," said Marks. 
" It's the best I've got ; and niggers do fight like the devil, 
sometimes." 

At this moment, George appeared on the top of a rock 
above them, and speaking in a calm, clear voice, said, — 

" Gentlemen, who are you, down there, and what do you 
want?" 

" We wan't a party of runaway niggers," said Tom Loker. 
" One George Harris, and Eliza Harris, and their son, and 
Jim Selden, and an old woman. We've got the officers, here, 
and a warrant to take 'em ; and we're going to have 'em, too. 
D'ye hear ? An't you George Harris, that belongs to Mr. 
Harris, of Shelby county, Kentucky ? " 

" I am George Harris. A Mr. Harris, of Kentucky, did call 
me his property. But now I'm a free man, standing on God's 
free soil ; and my wife and my child I claim as mine. Jim 
and his mother are here. We have arms to defend ourselves, 
and we mean to do it. You can come up if you like ; but the 
first one of you that comes within the range of our bullets 



LIFE AMONG THE LOWLY. 251 

is a dead man, and the next, and the next ; and so on till 
the last." 

" 0, come ! come ! " said a short, puffy man, stepping forward, 
and blowing his nose as he did so. " Young man, this an't no 
kind of talk at all for you. You see, we're officers of justice. 
We've got the law on our side, and the power, and so forth ; 
so you'd better give up peaceably, you see ; for you'll certainly 
have to give up. at last." 

" I know very well that you've got the law on your side, 
and the power," said George, bitterly. "You mean to take 
my wife to sell in New Orleans, and put my boy like a calf 
in a trader's pen, and send Jim's old mother to the brute that 
whipped and abused her before, because he couldn't abuse her 
son. You wan't to send Jim and me back to be whipped, and 
tortured, and ground down under the heels of them that you 
call masters; and your laws ivill bear you out in it, — more 
shame for you and them ! but you haven't got us. We don't 
own your laws ; we don't own your country ; we stand here as 
free, under God's sky, as you are ; and, by the great God that 
made us, we'll tight for our liberty till we die." 

George stood out in fair sight, on the top of the rock, as he 
made his declaration of independence ; the glow of dawn 
gave a flush to his swarthy cheek, and bitter indignation and 
despair gave fire to his dark eye ; and, as if appealing from 
man to the justice of God, he raised his hand to heaven as he 
spoke. 

If it had been only a Hungarian youth, now bravely de- 
fending in some mountain fastness the retreat of fugitives 
escaping from Austria into America, this would have been 
sublime heroism ; but as it was a youth of African descent, 
defending the retreat of fugitives through America into Can- 
ada, of course we are too well instructed and patriotic to see 
any heroism in it ; and if any of our readers do, they must do 
it on their own private responsibility. When despairing Hun- 
garian fugitives make their way, against all .the search-war- 
rants and authorities of their lawful government, to America, 
press and political cabinet ring v/ith applause and welcome. 
AVhcn despairing African fugitives do the same thing, — it is 
— what is it ? 



252 UNCLE tom's cabin ; OR, 

Be it as it may, it is certain that the attitude, eye, voice, 
manner of the speaker, for a moment, struck the party below 
to silence. There is something in boldness and determination 
that for a time hushes even the rudest nature. Marks was the 
only one who remained wholly untouched. He was deliber- 
ately cocking his pistol, and, in the momentary silence that 
followed George's speech, he fired at him. 

" Ye see ye get jist as much for him dead as alive in Ken- 
tucky," he said, coolly, as he wiped his pistol on his coat sleeve. 

George sprang backward, — Eliza uttered a shriek, — the 
ball had passed close to his hair, had nearly grazed the cheek 
of his wife, and struck in the tree above. 

" It's nothing, Eliza," said George, quickly. 

" Thee'd better keep out of sight with thy speechifying," 
said Phineas ; " they're mean scamps." 

" Now, Jim," said George, " look that your pistols are all 
right, and watch that pass with me. The first man that shows 
himself I fire at ; you take the second, and so on. It won't do, 
you know, to waste two shots on one." 

" But what if you don't hit ? " 

" I shall hit," said George, coolly. 

" Good ! now, there's stuff in that fellow," muttered Phineas, 
between his teeth. 

The party below, after Marks had fired, stood, for a moment, 
rather undecided. 

" I think you must have hit some on 'em," said one of the 
men. " I heard a squeal ! " 

" I'm going right up, for one," said Tom. " I never was 
afraid of niggers, and I an't going to be now. Who goes 
after ? " he said, springing up the rocks. 

George heard the words distinctly. He drew up his pistol, 
examined it. pointed it towards that point in the defile where 
the first man would appear. 

One of the most courageous of the party followed Tom, and, 
the way being thus made, the whole party began pushing up 
the rock, — the hindermost pushing the front ones faster than 
they would have gone of themselves. On they came, and in a 
moment the burly form of Tom appeared in sight, almost at 
the verge of the chasm. 



LIFE AMONG THE LOWLY. 253 

George fired, — the shot entered his side, — but though 
"wounded, he would not retreat, but, with a yell like that of a 
mad bull, he was leaping right across the chasm into the 
party. 

" Friend," said Phineas, suddenly stepping to the front, and 
meeting him with a push from his long arms, "thee isn't 
Avanted here." 

Down he fell into the chasm, crackling down among trees, 
bushes, logs, loose stones, till he lay, bruised and groaning, 
thirty feet below. The fall might have killed him, had it not 
been broken and moderated by his clothes catching in the 
branches of a large tree ; but he came down with some force, 
however, — more than was at all agreeable or convenient. 

" Lord help us, they arc perfect devils ! " said Marks, head- 
ing the retreat down the rocks with much more of a will than 
he had joined the ascent, while all the party came tumbling 
precipitately after him, — the fat constable, in particular, blow- 
ing and puffing in a very energetic manner. 

" I say, fellers," said Marks, " you jist go round and pick up 
Tom, there, while I run and get on to my horse, to go back 
for help, — that's you ; " and, without minding the hootings 
and jeers of his company, Marks was as good as his word, and 
was soon seen galloping away. 

" Was ever such a sneaking varmint ? " said one of the men ; 
" to come on his business, and he clear out and leave us this 
yer way ! " 

" Well, we must pick up that feller," said another. " Cuss 
me if I much care whether he is dead or alive." 

The men, led by the groans of Tom, scrambled and crackled 
through stumps, logs, and bushes, to where that hero lay groan- 
ing and swearing with alternate vehemence. 

"Ye keep it a going pretty loud, Tom," said one. "Ye 
much hurt ? " 

" Don't know. Get me up, can't ye ? Blast that infernal 
Quaker ! If it hadn't been for him, I'd a pitched some on 'em 
down here, to see how they liked it." 

With much labor and groaning, the fallen hero was assisted 
to rise ; and, with one holding him up under each shoulder, 
they got him as far as the horses. 



254 UNCLE tom's cabin ; or, 

" If you could only get me a mile back to that ar tavern. 
Give me a handkerchief or something, to stuff into this place, 
and stop this infernal bleeding." 

George looked over the rocks, and saw them trying to lift 
the burly form of Tom into the saddle. After two or three 
ineffectual attempts, he reeled, and fell heavily to the ground. 

" 0, I hope he isn't killed ! " said Eliza, who, with all the 
party, stood watching the proceeding. 

"Why not?" said Phineas ; "serves him right." 

" Because, after death comes the judgment," said Eliza. 

" Yes," said the old woman, who had been groaning and 
praying, in her Methodist fashion, during all the encounter, 
"it's an awful case for the poor critter's soul." 

" On my word, they're leaving him, I do believe," said 
Phineas. 

It was true ; for after some appearance of irresolution and 
consultation, the whole party got on their horses and rode 
away. When they Avere quite out of sight, Phineas began to 
bestir himself. 

" Well, we must go down and walk a piece," he said. " I 
told Michael to go forward and bring help, and be along back 
here with the wagon ; but we shall have to walk a piece along 
the road, I reckon, to meet them. The Lord grant he be along 
soon ! It's early in the day ; there won't be much travel afoot 
yet a Avhile ; we an't much more than two miles from our stop- 
ping place. If the road hadn't been so rough last night, we 
could have outrun 'em entirely." 

As the party neared the fence, they discovered in the dis- 
tance, along the road, their own wagon coming back, accom- 
panied by some men on horseback. 

" Well, now, there's Michael, and Stephen, and Amariah," 
exclaimed Phineas, joyfully. "Now we are made, — as safe 
as if we'd got there." 

"Well, do stop, then," said Eliza, "and do something for 
that poor man ; he's groaning dreadfully." 

" It would be no more than Christian," said George ; " let's 
take him up and carry him on." 

'■ iVnd doctor him up among the Quakers ! " said Phineas ; 
"pretty well, thatl Well, I don't care if wc do. Here, let's 



LIFE AMONG THE LOWLY. 255 

have a look at him ; " and Phincas, who, in the course of his 
hunting and backwoods life, had acquired some rude cxi)cri- 
ence of surgery, kneeled down by the wounded man, and 
began a careful examination of his condition. 

" Marks," said Tom, feebly, " is that you, Marks ? " 

" No ; I reckon 'tan't, friend," said Phineas. " Much Marks 
cares for thee, if his own skin's safe. He's off, long ago." 

"I believe Fm done for," said Tom. "The cussed sneaking 
dog to leave me to die alone ! My poor old mother always 
told me 'twould be so." 

" La sakes ! jist hear the poor critter. He's got a mammy, 
now," said the old negress. " I can't help kinder pityin' on him." 




" Softy, softly ; don't thee snap and snarl, friend," said 
Phineas, as Tom winced and pushed his hand away. " Thee 
has no chance, unless I stop the bleeding." And Phineas 
busied himself with making some ofi'-hand surgical arrange- 
ments with his own pocket handkerchief, and such as could be 
mustered in the company. 

" You pushed me down there," said Tom, faintly. 

"Well, if I hadn't, thee would have pushed us down, thee 
sees," said Phineas, as he stooped to apply his bandage. 
" There, there, — let me fix this bandage. We mean well to 
thee ; we bear no malice. Thee shall be taken to a house 
where they'll nurse thee first rate, — as well as thy own 
mother could." 



256 UNCLE tom's cabin ; OR, 

Tom groaned, and shut his eyes. In men of his class, vigor 
and resolution are entirely a physical matter, and ooze out 
with the flowing of the blood ; and the gigantic fellow really 
looked piteous in his helplessness. 

The other party now came up. The seats were taken out of 
the wagon. The buffalo skins, doubled in fours, were spread 
all along one side, and four men, with great difficulty, lifted the 
heavy form of Tom into it. Before he was gotten in, he faint- 
ed entirely. The old negress, in the abundance of her com- 
passion, sat down on the bottom, and took his head in her lap. 
Eliza, George, and Jim bestowed themselves, as well as they 
could, in the remaining space, and the whole party set forward. 

" What do you think of him ? " said George, who sat by 
Phineas in front. 

" Well, it's only a pretty deep flesh wound ; but, then, tum- 
bling and scratching down that place didn't help him much. It 
has bled pretty freely, — pretty much dreaned him out, cour- 
age and all, — but he'll get over it, and may be learn a thing 
or two by it." 

" I'm glad to hear you say so," said George. " It would al- 
ways be a heavy thought to me, if I'd caused his death, even 
in a just cause." 

" Yes," said Phineas, " killing is an ugly operation, any way 
they'll fix it, — man or beast. I've been a great hunter, in my 
day, and I tell thee I've seen a buck that was shot down, and 
a dying, look that way on a feller with his eye, that it reely 
most made a feller feel wicked for killin' on him ; and human 
creatures is a more serious consideration yet, bein', as thy wife 
says, that the judgment comes to 'em after death. So I don't 
know as our people's notions on these matters is too strict ; 
and, considerin' how I was raised, I fell in with them pretty 
considerably." 

" What shall you do with this poor fellow ? " said George. 

" 0, carry him along to Amariah's. There's old Grand- 
mam Stephens there, — Dorcas, they call her, — she's most an 
amazin' nurse. She takes to nursing real natural, and an't never 
better suited than when she gets a sick body to tend. We 
may reckon on turning him over to her for a fortnight or so." 



LIFE AMONG THE LOWLY. 



257 



A ride of about an hour more brought the party to a neat 
farm house, where the weary travellers were received to an 
abundant breakfast. Tom Loker was soon carefully deposited 
in a much cleaner and softer bed than he had ever been in the 
habit of occupying. His wound was carefully dressed and 
bandaged, and he lay languidly opening and shutting his eyes 
on the white window curtains and gently-gliding figures of his 
sick room, like a weary child. And here, for the present, we 
shall take our leave of one party. 
33 





CHAPTER XVIII, 



MISS Ophelia's experiences and opinions. 




UR friend Tom, in his own simple musings, 
often compared his more fortunate lot, in the 
bondage into which he was cast, with that 
of Joseph in Egypt ; and, in fact, as time 
went on, and he developed more and more 
under the eye of his master, the strength 
of the parallel increased. 

St. Clare was indolent and careless of money. Hitherto 
the providing and marketing had been principally done by 
Adolph, who was, to the full, as careless and extravagant as 
his master ; and, between them both, they had carried on the 
dispersing process with great alacrity. Accustomed, for many 
years, to regard his master's property as his own care, Tom 
saw, with an uneasiness he could scarcely repress, the wasteful 



LIFE AMONG THE LOWLY. 259 

expenditure of the establislunent ; and, in the quiet, indirect 
way which his class often acquire, would sometimes make his 
own suggestions. 

St. Clare at first employed him occasionally ; but, struck 
with his soundness of mind and good business capacity, he 
confided in him more and more, till gradually all the mar- 
keting and providing for the family were intrusted to him, 

" No, no, Adolph," he said, one day, as Adolph was depre- 
cating the passing of power out of his hands, " let Tom alone. 
You only understand what you want ; Tom understands cost 
and come to ; and there may be some end to money by and 
by if we don't let somebody do that." 

Trusted to an unlimited extent by a careless master, who 
handed him a bill without looking at it, and pocketed the 
change without counting it, Tom had every facility and temp- 
tation to dishonesty ; and nothing but an impregnable sim- 
plicity of nature, strengthened by Christian faith, could have 
kept him from it. But, to that nature, the very unbounded 
trust reposed in him was bond and seal for the most scru- 
pulous accuracy. 

With Adolph the case had been different. Thoughtless and 
self-indulgent, and unrestrained by a master who found it easier 
to indulge than to regulate, he had fallen into an absolute con- 
fusion as to ineum tiLum with regard to himself and his master, 
which sometimes troubled even St. Clare. His own good sense 
taught him that such a training of his servants was unjust and 
dangerous. A sort of chronic remorse went with him every 
where, although not strong enough to make any decided 
change in his course ; and this very remorse reacted again 
into indulgence. He passed lightly over the most serious 
faults, because he told himself that, if he had done his part, 
his dependants had not fallen into them. 

Tom regarded his gay, airy, handsome young master with 
an odd mixtm^e of fealty, reverence, and fatherly solicitude. 
That he never read the Bible ; never went to church ; that he 
jested and made free with any and every thing that came in 
the way of his wit ; that he spent his Sunday evenings at the 
opera or theatre ; that he went to wine parties, and clubs, and 
suppers, oftener than was at all expedient, — were all things that 



260 UNCLE tom's cabin ; OR, 

Tom could see as plainly as any body, and on which he based a 
conviction that " mas'r wasn't a Christian ; " — a conviction, 
however, which he would have been very slow to express to 
any one else, but on which he founded many prayers, in his 
own simple fashion, when he was by himself in his little dormi- 
tory. Not that Tom had not his own way of speaking his 
mind occasionally, with something of the tact often observable 
in his class ; as, for example, the very day after the Sabbath 
we have described, St. Clare was invited out to a convivial 
party of choice spirits, and was helped home, between one 
and two o'clock at night, in a condition when the physical 
had decidedly attained the upper hand of the intellectual. 
Tom and Adolph assisted to get him composed for the night, 
the latter in high spirits, evidently regarding the matter 
as a good joke, and laughing heartily at the rusticity of Tom's 
horror, who really was simple enough to lie awake most of the 
rest of the night, praying for his young master. 

" Well, Tom, what are you waiting for ? " said St. Clare, the 
next day, as he sat in his library, in dressing gown and slip- 
pers, St. Clare had just been intrusting Tom with some 
money, and various commissions. " Isn't all right there, 
Tom?" he added, as Tom still stood waiting. 

" I'm 'fraid not, mas'r," said Tom, with a grave face. 

St. Clare laid down his paper, and set down his coffee cup, 
and looked at Tom. 

" Why, Tom, what's the case ? You look as solemn as a 
coffin." 

" I feel very bad, mas'r. I allays have thought that mas'r 
would be good to every body." 

" AVell, Tom, haven't I been ? Come, now, what do you 
want? There's something you haven't got, I suppose, and 
this is the preface." 

"Mas'r allays been good to me. I haven't nothing to 
complain of on that head. But there is one that mas'r isn't 
good to." 

" Why, Tom, what's got into you ? Speak out ; what do 
you mean?" 

" Last night, between one and two, I thought so. I studied 
upon the matter then. Mas'r isn't good to himself." 



LIFE AMONG THE LOWLY. 



261 




Tom said this with his back to his master, and his hand on the 
door knob. St. Clare felt his face flush crimson, but he lauo-hed 

" 0, that's all, is 
it?"hesaid,gayly. ^ _ 

"All!"saidVom, 
turning suddenl) 
round and falling 
on his knees. " 0, 
my dear young 
mas'r ! I'm afraid 
it will he, loss of all 
— all — body and 
soul. The good 
book says, ' It bit- 
eth like a serpent 
and stingeth like an adder ! ' my dear mas'r ! " 

Tom's voice choked, and the tears ran down his cheeks. 

"You poor, silly fool ! " said St. Clare, with tears in his own 
eyes. " Get up, Tom. I'm not worth crying over." 

But Tom wouldn't rise, and looked imploring. 

" Well, I won't go to any more of their cursed nonsense, 
Tom," said St. Clare ; " on my honor, I won't. I don't know 
why I haven't stopped long ago. I've always despised it, 
and myself for it, — so now, Tom, wipe up your eyes, and go 
about your errands. Come, come," he added, " no blessings. 
I'm not so wonderfully good, now," he said, as he gently 
pushed Tom to the door. " There, I'll pledge my honor to 
you, Tom, you don't see me so again," he said ; and Tom 
went oif, wiping his eyes, with great satisfaction. 

"I'll keep my faith with him, too," said St. Clare, as he 
closed the door. 

And St. Clare did so, — for gross sensualism, in any form, 
was not the peculiar temptation of his nature. 

But, all this time, who shall detail the tribulations manifold 
of our friend Miss Ophelia, who had begun the labors of a 
southern housekeeper? 

There is all the difference in the world in the servants 
of southern establishments, according to the character and 
capacity of the mistresses who have brought them up. 



262 UNCLE tom's cabin ; OR, 

South, as well as north, there are women who have an 
extraordinary talent for command, and tact in educating. 
Such are enabled, with apparent ease, and without severity, 
to subject to their will, and bring into harmonious and sys- 
tematic order, the various members of their small estate, — to 
regulate their peculiarities, and so balance and compensate 
the deficiencies of one by the excess of another, as to produce 
an harmonious and orderly system. 

Such a housekeeper was Mrs. Shelby, whom we have already 
described ; and such our readers may remember to have met 
with. If they are not common at the south, it is because they 
are not common in the world. They are to be found there 
as often as any where ; and, when existing, find in that pecu- 
liar state of society a brilliant opportunity to exhibit their 
domestic talent. 

Such a housekeeper Marie St. Clare was not, nor her mother 
before her. Indolent and childish, unsystematic and improvi- 
dent, it was not to be expected that servants trained under her 
care should not be so likewise ; and she had very justly de- 
scribed to Miss Ophelia the state of confusion she would find 
in the family, though she had not ascribed it to the proper 
cause. 

The first morning of her regency, Miss Ophelia was up at 
four o'clock ; and having attended to all the adjustments of 
her own chamber, as she had done ever since she came there, 
to the great amazement of the chambermaid, she prepared 
for a vigorous onslaught on the cupboards and closets of the 
establishment of which she had the keys. 

The store room, the linen presses, the china closet, the 
kitchen and cellar, that day, all went under an awful review. 
Hidden things of darkness were brought to light to an extent 
that alarmed all the principalities and powers of kitchen and 
chamber, and caused many wonderings and murmurings about 
" dese yer northern ladies " from the domestic cabinet. 

Old Dinah, the head cook, and principal of all rule and 
authority in the kitchen department, was filled with wrath at 
what she considered an invasion of privilege. No feudal baron 
in Magna Charta times could have more thoroughly resented 
some incursion of the crown. 



LIFE AMONG THE LOWLY. 263 

Dinah was a character in her own way, and it would be 
injustice to her memory not to give the reader a little idea of 
her. She was a native and essential cook, as much as Aunt 
Chloe, — cooking being an indigenous talent of the African 
race ; but Chloe was a trained and methodical one, who 
moved in an orderly domestic harness, while Dinah was a 
self-taught genius, and, like geniuses in general, was positive, 
opinionated, and erratic, to the last degree. 

Like a certain class of modern philosophers, Dinah perfectly 
scorned logic and reason in every shape, and always took 
refuge in intuitive certainty ; and here she was perfectly im- 
pregnable. No possible amount of talent, or authority, or 
explanation, could ever make her believe that any other way 
was better than her own, or that the course she had pursued 
in the smallest matter could be in the least modified. This 
had been a conceded point with her old mistress, Marie's 
mother ; and " Miss Marie," as Dinah always called her 
young mistress, even after her marriage, found it easier to 
submit than contend ; and so Dinah had ruled supreme. 
This was the easier, in that she was perfect mistress of that 
diplomatic art which unites the utmost subservience of man- 
ner with the utmost inflexibility as to measure. 

Dinah was mistress of the whole art and mystery of excuse- 
making, in all its branches. Indeed, it was an axiom with 
her that the cook can do no wrong ; and a cook in a southern 
kitchen finds abundance of heads and shoulders on which to 
lay off every sin and frailty, so as to maintain her own immac- 
ulateness entire. If any part of the dinner was a failure, 
there were fifty indisputably good reasons for it ; and it was 
the fault undeniably of fifty other people, whom Dinah berated 
with unsparing zeal. 

But it was very seldom that there was any failure in Dinah's 
last results. Though her mode of doing every thing was 
peculiarly meandering and circuitous, and without any sort 
of calculation as to time and place, — though her kitchen 
generally looked as if it had been arranged by a hurricane 
blowing through it, and she had about as many places for 
each cooking utensil as there were days in the year, — yet, 
if one would have patience to wait her own good time, up 



264 UNCLE tom's cabin ; or, 

would come her dinner in perfect order, and in a style of 
preparation with which an epicure could find no fault. 

It was now the season of incipient preparation for dinner. 
Dinah, who required large intervals of reflection and repose, 
and was studious of ease in all her arrangements, was seated 
on the kitchen floor, smoking a short, stumpy pipe, to which 
she was much addicted, and which she always kindled up, as a 
sort of censer, whenever she felt the need of an inspiration in 
her arrangements. It was Dinah's mode of invoking the 
domestic Muses. 

Seated around her were various members of that rising race 
with which a southern household abounds, engaged in shelling 
peas, peeling potatoes, picking pin feathers out of fowls, and 
other preparatory arrangements, — Dinah every once in a 
while interrupting her meditations to give a poke, or a rap 
on the head, to some of the young operators, with the pudding 
stick that lay by her side. In fact, Dinah ruled over the 
woolly heads of the younger members with a rod of iron, and 
seemed to consider them born for no earthly purpose but to 
" save her steps," as she phrased it. It was the spirit of the 
system under which she had grown up, and she carried it out 
to its full extent. 

Miss Ophelia, after passing on her reformatory tour through 
all the other parts of the establishment, now entered the kitch- 
en. Dinah had heard, from various sources, what was going 
on, and resolved to stand on defensive and conservative 
ground, — mentally determined to oppose and ignore every 
new measure, without any actual and observable contest. 

The kitchen was a large, brick-floored apartment, with a 
great, old-fashioned fireplace stretching along one side of 
it, — an arrangement which St. Clare had vainly tried to per- 
suade Dinah to exchange for the convenience of a modern 
cook stove. Not she. No Puseyite, or conservative of any 
school, was ever more inflexibly attached to time-honored 
inconveniences than Dinah. 

When St. Clare had first returned from the north, im- 
pressed with the system and order of his uncle's kitchen 
arrangements, he had largely provided his own with an array 
of cupboards, drawers, and various apparatus, to induce sys- 



LIFE AMONG THE LOWLY. 265 

tematic regulation, under the sanguine illusion that it would 
be of any possible assistance to Dinah in her arrangements. 
He might as well have provided them for a squirrel or a 
magpie. The more drawers and closets there were, the more 
hiding holes could Dinah make for the accommodation of old 
rags, hair combs, old shoes, ribbons, cast-off artificial flowers, 
and other articles of vertu, wherein her soul delighted. 

When Miss Ophelia entered the kitchen, Dinah did not rise, 
but smoked on in sublime tranquillity, regarding her move- 
ments obliquely out of the corner of her eye, but apparently 
intent only on the operations around her. 

Miss Ophelia commenced opening a set of drawers. 

" What is this draw for, Dinah ? " she said. 

" It's handy for most any thing, missis," said Dinah. So it 
appeared to be. From the variety it contained. Miss Ophelia 
pulled out first a fine damask table cloth stained with blood, 
having evidently been used to envelop some raw meat. 

"What's this, Dinah? You don't wrap up meat in your 
mistress's best table cloths ? " 

" Lor, missis, no ; the towels was all a missin', — so I 
jest did it. I laid out to wash that ar, — that's why I put it 
thar." 

"Shif'less!" said Miss Ophelia to herself, proceeding to 
tumble over the drawer, where she found a nutmeg grater and 
two or three nutmegs, a Methodist hymn book, a couple of 
soiled Madras handkerchiefs, some yarn and knitting work, a 
paper of tobacco and a pipe, a few crackers, one or two gilded 
china saucers with some pomade in them, one or two thin old 
shoes, a piece of flannel carefully pinned up enclosing some 
small white onions, several damask table napkins, some coarse 
crash towels, some twine and darning needles, and several 
broken papers, from which sundry sweet herbs were sifting 
into the drawer. 

" Where do you keep your nutmegs, Dinah ? " said Miss 
Ophelia, with the air of one who prayed for patience. 

" Most any whar, missis ; there's some in that cracked tea- 
cup, up there, and there's some over in that ar cupboard.'' 

'' Here are some in the grater," said Miss Ophelia, holding 
them up. 

34 



2G6 UNCLE tom's cabin ; OR, 

" Laws, yes, I put 'em there this morning, — I likes to keep 
my things handy," said Dinah. "You Jake! what are you 
stopping for ! You'll cotch it ! Be still, thar ! " she added, 
with a dive of her stick at the criminal. 

" What's this ? " said Miss Ophelia, holding up the saucer of 
pomade. 

" Laws, it's my har grease ; I put it thar to have it handy." 

" Do you use your mistress's best saucers for that ? " 

"Law! it was cause I was driv, and in sich a hurry; — I 
was gwine to change it this very day." 

" Here are two damask table napkins." 

" Them table napkins I put thar, to get 'em washed out, 
some day." 

" Don't you have some place here on purpose for things to 
be washed ? " 

" Well, Mas'r St. Clare got dat ar chest, he said, for dat ; 
but I likes to mix up biscuit and hev my things on it some 
days, and then it an't handy a liftin' up the lid." 

" Why don't you mix your biscuits on the pastry table., 
there ? " 

" Law, missis, it gets sot so full of dishes, and one thing and 
another, der an't no room, noways " 

" But you should loash your dishes, and clear them away." 

" Wash my dishes ! " said Dinah, in a high key, as her wrath 
began to rise over her habitual respect of manner ; " what 
does ladies know 'bout work, I want to know ? When'd mas'r 
ever get his dinner, if I was to spend all my time a washin' 
and a puttin' up dishes? Miss Marie never telled me so, 
nohow." 

" Well, here are these onions." 

" Laws, yes ! " said Dinah ; " thar is whar I put 'em now. 
I couldn't 'member. Them's particular onions I was a savin' 
for dis yer very stew. I'd forgot they was in dat ar old 
flannel." 

Miss Ophelia lifted out the sifting papers of sweet herbs. 

" I wish missis wouldn't touch dem ar. I likes to keep my 
things where I knows whar to go to 'em," said Dinah, rather 
decidedly. 

" But you don't want these holes in the papers." 



LIFE AMONG THE LOWLY. 267 

" Them's handy for siftin' on't out," said Dinah. 

"But you see it spills all over the drawer." 

" Laws, yes ! if missis will go a tumblin' things all up so, it 
will. Missis has spilt lots dat ar way," said Dinah, coming 
uneasily to the drawers. " If missis only will go up sta'rs till 
my clarin' up time comes, I'll have every thing right ; but I 
can't do nothin' when ladies is round a henderin'. You Sam, 
don't you gib the baby dat ar sugar bowl ! I'll crack ye over, 
if ye don't mind ! " 

" I'm going through the kitchen, and going to put every 
thing in order, once^ Dinah ; and then I'll expect you to keep 
it so." 

" Lor, now ! Miss Phelia ; dat ar an't no way for ladies to 
do. I never did see ladies doin' no sich ; my old missis nor 
Miss Marie never did, and I don't see no kinder need on't ; " 
and Dinah stalked indignantly about, while Miss Ophelia piled 
and sorted dishes, emptied dozens of scattering bowls of sugar 
into one receptacle, sorted napkins, table cloths, and towels 
for washing ; washing, wiping, and arranging with her own 
hands, and with a speed and alacrity which perfectly amazed 
Dinah. 

" Lor, now ! if dat ar de way dem northern ladies do, dey 
an't ladies, nohow," she said to some of her satellites, when 
at a safe hearing distance. " I has things as straight as any 
body, when my clarin' up time comes ; but I don't want ladies 
round, a henderin', and gettin' my things all where I can't 
find 'em." 

To do Dinah justice, she had, at irregular periods, parox- 
ysms of reformation and arrangement, which she called " clar- 
in' up times," when she would begin with great zeal, and turn 
every drawer and closet wrong side outward, on to the floor 
or tables, and make the ordinary confusion sevenfold more 
confounded. Then she would light her pipe and leisurely go 
over her arrangements, looking things over, and discoursing 
upon them ; making all the young fry scour most vigorously 
on the tin things, and keeping up for several hours a most 
energetic state of confusion, which she would explain to the 
satisfaction of all inquirers, by the remark that she was a 
" clarin' up." " She couldn't hev things a gAvine on so as 



268 UNCLE tom's cabin ; or, 

they had been, and she was gwine to make these yer yonng 
ones keep better order ; " for Dinah herself, somehow, indulged 
the illusion that she herself was the soul of order, and it was 
only the young wis, and the every body else in the house, that 
were the cause of any thing that fell short of perfection in 
this respect. When all the tins were scoured, and the tables 
scrubbed snowy white, and every thing that could offend 
tucked out of sight in holes and corners, Dinah would dress 
herself up in a smart dress, clean apron, and high, brilliant 
Madras turban, and tell all marauding " young uns " to keep 
out of the kitchen, for she was gwine to have things kept 
nice. Indeed, these periodic seasons were often an incon- 
venience to the whole household ; for Dinah would contract 
such an immoderate attachment to her scoured tin, as to insist 
upon it that it shouldn't be used again for any possible pur- 
pose, — at least, till the ardor of the " clarin' up " period 
abated. 

Miss Ophelia, in a few days, thoroughly reformed every 
department of the house to a systematic pattern ; but her 
labors in all departments that depended on the cooperation 
of servants were like those of Sisyphus or the Danai'des. In 
despair, she one day appealed to St. Clare. 

" There is no such thing as getting any thing like system in 
this family ! " 

" To be sure, there isn't," said St. Clare. 

" Such shiftless management, such waste, such confusion, I 
never saw ! " 

" I dare say you didn't." 

" You would not take it so coolly, if you were housekeeper." 

" My dear cousin, you may as well understand, once for all, 
that we masters are divided into two classes, oppressors and 
oppressed. We who are good natured and hate severity make 
up our minds to a good deal of inconvenience. If we will 
keep a shambling, loose, untaught set in the community, for our 
convenience, why, we must take the consequence. Some rare 
cases I have seen, of persons, who, by a peculiar tact, can pro- 
duce order and system without severity ; but I'm not one of 
them, — and so I made uj) my mind, long ago, to let things go 
just as they do. I will not have the [)oor devils thrashed and 



LIFE AMONG THE LOWLY. 269 

cut to pieces, and they know it, — and, of course, they know 
the staff is in their own hands." 

" But to have no time, no place, no order, — all going on in 
this shiftless way ! " 

" My dear Vermont, you natives up by the North Pole set 
an extravagant value on time ! What on earth is the use of 
time to a fellow who has twice as much of it as he knows what 
to do with ? As to order and system, where there is nothing 
to be done but to lounge on the sofa and read, an hour sooner 
or later in breakfast or dinner isn't of much account. Now, 
there's Dinah gets you a capital dinner, — soup, ragout, roast 
fowl, dessert, ice creams and all, — and she creates it all out 
of chaos and old night down there, in that kitchen. I think it 
really sublime the way she manages. But, Heaven bless us! 
if we are to go down there and view all the smoking and 
squatting about, and hurryscurryation of the preparatory 
process, we should never eat more ! My good cousin, absolve 
yourself from that ! It's more than a Catholic penance, and 
does no more good. You'll only lose your own temper, and 
utterly confound Dinah. Let her go her own way." 

" But, Augustine, you don't know how I found things." 

" Don't I ? Don't I know that the rolling pin is under her 
bed, and the nutmeg grater in her pocket with her tobacco, — 
that there are sixty-five different sugar bowls, one in every 
hole in the house, — that she washes dishes with a dinner 
napkin one day, and with a fragment of an old petticoat the 
next ? But the upshot is, she gets up glorious dinners, makes 
superb coffee ; and you must judge her as warriors and states- 
men are judged, by her success^ 

" But the waste, — the expense ! " 

" 0, well ! Lock every thing you can, and keep the key. 
Give out by driblets, and never inquire for odds and ends, — it 
isn't best." 

" That troubles me, Augustine. I can't help feeling as if 
these servants were not strictly honest. Are you sure they can 
be relied on ? " 

Augustine laughed immoderately at the grave and anxious 
face with which Miss Ophelia propounded the question. 

" cousin, that's too good, — honest! — as if that's a thing 



270 UNCLE tom's cabin ; oe, 

to be expected ! Honest ! — wliy, of course, they arn't. Why 
should they be ? What upon earth is to make them so ? " 

" Why don't you instruct? " 

"Instruct! 0, fiddlestick ! What instructing do you think 
I should do ? I look like it ! As to Marie, she has spirit 
enough, to be sure, to kill off a whole plantation, if I'd let her 
manage ; but she wouldn't get the cheatery out of them." 

" Are there no honest ones ? " 

" Well, now and then one, whom Nature makes so impracti- 
cably simple, truthful, and faithful, that the worst possible influ- 
ence can't destroy it. But, you see, from the mother's breast 
the colored child feels and sees that there are none but under- 
hand ways open to it. It can get along no other way with its 
parents, its mistress, its young master and missie playfellows. 
Cunning and deception become necessary, inevitable habits. 
It isn't fair to expect any thing else of him. He ought not to 
be punished for it. As to honesty, the slave is kept in that de- 
pendent, semi-childish state, that there is no making him real- 
ize the rights of property, or feel that his master's goods are 
not his own, if he can get them. For my part, I don't see 
how they can be honest. Such a fellow as Tom, here, is — is 
a moral miracle ! " 

"And what becomes of their souls?" said Miss Ophelia. 

" That isn't my affair, as I know of," said St. Clare ; "I am 
only dealing in facts of the present life. The fact is, that the 
whole race are pretty generally understood to be turned over 
to the devil, for our benefit, in this world, however it may turn 
out in another ! " 

" This is perfectly horrible ! " said Miss Ophelia ; " you ought 
to be ashamed of yourselves ! " 

" I don't know as I am. We are in pretty good company, 
for all that," said St. Clare, " as people in the broad road gen- 
erally are. Look at the high and the low, all the world over, 
and it's the same story, — the lower class used up, body, soul 
and spirit, for the good of the upper. It is so in, England ; it 
is so every where ; and yet all Christendom stands aghast, with 
virtuous indignation, because Ave do the tiling in a little differ- 
ent shape from what they do it." 

'It isn't so in A'erinont.'' 



LIFE AMONG THE LOWLY. 271 

" Ah, well, in New England, and in the free states, you have 
the better of us, I grant. But there's the bell ; so, cousin, let 
us for a while lay aside our sectional prejudices, and come out 
to dinner." 

As Miss Ophelia was in the kitchen in the latter part of the 
afternoon, some of the sable children called out, " La, sakes ! 
thar's Prue a coming, grunting along like she allers does." 

A tall, bony colored woman now entered the kitchen, bear- 
ing on her head a basket of rusks and hot rolls. 

" Ho, Prue ! you've come," said Dinah. 

Prue had a peculiar scowling expression of countenance, and 
a sullen, grumbling voice. She set down her basket, squatted 
herself down, and resting her elbows on her knees, said, — 

"OLord! Iwish'tFsdead!" 

" Why do you wish you were dead ? " said Miss Ophelia. 

" I'd be out o' my misery," said the woman, gruffly, without 
taking her eyes from the floor. 

" What need you getting drunk, then, and cutting up, Prue ? " 
said a spruce quadroon chambermaid, dangling, as she spoke, 
a pair of coral ear drops. 

The woman looked at her with a sour, surly glance. 

"Maybe you'll come to it, one of these yer days. I'd be 
glad to see you, I would ; then you'll be glad of a drop, like 
me, to forget your misery." 

" Come, Prue," said Dinah, " let's look at your rusks. Here's 
missis will pay for them." 

Miss Ophelia took out a couple of dozen. 

" Thar's some tickets in that ar old cracked jug on the top 
shelf," said Dinah. " You, Jake, climb up and get it down." 

" Tickets, — what are they for?" said Miss Ophelia. 

"We buys tickets of her mas'r, and she gives us bread 
for "em." 

" And they counts my money and tickets, when I gets home, 
to see if I's got the change ; and if I han't, they half kills me." 

" And serves you right," said Jane, the pert chambermaid, 
" if you will take their money to get drunk on. That's what 
she does, missis." 

" And that's what I vM do, — I can't live no other ways, — 
drink and forget my misery." 



272 UNCLE TOirs cabin; or, 

"You are very wicked and very foolish," said Miss Ophelia, 
" to steal your master's money to make yourself a brute with." 

" It's mighty likely, missis ; but I will do it, — yes, I will. 
Lord ! I wish I's dead, I do, — I wish I's dead, and out of 
my misery ! " and slowly and stiffly the old creature rose, and 
got her basket on her head again ; but before she went out, 
she looked at the quadroon girl, who still stood playing with 
her ear drops. 

" Ye think ye're mighty fine with them ar, a frolickin' and 
a tossin' your head, and a lookin' down on every body. Well, 
never mind — you may live to be a poor, old, cut-up critter, 
like me. Hope to the Lord ye will, I do ; then see if ye won't 
drink, — drink, — drink, — yerself into torment ; and sarve 
yc right, too — ugh ! " and, with a malignant howl, the woman 
left the room. 

" Disgusting old beast ! " said Adolph, who was getting his 
master's shaving water. "If I was her master, I'd cut her 
up worse than she is." 

"Ye couldn't do that ar, no ways," said Dinah. "Her 
back's a far sight now, — she can't never get a dress together 
over it." 

" I think such low creatures ought not to be allowed to go 
round to genteel families," said Miss Jane. "What do you 
think, Mr. St. Clare ? " she said, coquettishly tossing her head 
at Adolph. 

It must be observed that, among other appropriations from 
his master's stock, Adolph was in the habit of adopting his 
name and address ; and that the style under which he moved, 
among the colored circles of New Orleans, was that of Mr. 
St. Clare. 

" I'm certainly of your opinion, Miss Benoir," said Adolph. 

Benoir was the name of Marie St. Clare's family, and Jane 
was one of her servants. 

" Pray, Miss Benoir, may I be allowed to ask if those drops 
are for the ball, to-morrow night ? They are certainly be- 
witching ! " 

"I wonder, now, Mr. St. Clare, what the impudence of 
you men will come to ! " said Jane, tossing her pretty head 
till the ear drops twinkled again. " I shan't dance with 



LIFE AMONG THE LOWLY. 273 

you for a whole eveuiug, if you go to asking me any more 
questions." 

"O, you couldn't be so cruel, now! I was just dying to 
know whetlier you would appear in your pink tarletane," said 
Adolph. 

" What is it ? " said Rosa, a bright, piquant iittle quadroon, 
who came skipping down stairs at this moment. 

" Why, Mr. St. Clare's so impudent ! " 

" On my honor," said Adolph, " I'll leave it to Miss Rosa, 
now." 

" I know he's always a saucy creature," said Rosa, poising 
herself on one of her little feet, and looking maliciously at 
Adolph. " He's always getting me so angry with him." 

"0, ladies, ladies, you will certainly break my heart, be- 
tween you," said Adolph. " I shall be found dead in my bed, 
some morning, and you'll have it to answer for." 

" Do hear the horrid creature talk ! " said both ladies, laugh- 
ing immoderately. 

" Come, — clar out, you ! I can't have you cluttering up the 
kitchen," said Dinah ; " in my way, foolin' round here." 

" Aunt Dinah's glum, because she can't go to the ball," said 
Rosa. 

" Don't want none o' your light-colored balls," said Dinah ; 
"cuttin' round, makin' b'lieve you's white folks. Arter all, 
you's niggers, much as I am." 

" Aunt Dinah greases her wool stiff, every day, to make it 
lie straight," said Jane. 

"And it will be wool, after all," said Rosa, maliciously 
shaking down her long, silky curls. 

" AVell, in the Lord's sight, an't wool as good as har, any 
time ? " said Dinah. " I'd like to have missis say which is 
worth the most, — a couple such as you, or one like me. Get 
out wid ye, ye trumpery, — I won't have ye round! " 

Here the conversation was interrupted in a twofold manner. 
St. Clare's voice was heard at the head of the stairs, asking 
Adolph if he meant to stay all night with his shaving water ; 
and Miss Ophelia, coming out of the dining room, said, — 

" Jane and Rosa, what are you wasting your time for, here ? 
Go in and attend to your muslins." 



274 



UNCLE TOM's cabin ; OR, 



Our friend Tom, who had been in the kitchen during the 
conversation with the old rusk woman, had followed her out 
into the street. He saw her go on, giving every once in a 
while a suppressed groan. At last she set her basket down on 
a door step, and began arranging the old, faded shawl which 
covered her shoulders. 

" 111 carry your basket a piece," said Tom, compassionately. 

" Why should ye ? " said the woman. " I don't want no 
help." 

" You seem to be sick, or in trouble, or somethin'," said Tom. 

" I an't sick," said the woman, shortly. 

" I wish," said Tom, looking at her earnestly, — "I wish I 
could persuade you to leave off drinking. Don't you know it 
will be the ruin of ye, body and soul ? " 




"I knows I'm gwine to torment," said the woman, sullenly. 
"Ye don't need to tell me that ar. I's ugly, — I's wicked, — 
I's gwine straight to torment. Lord ! I wish I's thar ! " 

Tom shuddered at these frightful words, spoken with a 
sullen, impassioned earnestness. 

" Lord, have mercy on ye, poor critter ! Han't ye uever 
heard of Jesus Christ ? " 

" Jesus Christ, — who's he ? " 

" Why, he's the Lord,'' said Tom. 

" I think I've hearn tell o' the Lord, and the judgment, and 
torment. I've heard o' that." 



LIFE AMONG THE LOWLY. 275 

" But didn't any body ever tell you of the Lord Jesus, that 
loved us poor sinners, and died for us ? " 

" Don't know nothin' 'bout that," said the woman ; " nobody 
han't never loved me since my old man died." 

" Where was you raised ? " said Tom. 

" Up in Kentuck. A man kept me to breed chil'en for 
market, and sold 'em as fast as they got big- enough ; last of 
all, he sold me to a speculator, and my mas'r got me o' him." 

" What set you into this bad way of drinkin' ? " 

" To get shet o' my misery. I had one child after I come 
here ; and I thought then I'd have one to raise, cause mas'r 
wasn't a speculator. It was de peartest little thing ! and 
missis she seemed to think a heap on't, at first ; it never cried, 
— it was likely and fat. But missis tuck sick, and I tended 
her ; and I tuck the fever, and my milk all left me, and the 
child it pined to skin and bone, and missis wouldn't buy milk 
for it. She wouldn't hear to me when I tolled her I hadn't 
milk. She said she knowed I could feed it on what other folks 
eat ; and the child kinder pined, and cried, and cried, and 
cried, day and night, and got all gone to skin and bones, and 
missis got sot agin it, and she said 'twan't nothin' but cross- 
ness. She wished it was dead, she said ; and she wouldn't let 
me have it o' nights, cause, she said, it kept me awake, and 
made me good for nothin'. She made me sleep in her room ; 
and I had to put it away off in a little kind o' garret, and thar 
it cried, itself to death, one night. It did ; and I tuck to 
drinkin', to keep its crying out of my ears! I did, — and I 
will drink! I will, if I do go to torment for it ! Mas'r says 
I shall go to torment, and I tell him I've got thar now ! " 

" 0, ye poor critter ! " said Tom ; " han't nobody never tolled 
ye how the Lord Jesus loved ye, and died for ye ? Han't they 
tolled ye that he'll help ye, and ye can go to heaven, and have 
rest, at last?" 

" I looks like gwine to heaven," said the woman ; " an't thar 
where white folks is gwine? S'pose they'd have me thar? 
I'd rather go to torment, and get away from mas'r and missig. 
I had 50," she said, as, with her usual groan, she got her basket 
on her head, and walked sullenly away. 



276 



UNCLE Tom's cabin ; or. 



Tom turned, and walked sorrowfully back to the house. 
In the court he met little Eva, — a crown of tuberoses on 
her head, and her eyes radiant with delight. 

" Tom ! here you are. I'm glad I've found you. Papa 
says you may get out the ponies, and take me in my little 
new carriage," she said, catching his hand. " But what's the 
matter, Tom? — you look sober." 

" I feel bad. Miss Eva," said Tom, sorrowfully. " But I'll 
get the horses for you." 

" But do tell me, Tom, what is the matter. I saw you talk- 
ing to cross old Prue." 

Tom, in simple, earnest phrase, told Eva the woman's 
history. She did not exclaim, or wonder, or weep, as other 
children do. Her cheeks grew pale, and a deep, earnest 
shadow passed over her eyes. She laid both hands on her 
bosom, and sighed heavily. 





CHAPTER XIX, 



MISS Ophelia's expeeiences and opinions, continued. 




OM, you needn't get me the horses. I don't 
want to go," she said. 
" Why not. Miss Eva ? " 
"These things sink into my heart, Tom," 
said Eva, — "they sink into my heart," she 
repeated, earnestly. " I don't want to go ; " 
and she turned from Tom, and went into the house. 

A few days after, another woman came, in old Prue's place, 
to bring the rusks ; Miss Ophelia was in the kitchen. 
" Lor ! " said Dinah, "what's got Prue ? " 
" Prue isn't coming any more," said the woman, mysteriously. 
" Why not ? " said Dinah. " She an't dead, is she ? " 
"We doesn't exactly know. She's down cellar," said the 
woman, glancing at Miss Ophelia. 



'278 UNCLE tom's cabin ; or, 

After Miss Ophelia had taken the rusks, Dinah followed the 
woman to the door. 

" What has got Prue, any how ? " she said. 

The woman seemed desirous, yet reluctant to speak, and 
answered, in a low, mysterious tone, — 

" Well, you musn't tell nobody. Prue, she got drunk agin, 
— and they had her down cellar, — and thar they left her all 
day, — and I hearn 'em saying that the jlies had got to her, — 
and she's dead ! " 

Dinah held up her hands, and, turning, saw close by her side 
the spirit-like form of Evangeline, her large, mystic eyes 
dilated with horror, and every drop of blood driven from her 
lips and cheeks. 

" Lor bless us ! Miss Eva's gwine to faint away ! What got 
us all, to let her har such talk ? Her pall be rail mad." 

" I shan't faint, Dinah," said the child, firmly ; " and why 
shouldn't I hear it ? It an't so much for me to hear it as for 
poor Prue to suffer it." 

" Lor sakes ! it isn't for sweet, delicate young ladies, like 
you, — these yer stories isn't; it's enough to kill 'em!" 

Eva sighed again, and walked up stairs with a slow and 
melancholy step. 

Miss Ophelia anziously inquired the woman's story. Dinah 
gave a very garrulous version of it, to which Tom added the 
particulars which he had drawn from her that morning. 

" An abominable business, — perfectly horrible ! " she ex- 
claimed, as she entered the room where St. Clare lay reading 
his paper. 

" Pray, what iniquity has turned up now ? " said he. 

" What now ? why, those folks have whipped Prue to 
death ! " said Miss Ophelia, going on, with great strength of 
detail, into the story, and enlarging on its most shocking 
particulars. 

" I thought it would come to that, some time," said St. Clare, 
going on with his paper. 

" Thought so ! — an't you going to do any thing about it ? " 
said Miss Ophelia. "Haven't you got any selectmen, or any 
body, to interfere and look after such matters?" 

" It's commonly supposed that the property interest is a suffi- 



LIFE AMONG THE LOWLY. 279 

cieiit guard in these cases. If people choose to ruin their own 
possessions, I don't know what's to be done. It seems the poor 
creature was a thief and a drimkard ; and so there won't be 
much hope to get up sympathy for her." 

"It is perfectly outrageous, — it is horrid, Augustine 1 It 
will certainly bring down vengeance upon you." 

" My dear cousin, I didn't do it, and I can't help it ; I would 
if I could. If low-minded, brutal people will act like them- 
selves, what am I to do ? They have absolute control ; they 
are irresponsible despots. There would be no use in interfer- 
ing ; there is no law that amounts to any thing practically, for 
such a case. The best we can do is to shut our eyes and ears, 
and let it alone. It's the only resource left us." 

" How can you shut your eyes and ears ? How can you let 
such things alone ? " 

" My dear child, what do you expect ? Here is a whole 
class, — debased, uneducated, indolent, provoking, — put, with- 
out any sort of terms or conditions, entirely into the hands of 
such people as the majority in our world are ; people who have 
neither consideration nor self-control, who haven't even an 
enlightened regard to their own interest, — for that's the case 
with the largest half of mankind. Of course, in a community 
so organized, what can a man of honorable and humane feel- 
ings do, but shut his eyes all he can, and harden his heart ? I 
can't buy every poor wretch I see. I can't turn knight-errant, 
and undertake to redress every individual case of wrong in 
such a city as this. The most I can do is to try and keep out 
of the way of it." 

St. Clare's fine countenance was for a moment overcast ; 
he looked annoyed, but suddenly calling up a gay smile, he 
said, — 

" Come, cousin, don't stand there looking like one of the 
Fates ; you've only seen a peep through the curtain, — a speci- 
men of what is going on, the world over, in some shape or 
other. If we are to be prying and spying into all the dismals 
of life, we should have no heart to any thing. 'Tis like look- 
ing too close into the details of Dinah's kitchen ; " and St. 
Clare lay back on the sofa, and busied himself with his paper. 

Miss Ophelia sat down, and pulled out her knitting work. 



280 UNCLE TOMS CABIN ; OR, 

and sat there grim Avitli indignation. She knit and knit, but 
while she mused the fire burned ; at last she broke out, — 

" I tell you, Augustine, I can't get over things so, if you can. 
It's a perfect abomination for you to defend such a system, — 
that's my mind ! " 

" What now ? " said St. Clare, looking up. " At it again, 
hey ? " 

"I say it's perfectly abominable for you to defend such a 
system ! " said Miss Ophelia, with increasing warmth. 

" / defend it, my dear lady ? Who ever said I did defend 
it ? " said St. Clare. 

"Of course you defend it, — you all do, — all you south- 
erners. What do you have slaves for, if you don't ? " 

" Are you such a sweet innocent as to suppose nobody in this 
world ever does what they don't think is right ? Don't you, 
or didn't you ever, do any thing that you did not think quite 
right?" 

" If I do, I repent of it, I hope," said Miss Ophelia, rattling 
her needles with energy. 

" So do I," said St. Clare, peeling his orange ; " I'm repent- 
ing of it all the time." 

" What do you keep on doing it for ? " 

" Didn't you ever keep on doing wrong, after you'd repented, 
my good cousin ? " 

" Well, only when I've been very much tempted," said Miss 
Ophelia, 

" Well, I'm very much tempted," said St. Clare ; " that's just 
my difficulty." 

" But I always resolve I won't, and I try to break off." 

" Well, I have been resolving I won't, off and on, these ten 
years," said St. Clare ; " but I haven't, somehow, got clear. 
Have you got clear of all your sins, cousin ? " 

" Cousin Augustine," said Miss Ophelia, seriously, and laying 
down her knitting work, " I suppose I deserve that you should 
reprove my short-comings. I know all you say is true enough ; 
nobody else feels them more than I do ; but it does seem to me, 
after all, there is some difference between me and you. It 
seems to me I would cut off my right hand sooner than keep on, 
from day to day, doing what I thought was wrong. But, then, 



LIFE AMONG THE LOWLY. 281 

my conduct is so inconsistent with my profession, I don't won- 
der you reprove me." 

" 0, now, cousin," said Augustine, sitting down on the floor, 
and laying his head back in her lap, " don't take on so awfully 
serious! You know what a good-for-notliing, saucy boy I 
always was. I love to poke you up, — that's all, — just to see 
you get earnest. I do think you are desperately, distressingly 
good ; it tires me to death to think of it." 

" But this is a serious subject, my boy, Auguste," said Miss 
Ophelia, laying her hand on his forehead. 

"Dismally so," said he; "and, — well, I never want to talk 
seriously in hot weather. What with mosquitoes and all, a fel- 
low can't get himself up to any very sublime moral flights ; and 
I believe," said St. Clare, suddenly rousing himself up, " there's 
a theory, now ! I understand now why northern nations are 
always more virtuous than southern ones, — I see into that 
whole subject." 

" 0, Auguste, you are a sad rattlebrain ! " 

" Am I ? Well, so I am, I suppose ; but for once I will be 
serious, now ; — but you must hand me that basket of oranges ; 
— you see, you'll have to ' stay me with flagons and comfort me 
with apples,' if I'm going to make this efi'ort. Now," said Au- 
gustine, drawing the basket up, " I'll begin : When, in the 
course of human events, it becomes necessary for a fellow to 
hold two or three dozen of his fellow-worms in captivity, a 
decent regard to the opinions of society requires " 

'■ I don't see that you are growing more serious," said Miss 
Ophelia. 

"Wait, — I'm coming on, — you'll hear. The short of the 
matter is, cousin," said he, his handsome face suddenly settling 
into an earnest and serious expression, " on this abstract ques- 
tion of slavery there can, as I think, be but one opinion. Plant- 
ers, Avho have money to make by it, — clergymen, who have 
planters to please, — politicians, who want to rule by it, — may 
warp and bend language and ethics to a degree that shall as- 
tonish the world at their ingenuity ; they can press nature and 
the Bible, and nobody knows what else, into the service ; but, 
after all, neither they nor the world believe in it one particle 
the more. It comes from the devil, that's the short of it ; — 
36 



282 UNCLE tom's cabin; or, 

and, to my mind, it's a pretty respectable specimen of "what he 
can do in his own line." 

Miss Ophelia stopped her knitting, and looked surprised; 
and St. Clare, apparently enjoying her astonishment, went on. 

" You seem to wonder ; but if you will get me fairly at it, 
I'll make a clean breast of it. This cursed business, accursed 
of God and man, what is it ? Strip it of all its ornament, run it 
down to the root and nucleus of the whole, and what is it ? 
Why, because my brother Quashy is ignorant and weak, and I 
am intelligent and strong", — because I know how, and can do 
it, — therefore I may steal all he has, keep it, and give him 
only such and so much as suits my fancy. Whatever is too 
hard, too dirty, too disagreeble for me, I may set Quashy to do- 
ing. Because I don't like work, Quashy shall work. Because 
the sun burns me, Quashy shall stay in the sun. Quashy shall 
earn the money, and I will spend it. Quashy shall lie down in 
every puddle, that I may walk over dryshod. Quashy shall do 
my will, and not his, all the days of his mortal life, and have 
such chance of getting to heaven, at last, as I find convenient. 
This I take to be about what slavery is. I defy any body on 
earth to read our slave code, as it stands in our law books, and 
make any thing else of it. Talk of the abuses of slavery ! Hum- 
bug ! The thing itself is the essence of all abuse ! And the only 
reason why the laud don't sink under it, like Sodom and Gomor- 
rah, is because it is used in a way infinitely better than it is. For 
pity's sake, for shame's sake, because we are men born of women, 
and not savage beasts, many of us do not, and dare not, — we 
would scorn to use the full power which our savage laws put 
hito our hands. And he who goes the farthest, and does the 
worst, only uses within limits the power that the law gives him." 

St. Clare had started up, and, as his manner was when ex- 
cited, was walking, with hurried steps, upi and down the floor. 
His fine face, classic as that of a Greek statue, seemed actually 
to burn with the fervor of his feelings. His large blue eyes 
flashed, and he gestured with an unconscious eagerness. Miss 
Ophelia had never seen him in this mood before, and she sat 
perfectly silent. 

" I declare to you," said he, suddenly stopping before his 
cousin, " (it's no sort of use to talk or to feel on this subject;) 



LIFE AMONG THE LOWLY. 283 

but I declare to you, there have been times when I have thought, 
if the wliole country would sink, and hide all this injustice and 
misery from the light, I would willingly sink with it. When I 
have been travelling up and down on our boats, or about on my 
collecting tours, and reflected that every brutal, disgusting, 
mean, low-lived fellow I met was allowed by our laws to be- 
come absolute despot of as many men, women, and children, as 
he could cheat, steal, or gamble money enough to buy, — when 
I have seen such men in actual ownership of helpless children, 
of young girls and women, — I have been ready to curse my 
country, to curse the human race ! " 

" Augustine ! Augustine ! " said Miss Ophelia, " I'm sure 
you've said enough. I never, in my life, heard any thing like 
this, even at the north." 

" At the north ! " said St. Clare, with a sudden change of 
expression, and resuming something of his habitual careless 
tone. " Pooh ! your northern folks are cold-blooded ; you are 
cool in every thing ! You can't begin to curse up hill and 
down as we can, when we get fairly at it." 

" Well, but the question is," said Miss Ophelia. 

" 0, yes, to be sui^e, the question is, — and a deuce of a ques- 
tion it is ! How came you in this state of sin and misery ? 
Well, I shall answer in the good old words you used to teach 
me, Sundays. I came so by ordinary generation. My ser- 
vants were my father's, and, what is more, my mother's ; and 
now they are mine, they and their increase, which bids fair to 
be a pretty considerable item. My father, you know, came first 
from New England ; and he was just such another man as your 
father, — a regular old Roman, — upright, energetic, noble- 
minded, with an iron will. Your father settled down in New 
England, to rule over rocks and stones, and to force an exist- 
ence out of nature ; and mine settled in Louisiana, to rule over 
men and women, and force existence out of them. My mother," 
said St. Clare, getting up and w^alking to a picture at the end 
of the room, and gazing upward with a face fervent with ven- 
eration, " she was divine / Don't look at me so ! — you know 
what I mean ! She probably was of mortal birth ; but, as far as 
ever I could observe, there was no trace of any human weakness 
or error al)out her ; and every body that lives to remember her, 



284 UNCLE tom's cabin ; or, 

whether bond or free, servant, acquaintance, relation, all say 
the same. Why, cousin, that mother has been all that has stood 
between me and utter unbelief for years. She was a direct 
embodiment and personification of the New Testament, — a 
living fact, to be accounted for, and to be accounted for in no 
other way than by its truth. 0, mother ! mother ! " said St. 
Clare, clasping his hands, in a sort of transport ; and then sud- 
denly checking himself, he came back, and seating himself on 
an ottoman, he went on : — 

" My brother and I were twins ; and they say, you know, 
that twins ought to resemble each other ; but we were in all 
points a contrast. He had black, fiery eyes, coal-black hair, a 
strong, fine Roman profile, and a rich brown complexion. I 
had blue eyes, golden hair, a Greek outline, and fair complex- 
ion. He was active and observing, I dreamy and inactive. 
He was generous to his friends and equals, but proud, domi- 
nant, overbearing, to inferiors, and utterly unmerciful to what- 
ever set itself up against him. Truthful we both were ; he 
from pride and courage, I from a sort of abstract ideality. 
"We loved each other about as boys generally do, — oif and on, 
and in general ; — he was my father's pet, and I my mother's. 

" There was a morbid sensitiveness and acuteness of feeling 
in me on all possible subjects, of which he and my father had 
no kind of understanding, and with which they could have no 
possible sympathy. But mother did ; and so, when I had 
quarrelled with Alfred, and father looked sternly on me, I used 
to go off to motlier's room, and sit by her. I remember just 
how she used to look, with her pale cheeks, her deep, soft, seri- 
ous eyes, her white dress, — she always wore white ; and I used 
to think of her whenever I read in Revelation about the saints 
that were arrayed in fine linen, clean and white. She had a 
great deal of genius of one sort and another, particularly in 
music ; and she used to sit at her organ, playing fine old ma- 
jestic music of the Catholic church, and singing with a voice 
more like an angel tlian a mortal woman ; and I would lay my 
head down on her lap, and cry, and dream, and feel, — 0, 
immeasurably ! — things that I had no language to say ! 

" In those days, this matter of slavery had never been can- 
vassed as it has now ; nobody dreamed of any hamn in it. 



LIFE AMONG THE LOWLY. 285 

" My fatlier was a born aristocrat. I think, in some preexist- 
eut state, lie must have been in the higher circles of spirits, and 
brought all his old court pride along with him ; for it was in- 
grain, bred in the bone, though he was originally of poor and 
not in any way of noble family. My brother was begotten 
in his image. 

" Now, an aristocrat, you know, the world over, has no hu- 
man sympathies, beyond a certain line in society. In England 
the line is in one place, in Burmah in another, and in America 
in another ; but the aristocrat of all these countries never goes 
over it. What would be hardship, and distress, and injustice in 
his own class, is a cool matter of course in another one. My 
father's dividing line was that of color. Ammig his equals, 
never was a man more just and generous ; but he considered the 
negro, through all possible gradations of color, as an inter- 
mediate link between man and animals, and graded all his ideas 
of justice or generosity on this hypothesis. I suppose, to be sure, 
if any body had asked him, plump and fair, whether they had 
human immortal souls, he might have hemmed and hawed, and 
said yes. But my father was not a man much troubled with 
spiritualism ; religious sentiment he had none, beyond a ven- 
eration for God, as decidedly the head of the upper classes. 

" "Well, my father worked some five hundred negroes ; he 
was an inflexible, driving, punctilious business man ; every 
thing was to move by system, — to be sustained with unfailing 
accuracy and precision. Now, if you take into account that 
all this was to be worked out by a set of lazy, twaddling, shift- 
less laborers, who had grown up, all their lives, in the absence 
of every possible motive to learn how to do any thing but 
' shirk,' as you Vermonters say, you'll see that there might 
naturally be, on his plantation, a great many things that 
looked horrible and distressing to a sensitive child, like me. 

"Besides all, he had an overseer, — a great, tall, slab-sided, 
two-fisted renegade son of Vermont, — (begging your pardon.) 
— who had gone through a regular apprenticeship in hardness 
and brutality, and taken his degree to be admitted to practice. 
My mother never could endure him, nor I ; but he obtained an 
entire ascendency over my father ; and this man was the 
absolute despot of the estate. 



286 UNCLE TOM's CABIN; OR, 

" 1 was a little fellow then, but I had the same love that I 
have now for all kinds of himian things, — a kind of passion 
for the study of humanity, come in what shape it would. I 
was found in the cabins and among the field hands a great 
deal, and, of course, was a great favorite ; and all sorts of 
complaints and grievances were breathed in my ear ; and I 
told them to mother, and we, between us, formed a sort of 
committee for a redress of grievances. We hindered and re- 
pressed a great deal of cruelty, and congratulated ourselves 
on doing a vast deal of good, till, as often happens, my zeal 
overacted. Stubbs complained to my father that he couldn't 
manage the hands, and must resign his position. Father was 
a fond, indulgent husband, but a man that never flinched from 
any thing that he thought necessary ; and so he put down his 
foot, like a rock, between us and the field hands. He told my 
mother, in language perfectly respectful and deferential, but 
quite explicit, that over the house servants she should be entire 
mistress, but that with the field hands he could allow no inter- 
ference. He revered and respected her above all living be- 
ings ; but he would have said it all the same to the virgin 
Mary herself, if she had come in the way of his system. 

" I used sometimes to hear my mother reasoning cases with 
him, — endeavoring to excite his sympathies. He would listen 
to the most pathetic appeals with the most discouraging polite- 
ness and equanimity. ' It all resolves itself into this,' he would 
say; 'must I part with Stubbs, or keep him? Stubbs is the 
feoul of punctuality, honesty, and efficiency, — a thorough busi- 
ness hand, and as humane as the general run. We can't have 
perfection ; and if I keep him, I must sustain his administra- 
tion as a whole, even if there are, now and then, things that are 
exceptionable. All government includes some necessary hard- 
ness. General rules will bear hard on particular cases.' This 
last maxim my father seemed to consider a settler in most 
alleged cases of cruelty. After he had said that, he commonly 
drew up his feet on the sofa, like a man that has disposed of a 
business, and betook himself to a nap, or the newspaper, as the 
case might be. 

" The fact is, my father showed the exact sort of talent for 
a statesman. He could have divided Poland as oasilv as an 



/ 



LIFE AMONG THE LOWLY. 287 

orauge, or trod on Ireland as quietly and systematically as 
any man living. At last my mother gave up in despair. It 
never will be known, till the last account, what noble and 
sensitive natui'es like hers have felt, cast, utterly helpless, into 
what seems to them an abyss of injustice and cruelty, and 
which seems so to nobody about them. It has been an age 
of long sorrow of such natures, in such a hell-begotten sort 
of world as ours. What remained for her," but to train her 
children in her own views and sentiments? Well, after all 
you say about training, children will grow up substantially 
what they are by nature, and only that. From the cradle, 
Alfred was an aristocrat ; and as he grew up, instinctively, 
all his sympathies and all his reasonings were in that line, 
and all mother's exhortations went to the winds. As to me, 
they sunk deep into me. She never contradicted, in form, 
any thing that my father said, or seemed directly to differ 
from him ; but she impressed, burned into my very soul, with 
all the force of her deep, earnest nature, an idea of the dig- 
nity and worth of the meanest human soul. I have looked in 
her face with solemn awe, when she would point up to the 
stars in the evening, and say to me, ' See there, Auguste ! 
the poorest, meanest soul on our place will be living, when 
all these stars are gone forever, — will live as long as God 
lives ! ' 

" She had some fine old paintings ; one, in particular, of 
Jesus healing a blind man. They were very fine, and used 
to impress me strongly. ' See there, Auguste,' she would 
say ; ' the l.dind man was a beggar, poor and loathsome ; 
therefore he would not heal him afar off ! He called him 
to him, and put his hands on him ! Remember this, my boy.' 
If I had lived to grow up under her care, she might have 
stimulated me to I know not what of enthusiasm. I might 
have been a saint, reformer, martyr, — but, alas ! alas ! I went 
from her when I was only thirteen, and I never saw her 
again ! " 

St. Clare rested his head on his hands, and did not speak 
for some minutes. After a while, he looked up, and went on : — 

" What poor, mean trash this whole business of human 
virtue is ! A mere matter, for the most part, of latitude and 



\ 



288 UNCLE tom's cabin; or, 

longitude, and geographical position, acting witli natural 
temperament. The greater part is nothing but an accident! 
Your father, for example, settles in Vermont, in a town where 
all are, in fact, free and equal ; becomes a regular church 
member and deacon, and in due time joins an abolition soci- 
ety, and thinks us all little better than heathens. Yet he 
is, for all the world, in constitution and habit, a duplicate 
of my father. I can see it leaking out in fifty different ways, — 
just that same strong, overbearing, dominant spirit. You know 
very well how impossible it is to persuade some of the folks 
in your village that Squire Sinclair does not feel above them. 
The fact is, though he has fallen on democratic times, and 
embraced a democratic theory, he is to the heart an aristo- 
crat, as much as my father, who ruled over five or six hundred 
slaves." 

Miss Ophelia felt rather disposed to cavil at this picture, 
and was laying down her knitting to begin, but St. Clare 
stopped her. 

" Now, I know every word you are going to say. I do not 
say they were alike, in fact. One fell into a condition where 
every thing acted against the natural tendency, and the other 
where every thing acted for it ; and so one turned out a pretty 
wilful, stout, overbearing old democrat, and the other a wilful, 
stout old despot. If both had owned plantations in Louisiana, 
they would have been as like as two old bullets cast in the 
same mould." 

" What an undutiful boy you are ! " said Miss Ophelia. 

" I don't mean them any disrespect," said St. Clare. 
"You know reverence is not my forte. But to go back to 
my history : — 

" When father died, he left the whole property to us twin 
boys, to be divided as we should agree. There does not 
breathe on God's earth a nobler souled, more generous fellow, 
than Alfred, in all that concerns his equals ; and we got on 
admirably with this property question, without a single un- 
brotherly word or feeling. We undertook to work the 
plantation together ; and Alfred, whose outward life and 
capabilities had double the strength of mine, became an enthu- 
siastic planter, and a wonderfully successful one. 



LIFE AMONG THE LOWLY. 289 

" But two years' trial satisfied me that I could not be a 
partner in that matter. To have a great gang of seven hun- 
dred, whom I could not know personally, or feel any individual 
interest in, bought and driven, housed, fed, worked like so 
many horned cattle, strained up to military precision, — the 
question of how little of life's commonest enjoyments would 
keep them in working order being a constantly-recurring 
problem, — the necessity of drivers and overseers, — the ever- 
necessary whip, first, last, and only argument, — the whole 
thing was insufferably disgusting and loathsome to me ; and 
when I thought of my mother's estimate of one poor, human 
soul, it became even frightful ! 

" It's all nonsense to talk to me about slaves enjoying all 
this ! To this day, I have no patience with the unutterable 
trash that some of your patronizing northerners have made 
up, as in their zeal to apologize for our sins. We all know 
better. Tell me that any man living wants to work all his 
days, from day dawn till dark, under the constant eye of a 
master, without the power of putting forth one irresponsible 
volition, on the same dreary, monotonous, unchanging toil, and 
all for two pairs of pantaloons and a pair of shoes a year, 
with enough food and shelter to keep him in working order ! 
Any man who thinks that human beings can, as a general 
thing, be made about as comfortable that way as any other, I 
wish he might try it. I'd buy the dog, and work him, with a 
clear conscience ! " 

" I always have supposed," said Miss Ophelia, " that you, 
all of you, approved of these things, and thought them rigid, 
— according to Scripture." 

'■ Humbug ! We are not quite reduced to that yet. Alfred, 
who is as determined a despot as ever walked, does not pre. 
tend to this kind of defence; — no, he stands, high and 
haughty, on that good old respectable ground, the right of the 
strongest ; and he says, and I think quite sensibly, that the 
American planter is * only doing, in another form, what the 
English aristocracy and capitalists are doing by the lowei 
classes ; ' that is, I take it, appropriating them, body and bone? 
soul and spirit, to their use and convenience. He defends 
both, — and I think, at iQOJ&i, c(msistently. He says that there 
37 



290 UNCLE tom's cabin ; or, 

can be no high civilization without enslavement of the masses, 
either nominal or real. There must, he says, be a lower class, 
given up to physical toil, and confined to an animal nature ; 
and a higher one thereby acquires leisure and wealth for a 
more expanded intelligence and improvement, and becomes the 
directing soul of the lower. So he reasons, because, as I said, 
he is born an aristocrat ; — so I don't believe, because I was 
born a democrat."' 

" How in the world can the two things be compared ? " said 
Miss Ophelia. '' The English laborer is not sold, traded, part- 
ed from his family, whipped." 

" He is as much at the will of his employer as if he were 
sold to him. The slave owner can whip his refractory slave 
to death, — the capitalist can starve him to death. As to 
family security, it is hard to say which is the worst, — to have 
one's children sold, or see them starve to death at home." 

"But it's no kind of apology for slavery, to prove that it 
isn't worse than some other bad thing." 

" I didn't give it for one, — nay, I'll say, besides, that ours 
is the more bold and palpable infringement of human rights ; 
actually buying a man up, like a horse, — looking at his teeth, 
cracking his joints, and trying his paces, and then paying 
down for him, — having speculators, breeders, traders, and 
brokers in human bodies and souls, — sets the thing before 
the eyes of the civilized world in a more tangible form, 
though the thing done be, after all, in its nature, the same ; 
that is, appropriating one set of human beings to the use and 
improvement of another, without any regard to their own." 

" I never thought of the matter in this light," said Miss 
Ophelia. 

" Well, I've travelled in England some, and I've looked 
over a good many documents as to the state of their lower 
classes ; and I really think there is no denying Alfred, when 
he says that his slaves are better off than a large class of the 
population of England. You see, you must not infer, from 
what I have told you, that Alfred is what is called a hard 
master ; for he isn't. He is despotic and unmerciful to in- 
subordination ; he would shoot a fellow down with as little 
remorse as he would shoot a buck, if he opposed him. But, 



LIFE AMONG THE LOWLY. 2ftl 

in general, lie takes a sort of pride in having his slaves com- 
fortably fed and accommodated. 

" When I was with him, I insisted that he should do some- 
thing for their instruction ; and to please me. he did get a 
chaplain, and used to have them catechized Sunday, though I 
believe, in his heart, that he thought it would do about as 
much good to set a chaplain over his dogs and horses. And 
the fact is, that a mind stupefied and animalized by every bad 
influence from the hour of ])irth, spending the whole of every 
week day in unreflecting toil, cannot be done much with by a 
few hours on Sunday. The teachers of Sunday schools among 
the manufacturing population of England, and among planta- 
tion hands in our country, could perhaps testify to the same 
result, there and here. Yet some striking exceptions there are 
among us, from the fact that the negro is naturally more im- 
pressible to religious sentiment than the white." 

" Well," said Miss Ophelia, " how came you to give up your 
plantation life ? " 

" Well, we jogged on together some time, till Alfred saw 
plainly that I was no planter. He thought it absurd, after he 
had reformed, and altered, and improved every where, to suit 
my notions, that I still remained unsatisfied. The fact was, it 
was, after all, the thing that I hated, — the using these men 
and women, the perpetuation of all this ignorance, brutality, 
and vice, — just to make money for me ! 

" Besides, I was always interfering in the details. Being 
myself one of the laziest of mortals, I had altogether too much 
fellow-feeling for the lazy ; and when poor, shiftless dogs put 
stones at the bottom of their cotton baskets to make them 
weigh heavier, or filled their sacks with dirt, with cotton at 
the top, it seemed so exactly like what I should do if I were 
they, I couldn't and wouldn't have them flogged for it. Well, 
of course, there was an end of plantation discipline ; and Alf 
and I came to about the same point that I and my respected 
father did, years before. So he told me that I was a woman- 
isli sentimentalist, and would never do for business life ; and 
advised me to take the bank stock, and the New Orleans 
family mansion, and go to writing poetry, and let him manage 
the plantation. So we parted, and I came here." 



292 UNCLE tom's cabin ; or, 

" But why didn't you free your slaves ? " 

" Well, I wasn't up to that. To hold them as tools for 
money making, I could not : — have them to help spend money, 
you know, didn't look quite so ugly to me. Some of them 
were old house servants, to whom I was much attached ; and 
the younger ones were children to the old. All were well 
satisfied to be as they were." He paused, and walked reflec- 
tively up and down the room. 

" There was," said St. Clare, " a time in my life when I had 
plans and hopes of doing something in this world, more than 
to float and drift, I had vague, indistinct yearnings to be a 
sort of emancipator, — to free my native land from this spot 
and stain. All young men have had such fever fits, I suppose, 
some time, — but then " 

"Why didn't you?" said Miss Ophelia; — "you ought not 
to put your hand to the plough, and look back," 

" 0, well, things didn't go with me as I expected, and I got the 
despair of living that Solomon did. I suppose it was a necessary 
incident to wisdom in us both ; but, somehow or other, instead 
of being actor and regenerator in society, I became a piece of 
drift wood, and have been floating and eddying about ever 
since. Alfred scolds me, every time we meet ; and he has the 
better of me, I grant, — for he really does something ; his life 
is a logical result of his opinions, and mine is a contemptible 
7ion sequitur:' 

" My dear cousin, can you be satisfied with such a way of 
spending your probation ? " 

" Satisfied ! Was*I not just telling you I despised it? But, 
then, to come back to this point, — we were on this liberation 
business. I don't think my feelings about slavery are peculiar. 
I find many men who, in their hearts, think of it just as I do. 
The land groans under it ; and, bad as it is for the slave, it is 
worse, if any thing, for the master. It takes no spectacles to 
see that a great class of vicious, improvident, degraded people, 
among us, are an evil to us, as well as to themselves. The 
capitalist and aristocrat of England cannot feel that as we do, 
because they do not mingle with the class they degrade, as we 
do. They are in our houses ; they are the associates of our 
children, and they form their minds faster than we can ; for 



LIFE AMONG THE LOWLY. 293 

they are a race that children always will cling to and assimi- 
late with. If Eva, now, was not more angel than ordinary, she 
would be ruined. We might as well allow the small-pox to 
run among them, and think our children would not take it, as to 
let them be uninstructed and vicious, and think our children 
will not be affected by that. Yet our laws positively and utterly 
forbid any efficient general educational system, and they do it 
wisely, too ; for just begin and thoroughly educate one genera- 
tion, and the whole thing would be blown sky high. If we did 
not give them liberty, they would take it." 

"And what do you think will be the end of this?" said 
Miss Ophelia. 

" I don't know. One thing is certain, — that there is a 
mustering among the masses the world over ; and there is a 
dies ircB coming on, sooner or later. The same thing is 
working in Europe, in England, and in this country. My 
mother used to tell me of a millennium that was coming, when 
Christ should reign, and all men should be free and happy. 
And she taught me, when I was a boy, to pray, ' Thy kingdom 
come.' Sometimes I think all this sighing, and groaning, and 
stirring among the dry bones foretells what she used to tell me 
was coming. But who may abide the day of his appearing ? " 

" Augustine, sometimes I think you are not far from the 
kingdom," said Miss Ophelia, laying down her knitting, and 
looking anxiously at her cousin. 

'' Thank you for your good opinion ; but it's up and down 
with me, — up to heaven's gate in theory, down in earth's 
dust in practice. But there's the tea bell, — do let's go, — 
and don't say, now, I haven't had one downright serious talk, 
for once in my life." 

At table, Marie alluded to the incident of Prue. ■' I suppose 
you'll think, cousin," she said, " that we are all barbarians." 

" I think that's a barbarous thing," said Miss Ophelia, " but 
I don't think you are all barbarians." 

" Well, now," said Marie, " I know it's impossible to get 
along with some of these creatures. They are so bad they 
ought not to live. I don't feel a particle of sympathy for such 
cases. If they'd only behave themselves, it would not happen." 

" But, mamma," said Eva, " the poor creature was unhappy ; 
that's what made her drink." 



294 UNCLE TOM'S CABIN ; OR, 

" 0, fiddlestick ! as if that were any excuse ! I'm unhappy 
very often. I presume," she said, pensively, " that IVe had 
greater trials than ever she had. It's just because they are so 
bad. There's some of them that you cannot break in by any 
kind of severity. I remember father had a man that was so 
lazy he would run away just to get rid of work, and lie round 
in the swamps, stealing and doing all sorts of horrid things. 
That man was caught and whipped, time and again, and it 
never did him any good ; and the last time he crawled off, 
though he couldn't but just go, and died in the swamp. There 
was no sort of reason for it.' for father's hands were always 
treated kindly." 

" I broke a fellow in, once," said St. Clare, " that all the 
overseers and masters had tried their hands on in vain." 

" You ! " said Marie ; " well, I'd be glad to know when you 
ever did any thing of the sort." 

" Well, he was a powerful, gigantic fellow, — a native-born 
African ; and he appeared to have the rude instinct of freedom 
in him to an uncommon degree. He was a regular African 
lion. They called him Scipio. Nobody could do any thing 
with him ; and he was sold round from overseer to overseer, 
till at last Alfred bought him, because he thought he could 
manage him. Well, one day he knocked down the overseer, 
and was fairly off into the swamps. I was on a visit to Alf 's 
plantation, for it was after we had dissolved partnership. Al- 
fred was greatly exasperated ; but I told him that it was his 
own fault, and laid him any wager that I could break the 
man ; and finally it was agreed that, if I caught him, I should 
have him to experiment on. So they mustered out a party of 
some six or seven, with guns and dogs, for the hunt. People, 
you know, can get up just as much enthusiasm in hunting a 
man as a deer, if it is only customary ; in fact, I got a little 
excited myself, though I had only put in as a sort of mediator, 
in case he was cauglit. 

" Well, the dogs bayed and howled, and we rode and scam- 
pered, and finally we started him. He ran and bounded like a 
buck, and kept us well in the rear for some time ; but at last 
he got caught in an impenetrable thicket of cane ; then he 
turned to bav, and I tell von he fought the dogs right cal- 



LIFE AMONG THE LOWLY. 295 

lantly. He dashed them to right and left, and actually killed 
three of them with only his naked fists, when a shot from a 
gmi brought him down, and he fell, wounded and bleeding, 
almost at my feet. The poor fellow looked up at me with 
manhood and despair both in his eye. I kept back the dogs 
and the party, as they came pressing up, and claimed him as 
my prisoner. It was all I could do to keep them from shooting 
him, in the flush of success ; but I persisted in my l^argain, and 
Alfred sold him to me. "Well, I took him in hand, and in one 
fortnight I had him tamed down as submissive and tractable 
as heart could desire." 

" What in the world did you do to him ? " said Marie. 

" Well, it was quite a simple process. I took him to my 
own room, had a good bed made for him, dressed his wounds, 
and tended him myself, until he got fairly on his feet again. 
And, in process of time, I had free papers made out for him, 
and told him he might go where he liked." 

" And did he go ? " said Miss Ophelia. 

" No. The foolish fellow tore the paper in two, and abso- 
lutely refused to leave me. I never had a braver, better 
fellow, — trusty and true as steel. He embraced Christianity 
afterwards, and became as gentle as a child. He used to over- 
see my place on the lake, and did it capitally, too. I lost him 
the first cholera season. In fact, he laid down his life for me. 
For I was sick, almost to death ; and when, through the panic, 
every body else fled, Scipio worked for me like a giant, and 
actually brought me back into life again. But, poor fellow ! 
he was taken, right after, and there was no saving him. I 
never felt any body's loss more. 

Eva liad come gradually nearer and nearer to her father, as 
he told the story, — lier small lips apart, her eyes wide and ear- 
nest with absorbing interest. 

As he finished, she suddenly threw her arms around his neck, 
burst into tears, and sobbed convulsively. 

" Eva, dear child ! what is the matter ? " said St. Clare, as 
the child's small frame trembled and shook with the violence 
of her feelings. " This child," he added, " ought not to hear 
any of this kind of thing, — she's nervous." 

" No, papa, I'm not nervous," said Eva, controlling herself, 



296 UNCLE tom's cabin ; OB, 

suddenly, "With a strength of resolution singular in such a child. 
" I'm not nervous, but these things sink into my heart ! " 

" What do you mean, Eva ? " 

" I can't tell you, papa. I think a great many thoughts. 
Perhaps some day I shall tell you." 

" Well, think away, dear, — only don't cry and worry your 
papa," said St, Clare. "Look here, — see what a beautiful 
peach I have got for you ! " 

Eva took it, and smiled, though there was still a nervous 
twitching about the corners of her mouth. 

" Come, look at the gold fish," said St. Clare, taking her 
hand and stepping on to the veranda. A few moments, and 
merry laughs were heard through the silken curtains, as Eva 
and St. Clare were pelting each other with roses, and chasing 
each other among the alleys of the coui't. 



There is danger that our humble friend Tom be neglected 
amid the adventures of the higher born ; but, if our readers 
will accompany us up to a little loft over the stable, they may, 
perhaps, learn a little of his affairs. It was a decent room, 
containing a bed, a chair, and a small, rough stand, where lay 
Tom's Bible and hymn book ; and where he sits, at present, 
with his slate before him, intent on something that seems to 
cost him a great deal of anxious thought. 

The fact was, that Tom's home yearnings had become so 
strong, that he had begged a sheet of writing paper of Eva, 
and, mustering up all his small stock of literary attainment 
acquired by Mas'r George's instructions, he conceived the bold 
idea of writing a letter ; and he was busy now, on his slate, get- 
ting out his first draught. Tom was in a good deal of trouble, 
for the forms of some of the letters he had forgotten entirely ; 
and of what he did remember, he did not know exactly which 
to use. And while he was working, and breathing very hard, 
in his earnestness, Eva aliglited, like a bird, on the round of 
his chair behind him, and peeped over his shoulder. 

" 0, Uncle Tom ! what funny things you are making, there ! " 

" I'm trying to write to my poor old woman, Miss Eva, and 



LIFE AMONG THE LOWLY. 297 

my little chiFen," said Tom, drawing the back of his hand over 
his eyes ; " but, some how, I'm feard I shan't make it out." 

" I wish I could help you, Tom ! I've learnt to write some. 
Last year I could make all the letters, but I'm afraid I've 
forgotten." 

So Eva put her little golden head close to his, and the two 
commenced a grave and anxious discussion, each one equally 
earnest, and about equally ignorant ; and, with a deal of con- 
sulting and advising over every word, the composition began, 
as they both felt very sanguine, to look quite like writing. 

" Yes, Uncle Tom, it really begins to look beautiful," said 
Eva, gazing delightedly on it. " How pleased your wife'll be, 
and the poor little children ! 0, it's a shame you ever had to 
go away from them ! I mean to ask papa to let you go back, 
some time." 

" Missis said that she would send down money for me, as 
soon as they could get it together," said Tom. " I'm 'spectin' 
she will. Young Mas'r George, he said he'd come for me ; 
and he gave me this yer dollar as a sign ; " and Tom drew 
from under his clothes the precious dollar. 

" 0, he'll certainly come, then !" said Eva. " I'm so glad!" 

" And I wanted to send a letter, you know, to let 'em know 
whar I was, and tell poor Chloe that I was well off, — cause 
she felt so dreflful, poor soul ! " 

"I say, Tom !" said St. Clare's voice, coming in the door at 
this moment. 

Tom and Eva both started. 

" What's here ? " said St. Clare, coming up and looking at 
the slate. 

" 0, it's Tom's letter. I'm helping him to write it," said 
Eva ; " isn't it nice ? " 

" I wouldn't discourage either of you," said St. Clare, " but 
I rather think, Tom, you'd better get me to write your letter 
for you. I'll do it, when I come home from my ride." 

"It's very important he should write," said Eva, "because 
his mistress is going to send down money to redeem him, you 
know, papa ; he told me they told him so." 

St. Clare thought, in his heart, that this was probably only 
one of those things which good-natured owners say to their 
38 



298 UNCLE tom's cabin ; or, 

servants, to alleviate their horror of being sold, without any 
intention of fulfilling the expectation thus excited. But he 
did not make any audible comment upon it, — only ordered 
Tom to get the horses out for a ride. 

Tom's letter was written in due form for him that evening, 
and safely lodged in the post office. 

Miss Ophelia still persevered in her labors in the house- 
keeping line. It was universally agreed, among all the house- 
hold, from Dinah down to the youngest urchin, that Misg 
Ophelia was decidedly '' curis," — a term by which a southern 
servant implies that his or her betters don't exactly suit them. 

The higher circle in the family — to wit, Adolpli, Jane, and 
Kosa — agreed that she was no lady ; ladies never kept work- 
ing about as she did ; — that she had no air at all ; and they 
were surprised that she should be any relation of the St. 
Clares. Even Marie declared that it was absolutely fatiguing 
to see cousin Ophelia always so busy. And, in fact, Miss 
Ophelia's industry was so incessant as to lay some foundation 
for the complaint. She sewed and stitched away, from day- 
light till dark, with the energy of one who is pressed on by 
some immediate urgency ; and then, when the light faded, and 
the work was folded away, with one turn out came the ever- 
ready knitting work, and there she was again, going on as 
briskly as ever it really was a labor to see her. 





CHAPTER XX, 



TOPSY. 




NE morning, while Miss Ophelia Avas busy in 
some of her domestic cares, St. Clare's voice 
Avas heard, calling her at the foot of the stairs. 
" Come down here, cousin ; I've something 
to show you." 

"What is it?" said Miss Ophelia, coming 
down, with her sewing in her hand. 

"I've made a purchase for your department, — see here," 
said St. Clare ; and, with the word, he pulled along a little 
negro girl, about eight or nine years of age. 

She was one of the blackest of her race ; and her round, 
shining eyes, glittering as glass beads, moved with quick and 
restless glances over every thing in the room. Her mouth, 
half open with astonishment at the wonders of the new mas'r's 



300 UNCLE tom's cabin ; OR, 

parlor, displayed a white and brilliant set of teeth. Her 
woolly hair was braided in sundry little tails, which stuck out 
in every direction. The expression of her face was an odd 
mixture of shrewdness and cunning, over which was oddly 
drawn, like a kind of veil, an expression of the most doleful 
gravity and solemnity. She was dressed in a single filthy, 
ragged garment, made of bagging ; and stood with her hands 
demurely folded before her. Altogether, there was something 
odd and goblin-like about her appearance, — something, as 
Miss Ophelia afterwards said, " so heathenish," as to inspire 
that good lady with utter dismay ; and, turning to St. Clare, 
she said, — 

" Augustine, what in the world have you brought that thing 
here for ? " 

" For you to educate, to be sure, and train in the way she 
should go. I thought she was rather a funny specimen in the 
Jim Crow line. Here, Topsy," he added, giving a whistle, as 
a man would to call the attention of a dog, " give us a song, 
now, and show us some of your dancing." 

The black, glassy eyes glittered with a kind of wicked droll- 
ery, and the thing struck up, in a clear, shrill voice, an odd 
negro melody, to which she kept time with her hands and feet, 
spinning round, clapping her hands, knocking her knees to- 
gether, in a wild, fantastic sort of time, and producing in her 
throat all those odd guttural sounds which distinguish the 
native music of her race ; and finally, turning a somerset or 
two, and giving a prolonged closing note, as odd and unearthly 
as that of a steam whistle, she came suddenly down on the 
carpet, and stood with her hands folded, and a most sanctimo- 
nious expression of meekness and solemnity over her face, only 
broken by the cunning glances which she shot askance from 
the corners of her eyes. 

Miss Ophelia stood silent, perfectly paralyzed with amaze- 
ment. 

St. Clare, like a mischievous fellow as he was, appeared to 
enjoy her astonishment ; and, addressing the child again, 
said, — 

" Topsy, this is your new mistress. I'm going to give you up 
to her : see now that you behave yourself." 



LIFE AMONG THE LOWLY. 301 

" Yes, mas'r," said Topsy, with sanctimonious gravity, lier 
wicked eyes twinkling as she spoke. 

" You're going to be good, Topsy, you understand," said St. 
Clare. 

" 0, yes, mas'r," said Topsy, with another twinkle, her hands 
still devoutly folded. 

" Now, Augustine, what upon earth is this for ? " said Miss 
Ophelia. " Your house is so full of these little plagues, now, 
that a body can't set down their foot without treading on 'em. I 
get up in the morning, and find one asleep behind the door, and 
see one black head poking out from under the table, one lying 
on the door mat, — and they are mopping, and mowing, and 
grinning between all the railings, and tumbling over the kitchen 
floor ! What on earth did you want to bring this one for ? " 

''For you to educate — didn't I tell you? You're always 
preaching about educating. I thought I would make you a 
present of a fresh-caught specimen, and let you try your hand 
on her, and bring her up in the way she should go." 

" I don't want her, I am sure ; — I have more to do with 'em 
now than I want to." 

" That's you Christians, all over ! — you'll get up a society, 
and get some poor missionary to spend all his days among just 
such heathen. But let me see one of you that would take one 
into your house with you, and take the labor of their conver- 
sion on yourselves ! No ; when it comes to that, they are dirty 
and disagreeable, and it's too much care, and so on." 

"Augustine, you know I didn't think of it in that light," 
said Miss Ophelia, evidently softening. " Well, it might be a 
real missionary work," said she, looking rather more favorably 
on the child. 

St. Clare had touched the right string. Miss Ophelia's con- 
scientiousness was ever on the alert. "But," she added,"! 
really didn't see the need of buying this one ; — there are 
enough now, in your house, to take all my time and skill." 

" Well, then, cousin," said St. Clare, drawing her aside, " I 
ought to beg your pardon for my good-for-nothing speeches. 
You are so good, after all, that there's no sense in them. 
Why, the fact is, this concern belonged to a couple of drunken 
creatures that keep a low restaurant that I have to pass by 



302 UNCLE tom's cabin; or, 

every day, and I was tired of hearing her screaming, and them 
beating and swearing at her. She looked bright and funny, 
too, as if something might be made of her ; — so I bought her, 
and I'll give her to you. Try, now, and give her a good ortho- 
dox New England bringing up, and see what it'll make of 
her. You know I haven't any gift that way ; but I'd like 
you to try." 

" Well, I'll do what I can," said Miss Ophelia ; and she ap- 
proached her new subject very much as a person might be sup- 
posed to approach a black spider, supposing them to have 
benevolent designs towards it. 

" She's dreadfully dirty, and half naked," she said. 

" Well, take her down stairs, and make some of them clean 
and clothe her up." 

Miss Ophelia carried her to the kitchen regions. 

" Don't see what Mas'r St. Clare wants of 'nother nigger ! " 
said Dinah, surveying the new arrival with no friendly air. 
" Won't have her round under my feet, I know ! " 

" Pah ! " said Rosa and Jane, with supreme disgust ; " let her 
keep out of our way ! What in the world mas'r wanted an- 
other of these low niggers for, I can't see ! " 

" You go long ! No more nigger dan you be, Miss Rosa," 
said Dinah, who felt this last remark a reflection on herself 
" You seem to tink yourself white folks. You an't nerry one, 
black nor white. I'd like to be one or turrer." 

Miss Ophelia saw that there was nobody in the camp that 
would undertake to oversee the cleansing and dressing of the 
new arrival ; and so she was forced to do it herself, with some 
very ungracious and reluctant assistance from Jane. 

It is not for ears polite to hear the particulars of the first 
toilet of a neglected, abused child. In fact, in this world, 
multitudes must live and die in a state that it would be too 
great a shock to the nerves of their fellow-mortals even to 
hear described. Miss Ophelia had a good, strong, practical 
deal of resolution ; and she went through all the disgusting 
details with heroic thoroughness, though, it must be confessed, 
with no very gracious air, — for endurance was the utmost to 
which her principles could bring her. When she saw, on the 
back and shoulders of the child, great welts and calloused 



LIFE AMONG THE LOWLY. 303 

spots, ineffaceable mai-ks of the system under wliieli she had 
grown lip thus far, her heart became pitiful within her. 

" See there ! " said Jane, pointing to the marks, " don't that 
show she's a limb ? We'll have fine works with her, I reckon. 
I hate these nigger young uns ! so disgusting ! I wonder that 
mas'r would buy her ! " 

The " young un " alluded to heard all these comments with 
the subdued and doleful air which seemed habitual to her, only 
scanning, with a keen and furtive glance of her flickering eyes, 
the ornaments which Jane wore in her ears. When arrayed 
at last in a suit of decent and whole clothing, her hair cropped 
short to her head. Miss Ophelia, with some satisfaction, said 
she looked more Christian-like than she did, and in her own 
mind began to mature some plans for her instruction. 

Sitting down before her, she began to question her. 

"How old are jon, Topsy?" 

" Dun no, missis," said the image, with a grin that showed 
all her teeth. 

"Don't know how old you are ? Didn't any body ever tell 
you ? Who was your mother ? " 

" Never had none ! " said the child, with another grin. 

" Never had any mother ? What do you mean ? Where 
were you born ? " 

" Never was born ! " persisted Topsy, with another grin, that 
looked so goblin-like, that, if Miss Ophelia had been at all 
nervous, she might have fancied that she had got hold of some 
sooty gnome from the land of Diablerie ; but Miss Ophelia was 
not nervous, but plain and business-like, and she said, with 
some sternness, — 

"You mustn't answer me in that way, child ; I'm not playing 
with you. Tell me where you were born, and who your father 
and mother were." 

"Never was born," reiterated the creature, more emphati- 
cally ; " never had no father nor mother, nor no thin'. I was 
raised by a speculator, with lots of others. Old Aunt Sue 
used to take car on us." 

The child was evidently sincere ; and Jane, breaking into a 
short laugh, said, — 

" Laws, missis, there's heaps of 'em. Speculators buys 



304 UNCLE tom's cabin ; or, 

'em up cheap, when they's little, and gets 'em raised for 
market." 

" How long have you lived with your master and mistress ? " 

" Dun no, missis." 

"Is it a year, or more, or less?" 

" Dun no, missis." 

" Laws, missis, those low negroes, — they can't tell ; they 
don't know any thing about time," said Jane ; " they don't 
know what a year is ; they don't know their own ages." 

"Have you ever heard any thing about God, Topsy?" 

The child looked bewildered, but grinned as usual. 

" Do you know who made you ? " 

" Nobody, as I knows on," said the child, with a short laugh. 

The idea appeared to amuse her considerably ; for her eyes 
twinkled, and she added, — 

"I spect I grow'd. Don't think nobody never made me." 

"Do you know how to sew?" said Miss Ophelia, who 
thought she would turn her inquiries to something more 
tangible. 

"No, missis." 

" What can you do? — what did you do for your master and 
mistress ? " 

" Fetch water, and wash dishes, and rub knives, and wait 
on folks." 

" Were they good to you ? " 

" Spect they was," said the child, scanning Miss Ophelia 
cunningly. 

Miss Ophelia rose from this encouraging colloquy ; St. Clare 
was leaning over the back of her chair. 

" You find virgin soil there, cousin ; put in your own idea?. 
— you won't find many to pull up." 

Miss Ophelia's ideas of education, like all her other ideas, 
were very set and definite ; and of the kind that prevailed in 
New England a century ago, and which arc still preserved in 
some very retired and unsophisticated parts, where there are 
no railroads. As nearly as could be expressed, they could be 
comprised in very few words : to teach them to mind when 
they were spoken to ; to teach them the catechism, sewing, and 
reading ; and to whip them if they told lies. And though, of 



LIFE AMONG THE LOWLY. 305 

course, in the flood of liglit that is now poured on education, 
these are left far away in the rear, yet it is an undisputed 
fact, that our grandmothers raised some tolerably fair men 
and women under this regime, as many of us can remember 
and testify. At all events, Miss Ophelia knew of nothing else 
to do ; and, therefore, applied her mind to her heathen with 
the best diligence she could command. 

The child was annomiced and considered in the family as 
Miss Ophelia's girl ; and, as she was looked upon with no gra- 
cious eye in the kitchen, Miss Ophelia resolved to confine her 
sphere of operation and instruction chiefly to her own cham- 
ber. With a self-sacrifice which some of our readers will 
appreciate, she resolved, instead of comfortably making her 
own bed, sweeping and dusting her own chamber, — which she 
had hitherto done, in utter scorn of all ofi'ers of help from the 
chambermaid of the establishment, — to condemn herself to 
the martyrdom of instructing Topsy to perform these opera- 
tions, — ah, woe the day ! Did any of our readers ever do the 
same, they will appreciate the amount of her self-sacrifice. 

Miss Ophelia began with Topsy by taking her into her cham- 
ber, the first morning, and solemnly commencing a course of 
instruction in the art and mystery of bed-making. 

Behold, then, Topsy, washed and shorn of all the little 
braided tails wherein her heart had delighted, arrayed in a 
clean gown, with well-starched apron, standing reverently 
before Miss Ophelia, with an expression of solemnity well 
befitting a funeral. 

" Now, Topsy, I'm going to show you just how my bed is to 
be made. I am very particular about my bed. You must 
learn exactly how to do it." 

" Yes, ma'am," says Topsy, with a deep sigh, and a face of 
woful earnestness. 

"Now, Topsy, look here ; — this is the hem of the sheet, — 
this is the right side of the sheet, and this is the wrong ; — 
will you remember ? " 

" Yes, ma'am," says Topsy, with another sigh. 

" Well, now, the under sheet you must bring over the bolster, 
— so, — and tuck it clear down under the mattress nice and 
smooth, — so, — do you see?" 
39 



306 



UNCLE TOM's cabin ; OE, 



" Yes, ma'am," said Topsy, with profound attention. 
" But tlic upper sheet," said Miss Ophelia, " must be brought 
down in this way, and tucked under firm and smooth at the foot, 
— so, — the narrow hem at the foot." 

" Yes, ma'am," said Topsy, as before ; — but we will add, 
what Miss Ophelia did not sec, that, during the time when the 
good lady's back was turned, in the zeal of her manipulations, 
the young disciple had contrived to snatch a pair of gloves 
and a ribbon, which she had adroitly slipped into her sleeves, 
and stood with her hands dutifully folded, as before. 

"Now, Topsy, let's see you do this," said Miss Ophelia, 
pulling ofl' the clothes, and seating herself. 

Topsy, with great gravity and adroitness, went through the 
exercise completely to Miss Ophelia's satisfaction ; smoothing 
the sheets, patting out every wrinkle, and exhibiting, through 
the whole process, a gravity and seriousness with which her 
instructress was greatly edified. By an unlucky slip, however, 
a fluttering fragment of the ribbon hung out of one of her 
sleeves, just as she was finishing, and caught Miss Ophelia's 

attention. Instant- 
ly she pounced 
upon it. " What's 
this? You naugh- 
ty, wicked child, — 
you've been steal- 
ing this ! " 

The ribbon was 
pulled out of Top- 
sy 's own sleeve, yet 
was she not in the 
least disconcerted ; 
she only looked at 
it with an air of the most surprised and unconscious innocence. 
•'Laws ! why, that ar's Miss Feely's ribbon, an't it? How 
could it a got caught in my sleeve ? " 

" Topsy, you naughty girl, don't you tell me a lie, — you stole 
that ribbon." 

" Missis, I declare for't, 1 didn't ; never seed it till this yer 
blessed minnit." 




LIFE AMONG TTIE LOWLY. 307 

" Topsy," said Miss Ophelia, " don't you know it's wicked to 
tell lies?" 

" I never tells no lies, Miss Feely," said Topsy, with virtu- 
ous gravity ; " it's jist the truth I've been a tellin' now, and 
an't nothin' else." 

" Topsy, I shall have to whip you if you tell lies so." 

" Laws, missis, if you's to whip all day, couldn't say no 
other way," said Topsy, beginning to blubber. " I never seed 
dat ar, — it must a got caught in my sleeve. Miss Feely must 
have left it on the bed, and it got caught in the clothes, and 
so got in my sleeve." 

Miss Ophelia was so indignant at the barefaced lie, that she 
caught the child and shook her. " Don't you tell me that again ! " 

The shake brought the gloves on to the floor, from the other 
sleeve. " Tho.re, you ! " said Miss Ophelia, " will you tell me, 
now, you didn't steal the ribbon ? " 

Topsy now confessed to the gloves, but still persisted in 
denying the ribbon. 

" Now, Topsy," said Miss Ophelia, " if you'll confess all about 
it, I won't whip you this time." Thus adjured, Topsy confessed 
to the ribbon and gloves, with woful protestations of penitence, 

"Well, now, tell me. I know you must have taken other 
things since you have been in the house, for I let you run about 
all day yesterday. Now, tell me if you took any thing, and I 
shan't whip you." 

" Laws, missis ! I took Miss Eva's red thing she wars on her 
neck." 

" You did, you naughty child ! — Well, what else ? " 

"I took Kosa's yer rings, — them red ones." 

" Go bring them to me this minute, both of 'em." 

" Laws, missis ! I can't, — they's burnt up ! " 

"Burnt up ! — what a story ! Go get 'em, or I'll whip you." 

Topsy, with loud protestations, and tears, and groans, 
declared that she cmld not. "They's burnt up, — they was." 

" What did you burn 'em up for ? " said Miss Ophelia. 

" Cause I's wicked, — I is. I's mighty wicked, any how. I 
can't help it." 

Just at this moment, Eva came innocently into the room, 
with the identical coral necklace on her neck. 



308 UNCLE tom's cabin ; OE, 

" Why, Eva, where did you get your necklace ? " said Miss 
Ophelia." 

" Get it ? Why, I've had it on all day," said Eva. 

" Did you have it on yesterday ? " 

" Yes ; and what is funny, Aunty, I had it on all night. I 
forgot to take it off when I went to bed." 

Miss Ophelia looked perfectly bewildered ; the more so, as 
Rosa, at that instant, came into the room, with a basket of 
newly-ironed linen poised on her head, and the coral ear drops 
shaking in her ears ! 

"I'm sure I can't tell any thing what to do with such a 
child ! " she said, in despair. " What in the world did you tell 
me you took those things for, Topsy ? " 

" Why, missis said I must 'fess ; and I couldn't think of 
nothin' else to 'fess," said Topsy, rubbing her eyes. 

"But, of course, I didn't want you to confess things you 
didn't do," said Miss Ophelia ; " that's telling a lie, just as 
much as the other." 

" Laws, now, is it ? " said Topsy, with an air of innocent 
wonder. 

" La, there an't any such thing as truth in that limb," said 
Rosa, looking indignantly at Topsy. "If I was Mas'r St. 
Clare, I'd whip her till the blood run. I would, — I'd let her 
catch it!" 

" No, no, Rosa," said Eva, with an air of command, which 
the child could assume at times ; " you mustn't talk so, Rosa. 
I can't bear to hear it." 

" La sakes ! Miss Eva, you's so good, you don't know nothing 
how to get along with niggers. There's no way but to cut 'em 
well up, I tell ye." 

" Rosa ! " said Eva, " hush ! Don't you say another word of 
that sort ! " and the eye of the child flashed, and her cheek 
deepened its color. 

Rosa was cowed in a moment. 

" Miss Eva has got the St. Clare blood in her, that's plain. 
She can speak, for all the world, just like her papa," she said, 
as she passed out of the room. 

Eva stood looking at Topsy. 

There stood the two children, representatives of the two 



LIFE AMONG THE LOWLY. 309 

extremes of society, — the fair, liigli-bred cliild, with her 
golden liead, her deep eyes, her spiritual, noble brow, and 
prince-like movements ; and her black, keen, subtle, cringing, 
yet acute neighbor. They stood the representatives of their 
races. The Saxon, born of ages of cultivation, command, ed- 
ucation, physical and moral eminence ; the Afric, born of ages 
of oppression, submission, ignorance, toil, and vice ! 

Something, perhaps, of such thoughts struggled through 
Eva's mind. But a child's thoughts are rather dim, unde- 
fined instincts ; and in Eva's noble nature many such were 
yearning and working, for which she had no power of utter- 
ance. When Miss Ophelia expatiated on Topsy's naughty, 
wicked conduct, the child looked perplexed and sorrowful, 
but said, sweetly, — 

" Poor Topsy, why need you steal ? You're going to be 
taken good care of now. I'm sure I'd rather give you any 
thing of mine, than have you steal it." 

It was the first word of kindness the child had ever heard 
in her life ; and the sweet tone and manner struck strangely 
on the wild, rude heart, and a sparkle of something like a tear 
shone in the keen, round, glittering eye ; but it was followed 
by the short laugh and habitual grin. No ! the ear that has 
never heard any thing but abuse is strangely incredulous of 
any thing so heavenly as kindness ; and Topsy only thought 
Eva's speech something funny and inexplicable, — she did not 
believe it. 

But what was to be done with Topsy ? Miss Ophelia found 
the case a puzzler ; her rules for bringing up didn't seem to 
apply. She thought she would take time to think of it ; and, 
by the way of gaining time, and in hopes of some indefinite 
moral virtues supposed to be inherent in dark closets. Miss 
Ophelia shut Topsy up in one till she had arranged her ideas 
further on the subject. 

" I don't see," said Miss Ophelia to St. Clare, " how I'm 
going to manage that child without whipping her." 

" Well, whip her, then, to your heart's content ; I'll give 
you full power to do what you like." 

" Children always have to be whipped," said Miss Ophelia ; 
" 1 never heard of bringing them up without." 



310 UNCLE tom's cabin ; OE, 

" 0, well, certainly," said St. Clare ; " do as you think best. 
Only I'll make one suggestion : I've seen this child whipped 
with a poker, knocked down with the shovel or tongs, 
whichever came handiest, &c. ; and, seeing that she is used 
to that style of operation, I think your whippings will have to 
be pretty energetic, to make much impression." 

" What is to be done with her, then ? " said Miss Ophelia. 

" You have started a serious question," said St. Clare ; " I 
wish you'd answer it. What is to be done with a human being 
that can be governed only by the lash, — that fails, — it's a 
very common state of things down here ! " 

" I'm sure I don't know ; I never saw such a child as 
this." 

" Such children are very common among us, and such men 
and women, too. How are they to be governed?" said St. 
Clare. 

" I'm sure it's more than I can say," said Miss Ophelia. 

" Or I either," said St. Clare. " The horrid cruelties and 
outrages that once and a while find their way into the papers, 
— such cases as Prue's, for example, — what do they come 
from ? In many cases it is a gradual hardening process on 
both sides, — the owner growing more and more cruel, as the 
servant more and more callous. Whipping and abuse are like 
laudanum ; you have to double the dose as the sensibilities 
decline. I saw this very early when I became an owner ; and 
I resolved never to begin, because I did not know when I 
should stop, — and I resolved, at least, to protect my own 
moral nature. The consequence is, that my servants act like 
spoiled children ; but I think that better than for us both to 
be brutalized together. You have talked a great deal about 
our responsibilities in educating, cousin. I really wanted 
you to try with one child, who is a specimen of thousands 
among us." 

" It is your system makes such children," said Miss Ophelia. 

" I know it ; but they are made, — they exist, — and what is 
to be done with them? " 

"Well, I can't say I thank you for the experiment. But 
then, as it appears to be a duty, I shall persevere and try, and 
do the best I can," said Miss Ophelia ; and Miss Ophelia, 



LIFE AMONG THE LOWLY. 311 

after this, did labor, with a commendable degree of zeal and 
energy, on her new subject. She instituted regular hours and 
employments for her, and undertook to teach her to read and 
to sew. 

In the former art the child was quick enough. She learned 
her letters as if by magic, and was very soon able to read 
plain reading ; but the sewing was a more difficult matter. 
The creature was as lithe as a cat, and as active as a monkey, 
and the confinement of sewing was her abomination ; so she 
broke her needles, threw them slyly out of windows, or down 
in chinks of the walls ; she tangled, broke, and dirtied her 
thread, or, with a sly movement, would throw a spool away 
altogether. Her motions were almost as quick as those of a 
practised conjurer, and her command of her face quite as 
great ; and though Miss Ophelia could not help feeling that so 
many accidents could not possibly happen in succession, yet 
she could not, without a watchfulness which would leave her 
no time for any thing else, detect her. 

Topsy was soon a noted character in the establishment. 
Her talent for every species of drollery, grimace, and mimicry, 

— for dancing, tumbling, climbing, singing, whistling, imitating 
every sound that hit her fancy, — seemed inexhaustible. In 
her play hours, she invariably had every child in the establish- 
ment at her heels, open mouthed with admiration and wonder, 

— not excepting Miss Eva, who appeared to be fascinated by 
her wild diablerie, as a dove is sometimes charmed by a glit- 
tering serpent. Miss Ophelia was uneasy that Eva should 
fancy Topsy's society so much, and implored St. Clare to 
forbid it. 

" Poh ! let the child alone," said St. Clare. " Topsy will do 
her good." 

"But so depraved a child, — are you not afraid she will 
teach her some mischief ? " 

" She can't teach her mischief ; she might teach it to some 
children, but evil rolls oJ0F Eva's mind like dew off a cabbage 
leaf, — not a drop sinks in." 

" Don't be too sure," said Miss Ophelia. " I know I'd never 
let a child of mine play with Topsy." 

"Well, your children needn't," said St. Clare, "but mine 



312 UNCLE tom's cabin ; OR, 

may ; if Eva could have been spoiled, it would have been done 
years ago." 

Topsy was at first despised and contemned by the upper 
servants. They soon found reason to alter their opinion. It 
was very soon discovered that whoever cast an indignity on 
Topsy was sure to meet with some inconvenient accident 
shortly after ; — either a pair of ear rings or some cherished 
trinket would be missing, or an article of dress would be 
suddenly found utterly ruined, or the person would stumble 
accidentally into a pail of hot water, or a libation of dirty 
slop would unaccountably deluge them from above, when in 
full gala dress ; and on all these occasions, when investiga- 
tion was made, there was nobody found to stand sponsor for 
the indignity^ Topsy was cited, and had up before all the 
domestic judicatories, time and again ; but always sustained 
her examinations with most edifying innocence and gravity of 
appearance. Nobody in the world ever doubted who did the 
things ; but not a scrap of any direct evidence could be found 
to establish the suppositions, and Miss Ophelia was too just to 
feel at liberty to proceed to any lengths without it. 

The mischiefs done were always so nicely timed, also, as 
further to shelter the aggressor. Thus the times for revenge 
on Rosa and Jane, the two chambermaids, were always chosen 
in those seasons when (as not unfrequently happened) they 
were in disgrace with their mistress, when any complaint from 
them would of course meet with no sympathy. In short, Topsy 
soon made the household understand the propriety of letting 
her alone ; and she was let alone accordingly. 

Topsy was smart and energetic in all manual operations, 
learning every thing that was taught her with surprising quick- 
ness. With a few lessons, she had learned to do the proprie- 
ties of Miss Ophelia's chamber in a way with which even that 
particular lady could find no fault. Mortal hands could not 
lay spread smoother, adjust pillows more accurately, sweep 
and dust and arrange more perfectly, than Topsy, when she 
chose, — but she didn't very often choose. If Miss Ophelia, 
after three or four days of careful and patient supervision, was 
so sanguine as to suppose that Topsy had at last fallen into 
her way, could do without overlooking, and so go off and busy 



LIFE AMONG THE LOWLY. . 313 

herself about something else, Topsy would hold a perfect car- 
nival of confusion, for some one or two hours. Instead of 
making the bed, she would amuse herself with pulling off the 
pillow cases, butting her woolly head among the pillows, till 
it would sometimes be grotesquely ornamented with feathers 
sticking out in various directions ; she would climb the posts, 
and hang head downward from the tops ; flourish the sheets 
and spreads all over the apartment ; dress the bolster up in 
Miss Ophelia's night clothes, and enact various scenic perform- 
ances with that, — singing and whistling, and making grimaces 
at herself in the looking glass ; in short, as Miss Ophelia 
phrased it, " raising Cain " generally. 

On one occasion. Miss Ophelia found Topsy with her very 
best scarlet India Canton crape shawl wound round her head 
for a turban, going on with her rehearsals before the glass in 
great style, — Miss Ophelia having, with carelessness most un- 
heard of in her, left the key for once in her drawer. 

" Topsy ! " she would say, when at the end of all patience, 
" what does make you act so ? " 

" Dun no, missis, — I spects cause I's so wicked ! " 

" I don't know any thing what I shall do with you, Topsy." 

" Law, missis, you must whip me ; my old missis allers 
whipped me. I an't used to workin' unless I gets whipped." 

" Why, Topsy, I don't want to whip you. You can do well, 
if you've a mind to ; what is the reason you won't ? " 

" Laws, missis, I's used to whippin' ; I spects it's good 
for me." 

Miss Ophelia tried the recipe, and Topsy invariably made 
a terrible commotion, screaming, groaning, and imploring, 
though half an hour afterwards, when roosted on some projec- 
tion of the balcony, and surrounded by a flock of admiring 
" young uns," she would express the utmost contempt of the 
whole afi"air. 

" Law, Miss Feely whip ! — wouldn't kill a skeeter, her 
whippins. Oughter see how old mas'r made the flesh fly ; old 
mas'r know'd how ! " 

Topsy always made great capital of her own sins and enor- 
mities, evidently considering them as something peculiarly 
distinguishing. 

40 



314 UNCLE tom's cabin ; OR, 

" Law, you niggers," she would say to some of her auditors, 
" does you know you's all sinners? Well, you is — every body 
is. White folks is sinners too, — Miss Feely says so ; but I 
spects niggers is the biggest ones ; but lor ! ye an't any on ye 
up to me. I's so awful wicked there can't nobody do notliin' 
with me. I used to keep old missis a swarin' at me half the 
time. I spects I's the wickedest critter in the world ; " and 
Topsy would cut a somerset, and come up brisk and shining 
on to a higher perch, and evidently plume herself on the 
distinction. 

Miss Ophelia busied herself very earnestly on Sundays, 
teaching Topsy the catechism. Topsy had an uncommon 
verbal memory, and committed with a fluency that greatly 
encouraged her instructress. 

"What good do you expect it is going to do her?" said 
St. Clare. 

" Why, it always has done children good. It's what children 
always have to learn, you know," said Miss Ophelia. 

" Understand it or not," said St. Clare. 

" 0, children never understand it at the time ; but, after 
they are grown up, it'll come to them." 

" Mine hasn't come to me yet," said St. Clare, " though 
I'll bear testimony that you put it into me pretty thoroughly 
when I was a boy." 

"Ah, you were always good at learning, Augustine. I used 
to have great hopes of you," said Miss Ophelia. 

" Well, haven't you now ? " said St. Clare. 

" I wish you were as good as you were when you were a 
boy, Augustine." 

" So do. I, that's a fact, cousin," said St. Clare. " Well, go 
ahead and catechize Topsy ; may be you'll make out some- 
thing yet." 

Topsy, who had stood like a black statue during this dis- 
cussion, with hands decently folded, now, at a signal from 
Miss Ophelia, went on : — 

" Our first parents, being left to the freedom of their own 
will, fell from the state wherein they were created." 

Topsy's eyes twinkled, and she looked inquiringly. 

" What is it, Topsy ? " said Miss Ophelia. 



LIFE AMONG THE LOWLY. 315 

" Please, missis, was clat ar state Kintuck ? " 

"What state, Topsy?" 

" Dat state dey fell out of. I used to hear mas'r tell how we 
came down from Kiutuck." 

St. Clare laughed. 

" You'll have to give her a meaning, or she'll make one," said 
he. "There seems to be a theory of emigration suggested 
there." 

" 0, Augustine, be still," said Miss Ophelia ; " how can I do 
any thing, if you will be laughing ? " 

" Well, I won't disturb the exercises again, on my honor ; " 
and St. Clare took his paper into the parlor, and sat down, till 
Topsy had finished her recitations. They were all very well, 
only that now and then she would oddly transpose some impor- 
tant words, and persist in the mistake, in spite of every effort 
to the contrary ; and St. Clare, after all his promises of good- 
ness, took a wicked pleasure in these mistakes, calling Topsy 
to him whenever he had a mind to amuse himself, and getting 
her to repeat the offending passages, in spite of Miss Ophelia's 
remonstrances. 

" How do you think I can do any thing with the child, if you 
will go on so, Augustine ? " she would say. 

" Well, it is too bad, — I won't again ; but I do like to hear 
the droll little image stumble over those big words ! " 

" But you confirm her in the wrong way." 

" What's the odds ? One word is as good as another to her." 

"You wanted me to bring her up right; and you ought to 
remember she is a reasonable creature, and be careful of your 
influence over her." 

" 0, dismal ! so I ought ; but, as Topsy herself says, ' I's so 
wicked ! ' " 

In very much this way Topsy's training proceeded, for a year 
or two, — Miss Ophelia worrying herself, from day to day, with 
her, as a kind of chronic plague, to whose inflictions she be- 
came, in time, as accustomed, as persons sometimes do to the 
neuralgia or sick headache. 

St. Clare took the same kind of amusement in the child that 
a man might in the tricks of a parrot or a pointer. Topsy, 
whenever her sins brought her into disgrace in other quarters, 



316 



UNCLE tom's cabin ; OR, 



always took refuge behind his chair ; and St. Clare, in one 
way or other, would make peace for her. From him she got 
many a stray picayune, which she laid out in nuts and candies, 
and distributed, with careless generosity, to all the children in 
the family ; for Topsy, to do her justice, was good-natured and 
liberal, and only spiteful in self-defence. She is fairly intro- 
duced into our corps de ballet, and will figure, from time to time, 
in her turn, with other performers. 





lig'n'WTjy 






CHAPTER XXI, 



KENTUCK. 




UR readers may not be unwilling to glance 
\\f\ back, for a brief interval, at Uncle Tom's 

cabin, on the Kentucky farm, and see what 
^\ has been transpiring among those whom he 

had left behind. 

It was late in the summer afternoon, and the 

doors and windows of the large parlor all stood open, to in- 
vite any stray breeze, that might feel in a good humor, to enter. 
Mr. Shelby sat in a large hall opening into the room, and run- 
ning through the whole length of the house, to a balcony on 
either end. Leisurely tipped back in one chair, with his heels 
in another, he was enjoying his after-dinner cigar. Mrs. Shel- 
by sat in the door, busy about some fine sewing ; she seemed 
like one who had something on her mind, which she was seek- 
ing an opportunity to introduce. 



318 UNCLE TOM's cabin ; OE, 

" Do you know," she said, " that Chloe has had a letter from 
Tom?" 

" Ah ! has she ? Tom's got some friend there, it seems. 
How is the old boy ? " 

" He has been bought by a very fine family, I should think," 
said Mrs. Shelby, — " is kindly treated, and has not much 
to do." 

"Ah! well, I'm glad of it, — very glad," said Mr. Shelby, 
heartily. " Tom, I suppose, will get reconciled to a southern 
residence ; — hardly want to come up here again." 

" On the contrary, he inquires very anxiously," said Mrs. 
Shelby, " when the money for his redemption is to be raised." 

" I'm sure / don't know," said Mr. Shelby. " Once get busi- 
ness running wrong, there does seem to be no end to it. It's 
like jumping from one bog to another, all through a swamp ; 
borrow of one to pay another, and then borrow of another to 
pay one, — and these confounded notes falling due before a 
man has time to smoke a cigar and turn round, — dunning let- 
ters and dunning messages, — all scamper and hurryscurry." 

" It does seem to me, my dear, that something might be done 
to straighten matters. Suppose we sell off all the horses, and 
sell one of your farms, and pay up square ? " 

" 0, ridiculous, Emily ! You are the finest woman in Ken- 
tucky ; but still you haven't sense to know that you don't un- 
derstand business ; — women never do, and never can." 

" But, at least," said Mrs. Shelby, " could not you give me 
some little insight into yours ; a list of all your debts, at least, 
and of all that is owed to you, and let me try and see if I can't 
help you to economize." 

"0, bother! don't plague me, Emily! — I can't tell exactly. 
I know somewhere about what things are likely to be ; but 
there's no trimming and squaring my affairs, as Chloe trims 
crust off her pies. You don't know any thing about business, 
I tell you." 

And Mr. Shelby, not knowing any other way of enforcing 
his ideas, raised his voice, — a mode of arguing very conven- 
ient and convincing, when a gentleman is discussing matters of 
business with his wife. 

Mrs. Shelby ceased talking, with something of a sigh. The 



LIFE AMONG THE LOWLY. 319 

fact was, that tliougli lier husband had stated she was a woman, 
she had a clear, energetic, practical mind, and a force of charac- 
ter every way superior to that of her husband ; so that it would 
not have been so very absurd a supposition, to have allowed 
her capable of managing-, as Mr. Shelby supposed. Her heart 
was set on performing her promise to Tom and Aunt Chloe, 
and she sighed as discouragements thickened around her. 

"Don't you think we might in some way contrive to raise 
that money ? Poor Aunt Chloe ! her heart is so set on it ! " 

" I'm sorry, if it is. I think I was premature in promising. 
I'm not sure, now, but it's the best way to tell Chloe, and let 
her make up her mind to it. Tom'll have another wife, in a 
year or two ; and she had better take up with some body else." 

" Mr. Shelby, I have taught my people that their marriages 
are as sacred as ours. I never could think of giving Chloe 
such advice." 

" It's a pity, wife, that you have burdened them with a 
morality above their condition and prospects. I always 
thought so." 

"It's only the morality of the Bible, Mr. Shelby." 

" Well, well, Emily, I don't pretend to interfere with your 
religious notions ; only they seem extremely unfitted for people 
in that condition." 

" They are, indeed," said Mrs. Shelby ; " and that is why, 
from my soul, I hate the whole thing. I tell you, my dear, I 
cannot absolve myself from the promises I make to these help- 
less creatures. If I can get the money no other way, I will 
take music scholars ; — I could get enough, I know, and earn 
the money myself." 

" You wouldn't degrade yourself that way, Emily ? I never 
could consent to it." 

" Degrade ! would it degrade me as much as to break my 
faith with the helpless ? No, indeed ! " 

" Well, you are always heroic and transcendental," said Mr. 
Shelby ; " but I think you had better think before you undertake 
such a piece of Quixotism." 

Here the conversation was interrupted by the appearance of 
Aunt Chloe, at the end of the veranda. 

" If you please, missis," said she. 



320 UNCLE tom's cabin ; OR, 

" Well, Cliloe, what is it ? " said lier mistress, rising, and 
going to the end of the balcony. 

" If missis would come and look at dis yer lot o' poetry." 

Chloe had a particular fancy for calling poultry poetry, — 
an application of language in which she always persisted, not- 
withstanding frequent corrections and advisings from the 
young members of the family. 

" La sakes ! " she would say, " I can't see ; one jis good as 
turry, — poetry suthin' good, any how ; " and so poetry Chloe 
continued to call it. 

Mrs. Shelby smiled as she saw a prostrate lot of chickens 
and ducks, over which Chloe stood, with a very grave face of 
consideration. 

" I'm a thinkin' whether missis would be a havin' a chicken 
pie o' dese yer." 

"Really, Aunt Chloe, I don't much care ; — serve them any 
way you like." 

Chloe stood handling them over abstractedly ; it was quite 
evident that the chickens were not what she was thinking of 
At last, with the short laugh with which her tribe often intro- 
duce a doubtful proposal, she said, — 

" Laws me, missis ! what should mas'r and missis be a troublin' 
theirselves 'bout de money, and not a usin' what's right in der 
hands ? " and Chloe laughed again. 

" I don't understand you, Chloe," said Mrs. Shelby, nothing 
doubting, from her knowledge of Chloe's manner, that she had 
heard every word of the conversation that had passed between 
her and her husband. 

" Why, laws me, missis ! " said Chloe, laughing again, " other 
folks hires out der niggers and makes money on 'em ! Don't 
keep sich a tribe eatin' 'em out of house and home." 

" Well, Chloe, whom do you propose that we should hire 
out?" 

" Laws ! I an't a proposin' nothin' ; only Sam he said der was 
one of dese yer perfectioners, dey calls 'em, in Louisville, said 
he wanted a good hand at cake and pastry, and said he'd give 
four dollars a week to one, he did." 

" Well, Chloe." 

" Well, laws, I's a thinkin', missis, it's time Sally was put 



LIFE AMONG THE LOWLY. 



321 



along to be doin' something. Sally's been under my care, now, 
dis some time, and she does most as well as me, considerin' ; 
and if missis would only let me go, I would help fetch up de 
money. I an't afraid to put my cake, nor pies nother, long 
side no perfedioner's" 

" Confectioner's, Chloe." 

" Law sakes, missis ! 'tan't no odds ; words is so curis, can't 
never get 'em right ! " 

" But, Chloe, do you want to leave your children ? " 

" Laws, missis ! de boys is big enough to do day's works ; 
dey does well enough ; and Sally, she'll take de baby, — she's 
such a peart young un, she won't take no lookin' arter." 

" Louisville is a good way off." 




" Law sakes ! who's afeard ? — it's down river, somer near 
my old man, perhaps ? " said Chloe, speaking the last in the 
tone of a question, and looking at Mrs. Shelby. 

" No, Chloe : it's many a hundred miles ofl"," said Mrs. 
Shelby. 

Chloe's countenance fell. 

" Never mind ; your going there shall bring you nearer, 
Chloe. Yes, you may go ; and your wages shall every cent of 
them be laid aside for your husband's redemption." 

As when a bright sunbeam turns a dark cloud to silver, so 
Chloe's dark face brightened immediately, — it really shone. 

" Laws ! if missis isn't too good ! I was thinkin' of dat ar 
•11 



322 UNCLE tom's cabin ; or, 

very thing ; cause T shouldn't need no clothes, nor shoes, nor 
nothin', — I could save every cent. How many weeks is der in 
a year, missis ? " 

" Fifty-two," said Mrs. Shelby. 

" Law ! now, dere is ? and four dollars for each on 'em. Why, 
how much'd dat ar be ? " 

" Two hundred and eight dollars," said Mrs. Shelby. 

" Why-e ! " said Chloe, with an accent of surprise and 
delight ; " and how long would it take me to work it out, 
missis ? " 

" Some four or five years, Chloe ; but, then, you needn't do it 
all, — I shall add something to it." 

" I wouldn't hear to missis' givin' lessons nor nothin'. 
Mas'r's quite right in dat ar ; — 'twouldn't do, no ways. I 
hope none our family ever be brought to dat ar, while I's 
got hands." 

" Don't fear, Chloe ; I'll take care of the honor of the 
family," said Mrs. Shelby, smiling. " But when do you expect 
to go ? " 

" Well, I want specting nothin' ; only Sam, he's a gwine to 
de river with some colts, and he said I could go long with him ; 
so I jes put my things together. If missis was willin', I'd go 
with Sam to-morrow morning, if missis would write my pass, 
and write me a commendation." 

" Well, Chloe, I'll attend to it, if Mr. Shelby has no objec- 
tions. I must speak to him." 

Mrs. Shelby went up stairs, and Aunt Chloe, delighted, went 
out to her cabin, to make her preparation. 

" Law sakes, Mas'r George ! ye didn't know I's a gwine to 
Louisville to-morrow ! " she said to George, as, entering her 
cabin, he found her busy in sorting over her baby's clothes. " I 
thought I'd jis look over sis's things, and get 'em straightened 
up. But I'm gwine, Mas'r George, — gwine to have four dol- 
lars a week ; and missis is gwine to lay it all up, to buy back 
my old man agin ! " 

" Whew ! " said George, " here's a stroke of business, to be 
sure ! How are you going ? " 

" To-morrow, wid Sam. And now, Mas'r George, I knows 
you'll jis sit down and write to my old man, and tell him all 
about it, — won't ye ? " 



LIFE AMONG THE LOWLY. 



323 



" To be sure/' said George : " Uucle Tom'll be right glad to 
hear from us. I'll go right in the house, for paper and ink ; 
and then, you know, Aunt Cliloe, I can tell about the new 
colts and all." 

" Sartin, sartin, Mas'r George ; you go 'long, and I'll get ye 
up a bit o' chicken, or some sich ; ye won't have many more 
suppers wid yer poor old aunty." 




1 \ > ^-^ ^ 




CHAPTER XXII. 



"the grass WITHERETH — THE FLOWER FADETH." 




IFE passes, with us all, a day at a time ; so it 
passed with our friend Tom, till two years 
were gone. Though parted from all his soul 
held dear, and though often yearning for what 
lay beyond, still was he never positively and 
consciously miserable ; for so well is the harp 
of human feeling strung, that nothing but a crash that breaks 
every string can wholly mar its harmony ; and, on looking 
back to seasons which in review appear to us as those of 
deprivation and trial, we can remember that each hour, as it 
glided, brought its diversions and alleviations, so that, though 
not happy wholly, we were not, either, wholly miserable. 

Tom read, in his only literary cabinet, of one who had 
'learned in whatsoever state he was, therewith to be con- 



LIFE AMONG THE LOWLY, 325 

tent." It seemed to him g-ood and reasonable doctrine, and 
accorded well with the settled and thoughtful habit Avhich he 
had acquired from the reading of that same book. 

His letter homeward, as we related in the last chapter, was 
in due time answered by Master George, in a good, round, 
school boy hand, that Tom said might be read " most acrost 
the room." It contained various refreshing items of home 
intelligence, with which our reader is fully acquainted : stated 
how Aunt Chloe had heen hired out to a confectioner in Louis- 
ville, where her skill in the pastry line was gaining wonder- 
ful sums of money, all of which, Tom was informed, was to be 
laid up to go to make up the sum of his redemption money ; 
Mose and Pete were thriving, and the baby was trotting 
all about the house, under the care of Sally and the family 
generally. 

Tom's cabin was shut up for the present ; but George expa- 
tiated brilliantly on ornaments and additions to be made to it 
when Tom came back. 

The rest of this letter gave a list of George's school studies, 
each one headed by a flourishing capital ; and also told the 
names of four new colts that appeared on the premises since 
Tom left ; and stated, in the same connection, that father and 
mother were well. The style of the letter was decidedly 
concise and terse ; but Tom thought it the most wonderful 
specimen of composition that had appeared in modern times. 
He was never tired of looking at it, and even held a council 
with Eva on the expediency of getting it framed, to hang up in 
his room. Nothing but the difficulty of arranging it so that 
both sides of the page would show at once stood in the way 
of this undertaking. 

The friendship between Tom and Eva had grown with the 
child's growth. It w^ould be hard to say what place she held 
in the soft, impressible heart of her faithful attendant. He 
loved her as something frail and earthly, yet almost wor- 
shipped her as something heavenly and divine. He gazed 
on her as the Italian sailor gazes on his image of the child 
Jesus, — with a mixture of reverence and tenderness ; and to 
humor her graceful fancies, and meet those thousand simple 
wants which invest childhood like a many-colored rainbow. 



326 UNCLE TOM's cabin ; OR, 

was Tom's chief delight. In the market, at morning, his eyes 
were always on the flower stalls for rare bouquets for her, and 
the choicest peach or orange was slipped into his pocket to 
give to her when he came back ; and the sight that pleased 
him most was her sunny head looking out the gate for his 
distant approach, and her childish question, " Well, Uncle 
Tom, what have you got for me to-day ? " 

, Nor was Eva less zealous in kind offices in return. Though 
a child, she was a beautiful reader; — a fine musical ear, a 
quick poetic fancy, and an instinctive sympathy with what is 
grand and noble, made her such a reader of the Bible as Tom 
had never before heard. At first she read to please her 
humble friend ; but soon her own earnest nature threw out its 
tendrils, and wound itself around the majestic book ; and Eva 
loved it, because it woke in her strange yearnings, and strong, 
dim emotions, such as impassioned, imaginative children love 
to feel. 

The parts that pleased her most were the Revelations and 
the Prophecies, — parts whose dim and wondrous imagery, 
and fervent language, impressed her the more, that she ques- 
tioned vainly of their meaning ; and she and her simple friend, 
the old child and the young one, felt just alike about it. All 
that they knew was, that they spoke of a glory to be revealed, — 
a wondrous something yet to come, wherein their soul rejoiced, 
yet knew not why ; and though it be not so in the physical, 
yet in moral science that which cannot be understood is not 
always profitless. For the soul awakes, a trembling stranger, 
between two dim eternities, — the eternal past, the eternal 
future. The light shines only on a small space around her ; 
therefore she needs must yearn towards the unknown ; and 
the voices and shadowy movings which come to her from out 
the cloudy pillar of inspiration have each one echoes and 
answers in her own expecting nature. Its mystic imagery are 
so many talismans and gems inscribed with unknown hiero- 
glyphics ; she folds them in her bosom, and expects to read 
them when she passes beyond the veil. 

At this time in our story, the whole St. Clare establishment 
is, for the time being, removed to their villa on Lake Pont- 
chartrain. The heats of summer had driven all, who were able 



LIFE AMONG THE LOWLY. 327 

to leave the sultry and unhealthy city, to seek the sliores of the 
lake, and its cool sea breezes. 

St. Clare's villa was an East Indian cottage, surrounded by 
light verandas of bamboo work, and opening on all sides into 
gardens and pleasure grounds. The common sitting room 
opened on to a large garden, fragrant with every picturesque 
plant and flower of the tropics, where winding paths ran 
down to the very shores of the lake, whose silvery sheet of 
water lay there, rising and falling in the sunbeams, — a picture 
never for an hour the same, yet every hour more beautiful. 

It is now one of those intensely golden sunsets which kin- 
dles the whole horizon into one blaze of glory, and makes the 
water another sky. The lake lay in rosy or golden streaks, 
save where white-winged vessels glided hither and thither, like 
so many spirits, and little golden stars twinkled through the 
glow, and looked down at themselves as they trembled in the 
water. 

Tom and Eva were seated on a little mossy seat, in an 
arbor, at the foot of the garden. It was Sunday evening, and 
Eva's Bible lay open on her knee. She read, " And I saw a 
sea of glass, mingled with fire." 

"Tom," said Eva, suddenly stopping, and pointing to the 
lake, " there 'tis." 

" What, Miss Eva ? " 

" Don't you see, — there ? " said the child, pointing to the 
glassy water, which, as it rose and fell, reflected the golden 
glow of the sky. " There's a ' sea of glass, mingled with 
fire.' " 

" True enough, Miss Eva," said Tom ; and Tom sang, — 

" O, had I the wings of the morning. 
I'd fly away to Canaan's shore ; 
Bright angels should convey me home, 
To the new Jerusalem." 

" Where do you suppose new Jerusalem is. Uncle Tom ? " 
said Eva. 

" 0, up in the clouds. Miss Eva." 

" Then I think I see it," said Eva. " Look in those clouds ! 
— they look like great gates of pearl ; and you can see beyond 



328 UNCLE tom's cabin ; or, 

them — far, far off — it's all gold, Tom, sing about 'spirits 
bright.' " 

Tom sung the words of a well-known Methodist hymn, — 

" I see a band of spirits bright, 
That taste the glories there ; 
They all are robed in spotless white, 
And conquering palms they bear." 

" Uncle Tom, I've seen them^^ said Eva. 

Tom had no doubt of it at all ; it did not surprise him in 
the least. If Eva had told him she had been to heaven, he 
■would have thought it entirely probable. 

" They come to me sometimes in my sleep, those spirits ; " 
and Eva's eyes grew dreamy, and she hummed, in a low 
voice, — 

" They all arc robed in spotless white, 
And conquering palms they bear."' 

" Uncle Tom," said Eva, "I'm going there." 

" Where, Miss Eva ? " 

The child rose, and pointed her little hand to the sky ; the 
glow of evening lit her golden hair and flushed cheek with a 
kind of unearthly radiance, and her eyes were bent earnestly 
on the skies. 

" I'm going there,^^ she said, " to the spirits bright, Tom ; 
Vm going, before long^ 

The faithful old heart felt a sudden thrust ; and Tom thought 
how often he had noticed, within six months, that Eva's little 
hands had grown thinner, and her skin more transparent, and 
her breath shorter ; and how, when she ran or played in the 
garden, as she once could for hours, she became soon so tired 
and languid. He had heard Miss Ophelia speak often of a 
cough, that all her medicaments could not cure : and even now 
that fervent cheek and little hand w^ere burning with hectic 
fever ; and yet the thought that Eva's words suggested had 
never come to him till now. 

Has there ever been a child like Eva? Yes, there have 
been ; but their names are always on gravestones, and their 
sweet smiles, their heavenly eyes, their singular words and 



LIFE AMONG THE LOWLY. 329 

ways, arc among the buried treasures of yearning hearts. In 
how many families do you hear the legend that all the good- 
ness and graces of the living are nothing to the peculiar 
charms of one who is not. It is as if heaven had an especial 
band of angels, whose office it was to sojourn for a season 
here, and endear to them the wayward human heart, that they 
might bear it upward with them in their homeward flight. 
When you see that deep, spiritual light in the eye, — when the 
little soul reveals itself in words sweeter and wiser than the 
ordinary words of children, — hope not to retain that child; 
for the seal of heaven is on it, and the light of immortality 
looks out from its eyes. 

Even so, beloved Eva ! fair star of thy dwelling ! Thou art 
passing away ; but they that love thee dearest know it not. 

The colloquy between Tom and Eva was interrupted by a 
hasty call from Miss Ophelia. 

"Eva — Eva! — why, child, the dew is falling ; you mustn't 
be out there ! " 

Eva and Tom hastened in. 

Miss Ophelia was old, and skilled in the tactics of nursing. 
She was from New England, and knew well the first guileful 
footsteps of that soft, insidious disease, which sweeps away so 
many of the fairest and loveliest, and, before one fibre of life 
seems broken, seals them irrevocably for death. 

She had noted the slight, dry cough, the daily brightening 
cheek ; nor could the lustre of the eye, and the airy buoyancy 
born of fever, deceive her. 

She tried to communicate her fears to St. Clare ; but he 
threw back her suggestions with a restless petulance, unlike 
his usual careless good humor. 

" Don't be croaking, cousin, — I hate it ! " he would say : 
"don't you see that the child is only growing? Children 
always lose strength when they grow fast." 

" But she has that cough ! " 

" 0, nonsense of that cough ! — it is not any thing. She' 
has taken a little cold, perhaps." 

"Well, that was just the way Eliza Jane was taken, and 
Ellen and Maria Sanders." 

"0, stop these hobgoblin nurse legends. You old hands 
42 



330 UNCLE tom's cabin ; or, 

get so wise, that a child cannot cough, or sneeze, but you see 
desperation and ruin at hand. Only take care of the child, 
keep her from the night air, and don't let her play too hard, 
and she'll do well enough." 

So St. Clare said ; but he grew nervous and restless. He 
watched Eva feverishly day by day, as might be told by the 
frequency with which he repeated over that " the child was 
quite well" — that there wasn't any thing in that cough, — it 
was only some little stomach affection, such as children often 
had. But he kept by her more than before, took her oftener 
to ride with him, brought home every few days some receipt 
or strengthening mixture, — "not,"; he' said, "that the child 
Tieedcd it, but then it would not do her any harm." 

If it must be told, the thing that' struck a deeper pang to his 
heart than any thing else was the daily increasing maturity of 
the child's mind and feelings. While still retaining all a 
child's fanciful graces, yet she often dropped, unconsciously, 
words of such a reach of thought, and strange unworldly wis- 
dom, that they seemed to be an inspiration. At such times, 
St. Clare would feel a sudden thrill, and clasp her in his arms, 
as if that fond clasp could save her ; and his heart rose up with 
Avild determination to keep her, never to let her go. 

The child's whole heart and soul seemed absorbed in works 
of love and kindness. Impulsively generous she had always 
been ; but there was a touching and womanly thoughtfulness 
about her now, that every one noticed. She still loved to play 
with Topsy, and the various colored children ; but she now 
seemed rather a spectator than an actor of their plays, and 
she would sit for half an hour at a time, laughing at the 
odd tricks of Topsy, — and then a shadow would seem to 
pass across her face, her eyes grew misty, and her thoughts 
were afar. 

"Mamma," she said, suddenly, to her mother, one day, "why 
don't we teach our servants to read ? " 

" What a question, child ! People never do." 

" Why don't they ? " said Eva. 

" Because it is- no use for them to read. It don't help 
them to work any better, and they are not made for any 
thing else." 



LIFE AMONG THE LOWLY. 331 

" But they ought to read the Bible, mamma, to Icani God's 
will." 

" 0, they can get that read to them all they need." 

'• It seems to me, mamma, the Bible is for every one to read 
themselves. They need it a great many times when there is 
nobody to read it." 

" Eva, you are an odd child," said her mother. 

" Miss Ophelia has taught Topsy to read," continued Eva. 

" Yes, and you see how much good it does. Topsy is tho 
Avorst creature I ever saw ! " 

" Here's poor Mammy ! " said Eva. " She does love the Bible 
so much, and wishes so she could read ! And what will she do 
v.dien I can't read to her ? " 

Marie was busy, turning over the contents of a drawer, as 
she answered, — 

" Well, of course, by and by, Eva, you will have other things 
to think of, besides reading the Bible round to servants. Not 
but that is very proper ; I've done it myself, when I had health. 
But when you come to be dressing and going into company, 
you won't have time. See here ! " she added, " these jewels 
I'm going to give you when you come out. I wore them to 
my first ball. I can tell you, Eva, I made a sensation." 

Eva took the jewel case, and lifted from it a diamond neck- 
lace. Her large, thoughtful eyes rested on them, but it was 
plain her thoughts were elsewhere. 

•' How sober you look, child ! " said Marie. 

" Are these worth a great deal of money, mamma ? " 

" To be sure, they arc. Father sent to France for them. 
They are worth a small fortune." 

" I wish I had them," said Eva, " to do what I pleased with ! " 

'' What would you do with them ? " 

" I'd sell them, and buy a place in the free states, and take 
all our people there, and hire teachers, to teach them to read 
and write." 

Eva was cut short by her mother's laughing. 

" Set up a boarding school ! Wouldn't you teach them to play 
on the piano, and paint on velvet ? " 

" I'd teach them to read their own Bible, and write their 
own letters, and read letters that are written to them," said 



332 



UNCLE TOM'S CABIN : OE. 



Eva, steadily. " I know, mamma, it does come very hard on 
tlicm, that they can't do these things. Tom feels it, — Mammy 
does, — a great many of them do. I think it's wrong." 

" Come, come, Eva ; you are only a child ! You don't know 
any thing about these things," said Marie ; " besides, your talk- 
ing makes my head ache." 

Marie always had a headache on hand for any conversation 
that did not exactly suit her. 

Eva stole away ; but after that, she assiduously gave Mam- 
my reading lessons. 





CHAPTER XXIII. 



HENRIQUE. 




BOUT this time, St Glare's brother Alfred, with 
his eldest son, a boy of twelve, spent a day or 
two with the family at the lake. 

No sight could be more singular and beauti- 
ful than that of these twin brothers. Nature, 
instead of instituting resemblances between 
them, had made them opposites on every point ; yet a mys- 
terious tie seemed to unite them in a closer friendship than 
ordinary. 

They used to saunter, arm in arm, up and down the alleys 
and walks of the garden. Augustine, with his blue eyes and 
golden hair, his ethereally-flexible form and vivacious features ; 
and Alfred, dark-eyed, with haughty Roman profile, firmly-knit 
limbs, and decided bearing. They were always abusing each 



334 UNCLE tom's cabin ; or, 

other's opinions and practices, and yet never a whit the less 
absorbed in each other's society ; in fact, the very contrariety 
seemed to nnite them,lilve the attraction between opposite poles 
of the magnet. 

Henrique, the eldest son of Alfred, was a noble, dark-eyed, 
princely boy, full of vivacity and spirit ; and, from the first 
moment of introduction, seemed to be perfectly fascinated by 
the spirituelle graces of his cousin Evangeline. 

Eva had a little pet pony, of a snowy whiteness. It was 
easy as a cradle, and as gentle as its little mistress ; and this 
pony was now brought up to the back veranda by Tom, while 
a little mulatto boy of about thirteen led along a small black 
Arabian, which had just been imported, at a great expense, for 
Henrique. 

Henrique had a boy's pride in his new possession ; and, as 
he advanced and took the reins out of the hands of his little 
groom, he looked carefully over him, and his brow darkened. 

" What's this, Dodo, yo\i little lazy dog ! you haven't rubbed 
my horse down, this morning," 

" Yes, mas'r," said Dodo, submissively ; " he got that dust on 
his own self." 

" You rascal, shut your mouth ! " said Henrique, violently 
raising his riding whip. ''How dare you speak?" 

The boy was a handsome, bright-eyed mulatto, of just Hen- 
rique's size, and his curling hair hung round a high, bold fore- 
head. He had white blood in his veins, as could be seen by 
the quick flush in his check, and the sparkle of his eye, as he 
eagerly tried to speak. 

" Mas'r Henrique ! " he began. 

Henrique struck him across the face with his riding whip, 
and, seizing one of his arms, forced him on to his knees, and 
beat him till he was out of breath. 

" There, you impudent dog ! Now will you learn not to 
answer back when I speak to you ? Take the horse back, and 
clean him properly. I'll teach you your place ! " 

" Young mas'r," said Tom, " I specs what he was gwine to 
say was, that the horse would roll when he was bringing him 
up from the stable ; he's so full of spirits, — that's the way ho 
got that dirt on him ; I looked to his cleaning." 



LIFE AMOXG THE LOV.'LY. 335 

" You hold your tongue till you're asked to speak ! " said 
Henrique, turning- on his lieel, and walking up the steps to 
speak to Eva, who stood in her riding dress. 

"Dear cousin, I'm sorry this stupid follow has kept you wait- 
ing," he said. " Let's sit down here, on this seat, till they 
come. What's the matter, cousin? — you look sober." 

" How could you be so cruel and Avicked to poor Dodo ? " 
said Eva. 

" Cruel, — wicked ! " said the boy, with unaffected surprise. 
" What do you mean, dear Eva ? " 

" I don't want you to call me dear Eva, when you do so," 
said Eva. 

"Dear cousin, you don't know Dodo; it's the only way to 
manage iiim, he's so full of lies and excuses. The only way is 
to put him down at once, — not let him open his mouth ; that's 
the way papa manages." 

" But Uncle Tom said it was an accident, and he never tells 
what isn't true." 

"He's an uncommon old nigger, then!" said Henrique. 
" Dodo will lie as fast as he can speak." 

" You frighten him into deceiving, if you treat him so." 

" Why, Eva, you've really taken such a fancy to Dodo, that 
I shall be jealous." 

"But you beat him, — and he didn't deserve it." 

" 0, well, it may go for some time when he does, and don't 
get it. A few cuts never come amiss with Dodo, — he's a 
regular spirit, I can tell yon : but I won't beat him again 
before you, if it troubles you." 

Eva was not satisfied, but found it in vain to try to make her 
handsome cousin understand her feelings. 

Dodo soon appeared with the horses. 

"Well, Dodo, you've done pretty well, this time," said his 
young master, with a mo^-e gracious air. " Come, now, and 
hold Miss Eva's horse, while I put her on to the saddle." 

Dodo came and stood by Eva's pony. His face was troubled ; 
his eyes looked as if he had been crying. 

Henrique, who valued himself on his gentlemanly adroitness 
in all matters of gallantry, soon had his fair cousin in the sad- 
dle, and, gathering the reins, placed them in her hands. 



336 UNCLE tom's cabin ; OR, 

But Eva bent to the other side of tlie horse, where Dodo Avas 
standing, and said, as he relinquished the reins, — "That's a 
good boy, Dodo ; — thank you ! " 

Dodo looked up in amazement into the sweet young 
face ; the blood rushed to his cheeks, and the tears to his 
eyes. 

"Here, Dodo," said his master, imperiously. 

Dodo sprang and held the horse, while his master mounted. 

" There's a picayune for you to buy candy with, Dodo," said 
Henrique ; " go get some." 

And Henrique cantered down the walk after Eva. Dodo 
stood looking after the two children. One had given him 
money ; and one had given him what he wanted far more, — a 
kind word, kindly spoken. Dodo had been only a few months 
away from his mother. His master had bought him at a 
slave warehouse, for his handsome face, to be a match to the 
handsome pony ; and he was now getting his breaking in at 
the hands of his young master. 

The scene of the beating had been witnessed by the two 
brothers St. Clare, from another part of the garden. 

Augustine's cheek flushed : but he only observed, with his 
usual sarcastic carelessness, — 

"I suppose that's what we may call republican education, 
Alfred?" 

"Henrique is a devil of a fellow, when his blood's up," said 
Alfred, carelessly. 

" I suppose you consider this an instructive practice for him," 
said Augustine, dryly. 

" I couldn't help it, if I didn't. Henrique is a regular little 
tempest; — his mother and I have given him up, long ago. 
But, then, that Dodo is a perfect sprite, — no amount of whip- 
ping can hurt him." 

" And this by way of teaching Henrique the first verse 
of a republican's catechism, 'All men are born free and 
equal ! ' " 

" Poh ! " said iilfred ; " one of Tom Jefferson's pieces of 
French sentiment and humbug. It's perfectly ridiculous to 
have that going the rounds among us to this day." 

" I think it is," said St. Clare, significantly. 



LIFE AMONG THE LOWLY. 3 ST 

" Because," said Alfred, " we can sec plainly enough that all 
men are not born free, nor born equal ; they are born any thing 
else. For my part, I think half this republican talk sheer 
humbug. It is the educated, the intelligent, the wealthy, the 
refined, who ought to have equal rights, and not the canaille." 

" If you can keep the canaille of that opinion," said Augus- 
tine. " They took their turn once, in France." 

•' Of course, they must be kept down, consistently, steadily, as 
I should," said Alfred, setting his foot hard down, as if he were 
standing on somebody. 

" It makes a terrible slip when they get up," said Augustine, 
— " in St. Domingo, for instance." 

" Poh ! " said Alfred ; " we'll take care of that, in this country. 
We must set our face against all this educating, elevating talk, 
that is getting about now ; the lower class must not be edu- 
cated." 

" That is past praying for," said Augustine ; " educated they 
will be, and we have only to say how. Our system is educating 
them in barbarism and brutality. We arc breaking all human- 
izing ties, and making them brute beasts ; and, if they get the 
upper hand, such we shall find them." 

" They never shall get the upper hand ! " said Alfred. 

" That's right," said St. Clare : " put on the steam, fasten 
down the escape valve, and sit on it, and see where you'll 
land." 

" Well," said Alfred, " we will see. I'm not afraid to sit on 
the escape valve, as long as the boilers arc strong, and the 
machinery works well." 

" The nobles in Louis XVI.'s time thought just so ; and Austria 
and Pius IX. think so now ; and, some pleasant morning, you. 
may all be caught up to meet each other in the air, ivhai th^c 
boilers burst." 

" Dies declarabit," said Alfred, laughing. 

" I tell you," said Augustine, " if there is any thing that fs 
revealed with the strength of a divine law in our times, it is^ 
that the masses are to rise, and the under class become the 
upper one." 

"That's one of your red republican humbugs, Augustine! 
Why didn't you ever take to the stump; — you'd make a 
AS 



S38 UNCLE tom's cabin; or, 

famous stump orator ! Well, I hope I shall be dead before 
this millennium of your greasy masses comes on." 

•' Greasy or not greasy, they will govern you, when their 
time comes," said Augustine ; " and they will be just such 
rulers as you make them. The French noblesse chose to have 
the people ' sans culottes,^ and they had ' sans cidotte ' governors 
to their hearts' content. The people of Hayti '' 

" 0, come, Augustine ! as if we hadn't had enough of that 
abominable, contemptible Hayti ! The Haytians were not 
Anglo-Saxons ; if they had been, there would have been 
another story. The Anglo-Saxon is the dominant race of 
the world, and is to be .w." 

" Well, there is a pretty fair infusion of Anglo-Saxon blood 
among our slaves, now," said Augustine. " There are plenty 
among them who have only enough of the African to give a 
sort of tropical warmth and fervor to our calculating firmness 
and foresight. If ever the San Domingo hour comes, Anglo- 
Saxon blood will lead on the day. Sons of white fathers, with 
all our haughty feelings burning in their veins, will not always 
be bought and sold and traded. They will rise, and raise with 
them their mother's race." 

" Stufi" ! — nonsense ! " 

" Well," said Augustine, '• there goes an old saying to this 
effect : ' As it was in the days of Noah, so shall it be ; — they 
ate, they drank, they planted, they builded, and knew not till 
the flood came and took them.' " 

" On the whole, Augustine, 1 think your talents might do for 
a circuit rider," said Alfred, laughing. " Never you fear for 
us ; possession is our nine points. We've got the power. This 
subject race," said he, stamping firmly, "is down, and shall 
stay down ! We have energy enough to manage our own 
powder." 

" Sons trained like your Henrique will be grand guardians 
of your powder magazines," said Augustine, — " so cool and 
self-possessed ! The proverb says, " They that cannot govern 
themselves cannot govern others.' " 

" There is a trouble there," said Alfred, thoughtfully ; — 
" there's no doubt that our system is a difficult one to train 
children under. It gives too free scope to the passions, alto- 



LIFE AMONG THE LOWLY. 33^ 

gctlier, which, in our climate, arc hot enough. I find trouble 
with Henrique. The hoy is generous and warm-hearted, but a 
perfect fire cracker when excited. I believe I shall send him 
north for his education, where obedience is more fashionable, 
and where he will associate more with equals, and less with 
dependants." 

" Since training children is the staple work of the human 
race," said Augustine, "I should think it something of a 
consideration that our system does not work well there." 

'• It does not for some things," said Alfred ; " for others, again, 
it does. It makes boys manly and courageous ; and the very 
vices of an abject race tend to strengthen in them the opposite 
virtues. I think Henrique, now, has a keener sense of the 
beauty of truth, from seeing lying and deception the universal 
badge of slavery." 

" A Christian-like view of the subject, certainly ! " said 
Augustine. 

" It's true, Christian-like or not ; and is about as Christian- 
like as most other things in the world," said Alfred. 

" That may be," said St. Clare. 

"Well, there's no use in talking, Augustine. I believe 
we've been round and round this old track five hundred 
times, more or less. What do you say to a game of back- 
gammon ? " 

The two brothers ran up the veranda steps, and were soon 
seated at a light bamboo stand, with the backgammon board 
between them. As they were setting their men, Alfred said, — 

" I tell you, Augustine, if I thought as you do, I should do 
something." 

"I dare say you would, — you are one of the doing sort, — 
but what ? " 

"Why, elevate your own servants, for a specimen," said 
Alfred, with a half-scornful smile. 

" You might as well set Mount iEtna on them flat, and tell 
them to stand up under it, as tell me to elevate my servants 
under all the superincumbent mass of society upon them. One 
man can do nothing, against the whole action of a community. 
Education, to do any thing, must be a state education ; or there 
must be enough agreed in it to make a current." 



340 



UNCLE TOM's cabin ; OE, 



" You take the first throw," said Alfred ; and the brothers 
were soon lost in the game, and heard no more till the scraping 
of horses' feet was heard under the veranda. 

" There come the children," said Augustine, rising. " Look 
here, Alf ! Did you ever see any thing so beautiful ? " And, 
in truth, it was a beautiful sight. Henrique, with his bold brow, 
and dark, glossy curls, and glowing cheek, was laughing gayly, 
as he bent towards his fair cousin, as they came on. She was 
dressed in a blue riding dress, with a cap of the same color. 
Exercise had given a brilliant hue to her cheeks, and height- 
ened the effect of her singularly transparent skin and gold- 
en hair. 




" Good heavens ! what perfectly dazzling beauty ! " said 
Alfred. "I tell you, Auguste, won't she make some hearts 
ache, one of these days ? " 

"She will, too truly, — God knows I'm afraid so ! " said St. 
Clare, in a tone of sudden bitterness, as he hurried down to 
take her off her horse. 

" Eva, darling ! you're not much tired ? " he said, as he 
clasped her in his arms. 

" No, papa," said the child ; but her short, hard breathing 
alarmed her father. 

"How could you ride so fast, dear? — you know it's bad 
for you." 

" I felt so well, papa, and liked it so much, I forgot." 



LIFE AMONG THE LOWLY. 341 

St. Clare carried her in his arms into the parlor, and laid 
her on the sofa. 

"Henrique, you must be careful of Eva," said he; "you 
rausn't ride fast with her." 

" I'll take her under my care," said Henrique, seating him- 
self by the sofa, and taking Eva's hand. 

Eva soon found herself much better. Her father and uncle 
resumed their game, and the children were left together. 

"Do you know, Eva, I'm so sorry papa is only going to 
stay two days here, and then I shan't see you again for ever 
so long ! If I stay with you, I'd try to be good, and not be 
cross to Dodo, and so on. I don't mean to treat Dodo ill ; 
but, you know, I've got such a quick temper. I'm not really 
bad to him, though. I give him a picayune now and then ; 
and you see he dresses well. I think, on the whole, Dodo's 
pretty well off." 

" Would you think you were well off, if there were not one 
creature in the world near you to love you ? " 

"I? — well, of course not." 

"And you have taken Dodo away from all the friends he 
ever had, and now he has not a creature to love him; — no- 
body can be good that way." 

"Well, I can't help it, as I know of I can't get his 
mother, and I can't love him myself, nor any body else, as I 
know of." 

" Why can't you ? " said Eva. 

" Love Dodo ! Why, Eva, you wouldn't have me ! I may 
like him well enough ; but you don't love your servants." 

"I do, indeed." 

" How odd ! " 

" Don't the Bible say we must love every body ? " 

" 0, the Bible ! To be sure, it says a great many such 
things ; but then, nol^ody ever thinks of doing them, — you 
know, Eva, nobody does." 

Eva did not speak ; her eyes were fixed and thoughtful, for 
a few moments. 

" At any rate," she said, " dear cousin, do love poor Dodo, 
and be kind to him for my sake 1 " 



342 



UNCLE tom's cabin ; Ofi, 



" I could love any thing for your sake, dear cousin ; for I 
really think you are the loveliest creature that I ever saw ! " 
And Henrique spoke with an earnestness that flushed his hand- 
some face. Eva received it with perfect simplicity, without 
even a change of feature, merely saying, " I'm glad you feel so, 
dear Henrique ! I hope you will remember." 

The dinner bell put an end to the interview. 





' (f) 



CHAPTER XXIV. 



FORESHADOWINGS. 




WO days after this, Alfred St. Clare and Au- 
gustiDG parted ; and Eva, who had been stim- 
ulated, by the society of her young cousin, to 
exertions beyond her strength, began to fail 
rapidly. St. Clare was at last willing to call 
in medical advice, — a thing from which he 
had always shrunk, because it was the admis- 
sion of an unwelcome truth. 

But, for a day or two, Eva was so unwell as to be confined 
to the house ; and the doctor was called. 

Marie St. Clare had taken no notice of the child's gradually 
decaying health and strength, because she was completely 
absorbed in studying out two or three new forms of disease 
to which she believed she herself was a victim. It was the 



344 UNCLE tom's cabin ; or, 

first principle of Marie's belief that nobody ever was or could 
be so great a sufferer as herself ; and, therefore, she always 
repelled quite indignantly any suggestion that any one around 
her could be sick. She was always sure, in such a case, that 
it was nothing but laziness, or want of energy ; and that, if 
they had had the suffering she had, they would soon know the 
difference. 

Miss Ophelia had several times tried to awaken her mater- 
nal fears about Eva ; but to no avail. 

" I don't see as any thing ails the child," she would say ; 
" she runs about, and plays." 

" But she has a cough." 

"Cough! you don't need to tell ine about a cough. I've 
always been sulijcct to a cough, all my days. When I was 
of Eva's age, they thought I was in a consumption. Night 
after night, Mammy used to sit up with me. 0, Eva's cough 
is not any thing." 

"But she gets weak, and is short-breathed." 

" Law ! I've had that, years and years ; it's only a nervous 
affection." 

" But she sweats so, nights ! " 

"Well. I have, these ten years. Very often, night after 
night, my clothes will be wringing wet. There won't be a dry 
thread in my night clothes, and the sheets will be so that 
Mammy has to hang them up to dry ! Eva doesn't sweat any 
thing like that ! " 

Miss Ophelia shut her mouth for a season. But, now that 
Eva was fairly and visibly prostrated, and a doctor called, 
Marie, all on a sudden, took a new turn, 

" She knew it," she said ; " she always felt it, that she 
was destined to be the most miserable of mothers. Here she 
was, with her wretched health, and her only darling child 
going down to the grave before her eyes ; " — and ]\Iarie routed 
up Mammy nights, and rumpused, and scolded, with more en- 
ergy than ever, all day, on the strength of this new misery, 

" My dear Marie, don't talk so ! " said St. Clare. " You 
ought not to give up the case so, at once." 

" You have not a mother's feelings, St, Clare 1 You never 
could understand me ! — you don't now." 



LIFE AMONG THE LOWLY. 345 

" But don't talk so, as if it were a gone case ! " 

" I can't take it as indiflTerently as you can, St. Clare. If 
you don't feel when your only child is in this alarming state, 
/ do. It's a blow too much for me, with all I was bearing 
before." 

" It's true," said St. Clare, " that Eva is very delicate ; that 
I always knew ; and that she has grown so rapidly as to 
exhaust her strength ; and that her situation is critical. But 
just now she is only prostrated by the heat of the weather, 
and by the excitement of her cousin's visit, and the exertions 
she made. The physician says there is room for hope." 

" Well, of course, if you can look on the bright side, pray 
do ; it's a mercy if people haven't sensitive feelings in this 
world. I am sure I wish I didn't feel as I do ; it only 
makes me completely wretched ! I wish I could be as easy 
as the rest of you ! " 

And the " rest of them " had good reason to breathe the 
same prayer, for Marie paraded her new misery as the reason 
and apology for all sorts of inflictions on every one about her. 
Every word that was spoken by any body, every thing that 
v\-as done or was not done every where, was only a new proof 
that she was surrounded by hard-hearted, insensible beings, 
who were unmindful of her peculiar sorrows. .Poor Eva heard 
some of these speeches, and nearly cried her little eyes out, in 
pity for her mamma, and in sorrow that she should make her 
so much distress. 

In a week or two, there was a great improvement of symp- 
toms, — one of those deceitful lulls, by which her inexorable 
disease so often beguiles the anxious heart, even on the verge 
of the grave. Eva's step was again in the garden, — in the 
balconies ; she played and laughed again, — and her father, 
in a transport, declared that they should soon have her as 
hearty as any body. Miss Ophelia and the physician alone 
felt no encouragement from this illusive truce. There was 
one other heart, too, that felt the same certainty, and that 
was the little heart of Eva. What is it that sometimes speaks 
in the soul so calmly, so clearly, that its earthly time is 
short ? Is it the secret instinct of decaying nature, or the 
soul's impulsive throb, as immortality draws on ? Be it what 
44 



346 UNCLE tom's cabin ; or, 

it may, it rested in the heart of Eva, a calm, sweet, proplietin 
certainty that heaven was near ; calm as the light of sunset, 
sweet as the bright stillness of autumn, there her little heart 
reposed, only troubled by sorrow for those who loved lier so 
dearly. 

For the child, though nursed so tenderly, and though life 
was unfolding before her with every brightness that love ami 
wealth could give, had no regret for herself in dying. 

In that book which she and her simple old friend had read 
so much together, she had seen and taken to her young heart 
the image of one who loved the little child ; and, as she gazed 
and mused. He had ceased to be an image and a picture of tlie 
distant past, and come to be a living, all-surrounding reality. 
His love infolded her childish heart with more than mortal 
tenderness ; and it was to Him, she said, she was going, and 
to his home. 

But her heart yearned with sad tenderness for all that she 
was to leave behind. Her father most, — for Eva, though she 
never distinctly thought so, had an instinctive perception that 
she was more in his heart than any otlier. She loved her 
mother because she was so loving a creature, and all the 
selfishness that she had seen in her only saddened and per- 
plexed her ; for she had a child's implicit trust that her mother 
could not do wrong. There was something about her that 
Eva never could make out ; and she always smoothed it over 
■with thinking that, after all, it was mamma, and she loved her 
very dearly indeed. 

She felt, too, for those fond, faithful servants, to whom she 
was as daylight and sunshine. Children do not usually gen- 
eralize ; but Eva was an uncommonly mature child, and the 
things that she had witnessed of the evils of the system under 
which they were living had fallen, one by one, into the depths 
of her thoughtful, pondering heart. She had vague longings 
to do something for them, — to bless and save not only them, 
but all in their condition, — longings that contrasted sadly 
with the feebleness of her little frame. 

" Uncle Tom," she said, one day, when she was reading to 
her friend, " I can understand whj^ Jesus wanted to die for us." 

•• Why, Miss Eva ? " 



LIFE AMONG THE LOWT.Y. 347 

"Because Pre felt so too." 

" What is it, Miss Eva ? — I don't understand.'' 

"I can't tell you ; but, when I saw those poor creatures on 
the boat, you know, when you came up and I, — some had lost 
their mothers, and some their husbands, and some mothers 
cried for their little children, — and when I heard about poor 
Prue, — 0, wasn't that dreadful! — and a great many other 
times, I've felt that I would be glad to die, if my dying could 
stop all this misery. I would die for them, Tom, if I could.'' 
said the child, earnestly, laying her little thin hand on his. 

Tom looked at the child with awe ; and when she, hearing 
her father's voice, glided away, he wiped his eyes many times, 
as he looked after her. 

" It's jest no use tryin' to keep Miss Eva here," he said to 
Mammy, whom he met a moment after. " She's got the Lord's 
mark in her forehead." 

" Ah, yes, yes," said Mammy, raising her hands ; " I've allers 
said so. She wasn't never like a child that's to live — there 
was allers somethin' deep in her eyes. I've told missis so 
many the time ; it's a comin' true, — we all sees it, — dear, 
little, blessed lamb ! " 

Eva came tripping up the veranda steps to her father. It 
was late in the afternoon, and the rays of the sun formed a 
kind of glory behind her, as she came forward in her white 
dress, with her golden hair and glowing cheeks, her eyes 
unnaturally bright with the slow fever that burned in her 
veins. 

St. Clare had called her to show a statuette that he had 
been buying for her ; but her appearance, as she came on, 
impressed him suddenly and painfully. There is a kind of 
beauty so intense, yet so fragile, that we cannot bear to look 
at it. Her father folded her suddenly in his arms, and almost 
forgot what he was going to tell her. 

" Eva, dear, you are better nowadays, — are you not ? " 

" Papa," said Eva, with sudden firmness, " I've had things 
I wanted to say to you, a great while. I want to say them 
now, before I get weaker." 

St. Clare trembled as Eva seated herself in his lap. She 
laid her head on his bosom, and said, — 



348 UNCLE tom's cabin ; OR, 

" It's all no use, papa, to keep it to myself any longer. The 
time is coming that I am going to leave you. I am going, and 
never to come back!" and Eva sobbed. 

" 0, now, my dear little Eva ! " said St. Clare, trembling as 
he spoke, but speaking cheerfully, '' you've got nervous and 
low-spirited ; you musn't indulge such gloomy thoughts. See 
here, I've bought a statuette for you ! " 

" No, papa," said Eva, putting it gently away, " don't deceive 
yourself! — I am not any better, I know it perfectly well, — 
and I am going, before long. I am not nervous, — I am not 
low-spirited. If it were not for you, papa, and my friends, 1 
should be perfectly happy. I want to go, I long to go ! " 

" Why, dear child, what has made your poor little heart so 
sad? You have had every thing to make you happy that 
could be given you." 

" I had rather be in heaven ; though, only for my friends' 
sake, I would lie willing to live. There are a great many 
things, here that make me sad, that seem dreadful to me ; I had 
rather be there ; but I don't wan't to leave you, — it almost 
breaks my heart ! " 

" What makes you sad, and seems dreadful, Eva ? " 

" 0, things that are done, and done all the time. I feel sad 
for our poor people ; they love me dearly, and they are all 
good and kind to me. I wish, papa, they were aliyree." 

"Why, Eva, child, don't you think they are well enough 
off now?" 

" 0, but, papa, if any thing should happen to you, what 
would become of them? Tliere are very few men like you. 
papa. Uncle Alfred isn't like you, and mamma isn't ; and 
then, think of poor old Prue's owners ! What horrid things 
people do, and can do ! " and Eva shuddered. 

" My dear child, you are too sensitive. I'm sorry I ever let 
you hear such stories." 

" 0, that's what troubles me, papa. You want me to live 
so happy, and never to have any pain, — never suffer any 
thing, — not even hear a sad story, when other poor creatures 
have nothing but pain and sorrow, all their lives ; — it seems 
selfish. I ought to know such things, I ought to feel about 
them! Such things always sunk into my heart : tlioy went 



LIFE AMONG THE LOWL-^'. 349 

down deep ; I've thought and thought about them. Papa, isn't 
there any way to have all slaves made free ? " 

" That's a difficult question, dearest. There's no doubt that 
this way is a very bad one ; a great many people think so ; I 
do myself. I heartily wish that there were not a slave in the 
land ; but, then, I don't know what is to be done about it ! " 

'• Papa, you are such a good man, and so noble, and kind, 
and you always have a way of saying things that is so pleas- 
ant, couldn't you go all round and try to persuade people %o 
do right about this ? When I am dead, papa, then you will 
think of me, and do it for my sake. I would do it, if I could." 

" When you are dead, Eva," said St. Clare, passionately. 
" child, don't talk to me so! You are all I have on earth." 

" Poor old Prue's child was all that she had, — and yet she 
had to hear it crying, and she couldn't help it ! Papa, these 
poor creatures love their children as much as you do me. 0, 
do something for them ! There's poor Mammy loves her chil- 
dren ; I've seen her cry when she talked about them. And Tom 
loves his children ; and it's dreadful, papa, that such things are 
happening, all the time ! " 

" There, there, darling," said St. Clare, soothingly ; " only 
don't distress yourself, and don't talk of dying, and I will do 
any thing you wish." 

■' And promise me, dear father, that Tom shall have his free- 
dom as soon as " — she stopped, and said, in a hesitating tone 
— " I am gone ! " 

" Yes, dear, I will do any thing in the world, — any thing 
you could ask me to." 

"Dear papa," said the child, laying her burning cheek 
against his, " how I wish we could go together ! " 

"Where, dearest?" said St. Clare. 

"To our Savior's home; it's so sweet and peaceful there — 
it is all so loving there ! " The child spoke unconsciously, as 
of a place where she had often been. " Don't you want to go, 
papa ? " she said. 

St. Clare drew her closer to him, but was silent. 

" You will come to me," said the child, speaking in a voice 
of calm certainty which she often used unconsciously. 

" I shall come after vou. I shall not foraret vou." 



85(i 



UNCLE TOM's cabin : OR. 



The shadows of the solemn evening closed round them 
deeper and deeper, as St. Clare sat silently holding the little 
frail form to his bosom. He saw no more the deep eyes, but 
the voice came over him as a spirit voice, and, as in a sort of 
judgment vision, his whole past life rose in a moment before 
his eyes : his mother's prayers and hymns ; his own early 
yearnings and aspirings for good ; and, between them and 
this hour, years of worldliness and scepticism, and what man 
calls respectable living. We can think much, very much, in a 
moment. St. Clare saw and felt many things, but spoke noth- 
ing ; and, as it grew darker, he took his child to her bed room ; 
and, when she was prepared for rest, he sent away the attend- 
ants, and rocked her in liis arms, and sung to her till she was 
asleep. 








CHAPTER XXY, 



THE LITTLE EVANGELIST. 




T was Sunday afternoon. St. Clare was 
stretched on a Ijamboo lounge in the veranda, 
solacing himself with a cigar. Marie lay re- 
clined on a sofa, opposite the window opening 
on the veranda, closely secluded, under an awn- 
ing of transparent gauze, from the outrages of 
the mosquitoes, and languidly holding in her hand an elegantly 
l)ound prayer book. She Avas holding it because it Avas Sun- 
day, and she imagined she had been reading it, — though, in 
lact, she had beeii only taking a succession of short naps, with 
it open in her hand. 

Miss Ophelia, who, after some rmnmaging, had hunted up a 
small Methodist meeting within riding distance, had gone out, 
with Tom as driver, to attend it : and Eva had ac(;ompanied 
t hem . 



35'J UNCLE Tom's cabin ; or, 

'• I say, Augustine," said 3Iarie after dozing a while, " I must 
scud to the city after my old Doctor Posey ; I'm sure I've got 
the complaint of the heart." 

" Well ; why need you send for him ? This doctor that 
attends Eva seems skilful." 

" 1 would not trust him in a critical case," said Marie ; " and 
1 think I may say mine is becoming so ! I've been thinking of 
it, these two or three nights past ; I have such distressing pains, 
and such strange feelings." 

'• 0, Marie, you are blue ; I don't believe it's heart com- 
plaint." 

" I dare say you don't," said Marie ; " I was prepared to expect 
that. You can be alarmed enough, if Eva coughs, or has the 
least thing the matter with her ; but you never think of me." 

" If it's particularly agreeable to you to have heart disease, 
why, I'll try and maintain you have it," said St. Clare; "I 
didn't know it was." 

" Well, I only hope you won't be sorry for this when it's 
too late ! " said Marie ; " but, believe it or not, my distress 
about Eva. and the exertions I have made Avith that dear child, 
have develo])cd what I have long suspected." 

What the ixcrtians were, which Marie referred to, it would 
liave been difficult to state. St. Clare quietly made this com- 
mentary to himself, and went on smoking, like a hard-hearted 
A\retch of a man as he was, till a carriage drove up before the 
veranda, and Eva and Miss Ophelia alighted. 

Miss Ophelia marched straight to her own chamber, to put 
away her bonnet and shawl, as was always her manner, before 
she spoke a word on any subject ; while Eva came, at St. 
Clare's call, and was sitting on his knee, giving him an ac- 
count of the services they had heard. 

They soon heard loud exclamations from Miss Ophelia's 
room, which, like the one in which they were sitting, opened 
on to the veranda, and violent reproof addressed to somebody. 

" What new Avitchcraft has Tops been brewing ? " asked St. 
Clare. " That commotion is of her raising, I'll be bound ! " 

And, in a moment after, Miss Ophelia, in high indignation, 
came dragging the culprit along. 

'■ Come out hero, now ! " she said. " I will tell vour master ! " 



LIFE AMONG THE LOWLY. 353 

" What's the case now ? " asked Augustine. 

" The case is, that I cannot be plagued with this child, any 
longer ! It's past all bearing ; flesh and blood cannot endure 
it ! Here, I locked her up, and gave her a hymn to study : 
and what does she do, but spy out where I put my key, and 
has gone to my bureau, and got a bonnet trimming, and cut it 
all to pieces, to make dolls' jackets ! I never savr any thing 
like it in my life ! " 

" I told you, cousin," said Marie, " that you'd find out that 
these creatures can't be brought up without severity. If I had 
my way, now," she said, looking reproachfully at St. Clare, 
" I'd send that child out, and have her thoroughly whipped ; 
I'd have her whipped till she couldn't stand ! " 

^- 1 don't doubt it," said St. Clare. " Tell me of the lovely 
rule of woman ! I never saw above a dozen women that 
wouldn't half kill a horse, or a servant either, if they had their 
own way with them ! — let alone a man." 

" There is no use in this shilly-shally way of yours, St. Clare ! " 
said Marie. " Cousin is a woman of sense, and she _sees it 
now, as plain as I do." 

Miss Ophelia had just the capability of indignation that be- 
longs to the thorough-paced housekeeper, and this liad been 
pretty actively roused by the artifice and wastefulness of the 
child ; in fact, many of my lady readers must own that they 
should have felt just so in her circumstances ; but Marie's words 
went beyond her, and she felt less heat. 

" I wouldn't have the child treated , so for the world," she 
said ; " but, I am sure, Augustine, I don't knoAv what to do. 
I've taught and taught : I've talked till I'm tired ; I've whipped 
her, I've punished her in every way I can think of, and still 
she's just what she Avas at first." 

" Come here. Tops, you monkey ! " said St. Clare, calling the 
child up to him. 

Topsy came up ; her round, hard eyes glittering and blinking 
with a mixture of apprehensiveness and their usual old drollery. 

" What makes you behave so ? " said St. Clare, who could not 
help being amused with the child's expression. 

" Spects it's my wicked heart," said Topsy, demurely ; " Miss 
Feely says so." 

45 



354 UNCLE tom's cabin ; or, 

" Don't you see how much Miss Ophelia has done for you ? 
She says she has done every thing she can think of." 

" Lor, yes, mas'r ! old missis used to say so, too. She whipped 
me a heap harder, and used to pull my har, and knock ray head 
agin the door ; but it didn't do me no good ! I spects, if they's 
to pull every spear o' har out o' my head, it wouldn't do no 
good, neither, — I's so Avicked ! Laws! I's nothing but a nig- 
ger, no ways ! " 

'• Well, I shall have to give her up," said Miss Ophelia ; " I 
can't have that trouble any longer." 

" Well, I'd just like to ask one question," said St. Clare. 

" What is it ? " 

" Why, if your gospel is not strong enough to save one 
heathen child, that you can have at home here, all to yourself, 
what's the use of sending one or two poor missionaries off with 
it among thousands of just such? I suppose this child is about 
a fair sample of what thousands of your heathen are." 

Miss Ophelia did not make an immediate answer ; and Eva, 
who had stood a silent spectator of the scene thus far, made 
a silent sign to Topsy to follow her. There was a little glass 
room at the corner of the veranda, which St. Clare used as a 
sort of reading room ; and Eva and Topsy disappeared into 
this place. 

"What's Eva going about, now?" said St. Clare: "I mean 
to see." 

And advancing on tiptoe, he lifted up a curtain that covered 
the glass door, and looked in. In a moment, laying his finger 
on his lips, he made a silent gesture to Miss Ophelia to come 
and look. There sat the two children on the floor, with their 
side faces towards them. Topsy, with her usual air of careless 
drollery and unconcern ; but, opposite to her, Eva, her whole 
face fervent with feeling, and tears in her large eyes. 

" What does make you so bad, Topsy ? Why won't you try 
and be good ? Don't you love any body, Topsy ? " 

" Don no nothin' 'bout love ; I loves candy and sich, that's 
all," said Topsy. 

" But you love your father and mother ? " 

" Never had none, ye know. I tolled ye that, Miss Eva." 

" 0, I know," said Eva, sadly ; " but hadn't you any brother, 
or sister, or aunt, or " 



LIFE AMONG THE LOWLY. 355 

" No, none on 'cm, — never had nothin' nor nobody." 

"But, Topsy, if you'd only try to be good, you might •" 



" Couldn't never be nothin' but a nigger, if I was ever so 
good," said Topsy. " If I could be skinned, and come v/hitc, 
I'd try then." 

" But people can love you, if you are black, Topsy. Miss 
Ophelia would love you, if you were good." 

Topsy gave the short, blunt laugh that was her common 
mode of expressing incredulity. 

" Don't you think so ? " said Eva. 

" No ; she can't bar me, 'cause I'm a nigger ! — she'd's 
soon have a toad touch her ! There can't nobody love nig- 
gers, and niggers can't do nothin' ! / don't care," said 
Topsy, beginning to whistle. 

" Topsy, poor child, / love you ! " said Eva, with a sud- 
den burst of feeling, and laying her little thin, white hand 
on Topsy's shoulder ; '• I love you, because you haven't had 
any father, or mother, or friends ; — because you've been a 
poor, abused child ! I love you, and I want you to be good. 
I am very unwell, Topsy, and I think I shan't live a great 
while ; and it really grieves me to have you be so naughty. 
I wish you would try to be good, for my sake ; — it's only a 
little while I shall be with you." 

The round, keen eyes of the black child were overcast with 
tears ; — large, bright drops rolled heavily down, one by one, 
and fell on the little white hand. Yes, in that moment, a 
ray of real belief, a ray of heavenly love, had penetrated the 
darkness of her heathen soul ! She laid her head down be- 
tween her knees, and wept and sobbed, — while the beautiful 
child, bending over hei", looked like the picture of some bright 
angel stooping to reclaim a sinner. 

" Poor Topsy ! " said Eva, " don't you know that Jesus loves 
all alike? He is just as willing to love you as me. He loves 
you just as I do, — only more, because he is better. He will 
help you to be good ; and you can go to heaven at last, and 
be an angel forever, just as much as if you were white. Only 
think of it, Topsy! — you can be one of those spirits bright, 
Uncle Tom sings about." 

"0, dear Miss Eva, dear Miss Eva!" said the child: "I 



356 



UNCLE TOM'S CABIN 



OR, 



will try, I will try ; I never did care notliin' about it 
before." 

St. Clare, at tliis instant, dropped the curtain. " It puts 
me in mind of mother," he said to Miss Ophelia. " It is true 
what she told me ; if we want to give sight to the blind, we 
must be willing to do as Christ did, — call them to us, and 
put our hands on them." 

"I've always had a prejudice against negroes," said Miss 
Ophelia, " and it's a fact, I never could bear to have that child 
touch me ; but I didn't think she knew it." 

" Trust any child to find tliat out," said St. Clare ; " there's 
no keeping it from them. But I believe that all the trying in 
the world to benefit a child, and all the substantial favors you 
can do them, will never excite one emotion of gratitude, while 
that feeling of repugnance remains in the heart ; — it's a queer 
kind of a fact, — but so it is." 

" I don't know how I can help it," said Miss Ophelia ; " they 
are disagreeable to mo, — this child in particular, — how can I 
help feeling so ? " • 

" Eva does, it seems." 

" Well, she's so loving ! After all, though, she's no more 
than Christ-like," said Miss Ophelia ; " I wish I were like her. 
She might teach me a lesson." 

" It wouldn't be the first time a little child had been used to 
instruct an old disciple, if it loere so," said St. Clare. 







Ilv, /i.M'l.I'll'lilWV 



ah 




CHAPTER XXVI. 

DEATH. 

'Weep not for those whom the veil of the tomb, 
In life's early morning, hath hid from our eyes." 




va's bed room was a spacious apartment, 
which, like all tlie other rooms in the house, 
opened on to the broad veranda. The room 
communicated, on one side, with her father 
•^nT and mother's apartment ; on the other, with 
^'' - that appropriated to Miss Ophelia. St. Clare 
had gratified his own eye and taste, in furnishing this room in 
a style that had a j-eculiar keeping with the character of her 
for Avhom it was intended. The windows were hung with cur- 
tains of rose-colored and white muslin, the floor was spread 
with a matting which had been ordered in Paris, to a pattern 
of his own device, having round it a border of rosebuds and 



358 UNCLE tom's cabin ; OR, 

leaves, and a centre-piece with full-blown roses. The bedstead, 
chairs, and lounges were of bamboo, wrought in peculiarly 
graceful and fanciful patterns. Over the head of the bed was 
an alabaster bracket, on which a beautiful sculptured angel 
stood, with drooping wings, holding out a crown of myrtle 
leaves. From this depended, over the bed, light curtains of 
rose-colored gauze, striped with silver, supplying that protec- 
tion from mosquitoes which is an indispensable addition to all 
sleeping accommodation in that climate. The graceful bam- 
boo lounges were amply supplied witli cushions of rose-colored 
damask, while over them, depending from the hands of sculp- 
tured figures, were gauze curtains similar to those of the bed, 
A light, fanciful bamboo table stood in the middle of the room, 
where a Parian vase, wrought in the shape of a Avhite lily, with 
its buds, stood, ever filled with flowers. On this table lay 
Eva's books and little trinkets, with an elegantly wrought 
alabaster writing stand, which her father had supplied to her 
when he saw her trying to improve herself in writing. There 
was a fireplace in the room, and on the marble mantle above 
stood a beautifully wrought statuette of Jesus receiving little 
children, and on either side marble vases, for which it was 
Tom's pride and delight to offer bouquets every morning. Two 
or three exquisite paintings of children, in various attitudes, 
embellished the wall. In short, the eye could turn noAvhere 
without meeting images of childliood, of beauty, and of peace. 
Those little eyes never opened, in the morning light, without 
falling on something which suggested to the heart soothing 
and beautiful thoughts. 

The deceitful strength which had buoyed Eva up for a little 
while was fast passing away ; seldom and more seldom her 
light footstep was heard in the veranda, and oftcner and 
oftener she was found reclined on a little lounge by the open 
window, her large, deep eyes fixed on the rising and falling 
waters of the lake. 

It was towards the middle of the afternoon, as she was so 
reclining, — her Bible half open, her little transparent fingers 
lying listlessly between the leaves, — suddenly she heard her 
mother's voice, in sharp tones, in the veranda. 

"What, now, you baggage ! — what new piece of mischief! 



LIFE AMONG THE LOWLY. 359 

You've been picking the flowers, hey ? " and Eva heard the 
sound of a smart slap. 

"Law, missis ! — they's for Miss Eva," she heard a voice say, 
which she knew belonged to Topsy. 

"Miss Eva! A pretty excuse! — you suppose she wants 
your flowers, you good-for-nothing nigger ! Get along off 
with you ! " 

In a moment, Eva was ofi' from her lounge, and in the 
veranda. 

" 0, don't, mother ! I should like the flowers ; do give them 
to me ; I want them ! " 

" Why, Eva, your room is full now." 

" I can't have too many," said Eva. " Topsy, do bring them 
here." 

Topsy, who had stood sullenly, holding down her head, now 
came up and oflered her flowers. She did it with a look of 
hesitation and bashfulness, quite unlike the eldrich boldness 
and brightness which was usual with her. 

" It's a beautiful bouquet ! " said Eva, looking at it. 

It was rather a singular one, — a brilliant scarlet geranium, 
and one single white japonica, with its glossy leaves. It was 
tied up v/ith an evident eye to the contrast of color, and the 
arrangement of every leaf had carefully been studied. 

Topsy looked pleased, as Eva said, "Topsy, you arrange 
flowers very prettily. Here," she said, " is this vase I haven't 
any flowers for. I wish you'd arrange something every day 
for it." 

" Well, that's odd ! " said Marie. " What in the world do 
you want that for ? " 

" Never mind, mamma ; you'd as lief as not Topsy should do 
it, — had you not?" 

" Of course, any thing you please, dear ! Topsy, you hear 
your young mistress ; — see that you mind." 

Topsy made a short courtesy, and looked down ; and, as she 
turned away, Eva saw a tear roll down her dark cheek. 

" You see, mamma, I knew poor Topsy wanted to do some- 
thing for me," said Eva to her mother. 

" 0, nonsense ! it's only because she likes to do mischief. 
She knows she musn't pick flowers, — so she does it ; that's all 



360 UNCLE tom's cabin ; or, 

there is to it. But, if j^ou fancy to have her pluck them, so 
be it." 

"Mamma, I think Topsy is different from what she used to 
be ; she's trying to be a good girl." 

"She'll have to try a good while before she get's to be 
good," said Marie, with a careless laugh. 

" "Well, you know, mamma, poor Topsy ! every thing has 
always been against her." 

"Not since she's been here, I'm sure. If she hasn't been 
talked to, and preached to, and every earthly thing done that 
any body could do ; — and she's just so ugly, and always will 
be ; you can't make any thing of the creature ! " 

" But, mamma, it's so different to be brought up as I've been, 
with so many friends, so many things to make me good and 
happy ; and to be brought up as she's been, all the time, till 
she came here ! " 

"Most likely," said Marie, yawning, — "dear me, how hot 
it is ! " 

" Mamma, you believe, don't you, that Topsy could become 
an angel, as well as any of us, if she were a Christian ? " 

" Topsy ! Avhat a ridiculous idea ! Nobody but you would 
ever think of it. I suppose she could, though," 

" But, mamma, isn't God her Father, as much as ours ? Isn't 
Jesus her Savior ? " 

" Well, that may be. I suppose God made every body," 
said Marie. " Where is my smelling bottle ? " 

"It's such a pity, — ! such a pity !" said Eva, looking out 
on the distant lake, and speaking half to herself. 

" What's a pity ? " said Marie. 

"Why, that any one, who could be a bright angel, and live 
with angels, should go all down, down, down, and nobody help 
them! — 0, dear !" 

"Well, we can't help it ; it's no use worrying, Eva ! I don't 
know what's to be done ; we ought to be thankful for our own 
advantages." 

"I hardly can be," said Eva, "I'm so sorry to think of poor 
folks that haven't any." 

" That's odd enough," said Marie ; — " I'm sure my religion 
makes me thankful for my advantages." 



LIFE AMONG THE LOWLY. 361 

" Mamma," said Eva, " I want to have some of my hair cnt 
off, — a good deal of it." 

" What for ? " said Marie. 

" Mamma, I want to give some away to my friends, wliile I 
am able to give it to them myself. Won't you ask aunty to 
come and cut it for me ? " 

Marie raised her voice, and called Miss Ophelia, from the 
other room. 

The child half rose from her pillow as she came in, and, 
shaking down her long golden-brown curls, said, rather play- 
fully, " Come, aunty, shear the sheep ! " 

" What's that ? " said St. Clare, who just then entered with 
some fruit he had been out to get for her. 

" Papa, I just want aunty to cut off some of my hair ; — 
there's too much of it, and it makes my head hot. Besides, I 
want to give some of it away." 

Miss Ophelia came, with her scissors. 

" Take care, — don't spoil the looks of it ! " said her father ; 
" cut underneath, where it won't show. Eva's curls are my 
pride." 

" papa ! " said Eva, sadly. 

" Yes, and I want them kept handsome against the time I 
take you up to your uncle's plantation, to see Cousin Hen- 
rique," said St. Clare, in a gay tone. 

"I shall never go there, papa; — I am going to a better 
country. 0, do believe me ! Don't you see, papa, that I get 
weaker every day ? " 

" Why do you insist that I shall believe such a cruel thing, 
Eva ? " said her father. 

" Only because it is true, papa : and, if you will believe it 
now, perhaps you will get to feel about it as I do." 

St. Clare closed his lips, and stood gloomily eying the long, 
beautiful curls, which, as they were separated from the child's 
head, were laid, one by one, in her lap. She raised them up, 
looked earnestly at them, twined them around her thin fingers, 
and looked, from time to time, anxiously at her father. 

" It's just what I've been foreboding ! " said Marie ; " it's 
just what has been preying on my health, from day to day, 
bringing me downward to the grave, though nobody regards 
46 



362 UNCLE tom's cabin ; OR, 

it. I have seen this, long. St. Clare, you will see, after a 
while, that I was right." 

" Which will afford you great consolation, no doubt ! " said 
St. Clare, in a dry, bitter tone. 

Marie lay back on a lounge, and covered her face with her 
cambric handkerchief. 

Eva's clear blue eye looked earnestly from one to the other. 
It was the calm, comprehending gaze of a soul half loosed 
from its earthly bonds ; it was evident she saw, felt, and ap- 
preciated, the difference between the two. 

She beckoned with her hand to her father. He came, and 
sat down by her. 

" Papa, my strength fades away every day, and I know I 
must go. There are some things I want to say and do, — that 
I ought to do ; and you are so unwilling to have me speak a 
word on this subject. But it must come ; there's no putting it 
off. Do be willing I should speak now ! " 

" My child, I am willing ! " said St. Clare, covering his eyes 
with one hand, and holding up Eva's hand with the other. 

" Then, I want to see all our people together. I have some 
things I must say to them," said Eva. 

" Well" said St. Clare, in a tone of dry endurance. 

Miss Ophelia despatched a messenger, and soon the whole 
of the servants were convened in the room. 

Eva lay back on her pillows ; her hair hanging loosely about 
her face, her crimson cheeks contrasting painfully with the in- 
tense whiteness of her complexion and the thin contour of her 
limbs and features, and her large, soul-like eyes fixed earnestly 
on every one. 

The servants were struck with a sudden emotion. The spirit- 
ual face, the long locks of hair cut off and lying by her, her 
father's averted face, and Marie's sobs, struck at once upon the 
feelings of a sensitive and impressible race ; and, as they came 
in, they looked one on another, sighed, and shook their heads. 
There was a deep silence, like that of a funeral. 

Eva raised herself, and looked long and earnestly round at 
every one. All looked sad and apprehensive. Many of the 
women hid their faces in their aprons. 

"I sent for you all, my dear friends," said Eva, "because I 



LIFE AMONG THE LOWLY. 

love you. I love you all ; and I have something to say to you, 

which I want you always to remember I am going to 

leave you. In a few more weeks, you will see me no more " 

Here the child was interrupted by bursts of groans, sobs, 
and lamentations, which broke from all present, and in which 
her slender voice was lost entirely. She waited a moment, 
and then, speaking in a tone that checked the sobs of all, she 
said, — 

" If you love me, you must not interrupt me so. Listen to 

what I say. I want to speak to you about your souls 

Many of you, I am afraid, are very careless. You are think- 
ing only about this world. I want you to remember that there 
is a beautiful world, where Jesus is. I am going there, and you 
can go there. It is for you, as much as me. But, if you want 
to go there, you must not live idle, careless, thoughtless lives. 
You must be Christians. You must remember that each one 

of you can become angels, and be angels forever If 

you want to be Christians, Jesus will help you. You must 
pray to him ; you must read " 

The child checked herself, looked piteously at them, and said, 
sorrowfully, — 

" 0, dear ! you can't read, — poor souls ! " and she hid her face 
in the pillow and sobbed, while many a smothered sob from 
those she was addressing, who were kneeling on the floor, 
aroused her. 

"Never mind," she said, raising her face and smiling bright- 
ly through her tears, " I have prayed for you ; and I know 
Jesus will help you, even if you can't read. Try all to do the 
best you can ; pray every day ; ask him to help you, and get 
the Bible read to you whenever you can ; and I think I shall 
see you all in heaven." 

" Amen," was the murmured response from the lips of Tom 
and Mammy, and some of the elder ones, who belonged to the 
Methodist church. The younger and more thoughtless ones, 
for the time completely overcome, were sobbing, with their 
heads bowed upon their knees. 

" I know," said Eva, " you all love me." 

" Yes ; 0, yes ! indeed we do I Lord bless her 1 " was the 
involuntary answer of all. 



864 UNCLE tom's cabin ; OR, 

" Yes, I know you do ! There isn't one of you that hasn't 
always been very kind to me ; and I want to give you some- 
thing that, when you look at, you shall always remember me. 
I'm going to give all of you a curl of my hair ; and, when you 
look at it, think that I loved you, and am gone to heaven, and 
that I want to see you all there." 

It is impossible to describe the scene, as, with tears and sobs, 
they gathered round the little creature, and took from her hands 
what seemed to them a last mark of her love. They fell on 
their knees ; they sobbed, and prayed, and kissed the hem of 
her garment ; and the elder ones poured forth words of endear- 
ment, mingled in prayers and blessings, after the manner of 
their susceptible race. 

As each one took their gift. Miss Ophelia, who was appre- 
hensive for the effect of all this excitement on her little patient, 
signed to each one to pass out of the apartment. 

At last, all were gone but Tom and Mammy. 

" Here, Uncle Tom," said Eva, " is a beautiful one for you. 
0, I am so happy. Uncle Tom, to think I shall see you in heav- 
en, — for I'm sure I shall ; and Mammy, — dear, good, kind 
Mammy ! " she said, fondly throwing her arms round her old 
nurse, — "I know you'll be there, too." 

" 0, Miss Eva, don't see how I can live without ye, no how ! " 
said the faithful creature. " 'Pears like it's just taking every 
thing off the place to oncet ! " and Mammy gave way to a pas- 
sion of grief. 

Miss Ophelia pushed her and Tom gently from the apart- 
ment, and thought they were all gone ; but, as she turned, 
Topsy was standing there. 

" Where did you start up from ? " she said, suddenly. 

" I was here," said Topsy, wiping the tears from her eyes. 
" 0, Miss Eva, I've been a bad girl ; but won't you give me 
one, too ? " 

"Yes, poor Topsy! to be sure, I will. There — every time 
you look at that, think that I loved you, and wanted you to be 
a good girl ! " - 

" 0, Miss Eva, I is tryin' ! " said Topsy, earnestly ; " but, Lor, 
it's so hard to be good 1 'Pears like I an't used to it, no 
ways ! " 



LIFE AMONG THE LOWLY. 365 

" Jesus knows it, Topsy ; he is sorry for you ; he will help 
you." 

Topsy, with her eyes hid in her apron, was silently passed 
from the apartment by Miss Ophelia ; but, as she went, she hid 
the precious curl in her bosom. 

All being gone. Miss Ophelia shut the door. That worthy 
lady had wiped away many tears of her own, during the scene ; 
but concern for the consequence of such an excitement to her 
young charge was uppermost in her mind. 

St. Clare had been sitting, during the whole time, with his 
hand shading his eyes, in the same attitude. When they were 
all gone, he sat so still. 

" Papa ! " said Era, gently, laying her hand on his. 

He gave a sudden start and shiver, but made no answer. 

" Dear papa ! " said Eva. 

" I cannot" said St. Clare, rising, " I cannot have it so ! The 
Almighty hath dealt very bitterly with me ! " and St. Clare pro- 
nounced these words with a bitter emphasis, indeed. 

" Augustine ! has not God a right to do what he will with 
his own ? " said Miss Ophelia. 

" Perhaps so ; but that doesn't make it any easier to bear," 
said he, with a dry, hard, tearless manner, as he turned away. 

" Papa, you break my heart ! " said Eva, rising and throwing 
herself into his arms ; " you must not feel so ! " and the child 
sobbed a'nd wept with a violence which alarmed them all, and 
turned her father's thoughts at once to another channel. 

" There, Eva, — there, dearest ! Hush ! hush ! I was wrong ; 
I was wicked. I will feel any way, do any way, — only don't 
distress yourself; don't sob so. I will be resigned; I was 
wicked to speak as I did." 

Eva soon lay like a wearied dove in her father's arms ; and 
he, bending over her, soothed her by every tender word he 
could think of. 

Marie rose and threw herself out of the apartment into her 
own, when she fell into violent hysterics. 

" You didn't give me a curl, Eva," said her father, smiling 
sadly. 

"They are all yours, papa," said she, smiling, — "yours 
and mamma's ; and you must give dear aunty as many as she 



S66 tJNCLE tom's cabin; or, 

•wants. 1 only gave tliem to our poor people myself, because 
you know, papa, they might be forgotten when I am gone, 
and because I hoped it might help them remember. . . . 
You are a Christian, are you not, papa?" said Eva, doubt- 
fully. 

" "Why do you ask me ? " 

" I don't know. You are so good, I don't see how you can 
help it." 

" What is being a Christian, Eva ? " 

" Loving Christ most of all," said Eva. 

" Do you, Eva ? " 

" Certainly I do." 

" You never saw him," said St. Clare. 

" That makes no difference," said Eva. " I believe him, and 
in a few days I shall see him ; " and the young face grew fer- 
vent, radiant with joy. 

St. Clare said no more. It was a feeling which he had seen 
before in his mother ; but no chord within vibrated to it. 

Eva, after this, declined rapidly ; there was no more any 
doubt of the event ; the fondest hope could not be blinded. 
Her beautiful room was avowedly a sick room ; and Miss 
Ophelia day and night performed the duties of a nurse, — and 
never did her friends appreciate her value more than in that 
capacity. With so well-trained a hand and eye, such perfect 
adroitness and practice in every art which could promote 
neatness and comfort, and keep out of sight every disagree- 
able incident of sickness, — with such a perfect sense of time, 
such a clear, untroubled head, such exact accuracy in remem- 
bering every prescription and direction of the doctor's, — 
she was every thing to him. They who had shrugged their 
shoulders at her little peculiarities and setnesses, so unlike 
the careless freedom of southern manners, acknowledged that 
now she was the exact person that was wanted. 

Uncle Tom was much in Eva's room. The child suffered 
much from nervous restlessness, and it was a relief to her to 
be carried ; and it was Tom's greatest delight to carry her 
little frail form in his arms, resting on a pillow, now up and 
down her room, now out into the veranda ; and when the fresh 
sea breezes blew from the lake, — and the child felt freshest in 



LIFE AMONG THE LOWLY. 367 

the morning, — he would sometimes walk with her under the 
orange trees in the garden, or, sitting down in some of their 
old seats, sing to her their favorite old hymns. 

Her father often did the same thing ; but his frame was 
slighter, and when he was weary, Eva would say to him, — 

" papa, let Tom take me. Poor fellow ! it pleases him ; 
and you know it's all he can do now, and he wants to do some- 
thing ! " 

" So do I, Eva ! " said her father. 

" Well, papa, you can do every thing, and are every thing to 
me. You read to me, — you sit up nights, — and Tom has 
only this one thing, and his singing ; and I know, too, he does 
it easier than you can. He carries me so strong ! " 

The desire to do something was not confined to Tom. Every 
servant in the establishment showed the same feeling, and in 
their way did what they could. 

Poor Mammy's heart yearned towards her darling ; but she 
found no opportunity, night or day, as Marie declared that the 
state of her mind was such it was impossible for her to rest ; 
and, of course, it was against her principles to let any one else 
rest. Twenty times in a night. Mammy would be roused to 
rub her feet, to bathe her head, to find her pocket handker- 
chief, to see what the noise was in Eva's room, to let down a 
curtain because it was too light, or to put it up because it was 
too dark ; and, in the daytime, when she longed to have some 
share in the nursing of her pet, Marie seemed unusually 
ingenious in keeping her busy any where and every where all 
over the house, or about her own person ; so that stolen inter- 
views and momentary glimpses were all she could obtain. 

" I feel it my duty to be particularly careful of myself, now," 
she would say, " feeble as I am, and with the whole care and 
nursing of that dear child upon me." 

" Indeed, my dear," said St. Clare, " I thought our cousin 
relieved you of that." 

" You talk like a man, St. Clare, — just as if a mother could 
be relieved of the care of a child in that state ; but, then, it's 
all alike, — no one ever knows what I feel ! I can't throw 
things off, as you do." 

St. Clare smiled. You must excuse him, he couldn't help 



868 UNCLE tom's cabin ; OR, 

it, — for St. Clare could smile yet. For so bright and placid 
was the farewell voyage of the little spirit, — by such sweet 
and fragrant breezes was the small bark borne towards the 
heavenly shores, — that it was impossible to realize that it 
was death that was approaching. The child felt no pain, — 
only a tranquil, soft weakness, daily and almost insensibly 
increasing ; and she was so beautiful, so loving, so trustful, so 
happy, that one could not resist the soothing influence of that 
air of innocence and peace which seemed to breathe around 
her. St. Clare found a strange calm coming over him. It 
was not hope, — that was impossible ; it was not resignation ; 
it was only a calm resting in the present, which seemed so 
beautiful, that he wished to think of no future. It was like 
that hush of spirit which we feel amid the bright, mild woods 
of autumn, when the bright hectic flush is on the trees, and 
the last lingering flowers by the brook ; and we joy in it 
all the more, because we know that soon it will all pass 
away. 

The friend who knew most of Eva's own imaginings and 
foreshadowings was her faithful bearer, Tom. To him she 
said what she would not disturb her father by saying. To 
him she imparted those mysterious intimations which the soul 
feels, as the cords begin to unbind, ere it leaves its clay 
forever. 

Tom, at last, would not sleep in his room, but lay all night 
in the outer veranda, ready to rouse at every call. 

" Uncle Tom, what alive have you taken to sleeping any 
where and every where, like a dog, for ? " said Miss Ophelia. 
" I thought you was one of the orderly sort, that liked to lie 
in bed in a Christian way." 

" I do. Miss Feely," said Tom, mysteriously. " I do, but 
now " 

" Well, what now ? " 

" We mustn't speak loud ; Mas'r St. Clare won't hear on't ; 
but, Miss Feely, you know there must be somebody watchin' 
for the bridegroom." 

" What do you mean, Tom ? " 

" You know it says in Scripture, ' At midnight there was a 
great cry made. Behold, the bridegroom cometh.' That's 



LIFE AMONG THE LOWLY, 369 

what I'm spectia' now, every night, Miss Feely, — and I 
couldn't sleep out o' hearin', no ways." 

" Why, Uncle Tom, what makes you think so ? " 

"Miss Eva, she talks to me. The Lord, he sends his mes- 
senger in the soul. I must be thar. Miss Feely ; for when 
that ar blessed child goes into the kingdom, they'll open the 
door so wide, we'll all get a look in at the glory, Miss 
Feely." 

" Uncle Tom, did Miss Eva say she felt more unwell than 
usual to-night ? " 

" No ; but she telled me, this morning, she was coming- 
nearer, — thar's them that tells it to the child. Miss Feely. 
It's the angels, — ' it's the trumpet sound afore the break o' 
day,' " said Tom, quoting from a favorite hymn. 

This dialogue passed between Miss Ophelia and Tom, be- 
tween ten and eleven, one evening, after her arrangements 
had all been made for the night, when, on going to bolt her 
outer door, she found Tom stretched along by it, in the outer 
veranda. 

She was not nervous or impressible ; but the solemn, heart- 
felt manner struck her. Eva had been unusually bright and 
cheerful that afternoon, and had sat raised in her bed, and 
looked over all her little trinkets and precious things, and 
designated the friends to whom she would have them given ; 
and her manner was more animated and her voice more nat- 
ural, than they had known it for weeks. Her father had been 
in, in the evening, and had said that Eva appeared more like 
her former self than ever she had done since her sickness ; 
and when he kissed her for the night, he said to Miss Ophelia, 
" Cousin, we may keep her with us, after all ; she is certainly 
better ; " and he had retired with a lighter heart in his bosom 
than he had had there for weeks. 

But at midnight, — strange, mystic hour! — when the veil 
between the frail present and the eternal future grows thin, 
— then came the messenger ! 

There was a sound in that chamber, first of one who stepped 

quickly. It was Miss Ophelia, who had resolved to sit up all 

night with her little charge, and who, at the turn of the night, 

had discerned Avhat experienced nurses significantly call " a 

47 



370 



UNCLE TOM S CABIN ; OR 



change." The outer door was quickly opened, and Tom, who 
was watching outside, was on the alert in a moment. 

" Go for the doctor, Tom ! lose not a moment," said Miss 
Ophelia ; and, stepping across the room, she rapped at St. 
Clare's door. 

" Cousin," she said, " 1 wish you would come." 

Those words fell on his heart like clods upon a coffin. Why 
did they ? He was up and in the room in an instant, and 
bending over Eva, who still slept. 

What was it he saw that made his heart stand still ? Why 
was no word spoken between the two ? Thou canst say, who 
hast seen that same expression on the face dearest to thee ; 
— that look indescribable, hopeless, unmistakable, that says 
to thee that thv beloved is no longer thine. 




On the face W the child, however, there was no ghastly 
imprint, — only a high and almost sublime expression, — the 
overshadowing ])resence of spiritual natures, the dawning of 
immortal life in that childish soul. 

They stood there so still, gazing upon her, that even the 
ticking of the watch seemed too loud. In a few moments, 
Tom returned with the doctor. He entered, gave one look, 
and stood silent as the rest. 

" When did this change take place ? " said he, in a low 
whisper, to Miss Ophelia. 



LIFE AMONG THE LOWLY. 3T1 

" About the turn of the night," was the reply. 

Mario, routed by the entrance of the doctor, appeared, hur- 
riedly, from the next room. 

" Augustine ! cousin ! — ! — what ! " she hurriedly began. 

" Hush ! " said St. Clare, hoarsely ; " she is dying ! " 

Mammy heard the words, and flew to awaken the servants. 
The house was soon roused, — lights were seen, footsteps 
heard, anxious faces thronged the veranda, and looked tear- 
fully through the glass doors ; but St. Clare heard and said 
nothing, — he saw only that look on the face of the little 
sleeper. 

'• 0, if she would only wake, and speak once more ! " he said : 
and, stooping over her, he spoke in her ear, — " Eva, darling ! " 

The large blue eyes unclosed, — a smile passed over her 
face ; — she tried to raise her head, and to speak. 

" Do you know me, Eva ? " 

" Dear papa,"' said the child, with a last effort, throwing her 
arms about his neck. In a moment they dropped again ; and, 
as St. Clare raised his head, he saw a spasm of mortal agony 
pass over the face, — she struggled for breath, and threw up 
her little hands. 

" God, this is dreadful ! " he said, turning away in agony, 
and wringing Tom's hand, scarce conscious what he was doing. 
" Tom, my boy, it is killing me ! " 

Tom had his master's hands between his own ; and, with 
tears streaming down his dark cheeks, looked up for help 
where he had always been used to look. 

" Pray that this may be cut short ! " said St. Clare, — " this 
wrings my heart." '^^ 

"0, bless the Lord! it's over, — it's over, dear master!" 
said Tom ; "look at her." 

The child lay panting on her pillows, as one exhausted, — 
the large clear eyes rolled up and fixed. Ah, what said those 
eyes, that spoke so much of heaven? Earth was past, and 
earthly pain ; but so solemn, so mysterious, was the triumph- 
ant brightness of that face, that it checked even the sobs of 
sorrow. They pressed around her in breathless stillness. 

" Eva," said St. Clare, gently. 

She did not hear. 



372 



UNCLE tom's cabin : OK. 



" Eva, tell us what .you see ! What is it ? " said her 
father. 

A bright, a glorious smile passed over her face, and she 
said, brokenly, " 0, love, — joy, — peace!" gave one sigh, and 
passed from death unto life! 

" Farewell, beloved child ! the bright, eternal doors have 
closed after thee ; we shall see thy sweet face no more. 0, 
woe for them who watched thy entrance into heaven, when 
they shall wake and find only the cold gray sky of daily life, 
and thou gone forever ! " 








CHAPTER XXVII. 



''THIS IS THE LAST OF EAETH."- 



John Q. Adams. 




HE statuettes and pictures in EAa's room were 
shrouded in white napkins, and only hushed 
breathings and muffled footfalls were heard 
there, and the light stole in solemnly through 
windows partially darkened by closed blinds. 
tfW^K>> The bed was draped in white ; and there, 
beneath the drooping angel figure, lay a little sleeping form, 
sleeping never to waken ! 

There she lay, robed in one of the simple white dresses she had 
been wont to wear when living ; the rose-colored light through 
the curtains cast over the icy coldness of death a warm glow. 
The heavy eyelashes drooped softly on the pure cheek ; the 
head was turned a little to one side, as if in natural sleep, but 
there was diffused over overv lineament of the face that hig-h 



374 UNCLE tom's cabin ;' or, 

celestial expression, that mingling of rapture and repose, 
wliich showed it was no earthly or temporary sleep, but the 
long, sacred rest which " He giveth to his beloved." 

There is no death to such as thou, dear Eva ; neither dark- 
ness nor shadow of death ; only such a bright fading as when 
the morning star fades in the golden dawn. Thine is the 
victory without the battle, — the crown without the conflict. 

So did St. Clare think, as, with folded arms, he stood there 
gazing. All ! who shall say what he did think ? for, from 
the hour that voices had said, in the dying chamber, " She is 
gone," it had been all a dreary mist, a heavy " dimness of 
anguish." He had heard voices around him ; ho had had 
questions asked, and answered them ; they had asked him 
when he would have the funeral, and Avhere they should lay 
her ; and he had answered, impatiently, that he cared not. 

Adolph and Rosa had arranged the chamber ; volatile, fickle, 
and childish, as they generally were, they were soft-hearted 
and full of feeling ; and, while Miss Ophelia presided over the 
general details of order and neatness, it was their hands that 
added those soft, poetic touches to the arrangements, that took 
from the death room the grim and ghastly air which too often 
marks a New England funeral. 

There were still flowers on the shelves, — all white, delicate, 
and fragrant, with graceful, drooping leaves. Eva's little ta- 
ble, covered with white, bore on it her favorite vase, with a 
single white moss rosebud in it. The folds of the drapery, the 
fall of the curtains, had been arranged and rearranged, by 
Adolph and Rosa, with that nicety of eye which characterizes 
their race. Even now, while St. Clare stood there thinking, 
little Rosa tripped softly into the chamber with a basket of 
white flowers. She stepped back when she saw St. Clare, and 
stopped respectfully ; but, seeing that he did not observe her, 
she came forward to place them around the dead. St. Clare 
saw her as in a dream, while she placed in the small hands a 
fair cape jessamine, and, with admirable taste, disposed other 
flowers around the couch. 

The door opened again, and Topsy, her eyes swelled with 
crying, appeared, holding something under her apron. Rosa 
made a quick, forbidding gesture ; but she took a step into the 
room. 



LIFE AMONG THE LOWLY. 375 

" You must go out," said Rosa, in a sharp, positive whisper ; 
" you haven't any business here ! " 

" 0, do let me! I brought a flower, — such a pretty one!" 
said Topsy, holding up a full-blown tea rosebud. " Do let me 
put just one there." 

" Get along ! " said Rosa, more decidedly. 

" Let her stay ! " said St. Clare, suddenly stamping his foot. 
" She shall come." 

Rosa suddenly retreated, and Topsy came forward, and laid 
her offering at the feet of the corpse ; then suddenly, with a 
wild and bitter cry, she threw herself on the floor alongside 
the bed, and wept, and moaned aloud. 

Miss Ophelia hastened into the room, and tried to raise and 
silence her ; but in vain. 

"0 Miss Eva! Miss Eva! I wish Ts dead, too, — I do!" 

There was a piercing wildness in the cry ; the blood flushed 
into St. Clare's white, marble-like face, and the first tears he 
had shed since Eva died stood in his eyes. 

" Get up, child," said Miss Ophelia, in a softened voice ; 
" don't cry so. Miss Eva is gone to heaven ; she is an angel." 

" But I can't see her ! " said Topsy. " I never shall see her ! " 
and she sobbed again. 

They all stood a moment in silence. 

"iS/iesaid she loved me," said Topsy, — "she did! 0, dear! 
0, dear ! there an't nobody left now, — there an't ! " 

"That's true enough," said St. Clare; "but do," he said to 
]\liss Ophelia, "see if you can't comfort the poor creature." 

"I jistwish I hadn't never been born," said Topsy. "I 
didn't want to be born, no ways ; and I don't see no use on't." 

Miss Ophelia raised her gently, but firmly, and took her 
from the room ; but, as she did so, some tears fell from her 
eyes. 

" Topsy, you poor child," she said, as she led her into her 
room, " don't give up ! I can love you, though I am not like 
that dear little child. I hope I've learned something of the love 
of Christ from her. I can love you ; I do, and I'll try to help 
you to grow up a good Christian girl." 

Miss Ophelia's ^'oice was more than her words, and more 
tlian that were the liouest tears that fell down her face. From 



376 UNCLE tom's cabin ; OR, 

that hour, she acquired an influence over the mind of the des- 
titute child that she never lost. 

" 0, my Eva, whose little hour on earth did so much of 
good," thought St. Clare, " what account have I to give for my 
long years ? " 

There were, for a while, soft whisperings and footfalls in 
the chamber, as one after another stole in, to look at the dead ; 
and then came the little coffin ; and then there was a funeral, 
and carriages drove to the door, and strangers came and were 
seated ; and there were white scarfs and ribbons, and crape 
bands, and mourners dressed in black crape ; and there were 
words read from the Bible, and prayers offered ; and St. Clare 
lived, and walked, and moved, as one who has shed every tear ; 
— to the last he saw only one thing, that golden head in the 
coffin, but then he saw the cloth spread over it, the lid of the 
coffin closed ; and he walked, when he was put beside the oth- 
ers, down to a little place at the bottom of the garden, and 
there, by the mossy seat where she and Tom had talked, and 
sung, and read so often, was the little grave. St. Clare stood 
beside it — looked vacantly down ; he saw them lower the lit- 
tle coffin ; he heard, dimly, the solemn words, " I am the Resur- 
rection and the Life ; he that believeth in me, though he were 
dead, yet shall he live ; " and, as the earth was cast in and 
filled up the little grave, he could not realize that it was his 
Eva that they were hiding from his sight. 

Nor was it ! — not Eva, Init only the frail seed of that bright, 
immortal form with which she shall yet come forth, in the day 
of the Lord Jesus ! 

And then all were gone, and the mourners went back to the 
place which should know her no more ; and Marie's room was 
darkened, and she lay on the bed, sobbing and moaning in un- 
controllable grief, and calling every moment for the attentions 
of all her servants. Of course, they had no time to cry, — why 
should they? the grief was her grief, and she was fully convinced 
that nobody on earth did, could, or would feel it as she did. 

" St. Clare did not shed a tear," she said ; " he didn't sym- 
pathize with her ; it was perfectly wonderful to think how 
hard-hearted and unfeeling he was, when he must know how 
?;he suffered." 



LIFE AMONG THE LOWLY. 377 

So much arc people the slave of their eye and ear, that many 
of the servants really thought that missis was the principal 
suflFerer in the case, especially as Marie began to have liysteri- 
cal spasms, and sent for the doctor, and at last declared her- 
self dying ; and, in the running and scampering, and bringing 
up hot bottles, and heating of flannels, and chafing, and fuss- 
ing, that ensued, there was quite a diversion. 

Tom, however, had a feeling at his own heart that drew him 
to his master. He followed him wherever he walked, wistful- 
ly and sadly ; and when he saw him sitting, so pale and quiet, 
in Eva's room, holding before his eyes her little open Bible, 
though seeing no letter or word of what was in it, there was 
more sorrow to Tom in that still, fixed, tearless eye, than in all 
Marie's moans and lamentations. 

In a few days the St. Clare family were back again in the 
city ; Augustine, with the restlessness of grief, longing for 
another scene, to change the current of his thoughts. So they 
left the house and garden, with its little grave, and came back 
to New Orleans ; and St. Clare walked the streets busily, and 
strove to fill up the chasm in his heart with hurry and bustle, 
and change of place ; and people who saw him in the street, 
or met him at the cafe, knew of his loss only by the weed on 
his hat ; for there he was, smiling, and talking, and reading 
the newspaper, and speculating on politics, and attending to 
business matters ; and who could see that all this smiling out- 
side was but a hollow shell over a heart that was a dark and 
silent sepulchre ? 

" Mr. St. Clare is a singular man," said Marie to Miss 
Ophelia, in a complaining tone. "I nsed to think, if there 
was any thing in the world he did love, it was our dear little 
Eva ; but he seems to be forgetting her very easily. I cannot 
ever get him to talk about her. I really did think he would 
show more feeling ! " 

" Still waters run deepest, they used to tell me," said Miss 
Ophelia, oracularly. 

" 0, I don't believe in such things ; it's all talk. If peo- 
ple have feeling, they will show it, — they can't help it; but, 
then, it's a great misfortune to have feeling. I'd rather have 
been made lilcc St. Clare. My feelings prey upon me so ! " 
48 



378 UNCLE tom's cabin ; OR, 

"Sure, missis, MasT St. Clare is gettin' thin as a sliader. 
They say, he don't never eat nothin'," said Mammy. " I 
know he don't forget Miss Eva ; I know there couldn't no- 
oody, — dear, little, blessed creter ! " she added, wiping her 
eyes. 

" Well, at all events, he has no consideration for me," said 
Marie ; " he hasn't spoken one word of sympathy, and he 
must know how much more a mother feels than any man can." 

" The heart kuoweth its own bitterness," said Miss Ophelia, 
gravely. 

" That's just what I think. I know just what I feel, — 
nobody else seems to. Eva used to, but she is gone!" and 
Marie lay back on her lounge, and began to sob disconsolately. 

Marie was one of those unfortunately constituted mortals. 
in whose eyes whatever is lost and gone assumes a value which 
it never had in possession. Whatever she had, she seemed to 
survey only to pick flaws in it ; but, once fairly away, there 
was no end to her valuation of it. 

While this conversation was taking place in the parlor, 
another was going on in St. Clare's library. 

Tom, who was always uneasily following his master about, 
had seen him go to his library, some hours before ; and, after 
vainly waiting for him to come out, determined, at last, to 
make an errand in. He entered softly. St. Clare lay on 
his lounge, at the farther end of the room. He was lying on 
his face, with Eva's Bible open before him, at a little dis- 
tance. Tom walked up, and stood by the sofa. He hesitated ; 
and, while he was hesitating, St. Clare suddenly raised himself 
up. The honest face, so full of grief, and with such an 
imploring expression of affection and sympathy, struck his 
master. He laid his hand on Tom's, and bowed down his 
forehead on it. 

" Tom, my boy, the whole world is as empty as an egg- 
shell ! " 

"I know it, mas'r, — I know it," said Tom ; '-but, 0, if mas'r 
could only look up, — up where our dear Miss Eva is, — up to 
the dear Lord Jesus ! " 

" Ah, Tom, I do look up ; but the trouble is, I don't see 
any thing when I do. I wish I could." 



LIFE AMONG THE LOWLY. 379 

Tom sighed heavily. 

"It seems to be given to children, and poor, honest fel- 
lows, like you, to see what we can't," said St. Clare. " How 
comes it ? " 

"Thou hast 'hid from the wise and prudent, and revealed 
unto babes,' " murmured Tom ; " ' even so, Father, for so it 
seemed good in thy sight.' " 

"Tom, I don't believe, — I can't believe, — I've got the 
habit of doubting," said St. Clare. " I want to believe this 
Bible, — and I can't." 

"Dear mas'r, pray to the good Lord, — 'Lord, I believe; 
help thou my unbelief.' " 

" Who knows any thing about any thing ? " said St. Clare, 
his eyes wandering dreamily, and speaking to himself. " Was 
all that beautiful love and faith only one of the ever-shifting 
phases of human feeling, having nothing real to rest on, pass- 
ing away with the little breath ? And is there no more Eva, 
— no heaven, — no Christ, — nothing ? " 

" 0, dear mas'r, there is ! I know it ; I'm sure of it," said 
Tom, falling on his knees. " Do, do, dear mas'r, believe it ! " 

" How do you know there's any Christ, Tom ? You never 
saw the Lord." 

"Felt Him in my soul, mas'r, — feel Him now! mas'r, 
when I was sold away from my old woman and the children, 
I was jest a'most broke up. I felt as if there warn't nothin' 
left ; and then the good Lord, he stood by me, and he says, 
'Fear not, Tom;' and he brings light and joy into a poor 
feller's soul, — makes all peace; and I's so happy, and loves 
every body, and feels willin' jest to be the Lord's, and have 
the Lord's will done, and be put jest where the Lord wants to 
put me. I know it couldn't come from me, cause I's a poor, 
complainin' creter ; it comes from the Lord, and I know He's 
willin' to do for mas'r." 

Tom spoke with fast-running tears and choking voice. St. 
Clare leaned his head on his shoulder, and wrung the hard, 
faithful, black hand. 

"Tom, you love me," he said. 

" I's willin' to lay down my life, this blessed day, to see mas'r 
a Christian." 



380 UNCLE tom's cabin; or, 

" Poor, foolish boy ! " said St. Clare, half raising himself. 
"I'm not worth the love of one good, honest heart, like 
yours." 

"0 mas'r, dere's more than me loves you, — the blessed 
Lord Jesus loves you." 

" How do you know that, Tom ? " said St. Clare. 

"Feels it in my soul. mas'r ! 'the love of Christ, that 
passeth knowledge.' " 

" Singular ! " said St. Clare, turning away, " that the story 
of a man that lived and died eighteen hundred years ago can 
aflfect people so yet. But he was no man," he added, suddenly. 
" No man ever had such long and living power ! that I 
could believe what my mother taught me, and pray as I did 
when I was a boy ! " 

" If mas'r pleases," said Tom, " Miss Eva used to read this 
so beautifully. I wish mas'r'd be so good as read it. Don't 
get no readin', hardly, now Miss Eva's gone." 

The chapter was the eleventh of John, — the touching 
account of the raising of Lazarus. St. Clare read it aloud, 
often pausing to wrestle down feelings which were roused by 
the pathos of the story. Tom knelt before him, with clasped 
hands, and with an absorbed expression of love, trust, adora- 
tion, on his quiet face. 

" Tom," said his master, " this is all real to you 1 " 

" I can jest fairly see it, mas'r," said Tom. 

" I wish I had your eyes, Tom." 

" I wish, to the dear Lord, mas'r had ! " 

" But, Tom, you know that I have a great deal more knowl- 
edge than you ; what if I should tell you that I don't believe 
this Bible ? " 

" mas'r ! " said Tom, holding up his hands, with a depre- 
cating gesture. 

" Wouldn't it shake your faith some, Tom ? " 

" Not a grain," said Tom. 

" Why, Tom, you must know I know the most." 

" mas'r, haven't you jest read how he hides from the wise 
and prudent, and reveals unto babes? But mas'r wasn't in 
earnest, for sartin, now ? " said Tom, anxiously. 

" No, Tom, I was not. I don't disbelieve, and I think there 



LIFE AMONG THE LOWLY. 



381 



is reason to believe ; and still I don't. It's a troublesome bad 
habit I've got, Tom." 

" If mas'r would only pray ? " 

" How do you know I don't, Tom?" 

" Does mas'r ? " 

" I would, Tom, if there was any body there when I pray ; 
but it's all speaking unto nothing, when I do. But come, Tom, 
you pray, now, and show me how." 

Tom's heart was full ; he poured it out in prayer, like 
waters that have been long suppressed. One thing was plain 
enough ; Tom thought there was somebody to hear, whether 
there were or not. In fact, St. Clare felt himself borne, on 
the tide of his faith and feeling, almost to the gates of that 
heaven he seemed so vividly to conceive. It seemed to bring 
him nearer to Eva. 

" Thank you, my boy," said St. Clare, when Tom rose. " I 
like to hear you, Tom ; but go, now, and leave me alone ; 
some other time, I'll talk more." 

Tom silently left the room. 





CHAPTER XXVIII 



REUNION. 




EEK after week glided away in the St. Clare 
mansion, and tlic waves of life settled back to 
tlieir usual flow, Avhere that little bark had 
gone down. For how imperiously, how coolly 
^ in disregard of all one's feeling, does the hard, 
^11^2.^^^^^ cold, uninteresting course of daily realities 
move on ! Still must we eat, and drink, and sleep, and wake 
again, — still bargain, buy, sell, ask and answer questions, — 
pursue, in short, a thousand shadows, though all interest in 
them be over ; the cold mechanical habit of living remaining, 
after all vital interest in it has fled. 

All the interests and hopes of St. Clare's life had uncon- 
sciously wound themselves around this child. It was for Eva 
that he had managed his property ; it was for Eva that he 



LIFE AMONG THE LOWLY. 383 

had planned the disposal of his time ; and to do this and that 
for Eva, — to buy, improve, alter, and arrange, or dispose 
something for her, — had been so long his habit, that, now she 
was gone, there seemed nothing to be thought of, and nothing 
to be done. 

True, there was another life, — a life which, once believed 
in, stands as a solemn, significant figure before the otherwise 
unmeaning ciphers of time, changing them to orders of mys- 
terious, untold value. St. Clare knew this well ; and often, in 
many a weary hour, he heard that slender, childish voice call- 
ing him to the skies, and saw that little hand pointing to him 
the way of life ; but a heavy lethargy of sorrow lay on him, — 
he could not arise. He had one of those natures which could 
better and more clearly conceive of religious things from its 
own perceptions and instincts, than many a matter-of-fact and 
practical Christian. The gift to appreciate and the sense to 
feel the finer shades and relations of moral things often seems 
an attribute of those whose whole life shows a careless dis- 
regard of them. Hence Moore, Byron, Goethe often speak 
words more wisely descriptive of the true religious sentiment, 
than another man, whose whole life is governed by it. In such 
minds, disregard of religion is a more fearful treason, — a 
more deadly sin. 

St. Clare had never pretended to govern himself by any 
religious obligation ; and a certain fineness of nature gave him 
such an instinctive view of the extent of the requirements of 
Christianity, that he shrank, by anticipation, from what he 
felt would be the exactions of his own conscience, if he once 
did resolve to assume them. For, so inconsistent is human 
nature, especially in the ideal, that not to undertake a thing at 
all seems better than to undertake and come short. 

Still St. Clare was, in many respects, another man. He 
read his little Eva's Bible seriously and honestly ; he thought 
more soberly and practically of his relations to his servants, 
— enough to make him extremely dissatisfied with both his 
past and present course ; and one thing he did, soon after his 
return to New Orleans, and that was to commence the legal 
steps necessary to Tom's emancipation, which was to be per- 
fected as soon as he could get through the necessary forraali- 



384 UNCLE tom's cabin; or, 

ties. Meantime, lie attached himself to Tom more and more, 
every day. In all the wide world, there was nothing that 
seemed to remind him so much of Eva ; and he would insist on 
keeping him constantly about him, and, fastidious and imap- 
proachable as he was with regard to his deeper feelings, he 
almost thought aloud to Tom. Nor would any one have won- 
dered at it, who had seen the expression of affection and devo- 
tion with which Tom continually followed his young master. 

" Well, Tom," said St. Clare, the day after he had com- 
menced the legal formalities for his enfranchisement, " I'm 
going to make a free man of you ; — so, have your trunk 
packed, and get ready to set out for Kentuck." 

The sudden light of joy that shone in Tom's face as he 
raised his hands to heaven, his emphatic " Bless the Lord ! " 
rather discomposed St. Clare ; he did not like it that Tom 
should be so ready to leave him. 

" You haven't had such very bad times here, that you need 
be in such a rapture, Tom," he said, dryly. 

" No, no, mas'r ! 'tan't that, — it's bein' a free man ! That's 
what I'm joyin' for." 

" Why, Tom, don't you think, for your own part, you've been 
better off than to be free ? " 

" JVo, indeed, Mas'r St. Clare," said Tom, with a flash of 
energy. " No, indeed ! " 

" Why, Tom, you couldn't possibly have earned, by your 
work, such clothes and such living as I have given you." 

" Knows all that, Mas'r St. Clare ; mas'r's been*too good ; 
but, mas'r, I'd rather have poor clothes, poor house, poor 
every thing, and have 'em mine, than have the best, and have 
'em any man's else, — I had so, mas'r ; I think it's natur, mas'r." 

" I suppose so, Tom, and you'll be going off and leaving me, 
in a month or so," he added, rather discontentedly. " Though 
why you shouldn't, no mortal knows," he said, in a gayer tone ; 
and, getting up, he began to walk the floor. 

" Not while mas'r is in trouble," said Tom. " I'll stay with 
mas'r as long as he wants me, — so as I can be any use." 

" Not while I'm in trouble, Tom ? " said St. Clare, looking 

sadly out of the window "And when will my 

trouble be over ? " 



LIFE AMONG THE LOWLY. 385 

"When Mas'r St. Clare's a Christian," said Tom. 

" And you really mean to stay by till that day comes ? " said 
St. Clare, half smiling, as he turned from the window, and laid 
his hand on Tom's shoulder. " Ah, Tom, you soft, silly boy ! 
I won't keep you till that day. Go home to your wife and 
children, and give my love to all." 

" I's faith to believe that day will come," said Tom, earnest- 
ly, and with tears in his eyes ; " the Lord has a work for mas'r." 

" A work, hey ? " said St. Clare ; " well, now, Tom, give me 
your views on what sort of a work it is ; — let's hear." 

" Why, even a poor fellow like me has a work from the 
Lord ; and Mas'r St. Clare, that has larnin', and riches, and 
friends, — how much he might do for the Lord ! " 

" Tom, you seem to think the Lord needs a great deal done 
for him," said St. Clare, smiling. 

" We does for the Lord when we does for his critters," said 
Tom. 

" Good theology, Tom ; better than Dr. B. preaches, I dare 
swear," said St. Clare. 

The conversation was here interrupted by the announcement 
of some visitors. 

Marie St. Clare felt the loss of Eva as deeply as she could 
feel any thing ; and, as she was a woman that had a great 
faculty of making every body unhappy when she was, her 
immediate attendants had still stronger reason to regret the 
loss of their young mistress, whose winning ways and gentle 
intercessions had so often been a shield to them from the 
tyrannical and selfish exactions of her mother. Poor old 
Mammy, in particular, whose heart, severed from all natural 
domestic ties, had consoled itself with this one beautiful being, 
was almost heart-broken. She cried day and night, and was, 
from excess of sorrow, less skilful and alert in her ministra- 
tions on her mistress than usual, which drew down a constant 
storm of invectives on her defenceless head. 

Miss Ophelia felt the loss ; but in her good and honest heart, 
it bore fruit unto everlasting life. She was more softened, 
more gentle ; and, though equally assiduous in every duty, it 
was with a chastened and quiet air, as one who communed with 
her own heart not in vain. She was more diligent in teaching 
49 



386 UNCLE tom's cabin; or, 

Topsy, — taught her mainly from tlie Bible, — did not any 
longer shrink from her touch, or manifest an ill-repressed dis- 
gust, because she felt none. She viewed her now through the 
softened medium that Eva's hand had first held before her eyes, 
and saw in her only an immortal creature, whom God had sent 
to be led by her to glory and virtue. Topsy did not become 
at once a saint ; but the life and death of Eva did work a 
marked change in her. The callous indifference was gone ; 
there was now sensibility, hope, desire, and the striving for 
good, — a strife irregular, interrupted, suspended oft, but yet 
renewed again. 

One day, when Topsy had been sent for by Miss Ophelia, 
she came, hastily thrusting something into her bosom. 

" What are you doing there, you limb ? You've been steal- 
ing something, I'll be bound," said the imperious little Rosa, 
who had been sent to call her, seizing her, at the same time, 
roughly by the arm. 

" You go 'long, Miss Rosa ! " said Topsy, pulling from her ; 
" 'tan't none o' your business ! " 

" None o' your sa'ce ! " said Rosa. " I saw you hiding some- 
thing, — I know yer tricks;" and Rosa seized her arm, and 
tried to force her hand into her bosom, while Topsy, enraged, 
kicked and fought valiantly for what she considered her rights. 
The clamor and confusion of the battle drew Miss Ophelia and 
St. Clare both to the spot. 

" She's been stealing ! " said Rosa. 

" I han't, neither ! " vociferated Topsy, sobbing with passion. 

" Give me that, whatever it is ! " said Miss Ophelia, firmly. 

Topsy hesitated ; but, on a second order, pulled out of her 
bosom a little parcel done up in the foot of one of her own 
old stockings. 

Miss Ophelia turned it out. There was a small book, which 
had been given to Topsy by Eva, containing a single verse of 
Scripture, arranged for every day in the year, and in a paper 
the curl of hair that she had given her on that memorable 
day when she had taken her last farewell. 

St. Clare was a good deal affected at the sight of it ; the 
little book had been rolled in a long^ strip of black crape, torn 
from the funeral weeds. 



LIFE AMONG THE LOWLY. 387 

" What did you wrap this round the book for ? " said St. 
Clare, holding up the crape. 

"Cause, — cause, — cause 'twas Miss Eva. 0, don't take 
'em away, please ! " she said ; and, sitting flat down on the 
floor, and putting her apron over her head, she began to sob 
vehemently. 

It was a curious mixture of the pathetic and the ludicrous, 
— the little old stocking, — black crape, — text book, — fair 
soft curl, — and Topsy's utter distress. 

St. Clare smiled ; but there were tears in his eyes, as he 
said, — 

" Come, come, — don't cry ; you shall have them ! " and, 
putting them together, he threw them into her lap, and drew 
Miss Ophelia with him into the parlor. 

"I really think you can make something of that concern," 
he said, pointing with his thumb backward over his shoulder. 
" Any mind that is capable of a real sorrow is capable of good. 
You must try and do something with her." 

" The child has improved greatly," said Miss Ophelia. " I 
have great hopes of her ; but, Augustine," she said, laying her 
hand on his arm, " one thing I want to ask ; whose is this child 
to be ? — yours or mine ? " 

" Why, I gave her to yotf," said Augustine. 

" But not legally ; — I want her to be mine legally," said 
Miss Ophelia. 

" Whew ! cousin," said Augustine. " What will the Aboli- 
tion Society think ? They'll have a day of fasting appointed 
for this backsliding, if you become a slaveholder ! " 

" 0, nonsense ! I want her mine, that I may have a right to 
take her to the free states, and give her her liberty, that all I 
am trying to do be not undone." 

" cousin, what an awful ' doing evil that good may come ' ! 
I can't encourage it." 

" I don't want you to joke, but to reason," said Miss Ophelia. 
" There is no use in my trying to make this child a Chris- 
tian child, unless I save her from all the chances and re- 
verses of slavery ; and, if you really are willing I should have 
her, I want you to give me a deed of gift, or some legal 
paper." 



388 UNCLE tom's cabin ; OR, 

" Well, well," said St. Clare, " I will ; " and he sat down, 
and unfolded a newspaper to read. 

" But I want it done now," said Miss Ophelia. 

" What's your hurry ? " 

" Because now is the only time there ever is to do a thing 
in," said Miss Ophelia. " Come, now, here's paper, pen, and 
ink ; just write a paper." 

St. Clare, like most men of his class of mind, cordially hated 
the present tense of action, generally ; and therefore he was 
considerably annoyed by Miss Ophelia's downrightness. 

" Why, what's the matter ? " said he. " Can't you take my 
word ? One would think you had taken lessons of the Jews, 
coming at a fellow so ! " 

" I want to make sure of it," said Miss Ophelia. " You may 
die, or fail, and then Topsy be hustled off to auction, spite of 
all I can do." 

" Really, you are quite provident. Well, seeing I'm in the 
hands of a Yankee, there is nothing for it but to concede ; " 
and St. Clare rapidly wrote off a deed of gift, which, as he 
was well versed in the forms of law, he could easily do, and 
signed his name to it in sprawling capitals, concluding by a 
tremendous flourish. 

"There, isn't that black and white, now, Miss Vermont?" 
he said, as he handed it to her. 

" Good boy," said Miss Ophelia, smiling. " But must it not 
be witnessed ? " 

" 0, bother ! — yes. Here," he said, opening the door into 
Marie's apartment, " Marie, cousin wants your autograph ; just 
put your name down here." 

" What's this ? " said Marie, as she ran over the paper. 
" Ridiculous ! I thought cousin was too pious for such horrid 
things," she added, as she carelessly wrote her name ; "but, if 
she has a fancy for that article, I am sure she's welcome." 

" There, now, she's yours, body and soul," said St. Clare, 
handing the paper. 

" No more mine now than she was before," said Miss Ophe- 
lia. " Nobody but God has a right to give her to me ; but I 
can protect her now." 

"Well, she's yours by a fiction of law, then," said St. 



LIFE AMONG THE LOWLY. 389 

Clare, as he turned back into the parlor, and sat down to 
his paper. 

Miss Ophelia, who seldom sat much in Marie's company, fol- 
lowed him into the parlor, having first carefully laid away 
the paper. 

" Augustine," she said, suddenly, as she sat knitting, " have 
you ever made any provision for your servants, in case of your 
death?" 

" No," said St. Clare, as he read on. 

" Then all your indulgence to them may prove a great cruel- 
ty, by and by." 

St. Clare had often thought the same thing himself ; but he 
answered, negligently, — 

" Well, I mean to make a provision, by and by." 

"When?" said Miss Ophelia. 

" 0, one of these days." 

" What if you should die first? " 

" Cousin, what's the matter ? " said St. Clare, laying down 
his paper and looking at her. " Do you think I show symp- 
toms of yellow fever or cholera, that you are making post 
mortem arrangements with such zeal ? " 

'"In the midst of life we are in death,'" said Miss Ophelia. 

St. Clare rose up, and laying the paper down, carelessly, 
walked to the door that stood open on the veranda, to put an 
end to a conversation that was not agreeable to him. Me- 
chanically, he repeated the last word again, — ''Death ! " — and, 
as he leaned against the railings, and watched the sparkling 
water as it rose and fell in the fountain ; and, as in a dim and 
dizzy haze, saw flowers, and trees, and vases of the courts, he 
repeated again the mystic word so common in every mouth, yet 
of such fearful power, — " Death ! " " Strange that there 
should be such a word," he said, " and such a thing, and we 
ever forget it ; that one should be living, warm and beautiful, 
full of hopes, desires, and wants, one day, and the next be gone, 
utterly gone, and forever ! " 

It was a warm, golden evening ; and, as he walked to the 
other end of the veranda, he saw Tom busily intent on his 
Bible, pointing, as he did so, with his finger to each successive 
word, and whispering them to himself with an earnest air. 



390 - UNCLE tom's cabin ; OR, 

" Want me to read to you, Tom ? " said St. Clare, seating 
himself carelessly by him. 

" If mas'r pleases," said Tom, gratefully, " mas'r makes it so 
much plainer." 

St. Clare took the book and glanced at the place, and began 
reading one of the passages which Tom had designated by the 
heavy marks around it. It ran as follows : — 

" When the Son of man shall come in his glory, and all his 
holy angels with him, then shall he sit upon the throne of his 
glory : and before him shall be gathered all nations ; and he 
shall separate them one from another, as a shepherd divideth 
his sheep from the goats." St. Clare read on in an animated 
voice, till he came to the last of the verses. 

" Then shall the king say unto them on his left hand, Depart 
from me, ye cursed, into everlasting fire : for I was an hungered, 
and ye gave me no meat : I was thirsty, and ye gave me no 
drink : I was a stranger, and ye took me not in : naked, and ye 
clothed me not : I was sick, and in prison, and ye visited me 
not. Then shall they answer unto him, Lord, when saw we 
thee an hungered, or athirst, or a stranger, or naked, or sick, 
or in prison, and did not minister unto thee ? Then shall he 
say unto them. Inasmuch as ye did it not to one of the least 
of these my brethren, ye did it not to me." 

St. Clare seemed struck with this last passage, for he read 
it twice, — the second time slowly, and as if he were revolving 
the words in his mind. 

" Tom," he said, " these folks that get such hard measures 
seem to have been doing just what I have, — living good, easy, 
respectable lives ; and not troubling themselves to inquire how 
many of their brethren were hungry, or athirst, or sick, or in 
prison." 

Tom did not answer. 

St. Clare rose up and walked thoughtfully up and down the 
veranda, seeming to forget every thing in his own thoughts ; 
so absorbed was he, that Tom had to remind him twice that 
the tea bell had rung, before he could get his attention. 

St. Clare was absent and thoughtful all tea time. After tea, 
he and Marie and INIiss Ophelia took possession of the parlor, 
almost in silence. -* 



LIFE AMONG THE LOWLY. 391 

Marie disposed herself on a lounge, inider a silken mosquito 
curtain, and was soon sound asleep. Miss Ophelia silently 
busied herself with her knitting. St. Clare sat down to the 
piano, and began playing a soft and melancholy movement with 
the JSolian accompaniment. He seemed in a deep reverie, 
and to be soliloquizing to himself by music. After a little, 
he opened one of the drawers, took out an old music book 
whose leaves were yellow with age, and began turning it over. 

" There," he said to Miss Ophelia, " this was one of my 
mother's books, — and here is her handwriting, — come and 
look at it. She copied and arranged this from Mozart's 
Requiem." Miss Ophelia came accordingly. 

" It was something she used to sing often," said St. Clare. 
"I think I can hear her now." 

He struck a few majestic chords, and began singing that 
grand old Latin piece, the " Dies Irae." 

Tom, who was listening in the outer veranda, was drawn 
by the sound to the very door, where he stood earnestly. He 
did not understand the words, of course ; but the music and 
manner of singing appeared to affect him strongly, especially 
when St. Clare sang the more pathetic parts. Tom would 
have sympathized more heartily, if he had known the meaning 
of the beautiful words : — 

Recordare, Jesu pie. 
Quod sum causa tuce \ise, 
Ne me perdas ilia die. 
Quterens me sedisti lassus, 
Redemisti crueem passus, 
Tantus labor non sit cassus.* 

St. Clare threw a deep and pathetic expression into the 
words ; for the shadowy veil of years seemed drawn away, 
and he seemed to hear his mother's voice leading his. Voice 

* These lines have been thus rather inadequately translated : — 

Think, Jesus, for what reason 
Thou endured'st earth's spite and treason, 
Nor me lose, in that dread season ; 
Seeking me, thy worn feet hasted, 
On the cross thy soul death tasted ; 
Let not all these toils be wasted. 



392 UNCLE tom's cabin ; OR, 

and instrument seemed both living, and threw out, with vivid 
sympathy, those strains which the etliereal Mozart first con- 
ceived as his own dying requiem. 

When St. Clare had done singing, he sat leaning his head 
upon his hand a few moments, and then began walking up and 
down the floor. 

" What a sublime conception is that of a last judgment ! " 
said he, — "a righting of all the wrongs of ages ! — a solving 
of all moral problems by an unanswerable wisdom I It is, 
indeed, a wonderful image." 

"It is a fearful one to us," said Miss Ophelia. 

"It ought to be to me, I suppose," said St. Clare, stop- 
ping, thoughtfully. " I was reading to Tom, this afternoon, 
that chapter in Matthew that gives an account of it, and I 
have been quite struck with it. One should have expected 
some terrible enormities charged to those who are excluded 
from heaven, as the reason ; but no, — they are condemned 
for not doing positive good, as if that included every possible 
harm." 

" Perhaps," said Miss Ophelia, " it is impossible for a person 
who does no good not to do harm." 

" And what," said St. Clare, speaking abstractedly, but 
with deep feeling, " what shall be said of one whose own 
heart, whose education, and the wants of society, have called 
in vain to some noble purpose ; who has floated on, a dreamy, 
neutral spectator of the struggles, agonies, and wrongs of 
man, when he should have been a worker ? " 

" I should say," said Miss Ophelia, " that he ought to repent, 
and begin now." 

" Always practical and to the point ! " said St. Clare, his 
face breaking out into a smile. " You never leave me any 
time for general reflections, cousin ; you always bring me 
short up against the actual pr<esent ; you have a kind of eter- 
nal now, always in your mind.-* 

'' JYow is all the time I have any thing to do with," said 
Miss Ophelia. 

"Dear little Eva, — poor child!" said St. Clare, "she had 
set her little simple soul on a good work for me." 

It was the first time since Eva's death that he had ever 



LIFE AMONG THE LOWLY. 393 

said as many words as these of her, and he spoke now evi- 
dently repressing very strong feeling. 

" My view of Christianity is such," he added, " that I think 
no man can consistently profess it without throwing the whole 
weight of his being against this monstrous system of injustice 
that lies at the foundation of all our society ; and, if need be, 
sacrificing himself in the battle. That is, I mean that I could 
not be a Christian otherwise, though I have certainly had 
intercourse with a great many enlightened and Christian 
people who did no such thing ; and I confess that the apathy 
of religious people on this subject, their want of perception 
of wrongs that filled me with horror, have engendered in me 
more scepticism than any other thing." 

" If you knew all this," said Miss Ophelia, " why didn't you 
do it?" 

" 0, because I have had only that kind of benevolence which 
consists in lying on a sofa, and cursing the church and clergy 
for not being martyrs and confessors. One can see, you know, 
very easily, how others ought to be martyrs." 

" Well, are you going to do differently now ? " said Miss 
Ophelia. 

" God only knows the future," said St. Clare. " I am braver 
than I was, because I have lost all ; and he who has nothing 
to lose can afford all risks." 

" And what are you going to do ? " 

" My duty, I hope, to the poor and lowly, as fast as I find it 
out," said St. Clare, " beginning with my own servants, for 
whom I have yet done nothing ; and, perhaps, at some future 
day, it may appear that I can do something for a whole class ; 
something to save my country from the disgrace of that false 
position in which she now stands before all civilized nations." 

" Do you suppose it possible that a nation ever will volunta- 
rily emancipate ? " said Miss Ophelia. 

" I don't know," said St. Clare; " This is a day of great deeds. 
Heroism and disinterestedness are rising up here and there in 
the earth. The Hungarian nobles set free millions of serfs, at 
an immense pecuniary loss ; and, perhaps, among us may be 
found generous spirits, who do not estimate honor and justice 
by dollars and cents." 
50 



394 UNCLE tom's cabin ; or, 

" I liardl_Y think so." said Miss Ophelia. 

" But, suppose we should rise up to-morrow and emancipate, 
who would educate these millions, and teach them how to use 
their freedom? They never would rise to do much among 
us. The fact is, we are too lazy and unpractical ourselves, 
ever to give them much of an idea of that industry and energy 
which are necessary to form them into men. They will have to 
go north, where labor is the fashion, — the universal custom ; 
and tell me, now, is there enough Christian philanthropy, 
among your Northern States, to bear with the process of their 
education and elevation ? You send thousands of dollars to 
foreign missions ; but could you endure to have the heathen 
sent into your towns and villages, and give your time, and 
thoughts, and money, to raise them to the Christian standard ? 
That's what I want to know. If we emancipate, are you 
willing to educate ? How many families, in your town, 
would take in a negro man and woman, teach them, bear with 
them, and seek to make them Christians ? How many mer- 
chants would take Adolph, if I wanted to make him a clerk? 
or mechanics, if I wanted him taught a trade ? If I wanted to 
put Jane and Rosa to a school, how many schools are there in 
the Northern States that would take them in ? how many fami- 
lies that would board them? and yet they are as white as 
many a woman, north or south. You see, cousin, I want 
justice done us. We are in a bad position. We are the 
more obvious oppressors of the negro ; but the unchristian 
prejudice of the north is an oppressor almost equally severe." 

"Well, cousin, I know it is so," said Miss Ophelia, — "I 
know it was so with me, till I saw that it was my duty to 
overcome it ; but I trust I have overcome it ; and I know 
there are many good people at the north, who in this matter 
need only to be taught what their duty is, to do it. It would 
certainly be a greater self-denial to receive heathen among 
us, than to send missionaries to them ; but I think we would 
do it." 

" You would, I know," said, St. Clare. " I'd like to see 
any thing you wouldn't do, if you thought it your duty ! " 

" Well, I'm not uncommonly good," said Miss Ophelia. 
" Others would, if they saw things as I do. I intend to take 



LIFE AMONG THE LOWLY. 395 

Topsy home, when I go. I suppose our folks will wonder, at 
first ; but I think they will be brought to see as I do. Besides, 
I know there are many people at the north who do exactly 
what you said." 

" Yes, but they are a minority ; and, if we should begin to 
emancipate to any extent, we should soon hear from you." 

Miss Ophelia did not reply. There was a pause of some 
moments ; and St. Clare's countenance was overcast by a sad, 
dreamy expression. 

" I don't know what makes me think of my mother so much 
to-night," he said. " I have a strange kind of feeling, as if she 
were near me. I keep thinking of things she used to say. 
Strange what brings these past things so vividly back to us, 
sometimes ! " 

St. Clare walked up and down the room for some minutes 
more, and then said, — 

"I believe I'll go down street, a few moments, and hear 
the news, to-night." 

He took his hat, and passed out. 

Tom followed him to the passage, out of the court, and asked 
if he should attend him. 

"No, my boy," said St. Clare. "I shall be back in an 
hour." 

Tom sat down in the veranda. It was a beautiful moonlight 
evening, and he sat watching the rising and falling spray of 
the fountain, and listening to its murmur. Tom thought of 
his home, and that he should soon be a free man, and able to 
return to it at will. He thought how he should work to buy 
his wife and boys. He felt the muscles of his brawny arms 
with a sort of joy, as he thought they would soon belong to 
himself, and how much they would do to work out the freedom 
of his family. Then he thought of his noble young master, 
and, ever second to that, came the habitual prayer that he had 
always offered for him ; and then his thoughts passed on to 
the beautiful Eva, whom he now thought of among the angels ; 
and he thought till he almost fancied that that bright face and 
golden hair were looking upon him, out of the spray of the 
fountain. And, so musing, he fell asleep, and dreamed he saw 
her coming bounding towards him, just as she used to come, 



396 UNCLE tom's cabin ; OE, 

with a wreath of jessamine in her hair, her cheeks bright, and 
her eyes radiant with delight ; but, as he looked, she seemed 
to rise from the ground ; her cheeks wore a paler hue, — feer 
eyes had a deep, divine radiance, a golden halo seemed 
around her head, — and she vanished from his sight ; and Tom 
was awakened by a loud knocking, and a sound of many voices 
at the gate. 

He hastened to undo it ; and, with smothered voices and 
heavy tread, came several men, bringing a body, wrapped in a 
cloak, and lying on a shutter. The light of the lamp fell full 
on the face ; and Tom gave a wild cry of amazement and de- 
spair, that rung through all the galleries, as the men advanced, 
with their burden, to the open parlor door, where Miss Ophelia 
still sat knitting. 

St. Clare had turned into a cafe, to look over an evening 
paper. As he was reading, an affray arose between two gen- 
tlemen in the room, who were both partially intoxicated. St. 
Clare and one or two others made an effort to separate them, 
and St. Clare received a fatal stab in the side with a bowie 
knife, which he was attempting to wrest from one of them. 

The house was full of cries and lamentations, shrieks and 
screams ; servants frantically tearing their hair, throwing 
themselves on the ground, or running distractedly about, 
lamenting. Tom and Miss Ophelia alone seemed to have 
any presence of mind ; for Marie was in strong hysteric 
convulsions. At Miss Ophelia's direction, one of the lounges 
in the parlor was hastily prepared, and the bleeding form laid 
upon it. St. Clare had fainted, through pain and loss of 
blood ; but, as Miss Ophelia applied restoratives, he revived, 
opened his eyes, looked fixedly on them, looked earnestly 
around the room, his eyes travelling wistfully over every 
object, and finally they rested on his mother's picture. 

The physician now arrived, and made his examination. It 
was evident, from the expression of his face, that there was 
no hope ; but he applied himself to dressing the wound, and he, 
and Miss Ophelia, and Tom proceeded composedly with this 
work, amid the lamentations, and sobs, and cries of the af- 
frighted servants, who had clustered about the doors and 
windows of the veranda. 



LIFE AMONG THE LOWLY. 397 

"Now," said the physician, " we must turn all these creatures 
out ; all depends on his being kept quiet." 

St. Clare opened his eyes, and looked fixedly on the dis- 
tressed beings, whom Miss Ophelia and the doctor were trying 
to urge from the apartment. " Poor creatures ! " he said, and 
an expression of bitter self-reproach passed over his face. 
Adolph absolutely refused to go. Terror had deprived him 
of all presence of mind ; he threw himself along on the floor, 
and nothing could persuade him to rise. The rest yielded' to 
Miss Ophelia's urgent representations, that their master's 
safety depended on their stillness and obedience. 

St. Clare could say but little ; he lay with his eyes shut, but 
it was evident that he wrestled with bitter thouglits. After a 
while, he laid his hand on Tom's, who was kneeling beside him, 
and said, " Tom ! poor fellow ! " 

" What, mas'r ? " said Tom, earnestly. 

"I am dying ! " said St. Clare, pressing his hand ; " pray ! " 

" If you would like a clergyman " said the physician. 

St. Clare hastily shook his head, and said again to Tom, 
more earnestly, " Pray ! " 

And Tom did pray, with all his mind and strength, for the 
soul that was passing, — the soul that seemed looking so 
steadily and mournfully from those large, melancholy blue 
eyes. It was literally prayer offered with strong crying 
and tears. 

When Tom ceased to speak, St. Clare reached out and took 
his hand, looking earnestly at him, but saying nothing. He 
closed his eyes, but still retained his hold ; for, in the gates of 
eternity, the black hand and the white hold each other with 
an equal clasp. He murmured softly to himself, at broken 
intervals, — 

" Recordare, Jesu pie, — 

Ne me perdas — ille die 
Quserens me — sedisti lassus." 

It was evident that the words he had been singing that 
evening were passing through his mind, — words of entreaty 
addressed to Infinite Pity. His lips moved at intervals, as 
parts of the hymn fell brokenly from them. 



398 



UNCLE TOM S CABIN ; OR, 



" His mind is wandering," said the doctor. 

" No ! it is coming home, at last ! " said St. Clare, energeti- 
cally ; " at last ! at last ! " 

The effort of speaking exhausted him. The sinking paleness 
of death fell on him ; but with it there fell, as if shed from the 
wings of some pitying spirit, a beautiful expression of peace, 
like that of a wearied child who sleeps. 

So he lay for a few moments. They saw that the mighty 
hand was on him. Just before the spirit parted, he opened his 
eyes, with a sudden light, as of joy and recognition, and 
said, " MotJier ! " and then he was gone ! 





CHAPTER XXIX. 



THE UNPEOTECTED. 



(' ^v2lS:^'^\f'1^.E hear often of the distress of the nes^ro ser- 
, ^m Ji|l I vants on the loss of a kmd master ; and with 



.. , - . I'p.A^i^ good reason, for no creature on God's earth is 

--^'v "-^"l-f- left more utterly unprotected and desolate 

than the slave in these 



circumstances. 

^v^^ The child who has lost a father has still the 

protection of friends, and of the law : he is something, and 
can do something, — has acknov/ledged rights and position ; 
the slave has none. The law regards him, in every respect, as 
devoid of rights as a bale of merchandise. The only possible 
acknowledgment of any of the longings and wants of a human 
and immortal creature, which are given to him, comes to him 
through the sovereign and irresponsible will of his master ; 
and when that master is stricken down, nothing remains. 



400 UNCLE tom's cabin ; OR, 

The number of those men who know how to use wholly- 
irresponsible power humanely and generously is small. Every 
body knows this, and the slave knows it best of all ; so that 
he feels that there are ten chances of his finding an abusive 
and tyrannical master to one of his finding a considerate and 
kind one. Therefore is it that the wail over a kind master is 
loud and long, as well it may be. 

When St. Clare breathed his last, terror and consternation 
took hold of all his household. He had been stricken down 
so in a moment, in the flower and strength of his youth ! 
Every room and gallery of the house resounded with sobs and 
shrieks of despair. 

Marie, whose nervous system had been enervated by a con- 
stant course of self-indulgence, had nothing to support the 
terror of the shock, and, at the time her husband breathed his 
last, was passing from one fainting fit to another ; and he to 
whom she had been joined in the mysterious tie of marriage 
passed from her forever, without the possibility of even a 
parting word. 

Miss Ophelia, with characteristic strength and self-control, 
had remained with her kinsman to the last, — all eye, all ear, 
all attention ; doing every thing of the little that could be 
done, and joining with her whole soul in the tender and im- 
passioned prayers which the poor slave had poured forth for 
the soul of his dying master. 

When they were arranging him for his last rest, they found 
upon his bosom a small, plain miniature case, opening with a 
spring. It was the miniature of a noble and beautiful female 
face ; and on the reverse, under a crystal, a lock of dark hair. 
They laid them back on the lifeless breast, — dust to dust, — 
poor, mournful relics of early dreams, which once made that 
cold heart beat so warmly ! 

Tom's whole soul was filled with thoughts of eternity ; and 
while he ministered around the lifeless clay, he did not once 
think thaf the sudden stroke had left him in hopeless slavery. 
He felt at peace about his master ; for in that hour when he 
had poured forth his prayer into the bosom of his Father, he 
had found an answer of quietness and assurance springing up 
within himself. In the depths of his own affectionate nature, 



LIFE AMOX(; THE LOWLY. 401 

he felt able to perceive something of the fulness of divine 
love ; for an old oracle hath thus written, — "He that dwell- 
eth in love dwelleth in God, aiid God in him." Tom hoped, 
and trusted, and was at peace. 

But the funeral passed, with all its pageant of black crape, 
and prayers, and solemn faces ; and back rolled the cool, 
muddy waves of every-day life ; and up came the everlasting 
hard inquiry of " What is to be done next? " 

It rose to the mind of Marie, as, dressed in loose morning 
robes, and surrounded by anxious servants, she sat up in a 
great easy chair, and inspected samples of crape and bomba- 
zine. It rose to Miss Ophelia, who began to turn her thoughts 
towards her northern home. It rose, in silent terrors, to 
the minds of the servants, who well knew the unfeeling, 
tyrannical character of the mistress in whose hands they were 
left. All knew, very well, that the indulgences which had 
been accorded to them were not from their mistress, but from 
their master ; and that, now he was gone, there would be no 
screen between them and every tyrannous infliction which a 
temper soured by affliction might devise. 

It was about a fortnight after the funeral, that Miss Ophelia., 
busied one day in her apartment, heard a gentle tap at the 
door. She opened it, and there stood Rosa, the pretty young 
quadroon, whom we have before often noticed, her hair in dis- 
order, and her eyes swelled with crying. 

" Miss Feely," she said, falling on iier knees, and catch- 
ing the skirt of her dress, " do, do go to Miss Marie for 
me ! do plead for me ! She's goin' to send me out to be 
whipped, — look there ! " And she handed to Miss Ophelia 
a paper. 

It was an order, written in Marie's delicate Italian hand, to 
the master of a whipping establishment, to give the bearer 
fifteen lashes. 

" What have you been doing ? " said Miss Ophelia. 

" You know. Miss Feely, I've got such a bad temper ; it's 
very bad of me. I was trying on Miss Marie's dress, and she 
slapped my face ; and I spoke out before I thought, and was 
saucy ; and she said that she'd bring me down, and have me 
know, once for all, that I wasn't going to be so topping as I 
51 



402 UNCLE tom's cabin ; OR, 

had been ; and she wrote this, and saj^s I shall cany it. I'd 
rather she'd kill me, right out." 

Miss Ophelia stood considering, with the paper in her hand. 

" You see, Miss Feely," said Rosa, " I don't mind the whip- 
ping so much, if Miss Marie or you was to do it ; but to be 
sent to a man! and such a horrid man, — the shame of it, 
Miss Feely ! " 

Miss Ophelia well knew that it was the universal custom 
to send women and young girls to whipping houses, to the 
hands of the lowest of men, — men vile enough to make this 
their profession, — there to be subjected to brutal exposure and 
'shameful correction. She had known it before; but hitherto 
she had never realized it, till she saw the slender form of 
Rosa almost convulsed with distress. All the honest blood of 
womanhood, the strong New England blood of liberty, flushed 
to her cheeks, and throbbed bitterly in her indignant heart ; 
but, with habitual prudence and self-control, she mastered her- 
self, and, crushing the paper firmly in her hand, she merely 
said to Rosa, — 

" Sit down, child, while I go to your mistress." 

" Shameful ! monstrous ! outrageous ! " she said to herself, as 
she was crossing the parlor. 

She found Marie sitting up in her easy chair, with Mammy 
standing by her, combing her hair ; Jane sat on the ground 
before her, busy in chafing her feet. 

" How do you find yourself, to-day ? " said Miss Ophelia. 

A deep sigh, and a closing of the eyes, was the only reply, 
for a moment ; and then Marie answered, " 0, I don't know, 
cousin ; I suppose I'm as well as I ever shall be ! " and Marie 
wiped her eyes with a cambric handkerchief, bordered with an 
inch deep of black. 

" I came," said Miss Ophelia, with a short, dry cough, such 
as commonly introduces a difficult subject, — "I came to speak 
with you about poor Rosa." 

Marie's eyes were open wide enough now, and a flush rose 
to her sallow checks, as she answered sharply, — 

" Well, what about her ? " 

" She is very sorry for her fault." 

" She is, is she ? She'll be sorrier before I've done with 



LIFE AMOXCx THE LOWLY. , 403 

tier,! I've endured that child's impudence long enough ; and 
now I'll bring her down, — I'll make her lie in the dust!'' 

" But could not you punish her some other way, — some way 
that would be less shameful ? " 

" I mean to shame her ; that's just what I want." She has 
all her life presumed on her delicacy, and her good looks, and 
her ladylike airs, till she forgets who she is ; — and I'll give 
her one lesson that will bring her down, I fancy ! " 

"But, cousin, consider that, if you destroy delicacy and a 
sense of shame in a young girl, you deprave her very fast." 

" Delicacy ! " said Marie, with a scornful laugh, — "a line 
word for such as she ! I'll teach her, with all her airs, that 
she's no better than the raggedest black wench that walks 
the streets I She'll take no more airs with me ! " 

"You will answer to God for such cruelty!'' said Miss 
Ophelia, with energy. 

" Cruelty, — I'd like to know what the cruelty is! I wrote 
orders for only fifteen lashes, and told him to put them on 
lightly. I'm sure there's no cruelty there ! " 

■' No cruelty ! " said Miss Ophelia. " I'm sure any girl 
might rather be killed outright ! " 

" It might seem so to any body with your feeling ; but all 
these creatures get used to it ; it's the only way they can be 
kept in order. Once let them feel that they are to take any 
airs about delicacy, and all that, and they'll run all over you, 
just as my servants always have. I've begun now to bring 
them under ; and I'll have them all to know that I'll send one 
out to be whipped as soon as another, if they don't mind them- 
selves ! " said Marie, looking around her decidedly. 

Jane hung her head and cowered at this, for she felt as if 
it was particularly directed to her. Miss Ophelia sat for a 
moment, as if she had swallowed some explosive mixture, and 
were ready to burst. Then, recollecting the utter uselessness 
of contention with such a nature, she shut her lips resolutely, 
gathered herself up, and walked out of the room. 

It was hard to go back and tell Rosa that she could do 
nothing for her ; and, shortly after, one of the man servants 
came to say that her mistress had ordered him to take Rosa 
with Mm to the whipping house, whither she was hurried, in 
spite of her tears and entreaties. 



404 UNCLE tom's cabin ; OR, 

A few days after, Tom was standing musing by the bal- 
conies, when he was joined by Adolph, who, since the death 
of his master, had been entirely crestfallen and disconsolate. 
Adolph knew that he had always been an ol)ject of dislike to 
Marie ; but while his master lived, he had paid but little atten- 
tion to it. Now that he was gone, he had moved about in 
daily dread and trembling, not knowing what might befall him 
next. Marie had held several consultations with her lawyer ; 
after communicating with St. Clare's brother, it was deter- 
mined to sell the place, and all the servants, except her own 
personal property ; and these she intended to take with her, 
and go back to her father's plantation. 

" Do ye know, Tom, that we've all got to be sold ? " said 
Adolph. 

" How did you hear that ? " said Tom. 

" I hid myself behind the curtains when missis was talking 
with the lawyer. In a few days we shall all be sent off to 
auction, Tom." 

" The Lord's will be done ! " said Tom, folding his arms and 
sighing heavily. 

" "We'll never get another such a master," said Adolph, ap- 
prehensively ; " but I'd rather be sold than take my chance 
under missis." 

Tom turned away ; his heart was full. The hope of liberty, 
the thought of distant wife and children, rose up before his 
patient soul, as to the mariner shipwrecked almost in port 
rises the vision of the church spire and loving roofs of his 
native village, seen over the top of some black wave only for 
one last farewell. He drew his arms tightly over his bosom, 
and choked back the bitter tears, and tried to pray. The 
poor old soul had such a singular, unaccountable prejudice in 
favor of liberty, that it was a hard wrench for him ; and the 
more he said, " Thy will be done," the worse he felt. 

He sought Miss Ophelia, who, ever since Eva's death, had 
treated him with marked and respectful kindness. 

"Miss Feely," he said, " Mas'r St. Clare promised me my 
freedom. He told me that he had begun to take it out for me ; 
and now, perhaps, if Miss Feely would be good enough to 
speak about it to missis, she would feel like goin' on with it, 
as it was Mas'r St. Clare's wish." 



LIFE AMONG THE LOWLY. 405 

" I'll speak for you, Tom, and do my best,'' said Miss Ophe- 
lia ; " but, if it depends on Mrs. St. Clare, I can't hope much 
for you ; — nevertheless, I will try." 

This incident occurred a few days after that of Rosa, Avhile 
Miss Ophelia was busied in preparations to return north. 

Seriously reflecting within herself, she considered that per- 
haps she had shown too hasty a warmth of language in her 
former interview with Marie ; and she resolved that she would 
now endeavor to moderate her zeal, and to be as conciliatory 
as possible. So the good soul gathered herself up, and, taking 
her knitting, resolved to go into Marie's room, be as agreeable 
as possible, and negotiate Tom's case with all the diplomatic 
skill of which she was mistress. 

She found Marie reclining at length upon a lounge, sup- 
porting herself on one elbow by pillows, while Jane, who had 
been out shopping, was displaying before her certain samples 
of thin black stuffs. 

" That will do," said Marie, selecting one ; " only I'm not 
sure about its being properly mourning." 

" Laws, missis," said Jane, volubly, " Mrs. General Derben- 
non wore just this very thing, after the general died, last sum- 
mer ; it makes up lovely ! " 

" What do you think ? " said Marie to Miss Ophelia. 

'■ It's a matter of custom, I suppose," said Miss Ophelia. 
" You can judge about it better than I." 

'■ The fact is," said Marie, " that I haven't a dress in the 
world that I can wear ; and, as I am going to break up the 
establishment, and go off, next week, I must decide upon 
something." 

" Are you going so soon ? " 

" Yes. St. Clare's brother has written, and he and the 
lawyer think that the servants and furniture had better be 
put up at auction, and the place left with our lawyer." 

" There's one thing I wanted to speak with you about," said 
Miss Ophelia. " Augustine promised Tom his liberty, and 
began the legal forms necessary to it. I hope you will use 
your influence to have it perfected." 

" Indeed, I shall do no such thing ! " said Marie, sharply. 
" Tom is one of the most valuable servants on the place, — it 



406 UNCLE TOJJ'S CABIN ; OR, 

couldn't be afforded, any way. Besides, what does he want of 
liberty ? He's a great deal better off as he is." 

" But he does desire it, very earnestly, and his master 
promised it," said Miss Ophelia. 

" I dare say he does want it," said Marie ; " they all want 
it, just because they are a discontented set, — always wanting 
what they haven't got. Now, I'm principled against eman- 
cipating, in any case. Keep a negro under the care of a 
master, and he does well enough, and is respectable ; but set 
them free, and they get lazy, and won't work, and take to 
drinking, and go all down to be mean, worthless fellows. I've 
seen it tried, hundreds of times. It's no favor to set them 
free." 

" But Tom is so steady, industrious, and pious." 

" 0, you needn't tell me ! I've seen a hundred like him. 
He'll do very well, as long as he's taken care of, — that's 
all." 

" But, then, consider," said Miss Ophelia, " when you set him 
up for sale, the chances of his getting a bad master." 

" 0, that's all humbug ! " said Marie ; " it isn't one time in 
a hundred that a good fellow gets a bad master ; most masters 
are good, for all the talk that is made. I've lived and grown 
up here, in the south, and I never yet was acquainted with a 
master that didn't treat his servants well, — quite as well as 
is worth while. I don't feel any fears on that head." 

" Well," said Miss Ophelia, energetically, " I know it was 
one of the last wishes of your husband that Tom should have 
his liberty ; it was one of the promises that he made to dear 
little Eva on her death bed, and I should not think you 
would feel at liberty to disregard it." 

Marie had her face covered with her handkerchief at this 
appeal, and began sobbing and using her smelling bottle, with 
great vehemence. 

"Every body goes against me ! " she said. " Every body is so 
inconsiderate ! I shouldn't have expected that you. would bring 
up all these remembrances of my troubles to me, — it's so in- 
considerate ! But nobody ever does consider, — my trials are 
so peculiar! It's so hard, that when I had only one daughter, 
she should have been taken 1 — and when I had a husband that 



LIFE AMONG THE LOWLY, 



407 



just exactly suited me, — and I'm so hard to be suited, — he 
should be taken ! And you seem to have so little feeling for me, 
and keep bringing it up to me so carelessly, — when you know 
how it overcomes me ! I suppose you mean well ; but it is very 
inconsiderate, — very ! " And Marie sobbed, and gasped for 
breath, and called Mammy to open the window, and to bring 
her the camphor bottle, and to bathe her head, and unhook her 
dress. And, in the general confusion tliat ensued, Miss Ophe- 
lia made her escape to her apartment. 

She saw, at once, that it would do no good to say any thing 
more ; for Marie had an indefinite capacity for hysteric fits ; 
and, after this, wdienever her husband's or Eva's wishes with 
regard to the servants were alluded to, she always found it 
convenient to set one in operation. Miss Ophelia, therefore, 
did the next best thing she could for Tom, — she w^rote a let- 
ter to Mrs. Shelby for him, stating his troubles, and urging 
them to send to his relief. 

The next day, Tom and Adolph, and some half a dozen 
other servants, were marched down to a slave warehouse, to 
await the convenience of the trader, who was going to make 
up a lot for auction. 





CHAPTER XXX 



THE SLAVE WAREHOUSE, 




SLAVE warehouse ! Perhaps some of my read- 
ers conjure up horrible visions of such a place. 
They fancy some foul, obscure den, some horri- 
( ble Tartarus " informis, ingens, cui lumen ademp- 
tumy But no, innocent friend ; in these days 
men have learned the art of sinning expertly 
and genteelly, so as not to shock the eyes and senses of respect- 
able society. Human property is high in the market ; and is, 
therefore, well fed, well cleaned, tended, and looked after, that 
it may come to sale sleek, and strong, and shining. A slave 
warehouse in New Orleans is a house externally not much un- 
like many others, kept with neatness ; and where every day 
you may see arranged, under a sort of shed along the outside, 
rows of men and women, who stand there as a sign of the 
property sold within. 



LIFE AMONG THE LOWLY. 409 

Then you shall be courteously entreated to call and examine, 
and shall find an abundance of husbands, wives, brothers, sis- 
ters, fathers, mothers, and young children, to be " sold separate- 
ly, or in lots to suit the convenience of the purchaser ; " and 
that soul immortal, once bought with blood and anguish by the 
Son of God, when the earth shook, and the rocks rent, and the 
graves were opened, can be sold, leased, mortgaged, exchanged 
for groceries or dry goods, to suit the phases of trade, or the 
fancy of the purchaser. 

It was a day or two after the conversation between Marie 
and Miss Ophelia, that Tom, Adolph, and about half a dozen 
others of the St. Clare estate, were turned over to the loving 

kindness of Mr. Skeggs, the keeper of a depot on Street, 

to await the auction, next day. 

Tom had with him quite a sizable trunk full of clothing, as 
had most others of them. They were ushered, for the night, into 
a long room, where many other men, of all ages, sizes, and shades 
of complexion, were assembled, and from which roars of laugh- 
ter and unthinking merriment were proceeding. 

"Ah, ha! that's right. Go it, boys, — go it!" said Mr. 
Skeggs, the keeper. " My people are always so merry ! Sam- 
bo, I see ! " he said, speaking approvingly to a burly negro who 
was performing tricks of low buffoonery, which occasioned the 
shouts which Tom had heard. 

As might be imagined, Tom was in no humor to join these 
proceedings ; and, therefore, setting his trunk as far as possible 
from the noisy group, he sat down on it, and leaned his face 
against the wall. 

The dealers in the human article make scrupulous and sys- 
tematic efforts to promote noisy mirth among them, as a means 
of drowning reflection, and rendering them insensible to their 
condition. The whole object of the training to which the ne- 
gro is put, from the time he is sold in the northern market till 
he arrives south, is systematically directed towards making 
him callous, unthinking, and brutal. The slave dealer collects 
his gang in Virginia or Kentucky, and drives them to some 
convenient, healthy place, — often a watering-place, — to be 
fattened. Here they are fed full daily ; and, because some in- 
cline to pine, a fiddle is kept commonly going among them, 
52 



410 UNCLE tom's cabin ; OE, 

and tliey are made to dance daily ; and he who refuses to be 
merry — in whose soul thoughts of wife, or child, or home, are 
too strong for him to be gay — is marked as sullen and dan- 
gerous, and subjected to all the evils which the ill will of an 
utterly irresponsible and hardened man can inflict upon him. 
Briskness, alertness, and cheerfulness of appearance, especially 
before observers, are constantly enforced upon them, both by 
the hope of thereby getting a good master, and the fear of all 
that the driver may bring upon them, if they prove unsalable. 

" What dat ar nigger doin' here ? " said Sambo, coming up 
to Tom, after Mr. Skeggs had left the room. Sambo was a full 
black, of great size, very lively, voluble, and full of trick and 
grimace. 

" What you doin' here ? " said Sambo, coming up to Tom, and 
poking him facetiously in the side. " Meditatin', eh ? " 

" I am to be sold at the auction to-morrow ! " said Tom, 
quietly. 

"Sold at auction, — haw! haw! boys, an't this yer fun? I 
wish't I was gwine that ar way ! — tell ye, wouldn't I make 'em 
laugh ? But how is it, — dis yer whole lot gwine to-morrow ? " 
said Sambo, laying his hand freely on Adolph's shoulder. 

" Please to let me alone ! " said Adolph, fiercely, straighten- 
ing himself up, with extreme disgust. 

" Law, now, boys ! dis yer's one o' yer white niggers, — kind 
o' cream color, ye know, scented!" said he, coming up to 
Adolph and snuffing. " Lor ! he'd do for a tobacker shop ; 
they could keep him to scent snuff! Lor, he'd keep a whole 
shop agwine, — he would ! " 

"I say, keep off, can't you? " said Adolph, enraged. 

" Lor, now, how touchy we is, — we white niggers ! Look at 
us, now ! " and Sambo gave a ludicrous imitation of Adolph's 
manner ; "here's de airs and graces. We's been in a good 
family, I specs." 

" Yes," said Adolph ; " I had a master that could have bought 
you all for old truck ! " 

" Laws, now, only think," said Sambo, " the gentlemens that 
we is I " 

" I belonged to the St. Clare family," said Adolph, proudly. 

" Lor, you did ! Be hanged if they arn't lucky to get shet of 



LIFE AMONG THE LOWLY. 411 

ye, Spects tliey's gwine to trade ye off with a lot o' cracked 
teapots and sich like ! " said Sambo, with a provoking grin. 

Adolph, enraged at this taunt, flew furiously at his adver- 
sary, swearing and striking on every side of him. The rest 
laughed and shouted, and the uproar brought the keeper to 
the door. 

"What now, boys? Order, — order!" he said, coming in 
and flourishing a large whip. 

All fled in different directions, except Sambo, who, presuming 
on the favor which the keeper had to him as a licensed wag, 
stood his ground, ducking his head with a facetious grin, when- 
ever the master made a dive at him. 

"Lor, mas'r, 'tan't us, — we's reglar stiddy, — it's these yer 
new hands ; they's real aggravatin', — kinder pickin' at us, all 
time ! " 

The keeper, at this, turned upon Tom and Adolph, and dis- 
tributing a few kicks and cuff's without much inquiry, and 
leaving general orders for all to be good boys and go to sleep, 
left the apartment. 

While this scene was going on in the men's sleeping room, 
the reader may be curious to take a peep at the corresponding 
apartment allotted to the women. Stretched out in various 
attitudes over the floor, he may see numberless sleeping forms 
of every shade of complexion, from the purest ebony to white, 
and of all years, from childhood to old age, lying now asleep. 
Here is a fine bright girl, of ten years, whose mother was sold 
out yesterday, and who to-night cried herself to sleep when 
nobody was looking at her. Here, a worn old negress, whose 
thin arms and callous fingers tell of hard toil, waiting to be 
sold to-morrow, as a cast-off article, for what can be got for 
her ; and some forty or fifty others, with heads variously en- 
veloped in blankets or articles of clothing, lie stretched around 
them. But, in a corner, sitting apart from the rest, are two 
females of a more interesting appearance than common. One 
of these is a respectably-dressed mulatto woman between forty 
and fifty, with soft eyes and a gentle and pleasing physiog- 
nomy. She has on her head a high-raised turban, made of a 
gay red Madras handkerchief, of the first quality, and her dress 
is neatly fitted, and of good material, showing that she has 



412 UNCi.E tom's cabin ; OR, 

been provided for with a careful hand. By her side, and nes- 
tling close by to her, is a young girl of fifteen, — her daughter. 
She is a quadroon, as may be seen from her fairer complexion, 
though her likeness to her mother is quite discernible. She 
has the same soft, dark eye, with longer lashes, and her curling- 
hair is of a luxuriant brown. She also is dressed with great 
neatness, and her white, delicate hands betray very little 
acquaintance with servile toil. These two are to be sold to- 
morrow, in the same lot with the St. Clare servants ; and the 
gentleman to whom they belong, and to whom the money for 
their sale is to be transmitted, is a member of a Christian 
church in New York, who will receive the money, and go 
thereafter to the sacrament of his Lord and theirs, and think 
no more of it. 

These two, whom we shall call Susan and Emmeline, had 
been the personal attendants of an amiable and pious lady of 
New Orleans, by whom they had been carefully and piously 
instructed and trained. They had been taught to read and 
write, diligently instructed in the truths of religion, and their 
lot had been as happy a one as in their condition it was pos- 
sible to be. But the only son of their protectress had the 
management of her property ; and, by carelessness and extrav- 
agance, involved it to a large amount, and at last failed. One 
of the largest creditors was the respectable firm of B. & Co., 
in New York. B. & Co. wrote to their lawyer in New 
Orleans, who attached the real estate, (these two articles and 
a lot of plantation hands formed the most valuable part of it,) 
and wrote word to that effect to New York. Brother B., 
being, as we have said, a Christian man, and a resident in a 
free state, felt some uneasiness on the subject. He didn't like 
trading in slaves and souls of men, — of course he didn't ; but, 
then, there were thirty thousand dollars in the case, and that 
was rather too much money to be lost for a principle ; and so, 
after much considering, and asking advice from those that he 
knew would advise to suit him. Brother B. wrote to his lawyer 
to dispose of the business in the way that seemed to him the 
most suitable, and remit the proceeds. 

The day after the letter arrived in New Orleans, Susan and 
Emmeline were attached, and sent to the depot to await a 



LIFE AMONG THE LOWLY. 413 

general auction on the following morning ; and as tliey glim- 
mer faintly upon us in the moonlight which steals through the 
grated window, we may listen to their conversation. Both are 
weeping, but each quietly, that the other may not hear. 

" Mother, just lay your head on my lap, and see if you can't 
sleep a little," says the girl, trying to appear calm. 

" I haven't any heart to sleep, Em ; I can't ; it's the last 
night we may be together ! " 

" mother, don't say so ! perhaps we shall get sold together, 
— who knows ? " 

"If 'twas any body's else case, I should say so, too, Em," 
said the woman ; " but I'm so feared of losin' you that I don't 
see any thing but the danger." 

" Why, mother, the man said we were both likely, and would 
sell well." 

Susan remembered the man's looks and words. With a 
deadly sickness at her heart, she remembered how he had 
looked at Emmeline's hands, and lifted up her curly hair, and 
pronounced her a first-rate article. Susan had been trained as 
a Christian, brought up in the daily reading of the Bible, and 
had the same horror of her child's being sold to a life of shame 
that any other Christian mother might have ; but she had no 
hope, — no protection. 

" Mother, I think we might do first rate, if you could get a 
place as cook, and I as chambermaid or seamstress, in some 
family. I dare say we shall. Let's both look as bright and 
lively as we can, and tell all we can do, and perhaps we shall," 
said Emmeline. 

" I want you to brush your hair all back straight, to-mor- 
row," said Susan. 

" What for, mother ? I don't look near so well, that way." 

" Yes, but you'll sell better so." 

" I don't see why ! " said the child. 

" Respectable families would be more apt to buy you, if they 
saw you looked plain and decent, as if you wasn't trying to 
look handsome. I know their ways better'n you do," said 
Susan. 

" Well, mother, then I will." 

" And, Emmeline, if wc shouldn't ever see each other again, 



414 UNCLE tom's cabin ; OR, 

after to-morrow, — if I'm sold way up on a plantation some- 
where, and you somewhere else, — always remember how 
you've been brought up, and all missis has told you ; take your 
Bible with you, and your hymn book ; and if you're faithful to 
the Lord, he'll be faithful to you." 

So speaks the poor soul, in sore discouragement ; for she 
knows that to-morrow any man, however vile and brutal, how- 
ever godless and merciless, if he only has money to pay for 
her, may become owner of her daughter, body and soul ; and 
then how is the child to be faithful ? She thinks of all this, as 
she holds her daughter in her arms, and wishes that she were 
not handsome and attractive. It seems almost an aggravation 
to her to remember how purely and piously, how much above 
the ordinary lot, she has been brought up. But she has no 
resort but to pray ; and many such prayers to God have gone 
up from those same trim, neatly-arranged, respectable slave 
prisons, — prayers which God has not forgotten, as a coming 
day shall show ; for it is written, " Whoso causeth one of these 
little ones to offend, it were better for him that a millstone 
were hanged about his neck, and that he were drowned in the 
depths of the sea." 

The soft, earnest, quiet moonbeam looks in fixedly marking 
the bars of the grated windows on the prostrate, sleeping 
forms. The mother and daughter are singing together a wild 
and melancholy dirge, common as a funeral hymn among the 
slaves : — 

" 0, where is weeping Mary 1 
0, where is weeping Mary ? 

'Rived in the goodly land. 
She is dead and gone to heaven ; 
She is dead and gone to heaven ; 
'Rived in the goodly land." 

These words, sung by voices of a peculiar and melancholy 
sweetness, in an air which seemed like the sighing of earthly 
despair after heavenly hope, floated through the dark prison 
rooms with a pathetic cadence, as verse after verse was 
breathed out : — 

" 0, where are Paul and Silas ? 
0, where are Paul and Silas ? 
Gone to the goodly land. 



LIFE AMONG THE LOWLY, 415 

They are dead and gone to heaven ; 
They are dead and gone to heaven ; 
'Rived in the goodly land." 

Sing on, poor souls ! The night is short, and the morning 
will part you forever ! 

But now it is morning, and every body is astir ; and the 
worthy Mr. Skeggs is busy and bright, for a lot of goods is 
to be fitted out for auction. There is a brisk lookout on the 
toilet ; injunctions passed around to every one to put on their 
best face and be spry ; and now all are arranged in a circle 
for a last review, before they are marched up to the Bourse. 

Mr. Skeggs, with his palmetto on and his cigar in his mouth, 
walks around to put farewell touches on his wares. 

" How's this ? " he said, stepping in front of Susan and Em- 
meline. " Where's your curls, gal ? " 

The girl looked timidly at her mother, who, with the smooth 
adroitness common among her class, answers, — 

" I was telling her, last night, to put up her hair smooth and 
neat, and not havin' it flyin' about in curls ; looks more re- 
spectable so." 

" Bother ! " said the man, peremptorily, turning to the girl ; 
" you go right along, and curl yourself real smart ! " He 
added, giving a crack to a ratan he held in his hand, " And 
be back in quick time, too ! " 

" You go and help her," he added, to the mother. " Them 
curls may make a hundred dollars' difference in the sale of 
her." 

Beneath a splendid dome were men of all nations, moving 
to and fro, over the marble pave. On every side of the cir- 
cular area were little tribunes, or stations, for the use of 
speakers and auctioneers. Two of these, on opposite sides of 
the area, were now occupied by brilliant and talented gentle- 
men, enthusiastically forcing up, in English and French com- 
mingled, the bids of connoisseurs in their various wares. A 
third one, on the other side, still unoccupied, was surrounded 
by a group, waiting the moment of sale to begin. And here 
we may recognize the St. Clare servants, — Tom, Adolph, and 
others ; and there, too, Susan and Emmeline, awaiting their 



416 UNCLE tom's cabin ; OR, 

turn with anxious and dejected faces. Various spectators, 
intending to purchase, or not intending, as the case might be, 
gathered around the group, handling, examining, and com- 
menting on their various points and faces "with the same free- 
dom that a set of jockeys discuss the merits of a horse. 

"Holloa, Alf! what brings 5"ou here?" said a young ex- 
quisite, slapping the shoulder of a sprucely-dressed young man 
who was examining Adolph through an eyeglass. 

" Well, I was wanting a valet, and I heard that St. Clare's 
lot was going. I thought I'd just look at his " 

" Catch me ever buying any of St. Clare's people ! Spoilt 
niggers, every one. Impudent as the devil ! " said the other. 

" Never fear that ! " said the first. " If I get 'em, I'll soon 
have their airs out of them : they'll soon find that they've 
another kind of master to deal with than Monsieur St. Clare. 
Ton my word, I'll buy that fellow. I like the shape of him." 

"You'll find it'll take all you've got to keep him. He's 
deusedly extravagant ! " 

"Yes, but my lord will find that he cmi!t be extravagant 
with me. Just let him be sent to the calaboose a few times, 
and thoroughly dressed down ! I'll tell you if it don't bring 
him to a sense of his ways ! 0, I'll reform him, up hill and 
down — you'll see. I buy him, that's flat ! " 

Tom had been standing wistfully examining the multitude 
of faces thronging around him, for one whom he would wish 
to call master. And if you should ever be under the necessity, 
sir, of selecting, out of two hundred men, one who was to 
become your absolute owner and disposer, you would, perhaps, 
realize, just as Tom did, how few there were that you would 
feel at all comfortable in being made over to. Tom saw 
abundance of men, — great, burly, gruff men ; little, chirping, 
dried men ; long-favored, lank, hard men ; and every variety 
of stubbed-looking, commonplace men, who pick up their fel- 
low-men as one picks up chips, putting them into the fire or a 
basket with equal unconcern, according to their convenience ; 
but he saw no St. Clare. 

A little before the sale commenced, a short, broad, muscular 
man, in a checked shirt considerably open at the bosom, and 
pantaloons much the worse for dirt and wear, elbowed his way 



LIFE AMONG THE LOWLY. 417 

through the crowd, like one who is going actively into a busi- 
ness ; and, coming up to the group, began to examine them 
systematically. From the moment that Tom saw him ap- 
proaching, he felt an imm_ediate and revolting horror at him, 
that increased as he came near. He was evidently, thougli 
short, of gigantic strength. His round bullet head, large, 
light-gray eyes, with their shaggy, sandy eyebrows, and stiff, 
wiry, sunburnt hair, were rather unprepossessing items, it is 
to be confessed ; his large, coarse mouth was distended with 
tobacco, the juice of which, from time to time, he ejected from 
him with great decision and explosive force ; his hands were 
immensely large, hairy, sunburnt, freckled, and very dirty, 
and garnished with long nails, in a very foul condition. This 
man proceeded to a very free personal examination of the lot. 
He seized Tom by the jaw, and pulled open his mouth to 
inspect his teeth ; made him strip up his sleeve, to show his 
muscle ; turned him round, made him jump and spring, to show 
his paces. 

" Where was you raised ? " he added, briefly, to these inves- 
tigations. 

"In Kin tuck, mas'r," said Tom, looking about, as if for 
deliverance. 

" What have you done ? " 

" Had care of mas'r's farm," said Tom. 

" Likely storj^ ! " said the other, shortly, as he passed on. 
He paused a moment before Dolph ; then spitting a discharge 
of tobacco juice on his well-blacked boots, and giving a con- 
temptuous umph, he walked on. Again he stopped before 
Susan and Emmeline. He put out his heavy, dirty hand, and 
drew the girl towards him ; passed it over her neck and bust, 
felt her arms, looked at her teeth, and then pushed her back 
against her mother, Avhose patient face shoAved the suffering 
she had been going through at every motion of the hideous 
stranger. 

The girl was frightened, and began to cry. 

" Stop that, you minx ! " said the salesman ; " no whimpering 
here, — the sale is going to begin."' And accordingly the salt; 
began. 

Adolph was knocked off, at a good sum, to the young 
53 



418 UNCLE tom's cabin; on, 

gentleman who had previously stated his intention of buying 
him ; and the other servants of the St. Clare lot went to 
various bidders. 

" Now, up with you, boy ! d'ye hear ? " said the auctioneer to 
Tom. 

Tom stepped upon the block, gave a few anxious looks 
round ; all seemed mingled in a common indistinct noise, — 
the clatter of the salesman crying off his qualifications in 
French and English, the quick fire of French and English 
l)ids ; and almost in a moment came the final thump of the 
hammer, and the clear ring on the last syllable of the word 
" dollars," as the auctioneer announced his price, and Tom was 
made over. He had a master ! 

He was pushed from the block ; — the short, bullet-headed 
man, seizing him roughly by the shoulder, pushed him to one 
side, saying, in a harsh voice, " Stand there, you ! " 

Tom hardly realized any thing ; but still the bidding went 
on, — rattling, clattering, now French, now English. Down 
goes the hanmier again, — Susan is sold ! She goes down from 
the block, stops, looks wistfully back, — her daughter stretches 
her hands towards her. She looks with agony in the face of 
the man who has bought her, — a respectable middle-aged 
man, of benevolent countenance. 

" mas'r, please do buy my daughter ! " 

" I'd like to, but I'm afraid I can't afford it ! " said the gen- 
tleman, looking with painful interest, as the young girl mount- 
ed the block, and looked around her with a frightened and 
timid glance. 

The blood flushes painfully in her otherwise colorless cheek, 
her eye has a feverish fire, and her mother groans to see 
that she looks more beautiful than she ever saw her before. 
The auctioneer sees his advantage, and expatiates volubly 
in mingled French and English, and bids rise in rapid 
succession. 

" I'll do any thing in reason," said the benevolent-looking 
gentleman, pressing in and joining with the bids. In a few 
moments they have run beyond his purse. He is silent ; the 
auctioneer grows warmer ; but bids gradually drop ofl". It 
lies now between an aristocratic old citizen and our bullet- 



LIFE AMONG THE LOWLY. 



419 



headed acquaintance. The citizen bids for a few turns, con- 
temptuously measuring his opponent ; but the bullet-head has 
the advantage over him, both in obstinacy and concealed 
length of purse, and the controversy lasts but a moment ; the 
liammer falls, — he has got the girl, body and soul, unless God 
help her ! 

Her master is Mr. Legree, who owns a cotton plantation 
on the Red River. She is pushed along into the same lot with 
Tom and two other men, and goes off, weeping as she goes. 

The benevolent gentleman is sorry ; but, then, the thing 
happens every day ! One sees girls and mothers crying, at 
ther^e sales, always ! it can't be helped, &c. ; and he walks off. 
with his acquisition, in another direction. 

Two days after, the lawyer of the Christian firm of B. & Co., 
New York, sent on their money to them. On the reverse of 
that draft, so obtained, let them write tliese words of tlie great 
Paymaster, to whom they shall make up their account in ii 
future day : " Wlien he maketh inquisition foi' blood, he forgetteih 
not the cry of the humble ! " 





CHAPTER XXXI, 



THE MIDDLE PASSAGE. 



" Thou art of purer eyes than to behold evil, and canst not look upon iniquity 
wherefore lookest thou upon them that deal treacherously, and holdest thy tongue 
when the wicked ilcvoureth the man that is more rijrhteous than he ? "' Hab. i. 13. 



N the lower part of a small, mean boat, on the 
Red River, Tom sat, — chains on his wrists, 
chains on his feet, and a weight heavier than 
chains lay on his heart. All had faded from 
his sky, — moon and star; all had passed by 
thim, as the trees and banks were now passing, 
10 return no more. Kentucky home, with wife and children, 
and indulgent owners ; St. Clare home, with all its refinements 
and splendors ; the golden head of Eva, with its saint-like 
eyes ; the proud, gay, handsome, seemingly careless, yet ever- 
kind St. Clare; hours of ease and indulgent leisure, — all 
trone ! and in place thereof, vhat remains ? 




LIFE AMONG THE LOWLY. 421 

It is one of the bitterest apportionments of a lot of slavery, 
that the negro, sympathetic and assimilative, after acquiring, 
in a refined family, the tastes and feelings which form the 
atmosphere of such a place, is not the less liable to become 
the bond slave of the coarsest and most brutal, — just as a 
chair or table, which once decorated the superb saloon, comes, 
at last, battered and defaced, to the bar room of some filthy 
tavern, or some low haunt of vulgar debauchery. The great 
difference is, that the table and chair cannot feel, and the 
man can ; for even a legal enactment that he shall be " taken, 
reputed, adjudged in law, to be a chattel personal," cannot 
blot out his soul, with its own private little world of memories, 
hopes, loves, fears, and desires. 

Mr. Simon Legree, Tom's master, had purchased slaves at 
one place and another, in New Orleans, to the number of eight, 
and driven them, handcuffed, in couples of two and two, down 
to the good steamer Pirate, which lay at the levee, ready for a 
trip up the Red River. 

Having got them fairly on board, and the boat being off, he 
came round, with that air of efficiency which ever character- 
ized him, to take a review of them. Stopping opposite to Tom, 
who had been attired for sale in his best broadcloth suit, with 
well-starched linen and shining boots, he briefly expressed him- 
self as follows : — 

" Stand up." 

Tom stood up. 

" Take off that stock ! " and, as Tom, encumbered by his fet- 
ters, proceeded to do it, he assisted him, by pulling it, with no 
gentle hand, from his neck, and putting it in his pocket. 

Legree now turned to Tom's trunk, which, previous to this, 
he had been ransacking, and, taking from it a pair of old pan- 
taloons and a dilapidated coat, which Tom had been wont to 
put on about his stable work, he said, liberating Tom's hands 
from the handcuffs, and pointing to a recess in among the 
boxes, — 

" You go there, and put these on." 

Tom obeyed, and in a few moments returned. 

" Take off your boots," said Mr. Legree. 

Tom did so. 



422 UNCLE tom's cabin ; OR, 

" There," said the former, throwing him a pair of coarse, 
stout shoes, such as were common among the slaves, "put 
these on." 

In Tom's hurried exchange, he had not forgotten to transfer 
his cherished Bible to his pocket. It was well he did so ; for 
Mr. Legree, having refitted Tom's handcuffs, proceeded deliber- 
ately to investigate the contents of his pockets. He drew out 
a silk handkerchief, and put it into his own pocket. Several lit- 
tle trifles, which Tom had treasured chiefly because they had 
amused Eva, he looked upon with a contemptuous grunt, and 
tossed them over his shoulder into the river. 

Tom's Methodist hymn book, which, in his hurry, he had 
forgotten, he now held up and turned over. 

" Humph ! pious, to be sure. So, what's yer name, — you 
belong to the church, eh ? " 

" Yes, mas'r," said Tom, firmly. 

" Well, I'll soon have that out of you. I have none o' yer 
bawling, praying, singing niggers on my place ; so remember. 
Now, mind yourself," he said, with a stamp and a fierce glance 
of his gray eye, directed at Tom, " Vm your church now ! You 
understand, — you've got to be as /say." 

Something within the silent black man answered, JVb ! and, 
as if repeated by an invisible voice, came the words of an old 
prophetic scroll, as Eva had often read them to him, — " Fear 
not! for I have redeemed thee. I have called thee by my 
name. Thou art mine ! " 

But Simon Legree heard no voice. That voice is one he 
never shall hear. He only glared for a moment on the down- 
cast face of Tom, and walked off. He took Tom's trunk, 
which contained a very neat and abundant wardrobe, to the 
forecastle, where it was soon surrounded by various hands of 
the boat. With much laughing, at the expense of niggers who 
tried to be gentlemen, the articles very readily were sold to 
one and another, and the empty trunk finally put up at auction. 
It was a good joke, they all thought, especially to see how 
Tom looked after his things, as they were going this way and 
that ; and then the auction of the trunk, that was funnier than 
all, and occasionod a1)uudant witticisms. 

This little affair being over, Simon sauntered up again to his 
property. 



LIFE aMOng the lowly. 423 

" Now, Tom, I've relieved you of any extra baggage, you 
see. Take mighty good care of them clothes. It'll be long 
enough 'fore you get more. I go in for making niggers care- 
ful ; one suit has to do for one year, on my place." 

Simon next walked up to the place where Emmeline was 
sitting, chained to another woman. 

" Well, my dear," he said, chucking her under the chin, " keep 
up your spirits." 

The involuntary look of horror, fright, and aversion, with 
which the girl regarded him, did not escape his eye. He 
frowned fiercely. 

" None o' your shines, gal ! you's got to keep a pleasant face, 
when I speak to ye, — d'ye hear ? And you, you old yellow 
poco moonshine ! " he said, giving a shove to the mulatto 
woman to whom Emmeline was chained, " don't you carry 
that sort of face ! You's got to look chipper, I tell ye ! 

" I say, all on ye," he said, retreating a pace or two back, 
"look at me, — look at me, — look me right in the eye, — 
straight, now ! " said he, stamping his foot at every pause. 

As by a fascination, every eye was now directed to the glar- 
ing greenish-gray eye of Simon. 

" Now," said he, doubling his great, heavy fist into some- 
thing resembling a blacksmith's hammer, " d'ye see this fist ? 
Heft it ! " he said, bringing it down on Tom's hand. " Look 
at these yer bones ! Well, I tell ye this yer fist has got as 
hard as iron knocking down niggers. I never see the nigger, 
yet, I couldn't bring down with one crack," said he, bringing 
his fist down so near to the face of Tom that he winked and 
drew back. " I don't keep none o' yer cussed overseers ; I does 
my own overseeing ; and I tell you things is seen to. You's 
every one on ye got to toe the mark, I tell ye; quick, — 
straight, — the moment I speak. That's the way to keep in 
with me. Ye won't find no soft spot in me, nowhere. So now, 
mind yerselves ; for I don't show no mercy ! " 

The women involuntarily drew in their breath, and the whole 
gang sat with downcast, dejected faces. Meanwhile, Simon 
turned on his heel, and marched up to the bar of the boat for 
a dram. 

" That's the way I begin with my niggers," he said to a gen- 



424 UNCLE tom's cabin ; or, 

tlemanly man, wno had stood by him during his speech. "It's 
my system to begin strong, — just let 'em know "what to 
expect." 

" Indeed ! " said the stranger, looking upon him with the 
curiosity of a naturalist studying some out-of-the-way specimen. 
J' Yes, indeed. I'm none o' yer gentlemen planters, with lily 
fingers, to slop round and be cheated by some old cuss of an 
overseer ! Jest feel of my knuckles, now ; look at my fist. 
Tell ye, sir, the flesh on't has come jest like a stone, practising 
on niggers, — feel on it." 

The stranger applied his fingers to the implement in question, 
and simply said, — 

" 'Tis hard enough ; and, I suppose," he added, " practice 
has made your heart just like it." 

" Why, yes, I may say so," said Simon, with a hearty laugh. 
" I reckon there's as little soft in me as in any one going. Tell 
you, nobody comes it over me ! Niggers never gets round me, 
neither with squalling nor soft soap, — that's a fact." 

" You have a fine lot there." 

" Heal," said Simon. " There's that Tom, they telled me 
he was suthin' uncommon. I paid a little high for him, 'tendin' 
him for a driver and a managing chap ; only get the notions 
out that he's larnt by bein' treated as niggers never ought to 
be, he'll do prime ! The yellow woman I got took in in. I 
rayther think she's sickly, but I shall put her through for 
what she's worth ; she may last a year or two. I don't go 
for savin' niggers. Use up, and buy more, 's my way ; — makes 
you less trouble, and I'm quite sure it comes cheaper in the 
end ; " and Simon sipped his glass. 

" And how long do they generally last ? " said the stranger. 

" Well, don no ; 'cordin' as their constitution is. Stout fel- 
lers last six or seven years ; trashy ones gets worked up in 
two or three. I used to, when I fust begun, have considerable 
trouble fussin' with 'em, and tryin' to make 'em hold out, — 
doctorin' on 'em up when they's sick, and givin' on 'em clothes 
and blankets, and what not, tryin' to keep 'em all sort o' de- 
cent and comfortable. Law, 'twasn't no sort o' use ; I lost 
money on 'em, and 'twas heaps o' trouble. Now, you see, I 
jest put 'em straight through, sick or well. When one nig- 



LIFE AMONG THE LOWLY. 435 

ger"? dead, I buy anotlier ; and I feel it comes cheaper and 
easier, every way." 

The stranger turned away, and seated himself beside a 
gentleman, who had been listening to the conversation with 
repressed uneasiness. 

"You must not take that fellow to be any specimen of 
southern planters," said he. 

"I should hope not," said the young gentleman, with em- 
phasis. 

" He is a mean, low, brutal fellow ! " said the other. 

" And yet your laws allow him to hold any number of hu- 
man beings subject to his absolute will, without even a shadow 
of protection ; and, low as he is, you cannot say that there are 
not many such." 

"Well," said the other, "there are also many considerate 
and humane men among planters." 

" Granted," said the young man ; " but, in my opinion, it is 
you considerate, humane men, that are responsible for all the 
brutality and outrage wrought by these wretches ; because, 
if it were not for your sanction and influence, tiie whole 
system could not keep foothold for an hour. If there were 
no planters except such as that one," said he, pointing with 
his finger to Legree, who stood with his back to them, " the 
whole thing would go down like a millstone. It is your 
respectability and humanity tliat licenses and protects his 
brutality.'' 

"You certainly have a high opinion of my good nature," 
said the planter, smiling ; " but I advise you not to talk quite 
so loud, as there are people on board the boat who might not 
be quite so tolerant to opinion as I am. You had better wait 
till I get up to my plantation, and there you may abuse us all, 
quite at your leisure." 

The young gentleman colored and smiled, and the two were 
soon busy in a game of backgammon. Meanwhile, another 
conversation was going on in the lower part of the boat, be- 
tween Emmeline and the mulatto woman with whom she was 
confined. As was natural, they were exchanging with each 
other some particulars of their history. 

" Who did you belong to ? " said Emmeline. 
54 



426 



UNCLE TOM S CABIN ; OK, 



"Well, my mas'r was Mr. Ellis, — lived on Levee Street 
P'raps you've seen the house." 

" Was he good to you ? " said Emmeline. 

" Mostly, till he tuk sick. He's lain sick, off and on, more 
tlian six months, and been orful oneasy. Tears like he warn't 
willin' to have nobody rest, day nor night ; and got so curous, 
there couldn't nobody suit him. 'Pears like he jest grew 
Grosser, every day ; kep me up nights till I got farly beat out, 
and couldn't keep awake no longer ; and 'cause I got to sleep, 
one night, Lors, he talk so orful to me, and he tell me he'd 
sell me to just the hardest mas'r he could find ; and he'd 
promised me my freedom, too, when he died." 




'• Had you any friends ? " said Emmeline. 

■■ Yes, my husband, — he's a blacksmith. Mas'r gen'ly hired 
him out. They tuk me off so quick, I didn't even have time 
to see him ; and I's got four children. dear me! " said the 
woman, covering her face with her hands. 

It is a natural impulse, in every one, when they hear a tale 
of distress, to think of something to say by way of consola- 
tion. Emmeline wanted to say something, but she could not 
think of any thing to say. What was there to be said ? As 
by a common consent, they liotli avoided, with fear and dread, 
all mention of the horril)le man who was now their master. 

True, there is religious trust for even the darkest hour. 



LIFE AMONG THE LOWLY. 



427 



The mulatto -woman was a member of the Methodist church, 
and had an unenlightened but very sincere spirit of piety. 
Emmeline had been educated much more intelligently, — • 
taught to read and write, and diligently instructed in the 
Bible, by the care of a faithful and pious mistress ; yet would 
it not try the faith of the firmest Christians, to find them- 
selves abandoned, apparently, of God, in the grasp of ruth- 
less violence ? How much more must it shake the faith of 
Christ's poor little ones, weak in knowledge and tender in 
years ! 

The boat moved on, — freighted with its weight of sorrow, 
— up the red, muddy, turbid current, through the abrupt, 
tortuous windings of the Red River ; and sad eyes gazed 
wearily on the steep red clay banks, as they glided by in 
dreary sameness. At last the boat stopped at a small town, 
and Legree, with his party, disembarked. 




^#'V 



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'/-V-aJ .S« Mt 




■'■m^^ 



fev- 







CHAPTER XX XII 



DARK PLACES. 
" The dark places of the earth are full of the habitations of cruelty.'' 

RAILING wearily behind a rude wagon, and 
over a ruder road, Tom and his associates 
faced onward. 

In the wagon was seated Simon Legree ; 
and the two women, still fettered together, 
were stowed away with some baggage in the 
back pan ui it, and the Avliole company were seeking Legree's 
plantation, which lay a good distance off. 

It was a wild, forsaken road, now winding through dreary 
pine barrens, where the wind whispered mournfully, and now 
over log causeways, through long cypress swamps, the doleful 
trees rising out of the slimy, spongy ground, hung vrith long 




LIFE AMONG THE LOWLY. 429 

wreaths of funereal black moss, while ever and anon the loath- 
some form of the moccasin snake might be seen sliding among 
broken stumps and shattered branches that lay here and there, 
rotting in the water. 

It is disconsolate enough, this riding, to the stranger, who, 
with well-filled pocket and well-appointed horse, threads the 
lonely way on some errand of business ; but wilder, drearier, 
to the man inthralled, whom every weary step bears farther 
from all that man loves and prays for. 

So one should have thought, that witnessed the sunken and 
dejected expression on those dark faces ; the wistful, patient 
weariness with which those sad eyes rested on object after ob- 
ject that passed them in their sad journey. 

Simon rode on, however, apparently well pleased, occasion- 
ally pulling away at a flask of spirit, which he kept in his 
pocket. 

" I say, ymi ! " he said, as he turned back and caught a 
glance at the dispirited faces behind him ! " Strike up a sonsr, 
boys, — come ! " 

The men looked at each other, and the ^^ came" was repeated, 
with a smart crack of the whip which the driver carried in his 
hands. Tom began a Methodist hymn. 

" Jerusalem, my happy home, 
Name ever dear to me ! 
When shall my sorrows have an end ? 
Thy joys when shall " 

" Shut up, you black cuss ! " roared Legree ; " did ye think I 
wanted any o' yer infernal old Methodism ? I say, tune up, 
now, something real rowdy, — quick ! " 

One of the other men struck up one of those unmeaning 
songs, common among the slaves. 

" Mas'r see'd me cotch a coon ; 

High boys, high ! 
He laughed to split, — d'ye see the moon, 

Ho ! ho ! ho ! boys, ho ! 
Ho! yo! hi — e! oh!" 

The singer appeared to make up the song to his own pleas- 



') 



430 UNCLE tom's cabin; oe, 

ure, generally hitting on rhyme, without much attempt at 
reason ; and all the party took up the chorus, at intervals. 

" Ho ! ho ! ho ! boys, ho ! 
High — e — oh ! high — e — oh ! " 

It was sung very boisterously, and with a forced attempt at 
merriment ; but no wail of despair, no words of impassioned 
prayer, could have had such a depth of woe in them as the wild 
notes of the chorus. As if the poor, dumb heart, threatened, — 
prisoned, — took refuge in that inarticulate sanctuary of music, 
and found there a language in which to breathe its prayer to 
God ! There was a prayer in it which Simon could not hear. 
He only heard the boys singing noisily, and was well pleased ; 
he was making them " keep up their spirits." 

" Well, my little dear," said he, turning to Emmeline, and 
laying his hand on her shoulder, " we're almost home ! " 

When Legree scolded and stormed, Emmeline was terrified ; 
but when he laid his hand on her, and spoke as he now did, 
she felt as if she had rather he would strike her. The expres- 
sion of his eyes made her soul sick, and her flesh creep. In- 
voluntarily she clung closer to the mulatto woman by her side, 
as if she were her mother. 

" You didn't ever wear ear rings," he said, taking hold of 
her small ear with his coarse fingers. 

" No, mas'r ! " said Emmeline, trembling and looking down. 

" Well, I'll give you a pair, when we get home, if you're a 
good girl. You needn't be so frightened : I don't mean to 
make you work very hard. You'll have fine times with me, 
and live like a lady — only be a good girl." 

Legree had been drinking to that degree that he was in- 
clining to be very gracious ; and it was about this time that 
the enclosures of the plantation rose to view. The estate l^ad 
formerly belonged to a gentleman of opulence and taste, who 
had bestowed some considerable attention to the adornment of 
his grounds. Having died insolvent, it had been purchased, at 
a bargain, by Legree, who used it, as he did every thing else, 
merely as an implement for money making. The place had 
that ragged, forlorn appearance which is always produced by 



LIFE AMONG THE LOWLY. 431 

the evidence that the care of the former owner has been left 
to go to utter decay. 

What was once a smooth-shaven lawn before the house, dot- 
ted here and there with ornamental shrubs, was now covered 
with frowzy tangled grass, with horse posts set up, here and 
there, in it, where the turf was stamped away, and the ground 
littered with broken pails, cobs of corn, and other slovenly 
remains. Here and there, a mildewed jessamine or honey- 
suckle hung raggedly from some ornamental support, which 
had been pushed to one side by being used as a horse post. 
What once was a large garden was now all grown over with 
weeds, through which, here and there, some solitary exotic 
reared its forsaken head. What had been a conservatory had 
now no window sashes, and on the mouldering shelves stood 
some dry, forsaken flower pots, with sticks in them, whose 
dried leaves showed they had once been plants. 

The wagon rolled up a weedy gravel walk, under a noble 
avenue of China trees, whose graceful forms and ever-spring- 
ing foliage seemed to be the only things there that neglect 
could not daunt or alter, — like noble spirits, so deeply rooted 
in goodness, as to flourish and grow stronger amid discourage- 
ment and decay. 

The house had been large and handsome. It was built in 
a manner common at the south ; a wide veranda of two 
stories running round every part of the house, into which 
every outer door opened, the lower tier being supported by 
brick pillars. 

But the place looked desolate and uncomfortable ; some 
windows stopped up with boards, some with shattered panes, 
and shutters hanging by a single hinge, — all telling of coarse 
neglect and discomfort. 

Bits of board, straw, old decayed barrels and boxes, gar- 
nished the ground in all directions ; and three or four fero- 
cious-looking dogs, roused by the sound of the wagon wheels, 
came tearing out, and were with difl&culty restrained from lay- 
ing hold of Tom and his companions by the effort of the 
ragged servants who came after them. 

" Ye see what ye'd get ! " said Legree, caressing the dogs 
with grim satisfaction, and turning to Tom and his companions. 



432 UNCLE tom's cabin ; or, 

" ye see what ye'd get, if ye try to run off. These yer dogs 
has been raised to track niggers ; and they'd jest as soon chaw 
one on ye up as eat their supper. So, mind yerself ! How 
now. Sambo ! " he said to a ragged fellow, without any brim 
to his hat, who was officious in his attentions. " How have 
things been going ? " 

" Fust rate, mas'r." 

" Quimbo," said Legree to another, who was making zealous 
demonstrations to attract his attention, " ye minded what I 
telled ye?" 

"Guess I did, didn't I?" 

These two colored men were the two principal hands on the 
plantation. Legree had trained them in savageness and bru- 
tality as systematically as he had his bull dogs ; and, by long 
practice in hardness and cruelty, brought their whole nature 
to about the same range of capacities. It is a common remark, 
and one that is thought to militate strongly against the char- 
acter of the race, that the negro overseer is always more tyran- 
nical and cruel than the white one. This is simply saying that 
the negro mind has been more crushed and debased than the 
white. It is no more true of this race than of every oppressed 
race, the world over. The slave is always a tyrant, if he can 
get a chance to be one. 

Legree, like some potentates we read of in history, governed 
his plantation by a sort of resolution of forces. Sambo and 
Quimbo cordially hated each other ; the plantation hands, one 
and all, cordially hated them ; and, by playing off one against 
another, he was pretty sure, through one or the other of the 
three parties, to get informed of whatever was on foot in the 
place. 

Nobody can live entirely without social intercourse ; and 
Legree encouraged his two black satellites to a kind of coarse 
familiarity with him, — a familiarity, however, at any moment 
liable to get one or the other of them into trouble ; for, on the 
slightest provocation, one of them always stood ready, at a 
nod, to be a minister of his vengeance on the other. 

As they stood there now by Legree, they seemed an apt 
illustration of the fact that brutal men are lower even than 
animals. Their coarse, dark, heavy features ; their great eyes. 



LIFE AMONG THE LOWLY. 433 

rolling: enviously on each other ; their barbarous, guttural, 
balf-brute intonation ; their dilapidated garments fluttering in 
the wind, — were all in admirable keeping with the vile and 
unwholesome character of every thing about the place. 

'■ Here, you Sambo," said Legree, " take these yer boys down 
to the quarters ; and here's a gal I've got for yow," said he, 
as he separated the mulatto woman from Emmeline, and 
pushed her towards him ; — I promised to bring you one, you 
know." 

The woman gave a sudden start, and, drawing back, said, 
suddenly, — 

" mas'r ! I left my old man in New Orleans." 

" What of that, you ; won't you want one here ? None 

o' your words, — go long! " said Legree, raising his whip. 

" Come, mistress," he said to Emmeline, " you go in here 
with me." 

A dark, wild face was seen, for a moment, to glance at the 
window of the house ; and, as Legree opened the door, a fe- 
male voice said something, in a quick, imperative tone. Tom, 
who was looking, with anxious interest, after Emmeline, as she 
went in, noticed this, and heard Legree answer, angrily, " You 
may hold your tongue ! I'll do as I please, for all you ! " 

Tom heard no more ; for he was soon following Sambo to 
the quarters. The quarters were a little sort of street of rude 
shanties, in a row, in a part of the plantation far off from the 
house. They had a forlorn, brutal, forsaken air. Tom's heart 
sunk when he saw them. He had been comforting himself 
with the thought of a cottage, rude, indeed, but one which he 
might make neat and quiet, and where he might have a shelf 
for his Bible, and a place to be alone out of his laboring hours. 
He looked into several ; they were mere rude shells, destitute 
of any species of furniture, except a heap of straw, foul with 
dirt, spread confusedly over the floor, which was merely the 
bare ground, trodden hard by the tramping of innumera- 
ble feet. 

" Which of these will be mine ? " said he to Sambo, sub- 
missively. 

" Dun no ; ken turn in here, I spose," said Sambo ; " spects 
thar's room for another thar ; thar's a pretty smart heap o' 
55 



434 UNCLE TOM's cabin ; OK, 

niggers to each on 'em, now ; sure, I dun no what I's to 
do with more." 

It was late in the evening when the weary occupants of the 
shanties came flocking home, — men and women, in soiled and 
tattered garments, surly and uncomfortable, and in no mood to 
look pleasantly on new comers. The small village was alive 
with no inviting sounds ; hoarse, guttural voices contending at 
the hand mills where their morsel of hard corn was yet to be 
ground into meal, to fit it for the cake that was to constitute 
their only supper. From the earliest dawn of the day, they 
had been in the fields, pressed to work under the driving lash 
of the overseers ; for it was now in the very heat and hurry 
of the season, and no means were left untried to press every one 
up to the top of their capabilities. " True," says the negligent 
lounger ; " picking cotton isn't hard work." Isn't it ? And 
it isn't much inconvenience, either, to have one drop of water 
fall on your head ; yet the worst torture of the inquisition is 
produced by drop after drop, drop after drop, falling moment 
after moment, with monotonous succession, on the same spot ; 
and work, in itself not hard, becomes so by being pressed, 
hour after hour, with unvarying, unrelenting sameness, with not 
even the consciousness of free will to take from its tediousness. 
Tom looked in vain among the gang, as they poured along, for 
companionable faces. He saw only sullen, scowling, imbruted 
men, and feeble, discoui'aged women, or women that were not 
women, — the strong pushing away the weak, — the gross, un- 
restricted animal selfishness of human beings, of whom nothing 
good was expected and desired ; and who, treated in every 
way like brutes, had sunk as nearly to their level as it was pos- 
sible for human beings to do. To a late hour in the night the 
sound of the grinding was protracted ; for the mills were few 
in number compared with the grinders, and the weary and fee- 
ble ones were driven back by the strong, and came on last in 
their turn. 

" Ho yo ! " said Sambo, coming to the mulatto woman, and 
throwing down a bag of corn before her ; " what a cuss yo 
name ? " 

" Lucy," said the woman. 



LIFE AMONG THE LOWLY. 435 

" Wal, Lucy, yo my woman now. Yo grind dis yer corn, 
and get my supper baked, ye har ? " 

" I an't your woman, and I won't be ! " said the woman, with 
the sharp, sudden courage of despair ; " you go long ! " 

"I'll kick yo, then!" said Sambo, raising his foot threaten- 
ingly. 

"Ye may kill mo, if ye choose, — the sooner the better! 
Wish't I was dead ! " said she. 

" I say, Sambo, you go to spilin' the hands, I'll tell mas'r o' 
you," said Quimbo, who was busy at the mill, from which he 
had viciously driven two or three tired women, who were wait- 
ing to grind their corn. 

" And I'll tell him ye won't let the women come to the 
mills, yo old nigger!" said Sambo. "Yo jes keep to yo own 
row." 

Tom was hungry with his day's journey, and almost faint for 
want of food. 

" Thar, yo ! " said Quimbo, throwing down a coarse bag, which 
contained a peck of corn ; " thar, nigger, grab, take car on't, 
— yo won't get no more dis yer week." 

Tom waited till a late hour, to get a place at the mills ; and 
tlien, moved by the utter weariness of two women, whom he 
saw trying to grind their corn there, he ground for them, put 
together the decaying brands of the fire, where many had 
baked cakes before them, and then went about getting his own 
supper. It was a new kind of work there, — a deed of charity, 
small as it was ; but it woke an answering touch in their 
hearts, — an expression of womanly kindness came over their 
hard faces ; they mixed his cake for him, and tended its bak- 
ing ; and Tom sat down by the light of the fire, and drew out 
his Bible, — for he had need of comfort. 

" What's that ? " said one of the women. 

" A Bible," said Tom. 

" Good Lord ! han't seen un since I was in Kentuck." 

" Was you raised in Kentuck ? " said Tom, with interest. 

" Yes, and well raised, too ; never 'spected to come to dis 
yer ! " said the woman, sighing. 

" What's dat ar book, any way ? " said the other woman. 

" Why, the Bible." 



436 UNCLE tom's cabin ; OE, 

" Laws a me ! what's dat ? " said the woman. 

" Do tell ! you never hearn on't ? " said the other woman. 
" I used to har missis a readin' on't, sometimes, in Kentuck ; 
but, laws o' me ! we don't har nothin' here but crackin' and 
swarin'." 

" Read a piece, any ways ! " said the first woman, curiously, 
seeing Tom attentively poring over it. 

Tom read, " Come unto Me, all ye that labor and are heavy 
laden, and I will give you rest." 

" Them's good words enough," said the woman ; " who 
says 'em ? " 

" The Lord," said Tom. 




" I jest wish I know'd whar to find him," said the woman. 
" I would go ; 'pears like I never should get rested agin. My 
flesh is fairly sore, and I tremble all over, every day, and 
Sambo's allers a jawin' at me, 'cause I doesn't pick faster ; and 
nights it's most midnight 'fore I can get my supper ; and 
den 'pears like I don't turn over and shut my eyes, 'fore I hear 
de horn blow to get up, and at it agin in de mornin'. If I 
knew whar de Lor was, I'd tell him." 

" He's here, he's every where," said Tom. 

" Lor, you an't gwine to make me believe dat ar ! I know 
de Lor an't here," said the woman ; " 'tan't no use talkin' 
though. I's jest gwine to camp down and sleep while I ken." 



LIFE AMOXr; THE LOWLY. 437 

The women went off to their cabins, and Tom sat alone, by 
the smouldering fire, that flickered up redly in his face. 

The silver, fair-browed moon rose in the purple sky, and 
looked down, calm and silent, as God looks on the scene of 
misery and oppression, — looked calmly on the lone black man, 
as he sat, with his arms folded, and his Bible on his knee. 

" Is God HERE ? " Ah, how is it possible for the untaught 
heart to keep its faith, unswerving, in the face of dire misrule, 
and palpable, unrebuked injustice ? In that simple heart 
waged a fierce conflict ; the crushing sense of wrong, the 
foreshadowing of a whole life of future misery, the wreck of 
all past hopes, mournfully tossing in the soul's sight, like dead 
corpses of wife, and child, and friend, rising from the dark 
wave, and surging in the face of the half-drowned mariner! 
Ah, was it easy here to believe and hold fast the great pass- 
word of Christian faith, that " God is, and is the rewarder of 
them that diligently seek him " ? 

Tom rose, disconsolate, and stumbled into the cabin that 
had been allotted to him. The floor was already strewn with 
weary sleepers, and the foul air of the place almost repelled 
him ; but the heavy night dews were chill, and his limbs 
weary, and, wrapping about him a tattered blanket, which 
formed his only bed clothing, he stretched himself on the 
straw, and fell asleep. 

In dreams a gentle voice came over his ear ; he was sitting 
on the mossy seat in the garden by Lake Pontchartrain, and 
Eva, with her serious eyes bent downward, was reading to him 
from the Bible ; and he heard her read, — 

" When thou passest through the waters, I will be with thee, 
and the rivers they shall not overflow thee ; when thou walk- 
est through the fire, thou shalt not be burned, neither shall 
the flame kindle upon thee ; for I am the Lord thy God, the 
Holy One of Israel, thy Savior." 

Gradually the words seemed to melt and fade, as in a divine 
music ; the child raised her deep eyes, and fixed them lovingly 
on him, and rays of warmth and comfort seemed to go from 
them to his heart ; and, as if wafted on the music, she seemed 
to rise on shining wings, from which flakes and spangles of 
gold fell off like stars, and she was gone. 



.38 



UNCLE TOM S CABIN ; OR, 



Tom woke. Was it a dream ? Let it pass for one. But 
who shall say that that sweet young spirit, which in life so 
yearned to comfort and console the distressed, was forbidden 
of God to assume this ministry after death ? 

It is a beautiful belief, 

That ever round our head 
Are hovering, on angel wings, 

The spirits of the dead. 



>»a»s^ __ <^^>.^ 





CHAPTER XXXIII. 



GASSY. 



" And behold the tears of such as were oppressed, and they had no comforter ; 
and on the side of their oppressors there was power, but they had no comforter." 
EccL. iv. 1. 

T took but a short time to familiarize Tom 
with all that was to be hoped or feared in his 
new way of life. He was an expert and effi- 
cient workman in whatever he undertook ; and 
was, both from habit and principle, prompt 
and faithful. Quiet and peaceable in his dis- 
position, he hoped, by unremitting diligence, to avert from 
himself at least a portion of the evils of his condition. He 
saw enough of abuse and misery to make him sick and weary ; 
but he determined to toil on, with religious patience, commit- 
ting himself to Him that judgeth righteously, not without hope 
that some way of escape might yet be opened to him. 




440 UNCLE tom's cabin ; OR, 

Legree took silent note of Tom's availability. He rated 
him as a first-class hand ; and yet he felt a secret dislike to 
him, — the native antipathy of bad to good. He saw, plainly, 
that when, as was often the case, his violence and brutality 
fell on the helpless, Tom took notice of it ; for, so subtile is 
the atmosphere of opinion, that it will make itself felt, without 
words ; and the opinion even of a slave may annoy a master. 
Tom in various ways manifested a tenderness of feeling, a 
commiseration for his fellow-sufterers, strange and new to them, 
Avhich was watched with a jealous eye by Legree. He had 
purchased Tom with a view of eventually making him a sort 
of overseer, with whom he might, at times, intrust his affairs, 
in short absences ; and, in his view, the first, second, and third 
requisite for that place was hardness. Legree made up his 
mind, that, as Tom was not hard to his hand, he would harden 
him forthwith ; and some few weeks after Tom had been on 
the place, he determined to commence the process. 

One morning, when the hands were mustered for the field, 
Tom noticed, with surprise, a new comer among them, whose 
appearance excited his attention. It was a woman, tall 
and slenderly formed, with remarkably delicate hands and 
feet, and dressed in neat and respectable garments. By the 
appearance of her face, she might have been between thirty- 
five and forty ; and it was a face, that, once seen, could never 
be forgotten, — one of those that, at a glance, seem to convey 
to us an idea of a wild, painful, and romantic history. Her 
forehead was high, and her eyebrows marked with beautiful 
clearness. Her straight, well-formed nose, her finely-cut mouth, 
and the graceful contour of her head and neck, showed that 
she must once have been beautiful ; but her face was deeply 
wrinkled with lines of pain, and of proud and bitter endurance. 
Her complexion was sallow and unhealthy, her cheeks thin, 
her features sharp, and her whole form emaciated. But her 
eye was the most remarkable feature, — so large, so heavily 
black, overshadowed by long lashes of equal darkness, and so 
wildly, mournfully despairing. There was a fierce pride and 
defiance in every line of her face, in every curve of the flexi- 
ble lip, in every motion of" her body ; but in her eye was a 
deep, settled night of anguish, — an expression so hopeless and 



LIFE AMONG THE LOWLY. 441 

unchanging" as to contrast fearfully with the scorn and prido 
expressed by her whole demeanor. 

Where she came from, or who she was, Tom did not know. 
The first he did know, she was walking by his side, erect and 
proud, in the dim gray of the dawn. To the gang, however, 
she was known ; for there was much looking and turning of 
heads, and a smothered yet apparent exultation among the 
miserable, ragged, half-starved creatures by whom she was 
surrounded. 

" Got to come to it at last, — grad of it ! " said one. 

" He ! he ! he ! " said another ; "you'll know how good it is, 
misse ! " 

"We'll see her work!" 

" Wonder if shell get a cutting up, at night, like the rest 
of us ! " 

" I'd be glad to see her down for a flogging, I'll bound ! " 
said another. 

The woman took no notice of these taunts, but walked on, 
with the same expression of angry scorn as if she heard 
nothing. Tom had always lived among refined and cultivat- 
ed people, and he felt intuitively, from her air and bearing, 
that she belonged to that class ; but how or why she could 
be fallen to those degrading circumstances he could not tell. 
The woman neither looked at him nor spoke to him, though, 
all the way to the field, she kept close at his side. 

Tom was soon busy at his work ; but, as the woman was at 
no great distance from him, he often glanced an eye to her, at 
her work. He saw, at a glance, that a native adroitness and 
handiness made the task to her an easier one than it proved 
to many. She picked very fast and very clean, and with an 
air of scorn, as if she despised both the work and the disgrace 
and humiliation of the circumstances in which she was placed. 

In the course of the day, Tom was working near the mu- 
latto woman who had been bought in the same lot with him- 
self. She was evidently in a condition of great suffering, and 
Tom often heard her praying, as she wavered and trembled, 
and seemed about to fall down. Tom silently, as he came 
near to her, transferred several handfuls of cotton from his 
own sack to hers. 

56 



442 UNCLE TOMS CABIN ; OR. 

" 0, don't, don't ! " said the woman, looking surprised ; " it'll 
get you into trouble." 

Just tlien Sambo came up. He seemed to have a special 
spite against this woman ; and, flourishing his whip, said, in 
brutal, guttural tones, "What dis yer, Luce, — foolin' a'?" 
and, with the word, kicking the woman with his heavy cow- 
hide shoe, he struck Tom across the face with his whip. 

Tom silently resumed his task ; but the woman, before at 
the last point of exhaustion, fainted. 

" I'll bring her to ! " said the driver, with a brutal grin. 
" I'll give her something better than camphire ! " and, taking a 
pin from his coat sleeve, he buried it to the head in her flesh. 
The woman groaned, and half rose. " Get up, yer beast, and 
work, will yer ? or I'll show yer a trick more ! " 

The woman seemed stimulated, for a few moments, to an 
unnatural strength, and worked with desperate eagerness. 

" See that you keep to dat ar," said the man, " or yer'll wish 
yer's dead to-night, I reckin ! " 

" That I do now ! " Tom heard her say ; and again he heard 
her say, " O Lord, how long ! 0, Lord, why don't you help 
us?" 

At the risk of all that he might suffer, Tom came forward 
again, and put all the cotton in his sack into the woman's. 

" 0, you musn't ! you don no what they'll do to ye ! " said 
the woman. 

" I can bar it ! " said Tom, " better'n you ; " and he was at his 
place again. It passed in a moment. 

" Suddenly, the stranger woman whom we have described, 
and who had, in the course of her work, come near enough to 
hear Tom's last words, raised her heavy black eyes, and fixed 
them, for a second, on him ; then, taking a quantity of cotton 
from her basket, she placed it in his. 

" You know nothing about this place," she said, " or you 
wouldn't have done that. When you've been here a month, 
you'll be done helping any body ; you'll find it hard enough to 
take care of your own skin ! " 

" The Lord forbid, missis ! " said Tom, using instinctively to 
his field companion the respectful form proper to the high-bred 
with whom he had lived. 



LIFE AMONG THE LOWLY. 443 

"The Lord never visits these parts," said the woman, bit- 
terly, as she went nimbly forward with her work ; and again 
the scornful smile curled her lips. 

But the action of the woman had been seen by the driver, 
across the field ; and flourishing his whip, he came up to her. 

" What ! what ! " he said to the woman, with an air of 
triumph, " YOU a foolin' ? Go along ! yer under me now, — 
mind yerself, or yer'll cotch it ! " 

A glance like sheet lightning suddenly flashed from those 
black eyes ; and, facing about, with quivering lip and dilated 
nostrils, she drew herself up, and fixed a glance, blazing with 
rage and scorn, on the driver. 

" Dog ! " she said, '' touch me, if you dare ! I've power 
enough, yet, to have you torn by the dogs, burnt alive, cut 
to inches ! I've only to say the word ! " 

" What de devil you here for, den ? " said the man, evidently 
cowed, and sullenly retreating a step or two. " Didn't mean 
no harm, Misse Cassy ! " 

" Keep your distance, then ! " said the woman. And, in 
truth, the man seemed greatly inclined to attend to some- 
thing at the other end of the field, and started off in quick 
time. 

The woman suddenly turned to her work, and labored with 
a despatch that was perfectly astonishing to Tom. She seemed 
to work by magic. Before the day was through, her basket 
was filled, crowded down, and piled, and she had several times 
put largely into Tom's. Long after dusk, the whole weary 
train, with their baskets on their heads, defiled up to the build- 
ing appropriated to the storing and weighing the cotton. 
Legree was there, busily conversing with the two drivers. 

" Dat ar Tom's gwine to make a powerful deal o' trouble ; 
kept a puttin' into Lucy's basket. One o' these yer dat will 
get all der niggers to feelin' 'bused, if mas'r don't watch him ! " 
said Sambo. 

" Heyday ! The black cuss ! " said Legree. *' He'll have to 
get a breakin' in, won't he, boys ? " 

Both negroes grinned a horrid grin at this intimation. 

" Ay, ay ! let Mas'r Legree alone for breakin' in ! De debil 
heself couldn't beat mas'r at dat ! " said Quimbo. 



444 UNCLE tom's cabin; or, 

" Wal, boys, the best way is to give him the flogging to do 
till he gets over his notions. Break him in ! " 

" Lord, mas'r'll have hard work to get dat out o' him ! " 

" It'll have to come out of him, though ! " said Legree, as he 
rolled his tobacco in his mouth. 

" Now, dar's Lucy, — de aggravatinest, ugliest wench on de 
place ! " pursued Sambo. 

" Take care, Sam ; I shall begin to think what's the reason 
for your spite agin Lucy." 

"Well, mas'r knows she sot herself up agin mas'r, and 
wouldn't have me, when he tolled her to." 

"I'd a flogged her into't," said Legree, spitting, "only 
there's such a press o' work, it don't seem wuth a while to 
upset her jist now. She's slender ; but these yer slender gals 
will bear half killin' to get their own way ! " 

" Wal, Lucy was real aggravatin' and lazy, sulkin' round ; 
wouldn't do no thin', — and Tom he tuck up for her." 

" He did, eh ! Wal, then, Tom shall have the pleasure of 
flogging her. It'll be a good practice for him, and he won't 
put it on to the gal like you devils, neither." 

" Ho, ho ! haw I haw ! haw ! " laughed both the sooty 
wretches ; and the diabolical sounds seemed, in truth, a not 
unapt expression of the fiendish character which Legree gave 
them, 

" Wal, but, mas'r, Tom and Misse Cassy, and dey among 
'em, filled Lucy's basket. I ruther guess der weight's in it, 
mas'r ! " 

" I do the weighing ! " said Legree, emphatically. 

Both the drivers again laughed their diabolical laugh. 

" So ! " he added, " Misse Cassy did her day's work." 

" She picks like de debil and all his angels ! " 

'• She's got 'em all in her, I believe ! " said Legree ; and, 
growling a brutal oath, he proceeded to the weighing room. 

Slowly the weary, dispirited creatures wound their way into 
the room, and, with crouching reluctance, presented their 
baskets to be weighed. 

Legree noted on a slate, on the side of which was pasted a 
list of names, the amount. 



LIFE AMONG THE LOWLY. 445 

Tom's basket was weighed and approved ; and he looked, 
with an anxious glance, for the success of the woman he had 
befriended. 

Tottering with weakness, she came forward, and delivered 
her basket. It was of full weight, as Legree well perceived ; 
but, aifecting anger, he said, — 

" What, you lazy beast ! short again ! stand aside ! you'll 
catch it, pretty soon!" 

The woman gave a groan of utter despair, and sat down on 
a board. 

The person who had been called Misse Gassy now came for- 
ward, and, with a haughty, negligent air, delivered her basket. 
As she delivered it, Legree looked in her eyes with a sneering 
yet inquiring glance. 

She fixed her black eyes steadily on him, her lips moved 
slightly, and she said something in French. What it was no 
one knew ; but Legree's face became perfectly demoniacal in 
its expression, as she spoke ; he half raised his hand, as if to 
strike, — a gesture which she regarded with fierce disdain, as 
she turned and walked away. 

" And now," said Legree, " come here, you Tom. You see, 
I tell ye I didn't buy ye jest for the common work ; I mean to 
promote ye, and make a driver of ye ; and to-night ye may 
jest as well begin to get yer hand in. Now, ye jest take this 
yer gal and flog her ; ye've seen enough on't to know how." 

" I beg mas'r's pardon," said Tom ; " hopes mas'r won't set 
me at that. It's what I an't used to, — never did, — and can't 
do, no way possible." 

"Ye'll larn a pretty smart chance of things ye never did 
know, before I've done with ye ! " said Legree, taking up a 
cowhide, and striking Tom a heavy blow across the cheek, and 
following up the infliction by a shower of blows. 

" There ! " he said, as he stopped to rest ; " now, will ye tell 
■me ye can't do it ? " 

" Yes, mas'r," said Tom, putting up his hand to wipe the 
blood that trickled down his face. " I'm will in' to work, night 
and day, and work while there's life and breath in me ; but this 
yer thing I can't feci it riglit to do ; — and mas'r, I never shall 
do it, — iKver I '" 



44:6 UNCLE tom's cabin ; OR, 

Tom had a remarkably smooth, soft voice, and a,n habitually 
respectful manner, that had given Legree an idea that he 
would be cowardly, and easily subdued. When he spoke 
these last words, a thrill of amazement went through every 
one ; the poor woman clasped her hands, and said, " Lord ! " 
and every one involuntarily looked at each other and drew 
in their breath, as if to prepare for the storm that was about 
to burst. 

Legree looked stupefied and confounded ; but at last burst 
forth, — 

" What ! ye blasted black beast ! tell me ye don't think it 
right to do what I tell ye ! What have any of you cussed cat- 
tle to do with thinking what's right ? I'll put a stop to it ! 
Why, what do ye think ye are ? May be ye think ye'r a gen- 
tleman, Master Tom, to be a telling your master what's right, 
and what an't ! So you pretend it's wrong to flog the gal ! " 

" I think so, mas'r," said Tom ; " the poor critter's sick and 
feeble ; 'twould be downright cruel, and it's what I never will 
do, nor begin to. Mas'r, if you mean to kill me, kill me ; but, 
as to my raising my hand agin any one here, I never shall, — 
I'll die first!" 

Tom spoke in a mild voice, but with a decision that could 
not be mistaken. Legree shook with anger ; his greenish eyes 
glared fiercely, and his very whiskers seemed to curl with pas- 
sion ; but, like some ferocious beast, that plays with its victim 
before he devours it, he kept back his strong impulse to pro- 
ceed to immediate violence, and broke out into bitter raillery. 

" Well, here's a pious dog, at last, let down among us sin- 
ners ! — a saint, a gentleman, and no less, to talk to us sinners 
about our sins! Powerful holy crifter he must be! Here, 
you rascal, you make believe to be so pious, — didn't you never 
hear, out of yer Bible, ' Servants, obey yer masters ' ? An't I 
yer master ? Didn't I pay down twelve hundred dollars, cash, 
for all there is inside yer old cussed black shell? An't yer 
mine, now, body and soul? " he said, giving Tom a violent kick 
with his heavy boot ; " tell me ! " 

In the very depth of physical suffering, bowed by brutal 
oppression, this (luestion shot a gleam of joy and triumph 
through Tom's soul. He suddenly str* ched himself up. and, 



LIFE AMONG THE LOWLY. 



447 



looking earnestly to heaven, while the tears and blood that 
flowed down his face mingled, he exclaimed, — 

" No ! no ! no ! my soul an't yours, mas'r ! You haven't 
bought it, — ye can't buy it ! It's been bought and paid for by 
one that is able to keep it ; — no matter, no matter, you can't 
harm me ! " 

" I can't ! " said Legree, with a sneer ; " well see, — we'll see ! 
Here, Sambo, Quimbo, give this dog such a breakin' in as he 
won't get over this month ! " 

The two gigantic negroes that now laid hold of Tom, with 
fiendish exultation in their faces, might have formed no unapt 
personification of powers of darkness. The poor woman 
screamed with apprehension, and all rose, as by a general 
impulse, while they dragged him unresisting from the place. 





CHAPTER XXXIV. 



THE QUADROON S STORY. 



" And behold the tears of such as are oppressed ; and on the side of their op- 
pressors there was power. Wherefore I praised the dead that arc ah-eady dead 
more than the living that are yet alive. " Eccl. iv. 1 . 

T was late at night, and Tom lay groaning and 
bleeding alone, in an old forsaken room of the 
gin house, among pieces of broken machinery, 
piles of damaged cotton, and other rubbish 
which had there accumulated. 

The night was damp and close, and the thick 
air swarmed with myriads of mosquitoes, which increased the 
restless torture of his wounds ; whilst a burning thirst — a tor- 
ture beyond all others — filled up the uttermost measure of 
physical anguish. 

" 0, good Lord ! Do look down, — give me the victory ! — 




LIFE AMONG THE LOWLY. 449 

give me the victory over all ! " prayed poor Tom, in liis 
anguish. 

A footstep entered the room, behind him, and the light of a 
lantern flashed on his eyes. 

" Who's there ? 0, for the Lord's massy, please give me 
some water ! " 

The woman Cassy — for it was she — set down her lantern, 
and, pouring water- from a bottle, raised his head, and gave 
him drink. Another and another cup were drained, with 
feverish eagerness. 

" Drink all ye want," she said ; " I knew how it would be. 
It isn't the first time I've been out in the night, carrying water 
to such as you." 

" Thank you, missis," said Tom, when he had done drinking. 

" Don't call me missis ! I'm a miserable slave, like your- 
self, — a lower one than you can ever be ! " said she, bitterly ; 
" but now," said she, going to the door, and dragging in a 
small pallaise, over which she had spread linen cloths wet 
with cold water, "try, my poor fellow, to roll yourself on to 
this." 

Stiff with wounds and bruises, Tom was a long time in 
accomplishing this movement ; but, when done, he felt a sensi- 
ble relief from the cooling application to his wounds. 

The woman, whom long practice with the victims of brutal- 
ity had made familiar with many healing arts, went on to make 
many applications to Tom's wounds, by means of which he was 
soon somewhat relieved. 

" Now," said the woman, when she had raised his head on a 
roll of damaged cotton, which served for a pillow, " there's the 
best I can do for you." 

Tom thanked her ; and the woman, sitting down on the 
floor, drew up her knees, and embracing them with her arms, 
looked fixedly before her, with a bitter and painful expres- 
sion of countenance. Her bonnet fell back, and long, wavy 
streams of black hair fell around her singular and melan- 
choly face. 

" It's no use, my poor fellow ! " she broke out, at last ; 
" it's of no use, this you've been trying to do. You were a 
brave fellow, — you had the right on your side ; but it's all 
57 



450 UNCLE tom's cabin ; or, 

in vain, and out of the question for you to struggle. You 
are in the devil's hands ; — he is the strongest, and you must 
give up ! " 

Give up ! and had not human weakness and physical ago- 
ny whispered that before ? Tom started, for the bitter woman, 
witli her wild eyes and melancholy voice, seemed to him an 
embodiment of the temptation with which he had been wres- 
tling. 

" Lord ! Lord ! " he groaned, " how can I give up ? " 

" There's no use calling on the Lord, — he never hears," 
said the woman, steadily ; " there isn't any God, I believe ; or, 
if there is, he's taken sides against us. All goes against us, 
heaven and earth. Every thing is pushing us into hell. Why 
shouldn't we go ? " 

Tom closed his eyes, and shuddered at the dark, atheistic 
words. 

" You see," said the woman, " you don't know any thing 
about it ; — I do. I've been on this place five years, body 
and soul, under this man's foot, and I hate him as I do the 
devil ! Here you are, on a lone plantation, ten miles from 
any other, in the swamps ; not a white person here, who could 
testify, if you were burned alive, — if you were scalded, cut 
into inch pieces, set up for the dogs to tear, or hung up and 
whipped to death. There's no law here, of God or man, that 
can do you, or any one of us, the least good ; and this man ! 
there's no earthly thing that he's too good to do. I could 
make any one's hair rise, and their teetli chatter, if I should 
only tell what I've seen and been knowing to here, — and 
it's no use resisting ! Did I want to live with him ? Wasn't 
I a woman delicately bred ? — and he — God in heaven ! what 
was he, and is he ? And yet I've lived with him these five 
years, and cursed every moment of my life, — night and day ! 
And now, he's got a new one, — a young thing, only fifteen, 
and she brought up, she says, piously. Her good mistress 
taught her to read the Bible ; and she's brought her Bible 
here — to hell — with her ! " — and the woman laughed a wild 
and doleful laugh, that rung, with a strange, supernatural sound, 
through the old ruined shed. 

Tom folded his hands ; all was darkness and horror. 



LIFE AMONG THE LOWLY. 451 

" Jesus ! Lord Jesus ! have you quite forgot us poor crit- 
ters ? " burst forth at last ; — " help, Lord ; I perish ! " 

The woman sternly continued : — 

"And what are these miserable low dogs you work with, 
that you should suffer on their account ? Every one of them 
would turn against you, the first time they got a chance. 
They are all of 'em as low and cruel to each other as they 
can be ; there's no use in your suffering to keep from hurting 
them." 

" Poor critters ! " said Tom, — " what made 'em cruel ? — 
and, if I give out, I shall get used to't, and grow, little by 
little, just like 'em! No, no, missis ! I've lost every thing, — 
wife, and children, and home, and a kind mas'r, — and he 
would have set me free, if he'd only lived a week longer ; 
I've lost every thing in this world, and it's clean gone forever, 
— and now I canH lose heaven, too ; no, I can't get to be 
wicked, besides all ! " 

" But it can't be that the Lord will lay sin to our account," 
said the woman ; " he won't charge it to us, when we're forced 
to it ; he'll charge it to them that drove us to it." 

" Yes," said Tom ; " but that won't keep us from growing 
wicked. If I get to be as hard-hearted as that ar' Sambo, 
and as wicked, it won't make much odds to me how I come so ; 
it's the hein'' so, — that ar's what I'm a dreadin'." 

The woman fixed a wild and startled look on Tom, as if 
a new thought had struck her ; and then, heavily groaning, 
said, — 

" God a' mercy ! you speak the truth ! — — !" — 
and, with groans, she fell on the floor, like one crushed and 
writhing under the extremity of mental anguish. 

There was a silence a wliile, in which the breathing of both 
parties could be heard, when Tom faintly said, " 0, please, 
missis ! " 

The woman suddenly rose up, with her face composed to its 
usual stern, melancholy expression. 

" Please, missis, I saw 'em throw my coat in that ar' corner, 
and in my coat pocket is my Bible ; — if missis would please 
get it for me." 

Cassy went and got it. Tom opened, at once, to a heavily- 



452 UNCLE tom's cabin ; OR, 

marked passage, much worn, of the last scenes in the life of 
Him by whose stripes we are healed. 

"If missis would only be so good as read that ar', — it's 
better than water." 

Cassy took the book, with a dry, proud air, and looked over 
the passage. She then read aloud, in a soft voice, and with a 
beauty of intonation that was peculiar, that touching account 
of anguish and of glory. Often, as she read, her voice fal- 
tered, and sometimes failed her altogether, when she would 
stop, with an air of frigid composure, till she had mastered 
herself. When she came to the touching words, "Father, 
forgive them, for they know not what they do," she throw 
down the book, and, burying her face in the heavy masses of 
her hair, she sobbed aloud, with a convulsive violence. 

Tom was weeping also, and occasionally uttering a smoth- 
ered ejaculation. 

" If we only could keep up to that ar' ! " said Tom ; — "it 
seemed to come so natural to him, and we have to fight so 
hard for't ! Lord, help us ! blessed Lord Jesus, do 
help us ! 

" Missis," said Tom, after a while, " I can see that, some 
how, you're quite 'bove me in every thing ; but there's one 
thing missis might learn even from poor Tom. Ye said the 
Lord took sides against us, because he lets us be 'bused and 
knocked round ; but ye see what come on his own Son, — the 
blessed Lord of glory, — wan't he allays poor ? and have we, 
any on us, yet come so low as he come ? The Lord han't for- 
got us, — I'm sartin' o' that ar'. If we suffer with him, we 
shall also reign, Scripture says ; but, if we deny him, he also 
will deny us. Didn't they all suffer ? — the Lord and all his? 
It tells how they were stoned and sawn asunder, and wandered 
about in sheep skins and goat skins, and was destitute, af- 
flicted, tormented. Sufferin' an't no reason to make us think 
the Lord's turned agin us ; but jest the contrary, if only we 
hold on to him, and doesn't give up to sin." 

" But why does he put us where we can't help but sin ? " said 
the woman. 

" I think we can help it," said Tom. 

" You'll see," said Cassy ; " what'll you do ? To-morrow 



LIFE AMONG THE LOWLY. 453 

they'll be at you again. I know 'em ; I've seen all their 
doings ; I can't bear to think of all they'll bring you to ; — 
and they'll make you give out at last!" 

" Lord Jesus ! " said Tom, " you will take care of my soul ? 

Lord, do ! — don't let me give out ! " 

'• dear ! " said Cassy ; " I've heard all this crying and 
praying before ; and yet they've been broken down and 
brought under. There's Emmeline, she's trying to hold on, 
and you're trying, — but what use ? You must give up, or be 
killed b}^ inches." 

" Well, then, I will die ! " said Tom. " Spin it out as long as 
they can, they can't help my dying, some time ! — and, after 
that, they can't do no more. I'm clar, I'm set ! I know the 
Lord'll help me, and bring me through." 

The woman did not answer ; she sat with her black eyes 
intently fixed on the floor. 

" May be it's the way," she murmured to herself ; " but those 
that have given up, there's no hope for them ! — none ! We live 
in filth, and grow loathsome, till we loathe ourselves ! And we 
long to die, and we don't dare to kill ourselves ! No hope ! 
no hope ! no hope ! — this girl now, — just as old as I was ! 

" You see me now," she said, speaking to Tom very rapidly ; 
" see what I am ! Well, I was brought up in luxury ; the first 

1 remember is, playing about, when I was a child, in splendid 
parlors; — when I was kept dressed up like a doll, and com- 
pany and visitors used to praise me. There was a garden 
opening from the saloon windows ; and there I used to play 
hide-and-go-seek, under the orange trees, with my brothers and 
sisters. I went to a convent, and there I learned music, 
French, and embroidery, and what not ; and when I was four- 

een, I came out to my father's funeral. He died very sud- 
denly, and when the property came to be settled, they found 
that there was scarcely enough to cover the debts ; and when 
the creditors took an inventory of the property, I was set 
down in it. My mother was a slave woman, and my father had 
always meant to set me free ; but he had not done it, and so I 
was set down in the list. I'd always known who I was, but 
never thought much about it. Nobody ever expects that a 
strong, healthy man is a going to die. My father was a well 



454 UNCLE tom's cabin ; or, 

man only four hours before he died ; — it was one of the first 
cholera cases in New Orleans. The day after the funeral, my 
father's wife took her children, and went up to her father's" 
plantation. I thought they treated me strangely, but didn't 
know. There was a young lawyer whom they left to settle the 
business ; and he came every day, and was about the house, 
and spoke very politely to me. He brought with him, one 
day, a young man, whom I thought the handsomest I had ever 
seen. I shall never forget that evening. I walked with him 
in the garden. I was lonesome and full of sorrow, and he was 
so kind and gentle to me ; and he told me that he had seen 
me before I went to the convent, and that he had loved me a 
great while, and that he would be my friend and protector ; — 
in short, though he didn't tell me, he had paid two thousand 
dollars for me, and I was his property, — I became his will- 
ingly, for I loved him. Loved ! " said the woman, stopping. 
" 0, how I did love that man ! How I love him now, — and 
always shall, while I breathe ! He was so beautiful, so high, so 
noble ! He put me into a beautiful house, with servants, horses, 
and carriages, and furniture, and dresses. Every thing that 
money could buy he gave me ; but I didn't set any value .on 
all that, — I only cared for him. I loved him better than my 
God and ray own soul ; and, if I tried, I couldn't do any other 
way from what he wanted me to. 

" I wanted only one thing — I did want him to marry me. 
I thought, if he loved me as he said he did, and if I was what 
he seemed to think I was, he would be willing to marry me 
and set me free. But he convinced me that it would be impos- 
sible ; and he told me that, if we were only faithful to each 
other, it was marriage before God. If that is true, wasn't I 
that man's wife ? Wasn't I faithful ? For seven years, didn't 
I study every look and motion, and only live and breathe to 
please him ? He had the yellow fever, and for twenty days 
and nights I watched with him. I alone, — and gave him all 
his medicine, and did every thing for him ; and then he called 
me his good angel, and said I'd saved his life. We had two 
beautiful children. The first was a boy, and we called him 
Henry. He was the image of his father, — he had such beau- 
tiful eyes, such a forehead, and his hair hung all in curls around 



LIFE AMONG THE LOWLY. 455 

it ; and he liad all his father's spirit, aiul his talent, too. Little 
Elisc, he said, looked like me. He used to tell me that I was 
the most beautiful woman in Louisiana, he was so proud of me 
and the children. He used to love to have me dress them up, 
and take them and me about in an open carriage, and hear the 
remarks that people would make on us ; and he used to fill my 
ears constantly with the fine things that were said in praise of 
me and the children. 0, those were happy days ! I thought I 
was as happy as any one could be ; but then there came evil 
times. He had a cousin come to New Orleans, who was his 
particular friend ; he thought all the world of him ; but, 
from the first time I saw him — I couldn't tell why — I dreaded 
him ; for I felt sure he was going to bring misery on us. He 
got Henry to going out with him, and often he would not 
come home nights till two or three o'clock. I did not dare 
say a word ; for Henry was so high spirited I was afraid to. 
He got him to the gaming houses ; and he was one of the sort 
that, when he once got a going there, there was no holding 
back. And then he introduced him to another lady, and I 
saw soon that his heart was gone from me. He never told me, 
but I saw it, — I knew it, day after day, — I felt my heart 
breaking, but I could not say a word ! At this, the wretch 
offered to buy me and the children of Henry, to clear off his 
gambling debts, which stood in the way of his marrying as he 
wished ; — and he sold us. He told me, one day, that he had 
business in the country, and should be gone two or three 
weeks. He spoke kinder than usual, and said he should come 
back ; but it didn't deceive me. I knew that the time had 
come ; I was just like one turned into stone ; I couldn't speak, 
nor shed a tear. He kissed me, and kissed the children, a good 
many times, and went out. I saw him get on his horse, and I 
watched him till he was quite out of sight ; and then I fell 
down, and fainted. 

" Then lie came, the cursed wretch ! he came to take pos- 
session. He told me that he had bought me and my children ; 
and showed me the papers. I cursed him before God, and told 
him I'd die sooner than live with him. 

"'Just as you please,' said he; 'but if you don't behave 
reasonably, I'll sell both the children where you shall never 



456 UNCLE tom's cabin ; OR, 

see tliem again.' He told me that lie always had meant to 
have me, from the first time he saw me ; and that he had 
drawn Henry on, and got him in debt, on purpose to make 
him willing to sell me ; that he got him in love with 
another woman ; and that I might know, after all that, that 
he should not give up for a few airs and tears, and things 
of that sort. 

" I gave up, for my hands were tied. He had my children ; 
— whenever I resisted his will any where, he would talk about 
selling them, and he made me as submissive as he desired. 0, 
what a life it was ! to live with my heart breaking, every day, 
— to keep on, on, on, loving, when it was only misery ; and to 
be bound, body and soul, to one I hated. I used to love to 
read to Henry, to play to him, to waltz with him, and sing to 
him ; but every thing I did for this one was a perfect drag, — 
yet I was afraid to refuse any thing. He was very imperious, 
and harsh to the children. Elise was a timid little thing ; but 
Henry was bold and high spirited, like his father, and he had 
never been brought under, in the least, by any one. He was 
always finding fault and quarrelling with him ; and I used to 
live in daily fear and dread. I tried to make the child re- 
spectful ; — I tried to keep them apart, for I held on to those 
children like death ; but it did no good. He sold both those chil- 
dren. He took me to ride one day, and when I came home, they 
were nowhere to be found ! He told me he had sold them ; 
he showed me the money, the price of their blood. Then it 
seemed as if all good forsook me. I raved and cursed, — 
cursed God and man ; and for a while, I believe, he really was 
afraid of me. But he didn't give up so. He told me that my 
children were sold, but whether I ever saw their faces again 
depended on him ; and that, if I wasn't quiet, they should smart 
for it. Well, you can do any thing with a woman when you've 
got her children. He made me submit ; he made me be peacea- 
ble ; he flattered me with hopes that, perhaps, he would buy them 
back ; and so things went on a week or two. One day, I was 
out walking, and passed by the calaboose ; I saw a crowd 
about the gate, and heard a child's voice, — and suddenly my 
Henry broke away from two or three men who were holding 
him, and ran, screaming, and caught my dress. They came up 



LIFE AMONG THE LOWLY. 457 

to him, pwearing dreadfully ; and one man, whose face I shall 
never forget, told him that he wouldn't get away so ; that ho: 
was going with him into the calaboose, and he'd get a lesson 
thei-e he'd never forget. I tried to beg and ])lead, — they only 
laughed ; the poor boy screamed and looked into my face, and 
held on to me, until, in tearing him off, they tore the skirt of. 
my dress half away ; and they carried him in, screaming, 
'Mother! mother! mother!" There was one man stood thero 
seemed to pity me. 1 offered him all the money I had, if he'd 
only interfere. He shook his head, and said that the man said 
the boy had been impudent and disobedient ever since he 
bought him ; that he was going to break him in, once for all. 
I turned and ran ; and every step of the way, I thought that I 
heard him scream. I got into the house ; ran, all out of 
breath, to the parlor, where I found Butler. I told him, and 
begged him to go and interfere. He only laughed, and told 
me the boy had got his deserts. He'd got to be broken in. — 
the sooner the better.; ' what did I expect? ' he asked. 

" It seemed to me something in my head snapped, at that 
moment. I felt dizzy and furious. I remember seeing a great 
sharp bowie knife on the table ; I remember something about 
catching it, and flying upon him ; and then all grew dark, and 
I didn't know any more — not for days and days. 

" When I came to myself, I was in a nice room, — but not 
mine. An old black woman tended me ; and a doctor came 
to see me, and there was a great deal of care taken of me. 
After a while, I found that he had gone away, and left me 
at this house to be sold ; and that's why they took such jiains 
with me. 

" I didn't mean to get well, and hoped I shouldn't ; but, in 
spite of me, the fever went off, and I grew healthy, and finally 
got up. Then they made me dress up every day ; and gentle- 
men used to come in, and stand and smoke their cigars, and 
look at me, and ask questions, and debate my price. I was 
so gloomy and silent, that none of them wanted me. They 
threatened to whip me, if I wasn't gayer, and didn't take some 
pains to make myself agreeable. At length, one day, came a 
gentleman named Stuart. He seemed to have some feeling for 
me ; he saw that something dreadful was on my heart, and he 
58 



i58 UNCLE tom's cabin ; OH, 

came to sec me alone, a great many times, and finally per- 
suaded me to tell him. He bought me, at last, and promised to 
do all he could to find and buy back my children. He went to 
the hotel where my Henry was ; they told him he had been 
sold to a planter up on Pearl River ; that was the last that I 
ever heard. Then he found where my daughter Avas ; an old 
woman was keeping her. He oflercd an immense sum for her, 
but they would not sell her. Butler found out that it was for 
me he wanted her ; and he sent me word that I should never 
have her. Captain Stuart was very kind to me ; he had a 
splendid plantation, and took me to it. In the course of a year, 
I had a son born. 0, that child! — how I loved it! How 
just like my poor Henry the little tiling looked ! But I had 
made up my mind, — yes, I had. I would never again let a child 
live to grow up ! I took the little fellow in my arms, when he 
was two Aveeks old, and kissed him, and cried over him ; and 
then I gave him laudanum, and held him close to my bosom, 
while he slept to death. How I mourned, and cried over it ! 
and who ever dreamed that it was any thing but a mistake, 
that had made me give it the laudanum ? but it's one of the 
few things that I'm glad of now. I am not sorry to this day ; 
lie, at least, is out of pain. What better than death could I 
give him, poor child ? After a while, the cholera came, and 
Captain Stuart died ; every body died that wanted to live, — 
and I, — I, though I went down to death's door, — / lived ! 
Then I was sold, and passed from hand to hand, till I grew 
faded and wrinkled, and I had a fever ; and then this wretch 
bought me, and brought me here, — and here I am ! " 

The woman stopped. She had hurried on through her 
story, Avith a wild, passionate utterance ; sometimes seeming 
to address it to Tom, and sometimes speaking as in a solilo- 
quy. So vehement and overpoAvering Avas the force with 
which she spoke, that, for a season, Tom was beguiled even 
from the pain of his wounds, and, raising himself on one 
elbow, watched her as she paced restlessly up and doAvn, her 
long black hair swaying heavily about her, as she moved. 

" You tell me," she said, after a pause, " that there is a 
God. — a God that looks doAvn and sees all these things. 
-May be it's so. The sisters in the convent used to tell me 



LIFE AMONG THE LOWLY. 459 

of a day of judgment, when every thing is coming to light ; 
— won't there be vengeance then ! 

"They think it's nothing what we suffer, — nothing what 
our children suffer ! It's all a small matter ; yet I've walked 
the streets when it seemed as if I had misery enough in my 
one heart to sink the city. I've wished the houses would 
fall on me, or the stones sink under me. Yes ! and in the 
judgment day I will stand up before God, a witness against 
those that have ruined me and my children, body and soul ! 

" When I was a girl, I thought I was religious ; I used to 
love God and prayer. Now, I'm a lost soul, pursued by 
devils that torment me day and night ; they keep pushing me 
on and on, — and I'll do it, too, some of these days!" she 
said, clinching her hand, while an insane light glanced in her 
heavy black eyes. " I'll send him Avhere he belongs, — a short 
way, too, — one of these nights, if they burn me alive for it ! " 
A wild, long laugh rang through the deserted room, and ended 
in a hysteric sob ; she threw herself on the floor, in convulsive 
sobbings and struggles. 

In a few moments, the frenzy fit seemed to pass off ; she rose 
slowly, and seemed to collect herself. 

" Can I do any thing more for you, my poor fellow ? " she 
said, approaching where Tom lay ; " shall I give you some 
more water ? " 

There was a graceful and compassionate sweetness in her 
voice and manner, as she said this, that formed a strange con- 
trast with the former wildness. 

Tom drank the water, and looked earnestly and pitifully 
into her face. 

" missis, I wish you'd go to him that can give you living 
waters ! " 

" Go to him ! Where is he ? Who is he ? " said Cassy. 

" Him that you read of to me, — the Lord." 

" I used to see the picture of him, over the altar, when I 
was a girl," said Cassy, her dark eyes fixing themselves in an 
expression of mournful reverie; "but he isn't here! there's 
nothing here but sin, and long, long, long despair ! ! " She 
laid her hand on her breast, and drew in her breath, as if to 
lift a heavy weight. 



4G0 



UNCLE TOM S CABIN ; OR, 



. Tom looked as if he would speak again ; but slie cut him 
short, with a decided gesture. 

"Don't talk, my poor fellow. Try to sleep, if you can!" 
And, placing water in his reach, and making whatever little 
arrangements for his comfort she could, Gassy left the shed. 





CHAPTER XXXV. 



THE TOKENS. 



" And slight, withal, may be the things that bring 
Back on the heart the weight which it would fling 
Aside forever ; it may be a sound, 
A flower, the wind, the ocean, which shall wound, — 
• Striking the electric chain wherewith we're darkly bound." 

Childe Ilarold's Pilgrimage, Can. 4. 

^ HE sitting room of Legree's establishment was 
v4 a large, long room, with a wide, ample fire- 
place. It had once been himg with a showy 
and expensive paper, which now hung moul- 
^ dcring, torn, and discolored, from the damp 
walls. The place had that peculiar sickening, 
unwholesome smell, compounded of mingled damp, dirt, and 
decay, which one often notices in close old houses. The wall 




462 UNCLE tom's cabin ; OE, 

paper was defaced, in spots, by slops of beer and wine ; or 
garnished with chalk memorandums, and long sums footed up, 
as if somebody had l^een practising arithmetic there. In the 
fireplace stood a brazier full of burning charcoal ; for, though 
the weather was not cold, the evenings always seemed damp 
and chilly in that great room ; and Legree, moreover, wanted 
a place to light his cigars, and heat his water for punch. The 
ruddy glare of the charcoal displayed the confused and un- 
promising aspect of the room, — saddles, bridles, several sorts 
of harness, riding whips, overcoats, and various articles of 
clothing, scattered up and down the room in confused variety ; 
and the dogs, of whom we have before spoken, had encamped 
themselves among them, to suit their own taste and con- 
venience. 

Legree was just mixing himself a tumbler of punch, pouring 
his hot water from a cracked and broken-nosed pitcher, grum- 
bling, as he did so, — 

" Plague on that Sambo, to kick up this yer row between me 
and the new hands ! The fellow won't be fit to work for a 
week, now, — right in the press of the season ! " 

" Yes, just like you," said a voice behind his chair. It was 
the woman Cassy, who had stolen upon his soliloquy. 

" Hah ! you she devil ! you've come back, have you ? " 

" Yes, I have," she said, coolly ; " come to have my own 
way, too ! " 

" You lie, you jade! I'll be up to my word. Either behave 
yourself, or stay down to the quarters, and fare and work with 
the rest." 

" I'd rather, ten thousand times," said the woman, " live in 
the dirtiest hole at the quarters, than be under your hoof! " 

" But you are under my hoof, for all that," said he, turning 
upon her with a savage grin ; " that's one comfort. So, sit 
down here on my knee, my dear, and hear to reason," said he, 
laying hold on her wrist. 

" Simon Legree, take care ! " said the woman, with a sharp 
flash of her eye, a glance so wild and insane in its light as to 
be almost appalling. " You're afraid of me, Simon," she said, 
deliberately ; " and you've reason to bo ! But be careful, for 
I've got the devil in me ! " 



LIFE AMONG THE LOWLY. 463 

The last words she whispered in a hissing tone, close to 
his ear. 

" Get out ! I believe, to my soul, you have ! " said Legree, 
pushing her from him, and looking uncomfortably at her. " Af- 
ter all, Gassy," he said, "why can't you be friends with me, as 
you used to ? " 

" Used to ! " said she, bitterly. She stopped short, — a 
world of choking feelings, rising in her heart, kept her silent. 

Cassy had always kept over Lcgrce the kind of influence 
that a strong, impassioned woman can ever keep over the most 
brutal man ; but, of late, she had grown more and more irritable 
and restless, under the hideous yoke of her servitude, and her 
irritability, at times, broke out into raving insanity ; and this 
liability made her a sort of object of dread to Legree, who had 
that superstitious horror of insane persons which is common to 
coarse and uninstructed minds. When Legree brought Emme- 
line to the house, all the smouldering embers of womanly feel- 
ing flashed up in the worn heart of Cassy, and she took part 
with the girl ; and a fierce quarrel ensued between her and 
Legree. Legree, in a fury, swore she should be put to field 
service, if she would not be peaceable. Cassy, with proud 
scorn, declared she tcoidd go to the field. And she worked 
there one day, as we have described, to show how perfectly 
she scorned the threat. 

Legree was secretly uneasy all day ; for Cassy had an influ- 
ence over him from which he could not free himself. When 
she presented her basket at the scales, he had hoped for some 
concession, and addressed her in a sort of half conciliatory, 
half scornful tone ; and she had answered with the bitterest 
contempt. 

The outrageous treatment of poor Tom had roused her still 
more ; and she had followed Legree to the house, with no par- 
ticular intention, but to upbraid him for his brutality. 

"I wish, Cassy," said Legree, "you'd behave yourself de- 
cently." 

" You talk about behaving decently ! And what have you 
been doing? — you, who haven't even sense enough to keep 
from spoiling one of your best hands, right in the most press- 
ing season, just for your devilish temper ! " 



461 UNCLE Tom's cabin ; or, 

"I was a fool, it's a fact, to let any such branglc come up," 
Raid Lcgree ; " but, when the boy set up his will, he had to be 
broke iu." 

" I reckon you won't break Mm in ! " 

'' Won't I ? " said Legree, rising, passionately. " I'd like to 
know if I won't ! He'll be the first nigger that ever came it 
round me ! I'll break every bone in his body, but he shall 
give up ! " 

Just then the door opened, and Sambo entered. He came 
forward, bowing, and holding out something in a paper. 

" What's that, you dog ? " said Legree. 

" It's a witch thing, mas'r ! " 

"A what?" 

" Something that niggers gets from witches. Keeps 'em from 
feelin' Avhen they's flogged. He had it tied round his neck, 
with a black string." 

Legree, like most godless and cruel men, was superstitious. 
He took the paper, and opened it uneasily. 

There dropped out of it a silver dollar, and a long, shining 
curl of fair hair, — hair which, like a living thing, twined 
itself round Legree's fingers. 

" Damnation ! " he screamed, in sudden passion, stami)ing on 
the floor, and pulling furiously at the hair, as if it burned him. 
"Where did this come from? Take it ofi"! — burn it up! — 
burn it up!" he screamed, tearing it off, and throwing it into 
the charcoal. " What did you bring it to me for ? " 

Sambo stood with his heavy mouth Avidc open, and aghast 
with wonder ; and Cassy, who was preparing to leave the 
apartment, stopped, and looked at him in perfect amazement. 

" Don't you bring me any more of your devilish things ! " 
said he, shaking his fist at Sambo, Avho retreated hastily 
towards the door ; and, picking up the silver dollar, he sent 
it smashing through the window pane, out into the darkness. 

Sambo Avas glad to make his escape. When he was gone, 
Lcgree seemed a little ashamed of his fit of alarm. He sat 
doggedly down in his chair, and began sullenly sipping his 
tum.bler of punch. 

Cassy prepared herself for going out, unobserved by him ; 
and slipped away to minister to poor Tom, as we have al- 
ready related. 



LIFE AMONG THE LOWLY. 405 

And what was the matter with Legree? and what was 
there in a simple curl of fair hair to appall that brutal man, 
familiar with every form of cruelty ? To answer this, we 
must carry the reader backward in his history. Hard and 
reprobate as the godless man seemed now, there had been a 
time when he had been rocked on the bosom of a mother, 
— cradled with prayers and pious hymns, — his now seared 
brow bedewed with the waters of holy baptism. In early 
childhood, a fair-haired woman had led him, at the sound of 
Sabbath bell, to worship and to pray. Far in New England 
that mother had trained her only son, with long, miwearied 
love and patient prayers. Born of a hard-tempered sire, on 
whom that gentle woman had wasted a world of unvalued 
love, Legree had followed in the steps of his father. Bois- 
terous, unruly, and tyrannical, he despised all her counsel, 
and would none of her reproof ; and, at an early age, broke 
from her to seek his fortunes at sea. He never came home 
but once, after ; and then, his mother, with the yearning of 
a heart that must love something, and has nothing else to 
love, clung to him, and sought, with passionate prayers and 
entreaties, to win him from a life of sin, to his soul's eternal 
good. 

That was Legree's day of grace ; then good angels called 
him ; then he was almost persuaded, and mercy held him by 
the hand. His heart inly relented, — there was a conflict, — 
but sin got the victory, and he set all the force of his 
rough nature against the conviction of his conscience. He 
drank and swore, — was wilder and more brutal than ever. 
And, one night, when his mother, in the last agony of her 
despair, knelt at his feet, he spurned her from him, — threw 
her senseless on the floor, and, with brutal curses, fled to his 
ship. The nest Legree heard of his mother was, when, one 
night, as he was carousing among drunken companions, a let- 
ter was put into his hand. He opened it, and a lock of 
long, curling hair fell from it, and twined about his fingers. 
The letter told him his mother was dead, and that, dying, she 
blessed and forgave him. 

There is a dread, unhallowed necromancy of evil, that turns 
things sweetest and holiest to phantoms of horror and affright. 
59 



46(3 UNCLE tom's cabin ; OR, 

That pale, loving mother, — her dying prayers, her forgiving 
love, — wrought in that demoniac heart of sin only as a dam- 
ning sentence, bringing with it a fearful looking for of judg- 
ment and fiery indignation. Legree burned the hair, and 
burned the letter ; and when he saw them hissing and crac- 
kling in the flame, inly shuddered as he thought of everlasting 
fires. He tried to drink, and revel, and swear away the mem- 
ory ; but often, in the deep night, whose solemn stillness 
arraigns the bad soul in forced communion with herself, he 
had seen that pale mother rising by his bedside, and felt the 
soft twining of that hair around his fingers, till the cold 
sweat would roll down his face, and he would spring from 
his bed in horror. Ye who have wondered to hear, in the 
same evangel, that God is love, and that God is a consum- 
ing fire, see ye not how, to the soul resolved in evil, perfect 
love is the most fearful torture, the seal and sentence of the 
direst despair ? 

" Blast it ! " said Legree to himself, as he sipped his liquor ; 
" where did he get that ? If it didn't look just like — whoo ! 
I thought I'd forgot that. Curse me if I think there's any 
such thing as forgetting any thing, any how, — hang it! I'm 
lonesome ! I mean to call Em. She hates me — the monkey ! 
I don't care, — I'll make her come ! " 

Legree stepped out into a large entry, which went up stairs, 
by what had formerly been a superb winding staircase ; but 
the passage way was dirty and dreary, encumbered with 
boxes and unsightly litter. The stairs, uncarpeted, seemed 
winding up, in the gloom, to nobody knew where ! The pale 
moonlight streamed through a shattered fanlight over the 
door ; the air was unwholesome and chilly, like that of a 
vault. 

Legree stopped at the foot of the stairs, and heard a voice 
singing. It seemed strange and ghostlike in that dreary old 
house, perhaps because of the already tremulous state of his 
nerves. Hark! what is it? 

A wild, pathetic voice chants a hymn common among the 
slaves : — 

" 0, there'll be mourning, mourning, mourning, 
O, there'll be mourning, at the judgment seat of Christ ! " 



LIFE AMONG THE LOWLY. 467 

" Blast the girl ! " said Legree. " I'll choke her. Em ! 
Em ! " he called, harshly ; but only a mocking echo from 
the walls answered him. The sweet voice still sung on: — 

" Parents and children there shall part ! 
Parents and children there shall part ! 
Shall part to meet no more ! " 

And clear and loud swelled through the empty halls the 
refrain, — 

" O, there'll be mourning, mourning, mourning, 
0, there'll be mourning, at the judgment seat of Christ ! " 

Legree stopped. He would have been ashamed to tell of 
it, but large drops of sweat stood on his forehead, his heart 
beat heavy and thick with fear ; he even thought he saw 
something white rising and glimmering in the gloom before 
him, and shuddered to think what if the form of his dead 
mother should suddenly appear to him. 

" I know one thing," he said to himself, as he stumbled 
back in the sitting room, and sat down ; " I'll let that fellow 
alone, after this ! What did I want of his cussed paper ? I 
b'lieve I am bewitched, sure enough ! I've been shivering and 
sweating ever since ! Where did he get that hair ? It 
couldn't have been that ! I burnt that up, I know I did ! It 
would be a joke, if hair could rise from the dead ! " 

Ah, Legree ! that golden tress was charmed ; each hair had 
in it a spell of terror and remorse for thee, and was used by 
a mightier power to bind thy cruel hands from inflicting 
uttermost evil on the helpless ! 

" I say," said Legree, stamping and whistling to the dogs, 
" wake up, some of you, and keep me company ! " But the 
dogs only opened one eye at him, sleepily, and closed it 
again. 

"I'll have Sambo and Quimbo up here, to sing and dance 
one of their hell dances, and keep off these horrid notions," 
said Legree ; and, putting on his hat, he went on to the 
veranda, and blew a horn, with which he commonly summoned 
his two sable drivers. 

Legree was often wont, when in a gracious humor, to get 



468 



UNCLE TOM S CABIN ; UR. 



these two worthies into his sitting room, and, after warming 
them up with whiskey, amuse himself by setting them to sing- 
ing, dancing, or fighting, as the humor took him. 

It was between one and two o'clock at night, as Cassy was 
returning from her ministrations to poor Tom, that she heard 
the sound of wild shrieking, whooping, hallooing, and singing, 
from the sitting room, mingled with the barking of dogs, and 
other symptoms of general uproar. 

She came up on the veranda steps and looked in. Legree 
and both the drivers, in a state of furious intoxication, were 
singing, whooping, upsetting chairs, and making all manner 
of ludicrous and horrid grimaces at each other. 

She rcited her small, slender hand on the window blind, 
and looked fixedly at them ; there was a world of anguish, 
scorn, and fierce bitterness, in her black eyes, as she did so. 
" Would it be a sin to rid the world of such a wretch ? " she 
said to herself. 

She turned hurriedly away, and, passing round to a back 
door, glided up stairs, and tapped at Emmeline's door. 



^^ liii SpNfl a"' 





CHAPTER XXXYI. 



EMJIELINE AND GASSY. 




\,lf \^| ASSY entered the room, and found Emmeline 

sitting, pale with fear, in the farthest corner 

of it. As she came in, the girl started up 

__ nervously; but, on seeing who it was, rushed 

^ir ■ ^^"zIl'P - forward, and catching her arm, said, " O 

Cassy, is it you ? I'm so glad you've come ! 

I was afraid it was . 0, you don't know what a horrid 

noise there has been, down stairs, all this evening ! " 

" I ought to know," said Cassy, dryly. " I've heard it often 
enough." 

" Cassy ! do tell me, — couldn't we get away from this 
place? I don't care where, — into the swamp among the 
snakes, — any where ! CouldnH we get somewhere away from 
here ? " 



470 UNCLE tom's cabin ; OR, 

" Nowhere, but into our graves," said Gassy. 

" Did you ever try ? " 

"I've seen enough of trying, and what comes of it," said 
Gassy. 

" I'd be willing to live in the swamps, and gnaw the bark 
from trees. I an't afraid of snakes ! I'd rather have one 
near me than him," said Emmeline, eagerly. 

" There have been a good many here of your opinion," said 
Gassy; "but you couldn't stay in the swamps, — you'd be 
tracked by the dogs, and brought back, and then — then " 

" What would he do ? " said the girl, looking, with breath- 
less interest, into her face. 

" What wouldn't he do, you'd better ask," said Gassy. " He's 
learned his trade well among the pirates in the West Indies. 
You wouldn't sleep much if I should tell you things I've 
seen, — things that he tells of sometimes, for good jokes. I've 
heard screams here that I haven't been able to get out of my 
head for weeks and weeks. There's a place way out down by 
the quarters, where you can see a black, blasted tree, and the 
ground all covered with black ashes. Ask any one what was 
done there, and see if they will dare to tell you." 

" 0, what do you mean? " 

"I won't tell you. I hate to think of it. And I tell you, 
the Lord only knows what we may see to-morrow, if that poor 
fellow holds out as he's begun." 

" Horrid ! " said Emmeline, every drop of blood receding 
from lier cheeks. " Gassy, do tell me what I shall do ! " 

" What I've done. Do the best you can, — do what you 
must, — and make it up in hating and cursing." 

" He wanted to make me drink some of his hateful brandy," 
said Emmeline ; " and I hate it so " 

" You'd better drink," said Gassy. " I hated it, too ; and 
now I can't live without it. One must have something ; — 
things don't look so dreadful, when you take that." 

" Mother used to tell me never to touch any such thing," 
said Emmeline. 

" Mother told you ! " said Gassy, with a thrilling and bitter 
emphasis on the word mother. " What use is it for mothers to 
say any thing ? Yon aro all to be bought and paid for, and 



LIFE AMONG THE LOWLY. 471 

your souls belong to whoever gets you. That's the way it 
goes. I say, drink brandy ; drink all you can, and it'll make 
things come easier." 
" O Gassy ! do pity me ! " 

" Pity you ! — don't I ? Haven't I a daughter, — Lord 
knows where she is, and whose she is, now, — going the 
way her mother went before her, I suppose, and that her 
children must go, after her! There's no end to the curse — 
forever ! " 

" I wish I'd never been born ! " said Emmeline, wringing 
her hands. 

" That's an old wish with me," said Gassy. " I've got used 
to wishing that. I'd die, if I dared to," she said, looking out 
into the darkness, with that still, fixed despair which was the 
habitual expression of her face when at rest. 
" It would be wicked to kill one's self," said Emmeline. 
" I don't know why, — no wickeder than things we live and 
do, day after day. But the sisters told me things, when I was 
in the convent, that make me afraid to die. If it would only 

be the end of us, why, then " 

Emmeline turned away, and hid her face in her hands. 
While this conversation was passing in the chamber, Legree, 
overcome with his carouse, had sunk to sleep in the room 
below. Legree was not an habitual drunkard. His coarse, 
strong nature craved, and could endure, a continual stimula- 
tion, that would have utterly wrecked and crazed a finer one. 
But a deep, underlying spirit of cautiousness prevented his 
often yielding to appetite in such measure as to lose control 
of himself. 

This night, however, in his feverish eiforts to banish from 
his mind those fearful elements of woe and remorse which 
woke within him, he had indulged more than common ; so 
that, when he had discharged his sable attendants, he fell 
heavily on a settle in the room, and was soon sound asleep. 
0, how dares the bad soul to enter the shadowy world of 
sleep ? — that land whose dim outlines lie so fearfully near to 
the mystic scene of retribution ! Legree dreamed. In his 
heavy and feverish sleep, a veiled form stood beside him, and 
laid a cold, soft hand upon him. He thought he knew who it 



472 UNCLE tom's cabin ; ou, 

was ; and shuddered, with creeping horror, though the face 
was veiled. Then he thought he felt that hair twining round 
his fingers ; and then, that it slid smoothly round his neck, 
and tightened and tightened, and he could not draw his 
breath ; and then he thought voices whispered to him, — whis- 
pers that chilled him with horror. Then it seemed to him he 
was on the edge of a frightful abyss, holding on and struggling 
in mortal fear, while dark hands stretched up, and were pull- 
ing him over ; and Cassy came behind him laughing, and 
pushed him. And then rose up that solemn veiled figure, and 
drew aside the veil. It was his mother ; and she turned away 
from him, and he fell down, down, down, amid a confused 
noise of shrieks, and groans, and shouts of demon laughter, — 
and Legree awoke. 

Calmly the rosy hue of dawn was stealing into the room. 
The morning star stood, with its solemn, holy eye of light, 
looking down on the man of sin, from out the brightening sky. 
0, with what freshness, what solemnity and beauty, is each new 
day born! as if to say to insensate man, "Behold! thou hast 
one more chance ! Strive for immortal glory ! " There is no 
speech nor language where this voice is not heard ; but the 
bold, bad man heard it not. He woke with an oath and a 
curse. What to him was the gold and purple, the daily mira- 
cle of morning ? What to him the sanctity of that star which 
the Son of God has hallowed as his own emblem ? Brute-like, 
he saw without perceiving ; and, stumbling forward, poured out 
a tumbler of brandy, and drank half of it. 

" I've had a h — 11 of a night ! " he said to Cassy, who just 
then entered from an opposite door. 

" You'll get plenty of the same sort, by and by," said she, 
dryly. 

" What do you mean, you minx ? " 

"You'll find out, one of these days," returned Cassy, in 
the same tone. " Now, Simon, I've one piece of advice to give 
you." 

" The devil you have ! " 

" My advice is," said Cassy, steadily, as she began adjusting 
some things about the room, " that you let Tom alone." 

" What business is't of vours ? " 



LIFE AMONG THE LOWLY. 473 

" What ? To be sure, I don't know what it should be. If 
you want to pay twelve hundred for a fellow, and use him 
right up in the press of the season, just to serve your own 
spite, it's no business of mine. I've done what I could for 
him." 

" You have ? What business have you meddling in my 
matters ? " 

" None, to be sure. I've saved you some thousands of dol- 
lars, at different times, by taking care of your hands, — that's 
all the thanks I get. If your crop comes shorter into market 
than any of theirs, you won't lose your bet, I suppose? 
Tompkins won't lord it over you, I suppose, — and you'll pay 
down your money like a lady, won't you ? I think I see you 
doing it!" 

Legree, like many other planters, had but one form of ambi- 
tion, — to have in the heaviest crop of the season, — and he 
had several bets on this very present season pending in the 
next town, Cassy, therefore, with woman's tact, touched the 
only string that could be made to vibrate. 

" Well, I'll let him off at what he's got," said Legree ; " but 
he shall beg my pardon, and promise better fashions." 

" That he won't do," said Cassy. 

"Won't, — eh?" 

" No, he won't," said Cassy. 

" I'd like to know why, mistress," said Legree, in the ex- 
treme of scorn. 

" Because he's done right, and he knows it, and won't say 
he's done wrong." 

" Who a cuss cares what he knows ? The nigger shall say 
what I please, or " 

" Or, you'll lose your bet on the cotton crop, by keeping him 
out of the field, just at this very press." 

" But he imll give up, — course he will ; don't I know what 
niggers is ? He'll beg like a dog, this morning." 

" He won't, Simon ; you don't know this kind. You may 
kill him by inches, — you won't get the first word of confes- 
sion out of him." 

" We'll see ; — where is he ? " said Legree, going out. 

" In the waste room of the gin house," said Cassy. 
60 



474 UNCi.E tom's cabin ; OR, 

Legrce, tlioiiti'h lie talked ?o stoutly to Cassy, still sallied 
forth from the house with a degree of misgiving which was not 
common with him. His dreams of the past night, mingled 
with Cassy's prudential suggestions, considerably affected his 
mind. He resolved that nobody should be witness of his en- 
counter with Tom ; and determined, if he could not subdue 
him by bullying, to defer his vengeance, to be wreaked in a 
more convenient season. 

The solemn light of dawn — the angelic glory of the morn- 
ing star — had looked in through the rude window of the shed 
Avhere Tom was lying ; and, as if descending on that starbeam, 
came the solemn words, " 1 am the root and offspring of David, 
and the bright and morning star." The mysterious warnings 
and intimations of Cassy, so far from discouraging his soul, in 
the end had roused it as with a heavenly call. He did not 
know but that the day of his death was dawning in the sky ; 
and his heart throbbed with solemn throes of joy and desire, 
as he thought that the wondrous all, of which he had often 
pondered, — the great white throne, with its ever-radiant 
rainbow ; the white-robed multitude, with voices as many wa- 
ters ; the crowns, the palms, the har})S, — might all break upon 
his vision before that sun should set again. And, therefore, 
without shuddering or trembling, he heard the voice of his 
persecutor, as he drew near. 

" Well, my boy," said Legree, with a contemptuous kick, 
" how do you find yourself? Didn't I tell yer I could larn yer 
a thing or two? How do yer like it, — eh? How did yer 
whaling agree with yer, Tom ? An't quite so crank as ye Avas 
last night. Ye couldn't treat a poor sinner, now, to a bit of a 
sermon, could ye, — eh ? " 

Tom answered nothing. 

" Get up, you beast !" said Legree, kicking him again. 

This was a difficult matter for one so bruised and faint ; and, 
as Tom made eftbrts to do so, Legree laughed brutally.. 

" What makes ye so spry this morning, Tom ? Cotched 
cold, may be, last night." 

Tom by this time had gained his feet, and was confronting 
his master with a steady, unmoved front. 

"The devil you can!" said Legree, looking him over. "I 



LIFE AMONG THE LOWLY. 



475 



believe you haven't got enough yet. Now, Tom, get right 
down on ycr knees and beg my pardon, for yer shines last 
night." 

Tom did not move. 

"Down, you dog! " said Legree, striking him with his riding 
whip. 

" Mas'r Legree," said Tom, " I can't do it. I did only what 
I thought w^as right. 1 shall do just so again, if ever the time 
comes. I never will do a cruel thing, come what may." 

" Yes, but ye don't know what may come, Master Tom. Ye 
think what you've got is something. I tell you 'tan't any 
thing, — nothing 'tall. IIow would ye like to be tied to a tree, 
and have a slow fire lit up around ye? — wouldn't that be 
pleasant, — eh, Tom ? " 

" Mas'r," said Tom, " I know ye can do dreadful things ; 
but," — he stretched himself upward and clasped his hands, — 
" but, after ye've killed the body, there an't no more ye can do. 
And 0, there's all eternity to come, after that ! " 




Eternity, — the word thrilled through the black man's 
soul with light and power, as he spoke ; it thrilled through 
the sinner's soul, too, like the bite of a scorpion. Legree 
gnashed on him with his teeth, but rage kept him silent ; 



476 UNCLE tom's cabin ; OE, 

and Tom, like a man disinthralled, spoke, in a clear and cheer- 
ful voice, — 

" Mas'r Legree, as ye bought me, I'll be a true and faithful 
servant to ye. I'll give ye all the work of my hands, all my 
time, all my strength ; but my soul I won't give up to mortal 
man. I will hold on to the Lord, and put his commands be- 
fore all, — die or live ; you may be sure on't. Mas'r Legree, 
I an't a grain afeard to die. I'd as soon die as not. Ye may 
whip me, starve me, burn me, — it'll only send me sooner where 
I want to go." 

" I'll make ye give out, though, 'fore I've done ! " said Legree, 
in a rage. 

" I shall have Jielp" said Tom ; " you'll never do it." 

" Who the devil's going to help you ? " said Legree, scorn- 
fully. 

"The Lord Almighty," said Tom. 

" D — n you ! " said Legree, as with one blow of his fist he 
felled Tom to the earth. 

A cold, soft hand fell on Legree's at this moment. He 
turned, — it was Gassy 's ; but the cold, soft touch recalled his 
dream of the night before, and, flashing through the chambers 
of his brain, came all the fearful images of the night watches, 
with a portion of the horror that accompanied them. 

" Will you be a fool ? " said Gassy, in French. " Let him 
go ! Let me alone to get him fit to be in the field again. 
Isn't it just as I told you? " 

They say the alligator, the rhinoceros, though enclosed in 
bullet-proof mail, have each a spot where they are vulnerable ; 
and fierce, reckless, unbelieving reprobates have commonly 
this point in superstitious dread. 

Legree turned away, determined to let the point go for the 
time. 

•'Well, have it your own way," he said, doggedly, to Gassy. 

" Hark ye ! " he said to Tom ; " I won't deal with ye now, 
because the business is pressing, and I want all my hands ; but 
I never forget. I'll score it against ye, and some time I'll have 
my pay out o' yer old black hide, — mind ye ! " 

Legree turned, and went out. 



LIFE AMONG THE LOWLY. 



477 



" There you go," said Gassy, looking darkly after him ; 
" your reckoning's to come yet ! My poor fellow, how are 
you?" 

"The Lord God hath sent his angel, and shut the lion's 
mouth, for this time," said Tom. 

" For this time, to be sure," said Gassy ; " but now you've 
got his ill will upon you, to follow you day in, day out, hang- 
ing like a dog on your throat, — sucking your blood, bleeding 
away your life, drop by drop. I know the man." 





CHAPTER XXXYII 



LIBERTY, 



"No matter witli what solemnities he may have been devoted upon the altar 
of Slavery, the moment he touches the sacred soil of Britain, the altar and the 
god sink together in the dust, and he stands redeemed, regenerated, and disin- 
thralled, by the irresistible genius of universal emancipation.'' — Curran. 




WHILE wc must leave Tom in the hands of his 
persecutors, while we turn to pursue the for- 
tunes of George and his wife, whom wc left in 
friendly hands, in a farm house on the road- 
side. 

Tom Lokcr we left groaning- and fcouzling 
in a most humaculately clean Quaker bed, under the motherly 
supervision of Aunt Dorcas, who found him to the full as trac- 
table a patient as a sick bison. 

Imagine a tall, dignified, spiritual womaii, whose clear muslin 



Lll'E AMOXG TI1I<: LOWl.Y, 479 

cap shades waves of silvery hair, parted ou a broad, clear 
forehead, which overarches thoughtful gray eyes. A suowy 
haudkerchief of lisse crape is folded neatly across her bosom ; 
her glossy brown silk dress rustles peacefully, as she glides up 
and down the chamber. 

" The devil ! " says Tom Loker. giving a great throw to the 
bed clothes. 

'■ I must request thee, Thomas, not to use such language," 
says Aunt Dorcas, as she quietly rearranged the bed. 

" Well, I won't, granny, if I can help it," says Tom ; " but it 
is enough to make a fellow swear, — so cursedly hot!" 

Dorcas removed a comforter from the bed, straightened tlie 
clothes again, and tucked them in till Tom looked something 
like a chrysalis ; remarking, as she did so, — 

" I wish, friend, thee would leave off cursing and swearing, 
and think upon thy ways." 

" What the devii," said Tom, " should I think of them for ? 
Last thing ever / want to think of — hang it all ! '' And Tom 
flounced over, untucking and disarranging every thing, in a 
manner frightful to behold. 

'' That fellow and gal are here, I 'spose," said he, sullenly, 
after a pause. 

" They are so," said Dorcas. 

" They'd better be off up to the lake." said Tom ; " the 
quicker the better." 

" Probably they will do so," said Aunt Dorcas, knitting 
peacefully. 

" And hark ye," said Tom ; " we've got correspondents in 
Sandusky, that watch the boats for us. I don't care if I tell, 
now. I hope they will get away, just to spite Marks, — the 
cursed puppy ! — d — n him ! '' 

'■ Thomas ! "" said Dorcas. 

'■ I tell you, granny, if you bottle a fellow up too tight, I 
shall split," said Tom. " But about the gal, — tell 'em to dress 
her up some way, so's to alter her. Her description's out in 
Sandusky." 

" We will attend to that matter," said Dorcas, with charac- 
teristic composure. 

As we at this phue t;ik-e leave of Tom Loker. we may as 



480 UNCLE tom's cabin; or, 

well sa_y, that, having lain three weeks at the Quaker dwelling, 
sick with a rheumatic fever, which set in, in company with his 
other afflictions, Tom arose from his bed a somewhat sadder 
and wiser man ; and, in place of slave catching, betook himself 
to life in one of the new settlements, where his talents devel- 
oped themselves more happily in trapping bears, wolves, and 
other inhabitants of the forest, in whicli he made himself quite 
a name in the land. Tom always spoke reverently of the 
Quakers. " Nice people," he would say ; " wanted to convert 
me, but couldn't come it, exactly. But, tell ye what, stranger, 
they do fix up a sick fellow first rate, — no mistake. Make 
jist the tallest kind of broth and knickknacks." 

As Tom had informed them that their party would be looked 
for in Sandusky, it was thought prudent to divide them. Jim, 
with his old mother, was forwarded separately ; and a night or 
two after, George and Eliza, with their child, were driven 
privately into Sandusky, and lodged beneath a hospitable roof 
preparatory to taking their last passage on the lake. 

Their night was now far spent, and the morning star of 
liberty rose fair before them. Liberty ! — electric word ! 
What is it ? Is there any thing more in it than a name — a 
rhetorical flourish ? Why, men and women of America, does 
your hearts' blood thrill at that Avord, for which your fathers 
bled, and your braver mothers were willing that their noblest 
and best should die ? 

Is there any thing in it glorious and dear for a nation, that 
is not also glorious and dear for a man ? What is freedom to 
a nation but freedom to the individuals in it ? What is free- 
dom to that young man, who sits there, with his arms folded 
over his broad chest, the tint of African blood in his cheek, its 
dark fires in his eye, — what is freedom to George Harris? 
To your fathers freedom was the right of a nation to be a 
nation. To him it is the right of a man to be a man, and not 
a brute ; the right to call the wife of his bosom his wife, and 
to protect her from lawless violence ; the right to protect and 
educate his child ; the right to have a home of his own, a reli- 
gion of his own, a character of his own, unsubject to the will 
of another. All these thoughts were rolling and seething in 
George's breast, as he was pensively leaning his head on his 



LIFE AMONG THE LOWLY. 481 

hand, watching his wife, as she was adapting to her slender 
and pretty form the articles of man's attire, in which it was 
deemed safest she should make her escape. 

" Now for it," said she, as she stood before the glass, and 
shook down her silky abundance of black curly hair. " I say, 
George, it's almost a pity, isn't it," she said, as she held up 
some of it, playfully, — "pity it's all got to come oif ?" 

George smiled sadly, and made no answer. 

Eliza turned to the glass, and the scissors glittered as one 
long lock after another was detached from her head. 

" There, now, that'll do," she said, taking up a hair brush ; 
" now for a few fancy touches." 

" There, an't I a pretty young fellow ? " she said, turning 
around to her husband, laughing and blushing at the same 
time. 

" You always will be pretty, do what you will," said George. 

" What does make you so sober ? " said Eliza, kneeling on 
one knee, and laying her hand on his. " "VVe are only within 
twenty-four hours of Canada, they say. Only a day and a 
night on the lake, and then — 0, then ! " 

" Eliza ! " said George, drawing her towards him, " that 
is it ! Now my fate is all narrowing down to a point. To 
come so near, to be almost in sight, and then lose all. I should 
never live under it, Eliza." 

" Don't fear," said his wife, hopefully. " The good Lord 
would not have brought us so far, if he didn't mean to carry 
us through. I seem to feel him with us, George." 

" You are a blessed woman, Eliza ! " said George, clasping 
her with a convulsive grasp. " But, — 0, tell me ! can this 
great mercy be for us ? Will these years and years of misery 
come to an end ? — shall we be free ? " 

" I am sure of it, George," said Eliza, looking upward, while 
tears of hope and enthusiasm shone on her long, dark lashes. 
'• I feel it in me, that God is going to bring us out of bondage 
this very day." 

" I will believe you, Eliza," said George, rising suddenly up. 

" I will believe, — come, let's be ofi". Well, indeed," said he, 

holding her off at arm's length, and looking admiringly at her, 

" you are a pretty little fellow. That crop of little, short curls 

61 



482 UNCLE tom's cabin; or, 

is quite becoming. Put on your cap. So, — a little to one 
side. I never saw you look quite so pretty. But it's almost 
time for the carriage ; — I wonder if Mrs. Smyth has got Harry 
rigged." 

The door opened, and a respectable, middle-aged woman 
entered, leading little Harry, dressed in girl's clothes. 

" What a pretty girl he makes !" said Eliza, turning him 
round. "We call him Harriet, you see; — don't the name 
come nicely ? " 

The child stood gravely regarding his mother in her new 
and strange attire, observing a profound silence, and occa- 
sionally drawing deep sighs, and peeping at her from under his 
dark curls. 

" Does Harry know mamma ? " said Eliza, stretching her 
hands towards him. 

The child clung shyly to the woman. 

" Come, Eliza, why do you try to coax him, when you know 
that he has got to be kept away from you ? " 

"I know it's foolish," said Eliza; "yet I can't bear to have 
him turn away from me. But come, — where's my cloak ? 
Here, — how is it men put on cloaks, George?" 

" You must wear it so," said her husband, throwing it over 
his shoulders. 

" So, then," said Eliza, imitating the motion, — " and I must 
stamp, and take long steps, and try to look saucy." 

" Don't exert yourself," said George. " There is, now and 
then, a modest young man ; and I think it would be easier for 
you to act that character." 

" And these gloves ! mercy upon us ! " said Eliza ; " why, my 
hands are lost in them." 

" I advise you to keep them on pretty strictly," said George. 
" Your little slender paw might bring us all out. Now, Mrs. 
Smyth, you are to go under our charge, and be our aunty, — 
you mind." 

" I've heard," said Mrs. Smyth, " that there have been men 
down, warning all the packet captains against a man and 
woman, with a little boy." 

" They have ! " said George. " Well, if we see any such 
people, we can tell them." 



LIFE AMONG THE LOWLY. 483 

A hack now drove to the door, and the friendly family who 
had received the fugitives crowded around them with farewell 
greetings. 

The disguises the party had assumed were in accordance 
with the hints of Tom Loker. Mrs. Smyth, a respectable 
woman from the settlement in Canada, whither they were 
fleeing, being fortunately about crossing the lake to return 
thither, had consented to appear as the aunt of little Harry ; 
and, in order to attach him to her, he had been allowed to 
remain, the two last days, under her sole charge ; and an extra 
amount of petting, joined to an indefinite amount of seed cakes 
and candy, had cemented a very close attachment on the part 
of the young gentleman. 

The hack drove to the wharf. The two young men, as they 
appeared, walked up the plank into the boat, Eliza gallantly 
giving her arm to Mrs. Smyth, and George attending to their 
baggage. 

George was standing at the captain's office, settling for his 
party, when he overheard two men talking by his side. 

" I've watched every one that came on board," said one, 
" and I know they're not on this boat." 

The voice was that of the clerk of the boat. The speaker 
whom he addressed was our sometime friend Marks, who, with 
that valuable perseverance which characterized him, had come 
on to Sandusky, seeking whom he might devour. 

" You would scarcely know the woman from a white one," 
said Marks. " The man is a very light mulatto ; he has a 
brand in one of his hands." 

The hand with which George was taking the tickets and 
change trembled a little ; but he turned coolly around, fixed 
an unconcerned glance on the face of the speaker, and walked 
leisurely towards another part of the boat, where Eliza stood 
waiting for him. 

Mrs. Smyth, with little Harry, sought the seclusion of the 
ladies' cabin, where the dark beauty of the supposed little girl 
drew many flattering comments from the passengers. 

George had the satisfaction, as the bell rang out its farewell 
peal, to see Marks walk down the plank to the shore, and drew 
a long sigh of relief, when the boat had put a returnless dis- 
tance between them. 



484 UNCLE TOM's CABIN; OR, 

It was a superb day. The blue waves of Lake Erie danced, 
rippling and sparkling, in the sunlight. A fresh breeze blew 
from the shore, and the lordly boat ploughed her way right 
gallantly onward. 

0, what an untold world there is in one human heart! 
Who thought, as George walked calmly up and down the 
deck of the steamer, with his shy companion at his side, of 
all that was burning in his bosom ? The mighty good that 
seemed approaching seemed too good, too fair, even to be a 
reality ; and he felt a jealous dread, every moment of the day, 
that something would rise to snatch it from him. 

But the boat swept on. Hours fleeted, and, at last, clear 
and full rose the blessed English shores ; shores charmed by 
a mighty spell, — with one touch to dissolve every incantation 
of slavery, no matter in what language pronounced, or by 
what national power confirmed. 

George and his wife stood arm in arm, as the boat neared 
the small town of Amherstberg, in Canada. His breath grew 
thick and short ; a mist gathered before his eyes ; he silently 
pressed the little hand that lay trembling on his arm. The 
bell rang ; the boat stopped. Scarcely seeing what he did, he 
looked out his baggage, and gathered his little party. The 
little company were landed on the shore. They stood still 
till the boat had cleared ; and then, with tears and embracings, 
the husband and wife, with their wondering child in their arms, 
knelt down and lifted up their hearts to God. 

" 'Twas something like the burst from death to life ; 

From the grave's cerements to the robes of heaven ; 
From sin's dominion, and from passion's strife. 

To the pure freedom of a soul forgiven ; 

Where all the bonds of death and hell are riven, 
And mortal puts on immortality, 
When Mercy's hand hath turned the golden key, 
And Mercy's voice hath said, Rejoice, thy soul is free." 

The little party were soon guided, by Mrs. Smyth, to the 
hospitable abode of a good missionary, whom Christian charity 
has placed here as a shepherd to the outcast and wandering, 
who are constantly finding an asylum on this shore. 

Who can speak the blessedness of that first day of freedom ? 



LIFE AMONG THE LOWLY. 



485 



Is not the sense of liberty a higher and a finer one than any 
of the five ? To move, speak, and breathe, — go out and come 
in unwatched, and free from danger! Who can speak the 
blessings of that rest which comes down on the free man's 
pillow, under laws which insure to him the rights that God 
has given to man? How fair and precious to that mother 
was that sleeping child's face, endeared by the memory of a 
thousand dangers ! How impossible was it to sleep, in the 
exuberant possession of such blessedness ! And yet these two 
had not one acre of ground, — not a roof that they could call 
their own, — they had spent their all, to the last dollar. 
They had nothing more than the birds of the air, or the flow- 
ers of the field, — yet they could not sleep for joy. " 0, ye 
who take freedom from man, with what words shall ye answer 
it to God ? " 





iS^iS^Zl.-^^S^**'-' 



CHAPTER XXXVIII, 



THE VICTORY. 




" Thanks be unto God, who giveth us the victory." 

>■» A.VE not many of us, in the weary way of life, 
felt, in some hours, how far easier it were to 
die than to live ? 

Tlie martyr, when faced even by a death of 
bodily anguish and horror, finds in the very 
terror of his doom a strong stimulant and 
tonic. There is a vivid excitement, a thrill and fervor, which 
may carry through any crisis of suffering that is the birth 
hour of eternal glory and rest. 

But to live, — to wear on, day after day, of mean, bitter, 
low, harassing servitude, every nerve dampened and depressed, 
every power of feeling gradually smothered, — this long and 
wasting heart martyrdom, this slow, daily bleeding away of 



LIFE ,VMONG THE LOWLY. 487 

the inward life, drop by drop, hour after hour, — this is the 
true searching test of what there may be in man or woman. 

When Tom stood face to face with his persecutor, and heard 
his threats, and thought in his very soul that his hour was 
come, his heart swelled bravely in him, and he thought he 
could bear torture and fire, bear any thing, with the vision of 
Jesus and heaven but just a step beyond ; but when he was 
gone, and the present excitement passed off, came back the 
pain of his bruised and weary limbs, — came back the sense of 
his utterly degraded, hopeless, forlorn estate ; and the day 
passed wearily enough. 

Long before his wounds were healed, Legree insisted that 
he should be put to the regular field work ; and then came 
day after day of pain and weariness, aggravated by every kind 
of injustice and indignity that the ill will of a mean and ma- 
licious mind could devise. Whoever, in mr circumstances, 
has made trial of pain, even with all the alleviations which, 
for us, usually attend it, must know the irritation that comes 
with it. Tom no longer wondered at the habitual surliness 
of his associates ; nay, he found the placid, sunny temper, 
which had been the habitude of his life, broken in on, and 
sorely strained, by the inroads of the same thing. He had 
flattered himself on leisure to read his Bible ; but there was 
no such thing as leisure there. In the height of the season, 
Legree did not hesitate to press all his hands through, Sun- 
days and week-days alike. Why shouldn't he ? — he made 
more cotton by it, and gained his wager ; and if it wore out 
a few more hands, he could buy better ones. At first, Tom 
used to read a verse or two of his Bible, by the flicker of the 
fire, after he had returned, from his daily toil ; but, after the 
cruel treatment he received, he used to come home so exhaust- 
ed, that his head swam and his eyes failed when he tried to 
read ; and he was fain to stretch himself down with the others, 
in utter exhaustion. 

Is it strange that the religious peace and trust, which had 
upborne him hitherto, should give way to tossings of soul and 
despondent darkness? The gloomiest problem of this mys- 
terious life was constantly before his eyes, — souls crushed and 
ruined, evil triumphant, and God silent. It was weeks and 



488 UNCLE tom's cabin ; OB, 

mouths that Tom -wrestled, in his own soul, in darkness and 
sorrow. He thought of Miss Ophelia's letter to his Kentucky 
friends, and would pray earnestly that God would send him 
deliverance. And then he would watch, day after day, in the 
vague hope of seeing somebody sent to redeem him ; and, 
when nobody came, he would crush back to his soul bitter 
thoughts, — that it was vain to serve God, that God had for- 
gotten him. He sometimes saw Gassy ; and sometimes, when 
summoned to the house, caught a glimpse of the dejected form 
of Emmeline, but held very little communion with either ; in 
fact, there was no time for him to commune with any body. 

One evening, he was sitting, in utter dejection and prostra- 
tion, by a few decaying brands, where his coarse supper was 
baking. He put a few bits of brushwood on the fire, and 
strove to raise the light, and then drew his worn Bible from 
his pocket. There were all the marked passages, which had 
thrilled his soul so often, — words of patriarchs and seers, 
poets and sages, who from early time had spoken courage to 
man, — voices from the great cloud of witnesses who ever sur- 
round us in the race of life. Had the word lost its power, or 
could the failing eye and weary sense no longer answer to the 
touch of that mighty inspiration ? Heavily sighing, he put it 
in his pocket. A coarse laugh roused him ; he looked up, — 
Legree was standing opposite to him. 

" Well, old boy," he said, " you find your religion don't 
work, it seems ! I thought I should get that through your 
wool, at last ! " 

The cruel taunt was more than hunger, and cold, and naked- 
ness. Tom was silent. 

" You were a fool," said Legree ; " for I meant to do well by 
you, when I bought you. You might have been better off than 
Sambo, or Quimbo either, and had easy times ; and, instead 
of getting cut up and thrashed, every day or two, ye might 
have had liberty to lord it round, and cut up the other nig- 
gers ; and ye might have had, now and then, a good warming 
of whisky punch. Come, Tom, don't you think you'd better 
be reasonable? — heave that ar old pack of trash in the fire, 
and join my church ! " 

•' The Lord forbid ! " said Tom, fervently. 



LIFE AMONG THE LOWLY. 489 

"You see tlie Lord an't going to lielp you; if he had been, 
he wouldn't have let me get you ! This ycr religion is all a 
mess of lying trumpery, Tom. I know all about it. Ye'd 
better hold to me ; I'm somebody, and can do something ! " 

"No, mas'r," said Tom ; "I'll hold on. The Lord may help 
me, or not help ; but I'll hold to him, and believe him to the 
last ! " 

" The more fool you ! " said Legree, spitting scornfully at 
him, and spurning him with his foot. " Never mind ; I'll chase 
you down, yet, and bring you under, — you'll see ! " and Legree 
turned away. 

When a heavy weight presses the soul to the lowest level at 
which endurance is possible, there is an instant and desperate 
eflfort of every physical and moral nerve to throw off the 
weight ; and hence the heaviest anguish often precedes a re- 
turn tide of joy and courage. So was it now with Tom. The 
atheistic taunts of his cruel master sunk his before dejected 
soul to the lowest ebb ; and, though the hand of faith still held 
to the eternal rock, it was with a numb, despairing grasp. 
Tom sat, like one stunned, at the fire. Suddenly every thing 
around him seemed to fade, and a vision rose before him of 
one crowned with thorns, buffeted and bleeding. Tom gazed, 
in awe and wonder, at the majestic patience of the face ; the 
deep, pathetic eyes thrilled him to his inmost heart ; his soul 
woke, as, with floods of emotion, he stretched out his hands 
and fell upon his knees, — when, gradually, the vision changed : 
the sharp thorns became rays of glory ; and, in splendor in- 
conceivable, he saw that same face bending compassionately 
towards him, and a voice said, " He that overcometh shall sit 
down with me on my throne, even as I also overcame, and am 
set down with my Father on his throne." 

How long Tom lay there, he knew not. When he came to 
himself, the fire was gone out, his clothes were wet with the 
chill and drenching dews ; but the dread soul crisis was past, 
and, in the joy that filled him, he no longer felt hunger, cold, 
degradation, disappointment, wretchedness. From his deepest 
soul, he that hour loosed and parted from every hope in the 
life that now is, and offered his own will an unquestioning 
sacrifice to the Infinite. Tom looked up to the silent, ever- 
62 



490 UNCLE tom's cabin ; or, 

living stars, — types of the angelic hosts who ever look down 
on man ; and the solitude of the night rung with the triumph- 
ant words of a hymn which he had sung often in happier days, 
but never with such feeling as now : — 

" The earth shall be dissolved like snow, 
The sun shall cease to shine ; 
But God, who called me here below, 
Shall be forever mine. 

" And when this mortal life shall fail, 
And flesh and sense shall cease, 
I shall possess within the veil 
A life of joy and peace. 

" When we've been there ten thousand years, 
Bright shining like the sun. 
We've no less days to sing God's praise 
Than when we first begun." 

Those who have been familiar with the religious histories 
of the slave population know that relations like what we have 
narrated are very common among them. We have heard some 
from their own lips, of a very touching and affecting charac- 
ter. The psychologist tells us of a state, in which the affec- 
tions and images of the mind become so dominant and over- 
powering, that they press into their service the outward senses, 
and make them give tangible shape to the inward imagining. 
"Who shall measure what an all-pervading Spirit may do with 
these capabilities of our mortality, or the ways in which he 
may encourage the desponding souls of the desolate ? If the 
poor forgotten slave believes that Jesus hath appeared and 
spoken to him, who shall contradict him ? Did He not say 
that his mission, in all ages, was to bind up the broken-hearted, 
and set at liberty them that are bruised ? 

When the dim gray of dawn woke the slumberers to go 
forth to the field, there was among those tattered and shiver- 
ing wretches one who walked with an exultant tread ; for 
firmer than the ground he trod on was his strong faith in al- 
mighty, eternal love. Ah, Legree, try all your forces now! 
Utmost agony, woe, degradation, want, and loss of all things 
shall only hasten on the process by which he shall be made a 
king and a priest unto God ! 



LIFE AMONG THE LOWLY. 491 

From this time, an inviolable sphere of peace encompassed 
the lowly heart of the oppressed one, — an ever-present Savior 
hallowed it as a temple. Past now the bleeding of earthly 
regrets ; past its fluctuations of hope, and fear, and desire ; 
the human will, bent, and bleeding, and struggling long, was 
noAV entirely merged in the divine. So short now seemed the re- 
maining voyage of life, — so near, so vivid, seemed eternal bless- 
edness, — that life's uttermost woes fell from him unharming. 

All noticed the change in his appearance. Cheerfulness and 
alertness seemed to return to him, and a quietness which no 
insult or injury could ruffle seemed to possess him. 

"What the devil's got into Tom?" Legree said to Sambo. 
" A while ago he was all down in the mouth, and now he's 
peart as a cricket." 

" Dun no, mas'r ; gwine to run off, mebbe." 

" Like to see him try that," said Legree, with a savage grin, 
" wouldn't we. Sambo ? " 

" Guess we would ! Haw ! haw ! ho ! " said the sooty gnome, 
laughing obsequiously. "Lord, de fun! To see him stickin' 
in de mud, — chasin' and tarin' through de bushes, dogs a hold- 
in' on to him ! Lord, I laughed fit to split, dat ar time we 
cotched Molly. I thought they'd a had her all stripped up afore 
I could get 'em off. She car's de marks o' dat ar spree yet." 

" I reckon she will, to her grave," said Legree. " But now, 
Sambo, you look sharp. If the nigger's got any thing of this 
sort going, trip him up." 

"Mas'r, let me lone for dat," said Sambo. "I'll tree de 
coon. Ho, ho, ho ! " 

This was spoken as Legree was getting on to his horse, to 
go to the neighboring town. That night, as he was returning, 
he thought he would turn his horse and ride round the quar- 
ters, and see if all was safe. 

It was a superb moonlight night, and the shadows of the 
graceful china trees lay minutely pencilled on the turf below, 
and there was that transparent stillness in the air which it 
seems almost unholy to disturb. Legree was at a little dis- 
tance from the quarters, when he heard the voice of some one 
singing. It was not ^ usual sound there, and he paused to lis- 
ten. A musical tenor voice sang, — 



492 UNCLE tom's cabin ; oe, 

" When I can read my title clear 
To mansions in the skies, 
I'll bid farewell to every fear, 
And wii^e my weeping eyes. 

" Should earth against my soul engage, 
And hellish darts be hurled, 
Then I can smile at Satan's rage, 
And face a frowning world. 

" Let cares like a wild deluge come, 
And storms of sorrow fall, 
May I but safely reach my home, 
My God, my heaven, my all." 

" So ho ! " said Legree to himself, " he thinks so, does he ? 
How I hate these cursed Methodist hymns ! Here, you nigger," 
said he, coming suddenly out upon Tom, and raising his riding 
whip, "how dare you be gettin' up this yer row, when you 
ought to be in bed ? Shut yer old black gash, and get along 
in with you ! " 

" Yes, mas'r," said Tom, with ready cheerfulness, as he rose 
to go in. 

Legree was provoked beyond measure by Tom's evident hap- 
piness ; and, riding up to him, belabored him over his head and 
shoulders. 

" There, you dog," he said, " see if you'll feel so comfortable, 
after that ! " 

But the blows fell now only on the outer man, and not, 
as before, on the heart. Tom stood perfectly submissive ; and 
yet Legree could not hide from himself that his power over 
his bond thrall was somehow gone. And, as Tom disappeared 
in his cabin, and he wheeled his horse suddenly round, there 
passed through his mind one of those vivid flashes that often 
send the lightning of conscience across the dark and wicked 
soul. He understood full well that it was God who was stand- 
ing between him and his victim, and he blasphemed him. 
That submissive and silent man, whom taiuits, nor throats, nor 
stripes, nor cruelties could disturb, roused a voice within him, 
such as of old his Master roused in the demoniac soul, say- 
ing, " What have we to do with thee, thou Jesus of Nazareth? 
— art thou come to torment us before the time ? " 



LIFE AMONG THE LOWLY. 493 

Tom's whole soul overflowed with compassion and sympathy 
for the poor wretches by whom ho was surrounded. To him 
it seemed as if his life sorrows were now over, and as if, out 
of that strange treasury of peace and joy, with which he had 
oeen endowed from above, he longed to pour out something 
for the relief of their woes. It is true, opportunities were 
scanty ; but, on the way to the fields, and back again, and dur- 
ing the hours of labor, chances fell in his way of extending 
a helping hand to the weary, the disheartened and discour- 
aged. The poor, worn-down, brutalized creatures, at first, 
could scarce comprehend this ; but, when it was continued 
week after week, and month after month, it began to awaken 
long-silent chords in their benumbed hearts. Gradually and 
imperceptibly the strange, silent, patient man, who was ready 
to bear every one's burden, and sought help from none, — who 
stood aside for all, and came last, and took least, yet was 
foremost to share his little all with any who needed, — the 
man who, in cold nights, would give up his tattered blanket 
to add to the comfort of some woman who shivered with sick- 
ness, and who filled the baskets of the weaker ones in the 
field, at the terrible risk of coming short in his own measure, 
— and who, though pursued with unrelenting cruelty by their 
common tyrant, never joined in uttering a word of reviling or 
cursing, — this man, at last, began to have a strange power 
over them ; and when the more pressing season was past, and 
they were allowed again their Sundays for their own use, 
many would gather together to hear from him of Jesus. Tbey 
would gladly have met to hear, and pray, and sing, in some 
place, together ; but Legree would not permit it, and more 
than once broke up such attempts, with oaths and brutal exe- 
crations, — so that the blessed news had to circulate from in- 
dividual to individual. Yet who can speak the simple joy 
with which some of those poor outcasts, to whom life was a 
joyless journey to a dark unknown, heard of a compassionate 
Eedeemer and a heavenly home ? It is the statement of mis- 
sionaries, that, of all races of the earth, none have received 
the gospel with such eager docility as the African. The prin- 
ciple of reliance and unquestioning faith, which is its foundation, 
is more a native element in tliis race than any other ; and it 



494 UNCLE tom's cabin ; or, 

lias often been found among them, that a stray seed of truth, 
borne on some breeze of accident into hearts the most ig- 
norant, has sprung up into fruit, whose abundance has shamed 
that of higher and more skilful culture. 

The poor mulatto woman, whose simple faith had been well 
nigh crushed and overwhelmed by the avalanche of cruelty 
and wrong which had fallen upon her, felt her soul raised up 
by the hymns and passages of Holy Writ, which this lowly mis- 
sionary breathed into her ear in intervals, as they were going 
to and returning from work ; and even the half-crazed and 
wandering mind of Cassy was soothed and calmed by his sim- 
ple and unobtrusive influences. 

Stung to madness and despair by the crushing agonies of a 
life, Cassy had often resolved in her soul an hour of retribu- 
tion, when her hand should avenge on her oppressor all the 
injustice and cruelty to which she had been witness, or which 
she had in her own person suffered. 

One night, after all in Tom's cabin were sunk in sleep, he 
was suddenly aroused by seeing her face at the hole between 
the logs that served for a window. She made a silent gesture 
for him to come out. 

Tom came out of the door. It was between one and two 
o'clock at night, — broad, calm, still moonlight. Tom re- 
marked, as the light of the moon fell upon Cassy 's large black 
eyes, that there was a wild and peculiar glare in them, unlike 
their wonted fixed despair. 

" Come here. Father Tom," she said, laying her small 
hand on his wrist, and drawing him forward with a force 
as if the hand were of steel; "come here, — I've news 
for you." 

"What, Misse Cassy?" said Tom, anxiously. 

" Tom, wouldn't you like your liberty ? " 

" I shall have it, misse, in God's time," said Tom. 

" Ay, but you may have it to-night," said Cassy, with a flash 
of sudden energy. " Come on." 

Tom hesitated. 

" Come ! " said she, in a whisper, fixing her black eyes on 
him. " Come along! He's asleep — sound. I put enough into 
Iiis brandy to keep him so. I wish I'd had more, — I shouldn't 



LIFE AMOXG THE LOWLY. 495 

have wanted you. But come, the back door is unlocked ; 
there's an axe there, — I put it there, — his room door is open ; 
I'll show you the way. I'd a done it myself, only my arms are 
so weak. Come along ! " 

" Not for ten thousand worlds, misse ! " said Tom, firmly, 
stopping and holding her back, as she was pressing forward. 

" But think of all these poor creatures," said Gassy. " We 
might set them all free, and go somewhere in the swamps, and 
find an island, and live by ourselves ; I've heard of its being 
done. Any life is better than this." 

" No ! " said Tom, firmly. " No ! good never comes of wicked- 
ness. I'd sooner chop my right hand off ! " 

" Then / shall do it," said Gassy, turning. 

" Misse Gassy ! " said Tom, throwing himself before her, 
" for the dear Lord's sake that died for ye, don't sell your 
precious soul to the devil, that way ! Nothing but evil will 
come of it. The Lord hasn't called us to wrath. We must 
suffer, and wait his time." 

" Wait ! " said Gassy. " Haven't I waited ? — waited tfll mj 
head is dizzy and my heart sick? What has he made me 
suffer ? What has he made hundreds of poor creatures suffer ? 
Isn't he wringing the life blood out of you ? I'm called on ; 
they call me! His tiitie's come, and I'll have his heart's 
blood!" 

" No, no, no ! " said Tom, holding her small hands, which 
were clinched with spasmodic violence. "No, ye poor, lost 
soul, that ye musn't do. The dear, blessed Lord never shed 
no blood but his own, and that he poured out for us when we 
was enemies. Lord, help us to follow his steps, and love our 
enemies." 

" Love ! " said Gassy, with a fierce glare ; " love such enemies ! 
It isn't in flesh and blood." 

"No, misse, it isn't," said Tom, looking up ; "but He gives it 
to us, and that's the victory. When we can love and pray 
over all and through all, the battle's past, and the victory's 
come, — glory be to God ! " And with streaming eyes and 
choking voice, the black man looked up to heaven. 

And this, Africa ! latest called of nations, — called to the 
crown of thorns, the scourge, the bloody sweat, the cross of 



496 UNCLE tom's cabin ; or, 

agony, — this is to be thij victory; by this slialt tliou reign 
with Christ when his kingdom shall come on earth. 

The deep fervor of Tom's feelings, the softness of his voice, 
his tears, fell like dew on the wild, unsettled spirit of the poor 
woman. A softness gathered over the lurid fires of her eye ; 
she looked down, and Tom could feel the relaxing muscles of 
her hands, as she said, — 

" Didn't I tell you that evil spirits followed me ? 
Father Tom, I can't pray, — I wish I could. I never have 
prayed since my children were sold ! What you say must be 
right ; I know it must ; but when I try to pray, I can only 
hate and curse. I can't pray ! " 

" Poor soul ! " said Tom, compassionately. " Satan desires 
to have ye, and sift ye as wheat. I pray the Lord for ye. 
Misse Cassy, turn to the dear Lord Jesus. He came to bind 
up the broken-hearted, and comfort all that mourn." 

Cassy stood silent, while large, heavy tears dropped from 
her downcast eyes. 

"Misse Cassy," said Tom, in a hesitating tone, after survey- 
ing her a moment in silence, " if ye only could get away from 
here, — if the thing was possible, — I'd 'vise ye and Emmeline 
to do it ; that is, if ye could go without blood-guiltiness, — 
not otherwise." 

" Would you try it with us. Father Tom ? " 

" No," said Tom ; " time was when I would ; but the Lord's 
given me a work among these yer poor souls, and I'll stay 
with 'em and bear my cross with 'em till the end. It's differ- 
ent with you ; it's a snare to you, — it's more'n you can stand, 
— and you'd better go, if you can." 

" I know no way but through the grave," said Cassy. 
" There's no beast or bird but can find a home somewhere ; 
even the snakes and the alligators have their places to lie 
down and be quiet ; but there's no place for us. Down in 
the darkest swamps their dogs will hunt us out, and find us. 
Every body and every thing is against us ; even the very 
beasts side against us, — and where shall we go?" 

Tom stood silent ; at length he said, — 

"Him that saved Daniel in the den of lions, — that saved 
the children in the fiery furnace, — him that walked on the 



LIFE AMONG THE LOWLY. 



497 



sea, and bade the winds be still, — he's alive yet ; and I've 
faith to believe he can deliver you. Try it, and I'll pray, 
with all my might, for you." 

By what strange law of mind is it that an idea long over- 
looked, and trodden under foot as. a useless stone, suddenly 
sparkles out in new light, as a discovered diamond ? 

Cassy had often revolved, for hours, all possible or proba- 
ble schemes of escape, and dismissed them all, as hopeless and 
impracticable ; but at this moment there flashed through her 
mind a plan, so simple and feasible in all its details, as to 
awaken an instant hope. 

" Father Tom, I'll try it ! " she said, suddenly. 

" Amen ! " said Tom ; " the Lord help ye ! " 
63 





CHAPTER XXXIX 



THE STRATAGEM. 



" The wav of the wicked is as darkness : he knoweth not at what he stumbleth." 




HE garret of the house that Legree occupied, 
like most other garrets, was a great, desolate 
p; : space, dusty, hung with cobwebs, and littered 
»' with cast-off lumber. The opulent family that 
had inhabited the house in the days of its 
splendor had imported a great deal of splen- 
did furniture, some of which they had taken away with them, 
while some remained standing desolate in mouldering, unoccu- 
pied rooms, or stored away in this place. One or two im- 
mense packing boxes, in which this furniture was brought, 
stood against the sides of the garret. Tliere was a small 
window there, which let in, through its dingy, dusty panes, a 
scanty, uncertain light on the tall, high-backed chairs and 



LIFE AMONG THE LOWLY. 499 

dusty tables, that had once seen better days. Altogether, it 
was a weird and ghostly place ; but, ghostly as it was, it 
wanted not in legends, among the superstitious negroes, to 
increase its terrors. Some few years before, a negro woman, 
who had incurred Legree's displeasure, was confined there 
for several weeks. What passed there we do not say ; the 
negroes used to whisper darkly to each other ; but it was 
known that the body of the unfortunate creature was one day 
taken down from there, and buried ; and, after that, it was 
said that oaths, and cursings, and the sound of violent blows 
used to ring through that old garret, and mingled with wail- 
ings and groans of despair. Once, when Legree chanced to 
overhear something of this kind, he flew into a violent passion, 
and swore that the next one that told stories about that garret 
should have an opportunity of knowing what was there, for he 
would chain him up there for a week. This hint was enough 
to repress talking, though, of course, it did not disturb the 
credit of the story in the least. 

Gradually, the staircase that led to the garret, and even 
the passage way to the staircase, were avoided by every one 
in the house, from every one fearing to speak of it ; and the 
legend was gradually falling into desuetude. It had suddenly 
occurred to Cassy to make use of the superstitious excitability, 
which was so great in Legree, for the purpose of her libera- 
tion, and that of her fellow-sufferer. 

The sleeping room of Cassy was directly under the garret. 
One day, without consulting Legree, she suddenly took it upon 
her, with some considerable ostentation, to change all the 
furniture and appurtenances of the room to one at some con- 
siderable distance. The under servants, who were called on 
to effect this movement, were running and bustling about with 
great zeal and confusion, when Legree returned from a ride. 

" Halloo ! you Cass ! " said Legree, " what's in the wind 
now ? " 

" Nothing ; only I choose to have another room," said 
Cassy, doggedly. 

" And what for, pray ? " said Legree. 

"I choose to," said Cassy. 

" The devil you do 1 and what for ? " 



500 UNCLE tom's cabin ; OR, 

" I'd like to get some sleep, now and then." 

" Sleep ! well, what hinders your sleeping ? " 

" I could tell, I suppose, if you want to hear," said Cassy, 
dryly. 

" Speak out, you minx ! " said Legree. 

" 0, nothing. I suppose it wouldn't disturb you ! Only 
groans, and people scuffling, and rolling round on the garret 
floor, half the night, from twelve to morning ! " 

" People up garret ! " said Legree, uneasily, but forcing a 
laugh ; " who are tiiey, Cassy ? " 

Cassy raised her sharp, black eyes, and looked in the face 
of Legree, with an expression that went through his bones, 
as she said, " To be sure, Simon, who are they ? I'd like to 
have you tell me. You don't know, I suppose ! " 

With an oath, Legree struck at her with his riding whip ; 
but she glided to one side, and passed through the door, and 
looking back, said, " If you'll sleep in that room, you'll know all 
about it. Perhaps you'd better try it ! " and then immediately 
she shut and locked the door. 

Legree blustered and swore, and threatened to break down 
the door ; but apparently thought better of it, and walked 
uneasily into the sitting room. Cassy perceived that her shaft 
had struck home ; and from that hour, with the most exquisite 
address, she never ceased to continue the train of influences 
she had begun. 

" In a knot-hole in the garret she had inserted the neck of 
an old bottle, in such a manner that, when there was the least 
wind, most doleful and lugubrious wailing sounds proceeded 
from it, which, in a high wind, increased to a perfect shriek, 
such as to credulous and superstitious ears might easily seem 
to be that of horror and despair. 

These sounds were, from time to time, heard by the servants, 
and revived in full force the memory of the old ghost legend. 
A superstitious, creeping horror seemed to fill the house ; and 
though no one dared to breathe it to Legree, he found himself 
encompassed by it, as by an atmosphere. 

No one is so thoroughly superstitious as the godless man. 
The Christian is composed by the belief of a wise, all-ruling 
Father, whose presence fills the void unknown with light and 



LIFE AMONG THE LOWLY. 501 

order ; but to the man who has dethroned God, the spirit 
land is, indeed, in the words of the Hebrew poet, " a land 
of darkness and the shadow of death," without any order, 
where the light is as darkness. Life and death to him are 
haunted grounds, filled with goblin forms of vague and shad- 
owy dread. 

Legree had had the slumbering moral element in him roused 
by his encounters with Tom, — roused only to be resisted by 
the determinate force of evil ; but still there was a thrill and 
commotion of the dark, inner world, produced by every word, 
or prayer, or hymn, that reacted in superstitious dread. 

The influence of Gassy over him was of a strange and sin- 
gi^lar kind. He was her owner, her tyrant, and tormentor. 
She was, as he knew, wholly, and without any possibility of 
help or redress, in his hands ; and yet so it is, that the most 
brutal man cannot live in constant association with a strong 
female influence, and not be greatly controlled by it. When 
he first bought her, she was, as she had said, a woman delicate- 
ly bred ; and then he crushed her, without scruple, beneath 
the foot of his brutality. But, as time, and debasing influ- 
ences, and despair hardened womanhood within her, and 
waked the fires of fiercer passions, she had become in a 
measure his mistress, and he alternately tyrannized over and 
dreaded her. 

This influence had become more harassing and decided, since 
partial insanity had given a strange, weird, unsettled cast to 
all her words and language. 

A night or two after this, Lcgrco was sitting in the old 
sitting room, by the side of a flickering wood fire, that threw 
uncertain glances round the room. It was a stormy, windy 
night, such as raises whole squadrons of nondescript noises in 
rickety old houses. Windows were rattling, shutters flapping, 
the wind carousing, rumbling, and tumbling down the chimney, 
and, every once in a while, puffing out smoke and ashes, as if a 
legion of spirits were coming after them. Legree had been, 
casting up accounts and reading newspapers for some hom-s, 
while Gassy sat in the corner, sullenly looking into the fire. 
Legree laid down his paper, and seeing an old book lying on 
the table, which he had noticed Gassy reading, the first part cf 



502 UNCLE tom's cabin ; OR, 

the evening, took it up, and began to turn it over. It was one 
of those collections of stories of bloody murders, ghostly 
legends, and supernatural visitations, which, coarsely got up 
and illustrated, have a strange fascination for one who once 
begins to read them. 

Legree poohed and pished, but read, turning page after page, 
till, finally, after reading some way, he threw down the book, 
with an oath. 

" You don't believe in ghosts, do you, Cass ? " said he, taking 
the tongs and settling the fire. " I thought you'd more sense 
than to let noises scare 3/0M." 

" No matter what I believe," said Cassy, sullenly. 

" Fellows used to try to frighten me with their yarns at sea," 
said Legree. "Never come it round me that way. I'm too 
tough for any such trash, tell ye." 

Cassy sat looking intensely at him in the shadow of the cor- 
ner. There was that strange light in her eyes that always 
impressed Legree with uneasiness. 

" Them noises was nothing but rats and the wind," said 
Legree. " Rats will make a devil of a noise. I used to hear 
'em sometimes down in the hold of the ship ; and wind, — 
Lord's sake ! ye can make any thing out 0' wind." 

Cassy knew Legree was uneasy under her eyes, and there- 
fore she made no answer, but sat fixing them on him, with that 
strange, unearthly expression, as before, 

" Come, speak out, woman, — don't you think so ? " said 
Legree. 

" Can rats walk down stairs, and oome walking through the 
entry, and open a door when you've locked it and set a chair 
against it ? " said Cassy ; " and come walk, walk, walking 
right up to your bed, and put out their hand, so ? " 

Cassy kept her glittering eyes fixed on Legree, as she spoke, 
and he stared at her like a man in the nightmare, till, when 
she finished by laying her hand, icy cold, on his, he sprung 
back, with an oath. 

" Woman ! what do you mean ? Nobody did " 

" 0, no, — of course not, — did I say they did ?" said Cassy, 
with a smile of chilling derision. 

"But — did — have you really seen — Come, Cass, what 
is it, now ? — speak out ! " 



LIFE AMONG THE LOWLY. 503 

" You may sleep there yourself," said Cassy, " if you want 
to know." 

" Did it come from the garret, Cassy ? " 

" It, — what ? " said Cassy. 

" Why, what you told of " 

" I didn't tell you any thing," said Cassy, with dogged 
sullcnness. 

Legree walked up and down the room uneasily. 

" I'll have this yer thing examined. I'll look into it this 
very night. I'll take my pistols " 

"Do," said Cassy ; "sleep in that room. I'd like to see you 
doing it. Fire your pistols, — do ! " 

Legree stamped his foot, and swore violently. 

" Don't swear," said Cassy ; " nobody knows who may be 
hearing you. Hark ! What was that ? " 

" What ? " said Legree, starting. 

A heavy old Dutch clock, that stood in the corner of the 
room, began, and slowly struck twelve. 

For some reason or other, Legree neither spoke nor moved ; 
a vague horror fell on him ; while Cassy, with a keen, sneer- 
ing glitter in her eyes, stood looking at him, counting the 
strokes. 

" Twelve o'clock ; well, now we'll see," said she, turning, 
and opening the door into the passage way, and standing as 
if listening. 

" Hark ! What's that ? " said she, raising her finger. 

"It's only the wind," said Legree. "Don't you hear how 
cursedly it blows ? " 

" Simon, come here," said Cassy, in a whisper, laying her 
hand on his, and leading him to the foot of the stairs : " do 
you know what that is ? Hark ! " 

A wild shriek came pealing down the stairway. It came 
from the garret. Lcgree's knees knocked together ; his face 
grew white with fear. 

" Hadn't you better get your pistols ? " said Cassy, with a 
sneer that froze Lcgree's blood. " It's time this thing was 
looked into, you know. I'd like to have you go up now ; 
theyh'e at it J' 

" I won't go ! " said Legree, with an oath. 



504 uxcLE tom's cabin ; OR, 

" Why not ? There an't any such thing as ghosts, you 
know ! Come ! " and Cassy flitted up the winding stairway, 
laughing, and looking back after him. " Come on." 

"I believe you are the devil ! " said Legree. " Come back, 
you hag, — come back, Cass ! You shan't go ! " 

But Cassy laughed wildly, and fled on. He heard her open 
the entry doors that led to the garret. A wild gust of wind 
swept down, extinguishing the candle he held in his hand, and 
with it the fearful, unearthly screams ; they seemed to ]»e 
shrieked in his very ear. 

Legree fled frantically into the parlor, whither, in a few 
moments, he was followed by Cassy, pale, calm, cold as 
an avenging spirit, and with that same fearful light in 
her eye. 

" I hope you are satisfied," said she. 

" Blast you, Cass ! " said Legree. 

" What for ? " said Cassy. " I only went up and shut the 
doors. What''s the matter with that garret, Simon, do you 
suppose ? " said she. 

" None of your business ! " said Legree. 

" 0, it an't ? Well," said Cassy, " at any rate, I'm glad / 
don't sleep under it." 

Anticipating the rising of the wind, that very evening, Cassy 
had been up and opened the garret window. Of course, the 
moment the doors were opened, the wind had draughted 
down and extinguished the light. 

This may serve as a specimen of the game that Cassy 
played with Legree, until he would sooner have put his head 
into a lion's mouth than to have explored that garret. Mean- 
while, in the night, when every body else was asleep, Cassy 
slowly and carefully accumulated there a stock of provisions 
sufficient to afford subsistence for some time ; she transferred, 
article by article, a greater part of her own and Emmeline's 
wardrobe. All things being arranged, they only waited a 
fitting opportunity to put their plan in execution. 

By cajoling Legree, and taking advantage of a good-natured 
interval, Cassy had got him to take her with him to the neigh- 
boring town, which was situated directly on the Red River. 
With a memory sharpened to almost preternatural clearness, 



LIFE AMONG THE LOWLY. 505 

she remarked every turn iu the road, and formed a mental esti- 
mate of the time to be occupied in traversing it. 

At the time when all was matured for action, our readers 
may, perhaps, like to look behind the scenes, and see the final 
coup d'etat. 

It was now near evening. Legree had been absent, on a 
dde to a neighboring farm. For many days Cassy had been 
unusually gracious and accommodating in her humors ; and 
Legree and she had been, apparently, on the best of terms. 
At present, we may behold her and Emmeline in the room of 
the latter, busy in sorting and arranging two small bundles. 

" There, these will be large enough," said Cassy. " Now put 
on your bonnet, and let's start : it's just about the right time." 

" Why, they can see us yet," said Emmeline. 

" I mean they shall," said Cassy, coolly. " Don't you know 
that they must have their chase after us, at any rate ? The 
way of the thing is to be just this : We will steal out of the 
back door, and run down by the quarters. Sambo or Quimbo 
will be sure to see us. They will give chase, and we will get 
into the swamp ; then they can't follow us any farther till they 
go up and give the alarm, and turn out the dogs, and so on ; 
and, while they are blundering round, and tumbling over each 
other, as they always do, you and I will just slip along to the 
creek, that runs back of the house, and wade along in it till 
we get opposite the back door. That will put the dogs all at 
fault ; for scent won't lie in the water. Every one will run 
out of the house to look after us, and then we'll whip in at the 
back door, and up into the garret, where I've got a nice bed 
made up in one of the great boxes. We must stay in that gar- 
ret a good while ; for, I tell you, he will raise heaven and 
earth after us. He'll muster some of those old overseers on 
the other plantations, and have *a great hunt ; and they'll go 
over every inch of ground in that swamp. He makes it his 
boast that nobody ever got away from him. So let him hunt 
at his leisure." 

" Cassy, how well you have planned it ! " said Emmeline. 
" Who ever would have thought of it but you ? " 

There was neither pleasure nor exultation in Cassy 's eyes, — 
only a despairing firmness. 
64 



506 UNCLE tom's cabin ; OR, 

" Come," she said, reaching her hand to Emmeline. 

The two fugitives glided noiselessly from the house, and 
flitted, through the gathering shadows of evening, along by 
the quarters. The crescent moon, set like a silver signet in 
the western sky, delayed a little the approach of night. As 
Cassy expected, when quite near the verge of the swamps that 
encircled the plantation, they heard a voice calling to them to 
stop. It was not Sambo, however, but Legree, who was pursu- 
ing them with violent execrations. At the sound, the feebler 
spirit of Emmeline gave way ; and, laying hold of Cassy's 
arm, she said, " Cassy, I'm going to faint ! " 

"If you do, I'll kill you!" said Cassy, drawing a small, 
glittering stiletto, and flashing it before the eyes of the girl. 

The diversion accomplished the purpose. Emmeline did 
not faint, and succeeded in plunging, with Cassy, into a part 
of the labyrinth of swamp, so deep and dark that it was per- 
fectly hopeless for Legree to think of following them without 
assistance. 

" Well," said he, chuckling brutally ; " at any rate, they've 
got themselves into a trap now — the baggages ! They're safe 
enough. They shall sweat for it ! " 

" Hulloa, there ! Sambo ! Quimbo ! All hands ! " called 
Legree, coming to the quarters, when the men and women 
were just returning from work. " There's two runaways in 
the swamps. I'll give five dollars to any nigger as catches 
'em. Turn out the dogs. Turn out Tiger, and Fury, and the 
rest ! " 

The sensation produced by this news was immediate. Many 
of the men sprang forward, officiously, to offer their services, 
either from the hope of the reward, or from that cringing sub- 
serviency which is one of the most baleful effects of slavery. 
Some ran one way, and some another. Some were for getting 
flambeaus of pine knots. Some were uncoupling the dogs, 
whose hoarse, savage bay added not a little to the animation 
of the scene. 

" Mas'r, shall we shoot 'em, if we can't cotch 'em ? " said 
Sambo, to whom his master brought out a rifle. 

" You may fire on Cass, if you like ; it's time she was 
gone to the devil, where she belongs ; but the gal, not," said 



LIFE AMONG THE LOWLY. 507 

Legree. "And now, boys, be spry and smart. Five dollars 
for him that gets 'em ; and a glass of spirits to every one of 
you, any how. 

The whole band, with the glare of blazing torches, and 
whoop, and shout, and savage yell, of man and beast, pro- 
ceeded down to the swamp, followed, at some distance, by 
every servant in the house. The establishment was, of a con- 
sequence, wholly deserted, when Gassy and Emmeline glided 
into it the back way. The whooping and shouts of their pur- 
suers were still filling the air ; and, looking from the sitting 
room windows, Gassy and Emmeline could see the troop, with 
their flambeaus, just dispersing themselves along the edge of 
the swamp. 

" See there ! " said Emmeline, pointing to Gassy ; " the hunt 
is begun! Look how those lights dance about 1 Hark! the 
dogs! Don't you hear? If we were only there, our chance 
wouldn't be worth a picayune. 0, for pity's sake, do let's hide 
ourselves. Quick ! " 

" There's no occasion for hurry," said Gassy, coolly ; " they 
are all out after the hunt, — that's the amusement of the 
evening ! We'll go up stairs, by and by. Meanwhile," said 
she, deliberately taking a key from the pocket of a coat that 
Legree had thrown down in his hurry, " meanwhile I shall take 
something to pay our passage." 

She unlocked the desk, and took from it a roll of bills, which 
she counted over rapidly. 

" 0, don't let's do that ! " said Emmeline. 

"Don't!" said Gassy; "why not? Would you have u? 
starve in the swamps, or have that that will pay our way to 
the free states? Money will do any thing, girl." And, as 
she spoke, she put the money in her bosom. 

" It would be stealing," said Emmeline, in a distressed 
whisper. 

" Stealing ! " said Gassy, with a scornful laugh. " They who 
steal body and soul needn't talk to us. Every one of these 
bills is stolen, — stolen from poor, starving, sweating, creatures, 
who must go to the devil at last, for his profit. Let him talk 
about stealing ! But come, we may as well go up garret : I've 
got a stock of candles there, and some books to pass away the 



508 UNCLE tom's cabin ; OR, 

time. You may be pretty sure they won't come there to in- 
quire after us. If they do, I'll play ghost for them." 

When Emmeline reached the garret, she found an immense 
box, in which some heavy pieces of furniture had once been 
brought, turned on its side, so that the opening faced the wall, 
or rather the eaves. Gassy lit a small lamp, and, creeping 
round under the eaves, they established themselves in it. It 
was spread with a couple of small mattresses and some pillows ; 
a box near by was plentifully stored with candles, provisions, 
and all the clothing necessary to their journey, which Gassy 
had arranged into bundles of an astonishingly small compass. 

" There," said Gassy, as she fixed the lamp into a small hook, 
which she had driven into the side of the box for that pur- 
pose, " this is to be our home for the present. How do you 
like it ? " 

" Are you sure they won't come and search the garret? " 

" I'd like to see Simon Legree doing that," said Gassy. " No; 
indeed ; he will be too glad to keep away. As to the servants, 
they would any of them stand and be shot, sooner than show 
their faces here." 

Somewhat reassured, Emmeline settled herself back on her 
pillow. 

•' What did you mean. Gassy, by saying you would kill me ? " 
she said, simply. 

" I meant to stop your fainting," said Gassy, " and I did do 
it. And now I tell you, Emmeline, you must make up your 
mind not to faint, let what will come ; there's no sort of need 
of it. If I had not stopped you, that wretch might have had 
his hands on you now." 

Emmeline shuddered. 

The two remained some time in silence. Gassy busied her' 
self with a French book ; Emmeline, overcome with the ex- 
haustion, fell into a doze, and slept some time. She was awa- 
kened by loud shouts and outcries, the tramp of horses' feet, and 
the baying of dogs. She started up, with a faint shriek. 

"Only the hunt coming back," said Gassy, coolly ; "never 
fear. Look out of this knot-hole. Don't you see 'em all down 
there ? Simon has to give it up, for this night. Look, how 
muddy his horse is, flouncing about in the swamp ; the dogs, 



LIFE AMONG THE LOWLY. 



509 



too, look rather crestfallen. Ah, my good sir, you'll have to 
try the race again and again, — the game isn't there." 

'■ 0, don't speak a word ! " said Emmeline ; " what if they 
should hear you ? " 

" If they do hoar any thing, it will make them very particu- 
lar to keep away," said Cassy. " No danger ; we may make 
any noise we please, and it will only add to the effect." 

At length the stillness of midnight settled down over the 
house. Legree, cursing his ill luck, and vowing dire vengeance 
on the morrow, went to bed. 





CHAPTER XL 



THE MARTYR. 



" Deem not the just by Heaven for^jot ! 

Though life its common gifts deny, — 
Though, with a crushed and bleeding lieart. 

And spurned of man, he goes to die ! 
For God hath marked each sorrowing day, 

And numbered every bitter tear : 
And heaven's long years of bliss shall pay 

For all his children suffer here.'' 



Bryant. 



J fiE longest way must have its close, — the 
gloomiest night Avill wear on to a morning. 
Vn eternal, inexorable lapse of moments is 
'\ or hurrying the day of the evil to an eternal 
night, and the night of the just to an eternal 
day. We have walked with our humble friend 
thus far in the valley of slavery ; iirst through flowery fields of 




LIFE AMO\(i THE LOWLV, 511 

ease and indulgence, then througli heart-breaking separations 
from all that man holds dear. Again, we have waited with 
him in a sunny island, where generous hands concealed his 
chains with flowers ; and, lastly, we have followed him when 
the last ray of earthly hope went out in night, and seen how, 
in the blackness of earthly darkness, the lirraament of the 
unseen has blazed with stars of new and significant lustre. 

The morning star now stands over the tops of the mountains, 
and gales and breezes, not of earth, show that the gates of day 
are unclosing. 

The escape of Cassy and Emmeline irritated the before surly 
temper of Legree to the last degree ; and his fury, as was to 
be expected, fell upon the defenceless head of Tom. When he 
hurriedly announced the tidings among his hands, there was a 
sudden light in Tom's eye, a sudden upraising of his hands, 
that did not escape him. He saw that he did not join the mus- 
ter of the pursuers. He thought of forcing him to do it ; but, 
having had, of old, experience of his inflexibility when com- 
manded to take part in any deed of inhumanity, he would not, 
in his hurry, stop to enter into any conflict with him. 

Tom, therefore, remained behind, with a few who had learned 
of him to pray, and offered up prayers for the escape of the 
fugitives. 

When Legree returned, baffled and disappointed, all the 
long-working hatred of his soul towards his slave began to 
gather in a deadly and desperate form. Had not this man 
braved him, — steadily, powerfully, resistlessly, — ever since he 
bought him ? Was there not a spirit in him, which, silent as it 
was, burned on him like the tires of perdition ? 

" I hate him ! " said Legree, that night, as he sat up in his 
bed ; " I hate him ! And isn't he mine ? Can't I do what 1 
like with him? W^ho's to hinder, I wonder?" And Legree 
clinched his fist, and shook it, as if he had something in his 
hands that he could rend in pieces. 

But, then, Tom was a faithful, valuable servant ; and, al- 
tliough Legree hated him the more for that, yet the considera- 
tion was still somewhat of a restraint to him. 

The next morning, he determined to say nothing, as yet ; to 
assemble a party, from some neighboring plantations, with dogs 



512 UNCLE TOM S CABIN ; OR. 

and guns ; to surround the swamp, and go about the hunt sys- 
tematically. If it succeeded, well and good ; if not, he would 
summon Tom before him, and — his teeth clinched and his 

blood boiled — then he would break that fellow down, or 

there was a dire inward whisper, to which his soul assented. 

Ye say that the interest of the master is a sufficient safeguard 
for the slave. In the fury of man's mad will, he will wittingly, 
and with open eye, sell his own soul to the devil to gain his 
ends ; and will he be more careful of his neighbor's body ? 

'' Well," said Gassy, the next day, from the garret, as she 
reconnoitred through the knot-hole, " the hunt's going to begin 
again to-day ! " 

Three or four mounted horsemen were curvetting about, on 
the space front of the house ; and one or two leashes of strange 
dogs were struggling with the negroes who held them, baying 
and barking at each other. 

The men are, two of them, overseers of plantations in the 
vicinity ; and others were some of Legree's associates at the 
tavern bar of a neighboring city, who had come for the interest 
of the sport. A more hard-favored set, perhaps, could not be 
imagined. Legree was serving brandy, profusely, round among 
them, as also among the negroes, who had been detailed from 
the various plantations for this service ; for it was an object 
to make every service of this kind, among the negroes, as much 
of a holiday as possible. 

Gassy placed her ear at the knot-hole ; and, as the morning 
air blew directly towards the house, she could overhear a 
good deal of the conversation. A grave sneer overcast the 
dark, severe gravity of her face, as she listened, and heard 
them divide out the ground, discuss the rival merits of the 
dogs, give orders about firing, and the treatment of each, in 
case of capture. 

Gassy drew back ; and, clasping her hands, looked upward, 
and said, " 0, great Almighty God ! we are all sinners ; but 
what have vce done, more than all the rest of the world, that 
we should be treated so ? " 

There was a terrible earnestness in her face and voice as 
she spoke. 

"If it wasn't for ^om, child, "she said, looking at Emmeline,"rd 



LIFE AMONG THE LOWLY. 513 

go out to them ; aud I'd thank any one of them that would shoot 
me down ; for what use Avill freedom be to me ? Can it give 
me back my children, or make me what I used to be ? " 

Emmeline, in her childlike simplicity, was half afraid of the 
dark moods of Cassy. She looked perplexed, but made no 
answer. She only took her hand, with a gentle, caressing 
movement. 

" Don't ! " said Cassy, trying to draw it away ; " you'll get 
me to loving you ; and I never mean to love any thing 
again ! " 

" Poor Cassy ! " said Emmeline, " don't feel so ! If the Lord 
gives us liberty, perhaps he'll give you back your daughter ; at 
any rate, I'll be like a daughter to you. I know I'll never see 
my poor old mother again ! I shall lo\^ you, Cassy, whether 
you love me or not ! " 

The gentle, childlike spirit conquered. Cassy sat down 
by her, put her arm round her neck, stroked her soft, brown 
hair ; and Emmeline then wondered at the beauty of her mag- 
nificent eyes, now soft with tears. 

" Em ! " said Cassy^ " I've hungered for my children, and 
thirsted for them, and my eyes fail with longing for them 1 
Here ! here ! " she said, striking her breast, " it's all desolate, 
all empty ! If God would give me back my children, then I 
could pray." 

" You must trust him, Cassy," said Emmeline ; " he is our 
Father ! " 

" His wrath is upon us," said Cassy ; " he has turned away 
in anger." 

" No, Cassy ! He will be good to us ! Let us hope in him," 
said Emmeline, — "I always have had hope^" 

The hunt was long, animated, and thorough, but unsuccess- 
ful ; and, with grave, ironic exultation, Cassy looked down on 
Legree, as, weary and dispirited, he alighted from his horse. 

"Now, Quimbo," said Legree, as he stretched himself down 
in the sitting room, " you jest go and walk that Tom up here, 
right away ! The old cuss is at the bottom of this yer whole 
matter ; aud I'll have it out of his old black hide, or I'll know 
the reason whv !" 

65 



514 UNCLE tom's cabin ; OR, 

Sambo and Quinibo, both, though hating each other, were 
joined in one mind by a no less cordial hatred of Tom. 
Legree had told them, at first, that he had bought him for a 
general overseer, in his absence ; and this had begun an ill 
will, on their part, which had increased, in their debased and 
servile natures, as they saw him becoming obnoxious to their 
master's displeasure. Quimbo, therefore, departed, with a will, 
to execute his orders. 

Tom heard the message with a forewarning heart ; for he 
knew all the plan of the fugitives' escape, and the place of 
their present conc'^^lment ; — he knew the deadly character of 
the man he had to deal with, and his despotic power. But he 
felt strong in God to meet death, rather than betray the 
helpless. 

He set his basket doAvn by the row, and looking up, said, 
" Into thy hands I commend my spirit ! Thou hast redeemed 
me, Lord God of truth ! " and then quietly yielded himself 
to the rough, brutal grasp with which Quimbo seized him. 

" Ay, ay ! " said the giant, as ho dragged him along, " ye'll 
cotch it now ! I'll boun' mas'r's back's up high ! No sneaking 
out now ! Tell ye, ye'll get it, and no mistake ! See how 
ye'll look now, helpin' mas'r's niggers to run away ! See what 
ye'll get ! " 

The savage words none of them reached that ear ! — a 
higher voice there was saying, " Fear not them that kill the 
body, and, after that, have no more that they can do." Nerve 
and bone of that poor man's body vibrated to those words, as 
if touched by the finger of God ; and he felt the strength of 
a thousand souls in one. As he passed along, the trees and 
bushes, the huts of his servitude, the whole scene of his degra- 
dation, seemed to whirl by him as the landscape by the rushing 
car. His soul throbbed, — his home was in sight, — and the 
hour of release seemed at hand. 

" Well, Tom ! " said Le^i-ee, walking up, and seizing him 
grimly by the collar of hi's coat, and speaking through his 
teeth, in a paroxysm of det(i'rmined rage, " do you know I've 
made up my mind to kill you ? " 

" It's very likely, mas'r," said Tom, calmly. 

" I have," said Legree, with grim, terrible calmness, " done — 



LIFE AMONG THE LOWLY. 515 

just — that — thing, Tom, unless you'll tell me what you kuow 
about these yer gals ! " 

Tom stood silent. 

" D'ye hear ? " said Legree, stamping, with a roar like that 
of an incensed lion. " Speak ! " 

" / hanH got nothing to tell, mas'r" said Tom, with a slow, 
firm, deliberate utterance. 

" Do you dare to tell me, ye old black Christian, ye don't 
know 1 " said Legree. 

Tom was silent. 

" Speak ! " thundered Legree, striking him furiously. " Do 
you know any thing ? " 

" I know, mas'r ; but I can't tell any thing, I can die ! " 

Legree drew in a long breath ; and, suppressing his rage, 
took Tom by the arm, and, approaching his face almost to his, 
said, in a terrible voice, "Hark'e, Tom ! — ye think, 'cause I've 
let you off before, I don't mean what I say ; but, this time, I've 
7nade up my mind, and counted the cost. You've always stood 
it out agin' me : now, I'll conquer ye, or kill ye ! — one or t'other 
I'll count every drop of blood there is in you, and take 'em, 
one by one, till ye give up ! " 

Tom looked up to his master, and answered, " Mas'r, if you 
was sick, or in trouble, or dying, and I could save ye, I'd give 
ye my heart's blood ; and, if taking every drop of blood in 
this poor old body would save your precious soul, I'd give 'em 
freely, as the Lord gave his for me. mas'r ! don't bring 
this great sin on your soul ! It will hurt you more than 'twill 
me ! Do the worst you can, my troubles'll be over soon ; but, 
if ye don't repent, yours won't never end ! " 

Like a strange snatch of heavenly music, heard in the lull of 
a tempest, this burst of feeling made a moment's blank pause. 
Legree stood aghast, and looked at Tom ; and there was such 
a silence, that the tick of the old clock could be heard, meas- 
uring, with silent touch, the last moments of mercy and proba- 
tion to that heardened heart. 

It was but a moment. There was one hesitating pause, — 
one irresolute, relenting thrill, — and the spirit of evil came 
back, with sevenfold veliemence ; and Legree, foaming with 
raffe. smote his victim to the ground. 



51t) UNCLE tom's cabin ; OR, 

Scenes of blood and cruelty are shocking to our ear and 
heart. What man has nerve to do, man has not nerve to hear. 
What brother man and brother Christian must suffer cannot 
be told us, even in our secret chamber, it so harrows up the 
soul ! And yet, my country I these things are done under 
the shadow of thy laws ! Christ ! thy church sees them, 
almost in silence ! 

But, of old, there was One whose suffering changed an in- 
strument of torture, degradation, and shame into a symbol of 
glory, honor, and immortal life ; and where his spirit is, 
neither degrading stripes, nor blood, nor insults can make the 
Christian's last struggle less than glorious. 

Was he alone, that long night, whose brave, loving spirit 
was bearing up, in that old shed, against buifeting and brutal 
stripes ? 

Nay ! There stood by him One, — seen by him alone, — 
" like unto the Son of God." 

The tempter stood by him, too, — blinded by furious, des- 
potic will, — every moment pressing him to shun that agony 
by the betrayal of the innocent. But the brave, true heart 
was firm on the Eternal Rock. Like his Master, he knew 
that, if he saved others, himself he could not save ; nor could 
utmost extremity wring from him words, save of prayer and 
holy trust. 

" He's most gone, mas'r," said Sambo, touched, in spite of 
himself, by the patience of his victim. 

"Pay away, till he gives up! Give it to him ! — give it to 
him ! " shouted Legree. " I'll take every drop of blood he 
has, unless he confesses ! " 

Tom opened his eyes, and looked upon his master. " Ye 
poor miserable critter ! " he said, " there an't no more ye can 
do ! I forgive ye, with all my soul ! " and he fainted entirely 
away. 

" I b'lieve, my soul, he's done for, finally," said Legree, 
stepping forward to look at him. " Yes, he is ! Well, his 
mouth's shut up at last, — that's one comfort!" 

Yes, Legree ; but who shall shut up that voice in thy soul ? 
that soul, past repentance, past prayer, past hope, in whom the 
tire that never shall be quenched is already burning ? 



JJFK AMONG THE LOWLY. 



517 




Yet Tom was not quite gone. His wondrous words and 
pious prayers had struck upon the hearts of the imbruted 
blacks, who had been the instruments of cruelty upon hiin ; 
and the instant Legree withdrew, they took him down, and, in 
their ignorance, sought to call him back to life, — as if that 
were any favor to him. 

" Sartin, we's been doing a drefful wicked thing ! " said 
Sambo ; " hopes mas'r'll have to 'count for it, and not we." 

Tliey washed his wounds, — they provided a rude bed, of 
some refuse cotton, for him to lie down on ; and one of them, 
stealing up to the house, begged a drink of brandy of Legree, 
pretending that he was tired, and wanted it for himself. He 
brought it back, and poured it down Tom's throat. 

" Tom !" said Quirabo, "we's been awful wicked to ye!" 

" I forgive ye, with all my heart ! " said Tom, faintly. 

" Tom ! do tell us who is Jesus, any how ? " said Sambo ; — 
" Jesus, that's been a standin' by you so, all this night ! — Who 
is he ? " 

The word roused the failing, fainting spirit. He poured 
forth a few energetic sentences of that wondrous Une, — his 
life, his death, his everlasting presence, and power to save. 

They wept, — both the two savage men. 

" Why didn't I never hear this before ? " said Sambo ; " but 



518 



UNCLE TOMS CABIN; 01 



I do believe ! — I can't help it ! Lord Jesus, have mercy on 
us!" 

" Poor critters ! " said Tom, " I'd be willing to bar' all I 
have, if it'll only bring ye to Christ ! Lord ! give me these 
two more souls, I pray ! " 

Tliat prayer was answered ! 





CHAPTER XLl 



THE YOUXG MASTER. 




^C WO days after, a young man drove a light 
wagon through the avenue of china trees, and, 
, throwing the reins hastily on the horses' neck, 
'Sprang out and inquired for the owner of the 
place. 
It was George Shelby ; and, to show how he 
came to be there, wc must go back in our story. 

The letter of Miss Ophelia to Mrs. Shelby had, by some un- 
fortunate accident, been detained, for a month or two, at some 
remote post office, before it reached its destination ; and, of 
course, before it w^as received, Tom was already lost to view 
among the distant swamps of the Eed River. 

]\[rs. Shelby read the intelligence with the deepest concern ; 
but any immediate action upon it was an impossibility. She 



520 UNCLE tom's cabin ; OR. 

was then in attendance on the sick bed of her husband, who lay 
delirious in the crisis of a fever. Master George Shelby, who, 
in the interval, had changed from a boy to a tall young man, 
was her constant and faithful assistant, and her only reliance 
in superintending his father's affairs. Miss Ophelia had taken 
the precaution to send them the name of the lawyer who did 
business for the St. Clares ; and the most that, in the emergency, 
could be done, was to address a letter of inquiry to him. 
The sudden death of Mr. Shelby, a few days after, brought, 
of course, an alisorbing pressure of other interests, for a 
season. 

Mr. Shelby showed his confidence in his wife's ability, by 
appointing her sole executrix upon his estates ; and thus im- 
mediately a large and complicated amount of business was 
brought upon her hands. 

Mrs. Shelby, with characteristic energy, applied herself to 
the work of straightening the entangled web of affairs ; and 
she and George were for some time occupied with collecting 
and examining accounts, selling property and settling debts ; 
for Mrs. Shelby was determined that every thing should be 
brought into tangible and recognizable shape, let the conse- 
quences to her prove what they might. In the mean time, 
they received a letter from the lawyer to whom Miss Ophelia 
had referred them, flaying that he knew nothing of the matter ; 
that the man was sold at a public auction, and that, beyond 
receiving the money, he knew nothing of the affair. 

Neither George nor Mrs. Shelby could be easy at this re- 
sult ; and, accordingly, some six months after, the former, hav- 
ing business for his mother down the river, resolved to visit 
New Orleans in person, and push his inquiries, in hopes of 
discovering Tom's whereabouts, and restoring him. 

After some months of unsuccessful search, by the merest 
accident, George fell in with a man, in New Orleans, who 
happened to be possessed of the desired information ; and with 
his money in his pocket, our hero took steamboat for Red 
River, resolving to find out and repurchase his old friend. 

He was soon introduced into the house, where he found he- 
gree in the sitting room. 

Legree received the stranger witli a kind of surly hospitality. 



LIFE AMONG THE LOWLY. 521 

" I understand," said the young man, " that you bought, in 
New Orleans, a boy named Tom. He used to be on my father's 
place, and I came to see if I couldn't buy him back." 

Legree's brow grew dark, and he broke out passionately : 
"Yes, I did buy such a fellow, — and a h — 1 of a bargain I 
had of it, too ! The most rebellious, saucy, impudent dog ! 
Set up my niggers to run away ; got oif two gals, worth eight 
hundred or a thousand dollars apiece. He owned to that, 
and, when I bid him tell me where they was, he up and said he 
knew, but he wouldn't tell ; and stood to it, though I gave him 
the cussedest flogging I ever gave nigger yet. I b'lieve he's 
trying to die ; but I don't know as he'll make it out." 

" Where is he ? " said George, impetuously. " Let me see 
him." The cheeks of the young man were crimson, and his 
eyes flashed fire ; but he prudently said nothing, as yet. 

" He's in dat ar shed," said a little fellow, who stood hold- 
ing George's horse. 

Legree kicked the boy, and swore at him ; but George, with- 
out saying another word, turned and strode to the spot. 

Tom had been lying two days since the fatal night ; not 
suffering, for every nerve of suffering was blunted and de- 
stroyed. He lay, for the most part, in. a quiet stupor ; for the 
laws of a powerful and well-knit frame would not at once 
release the imprisoned spirit. By stealth, there had been 
there, in the darkness of the night, poor desolated creatures, 
who stole from their scanty hours' rest, that they might repay 
to him some of those ministrations of love in which he had 
always been so abundant. Truly, those poor disciples had lit- 
tle to give, — only the cup of cold water ; but it was given 
with full hearts. 

Tears had fallen on that honest, insensible face, — tears of 
late repentance in the poor, ignorant heathen, whom his dying 
love and patience had awakened to repentance, and bitter 
prayers, breathed over him to a late-found Savior, of whom 
they scarce knew more than the name, but whom the yearning, 
ignorant heart of man never implores in vain. 

Gassy, who had glided out of her place of concealment, and, 
by overhearing, learned the sacrifice that had been made for 
her and Emmeline, had been there the night before, defying 
66 



522 UNCLE tom's cabin ; or, 

the danger of detection ; and, moved liy the few last words 
which the affectionate soul had yet strength to breathe, the 
long winter of despair, the ice of years, had given way, and 
the dark, despairing woman had wept and prayed. 

When George entered the shed, he felt his head giddy and 
his heart sick. 

" Is it possible, — is it possible ? " said he, kneeling down by 
him. " Uncle Tom, my poor, poor old friend ! " 

Something in the voice penetrated to the ear of the dying. 
He moved his head gently, smiled, and said, — 

" Jesus can make a dying bed 
Feel soft as downy pillows arc." 

Tears which did honor to his manly heart fell from the 
young man's eyes, as he bent over his poor friend. 

" 0, dear Uncle Tom ! do wake, — do speak once more ! 
Look up! Here's Mas'r George, — your own little Mas'r 
George. Don't you know me ? " 

" Mas'r George ! " said Tom, opening his eyes, and speak- 
ing in a feeble voice ; " Mas'r George ! " He looked be- 
wildered. 

Slowly the idea seemed to fill his soul ; and the vacant eye 
became fixed and brightened, the whole face lighted up, the 
hard hands clasped, and tears ran down the cheeks. 

" Bless the Lord ! it is, — it is, — it's all I wanted ! They 
haven't forgot me. It warms my soul ; it does my old heart 
good! Now I shall die content! Bless the Lord, my 
soul!" 

" You shan't die ! you mustnH die, nor think of it ! I've 
come to buy you, and take you home," said George, with im- 
petuous vehemence. 

" Mas'r George, ye're too late. The Lord's bought me, 
and is going to take me home, — and I long to go. Heaven 
is better than Kintuck." 

" 0, don't die ! It'll kill me ! — it'll break my heart to 
think what you've suffered, — and lying in this old shed, here I 
Poor, poor fellow ! " 

" Don't call me poor fellow ! " said Tom, solemnly. " I 
have been poor fellow ; but that's all past and gone, now. 



LIFE AMON(; THE LOWLY. 523 

I'm right in the door, going into glory ! Mas'r George ! 
Heaven has come ! I've got the victory ! — the Lord Jesus has 
given it to me ! Glory be to his name ! " 

George was awe-struck at the force, the vehemence, the 
power, with which those broken sentences were uttered. He 
sat gazing in silence. 

Tom grasped his hand, and continued, " Ye mustn't, now, 
tell Chloe, poor soul ! how ye found me ; — 'twould be so 
drefful to her. Only tell her ye found me going into glory, 
and that I couldn't stay for no one. And tell her the Lord's 
stood by me every where and al'ays, and made every thing 
light and easy. And 0, the poor chU'en, and the baby! — 
my old heart's been most broke for 'em, time and agin ! Tell 
'em all to follow me — follow me ! Give my love to mas'r, 
and dear good missis, and every body in the place ! Ye don't 
know ! 'Pears like I loves 'em all ! I loves every creatur 
every whar ! — its nothing hut love ! Mas'r George, what a 
thing 'tis to be a Christian ! " 

At this moment, Legree sauntered up to the door of the 
shed, looked in, with a dogged air of affected carelessness, and 
turned away. 

'• The old Satan ! " said George, in his indignation. " It's a 
comfort to think the devil will pay him for this, some of these 
days ! " 

"0, don't! — 0, ye mustn't! " said Tom, grasping his hand ; 
'' he's a poor mis'able critter ! it's awful to think on't ! 0, if 
he only could repent, the Lord would forgive him now ; but 
I'm 'feared he never will ! " 

" I hope he won't I " said George ; " I never want to see 
him in heaven ! " 

" Hush, Mas'r George ! — it worries me ! Don't feel so ! He 
an't done me no real harm, — only opened the gate of the 
kingdom for me ; that's all ! " 

At this moment, the sudden flush of strength which the joy 
of meeting his young master had infused into the dying man 
gave way. A sudden sinking fell upon him ; he closed his 
eyes ! and that mysterious and suljlime change passed over his 
face that told the approach of other worlds. 

He began to draw his breath with long, deep inspirations ; 



524 UNCLE tom's cabin ; OR, 

and his broad chest rose and fell heavily. The expression 
of his face was that of a conqueror. 

" Who, — who, — who shall separate us from the love of 
Christ?" he said, in a voice that contended with mortal weak- 
ness ; and, with a smile, he fell asleep. 

George sat fixed with solemn awe. It seemed to him that 
the place was holy ; and, as he closed the lifeless eyes, and 
rose up from the dead, only one thought possessed him, — that 
expressed by his simple old friend, " What a thing it is to be a 
Christian ! " 

He turned : Legree was standing, sullenly, behind him. 

Something in that dying scene had checked the natural 
fierceness of youthful passion. The presence of the man was 
simply loathsome to George ; and he felt only an impulse to 
get away from him, with as few words as possible. 

Fixing his keen, dark eyes on Legree, he simply said, point- 
ing to the dead, " You have got all you ever can of him. 
AVhat shall I pay you for the body ? I will take it away, and 
bury it decently." 

" I don't sell dead niggers," said Legree, doggedly. " You 
are welcome to bury him where and when you like." 

" Boys," said George, in an authoritative tone, to two or 
three negroes, who were looking at the body, " help me lift 
him up, and carry him to my wagon ; and get me a spade." 

One of them ran for a spade ; the other two assisted George 
to carry the body to the wagon. 

George neither spoke to nor looked at Legree, who did not 
countermand his orders, but stood whistling, with an air of 
forced unconcern. He sulkily followed them to where the 
wagon stood at the door. 

George spread his cloak in the wagon, and had the body 
carefully disposed of in it, — moving the seat, so as to give it 
room. Then he turned, fixed his eyes on Legree, and said, 
with forced composure, — 

" I have not, as yet, said to you what I think of this most 
atrocious affair; — this is not the time and place. But, sir, 
this innocent blood shall have justice. I will proclaim this 
murder. I will go to the very first magistrate, and expose 
vou=" 



LIFE AMONCx THE LOWLY. 525 

" Do ! " said Legree, snapping his iingers scornfully. " I'd 
like to see you doing it. Where you going to get witnesses ? 
— how you going to prove it? — come, now ! " 

George saw, at once, the force of this defiance. There was 
not a white person on the place ; and, in all southern courts, 
the testimony of colored blood is nothing. He felt, at that 
moment, as if he could have rent the heavens with his heart's 
indignant cry for justice ; but in vain. 

" After all, what a fuss for a dead nigger ! " said Legree. 

The word was as a spark to a powder magazine. Prudence 
was never a cardinal virtue of the Kentucky boy. George 
turned, and, with one indignant blow, knocked Legree flat 
upon his face ; and, as he stood over him, blazing with wrath 
and defiance, he would have formed no bad personification of 
his great namesake triumphing over the dragon. 

Some men, however, are decidedly bettered by being knocked 
down. If a man lays them fairly flat in the dust, they seem 
immediately to conceive a respect for him ; and Legree was 
one of this sort. As he rose, therefore, and brushed the dust 
from his clothes, he eyed the slowly-retreating wagon with 
some evident consideration ; nor did he open his mouth till it 
was out of sight. 

Beyond the boundaries of the plantation, George had noticed 
a dry, sandy knoll, shaded by a few trees : there they made 
the grave. 

" Shall we take ofi" the cloak, mas'r ? " said the negroes, 
when the grave was ready. 

"No, no, — bury it with him ! It's all I can give you now, 
poor Tom, and you shall have it." 

They laid him in ; and the men shovelled away, silently. 
They banked it up, and laid green turf over it. 

" You may go, boys," said George, slipping a quarter into 
the hand of each. They lingered about, however. 

" If young mas'r would please buy us " said one. 

" We'd serve him so faithful ! " said the other. 

" Hard times, here, mas'r ! " said the first. " Do, mas'r, buy 
us, please ! " 

" I can't — I can't ! " said George, with difficulty, motioning 
them off ; " it's impossible ! " 



526 



UNCLE TOM's cabin ; OR, 



The poor fellows looked dejected, and walked off in silence. 

" Witness, eternal God ! " said George, kneeling on the 
grave of his poor friend ; " 0, witness, that from this hour, I 
will do what one man can to drive out this curse of slavery 
from my land ! " 

There is no monument to mark the last resting-place of our 
friend. He needs none ! His Lord knows where he lies, and 
will raise him up, immortal, to appear with him, when he shall 
appear in his glory. 

Pity him not ! Such a life and death is not for pity Not 
in the riches of omnipotence is the chief glory of God ; but in 
self-denying, suffering love ! And blessed are the men whom 
he calls to fellowship with him, bearing their cross after him 
with patience. Of such it is written, " Blessed are they that 
mourn, for they shall be comforted." 





CHAPTER XLII. 



AN AUTHENTIC GHOST STORY. 




OR some remarkable reason, ghostly legends 
were uncommonly rife, about this time, among 
the servants on Legree's place. 

It was whisperingly asserted that footsteps, 
in the dead of night, had been heard descend- 
ing the garret stairs, and patrolling the house. 
In vain the doors of the upper entry had been locked ; the 
ghost either carried a duplicate key in its pocket, or availed 
itself of a ghost's immemorial privilege of coming through 
the keyhole, and promenaded as before, with a freedom that 
was alarming. 

Authorities were somewhat divided, as to the outward form 
of the spirit, owing to a custom quite prevalent among negroes, 
— and, for aught we know, among whites, too, — of invariably 



528 UNCLE tom's cabin; or, 

shutting the eyes, and covering up heads under blankets, petti- 
coats, or whatever else might come in use for a shelter, on 
these occasions. Of course, as every body knows, when the 
bodily eyes are thus out of the lists, the spiritual eyes are 
uncommonly vivacious and conspicuous ; and, therefore, there 
were abundance of full-length portraits of the ghost, abundant- 
ly sworn and testified to, which, as is often the case with por- 
traits, agreed with each other in no particular, except the com- 
mon family peculiarity of the ghost tribe, — the wearing of a 
white sheet. The poor souls were not versed in ancient history, 
and did not know that Shakspeare had authenticated this cos- 
tume, by telling how 

" The sheeted dead 
Did squeak and gibber in the streets of Rome." 

And, therefore, their all hitting upon this is a striking fact 
in pneumatology, which we recommend to the attention of 
spiritual media generally. 

Be it as it may, we have private reasons for knowing that a 
tall figure in a white sheet did walk, at the most approved 
ghostly hours, around the Legree premises, — pass out the 
doors, glide about the house, — disappear at intervals, and, 
reappearing, pass up the silent stairway, into that fatal garret ; 
and that, in the morning, the entry doors were all found shut 
and locked as firm as ever. 

Legree could not help overhearing this whispering ; and it 
was all the more exciting to him, from the pains that were 
taken to conceal it from him. He drank more brandy than 
usual ; held up liis head briskly, and swore louder than ever 
in the daytime ; but he had bad dreams, and the visions of his 
head on his bed were any thing but agreeable. The night after 
Tom's body had been carried away, he rode to the next town 
for a carouse, and had a high one ; got home late and tired ; 
locked his door, took out the key, and went to bed. 

After all, let a man take what pains he may to hush it 
down, a human soul is an awful ghostly, unquiet possession for 
a bad man to have. Who knows the metes and bounds of it ? 
Who knows all its aAvful perhapses, — those shudderings and 
trembliuQ-s which it can no more live down than it can outlive 



LIFE AMONG THE LOWLY. 529 

its own eternity ! What a fool is he who locks his door to 
keep out spirits, who has in his own bosom a spirit he dares 
not meet alone, — whose voice, smothered far down, and piled 
over with mountains of earthliness, is yet like the forewarning 
trumpet of doom ! 

But Legree locked his door, and set a chair against it ; 
he set a night lamp at the head of his bed ; and he put his 
pistols there. He examined the catches and fastenings of the 
windows, and then swore he " didn't care for the devil and all 
his angels," and went to sleep. 

Well, he slept, for he was tired, — slept soundly. But, 
finally, there came over his sleep a shadow, a horror, an appre- 
hension of something dreadful hanging over him. It was his 
mother's shroud, he thought ; but Cassy had it, holding it up, 
and showing it to him. He heard a confused noise of screams 
and groanings ; and, with it all, he knew he was asleep, and 
he struggled to wake himself. He was half awake. He was 
sure something was coming into his room. He knew the door 
was opening, but he could not stir hand or foot. At last he 
turned, with a start ; the door icas open, and he saw a hand 
putting out his light. 

It was a cloudy, misty moonlight, and there he saw it ! — 
something white, gliding in ! He heard the still rustle of its 
ghostly garments. It stood still by his bed; — a cold hand 
touched his ; a voice said, three times, in a low, fearful whis- 
per, "Come! come! come!" And, while he lay sweating 
with terror, he knew not when or how, the thing was gone. 
He sprang out of bed, and pulled at the door. It was shut 
and locked, and the man fell down in a swoon. 

After this, Legree became a harder drinker than ever 
before. He no longer drank cautiously, prudently, but im- 
prudently and recklessl}'. 

There were reports around the country, soon after, that ho 
was sick and dying. Excess had brought on that frightful 
disease that seems to throw the lurid shadows of a coming- 
retribution back into the present life. None could bear the 
horrors of that sick room, when he raved, and screamed, and 
spoke of sights which almost stopped the blood of those who 
67 



530 UNCLE Tom's cabin ; or, 

heard him ; and at his dying bed stood a stern, white, inexo- 
rable figure, saying, " Come ! come ! come ! " 

By a singular coincidence, on the very night that this vision 
appeared to Legree, the house door was found open in the 
morning, and some of the negroes had seen two white figures 
gliding down the avenue towards the high road. 

It was near sunrise when Cassy and Emmeline paused, for a 
moment, in a little knot of trees near the town. 

Cassy was dressed after the manner of the Creole Spanish 
ladies, — wholly in black. A small black bonnet on her head, 
covered by a veil thick with embroidery, concealed her face. 
It had been agreed that, in their escape, she was to personate 
the character of a Creole lady, and Emmeline that of her 
servant. 

Brought up, from early life, in connection with the highest 
society, the language, movements, and air of Cassy were all 
in agreement with this idea ; and she had still enough remain- 
ing Avith her of a once splendid wardrobe, and sets of jewels, 
to enable her to personate the thing to advantage. 

She stopped in the outskirts of the town, where she had 
noticed trunks for sale, and purchased a handsome one. This 
she requested the man to send along with her. And, accord- 
ingly, thus escorted by a boy wheeling her trunk, and Emme- 
line behind her, carrying her carpet bag and sundry bundles, 
she made her appearance at the small tavern, like a lady of 
consideration. 

The first person that struck her, after her arrival, was 
George Shelby, who was staying there, awaiting the next 
boat. 

Cassy had remarked the young man from her loophole in 
the garret, and seen him bear away the body of Tom, and 
observed, with secret exultation, his rencontre with Legree. 
Subsequently, she had gathered, from the conversations she 
had overheard among the negroes, as she glided about in her 
ghostly disguise, after nightfall, who he was, and in what rela- 
tion he stood to Tom. She therefore felt an immediate acces- 
sion of confidence, when she found that he was, like herself, 
awaiting the next boat. 

Cassy's air and manner, address, and evident command of 



LIFE AMONG THE LOWLY. 531 

money, prevented any rising disposition to suspicion in the 
hotel. People never inquire too closely into those who are 
fair on the main point, of paying well, — a thing which Cassy 
had foreseen when she provided herself with money. 

In the edge of the evening, a boat was heard coming along, 
and George Shelby handed Cassy aboard, with the politeness 
which comes naturally to every Kentuckian, and exerted him- 
self to provide her with a good state room. 

Cassy kept her room and bed, on pretext of illness, during 
the whole time they were on Red River ; and was waited on, 
with obsequious devotion, by her attendant. 

When they arrived at the Mississippi River, George, having 
learned that the course of the strange lady was upward, like 
his own, proposed to take a state room for her on the same 
boat with himself, — good-naturedly compassionating her feeble 
health, and desirous to do what he could to assist her. 

Behold, therefore, the whole party safely transferred to the 
good steamer Cincinnati, and sweeping up the river under a 
powerful head of steam. 

Cassy's health was much better. She sat upon the guards, 
came to the table, and was remarked upon in the boat as a 
lady that must have been very handsome. 

From the moment that George got the first glimpse of her 
face, he was troubled with one of those fleeting and indefinite 
likenesses, which almost every body can remember, and has 
been, at times, perplexed with. He could not keep himself 
from looking at her, and watching her perpetually. At table, 
or sitting at her state-room door, still she would encounter 
the young man's eyes fixed on her, and politely withdrawn 
when she showed, by her countenance, that she was sensible 
of the observation. 

Cassy became uneasy. She began to think that he sus- 
pected something ; and finally resolved to throw herself en- 
tirely on his generosity, and intrusted him with her whole 
history. 

George was heartily disposed to sympathize with any one 
who had escaped from Legree's plantation, — a place that he 
could not remember or speak of with patience, — and, with 
the courageous disregard of consequences which is character- 



532 UNCLE tom's cabin ; OR, 

istic of his age and state, he assured her that he would do all 
in his power to protect and bring them through. 

The next state room to Cassy's was occupied by a French 
lady, named De Thoux, who was accompanied by a fine little 
daughter, a child of some twelve summers. 

This lady, having gathered, from George's conversation, that 
he was from Kentucky, seemed evidently disposed to culti- 
vate his acquaintance ; in which design she was seconded by 
the graces of her little girl, who was about as pretty a play- 
thing as ever diverted the weariness of a fortnight's trip on a 
steamboat. 

George's chair was often placed at her state-room door ; 
and Gassy, as she sat upon the guards, could hear their conver- 
sation. 

Madame de Thoux was very minute in her inquiries as to 
Kentucky, where she said she had resided in a former period 
of her life. George discovered, to his surprise, that her for- 
mer residence must have been in his own vicinity ; and her 
inquiries showed a knowledge of people and things in his 
region that was perfectly surprising to him. 

" Do you know," said Madame de Thoux to him, one day, 
"of any man, in your neighborhood, of the name of Harris?" 

" There is an old fellow, of that name, lives not far from my 
father's place," said George. "We never have had much inter- 
course with him, though." 

" He is a large slave owner, I believe," said Madame de 
Thoux, with a manner which seemed to betray more interest 
than she was exactly willing to show. 

" He is," said George, looking rather surprised at her 
manner. 

" Did you ever know of his having — perhaps you may have 
heard of his having a mulatto boy, named George ? " 

"0, certainly, — George Harris, — I know him well; he 
married a servant of my mother's, but has escaped, now, to 
Canada." 

" He has ? " said Madame de Thoux, quickly. " Thank 
God ! " 

George looked a surprised inquiry, but said nothing. 

Madame de Thoux leaned her head on her hand, and burst 
into tears. 



LIFE AMONG THE LOWLY. 533 

" He is my brother," she said. 

" Madame ! " said George, with a strong accent of surprise. 

" Yes," said Madame de Thoux, lifting her head, proudly, 
and wiping her tears ; '" Mr. Shelby, George Harris is my 
brother ! " 

" I am perfectly astonished," said George, pushing back his 
chair a pace or two, and looking at Madame de Thoux. 

" I was sold to the south when he was a boy," said she. " I 
was bought by a good and generous man. He took me with 
him to the West Indies, set me free, and married me. It is but 
lately that he died ; and I was coming up to Kentucky to see 
if I could find and redeem my brother." 

" I have heard him speak of a sister Emily, that was sold 
south," said George. 

" Yes, indeed ! I am the one," said Madame de Thoux ; — 
"tell me what sort of a " 

" A very fine young man," said George, " notwithstanding 
the curse of slavery that lay on him. He sustained a first-rate 
character, both for intelligence and principle. I know, you 
see," he said ; " because he married in our family." 

" What sort of a girl ? " said Madame de Thoux, eagerly. 

" A treasure," said George ; " a beautiful, intelligent, amiable 
girl ; very pious. My mother had brought her up, and trained 
her as carefully, almost, as a daughter. She could read and 
write, embroider and sew, beautifully ; and was a beautiful 
singer." 

" Was she born in your house ? " said Madame de Thoux. 

"No. Father bought her once, in one of his trips to New 
Orleans, and brought her up as a present to mother. She was 
about eight or nine years old then. Father would never tell 
mother what he gave for her ; but, the other day, in looking 
over his old papers, we came across the bill of sale. He paid 
an extravagant sum for her, to be sure ; I suppose on account 
of her extraordinary beauty." 

George sat with his back to Gassy, and did not see the 
absorbed expression of her countenance, as he was giving 
these details. 

At this point in the story, she touched his arm, and, with a 
face perfectly white with interest, said, "Do you know the 
names of the people he bought her of?" 



534 UNCLE TOM's 'CABIN ; OR, 

" A man of tlie name of Simmons, I think, was the principal 
in the transaction. At least, I think that was the name on the 
bill of sale." 

" my God ! " said Gassy, and fell insensible on the floor of 
the cabin. 

George was wide awake now, and so was Madame de Thoux. 
Though neither of them could conjecture what was the cause 
of C assy's fainting, still they made all the tumult which is 
proper in such cases ; — George upsetting a wash pitcher, and 
breaking two tumblers, in the warmth of his humanity ; and 
various ladies in the cabin, hearing that somebody had fainted, 
crowded the state-room door, and kept out all the air they 
possibly could ; so that, on the whole, every thing was done 
that could be expected. 

Poor Gassy, when she recovered, turned her face to the 
wall, and wept and sobbed like a child. Perhaps, mother, you 
can tell what she was thinking of. Perhaps you cannot. But 
she felt as sure, in that hour, that God had had mercy on her, 
and that she should see her daughter, — as she did, months 
afterwards, — when But we anticipate. 



'^^'""^ 



f 




CHAPTER XLIII. 



RESULTS. 




HE rest of our story, is soon told. George 
Shelby, interested, as any other young man 
might be, by the romance of the incident, no 
' less than by feelings of humanity, was at the 
pains to send to Gassy the bill of sale of Eliza, 
whose date and name all corresponded with her 
OAvn knowledge of facts, and left no doubt upon her mind as 
to the identity of her child. It remained now only for her to 
trace out the path of the fugitives. 

Madame de Thoux and she, thus drawn together by tlie sin- 
gular coincidence of their fortunes, proceeded immediately to 
Ganada, and began a tour of inquiry among the stations where 
the numerous fugitives from slavery are located. At Amherst- 
berg they found the missionary with whom George and Eliza 



536 UNCLE tom's cabin ; OR, 

had taken shelter, on their first arrival in Canada ; and 
through him were enabled to trace the family to Montreal. 

George and Eliza had now been five years free. George 
had found constant occupation in the shop of a worthy ma- 
chinist, where he had been earning a competent support for 
his family, which, in the mean time, had been increased by the 
addition of another daughter. 

Little Harry — a fine bright boy — had been put to a good 
school, and was making rapid proficiency in knowledge. 

The worthy pastor of the station, in Amherstberg, where 
George had first landed, was so much interested in the state- 
ments of Madame de Thoux and Gassy, that he yielded to the 
solicitations of the former, to accompany them to Montreal in 
their search, — she bearing all the expense of the expedition. 

The scene now changes to a small, neat tenement, in the out- 
skirts of Montreal ; the time, evening. A cheerful fire blazes 
on the hearth ; a tea table, covered with a snowy cloth, stands 
prepared for the evening meal. In one corner of the room 
was a table covered with a green cloth, where was an open 
writing desk, pens, paper, and over it a shelf of well-selected 
books. 

This was George's study. The same zeal for self-improve- 
ment which led him to steal the much-coveted arts of reading 
and writing, amid all the toils and discouragements of his 
early life, still led him to devote all his leisure time to self- 
cultivation. 

At this present time, he is seated at the table, making notes 
from a volume of the family library he has been reading. 

" Come, George," says Eliza, " you've been gone all day. 
Do put down that book, and let's talk, while I'm getting tea, 
— do." 

And little Eliza seconds the effort, by toddling up to her 
father, and trying to pull the book out of his hand, and install 
herself on his knee as a substitute. 

" 0, you little witch ! " says George, yielding, as, in such 
circumstances, man always must. 

" That's right," says Eliza, as she begins to cut a loaf of 
bread. A little older she looks ; her form a little fuller ; her 
air more matronly than of yore ; but evidently contented and 
happy as woman need be. 



LIFE AMONG THE LOWLY. 537 

" Harry, my boy, how did yon come ou in that sum, to-day? " 
says George, as he laid his hand on his son's head. 

Harry has lost his long curls ; but he can never lose those 
eyes and eyelashes, and that fine, bold brow, that flushes with 
triumph, as he answers, " I did it, every bit of it, myself, father ; 
and nobody helped me ! " 

" That's right," says his father ; " depend on yourself, my son. 
You have a better chance than ever your poor father had." 

At this moment, there is a rap at the door ; and Eliza goes 
and opens it. The delighted — "Why! — this you?" — calls 
up her husband ; and the good pastor of Amherstberg is wel- 
comed. There are two women with him, and Eliza asks them 
to sit down. 

Now, if the truth must be told, the honest pastor had ar- 
ranged a little programme, according to which this affair was 
to develop itself; and, on the way up, all had very cautiously 
and prudently exhorted each other not to let things out, except 
according to previous arrangement. 

What was the good man's consternation, therefore, just as he 
had motioned to the ladies to be seated, and was taking out 
his pocket handkerchief to wipe his mouth, so as to proceed to 
his introductory speech in good order, when Madame de Thoux 
upset the whole plan, by throwing her arms around George's 
neck, and letting all out at once, by saying, " George ! don't 
you know me ? I'm your sister Emily." 

Gassy had seated herself more composedly, and would have 
carried on her part very well, had not little Eliza suddenly 
appeared before her in exact shape and form, every outline 
and curl, just as her daughter was when she saw her last. 
The little thing peered up in her face ; and Gassy caught her 
up in her arms, pressed her to her bosom, saying, what at 
the moment she really believed, " Darling, I'm your mother ! " 

In fact, it was a troublesome matter to do up exactly in 
proper order ; but the good pastor, at last, succeeded in getting 
every body quiet, and delivering the speech with which he had 
intended to open the exercises ; and in which, at last, he suc- 
ceeded so well, that his whole audience were sobbing about 
him in a manner that ought to satisfy any orator, ancient or 
modern. 

68 



538 UNCLE tom's cabin ; OR, 

They knelt together, and the good man prayed, — for there 
are some feelings so agitated and tumultuous, that they can 
find rest only by being poured into the bosom of Almighty 
Love, — and then, rising up, the new-found family embraced 
each other, with a holy trust in Him who from such peril 
and dangers, and by such unknown ways, had brought them 
together. 

The note book of a missionary, among the Canadian fugi- 
tives, contains truth stranger than fiction. How can it be 
otherwise, when a system prevails which whirls families and 
scatters their members, as the wind whirls and scatters the 
leaves of autumn ? These shores of refuge, like the eternal 
shore, often unite again, in glad communion, hearts that for 
long years have mourned each other as lost. And affecting 
beyond expression is the earnestness with which every new 
arrival among them is met, if, perchance, it may bring tidings 
of mother, sister, child, or wife, still lost to view in the shadows 
of slavery. 

Deeds of heroism are wrought here more than those of ro- 
mance, when, defying torture, and braving death itself, the 
fugitive voluntarily threads his way back to the terrors and 
perils of that dark land, that he may bring out his sister, or 
mother, or wife. 

One young man, of whom a missionary has told us, twice 
recaptured, and suffering shameful stripes for his heroism, had 
escaped again ; and, in a letter which we heard read, tells his 
friends that he is going back a third time, that he may, at last, 
bring away his sister. My good sir, is this man a hero, or a 
criminal ? "Would not you do as much for your sister ? And 
can you blame him ? 

But, to return to our friends, whom we left wiping their 
eyes, and recovering themselves from too great and sudden a 
joy. They are now seated around the social board, and are 
getting decidedly companionable ; only that Cassy, who keeps 
little Eliza on her lap, occasionally squeezes the little thing, 
in a manner that rather astonishes her, and obstinately refuses 
to have her mouth stuffed with cake to the extent the little one 
desires, — alleging, what the child rather wonders at, that she 
has got something better than cake, and doesn't want it. 



LIFE AMONG THE LOWLY. 539 

And, indeed, in two or three days, such a change has passed 
over Gassy, that our readers would scarcely know her. The 
despairing, haggard expression of her face had given way to 
one of gentle trust. She seemed to sink, at once, into the 
bosom of the family, and take the little ones into her heart, as 
something for which it long had waited. Indeed, her love 
seemed to flow more naturally to the little Eliza than to her 
own daughter ; for she was the exact image and body of the 
child whom she had lost. The little one was a flowery bond 
between mother and daughter, through whom grew up acquaint- 
anceship and affection. Eliza's steady, consistent piety, regu- 
lated by the constant reading of the sacred word, made her a 
proper guide for the shattered and wearied mind of her mother. 
Gassy yielded at once, and with her whole soul, to every good 
influence, and became a devout and tender Christian. 




After a day or two, Madame de Thoux told her brother 
more particularly of her affairs. The death of her husband 
had left her an ample fortune, which she generously offered to 
share with the family. When she asked George what way she 
could best apply it for him, he answered, " Give me an educa- 
tion, Emily ; that has always been my heart's desire. Then, I 
can do all the rest." 

On mature deliberation, it was decided that the whole family 
should go, for some years, to France ; whither they sailed, 
carrying Emmeline with them. 



540 UNCLE TOM's cabin ; OR, 

The good looks of the latter won the affection of the first 
mate of the vessel ; and, shortly after entering the port, she 
became his wife. 

George remained four years at a French university, and, 
applying himself with an unintermitted zeal, obtained a very 
thorough education. 

Political troubles in France, at last, led the family again to 
seek an asylum in this country. 

George's feelings and views, as an educated man, may be 
best expressed in a letter to one of his friends. 

" I feel somewhat at a loss as to my future course. True, 
as you have said to me, I might mingle in the circles of the 
whites, in this country, my shade of color is so slight, and that 
of my wife and family scarce perceptible. Well, perhaps, 
on sufferance, I might. But, to tell you the truth, I have no 
wish to. 

" My sympathies are not for my father's race, but for my 
mother's. To him I was no more than a fine dog or horse : to 
my poor heart-broken mother I was a child; and, though I 
never saw her, after the cruel sale that separated us, till she 
died, yet I knoiv she always loved me dearly. I know it by 
my own heart. When I think of all she suffered, of ray own 
early sufferings, of the distresses and struggles of my heroic 
wife, of my sister, sold in the New Orleans slave market, — 
though I hope to have no unchristian sentiments, yet I may be 
excused for saying, I have no wish to pass for an American, or 
to identify myself with them. 

" It is with the oppressed, enslaved African race that I cast 
in my lot ; and, if I wished any thing, I would wish myself 
two shades darker, rather than one lighter. 

"The desire and yearning of my soul is for an African 
nationality. I want a people that shall have a tangible, sepa- 
rate existence of its own ; and where am I to look for it? 
Not in Hayti ; for in Hayti they had nothing to start with. 
A stream cannot rise above its fountain. The race that formed 
the character of the Haytians was a worn-out, effeminate one ; 
and, of course, the subject race will be centuries in rising to 
any thing. 

" Where, than, shall I look ? On the shores of Africa I see 



LIFE AMONG THE LOWLY. 541 

a republic, — a republic formed of picked men, who, by energy 
and self-educating force, have, in many cases, individually, 
raised themselves above a condition of slavery. Having gone 
through a preparatory stage of feebleness, this republic has, at 
last, become an acknowledged nation on the face of the earth, 
— acknowledged by both France and England. There it is 
my wish to go, and find myself a people. 

" I am aware, now, that I shall have you all against me ; but, 
before you strike, hear me. During my stay in France, I have 
followed up, with intense interest, the history of my people in 
America. I have noted the struggle between abolitionist and 
colonizationist, and have received some impressions, as a distant 
spectator, which could never have occurred to me as a parti- 
cipator. 

" I grant that tiiis Liberia nia\- have subserved all sorts of 
purposes, by being played off, in the hands of our oppressors, 
against us. Doubtless the scheme may have been used, in un- 
justifiable ways, as a means of retarding our emancipation. 
But the question to me is. Is there not a God above all man's 
schemes ? May he not have overruled their designs, and 
founded for us a nation by them ? 

" In these days, a nation is born in a day. A nation starts, 
now, with all the great problems of republican life and civil- 
ization wrought out to its hand ; — it has not to discover, but 
only to apply. Let us, then, all take hold together, with all 
our might, and see what we can do with this new enterprise, 
and the whole splendid continent of Africa opens before us 
and our children. Our nation shall roll the tide of civilization 
and Christianity along its shores, and plant there mighty re- 
publics, that, growing with the rapidity of tropical vegetation, 
shall be for all coming ages. 

" Do you say that I am deserting my enslaved brethren ? I 
think not. If I forget them one hour, one moment of my life, 
so may God forget me ! But what can I do for them here ? 
Can I break their chains ? No, not as an individual ; but let 
me go and form part of a nation, which shall have a voice in 
the councils of nations, and then we can speak. A nation has 
a right to argue, remonstrate, implore, and present the cause 
of its race, which an individual has not. 



542 UNCLE tom's cabin ; or, 

" If Europe ever becomes a grand council of free nations, — 
as I trust in God it will, — if, there, serfdom, and all unjust 
and oppressive social inequalities, are done away ; and if they, 
as France and England have done, acknowledge our position, 
— then, in the great congress of nations, we will make our 
appeal, and present the cause of our enslaved and suffering 
race ; and it cannot be that free, enlightened America will not 
then desire to wipe from her escutcheon that bar sinister 
which disgraces her among nations, and is as truly a curse to 
her as to the enslaved. 

" But, you will tell me, our race have equal rights to mingle 
in the American republic as the Irishman, the German, the 
Swede. Granted, they have. We ought to be free to meet 
and mingle, — to rise by our individual worth, without any! 
consideration of caste or color ; and they who deny us this 
right are false to their own professed principles of human 
equality. We ought, in particular, to be allowed here. We 
have more than the rights of common men ; — we have the 
claim of an injured race for reparation. But, then, I do not 
leant it ; I want a country, a nation, of my own. I think that 
the African race has peculiarities, yet to be unfolded in the 
light of civilization and Christianity, which, if not the same 
with those of the Anglo-Saxon, may prove to be, morally, of 
even a higher type. 

'• To the Anglo-Saxon race has been intrusted the destinies 
of the world, during its pioneer period of struggle and con- 
flict. To that mission its stern, inflexible, energetic elements 
were well adapted ; but, as a Christian, I look for another era 
to arise. On its borders I trust we stand ; and the throes that 
now convulse the nations are, to my hope, but the birth pangs 
of an hour of universal peace and brotherhood. 

" I trust that the development of Africa is to be essentially 
a Christian one. If not a dominant and commanding race, 
they are, at least, an affectionate, magnanimous, and forgiving 
one. Having been called in the furnace of injustice and op- 
pression, they have need to bind closer to their hearts that 
sublime doctrine of love and forgiveness, through which alone 
they are to conquer, which it is to be their mission to spread 
over the continent of Africa. 



LIFE AMONG THE LOWLY. 543 

"In myself, I confess, I am feeble for this, — full half the 
blood in my veins is the hot and hasty Saxon ; but I have an 
eloquent preacher of the gospel ever by my side, in the person 
of my beautiful wife. When I wander, her gentler spirit ever 
restores me, and keeps before my eyes the Christian calling 
and mission of our race. As a Christian patriot, as a teacher 
of Christianity, I go to my country ^ — my chosen, my glorious 
Africa ! — and to her, in my heart, I sometimes apply those 
splendid words of prophecy, ' Whereas thou hast been for- 
saken and hated, so that no man went through thee, I will 
make thee an eternal excellence, a joy of many generations ! ' 

•' You will call me an enthusiast : you will tell me that I 
have not well considered what I am undertaking. But I have 
considered, and counted the cost. I go to Liberia, not as to 
an Elysium of romance, but as to a field of work. I expect to 
work with both hands, — to work hard; to work against all 
sorts of difficulties and discouragements ; and to work till I 
die. This is what I go for ; and in this I am quite sure I shall 
not be disappointed. 

" Whatever you may think of my determination, do not di- 
vorce me from your confidence ; and think that, in whatever I 
do, I act with a heart wholly given to my people. 

" George Harris." 

George, with his wife, children, sister, and mother, embarked 
for Africa some few weeks after. If we are not mistaken, the 
world will yet hear from him there. 

Of our other characters we have nothing very particular 
to write, except a word relating to Miss Ophelia and Topsy, 
and a farewell chapter, which we shall dedicate to George 
Shelby. 

Miss Ophelia took Topsy home to Vermont with her, much 
to the surprise of that grave, deliberative body whom a New 
Englander recognizes under the term " Our folks.'' " Our 
folks," at first, thought it an odd and unnecessary addition to 
their well-trained domestic establishment ; but, so thoroughly 
efficient was Miss Ophelia in her conscientious endeavor to do 
her duty by her eleve that the child rapidly grew in grace and 



544 



UNCLE TOM S CABIN ; OE, 



in favor with the family and neighborhood. At the age of 
womanhood, she was, by her own request, baptized, and be- 
came a member of the Christian church in the place ; and 
showed so much intelligence, activity, and zeal, and desire to 
do good in the world, that she was at last recommended, and 
approved, as a missionary to one of the stations in Africa ; and 
we have heard that the same activity and ingenuity which, 
when a child, made her so multiform and restless in her devel- 
opments, is now employed, in a safer and wholesomer manner, 
in teaching the children of her own country. 

P. S. It will be a satisfaction to some mother, also, to 
state, that some inquiries, which were set on foot by Madame 
de Thoux, have resulted recently in the discovery of Cassy's 
son. Being a young man of energy, he had escaped, some 
years before his mother, and been received and educated by 
friends of the oppressed in the north. He will soon follow his 
family to Africa. 




\ 




CHAPTER XLIV. 



THE LIBEEATOR. 




EORGE Shelby had written to his mother 
merely a line, stating the day that she might 
expect him home. Of the death scene of his 
old friend he had not the heart to write. He 
had tried several times, and only succeeded 
in half choking himself; and inyariably fin- 
iaiiua by tearing up the paper, wiping his eyes, and rushing 
somewhere to get quiet. 

There was a pleased bustle all through the Shelby man- 
sion, that day, in expectation of the arrival of young Mas'r 
George. 

Mrs. Shelby was seated in her comfortable parlor, where a 
cheerful hickory fire was dispelling the chill of the late autumn 
evening. A supper table, glittering with plate and cut glass, 
69 



546 UNCLE tom's cabin ; OR, 

was set out, on whose arrangements our former friend, old 
Chloe, was presiding. 

Arrayed in a new calico dress, with clean, white apron, and 
high, well-starched turban, her black polished face glowing 
with satisfaction, she lingered, with needless punctiliousness, 
around the arrangements of the table, merely as an excuse for 
talking a little to her mistress. 

" Laws, now ! won't it look natural to him ? " she said. " Thar, 
— I set his plate just whar he likes it, — round by the fire. 
Mas'r George allers wants de warm seat. 0, go way ! — why 
didn't Sally get out de best teapot, — de little new one Mas'r 
George got for missis, Christmas ? I'll have it out ! And 
missis has heard from Mas'r George?" she said, inquiringly. 

" Yes, Chloe ; but only a line, just to say he would be home 
to-night, if he could, — that's all." 

" Didn't say nothin' 'bout my old man, s'pose ? " said Chloe, 
still fidgeting with the teacups. 

" No, he didn't. He did not speak of any thing, Chloe. He 
said he would tell all when he got home." 

"Jes like Mas'r George, — he's allers so ferce for tellin' 
every thing hisself. I allers minded dat ar in Mas'r George. 
Don't see, for my part, how white people gen'ally can bar to 
hev to write things much as they do, writin' 's such slow, 
oneasy kind o' work." 

Mrs. Shelby smiled. 

" I'm a thinkin' my old man won't know de boys and de 
baby. Lor' ! she's de biggest gal, now — good she is, too, and 
peart, Polly is. She's out to the house, now, watchin' de hoe 
cake. I's got jist de very pattern my old man liked so much, 
a bakin'. Jist sich as I gin him the mornin' he was took off". 
Lord bless us ! how I felt, dat ar mornin' ! " 

Mrs. Shelby sighed, and felt a heavy weight on her heart, 
at this allusion. She had felt uneasy, ever since she