moderne gardinen für wohnzimmer

moderne gardinen für wohnzimmer

chapter xixmiss ophelia's experiences and opinions continued "tom, 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, inold 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 thewoman, mysteriously. "why not?" said dinah, "she an't dead, isshe?" "we doesn't exactly know. she's down cellar," said the woman,glancing at miss ophelia. 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 low, mysterious tone. "well, you mustn't tell nobody, prue, shegot drunk agin,--and they had her down

cellar,--and thar they left her all day,--and i hearn 'em saying that the flies had got to her,--and she's dead!" dinah held up her hands, and, turning, sawclose by her side the spirit-like form of evangeline, her large, mystic eyes dilatedwith horror, and every drop of blood driven from her lips and cheeks. "lor bless us!miss eva's gwine to faint away! what go us all, to let her har such talk?her pa'll 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 forpoor prue to suffer it."

"lor sakes! it isn't for sweet, delicateyoung 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 anxiously inquired the woman'sstory. 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,--perfectlyhorrible!" she exclaimed, as she entered the room where st. clare lay reading hispaper. "pray, what iniquity has turned up now?"said he.

"what now? why, those folks have whippedprue to death!" said miss ophelia, going on, with great strength of detail, into thestory, and enlarging on its most shocking particulars. "i thought it would come to that, sometime," said st. clare, going on with his paper."thought so!--an't you going to do anything about it?" said miss ophelia. "haven't you got any selectmen, or anybody,to interfere and look after such matters?" "it's commonly supposed that the propertyinterest is a sufficient guard in these cases.

if people choose to ruin their ownpossessions, i don't know what's to be done. it seems the poor creature was a thief anda drunkard; and so there won't be much hope to get up sympathy for her.""it is perfectly outrageous,--it is horrid, augustine! it will certainly bring down vengeance uponyou." "my dear cousin, i didn't do it, and ican't help it; i would, if i could. if low-minded, brutal people will act likethemselves, what am i to do? they have absolute control; they are irresponsibledespots.

there would be no use in interfering; thereis no law that amounts to anything 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, without 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'sthe case with the largest half of mankind. of course, in a community so organized,what can a man of honorable and humane feelings 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 undertaketo 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 amoment overcast; he said, "come, cousin, don't stand there lookinglike one of the fates; you've only seen a

peep through the curtain,--a specimen ofwhat is going on, the world over, in some shape or other. if we are to be prying and spying into allthe dismals of life, we should have no heart to anything. 't is like looking too close into thedetails of dinah's kitchen;" and st. clare lay back on the sofa, and busied himselfwith his paper. miss ophelia sat down, and pulled out herknitting-work, and sat there grim with indignation. she knit and knit, but while she mused thefire 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 todefend 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 todefend such a system!" said miss ophelia, with increasing warmth."i 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 southerners. what do you have slaves for, if you don't?" "are you such a sweet innocent as tosuppose nobody in this world ever does what

they don't think is right?don't you, or didn't you ever, do anything that you did not think quite right?" "if i do, i repent of it, i hope," saidmiss ophelia, rattling her needles with energy."so do i," said st. clare, peeling his orange; "i'm repenting 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 tobreak off." "well, i have been resolving i won't, offand on, these ten years," said st. clare; "but i haven't, some how, 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 shouldreprove my short-comings. i know all you say is true enough; nobodyelse feels them more than i do; but it does seem to me, after all, there is somedifference between me and you. it seems to me i would cut off my righthand sooner than keep on, from day to day,

doing what i thought was wrong. but, then, my conduct is so inconsistentwith my profession, i don't wonder you reprove me." "o, now, cousin," said augustine, sittingdown on the floor, and laying his head back in her lap, "don't take on so awfullyserious! you know what a good-for-nothing, saucy boyi always was. i love to poke you up,--that's all,--justto 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 i--well, inever want to talk seriously in hot weather. what with mosquitos and all, a fellow can'tget 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 arealways more virtuous than southern ones,--i see into that whole subject.""o, augustine, you are a sad rattle-brain!"

"am i? well, so i am, i suppose; but for once iwill be serious, now; but you must hand me that basket of oranges;--you see, you'llhave to 'stay me with flagons and comfort me with apples,' if i'm going to make thiseffort. now," said augustine, drawing the basketup, "i'll begin: when, in the course of human events, it becomes necessary for afellow to hold two or three dozen of his fellow-worms in captivity, a decent regardto the opinions of society requires--" "i don't see that you are growing moreserious," said miss ophelia. "wait,--i'm coming on,--you'll hear.

the short of the matter is, cousin," saidhe, his handsome face suddenly settling into an earnest and serious expression, "onthis abstract question of slavery there can, as i think, be but one opinion. planters, who have money to make by it,--clergymen, who have planters to please,-- politicians, who want to rule by it,--maywarp and bend language and ethics to a degree that shall astonish the world at their ingenuity; they can press nature andthe bible, and nobody knows what else, into the service; but, after all, neither theynor the world believe in it one particle the more.

it comes from the devil, that's the shortof it;--and, to my mind, it's a pretty respectable specimen of what he can do inhis own line." miss ophelia stopped her knitting, andlooked surprised, and st. clare, apparently enjoying her astonishment, went on. "you seem to wonder; but if you will get mefairly 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 downto the root and nucleus of the whole, and what is it?

why, because my brother quashy is ignorantand 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 suitsmy fancy. whatever is too hard, too dirty, toodisagreeable, for me, i may set quashy to doing. because i don't like work, quashy shallwork. because the sun burns me, quashy shall stayin the sun. quashy shall earn the money, and i willspend it. quashy shall lie down in every puddle, thati may walk over dry-shod.

quashy shall do my will, and not his, allthe days of his mortal life, and have such chance of getting to heaven, at last, as ifind convenient. this i take to be about what slavery is. i defy anybody on earth to read our slave-code, as it stands in our law-books, and make anything else of of the abuses of slavery! humbug! the thing itself is the essence of allabuse! and the only reason why the land don't sinkunder it, like sodom and gomorrah, is because it is used in a way infinitelybetter than it is.

for pity's sake, for shame's sake, becausewe 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 into our hands. and he who goes the furthest, and does theworst, only uses within limits the power that the law gives him." st. clare had started up, and, as hismanner was when excited, was walking, with hurried steps, up and down the floor. his fine face, classic as that of a greekstatue, 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 thismood before, and she sat perfectly silent. "i declare to you," said he, suddenlystopping before his cousin "(it's no sort of use to talk or to feel on this subject),but i declare to you, there have been times when i have thought, if the whole country would sink, and hide all this injustice andmisery from the light, i would willingly sink with it. when i have been travelling up and down onour 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 become 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 menin actual ownership of helpless children, of young girls and women,--i have been ready to curse my country, to curse thehuman race!" "augustine!augustine!" said miss ophelia, "i'm sure you've said enough. i never, in my life, heard anything likethis, even at the north." "at the north!" said st. clare, with asudden change of expression, and resuming

something of his habitual careless tone. "pooh! your northern folks are cold-blooded; you are cool in everything! you can't begin to curse up hill and downas we can, when we get fairly at it." "well, but the question is," said missophelia. "o, yes, to be sure, the question is,--anda deuce of a question it is! how came you in this state of sin andmisery? well, i shall answer in the good old wordsyou used to teach me, sundays. i came so by ordinary generation. my servants were my father's, and, what ismore, my mother's; and now they are mine,

they and their increase, which bids fair tobe a pretty considerable item. my father, you know, came first from newengland; 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, torule over rocks and stones, and to force an existence out of nature; and mine settledin louisiana, to rule over men and women, and force existence out of them. my mother," said st. clare, getting up andwalking to a picture at the end of the room, and gazing upward with a face ferventwith veneration, "she was divine!

don't look at me so!--you know what i mean! she probably was of mortal birth; but, asfar as ever i could observe, there was no trace of any human weakness or error abouther; and everybody that lives to remember her, whether bond or free, servant,acquaintance, relation, all say the same. why, cousin, that mother has been all thathas stood between me and utter unbelief for years. she was a direct embodiment andpersonification of the new testament,--a living fact, to be accounted for, and to beaccounted for in no other way than by its truth.

o, mother! mother!" said st. clare,clasping his hands, in a sort of transport; and then suddenly checking himself, he cameback, 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 acontrast. 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 complexion. he was active and observing, i dreamy andinactive.

he was generous to his friends and equals,but proud, dominant, overbearing, to inferiors, and utterly unmerciful towhatever set itself up against him. truthful we both were; he from pride andcourage, i from a sort of abstract ideality. we loved each other about as boys generallydo,--off and on, and in general;--he was my father's pet, and i my mother's. "there was a morbid sensitiveness andacuteness of feeling in me on all possible subjects, of which he and my father had nokind of understanding, and with which they could have no possible sympathy.

but mother did; and so, when i hadquarreled with alfred, and father looked sternly on me, i used to go off to mother'sroom, and sit by her. i remember just how she used to look, withher pale cheeks, her deep, soft, serious eyes, her white dress,--she always worewhite; and i used to think of her whenever i read in revelations about the saints that were arrayed in fine linen, clean andwhite. she had a great deal of genius of one sortand another, particularly in music; and she used to sit at her organ, playing fine oldmajestic music of the catholic church, and singing with a voice more like an angel

than a mortal woman; and i would lay myhead down on her lap, and cry, and dream, and feel,--oh, immeasurably!--things that ihad no language to say! "in those days, this matter of slavery hadnever been canvassed as it has now; nobody dreamed of any harm in it."my father was a born aristocrat. i think, in some preexistent state, he musthave been in the higher circles of spirits, and brought all his old court pride alongwith him; for it was ingrain, bred in the bone, though he was originally of poor andnot in any way of noble family. my brother was begotten in his image. "now, an aristocrat, you know, the worldover, has no human sympathies, beyond a

certain line in society. in england the line is in one place, inburmah in another, and in america in another; but the aristocrat of all thesecountries never goes over it. what would be hardship and distress andinjustice in his own class, is a cool matter of course in another father's dividing line was that of color. among his equals, never was a man more justand generous; but he considered the negro, through all possible gradations of color,as an intermediate link between man and animals, and graded all his ideas ofjustice or generosity on this hypothesis.

i suppose, to be sure, if anybody had askedhim, plump and fair, whether they had human immortal souls, he might have hemmed andhawed, and said yes. but my father was not a man much troubledwith spiritualism; religious sentiment he had none, beyond a veneration for god, asdecidedly the head of the upper classes. "well, my father worked some five hundrednegroes; he was an inflexible, driving, punctilious business man; everything was tomove by system,--to be sustained with unfailing accuracy and precision. now, if you take into account that all thiswas to be worked out by a set of lazy, twaddling, shiftless laborers, who hadgrown up, all their lives, in the absence

of every possible motive to learn how to do anything but 'shirk,' as you vermonterssay, and you'll see that there might naturally be, on his plantation, a greatmany things that looked horrible and distressing to a sensitive child, like me. "besides all, he had an overseer,--great,tall, slab-sided, two-fisted renegade son of vermont--(begging your pardon),--who hadgone through a regular apprenticeship in hardness and brutality and taken his degreeto 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 absolutedespot of the estate.

"i was a little fellow then, but i had thesame love that i have now for all kinds of human things,--a kind of passion for thestudy of humanity, come in what shape it would. i was found in the cabins and among thefield-hands a great deal, and, of course, was a great favorite; and all sorts ofcomplaints and grievances were breathed in my ear; and i told them to mother, and we, between us, formed a sort of committee fora redress of grievances. we hindered and repressed a great deal ofcruelty, and congratulated ourselves on doing a vast deal of good, till, as oftenhappens, my zeal overacted.

stubbs complained to my father that hecouldn't manage the hands, and must resign his position. father was a fond, indulgent husband, but aman that never flinched from anything that he thought necessary; and so he put downhis foot, like a rock, between us and the field-hands. he told my mother, in language perfectlyrespectful and deferential, but quite explicit, that over the house-servants sheshould be entire mistress, but that with the field-hands he could allow nointerference. he revered and respected her above allliving beings; but he would have said it

all the same to the virgin mary herself, ifshe had come in the way of his system. "i used sometimes to hear my motherreasoning cases with him,--endeavoring to excite his sympathies. he would listen to the most patheticappeals with the most discouraging politeness and equanimity. 'it all resolves itself into this,' hewould say; 'must i part with stubbs, or keep him? stubbs is the soul of punctuality, honesty,and efficiency,--a thorough business hand, and as humane as the general run.

we can't have perfection; and if i keephim, i must sustain his administration as a whole, even if there are, now and then,things that are exceptionable. all government includes some necessaryhardness. general rules will bear hard on particularcases.' this last maxim my father seemed toconsider a settler in most alleged cases of cruelty. after he had said that, he commonly drew uphis feet on the sofa, like a man that has disposed of a business, and betook himselfto a nap, or the newspaper, as the case might be.

"the fact is my father showed the exactsort of talent for a statesman. he could have divided poland as easily asan orange, 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 lastaccount, what noble and sensitive natures like hers have felt, cast, utterlyhelpless, into what seems to them an abyss of injustice and cruelty, and which seemsso to nobody about them. it has been an age of long sorrow of suchnatures, in such a hell-begotten sort of world as ours.

what remained for her, but to train herchildren 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 inthat line, and all mother's exhortations went to the winds. as to me, they sunk deep into me. she never contradicted, in form, anythingmy father said, or seemed directly to differ from him; but she impressed, burntinto my very soul, with all the force of

her deep, earnest nature, an idea of the dignity and worth of the meanest humansoul. 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 godlives!' "she had some fine old paintings; one, inparticular, of jesus healing a blind man. they were very fine, and used to impress mestrongly. 'see there, auguste,' she would say; 'theblind man was a beggar, poor and loathsome;

therefore, he would not heal him afar off! he called him to him, and put his hands onhim! 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, anddid not speak for some minutes. after a while, he looked up, and went on:

"what poor, mean trash this whole businessof human virtue is! a mere matter, for the most part, oflatitude and longitude, and geographical position, acting with natural temperament. the greater part is nothing but anaccident! your father, for example, settles invermont, in a town where all are, in fact, free and equal; becomes a regular churchmember and deacon, and in due time joins an abolition society, and thinks us all littlebetter than heathens. yet he is, for all the world, inconstitution and habit, a duplicate of my father.

i can see it leaking out in fifty differentways,--just the same strong, overbearing, dominant spirit. you know very well how impossible it is topersuade some of the folks in your village that squire sinclair does not feel abovethem. the fact is, though he has fallen ondemocratic times, and embraced a democratic theory, he is to the heart an aristocrat,as much as my father, who ruled over five or six hundred slaves." miss ophelia felt rather disposed to cavilat this picture, and was laying down her knitting to begin, but st. clare stoppedher.

"now, i know every word you are going tosay. i do not say they were alike, in fact. one fell into a condition where everythingacted against the natural tendency, and the other where everything acted for it; and soone turned out a pretty wilful, stout, overbearing old democrat, and the other awilful, 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 missophelia. "i don't mean them any disrespect," saidst. 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 aswe should agree. there does not breathe on god's earth anobler-souled, more generous fellow, than alfred, in all that concerns his equals;and we got on admirably with this property question, without a single unbrotherly wordor feeling. we undertook to work the plantationtogether; and alfred, whose outward life and capabilities had double the strength ofmine, became an enthusiastic planter, and a wonderfully successful one.

"but two years' trial satisfied me that icould not be a partner in that matter. to have a great gang of seven hundred, whomi 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'scommonest enjoyments would keep them in working order being a constantly recurringproblem,--the necessity of drivers and overseers,--the ever-necessary whip, first, last, and only argument,--the whole thingwas insufferably disgusting and loathsome to me; and when i thought of my mother'sestimate of one poor human soul, it became

even frightful! "it's all nonsense to talk to me aboutslaves enjoying all this! to this day, i have no patience with theunutterable trash that some of your patronizing northerners have made up, as intheir zeal to apologize for our sins. we all know better. tell me that any man living wants to workall his days, from day-dawn till dark, under the constant eye of a master, withoutthe power of putting forth one irresponsible volition, on the same dreary, monotonous, unchanging toil, and all fortwo pairs of pantaloons and a pair of shoes

a year, with enough food and shelter tokeep 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 wishhe might try it. i'd buy the dog, and work him, with a clearconscience!" "i always have supposed," said missophelia, "that you, all of you, approved of these things, and thought them right--according to scripture." "humbug! we are not quite reduced to that yet. alfred who is as determined a despot asever walked, does not pretend to this kind

of defence;--no, he stands, high andhaughty, on that good old respectable ground, the right of the strongest; and he says, and i think quite sensibly, that theamerican planter is 'only doing, in another form, what the english aristocracy andcapitalists are doing by the lower classes;' that is, i take it, appropriating them, body and bone, soul and spirit, totheir use and convenience. he defends both,--and i think, at least,consistently. he says that there can be no highcivilization 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 therebyacquires leisure and wealth for a more expanded intelligence and improvement, andbecomes the directing soul of the lower. so he reasons, because, as i said, he isborn an aristocrat;--so i don't believe, because i was born a democrat." "how in the world can the two things becompared?" said miss ophelia. "the english laborer is not sold, traded,parted from his family, whipped." "he is as much at the will of his employeras if he were sold to him. the slave-owner can whip his refractoryslave to death,--the capitalist can starve

him to death. as to family security, it is hard to saywhich 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 downfor him,--having speculators, breeders,

traders, and brokers in human bodies andsouls,--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 tothe use and improvement of another without any regard to their own." "i never thought of the matter in thislight," said miss ophelia. "well, i've travelled in england some, andi've looked over a good many documents as to the state of their lower classes; and ireally think there is no denying alfred, when he says that his slaves are better off

than a large class of the population ofengland. you see, you must not infer, from what ihave told you, that alfred is what is called a hard master; for he isn't. he is despotic, and unmerciful toinsubordination; he would shoot a fellow down with as little remorse as he wouldshoot a buck, if he opposed him. but, in general, he takes a sort of pridein having his slaves comfortably fed and accommodated. "when i was with him, i insisted that heshould do something 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 toset a chaplain over his dogs and horses. and the fact is, that a mind stupefied andanimalized by every bad influence from the hour of birth, spending the whole of everyweek-day in unreflecting toil, cannot be done much with by a few hours on sunday. the teachers of sunday-schools among themanufacturing population of england, and among plantation-hands in our country,could perhaps testify to the same result, there and here. yet some striking exceptions there areamong us, from the fact that the negro is

naturally more impressible to religioussentiment than the white." "well," said miss ophelia, "how came you togive 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 hadreformed, and altered, and improved everywhere, to suit my notions, that istill remained unsatisfied. the fact was, it was, after all, the thingthat i hated--the using these men and women, the perpetuation of all thisignorance, brutality and vice,--just to make money for me!

"besides, i was always interfering in thedetails. being myself one of the laziest of mortals,i had altogether too much fellow-feeling for the lazy; and when poor, shiftless dogsput stones at the bottom of their cotton- baskets to make them weigh heavier, or filled their sacks with dirt, with cottonat the top, it seemed so exactly like what i should do if i were they, i couldn't andwouldn't have them flogged for it. well, of course, there was an end ofplantation discipline; and alf and i came to about the same point that i and myrespected father did, years before. so he told me that i was a womanishsentimentalist, and would never do for

business life; and advised me to take thebank-stock and the new orleans family mansion, and go to writing poetry, and lethim manage the plantation. so we parted, and i came here.""but why didn't you free your slaves?" "well, i wasn't up to that. to hold them as tools for money-making, icould not;--have them to help spend money, you know, didn't look quite so ugly to me. some of them were old house-servants, towhom 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 reflectively up anddown the room. "there was," said st. clare, "a time in mylife when i had plans and hopes of doing something in this world, more than to floatand drift. i had vague, indistinct yearnings to be asort 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;--"youought not to put your hand to the plough, and look back." "o, well, things didn't go with me as iexpected, and i got the despair of living

that solomon did. i suppose it was a necessary incident towisdom in us both; but, some how or other, instead of being actor and regenerator insociety, i became a piece of driftwood, and have been floating and eddying about, eversince. alfred scolds me, every time we meet; andhe has the better of me, i grant,--for he really does something; his life is alogical result of his opinions and mine is a contemptible non sequitur." "my dear cousin, can you be satisfied withsuch a way of spending your probation?" "satisfied!was i not just telling you i despised it?

but, then, to come back to this point,--wewere on this liberation business. i don't think my feelings about slavery arepeculiar. i find many men who, in their hearts, thinkof it just as i do. the land groans under it; and, bad as it isfor the slave, it is worse, if anything, for the master. it takes no spectacles to see that a greatclass of vicious, improvident, degraded people, among us, are an evil to us, aswell as to themselves. the capitalist and aristocrat of englandcannot feel that as we do, because they do not mingle with the class they degrade aswe do.

they are in our homes; they are theassociates of our children, and they form their minds faster than we can; for theyare a race that children always will cling to and assimilate with. if eva, now, was not more angel thanordinary, she would be ruined. we might as well allow the small-pox to runamong them, and think our children would not take it, as to let them be uninstructedand vicious, and think our children will not be affected by that. yet our laws positively and utterly forbidany efficient general educational system, and they do it wisely, too; for, just beginand thoroughly educate one generation, and

the whole thing would be blown sky high. if we did not give them liberty, they wouldtake it." "and what do you think will be the end ofthis?" said miss ophelia. "i don't know. one thing is certain,--that there is amustering among the masses, the world over; and there is a dies irae coming on, sooneror later. the same thing is working in europe, inengland, and in this country. my mother used to tell me of a millenniumthat was coming, when christ should reign, and all men should be free and happy.

and she taught me, when i was a boy, topray, 'thy kingdom come.' sometimes i think all this sighing, andgroaning, and stirring among the dry bones foretells what she used to tell me wascoming. but who may abide the day of hisappearing?" "augustine, sometimes i think you are notfar from the kingdom," said miss ophelia, laying down her knitting, and lookinganxiously at her cousin. "thank you for your good opinion, but it'sup and down with me,--up to heaven's gate in theory, down in earth's dust inpractice. but there's the teabell,--do let's go,--anddon'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," saidmiss ophelia, "but i don't think you are all barbarians." "well, now," said marie, "i know it'simpossible 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 forsuch cases. if they'd only behave themselves, it wouldnot happen."

"but, mamma," said eva, "the poor creaturewas unhappy; that's what made her drink." "o, fiddlestick! as if that were anyexcuse! i'm unhappy, very often. i presume," she said, pensively, "that i'vehad 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 solazy he would run away just to get rid of work, and lie round in the swamps, stealingand doing all sorts of horrid things. that man was caught and whipped, time andagain, and it never did him any good; and

the last time he crawled off, though hecouldn't but just go, and died in the swamp. there was no sort of reason for it, forfather'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 toknow when you ever did anything 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 toan uncommon degree.

he was a regular african lion. they called him scipio.nobody could do anything 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, forit was after we had dissolved partnership. alfred was greatly exasperated; but i toldhim that it was his own fault, and laid him any wager that i could break the man; andfinally it was agreed that, if i caught him, i should have him to experiment on.

so they mustered out a party of some six orseven, with guns and dogs, for the hunt. people, you know, can get up as muchenthusiasm in hunting a man as a deer, if it is only customary; in fact, i got alittle excited myself, though i had only put in as a sort of mediator, in case hewas caught. "well, the dogs bayed and howled, and werode and scampered, and finally we started him. he ran and bounded like a buck, and kept uswell in the rear for some time; but at last he got caught in an impenetrable thicket ofcane; then he turned to bay, and i tell you he fought the dogs right gallantly.

he dashed them to right and left, andactually killed three of them with only his naked fists, when a shot from a gun broughthim down, and he fell, wounded and bleeding, almost at my feet. the poor fellow looked up at me withmanhood and despair both in his eye. i kept back the dogs and the party, as theycame pressing up, and claimed him as my prisoner. it was all i could do to keep them fromshooting him, in the flush of success; but i persisted in my bargain, and alfred soldhim to me. well, i took him in hand, and in onefortnight i had him tamed down as

submissive and tractable as heart coulddesire." "what in the world did you do to him?" saidmarie. "well, it was quite a simple process. i took him to my own room, had a good bedmade for him, dressed his wounds, and tended him myself, until he got fairly onhis feet again. and, in process of time, i had free papersmade 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 absolutely refused to leave me.

i never had a braver, better fellow,--trusty and true as steel. he embraced christianity afterwards, andbecame as gentle as a child. he used to oversee 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, everybody else fled,scipio worked for me like a giant, and actually brought me back into life again. but, poor fellow! he was taken, rightafter, and there was no saving him. i never felt anybody's loss more."

eva had come gradually nearer and nearer toher father, as he told the story,--her small lips apart, her eyes wide and earnestwith absorbing interest. as he finished, she suddenly threw her armsaround his neck, burst into tears, and sobbed convulsively. "eva, dear child! what is the matter?" saidst. clare, as the child's small frame trembled and shook with the violence of herfeelings. "this child," he added, "ought not to hearany of this kind of thing,--she's nervous." "no, papa, i'm not nervous," said eva,controlling herself, suddenly, with a strength of resolution singular in such achild.

"i'm not nervous, but these things sinkinto 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, "lookhere,--see what a beautiful peach i have got for you." eva took it and smiled, though there wasstill a nervous twiching about the corners of her mouth. "come, look at the gold-fish," said st.clare, taking her hand and stepping on to

the verandah. a few moments, and merry laughs were heardthrough the silken curtains, as eva and st. clare were pelting each other with roses,and chasing each other among the alleys of the court. there is danger that our humble friend tombe neglected amid the adventures of the higher born; but, if our readers willaccompany us up to a little loft over the stable, they may, perhaps, learn a littleof his affairs. it was a decent room, containing a bed, achair, and a small, rough stand, where lay tom's bible and hymn-book; and where hesits, at present, with his slate before

him, intent on something that seems to costhim a great deal of anxious thought. the fact was, that tom's home-yearnings hadbecome so strong that he had begged a sheet of writing-paper of eva, and, mustering upall his small stock of literary attainment acquired by mas'r george's instructions, he conceived the bold idea of writing aletter; and he was busy now, on his slate, getting out his first draft. tom was in a good deal of trouble, for theforms of some of the letters he had forgotten entirely; and of what he didremember, he did not know exactly which to use.

and while he was working, and breathingvery hard, in his earnestness, eva alighted, like a bird, on the round of hischair behind him, and peeped over his shoulder. "o, uncle tom! what funny things you aremaking, there!" "i'm trying to write to my poor old woman,miss eva, and my little chil'en," 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, buti'm afraid i've forgotten."

so eva put her golden head close to his,and the two commenced a grave and anxious discussion, each one equally earnest, andabout equally ignorant; and, with a deal of consulting and advising over every word, the composition began, as they both feltvery sanguine, to look quite like writing. "yes, uncle tom, it really begins to lookbeautiful," said eva, gazing delightedly on it. "how pleased your wife'll be, and the poorlittle children! o, it's a shame you ever had to go awayfrom them! i mean to ask papa to let you go back, sometime."

"missis said that she would send down moneyfor 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 asign;" and tom drew from under his clothes the precious dollar. "o, 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 feltso drefful, poor soul!" "i say tom!" said st. clare's voice, comingin the door at this moment.

tom and eva both started."what's here?" said st. clare, coming up and looking at the slate. "o, 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," saidst. 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," saideva, "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 thiswas probably only one of those things which

good-natured owners say to their servants,to alleviate their horror of being sold, without any intention of fulfilling theexpectation thus excited. but he did not make any audible commentupon it,--only ordered tom to get the horses out for a ride. tom's letter was written in due form forhim that evening, and safely lodged in the post-office.miss ophelia still persevered in her labors in the housekeeping line. it was universally agreed, among all thehousehold, from dinah down to the youngest urchin, that miss ophelia was decidedly"curis,"--a term by which a southern

servant implies that his or her bettersdon't exactly suit them. the higher circle in the family--to wit,adolph, jane and rosa--agreed that she was no lady; ladies never keep working about asshe did,--that she had no air at all; and they were surprised that she should be anyrelation of the st. clares. even marie declared that it was absolutelyfatiguing to see cousin ophelia always so busy. and, in fact, miss ophelia's industry wasso incessant as to lay some foundation for the complaint. she sewed and stitched away, from daylighttill dark, with the energy of one who is

pressed on by some immediate urgency; andthen, when the light faded, and the work was folded away, with one turn out came the ever-ready knitting-work, and there she wasagain, going on as briskly as ever. it really was a labor to see her. > chapter xxtopsy one morning, while miss ophelia was busy insome of her domestic cares, st. clare's voice was heard, calling her at the foot ofthe stairs. "come down here, cousin, i've something toshow you."

"what is it?" said miss ophelia, comingdown, 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 restlessglances over everything in the room. her mouth, half open with astonishment atthe wonders of the new mas'r's parlor, displayed a white and brilliant set ofteeth. her woolly hair was braided in sundrylittle tails, which stuck out in every direction.

the expression of her face was an oddmixture 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, raggedgarment, made of bagging; and stood with her hands demurely folded before her. altogether, there was something odd andgoblin-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 youbrought that thing here for?"

"for you to educate, to be sure, and trainin the way she should go. i thought she was rather a funny specimenin 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 someof your dancing." the black, glassy eyes glittered with akind of wicked drollery, and the thing struck up, in a clear shrill voice, an oddnegro melody, to which she kept time with her hands and feet, spinning round, clapping her hands, knocking her kneestogether, in a wild, fantastic sort of time, and producing in her throat all thoseodd guttural sounds which distinguish the

native music of her race; and finally, turning a summerset or two, and giving aprolonged closing note, as odd and unearthly as that of a steam-whistle, shecame suddenly down on the carpet, and stood with her hands folded, and a most sanctimonious expression of meekness andsolemnity over her face, only broken by the cunning glances which she shot askance fromthe corners of her eyes. miss ophelia stood silent, perfectlyparalyzed with amazement. st. clare, like a mischievous fellow as hewas, 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." "yes, mas'r," said topsy, withsanctimonious gravity, her wicked eyes twinkling as she spoke."you're going to be good, topsy, you understand," said st. clare. "o yes, mas'r," said topsy, with anothertwinkle, her hands still devoutly folded. "now, augustine, what upon earth is thisfor?" said miss ophelia. "your house is so full of these littleplagues, now, that a body can't set down their foot without treading on 'em.

i get up in the morning, and find oneasleep behind the door, and see one black head poking out from under the table, onelying on the door-mat,--and they are mopping and mowing and grinning between all the railings, and tumbling over the kitchenfloor! what on earth did you want to bring thisone 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 yourhand on her, and bring her up in the way she should go."

"i don't want her, i am sure;--i have moreto do with 'em now than i want to." "that's you christians, all over!--you'llget up a society, and get some poor missionary to spend all his days among justsuch heathen. but let me see one of you that would takeone into your house with you, and take the labor of their conversion on yourselves! no; when it comes to that, they are dirtyand disagreeable, and it's too much care, and so on." "augustine, you know i didn't think of itin that light," said miss ophelia, evidently softening.

"well, it might be a real missionary work,"said she, looking rather more favorably on the clare had touched the right string. miss ophelia's conscientiousness was everon the alert. "but," she added, "i really didn't see theneed of buying this one;--there are enough now, in your house, to take all my time andskill." "well, then, cousin," said st. clare,drawing her aside, "i ought to beg your pardon for my good-for-nothing are so good, after all, that there's no sense in them. why, the fact is, this concern belonged toa couple of drunken creatures that keep a

low restaurant that i have to pass by everyday, and i was tired of hearing her screaming, and them beating and swearing ather. she looked bright and funny, too, as ifsomething might be made of her;--so i bought her, and i'll give her to you. try, now, and give her a good orthodox newengland bringing up, and see what it'll make of know i haven't any gift that way; but i'd like you to try." "well, i'll do what i can," said missophelia; and she approached her new subject very much as a person might be supposed toapproach a black spider, supposing them to

have benevolent designs toward it. "she's dreadfully dirty, and half naked,"she said. "well, take her down stairs, and make someof them clean and clothe her up." miss ophelia carried her to the kitchenregions. "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 around under my feet, iknow!" "pah!" said rosa and jane, with supremedisgust; "let her keep out of our way! what in the world mas'r wanted another ofthese low niggers for, i can't see!"

"you go long! no more nigger dan you be, miss rosa," saiddinah, 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'dlike to be one or turrer." miss ophelia saw that there was nobody inthe camp that would undertake to oversee the cleansing and dressing of the newarrival; and so she was forced to do it herself, with some very ungracious andreluctant assistance from jane. it is not for ears polite to hear theparticulars of the first toilet of a neglected, abused child.

in fact, in this world, multitudes mustlive and die in a state that it would be too great a shock to the nerves of theirfellow-mortals even to hear described. miss ophelia had a good, strong, practicaldeal of resolution; and she went through all the disgusting details with heroicthoroughness, though, it must be confessed, with no very gracious air,--for endurance was the utmost to which her principlescould bring her. when she saw, on the back and shoulders ofthe child, great welts and calloused spots, ineffaceable marks of the system underwhich she had grown up thus far, her heart became pitiful within her.

"see there!" said jane, pointing to themarks, "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 thesecomments with the subdued and doleful air which seemed habitual to her, onlyscanning, with a keen and furtive glance of her flickering eyes, the ornaments whichjane wore in her ears. when arrayed at last in a suit of decentand whole clothing, her hair cropped short to her head, miss ophelia, with somesatisfaction, said she looked more

christian-like than she did, and in her own mind began to mature some plans for herinstruction. sitting down before her, she began toquestion her. "how old are you, topsy?" "dun no, missis," said the image, with agrin that showed all her teeth. "don't know how old you are?didn't anybody ever tell you? who was your mother?" "never had none!" said the child, withanother grin. "never had any mother?what do you mean?

where were you born?" "never was born!" persisted topsy, withanother grin, that looked so goblin-like, that, if miss ophelia had been at allnervous, she might have fancied that she had got hold of some sooty gnome from the land of diablerie; but miss ophelia was notnervous, 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 yourfather and mother were." "never was born," reiterated the creature,more emphatically; "never had no father nor

mother, nor nothin'. i was raised by a speculator, with lots ofothers. 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 '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,--theycan't tell; they don't know anything about time," said jane; "they don't know what ayear is; they don't know their own ages. "have you ever heard anything about god,topsy?" the child looked bewildered, but grinned asusual. "do you know who made you?" "nobody, as i knows on," said the child,with a short laugh. the idea appeared to amuse herconsiderably; 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 missophelia, 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 encouragingcolloquy; st. clare was leaning over the back of her chair.

"you find virgin soil there, cousin; put inyour own ideas,--you won't find many to pull up." miss ophelia's ideas of education, like allher other ideas, were very set and definite; and of the kind that prevailed innew england a century ago, and which are still preserved in some very retired and unsophisticated parts, where there are norailroads. as nearly as could be expressed, they couldbe comprised in very few words: to teach them to mind when they were spoken to; toteach them the catechism, sewing, and reading; and to whip them if they toldlies.

and though, of course, in the flood oflight that is now poured on education, these are left far away in the rear, yet itis an undisputed fact that our grandmothers raised some tolerably fair men and women under this regime, as many of us canremember and testify. at all events, miss ophelia knew of nothingelse to do; and, therefore, applied her mind to her heathen with the best diligenceshe could command. the child was announced and considered inthe family as miss ophelia's girl; and, as she was looked upon with no gracious eye inthe kitchen, miss ophelia resolved to confine her sphere of operation andinstruction chiefly to her own chamber.

with a self-sacrifice which some of ourreaders 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 offers of help from the chambermaidof the establishment,--to condemn herself to the martyrdom of instructing topsy toperform these operations,--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 herinto her chamber, the first morning, and solemnly commencing a course of instructionin the art and mystery of bed-making.

behold, then, topsy, washed and shorn ofall the little braided tails wherein her heart had delighted, arrayed in a cleangown, with well-starched apron, standing reverently before miss ophelia, with an expression of solemnity well befitting afuneral. "now, topsy, i'm going to show you just howmy 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 ofthe sheet,--this is the right side of the

sheet, and this is the wrong;--will youremember?" "yes, ma'am," says topsy, with anothersigh. "well, now, the under sheet you must bringover the bolster,--so--and tuck it clear down under the mattress nice and smooth,--so,--do you see?" "yes, ma'am," said topsy, with profoundattention. "but the 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;--butwe will add, what miss ophelia did not see, that, during the time when the good lady'sback was turned in the zeal of her

manipulations, the young disciple had contrived to snatch a pair of gloves and aribbon, which she had adroitly slipped into her sleeves, and stood with her handsdutifully folded, as before. "now, topsy, let's see you do this," saidmiss ophelia, pulling off the clothes, and seating herself. topsy, with great gravity and adroitness,went through the exercise completely to miss ophelia's satisfaction; smoothing thesheets, patting out every wrinkle, and exhibiting, through the whole process, a gravity and seriousness with which herinstructress was greatly edified.

by an unlucky slip, however, a flutteringfragment of the ribbon hung out of one of her sleeves, just as she was finishing, andcaught miss ophelia's attention. instantly, she pounced upon it. "what's this?you naughty, wicked child,--you've been stealing this!" the ribbon was pulled out of topsy's ownsleeve, yet was she not in the least disconcerted; she only looked at it with anair 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 declar for 't, i didn't;--neverseed it till dis yer blessed minnit." "topsy," said miss ophelia, "don't you nowit's wicked to tell lies?" "i never tell no lies, miss feely," saidtopsy, with virtuous gravity; "it's jist the truth i've been a tellin now, and an'tnothin else." "topsy, i shall have to whip you, if youtell 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 caughtin my sleeve. miss feeley 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 thebarefaced lie, that she caught the child and shook her."don't you tell me that again!" the shake brought the glove on to thefloor, from the other sleeve. "there, you!" said miss ophelia, "will youtell me now, you didn't steal the ribbon?" topsy now confessed to the gloves, butstill persisted in denying the ribbon. "now, topsy," said miss ophelia, "if you'llconfess all about it, i won't whip you this

time." thus adjured, topsy confessed to the ribbonand gloves, with woful protestations of penitence."well, now, tell me. i know you must have taken other thingssince you have been in the house, for i let you run about all day, tell me if you took anything, 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 rosa'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 could not. "they 's burnt up,--they was." "what did you burn 'em for?" said missophelia. "cause i 's wicked,--i is.i 's mighty wicked, any how. i can't help it."

just at this moment, eva came innocentlyinto the room, with the identical coral necklace on her neck."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 tobed." 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 anything what to dowith such a child!" she said, in despair. "what in the world did you tell me you tookthose things for, topsy?" "why, missis said i must 'fess; and icouldn't think of nothin' else to 'fess," said topsy, rubbing her eyes. "but, of course, i didn't want you toconfess things you didn't do," said miss ophelia; "that's telling a lie, just asmuch as the other." "laws, now, is it?" said topsy, with an airof innocent wonder. "la, there an't any such thing as truth inthat limb," said rosa, looking indignantly

at topsy. "if i was mas'r st. clare, i'd whip hertill the blood run. i would,--i'd let her catch it!" "no, no rosa," said eva, with an air ofcommand, 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 knownothing how to get along with niggers. there's no way but to cut 'em well up, itell 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 inher, that's plain. she can speak, for all the world, just likeher papa," she said, as she passed out of the room. eva stood looking at topsy.there stood the two children representatives of the two extremes ofsociety. the fair, high-bred child, with her goldenhead, her deep eyes, her spiritual, noble brow, and prince-like movements; and herblack, keen, subtle, cringing, yet acute

neighbor. they stood the representatives of theirraces. the saxon, born of ages of cultivation,command, education, physical and moral eminence; the afric, born of ages ofoppression, submission, ignorance, toil and vice! something, perhaps, of such thoughtsstruggled through eva's mind. but a child's thoughts are rather dim,undefined instincts; and in eva's noble nature many such were yearning and working,for which she had no power of utterance. when miss ophelia expatiated on topsy'snaughty, 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 anything ofmine, than have you steal it." it was the first word of kindness the childhad ever heard in her life; and the sweet tone and manner struck strangely on thewild, rude heart, and a sparkle of something like a tear shone in the keen, round, glittering eye; but it was followedby the short laugh and habitual grin. no! the ear that has never heard anythingbut abuse is strangely incredulous of anything so heavenly as kindness; and topsyonly 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 ofit; and, by the way of gaining time, and in hopes of some indefinite moral virtuessupposed to be inherent in dark closets, miss ophelia shut topsy up in one till she had arranged her ideas further on thesubject. "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'scontent; i'll give you full power to do what you like." "children always have to be whipped," saidmiss ophelia; "i never heard of bringing them up without.""o, well, certainly," said st. clare; "do as you think best. only i'll make one suggestion: i've seenthis child whipped with a poker, knocked down with the shovel or tongs, whichevercame handiest, &c.; and, seeing that she is used to that style of operation, i think your whippings will have to be prettyenergetic, to make much impression."

"what is to be done with her, then?" saidmiss ophelia. "you have started a serious question," saidst. clare; "i wish you'd answer it. what is to be done with a human being thatcan be governed only by the lash,--that fails,--it's a very common state of thingsdown here!" "i'm sure i don't know; i never saw such achild 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," saidmiss ophelia. "or i either," said st. clare.

"the horrid cruelties and outrages thatonce and a while find their way into the papers,--such cases as prue's, forexample,--what do they come from? in many cases, it is a gradual hardeningprocess on both sides,--the owner growing more and more cruel, as the servant moreand more callous. whipping and abuse are like laudanum; youhave to double the dose as the sensibilities decline. i saw this very early when i became anowner; 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 actlike spoiled children; but i think that better than for us both to be brutalizedtogether. you have talked a great deal about ourresponsibilities 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,--theyexist,--and what is to be done with them?" "well, i can't say i thank you for theexperiment. but, then, as it appears to be a duty, ishall persevere and try, and do the best i can," said miss ophelia; and miss ophelia,after this, did labor, with a commendable

degree of zeal and energy, on her newsubject. she instituted regular hours andemployments for her, and undertook to teach her to read and sew. in the former art, the child was quickenough. she learned her letters as if by magic, andwas very soon able to read plain reading; but the sewing was a more difficult matter. the creature was as lithe as a cat, and asactive as a monkey, and the confinement of sewing was her abomination; so she brokeher needles, threw them slyly out of the window, 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 thoseof a practised conjurer, and her command of her face quite as great; and though missophelia could not help feeling that so many accidents could not possibly happen in succession, yet she could not, without awatchfulness which would leave her no time for anything 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 everychild in the establishment 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 glitteringserpent. miss ophelia was uneasy that eva shouldfancy 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 notafraid she will teach her some mischief?" "she can't teach her mischief; she mightteach it to some children, but evil rolls off 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 playwith topsy." "well, your children needn't," said st.clare, "but mine may; if eva could have been spoiled, it would have been done yearsago." topsy was at first despised and contemnedby the upper servants. they soon found reason to alter theiropinion.

it was very soon discovered that whoevercast an indignity on topsy was sure to meet with some inconvenient accident shortlyafter;--either a pair of ear-rings or some cherished trinket would be missing, or an article of dress would be suddenly foundutterly ruined, or the person would stumble accidently into a pail of hot water, or alibation of dirty slop would unaccountably deluge them from above when in full gala dress;-and on all these occasions, wheninvestigation was made, there was nobody found to stand sponsor for the indignity. topsy was cited, and had up before all thedomestic judicatories, time and again; but

always sustained her examinations with mostedifying innocence and gravity of appearance. nobody in the world ever doubted who didthe things; but not a scrap of any direct evidence could be found to establish thesuppositions, and miss ophelia was too just to feel at liberty to proceed to any lengthwithout it. the mischiefs done were always so nicelytimed, also, as further to shelter the aggressor. thus, the times for revenge on rosa andjane, the two chamber maids, were always chosen in those seasons when (as notunfrequently happened) they were in

disgrace with their mistress, when any complaint from them would of course meetwith no sympathy. in short, topsy soon made the householdunderstand the propriety of letting her alone; and she was let alone, accordingly. topsy was smart and energetic in all manualoperations, learning everything that was taught her with surprising quickness. with a few lessons, she had learned to dothe proprieties of miss ophelia's chamber in a way with which even that particularlady could find no fault. mortal hands could not lay spread smoother,adjust pillows more accurately, sweep and

dust and arrange more perfectly, thantopsy, when she chose,--but she didn't very often choose. if miss ophelia, after three or four daysof careful patient supervision, was so sanguine as to suppose that topsy had atlast fallen into her way, could do without over-looking, and so go off and busy herself about something else, topsy wouldhold a perfect carnival of confusion, for some one or two hours. instead of making the bed, she would amuseherself with pulling off the pillowcases, butting her woolly head among the pillows,till it would sometimes be grotesquely

ornamented with feathers sticking out in various directions; she would climb theposts, and hang head downward from the tops; flourish the sheets and spreads allover the apartment; dress the bolster up in miss ophelia's night-clothes, and enact various performances with that,--singingand whistling, and making grimaces at herself in the looking-glass; in short, asmiss ophelia phrased it, "raising cain" generally. on one occasion, miss ophelia found topsywith her very best scarlet india canton crape shawl wound round her head for aturban, going on with her rehearsals before

the glass in great style,--miss ophelia having, with carelessness most unheard-ofin 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?" "dunno, missis,--i spects cause i 's sowicked!" "i don't know anything what i shall do withyou, topsy." "law, missis, you must whip me; my oldmissis allers whipped me. i an't used to workin' unless i getswhipped." "why, topsy, i don't want to whip you.

you can do well, if you've a mind to; whatis the reason you won't?" "laws, missis, i 's used to whippin'; ispects it's good for me." miss ophelia tried the recipe, and topsyinvariably made a terrible commotion, screaming, groaning and imploring, thoughhalf an hour afterwards, when roosted on some projection of the balcony, and surrounded by a flock of admiring "younguns," she would express the utmost contempt of the whole affair."law, miss feely whip!--wouldn't kill a skeeter, her whippins. oughter see how old mas'r made the fleshfly; old mas'r know'd how!"

topsy always made great capital of her ownsins and enormities, evidently considering them as something peculiarlydistinguishing. "law, you niggers," she would say to someof her auditors, "does you know you 's all sinners?well, you is--everybody is. white folks is sinners too,--miss feelysays so; but i spects niggers is the biggest ones; but lor! ye an't any on ye upto me. i 's so awful wicked there can't nobody donothin' with me. i used to keep old missis a swarin' at mehalf de time. i spects i 's the wickedest critter in theworld;" and topsy would cut a summerset,

and come up brisk and shining on to ahigher perch, and evidently plume herself on the distinction. miss ophelia busied herself very earnestlyon sundays, teaching topsy the catechism. topsy had an uncommon verbal memory, andcommitted with a fluency that greatly encouraged her instructress. "what good do you expect it is going to doher?" said st. clare. "why, it always has done children's what children always have to learn, you know," said miss ophelia. "understand it or not," said st. clare."o, children never understand it at the

time; but, after they are grown up, it'llcome 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 wasa boy."' "ah, you were always good at learning,augustine. i used to have great hopes of you," saidmiss ophelia. "well, haven't you now?" said st. clare. "i wish you were as good as you were whenyou were a boy, augustine." "so do i, that's a fact, cousin," said st.clare. "well, go ahead and catechize topsy; may beyou'll make out something yet."

topsy, who had stood like a black statueduring this discussion, with hands decently folded, now, at a signal from miss ophelia,went on: "our first parents, being left to thefreedom 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."please, missis, was dat ar state kintuck?" "what state, topsy?""dat state dey fell out of. i used to hear mas'r tell how we came downfrom kintuck." 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 emigrationsuggested there." "o! augustine, be still," said missophelia; "how can i do anything, 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 topsyhad finished her recitations. they were all very well, only that now andthen she would oddly transpose some important words, and persist in themistake, in spite of every effort to the contrary; and st. clare, after all his

promises of goodness, took a wickedpleasure in these mistakes, calling topsy to him whenever he had a mind to amusehimself, and getting her to repeat the offending passages, in spite of missophelia's remonstrances. "how do you think i can do anything withthe child, if you will go on so, augustine?" she would say. "well, it is too bad,--i won't again; but ido 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 reasonablecreature, and be careful of your influence over her." "o, dismal! so i ought; but, as topsyherself says, 'i 's so wicked!'" in very much this way topsy's trainingproceeded, for a year or two,--miss ophelia worrying herself, from day to day, withher, as a kind of chronic plague, to whose inflictions she became, in time, as accustomed, as persons sometimes do to theneuralgia or sick headache. st. clare took the same kind of amusementin the child that a man might in the tricks of a parrot or a pointer.

topsy, whenever her sins brought her intodisgrace in other quarters, always took refuge behind his chair; and st. clare, inone 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, toall the children in the family; for topsy, to do her justice, was good-natured andliberal, and only spiteful in self-defence. she is fairly introduced into our corps deballet, and will figure, from time to time, in her turn, with other performers. chapter xxikentuck our readers may not be unwilling to glanceback, for a brief interval, at uncle tom's

cabin, on the kentucky farm, and see whathas been transpiring among those whom he had left behind. it was late in the summer afternoon, andthe doors and windows of the large parlor all stood open, to invite any stray breeze,that might feel in a good humor, to enter. mr. shelby sat in a large hall opening intothe room, and running through the whole length of the house, to a balcony on eitherend. leisurely tipped back on one chair, withhis heels in another, he was enjoying his after-dinner cigar. mrs. shelby sat in the door, busy aboutsome fine sewing; she seemed like one who

had something on her mind, which she wasseeking an opportunity to introduce. "do you know," she said, "that chloe hashad 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 asouthern residence;--hardly want to come up here again."

"on the contrary he inquires veryanxiously," said mrs. shelby, "when the money for his redemption is to be raised.""i'm sure i don't know," said mr. shelby. "once get business running wrong, theredoes 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 payone,--and these confounded notes falling due before a man has time to smoke a cigar and turn round,--dunning letters anddunning messages,--all scamper and hurry- scurry." "it does seem to me, my dear, thatsomething might be done to straighten

matters.suppose we sell off all the horses, and sell one of your farms, and pay up square?" "o, ridiculous, emily!you are the finest woman in kentucky; but still you haven't sense to know that youdon't understand business;--women never do, and never can. "but, at least," said mrs. shelby, "couldnot 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 toeconomize." "o, bother! don't plague me, emily!--ican't tell exactly.

i know somewhere about what things arelikely to be; but there's no trimming and squaring my affairs, as chloe trims crustoff her pies. you don't know anything about business, itell you." and mr. shelby, not knowing any other wayof enforcing his ideas, raised his voice,-- a mode of arguing very convenient andconvincing, when a gentleman is discussing matters of business with his wife. mrs. shelby ceased talking, with somethingof a sigh. the fact was, that though her husband hadstated she was a woman, she had a clear, energetic, practical mind, and a force ofcharacter every way superior to that of her

husband; so that it would not have been so very absurd a supposition, to have allowedher capable of managing, as mr. shelby supposed. her heart was set on performing her promiseto 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 onit!" "i'm sorry, if it is.i think i was premature in promising. i'm not sure, now, but it's the best way totell chloe, and let her make up her mind to

tom'll have another wife, in a year or two;and she had better take up with somebody else.""mr. shelby, i have taught my people that their marriages are as sacred as ours. i never could think of giving chloe suchadvice." "it's a pity, wife, that you have burdenedthem 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 tointerfere with your religious notions; only

they seem extremely unfitted for people inthat condition." "they are, indeed," said mrs. shelby, "andthat is why, from my soul, i hate the whole thing. i tell you, my dear, i cannot absolvemyself from the promises i make to these helpless creatures. if i can get the money no other way i willtake 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 andtranscendental," said mr. shelby, "but i think you had better think before youundertake such a piece of quixotism." here the conversation was interrupted bythe appearance of aunt chloe, at the end of the verandah."if you please, missis," said she. "well, chloe, what is it?" said hermistress, 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 callingpoultry poetry,--an application of language

in which she always persisted,notwithstanding frequent corrections and advisings from the young members of thefamily. "la sakes!" she would say, "i can't see;one jis good as turry,--poetry suthin good, any how;" and so poetry chloe continued tocall it. mrs. shelby smiled as she saw a prostratelot of chickens and ducks, over which chloe stood, with a very grave face ofconsideration. "i'm a thinkin whether missis would be ahavin a chicken pie o' dese yer." "really, aunt chloe, i don't much care;--serve them any way you like." chloe stood handling them overabstractedly; it was quite evident that the

chickens were not what she was thinking of. at last, with the short laugh with whichher tribe often introduce a doubtful proposal, she said, "laws me, missis! what should mas'r andmissis be a troublin theirselves 'bout de money, and not a usin what's right in derhands?" and chloe laughed again. "i don't understand you, chloe," said mrs.shelby, nothing doubting, from her knowledge of chloe's manner, that she hadheard 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, who do you propose that weshould hire out?" "laws! i an't a proposin nothin; only sam he saidder was one of dese yer perfectioners, dey calls 'em, in louisville, said he wanted agood 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 along to be doin'something.

sally 's been under my care, now, dis sometime, and she does most as well as me, considerin; and if missis would only let mego, i would help fetch up de money. i an't afraid to put my cake, nor piesnother, 'long side no perfectioner's. "confectioner's, chloe.""law sakes, missis! 'tan't no odds;--words is so curis, can'tnever get 'em right!" "but, chloe, do you want to leave yourchildren?" "laws, missis! de boys is big enough to doday's works; dey does well enough; and sally, she'll take de baby,--she's such apeart 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?" saidchloe, speaking the last in the tone of a question, and looking at mrs. shelby. "no, chloe; it's many a hundred miles off,"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 everycent of them be laid aside for your husband's redemption." as when a bright sunbeam turns a dark cloudto silver, so chloe's dark face brightened

immediately,--it really shone."laws! if missis isn't too good! i was thinking of dat ar very thing; causei shouldn't need no clothes, nor shoes, nor nothin,--i could save every many weeks is der in a year, missis?" "fifty-two," said mrs. shelby. "laws! now, dere is? and four dollars foreach on em. why, how much 'd dat ar be?""two hundred and eight dollars," said mrs. shelby. "why-e!" said chloe, with an accent ofsurprise 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;--'t wouldn'tdo, no ways. i hope none our family ever be brought todat ar, while i 's got hands." "don't fear, chloe; i'll take care of thehonor of the family," said mrs. shelby, smiling."but when do you expect to go?" "well, i want spectin nothin; only sam,he's a gwine to de river with some colts, and he said i could go long with him; so ijes put my things together.

if missis was willin, i'd go with samtomorrow morning, if missis would write my pass, and write me a commendation.""well, chloe, i'll attend to it, if mr. shelby has no objections. i must speak to him."mrs. shelby went up stairs, and aunt chloe, delighted, went out to her cabin, to makeher preparation. "law sakes, mas'r george! ye didn't know i's a gwine to louisville tomorrow!" she said to george, as entering her cabin, hefound 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 havefour dollars a week; and missis is gwine to lay it all up, to buy back my old managin!" "whew!" said george, "here's a stroke ofbusiness, to be sure! how are you going?""tomorrow, wid sam. and now, mas'r george, i knows you'll jissit down and write to my old man, and tell him all about it,--won't ye?""to be sure," said george; "uncle tom'll be right glad to hear from us. i'll go right in the house, for paper andink; and then, you know, aunt chloe, 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 moresuppers wid yer poor old aunty." chapter xxii"the grass withereth--the flower fadeth" life 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 andconsciously miserable; for, so well is the harp of human feeling strung, that nothing but a crash that breaks every string canwholly mar its harmony; and, on looking

back to seasons which in review appear tous as those of deprivation and trial, we can remember that each hour, as it glided, brought its diversions and alleviations, sothat, though not happy wholly, we were not, either, wholly miserable. tom read, in his only literary cabinet, ofone who had "learned in whatsoever state he was, therewith to be content." it seemed to him good and reasonabledoctrine, and accorded well with the settled and thoughtful habit which he hadacquired from the reading of that same book.

his letter homeward, as we related in thelast chapter, was in due time answered by master george, in a good, round, school-boyhand, that tom said might be read "most acrost the room." it contained various refreshing items ofhome intelligence, with which our reader is fully acquainted: stated how aunt chloe hadbeen hired out to a confectioner in louisville, where her skill in the pastry line was gaining wonderful sums of money,all of which, tom was informed, was to be laid up to go to make up the sum of hisredemption money; mose and pete were thriving, and the baby was trotting all

about the house, under the care of sallyand the family generally. tom's cabin was shut up for the present;but george expatiated brilliantly on ornaments and additions to be made to itwhen tom came back. the rest of this letter gave a list ofgeorge's school studies, each one headed by a flourishing capital; and also told thenames of four new colts that appeared on the premises since tom left; and stated, in the same connection, that father and motherwere well. the style of the letter was decidedlyconcise and terse; but tom thought it the most wonderful specimen of composition thathad appeared in modern times.

he was never tired of looking at it, andeven held a council with eva on the expediency of getting it framed, to hang upin his room. nothing but the difficulty of arranging itso that both sides of the page would show at once stood in the way of thisundertaking. the friendship between tom and eva hadgrown with the child's growth. it would be hard to say what place she heldin the soft, impressible heart of her faithful attendant. he loved her as something frail andearthly, yet almost worshipped her as something heavenly and divine.

he gazed on her as the italian sailor gazeson his image of the child jesus,--with a mixture of reverence and tenderness; and tohumor her graceful fancies, and meet those thousand simple wants which invest childhood like a many-colored rainbow, wastom's chief delight. in the market, at morning, his eyes werealways on the flower-stalls for rare bouquets for her, and the choicest peach ororange was slipped into his pocket to give to her when he came back; and the sight that pleased him most was her sunny headlooking out the gate for his distant approach, and her childish questions,--"well, uncle tom, what have you got for me

today?" nor was eva less zealous in kind offices,in return. though a child, she was a beautifulreader;--a fine musical ear, a quick poetic fancy, and an instinctive sympathy withwhat's grand and noble, made her such a reader of the bible as tom had never beforeheard. at first, she read to please her humblefriend; but soon her own earnest nature threw out its tendrils, and wound itselfaround the majestic book; and eva loved it, because it woke in her strange yearnings, and strong, dim emotions, such asimpassioned, imaginative children love to

feel. the parts that pleased her most were therevelations and the prophecies,--parts whose dim and wondrous imagery, and ferventlanguage, impressed her the more, that she questioned vainly of their meaning;--and she and her simple friend, the old childand the young one, felt just alike about all that they knew was, that they spoke ofa glory to be revealed,--a wondrous something yet to come, wherein their soulrejoiced, yet knew not why; and though it be not so in the physical, yet in moral science that which cannot be understood isnot 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 spacearound her; therefore, she needs must yearn towards the unknown; and the voices andshadowy movings which come to her from out the cloudy pillar of inspiration have each one echoes and answers in her own expectingnature. its mystic imagery are so many talismansand gems inscribed with unknown hieroglyphics; 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 lakepontchartrain. the heats of summer had driven all who wereable to leave the sultry and unhealthy city, to seek the shores of the lake, andits cool sea-breezes. st. clare's villa was an east indiancottage, surrounded by light verandahs of bamboo-work, and opening on all sides intogardens and pleasure-grounds. the common sitting-room opened on to alarge garden, fragrant with every picturesque plant and flower of thetropics, where winding paths ran down to the very shores of the lake, whose silvery

sheet of water lay there, rising andfalling in the sunbeams,--a picture never for an hour the same, yet every hour morebeautiful. it is now one of those intensely goldensunsets which kindles the whole horizon into one blaze of glory, and makes thewater 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 asthey trembled in the water. tom and eva were seated on a little mossyseat, in an arbor, at the foot of the garden.

it was sunday evening, and eva's bible layopen on her knee. she read,--"and i saw a sea of glass,mingled with fire." "tom," said eva, suddenly stopping, andpointing to the lake, "there 't is." "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 ofthe sky. "there's a 'sea of glass, mingled withfire.'" "true enough, miss eva," said tom; and tomsang-- "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. "o, up in the clouds, miss eva.""then i think i see it," said eva. "look in those clouds!--they look likegreat gates of pearl; and you can see beyond 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 are all 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 handto the sky; the glow of evening lit her

golden hair and flushed cheek with a kindof unearthly radiance, and her eyes were bent earnestly on the skies. "i'm going there," she said, "to thespirits bright, tom; i'm going, before long." the faithful old heart felt a suddenthrust; and tom thought how often he had noticed, within six months, that eva'slittle hands had grown thinner, and her skin more transparent, and her breath shorter; and how, when she ran or played inthe garden, as she once could for hours, she became soon so tired and languid.

he had heard miss ophelia speak often of acough, that all her medicaments could not cure; and even now that fervent cheek andlittle hand were burning with hectic fever; and yet the thought that eva's wordssuggested had never come to him till now. has there ever been a child like eva? yes, there have been; but their names arealways on grave-stones, and their sweet smiles, their heavenly eyes, their singularwords and ways, are among the buried treasures of yearning hearts. in how many families do you hear the legendthat all the goodness and graces of the living are nothing to the peculiar charmsof one who is not.

it is as if heaven had an especial band ofangels, whose office it was to sojourn for a season here, and endear to them thewayward human heart, that they might bear it upward with them in their homewardflight. when you see that deep, spiritual light inthe eye,--when the little soul reveals itself in words sweeter and wiser than theordinary words of children,--hope not to retain that child; for the seal of heaven is on it, and the light of immortalitylooks out from its eyes. even so, beloved eva! fair star of thydwelling! thou are passing away; but they that lovethee dearest know it not.

the colloquy between tom and eva wasinterrupted 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 thefirst guileful footsteps of that soft, insidious disease, which sweeps away somany 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, thedaily brightening cheek; nor could the

lustre of the eye, and the airy buoyancyborn 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 usualcareless good-humor. "don't be croaking, cousin,--i hate it!" hewould say; "don't you see that the child is only growing.children always lose strength when they grow fast." "but she has that cough!""o! nonsense of that cough!--it is not anything.she has taken a little cold, perhaps." "well, that was just the way eliza jane wastaken, and ellen and maria sanders."

"o! stop these hobgoblin' nurse legends. you old hands got so wise, that a childcannot cough, or sneeze, but you see desperation and ruin at hand. only take care of the child, keep her fromthe 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, asmight be told by the frequency with which he repeated over that "the child was quitewell"--that there wasn't anything in that cough,--it was only some little stomachaffection, such as children often had.

but he kept by her more than before, tookher oftener to ride with him, brought home every few days some receipt orstrengthening mixture,--"not," he said, "that the child needed it, but then itwould not do her any harm." if it must be told, the thing that struck adeeper pang to his heart than anything else was the daily increasing maturity of thechild's mind and feelings. while still retaining all a child'sfanciful graces, yet she often dropped, unconsciously, words of such a reach ofthought, and strange unworldly wisdom, that they seemed to be an inspiration. at such times, st. clare would feel asudden thrill, and clasp her in his arms,

as if that fond clasp could save her; andhis heart rose up with wild determination to keep her, never to let her go. the child's whole heart and soul seemedabsorbed in works of love and kindness. impulsively generous she had always been;but there was a touching and womanly thoughtfulness about her now, that everyone noticed. she still loved to play with topsy, and thevarious colored children; but she now seemed rather a spectator than an actor oftheir 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 topass 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, andthey are not made for anything else." "but they ought to read the bible, mamma,to learn god's will." "o! they can get that read to them all theyneed." "it seems to me, mamma, the bible is forevery one to read themselves.

they need it a great many times when thereis nobody to read it." "eva, you are an odd child," said hermother. "miss ophelia has taught topsy to read,"continued eva. "yes, and you see how much good it does. topsy is the worst creature i ever saw!""here's poor mammy!" said eva. "she does love the bible so much, andwishes so she could read! and what will she do when i can't read toher?" marie was busy, turning over the contentsof a drawer, as she answered, "well, of course, by and by, eva, you willhave 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 goinginto company, you won't have time. see here!" she added, "these jewels i'mgoing 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 necklace. 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 are.father sent to france for them. they are worth a small fortune." "i wish i had them," said eva, "to do whati pleased with!" "what would you do with them?" "i'd sell them, and buy a place in the freestates, and take all our people there, and hire teachers, to teach them to read andwrite." 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," saideva, steadily. "i know, mamma, it does come very hard onthem that they can't do these things. tom feels it--mammy does,--a great many ofthem do. i think it's wrong." "come, come, eva; you are only a child!you don't know anything about these things," said marie; "besides, your talkingmakes my head ache." marie always had a headache on hand for anyconversation that did not exactly suit her.

eva stole away; but after that, sheassiduously gave mammy reading lessons. chapter xxiiihenrique about this time, st. clare's brotheralfred, with his eldest son, a boy of twelve, spent a day or two with the familyat the lake. no sight could be more singular andbeautiful than that of these twin brothers. nature, instead of instituting resemblancesbetween them, had made them opposites on every point; yet a mysterious tie seemed tounite them in a closer friendship than ordinary. they used to saunter, arm in arm, up anddown the alleys and walks of the garden.

augustine, with his blue eyes and goldenhair, 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 other'sopinions and practices, and yet never a whit the less absorbed in each other'ssociety; in fact, the very contrariety seemed to unite them, like the attractionbetween opposite poles of the magnet. henrique, the eldest son of alfred, was anoble, dark-eyed, princely boy, full of vivacity and spirit; and, from the firstmoment of introduction, seemed to be perfectly fascinated by the spirituellegraces of his cousin evangeline.

eva had a little pet pony, of a snowywhiteness. it was easy as a cradle, and as gentle asits little mistress; and this pony was now brought up to the back verandah by tom,while a little mulatto boy of about thirteen led along a small black arabian, which had just been imported, at a greatexpense, for henrique. henrique had a boy's pride in his newpossession; and, as he advanced and took the reins out of the hands of his littlegroom, he looked carefully over him, and his brow darkened. "what's this, dodo, you 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!" saidhenrique, violently raising his riding- whip."how dare you speak?" the boy was a handsome, bright-eyedmulatto, of just henrique's size, and his curling hair hung round a high, boldforehead. he had white blood in his veins, as couldbe seen by the quick flush in his cheek, and the sparkle of his eye, as he eagerlytried to speak. "mas'r henrique!--" he began.

henrique struck him across the face withhis riding-whip, and, seizing one of his arms, forced him on to his knees, and beathim till he was out of breath. "there, you impudent dog! now will you learn not to answer back wheni speak to you? take the horse back, and clean himproperly. i'll teach you your place!" "young mas'r," said tom, "i specs what hewas gwine to say was, that the horse would roll when he was bringing him up from thestable; he's so full of spirits,--that's the way he got that dirt on him; i lookedto his cleaning."

"you hold your tongue till you're asked tospeak!" said henrique, turning on his heel, and walking up the steps to speak to eva,who stood in her riding-dress. "dear cousin, i'm sorry this stupid fellowhas kept you waiting," he said. "let's sit down here, on this seat tillthey come. what's the matter, cousin?--you looksober." "how could you be so cruel and wicked topoor dodo?" asked eva. "cruel,--wicked!" said the boy, withunaffected 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 theonly way to manage him, 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!" saidhenrique. "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 fancyto dodo, that i shall be jealous."

"but you beat him,--and he didn't deserveit." "o, well, it may go for some time when hedoes, and don't get it. a few cuts never come amiss with dodo,--he's a regular spirit, i can tell you; but i won't beat him again before you, if ittroubles you." eva was not satisfied, but found it in vainto try to make her handsome cousin understand her feelings.dodo soon appeared, with the horses. "well, dodo, you've done pretty well, thistime," said his young master, with a more 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 hisgentlemanly adroitness in all matters of gallantry, soon had his fair cousin in thesaddle, and, gathering the reins, placed them in her hands. but eva bent to the other side of thehorse, where dodo was standing, and said, as he relinquished the reins,--"that's agood boy, dodo;--thank you!" dodo looked up in amazement into the sweetyoung 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 hismaster mounted. "there's a picayune for you to buy candywith, dodo," said henrique; "go get some." and henrique cantered down the walk aftereva. dodo stood looking after the two children. one had given him money; and one had givenhim 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 slavewarehouse, for his handsome face, to be a match to the handsome pony; and he was nowgetting his breaking in, at the hands of

his young master. the scene of the beating had been witnessedby the two brothers st. clare, from another part of the garden. augustine's cheek flushed; but he onlyobserved, with his usual sarcastic carelessness."i suppose that's what we may call republican education, alfred?" "henrique is a devil of a fellow, when hisblood's up," said alfred, carelessly. "i suppose you consider this an instructivepractice for him," said augustine, drily. "i couldn't help it, if i didn't.

henrique is a regular little tempest;--hismother and i have given him up, long ago. but, then, that dodo is a perfect sprite,--no amount of whipping can hurt him." "and this by way of teaching henrique thefirst verse of a republican's catechism, 'all men are born free and equal!'""poh!" said alfred; "one of tom jefferson's pieces of french sentiment and humbug. it's perfectly ridiculous to have thatgoing the rounds among us, to this day." "i think it is," said st. clare,significantly. "because," said alfred, "we can see plainlyenough that all men are not born free, nor born equal; they are born anything else.for my part, i think half this republican

talk sheer humbug. it is the educated, the intelligent, thewealthy, the refined, who ought to have equal rights and not the canaille.""if you can keep the canaille of that opinion," said augustine. "they took their turn once, in france.""of course, they must be kept down, consistently, steadily, as i should," saidalfred, setting his foot hard down as if he were standing on somebody. "it makes a terrible slip when they getup," 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 thiseducating, elevating talk, that is getting about now; the lower class must not beeducated." "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 are breaking all humanizing ties, andmaking them brute beasts; and, if they get the upper hand, such we shall find them.""they shall never get the upper hand!" said alfred.

"that's right," said st. clare; "put on thesteam, 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 are strong, and the machinery works well." "the nobles in louis xvi.'s time thoughtjust so; and austria and pius ix. think so now; and, some pleasant morning, you mayall be caught up to meet each other in the air, when the boilers burst." "dies declarabit," said alfred, laughing. "i tell you," said augustine, "if there isanything that is revealed with the strength

of a divine law in our times, it is thatthe 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 famous stump orator! well, i hope i shall be dead before thismillennium of your greasy masses comes on." "greasy or not greasy, they will governyou, when their time comes," said augustine; "and they will be just suchrulers as you make them. the french noblesse chose to have thepeople 'sans culottes,' and they had 'sans culotte' governors to their hearts'content.

the people of hayti--" "o, come, augustine! as if we hadn't hadenough of that abominable, contemptible hayti! (note: in august 1791, as a consequence ofthe french revolution, the black slaves and mulattoes on haiti rose in revolt againstthe whites, and in the period of turmoil that followed enormous cruelties werepractised by both sides. the "emperor" dessalines, come to power in1804, massacred all the whites on the island. haitian bloodshed became an argument toshow the barbarous nature of the negro, a

doctrine wendell phillips sought to combatin his celebrated lecture on toussaint l'ouverture.) the haytiens were not anglo saxons; if theyhad been there would have been another story.the anglo saxon is the dominant race of the world, and is to be so." "well, there is a pretty fair infusion ofanglo saxon blood among our slaves, now," said augustine. "there are plenty among them who have onlyenough of the african to give a sort of tropical warmth and fervor to ourcalculating firmness and foresight.

if ever the san domingo hour comes, anglosaxon blood will lead on the day. sons of white fathers, with all our haughtyfeelings burning in their veins, will not always be bought and sold and traded. they will rise, and raise with them theirmother's race." "stuff!--nonsense!" "well," said augustine, "there goes an oldsaying 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 tookthem.'" "on the whole, augustine, i think yourtalents might do for a circuit rider," said

alfred, laughing. "never you fear for us; possession is ournine 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 ownpowder." "sons trained like your henrique will begrand guardians of your powder-magazines," said augustine,--"so cool and self-possessed! the proverb says, 'they that cannot governthemselves cannot govern others.'" "there is a trouble there" said alfred,thoughtfully; "there's no doubt that our

system is a difficult one to train childrenunder. it gives too free scope to the passions,altogether, which, in our climate, are hot enough.i find trouble with henrique. the boy is generous and warm-hearted, but aperfect fire-cracker when excited. i believe i shall send him north for hiseducation, where obedience is more fashionable, and where he will associatemore with equals, and less with dependents." "since training children is the staple workof the human race," said augustine, "i should think it something of aconsideration 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 thevery vices of an abject race tend to strengthen in them the opposite virtues. i think henrique, now, has a keener senseof the beauty of truth, from seeing lying and deception the universal badge ofslavery." "a christian-like view of the subject,certainly!" said augustine. "it's true, christian-like or not; and isabout 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 backgammon?"the two brothers ran up the verandah steps, and were soon seated at a light bamboostand, with the backgammon-board between them. as they were setting their men, alfredsaid, "i tell you, augustine, if i thought as youdo, i should do something." "i dare say you would,--you are one of thedoing sort,--but what?"

"why, elevate your own servants, for aspecimen," said alfred, with a half- scornful smile. "you might as well set mount aetna on themflat, and tell them to stand up under it, as tell me to elevate my servants under allthe superincumbent mass of society upon one man can do nothing, against the wholeaction of a community. education, to do anything, must be a stateeducation; or there must be enough agreed in it to make a current." "you take the first throw," said alfred;and the brothers were soon lost in the game, and heard no more till the scrapingof horses' feet was heard under the

verandah. "there come the children," said augustine,rising. "look here, alf!did you ever see anything 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 faircousin, 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 hercheeks, and heightened the effect of her singularly transparent skin, and goldenhair.

"good heavens! what perfectly dazzlingbeauty!" said alfred. "i tell you, auguste, won't she make somehearts ache, one of these days?" "she will, too truly,--god knows i'm afraidso!" said st. clare, in a tone of sudden bitterness, as he hurried down to take heroff her horse. "eva darling! you're not much tired?" hesaid, 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?--youknow it's bad for you." "i felt so well, papa, and liked it somuch, i forgot." st. clare carried her in his arms into theparlor, and laid her on the sofa.

"henrique, you must be careful of eva,"said he; "you mustn't ride fast with her." "i'll take her under my care," saidhenrique, seating himself 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 sorry papa is onlygoing 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, andnot be cross to dodo, and so on. i don't mean to treat dodo ill; but, youknow, i've got such a quick temper. i'm not really bad to him, though.

i give him a picayune, now and then; andyou see he dresses well. i think, on the whole, dodo 's pretty welloff." "would you think you were well off, ifthere 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 thefriends he ever had, and now he has not a creature to love him;--nobody can be goodthat way." "well, i can't help it, as i know of. i can't get his mother and i can't love himmyself, nor anybody 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'tlove your servants." "i do, indeed.""how odd!" "don't the bible say we must loveeverybody?" "o, the bible! to be sure, it says a great many suchthings; but, then, nobody 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, dolove poor dodo, and be kind to him, for my

sake!" "i could love anything, for your sake, dearcousin; for i really think you are the loveliest creature that i ever saw!"and henrique spoke with an earnestness that flushed his handsome face. eva received it with perfect simplicity,without even a change of feature; merely saying, "i'm glad you feel so, dearhenrique! i hope you will remember." the dinner-bell put an end to theinterview.

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