"This Is the Last of Earth"*

* "This is the last of Earth!

I am content,"

last words of John Quincy Adams,

uttered February 21,


The statuettes and pictures in Eva's room were shrouded in white napkins,

and only hushed breathings and muffled footfalls were heard there,

and the light stole in solemnly through windows partially darkened by closed blinds.

The bed was draped in white;

and there,

beneath the drooping angel-figure,

lay a little sleeping form,

--sleeping never to waken!

There she lay,

robed in one of the simple white dresses she had been wont to wear when living;

the rose-colored light through the curtains cast over the icy coldness of death a warm glow.

The heavy eyelashes drooped softly on the pure cheek;

the head was turned a little to one side,

as if in natural sleep,

but there was diffused over every lineament of the face that high celestial expression,

that mingling of rapture and repose,

which showed it was no earthly or temporary sleep,

but the long,

sacred rest which "He giveth to his beloved."

There is no death to such as thou,

dear Eva!

neither darkness nor shadow of death;

only such a bright fading as when the morning star fades in the golden dawn.

Thine is the victory without the battle,

--the crown without the conflict.

So did St. Clare think,


with folded arms,

he stood there gazing.


who shall say what he did think?


from the hour that voices had said,

in the dying chamber,

"she is gone,"

it had been all a dreary mist,

a heavy "dimness of anguish."

He had heard voices around him;

he had had questions asked,

and answered them;

they had asked him when he would have the funeral,

and where they should lay her;

and he had answered,


that he cared not.

Adolph and Rosa had arranged the chamber;


fickle and childish,

as they generally were,

they were soft-hearted and full of feeling;


while Miss Ophelia presided over the general details of order and neatness,

it was their hands that added those soft,

poetic touches to the arrangements,

that took from the death-room the grim and ghastly air which too often marks a New England funeral.

There were still flowers on the shelves,

--all white,

delicate and fragrant,

with graceful,

drooping leaves.

Eva's little table,

covered with white,

bore on it her favorite vase,

with a single white moss rose-bud in it.

The folds of the drapery,

the fall of the curtains,

had been arranged and rearranged,

by Adolph and Rosa,

with that nicety of eye which characterizes their race.

Even now,

while St. Clare stood there thinking,

little Rosa tripped softly into the chamber with a basket of white flowers.

She stepped back when she saw St. Clare,

and stopped respectfully;


seeing that he did not observe her,

she came forward to place them around the dead.

St. Clare saw her as in a dream,

while she placed in the small hands a fair cape jessamine,


with admirable taste,

disposed other flowers around the couch.

The door opened again,

and Topsy,

her eyes swelled with crying,


holding something under her apron.

Rosa made a quick forbidding gesture;

but she took a step into the room.

"You must go out,"

said Rosa,

in a sharp,

positive whisper;

"-you- haven't any business here!"


do let me!

I brought a flower,

--such a pretty one!"

said Topsy,

holding up a half-blown tea rose-bud.

"Do let me put just one there."

"Get along!"

said Rosa,

more decidedly.

"Let her stay!"

said St. Clare,

suddenly stamping his foot.

"She shall come."

Rosa suddenly retreated,

and Topsy came forward and laid her offering at the feet of the corpse;

then suddenly,

with a wild and bitter cry,

she threw herself on the floor alongside the bed,

and wept,

and moaned aloud.

Miss Ophelia hastened into the room,

and tried to raise and silence her;

but in vain.


Miss Eva!


Miss Eva!

I wish I

's dead,


--I do!"

There was a piercing wildness in the cry;

the blood flushed into St. Clare's white,

marble-like face,

and the first tears he had shed since Eva died stood in his eyes.

"Get up,


said Miss Ophelia,

in a softened voice;

"don't cry so.

Miss Eva is gone to heaven;

she is an angel."

"But I can't see her!"

said Topsy.

"I never shall see her!"

and she sobbed again.

They all stood a moment in silence.

"-She- said she -loved- me,"

said Topsy,

--"she did!





there an't -nobody- left now,

--there an't!"

"That's true enough" said St. Clare;

"but do,"

he said to Miss Ophelia,

"see if you can't comfort the poor creature."

"I jist wish I hadn't never been born,"

said Topsy.

"I didn't want to be born,

no ways;

and I don't see no use on


Miss Ophelia raised her gently,

but firmly,

and took her from the room;


as she did so,

some tears fell from her eyes.


you poor child,"

she said,

as she led her into her room,

"don't give up!

-I- can love you,

though I am not like that dear little child.

I hope I've learnt something of the love of Christ from her.

I can love you;

I do,

and I'll try to help you to grow up a good Christian girl."

Miss Ophelia's voice was more than her words,

and more than that were the honest tears that fell down her face.

From that hour,

she acquired an influence over the mind of the destitute child that she never lost.


my Eva,

whose little hour on earth did so much of good,"

thought St. Clare,

"what account have I to give for my long years?"

There were,

for a while,

soft whisperings and footfalls in the chamber,

as one after another stole in,

to look at the dead;

and then came the little coffin;

and then there was a funeral,

and carriages drove to the door,

and strangers came and were seated;

and there were white scarfs and ribbons,

and crape bands,

and mourners dressed in black crape;

and there were words read from the Bible,

and prayers offered;

and St. Clare lived,

and walked,

and moved,

as one who has shed every tear;

--to the last he saw only one thing,

that golden head in the coffin;

but then he saw the cloth spread over it,

the lid of the coffin closed;

and he walked,

when he was put beside the others,

down to a little place at the bottom of the garden,

and there,

by the mossy seat where she and Tom had talked,

and sung,

and read so often,

was the little grave.

St. Clare stood beside it,

--looked vacantly down;

he saw them lower the little coffin;

he heard,


the solemn words,

"I am the resurrection and the Life;

he that believeth in me,

though he were dead,

yet shall he live;"


as the earth was cast in and filled up the little grave,

he could not realize that it was his Eva that they were hiding from his sight.

Nor was it!

--not Eva,

but only the frail seed of that bright,

immortal form with which she shall yet come forth,

in the day of the Lord Jesus!

And then all were gone,

and the mourners went back to the place which should know her no more;

and Marie's room was darkened,

and she lay on the bed,

sobbing and moaning in uncontrollable grief,

and calling every moment for the attentions of all her servants.

Of course,

they had no time to cry,

--why should they?

the grief was -her- grief,

and she was fully convinced that nobody on earth did,


or would feel it as she did.

"St. Clare did not shed a tear,"

she said;

"he didn't sympathize with her;

it was perfectly wonderful to think how hard-hearted and unfeeling he was,

when he must know how she suffered."

So much are people the slave of their eye and ear,

that many of the servants really thought that Missis was the principal sufferer in the case,

especially as Marie began to have hysterical spasms,

and sent for the doctor,

and at last declared herself dying;


in the running and scampering,

and bringing up hot bottles,

and heating of flannels,

and chafing,

and fussing,

that ensued,

there was quite a diversion.



had a feeling at his own heart,

that drew him to his master.

He followed him wherever he walked,

wistfully and sadly;

and when he saw him sitting,

so pale and quiet,

in Eva's room,

holding before his eyes her little open Bible,

though seeing no letter or word of what was in it,

there was more sorrow to Tom in that still,


tearless eye,

than in all Marie's moans and lamentations.

In a few days the St. Clare family were back again in the city;


with the restlessness of grief,

longing for another scene,

to change the current of his thoughts.

So they left the house and garden,

with its little grave,

and came back to New Orleans;

and St. Clare walked the streets busily,

and strove to fill up the chasm in his heart with hurry and bustle,

and change of place;

and people who saw him in the street,

or met him at the cafe,

knew of his loss only by the weed on his hat;

for there he was,

smiling and talking,

and reading the newspaper,

and speculating on politics,

and attending to business matters;

and who could see that all this smiling outside was but a hollowed shell over a heart that was a dark and silent sepulchre?

"Mr. St. Clare is a singular man,"

said Marie to Miss Ophelia,

in a complaining tone.

"I used to think,

if there was anything in the world he did love,

it was our dear little Eva;

but he seems to be forgetting her very easily.

I cannot ever get him to talk about her.

I really did think he would show more feeling!"

"Still waters run deepest,

they used to tell me,"

said Miss Ophelia,



I don't believe in such things;

it's all talk.

If people have feeling,

they will show it,

--they can't help it;



it's a great misfortune to have feeling.

I'd rather have been made like St. Clare.

My feelings prey upon me so!"



Mas'r St. Clare is gettin' thin as a shader.

They say,

he don't never eat nothin',"

said Mammy.

"I know he don't forget Miss Eva;

I know there couldn't nobody,



blessed cretur!"

she added,

wiping her eyes.


at all events,

he has no consideration for me,"

said Marie;

"he hasn't spoken one word of sympathy,

and he must know how much more a mother feels than any man can."

"The heart knoweth its own bitterness,"

said Miss Ophelia,


"That's just what I think.

I know just what I feel,

--nobody else seems to.

Eva used to,

but she is gone!"

and Marie lay back on her lounge,

and began to sob disconsolately.

Marie was one of those unfortunately constituted mortals,

in whose eyes whatever is lost and gone assumes a value which it never had in possession.

Whatever she had,

she seemed to survey only to pick flaws in it;


once fairly away,

there was no end to her valuation of it.

While this conversation was taking place in the parlor another was going on in St. Clare's library.


who was always uneasily following his master about,

had seen him go to his library,

some hours before;


after vainly waiting for him to come out,


at last,

to make an errand in.

He entered softly.

St. Clare lay on his lounge,

at the further end of the room.

He was lying on his face,

with Eva's Bible open before him,

at a little distance.

Tom walked up,

and stood by the sofa.

He hesitated;


while he was hesitating,

St. Clare suddenly raised himself up.

The honest face,

so full of grief,

and with such an imploring expression of affection and sympathy,

struck his master.

He laid his hand on Tom's,

and bowed down his forehead on it.



my boy,

the whole world is as empty as an egg-shell."

"I know it,


--I know it,"

said Tom;



if Mas'r could only look up,

--up where our dear Miss Eva is,

--up to the dear Lord Jesus!"



I do look up;

but the trouble is,

I don't see anything,

when I do,

I wish I could."

Tom sighed heavily.

"It seems to be given to children,

and poor,

honest fellows,

like you,

to see what we can't,"

said St. Clare.

"How comes it?"

"Thou has

'hid from the wise and prudent,

and revealed unto babes,'" murmured Tom;

"'even so,


for so it seemed good in thy sight.'"


I don't believe,

--I can't believe,

--I've got the habit of doubting,"

said St. Clare.

"I want to believe this Bible,

--and I can't."

"Dear Mas'r,

pray to the good Lord,


I believe;

help thou my unbelief.'"

"Who knows anything about anything?"

said St. Clare,

his eyes wandering dreamily,

and speaking to himself.

"Was all that beautiful love and faith only one of the ever-shifting phases of human feeling,

having nothing real to rest on,

passing away with the little breath?

And is there no more Eva,

--no heaven,

--no Christ,



dear Mas'r,

there is!

I know it;

I'm sure of it,"

said Tom,

falling on his knees.



dear Mas'r,

believe it!"

"How do you know there's any Christ,


You never saw the Lord."

"Felt Him in my soul,


--feel Him now!



when I was sold away from my old woman and the children,

I was jest a'most broke up.

I felt as if there warn't nothin' left;

and then the good Lord,

he stood by me,

and he says,

'Fear not,


and he brings light and joy in a poor feller's soul,

--makes all peace;

and I

's so happy,

and loves everybody,

and feels willin' jest to be the Lord's,

and have the Lord's will done,

and be put jest where the Lord wants to put me.

I know it couldn't come from me,

cause I

's a poor,

complainin' cretur;

it comes from the Lord;

and I know He's willin' to do for Mas'r."

Tom spoke with fast-running tears and choking voice.

St. Clare leaned his head on his shoulder,

and wrung the hard,


black hand.


you love me,"

he said.


's willin' to lay down my life,

this blessed day,

to see Mas'r a Christian."


foolish boy!"

said St. Clare,

half-raising himself.

"I'm not worth the love of one good,

honest heart,

like yours."



dere's more than me loves you,

--the blessed Lord Jesus loves you."

"How do you know that Tom?"

said St. Clare.

"Feels it in my soul.



'the love of Christ,

that passeth knowledge.'"


said St. Clare,

turning away,

"that the story of a man that lived and died eighteen hundred years ago can affect people so yet.

But he was no man,"

he added,


"No man ever had such long and living power!


that I could believe what my mother taught me,

and pray as I did when I was a boy!"

"If Mas'r pleases,"

said Tom,

"Miss Eva used to read this so beautifully.

I wish Mas'r'd be so good as read it.

Don't get no readin',


now Miss Eva's gone."

The chapter was the eleventh of John,

--the touching account of the raising of Lazarus,

St. Clare read it aloud,

often pausing to wrestle down feelings which were roused by the pathos of the story.

Tom knelt before him,

with clasped hands,

and with an absorbed expression of love,



on his quiet face.


said his Master,

"this is all -real- to you!"

"I can jest fairly -see- it Mas'r,"

said Tom.

"I wish I had your eyes,


"I wish,

to the dear Lord,

Mas'r had!"



you know that I have a great deal more knowledge than you;

what if I should tell you that I don't believe this Bible?"



said Tom,

holding up his hands,

with a deprecating gesture.

"Wouldn't it shake your faith some,


"Not a grain,"

said Tom.



you must know I know the most."



haven't you jest read how he hides from the wise and prudent,

and reveals unto babes?

But Mas'r wasn't in earnest,

for sartin,


said Tom,




I was not.

I don't disbelieve,

and I think there is reason to believe;

and still I don't.

It's a troublesome bad habit I've got,


"If Mas'r would only pray!"

"How do you know I don't,


"Does Mas'r?"

"I would,


if there was anybody there when I pray;

but it's all speaking unto nothing,

when I do.

But come,


you pray now,

and show me how."

Tom's heart was full;

he poured it out in prayer,

like waters that have been long suppressed.

One thing was plain enough;

Tom thought there was somebody to hear,

whether there were or not.

In fact,

St. Clare felt himself borne,

on the tide of his faith and feeling,

almost to the gates of that heaven he seemed so vividly to conceive.

It seemed to bring him nearer to Eva.

"Thank you,

my boy,"

said St. Clare,

when Tom rose.

"I like to hear you,


but go,


and leave me alone;

some other time,

I'll talk more."

Tom silently left the room.



Week after week glided away in the St. Clare mansion,

and the waves of life settled back to their usual flow,

where that little bark had gone down.

For how imperiously,

how coolly,

in disregard of all one's feeling,

does the hard,


uninteresting course of daily realities move on!

Still must we eat,

and drink,

and sleep,

and wake again,

--still bargain,



ask and answer questions,


in short,

a thousand shadows,

though all interest in them be over;

the cold mechanical habit of living remaining,

after all vital interest in it has fled.

All the interests and hopes of St. Clare's life had unconsciously wound themselves around this child.

It was for Eva that he had managed his property;

it was for Eva that he had planned the disposal of his time;


to do this and that for Eva,

--to buy,



and arrange,

or dispose something for her,

--had been so long his habit,

that now she was gone,

there seemed nothing to be thought of,

and nothing to be done.


there was another life,

--a life which,

once believed in,

stands as a solemn,

significant figure before the otherwise unmeaning ciphers of time,

changing them to orders of mysterious,

untold value.

St. Clare knew this well;

and often,

in many a weary hour,

he heard that slender,

childish voice calling him to the skies,

and saw that little hand pointing to him the way of life;

but a heavy lethargy of sorrow lay on him,

--he could not arise.

He had one of those natures which could better and more clearly conceive of religious things from its own perceptions and instincts,

than many a matter-of-fact and practical Christian.

The gift to appreciate and the sense to feel the finer shades and relations of moral things,

often seems an attribute of those whose whole life shows a careless disregard of them.

Hence Moore,



often speak words more wisely descriptive of the true religious sentiment,

than another man,

whose whole life is governed by it.

In such minds,

disregard of religion is a more fearful treason,

--a more deadly sin.

St. Clare had never pretended to govern himself by any religious obligation;

and a certain fineness of nature gave him such an instinctive view of the extent of the requirements of Christianity,

that he shrank,

by anticipation,

from what he felt would be the exactions of his own conscience,

if he once did resolve to assume them.


so inconsistent is human nature,

especially in the ideal,

that not to undertake a thing at all seems better than to undertake and come short.

Still St. Clare was,

in many respects,

another man.

He read his little Eva's Bible seriously and honestly;

he thought more soberly and practically of his relations to his servants,

--enough to make him extremely dissatisfied with both his past and present course;

and one thing he did,

soon after his return to New Orleans,

and that was to commence the legal steps necessary to Tom's emancipation,

which was to be perfected as soon as he could get through the necessary formalities.


he attached himself to Tom more and more,

every day.

In all the wide world,

there was nothing that seemed to remind him so much of Eva;

and he would insist on keeping him constantly about him,


fastidious and unapproachable as he was with regard to his deeper feelings,

he almost thought aloud to Tom.

Nor would any one have wondered at it,

who had seen the expression of affection and devotion with which Tom continually followed his young master.



said St. Clare,

the day after he had commenced the legal formalities for his enfranchisement,

"I'm going to make a free man of you;

--so have your trunk packed,

and get ready to set out for Kentuck."

The sudden light of joy that shone in Tom's face as he raised his hands to heaven,

his emphatic "Bless the Lord!"

rather discomposed St. Clare;

he did not like it that Tom should be so ready to leave him.

"You haven't had such very bad times here,

that you need be in such a rapture,


he said drily.




'tan't that,

--it's bein' a -freeman!- that's what I'm joyin' for."



don't you think,

for your own part,

you've been better off than to be free?"



Mas'r St. Clare,"

said Tom,

with a flash of energy.





you couldn't possibly have earned,

by your work,

such clothes and such living as I have given you."

"Knows all that,

Mas'r St. Clare;

Mas'r's been too good;



I'd rather have poor clothes,

poor house,

poor everything,

and have

'em -mine-,

than have the best,

and have

'em any man's else,

--I had -so-,


I think it's natur,


"I suppose so,


and you'll be going off and leaving me,

in a month or so,"

he added,

rather discontentedly.

"Though why you shouldn't,

no mortal knows,"

he said,

in a gayer tone;


getting up,

he began to walk the floor.

"Not while Mas'r is in trouble,"

said Tom.

"I'll stay with Mas'r as long as he wants me,

--so as I can be any use."

"Not while I'm in trouble,


said St. Clare,

looking sadly out of the window.

..."And when will -my- trouble be over?"

"When Mas'r St. Clare's a Christian,"

said Tom.

"And you really mean to stay by till that day comes?"

said St. Clare,

half smiling,

as he turned from the window,

and laid his hand on Tom's shoulder.



you soft,

silly boy!

I won't keep you till that day.

Go home to your wife and children,

and give my love to all."


's faith to believe that day will come,"

said Tom,


and with tears in his eyes;

"the Lord has a work for Mas'r."

"A work,


said St. Clare,




give me your views on what sort of a work it is;

--let's hear."


even a poor fellow like me has a work from the Lord;

and Mas'r St. Clare,

that has larnin,

and riches,

and friends,

--how much he might do for the Lord!"


you seem to think the Lord needs a great deal done for him,"

said St. Clare,


"We does for the Lord when we does for his critturs,"

said Tom.

"Good theology,


better than Dr. B. preaches,

I dare swear,"

said St. Clare.

The conversation was here interrupted by the announcement of some visitors.

Marie St. Clare felt the loss of Eva as deeply as she could feel anything;


as she was a woman that had a great faculty of making everybody unhappy when she was,

her immediate attendants had still stronger reason to regret the loss of their young mistress,

whose winning ways and gentle intercessions had so often been a shield to them from the tyrannical and selfish exactions of her mother.

Poor old Mammy,

in particular,

whose heart,

severed from all natural domestic ties,

had consoled itself with this one beautiful being,

was almost heart-broken.

She cried day and night,

and was,

from excess of sorrow,

less skilful and alert in her ministrations of her mistress than usual,

which drew down a constant storm of invectives on her defenceless head.

Miss Ophelia felt the loss;


in her good and honest heart,

it bore fruit unto everlasting life.

She was more softened,

more gentle;


though equally assiduous in every duty,

it was with a chastened and quiet air,

as one who communed with her own heart not in vain.

She was more diligent in teaching Topsy,

--taught her mainly from the Bible,

--did not any longer shrink from her touch,

or manifest an ill-repressed disgust,

because she felt none.

She viewed her now through the softened medium that Eva's hand had first held before her eyes,

and saw in her only an immortal creature,

whom God had sent to be led by her to glory and virtue.

Topsy did not become at once a saint;

but the life and death of Eva did work a marked change in her.

The callous indifference was gone;

there was now sensibility,



and the striving for good,

--a strife irregular,


suspended oft,

but yet renewed again.

One day,

when Topsy had been sent for by Miss Ophelia,

she came,

hastily thrusting something into her bosom.

"What are you doing there,

you limb?

You've been stealing something,

I'll be bound,"

said the imperious little Rosa,

who had been sent to call her,

seizing her,

at the same time,

roughly by the arm.

"You go


Miss Rosa!"

said Topsy,

pulling from her;

"'tan't none o' your business!"

"None o' your sa'ce!"

said Rosa,

"I saw you hiding something,

--I know yer tricks,"

and Rosa seized her arm,

and tried to force her hand into her bosom,

while Topsy,


kicked and fought valiantly for what she considered her rights.

The clamor and confusion of the battle drew Miss Ophelia and St. Clare both to the spot.

"She's been stealing!"

said Rosa.

"I han't,


vociferated Topsy,

sobbing with passion.

"Give me that,

whatever it is!"

said Miss Ophelia,


Topsy hesitated;


on a second order,

pulled out of her bosom a little parcel done up in the foot of one of her own old stockings.

Miss Ophelia turned it out.

There was a small book,

which had been given to Topsy by Eva,

containing a single verse of Scripture,

arranged for every day in the year,

and in a paper the curl of hair that she had given her on that memorable day when she had taken her last farewell.

St. Clare was a good deal affected at the sight of it;

the little book had been rolled in a long strip of black crape,

torn from the funeral weeds.

"What did you wrap -this- round the book for?"

said St. Clare,

holding up the crape.




't was Miss Eva.


don't take

'em away,


she said;


sitting flat down on the floor,

and putting her apron over her head,

she began to sob vehemently.

It was a curious mixture of the pathetic and the ludicrous,

--the little old stockings,

--black crape,



soft curl,

--and Topsy's utter distress.

St. Clare smiled;

but there were tears in his eyes,

as he said,



--don't cry;

you shall have them!"


putting them together,

he threw them into her lap,

and drew Miss Ophelia with him into the parlor.

"I really think you can make something of that concern,"

he said,

pointing with his thumb backward over his shoulder.

"Any mind that is capable of a -real sorrow- is capable of good.

You must try and do something with her."

"The child has improved greatly,"

said Miss Ophelia.

"I have great hopes of her;



she said,

laying her hand on his arm,

"one thing I want to ask;

whose is this child to be?

--yours or mine?"


I gave her to you,"

said Augustine.

"But not legally;

--I want her to be mine legally,"

said Miss Ophelia.



said Augustine.

"What will the Abolition Society think?

They'll have a day of fasting appointed for this backsliding,

if you become a slaveholder!"



I want her mine,

that I may have a right to take her to the free States,

and give her her liberty,

that all I am trying to do be not undone."



what an awful

'doing evil that good may come'!

I can't encourage it."

"I don't want you to joke,

but to reason,"

said Miss Ophelia.

"There is no use in my trying to make this child a Christian child,

unless I save her from all the chances and reverses of slavery;


if you really are willing I should have her,

I want you to give me a deed of gift,

or some legal paper."



said St. Clare,

"I will;"

and he sat down,

and unfolded a newspaper to read.

"But I want it done now,"

said Miss Ophelia.

"What's your hurry?"

"Because now is the only time there ever is to do a thing in,"

said Miss Ophelia.



here's paper,


and ink;

just write a paper."

St. Clare,

like most men of his class of mind,

cordially hated the present tense of action,




he was considerably annoyed by Miss Ophelia's downrightness.


what's the matter?"

said he.

"Can't you take my word?

One would think you had taken lessons of the Jews,

coming at a fellow so!"

"I want to make sure of it,"

said Miss Ophelia.

"You may die,

or fail,

and then Topsy be hustled off to auction,

spite of all I can do."


you are quite provident.


seeing I'm in the hands of a Yankee,

there is nothing for it but to concede;"

and St. Clare rapidly wrote off a deed of gift,


as he was well versed in the forms of law,

he could easily do,

and signed his name to it in sprawling capitals,

concluding by a tremendous flourish.


isn't that black and white,


Miss Vermont?"

he said,

as he handed it to her.

"Good boy,"

said Miss Ophelia,


"But must it not be witnessed?"





he said,

opening the door into Marie's apartment,


Cousin wants your autograph;

just put your name down here."

"What's this?"

said Marie,

as she ran over the paper.


I thought Cousin was too pious for such horrid things,"

she added,

as she carelessly wrote her name;


if she has a fancy for that article,

I am sure she's welcome."



she's yours,

body and soul,"

said St. Clare,

handing the paper.

"No more mine now than she was before,"

Miss Ophelia.

"Nobody but God has a right to give her to me;

but I can protect her now."


she's yours by a fiction of law,


said St. Clare,

as he turned back into the parlor,

and sat down to his paper.

Miss Ophelia,

who seldom sat much in Marie's company,

followed him into the parlor,

having first carefully laid away the paper.


she said,


as she sat knitting,

"have you ever made any provision for your servants,

in case of your death?"


said St. Clare,

as he read on.

"Then all your indulgence to them may prove a great cruelty,

by and by."

St. Clare had often thought the same thing himself;

but he answered,



I mean to make a provision,

by and by."


said Miss Ophelia.


one of these days."

"What if you should die first?"


what's the matter?"

said St. Clare,

laying down his paper and looking at her.

"Do you think I show symptoms of yellow fever or cholera,

that you are making post mortem arrangements with such zeal?"

"'In the midst of life we are in death,'" said Miss Ophelia.

St. Clare rose up,

and laying the paper down,


walked to the door that stood open on the verandah,

to put an end to a conversation that was not agreeable to him.


he repeated the last word again,



as he leaned against the railings,

and watched the sparkling water as it rose and fell in the fountain;


as in a dim and dizzy haze,

saw flowers and trees and vases of the courts,

he repeated,

again the mystic word so common in every mouth,

yet of such fearful power,


"Strange that there should be such a word,"

he said,

"and such a thing,

and we ever forget it;

that one should be living,

warm and beautiful,

full of hopes,

desires and wants,

one day,

and the next be gone,

utterly gone,

and forever!"

It was a warm,

golden evening;


as he walked to the other end of the verandah,

he saw Tom busily intent on his Bible,


as he did so,

with his finger to each successive word,

and whispering them to himself with an earnest air.

"Want me to read to you,


said St. Clare,

seating himself carelessly by him.

"If Mas'r pleases,"

said Tom,


"Mas'r makes it so much plainer."

St. Clare took the book and glanced at the place,

and began reading one of the passages which Tom had designated by the heavy marks around it.

It ran as follows:

"When the Son of man shall come in his glory,

and all his holy angels with him,

then shall he sit upon the throne of his glory: and before him shall be gathered all nations;

and he shall separate them one from another,

as a shepherd divideth his sheep from the goats."

St. Clare read on in an animated voice,

till he came to the last of the verses.

"Then shall the king say unto him on his left hand,

Depart from me,

ye cursed,

into everlasting fire: for I was an hungered,

and ye gave me no meat: I was thirsty,

and ye gave me no drink: I was a stranger,

and ye took me not in: naked,

and ye clothed me not: I was sick,

and in prison,

and ye visited me not.

Then shall they answer unto Him,

Lord when saw we thee an hungered,

or athirst,

or a stranger,

or naked,

or sick,

or in prison,

and did not minister unto thee?

Then shall he say unto them,

Inasmuch as ye did it not to one of the least of these my brethren,

ye did it not to me."

St. Clare seemed struck with this last passage,

for he read it twice,

--the second time slowly,

and as if he were revolving the words in his mind.


he said,

"these folks that get such hard measure seem to have been doing just what I have,

--living good,


respectable lives;

and not troubling themselves to inquire how many of their brethren were hungry or athirst,

or sick,

or in prison."

Tom did not answer.

St. Clare rose up and walked thoughtfully up and down the verandah,

seeming to forget everything in his own thoughts;

so absorbed was he,

that Tom had to remind him twice that the teabell had rung,

before he could get his attention.

St. Clare was absent and thoughtful,

all tea-time.

After tea,

he and Marie and Miss Ophelia took possession of the parlor almost in silence.

Marie disposed herself on a lounge,

under a silken mosquito curtain,

and was soon sound asleep.

Miss Ophelia silently busied herself with her knitting.

St. Clare sat down to the piano,

and began playing a soft and melancholy movement with the Æolian accompaniment.

He seemed in a deep reverie,

and to be soliloquizing to himself by music.

After a little,

he opened one of the drawers,

took out an old music-book whose leaves were yellow with age,

and began turning it over.


he said to Miss Ophelia,

"this was one of my mother's books,

--and here is her handwriting,

--come and look at it.

She copied and arranged this from Mozart's Requiem."

Miss Ophelia came accordingly.

"It was something she used to sing often,"

said St. Clare.

"I think I can hear her now."

He struck a few majestic chords,

and began singing that grand old Latin piece,

the "Dies Iræ."


who was listening in the outer verandah,

was drawn by the sound to the very door,

where he stood earnestly.

He did not understand the words,

of course;

but the music and manner of singing appeared to affect him strongly,

especially when St. Clare sang the more pathetic parts.

Tom would have sympathized more heartily,

if he had known the meaning of the beautiful words: --

"Recordare Jesu pie Quod sum causa tuær viæ Ne me perdas,

illa die Quærens me sedisti lassus Redemisti crucem passus Tantus labor non sit cassus."*

* These lines have been thus rather inadequately translated:


O Jesus,

for what reason Thou endured'st earth's spite and treason,

Nor me lose,

in that dread season;

Seeking me,

thy worn feet hasted,

On the cross thy soul death tasted,

Let not all these toils be wasted."

[Mrs. Stowe's note.]

St. Clare threw a deep and pathetic expression into the words;

for the shadowy veil of years seemed drawn away,

and he seemed to hear his mother's voice leading his.

Voice and instrument seemed both living,

and threw out with vivid sympathy those strains which the ethereal Mozart first conceived as his own dying requiem.

When St. Clare had done singing,

he sat leaning his head upon his hand a few moments,

and then began walking up and down the floor.

"What a sublime conception is that of a last judgment!"

said he,

--"a righting of all the wrongs of ages!

--a solving of all moral problems,

by an unanswerable wisdom!

It is,


a wonderful image."

"It is a fearful one to us,"

said Miss Ophelia.

"It ought to be to me,

I suppose,"

said St. Clare stopping,


"I was reading to Tom,

this afternoon,

that chapter in Matthew that gives an account of it,

and I have been quite struck with it.

One should have expected some terrible enormities charged to those who are excluded from Heaven,

as the reason;

but no,

--they are condemned for -not- doing positive good,

as if that included every possible harm."


said Miss Ophelia,

"it is impossible for a person who does no good not to do harm."

"And what,"

said St. Clare,

speaking abstractedly,

but with deep feeling,

"what shall be said of one whose own heart,

whose education,

and the wants of society,

have called in vain to some noble purpose;

who has floated on,

a dreamy,

neutral spectator of the struggles,


and wrongs of man,

when he should have been a worker?"

"I should say,"

said Miss Ophelia,

"that he ought to repent,

and begin now."

"Always practical and to the point!"

said St. Clare,

his face breaking out into a smile.

"You never leave me any time for general reflections,


you always bring me short up against the actual present;

you have a kind of eternal -now-,

always in your mind."

"-Now- is all the time I have anything to do with,"

said Miss Ophelia.

"Dear little Eva,

--poor child!"

said St. Clare,

"she had set her little simple soul on a good work for me."

It was the first time since Eva's death that he had ever said as many words as these to her,

and he spoke now evidently repressing very strong feeling.

"My view of Christianity is such,"

he added,

"that I think no man can consistently profess it without throwing the whole weight of his being against this monstrous system of injustice that lies at the foundation of all our society;


if need be,

sacrificing himself in the battle.

That is,

I mean that -I- could not be a Christian otherwise,

though I have certainly had intercourse with a great many enlightened and Christian people who did no such thing;

and I confess that the apathy of religious people on this subject,

their want of perception of wrongs that filled me with horror,

have engendered in me more scepticism than any other thing."

"If you knew all this,"

said Miss Ophelia,

"why didn't you do it?"


because I have had only that kind of benevolence which consists in lying on a sofa,

and cursing the church and clergy for not being martyrs and confessors.

One can see,

you know,

very easily,

how others ought to be martyrs."


are you going to do differently now?"

said Miss Ophelia.

"God only knows the future,"

said St. Clare.

"I am braver than I was,

because I have lost all;

and he who has nothing to lose can afford all risks."

"And what are you going to do?"

"My duty,

I hope,

to the poor and lowly,

as fast as I find it out,"

said St. Clare,

"beginning with my own servants,

for whom I have yet done nothing;



at some future day,

it may appear that I can do something for a whole class;

something to save my country from the disgrace of that false position in which she now stands before all civilized nations."

"Do you suppose it possible that a nation ever will voluntarily emancipate?"

said Miss Ophelia.

"I don't know,"

said St. Clare.

"This is a day of great deeds.

Heroism and disinterestedness are rising up,

here and there,

in the earth.

The Hungarian nobles set free millions of serfs,

at an immense pecuniary loss;



among us may be found generous spirits,

who do not estimate honor and justice by dollars and cents."

"I hardly think so,"

said Miss Ophelia.


suppose we should rise up tomorrow and emancipate,

who would educate these millions,

and teach them how to use their freedom?

They never would rise to do much among us.

The fact is,

we are too lazy and unpractical,


ever to give them much of an idea of that industry and energy which is necessary to form them into men.

They will have to go north,

where labor is the fashion,

--the universal custom;

and tell me,


is there enough Christian philanthropy,

among your northern states,

to bear with the process of their education and elevation?

You send thousands of dollars to foreign missions;

but could you endure to have the heathen sent into your towns and villages,

and give your time,

and thoughts,

and money,

to raise them to the Christian standard?

That's what I want to know.

If we emancipate,

are you willing to educate?

How many families,

in your town,

would take a negro man and woman,

teach them,

bear with them,

and seek to make them Christians?

How many merchants would take Adolph,

if I wanted to make him a clerk;

or mechanics,

if I wanted him taught a trade?

If I wanted to put Jane and Rosa to a school,

how many schools are there in the northern states that would take them in?

how many families that would board them?

and yet they are as white as many a woman,

north or south.

You see,


I want justice done us.

We are in a bad position.

We are the more -obvious- oppressors of the negro;

but the unchristian prejudice of the north is an oppressor almost equally severe."



I know it is so,"

said Miss Ophelia,

--"I know it was so with me,

till I saw that it was my duty to overcome it;


I trust I have overcome it;

and I know there are many good people at the north,

who in this matter need only to be -taught- what their duty is,

to do it.

It would certainly be a greater self-denial to receive heathen among us,

than to send missionaries to them;

but I think we would do it."

"-You- would,

I know,"

said St. Clare.

"I'd like to see anything you wouldn't do,

if you thought it your duty!"


I'm not uncommonly good,"

said Miss Ophelia.

"Others would,

if they saw things as I do.

I intend to take Topsy home,

when I go.

I suppose our folks will wonder,

at first;

but I think they will be brought to see as I do.


I know there are many people at the north who do exactly what you said."


but they are a minority;


if we should begin to emancipate to any extent,

we should soon hear from you."

Miss Ophelia did not reply.

There was a pause of some moments;

and St. Clare's countenance was overcast by a sad,

dreamy expression.

"I don't know what makes me think of my mother so much,


he said.

"I have a strange kind of feeling,

as if she were near me.

I keep thinking of things she used to say.


what brings these past things so vividly back to us,


St. Clare walked up and down the room for some minutes more,

and then said,

"I believe I'll go down street,

a few moments,

and hear the news,


He took his hat,

and passed out.

Tom followed him to the passage,

out of the court,

and asked if he should attend him.


my boy,"

said St. Clare.

"I shall be back in an hour."

Tom sat down in the verandah.

It was a beautiful moonlight evening,

and he sat watching the rising and falling spray of the fountain,

and listening to its murmur.

Tom thought of his home,

and that he should soon be a free man,

and able to return to it at will.

He thought how he should work to buy his wife and boys.

He felt the muscles of his brawny arms with a sort of joy,

as he thought they would soon belong to himself,

and how much they could do to work out the freedom of his family.

Then he thought of his noble young master,


ever second to that,

came the habitual prayer that he had always offered for him;

and then his thoughts passed on to the beautiful Eva,

whom he now thought of among the angels;

and he thought till he almost fancied that that bright face and golden hair were looking upon him,

out of the spray of the fountain.


so musing,

he fell asleep,

and dreamed he saw her coming bounding towards him,

just as she used to come,

with a wreath of jessamine in her hair,

her cheeks bright,

and her eyes radiant with delight;


as he looked,

she seemed to rise from the ground;

her cheeks wore a paler hue,

--her eyes had a deep,

divine radiance,

a golden halo seemed around her head,

--and she vanished from his sight;

and Tom was awakened by a loud knocking,

and a sound of many voices at the gate.

He hastened to undo it;


with smothered voices and heavy tread,

came several men,

bringing a body,

wrapped in a cloak,

and lying on a shutter.

The light of the lamp fell full on the face;

and Tom gave a wild cry of amazement and despair,

that rung through all the galleries,

as the men advanced,

with their burden,

to the open parlor door,

where Miss Ophelia still sat knitting.

St. Clare had turned into a cafe,

to look over an evening paper.

As he was reading,

an affray arose between two gentlemen in the room,

who were both partially intoxicated.

St. Clare and one or two others made an effort to separate them,

and St. Clare received a fatal stab in the side with a bowie-knife,

which he was attempting to wrest from one of them.

The house was full of cries and lamentations,

shrieks and screams,

servants frantically tearing their hair,

throwing themselves on the ground,

or running distractedly about,


Tom and Miss Ophelia alone seemed to have any presence of mind;

for Marie was in strong hysteric convulsions.

At Miss Ophelia's direction,

one of the lounges in the parlor was hastily prepared,

and the bleeding form laid upon it.

St. Clare had fainted,

through pain and loss of blood;


as Miss Ophelia applied restoratives,

he revived,

opened his eyes,

looked fixedly on them,

looked earnestly around the room,

his eyes travelling wistfully over every object,

and finally they rested on his mother's picture.

The physician now arrived,

and made his examination.

It was evident,

from the expression of his face,

that there was no hope;

but he applied himself to dressing the wound,

and he and Miss Ophelia and Tom proceeded composedly with this work,

amid the lamentations and sobs and cries of the affrighted servants,

who had clustered about the doors and windows of the verandah.


said the physician,

"we must turn all these creatures out;

all depends on his being kept quiet."

St. Clare opened his eyes,

and looked fixedly on the distressed beings,

whom Miss Ophelia and the doctor were trying to urge from the apartment.

"Poor creatures!"

he said,

and an expression of bitter self-reproach passed over his face.

Adolph absolutely refused to go.

Terror had deprived him of all presence of mind;

he threw himself along the floor,

and nothing could persuade him to rise.

The rest yielded to Miss Ophelia's urgent representations,

that their master's safety depended on their stillness and obedience.

St. Clare could say but little;

he lay with his eyes shut,

but it was evident that he wrestled with bitter thoughts.

After a while,

he laid his hand on Tom's,

who was kneeling beside him,

and said,


poor fellow!"



said Tom,


"I am dying!"

said St. Clare,

pressing his hand;


"If you would like a clergyman --" said the physician.

St. Clare hastily shook his head,

and said again to Tom,

more earnestly,


And Tom did pray,

with all his mind and strength,

for the soul that was passing,

--the soul that seemed looking so steadily and mournfully from those large,

melancholy blue eyes.

It was literally prayer offered with strong crying and tears.

When Tom ceased to speak,

St. Clare reached out and took his hand,

looking earnestly at him,

but saying nothing.

He closed his eyes,

but still retained his hold;


in the gates of eternity,

the black hand and the white hold each other with an equal clasp.

He murmured softly to himself,

at broken intervals,

"Recordare Jesu pie -- * * * * Ne me perdas --illa die Quærens me --sedisti lassus."

It was evident that the words he had been singing that evening were passing through his mind,

--words of entreaty addressed to Infinite Pity.

His lips moved at intervals,

as parts of the hymn fell brokenly from them.

"His mind is wandering,"

said the doctor.


it is coming HOME,

at last!"

said St. Clare,


"at last!

at last!"

The effort of speaking exhausted him.

The sinking paleness of death fell on him;

but with it there fell,

as if shed from the wings of some pitying spirit,

a beautiful expression of peace,

like that of a wearied child who sleeps.

So he lay for a few moments.

They saw that the mighty hand was on him.

Just before the spirit parted,

he opened his eyes,

with a sudden light,

as of joy and recognition,

and said -"Mother!"- and then he was gone!


The Unprotected

We hear often of the distress of the negro servants,

on the loss of a kind master;

and with good reason,

for no creature on God's earth is left more utterly unprotected and desolate than the slave in these circumstances.

The child who has lost a father has still the protection of friends,

and of the law;

he is something,

and can do something,

--has acknowledged rights and position;

the slave has none.

The law regards him,

in every respect,

as devoid of rights as a bale of merchandise.

The only possible acknowledgment of any of the longings and wants of a human and immortal creature,

which are given to him,

comes to him through the sovereign and irresponsible will of his master;

and when that master is stricken down,

nothing remains.

The number of those men who know how to use wholly irresponsible power humanely and generously is small.

Everybody knows this,

and the slave knows it best of all;

so that he feels that there are ten chances of his finding an abusive and tyrannical master,

to one of his finding a considerate and kind one.

Therefore is it that the wail over a kind master is loud and long,

as well it may be.

When St. Clare breathed his last,

terror and consternation took hold of all his household.

He had been stricken down so in a moment,

in the flower and strength of his youth!

Every room and gallery of the house resounded with sobs and shrieks of despair.


whose nervous system had been enervated by a constant course of self-indulgence,

had nothing to support the terror of the shock,


at the time her husband breathed his last,

was passing from one fainting fit to another;

and he to whom she had been joined in the mysterious tie of marriage passed from her forever,

without the possibility of even a parting word.

Miss Ophelia,

with characteristic strength and self-control,

had remained with her kinsman to the last,

--all eye,

all ear,

all attention;

doing everything of the little that could be done,

and joining with her whole soul in the tender and impassioned prayers which the poor slave had poured forth for the soul of his dying master.

When they were arranging him for his last rest,

they found upon his bosom a small,

plain miniature case,

opening with a spring.

It was the miniature of a noble and beautiful female face;

and on the reverse,

under a crystal,

a lock of dark hair.

They laid them back on the lifeless breast,

--dust to dust,

--poor mournful relics of early dreams,

which once made that cold heart beat so warmly!

Tom's whole soul was filled with thoughts of eternity;

and while he ministered around the lifeless clay,

he did not once think that the sudden stroke had left him in hopeless slavery.

He felt at peace about his master;

for in that hour,

when he had poured forth his prayer into the bosom of his Father,

he had found an answer of quietness and assurance springing up within himself.

In the depths of his own affectionate nature,

he felt able to perceive something of the fulness of Divine love;

for an old oracle hath thus written,

--"He that dwelleth in love dwelleth in God,

and God in him."

Tom hoped and trusted,

and was at peace.

But the funeral passed,

with all its pageant of black crape,

and prayers,

and solemn faces;

and back rolled the cool,

muddy waves of every-day life;

and up came the everlasting hard inquiry of "What is to be done next?"

It rose to the mind of Marie,


dressed in loose morning-robes,

and surrounded by anxious servants,

she sat up in a great easy-chair,

and inspected samples of crape and bombazine.

It rose to Miss Ophelia,

who began to turn her thoughts towards her northern home.

It rose,

in silent terrors,

to the minds of the servants,

who well knew the unfeeling,

tyrannical character of the mistress in whose hands they were left.

All knew,

very well,

that the indulgences which had been accorded to them were not from their mistress,

but from their master;

and that,

now he was gone,

there would be no screen between them and every tyrannous infliction which a temper soured by affliction might devise.

It was about a fortnight after the funeral,

that Miss Ophelia,

busied one day in her apartment,

heard a gentle tap at the door.

She opened it,

and there stood Rosa,

the pretty young quadroon,

whom we have before often noticed,

her hair in disorder,

and her eyes swelled with crying.


Miss Feeley,"

she said,

falling on her knees,

and catching the skirt of her dress,


do go- to Miss Marie for me!

do plead for me!

She's goin' to send me out to be whipped --look there!"

And she handed to Miss Ophelia a paper.

It was an order,

written in Marie's delicate Italian hand,

to the master of a whipping-establishment to give the bearer fifteen lashes.

"What have you been doing?"

said Miss Ophelia.

"You know,

Miss Feely,

I've got such a bad temper;

it's very bad of me.

I was trying on Miss Marie's dress,

and she slapped my face;

and I spoke out before I thought,

and was saucy;

and she said that she'd bring me down,

and have me know,

once for all,

that I wasn't going to be so topping as I had been;

and she wrote this,

and says I shall carry it.

I'd rather she'd kill me,

right out."

Miss Ophelia stood considering,

with the paper in her hand.

"You see,

Miss Feely,"

said Rosa,

"I don't mind the whipping so much,

if Miss Marie or you was to do it;


to be sent to a -man!- and such a horrid man,

--the shame of it,

Miss Feely!"

Miss Ophelia well knew that it was the universal custom to send women and young girls to whipping-houses,

to the hands of the lowest of men,

--men vile enough to make this their profession,

--there to be subjected to brutal exposure and shameful correction.

She had -known- it before;

but hitherto she had never realized it,

till she saw the slender form of Rosa almost convulsed with distress.

All the honest blood of womanhood,

the strong New England blood of liberty,

flushed to her cheeks,

and throbbed bitterly in her indignant heart;


with habitual prudence and self-control,

she mastered herself,


crushing the paper firmly in her hand,

she merely said to Rosa,

"Sit down,


while I go to your mistress."




she said to herself,

as she was crossing the parlor.

She found Marie sitting up in her easy-chair,

with Mammy standing by her,

combing her hair;

Jane sat on the ground before her,

busy in chafing her feet.

"How do you find yourself,


said Miss Ophelia.

A deep sigh,

and a closing of the eyes,

was the only reply,

for a moment;

and then Marie answered,


I don't know,


I suppose I'm as well as I ever shall be!"

and Marie wiped her eyes with a cambric handkerchief,

bordered with an inch deep of black.

"I came,"

said Miss Ophelia,

with a short,

dry cough,

such as commonly introduces a difficult subject,

--"I came to speak with you about poor Rosa."

Marie's eyes were open wide enough now,

and a flush rose to her sallow cheeks,

as she answered,



what about her?"

"She is very sorry for her fault."

"She is,

is she?

She'll be sorrier,

before I've done with her!

I've endured that child's impudence long enough;

and now I'll bring her down,

--I'll make her lie in the dust!"

"But could not you punish her some other way,

--some way that would be less shameful?"

"I mean to shame her;

that's just what I want.

She has all her life presumed on her delicacy,

and her good looks,

and her lady-like airs,

till she forgets who she is;

--and I'll give her one lesson that will bring her down,

I fancy!"



consider that,

if you destroy delicacy and a sense of shame in a young girl,

you deprave her very fast."


said Marie,

with a scornful laugh,

--"a fine word for such as she!

I'll teach her,

with all her airs,

that she's no better than the raggedest black wench that walks the streets!

She'll take no more airs with me!"

"You will answer to God for such cruelty!"

said Miss Ophelia,

with energy.


--I'd like to know what the cruelty is!

I wrote orders for only fifteen lashes,

and told him to put them on lightly.

I'm sure there's no cruelty there!"

"No cruelty!"

said Miss Ophelia.

"I'm sure any girl might rather be killed outright!"

"It might seem so to anybody with your feeling;

but all these creatures get used to it;

it's the only way they can be kept in order.

Once let them feel that they are to take any airs about delicacy,

and all that,

and they'll run all over you,

just as my servants always have.

I've begun now to bring them under;

and I'll have them all to know that I'll send one out to be whipped,

as soon as another,

if they don't mind themselves!"

said Marie,

looking around her decidedly.

Jane hung her head and cowered at this,

for she felt as if it was particularly directed to her.

Miss Ophelia sat for a moment,

as if she had swallowed some explosive mixture,

and were ready to burst.


recollecting the utter uselessness of contention with such a nature,

she shut her lips resolutely,

gathered herself up,

and walked out of the room.

It was hard to go back and tell Rosa that she could do nothing for her;


shortly after,

one of the man-servants came to say that her mistress had ordered him to take Rosa with him to the whipping-house,

whither she was hurried,

in spite of her tears and entreaties.

A few days after,

Tom was standing musing by the balconies,

when he was joined by Adolph,


since the death of his master,

had been entirely crest-fallen and disconsolate.

Adolph knew that he had always been an object of dislike to Marie;

but while his master lived he had paid but little attention to it.

Now that he was gone,

he had moved about in daily dread and trembling,

not knowing what might befall him next.

Marie had held several consultations with her lawyer;

after communicating with St. Clare's brother,

it was determined to sell the place,

and all the servants,

except her own personal property,

and these she intended to take with her,

and go back to her father's plantation.

"Do ye know,


that we've all got to be sold?"

said Adolph.

"How did you hear that?"

said Tom.

"I hid myself behind the curtains when Missis was talking with the lawyer.

In a few days we shall be sent off to auction,


"The Lord's will be done!"

said Tom,

folding his arms and sighing heavily.

"We'll never get another such a master,"

said Adolph,


"but I'd rather be sold than take my chance under Missis."

Tom turned away;

his heart was full.

The hope of liberty,

the thought of distant wife and children,

rose up before his patient soul,

as to the mariner shipwrecked almost in port rises the vision of the church-spire and loving roofs of his native village,

seen over the top of some black wave only for one last farewell.

He drew his arms tightly over his bosom,

and choked back the bitter tears,

and tried to pray.

The poor old soul had such a singular,

unaccountable prejudice in favor of liberty,

that it was a hard wrench for him;

and the more he said,

"Thy will be done,"

the worse he felt.

He sought Miss Ophelia,


ever since Eva's death,

had treated him with marked and respectful kindness.

"Miss Feely,"

he said,

"Mas'r St. Clare promised me my freedom.

He told me that he had begun to take it out for me;

and now,


if Miss Feely would be good enough to speak bout it to Missis,

she would feel like goin' on with it,

was it as Mas'r St. Clare's wish."

"I'll speak for you,


and do my best,"

said Miss Ophelia;


if it depends on Mrs. St. Clare,

I can't hope much for you;


I will try."

This incident occurred a few days after that of Rosa,

while Miss Ophelia was busied in preparations to return north.

Seriously reflecting within herself,

she considered that perhaps she had shown too hasty a warmth of language in her former interview with Marie;

and she resolved that she would now endeavor to moderate her zeal,

and to be as conciliatory as possible.

So the good soul gathered herself up,


taking her knitting,

resolved to go into Marie's room,

be as agreeable as possible,

and negotiate Tom's case with all the diplomatic skill of which she was mistress.

She found Marie reclining at length upon a lounge,

supporting herself on one elbow by pillows,

while Jane,

who had been out shopping,

was displaying before her certain samples of thin black stuffs.

"That will do,"

said Marie,

selecting one;

"only I'm not sure about its being properly mourning."



said Jane,


"Mrs. General Derbennon wore just this very thing,

after the General died,

last summer;

it makes up lovely!"

"What do you think?"

said Marie to Miss Ophelia.

"It's a matter of custom,

I suppose,"

said Miss Ophelia.

"You can judge about it better than I."

"The fact is,"

said Marie,

"that I haven't a dress in the world that I can wear;


as I am going to break up the establishment,

and go off,

next week,

I must decide upon something."

"Are you going so soon?"


St. Clare's brother has written,

and he and the lawyer think that the servants and furniture had better be put up at auction,

and the place left with our lawyer."

"There's one thing I wanted to speak with you about,"

said Miss Ophelia.

"Augustine promised Tom his liberty,

and began the legal forms necessary to it.

I hope you will use your influence to have it perfected."


I shall do no such thing!"

said Marie,


"Tom is one of the most valuable servants on the place,

--it couldn't be afforded,

any way.


what does he want of liberty?

He's a great deal better off as he is."

"But he does desire it,

very earnestly,

and his master promised it,"

said Miss Ophelia.

"I dare say he does want it,"

said Marie;

"they all want it,

just because they are a discontented set,

--always wanting what they haven't got.


I'm principled against emancipating,

in any case.

Keep a negro under the care of a master,

and he does well enough,

and is respectable;

but set them free,

and they get lazy,

and won't work,

and take to drinking,

and go all down to be mean,

worthless fellows,

I've seen it tried,

hundreds of times.

It's no favor to set them free."

"But Tom is so steady,


and pious."


you needn't tell me!

I've see a hundred like him.

He'll do very well,

as long as he's taken care of,

--that's all."




said Miss Ophelia,

"when you set him up for sale,

the chances of his getting a bad master."


that's all humbug!"

said Marie;

"it isn't one time in a hundred that a good fellow gets a bad master;

most masters are good,

for all the talk that is made.

I've lived and grown up here,

in the South,

and I never yet was acquainted with a master that didn't treat his servants well,

--quite as well as is worth while.

I don't feel any fears on that head."


said Miss Ophelia,


"I know it was one of the last wishes of your husband that Tom should have his liberty;

it was one of the promises that he made to dear little Eva on her death-bed,

and I should not think you would feel at liberty to disregard it."

Marie had her face covered with her handkerchief at this appeal,

and began sobbing and using her smelling-bottle,

with great vehemence.

"Everybody goes against me!"

she said.

"Everybody is so inconsiderate!

I shouldn't have expected that -you- would bring up all these remembrances of my troubles to me,

--it's so inconsiderate!

But nobody ever does consider,

--my trials are so peculiar!

It's so hard,

that when I had only one daughter,

she should have been taken!

--and when I had a husband that just exactly suited me,

--and I'm so hard to be suited!

--he should be taken!

And you seem to have so little feeling for me,

and keep bringing it up to me so carelessly,

--when you know how it overcomes me!

I suppose you mean well;

but it is very inconsiderate,


And Marie sobbed,

and gasped for breath,

and called Mammy to open the window,

and to bring her the camphor-bottle,

and to bathe her head,

and unhook her dress.


in the general confusion that ensued,

Miss Ophelia made her escape to her apartment.

She saw,

at once,

that it would do no good to say anything more;

for Marie had an indefinite capacity for hysteric fits;


after this,

whenever her husband's or Eva's wishes with regard to the servants were alluded to,

she always found it convenient to set one in operation.

Miss Ophelia,


did the next best thing she could for Tom,

--she wrote a letter to Mrs. Shelby for him,

stating his troubles,

and urging them to send to his relief.

The next day,

Tom and Adolph,

and some half a dozen other servants,

were marched down to a slave-warehouse,

to await the convenience of the trader,

who was going to make up a lot for auction.


The Slave Warehouse

A slave warehouse!

Perhaps some of my readers conjure up horrible visions of such a place.

They fancy some foul,

obscure den,

some horrible -Tartarus "informis,


cui lumen ademptum."- But no,

innocent friend;

in these days men have learned the art of sinning expertly and genteelly,

so as not to shock the eyes and senses of respectable society.

Human property is high in the market;

and is,


well fed,

well cleaned,


and looked after,

that it may come to sale sleek,

and strong,

and shining.

A slave-warehouse in New Orleans is a house externally not much unlike many others,

kept with neatness;

and where every day you may see arranged,

under a sort of shed along the outside,

rows of men and women,

who stand there as a sign of the property sold within.

Then you shall be courteously entreated to call and examine,

and shall find an abundance of husbands,






and young children,

to be "sold separately,

or in lots to suit the convenience of the purchaser;"

and that soul immortal,

once bought with blood and anguish by the Son of God,

when the earth shook,

and the rocks rent,

and the graves were opened,

can be sold,



exchanged for groceries or dry goods,

to suit the phases of trade,

or the fancy of the purchaser.

It was a day or two after the conversation between Marie and Miss Ophelia,

that Tom,


and about half a dozen others of the St. Clare estate,

were turned over to the loving kindness of Mr. Skeggs,

the keeper of a depot on  -- -- street,

to await the auction,

next day.

Tom had with him quite a sizable trunk full of clothing,

as had most others of them.

They were ushered,

for the night,

into a long room,

where many other men,

of all ages,


and shades of complexion,

were assembled,

and from which roars of laughter and unthinking merriment were proceeding.



that's right.

Go it,


--go it!"

said Mr. Skeggs,

the keeper.

"My people are always so merry!


I see!"

he said,

speaking approvingly to a burly negro who was performing tricks of low buffoonery,

which occasioned the shouts which Tom had heard.

As might be imagined,

Tom was in no humor to join these proceedings;



setting his trunk as far as possible from the noisy group,

he sat down on it,

and leaned his face against the wall.

The dealers in the human article make scrupulous and systematic efforts to promote noisy mirth among them,

as a means of drowning reflection,

and rendering them insensible to their condition.

The whole object of the training to which the negro is put,

from the time he is sold in the northern market till he arrives south,

is systematically directed towards making him callous,


and brutal.

The slave-dealer collects his gang in Virginia or Kentucky,

and drives them to some convenient,

healthy place,

--often a watering place,

--to be fattened.

Here they are fed full daily;


because some incline to pine,

a fiddle is kept commonly going among them,

and they are made to dance daily;

and he who refuses to be merry --in whose soul thoughts of wife,

or child,

or home,

are too strong for him to be gay --is marked as sullen and dangerous,

and subjected to all the evils which the ill will of an utterly irresponsible and hardened man can inflict upon him.



and cheerfulness of appearance,

especially before observers,

are constantly enforced upon them,

both by the hope of thereby getting a good master,

and the fear of all that the driver may bring upon them if they prove unsalable.

"What dat ar nigger doin here?"

said Sambo,

coming up to Tom,

after Mr. Skeggs had left the room.

Sambo was a full black,

of great size,

very lively,


and full of trick and grimace.

"What you doin here?"

said Sambo,

coming up to Tom,

and poking him facetiously in the side.



"I am to be sold at the auction tomorrow!"

said Tom,


"Sold at auction,




an't this yer fun?

I wish't I was gwine that ar way!

--tell ye,

wouldn't I make em laugh?

But how is it,

--dis yer whole lot gwine tomorrow?"

said Sambo,

laying his hand freely on Adolph's shoulder.

"Please to let me alone!"

said Adolph,


straightening himself up,

with extreme disgust.




dis yer's one o' yer white niggers,

--kind o' cream color,

ye know,


said he,

coming up to Adolph and snuffing.

"O Lor!

he'd do for a tobaccer-shop;

they could keep him to scent snuff!


he'd keep a whole shope agwine,

--he would!"

"I say,

keep off,

can't you?"

said Adolph,




how touchy we is,

--we white niggers!

Look at us now!"

and Sambo gave a ludicrous imitation of Adolph's manner;

"here's de airs and graces.

We's been in a good family,

I specs."


said Adolph;

"I had a master that could have bought you all for old truck!"



only think,"

said Sambo,

"the gentlemens that we is!"

"I belonged to the St. Clare family,"

said Adolph,



you did!

Be hanged if they ar'n't lucky to get shet of ye.

Spects they's gwine to trade ye off with a lot o' cracked tea-pots and sich like!"

said Sambo,

with a provoking grin.


enraged at this taunt,

flew furiously at his adversary,

swearing and striking on every side of him.

The rest laughed and shouted,

and the uproar brought the keeper to the door.

"What now,




he said,

coming in and flourishing a large whip.

All fled in different directions,

except Sambo,


presuming on the favor which the keeper had to him as a licensed wag,

stood his ground,

ducking his head with a facetious grin,

whenever the master made a dive at him.



'tan't us,


's reglar stiddy,

--it's these yer new hands;


's real aggravatin',

--kinder pickin' at us,

all time!"

The keeper,

at this,

turned upon Tom and Adolph,

and distributing a few kicks and cuffs without much inquiry,

and leaving general orders for all to be good boys and go to sleep,

left the apartment.

While this scene was going on in the men's sleeping-room,

the reader may be curious to take a peep at the corresponding apartment allotted to the women.

Stretched out in various attitudes over the floor,

he may see numberless sleeping forms of every shade of complexion,

from the purest ebony to white,

and of all years,

from childhood to old age,

lying now asleep.

Here is a fine bright girl,

of ten years,

whose mother was sold out yesterday,

and who tonight cried herself to sleep when nobody was looking at her.


a worn old negress,

whose thin arms and callous fingers tell of hard toil,

waiting to be sold tomorrow,

as a cast-off article,

for what can be got for her;

and some forty or fifty others,

with heads variously enveloped in blankets or articles of clothing,

lie stretched around them.


in a corner,

sitting apart from the rest,

are two females of a more interesting appearance than common.

One of these is a respectably-dressed mulatto woman between forty and fifty,

with soft eyes and a gentle and pleasing physiognomy.

She has on her head a high-raised turban,

made of a gay red Madras handkerchief,

of the first quality,

her dress is neatly fitted,

and of good material,

showing that she has been provided for with a careful hand.

By her side,

and nestling closely to her,

is a young girl of fifteen,

--her daughter.

She is a quadroon,

as may be seen from her fairer complexion,

though her likeness to her mother is quite discernible.

She has the same soft,

dark eye,

with longer lashes,

and her curling hair is of a luxuriant brown.

She also is dressed with great neatness,

and her white,

delicate hands betray very little acquaintance with servile toil.

These two are to be sold tomorrow,

in the same lot with the St. Clare servants;

and the gentleman to whom they belong,

and to whom the money for their sale is to be transmitted,

is a member of a Christian church in New York,

who will receive the money,

and go thereafter to the sacrament of his Lord and theirs,

and think no more of it.

These two,

whom we shall call Susan and Emmeline,

had been the personal attendants of an amiable and pious lady of New Orleans,

by whom they had been carefully and piously instructed and trained.

They had been taught to read and write,

diligently instructed in the truths of religion,

and their lot had been as happy an one as in their condition it was possible to be.

But the only son of their protectress had the management of her property;


by carelessness and extravagance involved it to a large amount,

and at last failed.

One of the largest creditors was the respectable firm of B. & Co.,

in New York.

B. & Co.

wrote to their lawyer in New Orleans,

who attached the real estate (these two articles and a lot of plantation hands formed the most valuable part of it),

and wrote word to that effect to New York.

Brother B.,


as we have said,

a Christian man,

and a resident in a free State,

felt some uneasiness on the subject.

He didn't like trading in slaves and souls of men,

--of course,

he didn't;



there were thirty thousand dollars in the case,

and that was rather too much money to be lost for a principle;

and so,

after much considering,

and asking advice from those that he knew would advise to suit him,

Brother B. wrote to his lawyer to dispose of the business in the way that seemed to him the most suitable,

and remit the proceeds.

The day after the letter arrived in New Orleans,

Susan and Emmeline were attached,

and sent to the depot to await a general auction on the following morning;

and as they glimmer faintly upon us in the moonlight which steals through the grated window,

we may listen to their conversation.

Both are weeping,

but each quietly,

that the other may not hear.


just lay your head on my lap,

and see if you can't sleep a little,"

says the girl,

trying to appear calm.

"I haven't any heart to sleep,


I can't;

it's the last night we may be together!"



don't say so!

perhaps we shall get sold together,

--who knows?"


't was anybody's else case,

I should say so,



said the woman;

"but I'm so feard of losin' you that I don't see anything but the danger."



the man said we were both likely,

and would sell well."

Susan remembered the man's looks and words.

With a deadly sickness at her heart,

she remembered how he had looked at Emmeline's hands,

and lifted up her curly hair,

and pronounced her a first-rate article.

Susan had been trained as a Christian,

brought up in the daily reading of the Bible,

and had the same horror of her child's being sold to a life of shame that any other Christian mother might have;

but she had no hope,

--no protection.


I think we might do first rate,

if you could get a place as cook,

and I as chambermaid or seamstress,

in some family.

I dare say we shall.

Let's both look as bright and lively as we can,

and tell all we can do,

and perhaps we shall,"

said Emmeline.

"I want you to brush your hair all back straight,


said Susan.

"What for,


I don't look near so well,

that way."


but you'll sell better so."

"I don't see why!"

said the child.

"Respectable families would be more apt to buy you,

if they saw you looked plain and decent,

as if you wasn't trying to look handsome.

I know their ways better

'n you do,"

said Susan.



then I will."



if we shouldn't ever see each other again,

after tomorrow,

--if I'm sold way up on a plantation somewhere,

and you somewhere else,

--always remember how you've been brought up,

and all Missis has told you;

take your Bible with you,

and your hymn-book;

and if you're faithful to the Lord,

he'll be faithful to you."

So speaks the poor soul,

in sore discouragement;

for she knows that tomorrow any man,

however vile and brutal,

however godless and merciless,

if he only has money to pay for her,

may become owner of her daughter,

body and soul;

and then,

how is the child to be faithful?

She thinks of all this,

as she holds her daughter in her arms,

and wishes that she were not handsome and attractive.

It seems almost an aggravation to her to remember how purely and piously,

how much above the ordinary lot,

she has been brought up.

But she has no resort but to -pray-;

and many such prayers to God have gone up from those same trim,


respectable slave-prisons,

--prayers which God has not forgotten,

as a coming day shall show;

for it is written,

"Who causeth one of these little ones to offend,

it were better for him that a millstone were hanged about his neck,

and that he were drowned in the depths of the sea."

The soft,


quiet moonbeam looks in fixedly,

marking the bars of the grated windows on the prostrate,

sleeping forms.

The mother and daughter are singing together a wild and melancholy dirge,

common as a funeral hymn among the slaves:


where is weeping Mary?


where is weeping Mary?

'Rived in the goodly land.

She is dead and gone to Heaven;

She is dead and gone to Heaven;

'Rived in the goodly land."

These words,

sung by voices of a peculiar and melancholy sweetness,

in an air which seemed like the sighing of earthy despair after heavenly hope,

floated through the dark prison rooms with a pathetic cadence,

as verse after verse was breathed out:


where are Paul and Silas?


where are Paul and Silas?

Gone to the goodly land.

They are dead and gone to Heaven;

They are dead and gone to Heaven;

'Rived in the goodly land."

Sing on poor souls!

The night is short,

and the morning will part you forever!

But now it is morning,

and everybody is astir;

and the worthy Mr. Skeggs is busy and bright,

for a lot of goods is to be fitted out for auction.

There is a brisk lookout on the toilet;

injunctions passed around to every one to put on their best face and be spry;

and now all are arranged in a circle for a last review,

before they are marched up to the Bourse.

Mr. Skeggs,

with his palmetto on and his cigar in his mouth,

walks around to put farewell touches on his wares.

"How's this?"

he said,

stepping in front of Susan and Emmeline.

"Where's your curls,


The girl looked timidly at her mother,


with the smooth adroitness common among her class,


"I was telling her,

last night,

to put up her hair smooth and neat,

and not havin' it flying about in curls;

looks more respectable so."


said the man,


turning to the girl;

"you go right along,

and curl yourself real smart!"

He added,

giving a crack to a rattan he held in his hand,

"And be back in quick time,


"You go and help her,"

he added,

to the mother.

"Them curls may make a hundred dollars difference in the sale of her."

Beneath a splendid dome were men of all nations,

moving to and fro,

over the marble pave.

On every side of the circular area were little tribunes,

or stations,

for the use of speakers and auctioneers.

Two of these,

on opposite sides of the area,

were now occupied by brilliant and talented gentlemen,

enthusiastically forcing up,

in English and French commingled,

the bids of connoisseurs in their various wares.

A third one,

on the other side,

still unoccupied,

was surrounded by a group,

waiting the moment of sale to begin.

And here we may recognize the St. Clare servants,



and others;

and there,


Susan and Emmeline,

awaiting their turn with anxious and dejected faces.

Various spectators,

intending to purchase,

or not intending,


and commenting on their various points and faces with the same freedom that a set of jockeys discuss the merits of a horse.



what brings you here?"

said a young exquisite,

slapping the shoulder of a sprucely-dressed young man,

who was examining Adolph through an eye-glass.


I was wanting a valet,

and I heard that St. Clare's lot was going.

I thought I'd just look at his --"

"Catch me ever buying any of St. Clare's people!

Spoilt niggers,

every one.

Impudent as the devil!"

said the other.

"Never fear that!"

said the first.

"If I get


I'll soon have their airs out of them;

they'll soon find that they've another kind of master to deal with than Monsieur St. Clare.

'Pon my word,

I'll buy that fellow.

I like the shape of him."

"You'll find it'll take all you've got to keep him.

He's deucedly extravagant!"


but my lord will find that he -can't- be extravagant with -me-.

Just let him be sent to the calaboose a few times,

and thoroughly dressed down!

I'll tell you if it don't bring him to a sense of his ways!


I'll reform him,

up hill and down,

--you'll see.

I buy him,

that's flat!"

Tom had been standing wistfully examining the multitude of faces thronging around him,

for one whom he would wish to call master.

And if you should ever be under the necessity,


of selecting,

out of two hundred men,

one who was to become your absolute owner and disposer,

you would,



just as Tom did,

how few there were that you would feel at all comfortable in being made over to.

Tom saw abundance of men,



gruff men;



dried men;



hard men;

and every variety of stubbed-looking,

commonplace men,

who pick up their fellow-men as one picks up chips,

putting them into the fire or a basket with equal unconcern,

according to their convenience;

but he saw no St. Clare.

A little before the sale commenced,

a short,


muscular man,

in a checked shirt considerably open at the bosom,

and pantaloons much the worse for dirt and wear,

elbowed his way through the crowd,

like one who is going actively into a business;


coming up to the group,

began to examine them systematically.

From the moment that Tom saw him approaching,

he felt an immediate and revolting horror at him,

that increased as he came near.

He was evidently,

though short,

of gigantic strength.

His round,

bullet head,


light-gray eyes,

with their shaggy,

sandy eyebrows,

and stiff,


sun-burned hair,

were rather unprepossessing items,

it is to be confessed;

his large,

coarse mouth was distended with tobacco,

the juice of which,

from time to time,

he ejected from him with great decision and explosive force;

his hands were immensely large,




and very dirty,

and garnished with long nails,

in a very foul condition.

This man proceeded to a very free personal examination of the lot.

He seized Tom by the jaw,

and pulled open his mouth to inspect his teeth;

made him strip up his sleeve,

to show his muscle;

turned him round,

made him jump and spring,

to show his paces.

"Where was you raised?"

he added,


to these investigations.

"In Kintuck,


said Tom,

looking about,

as if for deliverance.

"What have you done?"

"Had care of Mas'r's farm,"

said Tom.

"Likely story!"

said the other,


as he passed on.

He paused a moment before Dolph;

then spitting a discharge of tobacco-juice on his well-blacked boots,

and giving a contemptuous umph,

he walked on.

Again he stopped before Susan and Emmeline.

He put out his heavy,

dirty hand,

and drew the girl towards him;

passed it over her neck and bust,

felt her arms,

looked at her teeth,

and then pushed her back against her mother,

whose patient face showed the suffering she had been going through at every motion of the hideous stranger.

The girl was frightened,

and began to cry.

"Stop that,

you minx!"

said the salesman;

"no whimpering here,

--the sale is going to begin."

And accordingly the sale begun.

Adolph was knocked off,

at a good sum,

to the young gentlemen who had previously stated his intention of buying him;

and the other servants of the St. Clare lot went to various bidders.


up with you,


d'ye hear?"

said the auctioneer to Tom.

Tom stepped upon the block,

gave a few anxious looks round;

all seemed mingled in a common,

indistinct noise,

--the clatter of the salesman crying off his qualifications in French and English,

the quick fire of French and English bids;

and almost in a moment came the final thump of the hammer,

and the clear ring on the last syllable of the word -"dollars,"- as the auctioneer announced his price,

and Tom was made over.

--He had a master!

He was pushed from the block;

--the short,

bullet-headed man seizing him roughly by the shoulder,

pushed him to one side,


in a harsh voice,

"Stand there,


Tom hardly realized anything;

but still the bidding went on,



now French,

now English.

Down goes the hammer again,

--Susan is sold!

She goes down from the block,


looks wistfully back,

--her daughter stretches her hands towards her.

She looks with agony in the face of the man who has bought her,

--a respectable middle-aged man,

of benevolent countenance.



please do buy my daughter!"

"I'd like to,

but I'm afraid I can't afford it!"

said the gentleman,


with painful interest,

as the young girl mounted the block,

and looked around her with a frightened and timid glance.

The blood flushes painfully in her otherwise colorless cheek,

her eye has a feverish fire,

and her mother groans to see that she looks more beautiful than she ever saw her before.

The auctioneer sees his advantage,

and expatiates volubly in mingled French and English,

and bids rise in rapid succession.

"I'll do anything in reason,"

said the benevolent-looking gentleman,

pressing in and joining with the bids.

In a few moments they have run beyond his purse.

He is silent;

the auctioneer grows warmer;

but bids gradually drop off.

It lies now between an aristocratic old citizen and our bullet-headed acquaintance.

The citizen bids for a few turns,

contemptuously measuring his opponent;

but the bullet-head has the advantage over him,

both in obstinacy and concealed length of purse,

and the controversy lasts but a moment;

the hammer falls,

--he has got the girl,

body and soul,

unless God help her!

Her master is Mr. Legree,

who owns a cotton plantation on the Red River.

She is pushed along into the same lot with Tom and two other men,

and goes off,

weeping as she goes.

The benevolent gentleman is sorry;



the thing happens every day!

One sees girls and mothers crying,

at these sales,

-always!- it can't be helped,


and he walks off,

with his acquisition,

in another direction.

Two days after,

the lawyer of the Christian firm of B. & Co.,

New York,

send on their money to them.

On the reverse of that draft,

so obtained,

let them write these words of the great Paymaster,

to whom they shall make up their account in a future day: -"When he maketh inquisition for blood,

he forgetteth not the cry of the humble!"-


The Middle Passage

"Thou art of purer eyes than to behold evil,

and canst not look upon iniquity: wherefore lookest thou upon them that deal treacherously,

and holdest thy tongue when the wicked devoureth the man that is more righteous than he?"


1: 13.

On the lower part of a small,

mean boat,

on the Red River,

Tom sat,

--chains on his wrists,

chains on his feet,

and a weight heavier than chains lay on his heart.

All had faded from his sky,

--moon and star;

all had passed by him,

as the trees and banks were now passing,

to return no more.

Kentucky home,

with wife and children,

and indulgent owners;

St. Clare home,

with all its refinements and splendors;

the golden head of Eva,

with its saint-like eyes;

the proud,



seemingly careless,

yet ever-kind St. Clare;

hours of ease and indulgent leisure,

--all gone!

and in place thereof,

-what- remains?

It is one of the bitterest apportionments of a lot of slavery,

that the negro,

sympathetic and assimilative,

after acquiring,

in a refined family,

the tastes and feelings which form the atmosphere of such a place,

is not the less liable to become the bond-slave of the coarsest and most brutal,

--just as a chair or table,

which once decorated the superb saloon,


at last,

battered and defaced,

to the barroom of some filthy tavern,

or some low haunt of vulgar debauchery.

The great difference is,

that the table and chair cannot feel,

and the -man- can;

for even a legal enactment that he shall be "taken,


adjudged in law,

to be a chattel personal,"

cannot blot out his soul,

with its own private little world of memories,




and desires.

Mr. Simon Legree,

Tom's master,

had purchased slaves at one place and another,

in New Orleans,

to the number of eight,

and driven them,


in couples of two and two,

down to the good steamer Pirate,

which lay at the levee,

ready for a trip up the Red River.

Having got them fairly on board,

and the boat being off,

he came round,

with that air of efficiency which ever characterized him,

to take a review of them.

Stopping opposite to Tom,

who had been attired for sale in his best broadcloth suit,

with well-starched linen and shining boots,

he briefly expressed himself as follows:

"Stand up."

Tom stood up.

"Take off that stock!"


as Tom,

encumbered by his fetters,

proceeded to do it,

he assisted him,

by pulling it,

with no gentle hand,

from his neck,

and putting it in his pocket.

Legree now turned to Tom's trunk,


previous to this,

he had been ransacking,


taking from it a pair of old pantaloons and dilapidated coat,

which Tom had been wont to put on about his stable-work,

he said,

liberating Tom's hands from the handcuffs,

and pointing to a recess in among the boxes,

"You go there,

and put these on."

Tom obeyed,

and in a few moments returned.

"Take off your boots,"

said Mr. Legree.

Tom did so.


said the former,

throwing him a pair of coarse,

stout shoes,

such as were common among the slaves,

"put these on."

In Tom's hurried exchange,

he had not forgotten to transfer his cherished Bible to his pocket.

It was well he did so;

for Mr. Legree,

having refitted Tom's handcuffs,

proceeded deliberately to investigate the contents of his pockets.

He drew out a silk handkerchief,

and put it into his own pocket.

Several little trifles,

which Tom had treasured,

chiefly because they had amused Eva,

he looked upon with a contemptuous grunt,

and tossed them over his shoulder into the river.

Tom's Methodist hymn-book,


in his hurry,

he had forgotten,

he now held up and turned over.



to be sure.


what's yer name,

--you belong to the church,




said Tom,



I'll soon have -that- out of you.

I have none o' yer bawling,


singing niggers on my place;

so remember.


mind yourself,"

he said,

with a stamp and a fierce glance of his gray eye,

directed at Tom,

"-I'm- your church now!

You understand,

--you've got to be as -I- say."

Something within the silent black man answered -No!- and,

as if repeated by an invisible voice,

came the words of an old prophetic scroll,

as Eva had often read them to him,

--"Fear not!

for I have redeemed thee.

I have called thee by name.

Thou art MINE!"

But Simon Legree heard no voice.

That voice is one he never shall hear.

He only glared for a moment on the downcast face of Tom,

and walked off.

He took Tom's trunk,

which contained a very neat and abundant wardrobe,

to the forecastle,

where it was soon surrounded by various hands of the boat.

With much laughing,

at the expense of niggers who tried to be gentlemen,

the articles very readily were sold to one and another,

and the empty trunk finally put up at auction.

It was a good joke,

they all thought,

especially to see how Tom looked after his things,

as they were going this way and that;

and then the auction of the trunk,

that was funnier than all,

and occasioned abundant witticisms.

This little affair being over,

Simon sauntered up again to his property.



I've relieved you of any extra baggage,

you see.

Take mighty good care of them clothes.

It'll be long enough

'fore you get more.

I go in for making niggers careful;

one suit has to do for one year,

on my place."

Simon next walked up to the place where Emmeline was sitting,

chained to another woman.


my dear,"

he said,

chucking her under the chin,

"keep up your spirits."

The involuntary look of horror,

fright and aversion,

with which the girl regarded him,

did not escape his eye.

He frowned fiercely.

"None o' your shines,


you's got to keep a pleasant face,

when I speak to ye,

--d'ye hear?

And you,

you old yellow poco moonshine!"

he said,

giving a shove to the mulatto woman to whom Emmeline was chained,

"don't you carry that sort of face!

You's got to look chipper,

I tell ye!"

"I say,

all on ye,"

he said retreating a pace or two back,

"look at me,

--look at me,

--look me right in the eye,



said he,

stamping his foot at every pause.

As by a fascination,

every eye was now directed to the glaring greenish-gray eye of Simon.


said he,

doubling his great,

heavy fist into something resembling a blacksmith's hammer,

"d'ye see this fist?

Heft it!"

he said,

bringing it down on Tom's hand.

"Look at these yer bones!


I tell ye this yer fist has got as hard as iron -knocking down niggers-.

I never see the nigger,


I couldn't bring down with one crack,"

said he,

bringing his fist down so near to the face of Tom that he winked and drew back.

"I don't keep none o' yer cussed overseers;

I does my own overseeing;

and I tell you things -is- seen to.

You's every one on ye got to toe the mark,

I tell ye;



--the moment I speak.

That's the way to keep in with me.

Ye won't find no soft spot in me,




mind yerselves;

for I don't show no mercy!"

The women involuntarily drew in their breath,

and the whole gang sat with downcast,

dejected faces.


Simon turned on his heel,

and marched up to the bar of the boat for a dram.

"That's the way I begin with my niggers,"

he said,

to a gentlemanly man,

who had stood by him during his speech.

"It's my system to begin strong,

--just let

'em know what to expect."


said the stranger,

looking upon him with the curiosity of a naturalist studying some out-of-the-way specimen.



I'm none o' yer gentlemen planters,

with lily fingers,

to slop round and be cheated by some old cuss of an overseer!

Just feel of my knuckles,


look at my fist.

Tell ye,


the flesh on

't has come jest like a stone,

practising on nigger --feel on it."

The stranger applied his fingers to the implement in question,

and simply said,

"'T is hard enough;


I suppose,"

he added,

"practice has made your heart just like it."



I may say so,"

said Simon,

with a hearty laugh.

"I reckon there's as little soft in me as in any one going.

Tell you,

nobody comes it over me!

Niggers never gets round me,

neither with squalling nor soft soap,

--that's a fact."

"You have a fine lot there."


said Simon.

"There's that Tom,

they telled me he was suthin' uncommon.

I paid a little high for him,

tendin' him for a driver and a managing chap;

only get the notions out that he's larnt by bein' treated as niggers never ought to be,

he'll do prime!

The yellow woman I got took in on.

I rayther think she's sickly,

but I shall put her through for what she's worth;

she may last a year or two.

I don't go for savin' niggers.

Use up,

and buy more,

's my way;-makes you less trouble,

and I'm quite sure it comes cheaper in the end;"

and Simon sipped his glass.

"And how long do they generally last?"

said the stranger.



'cordin' as their constitution is.

Stout fellers last six or seven years;

trashy ones gets worked up in two or three.

I used to,

when I fust begun,

have considerable trouble fussin' with

'em and trying to make

'em hold out,

--doctorin' on

'em up when they's sick,

and givin' on

'em clothes and blankets,

and what not,

tryin' to keep

'em all sort o' decent and comfortable.


't wasn't no sort o' use;

I lost money on



't was heaps o' trouble.


you see,

I just put

'em straight through,

sick or well.

When one nigger's dead,

I buy another;

and I find it comes cheaper and easier,

every way."

The stranger turned away,

and seated himself beside a gentleman,

who had been listening to the conversation with repressed uneasiness.

"You must not take that fellow to be any specimen of Southern planters,"

said he.

"I should hope not,"

said the young gentleman,

with emphasis.

"He is a mean,


brutal fellow!"

said the other.

"And yet your laws allow him to hold any number of human beings subject to his absolute will,

without even a shadow of protection;


low as he is,

you cannot say that there are not many such."


said the other,

"there are also many considerate and humane men among planters."


said the young man;


in my opinion,

it is you considerate,

humane men,

that are responsible for all the brutality and outrage wrought by these wretches;


if it were not for your sanction and influence,

the whole system could not keep foothold for an hour.

If there were no planters except such as that one,"

said he,

pointing with his finger to Legree,

who stood with his back to them,

"the whole thing would go down like a millstone.

It is your respectability and humanity that licenses and protects his brutality."

"You certainly have a high opinion of my good nature,"

said the planter,


"but I advise you not to talk quite so loud,

as there are people on board the boat who might not be quite so tolerant to opinion as I am.

You had better wait till I get up to my plantation,

and there you may abuse us all,

quite at your leisure."

The young gentleman colored and smiled,

and the two were soon busy in a game of backgammon.


another conversation was going on in the lower part of the boat,

between Emmeline and the mulatto woman with whom she was confined.

As was natural,

they were exchanging with each other some particulars of their history.

"Who did you belong to?"

said Emmeline.


my Mas'r was Mr. Ellis,

--lived on Levee-street.

P'raps you've seen the house."

"Was he good to you?"

said Emmeline.


till he tuk sick.

He's lain sick,

off and on,

more than six months,

and been orful oneasy.

'Pears like he warnt willin' to have nobody rest,

day or night;

and got so curous,

there couldn't nobody suit him.

'Pears like he just grew crosser,

every day;

kep me up nights till I got farly beat out,

and couldn't keep awake no longer;

and cause I got to sleep,

one night,


he talk so orful to me,

and he tell me he'd sell me to just the hardest master he could find;

and he'd promised me my freedom,


when he died."

"Had you any friends?"

said Emmeline.


my husband,

--he's a blacksmith.

Mas'r gen'ly hired him out.

They took me off so quick,

I didn't even have time to see him;

and I's got four children.


dear me!"

said the woman,

covering her face with her hands.

It is a natural impulse,

in every one,

when they hear a tale of distress,

to think of something to say by way of consolation.

Emmeline wanted to say something,

but she could not think of anything to say.

What was there to be said?

As by a common consent,

they both avoided,

with fear and dread,

all mention of the horrible man who was now their master.


there is religious trust for even the darkest hour.

The mulatto woman was a member of the Methodist church,

and had an unenlightened but very sincere spirit of piety.

Emmeline had been educated much more intelligently,

--taught to read and write,

and diligently instructed in the Bible,

by the care of a faithful and pious mistress;


would it not try the faith of the firmest Christian,

to find themselves abandoned,


of God,

in the grasp of ruthless violence?

How much more must it shake the faith of Christ's poor little ones,

weak in knowledge and tender in years!

The boat moved on,

--freighted with its weight of sorrow,

--up the red,


turbid current,

through the abrupt tortuous windings of the Red river;

and sad eyes gazed wearily on the steep red-clay banks,

as they glided by in dreary sameness.

At last the boat stopped at a small town,

and Legree,

with his party,



Dark Places

"The dark places of the earth are full of the habitations of cruelty."*

* Ps.


Trailing wearily behind a rude wagon,

and over a ruder road,

Tom and his associates faced onward.

In the wagon was seated Simon Legree and the two women,

still fettered together,

were stowed away with some baggage in the back part of it,

and the whole company were seeking Legree's plantation,

which lay a good distance off.

It was a wild,

forsaken road,

now winding through dreary pine barrens,

where the wind whispered mournfully,

and now over log causeways,

through long cypress swamps,

the doleful trees rising out of the slimy,

spongy ground,

hung with long wreaths of funeral black moss,

while ever and anon the loathsome form of the mocassin snake might be seen sliding among broken stumps and shattered branches that lay here and there,

rotting in the water.

It is disconsolate enough,

this riding,

to the stranger,


with well-filled pocket and well-appointed horse,

threads the lonely way on some errand of business;

but wilder,


to the man enthralled,

whom every weary step bears further from all that man loves and prays for.

So one should have thought,

that witnessed the sunken and dejected expression on those dark faces;

the wistful,

patient weariness with which those sad eyes rested on object after object that passed them in their sad journey.

Simon rode on,


apparently well pleased,

occasionally pulling away at a flask of spirit,

which he kept in his pocket.

"I say,

-you!-" he said,

as he turned back and caught a glance at the dispirited faces behind him.

"Strike up a song,



The men looked at each other,

and the "-come-" was repeated,

with a smart crack of the whip which the driver carried in his hands.

Tom began a Methodist hymn.


my happy home,

Name ever dear to me!

When shall my sorrows have an end,

Thy joys when shall --"*

* "-Jerusalem,

my happy home-,"

anonymous hymn dating from the latter part of the sixteenth century,

sung to the tune of "St. Stephen."

Words derive from St. Augustine's -Meditations-.

"Shut up,

you black cuss!"

roared Legree;

"did ye think I wanted any o' yer infernal old Methodism?

I say,

tune up,


something real rowdy,


One of the other men struck up one of those unmeaning songs,

common among the slaves.

"Mas'r see'd me cotch a coon,

High boys,


He laughed to split,

--d'ye see the moon,








hi --e!


The singer appeared to make up the song to his own pleasure,

generally hitting on rhyme,

without much attempt at reason;

and the party took up the chorus,

at intervals,






High --e --oh!

high --e --oh!"

It was sung very boisterouly,

and with a forced attempt at merriment;

but no wail of despair,

no words of impassioned prayer,

could have had such a depth of woe in them as the wild notes of the chorus.

As if the poor,

dumb heart,



--took refuge in that inarticulate sanctuary of music,

and found there a language in which to breathe its prayer to God!

There was a prayer in it,

which Simon could not hear.

He only heard the boys singing noisily,

and was well pleased;

he was making them "keep up their spirits."


my little dear,"

said he,

turning to Emmeline,

and laying his hand on her shoulder,

"we're almost home!"

When Legree scolded and stormed,

Emmeline was terrified;

but when he laid his hand on her,

and spoke as he now did,

she felt as if she had rather he would strike her.

The expression of his eyes made her soul sick,

and her flesh creep.

Involuntarily she clung closer to the mulatto woman by her side,

as if she were her mother.

"You didn't ever wear ear-rings,"

he said,

taking hold of her small ear with his coarse fingers.



said Emmeline,

trembling and looking down.


I'll give you a pair,

when we get home,

if you're a good girl.

You needn't be so frightened;

I don't mean to make you work very hard.

You'll have fine times with me,

and live like a lady,

--only be a good girl."

Legree had been drinking to that degree that he was inclining to be very gracious;

and it was about this time that the enclosures of the plantation rose to view.

The estate had formerly belonged to a gentleman of opulence and taste,

who had bestowed some considerable attention to the adornment of his grounds.

Having died insolvent,

it had been purchased,

at a bargain,

by Legree,

who used it,

as he did everything else,

merely as an implement for money-making.

The place had that ragged,

forlorn appearance,

which is always produced by the evidence that the care of the former owner has been left to go to utter decay.

What was once a smooth-shaven lawn before the house,

dotted here and there with ornamental shrubs,

was now covered with frowsy tangled grass,

with horseposts set up,

here and there,

in it,

where the turf was stamped away,

and the ground littered with broken pails,

cobs of corn,

and other slovenly remains.

Here and there,

a mildewed jessamine or honeysuckle hung raggedly from some ornamental support,

which had been pushed to one side by being used as a horse-post.

What once was a large garden was now all grown over with weeds,

through which,

here and there,

some solitary exotic reared its forsaken head.

What had been a conservatory had now no window-shades,

and on the mouldering shelves stood some dry,

forsaken flower-pots,

with sticks in them,

whose dried leaves showed they had once been plants.

The wagon rolled up a weedy gravel walk,

under a noble avenue of China trees,

whose graceful forms and ever-springing foliage seemed to be the only things there that neglect could not daunt or alter,

--like noble spirits,

so deeply rooted in goodness,

as to flourish and grow stronger amid discouragement and decay.

The house had been large and handsome.

It was built in a manner common at the South;

a wide verandah of two stories running round every part of the house,

into which every outer door opened,

the lower tier being supported by brick pillars.

But the place looked desolate and uncomfortable;

some windows stopped up with boards,

some with shattered panes,

and shutters hanging by a single hinge,

--all telling of coarse neglect and discomfort.

Bits of board,


old decayed barrels and boxes,

garnished the ground in all directions;

and three or four ferocious-looking dogs,

roused by the sound of the wagon-wheels,

came tearing out,

and were with difficulty restrained from laying hold of Tom and his companions,

by the effort of the ragged servants who came after them.

"Ye see what ye'd get!"

said Legree,

caressing the dogs with grim satisfaction,

and turning to Tom and his companions.

"Ye see what ye'd get,

if ye try to run off.

These yer dogs has been raised to track niggers;

and they'd jest as soon chaw one on ye up as eat their supper.


mind yerself!

How now,


he said,

to a ragged fellow,

without any brim to his hat,

who was officious in his attentions.

"How have things been going?"

"Fust rate,



said Legree to another,

who was making zealous demonstrations to attract his attention,

"ye minded what I telled ye?"

"Guess I did,

didn't I?"

These two colored men were the two principal hands on the plantation.

Legree had trained them in savageness and brutality as systematically as he had his bull-dogs;


by long practice in hardness and cruelty,

brought their whole nature to about the same range of capacities.

It is a common remark,

and one that is thought to militate strongly against the character of the race,

that the negro overseer is always more tyrannical and cruel than the white one.

This is simply saying that the negro mind has been more crushed and debased than the white.

It is no more true of this race than of every oppressed race,

the world over.

The slave is always a tyrant,

if he can get a chance to be one.


like some potentates we read of in history,

governed his plantation by a sort of resolution of forces.

Sambo and Quimbo cordially hated each other;

the plantation hands,

one and all,

cordially hated them;


by playing off one against another,

he was pretty sure,

through one or the other of the three parties,

to get informed of whatever was on foot in the place.

Nobody can live entirely without social intercourse;

and Legree encouraged his two black satellites to a kind of coarse familiarity with him,

--a familiarity,


at any moment liable to get one or the other of them into trouble;


on the slightest provocation,

one of them always stood ready,

at a nod,

to be a minister of his vengeance on the other.

As they stood there now by Legree,

they seemed an apt illustration of the fact that brutal men are lower even than animals.

Their coarse,


heavy features;

their great eyes,

rolling enviously on each other;

their barbarous,


half-brute intonation;

their dilapidated garments fluttering in the wind,

--were all in admirable keeping with the vile and unwholesome character of everything about the place.


you Sambo,"

said Legree,

"take these yer boys down to the quarters;

and here's a gal I've got for -you-,"

said he,

as he separated the mulatto woman from Emmeline,

and pushed her towards him;

--"I promised to bring you one,

you know."

The woman gave a start,

and drawing back,





I left my old man in New Orleans."

"What of that,

you --;

won't you want one here?

None o' your words,

--go long!"

said Legree,

raising his whip.



he said to Emmeline,

"you go in here with me."

A dark,

wild face was seen,

for a moment,

to glance at the window of the house;


as Legree opened the door,

a female voice said something,

in a quick,

imperative tone.


who was looking,

with anxious interest,

after Emmeline,

as she went in,

noticed this,

and heard Legree answer,


"You may hold your tongue!

I'll do as I please,

for all you!"

Tom heard no more;

for he was soon following Sambo to the quarters.

The quarters was a little sort of street of rude shanties,

in a row,

in a part of the plantation,

far off from the house.

They had a forlorn,


forsaken air.

Tom's heart sunk when he saw them.

He had been comforting himself with the thought of a cottage,



but one which he might make neat and quiet,

and where he might have a shelf for his Bible,

and a place to be alone out of his laboring hours.

He looked into several;

they were mere rude shells,

destitute of any species of furniture,

except a heap of straw,

foul with dirt,

spread confusedly over the floor,

which was merely the bare ground,

trodden hard by the tramping of innumerable feet.

"Which of these will be mine?"

said he,

to Sambo,



ken turn in here,

I spose,"

said Sambo;

"spects thar's room for another thar;

thar's a pretty smart heap o' niggers to each on




I dunno what I

's to do with more."

It was late in the evening when the weary occupants of the shanties came flocking home,

--men and women,

in soiled and tattered garments,

surly and uncomfortable,

and in no mood to look pleasantly on new-comers.

The small village was alive with no inviting sounds;


guttural voices contending at the hand-mills where their morsel of hard corn was yet to be ground into meal,

to fit it for the cake that was to constitute their only supper.

From the earliest dawn of the day,

they had been in the fields,

pressed to work under the driving lash of the overseers;

for it was now in the very heat and hurry of the season,

and no means was left untried to press every one up to the top of their capabilities.


says the negligent lounger;

"picking cotton isn't hard work."

Isn't it?

And it isn't much inconvenience,


to have one drop of water fall on your head;

yet the worst torture of the inquisition is produced by drop after drop,

drop after drop,

falling moment after moment,

with monotonous succession,

on the same spot;

and work,

in itself not hard,

becomes so,

by being pressed,

hour after hour,

with unvarying,

unrelenting sameness,

with not even the consciousness of free-will to take from its tediousness.

Tom looked in vain among the gang,

as they poured along,

for companionable faces.

He saw only sullen,


imbruted men,

and feeble,

discouraged women,

or women that were not women,

--the strong pushing away the weak,

--the gross,

unrestricted animal selfishness of human beings,

of whom nothing good was expected and desired;

and who,

treated in every way like brutes,

had sunk as nearly to their level as it was possible for human beings to do.

To a late hour in the night the sound of the grinding was protracted;

for the mills were few in number compared with the grinders,

and the weary and feeble ones were driven back by the strong,

and came on last in their turn.

"Ho yo!"

said Sambo,

coming to the mulatto woman,

and throwing down a bag of corn before her;

"what a cuss yo name?"


said the woman.



yo my woman now.

Yo grind dis yer corn,

and get -my- supper baked,

ye har?"

"I an't your woman,

and I won't be!"

said the woman,

with the sharp,

sudden courage of despair;

"you go


"I'll kick yo,


said Sambo,

raising his foot threateningly.

"Ye may kill me,

if ye choose,

--the sooner the better!

Wish't I was dead!"

said she.

"I say,


you go to spilin' the hands,

I'll tell Mas'r o' you,"

said Quimbo,

who was busy at the mill,

from which he had viciously driven two or three tired women,

who were waiting to grind their corn.


I'll tell him ye won't let the women come to the mills,

yo old nigger!"

said Sambo.

"Yo jes keep to yo own row."

Tom was hungry with his day's journey,

and almost faint for want of food.



said Quimbo,

throwing down a coarse bag,

which contained a peck of corn;




take car on


--yo won't get no more,

-dis- yer week."

Tom waited till a late hour,

to get a place at the mills;

and then,

moved by the utter weariness of two women,

whom he saw trying to grind their corn there,

he ground for them,

put together the decaying brands of the fire,

where many had baked cakes before them,

and then went about getting his own supper.

It was a new kind of work there,

--a deed of charity,

small as it was;

but it woke an answering touch in their hearts,

--an expression of womanly kindness came over their hard faces;

they mixed his cake for him,

and tended its baking;

and Tom sat down by the light of the fire,

and drew out his Bible,

--for he had need for comfort.

"What's that?"

said one of the woman.

"A Bible,"

said Tom.

"Good Lord!

han't seen un since I was in Kentuck."

"Was you raised in Kentuck?"

said Tom,

with interest.


and well raised,



'spected to come to dis yer!"

said the woman,


"What's dat ar book,

any way?"

said the other woman.


the Bible."

"Laws a me!

what's dat?"

said the woman.

"Do tell!

you never hearn on


said the other woman.

"I used to har Missis a readin' on



in Kentuck;


laws o' me!

we don't har nothin' here but crackin' and swarin'."

"Read a piece,


said the first woman,


seeing Tom attentively poring over it.

Tom read,

--"Come unto Me,

all ye that labor and are heavy laden,

and I will give you rest."

"Them's good words,


said the woman;

"who says


"The Lord,"

said Tom.

"I jest wish I know'd whar to find Him,"

said the woman.

"I would go;

'pears like I never should get rested again.

My flesh is fairly sore,

and I tremble all over,

every day,

and Sambo's allers a jawin' at me,

'cause I doesn't pick faster;

and nights it's most midnight

'fore I can get my supper;

and den

'pears like I don't turn over and shut my eyes,

'fore I hear de horn blow to get up,

and at it agin in de mornin'.

If I knew whar de Lor was,

I'd tell him."

"He's here,

he's everywhere,"

said Tom.


you an't gwine to make me believe dat ar!

I know de Lord an't here,"

said the woman;

"'tan't no use talking,


I's jest gwine to camp down,

and sleep while I ken."

The women went off to their cabins,

and Tom sat alone,

by the smouldering fire,

that flickered up redly in his face.

The silver,

fair-browed moon rose in the purple sky,

and looked down,

calm and silent,

as God looks on the scene of misery and oppression,

--looked calmly on the lone black man,

as he sat,

with his arms folded,

and his Bible on his knee.

"Is God HERE?"


how is it possible for the untaught heart to keep its faith,


in the face of dire misrule,

and palpable,

unrebuked injustice?

In that simple heart waged a fierce conflict;

the crushing sense of wrong,

the foreshadowing,

of a whole life of future misery,

the wreck of all past hopes,

mournfully tossing in the soul's sight,

like dead corpses of wife,

and child,

and friend,

rising from the dark wave,

and surging in the face of the half-drowned mariner!


was it easy -here- to believe and hold fast the great password of Christian faith,

that "God IS,

and is the REWARDER of them that diligently seek Him"?

Tom rose,


and stumbled into the cabin that had been allotted to him.

The floor was already strewn with weary sleepers,

and the foul air of the place almost repelled him;

but the heavy night-dews were chill,

and his limbs weary,


wrapping about him a tattered blanket,

which formed his only bed-clothing,

he stretched himself in the straw and fell asleep.

In dreams,

a gentle voice came over his ear;

he was sitting on the mossy seat in the garden by Lake Pontchartrain,

and Eva,

with her serious eyes bent downward,

was reading to him from the Bible;

and he heard her read.

"When thou passest through the waters,

I will be with thee,

and the rivers they shall not overflow thee;

when thou walkest through the fire,

thou shalt not be burned,

neither shall the flame kindle upon thee;

for I am the Lord thy God,

the Holy One of Israel,

thy Saviour."

Gradually the words seemed to melt and fade,

as in a divine music;

the child raised her deep eyes,

and fixed them lovingly on him,

and rays of warmth and comfort seemed to go from them to his heart;


as if wafted on the music,

she seemed to rise on shining wings,

from which flakes and spangles of gold fell off like stars,

and she was gone.

Tom woke.

Was it a dream?

Let it pass for one.

But who shall say that that sweet young spirit,

which in life so yearned to comfort and console the distressed,

was forbidden of God to assume this ministry after death?

It is a beautiful belief,

That ever round our head Are hovering,

on angel wings,

The spirits of the dead.



"And behold,

the tears of such as were oppressed,

and they had no comforter;

and on the side of their oppressors there was power,

but they had no comforter."



It took but a short time to familiarize Tom with all that was to be hoped or feared in his new way of life.

He was an expert and efficient workman in whatever he undertook;

and was,

both from habit and principle,

prompt and faithful.

Quiet and peaceable in his disposition,

he hoped,

by unremitting diligence,

to avert from himself at least a portion of the evils of his condition.

He saw enough of abuse and misery to make him sick and weary;

but he determined to toil on,

with religious patience,

committing himself to Him that judgeth righteously,

not without hope that some way of escape might yet be opened to him.

Legree took a silent note of Tom's availability.

He rated him as a first-class hand;

and yet he felt a secret dislike to him,

--the native antipathy of bad to good.

He saw,


that when,

as was often the case,

his violence and brutality fell on the helpless,

Tom took notice of it;


so subtle is the atmosphere of opinion,

that it will make itself felt,

without words;

and the opinion even of a slave may annoy a master.

Tom in various ways manifested a tenderness of feeling,

a commiseration for his fellow-sufferers,

strange and new to them,

which was watched with a jealous eye by Legree.

He had purchased Tom with a view of eventually making him a sort of overseer,

with whom he might,

at times,

intrust his affairs,

in short absences;


in his view,

the first,


and third requisite for that place,

was -hardness-.

Legree made up his mind,


as Tom was not hard to his hand,

he would harden him forthwith;

and some few weeks after Tom had been on the place,

he determined to commence the process.

One morning,

when the hands were mustered for the field,

Tom noticed,

with surprise,

a new comer among them,

whose appearance excited his attention.

It was a woman,

tall and slenderly formed,

with remarkably delicate hands and feet,

and dressed in neat and respectable garments.

By the appearance of her face,

she might have been between thirty-five and forty;

and it was a face that,

once seen,

could never be forgotten,

--one of those that,

at a glance,

seem to convey to us an idea of a wild,


and romantic history.

Her forehead was high,

and her eyebrows marked with beautiful clearness.

Her straight,

well-formed nose,

her finely-cut mouth,

and the graceful contour of her head and neck,

showed that she must once have been beautiful;

but her face was deeply wrinkled with lines of pain,

and of proud and bitter endurance.

Her complexion was sallow and unhealthy,

her cheeks thin,

her features sharp,

and her whole form emaciated.

But her eye was the most remarkable feature,

--so large,

so heavily black,

overshadowed by long lashes of equal darkness,

and so wildly,

mournfully despairing.

There was a fierce pride and defiance in every line of her face,

in every curve of the flexible lip,

in every motion of her body;

but in her eye was a deep,

settled night of anguish,

--an expression so hopeless and unchanging as to contrast fearfully with the scorn and pride expressed by her whole demeanor.

Where she came from,

or who she was,

Tom did not know.

The first he did know,

she was walking by his side,

erect and proud,

in the dim gray of the dawn.

To the gang,


she was known;

for there was much looking and turning of heads,

and a smothered yet apparent exultation among the miserable,


half-starved creatures by whom she was surrounded.

"Got to come to it,

at last,

--glad of it!"

said one.




said another;

"you'll know how good it is,


"We'll see her work!"

"Wonder if she'll get a cutting up,

at night,

like the rest of us!"

"I'd be glad to see her down for a flogging,

I'll bound!"

said another.

The woman took no notice of these taunts,

but walked on,

with the same expression of angry scorn,

as if she heard nothing.

Tom had always lived among refined,

and cultivated people,

and he felt intuitively,

from her air and bearing,

that she belonged to that class;

but how or why she could be fallen to those degrading circumstances,

he could not tell.

The women neither looked at him nor spoke to him,


all the way to the field,

she kept close at his side.

Tom was soon busy at his work;


as the woman was at no great distance from him,

he often glanced an eye to her,

at her work.

He saw,

at a glance,

that a native adroitness and handiness made the task to her an easier one than it proved to many.

She picked very fast and very clean,

and with an air of scorn,

as if she despised both the work and the disgrace and humiliation of the circumstances in which she was placed.

In the course of the day,

Tom was working near the mulatto woman who had been bought in the same lot with himself.

She was evidently in a condition of great suffering,

and Tom often heard her praying,

as she wavered and trembled,

and seemed about to fall down.

Tom silently as he came near to her,

transferred several handfuls of cotton from his own sack to hers.




said the woman,

looking surprised;

"it'll get you into trouble."

Just then Sambo came up.

He seemed to have a special spite against this woman;


flourishing his whip,


in brutal,

guttural tones,

"What dis yer,


--foolin' a'" and,

with the word,

kicking the woman with his heavy cowhide shoe,

he struck Tom across the face with his whip.

Tom silently resumed his task;

but the woman,

before at the last point of exhaustion,


"I'll bring her to!"

said the driver,

with a brutal grin.

"I'll give her something better than camphire!"


taking a pin from his coat-sleeve,

he buried it to the head in her flesh.

The woman groaned,

and half rose.

"Get up,

you beast,

and work,

will yer,

or I'll show yer a trick more!"

The woman seemed stimulated,

for a few moments,

to an unnatural strength,

and worked with desperate eagerness.

"See that you keep to dat ar,"

said the man,

"or yer'll wish yer's dead tonight,

I reckin!"

"That I do now!"

Tom heard her say;

and again he heard her say,



how long!



why don't you help us?"

At the risk of all that he might suffer,

Tom came forward again,

and put all the cotton in his sack into the woman's.


you mustn't!

you donno what they'll do to ye!"

said the woman.

"I can bar it!"

said Tom,


'n you;"

and he was at his place again.

It passed in a moment.


the stranger woman whom we have described,

and who had,

in the course of her work,

come near enough to hear Tom's last words,

raised her heavy black eyes,

and fixed them,

for a second,

on him;


taking a quantity of cotton from her basket,

she placed it in his.

"You know nothing about this place,"

she said,

"or you wouldn't have done that.

When you've been here a month,

you'll be done helping anybody;

you'll find it hard enough to take care of your own skin!"

"The Lord forbid,


said Tom,

using instinctively to his field companion the respectful form proper to the high bred with whom he had lived.

"The Lord never visits these parts,"

said the woman,


as she went nimbly forward with her work;

and again the scornful smile curled her lips.

But the action of the woman had been seen by the driver,

across the field;


flourishing his whip,

he came up to her.



he said to the woman,

with an air of triumph,

"You a foolin'?

Go along!

yer under me now,

--mind yourself,

or yer'll cotch it!"

A glance like sheet-lightning suddenly flashed from those black eyes;


facing about,

with quivering lip and dilated nostrils,

she drew herself up,

and fixed a glance,

blazing with rage and scorn,

on the driver.


she said,

"touch -me-,

if you dare!

I've power enough,


to have you torn by the dogs,

burnt alive,

cut to inches!

I've only to say the word!"

"What de devil you here for,


said the man,

evidently cowed,

and sullenly retreating a step or two.

"Didn't mean no harm,

Misse Cassy!"

"Keep your distance,


said the woman.


in truth,

the man seemed greatly inclined to attend to something at the other end of the field,

and started off in quick time.

The woman suddenly turned to her work,

and labored with a despatch that was perfectly astonishing to Tom.

She seemed to work by magic.

Before the day was through,

her basket was filled,

crowded down,

and piled,

and she had several times put largely into Tom's.

Long after dusk,

the whole weary train,

with their baskets on their heads,

defiled up to the building appropriated to the storing and weighing the cotton.

Legree was there,

busily conversing with the two drivers.

"Dat ar Tom's gwine to make a powerful deal o' trouble;

kept a puttin' into Lucy's basket.

--One o' these yer dat will get all der niggers to feelin'


if Masir don't watch him!"

said Sambo.


The black cuss!"

said Legree.

"He'll have to get a breakin' in,

won't he,


Both negroes grinned a horrid grin,

at this intimation.



Let Mas'r Legree alone,

for breakin' in!

De debil heself couldn't beat Mas'r at dat!"

said Quimbo.



the best way is to give him the flogging to do,

till he gets over his notions.

Break him in!"


Mas'r'll have hard work to get dat out o' him!"

"It'll have to come out of him,


said Legree,

as he rolled his tobacco in his mouth.


dar's Lucy,

--de aggravatinest,

ugliest wench on de place!"

pursued Sambo.

"Take care,


I shall begin to think what's the reason for your spite agin Lucy."


Mas'r knows she sot herself up agin Mas'r,

and wouldn't have me,

when he telled her to."

"I'd a flogged her into


said Legree,


"only there's such a press o' work,

it don't seem wuth a while to upset her jist now.

She's slender;

but these yer slender gals will bear half killin' to get their own way!"


Lucy was real aggravatin' and lazy,

sulkin' round;

wouldn't do nothin,

--and Tom he stuck up for her."

"He did,




Tom shall have the pleasure of flogging her.

It'll be a good practice for him,

and he won't put it on to the gal like you devils,







laughed both the sooty wretches;

and the diabolical sounds seemed,

in truth,

a not unapt expression of the fiendish character which Legree gave them.




Tom and Misse Cassy,

and dey among


filled Lucy's basket.

I ruther guess der weight

's in it,


"-I do the weighing!-" said Legree,


Both the drivers again laughed their diabolical laugh.


he added,

"Misse Cassy did her day's work."

"She picks like de debil and all his angels!"

"She's got

'em all in her,

I believe!"

said Legree;


growling a brutal oath,

he proceeded to the weighing-room.

Slowly the weary,

dispirited creatures,

wound their way into the room,


with crouching reluctance,

presented their baskets to be weighed.

Legree noted on a slate,

on the side of which was pasted a list of names,

the amount.

Tom's basket was weighed and approved;

and he looked,

with an anxious glance,

for the success of the woman he had befriended.

Tottering with weakness,

she came forward,

and delivered her basket.

It was of full weight,

as Legree well perceived;


affecting anger,

he said,


you lazy beast!

short again!

stand aside,

you'll catch it,

pretty soon!"

The woman gave a groan of utter despair,

and sat down on a board.

The person who had been called Misse Cassy now came forward,


with a haughty,

negligent air,

delivered her basket.

As she delivered it,

Legree looked in her eyes with a sneering yet inquiring glance.

She fixed her black eyes steadily on him,

her lips moved slightly,

and she said something in French.

What it was,

no one knew;

but Legree's face became perfectly demoniacal in its expression,

as she spoke;

he half raised his hand,

as if to strike,

--a gesture which she regarded with fierce disdain,

as she turned and walked away.

"And now,"

said Legree,

"come here,

you Tom.

You see,

I telled ye I didn't buy ye jest for the common work;

I mean to promote ye,

and make a driver of ye;

and tonight ye may jest as well begin to get yer hand in.


ye jest take this yer gal and flog her;

ye've seen enough on't to know how."

"I beg Mas'r's pardon,"

said Tom;

"hopes Mas'r won't set me at that.

It's what I an't used to,

--never did,

--and can't do,

no way possible."

"Ye'll larn a pretty smart chance of things ye never did know,

before I've done with ye!"

said Legree,

taking up a cowhide,

and striking Tom a heavy blow cross the cheek,

and following up the infliction by a shower of blows.


he said,

as he stopped to rest;


will ye tell me ye can't do it?"



said Tom,

putting up his hand,

to wipe the blood,

that trickled down his face.

"I'm willin' to work,

night and day,

and work while there's life and breath in me;

but this yer thing I can't feel it right to do;



I -never- shall do it,


Tom had a remarkably smooth,

soft voice,

and a habitually respectful manner,

that had given Legree an idea that he would be cowardly,

and easily subdued.

When he spoke these last words,

a thrill of amazement went through every one;

the poor woman clasped her hands,

and said,

"O Lord!"

and every one involuntarily looked at each other and drew in their breath,

as if to prepare for the storm that was about to burst.

Legree looked stupefied and confounded;

but at last burst forth,


ye blasted black beast!

tell -me- ye don't think it -right- to do what I tell ye!

What have any of you cussed cattle to do with thinking what's right?

I'll put a stop to it!


what do ye think ye are?

May be ye think ye'r a gentleman master,


to be a telling your master what's right,

and what ain't!

So you pretend it's wrong to flog the gal!"

"I think so,


said Tom;

"the poor crittur's sick and feeble;

't would be downright cruel,

and it's what I never will do,

nor begin to.


if you mean to kill me,

kill me;


as to my raising my hand agin any one here,

I never shall,

--I'll die first!"

Tom spoke in a mild voice,

but with a decision that could not be mistaken.

Legree shook with anger;

his greenish eyes glared fiercely,

and his very whiskers seemed to curl with passion;


like some ferocious beast,

that plays with its victim before he devours it,

he kept back his strong impulse to proceed to immediate violence,

and broke out into bitter raillery.


here's a pious dog,

at last,

let down among us sinners!

--a saint,

a gentleman,

and no less,

to talk to us sinners about our sins!

Powerful holy critter,

he must be!


you rascal,

you make believe to be so pious,

--didn't you never hear,

out of yer Bible,


obey yer masters'?

An't I yer master?

Didn't I pay down twelve hundred dollars,


for all there is inside yer old cussed black shell?

An't yer mine,


body and soul?"

he said,

giving Tom a violent kick with his heavy boot;

"tell me!"

In the very depth of physical suffering,

bowed by brutal oppression,

this question shot a gleam of joy and triumph through Tom's soul.

He suddenly stretched himself up,


looking earnestly to heaven,

while the tears and blood that flowed down his face mingled,

he exclaimed,




my soul an't yours,


You haven't bought it,

--ye can't buy it!

It's been bought and paid for,

by one that is able to keep it;

--no matter,

no matter,

you can't harm me!"

"I can't!"

said Legree,

with a sneer;

"we'll see,

--we'll see!




give this dog such a breakin' in as he won't get over,

this month!"

The two gigantic negroes that now laid hold of Tom,

with fiendish exultation in their faces,

might have formed no unapt personification of powers of darkness.

The poor woman screamed with apprehension,

and all rose,

as by a general impulse,

while they dragged him unresisting from the place.


The Quadroon's Story

And behold the tears of such as are oppressed;

and on the side of their oppressors there was power.

Wherefore I praised the dead that are already dead more than the living that are yet alive.



It was late at night,

and Tom lay groaning and bleeding alone,

in an old forsaken room of the gin-house,

among pieces of broken machinery,

piles of damaged cotton,

and other rubbish which had there accumulated.

The night was damp and close,

and the thick air swarmed with myriads of mosquitos,

which increased the restless torture of his wounds;

whilst a burning thirst --a torture beyond all others --filled up the uttermost measure of physical anguish.


good Lord!

-Do- look down,

--give me the victory!

--give me the victory over all!"

prayed poor Tom,

in his anguish.

A footstep entered the room,

behind him,

and the light of a lantern flashed on his eyes.

"Who's there?


for the Lord's massy,

please give me some water!"

The woman Cassy --for it was she,

--set down her lantern,


pouring water from a bottle,

raised his head,

and gave him drink.

Another and another cup were drained,

with feverish eagerness.

"Drink all ye want,"

she said;

"I knew how it would be.

It isn't the first time I've been out in the night,

carrying water to such as you."

"Thank you,


said Tom,

when he had done drinking.

"Don't call me Missis!

I'm a miserable slave,

like yourself,

--a lower one than you can ever be!"

said she,


"but now,"

said she,

going to the door,

and dragging in a small pallaise,

over which she had spread linen cloths wet with cold water,


my poor fellow,

to roll yourself on to this."

Stiff with wounds and bruises,

Tom was a long time in accomplishing this movement;


when done,

he felt a sensible relief from the cooling application to his wounds.

The woman,

whom long practice with the victims of brutality had made familiar with many healing arts,

went on to make many applications to Tom's wounds,

by means of which he was soon somewhat relieved.


said the woman,

when she had raised his head on a roll of damaged cotton,

which served for a pillow,

"there's the best I can do for you."

Tom thanked her;

and the woman,

sitting down on the floor,

drew up her knees,

and embracing them with her arms,

looked fixedly before her,

with a bitter and painful expression of countenance.

Her bonnet fell back,

and long wavy streams of black hair fell around her singular and melancholy-face.

"It's no use,

my poor fellow!"

she broke out,

at last,

"it's of no use,

this you've been trying to do.

You were a brave fellow,

--you had the right on your side;

but it's all in vain,

and out of the question,

for you to struggle.

You are in the devil's hands;

--he is the strongest,

and you must give up!"

Give up!


had not human weakness and physical agony whispered that,


Tom started;

for the bitter woman,

with her wild eyes and melancholy voice,

seemed to him an embodiment of the temptation with which he had been wrestling.

"O Lord!

O Lord!"

he groaned,

"how can I give up?"

"There's no use calling on the Lord,

--he never hears,"

said the woman,


"there isn't any God,

I believe;


if there is,

he's taken sides against us.

All goes against us,

heaven and earth.

Everything is pushing us into hell.

Why shouldn't we go?"

Tom closed his eyes,

and shuddered at the dark,

atheistic words.

"You see,"

said the woman,

"-you- don't know anything about it --I do.

I've been on this place five years,

body and soul,

under this man's foot;

and I hate him as I do the devil!

Here you are,

on a lone plantation,

ten miles from any other,

in the swamps;

not a white person here,

who could testify,

if you were burned alive,

--if you were scalded,

cut into inch-pieces,

set up for the dogs to tear,

or hung up and whipped to death.

There's no law here,

of God or man,

that can do you,

or any one of us,

the least good;


this man!

there's no earthly thing that he's too good to do.

I could make any one's hair rise,

and their teeth chatter,

if I should only tell what I've seen and been knowing to,


--and it's no use resisting!

Did I -want- to live with him?

Wasn't I a woman delicately bred;

and he,

--God in heaven!

what was he,

and is he?

And yet,

I've lived with him,

these five years,

and cursed every moment of my life,

--night and day!

And now,

he's got a new one,

--a young thing,

only fifteen,

and she brought up,

she says,


Her good mistress taught her to read the Bible;

and she's brought her Bible here --to hell with her!"

--and the woman laughed a wild and doleful laugh,

that rung,

with a strange,

supernatural sound,

through the old ruined shed.

Tom folded his hands;

all was darkness and horror.

"O Jesus!

Lord Jesus!

have you quite forgot us poor critturs?"

burst forth,

at last;



I perish!"

The woman sternly continued:

"And what are these miserable low dogs you work with,

that you should suffer on their account?

Every one of them would turn against you,

the first time they got a chance.

They are all of

'em as low and cruel to each other as they can be;

there's no use in your suffering to keep from hurting them."

"Poor critturs!"

said Tom,

--"what made

'em cruel?


if I give out,

I shall get used to


and grow,

little by little,

just like





I've lost everything,


and children,

and home,

and a kind Mas'r,

--and he would have set me free,

if he'd only lived a week longer;

I've lost everything in -this- world,

and it's clean gone,


--and now I -can't- lose Heaven,



I can't get to be wicked,

besides all!"

"But it can't be that the Lord will lay sin to our account,"

said the woman;

"he won't charge it to us,

when we're forced to it;

he'll charge it to them that drove us to it."


said Tom;

"but that won't keep us from growing wicked.

If I get to be as hard-hearted as that ar' Sambo,

and as wicked,

it won't make much odds to me how I come so;

it's the bein' so,

--that ar's what I'm a dreadin'."

The woman fixed a wild and startled look on Tom,

as if a new thought had struck her;

and then,

heavily groaning,


"O God a' mercy!

you speak the truth!

O --O --O!"


with groans,

she fell on the floor,

like one crushed and writhing under the extremity of mental anguish.

There was a silence,

a while,

in which the breathing of both parties could be heard,

when Tom faintly said,




The woman suddenly rose up,

with her face composed to its usual stern,

melancholy expression.



I saw

'em throw my coat in that ar' corner,

and in my coat-pocket is my Bible;

--if Missis would please get it for me."

Cassy went and got it.

Tom opened,

at once,

to a heavily marked passage,

much worn,

of the last scenes in the life of Him by whose stripes we are healed.

"If Missis would only be so good as read that ar',

--it's better than water."

Cassy took the book,

with a dry,

proud air,

and looked over the passage.

She then read aloud,

in a soft voice,

and with a beauty of intonation that was peculiar,

that touching account of anguish and of glory.


as she read,

her voice faltered,

and sometimes failed her altogether,

when she would stop,

with an air of frigid composure,

till she had mastered herself.

When she came to the touching words,

"Father forgive them,

for they know not what they do,"

she threw down the book,


burying her face in the heavy masses of her hair,

she sobbed aloud,

with a convulsive violence.

Tom was weeping,


and occasionally uttering a smothered ejaculation.

"If we only could keep up to that ar'!"

said Tom;

--"it seemed to come so natural to him,

and we have to fight so hard for


O Lord,

help us!

O blessed Lord Jesus,

do help us!"


said Tom,

after a while,

"I can see that,

some how,

you're quite

'bove me in everything;

but there's one thing Missis might learn even from poor Tom.

Ye said the Lord took sides against us,

because he lets us be

'bused and knocked round;

but ye see what come on his own Son,

--the blessed Lord of Glory,

--wan't he allays poor?

and have we,

any on us,

yet come so low as he come?

The Lord han't forgot us,

--I'm sartin' o' that ar'.

If we suffer with him,

we shall also reign,

Scripture says;


if we deny Him,

he also will deny us.

Didn't they all suffer?

--the Lord and all his?

It tells how they was stoned and sawn asunder,

and wandered about in sheep-skins and goat-skins,

and was destitute,



Sufferin' an't no reason to make us think the Lord's turned agin us;

but jest the contrary,

if only we hold on to him,

and doesn't give up to sin."

"But why does he put us where we can't help but sin?"

said the woman.

"I think we -can- help it,"

said Tom.

"You'll see,"

said Cassy;

"what'll you do?

Tomorrow they'll be at you again.

I know


I've seen all their doings;

I can't bear to think of all they'll bring you to;

--and they'll make you give out,

at last!"

"Lord Jesus!"

said Tom,

"you -will- take care of my soul?

O Lord,


--don't let me give out!"

"O dear!"

said Cassy;

"I've heard all this crying and praying before;

and yet,

they've been broken down,

and brought under.

There's Emmeline,

she's trying to hold on,

and you're trying,

--but what use?

You must give up,

or be killed by inches."



I -will- die!"

said Tom.

"Spin it out as long as they can,

they can't help my dying,

some time!


after that,

they can't do no more.

I'm clar,

I'm set!

I -know- the Lord'll help me,

and bring me through."

The woman did not answer;

she sat with her black eyes intently fixed on the floor.

"May be it's the way,"

she murmured to herself;

"but those that -have- given up,

there's no hope for them!


We live in filth,

and grow loathsome,

till we loathe ourselves!

And we long to die,

and we don't dare to kill ourselves!

--No hope!

no hope!

no hope?

--this girl now,

--just as old as I was!

"You see me now,"

she said,

speaking to Tom very rapidly;

"see what I am!


I was brought up in luxury;

the first I remember is,

playing about,

when I was a child,

in splendid parlors,

--when I was kept dressed up like a doll,

and company and visitors used to praise me.

There was a garden opening from the saloon windows;

and there I used to play hide-and-go-seek,

under the orange-trees,

with my brothers and sisters.

I went to a convent,

and there I learned music,

French and embroidery,

and what not;

and when I was fourteen,

I came out to my father's funeral.

He died very suddenly,

and when the property came to be settled,

they found that there was scarcely enough to cover the debts;

and when the creditors took an inventory of the property,

I was set down in it.

My mother was a slave woman,

and my father had always meant to set me free;

but he had not done it,

and so I was set down in the list.

I'd always known who I was,

but never thought much about it.

Nobody ever expects that a strong,

healthy man is going to die.

My father was a well man only four hours before he died;

--it was one of the first cholera cases in New Orleans.

The day after the funeral,

my father's wife took her children,

and went up to her father's plantation.

I thought they treated me strangely,

but didn't know.

There was a young lawyer who they left to settle the business;

and he came every day,

and was about the house,

and spoke very politely to me.

He brought with him,

one day,

a young man,

whom I thought the handsomest I had ever seen.

I shall never forget that evening.

I walked with him in the garden.

I was lonesome and full of sorrow,

and he was so kind and gentle to me;

and he told me that he had seen me before I went to the convent,

and that he had loved me a great while,

and that he would be my friend and protector;

--in short,

though he didn't tell me,

he had paid two thousand dollars for me,

and I was his property,

--I became his willingly,

for I loved him.


said the woman,



how I -did- love that man!

How I love him now,

--and always shall,

while I breathe!

He was so beautiful,

so high,

so noble!

He put me into a beautiful house,

with servants,


and carriages,

and furniture,

and dresses.

Everything that money could buy,

he gave me;

but I didn't set any value on all that,

--I only cared for him.

I loved him better than my God and my own soul,


if I tried,

I couldn't do any other way from what he wanted me to.

"I wanted only one thing --I did want him to -marry- me.

I thought,

if he loved me as he said he did,

and if I was what he seemed to think I was,

he would be willing to marry me and set me free.

But he convinced me that it would be impossible;

and he told me that,

if we were only faithful to each other,

it was marriage before God.

If that is true,

wasn't I that man's wife?

Wasn't I faithful?

For seven years,

didn't I study every look and motion,

and only live and breathe to please him?

He had the yellow fever,

and for twenty days and nights I watched with him.

I alone,

--and gave him all his medicine,

and did everything for him;

and then he called me his good angel,

and said I'd saved his life.

We had two beautiful children.

The first was a boy,

and we called him Henry.

He was the image of his father,

--he had such beautiful eyes,

such a forehead,

and his hair hung all in curls around it;

and he had all his father's spirit,

and his talent,


Little Elise,

he said,

looked like me.

He used to tell me that I was the most beautiful woman in Louisiana,

he was so proud of me and the children.

He used to love to have me dress them up,

and take them and me about in an open carriage,

and hear the remarks that people would make on us;

and he used to fill my ears constantly with the fine things that were said in praise of me and the children.


those were happy days!

I thought I was as happy as any one could be;

but then there came evil times.

He had a cousin come to New Orleans,

who was his particular friend,

--he thought all the world of him;


from the first time I saw him,

I couldn't tell why,

I dreaded him;

for I felt sure he was going to bring misery on us.

He got Henry to going out with him,

and often he would not come home nights till two or three o'clock.

I did not dare say a word;

for Henry was so high spirited,

I was afraid to.

He got him to the gaming-houses;

and he was one of the sort that,

when he once got a going there,

there was no holding back.

And then he introduced him to another lady,

and I saw soon that his heart was gone from me.

He never told me,

but I saw it,

--I knew it,

day after day,

--I felt my heart breaking,

but I could not say a word!

At this,

the wretch offered to buy me and the children of Henry,

to clear off his gambling debts,

which stood in the way of his marrying as he wished;

--and -he sold us-.

He told me,

one day,

that he had business in the country,

and should be gone two or three weeks.

He spoke kinder than usual,

and said he should come back;

but it didn't deceive me.

I knew that the time had come;

I was just like one turned into stone;

I couldn't speak,

nor shed a tear.

He kissed me and kissed the children,

a good many times,

and went out.

I saw him get on his horse,

and I watched him till he was quite out of sight;

and then I fell down,

and fainted.

"Then -he- came,

the cursed wretch!

he came to take possession.

He told me that he had bought me and my children;

and showed me the papers.

I cursed him before God,

and told him I'd die sooner than live with him."

"'Just as you please,'

said he;


if you don't behave reasonably,

I'll sell both the children,

where you shall never see them again.'

He told me that he always had meant to have me,

from the first time he saw me;

and that he had drawn Henry on,

and got him in debt,

on purpose to make him willing to sell me.

That he got him in love with another woman;

and that I might know,

after all that,

that he should not give up for a few airs and tears,

and things of that sort.

"I gave up,

for my hands were tied.

He had my children;

--whenever I resisted his will anywhere,

he would talk about selling them,

and he made me as submissive as he desired.


what a life it was!

to live with my heart breaking,

every day,

--to keep on,




when it was only misery;

and to be bound,

body and soul,

to one I hated.

I used to love to read to Henry,

to play to him,

to waltz with him,

and sing to him;

but everything I did for this one was a perfect drag,

--yet I was afraid to refuse anything.

He was very imperious,

and harsh to the children.

Elise was a timid little thing;

but Henry was bold and high-spirited,

like his father,

and he had never been brought under,

in the least,

by any one.

He was always finding fault,

and quarrelling with him;

and I used to live in daily fear and dread.

I tried to make the child respectful;

--I tried to keep them apart,

for I held on to those children like death;

but it did no good.

-He sold both those children-.

He took me to ride,

one day,

and when I came home,

they were nowhere to be found!

He told me he had sold them;

he showed me the money,

the price of their blood.

Then it seemed as if all good forsook me.

I raved and cursed,

--cursed God and man;


for a while,

I believe,

he really was afraid of me.

But he didn't give up so.

He told me that my children were sold,

but whether I ever saw their faces again,

depended on him;

and that,

if I wasn't quiet,

they should smart for it.


you can do anything with a woman,

when you've got her children.

He made me submit;

he made me be peaceable;

he flattered me with hopes that,


he would buy them back;

and so things went on,

a week or two.

One day,

I was out walking,

and passed by the calaboose;

I saw a crowd about the gate,

and heard a child's voice,

--and suddenly my Henry broke away from two or three men who were holding him,

and ran,


and caught my dress.

They came up to him,

swearing dreadfully;

and one man,

whose face I shall never forget,

told him that he wouldn't get away so;

that he was going with him into the calaboose,

and he'd get a lesson there he'd never forget.

I tried to beg and plead,

--they only laughed;

the poor boy screamed and looked into my face,

and held on to me,


in tearing him off,

they tore the skirt of my dress half away;

and they carried him in,





There was one man stood there seemed to pity me.

I offered him all the money I had,

if he'd only interfere.

He shook his head,

and said that the boy had been impudent and disobedient,

ever since he bought him;

that he was going to break him in,

once for all.

I turned and ran;

and every step of the way,

I thought that I heard him scream.

I got into the house;


all out of breath,

to the parlor,

where I found Butler.

I told him,

and begged him to go and interfere.

He only laughed,

and told me the boy had got his deserts.

He'd got to be broken in,

--the sooner the better;

'what did I expect?'

he asked.

"It seemed to me something in my head snapped,

at that moment.

I felt dizzy and furious.

I remember seeing a great sharp bowie-knife on the table;

I remember something about catching it,

and flying upon him;

and then all grew dark,

and I didn't know any more,

--not for days and days.

"When I came to myself,

I was in a nice room,

--but not mine.

An old black woman tended me;

and a doctor came to see me,

and there was a great deal of care taken of me.

After a while,

I found that he had gone away,

and left me at this house to be sold;

and that's why they took such pains with me.

"I didn't mean to get well,

and hoped I shouldn't;


in spite of me the fever went off and I grew healthy,

and finally got up.


they made me dress up,

every day;

and gentlemen used to come in and stand and smoke their cigars,

and look at me,

and ask questions,

and debate my price.

I was so gloomy and silent,

that none of them wanted me.

They threatened to whip me,

if I wasn't gayer,

and didn't take some pains to make myself agreeable.

At length,

one day,

came a gentleman named Stuart.

He seemed to have some feeling for me;

he saw that something dreadful was on my heart,

and he came to see me alone,

a great many times,

and finally persuaded me to tell him.

He bought me,

at last,

and promised to do all he could to find and buy back my children.

He went to the hotel where my Henry was;

they told him he had been sold to a planter up on Pearl River;

that was the last that I ever heard.

Then he found where my daughter was;

an old woman was keeping her.

He offered an immense sum for her,

but they would not sell her.

Butler found out that it was for me he wanted her;

and he sent me word that I should never have her.

Captain Stuart was very kind to me;

he had a splendid plantation,

and took me to it.

In the course of a year,

I had a son born.


that child!

--how I loved it!

How just like my poor Henry the little thing looked!

But I had made up my mind,


I had.

I would never again let a child live to grow up!

I took the little fellow in my arms,

when he was two weeks old,

and kissed him,

and cried over him;

and then I gave him laudanum,

and held him close to my bosom,

while he slept to death.

How I mourned and cried over it!

and who ever dreamed that it was anything but a mistake,

that had made me give it the laudanum?

but it's one of the few things that I'm glad of,


I am not sorry,

to this day;


at least,

is out of pain.

What better than death could I give him,

poor child!

After a while,

the cholera came,

and Captain Stuart died;

everybody died that wanted to live,

--and I,


though I went down to death's door,

---I lived!- Then I was sold,

and passed from hand to hand,

till I grew faded and wrinkled,

and I had a fever;

and then this wretch bought me,

and brought me here,

--and here I am!"

The woman stopped.

She had hurried on through her story,

with a wild,

passionate utterance;

sometimes seeming to address it to Tom,

and sometimes speaking as in a soliloquy.

So vehement and overpowering was the force with which she spoke,


for a season,

Tom was beguiled even from the pain of his wounds,


raising himself on one elbow,

watched her as she paced restlessly up and down,

her long black hair swaying heavily about her,

as she moved.

"You tell me,"

she said,

after a pause,

"that there is a God,

--a God that looks down and sees all these things.

May be it's so.

The sisters in the convent used to tell me of a day of judgment,

when everything is coming to light;

--won't there be vengeance,


"They think it's nothing,

what we suffer,


what our children suffer!

It's all a small matter;

yet I've walked the streets when it seemed as if I had misery enough in my one heart to sink the city.

I've wished the houses would fall on me,

or the stones sink under me.



in the judgment day,

I will stand up before God,

a witness against those that have ruined me and my children,

body and soul!

"When I was a girl,

I thought I was religious;

I used to love God and prayer.


I'm a lost soul,

pursued by devils that torment me day and night;

they keep pushing me on and on --and I'll do it,


some of these days!"

she said,

clenching her hand,

while an insane light glanced in her heavy black eyes.

"I'll send him where he belongs,

--a short way,


--one of these nights,

if they burn me alive for it!"

A wild,

long laugh rang through the deserted room,

and ended in a hysteric sob;

she threw herself on the floor,

in convulsive sobbing and struggles.

In a few moments,

the frenzy fit seemed to pass off;

she rose slowly,

and seemed to collect herself.

"Can I do anything more for you,

my poor fellow?"

she said,

approaching where Tom lay;

"shall I give you some more water?"

There was a graceful and compassionate sweetness in her voice and manner,

as she said this,

that formed a strange contrast with the former wildness.

Tom drank the water,

and looked earnestly and pitifully into her face.



I wish you'd go to him that can give you living waters!"

"Go to him!

Where is he?

Who is he?"

said Cassy.

"Him that you read of to me,

--the Lord."

"I used to see the picture of him,

over the altar,

when I was a girl,"

said Cassy,

her dark eyes fixing themselves in an expression of mournful reverie;


-he isn't here!- there's nothing here,

but sin and long,


long despair!


She laid her hand on her breast and drew in her breath,

as if to lift a heavy weight.

Tom looked as if he would speak again;

but she cut him short,

with a decided gesture.

"Don't talk,

my poor fellow.

Try to sleep,

if you can."


placing water in his reach,

and making whatever little arrangements for his comforts she could,

Cassy left the shed.


The Tokens

"And slight,


may be the things that bring Back on the heart the weight which it would fling Aside forever;

it may be a sound,

A flower,

the wind,

the ocean,

which shall wound,

-- Striking the electric chain wherewith we're darkly bound."




The sitting-room of Legree's establishment was a large,

long room,

with a wide,

ample fireplace.

It had once been hung with a showy and expensive paper,

which now hung mouldering,

torn and discolored,

from the damp walls.

The place had that peculiar sickening,

unwholesome smell,

compounded of mingled damp,

dirt and decay,

which one often notices in close old houses.

The wall-paper was defaced,

in spots,

by slops of beer and wine;

or garnished with chalk memorandums,

and long sums footed up,

as if somebody had been practising arithmetic there.

In the fireplace stood a brazier full of burning charcoal;


though the weather was not cold,

the evenings always seemed damp and chilly in that great room;

and Legree,


wanted a place to light his cigars,

and heat his water for punch.

The ruddy glare of the charcoal displayed the confused and unpromising aspect of the room,



several sorts of harness,



and various articles of clothing,

scattered up and down the room in confused variety;

and the dogs,

of whom we have before spoken,

had encamped themselves among them,

to suit their own taste and convenience.

Legree was just mixing himself a tumbler of punch,

pouring his hot water from a cracked and broken-nosed pitcher,


as he did so,

"Plague on that Sambo,

to kick up this yer row between me and the new hands!

The fellow won't be fit to work for a week,


--right in the press of the season!"


just like you,"

said a voice,

behind his chair.

It was the woman Cassy,

who had stolen upon his soliloquy.


you she-devil!

you've come back,

have you?"


I have,"

she said,


"come to have my own way,


"You lie,

you jade!

I'll be up to my word.

Either behave yourself,

or stay down to the quarters,

and fare and work with the rest."

"I'd rather,

ten thousand times,"

said the woman,

"live in the dirtiest hole at the quarters,

than be under your hoof!"

"But you -are- under my hoof,

for all that,"

said he,

turning upon her,

with a savage grin;

"that's one comfort.


sit down here on my knee,

my dear,

and hear to reason,"

said he,

laying hold on her wrist.

"Simon Legree,

take care!"

said the woman,

with a sharp flash of her eye,

a glance so wild and insane in its light as to be almost appalling.

"You're afraid of me,


she said,


"and you've reason to be!

But be careful,

for I've got the devil in me!"

The last words she whispered in a hissing tone,

close to his ear.

"Get out!

I believe,

to my soul,

you have!"

said Legree,

pushing her from him,

and looking uncomfortably at her.

"After all,


he said,

"why can't you be friends with me,

as you used to?"

"Used to!"

said she,


She stopped short,

--a word of choking feelings,

rising in her heart,

kept her silent.

Cassy had always kept over Legree the kind of influence that a strong,

impassioned woman can ever keep over the most brutal man;


of late,

she had grown more and more irritable and restless,

under the hideous yoke of her servitude,

and her irritability,

at times,

broke out into raving insanity;

and this liability made her a sort of object of dread to Legree,

who had that superstitious horror of insane persons which is common to coarse and uninstructed minds.

When Legree brought Emmeline to the house,

all the smouldering embers of womanly feeling flashed up in the worn heart of Cassy,

and she took part with the girl;

and a fierce quarrel ensued between her and Legree.


in a fury,

swore she should be put to field service,

if she would not be peaceable.


with proud scorn,

declared she -would- go to the field.

And she worked there one day,

as we have described,

to show how perfectly she scorned the threat.

Legree was secretly uneasy,

all day;

for Cassy had an influence over him from which he could not free himself.

When she presented her basket at the scales,

he had hoped for some concession,

and addressed her in a sort of half conciliatory,

half scornful tone;

and she had answered with the bitterest contempt.

The outrageous treatment of poor Tom had roused her still more;

and she had followed Legree to the house,

with no particular intention,

but to upbraid him for his brutality.

"I wish,


said Legree,

"you'd behave yourself decently."

"-You- talk about behaving decently!

And what have you been doing?


who haven't even sense enough to keep from spoiling one of your best hands,

right in the most pressing season,

just for your devilish temper!"

"I was a fool,

it's a fact,

to let any such brangle come up,"

said Legree;


when the boy set up his will,

he had to be broke in."

"I reckon you won't break -him- in!"

"Won't I?"

said Legree,



"I'd like to know if I won't?

He'll be the first nigger that ever came it round me!

I'll break every bone in his body,

but he -shall- give up!"

Just then the door opened,

and Sambo entered.

He came forward,


and holding out something in a paper.

"What's that,

you dog?"

said Legree.

"It's a witch thing,


"A what?"

"Something that niggers gets from witches.


'em from feelin' when they

's flogged.

He had it tied round his neck,

with a black string."


like most godless and cruel men,

was superstitious.

He took the paper,

and opened it uneasily.

There dropped out of it a silver dollar,

and a long,

shining curl of fair hair,

--hair which,

like a living thing,

twined itself round Legree's fingers.


he screamed,

in sudden passion,

stamping on the floor,

and pulling furiously at the hair,

as if it burned him.

"Where did this come from?

Take it off!

--burn it up!

--burn it up!"

he screamed,

tearing it off,

and throwing it into the charcoal.

"What did you bring it to me for?"

Sambo stood,

with his heavy mouth wide open,

and aghast with wonder;

and Cassy,

who was preparing to leave the apartment,


and looked at him in perfect amazement.

"Don't you bring me any more of your devilish things!"

said he,

shaking his fist at Sambo,

who retreated hastily towards the door;


picking up the silver dollar,

he sent it smashing through the window-pane,

out into the darkness.

Sambo was glad to make his escape.

When he was gone,

Legree seemed a little ashamed of his fit of alarm.

He sat doggedly down in his chair,

and began sullenly sipping his tumbler of punch.

Cassy prepared herself for going out,

unobserved by him;

and slipped away to minister to poor Tom,

as we have already related.

And what was the matter with Legree?

and what was there in a simple curl of fair hair to appall that brutal man,

familiar with every form of cruelty?

To answer this,

we must carry the reader backward in his history.

Hard and reprobate as the godless man seemed now,

there had been a time when he had been rocked on the bosom of a mother,

--cradled with prayers and pious hymns,

--his now seared brow bedewed with the waters of holy baptism.

In early childhood,

a fair-haired woman had led him,

at the sound of Sabbath bell,

to worship and to pray.

Far in New England that mother had trained her only son,

with long,

unwearied love,

and patient prayers.

Born of a hard-tempered sire,

on whom that gentle woman had wasted a world of unvalued love,

Legree had followed in the steps of his father.



and tyrannical,

he despised all her counsel,

and would none of her reproof;


at an early age,

broke from her,

to seek his fortunes at sea.

He never came home but once,


and then,

his mother,

with the yearning of a heart that must love something,

and has nothing else to love,

clung to him,

and sought,

with passionate prayers and entreaties,

to win him from a life of sin,

to his soul's eternal good.

That was Legree's day of grace;

then good angels called him;

then he was almost persuaded,

and mercy held him by the hand.

His heart inly relented,

--there was a conflict,

--but sin got the victory,

and he set all the force of his rough nature against the conviction of his conscience.

He drank and swore,

--was wilder and more brutal than ever.


one night,

when his mother,

in the last agony of her despair,

knelt at his feet,

he spurned her from him,

--threw her senseless on the floor,


with brutal curses,

fled to his ship.

The next Legree heard of his mother was,


one night,

as he was carousing among drunken companions,

a letter was put into his hand.

He opened it,

and a lock of long,

curling hair fell from it,

and twined about his fingers.

The letter told him his mother was dead,

and that,


she blest and forgave him.

There is a dread,

unhallowed necromancy of evil,

that turns things sweetest and holiest to phantoms of horror and affright.

That pale,

loving mother,

--her dying prayers,

her forgiving love,

--wrought in that demoniac heart of sin only as a damning sentence,

bringing with it a fearful looking for of judgment and fiery indignation.

Legree burned the hair,

and burned the letter;

and when he saw them hissing and crackling in the flame,

inly shuddered as he thought of everlasting fires.

He tried to drink,

and revel,

and swear away the memory;

but often,

in the deep night,

whose solemn stillness arraigns the bad soul in forced communion with herself,

he had seen that pale mother rising by his bedside,

and felt the soft twining of that hair around his fingers,

till the cold sweat would roll down his face,

and he would spring from his bed in horror.

Ye who have wondered to hear,

in the same evangel,

that God is love,

and that God is a consuming fire,

see ye not how,

to the soul resolved in evil,

perfect love is the most fearful torture,

the seal and sentence of the direst despair?

"Blast it!"

said Legree to himself,

as he sipped his liquor;

"where did he get that?

If it didn't look just like --whoo!

I thought I'd forgot that.

Curse me,

if I think there's any such thing as forgetting anything,

any how,

--hang it!

I'm lonesome!

I mean to call Em.

She hates me --the monkey!

I don't care,

--I'll -make- her come!"

Legree stepped out into a large entry,

which went up stairs,

by what had formerly been a superb winding staircase;

but the passage-way was dirty and dreary,

encumbered with boxes and unsightly litter.

The stairs,


seemed winding up,

in the gloom,

to nobody knew where!

The pale moonlight streamed through a shattered fanlight over the door;

the air was unwholesome and chilly,

like that of a vault.

Legree stopped at the foot of the stairs,

and heard a voice singing.

It seemed strange and ghostlike in that dreary old house,

perhaps because of the already tremulous state of his nerves.


what is it?

A wild,

pathetic voice,

chants a hymn common among the slaves:

"O there'll be mourning,



O there'll be mourning,

at the judgment-seat of Christ!"

"Blast the girl!"

said Legree.

"I'll choke her.



he called,


but only a mocking echo from the walls answered him.

The sweet voice still sung on:

"Parents and children there shall part!

Parents and children there shall part!

Shall part to meet no more!"

And clear and loud swelled through the empty halls the refrain,

"O there'll be mourning,



O there'll be mourning,

at the judgment-seat of Christ!"

Legree stopped.

He would have been ashamed to tell of it,

but large drops of sweat stood on his forehead,

his heart beat heavy and thick with fear;

he even thought he saw something white rising and glimmering in the gloom before him,

and shuddered to think what if the form of his dead mother should suddenly appear to him.

"I know one thing,"

he said to himself,

as he stumbled back in the sitting-room,

and sat down;

"I'll let that fellow alone,

after this!

What did I want of his cussed paper?

I b'lieve I am bewitched,

sure enough!

I've been shivering and sweating,

ever since!

Where did he get that hair?

It couldn't have been -that!- I burnt -that- up,

I know I did!

It would be a joke,

if hair could rise from the dead!"



that golden tress -was- charmed;

each hair had in it a spell of terror and remorse for thee,

and was used by a mightier power to bind thy cruel hands from inflicting uttermost evil on the helpless!

"I say,"

said Legree,

stamping and whistling to the dogs,

"wake up,

some of you,

and keep me company!"

but the dogs only opened one eye at him,


and closed it again.

"I'll have Sambo and Quimbo up here,

to sing and dance one of their hell dances,

and keep off these horrid notions,"

said Legree;


putting on his hat,

he went on to the verandah,

and blew a horn,

with which he commonly summoned his two sable drivers.

Legree was often wont,

when in a gracious humor,

to get these two worthies into his sitting-room,


after warming them up with whiskey,

amuse himself by setting them to singing,

dancing or fighting,

as the humor took him.

It was between one and two o'clock at night,

as Cassy was returning from her ministrations to poor Tom,

that she heard the sound of wild shrieking,



and singing,

from the sitting-room,

mingled with the barking of dogs,

and other symptoms of general uproar.

She came up on the verandah steps,

and looked in.

Legree and both the drivers,

in a state of furious intoxication,

were singing,


upsetting chairs,

and making all manner of ludicrous and horrid grimaces at each other.

She rested her small,

slender hand on the window-blind,

and looked fixedly at them;

--there was a world of anguish,


and fierce bitterness,

in her black eyes,

as she did so.

"Would it be a sin to rid the world of such a wretch?"

she said to herself.

She turned hurriedly away,


passing round to a back door,

glided up stairs,

and tapped at Emmeline's door.


Emmeline and Cassy

Cassy entered the room,

and found Emmeline sitting,

pale with fear,

in the furthest corner of it.

As she came in,

the girl started up nervously;


on seeing who it was,

rushed forward,

and catching her arm,


"O Cassy,

is it you?

I'm so glad you've come!

I was afraid it was --.


you don't know what a horrid noise there has been,

down stairs,

all this evening!"

"I ought to know,"

said Cassy,


"I've heard it often enough."

"O Cassy!

do tell me,

--couldn't we get away from this place?

I don't care where,

--into the swamp among the snakes,


-Couldn't- we get -somewhere- away from here?"


but into our graves,"

said Cassy.

"Did you ever try?"

"I've seen enough of trying and what comes of it,"

said Cassy.

"I'd be willing to live in the swamps,

and gnaw the bark from trees.

I an't afraid of snakes!

I'd rather have one near me than him,"

said Emmeline,


"There have been a good many here of your opinion,"

said Cassy;

"but you couldn't stay in the swamps,

--you'd be tracked by the dogs,

and brought back,

and then --then --"

"What would he do?"

said the girl,


with breathless interest,

into her face.

"What -wouldn't- he do,

you'd better ask,"

said Cassy.

"He's learned his trade well,

among the pirates in the West Indies.

You wouldn't sleep much,

if I should tell you things I've seen,

--things that he tells of,


for good jokes.

I've heard screams here that I haven't been able to get out of my head for weeks and weeks.

There's a place way out down by the quarters,

where you can see a black,

blasted tree,

and the ground all covered with black ashes.

Ask anyone what was done there,

and see if they will dare to tell you."


what do you mean?"

"I won't tell you.

I hate to think of it.

And I tell you,

the Lord only knows what we may see tomorrow,

if that poor fellow holds out as he's begun."


said Emmeline,

every drop of blood receding from her cheeks.



do tell me what I shall do!"

"What I've done.

Do the best you can,

--do what you must,

--and make it up in hating and cursing."

"He wanted to make me drink some of his hateful brandy,"

said Emmeline;

"and I hate it so --"

"You'd better drink,"

said Cassy.

"I hated it,


and now I can't live without it.

One must have something;

--things don't look so dreadful,

when you take that."

"Mother used to tell me never to touch any such thing,"

said Emmeline.

"-Mother- told you!"

said Cassy,

with a thrilling and bitter emphasis on the word mother.

"What use is it for mothers to say anything?

You are all to be bought and paid for,

and your souls belong to whoever gets you.

That's the way it goes.

I say,

-drink- brandy;

drink all you can,

and it'll make things come easier."



do pity me!"

"Pity you!

--don't I?

Haven't I a daughter,

--Lord knows where she is,

and whose she is,


--going the way her mother went,

before her,

I suppose,

and that her children must go,

after her!

There's no end to the curse --forever!"

"I wish I'd never been born!"

said Emmeline,

wringing her hands.

"That's an old wish with me,"

said Cassy.

"I've got used to wishing that.

I'd die,

if I dared to,"

she said,

looking out into the darkness,

with that still,

fixed despair which was the habitual expression of her face when at rest.

"It would be wicked to kill one's self,"

said Emmeline.

"I don't know why,

--no wickeder than things we live and do,

day after day.

But the sisters told me things,

when I was in the convent,

that make me afraid to die.

If it would only be the end of us,


then --"

Emmeline turned away,

and hid her face in her hands.

While this conversation was passing in the chamber,


overcome with his carouse,

had sunk to sleep in the room below.

Legree was not an habitual drunkard.

His coarse,

strong nature craved,

and could endure,

a continual stimulation,

that would have utterly wrecked and crazed a finer one.

But a deep,

underlying spirit of cautiousness prevented his often yielding to appetite in such measure as to lose control of himself.

This night,


in his feverish efforts to banish from his mind those fearful elements of woe and remorse which woke within him,

he had indulged more than common;

so that,

when he had discharged his sable attendants,

he fell heavily on a settle in the room,

and was sound asleep.


how dares the bad soul to enter the shadowy world of sleep?

--that land whose dim outlines lie so fearfully near to the mystic scene of retribution!

Legree dreamed.

In his heavy and feverish sleep,

a veiled form stood beside him,

and laid a cold,

soft hand upon him.

He thought he knew who it was;

and shuddered,

with creeping horror,

though the face was veiled.

Then he thought he felt -that hair- twining round his fingers;

and then,

that it slid smoothly round his neck,

and tightened and tightened,

and he could not draw his breath;

and then he thought voices -whispered- to him,

--whispers that chilled him with horror.

Then it seemed to him he was on the edge of a frightful abyss,

holding on and struggling in mortal fear,

while dark hands stretched up,

and were pulling him over;

and Cassy came behind him laughing,

and pushed him.

And then rose up that solemn veiled figure,

and drew aside the veil.

It was his mother;

and she turned away from him,

and he fell down,



amid a confused noise of shrieks,

and groans,

and shouts of demon laughter,

--and Legree awoke.

Calmly the rosy hue of dawn was stealing into the room.

The morning star stood,

with its solemn,

holy eye of light,

looking down on the man of sin,

from out the brightening sky.


with what freshness,

what solemnity and beauty,

is each new day born;

as if to say to insensate man,


thou hast one more chance!

-Strive- for immortal glory!"

There is no speech nor language where this voice is not heard;

but the bold,

bad man heard it not.

He woke with an oath and a curse.

What to him was the gold and purple,

the daily miracle of morning!

What to him the sanctity of the star which the Son of God has hallowed as his own emblem?


he saw without perceiving;


stumbling forward,

poured out a tumbler of brandy,

and drank half of it.

"I've had a h --l of a night!"

he said to Cassy,

who just then entered from an opposite door.

"You'll get plenty of the same sort,

by and by,"

said she,


"What do you mean,

you minx?"

"You'll find out,

one of these days,"

returned Cassy,

in the same tone.

"Now Simon,

I've one piece of advice to give you."

"The devil,

you have!"

"My advice is,"

said Cassy,


as she began adjusting some things about the room,

"that you let Tom alone."

"What business is

't of yours?"


To be sure,

I don't know what it should be.

If you want to pay twelve hundred for a fellow,

and use him right up in the press of the season,

just to serve your own spite,

it's no business of mine,

I've done what I could for him."

"You have?

What business have you meddling in my matters?"


to be sure.

I've saved you some thousands of dollars,

at different times,

by taking care of your hands,

--that's all the thanks I get.

If your crop comes shorter into market than any of theirs,

you won't lose your bet,

I suppose?

Tompkins won't lord it over you,

I suppose,

--and you'll pay down your money like a lady,

won't you?

I think I see you doing it!"


like many other planters,

had but one form of ambition,

--to have in the heaviest crop of the season,

--and he had several bets on this very present season pending in the next town.



with woman's tact,

touched the only string that could be made to vibrate.


I'll let him off at what he's got,"

said Legree;

"but he shall beg my pardon,

and promise better fashions."

"That he won't do,"

said Cassy.




he won't,"

said Cassy.

"I'd like to know -why-,


said Legree,

in the extreme of scorn.

"Because he's done right,

and he knows it,

and won't say he's done wrong."

"Who a cuss cares what he knows?

The nigger shall say what I please,

or --"


you'll lose your bet on the cotton crop,

by keeping him out of the field,

just at this very press."

"But he -will- give up,


he will;

don't I know what niggers is?

He'll beg like a dog,

this morning."

"He won't,


you don't know this kind.

You may kill him by inches,

--you won't get the first word of confession out of him."

"We'll see,

--where is he?"

said Legree,

going out.

"In the waste-room of the gin-house,"

said Cassy.


though he talked so stoutly to Cassy,

still sallied forth from the house with a degree of misgiving which was not common with him.

His dreams of the past night,

mingled with Cassy's prudential suggestions,

considerably affected his mind.

He resolved that nobody should be witness of his encounter with Tom;

and determined,

if he could not subdue him by bullying,

to defer his vengeance,

to be wreaked in a more convenient season.

The solemn light of dawn --the angelic glory of the morning-star --had looked in through the rude window of the shed where Tom was lying;


as if descending on that star-beam,

came the solemn words,

"I am the root and offspring of David,

and the bright and morning star."

The mysterious warnings and intimations of Cassy,

so far from discouraging his soul,

in the end had roused it as with a heavenly call.

He did not know but that the day of his death was dawning in the sky;

and his heart throbbed with solemn throes of joy and desire,

as he thought that the wondrous -all-,

of which he had often pondered,

--the great white throne,

with its ever radiant rainbow;

the white-robed multitude,

with voices as many waters;

the crowns,

the palms,

the harps,

--might all break upon his vision before that sun should set again.



without shuddering or trembling,

he heard the voice of his persecutor,

as he drew near.


my boy,"

said Legree,

with a contemptuous kick,

"how do you find yourself?

Didn't I tell yer I could larn yer a thing or two?

How do yer like it --eh?

How did yer whaling agree with yer,


An't quite so crank as ye was last night.

Ye couldn't treat a poor sinner,


to a bit of sermon,

could ye,


Tom answered nothing.

"Get up,

you beast!"

said Legree,

kicking him again.

This was a difficult matter for one so bruised and faint;


as Tom made efforts to do so,

Legree laughed brutally.

"What makes ye so spry,

this morning,


Cotched cold,

may be,

last night."

Tom by this time had gained his feet,

and was confronting his master with a steady,

unmoved front.

"The devil,

you can!"

said Legree,

looking him over.

"I believe you haven't got enough yet.



get right down on yer knees and beg my pardon,

for yer shines last night."

Tom did not move.


you dog!"

said Legree,

striking him with his riding-whip.

"Mas'r Legree,"

said Tom,

"I can't do it.

I did only what I thought was right.

I shall do just so again,

if ever the time comes.

I never will do a cruel thing,

come what may."


but ye don't know what may come,

Master Tom.

Ye think what you've got is something.

I tell you

'tan't anything,


't all.

How would ye like to be tied to a tree,

and have a slow fire lit up around ye;

--wouldn't that be pleasant,




said Tom,

"I know ye can do dreadful things;


--he stretched himself upward and clasped his hands,


after ye've killed the body,

there an't no more ye can do.

And O,

there's all ETERNITY to come,

after that!"


--the word thrilled through the black man's soul with light and power,

as he spoke;

it thrilled through the sinner's soul,


like the bite of a scorpion.

Legree gnashed on him with his teeth,

but rage kept him silent;

and Tom,

like a man disenthralled,


in a clear and cheerful voice,

"Mas'r Legree,

as ye bought me,

I'll be a true and faithful servant to ye.

I'll give ye all the work of my hands,

all my time,

all my strength;

but my soul I won't give up to mortal man.

I will hold on to the Lord,

and put his commands before all,

--die or live;

you may be sure on


Mas'r Legree,

I ain't a grain afeard to die.

I'd as soon die as not.

Ye may whip me,

starve me,

burn me,

--it'll only send me sooner where I want to go."

"I'll make ye give out,


'fore I've done!"

said Legree,

in a rage.

"I shall have -help-,"

said Tom;

"you'll never do it."

"Who the devil's going to help you?"

said Legree,


"The Lord Almighty,"

said Tom.

"D --n you!"

said Legree,

as with one blow of his fist he felled Tom to the earth.

A cold soft hand fell on Legree's at this moment.

He turned,

--it was Cassy's;

but the cold soft touch recalled his dream of the night before,


flashing through the chambers of his brain,

came all the fearful images of the night-watches,

with a portion of the horror that accompanied them.

"Will you be a fool?"

said Cassy,

in French.

"Let him go!

Let me alone to get him fit to be in the field again.

Isn't it just as I told you?"

They say the alligator,

the rhinoceros,

though enclosed in bullet-proof mail,

have each a spot where they are vulnerable;

and fierce,


unbelieving reprobates,

have commonly this point in superstitious dread.

Legree turned away,

determined to let the point go for the time.


have it your own way,"

he said,


to Cassy.



he said to Tom;

"I won't deal with ye now,

because the business is pressing,

and I want all my hands;

but I -never- forget.

I'll score it against ye,

and sometime I'll have my pay out o' yer old black hide,

--mind ye!"

Legree turned,

and went out.

"There you go,"

said Cassy,

looking darkly after him;

"your reckoning's to come,


--My poor fellow,

how are you?"

"The Lord God hath sent his angel,

and shut the lion's mouth,

for this time,"

said Tom.

"For this time,

to be sure,"

said Cassy;

"but now you've got his ill will upon you,

to follow you day in,

day out,

hanging like a dog on your throat,

--sucking your blood,

bleeding away your life,

drop by drop.

I know the man."