The Christian Slave by Harriet Beecher Stowe
SCENE I —UNCLE
SCENE II. — A
Evening. MR. and
SCENE III. —
Lawn before the
SCENE IX. SAM
and ANDY at
CHLOE and all
SCENE X.— UNCLE
Parlor in ST.
on a sofa. MISS
out on Lake
UNCLE TOM and
CLARE and MARIE
SCENE XI — EVA
lying in bed.
looks out of the
door, and sees
UNCLE TOM lying.
OPHELIA. TOM on
a bench near the
and fro; some
looking in at
where lights are
sitting at a
with letters and
at a miniature.
TOM, and SAMBO,
walk along and
QUIMBO and SAMBO.
SCENE IV.—An old
TOM lying on the
SCENE X.—A Room
in the House.
SCENE XII .— A
small Room under
the eaves of the
garret. A pallet
spread upon the
with books and
bundles. A light
burning on the
side of the
her eye to a
Hut. UNCLE TOM
lying on straw,
Air: "Ole Kintuck in de arternoon."
SCENE I —UNCLE TOM'S CABIN.
A Table with cups, saucers,
AUNT CHLOE cooking at
the fire; UNCLE TOM and GEO. SHELBY at a table, with
slate between them; MOSE and PETE playing with baby in
Ha! ha! ha! Uncle Tom! Why, how funny! — brought up the tail
of your g wrong side out — makes a q, don't you see?
La sakes! now, does it?
Why yes. Look here now [writing rapidly], that's
, and that's q—that's g — that's q. See now?
How easy white folks al'ays does things! The way he can write
now! and read, too! and then to come out here evenings and read his
lessons to us—it's mighty interestin'!
But, Aunt Chloe, I'm getting mighty hungry. Is n't that cake in
the skillet almost done?
Mose done, Mas'r George; brownin' beautiful—a real lovely
brown. Ah! let me alone for dat. Missis let Sally try to make some
cake, t' other day, jes to larn her, she said. "O, go way,
Missis," said I; "it really hurts my feelin's, now, to see good
vittles spilt dat ar way! Cake ris all to one side—no shape at all;
no more than my shoe; go way!" Here you, Mose and Pete, get out de
way, you niggers! Get away, Polly, honey,—mammy'll give her baby some
fin, by-and-by. Now, Mas'r George, you jest take off dem books, and
set down now with my old man, and I'll take up de sausages, and have
de first griddle-full of cakes on your plates in less dan no time.
They wanted me to come to supper in the house, but I knew what
was what too well for that, Aunt Chloe.
So you did—so you did, honey; you know'd your old aunty'd keep
the best for you. O, let you alone for dat—go way!
Now for the cake.
La bless you! Mas'r George, you would n't be for cuttin' it wid
dat ar great heavy knife? Smash all down—spile all de pretty rise of
it. Here, I've got a thin old knife I keeps sharp a purpose. Dar
now, see!—comes apart light as a feather. Now eat away; you won't
get anything to beat dat ar.
Tom Lincoln says that their Jinny is a better cook than you.
Dem Lincons an't much count no way; I mean, set along side our
folks. They's 'spectable folks enough in a plain way; but as to
gettin' up anything in style, they don't begin to have a notion on't.
Set Mas'r Lincon, now, alongside Mas'r Shelby. Good Lor! and Missis
Lincon—can she kinder sweep it into a room like my missis,—so
kinder splendid, yer know? O, go way ! don't tell me nothin' of dem
Well, though, I've heard you say that Jinny way a pretty fair
So I did. I may say dat. Good, plain, common cookin', Jinny'll
do; make a good pone o' bread—bile her taters far,—her corn
cakes is n't extra, not extra, now, Jinny's corn cakes is n't; but
then they's far. But, Lor, come to de higher branches, and what can
she do? Why, she makes pies—sartin she does; but what kinder crust?
Can she make your real flecky paste, as melts in your mouth and
lies all up like a puff? Now, I went over thar when Miss Mary was
gwine to be married, and Jinny she jest showed me de weddin' pies.
Jinny and I is good friends, ye know. I never said nothin'; but go
'long, Mas'r George! Why, I shouldn't sleep a wink for a week if I
had a batch of pies like dem ar. Why, dey wan't no 'count 't all.
I suppose Jinny thought they were ever so nice.
Thought so!—did n't she! Thar she was, showing 'em as
innocent—ye see, it's jest here, Jinny don't know. Lor, the
family an't nothing! She can't be spected to know! 'Ta'nt no fault o'
hern. Ah, Mas'r George, you doesn't know half yer privileges in yer
family and bringin' up! [Sighs and rolls her eyes.]
I'm sure, Aunt Chloe, I understand all my pie-and-pudding
privileges. Ask Tom Lincoln if I don't crow over him every time I meet
Aunt C. [Sitting back in her chair.]
Ya! ha! ha! And so ye telled Tom, did ye? Ha! ha! ha! O
Lor—what young mas'r will be up to! Ha! ha! ha! Ye crowed over Tom!
Ho! ho! ho! Lor, Mas'r George, if ye would n't make a hornbug laugh.
Yes, I says to him, "Tom, you ought to see some of Aunt Chloe's
pies; they're the right sort," says I.
Pity, now, Tom could n't. Ye oughter jest ax him here to dinner
some o' these times, Mas'r George; it would look quite pretty of ye.
Ye know, Mas'r George, ye oughtenter fur to feel 'bove nobody on
'count yer privileges, 'cause all our privileges is gi'n to us; we
ought al'ays to 'member dat ar.
Well, I mean to ask Tom here, some day next week; and you do
your prettiest, Aunt Chloe, and we'll make him stare. Won't we make
him eat so he won't get over it for a fortnight?
Yes, yes—sartin; you'll see. Lor! to think of some of our
dinners! Yer mind dat ar great chicken pie I made when we guv
de dinner to General Knox? I and Missis, we come pretty
near quarrellin' about dat ar crust. What does get into ladies
sometimes, I don't know; but sometimes, when a body has de heaviest
kind o' 'sponsibility on 'em, as ye may say, and is all kinder "seris" and taken up, dey takes dat ar time to be hangin' round
and kinder interferin'! Now, Missis, she wanted me to do dis way, and
she wanted me to do dat way; and finally I got kinder sarcy, and,
says I, "Now, Missis, do jist look at dem beautiful white hands o'
yourn, with long fingers, and all a sparklin' with rings, like my
white lilies when de dew's on 'em; and look at my great black
stumpin' hands. Now, don't ye think dat de Lord must have meant me
to make de pie-crust, and you to stay in de parlor?" Dar! I was jist
so sarcy, Mas'r George.Geo. S.
And what did mother say?
Say?—why, she kinder larfed in her eyes—dem great handsome
eyes o' hern; and says she, "Well, Aunt Chloe, I think you are about
in the right on 't," says she; and she went off in de parlor. She
oughter cracked me over de head for bein' so sarcy; but dar's whar
't is—I can't do nothin' with ladies in de kitchen!
Well, you made out well with that dinner—I remember everybody
Didn't I? And wan't I behind de dinin'-room door dat bery day?
and didn't I see de Gineral pass his plate three times for some more
dat bery pie? and, says he, "You must have an uncommon cook, Mrs.
Shelby." Lor! I was jest fit fur ter split. And de Gineral, he knows
what cookin' is. Bery nice man, de Gineral! He comes of one of de
bery fustest families in Ole Virginny! He knows what's what,
now, as well as I do—de Gineral. Ye see, there's pints in
all pies, Mas'r George; but tan't everybody knows what they is, or
fur to be. But the Gineral, he knows; I knew by his 'marks he made.
Yes, he knows what de pints is!
Geo. S. [Throwing pieces of cake to the children.]
Here you Mose, Pete—you want some, don't you? Come, Aunt Chloe,
bake them some cakes.
Aunt C. [Feeding baby, while Mose and Pete roll on the floor
and pull baby's toes.]
O, go long, will ye? [Kicking them.] Can't ye be decent
when white folks comes to see ye? Stop dat ar, now, will ye? Better
mind yerselves, or I'll take ye down a button-hole lower, when Mas'r
George is gone!
La, now! they are so full of tickle all the while, they can't
Get along wid ye! ye'll all stick together. Go long to de spring
and wash yerselves. Mas'r George! did ye ever see such aggravatin'
young uns? Wall, now, I hopes you's done. Here, now, you Mose and
Pet e—ye got to go to bed, mighty sudden, I tell ye. Cause we's
gwine to have meetin' here.
Mose and Pete.
O, mother, we don't wanter. We wants to sit up to
meetin'—meetin's is so curis. We likes 'em.
Geo. S. [Pushing the trundle-bed.]
La! Aunt Chloe, let 'em sit up.
Well, mebbe 't will do 'em some good. What we's to to for
cheers, now I declare I don't know.
Old Uncle Peter sung both de legs out of dat oldest cheer, last
You go long! I'll boun' you pulled 'em out; some o' your shines.
Well, it'll stand, if it only keeps jam up agin de wall!
Den Uncle Peter mus' n't sit in it, 'cause he al'ays hitches
when he gets a singing. He hitched pretty nigh cross de room t'udder
Good Lor! get him in it den; and then he'd begin, "Come, saints
and sinners, hear me tell," and then down he'll go. [Mimicking.]
Come, now, be decent, can't ye? An't yer shamed yerself? Well,
ole man, you'll have to tote in them ar bar'ls yerself.
Mose. [Aside to Pete.]
Mother's bar'ls is like dat ar widder's Mas'r George was reading
'bout in de good book—dey never fails.
Pete. [Aside to Mose.]
I'm sure one on 'em caved in last week, and let 'em all down in
de middle of de singin'; dat ar was failin', warn't it?
Mas'r George is such a beautiful reader, now, I know he'll stay
to read for us; 'pears like 't will be so much more interestin'.
SCENE II. — A Boudoir. Evening. MR. and MRS.
Mrs. Shelby. [Arranging her ringlets at the mirror.]
By the by, Arthur, who was that low-bred fellow that you lugged
in to our dinner-table to-day?
Mr. Shelby. [Lounging on an ottoman, with newspaper.]
Haley is his name.
Haley! Who is he, and what may be his business here, pray?
Well, he's a man that I transacted some business with last time
I was at Natchez.
And he presumed on it to make himself quite at home, and call
and dine here, eh?
Why, I invited him; I had some accounts with him.
Is he a negro-trader?
Why, my dear, what put that into your head?
Nothing—only Eliza came in here, after dinner, in a great
worry, crying and taking on, and said you were talking with a trader,
and that she heard him make an offer for her boy—the ridiculous
She did, eh? It will have to come out. As well now as ever. [
I told Eliza that she was a little fool for her pains, and that
you never had anything to do with that sort of persons. Of course, I
knew you never meant to sell any of our people—least of all, to such
Well, Emily, so I have always felt and said; but the fact is, my
business lies so that I cannot get on without. I shall have to sell
some of my hands.
To that creature? Impossible! Mr. Shelby, you cannot be
I am sorry to say that I am. I've agreed to sell Tom.
What! our Tom? that good, faithful creature! been your faithful
servant from a boy! O, Mr. Shelby! and you have promised him his
freedom, too—you and I have spoken to him a hundred times of it.
Well, I can believe anything now; I can believe now that you
could sell little Harry, poor Eliza's only child!
Well, since you must know all, it is so. I have agreed to sell
Tom and Harry both; and I don't know why I am to be rated as if I were
a monster for doing what every one does every day.
But why, of all others, chose these? Why sell them of all on the
place, if you must sell at all?
Because they will bring the highest sum of any—that's why. I
could chose another, if you say so. The fellow made me a high bid on
Eliza, if that would suit you any better.
Well, I did n't listen to it a moment, out of regard to your
feelings, I would n't; so give me some credit.
My dear, forgive me. I have been hasty. I was surprised, and
entirely unprepared for this; but surely you will allow me to
intercede for these poor creatures. Tom is a noble-hearted,
faithful fellow, if he is black. I do believe, Mr. Shelby, that if he
were put to it, he would lay down his life for you.
I know it—I dare say; but what's the use of all this? I can't
Why not make a pecuniary sacrifice? I'm willing to bear my part
of the inconvenience. O, Mr. Shelby, I have tried—tried most
faithfully, as a Christian woman should—to do my duty to these poor,
simple, dependent creatures. I have cared for them, instructed them,
watched over them, and know all their little cares and joys, for
years; and how can I ever hold up my head again among them, if, for
the sake of a little paltry gain, we sell such a faithful, excellent,
confiding creature as poor Tom? I have taught them the duties of the
family, of parent and child, and husband and wife; and how can I bear
to have this open acknowledgment that we care for no tie, no duty, no
relation? I have talked with Eliza about her boy—her duty to him
as a Christian mother, to watch over him, pray for him, and bring him
up in a Christian way; I have told her that one soul is worth more
than all the money in the world; and how will she believe me when she
sees us turn round and sell her child? sell him, perhaps, to certain
ruin of body and soul!
I'm sorry you feel so about it, Emily—indeed, I am; and I
respect your feelings, too, though I don't pretend to share them to
their full extent; but I tell you now, solemnly, it's of no use—I
can't help myself. I didn't mean to tell you this Emily; but, in
plain words, there is no choice between selling these two and selling
everything. Either they must go, or all must. Haley has come
into possession of a mortgage, which, if I don't clear off with him
directly, will take everything before it. I've raked, and scraped,
and borrowed, and all but begged, and the price of these two was
needed to make up the balance, and I had to give them up. Haley
fancied the child; he
agreed to settle the matter that way, and no other. I was
in his power, and had to do it. If you feel so to have them
sold, would it be any better to have all sold?Mrs. S.
This is God's curse on slavery!—a bitter, bitter, most
accursed thing!—a curse to the master, a curse to the slave! I was a
fool to think I could make anything good out of such a deadly evil.
It is a sin to hold a slave under laws like ours. I always felt it
was—I always thought so when I was a girl—I thought so still more
after I joined the church; but I thought I could gild it over. I
thought, by kindness, and care, and instruction, I could make the
condition of mine better than freedom—fool that I was!
Why, wife, you are getting to be an Abolitionist, quite.
Abolitionist! If they knew all I know about slavery they
might talk. We don't need them to tell us. You know I never
thought slavery was right—never felt willing to own slaves.
Well, therein you differ from many wise and pious men. You
remember Mr. B's sermon the other Sunday?
I don't want to hear such sermons. I never wish to hear Mr. B.
in our church again. Ministers can't help the evil, perhaps,—can't
cure it, any more than we can,—but defend it!—it always went
against my common sense. And I think you did n't think much of the
Well, I must say these ministers sometimes carry matters further
than we poor sinners would exactly dare to do. We men of the world
must wink pretty hard at various things, and get used to a deal that
is n't the exact thing. But we don't quite fancy, when women and
ministers come out broad and square, and go beyond us in matters of
either modesty or morals, that's a fact. But now, my dear, I trust
you see the necessity of the thing, and you see that I have done the
very best that circumstances would allow.
Mrs. S. [Agitatedly.]
O yes, yes! I have n't any jewelry of any amount; but would not
this watch do something? It was an expensive one when it was bought.
If I could only at least save Eliza's child, I would sacrifice
anything I have.
I'm sorry, very sorry, Emily,—I'm sorry this takes hold of you
so; but it will do no good. The fact is, Emily, the thing's done;
the bills of sale are already signed, and in Haley's hands; and you
must be thankful it is no worse. That man has had it in his power
to ruin us all, and now he is fairly off. If you knew the man as I
do you'd think that we had had a narrow escape.
Is he so hard, then?
Why, not a cruel man, exactly, but a man of leather, a man alive
to nothing but trade and profit; cool, and unhesitating, and
unrelenting as death and the grave. He'd sell his own mother at a
good percentage, not wishing the old woman any harm either.
And this wretch owns that good, faithful Tom and Eliza's child?
Well, my dear, the fact is, that this goes rather hard with me;
it's a thing I hate to think of. Haley wants to drive matters, and
take possession to-morrow. I'm going to get out my horse bright and
early, and be off. I can't see Tom, that's a fact; and you had
better arrange a drive somewhere, and carry Eliza off. Let
the thing be done when she is out of sight.Mrs. S.
No, no; I'll be in no sense accomplice or help in this cruel
business. I'll go and see poor old Tom—God help him!—in his
distress! They shall see, at any rate, that their mistress can feel
for and with them. As to Eliza, I dare not think about it. The Lord
forgive us! What have we done that this cruel necessity should come
on us?SCENE III. — UNCLE TOM'S CABIN. Midnight.
UNCLE TOM and AUNT CHLOE — knocking without.
Good Lor! What's that? My sakes alive, if it an't Lizy! Get
on yore clothes, ole man, quick! There's old Bruno, too, a-pawin'
round—what on airth! I'm gwine to open the door.
I'm running away, Uncle Tom and Aunt Chloe—carrying off my
child. Master's sold him.
Uncle Tom and Aunt C.
Yes, sold him! I crept into the closet by mistress' door
to-night, and I heard master tell missis that he had sold my Harry and
you, Uncle Tom, both to a trader, and that he was going off this
morning on his horse, and that the man was to take possession to-day.
The good Lord hab pity on us! O, it don't seem like's if it was
true! What has he done that mas'r should sell him?
He hasn't done anything—it is n't for that. Master don't want
to sell, and missis —she's always good—I heard her plead and beg
for us; but he told her 't was no use—that he was in this man's
debt, and that this man had got the power over him, and that if he
did n't pay him off clear, it would end in his having to sell the
place and all the people, and move off. Yes, I heard him say there
was no choice between selling these two and selling all, the man was
driving him so hard. Master said he was sorry; but, O missis! you
ought to have heard her talk! If she an't a Christian and an angel,
there never was one. I'm a wicked girl to leave her so; but then I
can't help it. She said herself one soul was worth more than the
world; and this boy has a soul, and if I let him be carried off, who
knows what'll become of it? It must be right; but if it an't right,
the Lord forgive me, for I can't help doing it!
Well, ole man, why don't you go too? Will you wait to be toted
down river, whar dey kill niggers wid hard work and starving? I'd a
heap rather fur to die than go dar, any day! Dere's time for ye; be
off with Lizy—you've got a pass to come and go any time. Come,
bustle up, and I'll get your things together.
No, no; I an't going. Let Eliza go; it's her right. I wouldn't
be the one to say no. 'T an't in natur for her to stay; but
you heard what she said! If I must be sold, or all the people on the
place, and everything go to rack, why, let me be sold. I s'pose I
can b'ar it as well as any on 'em. [Sobbing.] Mas'r
always found me on the spot—he always will. I never have broke
trust, nor used my pass noways contrary to my word, and I never will.
It's better for me alone to go, than to break up the place and sell
all. Mas'r an't to blame, Chloe; and he'll take care of you and the
poor— [Covers his face with his hands.]Eliza.
And now, I saw my husband only this afternoon, and I little knew
then what was to come. They have pushed him to the very last standing
place, and he told me to-day he was going to run away. Do try, if you
can, to get word to him. Tell him how I went, and why I went; and
tell him I'm going to try and find Canada. You must give my love to
him, and tell him, if I never see him again [turning away, and
speaking agitatedly], tell him to be as good as he can, and try
and meet me in the kingdom of heaven. Call Bruno in there. Shut the
door on him, poor beast! He must n't go with me!
SCENE IV.—Lawn before the house.
BLACK SAM solus.
It's an ill wind dat blow nowhar—dat ar a fact. Yes, it's an
ill wind blows nowhar. Now, dar, Tom's down—wal, course der's room
for some nigger to be up; and why not dis nigger?—dat's de idee.
Tom, a ridin' round de country—boots blacked—pass in his
pocket—all grand as Cuffee; but who he? Now, why should n't
Sam?—dat's what I want to know.Enter ANDY,
Halloo, Sam! O Sam! Mas'r wants you to cotch Bill and Jerry.
High! what's afoot now, young un?
Why, you don't know, I s'pose, that Lizy's cut stick, and clared
out, with her young un?
You teach your granny! knowed it a heap sight sooner than you
did. Dis nigger ain't so green, now.
Well, anyhow, mas'r wants Bill and Jerry geared right up; and
you and I's to go with Mas'r Haley, to look arter her.
Good, now! dat's de time o' day! It's Sam dat's called for in
dese yer times. He's de nigger. See if I don't cotch her, now;
mas'r'll see what Sam can do!
Ah! but Sam, you'd better think twice; for missis don't want her
cotched, and she'll be in yer wool.
High! how you know dat ar?
Heard her say so, my own self, dis blessed mornin', when I bring
in mas'r's shaving water. She sent me to see why Lizy did n't come
to dress her; and when I telled her she was off, she jest riz up, and
ses she, "The Lord be praised!" And mas'r he seemed rael mad, and ses
he, "Wife, you talk like a fool!" But, Lor! she'll bring him to! I
knows well enough how that'll be—it's allers best to stand missis'
side the fence, now I tell yer.
Sam. [Scratching his head.]
Der an't no sayin'—never—'bout no kind o' thing in
yer world. Now, sartin I'd a said that missis would a scoured the
varsal world after Lizy.
So she would; but can't ye see through a ladder, ye black
nigger? Missis don't want dis yer Mas'r Haley to get Lizy's boy,
dat's de go.
And I'll tell ye what, Sam, ye'd better be makin' tracks for dem
hosses—mighty sudden too; mas'r's in a grand hurry.
Andy, chile, you go cotch 'em—you's a mighty good boy,
Andy—and bring 'em long quick.
Mrs. Shelby. [Calling from the balcony.]
Andy! don't ye hear, ye nigger? be off quick, and bring the
critturs up, and I'll go and 'scuse us to missis—dat ar takes dis
chile to do.
Mrs. S. [From the balcony.]
Sam! what have you been loitering so for?
Lord bless you, missis! hosses won't be cotched all in a minnit;
they'd done clared out way down to the south pasture, and the Lord
Sam, how often must I tell you not to say "Lord bless you," and
"the Lord knows," and such things? It's wicked.
O, Lord bless my soul! I done forgot, missis! I won't say
nothing of de sort no more.
Why, Sam, you just have said it again.
Did I? O Lord! I mean—I did n't go fur to say dar ar.
You must be careful, Sam.
Jest let me get my breath, missis, and I'll start fair. I'll be
Well, Sam, you are to go with Mr. Haley, to show him the road,
and help him. Be careful of the horses, Sam; you know Jerry was a
little lame last week; don't ride them too fast.
Let dis chile alone for dat! Lord knows! High! did n't say
dat! Yes, missis, I'll look out fur de hosses.
SCENE V.—The Lawn before the house.
Enter SAM and ANDY
with the horses.
Here dey is! [Fastens them to a post.]
Here, now, Andy—see dis? [Holding up a beech-nut.]
Look here! [Slips it under the saddle.] Soh!
An't I a hoss!—ku! ku!— [Strokes the horse.]—Skeery
are ye? I'll fix ye—Ku! [Poking Andy in the side.] Now, Andy,
chile, I's gwine to be 'structin' ye in yer duties. Ye see, by'm-bye,
when dat ar grand gentleman comes to be gettin' up, I would n't be't
all surprised if this yer critter should gib a fling. Ye know, Andy,
critters will do sich things. Ku! ku!
Yes, you see, Andy, missis wants to make time,—dat ar's clar to
der most or'nary 'bserver. I jis make a little for her. Now,
ye see, get all dese yer hosses loose, caperin' permiscus
round dis yer lot and down to de wood dar, and I spec mas'r won't be
off in a hurry.Andy.
Ku! ku! ku!
Yer see, Andy, if any such thing should happen as that
Mas'r Haley's horse should begin to act contrary, and cut up,
you and I jist let's go of our 'n to help him; and we'll help him
—O yes!Enter HALEY,
booted and spurred, with large
Well, boys, look alive now; we must lose no time.
Not a bit of him, mas'r.
[HALEY mounts, and is instantly thrown. The horses run away.
SAM and ANDY chasing, waving their hats and shouting,
followed by all the negro children. HALEY retires to the parlor.
SCENE VI.—The Stable-yard.
Enter SAM and ANDY,
leading the horses,
covered with foam.
Did yer see him, Andy?—did yer see him? O, Lor, if it
war n't as good as a meetin', now, to see him a dancin' and kickin'
and swarin' at us. Did n't I hear him? Swar away, ole fellow, ses I;
will yer have yer hoss now, or wait till you cotch him? ses I. Lor,
Andy, I think I can see him now.
Sam and Andy.
Ha ha ha! he he he! hi hi hi! ho ho ho!
Yer oughter seen how mad he looked, when I brought the hoss up.
Lor, he'd a killed me, if he durs' to; and there I was a standin' as
innercent and as humble.
Lor, I seed you; an't you an old hoss, Sam?
Rather 'spects I am. Did yer see missis upstars at the winder?
I seed her laughin'.
I'm sure, I was racin' so, I did n't see nothing.
Well, yer see, I's 'quired what yer may call a habit o'
bobservation, Andy. It's a very 'portant habit, Andy, and I
'commend yer to be cultivatin' it, now yer young. Hist up that hind
foot, Andy. Yer see, Andy, it's bobservation makes all de
difference in niggers. Did n't I see which way the wind blew dis yer
mornin'? Didn't I see what Missis wanted, though she never let on?
Dat ar's bobservation, Andy. I 'spects it's what you may call a
faculty. Faculties is different in different peoples, but cultivation
of 'em goes a great way.
I guess if I had n't helped yer bobservation dis mornin', yer
would n't have see yet way so smart.
Andy, you's a promisin' child, der an't no manner o' doubt. I
thinks lots of yer, Andy; and I don't feel no ways ashamed to take
idees from you. We oughtenter overlook nobody, Andy, 'cause the
smartest on us gets tripped up sometimes. And so, Andy, let's go up
to the house now. I'll be boun' missis 'll give us an uncommon good
bite dis yer time.
SCENE VII.—The Road.
Enter HALEY, SAM and ANDY,
Your master, I s'pose, don't keep no dogs?
Heaps on 'em; that's Bruno— he's a roarer! and, besides that,
'bout every nigger of us keeps a pup of some natur' or uther.
Ho! But your master don't keep no dogs—I pretty much know he
don't—for trackin' out niggers?
Our dogs all smells round considerable sharp. I 'spect the's
the kind, though they ha' n't never had no practice. The's far
dogs, though, at most anything, if you'd get 'em started. Here,
Bruno be ———-!
Lor, Mas'r Haley, don't see no use, cursin on 'em, nuther!
Haley. [Smothering his anger.]
Take the straight road to the river. I know the way of all of
'em—they make tracks for the underground.
Sartin, dat's de idee. Mas'r Haley hits de things right in de
middle. Now, der's two roads to de river—de dirt road and der
pike—which mas'r mean to take?
Dat am fact.
'Cause, I'd rather be 'clined to 'magine that Lizy'd take de
dirt road, bein' it's the least travelled.
I tink so too.
If yet war n't both on yer such cussed liars, now!
Course, mas'r can do as he'd ruther; go de straight road, if
mas'r think best—it's all one to us. Now, when I study 'pon it, I
think de straight road de best, decidedly.
She would naturally go a lonesome way
Dar an't no sayin'; gals is pecular. They never does nothin' ye
thinks they will; mose gen'lly the contrar. Gals is nat'lly made
contrary; and so, if you thinks they've gone one road, it is sartin
you'd better go t'other, and then you'll be sure to find 'em. Now,
my private 'pinion is, Lizy took der dirt road; so I think we'd
better take de straight one.
On the whole, I shall take the dirt road. How far is it?
A little piece ahead [winking to Andy]; but I've
studded on de matter, and I'm quite clar we ought not to go dat ar
way. I nebber been over it no way. It's despit lonesome, and we
might lose our way—whar we'd come to, de Lord only knows.
Nevertheless, I shall go that way.
Now I think on't, I think I hearn 'em tell dat ar road was all
fenced up and down by der creek, and that; an't it, Andy.
Dunno 'zackly. So I hearn tell.
Its despit rough and bad for Jerry's lame foot, mas'r.
Now, I jest give yer warning, I know yer; yer won't get me to
turn off this yer road, with all yer fussin'—so you shet up!
Mas'r will go his own way!
SCENE VIII.—The Parlor.
Enter SAM and ANDY below, horseback. MRS.
SHELBY from the window.
Is that you, Sam? Where are they?
Mas'r Haley's a-restin' at the tavern; he's drefful fatigued,
And Eliza, Sam?
Wal, she's clar 'cross Jordan. As a body may say, in the land
Why Sam, what do you mean?
Wal, missis, de Lord he persarves his own. Lizy's done gone
over the river into 'Hio, as 'markably as if the Lord took her over
in a charrit of fire and two hosses.Enter MR. SHELBY.
Come up here, Sam, and tell your mistress what she wants. Come,
come, Emily, you are cold and all in a shiver; you allow yourself to
feel too much.
Feel too much! Am I not a woman—a mother? Are we not both
responsible to God for this poor girl? My God, lay not this sin to
What sin, Emily? You see yourself that we have only done what
we were obliged to.
There's an awful feeling of guilt about it, though. I can't
reason it away.Enter SAM
Now, Sam, tell us distinctly how the matter was. Where is
Eliza, if you know?
Wal, mas'r, I saw her, with my own eyes, a crossin' on the
floatin' ice. She crossed most 'markably; it wasn't no less nor a
miracle; and I saw a man help her up the 'Hio side, and then she was
lost in the dusk.
Sam, I think this rather apocryphal—this miracle. Crossing on
floating ice is n't so easily done.
Easy! couldn't nobody a done it, without de Lord. Why, now, 't
was jist dis yer way. Mas'r Haley, and me, and Andy, we comes up to
de little tavern by the river, and I rides a leetle ahead—(I's so
zealous to be a cotchin' Lizy, that I could n't hold in, no way)—and
when I comes by the tavern winder, sure enough there she was, right
in plain sight, and dey diggin' on behind. Wal, I loses off my hat,
and sings out nuff to raise the dead. Course Lizy she hars, and she
dodges back, when Mas'r Haley he goes past the door; and then, I tell
ye, she clared out de side door; she went down de river bank; Mas'r
Haley he seed her, and yelled out, and him, and me, and Andy, we took
arter. Down she came to the river, and thar was the current running
ten feet wide by the shore, and over t' other side ice a sawin'
and a jiggling up and down, kinder as 't were a great island.
We come right behind her, and I thought my soul he'd got her sure
enough—when she gin sich a screech as I never hearn, and thar she
was, clar over t' other side of the current, on the ice, a nd then on
she went, a screechin' and a jumpin'—the ice went crack! c'wallop!
chunk! and she a boundin' like a buck! Lord, the spring that ar gal's
got in her an't common, I'm o' 'pinion.Mrs. S.
God be praised, she is n't dead! But where is the poor child
De Lord will pervide. As I've been a sayin', dis yer 's a
providence and no mistake, as missis has allers been a instructin' on
us. Thar's allers instruments ris up to do de Lord's will. Now, if
't hadn't been for me to-day, she'd a been took a dozen times.
Warn't it I started off de hosses, dis yer morning', and kept 'em
chasin' till nigh dinner time? And didn't I car Mas'r Haley night five
miles out of de road, dis evening? or else he'd a come up with Lizy
as easy as a dog arter a coon. These yer's all providences.
They are the kind of providences that you 'll have to be pretty
sparing of, Master Sam. I allow no such practices with gentlemen on
Mas'r quite right—quite; it was ugly on me, there's no
disputin' that ar; and of course mas'r and missis wouldn't encourage
no such works. I'm sensible of dat ar; but a poor nigger like me 's
'mazin' tempted to act ugly sometimes, when fellers will cut up such
shines as dat ar Mas'r Haley; he an't no gen'l'man no way; anybody's
been raised as I've been can't help a seein' dat ar.
Well, Sam, as you appear to have a proper sense of your errors,
you may go now and tell Aunt Chloe she may get you some of that cold
ham that was left of dinner to-day. You and Andy must be hungry.
Missis is a heap too good for us.
SCENE IX. SAM and ANDY at Table.
AUNT CHLOE and all the negroes surrounding in admiration.
Sam. [Flourishing a greasy bone.]
Yer see, fellow-countrymen, yer see, now, what dis yer chile's
up ter, for fendin' yer al,—yes, all on yer. For him as tries to
get one o' our people is as good as tryin' to get all; yer see the
principle's de same—dat ar's clar. And any one o' these yer drivers
that comes smelling round arter any our people, why, he's got me
in his way; I'm the feller he's got to set in with—I'm the
feller for yer all to come to, bredren—I'll stand up for yer
rights—I'll fend 'em to the last breath!
Why, but Sam, yer telled me, only this mornin' that you'd help
this yer mas'r fur to cotch Lizy; seems to me yer talk don't hang
I tell you now, Andy, don't yer be a talkin' 'bout what yer
don't know nothin' on; boys like you, Andy, means well, but they can't
be 'spected to collusitate the great principles of action. Dat ar was conscience
, Andy; when I thought of gwine arter Lizy, I railly
spected mas'r was sot dat way. When I found Missis was sot the
contrar, dat ar was conscience more yet—cause fellers allers
more by stickin' to missis' side—so yer see I 's persistent
either way, and sticks up to conscience, and holds on to principles.
Yes, principles, what's principles good for, if we isn't
persistent, I wanter know? Thar, Andy, you may have dat ar
bone—tan't picked quite clean. Dis yer matter 'bout persistence,
feller-niggers, dis yer 'sistency 's a thing what an't seed into very
clar, by most anybody. Now, yer see, when a feller stands up for a
thing one day, and right de contrar de next, folks ses (and nat'rally
enough dey ses), why he an't persistent—hand me dat ar bit o'
corn-cake, Andy. But let's look inter it. I hope the gen'lmen and
der fair sex will scuse my usin' an or'nary sort o' 'parison. Here!
I'm a trying to get top o' der hay. Wal, I puts up my larder dis yer
side; 'tan't no go; den, 'cause I don't try dere no more, but puts my
larder right de contrar side, an't I persistent? I'm persistent in
wanting to get up which ary side my larder is; don't you see, all on
It's the only thing ye ever was persistent in, Lord knows. [
Yes, indeed! Yes, my feller-citizens and ladies of de other sex
in general, I has principles, I has—I 'm proud fur to 'oon 'em—they
's perquisite to dese yer times, and ter all times. I has
principles, and I sticks to 'em like forty—jest anything that I
thinks is principle, I goes in to 't; I would n't mind if dey burnt
me 'live, I'd walk right up to de stake, I would, and say, Here I
comes to shed my last blood fur my principles, fur my country, fur de
gen'l interests of society.
Well, one o' yer principles will have to be to get to bed some
time to-night, and not to be a keepin' everybody up till mornin'; now
everyone of you young uns that don't want to be cracked had better be
scarse, might sudden.
Niggers! all on yer, I give yer my blessin': go to bed now, and
be good boys.
SCENE X.— UNCLE TOM'S Cabin..
UNCLE TOM with Testament open. CHILDREN
It 's the last time!
Aunt C. [Weeping.]
S'pose we must be resigned; but, O Lord! how ken I? If I know'd
anything whar you 's goin', or how they 'd sarve you! Missis says
she 'll try and 'deem ye in a year or two; but, Lor! nobody never
comes up that goes down that! They kills 'em! I 've hearn 'em tell
how dey works 'em up on dem ar plantations.
There 'll be the same God there, Chloe, that there is here.
Well, s'pose dere will; but de Lord lets drefful things happen,
sometimes. I don't seem to get no comfort day way.
I'm in the Lord's hands; nothin' can go no furder than he lets
it; and thar's one thing I can thank him for. It's me
that's sold and going down, and not you nur the chil'en. Here you're
safe; what comes will come only on me; and the Lord, he'll help me—I
know he will. [A sob.] Let 's think on our marcies!
Marcies! don't see no marcy in 't! 'tan't right! tan't
right it should be so! Mas'r never ought ter left it so that
ye could be took for his debts. Ye've arnt him all he gets for
ye, twice over. He owed ye yer freedom, and ought ter gin 't to yer
years ago. Mebbe he can't help himself now, but I feel it's wrong.
Nothing can't beat that ar out o' me. Sich a faithful crittur as ye
've been, and allers sot his business 'fore yer own every way, and
reckoned on him more than yer own wife and chil'en! Them as sells
heart's love and heart's blood, to get out thar scrapes, de Lord 'll
be up to 'em!Uncle T.
Chloe! now, if ye love me, ye won't talk so, when mebbe jest the
last time we'll ever have together! And I'll tell ye, Chloe, it goes
agin me to hear one word agin mas'r. Wan't he put in my arms a baby?
It 's natur I should think a heap of him. And he could n't be
'spected to think so much of poor Tom. Mas'rs is used to havin' all
these yer things done for 'em, and nat'lly they don't think so much
on 't. They can't be 'spected to, no way. Set him 'longside of
other mas'rs—who 's had the treatment and the livin' I have had? And
he never would have let this yer come on me, if he could have seed it
aforehand. I know he would n't.
Wal, any way, thar's wrong about it somewhar, I can't
jest make out whar 't is, but thar's wrong somewhar, I'm clar
Yer ought ter look up to the Lord above—he's above all—thar
don't a sparrow fall without him.
It don't seem to comfort me, but I 'spect it ort fur ter. But
dar's no use talkin'; I 'll jes get up de corn-cake, and get ye one
good breakfast, 'cause nobody knows when you 'll get another.
[AUNT CHLOE gets the breakfast, and the children dress
Lor, Pete, ha'n't we got a buster of a breakfast!
Aunt C. [Boxing his ears.]
Thar now! crowing over the last breakfast yer poor daddy 's
gwine to have to home.
Wal, I can't help it! I 's so tossed about it, it makes me act
ugly. Thar! now I 's done, I hope—now do eat something. This yer 's
my nicest chicken. Thar, boys, ye shall have some, poor critturs!
Yer mammy's been cross to yer. [The boys eat.] Now, I must
put up yer clothes. Jest like as not, he 'll take 'em all away. I
know thar ways—mean as dirt, they is! Wal, now, yer flannels for
rhumatis is in this corner; so be careful, 'cause t here won't nobody
make ye no more. Then here 's yer old shirts, and these yer is new
ones. I toed off these yer stockings last night, and put de ball in
'em to mend with. But Lor! who 'll ever mend for ye? [Sobbing.
] To think on 't! no crittur to do for ye, sick or well! I don't
railly think I ought ter be good now! [Baby crows.] Ay, crow
away, poor crittur! ye'll have to come to it, too! ye'll live to see
yer husband sold, or mebbe be sold yerself; and these yer boys, they
's to be sold, I s'pose, too, jest like as not, when dey gets good for
somethin'; an't no use in niggers havin' nothin'!
That's missis a-comin' in!
She can't do no good; what 's she coming for?
Enter MRS. SHELBY.
Tom, I come to ——
[Bursts into tears, and sits down in a chair, sobbing.]
Lor, now, missis, don't—don't. [All weep.]
Mrs. S. to Uncle T.
My good fellow, I can't give you anything to do you any good.
If I give you money, it will only be taken from you. But I tell you
solemnly, and before God, that I will keep trace of you, and bring
you back as soon as I can command the money; and, till then, trust in
Mose and Pete.
Mas'r Haley 's coming!
Enter HALEY, kicking the door open.
Come, ye nigger, yer ready? Servant, ma'm. [To MRS.
SHELBY.]UNCLE T. and AUNT C.
go out, followed by the rest.
A crowd of negroes around
First Slave [weeping], to Aunt C.
Why, Chloe, you bar it better 'n we do!
I 'se done my tears! I does n't feel to cry 'fore day
ar old limb, nohow!
Get in![TOM gets in, and HALEY
fastens on shackles.
Mr. Haley, I assure you that precaution is entirely unnecessary.
Don't know, ma'am; I 've lost one five hundred dollars from this
ere place, and I can't afford to run no more risks.
What else could she 'spect on him?
I 'm sorry that Mas'r George happened to be away.
Enter GEORGE, springing into wagon and clasping
UNCLE T. round the neck.
I declare it 's real mean! I don't care what they say, any of
'em! It 's a nasty, mean shame! If I was a man they should n't do
it—they should not, so!
O, Mas'r George! this does me good! I could n't bar to go off
without seein' ye! It does me real good, ye can't tell!
[GEORGE spies the fetters.]
What a shame! I 'll knock that old fellow down—I will!
No, you won't, Mas'r George; and you must not talk so loud. It
won't help me any to anger him.
Well, I won't then, for your sake; but only to think of it—is
n't it a shame? They never sent for me, nor sent me any word, and if
it hadn't been for Tom Lincoln, I should n't have heard it. I tell
you, I blew 'em up well, all of 'em, at home!
That ar was n't right, I 'm feared, Mas'r George.
Can't help it! I say it 's a shame! Look here, Uncle Tom,
I've brought you my dollar!
O! I could n't think o' takin' on 'it, Mas'r George, no ways in
But you shall take it! Look here; I told Aunt Chloe I'd
do it, and she advised me just to make a hole in it, and put a string
through, so you could hang it round your neck, and keep it out of
sight; else this mean scamp would take it away. I tell ye, Tom, I
want to blow him up! it would do me good!
No, don't, Mas'r George, for it won't do me any good.
Well, I won't, for your sake; but there, now, button your coat
tight over it, and keep it, and remember, every time you see it, that
I'll come down after you, and bring you back. Aunt Chloe and I have
been talking about it. I told her not to fear, I 'll see to it, and
I 'll tease father's life out, if he don't do it.
O, Mas'r George, ye must n't talk so 'bout yer father!
Lor, Uncle Tom, I don't mean anything bad.
And now, Mas'r George, ye must be a good boy; 'member how many
hearts is sot on ye. Al'ays keep close to yer mother. Don't be
gettin' into any of them foolish ways boys has, of getting too big to
mind their mothers. Tell ye what, Mas'r George, the Lord gives good
many things twice over, but he don't give ye a mother but once. Ye
'll never see sich another woman, Mas'r George, if ye live to be a
hundred years old. So, now, you hold on to her, and grow up, and be
a comfort to her, thar's my own good boy—you will now, won't ye?
Yes, I will, Uncle Tom!
And be careful of yer speaking, Mas'r George. Young boys, when
they comes to your age, is willful, sometimes—it 's natur' they
should be. But real gentlemen, such as I hopes you 'll be, never
lets fall no words that is n't 'spectful to thar parents. Ye an't
'fended, Mas'r George!
No, indeed, Uncle Tom; you always did give me good advice.
I 's older, ye knows, and I sees all that 's bound up in you. O,
Mas'r George, you has everything—l'arnin', privileges, readin',
writin',—and you 'll grow up to be a great, learned, good man, and
all the people on the place, and your mother and father 'll be so
proud on ye! Be a good mas'r, like yer father; and be a Christian,
like yer mother. 'Member yer Creator in the days o' yer youth, Mas'r
I'll be real good, Uncle Tom, I tell you. I'm going to
be a first-rater; and don't you be discouraged. I 'll have you
back to the place, yet. As I told Aunt Chloe this morning, I 'll
build your house all over, and you shall have a room for a parlor,
with a carpet on it, when I 'm a man. O, you 'll have good times yet!
[UNCLE T. is handcuffed and driven off.]
SCENE I.—New Orleans.
A Parlor in ST. CLARE'Shouse. MARIE reclining on a lounge.
Enter EVA, flying to embrace her mother.
That 'll do! [Languidly kissing her.] Take care,
child—don't you make my headache!Enter ST. CLARE;
he embraces MARIE and presents
Marie! this is our cousin Ophelia.
I am happy to see you, cousin.
Enter SERVANTS, crowding—foremost the old nurse.
EVA flies to her and hugs and kisses her.
O, Mammy! dear Mammy!
Well, you Southern children can do something that I could n't.
What, now, pray?
Well, I want to be kind to everybody, and I would n't have
anything hurt; but as to kissing —
Niggers, that you 're not up to; eh?
Yes, that 's it. How can she?
St. C. [Laughing.]
O, that 's the way with you, is it? [Goes among the servants.
] Here, you all, Mammy, Sukey, Jinny, Polly—glad to see mas'r? Look
out for the babies! [Stumbling over one.] If I step on anybody
let 'em mention it. [Sees TOM, and beckons.] Here,
Tom. See here, Marie, I 've brought you a coachman, at last, to
order. I tell you he 's a regular hearse for blackness and sobriety,
and will drive you like a funeral, if you want. Open your eyes, now,
and look at him. Now, don't say I never think about you when I 'm
I know he 'll get drunk.
No, he 's warranted a pious and sober article.
Well, I hope he may turn out well; it 's more than I expect,
'Dolph, show Tom down stairs; and mind yourself; remember what I
told you.[Exit TOM and DOLPH.]
He 's a perfect behemoth!
Come, now, Marie, be gracious, and say something pretty to a
You 've been gone a fortnight beyond the time.
Well, you know I wrote you the reason.
Such a short, cold letter!
Dear me! the mail was just going, and it had to be that or
That 's just the way always; always something to make your
journeys long, and letters short.
See here, now; here 's a present I got for you in New York.
A daguerreotype! What made you sit in such an awkward position?
Well, the position may be a matter of opinion; but what do you
think of the likeness?
If you don't think anything of my opinion in one case, I suppose
you would n't in another.
Hang the woman! [Aside.] Come, now, Marie, what do you
think of the likeness? Don't be nonsensical!
It 's very inconsiderate of you, St. Clare, to insist on my
talking and looking at things. You know I 've been lying all day with
the sick-headache; and there 's been such a tumult made, ever since
you came, I 'm half dead.
You 're subject to the sick-headache, ma'am?
Yes, I 'm a perfect martyr to it.
Juniper-berry tea is good for sick-headache; at least,
Augustine, Deacon Abraham Perry's wife used to say so; and she was a
I 'll have the first juniper-berries that get ripe in our garden
by the lake brought in for that especial purpose. And now [rings
the bell. Enter MAMMY], show this lady to her room. [To
MARIE, offering her his arm.] Come, now—come—I 've got
something for you in here—come.
[Exeunt ST. CLARE and MARIE.]
SCENE II.—A Parlor. A Breakfast
Table. MARIE, ST. CLARE, EVA, OPHELIA.
And now, Marie, your golden days are dawning. Here is our
practical, business-like New England cousin, who will take the whole
budget of cares off your shoulders, and give you time to refresh
yourself, and grow young and handsome. The ceremony of delivering
the keys had better come off forthwith.
I'm sure she 's welcome. I think she 'll find one thing, if she
does, and that is, that it 's we mistresses that are the slaves, down
O, certainly, she will discover that, and a world of wholesome
truths beside, no doubt.
Talk about our keeping slaves, as if we did it for our
convenience! I 'm sure, if we consulted that, we might let
them all go at once.
What do you keep them for, mamma?
I don't know, I 'm sure, except for a plague; they are the
plague of my life. I believe that more of my ill-health is caused by
them than by any one thing; and ours, I know, are the very worst that
ever anybody w as plagued with.
O, come, Marie, you 've got the blues this morning. You know 't
is n't so. There 's Mammy, the best creature living—what could you
do without her?
Mammy is the best I ever knew; and yet Mammy, now, is
selfish—dreadfully selfish; it 's the fault of the whole race.
Selfishness is a dreadful fault.
Well, now, there 's Mammy; I think it 's selfish of her to sleep
so sound at nights; she knows I need little attentions almost every
hour, when my worst turns are on, and yet she 's so hard to wake. I
absolutely am worse, this very morning, for the efforts I had to make
to wake her last night.
Has n't she sat up with you a good many nights lately, mamma?
How should you know that? She 's been complaining, I suppose.
She did n't complain; she only told me what bad night you 'd
had—so many in succession!
Why don't you let Jane or Rosa take her place a night or two and
let her rest?
How can you propose it? St. Clare, you really are
inconsiderate! So nervous as I am, the least breath disturbs me; and
a strange hand about me would drive me absolutely frantic. If Mammy
felt the interest in me she ought to, she 'd wake easier—of course
she would. I 've heard of people who had such devoted servants, but
it never was my luck. Now, Mammy has a sort of
goodness; she 's smooth and respectful, but she 's selfish at heart.
Now, she never will be done fidgeting and worrying about that
husband of hers. You see, when I was married and came to live here,
of course I had to bring her with me, and her husband my father could
n't spare. He was a blacksmith, and, of course, very necessary; and
I thought, and said at the time, that Mammy and he had better give
each other up, as it was n't likely to be convenient for them ever to
live together again. I wish now I 'd insisted on it, and married
Mammy to somebody else; but I was foolish and indulgent, and did n't
want to insist. I told Mammy at the time that she must n't ever
expect to see him more than once or twice in her life again, for the
air of father's place does n't agree with my health, and I can't go
there; and I advised her to take up with somebody else; but no—she
would n't. Mammy has a kind of obstinacy about her, in spots, that
everybody don't see as I do.
Has she children?
Yes; she has two.
I suppose she feels the separation from them?
Well, of course, I could n't bring them. They were little,
dirty things—I could n't have them about; and, besides, they took up
too much of her time; but I believe that Mammy has always kept up a
sort of sulkiness about this. She won't marry anybody else; and I do
believe now, though she knows how necessary she is to me, and how
feeble my health is, she would go back to her husband to-morrow, if
she only could. I do, indeed; they are just so selfish, now,
the best of them!
St. C. [Dryly.]
It 's distressing to reflect upon.
Now, Mammy has always been a pet with me. I wish some of your
northern servants could look at her closets of dresses—silks and
muslins, and one real linen cambric, she has hanging there. I've
worked sometimes whole afternoons, trimming her caps, and getting
her ready to go to a party. As to abuse, she don't know what
it is. She never was whipped in her whole life. She has her strong
coffee or her tea every day, with white sugar in it. It's
abominable, to be sure; but St. Clare will have high life below
stairs, and they, every one of them, live just as they please. The
fact is, our servants are over-indulged. I suppose it is partly our
fault that they are selfish, and act like spoiled children; but I've
talked to St. Clare till I am tired.St. C.
And I, too.[EVA
goes to her mother, and puts her arms round her neck.
Well, Marie, what now?
Mamma, could n't I take care of you one night—just one? I know
I should n't make you nervous, and I should n't sleep. I often lie
awake nights, thinking——
O, nonsense, child—nonsense! You are such a strange child!
But may I, mamma? I think that Mammy is n't well. She told me
her head ached all the time, lately.
O, that 's just one of Mammy's fidgets! Mammy is just like all
the rest of them—makes such a fuss about every little headache or
finger-ache; it 'll never do to encourage it—never! I 'm principled
about this matter;— [To MISS OPHELIA] you 'll find the
necessity of it. If you encourage servants in giving way to every
little disagreeable feeling, and complaining of every little ailment,
you 'll have your hands full. I never complain myself; nobody knows
what I endure. I feel it a duty to bear it quietly, and I do.
[MISS OPHELIA looks amazed, and ST. CLARE breaks out
Mar. [Putting her handkerchief to her eyes.]
St. Clare always laughs when I make the least allusion to my
ill-health. I only hope the day won't come when he 'll remember it.
Come, Eva, I'll take you down street with me.
[Exit ST. CLARE and EVA.]
Now, that's just like St. Clare! He never realizes, never can,
and never will, what I suffer, and have, for years. If I was one of
the complaining sort, or ever made any fuss about my ailments, there
would be some reason for it. Men do get tired, naturally, of a
complaining wife. But I've kept things to myself, and borne, and
borne, till St. Clare has got in the way of thinking I can bear
anything. But it 's no use talking, cousin. Well, here are the keys
of the linen closet, and I hope you 'll never let Jane or Rosa get
hold of 'em or touch 'em. And I hope you 'll be very particular
about the way they fold the pillow-cases; I believe I 'm foolishly
particular, but I really have had a nervous headache for a week,
from the way those girls fold pillow-cases, if they are not looked to.
There 's two or three kinds of sheeting—you 'll observe them; I
think it important to keep each kind by itself. And here are the
keys of the store-room; you 'll find Dinah always will be running
after them—I dare say she has half the things out in the kitchen now.
Dinah 's a first-rate cook, and so she rules with a rod of iron—she
knows her importance. She will insist on having everything she wants
in the kitchen, and calling every five minutes for something;
it tires me to death. But, then, what can one do? O!—there are the
keys of some trunks of clothing in the blue chamber;
they 'll have to be hung out and aired, I suppose. Dear
knows what a state you 'll find them in; my poor head has n't allowed
me to do anything these three months; and Rosa and Jane have always
insisted on making one excuse or another to go to them. I should n't
wonder if half the things had been worn out. And as to marketing, and
all that, you must ask St. Clare; I 'm sure I don't know how that 's
to be arranged. And now—O dear me! how my head does
ache!—but—well—I believe I 've told you everything; so that, when
my next sick turn comes on, you 'll be able to go forward entirely
without consulting me; only about Eva—she requires watching.Oph.
She seems to be a good child, very; I never saw a better child.
Eva 's peculiar. There are things about her so singular; she is
n't like me, now, a particle.
I hope she is n't.
Eva always was disposed to be with servants; and I think that
well enough with some children. Now, I always played with father's
little negroes—it never did me any harm. But Eva, somehow, always
seems to put herself on an equality with every creature that comes
near her. It 's a strange thing about the child. I never have been
able to break her of it. St. Clare, I believe, encourages her in it.
The fact is, St. Clare indulges every creature under this roof but
his own wife.
Now, there's no way with servants, but to put them down,
and keep them down. It was always natural to me, from a child. Eva
is enough to spoil a whole house-full. What she will do when she
comes to keep house herself, I'm sure I don't know. I hold to being kind to servants—I always am; but you must make 'em
place. Eva never does; there's no getting into the child's head
the first beginning of an idea what a servant's place is! You heard
her offering to take care of me nights, to let Mammy sleep! That's
just a specimen of the way the child would be doing all the time, if
she was left to herself.
Well, I suppose you think your servants are human creatures, and
ought to have some rest when they are tired?
Certainly, of course I 'm very particular in letting them have
everything that comes convenient—anything that does n't put one at
all out of the way, you know. Mammy can make up her sleep some time
or other; there's no difficulty about that. She 's the sleepiest
concern that ever I saw. Sewing, standing, or sitting, that creature
will go to sleep, and sleep anywhere and everywhere. No danger but
Mammy gets sleep enough. But this treating servants as if they were
exotic flowers, or china vases, is really ridiculous.
You see, Cousin Ophelia, I don't often speak of myself. It isn't
my habit; 't is n't agreeable to me. In fact, I have n't
strength to do it. But there are points where St. Clare and I
differ. St. Clare never understood me—never appreciated me. I
think it lies at the root of all my ill health. St. Clare means well,
I am bound to believe; but men are constitutionally selfish and
inconsiderate to woman. That, at least, is my impression.
Where 's my knitting? O—here 't is. [Knits energetically.]
You see, I brought my own property and servants into the
connection, when I married St. Clare, and I am legally
entitled to manage them my own way. St. Clare had his fortune and
his servants, and I 'm well enough content he should manage them his
way; but St. Clare will be interfering. He has wild, extravagant
notions about things, particularly about the treatment of servants.
He really does act as if he set his servants before me, and before
himself, too; for he lets them make him all sorts of trouble, and
never lifts a finger. Now, about some things, St. Clare is really
frightful—he frightens me—good-natured as he looks, in general.
Now, he has set down his foot that, come what will, there shall not
be a blow struck in this house, except what he or I strike; and he
does it in a way that I really dare not cross him. Well, you may see
what that leads to; for St. Clare would n't raise his hand, if every
one of them walked over him, and I—you see how cruel it would be to
require me to make the exertion. Now, you know these servants are
nothing but grown-up children.Oph.
I don't know anything about it, and I thank the Lord that I
Well, but you will have to know something, and know it to your
cost, if you stay here. You don't know what a provoking, stupid,
careless, unreasonable, childish, ungrateful set of wretches they
are. You don't know, and you can't, the daily, hourly trials that
beset a housekeeper from them, everywhere and every way. But it 's no
use to talk to St. Clare. He talks the strangest stuff. He says we
have made them what they are, and ought to bear with them. He says
their faults are all owing to us, and that it would be cruel to make
the fault and punish it too. He says we should n't do any better, in
their place; just as if one could reason from them to us, you know!
Don't you believe that the Lord made them of one blood with us?
No, indeed, not I! A pretty story, truly! They are a degraded
Don't you think they 've got immortal souls?
O, well, that, of course—nobody doubts that. But as to putting
them on any sort of equality with us, you know, as if we could be
compared, why, it 's impossible! Now, St. Clare really has talked to
me as if keeping Mammy from her husband was like keeping me from mine.
There's no comparing in this way. Mammy could n't have the feelings
that I should. It 's a different thing altogether— of course, it is;
and yet St. Clare pretends not to see it. And just as if Mammy could
love her little, dirty babies as I love Eva! Yet St. Clare once
really and soberly tried to persuade me that it was my duty, with my
weak health, and all I suffer, to let Mammy go back, and take
somebody else in her place! That was a little too much even for me
to bear. I don't often show my feelings, I make it a principle to
endure everything in silence; it 's a wife's hard lot, and I bear it.
But I did break out, that time, so that he has never alluded to the
subject since. But I know by his looks, and little things that he
says, that he thinks so as much as ever; and it 's so trying, so
Oph. [Rattling her needles.]
So, you just see what you've got to manage. A household without
any rule; where servants have it all their own way, do what
they please, and have what they please, except so far as I,
with my feeble health, have kept up government.Oph.
And how 's that?
Why, send them to the calaboose, or some of the other places, to
be flogged. That 's the only way. If I was n't such a poor, feeble
piece, I believe I should manage with twice the energy that St. Clare
And how does St. Clare contrive to manage? You say he never
strikes a blow.
Well, men have a more commanding way, you know; it is easier for
them. Besides, if you ever looked full in his eye, it 's
peculiar—that eye—and if he speaks decidedly, there 's a kind of
flash. I 'm afraid of it, myself; and the servants know they must
mind. I could n't do as much by a regular storm and scolding as St.
Clare can by one turn of his eye, if once he is in earnest. O, there
's no trouble about St. Clare! that 's the reason he's no more
feeling for me. But you 'll find, when you come to manage, that
there's no getting along without severity—they are so bad, so
deceitful, so lazy!Enter ST. CLARE.
The old tune! What an awful account these wicked creatures will
have to settle, at last, especially for being lazy! You see, cousin,
it 's wholly inexcusable in them, in the light of the example that
Marie and I set them, this laziness.
Come, now, St. Clare, you are too bad.
Am I now? Why, I thought I was talking good, quite remarkably
for me. I try to enforce your remarks, Marie, always.
You know you mean no such thing, St. Clare.
O, I must have been mistaken, then! Thank you, my dear, for
setting me right.
You do really try to be provoking.
O, come, Marie, the day is growing warm, and I have just had a
long quarrel with 'Dolph, which has fatigued me excessively; so, pray
be agreeable, now, and let a fellow repose in the light of your smile.
What 's the matter about 'Dolph? That fellow's impudence has
been growing to a point that is perfectly intolerable to me. I only
wish I had the undisputed management of him a while. I 'd bring him
What you say, my dear, is marked with your usual acuteness and
good sense. As to 'Dolph, the case is this: that he has so long been
engaged in imitating my graces and perfections, that he has at last
really mistaken himself for his master, and I have been obliged to
give him a little insight into his mistake.
Why, I was obliged to let him understand explicitly that I
preferred to keep some of my clothes for my own personal
wearing; also, I put his magnificence upon an allowance of
cologne-water, and actually was so cruel as to restrict him to one
dozen of my cambric handkerchiefs. 'Dolph was particularly huffy
about it, and I had to talk to him like a father to bring him round.
O! St. Clare, when will you learn how to treat your servants?
It 's abominable, the way you indulge them!
Why, after all, what 's the harm of the poor dog's wanting to be
like his master? and if I have n't brought him up any better than to
find his chief good in cologne and cambric handkerchiefs, why should
n't I give them to him?
And why have n't you brought him up better?
Too much trouble; laziness, cousin, laziness—which ruins more
souls than you can shake a stick at. If it were n't for laziness, I
should have been a perfect angel, myself. I 'm inclined to think
that laziness is what your old Dr. Botherem, up in Vermont, used to
call "the essence of moral evil." It 's an awful consideration,
I think you slaveholders have an awful responsibility upon you.
I would n't have it for a thousand worlds. You ought to educate your
slaves, and treat them like reasonable creatures, like immortal
creatures, that you 've got to stand before the bar of God with. That
's my mind.
O! come, come, what do you know about us?
[Goes to the piano, and plays and sings.]
Well, now, cousin, you 've given us a good talk, and done
your duty; on the whole, I think the better of you for it. I make no
manner of doubt that you threw a very diamond of truth at me, though
you see it hit me so directly in the face, that it was n't exactly
appreciated at first.
For my part, I don't see any use in such sort of talk. I 'm
sure, if anybody does more for servants than we do, I 'd like to know
who; and it don't do 'em a bit good—not a particle; they get worse
and worse. As to talking to them, or anything like that, I 'm sure I
have talked till I was tired and hoarse, telling them their duty, and
all that; and I 'm sure they can go to church when they like, though
they don't understand a word of the sermon, more than so many pigs;
so it is n't of any great use for them to go, as I see; but they do
go, and so they have every chance; but, as I said before, they are a
degraded race, and always will be, and there isn't any help for them;
you can't make anything of them, if you try. You see, Cousin Ophelia,
I 've tried, and you have n't; I was born and bred among them, and I
know. [ST. CLARE whistles a tune.] St. Clare, I wish you
would n't whistle; it makes my head worse.
I won't. Is there anything else you would n't wish me to do?
I wish you would have some kind of sympathy for my
trials; you never have any feeling for me.
My dear accusing angel!
It 's provoking to be talked to in that way.
Then how will you be talked to? I 'll talk to order—any way
you 'll mention, only to give satisfaction.[A laugh heard below in the court.]
What is it? [Rising and coming to the window.] As I
live! if there an't Eva, sitting in Uncle Tom's lap! Eugh! there, she
's hanging a wreath of roses round his neck!
Eva. [Below, laughing.]
O, Tom, you look so funny!
How can you let her?
Why, I don't know, it seems so dreadful!
You would think no harm in a child's caressing a large dog, even
if he was black; but a creature that can think, and reason, and feel,
and is immortal, you shudder at; confess it, cousin. I know the
feeling among some of you northerners well enough. Not that there is
a particle of virtue in our not having it; but custom with us does
what Christianity ought to do—obliterates the feeling of personal
prejudice. I have often noticed, in my travels north, how much
stronger this was with you than with us. You loathe them as you would
a snake or a toad, yet you are indignant at their wrongs. You would
not have them abused; but you don't want to have anything to do with
them yourselves. You would send them to Africa, out of your sight
and smell, and then send a missionary or two to do up all the
self-denial of elevating them compendiously. Is n't that it?
Well, cousin, there may be some truth in this.
What would the poor and lowly do, without children? Your little
child is your only true democrat. Tom, now, is a hero to Eva; his
stories are wonders in her eyes, his songs and Methodist hymns are
better than an opera, and the traps and little bits of trash in his
pocket a mine of jewels, and he the most wonderful Tom that ever wore
a black skin. This is one of the roses of Eden that the Lord has
dropped down expressly for the poor and lowly, who get few enough of
any other kind.
It 's strange, cousin; one might almost think you were a
professor, to hear you talk.
Yes; a professor of religion.
Not at all; not a professor, as your town folks have it; and,
what it worse, I 'm afraid, not a practiser either.
What makes you talk so, then?
Nothing is easier than talking. I believe Shakspeare makes
somebody say, "I could sooner teach twenty what were good to be done,
than be one of the twenty to follow my own teaching." Nothing like
division of labor. My forte lies in talking, and yours, cousin, lies
SCENE III.—Sabbath Morning. The
and MISS OPHELIA,
Where 's Eva?
The child stopped on the stairs, to say something to Mammy.
Eva, what were you stopping for?
I was just stopping to give Mammy my vinaigrette, to take to
church with her.
Eva! your gold vinaigrette to Mammy!. When will you
learn what 's proper? Go right and take it back, this moment!
Enter ST. CLARE.
I say, Marie, let the child alone; she shall do as she pleases.
St. Clare, how will she ever get along in the world?
The Lord knows; but she 'll get along in heaven better than you
O papa! don't; it troubles mother.
Well, cousin, are you ready to go to meeting?
I 'm not going, thank you.
I do wish St. Clare ever would go to church; but he has n't a
particle of religion about him. It really is n't respectable.
I know it. You ladies go to church to learn how to get along in
the world, I suppose, and your piety sheds respectability on us. If I
do go at all, I would go where Mammy goes; there 's something to keep
a fellow awake there, at least.
What! those shouting Methodists? Horrible!
Anything but the dead sea of your respectable churches, Marie.
Positively, it 's too much to ask of a man. Eva, do you like to go?
Come, stay at home and play with me.
Thank you, papa, but I 'd rather go to church.
Is n't it dreadful tiresome?
I think it is tiresome, some, and I am sleepy, too; but I try to
What do you go for, then?
Why, you know, papa, cousin told me that God wants to have us;
and he gives us everything, you know; and it is n't much to do it, if
he wants us to. It is n't so very tiresome, after all.
You sweet little obliging soul! go along, that 's a good girl;
and pray for me.
Certainly, I always do.
St. C. [Solus.]
O Evangeline! rightly named; hath not God made thee an evangel
SCENE IV—The Dinner Table. ST.
CLARE, MARIE, OPHELIA, EVA, SERVANTS.
Well, ladies, and what was the bill of fare at church to-day?
O, Dr. G——- preached a splendid sermon! It was just such a
sermon as you ought to hear; it expressed all my views exactly.
How very improving! The subject must have been an extensive one.
Well, I mean all my views about society, and such things. The
text was, "He hath made everything beautiful in its season;" and he
showed how all the orders and distinctions in society came from God;
and that it was so appropriate, you know, and beautiful, that some
should be high and some low, and that some were born to rule
and some to serve, and all that, you know; and he applied it
so well to all this ridiculous fuss that is made about slavery, and
he proved distinctly that the Bible was on our side, and supported all
our institutions so convincingly, I only wish you 'd heard him.
O, I did n't need it! I can learn what does me as much good as
that from the Picayune any time, and smoke a cigar besides; which I
can't do, you know, in a church.
Why, don't you believe in these views?
Who—I? You know I 'm such a graceless dog that these religious
aspects of such subjects don't edify me much. If I was to say
anything on this slavery matter, I would say out, fair and square,
"We 're in for it; we've got 'em, and mean to keep 'em—it 's for our
convenience and our interest;" for that 's the long and short of it;
that 's just the whole of what all this sanctified stuff amounts to,
after all; and I think that will be intelligible to everybody
I do think, Augustine, you are so irreverent! I think it 's
shocking to hear you talk.
Shocking! it 's the truth. This religious talk on such matters,
why don't they carry it a little further, and show the beauty, in its
season, of a fellow's taking a glass too much, and sitting a little
too late over his cards, and various providential arrangements of
that sort, which are pretty frequent among us young men? We 'd like
to hear that those are right and godly too.
Well, do you think slavery right or wrong?
I 'm not going to have any of your horrid New England
directness, cousin. If I answer that question, I know you 'll be at me
with half a dozen others, each one harder than the last; and I'm not
a-going to define my position. I am one of that sort that lives by
throwing stones at other people's glass-houses; but I never mean to
put up one for them to stone.
That 's just the way he 's always talking; you can't get any
satisfaction out of him. I believe it 's just because he don't like
religion that he 's always running out in this way he 's been doing.
Religion! Religion! Is what you have been hearing at church,
religion? Is that which can bend and turn, and descend and ascend, to
fit every crooked phase of selfish, worldly society, religion? Is
that religion which is less scrupulous, less generous, less just,
less considerate for man, than even my own ungodly, worldly, blinded
nature? No! When I look for a religion, I must look for something
above me, and not something beneath.
Then you don't believe that the Bible justifies slavery?
The Bible was my mother's book. By it she lived and
died, and I would be very sorry to think it did. I 'd as soon desire
to have it proved that my mother could drink brandy, chew tobacco,
and swear, by way of satisfying me that I did right in doing the same.
It would n't make me at all more satisfied with these things in
myself, and it would take from me the comfort of respecting her; and
it really is a comfort, in this world, to have anything one can
respect. In short, you see [gayly], all I want is that
different things be kept in different boxes. The whole frame-work of
society, both in Europe and America, is made up of various things
which will not stand the scrutiny of any very ideal standard of
morality. It 's pretty generally understood that
men don't aspire after the absolute right, but only to do
about as well as the rest of the world. Now, when any one speaks up,
like a man, and says slavery is necessary to us, we can't get along
without it, we should be beggared if we give it up, and, of course,
we mean to hold on to it—this is strong, clear, well-defined
language; it has the respectability of truth to it; and, if we may
judge by their practice, the majority of the world will bear us out
in it. But when he begins to put on a long face, and snuffle, and
quote Scripture, I incline to think he isn't much better than he
You are very uncharitable.
Well, suppose that something should bring down the price of
cotton once and forever, and make the whole slave property a drug in
the market; don't you think we should soon have another version of
the Scripture doctrine? What a flood of light would pour into the
church, all at once, and how immediately it would be discovered that
everything in the Bible and reason went the other way!
Well, at any rate, I 'm thankful I 'm born where slavery exists;
and I believe it 's right—indeed, I feel it must be; and, at any
rate, I 'm sure I could n't get along with it.
St. C. [To EVA.]
I say, what do you think, pussy?
What about, papa?
Why, which do you like the best; to live as they do at your
uncle's, up in Vermont, or to have a house-full of servants, as we do?
O, of course, our way is the pleasantest!
Why, it makes so many more round you to love, you know.
Now, that 's just like Eva; just one of her odd speeches.
Is it an odd speech, papa?
Rather, as this world goes, pussy. But where has my little Eva
been, all dinner-time?
O, I 've been up in Tom's room, hearing him sing, and Aunt Dinah
gave me my dinner.
Hearing Tom sing, eh?
O, yes! He sings such beautiful things about the New Jerusalem,
and bright angels, and the land of Canaan.
I dare say; it 's better than the opera, is n't it?
Yes; and he 's going to teach them to me.
Singing-lessons, eh?—you are coming on.
Yes, he sings for me, and I read to him in my Bible; and he
explains what it means, you know.
On my word, that is the latest joke of the season.
Tom is n't a bad hand, now, at explaining Scripture, I 'll dare
swear. Tom has a natural genius for religion. I wanted the horses out
early, this morning, and I stole up to Tom's cubiculum there, over
the stables, and there I heard him holding a meeting by himself; and,
in fact, I have n't heard anything quite so savory as Tom's prayer
this some time. He put in for me with a zeal that was quite
Perhaps he guessed you were listening. I 've heard of that
If he did, he was n't very polite; for he gave the Lord his
opinion of me pretty feely. Tom seemed to think there was decidedly
room for improvement in me, and seemed very earnest that I should be
I hope you 'll lay it to heart.
St. C. [Gayly.]
I suppose you are much of the same opinion. Well, we shall
see-shan't we, Eva?
SCENE V.—The Kitchen.
DINAH (smoking). Negro children playing about.
'Still there, ye young uns, 'sturbin' me, while I 's takin' my
Well, such a time as there 's been in the house to-day, I never
saw! Such a rummagin' and frummagin' in bandboxes and
closets!—everything dragged out! Hate these yer northen misses!
Laws! ye orter seen her to the sheet trunk! Wan't it as good as
a play to see her turn 'em out!
Bob. [From floor.]
Tell ye, ef she don't sail round the house, coat-tail standin'
out ahind her! Bound if she don't clar every one on us off the
verandys minnit we shows our faces!
An't gwine to have her in my diggin's, sturbin' my idees!
Never let Miss Marie interfere, and she sartin shan't, her!
Allus telled Miss Marie the kitchen wan't no place for ladies; Miss
Marie got sense—she know'd it; but these yer northen misses—Good
Lor! who is she, anyhow?
Why, she 's Mas'r St. Clare's cousin.
'Lation, is she? Poor, too, an't she?—hearn tell they done
their own work up thar. Anything I hate, it 's these yer poor
Hush! here she comes!
Enter MISS OPHELIA.
Oph. [Advances and opens a drawer.]
What 's this drawer for, Dinah?
Handy for most anything, missis.
Oph. [Rummaging—draws out a table-cloth.]
What 's this? A beautiful French damask table-cloth, all stained
and bloody! Why, Dinah, you don't wrap up meat in your mistress' best
O Lor, missis, no! the towels was all a missin'—so I jest did
it. I laid out to wash that are—that 's why I put it thar.
Oph. [Disgusted—still rummaging.]
Shiftless! What 's here?—nutmeg-grater—Methodist
hymn-book—knitting-work! Faugh!—filthy old pipe! Faugh! what a
sight! Where do you keep your nutmegs, Dinah?
Most anywhar, missis; there 's some in that cracked tea-cup up
there, and there 's some over in that ar cuboard.
Here are some in the grater.
Laws, yes! I put 'em there this morning. I likes to keep my
things handy. You, Bob! what are you stopping for? You 'll cotch it!
Be still thar! [Striking at him with a stick.]
What 's this? [Holding up a saucer.]
Laws, it 's my har grease; I put it thar to have it
Do you use your mistress' best saucers for that?
Law! it was cause I was driv, and in sich a hurry; I was gwine
to change it this very day.
Here are two damask table-napkins.
Them table-napkins I put thar to get 'em washed out, some day.
Don't you have some place here on purpose for things to be
Well, Mas'r St. Clare got dat ar chest, he said, for dat; but I
likes to mix up biscuit and hev my things on it some days, and then it
an't handy a liftin' up the lid.
Why don't you mix your biscuits on the pastry-table, there?
Law, missis, it get sot so full of dishes, and one thing and
another, der an't no room, noways——
But you should wash your dishes, and clear them away.
Wash my dishes! What does ladies know 'bout work, I want to
know? When 'd mas'r ever get his dinner if I was to spend all my
time a washin' and a puttin' up dishes? Miss Marie never telled me
Well, here are these onions.
Laws, yes! thar is whar I put 'em, now. I could n't
'member. Them 's particular onions I was a savin' for dis yer very
stew. I 'd forgot they was in dar ar old flannel. [MISS OPHELIA lifts a paper of herbs.] I wish missis would n't touch dem ar. I
likes to keep my things whar I knows what to go to 'em.
But you don't want these holes in the papers.
Them 's handy for siftin' on't out.
But you see it spills all over the drawer.
Laws, yes! if missis will go a tumblin' things all up so, it
will. Missis has spilt lots dat ar way. If missis only will go up
stars till my clarin'-up time comes, I 'll have everything right; but
I can't do nothin' when ladies is round, a henderin'. You, Sam,
don't you gib the baby dat ar sugar-bowl! I'll crack ye over, if ye
I 'm going through the kitchen, and going to put everything in
order once, Dinah; and then I 'll expect you to keep it
Lor, now! Miss 'Phelia, dat ar an't no way for ladies to do. I
never did see ladies doin' no sich; my old missis nor Miss Marie never
did, and I don't see no kinder need on't.
Enter ST. CLARE.
There is no such thing as getting anything like system in this
To be sure there is n't.
Such shiftless management, such waste, such confusion, I never
I dare say you did n't.
You would not take it so coolly if you were a housekeeper.
My dear cousin, you may as well understand, once for all, that
we masters are divided into two classes, oppressors and oppressed. We
who are good-natured and hate severity make up our minds to a good
deal of inconvenience. If we will keep a shambling, loose,
untaught set in the community, for our convenience, why, we must take
the consequence. Some rare cases I have seen, of persons, who, by a
peculiar tact, can produce order and system without severity; but I
'm not one of them, and so I made up my mind, long ago, to let things
go just as they do. I will not have the poor devils thrashed and cut
to pieces, and they know it; and, of course, they know the staff is
in their own hands.
But to have no time, no place, no order—all going on in this
My dear Vermont, you natives up by the North Pole set an
extravagant value on time! What on earth is the use of time to a
fellow who has twice as much of it as he knows what to do with? As to
order and system, where there is nothing to be done but to lounge on
the sofa and read, an hour sooner or later in breakfast or dinner is
n't of much account. Now, there's Dinah gets you a capital
dinner—soup, ragout, roast fowl, dessert, ice-creams and all—and
she creates it all out of Chaos and old Night out here in this
kitchen. I think it really sublime, the way she manages. But, Heaven
bless us! if we were to come out here, and view all the smoking and
squatting about, and hurryscurryation of the preparatory process, we
should never eat more. My good cousin, absolve yourself from that! It
's more than a Catholic penance, and does no more good. You 'll only
lose your own temper, and utterly confound Dinah. Let her go her own
But, Augustine, you don't know how I found things.
Don't I? Don't I know that the rolling-pin is under her bed, and
the nutmeg-grater in her pocket with her tobacco—that there are
sixty-five different sugar-bowls, one in every hole in the
house—that she wa shes dishes with a dinner-napkin one day, and with
the fragment of an old petticoat the next? But the upshot is, she
gets up glorious dinners, makes superb coffee; and you must judge her,
as warriors and statesmen are judged, by her success.
But the waste—the expense!
O, well! lock everything you can, and keep the key. Give out by
driblets, and never inquire for odds and ends—it is n't best.
That troubles me, Augustine. I can't help feeling as if these
servants were not strictly honest. Are you sure they can be
[Laughing.] O, cousin, that 's too good!
if that 's a thing to be expected! Honest!—why, of course
they arn't. Why should they be? What upon earth is to make them so?
Why don't you instruct?
Instruct! O, fiddlestick! What instructing do you think I should
do? I look like it! As to Marie, she has spirit enough, to be sure, to
kill off a whole plantation, if I'd let her manage; but she would n't
get the cheatery out of them.
Are there no honest ones?
Well, now and then one, whom nature makes so impracticably
simple, truthful and faithful, that the worst possible influence can't
destroy it. But, you see, from the mother's breast the colored child
feels and sees that there are none but underhand ways open to it. It
can get along no other way with its parents, its mistress, its young
master and missie play-fellows. Cunning and deception become
necessary, inevitable habits. It is n't fair to expect anything else
of him. He ought not to be punished for it. As to honesty, the slave
is kept in that dependent, semi-childish state, that there is no
making him realize the rights of property, or feel that his master's
goods are not his own, if he can get them. For my part, I don't see
how they can be honest. Such a fellow as Tom here is, is a
And what becomes of their souls?
That is n't my affair, as I know of. I am only dealing in facts
of the present life. The fact is, that the whole race are pretty
generally understood to be turned over to the devil, for our benefit,
in this world, however it may turn out in another!
This is perfectly horrible! You ought to be ashamed of
I don't know as I am. We are in pretty good company, for all
that, as people in the broad road generally are.
SCENE VI.—New Orleans. A Parlor
in ST. CLARE'S House.Enter ST. CLARE
Come down here, cousin; I 've something to show you.
Enter MISS OPHELIA, sewing in hand.
What is it?
I 've made a purchase for your department—see here.
Augustine, what in the world did you bring that thing here for?
For you to educate, to be sure, and train in the way she should
go. I thought she was rather a funny specimen in the Jim Crow line.
Here, Topsy, this is your new mistress. I 'm going to give you up
to here; see, how, that you behave yourself.
You 're going to be good, Topsy, you understand.
O, yes, mas'r!
Now, Augustine, what upon earth is this for? Your house is so
full of these little plagues, now, that a body can't set their feet
down without treading on 'em. I get up in the morning, and
find one asleep behind the door, and see one black head poking out
from under the table, one lying on the door-mat; and they are
mopping, and mowing, and grinning between all the railings, and
tumbling over the kitchen floor! What on earth did you want to bring
this one for?St. C.
For you to educate—did n't I tell you? You 're always preaching
about educating. I thought I would make you a present of a
fresh-caught specimen, and let you try your hand on her, and bring
her up in the way she should go.
I don't want her, I am sure; I have more to do with 'em
now than I want to.
That 's you Christians, all over! You 'll get up a society, and
get some poor missionary to spend all his days among just such
heathen. But let me see one of you that would take one into your
house with you, and take the labor of their conversion on yourselves!
No; when it comes to that, they are dirty and disagreeable, and it 's
too much care, and so on.
Augustine, you know I did n't think of it in that light. Well,
it might be a real missionary work. But I really did n't see the need
of buying this one—there are enough now, in your house, to take all
my time and skill.
Well, then, Cousin, I ought to beg your pardon for my
good-for-nothing speeches. You are so good, after all, that there 's
no sense in them. Why, the fact is, this concern belonged to a
couple of drunken creatures that keep a low restaurant that I have to
pass by every day, and I was tired of hearing her screaming, and them
beating and swearing at her. She looked bright and funny, too, as if
something might be made of her; so I bought her, and I 'll give her
to you. Try, now, and give her a good orthodox New England bringing
up, and see what it 'll make of her. You know I have n't any gift
that way; but I 'd like you to try.
Well, I 'll do what I can. Come here, Topsy. How old are you?
Dun no, missis.
Don't know how old you are? Did n't anybody ever tell you? Who
was your mother?
Never had none!
Never had any mother? What do you mean? Where was you born?
Never was born!
You must n't answer me in that way, child; I 'm not playing with
you. Tell me where you were born, and who your father and mother were.
Never was born; never had no father nor mother, nor nothin'! I
was raised by a speculator, with lots of others. Old Aunt Sue used to
take car of us.Enter JANE, DINAH,
Laws, missis, there 's heaps of 'em! Speculators buys 'em up
cheap, when they 's little, and gets 'em raised for market.
How long have you lived with your master and mistress?
Dun no, missis.
Is it a year, or more, or less?
Dun no, missis.
Laws, missis, those low negroes, they can't tell; they don't
know anything about time; they don't know what a year is; they don't
know their own ages.
Have you ever heard anything about God, Topsy?
Do you know who made you?
Nobody, as I knows on. I 'spect I grow'd. Don't think nobody
never made me.
Do you know how to sew?
What can you do? What did you do for your master and mistress?
Fetch water, and wash the dishes, and rub knives, and wait on
Were they good to you?
'Spect they was.
Dinah. [Lifting up both hands.]
Good Lor, what a limb! What on 'arth Mas'r St. Care want to
bring on dese yer low nigger young 'uns here for? Wont have her
round under my feet, I know.
Well, go to your work, all of you. [Exeunt JANE, DINAH,
and ROSA.] Come, Topsy, to my room.
SCENE VII.—A Bed-room. MISS
OPHELIA and TOPSY.
Now, Topsy, I 'm going to show you just how my bed is to be
made. I am very particular about my bed. You must learn exactly how
to do it.
Now, Topsy, look here; this is the hem of the sheet—this is the
right side of the sheet, and this is the wrong; will you remember?
Well, now, the under sheet you must bring over the
bolster—so—and tuck it clear down under the mattress nice and
smooth—so; do you see?
But the upper sheet must be brought down in this way, and tucked
under firm and smooth at the foot—so—the narrow hem at the foot.
Yes, ma'am. [Adroitly snatching a pair of gloves and a
ribbon, and hiding them in her sleeve.]
Now, Topsy, let's see you do this.
[As TOPSY goes to make the bed, the ribbon hangs out
of her sleeve.]
Oph. [Seizing it.]
What 's this? You naughty, wicked child—you 've been stealing
Laws! why, that ar's Miss Feely's ribbon, an't it? How could it
a got in my sleeve?
Topsy, you naughty girl, don't you tell me a lie; you stole that
Missis, I declar for 't, I did n't; never seed it till dis yer
Topsy, don't you know it 's wicked to tell lies?
I never tells no lies, Miss Feely; it 's jist the truth I've
been a tellin' now, and an't nothin' else.
Topsy, I shall have to whip you, if you tell lies so.
Laws, missis, if you 's to whip all day, could n't say no other
way. I never seed dat ar—it must a got caught in my sleeve. Miss
Feely must have left it on the bed, and it got caught in the clothes,
and so got in my sleeve.
Oph. [Shaking her.]
Don't you tell me that again! [The gloves fall out.]
There, you! will you tell me now you did n't steal the ribbon?
Laws, missis, I did steal dem ar gloves—but I never did take
dat ar ribbon, in the world, never!
Now, Topsy! If you 'll confess all about it, I won't whip you
Well, den, missis, I did take de ribbon and de gloves both, I
Well, now, tell me. I know you must have taken other things
since you have been in the house, for I let you run about all day
yesterday. Now, tell me if you took anything, and I shan't whip you.
Laws, missis! I took Miss Eva's red thing she wars on her neck.
You did, you naughty child! Well, what else?
I took Rosa's yer-rings—dem red ones.
Go bring them to me this minute, both of 'em.
Laws, missis, I can't—they's burnt up!
Burnt up? what a story! Go get 'em, or I 'll whip you!
Top. [Crying and groaning.]
I can't missis, I can't no how! Dey 's burnt up—dey is.
What did you burn 'em up for?
'Cause I 's wicked—I is. I 's mighty wicked, any how. I can't
help it, no how.Enter EVA,
with the coral necklace on her neck.
Why, Eva, where did you get your necklace?
Get it? Why, I 've had it on all day.
Did you have it on yesterday?
Yes; and what is funny, aunty, I had it on all night. I forgot
to take it off when I went to be.Enter ROSA,
with a basket of newly-ironed linen
poised on her head, and the coral ear-drops shaking in her ears.
Oph. [In despair.]
I 'm sure I can't tell anything to do with such a child! What
in the world did you tell me you took those things for, Topsy?
Why, missis said I must 'fess; and I could n't think of nothin'
else to 'fess.
But, of course, I did n't want you to confess things you did n't
do; that 's telling a lie, just as much as the other.
Laws, now, is it? Why, how curus!
La, there an't any such thing as the truth in that limb! If I
was Mas'r St. Clare, I 'd whip her till the blood run, I would! I 'd
let her catch it!
No, no, Rosa! you must n't talk so, Rosa. I can't bear to hear
La, sakes! Miss Eva, you 's so good, you don't know nothing how
to get along with niggers. There 's no way but cut 'em well up, I
Rosa, hush! Don't say another word of that sort.
Miss Eva has got the St. Clare blood in her, that's plain. She
can speak for all the world just like her papa.[Exit ROSA.]
Well, I don't know anything what I shall do with you, Topsy.
Laws, missis, you must whip me! Ole missis always whipped me.
I s'pects 's good for me.
Why Topsy, I don't want to whip you. You can do well if you 've
a mind to. What 's the reason you won't?
Why, missis, I 's so used to whippin'.
Well, I shall shut you in this closet, to think of your ways a
Eva. [Goes up to Topsy.]
Poor Topsy, why need you steal? You 're going to be taken good
care of now. I 'm sure I 'd rather give you anything of mine than
have you steal it.
Ha! ha! dat ar 's curus! Well, I 's gwine in de closet—mebbe I
'll come out better. [Goes in.][Exeunt EVA
and MISS OPHELIA.
SCENE VIII.—A Veranda. ST. CLARE
lounging on a sofa. MISS OPHELIA sewing.
Let me see if you can say your catechism; and if you can you may
go and play. Did all mankind fall in Adam's first transgression?
Top. [Repeating very rapidly.]
Covenant being made with Adam not only for hisself but for his
posterity, all mankind 'scending from him by ordinar transgression,
sinned wid him, and fell in him, in that fust generation.
Stop! stop!! stop!!! Topsy. Why, how are you saying it?
Why, what 's the odds? I don't see but that it makes as good
sense one way as the other.
St. Clare! now—how can I teach this child if you will take so?
And now you 're laughing!
I 'm done. Proceed. Topsy! you careless hussy, mind yourself!
Be sure you get everything in right end first. Now for it!
Into what state did the fall bring all mankind?
Fall brought all mankind into a state of sin and misery. Please
Dar 'ar state Kintuck? De Lor' knows dey has sin and misery
Hush, hush, Topsy!
No personal reflections, Topsy!
Please, missis, can't I go play? Dar ar 'bout the generations
was so curus! Never kin get it right nohow!
O, yes, coz, let her go. I want you to go up stairs and look at
a new carpet I 've been buying for Eva's room. There, Tops, there 's
some candy for you. Next time get the words straight.
[Exeunt ST. CLARE and OPHELIA.]
Enter JAKE, AMANDA,
and other negro children.
Dar now, ye niggers! I 'se gittin' eddecated, I is; 'cause I
b'longs to Miss Feely. I larns catechize every day, and you por trash
don't. Laws, you 's runnin' wild all the while! What doos you know?
Doos you know you 's all sinners? Wal, you is, everybody is. White
folks is sinners, too—Miss Feely says so; but I 'spects niggers is
the biggest ones; but, lor! ye an't any on ye up to me. I 's so awful
wicked there can't nobody do nothin' with me. I used to keep old
missis a swarin' at me half de time. I 'spects I 's the wickedest
crittur in the world.
Ah! Den ye 'll go to torment one dese days, anyhow. Ye won't
be quite so crank then.
No I shan't—I 's bound to go to heaven, I is.
No ye won't neither!
Shall too! Miss Feely 's bound to go thar, and they 'll have to
let me come too; cors she 's so curus they won't nobody else know how
to wait on her dar! Come, now, be still touching that thing of mine,
or I 'll crack ye over![Exit JAKE, running with TOPSY'S
TOPSY follows, with all the rest, in pursuit.]
SCENE IX.—An Arbor, looking out on
Lake Ponchartrain. UNCLE TOM and EVA.
O, Uncle Tom, I 'm going to read you some such beautiful
places!—now, this: "Behold, a throne was set in heaven, and one
sat on the throne; and he that sat was to look upon like a jasper and
a sardine stone; and there was a rainbow round about the throne, in
sight like unto an emerald. And round about the throne were
four-and-twenty seats; and upon the seats I saw four-and-twenty elders
sitting clothed in white raiment, and they had on their heads crowns
of gold." Only think of it! [She turns to another place.] And,
now, this: "And I saw, as it were, a sea of glass, mingled
with fire, and them that had gotten the victory over the beast stand
on the sea of glass, having the harps of God, and they sing the song
of Moses, the servant of God, and the song of the Lamb; saying, Great
lous are thy works, Lord God Almighty, just and true are thy
ways, thou King of saints." [Pointing to the lake.] There 't
is, Uncle Tom! see! there 't is—a sea of glass mingled with fire!
What, Miss Eva?
Don't you see—there, that water? There 's a "sea of glass
mingled with fire."
True enough, Miss Eva. [Sings.]
"O, had I the wings of the morning, I'd
fly away to Canaan's shore!Bright angels should convey me home,
To the new Jerusalem."
Where do you suppose new Jerusalem is, Uncle Tom?
O, up in the clouds, Miss Eva!
Then, I think I see it! Look in those clouds! they look like
great gates of pearl; and you can see way, way beyond them—far, far
off—it 's all gold. Tom, sing about "spirits bright!"
Uncle T. [Sings.]
"O, what hath
Jesus bought for me! Before my wondering eyesRivers of
pure delight I see, And streams of Paradise.
"I see a band of spirits bright,
That taste the glories there;They all are robed in spotless
white, And conquering palms they bear."
Uncle Tom, I 've seen them! They come to me sometimes
in my sleep, those spirits. [Sings.]
"They are all robed in spotless white,
And conquering palms they bear."
Uncle Tom, I 'm going there.
Where, Miss Eva?
Eva. [Rising and pointing up.]
I 'm going there, to the spirits bright, Tom;
going before long.
Oph. [Calling from a distance.]
Eva! Eva! child—come in; the dew is falling! you must not be out
SCENE X.—A Veranda. ST. CLARE and
MARIE reclining on lounges.
I say, Augustine, I must send to the city after my old doctor
Posey; I 'm sure I 've got the complaint of the heart.
Well; why need you send for him? The doctor that attends Eva
I would not trust him in a critical case; and I think I may say
mine is becoming so! I 've been thinking of it these two or three
nights past; I have such distressing pains, and such strange feelings.
O, Marie, you are blue! I don't believe it 's heart complaint.
I dare say you don't; I was prepared to expect
. You can be alarmed enough, if Eva coughs, or has the least thing
the matter with her; but you never think of me.
If it 's particularly agreeable to you to have heart disease,
why, I 'll try and maintain you have it. I did n't know it was.
Well, I only hope you won't be sorry for this when it 's too
late! But, believe it or not, my distress about Eva, and the
exertions I have made with that dear child, have developed what I
have long suspected.
O, here comes cousin from her excursion. [Enter MISS
OPHELIA and EVA.] Well, coz, what success in the religious
line? Did you find a preacher?
Wait till I put my bonnet and shawl away. [Exit.]
Here, Eva, you come to me.
[Climbs into her father's lap.]
What 's this! You wicked little hussy, you! Come out here!
Come out this very minute!
What new witchcraft has Tops been brewing?
Enter MISS OPHELIA, dragging TOPSY.
Come out here, now. I will tell your master!
What 's the row, pray?
The fact is, I cannot be plagued with this child any longer! It
's past all bearing; flesh and blood cannot endure it! Here I locked
her up, and gave her a hymn to study; and what does she do, but spy
out where I put my key, and has gone to my bureau, and got a
bonnet-trimming, and cut it all to pieces to make dolls' jackets! I
never saw anything like it, in my life!
I told you, cousin, that you 'd find out that these creatures
can't be brought up without severity. If I had my way, now, I
'd send that child out, and have her thoroughly whipped; I 'd have her
whipped till she could n't stand!
I don't doubt it. Tell me of the lovely rule of woman! I never
saw above a dozen women that would n't half kill a horse, or a
servant, either, if they had their own way with them, let alone a man!
There is no use in this shilly-shally way of yours, St. Clare!
Cousin is a woman of sense, and she sees it now, as plainly as I do.
I would n't have the child treated so, for the world; but I am
sure, Augustine, I don't know what to do. I 've taught and taught; I
've talked till I 'm tired; I 've whipped her; I 've punished her in
every way I can think of, and she 's just what she was at first.
Come here, Tops, you monkey! [Topsy comes.] What makes
you behave so?
'Spects it 's my wicked heart; Miss Feely says so!
Don't you see how much Miss Ophelia has done for you? She says
she has done everything she can think of.
Lor, yes, mas'r! ole missis used to say so, too. She whipped me
a heap harder, and used to pull my har, and knock my head agin the
door; but it didn't do me no good; I 'spects, if they 's to pull
every spear o' har out o' my head, it would n't do no good,
neither—I 's so wicked! Laws! I 's nothin but a nigger, no ways!
Well, I shall have to give her up; I can't have that trouble any
Well, I 'd just like to ask one question.
What is it?
Why, if your Gospel is not strong enough to save one heathen
child, that you can have at home here all to yourself, what 's the use
of sending one or two poor missionaries off with it among thousands
of just such? I suppose this child is about a fair sample of what
thousands of your heathen are.
[Beckons to TOPSY, who follows her to the end of the veranda.
What 's Eva about now? I mean to see.
What does make you so bad, Topsy? Why don't you try and be
good? Don't you love anybody, Topsy?
Dunno nothing 'bout love; I loves candy and sich, that 's all.
But you love your father and mother?
Never had none, ye know. I telled ye that, Miss Eva.
O, I know; but had n't you any brother or sister, or aunt, or
No, none on 'em; never had nothing nor nobody.
But, Topsy, if you 'd only try to be good, you might——
Could n't never be nothin' but a nigger if I was ever so good.
If I could be skinned, and come white, I 'd try then.
But people can love you, if you are black, Topsy. Miss Ophelia
would love you if you were good.
Don't you think so?
No; she can't bar me, 'cause I 'm a nigger! she 'd 's soon have
a toad touch her. There can't nobody love niggers, and niggers can't
do nothin'. I don't care! [Whistles.]
O, Topsy, poor child, I love you! I love you, because
you have n't had any father, or mother, or friends; because you 've
been a poor, abused child! I love you, and I want you to be good. I
am very unwell, Topsy, and I think I shan't live a great while, and it
really grieves me, to have you be so naughty. I wish you would try
to be good, for my sake; it 's only a little while I shall be with
Poor Topsy! don't you know that Jesus loves all alike? He is
just as willing to love you, as me. He loves you just as I do, only
more, because he is better. He will help you to be good; and you can
go to heaven at last, and be an angel forever, just as much as if you
were white. Only think of it, Topsy, you can be one of those
spirits bright Uncle Tom sings about!
O, dear Miss Eva! dear Miss Eva! I will try! I will try! I
never did care nothin' about it before.
SCENE XI — EVA lying in bed. MISS
OPHELIA looks out of the door, and sees UNCLE TOM lying.
Uncle Tom, what alive! have you taken to sleeping everywhere,
and anywhere, like a dog? I thought you were one of the orderly sort,
and liked to sleep in your bed, in a decent way.
I do, Miss Feely; but now—— [Pauses.]
Well, what now?
We must n't speak loud; Mas'r St. Clare won't hear on 't; but,
Miss Feely, you know there must be somebody watchin' for the
What do you mean, Tom?
You know it says in Scripture, "At midnight there was a great
cry made, Behold, the Bridegroom cometh!" That 's what I 'm
'spectin' now, every night, Miss Feely; and I could n't sleep out o'
hearin', no ways.
Why, Uncle Tom, what makes you think so?
Miss Eva, she talks to me. The Lord, he sends his messenger in
the soul. I must be thar, Miss Feely; for when that ar blessed child
goes into the kingdom, they 'll open the door so wide, we 'll all get
a look in at the glory, Miss Feely.
Uncle Tom, did Miss Eva say she felt more unwell than usual
No; but she telled me this morning she was coming nearer; that
's them that tells it to the child, Miss Feely. It 's the angels; "it
's the trumpet-sound afore the break o' day."
Well, Tom, perhaps you had better lie down here by the door, so
as to be ready if I should call you.
Oph. [Closes the door and arranges the chamber. Takes the
light and walks toward the bed, and examines the countenance of
Ah! indeed! [Sets down the lamp and feels of her pulse.
] Is it possible? [Goes to the door.] Tom!
Uncle T. [Without.]
Go and bring the doctor here, directly; don't lose a minute! [
Crosses the chamber and raps.] Augustine! Augustine!
St. C. [Opening.]
What, cousin? Anything the matter?
Just look at Eva! feel of her hands!
St. C. [Bending over EVA.]
O, my God!Enter MARIE.
Hush! she's dying!
SERVANTS flocking into the room.
O, Miss Eva! O, Miss Eva!
Hush! Eva! Eva! O, if she would only speak once more! Eva!
There! her eyes are opening!
Do you know me, Eva?
Dear papa! [Throws her arms around his neck, then drops
them and struggles, as in a spasm.]
O, God! O, God! this is dreadful! [Wrings TOM'S
] O, Tom, my boy, it's killing me!
Lord, have mercy!
O, pray that it may be over!
O, bless the Lord, it is over—there, look! look at her!
O, what a look!
O, those eyes! What does she see?
She does n't hear you!
O, Eva! Tell us. What is it?
O! [Looks at her father.] Love! [Raises her hands.
] Joy! joy!
She 's gone!
[Falls on the bed. Curtain drops.]
SCENE XII—A Parlor. ST. CLARE,
MISS OPHELIA. TOM on a bench near the window, reading.
Augustine, have you ever made any provision for your servants,
in case of your death?
Then all your indulgence to them may prove a great cruelty by
Well, I mean to make a provision by and by.
One of these days!
What if you should die first?
Cousin, what 's the matter? 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!"
St. C. [Laying aside the paper, and rising.]
DEATH! Strange that there should be such a word, 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! [To TOM.] Want me to read to
If mas'r pleases; mas'r makes it so much plainer.
St. C. [Reads.]
"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 reads on, in an animated voice, till he comes to the
last of the verses.] "Then shall the King say unto them on his
left hand, Depart from me, ye cursed, into everlasting fire: for I was
an hungered, and ye gave me no meat: I was thirsty, and ye gave me no
drink: I was a stranger, and ye took me not in: naked, and ye clothed
me not: I was sick, and in prison, and ye visited me not. Then shall
they answer unto him, Lord, when saw we thee an hungered, or athirst,
or a stranger, or naked, or sick, or in prison, and did not minister
unto thee? Then shall he say unto them, Inasmuch as ye
did it not to one of the least of these my bethren, ye did it
not to me." [Pauses. To TOM.] Tom, these folks that get such
hard measure seem to have been doing just what I have—living good,
easy respect able lives; and not troubling themselves to inquire how
many of their brethren were hungry, or athirst, or sick, or in prison.
[Goes to the piano and plays and sings.]
"Dies irae dies illa,Solvet saeclum in favilla,Teste
David cum sybilla."
What a sublime conception is that of the last judgment! A
righting of all the wrongs of ages! A solving of all moral problems
by an unanswerable wisdom! It is, indeed, a wonderful image.
It is a fearful one to us.
It ought to be to me, I suppose. Now, that which I was reading
to Tom strikes singularly. One should have expected some terrible
enormities charged to those who are excluded from heaven, as the
reason; but, no,—they are condemned for not doing positive
good, as if that included every possible harm.
Perhaps it is impossible for a person who does no good not to do
And what, what shall be said of one whose own heart, whose
education, and the wants of society, have called in vain to some noble
purpose; who has floated on, a dreamy, neutral spectator of the
struggles, agonies, and wrongs of man, when he should be been a
I should say that he ought to repent, and begin now.
Always practical and to the point! You never leave me any time
for general reflections, cousin; you always bring me short up against
the actual present; you have a kind of eternal now, always in
Now is all the time I have anything to do with.
Dear little Eva—poor child! she had set her little simple soul
on a good work for me. [A pause.] I don't know what makes me
think of my mother so much to-night. I have a strange kind of
feeling, as if she were near me. I keep thinking of things she used
to say. Strange what brings these past things so vividly back to us,
sometimes! [Walks.] I believe I 'll go down the street, a few
moments, and hear the news to-night. [Exit.]
SCENE XIII.—A Court-Yard.
SERVANTS running distractedly to and fro; some looking in at the
windows where lights are seen moving.
[Comes out.] He's gone!
O, mas'r! O! O! O, Lord! Good Lord! Do hab pity! O Lord, hab
mercy! O, Mas'r St. Clare! O, mas'r, mas'r, mas'r! he 's dead! he 's
dead! he 's dead!
SCENE I.—CASSY is discovered
sitting at a table covered with letters and papers, looking at a
I 'm tired! I 'm sick! I 'm dead! Dead? yes, dead at heart!
dead at the root, and yet I live; so they say at least. O, to think
of it! to think of it! Why don't I die? [She rises
and paces the room, and sings.]
"Una beldad existe que mis ajosSampre la
ven con majica delicia;De dia sabe disipar enojos,De
noche ensuenos dulces inspirar.
Hay une labio que el mio ha,Y que untes otro labio
no comprimida,Turo hareemo felez oj emaneeido,Mi labio lo
comprime y otro no.
Hay une seno todo el es'propio mio,Do mi cabesa
enferma reclino,Und bosa que nie si yo nio,Ojos que
lloron euando lloro no."
Ah! that was his song! O, dear, why can't I ever forget it!
My children too! O, Henry! O, Eliza! [She sits down, and covers
her face. A carriage heard approaching, she rises quickly.] What!
back already! [Looks out the window.] There! another fly in
the spider web! Handsome? O, yes! and what? Yes; some mother's
darling. Hah! could n't I kill him?
Legree. [Opens the door, and pushes EMMELINE
This way, little mistress!
You wretch! another!
Shut your mouth!
I shall shut my mouth; but your time is coming. I see it! I
see it! Go on, go on! go as fast as you can! I see where it will end!
Hush, Cassy! be quiet; I mean no harm. You may take this girl
up stairs. Come, be peaceable!
Cas. [To EMMELINE.]
You have come to the gates of Hell! Come with me. I 'll show
you the way.[Exit, drawing EMMELINE after her.]
The creature scares me lately! Her eyes look so dreadful! I
'll sell her, or get rid of her some way. Hang it, there 's no joke
SCENE II.—Evening. Negro
Quarters. Negroes in ragged clothes. UNCLE TOM, MULATTO WOMAN, and
SAMBO. QUIMBO, UNCLE TOM, and SAMBO, walk along and look into
Which of these is mine?
Dunno. Turn in here, I 'spose; 'spect ders room for another
dar. Right smart heap o' niggers to each on 'em. Sure I dunno what
else to do with more. [To the mulatto woman, throwing down a bag
of corn.] Ho! yer. What a cuss is yer name?
Wall, Lucy, yer my woman now; grind dis yer corn, and get my
supper ready; d'ye har?
I an't your woman, and I won't be! you go 'long!
I 'll kick yo, then!
Ye may kill me, if ye choose; the sooner the better! Wish't I
I say, Sambo, you go to spilin' the hands I'll tell mas'r o' you.
And I 'll tell him ye won't let the women come to the mills, yo
old nigger! Yo jes keep to yo own row.
Quim. [To UNCLE TOM, throwing down a bag.]
Thar, yo nigger, grab! thar 's yer corn; ye won't git no more
dis yer week.
Uncle T. [To a woman at the mill.]
You 're tired; let me grind.
Deed, I is dat![UNCLE TOM
Wall, ye ground our meal, we 'll fix yer cake for ye; 'spects ye
an't much used to it.[Goes in. UNCLE TOM
sits down by the fire to read the
Bible. Women return and put the cakes at the fire.]
1st Woman. [To UNCLE TOM.]
What 's dat ar?
Good Lor! ha'n't seen none since I 's in ole Kintuck!
Was ye rais'd in Kintuck?
Yes, and well raised too. Never expected to come to dis yer.
2d Woman. [Coming up.]
What dat ar, anyway?
Why, dat ar 's the Bible.
Good Lor! what 's dat?
Do tell! you never hearn of it? I used to har missis a readin'
on't sometimes, in Kintuck; but, laws o' me! we don't har nothin' here
but crackin' and swarin'.
Read a piece, anyways!
Uncle T. [Reads.]
"Come unto ME, all ye that labor and are heavy laden, and I
will give you rest."
Them 's good words enough; who says 'em?
I jest wish I know'd whar to find Him; 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' a me, 'cause
I does n't pick faster; and nights it 's most midnight 'fore I can get
my supper; and then 'pears like I don't turn over and shut my eyes
'fore I hear de horn blow to get up and at it again in the mornin'.
If I know'd whar de Lord was I 'd tell Him.
He 's here; he 's everywhere!
Lor! you an't gwine to make me believe dat ar! I know de Lord
an't here; 't an't no use talking, though. I 's jest gwine to camp
down, and sleep while I ken.
Uncle T. [Solus.]
O Lord God! Where are thou? Verily thou art a God that hidest
thyself, O God of Israel, the Saviour! [Lies down to sleep.]
Music and Voice in the air.
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
SCENE III.—The Cotton-House and
Scales. LEGREE, QUIMBO and SAMBO.
Dat ar Tom 's gwine to make a powerful deal o' trouble; kept a
puttin' into Lucy's basket. One o' these yer dat will get all der
niggers to feelin' 'bused, if mas'r don't watch him!
Hey-day! The black cuss! He 'll have to get a breakin' in,
won't he, boys?
Ay, ay! let Mas'r Legree alone for breakin' in! De debil heself
could n't beat mas'r at dat!
Wal, boys, the best way is to give him the flogging to do, till
he gets over his notions. Break him in!
Lord, mas'r 'll have hard work to get dat out o' him!
It 'll have to come out of him, though!
Now, dar 's Lucy; de aggravatinest, ugliest wench on de place!
Take care, Sam! I shall begin to think what 's the reason for
your spite agin Lucy.
Well, mas'r knows she sot herself up agin mas'r, and would n't
have me when he telled her to.
I 'd a flogged her into 't, only there 's such a press of work
it don't seem wuth a while to upset her jist now. She 's slender; but
these yer slender gals will bear half killin' to get their own way.
Wal, Lucy was reall aggravatin' and lazy, sulkin' round; would
n't do nothin'—and Tom he tuck up for her.
He did, eh! Wal, then, Tom shall have the pleasure of flogging
her. It 'll be a good practice for him, and he won't put it on to the
gals like you devils, neither.
Samb. and Quim.
Ho, ho! haw! haw! haw!
Wal, but, mas'r, Tom and Misse Cassy, and dey among 'em, filled
Lucy's basket. I ruther guess der weight 's in it, mas'r!
I do the weighing! So 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! O, here they come!
Enter UNCLE TOM, and women with baskets.
Come, on here! [Weighs TOM'S basket.] Soh! Ah!
Well for you! [TOM places LUCY'S basket on the scales.]
What, ye lazy beast! short again? Get away—ye 'll catch it pretty
O Lor! O Lor![Sits.]
[Brings her basket to the scales.]
Well, my beauty! How d' ye like it?
Beaucoup mieux que de vivre avec une bete telle comme vous.
And now, come here, you Tom! You see, I telled ye I did n't buy
ye jest for the common work; I mean to promote ye, and make a driver
of ye; and to-night ye may jest as well begin to get yer hand in.
Now, ye jest take this yer gal and flog her. Ye 've seen enough on
't to know how.
I beg mas'r's pardon; 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! [Thrashes TOM with cowhide.]
There, now! will ye tell me ye can't do it?
Yes, mas'r! 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; and, mas'r, I never shall do it—never!
What! ye blasted black beast! tell me ye don't think it
right to to 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! Why, what
do ye think ye are? May be ye think ye 'r a gentleman, master Tom, to
be a telling your master what 's right, and what an't! So you
pretend it 's wrong to flog the gal.
I think so, mas'r; the poor crittur 's sick and feeble; 't would
be downright cruel, and it 's what I never will do, nor begin to.
Well, here 's a pious dog, at last set 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! Here, you rascal! you make believe
to be so pious—did n't you never hear, out of your Bible, "Servants
obey your masters"? An't I your master? Did n't I pay down twelve
hundred dollars, cash, for all there is inside yer old cussed black
shell? An't yet mine, now, body and soul? Tell me!
No, no, no! my soul an't yours, mas'r! You have n't bought
it—you can't buy it! It has been bought and paid for by One that 's
able to keep it. No matter, no matter, you can't harm me!
I can't! we 'll see! we 'll see! Here Sambo! Quimbo! give this
dog such a breakin' in as he won't get over this month!
SCENE IV.—An old Gin-house Garret.
UNCLE TOM lying on the floor.
O, good Lord, do look down! Give me the vict'ry! give me the
Who 's there? O, for mercy's sake, give me some water!
Drink all you want. I knew how 't would be! 'T an't the first
time I been out o' night carrying water to such as you.
Thank ye, missis!
Don't call me missis! I 'm a miserable slave like you. A lower
one that you can ever be! But let me see if I can't make you more
comfortable. [Places a pillow under his head.] There, my poor
fellow, there! that 's the best I can do for you!
Thank you, missis!
It 's no use, my poor fellow; 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.
O, Lord! O, Lord! how can I give up?
There 's no use calling on the Lord; he never hears! There is
n't any God, I believe; or, 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? You see, 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; and this man! there
's no earthly thing that he 's too good to do. I could make any
one's hair rise, and their teeth chatter, if I should only tell what I
've seen and been knowing to here; and it 's no use resisting! Did I want to live with him? Was n't I a woman delicately bred? And he!
God in heaven! what was he, and is he? And yet I 've lived with him
these five years, and cursed every moment of my life, night and day!
And now he 's got a new one; a young thing, only fifteen; and she
brought up, she says, piously! Her good mistress taught her to read
the Bible, and she's brought her Bible here, to hell, with her!
O, Jesus! Lord Jesus! have you quite forgot us poor critturs?
Help, Lord, I perish!
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; and there 's no use in your
suffering to keep from hurting them.
Poor critturs! what made 'em cruel? And if I give out, I shall
get used to 't, and grow, little by little, just like 'em! No, no,
missis! I've lost everything; wife, and children, and home, and a
kind mas'r; and he would have set me free, if he 'd only lived a week
longer. I 've lost everything in this world, and it 's clean
gone forever; and now I can't lose heaven, too; no, I can't
get to be wicked, besides all!
But it can't be that the Lord will lay sin to our account; he
won't charge it to us, when we 're forced to it; he 'll charge it to
tham that drove us to it.
Yes; 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 came so; it 's the bein' so; that ar 's what
I'm a dreadin'.
O, God a' mercy! you speak the truth! O! O! O!
Please missis, I saw 'em throw my coat in that ar' corner. In
the pocket is my Bible; if missis would please get it for me. [CASSY brings it.] There 's a place marked here, if missis 'll please to
read it. I want to hear it.
"And when they were come to the place which is called Calvary,
there they crucified him, and the malefactors one on the right hand,
and the other on the left. Then said Jesus, Father, forgive them,
they know not what they do!"[She throws down the book violently, and buries her face
in her hands.]
Uncle T. [Sobbing.]
If we could only keep up to that ar'! it seemed to come so
natural to him, and we have to fight so hard for 't! O, Lord, help
us! O, blessed Lord Jesus, do help us! Missis, I can see that
somehow 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! Wa'n't he
al'ays poor? and have we, any on us, yet come so low as he come? The
Lord ha'n't forgot us; I 'm sartin o' that ar'! If we suffer with
him, we shall also reign, Scripture says; but if we deny him, he also
will deny us. Didn't they all suffer; the Lord and all his? It tells
how they were stoned and sawn asunder, and wandered about in
sheepskins and goatskins, and was destitute, afflicted, tormented.
Sufferin' an't no reason to make us think the Lord's turned agin us,
but jest the contrary, if we only hold on to him, and does n't give up
But why does he put us where we can't help but sin?
I think we can help it.
You 'll see! What 'll you do? To-morrow they 'll be at you
again! I know 'em, I have 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
Lord Jesus! you will take care of my soul! O, Lord, do!
don't let me give out!
O, dear, 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!
Well, then, I will die! Spin it out as long as they
can, they can't help my dying some time! and, after that, they can't
do no more. I 'm clar! I 'm set! I know the Lord 'll help
me, and bring me through.
Maybe it 's the way, but those that have given up, there
's no hope for them—none! We live in filth and grow loathsome, till
we loathe ourselves! And we long to die, and we don't dare to kill
ourselves. No hope! no hope! no hope! This girl now, just as old as I
You see me now; see what I am! Well, I was brought up in luxury:
the first I remember is, the playing about, when I was a child, in
splendid parlors; kept dressed up like a doll; company and visitors
praising 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. 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 a
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 did n't know why.
There was a young lawyer whom they left to settle the business; and
he came every day, and was about the house and spoke very politely to
me. He brought with him, one day, a young man, 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 did n't tell me, he had
paid two thousand dollars for me, and I was his property. I became
his willingly, for I loved him.
Loved!—O, 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! Everything that money could buy, he gave me; but I did n't set
any value on all that; I only cared for him. I loved him better than
my God and my own soul; and, if I tried, I could n't do any other way
from what he wanted me to do.
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, was n't I that man's wife? Was n't I faithful? For
seven years, did n't I study every look and motion, and only life and
breathe to please him? He had the yellow fever, and for twenty days
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 have 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 too. 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. O, those were happy days! I thought I was as happy as any
one could be; but then there came evil times. He had a cousin come
to New Orleans who was his particular friend; he thought all the
world of him; but from the first time I saw him, I could n'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 would not come home
nights till two or three o'clock. I did not dare to 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. Would you believe it? at
last 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 did
n't deceive me; I knew that the time had come; I was just like
one turned into stone; I could n't speak nor shed a tear. He kissed
me and kissed the children a good many times, and went out. He 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; "but 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
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. O, what a life it was! To
live with my heart breaking every day,—to keep on, on, on, loving,
when it was only misery; and to be bound, body and soul, to one I
hated! Yet I was afraid to refuse him anything. He was very hard to
the children. Elise was a timid little thing; but Henry was bold and
high-spirited like his father,—he had always been so indulged. He
was always scolding him, and I used to live in daily
fear. I tried to make the child respectful. I tried to keep
them apart. No use—none! He sold both those children. One day,
when I came home from riding, I looked all over the house, and
called,—and they were gone! He told me he had sold them; he showed
me the money,—the price of their blood! Then it seemed as if all
good had forsaken me. I raved and cursed,—cursed God and man; and,
for a while, I believe he really was afraid of me. But he did n'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 was n't
quiet, they should smart for it. Well, you can do anything with a
woman when you 've got her children! He made me submit; he made me peaceable; he flattered me with hopes that, perhaps, he
would buy them back; and so things went on a week or two. One day, I
was out walking, and passed by the calaboose; I saw a crowd about the
gate, and I heard a child's voice; and, suddenly, my Henry broke away
from two or three men, who were holding him, and ran, screaming, and
caught my dress. They came up to him, swearing dreadfully. O, there
was one man!—I shall never forget that man's face! He told him that
he would n't get away so; that he had got to go in with him and get a
lesson he 'd never forget. The poor child screamed, and looked in my
face, and held on to me so that, when they tore him off, they tore the
skirt of my dress half away; and they carried him in screaming
"Mother! mother! mother!" I turned and ran; every step I heard him
scream. I got to the house, all out of breath, into the parlor, and
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.——-Look here! Do you know something in my head snapped
then?—snapped, you know! It 's never come right since. I saw
a great knife—I caught it—and then all grew dark—and I did n'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 did n't mean to get well, and hoped I should n't; but, in spite
of me, the fever went off, and I grew healthy, and finally got up.
Then they made me dress up, every day; and 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 was n't gayer, and did
n'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 of him. 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
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. O,
that child! how I loved it! How just like my poor Henry the little
thing looked! But I had made up my mind—yes, I had—I would never
again let a child live to grow up! So, when he was two weeks old, I
took the little fellow in my arms, and I gave him laudanum. It did
n't hurt him; it made him so quiet, and I held him close—close to my
bosom, and he slept to death! And I 'm not sorry now! That 's one
of the few things I 'm glad of. Yes, yes; he 's safe! They 'll
never sell him—they 'll never whip him! No, no; nothing
can hurt him! Ah! death is the best thing we can give our
children. After a while the cholera came, and Captain Stuart died;
everybody died that wanted to live, and I—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! [Cassy
rises and walks about—stops suddenly.] You tell me there 's a
God,—a God that looks down and sees all these things. May be it 's
so. The sisters used to tell me of a day of judgment when everything
is coming to light. Won't there be vengeance then!
They think it 's nothing what we suffer—nothing what our
children suffer! It 's all a small matter; yet I 've walked the
streets when it seemed as if I had misery enough in my one heart to
sink the city! I 've wished the houses would fall on me, or the
stones sink under me. Yes! and in the judgment-day I will stand up
before God, a witness against those that have ruined me and my
children, body and soul!
When I was a girl I thought I was religious; I used to love God
and prayer. Now I 'm a lost soul, pursued by devils that torment me
day and night. They keep pushing me on and on—and I 'll do it, too,
some of these days! I 'll send him where he belongs—a short way,
too—one of these nights, if they burn me alive for it! [Sobs and
struggles.] Can I do anything more for you, my poor fellow? Shall
I give you some more water?
O, missis, I wish you would go to Him that can give living
Go to Him! Where is he? Who is he?
Him you read of, the Lord Jesus!
I used to see the picture of him over the altar; but he is n't
here. No; he is n't here! There 's nothing here but sin—and
long—long—long despair! Don't talk, poor fellow! it 's no use. Try
to make yourself comfortable, and sleep if you can.
Plague on that Sambo, to kick up his yer row between me and the
new hands! The fellow won't be fit to work for a week now,—right in
the press of the season.
Yes; just like you.
Hah! you she-devil! you 've come back, have you?
Yes, I have; come to have my own way, too!
You lie, you jade! I 'll be up to my word. Either behave
yourself, or stay down to the quarters, and fare and work with the
I 'd rather, ten thousand times, live in the dirtiest hole at
the quarters, than be under your hoof!
But you are under my hoof, for all that; that 's one
comfort. So, sit down here on my knee, my dear, and hear to reason.
Simon Legree, take care! You 're afraid of me, Simon; and you
've reason to be! But be careful, for I 've got the devil in me!
Get out! I believe to my soul you have! After all, Cassy, why
can't you be friends with me as you used to?
Come, Cassy, I wish you 'd behave yourself decently.
You talk about behaving decently! And what have you been
doing? You, who have n't even sense enough to keep from spoiling one
of your best hands, right in the most pressing season, just for your
I was a fool, it 's a fact, to let any such brangle come up; but
when the boy set up his will, he had to be broke in.
I reckon you won't break him in!
Won't I? 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!
No, he won't!
I 'd like to know why, mistress.
Because he 's done right, and he knows it, and won't say he 's
Who a cuss cares what he knows? The nigger shall say what I
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; of course he will. Don't I know
what niggers is? He 'll beg like a dog this morning.
He won't, Simon; you don't know this kind. You may kill him by
inches, you won't get the first word of confession out him.
We 'll see. Where is he?
In the waste-room of the gin house.
Would it be a sin to kill such a wretch as that?
O, Cassy! is it you? I 'm so glad you've come! I was afraid it
was ——- O, you won't know what a horrid noise there has been, down
stairs, all this evening!
I ought to know; I 've heard it often enough.
O, Cassy! Do tell me,—could n't we get away from this place?
I don't care where,—into the swamp among the snakes,—anywhere! Could n't we get
somewhere away from here?
Nowhere but into our graves!
Did you ever try?
I 've seen enough of trying, and what comes of it?
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
There have been a good many here of your opinion; but you could
n't stay in the swamps. You 'd be tracked by the dogs, and brought
back, and then—then—
What would he do?
What would n't he do, you 'd better ask! He 's learned
his trade well among the pirates in the West Indies. You would n't
sleep much, if I should tell you things I 've seen,—things that he
tells of, sometimes, for good jokes. I 've heard screams here that I
have n't been able to get out of my head for weeks and weeks. There
's a place way out down by the quarters, where you can see a black,
blasted tree, and the ground all covered with black ashes. Ask any
one what was done there, and see if they will dare to tell you.
O, what do you mean?
I won't tell you. I hate to think of it. And, I tell you, the
Lord only knows what we may see to-morrow, if that poor fellow holds
out as he 's begun!
Horrid! O, Cassy, 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; and I
hate it so—
You 'd better drink. I hated it too; and now I can't live
without it. One must have something—things don't look so dreadful
when you take that.
Mother used to tell me never to touch any such thing.
Mother told you! 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!
O, Cassy, do pity me!
Pity you!—and don't I? Have n't I a daughter?—Lord knows
where she is, and whose she is now,—going the way her mother went
before her, I suppose, and that her children must go after her!
There 's no end to the curse—forever!
I wish I 'd never been born!
That 's an old wish with me. I 've got used to wishing that. I
'd die if I dared to!
It would be wicked to kill one's self.
I don't know why;—no wickeder than things we live and do day
after day. But the sisters told me things, when I was in the convent,
that make me afraid to die. If it would only be the end of us, why
There he is!—What now?
SCENE VI.—Moonlight. UNCLE
"Way down upon the Swanee river, Far, far
away,Dere's whar my heart is turning, ever,
Dere's whar the old folks stay.
All the world am sad and dreary, Everywhere I roam;
O, Chloe, how my heart grows weary, Thinkin' of ye all at home!"
[A pause. Looks up. His face brightens. Sings.]
"When I can read my title clear To
mansions in the skies,I bid farewell to every fear, And
wipe my weeping eyes.
Should earth against my soul engage, And hellish
darts be hurled,Then I can smile at Satan's rage, And
face a frowning world."
[Enter LEGREE, unperceived.]
"Let cares like a wild deluge come, And
storms of sorrow fall,May I but safely reach my home, My
God, my heaven, my all!"
So, ho! he thinks so, does he! How I hate these cursed Methodist
hymns! [To TOM, aloud.] Here, you nigger! how dare you
be gettin' up this yer row, when you ought to be in bed? Shut yer old
black gash, and get along in with you!
Leg. [Beating him.]
There, you dog! see if you feel so comfortable after that!
SCENE VII.—Night. Before UNCLE
TOM'S Cottage.Enter CASSY.
She raps. UNCLE TOM opens the
Come here, father Tom! come here; I 've news for you!
What, Misse Cassy?
Tom, would n't you like your liberty?
I shall have it, misse, in God's time.
Ay, but you may have it to-night! Come on!
[UNCLE TOM holds back.]
Come! Come along! He 's asleep—sound. I put enough into his
brandy to keep him so. I wish I 'd had more, I should n't have wanted
you. But come, the back-door is unlocked: there is an axe there; I
put it there—his room-door is open; I 'll show you the way. I 'd a
done it myself, only my arms are so weak. Come along!
Not for ten thousand worlds, misse!
But think of all these poor creatures. We might set them all
free, and go somewhere in the swamps, and find an island, and live by
ourselves; I've heard of its being done. Any life is better than this.
No, no! good never comes of wickedness. I 'd sooner chop my
right hand off!
Then I shall do it.
O, misse Cassy! for the dear Lord's sake that died for ye, don't
sell your precious soul to the devil, that way! Nothing but evil will
come of it. The Lord has n't called us to wrath. We must suffer,
and wait his time.
Wait! Have n't I waited?—waited till my head is dizzy and my
heart sick? What has he made me suffer! What has he made hundreds of
poor creatures suffer! Is n't he wringing the life-blood out of you?
I'm called on! They call me! His time 's come, and I'll have his
No, no, no! No, ye poor, lost soul, that ye must n't do! The
dear, blessed Lord never shed no blood but his own, and that he poured
out for us when we was enemies. Lord, help us to follow his steps,
and love our enemies!
Love! love such enemies! it is n't in flesh and blood.
No, misse, it is n't; but He gives it to us, and that 's
the victory. When we can love and pray over all, and through
all, the battle 's past and the victory 's come—glory be to God!
Misse Casse, if you could only get away from here—if the thing was
possible—I 'd 'vise ye and Emmeline to do it; that is, if ye could
go without blood-guiltiness—not otherwise.
Would you try it with us, father Tom?
No; time was when I would; but the Lord's given me a work among
these yer poor souls, and I 'll stay with 'em, and bear my cross with
'em till the end. It 's different with you; it 's a snare to you—
it's more 'n you can stand, and you 'd better go if you can.
I know no way but through the grave! There 's no beast or bird
but can find a home somewhere; even the snakes and the alligators have
their places to lie down and be quiet; but there 's no place for us.
Down in the darkest swamps the dogs will hunt us out, and find us.
Everybody and everything is against us; even the very beasts side
against us, and where shall we go?
He that saved Daniel in the den of lions—that saved the
children in the fiery furnace—He that walked on the sea, and bade the
winds be still—He 's alive yet; and I 've faith to believe he can
deliver you. Try it, and I will pray with all my might for you.
Father Tom, I 'll try it!
[Exit CASSY, UNCLE TOM.
SCENE VIII.—A Room. Evening.
CASSY and EMMELINE sorting and arranging baggage.
These will be large enough; now on with your bonnet, and let 's
Why, they can see us yet.
I mean they shall. Don't you know they must have that chase
after us, at any rate? See here, now, their way will be just this: We
steal out of the back door, and run down by the Court House. Sambo or
Quimbo wil l be sure to see us. They will give chase, and we will
get into the swamp. Then I can't go any further till they go up and
turn out the dogs; and while they are blundering around, and tumbling
over each other, as they always do, you and I will just slip
along to a creek, and run into the water, till we get back
to the house; that will put the dogs all at fault; for scent won't
lie in the water. Every one will run out of the house to look after
us, and then we 'll whip into the back door, and then to the garret,
where I have got a nice bed made up in one of the great boxes. We
must stay there a good while; for, I tell you, he will raise heaven
and earth after us. He boasts that no one ever got away from him.
He 'll muster all the old overseers on the other plantations, and
have a great hunt, and they 'll go over every inch of ground in that
swamp. We 'll let him hunt at his leisure.Em.
But won't he come to the garret?
Not he, indeed! He is too much afraid of that place.
Cassy, how well you have planned it! Who would ever have
thought that of you?
Cas. [Reaching her hand to EMMELINE.]
SCENE IX.—A Wood. EMMELINE and
CASSY stealing cautiously through the trees.
Enter LEGREE at a distance. Perceives them.
Hallo! you, there!
Emmeline. [Staggers and catches hold of CASSY'S
O, Cassy, I am going to faint!
Cassy. [Holding up a dagger.]
If you do, I 'll kill you!
[She seizes EMMELINE under the arm and holds her up, as they
disappear.]Legree. [Coming in sight, and looking after
Anyhow, they have got into a trap now,—the baggages! They are
safe enough! They shall sweat for it! [Turns and runs in another
direction.] Hallo! there, Sambo! Quimbo!—all hands!—two
runaways in the swamp!—five dollars to any nigger that catches
them!—turn out the dogs!—turn out Tiger!—Fury and fire! Halloo! be
alive!Enter SAMBO, QUIMBO,
and a crowd of negroes with
torches. They run about distractedly, and shouting and whooping,
some getting pine knots and some getting the dogs.
Mas'r, shall we shoot them? Can't catch 'em.
Legree. [Giving him a rifle.]
Fire on Cass, if you like—time she is gone where she belongs!
Don't fire on the girl! Now, be spry! Five dollars to him that gets
them! Glass of spirits to you all, any way!
[Exit all, shouting.]
Enter UNCLE TOM;
looks after them and raises his
Please, good Lord, do, do help 'em—help 'em—help 'em, good
SCENE X.—A Room in the House.
Enter CASSY and EMMELINE
out of breath. From
the windows is seen the light of flambeaux, and the sound of dogs and
shouting is heard.
Cas. [Walking to the window and looking out.]
See there, the hunt is begun! Hark, the dogs! Don't you hear?
If we were there now, our chance would n't be worth a picayune!
O, for pity's sake! Do let 's hide ourselves! Quick! quick!
There is no occasion for hurry. The hunt is the amusement for
the evening. They are all out after it. Meanwhile [she walks to a
desk and unlocks it] I shall take something to pay our passage.
O, don't let 's to that!
Cas. [Taking out a roll of bills and counting them.]
Why not? Would you have us starve in the swamp, or have what
will pay our way to the free states? Money can do anything, girl!
But it 's stealing!
Cas. [Laughs scornfully.]
Stealing, is it! They who steal body and soul need not talk to
us! Let him talk about stealing! Every one of these bills is
stolen—stolen from poor, starving, sweat ing creatures, that must go
to the devil at last for his profit! But come, we may as well
go up garret. I have got a stock of candles there, and some books to
pass away the time. You may be sure they won't come there to inquire
SCENE XI.—The Dining-room.
It 's all that Tom, I know! Did n't I see the old wretch
lifting up his old black hands, praying? I hate him! I HATE
him! And is n't he mine? Is he not MINE? Can't I do what I
like with him? Who is to hinder, I wonder? I 'll try once more
to-morrow. If I don't catch them—I 'll see what I 'll do!
SCENE XII .— A small Room under
the eaves of the garret. A pallet spread upon the floor, strewn with
books and bundles. A light burning on the side of the wall. CASSY
kneeling, with her eye to a knot-hole.
What do you see?
At it again this morning! There 's that old Stokes on the run.
He has come over—has he? And Bill Daken, with his dogs! Hear them
swear! There he goes, giving brandy round among them—niggers and
all! [Listens.] So I am to be shot down—am I? "Save the
girl!" Do you hear that, Emmeline? Is n't he kind? [CASSY rises
suddenly, clasps her hands, and looks up.] Almighty God, what is this for? What have we done more than all the rest of the
world, that we are treated so? [After a pause, she lays her hand
on EMMELINE'S shoulder.] If it was n't for you, child, I would go out there, and I 'd thank any one that
me down; for what use will freedom be to me? Can it give me back my
children, or make me what I used to be?
Poor Cassy! don't feel so!
[She takes her hand.]
Cas. [Draws it away.]
Don't— you get me to loving you; and I never mean to love
You should n't feel so, Cassy. If the Lord gives us liberty
perhaps he will give you back your daughter. At any rate, I 'll be
like a daughter to you. I know I 'll never see my poor old mother
again. I shall love you, Cassy, whether you love me or not.
Cas. [Sits down, and puts her arm around
O, Em, I have hungered for my children, and thirsted for them!
My heart is broken in longing for them! Here, here all is
desperate, all empty! If God would give me back my children, then I
You must trust him, Cassy. He is our Father.
His wrath is upon us. He is turned away in anger.
No, Cassy, he will be good to us.
SCENE XIII.—LEGREE and QUIMBO.
Now, Quimbo, if you 'll just walk up that Tom right away—the
old cuss is at the bottom of the whole matter, and I 'll have it out
of his old black hide, or I 'll know the reason why! [Exit
QUIMBO.] What if I did pay a thousand dollars for him!—two
thousand would not pay the plague he has made me! I 've got
him! the —Enter QUIMBO,
dragging along TOM.
Ah! you 'll cotch it now, I 'll be bound! Mas'r's back 's up
high. No sneaking up now—tell you, you 'll get it—no mistake! See
how you look now, helping mas'r's niggers to run away—see what ye
A voice from above.
"Fear not them that kill the body, and after that have no more
that they can do."
Leg. [Seizing TOM by the collar.]
Tom, do you know I have made up my mind to kill you?
I think it 's quite likely, mas'r.
I have—done—just—that—thing, Tom, unless you'll tell me what
you know about these here girls![TOM remains silent, and looks on the floor.]
Do you hear?—speak!
I an't got nothing to tell, mas'r.
Do you dare to tell me, you old black Christian, that you don't
know?[TOM remains silent.]
Speak! Do you know anything?
I know, mas'r, but I can't tell anything. I can die.
Leg. [Comes up to TOM, and speaks close to his face.
Look here, Tom! you think, because I have let you off other
times, that I don't mean what I say. But I do! I have made up
my mind and counted the cost. You always have stood it out against
me; but this time I 'll conquer you, or I 'll kill you—one or t'
other! I 'll count every drop of blood that is in you, and take them
one by one till you give up!
Tom. [Looking up to his master.]
Mas'r, if you were sick, or in trouble, or dying, and I could
save ye, I 'd give ye my heart's blood; and, if taking every drop of
blood in this poor old body would s ave your precious soul, I 'd give
'em freely, as the Lord gave his for me. O! mas'r, don't bring this
great sin on your soul! It will hurt you more than 't will me! Do the
worst you can, my troubles will be over soon; but, if ye don't
repent, yours won't ever end!
[LEGREE hesitates a moment, and then knocks TOM
. SAMBO and QUIMBO rush in.]
Sambo and Quimbo.
Shall we take him, mas'r?
Yes, take him. I 'll go with you. We 'll see what we'll see!
SCENE XIV.—A Hut. UNCLE TOM lying
on straw, apparently dead.Enter GEORGE SHELBY.
Is it possible! Is it possible! Uncle Tom, my poor old friend!
Uncle Tom. [Moving in his sleep.]
"Jesus can make a dying bedFeel soft as downy pillows are."
O! Uncle Tom, do wake! do speak once more! Look up! Here's
Mas'r George—your own little Mas'r George! Don't you know me?
Uncle T. [In a feeble voice.]
Mas'r George! Mas'r George! Bless the Lord! it is—it is—it 's
all I wanted! They have n't forgot me! It warms my soul; it does my
old heart good! Now I shall die content! Bless the Lord, O my soul!
You shan't die! you must n't die, nor think of it! I 've
come to buy you, and take you home.
O, Mas'r George, ye 're too late! The Lord's bought me, and is
going to take me home; and I long to go. Heaven is better than
O, don't die! It 'll kill me! it 'll break my heart to think
what you 've suffered—and lying in this old shed, here! Poor, poor
Don't call me a poor fellow! [Solemnly.] I
been poor fellow, but that 's all past and gone now. I 'm right in
the door, going into glory! O, Mas'r George! Heaven has come!
I 've got the victory! the Lord Jesus has given it to me! Glory be
to his name! [He pauses, and then takes GEORGE'S hand.]
Ye must n't, now, tell Chloe—poor soul!—how ye found me; 't would be
so drefful to her. Only tell her ye found me going into glory; and
that I could n't stay for no one. And tell her the Lord stood by me
everywhere, and al'ays, and made everything light and easy. And, O!
the poor chil'en, and the baby—my old heart's been most broken for
'em, time and again. Tell 'em all to follow me—follow me! Give my
love to mas'r, and dear good missis, and everybody in the place! Ye
don't know. 'Pears like I love 'em all! I loves every creatur',
everywar!—it 's nothing but love! O, Mas'r George, what a
thing 't is to be a Christian![LEGREE looks in.]
The old Satan! It 's a comfort to think the devil will pay
him for this some of these days!
O, don't!—O, you must n't! [grasping his hand] He 's a
poor mis'able critter. It 's awful to think on 't. O, if he
only would repent, the Lord would forgive him now; but I 'm
feared he never will!George.
I hope he won't. I never want to see him in heaven!
Hush, Mas'r George; it worries me! Don't feel so. He an't done
me no real harm—only opened the gate of the kingdom for me—that 's
all! [A pause. UNCLE TOM seems to faint. Draws several
long sighs, raises his hand.] Who—who—who—shall—separate—us
from—the—the—love of Christ? LOVE! LOVE! LOVE OF CHRIST!