22 UNCLE TOM'S CABIN; OR
sofas and riding in their carriages ; but let 'em be where I am, I guess it would come some harder. I wish I could be good ; but my heart burns, and can't be reconciled, anyhow. You could n't, in my place, — you can't now, if I tell you all I 've got to say. You don't know the whole
" What can be coming now ? "
" Well, lately Mas'r has been saying that he was a fool to let me marry off the place ; that he hates Mr. Shelby and all his tribe, because they are proud, and hold their heads up above him, and that I 've got proud notions from you; and he says he won't let me come here any more, and that I shall take a wife and settle down on his place. At first he only scolded and grumbled these things; but yesterday he told me that I should take Mina for a wife, and settle down in a cabin with her, or he would sell me down river."
" Why — but you were married to me, by the minister, as much as if you 'd been a white man!' said Eliza, simply.
" Don't you know a slave can't be married ? There is no law in this country for that; I can't hold you for my wife if he chooses to part us. That's why I wish I 'd never seen you, — why I wish I 'd never been born ; it would have been better for us both, — it would have been better for this poor child if he had never been born. All this may happen to him yet! "
" Oh, but master is so kind ! "
" Yes, but who knows ? — he may die, — and then he may be sold to nobody knows who. What pleasure is it that he is handsome, and smart, and bright ? I tell you, Eliza, that a sword will pierce through your soul for every good and pleasant thing your child is or has ; it will make him worth too much for you to keep! "
The words smote heavily on Eliza's heart; the vision of the trader came before her eyes, and, as if some one had struck her a deadly blow, she turned pale and gasped for breath. She looked nervously out on the veranda, where