44 UNCLE TOM'S CABIN; OR
" Well, therein you differ from many wise and pious men," said Mr. Shelby. " You remember Mr. B.'s sermon the other Sunday ? "
" I don't want to hear such sermons ; I never wish to hear Mr. B. in our church again. Ministers can't help the evil, 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 that sermon, either."
" Well," said Shelby, " I must say these ministers sometimes carry matters further than we poor sinners would exactly dare to do. We men of the world must wink pretty hard at 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."
" Oh, yes, yes! " said Mrs. Shelby, hurriedly and abstractedly fingering her gold watch, — "I haven't any jewelry of any amount," she added, thoughtfully; " but would not this watch do something ? — it was an expensive one when it was bought. If I could only at least save Eliza's child, I would sacrifice anything I have."
" I 'm sorry, very sorry, Emily," said Mr. Shelby. " I 'm sorry this takes hold of you so ; but it will do no good. The fact is, Emily, the thing 's done ; the bills of sale are already signed, and in Haley's hands ; and you must be thankful it is no worse. That man has had it in his power to ruin us all, — and now he is fairly off. If you knew the man as I do, you 'd think that we had had a narrow escape."
" Is he so hard, then ? "
" Why, not a cruel man, exactly, but a man of leather, — a man alive to nothing but trade and profit, — cool, and unhesitating, and unrelenting, as death and the grave.