Uncle tom's cabin - online children's book

Complete unabridged version in one volume

Home Main Menu Order Support About Search



Share page  


Previous Contents Next

LIFE AMONG THE LOWLY            143
one friend near me. I was soon sorry for it. Sir, I have stood at the door and heard her whipped, when it seemed as if every blow cut into my naked heart, and I could n't do anything to help her; and she was whipped, sir, for wanting to live a decent Christian life, such as your laws give no slave girl a right to live; and at last I saw her chained with a trader's gang, to be sent to market in Or­leans, — sent there for nothing else but that, — and that's the last I know of her. Well, I grew up, — long years and years, — no father, no mother, no sister, not a living soul that cared for me more than a dog ; nothing but whip­ping, scolding, starving. Why, sir, I 've been so hungry that I have been glad to take the bones they threw to their dogs; and yet, when I was a little fellow, and laid awake whole nights and cried, it was n't the hunger, it was n't the whipping I cried for. No, sir ; it was for my mother and my sisters, — it was because I had n't a friend to love me on earth. I never knew what peace or comfort was. I never had a kind word spoken to me till I came to work in your factory. Mr. Wilson, you treated me well; you encouraged me to do well, and to learn to read and write, and to try to make something of myself; and God knows how grateful I am for it. Then, sir, I found my wife; you 've seen her, — you know how beautiful she is. When I found she loved me, when I married her, I scarcely could believe I was alive, I was so happy; and, sir, she is as good as she is beautiful. But now what ? Why, now comes my master, takes me right away from my work, and my friends, and all I like, and grinds me down into the very dirt! And why ? Because, he says, I forgot who I was ; he says, to teach me that I am only a nigger! After all, and last of all, he comes between me and my wife, and says I shall give her up, and live with another woman. And all this your laws give him power to do, in spite of God or man. Mr. Wilson, look at it! There is n't one of all these things, that have broken the hearts of my mother and my sister, and my wife and myself, but your