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LIFE AMONG THE LOWLY            157
cabin window, and finally repeated, for a finale, the re­mark with which she had begun, — " After all, I think they are better off than they would be to be free."
u It's undoubtedly the intention of Providence that the African race should be servants, — kept in a low condi­tion," said a grave-looking gentleman in black, a clergy­man, seated by the cabin door. " ' Cursed be Canaan ; a servant of servants shall he be/ the Scripture says."
" I say, stranger, is that ar what that text means ? " said a tall man, standing by.
"Undoubtedly. It pleased Providence, for some in­scrutable reason, to doom the race to bondage, ages ago; and we must not set up our opinion against that."
" Well, then, we '11 all go ahead and buy up niggers," said the man, " if that's the way of Providence, — won't we, Squire?" said he, turning to Haley, who had been standing, with his hands in his pockets, by the stove, and intently listening to the conversation.
" Yes," continued the tall man, " we must all be resigned to the decrees of Providence. Niggers must be sold, and trucked round, and kept under; it's what they 's made for. 'Pears like this yer view 's quite refreshing, an't it, stranger ? " said he to Haley.
" I never thought on 't," said Haley. " I could n't have said as much, myself; I han't no laming. I took up the trade just to make a living ; if 't an't right, I calculated to 'pent on 't in time, ye know."
" And now you '11 save yourself the trouble, won't ye," said the tall man. " See what't is, now, to know Scripture. If ye 'd only studied yer Bible, like this yer good man, ye might have know'd it before, and saved ye a heap o' trouble. Ye could jist have said, ' Cussed be ' — what's his name ? — and 't would all have come right." And the stranger, who was no other than the honest drover whom we introduced to our readers in the Kentucky tavern, sat down, and began smoking, with a curious smile on his long, dry face.