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            199
Orleans rise to our view, there is yet time for an introduc­tion to Miss Ophelia.
Whoever has. traveled in the New England States will remember, in some cool village, the large farm-house, with its clean-swept grassy yard, shaded by the dense and mas­sive foliage of the sugar-maple; and remember the air of order and stillness, of perpetuity and unchanging repose, that seemed to breathe over the whole place. Nothing lost, or out of order; not a picket loose in the fence, not a particle of litter in the turfy yard, with its clumps of lilac-bushes growing up under the windows. Within, he will remember wide, clean rooms, where nothing ever seems to be doing or going to be done, where everything is once and forever rigidly in place, and where all household ar­rangements move with the punctual exactness of the old clock in the corner. In the family " keeping-room," as it is termed, he will remember the staid, respectable old bookcase, with its glass doors, where Rollin's History, Milton's Paradise Lost, Bunyan's Pilgrim's Progress, and Scott's Family Bible stand side by side in decorous order, with multitudes of other books, equally solemn and re­spectable. There are no servants in the house, but the lady in the snowy cap, with the spectacles, who sits sewing every afternoon among her daughters, as if nothing ever had been done, or were to be done, — she and her girls, in some long-forgotten fore part of the day, " did up the work" and for the rest of the time, probably, at all hours when you would see them, it is "done up." The old kitchen floor never seems stained or spotted; the tables, the chairs, and the various cooking utensils never seem deranged or disordered; though three and sometimes four meals a day are got there, though the family washing and ironing is there performed, and though pounds of butter and cheese are in some silent and mysterious man­ner there brought into existence.
On such a farm, in such a house and family, Miss Ophelia had spent a quiet existence of some forty-five