LIFE AMONG THE LOWLY 215
(t Mammy is the best I ever knew," said Marie ; " and yet Mammy, now, is selfish, — dreadfully selfish ; it's the fault of the whole race."
" Selfishness is a dreadful fault," said St. Clare, gravely.
" Well, now, there 's Mammy," said Marie ; " I think it's selfish of her to sleep so sound nights; she knows I need little attentions almost every hour, when my worst turns are on, and yet she 's so hard to wake. I absolutely am worse this very morning, for the efforts I had to make to wake her last night."
" Has n't she sat up with you a good many nights, lately, mamma ? " said Eva.
" How should you know that ? " said Marie, sharply; " she 's been complaining, I suppose."
" She did n't complain ; she only told me what bad nights you 'd had, — so many in succession."
" Why don't you let Jane or Rosa take her place a night or two," said St. Clare, " and let her rest ? "
" How can you propose it ? " said Marie. " St. Clare, you really are inconsiderate. So nervous as I am, the least breath disturbs me; and a strange hand about me would drive me absolutely frantic. If Mammy felt the interest in me she ought to, she 'd wake easier, — of course she would. I 've heard of people who had such devoted servants, but it never was my luck; " and Marie sighed.
Miss Ophelia had listened to this conversation with an air of shrewd, observant gravity ; and she still kept her lips tightly compressed, as if determined fully to ascertain her longitude and position before she committed herself.
" Now Mammy has a sort of goodness," said Marie ; " she 's smooth and respectful, but she 's selfish at heart. Now, she never will be done fidgeting and worrying about that husband of hers. You see, when I was married and came to live here, of course, I had to bring her with me, and her husband my father could n't spare. He was a blacksmith, and, of course, very necessary ; and I thought and said, at the time, that Mammy and he had better