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220             UNCLE TOMS CABIN; OR
u You see," she continued, in a faint and lady-like voice, like the last dying breath of an Arabian jessamine, or something equally ethereal, " you see, Cousin Ophelia, I don't often speak of myself. It is n't my habit ; 't is n't agreeable to me. In fact, I have n't strength to do it. But there are points where St. Clare and I differ. St. Clare never understood me, never appreciated me. I think it lies at the root of all my ill health. St. Clare means well, I am bound to believe ; but men are constitutionally selfish and inconsiderate to women. That, at least, is my impres-sion.
Miss Ophelia, who had not a small share of the genuine New England caution, and a very particular horror of be­ing drawn into family difficulties, now began to foresee something of this kind impending ; so, composing her face into a grim neutrality, and drawing out of her pocket about a yard and a quarter of stocking, which she kept as a specific against what Dr. "Watts asserts to be a personal habit of Satan when people have idle hands, she proceeded to knit most energetically, shutting her lips together in a way that said, as plain as words could, " You need n't try to make me speak. I don't want anything to do with your affairs," — in fact, she looked about as sympathizing as a stone lion. But Marie did if*t care for that. She had got somebody to talk to, and she felt it her duty to talk, and that was enough; and, reinforcing herself by smelling again at her vinaigrette, she went on.
" You see, I brought my own property and servants into the connection, when I married St. Clare, and I am legally entitled to manage them my own way. St. Clare had his fortune and his servants, and I 'm well enough content he should manage them his way; but St. Clare will be inter­fering. He has wild, extravagant notions about things, par­ticularly about the treatment of servants. He really does act as if he set his servants before me, and before himself, too ; for he lets them make him all sorts of trouble, and never lifts a finger. Now, about some things, St. Clare is