LIFE AMONG THE LOWLY 233
of it, — that's just the whole of what all this sanctified stuff amounts to, after all; and I think that will be intelligible to everybody, everywhere."
" I do think, Augustine, you are so irreverent! " said Marie. " I think it's shocking to hear you talk."
" Shocking ! it's the truth. This religious talk on such matters, — why don't they carry it a little further, and show the beauty, in its season, of a fellow's taking a glass too much, and sitting a little too late over his cards, and various providential arrangements of that sort, which are pretty frequent among us young men ; we 'd like to hear that those are right and godly, too."
" Well," said Miss Ophelia, " do you think slavery right or wrong ? "
" I 'm not going to have any of your horrid New England directness, cousin," said St. Clare, gayly. " If I answer that question, I know you '11 be at me with half a dozen others, each one harder than the last; and I 'm not a-going to define my position. I am one of the sort that live by throwing stones at other people's glass houses, but I never mean to put up one for them to stone."
" That's just the way he 's always talking," said Marie ; i( you can't get any satisfaction out of him. I believe it's just because he don't like religion, that he 's always running out in this way he 's been doing."
" Religion!' said St. Clare, in a tone that made both ladies look at him. " Religion! Is what you hear at church religion ? Is that which can bend and turn, and descend and ascend, to fit every crooked phase of selfish, worldly society, religion ? Is that religion which is less scrupulous, less generous, less just, less considerate foi man, than even my own ungodly, worldly, blinded nature ? No ! When I look for a religion, I must look for something above me, and not something beneath."
" Then you don't believe that the Bible justifies slavery," said Miss Ophelia.
"The Bible was my mother's book," said St. Clare.