LIFE AMONG THE LOWLY 261
Tom's voice choked, and the tears ran down his cheeks.
" You poor, silly fool! " said St. Clare, with tears in his own eyes. " Get up, Tom. I 'm not worth crying over."
But Tom would n't rise, and looked imploring.
" Well, I won't go to any more of their cursed nonsense, Tom," said St. Clare ; " on my honor, I won't. I don't know why I have n't stopped long ago. I 've always despised it, and myself for it, — so now, Tom, wipe up your eyes and go about your errands. Come, come," he added, ** no blessings. I 'm not so wonderfully good, now," he said, as he gently pushed Tom to the door. " There, I '11 pledge my honor to you, Tom, you don't see me so again," he said ; and Tom went off, wiping his eyes, with great satisfaction.
" I '11 keep my faith with him, too," said St. Clare, as he closed the door.
And St. Clare did so, — for gross sensualism in any form was not the peculiar temptation of his nature.
But, all this time, who shall detail the tribulations manifold of our friend Miss Ophelia, who had begun the labors of a Southern housekeeper ?
There is all the difference in the world in the servants of Southern establishments, according to the character and capacity of the mistresses who have brought them up.
South as well as North, there are women who have an extraordinary talent for command, and tact in educating. Such are enabled, with apparent ease, and without severity, to subject to their will, and bring into harmonious and systematic order, the various members of their small estate, — to regulate their peculiarities, and so balance and compensate the deficiencies of one by the excess of another, as to produce a harmonious and orderly system.
Such a housekeeper was Mrs. Shelby, whom we have already described ; and such our readers may remember to have met with. If they are not common at the South, it is because they are not common in the world. They are to be found there as often as anywhere; ana, when exist-