LIFE AMONG THE LOWLY 281
knit, but while she mused the fire burned ; at last she broke out, —
" I tell you, Augustine, I can't get over things so, if you can. It's a perfect abomination for you to defend such a system, — that's my mind ! "
" What now ? " said St. Clare, looking up. " At it again, hey ? "
" I say it ?s perfectly abominable for you to defend such a system!' said Miss Ophelia, with increasing warmth.
" / defend it, my dear lady ? Who ever said I did defend it ? " said St. Clare.
" Of course, you defend it, — you all do, — all you Southerners. What do you have slaves for, if you don't ? "
" Are you such a sweet innocent as to suppose nobody in this world ever does what they don't think is right? Don't you, or did n't you ever, do anything that you did not think quite right ? "
"If'I do, I repent of it, I hope," said Miss Ophelia, rattling her needles with energy.
"So do I," said St. Clare, peeling his orange; "I 'm repenting of it all the time."
" What do you keep on doing it for ? "
" Did n't you ever keep on doing wrong, after you 'd repented, my good cousin ? "
" Well, only when I 've been very much tempted," said Miss Ophelia.
" Well, I 'm very much tempted," said St. Clare; " that's just my difficulty."
" But I always resolve I won't, and I try to break off."
" Well, I have been resolving I won't, off and on, these ten years," said St. Clare ; " but I have n't, somehow, got clear. Have you got clear of all your sins, cousin ? "
" Cousin Augustine," said Miss Ophelia, seriously, and laying down her knitting-work, " I suppose I deserve that you should reprove my shortcomings. I know all you say