Uncle tom's cabin - online children's book

Complete unabridged version in one volume

Home Main Menu Order Support About Search

Share page  

Previous Contents Next

LIFE AMONG THE LOWLY            283
denly settling into an earnest and serious expression, " on this abstract question of slavery there can, as I think, be but one opinion. Planters, who have money to make by it, — clergymen, who have planters to please, — politicians, who want to rule by it, — may warp and bend language and ethics to a degree that shall astonish the world at their ingenuity; they can press nature and the Bible, and nobody knows what else, into the service ; but, after all, neither they nor the world believe in it one particle the more. It comes from the devil, that *s the short of it; — and, to my mind, it's a pretty respectable specimen of what he can do in his own line."
Miss Ophelia stopped her knitting, and looked surprised ; and St. Clare, apparently enjoying her astonishment, went on.
" You seem to wonder; but if you will get me fairly at it, I '11 make a clean breast of it. This cursed business, accursed of God and man, what is it ? Strip it of all its ornament, run it down to the root and nucleus of the whole, and what is it ? Why, because my brother Quashy is ig­norant and weak, and I am intelligent and strong, — be­cause I know how, and can do it, — therefore, I may steal all he has, keep it, and give him only such and so much as suits my fancy. Whatever is too hard, too dirty, too dis­agreeable, for me, I may set Quashy to doing. Because I don't like work, Quashy shall work. Because the sun burns me, Quashy shall stay in the sun. Quashy shall earn the money, and I will spend it. Quashy shall lie down in every puddle, that I may walk over dry-shod. Quashy shall do my will, and not his, all the days of his mortal life, and have such chance of getting to heaven, at last, as I find convenient. This I take to be about what slavery is. I defy anybody on earth to read our slave-code, as it stands in our law-books, and make anything else of it. Talk of the abuses of slavery ! Humbug ! The thing itself is the essence of all abuse! And the only reason why the land don't sink under it, like Sodom and