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294             UNCLE TOM'S CABIN; OR
The fact was, it was, after all, the thing that I hated, — the using these men and women, the perpetuation of all this ignorance, brutality, and. vice, — just to make money for me !
" Besides* I was always interfering in the details. Be­ing myself one of the laziest of mortals, I had altogether too much fellow-feeling for the lazy; and when poor shift­less dogs put stones at the bottom of their cotton-baskets to make them weigh heavier, or filled their sacks with dirt, with cotton at the top, it seemed so exactly like what I should do if I were they, I could n't and would n't have them flogged for it. Well, of course, there was an end of plantation discipline; and Alf and I came to about the same point that I and my respected father did years be­fore. So he told me that I was a womanish sentimental­ist, and would never do for business life ; and advised me to take the bank-stock and the New Orleans family man­sion, and go to writing poetry, and let him manage the plantation. So we parted, and I came here."
" But why did n't you free your slaves ? "
" Well, I was n't up to that. To hold them as tools for money-making, I could not; — have them to help spend money, you know, did n't look quite so ugly to me. Some of them were old house-servants, to whom I was much attached; and the younger ones were children to the old. All were well satisfied to be as they were." He paused, and walked reflectively up and down the room.
" There was," said St. Clare, " a time in my life when I had plans and hopes of doing something in this world, more than to float and drift. I had vague, indistinct yearnings to be a sort of emancipator, — to free my native land from this spot and stain. All young men have had such fever-fits, I suppose, sometime,.— but then " —
" Why did n't you ? " said Miss Ophelia ; — " you ought not to put your hand to the plough, and look back."
" Oh, well, things did n't go with me as I expected, and I got the despair of living that Solomon did. I suppose