320 UNCLE TOM'S CABIN; OR
" But you confirm her in the wrong way."
" What's the odds ? One word is as good as another to* her."
" You wanted me to bring her up right; and you ought to remember she is a reasonable creature, and be careful of your influence over her."
" Oh, dismal! so I ought; but, as Topsy herself says, i I's so wicked!' "
In very much this way Topsy's training proceeded, for a year or two, — Miss Ophelia worrying herself, from day to day, with her, as a kind of chronic plague, to whose inflictions she became, in time, as accustomed as persons sometimes do to the neuralgia or sick-headache.
St. Clare took the same kind of amusement in the child that a man might in the tricks of a parrot or a pointer. Topsy, whenever her sins brought her into disgrace in other quarters, always took refuge behind his chair ; and St. Clare, in one way or other, would make peace for her. From him she got many a stray picayune, which she laid out in nuts and candies, and distributed, with careless generosity, to all the children in the family; for Topsy, to do her justice, was good-natured and liberal, and only spiteful in self-defense. She is fairly introduced into our corps de ballet, and will figure, from time to time, in her turn, with other performers.