358 UNCLE TOM'S CABIN; OR
" Oh, I know," said Eva, sadly ; " but had n't you any brother, or sister, or aunt, or " —
" No, none on 'em, — never had nothing nor nobody."
" But, Topsy, if you 'd only try to be good, you might" —
" Could n't never be nothin' but a nigger, if I was ever so good," said Topsy. " If I could be skinned, and come white, I 'd try then."
" But people can love you, if you are black, Topsy. Miss Ophelia would love you, if you were good."
Topsy gave the short, blunt laugh that was her common mode of expressing incredulity.
" Don't you think so ? " said Eva.
" No ; she can't bar me, 'cause I 'm a nigger ! — she 'd 's soon have a toad touch her! There can't nobody love niggers, and niggers can't do nothin'! I don't care," said Topsy, beginning to whistle.
" Oh, Topsy, poor child, / love you! " said Eva, with a sudden burst of feeling, and laying her little thin, white hand on Topsy's shoulder; " I love you, because you have n't had any father, or mother, or friends ; — because you 've been a poor, abused child! I love you, and I want you to be good. I am very unwell, Topsy, and I think I shan't live a great while ; and it really grieves me, to have you be so naughty. I wish you would try to be good, for my sake; — it's only a little while I shall be with you."
The round, keen eyes of the black child were overcast with tears ; — large, bright drops rolled heavily down, one by one, and fell on the little white hand. Yes, in that moment, a ray of real belief, a ray of heavenly love, had penetrated the darkness of her heathen soul! She laid her head down between her knees, and wept and sobbed, — while the beautiful child, bending over her, looked like the picture of some bright angel stooping to reclaim a sinner.
"Poor Topsy! " said Eva, adon't you know that Jesus