394 UNCLE TOM'S CABIN; OR
they answer unto him, Lord, when saw we thee hungered, or athirst, or a stranger, or naked, or sick in prison, and did not minister unto thee ? Then shall he say unto them, Inasmuch as ye did it not to one of the least of these my brethren, ye did it not to me."
St. Clare seemed struck with this last passage, for he read it twice, — the second time slowly, and as if he were revolving the words in his mind.
"Tom," he said, "these folks that get such hard measure seem to have been doing just what I have, — living good, easy, respectable lives ; and not troubling themselves to inquire how many of their brethren were hungry, or athirst, or sick, or in prison.''
Tom did not answer.
St. Clare rose up and walked thoughtfully up and down the veranda, seeming to forget everything in his own thoughts; so absorbed was he, that Tom had to remind him twice that the tea-bell had rung, before he could get his attention.
St. Clare was absent and thoughtful, all tea-time. After tea, he and Marie and Miss Ophelia took possession of the parlor, almost in silence.
Marie disposed herself on a lounge, under a silken mosquito curtain, and was soon sound asleep. Miss Ophelia silently busied herself with her knitting. St. Clare sat down to the piano, and began playing a soft and melancholy movement with the JEolian accompaniment. He seemed in a deep reverie, and to be soliloquizing to himself by music. After a little, he opened one of the drawers, took out an old music-book whose leaves were yellow with age, and began turning it over.
" There," he said to Miss Ophelia, " this was one of my mother's books, — and here is her handwriting, — come and look at it. She copied and arranged this from Mozart's Requiem." Miss Ophelia came accordingly.
" It was something she used to sing often," said St. Clare. " I think I can hear her now."