LIFE AMONG THE LOWLY 407
" I mean to shame her; that's just what I want. She has all her life presumed on her delicacy, and her good looks, and her lady-like airs, till she forgets who she is; — and I'll give her one lesson that will bring her down, I fancy! "
" But, cousin, consider that, if you destroy delicacy and a sense of shame in a young girl, you deprave her very fast."
" Delicacy ! " said Marie, with a scornful laugh, — "a fine word for such as she! I '11 teach her, with all her airs, that she 's no better than the raggedest black wench that walks the streets! She '11 take no more airs with me!
" You will answer to God for such cruelty! " said Miss Ophelia, with energy.
" Cruelty, — I 'd like to know what the cruelty is ! I wrote orders for only fifteen lashes, and told him to put them on lightly. I 'm sure, there's no cruelty there !'
" No cruelty ! " said Miss Ophelia. " I 'm sure any girl might rather be killed outright! "
" It might seem so to anybody with your feeling; but all these creatures get used to it; it's the only way they can be kept in order. Once let them feel that they are to take any airs about delicacy, and all that, and they '11 run all over you, just as my servants always have. I 've begun now to bring them under; and I '11 have them all to know that I '11 send one out to be whipped, as soon as another, if they don't mind themselves! " said Marie, looking around her decidedly.
Jane hung her head and cowered at this, for she felt as if it was particularly directed to her. Miss Ophelia sat for a moment, as if she had swallowed some explosive mixture, and were ready to burst. Then, recollecting the utter uselessness of contention with such a nature, she shut her lips resolutely, gathered herself up, and walked out of the room.
It was hard to go back and tell Rosa that she could do