430 UNCLE TOM'S CABIN; OR
hold out, — doctorin' on 'em up when they 's sick, an givin' on 'em clothes and blankets, and what not, tryin' to keep 'em all sort o' decent and comfortable. Law, 't was n't no sort o' use ; I lost money on 'em, and 't was heaps o' trouble. Now, you see, I just put 'em straight through, sick or well. When one nigger 's dead, I buy another; and I find it comes cheaper and easier, every way."
The stranger turned away, and seated himself beside a gentleman, who had been listening to the conversation with repressed uneasiness.
'* You must not take that fellow to be any specimen of Southern planters," said he.
" I should hope not," said the young gentleman, with emphasis.
" He is a mean, low, brutal fellow! " said the other.
" And yet your laws allow him to hold any number of human beings subject to his absolute will, without even a shadow of protection ; and, low as he is, you cannot say that there are not many such."
" Well," said the other, " there are also many considerate and humane men among planters."
" Granted," said the young man ; " but, in my opinion, it is you considerate, humane men, that are responsible for all the brutality and outrage wrought by these wretches; because, if it were not for your sanction and influence, the whole system could not keep foothold for an hour. If there were no planters except such as that one," said he, pointing with his finger to Legree, who stood with his back to them, " the whole thing would go down like a mill-stone. It is your respectability and humanity that licenses and protects his brutality."
" You certainly have a high opinion of my good nature," said the planter, smiling; " but I advise you not to talk quite so loud, as there are people on board the boat who might not be quite so tolerant to opinion as I am. You had better wait till I get up to my plantation, and there you may abuse us all, quite at your leisure."