444 UNCLE TOMS CABIN; OR
" And behold, the tears of such as were oppressed, and they had no com' forter ; and on the side of their oppressors there was power, but they had no comforter." — Eccl. iv. 1.
It took but a short time to familiarize Tom with all that was to be hoped or feared in his new way of life. He was an expert and efficient workman in whatever he undertook, and was, both from habit and principle, prompt and faithful. Quiet and peaceable in his disposition, he hoped, by unremitting diligence, to avert from himself at least a portion of the evils of his condition. He saw enough of abuse and misery to make him sick and weary ; but he determined to toil on, with religious patience, committing himself to Him that judgeth righteously, not without hope that some way of escape might yet be opened to him.
Legree took silent note of Tom's availability. He rated him as a first-class hand; and yet he felt a secret dislike to him, — the native antipathy of bad to good. He saw, plainly, that when, as was often the case, his violence and brutality fell on the helpless, Tom took notice of it; for so subtle is the atmosphere of opinion, that it will make itself felt, without words ; and the opinion even of a slave may annoy a master. Tom in various ways manifested a tenderness of feeling, a commiseration for his fellow-sufferers, strange and new to them, which was watched with a jealous eye by Legree. He had purchased Tom with a view of eventually making him a sort of overseer, with whom he might, at times, intrust his affairs, in short absences ; and, in his view, the first, second, and third requisite for that place was hardness. Legree made up his