464 UNCLE TOMS CABIN; OR
had a son born. Oh, that child ! how I loved it! How just like my poor Henry the little thing looked! But I had made up my mind, yes, I had. I would never again let a child live to grow up! I took the little fellow in my arms, when he was two weeks old, and kissed him, and cried over him ; and then I gave him laudanum, and held him close to my bosom, while he slept to death. How I mourned and cried over it! and who ever dreamed that it was anything but a mistake, that had made me give it the laudanum ? but it 's one of the few things that I 'm glad of now. I am not sorry, to this day; he, at least, is out of pain. What better than death could I give him, poor child! After a while, the cholera came, and Captain Stuart died ; everybody died that wanted to live, and I, I, though I went down to death's door, I lived ! Then I was sold, and passed from hand to hand, till I grew faded and wrinkled, and I had a fever ; and then this wretch bought me, and brought me here, and -here I am ! "
The woman stopped. She had hurried on through her story, with a wild, passionate utterance ; sometimes seeming to address it to Tom, and sometimes speaking as in a soliloquy. So vehement and overpowering was the force with which she spoke, that, for a season, Tom was beguiled even from the pain of his wounds, and, raising himself on one elbow, watched her as she paced restlessly up and down, her long black hair swaying heavily about her as she moved.
" You tell me," she said, after a pause, " that there is a God, a God that looks down and sees all these things. May be it 's so. The sisters in the convent used to tell me of a day of judgment, when everything is coming to light; - won't there be vengeance then !
" They think it 's nothing, what we suffer, nothing, what our children suffer ! It 's all a small matter; yet I 've walked the streets when it seemed as if I had misery enough in my one heart to sink the city. I 've wished the