498 UNCLE TOM'S CABIN; OR
air which it seems almost unholy to disturb. Legree
was at a little distance from the quarters, when he heard
the voice of some one singing. It was not a usual sound
there, and he paused to listen. A musical tenor voice
" When I can read my title clear To mansions in the skies, I '11 bid farewell to every fear, And wipe my weeping eyes.
" Should earth against my soul engage, And hellish darts be hurled, Then I can smile at Satan's rage, And face a frowning world.
" Let cares like a wild deluge come And storms of sorrow fall, May I but safely reach my home, My God, my Heaven, my All."
" So ho! " said Legree to himself, " he thinks so, does he ? How I hate these cursed Methodist hymns ! Here, you nigger," said he, coming suddenly out upon Tom, and raising his riding-whip, " how dare you be gettin' up this yer row, when you ought to be in bed ? Shut yer old black gash, and get along in with you ! "
" Yes, Mas'r," said Tom, with ready cheerfulness, as he rose to go in.
Legree was provoked beyond measure by Tom's evident happiness; and, riding up to him, belabored him over his head and shoulders.
" There, you dog," he said, " see if you '11 feel so comfortable after that! "
But the blows fell now only on the outer man, and not, as before, on the heart. Tom stood perfectly submissive ; and yet Legree could not hide from himself that his power over his bond thrall was somehow gone. And, as Tom disappeared in his cabin, and he wheeled his horse suddenly round, there passed through his mind one of those vivid flashes that often send the lightning of conscience