Uncle Tom's Cabin eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 531 pages of information about Uncle Tom's Cabin.

“Why, dear child, what has made your poor little heart so sad?  You have had everything, to make you happy, that could be given you.”

“I had rather be in heaven; though, only for my friends’ sake, I would be willing to live.  There are a great many things here that make me sad, that seem dreadful to me; I had rather be there; but I don’t want to leave you,—­it almost breaks my heart!”

“What makes you sad, and seems dreadful, Eva?”

“O, things that are done, and done all the time.  I feel sad for our poor people; they love me dearly, and they are all good and kind to me.  I wish, papa, they were all free.”

“Why, Eva, child, don’t you think they are well enough off now?”

“O, but, papa, if anything should happen to you, what would become of them?  There are very few men like you, papa.  Uncle Alfred isn’t like you, and mamma isn’t; and then, think of poor old Prue’s owners!  What horrid things people do, and can do!” and Eva shuddered.

“My dear child, you are too sensitive.  I’m sorry I ever let you hear such stories.”

“O, that’s what troubles me, papa.  You want me to live so happy, and never to have any pain,—­never suffer anything,—­not even hear a sad story, when other poor creatures have nothing but pain and sorrow, an their lives;—­it seems selfish.  I ought to know such things, I ought to feel about them!  Such things always sunk into my heart; they went down deep; I’ve thought and thought about them.  Papa, isn’t there any way to have all slaves made free?”

“That’s a difficult question, dearest.  There’s no doubt that this way is a very bad one; a great many people think so; I do myself I heartily wish that there were not a slave in the land; but, then, I don’t know what is to be done about it!”

“Papa, you are such a good man, and so noble, and kind, and you always have a way of saying things that is so pleasant, couldn’t you go all round and try to persuade people to do right about this?  When I am dead, papa, then you will think of me, and do it for my sake.  I would do it, if I could.”

“When you are dead, Eva,” said St. Clare, passionately.  “O, child, don’t talk to me so!  You are all I have on earth.”

“Poor old Prue’s child was all that she had,—­and yet she had to hear it crying, and she couldn’t help it!  Papa, these poor creatures love their children as much as you do me.  O! do something for them!  There’s poor Mammy loves her children; I’ve seen her cry when she talked about them.  And Tom loves his children; and it’s dreadful, papa, that such things are happening, all the time!”

“There, there, darling,” said St. Clare, soothingly; “only don’t distress yourself, don’t talk of dying, and I will do anything you wish.”

“And promise me, dear father, that Tom shall have his freedom as soon as”—­she stopped, and said, in a hesitating tone—­“I am gone!”

“Yes, dear, I will do anything in the world,—­anything you could ask me to.”

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Uncle Tom's Cabin from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.