“That gal’s name is Ellen. I wish I knew all that has turned up at Marston’s,” remarks the Elder.
“Ellen!” ejaculates the lady, looking at her more intently, placing her left hand under her chin. “Not Ellen Juvarna?”
“Yes, good missus-the lady has distributed her nourishment among the sick-that’s my name,” she says, raising her eyes with a look of melancholy that tells the tale of her troubles. Again her feelings subside into quiet; she seems in meditation. “I knowed you once, good missus, but you don’t know me now, I’m changed so!” she whispers, the good lady holding her hand, as a tear courses down her cheek-"I’m changed so!” she whispers, shaking her head.
A father tries to be A father.
We have conducted the reader through scenes perhaps unnecessary to our narration, nevertheless associated with and appertaining to the object of our work. And, in this sense, the reader cannot fail to draw from them lessons developing the corrupting influences of a body politic that gives one man power to sell another. They go to prove how soon a man may forget himself,—how soon he may become a demon in the practice of abominations, how soon he can reconcile himself to things that outrage the most sacred ties of our social being. And, too, consoling himself with the usages of society, making it right, gives himself up to the most barbarous practices.
When we left Marston in a former chapter, he had become sensible of the wrong he so long assisted to inflict upon innocent and defenceless persons; and, stung with remorse made painful by the weight of misfortune, had avowed his object of saving his children. Yet, strange as it may seem, so inured were his feelings to those arbitrary customs which slave-owners are educated to view as privileges guaranteed in the rights of a peculiar institution-the rights of property in the being slave-that, although conscious of his duty toward the children, no sooner had the mother of Nicholas been attacked with cholera, than he sold her to the Elder Pemberton Praiseworthy, in whose infirmary we have just left her. The Elder, since his discharge from parochial life,—from ministering the gospel, has transferred his mission to that of being the partner in a firm, the ostensible business of which is purchasing the sick, the living, and the dying.
Do not blush, reader; you know not how elastic dealing in human kind makes man’s feelings. Gold is the beacon-light of avarice; for it man will climb over a catacomb of the dead. In this instance the very man-Marston-who, touched by misfortune, began to cherish a father’s natural feelings, could see nothing but property in the mother, though he knew that mother to be born free. Perhaps it was not without some compunction of feelings-perhaps it was done to soften the separation at that moment so necessary to the preservation of the children. But we must leave this phase of the picture, and turn to another.