This little ceremony over, the wife and children (Romescos and M’Fadden, not very good friends, were competitors for the preacher property) are put up and sold to Romescos. That skilful and very adroit gentleman is engaged to do the exciting business of separating, which he is progressing with very coolly and cleverly. The whole scene closes with selling the animal property and farming utensils. Happy Christian brothers are they who would spread the wings of their Christianity over such scenes!
A father’s trials.
If modern Christianity, as improved in our southern world-we mean our world of slavery-had blushes, it might improve the use of them were we to recount in detail the many painful incidents which the improved and very christianly process of separating husbands from wives, parents from children, brothers from sisters, and friends from all the ties and associations the heart, gives birth to. Negroes have tender sympathies, strong loves. Reader, we will save your feelings,—we will not recount them; our aim is not to excite undue feeling, but to relate every-day scenes.
Days and weeks pass on drearily with Marston. Unhappy, forlorn, driven to the last extremity by obdurate creditors, he waits the tardy process of the law. He seldom appears in public; for those who professed to be his best friends have become his coldest acquaintances. But he has two friends left,—friends whose pure friendship is like sweetest dew-drops: they are Franconia and Daddy Bob. The rusty old servant is faithful, full of benevolence, gratitude, and unshaken fidelity; the other is the generous woman, in whose bosom beat the tender impulses of a noble soul. Those impulses have been moved to action in defence of the innocent; they never can be defeated. Bob is poor, abject, and old with toil. He cares not to be free,—he wants mas’r free. But there yet remains some value in Bob; and he has secreted himself, in hopes of escaping the man-dealer, and sharing his earnings in the support of old mas’r. Franconia is differently situated; yet she can only take advantage of circumstances which yet depend upon the caprice of a subtle-minded husband. Over both these friends of the unfortunate, slavery has stretched its giant arms, confusing the social system, uprooting the integrity of men, weakening respect for law, violating the best precepts of nature, substituting passion for principle, confounding reason, and enslaving public opinion.
Under the above disorganising state of the social compact, the children, known to be Marston’s, are pursued as property belonging to the bankrupt estate. When the law has made it such, it must be sold in satisfaction of Marston’s debts.