“What a sweet child!” says one, as they close round.
“Make a woman when she grows up!” rejoins another, twirling his cane, and giving his hat an extra set on the side of his head.
“Take too long to keep it afore its valuable is developed; but it’s a picture of beauty. Face would do to take drawings from, it’s so full of delicate outlines,” interposes a third.
An old gentleman, with something of the ministerial in his countenance, and who has been very earnestly watching them for some time, thinks a great deal about the subject of slavery, and the strange laws by which it is governed just at this moment. He says, “One is inspired with a sort of admiration that unlocks the heart, while gazing at such delicacy and child-like sweetness as is expressed in the face of that child.” He points his cane coldly at Annette. “It causes a sort of reaction in one’s sense of right, socially and politically, when we see it mixed up with niggers and black ruffians to be sold.”
“Must abide the laws, though,” says a gentleman in black, on his left.
“Yes,” returns our friend, quickly, “if such property could be saved the hands of speculators”—
“Speculators! speculators!” rejoins the gentleman in black, knitting his brows.
“Yes; it’s always the case in our society. The beauty of such property makes it dangerous about a well-ordained man’s house. Our ladies, generally, have no sympathy with, and rather dislike its ill-gotten tendencies. The piety of the south amounts to but little in its influence on the slave population. The slave population generates its own piety. There is black piety and white piety; but the white piety effects little when it can dispose of poor black piety just as it pleases; and there’s no use in clipping the branches off the tree while the root is diseased,” concludes our ministerial-looking gentleman, who might have been persuaded himself to advance a bid, were he not so well versed in the tenour of society that surrounded him.
During the above ad interim at the shambles, our good lady, Mrs. Rosebrook, is straining every nerve to induce a gentleman of her acquaintance to repair to the mart, and purchase the children on her account.
Nature Shames itself.
Mrs. Rosebrook sits in Mrs. Pringle’s parlour. Mrs. Pringle is thought well of in the city of Charleston, where she resides, and has done something towards establishing a church union for the protection of orphan females. They must, however, be purely white, and without slave or base blood in their veins, to entitle them to admittance into its charitable precincts. This is upon the principle that slave blood is not acceptable in the sight of Heaven; and that allowing its admittance into this charitable earthly union would only be a sad waste of time and Christian love. Mrs. Pringle, however,