SCENE II.—LOWER DECK OF A RIVER STEAMBOAT.
(Cabin door in flat.)
(Enter Emmeline, pale. Music.
EM. Is there no way of escape? None,
but to leap into the swift, muddy river. Better that than the life
before me, is it not? Oh, my mother, for they have parted us, and I
shall never look into your fond face again? If there is a heaven to
hear a slave girl's prayer, save me, oh save me, from a shameful
(She kneels, as Legree enters
from the cabin door, yawning.
LEG. Hallo! my little colored Venus,
what are you up to?
hastily) Nothing, Massa, I——
LEG. No nigger tricks, you know!
I've given you the run o' the boat because the irons would
spile them little wrists of yours.
from his grasp.) Oh, massa——
LEG. No virtuous airs with me, minx!
You're mine; I paid a big price for your good looks, and I'll have no
crying to spile 'em.
EM. I never left my mother's side
before, Massa, and——
LEG. Never had no sweetheart, eh?
EM. What, Massa?
LEG. What! I do believe she speaks
the truth! All right, you look chipper, and I'll make a queen of
you. You shall tend the house, dress yourself right smart, and keep
EM. Oh, Mas'r, I'd rather pick cotton
in the fields, if Mas'r will let me.
(Enter Cassy, listening.
LEG. Ah, you're too high toned to
hitch up along 'o me, p'rhaps; now look here, on my plantation, my
word's law. I've bought ye for your pretty face, so if you're
sensible, you'll make the most of it. Cassy!
CAS. And is this the girl, Simon
Legree, you've bought, to take my place—this child?
LEG. Yes; you've had your way up on
Red River too long, so keep a civil tongue, Cassy, or out you go to
work along o' the field hands.
CAS. You can threaten, Simon, but
you're too great a coward to do.
LEG. I aint afeard o' you, Cass.
CAS. No, but I watched you last night
in your sleep and I saw the sweat stand out in big drops. Did you
see the spirit of the man you murdered? (Whispering)
LEG. Hold your darn'd tongue, it was
a free fight, and——
CAS. And your own mother, when you
LEG. Shut up—or—— (violently raising his fist)
CAS. Or you'll strike me. Beware of
the day, Simon, when the devil with death in his fist shall strike
you down, never to rise again, except in——
LEG. D—n you, shut up! Take that
girl into my cabin—it's mine for the trip—I paid for it, as I paid
for both of you. Take her in, and for a punishment you shall wait on
her; I'll make you recollect whose property you are. (He turns to go.) Bartender, give me a smash!
(Exit Legree, R.
Oh, Misse, have pity on me!
CAS. I have. I have, as much as one
slave may show another. Who was that with you in the slave pen?
EM. My mother, Misse, my own mother.
I prayed them not to separate us, but they did, and we shall never
see each other again.
CAS. Never! never! I had a girl
once, my beautiful Eliza; when my master died (he was a gentleman,
and I they called the handsomest quadroon in New-Orleans then), they
sold my Eliza. How old are you?
EM. Just sixteen.
CAS. Ah! my little Eliza would be
older, much older, if she lives. Her father promised to marry me,
but men down here are devils; they pretend to love us for a little,
and while the fancy lasts they are kind; when they're tired they turn
us over to a friend, or sell us in the market, taking money for us,
and for their own flesh and blood! There is no God for colored
EM. Oh, yes; mother told me to pray
to Him, and that He would hear. If I had not that comfort, I would
jump into the river here.
CAS. And better, too, perhaps, than
go where we are going. I tell you that his place on the Red River is
EM. Heaven help us, then!
CAS. You don't like this man, eh?
EM. Like him? I shudder at his
CAS. And I hate him. But where I've
ruled so long, I would be mistress still. I will protect you.
EM. Don't leave me, then. Let us go
in here and pray together.
CAS. Pray! Are our
prayers ever answered?
EM. Oh, yes! Pray that you may see
your child some day.
CAS. See her! Will you ever see your
mother's face again?
into tears.) Never! Oh, never!
CAS. Nor I my little Eliza's. But
come. We know each other's sorrows, and we must comfort one another.
(Exeunt into cabin.
(Music. Ophelia enters, R.,
dressed in traveling guise.
OPHE. If I ever git
back to Vermont—sakes alive! but I shall plant myself
thar, and take root! Whar's my work bag, and
whar's my new bonnet box? I've lost track of both of 'em. Sakes
alive! I vow I'm getting as shiftless as the other critters in this
shiftless country. Topsy! Topsy!
(Enter Topsy, dressed
extravagantly. With a bandbox.
TOP. Here I is, Missis.
OPHE. How dare you call me Missis!
TOP. I didn't, Missis.
OPHE. There again! Call me Miss
Ophelia! Don't you know that you are a free girl, that you
are—emancipated—and that you have now a personal responsibility?
TOP. Golly! yar frightens me wid dem
long words! Ise free, Miss Feely, but if yar don't hold on to me
I'se a lost nigger, shuah.
OPHE. But understand, Topsy, although
I've rescued you from the Philistines, you must do your duty.
TOP. Dat's so, Miss Feely, I ain't a
Philistine no more. Don't steal now, only candies, and sich.
OPHE. But you mustn't steal at all,
or you must be whipped.
TOP. Thought you said nobody mustn't
whip dis chile no more.
OPHE. No one has the right, except to
correct you for your own good.
TOP. Dat's good! I'se glad ob dat!
cos a good licking now and den 'll put me in mind of ole times.
OPHE. Now, where did you put my new
TOP. Your new bonnet, Miss Feely?
OPHE. Yes, my new bonnet!
TOP. Well, dat's curis; 'tain't in de
TOP. He! he! he! Well, dat's curis!
'Twas in de box.
seeing.) Why you shiftless hussy, it's on your head!
TOP. Is it? Golly! I forgot! He!
he! he! How does it look, Miss Feely, bully, eh? (She
struts around stage.)
Topsy about with umbrella.) You shiftless critter! to spoil my
lovely new bonnet with your greasy wool!
attitude) Don't yar touch me! Ise free! Ise mancipated! Take
car, how you bust de law, or I'll show you my
OPHE. My own pupil rebels! Catch me,
(Legree enters and she falls
into his arms.
LEG. Hello! old teapot, what's the
suddenly) Sakes alive! Who air you?
interposing.) Stand 'way from dis lady! Ise a mancipated brack
individual! and if you touches Miss Feely I'll knock you down with my
'sponsibility and dis umbrella!
LEG. Git out, you nigger!
OPHE. How dare you call my child a
LEG. What! Is that box of blacking
OPHE. Yes; my adopted child.
LEG. Will you trade for her?
OPHE. What, wretch! Me trade in
LEG. Yes; cos if you will, I'll give
ye ten cents a pound for her, to cut up for my dogs. (Exit Legree.)
OPHE. Sakes alive! Let me get out o'
this awful country, or I shall die!
TOP. Hold up, Miss Feely! hold up!
I'll protect you.
(Music. Enter Uncle Tom—chains
TOM. Miss Feely!—aboard dis here
OPHE. Uncle Tom! Sakes alive! What
air you doing here?
TOM. I is sold, Miss Feely—sold to
a Mr. Legree, o' Red River, and Ise gwine up dar, wid de oder slaves.
OPHE. The Lord forgive me! but a
curse will fall on Marie St. Clair for scorning her dead husband's
wishes. My poor Uncle Tom!
TOM. Yes, I got no hope o' freedom
now, Miss Feely. But you—you is going up by my old home in Kintuck;
and if you'll write for me to Mrs. Shelby and de folks dar, and tell
'em whar I am, p'raps dey'll send down and buy me off. Dar's de
directions, Miss Feely. (Gives her a paper.)
OPHE. I'll do it, Uncle Tom. Oh
that I had the money to free every slave in the land!
TOM. De Lord will send us liberty in
his good time, Miss Feely—if not dis side de grave, yet de great
liberator, Death, will set us free; and den dar's heaven for black and
white alike. Good bless yar, Miss Feely! Good-bye! (Exit.)
Good-bye, good Uncle Tom!
G-ood-bye, U-un-cle T-T-om!
(She sits down on bonnet box.
OPHE. Sakes alive! Shiftless to the
last! Ah, my new bonnet box! (Screams.)
TOP. Smashed him! Smashed him into a
squash, by golly!
(Comic chase round and exeunt.