The Christian Slave
Harriet Beecher Stowe
Boston: Phillips, Sampson, 1855

SCENE IX.— -- SAM and -- ANDY at Table. -- AUNT CHLOE and all the negroes surrounding in admiration.

Sam. [Flourishing a greasy bone.]

  Yer see, fellow-countrymen, yer see, now, what dis yer chile's up ter, for fendin' yer al,—yes, all on yer. For him as tries to get one o' our people is as good as tryin' to get all; yer see the principle's de same—dat ar's clar. And any one o' these yer drivers that comes smelling round arter any our people, why, he's got me in his way; I'm the feller he's got to set in with—I'm the feller for yer all to come to, bredren—I'll stand up for yer rights—I'll fend 'em to the last breath!


  Why, but Sam, yer telled me, only this mornin' that you'd help this yer mas'r fur to cotch Lizy; seems to me yer talk don't hang together, mun.


  I tell you now, Andy, don't yer be a talkin' 'bout what yer don't know nothin' on; boys like you, Andy, means well, but they can't be 'spected to collusitate the great principles of action. Dat ar was conscience , Andy; when I thought of gwine arter Lizy, I railly spected mas'r was sot dat way. When I found Missis was sot the contrar, dat ar was conscience more yet—cause fellers allers gets


more by stickin' to missis' side—so yer see I 's persistent either way, and sticks up to conscience, and holds on to principles. Yes, principles, what's principles good for, if we isn't persistent, I wanter know? Thar, Andy, you may have dat ar bone—tan't picked quite clean. Dis yer matter 'bout persistence, feller-niggers, dis yer 'sistency 's a thing what an't seed into very clar, by most anybody. Now, yer see, when a feller stands up for a thing one day, and right de contrar de next, folks ses (and nat'rally enough dey ses), why he an't persistent—hand me dat ar bit o' corn-cake, Andy. But let's look inter it. I hope the gen'lmen and der fair sex will scuse my usin' an or'nary sort o' 'parison. Here! I'm a trying to get top o' der hay. Wal, I puts up my larder dis yer side; 'tan't no go; den, 'cause I don't try dere no more, but puts my larder right de contrar side, an't I persistent? I'm persistent in wanting to get up which ary side my larder is; don't you see, all on yer?

Aunt C.

  It's the only thing ye ever was persistent in, Lord knows. [Aside.]


  Yes, indeed! Yes, my feller-citizens and ladies of de other sex in general, I has principles, I has—I 'm proud fur to 'oon 'em—they 's perquisite to dese yer times, and ter all times. I has principles, and I sticks to 'em like forty—jest anything that I thinks is principle, I goes in to 't; I would n't mind if dey burnt me 'live, I'd walk right up to de stake, I would, and say, Here I comes to shed my last blood fur my principles, fur my country, fur de gen'l interests of society.

Aunt C.

  Well, one o' yer principles will have to be to get to bed some time to-night, and not to be a keepin' everybody up till mornin'; now everyone of you young uns that don't want to be cracked had better be scarse, might sudden.


  Niggers! all on yer, I give yer my blessin': go to bed now, and be good boys.