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

SCENE I.—New Orleans.

A Parlor in ST. CLARE'S house. MARIE reclining on a lounge.
Enter EVA, flying to embrace her mother.

Eva.

  Mamma!


Marie.

  That 'll do! [Languidly kissing her.] Take care, child—don't you make my headache!

Enter ST. CLARE; he embraces MARIE and presents MISS OPHELIA.

St. Clare.

  Marie! this is our cousin Ophelia.


Mar.

  I am happy to see you, cousin.

Enter SERVANTS, crowding—foremost the old nurse. EVA flies to her and hugs and kisses her.

Eva.

  O, Mammy! dear Mammy!


Miss Oph.

  Well, you Southern children can do something that I could n't.


St. C.

  What, now, pray?


Oph.

  Well, I want to be kind to everybody, and I would n't have anything hurt; but as to kissing —


St. C.

  Niggers, that you 're not up to; eh?


Oph.

  Yes, that 's it. How can she?


St. C. [Laughing.]

  O, that 's the way with you, is it? [Goes among the servants.] Here, you all, Mammy, Sukey, Jinny, Polly—glad to see mas'r? Look out for the babies! [Stumbling over one.] If I step on anybody let 'em mention it. [Sees TOM, and beckons.] Here, Tom. See here, Marie, I 've brought you a coachman, at last, to order. I tell you he 's a regular hearse for blackness and sobriety, and will drive you like a funeral, if you want. Open your eyes, now, and look at him. Now, don't say I never think about you when I 'm gone.


Mar.

  I know he 'll get drunk.


St. C.

  No, he 's warranted a pious and sober article.


Mar.

  Well, I hope he may turn out well; it 's more than I expect, though.


St. C.

  'Dolph, show Tom down stairs; and mind yourself; remember what I told you.

[Exit TOM and DOLPH.]

Mar.

  He 's a perfect behemoth!


St. C.

  Come, now, Marie, be gracious, and say something pretty to a fellow.


Mar.

  You 've been gone a fortnight beyond the time.


St. C.

  Well, you know I wrote you the reason.


Mar.

  Such a short, cold letter!


St. C.

  Dear me! the mail was just going, and it had to be that or nothing.


23


Mar.

  That 's just the way always; always something to make your journeys long, and letters short.


St. C.

  See here, now; here 's a present I got for you in New York.


Mar.

  A daguerreotype! What made you sit in such an awkward position?


St. C.

  Well, the position may be a matter of opinion; but what do you think of the likeness?


Mar.

  If you don't think anything of my opinion in one case, I suppose you would n't in another.


St. C.

  Hang the woman! [Aside.] Come, now, Marie, what do you think of the likeness? Don't be nonsensical!


Mar.

  It 's very inconsiderate of you, St. Clare, to insist on my talking and looking at things. You know I 've been lying all day with the sick-headache; and there 's been such a tumult made, ever since you came, I 'm half dead.


Oph.

  You 're subject to the sick-headache, ma'am?


Mar.

  Yes, I 'm a perfect martyr to it.


Oph.

  Juniper-berry tea is good for sick-headache; at least, Augustine, Deacon Abraham Perry's wife used to say so; and she was a great nurse.


St. C.

  I 'll have the first juniper-berries that get ripe in our garden by the lake brought in for that especial purpose. And now [rings the bell. Enter MAMMY], show this lady to her room. [To MARIE, offering her his arm.] Come, now—come—I 've got something for you in here—come.

[Exeunt ST. CLARE and MARIE.]