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

SCENE X.—A Veranda. -- ST. CLARE and -- MARIE reclining on lounges.


Marie.

  I say, Augustine, I must send to the city after my old doctor Posey; I 'm sure I 've got the complaint of the heart.


St. Clare.

  Well; why need you send for him? The doctor that attends Eva seems skilful.


Mar.

  I would not trust him in a critical case; and I think I may say mine is becoming so! I 've been thinking of it these two or three nights past; I have such distressing pains, and such strange feelings.


St. C.

  O, Marie, you are blue! I don't believe it 's heart complaint.


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Mar.

  I dare say you don't; I was prepared to expect that. You can be alarmed enough, if Eva coughs, or has the least thing the matter with her; but you never think of me.


St. C.

  If it 's particularly agreeable to you to have heart disease, why, I 'll try and maintain you have it. I did n't know it was.


Mar.

  Well, I only hope you won't be sorry for this when it 's too late! But, believe it or not, my distress about Eva, and the exertions I have made with that dear child, have developed what I have long suspected.


St. C.

  O, here comes cousin from her excursion. [Enter MISS OPHELIA and EVA.] Well, coz, what success in the religious line? Did you find a preacher?


Oph.

  Wait till I put my bonnet and shawl away. [Exit.]


St. C.

  Here, Eva, you come to me.


Eva.

   [Climbs into her father's lap.]


Oph. [Within.]

  What 's this! You wicked little hussy, you! Come out here! Come out this very minute!


St. C.

  What new witchcraft has Tops been brewing?

Enter MISS OPHELIA, dragging TOPSY.

Oph.

  Come out here, now. I will tell your master!


St. C.

  What 's the row, pray?


Oph.

  The fact is, I cannot be plagued with this child any longer! It 's past all bearing; flesh and blood cannot endure it! Here I locked her up, and gave her a hymn to study; and what does she do, but spy out where I put my key, and has gone to my bureau, and got a bonnet-trimming, and cut it all to pieces to make dolls' jackets! I never saw anything like it, in my life!


Mar.

  I told you, cousin, that you 'd find out that these creatures can't be brought up without severity. If I had my way, now, I 'd send that child out, and have her thoroughly whipped; I 'd have her whipped till she could n't stand!


St. C.

  I don't doubt it. Tell me of the lovely rule of woman! I never saw above a dozen women that would n't half kill a horse, or a servant, either, if they had their own way with them, let alone a man!


Mar.

  There is no use in this shilly-shally way of yours, St. Clare! Cousin is a woman of sense, and she sees it now, as plainly as I do.


Oph.

  I would n't have the child treated so, for the world; but I am sure, Augustine, I don't know what to do. I 've taught and taught; I 've talked till I 'm tired; I 've whipped her; I 've punished her in every way I can think of, and she 's just what she was at first.


St. C.

  Come here, Tops, you monkey! [Topsy comes.] What makes you behave so?


Top.

  'Spects it 's my wicked heart; Miss Feely says so!


St. C.

  Don't you see how much Miss Ophelia has done for you? She says she has done everything she can think of.


Top.

  Lor, yes, mas'r! ole missis used to say so, too. She whipped me a heap harder, and used to pull my har, and knock my head agin the door; but it didn't do me no good; I 'spects, if they 's to pull


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every spear o' har out o' my head, it would n't do no good, neither—I 's so wicked! Laws! I 's nothin but a nigger, no ways!


Oph.

  Well, I shall have to give her up; I can't have that trouble any longer.


St. C.

  Well, I 'd just like to ask one question.


Oph.

  What is it?


St. C.

  Why, if your Gospel is not strong enough to save one heathen child, that you can have at home here all to yourself, what 's the use of sending one or two poor missionaries off with it among thousands of just such? I suppose this child is about a fair sample of what thousands of your heathen are.


Eva.

   [Beckons to TOPSY, who follows her to the end of the veranda.]


St. C.

  What 's Eva about now? I mean to see.


Eva.

  What does make you so bad, Topsy? Why don't you try and be good? Don't you love anybody, Topsy?


Top.

  Dunno nothing 'bout love; I loves candy and sich, that 's all.


Eva.

  But you love your father and mother?


Top.

  Never had none, ye know. I telled ye that, Miss Eva.


Eva.

  O, I know; but had n't you any brother or sister, or aunt, or ——


Top.

  No, none on 'em; never had nothing nor nobody.


Eva.

  But, Topsy, if you 'd only try to be good, you might——


Top.

  Could n't never be nothin' but a nigger if I was ever so good. If I could be skinned, and come white, I 'd try then.


Eva.

  But people can love you, if you are black, Topsy. Miss Ophelia would love you if you were good.


Top.

   [Laughs.]


Eva.

  Don't you think so?


Top.

  No; she can't bar me, 'cause I 'm a nigger! she 'd 's soon have a toad touch her. There can't nobody love niggers, and niggers can't do nothin'. I don't care! [Whistles.]


Eva.

  O, Topsy, poor child, I love you! I love you, because you have n't had any father, or mother, or friends; because you 've been a poor, abused child! I love you, and I want you to be good. I am very unwell, Topsy, and I think I shan't live a great while, and it really grieves me, to have you be so naughty. I wish you would try to be good, for my sake; it 's only a little while I shall be with you.


Top.

   [Weeps.]


Eva.

  Poor Topsy! don't you know that Jesus loves all alike? He is just as willing to love you, as me. He loves you just as I do, only more, because he is better. He will help you to be good; and you can go to heaven at last, and be an angel forever, just as much as if you were white. Only think of it, Topsy, you can be one of those spirits bright Uncle Tom sings about!


Top.

  O, dear Miss Eva! dear Miss Eva! I will try! I will try! I never did care nothin' about it before.

[Exeunt.]