SCENE I.— -- CASSY is discovered sitting at
a table covered with letters and papers, looking at a miniature.
I 'm tired! I 'm sick! I 'm dead! Dead? yes, dead at heart! dead at
the root, and yet I live; so they say at least. O, to think of it! to think of it! Why don't I die?
[She rises and paces the room, and
"Una beldad existe que mis ajos
Sampre la ven con majica delicia;
De dia sabe disipar enojos,
De noche ensuenos dulces inspirar.
Hay une labio que el mio ha,
Y que untes otro labio no comprimida,
Turo hareemo felez oj emaneeido,
Mi labio lo comprime y otro no.
Hay une seno todo el es'propio mio,
Do mi cabesa enferma reclino,
Und bosa que nie si yo nio,
Ojos que lloron euando lloro no."
Ah! that was his song! O, dear, why can't I ever forget it! My children
too! O, Henry! O, Eliza! [She sits
down, and covers her face. A carriage heard approaching, she rises quickly.] What! back already! [Looks out the window.] There! another fly in the spider web!
Handsome? O, yes! and what? Yes; some mother's darling. Hah! could n't
I kill him?
Legree. [Opens the door, and pushes EMMELINE in.]
This way, little mistress!
You wretch! another!
Shut your mouth!
I shall shut my mouth; but your time is coming. I see it! I see it!
Go on, go on! go as fast as you can! I see where it will end!
Hush, Cassy! be quiet; I mean no harm. You may take this girl up stairs.
Come, be peaceable!
Cas. [To EMMELINE.]
You have come to the gates of Hell! Come with me. I 'll show you the
[Exit, drawing EMMELINE after her.]
The creature scares me lately! Her eyes look so dreadful! I 'll sell
her, or get rid of her some way. Hang it, there 's no joke in it!
SCENE II.—Evening. Negro Quarters. Negroes in ragged clothes. -- UNCLE TOM, -- MULATTO WOMAN,
and -- SAMBO. -- QUIMBO, -- UNCLE TOM, and -- SAMBO,
walk along and look into houses.
Which of these is mine?
Dunno. Turn in here, I 'spose; 'spect ders room for another dar. Right
smart heap o' niggers to each on 'em. Sure I dunno what else to do with
more. [To the mulatto woman, throwing
down a bag of corn.] Ho! yer. What a cuss is yer name?
Wall, Lucy, yer my woman now; grind dis yer corn, and get my supper ready;
I an't your woman, and I won't be! you go 'long!
I 'll kick yo, then!
Ye may kill me, if ye choose; the sooner the better! Wish't I was dead!
I say, Sambo, you go to spilin' the hands I'll tell mas'r o' you.
And I 'll tell him ye won't let the women come to the mills, yo old nigger!
Yo jes keep to yo own row.
Quim. [To UNCLE
TOM, throwing down a bag.]
Thar, yo nigger, grab! thar 's yer corn; ye won't git no more dis yer
Uncle T. [To a woman at the mill.]
You 're tired; let me grind.
Deed, I is dat!
[UNCLE TOM grinds.]
Wall, ye ground our meal, we 'll fix yer cake for ye; 'spects ye an't
much used to it.
[Goes in. UNCLE TOM sits down by the fire to read the Bible. Women return
and put the cakes at the fire.]
1st Woman. [To UNCLE
What 's dat ar?
Good Lor! ha'n't seen none since I 's in ole Kintuck!
Was ye rais'd in Kintuck?
Yes, and well raised too. Never expected to come to dis yer.
2d Woman. [Coming up.]
What dat ar, anyway?
Why, dat ar 's the Bible.
Good Lor! what 's dat?
Do tell! you never hearn of it? I used to har missis a readin' on't sometimes,
in Kintuck; but, laws o' me! we don't har nothin' here but crackin' and swarin'.
Read a piece, anyways!
Uncle T. [Reads.]
"Come unto ME, all ye that labor and are heavy
laden, and I will give you rest."
Them 's good words enough; who says 'em?
I jest wish I know'd whar to find Him; I would go. 'Pears like I never
should get rested again. My flesh is fairly sore, and I tremble all over,
every day, and Sambo's allers a jawin' a me, 'cause I does n't pick faster;
and nights it 's most midnight 'fore I can get my supper; and then 'pears
like I don't turn over and shut my eyes 'fore I hear de horn blow to get
up and at it again in the mornin'. If I know'd whar de Lord was I 'd tell
He 's here; he 's everywhere!
Lor! you an't gwine to make me believe dat ar! I know de Lord an't here;
't an't no use talking, though. I 's jest gwine to camp down, and sleep
while I ken.
Uncle T. [Solus.]
O Lord God! Where are thou? Verily thou art a God that hidest thyself,
O God of Israel, the Saviour! [Lies
down to sleep.]
Music and Voice in the air.
When thou passest through the waters, I will be with thee, and the rivers
they shall not overflow thee; when thou walkest through the fire, thou shalt
not be burned, neither shall the flame kindle upon thee; for I am the Lord
thy God, the Holy One of Israel, thy Saviour.
SCENE III.—The Cotton-House and Scales. -- LEGREE, -- QUIMBO and -- SAMBO.
Dat ar Tom 's gwine to make a powerful deal o' trouble; kept a puttin'
into Lucy's basket. One o' these yer dat will get all der niggers to feelin'
'bused, if mas'r don't watch him!
Hey-day! The black cuss! He 'll have to get a breakin' in, won't he,
Ay, ay! let Mas'r Legree alone for breakin' in! De debil heself could
n't beat mas'r at dat!
Wal, boys, the best way is to give him the flogging to do, till he gets
over his notions. Break him in!
Lord, mas'r 'll have hard work to get dat out o' him!
It 'll have to come out of him, though!
Now, dar 's Lucy; de aggravatinest, ugliest wench on de place!
Take care, Sam! I shall begin to think what 's the reason for your spite
Well, mas'r knows she sot herself up agin mas'r, and would n't have me
when he telled her to.
I 'd a flogged her into 't, only there 's such a press of work it don't
seem wuth a while to upset her jist now. She 's slender; but these yer slender
gals will bear half killin' to get their own way.
Wal, Lucy was reall aggravatin' and lazy, sulkin' round; would n't do
nothin'—and Tom he tuck up for her.
He did, eh! Wal, then, Tom shall have the pleasure of flogging her.
It 'll be a good practice for him, and he won't put it on to the gals like
you devils, neither.
Samb. and Quim.
Ho, ho! haw! haw! haw!
Wal, but, mas'r, Tom and Misse Cassy, and dey among 'em, filled Lucy's
basket. I ruther guess der weight 's in it, mas'r!
I do the weighing! So Misse Cassy did her day's
She picks like de debil and all his angels!
She 's got 'em all in her, I believe! O, here they come!
Enter UNCLE TOM, and women with baskets.
Come, on here! [Weighs TOM'S basket.] Soh!
Ah! Well for you! [TOM places LUCY'S basket on the scales.] What, ye lazy beast! short again? Get
away—ye 'll catch it pretty soon!
O Lor! O Lor!
[Brings her basket to the scales.]
Well, my beauty! How d' ye like it?
Beaucoup mieux que de vivre avec une bete telle comme vous.
And now, come here, you Tom! You see, I telled ye I did n't buy ye jest
for the common work; I mean to promote ye, and make a driver of ye; and to-night
ye may jest as well begin to get yer hand in. Now, ye jest take this yer
gal and flog her. Ye 've seen enough on 't to know how.
I beg mas'r's pardon; hopes mas'r won't set me at that. It 's what I
an't used to; never did; and can't do, no way possible.
Ye 'll larn a pretty smart chance of things ye never did know, before
I 've done with ye! [Thrashes TOM with cowhide.]
There, now! will ye tell me ye can't do it?
Yes, mas'r! I 'm willin' to work, night and day, and work while there
's life and breath in me; but this yer thing I can't feel it right to do;
and, mas'r, I never shall do it—never!
What! ye blasted black beast! tell me ye don't
think it right to to what I tell ye! What have any
of you cussed cattle to do with thinking what 's right? I 'll put a stop
to it! Why, what do ye think ye are? May be ye think ye 'r a gentleman,
master Tom, to be a telling your master what 's right, and what an't! So
you pretend it 's wrong to flog the gal.
I think so, mas'r; the poor crittur 's sick and feeble; 't would be downright
cruel, and it 's what I never will do, nor begin to.
Well, here 's a pious dog, at last set down among us sinners! a saint,
a gentleman, and no less, to talk to us sinners about our sins; powerful holy
critter he must be! Here, you rascal! you make believe to be so pious—did
n't you never hear, out of your Bible, "Servants obey your masters"? An't
I your master? Did n't I pay down twelve hundred dollars, cash, for all
there is inside yer old cussed black shell? An't yet mine, now, body and
soul? Tell me!
No, no, no! my soul an't yours, mas'r! You have n't bought it—you can't
buy it! It has been bought and paid for by One that 's able to keep it.
No matter, no matter, you can't harm me!
I can't! we 'll see! we 'll see! Here Sambo! Quimbo! give this dog such
a breakin' in as he won't get over this month!
SCENE IV.—An old Gin-house Garret. -- UNCLE TOM lying on the floor.
O, good Lord, do look down! Give me the vict'ry! give me the vict'ry!
Enter CASSY, with lantern.
Who 's there? O, for mercy's sake, give me some water!
Drink all you want. I knew how 't would be! 'T an't the first time I
been out o' night carrying water to such as you.
Thank ye, missis!
Don't call me missis! I 'm a miserable slave like you. A lower one that
you can ever be! But let me see if I can't make you more comfortable. [Places a pillow under his head.]
There, my poor fellow, there! that 's the best I can do for you!
Thank you, missis!
It 's no use, my poor fellow; it 's of no use, this you 've been trying
to do. You were a brave fellow; you had the right on your side; but it 's
all in vain, and out of the question, for you to struggle. You are in the
devil's hands; he is the strongest, and you must give up.
O, Lord! O, Lord! how can I give up?
There 's no use calling on the Lord; he never hears! There is n't any
God, I believe; or, if there is, he 's taken sides against us. All goes against
us, heaven and earth. Everything is pushing us into hell. Why shouldn't
we go? You see, you don't know anything about it;
I do. I 've been on this place five years, body and soul, under this man's
foot, and I hate him as I do the devil! Here you are, on a lone plantation,
ten miles from any other, in the swamps; not a white person here who could
testify if you were burned alive; if you were scalded, cut into inch-pieces,
set up for the dogs to tear, or hung up and whipped to death. There's no
law here, of God or man, that can do you, or any one of us, the least good;
and this man! there 's no earthly thing that he 's too good to do. I could
make any one's hair rise, and their teeth chatter, if I should only tell
what I 've seen and been knowing to here; and it 's no use resisting! Did
I want to live with him? Was n't I a woman delicately
bred? And he! God in heaven! what was he, and is he? And yet I 've lived
with him these five years, and cursed every moment of my life, night and
day! And now he 's got a new one; a young thing, only fifteen; and she brought
up, she says, piously! Her good mistress taught her to read the Bible, and
she's brought her Bible here, to hell, with her!
O, Jesus! Lord Jesus! have you quite forgot us poor critturs? Help, Lord,
And what are these miserable low dogs you work with, that you should suffer
on their account? Every one of them would turn against you the first time
they got a chance. They are all of 'em as low and cruel to each other as
they can be; and there 's no use in your suffering to keep from hurting them.
Poor critturs! what made 'em cruel? And if I give out, I shall get used
to 't, and grow, little by little, just like 'em! No, no, missis! I've lost
everything; wife, and children, and home, and a kind mas'r; and he would
have set me free, if he 'd only lived a week longer. I 've lost everything
in this world, and it 's clean gone forever; and
now I can't lose heaven, too; no, I can't get to
be wicked, besides all!
But it can't be that the Lord will lay sin to our account; he won't charge
it to us, when we 're forced to it; he 'll charge it to tham that drove us
Yes; but that won't keep us from growing wicked. If I get to be as hard-hearted
as that ar' Sambo, and as wicked, it won't make much odds to me how I came
so; it 's the bein' so; that ar 's what I'm a dreadin'.
O, God a' mercy! you speak the truth! O! O! O!
Please missis, I saw 'em throw my coat in that ar' corner. In the pocket
is my Bible; if missis would please get it for me. [CASSY brings it.]
There 's a place marked here, if missis 'll please to read it. I want to
"And when they were come to the place which is called Calvary, there they
crucified him, and the malefactors one on the right hand, and the other on
the left. Then said Jesus, Father, forgive them, they know not what they
[She throws down the book violently, and buries
her face in her hands.]
Uncle T. [Sobbing.]
If we could only keep up to that ar'! it seemed to come so natural to
him, and we have to fight so hard for 't! O, Lord, help us! O, blessed Lord
Jesus, do help us! Missis, I can see that somehow you 're quite 'bove me
in everything; but there 's one thing missis might learn, even from poor
Tom. Ye said the Lord took sides against us, because he lets us be 'bused
and knocked round; but ye see what come on his own Son—the blessed Lord
of Glory! Wa'n't he al'ays poor? and have we, any on us, yet come so low
as he come? The Lord ha'n't forgot us; I 'm sartin o' that ar'! If we suffer
with him, we shall also reign, Scripture says; but if we deny him, he also
will deny us. Didn't they all suffer; the Lord and all his? It tells how
they were stoned and sawn asunder, and wandered about in sheepskins and goatskins,
and was destitute, afflicted, tormented. Sufferin' an't no reason to make
us think the Lord's turned agin us, but jest the contrary, if we only hold
on to him, and does n't give up to sin.
But why does he put us where we can't help but sin?
I think we can help it.
You 'll see! What 'll you do? To-morrow they 'll be at you again! I
know 'em, I have seen all their doings; I can't bear to think of all they
'll bring you to; and they 'll make you give out at last!
Lord Jesus! you will take care of my soul! O,
Lord, do! don't let me give out!
O, dear, I 've heard all this crying and praying before; and yet they
've been broken down and brought under. There 's Emmeline, she 's trying
to hold on, and you 're trying; but what use? You must give up, or be killed
Well, then, I will die! Spin it out as long as
they can, they can't help my dying some time! and, after that, they can't
do no more. I 'm clar! I 'm set! I know the Lord
'll help me, and bring me through.
Maybe it 's the way, but those that have given
up, there 's no hope for them—none! We live in filth and grow loathsome,
till we loathe ourselves! And we long to die, and we don't dare to kill
ourselves. No hope! no hope! no hope! This girl now, just as old as I was.
You see me now; see what I am! Well, I was brought up in luxury: the first
I remember is, the playing about, when I was a child, in splendid parlors;
kept dressed up like a doll; company and visitors praising me. There was
a garden opening from the saloon windows; and there I used to play hide-and-go-seek,
under the orange-trees, with my brothers and sisters.
I went to a convent, and there I learned music, French, and embroidery,
and what not. When I was fourteen, I came out to my father's funeral. He
died very suddenly, and when the property came to be settled, they found
that there was scarcely enough to cover the debts; and when the creditors
took an inventory of the property, I was set down in it. My mother was a
slave-woman, and my father had always meant to set me free; but he had not
done it, and so I was set down in the list. I 'd always known who I was,
but never thought much about it. Nobody ever expects that a strong, healthy
man is a going to die. My father was a well man only four hours before he
died; it was one of the first cholera cases in New Orleans.
The day after the funeral, my father's wife took her children and went
up to her father's plantation.
I thought they treated me strangely, but did n't know why. There was
a young lawyer whom they left to settle the business; and he came every day,
and was about the house and spoke very politely to me. He brought with him,
one day, a young man, the handsomest I had ever seen. I shall never forget
that evening. I walked with him in the garden. I was lonesome and full of
sorrow, and he was so kind and gentle to me; and he told me that he had seen
me before I went to the convent; and that he had loved me a great while,
and that he would be my friend and protector; in short, though he did n't
tell me, he had paid two thousand dollars for me, and I was his property.
I became his willingly, for I loved him.
Loved!—O, how I did love that man! How I love
him now, and always shall, while I breathe! He was so beautiful, so high,
so noble! Everything that money could buy, he gave me; but I did n't set
any value on all that; I only cared for him. I loved him better than my God
and my own soul; and, if I tried, I could n't do any other way from what
he wanted me to do.
I wanted only one thing—I did want him to marry
me. I thought if he loved me, as he said he did, and if I was what he seemed
to think I was, he would be willing to marry me and set me free. But he
convinced me that it would be impossible; and he told me that, if we were
only faithful to each other, it was marriage before God. If that is true,
was n't I that man's wife? Was n't I faithful? For seven years, did n't
I study every look and motion, and only life and breathe to please him?
He had the yellow fever, and for twenty days and
I watched with him, I alone; and gave him all his medicine, and did everything
for him; and then he called me his good angel, and said I 'd saved his life.
We have two beautiful children. The first was a boy, and we called him
Henry. He was the image of his father. He had such beautiful eyes, such
a forehead, and his hair hung all in curls around it! And he had all his
father's spirit, and his talent too. Little Elise, he said, looked like me.
He used to tell me that I was the most beautiful woman in Louisiana, he
was so proud of me and the children. O, those were happy days! I thought
I was as happy as any one could be; but then there came evil times. He
had a cousin come to New Orleans who was his particular friend; he thought
all the world of him; but from the first time I saw him, I could n't tell
why, I dreaded him, for I felt sure he was going to bring misery on us.
He got Henry to going out with him, and often would not come home nights
till two or three o'clock. I did not dare to say a word; for Henry was so
high-spirited I was afraid to. He got him to the gaming houses; and he was
one of the sort that, when he once got a going there, there was no holding
back. And then he introduced him to another lady, and I saw soon that his
heart was gone from me. He never told me, but I saw it; I knew it day after
day. I felt my heart breaking, but I could not say a word. Would you believe
it? at last the wretch offered to buy me and the children of Henry, to clear
off his gambling debts, which stood in the way of his marrying as he wished!—and he sold us! He told me one day that he had business
in the country, and should be gone two or three weeks. He spoke kinder than
usual, and said he should come back; but it did n't deceive
me; I knew that the time had come; I was just like one turned into
stone; I could n't speak nor shed a tear. He kissed me and kissed the children
a good many times, and went out. He saw him get on his horse, and I watched
him till he was quite out of sight; and then I fell down and fainted.
Then he came, the cursed wretch! he came to take
possession. He told me that he had bought me and my children, and showed
me the papers. I cursed him before God, and told him I'd die sooner than
live with him.
"Just as you please," said he; "but if you don't behave reasonably I 'll
sell both the children, where you shall never see them again." He told
me that he always had meant to have me, from the first time he saw me; and
that he had drawn Henry on, and got him in debt, on purpose to make him willing
to sell me. That he got him in love with another woman; and that I might
know, after all that, that he should not give up for a few airs and tears,
and things of that sort.
I gave up, for my hands were tied. He had my children; whenever I resisted
his will anywhere, he would talk about selling them, and he made me as submissive
as he desired. O, what a life it was! To live with my heart breaking every
day,—to keep on, on, on, loving, when it was only misery; and to be bound,
body and soul, to one I hated! Yet I was afraid to refuse him anything.
He was very hard to the children. Elise was a timid little thing; but Henry
was bold and high-spirited like his father,—he had always been so indulged.
He was always scolding him, and I used to live in daily
fear. I tried to make the child respectful. I tried to keep them apart.
No use—none! He sold both those children. One day, when I came home from
riding, I looked all over the house, and called,—and they were gone! He
told me he had sold them; he showed me the money,—the price of their blood!
Then it seemed as if all good had forsaken me. I raved and cursed,—cursed
God and man; and, for a while, I believe he really was afraid of me. But
he did n't give up so. He told me that my children were sold, but whether
I ever saw their faces again depended on him; and that, if I was n't quiet,
they should smart for it. Well, you can do anything with a woman when you
've got her children! He made me submit; he made me peaceable; he flattered me with hopes that, perhaps, he would
buy them back; and so things went on a week or two. One day, I was out walking,
and passed by the calaboose; I saw a crowd about the gate, and I heard a
child's voice; and, suddenly, my Henry broke away from two or three men, who
were holding him, and ran, screaming, and caught my dress. They came up
to him, swearing dreadfully. O, there was one man!—I shall never forget
that man's face! He told him that he would n't get away so; that he had
got to go in with him and get a lesson he 'd never forget. The poor child
screamed, and looked in my face, and held on to me so that, when they tore
him off, they tore the skirt of my dress half away; and they carried him
in screaming "Mother! mother! mother!" I turned and ran; every step I heard
him scream. I got to the house, all out of breath, into the parlor, and
found Butler. I told him, and begged him to go and interfere. He only laughed,
and told me the boy had got his deserts. He 'd got to be broken in; the
sooner the better. What did I expect? he asked.——Look here! Do you know
something in my head snapped then?—snapped, you know! It 's never come right since. I saw a great knife—I
caught it—and then all grew dark—and I did n't know any more not for days
When I came to myself I was in a nice room, but not mine. An old black
woman tended me, and a doctor came to see me; and there was a great deal
of care taken of me. After a while I found that he had gone away, and left
me at this house to be sold; and that 's why they took such pains with me.
I did n't mean to get well, and hoped I should n't; but, in spite of me,
the fever went off, and I grew healthy, and finally got up. Then they made
me dress up, every day; and gentlemen used to come in and stand and smoke
their cigars, and look at me, and ask questions, and debate my price. I
was so gloomy and silent, that none of them wanted me. They threatened to
whip me if I was n't gayer, and did n't take some pains to make myself agreeable.
At length, one day, came a gentleman named Stuart. He seemed to have some
feeling for me; he saw that something dreadful was on my heart, and he came
to see me alone a great many times, and finally persuaded me to tell him.
He bought me, at last, and promised to do all he could to find and buy back
my children. He went to the hotel where my Henry was; they told him he had
been sold to a planter up on Pearl river; that was the last that I ever heard
of him. Then he found where my daughter was; an old woman was keeping her.
He offered an immense sum for her,
but they would not sell
her. Butler found out that it was for me he wanted her, and he sent me word
that I should never have her.
Captain Stuart was very kind to me; he had a splendid plantation, and took
me to it. In the course of a year I had a son born. O, that child! how
I loved it! How just like my poor Henry the little thing looked! But I
had made up my mind—yes, I had—I would never again let a child live to
grow up! So, when he was two weeks old, I took the little fellow in my arms,
and I gave him laudanum. It did n't hurt him; it made him so quiet, and
I held him close—close to my bosom, and he slept to death! And I 'm not
sorry now! That 's one of the few things I 'm glad of. Yes, yes; he 's
safe! They 'll never sell him—they 'll never whip him! No, no; nothing can hurt him! Ah! death is the best thing we can give our children. After a while
the cholera came, and Captain Stuart died; everybody died that wanted to
live, and I—I, though I went down to death's door—I
lived! Then I was sold, and passed from hand to hand, till I grew
faded and wrinkled, and I had a fever; and then this wretch bought me, and
brought me here—and here I am! [Cassy rises and walks about—stops suddenly.] You tell me there
's a God,—a God that looks down and sees all these things. May be it 's
so. The sisters used to tell me of a day of judgment when everything is
coming to light. Won't there be vengeance then!
They think it 's nothing what we suffer—nothing what our children suffer!
It 's all a small matter; yet I 've walked the streets when it seemed as
if I had misery enough in my one heart to sink the city! I 've wished the
houses would fall on me, or the stones sink under me. Yes! and in the judgment-day
I will stand up before God, a witness against those that have ruined me and
my children, body and soul!
When I was a girl I thought I was religious; I used to love God and prayer.
Now I 'm a lost soul, pursued by devils that torment me day and night.
They keep pushing me on and on—and I 'll do it, too, some of these days!
I 'll send him where he belongs—a short way, too—one of these nights, if
they burn me alive for it! [Sobs
and struggles.] Can I do anything more for you, my poor fellow?
Shall I give you some more water?
O, missis, I wish you would go to Him that can give living waters.
Go to Him! Where is he? Who is he?
Him you read of, the Lord Jesus!
I used to see the picture of him over the altar; but he is n't here.
No; he is n't here! There 's nothing here but sin—and long—long—long despair!
Don't talk, poor fellow! it 's no use. Try to make yourself comfortable,
and sleep if you can.
Plague on that Sambo, to kick up his yer row between me and the new hands!
The fellow won't be fit to work for a week now,—right in the press of the
Yes; just like you.
Hah! you she-devil! you 've come back, have you?
Yes, I have; come to have my own way, too!
You lie, you jade! I 'll be up to my word. Either behave yourself, or
stay down to the quarters, and fare and work with the rest.
I 'd rather, ten thousand times, live in the dirtiest hole at the quarters,
than be under your hoof!
But you are under my hoof, for all that; that
's one comfort. So, sit down here on my knee, my dear, and hear to reason.
Simon Legree, take care! You 're afraid of me, Simon; and you 've reason
to be! But be careful, for I 've got the devil in me!
Get out! I believe to my soul you have! After all, Cassy, why can't
you be friends with me as you used to?
Come, Cassy, I wish you 'd behave yourself decently.
You talk about behaving decently! And what have
you been doing? You, who have n't even sense enough to keep from spoiling
one of your best hands, right in the most pressing season, just for your
I was a fool, it 's a fact, to let any such brangle come up; but when
the boy set up his will, he had to be broke in.
I reckon you won't break him in!
Won't I? I 'd like to know if I won't! He 'll be the first nigger that
ever came it round me! I 'll break every bone in his body but he shall give up!
No, he won't!
I 'd like to know why, mistress.
Because he 's done right, and he knows it, and won't say he 's doing wrong.
Who a cuss cares what he knows? The nigger shall say what I please, or——-
Or you 'll lose your bet on the cotton crop by keeping him out of the
field just at this very press.
But he will give up; of course he will. Don't
I know what niggers is? He 'll beg like a dog this morning.
He won't, Simon; you don't know this kind. You may kill him by inches,
you won't get the first word of confession out him.
We 'll see. Where is he?
In the waste-room of the gin house.
Would it be a sin to kill such a wretch as that?
O, Cassy! is it you? I 'm so glad you've come! I was afraid it was ——-
O, you won't know what a horrid noise there has been, down stairs, all this
I ought to know; I 've heard it often enough.
O, Cassy! Do tell me,—could n't we get away from this place? I don't
care where,—into the swamp among the snakes,—anywhere! Could n't we get somewhere away from here?
Nowhere but into our graves!
Did you ever try?
I 've seen enough of trying, and what comes of it?
I 'd be willing to live in the swamps, and gnaw the bark from trees.
I an't afraid of snakes! I 'd rather have one near me than him.
There have been a good many here of your opinion; but you could n't stay
in the swamps. You 'd be tracked by the dogs, and brought back, and then—then—
What would he do?
What would n't he do, you 'd better ask! He 's
learned his trade well among the pirates in the West Indies. You would n't
sleep much, if I should tell you things I 've seen,—things that he tells
of, sometimes, for good jokes. I 've heard screams here that I have n't
been able to get out of my head for weeks and weeks. There 's a place way
out down by the quarters, where you can see a black, blasted tree, and the
ground all covered with black ashes. Ask any one what was done there, and
see if they will dare to tell you.
O, what do you mean?
I won't tell you. I hate to think of it. And, I tell you, the Lord only
knows what we may see to-morrow, if that poor fellow holds out as he 's begun!
Horrid! O, Cassy, do tell me what I shall do!
What I 've done. Do the best you can—do what you must, and make it up
in hating and cursing!
He wanted to make me drink some of his hateful brandy; and I hate it so—
You 'd better drink. I hated it too; and now I can't live without it.
One must have something—things don't look so dreadful when you take that.
Mother used to tell me never to touch any such thing.
Mother told you! What use is it for mothers to
say anything? You are all to be bought and paid for, and your souls belong
to whoever gets you. That 's the way it goes. I say, drink brandy; drink all you can, and it 'll make things come easier!
O, Cassy, do pity me!
Pity you!—and don't I? Have n't I a daughter?—Lord knows where she
is, and whose she is now,—going the way her mother went before her, I suppose,
and that her children must go after her! There 's no end to the curse—forever!
I wish I 'd never been born!
That 's an old wish with me. I 've got used to wishing that. I 'd die
if I dared to!
It would be wicked to kill one's self.
I don't know why;—no wickeder than things we live and do day after day.
But the sisters told me things, when I was in the convent, that make me
afraid to die. If it would only be the end of us, why then—
There he is!—What now?[Exeunt.]
SCENE VI.—Moonlight. -- UNCLE TOM Solus. [ -- Sings.]
"Way down upon the Swanee river,
Far, far away,
Dere's whar my heart is turning, ever,
Dere's whar the old folks stay.
All the world am sad and dreary,
Everywhere I roam;
O, Chloe, how my heart grows weary,
Thinkin' of ye all at home!"
[A pause. Looks up. His face
"When I can read my title clear
To mansions in the skies,
I bid farewell to every fear,
And wipe my weeping eyes.
Should earth against my soul engage,
And hellish darts be hurled,
Then I can smile at Satan's rage,
And face a frowning world."
[Enter LEGREE, unperceived.]
"Let cares like a wild deluge come,
And storms of sorrow fall,
May I but safely reach my home,
My God, my heaven, my all!"
So, ho! he thinks so, does he! How I hate these cursed Methodist hymns!
[To TOM, aloud.] Here, you nigger! how dare
you be gettin' up this yer row, when you ought to be in bed? Shut yer old
black gash, and get along in with you!
Leg. [Beating him.]
There, you dog! see if you feel so comfortable after that![Exit TOM.]
SCENE VII.—Night. Before -- UNCLE TOM'S Cottage.
Enter CASSY. She raps. UNCLE
TOM opens the door.
Come here, father Tom! come here; I 've news for you!
What, Misse Cassy?
Tom, would n't you like your liberty?
I shall have it, misse, in God's time.
Ay, but you may have it to-night! Come on!
Come! Come along! He 's asleep—sound. I put enough into his brandy
to keep him so. I wish I 'd had more, I should n't have wanted you. But
come, the back-door is unlocked: there is an axe there; I put it there—his
room-door is open; I 'll show you the way. I 'd a done it myself, only my
arms are so weak. Come along!
Not for ten thousand worlds, misse!
But think of all these poor creatures. We might set them all free, and
go somewhere in the swamps, and find an island, and live by ourselves; I've
heard of its being done. Any life is better than this.
No, no! good never comes of wickedness. I 'd sooner chop my right hand
Then I shall do it.
O, misse Cassy! for the dear Lord's sake that died for ye, don't sell
your precious soul to the devil, that way! Nothing but evil will come of
it. The Lord has n't called us to wrath. We must suffer, and wait his time.
Wait! Have n't I waited?—waited till my head is dizzy and my heart sick?
What has he made me suffer! What has he made hundreds of poor creatures
suffer! Is n't he wringing the life-blood out of you? I'm called on! They
call me! His time 's come, and I'll have his heart's blood!
No, no, no! No, ye poor, lost soul, that ye must n't do! The dear, blessed
Lord never shed no blood but his own, and that he poured out for us when
we was enemies. Lord, help us to follow his steps, and love our enemies!
Love! love such enemies! it is n't in flesh and blood.
No, misse, it is n't; but He gives it to us, and
that 's the victory. When we can love and pray over
all, and through all, the battle 's past and the victory 's come—glory be
to God! Misse Casse, if you could only get away from here—if the thing was
possible—I 'd 'vise ye and Emmeline to do it; that is, if ye could go without
Would you try it with us, father Tom?
No; time was when I would; but the Lord's given me a work among these
yer poor souls, and I 'll stay with 'em, and bear my cross with 'em till
the end. It 's different with you; it 's a snare to you— it's more 'n
you can stand, and you 'd better go if you can.
I know no way but through the grave! There 's no beast or bird but can
find a home somewhere; even the snakes and the alligators have their places
to lie down and be quiet; but there 's no place for us. Down in the darkest
swamps the dogs will hunt us out, and find us. Everybody and everything is
against us; even the very beasts side against us, and where shall we go?
He that saved Daniel in the den of lions—that saved the children in the
fiery furnace—He that walked on the sea, and bade the winds be still—He
's alive yet; and I 've faith to believe he can deliver you. Try it, and
I will pray with all my might for you.
Father Tom, I 'll try it!
[Exit CASSY, UNCLE TOM.
SCENE VIII.—A Room. Evening.
CASSY and EMMELINE sorting and
These will be large enough; now on with your bonnet, and let 's start.
Why, they can see us yet.
I mean they shall. Don't you know they must have that chase after us,
at any rate? See here, now, their way will be just this: We steal out of
the back door, and run down by the Court House. Sambo or Quimbo wil l be
sure to see us. They will give chase, and we will get into the swamp. Then
I can't go any further till they go up and turn out the dogs; and while they
are blundering around, and tumbling over each other, as they always do, you
and I will just slip
along to a creek, and run into the
water, till we get back to the house; that will put the dogs all at fault;
for scent won't lie in the water. Every one will run out of the house to
look after us, and then we 'll whip into the back door, and then to the
garret, where I have got a nice bed made up in one of the great boxes. We
must stay there a good while; for, I tell you, he will raise heaven and earth
after us. He boasts that no one ever got away from him. He 'll muster all
the old overseers on the other plantations, and have a great hunt, and they
'll go over every inch of ground in that swamp. We 'll let him hunt at his
But won't he come to the garret?
Not he, indeed! He is too much afraid of that place.
Cassy, how well you have planned it! Who would ever have thought that
Cas. [Reaching her hand to EMMELINE.]
SCENE IX.—A Wood. -- EMMELINE and -- CASSY stealing cautiously through the trees.
Enter LEGREE at a distance. Perceives them.
Hallo! you, there!
Emmeline. [Staggers and catches hold of CASSY'S arm.]
O, Cassy, I am going to faint!
Cassy. [Holding up a dagger.]
If you do, I 'll kill you![She seizes EMMELINE under the arm and holds her up, as they disappear.]
Legree. [Coming in sight, and looking after
Anyhow, they have got into a trap now,—the baggages! They are safe enough!
They shall sweat for it! [Turns and
runs in another direction.] Hallo! there, Sambo! Quimbo!—all
hands!—two runaways in the swamp!—five dollars to any nigger that catches
them!—turn out the dogs!—turn out Tiger!—Fury and fire! Halloo! be alive!
Enter SAMBO, QUIMBO, and a crowd
of negroes with torches. They run about distractedly, and shouting and whooping,
some getting pine knots and some getting the dogs.
Mas'r, shall we shoot them? Can't catch 'em.
Legree. [Giving him a rifle.]
Fire on Cass, if you like—time she is gone where she belongs! Don't
fire on the girl! Now, be spry! Five dollars to him that gets them! Glass
of spirits to you all, any way!
[Exit all, shouting.]
Enter UNCLE TOM; looks after them and raises his hands.
Please, good Lord, do, do help 'em—help 'em—help 'em, good Lord!
SCENE X.—A Room in the House.
Enter CASSY and EMMELINE out of breath. From the windows is seen the light of flambeaux,
and the sound of dogs and shouting is heard.
Cas. [Walking to the window and looking
See there, the hunt is begun! Hark, the dogs! Don't you hear? If we
were there now, our chance would n't be worth a picayune!
O, for pity's sake! Do let 's hide ourselves! Quick! quick!
There is no occasion for hurry. The hunt is the amusement for the evening.
They are all out after it. Meanwhile [she walks to a desk and unlocks it] I shall take something to
pay our passage.
O, don't let 's to that!
Cas. [Taking out a roll of bills and counting
Why not? Would you have us starve in the swamp, or have what will pay
our way to the free states? Money can do anything, girl!
But it 's stealing!
Cas. [Laughs scornfully.]
Stealing, is it! They who steal body and soul need not talk to us! Let him talk about stealing! Every one of these bills is
stolen—stolen from poor, starving, sweat ing creatures, that must go to
the devil at last for his profit! But come, we may
as well go up garret. I have got a stock of candles there, and some books
to pass away the time. You may be sure they won't come there to inquire
SCENE XI.—The Dining-room.
It 's all that Tom, I know! Did n't I see the old wretch lifting up his
old black hands, praying? I hate him! I HATE him! And is n't he mine? Is he not MINE? Can't I do what I like with him? Who is to hinder,
I wonder? I 'll try once more to-morrow. If I don't catch them—I 'll see
what I 'll do!
SCENE XII .— A small Room under the eaves of the
garret. A pallet spread upon the floor, strewn with books and bundles. A light
burning on the side of the wall. -- CASSY kneeling, with her eye to a knot-hole.
What do you see?
At it again this morning! There 's that old Stokes on the run. He has
come over—has he? And Bill Daken, with his dogs! Hear them swear! There
he goes, giving brandy round among them—niggers and all! [Listens.] So I am to be shot down—am I?
"Save the girl!" Do you hear that, Emmeline? Is n't he kind? [CASSY rises suddenly, clasps
her hands, and looks up.] Almighty God, what is this for? What have we done more than all the rest of the world,
that we are treated so? [After a
pause, she lays her hand on EMMELINE'S shoulder.] If it was n't for you, child, I would go out there, and I 'd thank any one that would shoot me down; for what use will freedom be to me? Can it give
me back my children, or make me what I used to be?
Poor Cassy! don't feel so!
[She takes her hand.]
Cas. [Draws it away.]
Don't— you get me to loving you; and I never mean to love anything again.
You should n't feel so, Cassy. If the Lord gives us liberty perhaps he
will give you back your daughter. At any rate, I 'll be like a daughter
to you. I know I 'll never see my poor old mother again. I shall love you,
Cassy, whether you love me or not.
Cas. [Sits down, and puts her arm around EMMELINE.]
O, Em, I have hungered for my children, and thirsted for them! My heart
is broken in longing for them! Here, here all is desperate, all empty!
If God would give me back my children, then I could pray.
You must trust him, Cassy. He is our Father.
His wrath is upon us. He is turned away in anger.
No, Cassy, he will be good to us.
SCENE XIII.— -- LEGREE and -- QUIMBO. Sitting-room.
Now, Quimbo, if you 'll just walk up that Tom right away—the old cuss
is at the bottom of the whole matter, and I 'll have it out of his old black
hide, or I 'll know the reason why! [Exit QUIMBO.] What if I did pay
a thousand dollars for him!—two thousand would not pay the plague he has
made me! I 've got him! the —
Enter QUIMBO, dragging along TOM.
Ah! you 'll cotch it now, I 'll be bound! Mas'r's back 's up high. No
sneaking up now—tell you, you 'll get it—no mistake! See how you look
now, helping mas'r's niggers to run away—see what ye got!
A voice from above.
"Fear not them that kill the body, and after that have no more that they
Leg. [Seizing TOM by the collar.]
Tom, do you know I have made up my mind to kill you?
I think it 's quite likely, mas'r.
I have—done—just—that—thing, Tom, unless you'll tell me what you know
about these here girls!
silent, and looks on the floor.]
Do you hear?—speak!
I an't got nothing to tell, mas'r.
Do you dare to tell me, you old black Christian, that you don't know?
Speak! Do you know anything?
I know, mas'r, but I can't tell anything. I can die.
Leg. [Comes up to TOM, and speaks close to his face.]
Look here, Tom! you think, because I have let you off other times, that
I don't mean what I say. But I do! I have made up
my mind and counted the cost. You always have stood it out against me; but
this time I 'll conquer you, or I 'll kill you—one or t' other! I 'll count
every drop of blood that is in you, and take them one by one till you give
Tom. [Looking up to his master.]
Mas'r, if you were sick, or in trouble, or dying, and I could save ye,
I 'd give ye my heart's blood; and, if taking every drop of blood in this
poor old body would s ave your precious soul, I 'd give 'em freely, as the
Lord gave his for me. O! mas'r, don't bring this great sin on your soul!
It will hurt you more than 't will me! Do the worst you can, my troubles
will be over soon; but, if ye don't repent, yours won't ever end!
[LEGREE hesitates a moment, and then knocks TOM down. SAMBO and QUIMBO rush in.]
Sambo and Quimbo.
Shall we take him, mas'r?
Yes, take him. I 'll go with you. We 'll see what we'll see![Exit.]
SCENE XIV.—A Hut. -- UNCLE TOM lying on straw,
Enter GEORGE SHELBY. Kneels down.
Is it possible! Is it possible! Uncle Tom, my poor old friend!
Uncle Tom. [Moving in his sleep.]
"Jesus can make a dying bed
Feel soft as downy pillows are."
O! Uncle Tom, do wake! do speak once more! Look up! Here's Mas'r George—your
own little Mas'r George! Don't you know me?
Uncle T. [In a feeble voice.]
Mas'r George! Mas'r George! Bless the Lord! it is—it is—it 's all I
wanted! They have n't forgot me! It warms my soul; it does my old heart
good! Now I shall die content! Bless the Lord, O my soul!
You shan't die! you must n't die, nor think of
it! I 've come to buy you, and take you home.
O, Mas'r George, ye 're too late! The Lord's bought me, and is going
to take me home; and I long to go. Heaven is better than Kintuck.
O, don't die! It 'll kill me! it 'll break my heart to think what you
've suffered—and lying in this old shed, here! Poor, poor fellow!
Don't call me a poor fellow! [Solemnly.] I have been poor fellow, but
that 's all past and gone now. I 'm right in the door, going into glory!
O, Mas'r George! Heaven has come! I 've got the
victory! the Lord Jesus has given it to me! Glory be to his name! [He pauses, and then takes GEORGE'S hand.] Ye must n't, now, tell
Chloe—poor soul!—how ye found me; 't would be so drefful to her. Only
tell her ye found me going into glory; and that I could n't stay for no one.
And tell her the Lord stood by me everywhere, and al'ays, and made everything
light and easy. And, O! the poor chil'en, and the baby—my old heart's been
most broken for 'em, time and again. Tell 'em all to follow me—follow me!
Give my love to mas'r, and dear good missis, and everybody in the place!
Ye don't know. 'Pears like I love 'em all! I loves every creatur', everywar!—it
's nothing but love! O, Mas'r George, what a thing
't is to be a Christian!
[LEGREE looks in.]
The old Satan! It 's a comfort to think the devil will pay him for this some of these days!
O, don't!—O, you must n't! [grasping his hand] He 's a poor mis'able critter. It 's awful
to think on 't. O, if he
only would repent, the Lord would
forgive him now; but I 'm feared he never will!
I hope he won't. I never want to see him in heaven!
Hush, Mas'r George; it worries me! Don't feel so. He an't done me no
real harm—only opened the gate of the kingdom for me—that 's all! [A pause. UNCLE
TOM seems to faint. Draws several long sighs, raises
his hand.] Who—who—who—shall—separate—us from—the—the—love of Christ? LOVE! LOVE! LOVE OF CHRIST!