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

SCENE VII.—Night. Before -- UNCLE TOM'S Cottage.

Enter CASSY. She raps. UNCLE TOM opens the door.

Cassy.

  Come here, father Tom! come here; I 've news for you!


Uncle Tom.

  What, Misse Cassy?


Cas.

  Tom, would n't you like your liberty?


Uncle T.

  I shall have it, misse, in God's time.


Cas.

  Ay, but you may have it to-night! Come on!

[UNCLE TOM holds back.]

Cas.

  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!


Uncle T.

  Not for ten thousand worlds, misse!


Cas.

  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.


Uncle T.

  No, no! good never comes of wickedness. I 'd sooner chop my right hand off!


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Cas.

  Then I shall do it.


Uncle T.

  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.


Cas.

  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!


Uncle T.

  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!


Cas.

  Love! love such enemies! it is n't in flesh and blood.


Uncle T.

  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 blood-guiltiness—not otherwise.


Cas.

  Would you try it with us, father Tom?


Uncle T.

  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.


Cas.

  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?


Uncle T.

  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.


Cas.

  Father Tom, I 'll try it!

[Exit CASSY, UNCLE TOM.