Page:Aunt Phillis's Cabin.djvu/106

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Chapter IX.

We must bring Uncle Bacchus's wife before our readers. She is a tall, dignified, bright mulatto woman, named Phillis; it is with the qualities of her heart and mind, rather than her appearance, that we have to do. Bayard Taylor, writing from Nubia, in Upper Egypt, says:—"Those friends of the African race, who point to Egypt as a proof of what that race has done, are wholly mistaken. The only negro features represented in Egyptian sculpture are those of the slaves and captives taken in the Ethiopian wars of the Pharaohs. The temples and pyramids throughout Nubia, as far as Abyssinia, all bear the hieroglyphics of these monarchs. There is no evidence in all the valley of the Nile that the negro race ever attained a higher degree of civilization than is at present exhibited in Congo and Ashantee. I mention this, not from any feeling hostile to that race, but simply to controvert an opinion very prevalent in some parts of the United States."

It seemed impossible to know Phillis without feeling for her sentiments of the highest respect. The blood of the freeman and the slave mingled in her veins; her well-regulated mind slowly advanced to a conclusion; but once made, she rarely changed it.

Phillis would have been truly happy to have obtained her own freedom, and that of her husband and children: she scorned the idea of running away, or of obtaining it otherwise than as a gift from her owner. She was a firm believer in the Bible, and often pondered on the words of the angel, "Return and submit thyself to thy mistress." She had on one occasion accompanied her master and Mrs. Weston to the North, where she was soon found out by some of that disinterested class of individuals called Abolitionists.