Page:Aunt Phillis's Cabin.djvu/166
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It is universal, the consideration that is shown to the servants at the South, as regards their times of eating and of rest. Whatever may have occurred, whatever fatigue the different members of the family may feel obliged to undergo, a servant is rarely called upon for extra attendance. In the Northern country the whole labor of a family is frequently performed by one female, while five or six will do the same amount of work in the South. A servant at the South is rarely called upon at night; only in cases of absolute necessity. Negroes are naturally sleepy-headed—they like to sit up late at night,—in winter, over a large fire, nodding and bumping their heads against each other, or in summer, out of doors; but they take many a nap before they can get courage to undress and go regularly to bed. They may be much interested in a conversation going on, but it is no violation of their code of etiquette to smoke themselves to sleep while listening. Few of the most faithful servants can keep awake well enough to be of real service in cases of sickness. There is a feeling among their owners, that they work hard during the day and should be allowed more rest than those who are not obliged to labor. "Do not disturb servants when they are eating," is the frequent charge of a Southern mother, "they have not a great many pleasures within their reach; never do any thing that will lessen their comforts in the slightest degree." Mrs. Weston, even in her own deep sorrow, was not unmindful of others; she frequently tried to induce Phillis to go home, knowing that she must be much fatigued. "I cannot feel tired, Phillis; a mother could not sleep with her only child as Alice is; I do not require the rest that you do."
"You needs it more, Miss Anna, though you don't think so now. I can take care of myself. Unless you drive me away, I shan't go until God's will be done, for life or death."