Page:Aunt Phillis's Cabin.djvu/221

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215
SOUTHERN LIFE AS IT IS.

you cannot be always as fair and young as you are now; but may God keep your heart as pure and childlike, until he take you to the Heaven which is your destiny." Before any one could reply, he had bowed to the rest of the company and left the room; and even Alice, accustomed as she was to his partial affection, felt solemnized at the unusual earnestness with which he had addressed her; but Mrs. Weston hurried them off to the scene of fashion and splendor which they had been anticipating.

* * * *

Mr. Weston was about to retire, when Bacchus suddenly entered the room, preceded by a slight knock. He was very much excited, and evidently had information of great importance to communicate.

"Master," said he, without waiting to get breath, "they're all got took."

"What is the matter, Bacchus?"

"Nothing, sir, only they're all cotched, every mother's son of 'em."

"Of whom are you speaking?"

"Of them poor misguided niggers, sir, de Abolitioners got away; but they're all cotched now, and I'm sorry 'nuff for 'em. Some's gwine to be sold, and some's gwine to be put in jail; and they're all in the worst kind of trouble."

"Well, Bacchus, it serves them right; they knew they were not free, and that it was their duty to work in the condition in which God had placed them. They have nobody to blame but themselves."

"'Deed they is—'scuse me for contradictin you—but there's them as is to blame a heap. Them Abolitioners, sir, is the cause of it. They wouldn't let the poor devils rest until they 'duced them to go off. They 'lowed, they would get 'em off, and no danger of their being took agin. They had the imperance, sir, to 'suade those poor deluded niggers that they were born free, when they knowed they