A Timeless Piece of Literature | World Life
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A Timeless Piece of Literature

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If you have never read the incredible piece of literature called “Uncle Tom’s Cabin” by Harriet Beecher Stowe, then let me implore you to do so now. This story written to speak abolitionist truth on the evil of slavery, is so applicable today it is probably supernatural. Here is a small section that I just had to share today:

“Papa,” said Eva, with sudden firmness, “I’ve had things I wanted to say to you, a great while. I want to say them now, before I get weaker.”

St. Clare trembled as Eva seated herself in his lap. She laid her head on his bosom, and said, “It’s all no use, Papa, to keep it to myself any longer. The time is coming that I am going to leave you. I am going, and never to come back!” and Eva sobbed.

“Oh, now, my dear little Eva!” said St. Clare, trembling as he spoke, but speaking cheerfully,  “you’ve got nervous and low-spirited; you mustn’t indulge such gloomy thoughts. See here, I’ve bought a statuette for you.!”

“No, Papa,” said Eva, putting it gently away, “don’t deceive yourself!–I am not any better, I know it perfectly well, and I am going, before long. I am not nervous–I am not low-spirited. If it were not for you, Papa, and my friends, I should be perfectly happy. I want to go–I long to go!”

“Why dear child, what has made your poor little heart so sad? You have had everything to make you happy that could be given you.”

“I had rather be in heaven; though, only for my friends’ sake, I would be willing to live. There are a great many things here that make me sad, that seem dreadful to me; I had rather be there; but I don’t want to leave you–it almost breaks my heart!”

“What makes you sad, and seems dreadful, Eva?”

“O, things that are done, and done all the time. I feel sad for our poor people; they love me dearly, and they are all good and kind to me. I wish, Papa, they were all free.”

“Why, Eva, child, don’t you think they are well enough off now?”

“O, but, Papa, if anything should happen to you, what would become of them? There are very few men like you, Papa, Uncle Alfred isn’t like you, and Mamma isn’t; and think of poor old Prue’s owners! What horrid things people do, and can do!” and Eva shuddered.

“My dear child, you are too sensitive. I’m sorry I ever let you hear such stories.”

“O, that’s what trouble me, Papa. You want me to live so happy, and never to have any pain–never suffer anything–not even hear a sad story, when other poor creatures have nothing but pain and sorrow all their lives; it seems selfish. I ought to know such things, I ought feel about them! Such things always sunk into my heart: they went down deep; I’ve thought and thought about them. Papa, isn’t there any way to have all slaves made free?”

“That’s a difficult question, dearest. There is no doubt that this way is a very one; a great many people think so; I do myself. I heartily wish that there were not a slave in the land; but, then, I don’t know what is to be done about it!”

“Papa, you are such a good man, and so noble, and kind, and you always have a way of saying things that is so pleasant, couldn’t you go all round and try to persuade people to do right about this? When I am dead, Papa, then you will think of me, and do it for my sake. I would do it if I could.”

The you are dead, Eva,” said St. Clare, passionately. “O, child, don’t talk to me so! You are all I have on earth.”

“Poor old Prue’s child was all that she had–and yet she had to hear it crying, and she couldn’t help it! Papa, these poor creatures love their children as much as you do me. O! do something for them! There’s poor Mammy loves her children; I’ve seen her cry when talked about them. And Tom loves his children; and its’ dreadful, Papa, that such things are happening, all the time!”

“There, there, darling,” said St. Clare, soothingly; “only don’t distress yourself, and don’t talk of dying, and I will do anything in the world–anything you could ask me to.”

“Dear Papa,” said the child, laying her burning cheek against his, “how I wish we could go together!”

“Where, dearest?” said St. Clare.

“To our Savior’s home; it’s so sweet and peaceful there–it is all so loving there!” The child spoke unconsciously, as of a place where she had often been.

“Don’t you want to go, Papa?” she said.

St. Clare drew her closer to him, but was silent.

“You will come to me,” said the child, speaking in a voice of calm certainty which she often used unconsciously.

“I shall come after you. I shall not forget you.” …

-“Uncle Tom’s Cabin” by Harriet Beecher Stowe

 

 

AUTHOR: Don Cooper
dcooper@worldlife.com
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