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THE following morning broke forth bright and serene. Marston and his guests, after passing a pleasant night, were early at breakfast. When over, they joined him for a nike air max 1 sale stroll over the plantation, to hear him descant upon the prospects of the coming crop. Nothing could be nike air max 1 leopard more certain, to his mind, than a bountiful harvest. The rice, cotton, and corn grounds had been well prepared, the weather was most favourable, he had plenty of help, a good overseer, and faithful drivers. “We have plenty,-we live easy, you see, and our people are contented,” he says, directing his conversation to the young Englishman, who was suspected of being Franconia’s friend. “We do things different from what you do in your country. Your countrymen will not learn to grow cotton: they manufacture it, and hence we are connected in firm bonds. Cotton connects many things, even men’s minds and souls. You would like to be a planter, I know you would: who would not, seeing how we live? Here is the Elder, as happy a fellow as you’ll find in forty. He can be as jolly as an Englishman over a good dinner: he can think with anybody, preach with anybody!” Touching the Elder on the shoulder, he smiles, and wit cheap air max 1 h an insinuating lee cheap air max 1 r, smooths his beard. “I am at your service,” replies the Elder, folding his arms.
“I pay him to preach for my nigger property,-I pay him to teach them to be good. He preaches just as I wants him to. My boys think him a little man, but a great divine. You would like to hear the Elder on Sunday; he’s funny then, and has a very funny sermon, which you may get by heart without much exertion.” The young man seems indi nike air max 1 premium fferent to the conversation. He had not been taught to realise how easy it was to bring religion into contempt.
“Make no grave charges against me, Marston; you carry your practical jokes a little too far, Sir. I am a quiet man, but the feelings of quiet men may be disturbed.” The Elder speaks moodily, as if considering whether it were best to resent Marston’s trifling sarcasm. Deacon Rosebrook now interceded by saying, with unruffled countenance, that the Elder had but one thing funny about him,-his dignity on Sundays: that he was, at times, half inclined to b nike air max 1 elieve it the dignity of cogniac, instead of pious sentiment.
“I preach my sermon,-who can do more?” the Elder rejoins, with seeming concern for his honour. “I thought we came to view the plantation?”
“Yes, true; but our little repartee cannot stop our sight. You prea nike air max 1 ebay ch your sermon, Elder,–that is, you preach what there is left of it . It is one of the best-used sermons ever manufactured. It would serve as a model for the most stale Oxonian. Do you think you could write another like it? It has lasted seven years, and served the means of propitiating the gospel on seven manors. Can they beat that in your country?” says Marston, again turning to the young Englishmam, and laughing at the Elder, who was deliberately taking off his glasses to wipe the perspiration from his forehead.
“Our ministers have a different way of patching up old sermons; but I’m not quite sure about their mode of getting them,” the young man replies, takes Deacon Rosebrook’s arm, and walks ahead.
“The Elder must conform to the d nike air max 1 grey octrines of the South; but they say he bets at the race-course, which is not an uncommon nike air max 1 black thing for our divines,” rejoins the Deacon, facetiously.
The Elder, becoming seriously inclined, thinks gentlemen had better avoid personalities. Personalities are not tolerated in the South, where gentlemen are removed far above common people, and protect themselves by the code duello. He will expose Marston.
Marston’s good capon sides are proof against jokes. He may crack on, that individual says.
“My friend,” interposed the Elder, “you desired me to preach to your niggers in one style and for one purpose,-according to the rule of labour and submission. Just such an one as your niggers would think the right stripe, I preached, and it made your niggers wonder and gape. I’ll pledge you my religious faith I can preach a different-”
“Oh! oh! oh! Elder,” interrupted Marston, “pledge something valuable.”
“To me, my faith is th Air Max 1 e most sacred thing in the world. I will-as I was going to say-preach to your moulding and necessities. Pay for it, and, on my word, it shall be in the cause of the South! With the landmarks from my planter customers, I will follow to their liking,” continues Elder Pemberton Praiseworthy, not a smile on his hard face.
Deacon Rosebrook thinks it is well said. Pay is the great desideratum in everything. The Elder, though not an uncommon southern clergyman, is the most versatile preacher to be met with in a day’s walk. Having a wonderful opinion of nigger knowledge, he preaches to it in accordance, receiving good pay and having no objection to the wine.
“Well, Gentlemen,” Marston remarks, coolly, “I think the Elder has borne our jokes well; we will now go and moisten our lips. The elder likes my old Madeira-always passes the h air max 1 leopard print ighest compliments upon it.” Having sallied about the plantation, we return to the mansion, where Dandy, Enoch, and Sam-three well-dressed mulattoes-their hair frizzed and their white aprons looking so bright, meet us at the veranda, and bow us back into the parlour, as we bear our willing testimony of the prospects of the crop. With scraping of feet, grins, and bows, they welcome us back, smother us with compliments, and seem overwilling to lavish their kindness. From the parlour they bow us into a long room in the right wing, its walls being plain boarded, and well ventilated with open seams. A table is spread with substantial edibles,-such as ham, bacon, mutton, and fish. These represent the southern planter’s fare, to which he seldom adds those pastry delicacies with which the New Englander is prone to decorate his tabl cheap nike air max 1 e. The party become seated as Franconia graces the festive board with her presence, which, being an incentive of gallantry, preserves the nicest decorum, smooths the conversation. The wine-cup flows freely; the Elder dips deeply-as he declares it choice. Temperance being unpopular in the south, it is little regarded at Marston’s mansion. As for Marston himself, he is merely preparing the way to play facetious jokes on the Elder, whose arm he touches every few minutes, reminding him how backward he is in replenishing his glass.
Not at all backward in such matters, the Elder fills up, asks the pleasure of drinking his very good health, and empties the liquid into the safest place nearest at hand. Repeated courses have their effect; Marston is pleased, the Elder is mellow. With muddled sensibilities his eyes glare wildly about nike air max 1 red the table, and at every fresh invitation to drink he begs pardon for having neglected his duty, fingers the ends of his cravat, and deposits another glass,-certainly the very last. Franconia, perceiving her uncle’s motive, begs to be excused, and is escorted out of the room. Mr. Praiseworthy, attempting to get a last glass of wine to his lips without spilling, is quite surprised that the lady should leave. He commences descanting on his own fierce enmity to infidelity and catholicism. He would that everybody rose up and trampled them into the dust; both are ruinous to negro property.
Marston coolly suggests that the Elder is decidedly uncatholicised.
“Elder,” interrupted Deacon Rosebrook, touching him on the shoulder, “you are modestly undone-that is, very respectably sold to your wine.”
“Yes,” rejoined Marston; “I would give an extra ten dollars to hear him preach a sermon to my niggers at this moment.”
“Villainous inconsistency!” exclaimed the Elder, in an indistinct voice, his eyes half closed, and the spectacles gradually falling from his nose. “You are scandalising my excellent character, which can’t be replaced with gold.” Making another attempt to raise a glass of wine to his lips, as he concluded, he unconsciously let the contents flow into his bosom, instead of his mouth.
“Well, my opinion is, Elder, that if you get my nigger property into heaven with your preaching, there’ll be a chance for the likes of me,” said Marston, watching the Elder intently. It was now evident the party were all becoming pretty deeply tinctured. Rosebrook thought a minister of the gospel, to get in such a condition, and then refer to religious matters, must have a soul empty to the very core. There could be no better proof of how easily true religion could be brought into contempt. The Elder foreclosed with the spirit, considered himself unsafe in the chair, and was about to relieve it, when Dandy caught him in his arms like a lifeless mass, and carried him to a settee, upon which he spread him, like a substance to be bleached in the sun.
“Gentlemen! the Elder is completely unreverenced,-he is the most versatile individual that ever wore black cloth. I reverence him for his qualities,” says Marston: then, turning to Maxwell, he continued, “you must excuse this little joviality; it occurs but seldom, and the southern people take it for what it is worth, excusing, or forgetting its effects.”
“Don’t speak of it-it’s not unlike our English do at times-nor do our ministers form exceptions; but they do such things under a monster protection, without reckoning the effect,” the Englishman replied, looking round as if he missed the presence of Franconia.
The Elder, soon in a profound sleep, was beset by swarms of mosquitoes preying upon his haggard face, as if it were good food. “He’s a pretty picture,” says Marston, looking upon the sleeping Elder with a frown, and then working his fingers through his crispy red hair. “A hard subject for the student’s knife he’ll make, won’t he?” To add to the comical appearance of the reverend gentleman, Marston, rising from his seat, approached him, drew the spectacles from his pocket, and placed them on the tip of his nose, adding piquancy to his already indescribable physiognomy.
“Don’t you think this is carrying the joke a point too far?” asked Deacon Rosebrook, who had been some time silently watching the prostrate condition of Elder Pemberton Praiseworthy.
Marston shrugs his shoulders, whispers a word or two in the ear of his friend Maxwell, twirls his glass upon the table. He is somewhat cautious how he gives an opinion on such matters, having previously read one or two law books; but believes it does’nt portray all things just right. He has studied ideal good-at least he tells us so-if he never practises it; finally, he is constrained to admit that this ‘ere’s all very well once in a while, but becomes tiresome–especially when kept up as strong as the Elder does it. He is free to confess that southern mankind is curiously constituted, too often giving license to revelries, but condemning those who fall by them. He feels quite right about the Elder’s preaching being just the chime for his nigger property; but, were he a professing Christian, it would’nt suit him by fifty per cent. There is something between the mind of a “nigger” and the mind of a white man,–something he can’t exactly analyse, though he is certain it is wonderfully different; and though such preaching can do niggers no harm, he would just as soon think of listening to Infidelity. Painful as it was to acknowledge the fact, he only appeared at the “Meet’n House” on Sundays for the looks of the thing, and in the hope that it might have some influence with his nigger property. Several times he had been heard to say it was mere machine-preaching-made according to pattern, delivered according to price, by persons whose heads and hearts had no sympathy with the downcast.
“There’s my prime fellow Harry; a right good fellow, worth nine hundred, nothing short, and he is a Christian in conscience. He has got a kind of a notion into his head about being a divine. He thinks, in the consequence of his black noddle, that he can preach just as well as anybody; and, believe me, he can’t read a letter in the book,–at least, I don’t see how he can. True, he has heard the Elder’s sermon so often that he has committed every word of it to memory,–can say it off like a plantation song, and no mistake.” Thus Marston discoursed. And yet he declared that nobody could fool him with the idea of “niggers” having souls: they were only mortal,–he would produce abundant proof, if required.
Deacon Rosebrook listened attentively to this part of Marston’s discourse. “The task of proving your theory would be rendered difficult if you were to transcend upon the scale of blood,” he replied, getting up and spreading his handkerchief over the Elder’s face, to keep off the mosquitoes.
“When our most learned divines and philosophers are the stringent supporters of the principle, what should make the task difficult? Nevertheless, I admit, if my fellow Harry could do the preaching for our plantation, no objections would be interposed by me; on the contrary, I could make a good speculation by it. Harry would be worth two common niggers then. Nigger property, christianised, is the most valuable of property. You may distinguish a christianised nigger in a moment; and piety takes the stubborn out of their composition better than all the cowhides you can employ; and, too, it’s a saving of time, considering that it subdues so much quicker,” says Marston, stretching back in his chair, as he orders Dandy to bring Harry into his presence. He will tell them what he knows about preaching, the Elder’s sermon, and the Bible!
Maxwell smiles at such singularly out of place remarks on religion. They are not uncommon in the south, notwithstanding.
A few minutes elapsed, when Dandy opened the door, and entered the room, followed by a creature-a piece of property!-in which the right of a soul had been disputed, not alone by Marston, but by southern ministers and southern philosophers. The thing was very good- looking, very black;-it had straight features, differing from the common African, and stood very erect. We have said he differed from the common African-we mean, as he is recognised through our prejudices. His forehead was bold and well-developed-his hair short, thick and crispy, eyes keen and piercing, cheeks regularly declining into a well-shaped mouth and chin. Dejected and forlorn, the wretch of chance stood before them, the fires of a burning soul glaring forth from his quick, wandering eyes. “There!” exclaimed Marston. “See that,” pointing at his extremes; “he has foot enough for a brick-maker, and a head equal to a deacon-no insinuation, my friend,” bowing to Deacon Rosebrook. “They say it takes a big head to get into Congress; but I’m afraid, Harry, I’d never get there.” ③

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