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“Quite the reverse,” returns Marston, suddenly smiling, and, placing his elbows on the table, rests his face on his hands. “Religion is well in its place, good on simple minds; just the thing to keep vassals in their places: that’s why I pay to have it talked to my property. Elder, I get the worth of my money in seeing the excitement my fellows get into by hearing you preach that old worn-out sermon. You’ve preached it to them so long, they have got it by heart. Only impress the rascals that it’s God’s will they should labour for a life, and they’ll stick to it like Trojans: they are just like pigs, sir.”
“You don’t comprehend me, my friend Marston: I mean that you should prepare-it’s a rule applicable to all-to meet the terrible that may come upon us at any moment.” The Elder is fearful that he is not quite expl icit enough. He continues: “Well, there is something to be considered;”-he is not quite certain that we should curtail the pleasures of this life by binding ourselves with the dread of what is to come. “Seems as if we owed a common duty to ourselves,” he ejaculates.
The conversation became more exciting, Marston facetiously attempting to be humorous at the Elder’s expense: “It isn’t the pleasure, my dear fellow, nike air max 1 ebay it’s the contentment. We were all born to an end; and if that end be to labour through life for others, it must be right. Everything is right that custom has established right.”
“Marston, give us your hand, my friend. ‘Twould do to plead so if we had no enemies, but enemies are upon us, watching our movements through partizans’ eyes, full of fierceness, and evil to misconstruct.”
“I care not,” interrupts Marston. “My slaves are my property-I shall do with them as it pleases me; no insinuations about morality, or I shall mark you on an old score. Do you sound? Good Elders should be good men; but they, as well as planters, have their frailties; it would not do to tell them all, lest high heaven should cry out.” Marston points his finger, and laughs heartily. “I wish we had seven lives to live, and they were all as happy as m nike air max 1 leopard ost of our planters could desire to make them.”
The Elder understood the delicate hint, but desiring to avoid placing himself in an awkward position before the Deacon, began to change the conversation, criticising the merits of several old pictures hung upon the walls. They were much valued by Marston, as mementoes of his ancestry: of this the Elder attempted in vain to make a point. During this conversation, so disguised in meaning, the mulatto servant stood at the door waiting Marston’s commands. Soon, wine and refreshments were brought in, and spread out in old plantation style. The company had scarcely filled glasses, when a rap sounded at the hall door: a servant hastened to announce a carriage; and in another minute was ushered into the room the graceful figure of a young lady whose sweet and joyous countenance bespo air max 1 ke the absence of care. She was followed by a genteelly-dressed young man of straight person and placid features.
“Oh! Franconia,” said Marston, rising from his seat, grasping her hand affectionately, and bestowing a kiss on her fair cheek, for it was fair indeed.
Taking her right hand in his left, he added, “My niece, gentlemen; my brother’s only daughter, and nearly spoiled with attentions.” A pleasant smile stole over her face, as gracefully she acknowledged the compliment. In another minute three or four old negroes, moved by the exuberance of their affection for her, gathered about her, contending with anxious faces for the honour of seeing her comfortable.
“I love her!” continued Marston; “and, as well as she could a father, she loves me, making time pass pleasantly with her cheerfulness.” She was the child of his af nike air max 1 fections; and as he spoke his face glowed with animation. Scarce seventeen summers had bloomed upon his fair niece, who, though well developed in form, was of a delicate constitution, and had inherited that sensitiveness so peculiar to the child of the South, especially she who has been cradled in the nursery of ease and refinement. As she spoke, smiled, and raised her jewelled fingers, the grace accompanying the words was expressive of love and tenderness. Turning to the gentleman who accompanied her, “My friend!” she added, simply, with a frolicsome laugh. A dozen anxious black faces were now watching in the hall, ready to scamper round her ere she made her appearance to say, “How de’h!” to young Missus, and get a glimpse at her stranger friend. After receiving a happy salute from the old servants, she re-enters the room nike air max 1 grey . “Uncle’s always drinking wine when I come;-but Uncle forgets me; he has not so much as once asked me to join him!” She lays her hand on his arm playfully, smiles cunningly, points reproachfully at the Elder, and takes a seat at her uncle’s side. The wine has seized the Elder’s mind; he stares at her through his spectacles, and holds his glass with his left hand.
“Come, Dandy,” said Marston, addressing himself to the mulatto attendant, “bring a glass; she shall join us.” The glass is brought, Marston fills it, she bows, they drink to her and to the buoyant spirits of the noble southern lady. “I don’t admire the habit; but I do like to please so,” she whispers, and, excusing herself, skips into the parlour on the right, where she is again beset by the old servants, who rush to her, shake her hand, cling playfully to her dr nike air max 1 premium ess: some present various new-plucked flowers others are become noisy with their chattering jargon. At length she is so beset with the display of their affection as to be compelled to break away from them, and call for Clotilda. “I must have Clotilda!” she says: “Tell her to come soon, Dandy: she alone can arrange my dress.” Thus saying, she disappeared up a winding stair leading from the hall into the second story.
We were anxious to know who Clotilda was, and why Franconia should summon her with so much solicitude. Presently a door opened: Franconia appeared at the top of the stairs, her face glowing with vivacity, her hair dishevelled waving in beautiful confusion, giving a fascination to her person. “I do wish she would come, I do!” she mutters, resting her hands upon the banisters, and looking intently into the passag nike air max 1 e: “she thinks more of fussing over Annette’s hair, than she does about taking care of mine. Well, I won’t get cross-I won’t! Poor Clotilda, I do like her; I can’t help it; it is no more than natural that she should evince so much solicitude for her child: we would do the same.” Scarcely had she uttered these words, when the beautiful female we have described in the foregoing chapter ran from her cabin, across the yard, into the mansion. “Where is young Miss Franconia?” she inquires; looks hastily around, ascends the stairs, greets Franconia with a fervent shake of the hand, commences adjusting her hair. There is a marked similarity in their countenances: it awakens our re nike air max 1 red flections. Had Clotilda exhibited that exactness of toilet for which Franconia is become celebrated, she would excel in her attractions. There was the same oval face, the same arched brows; there was the same Grecian contour of features, the same sharply lined nose; there was the same delicately cut mouth, disclosing white, pearly teeth; the same eyes, now glowing with sentiment, and again pensive, indicating thought and tenderness; there was the same classically moulded bust, a shoulder slightly converging, of beautiful olive, enriched by a dark mole.
Clotilda would fain have kissed Franconia, but she dare not. “Clotilda, you must take good care of me while I make my visit. Only do my hair nicely, and I will see that Uncle gets a new dress for you when he goes to the city. If Uncle would only get married, how much happier it would be,” says Franconia, looking at Clotilda the while.
“And me, too,-I would be happier!” Clotilda replies, resting her arms on the back of Franconia’s lolling chair, as her eyes assumed a melancholy glare. She heaved a sigh.
“You could not be happier than you are; you are well cared for nike air max 1 black ; Uncle will never see you want; but you must be cheerful when I come, Clotilda,-you must! To see you unhappy makes me feel unhappy.”
“Cheerful!-its better said than felt. Can he or she be cheerful who is forced to sin against God and himself? There is little to be cheerful with, where the nature is not its own. Why should I be the despised wretch at your Uncle’s feet: did God, the great God, make me a slave to his licentiousness?”
“Suppress such feelings, Clotilda; do not let them get the better of you. God ordains all things: it is well to abide by His will, for it is sinful to cheap air max 1 be discontented, especially where everything is so well provided. Why, Uncle has learned you to read, and even to write.”
“Ah! that’s just what gave me light; through it I knew that I had a life, and a soul beyond that, as valuable to me as yours is to you.”
“Be careful, Clotilda,” she interrupts; “remember there is a wide difference bet cheap nike air max 1 ween us. Do not cross Uncle; he is kind, but he may get a freak into his head, and sell you.”
Clotilda’s cheeks brightened; she frowned at the word, and, giving her black hair a toss from her shoulder, muttered, “To sell me!-Had you measured the depth of pain in that word, Franconia, your lips had never given it utterance. To sell me!-’tis that. The difference is wide indeed, but the point is sharpest. Was it my mother who made that point so sharp? It could not! a mother would not entail such misery on her offspring. That name, so full of associations dear to me-so full of a mother’s love and tenderness,-could not reflect pain. Nay; her affections were bestowed upon me, nike air max 1 sale -I love to treasure them, I do. To tell me that a mother would entail misery without an end, is to tell me that the spirit of love is without good!”
“Do not make yourself unhappy, Clotilda. Perhaps you are as well with us as you would be elsewhere. Even at the free north, in happy New England, ladies would not take the notice of you we do: many of your class have died there, poor and wretched, among the most miserable creatures ever born to a sad end. And you are not black-”
“All is not truth that is told for such,” cheap air max 1 Clotilda interrupts Franconia. “If I were black, my life would have but one stream: now it is terrible with uncertainty. As I am, my hopes and affections are blasted.”
“Sit down, Clotilda,” rejoins Franconia, quickly. ③

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