Uncle Tom's Cabin HTML version

Select Incident of Lawful Trade
"In Ramah there was a voice heard,--weeping, and lamentation, and great mourning;
Rachel weeping for her children, and would not be comforted."[1]
[1] Jer. 31:15.
Mr. Haley and Tom jogged onward in their wagon, each, for a time, absorbed in his own
reflections. Now, the reflections of two men sitting side by side are a curious thing,--
seated on the same seat, having the same eyes, ears, hands and organs of all sorts, and
having pass before their eyes the same objects,--it is wonderful what a variety we shall
find in these same reflections!
As, for example, Mr. Haley: he thought first of Tom's length, and breadth, and height,
and what he would sell for, if he was kept fat and in good case till he got him into market.
He thought of how he should make out his gang; he thought of the respective market
value of certain supposititious men and women and children who were to compose it, and
other kindred topics of the business; then he thought of himself, and how humane he was,
that whereas other men chained their "niggers" hand and foot both, he only put fetters on
the feet, and left Tom the use of his hands, as long as he behaved well; and he sighed to
think how ungrateful human nature was, so that there was even room to doubt whether
Tom appreciated his mercies. He had been taken in so by "niggers" whom he had
favored; but still he was astonished to consider how good-natured he yet remained!
As to Tom, he was thinking over some words of an unfashionable old book, which kept
running through his head, again and again, as follows: "We have here no continuing city,
but we seek one to come; wherefore God himself is not ashamed to be called our God; for
he hath prepared for us a city." These words of an ancient volume, got up principally by
"ignorant and unlearned men," have, through all time, kept up, somehow, a strange sort
of power over the minds of poor, simple fellows, like Tom. They stir up the soul from its
depths, and rouse, as with trumpet call, courage, energy, and enthusiasm, where before
was only the blackness of despair.
Mr. Haley pulled out of his pocket sundry newspapers, and began looking over their
advertisements, with absorbed interest. He was not a remarkably fluent reader, and was in
the habit of reading in a sort of recitative half-aloud, by way of calling in his ears to
verify the deductions of his eyes. In this tone he slowly recited the following paragraph: