Uncle Tom's Cabin HTML version

Miss Ophelia's Experiences and Opinions
Our friend Tom, in his own simple musings, often compared his more fortunate lot, in the
bondage into which he was cast, with that of Joseph in Egypt; and, in fact, as time went
on, and he developed more and more under the eye of his master, the strength of the
parallel increased.
St. Clare was indolent and careless of money. Hitherto the providing and marketing had
been principally done by Adolph, who was, to the full, as careless and extravagant as his
master; and, between them both, they had carried on the dispersing process with great
alacrity. Accustomed, for many years, to regard his master's property as his own care,
Tom saw, with an uneasiness he could scarcely repress, the wasteful expenditure of the
establishment; and, in the quiet, indirect way which his class often acquire, would
sometimes make his own suggestions.
St. Clare at first employed him occasionally; but, struck with his soundness of mind and
good business capacity, he confided in him more and more, till gradually all the
marketing and providing for the family were intrusted to him.
"No, no, Adolph," he said, one day, as Adolph was deprecating the passing of power out
of his hands; "let Tom alone. You only understand what you want; Tom understands cost
and come to; and there may be some end to money, bye and bye if we don't let somebody
do that."
Trusted to an unlimited extent by a careless master, who handed him a bill without
looking at it, and pocketed the change without counting it, Tom had every facility and
temptation to dishonesty; and nothing but an impregnable simplicity of nature,
strengthened by Christian faith, could have kept him from it. But, to that nature, the very
unbounded trust reposed in him was bond and seal for the most scrupulous accuracy.
With Adolph the case had been different. Thoughtless and self-indulgent, and
unrestrained by a master who found it easier to indulge than to regulate, he had fallen into
an absolute confusion as to meum tuum with regard to himself and his master, which
sometimes troubled even St. Clare. His own good sense taught him that such a training of
his servants was unjust and dangerous. A sort of chronic remorse went with him
everywhere, although not strong enough to make any decided change in his course; and
this very remorse reacted again into indulgence. He passed lightly over the most serious
faults, because he told himself that, if he had done his part, his dependents had not fallen
into them.
Tom regarded his gay, airy, handsome young master with an odd mixture of fealty,
reverence, and fatherly solicitude. That he never read the Bible; never went to church;
that he jested and made free with any and every thing that came in the way of his wit; that
he spent his Sunday evenings at the opera or theatre; that he went to wine parties, and
clubs, and suppers, oftener than was at all expedient,--were all things that Tom could see