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|Uncle Tom's Cabin||Harriet Beecher Stowe|
|Page 3 of 6||
The scene of the beating had been witnessed by the two brothers St. Clare, from another part of the garden.
Augustine's cheek flushed; but he only observed, with his usual sarcastic carelessness.
"I suppose that's what we may call republican education, Alfred?"
"Henrique is a devil of a fellow, when his blood's up," said Alfred, carelessly.
"I suppose you consider this an instructive practice for him," said Augustine, drily.
"I couldn't help it, if I didn't. Henrique is a regular little tempest;--his mother and I have given him up, long ago. But, then, that Dodo is a perfect sprite,--no amount of whipping can hurt him."
"And this by way of teaching Henrique the first verse of a republican's catechism, `All men are born free and equal!'"
"Poh!" said Alfred; "one of Tom Jefferson's pieces of French sentiment and humbug. It's perfectly ridiculous to have that going the rounds among us, to this day."
"I think it is," said St. Clare, significantly.
"Because," said Alfred, "we can see plainly enough that all men are _not_ born free, nor born equal; they are born anything else. For my part, I think half this republican talk sheer humbug. It is the educated, the intelligent, the wealthy, the refined, who ought to have equal rights and not the canaille."
"If you can keep the canaille of that opinion," said Augustine. "They took _their_ turn once, in France."
"Of course, they must be _kept down_, consistently, steadily, as I _should_," said Alfred, setting his foot hard down as if he were standing on somebody.
"It makes a terrible slip when they get up," said Augustine,--"in St. Domingo, for instance."
"Poh!" said Alfred, "we'll take care of that, in this country. We must set our face against all this educating, elevating talk, that is getting about now; the lower class must not be educated."
"That is past praying for," said Augustine; "educated they will be, and we have only to say how. Our system is educating them in barbarism and brutality. We are breaking all humanizing ties, and making them brute beasts; and, if they get the upper hand, such we shall find them."
"They shall never get the upper hand!" said Alfred.
"That's right," said St. Clare; "put on the steam, fasten down the escape-valve, and sit on it, and see where you'll land."
"Well," said Alfred, "we _will_ see. I'm not afraid to sit on the escape-valve, as long as the boilers are strong, and the machinery works well."
"The nobles in Louis XVI.'s time thought just so; and Austria and Pius IX. think so now; and, some pleasant morning, you may all be caught up to meet each other in the air, _when the boilers burst_."
"_Dies declarabit_," said Alfred, laughing.
"I tell you," said Augustine, "if there is anything that is revealed with the strength of a divine law in our times, it is that the masses are to rise, and the under class become the upper one."
"That's one of your red republican humbugs, Augustine! Why didn't you ever take to the stump;--you'd make a famous stump orator! Well, I hope I shall be dead before this millennium of your greasy masses comes on."
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|Uncle Tom's Cabin
Harriet Beecher Stowe
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