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|Uncle Tom's Cabin||Harriet Beecher Stowe|
|Page 5 of 6||
The two brothers ran up the verandah steps, and were soon seated at a light bamboo stand, with the backgammon-board between them. As they were setting their men, Alfred said,
"I tell you, Augustine, if I thought as you do, I should do something."
"I dare say you would,--you are one of the doing sort,--but what?"
"Why, elevate your own servants, for a specimen," said Alfred, with a half-scornful smile.
"You might as well set Mount AEtna on them flat, and tell them to stand up under it, as tell me to elevate my servants under all the superincumbent mass of society upon them. One man can do nothing, against the whole action of a community. Education, to do anything, must be a state education; or there must be enough agreed in it to make a current."
"You take the first throw," said Alfred; and the brothers were soon lost in the game, and heard no more till the scraping of horses' feet was heard under the verandah.
"There come the children," said Augustine, rising. "Look here, Alf! Did you ever see anything so beautiful?" And, in truth, it _was_ a beautiful sight. Henrique, with his bold brow, and dark, glossy curls, and glowing cheek, was laughing gayly as he bent towards his fair cousin, as they came on. She was dressed in a blue riding dress, with a cap of the same color. Exercise had given a brilliant hue to her cheeks, and heightened the effect of her singularly transparent skin, and golden hair.
"Good heavens! what perfectly dazzling beauty!" said Alfred. "I tell you, Auguste, won't she make some hearts ache, one of these days?"
"She will, too truly,--God knows I'm afraid so!" said St. Clare, in a tone of sudden bitterness, as he hurried down to take her off her horse.
"Eva darling! you're not much tired?" he said, as he clasped her in his arms.
"No, papa," said the child; but her short, hard breathing alarmed her father.
"How could you ride so fast, dear?--you know it's bad for you."
"I felt so well, papa, and liked it so much, I forgot."
St. Clare carried her in his arms into the parlor, and laid her on the sofa.
"Henrique, you must be careful of Eva," said he; "you mustn't ride fast with her."
"I'll take her under my care," said Henrique, seating himself by the sofa, and taking Eva's hand.
Eva soon found herself much better. Her father and uncle resumed their game, and the children were left together.
"Do you know, Eva, I'm sorry papa is only going to stay two days here, and then I shan't see you again for ever so long! If I stay with you, I'd try to be good, and not be cross to Dodo, and so on. I don't mean to treat Dodo ill; but, you know, I've got such a quick temper. I'm not really bad to him, though. I give him a picayune, now and then; and you see he dresses well. I think, on the whole, Dodo 's pretty well off."
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|Uncle Tom's Cabin
Harriet Beecher Stowe
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