of moderate capacity, would bring her into subjection merely by a show of his teeth. Her husband and children were her entire world, and in these she ruled more by entreaty and persuasion than by command or argument. There was only one thing that was capable of arousing her, and that provocation came in on the side of her unusually gentle and sympathetic nature;anything in the shape of cruelty would throw her into a passion, which was the more alarming and inexplicable in proportion to the general softness of her nature. Generally the most indulgent and easy to be entreated of all mothers, still her boys had a very reverent remembrance of a most vehement chastisement she once bestowed on them, because she found them leagued with several graceless boys of the neighborhood, stoning a defenceless kitten.
Ill tell you what, Master Bill used to say, I was scared that time. Mother came at me so that I thought she was crazy, and I was whipped and tumbled off to bed, without any supper, before I could get over wondering what had come about; and, after that, I heard mother crying outside the door, which made me feel worse than all the rest. Ill tell you what, hed say, we boys never stoned another kitten!
On the present occasion, Mrs. Bird rose quickly, with very red cheeks, which quite improved her general appearance, and walked up to her husband, with quite a resolute air, and said, in a determined tone,
Now, John, I want to know if you think such a law as that is right and Christian?
You wont shoot me, now, Mary, if I say I do!
I never could have thought it of you, John; you didnt vote for it?
Even so, my fair politician.
You ought to be ashamed, John! Poor, homeless, houseless creatures! Its a shameful, wicked, abominable law, and Ill break it, for one, the first time I get a chance; and I hope I shall have a chance, I do! Things have got to a pretty pass, if a woman cant give a warm supper and a bed to poor, starving creatures, just because they are slaves, and have been abused and oppressed all their lives, poor things!
But, Mary, just listen to me. Your feelings are all quite right, dear, and interesting, and I love you for them; but, then, dear, we mustnt suffer our feelings to run away with our judgment; you must consider its a matter of private feeling,there are great public interests involved,there is such a state of public agitation rising, that we must put aside our private feelings.
Now, John, I dont know anything about politics, but I can read my Bible; and there I see that I must feed the hungry, clothe the naked, and comfort the desolate; and that Bible I mean to follow.
But in cases where your doing so would involve a great public evil
Obeying God never brings on public evils. I know it cant. Its always safest, all round, to do as He bids us.
Now, listen to me, Mary, and I can state to you a very clear argument, to show
O, nonsense, John! you can talk all night, but you wouldnt do it. I put it to you, John,would you now turn away a poor, shivering, hungry creature from your door, because he was a runaway? Would you, now?
Now, if the truth must be told, our senator had the misfortune to be a man who had a particularly humane and accessible nature, and turning away anybody that was in trouble never had been his forte; and what was worse for him in this particular pinch of the argument was, that his wife knew it, and, of course was making an assault on rather an indefensible point. So he had recourse to the usual means of gaining
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