26 MRS. H. BEECHER STOWe's " UNCLE TOM."
for the good of those whom Riley was starving. I
felt good, moral, heroic.
Was this wrong ? I can only say in reply, that,
at this distance of time, my conscience does not
reproach me for it. Then I esteemed it among the
best of my deeds. It was my training in the luxury
•of doing good, in the divinity of a sympathetic heart,
in the righteousness of indignation against the cruel
and oppressive. There and then was my soul made
conscious of all the chivalry of which my circum¬
stances and condition in life admitted. I love the
sentiment in its splendid environment of castles,
and tilts, and gallantry; but having fallen on other
times, I loved it also in the homely guise of Sambo
as Paladin, Dinah as an oppressed maiden, and old
Riley as grim oppressor.
By means of the influence thus acquired, the great
amount of work I performed upon the farm, and by
the detection of the knavery of the overseer, who
plundered his employer for more selfish ends, was
caught in the act and dismissed, I was promoted to
be superintendent of the farm-work, and managed
to raise more than double the crops, with more
cheerful and willing labour, than was ever seen on
the estate before.
I was now, practically, overseer. My pride and
ambition had made me master of every kind of farm-
work. But, like all ambition, its reward was in¬
crease of burdens. The crops of wheat, oats, barley,
potatoes, corn, tobacco, all had to be cared for by
me. I was often compelled to start at midnight
with the waggon for the distant market, to drive on