87 Works of Harriet Beecher Stowe
“COME, Sam, tell us a story,” said I, as Harry and I crept to his knees, in the glow of the bright evening firelight; while Aunt Lois was busily rattling the tea-things, and grandmamma, at the other end of the fireplace, was quietly setting the heel of a blue-mixed yarn stocking.
In those days we had [...]
UNCLE TOM AND LITTLE HARRY ARE SOLD
Very many years ago, instead of having servants to wait upon them and work for them, people used to have slaves. These slaves were paid no wages. Their masters gave them only food and clothes in return for their work.
When any one wanted servants he went to market [...]
“When He ascended up on high, He led captivity captive, and gave gifts unto men.” –Eph. iv. 8.
Some say that ever, ‘gainst that season comes Wherein our Saviour’s birth is celebrate, The bird of dawning singeth all night long. And then, they say, no evil spirit walks; The nights are wholesome; then no planets [...]
“Lordy massy! Stick yer hat into the nor’east, Horace, and see ‘f ye can’t stop out this ‘ere wind. I’m e’eny most used up with it.” So spake Sam Lawson, contemplating mournfully a new broad-brimmed straw hat in which my soul was rejoicing. It was the dripping end of a sour November afternoon, which closed [...]
Thanksgiving was impending in the village of Mapleton on the 20th of November, 1825.
The Governor’s proclamation had been duly and truly read from the pulpit the Sunday before, to the great consternation of Miss Briskett, the ambulatory dressmaker, who declared confidentially to Deacon Pitkin’s wife that “she didn’t see nothin’ how she was [...]
The shores of the Atlantic coast of America may well be a terror to navigators. They present an inexorable wall, against which forbidding and angry waves incessantly dash, and around which shifting winds continually rave. The approaches to safe harbors are few in number, intricate and difficult, requiring the skill of practiced pilots.
But, as if [...]
“Ye see, boys,” said Sam Lawson, as we were gathering young wintergreen on a sunny hillside in June,–”ye see, folks don’t allers know what their marcies is when they sees ‘em. Folks is kind o’ blinded; and, when a providence comes along, they don’t seem to know how to take it, and they growl and [...]
“Now, Sam, tell us certain true, is there any such things as ghosts?”
“Be there ghosts?” said Sam, immediately translating into his vernacular grammar: “wal, now, that are’s jest the question, ye see.” “Well, grandma thinks there are, and Aunt Lois thinks it’s all nonsense. Why, Aunt Lois don’t even believe the stories in Cotton Mather’s [...]
Scene.–The shady side of a blueberry-pasture.–Sam Lawson with the boys, picking blueberries.–Sam, loq.
As, you see, boys, ’twas just here,–Parson Carryl’s wife, she died along in the forepart o’ March: my cousin Huldy, she undertook to keep house for him. The way on’t was, that Huldy, she went to take care o’ Mis’ Carryl in the [...]
One of our most favorite legendary resorts was the old barn. Sam Lawson preferred it on many accounts. It was quiet and retired, that is to say, at such distance from his own house, that he could not hear if Hepsy called ever so loudly, and farther off than it would be convenient for that [...]
“Aunt Lois,” said I, “what was that story about Ruth Sullivan?”
Aunt Lois’s quick black eyes gave a surprised flash; and she and my grandmother looked at each other a minute significantly. “Who told you any thing about Ruth Sullivan,” she said sharply.
“Nobody. Somebody said you knew something about her,” said I.
I was holding a skein [...]
And now, at the last, I am going to tell you something of the ways and doings of one of the queer little people, whom I shall call Whiskey.
You cannot imagine how pretty he is. His back has the most beautiful smooth shining stripes of reddish brown and black, his eyes shine like bright glass [...]
We have just built our house in rather an out-of-the-way place–on the bank of a river, and under the shade of a patch of woods which is a veritable remain of quite an ancient forest. The checkerberry and partridge-plum, with their glossy green leaves and scarlet berries, still carpet the ground under its deep shadows; [...]
At Rye Beach, during our summer’s vacation, there came, as there always will to seaside visitors, two or three cold, chilly, rainy days,–days when the skies that long had not rained a drop seemed suddenly to bethink themselves of their remissness, and to pour down water, not by drops, but by pailfuls. The chilly wind [...]
Once upon a time a gentleman went out into a great forest, and cut away the trees, and built there a very nice little cottage. It was set very low on the ground, and had very large bow-windows, and so much of it was glass that one could look through it on every side and [...]
Old Mother Magpie was about the busiest character in the forest. But you must know that there is a great difference between being busy and being industrious. One may be very busy all the time, and yet not in the least industrious; and this was the case with Mother Magpie.
She was always full of everybody’s [...]
Miss Katy-did sat on the branch of a flowering azalea, in her best suit of fine green and silver, with wings of point-lace from Mother Nature’s finest web.
Miss Katy was in the very highest possible spirits, because her gallant cousin, Colonel Katy-did, had looked in to make her a morning visit. It was a fine [...]
Under the window of a certain pretty little cottage there grew a great old apple-tree, which in the spring had thousands and thousands of lovely pink blossoms on it, and in the autumn had about half as many bright red apples as it had blossoms in the spring.
The nursery of this cottage was a little [...]
Mr. and Mrs. Nutcracker were as respectable a pair of squirrels as ever wore gray brushes over their backs. They were animals of a settled and serious turn of mind, not disposed to run after vanities and novelties, but filling their station in life with prudence and sobriety. Nutcracker Lodge was a hole in a [...]
Once there was a nice young hen that we will call Mrs. Feathertop. She was a hen of most excellent family, being a direct descendant of the Bolton Grays, and as pretty a young fowl as you could wish to see of a summer’s day. She was, moreover, as fortunately situated in life as it [...]
“Wal, the upshot on’t was, they fussed and fuzzled and wuzzled till they’d drinked up all the tea in the teapot; and then they went down and called on the Parson, and wuzzled him all up talkin’ about this, that, and t’other that wanted lookin’ to, and that it was no way to leave everything [...]
THE FIRST CHRISTMAS.
Can any of us look back to the earlier days of our mortal pilgrimage and remember the helpless sense of desolation and loneliness caused by being forced to go off to the stillness and darkness of a solitary bed far from all the beloved voices and employments and sights of life? Can we [...]
“Thou shalt hide them in the secret of thy presence from the pride of man; thou shalt keep them secretly as in a pavilion from the strife of tongues.”
When winds are raging o’er the upper ocean,And billows wild contend with angry roar,‘Tis said, far down beneath the wild commotion,That peaceful stillness reigneth evermore.
Far, far beneath, [...]
“Now there stood by the cross of Jesus his mother..
O wondrous mother! Since the dawn of timeWas ever joy, was ever grief like thine?O, highly favored in thy joy’s deep flow,And favored e’en in this, thy bitterest woe!
Poor was that home in simple Nazareth,Where thou, fair growing, like some silent flower,Last of a kingly line,–unknown [...]
‘Tis morning now–upon the eastern hillsOnce more the sun lights up this cheerless scene;But O, no morning in my Father’s houseIs dawning now, for there no night hath been.
Ten thousand thousand now, on Zion’s hills,All robed in white, with palmy crowns, do stray,While I, an exile, far from fatherland,Still wandering, faint along the desert way.
” Socrates. –’However, you and Simmias appear to me as if you wished to sift this subject more thoroughly, and to be afraid, like children, lest, on the soul’s departure from the body, winds should blow it away.’
* * * * *
“Upon this [...]
“Come ye yourselves into a desert place and rest a while; for there were many coming and going, so that they had no time so much as to eat.”
‘Mid the mad whirl of life, its dim confusion,Its jarring discords and poor vanity,Breathing like music over troubled waters,What gentle voice, O Christian, speaks to thee?
It is [...]
Still, still with thee, when purple morning breaketh,When the bird waketh and the shadows flee;Fairer than morning, lovelier than the daylight,Dawns the sweet consciousness, I am with thee !
Alone with thee, amid the mystic shadows,The solemn hush of nature newly born;Alone with thee in breathless adoration,In the calm dew and freshness of the morn.
As in [...]
That mystic word of thine, O sovereign Lord,Is all too pure, too high, too deep for me;Weary of striving, and with longing faint,I breathe it back again in prayer to thee.
Abide in me, I pray, and I in thee;From this good hour, O, leave me nevermore;Then shall the discord cease, the wound be healed,The lifelong [...]
I have a detail of very homely grievances to present; but such as they are, many a heart will feel them to be heavy– the trials of a housekeeper.
“Poh!” says one of the lords of creation, taking his cigar out of his mouth, and twirling it between his two first fingers, “what a fuss these [...]
Were any of you born in New England, in the good old catechizing, church-going, school-going, orderly times? If so, you may have seen my Uncle Abel; the most perpendicular, rectangular, upright, downright good man that ever labored six days and rested on the seventh.
You remember his hard, weather-beaten countenance, where every line seemed drawn with [...]
There is one kind of frankness, which is the result of perfect unsuspiciousness, and which requires a measure of ignorance of the world and of life: this kind appeals to our generosity and tenderness. There is another, which is the frankness of a strong but pure mind, acquainted with life, clear in its discrimination and [...]
SKETCHES FROM A NOTE BOOK OF AN ELDERLY GENTLEMAN.
The Puritan Sabbath–is there such a thing existing now, or has it gone with the things that were, to be looked at as a curiosity in the museum of the past? Can any one, in memory, take himself back to the unbroken stillness of that day, and [...]
“Why should these cares my heart divide,If Thou, indeed, hast set me free?Why am I thus, if Thou hast died–If Thou hast died to ransom me?”
Nothing is more frequently felt and spoken of, as a hinderance to the inward life of devotion, than the “cares of life;” and even upon the showing of our Lord [...]
There it stood, in its little green vase, on a light ebony stand, in the window of the drawing room. The rich satin curtains, with their costly fringes, swept down on either side of it, and around it glittered every rare and fanciful trifle which wealth can offer to luxury; and yet that simple rose [...]
It was a splendid room. Rich curtains swept down to the floor in graceful folds, half excluding the light, and shedding it in soft hues over the fine old paintings on the walls, and over the broad mirrors that reflect all that taste can accomplish by the hand of wealth. Books, the rarest and most [...]
“And so you will not sign this paper?” said Alfred Melton to his cousin, a fine-looking young man, who was lounging by the centre table.
“Not I, indeed. What in life have I to do with these decidedly vulgar temperance pledges? Pshaw! they have a relish of whiskey in their very essence!”
“Come, come, Cousin Melton,” said [...]
In a stately red house, in one of the villages of New England, lived the heroine of our story. She had every advantage of rank and wealth, for her father was a deacon of the church, and owned sheep, and oxen, and exceeding much substance. There was an appearance of respectability and opulence about all [...]
“It is a beautiful belief,That ever round our headAre hovering on viewless wingsThe spirits of the dead.”
While every year is taking one and another from the ranks of life and usefulness, or the charmed circle of friendship and love, it is soothing to remember that the spiritual world is gaining in riches through the poverty [...]
It was a beaming and beautiful summer morning, and the little town of V. was alive with all the hurry and motion of a college commencement. Rows of carriages lined the rural streets, and groups of well-dressed auditors were thronging to the hall of exhibition. All was gayety and animation.
And among them all what heart [...]
Mrs. A. and Mrs. B. were next-door neighbors and intimate friends–that is to say, they took tea with each other very often, and, in confidential strains, discoursed of stockings and pocket handkerchiefs, of puddings and carpets, of cookery and domestic economy, through all its branches.
“I think, on the whole,” said Mrs. A., with an air [...]
“O, dear! Christmas is coming in a fortnight, and I have got to think up presents for every body!” said young Ellen Stuart, as she leaned languidly back in her chair. “Dear me, it’s so tedious! Every body has got every thing that can be thought of.”
“O, no,” said her confidential adviser, Miss Lester, in [...]
“For every idle word that men shall speak, they shall give account thereof in the day of judgment.”
“A very solemn sermon,” said Miss B., shaking her head impressively, as she sat down to table on Sunday noon; then giving a deep sigh, she added, “I am afraid that if an account is to be rendered [...]
At a certain time in the earlier ages there lived in the city of Laodicea a Christian elder of some repute, named Onesiphorus. The world had smiled on him, and though a Christian, he was rich and full of honors. All men, even the heathen, spoke well of him, for he was a man courteous [...]
I. THE ALTAR OF LIBERTY, OR 1776.
The wellsweep of the old house on the hill was relieved, dark and clear, against the reddening sky, as the early winter sun was going down in the west. It was a brisk, clear, metallic evening; the long drifts of snow blushed crimson red on their tops, and lay [...]
In the outskirts of the little town of Toledo, in Ohio, might be seen a small, one-story cottage, whose external architecture no way distinguished it from dozens of other residences of the poor, by which it was surrounded. But over this dwelling, a presiding air of sanctity and neatness, of quiet and repose, marked [...]
Of all the ways of travelling which obtain among our locomotive nation, this said vehicle, the canal boat, is the most absolutely prosaic and inglorious. There is something picturesque, nay, almost sublime, in the lordly march of your well-built, high-bred steamboat. Go, take your stand on some overhanging bluff, where the blue Ohio winds its [...]
There is one way of studying human nature, which surveys mankind only as a set of instruments for the accomplishment of personal plans. There is another, which regards them simply as a gallery of pictures, to be admired or laughed at as the caricature or the beau ideal predominates. A third way regards them as [...]
“The fact is,” said Jenny, as she twirled a little hat on her hand, which she had been making over, with nobody knows what of bows and pompons, and other matters for which the women have curious names,–”the fact is, American women and girls must learn to economize; it isn’t merely restricting one’s self to [...]
“Few, save the poor, feel for the poor;The rich know not how hardIt is to be of needful foodAnd needful rest debarred.
Their paths are paths of plenteousness;They sleep on silk and down;They never think how wearilyThe weary head lies down.
They never by the window sit,And see the gay pass by,Yet take their weary work again,And [...]
Of all the marvels that astonished my childhood, there is none I remember to this day with so much interest as the old man whose name forms my caption. When I knew him, he was an aged clergyman, settled over an obscure village in New England. He had enjoyed the advantages of a liberal education, [...]
The golden rays of a summer afternoon were streaming through the windows of a quiet apartment, where every thing was the picture of orderly repose. Gently and noiselessly they glide, gilding the glossy old chairs, polished by years of care; fluttering with flickering gleam on the bookcases, by the fire, and the antique China vases [...]
Our establishment on Beacon Street had been for some days in a revolutionary state, owing to the fact that our second girl had gone from us into the holy estate of matrimony. Alice was a pretty, tidy, neat-handed creature, and, like many other blessings of life, so good as to be little appreciated while with [...]
“If we could only live in the country,” said my wife, “how much easier it would be to live!”
“And how much cheaper!” said I.
“To have a little place of our own, and raise our own things!” said my wife. “Dear me! I am heartsick when I think of the old place at home, and father’s [...]
“Now, girls,” said Mrs. Ellis Grey to her daughters, “here is a letter from George Somers, and he is to be down here next week; so I give you fair warning.”
“Warning?” said Fanny Grey, looking up from her embroidery; “what do you mean by that, mamma?”
“Now that’s just you, Fanny,” said the elder sister, laughing. [...]
“A little child shall lead them.”
One cold market morning I looked into a milliner’s shop, and there I saw a hale, hearty, well-browned young fellow from the country, with his long cart whip, and lion-shag coat, holding up some little matter, and turning it about on his great fist. And what do you suppose it [...]
It was four o’clock in the afternoon of a dull winter day that Mr. H. sat in his counting room. The sun had nearly gone down, and, in fact, it was already twilight beneath the shadows of the tall, dusky stores, and the close, crooked streets of that quarter of Boston. Hardly light enough struggled [...]
It is now nearly noon, the busiest and most bustling hour of the day; yet the streets of the Holy City seem deserted and silent as the grave. The artisan has left his bench, the merchant his merchandise; the throngs of returned wanderers which this great national festival has brought up from every land of [...]
Silently, with dreamy languor, the fleecy snow is falling. Through the windows, flowery with blossoming geranium and heliotrope, through the downward sweep of crimson and muslin curtain, one watches it as the wind whirls and sways it in swift eddies.
Right opposite our house, on our Mount Clear, is an old oak, the apostle of the [...]
Our wood lot! Yes, we have arrived at the dignity of owning a wood lot, and for us simple folk there is something invigorating in the thought. To OWN even a small spot of our dear old mother earth hath in it a relish of something stimulating to human nature. To own a meadow, with [...]
It was Sunday evening, and our little circle were convened by my study fireside, where a crackling hickory fire proclaimed the fall of the year to be coming on, and cold weather impending. Sunday evenings, my married boys and girls are fond of coming home and gathering round the old hearthstone, and “making believe” that [...]
Our gallant Bob Stephens, into whose lifeboat our Marianne has been received, has lately taken the mania of housebuilding into his head. Bob is somewhat fastidious, difficult to please, fond of domesticities and individualities; and such a man never can fit himself into a house built by another, and accordingly housebuilding has always been his [...]
My wife and I were sitting at the open bow-window of my study, watching the tuft of bright-red leaves on our favorite maple, which warned us that summer was over. I was solacing myself, like all the world in our days, with reading the “Schoenberg Cotta Family,” when my wife made her voice heard through [...]
In the course of my papers various domestic revolutions have occurred. Our Marianne has gone from us with a new name to a new life, and a modest little establishment not many squares off claims about as much of my wife’s and Jenny’s busy thoughts as those of the proper mistress.
Marianne, as I always foresaw, [...]
While I was preparing my article for the “Atlantic,” our friend Bob Stephens burst in upon us, in some considerable heat, with a newspaper in his hand.
“Well, girls, your time is come now! You women have been preaching heroism and sacrifice to us,–’so splendid to go forth and suffer and die for our country,’–and now [...]
“My dear Chris,” said my wife, “isn’t it time to be writing the next ‘House and Home Paper’?”
I was lying back in my study-chair, with my heels luxuriously propped on an ottoman, reading for the two-hundredth time Hawthorne’s “Mosses from an Old Manse,” or his “Twice-Told Tales,” I forget which,–I only know that these books [...]
We have a custom at our house which we call raking up the fire. That is to say, the last half hour before bedtime, we draw in, shoulder to shoulder, around the last brands and embers of our hearth, which we prick up and brighten, and dispose for a few farewell flickers and glimmers. This [...]
Talking to you in this way once a month, O my confidential reader, there seems to be danger, as in all intervals of friendship, that we shall not readily be able to take up our strain of conversation just where we left off. Suffer me, therefore, to remind you that the month past left us [...]
It is among the sibylline secrets which lie mysteriously between you and me, O reader, that these papers, besides their public aspect, have a private one proper to the bosom of mine own particular family. They are not merely an ex post facto protest in regard to that carpet and parlor of celebrated memory, but [...]
I am a frank-hearted man, as perhaps you have by this time perceived, and you will not, therefore, be surprised to know that I read my last article on the carpet to my wife and the girls before I sent it to the “Atlantic,” and we had a hearty laugh over it together. My wife [...]
“My dear, it’s so cheap!”
These words were spoken by my wife, as she sat gracefully on a roll of Brussels carpet which was spread out in flowery lengths on the floor of Messrs. Ketchem & Co.
“It’s so cheap!”
Milton says that the love of fame is the last infirmity of noble minds. I think he had [...]
When the first number of the Chimney-Corner appeared, the snow lay white on the ground, the buds on the trees were closed and frozen, and beneath the hard frost-bound soil lay buried the last year’s flower-roots, waiting for a resurrection.
So in our hearts it was winter,–a winter of patient suffering and expectancy,–a winter of suppressed [...]
“I am going to build a cathedral one of these days,” said I to my wife, as I sat looking at the slant line of light made by the afternoon sun on our picture of the Cathedral of Milan.
“That picture is one of the most poetic things you have among your house ornaments,” said Rudolph. [...]
The conversation on dress which I had held with Jenny and her little covey of Birds of Paradise appeared to have worked in the minds of the fair council, for it was not long before they invaded my study again in a body. They were going out to a party, but called for Jenny, and [...]
The door of my study being open, I heard in the distant parlor a sort of flutter of silken wings, and chatter of bird-like voices, which told me that a covey of Jenny’s pretty young street birds had just alighted there. I could not forbear a peep at the rosy faces that glanced out under [...]
“One, two, three, four,–this makes the fifth accident on the Fourth of July, in the two papers I have just read,” said Jenny.
“A very moderate allowance,” said Theophilus Thoro, “if you consider the Fourth as a great national saturnalia, in which every boy in the land has the privilege of doing whatever is right in [...]
“The fact is,” said Marianne, “we must have a party. Bob don’t like to hear of it, but it must come. We are in debt to everybody: we have been invited everywhere, and never had anything like a party since we were married, and it won’t do.”
“For my part, I hate parties,” said Bob. “They [...]
One of our recent writers has said, that “good health is physical religion;” and it is a saying worthy to be printed in golden letters. But good health being physical religion, it fully shares that indifference with which the human race regards things confessedly the most important. The neglect of the soul is the trite [...]
“The fact is, my dear,” said my wife, “that you have thrown a stone into a congregation of blackbirds, in writing as you have of our family wars and wants. The response comes from all parts of the country, and the task of looking over and answering your letters becomes increasingly formidable. Everybody has something [...]
“Papa, do you see what the ‘Evening Post’ says of your New Year’s article on Reconstruction?” said Jenny, as we were all sitting in the library after tea.
“I have not seen it.”
“Well, then, the charming writer, whoever he is, takes up for us girls and women, and maintains that no work of any sort ought [...]
Our Chimney-Corner, of which we have spoken somewhat, has, besides the wonted domestic circle, its habitues who have a frequent seat there. Among these, none is more welcome than Theophilus Thoro.
Friend Theophilus was born on the shady side of Nature, and endowed by his patron saint with every grace and gift which can make a [...]
“What do you think of this Woman’s Rights question?” said Bob Stephens. “From some of your remarks, I apprehend that you think there is something in it. I may be wrong, but I must confess that I have looked with disgust on the whole movement. No man reverences women as I do; but I reverence [...]
“Well, what will you do with her?” said I to my wife.
My wife had just come down from an interview with a pale, faded-looking young woman in rusty black attire, who had called upon me on the very common supposition that I was an editor of the “Atlantic Monthly.”
By the by, this is a mistake [...]
Here comes the First of January, Eighteen Hundred and Sixty-Five, and we are all settled comfortably into our winter places, with our winter surroundings and belongings; all cracks and openings are calked and listed, the double windows are in, the furnace dragon in the cellar is ruddy and in good liking, sending up his warming [...]
The sparkling ice and snow covered hill and valley–tree and bush were glittering with diamonds–the broad, coarse rails of the fence shone like bars of solid silver, while little fringes of icicles glittered between each bar.
In the yard of yonder dwelling the scarlet berries of the mountain ash shine through a transparent casing of crystal, [...]
SKETCH FROM THE NOTE BOOK OF AN OLD GENTLEMAN.
Never shall I forget the dignity and sense of importance which swelled my mind when I was first pronounced old enough to go to meeting. That eventful Sunday I was up long before day, and even took my Sabbath suit to the window to ascertain by the [...]
Since sketching character is the mode, I too take up my pencil, not to make you laugh, though peradventure it may be–to get you to sleep.
I am now a tolerably old gentleman–an old bachelor, moreover–and, what is more to the point, an unpretending and sober-minded one. Lest, however, any of the ladies should take exceptions [...]