Harriet Beecher Stowe: Uncle Tom’s Cabin
Chapter 7: Life among the Lowly
When Eliza leaves Uncle Tom’s cabin, she feels desperate and lonely, and tortured by a
maternal sense of panic for her imperiled child. She prays to God and travels throughout
the night, finally reaching the Ohio River, the barrier between the South and the North.
Springtime ice covers half of the waterway, preventing the river’s ferry from running.
Eliza learns from the hostess of a bank-side public house that a boatman might attempt a
crossing later in the evening. Eliza takes a room at an inn so that her son can sleep. From
the window, she gazes out at the river, desperately longing to cross.
Back at Shelby’s farm, Aunt Chloe prepares the meal at the most leisurely pace possible,
in an attempt to delay the chase. Finally, around two o’clock, the search party embarks.
Andy and Sam, two of the younger slaves, serve as Haley’s escorts. The young slaves
trick Haley into following a route that Eliza would not have taken. Haley is slowed down
considerably, but he finally makes it to the town on the river, forty-five minutes after
Eliza has laid Harry to sleep in the rented room. Sam sees Eliza standing in the window,
and, allowing his hat to be blown off, shouts as if in surprise. With this action, he alerts
her to their presence. She throws open the door to her room, which faces the river, grabs
Harry, and leaps over the rushing currents onto a raft of ice. She springs from one chunk
of ice to the next, oblivious to all pain and cold, until she reaches the other side. A man
on the other side helps her up. Eliza recognizes him as Mr. Symmes, the owner of a farm
not far from her old home. He fears to offer her shelter himself, but points out a house
where she will receive aid.
Herman Melville: Bartleby the Scrivener
The narrator of "Bartleby the Scrivener" is the Lawyer, who runs a law practice on Wall
Street in New York. The Lawyer begins by noting that he is an "elderly man," and that
his profession has brought him "into more than ordinary contact with what would seem
an interesting and somewhat singular set of men the law-copyists, or scriveners." While
the Lawyer knows many interesting stories of such scriveners, he bypasses them all in
favor of telling the story of Bartleby, whom he finds to be the most interesting of all the
scriveners. Bartleby is, according to the Lawyer, "one of those beings of whom nothing is
ascertainable, except from the original sources, and, in his case, those were very small."
Before introducing Bartleby, the Lawyer describes the other scriveners working in his
office at this time. The first is Turkey, a man who is about the same age as the Lawyer
(around sixty). Turkey has been causing problems lately. He is an excellent scrivener in
the morning, but as the day wears on—particularly in the afternoon—he becomes more
prone to making mistakes, dropping ink plots on the copies he writes. He also becomes
more flushed, with an ill temper, in the afternoon. The Lawyer tries to help both himself