"I looked down at them. They were beautiful children. The youngest was a girl, with small features, dark hair, and black eyes. The boy, of six, was pale and composed, and uttered no murmur. Both clung confidently to the old negro.
"I could not help admiring the old man, who could resist the prospect of freedom, though he had coveted it all his life, in order to remain loyal to his trust. I felt desirous of drawing him out on the subject of the war.
" 'What do you think of this war?' I asked.
"He lifted up his hand, and in a tone of solemnity, said, 'I think it is the cloud by day, and the pillar of fire by night, that's going to draw us out of our bondage into the Promised Land.'
" 'Do many of you--I mean of those who have not enjoyed your advantages of education--think so?'
" 'Yes, sir; we think it is the Lord's doings, and it is marvelous in our eyes. It's a time of trial and of tribulation; but it isn't a-going to last. The children of Israel were forty years in the wilderness, and so it may be with us. The day of deliverance will come.'
"At this moment the little girl began again to cry, and he addressed himself to soothe her.
"This was not the only group I encountered. Some women had come, down to the river with children half-bereft of their senses--some apparently supposing that we should rob or murder them. The rebel leaders and newspapers have so persistently reiterated these assertions, that they have come to believe them.
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