The sick and the aged
should be suitably cared for. It is not enough that provision be made for these: the master owes them a duty in the kind
of provision which he makes for them.
The regular nurse can serve them with a little medicine, a cup of water, and help them to the couch of straw, or support their heads in death; but they are social beings: their claims reach far beyond these things, and the duty of the master is imperative.
It certainly should not come short of the service rendered by the good Samaritan
He who can free his conscience short of this, is low enough in the scale of civilization to change places with many slaves of our acquaintance.
Humanity claims something for the sick and aged on the score of comfort
as well as necessity.
Why may they not be frequently ministered unto by their friends?
Do we think that the laws of friendship and consanguinity do not operate among them?
If so, we are mistaken ; for they are social beings, as we are. Why, then, deny them this boon, when it can be afforded them, as it often can, at so small a cost?
I do not scruple to say that there are many circumstances in which any humane man would allow the husband and the child to quit even the harvest-field to minister as occasion might demand to the sick wife and mother, and to soothe her sorrows in a dying-hour.