Uncle Tom's Cabin Chapter 15
Augustine St. Clare, Tom's new master, lives on an inherited estate in New Orleans with his wife Marie. Though he is kind and gentle, he is also cynical, having resigned himself to living with Marie, a woman he does not love. He had fallen madly in love with a woman years earlier and had intended to marry her, until his letters to her were suddenly returned, with a letter from her family explaining that she had agreed to marry another. Intensely jealous and angry, he married Marie, who was one of the most prominent young women in New Orleans society. One day, he received a letter from his former lover, explaining that she had just learned that her family was withholding the letters from her and that she had married someone else, believing that St. Clare no longer loved her. She expresses her affection but also her regret that they are resigned to their fates. St. Clare loses all the passion that once marked him, and bitterly resigns himself to Marie, who is extremely selfish and a hypochondriac. Worse, Marie is the exact opposite of St. Clare's mother, a woman he revered until her death, so much so that he named his treasured daughter Evangeline after her. But despite his bitterness, St. Clare remains congenial, lackadaisical and utterly unmotivated, content to while away his afternoons on the sofa with a book. He stands in direct contrast to his cousin, Miss Ophelia, who is a model of reason, order, and efficiency. Despite their differences, Miss Ophelia adores her careless cousin and agrees to move in with him and his family. It is here, at their home in New Orleans, that Tom finds himself arriving with St. Clare, Eva, and Miss Ophelia after their voyage.