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194             UNCLE TOM'S CABIN; OR
CHAPTER XV.
OF tom's new master, and various other matters.
Since the thread of our humble hero's life has now become interwoven with that of higher ones, it is necessary to give some brief introduction to them.
Augustine St. Clare was the son of a wealthy planter of Louisiana. The family had its origin in Canada. Of two brothers, very similar in temperament and character, one had settled on a flourishing farm in Vermont, and the other became an opulent planter in Louisiana. The mother of Augustine was a Huguenot French lady, whose family had emigrated to Louisiana during the days of its early settlement. Augustine and another brother were the only children of their parents. Having inherited from his mother an exceeding delicacy of constitution, he was, at the instance of physicians, during many years of his boy­hood, sent to the care of his uncle in Vermont, in order that his constitution might be strengthened by the cold of a more bracing climate.
In childhood, he was remarkable for an extreme and marked sensitiveness of character, more akin to the soft­ness of woman than the ordinary hardness of his own sex. Time, however, overgrew this softness with the rough bark of manhood, and but few knew how living and fresh it still lay at the core. His talents were of the very first order, although his mind showed a preference always for the ideal and the aesthetic, and there was about him that repugnance to the actual business of life which is the com­mon result of this balance of the faculties. Soon after the completion of his college course, his whole nature was kindled into one intense and passionate effervescence of