Wlliam Gilmore Simms
Southward Ho! A Spell of Sunshine >> Chapter XVI / The Wager of Battle. A Tale of the Feudal Ages. >> Page 361

image of pageExplore Inside

Page 361

Novel (Romance) | Redfield | 1854
Transcription THE MAGICIAN. 361
lofty in his carriage, and most imposing and impressive in his
look and manner. He was not only taller than the race of men
in general, but he was obviously taller than any in that select
circle by which he was surrounded. Nor did his features mis-
beseem his person. These were singularly noble, and of Italian
cast and character. His face was large, and of the most perfect
oval. Though that of a man who had probably seen and suffered
under sixty winters, it still bore the proofs of a beauty once
remarkable. It still retained a youthful freshness, which spoke
for a conscience free from remorse and self-reproach. His eyes
were of a mild, but holily expressive blue ; and beneath their
rather thin white brows, were declarative of more than human
benevolence. His forehead was very large and lofty, of great
breadth and compass, in the regions of ideality and sublimity,
as well as causality ; while his hair, thick still, and depending
from behind his head in numerous waving curls, was, like his
beard, of the most silvery whiteness. This was spread, massive-
ly, upon his breast, which it covered almost to the waist. His
complexion was very pale, but of a clear whiteness, and harmo-
nized sweetly with the antique beauty and power of his head.
His costume differed in style, texture and stuff, entirely from
that which prevailed in the assembly. A loose white robe, which
extended from his shoulders to the ground, was bound about his
body by a belt of plain Spanish leather, and worn with a grace
and nobleness perfectly majestical. His feet were clothed in
Jewish sandals. But there was nothing proud or haughty in his
majesty. On the contrary, it was in contrast with the evident
humility in his eye and gesture, that his dignity of bearing be-
trayed itself. This seemed to be as much the fruit of pure and
elevated thoughts, calm and resigned, as of that superior physical
organization which made this aged man tower as greatly above
the rest, in person, as he certainly did in air and manner.
He advanced, as lie appeared, to the foot of the throne, grace-
fully sunk before it, then rising, stood in quiet, as awaiting the
royal command to speak. His appearance seemed to fill the
assembly with eager curiosity. A sudden hush prevailed as he
approached, the natural result of that awe which great superior-
ity usually inspires in the breast of ignorance. There was but
one face among the spectators that seemed to betray no curiosity
16