Wlliam Gilmore Simms
Mellichampe: A Legend of the Santee >> Chapter VII: Piney Grove >> Page 67

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Page 67

Novel (Romance) | Redfield | 1854
Transcription PINEY GROVE. 6~7
arrangement, in obedience to orders ; turning to Mr. Berkeley at the conclusion, and politely apologizing for the unavoidable disturbance which such an arrangement must necessarily occasion in his grounds. The old man smiled faintly, and murmured out words of approbation ; but, though he strove to be and to appear satisfied, he was evidently ill at ease. The invasion of his beautiful park by a prancing and wheeling troop of horse its quiet broken by the oaths, the clamor, and the confusion common to turbulent soldiers, and the utter dispersion of his fine young horses, which had leaped the barrier in their fright, and were now flying in all directions over the plantation, brought to his bosom no small pang, as they spoke strongly for the extent of his submission. He controlled his dissatisfaction, however, as well as he could, and now urged his guests, with frequent entreaties, to enter his mansion for refreshment. They followed him from the piazza into a large hall, such as might have answered the purposes of a room of state, calculated for the deliberations of a thousand men. It
was thus that our ancestors built, as it were, with a standard
drawn from the spacious wilds and woods around them. They seemed also to have built for posterity. Huge beams, unenclosed, ran along above, supporting the upper chambers, which were huge enough to sustain the weight of a palace. The walls were covered with the dark and durable cypress, wrought in panels, which gave a rich, artist-like air to the apartment. Two huge fireplaces at opposite ends of the hall attested its great size, in one of which, even in the month of September, a few broken brands might be seen still burning upon the hearth. A dozen faded family pictures, in massive black frames, hung around quaint, rigid, puritanical faces, seemingly cut out of board, after the fashion of Sir Peter Lely, with glaring Flemish drapery, and that vulgar style of coloring which makes of red and yellow primary principles, from the contagion of which neither land, sea, nor sky, is suffered in any climate to be properly exempt, The furniture was heavy and massive like the rest�suitable to the apartment, and solid, like the dwellings and desires of the people of the bygone days.
Seats were drawn, the troopers at ease, and the good old