Wlliam Gilmore Simms
Joscelyn: A Tale of the Revolution >> Chapter III: Stephen Joscelyn >> Page 29

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Novel (Romance) | The Reprint Company | 1975, 1976
Transcription JOSCELYN29
references made to him as an arbitrator for the adjustment of diffi-
culties among his neighbors. His judgments, founded at once upon
great good sense and an innate love of justice, were rendered logical,
and in a measure legal, by his knowledge of English law, which
was considerable. His leisure hours were usually surrendered to
this study.
But it is time that we should make his acquaintance. Let us,
without ceremony, penetrate his school-room, and see him in his
seat of authority.
As you behold him now, seated at his desk, you are impressed
with the remarkable strength and beauty of his personal aspect.
A noble and powerful bust, great massive shoulders, supporting a
head of magnificent dimensions, covered with a thick shock of
fine brown hair, great blue eyes, with heavily-arched eye-brows; a
mouth, firm but sweet, and a full, Grecian nose, gave you the
impression of a mind not only of large development, but of equi-
table poise and balance. The breadth and fullness of the chin, the
pose of the head, upon an ample column of neck, the general
symmetry and mutual dependence of the several features united
to assure you that you were in the presence of no ordinary, certainly
no vulgar mind. Air, carriage, manner and tone, all indicated the
perfect gentleman; and the general gravity of expression in the
face, while it denoted a spirit that might rise into passionate de-
termination, was yet softened into sweetness by a uniform expression
of sadness. The eyes, though soft, clear, and very full, were yet
singularly sad, save when the countenance brightened up in the
warmth of conversation, when they at once partook of the general
animation of all the features.
See him where he sits, and you would conceive him to be,
physically, a perfect man as well as gentleman; a Diomed, or
Antinono; powerful of frame, large of limb, of great muscle and
activity, and wonderful symmetry as well as endurance; and, in
many of these respects, you would not be disappointed.
But when you see him rise and attempt to move, you would then
readily conceive why it is that such a person should subside into
the master of an "old field" school. You then perceive the cripple,
whose motions pain you to behold, which are made doubly -painful