Wlliam Gilmore Simms
The Cub of the Panther: A Hunter Legend of the ''Old North State'' >> Chapter Six >> Page 32

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Novel (Romance) | The University of Arkansas Press | 1997
Transcription CHAPTER SIX
"The stranger comes most innocent of seeming,
And looks with eyes most innocent of seeking;
But who shall say what fate above his shoulder,
Hovers, like the falcon, with keen scent for prey?"
THE FUN GREW fast and furious. What Burns describes, in Tam O'Shanter, of the mad revelry of the witches at the old kirk, was hardly an exaggeration of the lively and picturesque scene at the rustic
feast of Squire Blanton. He, himself, warmed equally by the satisfaction
which he felt at the marriage of his first daughter, and by potations of
peach and honey, such as he had not yet bestowed upon his guests, was
the ruling and roystering spirit of the scene. He egged on the fiddler to
new efforts; he urged the bashful young men to bolder demonstrations
of partiality for the fair sex; he found partners and brought them for-
ward, who otherwise might have sunk back into corners, spectators
only of the scene, when its whole effect depended upon their becoming
actors. The Country Dance was succeeded by the "Highland Reel,"
the "Strathspey Fling," the "Virginny Reel," the "Backwoods Break-.
down," and various other movements for which the fashionable
nomenclature of the cities yields no name. They were, nevertheless,
quite as leg-itimate under the influence of Joe Scrymgeour's fiddle. Joe
was as inveterate in play as was the company in dancing. Women are
defined somewhere as dancing animals. It is very certain that they never
tire when there are pleasant companions in the dance. Mike Baynam
was kept in perpetual motion, dancing now with this, and now with
some other partner, but somehow never once with the one over all
whom he sought. There was surely a fate in this, and the fate was per-
sonified, no doubt, in the excellent Squire Blanton, who particularly