to write novels until his death. His novels fall into two groups—those on Colonial and Revolutionary times and those relating to the Civil War. Besides these romances—in all some twenty or more—Cooke wrote a life of Stonewall Jackson and a history of Virginia.]
SELECTIONS FROM "THE VIRGINIA COMEDIANS"
Mr. Champ Effingham of Effingham Hall
On a splendid October afternoon, in the year of our Lord 1763, two persons who will appear frequently in this history were seated in the great dining room of Effingham Hall.
|JOHN ESTEN COOKE|
But let us first say a few words of this old mansion. Effingham Hall was a stately edifice not far from Williamsburg, which, as everybody knows, was at that period the capital city of the colony of Virginia. The hall was constructed of elegant brick brought over from England; and from the great portico in front of the building a beautiful rolling country of hills and valleys, field and forest, spread itself pleasantly before the eye, bounded far off along the circling belt of woods by the bright waters of the noble river.
Entering the large hall of the old house, you had before you walls covered with deer's antlers, fishing rods, and guns; portraits of cavaliers and dames and children; even carefully painted pictures of celebrated race horses, on whose speed and