The madman, the atheist, the adulterer, the traitor, the murderer, the beast, are portrayed in them side by side with the hero, the saint, and the perfect woman. There is every sort of rogue here half-way between good and evil, and every sort of half-hero who is either worse than his virtue or better than his sins.
Chatham, our brave Chatham himself, comes down to the House, all wrapt and bandaged; he "has crawled out in great bodily suffering," and so on; forgets, says Walpole, that he is acting the sick man; in the fire of debate, snatches his arm from the sling, and oratorically swings and brandishes it! Chatham himself lives the strangest mimetic life, half-hero, half-quack, all along.
Keeneyed, broad of brow, with a high-bridged, pendulous nose, red lips, a tuft of beard and a pair of grizzled, bristling moustachios, he looked half-hero, half-satyr; half-Captain, half-Polichinelle. Sully, tall and broad, the incarnation of respectability and dignity, despite bed-gown and slippers and the nightcap covering his high, bald crown, made no presence of misunderstanding him.
To the strongest man, only with infinite struggle and confusion was it possible to work himself half loose; and lead as it were, in an enchanted, most tragical way, a spiritual death-in-life, and be a Half-Hero! Scepticism is the name we give to all this; as the chief symptom, as the chief origin of all this. Concerning which so much were to be said!