"Is your head better now?" "Yes, thanks; only this book is so stupid. I think novels are stupid nowadays; the heroes are so gaudy, and the heroines have not a spark of spirit. You may talk to me instead, if you like. What have you been doing with yourself all day?" Bessie was dumb with amazement. Was this pride or was Edna acting a part, and pretending not to care?
Aeschylus exclaims: "Oh, might I sit, sublime in air Where watery clouds the freezing snows prepare!" Ariosto in his "Orlando Furioso" makes an English knight, whom he names Astolpho, fly to the banks of the Nile; nowadays the authors are trying to make their heroes fly to the North Pole.
The one that is getting weak raises his courage at the idea of victory; if he draw back, it is only to recruit his strength, to rush with more ardour than ever upon the enemy he wishes to subdue. At length when their fate is decided, when one of the heroes, covered with blood and wounds, falls a victim, or runs away, he is declared vanquished, and the battle is ended.
Verbeck is destined to be one of Japan's few foreign heroes. Among the signs of Japanese craving for heroes may be mentioned the constant experience of missionaries when search is being made for a man to fill a particular place. The descriptions of the kind of man desired are such that no one can expect to meet him.
Is there any place in the world where such marvellous changes have taken place as here? Where among the countries of the earth shall we find a more rapid and vigorous growth? We can hardly realize the fact that not a century has elapsed since these strong-handed and brave-hearted men pushed their way into the profound wilderness of Upper Canada. Were they not heroes?
Sir Marmaduke de Chavasse had played his part for to-night: silently as he had gone, so he returned to his room, whilst in another corner of the sparrow-hawk's nest a young girl slept, dreaming dreams of patriots and heroes, of causes nobly won, of poverty and obscurity gloriously endured.
What higher pinnacle of greatness could any boy hope to reach? They began at once seriously imitating the walk and manners of their heroes. The tall, lank boys modeled themselves on Shorty, and the short, chubby ones on Si. And there at once rose contention between them as to which was the greater hero.
We have followed one of the Grecian heroes, Ulysses, in his wanderings on his return home from Troy, and now we propose to share the fortunes of the remnant of the conquered people, under their chief Aeneas, in their search for a new home, after the ruin of their native city.
I do not suppose that the author of the book of Job had ever studied geology, or mineralogy, or biology, but read him, and see whether this old prince of scientific heroes had loved, and understood, and caught the spirit of Nature. And what a grand, free spirit it was, and what a giant it made of him. I do not believe that Paul ever had a special course of anatomy or botany.
Neefit, the breeches-maker, and his daughter, are also good in their way, and Moggs, the daughter's lover, who was not only lover, but also one of the candidates at Percycross as well. But the main thread of the story, that which tells of the doings of the young gentlemen and young ladies, the heroes and the heroines, is not good.