Barnett was a perfectly fearless man on land and water, and I had imagined an individual cast in a rather heroic mold. It hardly seemed possible that this little parson was the subject of the tales I had heard, for he bore a tiny look of timidity and, I was sorry to see, of overwork and underfeeding. But the latter may have been dyspepsia.
He pleases, interests, instructs, but leads to little reflection; he does not conquer by depth of thought; he does not exalt the mind by elevated reason or earnest feeling. In vain should we search his writings for knowledge of antiquity, the character of primitive society, or a description of the heroic ages, whose morals and prejudices lived until the last days of the republic.
Men seemed to be converted into demons, and yet there was a lofty and stubborn resolution to conquer mingled with all, that ennobled the strife and rendered it heroic.
Its inhabitants were patriotic, and had made up their minds to resist the invaders, to fortify their native place, and, if need be, to stand a siege as in the good old days. Twice already, under Henri IV and under Louis XIV, the people of Rethel had distinguished themselves by their heroic defence of their town. They would do as much now, by gad! or else be slaughtered within their own walls.
And we have just heard," continued Albert, "of a new deed of his, and so heroic a one, that, although I have seen him to-day for the first time, I request you to allow me to introduce him as my friend." At these words it was still possible to observe in Monte Cristo the concentrated look, changing color, and slight trembling of the eyelid that show emotion.
"She, noble, heroic woman! she is at Ravensnest at this moment; and, as the girls would not permit her to go alone, they are all with her." "And did you, Jack Dunning, suffer them to go unattended into a part of the country that is in open rebellion?" demanded my uncle, reproachfully. "Come, come! Hodge Littlepage, this is very sublime as a theory, but not so clear when reduced to practice.
Among the Finns we find no trace of an aristocracy; there is scarcely a mention of kings, or priests; the heroes of the poem are really popular heroes, fishers, smiths, husbandmen, 'medicine-men, or wizards; exaggerated shadows of the people, pursuing on a heroic scale, not war, but the common daily business of primitive and peaceful men.
She seemed to see nothing, to be aware of nothing but her mother's heroic eyes of truth; but the whole scene was printed on her mind for all her life the hard, brown road they stood on, the grayed old rail-fence back of Mrs. Marshall, a field of brown stubble, a distant grove of beech-trees, and beyond and around them the immense sweeping circle of the horizon.
The fine humanity of it was everywhere present, and mingled not only with such grand and heroic lines as those of the sloping pediments and long-drawn entablatures of the Parthenon and Theseion, bending them into curves so subtilely modulated that our coarse perceptions did not perceive the variations from the dead straight lines till the careful admeasurements of Penrose and Cockerel and their confrères of France assured us of the fact, not only did it make these enormous harp-strings vibrate with deep human soul-music, but there is not an abstract line in moulding, column, or vase, belonging to old Greece or the islands of the Aegean or Ionia or the colonies of Italy, which does not have the same intensity of meaning, the same statuesque Life of thought.
The shields would cause no difficulty; they would be slung sideways, like the shields of knights in the early Middle Ages. The pair, picking up Dolon's spoils as they pass, hurry back to the chiefs, where Nestor welcomes them. But on no other occasion in the Iliad are we admitted to view this part of heroic toilette.