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is one point, however, on which all these traditions, to whatever extent they may differ on other points, are unanimous. They all agree in tracing the first origin of writing in Greece to remote mythical eras.
THE UNITY OF THE HOMERIC POEMS.
It is probable that, like most other great painters of nature, Homer was indebted to previous tradition for the original sketches of his principal heroes. These sketches, however, could have been little more than outlines which, as worked up into the finished portraits of the Ilied and Odyssey, must rank as his own genuine productions.
In every branch of imitative art this faculty of representing to the life the moral phenomena of our nature in their varied phases of virtue, vice, weakness, or eccentricity, is the highest and rarest attribute of genius; and rarest of all as exercised by Homer through the medium of dramatic action, where the characters are formally described, but made to develop themselves by their own language and conduct. It is this, among his many great qualities, which chiefly raises Homer above all other poets of his own class; nor with the single exception, perhaps, of the great English dramatist, has any poet ever produced so numerous and spirited a variety of original characters of different ages, ranks, and sexes. Still more peculiar to himself than their variety is the unity of thought, feeling, and expression - often of minute phraseology -- with which they are individually sustained, and yet without an appearance of effort on the part of their author. Each describes himself spontaneously when brought upon the scene, just as the automata of Vulcan, in the Odyssey, though indebted to the divine artist for the mechanism on which they move, appear to perform their functions by their own unaided powers. That any two or more poets should simultaneously have conceived such a character as Achilles is next to impossible.
Still less credible it that the different parts of the Iliad, where the hero successively appears as the same sublime, ideal being, under the influence of the same combination of virtues, failings, and passions - thinking, speaking, acting, and suffering according to the same single type of heroic grandeur can be the production of more than a single mind. Such evidence is perhaps even stronger in the case of the less prominent actors, in so far as it is less possible that different artists should simultaneously agree in their portraits of mere subordinate incidental personages than of heroes whose renown may have rendered their characters a species of public property. Two poets of tl. e Elizabethan age might, without any conceit, have harmonized to a great extent, in their portrait of Henry V.; but that the correspondence should have extended to the imaginary companions of his youth - the Falstaffs, Bardolphs, Quickleys — were incredible. But the nicest shades of peculiarity in the inferior actors of the Iliad and Odyssey are conceived and maintained in the same spirit of distinction as in Achilles or Hector.
13 URFREE, MARY NOAILLES (“CHARLES EG
BERT CRADDOCK”), an American novelist;
born at Grantlands, near Murireesboro, Tenn., January 24, 1850. She is the great-granddaughter of Colonel Hardy Murfree of North Carolina, who served in the Revolutionary War, and whose name was given to the town, Murfreesboro, that grew near the tract of land on which he settled, when he emigrated to Tennessee in 1807. Her first stories of life in the Tennessee mountains were published in the Atlantic Monthly under the pen-name of “ Charles Egbert Craddock.” Her works include In the Tennessee Mountains (1884); Where the Battle Was Fought (1885); Down the Ravine (1885); The Prophet of the Great Smoky Mountains (1885); In the Clouds (1886); The Story of Keedon Bluffs (1887); The Despot of Broomsedge Cove (1888); In the Stranger People's Country (1891); His Vanished Star (1894); Phantoms of the Foot-Bridge (1895); The Mystery of Witchface Mountain (1896); The Juggler (1897); The Bushwhackers (1899); The Champion (1902); A Sceptre of Power (1903), and The Storm Center (1905).
AN INTERRUPTED CONFESSION.
The congregation composed itself to listen to the sermon. There was an expectant pause. Kelsey remembered ever after the tumult of emotion with which he stepped forward to the table and opened the book. He turned to the New Testament for his text-turned the leaves with a familiar hand. Some ennobling phase of that wonderful story which would touch the tender, true affinity of human nature for the higher things — from this he would preach to-day. And yet, at the same moment, with a contrariety of feeling from which he shrank aghast, there was skulking into his mind all that grewsome company of doubts. In double file they came: fate and free agency, free will and fore-ordination, infinite mercy and infinite justice, God's loving kindness and man's intolerable misery, redemption and damnation. He had evolved them all from his own unconscious logical faculty, and they pursued him as if he had, in some spiritual necromancy, conjured up a devil — nay, a legion of devils. Perhaps if he had known how they had assaulted the hearts of men in times gone past; how they have been combated and baffled, and yet have risen and pursued again; how, in the scrutiny of science and research men have passed before their awful presence, analyzed them, philosophized about them, and found them interesting; how others, in the levity of the world, having heard of them, grudged the time to think upon them. If he had known all this, he might have felt some courage in numbers.
As it was, there was no fight left in him. He closed
the book with a sudden impulse. "My fren's," he said,
” “I stan' not hyar ter preach ter day, but fur confession.”
There was a galvanic start among the congregation, then intense silence.
“I hev los' my faith!” he cried out, with a poignant despair. “God ez 'gin it - ef theor is a God — he's tuk it away. You-uns kin go on. You-uns kin b'lieve. Yer paster b’lieves, an' he'll lead ye ter grace — leastwise ter a better life. But fur me thar's the nethermost depths of hell, ef”— how his faith and his unfaith now tried him ! —"ef thar be enny hell. Leastwise - Stop, brother,” he held up his hand in deprecation, for Parson Tobin had risen at last, and with a white, scared face. Nothing like this had ever been heard in all the length and breadth of the Great Smoky Mountains — “bear with me a little ; ye 'll see me hyar no more. Fur me thar is shame, ah! an' trial, ah! an' doubt, ah! an' despair, ah! The good things o' life hev not fallen ter me. The good things o' heaven air denied. My name is ter be a byword an'a reproach 'mongst ye. Ye'll grieve ez ye hev ever hearn the word from me, ah! Ye 'll be held in derision! An' I hey hed trials none like them ez air comin', comin' down the wind. I hev been a man marked fur sorrow, an' now fur shame.” He stood erect; he looked bold, youthful. The weight of his secret, lifted now, had been heavier than he knew. In his eyes shone that strange light which was frenzy, or prophecy, or inspiration; in his voice rang a vibration they had never before heard. “I will go forth from 'mongst ye
I that am not of ye. Another shall gird me an' carry me where I would not. Hell an' the devil hev prevailed agin me. Pray fur me, brethern, ez I cannot pray fur myself. Pray that God may yet speak ter me — speak from out o' the whurlwind.”
There was a sound upon the air. Was it the rising of the wind ? A thrill ran through the congregation. The wild emotion, evoked and suspended in this abrupt pause, showed in pallid excitement on every face. Several of the men rose aimlessly, then turned and sat down again. Brought from the calm monotony of their inner life into this supreme crisis of his, they were struck aghast by the hardly comprehended situations of this spiritual drama enacted before them. And what was that sound on the air! In the plenitude of their ignorant faith, were they listening for the invoked voice of God?
Kelsey, too, was listening in anguished suspense. It was not the voice of God, that man was wont to hear when the earth was young; not the rising of wind. The place of the golden sunshine was supreme.
Even a tiny cloudlet, anchored in the limited sky, would not sail to-day.
On and on it came. It was the galloping of horse the beat of hoofs, individualized presently to the ear – with that thunderous, swift, impetuous, advance that so domineers over the imagination, quickens the pulse, shakes the courage.
It might seem that all the ingenuity of malignity could not have compassed so complete a revenge. The fulfilment of his prophecy entered at the door. All its spiritual significance was annihilated: it was merged into a prosaic material degradation when the sheriff of the county strode, with jingling spurs, up the aisle, and laid his hand upon the preacher's shoulder. He wore his impassive official aspect. But his deputy, following hard at his heels, had a grin of facetious triumph upon his thin lips. He had been caught by the nape of the neck, and in a helpless rodent-like attitude had been slung out of the door by the stalwart man of God, when he and Amos James had ventured to go to the meeting-house in liquor; and neither he nor the congregation had forgotten the sensation. It was improbable that such high-handed proceedings could be instituted to-day, but the sheriff had taken the precaution to summon the aid of five or six burly fellows, all armed to the teeth. They, too, came tramping heavily up the aisle. Several wore the reflection of the deputy's grin; they were the “bold, bad men,” the prophet's early associates before " he got religion, an' sot hisself ter consortin' with the saints.” The others were sheepish and doubtful, serving on the posse with a protest under the constraining penalties of the law. The congregation was still, with a stunned astonishment; the preacher stood as one petrified, his eyes fixed upon the sheriff's face. The officer, with a slow, magisterial ges