Thus the thrilling story of the Second Punic War is broken in upon by digressions on the contemporary affairs in Greece and Asia.
Yet it may be doubted whether any such division can be safely assumed; and it may suffice to repeat that no domestic tragedy has ever taught with more effective simplicity and thrilling truthfulness the homely double lesson of the folly of selfishness and the mad rashness of crime.
" His composition," we read, " was stiff," but he was imbued with the substance of his authors; and a contemporary who was in the sixth form with him recorded that " when there were thrilling passages of Virgil or Homer, or difficult passages in the Scriptores Graeci, to translate, he or Lord Arthur Hervey was generally called up to edify the class with quotation or translation."
By careful training her voice, originally hard and harsh, had become flexible and melodious, and its low and muffled notes under the influence of passion possessed a thrilling and penetrating quality that was irresistible.
The simplicity and symmetry of his sentences, the modulations of his thrilling voice, the radiance of his fine face, even his slight hesitations and pauses over his manuscript, lent a strange charm to his speech.
It is nearly certain that Buddha had a commanding presence, and one of those deep, rich, thrilling voices which so many of the successful leaders of men have possessed.
We are not so unreasonable as to blame him for failing to make his pages picturesque or thrilling; we do not want sunsets and stars and roses and ecstasy; but there is a certain standard for the most serious and abstract subjects.
But it is impossible not to admire the copious variety of thought and language, and the evenly flowing style which carried him safely through the dreariest periods of his history; and still more remarkable is the dramatic power he displays when some great crisis or thrilling episode stirs his blood, such as the sack of Rome by the Gauls, the battle by the Metaurus and the death of Hasdrubal.