Excerpt from The Pageant of Greece
The same imprint, clear or faint, is on all our literary forms, except perhaps one. Epic, lyric, elegiac, dramatic, didactic, poetry, history, biography, rhetoric and oratory, the epigram, the essay, the sermon, the novel, letter writing and literary criticism are all Greek by origin, and in nearly every case their name betrays their source. Rome raises a doubtful claim to satire, but the substance of satire is present in the Old Comedy, and the form seems to have existed in writings now lost. There are even one or two genres, Such as the imaginary Speech, which Greece invented and which are not, fortunately, found in modern litera ture. When the curtain rose on Homer, European literature did not exist: long before it falls on the late Byzantines, the lines were laid on which. It has moved up to our own day. This is the entire work of a single people, politically weak, numerically small, materially poor - according to the economy of nature which in things of the mind and the spirit gives a germinating power to few. The Greeks are justly admired for individual poems, plays, and pieces of writing but it Was something even greater. To have explored the possibilities of literature so far that posterity, while it has developed Greek genres, has not hitherto been able to add to them.
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