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200. This use of the present belongs to the original stock of our family of languages. It antedates the differentiation into imperf. and aorist. Being a familiar form, it is set down as a mark of simplicity (“ἀφέλεια”) of style. By reason, therefore, both of its liveliness and its familiar tone it is foreign to the leisurely and dignified unfolding of the epos, and is not found in Homer, whereas it is very common in the rhetorical Vergil, as it is very common in the Attic orators. Nor is it used to any extent, if at all, in the statuesque Pindaric ode, whereas it is frequent in the Attic drama, which seems to have introduced it to higher literature.

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