Lysias now completes the reaction from the poeticism of Gorgias and the stateliness of Antiphon. He boldly takes as his material the diction of the private citizen who has had the ordinary Athenian education; and, being an artist of true genius, Lysias shapes out of this a singularly beautiful prose. The conception was fortunate; it was in essential harmony with the spirit of Attic Greek; and, if a Lysias had not arisen, the world would not have known some most delicate felicities of that idiom. It was a faculty of the language developed once for all, committed to an exquisite record, and thus secured against the possibility of being missed by anyone who hereafter should aim at mastery over all the resources of Attic speech. Nor was the lesson
lost on Demosthenes and Hypereides any more than on the Augustan Atticists.