—‘the power of bringing under the senses what is narrated1
’—is an attribute of the style of Lysias. The dullest hearer cannot fail to have before his eyes the scene described, and to fancy himself actually in presence of the persons introduced as speaking. Lysias derives this graphic force from two things;—judicious use of detail, and perception of character. A good example of it is his description, in the speech Against Eratosthenes, of
his own arrest by Theognis and Peison2
. Dionysios ascribes vividness, as well as clearness, to Isokrates also3
; but there is perhaps only one passage in the extant work of Isokrates which strictly justifies this praise4
. A description may be brilliant without being in the least degree graphic. The former quality depends chiefly on the glow of the describer's imagination; the latter depends on his truthfulness and skill in grouping around the main incident its lesser circumstances. A lifelike picture demands the union of fine colouring and correct drawing. Isokrates was a brilliant colourist; but he was seldom, like Lysias, an accurate draughtsman.