The Grecian superstition with regard to the Theme, or supernatural voice, is familiar to every man at all acquainted with Grecian literature.
It was nothing more than that unaccountable inspiration (if it be allowable to use the word in that sense) by which a highly wrought community is enabled to anticipate the common vehicles of intelligence when great events are on the wing.
The Theme played an important part in the history of Greece
on an occasion mentioned by Herodotus
The battles of Platœa and Mycale were fought on the same day — the first in the morning, the last in the evening — the former in Bolotia, the latter in lonia — the distance between them being at least one thousand miles. As the Greeks at Mycale were about to join battle a herald's staff was found on the beach, and the Phene proclaimed among the host, who were previously somewhat dispirited at sight of the enemy's numbers, that the great Persian army had been destroyed at Platœs that morning.
The intelligence ran like wild-fire through the Grecian
host, who, roused to a pitch of irresistible enthusiasm, crashed upon the enemy, put him to the rout, and inflicted upon him a slaughter only inferior to that his countrymen had endured in the morning at Platœa.
We had a striking example of the operations of the Phene in this city on the occasion of the capture of Winchester
Last Sunday, 14th June, (the sixty-third anniversary of the battle of Marengo
,) Gen. Early
stormed the works around that town.
There is no telegraphic communication thence with Richmond
, seventy miles off, presents the first telegraph.
Yet almost before the smoke of the battle field had cleared away rumors of the result began to spread.--On Monday morning they pervaded the whole city, and described the actual condition of affairs with a minuteness and accuracy absolutely astounding.
The number of guns and prisoners were designated, and it was stated that Milroy
had escaped, which turns out to be true.
We leave it to metaphyst to account for this singular phenomenon.
We content ourselves with saying that it was very singular, and, to us, altogether unaccountable.
The capture of Winchester
is one of the most glorious, and we believe it is destined to prove one of the most important, events of the war. It seems to be the first in a projected series of operations, which there is every reason to believe will result most beneficially to the cause of the Confederacy
What those projected operations may be, we cannot even conjecture, and we only presume that they are to be, because Gen. Lee
is not the man to indulge in isolated enterprises, having no bearing upon the grand object of the campaign.
The actual tangible fruits are very great.
Fifty cannon, three miles (so reported) of wagons, large numbers of cattle, cows, and mules, and 9,000 prisoners, including 2,000 captured by General Edward Johnson
The enemy behaved exactly as might have been expected of such wretches.
They proved in plain terms to be arrant cowards.
Placed behind strong fortifications, they only stood their ground long enough to kill and wound 100 of our men.--Oppressors are almost always cowards, and these were oppressors of the most brutal description.