The style of the XIIth Dynasty may be summed up as clean, highly-finished work, strong in facial detail; but with neither the grandeur of the IVth nor the vivacity of the XVIIIth Dynasty.
There is, it is true, a smoothness and finish about them not often seen elsewhere; but, as though to avoid the exaggerations of Audubon, Gould usually adopted the tamest of attitudes in which to represent his subjects, whereby expression as well as vivacity is wanting.
The 2nd viscount's eldest son, Henry John, is mentioned by Lady Elliot in her correspondence as a boy of singular vivacity and energy.
So Boris was full of nervous vivacity all day.
They followed Prince Dolgorukov out into the corridor and met--coming out of the door of the Emperor's room by which Dolgorukov had entered--a short man in civilian clothes with a clever face and sharply projecting jaw which, without spoiling his face, gave him a peculiar vivacity and shiftiness of expression.
But it was rather in the chants and litanies of the ancient religion, such as those of the Salii and the Fratres Arvales, and the dirges for the dead (neniae), and in certain extemporaneous effusions, that some germs of a native poetry might have been detected; and finally in the use of Saturnian verse, a metre of pure native origin, which by its rapid and lively movement gave expression to the vivacity and quick apprehension of the Italian race.
The special characteristics of its masters are freshness of colour, vivacity of expression and distinct originality.
In the social drama, Ernesto Biester, and in comedy Fernando Caldeira, also no mean lyric poet, are two of the principal names, and the latter's pieces, A Mantilha da Renda and A Madrugada, have a delicacy and vivacity which justifies their success.
From a literary point of view Phaedrus is inferior to Babrius, and to his own imitator, La Fontaine; he lacks the quiet picturesqueness and pathos of the former, and the exuberant vivacity and humour of the latter.
Yet he is the one extant witness to the humour and vivacity of the Italian temperament at a stage between its early rudeness and rigidity and its subsequent degeneracy.