Phrases are often repeated in the ballads, just as in the talk of the common man, for the sake of emphasis, but there is neither complexity of plot or characterization nor attempt at decorative literary adornment--the story and the emotion which it calls forth are all in all.
This too, of course, is the natural manner of the common man, a manner perfectly effective either in animated conversation or in the chant of a minstrel, where expression and gesture can do so much of the work which the restraints of civilized society have transferred to words.
There are the brave champion, whether noble or common man, who conquers or falls against overwhelming odds; the faithful lover of either sex; the woman whose constancy, proving stronger than man's fickleness, wins back her lover to her side at last; the traitorous old woman (victim of the blind and cruel prejudice which after a century or two was often to send her to the stake as a witch); the loyal little child; and some few others.
The virtues of a superior man are like the wind; the virtues of a common man
are like the grass -- I the grass, when the wind passes over it, bends."
"If you'll 'scuse a remark from a common man," he observed, "your ladyship has a fine family of daughters."
"It ain't for a common man to set up his opinion again' a gentleman wot have profesh'nal knowledge of the heavens, as one may say," said the man, "but I would 'umbly offer to bet my umbrellar to his wideawake that it don't cease raining this side of seven o'clock."
A common man
looking at this decision of the very learned Judge, might possibly object to it.
"He's no common man
, Barbecue," said the coxswain to me.
"He does not look like a common man
," said the interpreter, after a searching look at Pierre.
"That a common man
should be shamed before the world, is nothing; but it were dishonor to the KING if any that saw his minister naked should not also see him delivered from his shame.
And in the end, who knows in what day, the common people will rise up out of the abyss; the labor castes and the Oligarchy will crumble away; and then, at last, after the travail of the centuries, will it be the day of the common man
. I had thought to see that day; but now I know that I shall never see it."
As the Indians moved away in a body, and with a step that would have been inaudible to the ears of any common man
, the same venerable-looking beaver once more ventured his head from its cover.