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[15] Further, maxims are of great assistance to speakers, first, because of the vulgarity1 of the hearers, who are pleased if an orator, speaking generally, hits upon the opinions which they specially hold.2 What I mean will be clear from the following, and also how one should hunt for maxims. The maxim, as we have said, is a statement of the general; accordingly, the hearers are pleased to hear stated in general terms the opinion which they have already specially formed. For instance, a man who happened to have bad neighbors or children would welcome any one's statement that nothing is more troublesome than neighbors or more stupid than to beget children. Wherefore the speaker should endeavor to guess how his hearers formed their preconceived opinions and what they are, and then express himself in general terms in regard to them.

1 “Want of cultivation and intelligence” (Cope). “Amour-propre” (St. Hilaire).

2 In reference to their own particular case.

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