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[296] and that, furthermore, everyone obtains here that practical experience which more than any other thing imparts ability to speak; and, in addition to these advantages, they consider that the catholicity and moderation of our speech,1 as well as our flexibility of mind and love of letters, contribute in no small degree to the education of the orator. Therefore they suppose, and not without just reason, that all clever speakers are the disciples of Athens.

1 The Attic “dialect” was the least provincial of all, avoiding the extreme harshness of the Doric and the softness of the Ionic, and tended to be more and more the language of cultivated Greeks, until in the time of Alexander the Great it had broadened into the “common dialect,” κοινὴ διάλεκτος.

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