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While indeed the admirers of the ancients fix as the boundary, so to say, of antiquity, the period up to Cassius Severus who was the first, they assert, to deviate from the old and plain path of the speaker, I maintain that it was not from poverty of genius or ignorance of letters that he adopted his well known style, but from preference and intellectual conviction. He saw, in fact, that, as I was just now saying, the character and type of oratory must change with the circumstances of the age and an altered taste in the popular ear. The people of the past, ignorant and uncultured as they were, patiently endured the length of a very confused speech, and it was actually to the speaker's credit, if he took up one of their days by his speech-making. Then too they highly esteemed long preparatory introductions, narratives told from a remote beginning, a multitude of divisions ostentatiously paraded, proofs in a thousand links, and all the other directions prescribed in those driest of treatises by Hermagoras and Apollodorus. Any one who was supposed to have caught a scent of philosophy, and who introduced some philosophical commonplace into his speech, was praised up to the skies. And no wonder; for this was new and unfamiliar, and even of the orators but very few had studied the rules of rhetoricians or the dogmas of philosophers. But now that all these are common property and that there is scarce a bystander in the throng who, if not fully instructed, has not at least been initiated into the rudiments of culture, eloquence must resort to new and skilfully chosen paths, in order that the orator may avoid offence to the fastidious ear, at any rate before judges who decide by power and authority, not by law and precedent, who fix the speaker's time, instead of leaving it to himself, and, so far from thinking that they ought to wait till he chooses to speak on the matter in question, continually remind him of it and recall him to it when he wanders, protesting that they are in a hurry.

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