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I say nothing about the learners' first rudiments. Even with these little pains are taken, and on the reading of authors, on the study of antiquity and a knowledge of facts, of men and of periods, by no means enough labour is bestowed. It is rhetoricians, as they are called, who are in request. When this profession was first introduced into our city, and how little esteem it had among our ancestors, I am now about to explain; but I will first recall your attention to the training which we have been told was practised by those orators whose infinite industry, daily study and incessant application to every branch of learning are seen in the contents of their own books. You are doubtless familiar with Cicero's book, called Brutus. In the latter part of it (the first gives an account of the ancient orators) he relates his own beginnings, his progress, and the growth, so to say, of his eloquence. He tells us that he learnt the civil law under Quintus Mucius, and that he thoroughly imbibed every branch of philosophy under Philo of the Academy and under Diodotus the Stoic; that not content with the teachers under
whom he had had the opportunity of studying at Rome, he travelled through Achaia and Asia Minor so as to embrace every variety of every learned pursuit. Hence we really find in Cicero's works that he was not deficient in the knowledge of geometry, music, grammar, or, in short, any liberal accomplishment. The subtleties of logic, the useful lessons of ethical science, the movements and causes of the universe, were alike known to him. The truth indeed is this, my excellent friends, that Cicero's wonderful eloquence wells up and overflows out of a store of erudition, a multitude of accomplishments, and a knowledge that was universal. The strength and power of oratory, unlike all other arts, is not confined within narrow and straitened limits, but the orator is he who can speak on every question with grace, elegance, and persuasiveness, suitably to the dignity of his subject, the requirements of the occasion, and the taste of his audience.

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