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quaestione legitima: see note on judices, p.154, 1.

severissimos, i.e. before men of the old Roman stamp, who might not be favorably impressed by such praise of literature.

forensi sermone is not used here in its special meaning, "the language of the courts," but in its wider sense, the language of the Forum, i.e. the ordinary tone of practical affairs (the Forum being the centre of Roman business and politics).

ut ... patiamini, a purp. clause in appos. with veniam (1.25).

hoc concursu, locat. abl. expressing the circumstances; so also hac vestra humanitate, with men of your cultivation.

hoc praetore: Q. Cicero was himself a poet and man of critical taste.

paulo. . . liberius, with somewhat unusual freedom: ยง 29 1, a (93, a); B. 240,1; G. 297; H. 498 (444,1); H-B. 241,2.

otium ac studium, a quiet life of study (almost hendiadys); so judiciis periculisque below.

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