His proem, or opening, is always excellent, always gracefully and accurately appropriate to the matter in hand. This inexhaustible fertility of resource calls forth the special commendation of Dionysios. ‘The power shown in his proems will appear especially marvellous if it is considered that, though he wrote not fewer than 200 forensic speeches, there is not one in which he is found to have used a preface which is not plausible, or which is not closely connected with the case. Indeed, he has not twice hit upon the same syllogisms, or twice drifted into the same thoughts. Yet even those who have written
little are found to have had this mischance,—that, I mean, of repeating commonplaces; to say nothing of the fact that nearly all of them borrow the prefatory remarks of others, and think no shame of doing so.’1
The opening of the speech against Diogeiton may be cited as an example of a difficult case introduced with singular delicacy and tact.