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‘The hyperbole has a juvenile character, signifying vehemence: and therefore they are most used by people when they are angry; “No, not if he were to offer me gifts as the sand or dust for multitude” (or gifts in number like the sand or dust). “And the daughter of Agamemnon son of Atreus will I not wed, no, not though she vied in beauty with golden Aphrodite, and in accomplishments [deftness of handiwork] with Athene”’, comp. III 7. 11. Il. I [IX] 385 (the angry Achilles indignantly refusing Agamemnon's offered presents). μειρακιώδεις is here meant to convey the fire, vigour, spirit, impetuosity, proneness to passion and excitement; or in general ‘vehemence’, as he tells us; which are characteristic of early youth. It is used by Plato [Rep. 466 B, and 498 B] in the sense of ‘puerile’. The latter usually represents this by νεανικός, which he uses in two opposite senses, of the good and bad qualities of youth; either gallant, spirited, generous, noble, splendid and such like, or rash, wanton, insolent: also νεανίας and νεανιεύεσθαι. ‘This figure is an especial favourite with the Attic orators’. ‘And this is why the use of it is unbecoming to an elderly man’— not because, as might be supposed from the arrangement of the sentences, it was such a favourite with the Attic orators but—because it is a juvenile trait of character, and as such must be inappropriate to the opposite. [It may be doubted whether the awkward remark, χρῶνται δὲ μάλιστα τούτῳ οἱ Ἀττικοὶ ῥήτορες, which is a parenthetical note immediately succeeding another parenthesis and breaking the connexion between the beginning and the end of the section, was really written by Aristotle at all. The phrase οἱ Ἀττικοὶ ῥήτορες, which is not found elsewhere in Aristotle (though we have οἱ Ἀθήνησι ῥήτορες, infra 17 § 10), is peculiarly open to suspicion, and may perhaps be ascribed to the pen of some Alexandrine critic familiar with the canon of the Ten ‘Attic Orators’.]
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