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[3] Agamemnon1 would not allow me to stand declaiming out in the colonnade longer than he had spent sweating inside the school. “Your talk has an uncommon flavour, young man,” he said, "and what is most unusual, you appreciate good sense. I will not therefore deceive you by making a mystery of my art. The fact is that the teachers are not to blame for these exhibitions. They are in a madhouse, and they must gibber. Unless they speak to the taste of their young masters they will be left alone in the colleges, as Cicero remarks.2 Like the toadies [of Comedy] cadging after the rich man's dinners, they think first about what is calculated[p. 7] to please their audience. They will never gain their object unless they lay traps for the ear. A master of oratory is like a fisherman; he must put the particular bait on his hook which he knows will tempt the little fish, or he may sit waiting on his rock with no hope of a catch.

1 A teacher of rhetoric. Encolpius and Ascyltus were invited to Trimalchio's dinner as Agamemnon's pupils.

2 See Pro Caelio, 17, 41.

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