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[28] The orator, I fear, does lose in efficiency on account of old age, because his success depends not only upon his intellect, but also upon his lungs and bodily strength. In old age, no doubt, the voice actually gains (I know not how) that magnificent resonance1 which even I have not lost, and you see my years; and yet the style of speech that graces the old man is subdued and gentle, and very often the sedate and mild speaking of an eloquent old man wins itself a hearing. And although one cannot himself engage in oratory, still, he may be able to give instruction to a Scipio or a Laelius! For what is more agreeable than an old age surrounded by the enthusiasm of youth?

1 Canorum . . . splendescit is a mixed metaphor-the first word appeals to the ear, the second to the eye; literally, “a clarion-like ring which gives it brilliancy.”

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load focus Introduction (William Armistead Falconer, 1923)
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