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Let no one however demand from me a rigid code of rules such as most authors of textbooks have laid down, or ask me to impose on students of rhetoric a system of laws immutable as fate, a system in which injunctions as to the exordium and its nature lead the way; then come the statement of facts and the laws to be observed in this connexion: next the proposition or, as some prefer, the digression, followed by prescriptions as to the order in which the various questions should be discussed, with all the other rules, which some speakers follow as though they had no [p. 291] choice but to regard them as orders and as if it were a crime to take any other line.

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