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[31] Eloquence therefore must not restrict itself to narrow tracks, but range at large over the open fields. Its streams must not be conveyed [p. 367] through narrow pipes like the water of fountains, but flow as mighty rivers flow, filling whole valleys; and if it cannot find a channel it must make one for itself. For what can be more distressing than to be fettered by petty rules, like children who trace the letters of the alphabet which others have first written for them, or, as the Greeks say, insist on keeping the coat their mother gave them.1 Are we to have nothing but premises and conclusions from consequents and incompatibles? Must not the orator breathe life into the argument and develop it?

1 The proverb which is also found in Plutarch (de Alex. Fort. i. 330 B) seems to refer to a child's passionate fondness for some particular garment.

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