Another method of making
light of a statement is to suggest a reason. Cicero
employed this method against Vatinius. The latter
was lame and, wishing to make it seem that his health
was improved, said that he could now walk as much
as two miles. “Yes,” said Cicero, “for the days are
longer.” Again Augustus, when the inhabitants of
Tarraco reported that a palm had sprung up on the
altar dedicated to him, replied, “That shows how
often you kindle fire upon it.”
Quintilian. With An English Translation. Harold Edgeworth Butler. Cambridge. Cambridge, Mass., Harvard University Press; London, William Heinemann, Ltd. 1921.
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