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[87] as for example, when Cascellius,1 on being consulted by a client who said, “I wish to divide my ship,” replied, “You will lose it then.” But there are also other ways of distorting the meaning; we may for instance give a serious statement a comparatively trivial sense, like the man who, when asked what he thought of a man who had been caught in the act of adultery, replied that he had been too slow in his movements.2

1 A famous lawyer mentioned by Horace, A.P. 371. Cascellius pretends to take dividere literally (i.e. cut in two); his client had meant “to sell half his ship,” i.e. take a partner in the venture.

2 de Or. II. lxviii. 275.

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