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[96] Apt quotation of verse may add to the effect of wit. The lines may be quoted in their entirety without alteration, which is so easy a task that Ovid composed an entire book against bad poets out of lines taken from the quatrains of Macer.1 Such a procedure is rendered specially attractive if it be seasoned by a spice of ambiguity, as in the line which Cicero quoted against Lartius, a shrewd and cunning fellow who was suspected of unfair dealing in a certain case,

Had not Ulysses Lartius intervened.

The author, presumably a tragic poet, is unknown. Lartis= Luertius, son of Laertes.
Or the words may be slightly altered, as in the line quoted against the senator who,

1 Aellilius Macer, a contemporary of Virgil and Horace. The work presumably consisted of epigrams, four lines long.

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