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[8] For debate the chief requisites are a quick and nimble understanding and a shrewd and ready judgment. For there is no time to think; the advocate must speak at once and return the blow almost before it has been dealt by his opponent. Consequently while it is most important for every portion of the case that the advocate should not merely have given a careful study to the whole case, but that he should have it at his fingers' ends, when he comes to the debate it is absolutely necessary that he should possess a thorough acquaintance with all the persons, instruments and circumstances of time and place involved: otherwise he will often be reduced [p. 507] to silence and forced to give a hurried assent to those who prompt him as to what he should say, suggestions which are often perfectly fatuous owing to excess of zeal on the part of the prompter. As a result it sometimes happens that we are put to the blush by too ready acceptance of the foolish suggestions of another.

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load focus Latin (Harold Edgeworth Butler, 1921)
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