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[19] In some cases instinct, and not reason, must supply the touchstone, as, for example, in the line:1
“A sow was slain to ratify their pacts.
Here the poet, by inventing the word porca, succeeded in producing an elegant impression, whereas if lie had used the masculine porcuis, the very reverse would have been the case. In some cases, however, the incongruity is obvious enough. It was only the other day that we laughed with good reason at the poet who wrote:
“The youngling mice had gnawed
Within its chest the purple-bordered gown.

[p. 223]

1 Aen. viii. 641.

2 Camillus originally means a “young boy.”

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