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[73] In employing this form of ornament we must be especially careful that the subject chosen for our simile is neither obscure nor unfamiliar: for anything that is selected for the purpose of illuminating [p. 253] something else must itself be clearer than that which it is designed to illustrate. Therefore while we may permit poets to employ such similes as:—

As when Apollo wintry Lycia leaves,
And Xanthus' streams, or visits Delos' isle,
His mother's home,

Aen. iv. 143.
it would be quite unsuitable for an orator to illustrate something quite plain by such obscure allusions.

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