Moreover, most of our orators delight in
devices of the pettiest kind, which seriously considered are merely ludicrous, but at the moment of
their production flatter their authors by a superficial
semblance of wit. Take, for instance, the exclamation
from the scholastic theme, where a man, after being
ruined by the barrenness of his land, is shipwrecked and hangs himself: “Let him whom
neither earth nor sea receives, hang in mid air.”
Quintilian. With An English Translation. Harold Edgeworth Butler. Cambridge. Cambridge, Mass., Harvard University Press; London, William Heinemann, Ltd. 1922.
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