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[47] For in this passage, with the exception of the proper name, the words bear no more than their literal meaning. But the name does not simply denote the shepherd Menalcas, but is a pseudonym for Virgil himself. Oratory makes frequent use of such allegory, but generally with this modification, that there is an admixture of plain speaking. We get allegory pure and unadulterated in the following passage of Cicero:1 “What I marvel at and complain of is this, that there should exist any man so set on destroying his enemy as to scuttle the ship on which he himself is sailing.”

1 From an unknown speech.

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