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[74] The old orators were at great pains to achieve elegance in the use of words similar or opposite in sound. Gorgias carried the practice to an extravagant pitch, while Isocrates, at any rate in his early days, was much addicted to it. Even Cicero delighted in it, but showed some restraint in the employment of a device which is not unattractive save when carried to excess, and, further, by the weight of his thought lent dignity to what would otherwise have been mere trivialities. For in itself this artifice is a flat and foolish affectation, but when it goes hand in hand with vigour of thought, it gives the impression of natural charm, which the speaker has not had to go far to find.

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load focus Introduction (Harold Edgeworth Butler, 1922)
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