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[15] For even great authors have their blemishes, for which they have been censured by competent critics and have even reproached each other. I only wish that imitators were more likely to improve on the good things than to exaggerate the blemishes of the authors whom they seek to copy. And even those who have sufficient critical acumen to avoid the faults of their models will not find it sufficient to produce a copy of their merits, amounting to no more than a superficial resemblance, or rather recalling those sloughs which, according to Epicurus, are continually given off by material things.1

1 Epicurus held that all sense-perception was caused by the impact of such atomic sloughs: cp. Lucret. iv. 42 sqq.

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