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[21] and indeed had I felt otherwise in this connexion, I might have defended my point with greater boldness and freedom.1 Marcus Antonius declared that he had seen no man who was genuinely eloquent (and to be eloquent is a far less achievement than to be an orator), while Cicero himself has failed to find his orator in actual life and merely imagines and strives to depict the ideal. Shall I then be afraid to say that in the eternity of time that is yet to be, something more perfect may be found than has yet existed?

1 Quintilian's reverence for Cicero is such that he feels hampered in maintaining his thesis.

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