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[14] When this occurred, the old orators, such as Cicero,1 used to say that some god had inspired the speaker. But the reason is obvious. For profound emotion and vivid imagination sweep on with unbroken force, whereas, if retarded by the slowness of the pen, they are liable to grow cold and, it put off for the moment, may never return. Above all, if we add to these obstacles an unhealthy tendency to quibble over the choice of words, and check our advance at each step, the vehemence of our onset loses its impetus; while even though our choice of individual words may be of the happiest, the style will be a mere patchwork with no regular pattern.

1 No such saying is found in Cicero's extant works.

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