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[7] Again, their epigrams, the sole objects of their quest, seem all the more striking because of the dreariness and squalor of their context, since flashes are more clearly seen against a background, not of mere “shade,” as Cicero1 says, but of pitchy darkness. Well, let the world credit them with as much genius as it pleases, so long as it is admitted that such praise is an insult to any man of real eloquence.

1 de Or. III. xxvi. 101.

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