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[52] Illustrative examples also involve allegory if not preceded by an explanation; for there are numbers of sayings available for use like the “Dionysius is at Corinth,”1 which is such a favourite with the Greeks. When, however, an allegory is too obscure, we call it a riddle: such riddles are, in my opinion, to be regarded as blemishes, in view of the fact that lucidity is a virtue; nevertheless they are used by poets, as, for example, by Virgil2 in the following lines:
“Say in what land, and if thou tell me true,
I'll hold thee as Apollo's oracle,
Three ells will measure all the arch of heaven.
Even orators sometimes use them,

1 The allusion must be to the fact that Dionysius II, tyrant of Syracuse, on his expulsion from the throne, migrated to Corinth and set up as a schoolmaster. Its application is uncertain, but it would obviously be a way of saying “How are the mighty fallen I”

2 Ecl. iii. 104; the solution is lost.

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