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[68] Is not even the most severe form of irony a kind of jest? Afer made a witty use of it when he replied to Didius Callus, who, after making the utmost efforts to secure a provincial government, complained on receiving the appointment that he had been forced into accepting, “Well, then, do something for your country's sake.”1 Cicero also employed metaphor to serve his jest, when on receiving a report of uncertain authorship to the effect that Vatinius was dead, he remarked, “Well, for the meantime I shall [p. 477] make use of the interest.”2

1 i.e. sacrifice your own interests and serve your country or its own sake.

2 The report may be false, but I will enjoy the hope it arouses in me. The capital on which I receive a dividend may be non-existent, but I will enjoy the interest.

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