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17. So, too, numbers born after our time will feel as if they were discussing nature face to face with Lucretius, or the art of rhetoric with Cicero; many of our posterity will confer with Varro on the Latin language; likewise, there will be numerous scholars who, as they weigh many points with the wise among the Greeks, will feel as if they were carrying on private conversations with them. In a word, the opinions of learned authors, though their bodily forms are absent, gain strength as time goes on, and, when taking part in councils and discussions, have greater weight than those of any living men.

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