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For my own part I shall not scruple to mention men by name, that, with examples before us, we may the more easily perceive the successive steps of the ruin and decay of eloquence.

Maternus here interrupted him. Rather prepare yourself to fulfil your promise. We do not want proof of the superior eloquence of the ancients; as far as I am concerned, it is admitted. We are inquiring into the causes, and these you told us but now you had been in the habit of discussing, when you were less excited and were not raving against the eloquence of our age, just before Aper offended you by attacking your ancestors.

I was not offended, replied Messala, by our friend Aper's argument, nor again will you have a right to be offended, if any remark of mine happens to grate on your ears, for you

EDUCATION AT FAULT
know that it is a rule in these discussions that we may speak out our convictions without impairing mutual good-will.

Proceed, said Maternus. As you are speaking of the ancients, avail yourself of ancient freedom, from which we have fallen away even yet more than from eloquence.

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