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For myself, replied Maternus, I do not think that you have completed the task which you undertook. Far from it. You have, I think, only made a beginning, and indicated, so to say, its traces and outlines. You have indeed described to us the usual equipment of the ancient orators, and pointed out the contrast presented by our idleness and ignorance to their very diligent and fruitful studies. I want to hear the rest. Having learnt from you what they knew, with which we are unacquainted, I wish also to be told the process of training by which, when mere lads, and when about to enter the forum, they used to strengthen and nourish their intellects. For you will not, I imagine, deny that eloquence depends much less on art and theory than on capacity and practice, and our friends here seem by their looks to think the same.

Aper and Secundus having assented, Messala, so to say, began afresh. As I have, it seems, explained to your satis- faction the first elements and the germs of ancient eloquence in showing you the studies in which the orator of antiquity was formed and educated, I will now discuss the process of his training. However, even the studies themselves involve a training, and no one can acquire such profound and varied knowledge without adding practice to theory, fluency to practice, and eloquence itself to fluency. Hence we infer that the method of acquiring what you mean to produce publicly, and of so producing what you have acquired, is one and the same. Still, if any one thinks this somewhat obscure, and distinguishes broadly between theory and practice, he will at least allow that a mind thoroughly furnished and imbued with such studies will enter with a far better preparation on the kinds of practice which seem specially appropriate to the orator.

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