Pliny Epistulae Selectae

ISBN 13: 9780217470490

Epistulae Selectae

9780217470490: Epistulae Selectae

This historic book may have numerous typos and missing text. Purchasers can download a free scanned copy of the original book (without typos) from the publisher. Not indexed. Not illustrated. 1893. Excerpt: ... rage XV. (II. 14.) 43 To Maximus. ARGUMENT. Business in the Centumviral Court, in which our author is much engaged, is fatiguing rather than pleasant, for the cases and the persons concerned are of small importance; and then impudent, unknown young men come here to get practice in declamation, starting in their careers where they should end. In the olden time admission to the bar of this court was a difficult thing. Now men with utter shamelessness rush in without waiting for an introduction. Hearers worthy of these pleaders come in to give applause in return for pay, which is openly handed them, and, hired to applaud, they go from court to court. The Greeks appropriately call them "professional applauders "; the Romans name them "tableflatterers." This iniquitous practice is growing day by day. Even the attendants of our author hire themselves to others to do this work. For a certain sum crowds collect, and cheer upon cheer breaks forth when a signal is given. It makes no difference whether these applauders hear the speaker or not, they are vociferous in their cheers. Without taking the trouble to listen to the speeches, you may know how the speakers are doing, for the one who receives the loudest applause merits it least. Quintilian told our author that Licinus introduced this custom, although he only invited an audience. Domitius Afer, while making a heavy speech in court, was interrupted by uproarious applause in au adjacent room. Learning that Licinus was speaking, he closed his case with the declaration that eloquence was dead. Really it was then only beginning to decline; now it has almost perished. The speakers' pronunciation is affected, and the shrill-voiced cheering needs only cymbals and tambourines to be complete. Howlings, which would be out...

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