Translated by William Melmoth.
me mine, at least in the rhetorical forms of the speech; for to catch their sublime spirit, is given, alone, to the "inspired few." My subject, indeed, seemed naturally to lend itself to this (may I venture to call it?) emulation; consisting, as it did, almost entirely in a vehement style of address, even to a degree sufficient to have awakened me (if only I am capable of being awakened) out of that indolence in which I have long reposed. I have not however altogether neglected the flowers of rhetoric of my favourite Marc-Tully, wherever I could with propriety step out of my direct road, to enjoy a more flowery path: for it was energy, not austerity, at which I aimed. I would not have you imagine by this that I am bespeaking your indulgence: on the contrary, to make your correcting pen more vigorous, I will confess that neither my friends nor myself are averse from the publication of this piece, if only you should join in the approval of what is perhaps my folly. The truth is, as I must publish something, I,