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Chapter XV.—Argument:  Cæcilius Retorts Upon Minucius, with Some Little Appearance of Being Hurt, that He is Foregoing the Office of a Religious Umpire, When He is Weakening the Force of His Argument.  He Says that It Should Be Left to Octavius to Confute All that He Had Advanced.

“You are withdrawing,” says Cæcilius, “from the office of a religious judge; for it is very unfair for you to weaken the force of my pleading by the interpolation of a very important argument, since Octavius has before him each thing that I have said, sound and unimpaired, if he can refute it.”  “What you are reproving,” said I, “unless I am mistaken, I have brought forward for the common advantage, so that by a scrupulous examination we might weigh our decision, not by the pompous style of the eloquence, but by the solid character of the matter itself.  Nor must our attention, as you complain, be any longer called away, but with absolute silence let us listen to the reply of our friend Januarius,17551755    Scil. “Octavius.” who is now beckoning to us.”

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