The Orations of Marcus Tullius Cicero, Volume 4 eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 784 pages of information about The Orations of Marcus Tullius Cicero, Volume 4.

“Patris mei mecum factum pudet,” for meorum factorum,


“Texitur:  exitium examen rapit,” for exitiorum,

does not say “liberum” as many of us do say in such an expression as cupidos liberum, or in liberum loco, but, as these men approve,

“Neque tuum unquam in gremium extollas liberorum ex te genus.”

And again he says,—­

“Namque aesculapi liberorum....”

And another of these poets says in his Chryses, not only

“Cives, antiqui amici majorum meum,”

which was common enough; but he says, with a much more unmusical sound,—­

“Consilium, augurium, atque extum interpretes.”

And again he goes on—­

“Postquam prodigium horriferum, putentfum pavos,”

which are not at all usual contractions in a string of words which are all neuter.  Nor should I much like to say armum judicium, though the expression occurs in that same poet,—­

“Nihilne ad te de judicio armum accidit?”

instead of armorum.  But I do venture (following the language of the censor’s returns) to say jabrum and procum, instead of fabrorum and procorum.  And I actually never by any chance say duorum virorum judicium, or triumvirorum capitalium, or decemvirorum litibus judicandis.

And Attius said—­

“Video sepulchra dua duorum corporam.”

And at another time he has said,—­

“Mulier una duum virum.”

I know which is proper; but sometimes I speak according to the licence of the present fashion, so far as to say Proh Deum, or Proh Deorum; and at other times I speak as I am forced to, when I say trium virum, not virorum, and sestertium nummum, not nummorum; because with respect to these words there is no variety of usage.

XLVII.  What am I to say is the reason why they forbid us to say nosse, judicasse, and enjoin us to use novisse and judicavisse? as if we did not know that in words of this kind it is quite correct to use the word at full length, and quite in accordance with usage to use it in its contracted form.  And so Terence does use both forms, and says,—­

“Eho, tu cognatum tuum non noras?”

And afterwards he has,—­

“Stilphonem, inquam, noveras?”

Siet is the word at full length; sit is the contracted form.  One may use either; and so we find in the same passage,—­

  “Quam cara sint, quae post carendo intelligunt,
  Quamque attinendi magni dominatus sient.”

Nor should I find fault with

“Scripsere alii rem.”

I am aware that scripserunt is the more correct form; but I willingly comply with a fashion which is agreeable to the ears.

“Idem campus habet,”

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The Orations of Marcus Tullius Cicero, Volume 4 from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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