10. You state that my book came into your hands two days before you wrote your letter to me, and that therefore you had no sufficient leisure to make a reply. Otherwise, if you had spoken against me after full thought and preparation, we might think that you were casting forth lightnings rather than accusations. But even so veracious a person as you will hardly gain credence when you tell us that a merchant of Eastern wares whose business is to sell what he has brought from these parts and to buy Italian goods to bring over here for sale, only stayed two days at Aquileia, so that you were obliged to write your letter to me in a hurried and extempore fashion. For your books which it took you three years to put into complete shape are hardly more carefully written. Perhaps, however, you had no one at hand then to amend your sorry productions, and this is the reason why your literary journey is destitute of the aid of Pallas, and is intersected by faults of style, as by rough places and chasms at every turn. It is clear that this statement about the two days is false; you would not have been able in that time even to read what I wrote, much less to reply to it; so that it is evident that either you took a good many days in writing your letter, which its elaborate style makes probable; or, if this is your hasty style of composition, and you can write so well off-hand, you would be very negligent in your composition to write so much worse when you have had time for thought.
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