I. Therefore, it is not in doubt that certain, if you will, riches ought to be prepared by him, so that he is able to use them whenever it will be desired: these consist in an abundance of materials and words. But materials are specific to each case or common to a few, words must be made ready for cases in general (=without specific application). And if these were specific to individual matters, they would require lesser attention, for they would immediately present themselves together with the matters themselves. But since some words are more literal or more figurative or more efficient or more sonorous for some things and others for others, words ought to be not only known, but right at hand, and so to speak, in sight, so that when they have presented themselves to the judgement of the speaker, the choice of the best ones from these is easy. And I know people who are wont to learn words which mean the same thing, both so that one word from the many occurs to them more easily and so that, when they have used some word, if within a brief span of time it were desired again, on account of avoiding repetition they would take up another one by which the same thing is able to be understood.
II. Accius and Pacuvius, writers of tragedy among the ancients,
are most illustrious for the seriousness of their ideas, the weight of
their words, the authority of their characters. Otherwise, their
polish and finishing touch in revising their works is able to be seen to
fail more because of their times than because of themselves. Nevertheless
more force is attributed to Accius, people who aim to be learned maintain
that Pacuvius seems more learned. Now, the Tyestes of Varus is able
to be a match for anyone of the Greek tragedies you wish. The Medea
of Ovid seems to me to show how much that man could have excelled if he
had preferred to control his own talent rather than to indulge it.
Of those (of the sort) whom I have seen Pomponius Secundus is by far the
leader, whom the men of old used to consider too little tragic, they used
to confess that he excelled in his erudition and his polish.