ground of argument

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Now under these circumstances, and considering that none of us can quite set ourselves above public opinion, wouldn't a trifling concession to that opinion be-- Come, sir,' said Rugg, 'I will put it on the lowest ground of argument, and say, amiable?
This combination of happenstance--the shape Kemple chooses for his figure, his arbitrary designation of the image as one "of sacrifice," the randomly lifted bit about Egyptian pyramids--provides the ground of argument for much of the rest of the chapter's extended treatment.