"Would that the lofty pine on Pelion's brow Had never fall'n beneath the woodman's axe!"
For if the beam of fir had never fallen to the ground, that Argo would not have been built; and yet there was not in the beams any unavoidably efficient power. But when
"The fork'd and fiery bolt of Jove"
was hurled at Ajax's vessel, that ship was then inevitably burnt.
And again, there is a difference between causes, because some are such that without any particular eagerness of mind, without any expressed desire or opinion, they effect what is, as it were, their own work; as for instance, "that everything must die which has been born." But other results are effected either by some desire or agitation of mind, or by habit, or nature, or art, or chance. By desire, as in your case, when you read this book; by agitation, as in the case of any one who fears the ultimate issue of the present crisis; by habit, as in the case of a man who gets easily and rapidly in a passion; by nature, as vice increases every day; by art, as in the case of a man who paints well; by chance, as in the case of a man who has a prosperous voyage. None of these things are without some cause, and yet none of them are wholly owing to any single cause. But causes of this kind are not necessary ones.
XVII. But in some of these causes there is a uniform operation, and in others there is not. In nature and in art there is uniformity; but in the others there is none. But still of those causes which are not uniform, some are evident, others are concealed. Those are evident which touch the desire or judgment of the mind; those are concealed which are subject to fortune: for as nothing is done without some cause, this very obscure cause, which works in a concealed manner, is the issue of fortune. Again, these results which are produced are partly unintended, partly intentional. Those are unintended which are produced by necessity; those are intentional which are produced by design. But those results which are produced by fortune are either unintended or intentional. For to shoot an arrow is an act of intention; to hit a man whom you did not mean to hit is the result of fortune. And this is the topic which you use like a battering-ram in your forensic pleadings; if a weapon has flown from the man's hand rather than been thrown by him. Also agitation of mind may be divided into absence of knowledge and absence of intention. And although they are to a certain extent voluntary, (for they are diverted from their course by reproof or by admonition,) still they are liable to such emotions that even those acts of theirs which are intentional sometimes seem either unavoidable, or at all events unintentional.
The whole topic of these causes then being now fully explained, from their differences there is derived a great abundance of arguments in all the important discussions of orators and philosophers. And in the cases which you lawyers argue, if there is not so plentiful a stock, what there are, are perhaps more subtle and shrewd. For in private actions the decisions in the most important cases appear to me to depend a great deal on the acuteness of the lawyers. For they are constantly present, and are taken into counsel; and they supply weapons to able advocates whenever they have recourse to their professional wisdom.
In all those judicial proceedings then, in which the words "according to good faith" are added, or even those words, "as ought to be done by one good man to another;" and above all, in all cases of arbitration respecting matrimonial rights, in which the words "juster and better" occur, the lawyers ought to be always ready. For they know what "dishonest fraud," or "good faith," or "just," or "good" mean. They are acquainted with the law between partners; they know what the man who has the management of the affairs of another is bound to do with respect to him whose affairs he manages; they have laid down rules to show what the man who has committed a charge to another, and what he who has had it committed to him, ought to do; what a husband ought to confer on his wife, and a wife on her husband. It will, therefore, when they have by diligence arrived at a proper understanding of the topics from which the necessary arguments are derived, be in the power not only of orators and philosophers, but of lawyers also, to discuss with abundance of argument all the questions which can arise for their consideration.
XVIII. Conjoined to this topic of causes is that topic which is supplied by causes. For as cause indicates effect, so what has been effected points out what the efficient cause has been. This topic ordinarily supplies to orators and poets, and often to philosophers also, that is to say, to those who have an elegant and argumentative and rich style of eloquence, a wonderful store of arguments, when they predict what will result from each circumstance. For the knowledge of causes produces a knowledge of effects.
The remaining topic is that of comparison, the genus and instances of which have been already explained, as they have in the case of the other topics. At present we must explain the manner of dealing with this one. Those things then are compared which are greater than one another, or less than one another, or equal to one another. In which these points are regarded; number, appearance, power, and some particular relation to some particular thing.
Things will be compared in number thus: so that more advantages may be preferred to fewer; fewer evils to more; more lasting advantages to those which are more short-lived; those which have an extensive application to those the effect of which is narrowed: those from which still further advantages may be derived, and those which many people may imitate and reproduce.
Things again will be compared with reference to their appearance, so that those things may be preferred which are to be desired for their own sake, to those which are only sought for the sake of something else: and so that innate and inherent advantages may be preferred to acquired and adventitious ones; complete good to mixed good; pleasant things to things less pleasant; honourable things to such as are merely useful; easy things to difficult ones; necessary to unnecessary things; one's own advantage to that of others; rare things to common ones; desirable things to those which you can easily do without; things complete to things which are only begun; wholes to parts; things proceeding on reason to things void of reason; voluntary to necessary things; animate to inanimate things; things natural to things not natural; things skilfully produced by art to things with which art has no connexion.
But power in a comparison is perceived in this way: an efficient cause is more important than one which effects nothing; those causes which can act by themselves are superior to those which stand in need of the aid of others; those which are in our power are preferable to those which are in the power of another; lasting causes surpass those which are uncertain; things of which no one can deprive us are better than things which can be easily taken away.
But the way in which people or things are disposed towards some things is of this sort: the interests of the chief citizens are more important than those of the rest: and also, those things which are more agreeable, which are approved of by more people, or which are praised by the most virtuous men, are preferable. And as in a comparison these things are the better, so those which are contrary to them are the worse.
But the comparison between things like or equal to each other has no elation or submission; for it is on equal terms: but there are many things which are compared on account of their very equality; which are usually concluded in this manner: "If to assist one's fellow-citizens with counsel and personal aid deserves equal praise, those men who act as counsellors ought to enjoy an equal glory with those who are the actual defenders of a state." But the first premiss is certainly the case; therefore so must the consequent be.
Every rule necessary for the discovery of arguments is now concluded; so that as you have proceeded from definition, from partition, from observation, from words connected with one another, from genus, from species, from similarity, from difference, from contraries, from accessories, from consequents, from antecedents, from things inconsistent with one another, from causes, from effects, from a comparison with greater, or lesser, or equal things,—there is no topic of argument whatever remaining to be discovered.
XIX. But since we originally divided the inquiry in such a way that we said that other topics also were contained in the very matter which was the subject of inquiry; (but of those we have spoken at sufficient length:) that others were derived from external subjects; and of these we will say a little; although those things have no relation whatever to your discussions. But still we may as well make the thing complete, since we have begun it. Nor are you a man who take no delight in anything except civil law; and since this treatise is dedicated to you, though not so exclusively but that it will also come into the hands of other people, we must take pains to be as serviceable as possible to those men who are addicted to laudable pursuits.
This sort of argumentation then which is said not to be founded on art, depends on testimony. But we call everything testimony which is deduced from any external circumstances for the purpose of implanting belief. Now it is not every one who is of sufficient weight to give valid testimony; for authority is requisite to make us believe things. But it is either a man's natural character or his age which invests him with authority. The authority derived from a man's natural character depends chiefly on his virtue; but on his age there are many things which confer authority; genius, power, fortune, skill, experience, necessity, and sometimes even a concourse of accidental circumstances. For men think able and opulent men, and men who have been esteemed during a long period of their lives, worthy of being believed Perhaps they are not always right; but still it is not easy to change the sentiments of the common people; and both those who form judgments and those who adopt vague opinions shape everything with reference to them. For those men who are eminent for those qualities which I have mentioned, seem to be eminent for virtue itself. But in the other circumstances also which I have just enumerated, although there is in them no appearance of virtue, still sometimes belief is confirmed by them, if either any skill is displayed,—for the influence of knowledge in inspiring belief is very great; or any experience—for people are apt to believe those who are men of experience.
XX. Necessity also engenders belief, which sways both bodies and minds. For what men say when worn out with tortures, and stripes, and fire, appears to be uttered by truth itself. And those statements which proceed from agitation of mind, such as pain, cupidity, passion, and fear, because those feelings have the force of necessity, bring authority and belief. And of this kind are those circumstances from which at times the truth is discovered; childhood, sleep, ignorance, drunkenness, insanity. For children have often indicated something, though ignorant to what it related; and many things have often been discovered by sleep, and wine, and insanity. Many men also have without knowing it fallen into great difficulties, as lately happened to Stalenus; who said things in the hearing of certain excellent men, though a wall was between them, which, when they were revealed and brought before a judicial tribunal, were thought so wicked that he was rightly convicted of a capital offence. And we have heard something similar concerning Pausanias the Lacedaemonian.
But the concourse of fortuitous events is often of this kind; when anything has happened by chance to interrupt, when anything was being done or said which it was desirable should not have been done or said. Of this kind is that multitude of suspicions of treason which were heaped upon Palamedes. And circumstances of this kind are sometimes scarcely able to be refuted by truth itself. Of this kind too is ordinary report among the common people; which is as it were the testimony of the multitude.
But those things which create belief on account of the virtue of the witness are of a two-fold kind; one of which is valid on account of nature, the other by industry. For the virtue of the gods is eminent by nature; but that of men, because of their industry.
Testimonies of this kind are nearly divine, first of all, that of oration, (for oracles were so called from that very same word, as there is in them the oration of the gods;) then that of things in which there are, as it were, many divine works; first of all, the word itself, and its whole order and ornaments; then the airy flights and songs of birds; then the sound and heat of that same air; and the numerous prodigies of divers kinds seen on the earth; and also, the power of foreseeing the future by means of the entrails of victims: many things, too, which are shown to the living by those who are asleep: from all which topics the testimonies of the gods are at times adduced so as to create belief.
In the case of a man, the opinion of his virtue is of the greatest weight. For opinion goes to this extent, that those men have virtue, not only who do really possess it, but those also who appear to possess it. Therefore, those men whom they see endowed with genius and diligence and learning, and whose life they see is consistent and approved of, like Cato and Laelius, and Scipio, and many others, they consider such men as they themselves would wish to be. And not only do they think them such who enjoy honours conferred on them by the people, and who busy themselves with affairs of state, but also those who are orators, and philosophers, and poets, and historians; from whose sayings and writings authority is often sought for to establish belief.
XXI. Having thus explained all the topics serviceable for arguing, the first thing to be understood is, that there is no discussion whatever to which some topic or other is not applicable; and on the other hand, that it is not every topic which is applicable to every discussion; but that different topics are suited to different subjects.
There are two kinds of inquiry: one, infinite; the other, definite. The definite one is that which the Greeks call [Greek: hupothesis], and we, a cause; the infinite one, that which they call [Greek: thesis], and which we may properly term a proposition.
A cause is determined by certain persons, places, times, actions, and things, either all or most of them; but a proposition is declared in some one of those things, or in several of them, and those not the most important: therefore, a proposition is a part of a cause. But the whole inquiry is about some particular one of those things in which causes are contained; whether it be one, or many, or sometimes all. But of inquiries, concerning whatever thing they are, there two kinds; one theoretical, the other practical. Theoretical inquiries are those of which the proposed aim is science; as, 'If it is inquired whether right proceeds from nature, or from some covenant, as it were, and bargain between men. But the following are instances of practical inquiry: "Whether it is the part of a wise man to meddle with statesmanship." The inquiries into theoretical matters are threefold; as what is inquired is, whether a thing exists, or what it is, or what its character is. The first of these queries is explained by conjecture; the second, by definition; the third, by distinctions of right and wrong.
The method of conjecture is distributed into four parts; one of which is, when the inquiry is whether something exists; a second, when the question is, whence it has originated; a third, when one seeks to know what cause produced it; the fourth is that in which the alterations to which the subject is liable are examined: "Whether it exists or not; whether there is anything honourable, anything intrinsically and really just; or whether these things only exist in opinion." But the inquiry whence it has originated, is when an inquiry is such as this, "Whether virtue is implanted by nature, or whether it can be engendered by instruction." But the efficient cause is like this, as when an inquiry is, "By what means eloquence is produced." Concerning the alterations of anything, in this manner: "Whether eloquence can by any alteration be converted into a want of eloquence."
XXII. But when the question is what a thing is; the notion is to be explained, and the property, and the division, and the partition. For these things are all attributed to definition. Description also is added, which the Greeks call [Greek: charaktaer]. A notion is inquired into in this way: "Whether that is just which is useful to that person who is the more powerful." Property, in this way: "Whether melancholy is incidental to man alone, or whether beasts also are liable to it." Division, and also partition, in this manner: "Whether there are three descriptions of good things." Description, like this: "What sort of person a miser is; what sort of person a flatterer;" and other things of that sort, by which the nature and life of a man are described.
But when the inquiry is what the character of something is, the inquiry is conducted either simply, or by way of comparison. Simply, in this way: "Whether glory is to be sought for." By way of comparison, in this way: "Whether glory is to be preferred to riches." Of simple inquiries there are three kinds; about seeking for or avoiding anything, about the right and the wrong; about what is honourable and what is discreditable. But of inquiries by way of comparison there are two; one of the thing itself and something else; one of something greater and something else. Of seeking for and avoiding a thing, in this way: "Whether riches are to be sought for: whether poverty is to be avoided." Concerning right and wrong: "Whether it is right to revenge oneself, whoever the person may be from whom one has received an injury." Concerning what is honourable and what is discreditable: "Whether it is honourable to die for one's country." But of the other kind of inquiry, which has been stated to be twofold, one is about the thing in question and something else; as if it were asked, "What is the difference between a friend and a flatterer, between a king and a tyrant?" The other is between something greater and something less; as if it were asked, "Whether eloquence is of more consequence than the knowledge of civil law." And this is enough about theoretical inquiries.
It remains to speak of practical ones; of which there are two kinds: one relating to one's duty, the other to engendering, or calming, or utterly removing any affection of the mind. Relating to duty thus: as when the question is, "Whether children ought to be bad." Relating to influencing the mind, when exhortations are delivered to men to defend the republic, or when they are encouraged to seek glory and praise: of which kind of addresses are complaints, and encouragements, and tearful commiseration; and again, speeches extinguishing anger, or at other times removing fear, or repressing the exultation of joy, or effacing melancholy. As these different divisions belong to general inquiries, they are also transferable to causes.
XXIII. But the next thing to be inquired is, what topics are adapted to each kind of inquiry; for all those which we have already mentioned are suitable to most kinds; but still, different topics, as I have said before, are better suited to different investigations. Those arguments are the most suitable to conjectural discussion which can be deduced from causes, from effects, or from dependent circumstances. But when we have need of definition, then we must have recourse to the principles and science of defining. And akin to this is that other argument also which we said was employed with respect to the subject in question and something else; and that is a species of definition. For if the question is, "Whether pertinacity and perseverance are the same thing," it must be decided by definitions. And the topics which are incidental to a discussion of this kind are those drawn from consequents, or antecedents, or inconsistencies, with the addition also of those two topics which are deduced from causes and effects. For if such and such a thing is a consequence of this, but not a consequence of that; or if such and such a thing is a necessary antecedent to this, but not to that; or if it is inconsistent with this, but not with that; or if one thing is the cause of this, and another the cause of that; or if this is effected by one thing, and that by another thing; from any one of these topics it may be discovered whether the thing which is the subject of discussion is the same thing or something else.
With respect to the third kind of inquiry, in which the question is what the character of the matter in question is, those things are incidental to the comparison which were enumerated just now under the topic of comparison. But in that kind of inquiry where the question is about what is to be sought for or avoided, those arguments are employed which refer to advantages or disadvantages, whether affecting the mind or body, or being external. And again, when the inquiry is not what is honourable or discreditable, all our argument must be addressed to the good or bad qualities of the mind.
But when right and wrong are being discussed, all the topics of equity are collected. These are divided in a two-fold manner, as to whether they are such by nature or owing to institutions. Nature has two parts to perform, to defend itself, and to indicate right. But the agreements which establish equity are of a threefold character: one part is that which rests on laws; one depends on convenience; the third is founded on and established by antiquity of custom. And again, equity itself is said to be of a threefold nature: one division of it having reference to the gods above; another, to the shades below; a third, to mankind. The first is called piety; the second, sanctity; the third, justice or equity.
XXIV. I have said enough about propositions. There are now a few things which require to be said about causes. For they have many things in common with propositions.
There are then three kinds of causes; having for their respective objects, judgment, deliberation, and panegyric. And the object of each points out what topics we ought to employ in each. For the object of judicial judgment is right; from which also it derives its name. And the divisions of right were explained when we explained the divisions of equity. The object of deliberation is utility; of which the divisions have also been already explained when we were treating of things to be desired. The object of panegyric is honour; concerning which also we have already spoken.
But inquiries which are definite are all of them furnished with appropriate topics, as if they belonged to themselves, being divided into accusation and defence. And in them there are these kinds of argumentation. The accuser accuses a person of an act; the advocate for the defence opposes one of these excuses: either that the thing imputed has not been done; or that, if it has been done, it deserves to be called by a different name; or that it was done lawfully and rightly. Therefore, the first is called a defence either by way of denial or by way of conjecture; the second is called a defence by definition; the third, although it is an unpopular name, is called the judicial one.
XXV. The arguments proper to these excuses, being derived from the topics which we have already set forth, have been explained in our oratorical rules. But the refutation of an accusation, in which there is a repelling of a charge, which is called in Greek [Greek: stasis], is in Latin called status. On which there is founded, in the first place, such a defence as may effectually resist the attack. And also, in the deliberations and panegyrics the same refutations often have place. For it is often denied that those things are likely to happen which have been stated by some or other in his speech as sure to take place; if it can be shown either that they are actually impossible, or that they cannot be brought about without extreme difficulty. And in this kind of argumentation the conjectural refutation takes place. But when there is any discussion about utility, or honour, or equity, and about those things which are contrary to one another, then come in denials, either of the law or of the name of the action. And the same is the case in panegyrics. For one may either deny that that has been done which the person is praised for; or else that it ought to bear that name which the praiser has conferred on it, or else one may altogether deny that it deserves any praise at all, as not having been done rightly or lawfully. And Caesar employed all these different kinds of denial with exceeding impudence when speaking against my friend Cato. But the contest which arises from a denial is called by the Greeks [Greek: krinomenon]; I, while writing to you, prefer calling it "the precise point in dispute." But for the parts within which this discussion on the point in dispute is contained, they may be called the containing parts; being as it were the foundations of the defence; and if they are taken away there would be no defence at all. But since in arguing controversies there ought to be nothing which has more weight than the law itself, we must take pains to have the law as our assistant and witness. And in this there are, as it were, other new denials, which are called legitimate subjects of discussion. For then it is urged in defence, that the law does not say what the adversary states it to say, but something else. And that happens when the terms of the law are ambiguous, so that they can be understood in two different senses. Then the intention of the framer is opposed to the letter of the law; so that the question is, whether the words or the intention ought to have the greatest validity? Then again, another law is adduced contrary to this law. So there are three kinds of doubts which can give rise to a dispute with respect to every written document; ambiguity of expression, discrepancy between the expression and the intention, and also written documents opposed to the one in question. For this is evident; that these kinds of disputes are no more incidental to laws than to wills, or covenants, or to anything else which is contained in writing. And the way to treat these topics is explained in other books.
XXVI. Nor is it only entire pleadings which are assisted by these topics, but the same are useful in the separate parts of an orator; being partly peculiar and partly general. As in the opening of a speech, in which the orator must employ peculiar topics in order to render his hearers well disposed to him, and docile, and attentive. And also he must attend to his relations of facts, so that they may have a bearing on his object, that is to say, that they may be plain, and brief, and intelligible, and credible, and respectable, and dignified: for although these qualities ought to be apparent throughout the whole speech, still they are peculiarly necessary in any narration. But since the belief which is given to a narration is engendered by persuasiveness, we have already, in the treatises which we have written on the general subject of oratory, explained what topics they are which have the greatest power to persuade the hearers. But the peroration has other points to attend to, and especially amplification; the effect of which ought to be, that the mind of the hearer is agitated or tranquillized by it; and if it has already been affected in that way, that the whole speech shall either increase its agitation, or calm it more completely.
For this kind of peroration, by which pity, and anger, and hatred, and envy, and similar feelings of the mind are excited, rules are furnished in those books, which you may read over with me whenever you like. But as to the point on which I have known you to be anxious, your desires ought now to be abundantly satisfied. For, in order not to pass over anything which had reference to the discovery of arguments in every sort of discussion, I have embraced more topics than were desired by you; and I have done as liberal sellers often do, when they have sold a house or a farm, the movables being all excepted from the sale, still give some of them to the purchaser, which appear to be well placed as ornaments or conveniences. And so we have chosen to throw in some ornaments that were not strictly your due, in addition to that with which we had bound ourselves to furnish you.
* * * * *
A DIALOGUE CONCERNING ORATORICAL PARTITIONS.
BY MARCUS TULLIUS CICERO.
* * * * *
The persons introduced in this dialogue are Cicero and his son. It is not known when, or under what circumstances it was written.
I. Cicero Fil. I wish, my father, to hear from you in Latin the rules which you have already given me in Greek, concerning the principles of speaking, if at least you have leisure and inclination to instruct me in them.
Cicero Pat. Is there anything, my Cicero, which I can be more desirous of than that you should be as learned as possible? And in the first place, I have the greatest possible leisure, since I have been able to leave Rome for a time; and in the next place, I would willingly postpone even my own most important occupations to the furthering of your studies.
C. F. Will you allow me, then, to ask you questions in my turn, in Latin, about the same subjects on which you are accustomed to put questions to me in regular order in Greek?
C. P. Certainly, if you like; for by that means I shall perceive that you recollect what you have been told, and you will hear in regular order all that you desire.
C. F. Into how many parts is the whole system of speaking divided?
C. P. Into three.
C. F. What are they?
C. P. First of all, the power of the orator; secondly, the speech; thirdly, the subject of the speech.
C. F. In what does the power of the orator consist?
C. P. In ideas and words. But both ideas and words have to be discovered and arranged. But properly the expression "to discover" applies to the ideas, and the expression "to be eloquent" to the language; but the arranging, though that is common to both, still is usually referred rather to the discovery. Voice, gesture, expression of countenance, and all action, are companions of eloquence; and the guardian of all these things is memory.
C. F. What? How many parts of an oration are there?
C. P. Four: two of them relate to explaining any subject,—namely, relation and confirmation; two to exciting the minds of the hearers,—the opening and the peroration.
C. F. What? Has the manner of inquiry any divisions?
C. P. It is divided into the infinite, which I term consultation; and the definite, which I call the cause.
II. C. F. Since, then, the first business of the orator is discovery, what is he to look for?
C. P. He is to seek to find out how to inspire those men whom he is desirous to persuade, with belief in his words; and how to affect their minds with such and such feelings.
C. F. By what means is belief produced?
C. P. By arguments, which are derived from topics either existing in the subject itself, or assumed.
C. F. What do you mean by topics?
C. P. Things in which arguments are concealed.
C. F. What is an argument?
C. P. Something discovered which has a probable influence in producing belief.
C. F. How, then, do you divide these two heads?
C. P. Those things which come into the mind without art I call remote arguments, such as testimony.
C. F. What do you mean by those topics which exist in the thing itself?
C. P. I cannot give a clearer explanation of them.
C. F. What are the different kinds of testimony?
C. P. Divine and human. Divine,—such as oracles, auspices, prophecies, the answers of priests, soothsayers, and diviners: human,—which is derived from authority, from inclination, and from speech either voluntary or extorted; and under this head come written documents, covenants, promises, oaths, inquiries.
C. F. What are the arguments which you say belong to the cause?
C. P. Those which are fixed in the things themselves, as definition, as a contrary, as those things which are like or unlike, or which correspond to or differ from the thing itself or its contrary, as those things which have as it were united, or those which are as it were inconsistent with one another, or the causes of those things which are under discussion, or the results of causes, that is to say, those things which are produced by causes, as distributions, and the genera of parts, or the parts of genera, as the beginnings and as it were outriders of things, in which there is some argument, as the comparisons between things, as to which is greater, which is equal, which is less, in which either the natures or the qualities of things are compared together.
III. C. F. Are we then to derive arguments from all these topics?
C. P. Certainly we must examine into them all, and seek them from all, but we must exercise our judgment in order at all times to reject what is trivial, and sometimes pass over even common topics, and those which are not necessary.
C. F. Since you have now answered me as to belief, I wish to hear your account of how one is to raise feelings.
C. P. It is a very reasonable question, but what you wish to know will be explained more clearly when I come to the system of orations and inquiries themselves.
C. F. What, then, comes next?
C. P. When, you have discovered your arguments, to arrange them properly, and in an extensive inquiry the order of the topics is very nearly that which I have set forth, but in a definite one, we must use those topics also which relate to exciting the required feelings in the minds of the hearers.
C. F. How, then, do you explain them?
C. P. I have general precepts for producing belief and exciting feelings. Since belief is a firm opinion, but feelings are an excitement of the mind either to pleasure, or to vexation, or to fear, or to desire, (for there are all these kinds of feelings, and many divisions of each separate genus,) I adapt all my arrangement to the object of the inquiry. For the end in a proposition is belief, in a cause, both belief and feeling wherefore, when I have spoken of the cause, in which proposition is involved, I shall have spoken of both.
C. F. What have you then to say about the cause?
C. P. That it is divided according to the divisions of hearers. For they are either listeners, who do nothing more than hear; or judges, that is to say, regulators both of the fact and of the decision; so as either to be delighted or to determine something. But he decides either concerning the past as a judge, or concerning the future as a senate. So there are three kinds,—one of judgment, one of deliberation, one of embellishment; and this last, because it is chiefly employed in panegyric, has its peculiar name from that.
IV. C. F. What objects shall the orator propose to himself in these three kinds of oratory?
C. P. In embellishment, his aim must be to give pleasure; in judicial speaking, to excite either the severity or the clemency of the judge; but in persuasion, to excite either the hope or the fear of the assembly which is deliberating.
C. F. Why then do you choose this place to explain the different kinds of disputes?
C. P. In order to adapt my principles of arrangement to the object of each separate kind.
C. F. In what manner?
C. P. Because in those orations in which pleasure is the object aimed at, the orders of arrangement differ. For either the degrees of opportunities are preserved, or the divisions of genera; or we ascend from the less to the greater, or we glide down from the greater to the less; or we distinguish between them with a variety of contrasts, when we oppose little things to great ones, simple things to complex ones, things obscure to things which are plain, what is joyful to what is sad, what is incredible to what is probable; all which topics are parts of embellishment.
C. F. What? What is your aim in a deliberative speech?
C. P. There must either be a short opening, or none at all. For the men who are deliberating are ready for their own sake to hear what you have to say. And indeed it is not often that there is much to be related; for narration refers to things either present or past, but persuasion has reference to the future. Wherefore every speech is to be calculated to produce belief, and to excite the feelings.
C. F. What next? What is the proper arrangement in judicial speeches?
C. P. The arrangement suitable to the accuser is not the same as that which is good for the accused person; because the accuser follows the order of circumstances, and puts forward vigorously each separate argument, as if he had a spear in his hand; and sums them up with vehemence; and confirms them by documents, and decrees, and testimonies; and dwells carefully on each separate proof; and avails himself of all the rules of peroration which are of any force to excite the mind; and in the rest of his oration he departs a little from the regular tenor of his argument; and above all, is he earnest in summing up, for his object is to make the judge angry.
V. C. F. What, on the other hand, is the person accused to do?
C. P. He is to act as differently as possible in every respect. He must employ an opening calculated to conciliate good-will. Any narrations which are disagreeable must be cut short; or if they are wholly mischievous, they must be wholly omitted; the corroborative proofs calculated to produce belief must be either weakened or obscured, or thrown into the shade by digressions. And all the perorations must be adapted to excite pity.
C. F. Can we, then, always preserve that order of arrangement which we desire to adopt?
C. P. Surely not; for the ears of the hearers are guides to a wise and prudent orator; and whatever is unpleasing to them must be altered or modified.
C. F. Explain to me then now, what are the rules for the speech itself, and for the expressions to be contained in it.
C. P. There is, then, one kind of eloquence which seems fluent by nature; another which appears to have been changed and modified by art. The power of the first consists in simple words; that of the second, in words in combination. Simple words require discovery; combined expressions stand in need of arrangement.
And simple expressions are partly natural, partly discovered. Those are natural which are simply appellative; those are discovered which are made of those others, and remodelled either by resemblance, or by imitation, or by inflection, or by the addition of other words. And again, there is this distinction between words: some are distinguished according to their nature; some according to the way in which they are handled: some by nature, so that they are more sonorous, more grave, or more trivial, and to a certain extent neater: but others by the way in which they are handled, when either the peculiar names of things are taken, or else others which are added to the proper name, or new, or old-fashioned, or in some way or other modified and altered by the orator,—such as those which are used in borrowed senses, or changed, or those which we as it were misuse; or those which we make obscure; which we in some incredible manner remove altogether; and which we embellish in a more marvellous manner than the ordinary usage of conversation sanctions.
VI. C. F. I understand you now as far as simple expressions go; now I ask about words in combination.
C. P. There is a certain rhythm which must be observed in such combination, and a certain order in which words must follow one another. Our ears themselves measure the rhythm; and guard against your failing to fill up with the requisite words the sentence which you have begun, and against your being too exuberant on the other hand. But the order in which words follow one another is laid down to prevent an oration being a confused medley of genders, numbers, tenses, persons, and cases; for, as in simple words, that which is not Latin, so in combined expressions, that which is not well arranged, deserves to be blamed.
But there are these five lights, as it were, which are common to both single words and combined expressions,—they must be clear, concise, probable, intelligible, agreeable. Clearness is produced by common words, appropriate, well arranged, in a well-rounded period: on the other hand, obscurity is caused by either too great length, or a too great contraction of the sentence; or by ambiguity; or by any misuse or alteration of the ordinary sense of the words. But brevity is produced by simple words, by speaking only once of each point, by aiming at no one object except speaking clearly. But an oration is probable, if it is not too highly decorated and polished; if there is authority and thought in its expressions; if its sentiments are either dignified, or else consistent with the opinions and customs of men. But an oration is brilliant, if expressions are used which are chosen with gravity, and used in metaphorical and hyperbolical senses; and if it is also full of words suited to the circumstances, and reiterated, and having the same sense, and not inconsistent with the subject under discussion, and with the imitation of things: for this is one part of an oration which almost brings the actual circumstances before our eyes, for then the sense is most easily arrived at but still the other senses also, and especially the mind itself, can be influenced by it. But the things which have been said about a clear speech, all have reference also to the brilliant one which we are now speaking of, for this is only a kind somewhat more brilliant than that which I have called clear. By one kind we are made to understand, but by the other one we actually appear to see. But the kind of speaking which is agreeable, consists first of all of an elegance and pleasantness of sounding and sweet words, secondly, of a combination which has no harsh unions of words, nor any disjoined and open vowels, and it must also be bounded with limited periods, and in paragraphs easily to be pronounced, and full of likeness and equality in the sentences. Then again, arguments derived from contrary expressions must be added, so that repetitions must answer to repetitions, like to like and expressions must be added, repeated, redoubled, and even very frequently reiterated, the construction of the sentences must at one time be compacted by means of conjunctions, and at another relaxed by separation of the clauses. For an oration becomes agreeable when you say anything unexpected, or unheard of, or novel, for whatever excites wonder gives pleasure. And that oration especially influences the hearer which unites several affections of the mind, and which indicate the amiable manners of the orator himself, which are represented either by signifying his own opinion, and showing it to proceed from a humane and liberal disposition, or by a turn in the language, when for the sake either of extolling another or of disparaging himself, the orator seems to say one thing and mean another, and that too seems to be done out of courtesy rather than out of levity. But there are many rules for sweetness in speaking, which may make a speech either more obscure or less probable, therefore, while on this topic, we must decide for ourselves what the cause requires.
VII C. F. It remains, then, now for you to speak of the alterations and changes in a speech.
C. P. The whole of that, then, consists in the alteration of words, and that alteration is managed in such a way in the case of single words, that the style may either be dilated by words, or contracted. It may be dilated, when a word which is either peculiar, or which has the same signification, or which has been coined on purpose, is extended by paraphrase. Or again, in another way, when a definition is held down to a single word, or when expressions borrowed from something else are banished, or made use of in a roundabout sense, or when one word is made up out of two. But in compound words a threefold change can be made, not of words, but only of order, so that when a thing has once been said plainly, as nature itself prompts, the order may be inverted, and the expression may be repeated, turned upside down, as it were, or backwards and forwards. Then again the same expression may be reiterated in a mutilated, or re arranged, form. But the practice of speaking is very much occupied in all these kinds of conversion.
C. F. The next point is action, if I do not mistake.
C. P. It is so, and that must be constantly varied by the orator, in correspondence with the importance of his subjects and of his expressions. For the orator makes an oration clear, and brilliant, and probable, and agreeable, not only by his words, but also by the variety of his tones, by the gestures of his body, by the changes of his countenance, which will be of great weight if they harmonize with the character of his address, and follow its energy and variety.
C. F. Is there nothing remaining to be said about the orator himself?
C. P. Nothing at all, except as to memory, which is in a certain manner the sister of writing, and though in a different class greatly resembles it. For as it consists of the characters of letters, and of that substance on which those characters are impressed, so a perfect memory uses topics, as writing does wax, and on them arranges its images as if they were letters.
VIII C. F. Since, then, you have thus explained all the power of an orator, what have you to tell me about the rules for an oration?
C. P. That there are four divisions in an oration, of which the first and last are of avail to excite such and such feelings in the mind, for they are to be excited by the openings and perorations of speeches: the second is narration: and the third, being confirmation, adds credibility to a speech. But although amplification has its own proper place, being often in the opening of a speech, and almost always at the end still it may be employed also in other parts of the speech especially when any point has been established, or when the orator has been finding fault with something. Therefore, it is of the very greatest influence in producing belief. For amplification is a sort of vehement argumentation; the one being used for the sake of teaching, the other with the object of acting on the feelings.
C. F. Proceed, then, to explain to me these four divisions in regular order.
C. P. I will do so; and I will begin with the opening of a speech, which is usually derived either from the persons concerned, or from the circumstances of the case. And openings are employed with three combined objects, that we may be listened to with friendly feelings, intelligently and attentively. And the first topic employed in openings has reference to ourselves, to our judges, and to our adversaries; from which we aim at laying the foundations of good-will towards us, either by our own merits, or by our dignity, or by some kind of virtue, and especially by the qualities of liberality, duty, justice, and good faith; and also by imputing opposite qualities to our adversaries, and by intimating that the judges themselves have some interest on our side, either in existence, or in prospect. And if any hatred has been excited against, or any offence been given by us, we then apply ourselves to remove or diminish that, by denying or extenuating the cause, or by atoning for it, or by deprecating hostility.
But in order that we may be listened to in an intelligent and attentive manner, we must begin with the circumstances of the case themselves. But the hearer learns and understands what the real point in dispute is most easily if you, from the first beginning of your speech, embrace the whole genus and nature of the cause,—if you define it, and divide it, and neither perplex his discernment by the confusion, nor his memory by the multitude, of the several parts of your discourse; and all the things which will presently be said about lucid narration may also with propriety be considered as bearing on this division too. But that we may be listened to with attention, we must do one of these things. For we must advance some propositions which are either important, or necessary, or connected with the interests of those before whom the discussion is proceeding. This also may be laid down as a rule, that, if ever the time itself, or the facts of the case, or the place, or the intervention of any one, or any interruption, or anything which may have been said by the adversary, and especially in his peroration, has given us any opportunity of saying anything well suited to the occasion, we must on no account omit it. And many of the rules, which we give in their proper place, about amplification, may be transferred here to the consideration of the opening of a speech.
IX. C. F. What next? What rules, then, are to be attended to in narration?
C. P. Since narration is an explanation of facts, and a sort of base and foundation for the establishment of belief, those rules are most especially to be observed in it, which apply also, for the most part, to the other divisions of speaking; part of which are necessary, and part are assumed for the sake of embellishment. For it is necessary for us to narrate events in a clear and probable manner; but we must also attend to an agreeable style. Therefore, in order to narrating with clearness, we must go back to those previous rules for explaining and illustrating facts, in which brevity is enjoined and taught. And brevity is one of the points most frequently praised in narration, and we have already dwelt enough upon it. Again, our narrative will be probable, if the things which are related are consistent with the character of the persons concerned, with the times and places mentioned,—if the cause of every fact and event is stated,—if they appear to be proved by witnesses,—if they are in accordance with the opinions and authority of men, with law, with custom, and with religion,—if the honesty of the narrator is established, his candour, his memory, the uniform truth of his conversation, and the integrity of his life. Again, a narration is agreeable which contains subjects calculated to excite admiration, expectation, unlooked-for results, sudden feelings of the mind, conversations between people, grief, anger, fear, joy, desires. However, let us proceed to what follows.
C. F. What follows is, I suppose, what relates to producing belief.
C. P. Just so; and those topics are divided into confirmation and reprehension. For in confirmation we seek to establish our own assertion; in reprehension, to invalidate those of our adversaries. Since, then, everything which is ever the subject of a dispute, is so because the question is raised whether it exists or not, or what it is, or of what character it is, in the first question conjecture has weight, in the second, definition, and in the third, reasoning.
X. C. F. I understand this division. At present, I ask, what are the topics of conjecture?
C. P. They arise from probabilities, and turn wholly on the peculiar characteristics of things. But for the sake of instructing you, I will call that probable which is generally done in such and such a way as it is probable that youth should be rather inclined to lust. But the indication of an appropriate characteristic is something which never happens in any other way, and which declares something which is certain as smoke is a proof of fire. Probabilities are discovered from the parts and, as it were, members of a narration. They exist in persons, in places, in times, in facts, in events, in the nature of the facts and circumstances which may be under discussion.
But in persons, the first things considered are the natural qualities of health, figure, strength, age, and whether they are male or female. And all these concern the body alone. But the qualities of the mind, or how they are affected, depends on virtues, vices, arts, and want of art, or in another sense, on desire, fear, pleasure, or annoyance. And these are the natural circumstances which are principally considered.
In fortune, we look at a man's race, his friends, his children, his relations, his kinsmen, his wealth, his honours, his power, his estates, his freedom, and also at all the contraries to these circumstances. But in respect of place, some things arise from nature as, whether a place is on the coast or at a distance from the sea, whether it is level or mountainous, whether it is smooth or rough, wholesome or pestilential, shady or sunny, these again are fortuitous circumstances,—whether a place is cultivated or uncultivated frequented or deserted, full of houses or naked, obscure or ennobled by the traces of mighty exploits, consecrated or profane.
XI. But in respect of time, one distinguishes between the present, and the past, and the future. And in these divisions there are the further subdivisions of ancient, recent, immediate, likely to happen soon, or likely to be very remote. In time there are also these other divisions, which mark, as it were natural sections of time as winter, spring, summer and autumn. Or again, the periods of the year: as a month, a day, a night, an hour, a season, all these are natural divisions. There are other accidental divisions such as days of sacrifice, days of festival, weddings. Again, facts and events are either designed or unintentional, and these last arise either from pure accident, or from some agitation of mind, by accident when a thing has happened in a different way from what was expected,—from some agitation, when either forgetfulness, or mistake, or fear, or some impulse of desire has been the acting cause. Necessity, too, must be classed among the causes of unintentional actions or results.
Again, of good and bad things there are three classes. For they can exist either in men's minds or bodies, or they may be external to both of these materials, then, as far as they are subordinate to argument, all the parts must be carefully turned over in the mind, and conjectures bearing on the subject before us must be derived from each part.
There is also another class of arguments which is derived from traces of a fact, as a weapon, blood, an outcry which has been raised, trepidation, changes of complexion, inconsistency of explanation, trembling, or any of these circumstances which can be perceived by our senses, or if anything appears to have been prepared, or communicated to any one, or if anything has been seen or heard, or if any information has been given.
But of probabilities some influence us separately by their own weight, some, although they appear trifling by themselves, still, when all collected together, have great influence. And in such probabilities as these there are sometimes some unerring and peculiar distinguishing characteristics of things. But what produces the surest belief in a probability is, first of all, a similar instance, then the similarity of the present case to that instance sometimes even a fable, though it is an incredible one, has its influence, nevertheless, on men's minds.
XII. C. F. What next? What is the principle of definition, and what is the system of it?
C. P. There is no doubt but that definition belongs to the genus, and is distinguishable by a certain peculiarity of the characteristics which it mentions, or else by a number of common circumstances, from which we may extract something which looks like a peculiar property. But since there is often very great disagreement about what are peculiar properties, we must often derive our definitions from contraries, often from things dissimilar, often from things parallel. Wherefore descriptions also are often suitable in this kind of address, and an enumeration of consequences, and above all things, an explanation of the names and terms employed, is most effectual.
C. F. You have now then explained nearly all the questions which arise about a fact, or about the name given to such fact. The next thing is, when the fact itself and its proper title are agreed upon, that a doubt arises as to what its character is.
C. P. You are quite right.
C. F. What divisions, then, are there in this part of the argument?
C. P. One urges either that what has been done has been lawfully done, for the sake either of warding off or of avenging an injury, or under pretext of piety, or chastity, or religion, or one's country, or else that it has been done through necessity, out of ignorance, or by chance. For those things which have been done in consequence of some motion or agitation of the mind, without any positive intention, have, in legal proceedings, no defence if they are impeached, though they may have an excuse if discussed on principles unfettered by strict rules of law. In this class of discussion, in which the question is, what the character of the act is, one inquires, in the terms of the controversy, whether the act has been rightly and lawfully done or not; and the discussion on these points turns on a definition of the before-mentioned topics.
C. F. Since, then, you have divided the topics to give credit to an oration into confirmation and reprehension, and since you have fully discussed the one, explain to me now the subject of reprehension.
C. P. You must either deny the whole of what the adversary has assumed in argumentation, if you can show it to be fictitious or false, or you must refute what he has assumed as probable. First of all, you must urge that he has taken what is doubtful as if it were certain; in the next place, that the very same things might be said in cases which were evidently false; and lastly, that these things which he has assumed do not produce the consequences which he wishes to be inferred from them. And you must attack his details, and by that means break down his whole argument. Instances also must be brought forward which were overruled in a similar discussion; and you must wind up with the complaints of the condition of the general danger, if the life of innocent men is exposed to the ingenuity of men devoted to calumny.
XIII. C. F. Since I know now whence arguments can be derived which have a tendency to create belief, I am waiting to hear how they are severally to be handled in speaking.
C. P. You seem to be inquiring about argumentation, and as to how to develop arguments.
C. F. That is the very thing that I want to know.
C. P. The development, then, of an argument is argumentation; and that is when you assume things which are either certain or at least probable, from which to derive a conclusion, which taken by itself is doubtful, or at all events not very probable. But there are two kinds of arguing, one of which aims directly at creating belief, the other principally looks to exciting such and such feelings. It goes straight on when it has proposed to itself something to prove, and assumed grounds on which it may depend; and when these have been established, it comes back to its original proposition, and concludes. But the other kind of argumentation, proceeding as it were backwards and in an inverse way, first of all assumes what it chooses, and confirms it; and then, having excited the minds of the hearers, it throws on to the end that which was its original object. But there is this variety, and a distinction which is not disagreeable in arguing, as when we ask something ourselves, or put questions, or express some command, or some wish, as all these figures are a kind of embellishment to an oration. But we shall be able to avoid too much sameness, if we do not always begin with the proposition which we desire to establish, and if we do not confirm each separate point by dwelling on it separately, and if we are at times very brief in our explanation of what is sufficiently clear, and if we do not consider it at all times necessary to sum up and enumerate what results from these premises when it is sufficiently clear.
XIV. C. F. What comes next? Is there any way or any respect in which those things which are said to be devoid of art, and which you said just now were accessories to the main argument, require art?
C. P. Indeed they do. Nor are they called devoid of art because they really are so, but because it is not the art of the orator which produces them, but they are brought to him from abroad, as it were, and then he deals with them artistically; and this is especially the case as to witnesses. For it is often necessary to speak of the whole class of witnesses, and to show how weak it is; and to urge that arguments refer to facts, testimony to inclination; and one must have recourse to precedents of cases where witnesses were not believed; and with respect to individual witnesses, if they are by nature vain, trifling, discreditable, or if they have been influenced by hope, by fear, by anger, by pity, by bribery, by interest; and they must be compared with the authority of the witnesses in the case cited, where the witnesses were not believed. Often, also, one must resist examinations under torture, because many men, out of a desire to avoid pain, have often told lies under torture; and have preferred dying while confessing a falsehood to suffering pain while persisting in their denial. Many men, also, have been indifferent to the preservation of their own life, as long as they could save those who were dearer to them than they were to themselves; others, owing to the nature of their bodies, or to their being accustomed to pain, or because they feared punishment and execution, have endured the violence of torture; others, also, have told lies against those whom they hated. And all these arguments are to be fortified by instances. Nor is it at all uncertain that (since there are instances on both sides of a question, and topics also for forming conjectures on both sides) contrary arguments must be used in contrary cases. There is, also, another method of disparaging witnesses, and examinations under torture; for often those answers which have been given may be attacked very cleverly, if they have been expressed rather ambiguously or inconsistently, or with any incredible circumstances; or in different ways by different witnesses.
XV. C. F. The end of the oration remains to be spoken of by you; and that is included in the peroration, which I wish to hear you explain?
C. P. The explanation of the peroration is easy; for it is divided into two parts, amplification and enumeration. And the proper place for amplification is in the peroration, and also in the course of the oration there are opportunities of digressing for the purpose of amplification, by corroborating or refuting something which has been previously said. Amplification, then, is a kind of graver affirmation, which by exciting feelings in the mind conciliates belief to one's assertion. It is produced by the kind of words used, and by the facts dwelt upon. Expressions are to be used which have a power of illustrating the oration; yet such as are not unusual, but weighty, full-sounding, sonorous, compound, well-invented, and well-applied, not vulgar; borrowed from other subjects, and often metaphorical, not consisting of single words, but dissolved into several clauses, which are uttered without any conjunction between them, so as to appear more numerous. Amplification is also obtained by repetition, by iteration, by redoubling words, and by gradually rising from lower to loftier language; and it must be altogether a natural and lively sort of speech, made up of dignified language, well suited to give a high idea of the subject spoken of. This then is amplification as far as language goes. To the language there must be adapted expression of tone, of countenance, and gesture, all in harmony together and calculated to rouse the feelings of the hearers. But the cause must be maintained both by language and action, and carried on according to circumstances. For, because these appear very absurd when they are more vehement than the subject will bear, we must diligently consider what is becoming to each separate speaker, and in each separate case.
XVI. The amplification of facts is derived from all the same topics as those arguments which are adduced to create belief. And above all things, a number of accumulated definitions carries weight with it, and a repeated assertion of consequents, and a comparison of contrary and dissimilar facts, and of inconsistent circumstances. Causes too, and those things which arise from causes, and especially similarities and instances, are efficacious; so also are imaginary characters. Lastly, mute things may be introduced as speaking, and altogether all things are to be employed (if the cause will allow of them) which are considered important; and important things are divisible into two classes. For there are some things which seem important by nature, and some by use. By nature, as heavenly and divine things, and those things the causes of which are obscure, as those things which are wonderful on the earth and in the world, from which and from things resembling which, if you only take care, you will be able to draw many arguments for amplifying the dignity of the cause which you are advocating. By use; which appear to be of exceeding benefit or exceeding injury to men; and of these there are three kinds suitable for amplification.
For men are either moved by affection, for instance, by affections for the gods, for their country, or for their parents; or by love, as for their wives, their brothers, their children, or their friends; or by honourableness, as by that of the virtues, and especially of those virtues which tend to promote sociability among men, and liberality. From them exhortations are derived to maintain them; and hatred is excited against, and commiseration awakened for those by whom they are violated.
XVII. It is a very proper occasion for having recourse to amplification, when these advantages are either lost, or when there is danger of losing them. For nothing is so pitiable as a man who has become miserable after having been happy. And this is enough to move us greatly, if any one falls from good fortune; and if he loses all his friends; and if we have it briefly explained to us what great happiness he is losing or has lost, and by what evils he is overwhelmed, or is about to be overwhelmed. For tears soon dry, especially at another's misfortunes. Nor is there anything which it is less wise to exhaust than amplification. For all diligence attends to minutiae; but this topic requires only what is on a large scale. Here again is a matter for a man's judgment, what kind of amplification we should employ in each cause. For in those causes which are embellished for the sake of pleasing the hearers, those topics must be dealt with, which can excite expectation, admiration, or pleasure. But in exhortations the enumerations of instances of good and bad fortune, and instances and precedents, are arguments of great weight. In trials those topics are the most suitable for an accuser which tend to excite anger; those are usually the most desirable for a person on his trial which relate to raising pity. But some times the accuser ought to seek to excite pity, and the advocate for the defence may aim at rousing indignation.
Enumeration remains; a topic sometimes necessary to a panegyrist, not often to one who is endeavouring to persuade; and more frequently to a prosecutor than to a defendant. It has two turns, if you either distrust the recollection of those men before whom you are pleading, either on account of the length of time that has elapsed since the circumstances of which you are speaking, or because of the length of your speech; in this case your cause will have the more strength if you bring up numberless corroborative arguments to strengthen your speech, and explain them with brevity. And the defendant will have less frequent occasion to use them, because he has to lay down propositions which are contrary to them: and his defence will come out best if it is brief, and full of pungent stings. But in enumeration, it will be necessary to avoid letting it have the air of a childish display of memory; and he will best avoid that fault who does not recapitulate every trifle, but who touches on each particular briefly, and dwells only on the more weighty and important points.
XVIII. C. F. Since you have now discussed the orator himself and his oration, explain to me now the topic of questions, which you reserved for the last of the three.
C. P. There are, as I said at the beginning, two kinds of questions: one of which, that which is limited to times and persons, I call the cause; the other, which is infinite, and bounded neither by times nor by persons, I call the proposition. But consultation is, as it were, a part of the cause and controversy. For in the definite there is what is infinite, and nevertheless everything is referred to it. Wherefore, let us first speak of the proposition; of which there are two kinds: one of investigation; the end of this science, as for instance, whether the senses are to be depended upon; the other of action, which has reference to doing something: as if any one were to inquire by what services one ought to cultivate friendship. Again, of the former, namely, of investigation, there are three kinds: whether a thing is, or is not; what it is; of what sort it is. Whether it is or not, as whether right is a thing existing by nature or by custom. But what a thing is, as whether that is right which is advantageous to the greater number. And again, what sort of a thing anything is, as whether to live justly is useful or not.
But of action there are two kinds. One having reference to pursuing or avoiding anything; as for instance, by what means you can acquire glory, or how envy may be avoided. The other, which is referred to some advantage or expediency; as how the republic ought to be managed, or how a man ought to live in poverty.
But again in investigation, when the question is whether a thing is, or is not, or has been, or is likely to be. One kind of question is, whether anything can be effected; as when the question is whether any one can be perfectly wise. Another question is, how each thing can be effected; as for instance, by what means virtue is engendered, by nature, or reason, or use. And of this kind are all those questions in which, as in obscure subjects or those which turn on natural philosophy, the causes and principles of things are explained.
XIX. But of that kind in which the question is what that is which is the subject of discussion, there are two sorts; in the one of which one must discuss whether one thing is the same as another, or different from it; as whether pertinacity is the same as perseverance. But in the other one must give a description and representation as it were of some genus; as for instance, what sort of a man a miser is, or what pride is.
But in the third kind, in which the question is what sort of thing something is, we must speak either of its honesty, or of its utility, or of its equity. Of its honesty thus. Whether it is honourable to encounter danger or unpopularity for a friend. But of its expediency thus. Whether it is expedient to occupy oneself in the conduct of state affairs. But of its equity thus. Whether it is just to prefer one's friend to one's relations. And in the same kind of discussion, in which the question is what sort of thing something is, there arises another kind of way of arguing. For the question is not simply what is honourable, what is expedient, what is equitable; but also by comparison, which is more honourable, which is more expedient, which is more equitable; and even which is most honourable, which is most expedient, which is most equitable. Of which kind are those speculations, which is the most excellent dignity in life. And all these questions, as I have said before, are parts of investigation.
There remains the question of action. One kind of which is conversant with the giving of rules which relate to principles of duty; as, for instance, how one's parents are to be reverenced. And the other to tranquillising the minds of men and healing them by one's oration; as in consoling affliction, in repressing ill-temper, in removing fear, or in allaying covetousness. And this kind is exactly opposed to that by means of which the speaker proposes to engender those same feelings of the mind, or to excite them, which it is often requisite to do in amplifying an oration. And these are nearly all the divisions of consultation. XX. C. F. I understand you. But I should like to hear from you what in these divisions is the proper system for discovering and arranging the heads of one's discourse.
C. P. What? Do you think it is a different one, and not the same which has been explained, so that everything may be deduced from the same topics, both to create belief, and to discover arguments? But the system of arrangement which has been explained as appropriate to other kinds of speeches may be transferred to this also.
Since therefore we have now investigated the entire arrangement of the consultations which we proposed to discuss, the kinds of causes are now the principal things which remain. And their species is twofold; one of which aims at affording gratification to the ears, while the whole object of the other is to obtain, and prove, and effect the purpose which it has in view. Therefore the former is called embellishment, and as that may be a kind of extensive operation, and sufficiently various, we have selected one instance of it which we adopt for the purpose of praising illustrious men, and of vituperating the wicked ones. For there is no kind of oration which can be either more fertile in its topics, or more profitable to states, or in which the orator is bound to have a more extensive acquaintance with virtues and vices. But the other class of causes is conversant either with the foresight of the future, or with discussions on the past. One of which topics belongs to deliberation and the other to judgment. From which division three kinds of causes have arisen; one, which, from the best portion of it, is called that of panegyric; another that of deliberation; the third that of judicial decisions. Wherefore let us first, if you please, discuss the first.
C. F. Certainly, I do please.
XXI. C. P. And the systems of blaming and praising, which have influence not only on speaking well but also on living honourably, I will explain briefly; and I will begin from the first principles of praise and blame. For everything is to be praised which is united with virtue; and everything which is connected with vice is to be blamed. Wherefore the end of the one is honour, of the other baseness. But this kind of discourse is composed of the narration and explanation of facts, without any argumentations, in a way calculated to handle the feelings of the mind gently rather than to create belief or to confirm it in a suitable manner. For they are not doubtful points which are established in this way; but those which being certain, or at least admitted as certain, are enlarged upon. Wherefore the rules for narrating them and enlarging upon them must be sought for from among those which have been already laid down.
And since in these causes the whole system has reference generally to the pleasure and entertainment of the hearer, the speakers must employ in them all the beauties of those separate expressions which have in them the greatest amount of sweetness. That is, he must often use newly-coined words, and old-fashioned words, and metaphorical language; and in the very construction of his periods he must often compare like with like, and parallel cases with parallel. He must have recourse to contrasts, to repetitions, to harmoniously-turned sentences, formed not like verses, but to gratify the sensations of the ears by as it were a suitable moderation of expression. And those ornaments are frequently to be employed, which are of a marvellous and unexpected character, and also those which are full of monsters, and prodigies, and oracles. And also those things must be mentioned which appeared to have befallen the man of whom the orator is speaking in consequence of some divine interposition, or decree of destiny. For all the expectation and admiration of the hearer, and all unexpected terminations, contribute to the pleasure which is felt in listening to the orator.
XXII. But since advantages or evils are of three classes, external, affecting the mind, or affecting the body, the first are external which are derived from the genus; and this being praised in brief and moderate terms, or, if it is discreditable, being passed over; if it is of a lowly nature, being either passed over, or handled in such a way as to increase the glory of him whom you are praising. In the next place, if the case allows it, we must speak of his fortune and his abilities, and after that of his personal qualifications; among which it is very natural to praise his beauty, which is one of the greatest indications of virtue. After that we must come to his actions. The arrangement is threefold. For we must have regard either to the order of time, or the most recent actions must be spoken of first, or else many and various actions of his must be classified according to the different kinds of virtue which they display. But this topic of virtues and vices, which is a very extensive one, will now be brought into a very brief and narrow compass, instead of the many and various volumes in which philosophers have discussed it.
The power of virtue then is twofold, for virtue is distinguished either by theory or by practice. For that which is called prudence, or shrewdness, or (if we must have the most dignified title for it) wisdom, is all theoretical. But that which is praised as regulating the passions, and restraining the feelings of the mind, finds its exercise in practice. And its name is temperance. And prudence when exerted in a man's own business is called domestic, when displayed in the affairs of the state is called civil prudence. But temperance in like manner is divided according to its sphere of action, whether displayed in a man's own affairs, or in those of the state. And it is discerned in two ways with respect to advantages, both by not desiring what it has not got, and by abstaining from what it is in its power to get. Again, in the case of disadvantages it is also twofold; for that quality which resists impending evils is called fortitude; that which bears and endures the evil that is present is termed patience. And that which embraces these two qualities is called magnanimity. And one of the forms of this virtue is shown in the use of money. And at the same time loftiness of spirit in supporting disadvantages, and especially injuries, and everything of the sort, being grave, sedate, and never turbulent. But that division of virtue which is exercised between one being and another is called justice. And that when exercised towards the gods is called religion; towards one's relations, affection; towards all the world, goodness; when displayed in things entrusted to one, good faith; as exhibited in moderation of punishment, lenity; when it develops itself in goodwill towards an individual its name is friendship.
XXIII. And all these virtues are visible in practice. But there are others, which are as it were the handmaidens and companions of wisdom; one of which distinguishes between and decides what arguments in a discussion are true or false, and what follows from what premises. And this virtue is wholly placed in the system and theory of arguing; but the other virtue belongs to the orator. For eloquence is nothing but wisdom speaking with great copiousness; and while derived from the same source as that which is displayed in disputing, is more rich, and of wider application, better suited to excite the minds of men and to work on the feelings of the common people. But the guardian of all the virtues, which avoids all conspicuousness, and yet attains the greatest eminence of praise, is modesty. And these are for the most part certain habits of mind, so affected and disposed as to be each of them distinguished from one another by some peculiar kind of virtue; and according as everything is done by one of them, in the same proportion must it be honourable and in the highest degree praiseworthy. But there are other habits also of a well-instructed mind which has been cultivated beforehand as it were, and prepared for virtue by virtuous pursuits and accomplishments: as in a man's private affairs, the studies of literature, as of tunes and sounds, of measurement, of the stars, of horses, of hunting, of arms. In the affairs of the commonwealth his eager pursuit of some particular kind of virtue, which he selects as his especial object of devotion, in discharging his duty to the gods, or in showing careful and remarkable affection to his relations, his friends, or those connected with family ties of hospitality. And these then are the different kinds of virtue. But those of vice are their exact contraries.
But these also must be examined carefully, so that those vices may not deceive us which appear to imitate virtue. For cunning tries to assume the character of prudence, and moroseness, in despising pleasures, wishes to be taken for temperance; and pride, which puffs a man up, and which affects to despise legitimate honours, seeks to vaunt itself as magnanimity; prodigality calls itself liberality, audacity imitates courage, hardhearted sternness imitates patience, bitterness justice, superstition religion, weakness of mind lenity, timidity modesty, captiousness and carping at words wishes to pass for acuteness in arguing, and an empty fluency of language for this oratorical vigour at which we are aiming. And those, too, appear akin to virtuous pursuits, which run to excess in the same class.
Wherefore all the force of praise or blame must be derived from these divisions of virtues and vices. But in the whole context, as it were, of the oration, these points must above all others be made clear,—how each person spoken of has been born, how he has been educated, how he has been trained, and what are his habits; and if any great or surprising thing has happened to any one, especially if anything which has happened should appear to have befallen him by the interposition of the gods; and also whatever the person in question has thought, or said, or done, must be adapted to the different kinds of virtue which have been enumerated, and from the same topics we must inquire into the causes of things, and the events, and the consequences. Nor ought the death of those men, whose life is praised, to be passed over in silence; provided only, there be anything noticeable either in the manner of their death, or in the consequences which have resulted from their death.
XXIV. C. F. I have attended to what you say, and I have learnt briefly, not only how to praise another, but also how to endeavour to deserve to be praised myself. Let us, then, consider in the next place what system and what rules we are to observe in delivering our sentiments.
C. P. In deliberation, then, the end aimed at is utility, to which everything is referred in giving counsel, and in delivering our sentiments, so that the first thing which requires to be noticed by any one who is advising or dissuading from such and such a course of action is what is possible to be done, or what is impossible; or what is necessary to be done, or what is unnecessary. For if a thing be impossible there is no use in deliberating about it, however desirable it may be; and if a thing be necessary, (when I say necessary, I mean such that without it we cannot be safe or free), then that must be preferred to everything else which is either honourable or advantageous in public affairs. But when the question is, What can be done? we must also consider how easily it can be done: for the things which are very difficult are often to be considered in the same light as if they were totally impossible. And when we are discussing necessity, although there may be something which is not absolutely necessary, still we must consider of how much importance it is. For that which is of very great importance indeed, is often considered necessary. Therefore, as this kind of cause consists of persuasion and dissuasion, the speaker who is trying to persuade, has a simple course before him; if a thing is both advantageous and possible, let it be done. The speaker who is trying to dissuade his hearers from some course of action, has a twofold division of his labour. One, if it is not useful it must not be done; the other, if it is impossible it must not be undertaken. And so, the speaker who is trying to persuade must establish both these points; the one whose object it is to dissuade, may be content with invalidating either.