"On these accounts the senate thinks and declares that the Roman people has been released from the most disgraceful and cruel slavery by the valour, and military skill, and prudence, and firmness, and perseverance, and greatness of mind and good fortune of these their generals. And decrees that, as they have preserved the republic, the city, the temples of the immortal gods, the property and fortunes and families of all the citizens, by their own exertions in battle, and at the risk of their own lives; on account of these virtuous and gallant and successful achievements, Caius Pansa and Aulus Hirtius, the consuls, imperators, one or both of them, or, in their absence, Marcus Cornutus, the city praetor, shall appoint a supplication at all the altars for fifty days. And as the valour of the legions has shown itself worthy of their most illustrious generals, the senate will with great eagerness, now that the republic is recovered, bestow on our legions and armies all the rewards which it formerly promised them. And as the martial legion was the first to engage with the enemy, and fought in such a manner against superior numbers as to slay many and take some prisoners; and as they shed their blood for their country without any shrinking; and as the soldiers of the other legions encountered death with similar valour in defence of the safety and freedom of the Roman people;—the senate does decree that Caius Pansa and Aulus Hirtius, the consuls, imperators, one or both of them if it seems good to them, shall see to the issuing of a contract for, and to the erecting, the most honourable possible monument to those men who shed their blood for the lives and liberties and fortunes of the Roman people, and for the city and temples of the immortal gods; that for that purpose they shall order the city quaestors to furnish and pay money, in order that it may be a witness for the everlasting recollection of posterity of the wickedness of our most cruel enemies, and the god-like valour of our soldiers. And that the rewards which the senate previously appointed for the soldiers, be paid to the parents or children, or wives or brothers of those men who in this war have fallen in defence of their country; and that all honours be bestowed on them which should have been bestowed on the soldiers themselves if those men had lived who gained the victory by their death."
THE TWO BOOKS WHICH REMAIN OF THE TREATISE BY M.T. CICERO ON RHETORICAL INVENTION.
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These essays on rhetoric were composed by Cicero when he was about one and twenty years of age, and he mentions them afterwards in his more elaborate treatise De Oratore, (Lib. i. c. 2,) as unworthy of his more mature age, and more extended experiences. Quintilian also (III. c. 63,) mentions them as works which Cicero condemned by subsequent writings. This treatise originally consisted of four books, of which only two have come down to us.
I. I HAVE often and deeply resolved this question in my mind, whether fluency of language has been beneficial or injurious to men and to cities, with reference to the cultivation of the highest order of eloquence. For when I consider the disasters of our own republic, and when I call to mind also the ancient calamities of the most important states, I see that it is by no means the most insignificant portion of their distresses which has originated from the conduct of the most eloquent men. But, at the same time, when I set myself to trace back, by the aid of written memorials and documents, affairs which, by reason of their antiquity, are removed back out of the reach of any personal recollection, I perceive also that many cities have been established, many wars extinguished, many most enduring alliances and most holy friendships have been cemented by deliberate wisdom much assisted and facilitated by eloquence. And as I have been, as I say, considering all this for some time, reason itself especially induces me to think that wisdom without eloquence is but of little advantage to states, but that eloquence without wisdom is often most mischievous, and is never advantageous to them.
If then any one, neglecting all the most virtuous and honourable considerations of wisdom and duty, devotes his whole attention to the practice of speaking, that man is training himself to become useless to himself, and a citizen mischievous to his country; but a man who arms himself with eloquence in such a manner as not to oppose the advantage of his country, but to be able to contend in behalf of them, he appears to me to be one who both as a man and a citizen will be of the greatest service to his own and the general interests, and most devoted to his country.
And if we are inclined to consider the origin of this thing which is called eloquence, whether it be a study, or an art, or some peculiar sort of training or some faculty given us by nature, we shall find that it has arisen from most honourable causes, and that it proceeds on the most excellent principles.
II. For there was a time when men wandered at random over the fields, after the fashion of beasts, and supported life on the food of beasts; nor did they do anything by means of the reasoning powers of the mind; but almost everything by bodily strength. No attention was as yet paid to any considerations of the religious reverence due to the gods, or of the duties which are owed to mankind: no one had ever seen any legitimate marriages, no one had beheld any children whose parentage was indubitable; nor had any one any idea what great advantage there might be in a system of equal law. And so, owing to error and ignorance, cupidity, that blind and rash sovereign of the mind, abused its bodily strength, that most pernicious of servants, for the purpose of gratifying itself. At this time then a man, a great and a wise man truly was he, perceived what materials there were, and what great fitness there was in the minds of men for the most important affairs, if any one could only draw it out, and improve it by education. He, laying down a regular system, collected men, who were previously dispersed over the fields and hidden in habitations in the woods into one place, and united them, and leading them on to every useful and honourable pursuit, though, at first, from not being used to it they raised an outcry against it; he gradually, as they became more eager to listen to him on account of his wisdom and eloquence, made them gentle and civilized from having been savage and brutal. And it certainly seems to me that no wisdom which was silent and destitute of skill in speaking could have had such power as to turn men on a sudden from their previous customs, and to lead them to the adoption of a different system of life. And, moreover, after cities had been established how could men possibly have been induced to learn to cultivate integrity, and to maintain justice, and to be accustomed willingly to obey others, and to think it right not only to encounter toil for the sake of the general advantage, but even to run the risk of losing their lives, if men had not been able to persuade them by eloquence of the truth of those principles which they had discovered by philosophy? Undoubtedly no one, if it had not been that he was influenced by dignified and sweet eloquence, would ever have chosen to condescend to appeal to law without violence, when he was the most powerful party of the two as far as strength went; so as to allow himself now to be put on a level with those men among whom he might have been preeminent, and of his own free will to abandon a custom most pleasant to him, and one which by reason of its antiquity had almost the force of nature.
And this is how eloquence appears to have originated at first, and to have advanced to greater perfection; and also, afterwards, to have become concerned in the most important transactions of peace and war, to the greatest advantage of mankind? But after that a certain sort of complaisance, a false copyist of virtue, without any consideration for real duty, arrived at some fluency of language, then wickedness, relying on ability, began to overturn cities, and to undermine the principles of human life.
III. And, since we have mentioned the origin, of the good done by eloquence, let us explain also the beginning of this evil.
It appears exceedingly probable to me that was a time when men who were destitute of eloquence and wisdom, were not accustomed to meddle with affairs of state, and when also great and eloquent men were not used to concern themselves about private causes; but, while the most important transactions were managed by the most eminent and able men, I think that there were others also, and those not very incompetent, who attended to the trifling disputes of private individuals; and as in these disputes it often happened that men had recourse to lies, and tried by such means to oppose the truth, constant practice in speaking encouraged audacity, so that it became unavoidable that those other more eminent men should, on account of the injuries sustained by the citizens, resist the audacious and come to the assistance of their own individual friends.
Therefore, as that man had often appeared equal in speaking, and sometimes even superior, who having neglected the study of wisdom, had laboured to acquire nothing except eloquence, it happened that in the judgment of the multitude he appeared a man worthy to conduct even the affairs of the state. And hence it arose, and it is no wonder that it did, when rash and audacious men had seized on the helm of the republic, that great and terrible disasters occurred. Owing to which circumstances, eloquence fell under so much odium and unpopularity that the ablest men, (like men who seek a harbour to escape from some violent tempest) devoted themselves to any quiet pursuit, as a refuge from a life of sedition and tumult. So that other virtuous and honourable pursuits appear to me to have become popular subsequently, from having been cultivated in tranquillity by excellent men; but that this pursuit having been abandoned by most of them, grew out of fashion and obsolete at the very time when it should have been more eagerly retained and more anxiously encouraged and strengthened.
For the more scandalously the temerity and audacity of foolish and worthless men was violating a most honourable and virtuous system, to the excessive injury of the republic, the more studiously did it become others to resist them, and to consult the welfare of the republic.
IV. And this principle which I have just laid down did not escape the notice of Cato, nor of Laelus, nor of their pupil, as I may fairly call him, Africanus, nor of the Gracchi the grandson of Africanus; men in whom there was consummate virtue and authority increased by their consummate virtue and eloquence, which might serve as an ornament to these qualities, and as a protection to the republic. Wherefore, in my opinion at least, men ought not the less to devote themselves to eloquence, although some men both in private and public affairs misuse it in a perverse manner; but I think rather that they should apply themselves to it with the more eagerness, in order to prevent wicked men from getting the greatest power to the exceeding injury of the good, and the common calamity of all men; especially as this is the only thing which is of the greatest influence on all affairs both public and private; and as it is by this same quality that life is rendered safe, and honourable, and illustrious, and pleasant. For it is from this source that the most numerous advantages accrue to the republic, if only it be accompanied by wisdom, that governor of all human affairs. From this source it is that praise and honour and dignity flow towards all those who have acquired it; from this source it is that the most certain and the safest defence is provided for their friends. And, indeed, it appears to me, that it is on this particular that men, who in many points are weaker and lower than the beasts, are especially superior to them, namely, in being able to speak.
Wherefore, that man appears to me to have acquired an excellent endowment, who is superior to other men in that very thing in which men are superior to beasts. And if this art is acquired not by nature only, not by mere practice, but also by a sort of regular system of education, it appears to me not foreign to our purpose to consider what those men say who have left us some precepts on the subject of the attainment of it.
But, before we begin to speak of oratorical precepts, I think we must say something of the nature of the art itself; of its duty, of its end, of its materials, and of its divisions. For when we have ascertained those points, then each man's mind will, with the more ease and readiness, be able to comprehend the system itself, and the path which leads to excellence in it.
V. There is a certain political science which is made up of many and important particulars. A very great and extensive portion of it is artificial eloquence, which men call rhetoric. For we do not agree with those men who think that the knowledge of political science is in no need of and has no connexion with eloquence; and we most widely disagree with those, on the other hand, who think that all political ability Is comprehended under the skill and power of a rhetorician. On which account we will place this oratorical ability in such a class as to assert that it is a part of political science. But the duty of this faculty appears to be to speak in a manner suitable to persuading men; the end of it is to persuade by language. And there is difference between the duty of this faculty and its end; that with respect to the duty we consider what ought to be done; with respect to the end we consider what is suitable to the duty. Just as we say, that it is the duty of a physician to prescribe for a patient in a way calculated to cure him; and that his end is to cure him by his prescriptions. And so we shall understand what we are to call the duty of an orator, and also what we are to call his end; since we shall call that his duty which he ought to do, and we shall term that his end for the sake of which he is bound to do his duty.
We shall call that the material of the art, on which the whole art, and all that ability which is derived from art, turns. Just as if we were to call diseases and wounds the material of medicine, because it is about them that all medical science is concerned. And in like manner, we call those subjects with which oratorical science and ability is conversant the materials of the art of rhetoric. And these subjects some have considered more numerous, and others less so. For Gorgias the Leontine, who is almost the oldest of all rhetoricians, considered that an orator was able to speak in the most excellent manner of all men on every subject. And when he says this he seems to be supplying an infinite and boundless stock of materials to this art. But Aristotle, who of all men has supplied the greatest number of aids and ornaments to this art, thought that the duty of the rhetorician was conversant with three kinds of subjects; with the demonstrative, and the deliberative, and the judicial.
The demonstrative is that which concerns itself with the praise or blame of some particular individual; the deliberative is that which, having its place in discussion and in political debate, comprises a deliberate statement of one's opinion; the judicial is that which, having its place in judicial proceedings, comprehends the topics of accusation and defence; or of demand and refusal. And, as our own opinion at least inclines, the art and ability of the orator must be understood to be conversant with these tripartite materials. VI For Hermagoras, indeed, appears neither to attend to what he is saying, nor to understand what he is promising, for he divides the materials of an orator into the cause, and the examination. The cause he defines to be a thing which has in itself a controversy of language united with the interposition of certain characters. And that part, we too say, is assigned to the orator, for we give him those three parts which we have already mentioned,—the judicial, the deliberative, and the demonstrative. But the examination he defines to be that thing which has in itself a controversy of language, without the interposition of any particular characters, in this way—"Whether there is anything good besides honesty?"—"Whether the senses may be trusted?"—"What is the shape of the world?"—"What is the size of the sun?" But I imagine that all men can easily see that all such questions are far removed from the business of an orator, for it appears the excess of insanity to attribute those subjects, in which we know that the most sublime genius of philosophers has been exhausted with infinite labour, as if they were inconsiderable matters, to a rhetorician or an orator.
But if Hermagoras himself had had any great acquaintance with these subjects, acquired with long study and training, then it would be supposed that he, from relying on his own knowledge, had laid down some false principles respecting the duty of an orator, and had explained not what his art could effect, but what he himself could do. But as it is, the character of the man is such, that any one would be much more inclined to deny him any knowledge of rhetoric, than to grant him any acquaintance with philosophy. Nor do I say this because the book on the art which he published appears to me to have been written with any particular incorrectness, (for, indeed, he appears to me to have shown very tolerable ingenuity and diligence in arranging topics which he had collected from ancient writings on the subject, and also to have advanced some new theories himself,) but it is the least part of the business of an orator to speak concerning his art, which is what he has done: his business is rather to speak from his art, which is what we all see that this Hermagoras was very little able to do. And so that, indeed, appears to us to be the proper materials of rhetoric, which we have said appeared to be such to Aristotle. VII. And these are the divisions of it, as numerous writers have laid them down: Invention; Arrangement; Elocution; Memory; Delivery. Invention, is the conceiving of topics either true or probable, which may make one's cause appear probable; Arrangement, is the distribution of the topics which have been thus conceived with regular order; Elocution, is the adaptation of suitable words and sentences to the topics so conceived; Memory, is the lasting sense in the mind of the matters and words corresponding to the reception of these topics. Delivery, is a regulating of the voice and body in a manner suitable to the dignity of the subjects spoken of and of the language employed.
Now, that these matters have been briefly defined, we may postpone to another time those considerations by which we may be able to elucidate the character and the duty and the object of this art; for they would require a very long argument, and they have no very intimate connexion with the definition of the art and the delivery of precepts relating to it. But we consider that the man who writes a treatise on the art of rhetoric ought to write about two other subjects also; namely, about the materials of the art, and about its divisions. And it seems, indeed, that we ought to treat of the materials and divisions of this art at the same time. Wherefore, let us first consider what sort of quality invention ought to be, which is the most important of all the divisions, and which applies to every description of cause in which an orator can be engaged.
VIII. Every subject which contains in itself any controversy existing either in language or in disputation, contains a question either about a fact, or about a name, or about a class, or about an action. Therefore, that investigation out of which a cause arises we call a stating of a case. A stating of a case is the first conflict of causes arising from a repulse of an accusation; in this way. "You did so and so;"—"I did not do so;"—or, "it was lawful for me to do so." When there is a dispute as to the fact, since the cause is confirmed by conjectures, it is called a conjectural statement. But when it is a dispute as to a name, because the force of a name is to be defined by words, it is then styled a definitive statement. But when the thing which is sought to be ascertained is what is the character of the matter under consideration, because it is a dispute about violence, and about the character of the affair, it is called a general statement. But when the cause depends on this circumstance, either that that man does not seem to plead who ought to plead, or that he does not plead with that man with whom he ought to plead, or that he does not plead before the proper people, at the proper time, in accordance with the proper law, urging the proper charge, and demanding the infliction of the proper penalty, then it is called a statement by way of demurrer; because the arguing of the case appears to stand in need of a demurrer and also of some alteration. And some one or other of these sorts of statement must of necessity be incidental to every cause. For if there be any one to which it is not incidental, in that there can be no dispute at all; on which account it has no right even to be considered a cause at all.
And a dispute as to fact may be distributed over every sort of time. For as to what has been done, an inquiry can be instituted in this way—"whether Ulysses slew Ajax;" and as to what is being done, in this way—"whether the people of Tregellae are well affected towards the Roman people;" and as to what is going to happen, in this way—"if we leave Carthage uninjured, whether any inconvenience will accrue to the republic."
It is a dispute about a name, when parties are agreed as to the fact, and when the question is by what name that which has been done is to be designated. In which class of dispute it is inevitable on that account that there should be a dispute as to the name; not because the parties are not agreed about the fact, not because the fact is not notorious, but because that which has been done appears in a different light to different people, and on that account one calls it by one name and another by another. Wherefore, in disputes of this kind the matter must be defined by words, and described briefly; as, for instance, if any one has stolen any sacred vessel from a private place, whether he is to be considered a sacrilegious person, or a simple thief. For when that is inquired into, it is necessary to define both points—what is a thief, and what is a sacrilegious person,—and to show by one's own description that the matter which is under discussion ought to be called by a different name from that which the opposite party apply to it. IX. The dispute about kind is, when it is agreed both what has been done, and when there is no question as to the name by which it ought to be designated; and nevertheless there is a question of what importance the matter is, and of what sort it is, and altogether of what character it is; in this way,—whether it be just or unjust; whether it be useful or useless; and as to all other circumstances with reference to which there is any question what is the character of that which has been done, without there being any dispute as to its name. Humagoras assigned four divisions to this sort of dispute: the deliberative, the demonstrative, the judicial, and the one relating to facts. And, as it seems to us, this was no ordinary blunder of his, and one which it is incumbent on us to reprove; though we may do so briefly, lest, if we were to pass it over in silence, we might be thought to have had no good reason for abandoning his guidance; or if we were to dwell too long on this point, we might appear to have interposed a delay and an obstacle to the other precepts which we wish to lay down.
If deliberation and demonstration are kinds of causes, then the divisions of any one kind cannot rightly be considered causes; for the same matter may appear to be a class to one person, and a division to another; but it cannot appear both a class and a division to the same person. But deliberation and demonstration are kinds of argument; for either there is no kind of argument at all, or there is the judicial kind alone, or there are all three kinds, the judicial and the demonstrative and the deliberative. Now, to say there is no kind of argument at the same time that he says that there are many arguments, and is giving precepts for them, is foolishness. How, too, is it possible that there should be one kind only, namely the judicial, when deliberation and demonstration in the first place do not resemble one another, and are exceedingly different from the judicial kind, and have each their separate object to which they ought to be referred. It follows, then, that there are three kinds of arguments. Deliberation and demonstration cannot properly be considered divisions of any kind of argument. He was wrong, therefore, when he said that they were divisions of a general statement of the case.
X. But if they cannot properly be considered divisions of a kind of argument, much less can they properly be considered divisions of a division of an argument. But all statement of the case is a division of an argument. For the argument is not adapted to the statement of the case, but the statement of the case is adapted to the argument. But demonstration and deliberation cannot be properly considered divisions of a kind of argument, because they are separate kinds of arguments themselves. Much less can they properly be considered divisions of that division, as he calls them. In the next place, if the statement of the case, both itself as a whole; and also any portion of that statement, is a repelling of an accusation, then that which is not a repelling of an accusation is neither a statement of a case, nor a portion of a statement of a case; but if that which is not a repelling of an attack is not a statement of a case, nor a portion of a statement of a case, then deliberation and demonstration are neither a statement of a case, nor a portion of a statement of a case. If, therefore, a statement of a case, whether it be the whole statement or some portion of it, be a repelling of an accusation, then deliberation and demonstration are neither a statement of a case, nor any portion of such statement. But he himself asserts that it is a repelling of an accusation. He must therefore assert also that demonstration and deliberation are neither a statement of a case, nor a portion of such a statement. And he will be pressed by the same argument whether he calls the statement of a case the original assertion of his cause by the accuser, or the first speech in answer to such accusation by the advocate of the defence. For all the same difficulties will attend him in either case.
In the next place a conjectural argument cannot, as to the same portion of it, be at the same time both a conjectural one and a definitive one. Again, a definitive argument cannot, as to the same portion of it, be at the same time both a definitive argument and one in the form and character of a demurrer. And altogether, no statement of a case, and no portion of such a statement, can at one and the same time both have its own proper force and also contain the force of another kind of argument. Because each kind of argument is considered simply by its own merits, and according to its own nature; and if any other kind be united with it, then it is the number of statements of a case that is doubled, and not the power of the statement that is increased.
But a deliberative argument, both as to the same portion of it and also at the same time, very frequently has a statement of its case both conjectural, and general, and definitive, and in the nature of a demurrer; and at times it contains only one statement, and at times it contains many such. Therefore it is not itself a statement of the case, nor a division of such statement: and the same thing must be the case with respect to demonstration. These, then, as I have said before, must be considered kinds of argument, and not divisions of any statement of the subject.
XI. This statement of the case then, which we call the general one, appears to us to have two divisions,—one judicial and one relating to matters of fact. The judicial one is that in which the nature of right and wrong, or the principles of reward and punishment, are inquired into. The one relating to matters of fact is that in which the thing taken into consideration is what is the law according to civil precedent, and according to equity; and that is the department in which lawyers are considered by us to be especially concerned.
And the judicial kind is itself also distributed under two divisions,—one absolute, and one which takes in something besides as an addition, and which may be called assumptive. The absolute division is that which of itself contains in itself an inquiry into right and wrong. The assumptive one is that which of itself supplies no firm ground for objection, but which takes to itself some topics for defence derived from extraneous circumstances. And its divisions are four,—concession, removal of the accusation from oneself, a retorting of the accusation, and comparison. Concession when the person on his trial does not defend the deed that has been done, but entreats to be pardoned for it: and this again is divided into two parts,—purgation and deprecation. Purgation is when the fact is admitted, but when the guilt of the fact is sought to be done away. And this may be on three grounds,—of ignorance, of accident, or of necessity. Deprecation is when the person on his trial confesses that he has done wrong, and that he has done wrong on purpose, and nevertheless entreats to be pardoned. But this kind of address can be used but very rarely. Removal of the accusation from oneself is when the person on his trial endeavours by force of argument and by influence to remove the charge which is brought against him from himself to another, so that it may not fix him himself with any guilt at all. And that can be done in two ways,—if either the cause of the deed, or the deed itself, is attributed to another. The cause is attributed to another when it is said that the deed was done in consequence of the power and influence of another; but the deed itself is attributed to another when it is said that another either might have done it, or ought to have done it. The retorting of an accusation takes place when what is done is said to have been lawfully done because another had previously provoked the doer wrongfully. Comparison is, when it is argued that some other action has been a right or an advantageous one, and then it is contended that this deed which is now impeached was committed in order to facilitate the accomplishment of that useful action.
In the fourth kind of statement of a case, which we call the one which assumes the character of a demurrer, that sort of statement contains a dispute, in which an inquiry is opened who ought to be the accuser or pleader, or against whom, or in what manner, or before whom, or under what law, or at what time the accusation ought to be brought forward; or when something is urged generally tending to alter the nature of, or to invalidate the whole accusation. Of this kind of statement of a case Hermagoras is considered the inventor: not that many of the ancient orators have not frequently employed it, but because former writers on the subject have not taken any notice of it, and have not entered it among the number of statements of cases. But since it has been thus invented by Hermagoras, many people have found fault with it, whom we considered not so much to be deceived by ignorance (for indeed the matter is plain enough) as to be hindered from admitting the truth by some envy or fondness for detraction.
XII. We have now then mentioned the different kinds of statements of cases, and their several divisions. But we think that we shall be able more conveniently to give instances of each kind, when we are furnishing a store of arguments for each kind. For so the system of arguing will be more clear, when it can be at once applied both to the general classification and to the particular instance.
When the statement of the case is once ascertained, then it is proper at once to consider whether the argument be a simple or a complex one, and if it be a complex one, whether it is made up of many subjects of inquiry, or of some comparison. That is a simple statement which contains in itself one plain question, in this way—"Shall we declare war against the Corinthians, or not?" That is a complex statement consisting of several questions in which many inquiries are made, in this way.—"Whether Carthage shall be destroyed, or whether it shall be restored to the Carthaginians, or whether a colony shall be led thither." Comparison is a statement in which inquiry is raised in the way of contest, which course is more preferable, or which is the most preferable course of all, in this way.—"Whether we had better send an army into Macedonia against Philip, to serve as an assistance to our allies, or whether we had better retain it in Italy, in order that we may have as numerous forces as possible to oppose to Hannibal." In the next place, we must consider whether the dispute turns on general reasoning, or on written documents, for a controversy with respect to written documents, is one which arises out of the nature of the writing.
XIII And of that there are five kinds which have been separated from statements of cases. For when the language of the writing appears to be at variance with the intention of the writer, then two laws or more seem to differ from one another, and then, too, that which has been written appears to signify two things or more. Then also, from that which is written, something else appears to be discovered also, which is not written, and also the effect of the expressions used is inquired into, as if it were in the definitive statement of the case, in which it has been placed. Wherefore, the first kind is that concerning the written document and the intention of it; the second arises from the laws which are contrary to one another, the third is ambiguous, the fourth is argumentative, the fifth we call definitive.
But reason applies when the whole of the inquiry does not turn on the writing, but on some arguing concerning the writing. But, then, when the kind of argument has been duly considered, and when the statement of the case has been fully understood; when you have become aware whether it is simple or complex, and when you have ascertained whether the question turns on the letter of the writing or on general reasoning; then it is necessary to see what is the question, what is the reasoning, what is the system of examining into the excuses alleged, what means there are of establishing one's own allegations; and all these topics must be derived from the original statement of the case. What I call "the question" is the dispute which arises from the conflict of the two statements in this way. "You have not done this lawfully;" "I have done it lawfully." And this is the conflict of arguments, and on this the statement of the case hinges. It arises, therefore, from that kind of dispute which we call "the question," in this way:—"Whether he did so and so lawfully." The reasoning is that which embraces the whole cause; and if that be taken away, then there is no dispute remaining behind in the cause. In this way, in order that for the sake of explaining myself more clearly, I may content myself with an easy and often quoted instance. If Orestes be accused of matricide, unless he says this, "I did it rightfully, for she had murdered my father," he has no defence at all. And if his defence be taken away, then all dispute is taken away also. The principle of his argument then is that she murdered Agamemnon. The examination of this defence is then a dispute which arises out of the attempts to invalidate or to establish this argument. For the argument itself may be considered sufficiently explained, since we dwelt upon it a little while ago. "For she," says he, "had murdered my father." "But," says the adversary, "for all that it was not right for your mother to be put to death by you who were her son; for her act might have been punished without your being guilty of wickedness."
XIV. From this mode of bringing forward evidence, arises that last kind of dispute which we call the judication, or examination of the excuses alleged. And that is of this kind: whether it was right that his mother should be put to death by Orestes, because she had put to death Orestes's father?
Now proof by testimony is the firmest sort of reasoning that can be used by an advocate in defence, and it is also the best adapted for the examination of any excuse which may be alleged. For instance, if Orestes were inclined to say that the disposition of his mother had been such towards his father, towards himself and his sisters, towards the kingdom, and towards the reputation of his race and family, that her children were of all people in the world the most bound to inflict punishment upon her. And in all other statements or cases, examinations of excuses alleged are found to be carried on in this manner. But in a conjectural statement of a case, because there is no express evidence, for the fact is not admitted at all, the examination of the defence put forward cannot arise from the bringing forward of evidence. Wherefore, it is inevitable that in this case the question and the judication must be the same thing. As "it was done," "it was not done." The question is whether it was done.
But it must invariably happen that there will be the same number of questions, and arguments, and examinations, and evidences employed in a cause, as there are statements of the case or divisions of such statements. When all these things are found in a cause, then at length each separate division of the whole cause must be considered. For it does not seem that those points are necessarily to be first noticed, which have been the first stated; because you must often deduce those arguments which are stated first, at least if you wish them to be exceedingly coherent with one another and to be consistent with the cause, from those arguments which are to be stated subsequently. Wherefore, when the examination of the excuses alleged, and all those arguments which require to be found out for the purpose of such examination have been diligently found out by the rules of art, and handled with due care and deliberation, then at length we may proceed to arrange the remaining portions of our speech. And these portions appear to us to be in all six; the exordium, the relation of the fact, the division of the different circumstances and topics, the bringing forward of evidence, the finding fault with the action which has been done, and the peroration.
At present, since the exordium ought to be the main thing of all, we too will first of all give some precepts to lead to a system of opening a case properly.
XV. An exordium is an address bringing the mind of the hearer into a suitable state to receive the rest of the speech, and that will be effected if it has rendered him well disposed towards the speaker, attentive, and willing to receive information. Wherefore, a man who is desirous to open a cause well, must of necessity be beforehand thoroughly acquainted with the nature and kind of cause which he has to conduct. Now the kinds of causes are five; one honourable, one astonishing, one low, one doubtful, one obscure. The kind of cause which is called honourable, is such an one as the disposition of the hearer favours at once, without waiting to hear our speech. The kind that is astonishing, is that from which the mind of those who are about to hear us has been alienated. The kind which is low, is one which is disregarded by the hearer, or which does not seem likely to be carefully attended to. The kind which is doubtful, is that in which either the examination into the excuses alleged is doubtful, or the cause itself, being partly honourable and partly discreditable; so as to produce partly good-will and partly disinclination. The kind which is obscure, is that in which either the hearers are slow, or in which the cause itself is entangled in a multitude of circumstances hard to be thoroughly acquainted with. Wherefore, since there are so many kinds of causes, it is necessary to open one's case on a very different system in each separate kind. Therefore, the exordium is divided into two portions, first of all a beginning, and secondly language calculated to enable the orator to work his way into the good graces of his hearers. The beginning is an address, in plain words, immediately rendering the hearer well disposed towards one, or inclined to receive information, or attentive. The language calculated to enable the orator to work his way into the good graces of his hearers, is an address which employs a certain dissimulation, and which by a circuitous route as it were obscurely creeps into the affections of the hearer.
In the kind of cause which we have called astonishing, if the hearers be not positively hostile, it will be allowable by the beginning of the speech to endeavour to secure their good-will. But if they be excessively alienated from one, then it will be necessary to have recourse to endeavours to insinuate oneself into their good graces. For if peace and good-will be openly sought for from those who are enemies to one, they not only are not obtained, but the hatred which they bear one is even inflamed and increased. But in the kind of cause which I have called low, for the sake of removing his contempt it will be indispensable to render the hearer attentive. The kind of cause which has been styled doubtful, if it embraces an examination into the excuses alleged, which is also doubtful, must derive its exordium from that very examination; but if it have some things in it of a creditable nature, and some of a discreditable character, then it will be expedient to try and secure the good-will of the hearer, so that the cause may change its appearance, and seem to be an honourable one. But when the kind of cause is the honourable kind, then the exordium may either be passed over altogether, or if it be convenient, we may begin either with a relation of the business in question, or with a statement of the law, or with any other argument which must be brought forward in the course of our speech, and on which we most greatly rely; or if we choose to employ an exordium, then we must avail ourselves of the good-will already existing towards us, in order that that which does exist may be strengthened.
XVI. In the kind of cause which I have called obscure, it will be advisable to render the hearers inclined to receive instruction by a carefully prepared exordium. Now, since it has been already explained what effect is to be sought to be produced by the exordium, it remains for us to show by what arguments all such effects may be produced.
Good-will is produced by dwelling on four topics:—on one derived from our own character, from that of our adversaries, from that of the judges, and from the cause itself. From our own character, if we manage so as to speak of our own actions and services without arrogance; if we refute the charges which have been brought against us, and any other suspicions in the least, discreditable which it may be endeavoured to attach to us; if we dilate upon the inconveniences which have already befallen us, or the difficulties which are still impending over us; if we have recourse to prayers and to humble and suppliant entreaty. From the character of our adversaries, if we are able to bring them either into hatred, or into unpopularity, or into contempt. They will be brought into hatred, if any action of theirs can be adduced which has been lascivious, or arrogant, or cruel, or malignant. They will be made unpopular, if we can dilate upon their violent behaviour, their power, their riches, their numerous kinsmen, their wealth, and their arrogant and intolerable use of all these sources of influence; so that they may appear rather to trust to these circumstances than to the merits of their cause. They will be brought into contempt, if sloth, or negligence, or idleness, or indolent pursuits, or luxurious tranquillity can be alleged against them. Good-will will be procured, derived from the character of the hearers themselves, if exploits are mentioned which have been performed by them with bravery, or wisdom, or humanity; so that no excessive flattery shall appear to be addressed to them; and if it is plainly shown how high and honourable their reputation is, and how anxious is the expectation with which men look for their decision and authority. Or from the circumstances themselves, if we extol our own cause with praises, and disparage that of the opposite party by contemptuous allusions.
But we shall make our hearers attentive, if we show that the things which we are going to say and to speak of are important, and unusual, and incredible; and that they concern either all men, or those who are our present hearers, or some illustrious men, or the immortal gods, or the general interests of the republic. And if we promise that we will in a very short time prove our own cause; and if we explain the whole of the examination into the excuses alleged, or the different examinations, if there be more than one.
We shall render our hearers willing to receive information, if we explain the sum total of the cause with plainness and brevity, that is to say, the point on which the dispute hinges. For when you wish to make a hearer inclined to receive information you must also render him attentive. For he is above all men willing to receive information who is prepared to listen with the greatest attention.
XVII. The next thing which it seems requisite to speak of, is, how topics intended to enable the orator to work his way into the good graces of his hearers ought to be handled. We must then use such a sort of address as that when the kind of cause which we are conducting is that which I have called astonishing; that is to say, as I have stated before, when the disposition of the hearer is adverse to one. And that generally arises from one of three causes: either if there be anything discreditable in the cause itself, or if any such belief appears to have been already instilled into the hearer by those who have spoken previously; or if one is appointed to speak at a time when those who have got to listen to one are wearied with hearing others. For sometimes when one is speaking, the mind of the hearer is alienated from one no less by this circumstance than by the two former.
If the discreditable nature of one's cause excites the ill-will of one's hearers, or if it be desirable to substitute for the man on whom they look unfavourably another man to whom they are attached; or, for the matter they regard with dislike, another matter of which they approve; or if it be desirable to substitute a person for a thing, or a thing for a person, in order that the mind of the hearer may be led away from that which he hates to that which he loves; and if your object is to conceal from view the fact that you are about to defend that person or action which you are supposed to be going to defend; and then, when the hearer has been rendered more propitious, to enter gradually on the defence, and to say that those things at which the opposite party is indignant appear scandalous to you also; and then, when you have propitiated him who is to listen to you, to show that none of all those things at all concern you, and to deny that you are going to say anything whatever respecting the opposite party whether it be good or bad; so as not openly to attack those men who are loved by your hearers, and yet doing it secretly as far as you can to alienate from them the favourable disposition of your hearers; and at the same time to mention the judgment of some other judges in a similar case, or to quote the authority of some others as worthy of imitation; and then to show that it is the very same point, or one very like it, or one of greater or less importance, (as the case may make it expedient,) which is in question at present.
If the speech of your adversaries appears to have made an impression on your hearers, which is a thing which will be very easily ascertained by a man who understands what are the topics by which an impression is made; then it is requisite to promise that you will speak first of all on that point which the opposite party consider their especial stronghold, or else to begin with a reference to what has been said by the adversary, and especially to what he said last; or else to appear to doubt, and to feel some perplexity and astonishment as to what you had best say first, or what argument it is desirable to reply to first—for when a hearer sees the man whom the opposite party believe to be thrown into perplexity by their speech prepared with unshaken firmness to reply to it, he is generally apt to think that he has assented to what has been said without sufficient consideration, rather than that the present speaker is confident without due grounds. But if fatigue has alienated the mind of the hearer from your cause, then it is advantageous to promise to speak more briefly than you had been prepared to speak; and that you will not imitate your adversary.
If the case admit of it, it is not disadvantageous to begin with some new topic, or with some one which may excite laughter; or with some argument which has arisen from the present moment; of which kind are any sudden noise or exclamation; or with something which you have already prepared, which may embrace some apologue, or fable, or other laughable circumstance. Or, if the dignity of the subject shall seem inconsistent with jesting, in that case it is not disadvantageous to throw in something sad, or novel, or terrible. For as satiety of food and disgust is either relieved by some rather bitter taste, or is at times appeased by a sweet taste; so a mind weary with listening is either reinstated in its strength by astonishment, or else is refreshed by laughter.
XVIII. And these are pretty nearly the main things which it appeared desirable to say separately concerning the exordium of a speech, and the topics which an orator should use for the purpose of insinuating himself into the good grace of his hearers. And now it seems desirable to lay down some brief rules which may apply to both in common.
An exordium ought to have a great deal of sententiousness and gravity in it, and altogether to embrace all things which have a reference to dignity; because that is the most desirable effect to be produced which in the greatest degree recommends the speaker to his hearer. It should contain very little brilliancy, or wit, or elegance of expression, because from these qualities there always arises a suspicion of preparation and artificial diligence: and that is an idea which, above all others takes away credit from a speech, and authority from a speaker. But the following are the most ordinary faults to be found in an exordium, and those it is above all things desirable to avoid. It must not be vulgar, common, easily changed, long, unconnected, borrowed, nor must it violate received rules. What I mean by vulgar, is one which may be so adapted to numerous causes as to appear to suit them all. That is common, which appears to be able to be adapted no less to one side of the argument than to the other. That is easily changed, which with a slight alteration may be advanced by the adversary on the other side of the question. That is long, which is spun out by a superfluity of words or sentences far beyond what is necessary. That is unconnected, which is not derived from the cause itself, and is not joined to the whole speech as a limb is to the body. That is borrowed, which effects some other end than that which the kind of cause under discussion requires; as if a man were to occupy himself in rendering his hearer inclined to receive information, when the cause requires him only to be well disposed towards the speaker: or, if a man uses a formal beginning of a speech, when what the subject requires is an address by which the speaker may insinuate himself into the good graces of his hearer. That is contrary to received rules, which effects no one of those objects for the sake of which the rules concerning exordiums have been handed down. This is the sort of blunder which renders him who hears it neither well disposed to one, nor inclined to receive information, nor attentive; or (and that indeed is the most disastrous effect of all) renders him of a totally contrary disposition. And now we have said enough about the exordium.
XIX. Narration is an explanation of acts that have been done, or of acts as if they have been done. There are three kinds of narration. One kind is that in which the cause itself and the whole principle of the dispute is contained. Another is that in which some digression, unconnected with the immediate argument, is interposed, either for the sake of criminating another, or of instituting a comparison, or of provoking some mirth not altogether unsuitable to the business under discussion, or else for the sake of amplification. The third kind is altogether foreign to civil causes, and is uttered or written for the sake of entertainment, combined with its giving practice, which is not altogether useless. Of this last there are two divisions, the one of which is chiefly conversant about things, and the other about persons. That which is concerned in the discussion and explanation of things has three parts, fable, history, and argument. Fable is that in which statements are expressed which are neither true nor probable, as is this—
"Huge winged snakes, join'd by one common yoke."
History is an account of exploits which have been performed, removed from the recollection of our own age; of which sort is the statement, "Appius declared war against the Carthaginians." Argument is an imaginary case, which still might have happened. Such is this in Terence—
"For after Sosia became a man."
But that sort of narration which is conversant about persons, is of such a sort that in it not only the facts themselves, but also the conversations of the persons concerned and their very minds can be thoroughly seen, in this way—
"And oft he came to me with mournful voice, What is your aim, your conduct what? Oh why Do you this youth with these sad arts destroy? Why does he fall in love? Why seeks he wine, And why do you from time to time supply The means for such excess? You study dress And folly of all kinds; while he, if left To his own natural bent, is stern and strict, Almost beyond the claims of virtue."
In this kind of narration there ought to be a great deal of cheerfulness wrought up out of the variety of circumstances; out of the dissimilarity of dispositions; out of gravity, lenity, hope, fear, suspicion, regret, dissimulation, error, pity, the changes of fortune, unexpected disaster, sudden joy, and happy results. But these embellishments may be derived from the precepts which will hereafter be laid down about elocution.
At present it seems best to speak of that kind of narration which contains an explanation of the cause under discussion.
XX. It is desirable then that it should have three qualities; that it should be brief, open, and probable. It will be brief, if the beginning of it is derived from the quarter from which it ought to be; and if it is not endeavoured to be extracted from what has been last said, and if the speaker forbears to enumerate all the parts of a subject of which it is quite sufficient to state the total result;—for it is often sufficient to say what has been done, and there is no necessity for his relating how it was done;—and if the speaker does not in his narration go on at a greater length than there is any occasion for, as far as the mere imparting of knowledge is concerned; and if he does not make a digression to any other topic; and if he states his case in such a way, that sometimes that which has not been said may be understood from that which has been said; and if he passes over not only such topics as may be injurious, but those too which are neither injurious nor profitable; and if he repeats nothing more than once; and if he does not at once begin with that topic which was last mentioned;—and the imitation of brevity takes in many people, so that, when they think that they are being brief, they are exceedingly prolix, while they are taking pains to say many things with brevity, not absolutely to say but few things and no more than are necessary. For to many men a man appears to speak with brevity who says, "I went to the house; I called out the servant; he answered me; I asked for his master; he said that he was not at home." Here, although he could not have enumerated so many particulars more concisely, yet, because it would have been enough to say, "He said that he was not at home," he is prolix on account of the multitude of circumstances which he mentions. Wherefore, in this kind of narration also it is necessary to avoid the imitation of brevity, and we must no less carefully avoid a heap of unnecessary circumstances than a multitude of words.
But a narration will be able to be open, if those actions are explained first which have been done first, and if the order of transactions and times is preserved, so that the things are related as they have been done, or as it shall seem that they may have been done. And in framing this narration it will be proper to take care that nothing be said in a confused or distorted manner; that no digression be made to any other subject; that the affair may not be traced too far back, nor carried too far forward; that nothing be passed over which is connected with the business in hand; and altogether the precepts which have been laid down about brevity, must be attended to in this particular also. For it often happens that the truth is but little understood, more by reason of the prolixity of the speaker, than of the obscurity of the statement. And it is desirable to use clear language, which is a point to be dwelt upon when we come to precepts for elocution.
XXI. A narration will be probable, if in it those characteristics are visible which are usually apparent in truth; if the dignity of the persons mentioned is preserved; if the causes of the actions performed are made plain; if it shall appear that there were facilities for performing them; if the time was suitable; if there was plenty of room; if the place is shown to have been suitable for the transaction which is the subject of the narration; if the whole business, in short, be adapted to the nature of those who plead, and to the reports bruited about among the common people, and to the preconceived opinions of those who hear. And if these principles be observed, the narration will appear like the truth.
But besides all this, it will be necessary to take care that such a narration be not introduced when it will be a hindrance, or when it will be of no advantage; and that it be not related in an unseasonable place, or in a manner which the cause does not require. It is a hindrance, when the very narration of what has been done comes at a time that the hearer has conceived great displeasure at something, which it will be expedient to mitigate by argument, and by pleading the whole cause carefully. And when this is the case, it will be desirable rather to scatter the different portions of the transactions limb by limb as it were over the cause, and, as promptly as may be, to adapt them to each separate argument, in order that there may be a remedy at hand for the wound, and that the defence advanced may at once mitigate the hatred which has arisen.
Again, a narration is of no advantage when, after our case has once been set forth by the opposite party, it is of no importance to relate it a second time or in another manner; or when the whole affair is so clearly comprehended by the hearers, as they believe at least that it can do us no good to give them information respecting it in another fashion. And when this is the case, it is best to abstain from any narration altogether. It is uttered in an unseasonable place, when it is not arranged in that part of the speech in which the case requires it, and concerning this kind of blunder we will speak when we come to mention the arrangement of the speech. For it is the general arrangement of the whole that this affects. It is not related in the manner which the cause requires, when either that point which is advantageous to the opposite party is explained in a clear and elegant manner, or when that which may be of benefit to the speaker is stated in an obscure or careless way. Wherefore, in order that this fault may be avoided, everything ought to be converted by the speaker to the advantage of his own cause by passing over all things which make against it which can be passed over, by touching lightly on those points which are beneficial to the adversary, and by relating those which are advantageous to himself carefully and clearly. And now we seem to have said enough about narration. Let us now pass on in regular order to the arrangement of the different topics.
XXII An arrangement of the subjects to be mentioned in an argument, when properly made, renders the whole oration clear and intelligible. There are two parts in such a division, each of which is especially connected with the opening of the cause, and with the arrangement of the whole discussion. One part is that which points out what are the particulars as to which one is in agreement with the opposite party, and also what remains in dispute; and from this there is a certain definite thing pointed out to the hearer, as that to which he should direct his attention. The other part is that in which the explanation of those matters on which we are about to speak, is briefly arranged and pointed out. And this causes the hearer to retain certain things in his mind, so as to understand that when they have been discussed the speech will be ended. At present it seems desirable to mention briefly how it is proper to use each kind of arrangement. And this arrangement points out what is suitable and what is not suitable; its duty is to turn that which is suitable to the advantage of its own side, in this way—"I agree with the opposite party as to the fact, that a mother has been put to death by her son." Again, on the other side.—"We are both agreed that Agamemnon was slain by Clytaemnestra" For in saying this each speaker has laid down that proposition which was suitable, and nevertheless has consulted the advantage of his own side.
In the next place, what the matter in dispute is must be explained, when we come to mention the examination into the excuses which are alleged. And how that is managed has been already stated.
But the arrangement which embraces the properly distributed explanation of the facts, ought to have brevity, completeness, conciseness. Brevity is when no word is introduced which is not necessary. This is useful in this sort of speaking, because it is desirable to arrest the attention of the hearer by the facts themselves and the real divisions of the case, and not by words or extraneous embellishments of diction. Completeness is that quality by which we embrace every sort of argument which can have any connexion with the case concerning which we have got to speak, and in this division we must take care not to omit any useful topic, not to introduce any such too late, out of its natural place, for that is the most pernicious and discreditable error of all. Conciseness in arrangement is preserved if the general classes of facts are clearly laid down, and are not entangled in a promiscuous manner with the subordinate divisions. For a class is that which embraces many subordinate divisions as, "an animal." A subordinate division is that which is contained in the class as "a horse." But very often the same thing may be a class to one person, and a subordinate division to another. For "man" is a subordinate division of "animal," but a class as to "Theban," or "Trojan."
XXIII And I have been more careful in laying down this definition, in order that after it has been clearly comprehended with reference to the general arrangement, a conciseness as to classes or genera may be preserved throughout the arrangement. For he who arranges his oration in this manner—"I will prove that by means of the covetousness and audacity and avarice of our adversaries, all sorts of evils have fallen on the republic," fails to perceive that in this arrangement of his, when he intended to mention only classes, he has joined also a mention of a subordinate division. For covetousness is the general class under which all desires are comprehended, and beyond all question avarice is a subordinate division of that class.
We must therefore avoid, after having mentioned a universal class, then, in the same arrangement, to mention along with it any one of its subordinate divisions, as if it were something different and dissimilar. And if there are many subordinate divisions to any particular class, after that has been simply explained in the first arrangement of the oration, it will be more easily and conveniently arranged when we come to the subsequent explanation in the general statement of the case after the division. And this, too, concerns the subject of conciseness, that we should not undertake to prove more things than there is any occasion for, in this way—"I will prove that the opposite party were able to do what we accuse them of, and had the inclination to do it, and did it." It is quite enough to prove that they did it. Or when there is no natural division at all in a cause, and when it is a simple question that is under discussion, though that is a thing which cannot be of frequent occurrence, still we must use careful arrangement. And these other precepts also, with respect to the division of subjects which have no such great connexion with the practice of orators, precepts which come into use in treatises in philosophy, from which we have transferred, hither those which appeared to be suitable to our purpose, of which we found nothing in the other arts. And in all these precepts about the division of our subjects, it will throughout our whole speech be found that every portion of them must be discussed in the same order as that in which it has been originally stated, and then, when everything has been properly explained, let the whole be summed up, and summed up so that nothing be introduced subsequently besides the conclusion. The old man in the Andria of Terence arranges briefly and conveniently the subjects with which he wishes his freedman to become acquainted—
"And thus the life and habits of my son And my designs respecting his career, And what I wish your course towards both to be, Will be quite plain to you."
And accordingly, as he has proposed in his original arrangement, he proceeds to relate, first the life of his son—
"For when, O Sosia, he became a man, He was allow'd more liberty"
Then comes his own design—
"And now I take great care"
After that, what he wishes Sosia to do; that he put last in his original arrangement he now mentions last—
"And now the part is yours" ...
As, therefore, in this instance, he came first to the portion which he had mentioned first, and so, when he had discussed them all, made an end of speaking, we too ought to advance to each separate portion of our subject, and when we had finished every part, to sum up. Now it appears desirable to proceed in regular order to lay down some precepts concerning the confirmation of our arguments, as the regular order of the subject requires.
XXIV Confirmation is that by means of which our speech proceeding in argument adds belief, and authority, and corroboration to our cause. As to this part there are certain fixed rules which will be divided among each separate class of causes. But it appeals to be not an inconvenient course to disentangle what is not unlike a wood, or a vast promiscuous miss of materials all jumbled together, and after that to point out how it may be suitable to corroborate each separate kind of cause, after we have drawn all our principles of argumentation from this source. All statements are confirmed by some argument or other, either by that which is derived from persons, or by that which is deduced from circumstances. Now we consider that these different things belong to persons, a name, nature, a way of life, fortune, custom, affection, pursuits, intentions, actions, accidents, orations. A name is that which is given to each separate person, so that each is called by his own proper and fixed appellation. To define nature itself is difficult, but to enumerate those parts of it which we require for the laying down of these precepts is more easy.
And these refer partly to that portion of things which is divine, and partly to that which is mortal. Now of things which are mortal one part is classed among the race of men, and one among the race of brutes: and the race of men is distinguished by sex, whether they be male or female and with respect to their nation, and country, and kindred, and age, with respect to their nation, whether a man be a Greek or a barbarian; with respect to their country, whether a man be an Athenian or a Lacedaemonian; with respect to their kindred, from what ancestors a man is descended, and who are his relations; with respect to his age, whether he is a boy, or a youth, or a full grown man, or an old man. Besides these things, those advantages or disadvantages which come to a man by nature, whether in respect of his mind or his body, are taken into consideration, in this manner:—whether he be strong or weak; whether he be tall or short; whether he be handsome or ugly; whether he be quick in his motions or slow; whether he be clever or stupid; whether he have a good memory, or whether he be forgetful; whether he be courteous, fond of doing kindnesses, modest, patient, or the contrary. And altogether all these things which are considered to be qualities conferred by nature on men's minds or bodies, must be taken into consideration when defining nature. For those qualities which are acquired by industry relate to a man's condition, concerning which we must speak hereafter.
XXV. With reference to a man's way of life it is proper to consider among what men, and in what manner, and according to whose direction he has been brought up; what teachers of the liberal sciences he has had; what admonitors to encourage him to a proper course of life; with what friends he is intimate; in what business, or employment, or gainful pursuit he is occupied; in what manner he manages his estate, and what are his domestic habits. With reference to his fortune we inquire whether he is a slave or a free man; whether he is wealthy or poor; whether he is a private individual or a man in office; if he be in office, whether he has become so properly or improperly; whether he is prosperous, illustrious, or the contrary; what sort of children he has. And if we are inquiring about one who is no longer alive, then we must consider also by what death he died.
But when we speak of a man's habitual condition, we mean his constant and absolute completeness of mind or body, in some particular point—as for instance, his perception of virtue, or of some art, or else some science or other. And we include also some personal advantages not given to him by nature, but procured by study and industry. By affection, we mean a sudden alteration of mind or body, arising from some particular cause, as joy, desire, fear, annoyance, illness, weakness and other things which are found under the same class. But study is the assiduous and earnest application of the mind, applied to some particular object with great good-will, as to philosophy, poetry, geometry, or literature. By counsel, we mean a carefully considered resolution to do or not to do something. But actions, and accidents, and speeches will be considered with reference to three different times; what a man has done, what has happened to him, or what he has said; or what he is doing, or what is happening to him, or what he is saying; or what he is going to do, what is about to happen to him, or what speech he is about to deliver. And all these things appear to be attributable to persons.
XXVI. But of the considerations which belong to things, some are connected with the thing itself which is the subject of discussion; some are considered in the performance of the thing; some are united with the thing itself; some follow in the accomplishment of the thing. Those things are connected with the thing itself which appear always to be attached to the thing and which cannot be separated from it. The first of such things is a brief exposition of the whole business, which contains the sum of the entire matter, in this way—"The slaying of a parent;" "the betrayal of a country." Then comes the cause of this general fact; and we inquire by what means, and in what manner, and with what view such and such a thing has been done. After that we inquire what was done before this action under consideration was done, and all the steps which preceded this action. After that, what was done in the very execution of this action. And last of all, what has been done since.
But with reference to the performance of an action, which was the second topic of those which were attributed to things, the place, and the time, and the manner, and the opportunity, and the facilities will be inquired into. The place is taken into consideration in which the thing was done; with reference to the opportunity which the doer seems to have had of executing the business; and that opportunity is measured by the importance of the action, by the interval which has elapsed, by the distance, by the nearness, by the solitude of the place, or by the frequented character of it, by the nature of the spot itself and by the neighbourhood of the whole region. And it is estimated also with reference to these characteristics, whether the place be sacred or not, public or private, whether it belongs or has belonged to some one else, or to the man whose conduct is under consideration.
But the time is, that, I mean, which we are speaking of at the present moment, (for it is difficult to define it in a general view of it with any exactness,) a certain portion of eternity with some fixed limitation of annual or monthly, or daily or nightly space. In reference to this we take into consideration the things which are passed, and those things which, by reason of the time which has elapsed since, have become so obsolete as to be considered incredible, and to be already classed among the number of fables, and those things also which, having been performed a long time ago and at a time remote from our recollection, still affect us with a belief that they have been handed down truly, because certain memorials of those facts are extant in written documents, and those things which have been done lately, so that most people are able to be acquainted with them. And also those things which exist at the present moment, and which are actually taking place now, and which are the consequences of former actions. And with reference to those things it is open to us to consider which will happen sooner, and which later. And also generally in considering questions of time, the distance or proximity of the time is to be taken into account: for it is often proper to measure the business done with the time occupied in doing it, and to consider whether a business of such and such magnitude, or whether such and such a multitude of things, can be performed in that time. And we should take into consideration the time of year, and of the month, and of the day, and of the night, and the watches, and the hours, and each separate portion of any one of these times.
XXVII. An occasion is a portion of time having in it a suitable opportunity for doing or avoiding to do some particular thing. Wherefore there is this difference between it and time. For, as to genus, indeed, they are both understood to be identical; but in time some space is expressed in some manner or other, which is regarded with reference to years, or to a year, or to some portion of a year, but in an occasion, besides the space of time implied in the word, there is indicated an especial opportunity of doing something. As therefore the two are identical in genus it is some portion and species as it were, in which the one differs, as we have said, from the other.
Now occasion is distributed into three classes, public, common and singular. That is a public occasion, which the whole city avails itself of for some particular cause, as games, a day of festival, or war. That is a common occasion which happens to all men at nearly the same time, as the harvest, the vintage, summer, or winter. That is a singular occasion, which, on account of some special cause, happens at times to some private individuals, as for instance, a wedding, a sacrifice, a funeral, a feast, sleep.
But the manner, also, is inquired into, in what manner, how, and with what design the action was done? Its parts are, the doer knowing what he was about, and not knowing. But the degree of his knowledge is measured by these circumstances whether the doer did his action secretly, openly, under compulsion or through persuasion. The fact of the absence of knowledge is brought forward as an excuse, and its parts are actual ignorance, accident, necessity. It is also attributed to agitation of mind, that is, to annoyance, to passion to love, and to other feelings of a similar class. Facilities, are those circumstances owing to which a thing is done more easily, or without which a thing cannot be done at all.
XXVIII. And it is understood that there is added to the general consideration of the whole matter, the consideration what is greater than and what is less than, and what is like the affair which is under discussion, and what is equally important with it, and what is contrary to it, and what is negatively opposed to it, and the whole classification of the affair, and the divisions of it, and the ultimate result. The cases of greater, and less and equally important, are considered with reference to the power, and number and form of the business, as if we were regarding the stature of a human body.
Now what is similar arises out of a species admitting of comparisons. Now what admits of comparisons is estimated by a nature which may be compared with it, and likened to it. What is contrary, is what is placed in a different class and is as distant as possible from that thing to which it is called contrary, as cold is from heat and death from life. But that is negatively opposed to a thing which is separated from the thing by an opposition which is limited to a denial of the quality; in this way, "to be wise," and "not to be wise." That is a genus which embraces several species, as "Cupidity." That is a species which is subordinate to a genus, as "Love," "Avarice." The Result is the ultimate termination of any business; in which it is a common inquiry, what has resulted from each separate fact; what is resulting from it; what is likely to result from it. Wherefore, in order that that which is likely to happen may be more conveniently comprehended in the mind with respect to this genus, we ought first to consider what is accustomed to result from every separate circumstance; in this manner:—From arrogance, hatred usually results; and from insolence, arrogance.
The fourth division is a natural consequence from those qualities, which we said were usually attributed to things in distinction from persons. And with respect to this, those circumstances are sought for which ensue from a thing being done. In the first place, by what name it is proper that that which has been done should be called. In the next place, who have been the chief agents in, or originators of that action; and last of all, who have been the approvers and the imitators of that precedent and of that discovery. In the next place, whether there is any regular usage established with regard to that case, or whether there is any regular rule bearing on that case, or any regular course of proceeding, any formal decision, any science reduced to rules, any artificial system. In the next place, whether its nature is in the habit of being ordinarily displayed, or whether it is so very rarely, and whether it is quite unaccustomed to be so. After that, whether men are accustomed to approve of such a case with their authority, or to be offended at such actions; and with what eyes they look upon the other circumstances which are in the habit of following any similar conduct, either immediately or after an interval. And in the very last place, we must take notice whether any of those circumstances which are rightly classed under honesty or utility ensue. But as to these matters it will be necessary to speak more clearly when we come to mention the deliberative kind of argument. And the circumstances which we have now mentioned are those which are usually attributed to things as opposed to persons.
XXIX. But all argumentation, which can be derived from those topics which we have mentioned, ought to be either probable or unavoidable. Indeed, to define it in a few words, argumentation appears to be an invention of some sort, which either shows something or other in a probable manner, or demonstrates it in an irrefutable one. Those things are demonstrated irrefutably which can neither be done nor proved in any other manner whatever than that in which they are stated; in this manner:—"If she has had a child, she has lain with a man." This sort of arguing, which is conversant with irrefutable demonstration, is especially used in speaking in the way of dilemma, or enumeration, or simple inference.
Dilemma is a case in which, whichever admission you make, you are found fault with. For example:—"If he is a worthless fellow, why are you intimate with him? If he is an excellent man, why do you accuse him?" Enumeration is a statement in which, when many matters have been stated and all other arguments invalidated, the one which remains is inevitably proved; in this manner:—"It is quite plain that he was slain by this man, either because of his enmity to him, or some fear, or hope, which he had conceived, or in order to gratify some friend of his; or, if none of these alternatives are true, then that he was not slain by him at all; for a great crime cannot be undertaken without a motive. But he had no quarrel with him, nor fear of him, nor hope of any advantage to be gained by his death, nor did his death in the least concern any friend of his. It remains, therefore, that he was not slain by him at all." But a simple inference is declared from a necessary consequence, in this way:—"If you say that I did that at that time, at that time I was beyond the sea; it follows, that I not only did not do what you say I did, but that it was not even possible for me to have done it." And it will be desirable to look to this very carefully, in order that this sort of inference may not be refuted in any manner, so that the proof may not only have some sort of argument in it, and some resemblance to an unavoidable conclusion, but that the very argument itself may proceed on irrefutable reasons.
But that is probable which is accustomed generally to take place, or which depends upon the opinion of men, or which contains some resemblance to these properties, whether it be false or true. In that description of subject the most usual probable argument is something of this sort:—"If she is his mother, she loves her son." "If he is an avaricious man, he neglects his oath." But in the case which depends mainly on opinion, probable arguments are such as this: "That there are punishments prepared in the shades below for impious men."—"That those men who give their attention to philosophy do not think that there are gods."
XXX. But resemblance is chiefly seen in things which are contrary to one another, or equal to one another, and in those things which fall under the same principle. In things contrary to one another, in this manner:—"For if it is right that those men should be pardoned who have injured me unintentionally, it is also fitting that one should feel no gratitude towards those who have benefited me because they could not help it."
In things equal to one another, in this way:—"For as a place without a harbour cannot be safe for ships, so a mind without integrity cannot be trustworthy for a man's friends." In those things which fall under the same principle a probable argument is considered in this way:—"For if it be not discreditable to the Rhodians to let out their port dues, then it is not discreditable even to Hermacreon to rent them." Then these arguments are true, in this manner:—"Since there is a scar, there has been a wound." Then they are probable, in in this way:—"If there was a great deal of dust on his shoes, he must have come off a journey." But (in order that we may arrange this matter in certain definite divisions) every probable argument which is assumed for the purpose of discussion, is either a proof, or something credible, or something already determined; or something which may be compared with something else.
That is a proof which falls under some particular sense, and which indicates something which appears to have proceeded from it, which either existed previously, or was in the thing itself, or has ensued since, and, nevertheless, requires the evidence of testimony, and a more authoritative confirmation,—as blood, flight, dust, paleness, and other tokens like these. That is a credible statement which, without any witness being heard, is confirmed in the opinion of the hearer; in this way:—There is no one who does not wish his children to be free from injury, and happy. A case decided beforehand, is a matter approved of by the assent, or authority, or judgment of some person or persons. It is seen in three kinds of decision;—the religious one, the common one, the one depending on sanction. That is a religious one, which men on their oaths have decided in accordance with the laws. That is a common one, which all men have almost in a body approved of and adopted; in this manner:—"That all men should rise up on the appearance of their elders; That all men should pity suppliants." That depends on sanction, which, as it was a doubtful point what ought to be considered its character, men have established of their own authority; as, for instance, the conduct of the father of Gracchus, whom the Roman people made consul after his censorship, because he had done nothing in his censorship without the knowledge of his colleague.
But that is a decision admitting of comparisons, which in a multitude of different circumstances contains some principle which is alike in all. Its parts are three,—representation, collation, example. A Representation is a statement demonstrating some resemblance of bodies or natures; Collation is a statement comparing one thing with another, because of their likeness to one another; Example is that which confirms or invalidates a case by some authority, or by what has happened to some man, or under some especial circumstances. Instances of these things, and descriptions of them, will be given amid the precepts for oratory. And the source of all confirmations has been already explained as occasion offered, and has been demonstrated no less clearly than the nature of the case required. But how each separate statement, and each part of a statement, and every dispute ought to be handled,—whether we refer to verbal discussion or to writings,—and what arguments are suitable for each kind of discussion, we will mention, speaking separately of each kind, in the second book. At present we have only dropped hints about the numbers, and moods, and parts of arguing in an irregular and promiscuous manner; hereafter we will digest (making careful distinctions between and selections from each kind of cause) what is suitable for each kind of discussion, culling it out of this abundance which we have already displayed.
And indeed every sort of argument can be discovered from among these topics; and that, when discovered, it should be embellished, and separated in certain divisions, is very agreeable, and highly necessary, and is also a thing which has been greatly neglected by writers on this art. Wherefore at this present time it is desirable for us to speak of that sort of instruction, in order that perfection of arguing may be added to the discovery of proper arguments. And all this topic requires to be considered with great care and diligence, because there is not only great usefulness in this matter, but there is also extreme difficulty in giving precepts.
XXXI. All argumentation, therefore, is to be carried on either by induction, or by ratiocination. Induction is a manner of speaking which, by means of facts which are not doubtful, forces the assent of the person to whom it is addressed. By which assent it causes him even to approve of some points which are doubtful, on account of their resemblance to those things to which he has assented; as in the Aeschines of Socrates, Socrates shows that Aspasia used to argue with Xenophon's wife, and with Xenophon himself. "Tell me, I beg of you, O you wife of Xenophon, if your neighbour has better gold than you have, whether you prefer her gold or your own?" "Hers," says she. "Suppose she has dresses and other ornaments suited to women, of more value than those which you have, should you prefer your own or hers?" "Hers, to be sure," answered she. "Come, then," says Aspasia, "suppose she has a better husband than you have, should you then prefer your own husband or hers?" On this the woman blushed.
But Aspasia began a discourse with Xenophon himself. "I ask you, O Xenophon," says she, "if your neighbour has a better horse than yours is, whether you would prefer your own horse or his?" "His," says he. "Suppose he has a better farm than you have, which farm, I should like to know, would you prefer to possess?" "Beyond all doubt," says he, "that which is the best." "Suppose he has a better wife than you have, would you prefer his wife?" And on this Xenophon himself was silent. Then spake Aspasia,—"Since each of you avoids answering me that question alone which was the only one which I wished to have answered, I will tell you what each of you are thinking of; for both you, O woman, wish to have the best husband, and you, O Xenophon, most exceedingly desire to have the most excellent wife. Wherefore, unless you both so contrive matters that there shall not be on the whole earth a more excellent man or a more admirable woman, then in truth you will at all times desire above all things that which you think to be the best thing in the world, namely, that you, O Xenophon, may be the husband of the best possible wife; and you, O woman, that you may be married to the most excellent husband possible." After they had declared their assent to these far from doubtful propositions, it followed, on account of the resemblance of the cases, that if any one had separately asked them about some doubtful point, that also would have been admitted as certain, on account of the method employed in putting the question.
This was a method of instruction which Socrates used to a great extent, because he himself preferred bringing forward no arguments for the purpose of persuasion, but wished rather that the person with whom he was disputing should form his own conclusions from arguments with which he had furnished himself, and which he was unavoidably compelled to approve of from the grounds which he had already assented to.
XXXII. And with reference to this kind of persuasion, it appears to me desirable to lay down a rule, in the first place, that the argument which we bring forward by way of simile, should be such that it is impossible to avoid admitting it. For the premiss on account of which we intend to demand that that point which is doubtful shall be conceded to us, ought not to be doubtful itself. In the next place, we must take care that that point, for the sake of establishing which the induction is made, shall be really like those things which we have adduced before as matters admitting of no question. For it will be of no service to us that something has been already admitted, if that for the sake of which we were desirous to get that statement admitted be unlike it; so that the hearer may not understand what is the use of those original inductions, or to what result they tend.