From Peithô's Web



Of the Original of Elocution and Pronuntiation.

THREE things being necessary to an Oration, namely, Proof, Elocution, and Disposition; we have done with the first, and shall speak of the other two in that which follows.

As for Action, or Pronuntiation, so much as is necessary for an Orator, may be fetcht out of the Book of the Art of Poetry, in which we have treated of the Action of the Stage.

For Tragedians were the first that invented such Action, and that but of late; and it consisteth in governing well the magnitude, tone, and measure of the Voice; a thing less subject to Art, than is either Proof, or Elocution.

And yet there have been Rules delivered concerning it, as far forth as serve for Poetry.

But Oratorical Action has not been hitherto reduced to Art.

And Orators in the beginning, when they saw that the Poets in barren and feigned Arguments, nevertheless attained great Reputation; supposing it had proceeded from the choice, or connexion of words, fell into a Stile, by imitation of them, approaching to Verse, and made choice of words.

But when the Poets changed their Stile, and laid by all words that were not in common use, the Orators did the same, and lighted at last upon words, and a Government of the Voice and Measures proper to themselves.

Seeing therefore Pronuntiation, or Action are in some degree necessary also for an Orator, the Precepts thereof are to be fetcht from the Art of Poetry.

[In the mean time this may be one general rule. If the Words, Tone, Greatness of the Voice, Gesture of the Body and Countenance, seem to proceed all from one Passion, then 'tis well pronounced. Otherwise not.

For when there appear more passions than one at once, the mind of the Speaker appears unnatural and distracted. Otherwise, as the mind of the Speaker, so the mind of the Hearer always.]


Of the Choice of Words and Epithets.

THE Vertues of a Word are two; the first, that it be perspicuous; the second, that it be decent; that is, neither above, nor below the thing signified; or, neither too humble, nor too fine.

Perspicuous are all Words that be Proper.

Fine Words are those, that are borrowed, or Translated from other significations; of which in the Art of Poetry.

The reason why borrowed Words please, is this. Men are affected with Words, as they are with Men, admiring in both that which is Forraign and New.

To make a Poem graceful, many things help; but few an Oration.

For to a Poet it sufficeth with what Words he can set out his Poem: but an Orator must not only do that; but also seem not to do it: for else he will be thought to speak unnaturally, and not as he thinks; and thereby be the less believed; whereas belief is the scope of his Oration.

The Words that an Orator ought to use are of three sorts. Proper; such as are Received; and Metaphors.

Words taken from Forraign Languages, Words compounded, and Words new coyned, are seldom to be used.

Synonimaes belong to Poets, and Equivocal Words to Sophisters.

An Orator, if he use Proper Words, and Received, and good Metaphors, shall both make his Oration beautiful, and not seem to intend it; and shall speak perspicuously. For in a Metaphor alone there is Perspicuity, Novity, and Sweetness.

     Concerning Metaphors the Rules are these.

1. He that will make the best of a thing, let him draw his Metaphor from somewhat that is better. As for Example, let him call a Crime, an Error. On the other side, when he would make the worst of it, let him draw his Metaphor from somewhat worse, as, calling Error, Crime.

2. A Metaphor ought not to be so far fetcht, as that the Similitude may not easily appear.

3. A Metaphor ought to be drawn from the noblest things, as the Poets do that choose rather to say, Rosy-fingered, than Red-fingered Aurora.

     In like manner the Rule of Epithets is,

That he that will adorn, should use those of the better sort; and he that will disgrace, should use those of the worse: as Simonides being to Write an Ode in honour of the Victory gotten in a Course by certain Mules, being not well paid, called them by their name ['Hêmionous] that signifies their propinquity to Asses: but having received a greater reward, stiles them the Sons of swift-footed Coursers.


Of the Things that make an Oration Flat.

THE things that make an Oration flat or insipide, are four.

1. Words Compounded; [and yet a Man may Compound a word, when the Composition is necessary, for want of a simple word; and easie, and seldom used.]

2. Forraign Words. As for Example, such as are newly derived from the Latine; which though they were proper among them whose tongue it is, are Forraign in another Language: and yet these may be used, so it be moderately.

3. Long, impertinent, and often Epithets.

4. Metaphors, indecent, and obscure. Obscure they are, when they are far fetcht. Indecent when they are ridiculous, as in Comedies; or too grave, as in Tragedies.


Of a Similitude.

A SIMILITUDE differs from a Metaphor only by such Particles of Comparison as these, As; Even as; So; Even so, etc.

A Similitude therefore is a Metaphor dilated; and a Metaphor is a Similitude Contracted into one Word.

A Similitude does well in an Oration, so it be not too frequent; for 'tis Poetical.

An Example of a Similitude, is this of Pericles; that said in his Oration, that the Baeotians were like to so many Oaks in a Wood, that did nothing but beat one another.


Of the Purity of Language.

FOUR things are necessary to make Language Pure.

1. The right rendring of those Particles which some antecedent Particle does require: as to a Not only, a Not also; and then they are rendered right, when they are not suspended too long.

2. The use of proper Words, rather than Circumlocutions, unless there be motive to make one do it of purpose.

3. That there be nothing of double construction, unless there be cause to do it of purpose. As the Prophets (of the Heathen) who speak in general terms, to the end they may the better maintain the truth of their Prophesies; which is easier maintained in generals, than in particulars. For 'tis easier to divine, whether a number be even or odd, than how many; and that a thing will be, than what it will be.

4. Concordance of Gender, Number, and Person; as not to say Him for Her; Man for Men; Hath for Have.

In Summ; a Man's Language ought to be easie for another to read, pronounce, and point.

Besides, to divers Antecedents, let divers Relatives, or one common to them all, be correspondent: as, He saw the Colour; He heard the Sound; or He perceived both Colour and Sound; but by no means, He heard or saw both.

Lastly, that which is to be interposed by Parenthesis, let it be done quickly: as, I purposed, having spoken to him (to this, and this purpose) afterward to be gone. For to put it off thus: I resolved, after I had spoken to him, to be gone; but the subject of my speech was to this and this purpose, is vitious.


Of the Amplitude and Tenuity of Language.

A man shall add Amplitude, or Dignity to his Language, but by such means as these.

1. By changing the Name with the Definition, as occasion shall serve. As when the Name shall be indecent, by using the Definition; or Contrary.

2. By Metaphors.

3. By using the plural number for the singular.

4. By privative Epithets.


Of the Convenience or Decency of Elocution.

ELOCUTIONS are made Decent,

1. By speaking feelingly; that is, with such Passion as is fit for the matter he is in; as Angerly in matter of Injury.

2. By speaking as becomes the Person of the Speaker; as for a Gentleman to speak eruditely.

3. By speaking proportionately to the matter; as of great affairs to speak in a high; and of mean, in a low Stile.

4. By abstaining from Compounded, and from Outlandish words; unless a Man speak passionately, and have already moved, and, as it were, inebriated his Hearers. Or Ironically.

It confers also to perswasion very much, to use these ordinary Forms of speaking, All men know; 'Tis confessed by all; No Man will deny, and the like. For the Hearer consents, surprized with the fear to be esteemed the only Ignorant Man.

'Tis good also, having used a word that signifies more than the matter requires, to abstain from the Pronunciation and Countenance that to such a word belongs: that the Disproportion between it and the matter may the less appear. And when a Man has said too much, it will shew well to correct himself: for he will get belief by seeming to consider what he says.

[But in this a Man must have a care not to be too precise in shewing of this Consideration. For the ostentation of Carefulness is an argument oftentimes of lying; as may be observed in such as tell particularities not easily observed, when they would be thought to speak more precise truth than is required.]


Of two Sorts of Stiles.

THERE be two sorts of Stiles.

The one continued or to be comprehended at once; the other divided, or distinguished by Periods.

The first sort was in use with antient Writers: but is now out of date.

An Example of this Stile is in the History of Herodotus; wherein there is no Period till the end of the whole History.

In the other kind of Stile, that is distinguished by Periods; a Period is such a part as is perfect in it self, and has such length as may easily be comprehended by the understanding.

This later kind is pleasant; the former unpleasant, because this appears finite, the other infinite: in this the Hearer has always somewhat set out, and terminated to him; in the other he fore-sees no end, and has nothing finished to him; this may easily be committed to memory, because of the measure and cadence (which is the cause that Verses be easily remembered); the other not.

Every Sentence ought to end with the period, and nothing to be interposed.

Period is either simple, or divided into Parts.

Simple is that which is Indivisible; as, I wonder you fear not their ends, whose actions you imitate.

A Period divided, is that which not only has perfection and length convenient, for respiration, but also Parts. As, I wonder you are not afraid of their ends, seeing you imitate their actions: where in these words, I wonder you are not afraid of their ends, is one Colon, or Part; and in these, Seeing you imitate their actions, another: and both together make the Period.

The parts, or members, and periods of speech ought neither to be too long, nor too short.

Too long are they, which are produced beyond the expectation of the Hearer.

Too short are they, that end before he expects it.

Those that be too long, leave the Hearer behind, like him that walking, goes beyond the usual end of the Walk, and thereby out-goes him that walks with him.

They that be too short, make the Hearer stumble; for when he looks far before him, the end stops him before he be aware.

A period that is divided into parts, is either divided only; or has also an Opposition of the Parts one to another.

Divided only is such as this: This the Senate knows; the Consul sees; and yet the Man lives.

A Period with Opposition of Parts, called also Antithesis, and the parts Antitheta, is when contrary parts are put together; or also joyned by a third.

Contrary parts are put together, as here, The one has obtained Glory, the other Riches; both by my benefit.

Antitheta are therefore acceptable; because not only the parts appear the better for the opposition; but also for that they carry with them a certain appearance of that kind of Enthymeme, which leads to Impossibility.

Parts, or Members of a Period, are said to be equal, when they have altogether, or almost equal Number of Syllables.

Parts, or Members of a Period, are said to be like, when they begin, or end alike: and the more Similitudes, and the greater equality there is of Syllables, the more graceful is the Period.


Of those Things that grace an Oration, and make it delightful.

FORASMUCH as there is nothing more delightful to a Man, than to find that he apprehends and learns easily; it necessarily follows, that those Words are most grateful to the Ear, that make a Man seem to see before his Eyes the things signified.

And therefore Forraign Words are unpleasant, because Obscure; and Plain Words, because too Manifest, making us learn nothing new: but Metaphors please; for they beget in us by the Genus, or some common thing to that with another, a kind of Science: as when an Old Man is called Stubble; a Man suddenly learns that he grows up, flourisheth, and withers like Grass, being put in mind of it by the qualities common to Stubble, and to Old Men.

That which a Metaphor does, a Similitude does the same; but with less grace, because with more prolixity.

Such Enthymemes are the most graceful, which neither are presently very Manifest, nor yet very hard to be understood(2), but are comprehended, while they are uttering, or presently after, though not understood before.

The things that make a speech graceful, are these; Antitheta, Metaphors, and Animation.

Of Antitheta and Antithesis hath been spoken in the precedent Chapter.

Of Metaphors the most graceful is that which is drawn from Proportion.

[Aristotle (in the 12 Chapter of his Poetry) defines a Metaphor to be the translation of a name from one signification to another; whereof he makes four kinds: 1. From the General to the Particular. 2. From the Particular to the General. 3. From one Particular to another. 4. From Proportion.]

A Metaphor from Proportion is such as this, A State without Youth, is a Year without a Spring.

Animation is that expression which makes us seem to see the thing before our eyes; as he that said, The Athenians poured out their City into Sicily, meaning, they sent thither the greatest Army they could make; and this is the greatest grace of an Oration.

If therefore in the same Sentence there concur both Metaphor, and this Animation, and also Antithesis, it cannot choose but be very graceful.

That an Oration is graced by Metaphor, Animation, and Antithesis, hath been said: but how 'tis graced, is to be said in the next Chapter.


In what Manner an Oration is graced by the Things aforesaid.

'TIS graced by Animation, when the actions of living Creatures are attributed to things without life; as when the Sword is said to devour.

Such Metaphors as these come into a Mans mind by the observation of things that have similitude and proportion one to another. And the more unlike and unproportionable the things be otherwise, the more grace hath the Metaphor.

A Metaphor without Animation, adds grace then, when the Hearer finds he learns somewhat by such use of the word.

Also Paradoxes are graceful, so Men inwardly do believe them: for they have in them somewhat like to those jests that are grounded upon the similitude of words, which have usually one sense, and in the present another; and somewhat like to those jests which are grounded upon the deceiving of a Mans expectation.

And Paragrams; that is, allusions of words are graceful, if they be well placed; and in Periods not too long; and with Antithesis; for by these means the ambiguity is taken away.

And the more of these; namely, Metaphor, Animation, Antithesis, Equality of Members, a Period hath, the more graceful it is.

Similitudes grace an Oration, when they contain also a Metaphor.

And Proverbs are graceful, because they are Metaphors, or Translations of words from one species to another.

And Hyperboles, because they also are Metaphors: but they are youthful, and bewray vehemence; and are used with most grace by them that are angry; and for that cause are not comely in Old Men.


Of the Difference between the Stile to be used in Writing, and the Stile to be used in Pleading.

THE Stile that should be Read ought to be more exact and accurate.

But the Stile of a Pleader ought to be suited to Action and Pronuntiation.

Orations of them that Plead, pass away with the hearing.

But those that are Written, Men carry about them, and are considered at leisure; and consequently must endure to be sifted and examined.

Written Orations appear flat in Pleading.

And Orations made for the Barr, when the Action is away, appear in Reading insipide.

In Written Orations Repetition is justly condemned.

But in Pleadings, by the help of Action, and by some change in the Pleader, Repetition becomes Amplification.

In Written Orations Disjunctives do ill; as, I came, I found him, I asked him: for they seem superfluous, and but one thing, because they are not distinguished by Action.

But in Pleadings 'tis Amplification; because that which is but one thing, is made to seem many.

Of Pleadings, that which is Judicial ought to be more accurate, than that which is before the people.

And an Oration to the people ought to be more accommodate to Action, than a Judicial.

And of Judicial Orations, that ought to be more accurate, which is uttered to few Judges; and that ought to be more accommodate to Action, which is uttered to many. As in a Picture, the farther he stands off that beholds it, the less need there is that the Colours be fine: so in Orations, the farther the Hearer stands off, the less need there is for his Oration to be elegant.

Therefore Demonstrative Orations are most proper for Writing, the end whereof is to Read.


Of the Parts of an Oration, and their Order.

THE necessary Parts of an Oration are but two; Propositions, and Proof; which are as it were the Probleme, and Demonstration.

The Proposition is the explication, or opening of the Matter to be proved.

And Proof is the Demonstration of the Matter propounded.

To these necessary parts, are sometimes added two other, the Proeme and the Epilogue, neither of which are any Proof.

So that in some there be four parts of an Oration; the Proeme, the Proposition, or (as the others call it) the Narration, the Proofs, (which contain Confirmation, Confutation, Amplification, and Diminution,) and the Epilogue.


Of the Proeme.

THE Proeme is the beginning of an Oration, and, as it were, the preparing of the way before one enter into it.

In some kinds of Orations it resembles the Prelude of Musicians, who first play what they list, and afterwards the Tune they intended.

In other kinds it resembles the Prologue of a Play, that contains the Argument.

Proemes of the first sort, are most proper for Demonstrative Orations; in which a Man is free to foretell, or not, what points he will insist upon; and for the most part 'tis better not: because when a Man has not obliged himself to a certain matter, Digression will seem Variety: but if he have ingaged himself, Variety will be accounted Digression.

In Demonstratives the matter of the Proeme consisteth in the Praise or Dispraise of some Law or Custom, or in Exhortation, or Dehortation; or something that serves to incline the Hearer to the purpose.

Proemes of the second kind are most proper for Judicial Orations. For as the Prologue in a Dramatick, and the Exordium in an Epique Poem, setteth first in few words the Argument of the Poem: so in a Judicial Oration the Orator ought to exhibit a Model of his Oration, that the mind of the Hearer may not be suspended, and for want of fore-sight, err or wander.

Whatsoever else belongs to a Proeme, is drawn from one of these four; From the Speaker, From the Adversary, From the Hearer, or from the Matter.

From the Speaker and Adversary are drawn into Proemes such Criminations and Purgations as belong not to the cause.

To the Defendant 'tis necessary in the Proeme to answer to the accusations of his Adversary; that those being cleared, he may have a more favourable entrance to the rest of his Oration.

But to the Plaintife 'tis better to cast his Criminations all into the Epilogue, that the Judge may the more easily remember them.

From the Hearer and from the Matter are drawn into the Proeme such things as serve to make the Hearer favourable, or angry; attentive, or not attentive, as need shall require.

And Hearers use to be attentive to persons that are reputed good; to things that are of great Consequence, or that concern themselves, or that are strange, or that delight.

But to make the Hearer attentive, is not the part of the Proeme only, but of any other part of the Oration, and rather of any other part, than of the Proeme. For the Hearer is every where more remiss than in the beginning. And therefore wheresoever there is need, the Orator must make appear both the probity of his own person, and that the matter in hand is of great Consequence; or that it concerns the Hearer; or that it is new; or that it is delightful.

He that will have the Hearer attentive to him, but not to the Cause, must on the other side make it seem that the matter is a trifle, without relation to the Hearer, common, and tedious.

That the Hearer may be favourable to the Speaker, one of two things is required; that he love him, or that he pity him.

In Demonstrative Orations, he that praises shall have the Hearer favourable if he think himself, or his own manners, or course of life, or any thing he loves, comprehended in the same praise.

On the contrary, he that dispraises, shall be heard favourably, if the Hearer find his Enemies, or their courses, or any thing he hates, involved in the same dispraise.

The Proeme of a Deliberative Oration is taken from the same things, from which are taken the Proemes of Judicial Orations. For the matter of a Deliberative Oration needeth not that natural Proeme, by which is shewn what we are to speak of; for that is already known: the Proeme in these, being made only for the Speakers, or Adversaries sake; or to make the Matter appear great, or little, as one would have it, and is therefore to be taken from the persons of the Plaintif or Defendant; or from the Hearer, or from the Matter, as in Orations Judicial.


Places of Crimination, and Purgation.

1. ONE is from the removal of ill Opinion in the Hearer, imprinted in him by the Adversary, or otherwise.

2. Another from this, That the thing done is not hurful, or not to him, or not so much, or not unjust, or not great, or not dishonourable.

3. A third from the Recompence, as, I did him harm, but withal I did him honour.

4. A fourth from the Excuse; as, It was Errour, Mischance, or Constraint.

5. A fifth from the Intention; as, One thing was done, another meant.

6. A sixth from the Comprehension of the Accuser; as, What I have done, the Accuser has done the same; or his Father, Kinsman, or Friend.

7. From the Comprehension of those that are in Reputation; as, What I did, such and such have done the same, who nevertheless are good Men.

8. From Comparison with such as have been falsely accused, or wrongfully suspected, and nevertheless found upright.

9. From Recrimination; as, The Accuser is a man of ill life, and therefore not to be believed.

10. From that the Judgment belongs to another Place, or Time; as, I have already answered, or am to answer elsewhere to this Matter.

11. From Crimination of the Crimination; as, It serves only to pervert Judgment.

12. A twelfth, which is common both to Crimination and Purgation, and is taken from some sign, as Teucer is not to be believed, because his Mother was Priam's Sister. On the other side, Teucer is to be believed, because his Father was Priam's Enemy.

13. A thirteenth, proper to Crimination only, from praise and dispraise mixt: as, To praise small things, and blame great ones; or to praise in many words, and blame with effectual ones; or to praise many things that are good, and then add one evil, but a great one.

14. A fourteenth, coming both to Crimination and Purgation, is taken from the interpretation of the fact: for he that purgeth himself interpreteth the fact always in the best sense; and he that Criminates, always in the worst; as when Ulysses said, Diomedes chose him for his Companion, as the most able of the Grecians, to aid him in his exploit: but his Adversary said, He chose him for his cowardice, as the most unlikely to share with him in the Honour.


Of the Narration.

THE Narration is not always continued and of one Piece; but sometimes, as in Demonstratives, interrupted, and dispersed through the whole Oration.

For there being in a Narration something that falls not under Art; as namely, the Actions themselves, which the Orator inventeth not; he must therefore bring in the Narration of them where he best may. As for Example, if being to praise a Man, you would make a Narration of all his Acts immediately from the beginning, and without interruption, you will find it necessary afterwards to repeat the same Acts again, while from some of them you praise his Valour, and from others his Wisdom: whereby your Oration shall have less variety, and shall less please.

'Tis not necessary always that the Narration be short. The true measure of it must be taken from the matter that is to be laid open.

In the Narration, as oft as may be, 'tis good to insert somewhat commendable in ones self, and blameable in ones Adversary: As, I advised him but he would take no Counsel.

In Narrations, a Man is to leave out whatsoever breeds compassion, indignation in the Hearer besides the purpose; as Ulysses in Homer, relating his Travels to Alcinous, to move compassion in him, is so long in it, that it consists of divers Books: but when he comes home, tells the same to his Wife in thirty Verses, leaving out what might make her sad.

The Narration ought also to be in such words as argue the Manners; that is, some virtuous or vicious habit in him of whom we speak, although it be not exprest; As, setting his Arms a kenbold, he answered, etc. by which is insinuated the pride of him that so answered.

In an Oration a Man does better to shew his affection than his Judgment: that is, 'Tis better to say, I like this; than to say, 'This is better. For by the one you would seem wise, by the other good. But Favour follows Goodness; whereas Wisdom procures Envy.

But if this Affection seem incredible, then either a reason must be rendered, as did Antigone. For when she had said, She loved her brother better than her Husband or Children; she added, for Husband and Children I may have more; but another Brother I cannot, my Parents being both dead. Or else a man must use this form of speaking; I know this affection of mine seems strange to you; but nevertheless it is such. For 'tis not easily believed, that any Man has a mind to do any thing that is not for his own good.

Besides in a Narration, not only the Actions themselves; but the Passions, and signs that accompany them, are to be discovered.

And in his Narration a Man should make himself and his Adversary be considered for such, and such, as soon, and as covertly as he can.

A Narration may have need sometimes not to be in the beginning.

In Deliberative Orations; that is, where soever the question is of things to come; a Narration, which is always of things past, has no place: and yet things past may be recounted, that Men may deliberate better of the future: But that is not as Narration, but Proof, for 'tis Example.

There may also be Narration in Deliberatives in that part where Crimination and Praise come in: But that part is not Deliberative, but Demonstrative.


Of Proof, or Confirmation, and Refutation.

PROOFS are to be applyed to something controverted.

The Controversie in Judicial Oration is, Whether it has been done; whether it has been hurtful; whether the matter be so great, and whether it be Just, or no.

In a question of Fact, one of the Parties of necessity is faulty, (for ignorance of the Fact is no excuse,) and therefore the Fact is chiefly to be insisted on.

In Demonstratives, the Fact for the most part is supposed: but the honour and profit of the Fact are to be proved.

In Deliberatives, the question is, Whether the thing be like to be, or likely to be so great: or whether it be just; or whether it be profitable.

Besides the application of the Proof to the question, a Man ought to observe, whether his Adversary have lyed in any point without the Cause. For 'tis a sign he does the same in the Cause.

The Proofs themselves are either Examples, or Enthymemes.

A Deliberative Oration, because 'tis of things to come, requireth rather Examples, than Enthymemes.

But a Judicial Oration, being of things past, which have a necessity in them, and may be concluded syllogistically, requireth rather Enthymemes.

Enthymemes ought not to come too thick together, for they hinder one anothers force by confounding the Hearer.

Nor ought a Man to endeavour to prove every thing by Enthymeme, least like some Philosophers, he collect what is known, from what is less known.

Nor ought a Man to use Enthymemes, when he would move the Hearer to some affection: For seeing divers Motions do mutually destroy or weaken one another, he will lose either the Enthymeme, or the affection that he would move.

For the same reason, a Man ought not to use Enthymemes when he would express Manners.

But whether he would move affection, or insinuate his Manners, he may withal use Sentences.

A Deliberative Oration is more difficult than a Judicial, because 'tis of the future, whereas a Judicial is of that which is past, and that consequently may be known; and because it has principles, namely the Law; and it is easier to prove from principles, than without.

Besides, a Deliberative Oration wants those helps of turning to the Adversary; of speaking of himself; of raising passion.

He therefore that wants matter in a Deliberative Oration, let him bring in some person to praise or dispraise.

And in Demonstratives he that has nothing to say in commendation or discommendation of the principal party, let him praise or dispraise some body else, as his Father, or Kinsman, or the very vertues or vices themselves.

He that wants not Proofs, let him not only prove strongly, but also insinuate his Manners: but he that has no Proof, let him nevertheless insinuate his Manners. For a good Man is as acceptable, as an exact Oration.

Of Proofs, those that lead to an absurdity, please better than those that are direct or ostensive; because from the comparison of Contraries, namely, Truth and Falsity, the force of the Syllogisme does the better appear.

Confutation is also a part of Proof.

And he that speaks first, puts it after his own Proofs, unless the Controversie contain many and different matters. And he that speaks last, puts it before.

For 'tis necessary to make way for his own Oration, by removing the Objections of him that spake before. For the mind abhors both the Man, and his Oration, that is damned before hand.

If a Man desire his Manners should appear well, (least speaking of himself he become odious, or troublesome, or obnoxious to obtrectation; or speaking of another, he seem contumelious, or scurrilous,) let him introduce another person.

Last of all, least he cloy his Hearer with Enthymemes, let him vary them sometimes with Sentences; but such as have the same force. As here is an Enthymeme. If it be then the best time to make peace when the best conditions of peace may be had, then the time is now, while our Fortune is entire. And this is a Sentence of equal force to it. Wise Men make peace, while their Fortune is entire.


Of Interrogations, Answers, and Jests.

THE times wherein 'tis fit to ask ones Adversary a question are chiefly four.

1. The first is, when of two Propositions that conclude an Absurdity, he has already uttered one; and we would by Interrogation draw him to confess the other.

2. The second, when of two Propositions that conclude an Absurdity, one is manifest of it self, and the other likely to be fetched out by a question; then the Interrogation will be seasonable; and the absurd Conclusion is presently to be inferred, without adding that Proposition which is manifest.

3. The third, when a Man would make appear that his Adversary does contradict himself.

4. The fourth, when a Man would take from his Adversary such shifts as these, In some sort 'tis so; In some sort 'tis not so.

Out of these Cases 'tis not fit to interrogate. For he whose question succeeds not, is thought vanquished.

To equivocal questions a Man ought to answer fully, and not to be too brief.

To Interrogations which we fore-see tend to draw from us an Answer, contrary to our purpose, we must, together with our Answer, presently give an Answer to the objection which is implyed in the Question.

And where the Question exacteth an Answer that concludeth against us, we must together with our Answer presently distinguish.

Jests are dissolved by serious and grave discourse: and grave discourse is deluded by Jests.

The several kinds of Jests are set down in the Art of Poetry.

Whereof one kind is Ironia, and tends to please ones self.

The other is Scurrility, and tends to please others.

The latter of these has in it a kind of baseness; the former may become a Man of good breeding.


Of the Peroration.

THE Peroration must consist of one of these four things.

Inclining the Judge to favour yourself, or to disfavour your Adversary. For then, when all has been said respecting the cause, is the best season to praise, or dispraise the Parties.

Of Amplification or Diminution. For when it appears what is good or evil, then is the time to shew how great, or how little that good or evil is.

Or in moving the Judge to Anger, Love, or other Passion. For when it is manifest of what kind, and how great the good or evil is, then it will be opportune to excite the Judge.

Or of Repetition, that the Judge may remember what has been said.

Repetition consisteth in the matter, and the manner. For the Orator must shew, that he has performed what he promised in the beginning of his Oration, and how: namely, by comparing his Arguments one by one with his Adversaries, repeating them in the same order they were spoken.

1. Hobbes has overlooked Aristotle's 8th chapter "on Rhythm."

2. epipolaia and agnoumena

Scanned from: Aristotle; Treatise on Rhetoric, literally translated from the Greek, with the Analysis by T Hobbes, by Thomas Buckley, in the Bohn's Classical Library. Scanned by Agathon for Peithô's Web and your enjoyment.

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