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The Orations of Marcus Tullius Cicero, Volume 4 by Cicero

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uniform, some are evident, others are concealed. Those are evident
which touch the desire or judgment of the mind; those are concealed
which are subject to fortune: for as nothing is done without some
cause, this very obscure cause, which works in a concealed manner,
is the issue of fortune. Again, these results which are produced are
partly unintended, partly intentional. Those are unintended which are
produced by necessity; those are intentional which are produced by
design. But those results which are produced by fortune are either
unintended or intentional. For to shoot an arrow is an act of
intention; to hit a man whom you did not mean to hit is the result of
fortune. And this is the topic which you use like a battering-ram in
your forensic pleadings; if a weapon has flown from the man's hand
rather than been thrown by him. Also agitation of mind may be divided
into absence of knowledge and absence of intention. And although they
are to a certain extent voluntary, (for they are diverted from their
course by reproof or by admonition,) still they are liable to such
emotions that even those acts of theirs which are intentional
sometimes seem either unavoidable, or at all events unintentional.

The whole topic of these causes then being now fully explained, from
their differences there is derived a great abundance of arguments in
all the important discussions of orators and philosophers. And in the
cases which you lawyers argue, if there is not so plentiful a stock,
what there are, are perhaps more subtle and shrewd. For in private
actions the decisions in the most important cases appear to me to
depend a great deal on the acuteness of the lawyers. For they are
constantly present, and are taken into counsel; and they supply
weapons to able advocates whenever they have recourse to their
professional wisdom.

In all those judicial proceedings then, in which the words "according
to good faith" are added, or even those words, "as ought to be done by
one good man to another;" and above all, in all cases of arbitration
respecting matrimonial rights, in which the words "juster and better"
occur, the lawyers ought to be always ready. For they know what
"dishonest fraud," or "good faith," or "just," or "good" mean. They
are acquainted with the law between partners; they know what the man
who has the management of the affairs of another is bound to do with
respect to him whose affairs he manages; they have laid down rules to
show what the man who has committed a charge to another, and what he
who has had it committed to him, ought to do; what a husband ought to
confer on his wife, and a wife on her husband. It will, therefore,
when they have by diligence arrived at a proper understanding of the
topics from which the necessary arguments are derived, be in the power
not only of orators and philosophers, but of lawyers also, to discuss
with abundance of argument all the questions which can arise for their

XVIII. Conjoined to this topic of causes is that topic which is
supplied by causes. For as cause indicates effect, so what has been
effected points out what the efficient cause has been. This topic
ordinarily supplies to orators and poets, and often to philosophers
also, that is to say, to those who have an elegant and argumentative
and rich style of eloquence, a wonderful store of arguments, when they
predict what will result from each circumstance. For the knowledge of
causes produces a knowledge of effects.

The remaining topic is that of comparison, the genus and instances of
which have been already explained, as they have in the case of the
other topics. At present we must explain the manner of dealing with
this one. Those things then are compared which are greater than one
another, or less than one another, or equal to one another. In which
these points are regarded; number, appearance, power, and some
particular relation to some particular thing.

Things will be compared in number thus: so that more advantages may be
preferred to fewer; fewer evils to more; more lasting advantages
to those which are more short-lived; those which have an extensive
application to those the effect of which is narrowed: those from which
still further advantages may be derived, and those which many people
may imitate and reproduce.

Things again will be compared with reference to their appearance, so
that those things may be preferred which are to be desired for their
own sake, to those which are only sought for the sake of something
else: and so that innate and inherent advantages may be preferred to
acquired and adventitious ones; complete good to mixed good; pleasant
things to things less pleasant; honourable things to such as are
merely useful; easy things to difficult ones; necessary to unnecessary
things; one's own advantage to that of others; rare things to common
ones; desirable things to those which you can easily do without;
things complete to things which are only begun; wholes to parts;
things proceeding on reason to things void of reason; voluntary to
necessary things; animate to inanimate things; things natural to
things not natural; things skilfully produced by art to things with
which art has no connexion.

But power in a comparison is perceived in this way: an efficient cause
is more important than one which effects nothing; those causes which
can act by themselves are superior to those which stand in need of the
aid of others; those which are in our power are preferable to those
which are in the power of another; lasting causes surpass those which
are uncertain; things of which no one can deprive us are better than
things which can be easily taken away.

But the way in which people or things are disposed towards some
things is of this sort: the interests of the chief citizens are more
important than those of the rest: and also, those things which are
more agreeable, which are approved of by more people, or which
are praised by the most virtuous men, are preferable. And as in a
comparison these things are the better, so those which are contrary to
them are the worse.

But the comparison between things like or equal to each other has no
elation or submission; for it is on equal terms: but there are many
things which are compared on account of their very equality; which are
usually concluded in this manner: "If to assist one's fellow-citizens
with counsel and personal aid deserves equal praise, those men who act
as counsellors ought to enjoy an equal glory with those who are the
actual defenders of a state." But the first premiss is certainly the
case; therefore so must the consequent be.

Every rule necessary for the discovery of arguments is now concluded;
so that as you have proceeded from definition, from partition, from
observation, from words connected with one another, from genus, from
species, from similarity, from difference, from contraries, from
accessories, from consequents, from antecedents, from things
inconsistent with one another, from causes, from effects, from a
comparison with greater, or lesser, or equal things,--there is no
topic of argument whatever remaining to be discovered.

XIX. But since we originally divided the inquiry in such a way that we
said that other topics also were contained in the very matter which
was the subject of inquiry; (but of those we have spoken at sufficient
length:) that others were derived from external subjects; and of these
we will say a little; although those things have no relation whatever
to your discussions. But still we may as well make the thing complete,
since we have begun it. Nor are you a man who take no delight in
anything except civil law; and since this treatise is dedicated to
you, though not so exclusively but that it will also come into the
hands of other people, we must take pains to be as serviceable as
possible to those men who are addicted to laudable pursuits.

This sort of argumentation then which is said not to be founded on
art, depends on testimony. But we call everything testimony which is
deduced from any external circumstances for the purpose of implanting
belief. Now it is not every one who is of sufficient weight to give
valid testimony; for authority is requisite to make us believe things.
But it is either a man's natural character or his age which invests
him with authority. The authority derived from a man's natural
character depends chiefly on his virtue; but on his age there are
many things which confer authority; genius, power, fortune, skill,
experience, necessity, and sometimes even a concourse of accidental
circumstances. For men think able and opulent men, and men who have
been esteemed during a long period of their lives, worthy of being
believed Perhaps they are not always right; but still it is not easy
to change the sentiments of the common people; and both those who form
judgments and those who adopt vague opinions shape everything with
reference to them. For those men who are eminent for those qualities
which I have mentioned, seem to be eminent for virtue itself. But in
the other circumstances also which I have just enumerated, although
there is in them no appearance of virtue, still sometimes belief
is confirmed by them, if either any skill is displayed,--for the
influence of knowledge in inspiring belief is very great; or any
experience--for people are apt to believe those who are men of

XX. Necessity also engenders belief, which sways both bodies and
minds. For what men say when worn out with tortures, and stripes, and
fire, appears to be uttered by truth itself. And those statements
which proceed from agitation of mind, such as pain, cupidity, passion,
and fear, because those feelings have the force of necessity, bring
authority and belief. And of this kind are those circumstances from
which at times the truth is discovered; childhood, sleep, ignorance,
drunkenness, insanity. For children have often indicated something,
though ignorant to what it related; and many things have often been
discovered by sleep, and wine, and insanity. Many men also have
without knowing it fallen into great difficulties, as lately happened
to Stalenus; who said things in the hearing of certain excellent men,
though a wall was between them, which, when they were revealed and
brought before a judicial tribunal, were thought so wicked that he was
rightly convicted of a capital offence. And we have heard something
similar concerning Pausanias the Lacedaemonian.

But the concourse of fortuitous events is often of this kind; when
anything has happened by chance to interrupt, when anything was being
done or said which it was desirable should not have been done or said.
Of this kind is that multitude of suspicions of treason which were
heaped upon Palamedes. And circumstances of this kind are sometimes
scarcely able to be refuted by truth itself. Of this kind too is
ordinary report among the common people; which is as it were the
testimony of the multitude.

But those things which create belief on account of the virtue of the
witness are of a two-fold kind; one of which is valid on account of
nature, the other by industry. For the virtue of the gods is eminent
by nature; but that of men, because of their industry.

Testimonies of this kind are nearly divine, first of all, that of
oration, (for oracles were so called from that very same word, as
there is in them the oration of the gods;) then that of things in
which there are, as it were, many divine works; first of all, the word
itself, and its whole order and ornaments; then the airy flights and
songs of birds; then the sound and heat of that same air; and the
numerous prodigies of divers kinds seen on the earth; and also, the
power of foreseeing the future by means of the entrails of victims:
many things, too, which are shown to the living by those who are
asleep: from all which topics the testimonies of the gods are at times
adduced so as to create belief.

In the case of a man, the opinion of his virtue is of the greatest
weight. For opinion goes to this extent, that those men have virtue,
not only who do really possess it, but those also who appear to
possess it. Therefore, those men whom they see endowed with genius
and diligence and learning, and whose life they see is consistent and
approved of, like Cato and Laelius, and Scipio, and many others, they
consider such men as they themselves would wish to be. And not only
do they think them such who enjoy honours conferred on them by the
people, and who busy themselves with affairs of state, but also those
who are orators, and philosophers, and poets, and historians; from
whose sayings and writings authority is often sought for to establish

XXI. Having thus explained all the topics serviceable for arguing, the
first thing to be understood is, that there is no discussion whatever
to which some topic or other is not applicable; and on the other hand,
that it is not every topic which is applicable to every discussion;
but that different topics are suited to different subjects.

There are two kinds of inquiry: one, infinite; the other, definite.
The definite one is that which the Greeks call [Greek: hupothesis],
and we, a cause; the infinite one, that which they call [Greek:
thesis], and which we may properly term a proposition.

A cause is determined by certain persons, places, times, actions, and
things, either all or most of them; but a proposition is declared in
some one of those things, or in several of them, and those not the
most important: therefore, a proposition is a part of a cause. But the
whole inquiry is about some particular one of those things in which
causes are contained; whether it be one, or many, or sometimes all.
But of inquiries, concerning whatever thing they are, there two kinds;
one theoretical, the other practical. Theoretical inquiries are those
of which the proposed aim is science; as, 'If it is inquired whether
right proceeds from nature, or from some covenant, as it were, and
bargain between men. But the following are instances of practical
inquiry: "Whether it is the part of a wise man to meddle with
statesmanship." The inquiries into theoretical matters are threefold;
as what is inquired is, whether a thing exists, or what it is, or
what its character is. The first of these queries is explained by
conjecture; the second, by definition; the third, by distinctions of
right and wrong.

The method of conjecture is distributed into four parts; one of which
is, when the inquiry is whether something exists; a second, when the
question is, whence it has originated; a third, when one seeks to know
what cause produced it; the fourth is that in which the alterations to
which the subject is liable are examined: "Whether it exists or not;
whether there is anything honourable, anything intrinsically and
really just; or whether these things only exist in opinion." But the
inquiry whence it has originated, is when an inquiry is such as
this, "Whether virtue is implanted by nature, or whether it can be
engendered by instruction." But the efficient cause is like this, as
when an inquiry is, "By what means eloquence is produced." Concerning
the alterations of anything, in this manner: "Whether eloquence can by
any alteration be converted into a want of eloquence."

XXII. But when the question is what a thing is; the notion is to be
explained, and the property, and the division, and the partition. For
these things are all attributed to definition. Description also is
added, which the Greeks call [Greek: charaktaer]. A notion is inquired
into in this way: "Whether that is just which is useful to that person
who is the more powerful." Property, in this way: "Whether melancholy
is incidental to man alone, or whether beasts also are liable to it."
Division, and also partition, in this manner: "Whether there are three
descriptions of good things." Description, like this: "What sort of
person a miser is; what sort of person a flatterer;" and other things
of that sort, by which the nature and life of a man are described.

But when the inquiry is what the character of something is, the
inquiry is conducted either simply, or by way of comparison.
Simply, in this way: "Whether glory is to be sought for." By way of
comparison, in this way: "Whether glory is to be preferred to riches."
Of simple inquiries there are three kinds; about seeking for or
avoiding anything, about the right and the wrong; about what is
honourable and what is discreditable. But of inquiries by way of
comparison there are two; one of the thing itself and something else;
one of something greater and something else. Of seeking for and
avoiding a thing, in this way: "Whether riches are to be sought
for: whether poverty is to be avoided." Concerning right and wrong:
"Whether it is right to revenge oneself, whoever the person may be
from whom one has received an injury." Concerning what is honourable
and what is discreditable: "Whether it is honourable to die for one's
country." But of the other kind of inquiry, which has been stated to
be twofold, one is about the thing in question and something else;
as if it were asked, "What is the difference between a friend and
a flatterer, between a king and a tyrant?" The other is between
something greater and something less; as if it were asked, "Whether
eloquence is of more consequence than the knowledge of civil law." And
this is enough about theoretical inquiries.

It remains to speak of practical ones; of which there are two kinds:
one relating to one's duty, the other to engendering, or calming, or
utterly removing any affection of the mind. Relating to duty thus: as
when the question is, "Whether children ought to be bad." Relating to
influencing the mind, when exhortations are delivered to men to defend
the republic, or when they are encouraged to seek glory and praise:
of which kind of addresses are complaints, and encouragements, and
tearful commiseration; and again, speeches extinguishing anger, or at
other times removing fear, or repressing the exultation of joy, or
effacing melancholy. As these different divisions belong to general
inquiries, they are also transferable to causes.

XXIII. But the next thing to be inquired is, what topics are adapted
to each kind of inquiry; for all those which we have already mentioned
are suitable to most kinds; but still, different topics, as I have
said before, are better suited to different investigations. Those
arguments are the most suitable to conjectural discussion which can be
deduced from causes, from effects, or from dependent circumstances.
But when we have need of definition, then we must have recourse to the
principles and science of defining. And akin to this is that other
argument also which we said was employed with respect to the subject
in question and something else; and that is a species of definition.
For if the question is, "Whether pertinacity and perseverance are the
same thing," it must be decided by definitions. And the topics which
are incidental to a discussion of this kind are those drawn from
consequents, or antecedents, or inconsistencies, with the addition
also of those two topics which are deduced from causes and effects.
For if such and such a thing is a consequence of this, but not a
consequence of that; or if such and such a thing is a necessary
antecedent to this, but not to that; or if it is inconsistent with
this, but not with that; or if one thing is the cause of this, and
another the cause of that; or if this is effected by one thing,
and that by another thing; from any one of these topics it may be
discovered whether the thing which is the subject of discussion is the
same thing or something else.

With respect to the third kind of inquiry, in which the question is
what the character of the matter in question is, those things are
incidental to the comparison which were enumerated just now under the
topic of comparison. But in that kind of inquiry where the question
is about what is to be sought for or avoided, those arguments are
employed which refer to advantages or disadvantages, whether affecting
the mind or body, or being external. And again, when the inquiry is
not what is honourable or discreditable, all our argument must be
addressed to the good or bad qualities of the mind.

But when right and wrong are being discussed, all the topics of equity
are collected. These are divided in a two-fold manner, as to whether
they are such by nature or owing to institutions. Nature has two
parts to perform, to defend itself, and to indicate right. But the
agreements which establish equity are of a threefold character: one
part is that which rests on laws; one depends on convenience; the
third is founded on and established by antiquity of custom. And again,
equity itself is said to be of a threefold nature: one division of it
having reference to the gods above; another, to the shades below; a
third, to mankind. The first is called piety; the second, sanctity;
the third, justice or equity.

XXIV. I have said enough about propositions. There are now a few
things which require to be said about causes. For they have many
things in common with propositions.

There are then three kinds of causes; having for their respective
objects, judgment, deliberation, and panegyric. And the object of each
points out what topics we ought to employ in each. For the object of
judicial judgment is right; from which also it derives its name. And
the divisions of right were explained when we explained the divisions
of equity. The object of deliberation is utility; of which the
divisions have also been already explained when we were treating of
things to be desired. The object of panegyric is honour; concerning
which also we have already spoken.

But inquiries which are definite are all of them furnished with
appropriate topics, as if they belonged to themselves, being divided
into accusation and defence. And in them there are these kinds of
argumentation. The accuser accuses a person of an act; the advocate
for the defence opposes one of these excuses: either that the thing
imputed has not been done; or that, if it has been done, it deserves
to be called by a different name; or that it was done lawfully and
rightly. Therefore, the first is called a defence either by way of
denial or by way of conjecture; the second is called a defence by
definition; the third, although it is an unpopular name, is called the
judicial one.

XXV. The arguments proper to these excuses, being derived from the
topics which we have already set forth, have been explained in our
oratorical rules. But the refutation of an accusation, in which there
is a repelling of a charge, which is called in Greek [Greek: stasis],
is in Latin called _status_. On which there is founded, in the first
place, such a defence as may effectually resist the attack. And also,
in the deliberations and panegyrics the same refutations often have
place. For it is often denied that those things are likely to happen
which have been stated by some or other in his speech as sure to take
place; if it can be shown either that they are actually impossible, or
that they cannot be brought about without extreme difficulty. And in
this kind of argumentation the conjectural refutation takes place. But
when there is any discussion about utility, or honour, or equity, and
about those things which are contrary to one another, then come in
denials, either of the law or of the name of the action. And the same
is the case in panegyrics. For one may either deny that that has been
done which the person is praised for; or else that it ought to bear
that name which the praiser has conferred on it, or else one may
altogether deny that it deserves any praise at all, as not having been
done rightly or lawfully. And Caesar employed all these different kinds
of denial with exceeding impudence when speaking against my friend
Cato. But the contest which arises from a denial is called by the
Greeks [Greek: krinomenon]; I, while writing to you, prefer calling it
"the precise point in dispute." But for the parts within which this
discussion on the point in dispute is contained, they may be called
the containing parts; being as it were the foundations of the defence;
and if they are taken away there would be no defence at all. But since
in arguing controversies there ought to be nothing which has more
weight than the law itself, we must take pains to have the law as our
assistant and witness. And in this there are, as it were, other new
denials, which are called legitimate subjects of discussion. For then
it is urged in defence, that the law does not say what the adversary
states it to say, but something else. And that happens when the terms
of the law are ambiguous, so that they can be understood in two
different senses. Then the intention of the framer is opposed to the
letter of the law; so that the question is, whether the words or the
intention ought to have the greatest validity? Then again, another law
is adduced contrary to this law. So there are three kinds of doubts
which can give rise to a dispute with respect to every written
document; ambiguity of expression, discrepancy between the expression
and the intention, and also written documents opposed to the one in
question. For this is evident; that these kinds of disputes are no
more incidental to laws than to wills, or covenants, or to anything
else which is contained in writing. And the way to treat these topics
is explained in other books.

XXVI. Nor is it only entire pleadings which are assisted by these
topics, but the same are useful in the separate parts of an orator;
being partly peculiar and partly general. As in the opening of a
speech, in which the orator must employ peculiar topics in order to
render his hearers well disposed to him, and docile, and attentive.
And also he must attend to his relations of facts, so that they may
have a bearing on his object, that is to say, that they may be plain,
and brief, and intelligible, and credible, and respectable, and
dignified: for although these qualities ought to be apparent
throughout the whole speech, still they are peculiarly necessary in
any narration. But since the belief which is given to a narration is
engendered by persuasiveness, we have already, in the treatises which
we have written on the general subject of oratory, explained what
topics they are which have the greatest power to persuade the hearers.
But the peroration has other points to attend to, and especially
amplification; the effect of which ought to be, that the mind of the
hearer is agitated or tranquillized by it; and if it has already been
affected in that way, that the whole speech shall either increase its
agitation, or calm it more completely.

For this kind of peroration, by which pity, and anger, and hatred,
and envy, and similar feelings of the mind are excited, rules are
furnished in those books, which you may read over with me whenever you
like. But as to the point on which I have known you to be anxious,
your desires ought now to be abundantly satisfied. For, in order
not to pass over anything which had reference to the discovery of
arguments in every sort of discussion, I have embraced more topics
than were desired by you; and I have done as liberal sellers often do,
when they have sold a house or a farm, the movables being all excepted
from the sale, still give some of them to the purchaser, which appear
to be well placed as ornaments or conveniences. And so we have chosen
to throw in some ornaments that were not strictly your due, in
addition to that with which we had bound ourselves to furnish you.

* * * * *



* * * * *

The persons introduced in this dialogue are Cicero and his son. It is
not known when, or under what circumstances it was written.

I. _Cicero Fil._ I wish, my father, to hear from you in Latin the
rules which you have already given me in Greek, concerning the
principles of speaking, if at least you have leisure and inclination
to instruct me in them.

_Cicero Pat._ Is there anything, my Cicero, which I can be more
desirous of than that you should be as learned as possible? And in the
first place, I have the greatest possible leisure, since I have
been able to leave Rome for a time; and in the next place, I would
willingly postpone even my own most important occupations to the
furthering of your studies.

_C. F._ Will you allow me, then, to ask you questions in my turn, in
Latin, about the same subjects on which you are accustomed to put
questions to me in regular order in Greek?

_C. P._ Certainly, if you like; for by that means I shall perceive
that you recollect what you have been told, and you will hear in
regular order all that you desire.

_C. F._ Into how many parts is the whole system of speaking divided?

_C. P._ Into three.

_C. F._ What are they?

_C. P._ First of all, the power of the orator; secondly, the speech;
thirdly, the subject of the speech.

_C. F._ In what does the power of the orator consist?

_C. P._ In ideas and words. But both ideas and words have to be
discovered and arranged. But properly the expression "to discover"
applies to the ideas, and the expression "to be eloquent" to the
language; but the arranging, though that is common to both, still is
usually referred rather to the discovery. Voice, gesture, expression
of countenance, and all action, are companions of eloquence; and the
guardian of all these things is memory.

_C. F._ What? How many parts of an oration are there?

_C. P._ Four: two of them relate to explaining any subject,--namely,
relation and confirmation; two to exciting the minds of the
hearers,--the opening and the peroration.

_C. F._ What? Has the manner of inquiry any divisions?

_C. P._ It is divided into the infinite, which I term consultation;
and the definite, which I call the cause.

II. _C. F._ Since, then, the first business of the orator is
discovery, what is he to look for?

_C. P._ He is to seek to find out how to inspire those men whom he
is desirous to persuade, with belief in his words; and how to affect
their minds with such and such feelings.

_C. F._ By what means is belief produced?

_C. P._ By arguments, which are derived from topics either existing in
the subject itself, or assumed.

_C. F._ What do you mean by topics?

_C. P._ Things in which arguments are concealed.

_C. F._ What is an argument?

_C. P._ Something discovered which has a probable influence in
producing belief.

_C. F._ How, then, do you divide these two heads?

_C. P._ Those things which come into the mind without art I call
remote arguments, such as testimony.

_C. F._ What do you mean by those topics which exist in the thing

_C. P._ I cannot give a clearer explanation of them.

_C. F._ What are the different kinds of testimony?

_C. P._ Divine and human. Divine,--such as oracles, auspices,
prophecies, the answers of priests, soothsayers, and diviners:
human,--which is derived from authority, from inclination, and from
speech either voluntary or extorted; and under this head come written
documents, covenants, promises, oaths, inquiries.

_C. F._ What are the arguments which you say belong to the cause?

_C. P._ Those which are fixed in the things themselves, as definition,
as a contrary, as those things which are like or unlike, or which
correspond to or differ from the thing itself or its contrary, as
those things which have as it were united, or those which are as it
were inconsistent with one another, or the causes of those things
which are under discussion, or the results of causes, that is to say,
those things which are produced by causes, as distributions, and the
genera of parts, or the parts of genera, as the beginnings and as it
were outriders of things, in which there is some argument, as the
comparisons between things, as to which is greater, which is equal,
which is less, in which either the natures or the qualities of things
are compared together.

III. _C. F._ Are we then to derive arguments from all these topics?

_C. P._ Certainly we must examine into them all, and seek them from
all, but we must exercise our judgment in order at all times to reject
what is trivial, and sometimes pass over even common topics, and those
which are not necessary.

_C. F._ Since you have now answered me as to belief, I wish to hear
your account of how one is to raise feelings.

_C. P._ It is a very reasonable question, but what you wish to know
will be explained more clearly when I come to the system of orations
and inquiries themselves.

_C. F._ What, then, comes next?

_C. P._ When, you have discovered your arguments, to arrange them
properly, and in an extensive inquiry the order of the topics is very
nearly that which I have set forth, but in a definite one, we must use
those topics also which relate to exciting the required feelings in
the minds of the hearers.

_C. F._ How, then, do you explain them?

_C. P._ I have general precepts for producing belief and exciting
feelings. Since belief is a firm opinion, but feelings are an
excitement of the mind either to pleasure, or to vexation, or to fear,
or to desire, (for there are all these kinds of feelings, and many
divisions of each separate genus,) I adapt all my arrangement to the
object of the inquiry. For the end in a proposition is belief, in a
cause, both belief and feeling wherefore, when I have spoken of the
cause, in which proposition is involved, I shall have spoken of both.

_C. F._ What have you then to say about the cause?

_C. P._ That it is divided according to the divisions of hearers. For
they are either listeners, who do nothing more than hear; or judges,
that is to say, regulators both of the fact and of the decision; so
as either to be delighted or to determine something. But he decides
either concerning the past as a judge, or concerning the future as
a senate. So there are three kinds,--one of judgment, one of
deliberation, one of embellishment; and this last, because it is
chiefly employed in panegyric, has its peculiar name from that.

IV. _C. F._ What objects shall the orator propose to himself in these
three kinds of oratory?

_C. P._ In embellishment, his aim must be to give pleasure; in
judicial speaking, to excite either the severity or the clemency of
the judge; but in persuasion, to excite either the hope or the fear of
the assembly which is deliberating.

_C. F._ Why then do you choose this place to explain the different
kinds of disputes?

_C. P._ In order to adapt my principles of arrangement to the object
of each separate kind.

_C. F._ In what manner?

_C. P._ Because in those orations in which pleasure is the object
aimed at, the orders of arrangement differ. For either the degrees of
opportunities are preserved, or the divisions of genera; or we ascend
from the less to the greater, or we glide down from the greater to the
less; or we distinguish between them with a variety of contrasts, when
we oppose little things to great ones, simple things to complex ones,
things obscure to things which are plain, what is joyful to what is
sad, what is incredible to what is probable; all which topics are
parts of embellishment.

_C. F._ What? What is your aim in a deliberative speech?

_C. P._ There must either be a short opening, or none at all. For the
men who are deliberating are ready for their own sake to hear what
you have to say. And indeed it is not often that there is much to be
related; for narration refers to things either present or past, but
persuasion has reference to the future. Wherefore every speech is to
be calculated to produce belief, and to excite the feelings.

_C. F._ What next? What is the proper arrangement in judicial

_C. P._ The arrangement suitable to the accuser is not the same as
that which is good for the accused person; because the accuser follows
the order of circumstances, and puts forward vigorously each separate
argument, as if he had a spear in his hand; and sums them up
with vehemence; and confirms them by documents, and decrees, and
testimonies; and dwells carefully on each separate proof; and avails
himself of all the rules of peroration which are of any force to
excite the mind; and in the rest of his oration he departs a little
from the regular tenor of his argument; and above all, is he earnest
in summing up, for his object is to make the judge angry.

V. _C. F._ What, on the other hand, is the person accused to do?

_C. P_. He is to act as differently as possible in every respect.
He must employ an opening calculated to conciliate good-will. Any
narrations which are disagreeable must be cut short; or if they are
wholly mischievous, they must be wholly omitted; the corroborative
proofs calculated to produce belief must be either weakened or
obscured, or thrown into the shade by digressions. And all the
perorations must be adapted to excite pity.

_C. F._ Can we, then, always preserve that order of arrangement which
we desire to adopt?

_C. P._ Surely not; for the ears of the hearers are guides to a wise
and prudent orator; and whatever is unpleasing to them must be altered
or modified.

_C. F._ Explain to me then now, what are the rules for the speech
itself, and for the expressions to be contained in it.

_C. P._ There is, then, one kind of eloquence which seems fluent by
nature; another which appears to have been changed and modified by
art. The power of the first consists in simple words; that of the
second, in words in combination. Simple words require discovery;
combined expressions stand in need of arrangement.

And simple expressions are partly natural, partly discovered. Those
are natural which are simply appellative; those are discovered which
are made of those others, and remodelled either by resemblance, or by
imitation, or by inflection, or by the addition of other words. And
again, there is this distinction between words: some are distinguished
according to their nature; some according to the way in which they are
handled: some by nature, so that they are more sonorous, more grave,
or more trivial, and to a certain extent neater: but others by the way
in which they are handled, when either the peculiar names of things
are taken, or else others which are added to the proper name, or new,
or old-fashioned, or in some way or other modified and altered by the
orator,--such as those which are used in borrowed senses, or changed,
or those which we as it were misuse; or those which we make obscure;
which we in some incredible manner remove altogether; and which we
embellish in a more marvellous manner than the ordinary usage of
conversation sanctions.

VI. _C. F._ I understand you now as far as simple expressions go; now
I ask about words in combination.

_C. P_. There is a certain rhythm which must be observed in such
combination, and a certain order in which words must follow one
another. Our ears themselves measure the rhythm; and guard against
your failing to fill up with the requisite words the sentence which
you have begun, and against your being too exuberant on the other
hand. But the order in which words follow one another is laid down
to prevent an oration being a confused medley of genders, numbers,
tenses, persons, and cases; for, as in simple words, that which is not
Latin, so in combined expressions, that which is not well arranged,
deserves to be blamed.

But there are these five lights, as it were, which are common to both
single words and combined expressions,--they must be clear, concise,
probable, intelligible, agreeable. Clearness is produced by common
words, appropriate, well arranged, in a well-rounded period: on the
other hand, obscurity is caused by either too great length, or a too
great contraction of the sentence; or by ambiguity; or by any misuse
or alteration of the ordinary sense of the words. But brevity is
produced by simple words, by speaking only once of each point, by
aiming at no one object except speaking clearly. But an oration is
probable, if it is not too highly decorated and polished; if there is
authority and thought in its expressions; if its sentiments are either
dignified, or else consistent with the opinions and customs of men.
But an oration is brilliant, if expressions are used which are chosen
with gravity, and used in metaphorical and hyperbolical senses; and if
it is also full of words suited to the circumstances, and reiterated,
and having the same sense, and not inconsistent with the subject under
discussion, and with the imitation of things: for this is one part of
an oration which almost brings the actual circumstances before our
eyes, for then the sense is most easily arrived at but still the other
senses also, and especially the mind itself, can be influenced by it.
But the things which have been said about a clear speech, all have
reference also to the brilliant one which we are now speaking of, for
this is only a kind somewhat more brilliant than that which I have
called clear. By one kind we are made to understand, but by the other
one we actually appear to see. But the kind of speaking which is
agreeable, consists first of all of an elegance and pleasantness of
sounding and sweet words, secondly, of a combination which has no
harsh unions of words, nor any disjoined and open vowels, and it must
also be bounded with limited periods, and in paragraphs easily to be
pronounced, and full of likeness and equality in the sentences. Then
again, arguments derived from contrary expressions must be added,
so that repetitions must answer to repetitions, like to like and
expressions must be added, repeated, redoubled, and even very
frequently reiterated, the construction of the sentences must at one
time be compacted by means of conjunctions, and at another relaxed by
separation of the clauses. For an oration becomes agreeable when you
say anything unexpected, or unheard of, or novel, for whatever excites
wonder gives pleasure. And that oration especially influences the
hearer which unites several affections of the mind, and which indicate
the amiable manners of the orator himself, which are represented
either by signifying his own opinion, and showing it to proceed from a
humane and liberal disposition, or by a turn in the language, when for
the sake either of extolling another or of disparaging himself, the
orator seems to say one thing and mean another, and that too seems to
be done out of courtesy rather than out of levity. But there are many
rules for sweetness in speaking, which may make a speech either more
obscure or less probable, therefore, while on this topic, we must
decide for ourselves what the cause requires.

VII _C. F._ It remains, then, now for you to speak of the alterations
and changes in a speech.

_C. P._ The whole of that, then, consists in the alteration of words,
and that alteration is managed in such a way in the case of single
words, that the style may either be dilated by words, or contracted.
It may be dilated, when a word which is either peculiar, or which
has the same signification, or which has been coined on purpose, is
extended by paraphrase. Or again, in another way, when a definition
is held down to a single word, or when expressions borrowed from
something else are banished, or made use of in a roundabout sense, or
when one word is made up out of two. But in compound words a threefold
change can be made, not of words, but only of order, so that when a
thing has once been said plainly, as nature itself prompts, the order
may be inverted, and the expression may be repeated, turned upside
down, as it were, or backwards and forwards. Then again the same
expression may be reiterated in a mutilated, or re arranged, form. But
the practice of speaking is very much occupied in all these kinds of

_C. F._ The next point is action, if I do not mistake.

_C. P._ It is so, and that must be constantly varied by the orator,
in correspondence with the importance of his subjects and of his
expressions. For the orator makes an oration clear, and brilliant,
and probable, and agreeable, not only by his words, but also by the
variety of his tones, by the gestures of his body, by the changes of
his countenance, which will be of great weight if they harmonize with
the character of his address, and follow its energy and variety.

_C. F._ Is there nothing remaining to be said about the orator

_C. P._ Nothing at all, except as to memory, which is in a certain
manner the sister of writing, and though in a different class greatly
resembles it. For as it consists of the characters of letters, and of
that substance on which those characters are impressed, so a perfect
memory uses topics, as writing does wax, and on them arranges its
images as if they were letters.

VIII _C. F._ Since, then, you have thus explained all the power of an
orator, what have you to tell me about the rules for an oration?

_C. P._ That there are four divisions in an oration, of which the
first and last are of avail to excite such and such feelings in the
mind, for they are to be excited by the openings and perorations of
speeches: the second is narration: and the third, being confirmation,
adds credibility to a speech. But although amplification has its own
proper place, being often in the opening of a speech, and almost
always at the end still it may be employed also in other parts of the
speech especially when any point has been established, or when the
orator has been finding fault with something. Therefore, it is of the
very greatest influence in producing belief. For amplification is a
sort of vehement argumentation; the one being used for the sake of
teaching, the other with the object of acting on the feelings.

_C. F._ Proceed, then, to explain to me these four divisions in
regular order.

_C. P._ I will do so; and I will begin with the opening of a speech,
which is usually derived either from the persons concerned, or from
the circumstances of the case. And openings are employed with three
combined objects, that we may be listened to with friendly feelings,
intelligently and attentively. And the first topic employed in
openings has reference to ourselves, to our judges, and to our
adversaries; from which we aim at laying the foundations of good-will
towards us, either by our own merits, or by our dignity, or by some
kind of virtue, and especially by the qualities of liberality, duty,
justice, and good faith; and also by imputing opposite qualities to
our adversaries, and by intimating that the judges themselves have
some interest on our side, either in existence, or in prospect. And if
any hatred has been excited against, or any offence been given by us,
we then apply ourselves to remove or diminish that, by denying or
extenuating the cause, or by atoning for it, or by deprecating

But in order that we may be listened to in an intelligent and
attentive manner, we must begin with the circumstances of the case
themselves. But the hearer learns and understands what the real point
in dispute is most easily if you, from the first beginning of your
speech, embrace the whole genus and nature of the cause,--if you
define it, and divide it, and neither perplex his discernment by the
confusion, nor his memory by the multitude, of the several parts of
your discourse; and all the things which will presently be said about
lucid narration may also with propriety be considered as bearing on
this division too. But that we may be listened to with attention, we
must do one of these things. For we must advance some propositions
which are either important, or necessary, or connected with the
interests of those before whom the discussion is proceeding. This also
may be laid down as a rule, that, if ever the time itself, or the
facts of the case, or the place, or the intervention of any one,
or any interruption, or anything which may have been said by the
adversary, and especially in his peroration, has given us any
opportunity of saying anything well suited to the occasion, we must
on no account omit it. And many of the rules, which we give in their
proper place, about amplification, may be transferred here to the
consideration of the opening of a speech.

IX. _C. F._ What next? What rules, then, are to be attended to in

_C. P._ Since narration is an explanation of facts, and a sort of base
and foundation for the establishment of belief, those rules are most
especially to be observed in it, which apply also, for the most part,
to the other divisions of speaking; part of which are necessary, and
part are assumed for the sake of embellishment. For it is necessary
for us to narrate events in a clear and probable manner; but we must
also attend to an agreeable style. Therefore, in order to narrating
with clearness, we must go back to those previous rules for explaining
and illustrating facts, in which brevity is enjoined and taught. And
brevity is one of the points most frequently praised in narration, and
we have already dwelt enough upon it. Again, our narrative will be
probable, if the things which are related are consistent with the
character of the persons concerned, with the times and places
mentioned,--if the cause of every fact and event is stated,--if they
appear to be proved by witnesses,--if they are in accordance with
the opinions and authority of men, with law, with custom, and with
religion,--if the honesty of the narrator is established, his candour,
his memory, the uniform truth of his conversation, and the integrity
of his life. Again, a narration is agreeable which contains subjects
calculated to excite admiration, expectation, unlooked-for results,
sudden feelings of the mind, conversations between people, grief,
anger, fear, joy, desires. However, let us proceed to what follows.

_C. F._ What follows is, I suppose, what relates to producing belief.

_C. P._ Just so; and those topics are divided into confirmation
and reprehension. For in confirmation we seek to establish our own
assertion; in reprehension, to invalidate those of our adversaries.
Since, then, everything which is ever the subject of a dispute, is so
because the question is raised whether it exists or not, or what it
is, or of what character it is, in the first question conjecture has
weight, in the second, definition, and in the third, reasoning.

X. _C. F._ I understand this division. At present, I ask, what are the
topics of conjecture?

_C. P._ They arise from probabilities, and turn wholly on the peculiar
characteristics of things. But for the sake of instructing you, I will
call that probable which is generally done in such and such a way as
it is probable that youth should be rather inclined to lust. But the
indication of an appropriate characteristic is something which never
happens in any other way, and which declares something which is
certain as smoke is a proof of fire. Probabilities are discovered
from the parts and, as it were, members of a narration. They exist in
persons, in places, in times, in facts, in events, in the nature of
the facts and circumstances which may be under discussion.

But in persons, the first things considered are the natural qualities
of health, figure, strength, age, and whether they are male or female.
And all these concern the body alone. But the qualities of the mind,
or how they are affected, depends on virtues, vices, arts, and want of
art, or in another sense, on desire, fear, pleasure, or annoyance. And
these are the natural circumstances which are principally considered.

In fortune, we look at a man's race, his friends, his children, his
relations, his kinsmen, his wealth, his honours, his power, his
estates, his freedom, and also at all the contraries to these
circumstances. But in respect of place, some things arise from nature
as, whether a place is on the coast or at a distance from the sea,
whether it is level or mountainous, whether it is smooth or rough,
wholesome or pestilential, shady or sunny, these again are fortuitous
circumstances,--whether a place is cultivated or uncultivated
frequented or deserted, full of houses or naked, obscure or ennobled
by the traces of mighty exploits, consecrated or profane.

XI. But in respect of time, one distinguishes between the present, and
the past, and the future. And in these divisions there are the further
subdivisions of ancient, recent, immediate, likely to happen soon,
or likely to be very remote. In time there are also these other
divisions, which mark, as it were natural sections of time as winter,
spring, summer and autumn. Or again, the periods of the year: as
a month, a day, a night, an hour, a season, all these are natural
divisions. There are other accidental divisions such as days of
sacrifice, days of festival, weddings. Again, facts and events are
either designed or unintentional, and these last arise either from
pure accident, or from some agitation of mind, by accident when a
thing has happened in a different way from what was expected,--from
some agitation, when either forgetfulness, or mistake, or fear, or
some impulse of desire has been the acting cause. Necessity, too, must
be classed among the causes of unintentional actions or results.

Again, of good and bad things there are three classes. For they can
exist either in men's minds or bodies, or they may be external to both
of these materials, then, as far as they are subordinate to argument,
all the parts must be carefully turned over in the mind, and
conjectures bearing on the subject before us must be derived from each

There is also another class of arguments which is derived from traces
of a fact, as a weapon, blood, an outcry which has been raised,
trepidation, changes of complexion, inconsistency of explanation,
trembling, or any of these circumstances which can be perceived by our
senses, or if anything appears to have been prepared, or communicated
to any one, or if anything has been seen or heard, or if any
information has been given.

But of probabilities some influence us separately by their own weight,
some, although they appear trifling by themselves, still, when all
collected together, have great influence. And in such probabilities as
these there are sometimes some unerring and peculiar distinguishing
characteristics of things. But what produces the surest belief in a
probability is, first of all, a similar instance, then the similarity
of the present case to that instance sometimes even a fable, though it
is an incredible one, has its influence, nevertheless, on men's minds.

XII. _C. F._ What next? What is the principle of definition, and what
is the system of it?

_C. P._ There is no doubt but that definition belongs to the genus,
and is distinguishable by a certain peculiarity of the characteristics
which it mentions, or else by a number of common circumstances, from
which we may extract something which looks like a peculiar property.
But since there is often very great disagreement about what are
peculiar properties, we must often derive our definitions from
contraries, often from things dissimilar, often from things parallel.
Wherefore descriptions also are often suitable in this kind of
address, and an enumeration of consequences, and above all things, an
explanation of the names and terms employed, is most effectual.

_C. F._ You have now then explained nearly all the questions which
arise about a fact, or about the name given to such fact. The next
thing is, when the fact itself and its proper title are agreed upon,
that a doubt arises as to what its character is.

_C. P._ You are quite right.

_C. F._ What divisions, then, are there in this part of the argument?

_C. P._ One urges either that what has been done has been lawfully
done, for the sake either of warding off or of avenging an injury, or
under pretext of piety, or chastity, or religion, or one's country, or
else that it has been done through necessity, out of ignorance, or by
chance. For those things which have been done in consequence of some
motion or agitation of the mind, without any positive intention, have,
in legal proceedings, no defence if they are impeached, though they
may have an excuse if discussed on principles unfettered by strict
rules of law. In this class of discussion, in which the question is,
what the character of the act is, one inquires, in the terms of the
controversy, whether the act has been rightly and lawfully done or
not; and the discussion on these points turns on a definition of the
before-mentioned topics.

_C. F._ Since, then, you have divided the topics to give credit to an
oration into confirmation and reprehension, and since you have fully
discussed the one, explain to me now the subject of reprehension.

_C. P._ You must either deny the whole of what the adversary has
assumed in argumentation, if you can show it to be fictitious or
false, or you must refute what he has assumed as probable. First of
all, you must urge that he has taken what is doubtful as if it were
certain; in the next place, that the very same things might be said in
cases which were evidently false; and lastly, that these things which
he has assumed do not produce the consequences which he wishes to be
inferred from them. And you must attack his details, and by that means
break down his whole argument. Instances also must be brought forward
which were overruled in a similar discussion; and you must wind up
with the complaints of the condition of the general danger, if the
life of innocent men is exposed to the ingenuity of men devoted to

XIII. _C. F._ Since I know now whence arguments can be derived which
have a tendency to create belief, I am waiting to hear how they are
severally to be handled in speaking.

_C. P._ You seem to be inquiring about argumentation, and as to how to
develop arguments.

_C. F._ That is the very thing that I want to know.

_C. P._ The development, then, of an argument is argumentation; and
that is when you assume things which are either certain or at least
probable, from which to derive a conclusion, which taken by itself is
doubtful, or at all events not very probable. But there are two kinds
of arguing, one of which aims directly at creating belief, the other
principally looks to exciting such and such feelings. It goes straight
on when it has proposed to itself something to prove, and assumed
grounds on which it may depend; and when these have been established,
it comes back to its original proposition, and concludes. But the
other kind of argumentation, proceeding as it were backwards and in an
inverse way, first of all assumes what it chooses, and confirms it;
and then, having excited the minds of the hearers, it throws on to the
end that which was its original object. But there is this variety, and
a distinction which is not disagreeable in arguing, as when we ask
something ourselves, or put questions, or express some command, or
some wish, as all these figures are a kind of embellishment to an
oration. But we shall be able to avoid too much sameness, if we do not
always begin with the proposition which we desire to establish, and if
we do not confirm each separate point by dwelling on it separately,
and if we are at times very brief in our explanation of what is
sufficiently clear, and if we do not consider it at all times
necessary to sum up and enumerate what results from these premises
when it is sufficiently clear.

XIV. _C. F._ What comes next? Is there any way or any respect in which
those things which are said to be devoid of art, and which you said
just now were accessories to the main argument, require art?

_C. P._ Indeed they do. Nor are they called devoid of art because
they really are so, but because it is not the art of the orator which
produces them, but they are brought to him from abroad, as it were,
and then he deals with them artistically; and this is especially the
case as to witnesses. For it is often necessary to speak of the whole
class of witnesses, and to show how weak it is; and to urge that
arguments refer to facts, testimony to inclination; and one must have
recourse to precedents of cases where witnesses were not believed;
and with respect to individual witnesses, if they are by nature vain,
trifling, discreditable, or if they have been influenced by hope, by
fear, by anger, by pity, by bribery, by interest; and they must be
compared with the authority of the witnesses in the case cited,
where the witnesses were not believed. Often, also, one must resist
examinations under torture, because many men, out of a desire to avoid
pain, have often told lies under torture; and have preferred dying
while confessing a falsehood to suffering pain while persisting
in their denial. Many men, also, have been indifferent to the
preservation of their own life, as long as they could save those who
were dearer to them than they were to themselves; others, owing to
the nature of their bodies, or to their being accustomed to pain,
or because they feared punishment and execution, have endured the
violence of torture; others, also, have told lies against those whom
they hated. And all these arguments are to be fortified by instances.
Nor is it at all uncertain that (since there are instances on both
sides of a question, and topics also for forming conjectures on both
sides) contrary arguments must be used in contrary cases. There is,
also, another method of disparaging witnesses, and examinations under
torture; for often those answers which have been given may be attacked
very cleverly, if they have been expressed rather ambiguously or
inconsistently, or with any incredible circumstances; or in different
ways by different witnesses.

XV. _C. F._ The end of the oration remains to be spoken of by you; and
that is included in the peroration, which I wish to hear you explain?

_C. P._ The explanation of the peroration is easy; for it is divided
into two parts, amplification and enumeration. And the proper place
for amplification is in the peroration, and also in the course of
the oration there are opportunities of digressing for the purpose of
amplification, by corroborating or refuting something which has been
previously said. Amplification, then, is a kind of graver affirmation,
which by exciting feelings in the mind conciliates belief to one's
assertion. It is produced by the kind of words used, and by the
facts dwelt upon. Expressions are to be used which have a power of
illustrating the oration; yet such as are not unusual, but weighty,
full-sounding, sonorous, compound, well-invented, and well-applied,
not vulgar; borrowed from other subjects, and often metaphorical, not
consisting of single words, but dissolved into several clauses, which
are uttered without any conjunction between them, so as to appear more
numerous. Amplification is also obtained by repetition, by iteration,
by redoubling words, and by gradually rising from lower to loftier
language; and it must be altogether a natural and lively sort of
speech, made up of dignified language, well suited to give a high
idea of the subject spoken of. This then is amplification as far as
language goes. To the language there must be adapted expression
of tone, of countenance, and gesture, all in harmony together and
calculated to rouse the feelings of the hearers. But the cause must be
maintained both by language and action, and carried on according to
circumstances. For, because these appear very absurd when they are
more vehement than the subject will bear, we must diligently consider
what is becoming to each separate speaker, and in each separate case.

XVI. The amplification of facts is derived from all the same topics
as those arguments which are adduced to create belief. And above all
things, a number of accumulated definitions carries weight with it,
and a repeated assertion of consequents, and a comparison of contrary
and dissimilar facts, and of inconsistent circumstances. Causes too,
and those things which arise from causes, and especially similarities
and instances, are efficacious; so also are imaginary characters.
Lastly, mute things may be introduced as speaking, and altogether all
things are to be employed (if the cause will allow of them) which are
considered important; and important things are divisible into two
classes. For there are some things which seem important by nature,
and some by use. By nature, as heavenly and divine things, and those
things the causes of which are obscure, as those things which are
wonderful on the earth and in the world, from which and from things
resembling which, if you only take care, you will be able to draw
many arguments for amplifying the dignity of the cause which you
are advocating. By use; which appear to be of exceeding benefit or
exceeding injury to men; and of these there are three kinds suitable
for amplification.

For men are either moved by affection, for instance, by affections for
the gods, for their country, or for their parents; or by love, as for
their wives, their brothers, their children, or their friends; or by
honourableness, as by that of the virtues, and especially of those
virtues which tend to promote sociability among men, and liberality.
From them exhortations are derived to maintain them; and hatred is
excited against, and commiseration awakened for those by whom they are

XVII. It is a very proper occasion for having recourse to
amplification, when these advantages are either lost, or when there
is danger of losing them. For nothing is so pitiable as a man who has
become miserable after having been happy. And this is enough to move
us greatly, if any one falls from good fortune; and if he loses all
his friends; and if we have it briefly explained to us what great
happiness he is losing or has lost, and by what evils he is
overwhelmed, or is about to be overwhelmed. For tears soon dry,
especially at another's misfortunes. Nor is there anything which it is
less wise to exhaust than amplification. For all diligence attends to
minutiae; but this topic requires only what is on a large scale. Here
again is a matter for a man's judgment, what kind of amplification we
should employ in each cause. For in those causes which are embellished
for the sake of pleasing the hearers, those topics must be dealt
with, which can excite expectation, admiration, or pleasure. But in
exhortations the enumerations of instances of good and bad fortune,
and instances and precedents, are arguments of great weight. In trials
those topics are the most suitable for an accuser which tend to excite
anger; those are usually the most desirable for a person on his trial
which relate to raising pity. But some times the accuser ought to seek
to excite pity, and the advocate for the defence may aim at rousing

Enumeration remains; a topic sometimes necessary to a panegyrist, not
often to one who is endeavouring to persuade; and more frequently to
a prosecutor than to a defendant. It has two turns, if you either
distrust the recollection of those men before whom you are pleading,
either on account of the length of time that has elapsed since the
circumstances of which you are speaking, or because of the length of
your speech; in this case your cause will have the more strength if
you bring up numberless corroborative arguments to strengthen your
speech, and explain them with brevity. And the defendant will have
less frequent occasion to use them, because he has to lay down
propositions which are contrary to them: and his defence will come out
best if it is brief, and full of pungent stings. But in enumeration,
it will be necessary to avoid letting it have the air of a childish
display of memory; and he will best avoid that fault who does not
recapitulate every trifle, but who touches on each particular briefly,
and dwells only on the more weighty and important points.

XVIII. _C. F._ Since you have now discussed the orator himself and his
oration, explain to me now the topic of questions, which you reserved
for the last of the three.

_C. P._ There are, as I said at the beginning, two kinds of questions:
one of which, that which is limited to times and persons, I call the
cause; the other, which is infinite, and bounded neither by times nor
by persons, I call the proposition. But consultation is, as it were, a
part of the cause and controversy. For in the definite there is what
is infinite, and nevertheless everything is referred to it. Wherefore,
let us first speak of the proposition; of which there are two kinds:
one of investigation; the end of this science, as for instance,
whether the senses are to be depended upon; the other of action, which
has reference to doing something: as if any one were to inquire by
what services one ought to cultivate friendship. Again, of the former,
namely, of investigation, there are three kinds: whether a thing is,
or is not; what it is; of what sort it is. Whether it is or not, as
whether right is a thing existing by nature or by custom. But what
a thing is, as whether that is right which is advantageous to the
greater number. And again, what sort of a thing anything is, as
whether to live justly is useful or not.

But of action there are two kinds. One having reference to pursuing
or avoiding anything; as for instance, by what means you can acquire
glory, or how envy may be avoided. The other, which is referred to
some advantage or expediency; as how the republic ought to be managed,
or how a man ought to live in poverty.

But again in investigation, when the question is whether a thing is,
or is not, or has been, or is likely to be. One kind of question is,
whether anything can be effected; as when the question is whether any
one can be perfectly wise. Another question is, how each thing can
be effected; as for instance, by what means virtue is engendered, by
nature, or reason, or use. And of this kind are all those questions
in which, as in obscure subjects or those which turn on natural
philosophy, the causes and principles of things are explained.

XIX. But of that kind in which the question is what that is which is
the subject of discussion, there are two sorts; in the one of which
one must discuss whether one thing is the same as another, or
different from it; as whether pertinacity is the same as perseverance.
But in the other one must give a description and representation as it
were of some genus; as for instance, what sort of a man a miser is, or
what pride is.

But in the third kind, in which the question is what sort of thing
something is, we must speak either of its honesty, or of its utility,
or of its equity. Of its honesty thus. Whether it is honourable to
encounter danger or unpopularity for a friend. But of its expediency
thus. Whether it is expedient to occupy oneself in the conduct of
state affairs. But of its equity thus. Whether it is just to prefer
one's friend to one's relations. And in the same kind of discussion,
in which the question is what sort of thing something is, there arises
another kind of way of arguing. For the question is not simply what
is honourable, what is expedient, what is equitable; but also by
comparison, which is more honourable, which is more expedient, which
is more equitable; and even which is most honourable, which is
most expedient, which is most equitable. Of which kind are those
speculations, which is the most excellent dignity in life. And all
these questions, as I have said before, are parts of investigation.

There remains the question of action. One kind of which is conversant
with the giving of rules which relate to principles of duty; as, for
instance, how one's parents are to be reverenced. And the other to
tranquillising the minds of men and healing them by one's oration; as
in consoling affliction, in repressing ill-temper, in removing fear,
or in allaying covetousness. And this kind is exactly opposed to that
by means of which the speaker proposes to engender those same feelings
of the mind, or to excite them, which it is often requisite to do
in amplifying an oration. And these are nearly all the divisions of
consultation. XX. _C. F._ I understand you. But I should like to hear
from you what in these divisions is the proper system for discovering
and arranging the heads of one's discourse.

_C. P._ What? Do you think it is a different one, and not the same
which has been explained, so that everything may be deduced from the
same topics, both to create belief, and to discover arguments? But the
system of arrangement which has been explained as appropriate to other
kinds of speeches may be transferred to this also.

Since therefore we have now investigated the entire arrangement of the
consultations which we proposed to discuss, the kinds of causes are
now the principal things which remain. And their species is twofold;
one of which aims at affording gratification to the ears, while the
whole object of the other is to obtain, and prove, and effect
the purpose which it has in view. Therefore the former is called
embellishment, and as that may be a kind of extensive operation, and
sufficiently various, we have selected one instance of it which we
adopt for the purpose of praising illustrious men, and of vituperating
the wicked ones. For there is no kind of oration which can be either
more fertile in its topics, or more profitable to states, or in which
the orator is bound to have a more extensive acquaintance with virtues
and vices. But the other class of causes is conversant either with the
foresight of the future, or with discussions on the past. One of which
topics belongs to deliberation and the other to judgment. From which
division three kinds of causes have arisen; one, which, from the
best portion of it, is called that of panegyric; another that of
deliberation; the third that of judicial decisions. Wherefore let us
first, if you please, discuss the first.

_C. F._ Certainly, I do please.

XXI. _C. P._ And the systems of blaming and praising, which have
influence not only on speaking well but also on living honourably, I
will explain briefly; and I will begin from the first principles of
praise and blame. For everything is to be praised which is united with
virtue; and everything which is connected with vice is to be blamed.
Wherefore the end of the one is honour, of the other baseness. But
this kind of discourse is composed of the narration and explanation of
facts, without any argumentations, in a way calculated to handle the
feelings of the mind gently rather than to create belief or to confirm
it in a suitable manner. For they are not doubtful points which are
established in this way; but those which being certain, or at least
admitted as certain, are enlarged upon. Wherefore the rules for
narrating them and enlarging upon them must be sought for from among
those which have been already laid down.

And since in these causes the whole system has reference generally to
the pleasure and entertainment of the hearer, the speakers must employ
in them all the beauties of those separate expressions which have in
them the greatest amount of sweetness. That is, he must often use
newly-coined words, and old-fashioned words, and metaphorical
language; and in the very construction of his periods he must often
compare like with like, and parallel cases with parallel. He must
have recourse to contrasts, to repetitions, to harmoniously-turned
sentences, formed not like verses, but to gratify the sensations of
the ears by as it were a suitable moderation of expression. And those
ornaments are frequently to be employed, which are of a marvellous and
unexpected character, and also those which are full of monsters, and
prodigies, and oracles. And also those things must be mentioned which
appeared to have befallen the man of whom the orator is speaking in
consequence of some divine interposition, or decree of destiny. For
all the expectation and admiration of the hearer, and all unexpected
terminations, contribute to the pleasure which is felt in listening to
the orator.

XXII. But since advantages or evils are of three classes, external,
affecting the mind, or affecting the body, the first are external
which are derived from the genus; and this being praised in brief and
moderate terms, or, if it is discreditable, being passed over; if it
is of a lowly nature, being either passed over, or handled in such a
way as to increase the glory of him whom you are praising. In the next
place, if the case allows it, we must speak of his fortune and his
abilities, and after that of his personal qualifications; among which
it is very natural to praise his beauty, which is one of the greatest
indications of virtue. After that we must come to his actions. The
arrangement is threefold. For we must have regard either to the order
of time, or the most recent actions must be spoken of first, or else
many and various actions of his must be classified according to the
different kinds of virtue which they display. But this topic of
virtues and vices, which is a very extensive one, will now be brought
into a very brief and narrow compass, instead of the many and various
volumes in which philosophers have discussed it.

The power of virtue then is twofold, for virtue is distinguished
either by theory or by practice. For that which is called prudence,
or shrewdness, or (if we must have the most dignified title for it)
wisdom, is all theoretical. But that which is praised as regulating
the passions, and restraining the feelings of the mind, finds its
exercise in practice. And its name is temperance. And prudence when
exerted in a man's own business is called domestic, when displayed in
the affairs of the state is called civil prudence. But temperance in
like manner is divided according to its sphere of action, whether
displayed in a man's own affairs, or in those of the state. And it is
discerned in two ways with respect to advantages, both by not desiring
what it has not got, and by abstaining from what it is in its power to
get. Again, in the case of disadvantages it is also twofold; for that
quality which resists impending evils is called fortitude; that which
bears and endures the evil that is present is termed patience. And
that which embraces these two qualities is called magnanimity. And one
of the forms of this virtue is shown in the use of money. And at
the same time loftiness of spirit in supporting disadvantages, and
especially injuries, and everything of the sort, being grave, sedate,
and never turbulent. But that division of virtue which is exercised
between one being and another is called justice. And that when
exercised towards the gods is called religion; towards one's
relations, affection; towards all the world, goodness; when displayed
in things entrusted to one, good faith; as exhibited in moderation of
punishment, lenity; when it develops itself in goodwill towards an
individual its name is friendship.

XXIII. And all these virtues are visible in practice. But there are
others, which are as it were the handmaidens and companions of wisdom;
one of which distinguishes between and decides what arguments in a
discussion are true or false, and what follows from what premises. And
this virtue is wholly placed in the system and theory of arguing; but
the other virtue belongs to the orator. For eloquence is nothing but
wisdom speaking with great copiousness; and while derived from the
same source as that which is displayed in disputing, is more rich, and
of wider application, better suited to excite the minds of men and to
work on the feelings of the common people. But the guardian of all
the virtues, which avoids all conspicuousness, and yet attains the
greatest eminence of praise, is modesty. And these are for the most
part certain habits of mind, so affected and disposed as to be each of
them distinguished from one another by some peculiar kind of virtue;
and according as everything is done by one of them, in the same
proportion must it be honourable and in the highest degree
praiseworthy. But there are other habits also of a well-instructed
mind which has been cultivated beforehand as it were, and prepared for
virtue by virtuous pursuits and accomplishments: as in a man's private
affairs, the studies of literature, as of tunes and sounds, of
measurement, of the stars, of horses, of hunting, of arms. In the
affairs of the commonwealth his eager pursuit of some particular kind
of virtue, which he selects as his especial object of devotion, in
discharging his duty to the gods, or in showing careful and remarkable
affection to his relations, his friends, or those connected with
family ties of hospitality. And these then are the different kinds of
virtue. But those of vice are their exact contraries.

But these also must be examined carefully, so that those vices may not
deceive us which appear to imitate virtue. For cunning tries to assume
the character of prudence, and moroseness, in despising pleasures,
wishes to be taken for temperance; and pride, which puffs a man up,
and which affects to despise legitimate honours, seeks to vaunt itself
as magnanimity; prodigality calls itself liberality, audacity imitates
courage, hardhearted sternness imitates patience, bitterness justice,
superstition religion, weakness of mind lenity, timidity modesty,
captiousness and carping at words wishes to pass for acuteness in
arguing, and an empty fluency of language for this oratorical vigour
at which we are aiming. And those, too, appear akin to virtuous
pursuits, which run to excess in the same class.

Wherefore all the force of praise or blame must be derived from these
divisions of virtues and vices. But in the whole context, as it were,
of the oration, these points must above all others be made clear,--how
each person spoken of has been born, how he has been educated, how
he has been trained, and what are his habits; and if any great or
surprising thing has happened to any one, especially if anything which
has happened should appear to have befallen him by the interposition
of the gods; and also whatever the person in question has thought, or
said, or done, must be adapted to the different kinds of virtue which
have been enumerated, and from the same topics we must inquire into
the causes of things, and the events, and the consequences. Nor ought
the death of those men, whose life is praised, to be passed over in
silence; provided only, there be anything noticeable either in the
manner of their death, or in the consequences which have resulted from
their death.

XXIV. _C. F._ I have attended to what you say, and I have learnt
briefly, not only how to praise another, but also how to endeavour to
deserve to be praised myself. Let us, then, consider in the next
place what system and what rules we are to observe in delivering our

_C. P._ In deliberation, then, the end aimed at is utility, to which
everything is referred in giving counsel, and in delivering our
sentiments, so that the first thing which requires to be noticed by
any one who is advising or dissuading from such and such a course of
action is what is possible to be done, or what is impossible; or what
is necessary to be done, or what is unnecessary. For if a thing be
impossible there is no use in deliberating about it, however desirable
it may be; and if a thing be necessary, (when I say necessary, I mean
such that without it we cannot be safe or free), then that must
be preferred to everything else which is either honourable or
advantageous in public affairs. But when the question is, What can be
done? we must also consider how easily it can be done: for the things
which are very difficult are often to be considered in the same
light as if they were totally impossible. And when we are discussing
necessity, although there may be something which is not absolutely
necessary, still we must consider of how much importance it is. For
that which is of very great importance indeed, is often considered
necessary. Therefore, as this kind of cause consists of persuasion and
dissuasion, the speaker who is trying to persuade, has a simple course
before him; if a thing is both advantageous and possible, let it be
done. The speaker who is trying to dissuade his hearers from some
course of action, has a twofold division of his labour. One, if it is
not useful it must not be done; the other, if it is impossible it must
not be undertaken. And so, the speaker who is trying to persuade must
establish both these points; the one whose object it is to dissuade,
may be content with invalidating either.

Since, then, all deliberation turns on these two points, let us first
speak of utility, which is conversant about the distinction between
advantages and disadvantages. But of advantages, some are necessarily
such; as life, chastity, liberty, or as children, wives, relations,
parents; and some are not necessarily such; and of these last, some
are to be sought for their own sakes, as those which are classed among
the duties or virtues, and others are to be desired because they
produce some advantage, as riches and influence. But of those
advantages which are sought for their own sake, some are sought for
their honourableness, some for their convenience, which is inherent
in them: those are sought for their honourableness which proceed from
those virtues which have been mentioned a little while ago, which are
intrinsically praiseworthy on their own account; but those are sought
on account of some inherent advantage which are desirable as to goods
of fortune or of the body: some of which are to a certain extent
combined with honourableness, as honour, and glory; some have no
connexion with that, as strength, beauty, health, nobleness, riches,
troops of dependents. There is also a certain sort of matter, as
it were, which is subordinate to what is honourable, which is most
particularly visible in friendship. But friendships are seen in
affection and in love. For regard for the gods, and for our parents,
and for our country, and for those men who are eminent for wisdom or
power, is usually referred to affection; but wives, and children,
and brothers, and others whom habit and intimacy has united with us,
although they are bound to us by affection, yet the principal tie
is love. As, then, you know now what is good in these things, it is
easily to be understood what are the contrary qualities.

XXV. But if we were able always to preserve what is best, we should
not have much need of deliberation, since that is usually very
evident. But because it often happens on account of some peculiarity
in the times, which has great weight, that expediency is at variance
with what is honourable, and since the comparison of the two
principles gives rise to deliberation, lest we should either pass over
what is seasonable, on account of some considerations of dignity, or
what is honourable on account of some idea of expediency, we may give
examples to guide us in explaining this difficulty. And since an
oration must be adapted not only to truth, but also to the opinions of
the hearers, let us first consider this, that there are two kinds of
men: one of them unlettered and rustic, always preferring what is
expedient to what is honourable; the other, accomplished and polite,
preferring dignity to everything. Therefore, the one class sets its
heart upon, praise, honour, glory, good faith, justice, and every
virtue; but the other regards only gain, emolument, and profit. And
even pleasure, which is above all things hostile to virtue, and which
adulterates the nature of what is good by a treacherous imitation of
it, which all men of grosser ideas eagerly follow, and which prefers
that spurious copy, not only to what is honourable, but even to what
is necessary, must often be praised in a speech aiming at persuasion,
when you are giving counsel to men of that sort.

XXVI. This also must be considered, how much greater eagerness men
display in fleeing from what is disadvantageous, than in seeking what
is advantageous; for they are in the same manner not so zealous in
seeking what is honourable, as in avoiding what is base. For who
ever seeks for honour, or glory, or praise, or any kind of credit as
earnestly as he flees from ignominy, infamy, contumely, and disgrace?
For these things are attended with great pain. There is a class of
men born for honour, not corrupted by evil training and perverted
opinions--on which account, when exhorting or persuading, we must keep
in view the object of teaching them by what means we may be able to
arrive at what is good, and to avoid what is evil. But before men who
have been properly brought up we shall dwell chiefly on praise and
honourableness, and speak chiefly of those kinds of virtues which are
concerned in maintaining and increasing the general advantage of men.
But if we are speaking before uneducated and ignorant men, then we
shall set before them profits, emoluments, pleasures, and the means
of escaping pain; we shall also introduce the mention of insult and
ignominy; for no one is such a clown, as not (even though honour
itself may have no influence on him) to be greatly moved by insult and

Wherefore we must find out from what has been already said, what has
reference to utility; but as to what is possible to be done or not,
with reference to which people usually inquire also how easily a thing
can be done, and how far it is desirable that it should be done, we
must consider chiefly with reference to those causes which produce
each separate result. For there are some causes which of themselves
produce results, and some which only contribute to the production of a
result. Therefore, the first are called efficient causes; and the
last are classed as such, that without them a thing cannot be brought
about. Again, of efficient causes, some are complete and perfect in
themselves; some are accessory to, and, as it were, partners in the
production of the result in question. And of this kind the effect is
very much diversified, being sometimes greater or less; so that which
is the most efficacious is often called the only cause, though it is
in reality but the main one. There are also other causes which, either
on account of their origin or on account of their result, are called
efficient causes. But when the question is, what is best to be done,
then it is either utility or the hope of doing it which urges men's
minds to agree with the speaker. And since we have now said enough
about utility, let us speak of the means of effecting it.

XXVII. And on this point of the subject we must consider with whom,
and against whom, and at what time, and in what place we are to do
such and such a thing, also what means of arms, money, allies, or
those other things which relate to the doing of any particular thing
we have it in our power to employ. Nor must we consider only
those means which we have, but those circumstances also which
are unfavourable to us. And if in the comparison the advantages
preponderate, then we must persuade our hearers, not only that what we
are advising can be effected, but we must also take care that it shall
appear easy, manageable, and agreeable. But if we are dissuading from
any particular course, then we must either disparage the utility of
it, or we must make the most of the difficulties of doing it, not
having recourse to other rules, but to the same topics as are
used when trying to persuade our hearers to anything. And whether
persuading or dissuading, the speaker must have a store of precedents,
either modern, which will be the best known, or ancient, which will
perhaps have the most weight. And in this kind of discourse he must
consider how he may be able often to make what is useful or necessary
appear superior to what is honourable, or _vice versa_. But sentiments
of this kind will have great weight in influencing men's minds, (if it
is desirable to make an impression on them,) which relate either to
the gratification of people's desires, or to the glutting of hatred,
or to the avenging of injury. But if the object is to repress the
feelings of the hearers, then they must be reminded of the uncertainty
of fortune, of the doubtfulness of future events, and of the risk
there may be of retaining their existing fortune, if it is good; and
on the other hand, of the danger of its lasting if it is bad. And
these are topics for a peroration. But in expressing one's opinions,
the opening ought to be short, for the orator does not come forth as a
suppliant, as if he were speaking before a judge, but as an exhorter
and adviser. Wherefore, he ought to settle beforehand with what
intention he is going to speak, what his object is, what the subject
of his discourse is to be, and he ought to exhort his hearers to
listen to him while he detains them but a short time. And the whole of
his oration ought to be simple, and dignified, and embellished rather
by its sentiments than by its expressions.

XXVIII. _C.F._ I understand the topics of panegyric and persuasion.
Now I am waiting to hear what is suited to judicial oratory, and I
think that that is the only subject remaining.

_C.P._ You are quite right. And of that kind of oratory the object is
equity, which is regarded, not in a single point of view only, but
very often by a sort of comparison: as when there is a dispute as to
who is the most appropriate prosecutor; or when the possession of an
inheritance is sought for without any express law, or without any
will. In which causes the question is, which alternative is the more
equitable or which is most equitable. And for these causes a supply of
arguments is sought for out of those topics of equity which will be
mentioned presently. And even before the decision is given, there is
often a dispute about the constitution of the bench of judges, when
the question is either whether the person who brings the action has a
right of action, or whether he has it at the present time, or whether
he has ceased to have it, or whether the action ought to be brought
under the provisions of this law, or according to that formula. And
if these points are not discussed, or settled, or decided, before the
case is brought into court, still they often have very great weight
even at the trial itself, when the case is stated in this way:--"You
demanded too much; you demanded it too late; it was not your business
to make such a demand at all; you ought not to have demanded it of me;
or you ought not to have done so under this law, or in accordance with
this formula, or in this court." And this class of cases belongs
to civil law, which depends on laws respecting public and private
affairs, or on precedent; and the knowledge of it seems to have been
neglected by most orators, but to us it appears very necessary for
speaking. Wherefore, as to arranging the right of action, as to
accepting or standing a trial, as to demurring to the illegality of
a proceeding, as to comparisons of justice, all which topics usually
belong to this class of oration, so that although they often get mixed
up with the judicial proceedings, still they appear to deserve to be
discussed separately; and therefore I separate them a little from the
judicial proceedings, more, however, as to the time at which they are
to be introduced into the discussion, than from any real diversity of
character. For all discussions which are introduced about civil law,
or about what is just and good, belong to that sort of discussion in
which we doubt what sort of thing such and such a thing which we are
going to mention is. And this question turns chiefly on equity and

XXIX. In all causes, then, there are three degrees, of which one at
least is to be taken for the purposes of defence, if you are limited
to one. For you must either take your stand in denying that the act
imputed to you has been done at all, or in denying that that which you
admit to have been done has the effect which, and is of the character
which, the adversary asserts. Or if there can be no doubt as to the
action, or the proper name of the action, then you must deny that what
you are accused of is such as he states it to be; and you must urge
in your defence that what you have done must be admitted to be right.
Accordingly, the first objection,--the first point of conflict with
the adversary, as I may call it, depends on a kind of conjecture; the
second, on a kind of definition, or description, or notion of the
word; but the third plea is to be maintained by a discussion on
equity, and truth, and right, and on the becomingness to man of a
disposition inclined to pardon. And since he who defends ought
not always to resist the accuser by some objection, or denial, or
definition, or opposite principles of equity, but should also at times
advance general principles on which he founds his defence, the first
kind of objection has in it the principle of asserting the charge to
be unjust, an absolute denial of the fact; the second urges that the
definition given by the adversary does not apply to the action in
question the third consists in the advocate defending the action as
having been rightly done, without raising any dispute as to the name
of it.

In the next place, the accuser must oppose to every argument that,
which if it were not in the accusation, would prevent, there being any
cause at all. Therefore, those arguments which are brought forward in
that way, are said to be the foundations of causes, although those
which are brought forward in opposition to the plan of the defence,
are no more so in reality than the principles of the defence
themselves; but for the sake of distinction, we call that a reason
which is urged by the party on his trial in the way of demurrer for
the sake of repelling an accusation; and unless he had such a refuge
he would have nothing to allege by way of defence: but the foundation
of his defence is that which is alleged by way of undermining the
arguments of the adversary, without which the accusation can have no
ground to stand upon.

XXX. But from the meeting and conflict, as it were, of the reasons
and of the corroborative proofs, a question arises, which I call a
dispute, in which the question is, what is the question before the
court, and what the dispute is about. For the first point which
the adversaries contend for implies an inquiry of large extent in
conjecture: as "Whether Decius has received the money;" in definition,
as "Whether Norbanus has committed treason against the people;" in
justice, as "Whether Opimius slew Gracchus lawfully." These questions
which come into conflict first by arguing and resisting, are, as I
have said, of wide extent and doubtful meaning. The comparison of the
arguments and corroborative proofs narrows the question in dispute. In
conjecture there is no dispute at all. For no one either can, or ought
to, or is accustomed to, give a reason for an act which he asserts
never took place. Therefore, in these causes the original question and
the ultimate dispute are one and the same thing. But in them, when the
assertion is advanced, "He did not commit treason in proceeding to
violent measures in respect to Caepio; for it was the first indignation
of the Roman people that prompted that violent conduct, and not the
conduct of the tribune: and the majesty, since it is identical
with the greatness of the Roman people, was rather increased than
diminished by retaining that man in power and office." And when the
reply is, "Majesty consists of the dignity of the empire and name of
the Roman people, which that man impairs, who excites sedition by
appealing to the violent passions of the multitude;" then comes the
dispute, Whether his conduct was calculated to impair that majesty,
who acted upon the inclinations of the roman people, so as to do a
thing which was both just and acceptable to them by means of violence.
But in such causes as these, when it is alleged in defence of the
accused party that something has been rightly done, or when it must be
admitted that it has been done, while the principle of the act is open
to discussion: as in the case of Opimius, "I did it lawfully, for the
sake of preserving the general safety and the republic;" and when
Decius replies, "You had no power or right to slay even the wickedest
of the citizens without a trial." Then arises the dispute, "Had
Opimius lawfully the power, for the sake of the safety of the
republic, to put to death a citizen who was overturning the republic,
without his being condemned?" And so those disputes which arise in
these controversies which are marked out by certain persons and times
become gradually infinite, and after the times and persons are put out
of the question, are again reduced to the form and rules under which
their merits can be discussed.

XXXI. But in corroborative arguments of the most important character,
those points must also be established which can be opposed to the
defence, being derived either from the letter of the law, or of
a will, or from the language of a judicial decision, or of a
stipulation, or of a covenant. And even this kind has no connexion
with those causes which depend upon conjecture. For when an action is
denied altogether, it cannot be impeached by reference to the letter
of the law. It does not even come under definition, as to the
character of the letter of the law itself. For although some
expression or other is to be defined by reference to the letter of the
law, so as to be sure what meaning it has: as when the question arises
out of a will, what is meant by provisions, or out of the covenant of
a lease, what are moveables or fixtures; then it is not the fact of
there being written documents, but the interpretation of what is
written, that gives rise to controversy. But when many things may be
implied by one expression, on account of the ambiguity of some word or
words, so that he who is speaking on the other side may be allowed to
draw the meaning of what is written as is advantageous to him, or in
fact, as he pleases; or, if the document be not drawn up in ambiguous
language, he may either deduce the wish and intention of the writer
from the words, or else say that he can defend what has been done by a
document which is perfectly different relating to the same facts; then
a dispute arises from a comparison of the two written documents; so
that the writings being ambiguous, it is a question which is most
strongly implied; and in a comparison between the letter and the
spirit of the documents an argument is adduced to show which the
judge is the most bound to be guided by; or in documents of a wholly
contradictory nature, which is the most to be approved.

But when the point in dispute is once established, then the orator
ought to keep in view, what is to be proved by all the arguments
derived from the different topics for discovering arguments. And
although it is quite sufficient for him who sees what is concealed in
each topic, and who has all those topics, as a kind of treasury of
arguments, at his fingers' ends; still we will touch upon those which
are peculiar to certain causes.

XXXII. In conjecture, then, when the person on his trial takes refuge
in denial of the fact, these are the two first things for the accuser
to consider, (I say accuser, meaning every kind of plaintiff or
commencer of an action; for even without any accuser, in the strict
sense of the word, these same kinds of controversies may frequently
arise;) however, these are his first points for consideration, the
cause and the event. When I say the cause, I mean the reason for doing
a thing. When I say the event, I mean that which was done. And this
same division of cases was made just now, when speaking of the topics
of persuasion. For the rules which were given in deliberating upon the
future, and how they ought to have a bearing upon utility, or a power
of producing effects, a man who is arguing upon a fact is bound to
collect, so as to show that they must have been useful to the man whom
he is accusing, and that the act might possibly have been done by him.
The question of utility, as far as it depends upon conjecture, is
opened, if the accused person is said to have done the act of which he
is accused, either out of the hope of advantage or the fear of injury.
And this argument has the greater weight, the greater the advantages
or disadvantages anticipated are said to be. With reference to the
motive for an action we take into consideration also the feelings of
minds, if any recent anger, or long-standing grudge, or desire for
revenge, or indignation at an injury; if any eagerness for honour, or
glory, or command, or riches; if any fear of danger, any debt, any
difficulties in pecuniary matters, have had influence; if the man is
bold, or fickle, or cruel, or intemperate, or incautious, or foolish,
or loving, or excitable, or given to wine; if he had any hope of
gaining his point, or any expectation of concealing his conduct; or,
if that were detected, any hope of repelling the charge, or breaking
through the danger, or even postponing it to a subsequent time; or if
the penalty to be inflicted by a court of justice is more trifling
than the prize to be gained by the act; or if the pleasure of the
crime is greater than the pain of the conviction.

It is generally by such circumstances as these that the suspicion of
an act is confirmed, when the causes why he should have desired it are
found to exist in the party accused, together with the means of
doing it. But in his will we look for the benefit which he may have
calculated on from the attainment of some advantage, or the avoidance
of some disadvantage, so that either hope or fear may seem to have
instigated him, or else some sudden impulse of the mind, which impels
men more swiftly to evil courses than even considerations of utility.
So this is enough to have said about the causes.

_C.F._ I understand; and I ask you now what the events are which you
have said are produced by such causes?

XXXIII. _C.P._ They are certain consequential signs of what is past,
certain traces of what has been done, deeply imprinted, which have a
great tendency to engender suspicion, and are, as it were, a silent
evidence of crimes, and so much the more weighty because all causes
appear as a general rule to be able to give ground for accusations,
and to show for whose advantage anything was; and these arguments have
an especial propriety of reference to those who are accused, such as a
weapon, a footstep, blood, the detection of anything which appears to
have been carried off or taken away; or any reply inconsistent with
the truth, or any hesitation, or trepidation, or the fact of the
accused person having been seen with any one whose character is such
as to give rise to suspicion; or of his having been seen himself in
that very place in which the action was done; or paleness, or tremor,
or any writing, or anything having been sealed up or deposited
anywhere. For these are circumstances of such a nature as to make the
charge full of suspicion, either in connexion with the act itself, or
with the time previous or subsequent to it. And if they are not so,
still it will be proper to rely on the causes themselves, and on the
means which the accused person had of doing the action, with the
addition of that general argument, that he was not so insane as to be
unable to avoid or conceal any indications of the action, so as to be
discovered and to give ground for an accusation. On the other hand,
there is that common topic, that audacity is joined to rashness, not
to prudence. Besides, there comes the topic suited to amplification,
that we are not to wait for his confessing; that offences are proved
by arguments; and here, too, precedents will be adduced. And thus much
about arguments.

XXXIV. But if there is also a sufficiency of witnesses, the first
thing will be to praise the party accused, and to say that he himself
has taken care not to be convicted by argument; that he could not
escape from witnesses: then each of the witnesses must be praised,
(and we have stated already what are the things for which people
can be praised;) and in the next place, it must be urged that it is
possible for it to be quite justifiable not to yield to a specious
argument, (inasmuch as such an one is often false,) but quite
impossible to refuse belief to a good and trusty man, unless there is
some fault in the judge. And then, too, if the witnesses are obscure
or insignificant, we must say that a man's credit is not to be
estimated by his fortune, but that those are the most trustworthy
witnesses on every point who have the easiest means of knowing the
truth of the matter under discussion. If the fact of an examination of
slaves under torture having taken place, or a demand that such should
take place, will assist the cause, then in the first place the general
character of such examinations must be extolled: we must speak of
the power of bodily pain; of the opinion of our ancestors, who would
certainly have abolished the whole system if they had not approved of
it; of the customs of the Athenians and Rhodians, very wise men, among
whom (and that is a most terrible thing) even freemen and citizens
are tortured; of the principles also of the most prudent of our own
countrymen, who though they are unwilling to allow slaves to be
examined against their masters, still did allow of such examination in
the case of incest and conspiracy,--and in fact such an examination
took place in my consulship. That declamation which men are in the
habit of using to throw discredit on such examinations must be laughed
out of court, and called studied and childish. Then a belief must be
inculcated that the examination has been conducted with care, and
without any partiality; and the answers given in the examination must
be weighed by arguments and by conjecture. And these are for the most
part the divisions of an accusation.

XXXV. But the first division of a defence is the invalidating of the
motives alleged for the action,--either as having no real existence,
or as not having been so important, or as not having been likely to
influence any one but the person accused; or we may urge that he could
have attained the same object more easily; or that he is not a man
of such habits, or of such a character; or that he was not so much a
slave to sudden impulses, or at all events not to such trifling ones.
And the advocate for the defence will disparage the means alleged
to be in the power of the accused person, if he shows that either
strength, or courage, or power, or resources were wanting to him; or
that the time was unfavourable, or the place unsuitable; or that there
were many witnesses, not one of whom he would have chosen to trust; or
that he was not such a fool as to undertake a deed which he could not
conceal; nor so senseless as to despise the penalties of the law and
the courts of justice. And he will do away with the effect of the
consequences alleged, by explaining that those things are not certain
proofs of an act which might have happened even if the act had never
been done; and he will dwell on the details, and urge that they belong
as much to what he himself alleges was the fact, as to that which is
at present the ground of accusation: or if he agrees with the accuser
on those points, still he will say that ought to be of avail rather as
a defence to himself against danger, than as an engine for injuring
his safety; and he will run down the whole body of witnesses and
examinations under torture, generally, and also in detail as far as
he can, by the use of the topics of reprehension which have been
explained already. The openings of these causes which are intended to
excite suspicion by their bitterness will be thus laid down by the
accuser; and the general danger of all intrigues will be denounced;
and men's minds will be excited so as to listen attentively. But the
person who is being accused will bring forward complaints of charges
having been trumped up against him, and suspicions ferreted out from
all quarters; and he will speak of the intrigues of the accuser, and
also of the common danger of all citizens from such proceedings: and
so he will try to move the minds of the judges to pity, and to excite
their good-will in some degree. But the narration of the accuser will
be a separate count, as it were, which will contain an explanation
of every sort of transaction liable to suspicion, with every kind
of argument scattered over it, and all the topics for the defence
discredited. But the speaker for the defence must pass over or
discredit all the arguments employed to raise suspicion, and will
limit himself to a narration of the actual facts and events which have
taken place. But in the corroboration of our own arguments, and in the
invalidation of those of our adversaries, it will be often the object
of the accuser to rouse the feelings of the minds of his hearers, and
of the advocate for the defence to pacify them. And this will be the
course of both of them especially in the peroration. The one must
have recourse to a reiteration of his arguments, and to a general
accumulation of them together; the other, when he has once clearly
explained his own cause, refuting the statements of his adversary,
must have recourse to enumeration; and, when he has effaced every
unfavourable impression, then at the end he will endeavour to move the
pity of his judges.

XXXVI. _C.F._ I think I know now how conjecture ought to be dealt
with. Let me hear you now on the subject of definition.

_C.P._ With respect to that the rules which are given are common to
the accuser and the defender. For whichever of them by his definition
and description of a word makes the greatest impression on the
feelings and opinions of the judges, and whichever keeps nearest to
the general meaning of the word, and to that preconceived opinion
which those who are the hearers have adopted in their minds, must
inevitably get the better in the discussion. For this kind of topic
is not handled by a regular argumentation, but by shaking out, as it
were, and unfolding the word; so that, if, for instance, in the case
of a criminal acquitted through bribery and then impeached a second
time, the accuser were to define prevarication to be the utter
corruption of a tribunal by an accused person; and the defender were
to urge a counter definition, that it is not every sort of corruption
which is prevarication, but only the bribing of a prosecutor by a
defendant: then, in the first place, there would be a contest between
the different alleged meanings of the word; in which case, though
the definition, if given by the speaker for the defence, approaches
nearest to general usage and to the sense of common conversation,
still the accuser relies on the spirit of the law, for he says that it
ought not to be admitted that those men who framed the laws considered
a judicial decision as ratified when wholly corrupt, but that if even
one judge be corrupted, the decision should be annulled. He relies on
equity; he urges that the law ought to have been framed differently,
if that was what was meant; but that the truth is, that whatever kinds
of corruption could possibly exist were all meant to be included under
the one term prevarication. But the speaker for the defence will bring
forward on his side the usage of common conversation; and he will seek
the meaning of the word from its contrary; from a genuine accuser,
to whom a prevarication is the exact opposite; or from consequents,
because the tablets are given to the judge by the accuser; and from
the name itself, which signifies a man who in contrary causes appears
to be placed, as it were, in various positions. But still he himself
will be forced to have recourse to topics of equity, to the authority
of precedents, and to some dangerous result. And this may be a general
rule, that when each has stated his definition, keeping as accurately
as he can to the common sense and meaning of the word, he should then
confirm his own meaning and definition by similar definitions, and by
the examples of those men who have spoken in the same way.

And in this kind of cause that will be a common topic for the
accuser,--that it must never be permitted that the man who confesses a
fact, should defend himself by a new interpretation of the name of it.
But the defender must rely on those general principles of equity which
I have mentioned, and he must complain that, while that is on his
side, he is weighed down not by facts, but by the perverted use of a
word; and while speaking thus he will be able to introduce many topics
suited to aid him in discovering arguments. For he will avail himself
of resemblances, and contrarieties, and consequences; and although
both parties will do this, still the defendant, unless his cause is
evidently ridiculous, will do so more frequently. But the things which
are in the habit of being said, for the sake of amplification, or in
the way of digression, or when men are summing up, are introduced
either to excite hatred, or pity, or to work on the feelings of the
judges by means of those arguments which have been already given;
provided that the importance of the facts, or the envy of men, or the
dignity of the parties, will allow of it.

XXXVII. _C.F._ I understand that. Now I wish to hear you speak of that
part which, when the question is what is the character of such and
such a transaction, will be suitable both for the accusation and also
for the defence.

_C.P._ In a cause of that kind those who are accused confess that they
did the very thing for which they are blamed; but since they allege
that they did it lawfully, it is necessary for us to explain the
whole principles of law. And that is divided into two principal
divisions,--natural law and statute law. And the power of each of
these is again distributed into human law and divine law; one of which
refers to equity and the other to religion. But the power of equity
is two-fold: one part of which is upheld by considerations of what is
straightforward, and true, and just, and, as it is said, equitable and
virtuous; the other refers chiefly to requiting things done to one
suitably,--which in the case of that which is to be requited being a
kindness, is called gratitude, but when it is an injury, it is called

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