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The Orations of Marcus Tullius Cicero, Volume 4 by Cicero

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by Trebonius, and compelled to flee to Alexandria."

The senate has indeed been very guilty! We have taken no notice of
that great man Theopompus! Why, who on earth knows or cares where he
is, or what he is doing; or, indeed, whether he is alive or dead? "You
endure the sight of Sergius Galba in your camp, armed with the same
dagger with which he slew Caesar."

I shall make you no reply at all about Galba; a most gallant and
courageous citizen. He will meet you face to face; and he being
present, and that dagger which you reproach him with, shall give you
your answer.

"You have enlisted my soldiers, and many veterans, under the pretence
of intending the destruction of those men who slew Caesar; and then,
when they expected no such step, you have led them on to attack their
quaestor, their general, and their former comrades!"

No doubt we deceived them; we humbugged them completely! no doubt the
Martial legion, the fourth legion, and the veterans had no idea what
was going on! They were not following the authority of the senate,
or the liberty of the Roman people.--They were anxious to avenge the
death of Caesar, which they all regarded as an act of destiny! No
doubt you were the person whom they were anxious to see safe, and
happy, and flourishing!

XVII. Oh miserable man, not only in fact, but also in the circumstance
of not perceiving yourself how miserable you are! But listen to the
most serious charge of all.

"In fact, what have you not sanctioned,--what have you not done? what
would be done if he were to come to life again, by?--"

By whom? For I suppose he means to bring forward some instance of a
very wicked man.

"Cnaeus Pompeius himself?"

Oh how base must we be, if indeed we have been imitating Cnaeus

"Or his son, if he could be at home?"

He soon will be at home, believe me; for in a very few days he will
enter on his home, and on his father's villas.

"Lastly, you declare that peace cannot be made unless I either allow
Brutus to quit Mutina, or supply him with corn."

It is others who say that: I say, that even if you were to do so,
there never could be peace between this city and you.

"What? is this the opinion of those veteran soldiers, to whom as yet
either course is open?"

I do not see that there is any course so open to them, as now to begin
and attack that general whom they previously were so zealous and
unanimous in defending.[54]

"Since you yourselves have sold yourselves for flatteries and poisoned

Are those men depraved and corrupted, who have been persuaded to
pursue a most detestable enemy with most righteous war?

"But you say, you are bringing assistance to troops who are hemmed in.
I have no objection to their being saved, and departing wherever you
wish, if they only allow that man to be put to death who has deserved

How very kind of him! The soldiers availing themselves of the
liberality of Antonius have deserted their general, and have fled in
alarm to his enemy, and if it had not been for them, Dolabella, in
offering the sacrifice which he did to the shade of his general, would
not have been beforehand with Antonius in propitiating the spirit of
his colleague by a similar offering.

"You write me word that there has been mention of peace made in
the senate, and that five ambassadors of consular rank have been
appointed. It is hard to believe that those men, who drove me in haste
from the city, when I offered the fairest conditions, and when I was
even thinking of relaxing somewhat of them, should now think of acting
with moderation or humanity. And it is hardly probable, that those
men who have pronounced Dolabella a public enemy for a most righteous
action, should bring themselves to spare us who are influenced by the
same sentiments as he".

Does it appear a trifling matter, that he confesses himself a partner
with Dolabella in all his atrocities? Do you not see that all these
crimes flow from one source? He himself confesses, shrewdly and
correctly enough, that those who have pronounced Dolabella a public
enemy for a most righteous action (for so it appears to Antonius),
cannot possibly spare him who agrees with Dolabella in opinion.

XVIII. What can you do with a man who puts on paper and records the
fact, that his agreement with Dolabella is so complete, that he would
kill Trebonius, and, if he could, Brutus and Cassius too, with every
circumstance of torture; and inflict the same punishment on us also?
Certainly, a man who makes so pious and fair a treaty is a citizen to
be taken care of! He, also, complains that the conditions which he
offered, those reasonable and modest conditions, were rejected;
namely, that he was to have the further Gaul,--the province the
most suitable of all for renewing and carrying on the war; that the
legionaries of the Alauda should be judges in the third decury; that
is to say, that there shall be an asylum for all crimes, to the
indelible disgrace of the republic; that his own acts should be
ratified, his,--when not one trace of his consulship has been allowed
to remain! He showed his regard also for the interests of Lucius
Antonius, who had been a most equitable surveyor of private and public
domains, with Nucula and Lento for his colleagues.

"Consider then, both of you, whether it is more becoming and more
advantageous for your party, for you to seek to avenge the death of
Trebonius, or that of Caesar; and whether it is more reasonable
for you and me to meet in battle, in order that the cause of the
Pompeians, which has so frequently had its throat cut, may the more
easily revive; or to agree together, so as not to be a laughing-stock
to our enemies."

If its throat had been cut, it never could revive. "Which," says he,
"is more becoming." In this war he talks of what is becoming! "And
more advantageous for your party."--"Parties," you senseless man, is
a suitable expression for the forum, or the senate house. You have
declared a wicked war against your country; you are attacking Mutina;
you are besieging the consul elect; two consuls are carrying on war
against you; and with them, Caesar, the propraetor; all Italy is armed
against you; and then do you call yours "a party," instead of a revolt
from the republic? "To seek to avenge the death of Trebonius, or that
of Caesar." We have avenged Trebonius sufficiently by pronouncing
Dolabella a public enemy. The death of Caesar is best defended by
oblivion and silence. But take notice what his object is.--When
he thinks that the death of Caesar ought to be revenged, he is
threatening with death, not those only who perpetrated that action,
but those also who were not indignant at it.

XIX. "Men who will count the destruction of either you or me gain
to them. A spectacle which as yet Fortune herself has taken care to
avoid, unwilling to see two armies which belong to one body fighting,
with Cicero acting as master of the show; a fellow who is so far happy
that he has cajoled you both with the same compliments as those with
which he boasted that he had deceived Caesar."

He proceeds in his abuse of me, as if he had been very fortunate in
all his former reproaches of me; but I will brand him with the
most thoroughly deserved marks of infamy, and pillory him for the
everlasting recollection of posterity. I a "master of the show of
gladiators!" indeed he is not wholly wrong, for I do wish to see the
worst party slain, and the best victorious. He writes that "whichever
of them are destroyed we shall count as so much gain." Admirable gain,
when, if you, O Antonius, are victorious, (may the gods avert such a
disaster!) the death of those men who depart from life untortured will
be accounted happy! He says that Hirtius and Caesar "have been cajoled
by me by the same compliments." I should like to know what compliment
has been as yet paid to Hirtius by me; for still more and greater
ones than have been paid him already are due to Caesar. But do you,
O Antonius, dare to say that Caesar, the father, was deceived by me?
You, it was you, I say, who really slew him at the Lupercal games.
Why, O most ungrateful of men, have you abandoned your office of
priest to him? But remark now the admirable wisdom and consistency of
this great and illustrious man.

"I am quite resolved to brook no insult either to myself or to my
friends; nor to desert that party which Pompeius hated, nor to allow
the veterans to be removed from their abodes; nor to allow individuals
to be dragged out to torture, nor to violate the faith which I pledged
to Dolabella."

I say nothing of the rest of this sentence, "the faith pledged to
Dolabella," to that most holy man, this pious gentleman will by no
means violate. What faith? Was it a pledge to murder every virtuous
citizen, to partition the city and Italy, to distribute the provinces
among, and to hand them over to be plundered by, their followers?
For what else was there which could have been ratified by treaty
and mutual pledges between Antonius and Dolabella, those foul and
parricidal traitors?

"Nor to violate my treaty of alliance with Lepidus, the most
conscientious of men."

You have any alliance with Lepidus or with any (I will not say
virtuous citizen, as he is, but with any) man in his senses! Your
object is to make Lepidus appear either an impious man, or a madman.
But you are doing no good, (although it is a hard matter to speak
positively of another,) especially with a man like Lepidus, whom I
will never fear, but I shall hope good things of him unless I am
prevented from doing so. Lepidus wished to recal you from your frenzy,
not to be the assistant of your insanity. But you seek your friends
not only among conscientious men, but among _most_ conscientious men.
And you actually, so godlike is your piety, invent a new word to
express it which has no existence in the Latin language.

"Nor to betray Plancus, the partner of my counsels."

Plancus, the partner of your counsels? He, whose ever memorable and
divine virtue brings a light to the republic: (unless, mayhap, you
think that it is as a reinforcement to you that he has come with those
most gallant legions, and with a numerous Gallic force of both cavalry
and infantry); and who, if before his arrival you have not by your
punishment made atonement to the republic for your wickedness, will be
chief leader in this war. For although the first succours that arrive
are more useful to the republic, yet the last are the more acceptable.

XX. However, at last he recollects himself and begins to philosophize.

"If the immortal gods assist me, as I trust that they will, going on
my way with proper feelings, I shall live happily; but if another fate
awaits me, I have already a foretaste of joy in the certainty of your
punishment. For if the Pompeians when defeated are so insolent, you
will be sure to experience what they will be when victorious."

You are very welcome to your foretaste of joy. For you are at war not
only with the Pompeians, but with the entire republic. Every one, gods
and men, the highest rank, the middle class, the lowest dregs of the
people, citizens and foreigners, men and women, free men and slaves,
all hate you. We saw this the other day on some false news that came;
but we shall soon see it from the way in which true news is received.
And if you ponder these things with yourself a little, you will die
with more equanimity, and greater comfort.

"Lastly, this is the sum of my opinion and determination; I will bear
with the insults offered me by my friends, if they themselves are
willing to forget that they have offered them; or if they are prepared
to unite with me in avenging Caesar's death."

Now that they know this resolution of Antonius, do you think that
Aulus Hirtius and Caius Pansa, the consuls, can hesitate to pass over
to Antonius? to besiege Brutus? to be eager to attack Mutina? Why do I
say Hirtius and Pansa? Will Caesar, that young man of singular piety,
be able to restrain himself from seeking to avenge the injuries of his
father in the blood of Decimus Brutus? Therefore, as soon as they had
read this letter, the course which they adopted was to approach nearer
to the fortifications. And on this account we ought to consider Caesar
a still more admirable young man; and that a still greater kindness of
the immortal gods which gave him to the republic, as he has never been
misled by the specious use of his father's name; nor by any false
idea of piety and affection. He sees clearly that the greatest piety
consists in the salvation of one's country. But if it were a contest
between parties, the name of which is utterly extinct, then would
Antonius and Ventidius be the proper persons to uphold the party of
Caesar, rather than in the first place, Caesar, a young man full of
the greatest piety and the most affectionate recollection of his
parent? and next to him Pansa and Hirtius, who held, (if I may use
such an expression,) the two horns of Caesar, at the time when that
deserved to be called a party. But what parties are these, when the
one proposes to itself to uphold the authority of the senate, the
liberty of the Roman people, and the safety of the republic, while
the other fixes its eyes on the slaughter of all good men, and on the
partition of the city and of Italy.

XXI. Let us come at last to the end.

"I do not believe that ambassadors are coming--".

He knows me well.

"To a place where war exists."

Especially with the example of Dolabella before our eyes. Ambassadors,
I should think, will have privileges more respected than two consuls
against whom he is bearing arms; or than Caesar, whose father's priest
he is; or than the consul elect, whom he is attacking; or than Mutina,
which he is besieging; or than his country, which he is threatening
with fire and sword.

"When they do come I shall see what they demand."

Plagues and tortures seize you! Will any one come to you, unless he
be a man like Ventidius? We sent men of the very highest character to
extinguish the rising conflagration; you rejected them. Shall we now
send men when the fire has become so large and has risen to such a
height, and when you have left yourself no possible room, not only for
peace, but not even for a surrender?

I have read you this letter, O conscript fathers, not because I
thought it worth reading, but in order to let you see all his
parricidal treasons revealed by his own confessions. Would Marcus
Lepidus, that man so richly endowed with all the gifts of virtue and
fortune, if he saw this letter, either wish for peace with this man,
or even think it possible that peace should be made? "Sooner shall
fire and water mingle" as some poet or other says; sooner shall
anything in the world happen than either the republic become
reconciled to the Antonii, or the Antonii to the republic. Those men
are monsters, prodigies, portentous pests of the republic. It would
be better for this city to be uplifted from its foundations and
transported, if such a thing were possible, into other regions, where
it should never hear of the actions or the name of the Antonii, than
for it to see those men, driven out by the valour of Caesar, and
hemmed in by the courage of Brutus, inside these walls. The most
desirable thing is victory; the next best thing is to think no
disaster too great to bear in defence of the dignity and freedom of
one's country. The remaining alternative, I will not call it the
third, but the lowest of all, is to undergo the greatest disgrace from
a desire of life.

Since, then, this is the case, as to the letters and messages of
Marcus Lepidus, that most illustrious man, I agree with Servilius. And
I further give my vote, that Magnus Pompeius, the Son of Cnaeus, has
acted as might have been expected from the affection and zeal of his
father and forefathers towards the republic, and from his own previous
virtue and industry and loyal principles in promising to the senate
and people of Rome his own assistance, and that of those men whom he
had with him; and that that conduct of his is grateful and acceptable
to the senate and people of Rome, and that it shall tend to his own
honour and dignity. This may either be added to the resolution of the
senate which is before us, or it may be separated from it and drawn up
by itself, so as to let Pompeius be seen to be extolled in a distinct
resolution of the senate.

* * * * *


* * * * *


After the last speech was delivered, Brutus gained great advantages in
Macedonia over Caius Antonius, and took him prisoner. He treated him
with great lenity, so much so as to displease Cicero, who remonstrated
with him strongly on his design of setting him at liberty. He was also
under some apprehension as to the steadiness of Plancus's loyalty to
the senate; but on his writing to that body to assure them of his
obedience, Cicero procured a vote of some extraordinary honours to

Cassius also about the same time was very successful in Syria, of
which he wrote Cicero a full account. Meantime reports were being
spread in the city by the partizans of Antonius, of his success before
Mutina; and even of his having gained over the consuls. Cicero too was
personally much annoyed at a report which they spread of his having
formed the design of making himself master of the city and assuming
the title of Dictator; but when Apuleius, one of his friends, and a
tribune of the people, proceeded to make a speech to the people in
Cicero's justification, the people all cried out that he had never
done anything which was not for the advantage of the republic. About
the same time news arrived of a victory gained over Antonius at

Pansa was now on the point of joining Hirtius with four new legions,
and Antonius endeavoured to surprise him on the road before he could
effect that junction. A severe battle ensued, in which Hirtius came to
Pansa's aid, and Antonius was defeated with great loss. On the receipt
of the news the populace assembled about Cicero's house, and carried
him in triumph to the Capitol. The next day Marcus Cornutus, the
praetor, summoned the senate to deliberate on the letters received
from the consuls and Octavius, giving an account of the victory.
Servilius declared his opinion that the citizens should relinquish the
_sagum_, or robe of war; and that a supplication should be decreed in
honour of the consuls and Octavius. Cicero rose next and delivered the
following speech, objecting to the relinquishment of the robe of war,
and blaming Servilius for not calling Antonius an enemy.

The measures which he himself proposed were carried.

I. IF, O conscript fathers, while I learnt from the letters which have
been read that the army of our most wicked enemies had been defeated
and routed, I had also learnt what we all wish for above all things,
and which we do suppose has resulted from that victory which has
been achieved,--namely, that Decimus Brutus had already quitted
Mutina,--then I should without any hesitation give my vote for our
returning to our usual dress out of joy at the safety of that citizen
on account of whose danger it was that we adopted the robe of war.
But before any news of that event which the city looks for with the
greatest eagerness arrives, we have sufficient reason indeed for joy
at this most important and most illustrious battle; but reserve, I beg
you, your return to your usual dress for the time of complete victory.
But the completion of this war is the safety of Decimus Brutus.

But what is the meaning of this proposal that our dress shall be
changed just for to-day, and that to-morrow we should again come forth
in the garb of war? Rather when we have once returned to that dress
which we wish and desire to assume, let us strive to retain it for
ever; for this is not only discreditable, but it is displeasing also
to the immortal gods, to leave their altars, which we have approached
in the attire of peace, for the purpose of assuming the garb of war.
And I notice, O conscript fathers, that there are some who favour this
proposal: whose intention and design is, as they see that that will be
a most glorious day for Decimus Brutus on which we return to our usual
dress out of joy for his safety, to deprive him of this great reward,
so that it may not be handed down to the recollection of posterity
that the Roman people had recourse to the garb of war on account of
the danger of one single citizen, and then returned to then gowns of
peace on account of his safety. Take away this reason, and you will
find no other for so absurd a proposal. But do you, O conscript
fathers, preserve your authority, adhere to your own opinions,
preserve in your recollection, what you have often declared, that the
whole result of this entire war depends on the life of one most brave
and excellent man.

II. For the purpose of effecting the liberation of Decimus Brutus, the
chief men of the state were sent as ambassadors, to give notice to
that enemy and parricidal traitor to retire from Mutina; for the sake
of preserving that same Decimus Brutus, Aulus Hirtius, the consul,
went by lot to conduct the war, a man the weakness of whose bodily
health was made up for by the strength of his courage, and encouraged
by the hope of victory. Caesar, too, after he, with an army levied by
his own resources and on his own authority, had delivered the republic
from the first dangers that assailed it, in order to prevent any
subsequent wicked attempts from being originated, departed to assist
in the deliverance of the same Brutus, and subdued some family
vexation which he may have felt by his attachment to his country. What
other object had Caius Pansa in holding the levies which he did, and
in collecting money, and in carrying the most severe resolutions of
the senate against Antonius, and in exhorting us, and in inviting the
Roman people to embrace the cause of liberty, except to ensure the
deliverance of Decimus Brutus? For the Roman people in crowds demanded
at his hands the safety of Decimus Brutus with such unanimous
outcries, that he was compelled to prefer it not only to any
consideration of his own personal advantage, but even to his own
necessities. And that end we now, O conscript fathers, are entitled to
hope is either at the point of being achieved, or is actually gained,
but it is right for the reward of our hopes to be reserved for the
issue and event of the business, lest we should appear either to have
anticipated the kindness of the gods by our over precipitation, or to
have despised the bounty of fortune through our own folly.

But since the manner of your behaviour shows plainly enough what you
think of this matter, I will come to the letters which have arrived
from the consuls and the propraetor, after I have said a few words
relating to the letters themselves.

III. The swords, O conscript fathers, of our legions and armies have
been stained with, or rather, I should say, dipped deep in blood in
two battles which have taken place under the consuls, and a third,
which has been fought under the command of Caesar. If it was the
blood of enemies, then great is the piety of the soldiers; but it is
nefarious wickedness if it was the blood of citizens. How long, then,
is that man, who has surpassed all enemies in wickedness, to be spared
the name of enemy? unless you wish to see the very swords of our
soldiers trembling in their hands while they doubt whether they are
piercing a citizen or an enemy. You vote a supplication; you do not
call Antonius an enemy. Very pleasing indeed to the immortal gods will
our thanksgivings be, very pleasing too the victims, after a multitude
of our citizens has been slain! "For the victory," says the proposer
of the supplication, "over wicked and audacious men." For that is what
this most illustrious man calls them; expressions of blame suited to
lawsuits carried on in the city, not denunciations of searing infamy
such as deserved by internecine war. I suppose they are forging wills,
or trespassing on their neighbours, or cheating some young men; for it
is men implicated in these and similar practices that we are in the
habit of terming wicked and audacious. One man, the foulest of all
banditti, is waging an irreconcileable war against four consuls. He
is at the same time carrying on war against the senate and people of
Rome. He is (although he is himself hastening to destruction, through
the disasters which he has met with) threatening all of us with
destruction, and devastation, and torments, and tortures. He declares
that that inhuman and savage act of Dolabella's, which no nation of
barbarians would have owned, was done by his advice; and what he
himself would do in this city, if this very Jupiter, who now looks
down upon us assembled in his temple, had not repelled him from this
temple and from these walls, he showed, in the miseries of those
inhabitants of Parma, whom, virtuous and honourable men as they were,
and most intimately connected with the authority of this order, and
with the dignity of the Roman people, that villain and monster, Lucius
Antonius, that object of the extraordinary detestation of all men,
and (if the gods hate those whom they ought) of all the gods also,
murdered with every circumstance of cruelty. My mind shudders at the
recollection, O conscript fathers, and shrinks from relating the
cruelties which Lucius Antonius perpetrated on the children and
wives of the citizens of Parma. For whatever infamy the Antonii have
willingly undergone in their own persons to their own infamy, they
triumph in the fact of having inflicted on others by violence. But it
is a miserable violence which they offered to them; most unholy lust,
such as the whole life of the Antonii is polluted with.

IV. Is there then any one who is afraid to call those men enemies,
whose wickedness he admits to have surpassed even the inhumanity of
the Carthaginians? For in what city, when taken by storm, did Hannibal
even behave with such ferocity as Antonius did in Parma, which he
filched by surprise? Unless, mayhap, Antonius is not to be considered
the enemy of this colony, and of the others towards which he is
animated with the same feelings. But if he is beyond all question the
enemy of the colonies and municipal towns, then what do you consider
him with respect to this city which he is so eager for, to satiate the
indigence of his band of robbers? which that skilful and experienced
surveyor of his, Saxa, has already marked out with his rule.
Recollect, I entreat you, in the name of the immortal gods, O
conscript fathers, what we have been fearing for the last two days,
in consequence of infamous rumours carefully disseminated by enemies
within the walls. Who has been able to look upon his children or upon
his wife without weeping? who has been able to bear the sight of his
home, of his house, and his household gods? Already all of us were
expecting a most ignominious death, or meditating a miserable flight.
And shall we hesitate to call the men at whose hands we feared
all these things enemies? If any one should propose a more severe
designation I will willingly agree to it; I am hardly content with
this ordinary one, and will certainly not employ a more moderate one.

Therefore, as we are bound to vote, and as Servilius has already
proposed a most just supplication for those letters which have been
read to you; I will propose altogether to increase the number of the
days which it is to last, especially as it is to be decreed in honour
of three generals conjointly. But first of all I will insist on
styling those men imperator by whose valour, and wisdom, and good
fortune we have been released from the most imminent danger of slavery
and death. Indeed, who is there within the last twenty years who
has had a supplication decreed to him without being himself styled
imperator, though he may have performed the most insignificant
exploits, or even almost none at all. Wherefore, the senator who spoke
before me ought either not to have moved for a supplication at all, or
he ought to have paid the usual and established compliment to those
men to whom even new and extraordinary honours are justly due.

V. Shall the senate, according to this custom which has now obtained,
style a man imperator if he has slain a thousand or two of Spaniards,
or Gauls, or Thracians; and now that so many legions have been routed,
now that such a multitude of enemies has been slain,--aye, enemies,
I say, although our enemies within the city do not fancy this
expression,--shall we pay to our most illustrious generals the honour
of a supplication, and refuse them the name of imperator? For with
what great honour, and joy, and exultation ought the deliverers of
this city themselves to enter into this temple, when yesterday, on
account of the exploits which they have performed, the Roman people
carried me in an ovation, almost in a triumph from my house to the
Capitol, and back again from the Capitol to my own house? That is
indeed in my opinion a just and genuine triumph, when men who have
deserved well of the republic receive public testimony to their merits
from the unanimous consent of the senate. For if, at a time of general
rejoicing on the part of the Roman people, they addressed their
congratulations to one individual, that is a great proof of their
opinion of him; if they gave him thanks, that is a greater still; if
they did both, then nothing more honourable to him can be possibly

Are you saying all this of yourself? some one will ask. It is indeed
against my will that I do so; but my indignation at injustice makes me
boastful, contrary to my usual habit. Is it not sufficient that thanks
should not be given to men who have well earned them, by men who are
ignorant of the very nature of virtue? And shall accusations and odium
be attempted to be excited against those men who devote all their
thoughts to ensuring the safety of the republic? For you well know
that there has been a common report for the last few days, that the
day before the wine feast,[55] that is to say, on this very day, I was
intending to come forth with the fasces as dictator. One would think
that this story was invented against some gladiator, or robber, or
Catiline, and not against a man who had prevented any such step from
ever being taken in the republic. Was I, who defeated and overthrew
and crushed Catiline, when he was attempting such wickedness, a likely
man myself all on a sudden to turn out Catiline? Under what auspices
could I, an augur, take those fasces? How long should I have been
likely to keep them? to whom was I to deliver them as my successor?
The idea of any one having been so wicked as to invent such a tale!
or so mad as to believe it! In what could such a suspicion, or rather
such gossip, have originated?

VI. When, as you know, during the last three or four days a report of
bad news from Mutina has been creeping abroad, the disloyal part of
the citizens, inflated with exultation and insolence, began to collect
in one place, at that senate-house which has been more fatal to their
party than to the republic. There, while they were forming a plan to
massacre us, and were distributing the different duties among one
another, and settling who was to seize on the Capitol, who on the
rostra, who on the gates of the city, they thought that all
the citizens would flock to me. And in order to bring me into
unpopularity, and even into danger of my life, they spread abroad this
report about the fasces. They themselves had some idea of bringing the
fasces to my house; and then, on pretence of that having been done by
my wish, they had prepared a band of hired ruffians to make an attack
on me as on a tyrant, and a massacre of all of you was intended to
follow. The fact is already notorious, O conscript fathers, but the
origin of all this wickedness will be revealed in its fitting time.

Therefore Publius Apuleius, a tribune of the people, who ever since my
consulship has been the witness and partaker of, and my assistant
in all my designs and all my dangers could not endure the grief of
witnessing my indignation. He convened a numerous assembly, as the
whole Roman people were animated with one feeling on the subject. And
when in the harangue which he then made, he, as was natural from our
great intimacy and friendship, was going to exculpate me from all
suspicion in the matter of the fasces, the whole assembly cried out
with one voice, that I had never had any intentions with regard to
the republic which were not excellent. After this assembly was over,
within two or three hours, these most welcome messengers and letters
arrived; so that the same day not only delivered me from a most unjust
odium, but increased my credit by that most extraordinary act with
which the Roman people distinguished me.

I have made this digression, O conscript fathers, not so much for the
sake of speaking of myself, (for I should be in a sorry plight if I
were not sufficiently acquitted in your eyes without the necessity of
making a formal defence,) as with the view of warning some men of too
grovelling and narrow minds, to adopt the line of conduct which I
myself have always pursued, and to think the virtue of excellent
citizens worthy of imitation, not of envy. There is a great field in
the republic, as Crassus used very wisely to say; the road to glory is
open to many.

VII. Would that those great men were still alive, who, after my
consulship, when I myself was willing to yield to them, were
themselves desirous to see me in the post of leader. But at the
present moment, when there is such a dearth of wise and fearless men
of consular rank, how great do you not suppose must be my grief
and indignation, when I see some men absolutely disaffected to the
republic, others wholly indifferent to everything, others incapable of
persevering with any firmness in the cause which they have espoused;
and regulating their opinions not always by the advantage of the
republic, but sometimes by hope, and sometimes by fear. But if any
one is anxious and inclined to struggle for the leadership--though
struggle there ought to be none--he acts very foolishly, if he
proposes to combat virtue with vices. For as speed is only outstripped
by speed, so among brave men virtue is only surpassed by virtue.
Will you, if I am full of excellent sentiments with respect to the
republic, adopt the worst possible sentiments yourself for the purpose
of excelling me? Or if you see a race taking place for the acquisition
of honours, will you summon all the wicked men you can find to your
banner? I should be sorry for you to do so; first of all, for the sake
of the republic, and secondly, for that of your own dignity. But if
the leadership of the state were at stake, which I have never coveted,
what could be more desirable for me than such conduct on your part?
For it is impossible that I should be defeated by wicked sentiments
and measures,--by good ones perhaps I might be, and I willingly would

Some people are vexed that the Roman people should see, and take
notice of, and form their opinion on these matters. Was it possible
for men not to form their opinion of each individual as he deserved?
For as the Roman people forms a most correct judgment of the entire
senate, thinking that at no period in the history of the republic was
this order ever more firm or more courageous; so also they all inquire
diligently concerning every individual among us; and especially in the
case of those among us who deliver our sentiments at length in this
place, they are anxious to know what those sentiments are; and in that
way they judge of each one of us, as they think that he deserves. They
recollect that on the nineteenth of December I was the main cause of
recovering our freedom; that from the first of January to this hour I
have never ceased watching over the republic; that day and night my
house and my ears have been open to the instruction and admonition of
every one; that it has been by my letters, and my messengers, and
my exhortations, that all men in every part of the empire have been
roused to the protection of our country; that it is owing to the open
declaration of my opinion ever since the first of January, that no
ambassadors have been ever sent to Antonius; that I have always called
him a public enemy, and this a war; so that I, who on every occasion
have been the adviser of genuine peace have been a determined enemy to
this pretence of fatal peace.

Have not I also at all times pronounced Ventidius an enemy, when
others wished to call him a tribune of the people? If the consuls had
chosen to divide the senate on my opinion, their arms would long since
have been wrested from the hands of all those robbers by the positive
authority of the senate.

VIII. But what could not be done then, O conscript fathers, at present
not only can be, but even must be done. I mean, those men who are in
reality enemies must be branded in plain language, must be declared
enemies by our formal resolution. Formerly, when I used the words War
or Enemy, men more than once objected to record my proposition among
the other propositions. But that cannot be done on the present
occasion. For in consequence of the letters of Caius Pansa and Aulus
Hirtius, the consuls, and of Caius Caesar, propraetor, we have all
voted that honours be paid to the immortal gods. The very man who
lately proposed and carried a vote for a supplication, without
intending it pronounced those men enemies; for a supplication has
never been decreed for success in civil war. Decreed, do I say? It has
never even been asked for in the letters of the conqueror. Sylla as
consul carried on a civil war; he led his legions into the city and
expelled whomsoever he chose; he slew those whom he had in his power:
there was no mention made of any supplication. The violent war with
Octavius followed. Cinna the conqueror had no supplication voted
to him. Sylla as imperator revenged the victory of Cinna, still no
supplication was decreed by the senate. I ask you yourself, O Publius
Servilius, did your colleague send you any letters concerning that
most lamentable battle of Pharsalia? Did he wish you to make any
motion about a supplication? Certainly not. But he did afterwards when
he took Alexandria; when he defeated Pharnaces; but for the battle of
Pharsalia he did not even celebrate a triumph. For that battle had
destroyed those citizens whose, I will not say lives, but even
whose victory might have been quite compatible with the safety and
prosperity of the state. And the same thing had happened in the
previous civil wars. For though a supplication was decreed in my
honour when I was consul, though no arms had been had recourse to at
all, still that was voted by a new and wholly unprecedented kind of
decree, not for the slaughter of enemies, but for the preservation of
the citizens. Wherefore, a supplication on account of the affairs of
the republic having been successfully conducted must, O conscript
fathers, be refused by you even though your generals demand it; a
stigma which has never been affixed on any one except Gabinius; or
else, by the mere fact of decreeing a supplication, it is quite
inevitable that you must pronounce those men, for whose defeat you do
decree it, enemies of the state.

IX. What then Servilius did in effect, I do in express terms, when I
style those men imperators. By using this name, I pronounce those who
have been already defeated, and those who still remain, enemies
in calling their conquerors imperators. For what title can I more
suitably bestow on Pansa? Though he has, indeed, the title of the
highest honour in the republic. What, too, shall I call Hirtius? He,
indeed, is consul; but this latter title is indicative of the kindness
of the Roman people; the other of valour and victory. What? Shall I
hesitate to call Caesar imperator, a man born for the republic by the
express kindness of the gods? He who was the first man who turned
aside the savage and disgraceful cruelty of Antonius, not only from
our throats, but from our limbs and bowels? What numerous and what
important virtues, O ye immortal gods, were displayed on that single
day. For Pansa was the leader of all in engaging in battle and in
combating with Antonius; O general worthy of the martial legion,
legion worthy of its general! Indeed, if he had been able to restrain
its irresistible impetuosity, the whole war would have been terminated
by that one battle. But as the legion, eager for liberty, had rushed
with too much precipitation against the enemy's line of battle, and
as Pansa himself was fighting in the front ranks, he received two
dangerous wounds, and was borne out of the battle, to preserve his
life for the republic. But I pronounce him not only imperator, but
a most illustrious imperator; who, as he had pledged himself to
discharge his duty to the republic either by death or by victory, has
fulfilled one half of his promise; may the immortal gods prevent the
fulfilment of the other half!

X. Why need I speak of Hirtius? who, the moment he heard of what was
going on, with incredible promptness and courage led forth two legions
out of the camp; that noble fourth legion, which, having deserted
Antonius, formerly united itself to the martial legion; and the
seventh, which, consisting wholly of veterans, gave proof in that
battle that the name of the senate and people of Rome was dear to
those soldiers who preserved the recollection of the kindness of
Caesar. With these twenty cohorts, with no cavalry, while Hirtius
himself was bearing the eagle of the fourth legion,--and we never
heard of a more noble office being assumed by any general,--he
fought with the three legions of Antonius and with his cavalry, and
overthrew, and routed, and put to the sword those impious men who
were the real enemies to this temple of the all-good and all-powerful
Jupiter, and to the rest of the temples of the immortal gods, and the
houses of the city, and the freedom of the Roman people, and our lives
and actual existence; so that that chief and leader of robbers fled
away with a very few followers, concealed by the darkness of night,
and frightened out of all his senses.

Oh what a most blessed day was that, which, while the carcases of
those parricidal traitors were strewed about everywhere, beheld
Antonius flying with a few followers, before he reached his place of

But will any one hesitate to call Caesar imperator? Most certainly his
age will not deter any one from agreeing to this proposition, since he
has gone beyond his age in virtue. And to me, indeed, the services of
Caius Caesar have always appeared the more thankworthy, in proportion
as they were less to have been expected from a man of his age. For
when we conferred military command on him, we were in fact encouraging
the hope with which his name inspired us; and now that he has
fulfilled those hopes, he has sanctioned the authority of our decree
by his exploits. This young man of great mind, as Hirtius most truly
calls him in his letters, with a few cohorts defended the camp of
many legions, and fought a successful battle. And in this manner the
republic has on one day been preserved in many places by the valour,
and wisdom, and good fortune of three imperators of the Roman people.

XI. I therefore propose supplications of fifty days in the joint
names of the three. The reasons I will embrace in the words of the
resolution, using the most honourable language that I can devise.

But it becomes our good faith and our piety to show plainly to our
most gallant soldiers how mindful of their services and how grateful
for them we are; and accordingly I give my vote that our promises, and
those pledges too which we promised to bestow on the legions when the
war was finished, be repeated in the resolution which we are going to
pass this day. For it is quite fair that the honour of the soldiers,
especially of such soldiers as those, should be united with that of
their commanders. And I wish, O conscript fathers, that it was lawful
for us to dispense rewards to all the citizens; although we will give
those which we have promised with the most careful usury. But that
remains, as I well hope, to the conquerors, to whom the faith of the
senate is pledged; and, as they have adhered to it at a most critical
period of the republic, we are bound to take care that they never have
cause to repent of their conduct. But it is easy for us to deal fairly
by those men whose very services, though mute, appear to demand our
liberality. This is a much more praiseworthy and more important duty,
to pay a proper tribute of grateful recollection to the valour of
those men who have shed their blood in the cause of their country. And
I wish more suggestions could occur to me in the way of doing honour
to those men. The two ideas which principally do occur to me, I will
at all events not pass over; the one of which has reference to the
everlasting glory of those bravest of men; the other may tend to
mitigate the sorrow and mourning of their relations.

XII. I therefore give my vote, O conscript fathers, that the most
honourable monument possible be erected to the soldiers of the martial
legion, and to those soldiers also who died fighting by their side.
Great and incredible are the services done by this legion to the
republic. This was the first legion to tear itself from the piratical
band of Antonius; this was the legion which encamped at Alba; this was
the legion that went over to Caesar; and it was in imitation of the
conduct of this legion that the fourth legion has earned almost equal
glory for its virtue. The fourth is victorious without having lost a
man; some of the martial legion fell in the very moment of victory. Oh
happy death, which, due to nature, has been paid in the cause of one's
country! But I consider you men born for your country; you whose very
name is derived from Mars, so that the same god who begot this city
for the advantage of the nations, appears to have begotten you for
the advantage of this city. Death in flight is infamous; in victory
glorious. In truth, Mars himself seems to select all the bravest men
from the battle array. Those impious men whom you slew, shall even in
the shades below pay the penalty of their parricidal treason. But you,
who have poured forth your latest breath in victory, have earned an
abode and place among the pious. A brief life has been allotted to us
by nature; but the memory of a well-spent life is imperishable. And if
that memory were no longer than this life, who would be so senseless
as to strive to attain even the highest praise and glory by the most
enormous labours and dangers?

You then have fared most admirably, being the bravest of soldiers
while you lived, and now the most holy of warriors, because it will
be impossible for your virtue to be buried, either through the
forgetfulness of the men of the present age, or the silence of
posterity, since the senate and Roman people will have raised to you
an imperishable monument, I may almost say with their own hands. Many
armies at various times have been great and illustrious in the Punic,
and Gallic, and Italian wars; but to none of them have honours been
paid of the description which are now conferred on you. And I wish
that we could pay you even greater honours, since we have received
from you the greatest possible services. You it was who turned aside
the furious Antonius from this city; you it was who repelled him when
endeavouring to return. There shall therefore be a vast monument
erected with the most sumptuous work, and an inscription engraved upon
it, as the everlasting witness of your god-like virtue. And never
shall the most grateful language of all who either see or hear of your
monument cease to be heard. And in this manner you, in exchange for
your mortal condition of life, have attained immortality.

XIII. But since, O conscript fathers, the gift of glory is conferred
on these most excellent and gallant citizens by the honour of a
monument, let us comfort their relations, to whom this indeed is
the best consolation. The greatest comfort for their parents is the
reflection that they have produced sons who have been such bulwarks of
the republic; for their children, that they will have such examples of
virtue in their family; for their wives, that the husbands whom they
have lost are men whom it is a credit to praise, and to have a right
to mourn for; and for their brothers, that they may trust that, as
they resemble them in their persons, so they do also in their virtues.

Would that we were able by the expression of our sentiments and by our
votes to wipe away the tears of all these persons; or that any such
oration as this could be publicly addressed to them, to cause them to
lay aside their grief and mourning, and to rejoice rather, that, while
many various kinds of death impend over men, the most honourable kind
of all has fallen to the lot of their friends; and that they are not
unburied, nor deserted; though even that fate, when incurred for one's
country, is not accounted miserable; nor burnt with equable obsequies
in scattered graves, but entombed in honourable sepulchres, and
honoured with public offerings; and with a building which will be an
altar of their valour to ensure the recollection of eternal ages.

Wherefore it will be the greatest possible comfort to their relations,
that by the same monument are clearly displayed the valour of their
kinsmen, and also their piety, and the good faith of the senate, and
the memory of this most inhuman war, in which, if the valour of the
soldiers had been less conspicuous, the very name of the Roman people
would have perished by the parricidal treason of Marcus Antonius.
And I think also, O conscript fathers, that those rewards which we
promised to bestow on the soldiers when we had recovered the republic,
we should give with abundant usury to those who are alive and
victorious when the time comes; and that in the case of the men to
whom those rewards were promised, but who have died in the defence of
their country, I think those same rewards should be given to their
parents or children, or wives or brothers.

XIV. But that I may reduce my sentiments into a formal motion, I give
my vote that:

"As Caius Pansa, consul, imperator, set the example of fighting with
the enemy in a battle in which the martial legion defended the freedom
of the Roman people with admirable and incredible valour, and the
legions of the recruits behaved equally well; and as Caius Pansa,
consul, imperator, while engaged in the middle of the ranks of the
enemy received wounds; and as Aulus Hirtius, consul, imperator, the
moment that he heard of the battle, and knew what was going on, with a
most gallant and loyal soul, led his army out of his camp and attacked
Marcus Antonius and his army, and put his troops to the sword, with so
little injury to his own army that he did not lose one single man; and
as Caius Caesar, propraetor, imperator, with great prudence and energy
defended the camp successfully, and routed and put to the sword the
forces of the enemy which had come near the camp:

"On these accounts the senate thinks and declares that the Roman
people has been released from the most disgraceful and cruel slavery
by the valour, and military skill, and prudence, and firmness, and
perseverance, and greatness of mind and good fortune of these their
generals. And decrees that, as they have preserved the republic, the
city, the temples of the immortal gods, the property and fortunes and
families of all the citizens, by their own exertions in battle, and at
the risk of their own lives; on account of these virtuous and gallant
and successful achievements, Caius Pansa and Aulus Hirtius, the
consuls, imperators, one or both of them, or, in their absence, Marcus
Cornutus, the city praetor, shall appoint a supplication at all the
altars for fifty days. And as the valour of the legions has shown
itself worthy of their most illustrious generals, the senate will with
great eagerness, now that the republic is recovered, bestow on our
legions and armies all the rewards which it formerly promised them.
And as the martial legion was the first to engage with the enemy, and
fought in such a manner against superior numbers as to slay many and
take some prisoners; and as they shed their blood for their country
without any shrinking; and as the soldiers of the other legions
encountered death with similar valour in defence of the safety and
freedom of the Roman people;--the senate does decree that Caius Pansa
and Aulus Hirtius, the consuls, imperators, one or both of them if it
seems good to them, shall see to the issuing of a contract for, and to
the erecting, the most honourable possible monument to those men who
shed their blood for the lives and liberties and fortunes of the Roman
people, and for the city and temples of the immortal gods; that for
that purpose they shall order the city quaestors to furnish and
pay money, in order that it may be a witness for the everlasting
recollection of posterity of the wickedness of our most cruel enemies,
and the god-like valour of our soldiers. And that the rewards which
the senate previously appointed for the soldiers, be paid to the
parents or children, or wives or brothers of those men who in this
war have fallen in defence of their country; and that all honours
be bestowed on them which should have been bestowed on the soldiers
themselves if those men had lived who gained the victory by their


* * * * *


* * * * *

These essays on rhetoric were composed by Cicero when he was about one
and twenty years of age, and he mentions them afterwards in his more
elaborate treatise _De Oratore_, (Lib. i. c. 2,) as unworthy of his
more mature age, and more extended experiences. Quintilian also (III.
c. 63,) mentions them as works which Cicero condemned by subsequent
writings. This treatise originally consisted of four books, of which
only two have come down to us.

I. I HAVE often and deeply resolved this question in my mind, whether
fluency of language has been beneficial or injurious to men and to
cities, with reference to the cultivation of the highest order of
eloquence. For when I consider the disasters of our own republic, and
when I call to mind also the ancient calamities of the most important
states, I see that it is by no means the most insignificant portion
of their distresses which has originated from the conduct of the most
eloquent men. But, at the same time, when I set myself to trace back,
by the aid of written memorials and documents, affairs which, by
reason of their antiquity, are removed back out of the reach of any
personal recollection, I perceive also that many cities have been
established, many wars extinguished, many most enduring alliances and
most holy friendships have been cemented by deliberate wisdom much
assisted and facilitated by eloquence. And as I have been, as I say,
considering all this for some time, reason itself especially induces
me to think that wisdom without eloquence is but of little advantage
to states, but that eloquence without wisdom is often most
mischievous, and is never advantageous to them.

If then any one, neglecting all the most virtuous and honourable
considerations of wisdom and duty, devotes his whole attention to the
practice of speaking, that man is training himself to become useless
to himself, and a citizen mischievous to his country; but a man who
arms himself with eloquence in such a manner as not to oppose the
advantage of his country, but to be able to contend in behalf of them,
he appears to me to be one who both as a man and a citizen will be of
the greatest service to his own and the general interests, and most
devoted to his country.

And if we are inclined to consider the origin of this thing which is
called eloquence, whether it be a study, or an art, or some peculiar
sort of training or some faculty given us by nature, we shall find
that it has arisen from most honourable causes, and that it proceeds
on the most excellent principles.

II. For there was a time when men wandered at random over the fields,
after the fashion of beasts, and supported life on the food of beasts;
nor did they do anything by means of the reasoning powers of the mind;
but almost everything by bodily strength. No attention was as yet paid
to any considerations of the religious reverence due to the gods, or
of the duties which are owed to mankind: no one had ever seen any
legitimate marriages, no one had beheld any children whose parentage
was indubitable; nor had any one any idea what great advantage
there might be in a system of equal law. And so, owing to error and
ignorance, cupidity, that blind and rash sovereign of the mind, abused
its bodily strength, that most pernicious of servants, for the purpose
of gratifying itself. At this time then a man,[56] a great and a wise
man truly was he, perceived what materials there were, and what great
fitness there was in the minds of men for the most important affairs,
if any one could only draw it out, and improve it by education. He,
laying down a regular system, collected men, who were previously
dispersed over the fields and hidden in habitations in the woods into
one place, and united them, and leading them on to every useful and
honourable pursuit, though, at first, from not being used to it they
raised an outcry against it; he gradually, as they became more eager
to listen to him on account of his wisdom and eloquence, made them
gentle and civilized from having been savage and brutal. And it
certainly seems to me that no wisdom which was silent and destitute of
skill in speaking could have had such power as to turn men on a sudden
from their previous customs, and to lead them to the adoption of
a different system of life. And, moreover, after cities had been
established how could men possibly have been induced to learn to
cultivate integrity, and to maintain justice, and to be accustomed
willingly to obey others, and to think it right not only to encounter
toil for the sake of the general advantage, but even to run the risk
of losing their lives, if men had not been able to persuade them by
eloquence of the truth of those principles which they had discovered
by philosophy? Undoubtedly no one, if it had not been that he was
influenced by dignified and sweet eloquence, would ever have chosen
to condescend to appeal to law without violence, when he was the most
powerful party of the two as far as strength went; so as to allow
himself now to be put on a level with those men among whom he might
have been preeminent, and of his own free will to abandon a custom
most pleasant to him, and one which by reason of its antiquity had
almost the force of nature.

And this is how eloquence appears to have originated at first, and to
have advanced to greater perfection; and also, afterwards, to have
become concerned in the most important transactions of peace and war,
to the greatest advantage of mankind? But after that a certain sort of
complaisance, a false copyist of virtue, without any consideration
for real duty, arrived at some fluency of language, then wickedness,
relying on ability, began to overturn cities, and to undermine the
principles of human life.

III. And, since we have mentioned the origin, of the good done by
eloquence, let us explain also the beginning of this evil.

It appears exceedingly probable to me that was a time when men who
were destitute of eloquence and wisdom, were not accustomed to meddle
with affairs of state, and when also great and eloquent men were not
used to concern themselves about private causes; but, while the most
important transactions were managed by the most eminent and able men,
I think that there were others also, and those not very incompetent,
who attended to the trifling disputes of private individuals; and as
in these disputes it often happened that men had recourse to lies, and
tried by such means to oppose the truth, constant practice in speaking
encouraged audacity, so that it became unavoidable that those other
more eminent men should, on account of the injuries sustained by the
citizens, resist the audacious and come to the assistance of their own
individual friends.

Therefore, as that man had often appeared equal in speaking, and
sometimes even superior, who having neglected the study of wisdom, had
laboured to acquire nothing except eloquence, it happened that in the
judgment of the multitude he appeared a man worthy to conduct even the
affairs of the state. And hence it arose, and it is no wonder that
it did, when rash and audacious men had seized on the helm of the
republic, that great and terrible disasters occurred. Owing to which
circumstances, eloquence fell under so much odium and unpopularity
that the ablest men, (like men who seek a harbour to escape from some
violent tempest) devoted themselves to any quiet pursuit, as a refuge
from a life of sedition and tumult. So that other virtuous and
honourable pursuits appear to me to have become popular subsequently,
from having been cultivated in tranquillity by excellent men; but
that this pursuit having been abandoned by most of them, grew out of
fashion and obsolete at the very time when it should have been more
eagerly retained and more anxiously encouraged and strengthened.

For the more scandalously the temerity and audacity of foolish and
worthless men was violating a most honourable and virtuous system,
to the excessive injury of the republic, the more studiously did
it become others to resist them, and to consult the welfare of the

IV. And this principle which I have just laid down did not escape the
notice of Cato, nor of Laelus, nor of their pupil, as I may fairly
call him, Africanus, nor of the Gracchi the grandson of Africanus; men
in whom there was consummate virtue and authority increased by their
consummate virtue and eloquence, which might serve as an ornament to
these qualities, and as a protection to the republic. Wherefore, in
my opinion at least, men ought not the less to devote themselves to
eloquence, although some men both in private and public affairs misuse
it in a perverse manner; but I think rather that they should apply
themselves to it with the more eagerness, in order to prevent wicked
men from getting the greatest power to the exceeding injury of the
good, and the common calamity of all men; especially as this is the
only thing which is of the greatest influence on all affairs both
public and private; and as it is by this same quality that life is
rendered safe, and honourable, and illustrious, and pleasant. For it
is from this source that the most numerous advantages accrue to the
republic, if only it be accompanied by wisdom, that governor of all
human affairs. From this source it is that praise and honour and
dignity flow towards all those who have acquired it; from this source
it is that the most certain and the safest defence is provided for
their friends. And, indeed, it appears to me, that it is on this
particular that men, who in many points are weaker and lower than the
beasts, are especially superior to them, namely, in being able to

Wherefore, that man appears to me to have acquired an excellent
endowment, who is superior to other men in that very thing in which
men are superior to beasts. And if this art is acquired not by nature
only, not by mere practice, but also by a sort of regular system of
education, it appears to me not foreign to our purpose to consider
what those men say who have left us some precepts on the subject of
the attainment of it.

But, before we begin to speak of oratorical precepts, I think we must
say something of the nature of the art itself; of its duty, of
its end, of its materials, and of its divisions. For when we have
ascertained those points, then each man's mind will, with the more
ease and readiness, be able to comprehend the system itself, and the
path which leads to excellence in it.

V. There is a certain political science which is made up of many and
important particulars. A very great and extensive portion of it is
artificial eloquence, which men call rhetoric. For we do not agree
with those men who think that the knowledge of political science is
in no need of and has no connexion with eloquence; and we most widely
disagree with those, on the other hand, who think that all political
ability Is comprehended under the skill and power of a rhetorician. On
which account we will place this oratorical ability in such a class as
to assert that it is a part of political science. But the duty of this
faculty appears to be to speak in a manner suitable to persuading men;
the end of it is to persuade by language. And there is difference
between the duty of this faculty and its end; that with respect to the
duty we consider what ought to be done; with respect to the end we
consider what is suitable to the duty. Just as we say, that it is the
duty of a physician to prescribe for a patient in a way calculated to
cure him; and that his end is to cure him by his prescriptions. And
so we shall understand what we are to call the duty of an orator, and
also what we are to call his end; since we shall call that his duty
which he ought to do, and we shall term that his end for the sake of
which he is bound to do his duty.

We shall call that the material of the art, on which the whole art,
and all that ability which is derived from art, turns. Just as if we
were to call diseases and wounds the material of medicine, because
it is about them that all medical science is concerned. And in like
manner, we call those subjects with which oratorical science and
ability is conversant the materials of the art of rhetoric. And these
subjects some have considered more numerous, and others less so. For
Gorgias the Leontine, who is almost the oldest of all rhetoricians,
considered that an orator was able to speak in the most excellent
manner of all men on every subject. And when he says this he seems to
be supplying an infinite and boundless stock of materials to this art.
But Aristotle, who of all men has supplied the greatest number of aids
and ornaments to this art, thought that the duty of the rhetorician
was conversant with three kinds of subjects; with the demonstrative,
and the deliberative, and the judicial.

The demonstrative is that which concerns itself with the praise or
blame of some particular individual; the deliberative is that which,
having its place in discussion and in political debate, comprises a
deliberate statement of one's opinion; the judicial is that which,
having its place in judicial proceedings, comprehends the topics of
accusation and defence; or of demand and refusal. And, as our own
opinion at least inclines, the art and ability of the orator must be
understood to be conversant with these tripartite materials. VI For
Hermagoras, indeed, appears neither to attend to what he is saying,
nor to understand what he is promising, for he divides the materials
of an orator into the cause, and the examination. The cause he defines
to be a thing which has in itself a controversy of language united
with the interposition of certain characters. And that part, we too
say, is assigned to the orator, for we give him those three parts
which we have already mentioned,--the judicial, the deliberative, and
the demonstrative. But the examination he defines to be that
thing which has in itself a controversy of language, without the
interposition of any particular characters, in this way--"Whether
there is anything good besides honesty?"--"Whether the senses may be
trusted?"--"What is the shape of the world?"--"What is the size of
the sun?" But I imagine that all men can easily see that all such
questions are far removed from the business of an orator, for it
appears the excess of insanity to attribute those subjects, in
which we know that the most sublime genius of philosophers has been
exhausted with infinite labour, as if they were inconsiderable
matters, to a rhetorician or an orator.

But if Hermagoras himself had had any great acquaintance with these
subjects, acquired with long study and training, then it would be
supposed that he, from relying on his own knowledge, had laid down
some false principles respecting the duty of an orator, and had
explained not what his art could effect, but what he himself could do.
But as it is, the character of the man is such, that any one would
be much more inclined to deny him any knowledge of rhetoric, than to
grant him any acquaintance with philosophy. Nor do I say this because
the book on the art which he published appears to me to have been
written with any particular incorrectness, (for, indeed, he appears to
me to have shown very tolerable ingenuity and diligence in arranging
topics which he had collected from ancient writings on the subject,
and also to have advanced some new theories himself,) but it is the
least part of the business of an orator to speak concerning his art,
which is what he has done: his business is rather to speak from his
art, which is what we all see that this Hermagoras was very little
able to do. And so that, indeed, appears to us to be the proper
materials of rhetoric, which we have said appeared to be such to
Aristotle. VII. And these are the divisions of it, as numerous writers
have laid them down: Invention; Arrangement; Elocution; Memory;
Delivery. Invention, is the conceiving of topics either true or
probable, which may make one's cause appear probable; Arrangement, is
the distribution of the topics which have been thus conceived with
regular order; Elocution, is the adaptation of suitable words and
sentences to the topics so conceived; Memory, is the lasting sense in
the mind of the matters and words corresponding to the reception of
these topics. Delivery, is a regulating of the voice and body in a
manner suitable to the dignity of the subjects spoken of and of the
language employed.

Now, that these matters have been briefly defined, we may postpone to
another time those considerations by which we may be able to elucidate
the character and the duty and the object of this art; for they would
require a very long argument, and they have no very intimate connexion
with the definition of the art and the delivery of precepts relating
to it. But we consider that the man who writes a treatise on the art
of rhetoric ought to write about two other subjects also; namely,
about the materials of the art, and about its divisions. And it seems,
indeed, that we ought to treat of the materials and divisions of this
art at the same time. Wherefore, let us first consider what sort of
quality invention ought to be, which is the most important of all the
divisions, and which applies to every description of cause in which an
orator can be engaged.

VIII. Every subject which contains in itself any controversy existing
either in language or in disputation, contains a question either
about a fact, or about a name, or about a class, or about an action.
Therefore, that investigation out of which a cause arises we call a
stating of a case. A stating of a case is the first conflict of causes
arising from a repulse of an accusation; in this way. "You did so and
so;"--"I did not do so;"--or, "it was lawful for me to do so." When
there is a dispute as to the fact, since the cause is confirmed by
conjectures, it is called a conjectural statement. But when it is a
dispute as to a name, because the force of a name is to be defined by
words, it is then styled a definitive statement. But when the thing
which is sought to be ascertained is what is the character of the
matter under consideration, because it is a dispute about violence,
and about the character of the affair, it is called a general
statement. But when the cause depends on this circumstance, either
that that man does not seem to plead who ought to plead, or that he
does not plead with that man with whom he ought to plead, or that
he does not plead before the proper people, at the proper time,
in accordance with the proper law, urging the proper charge, and
demanding the infliction of the proper penalty, then it is called a
statement by way of demurrer; because the arguing of the case appears
to stand in need of a demurrer and also of some alteration. And
some one or other of these sorts of statement must of necessity be
incidental to every cause. For if there be any one to which it is not
incidental, in that there can be no dispute at all; on which account
it has no right even to be considered a cause at all.

And a dispute as to fact may be distributed over every sort of time.
For as to what has been done, an inquiry can be instituted in this
way--"whether Ulysses slew Ajax;" and as to what is being done, in
this way--"whether the people of Tregellae are well affected towards
the Roman people;" and as to what is going to happen, in this way--"if
we leave Carthage uninjured, whether any inconvenience will accrue to
the republic."

It is a dispute about a name, when parties are agreed as to the fact,
and when the question is by what name that which has been done is to
be designated. In which class of dispute it is inevitable on that
account that there should be a dispute as to the name; not because the
parties are not agreed about the fact, not because the fact is not
notorious, but because that which has been done appears in a different
light to different people, and on that account one calls it by one
name and another by another. Wherefore, in disputes of this kind
the matter must be defined by words, and described briefly; as, for
instance, if any one has stolen any sacred vessel from a private
place, whether he is to be considered a sacrilegious person, or a
simple thief. For when that is inquired into, it is necessary to
define both points--what is a thief, and what is a sacrilegious
person,--and to show by one's own description that the matter which
is under discussion ought to be called by a different name from that
which the opposite party apply to it. IX. The dispute about kind
is, when it is agreed both what has been done, and when there is
no question as to the name by which it ought to be designated; and
nevertheless there is a question of what importance the matter is, and
of what sort it is, and altogether of what character it is; in this
way,--whether it be just or unjust; whether it be useful or useless;
and as to all other circumstances with reference to which there is any
question what is the character of that which has been done, without
there being any dispute as to its name. Humagoras assigned
four divisions to this sort of dispute: the deliberative, the
demonstrative, the judicial, and the one relating to facts. And, as it
seems to us, this was no ordinary blunder of his, and one which it is
incumbent on us to reprove; though we may do so briefly, lest, if we
were to pass it over in silence, we might be thought to have had no
good reason for abandoning his guidance; or if we were to dwell too
long on this point, we might appear to have interposed a delay and an
obstacle to the other precepts which we wish to lay down.

If deliberation and demonstration are kinds of causes, then the
divisions of any one kind cannot rightly be considered causes; for the
same matter may appear to be a class to one person, and a division to
another; but it cannot appear both a class and a division to the same
person. But deliberation and demonstration are kinds of argument; for
either there is no kind of argument at all, or there is the judicial
kind alone, or there are all three kinds, the judicial and the
demonstrative and the deliberative. Now, to say there is no kind of
argument at the same time that he says that there are many arguments,
and is giving precepts for them, is foolishness. How, too, is it
possible that there should be one kind only, namely the judicial, when
deliberation and demonstration in the first place do not resemble one
another, and are exceedingly different from the judicial kind, and
have each their separate object to which they ought to be referred. It
follows, then, that there are three kinds of arguments. Deliberation
and demonstration cannot properly be considered divisions of any kind
of argument. He was wrong, therefore, when he said that they were
divisions of a general statement of the case.

X. But if they cannot properly be considered divisions of a kind of
argument, much less can they properly be considered divisions of a
division of an argument. But all statement of the case is a division
of an argument. For the argument is not adapted to the statement of
the case, but the statement of the case is adapted to the argument.
But demonstration and deliberation cannot be properly considered
divisions of a kind of argument, because they are separate kinds
of arguments themselves. Much less can they properly be considered
divisions of that division, as he calls them. In the next place,
if the statement of the case, both itself as a whole; and also any
portion of that statement, is a repelling of an accusation, then that
which is not a repelling of an accusation is neither a statement of a
case, nor a portion of a statement of a case; but if that which is not
a repelling of an attack is not a statement of a case, nor a portion
of a statement of a case, then deliberation and demonstration are
neither a statement of a case, nor a portion of a statement of a
case. If, therefore, a statement of a case, whether it be the whole
statement or some portion of it, be a repelling of an accusation, then
deliberation and demonstration are neither a statement of a case, nor
any portion of such statement. But he himself asserts that it is
a repelling of an accusation. He must therefore assert also that
demonstration and deliberation are neither a statement of a case, nor
a portion of such a statement. And he will be pressed by the same
argument whether he calls the statement of a case the original
assertion of his cause by the accuser, or the first speech in answer
to such accusation by the advocate of the defence. For all the same
difficulties will attend him in either case.

In the next place a conjectural argument cannot, as to the same
portion of it, be at the same time both a conjectural one and a
definitive one. Again, a definitive argument cannot, as to the same
portion of it, be at the same time both a definitive argument and one
in the form and character of a demurrer. And altogether, no statement
of a case, and no portion of such a statement, can at one and the same
time both have its own proper force and also contain the force of
another kind of argument. Because each kind of argument is considered
simply by its own merits, and according to its own nature; and if any
other kind be united with it, then it is the number of statements of
a case that is doubled, and not the power of the statement that is

But a deliberative argument, both as to the same portion of it and
also at the same time, very frequently has a statement of its case
both conjectural, and general, and definitive, and in the nature of a
demurrer; and at times it contains only one statement, and at times
it contains many such. Therefore it is not itself a statement of the
case, nor a division of such statement: and the same thing must be
the case with respect to demonstration. These, then, as I have said
before, must be considered kinds of argument, and not divisions of any
statement of the subject.

XI. This statement of the case then, which we call the general one,
appears to us to have two divisions,--one judicial and one relating to
matters of fact. The judicial one is that in which the nature of right
and wrong, or the principles of reward and punishment, are inquired
into. The one relating to matters of fact is that in which the thing
taken into consideration is what is the law according to civil
precedent, and according to equity; and that is the department in
which lawyers are considered by us to be especially concerned.

And the judicial kind is itself also distributed under two
divisions,--one absolute, and one which takes in something besides as
an addition, and which may be called assumptive. The absolute division
is that which of itself contains in itself an inquiry into right and
wrong. The assumptive one is that which of itself supplies no firm
ground for objection, but which takes to itself some topics for
defence derived from extraneous circumstances. And its divisions are
four,--concession, removal of the accusation from oneself, a retorting
of the accusation, and comparison. Concession when the person on his
trial does not defend the deed that has been done, but entreats to be
pardoned for it: and this again is divided into two parts,--purgation
and deprecation. Purgation is when the fact is admitted, but when the
guilt of the fact is sought to be done away. And this may be on three
grounds,--of ignorance, of accident, or of necessity. Deprecation is
when the person on his trial confesses that he has done wrong, and
that he has done wrong on purpose, and nevertheless entreats to be
pardoned. But this kind of address can be used but very rarely.
Removal of the accusation from oneself is when the person on his trial
endeavours by force of argument and by influence to remove the charge
which is brought against him from himself to another, so that it may
not fix him himself with any guilt at all. And that can be done in
two ways,--if either the cause of the deed, or the deed itself, is
attributed to another. The cause is attributed to another when it is
said that the deed was done in consequence of the power and influence
of another; but the deed itself is attributed to another when it is
said that another either might have done it, or ought to have done it.
The retorting of an accusation takes place when what is done is said
to have been lawfully done because another had previously provoked
the doer wrongfully. Comparison is, when it is argued that some
other action has been a right or an advantageous one, and then it is
contended that this deed which is now impeached was committed in order
to facilitate the accomplishment of that useful action.

In the fourth kind of statement of a case, which we call the one which
assumes the character of a demurrer, that sort of statement contains a
dispute, in which an inquiry is opened who ought to be the accuser or
pleader, or against whom, or in what manner, or before whom, or under
what law, or at what time the accusation ought to be brought forward;
or when something is urged generally tending to alter the nature of,
or to invalidate the whole accusation. Of this kind of statement of
a case Hermagoras is considered the inventor: not that many of the
ancient orators have not frequently employed it, but because former
writers on the subject have not taken any notice of it, and have not
entered it among the number of statements of cases. But since it has
been thus invented by Hermagoras, many people have found fault with
it, whom we considered not so much to be deceived by ignorance (for
indeed the matter is plain enough) as to be hindered from admitting
the truth by some envy or fondness for detraction.

XII. We have now then mentioned the different kinds of statements of
cases, and their several divisions. But we think that we shall be
able more conveniently to give instances of each kind, when we are
furnishing a store of arguments for each kind. For so the system of
arguing will be more clear, when it can be at once applied both to the
general classification and to the particular instance.

When the statement of the case is once ascertained, then it is proper
at once to consider whether the argument be a simple or a complex one,
and if it be a complex one, whether it is made up of many subjects
of inquiry, or of some comparison. That is a simple statement which
contains in itself one plain question, in this way--"Shall we declare
war against the Corinthians, or not?" That is a complex statement
consisting of several questions in which many inquiries are made, in
this way.--"Whether Carthage shall be destroyed, or whether it shall
be restored to the Carthaginians, or whether a colony shall be led
thither." Comparison is a statement in which inquiry is raised in the
way of contest, which course is more preferable, or which is the most
preferable course of all, in this way.--"Whether we had better send an
army into Macedonia against Philip, to serve as an assistance to our
allies, or whether we had better retain it in Italy, in order that we
may have as numerous forces as possible to oppose to Hannibal." In
the next place, we must consider whether the dispute turns on general
reasoning, or on written documents, for a controversy with respect
to written documents, is one which arises out of the nature of the

XIII And of that there are five kinds which have been separated from
statements of cases. For when the language of the writing appears to
be at variance with the intention of the writer, then two laws or more
seem to differ from one another, and then, too, that which has been
written appears to signify two things or more. Then also, from that
which is written, something else appears to be discovered also,
which is not written, and also the effect of the expressions used is
inquired into, as if it were in the definitive statement of the
case, in which it has been placed. Wherefore, the first kind is that
concerning the written document and the intention of it; the second
arises from the laws which are contrary to one another, the third is
ambiguous, the fourth is argumentative, the fifth we call definitive.

But reason applies when the whole of the inquiry does not turn on the
writing, but on some arguing concerning the writing. But, then, when
the kind of argument has been duly considered, and when the statement
of the case has been fully understood; when you have become aware
whether it is simple or complex, and when you have ascertained
whether the question turns on the letter of the writing or on general
reasoning; then it is necessary to see what is the question, what
is the reasoning, what is the system of examining into the excuses
alleged, what means there are of establishing one's own allegations;
and all these topics must be derived from the original statement of
the case. What I call "the question" is the dispute which arises from
the conflict of the two statements in this way. "You have not done
this lawfully;" "I have done it lawfully." And this is the conflict of
arguments, and on this the statement of the case hinges. It arises,
therefore, from that kind of dispute which we call "the question," in
this way:--"Whether he did so and so lawfully." The reasoning is that
which embraces the whole cause; and if that be taken away, then there
is no dispute remaining behind in the cause. In this way, in order
that for the sake of explaining myself more clearly, I may content
myself with an easy and often quoted instance. If Orestes be accused
of matricide, unless he says this, "I did it rightfully, for she had
murdered my father," he has no defence at all. And if his defence be
taken away, then all dispute is taken away also. The principle of his
argument then is that she murdered Agamemnon. The examination of
this defence is then a dispute which arises out of the attempts to
invalidate or to establish this argument. For the argument itself may
be considered sufficiently explained, since we dwelt upon it a little
while ago. "For she," says he, "had murdered my father." "But," says
the adversary, "for all that it was not right for your mother to be
put to death by you who were her son; for her act might have been
punished without your being guilty of wickedness."

XIV. From this mode of bringing forward evidence, arises that last
kind of dispute which we call the judication, or examination of the
excuses alleged. And that is of this kind: whether it was right that
his mother should be put to death by Orestes, because she had put to
death Orestes's father?

Now proof by testimony is the firmest sort of reasoning that can be
used by an advocate in defence, and it is also the best adapted for
the examination of any excuse which may be alleged. For instance, if
Orestes were inclined to say that the disposition of his mother had
been such towards his father, towards himself and his sisters, towards
the kingdom, and towards the reputation of his race and family, that
her children were of all people in the world the most bound to
inflict punishment upon her. And in all other statements or cases,
examinations of excuses alleged are found to be carried on in this
manner. But in a conjectural statement of a case, because there is no
express evidence, for the fact is not admitted at all, the examination
of the defence put forward cannot arise from the bringing forward of
evidence. Wherefore, it is inevitable that in this case the question
and the judication must be the same thing. As "it was done," "it was
not done." The question is whether it was done.

But it must invariably happen that there will be the same number of
questions, and arguments, and examinations, and evidences employed
in a cause, as there are statements of the case or divisions of such
statements. When all these things are found in a cause, then at length
each separate division of the whole cause must be considered. For it
does not seem that those points are necessarily to be first noticed,
which have been the first stated; because you must often deduce those
arguments which are stated first, at least if you wish them to be
exceedingly coherent with one another and to be consistent with the
cause, from those arguments which are to be stated subsequently.
Wherefore, when the examination of the excuses alleged, and all those
arguments which require to be found out for the purpose of such
examination have been diligently found out by the rules of art, and
handled with due care and deliberation, then at length we may proceed
to arrange the remaining portions of our speech. And these portions
appear to us to be in all six; the exordium, the relation of the fact,
the division of the different circumstances and topics, the bringing
forward of evidence, the finding fault with the action which has been
done, and the peroration.

At present, since the exordium ought to be the main thing of all,
we too will first of all give some precepts to lead to a system of
opening a case properly.

XV. An exordium is an address bringing the mind of the hearer into a
suitable state to receive the rest of the speech, and that will be
effected if it has rendered him well disposed towards the speaker,
attentive, and willing to receive information. Wherefore, a man who
is desirous to open a cause well, must of necessity be beforehand
thoroughly acquainted with the nature and kind of cause which he has
to conduct. Now the kinds of causes are five; one honourable, one
astonishing, one low, one doubtful, one obscure. The kind of cause
which is called honourable, is such an one as the disposition of the
hearer favours at once, without waiting to hear our speech. The kind
that is astonishing, is that from which the mind of those who are
about to hear us has been alienated. The kind which is low, is one
which is disregarded by the hearer, or which does not seem likely to
be carefully attended to. The kind which is doubtful, is that in which
either the examination into the excuses alleged is doubtful, or the
cause itself, being partly honourable and partly discreditable; so as
to produce partly good-will and partly disinclination. The kind which
is obscure, is that in which either the hearers are slow, or in which
the cause itself is entangled in a multitude of circumstances hard
to be thoroughly acquainted with. Wherefore, since there are so
many kinds of causes, it is necessary to open one's case on a very
different system in each separate kind. Therefore, the exordium is
divided into two portions, first of all a beginning, and secondly
language calculated to enable the orator to work his way into the good
graces of his hearers. The beginning is an address, in plain words,
immediately rendering the hearer well disposed towards one, or
inclined to receive information, or attentive. The language calculated
to enable the orator to work his way into the good graces of his
hearers, is an address which employs a certain dissimulation, and
which by a circuitous route as it were obscurely creeps into the
affections of the hearer.

In the kind of cause which we have called astonishing, if the hearers
be not positively hostile, it will be allowable by the beginning of
the speech to endeavour to secure their good-will. But if they be
excessively alienated from one, then it will be necessary to have
recourse to endeavours to insinuate oneself into their good graces.
For if peace and good-will be openly sought for from those who are
enemies to one, they not only are not obtained, but the hatred which
they bear one is even inflamed and increased. But in the kind of cause
which I have called low, for the sake of removing his contempt it will
be indispensable to render the hearer attentive. The kind of cause
which has been styled doubtful, if it embraces an examination into the
excuses alleged, which is also doubtful, must derive its exordium
from that very examination; but if it have some things in it of a
creditable nature, and some of a discreditable character, then it will
be expedient to try and secure the good-will of the hearer, so that
the cause may change its appearance, and seem to be an honourable one.
But when the kind of cause is the honourable kind, then the exordium
may either be passed over altogether, or if it be convenient, we may
begin either with a relation of the business in question, or with a
statement of the law, or with any other argument which must be brought
forward in the course of our speech, and on which we most greatly
rely; or if we choose to employ an exordium, then we must avail
ourselves of the good-will already existing towards us, in order that
that which does exist may be strengthened.

XVI. In the kind of cause which I have called obscure, it will be
advisable to render the hearers inclined to receive instruction by a
carefully prepared exordium. Now, since it has been already explained
what effect is to be sought to be produced by the exordium, it remains
for us to show by what arguments all such effects may be produced.

Good-will is produced by dwelling on four topics:--on one derived from
our own character, from that of our adversaries, from that of the
judges, and from the cause itself. From our own character, if we
manage so as to speak of our own actions and services without
arrogance; if we refute the charges which have been brought against
us, and any other suspicions in the least, discreditable which it may
be endeavoured to attach to us; if we dilate upon the inconveniences
which have already befallen us, or the difficulties which are still
impending over us; if we have recourse to prayers and to humble and
suppliant entreaty. From the character of our adversaries, if we are
able to bring them either into hatred, or into unpopularity, or into
contempt. They will be brought into hatred, if any action of theirs
can be adduced which has been lascivious, or arrogant, or cruel, or
malignant. They will be made unpopular, if we can dilate upon their
violent behaviour, their power, their riches, their numerous kinsmen,
their wealth, and their arrogant and intolerable use of all these
sources of influence; so that they may appear rather to trust to these
circumstances than to the merits of their cause. They will be brought
into contempt, if sloth, or negligence, or idleness, or indolent
pursuits, or luxurious tranquillity can be alleged against them.
Good-will will be procured, derived from the character of the hearers
themselves, if exploits are mentioned which have been performed by
them with bravery, or wisdom, or humanity; so that no excessive
flattery shall appear to be addressed to them; and if it is plainly
shown how high and honourable their reputation is, and how anxious is
the expectation with which men look for their decision and authority.
Or from the circumstances themselves, if we extol our own cause with
praises, and disparage that of the opposite party by contemptuous

But we shall make our hearers attentive, if we show that the things
which we are going to say and to speak of are important, and unusual,
and incredible; and that they concern either all men, or those who are
our present hearers, or some illustrious men, or the immortal gods, or
the general interests of the republic. And if we promise that we will
in a very short time prove our own cause; and if we explain the
whole of the examination into the excuses alleged, or the different
examinations, if there be more than one.

We shall render our hearers willing to receive information, if we
explain the sum total of the cause with plainness and brevity, that is
to say, the point on which the dispute hinges. For when you wish to
make a hearer inclined to receive information you must also render him
attentive. For he is above all men willing to receive information who
is prepared to listen with the greatest attention.

XVII. The next thing which it seems requisite to speak of, is, how
topics intended to enable the orator to work his way into the good
graces of his hearers ought to be handled. We must then use such a
sort of address as that when the kind of cause which we are conducting
is that which I have called astonishing; that is to say, as I have
stated before, when the disposition of the hearer is adverse to one.
And that generally arises from one of three causes: either if there
be anything discreditable in the cause itself, or if any such belief
appears to have been already instilled into the hearer by those who
have spoken previously; or if one is appointed to speak at a time when
those who have got to listen to one are wearied with hearing others.
For sometimes when one is speaking, the mind of the hearer is
alienated from one no less by this circumstance than by the two

If the discreditable nature of one's cause excites the ill-will of
one's hearers, or if it be desirable to substitute for the man on whom
they look unfavourably another man to whom they are attached; or, for
the matter they regard with dislike, another matter of which they
approve; or if it be desirable to substitute a person for a thing, or
a thing for a person, in order that the mind of the hearer may be led
away from that which he hates to that which he loves; and if your
object is to conceal from view the fact that you are about to defend
that person or action which you are supposed to be going to defend;
and then, when the hearer has been rendered more propitious, to enter
gradually on the defence, and to say that those things at which the
opposite party is indignant appear scandalous to you also; and then,
when you have propitiated him who is to listen to you, to show that
none of all those things at all concern you, and to deny that you are
going to say anything whatever respecting the opposite party whether
it be good or bad; so as not openly to attack those men who are loved
by your hearers, and yet doing it secretly as far as you can to
alienate from them the favourable disposition of your hearers; and
at the same time to mention the judgment of some other judges in a
similar case, or to quote the authority of some others as worthy of
imitation; and then to show that it is the very same point, or one
very like it, or one of greater or less importance, (as the case may
make it expedient,) which is in question at present.

If the speech of your adversaries appears to have made an impression
on your hearers, which is a thing which will be very easily
ascertained by a man who understands what are the topics by which an
impression is made; then it is requisite to promise that you will
speak first of all on that point which the opposite party consider
their especial stronghold, or else to begin with a reference to what
has been said by the adversary, and especially to what he said
last; or else to appear to doubt, and to feel some perplexity and
astonishment as to what you had best say first, or what argument it is
desirable to reply to first--for when a hearer sees the man whom the
opposite party believe to be thrown into perplexity by their speech
prepared with unshaken firmness to reply to it, he is generally apt to
think that he has assented to what has been said without sufficient
consideration, rather than that the present speaker is confident
without due grounds. But if fatigue has alienated the mind of the
hearer from your cause, then it is advantageous to promise to speak
more briefly than you had been prepared to speak; and that you will
not imitate your adversary.

If the case admit of it, it is not disadvantageous to begin with some
new topic, or with some one which may excite laughter; or with some
argument which has arisen from the present moment; of which kind are
any sudden noise or exclamation; or with something which you have
already prepared, which may embrace some apologue, or fable, or other
laughable circumstance. Or, if the dignity of the subject shall seem
inconsistent with jesting, in that case it is not disadvantageous to
throw in something sad, or novel, or terrible. For as satiety of food
and disgust is either relieved by some rather bitter taste, or is at
times appeased by a sweet taste; so a mind weary with listening
is either reinstated in its strength by astonishment, or else is
refreshed by laughter.

XVIII. And these are pretty nearly the main things which it appeared
desirable to say separately concerning the exordium of a speech, and
the topics which an orator should use for the purpose of insinuating
himself into the good grace of his hearers. And now it seems desirable
to lay down some brief rules which may apply to both in common.

An exordium ought to have a great deal of sententiousness and gravity
in it, and altogether to embrace all things which have a reference
to dignity; because that is the most desirable effect to be produced
which in the greatest degree recommends the speaker to his hearer.
It should contain very little brilliancy, or wit, or elegance of
expression, because from these qualities there always arises a
suspicion of preparation and artificial diligence: and that is an idea
which, above all others takes away credit from a speech, and authority
from a speaker. But the following are the most ordinary faults to be
found in an exordium, and those it is above all things desirable
to avoid. It must not be vulgar, common, easily changed, long,
unconnected, borrowed, nor must it violate received rules. What I mean
by vulgar, is one which may be so adapted to numerous causes as to
appear to suit them all. That is common, which appears to be able to
be adapted no less to one side of the argument than to the other. That
is easily changed, which with a slight alteration may be advanced by
the adversary on the other side of the question. That is long, which
is spun out by a superfluity of words or sentences far beyond what is
necessary. That is unconnected, which is not derived from the cause
itself, and is not joined to the whole speech as a limb is to the
body. That is borrowed, which effects some other end than that which
the kind of cause under discussion requires; as if a man were
to occupy himself in rendering his hearer inclined to receive
information, when the cause requires him only to be well disposed
towards the speaker: or, if a man uses a formal beginning of a speech,
when what the subject requires is an address by which the speaker may
insinuate himself into the good graces of his hearer. That is contrary
to received rules, which effects no one of those objects for the sake
of which the rules concerning exordiums have been handed down. This
is the sort of blunder which renders him who hears it neither well
disposed to one, nor inclined to receive information, nor attentive;
or (and that indeed is the most disastrous effect of all) renders him
of a totally contrary disposition. And now we have said enough about
the exordium.

XIX. Narration is an explanation of acts that have been done, or of
acts as if they have been done. There are three kinds of narration.
One kind is that in which the cause itself and the whole principle of
the dispute is contained. Another is that in which some digression,
unconnected with the immediate argument, is interposed, either for the
sake of criminating another, or of instituting a comparison, or of
provoking some mirth not altogether unsuitable to the business under
discussion, or else for the sake of amplification. The third kind is
altogether foreign to civil causes, and is uttered or written for the
sake of entertainment, combined with its giving practice, which is not
altogether useless. Of this last there are two divisions, the one of
which is chiefly conversant about things, and the other about persons.
That which is concerned in the discussion and explanation of things
has three parts, fable, history, and argument. Fable is that in which
statements are expressed which are neither true nor probable, as is

"Huge winged snakes, join'd by one common yoke."

History is an account of exploits which have been performed, removed
from the recollection of our own age; of which sort is the statement,
"Appius declared war against the Carthaginians." Argument is an
imaginary case, which still might have happened. Such is this in

"For after Sosia became a man."

But that sort of narration which is conversant about persons, is of
such a sort that in it not only the facts themselves, but also the
conversations of the persons concerned and their very minds can be
thoroughly seen, in this way--

"And oft he came to me with mournful voice,
What is your aim, your conduct what? Oh why
Do you this youth with these sad arts destroy?
Why does he fall in love? Why seeks he wine,
And why do you from time to time supply
The means for such excess? You study dress
And folly of all kinds; while he, if left
To his own natural bent, is stern and strict,
Almost beyond the claims of virtue."

In this kind of narration there ought to be a great deal of
cheerfulness wrought up out of the variety of circumstances; out of
the dissimilarity of dispositions; out of gravity, lenity, hope, fear,
suspicion, regret, dissimulation, error, pity, the changes of fortune,
unexpected disaster, sudden joy, and happy results. But these
embellishments may be derived from the precepts which will hereafter
be laid down about elocution.

At present it seems best to speak of that kind of narration which
contains an explanation of the cause under discussion.

XX. It is desirable then that it should have three qualities; that
it should be brief, open, and probable. It will be brief, if the
beginning of it is derived from the quarter from which it ought to be;
and if it is not endeavoured to be extracted from what has been last
said, and if the speaker forbears to enumerate all the parts of
a subject of which it is quite sufficient to state the total
result;--for it is often sufficient to say what has been done, and
there is no necessity for his relating how it was done;--and if the
speaker does not in his narration go on at a greater length than there
is any occasion for, as far as the mere imparting of knowledge is
concerned; and if he does not make a digression to any other topic;
and if he states his case in such a way, that sometimes that which has
not been said may be understood from that which has been said; and if
he passes over not only such topics as may be injurious, but those too
which are neither injurious nor profitable; and if he repeats nothing
more than once; and if he does not at once begin with that topic
which was last mentioned;--and the imitation of brevity takes in many
people, so that, when they think that they are being brief, they are
exceedingly prolix, while they are taking pains to say many things
with brevity, not absolutely to say but few things and no more than
are necessary. For to many men a man appears to speak with brevity who
says, "I went to the house; I called out the servant; he answered
me; I asked for his master; he said that he was not at home." Here,
although he could not have enumerated so many particulars more
concisely, yet, because it would have been enough to say, "He said
that he was not at home," he is prolix on account of the multitude of
circumstances which he mentions. Wherefore, in this kind of narration
also it is necessary to avoid the imitation of brevity, and we must
no less carefully avoid a heap of unnecessary circumstances than a
multitude of words.

But a narration will be able to be open, if those actions are
explained first which have been done first, and if the order of
transactions and times is preserved, so that the things are related as
they have been done, or as it shall seem that they may have been done.
And in framing this narration it will be proper to take care that
nothing be said in a confused or distorted manner; that no digression
be made to any other subject; that the affair may not be traced too
far back, nor carried too far forward; that nothing be passed over
which is connected with the business in hand; and altogether the
precepts which have been laid down about brevity, must be attended to
in this particular also. For it often happens that the truth is but
little understood, more by reason of the prolixity of the speaker,
than of the obscurity of the statement. And it is desirable to use
clear language, which is a point to be dwelt upon when we come to
precepts for elocution.

XXI. A narration will be probable, if in it those characteristics are
visible which are usually apparent in truth; if the dignity of the
persons mentioned is preserved; if the causes of the actions performed
are made plain; if it shall appear that there were facilities for
performing them; if the time was suitable; if there was plenty of
room; if the place is shown to have been suitable for the transaction
which is the subject of the narration; if the whole business, in
short, be adapted to the nature of those who plead, and to the reports
bruited about among the common people, and to the preconceived
opinions of those who hear. And if these principles be observed, the
narration will appear like the truth.

But besides all this, it will be necessary to take care that such a
narration be not introduced when it will be a hindrance, or when it
will be of no advantage; and that it be not related in an unseasonable
place, or in a manner which the cause does not require. It is a
hindrance, when the very narration of what has been done comes at a
time that the hearer has conceived great displeasure at something,
which it will be expedient to mitigate by argument, and by pleading
the whole cause carefully. And when this is the case, it will be
desirable rather to scatter the different portions of the transactions
limb by limb as it were over the cause, and, as promptly as may be,
to adapt them to each separate argument, in order that there may be
a remedy at hand for the wound, and that the defence advanced may at
once mitigate the hatred which has arisen.

Again, a narration is of no advantage when, after our case has once
been set forth by the opposite party, it is of no importance to relate
it a second time or in another manner; or when the whole affair is so
clearly comprehended by the hearers, as they believe at least that it
can do us no good to give them information respecting it in another
fashion. And when this is the case, it is best to abstain from any
narration altogether. It is uttered in an unseasonable place, when it
is not arranged in that part of the speech in which the case requires
it, and concerning this kind of blunder we will speak when we come
to mention the arrangement of the speech. For it is the general
arrangement of the whole that this affects. It is not related in the
manner which the cause requires, when either that point which is
advantageous to the opposite party is explained in a clear and elegant
manner, or when that which may be of benefit to the speaker is stated
in an obscure or careless way. Wherefore, in order that this fault may
be avoided, everything ought to be converted by the speaker to the
advantage of his own cause by passing over all things which make
against it which can be passed over, by touching lightly on those
points which are beneficial to the adversary, and by relating those
which are advantageous to himself carefully and clearly. And now
we seem to have said enough about narration. Let us now pass on in
regular order to the arrangement of the different topics.

XXII An arrangement of the subjects to be mentioned in an argument,
when properly made, renders the whole oration clear and intelligible.
There are two parts in such a division, each of which is especially
connected with the opening of the cause, and with the arrangement of
the whole discussion. One part is that which points out what are the
particulars as to which one is in agreement with the opposite party,
and also what remains in dispute; and from this there is a certain
definite thing pointed out to the hearer, as that to which he should
direct his attention. The other part is that in which the explanation
of those matters on which we are about to speak, is briefly arranged
and pointed out. And this causes the hearer to retain certain things
in his mind, so as to understand that when they have been discussed
the speech will be ended. At present it seems desirable to mention
briefly how it is proper to use each kind of arrangement. And this
arrangement points out what is suitable and what is not suitable; its
duty is to turn that which is suitable to the advantage of its own
side, in this way--"I agree with the opposite party as to the fact,
that a mother has been put to death by her son." Again, on the other
side.--"We are both agreed that Agamemnon was slain by Clytaemnestra"
For in saying this each speaker has laid down that proposition which
was suitable, and nevertheless has consulted the advantage of his own

In the next place, what the matter in dispute is must be explained,
when we come to mention the examination into the excuses which are
alleged. And how that is managed has been already stated.

But the arrangement which embraces the properly distributed explanation
of the facts, ought to have brevity, completeness, conciseness.
Brevity is when no word is introduced which is not necessary. This is
useful in this sort of speaking, because it is desirable to arrest the
attention of the hearer by the facts themselves and the real divisions
of the case, and not by words or extraneous embellishments of diction.
Completeness is that quality by which we embrace every sort of
argument which can have any connexion with the case concerning which
we have got to speak, and in this division we must take care not to
omit any useful topic, not to introduce any such too late, out of its
natural place, for that is the most pernicious and discreditable error
of all. Conciseness in arrangement is preserved if the general classes
of facts are clearly laid down, and are not entangled in a promiscuous
manner with the subordinate divisions. For a class is that which
embraces many subordinate divisions as, "an animal." A subordinate
division is that which is contained in the class as "a horse."
But very often the same thing may be a class to one person, and a
subordinate division to another. For "man" is a subordinate division
of "animal," but a class as to "Theban," or "Trojan."

XXIII And I have been more careful in laying down this definition, in
order that after it has been clearly comprehended with reference to
the general arrangement, a conciseness as to classes or genera may be
preserved throughout the arrangement. For he who arranges his oration
in this manner--"I will prove that by means of the covetousness and
audacity and avarice of our adversaries, all sorts of evils have
fallen on the republic," fails to perceive that in this arrangement of
his, when he intended to mention only classes, he has joined also a
mention of a subordinate division. For covetousness is the general
class under which all desires are comprehended, and beyond all
question avarice is a subordinate division of that class.

We must therefore avoid, after having mentioned a universal class,
then, in the same arrangement, to mention along with it any one of
its subordinate divisions, as if it were something different and
dissimilar. And if there are many subordinate divisions to any
particular class, after that has been simply explained in the first
arrangement of the oration, it will be more easily and conveniently
arranged when we come to the subsequent explanation in the general
statement of the case after the division. And this, too, concerns the
subject of conciseness, that we should not undertake to prove more
things than there is any occasion for, in this way--"I will prove that
the opposite party were able to do what we accuse them of, and had the
inclination to do it, and did it." It is quite enough to prove that
they did it. Or when there is no natural division at all in a cause,
and when it is a simple question that is under discussion, though that
is a thing which cannot be of frequent occurrence, still we must use
careful arrangement. And these other precepts also, with respect to
the division of subjects which have no such great connexion with the
practice of orators, precepts which come into use in treatises in
philosophy, from which we have transferred, hither those which
appeared to be suitable to our purpose, of which we found nothing in
the other arts. And in all these precepts about the division of our
subjects, it will throughout our whole speech be found that every
portion of them must be discussed in the same order as that in which
it has been originally stated, and then, when everything has been
properly explained, let the whole be summed up, and summed up so that
nothing be introduced subsequently besides the conclusion. The old
man in the Andria of Terence arranges briefly and conveniently the
subjects with which he wishes his freedman to become acquainted--

"And thus the life and habits of my son
And my designs respecting his career,
And what I wish your course towards both to be,
Will be quite plain to you."

And accordingly, as he has proposed in his original arrangement, he
proceeds to relate, first the life of his son--

"For when, O Sosia, he became a man,
He was allow'd more liberty"

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