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The Orations of Marcus Tullius Cicero, Volume 4 by Cicero

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Then comes his own design--

"And now I take great care"

After that, what he wishes Sosia to do; that he put last in his
original arrangement he now mentions last--

"And now the part is yours" ...

As, therefore, in this instance, he came first to the portion which he
had mentioned first, and so, when he had discussed them all, made an
end of speaking, we too ought to advance to each separate portion of
our subject, and when we had finished every part, to sum up. Now
it appears desirable to proceed in regular order to lay down some
precepts concerning the confirmation of our arguments, as the regular
order of the subject requires.

XXIV Confirmation is that by means of which our speech proceeding in
argument adds belief, and authority, and corroboration to our cause.
As to this part there are certain fixed rules which will be divided
among each separate class of causes. But it appeals to be not an
inconvenient course to disentangle what is not unlike a wood, or a
vast promiscuous miss of materials all jumbled together, and after
that to point out how it may be suitable to corroborate each separate
kind of cause, after we have drawn all our principles of argumentation
from this source. All statements are confirmed by some argument or
other, either by that which is derived from persons, or by that which
is deduced from circumstances. Now we consider that these different
things belong to persons, a name, nature, a way of life, fortune,
custom, affection, pursuits, intentions, actions, accidents, orations.
A name is that which is given to each separate person, so that each
is called by his own proper and fixed appellation. To define nature
itself is difficult, but to enumerate those parts of it which we
require for the laying down of these precepts is more easy.

And these refer partly to that portion of things which is divine, and
partly to that which is mortal. Now of things which are mortal one
part is classed among the race of men, and one among the race of
brutes: and the race of men is distinguished by sex, whether they be
male or female and with respect to their nation, and country, and
kindred, and age, with respect to their nation, whether a man be a
Greek or a barbarian; with respect to their country, whether a man be
an Athenian or a Lacedaemonian; with respect to their kindred, from
what ancestors a man is descended, and who are his relations; with
respect to his age, whether he is a boy, or a youth, or a full
grown man, or an old man. Besides these things, those advantages or
disadvantages which come to a man by nature, whether in respect of
his mind or his body, are taken into consideration, in this
manner:--whether he be strong or weak; whether he be tall or short;
whether he be handsome or ugly; whether he be quick in his motions or
slow; whether he be clever or stupid; whether he have a good memory,
or whether he be forgetful; whether he be courteous, fond of doing
kindnesses, modest, patient, or the contrary. And altogether all these
things which are considered to be qualities conferred by nature on
men's minds or bodies, must be taken into consideration when defining
nature. For those qualities which are acquired by industry relate to a
man's condition, concerning which we must speak hereafter.

XXV. With reference to a man's way of life it is proper to consider
among what men, and in what manner, and according to whose direction
he has been brought up; what teachers of the liberal sciences he has
had; what admonitors to encourage him to a proper course of life;
with what friends he is intimate; in what business, or employment, or
gainful pursuit he is occupied; in what manner he manages his estate,
and what are his domestic habits. With reference to his fortune we
inquire whether he is a slave or a free man; whether he is wealthy or
poor; whether he is a private individual or a man in office; if he be
in office, whether he has become so properly or improperly; whether he
is prosperous, illustrious, or the contrary; what sort of children he
has. And if we are inquiring about one who is no longer alive, then we
must consider also by what death he died.

But when we speak of a man's habitual condition, we mean his constant
and absolute completeness of mind or body, in some particular
point--as for instance, his perception of virtue, or of some art,
or else some science or other. And we include also some personal
advantages not given to him by nature, but procured by study and
industry. By affection, we mean a sudden alteration of mind or body,
arising from some particular cause, as joy, desire, fear, annoyance,
illness, weakness and other things which are found under the same
class. But study is the assiduous and earnest application of the
mind, applied to some particular object with great good-will, as to
philosophy, poetry, geometry, or literature. By counsel, we mean a
carefully considered resolution to do or not to do something. But
actions, and accidents, and speeches will be considered with reference
to three different times; what a man has done, what has happened to
him, or what he has said; or what he is doing, or what is happening to
him, or what he is saying; or what he is going to do, what is about to
happen to him, or what speech he is about to deliver. And all these
things appear to be attributable to persons.

XXVI. But of the considerations which belong to things, some are
connected with the thing itself which is the subject of discussion;
some are considered in the performance of the thing; some are united
with the thing itself; some follow in the accomplishment of the thing.
Those things are connected with the thing itself which appear always
to be attached to the thing and which cannot be separated from it.
The first of such things is a brief exposition of the whole business,
which contains the sum of the entire matter, in this way--"The slaying
of a parent;" "the betrayal of a country." Then comes the cause of
this general fact; and we inquire by what means, and in what manner,
and with what view such and such a thing has been done. After that we
inquire what was done before this action under consideration was done,
and all the steps which preceded this action. After that, what was
done in the very execution of this action. And last of all, what has
been done since.

But with reference to the performance of an action, which was the
second topic of those which were attributed to things, the place, and
the time, and the manner, and the opportunity, and the facilities will
be inquired into. The place is taken into consideration in which the
thing was done; with reference to the opportunity which the doer
seems to have had of executing the business; and that opportunity is
measured by the importance of the action, by the interval which has
elapsed, by the distance, by the nearness, by the solitude of the
place, or by the frequented character of it, by the nature of the
spot itself and by the neighbourhood of the whole region. And it is
estimated also with reference to these characteristics, whether the
place be sacred or not, public or private, whether it belongs or
has belonged to some one else, or to the man whose conduct is under

But the time is, that, I mean, which we are speaking of at the present
moment, (for it is difficult to define it in a general view of it
with any exactness,) a certain portion of eternity with some fixed
limitation of annual or monthly, or daily or nightly space. In
reference to this we take into consideration the things which are
passed, and those things which, by reason of the time which has
elapsed since, have become so obsolete as to be considered incredible,
and to be already classed among the number of fables, and those things
also which, having been performed a long time ago and at a time remote
from our recollection, still affect us with a belief that they have
been handed down truly, because certain memorials of those facts are
extant in written documents, and those things which have been done
lately, so that most people are able to be acquainted with them. And
also those things which exist at the present moment, and which are
actually taking place now, and which are the consequences of former
actions. And with reference to those things it is open to us to
consider which will happen sooner, and which later. And also generally
in considering questions of time, the distance or proximity of the
time is to be taken into account: for it is often proper to measure
the business done with the time occupied in doing it, and to consider
whether a business of such and such magnitude, or whether such and
such a multitude of things, can be performed in that time. And we
should take into consideration the time of year, and of the month, and
of the day, and of the night, and the watches, and the hours, and each
separate portion of any one of these times.

XXVII. An occasion is a portion of time having in it a suitable
opportunity for doing or avoiding to do some particular thing.
Wherefore there is this difference between it and time. For, as to
genus, indeed, they are both understood to be identical; but in time
some space is expressed in some manner or other, which is regarded
with reference to years, or to a year, or to some portion of a year,
but in an occasion, besides the space of time implied in the word,
there is indicated an especial opportunity of doing something. As
therefore the two are identical in genus it is some portion and
species as it were, in which the one differs, as we have said, from
the other.

Now occasion is distributed into three classes, public, common and
singular. That is a public occasion, which the whole city avails
itself of for some particular cause, as games, a day of festival, or
war. That is a common occasion which happens to all men at nearly the
same time, as the harvest, the vintage, summer, or winter. That is a
singular occasion, which, on account of some special cause, happens
at times to some private individuals, as for instance, a wedding, a
sacrifice, a funeral, a feast, sleep.

But the manner, also, is inquired into, in what manner, how, and with
what design the action was done? Its parts are, the doer knowing what
he was about, and not knowing. But the degree of his knowledge is
measured by these circumstances whether the doer did his action
secretly, openly, under compulsion or through persuasion. The fact
of the absence of knowledge is brought forward as an excuse, and its
parts are actual ignorance, accident, necessity. It is also attributed
to agitation of mind, that is, to annoyance, to passion to love,
and to other feelings of a similar class. Facilities, are those
circumstances owing to which a thing is done more easily, or without
which a thing cannot be done at all.

XXVIII. And it is understood that there is added to the general
consideration of the whole matter, the consideration what is greater
than and what is less than, and what is like the affair which is
under discussion, and what is equally important with it, and what is
contrary to it, and what is negatively opposed to it, and the whole
classification of the affair, and the divisions of it, and the
ultimate result. The cases of greater, and less and equally important,
are considered with reference to the power, and number and form of the
business, as if we were regarding the stature of a human body.

Now what is similar arises out of a species admitting of comparisons.
Now what admits of comparisons is estimated by a nature which may be
compared with it, and likened to it. What is contrary, is what is
placed in a different class and is as distant as possible from that
thing to which it is called contrary, as cold is from heat and
death from life. But that is negatively opposed to a thing which is
separated from the thing by an opposition which is limited to a denial
of the quality; in this way, "to be wise," and "not to be wise." That
is a genus which embraces several species, as "Cupidity." That is a
species which is subordinate to a genus, as "Love," "Avarice." The
Result is the ultimate termination of any business; in which it is a
common inquiry, what has resulted from each separate fact; what is
resulting from it; what is likely to result from it. Wherefore, in
order that that which is likely to happen may be more conveniently
comprehended in the mind with respect to this genus, we ought first
to consider what is accustomed to result from every separate
circumstance; in this manner:--From arrogance, hatred usually results;
and from insolence, arrogance.

The fourth division is a natural consequence from those qualities,
which we said were usually attributed to things in distinction from
persons. And with respect to this, those circumstances are sought for
which ensue from a thing being done. In the first place, by what name
it is proper that that which has been done should be called. In the
next place, who have been the chief agents in, or originators of that
action; and last of all, who have been the approvers and the imitators
of that precedent and of that discovery. In the next place, whether
there is any regular usage established with regard to that case, or
whether there is any regular rule bearing on that case, or any regular
course of proceeding, any formal decision, any science reduced to
rules, any artificial system. In the next place, whether its nature is
in the habit of being ordinarily displayed, or whether it is so very
rarely, and whether it is quite unaccustomed to be so. After that,
whether men are accustomed to approve of such a case with their
authority, or to be offended at such actions; and with what eyes they
look upon the other circumstances which are in the habit of following
any similar conduct, either immediately or after an interval. And
in the very last place, we must take notice whether any of those
circumstances which are rightly classed under honesty or utility
ensue. But as to these matters it will be necessary to speak more
clearly when we come to mention the deliberative kind of argument.
And the circumstances which we have now mentioned are those which are
usually attributed to things as opposed to persons.

XXIX. But all argumentation, which can be derived from those topics
which we have mentioned, ought to be either probable or unavoidable.
Indeed, to define it in a few words, argumentation appears to be an
invention of some sort, which either shows something or other in a
probable manner, or demonstrates it in an irrefutable one. Those
things are demonstrated irrefutably which can neither be done nor
proved in any other manner whatever than that in which they are
stated; in this manner:--"If she has had a child, she has lain with
a man." This sort of arguing, which is conversant with irrefutable
demonstration, is especially used in speaking in the way of dilemma,
or enumeration, or simple inference.

Dilemma is a case in which, whichever admission you make, you are
found fault with. For example:--"If he is a worthless fellow, why are
you intimate with him? If he is an excellent man, why do you accuse
him?" Enumeration is a statement in which, when many matters have been
stated and all other arguments invalidated, the one which remains is
inevitably proved; in this manner:--"It is quite plain that he was
slain by this man, either because of his enmity to him, or some fear,
or hope, which he had conceived, or in order to gratify some friend of
his; or, if none of these alternatives are true, then that he was not
slain by him at all; for a great crime cannot be undertaken without a
motive. But he had no quarrel with him, nor fear of him, nor hope of
any advantage to be gained by his death, nor did his death in the
least concern any friend of his. It remains, therefore, that he was
not slain by him at all." But a simple inference is declared from a
necessary consequence, in this way:--"If you say that I did that at
that time, at that time I was beyond the sea; it follows, that I not
only did not do what you say I did, but that it was not even possible
for me to have done it." And it will be desirable to look to this very
carefully, in order that this sort of inference may not be refuted in
any manner, so that the proof may not only have some sort of argument
in it, and some resemblance to an unavoidable conclusion, but that the
very argument itself may proceed on irrefutable reasons.

But that is probable which is accustomed generally to take place,
or which depends upon the opinion of men, or which contains some
resemblance to these properties, whether it be false or true. In that
description of subject the most usual probable argument is something
of this sort:--"If she is his mother, she loves her son." "If he is an
avaricious man, he neglects his oath." But in the case which depends
mainly on opinion, probable arguments are such as this: "That there
are punishments prepared in the shades below for impious men."--"That
those men who give their attention to philosophy do not think that
there are gods."

XXX. But resemblance is chiefly seen in things which are contrary to
one another, or equal to one another, and in those things which fall
under the same principle. In things contrary to one another, in this
manner:--"For if it is right that those men should be pardoned who
have injured me unintentionally, it is also fitting that one should
feel no gratitude towards those who have benefited me because they
could not help it."

In things equal to one another, in this way:--"For as a place without
a harbour cannot be safe for ships, so a mind without integrity cannot
be trustworthy for a man's friends." In those things which fall
under the same principle a probable argument is considered in this
way:--"For if it be not discreditable to the Rhodians to let out their
port dues, then it is not discreditable even to Hermacreon to rent
them." Then these arguments are true, in this manner:--"Since there is
a scar, there has been a wound." Then they are probable, in in this
way:--"If there was a great deal of dust on his shoes, he must have
come off a journey." But (in order that we may arrange this matter in
certain definite divisions) every probable argument which is assumed
for the purpose of discussion, is either a proof, or something
credible, or something already determined; or something which may be
compared with something else.

That is a proof which falls under some particular sense, and which
indicates something which appears to have proceeded from it, which
either existed previously, or was in the thing itself, or has ensued
since, and, nevertheless, requires the evidence of testimony, and a
more authoritative confirmation,--as blood, flight, dust, paleness,
and other tokens like these. That is a credible statement which,
without any witness being heard, is confirmed in the opinion of the
hearer; in this way:--There is no one who does not wish his children
to be free from injury, and happy. A case decided beforehand, is a
matter approved of by the assent, or authority, or judgment of some
person or persons. It is seen in three kinds of decision;--the
religious one, the common one, the one depending on sanction. That is
a religious one, which men on their oaths have decided in accordance
with the laws. That is a common one, which all men have almost in a
body approved of and adopted; in this manner:--"That all men should
rise up on the appearance of their elders; That all men should pity
suppliants." That depends on sanction, which, as it was a doubtful
point what ought to be considered its character, men have established
of their own authority; as, for instance, the conduct of the father
of Gracchus, whom the Roman people made consul after his censorship,
because he had done nothing in his censorship without the knowledge of
his colleague.

But that is a decision admitting of comparisons, which in a multitude
of different circumstances contains some principle which is alike
in all. Its parts are three,--representation, collation, example. A
Representation is a statement demonstrating some resemblance of bodies
or natures; Collation is a statement comparing one thing with another,
because of their likeness to one another; Example is that which
confirms or invalidates a case by some authority, or by what has
happened to some man, or under some especial circumstances. Instances
of these things, and descriptions of them, will be given amid the
precepts for oratory. And the source of all confirmations has been
already explained as occasion offered, and has been demonstrated
no less clearly than the nature of the case required. But how each
separate statement, and each part of a statement, and every dispute
ought to be handled,--whether we refer to verbal discussion or
to writings,--and what arguments are suitable for each kind of
discussion, we will mention, speaking separately of each kind, in the
second book. At present we have only dropped hints about the numbers,
and moods, and parts of arguing in an irregular and promiscuous
manner; hereafter we will digest (making careful distinctions between
and selections from each kind of cause) what is suitable for each kind
of discussion, culling it out of this abundance which we have already

And indeed every sort of argument can be discovered from among these
topics; and that, when discovered, it should be embellished, and
separated in certain divisions, is very agreeable, and highly
necessary, and is also a thing which has been greatly neglected by
writers on this art. Wherefore at this present time it is desirable
for us to speak of that sort of instruction, in order that perfection
of arguing may be added to the discovery of proper arguments. And all
this topic requires to be considered with great care and diligence,
because there is not only great usefulness in this matter, but there
is also extreme difficulty in giving precepts.

XXXI. All argumentation, therefore, is to be carried on either by
induction, or by ratiocination. Induction is a manner of speaking
which, by means of facts which are not doubtful, forces the assent of
the person to whom it is addressed. By which assent it causes him even
to approve of some points which are doubtful, on account of their
resemblance to those things to which he has assented; as in the
Aeschines of Socrates, Socrates shows that Aspasia used to argue with
Xenophon's wife, and with Xenophon himself. "Tell me, I beg of you, O
you wife of Xenophon, if your neighbour has better gold than you have,
whether you prefer her gold or your own?" "Hers," says she. "Suppose
she has dresses and other ornaments suited to women, of more value
than those which you have, should you prefer your own or hers?" "Hers,
to be sure," answered she. "Come, then," says Aspasia, "suppose she
has a better husband than you have, should you then prefer your own
husband or hers?" On this the woman blushed.

But Aspasia began a discourse with Xenophon himself. "I ask you, O
Xenophon," says she, "if your neighbour has a better horse than yours
is, whether you would prefer your own horse or his?" "His," says he.
"Suppose he has a better farm than you have, which farm, I should like
to know, would you prefer to possess?" "Beyond all doubt," says he,
"that which is the best." "Suppose he has a better wife than you have,
would you prefer his wife?" And on this Xenophon himself was silent.
Then spake Aspasia,--"Since each of you avoids answering me that
question alone which was the only one which I wished to have answered,
I will tell you what each of you are thinking of; for both you, O
woman, wish to have the best husband, and you, O Xenophon, most
exceedingly desire to have the most excellent wife. Wherefore, unless
you both so contrive matters that there shall not be on the whole
earth a more excellent man or a more admirable woman, then in truth
you will at all times desire above all things that which you think to
be the best thing in the world, namely, that you, O Xenophon, may be
the husband of the best possible wife; and you, O woman, that you may
be married to the most excellent husband possible." After they had
declared their assent to these far from doubtful propositions, it
followed, on account of the resemblance of the cases, that if any one
had separately asked them about some doubtful point, that also would
have been admitted as certain, on account of the method employed in
putting the question.

This was a method of instruction which Socrates used to a great
extent, because he himself preferred bringing forward no arguments for
the purpose of persuasion, but wished rather that the person with whom
he was disputing should form his own conclusions from arguments with
which he had furnished himself, and which he was unavoidably compelled
to approve of from the grounds which he had already assented to.

XXXII. And with reference to this kind of persuasion, it appears to me
desirable to lay down a rule, in the first place, that the argument
which we bring forward by way of simile, should be such that it is
impossible to avoid admitting it. For the premiss on account of
which we intend to demand that that point which is doubtful shall be
conceded to us, ought not to be doubtful itself. In the next place, we
must take care that that point, for the sake of establishing which the
induction is made, shall be really like those things which we have
adduced before as matters admitting of no question. For it will be of
no service to us that something has been already admitted, if that for
the sake of which we were desirous to get that statement admitted be
unlike it; so that the hearer may not understand what is the use of
those original inductions, or to what result they tend.

For the man who sees that, if he is correct in giving his assent to
the thing about which he is first asked, that thing also to which he
does not agree must unavoidably be admitted by him, very often will
not allow the examination to proceed any further, either by not
answering at all, or by answering wrongly. Wherefore it is necessary
that he should, by the method in which the inquiry is conducted, be
led on without perceiving it, from the admissions which he has already
made, to admit that which he is not inclined to admit, and at last
he must either decline to give an answer, or he must admit what is
wanted, or he must deny it. If the proposition be denied, then we must
either show its resemblance to those things which have been already
admitted or we must employ some other induction. If it be granted,
then the argumentation may be brought to a close. If he keeps silence,
then an answer must be extracted, or, since silence is very like a
confession, it may be as well to bring the discussion to a close,
taking the silence to be equivalent to an admission.

And so this kind of argumentation is threefold. The first part
consists of one simile, or of several, the second, of that which we
desire to have admitted, for the sake of which the similes have
been employed, the third proceeds from the conclusion which either
establishes the admissions which have been made or points out what may
be established from it.

XXXIII But because it will not appear to some people to have been
explained with sufficient clearness, unless we submit some instance
taken from the civil class of causes, it seems desirable to employ
some example of this sort, not because the rules to be laid down
differ, or because it is expedient to employ such differently in this
sort of discussion from what we should in ordinary discourse, but in
order to satisfy the desire of those men, who, though they may have
seen something in one place, are unable to recognise it in another
unless it be proved. Therefore in this cause which is very notorious
among the Greeks, that of Epaminondas, the general of the Thebans, who
did not give up his army to the magistrate who succeeded him in due
course of law, and when he himself had retained his army a few days
contrary to law, he utterly defeated the Lacedaemonians, the accuser
might employ an argumentation by means of induction, while defending
the letter of the law in opposition to its spirit, in this way:--

"If, O judges, the framer of the law had added to his law what
Epaminondas says that he intended, and had subjoined the exception
'except where any one has omitted to deliver up his army for the
advantage of the republic,' would you have endured it? I think not.
And if you yourselves, (though, such a proceeding is very far from
your religious habits and from your wisdom,) for the sake of doing
honour to this man, were to order the same exception to be subjoined
to the law, would the Theban people endure that such a thing should be
done? Beyond all question it would not endure it. Can it possibly then
appear to you that that which would be scandalous if it were added to
a law, should be proper to be done just as if it had been added to the
law? I know your acuteness well; it cannot seem so to you, O judges.
But if the intention of the framer of the law cannot be altered as to
its expressions either by him or by you, then beware lest it should be
a much more scandalous thing that that should be altered in fact, and
by your decision, which cannot be altered in one single word."

And we seem now to have said enough for the present respecting
induction. Next, let us consider the power and nature of

XXXIV. Ratiocination is a sort of speaking, eliciting something
probable from the fact under consideration itself, which being
explained and known of itself, confirms itself by its own power and

Those who have thought it profitable to pay diligent attention to this
kind of reasoning, have differed a little in the manner in which they
have laid down rules, though they were aiming at the same end as far
as the practice of speaking went. For some of them have said that
there are five divisions of it, and some have thought that it had no
more parts than could be arranged under three divisions. And it would
seem not useless to explain the dispute which exists between these
parties, with the reasons which each allege for it; for it is a short
one, and not such that either party appears to be talking nonsense.
And this topic also appears to us to be one that it is not at all
right to omit in speaking.

Those who think that it ought to be arranged in five divisions,
say that first of all it is desirable to explain the sum of the
discussion, in this way:--Those things are better managed which are
done on some deliberate plan, than those which are conducted without
any steady design. This they call the first division. And then they
think it right that it should be further proved by various arguments,
and by as copious statements as possible; in this way:--"That house
which is governed by reason is better appointed in all things, and
more completely furnished, than that which is conducted at random,
and on no settled plan;--that army which is commanded by a wise and
skilful general, is governed more suitably in all particulars than
that which is managed by the folly and rashness of any one. The same
principle prevails with respect to sailing; for that ship performs its
voyage best which has the most experienced pilot."

When the proposition has been proved in this manner, and when two
parts of the ratiocination have proceeded, they say in the third part,
that it is desirable to assume, from the mere intrinsic force of the
proposition, what you wish to prove; in this way:--"But none of all
those things is managed better than the entire world." In the fourth
division they adduce besides another argument in proof of this
assumption, in this manner:--"For both the rising and setting of the
stars preserve some definite order, and their annual commutations
do not only always take place in the same manner by some express
necessity, but they are also adapted to the service of everything, and
their daily and nightly changes have never injured anything in any
particular from being altered capriciously." And all these things are
a token that the nature of the world has been arranged by no ordinary
wisdom. In the fifth division they bring forward that sort of
statement, which either adduces that sort of fact alone which is
compelled in every possible manner, in this way:--"The world,
therefore, is governed on some settled plan;" or else, when it has
briefly united both the proposition and the assumption, it adds this
which is derived from both of them together, in this way:--"But if
those things are managed better which are conducted on a settled plan,
than those which are conducted without such settled plan; and if
nothing whatever is managed better than the entire world; therefore it
follows that the world is managed on a settled plan." And in this way
they think that such argumentation has five divisions.

XXXV. But those who affirm that it has only three divisions, do not
think that the argumentation ought to be conducted in any other way,
but they find fault with this arrangement of the divisions. For they
say that neither the proposition nor the assumption ought to be
separated from their proofs; and that a proposition does not appear to
be complete, nor an assumption perfect, which is not corroborated by
proof. Therefore, they say that what those other men divide into two
parts, proposition and proof, appears to them one part only, namely
proposition. For if it be not proved, the proposition has no business
to make part of the argumentation. In the same way they say that
that which those other men call the assumption, and the proof of the
assumption, appears to them to be assumption only. And the result is,
that the whole argumentation being treated in the same way, appears to
some susceptible of five divisions, and to others of only three; so
that the difference does not so much affect the practice of speaking,
as the principles on which the rules are to be laid down.

But to us that arrangement appears to be more convenient which divides
it under five heads; and that is the one which all those who come from
the school of Aristotle, or of Theophrastus, have chiefly followed.
For as it is chiefly Socrates and the disciples of Socrates who have
employed that former sort of argumentation which goes on induction,
so this which is wrought up by ratiocination has been exceedingly
practised by Aristotle, and the Peripatetics, and Theophrastus; and
after them by those rhetoricians who are accounted the most elegant
and the most skilful. And it seems desirable to explain why that
arrangement is more approved of by us, that we may not appear to have
adopted it capriciously; at the same time we must be brief in the
explanation, that we may not appear to dwell on such subjects longer
than the general manner of laying down rules requires.

XXXVI. If in any sort of argumentation it is sufficient to use a
proposition by itself, and if it is not requisite to add proof to the
proposition; but if in any sort of argumentation a proposition is of
no power unless proof be added to it; then proof is something distinct
from the proposition. For that which can be joined to a thing or
separated from it, cannot possibly be the same thing with that to
which it is joined or from which it is separated. But there is a
certain kind of argumentation in which the proposition does not
require confirmatory proof, and also another kind in which it is of
no use at all without such proof, as we shall show. Proof, then, is a
thing different from a proposition. And we will demonstrate that point
which we have promised to show in this way:--The proposition which
contains in itself something manifest, because it is unavoidable that
that should be admitted by all men, has no necessity for our desiring
to prove and corroborate it.

It is a sort of statement like this:--"If on the day on which that
murder was committed at Rome, I was at Athens, I could not have been
present at that murder." Because this is manifestly true, there is no
need to adduce proof of it; wherefore, it is proper at once to assume
the fact, in this way:--"But I was at Athens on that day." If this is
not notorious, it requires proof; and when the proof is furnished the
conclusion must follow:--"Therefore I could not have been present at
the murder." There is, therefore, a certain kind of proposition which
does not require proof. For why need one waste time in proving that
there is a kind which does require proof; for that is easily visible
to all men. And if this be the case, from this fact, and from that
statement which we have established, it follows that proof is
something distinct from a proposition. And if it is so, it is
evidently false that argumentation is susceptible of only three

In the same manner it is plain that there is another sort of proof
also which is distinct from assumption. For if in some sort of
argumentation it is sufficient to use assumption, and if it is not
requisite to add proof to the assumption; and if, again, in some sort
of argumentation assumption is invalid unless proof be added to it;
then proof is something separate and distinct from assumption. But
there is a kind of argumentation in which assumption does not require
proof; and a certain other kind in which it is of no use without
proof; as we shall show. Proof, then, is a thing distinct from
assumption. And we will demonstrate that which we have promised to in
this manner.

That assumption which contains a truth evident to all men has no need
of proof. That is an assumption of this sort:--"If it be desirable
to be wise, it is proper to pay attention to philosophy." This
proposition requires proof. For it is not self-evident. Nor is it
notorious to all men, because many think that philosophy is of no
service at all, and some think that it is even a disservice. A
self-evident assumption is such as this:--"But it is desirable to be
wise." And because this is of itself evident from the simple fact, and
is at once perceived to be true, there is no need that it be proved.
Wherefore, the argumentation may be at once terminated:--"Therefore
it is proper to pay attention to philosophy." There is, therefore, a
certain kind of assumption which does not stand in need of proof; for
it is evident that is a kind which does. Therefore, it is false that
argumentation is susceptible of only a threefold division.

XXXVII. And from these considerations that also is evident, that there
is a certain kind of argumentation in which neither proposition nor
assumption stands in need of proof, of this sort, that we may adduce
something undoubted and concise, for the sake of example. "If wisdom
is above all things to be desired, then folly is above all things to
be avoided; but wisdom is to be desired above all things, therefore
folly is above all things to be avoided." Here both the assumption and
the proposition are self-evident, on which account neither of them
stands in need of proof. And from all these facts it is manifest that
proof is at times added, and at times is not added. From which it
is palpable that proof is not contained in a proposition, nor in an
assumption, but that each being placed in its proper place, has its
own peculiar force fixed and belonging to itself. And if that is the
case, then those men have made a convenient arrangement who have
divided argumentation into five parts.

Are there five parts of that argumentation which is carried on by
ratiocination? First of all, proposition, by which that topic is
briefly explained from which all the force of the ratiocination ought
to proceed. Then the proof of the proposition, by which that which has
been briefly set forth being corroborated by reasons, is made more
probable and evident. Then assumption, by which that is assumed which,
proceeding from the proposition, has its effect on proving the case.
Then the proof of the assumption, by which that which has been assumed
is confirmed by reasons. Lastly, the summing up, in which that which
results from the entire argumentation is briefly explained. So the
argumentation which has the greatest number of divisions consists of
these five parts.

The second sort of argumentation has four divisions; the third has
three. Then there is one which has two; which, however, is a disputed
point. And about each separate division it is possible that some
people may think that there is room for a discussion.

XXXVIII. Let us then bring forward some examples of those matters
which are agreed upon. And in favour of those which are doubtful, let
us bring forward some reasons. Now the argumentation which is divided
into five divisions is of this sort:--It is desirable, O judges, to
refer all laws to the advantage of the republic, and to interpret them
with reference to the general advantage, and according to the strict
wording according to which they are drawn up. For our ancestors were
men of such virtue and such wisdom, that when they were drawing up
laws, they proposed to themselves no other object than the safety and
advantage of the republic; for they were neither willing themselves to
draw up any law which could be injurious; and if they had drawn up one
of such a character, they were sure that it would be rejected when its
tendency was perceived. For no one wishes to preserve the laws for the
sake of the laws, but for the sake of the republic; because all men
believe that the republic is best managed by means of laws. It is
desirable, therefore, to interpret all written laws with reference to
that cause for the sake of which it is desirable that the laws should
be preserved. That is to say, since we are servants of the republic,
let us interpret the laws with reference to the advantage and benefit
of the republic. For as it is not right to think that anything results
from medicine except what has reference to the advantage of the body,
since it is for the sake of the body that the science of medicine has
been established; so it is desirable to think that nothing proceeds
from the laws except what is for the advantage of the republic, since
it is for the sake of the republic that laws were instituted.

Therefore, while deciding on this point, cease to inquire about the
strict letter of the law, and consider the law (as it is reasonable to
do) with reference to the advantage of the republic. For what was more
advantageous for the Thebans than for the Lacedaemonians to be put
down? What object was Epaminondas, the Theban general, more bound
to aim at than the victory of the Thebans? What had he any right to
consider more precious or more dear to him, than the great glory then
acquired by the Thebans, than such an illustrious and magnificent
trophy? Surely, disregarding the letter of the law, it became him to
consider the intention of the framer of the law. And this now has been
sufficiently insisted on, namely, that no law has ever been drawn
up by any one, that had not for its object the benefit of the
commonwealth. He then thought that it was the very extremity of
madness, not to interpret with reference to the advantage of the
republic, that which had been framed for the sake of the safety of the
republic. And it is right to interpret all laws with reference to the
safety of the republic; and if he was a great instrument of the safety
of the republic, certainly it is quite impossible that he by one and
the same action should have consulted the general welfare, and yet
should have violated the laws.

XXXIX. But argumentation consists of four parts, when we either
advance a proposition, or claim an assumption without proof. That it
is proper to do when either the proposition is understood by its own
merits, or when the assumption is self-evident and is in need of no
proof. If we pass over the proof of the proposition, the argumentation
then consists of four parts, and is conducted in this manner:--"O
judges, you who are deciding on your oaths, in accordance with the
law, ought to obey the laws; but you cannot obey the laws unless
you follow that which is written in the law. For what more certain
evidence of his intention could the framer of a law leave behind him,
than that which he himself wrote with great care and diligence? But if
there were no written documents, then we should be very anxious for
them, in order that the intention of the framer of the law might be
ascertained; nor should we permit Epaminondas, not even if he were
beyond the power of this tribunal, to interpret to us the meaning of
the law; much less will we now permit him, when, the law is at hand,
to interpret the intention of the lawgiver, not from that which is
most clearly written, but from that which is convenient for his own
cause. But if you, O judges, are bound to obey the laws, and if you
are unable to do so unless you follow what is written in the law; what
can hinder your deciding that he has acted contrary to the laws?"

But if we pass over the proof of the assumption, again the
argumentation will be arranged under four heads, in this
manner:--"When men have repeatedly deceived us, having pledged their
faith to us, we ought not to give credit to anything that they say for
if we receive any injury; in consequence of their perfidy, there will
be no one except ourselves whom we shall have any right to accuse. And
in the first place, it is inconvenient to be deceived, in the
next place, it is foolish, thirdly, it is disgraceful. But the
Carthaginians have before this deceived us over and over again. It is
therefore the greatest insanity to rest any hopes on their good faith,
when you have been so often deceived by their treachery."

When the proof both of the proposition and of the assumption is passed
over, the argumentation becomes threefold only, in this way--"We must
either live in fear of the Carthaginians if we leave them with their
power undiminished, or we must destroy their city. And certainly it is
not desirable to live in fear of them. The only remaining alternative
then is to destroy their city."

XL But some people think that it is both possible and advisable at
times to pass over the summing up altogether, when it is quite evident
what is effected by ratiocination. And then if that be done they
consider that the argumentation is limited to two divisions, in this
way--"If she has had a child she is not a virgin. But she has had a
child." In this case they say it is quite sufficient to state the
proposition and assumption, since it is quite plain that the matter
which is here stated is such as does not stand in need of summing up.
But to us it seems that all ratiocination ought to be terminated in
proper form and that that defect which offends them is above all
things to be avoided namely, that of introducing what is self evident
into the summing up.

But this will be possible to be effected if we come to a right
understanding of the different kinds of summing up. For we shall
either sum up in such a way as to unite together the proposition and
the assumption, in this way--"But if it is right for all laws to be
referred to the general advantage of the republic, and if this man
ensured the safety of the republic, undoubtedly he cannot by one
and the same action have consulted the general safety and yet have
violated the laws,"--or thus, in order that the opinion we advocate
may be established by arguments drawn from contraries, in this
manner--"It is then the very greatest madness to build hopes on the
good faith of those men by whose treachery you have been so repeatedly
deceived,"--or so that that inference alone be drawn which is already
announced, in this manner--"Let us then destroy their city,"--or so
that the conclusion which is desired must necessarily follow from the
assertion which has been established, in this way--"If she has had a
child, she has laid with a man. But she has had a child." This then is
established. "Therefore she has lain with a man." If you are unwilling
to draw this inference, and prefer inferring what follows, "Therefore
she has committed incest," you will have terminated your argumentation
but you will have missed an evident and natural summing up.

Wherefore in long argumentations it is often desirable to draw
influences from combinations of circumstances, or from contraries. And
briefly to explain that point alone which is established, and in
those in which the result is evident, to employ arguments drawn from
consequences. But if there are any people who think that argumentation
ever consists of one part alone they will be able to say that it is
often sufficient to carry-on an argumentation in this way.--"Since
she has had a child, she has lain with a man." For they say that
this assertion requires no proof, nor assumption, nor proof of an
assumption, nor summing up. But it seems to us that they are misled
by the ambiguity of the name. For argumentation signifies two things
under one name, because any discussion respecting anything which is
either probable or necessary is called argumentation, and so also is
the systematic polishing of such a discussion.

When then they bring forward any statement of this kind,--"Since she
has had a child, she has lain, with a man," they bring forward a plain
assertion, not a highly worked up argument, but we are speaking of the
parts of a highly worked up argument.

XLI. That principle then has nothing to do with this matter. And with
the help of this distinction we will remove other obstacles which seem
to be in the way of this classification, if any people think that it
is possible that at times the assumption may be omitted, and at other
times the proposition, and if this idea has in it anything probable
or necessary, it is quite inevitable that it must affect the hearer in
some great degree. And if it were the only object in view, and if
it made no difference in what manner that argument which had been
projected was handled, it would be a great mistake to suppose that
there is such a vast difference between the greatest orators and
ordinary ones.

But it will be exceedingly desirable to infuse variety into our
speech, for in all cases sameness is the mother of satiety. That will
be able to be managed if we not always enter upon our argumentation
in a similar manner. For in the first place it is desirable to
distinguish our orations as to their kinds, that is to say, at one
time to employ induction, and at another ratiocination. In the next
place, in the argumentation itself, it is best not always to begin
with the proposition, nor in every case to employ all the five
divisions, nor always to work up the different parts in the same
manner, but it is permissible sometimes to begin with the assumption,
sometimes with one or other of the proofs, sometimes with both,
sometimes to employ one kind of summing up, and sometimes another. And
in order that this variety may be seen, let us either write, or in any
example whatever let us exercise this same principle with respect to
those things which we endeavour to prove, that our task may be as easy
as possible.

And concerning the parts of the argumentation it seems to us that
enough has been said. But we wish to have it understood that we hold
the doctrine that argumentations are handled in philosophy in many
other manners, and those too at times obscure ones, concerning which,
however, there is still some definite system laid down. But still
those methods appear to us to be inconsistent with the practice of an
orator. But as to those things which we think belong to orators, we
do not indeed undertake to say that we have attended to them more
carefully than others have, but we do assert that we have written on
them with more accuracy and diligence. At present let us go on in
regular order to the other points, as we originally proposed.

XLII. Reprehension is that by means of which the proof adduced by the
opposite party is invalidated by arguing, or is disparaged, or is
reduced to nothing. And this sort of argument proceeds from the same
source of invention which confirmation employs, because whatever the
topics may be by means of which any statement can be confirmed, the
very same may be used in order to invalidate it. For nothing is to
be considered in all these inventions, except that which has been
attributed to persons or to things. Wherefore it will be necessary
that the invention and the high polish which ought to be given to
argumentation must be transferred to this part of our oration also
from those rules which have been already laid down. But in order that
we may give some precepts with reference to this part also, we will
explain the different methods of reprehension, and those who observe
them will more easily be able to do away with or invalidate those
statements which are made on the opposite side.

All argumentation is reprehended when anything, whether it be one
thing only, or more than one of those positions which are assumed, is
not granted, or if, though they are granted, it is denied that the
conclusion legitimately follows from them, or if it is shown that the
very kind of argumentation is faulty, or if in opposition to one
form and reliable sort of argumentation another is employed which is
equally firm and convincing. Something of those positions which have
been assumed is not granted when either that thing which the opposite
party says is credible is denied to be such, or when what they think
admits of a comparison with the present case is shown to be unlike
it, or when what has been already decided is either turned aside
as referring to something else, or is impeached as having been
erroneously decided, or when that which the opposite party have called
a proof is denied to be such, or if the summing up is denied in
some one point or in every particular, or if it is shown that the
enumeration of matters stated and proved is incorrect, or if the
simple conclusion is proved to contain something false. For everything
which is assumed for the purpose of arguing on, whether as necessary
or as only probable, must inevitably be assumed from these topics, as
we have already pointed out.

XLIII. What is assumed as something credible is invalidated, if it is
either manifestly false, in this way:--"There is the one who would not
prefer riches to wisdom." Or on the opposite side something credible
may be brought against it, in this manner--"Who is there who is not
more desirous of doing his duty than of acquiring money?" Or it may be
utterly and absolutely incredible, as if some one, who it is notorious
is a miser, were to say that he had neglected the acquisition of some
large sum of money for the sake of performing some inconsiderable
duty. Or if that which happens in some circumstances, and to some
persons, were asserted to happen habitually in all cases and to
everybody, in this way.--'Those men who are poor have a greater regard
for money than for duty.' 'It is very natural that a murder should
have been committed in that which is a desert place.' How could a man
be murdered in a much frequented place? Or if a thing which is done
seldom is asserted never to be done at all, as Curius asserts in his
speech in behalf of Fulvius, where he says, "No one can fall in love
at a single glance, or as he is passing by."

But that which is assumed as a proof may be invalidated by a
recurrence to the same topics as those by which it is sought to be
established. For in a proof the first thing to be shown is that it is
true, and in the next place, that it is one especially affecting the
matter which is under discussion, as blood is a proof of murder in the
next place, that that has been done which ought not to have been, or
that has not been done which ought to have been and last of all, that
the person accused was acquainted with the law and usages affecting
the matter which is the subject of inquiry. For all these circumstance
are matters requiring proof, and we will explain them more carefully,
when we come to speak about conjectural statements separately.
Therefore, each of these points in a reprehension of the statement of
the adversary must be laboured, and it must be shown either that such
and such a thing is no proof, or that it is an unimportant proof, or
that it is favourable to oneself rather than to the adversary, or that
it is altogether erroneously alleged, or that it may be diverted so as
to give grounds to an entirely different suspicion.

XLIV. But when anything is alleged as a proper object of comparison,
since that is a class of argument which turns principally on
resemblance, in reprehending the adversity it will be advisable to
deny that there is any resemblance at all to the case with which it is
attempted to institute the comparison. And that may be done if it
be proved to be different in genus or in nature, or in power, or
in magnitude, or in time or place, or with reference to the person
affected, or to the opinions generally entertained of it. And if it
be shown also in what classification that which is brought forward on
account of the alleged resemblance and in what place too the whole
genus with reference to which it is brought forward, ought to be
placed. After that it will be pointed out how the one thing differs
from the other, from which we shall proceed to show that a different
opinion ought to be entertained of that which is brought forward by
way of comparison, and of that to which it is sought to be compared.
And this sort of argument we especially require when that particular
argumentation which is carried on by means of induction is to be
reprehended. If any previous decision be alleged, since these are the
topics by which it is principally established, the praise of those who
have delivered such decision, the resemblance of the matter which is
at present under discussion to that which has already been the subject
of the decision referred to, that not only the decision is not found
fault with because it is mentioned, but that it is approved of by
every one, and by showing too, that the case which has been already
decided is a more difficult and a more important one than that which
is under consideration now. It will be desirable also to invalidate
it by arguments drawn from the contrary topics, if either truth or
probability will allow us to do so. And it will be necessary to take
care and notice whether the matter which has been decided has any real
connexion with that which is the present subject of discussion, and
we must also take care that no case is adduced in which any error has
been committed, so that it should seem that we are passing judgment on
the man himself who has delivered the decision referred to.

It is desirable further to take care that they do not bring forward
some solitary or unusual decision when there have been many decisions
given the other way. For by such means as this the authority of the
decision alleged can be best invalidated. And it is desirable that
those arguments which are assumed as probable should be handled in
this way.

XLV. But those which are brought forward as necessary, if they are
only imitations of a necessary kind of argumentation and are not so in
reality, may be reprehended in this manner. In the first place, the
summing up, which ought to take away the force of the admissions you
have made if it be a correct one, will never be reprehended, if it
be an incorrect one it may be attacked by two methods, either by
conversion or by the invalidating one portion of it. By conversion, in
this way.

"For if the man be modest, why should you
Attack so good a man? And if his heart
And face be seats of shameless impudence,
Then what avails your accusation
Of one who views all fame with careless eye?"

In this case, whether you say that he is a modest man or that he is
not, he thinks that the unavoidable inference is that you should not
accuse him. But that may be reprehended by conversion thus--"But
indeed, he ought to be accused, for if he be modest, accuse him, for
he will not treat your imputations against him lightly, but if he has
a shameless disposition of mind, still accuse him, for in that case he
is not a respectable man."

And again, the argument may be reprehended by an invalidating of
the other part of it--"But if he is a modest man, when he has
been corrected by your accusation he will abandon his error." An
enumeration of particulars is understood to be faulty if we either say
that something has been passed over which we are willing to admit, or
if some weak point has been included in it which can be contradicted,
or if there is no reason why we may not honestly admit it. Something
is passed over in such an enumeration as this.--"Since you have
that horse, you must either have bought it, or have acquired it by
inheritance, or have received it as a gift, or he must have been born
on your estate, or, if none of these alternatives of the case, you
must have stolen it. But you did not buy it, nor did it come to you by
inheritance, nor was it foaled on your estate, nor was it given to you
as a present, therefore you must certainly have stolen it."

This enumeration is fairly reprehended, if it can be alleged that the
horse was taken from the enemy, as that description of booty is not
sold. And if that be alleged, the enumeration is disproved, since that
matter has been stated which was passed over in such enumeration.

XLVI. But it will also be reprehended in another manner, if any
contradictory statement is advanced; that is to say, just by way of
example, if, to continue arguing from the previous case, it can be
shown that the horse did come to one by inheritance, or if it should
not be discreditable to admit the last alternative, as if a person,
when his adversaries said,--"You were either laying an ambush against
the owner, or you were influenced by a friend, or you were carried
away by covetousness," were to confess that he was complying with the
entreaties of his friend.

But a simple conclusion is reprehended if that which follows does not
appear of necessity to cohere with that which has gone before. For
this very proposition, "If he breathes, he is alive," "If it is day,
it is light," is a proposition of such a nature that the latter
statement appears of necessity to cohere with the preceding one. But
this inference, "If she is his mother, she loves him," "If he has ever
done wrong, he will never be chastised," ought to be reprehended in
such a manner as to show that the latter proposition does not of
necessity cohere with the former.

Inferences of this kind, and all other unavoidable conclusions, and
indeed all argumentation whatever, and its reprehension too, contains
some greater power and has a more extensive operation than is here
explained. But the knowledge of this system is such that it cannot
be added to any portion of this art, not that it does of itself
separately stand in need of a long time, and of deep and arduous
consideration. Wherefore those things shall be explained by us at
another time, and when we are dealing with another subject, if
opportunity be afforded us. At present we ought to be contented with
these precepts of the rhetoricians given for the use of orators. When,
therefore, any one of these points which are assumed is not granted,
the whole statement is invalidated by these means.

XLVII. But when, though these things are admitted, a conclusion is
not derived from them, we must consider these points too, whether any
other conclusion is obtained, or whether anything else is meant, in
this way,--If, when any one says that he is gone to the army, and any
one chooses to use this mode of arguing against him, "If you had come
to the army you would have been seen by the military tribunes, but you
were not seen by them, therefore you did not go to the army." On this
case, when you have admitted the proposition, and the assumption, you
have got to invalidate the conclusion, for some other inference has
been drawn, and not the one which was inevitable.

And at present, indeed, in order that the case might be more easily
understood, we have brought forward an example pregnant with a
manifest and an enormous error; but it often happens that an error
when stated obscurely is taken for a truth; when either you do not
recollect exactly what admissions you have made, or perhaps you have
granted something as certain which is extremely doubtful. If you have
granted something which is doubtful on that side of the question which
you yourself understand, then if the adversary should wish to adapt
that part to the other part by means of inference, it will be
desirable to show, not from the admission which you have made, but
from what he has assumed, that an inference is really established; in
this manner:--"If you are in need of money, you have not got money. If
you have not got money, you are poor. But you are in need of money,
for if it were not so you would not pay attention to commerce;
therefore you are poor." This is refuted in this way:--"When you said,
if you are in need of money you have not got money, I understood you
to mean, 'If you are in need of money from poverty, then you have
not got money;' and therefore I admitted the argument. But when you
assumed, 'But you are in need of money,' I understood you to mean,
'But you wish to have more money.' But from these admissions this
result, 'Therefore you are poor,' does not follow. But it would follow
if I had made this admission to you in the first instance, that any
one who wished to have more money, had no money at all."

XLVIII. But many often think that you have forgotten what admissions
you made, and therefore an inference which does not follow
legitimately is introduced into the summing up as if it did follow; in
this way:--"If the inheritance came to him, it is probable that he
was murdered by him." Then they prove this at considerable length.
Afterwards they assume, But the inheritance did come to him. Then the
inference is deduced; Therefore he did murder him. But that does
not necessarily follow from what they had assumed. Wherefore it is
necessary to take great care to notice both what is assumed, and what
necessarily follows from those assumptions. But the whole description
of argumentation will be proved to be faulty on these accounts; if
either there is any defect in the argumentation itself, or if it is
not adapted to the original intention. And there will be a defect in
the argumentation itself, if the whole of it is entirely false, or
common, or ordinary, or trifling, or made up of remote suppositions;
if the definition contained in it be faulty, if it be controverted,
if it be too evident, if it be one which is not admitted, or
discreditable, or objected to, or contrary, or inconstant, or adverse
to one's object.

That is false in which there is evidently a lie; in this
manner:--"That man cannot be wise who neglects money. But Socrates
neglected money; therefore he was not wise." That is common which does
not make more in favour of our adversaries than of ourselves; in
this manner:--"Therefore, O judges, I have summed up in a few words,
because I had truth on my side." That is ordinary which, if the
admission be now made, can be transferred also to some other case
which is not easily proved; in this manner:--"If he had not truth on
his side, O judges, he would never have risked committing himself to
your decision." That is trifling which is either uttered after the
proposition, in this way:--"If it had occurred to him, he would not
have done so;" or if a man wishes to conceal a matter manifestly
disgraceful under a trifling defence, in this manner:--

"Then when all sought your favour, when your hand
Wielded a mighty sceptre, I forsook you;
But now when all fly from you, I prepare
Alone, despising danger, to restore you."

XLIX. That is remote which is sought to a superfluous extent, in this
manner:--"But if Publius Scipio had not given his daughter Cornelia in
marriage to Tiberius Gracchus, and if he had not had the two Gracchi
by her, such terrible seditions would never have arisen. So that all
this distress appears attributable to Scipio." And like this is that
celebrated complaint--

"Oh that the woodman's axe had spared the pine
That long on Pelion's lofty summit grew."[57]

For the cause is sought further back than is at all necessary. That
is a bad definition, when it either describes common things in this
manner:--"He is seditious who is a bad and useless citizen;" for this
does not describe the character of a seditious man more than of an
ambitious one,--of a calumniator, than of any wicked man whatever,
in short. Or when it says anything which is false; in this
manner:--"Wisdom is a knowledge how to acquire money." Or when it
contains something which is neither dignified nor important; in this
way:--"Folly is a desire of inordinate glory." That, indeed, is one
folly; but this is defining folly by a species, not by its whole
genus. It is controvertible when a doubtful cause is alleged, for the
sake of proving a doubtful point; in this manner:--

"See how the gods who rule the realms above
And shades below, and all their motions sway,
Themselves are all in tranquil concord found."

That is self-evident, about which there is no dispute at all. As if
any one while accusing Orestes were to make it quite plain that his
mother had been put to death by him. That is a disputable definition,
when the very thing which we are amplifying is a matter in dispute.
As if any one, while accusing Ulysses, were to dwell on this point
particularly, that it is a scandalous thing that the bravest of
men, Ajax, should have been slain by a most inactive man. That is
discreditable which either with respect to the place in which it is
spoken, or to the man who utters it, or to the time at which it is
uttered, or to those who hear it, or to the matter which is the
subject of discussion, appears scandalous on account of the subject
being a discreditable one. That is an offensive one, which offends the
inclinations of those who hear it; as if any one were to praise the
judiciary law of Caepio before the Roman knights, who are themselves
desirous of acting as judges.

L. That is a contrary definition, which is laid down in opposition to
the actions which those who are the hearers of the speech have done;
as if any one were to be speaking before Alexander the Great against
some stormer of a city, and were to say that nothing was more inhuman
than to destroy cities, when Alexander himself had destroyed Thebes.
That is an inconsistent one, which is asserted by the same man in
different senses concerning the same case; as if any one, after he has
said that the man who has virtue is in need of nothing whatever for
the purpose of living well, were afterwards to deny that any one could
live well without good health; or that he would stand by a friend in
difficulty out of good-will towards him, for that then he would hope
that some good would accrue to himself by so doing.

That is an adverse definition, which in some particular is an actual
injury to one's own cause; as if any one were to extol the power, and
resources, and prosperity of the enemy, while encouraging his own
soldiers to fight. If some part of the argumentation is not adapted to
the object which is or ought to be proposed to one, it will be found
to be owing to some one of these defects. If a man has promised a
great many points and proved only a few; or if, when he is bound to
prove the whole, he speaks only of some portion; in this way:--The
race of women is avaricious; for Eriphyle sold the life of her husband
for gold. Or if he does not speak in defence of that particular point
which is urged in accusation; as if any one when accused of corruption
were to defend himself by the statement that he was brave; as Amphion
does in Euripides, and so too in Pacuvius, who, when his musical
knowledge is found fault with, praises his knowledge of philosophy.
Or if a part of conduct be found fault with on account of the bad
character of the man; as if any one were to blame learning on account
of the vices of some learned men. Or if any one while wishing to
praise somebody were to speak of his good fortune, and not of his
virtue; or if any one were to compare one thing with another in such
a manner as to think that he was not praising the one unless he was
blaming the other; or if he were to praise the one in such a manner as
to omit all mention of the other.

Or if, when an inquiry is being carried on respecting one particular
point, the speech is addressed to common topics; as if any one, while
men are deliberating whether war shall be waged or not, were to devote
himself wholly to the praises of peace, and not to proving that that
particular war is inexpedient. Or if a false reason for anything be
alleged, in this way:--Money is good because it is the thing which,
above all others, makes life happy. Or if one is alleged which is
invalid, as Plautus says:--

"Sure to reprove a friend for evident faults
Is but a thankless office; still 'tis useful,
And wholesome for a youth of such an age,
And so this day I will reprove my friend,
Whose fault is palpable."--_Plautus, Frinummus_, Act i. sc. 2,

Or in this manner, if a man were to say, "Avarice is the greatest
evil; for the desire of money causes great distress to numbers of
people." Or it is unsuitable, in this manner:--"Friendship is the
greatest good for there are many pleasures in friendship."

LI. The fourth manner of reprehension was stated to be that by which,
in opposition to a solid argumentation, one equally, or still more
solid, has been advanced. And this kind of argumentation is especially
employed in deliberations when we admit that something which is said
in opposition to us is reasonable, but still prove that that conduct
which we are defending is necessary; or when we confess that the line
of conduct which they are advocating is useful, and prove that what
we ourselves are contending for is honourable. And we have thought it
necessary to say thus much about reprehension; now we will lay down
some rules respecting the conclusion.

Hermagoras places digression next in order, and then the ultimate
conclusion. But in this digression he considers it proper to introduce
some inferential topics, unconnected with the cause and with the
decision itself, which contain some praise of the speaker himself, or
some vituperation of the adversary, or else may lead to some other
topic from which he may derive some confirmation or reprehension, not
by arguing, but by expanding the subject by some amplification or
other. If any one thinks that this is a proper part of an oration, he
may follow Hermagoras. For precepts for embellishing, and praising,
and blaming, have partly been already given by us, and partly will be
given hereafter in their proper place. But we do not think it right
that this part should be classed among the regular divisions of a
speech, because it appears improper that there should be digressions,
except to some common topics, concerning which subject we must speak
subsequently. But it does not seem desirable to handle praise and
vituperation separately, but it seems better that they should be
considered as forming part of the argumentation itself. At present we
will treat of the conclusion of an oration.

LII. The conclusion is the end and terminating of the whole oration.
It has three parts,--enumeration, indignation, and complaint.
Enumeration is that by which matters which have been related in a
scattered and diffuse manner are collected together, and, for the sake
of recollecting them, are brought under our view. If this is always
treated in the same manner, it will be completely evident to every one
that it is being handled according to some artificial system; but if
it be done in many various ways, the orator will be able to escape
this suspicion, and will not cause such weariness. Wherefore it will
be desirable to act in the way which most people adopt, on account of
its easiness; that is, to touch on each topic separately, and in that
manner briefly to run over all sorts of argumentation; and also (which
is, however, more difficult) to recount what portions of the subject
you previously mentioned in the arrangement of the subject, as those
which you promised to explain; and also to bring to the recollection
of your hearers the reasonings by which you established each separate
point, and then to ask of those who are hearing you what it is which
they ought to wish to be proved to them; in this way:--"We proved
this; we made that plain;" and by this means the hearer will recover
his recollection of it, and will think that there is nothing besides
which he ought to require.

And in these kinds of conclusions, as has been said before, it will
be serviceable both to run over the arguments which you yourself have
employed separately, and also (which is a matter requiring still
greater art) to unite the opposite arguments with your own; and to
show how completely you have done away with the arguments which were
brought against you. And so, by a brief comparison, the recollection
of the hearer will be refreshed both as to the confirmation which you
adduced, and as to the reprehension which you employed. And it will be
useful to vary these proceedings by other methods of pleading also.
But you may carry on the enumeration in your own person, so as to
remind your hearers of what you said, and in what part of your speech
you said each thing; and also you may bring on the stage some other
character, or some different circumstance, and then make your whole
enumeration with reference to that. If it is a person, in this
way:--"For if the framer of the law were to appear, and were to
inquire of you why you doubted, what could you say after this, and
this, and this has been proved to you?" And in this case, as also in
our own character, it will be in our power to run over all kinds of
argumentation separately: and at one time to refer all separate genera
to different classes of the division, and at another to ask of the
hearer what he requires, and at another to adopt a similar course by a
comparison of one's own arguments and those of the opposite party.

But a different class of circumstance will be introduced if an
enumerative oration be connected with any subject of this sort,--law,
place, city, or monument, in this manner.--"What if the laws
themselves could speak? Would not they also address this complaint to
you? What more do you require, O judges when this, and this, and this
has been already made plain to you?" And in this kind of argument it
is allowable to use all these same methods. But this is given as a
common precept to guide one in framing an enumeration, that out of
every part of the argument, since the whole cannot be repeated over
again, that is to be selected which is of the greatest weight, and
that each point is to be run over as briefly as possible, so that
it shall appear to be only a refreshing of the recollection of the
hearers, not a repetition of the speech.

LIII. Indignation is a kind of speech by which the effect produced is,
that great hatred is excited against a man, or great dislike of some
proceeding is originated. In an address of this kind we wish to have
this understood first, that it is possible to give vent to indignation
from all those topics which we have suggested in laying down precepts
for the confirmation of a speech. For any amplifications whatever,
and every sort of indignation may be expressed, derived from those
circumstances which are attributed to persons and to things, but
still we had better consider those precepts which can be laid down
separately with respect to indignation.

The first topic is derived from authority, when we relate what a great
subject of anxiety that affair has been to the immortal gods, or to
those whose authority ought to carry the greatest weight with it.
And that topic will be derived from prophecies, from oracles, from
prophets, from tokens, from prodigies, from answers, and from other
things like these. Also from our ancestors, from kings, from states,
from nations from the wisest men, from the senate, the people, the
framers of laws. The second topic is that by which it is shown
with amplification, by means of indignation, whom that affair
concerns,--whether it concerns all men or the greater part of men,
(which is a most serious business,) or whether it concerns the higher
classes, such as those men are on whose authority the indignation
which we are professing is grounded, (which is most scandalous,) or
whether it affects those men who are one's equals in courage, and
fortune, and personal advantages, (which is most iniquitous,) or
whether it affects our inferiors, (which is most arrogant).

The third topic is that which we employ when we are inquiring what is
likely to happen, if every one else acts in the same manner. And at
the same time we point out if this man is permitted to act thus, that
there will be many imitators of the same audacity, and then from that
we shall be able to point out how much evil will follow.

The fourth topic is one by the use of which we show that many men are
eagerly looking out to see what is decided, in order that they may be
able to see by the precedent of what is allowed to one, what will be
allowed to themselves also in similar circumstances.

The fifth topic is one by the use of which we show that everything
else which has been badly managed, as soon as the truth concerning
them is ascertained, may be all set right, that this thing, however,
is one which, if it be once decided wrongly, cannot be altered by any
decision, nor set right by any power.

The sixth topic is one by which the action spoken of is proved to have
been done designedly and on purpose, and then we add this argument,
that pardon ought not to be granted to an intentional crime.

The seventh topic is one which we employ when we say that any deed
is foul, and cruel, and nefarious, and tyrannical; that it has been
effected by violence or by the influence of riches--a thing which
is as remote as possible from the laws and from all ideas of equal

LIV. An eighth topic is one of which we avail ourselves to demonstrate
that the crime which is the present subject of discussion is not
a common one,--not one such as is often perpetrated. And, that is
foreign to the nature of even men in a savage state, of the most
barbarous nations, or even of brute beasts. Actions of this nature are
such as are wrought with cruelty towards one's parents, or wife, or
husband, or children, or relations, or suppliants; next to them,
if anything has been done with inhumanity towards a man's
elders,--towards those connected with one by ties of hospitality,
--towards one's neighbours or one's friends,--to those with
whom one has been in the habit of passing one's life,--to those
by whom one has been brought up,--to those by whom one has been
taught,--to the dead,--to those who are miserable and deserving of
pity,--to men who are illustrious, noble, and who have been invested
with honours and offices,--to those who have neither had power to
injure another nor to defend themselves, such as boys, old men, women:
by all which circumstances indignation is violently excited, and will
be able to awaken the greatest hatred against a man who has injured
any of these persons.

The ninth topic is one by which the action which is the subject of the
present discussion is compared with others which are admitted on all
hands to be offences. And in that way it is shown by comparison how
much more atrocious and scandalous is the action which is the present
subject of discussion.

The tenth topic is one by which we collect all the circumstances which
have taken place in the performance of this action, and which have
followed since that action, with great indignation at and reproach of
each separate item, and by our description we bring the case as far as
possible before the eyes of the judge before whom we are speaking, so
that that which is scandalous may appear quite as scandalous to him as
if he himself had been present to see what was done.

The eleventh topic is one which we avail ourselves of when we are
desirous to show that the action has been done by him whom of all men
in the world it least became to do it, and by whom indeed it ought to
have been prevented if any one else had endeavoured to do it.

The twelfth topic is one by means of which we express our indignation
that we should be the first people to whom this has happened, and that
it has never occurred in any other instance.

The thirteenth topic is when insult is shown to have been added
to injury, and by this topic we awaken hatred against pride and

The fourteenth topic is one which we avail ourselves of to entreat
those who hear us to consider our injuries as if they affected
themselves; if they concern our children, to think of their own, if
our wives have been injured, to recollect their own wives, if it is
our aged relations who have suffered, to remember their own fathers or

The fifteenth topic is one by which we say that those things which
have happened to us appear scandalous even to foes and enemies, and
as a general rule, indignation is derived from one or other of these

LV. But complaint will usually take its origin from things of this
kind. Complaint is a speech seeking to move the pity of the hearers.
In this it is necessary in the first place to render the disposition
of the hearer gentle and merciful, in order that it may the more
easily be influenced by pity. And it will be desirable to produce that
effect by common topics, such as those by which the power of fortune
over all men is shown, and the weakness of men too is displayed,
and if such an argument is argued with dignity and with impressive
language, then the minds of men are greatly softened, and prepared to
feel pity, while they consider their own weakness in the contemplation
of the misfortunes of another.

Then the first topic to raise pity is that by which we show how great
the prosperity of our clients was, and how great their present misery

The second is one which is divided according to different periods,
according to which it is shown in what miseries they have been, and
still are, and are likely to be hereafter.

The third topic is that by which each separate inconvenience is
deplored, as, for instance, in speaking of the death of a man's son,
the delight which the father took in his childhood, his love for him,
his hope of him, the comfort he derived from him, the pains he took
in his bringing up, and all other instances of the same sort, may be
mentioned so as to exaggerate the complaint.

The fourth topic is one in which all circumstances which are
discreditable or low or mean are brought forward, all circumstances
which are unworthy of a man's age, or both, or fortune, or former
honours or services, all the disasters which they have suffered or are
liable to suffer.

The fifth topic is that by using which all disadvantages we brought
separately before the eyes of the hearer, so that he who hears of them
may seem to see them, and by the very facts themselves, and not only
by the description of them, may be moved to pity as if he had been
actually present.

The sixth topic is one by which the person spoken of is shown to be
miserable, when he had no reason to expect any such fate; and that
when he was expecting something else, he not only failed to obtain it,
but fell into the most terrible misfortunes.

The seventh is one by which we suppose the fact of a similar mischance
befalling the men who are listening to us, and require of them when
they behold us to call to mind their own children, or their parents,
or some one for whom they are bound to entertain affections.

The eighth is one by which something is said to have been done which
ought not to have been done; or not to have been done which ought to
have been. In this manner:--"I was not present, I did not see him,
I did not hear his last words, I did not receive his last breath.
Moreover, he died amid his enemies, he lay shamefully unburied in an
enemy's country, being torn to pieces by wild beasts, and was deprived
in death of even that honour which is the due of all men."

The ninth is one by which our speech is made to refer to things which
are void both of language and sense; as if you were to adapt your
discourse to a horse, a house, or a garment; by which topics the minds
of those who are hearing, and who have been attached to any one, are
greatly moved.

The tenth is one by which want, or weakness, or the desolate condition
of any one is pointed out.

The eleventh is one in which is contained a recommendation to bury
one's children, or one's parents, or one's own body, or to do any
other such thing.

The twelfth is one in which a separation is lamented when you are
separated from any one with whom you have lived most pleasantly,--as
from a parent, a son, a brother, an intimate friend.

The thirteenth is one used when we complain with great indignation
that we are ill-treated by those by whom above all others we least
ought to be so,--as by our relations, or by friends whom we have
served, and whom we have expected to be assistants to us; or by whom
it is a shameful thing to be ill-treated,--as by slaves, or freedmen,
or clients, or suppliants.

The fourteenth is one which is taken as an entreaty, in which those
who hear us are entreated, in a humble and suppliant oration, to have
pity on us.

The fifteenth is one in which we show that we are complaining not only
of our own fortunes, but of those who ought to be dear to us.

The sixteenth is one by using which we show that our hearts are full
of pity for others; and yet give tokens at the same time that it will
be a great and lofty mind, and one able to endure disaster if any such
should befall us. For often virtue and splendour, in which there is
naturally great influence and authority, have more effect in exciting
pity than humility and entreaties. And when men's minds are moved it
will not be right to dwell longer on complaints; for, as Apollonius
the rhetorician said, "Nothing dries quicker than a tear."

But since we have already, as it seems, said enough of all the
different parts of a speech, and since this volume has swelled to a
great size, what follows next shall be stated in the second book.

* * * * *


I. Some men of Crotona, when they were rich in all kinds of resources,
and when they were considered among the most prosperous people in
Italy, were desirous to enrich the temple of Juno, which they regarded
with the most religious veneration, with splendid pictures. Therefore
they hired Zeuxis of Heraclea at a vast price, who was at that time
considered to be far superior to all other painters, and employed
him in that business. He painted many other pictures, of which some
portion, on account of the great respect in which the temple is held,
has remained to within our recollection; and in order that one of his
mute representations might contain the preeminent beauty of the female
form, he said that he wished to paint a likeness of Helen. And the men
of Crotona, who had frequently heard that he excelled all other men in
painting women, were very glad to hear this; for they thought that if
he took the greatest pains in that class of work in which he had the
greatest skill, he would leave them a most noble work in that temple.

Nor were they deceived in that expectation: for Zeuxis immediately
asked of them what beautiful virgins they had; and they immediately
led him into the palaestra, and there showed him numbers of boys of
the highest birth and of the greatest beauty. For indeed, there was a
time when the people of Crotona were far superior to all other cities
in the strength and beauty of their persons; and they brought home
the most honourable victories from the gymnastic contests, with the
greatest credit. While, therefore, he was admiring the figures of the
boys and their personal perfection very greatly; "The sisters," say
they, "of these boys are virgins in our city, so that how great their
beauty is you may infer from these boys." "Give me, then," said he,
"I beg you, the most beautiful of these virgins, while I paint the
picture which I promised you, so that the reality may be transferred
from the breathing model to the mute likeness." Then the citizens of
Crotona, in accordance with a public vote, collected the virgins into
one place, and gave the painter the opportunity of selecting whom he
chose. But he selected five, whose names many poets have handed down
to tradition, because they had been approved by the judgment of the
man who was bound to have the most accurate judgment respecting
beauty. For he did not think that he could find all the component
parts of perfect beauty in one person, because nature has made nothing
of any class absolutely perfect in every part. Therefore, as if nature
would not have enough to give to everybody if it had given everything
to one, it balances one advantage bestowed upon a person by another

II. But since the inclination has arisen in my mind to write a
treatise on the art of speaking, we have not put forth any single
model of which every portion was necessarily to be copied by us, of
whatever sort they might be; but, having collected together all the
writers on the subject into one place, we have selected what each
appears to have recommended which may be most serviceable, and we have
thus culled the flower from various geniuses. For of those who are
worthy of fame or recollection, there is no one who appears either to
have said nothing well, or everything admirably. So that it seemed
folly either to forsake the sensible maxims brought forward by any
one, merely because we are offended at some other blunder of his, or,
on the other hand, to embrace his faults because we have been tempted
by some sensible precept which he has also delivered.

But if in other pursuits also men would select all that was found most
sensible from many sources, instead of devoting themselves to one
fixed leader, they would err less on the side of arrogance; they
would not persist so much in error, and they would make less enormous
mistakes through ignorance. And if we had as deep an acquaintance with
this art as he had with that of painting, perhaps this work of ours
might appear as admirable in its kind as his picture did. For we have
had an opportunity of selecting from a much more copious store of
models than he had. He was able to make his selection from one city,
and from that number of virgins only which existed at that time and
place; but we have had opportunity of making our selection from all
the men who have ever lived from the very first beginning of this
science, being reduced to a system up to the present day, and taking
whatever we thought worth while from all the stores which lay open
before us.

And Aristotle, indeed, has collected together all the ancient writers
on this art, from the first writer on the subject and inventor of it,
Tisias, and has compiled with great perspicuity the precepts of each
of them, mentioning them by name, after having sought them out with
exceeding care; and he has disentangled them with great diligence
and explained their difficulties; and he has so greatly excelled the
original writers themselves in suavity and brevity of diction, that no
one is acquainted with their precepts from their own writings, but all
who wish to know what maxims they have laid down, come back to him as
to a far more agreeable expounder of their meaning.

And he himself has set before us himself and those too who had lived
before his time, in order that we might be acquainted with the method
of others, and with his own. And those who have followed him, although
they have expended a great deal of labour on the most profound and
important portions of philosophy, as he himself also, whose example
they were following, had done, have still left us many precepts on the
subject of speaking. And other masters of this science have also come
forward, taking their rise, as it were in other springs, who have also
been of great assistance in eloquence, as far at least as artificial
rules can do any good. For there lived at the same time as Aristotle,
a great and illustrious rhetorician, named Isocrates, though we have
not entirely discovered what his system was.

But we have found many lessons respecting their art from his pupils
and from those who proceeded immediately afterwards from this school.

III. From these two different families, as it were, the one of which,
while it was chiefly occupied with philosophy, still devoted some
portion of its attention to the rhetorical science, and the other was
wholly absorbed in the study and teaching of eloquence, but both kinds
of study were united by their successors, who brought to the aid of
their own pursuits those things which appeared to have been profitably
said by either of them, and those and the others their predecessors
are the men whom we and all our countrymen have proposed to ourselves
as models, as far as we were able to make them so, and we have also
contributed something from our own stores to the common stock.

But if the things which are set forth in these books deserved to
be selected with such great eagerness and care as they were, then
certainly, neither we ourselves nor others will repent of our
industry. But if we appear either rashly to have passed over some
doctrine of some one worth noticing, or to have adopted it without
sufficient elegance, in that case when we are taught better by some
one, we will easily and cheerfully change our opinion. For what is
discreditable is, not the knowing little, but the persisting foolishly
and long in what one does not understand, because the one thing is
attributed to the common infirmity of man, but the other to the
especial fault of the individual.

Wherefore we, without affirming anything positively, but making
inquiry at the same time, will advance each position with some doubt,
lest while we gain this trifling point of being supposed to have
written this treatise with tolerable neatness, we should lose that
which is of the greater importance, the credit, namely, of not
adopting any idea rashly and arrogantly. But this we shall endeavour
to gain both at present and during the whole course of our life with
great care, as far as our abilities will enable us to do so. But at
present, lest we should appear to be too prolix, we will speak of the
other points which it seems desirable to insist on.

Therefore, while we were explaining the proper classification of this
art, and its duties, and its object, and its subject matter, and its
divisions, the first book contained an account of the different kinds
of disputes, and inventions, and statements of cases, and decisions.
After that, the parts of a speech were described, and all necessary
precepts for all of them were laid down. So that we not only discussed
other topics in that book with tolerable distinctness, we spoke
at that same time in a more scattered manner of the topics of
confirmation and reprehension; and at present we think it best to give
certain topics for confirming and reprehending, suited to every class
of causes. And because it has been explained with some diligence in
the former book, in what manner argumentations ought to be handled, in
this book it will be sufficient to set forth the arguments which have
been discovered for each kind of subject simply, and without any
embellishment, so that, in this book, the arguments themselves may be
found, and in the former, the proper method of polishing them. So that
the reader must refer the precepts which are now laid down, to the
topics of confirmation and reprehension.

IV. Every discussion, whether demonstrative, or deliberative, or
judicial, must be conversant with some kind or other of statement of
the case which has been explained in the former book; sometimes with
one, sometimes with several. And though this is the case, still as
some things can be laid down in a general way respecting everything,
there are also other rules and different methods separately laid down
for each particular kind of discussion. For praise, or blame, or the
statement of an opinion, or accusation, or denial, ought all to effect
different ends. In judicial investigations the object of inquiry is,
what is just, in demonstrative discussion the question is what is
honourable, in deliberations, in our opinion, what we inquire is, what
is honourable and at the same time expedient. For the other writers
on this subject have thought it right to limit the consideration of
expediency to speeches directed to persuasion or dissuasion.

Those kinds of discussions then whose objects and results are
different, cannot be governed by the same precepts. Not that we are
saying now that the same statement of the case is not admissible in
all of them, but some kinds of speech arise from the object and kind
of the discussion, if it refers to the demonstration of some kind of
life, or to the delivery of some opinion. Wherefore now, in explaining
controversies, we shall have to deal with causes and precepts of a
judicial kind, from which many precepts also which concern similar
disputes will be transferred to other kinds of causes without much
difficulty. But hereafter we will speak separately of each kind.

At present we will begin with the conjectural statement of a case
of which this example may be sufficient to be given--A man overtook
another on his journey as he was going on some commercial expedition,
and carrying a sum of money with him, he, as men often do entered into
conversation with him on the way, the result of which was, that they
both proceeded together with some degree of friendship, so that when
they had arrived at the same inn, they proposed to sup together and to
sleep in the same apartment. Having supped, they retired to rest in
the same place. But when the innkeeper (for that is what is said to
have been discovered since, after the man had been detected in another
crime) had taken notice of one of them, that is to say, of him who had
the money, he came by night, after he had ascertained that they were
both sound asleep, as men usually are when tired, and took from its
sheath the sword of the one who had not the money, and which sword he
had lying by his side and slew the other man with it and took away
his money, and replaced the bloody sword in the sheath, and returned
himself to his bed.

But the man with whose sword the murder had been committed, rose
long before dawn and called over and over again on his companion; he
thought that he did not answer because he was overcome with sleep; and
so he took his sword and the rest of the things which he had with him,
and departed on his journey alone. The innkeeper not long afterwards
raised an outcry that the man was murdered, and in company with some
of his lodgers pursued the man who had gone away. They arrest him on
his journey, draw his sword out of its sheath, and find it bloody, the
man is brought back to the city by them, and put on his trial. On this
comes the allegation of the crime, "You murdered him," and the denial,
"I did not murder him," and from this is collected the statement of
the case. The question in the conjectural examination is the same as
that submitted to the judges, "Did he murder him, or not?"

V. Now we will set forth the topics one portion of which applies to
all conjectural discussion. But it will be desirable to take notice of
this in the exposition of these topics and of all the others, and to
observe that they do not all apply to every discussion. For as every
man's name is made up of some letters, and not of every letter, so it
is not every store of arguments which applies to every argumentation,
but some portion which is necessary applies to each. All conjecture,
then, must be derived either from the cause of an action, or from the
person, or from the case itself.

The cause of an action is divided into impulsion and ratiocination.
Impulsion is that which without thought encourages a man to act in
such and such a manner, by means of producing some affection of
the mind, as love, anger, melancholy, fondness for wine, or indeed
anything by which the mind appears to be so affected as to be unable
to examine anything with deliberation and care, and to do what it does
owing to some impulse of the mind, rather than in consequence of any
deliberate purpose.

But ratiocination is a diligent and careful consideration of whether
we shall do anything or not do it. And it is said to have been in
operation, when the mind appears for some particular definite reason
to have avoided something which ought not to have been done, or to
have adopted something which ought to have been done, so that if
anything is said to have been done for the sake of friendship, or of
chastising an enemy, or under the influence of fear, or of a desire
for glory or for money, or in short, to comprise everything under
one brief general head, for the sake of retaining, or increasing, or
obtaining any advantage; or, on the other hand, for the purpose of
repelling, or diminishing, or avoiding any disadvantage;--for those
former things must fall under one or other of those heads, if either
any inconvenience is submitted to for the purpose of avoiding any
greater inconvenience, or of obtaining any more important advantage;
or if any advantage is passed by for the sake of obtaining some
other still greater advantage, or of avoiding some more important

This topic is as it were a sort of foundation of this statement of the
case; for nothing that is done is approved of by any one unless some
reason be shown why it has been done. Therefore the accuser, when he
says that anything has been done in compliance with some impulse,
ought to exaggerate that impulse, and any other agitation or affection
of the mind, with all the power of language and variety of sentiments
of which he is master, and to show how great the power of love is, how
great the agitation of mind which arises from anger, or from any one
of those causes which he says was that which impelled any one to do
anything. And here we must take care, by an enumeration of examples of
men who have done anything under the influence of similar impulse, and
by a collation of similar cases, and by an explanation of the way in
which the mind itself is affected, to hinder its appearing marvellous
if the mind of a man has been instigated by such influence to some
pernicious or criminal action.

VI. But when the orator says that any one has done such and such
an action, not through impulse, but in consequence of deliberate
reasoning, he will then point out what advantage he has aimed at,
or what inconvenience he has avoided, and he will exaggerate the
influence of those motives as much as he can, so that as far as
possible the cause which led the person spoken of to do wrong, may
appear to have been an adequate one. If it was for the sake of glory
that he did so and so, then he will point out what glory he thought
would result from it; again, if he was influenced by desire of power,
or riches, or by friendship, or by enmity; and altogether whatever the
motive was, which he says was his inducement to the action, he will
exaggerate as much as possible.

And he is bound to give great attention to this point, not only what
the effect would have been in reality, but still more what it would
have been in the opinion of the man whom he is accusing. For it makes
no difference that there really was or was not any advantage or
disadvantage, if the man who is accused believed that there would or
would not be such. For opinion deceives men in two ways, when either
the matter itself is of a different kind from that which it is
believed to be, or when the result is not such as they thought it
would be. The matter itself is of a different sort when they think
that which is good bad, or, on the other hand, when they think that
good which is bad. Or when they think that good or bad which is
neither good nor bad, or when they think that which is good or bad
neither bad nor good.

Now that this is understood, if any one denies that there is any money
more precious or sweeter to a man than his brother's or his friend's
life, or even than his own duty, the accuser is not to deny that; for
then the blame and the chief part of the hatred will be transferred to
him who denies that which is said so truly and so piously. But what
he ought to say is, that the man did not think so; and that assertion
must be derived from those topics which relate to the person,
concerning whom we must speak hereafter.

VII. But the result deceives a person, when a thing has a different
result from that which the persons who are accused are said to have
thought it would have. As when a man is said to have slain a different
person from him whom he intended to slay, either because he was
deceived by the likeness or by some suspicion, or by some false
indication; or that he slew a man who had not left him his heir in his
will, because he believed that he had left him his heir. For it is not
right to judge of a man's belief by the result, but rather to consider
with what expectation, and intention, and hope he proceeded to such
a crime; and to recollect that the matter of real importance is to
consider with what intention a man does a thing, and not what the
consequence of his action turns out to be.

And in this topic this will be the great point for the accuser, if he
is able to show that no one else had any reason for doing so at all.
And the thing next in importance will be to show that no one else had
such great or sufficient reason for doing so. But if others appear
also to have had a motive for doing so, then we must show that they
had either no power, or no opportunity, or no inclination to do it.
They had no power if it can be said that they did not know it, or were
not in the place, or were unable to have accomplished it; they had no
opportunity, if it can be proved that any plan, any assistants, any
instruments, and all other things which relate to such an action, were
wanting to them. They had no inclination, if their disposition can be
said to be entirely alien to such conduct, and unimpeachable. Lastly,
whatever arguments we allow a man on his trial to use in his defence,
the very same the prosecutor will employ in delivering others from
blame. But that must be done with brevity, and many arguments must be
compressed into one, in order that he may not appear to be accusing
the man on his trial for the sake of defending some one else, but to
be defending some one else with a view to strengthen his accusation
against him.

VIII. And these are for the most part the things which must be done
and considered by an accuser. But the advocate for the defence will
say, on the other hand, either that there was no motive at all, or, if
he admits that there was, he will make light of it, and show that it
was a very slight one, or that such conduct does not often proceed
from such a motive. And with reference to this topic it will be
necessary to point out what is the power and character of that motive,
by which the person on his trial is said to have been induced to
commit any action; and in doing this it is requisite to adduce
instances and examples of similar cases, and the actual nature of
such a motive is to be explained as gently as possible, so that the
circumstance which is the subject of the discussion may be explained
away, and instead of being considered as a cruel and disorderly act,
may be represented as something more mild and considerate, and still
the speech itself may be adapted to the mind of the hearer, and to a
sort of inner feeling, as it were, in his mind.

But the orator will weaken the suspicions arising from the
ratiocination, if he shall say either that the advantage intimated had
no existence, or a very slight one, or that it was a greater one to
others, or that it was no greater advantage to himself than to others,
or that it was a greater disadvantage than advantage to himself.
So that the magnitude of the advantage which is said to have been
desired, was not to be compared with the disadvantage which was really
sustained, or with the danger which was incurred. And all those topics
will be handled in the same manner in speaking of the avoiding of

But if the prosecutor has said that the man on his trial was pursuing
what appeared to him to be an advantage, or was avoiding that which
appeared to him to be a disadvantage, even though he was mistaken in
that opinion, then the advocate for the defence must show that no one
can be so foolish as to be ignorant of the truth in such an affair.
And if that be granted, then the other position cannot be granted,
that the man ever doubted at all what the case was, but that he,
without the least hesitation, considered what was false as false,
and what was true as true. But if he doubted, then it was a proof of
absolute insanity for a man under the influence of a doubtful hope to
incur a certain danger.

But as the accuser when he is seeking to remove the guilt from others
must use the topics proper to an advocate for the defence; so the man
on his trial must use those topics which have been allotted to an
accuser, when he wishes to transfer an accusation from his own
shoulders to those of others.

IX. But conjectures will be derived from the person, if those things
which have been attributed to persons are diligently considered, all
of which we have mentioned in the first book; for sometimes some
suspicion arises from the name. But when we say the name, we mean also
the surname. For the question is about the particular and peculiar
name of a man, as if we were to say that a man is called Caldus
because he is a man of a hasty and sudden disposition; or that
ignorant Greeks have been deceived by men being called Clodius, or
Caecilius, or Marcus.

And we may also derive some suspicious circumstances from nature; for
all these questions, whether it is a man or a woman, whether he is of
this state or that one, of what ancestors a man is descended, who are
his relations, what is his age, what is his disposition, what bodily
strength, or figure, or constitution he has, which are all portions
of a man's nature, have much influence in leading men to form

Many suspicions also are engendered by men's way of life, when the
inquiry is how, and by whom, and among whom a man was brought up and
educated, and with whom he associates, and what system and habits of
domestic life he is devoted to.

Moreover, argumentation often arises from fortune; when we consider
whether a man is a slave or a free man, rich or poor, noble or
ignoble, prosperous or unfortunate; whether he now is, or has been,
or is likely to be a private individual or a magistrate; or, in fact,
when any one of those circumstances is sought to be ascertained which
are attributable to fortune. But as habit consists in some perfect
and consistent formation of mind or body, of which kind are virtue,
knowledge, and their contraries; the fact itself, when the whole
circumstances are stated, will show whether this topic affords any
ground for suspicion. For the consideration of the state of a
man's mind is apt to give good grounds for conjecture, as of his
affectionate or passionate disposition, or of any annoyance to which
he has been exposed; because the power of all such feelings and
circumstances is well understood, and what results ensue after any one
of them is very easy to be known.

But since study is an assiduous and earnest application of the mind
to any particular object with intense desire, that argument which the
case itself requires will easily be deduced from it. And again,
some suspicion will be able to be inferred from the intention;
for intention is a deliberate determination of doing or not doing
something. And after this it will be easy to see with respect to
facts, and events, and speeches, which are divided into three separate
times, whether they contribute anything to confirming the conjectures
already formed in the way of suspicion.

X. And those things indeed are attributed to persons, which when they
are all collected together in one place, it will be the business of
the accuser to use them as inducing a disapprobation of the person;
for the fact itself has but little force unless the disposition of the
man who is accused can be brought under such suspicion as to appear
not to be inconsistent with such a fault. For although there is no
great advantage in expressing disapprobation of any one's disposition,
when there is no cause why he should have done wrong, still it is but
a trifling thing that there should be a motive for an offence, if the
man's disposition is proved to be inclined to no line of conduct which
is at all discreditable. Therefore the accuser ought to bring into
discredit the life of the man whom he is accusing, by reference to
his previous actions, and to show whether he has ever been previously
convicted of a similar offence. And if he cannot show that, he must
show whether he has ever incurred the suspicion of any similar guilt;
and especially, if possible, that he has committed some offence or
other of some kind under the influence of some similar motive to this
which is in existence here, in some similar case, or in an equally
important case, or in one more important, or in one less important.
As, if with respect to a man who he says has been induced by money to
act in such and such a manner, he were able to show that any other
action of his in any case had been prompted by avarice.

And again it will be desirable in every cause to mention the nature,
or the manner of life, or the pursuits, or the fortune, or some one of
those circumstances which are attributed to persons, in connexion with
that cause which the speaker says was the motive which induced the man
on his trial to do wrong; and also, if one cannot impute anything to
him in respect of an exactly corresponding class of faults, to bring
the disposition of one's adversary into discredit by reference to some
very dissimilar class. As, if you were to accuse him of having done
so and so, because he was instigated by avarice; and yet, if you are
unable to show that the man whom you accuse is avaricious, you must
show that other vices are not wholly foreign to his nature, and that

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