Cicero, De Oratore Book 1
Translated by J. S. Watson
Formatted by C. Chinn

I. [1] As I frequently contemplate and call to mind the times of old, those in general seem to me, brother Quintus, to have been supremely happy, who, while they were distinguished with honours and the glory of their actions in the best days of the republic, were enabled to pursue such a course of life, that they could continue either in employment without danger, or in retirement with dignity. To myself, also, there was a time1 when I thought that a season for relaxation, and for turning my thoughts again to the noble studies once pursued by both of us, would be fairly allowable, and be conceded by almost every one; if the infinite labour of forensic business and the occupations of ambition should be brought to a stand, either by the completion of my course of honours,2 or by the decline of age. [2] Such expectations, with regard to my studies and designs, not only the severe calamities resulting from public occurrences, but a variety of our own private troubles,3 have disappointed. For in that period,4 which seemed likely to offer most quiet and tranquillity, the greatest pressures of trouble and the most turbulent storms arose. Nor to our wishes and earnest desires has the enjoyment of leisure been granted, to cultivate and revive between ourselves those studies to which we have from early youth been addicted. [3] For at our first entrance into life we fell amidst the perturbation5 of all ancient order; in my consulship we were involved in struggles and the hazard of everything;6 and all the time since that consulship we have had to make opposition to those waves which, prevented by my efforts from causing a genera, destruction, have abundantly recoiled upon myself. Yet amidst the difficulties of affairs, and the straitness of time. I shall endeavour to gratify my love of literature; and whatever leisure the malice of enemies, the causes of friends, or the public service will allow me, I shall chiefly devote to writing. [4] As to you, brother, I shall not fail to obey your exhortations and entreaties; for no person can have more influence with me than you have both by authority and affection.

II. Here the recollection of an old tradition must be revived in my mind, a recollection not indeed sufficiently distinct, but adapted, I think, so far to reply to what you ask, that you may understand what opinions the most famous and eloquent men entertained respecting the whole art of oratory. [5] For you wish, as you have often said to me. (since what went abroad rough and incomplete7 from our own notebooks, when we were boys or young men, is scarcely worthy of my present standing in life, and that experience which I have gained from so many and such important causes as I have pleaded,) that something more polished and complete should be offered by me on the same subjects; and you are at times inclined to dissent from me in our disputations on this matter; inasmuch as I consider eloquence to be the offspring of the accomplishments of the most learned men;8 but you think it must be regarded as independent of elegant learning, and attributable to a peculiar kind of talent and practice.

[6] Often, indeed, as I review in thought the greatest of mankind, and those endowed with the highest abilities, it has appeared to me worthy of inquiry what was the cause that a greater number of persons have been admirable in every other pursuit than in speaking. For which way soever you direct your view in thought and contemplation, you will see numbers excellent in every species, not only of the humble, but even of the highest arts. [7] Who, indeed, is there, that, if he would measure the qualifications of illustrious men, either by the usefulness or magnitude of their actions, would not prefer a general to an orator? Yet who doubts that we can produce, from this city alone, almost innumerable excellent commanders, while we can number scarcely a few eminent in speaking? [8] There have been many also in our own memory, and more in that of our fathers, and even of our forefathers, who had abilities to rule and govern affairs of state by their counsel and wisdom; while for a long period no tolerable orators were found, or scarcely one in every age. But lest any one should think that the art of speaking may more justly be compared with other pursuits, which depend upon abstruse studies, and a varied field of learning, than with the merits of a general, or the wisdom of a prudent senator, let him turn his thoughts to those particular sciences themselves, and contemplate who and how many have flourished in them, as he will thus be best enabled to judge how great a scarcity of orators there is and has ever been.

III. [9] It does not escape your observation that what the Greeks call PHILOSOPHY, is esteemed by the most learned men, the originator, as it were, and parent of all the arts which merit praise; philosophy, I say, in which it is difficult to enumerate how many distinguished men there have been, and of how great knowledge, variety, and comprehensiveness in their studies, men who have not confined their labours to one province separately, but have embraced whatever they could master either by scientific investigations, or by processes of reasoning. [10] Who is ignorant in how great obscurity of matter, in how abstruse, manifold, and subtle an art they who are called mathematicians are engaged? Yet in that pursuit so many men have arrived at excellence, that not one seems to have applied himself to the science in earnest without attaining in it whatever he desired. Who has ever devoted himself wholly to music; who has ever given himself up to the learning which they profess who are called grammarians, without compassing, in knowledge and understanding, the whole substance and matter of those sciences, though almost boundless? [11] Of all those who have engaged in the most liberal pursuits and departments of such sciences, I think I may truly say that a smaller number of eminent poets have arisen than of men distinguished in any other branch of literature; and in the whole multitude of the learned, among whom there rarely appears one of the highest excellence, there will be found, if you will but make a careful review of our own list and that of the Greeks, far fewer good orators than good poets. [12] This ought to seem the more wonderful, as attainments in other sciences are drawn from recluse and hidden springs; but the whole art of speaking lies before us, and is concerned with common usage and the custom and language of all men; co that while in other things that is most excellent which is most remote from the knowledge and understanding of the illiterate, it is in speaking even the greatest of faults to vary from the ordinary kind of language, and the practice sanctioned by universal reason.

IV. [13] Yet it cannot be said with truth, either that more are devoted to the other arts, or that they are excited by greater pleasure, more abundant hope, or more ample rewards; for to say nothing of Greece, which was always desirous to hold the first place in eloquence, and Athens, that inventress of all literature, in which the utmost power of oratory was both discovered and brought to perfection, in this very city of ours, assuredly, no studies were ever pursued with more earnestness than those tending to the acquisition of eloquence. [14] For when our empire over all nations was established, and after a period of peace had secured tranquillity, there was scarcely a youth ambitious of praise who did not think that he must strive, with all his endeavours, to attain the art of speaking. For a time, indeed, as being ignorant of all method, and as thinking there was no course of exercise for them, or any precepts of art, they attained what they could by the single force of genius and thought. But afterwards, having heard the Greek orators, and gained an acquaintance with Greek literature, and procured instructors, our countrymen were inflamed with an incredible passion for eloquence. [15] The magnitude, the variety, the multitude of all kind of causes, excited them to such a degree, that to that learning which each had acquired by his individual study, frequent practice, which was superior to the precepts of all masters, was at once added. There were then, as there are also now, the highest inducements offered for the cultivation of this study, in regard to public favour, wealth, and dignity. The abilities of our countrymen (as we may judge from many particulars,) far excelled those of the men of every other nation. [16] For which reasons, who would not justly wonder that in the records of all ages, times, and states, so small a number of orators should be found ?

But the art of eloquence is something greater, and collected from more sciences and studies, than people imagine. V. For who can suppose that, amid the greatest multitude of students, the utmost abundance of masters, the most eminent geniuses among men, the infinite variety of causes, the most ample rewards offered to eloquence, there is any other reason to be found for the small number of orators than the incredible magnitude and difficulty of the art? [17] A knowledge of a vast number of things is necessary, without, which volubility of words is empty and ridiculous; speech itself is to be formed, not merely by choice, but by careful construction of words; and all the emotions of the mind, which nature has given to man, must be intimately known; for all the force and art of speaking must be employed in allaying or exciting the feelings of those who listen. To this must be added a certain portion of grace and wit, learning worthy of a well-bred man, and quickness and brevity in replying as well as attacking, accompanied with a refined decorum and urbanity. [18] Besides, the whole of antiquity and a multitude of examples is to be kept in the memory; nor is the knowledge of laws in general, or of the civil law in particular, to be neglected. And why need I add any remarks on delivery itself, which is to be ordered by action of body, by gesture, by look, and by modulation and variation of the voice, the great power of which, alone and in itself, the comparatively trivial art of actors and the stage proves, on which though all bestow their utmost labour to form their look, voice, and gesture, who knows not how few there are, and have ever been, to whom we can attend with, patience 1 What can I say of that repository for all things, the memory, which, unless it be made the keeper of the matter and words that are the fruits of thought and invention, all the talents of the orator, we see, though they be of the highest degree of excellence, will be of no avail? [19] Let us then cease to wonder what is the cause of the scarcity of good speakers, since eloquence results from all those qualifications, in each of which singly it is a great merit to labour successfully; and let us rather exhort our children, and others whose glory and honour is dear to us, to contemplate in their minds the full magnitude of the object, and not to trust that they can reach the height at which they aim, by the aid of the precepts, masters, and exercises, that they are all now following, but to understand that they must adopt others of a different character.

VI. [20] In my opinion, indeed, no man can be an orator possessed of every praiseworthy accomplishment, unless he has attained the knowledge of everything important, and of all liberal arts, for his language must be ornate and copious from knowledge, since, unless there be beneath the surface matter understood and felt by the speaker, oratory becomes an empty and almost puerile flow of words. [21] Yet I will not lay so great a burden upon orators, especially our own, amid so many occupations of public and private life, as to think it allowable for them to be ignorant of nothing; although the qualifications of an orator, and his very profession of speaking well, seem to undertake and promise that he can discourse gracefully and copiously on whatever subject is proposed to him. [22] But because this, I doubt not, will appear to most people an immense and infinite undertaking, and because I see that the Greeks, men amply endowed not only with genius and learning, but also with leisure and application, have made a kind of partition of the arts, and have not singly laboured in the whole circle of oratory, but have separated from the other parts of rhetoric that department of eloquence which is used in the forum on trials or in deliberations, and have left this species only to the orator; I shall not embrace in these books more than has been attributed to this kind of speaking9 by the almost unanimous consent of the greatest men, after much examination and discussion of the subject; [23] and I shall repeat, not a series of precepts drawn from the infancy of our old and boyish learning, but matters which I have heard were formerly argued in a discussion among some of our countrymen who were of the highest eloquence, and of the first rank in every kind of dignity. Not that I contemn the instructions which the Greek rhetoricians and teachers have left as, but, as they are already public, and within the reach of all, and can neither be set forth more elegantly, nor explained more clearly by my interpretation, you will, I think, excuse me,. my brother, if I prefer to the Greeks the authority of those to whom the utmost merit in eloquence has been allowed by our own countrymen.

VII. [24] At the time, then, when the consul Philippus was vehemently inveighing against the cause of the nobility, and the tribuneship of Drusus, undertaken to support the authority of the senate, seemed to be shaken and weakened, I was told, I remember, that Lucius Crassus, as if for the purpose of collecting his thoughts, betook himself, during the days of the Roman games, to his Tusculan country-seat, whither also Quintus Mucius, who had been his father-in-law, is said to have come at the same time, as well as Marcus Antonius, a sharer in all the political proceedings of Crassus, and united in the closest friendship with him. [25] There went out with Crassus himself two young men besides, great friends of Drusus, youths of whom our ancestors then entertained sanguine hopes that they would maintain the dignity of their order; Caius Cotta, who was then a candidate for the tribuneship of the people, and Publius Sulpicius, who was thought likely to stand for that office in due course. [26] These, on the first day, conferred much together until very late in the evening, concerning the condition of those times, and the whole commonwealth, for which purpose they had met. Cotta repeated to me many things then prophetically lamented and noticed by the three of consular dignity in that conversation; so that no misfortune afterwards happened to the state which they had not perceived to be hanging over it so long before; [27] and he said that, when this conversation was finished, there was such politeness shown by Crassus, that after they had bathed and sat down to table, all the seriousness of the former discourse was banished; and there appeared so much pleasantry in him, and so much agreeableness in his humour that though the early part of the day might seem to have been passed by them in the senate-house, the banquet showed all the delights of the Tusculan villa.

[28] But on the next day, when the older part of the company had taken sufficient repose, and were come to their walk, he told me that Scaevola, after taking two or three turns, said, “Why should not we, Crassus, imitate Socrates in the Phaedrus of Plato?10 for this plane-tree of yours has put me in mind of it, which diffuses its spreading boughs to overshade this place, not less widely than that did whose covert Socrates sought, and which seems to me to have grown not so much from the rivulet which is described, as from the language of Plato: and what Socrates, with the hardest of feet, used to do, that is, to throw himself on the grass, while he delivered those sentiments which philosophers say were uttered divinely, may surely, with more justice, be allowed to my feet.” [29] Then Crassus rejoined, “Nay, we will yet further consult your convenience;” and called for cushions; when they all, said Cotta, sat down on the seats that were under the plane-tree.

VIII. There, (as Cotta used to relate,) in order that the minds of them all might have some relaxation from their former discourse, Crassus introduced a conversation on the study of oratory. [30] After he had commenced in this manner, That indeed Sulpicius and Cotta did not seem to need his exhortations, but rather both to deserve his praise, as they had already attained such powers as not only to excel their equals in age, but to be admitted to a comparison with their seniors; “Nor does anything seem to me,” he added, “more noble than to be able to fix the attention of assemblies of men by speaking, to fascinate their minds, to direct their passions to whatever object the orator pleases, and to dissuade them from whatsoever he desires. This particular art has constantly flourished above all others in every free state, and especially in those which have enjoyed peace and tranquillity, and has ever exercised great power. [31] For what is so admirable as that, out of an infinite multitude of men, there should arise a single individual, who can alone, or with only a few others, exert effectually that power which nature has granted to all ? Or what is so pleasant to be heard and understood as an oration adorned and polished with wise thoughts and weighty expressions? Or what is so striking, so astonishing, as that the tumults of the people, the religious feelings of judges, the gravity of the senate, should be swayed by the speech of one man? [32] Or what, moreover, is so kingly, so liberal, so munificent, as to give assistance to the suppliant, to raise the afflicted, to bestow security, to deliver from dangers, to maintain men in the rights of citizenship? What, also, is so necessary as to keep arms always ready, with which you may either be protected yourself, or defy the malicious, or avenge yourself when provoked? Or consider, (that you may not always contemplate the forum, the benches, the rostra, and the senate,) what can be more delightful in leisure, or more suited to social intercourse, than elegant conversation, betraying no want of intelligence on any subject? For it is by this one gift that we are most distinguished from brute animals, that we converse together, and can express our thoughts by speech. [33] Who therefore would not justly make this an object of admiration, and think it worthy of his utmost exertions, to surpass mankind themselves in that single excellence by which they claim their superiority over brutes? But, that we may notice the most important point of all, what other power could either have assembled mankind, when dispersed, into one place, or have brought them from wild and savage life to the present humane and civilized state of society; or, when cities were established, have described for them laws, judicial institutions, and rights? [34] And that I may not mention more examples, which are almost without number, I will conclude the subject in one short sentence: for I consider, that by the judgment and wisdom of the perfect orator, not only his own honour, but that of many other individuals, and the welfare of the whole state, are principally upheld. Go on, therefore, as you are doing, young men, and apply earnestly to the study in which you are engaged, that you may be an honour to yourselves, an advantage to your friends, and a benefit to the republic.”

IX. [35] Scaevola then observed with courtesy, as was always his manner, “I agree with Crassus as to other points (that I may not detract from the art or glory of Laelius, my father-in-law, or of my son-in-law here),11 but I am afraid, Crassus, that I cannot grant you these two points; one, that states were, as you said, originally established, and have often been preserved, by orators; the other, that, setting aside the forum, the assemblies of the people, the courts of judicature, and the senate-house, the orator is, as you pronounced, accomplished in every subject of conversation and learning. [36] For who will concede to you, either that mankind, dispersed originally in mountains and woods, enclosed themselves in towns and walls, not so much from being convinced by the counsels of the wise, as from being charmed by the speeches of the eloquent? Or that other advantages, arising either from the establishment or preservation of states, were settled, not by wise and brave men, but by fluent and elegant speakers? [37] Does Romulus seem to you to have assembled the shepherds, and those that flocked to him from all parts, or to have formed marriages with the Sabines, or to have repelled the power of the neighbouring people, by eloquence, and not by counsel and eminent wisdom ? Is there any trace of eloquence apparent in Numa Pompilius, in Servius Tullius, or in the rest of our kings, from whom we have many excellent regulations for maintaining our government? After the kings were expelled (though we see that their expulsion was effected by the mind of Lucius Brutus, and not by his tongue), we not perceive that all the subsequent transactions are full of wise counsel, but destitute of all mixture of eloquence? [38] But if I should be inclined to adduce examples from our own and other states, I could cite more instances of mischief than of benefit done to public affairs by men of eminent eloquence; but, to omit others, I think, Crassus, that the most eloquent men I ever heard, except you two,12 were the Sempronii, Tiberius and Caius, whose father, a prudent and grave man, but by no means eloquent, on several other occasions, but especially when censor, was of the utmost service to the republic; and he, not by any faultless flow of speech, but by a word and a nod, transferred the freedmen into the city tribes;13 and, if he had not done so, we should now have no republic, which we still maintain with difficulty; but his sons, who were eloquent, and qualified for speaking by all the helps of nature and of learning, having found the state in a most flourishing condition, both through the counsels of their father, and the arms of their ancestors, brought their country, by means of their oratory, that most excellent ruler of states as you call it, to the verge of ruin.

X. [39] “Were our ancient laws, and the customs of our ancestors; were the auspices, over which you, Crassus, and I preside with great security to the republic; were the religious rites and ceremonies; were the civil laws, the know- ledge of which has long prevailed in our family, (and without any praise for eloquence,) either invented, or understood, or in any way ordered by the tribe of orators? [40] I can remember that Servius Galba, a man of godlike power in speaking, as well as Marcus Aemilius Porcina, and Cneius Carbo himself, whom you defeated when you were but a youth,14 was ignorant of the laws, at a loss in the practices of our ancestors, and unlearned in civil jurisprudence; and, except you, Crassus, who, rather from your own inclination to study, than because it was any peculiar business of an orator, have learned the civil law from us, as I am sometimes ashamed to say, this generation of ours is ignorant of law.

[41] “But what you assumed, as by a law of your own, in the last part of your speech, that an orator is able to speak fluently on any subject, I would not, if I were not here in your own domain, tolerate for a moment, but would head a party who should either oppose you by an interdict,15 or summon you to contend with them at law, for having so unceremoniously invaded the possessions of others. [42] In the first place, all the Pythagoreans, and the followers of Democritus, would institute a suit against you, with the rest of the natural philosophers, each in his own department, men who are elegant and powerful speakers, with whom you could not contend on equal terms.16 Whole troops of other philosophers would assail you besides, even down from Socrates their origin and head, and would convince you that you had learned nothing about good and evil in life, nothing about the passions of the mind, nothing about the moral conduct of mankind, nothing about the proper course of life; they would show you that you have made no due inquiry after knowledge, and that you know nothing; and, when they had made an attack upon you altogether, then every sect would bring its separate action against you. [43] The Academy would press you, and, whatever you asserted, force you to deny it. Our friends the Stoics would hold you entangled in the snares of their disputatious and questions. The Peripatetics would prove that those very aids and ornaments to speaking, which you consider the peculiar property of the orators, must be sought from themselves; and they would show you that Aristotle and Theophrastus have written not only better, but also far more copiously, on these subjects, than all the masters of the art of speaking. [44] I say nothing of the mathematicians, the grammarians, the musicians, with whose sciences this art of speaking of yours is not connected by the least affinity. I think, therefore, Crassus, that such great and numerous professions ought not to be made. What you can effect is sufficiently great; namely, that in judicial matters the cause which you plead shall seem the better and more probable; that in public assemblies, and in delivering opinions, your oratory shall have the most power to persuade; that, finally, you shall seem to the wise to speak with eloquence, and even to the simple to speak with truth. If you can do more than this, it will appear to me that it is not the orator, but Crassus himself that effects it by the force of talents peculiar to himself, and not common to other orators.”

XI. [45] Crassus then replied, “I am not ignorant, Scaevola, that things of this sort are commonly asserted and maintained among the Greeks; for I was an auditor of their greatest men, when I came to Athens as quaestor from Macedonia,17 and when the Academy was in a flourishing state, as it was represented in those days, for Charmadas, and Clitomachus, and Aeschines were in possession of it. There was also Metrodorus, who, with the others, had been a diligent hearer of the famous Carneades himself, a man beyond all others, as they told me, a most spirited and copious speaker. Mnesarchus, too, was in great esteem, a hearer of your friend Panaetius, and Diodorus, a scholar of Critolaus the Peripatetic; [46] and there were many other famous men besides, highly distinguished in philosophy, by all of whom, with one voice as it were, I observed that the orator was repelled from the government of states, excluded from all learning and knowledge of great affairs, and degraded and thrust down into the courts of justice and petty assemblies, as into a workshop. [47] But I neither assented to those men, nor to the originator of these disputations, and by far the most eloquent of them all, the eminently grave and oratorical Plato; whose Gorgias I then diligently read over at Athens with Charmadas; from which book I conceived the highest admiration of Plato, as he seemed to me to prove himself an eminent orator, even in ridiculing orators. A controversy indeed on the word ORATOR has long disturbed the minute Grecians, who are fonder of argument than of truth. [48] For if any one pronounces him to be an orator who can speak fluently only on law in general, or on judicial questions, or before the people, or in the senate, he must yet necessarily grant and allow him a variety of talents; for he cannot treat even of these matters with sufficient skill and accuracy without great attention to all public affairs, nor without a knowledge of laws, customs, and equity, nor without understanding the nature and manners of mankind; and to him who knows these things, without which no one can maintain even the most minute points in judicial pleadings, how much is wanting of the knowledge even of the most important affairs? But if you allow nothing to belong to the orator but to speak aptly, ornately, and copiously, how can he even attain these qualities without that knowledge which you do not allow him? for there can be no true merit in speaking, unless what is said is thoroughly understood by him who says it. [49] If, therefore, the natural philosopher Democritus spoke with elegance, as he is reported to have spoken, and as it appears to me that he did speak, the matter on which he spoke belonged to the philosopher, but the graceful array of words is to be ascribed to the orator. And if Plato spoke divinely upon subjects most remote from civil controversies, as I grant that he did; if also Aristotle, and Theophrastus, and Carneades, were eloquent, and spoke with sweetness and grace on those matters which they discussed; let the subjects on which they spoke belong to other studies, but their speech itself, surely, is the peculiar offspring of that art of which we are now discoursing and inquiring. [50] For we see that some have reasoned on the same subjects jejunely and drily, as Chrysippus, whom they celebrate as the acutest of philosophers; nor is he on this account to be thought to have been deficient in philosophy, because he did not gain the talent of speaking from an art which is foreign to philosophy.

XII. “Where then lies the difference18 Or by what term will you discriminate the fertility and copiousness of speech in those whom I have named, from the barrenness of those who use not this variety and elegance of phrase? One thing there will certainly be, which those who speak well will exhibit as their own; a graceful and elegant style, distinguished by a peculiar artifice and polish. But this kind of diction, if there be not matter beneath it clear and intelligible to the speaker, must either amount to nothing, or be received with ridicule by all who hear it. [51] For what savours so much of madness, as the empty sound of words, even the choicest and most elegant, when there is no sense or knowledge contained in them? Whatever be the subject of a speech, therefore, in whatever art or branch of science, the orator, if he has made himself master of it, as of his client’s cause, will speak on it better and more elegantly than even the very originator and author of it can. [52] If indeed any one shall say that there are certain trains of thought and reasoning properly belonging to orators, and a knowledge of certain things circumscribed within the limits of the forum, I will confess that our common speech is employed about these matters chiefly; but yet there are many things, in these very topics, which those masters of rhetoric, as they are called, neither teach nor understand. [53] For who is ignorant that the highest power of an orator consists in exciting the minds of men to anger, or to hatred, or to grief, or in recalling them from these more violent emotions to gentleness and compassion? which power will never be able to effect its object by eloquence, unless in him who has obtained a thorough insight into the nature of mankind, and all the passions of humanity, and those causes by which our minds are either impelled or restrained. [54] But all these are thought to belong to the philosophers, nor will the orator, at least with my consent, ever deny that such is the case; but when he has conceded to them the knowledge of things, since they are willing to exhaust their labours on that alone, he will assume to himself the treatment of oratory, which without that knowledge is nothing. For the proper concern of an orator, as I have already often said, is language of power and elegance accommodated to the feelings and understandings of mankind.

XIII. [55] “On these matters I confess that Aristotle and Theophrastus have written.19 But consider, Scaevola, whether this is not wholly in my favour. For I do not borrow from them what the orator possesses in common with them; but they allow that what they say on these subjects belongs to oratory. Their other treatises, accordingly, they distinguish by the name of the science on which each is written; their treatises on oratory they entitle and designate as books of rhetoric. [56] For when, in their discussions, (as often happens,) such topics present themselves as require them to speak of the immortal gods, of piety, of concord, of friendship, of the common rights of their fellow-citizens, or those of all mankind, of the law of nations, of equity, of temperance, of greatness of mind, of every kind of virtue, all the academies and schools of philosophy, I imagine, will cry out that all these subjects are their property, and that no particle of them belongs to the orator. [57] But when I have given them liberty to reason on all these subjects in corners to amuse their leisure, I shall give and assign to the orator his part, which is, to set forth with full power and attraction the very same topics which they discuss in such tame and bloodless phraseology. These points I then discussed with the philosophers in person at Athens, for Marcus Marcellus, our countryman, who is now curule aedile, obliged me to do so, and he would certainly have taken part in our present conversation, were he not now celebrating the public games; for he was then a youth marvellously given to these studies.

[58] “Of the institution of laws, of war, of peace, of alliances, of tributes, of the civil law as relating to various ranks and ages respectively,20 let the Greeks say, if they will, that Lycurgus or Solon (although I think that these should be enrolled in the number of the eloquent) had more knowledge than Hypereides or Demosthenes, men of the highest accomplishments and refinement in oratory; or let our countrymen prefer, in this sort of knowledge, the Decemviri who wrote the Twelve Tables, and who must have been wise men, to Servius Galba, and your father-in-law Laelius, who are allowed to have excelled in the glorious art of speaking. [59] I, indeed, shall never deny that there are some sciences peculiarly well understood by those who have applied their whole study to the knowledge and consideration of them; but the accomplished and complete orator I shall call him who can speak on all subjects with variety and copiousness. XIV. For often in those causes which all acknowledge properly to belong to orators, there is something to be drawn forth and adopted, not from the routine of the Forum, which is the only knowledge that you grant to the orator, but from some of the more obscure sciences. [60] I ask whether a speech can be made for or against a general, without an acquaintance with military affairs, or often without a knowledge of certain inland and maritime countries ? whether a speech can be made to the people about passing or rejecting laws, or in the senate on any kind of public transactions, without the greatest knowledge and judgment in political matters? whether a speech can be adapted to excite or calm the thoughts and passions (which alone is a great business of the orator) without a most diligent examination of all those doctrines which are set forth on the nature and manners of men by the philosophers? [61] I do not know whether I may not be less successful in maintaining what I am going to say; but I shall not hesitate to speak that which I think. Physics, and mathematics, and those other things which you just now decided to belong to other sciences, belong to the peculiar knowledge of those who profess them; but if any one would illustrate those arts by eloquence, he must have recourse to the power of oratory. [62] Nor, if, as is said, Philo,21 the famous architect, who built an arsenal for the Athenians, gave that people an eloquent account of his work, is it to be imagined that his eloquence proceeded from the art of the architect, but from that of the orator. Or, if our friend Marcus Antonius had had to speak for Hermodorus22 on the subject of dock- building, he would have spoken, when he had learned the case from Hermodorus, with elegance and copiousness, drawn, from an art quite unconnected with dock-building. And Asclepiades,23 whom we knew as a physician and a friend, did not, when he excelled others of his profession in eloquence, employ, in his graceful elocution, the art of physic, but that of oratory. [63] What Socrates used to say, that all men are sufficiently eloquent in that which they understand, is very plausible, but not true. It would have been nearer truth to say, that no man can be eloquent on a subject that he doers not understand; and that, if he understands a subject ever so well, but is ignorant how to form and polish his speech, he cannot express himself eloquently even about what he does understand.

XV. [64] “If, therefore, any one desires to define and comprehend the whole and peculiar power of an orator, that man, in my opinion, will be an orator, worthy of so great a name, who, whatever subject comes before him, and requires rhetorical elucidation, can speak on it judiciously, in set form, elegantly, and from memory, and with a certain dignity of action. [65] But if the phrase which I have used, ‘on whatever subject,’ is thought by any one too comprehensive, let him retrench and curtail as much of it as he pleases; but this I will maintain, that though the orator be ignorant of what belongs to other arts and pursuits, and understands only what concerns the discussions and practice of the Forum, yet if he has to speak on those arts, he will, when he has learned what pertains to any of them from persons who understand them, discourse upon them much better than the very persona of whom those arts form the peculiar province. [66] Thus, if our friend Sulpicius have to speak on military affairs, he will inquire about them of my kinsman Caius Marius,24 and when he has received information, will speak upon them in such a manner, that he shall seem to Marius to understand them better than himself. Or if he has to speak on the civil law, he will consult with you, and will excel you, though eminently wise and learned in it, in speaking on those very points which he shall have learned from yourself. [67] Or if any subject presents itself, requiring him to speak on the nature and vices of men, on desire, on moderation, on continence, on grief, on death, perhaps, if he thinks proper, (though the orator ought to have a knowledge of these things.) he will consult with Sextus Pompeius,25 a man learned in philosophy. But this he will certainly accomplish, that, of whatever matter he gains a knowledge, or from whomsoever, he will speak upon it much more elegantly than the very person from whom he gained the knowledge. [68] But, since philosophy is distinguished into three parts, inquiries into the obscurities of physics, the subtilties of logic, and the knowledge of life and manners, let us, if Sulpicius will listen to me, leave the two former, and consult our ease; but unless we have a knowledge of the third, which has always been the province of the orator, we shall, leave him nothing in which he can distinguish himself. [69] The part of philosophy, therefore, regarding life and manners, must be thoroughly mastered by the orator; other subjects, even if he has not learned them, he will be able, whenever there is occasion, to adorn by his eloquence, if they are brought before him and made known to him.

XVI. “For if it is allowed amongst the learned that Aratus. a man ignorant of astronomy, has treated of heaven and the constellations in extremely polished and excellent verses; if Nicander,26 of Colophon, a man totally unconnected with the country, has written well on rural affairs, with the aid of poetical talent, and not from understanding husbandry, what reason is there why an orator should not speak most eloquently on those matters of .which he shall have gained a knowledge for a certain purpose and occasion? [70] For the poet is nearly allied to the orator; being somewhat more restricted in numbers, but less restrained in the choice of words, yet in many kinds of embellishment his rival and almost equal; in one respect, assuredly, nearly the same, that he circumscribes or bounds his jurisdiction by no limits, but reserves to himself full right to range wherever he pleases with the same ease and liberty. [71] For why did you say, Scaevola,27 that you would not endure, unless you were in my domain, my assertion, that the orator ought to be accomplished in every style of speaking, and in every part of polite learning? I should certainly not have said this if I had thought myself to be the orator whom I conceive in my imagination. [72] But, as Caius Lucilius used frequently to say (a man not very friendly to you,28 and on that account less familiar with me than he could wish, but a man of learning and good breeding), I am of this opinion, that no one is to be numbered among orators who is not thoroughly accomplished in all branches of knowledge requisite for a man of good breeding; and though we may not put forward such knowledge in conversation, yet it is apparent, and indeed evident, whether we are destitute of it, or have acquired it; [73] as those who play at tennis do not exhibit, in playing, the gestures of the palaestra, but their movements indicate whether they have learned those exercises or are unacquainted with them; and as those who shape out anything, though they do not then exercise the art of painting, yet make it clear whether they can paint or not; so in orations to courts of justice, before the people, and in the senate, although other sciences have no peculiar place in them, yet is it easily proved whether he who speaks has only been exercised in the parade of declamation, or has devoted himself to oratory after having been instructed in all liberal knowledge.”

XVII. [74] Then Scaevola, smiling, said: “I will not struggle with you any longer, Crassus; for you have, by some artifice, made good what you asserted against me, so as to grant me whatever I refused to allow to the orator, and yet so as to wrest from me those very things again I know not how, and to transfer them to the orator as his property.29 [75] When I went as praetor to Rhodes, and communicated to Apollonius, that famous instructor in this profession, what I had learned from Panaetius, Apollonius, as was his manner, ridiculed these matters,30 threw contempt upon philosophy, and made many other observations with less wisdom than wit; but your remarks were of such a kind as not to express contempt for any arts or sciences, but to admit that they are all attendants and handmaids of the orator; [76] and if ever any one should comprehend them all, and the same person should add to that knowledge the powers of supremely elegant oratory, I cannot but say that he would be a man of high distinction and worthy of the greatest admiration. But if there should be such a one, or indeed has ever been, or can possibly be, you alone would be the person; who, not only in my judgment, but in that of all men, have hardly left to other orators (I speak it with deference to this company) any glory to be acquired. [77] If, however, there is in yourself no deficiency of knowledge pertaining to judicial and political affairs, and yet you have not mastered all that additional learning which you assign to the complete orator, let us consider whether you do not attribute to him more than possibility and truth itself will allow.” [78] Here Crassus rejoined: “Remember that I have not been speaking of my own talents, but of those of the true orator. For what have I either learned or had a possibility of knowing, who entered upon pleading before I had any instruction; whom the pressure of business overtasked amidst the occupations of the forum, of canvassing, of public affairs, and the management of the causes of friends, before I could form any true notion of the importance of such great employments? [79] But if there seem to you to be so much in me, to whom, though capacity, as you think, may not greatly have been wanting, yet to whom learning, leisure, and that keen application to study which is so necessary, have certainly been wanting, what do you think would be the case if those acquirements, which I have not gained, should be united to some greater genius than mine? How able, how great an orator, do you think, would he prove?”

XVIII. [80] Antonius then observed: “You prove to me, Crassus, what you advance; nor do I doubt that he will have a far greater fund of eloquence who shall have learned the reason and nature of everything and of all sciences. [81] But, in the first place, this is difficult to be achieved, especially in such a life as ours and such occupations; and next, it is to be feared that we may, by such studies, be drawn away from our exercise and practice of speaking before the people and in the forum. The eloquence of those men whom you mentioned a little before, seems to me to be of a quite different sort, though they speak with grace and dignity, as well on the nature of things as on human life. Theirs is a neat and florid kind of language, but more adapted for parade and exercise in the schools, than for these tumults of the city and forum. [82] For when I, who late in life, and then but lightly, touched upon Greek learning, was going as proconsul into Cilicia, and had arrived at Athens, I waited there several days on account of the difficulty of sailing; and as I had every day with me the most learned men, nearly the same that you have just now named, and a report, I know not how, had spread amongst them that I, like you, was versed in causes of great importance, every one, according to his abilities, took occasion to discourse upon the office and art of in orator. [83] Some of them, as Mnesarchus himself, said, that those whom we call orators were nothing but a set of mechanics with glib and well-practised tongues, but that no one could be an orator but a man of true wisdom; and that eloquence itself, as it consisted in the art of speaking well, was a kind of virtue,31 and that he who possessed one virtue possessed all, and that virtues were in themselves equal and alike; and thus he who was eloquent possessed all virtues, and was a man of true wisdom. But their phraseology was intricate and dry, and quite unsuited to my taste. [84] Charmadas indeed spoke much more diffusely on those topics; not that he delivered his own opinion (for it is the hereditary custom of every one in the Academy to take the part of opponents to all in their disputations), but what he chiefly signified was, that those who were called rhetoricians, and laid down rules for the art of speaking, understood nothing; and that no man could attain any command of eloquence who had not mastered the doctrines of the philosophers.

XIX. [85] “Certain men of eloquence at Athens, versed in public affairs and judicial pleadings, disputed on the other side; among whom was Menedemus, lately my guest at Rome; but when he had observed that there is a sort of wisdom which is employed in inquiring into the methods of settling and managing governments, he, though a ready speaker, was promptly attacked by the other,32 a man of abundant learning, and of an almost incredible variety and copiousness of argument; who maintained that every portion of such wisdom must be derived from philosophy, and that whatever was established in a state concerning the immortal gods, the discipline of youth, justice, patience, temperance, moderation in everything, and other matters, without which states would either not subsist at all, or be corrupt in morals, was nowhere to be found in the petty treatises of the rhetoricians. [86] For if those teachers of rhetoric included in their art such a multitude of the most important subjects, why, he asked, were their books crammed with rules about proems and perorations, and such trifles (for so he called them), while about the modelling of states, the composition of laws, about equity, justice, integrity, about mastering the appetites, and forming the morals of mankind, not one single syllable was to be found in their pages? [87] Their precepts he ridiculed in such a manner, as to show that the teachers were not only destitute of the knowledge which they arrogated to themselves, but that they did not even know the proper art and method of speaking; for he thought that the principal business of an orator was, that he might appear to those to whom he spoke to be such as he would wish to appear (that this was to be attained by a life of good reputation, on which those teachers of rhetoric had laid down nothing in their precepts); and that the minds of the audience should be affected in such a manner as the orator would have them to be affected, an object, also, which could by no means be attained, unless the speaker understood by what methods, by what arguments, and by what sort of language the minds of men are moved in any particular direction; but that these matters were involved and concealed in the profoundest doctrines of philosophy, which these rhetoricians had not touched even with the extremity of their lips. [88] These assertions Menedemus endeavoured to refute, but rather by authorities than by arguments; for, repeating from memory many noble passage? from the orations of Demosthenes, he showed that that orator, while he swayed the minds of judges or of the people by his eloquence, was not ignorant by what means he attained his end, which Charmadas denied that any one could know without philosophy.

XX. [89] “To this Charmadas replied, that he did not deny that Demosthenes was possessed of consummate ability and the utmost energy of eloquence; but whether he had these powers from natural genius, or because he was, as was acknowledged, a diligent hearer of Plato, it was not what Demosthenes could do, but what the rhetoricians taught, that was the subject of inquiry. [90] Sometimes too he was carried so far by the drift of his discourse, as to maintain that there was no art at all in speaking; and having shown by various arguments that we are so formed by nature as to be able to flatter, and to insinuate ourselves, as suppliants, into the favour of those from whom we wish to obtain anything, as well as to terrify our enemies by menaces, to relate matters of fact, to confirm what we assert, to refute what is said against us, and, finally, to use entreaty or lamentation; particulars in which the whole faculties of the orator are employed; and that practice and exercise sharpened the understanding, and produced fluency of speech, he rested hia cause, in conclusion, on a multitude of examples that he adduced; [91] for first, as if stating an indisputable fact,33 he affirmed that no writer on the art of rhetoric was ever even moderately eloquent, going back as far as I know not what Corax and Tisias,34 who, he said, appeared to be the inventors and first authors of rhetorical science; and then named a vast number of the most eloquent men who had neither learned, nor cared to understand the rules of art, and amongst whom, (whether in jest, or because he thought, or had heard something to that effect,) he instanced me as one who had received none of their instructions, and yet, as he said, had some abilities as a speaker; of which two observations I readily granted the truth of one, that I had never been instructed, but thought that in the other he was either joking with me, or was under some mistake. [92] But he denied there was any art, except such as lay in things that were known and thoroughly understood, things tending to the same object, and never misleading; but that everything treated by the orators was doubtful and uncertain; as it was uttered by those who did not fully understand it, and was heard by them to whom knowledge was not meant to be communicated, but merely false, or at least obscure notions, intended to live in their minds only for a short time. [93] In short, he seemed bent on convincing me that there was no art of speaking, and that no one could speak skilfully, or so as fully to illustrate a subject, but one who had attained that knowledge which is delivered by the most learned of the philosophers. On which occasions Charmadas used to say, with a passionate admiration of your genius, Crassus, that I appeared to him very easy in listening, and you most pertinacious in disputation.

XXI. [94] “Then it was that I, swayed by this opinion, remarked in a little treatise35 which got abroad, and into people’s hands, without my knowledge and against my will, that I had known many good speakers, but never yet any one that was truly eloquent; for I accounted him a good speaker, who could express his thoughts with accuracy and perspicuity, according to the ordinary judgment of mankind, before an audience of moderate capacity; but I considered him alone eloquent, who could in a more admirable and noble manner amplify and adorn whatever subjects he chose, and who embraced in thought and memory all the principles of everything relating to oratory. This, though it may be difficult to us, who, before we begin to speak in public, are overwhelmed by canvassings for office and by the business of the forum, is yet within the range of possibility and the powers of nature. [95] For I, as far as I can divine by conjecture, and as far as I can estimate the abilities of our countrymen, do not despair that there may arise at some time or other a person, who, when, with a keener devotion to study than we feel, or have ever felt, with more leisure, with better and more mature talent for learning, and with superior labour and industry, he shall have given himself up to hearing, reading, and writing, may become such an orator as we desire to see, one who may justly be called not only a good speaker, but truly eloquent; and such a character, in my opinion, is our friend Crassus, or some one, if such ever was, of equal genius, who, having heard, read, and written more than Crassus, shall be able to make some little addition to it.”

[96] Here Sulpicius observed: “That has happened by accident, Crassus, which neither Cotta nor I expected, but which we both earnestly desired, I mean, that you should insensibly glide into a discourse of this kind. For, as we were coming hither, we thought it would be a pleasure, if, while you were talking on other matters, we might gather something worthy to be remembered from your conversation; but that you should go into a deep and full discussion on this very study, or art, or faculty, and penetrate into the heart of it, was what we could scarcely venture to hope. [97] For I, who from my early youth, have felt a strong affection for yon both, and even a love for Crassus, having never left his company, could never yet elicit a word from him on the method and art of speaking, though I not only solicited him myself, but endeavoured to move him by the agency of Drusus; on which subject you, Antonius, (I speak but the truth,) never failed to answer my requests and interrogatories, and have very often told me what you used to notice in speaking. [98] And since each of you has opened a way to these subjects of our research, and since Crassus was the first to commence this discourse, do us the favour to acquaint us fully and exactly what you think about the various kinds of eloquence. If we, obtain this indulgence from you, I shall feel the greatest obligation to this school of yours, Crassus, and to your Tusculan villa, and shall prefer your suburban place of study to the famous Academy and Lyceum.”

XXII. [99] “Nay rather, Sulpicius,” rejoined Crassus, “let us ask Antonius, who is both capable of doing what you desire, and, as I hear you say, has been accustomed to do so. As to myself, I acknowledge that I have ever avoided all such kind of discourse, and have often declined to comply with your requests and solicitations, as you just now observed. This I did, not from pride or want of politeness, nor because I was unwilling to aid your just and commendable aspirations, especially as I knew you to be eminently and above others formed and qualified by nature to become a speaker, but, in truth, from being unaccustomed to such kind of discussions, and from being ignorant of those principles which are laid down as institutes of the art.” [100] “Then,” said Cotta, “since we have got over what we thought the greatest difficulty, to induce you, Crassus, to speak at all upon these subjects, for the rest, it will be our own fault if we let you go before you have explained all that we have to ask.” [101] “I believe I must answer,” says Crassus, “as is usually written in the formulae for entering on inheritances,36 concerning such points AS I KNOW AND SHALL BE ABLE.” [102] “And which of us,” rejoined Cotta, “can be so presuming as to desire to know or to be able to do anything that you do not know or cannot do?’’ “Well, then,” returned Crassus, “on condition that I may say that I cannot do what I cannot do, and that I may own that I do not know what I do not know, you may put questions to me at your pleasure.” “We shall, then, first ask of you,” said Suipicius, “what you think of what Antonius has advanced; whether you think that there is any art in speaking?” “What!” exclaimed Crassus, “do you put a trifling question to me, as to some idle and talkative, though perhaps studious and learned Greek, on which I may speak according to my humour? When do you. imagine that I have ever regarded or thought upon such matters, or have not always rather ridiculed the impudence of those men who, seated in the schools, would demand if any one, in a numerous assembly of persons, wished to ask any question, and desire him to speak? [103] This Gorgias the Leontine is said to have first done, who was thought to undertake and promise something vast, in pronouncing himself prepared to speak on all subjects on which any one should be inclined to hear him. But afterwards those men made it a common practice, and continue it to this day; so that there is no topic of such importance, or so unexpected, or so new, on which they do not profess that they will say all that can be said. [104] But if I had thought that you, Cotta, or you, Sulpicius, were desirous to hear such matters, I would have brought hither some Greek to amuse you with their manner of disputation; for there is with M. Piso,37 (a youth already addicted to this intellectual exercise, and one of superior talents, and of great affection for me,) the peripatetic Staseas, a man with whom I am well acquainted, and who, as I perceive is agreed amongst the learned, is of the first eminence in his profession.”

XXIII. [105] “Why do you speak to me,” says Scaevola, “of this Staseas, this peripatetic 1 You must comply with the wishes of these young gentlemen, Crassus, who do not want the common, profitless talk of any Greek, or any empty declamation of the schools, but desire to know the opinions of a man in whose footsteps they long to tread, one who is the wisest and most eloquent of all men, who is not distinguished by petty books of precepts, but is the first, both in judgment and oratory, in causes of the greatest consequence, and in this seat of empire and glory. [106] For my part, as I always thought you a god in eloquence, so I have never attributed to you greater praises for oratory than for politeness; which you ought to show on this occasion especially, and not to decline a discussion on which two young men of such excellent ability invite you to enter.” [107] “I am certainly,” replied Crassus, “desirous to oblige them, nor shall I think it any trouble to speak briefly, as is my manner, what I think upon any point of the subject. And to their first question, (because I do not think it right for me to neglect your admonition, Scaevola,) I answer, that I think there is either no art of speaking at all, or but very little; but that all the disputation about it amongst the learned arises from a difference of opinion about the word. [108] For if art is to be defined according to what Antonius just now asserted,38 as lying in things thoroughly understood and fully known, such as are abstracted from the caprice of opinion and comprehended in the limits of science, there seems to me to be no art at all in oratory; since all the species of our forensic diction are various, and suited to the common understanding of the people. [109] Yet if those things which have been observed in the practice and method of speaking, have been noted and chronicled by ingenious and skilful men, have been set forth in words, illustrated in their several kinds, and distributed into parts, (as I think may possibly be done,) I do not understand why speaking may not be deemed an art, if not according to the exact definition of Antonius, at least according to common opinion. But whether it be an art, or merely the resemblance of an art, it is not, indeed, to be neglected; yet we must understand that there are other things of more consequence for the attainment of eloquence.”

XXIV. [110] Antonius then observed, that he was very strongly of opinion with Crassus; for he neither adopted such a definition of art as those preferred who attributed all the powers of eloquence to art, nor did he repudiate it entirely, as most of the philosophers had done. “But I imagine, Crassus,” added he, “that you will gratify these two young men, if you will specify those particulars which you think may be more conducive to oratory than art itself.” [111] “I will indeed mention them,” said he, “since I have engaged to do so, but must beg you not to publish my trifling remarks; though I will keep myself under such restraint as not to seem to speak like a master, or artist, but like one of the number of private citizens, moderately versed in the practice of the forum, and not altogether ignorant; not to have offered anything from myself, but to have accidentally fallen in with the course of your conversation. [112] Indeed, when I was a candidate for office, I used, at the time of canvassing, to send away Scaevola from me, telling him I wanted to be foolish, that is, to solicit with flattery, a thing that cannot be done to any purpose unless it be done foolishly; and that he was the only man in the world in whose presence I should least like to play the fool; and yet fortune has appointed him to be a witness and spectator of my folly. 1 For what is more foolish than to speak about speaking, when speaking itself is never otherwise than foolish, except it is absolutely necessary”39 [113] “Proceed, however, Crassus,” said Scaevola; “for I will take upon myself the blame which you fear.”

XXV. “I am, then, of opinion,” said Crassus, “that nature and genius in the first place contribute most aid to speaking; and that to those writers on the art, to whom Antonius just now alluded, it was not skill and method in speaking, but natural talent that was wanting; for there ought to be certain lively powers in the mind40 and understanding, which may be acute to invent, fertile to explain and adorn, and strong and retentive to remember; [114] and if any one imagines that these powers may be acquired by art, (which is false, for it is very well if they can be animated and excited by art; but they certainly cannot by art be ingrafted or instilled, since they are all the gifts of nature,) what will he say of those qualities which are certainly born with the man himself, volubility of tongue, tone of voice, strength of lungs, and a peculiar conformation and aspect of the whole countenance and body ? [115] I do not say, that art cannot improve in these particulars, (for am not ignorant that what is good may be made better by education, and what is not very good may be in some degree polished and amended;) but there are some persons so hesitating in their speech, so inharmonious in their tone of voice, or so unwieldy and rude in the air and movements of their bodies, that, whatever power they possess either from genius or art, they can never be reckoned in the number of accomplished speakers; while there are others so happily qualified in these respects, so eminently adorned with the gifts of nature, that they seem not to have been born like other men, but moulded by some divinity. [116] It is, indeed, a great task and enterprise for a person to undertake and profess, that while every one else is silent, he alone must be heard on the most important subjects, and in a large assembly of men; for there is scarcely any one present who is not sharper and quicker to discover defects in the speaker than merits; and thus whatever offends the hearer effaces the recollection of what is worthy of praise. [117] I do not make these observations for the purpose of altogether deterring young men from the study of oratory, even if they be deficient in some natural endowments. For who does not perceive that to C. Caelius, my contemporary, a new man, the mere mediocrity in speaking, which he was enabled to attain, was a great honour ? Who does not know that Q. Varius, your equal in age, a clumsy, uncouth man, has obtained his great popularity by the cultivation of such faculties as he has ?

XXVI. [118] “But as our inquiry regards the COMPLETE ORATOR, we must imagine, in our discussion, an orator from whom every kind of fault is abstracted, and who is adorned with every kind of merit. For if the multitude of suits, if tha variety of causes, if the rabble and barbarism of the forum, afford room for even the most wretched speakers, we must not, for that reason, take our eyes from the object of out inquiry. In those arts, in which it is not indispensable usefulness that is sought, but liberal amusement for the mind, how nicely, how almost fastidiously, do we judge! For there are no suits or controversies which can force men, though they may tolerate indifferent orators in the forum, to endure also bad actors upon the stage. [119] The orator therefore must take the most studious precaution not merely to satisfy those whom he necessarily must satisfy, but to seem worthy of admiration to those who are at liberty to judge disinterestedly. If you would know what I myself think, I will express to you, my intimate friends, what I have hitherto never mentioned, and thought that I never should mention. To me, those who speak best, and speak with the utmost ease and grace, appear, if they do not commence their speeches with some timidity, and show some confusion in the exordium, to have almost lost the sense of shame, though it is impossible that such should not be the case;41 [120] for the better qualified a man is to speak, the more he fears the difficulties of speaking, the uncertain success of a speech, and the expectation of the audience. But he who can produce and deliver nothing worthy of his subject, nothing worthy of the name of an orator, nothing worthy the attention of his audience, seems to me, though he be ever so confused while he is speaking, to be downright shameless; for we ought to avoid a character for shamelessness, not by testifying shame, but by not doing that which does not become us. [121] But the speaker who has no shame (as I see to be the case with many) I regard as deserving, not only of rebuke, but of personal castigation. Indeed, what I often observe in you I very frequently experience in myself, that I turn pale in the outset of my speech, and feel a tremor through my whole thoughts, as it were, and limbs. When I was a young man, I was on one occasion so timid in commencing an accusation, that I owed to Q. Maximus42 the greatest of obligations for immediately dismissing the assembly, as soon as he saw me absolutely disheartened and incapacitated through fear.” [122] Here they all signified assent, looked significantly at one another, and began to talk together; for there was a wonderful modesty in Crassus, which however was not only no disadvantage to his oratory, but even an assistance to it, by giving it the recommendation of probity,

XXVII. Antonius soon after said, “I have often observed, as you mention, Crassus, that both you and other most accomplished orators, although in my opinion none was ever equal to you, have felt some agitation in entering upon their speeches. When I inquired into the reason of this, and considered why a speaker, the more ability he possessed, felt the greater fear in speaking, I found that there were two causes of such timidity: one, that those whom experience [123] and nature had formed for speaking, well knew that the event of a speech did not always satisfy expectation even in the greatest orators; and thus, as often as they spoke, they feared, not without reason, that what sometimes happened might happen then; [124] the other (of which I am often in the habit of complaining) is, that men, tried and approved in other arts, if they ever do anything with less success than usual, are thought either to have wanted inclination for it, or to have failed in performing what they knew how to perform from ill health. ‘ Roscius,’ they say, ‘ would not act today,’ or, ‘ he was indisposed.’ But if any deficiency is seen in the orator, it is thought to proceed from want of sense; [125] and want of sense admits of no excuse, because nobody is supposed to have wanted sense because he ‘ was indisposed,’ or because ‘such was his inclination.’ Thus we undergo a severer judgment in oratory, and judgment is pronounced upon us as often as we speak; if an actor is once mistaken in an attitude, he is not immediately considered to be ignorant of attitude in general; but if any fault is found in a speaker, there prevails for ever, or at least for a very long time, a notion of his stupidity.

XXVIII. [126] “But in what you observed, as to there being many things in which, unless the orator has a full supply of them from nature, he cannot be much assisted by a master I agree with you entirely; and, in regard to that point, I have always expressed the highest approbation of that eminent teacher, Apollonius of Alabanda,43 who, though he taught for pay, would not suffer such as he judged could never become orators, to lose their labour with him; and he sent them away with exhortations and encouragements to each of them to pursue that peculiar art for which he thought him naturally qualified. [127] To the acquirement of other arts it is sufficient for a person to resemble a man, and to be able to comprehend in his mind, and retain in his memory, what is instilled, or, if he is very dull, inculcated into him; no volubility of tongue is requisite, no quickness of utterance; none of those things which we cannot form for ourselves, aspect, countenance, look, voice. [128] But in an orator, the acuteness of the logicians, the wisdom of the philosophers, the language almost of poetry, the memory of lawyers, the voice of tragedians, the gesture almost of the best actors, is required. Nothing therefore is more rarely found among mankind than a consummate orator; for qualifications which professors of other arts are commended for acquiring in a moderate degree, each in his respective pursuit, will not be praised in the orator, unless they are all combined in him in the highest possible excellence.”

[129] “Yet observe,” said Crassus, “how much more diligence as used in one of the light and trivial arts than in this, which is acknowledged to be of the greatest importance; for I often hear Roscius say, that ‘ he could never yet find a scholar that he was thoroughly satisfied with; not that some of them were not worthy of approbation, but because, if they had any fault, he himself could not endure it.’ Nothing indeed is so much noticed, or makes an impression of such lasting continuance on the memory, as that in which you give any sort of offence. [130] To judge therefore of the accomplishments of the orator by comparison with this stage-player, do you not observe how everything is done by him unexceptionably; everything with the utmost grace; everything in such a way as is becoming, and as moves and delights all? He has accordingly long attained such distinction, that in whatever pursuit a man excels, he is called a Roscius in his art. For my own part, while I desire this finish and perfection in an orator, of which I fall so far short myself, I act audaciously; for I wish indulgence to be granted to myself, while I grant none to others; for I think that he who has not abilities, who is faulty in action, who, in short, wants a graceful manner, should be sent off, as Apollonius advised, to that for which he has a capacity.”

XXIX. [131] “Would you then,” said Sulpicius, “desire me, or our friend Cotta, to learn the civil law, or the military art?44 for who can ever possibly arrive at that perfection of yours, that high excellence in every accomplishment?” “It was,” replied Crassus, “because I knew that there was in both of you excellent and noble talents for oratory, that I have expressed myself fully on these matters; nor have I adapted my remarks more to deter those who had not abilities, than to encourage you who had; and though I perceive in you both consummate capacity and industry, yet I may say that the advantage of personal appearance, on which I have perhaps said more than the Greeks are wont to say, are in you, Sulpicius, even godlike. [132] For any person better qualified for this profession by gracefulness of motion, by his very carriage and figure, or by the fulness and sweetness of his voice, I think that I have never heard speak; endowments which those, to whom they are granted by nature in an inferior degree, may yet succeed in managing, in such measure as they possess them, with judgment and skill, and in such a manner as not to be unbecoming; for that is what is chiefly to be avoided, and concerning which it is most difficult to give any rules for instruction, not only for me, who talk of these matters like a private citizen, but even for Roscius himself, whom I often hear say, ‘that the most essential part of art is to be becoming? which yet is the only thing that cannot be taught by art. [133] But, if it is agreeable, let us change the subject of conversation, and talk like ourselves a little, not like rhetoricians.”

“By no means,” said Cotta, “for we must now intreat you (since you retain us in this study, and do not dismiss us to any other pursuit) to tell us something of your own abilities, whatever they are, in speaking; for we are not inordinately ambitious; we are satisfied with that mediocrity of eloquence of yours; and what we inquire of you is (that we may not attain more than that humble degree of oratory at which you have arrived)45 what you think, since you say that the endowments to be derived from nature are not very deficient in us, we ought to endeavour to acquire in addition.”

XXX. [134] Crassus, smiling, replied, “What do you think is wanting to you, Cotta, but a passionate inclination, and a sort of ardour like that of love, without which no man will ever attain anything great in life, and especially such distinction as you desire? Yet I do not see that you need any encouragement to this pursuit; indeed, as you press rather hard even upon me, I consider that you burn with an extraordinarily fervent affection for it. [135] But I am aware that a desire to reach any point avails nothing, unless you know what will lead and bring you to the mark at which you aim. Since therefore you lay but a light burden upon me, and do not question me about the whole art of the orator, but about my own ability, little as it is, I will set before you a course, not very obscure, or very difficult, or grand, or imposing, the course of my own practice, which I was accustomed to pursue when I had opportunity, in my youth, to apply to such studies.”

[136] “O day much wished for by us, Cotta! “ exclaimed Sulpicius; “for what I could never obtain, either by entreaty, or stratagem, or scrutiny, (so that I was unable, not only to see what Crassus did, with a view to meditation or composition, but even to gain a notion of it from his secretary and reader, Diphilus,) I hope we have now secured, and that we shall learn from himself all that we have long desired to know.”

XXXI. [137] “I conceive, however,” proceeded Crassus, “that when you have heard me, you will not so much admire what I have said, as think that, when you desired to hear, there was no good reason for your desire; for I shall say nothing abstruse, nothing to answer your expectation, nothing either previously unheard by you, or new to any one. In the first place, I will not deny that, as becomes a man well born and liberally educated, I learned those trite and common precepts of teachers in general; [138] first, that it is the business of an orator to speak in a manner adapted to persuade; next, that every speech is either upon a question concerning a matter in general, without specification of persons or times, or concerning a matter referring to certain persons and times. [139] But that, in either case, whatever falls under controversy, the question with regard to it is usually, whether such a thing has been done, or, if it has been done, of what nature it is, or by what name it should be called; or, as some add, whether it seems to have been done rightly or not. [140] That controversies arise also on the interpretation of writing, in which anything has been expressed ambiguously, or contradictorily, or so that what is written is at variance with the writer’s evident intention; and that there are certain lines of argument adapted to all these cases. [141] But that of such subjects as are distinct from general questions, part come under the head of judicial proceedings, part under that of deliberations; and that there is a third kind which is employed in praising or censuring particular persons. That there are also certain common places on which we may insist in judicial proceedings, in which equity is the object; others, which we may adopt in deliberations, all which are to be directed to the advantage of those to whom we give counsel; others in panegyric, in which all must be referred to the dignity of the persons commended. [142] That since all the business and art of an orator is divided into five parts,46 he ought first to find out what he should say; next, to dispose and arrange his matter, not only in a certain order, but with a sort of power and judgment; then to clothe and deck his thoughts with language; then to secure them in his memory; and lastly, to deliver them with dignity and grace. [143] I had learned and understood also, that before we enter upon the main subject, the minds of the audience should be conciliated by an exordium; next, that the case should be clearly stated; then, that the point in controversy should be established; then, that what we maintain should be supported by proof, and that whatever was said on the other side should be refuted; and that, in the conclusion of our speech, whatever was in our favour should be amplified and enforced, and whatever made for our adversaries should be weakened and invalidated.

XXXII. [144] “I had heard also what is taught about the costume of a speech; in regard to which it is first directed that we should speak correctly and in pure Latin; next, intelligibly and with perspicuity; then gracefully; then suitably to the dignity of the subject, and as it were becomingly; and I had made myself acquainted with the rules relating to every particular. [145] Moreover, I had seen art applied to those things which are properly endowments of nature; for I had gone over some precepts concerning action, and some concerning artificial memory, which were short indeed, but requiring much exercise; matters on which almost all the learning of those artificial orators is employed; and if I should say that it is of no assistance, I should say what is not true; for it conveys some hints to admonish the orator, as it were, to what he should refer each part of his speech, and to what points he may direct his view, so as not to wander from the object which he has proposed to himself. [146] But I consider that with regard to all precepts the case is this, not that orators by adhering to them have obtained distinction in eloquence; but that certain persons have noticed what men of eloquence practised of their own accord, and formed rules accordingly;47 so that eloquence has not sprung from art, but art from eloquence; not that, as I said before, I entirely reject art, for it is, though not essentially necessary to oratory, yet proper for a man of liberal education to learn. [147] And by you, my young friends, some preliminary exercise must be undergone; though indeed you are already on the course; but those48 who are to enter upon a race, and those who are preparing for what is to be done in the forum, as their field of battle, may alike previously learn, and try their powers, by practising in sport.” [148] “That sort of exercise,” said Sulpicius, “is just what we wanted to understand; but we desire to hear more at large what you have briefly and cursorily delivered concerning art; though such matters are not strange even to us. Of that subject, however, we shall inquire hereafter; at present we wish to know your sen- timents on exercise.”

XXXIII. [149] “I like that method,” replied Crassus, “which you are accustomed to practise, namely, to lay down a case similar to those which are brought on in the forum, and to speak upon it, as nearly as possible, as if it were a real case.49

But in such efforts the generality of students exercise only their voice (and not even that skilfully), and try their strength of lungs, and volubility of tongue, and please them- selves with a torrent of their own words; in which exercise what they have heard deceives them, that men by speaking succeed in becoming speakers. [150] For it is truly said also, That men by speaking badly make sure of becoming bad speakers. In those exercises, therefore, although it be useful even frequently to speak on the sudden, yet it is mere advantageous, after taking time to consider, to speak with greater preparation and accuracy. But the chief point of all is that which (to say the truth) we hardly ever practise (for it requires great labour, which most of us avoid); I mean, to write as much as possible. Writing is said to be the best and most excellent modeller and teacher of oratory; and not without reason; for if what is meditated and considered easily surpasses sudden and extemporary speech, a constant and diligent habit of writing will surely be of more effect than meditation and consideration itself; [151] since all the arguments relating to the subject on which we write, whether they are suggested by art, or by a certain power of genius and understanding, will present themselves, and occur to us, while we examine and contemplate it in the full light of our intellect; and all the thoughts and words, which are the most expressive of their kind, must of necessity come under and submit to the keenness of our judgment while writing; and a fair arrangement and collocation of the words is effected by writing, in a certain rhythm and measure, not poetical, but oratorical. [152] Such are the qualities which bring applause and admiration to good orators; nor will any man ever attain them, unless after long and great practice in writing, however resolutely he may have exercised himself in extemporary speeches; and he who comes to speak after practice in writing brings this advantage with him, that though he speak at the call of the moment, yet what he says will bear a resemblance to something written; and if ever, when he comes to speak, he brings anything with him in writing, the rest of his speech, when he departs from what is written, will flow on in a similar strain. [153] As, when a boat has once been impelled forward, though the rowers suspend their efforts, the vessel herself still keeps her motion and course during the intermission of the impulse and force of the oars; so, in a continued stream of oratory, when written matter fails, the rest of the speech maintains a similar flow, being impelled by the resemblance and force acquired from what was written.

XXXIV. [154] “But in my daily exercises I used, when a youth, to adopt chiefly that method which I knew that Caius Carbo, my adversary,50 generally practised; which was, that, having selected some nervous piece of poetry, or read over such a portion of a speech as I could retain in my memory, I used to declaim upon what I had been reading in other words, chosen with all the judgment that I possessed. But at length I perceived that in that method there was this inconvenience, that Ennius, if I exercised myself on his verses, or Gracchus, if I laid one of his orations before me, had forestalled such words as were peculiarly appropriate to the subject, and such as were the most elegant and altogether the best; so that, if I used the same words, it profited nothing; if others, it was even prejudicial to me, as I habituated myself to use such as were less eligible. [155] Afterwards I thought proper, and continued the practice at a rather more advanced age,51 to translate the orations of the best Greek orators;52 by fixing upon which I gained this advantage, that while I rendered into Latin what I had read in Greek, I not only used the best words, and yet such as were of common occurrence, but also formed some words by imitation, which would be new to our countrymen, taking care, however, that they were unobjectionable.

[156] “As to the exertion and exercise of the voice, of the breath, of the whole body, and of the tongue itself; they do not so much require art as labour; but in those matters we ought to be particularly careful whom we imitate and whom we would wish to resemble. Not only orators are to be observed by us, but even actors, lest by vicious habits we contract any awkwardness or ungracefulness. [157] The memory is also to be exercised, by learning accurately by heart as many of our own writings, and those of others, as we can. In exercising the memory, too, I shall not object if you accustom yourself to adopt that plan of referring to places and figures which is taught in treatises on the art. 1 Your language must then be brought forth from this domestic and retired exercise, into the midst of the field, into the dust and clamour, into the camp and military array of the forum; you must acquire practice in everything; you must try the strength of your understanding; and your retired lucubrations must be exposed to the light of reality. [158] The poets must also be studied; an acquaintance must be formed with history; the writers and teachers in all the liberal arts and sciences must be read, and turned over, and must, for the sake of exercise, be praised, interpreted, corrected, censured, refuted; you must dispute on both sides of every question; and whatever may seem maintainable on any point, must be brought forward and illustrated. [159] The civil law must be thoroughly studied; laws in general must be understood; all antiquity must be known; the usages of the senate, the nature of our government, the rights of our allies, our treaties and convention?, and whatever concerns the interests of the state, must be learned. A certain intellectual grace must also be extracted from every kind of refinement, with which, as with salt, every oration must be seasoned. I have poured forth to you all I had to say, and perhaps any citizen whom you had laid hold of in any company whatever, would have replied to your inquiries on these subjects equally well.’53

XXXV. [160] When Crassus had uttered these words a silence ensued. But though enough seemed to have been said in the opinion of the company present, in reference to what had been proposed, yet they thought that he had concluded his speech more abruptly than they could have wished. Scaevola then said, “What is the matter, Cotta? why are you silent ? Does nothing more occur to you which you would wish to ask Crassus?” [161] “Nay,” rejoined he, “that is the very thing of which I am thinking; for the rapidity of his words was such, and his oration was winged with such speed, that though I perceived its force and energy I could scarcely see its track and course; and, as if I had come into some rich and well-furnished house, where the furniture54 was not un- packed, nor the plate set out, nor the pictures and statues placed in view, but a multitude of all these magnificent things laid up and heaped together; so just now, in the speech of Crassus, I saw his opulence and the riches of his genius, through veils and curtains as it were; but when I desired to take a nearer view, there was scarcely opportunity for taking a glance at them; I can therefore neither say that I am wholly ignorant of what he possesses, nor that I have plainly ascertained and beheld it.” [162] “Then,” said Scaevola, “why do you not act in the same way as you would do, if you had really come into a house or villa full of rich furniture? If everything was put by as you describe, and you had a great curiosity to see it, you would not hesitate to ask the master to order it to be brought out, especially if he was your friend; in like manner you will now surely ask Crassus to bring forth into the light that profusion of splendid objects which are his property, (and of which, piled together in one place, we have caught a glimpse, as it were through a lattice,55 as we passed by,) and set everything in its proper situation.” [163] “I rather ask you, Scaevola,” says Cotta, “to do that for me; (for modesty forbids Sulpicius and myself to ask of one of the most eminent of mankind, who has ever held in contempt this kind of disputation, such things as he perhaps regards only as rudiments for children;) but do you oblige us in this, Scaevola, and prevail on Crassus to unfold and enlarge upon those matters which he has crowded together, and crammed into so small a space in his speech.” [164] “Indeed,” said Scaevola, “I desired that before, more upon your account than my own; nor did I feel so much longing for this discussion from Crassus, as I experience pleasure from his orations in pleading But now, Crassus, I ask you also on my own account, that since we have so much more leisure than has been allowed us for long time, you would not think it troublesome to complete the edifice which you have commenced; for I see a finer
and better plan of the whole work than I could have imagined, and one of which I strongly approve.”

XXXVI. [165] “I cannot sufficiently wonder,” says Crassus, “that even you, Scaevola, should require of me that which I do not understand like those who teach it, and which is of such a nature, that if I understood it ever so well, it would be unworthy of your wisdom and attention.” “Say you so?” replied Scaevola. “If you think it scarcely worthy of my age to listen to those ordinary precepts, commonly known everywhere, can we possibly neglect those other matters which you said must be known by the orator, respecting the dispositions and manners of mankind, the means by which the minds of men are excited or calmed, history, antiquity, the administration of the republic, and finally of our own civil law itself? For I knew that all this science, this abundance of knowledge, was within the compass of your understanding, but had never seen such rich furniture among the equipments of the orator.”

[166] “Can you then,” says Crassus, “(to omit other things in- numerable and without limit, and come to your study, the civil law,) can you account them orators, for whom Scaevola,56 though in haste to go to the Campus Martius, waited several hours, sometimes laughing and sometimes angry, while Hypsaeus, in the loudest voice, and with a multitude of words, was trying to obtain of Marcus Crassus, the praetor, that the party whom he defended might be allowed to lose his suit; and Cneius Octavius, a man of consular dignity, in a speech of equal length, refused to consent that his adversary should lose his cause, and that the party for whom he was speaking should be released from the ignominious charge of having been unfaithful in his guardianship, and from all trouble, through the folly of his antagonist?”57 [167] “I should have thought such men,” replied Scaevola, “(for I remember Mucius58 told me the story,) not only unworthy of the name of orators, but unworthy even to appear to plead in the forum.” “Yet,” rejoined Crassus, “those advocates neither wanted eloquence, nor method, nor abundance of words, but a knowledge of the civil law: for in this case one, in bringing his suit, sought to recover more damages than the law of the Twelve Tables allowed, and, if he had gained those damages, would have lost his cause: the other thought it unjust that he himself should be proceeded against for more than was allowed in that sort of action, and did not understand that his adversary, if he proceeded in that manner, would lose his suit.

XXXVII. [168] “Within these few days,59 while we were sitting at the tribunal of our friend Quintus Pompeius, the city praetor, did not a man who is ranked among the eloquent pray that the benefit of the ancient and usual exception, of which sum there is time for payment, might be allowed to a party from whom a sum of money was demanded; an exception which he did not understand to be made for the benefit of the creditor; so that if the defendant60 had proved to the judge that the action was brought for the money before it became due, the plaintiff,61 on bringing a fresh action, would be precluded by the exception, that the matter had before come into judgment. [169] What more disgraceful therefore can possibly be said or done, than that he who has assumed the character of an advocate, ostensibly to defend the causes and interests of his friends, to assist the distressed, to relieve such as are sick at heart, and to cheer the afflicted, should so err in the slightest and most trivial matters, as to seem an object of pity to some, and of ridicule to others? [170] I consider my relation, Publius Crassus, him who from his wealth had the surname of Dives,62 to have been, in many other respects, a man of taste and elegance, but especially worthy of praise and commendation on this account, that (as he was the brother of Publius Scaevola)63 he was accustomed to observe to him, that neither could he64 have satisfied the claims of the civil law if he had not added the power of speaking (which his son here, who was my colleague in the consulate, has fully attained); nor had he himself65 begun to practise, and plead the causes oj his friends, before he had gained a knowledge of the civil law. [171] What sort of character was the illustrious Marcus Cato? Was he not possessed of as great a share of eloquence as those times and that age66 would admit in this city, and at the same time the most learned of all men in the civil law? I have been speaking for some time the more timidly on this point, because there is with us a man67 eminent in speaking, whom I admire as an orator beyond all others; but who has ever held the civil law in contempt. [172] But, as you desired to learn my sentiments and opinions, I will conceal nothing from you, but, as far as I am able, will communicate to you my thoughts upon every subject.

XXXVIII. “The almost incredible, unparalleled, and divine power of genius in Antonius, appears to me, although wanting in legal knowledge, to be able easily to sustain and defend itself with the aid of other weapons of reason; let him there- fore be an exception; but I shall not hesitate to condemn others, by my sentence, of want of industry in the first place, and of want of modesty in the next. [173] For to flutter about the forum, to loiter in courts of justice and at the tribunals of the praetors, to undertake private suits in matters of the greatest concern, in which the question is often not about fact, but about equity and law, to swagger in causes heard before the centumviri,68 in which the laws of prescriptive rights, of guardianship, of kindred,69 of agnation,70 of alluvions, circumluvions,71 of bonds, of transferring property, of party walls, lights, stillicidia,72 of wills, transgressed or established, and innumerable other matters are debated, when a man is utterly ignorant what is properly his own, and what his neighbour’s, why any person is considered a citizen or a foreigner, a slave or a freeman, is a proof of extraordinary impudence. [174] It is ridiculous arrogance for a man to confess himself unskilful in navigating smaller vessels, and yet say that he has learned to pilot galleys with five banks of oars, or even larger ships. You who are deceived by a quibble of your adversary in a private company, you who set your seal to a deed for your client, in which that is written by which he is overreached; can I think that any cause of greater consequence ought to be entrusted to you? Sooner assuredly shall he who oversets a two-oared boat in the harbour steer the vessel of the Argonauts in the Euxine Sea.

[175] “But what if the causes are not trivial, but often of the utmost importance, in which disputes arise concerning points of civil law ? What front must that advocate have who dares to appear in causes of such a nature without any knowledge of that law? What cause, for instance, could be of more consequence than that of the soldier, of whose death a false report having been brought home from the army, and his father, through giving credit to that report, having altered his will, and appointed another person, whom he thought proper, to be his heir, and having then died himself, the affair, when the soldier returned home, and instituted a suit for his paternal inheritance, came on to be heard before the centumviri? The point assuredly in that case was a question of civil law, whether a son could be disinherited of his father’s possessions, whom the father neither appointed his heir by will, nor disinherited by name?73

XXXIX. [176] “On the point too which the centumviri decided between the Marcelli and the Claudii, two patrician families, when the Marcelli said that an estate, which had belonged to the son of a freedman, reverted to them by right of stirps, and the Claudii alleged that the property of the man reverted to them by right of gens, was it not necessary for the pleaders in that cause to speak upon all the rights of stirps and gens?74 [177] As to that other matter also, which we have heard was contested at law before the centumviri, when an exile came to Rome, (who had the privilege of living in exile at Rome, if he attached himself to any citizen as a patron,) and died intestate, was not, in a cause of that nature, the law of attachment?75 obscure and indeed unknown, expounded and illustrated by the pleader? [178] When I myself lately defended the cause of Sergius Aurata, on a private suit against our friend Antonius, did not my whole defence turn upon a point of law? For when Marius Gratidianus had sold a house to Aurata, and had not specified, in the deed of sale, that any part of the building owed service,76 we argued, that for whatever incumbrance attended the thing sold, if the seller knew of it, and did not make it known, he ought to indemnify the purchaser.77 [179] In this kind of action our friend Marcus Bucculeius; a man not a fool in my opinion, and very wise in his own, and one who has no aversion to the study of law, made a mistake lately, in an affair of a somewhat similar nature. For when he sold a house to Lucius Fufius, he engaged, in the act of conveyance, that the window-lights should remain as they then were. But Fufius, as soon as a building began to rise in some part of the city, which could but just be seen from that house, brought an action against Bucculeius, on the ground that whatever portion of the sky was intercepted, at however great a distance, the window-light underwent a change.78 [180] Amidst what a concourse of people too, and with what universal interest, was the famous cause between Manius Curius and Marcus Copouius lately conducted before the centumviri ! On which occasion Quintus Scaevola, my equal in age, and my colleague,79 a man of all others the most learned in the practice of the civil law, and of most acute genius and discernment, a speaker most polished and refined in his language, and indeed, as I am accustomed to remark, the best orator among the lawyers, and the best lawyer among the orators, argued the law from the letter of the will, and maintained that he who was appointed second heir, after a posthumous son should be born and die, could not possibly inherit, unless such posthumous son had actually been born, and had died before he came out of tutelage: I, on the other side, argued that he who made the will had this intention, that if there was no son at all who could come out of tutelage, Manius Curius should be his heir. Did either of us, in that cause, fail to exert ourselves in citing authorities, and precedents, and forms of wills, that is, to dispute on the profoundest points of civil law?80

XL. [181] “I forbear to mention many examples of causes of the greatest consequence, which are indeed without number. It may often happen that even capital cases may turn upon a point of law; for, as an example, Publius Rutilius, the son of Marcus, when tribune of the people, ordered Caius Mancinus, a most noble and excellent man, and of consular dignity, to be put out of the senate; on the occasion when the chief herald had given him up to the Numantines, according to a decree of the senate, passed on account of the odium which he had incurred by his treaty with that people, and they would not receive him,81 and he had then returned home, and had not hesitated to take his place in the senate; the tribune, I say, ordered him to be put out of the house, maintaining that he was not a citizen; because it was a received tradition, That he whom his own father, or the people, had sold, or the chief herald had given up, had no postliminium82 or right of return. [182] What more important cause or argument can we find, among all the variety of civil transactions, than one concerning the rank, the citizenship, the liberty, the condition of a man of consular dignity, especially as the case depended, not on any charge which he might deny, but on the interpretation of the civil law? In a like case, but concerning a person of inferior degree, it was inquired among our ancestors, whether, if a person belonging to a state in alliance with Rome had been in servitude amongst us, and gained his freedom, and afterwards returned home, he returned by the right of postliminium, and lost the citizenship of this city. [183] May not a dispute arise on a point of civil law respecting liberty, than which no cause can be of more importance, when the question is, for example, whether he who is enrolled as a citizen, by his master’s consent, is free at once, or when the lustrum is completed? As to the case also, that happened in the memory of our fathers, when the father of a family, who had come from Spain to Rome, and had left a wife pregnant in that province, and married another at Rome, without sending any notice of divorce to the former, and died intestate, after a son had been born of each wife, did a small matter come into controversy, when the question was concerning the rights of two citizens, I mean concerning the boy who was born of the latter wife and his mother, who, if it were adjudged that a divorce was effected from a former wife by a certain set of words, and not by a second marriage, would be deemed a concubine? [184] For a man, then, who is ignorant of these and other similar laws of his own country, to wander about the forum with a great crowd at his heels, erect and haughty, looking hither and thither with a gay and assured face and air, offering and tendering protection to his clients, assistance to his friends, and the light of his genius and counsel to almost all his fellow-citizens, is it not to be thought in the highest degree scandalous?

XLI. [185] “Since I have spoken of the audacity, let me also censure the indolence and inertness of mankind. For if the study of the law were illimitable and arduous, yet the greatness of the advantage ought to impel men to undergo the labour of learning it; but, ye immortal gods. I would not say this in the hearing of Scaevola, unless he himself were accustomed to say it, namely, that the attainment of no science seems to him more easy. [186] It is, indeed, for certain reasons, thought otherwise by most people, first, because those of old, who were at the head of this science, would not, for the sake of securing and extending their own influence, allow their art to be made public; in the next place, when it was published, the forms of actions at law being first set forth by Cneius Flavius, there were none who could compose a general system of those matters arranged under regular heads. For nothing can be reduced into a science, unless he who understands the matters of which he would form a science, has previously gained such knowledge as to enable him to constitute a science out of subjects in which there has never yet been any science. [187] I perceive that, from desire to express this briefly, I have expressed it rather obscurely; but I will make an effort to explain myself, if possible, with more perspicuity.

XLII. “All things which arc now comprised in sciences, were formerly unconnected, and in a state, as it were, of dispersion; as in music, numbers, sounds, and measures; in geometry, lines, figures, spaces, magnitudes; in astronomy, the revolution of the heavens, the rising, setting, and other motions of the stars; in grammar, the study of the poets, the knowledge of history, the interpretation of words, the peculiar tone of pronunciation; and finally, in this very art of oratory, invention, embellishment, arrangement, memory, delivery, seemed of old not to be fully understood by any, and to be wholly unconnected. [188] A certain extrinsic art was therefore applied, adopted from another department of knowledge,83 which the philosophers wholly claim to themselves, an art which might serve to cement things previously separate and uncombined, and unite them in a kind of system.

“Let then the end proposed in civil law be the preservation of legitimate and practical equity in the affairs and causes of the citizens. [189] The general heads of it are then to be noted, and reduced to a certain number, as few as may be. A general head is that which comprehends two or more particulars, similar to one another by having something in common, but differing in species. Particulars are included under the general heads from which they spring. All names, which are given either to general heads, or particulars, must be limited by definitions, showing what exact meaning they have. A definition is a short and concise specification of whatever properly belongs to the thing which we would define. [190] I should add examples on these points, were I not sensible to whom my discourse is addressed. I will now comprise what I proposed in a short space. For if I should have leisure to do what I have long meditated, or if any other person should undertake the task while I am occupied or accomplish it after my death, (I mean, to digest, first of all, the whole civil law under general heads, which are very few; next, to branch out those general heads, as it were, into members; then to explain the peculiar nature of each by a definition;) you will have a complete system of civil law, large and full indeed, but neither difficult nor obscure. [191] In the meantime, while what is unconnected is being combined, a person may, even by gathering here and there, and collecting from all parts, be furnished with a competent knowledge of the civil law.

XLIII. “Do you not observe that Caius Aculeo,84 a Roman knight, a man of the most acute genius in the world, but of little learning in other sciences, who now lives, and has always lived with me, understands the civil law so well, that none even of the most skilful, if you except my friend Scaevola here, can be preferred to him? [192] Everything in it, indeed, is Bet plainly before our eyes, connected with our daily habits, with our intercourse among men, and with the forum, and is not contained in a vast quantity of writing, or many large volumes; for the elements that were at first published by several writers are the same; and the same things, with the change of a few words, have been repeatedly written by the same authors. [193] Added to this, that the civil law may be more readily learned and understood, there is (what most people little imagine) a wonderful pleasure and delight in acquiring a knowledge of it. For, whether any person is attracted by the study of antiquity,85 there is, in every part of the civil law, in the pontifical books, and in the Twelve Tables, abundance of instruction as to ancient matters, since not only the original sense of words is thence understood, but certain kinds of law proceedings illustrate the customs and lives of our ancestors; or if he has a view to the science of government (which Scaevola judges not to belong to the orator, but to science of another sort), he will find it all comprised in the Twelve Tables, every advantage of civil government, and every part of it being there described; or if authoritative and vaunting philosophy delight him, (I will speak very boldly,) he will find there the sources of all the philosophers’ disputations, which lie in civil laws and enactments; [194] for from these we perceive that virtue is above all things desirable, since honest, just, and conscientious industry is ennobled with honours, rewards, and distinctions; but the vices and frauds of mankind are punished by fines, ignominy, imprisonment, stripes, banishment, and death; and we are taught, not by disputations endless and full of discord, but by the authority and mandate of the laws, to hold our appetites in subjection, to restrain all our passions, to defend our own property, and to keep our thoughts, eyes, and hands, from that of others.

XLIV. [195] “Though all the world exclaim against me, I will say what I think: that single little book of the Twelve Tables, if any one look to the fountains and sources of laws, seems to me, assuredly, to surpass the libraries of all the philosophers, both in weight of authority, and in plenitude of utility. [196] And if our country has our love, as it ought to have in the highest degree, our country, I say, of which the force and natural attraction is so strong, that one of the wisest of mankind preferred his Ithaca, fixed, like a little nest, among the roughest of rocks, to immortality itself, with what affection ought we to be warmed towards such a country as ours, which, preeminently above all other countries, is the seat of virtue, empire, and dignity? Its spirit, customs, and discipline ought to be our first objects of study, both because our country is the parent of us all, and because as much wisdom must be thought to have been employed in framing such laws, as in establishing so vast and powerful an empire. [197] You will receive also this pleasure and delight from the study of the law, that you will then most readily comprehend how far our ancestors excelled other nations in wisdom, if you compare our laws with those of their Lycurgus, Draco, and Solon. It is indeed incredible how undigested and almost ridiculous is all civil law, except our own; on which subject I am accustomed to say much in. my daily conversation, when I am praising the wisdom of our countrymen above that of all other men, and especially of the Greeks. For these reasons have I declared, Scaevola r that the knowledge of the civil law is indispensable to those who would become accomplished orators.

XLV. [198] “And who does not know what an accession of honour, popularity, and dignity, such knowledge, even of itself, brings with it to those who are eminent in it? As, therefore, among the Greeks, men of the lowest rank, induced by a trifling reward, offer themselves as assistants to the pleaders on trials (men who are by them called pragmatici),86 so in our city, on the contrary, every personage of the most eminent rank and character, such as that Aelius Sextus,87 who, for his knowledge in the civil law, was called by our great poet,

          “A man of thought and prudence, nobly wise”

and many besides, who, after arriving at distinction by means of their ability, attained such influence, that in answering questions on points of law,88 they found their authority of more weight than even their ability. [199] For ennobling and dignifying old age, indeed, what can be a more honourable resource than the interpretation of the law? For myself, I have, even from my youth, been securing this resource, not merely with a view to benefit in pleadings in the forum, but also for an honour and ornament to the decline of life; so that, when my strength begins to fail me (for which the time is even now almost approaching), I may, by that means, pre- serve my house from solitude. For what is more noble than for an old man, who has held the highest honours and offices of the state, to be able justly to say for himself, that which the Pythian Apollo says in Ennius, that he is the person from whom, if not nations and kings, yet all his fellow- citizens, solicit advice,

          “Uncertain how to act; whom, by my aid,
          I send away undoubting, full of counsel,
          No more with rashness things perplex’ d to sway”

[200] for without doubt the house of an eminent lawyer is tho oracle of the whole city. Of this fact the gate and vestibule of our friend Quintus Mucius is a proof, which, even in his very infirm state of health, and advanced age, is daily frequented by a vast crowd of citizens, and by persons of the highest rank and splendour.

XLVI. [201] “It requires no very long explanation to show why I think the public laws89 also, which concern the state and government, as well as the records of history, and the precedents of antiquity, ought to be known to the orator; for as in causes and trials relative to private affairs, his language is often to be borrowed from the civil law, and therefore, as we said before, the knowledge of the civil law is necessary to the orator; so in regard to causes affecting public matters, before our courts, in assemblies of the people, and in the senate, all the history of these and of past times, the authority of public law, the system and science of governing the state, ought to be at the command of orators occupied with affairs of government, as the very groundwork of their speeches.90 [202] For we are not contemplating, in this discourse, the character of an everyday pleader, bawler, or barrator, but that of a man, who, in the first place, may be, as it were, the high-priest of this profession, for which, though nature herself has given rich endowments to man, yet it was thought to be a god that gave it, so that the very thing which is the distinguishing property of man, might not seem to have been acquired by ourselves, but bestowed upon us by some divinity; who, in the next place, can move with safety even amid the weapons of his adversaries-, distinguished not so much by a herald’s caduceus,91 as by his title of orator; who, likewise, is able, by means of his eloquence, to expose guilt and deceit to the hatred of his countrymen, and to restrain them by penalties; who can also, with the shield of his genius, protect innocence from punishment; who can rouse a spiritless and desponding people to glory, or reclaim them from infatuation, or inflame their rage against the guilty, or mitigate it, if incited against the virtuous; who, finally, whatever feeling in the minds of men his object and cause require, can either excite or calm it by his eloquence. [203] If any one supposes that this power has either been sufficiently set forth by those who have written on the art of speaking, or can be set forth by me in so brief a space, he is greatly mistaken, and understands neither my inability, nor the magnitude of the subject. For my own part, since it was your desire, I thought that the fountains ought to be shown you, from which you might draw, and the roads which you might pursue, not so that I should become your guide (which would be an endless and unnecessary labour), but so that I might point out to you the way, and, as the practice is, might hold out my finger towards the spring.”92

XLVII. [204] “To me,” remarked Scaevola, “enough appears to have been said by you, and more than enough, to stimulate the efforts of these young men, if they are but studiously inclined; for as they say that the illustrious Socrates used to observe that his object was attained if any one was by his exhortations sufficiently incited to desire to know and under- stand virtue; (since to those who were persuaded to desire nothing so much as to become good men, what remained to be learned was easy;) so I consider that if you wish to penetrate into those subjects which Crassus has set before you in his remarks, you will, with the greatest ease, arrive at your object, after this course and gate has been opened to you.” [205] “To us,” said Sulpicius, “these instructions are exceedingly pleasant and delightful; but there are a few things more which we still desire to hear, especially those which were touched upon so briefly by you, Crassus, in reference to oratory as an art, when you confessed that you did not despise them, but had learned them. If you will speak somewhat more at length on those points, you will satisfy all the eagerness of our long desire. For we have now heard to what objects we must direct our efforts, a point which is of great importance; but we long to be instructed in the ways and means of pursuing those objects.”

[206] “Then,” said Crassus, “(since I, to detain you at my house with less difficulty, have rather complied with your desires, than my own habit or inclination,) what if we ask Antonius to tell us something of what he still keeps in reserve, and has not yet made known to us, (on which subjects he complained, a while ago, that a book has already dropped from his pen,) and to reveal to us his mysteries in the art of speaking?” “As you please,” said Sulpicius, “for, if Autonius speaks, we shall still learn what you think.” [207] “I request of you then, Antonius,” said Crassus, “since this task is put upon men of our time of life by the studious inclinations of these youths, to deliver your sentiments upon these subjects which, you see, are required from you.”

XLVIII. “I see plainly, and understand indeed,” replied Antonius, “that I am caught, not only because those things are required from me in which I am ignorant and unpractised, but because these young men do not permit me to avoid, on the present occasion, what I always carefully avoid in my public pleadings, namely, not to speak after you, Crassus. [208] But I will enter upon what you desire the more boldly, as I hope the same thing will happen to me in this discussion as usually happens to me at the bar, that no flowers of rhetoric will be expected from me. For I am not going to speak about art, which I never learned, but about my own practice; and those very particulars which I have entered in my common-place book are of this kind,93 not ex- pressed with anything like learning, but just as they are treated in business and pleadings; and if they do not meet with approbation from men of your extensive knowledge, you must blame your own unreasonableness, in requiring from me what I do not know; and you must praise my complaisance, since I make no difficulty in answering your questions, being induced, not by my own judgment, but your earnest desire.” [209] “Go on, Antonius,” rejoined Crassus, “for there is no danger that you will say anything otherwise than so discreetly that no one here will repent of having prompted you to speak.”

“I will go on, then,” said Antonius, “and will do what I think ought to be done in all discussions at the commencement; I mean, that the subject, whatever it may be, on which the discussion is held, should be defined; so that the discourse may not be forced to wander and stray from its course, from the disputants not having the same notion of the matter under debate. [210] If, for instance, it were inquired, ‘What is the art of a general? I should think that we ought to settle, at the outset, what a general is; and when he was defined to be a commander for conducting a war, we might then proceed to speak of troops, of encampments, of marching in battle array, of engagements, of besieging towns, of provisions, of laying and avoiding ambuscades, and other matters relative to the management of a war; and those who had the capacity and knowledge to direct such affairs I should call generals; and should adduce the examples of the Africani and Maximi, and speak of Epaminondas, and Hannibal, and men of such character. [211] But if we should inquire what sort of character he is, who should contribute his experience, and knowledge, and zeal to the management of the state, I should give this sort of definition, that he who understands by what means the interests of the republic are secured and promoted, and employs those means, is worthy to be esteemed a director in affairs of government, and a leader in public councils; and I should mention Publius Lentulus, that chief of the senate,94 and Tiberius Gracchus the father, and Quintus Metellus, and Publius Africanus, and Caius Laelius, and others without number, as well of our own city as of foreign states. [212] But if it should be asked, ‘Who truly deserved the name of a lawyer?’ I should say that he deserves it who is learned in the laws, and that general usage’95 ‘which private persons observe in their intercourse in the community, who can give an answer on any point, can plead, and can take precautions for the interests of his client; and I should name Sextus Aelius, Manius Manilius, Publius Mucius, as distinguished in those respects. XLIX. In like manner, to notice sciences of a less important character, if a musician, if a grammarian, if a poet were the subject of consideration, I could state that which each of them possesses, and than which nothing more is to be expected from each. Even of the philosopher himself, who alone, from his abilities and wisdom, professes almost everything, there is a sort of definition, signifying, that he who studies to learn the powers, nature, and causes of all things, divine and human, and to understand and explain the whole science of living virtuously, may justly deserve this appellation.

[213] “The orator, however, since it is about him that we are considering, I do not conceive to be exactly the same character that Crassus makes him, who seemed to me to include all knowledge of all matters and sciences, under the single profession and name of an orator; but I regard him as one who can use words agreeable to hear, and thoughts adapted to prove, not only in causes that are pleaded in the forum, but in causes in general. Him I call an orator, and would have him besides accomplished in delivery and action, and with a certain degree of wit. [214] But our friend Crassus seemed to me to define the faculty of an orator, not by the proper limits of his art, but by the almost immense limits of his own genius; for, by his definition, he delivered the helm of civil government into the hands of his orator; a point, which it appeared very strange to me, Scaevola, that you should grant him; when the senate has often given its assent on affairs of the utmost consequence to yourself, though you have spoken briefly and without ornament. And M. Scaurus, who I hear is in the country, at his villa not far off, a man eminently skilled in affairs of government, if he should hear that the authority which his gravity and counsels hear with them, is claimed by you, Crassus, as you say that it is the property of the orator, he would, I believe, come hither without delay, and frighten us out of our talk by his very countenance and aspect; who, though he is no contemptible speaker, yet depends more upon his judgment in affairs of consequence, than upon his ability in speaking; [215] and, if any one has abilities in both these ways, he who is of authority in the public councils, and a good senator, is not on those accounts an orator; and if he that is an eloquent and powerful speaker be also eminent in civil administration, he did not acquire his political knowledge96 through oratory. Those talents differ very much in their nature, and are quite separate and distinct from each other; nor did Marcus Cato, Publius Africanus, Quintus Metellus, Caius Laelius, who were all eloquent, give lustre to their own orations, and to the dignity of the republic, by the same art and method.

L. “It is not enjoined, let me observe, by the nature of things, or by any law or custom, that one man must not know more than one art; [216] and therefore, though Pericles was the best orator in Athens, and was also for many years director of the public counsels in that city, the talent for both those characters must not be thought to belong to the same art because it existed in the same man; nor if Publius Crassus was both an orator and a lawyer, is the knowledge of the civil law for that reason included in the power of speaking. [217] For if every man who, while excelling in any art or science, has acquired another art or science in addition, shall represent that his additional knowledge is a part of that in which he previously excelled,97 we may, by such a mode of argument, pretend that to play well at tennis or counters,98 is a part of the knowledge of civil law, because Publius Mucius was skilled in both; and, by parity of reasoning, those whom the Greeks call (physikoi, ‘natural philosophers,’ may be regarded as poets, because Empedocles the natural philosopher wrote an excellent poem. But not even the philosophers themselves, who would have everything, as their own right, to be theirs, and in their possession, have the confidence to say that geometry or music is a part of philosophy, because all acknowledge Plato to have been eminently excellent in those sciences. [218] And if it be still your pleasure to attribute all sciences to the orator, it will be better for us, rather, to express ourselves to this effect, that since eloquence must not be bald and unadorned, but marked and distinguished by a certain pleasing variety of manifold qualities, it is necessary for a good orator to have heard and seen much, to have gone over many subjects in thought and reflection, and many also in reading; though not so as to have taken possession of them as his own property, but to have tasted of them as things belonging to others. For I confess that the orator should be a knowing man, not quite a tiro or novice in any subject, not utterly ignorant or inexperienced in any business of life.

LI. [219] “Nor am I discomposed, Crassus, by those tragic arguments of yours,99 on which the philosophers dwell most of all; I mean, when you said, That no man can, by speaking, excite the passions of his audience, or calm them when excited, (in which efforts it is that the power and greatness of an orator are chiefly seen,) unless one who has gained a thorough insight into the nature of all things, and the dispositions and motives of mankind; on which account philosophy must of necessity be studied by the orator; a study in which we see that the whole lives of men of the greatest talent and leisure are spent; the copiousness and magnitude of whose learning and knowledge I not only do not despise but greatly admire; but, for us who are engaged in so busy a state, and such occupations in the forum, it is sufficient to know and say just so much about the manners of mankind as is not inconsistent with human nature. For what great and powerful orator, whose object was to make a judge angry with his adversary, ever hesitated, because he was ignorant what anger was, whether ‘a heat of temper,’ or ‘a desire of vengeance for pain received ?’100 [220] Who, when he wished to stir up and inflame other passions in the minds of the judges or people by his eloquence, ever uttered such things as are said by the philosophers? part of whom deny that any passions whatever should be excited in the mind, and say that they who rouse them in the breasts of the judges are guilty of a heinous crime, and part, who are inclined to be more tolerant, and to accommodate themselves more to the realities of life, say that such emotions ought to be but very moderate and gentle. [221] But the orator, by his eloquence, represents all those things which, in the common affairs of life, are considered evil and troublesome, and to be avoided, as heavier and more grievous than they really are; and at the same time amplifies and embellishes, by power of language, those things which to the generality of mankind seem inviting and desirable; nor does he wish to appear so very wise among fools, as that his audience should think him impertinent or a pedantic Greek, or, though they very much approve his understanding, and admire his wisdom, yet should feel uneasy that they themselves are but idiots to him; [222] but he so effectually penetrates the minds of men, so works upon their senses and feelings, that he has no occasion for the definitions of philosophers, or to consider in the course of his speech, ‘ whether the chief good lies in the mind or in the body;’ ‘whether it is to be defined as consisting in virtue or in pleasure.’ ‘whether these two can be united and coupled together; or ‘whether,’ as some think, ‘nothing certain can be known, nothing clearly perceived and understood;’ questions in which I acknowledge that a vast multiplicity of learning, and a great abundance of varied reasoning is involved: [223] but we seek something of a far different character; we want a man of superior intelligence, sagacious by nature and from experience, who can acutely divine what his fellow-citizens, and all those whom he wishes to convince on any subject by his eloquence, think, feel, imagine, or hope. LII. He must penetrate the inmost recesses of the mind of every class, age, and rank; and must ascertain the sentiments and notions of those before whom he is pleading,101 or intends to plead; [224] but his books of philosophy he must reserve to himself, for the leisure and tranquillity of such a Tusculan villa as this, and must not, when he is to speak on justice and honesty, borrow from Plato; who, when he thought that such subjects were to be illustrated in writing, imagined in his pages a new kind of commonwealth; so much was that which he thought necessary to be said of justice, at variance with ordinary life and the general customs of the world. [225] But if such notions were received in existing communities and nations, who would have permitted you, Crassus, though a man of the highest character, and the chief leader in the- city, to utter what you addressed to a vast assembly of your fellow-citizens?102 DELIVER US FROM THESE MISERIES, DELIVER US FROM THE JAWS OF THOSE WHOSE CRUELTY CANNOT BE SATIATED EVEN WITH BLOOD; SUFFER US NOT TO BE SLAVES TO ANT BUT YOURSELVES AS A PEOPLE, WHOM WE BOTH CAN AND OUGHT TO SERVE. I say nothing about the word MISERIES, in which, as the philosophers say,103 a man of fortitude cannot be; I say nothing of the JAWS from which you desire to be delivered, that your blood may not he drunk by an unjust sentence; a thing which they say cannot happen to a wise man; but how durst you say that not only yourself, but the whole senate, whose cause you were then pleading, were SLAVES ? [226] Can virtue, Crassus, possibly be ENSLAVED, according to those whose precepts you make necessary to the science of an orator; ,virtue which is ever and alone free, and which, though our bodies be captured in war, or bound with fetters, yet ought to maintain its rights and liberty inviolate in all circumstances’?104 And as to what you added, that the senate not only CAN but OUGHT to be SLAVES to the people, what philosopher is so effeminate, so languid, so enervated, so eager to refer everything to bodily pleasure or pain, as to allow that the senate should be the SLAVES of the people, to whom the people themselves have delivered the power, like certain reins as it were, to guide and govern them?

LIII. [227] “Accordingly, when I regarded these words of yours as the divinest eloquence, Publius Rutilius Rufus,105 a man of learning, and devoted to philosophy, observed that what you had said was not only injudicious, but base and dishonourable. The same Rutilius used severely to censure Servius Galba, whom he said he very well remembered, because, when Lucius Scribonius brought an accusation against him, and Marcus Cato, a bitter and implacable enemy to Galba, had spoken with rancour and vehemence against him before the assembled people of Rome, (in a speech which he published in his Origines,106) [228] Rutilius, I say, censured Galba, for holding up, almost upon his shoulders, Quintus, the orphan son of Caius Sulpicius Gallus, his near relation, that he might, through the memory of his most illustrious father, draw tears from the people, and for recommending two little sons of his own to the guardianship of the public, and saying that he himself (as if he was making his will in the ranks before a battle,107 without balance or writing tables,108) appointed the people of Rome protectors of their orphan condition. As Galba, therefore, laboured under the ill-opinion and dislike of the people, Rutilius said that he owed his deliverance to such tragic tricks as these; and I see it is also recorded in date’s book, that if he had not employed children and tears, he would have suffered. Such proceedings Rutilius severely condemned, and said banishment, or even death, was more eligible than such meanness. [229] Nor did he merely say this, but thought and acted accordingly; for being a man, as you know, of exemplary integrity, a man to whom no person in the city was superior in honesty and sincerity, he not only refused to supplicate his judges, but would not allow his cause to be pleaded with more ornament or freedom of language than the simple plainness of truth carried with it.109 Small was the part of it he assigned to Cotta here, his sister’s son, and a youth of great eloquence; and Quintus Mucius also took some share in his defence, speaking in his usual manner, without ostentation, but simply and with perspicuity. [230] But if you, Crassus, had then spoken, you, who just now said that the orator must seek assistance from those disputations in which the philosophers indulge, to supply himself with matter for his speeches, if you had been at liberty to speak for Publius Rutilius, not after the manner of philosophers, but in your own way, although his accusers had been, as they really were, abandoned and mischievous citizens,:and worthy of the severest punishment, yet the force of your eloquence would have rooted all their unwarrantable cruelty from the bottom of their hearts. But, as it was, a man of such a character was lost, because his cause was pleaded in such a manner as if the whole affair had been transacted in the imaginary commonwealth of Plato. Not a single individual uttered a groan; not one of the advocates gave vent to an exclamation; no one showed any appearance of grief; no one complained; no one supplicated, no one implored the mercy of the public. In short, no one even stamped a foot on the trial, for fear, I suppose, of renouncing the doctrine of the Stoics.

LIV. [231] “Thus a Roman, of consular dignity, imitated the illustrious Socrates of old, who, as he was a man of the greatest wisdom and had lived in the utmost integrity, spoke for himself, when on trial for his life, in such a manner as not to seem a suppliant or prisoner, but the lord and master of his judges. Even when Lysias. a most eloquent orator, brought him a written speech, which, if he pleased, he might, learn by heart, and repeat at his trial, he willingly read it over, and said it was written in a manner very well suited to the occasion; but, said he, if you had brought me Sicyonian shoes,110 I should not wear them, though they might be easy and suit my feet, because they would be effeminate; so that speech seems to me to be eloquent and becoming an orator, but not fearless and manly. In consequence, he also was condemned, not only by the first votes, by which the judges only decided whether they should acquit or condemn, but also by those which, in conformity with the laws, they were obliged to give afterwards. [232] For at Athens, if the accused person was found guilty, and if his crime was not capital, there was a sort of estimation of punishment; and when sentence was to be finally given by the judges, the criminal was asked what degree of punishment he acknowledged himself, at most, to deserve; and when this question was put to Socrates, he answered, that he deserved to be distinguished with the noblest honours and rewards, and to be daily maintained at the public expense in the Prytaneum; an honour which, amongst the Greeks, is accounted the very highest. [233] By which answer his judges were so exasperated, that they condemned the most innocent of men to death. But had he been acquitted, (which, indeed, though it is of no concern to us, yet I could wish to have been the case, because of the greatness of his genius,) how could we have patience with those philosophers who now, though Socrates was condemned for no other crime but want of skill in speaking, maintain that the precepts of oratory should be learned from them- selves, who are disciples of Socrates? With these men I have no dispute as to which of the two sciences is superior, or carries more truth in it; I only say that the one is distinct from the other, and that oratory may exist in the highest perfection without philosophy.

LV. [234] “In bestowing such -warm approbation on the civil law, Crassus, I see what was your motive; “when you were speaking, I did not see it.111 In the first place, you were willing to oblige Scaevola, whom we ought all to esteem most deservedly for his singularly excellent disposition; and seeing his science undowried and unadorned, you have enriched it with your eloquence as with a portion, and decorated it with a pro- fusion of ornaments. In the next, as you had spent much pains and labour in the acquisition of it, (since you had in your own house one112 who encouraged and instructed you in that study,) you were afraid that you might lose the fruit of your industry, if you did not magnify the science by your eloquence. [235] But I have no controversy with the science; let it be of as much consequence as you represent it; for without doubt it is of great and extensive concern, having relation to multitudes of people, and has always been held in the highest honour; and our most eminent citizens have ever been, and are still, at the head of the profession of it; but take care, Crassus, lest, while you strive to adorn the knowledge of the civil law with new and foreign ornaments, you spoil and denude her of what is granted and accorded to her as her own. [236] For if you were to say, that he who is a lawyer is also an orator, and that he who is an orator is also a lawyer, you would make two excellent branches of knowledge, each equal to the other, and sharers of the same dignity; but now you allow that a man may be a lawyer without the eloquence which we are considering, and that there have been many such; and you deny that a man can be an orator who has not acquired a knowledge of law. Thus the lawyer is, of himself, nothing with you but a sort of wary and acute legalist, an instructor in actions,113 a repeater of forms, a catcher at syllables; but because the orator has frequent occasion for the aid of the law in his pleadings, you have of necessity joined legal knowledge to eloquence as a handmaid and attendant.

LVI. [237] “But as to your wonder at the effrontery of those advocates who, though they were ignorant of small things, profess great ones, or who ventured, in the management of causes, to treat of the most important points in the civil law, though they neither understood nor had ever learned them, the defence on both charges is easy and ready. For it is not at all surprising that he who is ignorant in what form of words- a contract of marriage is made, should be able to defend the cause of a woman who has- formed such a contract; nor, though the same skill in steering is requisite for a small as for a large vessel, is he therefore, who is ignorant of the form of words by which an estate is to be divided, in- capable of pleading a cause relative to the division of an estate.114 [238] For though you appealed to causes of great consequence, pleaded before the Centumviri, that turned upon points of law, what cause was there amongst; them all, which could not have been ably pleaded by an eloquent man un- acquainted with law? in all which causes, as in the cause of Manius Curius, which was lately pleaded by you,115 and that of Caius Hostilius Mancinus,116 and that of the boy who was born of a second wife, without any notice of divorce having been sent to the first,117 there was the greatest disagreement among the most skilful lawyers on points of law. [239] I ask, then, how in these causes a knowledge of the law could have aided the orator, when that lawyer must have had the superiority, who was supported, not by his own, but a foreign art, not by knowledge of the law, but by eloquence? I have often heard that, when Publius Crassus was a candidate for the sedileship, and Servius Galba, though older than he, and even of consular dignity, attended upon him to promote his interest, (having betrothed Crassus’s daughter to his son Caius,) there came a countryman to Crassus to consult him on some matter of law; and when he had taken Crassus aside, and laid the affair before him, and received from him such an answer as was rather right than suited to his wishes, Galba, seeing him look dejected, called him by his name, and asked him on what matter he had consulted Crassus; when, having heard his case, and seeing the man in great trouble, [240] ‘I perceive,’ said he, ‘that Crassus gave you an answer while his mind was anxious, and pre-occupied with other affairs.’ He then took Crassus by the hand, and said, ‘Hark you, how came it into your head to give this man such an answer?’ Crassus, who was a man of great legal knowledge, confidently repeated that the matter was exactly as he had stated in his answer, and that there could be no doubt. But Galba, referring to a variety and multiplicity of matters, adduced abundance of similar cases, and used many arguments for equity against the strict letter of law; while Crassus, as he could not maintain his ground in the debate, (for, though he was numbered among the eloquent, he was by no means equal to Galba,) had recourse to authorities, and showed what he had asserted in the books of his brother Publius Mucius,118 and in the commentaries of Sextus Aelius; though he allowed, at the same time, that Galba’s arguments had appeared to him plausible, and almost true.

LVII. [241] “But causes which are of such a kind, that there can be no doubt of the law relative to them, do not usually come to be tried at all. Does any one claim an inheritance under a will, which the father of a family made before he had a son born? Nobody; because it is clear that by the birth of a son the will is cancelled.119 Upon such points of law, therefore, there are no questions to be tried. The orator, accordingly, may be ignorant of all this part of the law relative to controversies,120 which is without doubt the far greater part; [242] but on those points which are disputed, even among the most skilful lawyers, it will not be difficult for the orator to find some writer of authority on that side, whichsoever it be, that he is to defend, from whom, when he has received his javelins ready for throwing, he will hurl them with the arm and strength of an orator. Unless we are to suppose, indeed, (I would wish to make the observation with- out offending this excellent man Scaevola,) that you, Crassus, defended the cause of Manius Curius out of the writings and rules of your father-in-law. Did you not, on the contrary, undertake the defence of equity, the support of wills, and the intention of the dead? [243] Indeed, in my opinion, (for I was frequently present and heard you,) you won the far greater number of votes by your wit, humour, and happy raillery, when you joked upon the extraordinary acuteness, and ex- pressed admiration of the genius, of Scaevola, who had discovered that a man must be born before he can die; and when you adduced many cases, both from the laws and decrees of the senate, as well as from common life and intercourse, not only acutely, but facetiously and sarcastically, in which, if we attended to the letter, and not the spirit, nothing would result. The trial, therefore, was attended with abundance of mirth and pleasantry; but of what service your knowledge of the civil law was to you upon it, I do not understand; your great power in speaking, united with the utmost humour and grace, certainly was of great service. [244] Even Mucius himself, the defender of the father’s right, who fought as it were for his own patrimony, what argument did he advance in the cause, when he spoke against you, that appeared to be drawn from the civil law? What particular law did he recite? What did he explain in his speech that was unintelligible to the unlearned? The whole of his oration was employed upon one point; that is, in maintaining that what was written ought to be valid. But every boy is exercised on such subjects by his master, when he is instructed to support, in such cases as these, sometimes the written letter, sometimes equity. [245] In that cause of the soldier, I presume, if you had defended either him or the heir, you would have had recourse to the cases of Hostilius,121 and not to your own power and talent as an orator. Nay, rather, if you had defended the will, you would have argued in such a manner, that the entire validity of all wills whatsoever would have seemed to depend upon that single trial; or, if you had pleaded the cause of the soldier, you would have raised his father, with your usual eloquence, from the dead; you would have placed him before the eyes of the audience; he would have embraced his son, and with tears have recommended him to the Centumviri; you would have forced the very stones to weep and lament, so that all that clause, AS THE TONGUE HAD DECLARED, would seem not to have been written in the Twelve Tables, which you prefer to all libraries, but in some mere formula of a teacher.

LVIII. [246] “As to the indolence of which you accuse our youth, for not learning that science, because, in the first place, it is very easy, (how easy it is, let them consider who strut about before us, presuming on their knowledge of the science, as if it were extremely difficult; and do you yourself also consider that point, who say, that it is an easy science, which you admit as yet to be no science at all, but say that if somebody shall ever learn some other science, so as to be able to make this a science, it will then be a science;) and! because, in the next place, it is full of pleasure, (but as to that matter, every one is willing to leave the pleasure to yourself, and is content to be without it, for there is not one of the young men who would not rather, if he must get anything by heart, learn the Teucer of Pacuvius than the Manilian laws122 on emption and vendition;) [247] and, in the third place, because you think, that, from love to our country, we ought to acquire a knowledge of the practices of our ancestors; do you not perceive that the old laws are either grown out of date from their very antiquity, or are set aside by such as are new?123 As to your opinion, that men are rendered good by learning the civil law, because, by laws, rewards are appointed for virtue, and punishments for vice; I, for my part, imagined that virtue was instilled into mankind (if it can be instilled by any means) by instruction and persuasion, not by menaces, and force, and terror. As to the maxim that we should avoid evil, we can understand how good a thing it is to do so without a knowledge of the law. [248] And as to myself, to whom alone you allow the power of managing causes satisfactorily, without any knowledge of law, I make you, Crassus, this answer: that I never learned the civil law, nor was ever at a loss for the want of know- ledge in it, in those causes which I was able to defend in the courts.124 It is one thing to be a master in any pursuit or art, and another to be neither stupid nor ignorant in common life, and the ordinary customs of mankind. [249] May not every one of us go over our farms, or inspect our country affairs, for the sake of profit or delight at least?125 No man lives without using his eyes and understanding, so far as to be entirely ignorant what sowing and reaping is; or what pruning vines and other trees means; or at what season of the year, and in what manner, those things are done. If, there- fore, any one of us has to look at his grounds, or give any directions about agriculture to his steward, or any orders to his bailiff, must we study the books of Mago the Carthaginian,126 or may we be content with our ordinary knowledge? Why, then, with regard to the civil law, may we not also, especially as we are worn out in causes and public business, and in the forum, be sufficiently instructed, to such a degree at least as not to appear foreigners and strangers in our own country? [250] Or, if any cause, a little more obscure than ordinary, should be brought to us, it would, I presume, be difficult to communicate with our friend Scaevola here; although indeed the parties, whose concern it is, bring nothing to us that has not been thoroughly considered and investigated. If there is a question about the nature of a thing itself under consideration; if about boundaries; (as we do not go in person to view the property itself127) if about writings and bonds;128 we of necessity have to study matters that are intricate and often difficult; and if we have to consider laws, or the opinions of men skilled in law, need we fear that we shall not be able to understand them, if we have not studied the civil law from our youth ?

LIX. “Is the knowledge of the civil law, then, of no ad- vantage to the orator? I cannot deny that every kind of knowledge is of advantage, especially to him whose eloquence ought to be adorned with variety of matter; but the things which are absolutely necessary to an orator are numerous, important, and difficult, so that I would not distract his industry among too many studies. [251] Who can deny that the gesture and grace of Roscius are necessary in the orator’s action and deportment? Yet nobody would advise youths that are studying oratory to labour in forming their attitudes like players. What is so necessary to an orator as the voice? Yet, by my recommendation, no student in eloquence will be a slave to his voice like the Greeks and tragedians,129 who pass whole years in sedentary declamation, and daily, before they venture upon delivery, raise their voice by degrees as they sit, and, when they have finished pleading, sit down again, and lower and recover it, as it were, through a scale, from the highest to the deepest tone. If we should do this, they whose causes we undertake would be condemned, before we had repeated the paean and the munio130 as often as is prescribed. [252] But if we must not employ ourselves upon gesture, which is of great service to the orator, or upon the culture of the voice, which alone is a great recommendation and support of eloquence; and if we can only improve in either, in proportion to the leisure afforded us in this field of daily business; how much less must we apply to the occupation of learning the civil law? of which we may learn the chief points without regular study, and which is also unlike those other matters in this respect, that power of voice and gesture cannot be got suddenly, or caught up from another person, but a knowledge of the law, as far as it is useful in any cause, may be gained on the shortest possible notice, either from learned men or from books. [253] Those eminent Greek orators, therefore, as they are unskilled in the law themselves, have, in their causes, men acquainted with the law to assist them, who are, as you before observed, called pragmatici. In this respect our countrymen act far better, as they would have the laws and judicial decisions supported by the authority of men of the highest rank. But the Greeks would not have neglected, if they had thought it necessary, to instruct the orator in the civil law, instead of allowing him a pragmaticus for an assistant.

LX. [254] “As to your remark, that age is preserved from solitude by the science of the civil law, we may perhaps also say that it is preserved from solitude by a large fortune. But we are inquiring, not what is advantageous to ourselves, but what is necessary for the orator. Although (since we take so many points of comparison with the orator from one sort of artist) Roscius, whom we mentioned before, is accustomed to say, that, as age advances upon him, he will make the measures of the flute-player slower, and the notes softer. But if he who is restricted to a certain modulation of numbers and feet, meditates, notwithstanding, something for his ease in the decline of life, how much more easily can we? I will not say lower our tones, but alter them entirely? [255] For it is no secret to you, Crassus, how many and how various are the modes of speaking; a variety which I know not whether you yourself have not been the first to exhibit to us, since you have for some time spoken more softly and gently than you used to do; nor is this mildness in your eloquence, which carries so high authority with it, less approved than your former vast energy and exertion; and there have been many orators, as we hear of Scipio and Laelius, who always spoke in a tone only a little raised above that of ordinary conversation, but never exerted their lungs or throats like Servius Galba. But if you shall ever be unable or unwilling to speak in this manner, are you afraid that your house, the house of such a man and such a citizen, will, if it be not frequented by the litigious, be deserted by the rest of mankind ? For my part, I am so far from having any similar feeling with regard to my own house, that I not only do not think that comfort for my old age is to be expected from a multitude of clients, but look for that solitude which you dread, as for a safe harbour; for I esteem repose, to be the most agreeable solace in the last stage of life.

[256] “Those other branches of knowledge (though they certainly assist the orator) I mean general history, and jurisprudence,, and the course of things in old times, and variety of precedents I will, if ever I have occasion for them, borrow from my friend Longinus,131 an excellent man, and one of the greatest erudition in such matters. Nor will I dissuade these youths from reading everything, hearing everything, and acquainting themselves with every liberal study, and all polite learning, as you just now recommended; but, upon my word, they do not seem likely to have too much time, if they are inclined to pursue and practise all that you, Crassus, have dictated; for you seemed to me to impose upon their youth obligations almost too severe, (though almost necessary I admit, for the attainment of their desires,) [257] since extemporary exercises upon stated cases, and accurate and studied meditations, and practice in writing, which you truly called the modeller and finisher of the art of speaking, are tasks of much difficulty; and that comparison of their own composition with the writings of others, and extemporal discussion, on the work of another by way of praise or censure, confirmation or refutation, demand no ordinary exertion, either of memory or powers of imitation.

LXI. [258] “But what you added was appalling, and indeed will have, I fear, a greater tendency to deter than to encourage. You would have every one of us a Roscius in our profession;;and you said that what was excellent did not so much attract .approbation, as what was faulty produced settled disgust; but I do not think that want of perfection is so disparagingly regarded in us as in the players; [259] and I observe, accordingly, that we are often heard with the utmost attention, even when we are hoarse, for the interest of the subject itself and of the cause detains the audience; while Aesopus, if he has the least hoarseness, is hissed; for at those from whom nothing is expected but to please the ear, offence is taken whenever the least diminution of that pleasure occurs. But in eloquence there are many qualities that captivate; and, if they are not all of the highest excellence, and yet most of them are praiseworthy, those that are of the highest excellence must necessarily excite admiration.

[260] “To return therefore to our first consideration, let the orator be, as Crassus described him, one who can speak in a manner adapted to persuade; and let him strictly devote himself to those things which are of common practice in civil communities, and in the forum, and, laying aside all other studies, however high and noble they may be, let him apply himself day and night, if I may say so, to this one pursuit, and imitate him to whom doubtless the highest excellence in oratory is conceded, Demosthenes the Athenian, in whom there is said to have been so much ardour and perseverance, that he overcame, first of all, the impediments of nature by pains and diligence; and, though his voice was so inarticulate that he was unable to pronounce the first letter of the very art which he was so eager to acquire, he accomplished so much by practice that no one is thought to have spoken more distinctly; [261] and though his breath was short, he effected such improvement by holding it in while he spoke, that in one sequence of words (as his writings show) two risings and two fallings of his voice were included;132 and he also (as is related), after putting pebbles into his mouth, used to pronounce several verses at the highest pitch of his voice without taking breath, not standing in one place, but walking forward, and mounting a steep ascent. [262] With such encouragements as these, I sincerely agree with you, Crassus, that youths should be incited to study and industry; other accomplishments which you have collected from various and distinct arts and sciences, though you have mastered them all yourself, I regard as unconnected with the proper business? And duty of an orator.”

LXII. When Antonius had concluded these observations, Sulpicius and Cotta appeared to be in doubt whose discourse of the two seemed to approach nearer to the truth. [263] Crassus then said, “You make our orator a mere mechanic, Antonius, but I am not certain whether you are not really of another opinion, and whether you are not practising upon us your wonderful skill in refutation, in which no one was ever your superior; a talent of which the exercise belongs properly to orators, but has now become common among philosophers, especially those who are accustomed to speak fully and fluently on both sides of any question proposed. [264] But I did not think, especially in the hearing of these young men, that merely such an orator was to be described by me, as would pass his whole life in courts of justice, and would carry thither nothing more than the necessity of his causes required; but I contemplated something greater, when I expressed my opinion that the orator, especially in such a republic as ours, ought to be deficient in nothing that could adorn his profession. But you, since you have circumscribed the whole business of an orator within such narrow limits, will explain to us with the less difficulty what you have settled as to oratorical133 duties and rules; I think, however, that this may be done to-morrow, for we have talked enough for to-day. [265] And Scaevola, since he has appointed to go to his own Tusculan seat,134 will now repose a little till the heat is abated; and let us also, as the day is so far advanced, consult our health.”135 The proposal pleased the whole company. Scaevola then said, “Indeed, I could wish that 1 had not made an appointment with Laelius to go to that part of the Tusculan territory to-day. I would willingly hear Antonius;” and, as he rose from his seat, he smiled and added, “for he did not offend me so much when he pulled our civil law to pieces, as he amused me when he professed himself ignorant of it.”

1 After his consulship, A.U.C. 691 , in the forty-fourth year of his age.
2 There was a certain course of honours through which the Romans passed. After attaining the quaestorship, they aspired to the aedileship, and then to the praetorship and consulate. Cicero was augur, quaestor, aedile, praetor, consul, and proconsul of Asia. Proust.
3 He refers to his exile, and the proposed union between Caesar and Pompey to make themselves masters of the whole commonwealth,’ a matter to which he was unwilling to allude more plainly. Ellendt.
4 Qui locus. Quae vitae pars. Proust.
5 The civil wars of Marius and Sulla. Ellendt.
6 Alluding to the conspiracy of Catiline.
7 The two books De Inventione Rhetorica.
8 Prudentissimorum. Equivalent to doctisstmorum. Pearce. Some manuscripts have eruditissimorum.
9 Deliberative and judicial oratory; omitting the epideictic or demonstrative kind.
10 P. 229. Compare Ruhnken ad Lex. Timaei, v. amphilaphes, and Manutius ad Cic. Div. ii. 11, p. 254. Cicero aptly refers to that dialogue of Plato, because much is said about eloquence in it. The plane-tree was greatly admired by the Romans for its wide-spreading shade. See I. H. Vossius ad Virg. Georg. ii. 70; Plin. H. N. xii. 1; xvii, 15; Hor. Od. ii. 15. 5; Gronov. Obss. i. 5. Ellendt.
11 Crassus.
12 Crassus and Antonius.
13 Livy, xlv. 15, says that the freedmen were previously dispersed among all the four city tribes, and that Gracchus included them all in the Esquiline tribe. The object was to allow the freedmen as little influence as possible in voting.
14 Caius Papirius Carbo, after having been a very seditious tribune, went over in his consulship to the side of the patricians, and highly extolled Lucius Opimius for killing Caius Gracchus. But, at the expiration of his consulship, being impeached by Crassus, on what grounds we do not know, he put himself to death. Cic. Orat. iii. 20, 74; Brut. 27, 103. Ellendt.
15 An edict of the praetor forbidding something to be done, in contradistinction to a decree, which ordered something to be done. Ellendt refers to Gaius, iv. 139, 160.
16 Iusto sacramento. The sacramentum was a deposit of a certain sum of money laid down by two parties who were going to law; and when the decision was made, the victorious party received his money back, while that of the defeated party went into the public treasury Varro, L. L. v. 180.
17 Crassus was quaestor in Asia, A.U.C. 645, and, on his return, at the expiration of his office, passed through Macedonia. Ellendt.
18 See Quintilian, ii. 21.
19 Though they are philosophers, and not orators or rhetoricians.
20 De iure civili generatim in ordines aetatesque descripto. Instead of civili, the old reading was civium, in accordance with which Lambinus altered descripto into descriptorum. Civili was an innovation of Ernesti, which Ellendt condemns, and retains civium; observing that Cicero means iura civium publica singulis ordinibus et aetatibus assignata. “By ordines,” says Ernesti, “are meant patricians and plebeians, senators, knights, and classes in the census; by aetates, younger and older persons.”
21 He is frequently mentioned by the ancients; the passages relating to him have been collected by Junius de Pictura in Catal. Artif. Ernesti. See Plin. H. N. vii. 38; Plut. Sull. c. 14; Val. Max. vii. 12.
22 A Roman shipbuilder. See Turneb. Advers. xi. 2.
23 See Plin. H. N. vii. 37. Celsus often refers to his authority as the founder of a new party. Ellnedt.
24 The son of the great Caius Marius, seven times consul, had married Mucia, the daughter of the augur Scaevola. In Cicero’s Oration for Balbus, also, c. 21, 49, where the merits of that eminent commander are celebrated, Crassus is called his affinis, relation by marriage. Henrichsen.
25 The uncle of Cneius Pompey the Great, who had devoted excellent talents to the attainment of a thorough knowledge of civil law, geometry, and the doctrines of the Stoics. See Cic. Brut. 47; Philipp. xii. 11; Beier, ad Off. L 6- 19. Ellendt.
26 Nicander, a physician, grammarian, and poet, flourished in the time of Attalus, the second king of Pergamus, about fifty years before Christ. His Theriaca and Alexipharmaca are extant; his Georgica, to which Cicero here alludes, has perished. Henrichsen.
27 See c. x.
28 It is Lucilius the Satirist that is meant. What cause there had been for unfriendliness between him and Scaevola is unknown; perhaps he might have spoken too freely, or made some satirical remark on the accusation of Scaevola by Albucius for bribery, on which there are some verses in b. iii. o. 43. Ellendt.
29 You granted me all that I desired when you said that all arts and sciences belong, as it were, respectively to those who have invented, or profess, or study them; […] but when you said that those arts and sciences are necessary to the orator, and that he can speak upon them, if he wishes, with more elegance and effect than those who have made them their peculiar study, you seemed to take them all from me again, and to transfer them to the orator as his own property. Proust.
30 Orellius reads Haec--irrisit, where the reader will observe that the pronoun is governed by the verb. Ellendt and some others read Quae instead of Haec. Several alterations have been proposed, but none of them bring the sentence into a satisfactory state.
31 The Stoics called eloquence one of their virtues, See Quintilian, ii. 20.
32 Charmadas.
33 Quasi dedita opera. As if Charmadas himself had collected all the writers on the art of rhetoric, that he might be in a condition to prove what he now asserted; or, as if the writers on the art of rhetoric themselves had purposely abstained from attempting to be eloquent. But Charmadas was very much in the wrong; for Gorgias, Isocrates, Protagoras, Theophrastus, and other teachers of rhetoric were eminent for eloquence. Proust.
34 Two Sicilians, said to have been the most ancient writers on rhetoric. See Quintilian, iii. 1.
35 See c. 47. Cicero speaks of it as exilis, poor and dry, Brut. 44; Orat. 5.
36 Cretionibus. An heir was allowed a certain time to determine, cernere, whether he would enter upon an estate bequeathed to him, or not. See Cic. ad Att. xi. 12; xiii. 46; Gaius, Instit. ii. l64; Ulpian, Fragm. xxii. 27; Heinecc. Syntagm. ii. 14, 17.
37 Marcus Pupius Piso Calpurnianus, to whom Cicero was introduced by his father, that he might profit by his learning and experience. See Ascon. Pedian. ad Pison. 26; Cic. Brut. 67; De Nat. Deor. 7, 16.
38 Cap. xx.
39 See Val. Max. iv. 5. 4.
40 Animi atque ingenii celeres quidam motus. This sense of motus, as Ellendt observes, is borrowed from the Greek kinesis, by which the philosophers intimated an active power, as, without motion, all things would remain unchanged, and nothing be generated. See Matth. ad Cic. pro Sext. 68, 143.
41 Tametsi id accidere non potest. “Quamvis id fieri non possit, ut qui optime dicit, in exordio non perturbetur.” Proust.
42 He seems to be Quintus Fabius Maximus Eburnus, who was consul A.U.C. 638, and who, it is probable, presided as praetor on the occasion of which Crassus speaks. Ellendt.
43 A town of Caria. The Apollonius mentioned above, c. 17, was Apollonius Molo, a native of Rhodes. Proust.
44 The young Roman nobles were accustomed to pursue one of three studies, jurisprudence, eloquence, or war. Proust.
45 Cotta speaks ironically.
46 Invention, disposition, embellishment, memory, and delivery. See ii. 19. Ellendt.
47 Atque id egisse. Most critics have supposed these words in some way faulty. Gesner conjectured, atque digessisse; Lambinus, atque in artem redegisse; Ernesti, ad artemque redegisse. Ellendt supposes that id egisse may mean ei rei operam dedisse.
48 Sed iis, qui ingrediuntur. Orellius and Ellendt retain this reading, though Ernesti had long before observed that there is no verb on which iis can be considered as dependent, and that we must read ii or hi as a nominative to the following possunt.
49 Quam maxime ad veritatem accommodate, “with as much adaptation as possible to truth.”
50 See c. x.
51 Adolescens. When he imitated the practice of Carbo, be was, he says, adolescentulus.
52 A practice recommended by Quintilian, x. 5.
53 This is sufficiently explained in book ii. c. 87. See also Quint xi. 2.
54 Veste. Under this word is included tapestry, coverings of couches, and other things of that sort.
55 An illustration, says Proust, borrowed from the practice of trader who allow goods, on which they set a high value, to be seen only through lattice-work.
56 Not Quintus Scaevola the augur, the father-in-law of Crassus, in whose presence Crassus is speaking, but another Quintus Scaevola, who was an eminent lawyer, and held the office of pontifex; but at the time to which Crassus alludes he was tribune of the people, B.C. 105. Proust.
57 The cause was as follows: As Scaevola the pontiff was going into the field of Mars, to the election of consuls, he passed, in his way, through the forum, where he found two orators in much litigation, and blundering grievously through ignorance of the civil law. One of them was Hypsaeus, the other Cneius Octavius, who had been consul B.C. 128. Hypsaeus was accusing some guardian of maladministration of the fortunes of his ward. This sort of cause was called iudicium tutelae. Octavius defended the guardian. The judge of this controversy was Marcus Crassus, then city praetor, B.C. 105. He that was condemned on such a trial, was decreed to pay damages to his ward to the amount of what his affairs had suffered through his means, and, in addition, by the law of the Twelve Tables, was to pay something by way of fine. But if the ward, or his advocate, sought to recover more from the defendant than was due, he lost his cause. Hypsaeus proceeded in this manner, and therefore ought to have been nonsuited. Octavius, an unskilful defender of his client, should have rejoiced at this, for if he had made the objection and proved it, he would have obtained his cause; but he refused to permit Hypsaeus to proceed for more than was due, though such proceeding would, by the law, have been fatal to his suit. Proust.
58 Quintus Mucius Scaevola, mentioned in the last note but one.
59 The cause was this. One man owed another a sum of money, to be paid, for instance, in the beginning of January; the plaintiff would not wait till that time, but brought his action in December; the ignorant lawyer who was for the defendant, instead of contesting with the plaintiff this point, that he demanded his money before it was due, (which if he had proved, the plaintiff would have lost his cause,) only prayed the benefit of the exception, which forbade an action to be brought for money before the day of payment, and so only put off the cause for that time. This he did not perceive to be a clause inserted for the advantage of the plaintiff, that he might know when to bring his suit. Thus the plaintiff, when the money became due, was at liberty to bring a new action, as if this matter had never come to trial, which action he could never have brought, if the first had been determined on the other point, namely, its having been brought before the money was due; for then the defendant might have pleaded a former judgment, and precluded the plaintiff from his second action. Sea Justin. Instit. iv. 13. 5. de re iudicata. “Of which sum there is a time for payment,” were words of form in the exception from whence it was nominated; as, “That the matter had before come into judgment,” were in the other exception re iudicata. Proust. B. See Gaius, Instit. iv. 131, and Heffter, Obs. on Gaius, iv. 23, p. 109 seq. Ellendt.
60 Infitiator. The defendant or debtor.
61 Petitor. The plaintiff or creditor.
62 Publius Licinius Crassus Mucianus, son of Publius Mucius Scaovola, who had been adopted into the Licinian family. He was consul with Lucius Valerius Flaccus, A.U.C. 623. […] But the name of Dives had previously been in the family of the Crassi, for Publius Crassus. who was consul with Publius Africanus, A.U.C. 549, was so called. Ellendt.
63 By birth. He had his name of Crassus from adoption, as stated in the preceding note.
64 Publius Scaevola, his brother. In the phrase, neque ilium in iure civili satis illi arti facere posse, the words illi arti are regarded by Ernesti and Orellius as spurious, but Ellendt thinks them genuine, explaining in iure civili by quod ad ius civile attinet. I have followed Orellius and Ernesti in my translation.
65 Publius Crassus.
66 Illa tempora atque illa aetas. By tempora is meant the state of the times as to political affairs; by aetas, the period of advancement in learning and civilization which Home had reached.
67 Antonius.
68 A body of inferior iudices, chosen three out of each tribe, so that the full number was a hundred and five. They took cognisance of such minor causes as the praetor entrusted to their decision.
69 Gentilitatum. Kindred or family. Persons of the same family or descent had certain peculiar rights, e.g. in entering upon an inheritance, in undertaking guardianship. In such rights slaves, freedmen, and capite deminuti had no participation. See Cic. Top. 6, 29. Proust.
70 The agnati, as a brother by the same father, a brother’s son or grandson, an uncle’s son or grandson, had their peculiar rights. See Gaius, i. 156.
71 About these, various controversies might arise; as, when the force of a river has detached a portion from your land, and added it to that of your neighbour, to whom does that portion belong? Or if trees have been carried away from your land to that of your neighbour, and have taken root there, &c. Proust.
72 When a person was obliged to let the water, which dropped from his house, run into the garden or area of his neighbour; or to receive the water that fell from his neighbour’s house into his area. Adam’s Roman Antiquities, p. 49.
73 For he who had a son under his power should have taken care to institute him his heir, or to disinherit him by name; since if a father pretermitted or passed over his son in silence, the testament was of no effect. Just. Inst. ii. 13. And if the parents disinherited their children without cause, the civil law was, that they might complain that such testaments were invalid, under colour that their parents were not of sound mind when they made them. Just. Inst. ii. 18. B.
74 The son of a freedman of the Claudian family had died without making a will, and his property fell by law to the Claudii: but there were two families of them, the Claudii Pulchri, who were patricians, and the Claudii Marcelli, who were plebeians; and these two families went to law about the possession of the dead man’s property. The patrician Claudii (whose family was the eldest of the name) claimed the inheritance by right of gens, on the ground that the freedman was of the gens Claudia, of which their family was the chief; […] while the Claudii Marcelli, or plebeian Claudii, claimed it by right of stirps, on the ground that the freedman was more nearly related to them than to the Pulchri. Pearce. The term gens was used in reference to patricians; that of stirps, to plebeians. Proust.
75 Ius applicationis. This was a right which a Roman quasi-patronus had to the estate of a foreign client dying intestate. He was called quasi-patronus, because none but Roman citizens could have patrons. The difficulty in this cause proceeded from the obscurity of the law on which this kind of right was founded.
76 The services of city estates are those which appertain to buildings. It is required by city services that neighbours should bear the burdens of neighbours; and, by such services, one neighbour may be permitted to place a beam upon the wall of another; may be compelled to receive the droppings and currents from the gutter-pipes of another man’s house upon his own house, area, or sewer; or may be exempted from receiving them; or may be restrained from raising his house in height, lest he should darken the habitation of his neighbour. Harris’s Jus tinian, ii. 3.
77 There is a more particular statement of this cause between Gratidianus and Aurata in Cicero’s Offices, iii. 16. The Roman law, in that particular founded on the law of nature, ordained, to avoid deceit in bargain and sale, that the seller should give notice of all the bad qualities in the thing sold which he knew of, or pay damages to the purchaser for his silence; to which law Horace alludes, Sat. iii. 2:

          Mentem nisi litigiosus
Exciperet dominus cum venderet.

But if he told the faults, or they were such as must be seen by a person using common care, the buyer suffered for his negligence, as Horace again indicates, Epist ii. 2:

Ille feret pretium poenae securus opinor:
Prudens emisti vitiosum. Dicta tibi est Lex.

See also Grotius, ii. 12, and Puffendorf, v. 3. s. 4, 5. B.
78 The mistake of Bucculeius seems to have consisted in this; he meant to restrain Fufius from raising the house in height, which might darken, or making any new windows which might overlook, some neighbouring habitation which belonged to him; but by the use of words adapted by law for another purpose, he restrained himself from building within the prospect of those windows already made in the house which Fufius purchased. B.
79 In the consulship.
80 This celebrated cause is so clearly stated by Cicero as to require no explanation. It was gained by Crassus, the evident intention of the testator prevailing over the letter of the will. It is quoted as a precedent by Cicero, pro Caecina, c. 18.
81 See Florus, ii. 18; Vell. Pat. ii. 1.
82 See Cic. Topic. c. 8; Gaius, i. 129; Aul. Gell. vii. 18.
83 From philosophy.
84 This Aculeo married Cicero’s aunt by the mother’s side, as he tells us in the beginning of the second book of this treatise, c. 1, and his sons by that marriage, cousins to Cicero and his brother Quintus, were all bred up together with them, in a method approved by L. Crassus, the chief character in this dialogue, and by those very masters under whom Crassus himself had been. B.
85 Orellius retains haec aliena studia, in his text, but acknowledges aliena to be corrupt. Wyttenbach conjectured antiqua studia, for antiquitatis studia. Ellendt observes that Madvig proposed Aeliana, from Lucius Aelius Stilo, the master of Varro, extolled by Cicero, Brut. 56; Acad. i. 2, 8; Legg. ii. 23. See Suetonius, de Ill. Gramm. c. 3; and Aul. Gell. x. 21. This conjecture, says Henrichsen, will suit very well with the word hate, which Crassus may be supposed to have used, because Aelius Stilo was then alive, and engaged in those studies.
86 It appears from Quintilian and Juvenal, that this was a Roman custom as well as a Grecian, under the emperors; they are also mentioned by Ulpian. But in Cicero’s time the Patroni causarum, or advocates, though they studied nothing but oratory, and were in general ignorant of the law, yet did not make use of any of these low people called Pragmatici, as the Greeks did at that time, but upon any doubts on the law, applied themselves to men of the greatest reputation in that science, such as the Scaevolae. But under the emperors there was not the same encouragement for these great men to study that science; the orators, therefore, fell of necessity into the Grecian custom. Quint, xii. 3: “ Neque ego sum nostri moris ignarus, oblitusve eorum, qui velut ad Arculas sedent, et tela agentibus subministrant, neque idem Graecos nescio factitare, unde nomen his Pragmaticorum datum est.” Juv. Sat. vii. 123:

Si quater egisti, si contigit aureus unus,
Inde cadunt partes ex foedere Pragmaticorum. B.
87 As the collection of forms published by Flavius, and from him called Ius civile Flavianum, soon grew defective, as new contracts arose every day, another was afterwards compiled, or rather only made public, by Sextus Aelius, for the forms seem to have been composed as the different emergencies arose, by such of the patricians as understood the law, and to have been by them secreted to extend their own influence; however, this collection, wherein were many new forms adapted to the cases and circumstances which had happened since the time of Flavius, went under the title of Jus Aelianum, from this Aelius here praised by Ennius. B.
88 The custom Respondendi de Iure, and the interpretations and decisions of the learned, were so universally approved, that, although they were unwritten, they became a new species of law, and were called Auctoritas, or Responsa Prudentum. This custom continued to the time of Augustus without interruption, who selected particular lawyers, and gave them the sanction of a patent; but then grew into desuetude, till Hadrian renewed this office or grant, which made so considerable a branch of the Roman law. B.
89 Iura publica. Dr. Taylor, in his History of the Roman Law, p. 62, has given us the heads of the Roman Ius publicum, which were: religion and divine worship; peace and war legislation; exchequer and res fisci; escheats; the prerogative; law of treasons; taxes and imposts; coinage; jurisdiction; magistracies; regalia; embassies; honours and titles; colleges, schools, corporations; castles and fortifications; fairs, mercats, staple; forests; naturalization. B.
90 Tanquam aliqua materies. Ernesti’s text, says Orellius, has alia, by mistake. Aliqua is not very satisfactory. Nobbe, the editor of Tauchnitz’s text, retains Ernesti’s alia.
91 The herald’s caduceus, or wand, renders his person inviolable. Pearce.
92 Ut fieri solet. Ernesti conjectures ut dici solet. Ellendt thinks the common reading right, requiring only that we should understand a commonstrantibus.
93 Not recorded with any elegance, but in the plain style in which I am now going to express myself. Ernesti.
94 Principem illum. Nempe senatus. He wag consul with Cneius Domitius, A.U.C. 592. Ellendt.
95 The unwritten law.
96 Aliquam scientiam. For aliquam Manutius conjectured illam, which Lambinus, Ernesti, and Mueller approve. Wyttenbach suggested alienam, which has been adopted by Schutz and Orellius. I have followed Manutius.
97 Sciet—excellet. The commentators say nothing against these futures.
98 Duodecim scriptis. This was a game played with counters on a board, moved according to throws of the dice, but different from our backgammon. The reader may find all that is known of it in Adam’s Roman Antiquities, p. 423, and Smith’s Dict. of Gr. and Rom. Ant. art. Latrunculi.
99 Istis tragoediis tuis. Persons are said tragoedias in nugis agere, who make a small matter great by clamouring over it, as is done by actors in tragedies. Proust. See b. ii. c. 51; Quint. vi. 1. 36.
100 See Aristotle, Rhetor. ii. 2; Cic. Tusc.. Quaest. iv.
101 Most copies have aget; Pearce, with the minority, prefers agit.
102 These words are taken from a speech which Crassus had a short time before delivered in an assembly of the people, and in which he had made severe complaints of the Roman knights, who exercised their judicial powers with severity and injustice, and gave great trouble to the senate. Crassus took the part of the senate, and addressed the exhortation in the text to the people. Proust. Crassus was supporting the Servilian law. Manutius.
103 Ut illi aiunt. The philosophers, especially the Stoics, who affirmed that the wise man alone is happy. Ellendt.
104 See the Paradox of Cicero on the words Omnes sapientes liberi, omnes stulti servi.
105 Mentioned by Cic. Brut. c. 30. Proust. He was a perfect Stoic. Ellendt.
106 A work on the origin of the people and cities of Italy, and other matters, now lost. Cic. Brut. c. 85; Corn. Nep. Life of Cato, c. 3.
107 When a soldier, in the hearing of three or more of his comrades, named some one his heir in case he should fall in the engagement.
108 When a person, in the presence of five witnesses and a libripeus, assigned his property to somebody as his heir. Gaius, ii. 101; Aul. Gell. xv. 27.
109 He was falsely accused of extortion in his province of Asia, and, being condemned, was sent into exile. Cic. Brut. c. 30. Proust.
110 Shoes made at Sicyon, and worn only by the effeminate and luxurious. Lucret. iv. 1121.
111 Tum, quum dicebas, non videbam. Many copies omit the negative, an omission approved by Ernesti, Henrichsen, and Ellendt.
112 Either Scaevola, the father-in-law of Crassus, or Lucius Coelius Antipater, whom Cicero mentions in his Brutus. Proust.
113 Praeco actionum. One who informs those who are ignorant of law when the courts will be open; by what kind of suit any person must prosecute his claims on any other person; and acts in law proceedings as another sort of praeco acts at auctions. Strobaeus.
114 Herctum cieri--herciscundae familiae. Co-heirs, when an estate descended amongst them, were, by the Roman law, bound to each other by the action familiae herciscundae; that is, to divide the whole family inheritance, and settle all the accounts which related to it. Just. Inst. iii. 28. 4. The word herctum, says Festus, signifies whole or undivided, and cio, to divide; so, familiam herctam ciere was to divide the inheritance of the family, which two words, herctum ciere, were afterwards contracted into herciscere: hence this law-term used here, familiam herciscere. Servius has, therefore, from Donatus, thus illustrated a passage in Virgil, at the end of the VIIth Aeneid,

          Citae Metium in diversa quadrigae

Citae, says he, is a law-term, and signifies divided, as hercto non cito, the inheritance being undivided. Citae quadrigae, therefore, in that passage, does not mean quick or swift, as is generally imagined, but drawing different ways. B.
115 See c. 39.
116 C. 40.
117 C. 40
118 The Crassus here mentioned was Publius Crassus Dives, brother of Publius Mucius, Pontifex Maximus. See c. 37. Ellendt.
119 Cicero pro Caecina, c. 25; Gaius, ii. 138.
120 Omnem hanc partem iuris in controversiis. For in controversiis Lanibinus and Ernesti would read, from a correction in an old copy, incontroversi; but as tnsre is no authority for this word, Ellendt, with Bakius, prefers non controversi. With this alteration, the sense will be “all this uncontroverted part of the law.”
121 Certain legal formulae, of which some lawyer named Hostilius was the author. Ernesti.
122 Manilianos--leges. They were formulae which those who wished not to be deceived might use in buying and selling; they are called actiones by Varro, R. R. ii. 5, 11. […] The author was Manius Manilius, an eminent lawyer, who was consul A.U.C. 603. Ernesti,
123 There is no proper grammatical construction in this sentence. Ernesti observes that it is, perhaps, in some way unsound.
124 In Iure. “Apud tribunal praetoris.” Ernesti.
125 I translate the conclusion of this sentence in conformity with the text of Orellius, who puts tamen at the end of it, instead of letting it stand at the beginning of the next sentence, as is the case in other editions. His interpretation is, invisere saltem. “Though we be much occupied, yet we can visit our farms.”
126 He wrote eight-and-twenty books on country affairs in the Punic language, which were translated into Latin, by order of the senate, by Cassius Dionysius of Utica. See Varro, R. R. i. 1; and Columella. who calls him the father of farming. Proust.
127 Quum in rem praesentem non venimus. We do not go ad locum, unde praesentes rem et fines inspicere possimus. Ellendt.
128 Perscriptionibus. Perscriptio is considered by Ellendt to signify a draft or checque to be presented to a banker.
129 Graecorum more et tragoedorum. Lambinus would strike out et, on the authority of three manuscripts; and Pearce thinks that the conjunction ought to be absent. Ernesti thinks that some substantive belonging to Graecorum has dropped out of the text. A Leipsic edition, he observes, has Graecorum more sophistarum et tragoedorum, but on what authority he does not know.
130 Paeanem aut munionem. The word munionem is corrupt. Many editions have nomium, which is left equally unexplained. The best conjectural emendation, as Orellius observes, is nomum, proposed by a critic of Jena,
131 Ernesti supposes him to be Caius Cassius Longinus, who is mentioned by Cicero, pro Planco, c. 24.
132 In one period or sentence he twice raised and twice lowered his voice: he raised it in the former members of the period, and lowered it in the latter; and this he did in one breath. Proust. This seems not quite correct. Cicero appears to mean, that of the two members the voice was once raised and once lowered in each.
133 Orellius’s text has praeceptis oratoris; but we must undoubtedly read oratoriis with Pearce.
134 Atticus was exceedingly pleased with this treatise, and commended it extremely, but objected to the dismission of Scaevola from the disputation, after he had been introduced into the first dialogue. Cicero defends himself by the example of their “god Plato,” as he calls him, in his book De Republica; where the scene being laid in the house of an old gentleman, Cephalus, the old man, after bearing a part in the first conversation, excuses himself, saying, that he must go to prayers, and returns no more, Plato not thinking it suitable to his age to be detained in the company through so long a discourse. With greater reason, therefore, he says that he had used the same caution in the case of Scaevola; since it was not to be supposed that a person of his dignity, extreme age, and infirm health, would spend several successive days in another man’s house: that the first day’s dialogue related to his particular profession, but the other two chiefly to the rules and precepts of the art, at which it was not proper for one of Scaevola’s temper and character to be present only as a hearer. Ad Attic, iv. 16. B.
135 Retire from the heat, like Scaevola, and take rest.