Cicero, De Oratore Book 2
Translated by J. S. Watson
Formatted by C. Chinn


I. [1] THERE was, if you remember, brother Quintus, a strong persuasion in us when we were boys, that Lucius Crassus had acquired no more learning than he had been enabled to gain from instruction in his youth, and that Marcus Antonius was entirely destitute and ignorant of all erudition whatsoever; and there were many who, though they did not believe that such was really the case, yet, that they might more easily deter us from the pursuit of learning, when we were inflamed with a desire of attaining it, took a pleasure in reporting what I have said of those orators; so that, if men of no learning had acquired the greatest wisdom, and an incredible degree of eloquence, all our industry might seem vain, and the earnest perseverance of our father, one of the best and most sensible of men, in educating us, might appear to be folly. [2] These reasoners we, as boys, used at that time to refute with the aid of witnesses whom we had at home, our father, Caius Aculeo our relative, and Lucius Cicero our uncle; for our father, Aculeo (who married our mother’s sister, and whom Crassus esteemed the most of all his friends), and our own uncle (who went with Antonius into Cilicia, and quitted it at the same time with him), often told us many particulars about Crassus, relative to his studies and learning; and as we, with our cousins, Aculeo’s sons, learned what Crassus approved, and were instructed by the masters whom he engaged, we had also frequent opportunities of observing (since, though boys,1 we could understand this) that he spoke Greek so well that he might have been thought not to know any other language, and he put such questions to our masters, and discoursed upon such subjects in his conversation with them, that nothing appeared to be new or strange to him. [3] But with regard to Antonius, although we had frequently heard from our uncle, a person of the greatest learning, how he had devoted himself, both at Athens and at Rhodes, to the conversation of the most learned men; yet I myself also, when quite a youth, often asked him many questions on the subject, as far as the bashfulness of my early years would permit. What I am writing will certainly not be new to you, (for at that very time you heard it from me,) namely, that from many and various conversations, he appeared to me neither ignorant nor unaccomplished in anything in those branches of knowledge of which I could form any opinion. [4] But there was such peculiarity in each, that Crassus desired not so much to be thought unlearned as to hold learning in contempt, and to prefer, on every subject, the understanding of our countrymen to that of the Greeks; while Antonius thought that his oratory would be better received by the Roman people, if he were believed to have had no learning at all; and thus the one imagined that he should have more authority if he appeared to despise the Greeks, and the other if he seemed to know nothing of them.

[5] But what their object was, is certainly nothing to our present purpose. It is pertinent, however, to the treatise which I have commenced, and to this portion of it, to remark that no man could ever excel and reach eminence in eloquence without learning, not only the art of oratory, but every branch of useful knowledge. II. For almost all other arts can support themselves independently, and by their own resources; but to speak well, that is, to speak with learning, and skill, and elegance, has no definite province within the limits of which it is enclosed and restricted. Everything that can possibly fall under discussion among mankind, must be effectively treated by him who professes that he can practise this art, or he must relinquish all title to eloquence. [6] For my own part, therefore, though I confess that both in our own country and in Greece itself, which always held this art in the highest estimation, there have arisen many men of extraordinary powers, and of the highest excellence in speaking,2 without this absolute knowledge of everything; yet I affirm that such a degree of eloquence as was in Crassus and Antonius, could not exist without a knowledge of all subjects that contribute to form that wisdom and that force of oratory which were seen in them. [7] On this account, I had the greater satisfaction in committing to writing that dialogue which they formerly held on these subjects; both that the notion which had always prevailed, that the one had no great learning, and that the other was wholly unlearned, might be eradicated, and that I might preserve, in the records of literature, the opinions which I thought divinely delivered by those consummate orators concerning eloquence, if I could by any means learn and fully register them; and also, indeed, that I might, as far as I should be able, rescue their fame, now upon the decline, from silence and oblivion. If they could have been known from writings of their own, I should, perhaps, have [8] thought it less necessary for me to be thus elaborate; but as one left but little in writing, (at least, there is little extant,) and that he wrote in his youth,3 the other almost nothing, I thought it due from me to men of such genius, while we still retain a lively remembrance of them, to render their fame, if I could, imperishable. [9] I enter upon this undertaking with the greater hopes of effecting my object,4 because I am not writing of the eloquence of Servius Galba or Caius Carbo, concerning which I should be at liberty to invent whatever I pleased, as no one now living could confute me; but I publish an account to be read by those who have frequently heard the men themselves of whom I am speaking, that I may commend those two illustrious men to such as have never seen either of them, from the recollection, as a testimony, of those to whom both those orators were known, and who are now alive and present among us.

III. [10] Nor do I now aim at instructing you, dearest and best of brothers, by means of rhetorical treatises, which you regard as unpolished; (for what can be more refined or graceful than your own language?) but though, whether it be, as you use to say, from judgment, or, as Isocrates, the father of eloquence, has written of himself, from a sort of bashfulness and ingenuous timidity, that you have shrunk from speaking in public, or whether, as you sometimes jocosely remark, you thought one orator sufficient, not only for one family, but almost for a whole community, I yet think that these books will not appear to you of that kind which may deservedly be ridiculed on account of the deficiency in elegant learning in those who have discussed the art of speaking; [11] for nothing seems to me to be wanting in the conversation of Crassus and Antonius, that any one could imagine possible to be known or understood by men of the greatest genius, the keenest application, the most consummate learning, and the utmost experience; as you will very easily be able to judge, who have been pleased to acquire the knowledge and theory of oratory through your own exertions, and to observe the practice of it in mine. But that we may the sooner accomplish the task which we have undertaken, and which is no ordinary one, let us leave our exordium, and proceed to the conversation and arguments of the characters whom I have offered to your notice.

[12] The next day, then, after the former conversation had taken place, about the second hour,5 while Crassus was yet in bed, and Sulpicius sitting by him, and Antonius walking with Cotta in the portico, on a sudden Quintus Catulus6 the elder, with his brother Caius Julius,7 arrived there; and when Crassus heard of their coming, he arose in some haste, and they were all in a state of wonder, suspecting that the occasion of their arrival was of more than common importance. [13] The parties having greeted each other with most friendly salutations, as their intimacy required, “What has brought, you hither at last?” said Crassus; “is it anything new?” “Nothing, indeed,” said Catulus; “for you know it is the time of the public games. But (you may think us, if you please,” added he, “either foolish or impertinent) when Caesar came yesterday in the evening to my Tusculan villa, from his own, he told me that he had met Scaevola going from hence; from whom he said that he had heard a wonderful account, namely, that you, whom I could never entice into such conversation, though I endeavoured to prevail on you in every way, had held long dissertations with Antonius on eloquence, and had disputed, as in the schools, almost in the manner of the Greeks; [14] and my brother, therefore, entreated me, not being of myself, indeed, averse to hear you, but, at the same time, afraid we might make a troublesome visit to you, to come hither with him; for he said that Scaevola had told him that a great part of the discourse was postponed till to-day. If you think we have acted too forwardly, you will lay the blame upon Caesar, if too familiarly, upon both of us; for we are rejoiced to have come, if we do not give you trouble by our visit.” IV. [15] Crassus replied, “Whatever object had brought you hither. I should rejoice to see at my house men for whom I have so much affection and friendship; but yet, (to say the truth,) I had rather it had been any other object than that which you mention. For I, (to speak as I think,) was never less satisfied with myself than yesterday; though this happened more through my own good nature than any other fault of mine; for, while I complied with the request of these youths, I forgot that I was an old man, and did that which I had never done even when young; I spoke on subjects that depended on a certain degree of learning. But it has happened very fortunately for me, that as my part is finished, you have come to hear Antonius.” [16] “For my part, Crassus,” returned Caesar, “I am indeed desirous to hear you in that kind of fuller and continuous discussion, yet so that, if I cannot have that happiness, I can be contented with your ordinary conversation. I will therefore endeavour that neither my friend Sulpicius, nor Cotta, may seem to have more influence with you than myself; and will certainly entreat you to show some of your good nature even to Catulus and me. But if you are not so inclined, I will not press you, nor cause you, while you are afraid of appearing impertinent yourself, to think me impertinent.” [17] “Indeed, Caesar,” replied Crassus, “I have always thought of all Latin words there was the greatest significance in that which you have just used; for he whom we call impertinent, seems to me to bear an appellation derived from not being pertinent; and that appellation, according to our mode of speaking, is of very extensive meaning; for whoever either does not discern what occasion requires, or talks too much, or is ostentatious of himself, or is forgetful either of the dignity or convenience of those in whose presence he is, or is in any respect awkward or presuming, is called impertinent. [18] With this fault that most learned nation of the Greeks abounds; and, consequently, because the Greeks do not feel the influence of this evil, they have not even found a name for the foible; for though you make the most diligent inquiry, you will not find out how the Greeks designate an impertinent person. But of all their other impertinences, which are innumerable, I do not know whether there be any greater than their custom of raising the most subtile disputatious on the most difficult or unnecessary points, in whatever place, and before whatever persons they think proper. This we were compelled to do by these youths yesterday, though against our will, and though we at first declined.”

V. [19] “The Greeks, however, Crassus,” rejoined Catulus, “who were eminent and illustrious in their respective states, as you are, and as we all desire to be, in our own republic, bore no resemblance to those Greeks who force themselves on our ears; yet they did not in their leisure avoid this kind of discourse and disputation. [20] And if they seem to you, as they ought to seem, impertinent, who have no regard to times, places, or persons, does this place, I pray, seem ill adapted to our purpose, in which the very portico where we are walking, and this field of exercise, and the seats in so many directions, revive in some degree the remembrance of the Greek gymnasia and disputations? Or is the time unseasonable, during so much leisure as is seldom afforded us, and is now afforded at a season when it is most desirable? Or are the company unsuited to this kind of discussion, when we are all of such a character as to think that life is nothing without these studies?” [21] “I contemplate all these things,” said Crassus, “in a quite different light; for I think that even the Greeks themselves originally contrived their palaestrae, and seats, and porticoes, for exercise and amusement, not for disputation; since their gymnasia were invented many generations before the philosophers began to prate in them; and at this very day, when the philosophers occupy all the gymnasia, their audience would still rather hear the discus than a philosopher; and as soon as it begins to sound, they all desert the philosopher in the middle of his discourse, though discussing matters of the utmost weight and consequence, to anoint themselves for exercise; thus preferring the lightest amusement to what the philosophers represent to be of the utmost utility. As to the leisure which you say we have, I agree with you; [22] but the enjoyment of leisure is not exertion of mind, but relaxation. VI. I have often heard from my father-in-law, in conversation, that his father-in-law Laelius was almost always accustomed to go into the country with Scipio, and that they used to grow incredibly boyish again when they had escaped out of town, as if from a prison, into the open fields. I scarcely dare to say it of such eminent persons yet Scaevola is in the habit of relating that they used to gather shells and pebbles at Caieta and Laurentum, and to descend to every sort of pastime and amusement. [23] For such is the case, that as we see birds form and build nests for the sake of procreation and their own convenience, and, when they have completed any part, fly abroad in freedom, disengaged from their toils, in order to alleviate their anxiety; so our minds, wearied with legal business and the labours of the city, exult and long to flutter about, as it were, relieved from care and solicitude. [24] In what I said to Scaevola, therefore, in pleading for Curius,8 I said only what I thought. ‘For if,’ said I, ‘Scaevola, no will shall be properly made but what is of your writing, all of us citizens will come to you with our tablets, and you alone shall write all our wills; but then,’ continued I, ‘when will you attend to public business? when to that of your friends 1 when to your own? when, in -a word, will you do nothing?’ adding, ‘for he does not seem to me to be a free man, who does not sometimes do nothing;’ of which opinion, Catulus, I still continue; and, when I come hither, the mere privilege of doing nothing, and of being fairly idle, delights me. [25] As to the third remark which you added, that you are of such a disposition as to think life insipid without these studies, that observation not only does not encourage me to any discussion, but even deters me from it. For as Caius Lucilius, a man of great learning and wit, used to say, that what he wrote he would neither wish to have read by the most illiterate persons, nor by those of the greatest learning, since the one sort understood nothing, and the other perhaps more than himself; to which purpose he also wrote, I do not care to be read by Persius9 (for he was, as we know, about the most learned of all our countrymen); but I wish to be read by Laelius Decimus (whom we also knew, a man of worth and of some learning, but nothing to Persius); so I, if I am now to discuss these studies of ours, should not wish to do so before peasants, but much less before you; for I had rather that my talk should not be understood than be censured.”

VII. [26] “Indeed, Catulus,” rejoined Caesar, “I think I have already gained some profit10 by coming hither; for these reasons for declining a discussion have been to me a very agreeable discussion. But why do we delay Antonius, whose part is, I hear, to give a dissertation upon eloquence in general, and for whom Cotta and Sulpicius have been some time waiting?” [27] “But I,” interposed Crassus, “will neither allow Antonius to speak a word, nor will I utter a syllable myself, unless I first obtain one favour from you.” “What is it?” said Catulus. “That you spend the day here.” Then, while Catulus hesitated, because he had promised to go to his brother’s house, “I,” said Julius, “will answer for both. We will do so; and you would detain me even in case you were not to say a single word.” [28] Here Catulus smiled, and said, “My hesitation then is brought to an end; for I had left no orders at home, and he, at whose house I was to have been, has thus readily engaged us to you, without waiting for my assent.”

They then all turned their eyes upon Antonius, who cried out, “Be attentive, I say, be attentive, for you shall hear a man from the schools, a man from the professor’s chair, deeply versed in Greek learning;11 and I shall on this account speak with the greater confidence, that Catulus is added to the audience, to whom not only we of the Latin tongue, but even the Greeks themselves, are wont to allow refinement and elegance in the Greek language. [29] But since the whole process of speaking, whether it be an art or a business, can be of no avail without the addition of assurance, I will teach you, my scholars, that which I have not learned myself, what I think of every kind of speaking.” [30] When they all laughed, “It is a matter that seems to me,” proceeded he, “to depend very greatly on talent, but only moderately on art; for art lies in things which are known; but all the pleading of an orator depends not on knowledge, but on opinion; for we both address ourselves to those who are ignorant, and speak of what we do not know ourselves; and consequently our hearers think and judge differently at different times concerning the same subjects, and we often take contrary sides, not only so that Crassus sometimes speaks against me, or I against Crassus, when one of us must of necessity advance what is false; but even that each of as, at different times, maintains different opinions on the same question; when more than one of those opinions cannot possibly be right. I will speak, therefore, as on a subject which is of a character to defend falsehood, which rarely arrives at knowledge,12 and which is ready to take advantage of the opinions and even errors of mankind, if you think that there is still reason why you should listen to me.”

VIII. [31] “We think, indeed, that there is very great reason,” said Catulus, “and the more so, as you seem resolved to use no ostentation; for you have commenced, not boastfully, but rather, as you think, with truth, than with any fanciful notion of the dignity of your subject.” [32] “As I have acknowledged then,” continued Antonius, “that it is not one of the greatest of arts, so I allow, at the same time, that certain artful directions may be given for moving the feelings and gaining the favour of mankind. If any one thinks proper to say that the knowledge how to do this is a great art, I shall not contradict him; for as many speakers speak upon causes in the forum without due consideration or method, while others, from study, or a certain degree of practice, do their business with more address, there is no doubt, that if any one sets himself to observe what is the cause why some speak better than others, he may discover that cause; and, consequently, he who shall extend such observation over the whole field of eloquence, will find in it, if not an art absolutely, yet something resembling an art. [33] And I could wish, that as I seem to see matters as they occur in the forum, and in pleadings, so I could now set them before you just as they are conducted!

“But I must consider my own powers. I now assert only that of which I am convinced, that although oratory is not an art, no excellence is superior to that of a consummate orator. For to say nothing of the advantages of eloquence, which has the highest influence in every well-ordered and free state, there is such delight attendant on the very power of eloquent speaking, that nothing more pleasing can be received into the ears or understanding of man. [34] What music can be found more sweet than the pronunciation of a well-ordered oration? What poem more agreeable than the skilful structure of prose? What actor has ever given greater pleasure in imitating, than an orator gives in supporting, truth? What penetrates the mind more keenly than an acute and quick succession of arguments’? What is more admirable than thoughts illumined by brilliancy of expression? What nearer to perfection than a speech replete with every variety of matter? for there is no subject susceptible of being treated with elegance and effect, that may not fall under the province of the orator. IX. [35] It is his, in giving counsel on important affairs, to deliver his opinion with clearness and dignity; it is his to rouse a people when they are languid, and to calm them when immoderately excited. By the same power of language, the wickedness of mankind is brought to destruction, and virtue to security. Who can exhort to virtue more ardently than the orator? Who reclaim from vice with greater energy? Who can reprove the bad with more asperity, or praise the good with better grace? Who can break the force of unlawful desire by more effective reprehension? Who can alleviate grief with more soothing consolation? [36] By what other voice, too, than that of the orator, is history,, the evidence of time, the light of truth, the life of memory, the directress of life, the herald of antiquity, committed to immortality? For if there be any other art, which professes skill in inventing or selecting words; if any one, besides the orator, is said to form a discourse, and to vary and adorn it with certain distinctions, as it were, of words and thoughts; or if any method of argument, or expression of thought, or distribution and arrangement of matter, is taught, except by this one art, let us confess that either that, of which this art makes profession, is foreign to it, or possessed in common with some other art. [37] But if such method and teaching be confined to this alone, it is not, though professors of other arts may have spoken well, the less on that account the property of this art; but as an orator can speak best of all men on subjects that belong to other arts, if he makes himself acquainted with them, (as Crassus observed yesterday,) so the professors of other arts speak more eloquently on their own subjects, if they have acquired any instruction from this art; [38] for if any person versed in agriculture has spoken or written with eloquence on rural affairs, or a physician, as many have done, on diseases, or a painter upon painting, his eloquence is not on that account to be considered as belonging to any of those arts; although in eloquence, indeed, such is the force of human genius, many men of every class and profession13 attain some proficiency even without instruction; but though you may judge what is peculiar to each art, when you have observed what they severally teach, yet nothing can be more certain than that all other arts can discharge their duties without eloquence, but that an orator cannot even acquire his name without it; so that other men, if they are eloquent, borrow something from him; while he, if he is not supplied from his own stores, cannot obtain the power of speaking from any other art.”

X. [39] Catulus then said, “Although, Antonius, the course of your remarks ought by no means to be retarded by interruption, yet you will bear with me and grant me pardon; for I cannot help crying out, as he in the Trinummus14 says, so ably do you seem to me to have described the powers of the orator, and so copiously to have extolled them, as the eloquent man, indeed, must necessarily do; he must extol eloquence best of all men; for to praise it he has to employ the very eloquence which he praises. But proceed, for I agree with you, that to speak eloquently is all your own; and that, if any one does so on any other art, he employs an accomplishment borrowed from something else, not peculiar to him, or his own.” [40] “The night,” added Crassus, “has made you polite to us, Antonius, and humanized you; for in yesterday’s address to us,15 you described the orator as a man that can do only one thing, like a waterman or a porter, as Caecilius16 says; a fellow void of all learning and politeness.” “Why yesterday,” rejoined Antonius, “I had made it my object, if I refuted you, to take your scholars from you;17 but now, as Catulus and Caesar make part of the audience, I think I ought not so much to argue against you, as to declare what I myself think. [41] It follows then, that, as the orator of whom we speak is to be placed in the forum, and in the view of the public, we must consider what employment we are to give him, and to what duties we should wish him to be appointed. For Crassus18 yesterday, when you, Catulus and Caesar, were not present, made, in a few words, the same statement, in regard to the division of the art, that most of the Greeks have made; not expressing what he himself thought, but what was said by them; that there are two principal sorts of questions about which eloquence is employed; one indefinite, the other definite. [42] He seemed to me to call that indefinite in which the subject of inquiry is general, as, Whether eloquence is desirable; whether honours should be sought; and that definite in which there is an inquiry with respect to particular persons, or any settled and denned point; of which sort are the questions agitated in the forum, and in the causes and disputes of private citizens. [43] These appear to me to consist either in judicial pleadings, or in giving counsel; for that third kind, which was noticed by Crassus, and which, I hear, Aristotle19 himself, who has fully illustrated these subjects, added, is, though it be useful, less necessary.” “What kind do you mean?” said Catulus; “is it panegyric? for I observe that that is introduced as a third kind.” XI. [44] “It is so,” says Antonius; “and as to this kind of oratory, I know that I myself, and all who were present, were extremely delighted when your mother Popilia20 was honoured with a panegyric by you; the first woman, I think, to whom such honour was ever paid in this city. But it does not seem to me that all subjects on which we speak are to be included in art, and made subject to rules; [45] for from those fountains, whence all the ornaments of speech are drawn, we may also take the ornaments of panegyric, without requiring elementary instructions; for who is ignorant, though no one teach him, what qualities are to be commended in any person? For if we but look to those things which Crassus has mentioned, in the beginning of the speech which he delivered when censor in opposition to his colleague,21 That in those things which are bestowed on mankind by nature or fortune, he could contentedly allow himself to be excelled; but that in whatever men could procure for themselves, he could not suffer himself to be excelled, he who would pronounce the panegyric of any person, will understand that he must expatiate on the blessings of fortune; [46] and these are advantages of birth, wealth, relationship, friends, resources, health, beauty, strength, talent, and such other qualities as are either personal, or dependent on circumstances; and, if he possessed these, he must show that he made a proper use of them; if not, that he managed wisely without them; if he lost them, that he bore the loss with resignation; he must then state what he whom he praises did or suffered with wisdom, or with liberality, or with fortitude, or with justice, or with honour, or with piety, or with gratitude, or with humanity, or, in a word, under the influence of any virtue. These particulars, and whatever others are of similar kind, he will easily observe who is inclined to praise any person; and he who is inclined to blame him the contrary.” [47] “Why then do you hesitate,” said Catulus, “to make this a third kind, since it is so in the nature of things? for if it is more easy than others, it is not, on that account, to be excluded from the number.” “Because I am unwilling,” replied Antonius, “to treat of all that falls under the province of an orator, as if nothing, however small it may be, could be uttered without regard to stated rules. [48] Evidence, for instance, is often to be given, and sometimes with great exactness, as I was obliged to give mine against Sextus Titius,22 a seditious and turbulent member of the commonwealth; when, in delivering my evidence, I explained all the proceedings of my consulate, in which I, on behalf of the commonwealth, opposed him as tribune of the people, and exposed all that I thought he had done contrary to the interest of the state; I was detained long, I listened to much, I answered many objections; but would you therefore wish, when you give precepts on eloquence, to add any instructions on giving evidence as a portion of the art of oratory?”

XII. [49] “There is, indeed,” said Catulus, “no necessity.” “Or if (as often happens to the greatest men) communications are to be delivered, either in the senate from a commander in chief, or to such a commander, or from the senate to auj king or people, does it appear to you that because, on such subjects, we must use a more accurate sort of language than ordinary, this kind of speaking should be counted as a department of eloquence, and he furnished with peculiar precepts? ““ By no means,” replied Catulus; “for an eloquent man, in speaking on subjects of that sort, will not be at a loss for that talent which he has acquired by practice on other matters and topics.” [50] “Those other kinds of subjects, therefore,” continued Antonius, “which often require to be treated with eloquence, and which, as I said just now, (when I was praising eloquence,) belong to the orator, have neither any place in the division of the parts of oratory, nor fall under any peculiar kind of rules, and yet must be handled as eloquently as arguments in pleadings; such are reproof, exhortation, consolation, all which demand the finest graces of language; yet these matters need no rules from art.” [51] “I am decidedly of that opinion,” said Catulus. “Well, then, to proceed,” said Antonius, “what sort of orator, or how great a master of language, do you think it requires to write history?” “If to write it as the Greeks have written, a man of the highest powers,” said Catulus; “if as our own countrymen, there is no need of an orator; it is sufficient for the writer to tell truth.” “But,” rejoined Antonius, “that you may not despise those of our own country, the Greeks themselves too wrote at first just like our Cato, and Pictor, and Piso. [52] For history was nothing else but a compilation of annals; and accordingly, for the sake of preserving the memory of public events, the pontifex maximus used to commit to writing the occurrences of every year, from the earliest period of Roman affairs to the time of the pontifex Publius Mucius, and had them engrossed on white tablets, which he set forth as a register in his own house, so that all the people had liberty to inspect it; and these records are yet called the Great Annals. [53] This mode of writing many have adopted, and, without any ornaments of style, have left behind them simple chronicles of times, persons, places, and events. Such, therefore, as were Pherecydes, Hellanicus, Acusilas,23 and many others among the Greeks, are Cato, and Pictor, and Piso with us, who neither understand how composition is to be adorned (for ornaments of style have been but recently introduced among us), and, provided what they related can be understood, think brevity of expression the only merit. [54] Antipater,24 an excellent man, the friend of Crassus, raised himself a little, and gave history a higher tone; the others were not embellishers of facts, but mere narrators.”

XIII. “It is,” rejoined Catulus, “as you say; but Antipater himself neither diversified his narrative by variety of thoughts, nor polished his style by an apt arrangement of words, or a smooth and equal flow of language, but rough-hewed it as he could, being a man of no learning, and not extremely well qualified for an orator; yet he excelled, as you say, his predecessors.” [55] “It is far from being wonderful,” said Antonius, “if history has not yet made a figure in our language; for none of our countrymen study eloquence, unless that it may be displayed in causes and in the forum; whereas among the Greeks, the most eloquent men, wholly unconnected with public pleading, applied themselves as well to other honourable studies as to writing history; for of Herodotus himself, who first embellished this kind of writing, we hear that he was never engaged in pleading; yet his eloquence is so great as to delight me extremely, as far as I can understand Greek writing. [56] After him, in my opinion, Thucydides has certainly surpassed all historians in the art of composition; for he is so abundant in matter, that he almost equals the number of his words by the number of his thoughts; and he is so happy and judicious in his expressions,25 that you are at a loss to decide whether his facts are set off by his style, or his style by his thoughts; and of him too we do not hear, though he was engaged in public affairs, that he was of the number of those who pleaded causes, and he is said to have written his books at a time when he was removed from all civil employments, and, as usually happened to every eminent man at Athens, was driven into banishment. [57] He was followed by Philistus26 of Syracuse, who, living in great familiarity with the tyrant Dionysius, spent his leisure in writing history, and, as I think, principally imitated Thucydides But afterwards, two men of great genius, Theopompus and Ephorus, coming from what we may call the noblest school of rhetoric, applied themselves to history by the persuasion of their master Isocrates, and never attended to pleading at all. XIV. [58] At last historians arose also among the philosophers; first Xenophon, the follower of Socrates, and afterwards Callisthenes, the pupil of Aristotle and companion of Alexander. The latter wrote in an almost rhetorical manner; the former used a milder strain of language, which has not the animation of oratory, but, though perhaps less energetic, is, as it seems to me, much more pleasing. Timseus, the last of all these, but, as far as I can judge, by far the most learned, and abounding most with richness of matter and variety of thought, and not unpolished in style, brought a large store of eloquence to this kind of writing, but no experience in pleading causes.”

[59] When Antonius had spoken thus, “What is this, Catulus?’ said Csesar. “Where are they who say that Antonius is ignorant of Greek? how many historians has he named! and how learnedly and judiciously has he spoken of each! ““On my word,” said Catulus, “while I wonder at this, I cease to wonder at what I regarded with much greater wonder before, namely, that he, being unacquainted with these matters, should have such power as a speaker.” “But, Catulus,” said Antonius,” my custom is to read these books, and some others, when I have leisure, not to hunt for anything that may improve me in speaking, but for my own amusement. [60] What profit is there from it then? I own that there is not much; yet there is some: for as, when I walk in the sun, though I may walk for another purpose, yet it naturally happens that I gain a deeper colour; so when I have read those books attentively at Misenum,27 (for at Rome I have scarcely opportunity to do so,) I can perceive that my language acquires a complexion,28 as it were, from my intercourse with them. But, that you may not take what I say in too wide a sense, I only understand such of the Greek writings as their authors wished to be understood by the generality of people. [61] If I ever fall in with the philosophers, deluded by the titles to their books, as they generally profess to be written on well-known and plain subjects, as virtue, justice, probity, pleasure, I do not understand a single word of them; so restricted are they to close and exact disputations. The poets, as speaking in a different language, I never attempt to touch at all; but amuse myself, as I said, with those who have written history, or their own speeches,29 or who have adopted such a style that they seem to wish to be familiar to us who are not of the deepest erudition. XV. [62] But I return to my subject. Do you see how far the study of history is the business of the orator? I know not whether it is not his most important business, for flow and variety of diction; yet I do not find it anywhere treated separately under the rules of the rhetoricians. Indeed, all rules respecting it are obvious to common view; for who is ignorant that it is the first law in writing history, that the historian must not dare to tell any falsehood, and the next, that he must be bold enough to tell the whole truth? Also, that there must be no suspicion of partiality in his writings, or of personal animosity? [63] These fundamental rules are doubtless universally known. The superstructure depends on facts and style. The course of facts requires attention to order of time, and descriptions of countries; and since, in great affairs, and such as are worthy of remembrance, first the designs, then the actions, and afterwards the results, are expected, it demands also that it should be shown, in regard to the designs, what the writer approves, and that it should be told, in regard to the actions, not only what was done or said, but in what manner; and when the result is stated, that all the causes contributing to it should be set forth, whether arising from accident, wisdom, or temerity; and of the characters concerned, not only their acts, but, at least of those eminent in reputation and dignity, the life and mariners of each. [64] The sort of language and character of style to be observed must be regular and continuous, flowing with a kind of equable smoothness, without the roughness of judicial pleadings, and the sharp-pointed sentences used at the bar. Concerning all these numerous and important points, there are no rules, do you observe, to be found in the treatises of the rhetoricians.

“In the same silence have lain many other duties of the orator; exhortation, consolation, precept, admonition, all of which are subjects for the highest eloquence, and yet have no place in those treatises on the art which are in circulation. [65] Under this head, too, there is an infinite field of matter; for as Crassus observed) most writers assign to the orator two kinds of subjects on which he may speak; the one concerning stated and defined questions, such as are treated in judicial pleadings or political debates, to which he that will may add panegyrics; the other, what all authors term, (though none give any explanation,) questions unlimited in their kind, without reference to time or person. When they speak of this sort of subjects, they do not appear to know the nature and extent of it; [66] for if it is the business of an orator to be able to speak on whatever subject is proposed without limitation, he will have to speak on the magnitude of the sun, and on the shape of the earth; nor will be able, when he has undertaken such a task, to refuse to speak on mathematical and musical subjects. In short, for him who professes it to be his business to speak not only on those questions which are confined to certain times and persons, (that is, on all judicial questions,) but also on such as are unlimited in their kinds, there can be no subject for oratory to which he can take exception.

XVI. [67] “But if we are disposed to assign to the orator that sort of questions, also, which are undefined, unsettled, and of extreme latitude, so as to suppose that he must speak of good and evil, of things to be desired or avoided, honourable or dishonourable, profitable or unprofitable; of virtue, justice, temperance, prudence, magnanimity, liberality, piety, friendship, fidelity, duty, and of other virtues and their opposite vices, as well as on state affairs, on government, on military matters, on civil polity, on morality; let us take upon us that sort of subjects also, but so that it be circumscribed by moderate limits. [68] I think, indeed, that all matters relative to intercourse between fellow-citizens, and the transactions of mankind in general, every thing that concerns habits of life, administration of public affairs, civil society, the common sense of mankind, the law of nature, and moral duties, falls within the province of an orator, if not to such an extent that he may answer on every subject separately, like the philosophers, yet so at least that he may interweave them judiciously into his pleadings; and may speak upon such topics as those who established laws, statutes, and commonwealths, have spoken upon them, with simplicity and perspicuity, without any strict order of discussion, or jejune contention about words. [69] That it may not seem wonderful that no rules on so many topics of such importance are here laid down by me, I give this as my reason: As, in other arts, when the most difficult parts of each have been taught, other particulars, as being easier, or similar, are not necessary to be taught: for example, in painting, he who has learned to paint the figure of a man, can paint one of any shape or age without special instruction; and as there is no danger that he who excels in painting a lion or a bull, will be unable to succeed in painting other quadrupeds; (for there is indeed no art whatever, in which everything capable of being effected by it is taught by the master; but they who have learned the general principles regarding the chief and fixed points, accomplish the rest of themselves without any trouble;) [70] so I conceive that in oratory, whether it be an art, or an attainment from practice only, he who has acquired such ability, that he can, at his pleasure, influence the understandings of those who listen to him with some power of deciding, on questions concerning public matters, or his own private affairs, or concerning those for or against whom he speaks, will, on every other kind of oratorical subject, be no more at a loss what to say than the famous Polycletus, when he formed his Hercules, was at a loss how to execute the lion’s skin, or the hydra, although he had never been taught to form them separately.”

XVII. [71]Catulus then observed, “You seem to me, Antonius, to have set clearly before us what he who designs to be an orator ought to learn, and what he may assume from that which he has learned without particular instruction; for you have reduced his whole business to two kinds of causes only, and have left particulars, which are innumerable, to practice and comparison. But take care lest the hydra and lion’s skin be included in those two kinds, and the Hercules, and other greater works be left among the matters which you omit. For it does not seem to me to be less difficult to speak on the nature of things in general, than on the causes of particular persons, and it seems even much more difficult to discourse on the nature of the gods, than on matters that are litigated amongst men.” [72] “It is not so,” replied Antonius; “for to you, Catulus, I will speak, not so much like a person of learning, as, what is more, one of experience. To speak on all other subjects is, believe me, mere play to a man who does not want parts or practice, and is not destitute of common literature or polite instruction; but, in contested causes, the business is of great difficulty; I know not whether it be not the greatest by far of all human efforts, where the abilities of the orator are, by the unlearned, estimated according to the result and success; where an adversary presents himself armed at all points, who is to be at once attacked and repelled; where he, who is to decide the question, is averse, or offended, or even friendly to your adversary, and hostile to yourself; when he is either to be instructed or undeceived, restrained or incited, or managed in every way, by force of argument, according to the cause and occasion; when his benevolence is often to be turned to hostility, and his hostility to benevolence; when he is to be moved, as by some machinery, to severity or to indulgence, to sorrow or to merriment, [73] you must exert your whole power of thought, and your whole force of language; with which must be joined a delivery varied, energetic, full of life, full of spirit, full of feeling, full of nature. If any one, in such efforts as these, shall have mastered the art to such a degree, that, like Phidias, he can make a statue of Minerva, he will, like that great artist, find no difficulty in learning how to execute the smaller figures upon the shield.”

XVIII. [74] “The greater and more wonderful you represent such performances,” said Catulus, “the greater longing possesses me to know by what methods or precepts such power in oratory may be acquired; not that it any longer concerns me personally, (for my age does not stand in need of it, and we use I to pursue a different plan of speaking, as we never extorted decisions from the judges by force of eloquence, but rather received them from their hands, after conciliating their goodwill only so far as they themselves would permit,) yet I wish to learn your thoughts, not for any advantage to myself, as I say, but from a desire for knowledge. [75] Nor have I occasion for any Greek master to repeat his hackneyed precepts, when he himself never saw the forum, or was present at a trial; presumption similar to what is told of Phormio the peripatetic; for when Hannibal, driven from Carthage, came to Ephesus as an exile to seek the protection of Antiochus, and, as his name was held in great honour among all men, was invited by those who entertained him to hear the philosopher whom I mentioned, if he were inclined; and when he had signified that he was not unwilling, that copious speaker is said to have harangued some hours upon the duties of a general, and the whole military art; [76] and when the rest of the audience, who were extremely delighted, inquired of Hannibal what he thought of the philosopher, the Carthaginian is reported to have answered, not in very good Greek, but with very good sense, that ‘he had seen many doting old men, but had never seen any one deeper in his dotage than Phormio.’ Nor did he say so, indeed, without reason; for what could have been a greater proof of arrogance, or impertinent loquacity, than for a Greek, who had never seen an enemy or a camp, or had the least concern in any public employment, to deliver instructions on the military art to Hannibal, who had contended so many years for empire with the Romans, the conquerors of all nations? In this manner all those seem to me to act, who give rules on the art of speaking; for they teach others that of which they have no experience themselves. But they are perhaps less in error in this respect, that they do not attempt to instruct you, Catulus, as he did Hannibal, but boys only, or youths.”

XIX. [77] “You are wrong, Catulus,” said Antonius, “for I myself have met with many Phormios. Who, indeed, is there among those Greeks that seems to think any of us understand anything? To me, however, they are not so very troublesome; I easily bear with and endure them all; for they either produce something which diverts me, or make me repent less of not having learned from them. I dismiss them less contumeliously than Hannibal dismissed the philosopher, and on that account, perhaps, have more trouble with them; but certainly all their teaching, as far as I can judge, is extremely ridiculous. [78] For they divide the whole matter of oratory into two parts; the controversy about the cause and about the question. The cause they call the matter relating to the dispute or litigation affecting the persons concerned;30 the question, a matter of infinite doubt. Respecting the cause they give some precepts; on the other part of pleading they are wonderfully silent. [79] They then make five parts, as it were, of oratory; to invent what you are to say, to arrange what you have invented, to clothe it in proper language, then to commit it to memory, and at last to deliver it with due action and elocution; a task, surely, requiring no very abstruse study. For who would not understand without assistance, that nobody can make a speech unless he has settled what to say, and in what words, and in what order, and remembers it? Not that I find any fault with these rules, but I say that they are obvious to all; as are likewise those four, five, six, or even seven partitions, (since they are differently divided by different teachers,) into which every oration is by them distributed; [80] for they bid us adopt such an exordium as to make the hearer favourable to us, and willing to be informed and attentive; then to state our case in such a manner, that the detail may be probable, clear, and concise; next, to divide or propound the question; to confirm what makes for us by arguments and reasoning, and refute what makes for the adversary; after this some place the conclusion of the speech, and peroration as it were; others direct you, before you come to the peroration, to make a digression by way of embellishment or amplification, then to sum up and conclude. [81] Nor do I altogether condemn these divisions; for they are made with some nicety, though without sufficient judgment, as must of necessity be the case with men who had no experience in real pleading. For the precepts which they confine to the exordium and statement of facts are to be observed through the whole speech; [82] since I can more easily make a judge favourable to me in the progress of my speech, than when no part of the cause has been heard; and desirous of information, not when I promise that I will prove something, but when I actually prove and explain; and I can best make him attentive, not by the first statement, but by working on his mind through the whole course of the pleading. [83] As to their direction that the statement of facts should be probable, and clear, and concise, they direct rightly; but in supposing that these qualities belong more peculiarly to the statement of facts than to the whole of the speech, they seem to me to be greatly in error; and their whole mistake lies assuredly in this, that they think oratory an art or science, not unlike other sciences, such as Crassus said yesterday might be formed from the civil law itself; so that the general heads of the subject must first be enumerated, when it is a fault if any head be omitted; next, the particulars under each general head, when it is a fault if any particular be either deficient or redundant; then the definitions of all the terms, in which there ought to be nothing either wanting or superfluous.

XX. [84] “But if the more learned can attain this exactness in the civil law, as well as in other studies of a small or moderate extent, the same cannot, I think, be done in an affair of this compass and magnitude. If, however, any are of opinion that it can be done, they must be introduced to those who profess to teach these things as a science; they will find everything ready set forth and complete; for there are books without number on these subjects, neither concealed nor obscure. But let them consider what they mean to do; whether they will take up arms for sport or for real warfare; for with us a regular engagement and field of battle require one thing, the parade and school of exercise another. Yet preparatory exercise in arms is of some use both to the gladiator and the soldier; but it is a bold and ready mind, acute and quick at expedients, that renders men invincible, and certainly not less effectively if art be united with it.

[85] “I will now, therefore, form an orator for you, if I can; commencing so as to ascertain, first of all, what he is able to do. Let him have a tincture of learning; let him have heard and read something; let him have received those very instructions in rhetoric to which I have alluded. I will try what becomes him; what he can accomplish with his voice, his lungs, his breath, and his tongue. If I conceive that he may reach the level of eminent speakers, I will not only exhort him to persevere in labour, but, if he seem to me to be a good man,31 will entreat him; so much honour to the whole community do I think that there is in an excellent orator, who is at the same time a good man. But if he shall appear likely, after he has done his utmost in every way, to be numbered only among tolerable speakers, I will allow him to act as he pleases, and not be very troublesome to him. But if he shall be altogether unfit for the profession, and wanting in sense, I will advise him to make no attempts, or to turn himself to some other pursuit. [86] For neither is he, who can do excellently, to be left destitute of encouragement from us, nor is he, who can do some little, to be deterred; because one seems to me to be the part of a sort of divinity; the other, either to refrain from what you cannot do extremely well, or to do what you can perform not contemptibly, is the part of a reasonable human being; but the conduct of the third character, to declaim, in spite of decency and natural deficiency, is that of a man who, as you said, Catulus, of a certain haranguer, collects as many witnesses as possible of his folly by a proclamation from himself. [87] Of him then, who shall prove such as to merit our exhortation and encouragement, let me so speak as to communicate to him only what experience has taught myself, that, under my guidance, he may arrive at that point which I have reached without any guide; for I can give him no better instructions.

XXI. [88] “To commence then, Catulus, by taking an example from our friend Sulpicius here; I first heard him, when he was but a youth, in a cause of small importance; he was possessed of a voice, figure, deportment, and other qualifications suited for the profession which we are considering. His mode of speaking was quick and hurried, which was owing to his genius; his style animated and somewhat too redundant, which was owing to his youth. I was very far from entertaining a slight opinion of him, since I like fertility to show itself in a young man; for, as in vines, those branches which have spread too luxuriantly are more easily pruned than new shoots are produced by culture if the stem is defective; so I would wish there to be that in a youth from which I may take something away. The sap cannot be enduring in that which attains maturity too soon. [89] I immediately saw his ability; nor did I lose any time, but exhorted him to consider the forum as his school for improving himself, and to choose whom he pleased for a master; if he would take my advice, Lucius Crassus. To this advice he eagerly listened, and assured me that he would act accordingly; and added also, as a compliment, that T too should be a master to him. Scarce a year had passed from the time of this conversation and recommendation of mine, when he accused Caius Norbanus,32 and I defended him. It is incredible what a difference there appeared to me between him as he was then and as he had been a year before; nature herself led him irresistibly into the magnificent and noble style of Crassus; but he could never have arrived at a satisfactory degree of excellence in it, if he had not directed his efforts, by study and imitation, in the same course in which nature led him, so as intently to contemplate Crassus with his whole mind and faculties.

XXII. [90] “Let this, then, be the first of my precepts, to point out to the student whom he should imitate, and in such a manner that he may most carefully copy the chief excellencies of him whom he takes for his model. Let practice then follow, by which he may represent in his imitation the exact resemblance of him whom he chose as his pattern; not as I have known many imitators do, who endeavour to acquire by imitation what is easy, or what is remarkable, or almost faulty; [91] for nothing is easier than to imitate any person’s dress, or attitude, or carriage; or if there is anything offensive in a character, it is no very difficult matter to adopt it, and be offensive in the same way; in like manner as that Fusius, who even now, though he has lost his voice, rants on public topics, could never attain that nervous style of speaking which Caius Fimbria had, though he succeeds in imitating his distortion of features and broad pronunciation; but he neither knew how to choose a pattern whom he would chiefly resemble, and in him that he did choose, he preferred copying the blemishes. [92] But he who shall act as he ought, must first of all be very careful in making this choice, and must use the utmost diligence to attain the chief excellencies of him whom he has approved.

“What, let me ask, do you conceive to be the reason why almost every age has produced a peculiar style of speaking? a matter on which we cannot so easily form a judgment in regard to the orators of our own country, (because they have, to say the truth, left but few writings from which such judgment might be formed,) as those of the Greeks, from whose writings it may be understood what was the character and tendency of eloquence in each particular age. [93] The most ancient, of whom there are any works extant, are Pericles33 and Alcibiades,34 and, in the same age, Thucydides, writers perspicacious, pointed, concise, abounding more in thoughts than in words. It could not possibly have happened that they should all have the same character, unless they had proposed to themselves some one example for imitation. These were followed in order of time by Critias, Theramenes, and Lysias. There are extant many writings of Lysias, some of Critias;35 of Theramenes36 we only hear. They all still retained the vigorous style of Pericles, but had somewhat more exuberance. [94] Then behold Isocrates arose, from whose school,37 as from the Trojan horse, none but real heroes proceeded; but some of them were desirous to be distinguished on parade, gome in the field of battle. XXIII. Accordingly those Theopompi, Ephori, Philisti,38 Naucratae,39 and many others, differ in genius, but in their manner bear a strong resemblance both to each other and to their master; and those who applied themselves to causes, as Demosthenes, Hyperides, Aeschines, Lycurgus, Dinarchus, and a multitude of others, although they were dissimilar in abilities one to another, yet were all engaged in imitating the same kind of natural excellence; and as long as the imitation of their manner lasted, so long did that character and system of eloquence prevail. [95] Afterwards, when these were dead, and all recollection of them grew gradually obscure, and at last vanished, more lax and remiss modes of speaking prevailed. Subsequently Demochares, who, they say, was the son of Demosthenes’ sister and the famous Demetrius Phalereus, the most polished of all that class, in my opinion, and others of like talents, arose; and if we choose to pursue the list down to the present times, we shall understand, that, as at this day all Asia imitates the famous Menecles of Alabanda, and his brother Hierocles, to both of whom we have listened, so there has always been some one whom the generality desired to resemble.

[96] “Whoever, then, shall seek to attain such resemblance, let him endeavour to acquire it by frequent and laborious exercise, and especially by composition; and if our friend Sulpicius would practise this, his language would be more compact; for there is now in it at times, as farmers say of their corn when in the blade, amidst the greatest fertility, a sort of luxuriance which ought to be, as it were, eaten down40 by the use of the pen.” [97] Here Sulpicius observed, “You advise me rightly, and I am obliged to you; but I think that even you, Antonius, have never written much.” “As if,” rejoined Antonius, “I could not direct others in matters in which I am deficient myself; but. indeed, I am supposed not to write even my own accounts. But in this particular a judgment may be formed from my circumstances, and in the other from my ability in speaking, however small it be, what I do in either way. [98] We see, however, that there are many who imitate nobody, but attain what they desire by their own natural powers, without resembling any one; a fact of which an instance may be seen in you, Caesar and Cotta; for one of you has acquired a kind of pleasing humour and wit, unusual in the orators of our country; the other an extremely keen and subtle species of oratory. Nor does Curio, who is about your age, and the son of a father who was, in my opinion, very eloquent for his time, seem to me to imitate any one much; but by a certain force, elegance, and copiousness of expression, has formed a sort of style and character of eloquence of his own; of which I was chiefly enabled to judge in that cause which he pleaded against me before the Centumviri, in behalf of the brothers Cossi, and in which no quality was wanting in him that an orator, not merely of fluency, but of judgment, ought to possess.

XXIV. [99] “But to conduct, at length, him whom we are forming to the management of causes, and those in which there is considerable trouble, judicial trials, and contested suits, (somebody will perhaps laugh at the precept which I am going to give, for it is not so much sagacious as necessary, and seems rather to proceed from a monitor who is not quite a fool, than from a master of profound learning,) our first precept for him shall be, That whatever causes he undertakes to plead, he must acquire a minute and thorough knowledge of them. [100] This is not a precept laid down in the schools; for easy causes are given to boys. ‘The law forbids a stranger to ascend the wall; he ascends it; he beats back the enemy; he is accused.’ It is no trouble to understand such a cause as this. They are right, therefore, in giving no precepts about learning the cause; for such is generally the form of causes in the schools. But in the forum, wills, evidence, contracts, covenants, stipulations, relationship by blood, by affinity, decrees, opinions of lawyers, and even the lives and characters of those concerned in the cause, are all to be investigated; and by negligence in these particulars we see many causes lost, especially those relative to private concerns, as they are often of greater intricacy. [101] Thus some, while they would have their business thought very extensive, that they may seem to fly about the whole forum, and to go from one cause to another, speak upon causes which they have not mastered, whence they incur much censure; censure for negligence, if they voluntarily undertake the business, or for perfidiousness, if they undertake it under any engagement;41 but such censure is assuredly of worse consequence than they imagine, since nobody can possibly speak on a subject which he does not understand, otherwise than to his own disgrace; and thus, while they despise the imputation of ignorance, which is in reality the greater fault, they incur that of stupidity also, which they more anxiously avoid.

[102] “It is my custom to use my endeavour, that every one of my clients may give me instructions in his own affairs himself, and that nobody else be present, so that he may speak with the greater freedom.42 I am accustomed also to plead to him the cause of his adversary, in order to engage him to plead his own, and state boldly what he thinks of his own case. When he is gone, I conceive myself in three characters, my own, that of the adversary, and that of the judge. Whatever circumstance is such as to promise more support or assistance than obstruction, I resolve to speak upon it; whereever I find more harm than good, I set aside and totally reject that part entirely; [103] and thus I gain this advantage, that I consider at one time what I shall say, and say it at another; two things which most speakers, relying upon their genius, do at one and the same time; but certainly those very persons would speak considerably better, if they would but resolve to take one time for premeditation, and another for speaking.

[104] “When I have acquired a thorough understanding of the business and the cause, it immediately becomes my consideration what ground there may be for doubt. For of all points that are disputed among mankind, whether the case is of a criminal nature, as concerning an act of violence; or controversial, as concerning an inheritance; or deliberative, as on going to war; or personal, as in panegyric; or argumentative, as on modes of life; there is nothing in which the inquiry is not either what has been done, or is being done, or will be done, or of what nature a thing is, or how it should be designated.

XXV. [105] “Our causes, such at least as concern criminal matters, are generally defended by the plea of not guilty; for in charges of extortion of money, which are the most important, the facts are almost all to be denied; and in those of bribery to procure offices, it is seldom in our power to distinguish munificence and liberality from corruption and criminal largess. In accusations of stabbing, or poisoning, or embezzlement of the public money, we necessarily deny the charge. On trials, therefore, the first kind of causes is that which arises from dispute as to the fact. In deliberations, the discussion generally springs from a question as to what is to be done, rarely about anything present or already done. [106] But oftentimes the question is not whether a thing is a fact or not, but of what nature it is; as when the consul, Caius Carbo, in my hearing, defended the cause of Opimius before the people, he denied no circumstance of the death of Caius Gracchus, but maintained that it was a lawful act for the good of his country; or, as when Publius Africanus replied to the same Carbo, (then tribune of the people, engaging in political affairs with very different views,43 and asking a question about the death of Tiberius Gracchus,) ‘that he seemed to have been lawfully put to death.’ But every thing may be asserted to have been done lawfully, which is of such a kind that it may be said that it ought to have been done, or was properly or necessarily done, or done unawares, or by accident. [107] Then the question, ‘what a thing should be called,’ arises when there is a dispute by what term an act should be designated; as was the great point of dispute between myself and our friend Sulpicius in Norbanus’s cause; for though I admitted most of the charges made by him on the other side, I still denied that treason had been committed by Norbanus; on the signification of which word, by the Apuleian law,44 the whole cause depended. [108] And in this species of causes some lay it down as a rule, that both parties should define clearly and briefly the term that gives rise to the question. This seems to me extremely puerile; for it is quite a different thing from defining words, when any dispute arises among the learned about matters relating to science; as when it is inquired, what is an art, what is a law, what is a state? On which occasions reason and learning direct, that the whole force of the thing which you define should be expressed in such a manner that there be nothing omitted or superfluous; [109] but this neither Sulpicius did in that cause, nor did I attempt to do it; for each of us, to the best of our abilities, enlarged with the utmost copiousness of language upon what it was to commit treason. Since, in the first place, a definition, if one word is objectionable, or may be added or taken away, is often wrested out of our hands; and in the next, the very practice itself savours of school learning and almost puerile exercise; and besides, it cannot penetrate into the mind and understanding of the judge, for it glides off before it has made any impression.

XXVI. [110] “But in that kind of causes in which it is disputed of what nature any thing is, the contest often arises from the interpretation of writing; when there can be no controversy but about something that is doubtful. For even the case, in which the written letter differs from the intention, involves a species of doubt, which is cleared up when the words which are wanting are supplied; and such addition being made, it is maintained that the intention of the writing was clear; and if any doubt arises from contradictory writings, it is not a new kind of controversy that arises, but a cause of the former sort is doubled;45 and this can either never be determined, or must be so determined, that by supplying the omitted words, the writing which we defend, whichsoever of the two it is, may be rendered complete. Thus, of those causes which arise from a controversy about a writing, when anything is expressed ambiguously, there exists but one kind. [111] But as there are many sorts of ambiguities, (which they who are called logicians seem to me to understand better than other men; while those of our profession, who ought to know them full as well, seem to be ignorant of them,) so that is the most frequent in occurrence, either in discourse or writing, when a question arises from a word or words being left out. [112] They make another mistake when they distinguish this kind of causes, which consist in the interpretation of writing, from those in which it is disputed of what nature a thing is; for there is nowhere so much dispute respecting the exact nature of a thing as in regard to writing, which is totally separated from controversy concerning fact. [113] There are in all, therefore, three sorts of matters, which may possibly fall under doubt and discussion; what is now done, what has been done, or what is to be done; what the nature of a thing is, or how it should be designated; for as to the question which some Greeks add, whether a thing be rightly done, it is wholly included in the inquiry, what the nature of the thing is.

XXVII. [114] “But to return to my own method. When, after hearing and understanding the nature of a cause, I proceed to examine the subject matter of it, I settle nothing until I have ascertained to what point my whole speech, bearing immediately on the question and case, must be directed. I then very diligently consider two other points; the one, how to recommend myself, or those for whom I plead; the other, how to sway the minds of those before whom I speak to that which I desire. [115] Thus the whole business of speaking rests upon three things for success in persuasion; that we prove what we maintain to be true; that we conciliate those who hear; that we produce in their minds whatever feeling our cause may require. [116] For the purpose of proof, two kinds of matter present themselves to the orator; one, consisting of such things as are not invented by him, but, as appertaining to the cause, are judiciously treated by him, as deeds, testimonies, covenants, contracts, examinations, laws, acts of the senate, precedents, decrees, opinions of lawyers, and whatever else is not found out by the orator, but brought under his notice by the cause and by his clients; the other, consisting entirely in the orator’s own reasoning and arguments: [117] so that, as to the former head, he has only to handle the arguments with which he is furnished; as to the latter, to invent arguments likewise. Those who profess to teach eloquence, after dividing causes into several kinds, suggest a number of arguments for each kind; which method, though it may be better adapted to the instruction of youth, in order that when a case is proposed to them they may have something to which they may refer, and from whence they may draw forth arguments ready prepared; yet it shows a slowness of mind to pursue the rivulets, instead of seeking for the fountain-head; and it becomes our age and experience to derive what we want to know from the source, and to ascertain the spring from which everything proceeds.

[118] “But that first kind of matters which are brought before the orator, ought to be the constant subject of our contemplation for general practice in affairs of that nature. For in support of deeds and against them, for and against evidence, for and against examinations by torture, and in other subjects of that sort, we usually speak either of each kind in general and abstractedly, or as confined to particular occasions, persons, and causes; and such commonplaces (I speak to you, Cotta and Sulpicius) you ought to keep ready and prepared with much study and meditation. [119] It would occupy too much time at present to show by what means we should confirm or invalidate testimony, deeds, and examinations. These matters are all to be attained with a moderate share of capacity, though with very great practice; and they require art and instruction only so far, as they should be illustrated with certain embellishments of language. [120] So also those which are of the other kind, and which proceed wholly from the orator, are not difficult of invention, but require perspicuous and correct exposition. As these two things, therefore, are the objects of our inquiry in causes, first, what we shall say, and next, how we shall say it; the former, which seems to be wholly concerned with art, though it does indeed require some art, is yet an affair of but ordinary understanding, namely, to see what ought to be said; the latter is the department in which the divine power and excellence of the orator is seen; I mean in delivering what is to be said with elegance, copiousness, and variety of language.

XXVIII. [121] “The former part,46 then, since you have once declared it to be your pleasure, I will not refuse to finish off and complete, (how far I shall succeed you will best judge,) and shall show from what topics a speech must be furnished in order to effect these three objects which alone have power to persuade; namely, that the minds of the audience be conciliated, informed, and moved, for these are the three; but how they should be illustrated, there is one present who can instruct us all; one who first introduced this excellence into our practice, who principally improved it, who alone has brought it to perfection. [122] For I think, Catulus, (and I will say this without any dread of a suspicion of flattery,) that there is no orator, at all more eminent than ordinary, either Grecian, or Roman, that our age ha-s produced, whom I have not heard often and attentively; and, therefore, if there is any ability in me, (as I may now presume to hope, since you, men of such talents, take so much trouble in giving me audience,) it arises from this, that no orator ever delivered anything in my hearing, which did not sink deeply into my memory; and I, such as I am, and as far as I have capacity to form a judgment, having heard all orators, without any hesitation decide and pronounce this, That none of them all had so many and such excellent accomplishments in speaking as are in Crassus. [123] On which account, if you also are of the same opinion, it will not, as I think, be an unjust partition, if, when I shall have given birth and education and strength to this orator whom I am forming, as is my design, I deliver him to Crassus to be furnished with apparel and ornaments.”

[124] Crassus then said, “Do you rather, Antonius, go on as you have commenced; for it is not the part of a good or liberal parent not to clothe and adorn him whom he has engendered and brought up especially as you cannot deny that you are wealthy enough. For what grace, what power, what spirit, what dignity was wanting to that orator, who at the close of a speech did not hesitate to call forth his accused client, though of consular rank, and to tear open his garment, and to expose to the judges the scars on the breast of the old commander?47 who also, when he defended a seditious madman,48 Sulpicius here being the accuser, did not hesitate to speak in favour of sedition itself, and to demonstrate, with the utmost power of language, that many popular insurrections are just, for which nobody could be accountable? adding that many seditions had occurred to the benefit of the commonwealth, as when the kings were expelled, and when the power of the tribunes was established; and that the sedition of Norbanus, proceeding from the grief of the citizens, and their hatred to Caepio, who had lost the army, could not possibly be restrained, and was blown up into a flame by a just indignation. [125] Could this, so hazardous a topic, so unprecedented, so delicate, so new, be handled without an incredible force and power of eloquence? What shall I say of the compassion excited for Cneius Manlius,49 or that in favour of Quintus Rex?50 What of other innumerable instances, in which it was not that extraordinary acuteness, which everybody allows you, that was most conspicuous, but it was those very qualities which you now ascribe to me, that were always eminent and excellent in you.”

XXIX. [126] “For my part,” said Catulus, “what I am accustomed most to admire in you both, is, that while you are totally unlike each other in your manner of speaking, yet each of you speaks so well, that nothing seems either to have been denied you by nature, or not to have been bestowed on you by learning. You, therefore, Crassus, from your obliging disposition, will neither withhold from us the illustration of whatever may have been inadvertently or purposely omitted by Antonius; nor if you, Antonius, do not speak on every point, we shall think, not that you could not speak on it, but that you preferred that it should be treated by Crassus.” [127] Here Crassus said, “Do you rather, Antonius, omit those particulars which you have proposed to treat, and which no one here needs, namely, from what topics the statements made in pleadings are to be derived, which, though they would be treated by you in a new and excellent way, are in their nature very easy, and commonly set forth in books of rules; but show us those resources whence you draw that eloquence which you frequently exert, and always divinely.” [128] “I will indeed show you them,” said Antonius; “and that I may the more easily obtain from you what I require, I will refuse you nothing that you ask. The supports of my whole eloquence, and that power of speaking which Crassus just now extolled to the skies, are, as I observed before, three processes; the first, that of conciliating my hearers; the second, that of instructing them; and the third, that of moving them. [129] The first of these divisions requires mildness of address; the second penetration; the third energy; for it is impossible but that he, who is to determine a cause in our favour, must either lean to our side from propensity of feeling, or be swayed by the arguments of our defence, or be forced by action upon his mind. Bat since that part, in which the opening of the case itself and the defence lie, seems to comprehend all that is laid down as doctrine on this head, I shall speak on that first, and say but few words; for I seem to have but few observations gained from experience, and imprinted as it were on ray memory.

XXX. [130] “We shall willingly consent to your judicious proposal, Crassus, to omit those defences for every sort of causes which the masters of rhetoric are accustomed to teach boys; and to open those sources whence all arguments for every cause and speech are derived. For neither, as often as we have occasion to write any word, need the letters of that word be so often collected in our thoughts; nor, as often as we are to plead a cause, need we turn to the separate arguments for that cause; but we should have certain commonplaces which, like letters for forming a word, immediately occur to us to aid in stating a cause. [131] But these commonplaces can be of advantage only to that orator who is conversant in business, and has that experience which age at length brings with it: or one who has so much attention and power of thought as to anticipate age by study and diligence. For if you bring to me a man of ever so deep erudition, of ever so acute and subtile an intellect, or ever so ready an elocution, if he be a stranger to the customs of civil communities, to the examples, to the institutions, to the manners and inclinations of his fellow-citizens, the common-places from which arguments are drawn will be of little benefit to him. I must have a well-cultivated genius, like a field not once ploughed only, but again and again, with renewed and repeated tillage, that it may produce better and larger crops; and the cultivation here required is experience, attentive hearing of other orators, reading, and writing.

[132] “First, then, let him examine the nature of his cause, which is never obscure so far as the inquiry ‘whether a thing has been done or not;’ or ‘of what nature it is;’ or ‘what name it should receive;’ and when this is ascertained, it immediately occurs, with the aid of natural good sense, and not of those artifices which teachers of rhetoric inculcate, ‘what constitutes the cause,’ that is, the point without which there would be no controversy; then, ‘what is the matter for trial,’ which they direct you to ascertain in this manner: Opimius slew Gracchus: what constitutes the cause? ‘That he slew him for the good of the republic, when he had called the people to arms, in consequence of a decree of the senate.’ Set this point aside, and there will be no question for trial. But Decius denies that such a deed could be authorized contrary to the laws. The point therefore to be tried will be, ‘whether Opimius had authority to do so from the decree of the senate, for the good of the commonwealth.’ These matters are indeed clear, and may be settled by common sense; but it remains to be considered what arguments, relative to the point for trial, ought to be advanced, as well by the accuser as by him who has undertaken the defence.

XXXI. [133] “Here we must notice a capital error in those masters to whom we send our children; not that it has much to do with speaking, but that you may see how stupid and unpolished a set of men they are who imagine themselves learned. For, in distinguishing the different kinds of speaking, they make two species of causes. One they call, ‘that in which the question is about a general proposition, without reference to persons and times;’ the other, ‘that which is confined to certain persons and times;’ being ignorant that all controversies must have relation to the force and nature of the general position; [134] for in that very cause which I mentioned, the person of Opimius or Decius has nothing to do with the common arguments of the orator; since the inquiry has unrestricted reference to the question in general, ‘whether he seems deserving of punishment who has slain a citizen under a decree of the senate for the preservation of his country, when such a deed was not permitted by the laws.’ There is indeed no cause in which the point that falls under dispute is considered with reference to the parties to the suit, and not from arguments relating to such questions in general. [135] But even in those very cases where the dispute is about a fact, as ‘whether Publius Decius51 has taken money contrary to law, the arguments both for the accusation and for the defence must have reference to the general question, and the general nature of the case; as, to show that the defendant is expensive, the arguments must refer to luxury; that he is covetous of another’s property, to avarice; that he is seditious, to turbulent and ill-designing citizens in general; that he is convicted by many proofs, to the general nature of evidence: and, on the other side, whatever is said for the defendant, must of necessity be abstracted from the occasion and individual, and referred to the general notions of things and questions of the kind. [136] These, perhaps, to a man who cannot readily comprehend in his mind all that is in the nature of things, may seem extremely numerous to come under consideration when the question is about a single fact; but it is the number of charges, and not of modes of defence, or topics for them, that is infinite.52

XXXII. [137] “But when there is no contest about facts, the questions on the nature of facts, if you reckon them from the number of the parties accused, are innumerable and intricate; if from the facts themselves, very few and clear. For if we consider the case of Mancinus53 so as referring to Mancinus alone, then, whenever a person whom the chief herald has surrendered to the enemy is not re-admitted into his country, a new case will arise. But if what gives rise to the controversy be the general question, ‘whether to him whom the chief herald has surrendered, if he has not been re-admitted into his country, there seems to be a right of return,’ the name of Mancinus has nothing to do with the mode of speaking upon it, or the arguments for the defence. [138] And if the merit or demerit of the person give rise to any discussion, it is wholly beside the question; and the part of the speech referring to the question must, of necessity, be adapted to such arguments in general. I do not reason upon these subjects for the purpose of confuting learned teachers: although those merit reproof, who, in their general definition, describe this sort of causes as relating to persons and times. [139] For, although times and persons are incident to them, yet it should be understood, that the causes depend not upon them, but upon the general question. But this is not my business; for we ought to have no contest with that sort of people; it is sufficient that this only should be known, that they have not even attained a point which they might have effected amid so much leisure, even without any experience in affairs of the forum; that is, they might have distinguished the general natures of cases, and explained them a little more accurately. [140] But this, as I said, is not my business; it is mine, and much more yours, my friends Cotta and Sulpicius, to know, that as their artificial rules now stand, the multitude of causes is to be dreaded; for it is infinite, if they are referred to persons; so many men, so many causes; but, it they are referred to general questions, they are so limited and few, that studious orators of good memory and judgment ought to have them digested in their minds, and, I may almost say, learned by heart; unless perhaps you imagine that Lucius Crassus took his notion of that famous cause54 from Manius Curius personally; and thus brought many arguments to show why, though no posthumous son was born, yet Curius ought to be the heir of Coponius. [141] The name of Coponius, or of Curius, had no influence at all on the array of arguments advanced, or on the force and nature of the question; the whole controversy had regard to all affairs and events of that kind in general, not to particular occasions or names; since the writing was thus, If a son is born to me, and he die before, etc., then let him be my heir; and if a son was not born, the question was whether he ought to be heir who was appointed heir on the death of the son.

XXXIII. [142] “A question regarding unvarying equity, and of a general nature, requires no names of persons, but merely skill in speaking, and sources of proper argument. In this respect even the lawyers themselves are an impediment to us, and hinder us from learning; for I perceive it to be generally reported in the books of Cato and of Brutus, what answers they gave on points of law to any particular man or woman by name; that we might imagine, I suppose, some cause for consultation or doubt to have arisen from the persons, not from the thing; so that, since persons are innumerable, we might be deterred from the study of the law, and lay aside all inclination to learn it, at the same time with all hope of ever attaining a thorough knowledge of it.

“But Crassus will some day make all these points clear to us, and set them forth arranged under general heads; for you must know, Catulus, that he promised us yesterday, that he would reduce the civil law, which is now in a state of confusion and dispersion, under certain general heads, and digest it into an easy system.” [143] “And indeed,” said Catulus, “that is by no means a difficult undertaking for Crassus, who has all of law that can be learned, and he will supply that which was wanting in those who taught him; for he will be able to define exactly, and to illustrate eloquently, every point comprehended in the law.” “We shall then,” said Antonius, “learn all these things from Crassus, when he shall have betaken himself, as he intends, frcm the tumult of public business and the benches of the forum, to a quiet retreat, and to his throne.”55 [144] “I have indeed often,” observed Catulus, “heard him say, ‘that he was resolved to retire from pleading and the courts of justice;’ but, as I frequently tell him, it will never be in his power; for neither will he permit his assistance to be repeatedly implored in vain by persons of character, nor will the public endure his retirement patiently, as they will think that if they lose the eloquence of Lucius Crassus, they will lose one of the principal ornaments of the city.” “Indeed then,” remarked Antonius, “if what Catulus says is true, Crassus, you must still live on in the same workshop with me, and we must give up that yawning and sleepy science to the tranquillity of the Scaevolae and other such happy people.” [145] Here Crassus smiled a little, and said, “Finish weaving, Antonius, the web which you have begun; yet that yawning science, as you term it, when I have sheltered myself under it, will vindicate my right to liberty.”

XXXIV. [146] “This is indeed the end,” continued Antonius, “of that part on which I just now entered; for it is now understood that all matters which admit of doubt are to be decided, not with reference to individuals, who are innumerable, or to occasions, which are infinitely various, but to general considerations, and the nature of things; that general considerations are not only limited in number, but very few; that those who are studious of speaking should embrace in their minds the subjects peculiar to the several departments of eloquence, arranged under general heads, as well as arrayed and adorned, I mean with thoughts and illustrations. These will, by their own force, beget words, which always seem to me to be elegant enough, if they are such that the subject seems to have suggested them. And if you ask the truth, (as far, that is, as it is apparent to me, for I can affirm nothing more than my own notions and opinions,) we ought to carry this preparatory stock of general questions and common-places into the forum with us; and not, when any cause is brought before us, begin then to seek for topics from which we may draw our arguments; topics which, indeed, by all who have made them the subject of but moderate consideration, may be thoroughly prepared by means of study and practice; but the thoughts must still revert to those general heads and common-places to which I have so often alluded, and from which all arguments are drawn for every species of oratory. [147] All that is required, whether it result from art, or observation, or practice, is but to know those parts of the field in which you may hunt for, and trace out, what you wish to find; for when you have embraced in your thoughts the whole of any topic, if you are but well practised in the treatment of subjects, nothing will escape you, and every circumstance material to the question will occur and suggest itself to you.

XXXV. “Since, then, in speaking, three things are requisite for finding argument; genius, method, (which, if we please, we may call art,) and diligence, I cannot but assign the chief place to genius; yet diligence can raise even genius itself out of dulness; diligence, I say, which, as it avails in all things, is also of the utmost moment in pleading causes. [148] Diligence is to be particularly cultivated by us; it is to be constantly exerted; it is capable of effecting almost everything. That a cause is thoroughly understood, as I said at first, is owing to diligence; that we listen to our adversary attentively, and possess ourselves, not only of his thoughts, but even of his every word; that we observe all the motions of his countenance, which generally indicate the workings of the mind, is owing to diligence; [149] [but to do this covertly, that he may not seem to derive any advantage to himself, is the part of prudence ;]56 that the mind ruminates on those topics which I shall soon mention, that it insinuates itself thoroughly into the cause, that it fixes itself on it with care and attention, is owing to diligence; that it applies the memory like a light, to all these matters, as well as the tone of voice and power of delivery, is owing to diligence. [150] Betwixt genius and diligence there is very little room left for art; art only shows you where to look, and where that lies which you want to find; all the rest depends on care, attention, consideration, vigilance, assiduity, industry; all which I include in that one word which I hare so often repeated, diligence; a single virtue, in which all other virtues are comprehended. [151] For we see how the philosophers abound in copiousness of language, who, as I think, (but you, Catulus, know these matters better,) lay down no precepts of eloquence, and yet do not, on that account, the less undertake to speak with fulness and fluency on whatever subject is proposed to them.”

XXXVI. [152] Catulus then observed, “It is as you say, Antonius, that most philosophers deliver no precepts of eloquence, and yet are prepared with something to say on any subject. But Aristotle, he whom I admire more than any of them, has set forth certain topics from which every line of argument may be deduced, not only for the disputations of philosophy, but even for the reasoning which we use in pleading causes; from whose notions your discourse, Antonius, has for some time past not varied; whether you, from a resemblance to that divine genius, hit upon his track, or whether you have read and made yourself master of his writings; a supposition indeed which seems to be more probable than the other, for I see that you have paid more attention to the Greek writers than we had imagined.” [153] “You shall hear from myself,” said he, “Catulus, what is really the case: I always thought that an orator would be more agreeable to the Roman people, and better approved, who should give, above all, as little indication as possible of artifice, and none at all of having studied Grecian literature. At the same time, when the Greeks undertook, professed, and executed such great things, when they offered to teach mankind how to penetrate the most obscure subjects, to live virtuously and to speak eloquently, I thought it the part of an irrational animal rather than a man, not to pay them some degree of attention, and, if we cannot venture to hear them openly, for fear of diminishing our authority with our own fellow-citizens, to catch their words at least by listening privately, and hearkening at a distance to what they stated; and thus I have acted, Catulus, and have gained a general notion of the arguments and subjects of all their writers.”

XXXVII. [154] “Really and truly,” said Catulus, “you have steered your bark to the coasts of philosophy with the utmost caution, as if you had been approaching some rock of unlawful desire,57 though this country has never despised philosophy. For Italy was formerly full of Pythagoreans, at the time when part of this country was called Great Greece:58 (whence some report that Numa Pompilius, one of our kings, was a Pythagorean; though he lived many years before the time of Pythagoras; for which reason he is to be accounted the greater man, as he had the wisdom and knowledge to regulate our state, almost two centuries before the Greeks knew that it had arisen in the world;) and certainly this country never produced men more renowned for glorious actions, or of greater gravity and authority, or possessed of more polite learning than Publius Africanus, Caius Laelius, and Lucius Furius, who always had about them publicly the most learned men from Greece. [155] I have often heard them say, that the Athenians had done what was very pleasing to them, and to many of the leading men in the city, in sending, when they despatched ambassadors to the senate about important concerns of their own, the three most illustrious philosophers of that age, Carneades, Critolaus, and Diogenes; who, during their stay at Rome, were frequently heard lecturing by them and others. And when you had such authorities as these, Antonius, I wonder why you should, like Zethus in Pacuvius’s play,59 almost declare war against philosophy.” [156] “I have not by any means done so,” replied Antonius, “for I have determined rather to philosophize, like Ennius’s Neoptolemus, a little, since to be absolutely a philosopher is not agreeable to me. But my opinion, which I think I have clearly laid down, is this: I do not disapprove of such studies, if they be but moderately pursued; but I think that the reputation of that kind of learning, and all suspicion of artifice, is prejudicial to the orator with those who have the decision of affairs; for it diminishes the authority of the speaker and the credit of his speech.”

XXXVIII. [157] “But that our conversation may return to the point from which it digressed, do you observe that of those three illustrious philosophers, who, as you said, came to Rome, one was Diogenes, who professed to teach the art of reasoning well, and distinguishing truth from falsehood, which he called by the Greek name dialektike, or logic? In this art, if it be an art, there are no directions how truth may be discovered, but only how it may be judged. [158] For everything of which we speak we either affirm to be or not to be;60 and if it be expressed absolutely, the logicians take it in hand to judge whether it be true or false; or, if it be expressed conditionally, and qualifications are added, they determine whether such qualifications are rightly added, and whether the conclusion of each syllogism is true; and at last they torment themselves with their own subtilties, and, after much disquisition, find out not only what they themselves cannot resolve, but even arguments, by which what they had before begun to resolve, or rather had almost made clear, is again involved in obscurity. [159] Here, then, that Stoic61 can be of no assistance to me, because he does not teach me how to find out what to say; he is rather even an impediment to me; for he finds many difficulties which he says can by no means be cleared, and unites with them a kind of language that is not clear, easy, and fluent; but poor, dry, succinct, and concise; and if any one shall approve such a style, he will approve it with the acknowledgment that it is not suited to the orator. For our mode of speaking is to be adapted to the ear of the multitude, to fascinate and excite their minds, and to prove matters that are not weighed in the scales of the goldsmith, but in the balance, as it were, of popular opinion; [160] we may therefore entirely dismiss an art which is too silent about the invention of arguments, and too full of words in pronouncing judgment on them. That Critolaus, whom you mention as having come hither with Diogenes, might, I fancy, have been of more assistance to our studies, for he was out of the school of that Aristotle from whose method I seem to you not greatly to differ. Between this Aristotle, (of whom I have read, as well that book in which he explains the rhetorical systems of all who went before him, as those in which he gives us some notions of his own on the art,) between him, I say, and the professed teachers of the art, there appeared to me to be this difference: that he with the same acuteness of intellect with which he had penetrated the qualities and nature of things throughout the universe, saw into everything that pertained to the art of rhetoric, which he thought beneath him; but they, who thought this art alone worthy of cultivation, passed their whole lives in contemplating this one subject, not with as much ability as he, but with constant practice in their single pursuit, and greater devotion to it. [161] As to Carneades, that extraordinary force and variety of eloquence which he possessed would be extremely desirable for us; a man who never took up any argument in his disputations which he did not prove; never attacked any argument that he did not overthrow. But this is too arduous an accomplishment to be expected from those who profess and teach rhetoric.

XXXIX. [162] “If it were my desire that a person totally illiterate should be instructed in the art of speaking, I would willingly send him to these perpetual workers at the same employment, who hammer day and night on the same anvil, and who would put his literary food into his mouth, in the smallest pieces, minced as fine as possible, as nurses put theirs into the mouths of children. But if he were one who had had a liberal education, and some degree of practice, and seemed to have some acuteness of genius, I would instantly conduct him, not where a little brook of water was confined by itself, but to the source whence a whole flood gushed forth; to an instructor who would show him the seats and abodes, as it were, of every sort of arguments, and would illustrate them briefly, and define them in proper terms. [163] For what point is there in which he can hesitate, who shall see that whatever is assumed in speaking, either to prove or to refute, is either derived from the peculiar force and nature of the subject itself, or borrowed from something foreign to it? From its own peculiar force: as when it is inquired, ‘what the nature of a whole thing is,’ or ‘a part of it’ or ‘what name it has,’ or whatever belongs to the whole matter. From what is foreign to it: as when circumstances which are extrinsic, and not inherent in the nature of the thing, are enumerated in combination. [164] If the inquiry regard the whole, its whole force is to be explained by a definition, thus: ‘If the majesty of a state be its greatness and dignity, he is a traitor to its majesty who delivers up an army to the enemies of the Roman people, not he who delivers up him who has violated it into the power of the Roman people.’ [165] But if the question respect only a part, the matter must be managed by partition in this manner: ‘Either the senate should have been obeyed concerning the safety of the republic, or some other authority should have been constituted, or he should have acted on his own judgment: to constitute another authority had been haughty; to act on his own judgment had been arrogant; he had therefore to obey the direction of the senate.’ If we argue from a name, we may express ourselves like Carbo: ‘If he be a consul who consults the good of his country, what else has Opimius done?’ [166] But if we argue from what is intimately connected with the subject, there are many sources of arguments and common-places; for we shall look to adjuncts, to general views, to particulars falling under general views, to things similar and dissimilar, contrary, consequential; to such as agree with the case, and are, as it were, forerunners of it, and such as are at variance with it; we shall investigate the causes of circumstances, and whatever has arisen from those causes; and shall notice cases that are stronger, or similar, or weaker. XL. [167] “From things closely relating to the subject arguments are drawn thus: ‘If the utmost praise is to be attributed to filial duty, you ought to be moved when you see Quintus Metellus mourn so tenderly.’ From general considerations, thus: ‘If magistrates ought to be under the power of the Roman people, of what do you accuse Norbanus, whose tribuneship was subservient to the will of the state?’ [168] From particulars that fall under the general consideration, thus: ‘If all who consult the interest of the public ought to be dear to us, certainly military commanders should be peculiarly dear, by whose conduct, courage, and exposure to danger, we preserve our own safety and the dignity of the empire.’ From similarity, thus: ‘If wild beasts love their offspring, what affection ought we to feel for our children?’ [169] From dissimilarity, thus: ‘If it be the character of barbarians to live as it were for a short season, our plans ought to have respect to perpetuity.’ In both modes of comparison, from similarity as well as dissimilarity, examples are taken from the acts, sayings, and successes of others; and fictitious narratives may often be introduced. From contraries, arguments are drawn thus: [170] ‘If Gracchus acted in a detestable, Opimius has acted in a glorious, manner.’ From subsequent circumstances, thus: ‘If he be slain with a weapon, and you, his enemy, are found on the very spot with a bloody sword, and nobody but you is seen there, and no one else had any reason to commit the act, and you were always of a daring character, what ground is there on which we can possibly doubt of your guilt?’ From concurrent, antecedent, and repugnant circumstances, thus, as Crassus argued when he was quite a young man: ‘Although, Carbo, you defended Opimius, this audience will not on that account esteem you a good citizen; for it is clear that you dissembled and had other views, because you often, in your harangues, deplored the fate of Tiberius Gracchus, because you were an accomplice in the death of Publius Africanus, because you proposed a law of such a nature in your tribuneship, because you have always dissented from good members of the state.’ [171] From the causes of things, thus: ‘If you would abolish avarice, you must abolish the parent of it, luxury.’ From whatever arises from those causes, thus: ‘If we use the money in the treasury as well for the services of war as the ornaments of peace, let us take care of the public revenues.’ Stronger, weaker, and parallel instances, we shall compare thus: from a stronger we shall argue in this way, ‘If a good name be preferable to riches, and money is pursued with so much industry, with how much more exertion is glory to be sought? ‘From a weaker, thus:

          “Since merely for a small acquaintance’ sake
          He takes this woman’s death so nearly, what
          If he himself had loved? what would he feel
          For me, his father?62

“From a parallel case, thus: ‘It is natural to the same character, to be rapacious of the public money, and to be profuse of it to the public prejudice.’ [173] But instances borrowed from extraneous circumstances are such as are not supported by their own strength, but somewhat foreign: as, ‘This is true; for Quintus Lutatius has affirmed it:’ ‘This is false; for an examination has been made:’ ‘This must of necessity follow; for I shall read the writings;’ on which head I spoke fully a little while ago.” XLI. [174] I have been as brief in the exemplification of these matters as their nature would permit. For as, if I wished to make known to any one a quantity of gold, that was buried in separate heaps, it ought to be sufficient if I told him the signs and marks of the places, with the knowledge of which he might dig for himself, and find what he wished with very little trouble, and without any mistake; so I wished to specify such marks, as it were, of arguments, as would let him who seeks them know where they are;63 what remains is to be brought out by industry and thought. [175] What kind of arguments is most suitable to any particular kind of cause it requires no exquisite skill to prescribe, but merely moderate capacity to determine. For it is not now my design to set forth any system of rhetoric, but to communicate to men of eminent learning some hints drawn from my own experience. These common-places, therefore, being fixed in the mind and memory, and called forth on every subject proposed to be discussed, there will be nothing that can escape the orator, not merely in matters litigated in the forum, but in any department of eloquence whatever. [176] But if he shall attain such success, as to seem to be what he would wish to seem, and to affect the minds of those before whom he pleads in such a manner as to lead or rather force them in whatever direction he pleases, he will assuredly require nothing else to render him accomplished in oratory.

“We now see, that it is by no means sufficient to find out what to say, unless we can handle it skilfully when we have found it. [177] This treatment ought to be diversified, that he who listens may neither discover any artifice, nor be tired and satiated with uniformity. Whatever you advance, should be laid down as a proposition, and you should show why it is so; and, from the same premises, you should sometimes form a conclusion, and sometimes leave it to be formed by the hearer, and make a transition to something else. Frequently, however, you need make no proposition, but show, by the reasoning which you shall use, what proposition might have been made. If you produce a comparison to anything, you should first confirm what you offer as a comparison; and then apply to it the point in question. In general, you should shade the distinctive points of your arguments, so that none of your hearers may count them; and that, while they appear clear as to matter, they may seem blended in your mode of speaking on them.

XLII. [178] “I run over these matters cursorily, as addressing men of learning, and, being myself but half-learned, that we may at length arrive at matters of greater consequence. For there is nothing, Catulus, of more importance in speaking than that the hearer should be favourable to the speaker, and be himself so strongly moved that he may be influenced more by impulse and excitement of mind, than by judgment or reflection. For mankind make far more determinations through hatred, or love, or desire, or anger, or grief, or joy, or hope, or fear, or error, or some other affection of mind, than from regard to truth, or any settled maxim, or principle of right, or judicial form, or adherence to the laws. Unless anything else, [179] therefore, be agreeable to you, let us proceed to consider these points.”

“There seems,” observed Catulus, “to be still some little wanting to those matters which you have discussed, Antonius, something that requires to be explained before you proceed to what you propose.” “What is it?” asked Antonius. “What order,” replied Catulus, “and arrangement of arguments, has your approbation; for in that department you always seem a god to me.” [180] “You may see how much of a god I am in that respect, Catulus,” rejoined Antonius; “for I assure you the matter would never have come into my thoughts if I had not been reminded of it; so that you may suppose I am generally led by mere practice in speaking, or father perhaps by chance, to fix on that arrangement of matter by which I seem at times to produce some effect However, that very point which I, because I had no thought of it, passed by as I should by a person unknown to me, is of such efficacy in oratory, that nothing is more conducive to victory; but yet you seem to me to have required from me prematurely an account of the order and disposition of the orator’s material; [181] for if I had placed all his power in argumentation, and in proving his case from its own inherent merits, it might be time to say something on the order and arrangement of his arguments; but as three heads were specified by me, and I have spoken on only one, it will be proper, after I have attended to the other two, to consider, last of all, about the general arrangement of a speech.

XLIII. [182] “It contributes much to success in speaking, that the morals, principles, conduct, and lives of those who plead causes, and of those for whom they plead, should be such as to merit esteem; and that those of their adversaries should be such as to deserve censure; and also that the minds of those before whom the cause is pleaded should be moved as much as possible to a favourable feeling, as well towards the speaker as towards him for whom he speaks. The feelings of the hearers are conciliated by a person’s dignity, by his actions, by the character of his life; particulars which can more easily be adorned by eloquence, if they really exist, than be invented, if they have no existence. But the qualities that attract favour to the orator are a soft tone of voice, a countenance expressive of modesty, a mild manner of speaking; so that if he attacks any one with severity, he may seem to do so unwillingly and from compulsion. It is of peculiar advantage that indications of good nature, of liberality, of gentleness, of piety, of grateful feelings, free from selfishness and avarice, should appear in him; and everything that characterizes men of probity and humility, not acrimonious, nor pertinacious, nor litigious, nor harsh, very much conciliates benevolence, and alienates the affections from those in whom such qualities are not apparent. The contrary qualities to these, therefore, are to be imputed to your opponents. [183] This mode of address is extremely excellent in those causes in which the mind of the judge cannot well be inflamed by ardent and vehement incitation; for energetic oratory is not always desirable, but often smooth, submissive, gentle language, which gains much favour for rei, or defendants, a term by which I designate not only such as are accused, but all persons about whose affairs there is any litigation; for in that sense people formerly used the word. [184] To describe the character of your clients in your speeches, therefore, as just, full of integrity, religious, unpresuming, and patient of injuries, has an extraordinary effect; and such a description, either in the commencement, or in your statement of facts, or in the peroration, has so much influence, if it is agreeably and judiciously managed, that it often prevails more than the merits of the cause. Such influence, indeed, is produced by a certain feeling and art in speaking, that the speech seems to represent, as it were, the character of the speaker; for, by adopting a peculiar mode of thought and expression, united with action that is gentle and indicative of amiableness, such an effect is produced, that the speaker seems to be a man of probity, integrity, and virtue.

XLIV. [185] “To this mode of speaking we may subjoin the opposite method, which moves the minds of the judges by very different means, and impels them to hate, or love, or envy, or benevolence, or fear, or hope, or desire, or abhorrence, or joy, or grief, or pity, or severity; or leads them to whatever feelings resemble and are allied to these and similar emotions of mind. [186] It is desirable, too, for the orator, that the judges may voluntarily bring to the hearing of the cause some feelings in their breasts favourable to the object of the speaker. For it is easier, as they say, to increase the speed of him that is already running, than to excite to motion him that is torpid. But if such shall not be the case, or be somewhat doubtful, then, as a careful physician, before he proceeds to administer any medicine to a patient, must not only understand the disease of him whom he would cure, but also his habit and constitution of body when in health; so I, for my part, when I undertake a cause of such doubt and importance as is likely to excite the feelings of the judges, employ all my sagacity on the care and consideration of ascertaining, as skilfully as I can, what their sentiments and opinions are, what they expect, to which side they incline, and to what conclusion they are likely to be led, with the least difficulty, by the force of oratory. [187] If they yield themselves up, and, as I said before, voluntarily incline and preponderate to the side to which I would impel them, I embrace what is offered, and turn my sails to that quarter from whence any breath of wind is perceived to blow. But if the judge is unbiassed, and free from all passion, it is a work of greater difficulty; for every feeling must then be moved by the power of oratory, without any assistance from nature. But so great are the powers of that which was rightly termed by a good poet,64

          Incliner of the soul, and queen of all things,

Eloquence, that it can not only make him upright who is biassed, or bias him who is steadfast, but can, like an able and resolute commander, lead even him captive who resist? and opposes.

XLV. [188] “These are the points about which Crassus just now jocosely questioned me when he said that I treated them divinely, and praised what I did, as being meritoriously done, in the causes of Manius Aquilius,65 Caius Norbanus,66 and some others; but really, Crassus, when such arts are adopted by you in pleading, I use to feel terrified; such power of mind, such impetuosity, such passion, is expressed in your eyes, your countenance, your gesture, and even in your very finger;67 such a torrent is there of the most emphatic and best chosen words, such noble thoughts, so just, so new, so free from all disguise or puerile embellishment, that you seem not only to me to fire the judge, but to be yourself on fire. [189] Nor is it possible that the judge should feel concern, or hate, or envy, or fear in any degree, or that he should be moved to compassion and tears, unless all those sensations which the orator would awaken in the judge shall appear to be deeply felt and experienced by the orator himself. For if a counterfeit passion were to be assumed, and if there were nothing, in a speech of that kind, but what was false and simulated, still greater art would perhaps be necessary. What is the case with you, however, Crassus, or with others, I do not know; as to myself, there is no reason why I should say what is false to men of your great good sense and friendship for me, I never yet, upon my honour, tried to excite sorrow, or compassion, or envy, or hatred, when speaking before a court of judicature, but I myself, in rousing the judges, was affected with the very same sensations that I wished to produce in them. [190] For it is not easy to cause the judge to be angry with him with whom you desire him to be angry, if you yourself appear to take the matter coolly; or to make him hate him whom you wish him to hate, unless he first see you burning with hatred; nor will he be moved to pity, unless you give him plain indications of your own acute feelings, by your expressions, sentiments, tone of voice, look, and finally by sympathetic tears; for as no fuel is so combustible as to kindle without the application of fire, so no disposition of mind is so susceptible of the impressions of the orator as to be animated to strong feeling, unless he himself approach it full of inflammation and ardour.

XLVI. [191] “And that it may not appear to you extraordinary and astonishing, that a man should so often be angry, so often grieve, and be so often excited by every passion of the mind, especially in other men’s concerns, there is such force, let me assure you, in those thoughts and sentiments which you apply, handle, and discuss in speaking, that there is no occasion for simulation or deceit; for the very nature of the language which is adopted to” move the passions of others, moves the orator himself in a greater degree than any one of those who listen to him. [192] That we may not be surprised, too, that this happens in causes, in criminal trials, in the danger of our friends, and before a multitude in the city and in the forum, where not only our reputation for ability is at stake, (for that might be a slight consideration; although, when you have professed to accomplish what few can do, it is not wholly to be neglected;) but where other things of greater importance are concerned, fidelity, duty to our clients, and earnestness in discharging that duty; we are so much moved by such considerations, that even while we defend the merest strangers, we cannot regard them as strangers, if we wish to be thought honest men ourselves. [193] But, as I said, that this may not appear surprising in us, what can be more fictitious than poetry, than theatrical representations, than the argument of a play? Yet on the stage I myself have often observed the eyes of the actor through his mask appear inflamed with fury, while he was repeating these verses,68

          Have you, then, dared to separate him from you,
          Or enter Salamis without your brother?
          And dreaded not your father’s countenance?

He never uttered the word ‘countenance’ but Telamon seemed to me to be distracted with rage and grief for his son. And how, lowering his voice to a tone of sorrow, did he appear to weep and bewail, as he exclaimed,

          Whom childless now in the decline of life
          You have afflicted, and bereaved, and killed;
          Regardless of your brother’s death, regardless
          Of his young son entrusted to your keeping!

And if even the player who pronounced these verses every day, could not yet pronounce them efficiently without a feeling of real grief, can you suppose that Pacuvius, when he wrote them, was in a cool and tranquil state of mind? Such could not be the case; [194] for I have often heard that no man can be a good poet (as they say is left recorded in the writings of both Democritus and Plato) without ardour of imagination, and the excitement of something similar to frenzy.

XLVII. “Do not therefore imagine that I, who had no desire to imitate or represent the calamities or fictitious sorrows of the heroes of antiquity in my speech, and was no actor of a foreign and personated part, but a supporter of my own, when Manius Aquilius, by my efforts, was to be maintained in his rights as a citizen, did that which I did in the peroration of that cause, without a strong feeling. [195] For when I saw him whom I remembered to have been consul, and, as a general honoured by the senate, to have marched up to the Capitol with the pomp of an ovation, afflicted, dejected, sorrowful, reduced to the last extremity of danger, I no sooner attempted to excite compassion in others, than I was myself moved with compassion. I observed, indeed, that the judges were wonderfully moved, when I brought forward the sorrowful old man habited in mourning, and did what you, Crassus, commend, not with art (of which I know not what to say), but with great concern and emotion of mind, so that I tore open his garment and showed his scars; [196] when Caius Marius, who was present and sat by, heightened the sorrow expressed in my speech by his tears; and when I, frequently calling upon him, recommended his colleague to his protection, and invoked him as an advocate to defend the common fortune of commanders. This excitement of compassion, this adjuration of all gods and men, of citizens and allies, was not unaccompanied by my tears and extreme commiseration on my part; and if, from all the expressions which I then used, real concern of my own had been absent, my speech would not only have failed to excite commiseration, but would have even deserved ridicule. I, therefore, instruct you in these particulars, Sulpicius, I that am, forsooth, so skilful and so learned a master, showing you how, in speaking, you may be angry, and sorrowful, and weep.

[197] “Though why, indeed, should I teach you this, who, in accusing my quaestor and companion in office,69 raised so fierce a flame, not only by your speech, but much more by your vehemence, passion, and fiery spirit, that I could scarce venture to approach to extinguish it? For you had in that cause everything in your favour; you brought before the judges violence, flight, pelting with stones, the cruel exercise of the tribunitian power in the grievous and miserable calamity of Caepio; it also appeared that Marcus Aemilius, the first man, not only in the senate, but in the city, had been struck with one of the stones; and nobody could deny that Lucius Cotta and Titus Didius, when they would have interposed their negative upon the passing of the law, had been driven in a tumultuous manner from the temple.

XLVIII. [198] There was also this circumstance in your favour ( that you, being merely a youth, were thought to make these complaints on behalf of the commonwealth with the utmost propriety; I, a man of censorian rank, was thought hardly in a condition to appear with any honour in defence of a seditious citizen, a man who had been unrelenting at the calamity of a consular person. The judges were citizens of the highest character; the forum was crowded with respectable people, so that scarcely even a slight excuse was allowed me, although I was to speak in defence of one who had been my quaestor. In these circumstances why need I say that I had recourse to some degree of art? I will state how I acted, and, if you please, you may place my defence under some head of art. [199] I noticed, in connexion, the natures, ill effects, and dangers of every kind of sedition. I brought down my discourse on that subject through all the changes of circumstances in our commonwealth; and I concluded by observing, that though all seditions had ever been attended with troubles, yet that some had been supported by justice, and almost by necessity. I then dwelt on those topics which Crassus just now mentioned, that neither could kings have been expelled from this city, nor tribunes of the people have been created, nor the consular power have been so often diminished by votes of the commonalty, nor the right of appeal, that patroness of the state and guardian of our liberty, have been granted to the Roman people, without disagreement with the nobility; and if those seditions had been of advantage to the republic, it should not immediately, if any commotion had been raised among the people, be laid to the charge of Caius Norbanus as a heinous crime or capital misdemeanour; but that, if it had ever been allowed to the people of Rome to appear justly provoked (and I showed that it had been often allowed), no occasion was ever more just than that of which I was speaking. I then gave another turn to my speech, and directed it to the condemnation of Caepio’s flight, and lamentation for the loss of the army. By this diversion I made the grief of those to flow afresh who were mourning for their friends, and re-excited the minds of the Roman knights before whom, as judges, the cause was being pleaded, to hatred towards Quintus Caepio, from whom they were alienated en account of the right of judicature.70

XLIX. [200] “But as soon as I perceived that I was in possession of the favour of the court, and that I had secured ground for defence, because I had both conciliated the good feeling of the people, whose rights I had maintained even in conjunction with sedition, and had brought over the whole feeling of the judges to our side of the question, either from their concern for the calamity of the public, or from grief or regret for their relations, or from their own individual aversion to Caepio, I then began to intermix with this vehement and ardent style of oratory that other species of which I discoursed before, full of lenity and mildness; saying that I was contending for my companion in office, who, according to the custom of our ancestors, ought to stand in relation to me as one of my children, and for almost my whole reputation and fortunes; that nothing could possibly happen more dishonourable to my character, or more bitterly adapted to give pain to me, than if I, who was reputed to have been oftentimes the preservation of those who were entire strangers to me, but yet my fellow-citizens, should not be able to assist an officer of my own. [201] I requested of the judges to make this concession to my age, to the honours which I had attained, to the actions which I had performed, if they saw that I was affected with a just and tender sorrow, and especially if they were sensible that in other causes I had asked everything for my friends in peril, but never anything for myself. Thus, in the whole of that defence and cause, the part which seemed to depend on art, the speaking on the Apuleian law, and explaining what it was to commit treason, I skimmed and touched upon as briefly as possible. But by the aid of these two parts of eloquence, to one of which belongs the excitement of the passions, to the, other recommendation to favour, (parts not at all fully treated in the rules in books on the art,) was the whole of that cause conducted by me; so that, in reviving the popular displeasure against Csepio, I appeared to be a person of the keenest acrimony; and, in speaking of my behaviour towards my friends, to be of the most humane disposition. In this manner, rather by exciting the passions of the judges than by informing their understandings, was your accusation, Sulpicius, at that time overthrown by me.”

L. [202] “In good truth, Antonius,” interposed Sulpicius, “you recall these circumstances to my memory with justice; since I never saw anything slip out of any person’s hands, as that cause then slipped out of mine. For whereas, as you observed, I had given you not a cause to plead, but a flame to extinguish; what a commencement was it (immortal gods!) that you made! What timidity was there! What distrust! What a degree of hesitation and slowness of speech! But as soon as you had gained that by your exordium, which was the only thing that the assembly allowed you as an excuse, namely, that you were pleading for a man intimately connected with you, and your own quaestor, how quickly did you secure your way to a fair audience! [203] But lo! when I thought that you had reaped no other benefit than that the hearers would think they ought to excuse you for defending a pernicious citizen, on account of the ties of union betwixt you, you began to proceed gradually and tacitly, while others had as yet no suspicion of your designs, though I myself felt some apprehension, to maintain in your defence that what had happened was not sedition in Norbanus, but resentment on the part of the Roman people, resentment not excited unjustly, but deservedly, and in conformity with their duty. In the next place, what argument did you omit against Caepio? How did you confound all the circumstances of the case by allusions to hatred, ill-will, and compassion? Nor was this the case only in your defence, but even in regard to Scaurus and my other witnesses, whose evidence you did not confute by disproving it, but by having recourse to the same impetuosity of the people. [204] When those circumstances were mentioned by you just now, I felt no desire for any rules of instruction; for the very demonstration of your methods of defence, as stated by yourself, I regard as no ordinary instruction.” “But if you are so disposed,” said Antonius, “I will tell you what maxims I adopt in speaking, and what I keep principally in view; for a long life and experience in important affairs have taught me to discern by what means the minds of men are to be moved.

LI. [205] “The first thing I generally consider is, whether the cause requires that the minds of the audience should be excited; for such fiery oratory is not to be exerted on trivial subjects, nor when the minds of men are so affected that we can do nothing by eloquence to influence their opinions, lest we be thought to deserve ridicule or dislike, if we either act tragedies about trifles or endeavour to pluck up what cannot be moved. For as the feelings on which we have to work in the minds of the judges, or whoever they may be before whom we may plead, are love, hatred, anger, envy, pity, hope, joy, fear, anxiety, we are sensible that love may be gained if you seem to advocate what is advantageous to the persons before whom you are speaking; or if you appear [206] to exert yourself in behalf of good men, or at least for such as are good and serviceable to them; for the latter case more engages favour, the former, the defence of virtue, esteem; and if a hope of future advantage is proposed, it has a greater effect than the mention of past benefits. [207] You must endeavour to show that in the cause which you defend, either their dignity or advantage is concerned; and you should signify that he for whom you solicit their love has referred nothing to his own private benefit, and done nothing at all for his own sake; for dislike is felt for the selfish gains of individuals, while favour is shown to their desires to serve others. [208] But we must take care, while we are on this topic, not to appear to extol the merit and glory of those whom we would wish to be esteemed for their good deeds, too highly, as these qualities are usually the greatest objects of envy. From these considerations, too, we shall learn how to draw hatred on our adversaries, and to avert it from ourselves and our friends. The same means are to be used, also, either to excite or allay anger; for if you exaggerate every fact that is hurtful or disadvantageous to the audience, their hatred is excited; but if anything of the kind is thrown out against men of worth, or against characters on whom no one ought to cast any reflection, or against the public, there is then produced, if not so violent a degree of hatred, at least an unfavourable feeling, or displeasure near akin to hatred. [209] Fear is also inculcated either from people’s own dangers or those of the public. Personal fear affects men more deeply; but that which is common to all is to be treated by the orator as having similar influence.71

LII. “Similar, or rather the same, is the case with regard to hope, joy, and anxiety; but I know not whether the feeling of envy is not by far the most violent of all emotions; nor does it require less power to suppress than to excite it. Men envy chiefly their equals or inferiors when they perceive themselves left behind, and are mortified that the others have outstripped them; but there is often a strong unfavourable feeling towards superiors, which is the stronger if they are intolerably arrogant, and transgress the fair bounds of common justice through super-eminence in dignity or fortune. If such advantages are to be made instruments to kindle dislike,72 the chief thing to be said is, ‘that they are not the acquisitions of virtue, that they have even been gained perhaps by vice and crime; and that, however honourable or imposing they may appear, no merit was ever carried so high as the insolence of mankind and their contumelious disdain.’ [210] To allay envy, it may be observed, ‘that such advantages have been gained by extreme toil and imminent perils; that they have not been applied to the individual’s own private benefit, but that of others; that he himself, if he appear to have gained any glory, although it might not be an undue reward for danger, was not elated with it, but wholly set it aside and undervalued it;’ and such an effect must by all means be produced (since most men are envious, and it is a most common and prevalent vice, and envy is felt towards all super-eminent and flourishing fortune), that the opinion entertained of such characters be lowered, and that their fortunes, so excellent in people’s imaginations, may appear mingled with labour and trouble.

[211] “Pity is excited, if he who hears can be induced to apply to his own circumstances those unhappy particulars which are lamented in the case of others, particulars which they have either suffered or fear to suffer; and while he looks at another, to glance frequently at himself. Thus, as all the circumstances incident to human suffering are heard with concern, if they are pathetically represented, so virtue in affliction and humiliation is the most sorrowful of all objects of contemplation; and as that other department of eloquence which, by its recommendation of goodness, ought to give the picture of a virtuous man, should be in a gentle and (as I have often observed) a submissive strain, so this, which is adopted by the orator to effect a change in the minds of the audience, and to work upon them in every way, should be vehement and energetic.

LIII. [212] “But there is a certain resemblance in these two kinds (one of which we would have to be gentle, the other vehement), that makes it difficult to distinguish them. For something of that lenity with which we conciliate the affections of an audience, ought to mingle with the ardour with which we awaken their passions; and something of this ardour should occasionally communicate a warmth to our gentleness of language; nor is there any species of eloquence better tempered than that in which the asperity of contention in the orator is mitigated by his humanity, or in which the relaxed tone of lenity is sustained by a becoming gravity and energy. [213] But in both modes of speaking, as well that in which spirit and force are required as that which is brought down to ordinary life and manners, the beginning should be slow, but the sequel full and diffuse.73 For you must not spring at once into the pathetic portion of your speech, as it forms no part of the question, and men are first desirous to learn the very point that is to come under their judgment; nor, when you have entered upon that track, are you suddenly to diverge from it; [214] for you are not to suppose that as an argument is understood as soon as it is stated, and a second and a third are then desired, so you can with the same ease move compassion, or envy, or anger, as soon as you make the attempt.74 Reason itself confirms an argument which fixes itself in the mind as soon as it is delivered; but that sort of eloquence does not aim at instructing the judge, but rather at agitating his mind by excessive emotion, which no one can produce unless by fulness and variety and even copiousness of language, and a proportionate energy of delivery. [215] Those, therefore, who speak either with brevity, or in a low submissive strain, may indeed inform the judge, but can never move him, an effect on which success altogether depends. “It is clear, that the ability of arguing on every subject on both sides of the question is drawn from the same considerations. But we must resist the force of an argument, either by refuting those things which are assumed in support of it, or by showing that the conclusion which our opponents would draw cannot be deduced from the premises, or possibly follow from them; or, if you cannot refute an argument in this manner, you must bring something against it of greater or equal weight. [216] But whatever is delivered with gentleness to conciliate favour, or with vehemence to excite emotion, is to be obviated75 by moving contrary feelings, so that benevolence may be eradicated by hatred, and compassion be dispelled by jealousy.

LIV. “A jocose manner, too, and strokes of wit, give pleasure to an audience, and are often of great advantage to the speaker; qualities which, even if everything else can be taught by art, are certainly peculiar gifts of nature, and require no aid from instruction. In that department you, Caesar, in my opinion, far excel all other men; on which account you can better bear me testimony, either that there is no art in wit, or, if there be any, you will best instruct us in it.” [217] “I indeed,” says Caesar, “think that a man who is not destitute of polite learning can discourse upon any subject more wittily than upon wit itself. Accordingly, when I met with some Greek books entitled ‘On Jests,’ I conceived some hope that I might learn something from them. I found, it is true, many laughable and witty sayings of the Greeks; for those of Sicily excel in that way, as well as the Rhodians and Byzantines, but, above all, the people of Attica. But they who have attempted to deliver rules and principles on that subject, have shown themselves so extremely foolish, that nothing else in them has excited laughter but their folly. [218] This talent, therefore, appears to me incapable of being communicated by teaching. As there are two kinds of wit, one running regularly through a whole speech, the other pointed and concise; the ancients denominated the former humour,76 the latter jesting. Each sort has but a light name, and justly;77 for it is altogether but a light thing to raise a laugh. [219] However, as you observe, Antonius, I have seen advantageous effects produced in pleadings by the aid of wit and humour; but, as in the former kind, I mean humour that runs through a speech, no aid from art is required, (for Nature forms and produces men to be facetious mimics or story-tellers; their look, and voice, and mode of expression assisting their conceptions;) so likewise in the other, that of occasional facetiousness, what room is there for art, when the joke ought to be uttered, and fixed in the mind of the hearer, before it appears possible to have been conceived? [220] For what assistance could my brother here receive from art, when, being asked by Philippus why he barked so, he replied, Because he saw a thief? Or what aid could Crassus have received in that whole speech which he delivered before the Centumviri, in opposition to Scaevola, or when he pleaded for Cneius Plancus against the accusation of Brutus? For that talent which you, Antonius, attribute to me, must be allowed to Crassus by the confession of all mankind; since hardly any person can be found besides him eminent in both these kinds of wit, that which runs through a continued discourse, and that which consists in smartness and occasional jokes. [221] His whole defence in the cause of Curius, in opposition to Scaevola, was redundant with a certain pleasantry and humour; but of those sharp short jests it had none; for he was tender of the dignity of his opponent, and in that respect maintained his own; though it is extremely difficult for men of wit and facetiousness to preserve a regard to persons and times, and to suppress what occurs to them when it may be expressed with most pungent effect. Accordingly, some jesters put a humorous interpretation upon the well-known words of Ennius; [222] for he said, as they observe, That a wise man can more easily keep in flame while his mouth is on fire, than withhold ‘bona dicta,’ good words; and they say that good words mean witty sayings; for sayings are called dicta by an appropriate term.

LV. “But as Crassus forbore from such jests in his speech against Scaevola, and sported throughout that cause and discussion with that other species of humour in which there are no stings of sarcasm; so in that against Brutus, whom he hated, and thought deserving of insult, he fought with both kinds of wit. [223] How many severe things did he say about the baths which Brutus had lately sold? how many on the loss of his paternal estate? And they were concise; as when Brutus, speaking of himself, said that he sweated without cause. ‘No wonder that you sweat,” said Crassus, ‘for you are just turned out of the baths.’ There were innumerable things of this kind in the speech, but his continuous vein of pleasantry was not less amusing; for when Brutus had called up two readers, and had given to one the speech of Crassus upon the colony of Narbonne, to the other that on the Servilian law, to read, and had compared together the contradictory sections on public affairs contained in each, our friend very facetiously gave the three books of Brutus’s father, written on the civil law, to three different persons to read. [224] Out of the first book was read this sentence, ‘It happened by chance that we were on my estate at Privernum.’ On which clause Crassus made this observation, ‘Brutus, your father testifies that he left you an estate at Privernum.’ Again, out of the second book, ‘My son Marcus and I were at my Alban villa;’ when Crassus remarked, ‘This wise man, who was justly ranked among the wisest in our city, had evidently some foreknowledge of this spendthrift’s character, and was afraid, that when he came to have nothing, it might be imagined that nothing was left him.’ Afterwards out of the third book, with which the author concluded his work, (for that number of books, as I have heard Scaevola say, are the genuine compositions of Brutus,) ‘It chanced that my son Marcus and myself were sitting in my villa near Tibur;’ when Crassus exclaimed, ‘Where are those estates now, Brutus, that your father left you, as recorded in his public commentaries? But if he had not seen you arrived at the age of puberty, he would have composed a fourth book, and left it in writing that he talked with his son in his own baths’ [225] Who does not acknowledge, now, that Brutus was not less confuted by this humour, these comic jests, than by that tragic tone which the same orator adopted, when by accident, during the hearing of the same cause, the funeral procession of the old lady Junia passed by? Ye immortal gods! what force and energy was that with which he spoke! how unexpected! how sudden! when, casting his eyes that way, with his whole gesture directed towards Brutus, with the utmost gravity and rapidity of expression, he exclaimed, ‘Brutus, why do you sit still? What would you have that old lady communicate to your father? What to all those whose statues you see carried by? What to your other ancestors? What to Lucius Brutus, who freed this people from regal tyranny? What shall she say that you are doing? What business, what glory, what virtue shall she say that you are pursuing? That you are engaged in increasing your patrimony? But that is no characteristic of nobility. [226] Yet suppose it were; you have none left to increase; your extravagance has squandered the whole of it That you are studying the civil law? That was your father’s pursuit; but she will relate that when you sold your house, you did not even among the moveables78 reserve the chair from which your father answered his clients. That you are applying to the military art? You who have never seen a camp. Or to eloquence? But no portion of eloquence dwells in you; and such power of voice and tongue as you have, you have devoted to the infamous trade of a common informer. Dare you even behold the light? Or look this assembly in the face I Dare you present yourself in the forum, in the city, in the public assembly of the citizens? Do you not fear even that dead corpse, and those very images of your ancestors, you who have not only left yourself no room for the imitation of their virtues, but none in which you can place their statues?’

LVI. [227] “This is in a tragic and sublime strain of language; but you all recollect instances without number of facetiousness and polite humour in one speech; for never was there a more vehement dispute on any occasion, or an oration of greater power delivered before the people, than that of Crassus lately in his censorship, in opposition to his colleague, nor one better seasoned with wit and humour. I agree with you, therefore, Antonius, in both points, that jesting is often of great advantage in speaking, and that it cannot be taught by any rules of art. But I am astonished that you should attribute so much power to me in that way, and not assign to Crassus the palm of pre-eminence in this as in other departments of eloquence.” [228] “I should have done so,” said Antonius, “if I had not sometimes envied Crassus a little in this respect; for to he ever so facetious and witty is not of itself an extraordinary subject of envy; but, when you are the most graceful and polite of speakers, to be, and to be thought, at the same time, the most grave and dignified of men, a distinction which has been granted to Crassus alone, seems to me almost unendurable.” [229] Crassus having smiled at this, Antonius said, “But, Julius, while you denied that art had anything to do with facetiousness, you brought to our notice something that seemed worthy of precept; for you said that regard ought to be paid to persons, times, and circumstances, that jesting might not detract from dignity; a rule which is particularly observed by Crassus. But this rule only directs that jokes should be suppressed when there is no fair occasion for them; what we desire to know is, how we may use them when there is occasion; as against an adversary, especially if his folly be open to attack, or against a foolish, covetous, trifling witness, if the audience seem disposed to listen patiently. [230] Those sayings are more likely to be approved which we utter on provocation, than those which we utter when we begin an attack; for the quickness of wit, which is shown in answering, is more remarkable, and to reply is thought allowable, as being natural to the human temper; since it is presumed that we should have remained quiet if we had not been attacked; as in that very speech to which you alluded scarcely anything was said by our friend Crassus here, anything at least that was at all humorous, which he did not utter in reply, and on provocation. For there was so much gravity and authority in Domitius,79 that the objections which came from him seemed more likely to be enfeebled by jests than broken by arguments.”

LVII. [231] Sulpicius soon after said, “Shall we, then, suffer Caesar, who, though he allows wit to Crassus, is yet himself far more intent on acquiring a character for it, to exempt himself from explaining to us the whole subject of humour, what is the nature of it, and from whence derived; especially as he owns that there is so much efficacy and advantage in wit and jesting?” “What if I agree with Antonius,” rejoined Caesar, “in thinking that art has no concern with wit?” [232] As Sulpicius made no remark, “As if,” said Crassus, “art could at all assist in acquiring those talents of which Antonius has been so long speaking. There is a certain observation to be paid, as he remarked, to those particulars which are most effective in oratory; but if such observation could make men eloquent, who would not be so? For who could not learn these particulars, if not with ease, at least in some way? But I think that of such precepts, the use and advantage is, not that we may be directed by art to find out what we are to say, but that we may either feel certain as to what we attain by natural parts, by study, or by exercise, that it is right, or understand that it is wrong, having been instructed to what rule the several particulars are to be referred. [233] I, therefore, also join in the petition to you, Caesar, that you would, if it is agreeable to you, tell us what you think on jocoseness in general, lest, by accident, any part of eloquence, since that is your object, should appear to have been passed over in so learned an assembly, and such a studied conversation.” “Well, then, Crassus,” replied Caesar, “since you require payment from a guest, I will, by refusing it, furnish you with a pretext for refusing to entertain us again; though I am often astonished at the impudence of those who act upon the stage while Roscius is a spectator of their attitudes; for who can make the least motion without Roscius seeing his imperfections? So I shall now have to speak first on wit in the hearing of Crassus, and to teach like a swine,80 as they say, that orator of whom Catulus said, when he heard him lately, That other speakers ought to be fed upon hay.”81 [234] “Ah!” said Crassus, “Catulus was joking, especially as he speaks himself in such a manner that he seems to deserve to be fed on ambrosia. But let us hear you, Caesar, that we may afterwards return to the remainder of the discourse of Antonius.” “There is little remaining for me to say,” replied Antonius; “but as I am wearied with the labour and the length of what I have said, I shall repose during the discourse of Caesar as in some opportune place of entertainment.” LVIII. “But,” said Caesar, “you will not pronounce my entertainment very liberal; for as soon as you have tasted a little I shall thrust you out, and turn you into the road again. [235] However, not to detain you any longer, I will deliver my sentiments very briefly on this department of eloquence in general.

“Concerning laughter, there are five things which are subjects of consideration: one, ‘What it is;’ another, ‘Whence it originates;’ a third, ‘Whether it becomes the orator to wish to excite laughter;’ a fourth, ‘To what degree;’ a fifth, ‘What are the several kinds of the ridiculous?’ As to the first, ‘What laughter itself is,’ by what means it is excited, where it lies, how it arises, and bursts forth so suddenly that we are unable, though we desire, to restrain it, and how it affects at once the sides, the face, the veins, the countenance, the eyes, let Democritus consider; for all this has nothing to do with my remarks, and if it had to do with them, I should not be ashamed to say that I am ignorant of that which not even they understand who profess to explain it. [236] But the seat and as it were province of what is laughed at, (for that is the next point of inquiry,) lies in a certain offensiveness and deformity; for those sayings are laughed at solely or chiefly which point out and designate something offensive in an inoffensive manner. But, to come to the third point, it certainly becomes the orator to excite laughter; either because mirth itself attracts favour to him by whom it is raised; or because all admire wit, which is often comprised in a single word, especially in him who replies, and sometimes in him who attacks; or because it overthrows the adversary, or hampers him, or makes light of him, or discourages, or refutes him; or because it proves the orator himself to be a man of taste, or learning, or polish; but chiefly because it mitigates and relaxes gravity and severity, and often, by a joke or a laugh, breaks the force of offensive remarks, which cannot easily be overthrown by arguments. [237] But to what degree the laughable should be carried by the orator requires very diligent consideration; a point which we placed as the fourth subject of inquiry; for neither great vice, such as is united with crime, nor great misery, is a subject for ridicule and laughter; since people will have those guilty of enormous crimes attacked with more forcible weapons than ridicule; and do not like the miserable to be derided, unless perhaps when they are insolent; and you must be considerate, too, of the feelings of mankind, lest you rashly speak against those who are. personally beloved.

LIX. [238] “Such is the caution that must be principally observed in joking. Those subjects accordingly are most readily jested upon which are neither provocative of violent aversion, nor of extreme compassion. All matter for ridicule is therefore found to lie in such defects as are to be observed in the characters of men not in universal esteem, nor in calamitous circumstances, and who do not appear deserving to be dragged to punishment for their crimes; such topics nicely managed create laughter. [239] In deformity, also, and bodily defects, is found fair enough matter for ridicule; but we have to ask the same question here as is asked on other points, ‘How far the ridicule may be carried?’ In this respect it is not only directed that the orator should say nothing impertinently, but also that, even if he can say anything very ridiculously, he should avoid both errors, lest his jokes become either buffoonery or mimicry; qualities of which we shall better understand the nature when we come to consider the different species of the ridiculous.

“There are two sorts of jokes, one of which is excited by things, the other by words. [240] By things, whenever any matter is told in the way of a story; as you, Crassus, formerly stated in a speech against Memmius,82 That he had eaten a piece of Largius’s arm, because he had had a quarrel with him at Tarracina about a courtesan; it was a witty story, but wholly of your own invention. You added this particular, that throughout Tarracina these letters were inscribed on every wall, M M, LLL; and that when you inquired what they meant, an old man of the town replied, Mordacious Memmius Lacerates Largius’s Limb.83 [241] You perceive clearly how facetious this mode of joking may be, how elegant, how suitable’ to an orator; whether you have any true story to tell, (which, however must be interspersed with fictitious circumstances,) or whether you merely invent. The excellence of such jesting is, that you can describe things as occurring in such a way, that the manners, the language, and every look of the person of whom you speak, may be represented, so that the occurrence may seem to the audience to pass and take place at the very time when you address them. [242] Another kind of jest taken from things, is that which is derived from a depraved sort of imitation, or mimicry; as when Crassus also exclaimed, By your nobility, by your family, what else was there at which the assembly could laugh but that mimicry of look and tone? But when he said, by your statues, and added something of gesture by extending his arm, we all laughed immoderately.84 Of this species is Roscius’s imitation of an old man; when he says,

          For you, my Antipho, I plant these trees,85

it is old age itself that seems to speak while I listen to him. But all this department of ridicule is of such a nature that it must be attempted with the greatest caution. For if the imitation is too extravagant, it becomes, like indecency, the part of players in pantomime and farce; the orator should be moderate in imitation, that the audience may conceive more than they can see represented by him; he ought also to give proof of ingenuousness and modesty, by avoiding everything offensive or unbecoming in word or act.

LX. [243] “These, therefore, are the two kinds of the ridiculous which is drawn from things; and they suit well with continuous pieces of humour, in which the manners of mankind are so described and expressed, that, either by means of some narrative, their character is exactly understood, or, by throwing in a little mimicry, they may be convicted of some impropriety remarkable enough for ridicule. [244] But in words, the ridiculous is that which is excited by the point of a particular expression or thought: but as, in the former kind, both in narration and imitation, all resemblance to the players of pantomime should be avoided, so, in this, all scurrilous buffoonery is to be studiously shunned by the orator. How, then, shall we distinguish from Crassus, from Catulus, and from others, your acquaintance Granius, or my friend Vargula? No proper distinction really occurs to me; for they are both witty; no man has more of verbal witticism than Granius. The first point to be observed, however, is, I think, that we should not fancy ourselves obliged to utter a jest whenever one may be uttered. A very little witness was produced. [245] May I question him? says Philippus. The judge who presided,86 being in a hurry, replied, Yes, if he is short. You shall have no fault to find, said Philippus, for I shall question him very short. This was ridiculous enough; but Lucius Amifex was sitting as judge in the cause, who was shorter than the witness himself; so that all the laughter was turned upon the judge, and hence the joke appeared scurrilous. Those good things, therefore, which hit those whom you do not mean to hit, however witty they are, are yet in their nature scurrilous; [246] as when Appius, who would be thought witty, and indeed is so, but sometimes slides into this fault of scurrility, said to Caius Sextius, an acquaintance of mine, who is blind of an eye, I will sup with you tonight, for I see that there is a vacancy for one. This was a scurrilous joke, both because he attacked Sextius without provocation, and said what was equally applicable to all one-eyed persons. Such jokes, as they are thought premeditated, excite less laughter; but the reply of Sextius was excellent and extempore: Wash your hands87 said he, and come to supper. [247] A regard, therefore, to proper times, moderation and forbearance in jesting, and a limitation in the number of jokes, will distinguish the orator from the buffoon; and the circumstance, besides, that we joke with an object, not that we may appear to be jesters, but that we may gain some advantage, while they joke all day without any purpose whatever. For what did Vargula gain by saying, when Aulus Sempronius, then a candidate for office, and his brother Marcus, saluted him, Boy, drive away the flies? His aim was to raise a laugh, which is, in my opinion, a very poor effect of wit. The proper season, then, for jesting, we must determine by our own prudence and judgment; in the exercise of which I wish that we had some body of rules to direct us; but nature is the sovereign guide.

LXI. [248] “Let us now consider briefly the sorts of jests that chiefly excite laughter. Let this, then, be our first division, that whatever is expressed wittily, consists sometimes in a thought, sometimes in the mere language, but that men are most delighted with a joke when the laugh is raised by the thought and the language in conjunction. But remember this, that whatever topics I shall touch upon, from which ridicule may be drawn, from almost the same topics serious thoughts may be derived: there is only this difference, that seriousness is used on dignified subjects with gravity, joking on such as are in some degree unbecoming, and as it were grotesque; for instance, we may with the very same words commend a thrifty servant, and jest upon one that is extravagant. That old saying of Nero88 about a thieving servant is humorous enough, That he was the only one from whom nothing in the house was sealed or locked up; a thing which is not only said of a good servant, but in the very same words. [249] From the same sources spring all kinds of sayings. What his mother said to Spurius Carvilius, who halted grievously from a wound received in the public service, and was on that account ashamed to go out of doors, Go, my Spurius, that as often as you take a step you may be reminded of your merits, was a noble and serious thought; but what Glaucia said to Calvinus, when he limped, Where is the old proverb Does he claudicate? no; but he clodicates,89 is ridiculous; and yet both are derived from what may be observed with regard to lameness. What is more ignave than this Naevius?90 said Scipio with severity; but Philippus, with some humour, to one who had a strong smell, I perceive that I am circumvented by you;91 yet it is the resemblance of words, with the change only of a letter, that constitutes both jokes.

[250] “Those smart sayings which spring from some ambiguity are thought extremely ingenious; but they are not always employed to express jests, but often even grave thoughts. What Publius Licinus Varus said to Africanus the elder, when he was endeavouring to fit a chaplet to his head at an entertainment, and it broke several times, Do not wonder if it does not fit you, for you have a great head, was a fine and noble thought; but He is bald enough, for he says but little,92 is of the same sort. Not to be tedious, there is no subject for jest from which serious and grave reflections may not be drawn. [251] It is also to be observed that everything which is ridiculous is not witty; for what can be so ridiculous as a buffoon?93 But it is by his face, his appearance, his look, his mimicry, his voice, and, in fine, by his whole figure, that he excites laughter I might, indeed, call him witty, but not in such a way that I would have an orator, but an actor in pantomime, to be witty.

LXII. “This kind of jesting, above all, then, though it powerfully excites laughter, is not suited to us; it represents the morose, the superstitious, the suspicious, the vainglorious, the foolish; habits of mind which are in themselves ridiculous; and such kind of characters we are to expose, not to assume. [252] There is another kind of jesting which is extremely ludicrous, namely mimicry; but it is allowable only in us to attempt it cautiously, if ever we do attempt it, and but for a moment, otherwise it is far from becoming to a man of education. A third is distortion of features, utterly unworthy of us. A fourth is indecency in language, a disgrace not only to the forum, but to any company of well-bred people. So many things, then, being deducted from this part of oratory, the kinds of jesting which remain are (as I distinguished them before) such as consist in thought or in expression. That which, in whatever terms you express it, is still wit, consists in the thought; that which by a change of words loses its spirit, has no wit but what depends on expression.

[253] “Plays on ambiguous words are extremely ingenious, but depend wholly on the expression, not on the matter. They seldom, however, excite much laughter, but are rather commended as jests of elegance and scholarship; as that about Titius, whom, being a great tennis-player, and at the same time suspected of having broken the sacred images by night, Terentius Vespa excused, when his companions inquired for him, as he did not come to the Campus Martius, by saying that he had broken an arm. Or as that of Africanus, which is in Lucilius,

          Quid? Decius, nuculam an confixum vis facere? inquit.94

Or, as your friend Granius, Crassus, said of somebody, That he was not worth the sixth part of an as.95 [254] And if you were to ask me, I should say that he who is called a jester, excels chiefly in jokes of this kind; but that other jests excite laughter in a greater degree. The ambiguous gains great admiration, as I observed before, from its nature, for it appears the part of a wit to be able to turn the force of a word to quite another sense than that in which other people take it; but it excites surprise rather than laughter, unless when it happens to be joined with some other sorts of jesting.

LXIII. [255] “Some of these sorts of jesting I will now run over: but you are aware that that is the most common kind of joke, when we expect one thing and another is said; in which case our own disappointed expectation makes us laugh. But if something of the ambiguous is thrown in with it, the wit is heightened; as in Naevius, a man seems to be moved with compassion who, seeing another, that was sentenced for debt, being led away, inquires, For how much is he adjudged? He is answered, A thousand sestertii. If he had then added only, You may take him away, it would have been a species of joke that takes you by surprise; but as he said, I add no more; you may take him away, (thus introducing the ambiguous, another kind of jest,) the repartee, as it seems to me, is rendered witty in the highest degree. Such equivocation is most happy, when, in any dispute, a word is caught from your adversary, and thence something severe is turned upon the very person who gave the provocation, as by Catulus upon Philippus.96 [256] But as there are several sorts of ambiguity, with regard to which accurate study is necessary, we should be attentive and on the watch for words; and thus, though we may avoid frigid witticisms, (for we must be cautious that a jest be not thought far-fetched,) we shall hit upon may acute sayings. Another kind is that which consists in a slight change in a word, which, when produced by the alteration of a letter, the Greeks call paronomasia, as Cato called Nobilior97 Mobilior; or as, when he had said to a certain person, Eamus deambulatum, and the other asked, Quid opus fuit DD? Cato rejoined, Imo vero, quid opus fuit TE?98 Or that repartee of the same Cato, If you are both adverse and averse in your shameless practices. [257] The interpretation of a name also has wit in it, when you assign a ridiculous reason why a person is so called; as I lately said of Nummius, who distributed money99 at elections, that he had found a name in the Campus Martius as Neoptolemus found one at Troy.

LXIV. “All such jokes lie in a single word. Often too a verse is humorously introduced, either just as it is, or with some little alteration; or some part of a verse, as Statius said to Scaurus when in a violent passion: (whence some say, Crassus, that your law100 on citizenship had its rise:)

          Hush! Silence! what is all this noise? Have you,
          Who neither have a father nor a mother,
          Such confidence? Away with all that pride.

In the case of Caelius, that joke of yours, Antonius, was assuredly of advantage to your cause; when, appearing as a witness, he had admitted that a great deal of money had gone from him, and as he had a son who was a man of pleasure, you, as he was going away, said,

          See you the old man, touch’d for thirty minae?

[258] To the same purpose proverbs may be applied; as in the joke of Scipio, when Asellus was boasting that while he had served in the army, he had marched through all the provinces, Drive an ass, &c.101 Such jokes, as they cannot, if any Change is made in the words of them, retain the same grace ,are necessarily considered as turning, not on the matter, but on the mere expression.

[259] “There is also a kind of joke, not at all absurd, which lies in expression, when you seem to understand a thing literally, and not in its obvious meaning; in which kind it was that Tutor,102 the old mimic, an exceedingly laughable actor, exclusively distinguished himself. But I have nothing to do with actors; I only wished this kind of jesting y to be illustrated by some notable example. Of this kind was your answer lately, Crassus, to one who asked you whether he should be troublesome if he came to you some time before it was light: and you said, You will not be troublesome: when he rejoined, You will order yourself to be waked then? to which you replied, Surely I said that you would not be troublesome. [260] Of the same sort was that old joke which they say that Marcus Scipio Maluginensis made, when he had to report from his century that Acidinus was voted consul, and the officer cried out, Declare as to Lucius Manlius, he said, I declare him to be a worthy man, and an excellent member of the commonwealth. The answer of Lucius [Porcius]103 Nasica to Cato the censor was humorous enough, when Cato said to him, Are you truly satisfied that you have taken a wife? No, indeed, replied Nasica, I am not truly satisfied.104 Such jests are insipid, or witty only when another answer is expected; for our surprise (as I before105 observed) naturally amuses us; and thus, when we are deceived, as it were, in our expectation, we laugh.

LXV. [261] “Those jests also lie in words, which spring from some allegorical phraseology, or from a metaphorical use of some one word, or from using words ironically. From allegorical phraseology: as when Rusca, in old times, proposed the law to fix the ages of candidates for offices, and Marcus Servilius, who opposed the law, said to him; Tell me, Marcus Pinarius Rusca, if I speak against you, will you speak ill of me as you have spoken of others? As you shall sow, replied he, so you shall reap. [262] From the use of a single word in a metaphorical sense: as when the elder Scipio said to the Corinthians, who offered to put up a statue of him in the place where those of other commanders were, That he did not like such comrades. From the ironical use of words: as when Crassus spoke for Aculeo before Marcus Perperna as judge, and Lucius Aelius Lama appeared for Gratidianus against Aculeo, and Lama, who was deformed, as you know, offered impertinent interruptions, Crassus said, Let us hear this beautiful youth. When a laugh followed, I could not form my own shape, said Lamia, but I could form my understanding. Then, said Crassus, let us hear this able orator; when a greater laugh than before ensued. Such jests are agreeable as well in grave as in humorous speeches. For I observed, a little while ago,106 that the subjects for jest and for gravity are distinct; but that the same form of expression will serve for grave remarks, as for jokes. [263] Words antithetically used107 are a great ornament to language; and the same mode of using them is often also humorous; thus, when the well-known Servius Galba carried to Lucius Scribonius the tribune a list of his own intimates to be appointed as judges, and Libo said, What, Galba, will you never go out of your own dining-room? Yes, replied Galba, when you go out of other men’s bedchambers. To this kind of joke the saying of Glaucia to Metellus is not very dissimilar: You have your villa at Tibur, but your court on mount Palatine.108

LXVI. [264] “Such kinds of jokes as lie in words I think that I have now sufficiently discussed; but such as relate to things are more numerous, and excite more laughter, as I observed before.109 Among them is narrative, a matter of exceeding difficulty; for such things are to be described and set before the eyes, as may seem to be probable, which is the excellence of narration, and such also as are grotesque, which is the peculiar province of the ridiculous; for an example, as the shortest that I recollect, let that serve which I mentioned before, the story of Crassus about Memmius.110 To this head we may assign the narratives given in fables. [265] Allusions are also drawn from history; as when Sextus Titius111 said he was a Cassandra, I can name, said Antonius, many of your Ajaces Oilei.112 Such jests are also derived from similitudes, which include either comparison or something of bodily representation. A comparison, as when Gallus, that was once a witness against Piso, said that a countless sum of money had been given to Magius113 the governor, and Scaurus tried to confute him, by alleging the poverty of Magius, You mistake me, Scaurus, said he, for I do not say that Magius has saved it, but that, like a man gathering nuts without his clothes, he has put it into his belly. Or, as when Marcus Cicero114 the elder, the father of that excellent man our friend, said, That the men of our times were like the Syrian slaves; the more Greek they knew, the greater knaves they were. [266] Representations also create much laughter, and these commonly bear upon some deformity, or bodily defect, with a comparison to something still more deformed: as my own saying on Helvius Mancia, I will now show, said I, what sort of man you are; when he exclaimed, Show us, I pray you; and I pointed with my finger to a Gaul represented upon the Cimbrian shield of Marius under the new shops115 in the forum, with his body distorted, his tongue lolling out, and his cheeks flabby. A general laugh ensued; for nothing was ever seen to resemble Mancia so much. Or as I said to the witness Titus Pinarius, who twisted his chin about while he was speaking, That he might speak, if he pleased, if he had done cracking his nut. [267] There are jokes, too, from things being extenuated or exaggerated hyperbolically, and to astonish; as you, Crassus, said in a speech to the people, that Memmius fancied himself so great a man, that as he came into the forum he stooped his head at the arch of Fabius. Of which kind is the saying also, that Scipio is reported to have uttered at Numantia when he was angry with Metellus, that If his mother were to produce a fifth, she would bring forth an ass.116 [268] There is also frequently acuteness shown, when something obscure and not commonly known is illustrated by a slight circumstance, and often by a single word; as when Publius Cornelius, a man, as was suspected, of a covetous and rapacious disposition, but of great courage and an able commander, thanked Caius Fabricius for having, though he was his enemy, made him consul, especially during a difficult and important war, You have no reason to thank me, returned Fabricius, if I had rather be pillaged than sold for a slave. Or, as Africanus said to Asellus, who objected to him that unfortunate lustration in his censorship, Do not wonder; for he who restored you to the rights of a citizen, completed the lustration and sacrificed the bull. There was a tacit suspicion, that Mummius seemed to have laid the state under the necessity of expiation by removing the mark of ignominy from Asellus.

LXVII. [269] “Ironical dissimulation has also an agreeable effect, when you say something different from what you think; not after the manner to which I alluded before, when you say the exact reverse of what you mean, as Crassus said to Lamia, but when through the whole course of a speech you are seriously jocose, your thoughts being different from your words; as our friend Scaevola said to that Septumuleius of Anagnia, (to whom its weight in gold was paid for the head of Caius Gracchus,) when he petitioned that he would take him as his lieutenant-general into Asia, What would you have, foolish man? there is such a multitude of bad citizens that, I warrant you, if you stay at Rome, you will in a few years make a vast fortune. [270] Fannius, in his Annals, says that Africanus the younger, he that was named Aemilianus, was remarkable for this kind of jests; and calls him by a Greek term eiron, an ironical jester; but, according to what those say who know these matters better than myself, I conceive that Socrates, for irony and dissimulation, far excelled all other men in the wit and genius which he displayed. It is an elegant kind of humour, satirical with a mixture of gravity, and adapted to oratory as well as to polite conversation. [271] Indeed all the kinds of humour of which I have spoken, are seasonings not more appropriate to law-pleadings in the forum, than to any other kind of discourse. For that which is mentioned by Cato, (who has reported many apophthegms, several of which have been produced by me as examples,) seems to me a very happy saying, that Gains Publius used to observe that Publius Mummius was a man for all occasions; so it certainly is with regard to our present subject, that there is no time of life in which wit and polite humour may not very properly be exercised.

[272] “But I will pursue the remainder of my subject. It is a kind of joking similar to a sort of dissimulation, when anything disgraceful is designated by an honourable term; as when Africanus the censor removed from his tribe that centurion who absented himself from the battle in which Paulus commanded, alleging that he had remained in the camp to guard it, and inquiring why he had such a mark of ignominy set upon him, I do not like, replied Africanus, over-vigilant people. [273] It is an excellent joke, too, when you take any part of another person’s words in a different sense from that which he intended; as Fabius Maximus did with Livius Salinator,117 when, on Tarentum being lost, Livius had still preserved the citadel, and had made many successful sallies from it, and Fabius, some years afterwards, having retaken the town, Livius begged him to remember that it was owing to him that Tarentum was retaken. How can I do otherwise than remember, said Fabius, for I should never have retaken it if you had not lost it. [274] Such jokes as the following, too, are, though rather absurd, often en that very account extremely amusing, and very apposite, not only to characters in plays, but also to us orators:

                    The foolish man!
          As soon as he had come to wealth, he died.
                    That woman, what is she to you?
          My wife. Like you, by Hercules!118
                    As long as he was living at the waters
          He never119 died.

LXVIII. “This kind of jokes is rather trifling, and, as I said, fit for actors in farces; but sometimes it finds a proper place with us, as even one who is not a fool may express himself like a fool in a humorous way, as Mancia congratulated you, Antonius, when he heard that you were accused by Marcus Duronius of bribery in your censorship: At length, said he, you will have an opportunity of attending to your own business. [275] Such jests excite great laughter, and in truth all sayings that are uttered by men of sense with a degree of absurdity and sarcasm, under the pretence of not understanding what is said to them. A joke of this kind is not to seem to comprehend what you comprehend very well; as when Pontidius, being asked, What do you think of him who is taken in adultery? replied, That he is slow. Or such as was my reply to Metellus, when, at a time of levying troops, he would not excuse me from serving for the weakness of my eyes, and said to me, What! can you see nothing? [276] Yes truly, answered I, I can see your villa from the Esquiline-Gate.120 Or as the repartee of Nasica, who, having called at the house of the poet Ennius, and the maid-servant having told him, on his inquiring at the door, that Ennius was not at home, saw that she had said so by her master’s order, and that he was really within: and when, a few days afterwards, Ennius called at Nasica’s house, and inquired for him at the gate, Nasica cried out, That lie was not at home. What? says Ennius, do I not know your voice? You are an impudent fellow, rejoined Nasica; when I inquired for you, I believed your servant when she told me that you were not at home, and will not you believe me when I tell you that I am not at home? [277] It is a very happy stroke, too, when he who has uttered a sarcasm is jested upon in the same strain in which he has attacked another: as when Quiutus Opimius, a man of consular dignity, who had the report of having been licentious in his youth, said to Egilius, a man of wit, who seemed to be an effeminate person, but was in reality not so, How do you do, my Egilia? when will you pay me a visit with your distaff and spindle? and Egilius replied, I certainly dare not; for my mother forbad me to visit women of bad character.

LXIX. [278] “There are witty sayings also which carry a concealed suspicion of ridicule; of which sort is that of the Sicilian, who, when a friend of his made lamentation to him, saying, that his wife had hanged herself upon a fig-tree, said, I beseech you give me some shoots of that tree, that I may plant them. Of the same sort is what Catulus said to a certain bad orator, who, when he imagined that he had excited compassion at the close of a speech, asked our friend here, after he had sat down, whether he appeared to have raised pity in the audience: Very great pity, replied Crassus, for I believe there is no one here so hard-hearted but that your speech seemed pitiable to him. [279] Those jests amuse me extremely, which are expressed in passion and as it were with moroseness; not when they are uttered by a person really morose, for in that case it is not the wit, but the natural temper that is laughed at. Of this kind of jest there is a very humorous example, as it appears to me, in Naevius:

                    Why mourn you, father?
          Strange that I do not sing! I am condemned.

Contrasted with this there is a patient and cool species of the humorous: as when Cato received a stroke from a man carrying a trunk, who afterwards called to him to take care, he asked him, whether he carried anything else besides the trunk? [280] There is also a witty mode of exposing folly; as when the Sicilian to whom Scipio, when praetor, assigned his host for an advocate in some cause, a man of rank but extremely stupid, said, I beseech you, praetor, give this advocate to my adversary, and give me none. Explanations of things; too, are amusing, which are given from conjecture in a sense far different from that which they are intended to convey, but with ingenuity and aptness. As when Scaurus accused Rutilius of bribery, (at the time when he himself was made consul, and Rutilius suffered a disappointment,) and showed these letters in Rutilius’s books,121 A. F. P. R., and said that they signified, Actum Fide Publii Rutilii, ‘transacted on the faith of Publius Rutilius;’ while Rutilius declared that they meant, Ante Factum, Post Relatum, ‘done before, entered after;’ but Caius Canius, being on the side of Rufus, observed that neither of those senses was intended by the letters: What then is the meaning? inquired Scaurus. Aemilius fecit, plectitur Rutilius, replied Canius; ‘Aemilius is guilty, Rutilius is punished.’

LXX. [281] “A union of discordant particulars is laughable: as, What is wanting to him, except fortune and virtue? A familiar reproof of a person, as if he were in error, is also amusing; as when Albucius taunted Granius, because, when something appeared to be proved by Albucius from Granius’s writing, Granius rejoiced extremely that Scaevola122 was acquitted, and did not understand that judgment was given against the credit of his own writing. [282] Similar to this is friendly admonition by way of giving advice: as when Granius persuaded a bad pleader, who had made himself hoarse with speaking, to drink a cold mixture of honey and wine as soon as he got home: I shall ruin my voice, said he, if I do so. [283] It will be better, said Granius, than to ruin your clients. It is a happy hit, too, when something is said that is peculiarly applicable to the character of some particular person; as when Scaurus had incurred some unpopularity for having taken possession of the effects of Phrygio Pompeius, a rich man who died without a will, and was sitting as counsel for Bestia, then under impeachment, Caius Memmius the accuser, as a funeral procession passed by, said, Look, Scaurus, a dead body is going by, if you can but get possession! [284] But of all jokes none create greater laughter than something said contrary to expectation; of which there are examples without number. Such was the saying of Appius the elder,123 who, when the matter about the public lands, and the law of Thorius, was in agitation in the senate, and Lucilius was hard pressed by those who asserted that the public pastures were grazed by his cattle, said, They are not the cattle of Lucilius; you mistake; (he seemed to be going to defend Lucilius;) I look upon them as free, for they feed where they please. [285] That saying also of the Scipio who slew Tiberius Gracchus amuses me. When, after many charges were made against him, Marcus Flaccus proposed Publius Mucius as one of his judges, I except against him, said he, lie is unjust; and when this occasioned a general murmur, A hi said he, I do not except against him, Conscript Fathers, as unjust to me, but to everybody. But nothing could be more witty than the joke of our friend Crassus. When Silus, a witness, was injuring the cause of Piso, by something that he said he had heard against him, It is possible, said he, Silus, that the person from whom you heard this said it in anger. Silus assented. It is possible, too, that you did not rightly understand him. To this also he assented with the lowest of bows, expressing entire agreement with Crassus. It u also possible, continued Crassus, that what you say you have heard you never heard at all. This was so different from what was expected, that the witness was overwhelmed by a general laugh. Naevius is full of this kind of humour, and it is a familiar joke, Wise man, if you are cold you will shake; and there are many other such sayings.

LXXI. [286] “You may often also humorously grant to your adversary what he wishes to detract from you; as Caius Laelius, when a man of disreputable family told him that he was unworthy of his ancestors, replied, But, by Hercules, you are worthy of yours. Jokes, too, are frequently uttered in a sententious manner; as Marcus Cincius, on the day when he proposed his law about gifts and presents, and Caius Cento stood forth and asked him with some scorn, What are you proposing, little Cincius? replied, That you, Caius, may pay for what you wish to use.124 [287] Things also which are impossible are often wished for with much wit; as Marcus Lepidus, when he lay down upon the grass, while others were taking their exercise in the Campus Martius, exclaimed, I wish this were labour.125 It is an excellent joke also to give inquisitive people who tease you as it were, a calm answer, of such a nature as they do not expect; as Lepidus the censor, when he deprived Antistius of Pyrgi of his horse;126 and his friends called out to him, and inquired what reason Antistius could give his father why his horse was taken from him, when he was127 an excellent, industrious, modest, frugal member of the colony, rejoined, That I believe not a, word of it. [288] Some other sorts of jests are enumerated by the Greeks, as execrations, expressions of admiration, threats. But I think that I have divided these matters into too many heads already; for such as lie in the force and meaning of a word, are commonly easy to settle and define; but in general, as I observed before, they are heard rather with approbation than laughter. [289] Jokes, however, which lie in the subject and thought, are, though infinite in their varieties, reducible under a very few general heads; for it is by deceiving expectation, by satirising the tempers of others, by playing humorously on our own, by comparing a thing with something worse, by dissembling, by uttering apparent absurdities, and by reproving folly, that laughter is excited; and he who would be a facetious speaker, must be endowed with a natural genius for such kinds of wit, as well as with personal qualifications, so that his very look may adapt itself to every species of the ridiculous; and the graver and more serious such a person is, as is the case with you, Crassus, so much more humorous do the sayings which fall from him generally appear.

[290] “But now I think that you, Antonius, who said128 that you would repose during my discourse, as in some place of refreshment, will, as if you had stopped in the Pomptine Marsh, neither a pleasant nor a wholesome region, consider that you have rested long enough, and will proceed to complete the remainder of your journey.” “I will,” said Antonius, “having been very pleasantly entertained by you, and having also acquired instruction, as well as encouragement, to indulge in jesting; for I am no longer afraid lest any one should charge me with levity in that respect, since you have produced such authorities as the Fabricii, the Africani, the Maximi, the Catos, and the Lepidi, in its favour. [291] But you have heard what you desired from me, at least such points as it was necessary to consider and detail with particular accuracy; the rest are more easy, and arise wholly from what has been already said.

LXXII.129 “For when I have entered upon a cause, and traced out all its bearings in my mind, as far as I could possibly do so; when I have ascertained and contemplated the proper arguments for the case, and those particulars by which the feelings of the judges maybe conciliated or excited, I then consider what strong or weak points the cause contains; for hardly any subject can be called into question and controversy in pleading, which has not both; but to what degree is the chief concern. [292] In pleading, my usual method is, to fix on whatever strong points a cause has, and to illustrate and make the most of them, dwelling on them, insisting on them, clinging to them; but to hold back from the weak and defective points, in such a way that I may not appear to shun them, but that their whole force may be dissembled and overwhelmed130 by the ornament and amplification of the strong parts. If the cause turn upon arguments, I maintain chiefly such as are the strongest, whether they are several or whether there be but one; but if the cause depend on the conciliation or excitement of the feelings of the judges, I apply myself chiefly to that part which is best adapted to move men’s minds. [293] Finally, the principal point for consideration on this head is, that if my speech can be made more effective by refuting my adversary, than by supporting my own side of the question, I employ all my weapons against him; but if my own ease can be more easily supported, than that on the other side can be confuted, I endeavour to withdraw the attention of the judges from the opposite party’s defence, and to fix it on my own. [294] In conclusion, I adopt, on my own responsibility, two courses which appear to me most easy (since I cannot attempt what is more difficult): one, that I make, sometimes, no reply at all to a troublesome or difficult argument or point; (and at such forbearance perhaps somebody may reasonably laugh; for who is there that cannot practise it? but I am now speaking of my own abilities, not those of others; and I confess that, if any particular press very hard upon me, I usually retreat from it, but in such a manner as not only not to appear to flee with my shield thrown away, but even with it thrown over my shoulders; adopting, at the same time, a certain pomp and parade of language, and a mode of flight that resembles fighting; and keeping upon my guard in such a way, that I seem to have retired, not to avoid my enemy, but to choose more advantageous ground;) [295] the other is one which I think most of all worthy of the orator’s precaution and foresight, and which generally occasions me very great anxiety: I am accustomed to study not so much to benefit the causes which I undertake, as not to injure them; not but that an orator must aim at both objects; but it is however a much greater disgrace to him to be thought to have damaged a cause, than not to have profited it.

LXXIII. “But what are you saying among yourselves on this subject, Catulus? Do you slight what I say, as indeed it deserves to be slighted?” “By no means,” rejoined Catulus; “but Csesar seemed desirous to say something on the point.” “Let him say it, then, with all my heart,” continued Antonius, “whether he wish to confute, or to question me.” [296] “Indeed, Antonius,” said Caesar, “I have always been the man to say of you as an orator, that you appeared to me in your speeches the most guarded of all men, and that it was your peculiar merit, that nothing was ever spoken by you that could injure him for whom you spoke. And I well remember, that, on entering into a conversation with Crassus here concerning you, in the hearing of a large company, and Crassus having largely extolled your eloquence, I said, that amongst your other merits this was even the principal, that you not only said all that ought to be said, but also never said anything that ought not to be said; [297] and I recollect that he then observed to me, that your other qualities deserved the highest degree of praise, but that to speak what was not to the purpose, and to injure one’s own client, was the conduct of an unprincipled and perfidious person; and, consequently, that he did not appear to him to be a good pleader, who avoided doing so, though he who did so was certainly dishonest. Now, if you please, Antonius, I would wish you to show why you think it a matter of such importance, to do no harm to a cause; so much so, that nothing in an orator appears to you of greater consequence.”

LXXIV. [298] “I will readily tell you, Caesar,” replied Antonius, “what I mean; but do you, and all who are here, remember this, that I am not speaking of the divine power of the complete orator, but of my own humble efforts and practice. The remark of Crassus is indeed that of an excellent and singular genius; to whom it appeared something like a prodigy, that any orator could possibly be found, who could do any mischief in speaking, and injure him whom he had to defend. [299] For he judges from himself; as his force of intellect is such, that he thinks no man speaks what makes against himself, unless on purpose; but I am not alluding to any supereminent and illustrious power, but to common and almost universal sense. Amongst the Greeks, Themistocles the Athenian is reported to have possessed an incredible compass of understanding and genius; and a certain person of learning and singular accomplishments is said to have gone to him, and offered to teach him the art of memory, an art then first made public. When he inquired what that art could do for him, the professor replied, that it would enable him to remember everything; when Themistocles rejoined, that he would oblige him much more if he could instruct him how to forget, rather than to remember, what he chose. [300] Do you conceive what force and vigour of genius, how powerful and extensive a capacity, there was in that great man? who answered in such a manner that we may understand that nothing, which had once entered his mind, could ever slip out of it; and to whom it was much more desirable to be enabled to forget what he did not wish to remember, than to remember whatever he had once heard or seen. But neither on account of this answer of Themistocles are we to forbear to cultivate our memory; nor is my precaution and timidity in pleading causes to be slighted on account of the excellent understanding of Crassus; for neither the one nor the other of them has given me any additional ability, but has merely signified his own. [301] There are numbers of points131 in causes that call for circumspection in every part of your speech, that you may not stumble, that you may not fall over anything. Oftentimes some witness either does no mischief, or does less, if he be not provoked; my client entreats me, the advocates press me, to inveigh against him, to abuse him, or, finally, to plague him with questions; I am not moved, I do not comply, I will not gratify them; yet I gain no commendations; for ignorant people can more easily blame what you say injudiciously, than praise you for what you discreetly leave unnoticed. [302] In such a case how much harm may be done if you offend a witness who is passionate, or one who is a man of sense, or of influential character? for he has the will to do you mischief from his passion, the power in his understanding, and the means in his reputation; nor, if Crassus never commits this offence, is that a reason that many are not guilty of it, and often; on which account nothing ever appears to me more ignominious, than when from any observation, or reply, or question, of a pleader, such remarks as this follow: He has ruined Whom? his adversary? No truly, but himself and his client.

LXXV. [303] “This Crassus thinks can never happen but through perfidiousness; but I very frequently observe that persons by no means dishonest do mischief in causes. In regard to that particular which I mentioned before, that I am used to retreat, or, to speak more plainly, to flee from those points which would press hard on my side of the question, how much harm do others do when they neglect this, saunter in the enemy’s camp, and dismiss their own guards? Do they occasion but slight detriment to their causes, when they either strengthen the supports of their adversaries or inflame the wounds which they cannot heal? [304] What harm do they cause when they pay no regard to the characters of those whom they defend? If they do not mitigate by extenuation those qualities in them that excite ill-will, but make them more obnoxious to it by commending and extolling them, how much mischief is caused by such management? Or what if, without any precautionary language, you throw bitter and contumelious invectives upon popular persons, in favour with the judges, do you not alienate their feelings from you? [305] Or what if there be vices or bad qualities in one or more of the judges, and you, in upbraiding your adversaries with such demerits, are not aware that you are attacking the judges, is it a small error which you then commit? Or what if, while you are speaking for another, you make his cause your own, or, taking affront, are carried away from the question by passion, and start aside from the subject, do you occasion no harm? In this respect I am esteemed too patient and forbearing, not because I willingly hear myself abused, but because I am unwilling to lose sight of the cause; as, for instance, when I reproved you yourself, Sulpicius, for attacking an agent, not me your adversary.132 From such conduct, however, I acquire this advantage, that if any one does abuse me, he is thought to be either ill-tempered or out of his wits. [306] Or if in your arguments you shall state anything either manifestly false, or contradictory to what you have said or are going to say, or foreign in its nature to the practice of trials and of the forum, do you occasion no damage to your cause? Why need I say more on this head? My whole care is constantly devoted to this object, (for I will repeat it frequently,) to effect, if I can, some good by speaking; but if not, to do at least no harm.

LXXVI. [307] “I now return therefore to that point, Catulus, on which you a little while ago accorded me praise; the order and arrangement of facts and topics of argument. On this head, two methods may be observed; one, which the nature of causes dictates; the other, which is suggested by the orator’s judgment and prudence. For, to premise something before we come to the main point; then to explain the matter in question; then to support it by strengthening our own arguments, and refuting those on the other side; next, to sum up, and corns to the peroration; is a mode of speaking that nature herself prescribes. [308] But to determine how we should arrange the particulars that are to be advanced in order to prove, to inform, to persuade, more peculiarly belongs to the orator’s discretion. For many arguments occur to him; many, that seem likely to be of service to his pleading; but some of them are so trifling as to be utterly contemptible; some, if they are of any assistance at all, are sometimes of such a nature, that there is some defect inherent in them; while that which appears to be advantageous, is not of such import that it need be advanced in conjunction with anything prejudicial. [309] And as to those arguments which are to the purpose, and deserving of trust, if they are (as it often happens) very numerous, I think that such of them as are of least weight, or as are of the same tendency with others of greater force, ought to be set aside, and excluded altogether from our pleading. I myself, indeed, in collecting proofs, make it a practice rather to weigh than to count them.

LXXVII. [310] “Since, too, as I have often observed, we bring over people in general to our opinions by three methods, by instructing their understandings, conciliating their benevolence, or exciting their passions, one only of these three methods is to be professed by us, so that we may appear to desire nothing else but to instruct; the other two, like blood throughout the body, ought to be diffused through the whole of our pleading; for both the beginning, and the other parts a speech, on which we will by-and-by say a few words, ought to have this power in a great degree, so that they may penetrate the minds of those before whom we plead, in order to excite them. [311] But in those parts of the speech which, though they do not convince by argument, yet by solicitation and excitement produce great effect, though their proper place is chiefly in the exordium and the peroration, still, to make a digression from what you have proposed and are discussing, for the sake of exciting the passions, is often advantageous. [312] Since, after the statement of the case has been made, an opportunity often presents itself of making a digression to rouse the feelings of the audience; or this may be properly done after the confirmation of our own arguments, or the refutation of those on the other side, or in either place, or in all, if the cause has sufficient copiousness and importance; and those causes are the most considerable, and most pregnant with matter for amplification and embellishment, which afford the most frequent opportunities for that kind of digression in which you may descant on those points by which the passions of the audience are either excited or calmed. [313] In touching on this matter, I cannot but blame those who place the arguments to which they trust least in the front; and, in like manner, I think that they commit an error, who, if ever they employ several advocates, (a practice which never had my approbation,) will have him to speak first in whom they confide least,. and rank the others also according to their abilities.133 For a cause requires that the expectations of the audience should be met with all possible expedition; and if nothing to satisfy them be offered in the commencement, much more labour is necessary in the sequel; for that case is in a bad condition which does not at the commencement of the pleading at once appear to be the better. [314] For this reason, as, in regard to pleaders,134 he who is the most able should speak first, so in, regard to a speech, let the arguments of most weight be put foremost; yet so that this rule be observed with respect to both, that some of superior efficiency be reserved for the peroration; if any are but of moderate strength, (for to the weak no place should be given at all,) they may be thrown into the main body and into the midst of the group. [315] All these things being duly considered, it is then my custom to think last of that which is to be spoken first, namely, what exordium I shall adopt. For whenever I have felt inclined to think of that first, nothing occurs to me but what is jejune, or nugatory, or vulgar and ordinary.

LXXVIII. “The beginnings of speeches ought always to be accurate and judicious, well furnished with thoughts, and happy in expression, as well as peculiarly suited to their respective causes. For our earliest acquaintance with a speech as it were, and the first recommendation of it to our notice, is at the commencement; which ought at once to propitiate and attract the audience. [316] In regard to this point, I cannot but feel astonished, not indeed at such as have paid no attention to the art, but at a man of singular eloquence and erudition, I mean Philippus, who generally rises to speak with so little preparation, that he knows not what word he shall utter first; and he says, that when he has warmed his arm, then it is his custom to begin to fight; but he does not consider that those from whom he takes this simile hurl their first lances gently, so as to preserve the utmost grace in their action, and at the same time to husband their strength. [317] Nor is there any doubt, but that the beginning of a speech ought very seldom to be vehement and pugnacious; but if even in the combat of gladiators for life, which is decided by the sword, many passes are made previous to the actual encounter, which appear to be intended, not for mischief, but for display, how much more naturally is such prelude to be expected in a speech, in which an exhibition of force is not more required than gratification? Besides, there is nothing in the whole nature of things that is all produced at once, and that springs entire into being in an instant; and nature herself has introduced everything that is done and accomplished most energetically with a moderate beginning. [318] Nor is the exordium of a speech to be sought from without, or from anything unconnected with the subject, but to be derived from the very essence of the cause. It is, therefore, after the whole cause has been considered and examined, and after every argument has been excogitated and prepared, that you must determine what sort of exordium to adopt; [319] for thus it will easily be settled,135 as it will be drawn from those points which are most fertile in arguments, or in those matters on which I said136 you ought often to make digressions. Thus our exordia will give additional weight, when they are drawn from the most intimate parts of our defence; and it will be shown that they are not only not common, and cannot be transferred to other causes, but that they have wholly grown out of the cause under consideration.

LXXIX. [320] “But every exordium ought either to convey an intimation of the whole matter in hand, or some introduction and support to the cause, or something of ornament and dignity. But, like vestibules and approaches to houses and temples, so the introductions that we prefix to causes should be suited to the importance of the subjects. In small and unimportant137 causes, therefore, it is often more advisable to commence with the subject-matter itself without any preface. [321] But, when we are to use an exordium, (as will generally be the case,) our matter for it may be derived either from the suitor, from the adversary, from the subject, or from those before whom we plead. From the suitor (I call all those suitors whom a suit concerns) we may deduce such particulars as characterise a worthy, generous, or unfortunate man, or one deserving of compassion; or such particulars as avail against a false accusation. From the adversary we may deduce almost the contrary particulars from the same points. [322] From the subject, if the matter under consideration be cruel, or heinous, or beyond expectation, or undeserved, or pitiable, or savouring of ingratitude or indignity, or unprecedented, or not admitting restitution or satisfaction. From those before whom we plead we may draw such considerations, as to procure their benevolence and good opinion; an object better attained in the course of pleading than by direct entreaty. This object indeed is to be kept in view throughout the whole oration, and especially in the conclusion; but many exordia, however, are wholly based upon it; [323] for the Greeks recommend us to make the judge, at the very commencement, attentive and desirous of information; and such hints are useful, but not more proper for the exordium than for other parts; but they are indeed easier138 to be observed in the beginning, because the audience are then most attentive, when they are in expectation of the whole affair, and they may also, in the commencement, be more easily informed, as the particulars stated in the outset are generally of greater perspicuity than those which are spoken by way of argument, or refutation, in the body of the pleading. [324] But we shall derive the greatest abundance and variety of matter for exordia, either to conciliate or to arouse the judge, from those points in the cause which are adapted to create emotion in the mind; yet the whole of these ought not to be brought forward in the exordium; the judge should only receive a slight impulse at the outset, so that the rest of our speech may come with full force upon him when he is already impressed in our favour.

LXXX. [325] “Let the exordium, also, be so connected with the sequel of the speech, that it may not appear, like a musician’s prelude, to be something attached merely from imagination, but a coherent member of the whole body; for some speakers, when they have delivered their premeditated exordium, make such a transition to what is to follow, that they seem positively unwilling to have an audience. But a prolusion of that kind ought not to be like that of gladiators,139 who brandish spears before the fight, of which they make no use in the encounter; but should be such, that speakers may even use as weapons the thoughts which they advanced in the prelude.

[326] “But as to the directions which they give to consult brevity in the narration, if that is to be called brevity where there is no word redundant, the language of Lucius Crassus is distinguished by brevity; but if that kind of brevity is intended, when only just so many words are used as are absolutely necessary, such conciseness is indeed sometimes proper; but it is often prejudicial, especially in narration; not only as it produces obscurity, but also because it destroys that which is the chief excellence of narration, that it be pleasing and adapted to persuade. For instance, the narrative,

          For he, as soon as he became of age, &c.140

how long is it! [327] The manners of the youth himself, the inquiries of the servant, the death of Chrysis, the look, figure, and affliction of the sister, and the other circumstances, are told with the utmost variety and agreeableness. But if he had been studious of such brevity as this,

          She’s carried forth; we go; we reach the place
          Of sepulture; she’s laid upon the pile,

he might have comprised the whole in ten lines: although ‘She’s carried forth, we go,’ is only so far concise, as to consult, not absolute brevity, but elegance; [328] for if there had been nothing expressed but ‘she’s laid upon the pile,’ the whole matter would have been easily comprehended. But a narration referring to various characters, and intersected by dialogue, affords much gratification; and that becomes more probable which you report to have been done, when you describe the manner in which it was done; and it is much more clearly understood if you sometimes pause for that purpose, and do not hurry over it with affected brevity. [329] For the narrative parts of a speech, as well as the other parts, ought to be perspicuous, and we ought to take the more pains with that part, because it is more difficult not to be obscure in stating a case, than either in an exordium, in argumentation, in refuting of an accusation, or in a peroration: and obscurity in this part of a speech is attended with greater danger than in other parts; both because, if anything be obscurely expressed in any other part, only that is lost which is so expressed; but obscurity in the narrative part spreads darkness over the whole speech; and because, as to other parts, if you have expressed anything obscurely in one place, you may explain it more clearly in another; while for the narrative part of a speech there is but one place. But your narrative will be clear, if it be given in ordinary language, with adherence to the order of time and without interruption.

LXXXI. [330] “But when we ought to introduce a statement of facts, and when we ought not, requires judicious consideration. For we ought to make no such statement, either if the matter is notorious, or if the circumstances are free from doubt, or if the adversary has related them, unless indeed we wish to confute his statement; and whenever we do make a statement of facts, let us not insist too eagerly upon points which may create suspicion and ill-feeling, and make against us, but let us extenuate such points as much as possible; lest that should happen, which, whenever it occurs, Crassus thinks is done through treachery, not through folly, namely, that we damage our own cause; for it concerns the fortune of the whole cause, whether the case is stated with caution, or otherwise, because the statement of the case is the foundation of all the rest of the speech.

[331] “What follows is, that the matter in question be laid down, when we must settle what is the point that comes under dispute; then the chief grounds of the cause are to be laid down conjunctively, so as to weaken your adversary’s supports, and to strengthen your own; for there is in causes but one method for that part of your speech, which is of efficacy to prove your arguments; and that needs both confirmation and refutation; but because what is alleged on the other side cannot be refuted unless you confirm your own statements, and your own statements cannot be confirmed unless you refute the allegations on the opposite side, these matters are in consequence united both by their nature, by their object, and by their mode of treatment. [332] The whole speech is then generally brought to a conclusion by some amplification on the different points, or by exciting or mollifying the judge; and every particular, not only in the former parts of the speech, but more especially towards the conclusion, is to be adapted to excite as much as possible the feelings of the judges, and to incline them in our favour.

[333] “Nor does there now appear to be any reason, indeed, why we should make a distinct head of those precepts which are given concerning suasory or panegyrical speeches; for most of them are common to all kinds of oratory; yet, to speak in favour of any important matter, or against it, seems to me to belong only to the most dignified character; for it is the part of a wise man to deliver his opinion on momentous affairs, and that of a man of integrity and eloquence, to be able to provide for others by his prudence, to confirm by his authority, and to persuade by his language.

LXXXII. “Speeches are to be made in the senate with less display; for it is an assembly of wise men;141 and opportunity is to be left for many others to speak. All suspicion, too, of ostentation of ability is to be avoided. [334] A speech to the people, on the other hand, requires all the force, weight, and various colouring of eloquence. For persuading, then, nothing is more desirable than worth; for he who thinks that expediency is more desirable, does not consider what the counsellor chiefly wishes, but what he prefers upon occasion to follow; and there is no man, especially in so noble a state as this, who does not think that worth ought chiefly to be regarded; but expediency commonly prevails, there being a concealed fear, that even worth cannot be supported if expediency be digregarded. [335] But the difference between the opinions of men lies either in this question, ‘which of two things is of the greater utility?’ or, if that point is agreed, it is disputed ‘whether honour or expediency ought rather to be consulted.’ As these seem often to oppose each other, he who is an advocate for expediency, will enumerate the benefits of peace, of plenty, of power, of riches, of settled revenues, of troops in garrison, and of other things, the enjoyment of which we estimate by their utility; and he will specify the disadvantages of a contrary state of things. He who exhorts his audience to regard honour, will collect examples from our ancestors, which may be imitated with glory, though attended with danger; he will expatiate on immortal fame among posterity; he will maintain that advantage arises from the observance of honour, and that it is always united with worth. [336] But what is possible, or impossible; and what is necessary or unnecessary, are questions of the greatest moment in regard to both; for all debate is at an end, if it is understood that a thing is impossible, or if any necessity for it appears; and he who shows what the case is, when others have overlooked it, sees furthest of all. [337] But for giving counsel in civil affairs the chief qualification is a knowledge of the constitution; and, to speak on such matters so as to be approved, an acquaintance with the manners of the people is required; and, as .these frequently vary, the fashion of speaking must often be varied; and, although the power of eloquence is mostly the same, yet, as the highest dignity is in the people, as the concerns of the republic are of the utmost importance, and as the commotions of the multitude are of extraordinary violence, a more grand and imposing manner of addressing them seems necessary to be adopted; and the greatest part of a speech is to be devoted to the excitement of the feelings, either by exhortation, or the commemoration of some illustrious action, or by moving the people to hope, or to fear, or to ambition, or desire of glory; and often also to dissuade them from temerity, from rage, from ardent expectation, from injustice, from envy, from cruelty.

LXXXIII. [338] “But it happens that, because a popular assembly appears to the orator to be his most enlarged scene of action,142 he is naturally excited in it to a more magnificent species of eloquence; for a multitude has such influence, that, as the flute-player cannot play without his flutes, so the orator cannot be eloquent without a numerous audience. [339] And, as the inclinations of popular assemblies take many and various turns, an unfavourable expression of feeling from the whole people must not be incurred; an expression which may be excited by some fault in the speech, if anything appears to have been spoken with harshness, with arrogance, in a base or mean manner, or with any improper feeling whatever; or it may proceed from some offence taken, or ill-will conceived, at some particular individuals, which is either just, or arising from some calumny or bad report; or it may happen if the subject be displeasing; or if the multitude be swayed by any impulse from their own hopes or fears. To those four causes as many remedies may be applied: the severity of rebuke, if you have sufficient authority for it; admonition, which is a milder kind of rebuke; an assurance, that if they will give you a hearing, they will approve what you say; and entreaty, which is the most condescending method, but sometimes very advantageous. [340] But on no occasion is facetiousness and ready wit143 of more effect, and any smart saying that is consistent with dignity and true jocularity; for nothing is so easily diverted from gloom, and often from rancour, as a multitude, even by a single expression uttered opportunely, quickly, smartly, and with good humour.

LXXXIV. “I have now stated to you generally, to the best of my abilities, what it is my practice, in both kinds of causes, to pursue, what to avoid, what to keep in view, and to what method I ordinarily adhere in my pleadings. [341] Nor is that third kind, panegyric, which I in the commencement excluded, as it were, from my rules, attended with any difficulty; but it was because there are many departments of oratory both of greater importance and power, concerning which hardly any author has given particular rules, and because we of this country are not accustomed to deal much in panegyric, that I set this topic entirely apart. For the Greek authors themselves, who are the most worthy of being read, wrote their panegyrics either for amusement, or to compliment some particular person, rather than with any desire to promote forensic eloquence; and books of their composition are extant, in which Themistocles, Aristides, Agesilaus, Epaminondas, Philip, Alexander, and others, are the subjects of praise. Our laudatory speeches, which we deliver in the forum, have either the simple and unadorned brevity of testimony, or are written as funeral orations, which are by no means suitable for the pomp of panegyric. But as we must sometimes attempt that department, and must occasionally write panegyrics, as Caius Laelius wrote one for Publius Tubero, when he wished to praise his uncle Africanus, and in order that we ourselves may be enabled to praise, after the manner of the Greeks, such persons as we may be inclined to praise, let that subject also form part of our discourse. [342] It is clear, then, that some qualities in mankind are desirable, and some praiseworthy. Firth, beauty, strength, power, riches, and other things which fortune bestows, either amid external circumstances, or as personal endowments, carry with them no real praise, which is thought to be due to virtue alone; but, as virtue itself becomes chiefly conspicuous in the use and management of such things, these endowments of nature and of fortune are also to be considered in panegyrics; in which it is mentioned as the highest praise for a person not to have been haughty in power, or insolent in wealth, or to have assumed a preeminence over others from the abundance of the blessings of fortune; so that his riches and plenty seem to have afforded means and opportunities, not for the indulgence of pride and vicious appetites, but for the cultivation of goodness and moderation. [343] Virtue, too, which is of itself praiseworthy, and without which nothing can be deserving of praise, is distinguished, however, into several species, some of which are more adapted to panegyric than others; for there are some virtues which are conspicuous in the manners of men, and consist in some degree in affability and beneficence; and there are others which depend on some peculiar natural genius, or superior greatness and strength of mind. Clemency, justice, benignity, fidelity, fortitude in common dangers, are subjects agreeable to the audience in panegyric; [344] for all such virtues are thought beneficial, not so much to the persons who possess them, as to mankind in general;) while wisdom, and that greatness of soul by which all human affairs are regarded as mean and inconsiderable, eminent power of thought, and eloquence itself, excite indeed no less admiration, but not equal delight; for they appear to be an ornament and support rather to the persons themselves whom we commend, than to those before whom we commend them; yet, in panegyric, these two kinds of virtues must be united; for the ears of men tolerate the praises not only of those parts of virtue which are delightful and agreeable, but of those which excite admiration.

LXXXV. [345] “Since, also, there are certain offices and duties belonging to every kind of virtue, and since to each virtue its peculiar praise is due, it will be necessary to specify, in a panegyric on justice, what he who is praised performed with fidelity, or equanimity, or in accordance with any other moral duty. In other points, too, the praise of actions must be adapted to the nature, power, and name of the virtue under which they fall. [346] The praise of those acts is heard with the greatest pleasure, which appear to have been undertaken by men of spirit, without advantage or reward; but those which have been also attended with toil and danger to themselves afford the largest scope for panegyric, because they may be set forth with the greatest ornaments of eloquence, and the account of them may be heard with the utmost satisfaction; for that appears the highest virtue in a man of eminence, which is beneficial to others, but attended with danger or toil, or at least without advantage, to himself. It is commonly regarded, too, as a great and admirable merit, to have borne adversity with wisdom, not to have been vanquished by fortune, and to have maintained dignity in the worst of circumstances. [347] It is also an honour to a man that distinctions have been bestowed upon him, rewards decreed to his merit, and that his achievements have been approved by the judgment of mankind; and, on such subjects, to attribute success itself to the judgment of the immortal gods, is a part of panegyric. But such actions should be selected for praise as are either of extraordinary greatness, or unprecedented novelty, or singular in their kind; for such as are trivial, or common, or ordinary, generally appear to deserve no admiration or even commendation. [348] A comparison also with other great men has a noble effect in panegyric.

“On this species of eloquence I have felt inclined to say something more than I had proposed, not so much for the improvement of pleading in the forum, which has been kept in view by me through this whole discourse, as that you might see that, if panegyric be a part of the orator’s business, and nobody denies that it is, a knowledge of all the virtues, without which panegyric cannot be composed, is necessary to the orator. [349] As to the rules for censuring, it is clear that they are to be deduced from the vices contrary to these virtues; and it is also obvious, that neither can a good man be praised with propriety and copiousness of matter, without a knowledge of the several virtues, nor a bad man be stigmatized and branded with sufficient distinction and asperity, without a knowledge of the opposite vices. On these topics of panegyric and satire we must often touch in all kinds of causes.

[350] “You have now heard what I think about the invention and arrangement of matter. I shall add some observations on memory, with a view to lighten the labour of Crassus, and to leave nothing for him to discuss, but the art of embellishing those departments of eloquence which I have specified.”

LXXXVI. “Proceed,” said Crassus; “for I feel pleasure in seeing you appear as a professed artist, stripped of the disguises of dissimulation, and fairly exposed to view; and, in leaving nothing for me to do or but little, you consult my convenience, and confer a favour upon me.” [351] “How much I leave you to do,” said Antonius, “will be in your own power; for if you are inclined to act fairly, I leave you everything to do; but if you wish to shrink from any portion of your undertaking, you must consider how you can give this company satisfaction. But to return to the point; I am not,” he continued, “possessed of such intellectual power as Themistocles had, that I had rather know the art of forgetfulness than that of memory; and I am grateful to the famous Simonides of Ceos, who, as people say, first invented an art of memory. [352] For they relate, that when Simonides was at Crannon in Thessaly, at an entertainment given by Scopas, a man of rank and fortune, and had recited a poem which he had composed in his praise, in which, for the sake of embellishment, after the manner of the poets, there were many particulars introduced concerning Castor and Pollux, Scopas told Simonides, with extraordinary meanness, that he would pay him half the sum which he had agreed to give for the poem, and that he might ask the remainder, if he thought proper, from his Tyndaridae, to whom he had given an equal share of praise. [353] A short time after, they say that a message was brought in to Simonides, to desire him to go out, as two youths were waiting at the gate who earnestly wished him to come forth to them; when he arose, went forth, and found nobody. In the meantime the apartment in which Scopas was feasting fell down, and he himself, and his company, were overwhelmed and buried in the ruins; and when their friends were desirous to inter their remains, but could not possibly distinguish one from another, so much crushed were the bodies, Simonides is said, from his recollection of the place in which each had sat, to have given satisfactory directions for their interment. Admonished by this occurrence, he is reported to have discovered, that it is chiefly order that gives distinctness to memory; [354] and that by those, therefore, who would improve this part of the understanding, certain places must be fixed upon, and that of the things which they desire to keep in memory, symbols must be conceived in the mind, and ranged, as it were, in those places; thus the order of places would preserve the order of things, and the symbols of the things would denote the things themselves; so that we should use the places as waxen tablets, and the symbols as letters.

LXXXVII. [355] “How great the benefit of memory is to the orator, how great the advantage, how great the power, what need is there for me to observe? Why should I remark how excellent a thing it is to retain the instructions which you have received with the cause, and the opinion which you have formed upon it? to keep all your thoughts upon it fixed in your mind, all your arrangement of language marked out there? to listen to him from whom you receive any information, or to him to whom you have to reply, with such power of retention, that they seem not to have poured their discourse into your ears, but to have engraven it on your mental tablet? They alone accordingly, who have a vigorous memory, know what, and how much, and in what manner they are about to speak; to what they have replied, and what remains unanswered; and they also remember many courses that they have formerly adopted in other cases, and many which they have heard from others. [356] I must, however, acknowledge that nature is the chief author of this qualification, as of all those of which I have previously spoken; (but this whole art of oratory, or image and resemblance of an art, has the power, not of engendering and producing anything entirely of itself, of which no part previously existed in our understandings, but of being able to give education and strength to what has been generated, and has had its birth there;) [357] yet there is scarcely any one of so strong a memory as to retain the order of his language and thoughts without a previous arrangement and observation of heads; nor is any one of so weak a memory as not to receive assistance from this practice and exercise. For Simonides, or whoever else invented the art, wisely saw, that those things are the most strongly fixed in our minds, which are communicated to them, and imprinted upon them, by the senses; that of all the senses that of seeing is the most acute; and that, accordingly, those things are most easily retained in our minds which we have received from the hearing or the understanding, if they are also recommended to the imagination by means of the mental eye; so that a kind of form, resemblance, and representation might denote invisible objects, and such as are in their nature withdrawn from the cognisance of the sight, in such a manner, that what we are scarcely capable of comprehending by thought we may retain as it were by the aid of the visual faculty. [358] By these imaginary forms and objects, as by all those that come under our corporeal vision, our memory is admonished and excited; but some place for them must be imagined; as bodily shape cannot be conceived without a place for it. That I may not, then, be prolix and impertinent upon so well-known and common a subject, we must fancy many plain distinct places, at moderate distances; and such symbols as are impressive, striking, and well-marked, so that they may present themselves to the mind, and act upon it with the greatest quickness. This faculty of artificial memory practice will afford, (from which proceeds habit,) as well as the derivation of similar words converted and altered in cases, or transferred from particulars to generals, and the idea of an entire sentence from the symbol of a single word, after the manner and method of any skilful painter, who distinguishes spaces by the variety of what he depicts.

LXXXVIII. [359] “But the memory of words, which, however, is less necessary for us,144 is to be distinguished by a greater variety of symbols; for there are many words which, like joints, connect the members of our speech, that cannot possibly be represented by anything similar to them; and for these we must invent symbols that we may invariably use. The memory of things is the proper business of the orator; this we may be enabled to impress on ourselves by the creation of imaginary figures, aptly arranged, to represent particular heads, so that we may recollect thoughts by images, and their order by place. [360] Nor is that true which is said by people unskilled in this artifice, that the memory is oppressed by the weight of these representations, and that even obscured which unassisted nature might have clearly kept in view; for I have seen men of consummate abilities, and an almost divine faculty of memory, as Charmadas at Athens, and Scepsius Metrodorus in Asia, who is said to be still living, each of whom used to say that, as he wrote with letters on wax, so he wrote with symbols as it were, whatever he wished to remember, on these places which he had conceived in imagination. Though, therefore, a memory cannot be entirely formed by this practice, if there is none given by nature; yet certainly, if there is latent natural faculty, it may be called forth.

[361] “You have now had a very long dissertation from a person whom I wish you may not esteem impudent, but who is certainly not over-modest, in having spoken, so copiously as I have done, upon the art of eloquence, in your hearing, Catulus, and that of Lucius Crassus; for of the rest of the company the age might perhaps reasonably make less impression upon me; but you will certainly excuse me, if you but listen to the motive which impelled me to loquacity so unusual with me.”

LXXXIX. [362] “We indeed,” said Catulus, “(for I make this answer for my brother and myself,) not only excuse you, but feel love and great gratitude to you for what you have done; and, as we acknowledge your politeness and good-nature, so we admire your learning and copious store of matter. Indeed I think that I have reaped this benefit, that I am freed from a great mistake, and relieved from that astonishment which I used always to feel, in common with many others, as to the source from which that divine power of yours in pleading was derived; for I never imagined that you had even slightly touched upon those matters, of which I now perceive that you possess an exact knowledge, gathered from all quarters, and which, taught by experience, you have partly corrected and partly approved. [363] Nor have I now a less high opinion of your eloquence, while I have a far higher one of your general merit and diligence; and I am pleased, at the same time, that my own judgment is confirmed, inasmuch as I always laid it down as a maxim, that no man can attain a character for wisdom and eloquence without the greatest study, industry, and learning. But what was it that you meant, when you said that we should excuse you if we knew the motive which had impelled you to this discourse? What other motive could there be but your inclination to oblige us, and to satisfy the desire of these young gentlemen, who have listened to you with the utmost attention?”

[364] “I was desirous,” replied Antonius, “to take away from Crassus every pretence for refusal, who would, I was sure, engage in such a kind of dissertation either a little too modestly, or too reluctantly, for I would not apply the word disdainfully to a man of his affability. But what excuse will he now be able to make ‘That he is a person of consular and censorial dignity? I might have made the same excuse. Will he plead his age? He is four years younger than I. Can he say that he is ignorant of these matters, of which I indeed have snatched some knowledge late in life, cursorily, and, as people say, at spare times, while he has applied to them from his youth with the most diligent study, under the most able masters? I will say nothing of his genius, in which no man was ever his equal; for no one that hears me speak, has so contemptible an opinion of himself, as not to hope to speak better, or at least as well; but while Crassus is speaking, no one is so conceited as to have the presumption to think that he shall ever speak like him. Lest persons, therefore, of so much dignity as the present company, should have come to you in vain, let us at length, Crassus, hear you speak.”

XC. [365] “If I should grant you, Antonius.” replied Crassus, “that these things are so, which however are far otherwise, what have you left for me this day, or for any man, that he can possibly say? For I will speak, my dearest friends, what I really think: I have often heard men of learning, (why do I say often? I should rather say sometimes; for how could I have that opportunity often, when I entered the forum quite a youth, and was never absent from it longer than during my quaestorship?) but I have heard, as I said yesterday, both while I was at Athens, men of the greatest learning, and in Asia that famous rhetorician Scepsius Metrodorus, discoursing upon these very subjects; but no one of them ever appeared to me to have engaged in such a dissertation with greater extent of knowledge, or greater penetration, than our friend has shown to-day; but if it were otherwise, and if I thought anything had been omitted by Antonius, I should not be so impolite, nay so almost churlish, as to think that a trouble which I perceived to be your desire.” [366] “Have you then forgotten, Crassus,” said Sulpicius, “that Antonius made such a division with you, that he should explain the equipment and implements of the orator, and leave it to you to speak of decoration and embellishment?” “In the first place,” rejoined Crassus, “who gave Antonius leave either to make such a partition, or to choose first that part which he liked best? In the next, if I rightly comprehended what I heard with the utmost pleasure, he seemed to me to treat of both these matters in conjunction.” “But,” observed Cotta, “he said nothing of the embellishments of language, or on that excellence from which eloquence derives its very name.” “Antonius then,” said Crassus, “left me nothing but words, and took the substance for himself.” [367] “Well,” remarked Caesar, “if he has left you the more difficult part, we have reason to desire to hear you; if that which is the easier, you have no reason to refuse.” “And in regard to what you said, Crassus,” interposed Catulus, “that if we would stay and pass the day with you here, you would comply with our wishes, do you not think it binding on your honour?” Cotta then smiled, and said, “I might, Crassus, excuse you; but take care that Catulus has not made it a matter of religious faith; it is a point for the censor’s cognisance; and you see how disgraceful it would be for a person of censorial dignity145 to render himself obnoxious to such censure.” “Do as you please, then,” replied Crassus; “but for the present, as it is time, I think we must rise, and take some repose; in the afternoon, if it is then agreeable to you, I will say something on these points, unless perchance you may wish to put me off till tomorrow.” They all replied that they were ready to hear him either at once, or in the afternoon if he preferred; as soon however as possible.

Notes

1 The words cum essemus eiusmodi in this parenthesis, which all commentators regard as corrupt, are left untranslated.
2 Multos et ingeniis et magna laude dicendi. This passage, as Ellendt observes, is manifestly corrupt. He proposes ingeniis magnos et laude dicendi; but this seems hardly Ciceronian. Aldus Manutius noticed that an adjective was apparently wanting to ingeniis, but other editors have passed the passage in silence.
3 See Brut. c. 43, 44.
4 Spe aggredior maiore ad probandum. That ad probandum is to be joined with spe, not with aggredior it shown by Ellendt on b. i. c. 4.
5 The second hour of the morning, answering to our eight o’clock.
6 The same that was consul with Caius Marius, when they obtained, in conjunction, the famous victory over the Cimbri.
7 He was the brother of Quintus Catulus, by the mother’s side, and about twenty years his junior. Their mother’s name was Popilia. Ellendt. See c. 11. He was remarkable for wit, but his oratory is said to have wanted nerve. Brut. c. 48. Cicero with great propriety makes Sulpicius sit with Crassus, and Cotta walk with Antonius; for Sulpicius wished to resemble Crassus in his style of oratory; Cotta preferred the manner of Antonius. Brutus, c. 55.
8 In the speech which he made on behalf of Curius, on the occasion mentioned in book i. c. 39. Proust.
9 A learned orator, who wrote in the time cf the Gracchi, and who is mentioned by Cicero, Brut. c. 26. Proust. Of Decimus nothing is known. Ellendt.
10 Navasse operam; that is, bene collocasse. Ernesti.
11 Ironically spoken.
12 Quae ad scientiam non saepe perveniat. Ellendt encloses these words in brackets as spurious, regarding them as a gloss on the preceding phrase that has crept into the text. Their absence is desirable.
13 The reader will observe that the construction in the text is multi omnium generum atque artium, as Ellendt observes, referring to Matthiae.
14 iii. 2, 7.
15 See b. i. c. 62.
16 The writer of Comedies, Vincere Caecilius gravitate, Terentius arte. Hor.
17 I wished to refute you yesterday, that I might draw Scaevola and Cotta from you. This is spoken in jest. Proust.
18 B. i. c. 31.
19 Rhet. i. 3, 1.
20 See note on c. 3.
21 Domitius Ahenobarbus. Plin. H. N. xvii. 1.
22 A tribune of the people, A.U.C. 655, whom Antonius opposed about the Agrarian law. He is mentioned also in c. 66, and appears to be the same that is said to have played vigorously at ball, ii. 62, iii 23. Ellendt. See also Cic. Brut. c. 62.
23 Of these, Acusilas or Acusilaus, a native of Argos, was the most ancient, according to Suidas. Ellendt. The others are better known.
24 Lucius Coelius Antipater published a history of the Punic Wars, as Cicero says in his Orator, and was the master of Crassus, the speaker in these dialogues, as appears from Cic. Brut. c. 26. Proust.
25 Aptus et pressus. A scriptor, or orator aptus, will be one “structa et rotunda compositione verborum utens”; and pressus will be, “in verborum circuitione nec superfluens nec claudicans.” Ellendt.
26 He is called Pusillus Thucydides by Cicero, Ep. ad Q. Fratr. xii.
27 A promontory of Campania, where Antonius had a country house.
28 Ruhnken, in a note on Timaeus’s Lex. p. 78, expresses a suspicion that Cicero, when he wrote this, was thinking of a passage in Plato’s Letters, Ep. vii. p. 718, F. Greenwood. Orellius very judiciously inserts tactu, the conjecture of Ernesti, in his text, instead of the old reading cantu, which, though Ellendt retains and attempts to defend it, cannot be made to give any satisfactory sense.
29 Cicero means orators. The speeches which historians have written are not given as their own, but put into the mouths of others. Ellendt.
30 Reorum,. This reading is very properly adopted by Oreliius and Ellendt, in place of the old rerum. Ellendt refers to c. 43 and 79 for the sense of reus.
31 Cato defined an orator vir bonus dicendi peritus. Cicero in this passage, under the character of Antonius, and in his own person, De Inv. i. 3, 4, signifies that though he thinks a good character of great importance in an orator, he does not deny that much eloquence may at times be found in a man of bad character. Cato and Cicero spoke each according to the character of his own age. Quintilian, xii. 1, goes back to the opinion of Cato. Aristotle had previously required good morals in an orator, Rhet. i. 2, 4; ii. 1. 6i5. Ellendt.
32 See c. 47.
33 Cicero, Brut. c. 7, says that some compositions were in circulation under the name of Pericles; and Quintilian, iii. 1, 12, looking to that observation of Cicero, tacitly assents to those who denied the genuineness of those compositions. See also Quint, x. 2, 22; 10, 49. Ellendt.
34 That Alcibiades left nothing in writing, though he had great reputation as a speaker, seems to be rightly inferred by Ruhnken from Demosth. De Cor. c. 40. Thucydides is here mentioned among orators, on account of the orations which he inserted in his history. Ellendt.
35 He wrote not only orations, which are mentioned by Dionys. Halicarn. de Lysia iud. c. 2, cf. de Isaeo, c. 2, by Phrynichus, ap. Phot, cod. 158, and by others, but also tragedies, elegies, and other works. That he was eloquent and learned we are told by Cicero, De Or. iii. 34, Brut. c. 7. Henrichsen. The remains of his writings were collected by Bach, 1827. Ellendt.
36 The eloquence of Theramenes is mentioned by Cicero, iii. 16, Brut. c. 7. The writings which Suidas enumerates as being his were doubtless spurious. See Ruhnken, Hist. Crit. Or. Gr. p. xl. Ellendt.
37 The words magister istorum omnium, which, though retained by Orellius, are pronounced spurious by Lambinus, Ernesti, Ruhnken, Schutz, and Ellendt, are left untranslated. “They cannot be Cicero’s words,” says Ellendt, “even though they are found quoted by Nonius, p. 344.”
38 Henrichsen and Ellendt read Philisci. Philistus, apparently, from the way in which he is mentioned in c. 13, has, as Ellendt observes, no place here. “Philiscus of Miletus, a disciple of Isocrates (see Anon. Vit. Isocr.), and master of Timaeus the historian (see Suidas, under Philiscus and Timaeus), wrote a treatise on rhetoric, orations, and a life of Lycurgus, noticed by Olympiodorus in Comment. ad Plat. Gorg. and other works. See Ruhnken, Hist. Crit. Gr. Or. p. lxxxiii. Goell. de Situ et Orig. Syracus. p. 114.” Henrichsen.
39 Naucrates, a native of Erythrae, called Isokratous hetairos by Dionysius Halicarnassensis, Rhet. vi. 1, was distinguished for the composition of funeral orations. He seems also to have written on rhetoric. See Cicero, De Orat. iii. 44; Brut. 51; Quintil. iii. 6, 3; also Taylor, Lectt. Lys. c. 3, p. 232; Ruhnk. Hist. Crit. Or. Gr. p. lxxxiv. Henrichsen.
40 This is one of Virgil’s directions to the farmer in the first Georgic, where he gives the reason for it,

Quid, qui ne gravidis procumbat culmus aristis,
Luxuriem segetum tenera depascit in herba,
Cum primum sulcos sequant sata? --Georg. i. 114.

And Pliny, l. 18: “Luxuries segetum castigatur dente pecoris, in herba duntaxat, et depastae quidem vel saepius nullam in spica iniuriam sentiunt: ita iuvenilis ubertas et luxuries orationis stylo et assiduitate scribendi quasi absumitur et reprimitur.” B.
41 Magna offensio vel negligentiae, susceptis rebus, vel perfidiae, receptis. Recipere is used with a reference to others, by whom we allow some duty to be laid upon us; suscipere regards only ourselves. Ellendt.
42 Inertia. This passage puzzled Lambinus and others, who did not see how the reproach of inertia in an orator could be greater than that of tarditas, or stupidity. But inertia here signifies artis ignorantia, ignorance of his art, which is doubtless the greatest fault in an orator Verburg.
43 Because he was then attached to the party of the Gracchi. Proust.
44 A law of Lucius Apuleius Saturninus, tribune of the people, A.U.C. 652. It is also mentioned in c. 49, But neither the cause nor subject of it is at all known. Ellendt.
45 Superioris generis causa duplicatur. Ellendt explains these words thus: “in the same cause, the allegations of the two parties are judged as two separate questions of the same kind.”
46 Which shows what a speaker ought to say, and what is effective is persuading an audience. Proust.
47 Martius Aquilius, who, after the termination of the servile war in Sicily, was brought to trial on a charge of extortion. As he was unwilling to entreat the pity of the judges, Antonius, who pleaded for him, tore open his tunic in front, and showed the scars of the honourable wounds which he had received in battle. He was acquitted. Livy, Epit. Proust.
48 Norbanus the tribune. See note on c. 47. Ellendt.
49 He was consul with Publius Rutilius, A.U.C. 649; and having refused to unite his troops with those of Quintus Caepio, the proconsul, was defeated by the Cimbri, and lost his army. Livy, Ep. lxvii. For this miscarriage he was, with Caepio, brought to trial, and must have been defended by Antonius. Ellendt.
50 Of the trial of Quintus Marcius Rex nothing is known. Ellendt.
51 He was accused of having been bribed to bring Opimius to trial for having caused the death of Caius Gracchus. See Smith’s Dict. of Biog. and Mythol. Art. Decius, n. 4.
52 Innumerable accusations may be brought against a person, as against Verres by Cicero; but the loci, common topics or grounds, on which the attack or defence will rest, (respecting, for instance, avarice, luxury, violence, treason,) will be but few. Ellendt.
53 See i. 40.
54 See i. 39.
55 See i. 45; also iii. 33; ii 55; and De Legg. i. 3.
56 The words in brackets are regarded by all the best critics as the production of some interpolator.
57 That the allusion is to the islands of the Sirens, who tried to allure Ulysses to listen to their song, the commentators have already observed. Ellendt.
58 Quum erat in hac gente Magna illa Graecia, “when Great Greece was in (or among) this people.” In hac gente, i.e. in Italis, among the Italians, or in Italy. Ellendt.
59 In one of the tragedies of Pacuvius were represented two brothers, Amphion and Zethus, the former fond of philosophy, music, and the refined arts, the other of a rougher disposition, addicted to war and despising science. To this story Horace also alludes, Ep. i. 18. 41:

Gratia sic fratrum geminorum Amphionis atque
Zethi, dissiluit, donee suspecta severo
Conticuit lyra. Fraternis cessisse putatur
Moribus Amphion. B.
60 In this passage I adopt the correction, or rather restoration, of Ellendt, Nam et omne, quod eloquimur, fit, ut id aut esse dicamus aut non esse. All other modern editions for fit have sic.
61 Diogenes, and other Stoics like him. Proust.
62 Terence, Andr. i. 1. 83. Colman’s Translation.
63 I follow Ellendt’s text: Sic has ego argumentorum volui notas quaerenti demonstrare ubi sint. Orellius and most other editors have Sic has ego argumentorum novi notas, quae ilia mihi quaerenti demonstrant, “sententia perinepta,” as Ellendt observes; for it was not what Antonius himself knew that was to be specified, but how he wished learners to be assisted.
64 Pacuvius in his Hermione, as appears from Nonius v. flexanima. The thought is borrowed from Euripides, Hec. 816. Ellendt.
65 See note on c. 28.
66 See note on c. 47.
67 The forefinger, which Crasaus is said to hare pointed with wonderful effect. See Quintilian, xi. 3. 94.
68 Spondalia. For this word I have given “verses.” “That it is corrupt,” says Ellendt, “all the commentators agree.” Hermann, Opusc. i. p. 304, conjectures è sponda illa, “from that couch,” on which he upposes Telamon may have been reclining.
69 Quintus Servilius Csepio, in his consulship, says Henrichsen, had embezzled a large portion of the gold taken at the capture of Toulouse, A.U.C. 648. In the following year, when, through the disagreement between him and the consul Manlius, the Romans were defeated in two battles by the Cimbri, his property was confiscated, and his command taken from him. Some years afterwards, A.U.C. 659, when Crassus and Scaevola were consuls, Caius Norbanus, then tribune of the people, brought Caepio to trial, as it appears, for the embezzlement of the gold at Toulouse, and for exciting sedition in the city. The senate, to whom Caepio, in his consulship, had tried to restore the judicial power, exerted themselves strongly in his behalf; but Norbanus, after exciting a great tumult, carried his point by force, and Caepio went into banishment at Smyrna.
70 As Caepio had tried to take it out of the hands of the knights, and to restore it to the senate.
71 Since public or common fear must affect individuals.
72 Quae si inflammanda sunt. An elegant mode of expresaion, for “si ad animos invidia inflammandos adhibenda sunt tanquam faces.” Ernesti.
73 Exitus spissi et producti esse debent. “Non abrupti, sed lenti” Ellendt. “Vehementes et longiores.” Proust.
74 Simul atque intuleris. Rem sc. “As soon as you have introduced the subject.”
75 Orellius’s text has inferenda; many others, efferenda. There have been various conjectures offered, as infirmamda, evertenda, elevanda, infringenda. The reader may take his choice.
76 Cavillatio. Ironical or satirical humour seems to be meant.
77 Quippe; leve enim, &c. Quippe is equivalent to the Greek eikotos. Ellendt.
78 Ne in rutis quidem et caesis. Ruta were such things as could be removed from houses and other premises without pulling down or damaging any portion of them; caesa, as Proust remarks, refers to the cutting down of trees.
79 Cneius Domitius Ahenobarbus, in his tribuneship, A.U.C. 651, was hostile to the pontifices, because they had not chosen him in the place of his father, and proposed a law that those who were chosen by the pontifices into their body should not be appointed till their choice was sanctioned by the people. Veil. Pat. ii. 12; Suet. Ner. 2; Cic. Rull, ii. 7. He had some ability in speaking, but was not numbered among eminent orators. Cic. Brut. 45. Henrichsen.
80 An allusion to the proverb Sus Minervam.
81 He signified that other pleaders were mere brute animals in comparison with Crassus, and therefore to be fed upon hay. Turnebus.
82 The same that is mentioned by Sallust, as having accused Calpurniua Bestia.
83 Lacerat Lacertum Largi Mordax Memmius. The writer of the article “Memmius” in Dr. Smith’s Biog. Dict. thinks that Memmius had from some cause the nickname of Mordax. The story of his having eaten or bitten Largius’s arm, appears, from what Cicero says, to have been a mere invention of Crassus. We do not half understand the joke.
84 This jest is from a speech of Crassus against Domitius. The gens Domitia, a family of great nobility, had produced many patricians remarkable, as well for other vices, as for vanity. Ellendt.
85 These words are from some play now lost.
86 Quaesitor. The magistrate who presided at a quaestio capitalis, whether the praetor or any other. See Cic. Verr. i. 10; Vatin. 14; Sall. Jug. 40. Henrichsen.
87 Whether the joke was directed against him as being unclean, or as being dishonest, is uncertain. Ellendt.
88 Probably taken from the apophthegms of Cato, and probably, also, a saying of Caius Claudius Nero, who was consul with Marcus Livius, A.U.C. 547, and defeated Hannibal at Sena. Liv. xxvii. 34. Ellendt.
89 The original is, Num claudicat? at hic clodicat. “What, is he lame? No; but he favours Clodius.” The reader easily sees that the force of the pun, which is bad enough at the first hand, is entirely lost by a literal translation. I have been forced to coin two English words from the Latin to convey some idea of it. Had Clodius lived in this country, and his name been Greville, I had been as happy as Glaucia; for then I could have said, “Where is the old proverb, What, is he gravelled? No; but he is Grevilled. B. Num claudicat is thought by Strebaeus to have been a common question with regard to a man suspected of want of judgment or honesty.
90 Quid hoc Naevio ignavius? It is thought to have been a joke of Publius Africanus Major, who, according to some, was accused by the Petilii, tribunes of the people, or, according to others, by a certain Marcus Naevius. See Liv. xxxviii. 50, 56; Val. Max. iii. 7; A. Gell. iv. 18. But it might have been said by Africanus the younger in reference to some other man. Ellendt.
91 Video me a te circumveniri. Toup, in his Appendix to Theocritus, suggests that we should read Video me a te non circum, sed hircumveniri, referring to a similar joke of Aristophanes, Acharn. 850.
92 Calvus satis est, quod dicit parum. The meaning is by no means clear, and no change in the punctuation elucidates it. […] Pearce supposes that it is said of a bad orator: “If he were to say more, he would give less satisfaction; what he has said is so far satisfactory, as it is brief.” [...] Henrichsen thinks that calvus might be used metaphorically, as calva oratio for ieiuna; and that the joke is on the ambiguity of the word. To me the passage seems inexplicable. Ellendt. Whether calvus in the text be a proper name or not, is a matter of uncertainty; Turnebus thinks it is not.
93 Sannio. The sanniones were so called from sanna, a grimace, and personated ridiculous characters, like the Arlecchini or Pulcinelli of the Italians. Ellendt.
94 This verse of Lucilius would be unintelligible to us, even if we were certain that the reading of it is sound. Heusinger thinks that Lucilius referred to the game played with nuts, which the author of the elegy entitled “Nux “mentions: Quas puer aut rectus certo dilaminat ictu. Others think that confixum facere signifies merely configere. Ernesti supposes that a sort of dish, made of pieces of flesh, fricasee, is meant. Schutz suggests that, if this be the meaning of confixum, some kind of eatable must be intended by nucula. But this profits us nothing. Ellendt.
95 Non esse sextantis. A phrase applied either to anything worth more than a sextans, and therefore perhaps of great value, or to anything worth less than a sextans, or of no value at all. Turnebus.
96 See c. 54.
97 Marcus Fulvius Nobilior. Cato had accused him of having taken poets with him into his province, and called him Mobilior, to denote his levity, which, among the Romans, who were fond of gravity and steadiness, was a great crime. Turnebus. See Cic. Tusc. Quaest. i. 2. He had also built a temple to the Muses. Cic. ib. et Arch. c. 11; Brut. c. 20; Plin. H. N. xxxv. 36. Ellendt.
98 This appears to us moderns a very poor joke. No translation can make it intelligible to those who do not understand the original.
99 Divisorem. Divisores were those who distributed money among the tribes, in the name of the candidates, as bribes for their votes. Sea Cie. Verr. i. 8; Planc. 19. Ellendt.
100 The Lex Licinia Mucia de civibus regendis, A.U.C. 659, by which it was provided that no one should be accounted a citizen who was not really a citizen. Cic. Off. iii. 11. Ellendt.
101 Turnebus thinks that the reference is to the Greek proverb, Ei me dunaio boun, elaune onon, “If you cannot drive an ox, drive an ass,” (see Apostol. Prov. vii. 53; Zenob. iii. 54; ) but that proverb seems inapplicable to this passage. Talaeus and Lambinus suppose, with more probability, that something like this must be understood: Agas asellum, cursum non docebitur. Asellus is again mentioned in c. 66. Ellendt.
102 Nothing is recorded of that actor in pantomime. Ellendt.
103 This passage is corrupt, but as no emendation of it can be trusted, it will be sufficient to enclose Porcius in brackets. Orellius.
104 Ex tui animi sententia tu uxorem habes? The words ex animi sen-teniia had two significations: they were used by the censors in putting questions in the sense of “truly, sincerely;” but they were used in common conversation in the sense of “to a person’s satisfaction.” From the ambiguity of the phrase proceeds the joke.
105 C. 63.
106 C. 61.
107 Verba relata contrarie. Which the Greeks call antitheta, when contrariis opponuntur contraria. Cic. Or. 50.
108 Villam in Tiburte habes, cortem in Palatio. Cora or chors meant a coop, pen, or moveable sheep-fold. Schutz and Strebaeus, therefore, suppose that Glaucia intended to designate the companions of Metellus as cattle, for which he had a pen on the Palatine.
109 C. 61.
110 C. 59.
111 C. 11.
112 Antonius impudicos hominis mores insectatur, cum Cassandrae ab Aiace post expugnatam Troiam vim illatam fuisse constet. Ellendt.
113 Of Magius nothing is known. Ellendt.
114 The grandfather of the orator, as is clearly shown by Corradus in Quaest. Ernesti.
115 Sub Novis. Understand Tabernis argentariis. See P. Fabr. ad Quaest. Acad. iv. 22; Drakenborch ad Liv. xxvi. 27; xliv. 17. Ernesti.
116 Quintus Metellus Macedonicus, as Plutarch relates in his treatise De Fortuna Romanwum, had four sons, whose abilities were in proportion to their ages, the youngest being the least gifted. Proust.
117 The same anecdote is noticed by Cicero, De Senect. c. 4; and Livy speaks of the occurrence at some length, xxvi. 25. But that the Marcus Livius there mentioned had not the cognomen of Salinator, but of Macatus, is shown by P. Wesseling, Obss. ii. 5; and there seems little doubt that Cicero made a mistake here, as in some other places. Ellendt.
118 We may suppose, says Strebaeus, the woman to have been deformed, and some one to have asked the man, “What relation is that woman to you? your sister?” When the man answered, “My wife,” the questioner would exclaim, “And yet, how like you she is! I should have taken her for your sister;” wittily indicating the deformity of the man.
119 The joke, says Schutz, is in the word never, as if it were possible that a man might die several times.
120 A reflection, says Turnebus, on the extraordinary size and magnificence of the building.
121 Which Scaurus required to be produced on the trial.
122 Texts vary greatly in this passage. I adhere strictly to that of Orellius. “It appears,” says Pearce, “that Scaevola was accused of extortion, as Cicero says in his Brutus, and in the first book De Finibus, and that Albucius, to prove the accusation, brought forward some writing of Granius, who, when judgment was given in favour of Scaevola, did not understand that it was at the same time given against his own writing.”
123 He is called the elder, because he had a brother of the same name, the father of Publius Clodius, the enemy of Cicero. Proust.
124 A species of ridicule expressed in a pithy sentence. The example produced requires that we should explain the Cincian law. This cannot be done better than in the words of Dr. Middleton. The business of pleading, says he, though a profession of all others the most laborious, yet was not among the Romans mercenary, or undertaken for any pay; for it was illegal to take money, or to accept even a present for it; but the richest, the greatest, and the noblest of Rome freely offered their talents to the service of their citizens, as the common guardians and protectors of the innocent and distressed. This was an institution as old as Romulus, who assigned the patronage of the people to the patricians or senators, without fee or reward; but in succeeding ages, when, through the avarice of the nobles, it had become a custom for all clients to make annual presents to their patrons, by which the body of the citizens was made tributary as it were to the senate, M. Cincius, a tribune, published a law prohibiting all senators to take money or gifts on any account, and especially for pleading causes. This Cincian law was made in the year of Rome 549; and recommended to the people, as Cicero tells us, (De Senect. 4,) by Quintus Fabius Maximus, in the extremity of his age. Caius Cento was one of the orators who opposed it. Livy, xxxiv. 4, gives us the reason for passing this law, “Quid legem Cinciam de donis et muneribus, nisi quia vectigalis iam et stipendiaria plebs esse senatui caeperat? “It is also mentioned by Tacitus, Annal. xi. 5: “Consurgunt patres legemque Cinciam flagitant, qua cavetur antiquitus ne quis ob causam orandam pecuniam donumve accipiat.” We also find from the same author, (xi. 7,) that this law was not well observed in Cicero’s time: “prompta sibi exempla quantis mercedibus P. Clodius aut C. Curio concionari soliti sint;” so the emperor Claudius confined the fees to be allowed not to exceed a certain sum, which amounted to 801. 14s. 7d. of our money, “Capiendia pecuniis posuit modum usque ad dena sestertia, quem egressi repetundarum tenerentur.” The Cincian law, says Dr. Taylor, has been well commented upon by several of the moderns, as Ranchinus ii.; Var. vii.; Burgius i.; Elect, xviii.; and Brummerus. B. Turnebus understands the sense of the repartee to be, that patrons were not to expect thenceforward to live upon gifts from their clients, but must buy whatever they wished to have.
125 He wishes that labour were as easy as ease.
126 Excluding him from the number of the knights, to whom a horse was given at the public expense.
127 That is says Proust, was so reported by those who wished to favour him.
128 C. 57.
129 Antonius returns to the point from which he had digressed at c. 57.
130 Dissimulatum…obruatur. The word ante, which is retained by Oreliius, but is wanting in several manuscripts, I leave untranslated.
131 Antonius mentions seven ways by which the indiscretion of the orator may be of prejudice to the cause, to illustrate his last observation: 1. By irritating a witness, who would not have injured his client without provocation. 2. By not giving way when the arguments press too hard upon him, he may lose his cause. 3. By extolling those qualities in his client which ought to be extenuated, he may do mischief. 4. By throwing invectives upon those who are entitled to the esteem and favour of the judges. 5. By upbraiding his adversary with the same defects that are in some of the judges; of which Philip’s derision of a dwarfish evidence, before Lucius Aurifex, who was still lower in stature, was an instance mentioned before. 6. He may plead his own cause rather than that of his client; which blame Cicero seems to have incurred in his oration for Publius Sextius, a cause in which he was warmly and specially interested. Whoever has any inclination to read the history of that trial, may find it in Dr. Middleton’s Life of Cicero, vol. ii. p. 45, &c. 7. By the use of false or repugnant arguments, or such v are foreign to the usage of the bar and judicial proceedings. B.
132 Quod ministratorem peteres, non adversarium. The ministrator was a witness, from whose evidence Antonius had drawn arguments. Ellendt. Whether by adversarius he meant Antonius or not, is, as Henrichsen says, uncertain. Ellendt thinks that Antonius is not meant. I have however differed from him, as the context seems t indicate that Antonius is meant.
133 Ut in quoque eorum minimum putant esse, ita eum primum volunt dicere. “As in each of them they think that there is least, so they wish him to speak first.”
134 Ut in oratore. Schutz conjectures in oratoribus, but he had better, as Ellendt observes, have conjectured ex oratoribus. But the text may be correct.
135 Reperientur…sumentur. These words are plural in Orellius’s text, but Ellendt and others seem rightly to determine that they should be singular.
136 C. 77.
137 Infrequentibus causis. Infrequens causa is a cause at the pleading of which few auditors are likely to attend. Ernesti.
138 Faciliora etiam in principiis. Ellendt justly observes that etiam must be corrupt, and that autem should probably be substituted for it.
139 Samnitium. A kind of gladiators so called, that fought with Samnite arms. They had their origin among the Campanians. Liv. ix. 40.
140 Terence, Andr. Act I. Sc. 1.
141 Sapiens enim est consilium. These words I regard as a scholium that has crept into the text. Ernesti.
142 Quid maxima quasi oratori scena videlur concionis. “Because the greatest stage, as it were, for an orator, appears [to be that] of a public assembly.”
143 Celeritas. The same word is used in c. 54: hoc quod in celeritate atque dicto est. Schutz conjntured hilaritas.
144 Because words are at the command of the practised orator, and, when matter is supplied, easily occur. Ernesti.
145 A man who has been censor, as you have been. Proust.