Cicero, De Oratore Book 3
Translated by J. S. Watson
Formatted by C. Chinn

I. [1] WHEN I proceeded to execute my design, brother Quintus, of relating and committing to writing in this third book, the remarks which Crassus made after the dissertation of Antonius, bitter remembrance renewed in my mind its former concern and regret; for the genius worthy of immortality, the learning, the virtue that were in Lucius Crassus, were all extinguished by sudden death, within ten days from the day which is comprised in this and the former book. [2] When he returned to Rome on the last day of the theatrical entertainments,1 he was put into a violent emotion by that oration which was reported to have been delivered in an assembly of the people by Philippus, who, it was agreed, had declared, “that he must look for another council, as he could not carry on the government with such a senate;” and on the morning of the thirteenth of September, both Crassus and a full senate came into the house on the call of Drusus. There, when Drusus had made many complaints against Philippus, he brought formally before the senate the fact that the consul had thrown such grievous obloquy on that order, in his speech to the people. [3] Here, as I have often heard it unanimously said by men of the greatest judgment, although indeed it continually happened to Crassus, whenever he had delivered a speech more exquisite than ordinary, that he was always thought never to have spoken better, yet by universal consent it was then determined, that all other orators had always been excelled by Crassus, but that on that day he had been excelled by himself; for he deplored the misfortune and unsupported condition of the senate; an order whose hereditary dignity was then being torn from it by a consul, as by some lawless ruffian, a consul whose duty it was to act the part of a good parent or trusty guardian towards it; but said that it was not surprising, if, after he had ruined the commonwealth by his own counsels, he should divorce the counsels of the senate from the commonwealth. [4] When he had applied these expressions, which were like firebrands, to Philippus, who was a man of violence, as well as of eloquence, and of the utmost vigour to resist opposition, he could not restrain himself, but burst forth into a furious flame, and resolved to bind Crassus to good behaviour, by forfeiting his securities.2 On that occasion, many things are reported to have been uttered by Crassus with a sort of divine sublimity, refusing to acknowledge as a consul him who would not allow him to possess the senatorial dignity: Do you, said he, who, when you thought the general authority of the whole senatorial order entrusted to you as a pledge, yet perfidiously annulled it in the view of the Roman people, imagine that I can be terrified by such petty forfeitures as those? It is not such pledges that are to be forfeited, if you would bind Lucius Crassus to silence; for that purpose you must cut out this tongue; and even if it be torn out, the freedom in my very breath will confound your audacity.

II. [5] It appeared that a multitude of other expressions were then uttered by him with the most vehement efforts of mind, thought, and spirits; and that that resolution of his, which the senate adopted in a full house, was proposed by him with the utmost magnificence and dignity of language, That the counsel and fidelity of the senate had never been wanting to the commonwealth, in order to do justice to the Roman people; and he was present (as appears from the names entered in the register) at the recording of the resolution. [6] This however was the last swan-like note and speech of that divine orator; and, as if expecting to hear it again, we used, after his death, to go into the senate-house, that we might contemplate the spot on which he had last stood to speak; for we heard that he was seized at the time with a pain in his side while he was speaking, and that a copious perspiration followed; after which he was struck with a chillness, and, returning home in a fever, died the seventh day after of pleurisy. [7] O how fallacious are the hopes of mortals, how frail is our condition, and how insignificant all our ambitious efforts, which are often broken and thrown down in the middle of their course, and overwhelmed as it were in their voyage, even before they gain a sight of the harbour! For as long as the life of Crassus was perplexed with the toils of ambition, so long was he more distinguished for the performance of private duties, and the praises due to his genius, than for any benefit that he reaped from his greatness, or for the dignified rank which he bore in the republic; but the first year which, after a discharge of all the honourable offices of the state, opened to him the entrance to supreme authority by universal consent, overthrew all his hopes, and all his future schemes of life, by death. [8] This was a melancholy occurrence to his friends, a grievous calamity to his country, and a heavy affliction to all the virtuous part of mankind; but such misfortunes afterwards fell upon the commonwealth, that life does not appear to me to have been taken away from Lucius Crassus by the immortal gods as a privation, but death to have been bestowed on him as a blessing. He did not live to behold Italy blazing with war, or the senate overwhelmed with popular odium, or the leading men of the state accused of the most heinous crimes, or the affliction of his daughter, or the banishment of his son-at-law,3 or the most calamitous flight of Caius Marius, or that most atrocious of all daughters after his return, or, finally, that republic in every way disgraced, in which, while it continued most flourishing, he had by far the preeminence over all other men in glory.

III. [9] But led away as I am by my reflections to touch upon the power and vicissitudes of fortune, my observations shall not expatiate too widely, but shall be confined almost to the very personages who are contained in this dialogue, which I have begun to detail. For who would not call the death of Lucius Crassus, which has been so often lamented by multitudes, a happy one, when he calls to mind the fate of those very persons who were almost the last that held discourse with him? For we ourselves remember, that Quintus Catulus, a man distinguished for almost every species of merit, when he entreated, not the security of his fortunes, but retreat into exile, was reduced to deprive himself of life. [10] It was then, too, that that illustrious head of Marcus Antonius, by whom the lives of so many citizens had been preserved, was fixed upon the very rostra on which he had so strenuously defended the republic when consul, and which he had adorned with imperial trophies when censor. Not far from his was exposed the head of Caius Julius, (who was betrayed by his Tuscan host,) with that of Lucius Julius his brother; so that he who did not behold such atrocities may justly be thought to have prolonged his life during the existence of the constitution, and to have expired together with it. He neither beheld his near relation, Publius Crassus, a man of the greatest magnanimity, slain by his own hand, nor saw the image of Vesta sprinkled with the blood of the pontifex, his colleague; and (such were his feelings towards his country) even the cruel death of Caius Carbo, his greatest enemy, that occurred on the same day, would have caused additional grief to him. [11] He did not behold the horrible and miserable fate of those young men who had devoted themselves to him; of whom Caius Cotta, whom he had left in a promising condition, was expelled, through popular prejudice, from his office of tribune, a few days after the death of Crassus, and, not many months afterwards, driven from the city. And Sulpicius, who had been involved in the same popular fury, attempted in his tribuneship to spoil of all their honours those with whom, as a private individual, he had lived in the greatest familiarity; but when he was shooting forth into the highest glory of eloquence, his life was taken from him by the sword, and punishment was inflicted on his rashness, not without great damage to the republic. [12] I am indeed of opinion that you, Crassus, received as well your birth as your death from the peculiar appointment of divine providence, both on account of the distinction of your life and the season of your death; for, in accordance with your virtue and firmness of mind, you must either have submitted to the cruelty of civil slaughter; or if any fortune had rescued you from so barbarous a death, the same fortune would have compelled you to be a spectator of the ruins of your country; and not only the dominion of ill-designing men, but even the victory of the honourable party, would, on account of the civil massacres intermingled with it, have been an affliction to you.

IV. [13] Indeed, when I reflect, brother Quintus, upon the calamities of these great men, (whose fates I have just mentioned,) and those which we ourselves have felt and experienced from our extraordinary and eminent love for our country, your opinions appear to me to be founded on justice and wisdom, as you have always, on account of such numerous, such violent, and such sudden afflictions as have happened to the most illustrious and virtuous men, dissuaded me from all civil contention and strife. [14] But, because we cannot put affairs into the same state as if nothing had occurred, and because our extreme toils are compensated and mitigated by great glory, let us apply ourselves to those consolations, which are not only pleasant to us when troubles have subsided, but may also be salutary while they continue; let us deliver as a memorial to posterity the remaining and almost the last discourse of Lucius Crassus; and let us express the gratitude to him which he so justly merited, although in terms by no means equal to his genius, yet to the best of our endeavours; [15] for there is not any of us, when he reads the admirably written dialogues of Plato, in almost all of which the character of Socrates is represented, who does not, though what is written of him is written in a divine spirit, conceive something still greater of him about whom it is written: and it is also my request, not indeed to you, my brother, who attribute to me perfection in all things, but to others who shall take this treatise into their hands, that they would entertain a nobler conception of Lucius Crassus than any that is expressed by me. [16] For I, who was not present at this dialogue, and to whom Caius Cotta communicated only the topics and heads of the dissertation, have endeavoured to shadow forth in the conversation of the speakers those peculiar styles of oratory, in which I knew that each of them was conspicuous. But if any person shall be induced by the common opinion, to think either that Antonius was more jejune, or Crassus more exuberant in style, than they have been respectively described by me, he will be among the number of those who either never heard these great men, or who have not abilities to judge; for each of them was (as I have explained before) superior to all other speakers, in application, and genius, and learning, as well as excellent in his particular style, so that embellishment in language was not wanting in Antonius, nor redundant in Crassus.

V. [17] As soon therefore as they had withdrawn before noon, and reposed themselves a little, Cotta said that he particularly observed that Crassus employed all the time about the middle of the day in the most earnest and profound meditation; and that he himself, who was well acquainted with the countenance which he assumed whenever he was going to speak in public, and the nature of his looks when he was fixed in contemplation, and had often remarked them in causes of the greatest importance, came on purpose, while the rest were asleep, into the room in which Crassus had lain down on a couch prepared for him, and that, as soon as he perceived him to be settled in a thoughtful posture, he immediately retired; and that almost two hours passed in that perfect stillness. Afterwards, when they all, as the day was now verging to the afternoon, waited upon Crassus, Caesar said, “Well, Crassus, shall we go and take our seats? though w only come to put you in mind of your promise, and not to demand the performance of it.” [18] Crassus then replied, “Do you imagine that I have the assurance to think that I can continue longer indebted to such friends as you, especially in an obligation of this nature?” “What place then will suit you?” said Caesar; “a seat in the middle of the wood, for that is the most shady and cool?” “Very well,” replied Crassus, “for there is in that spot a seat not at all unsuited for this discourse of ours.” This arrangement being agreeable to the rest of the company, they went into the wood, and sat down there with the most earnest desire to listen.

[19] Crassus then said, “Not only the influence of your authority and friendship, but also the ready compliance of Antonius, have taken from me all liberty of refusal, though I had an excellent pretext for refusing. In the partition, however, of this dissertation between us, Antonius, when he assumed to himself the part of speaking upon those matters which form the subject of the orator’s speech, and left to me to explain how they should be embellished, divided things which are in their nature incapable of separation; for as every speech consists of the matter and the language, the language can have no place if you take away the matter, nor the matter receive any illustration if you take away the language. [20] Indeed, the great men of antiquity, embracing something of superior magnificence in their ideas, appear to me to have seen further into the nature of things than the visual faculties of our minds can penetrate; as they said that all these things, above and below, formed one system, and were linked together in strict union by one and the same power, and one principle of universal harmony in nature; for there is no order of things which can either of itself, if forcibly separated from the rest, preserve a permanent existence, or without which the rest can maintain their power and eternal duration.

VI. [21] “But, if this reasoning appear to be too comprehensive to be embraced by human sense and understanding, yet that saying of Plato is true, and certainly not unknown to you, Catulus, ‘that all the learning of these liberal and polite departments of knowledge is linked together in one bond of union; for when the power of that reason, by which the causes and events of things are known, is once thoroughly discerned, a certain wonderful agreement and harmony, as it were, in all the sciences is discovered.’ [22] But, if this also appear to be too sublime a thought for us to contemplate who are prostrate on the earth, it, however, certainly is our duty to know and remember that which we have embraced, which we profess, which we have taken upon ourselves. Since eloquence, as I observed yesterday, and Antonius signified in some passages of his discourse this morning, is one and the same, into whatever tracts or regions of debate it may be carried: [23] for whether it discourses concerning the nature of the heavens or of the earth, whether of divine or human power, whether it speaks from a lower, or an equal, or a superior place, whether to impel an audience, or to instruct, or to deter, or to incite, or to dissuade, or to inflame, or to soothe, whether to a small or to a large assembly, whether to strangers, to friends, or alone, its language is derived through different channels, not from different sources; and, wherever it directs its course, it is attended with the same equipment and decoration. [24] But since we are overwhelmed by opinions, not only those of the vulgar, but those also of men imperfectly instructed, who treat of those things more easily when divided and torn asunder which they have not capacity to comprehend in a general view, and who sever the language from the thoughts like the body from the soul, neither of which separations can be ‘made without destruction, I will not undertake in this discourse more than that which is imposed upon me; I will only signify briefly, that neither can embellishments of language be found without arrangement and expression of thoughts, nor can thoughts be made to shine without the light of language. [25] But before I proceed to touch upon those particulars by which I think language is beautified and illumined, I will state briefly what I think concerning eloquence in general.

VII. “There is no one of the natural senses, in my opinion, which does not include under its general comprehension many things dissimilar one to another, but which are still thought deserving of similar approbation; for we both perceive many things by the ear, which, although they all charm us with their sounds, are yet often so various in themselves, that that which we hear last appears to be the most delightful; and almost innumerable pleasures are received by the eye, which all captivate us in such a manner as to delight the same sense in different ways; and pleasures that bear no sort c f resemblance to each other charm the rest of the senses in such a manner that it is difficult to determine which affords the most exquisite enjoyment. [26] But the same observation which is to be made in regard to nature may be applied also to the different kinds of art. Sculpture is a single art, in which Myro, Polycletus, and Lysippus excelled; all of whom differed one from another, but so that you would not wish any one of them to be unlike himself. The art and science of painting is one, yet Zeuxis, Aglaophon, and Apelles are quite unlike one another in themselves, though to none of them does anything seem wanting in his peculiar style. And if this be wonderful, and yet true, in these, as it were, mute arts, how much more wonderful is’ it in language and speech? which, though employed about the same thoughts and words, yet admits of the greatest variations; and not so that some speakers are to be censured and others commended, but that those who are allowed to merit praise, merit it for different excellences. [27] This is fully exemplified in poets, who have the nearest affinity to orators: how distinct from each other are Ennius, Pacuvius, and Accius; how distinct, among the Greeks, Aeschylus, Sophocles, and Euripides; though almost equal praise may be attributed to them all in different kinds of writing. [28] Then, behold and contemplate those whose art is the subject of our present inquiry; what a wide distinction there is between the accomplisliments and natural abilities of orators! Isocrates possessed sweetness, Lysias delicacy, Hyperides pointedness, Aeschines sound, and Demosthenes energy; and which of them was not excellent? yet which of them resembled any one but himself? Africanus had weight, Laelius smoothness, Galba asperity, Carbo something of fluency and harmony; but which of these was not an orator of the first rank in those times? and yet every one attained that rank by a style of oratory peculiar to himself.

VIII. [29] “But why should I search into antiquity for examples, when I can point to present and living characters? What was ever more pleasing to the ear than the language of our friend Catulus? language of such purity, that he appears to be almost the only orator that speaks pure Latin; and of such power, that with its peculiar dignity there is yet blended the utmost politeness and wit. In a word, when I hear him, I always think that whatever you should add, or alter, or take away, his language would be impaired and deteriorated. [30] Has not our friend Caesar here, too, introduced a new kind of oratory, and brought before us an almost peculiar style of eloquence? Who has ever, besides him, treated tragical subjects in an almost comic manner, serious subjects with pleasantry, grave subjects with gaiety, and subjects suited to the forum with a grace peculiar to the stage? in such a way that neither is the jocular style excluded by the importance of the subject, nor is the weight of the matter lessened by the humour with which it is treated. [31] Here are present with us two young men, almost of equal age, Sulpicius and Cotta; what things were ever so dissimilar as they are one to another? yet what is so excellent as they are in their respective styles? One is polished and refined, explaining things with the greatest propriety and aptitude of expression; he always adheres to his cause, and, when he has discovered, with his keen discernment, what he ought to prove to the judge, he directs his whole attention and force of oratory to that point, without regarding other arguments; while Sulpicius has a certain irresistible energy of mind, a most full and powerful voice, a most vigorous action, and consummate dignity of motion, united with such weight and copiousness of language, that he appears of all men the best qualified by nature for eloquence. IX. [32] “I now return to ourselves; (because there has ever been such a comparison made between us, that we are brought, as it were, into judgment on account of rivalship, in the common conversation of mankind;) what two things can be more dissimilar than Antonius’s manner of speaking and my own 1 though he is such an orator that no one can possibly surpass him; and I, though I am altogether dissatisfied with myself, am yet in preference to others admitted to a comparison with him. Do you notice what the manner of Autonius is? It is bold, vehement, full of energy and action, fortified and guarded on every point of the cause, spirited, acute, explicit, dwelling upon every circumstance, retiring with honour, pursuing with eagerness, terrifying, supplicating, exhibiting the greatest variety of language, yet without satiety to the ear; but as to myself, whatever I am as a speaker (since I appear to you to hold some place among speakers), I certainly differ very greatly from his style. [33] What my talents are it becomes not me to say, because every ere is least known to himself, and it is extremely difficult for any person to form a judgment of his own capacity; but the dissimilitude may be easily perceived, both from the mediocrity of my action, and from the circumstance that I usually conclude in the same track in which I first set out; and that labour and care in choosing words causes me greater anxiety than choice of matter, being afraid that if my language should be a little obsolete, it may appear unworthy of the expectation and silent attention of the audience. [34] But if in us who are present there are such remarkable dissimilitudes, such decided peculiarities in each of us, and in all this variety the better is distinguished from the worse by difference in ability rather than by difference in kind, and everything is praiseworthy that is perfect in its nature, what do you imagine must be the case if we should take into consideration all the orators that anywhere exist, or ever existed? Would it not happen that almost as many kinds of eloquence as of orators would be found? But from this observation of mine, it may perhaps occur to you, that if there be almost innumerable varieties and characters of eloquence, dissimilar in species, yet laudable in their kind, things of so diversified a nature can never be formed into an art by the same precepts and one single method of instruction. [35] This is not the case; and it is to be attentively considered by those who have the conduct and education of others, in what direction the natural genius of each seems principally to incline him. For we see that from the same schools of artists and masters, eminent in their respective pursuits, there have gone forth pupils very unlike each other, yet all praiseworthy, because the instruction of the teacher has been adapted to each person’s natural genius; [36] a fact of which the most remarkable example (to say nothing of other sciences) is that saying of Isocrates, an eminent teacher of eloquence, that he used to apply the spur to Ephorus, but to put the rein on Theopompus; for the one, who overleaped all bounds in the boldness of his expressions, he restrained; the other, who hesitated and was bashful, as it were, he stimulated: nor did he produce in them any resemblance to each other, but gave to the one such an addition, and retrenched from the other so much superfluity, as to form in both that excellence of which the natural genius of each was susceptible.

X. [37] “I thought it necessary to premise these particulars that if every remark of mine did not exactly adapt itself to the inclinations of you all, and to that peculiar style of speaking which each of you most admired, you might be sensible that I described that character of eloquence of which I myself most approved.

“Those matters, therefore, of which Antonius has treated so explicitly, are to be endowed with action and elocution by the orator in some certain manner. What manner of elocution can be better (for I will consider action by-and-by) than that of speaking in pure Latin, with perspicuity, with gracefulness, and with aptitude and congruity to the subject in question? [38] Of the two which I mentioned first, purity and clearness of language, I do not suppose that any account is expected from me; for we do not attempt to teach him to be an orator who cannot speak; nor can we hope that he who cannot speak grammatical Latin will speak elegantly; nor that he who cannot speak what we can understand, will ever speak anything for us to admire. Let us, therefore, omit these matters, which are easy of attainment, though necessary in practice; for the one is taught in school-learning and the rudiments of children; the other4 is cultivated for this reason, that what every person says may be understood, a qualification which we perceive indeed to be necessary, yet that none can be held in less estimation.5 [39] But all elegance of language, though it receive a polish from the science of grammar, is yet augmented by the reading of orators and poets; for those ancients, who could not then adorn what they expressed, had almost all a kind of nobleness of diction; and those who are accustomed to their style cannot express themselves otherwise than in pure Latin, even though they desire to do so. Yet we must not make use of such of their words as our modern mode of speaking does not admit, unless sometimes for the sake of ornament, and but sparingly, as I shall explain; but he who is studious and much conversant with ancient writers, will make such use of common expressions as always to adopt the most eligible.

XI. [40] “In order to speak pure Latin, we must take care not only to use words with which nobody can justly find fault, and preserve the construction by proper cases, and tenses, and genders, and numbers, so that there may be nothing confused, or incongruous, or preposterous; but also that the tongue, and the breath, and the tone of the voice come under proper regulation. [41] I would not have letters sounded with too much affectation, or uttered imperfectly through negligence; I would not have the words dropped out without expression or spirit; I would not have them puffed and, as it were, panted forth, with a difficulty of breathing; for I do not as yet speak of those things relating to the voice which belong to oratorical delivery, but merely of that which seems to me to concern pronunciation. For there are certain faults which every one is desirous to avoid, as a too delicate and effeminate tone of voice, or one that is extravagantly harsh and grating. [42] There is also a fault which some industriously strive to attain; a rustic and rough pronunciation is agreeable to some, that their language, if it has that tone, may seem to partake more of antiquity; as Lucius Cotta, an acquaintance of yours, Catulus, appears to me to take a delight in the broadness of his speech and the rough sound of his voice, and thinks that what he says will savour of the antique if it certainly savour of rusticity. But your harmony and sweetness delight me; I do not refer to the harmony of your words, which is a principal point, but one which method introduces, learning teaches, practice in reading and speaking confirms; but I mean the mere sweetness of pronunciation, which, as among the Greeks it was peculiar to the Athenians, so in the Latin tongue is chiefly remarkable in this city. [43] At Athens, learning among the Athenians themselves has long been entirely neglected; there remains in that city only the seat of the studies which the citizens do not cultivate, but which foreigners enjoy, being captivated in a manner with the very name and authority of the place; yet any illiterate Athenian will easily surpass the most learned Asiatics,6 not in his language, but in sweetness of tone, not so much in speaking well as in speaking agreeably. Our citizens7 pay less attention to letters than the people of Latium, yet among all the people that you know in the city, who have the least tincture of literature, there is not one who would not have a manifest advantage over Quintus Valerius of Sora,8 the most learned of all the Latins, in softness of voice, in conformation of the mouth, and in the general tone of pronunciation.

XII. [44] “As there is a certain tone of voice, therefore, peculiar to the Roman people and city, in which nothing can offend, or displease, nothing can be liable to animadversion, nothing sound or savour of what is foreign, let us cultivate that tone, and learn to avoid not only the asperity of rustic but the strangeness of outlandish pronunciation. [45] Indeed when I listen to my wife’s mother, Laelia,9 (for women more easily preserve the ancient language unaltered, because, not having experience of the conversation of a multitude of people, they always retain what they originally learned,) I hear her with such attention that I imagine myself listening to Plautus or Naevius; she has a tone of voice so unaffected and simple, that it seems to carry in it nothing of ostentation or imitation; from whence I judge that her father and forefathers spoke in like manner; not with a rough tone, as he whom I mentioned, nor with one broad, or rustic, or too open, but with one that was close and equable and smooth. [46] Our friend Cotta, therefore, whose broad manner of speaking you, Sulpicius, sometimes imitate, so as to drop the letter I and pronounce E as full as possible, does not seem to me to resemble the ancient orators, but the modern farmers.” As Sulpicius laughed at this, “I will act with you,” said Crassus, “in such a manner, that, as you oblige me to speak, you shall hear something of your own faults.” “I wish we may,” replied Sulpicius, “for that is what we desire; and if you do so, we shall to-day, I fancy, throw off many of our inelegances.” [47] “But,” said Crassus, “I cannot censure you, Sulpicius, without being in danger of censure myself; since Antouius has declared that he thinks you very similar to me.”10 “But,” rejoined Sulpicius, “as Antonius also recommended us to imitate those things which were most conspicuous in any one,11 I am afraid in consequence that I may have copied nothing from you but the stamping of your foot, and a few particular expressions, and perhaps something of your action.” “With what you have caught from me, then,” said Crassus, “I find no fault, lest I should ridicule myself; (but there are many more and greater faults of mine than you mention;) of faults, however, which are evidently your own, or taken by imitation from any third person, I shall admonish you whenever opportunity may remind me of them.

XIII. [48] “Let us therefore pass over the rules for speaking the Latin tongue in its purity; which the teaching given to children conveys, which refined knowledge and method in study, or the habit of daily and domestic conversation cherishes, and which books and the reading of the ancient orators and poets confirm. Nor let us dwell long upon that other point, so as to discuss by what means we may succeed in making what we say understood; [49] an object which we shall doubtless effect by speaking good Latin, adopting words in common use, and such as aptly express what we wish to communicate or explain, without any ambiguous word or phrase, not making our sentences too long, not making such observations as are drawn from other subjects, for the sake of comparison, too prolix; avoiding all incoherency of thought, reversion of the order of time, all confusion of persons, all irregularity of arrangement whatever. In short, the whole matter is so easy, that it often appears astonishing to me, that what the advocate would express should be more difficult to understand, than he who employs the advocate would be, if he were to speak on his own business; [50] for the persons themselves who bring cases to us, give us in general such instructions, that you would not desire anything to be delivered in a plainer manner; but as soon as Fufius, or your equal in age Pomponius,12 proceeds to plead those cases, I do not find them equally intelligible, unless I give an extraordinary degree of attention; their speech is so confused and ill arranged that there is nothing first, and nothing second; there is such a jumble of strange words, that language, which ought to throw a light upon things, involves them in obscurity and darkness; and the speakers, in what they say, seem in a manner to contradict themselves. [51] But, if it is agreeable, since I think that these topics must appear troublesome and distasteful, at least to you of a more advanced age,13 let us proceed to other matters which may prove still more unsatisfactory.”14

XIV. “You see,” said Antonius, “how inattentive we are, and how unwillingly we listen to you,15 when we might be induced (I judge from myself) to neglect all other concerns to follow you and give you our attention; so elegant are your remarks upon unpleasing, so copious upon barren, so new upon common subjects.”

[52] “Those two parts indeed, Antonius,” continued Crassus, “which I have just run over, or rather have almost passed by, that of speaking in pure Latin, and with perspicuity, were easy to treat; those which remain are important, intricate, diversified, weighty, on which depends all the admiration bestowed upon ability and all the praise given to eloquence; for nobody ever admired an orator for merely speaking good Latin; if he speaks otherwise, they ridicule him; and not only do not think him an orator, but not even a man. Nor has any one ever extolled a speaker for merely speaking in such a manner that those who were present understood what he said; though every one has despised him who was not able to do so. Whom then do men regard with awe? [53] What speaker do they behold with astonishment? At whom do they utter exclamations? Whom do they consider as a deity, if I may use the expression, amongst mortals? Him who speaks distinctly, explicitly, copiously, and luminously, both as to matter and words; who produces in his language a sort of rhythm and harmony; who speaks, as I call it, gracefully. Those also who treat their subject as the importance of things and persons requires, are to be commended for that peculiar kind of merit, which I term aptitude and congruity. [54] Antonius said that he had never seen any who spoke in such a manner, and observed that to such only was to be attributed the distinguishing title of eloquence. On my authority, therefore, deride and despise all those who imagine that from the precepts of such as are now called rhetoricians they have gained all the powers of oratory, and have not yet been able to understand what character they hold, or what they profess; for indeed, by an orator everything that relates to human life, since that is the field on which his abilities are displayed, and is the subject for his eloquence, should be examined, heard, read, discussed, handled, and considered; [55] since eloquence is one of the most eminent virtues; and though all the virtues are in their nature equal and alike, yet one species is more beautiful and noble than another; as is this power, which, comprehending a knowledge of things, expresses the thoughts and purposes of the mind in such a manner, that it can impel the audience whithersoever it inclines its force; and, the greater is its influence, the more necessary it is that it should be united with probity and eminent judgment; for if we bestow the faculty of eloquence upon persons destitute of these virtues, we shall not make them orators, but give arms to madmen.

XV. [56] “This faculty, I say, of thinking and speaking, this power of eloquence, the ancient Greeks denominated wisdom. Hence the Lycurgi, the Pittaci, the Solons; and, compared with them, our Coruncanii, Fabricii, Catos, and Scipios, were perhaps not so learned, but were certainly of a like force and inclination of mind. Others, of equal ability, but of dissimilar affection towards the pursuits of life, preferred ease and retirement, as Pythagoras, Democritus, Anaxagoras, and transferred their attention entirely from civil polity to the contemplation of nature; a mode of life which, on account of its tranquillity, and the pleasure derived from science, than which nothing is more delightful to mankind, attracted a greater number than was of advantage to public concerns. [57] Accordingly, as men of the most excellent natural talents gave themselves up to that study, in the enjoyment of the greatest abundance of free and unoccupied time, so men of the greatest learning, blessed with excess of leisure and fertility of thought, imagined it their duty to make more things than were really necessary the objects of their attention, investigation, and inquiry. That ancient learning, indeed, appeal’s to have been at the same time the preceptress of living rightly and of speaking well; nor were there separate masters for those subjects, but the same teachers formed the morals and the language; as Phoenix in Homer, who says that he was appointed a companion in war to the young Achilles by his father Peleus, to make him an orator in words, and a hero in deeds. [58] But as men accustomed to constant and daily employment, when they are hindered from their occupation by the weather, betake themselves to play at ball, or dice, or draughts, or even invent some new game of their own to amuse their leisure; so they, being either excluded from public employments, as from business, by the state of the times, or being idle from inclination, gave themselves up wholly, some to the poets, some to the geometers, some to music; ethers even, as the logicians, found out a new study and exercise for themselves, and consumed their whole time and lives in those arts which have been discovered to form the minds of youth to learning and to virtue.

XVI. [59] “But, because there were some, and those not a few, who either were eminent in public affairs, through their twofold excellence in acting and speaking, excellences which are indeed inseparable, as Themistocles, Pericles, Theramenes; or who, though they were not employed themselves in public affairs, were teachers of others in that science, as Gorgias, Thrasymachus, Isocrates; there appeared others who, being themselves men of abundant learning and ingenuity, but averse to political business and employments, derided and despised the exercise of oratory; [60] at the head of which party was Socrates. He, who, by the testimony of all the learned, and the judgment of all Greece, was the first of all men as well in wisdom and penetration, grace and refinement, as in eloquence, variety, and copiousness of language on whatever subject he took in hand, deprived of their common name those who handled, treated, and gave instruction in those matters which are the objects of our present inquiry, when they were previously comprised under one appellation; as all knowledge in the best arts and sciences, and all exercise in them, was denominated philosophy; and he separated in his discussions the ability of thinking wisely, and speaking gracefully, though they are naturally united; Socrates, I say, whose great genius and varied conversation Plato has in his Dialogues consigned to immortality, he himself having left us nothing in writing. [61] Hence arose that divorce as it were of the tongue from the heart, a division certainly absurd, useless, and reprehensible, that one class of persona should teach us to think, and another to speak, rightly: for, as many reasoners had their origin almost from Socrates, and as they caught up some one thing, some another, from his disputations, which were various, diversified, and diffusive upon all subjects, many sects as it were became propagated, dissenting one from another, and much divided and very dissimilar in opinions, though all the philosophers wished to be called, and thought that they were, Socratics.

XVII. [62] “First from Plato himself came Aristotle and Xenocrates; the one of whom founded the Peripatetic sect, the other the Academy; and from Antisthenes, who was chiefly delighted with the patience and endurance recommended in the discourses of Socrates, sprung first the Cynics, afterwards the Stoics. Next, from Aristippus, for whom the dissertations on pleasure had greater charms, emanated the Cyreuaic philosophy, which he and his followers maintained in its simplicity; those who in our days measure all things by the standard of pleasure, while they act more modestly in this particular, neither satisfy that dignity which they are far from rejecting, nor adhere to that pleasure which they are inclined to embrace. There were also other sects of philosophers, who almost all in general called themselves the followers of Socrates; as those of the Eretrians, Herillians, Megarians, and Pyrrhonians; but these have long since been overthrown and extinguished by the superior arguments of the others. [63] Of those which remain, that philosophy which has undertaken the patronage of pleasure, however true it may appear to some, is very unsuitable for that personage of whom we are forming a conception, and whom we would have to be of authority in public councils, a leader in the administration of government, a consummate master of thought and eloquence, as well in the senate, as in popular assemblies, and in public causes. Yet no injury shall be done to that philosophy by us; for it shall not be repelled from the mark at which it wishes to aim, but shall repose quietly in its gardens, where it wishes, and where, reclining softly and delicately, it calls us away from the rostra, from the courts of justice, and from the senate, and perhaps wisely, especially in such times of the republic as these. [64] But my present inquiry is not which philosophy is the nearest to truth, but which is the best suited to the orator. Let us therefore dismiss those of this sect without any contumely; for they are well-meaning, and, as they seem so to themselves, happy; let us only admonish them to keep that maxim of theirs, though it be eminently true, secret however as a mystery, I mean their denial that it is the part of a wise man to concern himself with public affairs; for if they should convince us, and every man of eminent ability, of the truth of that maxim, they will be unable to remain, as they especially desire, in tranquillity.

XVIII. [65] “The Stoics, too, whom I by no means disapprove, I notwithstanding dismiss; nor am I afraid that they will be angry, as they are proof against anger; and I feel grateful to them on this account, that they alone, of all the philosophers, have declared eloquence to be virtue and wisdom. But there are two peculiarities in their doctrine, which are quite unsuitable to that orator whom we are forming; one, that they pronounce all who are not wise, to be slaves, robbers, enemies, and madmen, and yet do not admit that any person is wise; (but it would be very absurd to trust the interests of an assembly of the people, or of the senate, or any other body of men, to one to whom none of those present would appear to be in their senses, none to be citizens, none to be freemen;) [66] the other, that they have a manner of speaking which is perhaps subtle, and certainly acute, but for an orator, dry, strange, unsuited to the ear of the populace, obscure, barren, jejune, and altogether of that species which a speaker cannot use to a multitude. Other citizens, or rather all other people, have very different notions of good and evil from the Stoics; their estimation of honour and ignominy, revels and punishments, is entirely different; whether justly or otherwise, is nothing to the present occasion; but if we should adopt their notions, we should never be able to expedite any business by speaking. [67] The remaining sects are the Peripatetic and the Academic; though of the Academics, notwithstanding there is but one name, there are two distinct systems of opinion; for Speusippus, Plato’s sister’s son, and Xenocrates, who had been a hearer of Plato, and Polemo, who had been a hearer of Xenocrates, and Grantor, differed in no great degree from Aristotle, who had also been a hearer of Plato; in copiousness and variety of diction, however, they were perhaps unequal to him. Arcesilas, who had been a hearer of Polemo, was the first who eagerly embraced the doctrine drawn from the various writings of Plato and the discourses of Socrates, that ‘there is nothing certain to be known, either by the senses or the understanding;’ he is reported to have adopted an eminently graceful manner of speaking, to have rejected all judgment of the mind and the senses, and to have established first che practice (though it was indeed greatly adopted by Socrates) of not declaring what he himself thought, but of disputing against whatever any other person said that he thought. [68] Hence the New Academy derived its origin, in which Carneades distinguished himself by a quickness of wit, that was in a manner divine, and a peculiar force of eloquence. I knew many at Athens who had been hearers of this philosopher, but I can refer for his character to two persons of undoubted authority, my father-in-law Scaevola, who heard him when a youth at Rome, and Quintus Metellus, the son of Lucius, my intimate friend, a man of high dignity, who informed me that in the early part of his life at Athens, he attended for many days the lectures of this celebrated philosopher, then almost broken with age.16

XIX. [69] “But the streams of learning have flowed from the common summit of science,17 like rivers from the Apennines, in different directions, so that the philosophers have passed, as it were, into the Upper or Ionian sea, a Greek sea, abounding with harbours, but the orators have fallen into the Lower or Tuscan, a barbarian sea, infested with rocks and dangers, in which even Ulysses himself had mistaken his course. [70] If, therefore, we are content with such a degree of eloquence, and such an orator as has the common discretion to know that you ought either to deny the charge which is brought against you, or, if you cannot do that, to show that what he who is accused has committed, was either done justifiably, or through the fault or wrong of some other person, or that it is agreeable to law, or at least not contrary to any law, or that it was done without design, or from necessity; or that it does not merit the term given it in the accusation; or that the pleading is not conducted as it ought to have been or might have been; and if you think it sufficient to have learned the rules which the writers on rhetoric have delivered, which however Antonius has set forth with much more grace and fulness than they are treated by them; if, I say, you are content with these qualifications, and those which you wished to be specified by me, you reduce the orator from a spacious and immense field of action into a very narrow compass: [71] but if you are desirous to emulate Pericles, or Demosthenes, who is more familiar to us from his numerous writings; and if you are captivated with this noble and illustrious idea and excellence of a perfect orator, you must include in your minds all the powers of Carneades, or those of Aristotle. [72] For, as I observed before, the ancients, till the time of Socrates, united all knowledge and science in all things, whether they appertained to morality, to the duties of life, to virtue, or to civil government, with the faculty of speaking; but afterwards, the eloquent being separated by Socrates from the learned, (as I have already explained,) and this distinction being continued by all the followers of Socrates, the philosophers disregarded eloquence, and the orators philosophy; nor did they at all encroach upon each other’s provinces, except that the orators borrowed from the philosophers, and the philosophers from the orators, such things as they would have taken from the common stock if they had been inclined to remain in their pristine union. [73] But as the old pontiffs, on account of the multitude of religious ceremonies, appointed three officers called Epulones,18 though they themselves were instituted by Numa to perform the epulare sacrificium at the games; so the followers of Socrates excluded the pleaders of causes from their own body, and from the common title of philosophers, though the ancients were of opinion that there was a miraculous harmony between speaking and understanding.

XX. [74] “Such being the case, I shall crave some little indulgence for myself, and beg you to consider that whatever I say, I say not of myself, but of the complete orator. For I am a person, who, having been educated in my boyhood, with great care on the part of my father, and having brought into the forum such a portion of talent as I am conscious of possessing, and not so much as I may perhaps appear to you to have, cannot aver that I learned what I now comprehend, exactly as I shall say that it ought to be learned; since I engaged in public business most early of all men, and at one-and-twenty years of age brought to trial a man of the highest rank, and the greatest eloquence;19 and the forum has teen my school, and practice, with the laws and institutions of the Roman people, and the customs of our ancestors, my instructors. [75] I got a small taste of those sciences of which I am speaking, feeling some thirst for them, while I was quaestor in Asia; having procured a rhetorician about my own age from the Academy, that Metrodorus, of whose memory Antonius has made honourable mention; and, on my departure from Asia. at Athens, where I should have stayed longer, had I not been displeased with the Athenians, who would not repeat their mysteries, for which I came two days too late. The fact, therefore, that I comprise within my scheme so much science, and attribute so much influence to learning, makes not only not in my favour, but rather against me, (for I am not considering what I, but what a perfect orator can do,) and against all those who put forth treatises on the art of rhetoric, and who are indeed obnoxious to extreme ridicule; for they write merely about the several kinds of suits, about exordia, and statements of facts; [76] but the real power of eloquence is such, that it embraces the origin, the influence, the changes of all things in the world, all virtues, duties, and all nature, so far as it affects the manners, minds, and lives of mankind. It can give an account of customs, laws, and rights, can govern a state, and speak on everything relating to any subject whatsoever with elegance and force. [77] In this pursuit I employ my talents as well as I can, as far as I am enabled by natural capacity, moderate learning, and constant practice; nor do I conceive myself much inferior in disputation to those who have as it were pitched their tent for life in philosophy alone.

XXI. [78] “For what can my friend Caius Velleius20 allege, to show why pleasure is the chief good, which I cannot either maintain more fully, if I were so inclined, or refute, with the aid of those common-places which Antonius has set forth, and that habit of speaking in which Velleius himself is unexercised, but every one of us experienced? What is there that either Sextus Pompeius, or the two Balbi,21 or my acquaintance Marcus Vigellius, who lived with Panaetius, all men of the Stoic sect, can maintain concerning virtue, in such a manner that either I, or any one of you, should give place to them in debate? For philosophy is not like other arts or sciences; since what can he do in geometry, or in [79] music, who has never learned? He must be silent, or be thought a madman; but the principles of philosophy are discovered by such minds as have acuteness and penetration enough to extract what is most probable concerning any subject, and are elegantly expressed with the aid of exercise in speaking. On such topics, a speaker of ordinary abilities, if he has no great learning, but has had practice in declaiming, will, by virtue of such practice, common to others as well as to him, beat our friends the philosophers, and not suffer himself to be despised and held in contempt; [80] but if ever a person shall arise who shall have abilities to deliver opinions on both sides of a question on all subjects, after the manner of Aristotle, and, from a knowledge of the precepts of that philosopher, to deliver two contradictory orations on every conceivable topic, or shall be able, after the manner of Arcesilas or Carneades, to dispute against every proposition that can be laid down, and shall unite with those powers rhetorical skill, and practice and exercise in speaking, be will be the true, the perfect, the only orator. For neither without the nervous eloquence of the forum, can an orator have sufficient weight, dignity, and force; nor, without variety of learning, sufficient elegance and judgment. [81] Let us suffer that old Corax of yours,22 therefore, to hatch his young birds in the nest, that they may fly out disagreeable and troublesome bawlers; and let us allow Pamphilus, whoever he was,23 to depict a science of such consequence upon flags, as if for an amusement for children; while we ourselves describe the whole business of an orator, in so short a disputation as that of yesterday and today; admitting, however, that it is of such extent as to be spread through all the books of the philosophers, into which none of those rhetoricians24 has ever dipped.”

XXII. [82] Catulus then said, “It is, indeed, by no means astonishing, Crassus, that there should appear in you either such energy, or such agreeableness, or such copiousness of language; though I previously supposed that it was merely from the force of natural genius that you spoke in such a way as to seem to me not only the greatest of orators, but the wisest of men; but I now understand that you have always given precedence to matters relating to philosophy, and your copious stream of eloquence has flowed from that source; and yet, when I recollect the different stages of your life, and when I consider your manner of living and pursuits, I can neither conceive at what time you acquired that learning, nor can I imagine you to be strongly addicted to those studies, or men, or writings; nor can I determine at which of these two things I ought most to feel surprised, that you could obtain a thorough knowledge of those matters which you persuade me are of the utmost assistance to oratory, amid such important occupations as yours, or that, if you could not do so, you can speak with such effect.” [83] Here Crassus rejoined, “I would have you first of all, Catulus, persuade yourself of this, that, when I speak of an orator, I speak not much otherwise than I should do if I had to speak of an, actor; for I should say that he could not possibly give satisfaction in his gesture unless he had learned the exercises of the palaestra, and dancing; nor would it be necessary that, when I said this, I should be myself a player, though it perhaps would be necessary that I should be a not unskilful critic in another man’s profession. [84] In like manner I am now, at your request, speaking of the orator, that is, the perfect orator; for, about whatever art or faculty inquiry is made, it always relates to it in its state of absolute perfection; and if, therefore, you now allow me to be a speaker, if even a pretty good one, or a positively good one, I will not contradict you; (for why should I, at my time of life, be so foolish 1 I know that I am esteemed such;) but, if it be so, I am certainly not perfect. For there is not among mankind any pursuit of greater difficulty or effort, or that requires more aids from learning; [85] but, since I have to speak of the orator, I must of necessity speak of the perfect orator; for unless the powers and nature of a thing be set before the eyes in their utmost perfection, its character and magnitude cannot be understood. Yet I confess, Catulus, that I do not at present live in any great familiarity with the writings or the professors of philosophy, and that, as you have rightly observed, I never had much leisure to set apart for the acquisition of such learning, and that I have only given to study such portions of time as my leisure when I was a youth, and vacations from the business of the forum, have allowed me.

XXIII. [86] “But if, Catulus, you. inquire my sentiments on that learning, I am of opinion that so much time need not be spent on it by a man of ability, and one who studies with a view to the forum, to the senate, to causes, to civil administration, as those have chosen to give to it whom life has failed while they were learning. For all arts are handled in one manner by those who apply them to practice; in another by those who, taking delight in treating of the arts themselves, never intend to do anything else during the whole course of their lives. The master of the gladiators25 is now in the extremity of age, yet daily meditates upon the improvement of his science, for he has no other care; but Quintus Velocius26 had learned that exercise in his youth, and, as he was naturally formed for it, and had thoroughly acquired it, he was, as it is said in Lucilius,

          Though as a gladiator in the school
          Well skill’d, and bold enough to match with any,

yet resolved to devote more attention to the duties of the forum, and of friendship, and to his domestic concerns. Valerius27 sung every day; for he was on the stage; what else was he to do? [87] But our friend Numerius Furius sings only when it is agreeable to him; for he is the head of a family, and of equestrian dignity; he learned when a boy as much as it was necessary for him to learn. The case is similar with regard to sciences of the greatest importance; we have seen Quintus Tubero,28 a man of eminent virtue and prudence, engaged in the study of philosophy night and day, but his uncle Africanus29 you could scarcely ever perceive paying any attention to it, though he paid a great deal. Such knowledge is easily gained, if you only get as much of it as is necessary, and have a faithful and able instructor, and know how to learn yourself. [88] But if you are inclined to do nothing else all your life, your very studies and inquiries daily give rise to something for you to investigate as an amusement at your leisure; thus it happens, that the investigation of particular points is endless, though general knowledge is easy, if practice establish learning once acquired, moderate exercise be devoted to it, and memory and inclination continue. But it is pleasant to be constantly learning, if we wish to be thoroughly masters of anything; as if I, for instance, had a desire to play excellently at backgammon, or had a strong attachment to tennis, though perhaps I should not attain perfection in those games; but others, because they excel in any performance, take a more vehement delight in it than the object requires, as Titius30 in tennis, Brulla in backgammon. [89] There is no reason, therefore, why any one should dread the extent of the sciences because he perceives old men still learning them; for either they were old men when they first applied to them, or have been detained in the study of them till they became old; or are of more than ordinary stupidity. And the truth in my opinion is, that a man can never learn thoroughly that which he has not been able to learn quickly.”

XXIV. [90] “Now, now,” exclaimed Catulus, “I understand, Crassus, what you say, and readily assent to it; I see that there has been time enough for you, a man of vigour and ability to learn, to acquire a knowledge of what you mention.” “Do you still persist,” rejoined Crassus, “to think that I say what I say of myself, and not of my subject? But, if it be agreeable to you, let us now return to our stated business.”To me,” said Catulus, “it is very agreeable.”

[91] “To what end, then,” continued Crassus, “does this discourse, drawn out to so great a length, and brought from such deep sources, tend? The two parts which remain for me, that of adorning language, and contemplating eloquence in general in its highest perfection, one of which requires that we should speak gracefully, the other aptly, have this influence, that eloquence is rendered by their means productive of the utmost delight, made to penetrate effectually into the inmost hearts of the audience, and furnished with all possible variety of matter. [92] But the speech which we use in the forum, adapted for contest, full of acrimony, formed to suit the taste of the vulgar, is poor indeed and beggarly; and, on the other hand, even that which they teach who profess themselves masters of the art of speaking, is not of much more dignity than the common style of the forum. We have need of greater pomp,31 of choice matter collected, imported, and brought together from all parts; such a provision as must be made by you, Caesar, for the next year,32 with such pains as I took in my aedileship, because I did not suppose that I could satisfy such a people as ours with ordinary matters, or those of their own country.

[93] “As for choosing and arranging words, and forming them into proper periods, the art is easy, or, I may say, the mere practice without any art at all. Of matter, the quantity and variety are infinite; and as the Greeks33 were not properly furnished with it, and our youth in consequence almost grew ignorant while they were learning, even Latin teachers of rhetoric, please the gods, have arisen within the last two years; a class of persons whom I had suppressed by my edict,34 when I was censor, not because I was unwilling (as some, I know not who, asserted,) that the abilities of cur youth should be improved, but because I did not wish that their understandings should be weakened and their impudence strengthened. [94] For among the Greeks, whatever was their character, I perceived that there was, besides exercise of the tongue, some degree of learning, as well as politeness suited to liberal knowledge; but I knew that these new masters could teach youth nothing but effrontery, which, even when joined with good qualities, is to be avoided, and, in itself, especially so; and as this, therefore, was the only thing that was taught by the Latins, their school being indeed a school of impudence, I thought it became the censor to take care that the evil should not spread further. [95] I do not, however, determine and decree on the point, as if I despaired that the subjects which we are discussing can be delivered, and treated with elegance, in Latin; for both our language and the nature of things allows the ancient and excellent science of Greece to be adapted to our customs and manners; but for such a work are required men of learning, such as none of our countrymen have been in this department; but if ever such arise, they will be preferable to the Greeks themselves.

XXV. [96] “A speech, then, is to be made becoming in its kind, with a sort of complexion and substance of its own; for that it be weighty, agreeable, savouring of erudition and liberal knowledge, worthy of admiration, polished, having feeling and passion in it, as far as is required, are qualities not confined to particular members, but are apparent in the whole body; but that it be, as it were, strewed with flowers of language and thought, is a property which ought not to be equally diffused throughout the whole speech, but at such intervals, that, as in the arrangement of ornaments,35 there may be certain remarkable and luminous objects disposed here and there. [97] Such a kind of eloquence, therefore, is to be chosen, as is most adapted to interest the audience, such as may not only delight, but delight without satiety; (for I do not imagine it to be expected of me, that I should admonish you to beware that your language be not poor, or rude, or vulgar, or obsolete: both your age and your geniuses encourage me to something of a higher nature;) [98] for it is difficult to toll what the cause is why, from those objects which most strongly strike our senses with pleasure, and occasion the most violent emotions at their first appearance, we should soonest turn away with a certain loathing and satiety. How much more florid, in the gaiety and variety of the colouring, are most objects in modern pictures than in ancient ones; which, however, though they captivate us at first sight, do not afford any lasting pleasure; whereas we are strongly attracted by rough and faded colouring in the paintings of antiquity. How much softer and more delicate are fanciful36 modulations and notes in music, than those which are strict and grave; and yet if the former are often repeated, not only persons of an austere character, but even the multitude, raise an outcry against them. [99] We may perceive, too, in regard to the other senses, that we take a less permanent delight in perfumes composed of the sweetest and most powerful odours, than in those of a more moderate scent; that that is more commended which appears to smell like wax, than that which is as strong as saffron; and that, in the sense of feeling itself, there is a limit required both to softness and smoothness. How soon does even the taste, which of all our senses is the most desirous of gratification, and is delighted with sweetness beyond the others, nauseate and reject that which is too luscious! Who can take sweet drinks and meats long together? while, in both kinds of nutriment, such things as affect the sense with but a slight pleasure are the furthest removed from that satiating quality; [100] and so, in all ether things, loathing still borders upon the most exquisite delights; and therefore we should the less wonder at this effect in language, in which we may form a judgment, either from the poets or the orators, that a style elegant, ornate, embellished, and sparkling, without intermission, without restraint, without variety, whether it be prose or poetry, though painted with the brightest colours, cannot possibly give lasting pleasure. And we the sooner take offence at the false locks and paint of the orator or poet, for this cause, that the senses, when affected with too much pleasure, are satiated, not from reason, but constitutionally; in writings and in speeches these disguised blemishes are even more readily noticed, not only from the judgment of the ear, but from that of the understanding.

XXVI. [101] “Though such expressions of applause, therefore, as ‘very well,’ ‘excellent,’ may be often repeated to me, I would not have ‘beautifully,’ ‘pleasantly,’ come too often; yet 1 would have the exclamation Nothing can be better, very frequent. But this high excellence and merit in speaking Bhould be attended with some portions of shade and obscurity, that the part on which a stronger light is thrown may seem to stand out, and become more prominent. [102] Roscius never delivers this passage with all the spirit that he can,

          The wise man seeks for honour, not for spoil,
          As the reward of virtue;

but rather in an abject manner, that into the next speech,

          What do I see? the steel-girt soldier holds
          The sacred seats,

he may throw his whole powers, may gaze, may express wonder and astonishment. How does the other great actor37 utter

          What aid shall I solicit?

How gently, how sedately, how calmly! For he proceeds with

          father! my country! House of Priam!

in which so much action could not be exerted if it had been consumed and exhausted by any preceding emotion. Nor did the actors discover this before the poets themselves, or, indeed, before even those who composed the music, by both of whom their tone is sometimes lowered, sometimes heightened, sometimes made slender, sometimes full, with variation and distinction. [103] Let our orator, then, be thus graceful and delightful (nor can he indeed be so otherwise); let him have a severe and solid grace, not a luscious and delicious sweetness; for the precepts relative to the ornament of eloquence, which are commonly given, are of such a nature that even the worst speaker can observe them. It is first of all necessary, therefore, as I said before, that a stock of matter and thoughts be got together; a point on which Antonius has already spoken; these are to be interwoven into the very thread and essence of the oration, embellished by words, and diversified by illustrations.

“But the greatest glory of eloquence is to exaggerate a subject by embellishment; which [104] has effect not only in amplifying and extolling anything in a speech to an extraordinary degree, but also in extenuating it, and making it appear contemptible. XXVII. This is required on all those points which Antonius said must be observed in order to gain credit to our statements, when we explain anything, or when we conciliate the feelings, or when we excite the passions of our audience; [105] but in the particular which I mentioned last, amplification is of the greatest effect; and excellence in it the peculiar and appropriate praise of the orator. Even that exercise is of more than ordinary importance which Antonius illustrated38 in the latter part of his dissertation, (in the beginning39 he set it aside,) I mean that of panegyric and satire; for nothing is a better preparative for exaggeration and amplification in a speech than the talent of performing both these parts in a most effective manner. [106] Consequently, even those topics are of use which, though they ought to be proper to causes, and to be inherent in their very vitals, yet, as they are commonly applied to general subjects, have been by the ancients denominated common places; of which some consist in bitter accusations and complaints against vices and crimes, with a certain amplification, (in opposition to which nothing is usually said, or can be said,) as against an embezzler of the public money, or a traitor, or a parricide; remarks which we ought to introduce when the charges have been proved, for otherwise they sire jejune and trifling; [107] others consist in entreaty or commiseration; others relate to contested points of argument, whence you may be enabled to speak fully on either side of any general question, an exercise which is now imagined to be peculiar to those two sects of philosophy40 of which I spoke before; among those of remote antiquity it belonged to those from whom all the art and power of speaking in forensic pleadings was derived;41 for concerning virtue, duty, justice and equity, dignity, utility, honour, ignominy, rewards and punishments, and similar subjects, we ought to possess the spirit, and talent, and address, to speak on either side of the question. [108] But since, being driven from our own possessions, we are left in a poor little farm, and even that the subject of litigation, and since, though the patrons of others, we have not been able to preserve and protect our own property, let us borrow what is requisite for us (which is a notable disgrace) from those42 who have made this irruption into our patrimony.

XXVIII. [109] “Those, then, who take their name from a very small portion43 of Athens and its neighbourhood, .and are denominated Peripatetic or Academic philosophers, but who formerly, on account of their eminent knowledge in important affairs, were by the Greeks called political philosophers, being distinguished by a name relating to all public administration, say that every speech on civil affairs is employed on one or other of these two kinds of questions, either that of a definite controversy limited to certain times and parties; as, ‘Whether is it proper that our captives be recovered from the Carthaginians by the restitution of theirs?’ or on an indefinite question, inquiring about a subject generally; as, ‘What should be determined or considered concerning captives in general? ‘Of these, they term the former kind a cause or controversy, and limit it to three things, law-suits, deliberations, and panegyric; but the other kind of question, or proposition as it were, the indefinite, is denominated a consultation.44 So far they instruct us. [110] The rhetoricians, however, use this division in their instructions, but not so that they seem to recover a lost possession by right, by a decision in their favour, or by force, but appear, according to the practice of the civil law, to assert their claim to the premises by breaking off a branch;45 for they keep possession of that former kind which is restricted to certain times, places, and parties, and that as it were by the hem of the garment;46 for at this present time, under Philo,47 who flourishes, I hear, as chief of the Academy, the knowledge and practice of even these causes is much observed; as to the latter kind, they only mention it in delivering the first principles of the art, and say that it belongs to the orator; but neither explain its powers, nor its nature, nor its parts, nor general heads, so that it had better have been passed over entirely, than left when it was once attempted; for they are now understood to say nothing about it for want of something to say; in the other case, they would have appeared to be silent from judgment.

XXIX. [111] “Every subject, then, has the same susceptibleness of ambiguity, concerning which it may be inquired and disputed; whether the discussion relate to consultations on indefinite points, or to those causes which are concerned with civil affairs and contests in the forum; nor is there any that may not be referred either to the nature and principles of knowledge or of action. [112] For either the knowledge itself and acquaintance with any affair is the object of inquiry; as, ‘Whether virtue be desirable on account of its own intrinsic worth, or for the sake of some emolument attending it?’ or counsel with regard to an act is sought; as, ‘Whether a wise man ought to concern himself in the administration of government?’ [113] And of knowledge there are three kinds, that which is formed by conjecture, that which admits of certain definition, and that which is (if I may so term it) consequential. For whether there be anything in any other thing, is inquired by conjecture; as, ‘Whether there is wisdom in mankind?’ But what nature anything has, a definition explains; as if the inquiry be, ‘What is wisdom? ‘And consequential knowledge is the subject treated of, when the question is, ‘What peculiarity attends on anything?’ as, ‘Whether it be the part of a good man to tell a falsehood on any occasion?’ [114] But to conjecture they return again, and divide it into four kinds; for the question is either, ‘What a thing is,’ as, ‘Whether law among mankind is from nature or from opinions?’ or, ‘What the origin of a thing is,’ as, ‘What is the foundation of civil laws and governments? ‘or the cause and reason of it; as if it is asked, ‘Why do the most learned men differ upon points of the greatest importance? or as to the possible changes in anything; as if it is disputed, ‘Whether virtue can die in men, or whether it be convertible into vice?’ [115] With regard to definition, disputes arise, either when the question is, ‘What is impressed, as it were, on the common understanding?’ as if it be considered, ‘Whether that be right which is advantageous to the greater number?’ or when it is inquired, ‘What is the peculiar property of any character?’ as, ‘Whether to speak elegantly be peculiar to the orator, or whether any one else can do so?’ or when a thing is distributed into parts; as if the question be, ‘How many kinds of desirable things there are?’ and, ‘Whether there be three, those of the body, those of the mind, and external things?’ or when it is described what is the form or, as it were, natural characteristic of any person; as if it be inquired, ‘What is the exact representation of an avaricious, a seditious, or a vain-glorious man?’ [116] Of the consequential, two principal kinds of questions are proposed; for the question is either simple, as if it be disputed, ‘Whether glory be desirable? ‘or comparative, ‘Whether praise or wealth is more to be coveted? ‘But of such simple questions there are three sorts, as to things that are to be desired or avoided; as, ‘Whether honours are desirable?’ ‘Whether poverty is to be avoided?’ as to right and wrong; as, ‘Whether it be right to revenge injuries, even those of relations?’ as to honour and ignominy; as, ‘Whether it be honourable to suffer death for the sake of glory?’ [117] Of the comparative also there are two sorts: one, when the question is whether things are the same, or there be any difference betwixt them; as betwixt fear and reverence, a king and a tyrant, a flatterer and a friend; the other, when the inquiry is, ‘Which of two things is preferable?’ as, ‘Whether wise men are led by the approbation of the most worthy, or by popular applause?’ Thus are the controversies which relate to knowledge described, for the most part, by men of the greatest learning.

XXX. [118] “But those which relate to action, either concern controverted points of moral duty, under which head it may be inquired, ‘What is right and to be practised;’ of which head the whole train of virtues and of vices is the subject-matter; or refer to the excitement, or alleviation, or removal of some emotion f the mind. Under this head are included exhortation, reproof, consolation, compassion, and all that either gives impulse to any emotion of the mind, or, if it so happen, mitigates it. [119] These kinds, then, and modes of all questions being explained, it is of no consequence if the partition of Antonius in any particular disagrees with my division; for there are the same parts in both our dissertations, though divided and distributed by me a little otherwise than by him. Now I will proceed to the sequel, and recall myself to my appointed task and business. For the arguments for every kind of question are to be drawn from those common places which Antonius enumerated; but some common places will be more adapted to some kinds than to others; concerning which there is no necessity for me to speak, not because it is a matter of any great length, but of sufficient perspicuity.

[120] “Those speeches, then, are the most ornate which spread over the widest field, and, from some private and single question, apply and direct themselves to show the nature of such questions in general, so that the audience, from understanding its nature, and kind, and whole bearing, may determine as to particular individuals, and as to all suits criminal and civil. [121] Antonius has encouraged you, young men, to perseverance in this exercise, and intimated that you were to be conducted by degrees from small and confined questions to all the power and varieties of argument. Such qualifications are not to be gained from a few small treatises, as they have imagined who have written on the art of speaking; nor are they work merely for a Tusculan villa, or for a morning walk and afternoon sitting, such as these of ours; for we have not only to point and fashion the tongue, but have to store the mind with the sweetness, abundance, and variety of most important and numerous subjects.

XXXI. [122] “For ours is the possession (if we are indeed orators, if we are to be consulted as persons of authority and leaders in the civil contests and perils of the citizens and in public councils), ours, I say, is the entire possession of all that wisdom and learning, upon which, as if it were vacant and had fallen in to them, men abounding in leisure have seized, taking advantage of us, and either speak of the orator with ridicule and sarcasm, as Socrates in the Gorgias, or write something on the art of oratory in a few little treatises, and call them books on rhetoric; as if all those things did not equally concern the orator, which are taught by the same philosophers on justice, on the duties of life, on the establishment and administration of civil government, and on the whole systems of moral and even natural philosophy. [123] These matters, since we cannot get them elsewhere, we must now borrow from those very persons by whom we have been pillaged; so that we apply them to the knowledge of civil affairs, to which they belong, and have a regard; nor let us (as I observed before) consume all our lives in this kind of learning, but, when we have discovered the fountains, (which he who does not find out immediately will never find at all,) let us draw from them as much as occasion may require, as often as we need. For neither is there so sharp a discernment in the nature and understanding of man, that any one can descry things of such importance, unless they are pointed out; [124] nor yet is there so much obscurity in the things, that a man of penetrating genius cannot obtain an insight into them, if he only direct his view towards them. As the orator therefore has liberty to expatiate in so large and immense a field, and, wherever he stops, can stand upon his own territory, all the furniture and embellishments of eloquence readily offer themselves to him. [125] For copiousness of matter produces copiousness of language; and, if there be an inherent dignity in the subjects on which he speaks, there must be, from the nature of the thing, a certain splendour in his expression. If the speaker or writer has but been liberally instructed in the learning proper for youth, and has an ardent attachment to study, and is assisted by natural endowments, and exercised in those indefinite questions on general subjects, and has chosen, at the same time, the most elegant writers and speakers to study and imitate, he will never, be assured, need instruction from such preceptors how to compose or embellish his language; so readily, in an abundance of matter, will nature herself, if she be but stimulated, fall without any guide into all the art of adorning eloquence.”

XXXII. [126] Catulus here observed, “Ye immortal gods, what an infinite variety, force, and extent of matter have you, Crassus, embraced, and from how narrow a circle have you ventured to lead forth the orator, and to place him in the domains of his ancestors! For we have understood that those ancient masters and authors of the art of speaking considered no kind of disputation to be foreign to their profession, but were always exercising themselves in every branch of oratory. [127] Of which number was Hippias of Elis, who, when he came to Olympia, at the time of the vast concourse at the games celebrated every fifth year, boasted, in the hearing of almost all Greece, that there was no subject in any art or science of which he was ignorant; as he understood not only those arts in which all liberal and polite learning is comprised, geometry, music, grammar, and poetry, and whatever is said on the natures of things, the moral duties of men, and the science of government, but that he had himself made, with his own hand, the ring which he wore, and the cloak and shoes which he had on.48 [128] He indeed went a little too far; but, even from his example, we may easily conjecture how much knowledge those very orators desired to gain in the most noble arts, when they did not shrink from learning even the more humble. Why need I allude to Prodicus of Chios, Thrasymachus of Chalcedon, or Protagoras of Abdera? every one of whom in those days disputed and wrote much even on the nature of things. [129] Even Gorgias the Leontine himself, under whose advocacy (as Plato represented) the orator yielded to the philosopher;49 who was either never defeated in argument by Socrates, (and then the Dialogue of Plato is wholly fictitious,) or, if he was so defeated, it was because Socrates was the more eloquent and convincing, or, as you term it, the more powerful and better orator; but this Gorgias, in that very book of Plato, offers to speak most copiously on any subject whatever, that could be brought under discussion or inquiry; and he was the first of all men that ventured to demand, in a large assembly, on what subject any one desired to hear him speak; and to whom such honours were paid in Greece, that to him alone, of all great men, a statue was erected at Delphi, not gilded, but of solid gold. [130] Those whom I have named, and many other most consummate masters in the art of speaking, flourished at the same time; from whose examples it may be understood, that the truth is really such as you, Crassus, have stated, and that the name of the orator was distinguished among the ancients in Greece in a more extensive sense, and with greater honour than among ourselves. [131] I am therefore the more in doubt whether I should attribute a greater degree of praise to you, or of blame to the Greeks; since you, born under a different language and manners, in the busiest of cities, occupied either with almost all the private causes of the people, or with the government of the world and the direction of the mightiest of empires, have mastered such numbers of subjects, and acquired so extensive a knowledge, and have united all this with the science and practice of one who is of authority in the republic by his counsels and eloquence; whilst they, born in an atmosphere of learning, ardently attached to such studies, but dissolved in idleness, have not only made no acquisitions, but have not even preserved as their own that which was left and consigned to them.”

XXXIII. [132] Crassus then said, “Not only in this particular, Catulus, but in many others, the grandeur of the sciences has been diminished by the distribution and separation of their parts. Do you imagine, that when the famous Hippocrates of Cos flourished, there were then some of the medical faculty who cured diseases, others wounds, and a third class the eyes 1 Do you suppose that geometry under Euclid and Archimedes, that music under Damon and Aristoxenus, that grammar itself when Aristophanes and Callimachus treated of it, were so divided into parts, that no one comprehended the universal system of any of those sciences, but different persons selected different parts on which they meant to bestow their labour? [133] I have, indeed, often heard from my father and father-in-law, that even our own countrymen, who were ambitious to excel in renown for wisdom, were wont to comprehend all the objects of knowledge which this city had then learned. They mentioned, as an instance of this, Sextus Aelius; and we ourselves have seen Manius Manilius walking across the forum; a signal that he who did so, gave all the citizens liberty to consult him upon any subject; and to such persons, when thus walking or sitting at home upon their seats of ceremony, all people had free access, not only to consult them upon points of civil law, but even upon the settlement of a daughter in marriage, the purchase of an estate, or the cultivation of a farm, and indeed upon any employment or business whatsoever. [134] Such was the wisdom of the well-known elder Publius Crassus, such that of Titus Coruncanius, such that of the great-grandfather of Scipio, my son-in-law, a person of great judgment; all of whom were supreme pontiffs, so that they were consulted upon all affairs, divine and human; and the same men gave their counsel and discharged their duty in the senate, before the people, and in the private causes of their friends, in civil and military service, both at home and abroad. [135] What was deficient in Marcus Cato, except the modern polish of foreign and adventitious learning? Did he, because he was versed in the civil law, forbear from pleading causes? or, because he could speak, neglect the study of jurisprudence? He laboured in both these kinds of learning, and succeeded in both. Was he, by the popularity which he acquired by attending to the business of private persons, rendered more tardy in the public service of the state? No man spoke with more courage before the people, none was ever a better senator; he was at the same time a most excellent commander-in-chief; and indeed nothing in those days could possibly be known or learned in this city which he did not investigate and thoroughly understand, and on which he did not also write. [136] Now, on the contrary, men generally come to assume offices and the duties of public administration unarmed and defenceless; prepared with no science, nor any knowledge of business. But if any one happen to excel the multitude, he is elevated with pride by the possession of any single talent, as military courage, or a little experience in war, (which indeed has now fallen into decay,50) or a knowledge of the law, (not of the whole law, for nobody studies the pontifical law, which is annexed to civil jurisprudence,51) or eloquence, (which they imagine to consist in declamation and a torrent of words,) while none have any notion of the alliance and affinity that connects all the liberal arts and sciences, and even the virtues themselves.

XXXIV. [137] “But to direct my remarks to the Greeks, (whom we cannot omit in a dissertation of this nature; for as examples of virtue are to be sought among our own countrymen, so examples of learning are to be derived from them;) seven are said to have lived at one time, who were esteemed and denominated wise men. All these, except Thales of Miletus, had the government of their respective cities. Whose learning is reported, at the same period, to have been greater, or whose eloquence to have received more ornament from literature, than that of Pisistratus? who is said to have been the first that arranged the books of Homer as we now have them, when they were previously confused. He was not indeed of any great service to the community, but was eminent for eloquence, at the same time that he excelled in erudition and liberal knowledge. [138] What was the character of Pericles? of whose power in speaking we have heard, that when he spoke for the good of his country against the inclinations of the Athenians, that very severity with which he contradicted the favourites of the people, became popular and agreeable to all men; and on whose lips the old comic poets declared, (even when they satirized him, as was then lawful to be done at Athens,) that the graces of persuasion dwelt, and that there was such mighty energy in him that he left, as it were, certain stings in the minds of those who listened to him. Yet no declaimer had taught him to bawl for hours by the water-clock, but, as we have it from tradition, the famous Anaxagoras of Clazomenae, a man eminent in all the most valuable sciences, had instructed him. He, accordingly, excelling as he did in learning, judgment, and eloquence, presided at Athens forty years together over civil and military affairs. [139] What was the character of Critias, or of Alcibiades? They were not indeed useful members of the state in which they lived, but were certainly men of learning and eloquence; and were they not improved by conversation with Socrates? Who instructed Dion of Syracuse in every branch of learning? Wan it not Plato? The same illustrious philosopher, too, who formed him not to oratory only, but to courage and virtue, impelled, equipped, and armed him to deliver his country. Did Plato, then, instruct Dion in sciences different from those in which Isocrates formed the renowned Timotheus the son of Conon the eminent general, and himself a most excellent commander, and a man of extensive learning? Or from those in which Lysis the Pythagorean trained Epaminondas of Thebes, who perhaps was the most remarkable man of all Greece? Or from those which Xenophon taught Agesilaus, or Archytas of Tarentum Philolaus, or Pythagoras himself all that old province of Italy which was formerly called Great Greece? XXXV. [140] I do not imagine that they were different; for I see that one and the same course of study comprised all those branches of knowledge which were esteemed necessary for a man of learning, and one who wished to become eminent in civil administration; and that they who had received this knowledge, if they had sufficient powers for speaking in public, and devoted themselves, without any impediment from nature, to oratory, became distinguished for eloquence. [141] Aristotle himself, accordingly, when he saw Isocrates grow remarkable for the number and quality of his scholars, [because he himself had diverted his lectures from forensic and civil causes to mere elegance of language,52] changed on a sudden almost his whole system of teaching, and quoted a verse from the tragedy of Philoctetes53 with a little alteration; for the hero said, that It was disgraceful for him to be silent while he allowed barbarians to speak; but Aristotle said that it was disgraceful for him to be silent while he allowed Isocrates to speak. He therefore adorned and illustrated all philosophical learning, and associated the knowledge of things with practice in speaking. Nor did this escape the knowledge of that very sagacious monarch Philip, who sent for him as a tutor for his son Alexander, that he might acquire from the same teacher instructions at once in conduct and in language. [142] Now, if any one desires either to call that philosopher, who instructs us fully in things and words, an orator, he may do so without opposition from me; or if he prefer to call that orator, of whom I speak as having wisdom united with eloquence, a philosopher, I shall make no objection, provided it be allowed that neither his inability to speak, who understands his subject but cannot set it forth in words, nor his ignorance, to whom matter is wanting though words abound, can merit commendation; and if I had to choose one of the two, I should prefer uneloquent good sense to loquacious folly. [143] But if it be inquired which is the more eminent excellence, the palm is to be given to the learned orator; and if they allow the same person to be a philosopher, there is an end of controversy; but if they distinguish them, they will acknowledge their inferiority in this respect, that all their knowledge is inherent in the complete orator; but in the knowledge of the philosophers eloquence is not necessarily inherent; which, though it may be undervalued by them, must of necessity be thought to give a finishing grace to their sciences.” When Crassus had spoken thus, he made a pause for a while, and the rest kept silence.

XXXVI. [144] Cotta then observed, “I cannot indeed complain, Crassus, that you seem to me to have given a dissertation upon a different subject from that on which you had undertaken to speak; for you have contributed to our conversation more than was either laid upon you by us, or given notice of by yourself. But certainly it was the part that belonged to you, to speak upon the embellishments of language, and you had already entered upon it, and distributed the whole excellence of eloquence into four parts; and, when you had spoken upon the first two, as we indeed thought sufficiently, but, as you said yourself, cursorily and slightly, you had two others left: how we should speak, first, elegantly, and next, aptly. [145] But when you were proceeding to these particulars, the tide, as it were, of your genius suddenly hurried you to a distance from land, and carried you out into the deep, almost beyond the view of us all; for, embracing all knowledge of everything, you did not indeed teach it us, (for that was impossible in so short a space of time,) but, I know not what improvement you may have made in the rest of the company, as for myself, you have carried me altogether into the heart of the academy, in regard to which I could wish that that were true which you have often asserted, that it is not necessary to consume our lives in it, but that he may see everything in it who only turns his eyes towards it: but even if the view be somewhat obscure, or I should be extraordinarily dull, I shall assuredly never rest, or yield to fatigue, until I understand their doubtful ways and arts of disputing for and against every question.” [146] Caesar then said, “One thing in your remarks, Crassus, struck me very much, that you said that he who did not learn anything soon, could never thoroughly learn it at all; so that I can have no difficulty in making the trial, and either immediately understanding what you extolled to the skies in your observations, or, if I cannot do so, losing no time, as I may remain content with what I have already acquired.” [147] Here Sulpicius observed, “I, indeed, Crassus, neither desire any acquaintance with your Aristotle, nor Carneades, nor any of the philosophers; you may either imagine that I despair of being able to acquire their knowledge, or that, as is really the case, I despise it. The ordinary knowledge of common affairs, and such as are litigated in the forum, is great enough for me, for attaining that degree of eloquence which is my object; and even in that narrow circle of science I am ignorant of a multitude of things, which I begin to study, whenever any cause in which I am to speak requires them. If, therefore, you are not now fatigued, and if we are not troublesome to you, revert to those particulars which contribute to the merit and splendour of language; particulars which I desired to hear from you, not to make me despair that I can ever possibly attain eloquence, but to make some addition to my stock of learning.”

XXXVII. [148] “You require of me,” said Crassus, “to speak on matters which are very well known, and with which you, Sulpicius, are not unacquainted; for what rhetorician has not treated of this subject, has not given instructions on it, has not even left something about it in writing? But I will comply with your request, and briefly explain to you at least such points as are known to me; but I shall still think that you ought to refer to those who are the authors and inventors of these minute precepts. [149] All speech, then, is formed of words, which we must first consider singly, then in composition; for there is one merit of language which lies in single words, another which is produced by words joined and compounded. We shall therefore either use such words as are the proper and fixed names as it were of things, and apparently almost born at the same time with the things themselves; or such as are metaphorical, and placed as it were in a situation foreign to them; or such as we invent and make ourselves. [150] In regard then to words taken in their own proper sense, it is a merit in the orator to avoid mean and obsolete ones, and to use such as are choice and ornamental; such as have in them some fulness and force of sound. But in this kind of proper words, selection is necessary, which must be decided in some measure by the judgment of the ear; in which point the mere habit of speaking well is of great effect. [151] Even what is vulgarly said of orators by the illiterate multitude, He uses proper words, or Such a one uses improper words, is not the result of any acquired skill, but is a judgment arising from a natural sense of what is right; in which respect it is no great merit to avoid a fault, (though it is of great importance to do so,). yet this is the groundwork, as it were and foundation of the whole, namely, the use and command of proper words. [152] But the superstructure which the orator himself is to raise upon this, and in which he is to display his art, appears to be a matter for us to examine and illustrate.

XXXVIII. “There are three qualities, then, in a simple word, which the orator may employ to illustrate and adorn his language; he may choose either an unusual word, or one that is new or metaphorical. [153] Unusual words are generally of ancient date and fashion, and such as have been long out of use in daily conversation; these are allowed more freely to poetical licence than to ours; yet a poetical word gives occasionally dignity also to oratory; nor would I shrink from saying, with Coelius, Qua tempestate Poenus in Italiam venit, ‘At the season when the Carthaginian came into Italy:’ nor proles, ‘progeny;’ nor suboles, ‘offspring;’ nor effari, ‘to utter;’ nor nuncupari, ‘to declare;’ nor, as you are in the habit of saying, Catulus, non rebar, ‘I did not deem;’ nor non opinabar, ‘I did not opine;’ nor many others, from which, if properly introduced, a speech assumes an air of greater grandeur. [154] New words are such as are produced and formed by the speaker; either by joining words together, as these.

          Tum pavor sapientiam omnem mi exanimato expectorat,
          Then fear expels all wisdom from the breast
          Of me astonished;


          Num non vis huius me versutiloquas malitias?
          Would you not have me dread his cunning malice?

for you see that versutiloquas and expectorat are words not newly produced, but merely formed by composition. But words are often invented, without composition, as the expression of Ennius,54 Dii genitales, ‘the genial gods; ‘or baccarum ubertate incurviscere, ‘to bend down with the fertile crop of berries.’

[155] “The third mode, that of using words in a metaphorical sense, is widely prevalent, a mode of which necessity was the parent, compelled by the sterility and narrowness of language; but afterwards delight and pleasure made it frequent; for as a dress was first adopted for the sake of keeping off the cold, but in process of time began to be made an ornament of the body, and an emblem of dignity, so the metaphorical use of words was originally invented on account of their paucity, but became common from the delight which it afforded. For even the countrymen say, gemmare vites, that ‘the vines are budding;’ luxuriem esse in herbis, that ‘there is a luxuriancy in the grass;’ and laetas segetes, that ‘there is a bountiful crop;’ for when that which can scarcely be signified by its proper word is expressed by one used in a metaphorical sense, the similitude taken from that which we indicate by a foreign term gives clearness to that which we wish to be understood. [156] These metaphors, therefore, are a species of borrowing, as you take from something else that which you have not of your own. Those have a greater degree of boldness which do not show poverty, but bring some accession of splendour to our language. But why should I specify to you either the modes of their production or their various kinds?

XXXIX. [157] “A metaphor is a brief similitude contracted into a single word; which word being put in the place of another, as if it were in its own place, conveys, if the resemblance be acknowledged, delight; if there is no resemblance, it is condemned. But such words should be metaphorically used as may make the subject clearer; as all these:55

                              Inhorrescit mare,
          Tenebrce conduplicantur, noctisque et nimbum occaecat nigror,
          Flamma inter nubes coruscat, caelum tonitru contremit,
          Grando mixta imbri largifluo subita pracipitans cadit;
          Undique omnes venti erumpunt, saevi existunt turbines;
          Fervit aestu pelagus.

                              The sea begins to shudder,
          Darkness is doubled; and the black of night
          And of the tempest thickens; fire gleams vivid
          Amid the clouds; the heavens with thunder shake;
          Hail mixed with copious rain sudden descends
          Precipitate; from all sides every blast
          Breaks forth; fierce whirlwinds gather, and the flood
          Boils with fresh tumult.

Here almost everything is expressed in words metaphorically adapted from something similar, that the description may be heightened. [158] Or metaphors are employed that the whole nature of any action or design may be more significantly expressed; as in the case of him who indicates, by two metaphorical words, that another person was designedly obscure, in order that what he intended might not be understood,

          Quandoquidem is se circumvestit dictis, saepit sedulo,
          Since thus he clothes himself around with words,
          And hedges constantly.

“Sometimes, also, brevity is the object attained by metaphor; as, Si telum manu fugit, ‘If from his hand the javelin fled.’ The throwing of a missile weapon unawares could not be described with more brevity in the proper words than it is signified by one used metaphorically. [159] On this head, it often appears to me wonderful why all men are more delighted with words used in a metaphorical or foreign sense than in their own proper and natural signification. XL. For if a thing has not a name of its own, and a term peculiar to it, as the pes, or ‘hawser,’ in a ship; nexum, a ‘bond,’ which is a ceremony performed with scales;56 divortium, a ‘divorce,’ with reference to a wife,57 necessity compels you to borrow from another what you have not yourself; but, even in the greatest abundance of proper words, men are much more charmed with such as are uncommon, if they are used metaphorically with judgment. [160] This happens, I imagine, either because it is some manifestation of wit to jump over such expressions as lie before you, and catch at others from a greater distance; or because he who listens is led another way in thought, and yet does not wander from the subject, which ia a very great pleasure; or because a subject, and entire comparison, is despatched in a single word; or because every metaphor that is adopted with judgment is directed immediately to our senses, and principally to the sense of sight, which is the keenest of them all. [161] For such expressions as the odour of urbanity, the softness of humanity, the murmur of the sea, and sweetness of language, are derived from the other senses; but those which relate to the sight are much more striking, for they place almost in the eye of the mind such objects as we cannot see and discern by the natural eyes. There is, indeed, nothing in universal nature, the proper name and term of which we may not use with regard to other matters; for whencesoever a simile may be drawn (and it may be drawn from anything), from thence a single word, which contains the resemblance, metaphorically applied, may give illustration to our language. [162] In such metaphorical expressions, dissimilitude is principally to be avoided; as,

          Caeli ingentes fornices,
          The arch immense of heaven;

for though Ennius58 is said to have brought a globe upon the stage, yet the semblance of an arch can never be inherent in the form of a globe.

          Vive, Ulixes, dum licet:
          Oculis postremum lumen radiatum rape.59
          Live, live, Ulysses, while you may, and snatch,
          Snatch with thine eyes the last light shining on them.

He did not say, cape, ‘take,’ nor pete, ‘seek.’ for such expressions might have implied delay, as of one hoping to live longer; but rape, ‘snatch,’ a word which was peculiarly suitable to what he had said before, dum licet, ‘while you may.’

XLI. [163] “Care is next to be taken that the simile be not too far-fetched; as, for ‘the Syrtis of his patrimony,’ I should rather have said, ‘the rock;’ for ‘the Charybdis of his possessions,’ rather ‘the gulf:’ for the eyes of the mind are more easily directed to those objects which we have seen, than to those of which we have only heard. And since it is the greatest merit in a metaphorical word, that what is metaphorical should strike the senses, all offensiveness is to be avoided in those objects to which the comparison must naturally draw the minds of the audience. [164] I would not have it said that the republic was ‘castrated’ by the death of Africanus; I would not have Glaucia called ‘the excrement of the senate;’ for though there may be a resemblance, yet it is a depraved imagination in both cases that gives rise to such a comparison. I would not have the metaphor grander than the subject requires, as ‘a tempest of revelling;’ nor meaner, as ‘the revelling of the tempest.’ I would not have the metaphorical be of a more confined sense than the proper and peculiar term would have been; as,

          Quidnam est, obsecro, quid te adiri abnutas?60
          Why is it, prythee, that thou nodd’st us back
          From coming to thee?

Vetas, prohibes, absterres, ‘forbid,’ ‘hinder,’ ‘terrify,’ had been better, because he had before said,

                                        Fly quickly hence,61
          Lest my contagion or my shadow fall
          On men of worth.

[165] Also, if you apprehend that the metaphor may appear too harsh, it may frequently be softened by prefixing a word or words to it; as if, in old times, on the death of Marcus Cato, any one had said that the senate was left ‘an orphan,’ the expression had been rather bold; but, ‘so to speak, an orphan,’ is somewhat milder; for a metaphor ought not to be too daring, but of such a nature that it may appear to have been introduced into the place of another expression, not to have sprung into it; to have come in by entreaty, and not by violence. [166] And there is no mode of embellishment more effective as regards single words, nor any that throws a greater lustre upon language; for the ornament that flows from this figure does not consist merely in a single metaphorical word, but may be connected by a continuation of many, so that one thing may be expressed and another understood; as,

                              Nor will I allow
          Myself again to strike the Grecian fleet
          On the same rock and instrument of ruin.62

And this,

          You err, you err, for the strong reins of law
          Shall hold you back, exulting and confiding
          Too much in your own self, and make you bow
          Beneath the yoke of empire.

Something being assumed as similar, the words which are proper to it are metaphorically transferred (as I termed it before) to another subject.

XLII. [167] “This is a great ornament to language, but obscurity is to be avoided in it; for from this figure arise what are called aenigmas. Nor is this rule to be observed in single words only, but in phrases, that is, in a continuation of words. Nor have metonymy and hypallage63 their form from a single word, but from a phrase or sentence; as,

          Grim Afric trembles with an awful tumult;64

where for the Africans is used Afric; not a word newly impounded, as in Mare saxifragis undis, ‘The sea with its rock-breaking waves;’ nor a metaphorical one, as, Mollitur mare, ‘The sea is softened;’ but one proper name exchanged for another, for the sake of embellishment. Thus, ‘Cease, Rome, thy foes to cherish,’ and, ‘The spacious plains are witnesses. This figure contributes exceedingly to the ornament of style, and is frequently to be used; of which kind of expression these are examples: that the Mars, or fortune, of war is common; and to say Ceres, for corn; Bacchus, for wine; Neptune, for the sea; the curia, or house, for the senate; the campus, for the comitia or elections; the gown, for peace; arms or weapons for war. [168] Under this figure, the virtues and vices are used for the persons in whom they are inherent: ‘Luxury has broken into that house;’ or, ‘whither avarice has penetrated;’ or, ‘honesty has prevailed;’ or, ‘justice has triumphed.’ You perceive the whole force of this kind of figure, when, by the variation or change of a word, a thing is expressed more elegantly; and to this figure is closely allied another,65 which, though less ornamental, ought not to be unknown; as when we would have the whole of a thing understood from a part; as we say walls or roof for a whole building; or a part from the whole, as when we call one troop the cavalry of the Roman people; or when we signify the plural by the singular, as,

          But still the Roman, though the affair has been
          Conducted well, is anxious in his heart;66

or when the singular is understood from the plural,

          We that were Rudians once are Romans now;

or in whatever way, by this figure, the sense is to be understood, not as it is expressed, but as it is meant.

XLIII. [169] “We often also put one word catachrestically for another, not with that elegance, indeed, which there is in a metaphor; but, though this is done licentiously, it is sometimes done inoffensively; as when we say a great speech for a long one, a minute soul for a little one.

“But have you perceived that those elegances which arise from the connexion of several metaphors, do not, as I observed,67 lie in one word, but in a series of words? But all those modes of expression which, I said, lay in the change of a word, or are to be understood differently from what is expressed, are in some measure metaphorical. [170] Hence it happens, that all the virtue and merit of single words consists in three particulars: if a word be antique, but such, however, as usage will tolerate; if it be formed by composition, or newly invented, where regard is to be paid to the judgment of the ear and to custom; or if it be used metaphorically; peculiarities which eminently distinguish and brighten language, as with so many stars.

[171] “The composition of words follows next, which principally requires attention to two things; first, collocation, and, next, a certain modulation and form. To collocation it belongs to compose and arrange the words in such a way that their junction may not be rough or gaping, but compact, as it were, and smooth; in reference to which qualities of style, the poet Lucilius, who could do so most elegantly, has expressed himself wittily and sportively in the character of my father-in-law:68

          How elegantly are his words arranged!
          All like square stones inserted skilfully
          In pavements, with vermiculated emblems!

And after saying this in ridicule of Albucius, he does not refrain from touching on me:

          I’ve Crassus for a son-in-law, nor think
          Yourself more of an orator.

What then? this Crassus, of whose name you, Lucilius, make such free use, what does he attempt? The very same thing indeed as Scaevola wished, and as I would wish, but with somewhat better effect than Albucius. But Lucilius spoke jestingly with regard to me, according to his custom. [172] However, such an arrangement of words is to be observed, as that of which I was speaking; such a one as may give a compactness and coherence to the language, and a smooth and equal flow; this you will attain if you join the extremities of the antecedent words to the commencements of those that follow in such a manner that there be no rough clashing in the consonants, nor wide hiatus in the vowels.

XLIV. [173] “Next to diligent attention to this particular, follows modulation and harmonious structure of the words; a point, I fear, that may seem puerile to our friend Catulus here. The ancients, however, imagined in prose a harmony almost like that of poetry; that is, they thought that we ought to adopt a sort of numbers; for they wished that there should be short phrases in speeches, to allow us to recover, and not loss our breath; and that they should be distinguished, not by the marks of transcribers, but according to the modulation of the words and sentences;69 and this practice Isocrates is said to have been the first to introduce, that he might (as his scholar Naucrates writes) ‘confine the rude manner of speaking among those of antiquity within certain numbers, to give pleasure and captivate the ear.’ [174] For musicians, who were also the poets of former ages, contrived these two things as the ministers of pleasure, verse, and song; that they might banish satiety from the sense of hearing by gratification, arising from the numbers of language and the modulation, of notes. These two things, therefore, (I mean the musical management of the voice, and the harmonious structure of words,) should be transferred, they thought, as far as the strictness of prose will admit, from poetry to oratory. [175] On this head it is remarkable, that if a verse is formed by the composition of words in prose, it is a fault; and yet we wish such composition to have a harmonious cadence, roundness, and finish, like verse; nor is there any single quality, out of many, that more distinguishes a true orator from an unskilful and ignorant speaker, than that he who is unpractised pours forth all he can without discrimination, and measures out the periods of his speech, not with art, but by the power of his breath; but the orator clothes his thoughts in such a manner as to comprise them in a flow of numbers, at once confined to measure, yet free from restraint; [176] for, after restricting it to proper modulation and structure, he gives it an ease and freedom by a variety in the flow, so that the words are neither bound by strict laws, as those of verse, nor yet have such a degree of liberty as to wander without control.

XLV. “In what manner, then, shall we pursue so important an object, so as to entertain hopes of being able to acquire this talent of speaking in harmonious numbers? It is not a matter of so much difficulty as it is of necessity; for there is nothing so pliant, nothing so flexible, nothing which will so easily follow whithersoever you incline to lead it, as language; [177] out of which verses are composed; out of which all the variety of poetical numbers; out of which also prose of various modulation and of many different kinds; for there is not one set of words for common discourse, and another for oratorical debate; nor are they taken from one class for daily conversation, and from another for the stage and for display; but, when we have made our selection from those that lie Before us, we form and fashion them at our pleasure like the softest wax. According, therefore, as we ourselves are grave, or subtle, or hold a middle course between both, so the form of our language follows the nature of our thoughts, and is changed and varied to suit every method by which we delight the ear or move the passions of mankind. [178] But as in most things, so in language, Nature herself has wonderfully contrived, that what carries in it the greatest utility, should have at the same time either the most dignity, or, as it often happens, the most beauty. We perceive the very system of the universe and of nature to be constituted with a view to the safety and preservation of the whole; so that the firmament should be round, and the earth in the middle, and that it should be held in its place by its own nature and tendency;70 that the sun should go round, that it should approach to the winter sign,71 and thence gradually ascend to the opposite region; that the moon, by her advance and retreat, should receive the light of the sun; and that the five planets should perform the same revolutions by different motions and courses. [179] This order of things has such force, that, if there were the least alteration in it, they could not possibly subsist together; and such beauty, that no fairer appearance of nature could even be imagined. Turn your thoughts now to the shape and figure of man, or even that of other animals; you will find no part of the body fashioned without some necessary use, and the whole frame perfected as it were by art, not by chance. XLVI. How is it with regard to trees, of which neither the trunk, nor the boughs, nor even the leaves, are formed otherwise than to maintain and preserve their own nature, yet in which there is no part that is not beautiful? [180] Or let us turn from natural objects, and cast our eyes on those of art; what is so necessary in a ship as the sides, the hold,72 the prow, the stern, the yards, the sails, the masts? which yet have so much beauty in their appearance, that they seem to have been invented not for safety only, but also for the delight afforded by the spectacle. Pillars support temples and porticoes, and yet have not more of utility than of dignity. It was not regard to beauty, but necessity, that contrived the cupola of the Capitol, and other buildings; for when a plan was contemplated by which the water might run off from each side of the roof, the dignity of the cupola was added to the utility of the temple; but in such a manner, that should the Capitol be built in heaven, where no rain can fall, it would appear to have no dignity without the cupola. [181] It happens likewise in all parts of language, that a certain agreeableness and grace are attendant on utility, and, I may say, on necessity; for the stoppage of the breath, and the confined play of the lungs, introduced periods and the pointing of words. This invention gives such gratification, that, if unlimited powers of breath were granted to a person, yet we could not wish him to speak without stopping; for the invention of stops is pleasing to the ears ot mankind, and not only tolerable, but easy, to the lungs.

XLVII. [182] “The largest compass of a period, then, is that which can be rounded forth in one breath. This is the bound set by nature; art has other limits; for as there is a great variety of numbers, your favourite Aristotle, Catulus, inclines to banish from oratorical language the frequent use of the iambus and the trochee; which, however, fall of themselves naturally into our common discourse and conversation; but the strokes of time73 in those numbers are remarkable, and the feet short. He therefore principally invites us to the heroic measure, [of the dactyl, the anapaest, and the spondee;]74 in which we may proceed with impunity two feet only, or a little more, lest we plainly fall into verse, or the resemblance of verse;

          Altae | sunt gemi | nae quibus

These three heroic feet fall in gracefully enough with the beginnings of continuations of words. [183] But the paeon is most of all approved by Aristotle; it is of two kinds;75 for it either begins with a long syllable which three short syllables follow, as in these words, desinite, incipite, comprimite; or with a succession of three short syllables, the last being produced and made long, as in these words, domuerant, sonipedes; and it is agreeable to the notions of that philosopher to commence with the former paeon, and to conclude with the latter; and this latter paeon is almost equal, not indeed in the number of the syllables, but by the measure of the ear, which is a more acute and certain method of judgment, to the cretic, which consists of a long, a short, and a long syllable; as in this verse,

          Quid petam praesidi, aut exsequar? Quove nunc?76

With which kind of foot Fannius77 began, Si, Quirites, Minas illius. This Aristotle thinks better adapted to conclusions of periods, which he wishes to be terminated generally by a syllable that is long.

XLVIII. [184] “But these numbers in oratory do not require such sharp-sighted care and diligence as that which must be used by poets, whom necessity compels, as do the very numbers and measures, so to include the words in versification, as that no part may be, even by the least breath,78 shorter or longer than the metre absolutely demands. Prose has a more free scope, and is plainly, as it is called, soluta, unconfined, yet not so that it may fly off or wander without control, but may regulate itself without being absolutely in fetters; for I agree in this particular with Theophrastus, who thinks that style, at least such as is to a certain degree polished and well constructed,79 ought to be numerous, yet not as in confinement, but at ease. [185] For, as he suspects, from those feet of which the common hexameter verse is formed, grew forth afterwards the anapaestic, a longer kind of measure; thence flowed the still more free and rich dithyramb, the members and feet of which, as the same writer observes, are diffused through all style, that is enriched with the distinguishing ornaments of eloquence. And if that is numerous in all sounds and words, which gives certain strokes as it were, and which we can measure by equal intervals, this harmony of numbers, if it be free from sameness, will be justly considered a merit in the oratorical style. Since if perpetual and ever-flowing loquacity, without any pauses, is to be thought rude and unpolished, what other reason is there why it should be disliked, except that Nature herself modulates the voice for the human ear? and this could not be the case unless numbers were inherent in the human voice. [186] But in an uninterrupted continuation of sound there are no numbers; distinction, and strokes at equal or often varied intervals, constitute numbers; which we may remark in the falling of drops of water, because they are distinguished by intervals, but which we cannot observe in the rolling stream of a river. But as this unrestrained composition of words80 is more eligible and harmonious, if it be distinguished into parts and members, than if it be carried on without intermission, those members ought to be measured by a certain rule of proportion; for if those at the end are shorter, the compass as it were of the words is made irregular; the compass,81 I say, for so the Greeks denominate these rounded divisions of style; the subsequent clauses in a sentence, therefore, ought to be equal to the antecedent, the last to the first; or, which has a better and more pleasing effect, of a greater length.

XLIX. [187] “These precepts are given by those philosophers to whom you, Catulus, have the greatest attachment; a remark which I the oftener make, that by referring to my authors, I may avoid the charge of impertinence.” “Of what sort of impertinence?” said Catulus; “or what could be brought before us more elegant than this discussion of yours, or expressed more judiciously?” [188] “But still I am afraid,” said Crassus, “lest these matters should either appear to these youths82 too difficult for study, or lest, as they are not given in the common rules of instruction, I should appear to have an inclination that they should seem of more importance and difficulty than they really are.” Catulus replied, “You are mistaken, Crassus, if you imagine that either I or any of the company expected from you those ordinary or vulgar precepts; what you say is what we wished to be said; and not so much indeed to be said, as to be said in the very manner in which you have said it; nor do I answer for myself only, but for all the rest, without the least hesitation.” [189] “And I,” said Antonius, “have at length discovered such a one as, in the book which I wrote, I said that I had never found, a person of eloquence; but I never interrupted you, not even to pay you a compliment, for this reason, that no part of the short time allotted for your discourse might be diminished by a single word of mine.”

[190] “To this standard, then,” proceeded Crassus, “is your style to be formed, as well by the practice of speaking, as by writing, which contributes a grace and refinement to other excellences, but to this in a more peculiar manner. Nor is this a matter of so much labour as it appears to be; nor are our phrases to be governed by the rigid laws of the cultivators of numbers and music; and the only object for our endeavours is, that our sentences may not be loose or rambling, that they neither stop within too narrow a compass, nor run out too far; that they be distinguished into clauses, and have well-rounded periods. Nor are you to use perpetually this fulness and as it were roundness of language, but a sentence is often to be interrupted by minuter clauses, which very clauses are still to be modulated by numbers. [191] Nor let the paeon or heroic foot give you any alarm; they will naturally come into your phrases; they will, I say, offer themselves, and will answer without being called; only let it be your care and practice, both in writing and speaking, that your sentences be concluded with verbs, and that the junction of those verbs with other words proceed with numbers that are long and free, especially the heroic feet, the first paeon, or the cretic; but let the cadence be varied and diversified; for it is in the conclusion that sameness is chiefly remarked. And if these measures are observed at the beginning and at the conclusion of sentences, the intermediate numbers may be disregarded; only let the compass of your sentence not be shorter than the ear expects, nor longer than your strength and breath will allow.

L. [192] “But I think that the conclusions of periods ought to be studied more carefully than the former parts; because it is chiefly from these that the finish of style is judged; for in a verse, the commencement of it, the middle, and the extremity are equally regarded; and in whatever part it fails, it loses its force; but in a speech, few notice the beginnings, but almost all the closes, of the periods, which, as they are observable and best understood, should be varied, lest they be disapproved, either by the judgment of the understanding or by the satiety of the ear. [193] For the two or three feet towards the conclusion are to be marked and noted, if the preceding members of the sentence were not extremely short and concise; and these last feet ought either to be trochees, or heroic feet, or those feet used alternately, or to consist of the latter paeon, of which Aristotle approves, or, what is equal to it, the cretic. An interchange of such feet will have these good effects, that the audience will not be tired by an offensive sameness, and that we shall not appear to make similar endings on purpose. [194] But if the famous Antipater of Sidon,83 whom you, Catulus, very well remember, used to pour forth extempore hexameter and other verses, in various numbers and measures, and if practice had so much power in a man of great ability and memory, that whenever he turned his ‘thoughts and inclinations upon verse, the words followed of course, how much more easily shall we attain this facility in oratory, when application and exercise are used!

[195] “Nor let any one wonder how the illiterate part of an audience observe these things when they listen to a speech; since, in all other things, as well as in this, the force of nature ia great and extraordinary; for all men, by a kind of tacit sense, without any art or reasoning, can form a judgment of what is right and wrong in art and reasoning; and as they do this with regard to pictures, statues, and other works, for understanding which they have less assistance from nature, so they display this faculty much more in criticising words, numbers, and sounds of language, because these powers are inherent in our common senses, nor has nature intended that any person should be utterly destitute of judgment in these particulars. [196] All people are accordingly moved, not only by words artfully arranged, but also by numbers and the sounds of the voice. How few are those that understand the science of numbers and measures! yet if in these the smallest offence be given by an actor, so that any sound is made too short by contraction, or too long by extension, whole theatres burst into exclamations. Does not the same thing also happen with regard to musical notes, that not only whole sets and bands of musicians are turned out by the multitude and the populace for varying one from another, but even single performers for playing out of tune?

LI. [197] “It is wonderful, when there is a wide interval of distinction betwixt the learned and illiterate in acting, how little difference there is in judging;84 for art, being derived from nature, appears to have effected nothing at all if it does not move and delight nature. And there is nothing which so naturally affects our minds as numbers and the harmony of sounds, by which we are excited, and inflamed, and soothed, and thrown into a state of languor, and often moved to cheerfulness or sorrow; the most exquisite power of which is best suited to poetry and music, and was not, as it seems to me, undervalued by our most learned monarch Numa and our ancestors, (as the stringed and wind instruments at the sacred banquets and the verses of the Salii sufficiently indicate,) but was most cultivated in ancient Greece; [concerning which subjects, and similar ones, I could wish that you had chosen to discourse, rather than about these puerile verbal metaphors!]85 [198] But as the common people notice where there is anything faulty in a verse, so they are sensible of any lameness in our language; but they grant the poet no pardon; to us they show some indulgence; but all tacitly discern that what we have uttered has not its peculiar propriety and finish. The speakers of old, therefore, as we see some do at the present day, when they were unable to complete a circuit and, as it were, roundness of period, (for that is what we have recently begun, indeed, either to effect or attempt,) spoke in clauses consisting of three, or two words, or sometimes uttered only a dingle word at a time; and yet in that infancy of our tongue they understood the natural gratification which the human ears required, and even studied that what they spoke should be expressed in correspondent phrases, and that they should take breath at equal intervals.

LII. [199] “I have now shown, as far as I could, what I deemed most conducive to the embellishment of language; for I have spoken of the merits of single words; I have spoken of them in composition; I have spoken of the harmony of numbers and structure. But if you wish me to speak also of the form and, as it were, complexion of eloquence, there is one sort which has a fulness, but is free from tumour; one which is plain, but not without nerve and vigour; and one which, participating of both these kinds, is commended for a certain middle quality. In each of these three forms there ought to be a peculiar complexion of beauty, not produced by the daubing of paint, but diffused throughout the system by the blood. [200] Then, finally,86 this orator of ours is so to be finished as to his style and thoughts in general, that, as those who study fencing and polite exercises, not only think it necessary to acquire a skill in parrying and striking, but also grace and elegance of motion, so he may use such words as are suited to elegant and graceful composition, and such thoughts as contribute to the impressiveness of language. Words and thoughts are formed in almost innumerable ways; as is, I am sure, well known to you; but betwixt the formation of words and that of thoughts there is this difference, that that of the words is destroyed if you change them, that of the thoughts remains, whatever words you think proper to use. [201] But I think that you ought to be reminded (although, indeed, you act agreeably to what I say) that you should not imagine there is anything else to be done by the orator, at least anything else to produce a striking and admirable effect, than to observe these three rules with regard to single words; to use frequently metaphorical ones, sometimes new ones, and rarely very old ones.

“But with regard to continuous composition, when we have acquired that smoothness of junction and harmony of numbers which I have explained, our whole style of oratory is to be distinguished and frequently interspersed with brilliant lights, as it were, of thoughts and of words. LIII. [202] For the dwelling on a single circumstance has often a considerable effect; and a clear illustration and exhibition of matters to the eye of the audience, almost as if they were transacted before them. This has wonderful influence in giving a representation of any affair, both to illustrate what is represented, and to amplify it, so that the point which we amplify may appear to the audience to be really as great as the powers of our language can represent it. Opposed to this is rapid transition over a thing, which may often be practised. There is also signification that more is to be understood than you have expressed; distinct and concise brevity; and extenuation, and, what borders upon this, ridicule, not very different from that which was the object of Caesar’s instructions; [203] and digression from the subject, and when gratification has thus been afforded, the return to the subject ought to be happy and elegant; proposition of what you are about to say, transition from what has been said, and retrogression; there is repetition; apt conclusion of reasoning; exaggeration, or surpassing of the truth, for the sake of amplification or diminution; interrogation, and, akin to this, as it were, consultation or seeming inquiry, followed by the delivery of your own opinion; and dissimulation, the humour of saying one thing and signifying another, which steals into the minds of men in a peculiar manner, and which is extremely pleasing when it is well managed, not in a vehement strain of language, but if a conversational style; also doubt; and distribution; and correction of yourself, either before or after you have said a thing, or when you repel anything from your self; [204] there is also premunition, with regard to what you are going to prove; there h the transference of Wave to another person; there is communication, or consultation as it were, with the audience before whom you are speaking; imitation of manners and character, either with names of persons or without, which is a great ornament to a speech, and adapted to conciliate the feelings even in the utmost degree, and often also to rouse them; [205] the introduction of fictitious characters, the most heightened figure of exaggeration; there is description; falling into a wilful mistake; excitement of the audience to cheerfulness; anticipation; comparison and example, two figures which have a very great effect; division; interruption; contention;87 suppression; commendation; a certain freedom and even uncontrolledness of language, for the purpose of exaggeration; anger; reproach; promise; deprecation; beseeching; slight deviation from your intended course, but not like digression, which I mentioned before; expurgation; conciliation; attack; wishing; execration. Such are the figures with which thoughts give lustre to a speech.

LIV. [206] “Of words themselves, as of arms, there is a sort of threatening and attack for use, and also a management for grace. For the reiteration of words has sometimes a peculiar force, and sometimes elegance; as well as the variation or deflexion of a word from its common signification; and the frequent repetition of the same word in the beginning, and recurrence to it at the end, of a period; forcible emphasis on the same words; conjunction;88 adjunction;89 progression,90 a sort of distinction as to some word often used; the recal of a word; the use of words, also, which end similarly, or have similar cadences, or which balance one another, or which correspond to one another. [207] There is also a certain gradation, a conversion,91 an elegant exaggeration of the sense of words; there is antithesis, asyndeton, declination92 reprehension,93 exclamation, diminution; the use of the same word in different cases; the referring of what is derived from many particulars to each particular singly; reasoning subservient to jour proposition, and reasoning suited to the order of distribution; concession; and agein another kind of doubt;94 the introduction of something unexpected; enumeration; another correction;95 division; continuation; interruption; imagery; answering your own questions; immutation;96 disjunction; order; relation; digression;97 and circumscription. [208] These are the figures, and others like these, or there may even be more, which adorn language by peculiarities in thought or structure of style.”

LV. “These remarks, Crassus,” said Cotta, “I perceive that you have poured forth to us without any definitions or examples, because you imagined us acquainted with them.” “I did not, indeed,” said Crassus, “suppose that any of the things which I previously mentioned were new to you, but acted merely in obedience to the inclinations of the whole company. [209] But in these particulars the sun yonder admonished me to use brevity, which, hastening to set, compelled me also to throw out these observations almost too hastily. But explanations, and even rules on this head, are common, though the application of them is most important, and the most difficult of anything in the whole study of eloquence.

[210] “Since, then, all the points which relate to all the ornamental parts of oratory are, if not illustrated, at least pointed out, let us now consider what is meant by propriety, that is, what is most becoming, in oratory. It is, however, clear that no single kind of style can be adapted to every cause, or every audience, or every person, or every occasion. [211] For capital causes require one style of speaking, private and inferior causes another; deliberations require one kind of oratory, panegyric another, judicial proceedings another, common conversation another, consolation another, reproof another, disputation another, historical narrative another. It is of consequence also to consider who form the audience, whether the senate, or the people, or the judges; whether it is a large or a small assembly, or a single person, and of what character; it ought to be taken into account, too, who the speakers themselves are, of what age, rank, and authority; and the time also, whether it be one of peace or war, of hurry or leisure. [212] On this head, therefore, no direction seems possible to be given but this, that we adopt a character of style, fuller, plainer, or middling,98 suited to the subject on which we are to speak; the same ornaments we may use almost constantly, but sometimes in a higher, sometimes in a lower strain; and it is the part of art and nature to be able to do what is becoming on every occasion; to know what is becoming, and when, is an affair of judgment.

LVI. [213] “But all these parts of oratory succeed according as they are delivered. Delivery, I say, has the sole and supreme power in oratory; without it, a speaker of the highest mental capacity can be held in no esteem; while one of moderate abilities, with this qualification, may surpass even those of the highest talent. To this Demosthenes is said to have assigned the first place, when he was asked what was the chief requisite in eloquence; to this the second, and to this the third. For this reason, I am wont the more to admire what was said by Aeschiues, who, when he had retired from Athens, on account of the disgrace of having lost his cause, and betaken himself to Rhodes, is reported to have read, at the entreaty of the Rhodians, that excellent oration which he had spoken against Ctesiphon, in opposition to Demosthenes; and when he had concluded it, he was asked to read, next day that also which had been published by Demosthenes on the other side in favour of Ctesiphon; and when he had read this too in a most pleasing and powerful tone of voice, and all expressed their admiration, How much more would you have admired it, said he, if you had heard him deliver it himself! By this remark, he sufficiently indicated how much depends on delivery, as he thought the same speech would appear different if the speaker were changed. [214] What was it in Gracchus, whom you, Catulus, remember better, that was so highly extolled when I was a boy? Whither shall I, unhappy wretch, betake myself? Whither shall I turn? To the Capitol? But that is drenched with the blood of my brother! Or to my home, that I may see my distressed and afflicted mother in all the agony of lamentation? These words, it was allowed, were uttered by him with such delivery, as to countenance, voice, and gesture, that his very enemies could not restrain their tears. I dwell the longer on these particulars, because the orators, who are the deliverers of truth itself, have neglected this whole department, and the players, who are only the imitators of truth, have taken possession of it.

LVII. [215] “In everything, without doubt, truth has the advantage over imitation; and if truth were efficient enough in delivery of itself, we should certainly have no need for the aid of art. But as that emotion of mind, which ought to be chiefly expressed or imitated in delivery, is often so confused as to be obscured and almost overwhelmed, the peculiarities which throw that veil over it are to be set aside, and such as are eminent and conspicuous to be selected. [216] For every emotion of the mind has from nature its own peculiar look, tone, and gesture; and the whole frame of a man, and his whole countenance, and the variations of his voice, sound99 like strings in a musical instrument, just as they are moved by the affections of the mind. For the tones of the voice, like musical chords, are so wound up as to be responsive to every touch, sharp, flat, quick, slow, loud, gentle; and yet, among all these, each in its kind has its own middle tone. From these tones, too, are derived many other sorts, as the rough, the smooth, the contracted, the broad, the protracted, and interrupted; the broken and divided, the attenuated and inflated, with varieties of modulation; [217] for there is none of these, or those that resemble them, which may not be influenced by art and management; and they are presented to the orator, as colours to the painter, to produce variety.

LVIII. “Anger, for instance, assumes a particular tone of voice, acute, vehement, and with frequent breaks:

          My impious brother drives me on, ah wretched!
          To tear my children with my teeth!100

and in those lines which you, Antonius, cited awhile ago:101

          Have you, then, dared to separate him from you?


          Does any one perceive this? Bind him

and almost the whole tragedy of Atreus. But lamentation and bewailing assumes another tone, flexible, full, interrupted, in a voice of sorrow: as,

          Whither shall I now turn myself? what road
          Shall I attempt to tread? Home to my father,
          Or go to Pelias’ daughters?102

and this,

           O father, my country, House of Priam!

and that which follows,

          All these did I behold enwrapt in flames,
          And life from Priam torn by violence.103

[218] Fear has another tone, desponding, hesitating, abject:

          In many ways am I encompass’d round!
          By sickness, exile, want. And terror drives
          All judgment from my breast, deprived of sense!
          One threats my life with torture and destruction,
          And no man has so firm a soul, such boldness,
          But that his blood shrinks backward, and his look
          Grows pale with timid fear.104

[219] Violence has another tone, strained, vehement, impetuous, with a kind of forcible excitement:

          Again Thyestes comes to drag on Atreus:
          Again attacks me, and disturbs my quiet:
          Some greater storm, some greater ill by me
          Must be excited, that I may confound
          And crush his cruel heart.105

Pleasure another, unconstrained, mild, tender, cheerful, languid:

          But when she brought for me the crown design’ d
          To celebrate the nuptials, ‘twas to thee
          She offer’d it, pretending that she gave it
          To grace another; then on thee she placed it
          Sportive, and graceful, and with delicacy.106

Trouble has another tone; a sort of gravity without lamentation; oppressed, as it were, with one heavy uniform sound:

          ‘Twas at the time when Paris wedded Helen
          In lawless nuptials, and when I was pregnant,
          My months being nearly ended for delivery,
          Then, at that very time, did Hecuba
          Bring forth her latest offspring, Polydore.

LIX. [220] “On all those emotions a proper gesture ought to attend; not the gesture of the stage, expressive of mere words, but one showing the whole force and meaning of a passage, not by gesticulation, but by emphatic delivery, by a strong and manly exertion of the lungs, not imitated from the theatre and the players, but rather from the camp and the palaestra. The action of the hand should not be too affected,107 but following the words rather than, as it were, expressing them by mimicry; the arm should be considerably extended, as one of the weapons of oratory; the stamping of the foot should be used only in the most vehement efforts, at their commencement or conclusion. [221] But all depends on the countenance; and even in that the eyes bear sovereign sway; and therefore the oldest of our countrymen showed the more judgment in not applauding even Roscius himself to any great degree when he performed in a mask; for all the powers of action proceed from the mind, and the countenance is the image of the mind, and the eyes are its interpreters. This, indeed, is the only part of the body that can effectually display as infinite a number of significations and changes, as there is of emotions in the soul; nor can any speaker produce the same effect with his eyes shut,108 as with them open. Theophrastus indeed has told us, that a certain Tauriscus used to say, that a player who pronounced his part gazing on any particular object was like one who turned his back on the audience.109 [222] Great care in managing the eyes is therefore necessary; for the appearance of the features is not to be too much varied, lest we fall into some absurdity or distortion. It is the eyes, by whose intense or languid gaze, as well as by their quick glances and gaiety, we indicate the workings of our mind with a peculiar aptitude to the tenor of our discourse; for action is, as it were, the speech of the body, and ought therefore the more to accord with that of the soul. And Nature has given eyes to us, to declare our internal emotions, as she has bestowed a mane, tail, and ears on the horse and the lion. [223] For these reasons, in our oratorical action, the countenance is next in power to the voice, and is influenced by the motion of the eyes. But in everything appertaining to action there is a certain force bestowed by Nature herself; and it is by action accordingly that the illiterate, the vulgar, and even barbarians themselves, are principally moved. For words move none but those who are associated in a participation of the same language; and sensible thoughts often escape the understandings of senseless men; but action, which by its own powers displays the movements of the soul, affects all mankind; for the minds of all men are excited by the same emotions, which they recognise in others, and indicate in themselves, by the same tokens.

LX. [224] “To effectiveness and excellence in delivery the voice doubtless contributes most; the voice, I say, which, in its full strength, must be the chief object of our wishes; and next, whatever strength of voice we have, to cherish it. On this point, how we are to assist the voice has nothing to do with precepts of this kind, though, for my part, I think that we should assist it to the utmost. But it seems not unsuitable to the pin-port of my present remarks, to observe, as I observed a little while ago, ‘that in most things what ia most useful is, I know not how, the most becoming;’ for nothing is more useful for securing power of voice, than the frequent variation of it; nothing more pernicious than an immoderate straining of it without intermission. [225] And what is more adapted to delight the ear, and produce agreeableness of delivery, than change, variety, and alteration of tone? Caius Gracchus, accordingly, (as you may hear, Catulus, from your client Licinius, a man of letters, whom Gracchus formerly had for his amanuensis,) used to have a skilful person with an ivory pitch-pipe, to stand concealed behind him when he made a speech, and who was in an instant to sound such a note as might either excite him from too languid a tone, or recal him from one too elevated.” “I have heard this before,” said Catulus, “and have often admired the diligence of that great man, as well as his learning and knowledge.” [226] “And I, too,” said Crassus; “and am grieved that men of such talents should fall into such miscarriages with regard to the commonwealth; although the same web is still being woven;110 and such a state of manners is advancing in the country, and held out to posterity, that we now desire to have citizens such as our fathers would not tolerate.” “Forbear, Crassus, I entreat you,” interposed Caesar, “from this sort of conversation, and go back to Gracchus’s pitch-pipe, of which I do not yet clearly understand the object.”

LXI. [227] “There is in every voice,” continued Crassus, “a certain middle key; but in each particular voice that key is peculiar. For the voice to ascend gradually from this key is advantageous and pleasing; since to bawl at the beginning of a speech is boorish, and gradation is salutary in strengthening the voice. There is also a certain extreme in the highest pitch, (which, however, is lower than the shrillest cry,) to which the pipe will not allow you to ascend, but will recal you from too strained an effort of voice. There is also, on the other hand, an extreme in the lowest notes, to which, as being of a full sound, we by degrees descend. This variety and this gradual progression of the voice throughout all the notes, will preserve its powers, and add agreeableness to delivery. But you will leave the piper at home, and carry with you into the forum merely the intention of the custom.

[228] “I have said what I could, though not as I wished, but as the shortness of the time obliged me; for it is wise to lay the blame upon the time, when you cannot add more even if you desired.” “But,” said Catulus, “you have, as far as I can judge, brought together everything upon the subject, and that in so excellent a manner, that you seem not to have received instructions in the art from the Greeks, but to be able to instruct the Greeks themselves. I rejoice that I have been present at your conversation; and could wish that my son-in-law, your friend Hortensius,111 had also been present; who, I trust, will excel in all those good qualities of which you have treated in this dissertation.” [229] “Will excel!” exclaimed Crassus; “I consider that he already excels. I had that opinion of him when he pleaded, in my consulship, the cause of Africa112 in the senate; and I found myself still more confirmed in it lately, when he spoke for the king of Bithynia. You judge rightly, therefore, Catulus; for I am convinced that nothing is wanting to that young man, on the part either of nature or of learning. [230] You, therefore, Cotta, and you, Sulpicius, must exert the greater vigilance and industry; for he is no ordinary orator, who is springing up to rival those of your age; but one of a penetrating genius, and an ardent attachment to study, of eminent learning, and of singular powers of memory; but, though he is a favourite of mine, I only wish him to excel those of his own standing; for to desire that he, who is so much younger,113 should outstrip you, is hardly fair. But let us now arise, and refresh ourselves, and at length relieve our minds and attention from this fatiguing discussion.”


1 Which accompanied the public games. Compare i. 7.
2 Pignoribus ablatis. The senators and others were obliged to attend the senate when they were summoned, and to be submissive to the superior magistrates, or they might be punished by fine and distraint of their property. See Livy, iii. 38; xliii. 16; Plin. Ep. iv. 29; Cic. Phil. i. 5; Suet. Jul. c. 17; Adam’s Roman Antiquities, p. 2.
3 His daughter Licinia was married to Publius Scipio, the grandson of Serapion, who was instrumental in the death of Tiberius Gracchus. Cic. Brut 58. Ellendt.
4 Perspicuity.
5 This seems to be speaking rather too lightly of the merit of perspicuity, which Quintilian pronounces the chief virtue of language.
6 The Asiatic Greeks.
7 Those who are born at Rome apply themselves to the liberal sciences leas than the rest of the people of Latium. Proust.
8 See Brut. c. 46.
9 The daughter of Caius Laclius Sapiens, who was married to Quintus Mucius Scaevola, the augur. See Brut. c. 58; Quint, i. 1. 6. Ellendt.
10 See ii. 21; Brut. c. 55.
11 See ii. 22.
12 See i. 39; Brut. c. 57, 62, 90. Ellndt.
13 Antonius and Catulus.
14 Odiosiora. Auditoribus odiosiora. Schutz.
15 Ironically.
16 Qui illum a se adolescente Athenis iam affectum senectute multos dies auditum esse dicebat. “Who said that he had been heard by him when a young man for many days at Athens (where he was) now affected with old age.”
17 Ex communi sapientium iugo. I read sapientiae with Ellendt. It is a comparison, as he observes, of Socrates to a hill.
18 See Liv. xxxiii. 42.
19 Carbo. See note on i. 10.
20 The same that speaks, in the dialogue De Natura Devrum, on the tenets of the Epicureans.
21 One Balbus is a speaker in the De Nat. Deorum, on the doctrines of the Stoics. The other, says Ellendt, is supposed to be the lawyer who is mentioned by Cicero, Brut. c. 42, and who was the master of Servius Sulpicius. Of Vigellius nothing is known.
22 See i. 20. He jokes on the name of Corax, which signifies a crow.
23 Pamphilum nescio quem. Some suppose him to be the painter that is mentioned as the instructor of Apelles by Pliny, H. N”. xxxv. 36. 8. He seems, whoever he was, to have given some fanciful map-like view of the rules of rhetoric. But it is not intimated by Pliny that the Pamphilus of whom he speaks was, though a learned painter, anything more than a painter. A Pamphilus is mentioned by Quintilian, iii. 6. 34; xii. 10. 6; and by Aristotle, Rhet. ii. 23. By infulae in the text, which I have rendered “flags,” Ellendt supposes that something similar to our printed cotton handkerchiefs, or flags hung out at booths at fairs, is meant. Talaeus thinks that the tables of rules might have been called infulae in ridicule, from their shape.
24 Such “disagreeable and troublesome bawlers,” as those from the nest of Corax just mentioned. Ernesti.
25 See note on ii. 80.
26 This name was introduced on the conjecture of Victorias. Previously the passage was unintelligible.
27 Of Valerius and Furius nothing is known. Ellendt.
28 Cic. Tusc. Quaest. iv. 2; Fin. iv. 9.
29 See ii. 37.
30 Titius is mentioned ii. 62. Of Brulla nothing is known. Ellendt.
31 Apparatu. In allusion, says Petavius, to the shows given by the aediles.
32 Ad annum. That of his aedileship. Ernesti.
33 The Greek rhetoricians. Pearce.
34 Quintilian refers to this passage, ii. 4. 42. [...] The edict of the censors Crassus and Ahenobarbus, which was marked by all the ancient severity, is preserved in Aul. Gell. xv. 11; and Suetonius, De Clar. Rhet. proeem. Crassus intimates that that class of men sprung up again after his edict; for the censors had not such power that their mere prohibitions could continue in force after their term of office was expired. Ellendt.
35 In ornatu. The arrangement of such ornaments as were displayed at games and festivals.
36 Falsae. Fractae et molliores. Ernesti.
37 Aesopus, as I suppose. Ellendt; who observes that the verses art from the Andromache of Ennius. See c. 47, 58; Tusc. Disp. iii. 19.
38 B. ii. c. 84.
39 B ii. c. 10.
40 The Academic and Peripatetic; see iii. 17, 18. Proust.
41 Those who taught forensic eloquence. Proust.
42 The philosophers.
43 From the Academy, and the gymnasia in the suburbs of Athens. Ellendt.
44 Consultatio. See Cic. Part. Orat. i. 18, 20.
45 A ceremony by which a claim to a possession was made. See Gaius, iv. 17.
46 Lacinia. Like persons who scarcely keep their hold of a thing. Ellendt.
47 Philo of Larissa, called by some the founder of a fourth Academy, was a hearer of Clitomachus, Acad. ii. 6. He fled to Rome, with many of the chief men of Athens, in the Mithridatic war, when Cicero, then a young man, attended diligently to his instructions. Brut. 89; Plut. Cic. c. 3. He sometimes gave instructions in rhetoric, sometimes in philosophy, as appears from Tusc. Disp. ii. 3. Henrichsen.
48 See Plato, Hipp. Min. p. 231 G.
49 Gorgias, in the Dialogue of Plato, undertakes the defence of oratory against Socrates, whom Plato represents as maintaining the dignity of philosophy. Gorgias is vanquished by Socrates. Proust.
50 For, except Metellus Numidicus and Marius, no one in those days had gained any great reputation by his conduct in the field.
51 Quod est coniunctum. That is, “conjunctum cum iure civili.” Proust. What Cicero says here is somewhat at variance with what he says, DeLegg. ii. 19, where he shows, at some length, that only a small part of the civil law is necessary to be combined with the knowledge of the pontifical law. Ellendt.
52 The words in brackets, says Ellendt, are certainly spurious, for they could not possibly have been written by Cicero. In the original, quod ipse, &c., ipse necessarily refers to Aristotle, of whom what is here said could, never have been true.
53 The Philoctetes of Euripides, as is generally supposed.
54 All the editions retain ille senius, though universally acknowledged to be corrupt. The conjecture of Turnebus, ille Ennius, has found most favour; that of Orellius, ullud Ennii, is approved by Ellendt. That the words di genitales were used by Ennius appears from Servius on Virg Aen . vi. 764.
55 From Pacuvius. See Cic. Divin. i. 14.
56 See Smith’s Dict. of Gr. and Rom. Ant., art. Nexum.
57 Divortium, in its proper sense, denoted the separation of roads or waters.
58 In his tragedy of Hecuba, as is supposed by Hermann, ad Eurip. Hec. p. 167. See Varro, L. L. v. p. 8.
59 Supposed by Bothe, Trag. Lat. Fragm. p. 278, to be from the Niptra of Pacuvius. See Cic. Quaest. Acad. ii. 28.
60 From the Thyestes of Ennius. Cic. Tusc. iii. 12.
61 Orellius’s text has istim, which is considered to be the same as istinc. See Victorius ad Cic. Ep. ad Div. vi. 6.
62 Whence this and the following quotation are taken is uncertain.
63 Traductio atque immutatio. See Cic. Orat. 27; Quint, viii. 6. ix. 3; infra, c. 43, 54.
64 Prom the Annals of Ennius. See Cic. Ep. ad Div. ix. 7; Orat. 27 Fostus v. metonymia.
65 Synecdoche.
66 This quotation and the following are from the Annals of Ennius.
67 C.41.
68 Mucius Scaevola. He accused Albucius of extortion.
69 Ellendt aptly refers to Cic. Orat. c. 68; Aristotle, Rhet. iii. 8. 6.
70 Nutu. Compare Cic. De Nat. Deor. ii. 39. Ellendt thinks that by nut us is meant something similar to our centripetal force.
71 Brumae signum. The tropic of Capricorn. De Nat. Deor. iii. 14.
72 Cavernae. Some editions have carinae, and Lambinus reads carina. If we retain cavernae, it is not easy to say exactly in what sense it should be taken. Servius, on Virgil, Aen. ii. 19, observes that the fustes curvos navium, quibus extrinsecus fabulae affiguntur, were called cavernae; but in this sense, as Ellendt observes, it is much the same with latera, which precedes. Ellendt himself, therefore, inclines to take it in the sense of cavitas alvei, “hold “or “keel,” which, as it is divided into parts, may, he thinks, be expressed in the plural number.
73 Percussiones. The ictus metrici; so called, because the musician, in beating time, struck the ground with his foot. In a senarius he struck the ground three times, once for every two feet; whence there were said to be in such a verse three ictus or percussiones. But on pronouncing those syllables, at which the musician struck the ground, the actor raised his voice; and hence percussio was in Greek &pais, and the raised or accented syllables were said to be en arsei, the others being said to be in thesei. See Bentley de Metr. Terentian iAiit. Ernesti.
74 Madvig and Ellendt justly regard the words in brackets as spurious. I follow those critics also in reading Altae sunt geminae quibus, though, as Ellendt observes, Atlae ought very likely to be Arae. Alice, which is in most editions, made the passage utterly inexplicable, though Ernesti, Strebaeus, and others did what they could to put some meaning into it.
75 The first and fourth only are meant.
76 C. 26; where Pearce observes that they are the words of Andromache in Ennius, according to Bentley on Tusc. Disp. iii. 19.
77 Caius Fannius Strabo, who was consul A.U.C. 632. He left one speech against Caius Gracchus: Cic. Brut. c. 26.
78 Ne spiritu quidem minimo.
79 Facta. That is, carefully laboured. See Brut. o. 8. Ellendt.
80 Continuatio verborum soluta. See above, near the beginning of this chapter, oratio vere soluta.
81 Ambitus. The Greek word is periodos. See Orat. c. 61.
82 Cotta and Sulpicius.
83 Some of whose epigrams are to be seen in the Greek Anthology He flourished about 100 B.C.
84 See Cic. Brut. c. 49.
85 The words in brackets are condemned is spurious by all the recent editors.
86 Tum denique. Ellendt incloses tum in brackets, and thinks that much of the language of the rest of the chapter is confused and incorrect. The words ut ii, qui in armorum tractatione versantur, which occur a little below, and which are generally condemned, are not translated.
87 Contentio. This is doubtless some species of comparison; there is no allusion to it in the Orator. See ad Herenn. iv. 45. Ellendt.
88 Concursio. The writer ad Herenn. iv. 14, calls this figure traductio; the Greeks sumploke. Ellendt.
89 Adiunctio. It appears to be that which Quintilian (ix. 3) calls sunezeugmenon, where several words are connected with the same verb. Ellendt.
90 What progressio is, no critic has been able to inform us, nor is there any notice of it in any other writer on rhetoric. I see no mode of explaining the passage, unless we take adiunctio and progressio together, and suppose them to signify that the speech proceeds with several words in conjunction. Ellendt.
91 An antithetic position of words, as esse ut vivas, non vivere ut edas. Ellendt.
92 Declinatio. Called antimetabole by Quintilian, ix. 3. 85.
93 Reprehensio. Aphorismos or diorismos. Jul. Rufin. p. 207. Compare Quintil. ix. 2. 18; Ern. p. 332. Ellendt.
94 How this kind of doubt differs from that which is mentioned in the preceding chapter, among the figures of thought, it is not easy to say. Ellendt.
95 Correctio verbi. Different from that which is mentioned above, in tho middle of c. 53. Ellendt.
96 Called alloiosis by Quintilian, ix. 3. 92. Ellendt.
97 Digression has been twice mentioned before. Strebaeus supposes it to be similar to metabasis or apostrophe. I have no doubt that the word ought to be ejected. Circumscription Quintilian himself could not understand, and has excluded it from his catalogue of figures (ix. 3. 91). Ellendt. Most of the figures enumerated in this chapter are illustrated by the writer ad Herennium, b. iv., and by Quintilian, b. ix.
98 Compare c. 52 init.
99 Sonant. As this word does not properly apply to vultus, the countenance, Schutz would make some alteration in the text. But Mueller and others observe that such a zeugma is not uncommon.
100 From the Atreus of Accius, whence also the next quotation but one is taken. See Tusc. Quaest. iv. 36.
101 See ii. 46.
102 From the Medea of Ennius.
103 From the Andromache of Ennius. See Tusc. Quaest. i. 35; iii. 19.
104 From the Alcmaeon of Ennius.
105 Prom the Atreus of Accius. See Tusc. Quaest, iii. 36; De Nat Deor. iii. 20.
106 Whence this and the next quotation are taken is unknown.
107 Arguta. Argutiae digitorum. Orat. c. 18. Manus inter agendum argutae admodum et gestuosae. Aul. Gell. i. 5.
108 I follow Ellendt in reading connivens, instead of contuens, the common reading, which Orellius retains.
109 Aversum. “Qui stet aversus a theatro. et spectatoribus tergum obvertat.” Schutz. Of Tauriscus nothing is known.
110 As to the state of the republic at that time, see i. 7 Ellendt,
111 The orator afterwards so famous.
112 He pleaded this cause, observes Ellendt, at the age of nineteen; but the nature of it, as well as that of the king of Bithynia, is unknown.
113 He was ten years younger than Cotta and Sulpicius. Brut. c. 88 Ellendt.