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BOOK with regard to this latter proposition or premise only, and without hinting at the former, pass immediately to the conclusion. Thus Socrates argued with Melitus, who accused him of denying the gods. "Do I acknowledge, Melitus! that there are such beings as dæmons?” "Granted." "And are not dæmons either gods, or the offspring of gods?" "Allowed." "How, then, is it possible to believe that there are children of the gods, without believing the existence of the gods themselves ?" 133
A third opportunity for interrogation is, when the adversary will be obliged to answer some. thing contradictory to what he has before said, or to oppose some universally received truth. 134 A fourth is, when a question may naturally be asked, which cannot be answered directly, and in few words, but with so many distinctions, or in so circuitous a manner, as will give to the answer an appearance of artifice and sophistry. For too great a demand must not be made on the patience of hearers. They will immediately cry out against those who hesitate and enter into nice distinctions, instead of being ready in their answers.
Ho to meet and
Except in the four cases just mentioned, defeat in- interrogation is interrogation is rather a dangerous expedient; for, should the respondent be firm and quick in his first answers, the weakness and impatience
133 The evident proposition not hinted at, is that children imply parents; more generally, than correlatives imply the existence of each other.
134 See the note on case first.
of the judges will not allow new interrogatories CHAP. to be put to him he will have foiled and repelled the assaults of his adversary, and will naturally be considered as victorious in the contest. This weakness of capacity, indeed, and of temper, in the audience, ought to be kept in mind by the orator in all parts of his discourse his arguments, therefore, must be compressed, as much as perspicuity will allow; and the form of them perpetually varied, since one form or mode of argumentation will strike and persuade when another has proved altogether ineffectual. To meet equivocal and captious interrogatories without falling into contradiction, attention must be given to make the distinctions required by the state of the question, before the adversary can draw any conclusion to your disadvantage. Your answers, therefore, must not be concise and general, but ample and particular, so as to include the solution of the difficulty in which the adversary would involve you; for, with a little attention, you may easily perceive his drift.
The whole of this doctrine has been explained The danin our "Topics," to which we refer 135, subjoin- ger of ining only, that should the conclusion, which, tion after from former concessions, might be drawn against sion has us, be converted into a new question, we shall been thus regain an opportunity of making such an our favour. answer as will foil the antagonist. Thus when Sophocles was asked by Peisander, whether he
135 See Topics, Book VIII.
BOOK did not agree with his fellow-delegates in establishing the government of the Four Hundred? he answered in the affirmative. Being further asked, whether this measure was not fraught with mischief? he allowed it. "But did not you concur in this evil measure ?" "I did, because nothing better was to be done." In the same manner the Lacedæmonian replied, when standing trial for his mal-administration as one of the Ephori. He was asked whether his colleagues, who had previously been condemned and punished, did not appear to him to have met with their deserts? he answered affirmatively. Being farther asked, whether he had not concurred in the same obnoxious measures? he acknowledged it. But when instead of coming directly to the conclusion against him, the accuser again asked, whether he ought not to suffer the same punishment with his colleagues? he answered, " No; for they were corrupted by bribes, but I acted according to the dictates of my own judgment, believing the things done to be right." As the conclusion is the end in view, when that is attained, no further interrogatories should be put; nor can the conclusion itself be ever safely converted into a question, unless when we are sure of victory through the superabundant merits of our
Ridicule 136 appears to be of a certain use in
136 The chapter De Ridiculis no longer exists among the fragments composing the Art of Poetry. The subject, however, is treated on Aristotle's principles, by Cicero, l. ii. De Orator.; by Quintilian, 1. vi. Institut.; and by Demetrius Phalereus, or rather Dionysius Halicarn. de Elocut.
debate; and Gorgias said rightly, that serious CHAP. arguments should be met by ridicule, as ridiculous ones by seriousness. But of the ridiculous, and its different kinds, we have treated in our "Poetics." Some of these kinds only are tolerable in a man of education and character; the rest are beneath him. Irony is more liberal than buffoonery, because irony is exercised for our own amusement, but buffoonery is directed to the gratification of others, for whose sakes we submit to play the fool, in order, thereby, to excite their laughter.
THE epilogue, or conclusion, is composed of CHAP. four parts, and directed to four objects. The first is to render the audience favourably dis- The epiposed towards ourselves, and the contrary conclulogue or towards our adversary. The second is, to aug- sion; its four parts, ment or diminish: to enhance the merit of our and the own proceedings, to depreciate those of our opponent; to extenuate the wrongs which we have done, to aggravate those which we have suffered. The third is to work on the passions of the hearer and the fourth, to impress on his memory those points which the interest of our cause requires him to remember. All
ese matters follow naturally upon the preceding parts of the discourse; the narrative and the proof. For, after having stated the facts, and substantiated them by argument, it is natural to assume to ourselves the praise to which our own conduct may be entitled, and to load our adversary with the blame which his unwor
BOOK thy behaviour may deserve; and to fortify and brighten 17 both these points by every topic that ingenuity can suggest. To have done this will conciliate the judges to ourselves, and alienate them from our opponent; for there are but two ways in which we can excite their good will; we must show that our intentions and actions have been such as to merit either the general praise of mankind, or at least the particular favour and approbation of those whom we address. The direct contrary of this must be shown with regard to the adversary: and the topics which are to be employed for effecting all of these purposes, have been explained in preceding parts of this work. After having established the facts in question, it naturally follows to enlarge and magnify them ; for as the enlargement of natural bodies must proceed from that of their pre-existent parts, so it is from expatiating on things previously said and proved in discourse, that we must either amplify our own merits, or aggravate the demerits of our opponents. With the topics for thus enlarging and magnifying, the reader has been already furnished, as well as with those of a contrary nature but of the same tendency; for extenuating our own misconduct, or depreciating the good conduct of an adversary. When the facts have been proved, their moral qualities ascertained. and their importance, by due exertions of skill, impressed and heightened, then is the time for