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tire, deliberative, and judicial. In Cicero's oration for the Manilian law, this is the main point in dispute between him and those who opposed that law: Whether Pompey was the fittest person to be intrusted with the management of the war against Mithridates? This is a subject of the deliberative kind. And of the same nature was that debate in the senate concerning the demolition of Carthage. For the mat. ter in dispute between Cato, who argued for it, and those who were of the contrary opinion, seems to have been this: Whether it was for the interest of the Romans to demolish Carthage.
As to the number of these states, both Cicero and Quintilian reduce them to three. I shall recite. Quintilian's reason which he gives for this opinion. We must, says he, agree with those whose authority Cicero follows, who tell us that three things may be. inquired into in all disputes ; whether a thing is, what it is, and how it is. And this is the method which nature prescribes. For in the first place it is necessary the thing should exist, about which the dispute is: because no judgment can be made either of its nature or quality till its existence be ma, nifest; which is therefore the first question. But though it be manifest that a thing is, it does not presently appear what it is; and when this is known, the quality yet remains : and after these three are settled, no further inquiry is necessary. Thus far Quintilian. Now the first of these three states is called the conjectural state; as if it be inquired, Whether one person killed another. This always follows upon the denial of a fact by one of the parties, as was the case of
Roscius. And it receives its name from hence, that the judge is left, as it were, to conjecture whether the fact was really committed or not, from the evidence produced on the other side. The second is called the definitive state, when the fact is not denied, but the dispute turns upon the nature of it, and what name is proper to give it; as in that example of Cicero: Whether to take a sacred thing out of a private house be theft or sacrilege? For in this case it is necessary to settle the distinct notion of those two crimes, and show their difference. The third is called the state of quality, when the contending parties are agreed both as to the fact, and the nature of it; but the dispute is: Whether it be just or unjust, profitable or unprofitable, and the like: as in the cause of Milo. Aristotle, and from him Vossius, add a fourth state, namely of quantity, as; Whether an injury be so great as it is said to be. But Quintilian thinks this may be referred to some or other of the preceding states; since it depends upon the circumstances of the fact, as the intention, time, place, or the like.
From what has been said upon this subject, the use of it may in a good measure appear. For whoever engages in a controversy ought in the first place to consider with himself the main question in dispute, to fix it well in his mind, and keep it constantly in his view; without which he will be very liable to ramble from the point, and bewilder both himself and his hearers. And it is no less the business of the hearers principally to attend to this; by which means they will be helped to distinguish and separate from the principal question what is only incidental, and
to observe how far the principal question is affected by it ; to perceive what is offered in proof, and what is only brought in for illustration; not to be misled by digressions, but to discern when the speaker goes off from his subject, and when he returns to it again; and, in a word, to accompany him through the whole discourse, and carry with them the principal chain of reasoning upon which the cause depends, so as to judge upon the whole whether he has made out his point, and the conclusion follows from the premises. The necessity of this is generally the greater in proportion to the length of a discourse, however exact and artful the composition may be. They, who have read Cicero's orations with care, cannot but know, that although they are formed in the most beautiful manner, and wrought up with the greatest skill, yet the mat. ter of them is often so copious, the arguments so numerous, the incidents either to conciliate or move his audience so frequent, and the digressions so agreeable, that without the closest attention it is many times no easy matter to keep his main design in view. A constant and fixed regard therefore to the state of the cause and principal point in dispute is highly necessary to this end. But though rhetoricians treat of these states only as they relate to controversies, and become the subject matter of dispute between differing parties, yet every discourse has one or more principal heads, which the speaker chiefly proposes to prove or illustrate. And therefore what has been said upon this subject may likewise be considered as proper to be attended to in all discourses.
I have only to add, that hitherto I have treated of the nature and use of the three states so far as relates to them in general; a more particular account of them, with the arguments which are properly suited to each state, will be next considered. Of Arguments suited to demonstrative
Discourses. The general method of deducing Arguments from Common Places has been already explained. But more fully to show the use of this subject, and the assistance it affords the orator, it may not be improper separately to consider the particular heads which are more especially suited to the several kinds of discourses. These are subordinate to the former, and spring from them like branches from the same stock, or rivulets from a common fountain; as will evidently appear when we come to explain them.
This is what I propose to enter upon at present, and shall begin with those which relate to demonstrative discourses. And as these consist either in praise or dispraise, agreeably to the nature of all contraries, one of them will serve to illustrate the other. Thus he who knows what Arguments are proper to prove the excellency of virtue, and commend it to our esteem, cannot be much at a loss for such as will show the odious nature of vice, and expose it to every one's abhorrence; since they are all taken from the same heads, and directly the reverse of each other. In treating therefore upon the topics suited to this kind of discourses, I need only mention those which are requisite for praise ; from whence such as are proper for dispraise will easily enough be discovered.
Now we praise either persons or things : un: der which division all beings with their properties and circumstances may be comprehended, so as to take in whatever belongs either to nature or art. But in each part of the division I shall confine my discourse principally to those subjects relating to social life, in which oratory is more usually conversant. And under the former head which respects, persons or intelligent beings, I shall only speak of men. The ancient sophists among the Greeks in their laudatory speeches seem rather to have studied how to display their own eloquence, than to make them serve any valuable purposes in life ; for their characters were so heightened, like poetical images, as suited them more to excite wonder and surprise than to become the proper subjects of imitation. And for this reason Aris: totle excludes them from the number or civil discourses, or such as relate to the affairs of society. Though if we consider their natuse rather than the abuse of them, they appear to be very proper subjects for an orator, and to come within the main design of his province, which is persuasion. For to what purpose can eloquence be better employed than to celebrate virtuous persons or actions, in such a manner as to excite mankind to their imitation, which is the proper end of such discourses. And, indeed, the pane. gyrics of the Greeks, which were pronounced in the general assemblies of their several states, seem to have been designed to recommend virtue by so public a testimony, as appears by that of Isocrates in the praise of the Athenians. For as to the invectives of Demosthenes against king Philip, they are rather of the deliberative kind,