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1. There are three things which require special attention in regard to speech: first, the sources of proofs; secondly, style; and thirdly, the arrangement of the parts of the speech. We have already spoken of proofs and stated that they are three in number, what is their nature, and why there are only three; for in all cases persuasion is the result either of the judges themselves being affected in a certain manner, or because they consider the speakers to be of a certain character, or because something has been demonstrated. We have also stated the sources from which enthymemes should be derived—some of them being special, the others general commonplaces.

[2] We have therefore next to speak of style; for it is not sufficient to know what one ought to say, but one must also know how to say it, and this largely contributes to making the speech appear of a certain character. [3] In the first place, following the natural order, we investigated that which first presented itself—what gives things themselves their persuasiveness;
in the second place, their arrangement by style; and in the third place, delivery, which is of the greatest importance but has not yet been treated of by anyone. In fact, it only made its appearance late in tragedy and rhapsody, for at first the poets themselves acted their tragedies.1 It is clear, therefore, that there is something of the sort in rhetoric as well as in poetry, and it has been dealt with by Glaucon of Teos among others. [4] Now delivery is a matter of voice, as to the mode in which it should be used for each particular emotion; when it should be loud, when low, when intermediate; and how the tones, that is, shrill, deep, and intermediate, should be used; and what rhythms are adapted to each subject. For there are three qualities that are considered,—volume, harmony, rhythm. Those who use these properly nearly always carry off the prizes in dramatic contests, and as at the present day actors have greater influence on the stage than the poets, it is the same In political2 contests, owing to the corruptness of our forms of government. [5] But no treatise has yet been composed on delivery, since the matter of style itself only lately came into notice;
and rightly considered it is thought vulgar.3 But since the whole business of Rhetoric is to influence opinion,4 we must pay attention to it, not as being right, but necessary; for, as a matter of right, one should aim at nothing more in a speech than how to avoid exciting pain or pleasure. For justice should consist in fighting the case with the facts alone, so that everything else that is beside demonstration is superfluous; nevertheless, as we have just said, it is of great importance owing to the corruption of the hearer. [6] However, in every system of instruction there is some slight necessity to pay attention to style; for it does make a difference, for the purpose of making a thing clear, to speak in this or that manner; still, the difference is not so very great, but all these things5 are mere outward show for pleasing the hearer; wherefore no one teaches geometry in this way.

[7] Now, when delivery comes into fashion, it will have the same effect as acting. Some writers have attempted to say a few words about it, as Thrasymachus, in his Eleoi6; and in fact, a gift for acting is a natural talent and depends less upon art, but in regard to style it is artificial. Wherefore people who excel in this in their turn obtain prizes, just as orators who excel in delivery; for written speeches owe their effect not so much to the sense as to the style.

[8] The poets, as was natural, were the first to give an impulse to style; for words are imitations, and the voice also, which of all our parts is best adapted for imitation, was ready to hand; thus the arts of the rhapsodists, actors, and others, were fashioned. [9] And as the poets, although their utterances were devoid of sense, appeared to have gained their reputation through their style, it was a poetical style that first came into being, as that of Gorgias.7 Even now the majority of the uneducated think that such persons express themselves most beautifully, whereas this is not the case, for the style of prose is not the same as that of poetry. And the result proves it; for even the writers of tragedies do not employ it in the same manner, but as they have changed from the tetrametric to the iambic meter, because the latter, of all other meters, most nearly resembles prose, they have in like manner discarded all such words as differ from those of ordinary conversation, with which the early poets used to adorn their writings, and which even now are employed by the writers of hexameters. It is therefore ridiculous to imitate those who no longer employ that manner of writing. [10] Consequently, it is evident that we need not enter too precisely into all questions of style, but only those which concern such a style as we are discussing. As for the other kind of style,8 it has already been treated in the Poetics.

1 Since the authors of tragedies acted their own plays, there was no need for professional actors, nor for instruction in the art of delivery or acting. This explains why no attempt had been made to deal with the question. Similarly, the rhapsodists (reciters of epic poems) were at first as a rule the composers of the poems themselves.

2 In the law courts and public assembly.

3 Cope prefers: “is thought vulgar, and rightly so considered.”

4 Or, “is concerned with appearance.”

5 i.e. style, delivery, and acting, which are of no use to serious students.

6 A treatise on Pathos.

7 Of Leontini in Sicily, Greek sophist and rhetorician (see Introduction).

8 i.e. the poetic style. See Aristot. Poet. 22, where the choice of words and the extent to which out-of-the-way words and phrases may be used in poetry is discussed.

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