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12. But we must not lose sight of the fact that a different style is suitable to each kind of Rhetoric. That of written compositions is not the same as that of debate; nor, in the latter, is that of public speaking the same as that of the law courts. But it is necessary to be acquainted with both; for the one requires a knowledge of good Greek, while the other prevents the necessity of keeping silent when we wish to communicate something to others, which happens to those who do not know how to write. [2] The style of written compositions is most precise, that of debate is most suitable for delivery. Of the latter there are two kinds, ethical and emotional; this is why actors are always running after plays of this character, and poets after suitable actors. However, poets whose works are only meant for reading are also popular, as Chaeremon, who is as precise as a writer of speeches, and Licymnius1 among dithyrambic poets. When compared, the speeches of writers appear meagre in public debates, while those of the rhetoricians, however well delivered, are amateurish when read. The reason is that they are only suitable to public debates; hence speeches suited for delivery, when delivery is absent, do not fulfil their proper function and appear silly. For instance, asyndeta and frequent
repetition of the same word are rightly disapproved in written speech, but in public debate even rhetoricians make use of them, for they lend themselves to acting.2 [3] (But one must vary the expression when one repeats the same thing, for this as it were paves the way for declamation:3 as, “This is he who robbed you, this is he who deceived you, this is he who at last attempted to betray you.” This is what Philemon the actor did in The Old Man's Folly of Anaxandrides, when he says “Rhadamanthus and Palamedes,” and when he repeats the word “I” in the prologue to The Pious.4 For unless such expressions are varied by action, it is a case of “the man who carries the beam”5 in the proverb.)

[4] It is the same with asyndeta: “I came, I met, I entreated.” For here delivery is needed, and the words should not be pronounced with the same tone and character, as if there was only one clause. Further, asyndeta have a special characteristic; for in an equal space of time many things appear to be said, because the connecting particle makes many things one, so that, if it be removed, it is clear that the contrary will be the case, and that the one will become many. Therefore an asyndeton produces amplification: thus, in “I came, I conversed, I besought,”
the hearer seems to be surveying many things, all that the speaker said.6 This also is Homer's intention in the passage “ Nireus, again, from Syme . . .,
Nireus son of Aglaia . . .,
Nireus, the most beautiful . . . ;7

” for it is necessary that one of whom much has been said should be often mentioned; if then the name is often mentioned, it seems as if much has been said8; so that, by means of this fallacy, Homer has increased the reputation of Nireus, though he only mentions him in one passage; he has perpetuated his memory, though he never speaks of him again.

[5] The deliberative style is exactly like a rough sketch,9 for the greater the crowd, the further off is the point of view; wherefore in both too much refinement is a superfluity and even a disadvantage. But the forensic style is more finished, and more so before a single judge, because there is least opportunity of employing rhetorical devices, since the mind more readily takes in at a glance what belongs to the subject and what is foreign to it; there is no discussion,10 so the judgement is clear. This is why the same orators do not excel in all these styles; where action is most effective, there the style is least finished, and this is a case in which voice, especially a loud one, is needed.

The epideictic style is especially suited to written compositions, for its function is reading;11 [6] and next to it comes the forensic style. It is superfluous to make the further distinction
that style should be pleasant or magnificent. Why so, any more than temperate, liberal, or anything else that indicates moral virtue? For it is evident that, if virtue of style has been correctly defined, what we have said will suffice to make it pleasant. For why, if not to please, need it be clear, not mean, but appropriate? If it be too diffuse, or too concise, it will not be clear; but it is plain that the mean is most suitable. What we have said will make the style pleasant, if it contains a happy mixture of proper and “foreign” words, of rhythm, and of persuasiveness resulting from propriety. This finishes what we had to say about style; of all the three kinds of Rhetoric in general, and of each of them in particular. It only remains to speak of arrangement.

1 See 2.13 of this book.

2 What follows, to the end of sect. 3, is of the nature of a parenthesis, not immediately connected with the subject of the chapter.

3 The variation in the form of the expression suggests a similar variation in the form of the delivery or declamation.

4 The meaning of this has not been satisfactorily explained. On the face of it, it seems to mean that the excellence of Philemon's delivery consisted in his way of declaiming passages in which the same words were repeated. Philemon is not to be confused with the writer of the New Comedy, the rival and contemporary of Menander.

5 Used of a stiff, ungraceful speaker.

6 Spengel's reading here is: πολλὰ δοκεῖ: “ὑπερεῖδεν ὅσα εἶπον,” πολλὰ δοκεῖ being parenthetical, and ὑπερεῖδον ὅσα εἶπον part of the quotation. Jebb translates: “I came, I spoke to him, I besought” (these seem many things); “he disregarded all I said” (which certainly gives a more natural sense to ὑπερεῖδον).

7 Hom. Il. 2.671 ff.

8 Cope translates: “they think that, if the name is often repeated, there must be a great deal to say about its owner”; but can this be got out of the Greek ( εἰρῆσθαι)?

9 Intended to produce the effect of finished work at a distance before a large number of spectators.

10 The meaning apparently is that there is no discussion, as might be the case when there were several judges, so that the decision is clear and unbiased. ἀγών and ἀγωνιστικὴ λέξις are terms used for debate (e.g. in the law courts) and the style suited to it (cf sect. 1). Cope's editor refers to Cic. Ad Att. 1.16.8 “remoto illo studio contentionis, quem vos [you Athenians] ἀγῶνα appellatis.” Jebb translates: “the turmoil is absent, so that the judgement is serene” (in a note, “unclouded”).

11 This does not seem to agree with the general view. Funeral orations of the nature of panegyrics, for instance, were certainly meant to be spoken; but the ἔργον or proper function of an epideictic may be said to consist in reading, in its being agreeable to read. Its τέλος or end is to be read.

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