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Oration iudiciall what it is.

ORation Iudiciall, is an earnest debating in open assemblie, of some weightie matter before a Iudge, where the complainaunt commenseth his action, and the defendant thereupon aunswereth at his perill, to all such thinges as are laied to his charge.


Of the foundation, or rather the principall point in euery debated matter, called of the Rhetoricians the state, or constitution of the cause.

NOt onely it is needefull in causes of iudgement, to consider the scope whereunto we must leauell our reasons, and direct our inuention: but also we ought in euery cause to haue a respect vnto some one espesiall point and chiefe article: that the rather the whole drift of our doinges, may seeme to agree with our first deuised purpose. For by this meanes our iudgement shalbe framed to speake with discretion, and the ignoraunt shall learne to perceiue with profite, whatsoeuer is said for his instruction. But they that take vppon them to talke in open audience, and make not their accompt before, what they will speake after: shall neither be well liked for their inuention, nor allowed for their wit, nor esteemed for their learning. For what other thing The arte of Rhetorique. 87 doe they, that boult out their wordes in such sort, and without all aduisement vtter out matter: but shew themselues to play as yong boyes or scarre Crowes doe, which shot in the open and plaine fieldes at all aduentures hittie missie. The
Definition of a thing must first be knowen ere we speake our minde at large.
learned therfore, and such as loue to be coumpted clerkes of vnderstanding, and men of good circumspection and iudgement, do warely scan what they chiefly minde to speake, and by definition seeke what that is, whereunto they purpose to direct their whole doinges. For by such aduised warenesse, and good eye casting: they shall alwaies bee able both to knowe what to say, and to speake what they ought. As for example, if I shal haue occasion to speake in open audience, of the obedience due to our soueraigne King, I ought first to learne what is obedience, and after knowledge attained, to direct my reasons to the onely proofe of this purpose, and wholie to seeke confirmation of the same, and not turne my tale to talke of Robin Hood, and to shew what a goodly Archer was he, or to speake wonders of the man in the Moone, such as are most needlesse, and farthest from the
Rouing without reason.
purpose. For then the hearer looking to be taught his obedience, and hearing in the meane season mad tales of Archerie, and great meruailes of the man in the Moone: being halfe astonied at his so great straying, will perhappes say to himselfe: now whether the deuill wilt thou, come in man againe for very shame, and tell me no bytales, such as are to no purpose, but shew me that which thou didest promise, both to teach and perswade at thy first entrie. Assuredly such fond fellowes there haue bene, yea euen among Preachers, that talking of faith, they haue fetcht their full race from the xii. signes in the Zodiake. An other talking of the generall resurrection, hath made a large matter of our blessed Ladie, praysing her to bee so gentle, so curteous, and so kinde, that it were better a thousand fold, to make sute to her alone, then to Christ her sonne. And what needed (I pray you) any such rehearsall being both vngodly, and nothing at all to the purpose. For what maketh the praise of our Ladie, to the confirmation of the generall doome? Would not a man thinke him mad, that hauing an earnest errande from London to Douer, would take it the next way to ride first into Northfolke, next into Essex, and last into 88 The arte of Rhetorique. Kent? And yet assuredly, many an vnlearned and witlesse man, hath straied in his talke much farther a great deale, yea truely as farre as hence to Roome gates. Therefore wise are they that followe Plinies aduise, who would that all men both in writing, and speaking at large vpon any matter, should
Plinies counsaile for handeling of causes.
euer haue an eye to the chiefe title, and principall ground of their whole entent, neuer swaruing from their purpose, but rather bringing all things together, to confirme their cause so much as they can possible. Yea, the wise and expert men will aske of themselues, how hangeth this to the purpose? To what end do ye speake it? What maketh this for confirmation of my cause? And so by oft questioning, either chide their owne follie if they speake amisse, or els be assured they speake to good purpose.

A state therefore generally, is the chiefe ground of a matter, and the principall point whereunto both he that speaketh should referre his whole wit, and they that heare should chiefly marke. A Preacher taketh in hande to shewe what

A state generally, what it is.
prayer is, and how needfull for man to call vpon God: now he should euer remember this his matter, applying his reasons whollie and fullie to this end, that the hearers may both knowe the nature of prayer, and the needfulnesse of prayer. The which when he hath done, his promise is fulfilled, his time well bestowed, and the hearers well instructed.

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