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His use of Figures.

Mention must be made once more of the technical distinction between ‘figures of language’ and ‘figures of thought’. A ‘figure of language’ is a combination of words for the artificial expression of an idea—as by antithesis. The object of such a figure is rhetorical ornament; and, if the form of expression is changed, the figure of language is destroyed1. A ‘figure of thought’ consists in the suggestion of an idea which is itself artificial, having for its object, not ornament, but êthos or pathos— moral persuasion or the excitement of emotion2. If the speaker prefaces a statement by asking the question which he is himself about to answer: if he feigns perplexity for the sake of giving the greater effect to his own solution: if, instead of relating what other persons have said, he introduces those persons as speaking with their own mouths: if he imagines his adversaries as raising an objection which he goes on to refute—these and the like devices are ‘figures of thought’. Unlike the figures of language, these figures of thought are independent of any form of words; the form of words may be changed without affecting them. Their general tendency is to give animation. The elder school of Attic oratory was too grave and too stately to admit this animation; Antiphon, who uses the figures of language sparingly, uses the figures of thought hardly ever3. That Andokides uses the figures of thought so much, is a strong mark of his comparative modernism and of his detachment from the art of his day4. Lysias, the founder of a style free from the old rigour, had a reason of his own for still using the figures of thought with moderation,— namely, because they are too suggestive of thrust and parry, and, though they may serve êthos, tend to mar the special êthos at which he chiefly aimed, since they present the speaker too much as a combatant. Isaeos, while still desirous of a persuasive plainness, is also bent on exerting the essential vigour of his art. He has no longer, then, the same motive as Lysias for declining aids to vivacity or even vehemence; and accordingly—while he usually avoids the figures of language5—he uses the figures of thought6 with a freedom which brings him decidedly nearer than any of his predecessors to the practice of their greatest master7, Demosthenes. When Photios says that Isaeos ‘set the example of using figures’, πρῶτος σχηματίζειν ἤρξατο—a statement strange at first sight in reference to one who came after Isokrates—this, it can hardly be doubted, is the meaning8.

1 This is even the criterion taken by the rhetor Alexander Numenios (flor. circ. 120 A.D. under Hadrian) in his treatise περὶ τῶν τῆς διανοίας καὶ τῆς λέξεως σχημάτων, c. 1 (Rhet. Graec. vol. III. p. 10, Spengel).—τὸ μὲν τῆς λέξεως κινηθείσης τῆς συσχούσης τὸ σχῆμα ἀπόλλυται...τοῦ δὲ τῆς διανοίας σχήματος, κἂν τὰ ὀνόματα κινῇ τις, κἂν ἑτέροις ὀνόμασιν ἐξενέγκῃ τις, τὸ αὐτὸ σχῆμα μένει. He gives this instance:—the sentence, ἀλλ᾽ τούτους μεταπεμπτέον ἄλλην μὴ ἐλάττω στρατιὰν ἐπιπεμπτέον, the ‘figure of language’ (paronomasia) would be destroyed by the mere change of ἐπιπεμπτέον into ἀποσταλτέον.

2 Volkmann, die Rhet. der Griech. u. Rom, pp. 395, 416. For his whole analysis of the figures in both kinds, pp. 396—430.

3 Vol. I. p. 29.

4 ib. p. 99.

5 Such ‘figures of language’ as occur are chiefly—Antithesis, as I § 15, X. § 1,—with parison, V. § 39, —with parison and paromoion, V. § 44; cf. VII. § 44: anaphora (ἀφείλετο δὲ τὴν Δημοκλέους γενομένην γυναῖκα, ἀφείλετο δὲ καὶ τὴν Κηφισοδότου μητέρα) V. § 9, VI. § 43, XI. § 9: asyndeton [unlike Lysias] VI. § 62, VII. § 41, XI. § 41: polysyndeton, VII. § 42.

6 e.g. II. 21. ἡδέως δ᾽ ἄν μοι δοκῶ τούτου πυθέσθαι τοῦ φάσκοντος εὖ φρονεῖν, τίνα ποιήσασθυι ἐχρῆν ἀπὸ τῶν συγγενῶν; πότερα τὸν υἱὸν τὸν τούτου; ἀλλ᾽ οὐκ ἂν αὐτῷ ἔδωκεν, κ.τ.λ. (‘hypophora’—suggested objection which the speaker solves); —so V. § 45, VII. § 33, XI. 25.—V. 13, πείθει Μενέξενον, τὸν ὑπὲρ ἡμῶν τε καὶ ὑπὲρ αὑτοῦ πράττοντα, ἐγὼ αἰσχυνόμενος ἀναγκάζομαι διὰ τὴν ἐκείνου πονηρίαν λέγειν,—τί ποιῆσαι (rhetorical question, ἐρώτησις); so VI. §§ 36, 63.—VI. § 53, πῶς ἄν τις περιφανέστερον ἐξελεγχθείη τὰ ψευδῆ μεμαρτυρηκὼς εἴ τις αὐτὸν ἔροιτο: Ἀνδρόκλεις, πῶς οἶσθα, κ.τ.λ. (prosopopoiïa): so VIII. § 24

7 Cic. Orator xxxix. § 136, “Sed sententiarum ornamenta [τὰ τῆς διανοίας σχήματα] maiora sunt; quibus quia Demosthenes frequentissime utitur, sunt qui putent idcirco eius eloquentiam maxime esse laudabilem. Et vero nullus fere ab eo locus sine quadam conformatione sententiae dicitur”, &c.

8 Phot. cod. 263. After observing that it is hard to discern the work of Isaeos from that of Lysias, πλὴν κατά γε τοὺς σχηματισμούς, Photios adds—καὶ γὰρ πρῶτος Ἰσαῖος σχηματίζειν ἤρξατο καὶ τρέπειν ἐπὶ τὸ πολιτικὸν τὴν διάνοιαν. Spengel (συναγωγὴ τεχνῶν, p. 181) explains the σχηματίζειν by that variety and subtlety in the distribution and arrangement of all the elements (including figures) of the spcech on which Dionysios dwells (de Isae c 3), and which will be noticed presently. But this explanation, though ingenious, is strained. Photios rather means that Isaeos was the first who really used the σχήματα of civil oratory—the σχήματα διανοίας. This is exactly confirmed by the striking remark that Isaeos was the first who turned his mind ἐπὶ τὸ πολιτικόν. Blass (Att. Ber. II. 465) seems to render the words of Photios:—‘He was the first to give his thought an artistic form (σχηματίζειν διάνοιαν) and to dress it in tropes (τρέπειν),:— quoting, for τρέπειν, Phot. cod. 259 (of Antiphon), μὴ κεχρῆσθαι τὸν ῥήτορα τοῖς κατὰ διάνοιαν σχήμασιν, ἀλλὰ κατευθὺ αὐτῳ καὶ ἀπλάστους τὰς νοήσεις ἐκφέρεσθαι, τροπὴν δὲ καὶ ἐνάλλαξιν οὔτε ζητῆσαι τὸν ἄνδρα. κ τ.λ. But surely σχηματίζειν does not govern διάνοιαν,—it is used absolutely; and τρέπειν means simply ‘to turn’.—As Blass notices, πολιτικὸς [add ἀγωνιστικὸς] λόγος is opposed by Aristeides to ἀφελής, ἁπλοῦς: Ars. Rh I. 1. Speng. Rh. Gr. II.

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