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The highly condensed contents of this section, which gives the other side of the foregoing arguments for the treatment of laws, shewing how to argue when the written law is in our favour, have been developed in extenso in the Introd. p. 195—6, and we may now proceed to the details.

πρὸς τὸ πρᾶγμα] ‘in favour of our case’ as τῷ πράγματι § 4.

τὸ ἁπλῶς, τὸ αὑτῷ] I 7. 35, καὶ τὸ αὐτῷ καὶ ἁπλῶς, and note there.

παρασοφίζεσθαι] ‘to attempt to outdo (to go beyond, παρά) the physician (note the generic τόν; one of the two uses of the definite article, to mark the member of a class) in skill and subtlety, ingenuity and cleverness’. The proverb, ‘to be wiser than your physician’, is applied to ἰδιῶται who pretend to rival the professors, τεχνῖται or σοφοί, men of special knowledge, skill, and experience in any art or science. In Athen. p. 137 F, quoted by Victorius, the verb stands for ‘over refining’ in the art of cookery, τὸν δὲ ἐν τῷ Λυκείῳ κρέας ταριχηρὸν εἰς τάριχος διασκευάσαντα μαστιγωθῆναι, ὡς παρασοφιζόμενον πονηρῶς.

τὸ τῶν νόμων σοφώτερον ζητεῖν εἶναι κ.τ.λ.] Comp. Cleon ap. Thuc. III 37, οἱ μὲν γὰρ τῶν τε νόμων σοφώτεροι βούλονται φαίνεσθαι...καὶ ἐκ τοῦ τοιούτου τὰ πολλὰ σφάλλουσι τὰς πόλεις: and a little before, πάντων δὲ δεινότατον εἰ...μηδὲ γνωσόμεθα ὅτι χείροσι νόμοις ἀκινήτοις χρωμένη πόλις κρείστων ἐστὶν καλῶς ἔχουσιν ἀκύροις, ἀμαθία τε μετὰ σωφροσύνης ὠφελιμώτερον δεξιότης μετ᾽ ἀκολασίας, κ.τ.λ. Bacon, de Augmentis, Lib. VIII. Aphor. 58 (Vol. I. p. 816, ed. Ellis and Spedding), quotes this maxim as proverbial, ‘licet enim non male dictum sit, neminem oportere legibus esse sapientiorem;’ on which Ellis has this note, ‘Bacon refers perhaps to D'Argentré's maxim, Stulta videtur sapientia quae lege vult sapientior videri. In the passage from which these words are taken he is condemning the presumption of judges who depart from the text on the pretence of equity—which is precisely what the advocate is supposed to be doing here.’

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