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The subject of this chapter is the analysis of virtue and vice, the noble and disgraceful, moral right and wrong, as the objects of praise and blame, and therefore furnishing materials for the epideictic or encomiastic branch of Rhetoric, of which praise and blame are the characteristic functions.

We may also derive from this analysis topics of the ἤθη, characters or dispositions which serve to give the speech an ethical colour. This is to be effected by producing by the speech (artistically, not by any evidence of character previously acquired, ‘authority’) the impression upon the audience of our truthfulness and probity; of our practical wisdom which will enable us to give them useful advice, and finally of our goodwill towards themselves; this being ‘the second mode of persuading’ (ἦν ‘was said’, cf. c. 2 §§ 3, 4): because the same materials can be employed in representing ourselves as well as others as ‘trustworthy in respect of virtue’, as men of such a character as can be depended upon.

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