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‘These γνῶμαι are of the greatest service (help) to our speeches —one of which’ (the other follows in the next section) ‘is due to, arises out of, the want of cultivation and intelligence in the audience; for they are delighted if ever any one chance to light upon, and express in general terms, any opinion that they hold themselves, but partially’.

φορτικότης, as far as Classical Greek is concerned, appears to be a ἅπαξ λεγόμενον: it is found also in Eustathius (Steph. Thes. sub v.). φορτικός, from φόρτος a burden or load, burden-like, burden-ish, and hence met. burdensome, oppressive, annoying: especially applied to vulgarity, in person, manners, or intellect. The last of these senses, intellectual vulgarity, the want of cultivation and refinement, and especially of philosophical cultivation—a coarse and vulgar habit of mind, which looks merely at the surface of things, with little or no faculty of observation or power of distinction, and contents itself with a mere vulgar knowledge shared with the mass of mankind—is, if not peculiar to Aristotle, at any rate much more commonly found in his writings than in others. In this sense the φορτικός does not differ much from the ἀπαίδευτος, and is opposed to the χαριείς, which, in Aristotle, often expresses the highest degree of grace and refinement, arising from the study of philosophy. It is in this signification that the word is used here, meaning a want of intelligence and of philosophical or (generally) intellectual training, which disqualifies men for making distinctions and estimating the value of an argument; consequently they measure the validity of a reason not by its logical force or cogency, but by its coincidence with their own previously conceived opinions; which they love to hear exaggerated by the orator, who humours them by these illicit generalisations. The Scholiast explains it ἀγροικίαν. Victorius has, I think, entirely mistaken the meaning of the word. The φορτικότης here ascribed to vulgar audiences is much the same as the μοχθηρία τῶν ἀκροατῶν, III 1. 5, the vices or defects, which oblige the orator to have recourse to τἆλλα ἔξω τοῦ ἀποδεῖξαι in order to convince them, because they are unable to appreciate logic alone. Comp. I 2. 13, on this subject, γὰρ κριτὴς ὑπόκειται εἶναι ἁπλοῦς. See also on III 1. 5.

‘My meaning will be explained, and at the same time also how they (the γνῶμαι) are to be caught’ (hunted, pursued, like game, Anal. Pr. I 30, 46 a 11, θηρεύειν ἀρχάς), ‘by what follows (ὧδε)’. ‘The γνώμη, as has been stated (§ 2), is an utterance or declaration expressed universally; and an audience is always delighted with the expression, as of an universal truth, of any opinion which they previously, but partially, entertain: for example, if a man chanced to have bad neighbours or children, he would be glad to hear (approve) any one who said “nothing is more troublesome (harder to bear) than neighbourhood” (abstract for concrete, γείτονες neighbours), or “nothing is more foolish than the procreation of children.”’—Possibly also, though this is doubtful, a man with a frail wife might like to hear Hamlet exclaim “Frailty, thy name is woman.”

γειτονίας] Plat. Legg. VIII 843 C, χαλεπὴν καὶ σφόδρα πικρὰν γειτονίαν ἀπεργάζονται. γειτονᾶν, apud eundem. For χαλεπώτερον γειτονίας, comp. Thuc. III 113, ἔδεισαν μὴ οἱ Ἀθηναῖοι ἔχοντες αὐτὴν χαλεπώτεροι σφίσι πάροικοι ὦσι. With the γνώμη comp. Demosth. πρὸς Καλλικλέα [Or. 55], init. οὐκ ἦν ἄρ᾽ , ἄνδρες Ἀθηναῖοι, χαλεπώτερον οὐδὲν γείτονος πονηροῦ καὶ πλεονέκτου τυχεῖν (Victorius), evidently referring to this proverb, [cf. Hesiod, Op. et D. 345, πῆμα κακὸς γείτων].

στοχάζεσθαι κ.τ.λ.] ‘And therefore (the speaker) must guess what their previous (already formed) opinions are and what sort of things they are about (how they think about what), and then express this opinion in a general proposition on these matters’. Schrader quotes Cic. de Orat. II 44. 186, (M. Antonius) sicut medico...sic cum aggredior ancipitem causam et gravem, ad animos iudicum pertractandos omni mente in ea cogitatione curaque versor, ut odorer quam sagacissime possim quid sentiant quid existiment quid exspectent quid velint, quo deduci oratione facillime posse videantur.

πῶς ποῖα] Two interrogatives without copula: common in Greek—but in verse rather than prose—as Soph. Phil. 1090, τοῦ ποτε τεύξομαι...πόθεν ἐλπίδος.

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