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This section points out the application of the contents of the preceding chapter to the purposes of Rhetoric. ‘It is plain from all this that it is possible, in respect of enmity and friendship, either, when men are enemies or friends, to prove it; or if not, to represent them as such; or if they assert or maintain it, to refute their assertion; or, if there be a dispute (about a feeling or an offence), whether it be due to anger or enmity, to refer it, trace it, to either of the two which you may prefer’.

διαλύειν] sc. τὴν φάσιν, diluere, dissolvere, argumentum, obiecta, argumentationem, ‘to break up, dissolve’, and so metaph. ‘answer, refute’ an opposing argument. See Introd. on λύειν, p. 267, note. This seems the most natural interpretation of φάσκοντας διαλύειν. However, in II 11. 7, it is applied to the breaking up, dissolution, or extinction of the emotions themselves: so that it is possible—I think, not probable— that here also it may be meant ‘in case of their asserting that they are friends or enemies to proceed to destroy those relations in them’—only, I don't quite see the use of this for rhetorical purposes; and the other is certainly not only easier to effect in itself, but also more to the point here. If they assert that they are friends or enemies, and you wish to shew the opposite, you must refute their arguments, or destroy their case, which the preceding analysis will enable you to do.

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