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‘Fourthly, when it is impossible (for the opponent) to meet the question, without giving a sophistical answer’. For the examples of this topic, ἔστι μὲν ἔστι δ᾽ οὔ, κ.τ.λ., comp. Soph. Elench. 19, 177 a 21, ‘the proper way for the respondent to deal with questions involving equivocation of terms or amphiboly of propositions is to answer them, at the outset, with a reserve for the double meaning’: ὥσπερ τὸ σιγῶντα λέγειν ὅτι ἔστιν ὡς, ἔστι δ᾽ ὡς οὔ. καὶ τὰ δέοντα πρακτέον ἔστιν , ἔστι δ̓ οὔ (Grote's Ar. II 114), where the interrogation is characterized as sophistical, while here the same invidious epithet is applied to the answer. Comp. Top. Θ 7, ἐπὶ τῶν ἀσαφῶς καὶ πλεοναχῶς λεγομένων...τὸ μὲν ψεῦδος τὸ δ᾽ ἀληθές. As an instance of a quibbling answer, we may compare the subtle distinction drawn by the over-intelligent servant in reply to the enquiry whether his master Euripides was at home; Ar. Ach. 396, (ἔνδον ἔστ᾽ Εὐριπίδης;) οὐκ ἔνδον, ἔνδον τ᾽ ἐστὶν, εἰ γνώμην ἔχεις.

θορυβοῦσιν] This is a neutral word, and may be used of expressions of either pleasure or displeasure on the part of the audience, any ‘sensation’ in fact, whether breaking out into applause or the reverse (see Riddell's note on its application to δικασταί, Introd. to Plato's Apology, p. IX). Isocr. ἀντίδοσις, § 20, μετὰ θορύβου καὶ χαλεπότητος ἀκροᾶσθαι τῶν ἀπολογουμένων. It is used of disapprobation (as here) in Rhet. ad Alex. 18 (19). 3, 6, 7, 8.

ὡς ἀποροῦντες] It is not the audience that is perplexed; on the contrary it has a perfectly clear opinion on the obviously shuffling character of the answer, and expresses its displeasure accordingly. It is the person who gives a ‘sophistical’ answer, who is apparently perplexed; hence we should accept the correction ὡς ἀποροῦντος proposed by Spengel and Schneidewin. The Paris MS A^{c} actually has ἀποροῦντας, which suggested to Spengel the alternative emendation ἀποροῦντα. Similarly the fragment περὶ ἐρωτήσεως has, πρὸς γὰρ τοὺς οὕτω ἀποκριναμένους οἱ ἀκροώμενοι θορυβοῦσιν ὡς ἀποροῦντας καὶ οὐκ ἔχοντας ἀντειπεῖν.

‘But otherwise’ (i.e. except under the above limitations), ‘the speaker must not attempt interrogation; for if his opponent should interpose an objection, the questioner is considered beaten’. ἐνστῇ is here used of giving a check by interposing an ‘instance’ or ἔνστασις. See Introd. p. 269.

ὅτι μάλιστα συστρέφειν] ‘to pack into as small a compass as possible’. II 24. 2, τὸ συνεστραμμένον καὶ ἀντικειμένως εἰπεῖν φαίνεται ἐνθύμημα. Dionysius, de Lys. Iud. c. 6, συστρέφουσα τὰ νοήματα καὶ στρογγύλως ἐκφέρουσα λέξις. The verb is used metaphorically to express conciseness and condensation of style; in its literal meaning it might be applied to any squeezing and compacting process like that (for instance) of making a snowball. Comp. note on II 7. 5, συνηναγκάσθησαν.

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