This text is part of:
Table of Contents:
‘And therefore a foreign air must be given to the language; for people are admirers of (or wonder at) what is far off, remote, and all that is wonderful (excites surprise, raises our curiosity) is agreeable’. Poet. XXIV 17, τὸ δὲ θαυμαστὸν ἡδύ: σημεῖον δὲ, πάντες γὰρ προστιθέντες ἀπαγγέλλουσιν ὡς χαριζόμενοι. Comp. I 11. 21, on the pleasure of ‘wonder’, and the gratification of curiosity in learning: see the note. ξένην] infra § 6, ξενικόν. Poet. XXII 3. ‘Now in verse of all kinds there are many ways of producing this effect, and there they are appropriate, because the subject (circumstances) and the characters (persons) of the story (the fable or poem) are further removed’ from common life; stand out of, and above, the ordinary level of humanity, Hist. An. I 14. 1)—‘but in prose compositions these (modes of giving novelty and variety to the language) must be much more sparingly used’ (χρηστέον, or are appropriate to fewer occasions, τοῦθ̓, or rather ταῦθ᾽ , ἁρμόττει, Buhle), ‘because the subject (theme, argument1) is less (lower, less elevated),—(and this is true a fortiori in prose) for even in the other (in poetry) if a slave or a very young man were to use fine language it would be rather unbecoming, or (if any one else did so) on a very trifling subject, but on the contrary even in that’ (poetry, not ‘prose’ as Victorius), ‘propriety consists in a due contraction and expansion (amplification)’; the adaptation of the language to the circumstances, raising or lowering it as the occasion requires. Comp. Cic. de Orat. III 38. 153. Orat. LX 202. Also XXI 70, ut enim in vita sic in oratione nihil est difficilius quam quid deceat videre. Πρέπον appellant hoc Graeci; nos dicamus sane decorum. § 72, Quam enim indecorum est de stilicidiis quum apud unum iudicem dicas amplissimis verbis et locis uti communibus, de maiestate populi Romani summisse et subtiliter! De stilicidiis dicere illustrates περὶ λίαν μικρῶν. On the language of poetry and prose, comp. Isocr. Evag. §§ 8—11. καλλιεπεῖσθαι. Comp. Plat. Apol. Socr. 17 B, κεκαλλιεπημένους λόγους ῥήμασί τε καὶ ὀνόμασιν, οὐδὲ κεκοσμημένους, ἀλλ᾽ ...εἰκῇ λεγόμενα τοῖς ἐπιτυχοῦσιν ὀνόμασι. Thuc. VI 83, Plat. Hipparch. 225 C, τῶν σοφῶν ῥημάτων...ὧν οἱ δεξιοὶ περὶ τὰς δίκας καλλιεποῦνται. Valckenaer, Diatr. Eur. Fr. p. 261 c.
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 United States License.
An XML version of this text is available for download, with the additional restriction that you offer Perseus any modifications you make. Perseus provides credit for all accepted changes, storing new additions in a versioning system.