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The greatest care and pains are always requisite to give the speech an artless, natural, and unstudied character: the rule ars est celare artem is of the utmost importance in effecting the end and object of a speech, persuasion or conviction. See, for instance, III 2. 4, 5; 8. 1. This applies equally to proportion, as an element of propriety. It has been laid down that a certain proportion (or resemblance) of style, tone, and manner to the subject is always to be observed: but this, if carried too far, will defeat its own object; the study will appear, and the suspicions of the hearers will be aroused. For instance, there is a proportion in the tone of voice and manner of delivery, in the expression of features and the action, to the subject of the words delivered: these however should not be all employed at once: if the words have a harsh sound—σκληρὰ ὀνόματα are exemplified by Hermogenes περὶ ἰδεῶν, ά, περὶ τραχύτητος, p. 236, II 300 (Rhet. Gr. Spengel), by ἀταρπός, ἔμαρπτεν, ἔγναμψε, &c., and again, Ib. β̓, (II 359), by a line from Homer in which ἀγκὰς ἔμαρπτε, both of them objectionable on this ground, occur together. “The voice and the features and the rest should not be made to assume a harsh expression, else the study becomes apparent—it will give the composition a stiff and studied appearance, make it look affected and overdone: whereas, if one or two of them are made to correspond, and the rest not, the same effect is produced, whilst the artifice escapes detection”. Introd. pp. 301, 2. Compare on this subject, Cic. de Or. III 57. 216.

‘Further, not to employ all these proportions (or correspondences) together; for by the observance of this precept (following this rule) the listener is deluded (i.e. the art is disguised). I mean, to take an instance if the words used are harsh (in sound), not to (extend the harshness) to the tone of voice and the features and the other appropriate (correspondences or proportions)’: (we must supply here either χρῆσθαι from χρήσασθαι preceding; or, ad sensum, from σκληρὰ , σκληρότητα προσφέρειν, or something else similar). ‘Otherwise the true character of each of them (their studied and artificial character, πέπλασθαι supra 2. 4) becomes manifest’.

Vahlen, in his observations on the Rhetoric, Trans. Vienn. Acad. p. 144 (already referred to), says, that nothing else can be implied in τοῖς ἁρμόττουσιν than the adaptation of voice and feature to subject, already specified; and therefore proposes to strike out καί before τοῖς ἁρμόττουσιν so that τοῖς ἁρμόττουσιν may be connected with, not distinguished from, the two preceding. This seems to me quite unnecessary. Besides the two proportions specified by Aristotle, there is at all events ὑπόκρισις, appropriate action or gesticulation, that may be brought into correspondence; and also the mode of delivery may be distinguished—at all events for the nonce—from the other three. And he adds a similar objection to another perfectly innocent καί, in I 15. 28, καὶ ὡς οὗτος κ.τ.λ., the sense (as I have explained it in the paraphrase of the Introduction) being at least equally good with, as without, the conjunction.

In the succeeding clause—which guards against a possible misapprehension of the foregoing, as though it were meant that all this kind of adaptation should be avoided, and intimates that the mean is to be observed here as everywhere else; that we do not rush into the opposite extreme, like those who dum vitant stulti vitia in contraria currunt—the connexion of thought might seem to require that ἐὰν δέ and ἐὰν οὖν should change places. If the two clauses, ἐὰν δέ, ἐὰν οὖν, are to be connected in sense, we require some kind of opposition, expressed by a restrictive or adversative particle such as μέντοι, δέ, or ἀλλά, to establish this, and not one that conveys an inference or consequence, which does not follow from the foregoing.

‘But if (the speaker introduce) one and omit the other (make the adaptation in some cases, in others not), he does the same thing (really has recourse to study and art) and yet escapes detection. So then’, (it results in a general way from all this,) or, ‘well then—as I say—if things soft and mild (for instance, the expression of compassion) be represented by a harsh tone and language, or harsh things in soft tone and language (so Victorius), it (the expression or things expressed) loses all its plausibility (or power of persuasion)’. If οὖν be retained, it must be understood (I think) as I have rendered it. There will be no connexion between the clause which it introduces and that which immediately precedes it, and οὖν will be a mere continuative, as in the narrative use of μὲν οὖν—the inferential, as with our then, having degenerated into a temporal sense, denoting mere continuation or succession. The clause will then be a sort of general conclusion from all that has been said in this section on the adaptation of delivery to subject-matter. ἀπίθανον, see III 3. 4.

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