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‘And this mode of proof arising out of (external) signs (exhibited in language, tone, and action) may be invested also with an ethical character, in that (in so far as) that which is appropriate (i. e. the appropriate language, &c.) to each class and moral state (i. e. character, ἦθος; the sum of the moral states and habits which characterizes the individual) is attendant upon each of them’. The datives γένει and ἕξει seem to belong equally to ἀκολουθεῖ and ἁρμόττουσα. Compare, with what is said here of ἕξις and ἦθος, III 16. 9.

In the Introduction, p. 108 foll., on ἦθος, I have endeavoured to shew (against Spengel) that there are three kinds of ἤθη distinguished by Aristotle in the Rhetoric; (1) the ἦθος ἐν τῷ λέγοντι, the personal character exhibited by the speaker himself, serving as a kind of proof of his sincerity, competency, and good will; (2) the characters of certain ages and classes, with which the speaker must be previously acquainted, in order to accommodate his general tone, and the opinions he expresses, to the tastes and dispositions of his audience, their political sentiments and such like: as for instance an audience of rich and poor, young and old, aristocratic and democratical, must be addressed each in a different tone and with different language, suitable to their several opinions and prejudices; and (3) what I have called the dramatic characters, which are treated only in the third book as belonging to style, and are still more important, and occupy a larger share of attention in poetry (especially dramatic poetry)—and therefore in the Poetics XV—than in the prose of Rhetoric. These consist in the accurate representation of personal character, as described by Horace, A. P. 114 seq. See also the instances given in the parallel passage, III 16. 9, above referred to. This is what is now called ‘keeping’, and seems to me to be totally distinct from the second, which refers to classes; although the two have some points in common. The principal differences between them are that the latter describes personal peculiarities, and is an ingredient of propriety of style: and the two are therefore treated in different parts of the work. The dramatic ἦθος, morata oratio, does however in some inferior degree assist the argument, as Aristotle has just told us, and is a kind of δεῖξις; it conveys a favourable impression of the accuracy of the speaker, and the truth of his description.

‘By class I mean (according to age, different ages) the various ages of life, youth, manhood, old age; and (sexes) woman or man, and (natives of different countries) Lacedaemonian or Thessalian; and by states (moral states) those by which the character (or quality) of a man's life is determined: for it is not every kind of state that determines the character of men's lives’. Ἕξις, an acquired, developed, permanent, habit, is a general term (opposed to διάθεσις an incomplete and progressive state, Categ.) and applicable to various states in men and things, physical as well as intellectual and moral. It is only the last two that determine the ἦθος.

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