previous next
[85] The second kind of emphasis consists either in the complete suppression of a word or in the deliberate omission to utter it. As an example of complete suppression I may quote the following passage from the pro Ligario, 4 where Cicero says: “But if your exalted position were not matched by your goodness of heart, a quality which is all your own, your very own—I know well enough what I am saying——” Here he suppresses the fact, which is none the less clear enough to us, that he does not lack counsellors who would incite him to cruelty. The omission of a word is produced by aposiopesis, which, however, being a figure, shall be dealt with in its proper place.1

1 v. 15: The passage goes on, “Then your victory would have brought bitter grief in its train. For how many of the victors would have wished you to be cruel!” Where then is the suppression? Quintilian is probably quoting from memory and has forgotten the context. ix. ii. 54; iii. 60.

Creative Commons License
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.

load focus Introduction (Harold Edgeworth Butler, 1922)
hide Display Preferences
Greek Display:
Arabic Display:
View by Default:
Browse Bar: