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17. Proofs should be demonstrative, and as the disputed points are four, the demonstration should bear upon the particular point disputed; for instance, if the fact is disputed, proof of this must be brought at the trial before anything else; or if it is maintained that no injury has been done; or that the act was not so important as asserted; or was just, then this must be proved, the three last questions being matters of dispute just as the question of fact. [2] But do not forget that it is only in the case of a dispute as to this question of fact that one of the two parties must necessarily1 be a rogue; for ignorance is not the cause, as it might be if a question of right or wrong were the issue; so that in this case one should spend time on this topic, but not in the others.

[3] In epideictic speeches, amplification is employed, as a rule, to prove that things are honorable or useful; for the facts must be taken on trust, since proofs of these are rarely given, and only if they are incredible or the responsibility is attributed to another.2

[4] In deliberative oratory, it may be maintained either that certain consequences will not happen, or that what the adversary recommends will happen, but that it will be unjust, inexpedient, or not so important as supposed. But one must also look to see whether he makes any false statements as to things outside the issue; for these look like evidence that he makes misstatements about the issue itself as well.

[5] Examples are best suited to deliberative oratory and enthymemes to forensic. The first is concerned with the future, so that its examples must be derived from the past; the second with the question of the existence or non-existence of facts, in which demonstrative and necessary proofs are more in place; for the past involves a kind of necessity.3 [6] One should not introduce a series of enthymemes continuously but mix them up; otherwise they destroy one another. For there is a limit of quantity; thus, “ Friend, since thou hast said as much as a wise man would say,4

” [7] where Homer does not say τοιαῦτα (such things as), but τόσα (as many things as). Nor should you try to find enthymemes about everything; otherwise you will be imitating certain philosophers, who draw conclusions that are better known and more plausible than the premises from which they are drawn.5 [8] And whenever you wish to arouse emotion, do not use an enthymeme, for it will either drive out the emotion or it will be useless; for simultaneous movements drive each other out, the result being their mutual destruction or weakening. Nor should you look for an enthymeme at the time when you wish to give the speech an ethical character; for demonstration involves neither moral character nor moral purpose.

[9] Moral maxims, on the other hand, should be used in both narrative and proof; for they express moral character; for instance, “I gave him the money and that although I knew that one ought not to trust.” Or, to arouse emotion:
“I do not regret it, although I have been wronged; his is the profit, mine the right.”

[10] Deliberative speaking is more difficult than forensic, and naturally so, because it has to do with the future; whereas forensic speaking has to do with the past, which is already known, even by diviners, as Epimenides the Cretan said; for he used to divine, not the future, but only things that were past but obscure.6 Further, the law is the subject in forensic speaking; and when one has a starting-point, it is easier to find a demonstrative proof. Deliberative speaking does not allow many opportunities for lingering—for instance, attacks on the adversary, remarks about oneself, or attempts to arouse emotion. In this branch of Rhetoric there is less room for these than in any other, unless the speaker wanders from the subject. Therefore, when at a loss for topics, one must do as the orators at Athens, amongst them Isocrates, for even when deliberating, he brings accusations against the Lacedaemonians, for instance, in the Panegyricus,7 and against Chares in the Symmachikos (On the Peace).8

[11] Epideictic speeches should be varied with laudatory episodes, after the manner of Isocrates, who is always bringing somebody in. This is what Gorgias meant when he said that he was never at a loss for something to say; for, if he is speaking of Peleus, he praises Achilles, then Aeacus, then the god; similarly courage, which does this and that,9 or is of such a kind. [12] If you have proofs, then, your language must be both ethical and demonstrative; if you have no enthymemes, ethical only. In fact, it is more fitting that a virtuous man
should show himself good than that his speech should be painfully exact.

[13] Refutative enthymemes are more popular than demonstrative, because, in all cases of refutation, it is clearer that a logical conclusion has been reached; for opposites are more noticeable when placed in juxtaposition.10 [14] The refutation of the opponent is not a particular kind of proof; his arguments should be refuted partly by objection, partly by counter-syllogism.11 In both deliberative and forensic rhetoric he who speaks first should state his own proofs and afterwards meet the arguments of the opponent, refuting or pulling them to pieces beforehand. But if the opposition is varied,12 these arguments should be dealt with first, as Callistratus did in the Messenian assembly; in fact, it was only after he had first refuted what his opponents were likely to say that he put forward his own proofs. [15] He who replies should first state the arguments against the opponent's speech, refuting and answering it by syllogisms, especially if his arguments have met with approval. For as the mind is ill-disposed towards one against whom prejudices have been raised beforehand, it is equally so towards a speech, if the adversary is thought to have spoken well. One must therefore make room in the hearer's mind for the speech one intends to make; and for this purpose you must destroy the impression made by the adversary. Wherefore it is only after having combated all the arguments, or the most important, or those which are plausible, or most easy to refute, that you should substantiate your own case:
“ I will first defend the goddesses, for I [do not think] that Hera . . .13

” in this passage the poet has first seized upon the weakest argument.

[16] So much concerning proofs. In regard to moral character, since sometimes, in speaking of ourselves, we render ourselves liable to envy, to the charge of prolixity, or contradiction, or, when speaking of another, we may be accused of abuse or boorishness, we must make another speak in our place, as Isocrates does in the Philippus14 and in the Antidosis.15 Archilochus uses the same device in censure; for in his iambics he introduces the father speaking as follows of his daughter: “ There is nothing beyond expectation, nothing that can be sworn impossible,16

” and the carpenter Charon in the iambic verse beginning “ I [care not for the wealth] of Gyges;17

” Sophocles, also,18 introduces Haemon, when defending Antigone against his father, as if quoting the opinion of others. [17] One should also sometimes change enthymemes into moral maxims; for instance, “Sensible men should become reconciled when they are prosperous; for in this manner they will obtain the greatest advantages,” which is equivalent to the enthymeme “If men should become reconciled whenever it is most useful and advantageous, they should be reconciled in a time of prosperity.”

1 Aristotle's argument is as follows. But it must not be forgotten that it is only in a dispute as to this question of fact that one of the two parties must necessarily be a rogue. For ignorance is not the cause (of there being a dispute about the fact, e.g. “you hit me,” “no, I didn't,” where both know the truth), as it might be in a dispute on what was right or wrong, so that this is the topic on which you should spend some time (i.e. because here you can prove or disprove that A is πονηρός). The passage is generally taken to mean that when it is a question of fact it is universally true that one of the disputants must be a rogue. Cope alone among editors makes any comment. In his note he says: “all that is meant is that there is a certain class of cases which fall under this issue, in which this topic may be safely used.” For instance, A may on justifiable grounds charge B with theft; B denies it, and he may be innocent, although the evidence is strongly against him. In such a case, neither of the parties is necessarily πονηρός.

2 Or, reading ἄλλως, “if there is some other reason.”

3 It is irrevocable, and it is possible to discuss it with some degree of certainty, whereas the future is quite uncertain, and all that can be done is to draw inferences from the past.

4 Hom. Od. 4.204.

5 For this passage see 1.2.12-13. The meaning is that it is absurd to prove what every one knows already.

6 The remark of Epimenides is by many editors interpreted as a sarcasm upon the fraternity of soothsayers, who pretended to be able to foretell the future. But how is this to be got out of the Greek? The point is perhaps something like: “it is easy enough to talk about the past, for even soothsayers know it.” What Aristotle says here is that Epimenides practised a different kind of divination, relating to the obscure phenomena of the past. The following is an instance. After the followers of Cylon, who tried to make himself tyrant of Athens (c. 632) had been put to death by the Alcmaeonid archon Megacles, in violation of the terms of surrender, a curse rested upon the city and it was devastated by a pestilence. On the advice of the oracle, Epimenides was summoned from Crete, and by certain rites and sacrifices purified the city and put a stop to the pestilence.

7 Isoc. 4.110-114.

8 Isoc. 8.27.

9 He enumerates all the deeds that proceed from courage. Another reading is τὰ καὶ τά, ποιεῖ τοιόνδε ἐστίν, i.e. when praising courage, and this or that, he is employing a method of the kind mentioned.

10 There is no difference in form between the demonstrative and refutative enthymeme, but the latter draws opposite conclusions; and opposites are always more striking when they are brought together, and a parallel drawn between them. It is then easy to see where the fallacy lies. Cf. 2.23.30: “Refutative enthymemes are more effective (popular) than demonstrative, because they bring opposites together in a small compass, which are more striking (clearer) to the hearer from being put side by side.”

11 In the translation τῶν πίστεων is taken with ἔστι: it is the business of, the proper function of, proofs. Others take it with τὰ μὲν . . . τὰ δέ: some . . . other (of the opponent's arguments).

12 If the opponent's arguments are numerous and strong, by reason of the varied nature of the points dealt with.

13 Eur. Tro. 969-971. Hecuba had advised Menelaus to put Helen to death; she defends herself at length, and is answered by Hecuba in a reply of which these words form part. Her argument is that none of the three goddesses who contended for the prize of beauty on Mt. Ida would have been such fools as to allow Argos and Athens to become subject to Troy as the result of the contest, which was merely a prank.

14 Isoc. 5.4-7. Isocrates says that his friends thought very highly of one of his addresses, as likely to bring peace.

15 Isoc. 15.132-139, Isoc. 15.141-149. Here again Isocrates puts compliments on his composition into the mouth of an imaginary friend.

16 Archilochus (c. 650) of Paros was engaged to Neobule, the daughter of Lycambes. Her father broke off the engagement, whereupon Archilochus pursued father and daughter with furious and scurrilous abuse. It is here said that, instead of attacking the daughter directly, he represented her as being attacked by her father. The meaning of ἄελπτον is not clear. It may be a general statement: the unexpected often happens; or, there is nothing so bad that you may not expect it. B. St. Hilaire translates: “There is nothing that money cannot procure,” meaning that the father was prepared to sell his daughter (Frag. 74).

17 The line ends: τοῦ πολυχρύσου μέλει. Archilochus represents Charon the carpenter as expressing his own disapproval of the desire for wealth and of the envy caused by others possessing it.

18 Here again, Haemon similarly puts his own feeling as to Creon's cruel treatment of Antigone into the mouth of the people of the city, and refers to popular rumor.

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