precedes its subject. On the other hand, an example of the simile following its subject is to be found in the first Georgic, where, after the long lamentation over the wars civil and foreign that have afflicted Rome, there come the lines:
Thence like fierce wolves beneath the cloud of
night,Aen. ii. 355.
There is, however, no antapodosis in these similes.  Such reciprocal representation places both subjects of comparison before our very eyes, displaying them side by side. Virgil provides many remarkable examples, but it will be better for me to quote from oratory. In the pro Murena Cicero3 says, “As among Greek musicians (for so they say), only those turn flute-players that cannot play the lyre, so here at Rome we see that those who cannot acquire the art of oratory betake themselves to the study of the [p. 257] law.”  There is also another simile in the same speech,4 which is almost worthy of a poet, but in virtue of its reciprocal representation is better adapted for ornament: “For as tempests are generally preceded by some premonitory signs in the heaven, but often, on the other hand, break forth for some obscure reason without any warning whatsoever, so in the tempests which sway the people at our Roman elections we are not seldom in a position to discern their origin, and yet, on the other hand, it is frequently so obscure that the storm seems to have burst without any apparent cause.”  We find also shorter similes, such as “Wandering like wild beasts through the woods,” or the passage from Cicero's speech against Clodius:5 “He fled from the court like a man escaping naked from a fire.” Similar examples from everyday speech will occur to everyone. Such comparisons reveal the gift not merely of placing a thing vividly before the eye, but of doing so with rapidity and without waste of detail.  The praise awarded to perfect brevity is well-deserved; but, on the other hand, brachylogy, which I shall deal with when I come to speak of figures, that is to say, the brevity that says nothing more than what is absolutely necessary, is less effective, although it may be employed with admirable results when it expresses a great deal in a very few words, as in Sallust's description of Mithridates as “huge of stature, and armed to match.” But unsuccessful attempts to imitate this form of terseness result merely in obscurity.  A virtue which closely resembles the last, but is on a grander scale, is emphasis, which succeeds [p. 259] in revealing a deeper meaning than is actually expressed by the words. There are two kinds of emphasis: the one means more than it says, the other often means something which it does not actually say.  An example of the former is found in Homer,6 where he makes Menelaus say that the Greeks descended into the Wooden Horse, indicating its size by a single verb. Or again, there is the following example by Virgil:7
As when, their barriers down, the chariots speed
Lap after lap; in vain the charioteer
Tightens the curb: his steeds ungovernable
Sweep him away nor heeds the car the rein.Georg. i. 512.
“Descending by a rope let down,a phrase which in a similar manner indicates the height of the horse. The same poet,8 when he says that the Cyclops lay stretched “throughout the cave,” by taking the room occupied as the standard of measure, gives an impression of the giant's immense bulk.  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.9  Emphasis is also found in the phrases of every day, such as “Be a man!” or “He is but mortal,” or “We must live!” So like, as a rule, is nature to art. It is not, however, sufficient for eloquence to set [p. 261] forth its theme in brilliant and vivid language: there are many different ways of embellishing our style.  For even that absolute and unaffected simplicity which the Greeks call ἀφέλεια has in it a certain chaste ornateness such as we admire also in women, while a minute accuracy in securing propriety and precision in our words likewise produces an impression of neatness and delicacy. Again copiousness may consist either in wealth of thought or luxuriance of language.  Force, too, may be shown in different ways; for there will always be force in anything that is in its own way effective. Its most important exhibitions are to be found in the following: δείνωσις or a certain sublimity in the exaggerated denunciation of unworthy conduct, to mention no other topics; φαντασία or imagination, which assists us to form mental pictures of things; ἐξεργασία or finish, which produces completeness of effect; ἐπεξεργασία an intensified form of the preceding, which reasserts our proofs and clinches the argument by repetition;  and ἐνέργεια, or vigour, a near relative of all these qualities, which derives its name from action and finds its peculiar function in securing that nothing that we say is tame. Bitterness, which is generally employed in abuse, may be of service as in the following passage. from Cassius: “What will you do when I invade your special province, that is, when I show that, as far as abuse is concerned, you are a mere ignoramus?”10 Pungency also may be employed, as in the following remark of Crassus: “Shall I regard you as a consul, when you refuse to regard me as a senator?” But the real power of oratory lies in enhancing or attenuating the force [p. 263] of words. Each of these departments has the same number of methods; I shall touch on the more important; those omitted will be of a like character, while all are concerned either with words or things. I have, however,  already dealt with the methods of invention and arrangement, and shall therefore now concern myself with the way in which style may elevate or depress the subject in hand. IV. The first method of amplification or attenuation is to be found in the actual word employed to describe a thing. For example, we may say that a man who was beaten was murdered, or that a dishonest fellow is a robber, or, on the other hand, we may say that one who struck another merely touched him, and that one who wounded another merely hurt him. The following passage from the pro Caelio,11 provides examples of both: “If a widow lives freely, if being by nature bold she throws restraint to the winds, makes wealth an excuse for luxury, and strong passions for playing the harlot, would this be a reason for my regarding a man who was somewhat free in his method of saluting her to be an adulterer?”  For here he calls an immodest woman a harlot, and says that one who had long been her lover saluted her with a certain freedom. This sort of amplification may be strengthened and made more striking by pointing the comparison between words of stronger meaning and those for which we propose to substitute them, as Cicero does in denouncing Verres12: “I have brought before you, judges, not a thief, but a plunderer; not an adulterer, but a ravisher; not a mere committer of sacrilege, but the enemy of all religious observance and all holy things; not an assassin, [p. 265] but a bloodthirsty butcher who has slain our fellowcitizens and our allies.”  In this passage the first epithets are bad enough, but are rendered still worse by those which follow. I consider, However, that there are four principal methods of implication: augmentation, comparison, reasoning and accumulation. Of these, augmentation is most impressive when it ends grandeur even to comparative insignificance. This may be effected either by one step or by everal, and may be carried not merely to the highest degree, but sometimes even beyond it.  A single example from Cicero13 will suffice to llustrate all these points. “It is a sin to bind a Roman citizen, a crime to scourge him, little short if the most unnatural murder to put him to death; chat then shall I call his crucifixion?” If he had merely been scourged, we should have had but one tep, indicated by the description even of the lesser offence as a sin, while if he had merely been killed,  we should have had several more steps; but after saying that it was “little short of the most unatural murder to put him to death,” and mentioning the worst of crimes, he adds, “What then shall call his crucifixion?” Consequently, since he had ready exhausted his vocabulary of crime, words must necessarily fail him to describe something still orse.  There is a second method of passing beond the highest degree, exemplified in Virgil's description of Lausus:14
“Than whom there was not one more fairor here the words “than whom there was not [p. 267] one more fair” give us the superlative, on which the poet proceeds to superimpose a still higher degree.  There is also a third sort, which is not attained by gradation, a height which is not a degree beyond the superlative, but such that nothing greater can be conceived. “You beat your mother. What more need I say? You beat your mother.” For to make a thing so great as to be incapable of augmentation is in itself a kind of augmentation.  It is also possible to heighten our style less obviously, but perhaps yet more effectively, by introducing a continuous and unbroken series in which each word is stronger than the last, as Cicero15 does when he describes how Antony vomited “before an assembly of the Roman people, while performing a public duty, while Master of the Horse.” Each phrase is more forcible than that which went before. Vomiting is an ugly thing in itself, even when there is no assembly to witness it; it is ugly when there is such an assembly, even though it be not an assembly of the people; ugly even though it be an assembly of the people and not the Roman people; ugly even though he were engaged on no business at the time, even if his business were not public business, even if lie were not Master of the Horse.  Another might have broken up the series and lingered over each step in the ascending scale, but Cicero hastens to his climax and reaches the height not by laborious effort, but by the impetus of his speed. Just as this form of amplification rises to a climax, so, too, the form which depends on comparison seeks to rise from the less to the greater, since by raising what is below it must necessarily exalt that which [p. 269] is above, as, for example: in the following passage:16  “If this had befallen you at the dinner-table in the midst of your amazing potations, who would not have thought it unseemly? But it occurred at an assembly of the Roman people.” Or take this passage from the speech against Catiline:17 “In truth, if my slaves feared me as all your fellowcitizens fear you, I should think it wise to leave my house.”  At times, again, we may advance a parallel to make something which we desire to exaggerate seem greater than ever, as Cicero does in the pro Cluentio,18 where, after telling a story of a woman of Miletus who took a bribe from the reversionary heirs to prevent the birth of her expected child, lie cries, “How much greater is the punishment deserved by Oppianicus for the same offence! For that woman, by doing violence to her own body did but torture herself, whereas he procured the same result by applying violence and torture to the body of another.”  I would not, however, have anyone think that this method is identical with that used in argument, where the greater is inferred from the less, although there is a certain resemblance between the two. For in the latter case we are aiming at proof, in the former at amplification; for example, in the passage just cited about Oppianicus, the object of the comparison is not to show that his action was a crime, but that it was even worse than another crime. There is, however, a certain affinity between the two methods, and I will therefore repeata passage which I quoted there, although my present purpose is different.  For what I have now to demonstrate is that when amplification is our purpose we [p. 271] compare not merely whole with whole, but part with part, as in the following passage:19 “Did that illustrious citizen, the pontifex maximus, Publius Scipio, acting merely in his private capacity, kill Tiberius Gracchus when he introduced but slight changes for the worse that did not seriously impair the constitution of the state, and shall we as consuls suffer Catiline to live, whose aim was to lay waste the whole world with fire and sword?”  Here Catiline is compared to Gracchus, the constitution of the state to the whole world, a slight change for the worse to fire and sword and desolation, and a private citizen to the consuls, all comparisons affording ample opportunity for further individual expansion, if anyone should desire so to do.  With regard to the amplificalion produced by reasoning, we must consider whether reasoning quite expresses my meaning. I am not a stickler for exact terminology, provided the sense is clear to any serious student. My motive in using this term was, however, this, that this form of amplification produces its effect at a point other than that where it is actually introduced. One thing is magnified in order to effect a corresponding augmentation elsewhere, and it is by reasoning that our hearers are then led on from the first point to the second which we desire to emplasise.  Cicero, when he is about to reproach Antony with his drunkenness and vomiting, says,20 “You with such a throat, such flanks, such burly strength in every limb of your prize-fighter's body,” etc. What have his throat and flanks to do with his drunkenness? The reference is far from pointless: for by looking at them we are enabled to estimate the quantity of [p. 273] the wine which he drank at Hippias' wedding, and was unable to carry or digest in spite of the fact that his bodily strength was worthy of a prizefighter. Accordingly if, in such a case, one thing is inferred from another, the term reasoning is neither improper nor extraordinary, since it has been applied on similar grounds to one of the bases.21 So, again,  amplification results from subsequent events, since the violence with which the wine burst from him was such that the vomiting was not accidental nor voluntary, but a matter of necessity, at a moment when it was specially unseemly, while the food was not recently swallowed, as is sometimes the case, but the residue of the revel of the preceding day.  On the other hand, amplification may equally result from antecedent circumstances; for example, when Juno made her request to Aeolus, the latter22
Saving Laurentian Turnus.
"Turned his spear and smotewhereby the poet shows what a mighty tempest will ensue.  Again, when we have depicted some horrible circumstance in such colours as to raise the detestation of our audience to its height, we then proceed to make light of them in order that what is to follow may seem still more horrible: consider the following passage from Cicero:23 “These are but trivial offences for so great a criminal. The captain of a warship from a famous city bought off' his threatened scourging for a price: a humane concession! Another paid down a sum of money to save his head from the axe:  a perfectly ordinary circumstance!” Does [p. 275] not the orator employ a process of reasoning to enable the audience to infer how great the implied crime must be when such actions were but humane and ordinary in comparison? So, again, one thing may be magnified by allusion to another: the valour of Scipio is magnified by extolling the fame of Hannibal as a general, and we are asked to marvel at the courage of the Germans and the Gauls in order to enhance the glory of Gaius Caesar.  There is a similar form of amplification which is effected by reference to something which appears to have been said with quite another purpose in view. The chiefs of Troy24 think it no discredit that Trojan and Greek should endure so many woes for so many years all for the sake of Helen's beauty. How wondrous, then, must her beauty have been! For it is not Paris, her ravisher, that says this; it is not some youth or one of the common herd; no, it is the elders, the wisest of their folk, the counsellors of Priam.  Nay, even the king himself, worn out by a ten years' war, which had cost him the loss of so many of his sons, and threatened to lay his kingdom in the dust, the man who, above all, should have loathed and detested her beauty, the source of all those tears, hears these words, calls her his daughter, and places her by his side, excuses her guilt, and denies that she is the cause of his sorrows.  Again, when Plato in the Symposium25 makes Alcibiades confess how he had wished Socrates to treat him, he does not, I think, record these facts with a view to blaming Aleibiades, but rather to show the unconquerable self-control of Socrates, which would not yield even to the charms which the greatest beauty of his day so frankly placed at his disposal. [p. 277]  We are even given the means of realising the extraordinary stature of the heroes of old by the description of their weapons, such as the shield of Ajax26 and the spear-shaft of Achilles27 hewn in the forests of Pelion. Virgil28 also has made admirable use of this device in his description of the Cyclops. For what an image it gives us of the bulk of that body
The mountain's caverned side, and forth the winds
Rushed in a throng,"
“Whose hand was propped by a branchless trunk ofSo, too, what a giant must Demoleos29 have been,  Whose
“corselet manifoldAnd yet the hero buckled it upon him and
Scarce two men on their shoulders could uphold
“Drave the scattering Trojans at full speed.And again, Cicero30 could hardly even have conceived of such luxury in Antony himself as he describes when he says, “You might see beds in the chambers of his slaves strewn with the purple coverlets that had once been Pompey's own.” Slaves are using purple coverlets in their chambers, aye, and coverlets that had once been Pompey's! No more, surely, can be said than this, and yet it leaves us to infer how infinitely greater was the luxury of their master.  This form of amplification is near akin to emphasis: but emphasis derives its effect from the actual words, while in this case the effect is produced by inference from the facts, and is consequently far more impressive, inasmuch as facts are more impressive than words. [p. 279] Accumulation of words and sentences identical in meaning may also be regarded under the head of amplification. For although the climax is not in this case reached by a series of steps, it is none the less attained by the piling up of words. Take the following example:31  “What was that sword of yours doing, Tubero, the sword you drew on the field of Pharsalus? Against whose body did you aim its point? What meant those arms you bore? Whither were your thoughts, your eyes, your hand, your fiery courage directed on that day? What passion, what desires were yours?” This passage recalls the figure styled συναθροισμός32 by the Greeks, but in that figure it is a number of different things that are accumulated, whereas in this passage all the accumulated details have but one reference. The heightening of effect may also be produced by making the words rise to a climax.33 “There stood the porter of the prison, the praetor's executioner, the death and terror of the citizens and allies of Rome, the lictor Sextius.”  Attenuation is effected by the same method, since there are as many degrees of descent as ascent. I shall therefore content myself with quoting but one example, namely, the words used by Cicero34 to describe the speech of Rullus: “A few, however, who stood nearest to him suspected that he had intended to say something about the agrarian law.” This passage may be regarded as providing an example of attenuation or of augmentation, according as we consider its literal meaning or fix our attention on the obscurity attributed to Rullus.  I know that some may perhaps regard hyperbole as a species of amplification, since hyperbole can be [p. 281] employed to create an effect in either direction. But as the name is also applied to one of the tropes, I must postpone its consideration for the present. I would proceed to the immediate discussion of this subject but for the fact that others have given separate treatment to this form of artifice, [which employs words not in their literal, but in a metaphorical sense35]. I shall therefore at this point indulge a desire now almost universal, and discuss a form of ornament which many regard as the chief, nay, almost the sole adornment of oratory. V. When the ancients used the word sententia, they meant a feeling, or opinion. The word is frequently used in this sense by orators, and traces of this meaning are still found even in the speech of every day. For when we are going to take an oath we use the phrase ex animi nostri sententia (in accordance with what we hold is the solemn truth), and when we offer congratulations, we say that we do so ex sententia (with all our heart). The ancients, indeed, often expressed the same meaning by saying that they uttered their sensa; for they regarded senses as referring merely to the senses of the body.  But modern usage applies sensus to concepts of the mind, while sentcntia is applied to striking reflexions such as are more especially introduced at the close of our periods, a practice rare in earlier days, but carried even to excess in our own. Accordingly, I think that I ought to say something of the various forms which such reflexions may tale and the manner in which they should be used.  Although all the different forms are included under the same name, the oldest type of sententia, and that in which the term is most correctly applied, [p. 283] is the aphorism, called γνώμη by the Greeks. Both the Greek and the Latin names are derived from the fact that such utterances resemble the decrees or resolutions of public bodies. The term, however, is of wide application (indeed, such reflexions may be deserving of praise even when they have no reference to any special context), and is used in various ways. Sometimes it refers merely to things, as in the sentence: “There is nothing that wins the affections of the people more than goodness of heart.36” Occasionally, again, they may have a personal reference, as in the following utterance of Domitius Afer: “The prince who would know all, must needs ignore much.”  Some have called this form of reflexion a part of the enthymeme, others the major premise or conclusion of the epichireme, as it sometimes, though not invariably, is. More correct is the statement that at times it is simple, as in the example just quoted, while at other times a reason for the statement may be added,37 such as the following:38 “For in every struggle, the stronger seems not to suffer wrong, even when this is actually the case, but to inflict it, simply in virtue of his superior power.” Sometimes, again, it may be double, as in the statement that
There are some even who classify them under ten39 heads, though the principle on which they make this division is such that it would justify a still larger number: they class them as based on interrogation, comparison, denial, similarity, admiration, and the like, for they can be treated under every [p. 285] kind of figure. A striking type is that which is produced by opposition:
Complaisance wins us friends, truth enmity.Ter. Andr. I. i. 41.
Others are cast in a form of a direct statement,  such as
Death is not bitter, but the approach to death.Author unknown.
But they acquire greater force by a change in the figure employed, as in the following:
The miser lacks
That which he has no less than what he has
not.Publil. Syr. Sent. 486.
For this is more vigorous than the simple statement, “Death is not bitter.” A similar effect may be produced by transference of' the statement from the general to the particular. For example, although the direct statement would be, “To hurt is easy, but to do good is hard.” Ovid40 gives this reflexion increased force when lie makes Medea say,
Is it so bitter, then, to die?Aen. xii. 646.
“I had the power to save, and ask you then Cicero41 again gives the general statement a personal turn when he says: “Caesar, the splendour of your present fortune confers on you nothing greater than the power and nothing better than the will to save as many of your fellow-citizens as possible.” For here he attributes to Caesar what was really attributable to the circumstances of his power. In this class of reflexion we must be careful, as always, not to employ them too frequently, nor at random, nor place them in the mouth of every kind of person, [p. 287] while we must make certain that they are not untrue, as is so often the case with those speakers who style them reflexions of universal application and recklessly employ whatever seems to support their case as though its truth were beyond question.  Such reflexions are best suited to those speakers whose authority is such that their character itself will lend weight to their words. For who would tolerate a boy, or a youth, or even a man of low birth who presumed to speak with all the authority of a judge and to thrust his precepts down our throats?  The term enthymeme may be applied to any concept of the mind, but in its strict sense means a reflexion drawn from contraries. Consequently, it has a supremacy among reflexions which we may compare to that of Homer among poets and Rome among cities.  I have already said enough on this topic in dealing with arguments.42 But the use of the enthymeme is not confined to proof, it may sometimes be employed for the purpose of ornament, as in the following instance:43 “Caesar, shall the language of those whom it is your glory to have spared goad you to imitate their own cruelty?” Cicero's motive in saying this is not that it introduces any fresh reason for clemency, but because he has already demonstrated by other arguments how unjust such conduct would be,  while he adds it at the period's close as an epiphonema, not by way of proof, but as a crowning insult to his opponents. For an epiphonema is an exclamation attached to the close of a statement or a proof by way of climax. Here are two examples:
If I have power to ruin?
and “The virtuous youth preferred to risk his life [p. 289] by slaying him to suffering such dishonour.”44  There is also what our modern rhetoricians call the noema, a term which may be taken to mean every kind of conception, but is employed by them in the special sense of things which they wish to be understood, though they are not actually said, as in the declamation where the sister defends herself against the brother whom she had often bought out from the gladiatorial school, when he brought an action against her demanding the infliction of a similar mutilation because she had cut off his thumb while he slept: “You deserved,” she cries, “to have all your fingers,” meaning thereby, “You deserved to be a gladiator all your days.”  There is also what is called a clausula. If this merely means a conclusion, it is a perfectly correct and sometimes a necessary device, as in the following case: “You must, therefore, first confess your own offence before you accuse Ligarius of anything.”45 But to-day something more is meant, for our rhetoricians want every passage, every sentence to strike the ear by an impressive close.  In fact, they think it a disgrace, nay, almost a crime, to pause to breathe except at the end of a passage that is designed to call forth applause. The result is a number of tiny epigrams, affected, irrelevant and disjointed. For there are not enough striking reflexions in the world to provide a close to every period.  The following forms of reflexion are even more modern. There is the type which depends on surprise for its effect, as, for example, when Vibius Crispus, in denouncing the man who wore a breastplate when strolling in the forum and alleged that he did so because he feared for his life, cried, “Who [p. 291] gave you leave to be such a coward?” Another instance is the striking remark made by Africanus to Nero with reference to the death of Agrippina: “Caesar, your provinces of Gaul entreat you to bear your good fortune with courage.”  Others are of an allusive type: for example, Domitius Afer, in his defence of Cloatilla, whom Claudius had pardoned when she was accused of having buried her husband, who had been one of the rebels, addressed her sons in his peroration with the words: “Nonetheless, it is your duty, boys, to give your mother burial.”46 Some, again,  depend on the fact that they are transferred from one context to another Crispus, in his defence of Spatale, whose lover had made her his heir and then proceeded to die at the age of eighteen, remarked: “What a marvellous fellow to gratify his passion thus!”47  Another type of reflexion may be produced by the doubling of a phrase, as in the letter written by Seneca for Nero to be sent to the senate on the occasion of his mother's death, with a view to creating the impression that he had been in serious danger:—“As yet I cannot believe or rejoice that I am safe.” Better, however, is the type which relies for its effect on contrast of opposites, as “I know from whom to fly, but whom to follow I know not;”48 or, “What of the fact that the poor wretch, though he could not speak,  could not keep silence?”49 But to produce the most striking effect this type should be given point by the introduction of a comparison, such as is made by Trachalus in his speech against Spatale, where he says: “Is it your pleasure, then, ye laws, the faithful guardians of chastity, that wives should receive a title50 and harlots a quarter?” [p. 293] In these instances, however, the reflexion may equally well be good or bad.  On the other hand, there are some which will always be bad, such as those which turn on play upon words, as in the following case: “Conscript fathers, for I must address you thus that you may remember the duty owed to fathers.” Worse still, as being more unreal and far-fetched, is the remark made by the gladiator mentioned above in his prosecution of his sister: “I have fought to the last finger.”51  There is another similar type, which is perhaps the worst of all, where the play upon words is combined with a false comparison. When I was a young man I heard a distinguished pleader, after handing a mother some splinters of bone taken from the head of her son (which he did merely to provide an occasion for his epigram), cry: “Unhappiest of women, your son is not yet dead and yet you have gathered up his bones!”  Moreover, most of our orators delight in devices of the pettiest kind, which seriously considered are merely ludicrous, but at the moment of their production flatter their authors by a superficial semblance of wit. Take, for instance, the exclamation from the scholastic theme, where a man, after being ruined by the barrenness of his land, is shipwrecked and hangs himself: “Let him whom neither earth nor sea receives, hang in mid air.”  A similar absurdity is to be found in the declamation, to which I have already referred, in which a father poisons his son who insists on tearing his flesh with his teeth: “The man who eats such flesh, deserves such drink.” Or again, take this passage from the theme of the luxurious man who is alleged to have pretended to starve himself to death: “Tie a noose [p. 295] for yourself: you have good reason to be angry with your throat. 'rake poison: it is fit that a luxurious man should die of drink!”  Others are merely fatuous, such as the remark of the declaimer who urges the courtiers of Alexander to provide him with a tomb by burning down Babylon. “I am burying Alexander. Shall any man watch such a burial from his housetop?” As if this were the climax of indignities! Others fail from sheer extravagance. For example, I once heard a rhetorician who was declaiming about the Germans, say: “I know not where they carry their heads,”52 and again when belauding a hero, “He beats back whole wars with the boss of his shield.”  However, I shall never come to an end if I try to describe every possible form of this kind of absurdity. I will therefore turn to discuss a point of more importance. Rhetoricians are divided in opinion on this subject: some devote practically all their efforts to the elaboration of reflexions, while others condemn their employment altogether. I cannot agree entirely with either view.  If they are crowded too thick together, such reflexions merely stand in each other's way, just as in the case of crops and the fruits of trees lack of room to grow results in a stunted development. Again in pictures a definite outline is required to throw objects into relief, and consequently artists who include a number of objects in the same design separate them by intervals sufficient to prevent one casting a shadow on the other. Further,  this form of display breaks up our speeches into a number of detached sentences; every reflexion is isolated, and consequently a fresh start is necessary after each. This produces a discontinuous style, since [p. 297] our language is composed not of a system of limbs, but of a series of fragments: for your nicely rounded and polished phrases are incapable of cohesion. Further, the colour,  though bright enough, has no unity, but consists of a number of variegated splashes. A purple stripe appropriately applied lends brilliance to a dress, but a dress decorated with a quantity of patches can never be becoming to anybody.  Wherefore, although these ornaments may seem to stand out with a certain glitter of their own, they are rather to be compared to sparks flashing through the smoke than to the actual brilliance of flame: they are, in fact, invisible when the language is of uniform splendour, just as the stars are invisible in the light of day. And where eloquence seeks to secure elevation by frequent small efforts, it merely produces an uneven and broken surface which fails to win the admiration due to outstanding objects and lacks the charm that may be found in a smooth surface.  To this must be added the fact that those who devote themselves solely to the production of reflexions cannot avoid giving utterance to many that are trivial, flat or foolish. For their mere number will so embarrass their author that selection will be impossible. Consequently you will often find that such persons will produce a division or an argument as if it were an epigram, the only qualification necessary being that it should come toward the close of the period and be impressively delivered.  “You killed your wife, though you were an adulterer yourself. I should loathe you even if you had only divorced her.” Here we have a division. “Do you wish me to prove that a love-philtre is a poison? The man would still be living, if he had not drunk it.” This is an [p. 299] argument. There are, moreover, a number of speakers who not merely deliver many such epigrams, but utter everything as if it were an epigram.  Against these persons, on the other hand, must be set those who shun and dread all ornament of this kind, approving nothing that is not plain, humble and effortless, with the result that by their reluctance to climb for fear of falling they succeed merely in maintaining a perpetual flatness. What sin is there in a good epigram? Does it not help our case, or move the judge, or commend the speaker to his audience? It may be urged, perhaps,  that it is a form of ornament eschewed by the ancients. What do you mean by antiquity? If you go back to the earliest periods you will find that Demosthenes frequently employed methods that were known to none before him. How can we give our approval to Cicero, if we think that no change should be made from the methods of Cato and the Gracchi? And yet before the Gracchi and Cato the style of oratory was simpler still.  For my own part I regard these particular ornaments of oratory to be, as it were, the eyes of eloquence. On the other hand, I should not like to see the whole body full of eyes, for fear that it might cripple the functions of the other members, and, if I had no alternative, I should prefer the rudeness of ancient eloquence to the license of the moderns. But a middle course is open to us here no less than in the refinements of dress and mode of life, where there is a certain tasteful elegance that offends no one. Therefore let us as far as possible seek to increase the number of our virtues, although our first care must always be to keep ourselves free from vices, lest in seeking to make ourselves better than [p. 301] the ancients we succeed merely in making ourselves unlike them.  I will now proceed to the next subject for discussion, which is, as I have said, that of tropes, or modes, as the most distinguished Roman rhetoricians call them. Rules for their use are given by the teachers of literature as well. But I postponed the discussion of the subject when I was dealing with literary education, because it seemed to me that the theme would have greater importance if handled in connexion with the ornaments of oratory, and that it ought to be reserved for treatment on a larger scale.
Such toil it was to found the Roman race!Aen. i. 33.