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[7] Another topic consists in turning upon the opponent what has been said against ourselves; and this is an excellent method.1 For instance, in the Teucer2 . . . and Iphicrates employed it against Aristophon, when he asked him whether he would have betrayed the fleet for a bribe; when Aristophon said no, “Then,” retorted Iphicrates, “if you, Aristophon, would not have betrayed it, would I, Iphicrates, have done so?” But the opponent must be a man who seems the more likely to have committed a crime; otherwise, it would appear ridiculous, if anyone were to make use of such an argument in reference to such an opponent, for instance, as Aristides3; it should only be used to discredit the accuser. For in general the accuser aspires to be better than the defendant; accordingly, it must always be shown that this is not the case. And generally, it is ridiculous for a man to reproach others for what he does or would do himself, or to encourage others to do what he does not or would not do himself.

1 Or, “the ways of doing this are various” (Jebb).

2 The illustration is lost or perhaps purposely omitted as well known. The Teucer was a tragedy of Sophocles.

3 It would be absurd to use such an argument against the accusation of a “just man” like Aristides, and to pretend that he is more likely to have committed the crime. It must only be used when the opponent's character is suspect, and lends itself to such a retort.

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