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BOOK and by what Æsop said in defence of an impeached demagogue. When the republic of Himera had chosen Phalaris for its leader, and was prepared to vote him a body-guard, Stesichorus, among other dissuasives from this measure, invented and related the following fable : — Long ago, a horse grazed, alone, in a rich meadow a stag came and did much mischief to the pasture. Desirous to revenge this wrong, the horse had recourse to man, and asked him whether they might not chastise the stag, by uniting their strength. The man said, "Nothing can be more easy; let me mount your back, putting a bridle in your mouth, and well armed with javelins." The horse consented, but instead of obtaining thereby the infliction of punishment on his adversary, he became from that moment the slave of his ally. Do you, therefore, take care, lest, in your eagerness to punish your enemies, you should incur the whole misfortune of the horse. You put the bridle in your mouths, when you elected Phalaris to the supreme command; but if you give him a guard, you will allow him to mount your backs, and to rule you at his absolute pleasure. Æsop, again, with a view to save a demagogue tried capitally in Samos, told a story of a fox, who, having passed a river, fell into a deep cavern by its side. Unable to extricate himself, he remained a long time, dreadfully tormented by gad-flies. He was spied by a hedgehog, who happened to be creeping about among those crevices. The hedge-hog took pity on
the fox's condition, and offered to rid him of CHAP. the gad-flies the wily fox forbade him: he asked the reason of this unexpected prohibition: "Because," the fox replied, "these blood-suckers are already full: if they are removed, others will fasten on my body, who, being empty and hungry, will extract the little blood that is left me. In the same manner, O men of Samos! this demagogue will not, in future, do you much injury, for he is rich; but should you destroy him, other needy demagogues will succeed, and devour the remaining resources of your commonwealth." Fables are well adapted Their comparative to popular assemblies, and have this advantage, cogency. that it is easier to compose them (this requiring but a slight effort of invention) than to produce cases in point, or parallel events in history. The latter, however, when they can be hit on, are incomparably more useful, and of incomparably more cogency: for history is the light. of life; and transactions that have really passed, are the only safe guides into the scenes of futurity. Examples must serve for proofs, when When examples are there is a deficiency of arguments: when these introduced abound, the examples ought to be thrown into with most the back ground, and reserved for the conclusion; for, if they were placed in the beginning of the discourse, they would wear the appearance of that inductive or tentative reasoning, which can very rarely be employed with suc
cess, in any kind of popular oratory. But, at the
end, examples assume the character of testimonies, and therefore have much persuasive efficacy.
BOOK At the beginning, to be impressive, they must be numerous; but, at the end, a single example is powerful; because there, it appears as a witness, and one credible witness is entitled to much weight. This may suffice concerning the different kinds of examples, as well as when and how they are to be employed.
As to sayings or sentences, having first explained what they are, we shall readily underSayings or stand to what sort of subjects they belong, on adages of four kinds; what occasions they are seasonable, and by what sort of persons they may, with propriety, be spectively, used. A sentence, then, is an affirmation, not
-when these, re
are most season
relating to an individual, as to pronounce any thing concerning the character of Iphicrates, but concerning a whole class of things. It is, therefore, a general proposition, though every such proposition is not a sentence. This name applies not to abstract and speculative truths, such as those of geometry, but to such truths only as bear a reference to life and action; and since the enthymemes or arguments belonging to the three kinds of oratory, are all of them of this sort, either their premises or their conclusions will constitute sentences, when enounced separately, and thus stripped of their argumentative form. For example,
A man that's wise will shun to make his sons
He says, the distinctions between straight and crooked lines, and the opposition of curvature to straightness —
Curvo dignoscere rectum.
This is a sentence; but should you add the CHAP. ground of the assertion,—
Besides their time wasted unprofitably, 7
They're butts of envious malice to their townsmen :
the two taken together will be an enthymeme or argument. Again,
Man is not made for freedom.
This is a sentence; but with the addition,-
the two taken together form an argument. Sentences, then, are either with the ground of the assertion, or without the ground of the assertion. Those require this addition, which contain any thing paradoxical or doubtful: those do not require it, which announce truths either previously known, or which become evident on the slightest reflection.—
Of human goods I deem good health the best.
The many are of this opinion.
True love is constant, not by fits and starts.
To see this requires but little consideration, Of sentences with the ground of the assertion, some are parts of an argument, as,——
A man that's wise will shun to make his sons, &c.
and some, though not parts of an enthymeme or argument, are yet highly argumentative; and
27 Another verse precedes this in the text
No man e'er deem'd has happiness complete. But the corresponding line, containing the ground of the-assertion, is wanting.
BOOK these are justly held in most esteem, as showing the reason of what is said: thus,
Let not a mortal keep immortal ire.
To say that" anger ought not to last for ever,
To mortals, views immortal don't belong.
From what has been said, we may perceive that sentences are of four kinds 29, and also on what occasions each kind is to be employed. In matters paradoxical or doubtful, the reason ought always to be given, either prefixed or subjoined. In the foregoing example, it may be prefixed, by saying, "Since time ought not to be unprofitably wasted, nor envy by any means to be incurred, I say that a learned education ought not to be given to youth;" or the sentence, forbidding a learned education, may be placed first,
28 Here Aristotle speaks popularly; but in his Ethics he repels with scorn this coarse and low opinion. "Men ought not, according to the vulgar exhortation, though they are mortal, to regard only mortal things; but as far as possible, to put on immortality, exerting themselves to catch the joys of the intellectual life...... living not merely as partners in a frail and compound nature, but according to the simple and divine principle within them; whose energies and virtues as far transcend all others, as the intellectual substance in which they reside, excels all other substances of which our frame consists, This is living according to the best part of what constitutes “ ourselves, which, though seemingly small in bulk, is incomparably greater in power and in value that all things besides." Ethics b. x. p. 515.
29 The order of the words is here changed, which perspicuity absolutely required.