The Orations of Marcus Tullius Cicero, Volume 4 eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 784 pages of information about The Orations of Marcus Tullius Cicero, Volume 4.
so that they can be understood in two different senses.  Then the intention of the framer is opposed to the letter of the law; so that the question is, whether the words or the intention ought to have the greatest validity?  Then again, another law is adduced contrary to this law.  So there are three kinds of doubts which can give rise to a dispute with respect to every written document; ambiguity of expression, discrepancy between the expression and the intention, and also written documents opposed to the one in question.  For this is evident; that these kinds of disputes are no more incidental to laws than to wills, or covenants, or to anything else which is contained in writing.  And the way to treat these topics is explained in other books.

XXVI.  Nor is it only entire pleadings which are assisted by these topics, but the same are useful in the separate parts of an orator; being partly peculiar and partly general.  As in the opening of a speech, in which the orator must employ peculiar topics in order to render his hearers well disposed to him, and docile, and attentive.  And also he must attend to his relations of facts, so that they may have a bearing on his object, that is to say, that they may be plain, and brief, and intelligible, and credible, and respectable, and dignified:  for although these qualities ought to be apparent throughout the whole speech, still they are peculiarly necessary in any narration.  But since the belief which is given to a narration is engendered by persuasiveness, we have already, in the treatises which we have written on the general subject of oratory, explained what topics they are which have the greatest power to persuade the hearers.  But the peroration has other points to attend to, and especially amplification; the effect of which ought to be, that the mind of the hearer is agitated or tranquillized by it; and if it has already been affected in that way, that the whole speech shall either increase its agitation, or calm it more completely.

For this kind of peroration, by which pity, and anger, and hatred, and envy, and similar feelings of the mind are excited, rules are furnished in those books, which you may read over with me whenever you like.  But as to the point on which I have known you to be anxious, your desires ought now to be abundantly satisfied.  For, in order not to pass over anything which had reference to the discovery of arguments in every sort of discussion, I have embraced more topics than were desired by you; and I have done as liberal sellers often do, when they have sold a house or a farm, the movables being all excepted from the sale, still give some of them to the purchaser, which appear to be well placed as ornaments or conveniences.  And so we have chosen to throw in some ornaments that were not strictly your due, in addition to that with which we had bound ourselves to furnish you.

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