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in their tendency. In like manner, the author provides beforehand the demonstrative orator with the means of showing that a certain character is praiseworthy or censurable, and the judicial orator with proofs that such an action is just or unjust, and has or has not been done. In so doing he does not hesitate to teach the art of sophistry. Take, for instance, the following methods of false panegyric and inculpation. “In speaking against a man who is really brave, but who makes use of stratagem in war, we might call him a poltroon, whose courage is efficient only in detecting treasons and laying ambuscades. On the other hand, if the niggard is to be praised, we have only to extol his parsimony as economy and prudence. To the man who is insensible to insult, we might apply the terms mild and peaceful. While in speaking of a rough and choleric man, we would say, he is candid and open, and cannot dissemble. Besides the sophistry which may thus be practised in names, a thing may be made to pass as virtuous by a false course of reasoning, as thus: the man who unnecessarily runs into danger, may be expected to perform wonders when borne thither by the call of honor."
Under the head of judiciary rhetoric, the author dwells at great length on the means of showing that a particular action has or has not been done, and to this end enters into an elaborate analysis of the motives which impel men to action, of the classes of men that are likely to injure others, and of the kind of persons that are likely to be injured, thus enabling the advocate to confirm the testimony in his favor by setting forth its probability in the nature of the case, and to discredit the evidence against him or his client by exhibiting the intrinsic improbability that such a person should have done such an act under such circumstances.
He then concludes that subject and the first Book by a lawyer-like discussion of the nature of law, and the kinds and degrees of evidence.
The second Book is made up of what we should call a philosophical treatise on the passions and dispositions of mankind.* He never loses sight, however, of the rhetorical application of his philosophy. He is still the practical, as well as the analytical philosopher, and practical in the truest and best sense. For the only solid basis for rhetoric, as for all those arts which have any thing to do with men, is a sound system of Anthropology. In connection with his analysis of each passion, he inquires, what persons are likely to be the subjects of it, and what objects or circumstances are fitted to excite it, that the orator may know when and how to raise or allay each several passion, as bis interests may require. For the same purpose and in the same manner, he treats of the manners and habits which belong to different ages and conditions of men. And in conclusion, he deduces from these illustrations of human nature, places or topics of proof, which are alike applicable to all the several kinds of eloquence. After some remarks upon the use of Parables, Fables, and Sentences, (by which he means the opinions of wise and great men,) and after a chapter each on Sophistical Propositions and their refutation, the author passes to the third and last Book, which relates to the
Orator's Style and Manner. Style and manner is manifestly quite a secondary affair in our author's estimation, and, as such, is treated in a brief and unsatisfactory way. He does indeed say, that of all the orators who appear in public, those only bear away the prize who are distinguished by a happy diction and a pleasing elocution. But he adds, that this results from the degeneracy and corruption of the age. And he manifestly feels that when the orator has brought forward satisfactory proof, that is enough, and nothing more ought to be required of him. Sull he analyzes with profound skill, and illustrates with boundless
* I find it strange, says Lord Bacon, that Aristotle should have written divers volumes of Ethics, and never handled the affections, which is the principal subject thereof—and yet in his Rhetoric he findeth a place for them, and handleth them well for the quantity.
learning, the several figures of speech, the difficult kinds of style, and the successive parts of a complete discourse, little as he made of this branch of rhetoric comparatively. Subsequent rhetoricians have been indebted to him for not a few of their best thoughts and illustrations on the subject of style. And the young writer or student of modern times would do well to give heed particularly to what he says of the chief excellences of style, as consisting in a transparent clearness and a happy adaptation to the subject of which the writer treats, or the end which he aims to accomplish.
But we have already exhibited enough of Aristotle's rhetoric, to show its leading characteristics. It places the art of rhetoric on its true basis-viz. a thorough and profound acquaintance with mankind. It presents a just and instructive analysis of the human intellect and the human heart. It bids the young orator look chiefly to the discipline of his mental powers, to the acquisition of valuable knowledge, and to the skilful use of those powers and acquisitions for success in the art of conviction and persuasion. It diverts his attention from mere words to things—from all that is showy and frivolous, to all that is solid and substantial. In making so much of proof and so little of everything else, Aristotle is not so partial or defective as, at first sight, he might appear to be. For,' by proof he means whatever is fitted to affect and move the whole man-man as he is, and not merely as he should be—the particular men, whom the orator has occasion to address, whether governed by reason,,or swayed by passion. Perhaps he ascribes too much to reasoning, and is too ready to suppose all men as purely intellectual as himself. Doubtless he attaches too little value to the cultivation of style and manner. But
if we must choose between the merely thoughtful and philosophical treatise before us, and the mere word-mills, figure-machines, and sentence-factories, that are too often dignified with the name of Rhetoric, give us Aristotle with all his faults.
The early Greek critics agree in ascribing to Aristotle's rhetoric the high honor of having formed the oratory of Demosthenes—an oratory which was as thoughtful and manly, as argumentative and compact, as the Stagirite himself would have it, but which was as pregnant with passion, as it was with observation and reflection—an oratory, which had for its body logic and common sense, but which had also a soul, and that a soul of true Promethean fire. Cicero entertained the highest respect, not only for Aristotle's genius as a philosopher, but for his skill and discernment as a critic.' Quinctilian lauds him as if himself a pattern of the eloquence he teaches.2 Lord Bacon thinks Aristotle exceeded himself in his rhetoric, because the competition of the Sophists here drove him into the field of observation and practical lise, where alone true wisdom is to be found, and where, after all, the real strength of the Stagirite lay. We pass now to
Only a single Book of this remains. But it is full of sound, valuable, and condensed matter. Like every other work of Aristotle, it goes to the bottom of things, strips off their forms and penetrates to their essential, living principles.
The essential principle of poetry consists in its being an imitation. It differs from history for instance, not in that the former is written in verse and the latter in prose; for the narrations of Herodotus would be a history though rendered into verse, while the Mimes of Sophron are poetry, though written in prose. On the other hand, Homer and Empedocles both wrote in verse ; but the one is a poet, while the other is only a naturalist. But history is a reality; poetry an imitation. History relates to what has actually been done; poetry, what may or might be done. Poetry is, therefore, more instructive than history ; for history details particular facts, while poetry teaches general truths.
Quis omninm doctior ? quis acutior ? quis in rebus, vel inveniendis, vel judicandis, acrior Aristotele fuit ? Cic de orat.
* Quem dubito scientia rerum, an scriptorum copia, an eloquendi suavitate, an inventionum acumine, an varietate operum, clariorem putem.
The several kinds of poetry are all imitations. But they differ from each other in three respects : by using means of imitation different in kind, or by the difference of the things imitated, or by imitating in a different manner.
The means of imitation in poetry are language, harmony or music, and rhythm or movement. The dance imitates by rhythm alone; epic poetry, by language only, oftener verse, but sometimes prose; lyric, by language and harinony; dramatic, often by rhythm, language, and harmony combined.
The things imitated in poetry are the actions and characters of men. Tragedy represents its characters greater and better than they are in real life; comedy, worse than they are ; epic poetry, sometimes better, sometinies worse, sometimes as they are, according to the genius of the poet.
As to the manner of imitation, it inay be entirely by narration, as in lyric poetry; or entirely by representation, as in dramatic ; or partly by narration and partly by representation, as in the Homeric Poems.
Poetry originates in and is based upon two principles in our nature love of harmony and fondness for imitation. So strong is the latter principle, that things which we view with pain in themselves, we love to see represented as accurately as possible.
Homer may be regarded as the father of dramatic as well as epic poetry, since his works are full of dramatic representation; and the elements of comedy are found in the Margites, as the materials of tragedy are in the Iliad and Odyssey. The Dorians laid claiin to the invention of dramatic poetry, and in proof referred to the words drama, tragedy, and comedy, which are all of Doric, not Attic, origio. But the Attics soon improved the drama and appropriated it almost exclusively to themselves.
Six parts enter into the nature and merits of a perfect tragedy: the fable or plot, the manners or characters, the language, the sentiments, the apparatus of the theatre, and the music. The plot is the chief part ; and the characters, the second in relative importance the former being, as it THIRD SERIES, VOL. II. NO. I.