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gained by art, do not properly fall under our present consideration.
But because all are not born with a like happy genius, and have not the same opportunity to cultivate their minds with learning and knowledge, and because nothing is more difficult than to dwell long upon the consideration of one thing, in order to find out the strongest arguments which may be offered for and against it,—upon these accounts art has prescribed a method to lessen in some measure these difficulties, and help every one to a supply of arguments upon any subject. And this is done by the contrivance of common places, which Cicero calls the seats or heads of arguments, and, by a Greek name, topics. They are of two sorts, internal and external. As to the former, though things with regard to their nature and properties are exceedingly various, yet they have certain common relations, by means whereof the truth of what is either affirmed or denied concerning them in any respect may be evinced. The ancient Greek rhetoricians therefore reduced these relations to some general heads; which are termed common places, because the reasons or arguments suited to prove any proposition are reposited in them, as a common fund er receptacle. And they are called internal heads, because they arise from the subject upon which the orator treats; and are therefore distinguished from others, named external, which he fetches from without, and applies to his present purpose, as will be shown hereafter. Cicero and Quintilian make them sixteen ; three of which comprehend the whole thing they are brought to prove; namely, Definition, Enumeration, and Notation ; and of the remaining thirteen some
contain a part of it, and the rest its various properties and circumstances, with other considerations relating to it; and these are Genus, Species, Antecedents, Consequents, Adjuncts, Conjugates, Cause, Effect, Contraries, Opposites, Similitude, Dissimilitude, and Comparison. I shall give a brief account of each of these, in the order now mentioned.
DEFINITION explains the nature of the thing defined, and shows what it is. And to whatsoever the definition agrees, the thing defined does so likewise. If therefore Socrates be a rational creature, he is a man ; because it is the definition of a man that he is a rational creature.
ENUMERATION takes in all the parts of a thing. And from this we prove, that what agrees to all the parts, agrees to the whole ; and what does not agree to any one or more parts, does not agree to the whole. As when Cicero proves to Piso, that all the Roman state hated him ; by enumerating the several ranks and orders of Roman citizens, who all did so.
Notation or Etymology explains the meaning or signification of a word. From which we reason thus : If he cannot pay his debts, he is insolvent ; for that is the meaning of the word insolvent.
GENUS is what contains under it two or more sorts of things, differing in nature. From this head logicians reason thus: Because every animal is mortal, and man is an animal, therefore man is mortal. But orators make a further use of this argument, which they call ascending from the hypothesis to the thesis, that is, from a particular to a general. As, should a person, when speaking in praise of justice, take occasion thence to commend and show the excellency of virtue in gen
eral, with a view to render that particular virtue more amiable. For since every species contains in it the whole nature of the genus to which it relates, besides what is peculiar to itself, whereby it is distinguished from it, what is affirmed of the genus must of necessity be applicable to the species.
SPECIES is that which comprehends under it all the individuals of the same nature. From hence we may argue: He is a man, therefore he has a rational soul. And orators sometimes take occasion from this head to descend from the thesis to the hypothesis ; that is, in treating upon what is more general to introduce some particular contained under it, for the greater illustration of the general.
ANTECEDENTS are such things, as being once allowed, others necessarily, or very probably, follow. From this head an inseparable property is proved from its subject: as, it is material, and therefore corruptie ble.
Consequents are such things, as being allowed, necessarily, or very probably, infer their antecedents
. Hence the subject is proved from an inseparable property in this manner: It is corruptible, and therefore material.
ADJUNCTS are separable properties of things, or circumstances that attend them. These are very ilumerous, and afford a great variety of arguments, some of which usually occur in every discourse. They do not necessarily infer their subject, but, if fitly chosen, render a thing credible, and are a sufficient ground for assent. The way of reasoning from them we shall show presently.
CONJUGATES are words deduced from the same
origin with that of our subject. By these the habit is proved from its acts : as, He who does justly is just. He does not act wisely, therefore he is not wise. But this inference will not hold, unless the actions appear continued and constant.
A CAUSE is that, by the force of which a thing does exist. There are four kinds of causes,-matter, form, efficient, and end, which afford a great variety of arguments. The way of reasoning from them is to infer the effect from the cause : as, Man is endued with reason, therefore he is capable of knowledge.
An EFFECT is that which arises from a cause, therefore the cause is proved by it; as, He is endued with knowledge, therefore with reason.
CONTRARIES are things which, under the same genus, are at the utmost distance from each other. So that what we grant to the one we utterly deny the other: as, Virtue ought to be embraced, therefore vice should be avoided.
Opposites are such things, which, though repugnant to each other, yet are not directly contradictory: as, to love and to injure; to hate and to commend. They differ from contraries in this, that they do not absolutely exclude one another. An argument is drawn from things repugnant, thus : He will do a man a mischief, therefore he does not love him. He loves a man, therefore he will not reproach him.
SIMILITUDE is an agreement of things in quality. Thus Cicero proves, that pernicious citizens ought to be taken out of the state; by the likeness they bear to corrupted members, which are cut off to prevent further damage to the body.
Dissimilitude is a disagreement of things in qualAnd by
ity. From this head Cicero shows the preference of his own exile to Piso's government of Macedonia ; by the difference between their conduct, and the people's esteem of them.
Comparison is made three ways ; for either a thing is compared with a greater, with a less, or with its equal. This place therefore differs from that of similitude on this account, that the quality was considered in that, but here the quantity. An argument from the greater is thus drawn : If five legions could not conquer the enemy, much less will two. this the manner of the rest may be easily conceived.
I shall just give one example somewhat larger than I have hitherto done of the manner of reasoning from these heads, whereby the use of them may further appear. If any one therefore should have endeavoured to persuade Cicero not to accept of his life upon the condition offered him by Antony,—that he would burn his Philippic orations, which had been spoken against him,-he might be supposed to use such arguments as these; partly taken from the adjuncts of Cicero, partly from those of Antony, and partly from the thing itself. And first with regard to Cicero it might be said : That so great a man ought not to purchase his life at so dear a price, as the loss of that immortal honour which, by so great pains and labour, he had acquired. And this might be confirmed by another argument: That now he was grown old, and could not expect to live much longer. And from the character of Antony he might argue thus : That he was very crafty and deceitful, and only designed, by giving him hopes of life, to have the Philippics first burnt, which otherwise he knew would transmit to posterity