thing in the world; for the theory of rhetoric was here worked out for the first time, not on the basis of the susceptibilities of audiences, and the aural effect of language, but on the basis of the processes of reasoning and in strict relations with the science of logic. Speaking roughly, we may say that the Rhetoric treats for the first time the art of writing, as opposed to the art of speaking." This statement will have to be very carefully guarded, however; for there is an astonishing inconsistency in the work, which it will be useful to consider here for a moment. After treating style in the first two books as dependent upon the forms of thought, Aristotle discusses, in the third book, which is about style, á form which is not distinguishable from the Isocratean oratorical style, except that he lays an emphasis perhaps on shorter periods and treats the oratorical figures very simply. The explanation is probably to be found in the fact that the two parts were composed for different purposes at different times. The first is the work of a philosopher seeking to explain the part that rhetoric is observed to play in the life of man, and is not meant to have anything to do with the practise of the art; the second is a purely objective description of the form of style which he saw in actual use, the only describable, conventionalized form then in existence. course this explanation does not get rid of the essential inconsistency of his two modes of treatment. Nothing can do that; for it is involved in Aristotle's theory, and we encounter here for the first time a phenomenon that meets us at every point in the later history of the intimate or essay style, namely, the slipperiness of all rhetorical theory when it tries to establish itself on anything other than the sensuous character of language and the social conventions that give it opportunity and effect. When it aspires to be the art of presenting things or thought in their essential character and their true lineaments, rhetoric at once begins to lose its identity and be dissolved into one or another of the sciences. It is an art, in short, and every art is a social convention.


But we need go no further into this subject at present; what

For the relation between the ideas of Plato and those of the Rhetoric see Cope, Gorgias, xv-xxvi, and Hendrickson, Origin and Meaning of the Characters of Style, Amer. Journal of Phil., XXVI, 249-251.

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'On the inconsistency spoken of see Hendrickson, as above, 254-5. Norden speaks of inconsistencies of the same kind between the Rhetoric and other works of Aristotle (see Antike Kunstprosa, 125-6).

concerns us is that Aristotle's Rhetorio exactly represents the state of unstable equilibrium which had necessarily followed Plato's attack upon oratory. A new use of prose-style had now attained general recognition as a form of art-in brief the use of style for the purposes of philosophy and as closely related to the art of dialectic; and on the basis of this new conception of the purpose of prose-discourse Aristotle had erected the theory of the art of rhetoric. But in the meantime the older, traditional, oratorical customs had not yielded to the vigor of Plato's attack, but on the contrary were as flourishing as ever, and were universally recognized, even by Aristotle, as displaying the form of style which, in a purely rhetorical sense, is the ideal and abstract best. In other words, theory and the tradition of practice were in conflict, and Aristotle had done nothing to reconcile them.

The recognition of this difficulty was what determined the next step in the development of Greek rhetorical theory. The followers of Aristotle resolved it in a purely empirical way by recognizing a division of prose-style into two distinct characters or genera, which henceforward played the leading rôle in all the rhetorical criticism of antiquity. At a later stage in the development & third "character" was added and appears in all Latin criticism; but in the most recent and much the best treatment of the subject this addition is considered as a makeshift which tends to confuse the principle on which the original division was based. We shall have to speak of it in its place; but the main facts of moderni stylistic history, as of the ancient, are best represented by a consideration of the two characters which first make their appearance in Theophrastus and are more clearly defined in later successors of Aristotle.

The first was known as the genus grande or nobile. It was the rhetorical style of the Gorgianic tradition, and the adjectives used to describe it indicate the character it was originally supposed to have. When it was practised independently of the social and political conditions upon which it depends for its greatest success, its elaborate form and ornamental figures, studied merely for their

"In all that concerns the history of the three characters of style and the relations between the genus grande and the genus humile in ancient theory, I follow the convincing article by Professor G. L. Hendrickson cited in the preceding notes, and its companion, "The Peripatetic Mean of Style and ̧ the Three Stylistic Characters, in vol. xxv of the same publication.

own charm, gave it a character of cultus, or empty ornateness; and it was so portrayed at certain periods by its opponents. But the true nature of the genus grande is to be broad and general in its scope, large and open in design, strong, energetic, vehement. Tacitus ridicules its degenerate practitioners as minstrels or dancers, in allusion to the musical beauty of their rhythms; but Cicero in more than one passage compares the true orator with the tragic actor, in allusion to the breadth and passion of his portrayal of life.10

The newer style, which had appeared in opposition to this, was known as the genus humile or submissum (demissum), but its quality is better indicated by the more descriptive appellations often given to it, or to branches or varieties of it: lene, subtile, insinuating, flexible, subtle. A style of this general character would naturally have many particular forms. It might, for instance, become a deliberately rude, formless, negligent styledécousu, as Montaigne says of his own-in order to express contempt for cultus, or even for rhetoric itself, and a love of "honest" simplicity; on the other hand, it might emulate the colloquial ease and mondanité of good conversation, in intended contrast with the vulgar pomp of public oratory, and be distinguished as elegant, graceful, nitidus; or again it might declare its superiority to popular tastes, as in the hands of the Stoics, by affecting a scornful and significant brevity of utterance. All of these and other species of the genus were recognized by the ancients as actually existing, or as having existed at different times and places, and were distinguished by appropriate terms." But the genus as a whole is properly characterized by its origin in philosophy. Its function is to express individual variances of experience in contrast with the general and communal ideas which the open design of the oratorical style is so well adapted to contain. Its

•Plerique jactant cantari saltarique commentarios suos. Dial. de Or., 26. It is interesting that the reformers of style in the Renaissance compared the corrupt medieval form of the genus grande to minstrel's elocution. See my Introduction to Lyly's Euphues, p. xlii.

20 For example, in Brutus 201: Grandis et, ut ita dicam, tragicus orator. "See, for instance, the classification by Demetrius: graceful, plain, and arid; all of these being species which, in a different classification from Demetrius', would form parts of the genus humile. See also Diogenes Laertius, Life of Zeno, and Quintilian, x, 10, 20-27.

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idiom is that of conversation or is adapted from it, in order it may flow' into and fill up all the nooks and crannies of res and reproduce its exact image to attentive

As to its specific rhetorical forms nothing needs to be said h they will be considered fully elsewhere. But a general point be urged which is often, or usually, ignored by admirers of a g humile, and even by those who practise it, though the negled it is a prolific source of aberration both in theory and prac And this is the point that its rhetorical forms are modificat adaptations of those of the oratorical style. The ancients very slow to recognize any kind of literary customs other than ones; and even in the genres that were obviously meant for a reading, such as the letter, the form of the style was contr by the ear. This is a sound principle at all times, and fo kinds of style, and its operation cannot be escaped even thou is forgotten or denied. There is only one rhetoric, the art o beauty of spoken sounds. In oratory this beauty displays in its most obvious, explicit, exfoliated forms; in the genus h in much more delicate, implicit, or mingled ones. But the 1 are ultimately the same, and whatever beauty of style we in the most subtle and intimate kinds of discourse coul explained-if there were critics skillful and minute enoug terms of oratorical effect.

The history of Greek and Roman style is chiefly the story relations of the genus grande and the genus humile. Theoret the two kinds are not hostile or exclusive of each other; Cic always anxiously insisting that they are both necessary in proper places and relations to the oratory that he dreamed the perfection of literary art. But in fact they almost - proved to be rivals; and different schools, even long and imp literary periods, distinguish themselves by their preferen one of them, their dislike of the other.

"Quintilian's metaphor (x, 10, 37) is beautiful. Advising the 1 to cultivate the grand style rather than the 'Attic,' he says: "Gree even the little ones, know well their ports; let ours usually trave fuller sails, with a stronger breeze swelling our canvas.... the art of threading their way through the shallows; I would see what deeper waters, where my bark may be in no danger of founde


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proved to be so again during the formative period of modern e-style. The literary movement which is the subject of the sent discussion was a successful attempt to substitute the osophical genus humile for the oratorical genus grande in the eral practice of authors and the general favor of readers. oth the customs and the spirit of sixteenth-century life anded literary expression in oratorical forms. It was a period social unity, or at least of social unities. Brittle, temporary, sory, these unities were; yet they were effective and brilliant He they lasted, and created the congregational and social customs ch are favorable to a spoken literature. Even the religious troversy, so destructive of European society in the long run, the opposite effect at first. For it consolidated large masses people in devotion to a common cause, and gathered them ether in popular assemblies which listened with a new motive attention to discourses in the traditional forms of popular tion.

More important than all partisan loyalties, however, was the new ing of national unity which made itself felt almost everywhere ing this century. Whatever divisive forces were latent in the gious controversy were controlled and subordinated by centrial tendencies in the political world; and the bitterest sectarian were compelled to share, with at least a semblance of concord common loyalty, in the dazzling social and public life that ered in the courts of princes and in the cities that swarmed it them and took them as their models of conduct and manners. hear remarkably little, during this period, of solitary and emplative existences, of local characters, or of the self-dependent vidualism of the country-house. Everyone was present, either act or in idea, at court, and the most striking opportunities for ary.distinction were offered at the constant gatherings, public emi-public, more or less formal, which attended its various nonies and progresses and procedures. The occasions for the ic display of stylistic art in the presence of the sovereign or of his (or her) greater satellites were many: in the minor es of courtiers and ladies-in-waiting they were innumerable. should doubtless be greatly astonished, if we were able to

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