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PRINCIPLES OF RHETORIC
ADAMS SHERMAN HILL
BOYLSTON PROFESSOR OF RHETORIC AND ORATORY
IN HARVARD COLLEGE
NEW YORK ... CINCINNATI ... CHICAGO
Nam ipsum latine loqui, est illud quidem, ut paullo ante dixi, in magna laude ponendum ; sed non tam sua sponte, quam quod est a plerisque neglectum: non enim tam praeclarum est scire latine, quam turpe nescire ; neque tam id mihi oratoris boni, quam civis romani proprium videtur.
CICERO: Brutus, xxxvii.
For the purposes of this treatise, Rhetoric may be defined as the art of efficient communication by language. It is not one of several arts out of which a choice may be made; it is the art to the principles of which, consciously or unconsciously, a good writer or speaker must conform.
It is an art, not a science: for it neither observes, nor discovers, nor classifies; but it shows how to convey from one mind to another the results of observation, discovery, or classification; it uses knowledge, not as knowledge, but as power.
Logic simply teaches the right use of reason, and may be practised by the solitary inhabitant of a desert island; but Rhetoric, being the art of communication by language, implies the presence, in fact or in imagination, of at least two persons, — the speaker or the writer, and the person spoken to or written to. Aristotle makes the very essence of Rhetoric to lie in the distinct recognition of a hearer. Hence, its rules are not absolute, like those of logic, but relative to the character and circumstances of the person or persons addressed; for though