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could not persuade ourselves that it address the passions, but what? to was by accident that the topics, or mind that, in all his arguments, he general heads of argument, were never suppresses one of his propositions ! in an absolute and unconditional sense And these follies are put into the true--but contained so much of plau. mouth of Aristotle. sible or colourable truth as is express. In this perplexity a learned Scottish ed in the original meaning of the word friend communicated to us an Essay probable. A ratio probabilis, in the of Facciolati's, read publicly about a Latin use of the word probabilis, is century ago (Nov. 172+), and entitled that ground of assent-not which the De Enthymemate,t in which he mainunderstanding can solemnly approve tains, that the received idea of the and abide by-but the very opposite enthymeme is a total blunder, and to this; one which it can submit to triumphantly restores the lost idea. for a moment, and countenance as “Nego," says he," nego enthymema within the limits of the plausible.* esse syllogismum mutilum, ut vulgo That this was the real governing law dialectici docent. Nego, inquam, et of Aristotle's procedure, it was not pernego enthymema enunciatione una possible to doubt; but was it consci- et conclusione constare, quamvis ita ously known to himself? If so, how in scholis omnibus finiatur, et a nobis was it to be reconciled with his own ipsis finitum sit aliquando-nolenformal account of the office of rheto- tibus extra locum lites suscipere.” I ric, so often repeated, that it consisted deny peremptorily that an enthymeme in finding enthymemes ? What then consists of one premiss and the concluwas an enthymeme?
sion : although that doctrine has been Oxford! thou wilt think us mad to laid down universally in the schools, ask. Certainly we knew, what all and upon one occasion even by myself, the world knows, that an enthymeme as unwilling to move the question una was understood to be a syllogism of seasonably. which one proposition is suppressed Facciolati is not the least accurate major, minor, or conclusion. But of logicians, because he happens to be what possible relation had that to the most elegant. Yet, we apprehend, rhetoric? Nature sufficiently prompts that at such innovations, Smiglecius all men to that sort of ellipsis; and will stir in his grave; Keckermanmis what impertinence in a teacher to will groan; “ Dutch Burgersdyk” will build his whole system upon a solemn snort; and English Crackenthorpius, precept to do this or that, when the (who has the honour to be an ancestor rack would not have forced any man of Mr Wordsworth's,) though buried to do otherwise! Besides, Aristotle for two centuries, will revisit the had represented it as the fault of glimpses of the moon. And really, if former systems, that they applied the question were for a name, Heaven themselves exclusively to the treat- forbid that we should disturb the peace ment of the passions-an ohject fo- of logicians: they might have leave to reign to the purpose of the rhetorician, say, as of the Strid in Wharfdale, who, in some situations, is absolutely forbidden by law to use any such “ It bas borne that name a thousand years. arts: whereas, says he, his true and And shall a thousand more." universal weapon is the enthymeme, which is open to him everywhere. But, whilst the name is abused, the Now what opposition, or what rela- idea perishes. Facciolati undoubtedly tion of any kind, can be imagined be- is right: nor is he the first who has tween the system which he rejects observed the error. Julius Pacius, and the one he adopts, if the enthy- who understood Aristotle better than meme is to be understood as it usually any man that ever lived, had long be. has been? The rhetorician is not to fore remarked it. The arguments of
It is ludicrous to sec the perplexity of some translators and commentators of the Rhetoric, who, having read it under a false point of view, and understood it in the sense of Aristotle's own deliberate judgment on the truth, labour to defend it on that footing. On its real footing it needs no defence.
+ It stands at p. 927 of Jacobi Facciolati Orationis XII., Acroasts, &c. Poloiii, 1720. Tlus is the 24 Italian edition, and was printed at the L'niversity Press.
Facciolati we shall give below;* it sult. An enthymeme differs from a will be sufficient here to state the re. syllogism, not in the accident of sup
• Upon an innovation of such magnitude, and which will be so startling to scholars, it is but fair that Facciolati should have the benefit of all his own arguments : and we have therefore resolved to condense them. 1. He begins with that very passage (or one of them,) on which the received idea of the Enthymeme most relies ; and from this he derives an argument for the new idea. The passage is to this effect, that the Enthy-, meme is composed έκ πολλακις έλαττονων και εξ ών ο συλλοδισμος-i. c. frequently. consists of fewer parts than the syllogism. Frequently! What logic is there in that 2 Can it be imagined, that so rigorous a logician as Aristotle would notice, as a circum. stance of frequent occurrence in an enthymeme, what, by the received doctrine, should be its mere essence and differential principle ? To say that this happens frequently, is to say, by implication, that sometimes it does not happeni. e. that it is an accident, and no part of the definition, since it may thus confessedly be absent, salva ratione con. ceptus. 2. Waving this argument, and supposing the suppression of one proposition to be even universal in the enthymeme, still it would be an impertinent circumstance, and (philosophically speaking) an accident. Could it be tolerated, that a great systematic distinction (for such it is in Aristotle,) should rest upon a mere abbreviation of convenience ? “ Quasi vero argumentandi ratio et natura varietur, cum brevius effer tur;" whereas Aristotle himself tells us, that “ j apos ta içue dolor in arodvigor ante argos Tor er en fux?" 3. From a particular passage in the 2d book of the Prior Analytics, (chap. 27,) generally interpreted in a way to favour the existing account of the enthymeme, after first of all shewing, that under a more accurate construction it is incompatible with that account, whilst it is in perfect harmony with the new one, Facciolati deduces an explanation of that accidental peculiarity in the enthymeme, which has attracted such undue attention as to eclipse its true characteristic: the peculiarity, we mean, of being entitled (though not, as the common idea is, required,) to suppress one proposition. So much we shall here anticipate, as to say, that this privilege arises out of the peculiar matter of the enthymeme, which fitted it for the purposes of the rhetorician ; and these purposes being loose and popular, brought with them proportionable indulgences ; whereas the syllogism, technically so called, employing a severer matter, belonged peculiarly to the dialectician, or philosophic disputant, whose purposes being rigorous and scientific, imposed much closer restrictions, and one of these was, that he should in no case suppress any proposition, however obvious, but should formally enunciate all : just as in the debating schools of later ages it has always been the rule, that before urging his objection, the opponent should repeat the respondent's syllogism. Hence, although the rhetorician naturally used his privilege, and enthymemes were in fact generally shorn of one proposition, (and vice versa with respect to syllogisms in the strict philosophic sense,) yet was all this a mere effect of usage and accident; and it was very possible for an enthymeme to have its full complement of parts, whilst a syllogism might be defective in the very way which is falsely supposed to be of the essence of an enthymeme. 4. He derives an argument from an inconsistency with which Aristotle has been thought chargeable under the old idea of the enthymeme, and with which Gassendi has in fact charged him.* 5. He meets and rebuts the force of a principal argument in favour of the enthymeme as commonly understood, viz. that, in a particular part of the Prior Analytics, the enthymeme is called Ouldogio uos ateans – imperfect syllogism, which word the commentators generally expound by “ mutilus atque imminutus." Here he uses the assistance of the excellent J. Pace, whom he just. ly describes as "virum Græcarum litterarum peritissimum, philosophum in primis bonum, et Aristotelis interpretum quot sunt, quotque fuerunt, quotque futuri sunt, longe præstantissimum.” This admirable commentator, so indispensable to all who would study the Organon and the Tiepo Yuxas, had himself originally started that hypothesis which we are now reporting, as long afterwards adopted and improved by Facciolati. Considering the unrivalled qualifications of Pace, this of itself is a great argument on our side. The objection before us, from the word åtEnt, Pace disposes of briefly and conclusively : first, he says, that the word is wanting in four Mss.; and he has no doubt himself “ quin ex glossemate irrepserit in contextum :" secondly, the Latin translators and schoolmen, as Agricola and many others, take no notice of this word in their versions and commentaries : thirdly, the Greek commentators, such as Joannes
flowever, as in reality the whole case was one of mere misapprehension on the part of Gasserdi, and has, in fact, nothing at all to do with the nature of the enthymeme, well or ill understood, Facci. olati takes nothing by this particular argument, which, however, we have retaincu, to make our analysis complete.
pressing one of its propositions ; either be surveyed, but the eye of him who may do this, or neither; the difference is to survey. Yet, in a feast, the epic is essential, and in the nature of the cure holds himself not more obliged matter ; that of the syllogism being to the cook for the venison, than to the certain and apodeictic; that of the en- physician who braces his stomach to thymeme probable, and drawn from enjoy. And any arts, which concilia the province of opinion.
ate regard to the speaker, indirectly This theory tallies exactly with our promote the effect of bis arguments. own previous construction of Aristo- On this account, and because, (under tle's rhetoric, and explains the stress the severest limitation of rhetoric) they which he had laid at the outset upon are in many cases indispensable to the enthymemes. Whatsoever is certain, perfect interpretation of the thoughts; or matter of fixed science, can be no we may admit arts of style and ornasubject for the rhetorician : where it is mental composition as the ministerial possible for the understanding to be part of rhetoric. But, with regard to convinced, no field is open for rheto- the passions, as contended for by Dr rical persuasion. Absolute certainty, Campbell, - it is a sufficient answer, and fixed science, transcend and ex- that they are already preoccupied by clude opinion and probability. The what is called Eloquence. province of rhetoric, whether meant Mr Coleridge, as we have often for an influence upon the actions, or heard, is in the habit of drawing the simply upon the belief, lies amongst line with much philosophical beauty that vast field of cases where there is between rhetoric and eloquence. Ou a pro and a con, with the chance of this topic we were never so fortunate right and wrong, true and false, distri- as to hear him: but if we are here buted in varying proportions between called upon for a distinction, we shall them. There is also an immense range satisfy our immediate purpose by a of truths, where there are no chances very plain and brief one." By Eloat all concerned, but the affirmative quence, we understand the overflow of and the negative are both true; as, powerful feelings upon occasions fitted for example, the goodness of human to excite them. But Rhetoric is the nature and its wickedness; the hap- art of aggrandizing and bringing out piness of human life and its misery; into strong relief, by means of various the charms of knowledge, and its hols and striking thoughts, some aspect of lowness ; the fragility of human pros- truth which of itself is supported by perity, in the eye of religious medita- no spontaneous feelings, and therefore tion, and its security, as estimated by rests upon artificial aids. worldly confidence and youthful hope. Greece, as may well be imagined, In all these cases the rhetorician exhi- was the birth-place of Rhetoric; to bits his art by giving an impulse to one which of the Fine Arts was it not? side, and by withdrawing the mind and here, in one sense of the word so steadily from all thoughts or images Rhetoric, the art had its consumma. which support the other, as to leave it tion: for the theory, or ars docens, practically under the possession of this was taught with a fulness and an acpartial estimate.
curacy by the Grecian masters, not af. Upon this theory, what relation to terwards approached. In particular, rhetoric shall we assign to style and it was so taught by Aristotle, whose the ornamental arts of composition? system, we are disposed to agree with In some respect they seem liable to Ďr Whately, in pronouncing the best, the same objection as that which as regards the primary purpose of a Aristotle has urged against appeals to teacher; though otherwise, for ele the passions ; both are extra-essential, gance, and as a practical model in the or éw wpaelusetos; they are sub- art he was expounding, neither Arise jective arts, not objective; that is, they totle, nor any less austere among the do not affect the thing which is to Greek rhetoricians, has any preten
Grammaticus and Alexander Aphrodisiensis, clearly had no knowledge of any such use of the word enthymeme, as that which has prevailed in later times; which is plain from this, that wherever they have occasion to speak of a syllogism wanting one of its members, they do not in any instance call it an enthymeme, bui a ouhayiruon pezovod. 44 F4&Tev.
sions to measure himself with Quina amongst the greater orators of Greece, tilian. In reality, for a triumph over there is not a solitary gleam of rhetothe difficulties of the subject, and as a ric: Isocrates may have a little, being lesson on the possibility of imparting (to say the truth) neither orator nor grace to the treatment of scholastic to- rhetorician in any eminent sense ; Depics, naturally as intractable as that of mosthenes bas none. But when those Grammar or Prosody, there is no such great thunders had subsided, which chef-d'auvre to this hour in any lie reached " to Macedon, and Artaxerxes terature, as the Institutions of Quinti- throne," when the "fierce democracy." lian. Laying this one case out of the itself had perisbed, and Greece bad fale comparison, however, the Greek supe len under the common circumstances riority was indisputable.
of the Roman Empire, how came it Yet how is it to be explained, that that Greek rhetoric did not blossom with these advantages on the side of concurrently with Roman ? Vegetate the Greek rhetoric as an ars docens, it did : and a rank crop of weeds grew rhetoric as a practical art (the ars utens) up under the name of Rhetoric, down never made any advances amongst to the times of the Emperor Julian the Greeks to the brilliancy which it and his friend Libanius (both of attained in Rome ? Up to a certain whom, by the way, were as worthless period, and throughout the palmy writers as have ever abused the Greek state of the Greek republics, we may language.) But this part of Greek liaccount for it thus: Rhetoric, in its terature is a desert with no oasis. The finest and most absolute burnish, may fact is, if it were required to assign the be called an eloquentia umbratica'; two bodies of writers who have exhithat is, it aims at an elaborate form of bited the human understanding in the beauty, which shrinks from the strife most abject poverty, and whose works of business, and could neither arise by no possibility emit a casual scintilnor make itself felt in a tumultuous lation of wit, fancy, just thinking, or assembly. Certain features, it is well good writing, we should certainly fix known, and peculiar styles of counte- upon Greek rhetoricians, and Italian nance, which are impressive in a drawe critics. Amongst the whole mass there ing-room, become ineffective on a pub is not a page, that any judicious friend lic stage. The fine tooling, and delito literature would wish to reprieve cate tracery, of the cabinet artist is from destruction. And in both cases lost upon a building of colossal pro- we apprehend that the possibility of portions. Extemporaneousness, again, so much inanity is due in part to the å favourable circumstance to impasa quality of the two languages. The sioned eloquence, is death to Rhetoric. diffuseness and loose structure of Greek Twocharacteristics indeed there were, style unfit it for the closeness, conden. of a Greek popular assembly, which sation, and to anyos popor of rhetoric ; must have operated fatally on the rhe- the melodious beauty of the mere torician-its fervour, in the first place, sounds, which both in the Italian and and, secondly, the coarseness of a real in the Greek are combined with much interest. All great rhetoricians, in sen majesty, dwells upon the ear so delecting their subject, have shunned the lightfully, that in no other language determinate cases of real life: and is it so easy as in these two to write even in the single instance of a devie with little or no meaning, and to flow ation from the rule—that of the au, along through a whole wilderness of thor (whoever he be) of the Decla- inanity, without particularly rousing mations attributed to Quintilian, the the reader's disgust. cases are shaped with so romantic a In the literature of Rome it is generality, and so slightly circumstan- that we find the true El Dorado of tiated, as to allow him all the benefit rhetoric, as we might expect from of pure abstractions.
the sinewy compactness of the lana We can readily understand, there. guage. Livy, and, above all preceding fore, why the fervid oratory of the writers, Ovid, display the greatest Athenian Assemblies, and the intense powers of rhetoric in forms of comporeality of its interest, should stifle the sition, which were not particularly growth of Rhetoric: the smoke, tare adapted to favour that talent. The nish, and demoniac glare of Vesuvius contest of Ajax and Ulysses, for the easily eclipse the pallid coruscations arms of Achilles, in one of the latter of the Aurora Borealis. And in fact, Books of the Metamorphoses, is a chefd'ouvre of rhetoric, considering its toric. He is matched to trot, and is metrical form; for metre, and espe- continually breaking into a gallop. Incially the Howing heroic hexameter, is deed, his Confessions have in parts, no advantage to the rhetorician.* The particularly in those which relate to two Plinys, Lucan, (though again un- the death of his young friend, and his der the disadvantage of verse) Petro- own frenzy of grief, all that real pasnius Arbiter, and Quintilian, but sion which is only imagined in the above all, the Senecas, (for a Spanish Confessions of Rousseau, under a cross appears to improve the quality preconception derived from his known of the rhetorician) have left a body of character and unhappy life. By the rhetorical composition such as no ino- time of the Emperor Justinian, or in dern nation has rivalled. Even the the century between that time and most brilliant of these writers, how the era of Mahomet, (A.D. 620,) which ever, were occasionally surpassed, in century we regard as the common cre. particular bravuras of rhetoric, by pusculum between ancient and modern several of the Latin Fathers, particu- history, allrhetoric, of every degree and larly Tertullian, Arnobius, St Austin, quality, seems to have finally expired. and a writer whose name we cannot In the literature of modern Europe, at this moment recall. In fact, a little rhetoric has been cultivated with suce African blood operated as genially in cess. But this remark applies only this respect as Spanish, whilst an Asi- with any force to a period which is atic cross was inevitably fatal. Partly now long past ; and it is probable, from this cause, and partly because upon various considerations, that such they wrote in an unfavourable lan- another period will never revolve. The guage, the Greek Fathers are, one and rhetorician's art, in its glory and powe all, mere Birmingham rhetoricians. er, has silently faded away before the Even Gregory Nazianzen is so, with stern tendencies of the age ; and if, submission to Messieurs of the Port by any peculiarity of taste, or strong Royal, and other bigoted critics, who determination of the intellect, a rhes have pronounced him at the very top torician, en grand costume, were again of the tree among the fine writers of to appear amongst us, it is certain that antiquity. Undoubtedly, he has a tur- he would have no better welcome than gid style of mouthy grandiloquence, a stare of surprise as a posture-maker (though often the merest bombast;) or balancer, not more elevated in the but for keen and polished rhetoric hé general estimate, but far less amusing, is singularly unfitted, by inflated hac than the opera-dancer or equestrian bits of thinking, by loitering diffuse- gymnast. No--the age of Rhetoric, ness, and a dreadful trick of calling like that of Chivalry, is gone, and names. The spirit of personal in- passed amongst forgotten things; and vective is peculiarly adverse to the the rhetorician can have no more coolness of rhetoric. As to Chrysos- chance for returning, than the rhape tom, and Basil, with less of pomp and sodist of early Greece, or the Trouba. swagger than Gregory, they have not dour of romance. So multiplied are at all more of rhetorical burnish and the modes of intellectual enjoyment in compression. Upon the whole, look- modern times, that the choice is abing back through.the dazzling files of solutely distracted ; and in a boundthe ancient rhetoricians, we are dise less theatre of pleasures, to be had at posed to rank the Senecas and Ter- little or no cost of intellectual activity. tullian as the leaders of the band: it would be marvellous indeed, if any for St Austin, in his Confessions, and considerable audience could be found wherever he becomes peculiarly intes for an exhibition which presupposes resting, is apt to be impassioned and a state of tense exertion on the part fervent in a degree which makes him both of auditor and performer. 'To break out of the proper pace of rhe hang upon one's own thoughts as an
* This, added to the style and quality of his poems, makes it the more remarkable that Virgil should have been deemed a rhetorician. Yet so it was. Walsh potices, la the Life of Virgil, which he furnished for his friend Dryden's Translation, that his (Virgil's) rhetoric, was in such general esteem, that lectures were read upon it in the reign of Tiberius, and the subjiet of declamations taken out of him."