Billeder på siden

1. Cui ceteræ partes vel sectæ secundas unanimiter deferunt, cum singulæ principatum sibi vindicent, melior reliquis videtur. Nam primas quæque ex zelo videtur sumere; secundas autem ex vero tribuere.

2. Cujus excellentia vel exuperantia melior, id toto genere melius.

3. Quod ad veritatem refertur majus est quam quod ad opinionem. Modus autem et probatio ejus quod ad opinionem pertinet hæc est : quod quis si clam putaret fore, facturus non esset.

4. Quod rem integram servat bonum, quod sine receptu est malum. Nam se recipere non posse impotentiæ genus est, potentia autem bonum.

5. Quod ex pluribus constat et divisibilius, est majus quam quod ex paucioribus et magis unum: nam omnia per partes considerata majora videntur, quare et pluralitas partium magnitudinem præ se fert: fortius autem operatur pluralitas partium si ordo absit, nam inducit similitudinem infiniti, et impedit comprehensionem.

6. Cujus privatio bona, malum; cujus privatio mala, bonum. 7. Quod bono vicinum, bonum: quod a bono remotum, malum.

8. Quod quis culpa sua contraxit, majus malum ; quod ab externis imponitur, minus malum.

9. Quod opera et virtute nostra partum est, majus bonum ; quod ab alieno beneficio vel ab indulgentia fortunæ delatum est, minus bonum.

10. Gradus privationis major videtur quam gradus diminutionis; et rursus gradus inceptionis major videtur quam gradus incrementi.




In deliberatives the point is, what is good and what is evil, and of good what is greater, and of evil what is the less.

So that the persuader's labour is to make things appear good or evil, and that in higher or lower degree; which as it may be performed by true and solid reasons, so it may be represented also by colours, popularities and circumstances, which are of such force, as they sway the ordinary judgment either of a weak man, or of a wise man not fully and considerately attending and pondering the matter.

Besides their power to alter the nature of the subject in appearance, and so to lead to error, they are of no less use to quicken and strengthen the opinions and persuasions which are true: for reasons plainly delivered, and always after one manner, especially with fine and fastidious minds, enter but heavily and dully: whereas if they be varied and have more life and vigour put into them by these forms and insinuations, they cause a stronger apprehension, and many times suddenly win the mind to a resolution. Lastly, to make a true and safe judgment, nothing can be of greater use and defence to the mind, than the discovering and reprehension of these colours, shewing in what cases they hold, and in what they deceive: which as it cannot be done, but out of a very universal knowledge of the nature of things, so being performed, it so cleareth man's judgment and election, as it is the less apt to slide into any error.




Cui cæteræ partes vel sectæ secundas unanimiter deferunt, cum

singulæ principatum sibi vendicent, melior reliquis videtur.
Num primas quæque ex zelo videtur sumere, secundas autem ex
vero et merito tribuere. [That to which all other parties
or sects agree in assigning the second place (each putting
itself first) should be the best : for the assumption of the
first place is probably due to partiality, the assignation of the
second to truth and merit.]

So Cicero went about to prove the sect of Academics, which suspended all asseveration, for to be the best: for, saith he, ask a Stoic which philosophy is true, he will prefer his own. Then ask him which approacheth next the truth, he will confess the Academics. So deal with the Epicure, that will scant endure the Stoic to be in sight of him; as soon as he hath placed himself, he will place the Academics next him.

So if a prince took divers competitors to a place, and examined them severally, whom next themselves they would rathest commend, it were like the ablest man should have the most second votes.


The fallax of this colour happeneth oft in respect of envy; for men are accustomed after themselves and their own faction to incline unto them which are softest, and are least in their way, in despite and derogation of them that hold them hardest to it. So that this colour of meliority and pre-eminence is a sign of enervation and weakness.


Cujus excellentia vel exuperantia melior, id toto genere melius.

[That which is best when in perfection, is best altogether.]

Appertaining to this are the forms: Let us not wander in generalities : Let us compare particular with particular, &c.


This appearance, though it seem of strength, and rather logical than rhetorical, yet is very oft a fallax.

Sometimes because some things are in kind very casual, which if they escape prove excellent; so that the kind is inferior, because it is so subject to peril, but that which is excellent being proved is superior; as the blossom of March and the blossom of May, whereof the French verse goeth :

Burgeon de Mars, enfans de Paris,

Si un eschape, il en vaut dix. So that the blossom of May is generally better than the blossom of March ; and get the best blossom of March is better than the best blossom of May.

Sometimes because the nature of some kinds is to be more equal and more indifferent, and not to have very distant degrees, as hath been noted in the warmer climates the people are generally more wise, but in the northern climate the wits of chief are greater. So in many armies, if the matter should be tried by duel between two champions, the victory should go on one side, and yet if it be tried by the gross, it would go of the other side: for excellencies go as it were by chance, but kinds go by a more certain nature, as by discipline in war.

Lastly, many kinds have much refuse, which countervail that which they have excellent; and therefore generally metal is more precious than stone, and yet a diamond is more precious

di hoteligent

than gold.

Quod ad veritatem refertur majus est quam quod ad opinionem.

Modus autem et probatio ejus quod ad opinionem pertinet hæc
est, quod quis si clam putaret fore, facturus non esset. [That
which has relation to truth is greater than that which has
relation to opinion: and the proof that a thing has relation
to opinion is this : It is what a man would not do, if he
thought it would not be known.]

So the Epicures say of the Stoics' felicity placed in virtue ; that it is like the felicity of a player, who if he were left of his auditory and their applause, he would straight be out of heart and countenance; and therefore they call virtue bonum theatrale. But of riches the poet saith :

Populus me sibilat, at mihi plaudo.
[The people hiss me, but I applaud myself.]

[merged small][ocr errors]
« ForrigeFortsæt »