Front Page Titles (by Subject) TO THE READER. - The English Works, vol. VI (Dialogue, Behemoth, Rhetoric)
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TO THE READER. - Thomas Hobbes, The English Works, vol. VI (Dialogue, Behemoth, Rhetoric) 
The English Works of Thomas Hobbes of Malmesbury; Now First Collected and Edited by Sir William Molesworth, Bart., (London: Bohn, 1839-45). 11 vols. Vol. 6.
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TO THE READER.
Although these pieces may appear fully to express their own real intrinsic value, as bearing the image and inscription of that great man Mr. Hobbes; yet since common usage has rendered a preface to a book as necessary as a porch to a church, and that in all things some ceremonies cannot be avoided, mode and custom in this point is dutifully to be obeyed.
That they are genuine, credible testimony might be produced, did not the peculiar fineness of thought and expression, and a constant undaunted resolution of maintaining his own opinions, sufficiently ascertain their author. Besides which, they are now published from his own true copies; an advantage which some of his works have wanted.
The first of them, being an abridgment containing the most useful part of Aristotle’s rhetoric, was written some thirty years since. Mr. Hobbes in his book of Human Nature had already described man, with an exactness almost equal to the original draught of nature; and in his Elements of Law laid down the constitution of government, and shown by what armed reason it is maintained: and having demonstrated in the state of nature the primitive art of fighting to be the only medium whereby men procured their ends, did in this design to show what power in societies has succeeded to reign in its stead, I mean the art of speaking; which by use of common places of probability, and knowledge in the manners and passions of mankind, through the working of belief is able to bring about whatsoever interest.
How necessary this art is to that of politic, is clearly evident from that mighty force whereby the eloquence of the ancient orators captivated the minds of the people. Mr. Hobbes chose to recommend by his translation the rhetoric of Aristotle, as being the most accomplished work on that subject which the world has yet seen; having been admired in all ages, and in particular highly approved by the father of the Roman eloquence, a very competent judge. To this he thought fit to add some small matter relating to that part which concerns tropes and figures; as also a short discovery of some little tricks of false and deceitful reasoning.
The other piece is a discourse concerning the laws of England, and has been finished many years. Herein he has endeavoured to accommodate the general notions of his politic to the particular constitution of the English monarchy: a design of no small difficulty; wherein to have succeeded deserves much honour; to have perchance miscarried, deserves easy pardon. It has had the good fortune to be much esteemed by the greatest men of the profession of the law, and therefore may be presumed to contain somewhat excellent. However it is not to be expected that all men should submit to his opinions, yet it is hoped none will be offended at the present publishing of these papers; since they will not find here any new fantastic notions, but only such things as have been already asserted with strength of argument by himself and other persons of eminent learning. To the public at least this benefit may accrue, that some able pen may undertake the controversy, being moved with the desire of that reputation which will necessarily attend victory over so considerable an adversary.