Front Page Titles (by Subject) THE ART OF RHETORIC PLAINLY SET FORTH. WITH PERTINENT EXAMPLES FOR THE MORE EASY UNDERSTANDING AND PRACTICE OF THE SAME. by THOMAS HOBBES OF MALMSBURY. - The English Works, vol. VI (Dialogue, Behemoth, Rhetoric)
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THE ART OF RHETORIC PLAINLY SET FORTH. WITH PERTINENT EXAMPLES FOR THE MORE EASY UNDERSTANDING AND PRACTICE OF THE SAME. by THOMAS HOBBES OF MALMSBURY. - 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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THE ART OF RHETORIC PLAINLY SET FORTH. WITH PERTINENT EXAMPLES FOR THE MORE EASY UNDERSTANDING AND PRACTICE OF THE SAME. by THOMAS HOBBES OF MALMSBURY.
THE ART OF RHETORIC.
Rhetoric is an art of speaking finely. It hath two parts:
1. Garnishing of speech, called elocution;
2. Garnishing of the manner of utterance, called pronunciation.
Garnishing of speech is the first part of rhetoric; whereby the speech itself is beautified and made fine. It is either the fine manner of words, called a trope; or the fine shape or frame of speech, called a figure.
The fine manner of words is a garnishing of speech, whereby one word is drawn from its first proper signification to another; as in this sentence: sin lieth at the door: where sin is put for the punishment of sin adjoined unto it: lieth at the door, signifieth at hand; as that which lieth at the door, is ready to be brought in.
This changing of words was first found out by necessity, for the want of words; afterwards confirmed by delight, because such words are pleasant and gracious to the ear. Therefore this change of signification must be shamefaced, and, as it were, maidenly, that it may seem rather to be led by the hand to another signification, than to be driven by force unto the same.
Yet sometimes this fine manner of speech swerveth from this perfection; and then it is, either the abuse of this fine speech, called katachresis, or the excess of this fineness, called hyperbole.
Be not too just nor too wicked; which speech, although it seem very hard, yet it doth, not without some fineness of speech, utter thus much; That one seek not a righteousness beyond the law of God; and that when none can live without all sin, yet that they take heed that sin bear not dominion over them.
As, My tears are my meat day and night. Those that hate me are more in number than the hairs of my head. Both which do utter by an express of speech, a great sorrow, and a great number of enemies.
The abuse of speech is, when the change of speech is hard, strange, and unwonted, as in the first example.
The excess of speech is, when the change of signification is very high and lofty, as in the second example, and Psalms vi. vii.
But the excellency or fineness of words or tropes, is most excellent, when divers are shut up in one, or continued in many.
An example of the first sort is in 2 Kings ii. 9: I pray thee, let me have a double portion of thy Spirit: where by Spirit is meant the gift of the Spirit; and by thy Spirit, the gift of the spirit like to thine.
The continuance of tropes, called an allegory, is, when one kind of trope is so continued, as, look with what kind of matter it be begun, with the same it be ended. So in Psalm xxiii. the care of God towards his church is set forth in the words proper to a shepherd. So in the whole book of Canticles, the sweet conference of Christ and his church, is set down by the words proper to the husband and the wife. So old age is set down by this garnishing of speech, in Ecclesiastes xii. 5, 6.
Hitherto of the properties of a fine manner of words, called a trope. Now the divers sorts do follow. They are those which note out, 1, no comparison, or are with some comparison; or, 2, no respect of division, or some respect.
The first is double: 1. The change of name, called a metonymy. 2. The mocking speech, called an irony.
The change of name is where the name of a thing is put for the name of a thing agreeing with it. It is double: 1. When the cause is put for the thing caused; and contrarywise. 2. When the thing to which anything is adjoined, is put for the thing adjoined; and contrarywise.
The change of name of the cause is when either the name of the maker, or the name of the matter, is put for the thing made.
Of the maker, when the finder out, or the author of the thing, or the instrument whereby the thing is done, is put for the thing made. So Moses is put for his writings: so love is put for liberality, or bestowing benefits, the fruit of love; so (Rom. i. 8): faith, the cause, is put for religious serving of God, the thing caused. So (James iii.) the tongue, the instrument of speech, is put for the speech itself. Rule thy tongue.
Of the matter: Thou art dust, and to dust shalt thou return; that is, one made of dust.
Now, on the other side, when the thing caused, or the effect, is put for any of these causes. So the Gospel of God is called the power of God to salvation; that is, the instrument of the power of God. So love is said to be bountiful, because it causeth one to be bountiful. St. Paul saith, The bread that we break, is it not in the communion of the body and blood of Christ? That is, an instrument of the communion of the body of Christ. So the body is said to be an earthly tabernacle; that is, a tabernacle made of earth.
The change of name, or metonymy, where the subject, or that which hath anything adjoined, is put for the thing adjoined, or adjunct. So the place is put for those, or that in the place: set thine house in order; that is, thy household matters. It shall be easier for Sodom and Gomorrha; that is, the people in Sodom and Gomorrha. So Moses’ chair is put for the doctrine taught in Moses’ chair. So all Jericho and Jerusalem came out; that is, all the men in Jericho and Jerusalem. So before, sin was put for the punishment of sin. Let his blood rest upon us and our children; that is, the punishment which shall follow his death. So Christ said, This is my body; that is, a sign or sacrament of my body. This wine is the new testament in my blood; that is, a sign or seal of the new testament in my blood. So John saith, I saw the Spirit descending in the likeness of a dove; that is, the sign of the Spirit.
On the other side, the adjunct is put for the thing to which it is adjoined. As Christ (1 Tim. i. 1) is called our hope; that is, on whom our hope did depend. So, we are justified by faith; that is, by Christ applied by faith. So, love is the fulfilling of the law; that is, those things to which it is adjoined. Hope for the things hoped for; as Rom. viii. 24. So in the Epistle to the Ephesians, v. 16: The days are evil; that is, the manner, conversation, and deeds of men in the days.
Hitherto the metonymy, or change of name. Now followeth the mocking speech, or irony.
Themocking trope is, when one contrary is signified by another; as God said, Man is like to one of us. So Christ saith, Sleep on; and yet by-and-by, Arise, let us go. So Paul saith, You are wise, and I am a fool.
This trope is conceived either by the contrariety of the matter, or the manner of utterance, or both. So Elijah said to the prophets of Baal, Cry aloud, &c. So the Jews said unto Christ, Hail, King of the Jews!
Hitherto appertaineth the passing by a thing, which yet with a certain elegance noteth it. So Philemon 19: That I say not, thou owest thyself unto me.
Hitherto of the fineness of words which respect no division. Now followeth that which respecteth division, called synechdoche.
A synechdoche is when the name of the whole is given to the part; or the name of the part to the whole. And it is double. 1. When the whole is put for the member, and contrarily. 2. When the general, or whole kind, is put for the special; or contrarily.
So St. John: Not only for our sins, but for the sins of the whole world. So righteousness, a member of goodness, is put for all goodness; so unrighteousness is put for all manner of sins.
Examples of the second sort, as these: So Israel is put for those of Juda sometimes. So nations for the heathen. A minister of Christ for an apostle of Christ, as Rom. xv. 16. A minister put for a distributer, as Rom. xii. 7.
On the other side, one sort or special is put for the whole sort or general, in the examples following. In the Lord’s prayer, bread, one help of life, is put for all helps; this day, one time for all times. So Solomon saith, the thing of the day in his day; that is, the thing of the time in his time.
So sometimes less is spoken, and yet more is understood; which is called diminution, or meiosis. As James saith to him that knoweth how to do well and doth it not, it is sin; that is a great sin. So our Saviour Christ saith, If they had not known, they had had no sin; that is, no such great sin as they have now. Likewise the denial by comparison.
So Solomon saith, Receive my words, and not silver; that is, my words rather than silver. So Paul saith, I was sent to preach, and not to baptize; that is, not so much to baptize as to preach.
Hitherto of the fineness of words, which note out no comparison. Now followeth the fineness of words which noteth out comparison, called a metaphor.
A metaphor is when the like is signified by the like: as (1 Cor. iii. 13) the Apostle saith, doctrine must be tried by fire; that is, the evidence of the word, spirit, trying doctrine, as fire doth metals. So Christ is said to baptize with fire; where fire is put for the power of the Holy Ghost, purging as fire. So Christ saith, none shall enter into the kingdom of God but he that is born of the Holy Ghost and water. So Paul calleth himself the father of the Corinthians, and said, that he begat them in Christ. So he calleth Timothy and Titus his natural sons in the faith.
Hitherto of a trope or garnishing of speech in one word, where the metaphor is most usual; then the change of name; then the synechdoche; and last of all, the irony. Now followeth the fine frame or shape of speech, called a figure.
A figure is a garnishing of speech wherein the course of the same is changed, from the more simple and plain manner of speaking unto that which is more full of excellency and grace. For as in the fineness of words, or a trope, words are considered asunder by themselves; so in the fine shape or frame of speech, or a figure, the apt and pleasant joining together of many words is noted.
The garnishing of the shape of speech, or a figure, is garnishing of speech in words, or in a sentence.
The garnishing of speech in words, called figura dictionis, is wherein the speech is garnished by the pleasant and sweet sound of words joined together.
This is either in the measure of sounds; or in the repetition of sounds.
The measure of sounds is belonging either to poets, with us called rhymers; or orators, with us called eloquent pleaders.
The first is the measure of sounds by certain and continual spaces; and it is either rhyme or verse.
Rhyme is the first sort, containing a certain measure of syllables ending alike; and these in the mother tongues are most fit for psalms, songs, or sonnets.
Verses are the second sort, containing certain feet fitly placed.
A foot is a measure framed by the length and shortness of syllables; for the several sorts whereof, as also of the verses of them, because we have no worthy examples in our English tongue, we judge the large handling of them should be more curious than necessary.
The measure of sounds belonging to orators, is that which, as it is not uncertain, so it differeth altogether from rhyme and verse, and is very changeable with itself. Therefore in that eloquent speech you must altogether leave rhyme and verse, unless you allege it for authority and pleasure.
In the beginning of the sentence little care is to be had, in the middle least of all, and in the end chiefest regard is to be had; because the fall of the sentence is most marked, and therefore lest it fall out to be harsh and unpleasant both to the mind and ear, there must be most variety and change.
Now this change must not be above six syllables from the end, and that must be set down in feet of two syllables.
And thus much of garnishing of speech by the measure of sounds, rather to give some taste of the same to the readers, than to draw any to the curious and unnecessary practice of it.
Now followeth the repeating of sounds.
Repetition of sounds is either of the like, or the unlike sound.
Of the like, is either continued to the end of, or broken off from, the same, or a diverse sentence.
Continued to the end of the same sentence is, when the same sound is repeated without anything coming between, except a parenthesis; that is, something put in, without the which, notwithstanding, the sentence is full. And it is a joining of the same sound, as Rom. i. 29: All unrighteousness, fornication, wickedness. And in the prayer of Christ, My God, my God. From men by thine hand, O Lord, from men, &c. (Psalm xvii. 14.)
Continued in a diverse sentence is, either a redoubling, called anadyplosis; or a pleasant climbing, called climax.
Redoubling is when the same sound is repeated in the end of the former sentence, and the beginning of the sentence following. As Psalm ix. 9: The Lord also will be a refuge to the poor, a refuge, I say, in due time. Psalm xlviii. 14: For this God is our God. But more plain in Psalm xlviii. 8: As we have heard, so have we seen in the city of our God: God will establish it for ever.
A pleasant climbing, is a redoubling continued by divers degrees or steps of the same sounds: as Rom. viii. 17: If we be children, we be heirs, even heirs of God, annexed with Christ. Rom. viii. 30: Whom he predestinated, them also he called; and whom he called, them also he justified; and whom he justified, them also he glorified. Also Rom. ix. 14, 15.
And hitherto of the same sound continued to the end. Now followeth the same sound broken off.
The same sound broken off, is a repetition of the same in the beginning or in the end.
In the beginning, it is called anaphora, a bringing of the same again; as Rom. viii. 38, 39: Nor death, nor life, nor angels, &c. nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us, &c. So likewise Ephes. iv. 11: Some to be apostles, some preachers, &c. So Galatians ii. 14: Nor Jew, Gentile, &c. So likewise Hebrews xi. 1, 2.
Repetition of the same sound in the end, is called epistrophe, a turning to the same sound in the end. So Ezekiel viii. 15: Behold greater abominations than these. Lament. iii. 41, &c.: Let us lift up our hearts with our hands unto God in the heavens; we have sinned and have rebelled; therefore thou hast not spared.
When both of these are joined together, it is called a coupling or symplote. As 2 Cor. vi. 4-11: But in all things we approve ourselves as the ministers of God, in much patience, in afflictions, &c. See also 2 Cor. xi. 23.
Hitherto of the repetitions in the same place. Now of those that do interchange their place.
They are either epanalepsis, which signifieth to take back; or epanados, which signifies the turning to the same tune.
The first is when the same sound is repeated in the beginning and the ending; as, 2 Sam. xviii. 33: My son Absolom, my son.
Epanados is when the same sound is repeated in the beginning and the middle, in the middle and the end. Ezekiel xxxv, 6: I will prepare thee unto blood, and blood shall pursue thee: except thou hate blood, even blood shall pursue thee. And 2 Thes. ii. 4: So that he that doth sit as God, in the temple of God, sheweth himself that he is God.
Hitherto of the repetition of those sounds which are like. Now of those that are unlike.
Unlike; a small changing of the name, as παρονομασια; a small changing of the end or case, as πολνπτωτον.
A small change of name is, when a word, by the change of one letter or syllable, the signification also is changed; as, Rom. v. 4: Patience, experience; and experience, hope. 2 Cor. x. 3: We walk after the flesh, not war in the flesh. 2 Cor. vi. 8-9: So by honour and dishonour, as unknown and yet known.
A small changing of the end or case, is when words of the same beginning rebound by divers ends: Christ being raised from the dead, dieth no more, death hath no more power over him. He that doth righteousness, is righteous. If ye know that he is righteous, know ye that he that doeth righteously, is born of him. And of both these there are many in the Scripture; but the translations cannot reach them.
Hitherto of the garnishing of the shape of speech, in words. Now followeth the garnishing of the shape of speech, in a sentence.
Garnishing of the frame of speech in a sentence, is a garnishing of the shape of speech, or a figure; which for the forcible moving of affections, doth after a sort beautify the sense and very meaning of a sentence. Because it hath in it a certain manly majesty, which far surpasseth the soft delicacy or dainties of the former figures.
It is either the garnishing of speech alone, or with others.
The garnishing of speech alone, is when as the sentence is garnished without speech had to other. And it is either in regard of the matter; or of the person.
In regard of the matter; it is either a crying out, called exclamation; or a pulling or calling back of himself, called revocation.
A crying out, or exclamation, is the first, which is set forth by a word of calling out. Sometimes of wonder, as, Rom. xi. 33: O the depth of the judgments of God! Psal. viii. 1: O Lord, how excellent is thy name! Sometimes of pity; also these words, Behold, Alas, Oh, be signs of this figure, as, O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, which stonest the prophets. Sometimes of desperation; as, My sin is greater than can be forgiven. Behold, thou drivest me out, &c. Sometimes of wishing: as, Psalm lxxxiv. 1: O Lord of hosts, how amiable are thy tabernacles! Sometimes of disdaining: as, Rom. vii. 24: O miserable wretch that I am, who shall deliver me from this body of sin! Sometimes of mocking: as they which said to our Saviour Christ, Ah, thou that, &c. Sometimes of cursing and detestation; as in David, Let their table be made a snare, and bow down their back always.
Also when this figure is used in the end of a sentence, it is called a shooting out of the voice or επιϕωνημα; as when the sins of Jezebel were spoken against, this is added at the end, Seemed it a little to her to do thus and thus.
So after the high setting forth of the name of God, David shutteth up his praise with this: Blessed be his glorious name, and let all the earth be filled with his glory. Sometimes here is used a certain liberty of speech, wherein is a kind of secret crying out: as Peter (Acts iii. 12,) saith: Ye men of Israel, hear these words. And Paul, (2 Cor. xi. 1): Would to God you could suffer a little my foolishness, and indeed ye suffer me.
Thus much of crying out. Now followeth the figure of calling back, or revocation.
Revocation is when any thing is called back; and it is as it were a cooling and quenching of the heat of the exclamation that went before.
And this is either a correction of one’s self, called επανορθωσιϛ; or a holding of one’s peace, called αποσιωπησιϛ.
Επανορ̧θωσιϛ is correction, when something is called back that went before: as Paul correcteth his doubtfulness of Agrippa’s belief, when he saith, Believest thou, King Agrippa? I know thou believest. So, 1 Cor. xv. 10: I laboured more abundantly than they all, yet not I, &c.
A keeping of silence, or αποσιωπησιϛ, is when the course of the sentence bygone is so stayed, as thereby some part of the sentence, not being uttered, may be understood. So our Saviour Christ (John xii. 27) saith, My soul is heavy: what shall I say?
Thus much of a figure garnishing the speech alone, in regard of the matter. Now followeth the garnishing of the speech alone, in regard of the person.
Garnishing of the speech alone in regard of the person, is double: either in turning to the person called apostrophe; or feigning of the person, called prosopopœia.
Apostrophe, or turning to the person, is when the speech is turned to another person than the speech appointed did intend or require. And this apostrophe or turning is diversely seen, according to the diversity of persons. Sometimes it turneth to a man’s person; as David in the sixth Psalm, where having gathered arguments of his safety, turneth hastily to the wicked, saying, Away from me, all ye workers of iniquity; for the Lord hath heard the voice of my petition.
Sometimes from a man to God, as Psalm iii. 3. David being dismayed with the number of his enemies, turneth himself to God, saying: But thou art my buckler, &c.
Sometimes to unreasonable creatures without sense; as Isaiah i. and Isaiah xxi.
Prosopopœia, or a feigning of the person, is whereby we do feign another person speaking in our speech. And it is double; imperfect and perfect.
Imperfect is when the speech of another person is set down lightly and indirectly. As in Psalm. xi. 1. David bringeth in the wicked, Who say unto my soul, fly as the bird unto yonder hill.
A perfect prosopopœia, is when the whole feigning of the person is set down in our speech, with a fit entering into the same, and a leaving it off. So Wisdom, (Prov. viii.); where the entrance is in the first verses, her speech in the rest of the chapter.
Hitherto of the figures of sentences concerning one speaking alone. Now follow the other, which concern the speeches of two.
They which concern the speeches of two, are either in asking, or in answering.
That of asking, is either in deliberation; or in preventing an objection.
Deliberation is when we do every now and then ask, as it were, reasons of our consultation, whereby the mind of the hearers wavering in doubt, doth set down some great thing.
This deliberation is either in doubting, or in communication.
A doubting is a deliberating with ourselves, as Paul (1 Philipp. i. 23,24), doubting whether it were better to die than to live, he garnisheth his speech in this manner: For I am greatly in doubt on both sides, desiring to be loosed, and to be with Christ, which is best of all: nevertheless, to abide in the flesh is more needful for you.
Communication is a deliberation with others. As, Galatians iii. 1, 2: O foolish Galatians, who hath bewitched you, &c.
And hitherto of the figure of speech between two, called deliberation.
Now followeth the figure of speech between two, called the preventing of an objection, or occupation.
Occupation is, when we do bring an objection, and yield an answer unto it. Therefore this speech between two, in the first part, is called the setting down of the objection or occupation: in the latter part, an answering of the objection or the subjection: as Rom. vi. 1: What shall we say then? Shall we continue still in sin, that grace may abound? In which words is set down the objection: the answering in these words, God forbid. And here this must be marked, that the objection is many times wanting, which must be wisely supplied by considering the occasion and answer of it: as 1 Tim. v. 11,12: They will marry, having condemnation. Now lest any might say, what, for marrying? He answereth: No, for denying their first faith.
Hitherto of the figures of asking. Now followeth the figures of answering. They are either in suffering of a deed, called permission; or, granting of an argument, called concession.
Suffering of a deed or permission is, when mockingly we give liberty to any deed, being never so filthy; as Rev. xxii. 11: Let him that is filthy, be filthy still. And 1 Cor. xiv. 38: If any be ignorant, let him be ignorant.
Concession or granting of an argument is, when an argument is mockingly yielded unto, as Ecclesiastes xi. 9: Rejoice, O young man, in thy youth, and let thy heart cheer thee, &c.