Vox

open-uri20130830-29665-1g95zlt

Augentur autem sicut omnium, ita vocis quoque bona cura, neglegentia minuuntur. sed cura non eadem oratoribus quae phonascis convenit, tamen multa sunt utrisque communia, firmitas corporis, ne ad spadonum et mulierum et aegrorum exilitatem vox nostra tenuetur; quod ambulatio, unctio, veneris abstinentia, facilis ciborum digestio, id est frugalitas, praestat. praeterea ut sint fauces integrae, id est molles ac leves, quarum vitio et frangitur et obscuratur et exasperatur et scinditur vox. nam ut tibiae eodem spiritu accepto alium clusis alium apertis foraminibus, alium non satis purgatae alium quassae sonum reddunt, item fauces tumentes strangulant vocem, obtusae obscurant, rasae exasperant, convulsae fractis sunt organis similes. finditur etiam spiritus obiectu aliquo sicut lapillo tenues aquae, quarum impetus etiam si ultra paulum coit, aliquid tamen cavi relinquit post id ipsum quod offenderat. humor quoque vocem ut nimius impedit, ita consumptus destituit. nam fatigatio, ut corpora, non ad praesens modo tempus sed etiam in futurum adficit. sed ut communiter et phonascis et oratoribus necessaria est exercitatio, qua omnia convalescunt, ita curae non idem genus est. nam neque certa tempora ad spatiandum dari possunt tot civilibus officiis occupato, nec praeparare ab imis sonis vocem ad summos nec semper a contentione condere licet, cum pluribus iudiciis saepe dicendum sit. ne ciborum quidem est eadem observatio: non enim tam molli teneraque voce quam forti ac durabili opus est, cum illi omnes etiam altissimos sonos leniant cantu oris, nobis pleraque aspere sint concitateque dicenda et vigilandae noctes et fuligo lucubrationum bibenda et in sudata veste durandum. quare vocem deliciis non molliamus, nec imbuatur ea consuetudine quam desideratura sit, sed exercitatio eius talis sit qualis usus, nec silentio subsidat, sed firmetur consuetudine, qua difficultas omnis levatur. ediscere autem, quo exercearis, erit optimum (nam ex tempore dicentis avocat a cura vocis ille qui ex rebus ipsis concipitur affectus), et ediscere quam maxime varia, quae et clamorem et disputationem et sermonem et flexus habeant, ut simul in omnia paremur. hoc satis est; alioqui nitida illa et curata vox insolitum laborem recusabit, ut assueta gymnasiis et oleo corpora, quamlibet sint in suis certaminibus speciosa atque robusta, si militare iter fascemque et vigilias imperes, deficiant et quaerant unctores suos nudumque sudorem. illa quidem in hoc opere praecipi quis ferat, vitandos soles atque ventos et nubila etiam ac siccitates? ita, si dicendum in sole aut ventoso, umido, calido die fuerit, reos deseremus? nam crudum quidem aut saturum aut ebrium aut eiecto modo vomitu, quae cavenda quidam monent, declamare neminem qui sit mentis compos puto. illud non sine causa est ab omnibus praeceptum, ut parcatur maxime voci in illo a pueritia in adulescentiam transitu, quia naturaliter impeditur, non, ut arbitror, propter calorem, quod quidam putaverunt (nam est maior alias), sed propter humorem potius: nam hoc aetas illa turgescit. itaque nares etiam ac pectus eo tempore tument, atque omnia velut germinant eoque sunt tenera et iniuriae obnoxia. sed, ut ad propositum redeam, iam confirmatae constitutaeque voci genus exercitationis optimum duco quod est operi simillimum, dicere cotidie sicut agimus. namque hoc modo non vox tantum confirmatur et latus, sed etiam corporis decens et accommodatus orationi motus componitur.
(Quintilian, Inst. Or. 11.3.19-29)

The good qualities of the voice, like everything else, are improved by training and impaired by neglect. But the training required by the orator is not the same as that which is practised by the singing-master, although the two methods may have many points in common. In both cases physical robustness is essential to save the voice from dwindling to the feeble shrillness that characterises the voices of eunuchs, women and invalids, and the mentions for creating such robustness are to be found in walking, rubbing-down with oil, abstinence from sexual intercourse, an easy digestion, and, in a word, in the simple life. Further, the throat must be sound, that is to say, soft and smooth; for if the throat be unsound, the voice is broken or dulled or becomes harsh or squeaky, For just as the sound produced in the pipe by the same volume of breath varies according as the stops are closed or open, or the instrument is clogged or cracked, so the voice is strangled if the throat be swollen, and muffled if it is obstructed, while it becomes rasping if the throat is inflamed, and may be compared to an organ with broken pipes in cases where the throat is subject to spasms. Again, the presence of some obstacle may divide the breath just as a pebble will divide shallow waters, which, although their currents unite again soon after the obstruction is past, still leave a hollow space in rear of the object struck. An excess of moisture also impedes the voice, while a deficiency weakens it. As regards fatigue, its effect is the same as upon the body: it affects the voice not merely at the moment of speaking, but for some time afterwards. But while exercise, which gives strength in all cases, is equally necessary both for orators and singing-masters, it is a different kind of exercise which they require. For the orator is too much occupied by civil affairs to be able to allot fixed times for taking a walk, and he cannot tune his voice through all the notes of the scale nor spare it exertion, since it is frequently necessary for him to speak in several cases in succession. Nor is the same régime suitable as regards food: for the orator needs a strong and enduring voice rather than one which is soft and sweet, while the singer mellows all sounds, even the highest, by the modulation of his voice, whereas we have often to speak in harsh and agitated tones, must pass wakeful nights, swallow the soot that is produced by the midnight oil and stick to our work though our clothes be dripping with sweat. Consequently, we must not attempt to mellow our voice by coddling it nor accustom it to the conditions which it would like to enjoy, but rather give it exercise suited to the tasks on which it will be employed, never allowing it to be impaired by silence, but strengthening it by practice, which removes all difficulties. The best method for securing such exercise is to learn passages by heart (for if we have to speak extempore, the passion inspired by our theme will distract us from all care for our voice), while the passages selected for the purpose should be as varied as possible, involving a combination of loud, argumentative, colloquial and modulated utterance, so that we may prepare ourselves for all exigencies simultaneously. This will be sufficient. Otherwise your delicate, overtrained voice will succumb before any unusual exertion, like bodies accustomed to the oil of the training school, which for all the imposing robustness which they display in their own contests, yet, if ordered to make a day’s march with the troops, to carry burdens and mount guard at night, would faint beneath the task and long for their trainers to rub them down with oil and for the free perspiration of the naked limbs. Who would tolerate me if in a work such as this I were to prescribe avoidance of exposure to sun, wind, rain or parching heat? If we are called upon to speak in the sun or on a windy, wet or warm day, is that a reason for deserting the client whom we have undertaken to defend? While as for the warning given by some that the orator should not speak when dyspeptic, replete or drunk, or immediately after vomiting, I think that no sane person would dream of declaiming under such circumstances. There is, however, good reason for the rule prescribed by all authorities, that the voice should not be overstrained in the years of transition between boyhood and manhood, since at that period it is naturally weak, not, I think, on account of heat, as some allege (for there is more heat in the body at other periods), but rather on account of moisture, of which at that age there is a superabundance. For this reason the nostrils and the breast swell at this stage, and all the organs develop new growth, with the result that they are tender and liable to injury. However, to return to the point, the best and most realistic form of exercise for the voice, once it has become firm and set, is, in my opinion, the practice of speaking daily just as we plead in the courts. For thus, not merely do the voice and lungs gain in strength, but we acquire a becoming deportment of the body and develop grace of movement suited to our style of speaking. (tr. Harold Edgeworth Butler)

Exordium

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Quotiens autem prooemio fuerimus usi, tum sive ad expositionem transibimus sive protinus ad probationem, id debebit in principio postremum esse cui commodissime iungi initium sequentium poterit. illa vero frigida et puerilis est in scholis affectatio, ut ipse transitus efficiat aliquam utique sententiam et huius velut praestigiae plausum petat, ut Ovidius lascivire in Metamorphosesin solet; quem tamen excusare necessitas potest, res diversissimas in speciem unius corporis colligentem: oratori vero quid est necesse surripere hanc transgressionem, et iudicem favere qui ut ordini rerum animum intendat etiam commonendus est? peribit enim prima pars expositionis si iudex narrari nondum sciet. quapropter, ut non abrupte cadere in narrationem, ita non obscure transcendere est optimum. si vero longior sequetur ac perplexa magis expositio, ad eam ipsam praeparandus iudex erit, ut Cicero saepius, sed et hoc loco fecit: “paulo longius exordium rei demonstrandae repetam, quod quaeso, iudices, ne moleste patiamini; principiis enim cognitis multo facilius extrema intellegetis.” haec fere sunt mihi de exordio comperta.
(Quintilian, Inst. Or. 4.1.76-79)

However on all occasions when we have employed the exordium, whether we intend to pass to the statement of facts or direct to the proof, our intention should be mentioned at the conclusion of the introduction, with the result that the transition to what follows will be smooth and easy. There is indeed a pedantic and childish affectation in vogue in the schools of marking the transition by some epigram and seeking to win applause by this feat of legerdemain. Ovid is given to this form of affectation in his Metamorphoses, but there is some excuse for him owing to the fact that he is compelled to weld together subjects of the most diverse nature so as to form a continuous whole. But what necessity is there for an orator to gloss over his transitions or to attempt to deceive the judge, who requires on the contrary to be warned to give his attention to the sequence of the various portions of the speech? For instance the first part of our statement of the facts will be wasted, if the judge does not realise that we have reached that stage. Therefore, although we should not be too abrupt in passing to our statement of facts, it is best to do nothing to conceal our transition. Indeed, if the statement of fact on which we are about to embark is somewhat long and complicated, we shall do well to prepare the judge for it, as Cicero often does, most notably in the following passage: “The introduction to my exposition of this point will be rather longer than usual, but I beg you, gentlemen, not to take it ill. For if you get a firm grasp of the beginning, you will find it much easier to follow what comes last.” This is practically all that I can find to say on the subject of the exordium. (tr. Harold Edgeworth Butler)

Metaphora

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Il Postino

Incipiamus igitur ab eo qui cum frequentissimus est tum longe pulcherrimus, translatione dico, quae μεταφορὰ Graece vocatur. quae quidem cum ita est ab ipsa nobis concessa natura ut indocti quoque ac non sentientes ea frequenter utantur, tum ita iucunda atque nitida ut in oratione quamlibet clara proprio tamen lumine eluceat. neque enim vulgaris esse neque humilis nec insuavis apte ac recte modo adscita potest. copiam quoque sermonis auget permutando aut mutuando quae non habet, quodque est difficillimum, praestat ne ulli rei nomen deesse videatur. transfertur ergo nomen aut verbum ex eo loco in quo proprium est in eum in quo aut proprium deest aut tralatum proprio melius est. id facimus aut quia necesse est aut quia significantius est aut, ut dixi, quia decentius. ubi nihil horum praestabit quod transferetur, improprium erit. necessitate rustici gemmam in vitibus (quid enim dicerent aliud?) et sitire segetes et fructus laborare; necessitate nos durum hominem aut asperum: non enim proprium erat quod daremus his affectibus nomen. iam incensum ira et inflammatum cupiditate et lapsum errore significandi gratia; nihil enim horum suis verbis quam his arcessitis magis proprium erit. illa ad ornatum, lumen orationis et generis claritatem et contionum procellas et eloquentiae fulmina, ut Cicero pro Milone Clodium fontem gloriae eius vocat et alio loco segetem ac materiem.
(Quintilian, Inst. Or. 8.6.4-7)

Let us begin, then, with the commonest and by far the most beautiful of tropes, namely, metaphor, the Greek term for our translatio. It is not merely so natural a turn of speech that it is often employed unconsciously or by uneducated persons, but it is in itself so attractive and elegant that however distinguished the language in which it is embedded it shines forth with a light that is all its own. For if it be correctly and appropriately applied, it is quite impossible for its effect to be commonplace, mean or unpleasing. It adds to the copiousness of language by the interchange of words and by borrowing, and finally succeeds in accomplishing the supremely difficult task of providing a name for everything. A noun or a verb is transferred from the place to which it properly belongs to another where there is either no literal term or the transferred is better than the literal. We do this either because it is necessary or to make our meaning clearer or, as I have already said, to produce a decorative effect. When it secures none of these results, our metaphor will be out of place. As an example of a necessary metaphor I may quote the following usages in vogue with peasants when they call a vinebud gemma, a gem (what other term is there which they could use?), or speak of the crops being thirsty or the fruit suffering. For the same reason we speak of a hard or rough man, there being no literal term for these temperaments. On the other hand, when we say that a man is kindled to anger or on fire with greed or that he has fallen into error, we do so to enhance our meaning. For none of these things can be more literally described in its own words than in those which we import from elsewhere. But it is a purely ornamental metaphor when we speak of brilliance of style, splendour of birth, tempestuous public assemblies, thunderbolts of eloquence, to which I may add the phrase employed by Cicero in his defence of Milo where he speaks of Clodius as the fountain, and in another place as the fertile field and material of his client’s glory(tr. Harold Edgeworth Butler)

Paedagogis

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De pueris inter quos educabitur ille huic spei destinatus, idem quod de nutricibus dictum sit. de paedagogis hoc amplius, ut aut sint eruditi plane, quam primam esse curam velim, aut se non esse eruditos sciant. nihil est peius iis, qui paulum aliquid ultra primas litteras progressi falsam sibi scientiae persuasionem induerunt. nam et cedere praecipiendi partibus indignantur et velut iure quodam potestatis, quo fere hoc hominum genus intumescit, imperiosi atque interim saevientes stultitiam suam perdocent.
(Quintilian, Inst. Or. 1.1.8)

As regards the boys in whose company our budding orator is to be brought up, I would repeat what I have said about nurses. As regards his paedagogi*, I would urge that they should have had a thorough education, or if they have not, that they should be aware of the fact. There are none worse than those, who as soon as they have progressed beyond a knowledge of the alphabet delude themselves into the belief that they are the possessors of real knowledge. For they disdain to stoop to the drudgery of teaching, and conceiving that they have acquired a certain title to authority—a frequent source of vanity in such persons—become imperious or even brutal in instilling a thorough dose of their own folly.

* There is no translation for paedagogus, the slave-tutor. “Tutor,” “guardian,” “governor,” and similar terms are all misleading. He had the general supervision of the boy, escorted him to school and elsewhere, and saw that lie did not get into mischief, but did not, as a rule, direct his studies.

(tr. Harold Edgeworth Butler, with his note)

Eruditionis

In parentibus vero quam plurimum esse eruditionis optaverim, nec de patribus tantum loquor. nam Gracchorum eloquentiae multum contulisse accepimus Corneliam matrem, cuius doctissimus sermo in posteros quoque est epistulis traditus: et Laelia C. filia reddidisse in loquendo paternam elegantiam dicitur, et Hortensiae Q. filiae oratio apud triumviros habita legitur non tantum in sexus honorem. nec tamen ii, quibus discere ipsis non contigit, minorem curam docendi liberos habeant; sed sint propter hoc ipsum ad cetera magis diligentes.
(Quintilian, Inst. Or. 1.1.6-7)

As regards parents, I should like to see them as highly educated as possible, and I do not restrict this remark to fathers alone. We are told that the eloquence of the Gracchi owed much to their mother Cornelia, whose letters even to-day testify to the cultivation of her style. Laelia, the daughter of Gaius Laelius, is said to have reproduced the elegance of her father’s language in her own speech, while the oration delivered before the triumvirs by Hortensia, the daughter of Quintus Hortensius, is still read and not merely as a compliment to her sex. And even those who have not had the fortune to receive a good education should not for that reason devote less care to their son’s education; but should on the contrary show all the greater diligence in other matters where they can be of service to their children. (tr. Harold Edgeworth Butler)

Amictu

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Cultus non est proprius oratoris aliquis sed magis in oratore conspicitur. quare sit, ut in omnibus honestis debet esse, splendidus et virilis. nam et toga et calceus et capillus tam nimia cura quam negligentia sunt reprehendenda. est aliquid in amictu, quod ipsum aliquatenus temporum condicione mutatum est. nam veteribus nulli sinus, perquam breves post illos fuerunt. Itaque etiam gestu necesse est usos esse in principiis eos alio, quorum brachium, sicut Graecorum, veste continebatur. (Quintilian, Inst. Or. 11.3.137-138)

With regard to dress, there is no special garb peculiar to the orator, but his dress comes more under the public eye than that of other men. It should, therefore, be distinguished as manly, as, indeed, it ought to be with all men of position. For excessive care with regard to the cut of the toga, the style of the shoes, or the arrangement of the hair, is just as reprehensible as excessive carelessness. There are also details of dress which are altered to some extent by successive changes in fashion. The ancients, for example, wore no folds, and their successors wore them very short. Consequently it follows that in view of the fact that their arms were, like those of the Greeks, covered by the garment, they must have employed a different form of gesture in the exordium from that which is now in use. (tr. Harold Edgeworth Butler)

Exemplis

Neque ea solum quae talibus disciplinis continentur, sed magis etiam, quae sunt tradita antiquitus dicta ac facta praeclare, et nosse et animo semper agitare conveniet. quae profecto nusquam plura maioraque quam in nostrae civitatis monumentis reperientur. an fortitudinem, iustitiam, fidem, continentiam, frugalitatem, contemptum doloris ac mortis melius alii docebunt quam Fabricii, Curii, Reguli, Decii, Mucii aliique innumerabiles? quantum enim Graeci praeceptis valent, tantum Romani, quod est maius, exemplis.
(Quintilian, Inst. Or. 12.2.29-30)

But it is desirable that we should not restrict our study to the precepts of philosophy alone. It is still more important that we should know and ponder continually all the noblest sayings and deeds that have been handed down to us from ancient times. And assuredly we shall nowhere find a larger or more remarkable store of these than in the records of our own country. Who will teach courage, justice, loyalty, self-control, simplicity, and contempt of grief and pain better than men like Fabricius, Curius, Regulus, Decius, Mucius and countless others? For if the Greeks bear away the palm for moral precepts, Rome can produce more striking examples of moral performance, which is a far greater thing. (tr. Harold Edgewort Butler)