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The APOPHASIS considered.
$ 1. The definition of the Apophafis. 2. C1'CERO's account of it, with examples from him of this Figure ; and an instance of it from VIRGIL. $ 3. An example of the Apophasis from Scripture. § 4. The use of the Apophasis.
31. A Pophafis * or denial, is a Figure by
which an Orator pretends to conceal or omit what he really and in fact declares.
§ 2. Cicero gives us a definition of this Fi. gure, and furnishes us at the same time with instances of it in the following passage. “ Omis“ sion, says he, is when we say we pass over, or “ do not know, or will not mention, that which “ we declare with the utmost force. As in this “ manner : I might speak concerning your youth, which you have spent in the most
. From ano and Caw, which Preposition and Verb joined together, fignify to deny, and are of the fame senle with a reonub.
« abandoned profligacy, if I apprehended this " was a proper season, but I now purposely wave « it. I pass by the report of the Tribunes, who « declared that you was defective in your mili" tary duty. The affair about the fatisfaction « concerning the injuries you had done to LA“ BEO does not belong to the matter in hand : « I say nothing of these things; I return to the
subject of our present debate. So again, I “ do not say that you was bribed by the allies. " It is foreign to my purpose to mention how
you plundered the cities, kingdoms, and the " houses of all wherever you came : all your
robberies and rapine I pass over in silence *" And as CICERO has thus taken notice of this Figure, and illustrated it by examples, so we fhall find that he has grafted it into his Orations, particularly in that for Cluentius, which lays open a scene of such complicated villanies, by poison, murder, incest, fubornation of witnesses, and corruption of judges, as the Poets
* Occupatio eft cum dicimus non præterire, aut non scire, aut nolle dicere id quod tunc maxime dicimus, hoc modo. Nam de pueritia quidem tua quam tu omni intemperantia addixifti, dicerem, fi hoc tempus idoneum putarem ; nunc confulò relinquo. Et illud prætereo quod te tribuni rei militaris infrequentem tradiderunt. Deinde quod injuriarum satisfe. ciki Lucio Lebeoni, nihil ad rem pertinere puto. Horum nihil dico; revertor ad illud, de quo judicium eft. Item, non dico te ab sociis pecunias accepisse : non fum in eo occupatus, quod civitates regna, domos omnium depeculatus
Furta, rapinas tuas omnes omitto. Cicer. ad Heren. lib. iv $37.
may have never feigned in any one person, all contrived by the mother of CLUENTIUS against the life and fortunes of her son ; in speaking of which monster Cicero says, “ There is no mis. « chief, there is no wickedness, which this wo« man has not from the beginning willed, wifhs.ed, framed, and practised against her fon. I
omit that first injury she did him by her luft: “ I pass by her incestuous marriage with her « son-in-law : I shall not mention how the
daughter was expelled from lawful wedlock « by the wantonness of the mother ; as these
things rather relate to the coinmon disgrace “ of the family, than to her murderous inten« tions towards her son *.” Thus the same il
. lustrious Orator, in his defence of Sextius, introduces his character in this manner, with a design no doubt to recommend his client to the favour of the court : « I might say many
things of his liberality, of his kindness to “ his domestics, of his command in the army, « of his moderation during his office in the
province; but the honour of the state is the point in view, which, by attracting my regard to that only, prevents the mention of
• Nihil eft enim mali, nihil sceleris quod illa non ab initio filio voluerit, optaverit, cogitaverit effecerit. Mitto illam primam libidinis injuriam, mitto nefarias generi nuptias, mitto cupiditate matris expulsam ex matrimonio filiam; quæ nondum ad hujusce vitæ periculum, fed ad commune familiæ dedecus pertinebant. CICER. Pro Cluent. $ 66.
« these less important matters t.". We have an instance of the Apophasis, in the complaint of VENUS to JUPITER of the cruelties of JUŅO against the Trojans.
Why should I tell how on Sicilia's shores,
§ 3. I shall conclude with an example from Scripture, which I own appears to me in a charming elegance and beauty. Philemon is made a convert to Christianity, and is brought into the blessed hope of the Gospel by the Apostle Paul : ONESIPHORUS, the servant of PHILEMON, robs his master, and Aies to Rome ; he falls in the way of the Apostle, who becomes the happy inftrument of ONESIPHORUS's conversion. Upon this Saint Paul writes to PHILEMON in behalf of his servant, and tells
+ Poffum multa dicere de liberalitate, de domesticis officiis, de tribunatu militari, de provinciali in eo magistratu abftinentia, fed mihi ante oculos obversetur reipublicæ dignitas, quæ me ad sese rapit hæc minora relinquere hortatur. CICER. pro Pub. Sext. $ 3. Í Quid repetam exustas erycino littore classes ?
Quid tempestatum regem, ventofque furentes
Virgil. Æneid. lib. x. ver. 36.
him, verje 18. of his Epistle : " If he hath wronged si thee, or owes thee aught, put that to my account ;
I Paut have written it with my own hand, I will repay it: albeit I do not say to
thee, how thou owest to me, even thine'own s's self besides:ss Was there ever a more delicate, striking, and perfuasive Apophasis ?
$ 4. The use of this Figure in my opinion may be various.
(1) By the aid of the Apophasiš, the speaker introduces, without any difficulty, and without any suspicion of being ill-natured or ungenerous, some criminal charges against a person, which may be foreign indeed from the matter under immediate consideration, and therefore may require art to mention them, but yet may be of such a nature as may considerably assist his general argument and cause *.
(2) By this Figure we may crowd abundance of sentiment into a small compass, and arm our discourses as with an invincible strength, by collecting and compacting our ideas; and how much is such a method to be preferred to a tedious and minute detail of circumstances, which grows languid upon the hearer by a weak and subtil diffusion?
Hæc utilis est exornatio, fi aut rem quam non pertineat ab aliis ostendere occulta admonuisse prodest. Cicer, ad HBRen, lib. iv, n. 47.