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COMPRISING AN ANALYSIS OF
THE LAWS OF MORAL EVIDENCE
AND OF PERSUASION,
RULES FOR ARGUMENTATIVE COMPOSITION
RICHARD WHATELY, D.D.
ARCHBISHOP OF DUBLIN.
Ο γαρ γνούς, και μη σαφώς διδάξας, εν ίση εί και μη ενεθυμήθη.
SIXTH EDITION, REVISED.
B. FELLOWES, LUDGATE STREET.
PODD BOOK STORES
A BRIEF outline of the principal part of the following Work was sketched out several years ago for the private use of some young friends ; and from that MS. chiefly, the Article “ Rhetoric" in the Encyclopædia Metropolitana was afterwards drawn up. I was induced to believe that it might be more useful if published in a separate form; and I have accordingly, with the assistance of some friends, revised the treatise, and made a few additions and other alterations which suggested themselves; besides dividing it in a manner more convenient for reference.
The title of “Rhetoric,” I have thought it best on the whole to retain, being that by which the Article in the Encyclopædia is designated; as I should be unwilling to lay myself open to the suspicion of wishing to pass off as new, on the strength of a new
name, what had been already before the Public. But the title is in some respects open to objection. Besides that it is rather the more commonly employed in reference to public Speaking alone, it is also apt to suggest to many minds an associated idea of empty declamation, or of dishonest artifice.
The subject indeed stands perhaps but a few degrees above Logic in popular estimation ; the one being generally regarded by the vulgar as the Art of bewildering the learned by frivolous subtleties; the other, that of deluding the multitude by specious falsehood. And if a treatise on composition be itself more favourably received than the work of a Logician, the Author of it must vet labour under still greater disadvantages. He may be thought to challenge criticism; and his own performances may be condemned by a reference to his own precepts; or, on the other hand, his precepts may be undervalued, through his own failures in their application. Should this take place in the present instance, I have only to urge, with Horace in his Art of Poetry, that a whetstone, though itself incapable of cutting, is yet useful in sharpening steel. No system of instruction will com