Menander Rhetor, Treatise 2

LCL 539: 256-257

Tools

MENANDER RHETOR

σωτηρία καὶ αὔξησις, καὶ τὸ μέγιστον παίδων γένεσις διαδόχων τοῦ γένους, φιλοτιμησομένων πατρίδι,12 διαθησόντων ἀγῶνας. εἶτα εὐχὴν ἐπιθήσεις τοῖς εἰρημένοις, αὐτὸς αἰτῶν αὐτοῖς παρὰ τῶν κρειττόνων συζυγίαν ἡδίστην, εὐδαιμονίαν, βίον ἐπέραστον, παίδων γενέσεις καὶ ὅσα προείρηται.

26. Πειράσεις δὲ καὶ συντόμως ἅπαντα προαγαγεῖν ταῦτα πανταχοῦ τῆς χάριτος μόνον καὶ τῆς ὥρας φροντίζων. παραγίνεται δὲ χάρις καὶ ὥρα τῷ λόγῳ οὐκ ἐκ τῶν ἱστοριῶν μόνον καὶ ἐκ τοῦ διηγήματος, ἀλλ’ ἐκ τῆς ἀφελείας καὶ ἁπλότητος τοῦ ἤθους τοῦ λέγοντος. ἀκατάσκευον γὰρ τὸν λόγον εἶναι δεῖ καὶ τὰ πολλὰ ἀσύνδετον, οὐ κώλοις οὐδὲ περιόδοις συγκείμενον, ἀλλὰ συγγραφικώτερον, οἷόν ἐστι καὶ τὸ τῆς λαλιᾶς εἶδος. 27. γένοιτο δ’ ἂν καὶ ἀπὸ λέξεως ἐπιτετηδευμένης καὶ κεκαλλωπισμένης χάρις ἐν λόγῳ, οἵα ἐστὶν ἡ Πλάτωνος καὶ Ξενοφῶντος καὶ τῶν νεωτέρων, Δίωνος καὶ Φιλοστράτου καὶ τῶν σοφιστῶν 412ὅσοι καὶ συντιθέναι τὸ συγγραφικὸν εἶδος ἔδοξαν χαριέντως.

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2.6. THE BEDTIME SPEECH

concord, the preservation and increase of wealth, and, greatest of all, the birth of children to be heirs of the family, to be benefactors of their hometown, and to sponsor athletic festivals.” After these remarks you should add a prayer of your own, asking the gods to give them the sweetest lovemaking, happiness, a life full of love, the birth of children, and all the blessings mentioned above.

26. Try to present all these things briefly, everywhere mindful only of grace and beauty. A speech acquires grace and beauty not only from stories and the way they are told, but also from the plainness and simplicity of the speaker’s character. For the speech must lack elaboration, and on the whole be loosely connected, not composed of clauses and periods, but proceeding more casually, as in the genre of the talk (lalia). (27) A speech may also derive charm from carefully wrought and ornate language, like that of Plato and Xenophon, including the moderns, Dio Chrysostom and Philostratus, and those sophists recognized for composing the casual type with charm.

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DOI: 10.4159/DLCL.menander_rhetor-treatise_2.2019