frankness of speech

Figure Name frankness of speech
Source Ad Herennium (349-355)
Earliest Source
Type Chroma
Linguistic Domain Semantic

1. It is Frankness of Speech when, talking
before those to whom we owe reverence or fear, we yet exercise our right to speak out, because we seem justified in reprehending them, or persons dear to them, for some fault. (Ad Herennium)


1. " You wonder, fellow citizens, that every one abandons your interests ? That no one undertakes your cause ? That no one declares himself your defender ? Blame this upon yourselves ; cease to wonder. Why indeed should not every one avoid and shun this situation of
your making ? Bethink yourselves of those whom
you have had for defenders ; set their devotion before your eyes, and next consider what has become of them all. Then remember that thanks to your — to speak aright — indifference, or cowardice rather, all these men have been murdered before your eyes, and thanks to your own votes their enemies have reached the highest estate." (Ad Herennium)

1. " Now what was your motive, men of the jury, in hesitating to pass sentence on this abominable man, or in allowing him a new
trial. Were not the facts charged plain as day ? Were they not all proved by w itnesses ? Was not the answer, on the other hand, feeble and trifling? Did you at this point fear that in condemning him at the first hearing you would be considered cruel ? While avoiding a reproach for cruelty, which you would have been far from incurring, you have incurred another reproach—you are considered timid and cowardly. You have met with very great losses, private and public, and now when even greater losses seem to impend, you sit and yawn. During the day you wait for night, at night you wait for day. Every day some troublesome and unpleasant news is announced—yet even now will you temporize longer with the author of these our ills, and nourish him for the destruction of the republic ; will you keep him in the commonwealth as long as you can" (Ad Herennium)

1. " Fellow citizens, you are of too simple and
gentle a character ; you have too much confidence in every one. You think that every one strives to perform what he has promised you. You are mistaken, and now for a long time you have been kept back by false and groundless hope, in your fatuity choosing to seek from others what lay in your power, rather than take it yourselves." (Ad Herennium)

1. " I enjoyed a friendship with this person, men of the jury, yet of that friendship - although I fear how you are going to receive what I shall say, I will yet say it — you have deprived me. Why : Because, in order to win your approval, I have preferred to consider
your assailant as an enemy rather than as a friend." (Ad Herennium)

Kind Of
Part Of
Related Figures
Confidence Unconfident
Last Editor Ashwini Namasivayam
Confidence Unconfident
Editorial Notes
Reviewed No