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**  A second window aside called by the
She-philosopher.com Library e-Publication page for
the Editor’s Introduction to Thomas Hobbes’s
textbook of rhetorized psychology
Lib. Cat. No. THOB1637 (Part I)  **

 

First Published:  December 2012
Revised (substantive):  15 January 2017

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#1 (of 6)

rhetors such as Cicero (aka “Tully”), about whose art she was more ambivalent — The chemical physician Mary Trye was also ambivalent about Cicero and Ciceronian-style eloquence, writing in her polemic defending “against the calumnies and abusive reflections of Henry Stubbe a physician at Warwick”: “But I confess, I admire this Medicus [i.e., Stubbe] as Cicero is said to be admired, more for his tongue then his heart; for I see his words and actions are as different, as a Frenchman’s words and his writings: Platonick Lover like, who is described by our English saying, to be one that is still saying Grace, and never falls to his Meat: He says well, if all that he says were true, And although he thinks he hath said enough, in saying, his Patients depose for their Cures; yet I am never the more convinced by that, unless he will tell me, when he will raise them up again; and that is a Prophetick inspiration, I fear this divine Physician is not yet Glorified with.” (M. Trye, Medicatrix, or the Woman-Physician, 1675, 123–4)
  Elsewhere, she disparaged Stubbe as “our English Cicero” (Trye, 19); a “Sophister” (Trye, 41); “This great talker of Physick” (Trye, 62); “this Quacking Parrot; and Chego Doctor” (Trye, 109); this “Romancer” with a “scurrilous fancy” (Trye, Epistle Dedicatory); and “This malicious disguiser” (Trye, 68) — in essence, accusing Stubbe of being a Medicus turned “Verbalist” and “Politicus” rather than a true “Medicinalist,” like herself. ::

#2 (of 6)

the vainglorious arts — Cavendish’s catalog of arts in this dialogue is typically idiosyncratic.
  She first lists 10 categories of arts: “There are many several kinds of Arts, as well as several sorts, as Arts of Pleasure, enticing Arts, vain-glorious Arts, vain Arts, superfluous Arts, superstitious Arts, ambitious Arts, covetous Arts, profitable Arts, destructive Arts.”
  This starting taxonomy then expands to 17 categories when examples are provided:
  1. “Arts of Pleasure” (including gardens, fountains, maps & views, painting, music, cookery, perfumes)
  2. “Enticing Arts” (including “Artifical Singing, Artificial Speaking, Artificial Dressing, Dancing, Powdring, Curling, Perfuming, Rich Cloathing, Luxurious Entertainments”)
  3. “Vain Arts” (including “Feathers, Fancyes, Ribbins, black Patches, Bobes, and Side glasses”)
  4. “Amorous Arts” (including “flattering Complements, false Professions, affected Garbs, affected Speeches, affected Countenances, ... Sonnets, Poems, Frolicks, Questions and Commands, Purposes and Riddles, Presents, private Meetings, and Confidence”)
  5. “Expensive Arts” (including “Feasting, Masquing” and gambling)
  6. “Ill-natur’d Arts” (including “Bull-baiting, Cock fighting, Dog fighting, Cudgel-playing”)
  7. “Exercising Arts”
  8. “Vain-glorious Arts”
  9. “Covetous Arts” (including “Bribery, Monopolies, Taxes, Excises, and Compositions”)
  10. “Ambitious Arts”
  11. “Malicious Arts”
  12. “Superstitious Arts”
  13. “Idolatrous Arts”
  14. “Dangerous Arts, though necessary Arts for the safety of Honour” (including “Fencing, Riding, Tilting, Vaulting, Wrestling, and Swimming”)
  15. “Murthering Arts”
  16. “Arts of Safety” and
  17. “Profitable Arts” (including “Carding, Spinning, Weaving”).
  “As for Tailery, Shoemakery, Knittery, and Semstry,” we are informed that these are not arts at all, but “may be reckoned amongst the Architectures.” (M. Cavendish, Natures Pictures Drawn by Fancies Pencil to the Life, 1656, 179–80) ::

#3 (of 6)

“for all Poetry hath Oratory” — Cavendish often subsumed rhetoric (as a behavioral science) within poetry, and considered the ideal rhetor to be a poet.
  As spoken by Wit in “The Dialogue of the Wise Lady, the Learned Lady, and the Witty Lady”: “In Poetry is included Musick and Rhetorick, which is Number and Measure, Judgement and Phancy, Imitation and Invention; it is the finest Art in Nature, for it animates the Spirits to Devotion, it fires the Spirits to Action, it begets Love, it abates Hate, it tempers Anger, it asswages Grief, it eases Pain, it increases Joy, allayes Fears, and sweetens the whole Life of Man, by playing so well upon the Brain, that it strikes the strings of the Heart with Delight, which makes the Spirits to dance, and keeps the Minde in tune, whereby the Thoughts move equally in a round Circle, where Love sits in the Center as Mistris and Judge.” (M. Cavendish, Natures Pictures Drawn by Fancies Pencil to the Life, 1656, 178) ::

#4 (of 6)

“for Poetry is like a powerful Monarch” — This intellectual hierarchy was not unique to Margaret Cavendish. In their “An Essay upon All Sorts of Learning,” the Athenian Society noted that they had “past over the Learning of the Schools, as Grammar, Rhetorick, &c.” for which “we need make no great Apology, since they are always suppos’d, a tolerable Education in them being absolutely necessary for meaner concerns in the World, than what we have been treating of” (The Young-Students-Library, 1692, xviii).
  Poetry, however, was thought to be a loftier pursuit than rhetoric, and properly part of a higher “Pious and Learned Education” in sciences promoting “A noble Custom of the Mind” and “teach[ing] us to be Happy” (The Young-Students-Library, i). Building on the well-known Horatian principle of Ut pictora poesis, the Athenian Society cast poetry as “a kind of Painting, which represents the Mind, as that does the Body; nay, it is excellent, in the describing the Body too, and all the Actions of Human Life, as well as all the beauties of Nature, in a Lively Description.” (The Young-Students-Library, xii) As such, poetry has such “influence on the Minds of Men” that it can bring “them to Civility, and to know the Dictates of Reason from that of fancy, and the ungovern’d Sense, Appetite, without respect to Justice” — as had happened first with the Greeks. (The Young-Students-Library, xii)
  “To be a perfect Poet, a Man must be a general Schollar, skill’d both in the Tongues and Sciences, must be perfect in History and Moral Philosophy, the latter of which is absolutely necessary, to give him an insight into the Nature of the Passions, to move which is his chief Aim and Business, nor can he draw a virtuous Character, unless he know what is the just Composition of it. A Poet is to represent Mankind, at least the nobler Part, which he can never do, if he be not throughly skill’d in knowledge of it....” (The Young-Students-Library, xiii) ::

#5 (of 6)

“the wiseste Studye Is to reade Men” — This was a truism for contemporary moral and natural philosophers such as John Evelyn (1620–1706), too.
  Evelyn concluded his discourse on physiognomy with an expanded definition of phronesis: “... ’twas the saying of Menander ... that it was not so well said by the Wise Man, Know thy self, as Know others. Yet certainly, if that be the best Philosophy, which best teaches us to know our selves (without which it is impossible to know, or do any thing as we should) the Study of that which instructs us to know both our selves, and others, is to be preferr’d to all other, and to be esteem’d no inconsiderable part of Moral Wisdom.” (J. Evelyn, Numismata ... to which is added A Digression Concerning Physiognomy, 1697, 332–3) ::

#6 (of 6)

especially anti-women’s oratory — Margaret Cavendish was a relentless critic of other women’s speech.
  E.g., early-modern intellectuals (including Sor Juana Inés de la Cruz) generally celebrated Aspasia, mistress and counsellor to Pericles, as the friend and teacher of Socrates, “famous for her reputation of great learning; she made great advances in her philosophical studies. She practised rhetoric. She was the teacher of Pericles and later his wife.” (“Catalogus Doctarum Virginum et Fæminarum,” appended to Parthenicôn Elisabethæ Joannæ Westoniæ, 1608?, ed. by Cheney and Hosington, 285)
  But to the Lady Marchioness of Newcastle (Sociable Letters, 1664, title-page), Aspasia epitomized the corrupting influence of sexualized eloquence from which Margaret Cavendish (and perhaps Elizabeth Weston before her) wished to distance herself:
  “Yesterday, being not in the Humour of Writing, I took Plutarch’s Lives, or as some call them, Plutarch’s Lies, but Lives or Lies, or a mixture of both, I read part of the day in that Book, and it was my chance to read the Life of Pericles the Athenian, in which Story he is Commended for his Gravity, Government, and Wisdom; this Pericles I did much Admire all the time I read of him, until I did read where it was mentioned of his marrying Aspasia, a famous Courtesan, and then I did not think him so Wise a man as I did before, in that he could not rule his Passion better, but to marry a Whore; neither doth Gravity and Wantonness suit well together, for to my imagination a Grave Cuckold doth appear most Ridiculous: And although she was Constant to him, yet the Lewdness of her former Life could not but be a great Blemish to him, as to marry the Dregs and Leavings of other men; But it seem’d that she had an Attractive Power, especially on such as they call Wise men, as Statesmen, Philosophers, and Governours, and all this Power lay in her Tongue, which was a Bawd for the other end; nay, so well (it is said) she could Speak, that not only such men as fore-mentioned did come to hear her, and to learn to speak Eloquently by her, but many also brought their Wives to hear her, which in my opinion was Dangerous, lest they might learn her Vice with her Rhetorick; but it seems the Graecians were not like the Italians concerning their Wives, although they were like them concerning their Courtesans; but honest Women take not so much care to Speak well, as to Do that which is Virtuous.” (M. Cavendish, Sociable Letters, 1664, 62–4) ::