The two editions of Henry Peacham's The Garden of Eloquence , published in and , are analysed from the viewpoint of the philosophy of man characterising humanist thought at the end of the sixteenth century. At variance with the first edition, in the text, Peacham seems to pay more careful attention to the relationship between rhetoric and the expression of the immaterial side of the human experience, and consequently appears to propose a methodology implying an imaginative conception of rhetoric largely focused on theorising the secrets of the human mind through expressing the passions. Henry Peacham first published The Garden of Eloquence in A second, revised edition was published sixteen years later. This article reads Peacham's work in the light of some early modern conceptions of humanity, paying particular attention to notions of self-knowledge and the passions as depicted in medico-psychological tracts like Thomas Hill's Contemplation of Mankind , Thomas Rogers's The Anatomy of the Minde , Timothy Bright's A Treatise of Melancholie , and Thomas Wright's The Passions of the Minde in Generall

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The two editions of Henry Peacham's The Garden of Eloquence , published in and , are analysed from the viewpoint of the philosophy of man characterising humanist thought at the end of the sixteenth century. At variance with the first edition, in the text, Peacham seems to pay more careful attention to the relationship between rhetoric and the expression of the immaterial side of the human experience, and consequently appears to propose a methodology implying an imaginative conception of rhetoric largely focused on theorising the secrets of the human mind through expressing the passions.

Henry Peacham first published The Garden of Eloquence in A second, revised edition was published sixteen years later. This article reads Peacham's work in the light of some early modern conceptions of humanity, paying particular attention to notions of self-knowledge and the passions as depicted in medico-psychological tracts like Thomas Hill's Contemplation of Mankind , Thomas Rogers's The Anatomy of the Minde , Timothy Bright's A Treatise of Melancholie , and Thomas Wright's The Passions of the Minde in Generall On the basis of the theory of the passions and of the models of the interdependence between the body and the mind proposed by this medico-psychological literature, this article explores the connections between the early modern philosophy of man and Peacham's idea of affective rhetoric.

The term 'passions', in this article, should be understood in the context of early modern humoral theory, which explains emotional experiences on the basis of bodily disposition. At some points, following recent literature and despite the formal anachronism, the more modern terms 'emotions' and 'affections' and their adjectival derivations are used as synonyms with 'passions', for the concept in some ways parallels the modern sense of emotions and feelings.

Indeed, in The Garden , 'passions' and 'affections' are used by Peacham indiscriminately. Though the latter term is used more frequently than the former, this should not mislead the modern reader, as the two concepts were used on equal terms by Peacham's contemporaries writing about man, the mind, and the passions.

Recent studies in Renaissance thought have stressed the pre-eminence of the body and the 'corporeal', or 'humoral', phenomenology of the early modern experience of the self by focusing on 'the unity of the physical and the psychological in early modern behavioural theory' 6 and in the understanding of the passions.

As Michael Schoenfeldt suggests, in early modern times, Galenic medicine and Christian ethics demanded 'of the ethical subject … participation in a discourse of deeply embodied [End Page 98] inwardness', 7 thus accentuating the distinct physiological constitution of man and the concept of embodied passions not 'as enactments of dead metaphors but rather explorations of the corporeal nature of self'.

Bamborough noted, the passions were envisioned as psychic processes which, conceived in the mind, found expression through physical symptoms, gesticulation, and discourse. In the words of Thomas Rogers, passions and affections alike refer to the 'contritions of the minde, contrarye to reason … They are affections of the minde, not obeying unto the rule of reason'. Generally speaking, the two basic features that characterise the passions are their tight connection to unmanageable internal processes that distress the human mind, and their direct effects on both the body and reason: 'These passions then be certain internal acts or operations of the soul, bordering upon reason and sense, prosecuting some good thing or flying some ill thing, causing therewithal some alteration in the body.

In a similar vein, Rogers said of the physical symptoms associated with anger that 'a man so affected is soone hote, and soone colde, because reason overcommeth the outragiousnesse of the passion'. Peacham insists that accurate rhetorical imitation should take into account the combination of complexion with substance, a statement that certainly echoes the attempts of sixteenth-century psychology to explain the physiological foundations for the different kinds of behaviours in humans.

The complexion of humans — which may be identified with modern concepts of behaviour or character — is thus dependent in some way upon the workings of the internal substance that Galenic medicine had systematised in the theory of the humours. Understanding the passions in humoral terms, nonetheless, complicates the assumption that, before Cartesianism, early modern notions of the self might have been dualistic in essence.

The body could not be conceived of as a discrete entity independent from the essence 'which gave its materiality significance', 17 that is, the soul or anima — envisaged at the time as synonymous with mind and self — whereas the immaterial soul — regarded as separate from the body by the theologian — certainly needed the body to 'enter into any relation with the world of sensory experience'.

Renaissance psychology had continuous frontiers on one side with Theology and Moral Philosophy, just as on the other side its borders marched with those of Physiology.

In considering sixteenth- and early seventeenth-century ideas of Man it is almost impossible to separate the spheres of the divine, the moralist, the philosopher, the psychologist and the physician.

Supervising this relation between the outward and the inward nature of humankind, between body and mind — a relation depicted in theological terms as a perpetual struggle between the material and the spiritual, and as a metaphor of the troubled relationship between humanity and God 21 — is what to a great extent accounts for the experience of self-knowledge in the Renaissance.

Accordingly, in the analysis of the material manifestations of the passions and other psychic processes, that is, the 'inside' of humans, early modern philosophy discovered a conduit to revealing their inner immaterial substance. Indeed, one aim of this philosophy was to see how something of this immaterial inwardness could be grasped from external indications i. Nevertheless, it seemed that only through these signals could the early modern philosopher or the early modern physician have access to the inward soul and glean some understanding of this otherwise immaterial and inaccessible side of human experience.

To avoid misleading expectations, it must be noted that in this article the idea of the immaterial side of human experience should not be understood in theological terms, but rather as a more general assumption about the experience of human inwardness and as what nowadays could be described as a conception of 'the self as a theoretical [End Page ] heuristic'.

Despite the formal anachronism, however, the term 'self', in that it stands for a modern reformulation of the idea of human interiority, is used here as synonymous with 'soul' and 'mind', to refer to the early modern depiction of the inward experience described in this article. In the translative formula from the inside to the outside of a human, words were concomitant with bodily symptoms and gestures, inasmuch as, even if only figuratively, they appeared to be, as Wright affirms, the only other indicators of the mind and of a possible understanding of the passions: 'For indeed words and actions spring from the same root, that is, the understanding and affections; and as leaves, flowers, and fruit declare the virtues of trees, so words and actions the qualities of minds.

Gross, was the first, and remains a particularly rich, source for inquiry into the passions. This is manifest, for example, in Peacham's explanation of pathopeia , a figure which 'pertaineth properly to move affections, which is a principall and singular vertue of eloquution' U4 v.

In the edition, this figure is described in a manner similar to that of other contemporary rhetoricians such as George Puttenham, who defined the figure in terms of its intensity to 'utter our mind by all such words as do show any extreme passion', 29 or Richard Sherry, but overlook its capacity to cause a particular state of mind in the audience.

However, in the re-edition, in a way that is perhaps more in tune with the recommendations on the use of the exclamatio as encouraged by Susenbrotus and in Cicero's Rhetorica ad Herennium , 30 Peacham expands the definition of ecphonesis to point to not only the potential of language for giving expression to the mind, but also the emotional and persuasive force of discourse in conjunction with the conveyance of emotions.

This assumption confers on rhetoric an emotional appeal that Peacham did not hesitate to underscore in The Garden , and more especially in its re-edition, aimed at displaying a catalogue of figures that in some measure relate to the expressive and persuasive force of language: 'The principal instruments of mans help in this wonderfull effect [persuasion], are those figures and formes of speech conteined in this booke, which are the frutefull branches of eloquution, and the mightie streames of eloquence' AB3 v.

In fact, as Brian Vickers has argued, this tract is 'one of the few accounts of the tropes in English rhetoric that grant them any emotive power'. If in the first edition, following Quintilian's major distinction between tropes and schemes and its enlarged schematisation by Susenbrotus, Peacham sets apart tropes — or figures — from schemates either grammatical or rhetorical , in the second edition, in spite of still distinguishing tropes from schemates , he places special emphasis on a third group which, featuring two of the three orders of the schemates , he identifies as figures of sentences; this group becomes the main focus of the tract.

In the two editions, the function of tropes is to alter the meaning of words and sentences, whereas the rhetorical schemes 'do take away the wearisomnesse of our common speech, and do fashion a pleasant, [End Page ] sharpe, and evident kind of expressing our meaning' G4 v. The remarkable difference between the two texts of The Garden lies therefore in that third category Peacham identifies as figures of sentences and defines as 'those by which either our affections are elegantly expressed, or matters mightily magnified' K3 r.

Accordingly, Peacham leaves out quite a few of the schemes grouped in the edition under the 'grammatical' and 'orthographical' heading — figures which basically work on the aesthetic plane — to re-classify the remaining schemes in this group as rhetorical and to bring in more than thirty new figures of sentences.

The main function of these new figures is the expression of affections, because they 'do make the oration not onely pleasant and plausible, but also verie sharpe and vehement, by which the sundrie affectations and passions of the minde are properly and elegantly uttered' K3 r—v.

To so great an extent is this expressive function of the figures essential in the re-edited Garden that the figures of sentences are further subdivided into two groups, one containing specifically 'figures of affection' and another comprising 'figures of amplification'.

As Vickers has put it, Peacham is indeed 'so convinced of the potential of the figures to express feeling that he groups them according to their degree of emotional power'. A careful reading of this reorganisation reveals that the catalogue of the figures could actually be reduced to two implicit groups with distinct functions. The first one would involve the figures of sentences, which 'do attend uppon affections' and are connected with 'whatsoever the heart doth affect or suffer' R4 v , that is, with the expression — and, naturally related, the triggering — of passions.

Conversely, the second group would comprise figures which mostly pertain to the formal embellishment of discourse—i.

Both groups are differentiated in the following passage:. The difference betweene the figures of words, and the figures of sentences is great, found both in their formes and effectes, for the figures of wordes are as it were effeminate, and musicall, the figures of sentences are manly, and martiall, those of words are as it were the colour and beautie, these of sentences are as the life and affection, which are divided into figures of affection, and figures of Amplification K3 r.

In general terms, it could be argued that when the figures 'do make the oration plaine, pleasant, and beautifull' G4 v , they fulfil the function of delectare , for they stress the aesthetics of the message and serve, as Peacham says of the diaphora , 'both to the pleasure of the eare and sense of the mind' H3 r.

When the figures relate instead to 'life and affection' and are 'manly and martial', they are more likely to perform the office of movere , as they essentially apply to the emotional force of the message and, logically associated, its effect on the audience. In consequence, rhetoric in The Garden , 'exerciseth her power, working in the minde of the hearer, partly by a pleasant proportion, and as it were by a sweet and musical harmonie, and partly by the secret and mightie power of perswasion after a most wonderfull manner' AB3 r.

In either event, what this outline uncovers is Peacham's contention that the function of the figures should be primarily to seek persuasion either by attending to aesthetic and formal features — delectare — or, more importantly, by verbalising passions and eliciting affections from the reader — movere. In any case, the persuasive potential of the figures appears to lie largely, if not exclusively, in their capacity to add emotional strength to the message and force a passionate reaction from the audience.

That the figures are largely meant to articulate affections is all the more evident in Peacham's reworked definitions of the figures, where the increased interest in the emotional qualities of language is deliberately underlined. In the second edition, to mention just a few, epizeuxis, diacope, articulus, hypozeuxis, aporia, synchoresis, apostrophe, pathopeia , and congeries are all distinguished from their definitions by their ability to represent vehement passions.

Thus, for example: epizeuxis 'may serve aptly to expresse the vehemencie of any affection' H4 r ; diacope 'may be used to expresse any affection, but it is most fit for a sharpe invective or exprobration' H4 v ; and articulus is 'very convenient to expresse any vehement affections' K1 r.

As a matter of fact, this insistence on the emotional strength of rhetoric is already pointed out in the title of the later text.

While there is little acknowledgement of the passions in the first version, in the edition, the affection-oriented function of rhetoric is significantly obvious on the cover page:. Peacham's inclination to highlight the emotional function of rhetoric has been underscored by Jeanne Fahnestock, who has argued that 'in his internal sorting of these three orders of schemes, Peacham shifts from operational to functional definitions'.

According to Fahnestock, this functional rhetoric projected by Peacham takes root in the classical view of figures as ornament and the suitability of the grand style — as described in the Ad Herennium — to address the affections most properly.

In this context, the concept of functional rhetoric in Peacham chiefly accounts for the classical office of movere , since it involves the 'characterization of figures as signs of emotion in the speaker and triggers of the emotions in an audience'. Still, along with their potential for argumentation, the emotional force of these figures is manifest when Peacham affirms that 'the figures of this order are of great strength and force in an oration … and … most fit formes for a most earnest and vehement oration' Q1 r.

Therefore, a figure of 'consultation' like hyporia requires 'both wit and judgement' Q3 r for a methodological presentation of arguments, whereas other figures of 'consultation' and 'permission' like [End Page ] interrogatio, aporia , and apostrophe , respectively, 'serve very wel and aptly to expresse any affection' Q1 r , 'serveth to deliberation, and to note the perplexitie of the minde' Q3 r , and 'is verie apt to vehement objections, and grievous complaints' R2 v.

Without disregarding its argumentative force — highly suggestive for the psychological component of rhetorical discourses, but not the subject of this article — it is this emotional impetus that in part accounts for the functionality of rhetoric in The Garden.

In this sense, Fahnestock's and Vickers's arguments concur with Heinrich Plett's more general contention that 'irrespective of the kind of treatise in which the theory of style is articulated in the Renaissance', voices like Peacham's appeared to plead in favour of 'a functional explanation of the stylistic devices in terms of the emotions they are likely to engender'.

In this sense, rhetoric in The Garden becomes functional — and consequently embedded within the framework of Ciceronian principles — as long as it abides by these principles. In so far as rhetoric is thus regarded as 'a sort of art of leading souls by means of speeches', 41 that is, of persuading through discourse at a markedly emotional level, to prove efficient, the rhetor must examine not only the expressive force of language, but also the nature and workings of the soul.

Rhetoric is not constrained to the use of a series of formal aesthetic techniques; its intention is pragmatic and interventionist, 43 and as such, it must provide the orator with the instruments necessary to accommodate their practice to distinct circumstances and audiences.

Therefore, to stimulate explicit emotional [End Page ] reactions in the audience, the orator has to delve into the linguistic and cognitive foundations of the expected kind of response by getting involved, as Peacham argues, 'in a diligent inquisition and contemplation of wisedome, and in a deliberate consideration of art' AB2 v , that is, rhetoric. Language then presents itself, on the one hand, as a methodology acceptable to early modern thinkers for seeing into the inside of a human, as it allows the expression of the immaterial mind 44 — in this sense, Thomas Wilson, for instance, affirmed that 'the tongue is ordeined to expresse the mynde' 45 — and, on the other hand, language also confirms itself as a practical means to affect this interiority, thus achieving one of the three main functions of rhetoric.

If not exactly a manifestation of this concept of self-knowledge, the dedicatory inscription of the Garden certainly points up the connection between knowledge, eloquence, and persuasion.

According to Peacham, wisdom encompasses 'the knowledge of divine and humane things' and is to be used 'for the search of truth and for the direction of humane life' AB2 v , which in some way amounts to early modern accounts of the human experience aimed at the project of self-knowledge. He maintains that wisdom can only be properly materialised through eloquence — 'the precious nature, and wonderfull power of wisedome, is by the commendable Art and use of eloquence, produced and brought into open light' AB3 r — and that the 'utilitie of their excellent conjunction' AB2 v should be enforced and commended.

Rhetoric turns therefore into the most reliable medium to articulate 'the deepe understanding, the secret counselles, and politicke considerations of wisedome' AB3 r , as well as proving the best method to achieve persuasion on an aesthetic and emotional level, that is, by performing the rhetorical offices of delectare and movere :. By the benefit of this excellent gift, I meane of apt speech given by nature, and guided by Art wisedome appeareth in her beautie, sheweth her maiestie, and exerciseth her power, working in the minde of the hearer, partly by a pleasant proportion, and as it were by a sweet and musicall harmonie, and partly by the secret and mightie power of perswasion after a most wonderfull manner AB3 r.

In this process, by means of which wisdom and other inner traits of the human experience become visible, language — and rhetoric in particular — is viewed as an essential participant.

Together with bodily signals, it is the only other means through which what is absent and immaterial is made present, and through which the inward mind can be affected and moved. Besides its expressive power, the function of rhetoric as reformulated in the text also lies in this ability to translate the passions linguistically. In that event, the expressive force of rhetoric in The Garden would appear to surpass the conception of figures as instruments of ethical and aesthetic appeal and as triggers of emotion.

The focus would not solely be placed on what the figures do in terms of artistic or persuasive demands, but rather on how the figures can re-echo inner passions beyond formal mimesis.

This idea, absent in the text, is underlined in the dedicatory inscription of the second edition, where Peacham understands language, and consequently rhetoric, as the only true means of expressing the inner experience of a human:. The power of language to express affections has been a commonplace since the early days of rhetoric.

What is new in Peacham is that his idea of rhetoric as a formal conduit for human passions emerges less in relation to the classical approach, focused on the mimetic formalities of ethos and pathos , than to the sixteenth-century material conception of the human and the diverse approaches to, as he describes them, 'the passions of [the] heart'.

In The Garden , the passions are certainly conceived as the perturbations of the mind described by Rogers and Wright, as the psycho-physical depiction of anger in the definition of periphrasis mentioned above substantiates.

Yet Peacham's interest in the passions is surely more related to the expressive power of language and the verbal articulation of these perturbations, than to natural phenomena. As a rhetorician, Peacham places the passions at the heart of his notion of rhetoric, attempting to describe and classify the linguistic processes that allow their proper and accurate expression.

To Peacham, rhetoric provides a door — and most probably the only one besides gestures — to this inwardness of man which, as Wright affirms 'must needs have some vent'. Equally significant in this regard is Peacham's definition of paradiegesis , which 'becommeth as it were an artificial and cunning key of speech to open the doore of occasion whereby the purpose and desire of the mind do find an apt and easie enterance into the desired libertie of utterance' O3 v.

With this description, Peacham again underlines the utility of language to externalise inner thoughts and feelings.

As a matter of fact, it could be argued that Peacham's focus on the expression of emotions drives him to [End Page ] compile a series of instruments — 'flowers, and formes of speech' — useful to translate the mind and the passions from the immaterial into the materiality of language: 'I meane those figures and formes of speech which the reason of man, the principall part and power of his minde, hath by long and diligent search found out, to the admirable utterance of his knowledge and glory of his wisedome' R4 r—v.

One more illustration in this regard is his explanation of eustathia , which 'serveth most aptly to declare the firme and unremoveable purpose of the mind, and to make manifest the deepe rooted affection of the heart'. In fact, a marginal note reinforces its efficacy '[t]o manifest the secret affection of the heart' L3 v. This definition unquestionably connects with Wright's contention that 'words represent most exactly the very image of the mind and soul … for in words as in a glass may be seen a man's life and inclination'.

These indications, which, as he maintains, are words and actions, seem the only reliable kind of index to the inner mind:. For that we cannot enter into a man's heart and view the passions or inclinations which there reside and lie hidden, therefore as Philosophers by effects find out causes, by properties essences, by rivers fountains, by boughs and flowers the core and roots, even so we must trace out passions and inclinations by some effects and external operations.

And these be no more than two: words and deeds, speech and action; of which two knowledge may be gathered of those affections we carry in our minds. The definition of descriptio , which is one of the new figures of sentences included in the revision of The Garden , appears to accommodate this assumption about the passions and how they can only be discovered through indirect and external evidence.

In line with Wright's statement, Peacham suggests here that external signs should be perceived unquestionably as indicative of inner substance:. By this exornation the Orator imitateth the cunning painter which doth not onely draw the true proportion of thinges, but also bestoweth naturall colours in their proper places, whereby he compoundeth as it were complexion with substance and life with countenance: for hence it is, that by true proportion and due coloure, cunning and curious Images are made so like to the persons which they present, that they do not onely make a likely shew of life, but also by outward countenance of the inward spirite and affection T3 v.

In this excerpt, Peacham warns about the drawbacks of ignoring that human nature, when imitated in art, should be composed, as in real life, of an incorporeal inner soul materialised in an external physical body.


The Garden of Eloquence, Etc.

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Henry Peacham (born 1546)




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