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RHETORIC

The art of embellishing language with the ornaments of construction, so as to enable the speaker to persuade or affect his hearers. It supposes and requires a proper acquaintance with the rest of the liberal arts; for the first step toward adorning a discourse is for the speaker to become thoroughly acquainted with its subject. and hence the ancient rule that the orator should be acquainted with all the arts and seiences. Its importance as a branch of liberal education is recommended to the Free mason in the Fellow Craft's Degree. It is one of the seven liberal arts and sciences, the second in order (see Liberal Arts and Sciences), and is described in the ancient Constitutions as "retorieke that teacheth a man to speake faire and in subtill terms" (see Harleian Manuscript, Number 1942).

- Source: Mackey's Encyclopedia of Freemasonry


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