"Ironically the pragmatic meaning of prudence is exactly the opposite of its traditional meaning. Traditionally prudence was not considered contrary to virtue; it was the highest virtue: It meant the wisdom to practice all the virtues in the right time and circumstance."
The Art of Rhetoric
"Although these pieces may appear fully to express their own real intrinsic value, as bearing the image and inscription of that great man Mr. Hobbes; yet since common usage has rendered a preface to a book as necessary as a porch to a church, and that in all things some ceremonies cannot be avoided, mode and custom in this point is dutifully to be obeyed.
That they are genuine, credible testimony might be produced, did not the peculiar fineness of thought and expression, and a constant undaunted resolution of maintaining his own opinions, sufficiently ascertain their author. Besides which, they are now published from his own true copies; an advantage which some of his works have wanted.
The first of them, being an abridgment containing the most useful part of Aristotle's rhetoric, was written some thirty years since. Mr. Hobbes in his book of Human Nature had already described man, with an exactness almost equal to the original draught of nature; and in his Elements of Law laid down the constitution of government, and shown by what armed reason it is maintained: and having demonstrated in the state of nature the primitive art of fighting to be the only medium whereby men procured their ends, did in this design to show what power in societies has succeeded to reign in its stead, I mean the art of speaking; which by use of common places of probability, and knowledge in the manners and passions of mankind, through the working of belief is able to bring about whatsoever interest."
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