For it is not true, as some treatise-mongers lay down in their systems, of the probity of the speaker, that it contributes nothing to persuasion; but moral character nearly, I may say, carries with it the most sovereign efficacy in making credible.
A statement is persuasive and credible either because it is directly self-evident or because it appears to be proved from other statements that are so.
Most men appear to think that the art of despotic government is statesmanship, and what men affirm to be unjust and inexpedient in their own case they are not ashamed of practicing towards others; they demand just rule for themselves, but where other men are concerned they care nothing about it. Such behavior is irrational; unless the one party is, and the other is not, born to serve, in which case men have a right to command, not indeed all their fellows, but only those who are intended to be subjects; just as we ought not to hunt mankind, whether for food or sacrifice . .
Anyone, without any great penetration, may distinguish the dispositions consequent on wealth; for its possessors are insolent and overbearing, from being tainted in a certain way by the getting of their wealth. For they are affected as though they possessed every good; since wealth is a sort of standard of the worth of other things; whence every thing seems to be purchasable by it.