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SIMILITUDE differs from a metaphor only by such particles of comparison as these: as, even as, so, even so, etc.

A similitude, therefore, is a metaphor dilated; and a metaphor is a similitude contracted into one word.

A similitude does well in an oration, so it be not to frequent; for 'tis poetical.

An example of a similitude, is this of Pericles; that said in his oration that the Boeotians were like to so many oaks in a wood that did nothing but beat one another.


pour things are necessary to make language pure:

1. The right rendering of those particles which some antecedent particle does require: as to a not only, a not also; and then they are rendered right, when they are not suspended too long.

2. The use of proper words, rather than circumlocutions, unless there be motive to make one do it of purpose.

3. That there be nothing of double construction, unless there be cause to do it of purpose. As the prophets (of the heathen) who speak in general terms, to the end they may the better maintain the truth of their prophesies; which is easier maintained in generals than in particulars. For 'tis easier to divine whether a number be even or odd, than how many; and that a thing will be, than what it will be

4. Concordance of gender, number, and person; as not to say him for her, for men, hath for have.

In Sum; a man's language ought to be easy for another to read, pronounce, and point.

Besides, to divers antecedents, let divers relatives, or one common to them all, be correspondent: as, he saw the color, he heard the sound; or he perceived both color and sound; but by no means, he heard or saw both.

Lastly, that which is to be interposed by parenthesis, let it be done quickly: as, «I purposed having spoken to him (to this and this purpose), afterward to be gone." For to put it off thus: “I resolved, after I had spoken to him, to be gone; but the subject of my speech was to this and this purpose,» is vicious.



A MAN shall add amplitude, or dignity to his language, but by such means as


1. By changing the name with the definition, as occasion shall serve. As when the name shall be indecent, by using the definition; or contrary.

2. By metaphors.
3. By using the plural number for the singular.
4. By privative epithets.

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LOCUTIONS are made decent: 1. By speaking feelingly; that is, with such passion

as is fit for the matter he is in; as angrily in matter of inquiry.

2. By speaking as becomes the person of the speaker; as for a gentleman to speak eruditely.

3. By speaking proportionably to the matter; as of great affairs to speak in a high; and of mean, in a low style.

4. By abstaining from compounded and from outlandish words; unless a man speak passionately, and have already moved, and, as it were, inebriated his hearers. Or ironically.

It confers also to persuasion very much to use these ordinary forms of speaking all men know; 'tis confessed by all, no man will deny, and the like. For the hearer consents, surprised with the fear to be esteemed the only ignorant man.

'Tis good also, having used a word that signifies more than the matter requires, to abstain from the pronunciation and countenance that to such a word belongs: that the disproportion between it and the matter may the less appear. And when a man has said too much, it will show well to correct himself: for he will get belief by seeming to consider what he says.

[But in this a man must have a care not to be too precise in showing of this consideration. For the ostentation of carefulness is an argument oftentimes of lying; as may be observed in such as tell particularities not easily observed, when they would be thought to speak more precise truth than is required.]

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"HERE be two sorts of styles: the one continued or to be comprehended at once;

the other divided, or distinguished by periods.
The first sort was in use with ancient writers, but is now out of date.

An example of this style is in the « History) of Herodotus; wherein there is no period till the end of the whole «History.”

In the other kind of style, that is distinguished by periods; a period is such a part as is perfect in itself, and has such length as may easily be comprehended by the understanding.

This later kind is pleasant; the former unpleasant, because this appears finite, the other infinite: in this the hearer has always somewhat set out, and terminated to him; in the other he foresees no end, and has nothing finished to him; this may easily be committed to memory, because of the measure and cadence (which is the cause that verses may be easily remembered); the other not.

Every sentence ought to end with the period, and nothing to be interposed.
A period is either simple, or divided into parts.

Simple is that which is indivisible; as, “I wonder you fear not their ends, whose actions you imitate.)

A period divided is that which not only has perfection, and length convenient for respiration, but also parts. As, «I wonder you are not afraid of their ends, seeing you imitate their actions: » where in these words, «I wonder you are not afraid of their ends,” is one colon, or part; and in these, «seeing you imitate their actions, another: and both together make the period.

The parts or members, and periods of speech ought neither to be too long, por too short

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Too long are they which are produced beyond the expectation of the hearer.
Too short are they that end before he expects it.

Those that be too long leave the hearer behind, like him that walking goes beyond the usual end of the walk, and thereby outgoes him that walks with him.

They that be too short make the hearer stumble; for when he looks far before him, the end stops him before he be aware.

A period that is divided into parts is either divided only, or has also an opposition of the parts one to another.

Divided only is such as this: « This the senate knows; the consul sees; and yet the man lives.)

A period with opposition of parts, called also antithesis, and the parts antitheta, is when contrary parts are put together; or also joined by a third.

Contrary parts are put together, as here, the one has obtained glory, the other riches; both by my benefit.”

Antitheta are therefore acceptable; because not only the parts appear the better for the opposition, but also for that they carry with them a certain appearance of that kind of enthymeme, which leads to impossibility.

Parts, or members of a period, are said to be equal, when they have altogether, or almost equal number of syllables.

Parts or members of a period are said to be like, when they begin or end alike; and the more similitudes, and the greater equality there is of syllables, the more graceful is the period.

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FORASMUCH as there is nothing more delightful to a man than to find that he

apprehends and learns easily, it necessarily follows that those words are most grateful to the ear that make a man seem to see before his eyes the things signified.

And therefore foreign words are unpleasant, because obscure; and plain words, because too manifest, making us learn nothing new: but metaphors please, for they beget in us by the genus, or some common thing to that with another, a kind of science, -as when an old man is called stubble; a man suddenly learns that he grows up, flourisheth, and withers like grass, being put in mind of it by the qualities common to stubble, and to old men.

That which a metaphor does, a similitude does the same; but with less grace, because with more prolixity.

Such enthymemes are the most graceful, which neither are presently very manifest, nor yet very hard to be understood, but are comprehended, while they are uttering, or presently after, though not understood before.

The things that make a speech graceful are these: antitheta, metaphors, and animation.

Of antitheta and antithesis hath been spoken in the precedent chapter.
Of metaphors the most graceful is that which is drawn from proportion.

[Aristotle (in the twelfth chapter of his « Poetry)) defines a metaphor to be the translation of a name from one signification to another; whereof he makes four kinds: 1. From the general to the particular. 2. From the particular to the general. 3. From one particular to another. 4. From proportion.]

A metaphor from proportion is such as this, a state without youth is a year without a spring.”


Animation is that expression which makes us seem to see the thing before our eyes; as he that said the Athenians poured out their city into Sicily, meaning they sent thither the greatest army they could make; and this is the greatest grace of an oration.

If, therefore, in the same sentence there concur both metaphor, and this animation, and also antithesis, it cannot choose but be very graceful.

That an oration is graced by metaphor, animation, and antithesis, hath been said; but how 'tis graced is to be said in the next chapter.

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's graced by animation, when the actions of living creatures are attributed to

things without life; as when the sword is said to devour.
Such metaphors as these come into a man's mind by the observation of things
that have similitude and proportion one to another. And the more unlike and un-
proportionable the things be otherwise, the more grace hath the metaphor.

A metaphor without animation adds grace then, when the hearer finds he learns somewhat by such use of the word.

Also paradoxes are graceful, so men inwardly do believe them: for they have in them somewhat like to those jests that are grounded upon the similitude of words, which have usually one sense, and in the present another; and somewhat like to those jests which are grounded upon the deceiving of a man's expectation.

And paragrams; that is, allusions of words are graceful, if they be well placed; and in periods not too long; and with antithesis; for' by these means the ambiguity is taken away.

And the more of these; namely, metaphor, animation, antithesis, equality of members, a period hath, the more graceful it is.

Similitudes grace an oration, when they contain also a metaphor.

And proverbs are graceful, because they are metaphors, or translations of words from one species to another.

And hyperboles, because they also are metaphors: but they are youthful, and bewray vehemence; and are used with most grace by them that are angry; and for that cause are not comely in old men.

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style that should be read ought to be more exact and accurate.

But the style of a pleader ought to be suited to action and pronunciation. Orations of them that plead pass away with the hearing.

But those that are written men carry about them and are considered at leisure; and, consequently, must endure to be sifted and examined.

Written orations appear flat in pleading.

And orations made for the bar, when the action is away, appear in reading insipid.

In written orations repetition is justly condemned.

But in pleadings, by the help of action, and by some change in the pleader, repetition becomes amplification.

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In written orations disjunctives do ill; as, I came, I found him, I asked him: for they seem superfluous, and but one thing, because they are not distinguished by action.

But in pleadings 'tis amplification; because that which is but one thing is made to seem many.

Of pleadings, that which is judicial ought to be more accurate than that which is before the people.

And an oration to the people ought to be more accommodate to action than a judicial.

And of judicial orations, that ought to be more accurate which is uttered to few judges; and that ought to be more accommodate to action which is uttered to many. As in a picture, the further he stands off that beholds it the less need there is that the colors be fine; so in orations, the further the hearer stands off the less need there is for his oration to be elegant.

Therefore demonstrative orations are most proper for writing, the end whereof is to read.


The necessary parts of an oration are but two: propositions and proof; which are,

as it were, the problem and demonstration. The proposition is the explication, or opening of the matter to be proved. And proof is the demonstration of the matter propounded.

To these necessary parts are sometimes added two other, the proem and the epilogue, neither of which are any proof.

So that in some there be four parts of an oration; the proem, the proposition or (as the others call it) the narration, the proofs (which contain confirmation, confutation, amplification, and diminution), and the epilogue.



HE proem is the beginning of an oration, and, as it were, the preparing of the
way before one enters into it.

In some kinds of orations it resembles the prelude of musicians, who first play what they list, and afterwards the tune they intended.

In other kinds it resembles the prologue of a play that contains the argument.

Proems of the first sort are most proper for demonstrative orations; in which a man is free to foretell, or not, what points he will insist upon; and for the most part 'tis better not: because when a man has not obliged himself to a certain matter, digression will seem variety; but if he have engaged himself, variety will be accounted digression.

In demonstratives the matter of the proem consisteth in the praise or dispraise of some law or custom, or in exhortation, or dehortation; or something that serves to incline the hearer to the purpose.

Proems of the second kind are most proper for judicial orations. For as the prologue in a dramatic, and the exordium in an epic poem, setteth first in few words the argument of the poem, so in a judicial oration the orator ought to exhibit a model of his oration, that the mind of the hearer may not be suspended, and, for want of foresight, err or wander.

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