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AEnigma a kind of Allegorie, differeing onely in obscuritie,
1.A kinde of Allegorie.
for AEnigma is a sentence or forme of speech, which for the darknesse, the sense may hardly be gathered.

Examples: I consume my mother that bare me I eat up my nurse that fed me, then I die leaving them all blind that saw me. Meant of the fleame of a candle, which when it hath consumed both ware and weeke, goeth out, leaving them in the darke which saw by it.

Another: As long as I live I eate, but when I drinke I die, I understood of the fire, which continueth so long as it hath matter to burne upon, except it be quenched with fire, which may be tearmed the death of that nature.

1.A tree the mother.
{Ten thousand children beautifull, of this my body bred, {Both sonnes and daughters finely deckt, I live, & they are dead:
2.Fruite the sonnes.
{My sonnes were put to extreme death by such as lov'd thee well,
3.Leaves the daughters.
{My daughters died in extreme age, but where I cannot tell.


1.A book the anatomie.
{Anatomie of wonder great I speake, and yet am dead,
2.Wisedome the ivyee.
{Men sucke sweet juyce, from thse blacke veines, which mother wisdome bred.
3.Black veins the letters & lines.

This figure although it be full of obscuritie, and darknesse yet it is found in the sacred Scriptures both in speech and in visions, the dreames of Pharaos chiefe Butler, and chief Baker, and also Pharaos owne dreames were AEnigmatical, whose signification Joseph expounded.

Also the vision of Nabuchodonozor was AEnigmatical, & most aptly proportioned in the similitudes, for under the forme of a goodly tree, both him selfe and all the parts of his prosperitie are most excellently described. By the place where it was planted, were described his seate and kingdome: by the height, his dignitie: by the ample aspect, his great glory, and dread of nations toward him: by the strength of that tree, his great power: by the beautifull leaves, his gorgeous apparell and glorious pompe: by the frute, his wonderfull rents, tributes, and revenues: by the meate of that tree, the wealth and prosperitie of his people: by the shadow, the safe protection of his subjects: by the birds among the branches, his prudent counsellers, and mightie princes: and by that, that it is said, that all flesh did eate of it, is understood the great plentie of all necessaries, hitherto is described the wonderfull felicitie and glorie of this mightie Monarch.

And now in like manner, the overthrow and confusion of all this is proclaimed by the Angel, saying as followeth, Hew down the tree, breake off his brances, and scatter his frute abrode, that the beasts may get them away from udner his, & the birds from his brancees, nevertheless leave the stumpe in the earth, & c. The meaning whereof Daniel by divine grace expounded.

The use of this figure.

This figure is more convenient to Poets then to Orators, and
1.Most meet for Poets.
more agreeable to high and heavenly visions, that to the forme of familiar and proper speech. For being a figure of deepe
2.Used in heavenly visions.
obscuritie, is is opposed to perspecuitie, the principall vertue of an Orator.
3.Opposed to perspicuitie.

Sometime notwithstanding darknesse of speech causeth delectation, as that which is wittily invented, and aptly applyed, and

4.Being wittie it delighteth.
apt capacities, who are best able to find out the sense of a similitude, and to uncover the darked vaile of AEnigmatical speech. For
5.Compared to a mine.
in deede this figure is like a deepe mine, the obtaining of whose mettall requireth deepe digging, or to a darke night, whose stars
6.To hidde starres.
he hid with thicke cloudes.

The Caution.

In this figure regard ought to be had, that the similitudes be not
unfit, strange, or unchast. If they be unfit, or unlike, they make
it absurd, if strange, they make it obscure and unpossible to be
interpreted, if unchast or uncleane, they make it odious, by leading
of the minde to undecent things, of which sort there be many of
our English riddles.

Lastly, that this figure be not used to seduce by obscure prophecie,

4.Not to seduce.
as of it hath bene to many a mans destruction, nor amongst
5.Used among ignorant person a vanitie.
simple and silly persons, which are unapt and unable to conceive the meaning of darke speech, and therefore a vanitie.

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