Epicrisis in latine Adjudicatio, is a forme of speech by which the Orator reciting a sentence or saying of some Authour, addeth and delivereth his opinion or judgement upon it, and that either in the priase or dispraise of it, or in giving light to it, which is best performed in a short addition.
In praise, as when the Orator having recited some notable saying of an Author worthie of observation, he addeth his commendation to it, commending it for the excellency, in respect of the wisedome, equitie, holinesse, comfort, pleasantnesse, or profit contained in it. In dispraise, as when the orator delivereth his judgement upon a saying which seemeth to him evill, and worthie of that note, dispraising it in the respect of the folly, iniquitie, prophanesse, untruth, or absurditie which it containeth.
In giving light to it, as when the orator perceiving ye words, or sentence of an Author to be obscure or ambiguous to his hearer, sheweth his knowledge judgement or opinion upon it, wherby he maketh that plain and evident, which was before darke and hard to be understood.
An example of our Saviour Christ, saying: “Ye have heared that it was sayd to them of old time, Thou shalt not commit adultery, but I say unto you, That whosoever looketh on a woman to lust after her, hath committed adultery with her alreadie in his heart.” Mar.5.27.
Philip enterpreteth a place of Esay to the Eunuch. Act.8.35.
The use of this figure.
This figure in respect of the praise which it giveth to a sentence or a doctrine, causeth attention and love, attention when the
praise go before the sentence, love when it follow after. In respect of the dispraise it worketh the contrary, except when the saying is first odiously noted to procure attention to the large declaration following.
In respect of interpretation, or addition of lightsome glosses,
2. To make darke sense evident.
it is an ordinary meane to avoyd errors, and a lanterne of light to direct in the darknesse of speech.
The most usuall and ocmmon abuse of this figure, groweth either of ignorance or envy, for ignorance often commendeth that which deserveth hatred, and envy is readie to detract and diminish the estimation of good things. And as concerning the addition of light to the sense, ignorance is alwaies a deceitfull guide to lead the judgement into errors.