Euphemismus in Latine boni ominis captatio, that is, a Prognostication of good, and it is a forme of speech, by which the Orator either interpreteth an uncertaine thing to the better part, or else declareth before that some good thing shall come to passe afterward, which he speaketh from divine revelation, or else collecteth it by some likely signes and tokens.
An example of the Apostle Paul: I exhort you to be of good courage, for there shalbe no losse of any mans life among you, but of the ship onely.
To this figure or forme of speech do belong the prophetical blessings of Jacob concerning the happy success that should come to his posteritie long time after.
But the most generall use of this figure is to collect by probable signes the likely effectes of good cuases, and to foretell them, as by the good towardnesse of youth to prognosticate the vertue and felicity of the future age, for a good beginning doth promise a good end, a good cause a good effect, a holy life a happy death, whereupon I may say mentioning some good man, and now dead, I speake of him that is in heaven.
The use of this figure.
This figure perteineth properly to consolation, hope and incouragement,
and may be compared (in respect of the early signification) to those signes in the firmament which do betoken
3. Compared to signes of serenity.
and prognosticate severity, or to the prosperous spring, which ministreth hope of a plentifull harvest.
The greatest abuse that this figure may commit is, when it turneth away from the right and lawfull use to deceave and seduce by flattery and malice, or by the false interpretation of
dreames. The abuse of this figure hath prognosticated and promised to many men felicity, crownes and kingdomes, and have performed wofull miserie, captivity and destruction, and therefore needfull to be forewarned and good to be avoided.