Climax is a figure which so distinguisheth the oration by degrees, that the word which endeth the clause going before, beginneth ye next following, thus: The empire of Greece was the Athenians, the Athenians were conquered of the Spartans, the Spartans were vanquished of the thebans, the Thebans were overcome of the macedons, who in short space joyned Asia, being subdued by war, to the empire of Greece, Cicero
for Roscius, in the cittie is bred excesse, from excesse must needes spring covetousnesse, from covetousnesse there bursteth out boldnesse, by boldnesse all wicked & ungratious deedes are furthered.
Another, “to care for vertue is love, and love is the
keeping of her lawes, and the keeping of her lawes is perfection, & an
uncorrupt life maketh a man familiar with God” Sapien
: “He that receiveth you receiveth me, and
he that receiveth me receiveth him that sent
me.” Matth. 10.
“In the beginning was the word, and the word was God, and God was the word.” Joh.1.
Another: “Knowing that tribulations bring patience, pacience bringeth experience, experience bringeth hope.” Rom. 5.
“All are yours, you are Christes, and Christ is Gods.” 1. Cor. 3.
The use of this figure.
This exornation hath much pleasantnesse, and is chiefly applied for the augmentation of matters, it consisteth often times
of fower degrees, but commonly of three.
In using this figure we ought to observe a meane, that there be not too many degrees and also to foresee that the degrees following, may rather increase then diminish in signification and lastly, that they so scend that they may end with a clause of importance.
2. Decrease in signification.