Diaeresis in Latine Divisio, is a forme of speech which divideth the generall kind into special kinds, yet not in a dialecticall forme, but in a rhetorical maner for amplification sake, whereof this saying of Job may be an example: “Aske the cattaile, and they shall inform thee, ye fowles of the aire & they shal tel thee, the increase of the earth, and it shal shew thee, or the fishes of the sea, and they shal certifie thee” Job. 12.
, by which answere of Job to his frends he declareth ye their wisedome was no other then such as the very brute beastes do daily teach, which he divideth into sundry kinds, wherby he doth pithily & elegantly set forth & amplifie their grosse ignorance. By this figure not only living creatures, but also plants, trees flowers, the lights of heaven, the stones of the earth, mettals & all other such like may be divided into their several kinds, whereby the large and bountifull worke of nature is spread abroad, and many secret causes are plainly discovered and brought into open light.
The use of this figure.
This figure is an apt and ready forme of speech to open the
bosome of nature and to shew her branches, to that end they
may be viewed and looked upon, discerned and knowen. And also to spread out at large both vertues and vices in their kindes, whereby the oration is enriched with copie, & garnished with variety, which do occupy the mind of the hearer with a pleasant beholding of new matter.
As a division may be unperfect by defect, as in numbring too
few kinds, so may it be superfluous in extending too far, by reckning by too many, by the one the oration is little or nothing
enriched: by the other it is overburdened with too great a multitude of one sort. Also the division is much deformed if things of another kind he mingled with it: for by mingling of many kinds together it falleth in an odious confusion.