Icon, is a forme of speech which painteth out the image of a person or thing, by comparing forme with forme, qualitie with qualitie, and one likenesse with another.
I may by this figure paint out a favenous and venomous person in this forme and manner: Even as a cressed Dragon which with burning eyes, sharpe teeth, crooked clawes, gaping mouth, runneth hither and thither, and looketh everie where whom he may finde to spit his poyson uppon, whom he may catch in his mouth, crash in sunder with his teeth, venome with his tongue and rent in peeces with his pawes.
Saint Barnard painteth the cart of covetousnesse in this maner:
The cart of covetousnesse (saith he) is borne upon foure wheels, Pustilanimitie, Uncurtesie, Contempt of God and Forgetfulnesse of death: it is drawne with two cattle in one yoke: Greedie catching, and Fast holding: to these there there is one driver: Vehement desire of encreasing. This driver to move speedelie forward, useth two sharpe whippes: Greedinesse of getting, and Feare of loosing. This vice as you see, hath but one servant, because he is loth to hire many.
The use of this figure.
The use hereof pertaineth properly to praise or dispraise, and that
as it were by a visible and lively image. To make this figure
and image of things, there is required a sharpe wit, great reading, and a good memory that the workmanship and cunning may cause the beholder to view it with pleasure, to admire the proportion, to commend the colours, and praise the arte and wit of the workman.
Unapt proportion and unlikenesse, are faultes which may much deforme this ornament, & like as this forme of speech
is a singular jewell of eloquence, so ought the use therof to be very rare.