Mimesis is an imitation of speech whereby the Orator counterfaiteth not onely what one said, but also his utterance, pronunciation and gesture, imitating every thing as it was, which is alwaies well performed, and naturally represented in an apt and skilfull actor. The perfect Orator by this figure both causeth great attention, and also bringeth much delight to the hearers, for whether he imitateth a wise man, or a foole, a man learned or unlearned, isolent or modest, merrie or sorrowful, bold or fearfull, eloquent or rude, he reteineth the hearer in a diligent attention, and that for a threefold utilitie, in the imitated gesture a pleasure to the eie, in the voice a delight to the eare, and in the sense, a proft to the wit and understanding.
The use of this figure.
The use hereof serveth properly to commend and deprave, but
most specially to reprehend and deride, and in respect of the
double forme, it may be compared by a double similitude as to a
glasse and and an eccho, the one representing the gesture and countenance,
the other resounding the imitation of voice and speech.
This form of imitation is commonly abused by flattering gesters
and common parasites, who for the pleasure of those
whom they flatter, do both deprave and deride other mens sayings
and doings. Also this figure may be much blemished, either
4. Unaptly be excesse or defect.
by excesse or defect, which maketh the imitation unlike unto that it ought to be which is wel described in Aesops Asse, unaptly imitating the fawning dog.