Pathopeia, is a forme of speech by which the Orator moveth the minds of his hearers to some vehemency of affection, as of indignation, feare, envy, hatred, hope, gladnesse or sorrow: of this there be two kindes.
The first is when the Orator being moved himselfe with anie of these affections (sorrow excepted) doth bend & apply his speech to stir his hearers to the same: and this kinde is called Imagination, to which diverse vehement figures do belong, as Exclamatio, Obteslatio, Imprecatio, Optatio, Exuscitatio, Interrogatio, and such like. And to move mirth, formes of speech serving to that purpose, as Asteismus, and others of that kinde. Now as I sayd before, matters that fall into this figure ought to be great, cruell, horrible, odious, pleasant, or marvellous, for the greater ye caue is, the sooner the affections of the hearers are moved. Examples hereof are common in Tragedies, but of mirth and laughter in Comodies.
2 The other kind of Pathopeia, is when the Orator by declaring some lamentable cause, moveth his hearers to pitie and compassion, to shew maerc, and to pardon offences. To move compassion, lamentable histories are oftentimes used, and likewise the lively descriptions of wofull sufferings, and pitiful miseries, and how they may be artificially expressed. Poets complaints may give apt examples.
To pardon offences the perorations of Cicero are good presidents. A serious and deepe affection in the Orator is a mightie furtherance and helpe to this figure, as when he is zealous, and deeply touched himselfe with any of those vehement affections, but specially if he be inwardly moved with a pitifull affection, he moveth his hearers to the same compassion and pitie, by his passionate pronunctiation. For true it is, that the apt bending of ye voice to the qualitie and nature of the cause, is not only a necessary dutie in an Orator, but also an excellent ornament.
The use of this figure.
This figure pertaineth properly to move affections, which is a principall and singular vertue of eloquution.
In the use of this figure there are many and necessary points to be observed. First that the causes themselves may be suficient to move the mindes of the hearers to affections and passions, for it must be effectual matter, and not bare words that may worke so great effects in prudent hearers.
Secondly, that there be a discreet observation of necessarie circumstances, as in what causes, what affections are to be moved, for in divine Orations, and Sermons, to move laughter doth much diminish and oppose the modestie of so grave an action, and so serious a cause.
Secondly when and where, (that is) the time and place had need to be diligently observed, lest through want of discretion such affections be moved as are most unfit for the time, or unmeete for the place, as mourning at marriages and joyfull meetings: and contrariwise mirth at funerals & houses of mourning, are both repugnant to nature and contrary to custome.
Thirdly, it is verie needfull to shunne the untimely, and too hastie chaunge of affections, for first to move pittie or weeping, and then presently to turne weeping, into laughter or contrariwise, wheweth the follie to be great, and maketh the action absurd.
Fourthly it is the part of a prudent Orator to observe a measure in moving affections, lest he kindle that which he is not able to quench.
Fiftly, fained matter, fond gesture, and counterfait pronountiation ought to be hated and avoyded.