Sermocinatio, a forme of speech by which the Orator faineth a person and maketh him speake much or litle according to comelinesse, much like to the figure next before, but yet they differ in this , when the person whom the Orator faineth, speaketh all himselfe, then is it Prosopopeia, but when the Orator answereth now and then to the question, which the fained person objecteth to him, it is called Sermocinatio as in this example of Ose.
Ephraim thinketh thus: “Tush, I am rich, I have goods enough, in all my workes shall not one fault be found that I have offended: be it so, yet I am the Lord thy God which brought thee from the land of Aegypt, & yet wil I make thee dwell in tabernacles,
as in the daies of the solemne feast.” Ose. 12. 8.
In this figure warinesse and wisedome must be used that the speech may be agreeable to the person that is fained, and that it be no otherwise then is likely the same person would use, otherwise it will seeme foolish and absurd: therefore in this place it behoueth us diligently to consider the circumstances both of persons and thinges, what is their estate, condition, kind, age, disposition, manners, studies, affections, fortune, cause, place, time, and such like: for one maner of speech may become some manner of persons, which is unseemely for others: the speech of children is not so well seasoned with reason as of ye elder sort, a countrey man hath not so fine phrases as hath a courtier, souldiers are not so civil as citizens, Judges are grave in giving their opinions, & definitive sentences, ruffins contrariwise are rash, running headlong upon mischiefe, ye poore man speaketh submissively, the rich man more audaciously, the victor (for ye most part) speaketh much with insulting and much in deriding, ye vanquished person fearfully & pleasingly which is well observed of poets: Dauus speaketh after one sort, and Simo after another. Thraso useth boasting & bragging, Gnato flattering, but Chremes faithful & sober talke, poets & orators have alwaies been diligent in observing a comelinesse: Cicero in this behalfe was marvellous cunning & most artificall, who evermore gave meet speech in ye person whom he fained to speake, whether he were his adversary or his friend: he brought in Milo speaking valiently, Antony arrogantly, Nevius wickedly, Erutrius impudently, ever framing their speech according to their nature.
The use of this figure.
This figure serveth to complaine, to reprove, to confute, to excuse, to teach & to describe the nature or proeprties of
The most necessary points of this caution are before sufficiently observed and noted.