Synonimia, when by a variation and change of words that be of like signification, we iterat one thing diverse times.
An example: Wisedome in the poore man, lyeth
as a thing despised, rejected, oppressed, buried, and utterly extinct.
Another: Is it not a true taken of intollerable arrogancie and venemous envie, wher the tongue is stil exercised in depraving, slandering, defacing, deriding and condemning of other mens wordes and workes?
Another: Who more worthy of renowne, honor, fame, & glory
then Caesar? who more worthily esteemed, beloved, reverenced, & honoured then noble Caesar? who was his equall in knowledge, understanding, pollicie and wisedome? what was he that might be compared to him, either in courage of heart, in fortitude of mind or magnanimitie of nature?
Another of Virgil: How doth the child Ascanius? is he yet alive?
doth he eate the etheral foode? and lieth he not yet under the cruell shades? Here through affection he expresseth one thing thirse: for all that he demaundeth is no more but this, is Ascanius alive.
Another of Ecclesiasticus: “The highest doth not allow the giftes of the wicked, and God hath no delight in the offrings of the ungodly: here the first sentence is repeated by the latter, but yet with other words of the same signification, for in the former is the highest, in the latter God, in the former doth not allow, in the latter hath no delight, in the one gifts, in the other offrings, in the first wicked, in the last ungodly.” Eccles.
The use of this figure.
This figure delighteth much both for the plenty of wordes and
1. To delight with variety of speech.
and varieitie of sentences, but most of all for that it signifieth the worthinesse of a word or sentence, deserving repetion in a changed
2. To adorne and garnish the oration.
habite, whether it be in affection of praise or dispraise: this figure adorneth and garnisheth speech, as a rich and plentiful wardrop, wherein are many, and sundry changes of garments, to bewtifie one and the same person, David, Salomon, and Esay, are much delighted in the exornation.
1. Too great a heape of words.
In the use of Synonimies it is not good to make too great a heape of words considering the encrease no matter, for by too great a multitude, long time is spent, litle matter exprest, and although the eares of simple hearers be satisfied, yet their mindes are smally instucted.
Secondly, it is requisite to regard that the words or sentences be not unlike or repugnant among themselves.