Emphasis, is a forme of speech which signifieth that which it doth not expresse, the signification whereof, is understood either by the maner of the pronuntiation, or by the nature of the words themselves. By the prountiation thus: Darest thou presume to praise him? That is, (Indoctus peritiffimum) as much as to say: Is ignorance fit to commend learning, or folly meet to praise wisedome?
Another: Wilt thou beleeve a Cretian? whereby is signified, not simply a man borne in Crete, but any other dissembler, after the nature and disposition of that nation.
An example of holy Job: “I will say to corruption thou art my father, and to the worme thou art my mother and my sister.” Job 17.14.
By which saying, Job signifieth that his hope in father and mother, in sister, and in all worldly matters should cease, & that the wormes of the grave should be in their stead.
Another example in the answer of Achab to Benadab king of Syria. “Tel him (saith he) Let not him that putteth on his harnesse boast himselfe, as be that putteth it off” 1. Reg 10.11.
: signifying hereby, how litle he feared Benadabs threatening, and how much he despised his arrogant and rash presumption: and that there were as great cause why Benadab should feare to be vanquished, as hope to win the victorie.
Another of Esay: “They shall break their swords into mattocks, and their speares to make sithes.” Esay 2.4.
By this saying the Prophet signifieth the sweet peace that should come with Christ.
Salomon useth an excellent Empasis, where he giveth us warning that we should not speake or thinke evill of the king in our privie chamber. For saith he: “A bird of the aire shall betraie thy voice, and with her feather shal she bewray thy words.” Eccle.10.19.
The use of this figure.
This figure is very pleasant & apt to amplifie, for under an
artificall shadow, it pretendeth the image of things to the view of mans consideration: & it serveth to admonition, reprehension,
comiseration, and commination.
As an Emphasis is a singular figure of wit, so is it a necessary point of wisdome to use it to hearers of capacitie able to conceive and understand the sense and meaning thereof. For this figure speaketh as it were with a voice far distant: the sensible hearing and understanding wherof requireth a diligent listning and attention, which a carlesse mind doth not esteeme, nor a dul sense able to comprehend. Secondly, it is necessary to provide that this forme of speech fall not into the fault of deep obscuritie, by too dark a shadow, as by the strangenesse of the word, or unlikenesse of the thing, or unaptnesse of the application.