Noema is a forme of speech by which the speaker signifieth something so primly that the hearer must be faine to seeke out the meaning, either by sharpnesse of wit, or long consideration. Hortentius said, that he was never made friends with his mother and his sister: meaning that there was never any debate or contention between them.
Quintilian in his 8 booke and 5. chapter bringeth in an example of a certaine woman, who having a brother whom she dearly loved, and had verie oft by giftes and hire, withdrawen him from the dangerous exercise of sword play: and seeing that neither by the perswasion of her love, nor by the allurement of her giftes her desire might take effect, while he was a sleepe she cut off his thombe: which injurie when with great furie he fought to revenge,
Worthy of a hand without maime. See Mat. 19, 39.
she thus signfied her minde. O brother (saith she) thou art well worthie of a perfect hand without maime, understanding that it were not amisse, that such a one should meet with his own destruction, that did so oft seeke it with his owne will.
The use of this figure.
The use hereof onely to conceale the sense from the common capacitie of the hearers: and to make it private to the wiser sort, who by a deepe consideration of the saying, are best able to finde out the meaning.
This figure ought to be used verie seldome, and then not without great cause, considering the deepe obscuritie of it, which is opposed to perspicuitie, the principall vertue of an Orator.