Paramologia, of some called Paralogia, it is when the speaker granteth many things to his adversary worthie of commendation, and at the length bringeth in some notable crime, which oppresseth and quencheth all that was granted before. Cicero for Flaccus: Notwithstanding this I say concerning the whole nation of the Greekes, I grant unto them learning, I grant unto them the knowledge of many Artes, I take not from them the comely grace of speech, fine wittes, singular eloquence. And futhermore, if they challenge unto themselves any other thing, I will not deny it them, yet religion and faith that nation never favoured, what vertue, what authoritie, what waight there is of all this matter, they know not.
Also it is by this gifure when the speaker in his conclusion bringeth in that whcih was not looked for, or that which is contrary, or at least farre distant from the premises. As for example, Salomon rehearseth the partes of his felicitie, he mentioneth his riches, possessions, sumptuous buildings & pleasures: but suddenly he concludeth that all this is but vanitie and vexation of spirit. This conclusion commeth unlooked for, and verie unlike to have ensued such premises, the expectation tendeth rather to heare what felicitie followed all this wealth and great possession: and not what vanitie or vexation of sprit.
The like example of this manner of speaking is in the 21. of Job, where he first describeth the prosperitie of the wicked, and then concludeth that suddenly they go downe to the grave.
The use of this figure.
The utilitie of this figure, consiseth chiefly in confuting and removing the opinion of the hearer from some liking or error
To confute by detraction.
deeply rooted in his minde and affection, which the Orator confuteth by a conclusion suddenly inferred, for which respect it may be compared to the practice of undermining, which as it is hardly perceived till it hath wrought sudden subversion, so this figure maketh no shew of the purpose till it concludeth.
It is a necessarie poynt to foresee that we graunt not the greater, and infer the lesse, or being in but one evil thing, to subvert
and overwhelme many good: or to inferre small faultes, to disgrace & drowne great vertues: for it were to kindle that which we cannot quench, or plant that we cannot pull by, and briefly to confirme that which we desire to confute.