FIGURES OF OMISSION
Zeugma threefold. 1. Prozeugma. 2, Mezozeugma, 3. Hypozeugma, Asyndeton. In these figures there is some word omitted, which a full construction doth require, which notwithstanding hath by the omission a pleasant grace of brevitie.
1 Prozeugma the first kind, is a figure of speech which putteth some word in the first clause, and omitteth it in the other following. An example of Cicero: For neither art thou he Catiline, whom at any time shame could call back from dishonestie, either feare from perill, or reason from madnesse. Here the verbe could call backe is the common word which is exprest in the first clause, and understood in the rest following.
Another: The people of Rome destroyed Numance, wan Carthage, cast downe Corinth, overthrew Frigellas. In this example the people of Rome is the common word.
Another: Povertie hath gotten conquest of thy riches, shame of thy pride, danger of thy safetie, folly of thy wisedome, weakenesse of thy strength, and time of thy imagined immortalitie.
2 Mezozeugma the second kind, when the common word is put in the middle clause. An example: What a shame is this, that neither hope of reward, nor feare of reproch could any thing move him, neither the perswasion of his friends, nor the love of his countrey.
3 Hypozeugma the third kind, when the common word is put in the last clause. An example: The foundation of freedome, the fountaine of equitie, the safegard of wealth, and custodie of life, is preserved by lawes.
The use of this figure.
This is a very pleasant exorantion, serving as well to the delight
of the eare, as to a commendable kind of brevitie, whereby
the tedious repetition of a word is artifically avoyded.
There ought to be in this figure an observation of a meane, that there be not too many clauses, lest the common word be obscured
1.Not too many clauses folowing the common word.
with too great a multitude: for if there follow too many members after the first, it may be forgotten, & likewise of a word in the midst: but if there be too many clauses, put before the last clause wherein it is exprest, it doth hold the mind of the hearer in too long dispense. It is good to avoyd this figure in writing of testaments
2.Litigions in testaments.
and evidences, least it may breed ambiguitie and contention. As for example: I bequeath to my son Ambrose an hundreth pounds, to my sonne Robert fiftie, and to my servant N.ten. Here pounds is the word exprest in the first clause, but not in the other: nowe that the same word is understood in the other it is likely, but not proved: and therefore may breed a question.
Asyndeton is a figure which keepeth the parts of speech together without the helpe of any conjunction.
An example of Caesar, where he saith, I came, I saw, I overcame. Another of Cicero: Neither did he thinke any thing wel accomplished which he commanded: for there was nothing which he him selfe would not take in hand, prevent, labour, he was able to suffer cold, thirst, hunger.
An example of Scripture: “For in her is the spirit of understanding, which is holy, the onely begotten, manifold, subtle, moveable, cleare, undefiled, evident, harmelesse, loving the good, & c.” Sapien.7.22.
The use of this figure.
1.To avoyd often repetition of one word.
This forme of speech is chiefly used to avoyd the the tedious repeating of a conjunction, partly fo rhte better sound of the speech,
and partly for expedition and brevitie, and it serveth most fitly to
3.Knitting like things together.
utter things of like nature.
The greatest fault that may be committed in this figure is, when it uttereth contraries, as if one should say, pleasaure paine, peace warre, life death, it were very unapt in sense, and ill sounding in the eare.