Richard Sherry’s A Treatise of Schemes and Tropes (1550), a familiar work of the Renaissance, is primarily thought of as a sixteenth-century English textbook on the figures. Yet it is also a mirror of one variation of rhetoric which came to be called the rhetoric of style. As a representative of this stylistic school, it offers little that is new to the third part of classical rhetoric. Instead, it carries forward the medieval concept that ornateness in communication is desirable; it suggests that figures are tools for achieving this ornateness; it supplies examples of ornateness to be imitated in writing and speaking; it supports knowing the figures in order to understand both secular and religious writings; it proposes that clarity is found in the figures. In short, the work assisted Englishmen to understand eloquence as well as to create it.
ne old studies, and partelye to satysfy your request.
¶ [Sidenote: Rodulphus Agricola.] Beside this, I was moued also wyth the authorytye of that famous clarke Rodulphus Agricola, whyche in a certeine epistle wryten vnto a frynde of hys, exhorteth m[en] what soeuer they reade in straunge tongues, diligently to translate the same into their owne language: because that in it we sonar perceiue if there be any faute in our speaking, and howe euerye thynge eyther rightly hangeth together or is darkely, ruggishly, and superfluously wrytt[en]. No lerned nacion hath there bene but y^e learned in it haue written of schemes & fygures, which thei wold not haue don, except thei had perceyued the valewe.
¶ Wherefore after theyr example obtaynyng a lytle lesure, I red ouer sundrye treatises, as wel of those which wrot long ago, as of other now in our daies: fyndynge amonge them some to haue wrytten ouer brieflye, some confuselye, and falselye some. [Sidenote: Mosellain.] Mosellane hath
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