On figures, that is, rhetorical constructions that are used in literature and speech, specially "for the help of the weaker sort in the grammar schools". I've modernized the orthography of the dedicatory epistle. Foreslow means 'to make slow, to slacken'; and we know that slackers in school are properly rapped across the knuckles.
We have a Proverb which doth say,'It is as plain as Dunstable way';The which (if ever) holdeth here,Where, by constručtion, all so clearIs made, so easy and so plain,As whoso will but take the pain,These Figures well may underſtand,As every one doth come to hand.If sluggish drones foreslow their part,Spare not, but let them feel the smart.
This passage is an example from his explanation of apposition, which in a modern definition is "a relationship between two or more words or phrases in which the two units are grammatically parallel and have the same referent".
Et and ad attribuendam to attribute proprietatem [an eſpecial] property to any thing: "ut as for example, Eraſmus vir exačtiſfimi judicii, Eraſmus a man of moſt exačt [or perfect] judgment.The applying of the firſt example.In this firſt example theſe words vir exaćtiſfimi judicii are added to Eraſmus, to ſigniſe this proper quality in him.Nereus adoleſcens inſigni forma, Nereus a youth, of ſingular beauty.The applying of the ſecond example. In this ſecond example theſe words adoleſcens inſigni formā are added to Nereus, to note this ſingular gift in him.
I'm listening to Master Evan Millner read the text whilst also myself reading the text: but this is chiefly an exercise in improving hearing comprehension-- Master Stockwood is himself, after all, providing the English version of the Latin as he goes along, Puritan divine though he be (by which I mean, perhaps not conspicuous for the charm of his conversation)-- with a side of refreshment of my memory of rhetorical devices.
A heavy rainstorm seemed just now to begin but evidently not.