Wednesday, October 30, 2019


The Ladder of Divine Ascent

James Howell (c. 1594-1666), Epistolae Ho-Elianae: Familiar Letters Domestick & Foreign..., 9th ed. (London: J. Darby, 1726), p. 366 (from Book II, Letter LIV: "To the Rt. Hon. the Lord Cliff," 7 Oct. 1634):
Of this Wine, if of any other, may be verified that merry induction, That good Wine makes good Blood, good Blood causeth good Humours, good Humours cause good Thoughts, good Thoughts bring forth good Works, good Works carry a Man to Heaven; ergo good Wine carrieth a Man to Heaven.

Eduard von Gr├╝tzner (1846-1925), The Cardinal
(Milwaukee Art Museum, accession number M1962.122)

In describing the ladder of divine ascent, Howell used the rhetorical device known as ladder or climax or gradatio. For other examples see:

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