Prof. Brooks Landon, U. Iowa, Ph.D., U. Texas at Austin, Building Great Sentences: How to Write the Kinds of Sentences You Love to Read (Great Courses), 2013, p 193:
More on Dr. Johnson shortly, but it’s useful to note the extremes to which Lyly took parallelism. And a little Lyly goes a long way. Here’s a brief excerpt from his dedication of Euphues to his patron, Sir William West. Lyly is making the case for the essential honesty of his depiction of the youth Euphues:
Whereby I gather that in all perfect works as well the fault as the face is to be shown. The fairest leopard is set down with his spots, the sweetest rose with his prickles, the finest velvet with his brack. Seeing then that in every counterfeit as well the blemish as the beauty is coloured I hope I shall not incur the displeasure of the wise in that in the discourse of Euphues I have as well touched the vanities of his love as the virtue of his life.
So patterned and so mannered, paralleled and balanced was the prose in Lyly’s Euphues that it has given us the rhetorical term euphuism. Terming euphuism “the rhetorical prose style par excellence,” Richard Lanham explains in his Handlist of Rhetorical Terms that it “emphasizes the figures of words that create balance, and makes frequent use of antithesis, paradox, repetitive patterns with single words, sound-plays of various sorts, amplification of every kind, sententiae and especially the ‘unnatural natural history’ or simile from traditional natural history.” Somewhat discouragingly, Lanham adds: “Lyly’s style has been studied largely to be deplored.”
I'm assuming that “as well X as Y” = “X as well as Y”. The latter is a constituent and can’t be decomposed.
But why does English permit “X as well as” allowed to be decomposed into “As well” + X + “As”?
Can anyone explain why “as well X as Y” is obviously less readable, and is unnecessarily burdensome? I think that a reader processes X first as the noun, not "as well".