previous next


Threnos is latine Lamentatio, and Luctus, is a forme of speech by which the Orator lamenteth some person or people for the miserie they suffer, or the speaker his owne calamitie.

An example of the Prophet Jeremy: “O that my head were full of water, and mine eyes a fountain of teares, that I might weepe day and night, for the staine of the daughter of my people.” Jerem.9.

The greatest part of Jeremies lamentations, is framed by this forme of speech.

Job lamenteth his owne miserie in this maner: “Why died not I in the birth? Why did not I perish assoone as I came out of the wombe? Why set they me upon their knees? Why gave they me sucke with their brests?” Job.3.

The use of this figure.

As the use of this figure riseth from the feeling of miserie, so it
Most apt to move pitie.
serveth and is most forcible and mightie to move pittie and compassion in the hearer.

The Caution.

As this forme of speech is most passionate, so ought it to be most serious and voyd of fiction & faining, for counterfait lamentation doth seldome move pitie, for it is commonly berayed or
1.Counterfait lamentation
knowne either by the cause or by the person, by ye cause, as fained lamentations in Tragedies, by the person, and that teither by his condition, or by some signes of his affection, by his condition, as the lamentations of common beggers, which are commonly
2. Lamentation of common beggers.
counterfaited, by signe of affection, as when the speaker expresseth a lamentable matter with a cold or careless affection.
3. Carelesly expressed
Also heed ought to be taken that the lamentation be not great when the cause is litle, or litle when the cause is great, the one of these
4. Without proportion.
is found in children lamenting for litle losses, the other in stoicall nature or carelesse people.

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 United States License.

An XML version of this text is available for download, with the additional restriction that you offer Perseus any modifications you make. Perseus provides credit for all accepted changes, storing new additions in a versioning system.

hide Display Preferences
Greek Display:
Arabic Display:
View by Default:
Browse Bar: