... vel gaudium fletu deterius. =? or joy, worse than tears


English - U.S.
De Colonia (De arte rhetorica, 1710) wrote: "Orationis hujusce figurae sunt suspiria, fletus, vel gaudium fletu deterius." Chambers (Cyclopaedia, 1728), in his article on definition in rhetoric, translated this as "the figures of the oration being sighs, tears, or joy, worse than tears." All is reasonable and appropriate until "vel gaudium fletu deterius"; Chambers's construction -- "or joy, worse than tears" -- doesn't make sense to me here, but I have no better reading. This is in the context of this statement: "Postrema denique Rhetorica: homo, inquit, est oratio cujus exordium est, nasci; narratio, dolere; epilogus, mori." -- Man is born, lives in sorrow, and dies. Thus, following, sighs, tears, and and some sort of joy (that is less than pleasurable?) -- but I don't know any sort of joy or delight that runs with sorrow, sighs, and tears (ignoring masochistic emotions). Any insight will be appreciated. Thank you.
  • Quiviscumque

    "gaudium fletu deterius."

    Sorry, the issue is not about Latin. It is about Ethics.

    How could an immediate gratification be harmful? Difficult to understand from a hedonistic stance -perhaps now the standard one. However, as you can see, it was a cliché for Christian preachers.
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