Anatomy Of Melancholy Quotes

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[T]hou canst not think worse of me than I do of myself.
Robert Burton (The Anatomy of Melancholy)
He that increaseth wisdom, increaseth sorrow.
Robert Burton (The Anatomy of Melancholy)
What cannot be cured must be endured.
Robert Burton (The Anatomy of Melancholy)
That which others hear or read of, I felt and practised myself; they get their knowledge by books, I mine by melancholizing.
Robert Burton (The Anatomy of Melancholy)
If you like not my writing, go read something else.
Robert Burton (The Anatomy of Melancholy)
Melancholy can be overcome only by melancholy.
Robert Burton (The Anatomy of Melancholy)
Every man for himself, the devil for all.
Robert Burton (The Anatomy of Melancholy)
What a glut of books! Who can read them?
Robert Burton (The Anatomy of Melancholy)
I am not poor, I am not rich; nihil est, nihil deest, I have little, I want nothing: all my treasure is in Minerva’s tower...I live still a collegiate student...and lead a monastic life, ipse mihi theatrum [sufficient entertainment to myself], sequestered from those tumults and troubles of the world...aulae vanitatem, fori ambitionem, ridere mecum soleo [I laugh to myself at the vanities of the court, the intrigues of public life], I laugh at all.
Robert Burton (The Anatomy of Melancholy)
No cord or cable can draw so forcibly, or bind so fast, as [love] can do with a single thread.
Robert Burton (The Anatomy of Melancholy)
Early Morning in Your Room It's morning. The brown scoops of coffee, the wasp-like Coffee grinder, the neighbors still asleep. The gray light as you pour gleaming water-- It seems you've traveled years to get here. Finally you deserve a house. If not deserve It, have it; no one can get you out. Misery Had its way, poverty, no money at least. Or maybe it was confusion. But that's over. Now you have a room. Those lighthearted books: The Anatomy of Melancholy, Kafka's Letter to his Father, are all here. You can dance With only one leg, and see the snowflake falling With only one eye. Even the blind man Can see. That's what they say. If you had A sad childhood, so what? When Robert Burton Said he was melancholy, he meant he was home.
Robert Bly (Stealing Sugar from the Castle: Selected and New Poems, 1950--2013)
As a fat body is more subject to diseases, so are rich men to absurdities and fooleries, to many casualties and cross inconveniences.
Robert Burton (The Anatomy of Melancholy)
This was a characteroloical prelude, but it wasn’t chemical or somatic. It was the anatomy of melancholy, not the anatomy of his brain.
Jeffrey Eugenides
that I have read many books, but to little purpose, for want of good method; I have confusedly tumbled over divers authors in our libraries, with small profit, for want of art, order, memory, judgment.
Robert Burton (The Anatomy of Melancholy)
One religion is as true as another.
Robert Burton (The Anatomy of Melancholy)
But who shall dwell in these worlds if they be inhabited? . . . Are we or they Lords of the World? . . . And how are all things made for man?-- KEPLER (quoted in The Anatomy of Melancholy)
H.G. Wells (The War of the Worlds)
A smile is just the contortion of a face
Matthew Selwyn (****: The Anatomy of Melancholy)
It is an old saying, "A blow with a word strikes deeper than a blow with a sword"; and many men are as much galled with a calumny, a scurrile and bitter jest, a libel, a pasquil, satire, apologue, epigram, stage-plays, or the like, as with any misfortune whatsoever.
Robert Burton (The Anatomy of Melancholy)
a worse plague cannot happen to a man, than to be so troubled in his mind;
Robert Burton (The Anatomy of Melancholy (Complete))
If the world will be gulled, let it be gulled.
Robert Burton (The Anatomy of Melancholy (Volume III of III))
[E]very man hath liberty to write, but few ability. Heretofore learning was graced by judicious scholars, but now noble sciences are vilified by base and illiterate scribblers, that either write for vain-glory, need, to get money, or as Parasites to flatter and collogue with some great men, they put out trifles, rubbish and trash. Among so many thousand Authors you shall scarce find one by reading of whom you shall be any whit better, but rather much worse; by which he is rather infected than any way perfected… What a catalogue of new books this year, all his age (I say) have our Frankfurt Marts, our domestic Marts, brought out. Twice a year we stretch out wits out and set them to sale; after great toil we attain nothing…What a glut of books! Who can read them? As already, we shall have a vast Chaos and confusion of Books, we are oppressed with them, our eyes ache with reading, our fingers with turning. For my part I am one of the number—one of the many—I do not deny it...
Robert Burton (The Anatomy of Melancholy)
Now go and brag of thy present happiness, whosoever thou art, brag of thy temperature, of thy good parts, insult, triumph, and boast; thou seest in what a brittle state thou art, how soon thou mayst be dejected, how many several ways, by bad diet, bad air, a small loss, a little sorrow or discontent, an ague, &c.; how many sudden accidents may procure thy ruin, what a small tenure of happiness thou hast in this life, how weak and silly a creature thou art.
Robert Burton (The Anatomy of Melancholy)
Even the most comic moment contains an element of melancholy; even the deepest tragedy harbors a trace of the ironic.
Christine Montross (Body of Work: Meditations on Mortality from the Human Anatomy Lab)
I write of melancholy, by being busy to avoid melancholy. There is no greater cause of melancholy than idleness, "no better cure than business,
Robert Burton (The Anatomy of Melancholy (Complete))
A true saying it is, ‘Desire hath no rest;‘ is infinite in itself, endless; and as one calls it, a perpetual rack, or horse-mill, according to Austin, still going round as in a ring.
Robert Burton (The Anatomy of Melancholy: What It Is, With All the Kinds, Causes, Symptoms, Prognostics, and Several Cures of It. in Three Partitions; With Their Several Sections, Members, and Subsections, Philosophically, Medically, Historically Opened and Cut Up)
That other thing, The Anatomy of Melancholy. Fascinating. But it would take so much reading, on and on forgetting everything; all the ordinary things, seeing things in some new way, some way that fascinated people for a moment if you tried to talk about it and then made them very angry[...] Impossible to take it out and have it on the schoolroom table for tea-time reading.
Dorothy M. Richardson (Pointed Roofs, Backwater, Honeycomb (Pilgrimage, Volume 1))
as Chremilus concludes his speech, as we poor men live nowadays, who will not take our life to be [2261] infelicity, misery, and madness?
Robert Burton (The Anatomy of Melancholy)
There is no greater cause of melancholy than idleness, no greater cure than business.
Robert Burton (The Anatomy of Melancholy (Complete))
The Anatomy of Melancholy was regarded by Sir William Osler, Regius Professor of Medicine at Oxford (1905–19), as the greatest medical treatise every written by a layman.
Catharine Arnold (Bedlam: London and Its Mad)
What there will be, unfortunately, on the one side is silence, and on the other, evidence of bitterness, evidence of injustice, lack of gentleness, lack of pity. An anatomy of melancholy.
Yasmina Reza (Desolation (Vintage International))
Not that pain is the worst thing in the universe. Interesting things happen when you adapt pain for your own. This thing you were prepared to spend your life flinching from is suddenly just another piece of information.
Shelley Jackson (The Melancholy of Anatomy)
It is a terrible thing when it is the substitute that is sent to find a new life, a sign that a person yearns for change but cannot imagine creating it herself.... If scapegoats feel pain, it is only the delegated pain of their originals.
Shelley Jackson (The Melancholy of Anatomy)
At a friend’s house in Greenwich Village I remember talking of the frustration of trying to find the precise word for one’s thoughts, saying that the ordinary dictionary was inadequate. ‘Surely a system could be devised,’ I said, ‘of lexicographically charting ideas, from abstract words to concrete ones, and by deductive and inductive processes arriving at the right word for one’s thought.’ ‘There is such a book,’ said a Negro truck-driver: ‘Roget’s Thesaurus’ A waiter working at the Alexandria Hotel used to quote his Karl Marx and William Blake with every course he served me. A comedy acrobat with a Brooklyn ‘dis’, ‘dem’ and ‘dose’ accent recommended Burton’s Anatomy of Melancholy, saying that Shakespeare was influenced by him and so was Sam Johnson. ‘But you can skip the Latin.’ With the rest of them I was intellectually a fellow-traveller.
Charlie Chaplin (My Autobiography (Neversink))
Robert Burton's The Anatomy of Melancholy (1621) was a profoundly important analysis of human states of mind - a kind of early philosophical/ psychological study. He sees 'melancholy' as part of the human condition, especially love melancholy and religious melancholy. His concerns are remarkably close to those which Shakespeare explores in his plays. Ambition, for example, Burton describes as 'a proud covetousness or a dry thirst of Honour, a great torture of the mind, composed of envy, pride and covetousness, a gallant madness' - words which could well be applied to Macbeth.
Ronald Carter (The Routledge History of Literature in English: Britain and Ireland)
Generally thus much we may conclude of melancholy; that it is [2604] most pleasant at first, I say, mentis gratissimus error, [2605] a most delightsome humour, to be alone, dwell alone, walk alone, meditate, lie in bed whole days, dreaming awake as it were, and frame a thousand fantastical imaginations unto themselves.
Robert Burton (The Anatomy of Melancholy (Volume II of III))
Yes, do as you would be done by - and not to the dark man and the white woman alone, but to the sorrel horse and the grey squirrel as well; not to creatures of your own anatomy alone, but to all creatures. You cannot go high enough, low enough nor far enough to find those whose bowed and broken beings will not rise up at the coming of the kindly heart, or whose souls will not darken at the touch of inhumanity. Do to beings below as you would be done by beings above you. They are our fellow mortals. They came out of the same mysterious womb of the past, are passing through the same dream, and are destined to the same melancholy end as we ourselves. Let us be kind and merciful to them.
J. Howard Moore
Look into our histories, and you shall almost meet with no other subject but what a company of hare-brains have done in their rage.
Robert Burton (The Anatomy of Melancholy)
What's the market? A place, according to{353} Anacharsis, wherein they cozen one another, a trap;
Robert Burton (The Anatomy of Melancholy (Complete))
who is not sick, or ill-disposed? in whom doth not passion, anger, envy, discontent, fear and sorrow reign? Who labours not of this disease?
Robert Burton (The Anatomy of Melancholy (Complete))
I would advise him that is actually melancholy not to read this tract of Symptoms, lest he disquiet or make himself for a time worse, and more melancholy than he was before.
Robert Burton (The Anatomy of Melancholy (Volume II of III))
We are thus bad by nature, bad by kind, but far worse by art, every man the greatest enemy unto himself.
Robert Burton (The Anatomy of Melancholy (Complete))
Cut nerves left lying on the threshing floors drift and roll and wind up all aligned with the earth's magnetic field, like iron filings swayed by a magnet in a classroom experiment.
Shelley Jackson (The Melancholy of Anatomy)
As a Dutch host, if you come to an inn in Germnay and dislike your fare, diet, lodging, etc., replies in a surly tone, Aliud tibi quaeras diversorium, If you like not this, get you to another inn: I resolve, if you like not my writing, go read something else.
Robert Burton (The Anatomy Of Melancholy: What It Is, With All The Kinds, Causes, Symptoms, Prognostics And Several Cures Of It)
We can’t handle absence anymore, anything is better than the blankness; the quiet of nothingness. People fight to put images of love and hate – both equally nauseating – between themselves and the blank space that surrounds us. It’s the only escape, and yet we feel the pressure of the blankness pressing in against us, forcing the violent display ever closer, forcing us to demand images brighter, more graphic until they scorch our senses badly enough that we no longer feel the void and the images become our reality. But it’s ok. Most people don’t need to fear absence anymore – we’re blinded, permanently. There’s no need to seek out the light show that protects us either; inoculation precedes the sickness now. Sedation isn’t an option, it’s a shared reality. Most people don’t see the beauty of the system, how perfect our salvation is.
Matthew Selwyn (****: The Anatomy of Melancholy)
When I go musing all alone Thinking of divers things fore-known. When I build castles in the air, Void of sorrow and void of fear, Pleasing myself with phantasms sweet, Methinks the time runs very fleet. All my joys to this are folly, Naught so sweet as melancholy. When I lie waking all alone, Recounting what I have ill done, My thoughts on me then tyrannise, Fear and sorrow me surprise, Whether I tarry still or go, Methinks the time moves very slow. All my griefs to this are jolly, Naught so mad as melancholy. When to myself I act and smile, With pleasing thoughts the time beguile, By a brook side or wood so green, Unheard, unsought for, or unseen, A thousand pleasures do me bless, And crown my soul with happiness. All my joys besides are folly, None so sweet as melancholy. When I lie, sit, or walk alone, I sigh, I grieve, making great moan, In a dark grove, or irksome den, With discontents and Furies then, A thousand miseries at once Mine heavy heart and soul ensconce, All my griefs to this are jolly, None so sour as melancholy. Methinks I hear, methinks I see, Sweet music, wondrous melody, Towns, palaces, and cities fine; Here now, then there; the world is mine, Rare beauties, gallant ladies shine, Whate'er is lovely or divine. All other joys to this are folly, None so sweet as melancholy. Methinks I hear, methinks I see Ghosts, goblins, fiends; my phantasy Presents a thousand ugly shapes, Headless bears, black men, and apes, Doleful outcries, and fearful sights, My sad and dismal soul affrights. All my griefs to this are jolly, None so damn'd as melancholy. Methinks I court, methinks I kiss, Methinks I now embrace my mistress. O blessed days, O sweet content, In Paradise my time is spent. Such thoughts may still my fancy move, So may I ever be in love. All my joys to this are folly, Naught so sweet as melancholy. When I recount love's many frights, My sighs and tears, my waking nights, My jealous fits; O mine hard fate I now repent, but 'tis too late. No torment is so bad as love, So bitter to my soul can prove. All my griefs to this are jolly, Naught so harsh as melancholy. Friends and companions get you gone, 'Tis my desire to be alone; Ne'er well but when my thoughts and I Do domineer in privacy. No Gem, no treasure like to this, 'Tis my delight, my crown, my bliss. All my joys to this are folly, Naught so sweet as melancholy. 'Tis my sole plague to be alone, I am a beast, a monster grown, I will no light nor company, I find it now my misery. The scene is turn'd, my joys are gone, Fear, discontent, and sorrows come. All my griefs to this are jolly, Naught so fierce as melancholy. I'll not change life with any king, I ravisht am: can the world bring More joy, than still to laugh and smile, In pleasant toys time to beguile? Do not, O do not trouble me, So sweet content I feel and see. All my joys to this are folly, None so divine as melancholy. I'll change my state with any wretch, Thou canst from gaol or dunghill fetch; My pain's past cure, another hell, I may not in this torment dwell! Now desperate I hate my life, Lend me a halter or a knife; All my griefs to this are jolly, Naught so damn'd as melancholy.
Robert Burton (The Anatomy of Melancholy: What It Is, With All the Kinds, Causes, Symptoms, Prognostics, and Several Cures of It; in Three Partitions; With Their Several Sections, Members, and Subsections, Philosophically, Medicinally, Historically Opened and Cut Up, V)
Hippocrates asked the reason why he laughed. He told him, at the vanities and the fopperies of the time, to see men so empty of all virtuous actions, to hunt so far after gold, having no end of ambition; to take such infinite pains for a little glory, and to be favoured of men; to make such deep mines into the earth for gold, and many times to find nothing, with loss of their lives and fortunes. Some to love dogs, others horses, some to desire to be obeyed in many provinces,{233} and yet themselves will know no obedience.{234} Some to love their wives dearly at first, and after a while to forsake and hate them; begetting children, with much care and cost for their education, yet when they grow to man's estate,{235} to despise, neglect, and leave them naked to the world's mercy.{236} Do not these behaviours express their intolerable folly? When men live in peace, they covet war, detesting quietness,{237} deposing kings, and advancing others in their stead, murdering some men to beget children of their wives. How many strange humours
Robert Burton (The Anatomy of Melancholy (Complete))
I do not think it is a fair picture of human life. I do not think so because, by definition, a human being is endowed with free will. He can use this to choose between good and evil. If he can only perform good or only evil, then he is a clockwork orange--meaning that he has the appearance of an organism lovely with colour and juice but is in fact only a clockwork toy to be wound up by God or the Devil or (since this is increasingly replacing both) the Almighty State. It is as inhuman to be totally good as it is to be totally evil. The important thing is moral choice. Evil has to exist along with good, in order that moral choice may operate. Life is sustained by the grinding opposition of moral entities. This is what the television news is all about. Unfortunately there is so much original sin in us all that we find evil rather attractive. To devastate is easier and more spectacular than to create. We like to have the pants scared off us by visions of cosmic destruction. To sit down in a dull room and compose the Missa Solemnis or The Anatomy of Melancholy does not make headlines or news flashes.
Anthony Burgess (A Clockwork Orange)
Nobody can remember when the sperm became large enough to see, but we agree on this: once that point was reached, every generation topped the last. They went from guppy to goldfish, and before long they could frighten a schnauzer, and not much later even Great Danes made way for them.... Sperm are ancient creatures, single-minded as coelacanths. They are drawn to the sun, the moon, and dots and disks of all descriptions, including periods, stop signs, and stars. They worship at nail heads, doorknobs and tennis balls. More than one life has been saved by a penny tossed in the air.
Shelley Jackson (The Melancholy of Anatomy)
Walking into a bookshop is a depressing thing. It’s not the pretentious twats, browsing books as part of their desirable lifestyle. It’s not the scrubby members of staff serving at the counter: the pseudo-hippies and fucking misfits. It’s not the stink of coffee wafting out from somewhere in the building, a concession to the cult of the coffee bean. No, it’s the books. I could ignore the other shit, decide that maybe it didn’t matter too much, that when consumerism meets culture, the result is always going to attract wankers and everything that goes with them. But the books, no, they’re what make your stomach sink and that feeling of dark syrup on the brain descend. Look around you, look at the shelves upon shelves of books – for years, the vessels of all knowledge. We’re part of the new world now, but books persist. Cheap biographies, pulp fiction; glossy covers hiding inadequate sentiments. Walk in and you’re surrounded by this shit – to every side a reminder that we don’t want stimulation anymore, we want sedation. Fight your way through the celebrity memoirs, pornographic cook books, and cheap thrills that satisfy most and you get to the second wave of vomit-inducing product: offerings for the inspired and arty. Matte poetry books, classics, the finest culture can provide packaged and wedged into trendy coverings, kidding you that you’re buying a fashion accessory, not a book. But hey, if you can stomach a trip further into the shop, you hit on the meatier stuff – history, science, economics – provided they can stick ‘pop.’ in front of it, they’ll stock it. Pop. psychology, pop. art, pop. life. It’s the new world – we don’t want serious anymore, we want nuggets of almost-useful information. Books are the past, they’re on the out. Information is digital now; bookshops, they’re somewhere between gallery and museum.
Matthew Selwyn (****: The Anatomy of Melancholy)
Măsuraţi-o cu o alta ce stă alături de ea - aceasta ar fi piatra de încercare -, comparaţi-le punându-le mână lângă mână, trup lângă trup, faţă în faţă, ochi în ochi, nas în nas, gât lângă gât etc., studiaţi-i fiecare părticică a corpului cu atenţie, apoi, în întregime în toate atitudinile, în câteva locuri şi spuneţi-mi cum vă place acum. S-ar putea să nu vi se mai pară la fel de mândră, fără anumite veşminte... După cum recomandă poetul, pune-i deoparte hainele, gândeşte-te cum ar fi dacă ai vedea-o purtând haina din pânză de sac a unui sărman sau îmbrăcată în nişte straie uzate, zdrenţuite şi demodate, cu lenjerie murdară, în straie aspre, mânjită cu funingine...
Robert Burton (The Anatomy of Melancholy: What It Is, With All the Kinds, Causes, Symptoms, Prognostics, and Several Cures of It; in Three Partitions; With Their Several Sections, Members, and Subsections, Philosophically, Medicinally, Historically Opened and Cut Up, V)
are in men! When they are poor and needy, they seek riches, and when they have them, they do not enjoy them, but hide them under ground, or else wastefully spend them. O wise Hippocrates, I laugh at such things being done, but much more when no good comes of them, and when they are done to so ill purpose. There is no truth or justice found amongst them, for they daily plead one against another,{238} the son against the father and the mother, brother against brother, kindred and friends of the same quality; and all this for riches, whereof after death they cannot be possessors. And yet notwithstanding they will defame and kill one another, commit all unlawful actions, contemning God and men, friends and country. They make great account of many senseless things, esteeming them as a great part of their treasure, statues, pictures, and such like movables, dear bought, and so cunningly wrought, as nothing but speech wanteth in them,{239} and yet they hate living persons speaking to them.{240} Others affect difficult things; if they dwell on firm land they will remove to an island, and thence to land again, being no way constant to their desires. They commend courage and strength in wars, and let themselves be conquered by lust and avarice; they are, in brief, as disordered in their minds, as Thersites was in his body. And now, methinks, O most worthy Hippocrates, you should not reprehend my laughing, perceiving so many fooleries in men;{241} for no man will mock his own folly, but that which he seeth in a second, and so they justly mock one another. The drunkard calls him a glutton whom he knows to be sober. Many men love the sea, others husbandry; briefly, they cannot agree in their own trades and professions, much less in their lives and actions.
Robert Burton (The Anatomy of Melancholy (Complete))
We that are bred up in learning, and destinated by our parents to this end, we suffer our childhood in the grammar-school, which Austin calls magnam tyrannidem, et grave malum, and compares it to the torments of martyrdom; when we come to the university, if we live of the college allowance, as Phalaris objected to the Leontines, [Greek: pan ton endeis plaen limou kai phobou] , needy of all things but hunger and fear, or if we be maintained but partly by our parents' cost, do expend in unnecessary maintenance, books and degrees, before we come to any perfection, five hundred pounds, or a thousand marks. If by this price of the expense of time, our bodies and spirits, our substance and patrimonies, we cannot purchase those small rewards, which are ours by law, and the right of inheritance, a poor parsonage, or a vicarage of 50 l. per annum, but we must pay to the patron for the lease of a life (a spent and out-worn life) either in annual pension, or above the rate of a copyhold, and that with the hazard and loss of our souls, by simony and perjury, and the forfeiture of all our spiritual preferments, in esse and posse, both present and to come. What father after a while will be so improvident to bring up his son to his great charge, to this necessary beggary? What Christian will be so irreligious, to bring up his son in that course of life, which by all probability and necessity, coget ad turpia, enforcing to sin, will entangle him in simony and perjury, when as the poet said, Invitatus ad hæc aliquis de ponte negabit: a beggar's brat taken from the bridge where he sits a begging, if he knew the inconvenience, had cause to refuse it." This being thus, have not we fished fair all this while, that are initiate divines, to find no better fruits of our labours, [2030] hoc est cur palles, cur quis non prandeat hoc est? do we macerate ourselves for this? Is it for this we rise so early all the year long? [2031] "Leaping" (as he saith) "out of our beds, when we hear the bell ring, as if we had heard a thunderclap." If this be all the respect, reward and honour we shall have, [2032] frange leves calamos, et scinde Thalia libellos: let us give over our books, and betake ourselves to some other course of life; to what end should we study?
Robert Burton (The Anatomy of Melancholy)
I hear news every day, and those ordinary rumors of war, plagues, fires, inundations, thefts, murders, massacres, meteors, comets, spectrums, prodigies, apparitions, of towns taken, cities besieged in France, Germany, Turkey, Persia, Poland, etc., daily musters and preparations, and such like, which these tempestuous times afford, battles fought, so many men slain, monomachies, shipwrecks, piracies, and sea-fights, peace, leagues, strategems, and fresh alarms. […] Thus I daily hear, and such like, both private and public news. Amidst the gallantry and misery of the world; jollity, pride, perplexities, and cares, simplicity and villany; subtlety, knavery, candour and integrity, mutually mixed and offering themselves, I rub on in a private life; as I have still lived, so I now continue, as I was content from the first, left to a solitary life, and mine own domestick discontents: saving that sometimes, not to tell a lie, as Diogenes went into the city, and Democritus to the haven, to see fashions,I did for my recreation now and then walk abroad, lookinto the world, and could not choose but make some little observation, not so wise an observer as a plain rehearser, not as they did to scoff or laugh at all, but with a mixed passion.
Robert Burton (The Anatomy Of Melancholy: What It Is, With All The Kindes, Causes, Symptomes, Progonosticks, And Severall Cures Of It. In Three Portions. With Their Severall Sections, Members, And Subsections, Philosophically, Medicinally, Historically Opened And)
In a word, every man for his own ends. Our summum bonum is commodity, and the goddess we adore Dea Moneta, Queen Money, to whom we daily offer sacrifice, which steers our hearts, hands, affections, all: that most powerful goddess, by whom we are reared, depressed, elevated, esteemed the sole commandress of our actions, for which we pray, run, ride, go, come, labour, and contend as fishes do for a crumb that falleth into the water. It is not worth, virtue (that's bonum theatrale [a theatrical good]), wisdom, valour, learning, honesty, religion, or any sufficiency for which we are respected, but money, greatness, office, honour, authority; honesty is accounted folly; knavery, policy; men admired out of opinion, not as they are, but as they seem to be: such shifting, lying, cogging, plotting, counterplotting, temporizing, flattering, cozening, dissembling, "that of necessity one must highly offend God if he be conformable to the world," Cretizare cum Crete [to do at Crete as the Cretans do], "or else live in contempt, disgrace, and misery." One takes upon him temperance, holiness, another austerity, a third an affected kind of simplicity, whenas indeed he, and he, and he, and the rest are hypocrites, ambidexters, outsides, so many turning pictures, a lion on the one side, a lamb on the other.
Robert Burton (The Anatomy Of Melancholy: What It Is, With All The Kinds, Causes, Symptoms, Prognostics And Several Cures Of It)
Riches do not so much exhilarate us with their possession, as they torment us with their loss.
Robert Burton (The Anatomy of Melancholy)
Life is a pure flame, and we live by an invisible Sun within us.
Robert Burton (The Anatomy of Melancholy)
If any one shall ask in the meantime, who I am that so boldly censure others, have I no faults? Yes, more than thou hast, whatsoever thou art.
Robert Burton (The Anatomy of Melancholy)
In the multitude of wisdom is grief, and they that increaseth wisdom, increaseth sorrow.
Robert Burton (The Anatomy of Melancholy)
Life is governed by chance, not wisdom.
Robert Burton (The Anatomy of Melancholy)
In the rein of ignorance, the constant state of war which lasted for twenty years did not stop a certain amount of rationality that allowed this writings. pg200 And young men are accustomed from the first to idleness, effeminacy and frivolity, coming eventually to the business of life with empty heads and hearts crammed with false ideals…less credit and wealth, less dignity and prestige. They display vanity, but legitimate pride never. The men of pleasure are well received in society because they are light-hearted, gay, witty, dissipated, easy-going, amateurs of every pleasure. Pg224 The fair dames of the period resorted to every means to stimulate their sensibilities. They seek excitement in dissecting dead bodies. “The young Contesse de Coigny was so passionately fond of this dreadful study (Anatomy), that she would never start on a journey without taking in the boot of her traveling carriage a corpse to dissect, just as one takes with one a book to read.” – Mme. de Gengis, Mémoires, vol I. This mania for dissection was for some time extremely fashionable with ladies of quality. Pg226 On these ridiculous types was built up the whole school of impotent and despairing lovers, who under a nauseous pretence of being so romantic and interesting, prolonged for half a century longer the silly affectation of sentimental melancholy, in other words, a green-sickness of skepticism complicated with pulmonary consumption! Pg227 A familiar axiom of economic science declares that “every vicious act is followed by diminution of force.” Pg229 The Mousquetaires had began by displaying a most laudable zeal, but it was soon discovered that these gentlemen were better at noise than real work. Pg230 “The deterioration of type among noble families,” says Moreau de Tours, “is noted in numerous writers; Pope remarks to Spencer on the sorry looks of members of the English aristocracy in his day; and in the same way physiologists had even earlier noted the short stature of the Spanish grandees at the court of Philip V.” As for Frenchmen, long before 1789, they were amongst the poorest specimens of humanity, according to the testimony of many witnesses. Pg237 The practices of the man of pleasure, the libertine modes, in full completeness, count at most only some forty years of life, – after which the reign of hypocrisy sets in. Thus ends the Sword. A progress of degradation with glowing phraseology, cajoleries and falsity. They put on exaggerated airs of mock-modesty, and assume a scornful pose before their admirers, all the time longing to be noticed. The old punctilious sense of honor have ceased to exist while finally the practices of the man of pleasure, the libertine modes, in full completeness, count at most only some forty years of life, – after which the reign of hypocrisy sets in.
Edouard de Beaumont (The Sword And Womankind: Being A Study Of The Influence Of The Queen Of Weapons, Upon The Moral And Social Status Of Women (1900))
Depressive realism has a very impressive pedigree. The Buddha pronounced that “all life is suffering” about 2,500 years ago, at roughly the time when the original Greek tragedies were composed. The Old Testament writers and prophets bequeathed us the concepts of human evil, sin, and the Fall, all this stemming from about the 5th century BCE when Adam behaved badly and doomed us all to suffering and death. From Paul through Augustine and Aquinas we have inherited the concept of original sin. The idea that we live in a “vale of tears” is probably from a Catholic hymn. Shakespeare put the phrases “to be or not to be” and “shuffle off our mortal coil” in Hamlet’s mouth in 1603. Robert Burton’s monumental The Anatomy of Melancholy was published in 1621 and George Cheyne’s The English Malady in 1733. DR is hardly a wacky modern idea owing its existence to Enlightenment- denying pessimists or to 20th century existentialists.
Colin Feltham (Keeping Ourselves in the Dark)
In the multitude of wisdom is grief, and they that increaseth wisdom, increaseth sorrow.
Robert Burton (The Anatomy of Melancholy; Volume 1)
Who hath desires must ever fearful be; Who lives in fear cannot be counted free.
Robert Burton (The Anatomy of Melancholy)
According to the capabilities of the reader, books have their own destiny.
Robert Burton (The Anatomy of Melancholy (Complete))
Who hath desires must ever fearful be; Who lives in fear cannot be counted free.
Robert Burton (The Anatomy of Melancholy; Volume 1)
By this art you may contemplate the variation of the 23 letters...
Robert Burton (The Anatomy of Melancholy: (Annotated Edition))
Yet one caution let me give by the way to my present or future reader, who is actually melancholy—that he read not the symptomes or prognos-ticks of the following tract, lest, by applying that which he reads to himself, aggravating, appropriating things generally spoken, to his own person (as melancholy men for the most part do), he trouble or hurt himself, and get, in conclusion, more harm than good. I advise them therefore warily to peruse that tract. —Robert Burton, The Anatomy of Melancholy, Oxford, 1621, Introduction
Umberto Eco (Foucault's Pendulum)
All your life you look to America for those home-grown, corn-fed tits that the Yank bitches all sprout when they’re about fourteen – those bulging DDs that you wank about as a kid as you look longingly across the Atlantic, simultaneously repulsed and electrified – and then the greatest tits you’ve ever seen walk straight out of Giffnock (Glasgow, but you knew that, right?) and bounce their sweet way down to you via the Caledonian-sleeper train. I know they say America is finished, but Christ, when the Jock lassies are packing the premium chest meat, you know they aren’t kidding.
Matthew Selwyn (****: The Anatomy of Melancholy)
That Yank glean is long gone anyway; money, sex, power, it’s gone global – no one has a monopoly on it anymore. The towering skyscrapers of New York had fallen long before the second plane; we all knew it. The twang of the Yank accent doesn’t give girls that twinge these days, even the dollar sign is looking dated, its day long past. No, America doesn’t have it anymore. But then nowhere does. We don’t chop the world up by borders anymore, don’t slice peoples and dice continents. It’s all a sweltering mess, a fucking free-for-all. We went global centuries ago, today we’ve gone digital, and digital doesn’t have borders.
Matthew Selwyn (****: The Anatomy of Melancholy)
I lock eyes but see no flicker of humanity. Out of shot, bullets fly and bodies fall. In shot, there is only death. War is forced upon these people, and they take up arms naïvely. They fight for a cause, but die for another. Wars are fucked but they’ll never stop, the sums are pretty simple: wars are good for most people with power and bad for most people without. Arms dealers, politicians, big business; they profit from conflict. The average man’s only interest is a moral one. And so it’s the moral man who fights, who stands righteously on the frontline while bullets fill bank accounts, and images of heroism and death are captured and sent home to remind the rest of us – the amoral cheerleaders – that we’re still alive.
Matthew Selwyn (****: The Anatomy of Melancholy)
I would desire to have no other prison than a library, and to be chained together with as many good authors.
Robert Burton (The Anatomy of Melancholy: What It Is, With All the Kinds, Causes, Symptoms, Prognostics, and Several Cures of It. in Three Partitions; With Their Several Sections, Members, and Subsections, Philosophically, Medically, Historically Opened and Cut Up)
When they are young, they would be old, and old, young.{244} Princes commend a private life; private men itch after honour: a magistrate commends a quiet life; a quiet man would be in his office, and obeyed as he is: and what is the cause of all this, but that they know not themselves?
Robert Burton (The Anatomy of Melancholy (Complete))
Judges give judgment according to their own advantage, doing manifest wrong to poor innocents to please others. Notaries alter sentences, and for money lose their deeds. Some make false monies; others counterfeit false weights. Some abuse their parents, yea corrupt their own sisters; others make long libels and pasquils, defaming men of good life, and extol such as are lewd and vicious. Some rob one, some another:{252} magistrates make laws against thieves, and are the veriest thieves themselves. Some kill themselves, others despair, not obtaining their desires. Some dance, sing, laugh, feast and banquet, whilst others sigh, languish, mourn and lament, having neither meat, drink, nor clothes.{253} Some prank up their bodies, and have their minds full of execrable vices. Some trot about{254} to bear false witness, and say anything for money; and though judges know of it, yet for a bribe they wink at it, and suffer false contracts to prevail against equity. Women are all day a dressing, to pleasure other men abroad, and go like sluts at home, not caring to please their own husbands whom they should. Seeing men are so fickle, so sottish, so intemperate, why should not I laugh at those to whom{255} folly seems wisdom, will not be cured, and perceive it not?
Robert Burton (The Anatomy of Melancholy (Complete))
And yet with crimes to us unknown, Our sons shall mark the coming age their own,
Robert Burton (The Anatomy of Melancholy (Complete))
as{268} Petrarch observes, we change language, habits, laws, customs, manners, but not vices, not diseases, not the symptoms of folly and madness, they are still the same.
Robert Burton (The Anatomy of Melancholy (Complete))
I know that we think far otherwise, and hold them most part wise men that are in authority, princes, magistrates,{185} rich men, they are wise men born, all politicians and statesmen must needs be so, for who dare speak against them?
Robert Burton (The Anatomy of Melancholy (Complete))
Heraclitus the philosopher, out of a serious meditation of men's lives, fell a weeping, and with continual tears bewailed their misery, madness, and folly.
Robert Burton (The Anatomy of Melancholy (Complete))
they swell in this life as if they were immortal, and demigods, for want of understanding.
Robert Burton (The Anatomy of Melancholy (Complete))
A scholar deserves better than a soldier, because a soldier's work lasts for an age, a scholar's for ever.
Robert Burton (The Anatomy of Melancholoy, What it is, With all the Kinds, Causes, Symptoms, Prognostics, and Several Cures of it. In Three Partitions. With Their Several Sections, Members and Subsections, Philosophically, Medically, Historically, Opened and cut up. By)
We accuse others of madness, of folly, and are the veriest dizzards ourselves. For it is a great sign and property of a fool (which Eccles. x, 3, points at) out of pride and self-conceit to insult, vilify, condemn, censure, and call other men fools (Non videmus manticae quod a tergo est [we do not see what we have on our backs]), to tax that in others of which we are most faulty; teach that which we follow not ourselves: for an inconstant man to write of constancy, a profane liver prescribe rules of sanctity and piety, a dizzard himself make a treatise of wisdom, or with Sallust to rail downright at spoilers of countries, and yet in office to be a most grievous poller himself.
Robert Burton (The Anatomy Of Melancholy: What It Is, With All The Kinds, Causes, Symptoms, Prognostics And Several Cures Of It)
If our leg or arm offend us, we covet by all means possible to redress it; and if we labour of a bodily disease, we send for a physician; but for the diseases of the mind, we take no notice of them. Lust harrows us on the one side; envy, anger, ambition on the other. We are torn in pieces by our passions, as so many wild horses, one in disposition, another in habit; one is melancholy, another mad, and which of us all seeks for help, doth acknowledge his error, or knows he is sick? As that stupid fellow put out the candle because the biting fleas should not find him, he shrouds himself in an unknown habit, borrowed titles, because nobody should discern him. Every man thinks with himself, Egomet videor mihi sanus [I regard myself as sane], I am well, I am wise, and laughs at others.
Robert Burton (The Anatomy Of Melancholy: What It Is, With All The Kinds, Causes, Symptoms, Prognostics And Several Cures Of It)
To see so many lawyers, advocates, so many tribunals, so little justice; so many magistrates, so little care of common good; so many laws, yet never more disorders; tribunal litium segetem [the court a crop of lawsuits], the tribunal a labyrinth, so many thousand suits in one court sometimes, so violently followed! To see injustissimum saepe juri praesidentem, impium religioni, imperitissimum eruditioni, otiosissimum labori, monstrosum humanitati [the greatest wrongdoer often administering justice, the most impious in charge of religion, the most ignorant presiding over learning, the most idle over employment, and the most heartless over the distribution of charity]! To see a lamb executed, a wolf pronounce sentence, latro [a robber] arraigned, and fur [a thief] sit on the bench, the judge severely punish others, and do worse himself, eundem furtum facere et punire, rapinam plectere, quum sit ipse raptor [the same man commit the theft and punish it, punish robbery and be himself a robber]! Laws altered, misconstrued, interpreted pro and con, as the judge is made by friends, bribed, or otherwise affected as a nose of wax, good to-today, none to-morrow' or firm in his opinion, cast in his! Sentence prolonged, changed, ad arbitrium judicis [at the pleasure of the judge], still the same case, "one thrust out of his inheritance, another falsely put in by favour, false deeds or wills." Incisae leges negliguntur, laws are made and not kept; or if put in execution, they be some silly ones that are punished.
Robert Burton (The Anatomy Of Melancholy: What It Is, With All The Kinds, Causes, Symptoms, Prognostics And Several Cures Of It)
Our writing are as so many dishes, our readers guests, our books like beauty, that which one admires another rejects; so are we approved as men's fancies are inclined. Pro captu lectoris habent sua fata libelli [the fate of books depends on the fancy of the reader]. That which is most pleasing to one is amaracum sui, most harsh to another. Quot homines, tot sententiae, so many men, so many minds: that which thou condemnest he commends. Quod petis, id sane est invisum acidumque duobus [what attracts you, others find sour and repulsive].
Robert Burton (The Anatomy Of Melancholy: What It Is, With All The Kinds, Causes, Symptoms, Prognostics And Several Cures Of It)
Facilia sic putant omnes quce jam facta, nec de salebris cogitant, ubi via strata [when a thing has once been done, people think it easy; when the road is made, they forget how rough the way used to be]; so men are valued, their labours vilified by fellows of no worth themselves, as things of naught, who could not have done as much.
Robert Burton (The Anatomy Of Melancholy: What It Is, With All The Kinds, Causes, Symptoms, Prognostics And Several Cures Of It)
How shall I hope to express myself to each man's humour and conceit, or to give satisfaction to all? Some understand too little, some too much, qui similiter in legendos libros, atque in salutandos homines irruunt, non cogitantes quales, sed quibus vestibus induti sint [they pay their respoects to books on the same principle as to people, judging not by the character but by the outer garb], as Austin observes, not regarding what, but who write, orexin habet auctoris celebritas [the author's name creates a demand], not valuing the metal, but the stamp that is upon it, cantharum aspiciunt, non quid in eo [they look only at the jar, not at its contents]. If he be not rich, in great place, polite and brave, a great doctor, or full-fraught with grand titles, though never so well qualified, he is a dunce; but, as Baronius hath it of Cardinal Caraffa's works, he is a mere hog that rejects any man for his poverty.
Robert Burton (The Anatomy Of Melancholy: What It Is, With All The Kinds, Causes, Symptoms, Prognostics And Several Cures Of It)
How would our Democritus have been affected to see a wicked caitiff, or "fool, a very idiot, a funge, a golden ass, a monster of men, to have many good men, wise men, learned men to attend upon him with all submission, as an appendix to his riches, for that respect alone, because he hath more wealth and money, and to honour him with divine titles and bombast epithets," to smother him with fumes and eulogies, whom they know to be a dizzard, a fool, a covetous wretch, a beast, etc., "because he is rich"! To see sub exuviis leonis onagrum [an ass in a lion's skin], a filthy loathsome carcass, a Gorgon's head puffed up by parasites, assume this unto himself, glorious titles, in worth an infant, a Cuman ass, a painted sepulchre, an Egyptian temple! To see a withered face, a diseased, deformed, cankered complexion, a rotten carcass, a viperious mind and Epicurean soul set out with orient pearls, jewels, diadems, perfumes, curious elaborate works, as proud of his clothes as a child of his new coats; and a good person, of an angelic divine countenance, a saint, an humble mind, a meek spirit, clothed in rags, beg, and now ready to be starved! To see a silly contemptible sloven in apparel, ragged in his coat, polite in speech, of a divine spirit, wise; another neat in clothes, spruce, full of courtesy, empty of grace, wit, talk nonsense!
Robert Burton (The Anatomy Of Melancholy: What It Is, With All The Kinds, Causes, Symptoms, Prognostics And Several Cures Of It)
Be not solitary, be not idle.
Robert Burton (The Anatomy Of Melancholy; Volume 3)
To be counted writers, that they may hear applause, to be though and held Polymaths a& Polyhistors, toiling for a frothy name among the vulgar masses, to get a paper kingdom; from no hope of gain, but great hope of fame, in this precipitate ambitious age, and they that are scarce auditors, must be masters & teachers ('tis Scaliger's censure), before they be capable & fit hearers. They will rush into all learning, gowned, armed, divine, human authors, rake over all Indexes & Pamphlets for notes, as our merchants do strange havens for traffick, write great Tomes, when as they are not thereby better scholars, but greater praters. They commonly pretend publick good, but, as Gesner observes, 'tis pride and vanity that eggs them on, no news or ought worthy of note, but the same in other terms. They turn authors lest peradventure the printers should have a holiday; or they must write something to prove they have existed.
Robert Burton (The Anatomy Of Melancholy: What It Is, With All The Kindes, Causes, Symptomes, Progonosticks, And Severall Cures Of It. In Three Portions. With Their Severall Sections, Members, And Subsections, Philosophically, Medicinally, Historically Opened And)
PARRHASIUS, a painter of Athens, amongst those Olynthian captives Philip of Macedon brought home to sell,{2453} bought one very old man; and when he had him at Athens, put him to extreme torture and torment, the better by his example to express the pains and passions of his Prometheus, whom he was then about to paint.
Robert Burton (The Anatomy of Melancholy (Complete))
knaves and fools commonly fare and deserve best in worldlings' eyes and opinions.
Robert Burton (The Anatomy of Melancholy (Complete))
When I first took this task in hand, et quod ait{61} ille, impellents genio negotium suscepi, this I aimed at;{62} vel ut lenirem animum scribendo, to ease my mind by writing;
Robert Burton (The Anatomy of Melancholy (Complete))
where there be many discords, many laws, many lawsuits, many lawyers and many physicians, it is a manifest sign of a distempered, melancholy state,
Robert Burton (The Anatomy of Melancholy (Complete))
The tower of Babel never yielded such confusion of tongues, as the chaos of melancholy doth variety of symptoms.
Robert Burton (The Anatomy of Melancholy (Complete))
As it is{2189} in meats so it is in all other things, places, societies, sports; let them be never so pleasant, commodious, wholesome, so good; yet omnium rerum est satietas, there is a loathing satiety of all things. The children of Israel were tired with manna, it is irksome to them so to live, as to a bird in his cage, or a dog in his kennel, they are weary of it. They are happy, it is true, and have all things, to another man's judgment, that heart can wish, or that they themselves can desire, bona si sua nôrint: yet they loathe it, and are tired with the present:
Robert Burton (The Anatomy of Melancholy (Complete))
Bachelors must be married, and married men would be bachelors; they do not love their own wives, though otherwise fair, wise, virtuous, and well qualified, because they are theirs; our present estate is still the worst, we cannot endure one course of life long,
Robert Burton (The Anatomy of Melancholy (Complete))
many mortal men came to see fair Psyche the glory of her age, they did admire her, commend, desire her for her divine beauty, and gaze upon her; but as on a picture; none would marry her, quod indotato, fair Psyche had no money.{
Robert Burton (The Anatomy of Melancholy (Complete))
To whom is sorrow, saith Solomon, Pro. xxiii. 39, to whom is woe, but to such a one as loves drink?
Robert Burton (The Anatomy of Melancholy (Complete))
Robert Burton’s Anatomy of Melancholy,
Rachel Kadish (The Weight of Ink)
it is most absurd and ridiculous for any mortal man to look for a perpetual tenure of happiness in his life. Nothing so prosperous and pleasant, but it hath{936} some bitterness in it, some complaining, some grudging; it is all [Greek: glukupikron] , a mixed passion, and like a checker table black and white:
Robert Burton (The Anatomy of Melancholy (Complete))
The greatest enemy to man, is man, who by the devil's instigation is still ready to do mischief, his own executioner, a wolf, a devil to himself, and others.{
Robert Burton (The Anatomy of Melancholy (Complete))
For indeed who is not a fool, melancholy, mad?—{179} Qui nil molitur inepte, who is not brain-sick? Folly, melancholy, madness, are but one disease, Delirium is a common name to all.
Robert Burton (The Anatomy of Melancholy (Complete))
The hearts of the sons of men are evil, and madness is in their hearts while they live," Eccl. ix. 3.
Robert Burton (The Anatomy of Melancholy (Complete))
Tis an ordinary thing with us, to account honest, devout, orthodox, divine, religious, plain-dealing men, idiots, asses, that cannot, or will not lie and dissemble, shift, flatter, accommodare se ad eum locum ubi nati sunt, make good bargains, supplant, thrive,
Robert Burton (The Anatomy of Melancholy (Complete))
Plato in his Protagoras well saith, a good philosopher as much excels other men, as a great king doth the commons of his country; and again, [2062] quoniam illis nihil deest, et minimè egere solent, et disciplinas quas profitentur, soli à contemptu vindicare possunt, they needed not to beg so basely, as they compel [2063] scholars in our times to complain of poverty, or crouch to a rich chuff for a meal's meat, but could vindicate themselves, and those arts which they professed. Now they would and cannot: for it is held by some of them, as an axiom, that to keep them poor, will make them study; they must be dieted, as horses to a race, not pampered, [2064] Alendos volunt, non saginandos, ne melioris mentis flammula extinguatur; a fat bird will not sing, a fat dog cannot hunt, and so by this depression of theirs [2065] some want means, others will, all want [2066] encouragement, as being forsaken almost; and generally contemned.
Robert Burton (The Anatomy of Melancholy)
No Centaurs here, or Gorgons look to find, My subject is of man, and human kind.
Robert Burton (The Anatomy of Melancholy: What It Is, With All the Kinds, Causes, Symptoms, Prognostics, and Several Cures of It; in Three Partitions; With Their Several Sections, Members, and Subsections, Philosophically, Medicinally, Historically Opened and Cut Up, V)
The more I read, the more I shall covet to read.
Robert Burton (The Anatomy of Melancholy (Complete))
Nothing so common as to have{296} "father fight against the son, brother against brother, kinsman against kinsman, kingdom against kingdom, province against province, Christians against Christians:" a quibus nec unquam cogitatione fuerunt læsi, of whom they never had offence in thought, word, or deed.
Robert Burton (The Anatomy of Melancholy (Complete))
How would our Democritus have been affected to see a wicked caitiff or{336} "fool, a very idiot, a funge, a golden ass, a monster of men, to have many good men, wise, men, learned men to attend upon him with all submission, as an appendix to his riches, for that respect alone, because he hath more wealth and money,"{337} "to honour him with divine titles, and bombast epithets," to smother him with fumes and eulogies, whom they know to be a dizzard, a fool, a covetous wretch, a beast, &c. "because he is rich?
Robert Burton (The Anatomy of Melancholy (Complete))
....but John Voelker, who met him when 'Anatomy of a Murder' was being shot in Michigan, viewed him through the clear eyes of a novelist and a judge and was struck by what he saw: 'I gradually felt drawn to him, not because I savor disillusion, but rather because I sensed that, in his case at least, '[his disillusion] masked great sensitivity and pride and even, however finely veiled, a vein of melancholy and loneliness.
Terry Teachout (Duke: A Life of Duke Ellington)
No wonder the 1969 White House Conference on Food, Nutrition, and Health made the melancholy observation that a great failure of medical schools is that they pay so little attention to the science of nutrition.
Norman Cousins (Anatomy of an Illness as Perceived by the Patient: Reflections on Healing and Regeneration)