By Robert Burton
Robert Burton's interesting tome employs the contents of an entire seventeenth Century library, to polish rays of sunshine into the darkness of melancholy. He attracts on all fields of human endeavour, while addressing way over his unique topic. Burton's humour, digressions and inclusive sort are all solid right into a undying vintage. This variation comprises unique conceal artwork and energetic references, and is the 1st of 2 volumes.
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Extra info for The anatomy of melancholy
And although they be commonly lean, hirsute, uncheerful in countenance, withered, and not so pleasant to behold, by reason of those continual fears, griefs, and vexations, dull, heavy, lazy, restless, unapt to go about any business: yet their memories are most part good, they have happy wits, and excellent apprehensions. Their hot and dry brains make them they cannot sleep, they have mighty and often watchings, sometimes waking for a month, a year, together. Irrational fears Some are afraid that heaven will fall on their heads: some afraid they are damned, or shall be.
There is a great moderation to be had in such things, as matters of so great moment to the making or marring of a child. Some fright their children with beggars, bugbears, and hobgoblins, if they cry, or be otherwise unruly: but they are much to blame in it, many 17 Fodder 41 times, saith Lavater, for fear they fall into many diseases, and cry out in their sleep, and are much the worse for it all their lives: these things ought not at all, or to be sparingly done, and upon just occasion. Tyrannical, impatient, hare-brain Schoolmasters, dry-as-dusts, so Fabius terms them, flogging Ajaxes, are in this kind as bad as hangmen and executioners, they make many children endure a martyrdom all the while they are at school, with bad diet, if they board in their houses, too much severity and ill usage, they quite pervert their temperature of body and mind: still chiding, railing, frowning, lashing, tasking, keeping, that they are broken in spirit, moped many times, weary of their lives, and think no slavery in the world (as once I did myself) like to that of a Grammar Scholar.
He looks at him, as they that fell down in Lucian’s rock of honour, with an envious eye, and will damage himself to do another mischief. As he did in Æsop, lose one eye willingly, that his fellow might lose both, or that rich man in Quintilian, that poisoned the flowers in his garden, because his neighbour’s bees should get no more honey from them. His whole life is sorrow, and every word he speaks a satire, nothing fats him but other men’s ruins. For, to speak in a word, envy is naught else but sorrow for other men’s good, be it present, past, or to come: and joy at their harms, opposite to mercy, which grieves at other men’s mischances, and mis-affects the body in another kind; so Damascen defines it and we find it true.
The anatomy of melancholy by Robert Burton