The Anatomy of Melancholy Quotes

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The Anatomy of Melancholy The Anatomy of Melancholy by Robert Burton
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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
“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
“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
“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
tags: love
“[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
“What a glut of books! Who can read them?”
Robert Burton, The Anatomy of Melancholy
“One religion is as true as another.”
Robert Burton, The Anatomy of Melancholy
“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
“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
“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
“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
“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
“a worse plague cannot happen to a man, than to be so troubled in his mind;”
Robert Burton, The Anatomy of Melancholy
“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
“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
“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
“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
“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
“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
“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
“There is no greater cause of melancholy than idleness, no greater cure than business.”
Robert Burton, The Anatomy of Melancholy
“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
“Carcasses bleed at the sight of the murderer.”
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
“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

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