Anatomy of Melancholy, 173-174: Member III, Subsect. III – Of the Matter of Melancholy

A of M 173

What is melancholy made of made of? What is melancholy made of? Snips and snails and puppy dogs’ tails. That’s what melancholy is made of:

If the humour be cold, it is, saith Faventinus, “a cause of dotage, and produceth milder symptoms: if hot, they are rash, raving mad, or inclining to it.” If the brain be hot, the animal spirits are hot; much madness follows, with violent actions: if cold, fatuity and sottishness, Capivaccius. “The colour of this mixture varies likewise according to the mixture, be it hot or cold; ’tis sometimes black, sometimes not,” Altomarus. The same Melanelius proves out of Galen; and Hippocrates in his Book of Melancholy (if at least it be his), giving instance in a burning coal, “which when it is hot, shines; when it is cold, looks black; and so doth the humour.” This diversity of melancholy matter produceth diversity of effects.

Best to keep your melancholy out of the sun.

 

This post is part of a long, tedious, and very illustrated read-along of Robert Burton’s The Anatomy of Melancholy. More info here and follow along on Facebook here. Illustrations posted via devon_isadevon on Instagram.

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