If Democritus were alive now, he should see strange alterations, a new company of counterfeit vizards, whifflers, Cumane asses, maskers, mummers, painted puppets, outsides, fantastic shadows, gulls, monsters, giddy-heads, butterflies. And so many of them are indeed (if all be true that I have read). For when Jupiter and Juno’s wedding was solemnised of old, the gods were all invited to the feast, and many noble men besides: Amongst the rest came Crysalus, a Persian prince, bravely attended, rich in golden attires, in gay robes, with a majestical presence, but otherwise an ass. The gods seeing him come in such pomp and state, rose up to give him place, ex habitu hominem metientes; but Jupiter perceiving what he was, a light, fantastic, idle fellow, turned him and his proud followers into butterflies: and so they continue still (for aught I know to the contrary) roving about in pied coats, and are called chrysalides by the wiser sort of men: that is, golden outsides, drones, and flies, and things of no worth. Multitudes of such, etc.
Funny, that little Crysalus anecdote rings familiar.
So I drew a picture of this uplifting view of human history. I’m not sure what that thing at the end is… a radioactive sweet potato in a suit? The Toxic Avenger?
This post is part of a long, tedious, and illustrated read-along of Robert Burton’s The Anatomy of Melancholy – more info here and follow along on Facebook here.
Really enjoy your work, Devon. And love your sense of humor.