Anatomy of Melancholy, 259-261 — Pt. I, Sec. 2, Mem. III, Subsect. 4 — Sorrow a Cause of Melancholy

A of M 259

Note to self: You skipped Subsection 3, a “Division of Perturbations” because it seemed to make more sense to draw individual perturbations before drawing the catalogue. I guess?

Subsection 3 didn’t make much sense, really. Sometimes Burton says there are four perturbations but goes on to name three, and then sometimes there are seven or like twenty that are all “reducible unto the first.” It’s confusing. But I dunno. Life is confusing right now. I’ve been sheltering at home in a small apartment with three other people for I don’t even know how long now… two months? Three? While we wait for a scary virus to magically go away because our buffoon of a president is a… buffoon. Nothing makes sense.

So… where was I? Oh right. The first perturbation is sorrow: “‘The mother and daughter of melancholy, her epitome, symptom, and chief cause’; as Hippocrates hath it, they beget one another, and tread in a ring, for sorrow is both cause and symptom of this disease.”

I have been feeling a lot of sorrow recently, so I’d love to write more, but my smaller gremlin is not having it today. Gotta go. One more quick quote transcribed while pretending to eat Playdoh cookies: “When grief appears, all other passions vanish.”

Well that sounds like as good a description of depression as any. And I will just say this:  The whole pandemic thing sure is vanishing a lot of passions.

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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