Much like meat, fish are generally bad news for the melancholic: Rhasis and Magninus discommend all fish, and say they breed viscosities, slimy nutriment, little and humorous nourishment. On the finer points, there is much disagreement over “fumadoes, red-herrings, sprats, stock-fish, haberdine, poor-john, all shellfish.” And what do you know, “Messarius commends salmon, which Bruerinus […]
Now I have begun Member II, which is all about food, some foods inducing more melancholy (and indigestion) than others. I think Member II is shaping up to be one of my least favorite members. Very few people even try to read the complete Anatomy of Melancholy, and of the few that do, most don’t […]
I drew another squid. “It is most true, stylus virum arguit,—our style bewrayes us.” — The Anatomy of Melancholy, Robert Burton
I drew another containing/contained/spirit snail drawing, inspired by The Anatomy of Melancholy. But this one is also inspired by a lesser-known Patricia Highsmith short story called “The Quest for Blank Claveringi,” originally published in her 1970 short story collection, The Snail-Watcher and Other Stories. I couldn’t find it online anywhere, sadly, so I can’t link […]
In this section I learned that garlic will fuzzle your brain and give you peevish children who are likewise “fuzzled in the brain.” That’s a real quote, page 214. Also this: Such another I find in Martin Wenrichius, com. de ortu monstrorum, c. 17, I saw (saith he) at Wittenberg, in Germany, a citizen that […]
Burton does not have a lot of good things to say about old people: Full of ache, sorrow and grief, children again, dizzards, they carl many times as they sit, and talk to themselves, they are angry, waspish, displeased with every thing, suspicious of all, wayward, covetous, hard (saith Tully,) self-willed, superstitious, self-conceited, braggers and admirers of themselves, as […]
There are a lot more witches in this book than I thought there would be. Some witchy quotes: Erricus, King of Sweden, had an enchanted cap, by virtue of which, and some magical murmur or whispering terms, he could command spirits, trouble the air, and make the wind stand which way he would, insomuch that when […]
The stars rule us, God rules the stars, and we can rule ourselves if we’re smart: Natural causes are either primary and universal, or secondary and more particular. Primary causes are the heavens, planets, stars, etc., by their influence (as our astrologers hold) producing this and such like effects… they do incline, but not compel; […]
I felt like drawing ants today, because I woke up to some unnerving ant trails in my kitchen. This reminded me that Emergence is a super good book.
Never, ever take cake from witches: Ruland, in his 3rd Cent. Cura 91, gives an instance of one David Helde, a young man, who by eating cakes which a witch gave him, mox delirare coepit, began to dote on a sudden, and was instantly mad. This post is part of a long, tedious, and very illustrated read-along […]
So things may be quiet here for a bit while I build up a little stock for an online store. I’m currently experimenting with using stamps to put quotes on original drawings for sale. I’m using stamps because my handwriting is neither precisely neat nor interestingly messy in any way. My first venture has an […]
Here we have an unhallowed pomegranate. Once again, I appear to have drawn an excellent picture for a disturbing holiday card. — Durand. lib. 6. Rationall. c. 86. numb. 8. relates that he saw a wench possessed in Bononia with two devils, by eating an unhallowed pomegranate, as she did afterwards confess, when she was cured by […]
“Agrippa and Lavater are persuaded, that this humour invites the devil to it, wheresoever it is in extremity, and of all other, melancholy persons are most subject to diabolical temptations and illusions, and most apt to entertain them, and the Devil best able to work upon them.”
The devil can make you famous. The devil can inspire. And the devil can also give you a doozy of a tummy ache: Never was any man extraordinary famous in any art, action, or great commander, that had not familiarem daemonem [a familiar demon] to inform him. And Jason Pratensis, “that the devil, being a slender incomprehensible spirit, […]
How far their power doth extend it is hard to determine; what the ancients held of their effects, force and operations, I will briefly show you: Plato in Critias, and after him his followers, gave out that these spirits or devils, were men’s governors and keepers, our lords and masters, as we are of our cattle. They […]
Wherefore of these sublunary devils, though others divide them otherwise according to their several places and offices, Psellus makes six kinds, fiery, aerial, terrestrial, watery, and subterranean devils, besides those fairies, satyrs, nymphs, &c. There, I drew all six types of sublunary devils. Are there lunary devils? I don’t know yet, but I sure […]
Subterranean devils are as common as the rest, and do as much harm. Olaus Magnus, lib. 6, cap. 19, makes six kinds of them; some bigger, some less. These (saith Munster) are commonly seen about mines of metals, and are some of them noxious; some again do no harm. This post is part of a […]
So as mentioned before, Burton seems to say that there are six types of devils-spirits: fiery, aerial, terrestrial, watery, subterranean, and fairies/nymphs/satyrs/etc, but then terrestrial and fairies/etc. seem to collapse into the same category. Which is to say, I am really not sure what “terrestrial” devils are, according to Burton, but I drew one anyhow. […]
So starting around here, it starts to get kind of difficult to differentiate between the six kinds of spirit-demons. I think that the fifth kind is basically fairies? Or more like hobgoblins, trolls, satyrs, and all other mythical – at least vaguely human-like – creatures that usually but not always live in the woods, especially […]
Are you heretofore conversant about waters and rivers? Are you also woman-shaped? You might just be a water-devil: Water-devils are those Naiads or water nymphs which have been heretofore conversant about waters and rivers. The water (as Paracelsus thinks) is their chaos, wherein they live; some call them fairies, and say that Habundia is their […]
Aerial spirits or devils, are such as keep quarter most part in the air, cause many tempests, thunder, and lightnings, tear oaks, fire steeples, houses, strike men and beasts, make it rain stones, as in Livy’s time, wool, frogs, etc. Counterfeit armies in the air, strange noises, swords, &c., as at Vienna before the coming of […]
Fiery spirits or devils are such as commonly work by blazing stars, fire-drakes, or ignes fatui; which lead men often in flumina aut praecipitia, saith Bodine, lib. 2. Theat. Naturae, fol. 221(…) likewise they counterfeit suns and moons, stars oftentimes, and sit on ship masts: In navigiorum summitatibus visuntur; and are called dioscuri, as Eusebius l. contra Philosophos, c. xlviii. informeth us, […]
Yup, I am still hung up on the devils section: And yet for all this Thomas, Albertus, and most, hold that there be far more angels than devils. I was at a party recently where everyone knew each other very well, and I knew only two people and not very well. Also I was grumpy. It […]
This is what air looks like according to Paracelsus, a 16th century Swiss physician, astrologer, and alchemist. From the Anatomy of Melancholy: The air is not so full of flies in summer, as it is at all times of invisible devils. Yes, I am still stuck in Pt. I, Sec. 2, Mem. I, Subsect. 2: […]
And here we have Dido’s ghost haunting Aeneas.
‘Omnibus umbra locis adero : dabis, improbe, poena.”
What’s your favorite month? Well, mine definitely is not February.
Make me to hear joy and gladness, that the bones which thou hast broken, may rejoice.
Well, it seems like I am going to compulsively illustrate every sentence of this section on demons. It is pretty great. Concerning the first beginning of them, the  Talmudists say that Adam had a wife called Lilis, before he married Eve, and of her he begat nothing but devils. If you don’t know the […]
Have you ever wondered how ghosts are shaped? Like, really thought about it. What shape are ghosts? Squares? Circles? Rhombi? Well apparently four hundred years ago Jean Bodin thought about that question a lot: Bodine goes farther yet, and will have these animae separatae [abstract souls], genii, spirits, angels, devils, and so likewise souls of […]
So… I was going to wait a bit to get back into this whole drawing, Anatomy of Melancholy, thinking, writing thing – wait until life settled down – but I dunno, I missed it. So here is today’s quote: [Facius Cardan] asked them many questions, and they made ready answer, that they were aerial devils, that […]