Anatomy of Melancholy, 159-160: Subsect. VII – Of the Inward Senses

  In this section Burton discourses on common sense, phantasy (or imagination), and memory. On imagination he writes: In melancholy men this faculty¬†is most powerful and strong, and often hurts, producing many monstrous and prodigious things, especially if it be stirred up by some terrible object, presented to it from common sense or memory. In […]

Anatomy of Melancholy, 157-159: Subsect. VII – Of the Sensible Soul

Hey look, I’m back! Welcome back, me. In this section, Burton describes the body’s five senses: vision, hearing, smell, taste, and touch. It really is not very interesting. Burton mentions “Scaliger’s sixth sense of titillation,” which would be interesting, but unfortunately he seems icked out by it and doesn’t have any fun quotes for us. […]

Anatomy of Melancholy , 154-157: Of the Soul and her Faculties, continued

  The common division of the soul is into three principal faculties–vegetal, sensitive, and rational, which make three distinct kinds of living creatures–vegetal plants, sensible beasts, rational men. How these three principal faculties are distinguished and connected, Humano ingenio inaccessum videtur, is beyond human capacity, as Taurellus, Philip, Flavins, and others suppose. The inferior may […]

Anatomy of Melancholy, 150: Containing Parts, Dissimilar, Inward

  That’s right, more bat-shit crazy antiquated anatomy! Inward organical parts, which cannot be seen, are divers in number, and have several names, functions, and divisions; but that of Laurentius is most notable, into noble or ignoble parts. Of the noble there be three principal parts, to which all the rest belong, and whom they […]

Anatomy of Melancholy, 150: Containing Parts, Dissimilar, Outward

  Dissimilar parts are those which we call organical, or instrumental, and¬†they be inward or outward. The chiefest outward parts are situate forward¬†or backward:–forward, the crown and foretop of the head, skull, face,¬†forehead, temples, chin, eyes, ears, nose, etc., neck, breast, chest, upper¬†and lower part of the belly, hypocondries, navel, groin, flank, etc.;¬†backward, the hinder […]

The Anatomy of Melancholy, 148: The four humours, melancholy

Melancholy, cold and dry, thick, black, sour, begotten of the more feculent part of nourishment, and purged from the spleen, is a bridle to the other two hot humours, blood and choler, preserving them in the blood, and nourishing the bones. These four humours have some analogy with the four elements, and to the four ages of man.

A of M, 143-146: Melancholy in Disposition, improperly so called. Equivocations

This little section is about sinking into a transient melancholy due to, say, a fleabite versus the “continuate disease” of melancholy. Burton does not have much patience¬†for “errant,” or transient, melancholy, and¬†he would prefer people stop calling “oops I stubbed my toe and it sucks” melancholy at all: Melancholy in this sense is the character […]

A of M, 139-143: Dotage, Madness, Frenzy, Hydrophobia, Lycanthropia, Chorus Sancti Viti, Ecstasis

Lycanthropia, which Avicenna calls cucubuth, others lupinam insaniam, or wolf-madness, when men run howling about graves and fields in the night, and will not be persuaded but that they are wolves, or some such beasts. Aetius and Paulus call it a kind of melancholy; but I should rather refer it to madness, as most do. […]

A of M, 137-138: Subsect. II – The Definition, Number, Division of Disease

What a disease is, almost every physician defines. Fernelius calleth it an “affection of the body contrary to nature.” Fuschius and Crato, “an hindrance, hurt, or alteration of any action of the body, or part of it.” Tholosanus, “a dissolution of that league which is between body and soul, and a perturbation of it; as […]

A of M, 116-118: Mushroom men and Monsieur Nobody

So 118 pages into this diatribe against humanity, Burton unsurprisingly sums up his argument as follows: “They are all mad.” If you are “reading” along¬†but have fallen 116-118 pages behind, all you really missed is: “They are all mad.” Or more specifically, somewhat, they are all “E fungis nati homines,” which roughly translated means men […]

A of M, 102-104: The more things change, the more they stay the same

“For I see no reason” (as [Aristotle]¬†said) “why an epicure or idle drone, a rich glutton, a usurer, should live at ease, and do nothing, live in honour, in all manner of pleasures, and oppress others, when as in the meantime a poor labourer, a smith, a carpenter, an husbandman that hath spent his time […]