Anatomy of Melancholy, 249-250 – Pt. I, Sec. 2, Mem. II, Subs. 7 – Sleeping and Waking, Causes

    Well, this section is brief and straightforward: “Nothing is better than moderate sleep, nothing worse than it if it be in extremes or unseasonably used.” Be particularly careful not to sleep “overmuch” because too much sleep will induce a “great store of excrements in the brain.” Also, do not sleep after “hard meats” […]

Anatomy of Melancholy, 245-249 – Pt. I, Sec. 2, Mem. II, Subs. 6 – Immoderate Exercise a Cause, and how. Solitariness, Idleness (cont.)

We have covered idleness, so now on to solitude. In brief, unless you are freaking Socrates – and let’s be honest about this, because it is important, we are none of us Socrates – excessive solitude is bad for you and bad for everyone around you. This section had me thinking about those pro-introvert comics […]

Anatomy of Melancholy, 241-244 – Pt. I, Sec. 2, Mem. II, Subs. 6 – Immoderate Exercise a Cause, and how. Solitariness, Idleness

  I didn’t draw “immoderate exercise” because who is ever melancholy from exercising too much? I really can’t identify with that at all. All I got from that bit was a good quote to whip out the next time your marathon-addict friend is espousing the joys of running until you feel like you are going […]

Anatomy of Melancholy, 233 – 237 – Pt. I, Sec. 2, Mem. II, Subs. 5 – Bad Air a Cause of Melancholy

  Well, this section offers up just what I would expect from Burton at this point: Air should be neither too hot nor too cold, and melancholics should absolutely not sleep with their windows open because that nasty, dark night air will make their usual state of despondence… even more despondent: “The night and darkness […]

Anatomy of Melancholy, 233 – 237 – Pt. I, Sec. 2, Mem. II, Subs. 4 – Retention and Evacuation a Cause, and how

  This section right here is the reason no one finishes this book. Retention and evacuation of what, you might ask? Body goo. This section is pretty much just about the kinds of goo and gross stuff that your body excretes. Poop takes the leading role, because everyone loves poop. There is a section on […]

Anatomy of Melancholy, 228 – 229 – Pt. I, Sec. 2, Mem. II, Subs. 2 – Quantity of Diet a Cause / Drunkenness

This is a picture of Pseudolus, drunk and garlanded. I couldn’t resist an extra drawing for Partition I, Section 2, Member II, Subsection 2, in which there are a few paragraphs on drunkenness. “Quid ego video? Cum corona Pseudolum ebrium tuum. [What do I see? Your friend Pseudolus, drunk and garlanded.]” So now you know […]

Anatomy of Melancholy, 225 – 229 – Pt. I, Sec. 2, Mem. II, Subs. 2 – Quantity of Diet a Cause

Are we done with this interminable “meats” section yet? Oh no. No we are not. Now that Burton has cataloged the different kinds of foodstuffs, he is on to just how much of these foodstuffs one should consume: As a lamp is choked with a multitude of oil, or a little fire with overmuch wood […]

Anatomy of Melancholy, 223-224 – Pt. I, Sec. 2, Mem. II, Subs. 1 – Bad Diet a Cause. Substance. Quality of Meats (continued EVEN MORE)

Today I read the drinkable liquids section. You know what else is bad for you? WATER. Especially if it is from a moat. Don’t drink the moat water. And then there’s this: All black wines, over-hot, compound, strong thick drinks, as Muscadine, Malmsey, Alicant, Rumney, Brownbastard, Metheglen, and the like, of which they have thirty […]

Anatomy of Melancholy, 221-222 – Pt. I, Sec. 2, Mem. II, Subs. 1 – Bad Diet a Cause. Substance. Quality of Meats (continued again)

Hey look, I’m back at work on the read-along! I picked up where I left off: reading the parts of The Anatomy of Melancholy that have not been read in approximately four hundred years. It has been a rough reentry. Today, I read about fruits and vegetables, also known as vegetals. All classical, Medieval, and […]

Anatomy of Melancholy, 219-221 – Pt. I, Sec. 2, Mem. II, Subs. 1 – Bad Diet a Cause. Substance. Quality of Meats (continued)

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 […]

Another snail

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 […]

Anatomy of Melancholy, 211-216 – Pt. I, Sec. 2, Mem. I, Subs. 6: Parents a Cause by Propagation

  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 […]

Anatomy of Melancholy, 210-211 – Pt. I, Sec. 2, Mem. I, Subs. 5: Old Age a Cause

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 […]

Anatomy of Melancholy, 205: Pt. I, Sec. 2, Mem. I, Subsect. 4 — Stars a cause. Signs from Physiognomy, Metoposcopy, Chiromancy.

  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; […]

Anatomy of Melancholy, 205 – Pt. I, Sec. 2, Mem. I, Subs. 3: Of Witches and Magicians, how they cause Melancholy

  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 […]

Anatomy of Melancholy, 201 – Pt. I, Sec. 2, Mem. I, Subs. 2: A Digression of the Nature of Spirits, Bad Angels, or Devils, and how they cause Melancholy – Stories of Possession

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 […]

Anatomy of Melancholy, 200 – Pt. I, Sec. 2, Mem. I, Subs. 2: A Digression of the Nature of Spirits, Bad Angels, or Devils, and how they cause Melancholy – Their Power, How Used

“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.”

Anatomy of Melancholy, 199-200 – Pt. I, Sec. 2, Mem. I, Subs. 2: A Digression of the Nature of Spirits, Bad Angels, or Devils, and how they cause Melancholy – Their Power, How Used

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, […]

Anatomy of Melancholy, 197 – Pt. I, Sec. 2, Mem. I, Subs. 2: A Digression of the Nature of Spirits, Bad Angels, or Devils, and how they cause Melancholy – Extent of Their Power

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 […]

Anatomy of Melancholy: All the Devils!

  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 […]

Anatomy of Melancholy, 196 – Pt. I, Sec. 2, Mem. I, Subs. 2: A Digression of the Nature of Spirits, Bad Angels, or Devils, and how they cause Melancholy – Subterranean Devils

  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 […]

Anatomy of Melancholy, 192 – Pt. I, Sec. 2, Mem. I, Subs. 2: A Digression of the Nature of Spirits, Bad Angels, or Devils, and how they cause Melancholy – Terrestrial Devils

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. […]

Anatomy of Melancholy, 193 – Pt. I, Sec. 2, Mem. I, Subs. 2: A Digression of the Nature of Spirits, Bad Angels, or Devils, and how they cause Melancholy – Hobgoblins

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 […]

Anatomy of Melancholy, 191 – Pt. I, Sec. 2, Mem. I, Subs. 2: A Digression of the Nature of Spirits, Bad Angels, or Devils, and how they cause Melancholy – Aerial Spirits

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 […]

Anatomy of Melancholy, 190 – Pt. I, Sec. 2, Mem. I, Subs. 2: A Digression of the Nature of Spirits, Bad Angels, or Devils, and how they cause Melancholy – Fiery Spirits

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, […]

Anatomy of Melancholy, 189: Pt. I, Sec. 2, Mem. I, Subs. 2: A Digression of the Nature of Spirits, Bad Angels, or Devils, and how they cause Melancholy

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 […]

Anatomy of Melancholy, 186: Pt. I, Sec. 2, Mem. I, Subsect. 2: A Digression of the Nature of Spirits, Bad Angels, or Devils, and how they cause Melancholy

  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: […]