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 […]
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 […]
Make me to hear joy and gladness, that the bones which thou hast broken, may rejoice.
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 […]
When the matter is diverse and confused, how should it otherwise be but that the species should be diverse and confused? 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.
What is melancholy made of made of? What is melancholy made of? Snips and snails and puppy dogs’ tails. That’s what melancholy is made of: If the humour be cold, it is, saith Faventinus, “a cause of dotage, and produceth milder symptoms: if hot, they are rash, raving mad, or inclining to it.” If the […]
What, is this not how you pictured your immortal soul? A pink glob with two more pink globs inside of it, that it may or may not have eaten? Well, today’s reading was about souls, and I didn’t really have much time to think about what souls might look like before I drew this masterpiece. […]
See? This is me reading. I am really doing it. But I am also so terribly sleepy, and that makes me bad at art. I have both kids home for the summer, and it has been tiring. But not tiresome, that’s for sure. So, I am going to take a few weeks off. After that […]
Choler is hot and dry, bitter, begotten of the hotter parts of the chylus, and gathered to the gall: it helps the natural heat and senses, and serves to the expelling of excrements. Hm… that quote reminds me of… someone… who might be president right now. Can’t place it. I guess I will just […]
Pituita, or phlegm, is a cold and moist humour, begotten of the colder part of the chylus (or white juice coming out of meat digested in the stomach), in the liver; his office is to nourish and moisten the members of the body which, as the tongue, are moved, that they be not over-dry. So […]
Yup, I am still stuck on page 147. There is a lot going on on page 147, really. I have terrible handwriting. I probably should not write on my drawings. Fixed it! Blood is a hot, sweet, temperate, red humour, prepared in the mesaraic veins, and made of the most temperate parts of the […]
Of the parts of the body there may be many divisions: the most approved is that of Laurentius, out of Hippocrates: which is, into parts contained, or containing. Contained, are either humours or spirits. A humour is a liquid or fluent part of the body, comprehended in it, for the preservation of it; and is […]
This section is for people who have a hard time telling the difference between dogs and people. Also, I apologize from the dank, dark bottom of my heart for my dog drawings. I am not very good at drawing dogs, but apparently that is not going to stop me from trying. It is possible that I […]
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 […]
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. […]
The diseases of the mind, forasmuch as they have their chief seat in the organs of the head, are commonly repeated amongst the diseases of the head, which are divers, and vary much according to their size. (138) Some days you just can’t shake the frogs off your brain. This post is part of […]
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 […]
Unfortunately, the pernicious fishes aren’t the real problem: To descend to more particulars, how many creatures are at deadly feud with men? Lions, wolves, bears, etc. Some with hoofs, horns, tusks, teeth, nails: How many noxious serpents and venomous creatures, ready to offend us with stings, breath, sight, or quite kill us? How many pernicious […]
Ha! I thought I was finally going to begin the First Partition, but oh no no no no no, there is yet another piece of introductory material. In this short, third (fourth?) introduction, there is a poem. It is in Latin, so here is my editor’s translation: Weep, Heraclitus; here is food for tears In […]
At last we come to the end of “Democritus Junior to the Reader.” After over one hundred pages of introduction, what parting thoughts does Burton have for us before embarking on the real book? I have overshot myself, I have spoken foolishly, rashly, unadvisedly, absurdly, I have anatomized mine own folly. And now methinks upon a […]
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 […]
Nevisanus hath as hard an opinion of rich men, “wealth and wisdom cannot dwell together.” […] Sapientia non invenitur in terra suaviter viventium [wisdom is not found in the land of those who live at ease]. For beside a natural contempt of learning, which accompanies such kind of men, innate idleness (for they will take no pains), […]
I will have no monopolies, to enrich one man and beggar a multitude. (106) 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.
“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 […]
Let them be rude, stupid, ignorant, incult, lapis super lapidem sedeat, and as the apologist will, resp. tussi, et graveolentia laboret, mundus vitio, let them be barbarous as they are, let them tyrannise, epicurise, oppress, luxuriate, consume themselves with factions, superstitions, lawsuits, wars and contentions, live in riot, poverty, want, misery; rebel, wallow as so […]
This section was really pretty dull, to be honest. It was four pages of stuff like this: Some, saith Acosta, would have a passage cut from Panama to Nombre de Dios in America; but Thuanus and Serres the French historians speak of a famous aqueduct in France, intended in Henry the Fourth’s time, from the […]
My drawing for pages 18-19 did not turn out well. If you try draw a spleen in sunglasses, it will generally look like one of the California Raisins. This is just a piece of advice in case you ever find yourself in a similar situation. In my defense, I was having a bad day. After dropping […]
When a giant angry turnip was elected president of the United States last year, I started to feel a little down. Naturally my response was to buy an unabridged copy of Robert Burton’s The Anatomy of Melancholy. My get-out-of-bed-without-crying-plan is to read a little piece of this gargantuan lump of knowledge daily, and I will illustrate it as I go.