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 […]
Make me to hear joy and gladness, that the bones which thou hast broken, may rejoice.
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 […]
Those natural and vegetal powers are not commanded by will at all; for “who can add one cubit to his stature?” These other may, but are not: and thence come all those headstrong passions, violent perturbations of the mind; and many times vicious habits, customs, feral diseases; because we give so much way to our […]
In this subsection I learned that there are fourteen “species” of understanding, so I drew fourteen things: Now these notions are twofold, actions or habits: actions, by which we take notions of, and perceive things; habits, which are durable lights and notions, which we may use when we will. Some reckon up eight kinds of […]
Seriously, I am never going to finish this project if The Anatomy of Melancholy keeps making me have so many ideas. Given that I have exactly eight and a half hours of free time per week to work on this, I would say we are looking at approximately ten years until completion if I keep […]
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 […]
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. […]
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 […]
Well, I could have drawn more anatomical pictures for the last section, but probably no one needs to see me get into membranes and ventricles. So I am moving on to spirits and souls, because I really prefer ghosts to blood and guts. And I may be reading too much into this, but wow, look […]
Yup, I drew another snail. Maybe tomorrow I will read past page 148. My daughter really likes snails, ghosts, and pink and purple, so maybe I will hang this on her wall. Is this a weird thing to hang in a child’s bedroom? I think this is a weird thing to hang in a child’s […]
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.
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 […]
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 […]
When a giant angry turnip was elected president of the United States in the apocalyptic year that was 2016, 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.