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 […]
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. […]
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: […]
Make me to hear joy and gladness, that the bones which thou hast broken, may rejoice.
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.
Hey look! I made it to Member III! I didn’t even know that I was in Member II before! What are Members?! And why didn’t I notice them before?! I am pretty sure that we have four levels of sections and subsections going on here: Parts, Sections, Members, and Subsections. Wow. So anyhow, at last: […]
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. […]
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 […]
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 […]
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 […]
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 […]
Containing Parts, by reason of their more solid substance, are either homogeneal or heterogeneal, similar or dissimilar… Similar, or homogeneal, are such as, if they be divided, are still severed into parts of the same nature, as water into water. Of these some be spermatical, some fleshy or carnal. Spermatical are such as are […]
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.
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 […]