Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Sing to me, my melancholy Burton


Robert Burton, a scholar and a vicar at Oxford, died on this day in 1640. He wrote one of the world's greatest and most unusual books, The Anatomy of Melancholy.

A lifelong melancholiac himself, Burton devoted his days to study so as to, as he said, occupy his heart and his thoughts.

"If there be a hell upon earth it is to be found in a melancholy man's heart,” he wrote. Also this:

"Our wrangling lawyers are so litigious and busy here on earth, that I think they will plead their clients' cases hereafter, some of them in hell."

And:

"All places are distant from heaven alike."