19+ quotes from The Anatomy of Melancholy by Robert Burton

Quotes from The Anatomy of Melancholy

Robert Burton ·  1424 pages

Rating: (1.1K votes)


“[T]hou canst not think worse of me than I do of myself.”
― Robert Burton, quote from The Anatomy of Melancholy


“He that increaseth wisdom, increaseth sorrow.”
― Robert Burton, quote from The Anatomy of Melancholy


“That which others hear or read of, I felt and practised myself; they get their knowledge by books, I mine by melancholizing.”
― Robert Burton, quote from The Anatomy of Melancholy


“What cannot be cured must be endured.”
― Robert Burton, quote from The Anatomy of Melancholy


“I am not poor, I am not rich; nihil est, nihil deest, I have little, I want nothing: all my treasure is in Minerva’s tower...I live still a collegiate student...and lead a monastic life, ipse mihi theatrum [sufficient entertainment to myself], sequestered from those tumults and troubles of the world...aulae vanitatem, fori ambitionem, ridere mecum soleo [I laugh to myself at the vanities of the court, the intrigues of public life], I laugh at all.”
― Robert Burton, quote from The Anatomy of Melancholy


“Melancholy can be overcome only by melancholy.”
― Robert Burton, quote from The Anatomy of Melancholy


“If you like not my writing, go read something else.”
― Robert Burton, quote from The Anatomy of Melancholy


“Every man for himself, the devil for all.”
― Robert Burton, quote from The Anatomy of Melancholy


“No cord or cable can draw so forcibly, or bind so fast, as [love] can do with a single thread.”
― Robert Burton, quote from The Anatomy of Melancholy


“[E]very man hath liberty to write, but few ability. Heretofore learning was graced by judicious scholars, but now noble sciences are vilified by base and illiterate scribblers, that either write for vain-glory, need, to get money, or as Parasites to flatter and collogue with some great men, they put out trifles, rubbish and trash. Among so many thousand Authors you shall scarce find one by reading of whom you shall be any whit better, but rather much worse; by which he is rather infected than any way perfected…

What a catalogue of new books this year, all his age (I say) have our Frankfurt Marts, our domestic Marts, brought out. Twice a year we stretch out wits out and set them to sale; after great toil we attain nothing…What a glut of books! Who can read them? As already, we shall have a vast Chaos and confusion of Books, we are oppressed with them, our eyes ache with reading, our fingers with turning. For my part I am one of the number—one of the many—I do not deny it...”
― Robert Burton, quote from The Anatomy of Melancholy


“What a glut of books! Who can read them?”
― Robert Burton, quote from The Anatomy of Melancholy


“that I have read many books, but to little purpose, for want of good method; I have confusedly tumbled over divers authors in our libraries, with small profit, for want of art, order, memory, judgment.”
― Robert Burton, quote from The Anatomy of Melancholy


“One religion is as true as another.”
― Robert Burton, quote from The Anatomy of Melancholy


“It is an old saying, "A blow with a word strikes deeper than a blow with a sword"; and many men are as much galled with a calumny, a scurrile and bitter jest, a libel, a pasquil, satire, apologue, epigram, stage-plays, or the like, as with any misfortune whatsoever.”
― Robert Burton, quote from The Anatomy of Melancholy


“Now go and brag of thy present happiness, whosoever thou art, brag of thy temperature, of thy good parts, insult, triumph, and boast; thou seest in what a brittle state thou art, how soon thou mayst be dejected, how many several ways, by bad diet, bad air, a small loss, a little sorrow or discontent, an ague, &c.; how many sudden accidents may procure thy ruin, what a small tenure of happiness thou hast in this life, how weak and silly a creature thou art.”
― Robert Burton, quote from The Anatomy of Melancholy


“As a fat body is more subject to diseases, so are rich men to absurdities and fooleries, to many casualties and cross inconveniences.”
― Robert Burton, quote from The Anatomy of Melancholy


“We that are bred up in learning, and destinated by our parents to this end, we suffer our childhood in the grammar-school, which Austin calls magnam tyrannidem, et grave malum, and compares it to the torments of martyrdom; when we come to the university, if we live of the college allowance, as Phalaris objected to the Leontines, [Greek: pan ton endeis plaen limou kai phobou] , needy of all things but hunger and fear, or if we be maintained but partly by our parents' cost, do expend in unnecessary maintenance, books and degrees, before we come to any perfection, five hundred pounds, or a thousand marks. If by this price of the expense of time, our bodies and spirits, our substance and patrimonies, we cannot purchase those small rewards, which are ours by law, and the right of inheritance, a poor parsonage, or a vicarage of 50 l. per annum, but we must pay to the patron for the lease of a life (a spent and out-worn life) either in annual pension, or above the rate of a copyhold, and that with the hazard and loss of our souls, by simony and perjury, and the forfeiture of all our spiritual preferments, in esse and posse, both present and to come. What father after a while will be so improvident to bring up his son to his great charge, to this necessary beggary? What Christian will be so irreligious, to bring up his son in that course of life, which by all probability and necessity, coget ad turpia, enforcing to sin, will entangle him in simony and perjury, when as the poet said, Invitatus ad hæc aliquis de ponte negabit: a beggar's brat taken from the bridge where he sits a begging, if he knew the inconvenience, had cause to refuse it." This being thus, have not we fished fair all this while, that are initiate divines, to find no better fruits of our labours, [2030] hoc est cur palles, cur quis non prandeat hoc est? do we macerate ourselves for this? Is it for this we rise so early all the year long? [2031] "Leaping" (as he saith) "out of our beds, when we hear the bell ring, as if we had heard a thunderclap." If this be all the respect, reward and honour we shall have, [2032] frange leves calamos, et scinde Thalia libellos: let us give over our books, and betake ourselves to some other course of life; to what end should we study?”
― Robert Burton, quote from The Anatomy of Melancholy


“as Chremilus concludes his speech, as we poor men live nowadays, who will not take our life to be [2261] infelicity, misery, and madness?”
― Robert Burton, quote from The Anatomy of Melancholy


“Plato in his Protagoras well saith, a good philosopher as much excels other men, as a great king doth the commons of his country; and again, [2062] quoniam illis nihil deest, et minimè egere solent, et disciplinas quas profitentur, soli à contemptu vindicare possunt, they needed not to beg so basely, as they compel [2063] scholars in our times to complain of poverty, or crouch to a rich chuff for a meal's meat, but could vindicate themselves, and those arts which they professed. Now they would and cannot: for it is held by some of them, as an axiom, that to keep them poor, will make them study; they must be dieted, as horses to a race, not pampered, [2064] Alendos volunt, non saginandos, ne melioris mentis flammula extinguatur; a fat bird will not sing, a fat dog cannot hunt, and so by this depression of theirs [2065] some want means, others will, all want [2066] encouragement, as being forsaken almost; and generally contemned.”
― Robert Burton, quote from The Anatomy of Melancholy


About the author

Robert Burton
Born place: in Lindley, The United Kingdom
Born date January 19, 1577
See more on GoodReads

Popular quotes

“It’s 1936, in Flint, Michigan. Times are hard. Ten-year-old Bud is a motherless boy on the run, and his momma never told him who his father was. But she left a clue: posters of Herman”
― Christopher Paul Curtis, quote from The Watsons Go to Birmingham - 1963


“The world isn't fair, Calvin."
"I know Dad, but why isn't it ever unfair in my favor?”
― Bill Watterson, quote from The Essential Calvin and Hobbes: A Calvin and Hobbes Treasury


“There was a library and it is ashes. Let its long length assemble. Than its stone walls its paper walls are thicker; armoured with learning, with philosophy, with poetry that drifts or dances clamped though it is in midnight. Shielded with flax and calfskin and a cold weight of ink, there broods the ghost of Sepulchrave, the melancholy Earl, seventy-sixth lord of half-light.”
― Mervyn Peake, quote from Gormenghast


“There's a whole world out there, Anna, a whole world for us to explore.”
― Gemma Malley, quote from The Declaration


“One uses power by grasping it lightly. To grasp too strongly is to be taken over by power, and thus to become its victim.”
― Frank Herbert, quote from Children of Dune


Interesting books

Typee: A Peep at Polynesian Life
(3.7K)
Typee: A Peep at Pol...
by Herman Melville
The Change
(4.2K)
The Change
by Teyla Branton
Tuareg
(2K)
Tuareg
by Alberto Vázquez-Figueroa
Poor Charlie's Almanack: The Wit and Wisdom of Charles T. Munger
(3.6K)
Poor Charlie's Alman...
by Charles T. Munger
Spy Ski School
(1.7K)
Spy Ski School
by Stuart Gibbs
Mordacious
(820)
Mordacious
by Sarah Lyons Fleming

About BookQuoters

BookQuoters is a community of passionate readers who enjoy sharing the most meaningful, memorable and interesting quotes from great books. As the world communicates more and more via texts, memes and sound bytes, short but profound quotes from books have become more relevant and important. For some of us a quote becomes a mantra, a goal or a philosophy by which we live. For all of us, quotes are a great way to remember a book and to carry with us the author’s best ideas.

We thoughtfully gather quotes from our favorite books, both classic and current, and choose the ones that are most thought-provoking. Each quote represents a book that is interesting, well written and has potential to enhance the reader’s life. We also accept submissions from our visitors and will select the quotes we feel are most appealing to the BookQuoters community.

Founded in 2018, BookQuoters has quickly become a large and vibrant community of people who share an affinity for books. Books are seen by some as a throwback to a previous world; conversely, gleaning the main ideas of a book via a quote or a quick summary is typical of the Information Age but is a habit disdained by some diehard readers. We feel that we have the best of both worlds at BookQuoters; we read books cover-to-cover but offer you some of the highlights. We hope you’ll join us.