Saturday, January 26, 2008



Robert Burton, Anatomy of Melancholy (Part. I, Sect. I, Memb. I, Subs. 5):
In general, "as the heaven, so is our life, sometimes fair, sometimes overcast, tempestuous, and serene; as in a rose, flowers and prickles; in the year itself, a temperate summer sometimes, a hard winter, a drought, and then again pleasant showers: so is our life intermixed with joys, hopes, fears, sorrows, calumnies: Invicem cedunt dolor et voluptas," there is a succession of pleasure and pain.
————"medio de fonte leporum
Surgit amari aliquid, in ipsis floribus angat."
"Even in the midst of laughing there is sorrow," (as Solomon holds): even in the midst of all our feasting and jollity, as Austin infers in his Com. on the 41st Psalm, there is grief and discontent. Inter delicias semper aliquid saevi nos strangulat, for a pint of honey thou shalt here likely find a gallon of gall, for a dram of pleasure a pound of pain, for an inch of mirth an ell of moan; as ivy doth an oak, these miseries encompass our life. And it is most absurd and ridiculous for any mortal man to look for a perpetual tenure of happiness in his life. Nothing so prosperous and pleasant, but it hath some bitterness in it, some complaining, some grudging; it is all γλυκύπικρον, a mixed passion, and like a chequer table black and white: men, families, cities, have their falls and wanes; now trines, sextiles, then quartiles and oppositions.

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