Sunday, July 05, 2015
Read some more of THE ANATOMY OF MELANCHOLY for the Fourth of July. Burton has the scoop on angels and devils! Did you know that the demonologist Psellus believed that demons poop? I'm sorry, "that they are nourished and have excrements." Yeah, Burton isn't buying it. He quotes another scholar's theory that angels are "absolutely round" like basketballs. He doesn't say "basketballs." Oh! Our old friend Paracelsus comes up quite a bit. Remember how he supposedly concealed his most powerful medicines in the hilt of his sword? A guy named Erastus claimed that Paracelsus had a devil "confined to his sword pummel." Meanwhile, "Paracelsus reckons up many places in Germany, where [fairies] do usually walk in little coats some two foot long." Aw!