Friday, July 24, 2015

Melancholy Abounding

The usual trouble sleeping. As if you care! Picked up THE ANATOMY OF MELANCHOLY. Read "dead men's bones, hobgoblins, ghosts, are ever in their minds, and meet them still in every turn: all the bugbears of the night and terrors, fairybabes of tombs and graves are before their eyes and in their thoughts, as to women and children, if they be in the dark alone." Burton is writing about people who have "Symptoms of Melancholy Abounding in the Whole Body," to describe whom he uses the funny phrase, "the melancholy juice is redundant all over." ... "If they hear, or read, or see, any tragical object, it sticks by them; they are afraid of death, and yet weary of their lives; in their discontented humours they quarrel with all the world, bitterly inveigh, tax satirically, and because they cannot otherwise vent their passions, or redress what is amiss, as they mean, they will by violent death at last be revenged upon themselves." Wow, what, sorry, not too cheerful, but striking and incantatory. "Fairybabes of tombs and graves" really caught my attention.