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CURIOUS FRAGMENTS.

CURIOUS FRAGMENTS,

EXTRACTED FROM A COMMON-PLACE BOOK, WHICH BELONGED

TO ROBERT BURTON, THE FAMOUS AUTHOR OF THE ANATOMY OF MELANCHOLY.

EXTRACT I.

I DEMOCRITUS Junior have put my finishing pen to a tractate De Melancholia, this day December 5, 1620. First, I blesse the Trinity, which hath given me health to prosecute my worthlesse studies thus far, and make supplication, with a Laus Deo, if in any case these my poor labours may be found instrumental to weede out black melancholy, carking cares, harte-grief, from the mind of man. Sed hoc magis volo quam expecto.

I turn now to my book, i nunc liber, goe forth, my brave Anatomy, child of my brain-sweat, and yee, candidi lectores, lo! here I give him up to you, even do with him what you please, my masters. Some, I suppose will applaud, commend, cry him up (these are my friends) hee is a flos rarus, forsooth, a nonesuch, a Phønix, (concerning whom see Plinius and Mandeuille, though Fienus de monstris doubteth at large of such a bird, whom Montaltus confuting argueth to have been a man mala scrupulositatis, of a weak and cowardlie faith : Christopherus a Vega is with him in this). Others again will blame, hiss, reprehende in many things, cry down altogether my collections, for crude, inept, putid, post cænam scripta, Coryate could write better upon a full meal, verbose, inerudite, and not sufficiently abounding in authorities, dogmata, sentences of learneder writers which have been before me, when as that first named sort clean otherwise judge of my labours to bee nothing else but a messe of opinions, a vortex attracting indiscriminate, gold, pearls, hay, straw, wood, excrement, an exchange, tavern, marte, for foreigners to congregate, Danes, Swedes, Hollanders, Lombards, so many strange faces, dresses, salutations, languages, all which Wolfius behelde with great content upon the Venetian Rialto, as he describes diffusedly in his book the world's Epitome, which Sannazar so bepraiseth, e contra our Polydore

see nothing in it; they call me singular,

can

men.

a pedant, fantastic, words of reproach in this age, which is all too meteoric and light for my humour.

One cometh to me sighing, complaining. He expected universal remedies in my Anatomy; so many cures as there are distemperatures among

I have not put his affection in my cases. Hear you his case. My fine Sir is a lover, an inamorato, a Pyramus, a Romeo; he walks seven years disconsolate, moping, because he cannot enjoy his miss, insanus amor is his melancholy, the man is mad; delirat, he dotes; all this while his Glycera is rude, spiteful, not to be entreated, churlish, spits at him, yet exceeding fair, gentle eyes, (which is a beauty,) hair lustrous and smiling, the trope is none of mine, Æneas Sylvius hath crines ridentes-in conclusion she is wedded to his rival, a boore, a Corydon, a rustic, omnino ignarus, he can scarce construe Corderius, yet haughty, fantastic, opiniâtre. The lover travels, goes into foreign parts, peregrinates, amoris ergo, sees manners, customs, not English, converses with pilgrims, lying travellers, monks, hermits, those cattle, pedlars, travelling gentry ,Egyptians, natural wonders, unicorns (though Aldobrandus will have them to be figments) satyrs, semi-viri, apes, monkeys, baboons, curiosities artificial, pyramides, Virgilius

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