Robert Burton


English Clergyman, Writer and Scholar at Oxford University

Author Quotes

Melancholy and despair, though often, do not always concur; there is much difference: melancholy fears without a cause, this upon great occasion; melancholy is caused by fear and grief, but this torment procures them and all extremity of bitterness.

The devil [is] best able to work upon [melancholy persons], but whether by obsession or possession I will not determine.

Tobacco, divine, rare, superexcellent tobacco, which goes far beyond all the panaceas, potable gold, and philosopher's stones, a sovereign remedy to all diseases...but as it is commonly abused by most men, which take it as tinkers do ale, 'tis a plague, a mischief, a violent purger of goods, lands, health, hellish, devilish and damned tobacco, the ruin and overthrow of body and soul.

Witches steal young children out of their cradles, ministerio d‘monum, and put deformed in their rooms, which we call changelings.

Most part of a lover's life is full of agony, anxiety, fear and grief, complaints, sighs, suspicions, and cares (heigh-ho my heart is woe), full of silence and irksome solitariness.

The eyes are the harbingers of love, and the first step of love is sight.

Truth is the shattered mirror strewn in myriad bits; while each believes his little bit the whole to own

Women wear the breeches.

No cord nor cable can so forcibly draw, or hold so fast, as love can do with a twined thread.

The rich are indeed rather possessed by their money than possessors.

Virtue, wisdom, goodness and real worth; like the loadstone, never lose their power. These are the true graces, which are linked hand in hand, because it is by their influence that human hearts are so firmly united to each other.

One religion is as true as another.

The rich Physician, honor'd Lawyers ride, whilst the poor Scholar foots it by their side.

We can say nothing but what hath been said. Our poets steal from Homer... Our story-dressers do as much; he that comes last is commonly best.

One was never married and that's his hell; another is, and that's his plague

There is something in a woman beyond all human delight; a magnetic virtue, a charming quality, an occult and powerful motive.

We love neither God nor our neighbor as we should. Our love in spiritual things is too defective, in worldly things too excessive, there is a jar in both. We love the world too much; God too little; our neighbor not at all, or for our own ends.

Our conscience, which is a great ledger book, wherein are written all our offenses... grinds our souls with the remembrance of some precedent sins, makes us reflect upon, accuse and condemn ourselves.

They are proud in humility, proud in that they are not proud.

Were it not that they are loath to lay out money on a rope, they would be hanged forthwith, and sometimes die to save charges.

Rob Peter, and pay Paul.

They do not live but linger.

We've got to have something in place.

Scoffs, calumnies, and jests are frequently the causes of melancholy. It is said that ?a blow with a word strikes deeper than a blow with a sword;? and certainly there are many men whose feelings are more galled by a calumny, a bitter jest, a libel, a pasquil, a squib, a satire, or an epigram, than by any misfortune whatsoever.

They lard their lean books with the fat of others' works

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English Clergyman, Writer and Scholar at Oxford University