Robert Burton


English Clergyman, Writer and Scholar at Oxford University

Author Quotes

See one promontory (said Socrates of old), one mountain, one sea, one river, and see all.

This spring has been great for Kmart and other retailers. Hopefully, the consumer will continue to come out, the weather will continue to remain warm and we will go right into summer without missing a step.

What is a ship but a prison?

Seneca thinks the gods are well pleased when they see great men contending with adversity.

Those impious epicures, libertines, atheists, hypocrites, infidels, worldly, secure, impenitent, unthankful, and carnal-minded men, that attribute all to natural causes, that will acknowledge no supreme power; that have cauterized consciences, or live in a reprobate sense; or such desperate persons as are too distrustful of his mercies.

What physic, what chirurgery, what wealth, favor, authority can relieve, bear out, assuage, or expel a troubled conscience? A quiet mind cureth all them, but all they cannot comfort a distressed soul: who can put to silence the voice of desperation?

Smile with an intent to do mischief, or cozen him whom he salutes.

Thou canst not think worse of me than I do of myself.

When I lie waking all alone, recounting what I have ill done, my thoughts on me then tyrannize, fear and sorrow me surprise, whether I tarry still or go, methinks the time moves very slow, all my griefs to this are jolly, naught so sad as melancholy. 'Tis my sole plague to be alone, I am a beast, a monster grown, I will no light nor company, I find it now my misery. The scene is turn'd, my joys are gone, fear, discontent, and sorrows come. All my griefs to this are folly, naught so fierce as melancholy.

That is not long a-doing.

Though it rain daggers with their points downward.

Where God hath a temple, the Devil will have a chapel

That which is a law today is none tomorrow

Though they [philosophers] write contemptu glori‘, yet as Hieron observes, they will put their names to their books.

Who cannot give good counsel? 'Tis cheap, it costs them nothing.

That which others hear or read of, I felt and practised myself; they get their knowledge by books, I mine by melancholizing.

To enlarge or illustrate this power of the effects of love is to set a candle in the sun.

Who is he that is now wholly overcome with idleness, or otherwise involved in a labyrinth of worldly care, troubles, and discontents, that will not be much lightened in his mind by reading of some enticing story, true or feigned, where, as in a glass, he shall observe what our forefathers have done; the beginnings, ruins, falls, periods of commonwealths, private men?s actions, displayed to the life, &c. Plutarch therefore calls them, secundas mensas et bellaria, the second course and junkets, because they were usually read at noblemen?s feasts.

The attachments of mirth are but the shadows of that true friendship of which the sincere affections of the heart are the substance.

To The Reader Who Employs His Leisure Ill - Whoever you may be, I caution you against rashly defaming the author of this work, or cavilling in jest against him. Nay, do not silently reproach him in consequence of others' censure, nor employ your wit in foolish disapproval or false accusation. For, should Democritus Junior prove to be what he professes, even a kinsman of his elder namesake, or be ever so little of the same kidney, it is all up with you: he will become both accuser and judge of you in his petulant spleen, will dissipate you in jest, pulverize you with witticisms, and sacrifice you, I can promise you, to the God of Mirth. Again I warn you against cavilling, lest, while you culumniate or disgracefully disparage Decmocritus Junior, who has no animosity against you, you should hear from some judicious friend the very words the people of Abdera heard of old from Hippocrates, when they held their well-deserving and popular fellow-citizen to be a madman: Truly, it is you, Democritus, that are wise, while the people of Abdera are fools and madmen. You have no more sense than the people of Abdera. Having given you this warning in a few words, O reader who employ your liesure ill, farewell.

Why are Italians at this day generally so good poets and painters? Because every man of any fashion amongst them hath his mistress

The commonwealth of Venice in their armory have this inscription: "Happy is that city which in time of peace thinks of war."

To these crocodile tears they will add sobs, fiery sighs, and sorrowful countenance.

Wine is strong, the king is strong, women are strong, but truth overcometh all things.

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.

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English Clergyman, Writer and Scholar at Oxford University