Robert Burton


English Clergyman, Writer and Scholar at Oxford University

Author Quotes

Every other sin hath some pleasure annexed to it, or will admit of an excuse; envy alone wants both. Other sins last but for awhile; the gut may be satisfied, anger remits, hatred hath an end, envy never ceaseth.

How much more cruel the pen may be than the sword.

Let the world have their May-games, wakes,? and whatsoever sports and recreations please them, provided they be followed with discretion.

Be fearful only of thyself, and stand in awe of none more than thine own conscience.

Every schoolboy hath that famous testament of Grunnius Corocotta Porcellus at his fingers' end.

I am not poor, I am not rich; nihil est, nihil deest, I have little, I want nothing: all my treasure is in Minerva?s tower...I live still a collegiate student...and lead a monastic life, ipse mihi theatrum [sufficient entertainment to myself], sequestered from those tumults and troubles of the world...aulae vanitatem, fori ambitionem, ridere mecum soleo [I laugh to myself at the vanities of the court, the intrigues of public life], I laugh at all.

Let thy fortune be what it will, 'tis thy mind alone that makes thee poor or rich, miserable or happy.

A good conscience is a continual feast, but a galled conscience is as great a torment as can possibly happen, a still baking oven (so Pierius in his Hieroglyph compares it), another hell.

Be not solitary, be not idle.

Everything, saith Epictetus, hath two handles,?the one to be held by, the other not.

I had a heavy heart and an ugly head, a kind of impostume in my head, which I was very desirous to be unladen of.

Like a hog, or dog in the manger, he doth only keep it because it shall do nobody else good, hurting himself and others.

A good husband makes a good wife

Believe Robert who has tried it.

Fabricius finds certain spots and clouds in the sun.

I had not time to lick it into form, as a bear doth her young ones.

Like him in ’sop, he whipped his horses withal, and put his shoulder to the wheel.

Agencies should encourage their acquisition professionals to limit the use of brand-name specifications and maximize competition.

But amongst these exercises, or recreations of the mind within doors, there is none so general, so aptly to be applied to all sorts of men, so fit and proper to expel idleness and melancholy, as that of Study: Studia senectutem oblectant, adolescentiam alunt, secundas res ornant, adversis perfugiam et solatium pr‘bant, domi delectant, &c. [Study is the delight of old age, the support of youth, the ornament of prosperity, the solace and refuge of adversity, the comfort of domestic life, &c.]: find the rest in Tully pro Archia Poeta.

False friendship is like the ivy, decays and ruins the walls it embraces; but true friendship gives new life and animation to the object it supports.

I may not here omit those two main plagues and common dotages of human kind, wine and women, which have infatuated and besotted myriads of people; they go commonly together.

Machiavel says virtue and riches seldom settle on one man.

All my joys to this are folly naught so sweet as melancholy.

Can build castles in the air.

Felix Plater notes of some young physicians, that study to cure diseases, catch them themselves, will be sick, and appropriate all symptoms they find related of others to their own persons.

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English Clergyman, Writer and Scholar at Oxford University