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"The archness which BURTON displays occasionally, and his indulgence of playful digressions from the most serious discussions, often give his style an air of familiar conversation, notwithstanding the laborious collections which supply his text. ing excellent poetry, but he seems to have cultivated this talent too little. He was capable of writverses prefixed to his book, which possess beautiful imagery, and great sweetness of versiThe English fication, have been frequently published. His Latin elegiac verses addressed to his book, shew a very agreeable turn for raillery.”—Ibid. p. 58.

"When the force of the subject opens his own vein of prose, we discover valuable sense and brilliant expression. Such is his account of the first feelings of melancholy persons, written, probably, from his own experience." [See p. 161, of the present edition.]—Ibid. p. 60.


During a pedantic age, like that in which BURTON's production appeared, it must have been eminently serviceable to writers of many descriptions. Hence the unlearned might furnish themselves with appropriate scraps of Greek and Latin, whilst men of letters would find their inquiries shortened, by knowing where they might look for what both ancients and moderns have advanced on the subject of human passions. I confess my inability to point out any other English author who has so largely dealt in apt and original quotation.”—Manuscript note of the late George Steevens, Esq., in his copy of THE ANATOMY OF Melancholy.


VADE liber, qualis, non ausim dicere, fœlix,

Te nisi fœlicem fecerit Alma dies,

Vade tamen quocunque lubet, quascunque per oras
Et Genium Domini fac imtere tui.

I blandas inter Charites, mystámque saluta
Musarum quemvis, si tibi lector erit.
Rura colas, urbem, subeàsve palatia regum
Submissè, placidè, te sine dente geras.
Nobilis, aut si quis te fortè inspexerit heros,
Da te morigerum, perlegat usque lubet.
Est quod Nobilitas, est quod desideret heros,
Gration hac forsan charta placere potest.
Si quis morosus Cato, tetricusque Senator,
Hunc etiam librum fortè videre velit,

Sive magistratus, tum te reverenter habeto;
Sed nullus; muscas non capiunt Aquila,
Non vacat his tempus fugitivum impenderc nugis
Nec tales cupio; par mihi lector erit.

Si matrona gravis casu diverterit istuc,

lilustris domina, aut te Comitissa legat:

Est quod displiceat, placeat quod forsitan illis,
Ingerere his noli te modò, pande tamen.
At si virgo tuas dignabitur inclyta chartas
Tangere, sive schedis hæreat illa tuis:

Da modo te facilem, et quædam folia esse memento
Conveniant oculis quæ magis apta suis.

Si generosa ancilla tuos aut aima puella
Visura est ludos, annue, pande lubens.
Dic utinam nunc ipse meus (nam diligit istas)
In præsens esset conspiciendus herus.
Ignotus notusve mihi de gente togatâ
Sive aget in ludis, pulpita sive colet,
Sive in Lycao, et nugas evolverit istas,

Si quasdam mendas viderit inspiciens,
Da veniam Authori, dices; nam plurima vellot
Expungi, quæ jam displicuisse sciat.

Sive Melancholicus quisquam, seu blandus Amator,
Aulicus aut Civis, seu benè comptus Eques

Huc appellat, age et tutò te crede legenti,
Mu'ta istic forsan non malè nata leget.

Quod fugiat, caveat, quodque amplexabitur, ista
Pagina fortassis promere multa potest.

At si quis Medicus coram te sistet, amice
Fae circumspectè, et te sine labe geras:

Inveniet namque ipse meis quoque plurima scriptis
Non leve subsidium quæ sibi forsan erunt.
Si quis Causidicus chartas impingat in istas,
Nil mihi vobiscum, pessima turba vale;
Sit nisi vir bonus, et juris sine fraude peritus,
Tum legat, et forsan doctior inde siet.

Hæc comicè dicta cave ne malè capias.

Si quis cordatus, facilis, lectorque benignus
Huc oculos vertat, quæ velit ipse legat;
Candidus ignoscet, metuas nil, pande libenter,
Offensus mendis non erit ille tuis,

Laudabit nonnulla. Venit si Rhetor ineptus,
Limata et tersa, et qui benè cocta petit,
Claude citus librum; nulla hic nisi ferrea verba,
Offendent stomachum quæ minùs apta suum.
At si quis non eximius de plebe poeta,

Annue; namque istic plurima ficta leget.
Nos sumus è numero, nullus mihi spirat Apollo,
Grandiloquus Vates quilibet esse nequit.
Si Criticus Lector, tumidus Censorque molestus,
Zoilus et Momus, si rabiosa cohors:

Ringe, freme, et noli tum pandere, turba malignis
Si occurrat sannis invidiosa suis:
Fac fugias; si nulla tibi sit copia eundi,

Contemnes, tacitè scommata quæque feres.
Frendeat, allatret, vacuas gannitibus auras
Impleat, haud cures; his placuisse nefas.
Verum age si forsan divertat purior hospes,
Cuique sales, ludi, displiceantque joci,
Objiciatque tibi sordes, lasciváque: dices,
Lasciva est Domino et Musa jocosa tuo,
Nec lasciva tamen, si pensitet omne; sed esto;
Sit lasciva licet pagina, vita proba est.
Barbarus, indoctúsque rudis spectator in istam
Si messem intrudat, fuste fugabis eum,
Fungum pelle procul (jubeo) nam quid mihi fungof
Conveniunt stomacho non minus ista suo.

Sed nec pelle tamen; læto omnes accipe vultu,
Quos, quas, vel quales, inde vel unde viros.
Gratus erit quicunque venit, gratissimus hospes
Quisquis erit, facilis difficilisque mihi.
Nam si culpârit, quædam culpâsse juvabit,
Culpando faciet me meliora sequi.
Sed si laudârit, neque laudibus efferar ullis,
Sit satis hisce malis opposuisse bonum.
free sunt quæ nostro placuit mandare libello,
Et quæ dimittens dicere iussit Herus.



Go forth my book into the open day;
Happy, if made so by its garish eye.
O'er earth's wide surface take thy vagrant way.
To imitate thy master's genius try.

The graces three, the Muses nine salute,

Should those who love them try to con thy lore.
The country, city seek, grand throes to boot,
With gentle courtesy humbly bow before
Should nobles gallant, soldiers frank and brave
Seek thy acquaintance, hail their first advance:
From twitch of care thy pleasant vein may save,
May laughter cause or wisdom give perchance,
Some surly Cato, Senator austere,

Haply may wish to peep into thy book:
Seem very nothing-tremble and revere:
No forceful eagles, butterflies e'er look.
They love not thee: of them then little seek,
And wish for readers triflers like thyself.
Of ludeful matron watchful catch the beck,

Or gorgeous countess full of pride and pelf.
They may say "pish!" and frown, and yet read on:
Cry odd, and silly, coarse, and vet amusing.
Should dainty damsels seek thy page to con,
Spread thy best stores: to them be ne'er refusing:

Say, fair one, master loves thee dear as life;

Would he were here to gaze on thy sweet look.
Should known or unknown student, free'd from strife
Of logic and the schools, explore my book:

Cry mercy critic, and thy book withhold:
Be some few errors pardon'd though observ'd:
An humble author to implore makes bold.
Thy kind indulgence, even undeserv'd,
Should melancholy wight or pensive lover,
Courtier, snug cit, or carpet knight so trim
Our blossoms cull, he'll find himself in clover,
Gain sense from precept, laughter from our whim.
Should learned leech with solemn air unfold
Thy leaves, beware, be civil, and be wise:
Thy volume many precepts sage may hold,
His well fraught head may find no trifling prize
Should crafty lawyer trespass on our ground,
Caitiffs avaunt! disturbing tribe away!
Unless (white crow) an honest one be found;
He'll better, wiser go for what we say
Should some ripe scholar, gentle and benign,
. With candour, care, and judgment thee peruse:
Thy faults to kind oblivion he'll consign;
Nor to thy merit will his praise refuse.

Thou may'st be searched for polish d words and verse;
By flippant spouter, emptiest of praters:
Tell him to seen them in some mawkish verse:

My periods all are rough as nutmeg graters.
The deggrel poet, wishing thee to read,

Reject not; let him glean thy jests and stories. His brother I, of lowly sembling breed:

Apollo grants to few Parnassian glories. Menac'd by critic with sour furrowed brow, Momus or Troilus or Scotch reviewer: Ruffle your heckle, grin and growl and vow: Ill-natured foes you thus will find the fewer. When foul-mouth'd senseless railers cry thee down, Reply not; fly, and show the rogues thy stern: They are not worthy even of a frown:

Good taste or breeding they can never learn; Or let them clamour, turn a callous ear,

As though in dread of some harsh donkey's bray, If chid by censor, friendly though severe, To such explain and turn thee not away. Thy vein, says he perchance, is all too free; Thy smutty language suits not learned pen: Reply, Good Sir, throughout, the context see; Thought chastens thought; so prithee judge again. Besides, although my master's pen may wander Through devious paths, by which it ought not stray; His life pure, beyond the breath of slander: So pardon grant; 'tis merely but his way. Some rugged ruffian makes a hideous rout Brandish thy cudgel, threaten him to baste; The filthy fungus far from thee cast out; Such noxious banquets never suit my taste. Yet, calm and cautious moderate thy ire,

Be ever courteous should the case allowSweet malt is ever made by gentle fire:

Warm to thy friends, give all a civil bow.
Even censure sometimes teaches to improve,
Slight frosts have often cured too rank a crop,
So, candid blame my spleen shall never move,

For skilful gard'ners wayward branches lop.
Go then, my book, and bear my words in mind;
Guides safe at once, and pleasant them you'll find.

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