"But by and by they are buried in silence..."

When you have news fatigue, or internet fatigue, know that early modern scholars were there before you. This is from Robert Burton's (wonderfully-titled) Anatomy of Melancholy:

[E]very day almost come new news unto our ears, as how the sun was eclipsed, meteors seen in the air, monsters born, prodigies, how the Turks were overthrown in Persia, an earthquake in Helvetia, Calabria, Japan, or China, an inundation in Holland, a great plague in Constantinople, a fire at Prage, a dearth in Germany, such a man is made a lord, a bishop, another hanged, deposed, pressed to death for some murder, treason, rape, theft, oppression; all which we do hear at first with a kind of admiration, detestation, consternation; but by and by they are buried in silence.

Believe it or not, the message of this is supposed to be grimly positive. Burton's lesson is that whatever bad stuff you pull, it will be forgotten, the way all things are, so there is no need to get depressed over it.

1 comment:

  1. Lovely message, it gives us the freedom to commit the inevitable mistakes that will shape us. Thank you!