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[ Also see Cheerfulness Despair Despondency Gloom Grief Insanity Moroseness Pessimism Remorse Sadness Sobriety Sorrow Unhappiness ]

Great men are always of a nature originally melancholy.
      - Aristotle

Melancholy sees the worst of things,--things as they may be, and not as they are. It looks upon a beautiful face, and sees but a grinning skull.
      - Christian Nestell Bovee

Melancholy advanceth men's conceits more than shy humor whatever.
      - Robert Burton

All my griefs to this are jolly,
  Naught so damn'd as melancholy.
      - Robert Burton,
        Abstract to Anatomy of Melancholy

All my joys to this are folly,
  Naught so sweet as melancholy.
      - Robert Burton,
        Abstract to Anatomy of Melancholy

Melancholy is a fearful gift. What is it but the telescope of truth!
      - Lord Byron (George Gordon Noel Byron)

Melancholy spreads itself betwixt heaven and earth, like envy between man and man, and is an everlasting mist.
      - Lord Byron (George Gordon Noel Byron)

Melancholy is sadness that has taken on lightness.
      - Italo Calvino

Ah, there are moments for us here, when, seeing
  Life's inequalities, and woe, and care,
    The burdens laid upon our mortal being
      Seem heavier than the human heart can bear.
      - Phoebe Cary

As melancholy as an unbraced drum.
      - Mrs. Susannah Centlivre, Wonder
         (act II, sc. 1)

Whatever is highest and holiest is tinged with melancholy. The eye of genius has always a plaintive expression, and its natural language is pathos. A prophet is sadder than other men; and He who was greater than all prophets was "a man of sorrow and acquainted with grief."
      - Mrs. Lydia Maria Child

With eyes upraised, as one inspired,
  Pale melancholy sate retired;
    And, from her wild, sequester'd seat,
      In notes by distance made more sweet,
        Pour'd through the mellow horn her pensive soul.
      - William Collins, The Passions (l. 57)

There were moments of despondency when Shakespeare thought himself no poet, and Raphael no painter; when the greatest wits have doubted the excellence of their happiest efforts.
      - Charles Caleb Colton

A lazy frost, a numbness of the mind.
      - John Dryden

Melancholy is the convalescence of grief.
      - Adelaide Billet Dufresnoy

There are some people who think that they should be always mourning, that they should put a continual constraint upon themselves, and feel a disgust for those amusements to which they are obliged to submit. For my own part, I confess that I know not how to conform myself to these rigid notions. I prefer something more simple, which I also think would be more pleasing to God.
      - Francois de Salignac Fenelon

Nothing is so dainty sweet as lovely melancholy.
      - Samuel Fletcher

Tell us, pray, what devil
  This melancholy is, which can transform
    Men into monsters.
      - John Ford, The Lover's Melancholy
         (act III, sc. 1, l. 107)

  Is not, as you conceive, indisposition
    Of body, but the mind's disease.
      - John Ford, The Lover's Melancholy
         (act III, sc. 1, l. 111)

Here rests his head upon the lap of earth,
  A youth, to fortune and to fame unknown;
    Fair Science frowned not on his humble birth,
      And Melancholy marked him for her own.
      - Thomas Gray,
        Elegy in a Country Churchyard--The Epitaph

There is not a string attuned to mirth but has its chord of melancholy.
      - Thomas Hood

There's not a string attuned to mirth,
  But has its chord in melancholy.
      - Thomas Hood

Melancholy is the pleasure of being sad.
      - Victor Hugo

If you are melancholy for the first time, you will find, upon a little inquiry, that others have been melancholy many times, and yet are cheerful now.
      - Leigh Hunt (James Henry Leigh Hunt)

Employment and hardships prevent melancholy.
      - Samuel Johnson (a/k/a Dr. Johnson) ("The Great Cham of Literature")

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