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

I inherited a vile melancholy from my father, which has made me mad all my life, at least not sober.
      - Samuel Johnson (a/k/a Dr. Johnson) ("The Great Cham of Literature")

Melancholy, indeed, should be diverted by every means but drinking.
      - Samuel Johnson (a/k/a Dr. Johnson) ("The Great Cham of Literature")

Employment, sir, and hardships, prevent melancholy.
      - Samuel Johnson (a/k/a Dr. Johnson) ("The Great Cham of Literature"),
        Boswell's Life of Johnson

Demoniac frenzy, moping melancholy.
      - John Milton

Moping melancholy,
  And moon-struck madness.
      - John Milton, Paradise Lost
         (bk. XI, l. 485)

No grief so soft, no pain so sweet, as love's delicious melancholy.
      - Frances Sargent Osgood

Action and care will in time wear down the strongest frame, but guilt and melancholy are poisons of quick dispatch.
      - Thomas Paine

O'er the twilight droves and dusky caves,
  Long-sounding aisles, and intermingled graves,
    Black Melancholy sits, and round her throws
      A death-like silence and a dread repose;
        Her gloomy presence saddens all the scene,
          Shades ev'ry flower, and darkens ev'ry green;
            Deepens the murmur of the falling floods,
              And breathes a browner horror on the woods.
      - Alexander Pope

Go--you may call it madness, folly,
  You shall not chase my gloom away.
    There's such a charm in melancholy,
      I would not, if I could, be gay!
      - Samuel Rogers, To ----- (st. 1)

How weary, stale, flat, and unprofitable seem to me all the uses of this world!
      - William Shakespeare

It is impious in a good man to be sad.
      - William Shakespeare

Melancholy is the nurse of frenzy.
      - William Shakespeare

We're not ourselves when Nature, being oppressed, commands the mind to suffer with the body.
      - William Shakespeare

I can suck melancholy out of a song as a weasel sucks eggs.
      - William Shakespeare, As You Like It
         (Jaques at II, v)

I have neither the scholar's melancholy, which is emulation; nor the musician's, which is fantastical; nor the courtier's, which is proud; not the soldier's which is ambitious; nor the lawyer's, which is politic; nor the lady's, which is nice; nor the lover's, which is all these: but it is a melancholy of mine own, compounded of many simples, extracted from many objects, and indeed the sundry contemplation of my travels, which, by often rumination, wraps me in a most humorous sadness.
      - William Shakespeare, As You Like It
         (Jaques at IV, i)

O melancholy,
  Who ever yet could sound thy bottom, find
    The ooze, to show what coast thy sluggish crare
      Might eas'liest harbor in?
      - William Shakespeare, Cymbeline
         (Belarius at IV, ii)

The greatest note of it is his melancholy.
      - William Shakespeare,
        Much Ado About Nothing
         (Pedro at III, ii)

Your honor's players, hearing your amendment,
  Are come to play a pleasant comedy,
    For so your doctors hold it very meet,
      Seeing too much sadness hath congealed your blood
        And melancholy is the nurse of frenzy.
      - William Shakespeare,
        The Taming of the Shrew
         (Messenger at induction, ii)

I once gave a lady two-and-twenty receipts against melancholy: one was a bright fire; another, to remember all the pleasant things said to her; another, to keep a box of sugar-plums on the chimney-piece and a kettle simmering on the hob. I thought this mere trifling at the moment, but have in after life discovered how true it is that these little pleasures often banish melancholy better than higher and more exalted objects; and that no means ought to be thought too trifling which can oppose it either in ourselves or in others.
      - Sydney Smith

Hence, all you vain delights,
  As short as are the nights
    Wherein you spend your folly!
      There's nought in this life sweet,
        If man were wise to see 't,
          But only melancholy,
            Oh, sweetest melancholy!
      - Dr. William Strode,
        Song in Praise of Melancholy,
        as given in Malone's Manuscripts in the Bodleian Library, manuscript no. 21

Religion is no friend to laziness and stupidity, or to supine and sottish despondencies of mind.
      - Jeremy Taylor

When soured by disappointment we must endeavor to pursue some fixed and pleasing course of study, that there may be no blank leaf in our book of life. Painful and disagreeable ideas vanish from the mind that can fix its attention upon any subject.
      - Johann Georg von Zimmermann


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