Tuesday, January 1, 2013

"I hear new news every day, and those ordinary rumours of war,
plagues, fires, inundations, thefts, murders, massacres, meteors,
comets, spectrums, prodigies, apparitions, of towns taken, cities
besieged in France, Germany, Turkey, Persia, Poland, &c., daily musters
and preparations, and such like, which these tempestuous times
afford, battles fought, so many men slain, monomachies,
shipwrecks, piracies and sea-fights; peace, leagues,
stratagems, and fresh alarms.

A vast confusion of vows, wishes, actions, edicts, petitions,
lawsuits, pleas, laws, proclamations, complaints, grievances are daily
brought to our ears. New books every day, pamphlets, corantoes,
stories, whole catalogues of volumes of all sorts, new paradoxes,
opinions, schisms, heresies, controversies in philosophy, religion,...
Now come tidings of weddings, maskings, mummeries, entertainments,
jubilees, embassies, tilts and tournaments, trophies, triumphs, revels,
sports, plays: then again, as in a new shifted scene, treasons,
cheating tricks, robberies, enormous villainies in all kinds, funerals,
burials, deaths of princes, new discoveries, expeditions, now comical,
then tragical matters. Today we hear of new lords and officers
created, tomorrow of some great men deposed, and then again
of fresh honours conferred; one is let loose, another imprisoned;
one purchaseth, another breaketh: he thrives, his neighbour turns
bankrupt; now plenty, then again dearth and famine; one runs,
another rides, wrangles, laughs, weeps...."


Robert Burton, The Anatomy of Melancholy 1652
"when the storm rages and the shipwreck of the the
state threatens, we can do nothing more worthy than to
sink the anchor of our peaceful studies into the ground
of eternity."
Johannes Kepler (1571-1630)

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