The Misery of the Scholar

How many poor scholars have lost their wits or become dizzards, neglecting all worldly affairs and their own health, being and well-being, to gain knowledge for which, after all their pains, in the world’s esteem they are accounted ridiculous and silly fools, idiots, asses and (as oft they are) rejected, contemned, derided, doting, and mad! . . . Because they cannot ride a horse, which every clown can do; salute and court a gentlewoman, carve at table, cringe and make congees, which every common swasher can do, they are laughed to scorn, and accounted silly fools by our gallants. Yea, many times, such is their misery, they deserve it: a mere scholar, a mere ass.

~Robert Burton, The Anatomy of Melancholy, 303.

 

Koninck_Salomon-ZZZ-An_Old_ScholarAn Old Scholar, Salomon Koninck (1609-1656)

 

 

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