Anatomy of Melancholy, by Robert Burton

The First Partition.

The First Section.

The First Member.

The First Subsection.

Man's Excellency, Fall, Miseries, Infirmities; The causes of them.

Man's Excellency. Man the most excellent and noble creature of the world, “the principal and mighty work of God, wonder of Nature,” as Zoroaster calls him; audacis naturae miraculum, “the 820marvel of marvels,” as Plato; “the 821abridgment and epitome of the world,” as Pliny; microcosmus, a little world, a model of the world, 822sovereign lord of the earth, viceroy of the world, sole commander and governor of all the creatures in it; to whose empire they are subject in particular, and yield obedience; far surpassing all the rest, not in body only, but in soul; 823imaginis imago, 824created to God's own 825image, to that immortal and incorporeal substance, with all the faculties and powers belonging unto it; was at first pure, divine, perfect, happy, 826 “created after God in true holiness and righteousness;” Deo congruens, free from all manner of infirmities, and put in Paradise, to know God, to praise and glorify him, to do his will, Ut diis consimiles parturiat deos (as an old poet saith) to propagate the church.

Man's Fall and Misery. But this most noble creature, Heu tristis, et lachrymosa commutatio (827one exclaims) O pitiful change! is fallen from that he was, and forfeited his estate, become miserabilis homuncio, a castaway, a caitiff, one of the most miserable creatures of the world, if he be considered in his own nature, an unregenerate man, and so much obscured by his fall that (some few relics excepted) he is inferior to a beast, 828“Man in honour that understandeth not, is like unto beasts that perish,” so David esteems him: a monster by stupend metamorphoses, 829a fox, a dog, a hog, what not? Quantum mutatus ab illo? How much altered from that he was; before blessed and happy, now miserable and accursed; 830“He must eat his meat in sorrow,” subject to death and all manner of infirmities, all kind of calamities.

A Description of Melancholy. 831“Great travail is created for all men, and an heavy yoke on the sons of Adam, from the day that they go out of their mother's womb, unto that day they return to the mother of all things. Namely, their thoughts, and fear of their hearts, and their imagination of things they wait for, and the day of death. From him that sitteth in the glorious throne, to him that sitteth beneath in the earth and ashes; from him that is clothed in blue silk and weareth a crown, to him that is clothed in simple linen. Wrath, envy, trouble, and unquietness, and fear of death, and rigour, and strife, and such things come to both man and beast, but sevenfold to the ungodly.” All this befalls him in this life, and peradventure eternal misery in the life to come.

Impulsive Cause of Man's Misery and Infirmities. The impulsive cause of these miseries in man, this privation or destruction of God's image, the cause of death and diseases, of all temporal and eternal punishments, was the sin of our first parent Adam, 832in eating of the forbidden fruit, by the devil's instigation and allurement. His disobedience, pride, ambition, intemperance, incredulity, curiosity; from whence proceeded original sin, and that general corruption of mankind, as from a fountain, flowed all bad inclinations and actual transgressions which cause our several calamities inflicted upon us for our sins. And this belike is that which our fabulous poets have shadowed unto us in the tale of 833 Pandora's box, which being opened through her curiosity, filled the world full of all manner of diseases. It is not curiosity alone, but those other crying sins of ours, which pull these several plagues and miseries upon our heads. For Ubi peccatum, ibi procella, as 834Chrysostom well observes. 835“Fools by reason of their transgression, and because of their iniquities, are afflicted.” 836“Fear cometh like sudden desolation, and destruction like a whirlwind, affliction and anguish,” because they did not fear God. 837“Are you shaken with wars?” as Cyprian well urgeth to Demetrius, “are you molested with dearth and famine? is your health crushed with raging diseases? is mankind generally tormented with epidemical maladies? 'tis all for your sins,” Hag. i. 9, 10; Amos i.; Jer. vii. God is angry, punisheth and threateneth, because of their obstinacy and stubbornness, they will not turn unto him. 838“If the earth be barren then for want of rain, if dry and squalid, it yield no fruit, if your fountains be dried up, your wine, corn, and oil blasted, if the air be corrupted, and men troubled with diseases, 'tis by reason of their sins:” which like the blood of Abel cry loud to heaven for vengeance, Lam. v. 15. “That we have sinned, therefore our hearts are heavy,” Isa. lix. 11, 12. “We roar like bears, and mourn like doves, and want health, &c. for our sins and trespasses.” But this we cannot endure to hear or to take notice of, Jer. ii. 30. “We are smitten in vain and receive no correction;” and cap. v. 3. “Thou hast stricken them, but they have not sorrowed; they have refused to receive correction; they have not returned. Pestilence he hath sent, but they have not turned to him,” Amos iv. 839Herod could not abide John Baptist, nor 840Domitian endure Apollonius to tell the causes of the plague at Ephesus, his injustice, incest, adultery, and the like.

To punish therefore this blindness and obstinacy of ours as a concomitant cause and principal agent, is God's just judgment in bringing these calamities upon us, to chastise us, I say, for our sins, and to satisfy God's wrath. For the law requires obedience or punishment, as you may read at large, Deut. xxviii. 15. “If they will not obey the Lord, and keep his commandments and ordinances, then all these curses shall come upon them.” 841“Cursed in the town and in the field, &c.” 842“Cursed in the fruit of the body, &c.” 843“The Lord shall send thee trouble and shame, because of thy wickedness.” And a little after, 844“The Lord shall smite thee with the botch of Egypt, and with emerods, and scab, and itch, and thou canst not be healed; 845with madness, blindness, and astonishing of heart.” This Paul seconds, Rom. ii. 9. “Tribulation and anguish on the soul of every man that doeth evil.” Or else these chastisements are inflicted upon us for our humiliation, to exercise and try our patience here in this life to bring us home, to make us to know God ourselves, to inform and teach us wisdom. 846“Therefore is my people gone into captivity, because they had no knowledge; therefore is the wrath of the Lord kindled against his people, and he hath stretched out his hand upon them.” He is desirous of our salvation. 847Nostrae salutis avidus, saith Lemnius, and for that cause pulls us by the ear many times, to put us in mind of our duties: “That they which erred might have understanding, (as Isaiah speaks xxix. 24) and so to be reformed.” 848“I am afflicted, and at the point of death,” so David confesseth of himself, Psal. lxxxviii. v. 15, v. 9. “Mine eyes are sorrowful through mine affliction:” and that made him turn unto God. Great Alexander in the midst of all his prosperity, by a company of parasites deified, and now made a god, when he saw one of his wounds bleed, remembered that he was but a man, and remitted of his pride. In morbo recolligit se animus,849as 850Pliny well perceived; “In sickness the mind reflects upon itself, with judgment surveys itself, and abhors its former courses;” insomuch that he concludes to his friend Marius,851 “that it were the period of all philosophy, if we could so continue sound, or perform but a part of that which we promised to do, being sick. Whoso is wise then, will consider these things,” as David did (Psal. cxliv., verse last); and whatsoever fortune befall him, make use of it. If he be in sorrow, need, sickness, or any other adversity, seriously to recount with himself, why this or that malady, misery, this or that incurable disease is inflicted upon him; it may be for his good, 852sic expedit as Peter said of his daughter's ague. Bodily sickness is for his soul's health, periisset nisi periisset, had he not been visited, he had utterly perished; for 853“the Lord correcteth him whom he loveth, even as a father doth his child in whom he delighteth.” If he be safe and sound on the other side, and free from all manner of infirmity; 854et cui

Gratia, forma, valetudo contingat abunde

Et mundus victus, non deficiente crumena.

And that he have grace, beauty, favour, health,

A cleanly diet, and abound in wealth.

Yet in the midst of his prosperity, let him remember that caveat of Moses, 855“Beware that he do not forget the Lord his God;” that he be not puffed up, but acknowledge them to be his good gifts and benefits, and 856“the more he hath, to be more thankful,” (as Agapetianus adviseth) and use them aright.

Instrumental Causes of our Infirmities. Now the instrumental causes of these our infirmities, are as diverse as the infirmities themselves; stars, heavens, elements, &c. And all those creatures which God hath made, are armed against sinners. They were indeed once good in themselves, and that they are now many of them pernicious unto us, is not in their nature, but our corruption, which hath caused it. For from the fall of our first parent Adam, they have been changed, the earth accursed, the influence of stars, altered, the four elements, beasts, birds, plants, are now ready to offend us. “The principal things for the use of man, are water, fire, iron, salt, meal, wheat, honey, milk, oil, wine, clothing, good to the godly, to the sinners turned to evil,” Ecclus. xxxix. 26. “Fire, and hail, and famine, and dearth, all these are created for vengeance,” Ecclus. xxxix. 29. The heavens threaten us with their comets, stars, planets, with their great conjunctions, eclipses, oppositions, quartiles, and such unfriendly aspects. The air with his meteors, thunder and lightning, intemperate heat and cold, mighty winds, tempests, unseasonable weather; from which proceed dearth, famine, plague, and all sorts of epidemical diseases, consuming infinite myriads of men. At Cairo in Egypt, every third year, (as it is related by 857Boterus, and others) 300,000 die of the plague; and 200,000, in Constantinople, every fifth or seventh at the utmost. How doth the earth terrify and oppress us with terrible earthquakes, which are most frequent in 858China, Japan, and those eastern climes, swallowing up sometimes six cities at once? How doth the water rage with his inundations, irruptions, flinging down towns, cities, villages, bridges, &c. besides shipwrecks; whole islands are sometimes suddenly overwhelmed with all their inhabitants in 859Zealand, Holland, and many parts of the continent drowned, as the 860lake Erne in Ireland? 861Nihilque praeter arcium cadavera patenti cernimus freto. In the fens of Friesland 1230, by reason of tempests, 862the sea drowned multa hominum millia, et jumenta sine numero, all the country almost, men and cattle in it. How doth the fire rage, that merciless element, consuming in an instant whole cities? What town of any antiquity or note hath not been once, again and again, by the fury of this merciless element, defaced, ruinated, and left desolate? In a word,

863Ignis pepercit, unda mergit, aeris

Vis pestilentis aequori ereptum necat,

Bello superstes, tabidus morbo perit.

Whom fire spares, sea doth drown; whom sea,

Pestilent air doth send to clay;

Whom war 'scapes, sickness takes away.

To descend to more particulars, how many creatures are at deadly feud with men? Lions, wolves, bears, &c. Some with hoofs, horns, tusks, teeth, nails: How many noxious serpents and venomous creatures, ready to offend us with stings, breath, sight, or quite kill us? How many pernicious fishes, plants, gums, fruits, seeds, flowers, &c. could I reckon up on a sudden, which by their very smell many of them, touch, taste, cause some grievous malady, if not death itself? Some make mention of a thousand several poisons: but these are but trifles in respect. The greatest enemy to man, is man, who by the devil's instigation is still ready to do mischief, his own executioner, a wolf, a devil to himself, and others. 864We are all brethren in Christ, or at least should be, members of one body, servants of one lord, and yet no fiend can so torment, insult over, tyrannise, vex, as one man doth another. Let me not fall therefore (saith David, when wars, plague, famine were offered) into the hands of men, merciless and wicked men:

865 ——— Vix sunt homines hoc nomine digni,

Quamque lupi, saevae plus feritatis habent.

We can most part foresee these epidemical diseases, and likely avoid them; Dearths, tempests, plagues, our astrologers foretell us; Earthquakes, inundations, ruins of houses, consuming fires, come by little and little, or make some noise beforehand; but the knaveries, impostures, injuries and villainies of men no art can avoid. We can keep our professed enemies from our cities, by gates, walls and towers, defend ourselves from thieves and robbers by watchfulness and weapons; but this malice of men, and their pernicious endeavours, no caution can divert, no vigilancy foresee, we have so many secret plots and devices to mischief one another.

Sometimes by the devil's help as magicians, 866witches: sometimes by impostures, mixtures, poisons, stratagems, single combats, wars, we hack and hew, as if we were ad internecionem nati, like Cadmus' soldiers born to consume one another. 'Tis an ordinary thing to read of a hundred and two hundred thousand men slain in a battle. Besides all manner of tortures, brazen bulls, racks, wheels, strappadoes, guns, engines, &c. 867Ad unum corpus humanum supplicia plura, quam membra: We have invented more torturing instruments, than there be several members in a man's body, as Cyprian well observes. To come nearer yet, our own parents by their offences, indiscretion and intemperance, are our mortal enemies. 868“The fathers have eaten sour grapes, and the children's teeth are set on edge.” They cause our grief many times, and put upon us hereditary diseases, inevitable infirmities: they torment us, and we are ready to injure our posterity;

869 ——— mox daturi progeniem vitiosiorem.

And yet with crimes to us unknown,

Our sons shall mark the coming age their own;

and the latter end of the world, as 870Paul foretold, is still like to be the worst. We are thus bad by nature, bad by kind, but far worse by art, every man the greatest enemy unto himself. We study many times to undo ourselves, abusing those good gifts which God hath bestowed upon us, health, wealth, strength, wit, learning, art, memory to our own destruction, 871Perditio tua ex te. As 872Judas Maccabeus killed Apollonius with his own weapons, we arm ourselves to our own overthrows; and use reason, art, judgment, all that should help us, as so many instruments to undo us. Hector gave Ajax a sword, which so long as he fought against enemies, served for his help and defence; but after he began to hurt harmless creatures with it, turned to his own hurtless bowels. Those excellent means God hath bestowed on us, well employed, cannot but much avail us; but if otherwise perverted, they ruin and confound us: and so by reason of our indiscretion and weakness they commonly do, we have too many instances. This St. Austin acknowledgeth of himself in his humble confessions, “promptness of wit, memory, eloquence, they were God's good gifts, but he did not use them to his glory.” If you will particularly know how, and by what means, consult physicians, and they will tell you, that it is in offending in some of those six non-natural things, of which I shall 873dilate more at large; they are the causes of our infirmities, our surfeiting, and drunkenness, our immoderate insatiable lust, and prodigious riot. Plures crapula, quam gladius, is a true saying, the board consumes more than the sword. Our intemperance it is, that pulls so many several incurable diseases upon our heads, that hastens 874old age, perverts our temperature, and brings upon us sudden death. And last of all, that which crucifies us most, is our own folly, madness (quos Jupiter perdit, dementat; by subtraction of his assisting grace God permits it) weakness, want of government, our facility and proneness in yielding to several lusts, in giving way to every passion and perturbation of the mind: by which means we metamorphose ourselves and degenerate into beasts. All which that prince of 875poets observed of Agamemnon, that when he was well pleased, and could moderate his passion, he was — os oculosque Jovi par: like Jupiter in feature, Mars in valour, Pallas in wisdom, another god; but when he became angry, he was a lion, a tiger, a dog, &c., there appeared no sign or likeness of Jupiter in him; so we, as long as we are ruled by reason, correct our inordinate appetite, and conform ourselves to God's word, are as so many saints: but if we give reins to lust, anger, ambition, pride, and follow our own ways, we degenerate into beasts, transform ourselves, overthrow our constitutions, 876provoke God to anger, and heap upon us this of melancholy, and all kinds of incurable diseases, as a just and deserved punishment of our sins.

820. Magnum miraculum.

821. Mundi epitome, naturae deliciae.

822. Finis rerum omnium, cui sublunaria serviunt. Scalig. exercit. 365. sec. 3. Vales. de sacr. Phil. c. 5.

823. Ut in numismate Caesaris imago, sic in homine Dei.

824. Gen. 1.

825. Imago mundi in corpore, Dei in anima. Exemplumque dei quisque est in imagine parva.

826. Eph. iv. 24.

827. Palan terius.

828. Psal. xlix. 20.

829. Lascivia superat equum, impudentia canem, astu vulpem, furore leonem. Chrys. 23. Gen.

830. Gen. iii. 13.

831. Ecclus. iv. 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 8.

832. Gen. iii. 17.

833. Illa cadens tegmen manibus decussit, et una perniciem immisit miseris mortalibus atram. Hesiod. 1. oper.

834. Hom. 5. ad pop. Antioch.

835. Psal. cvii. 17.

836. Pro. i. 27.

837. Quod autem crebrius bella concutiant, quod sterilitas et fames solicitudinem cumulent, quod saevientibus morbis valitudo frangitur, quod humanum genus luis populatione vastatur; ob peccatum omnia. Cypr.

838. Si raro desuper pluvia descendat, si terra situ pulveris squalleat, si vix jejunas et pallidas heibas sterilis gleba producat, si turbo vineam debilitet, &c. Cypr.

839. Mat. xiv. 3.

840. Philostratus, lib. 8. vit. Apollonii. Injustitiam ejus, et sceleratas nuptias, et caeteta quae praeter rationem fecerat, morborum causas dixit.

841. 16.

842. 18.

843. 20.

844. Verse 17.

845. 28. Deos quos diligit, castigat.

846. Isa. v. 13. Verse 15.

847. Nostrae salutis avidus continenter aures vellicat, ac calamitate subinde nos exercet. Levinus Lemn. l. 2. c. 29. de occult, nat. mir.

848. Vexatio dat Intellectum. Isa. xiviii. 19.

849. In sickness the mind recollects itself.

850. Lib. 7. Cum judicio, mores et facta recognoscit et se intuetur. Dum fero languorem, fero religionis amorem. Expers languoris non sum memor hujus amoris.

851. Summum esse totius philosophiae, ut tales esse perseveremus, quales nos futures esse infirmi profitemur.

852. Petrarch.

853. Prov. iii. 12.

854. Hor. Epis. lib. 1. 4.

855. Deut. viii. 11. Qui stat videat ne cadat.

856. Quanto majoribus beneficiis a Deo cumulatur, tanto obligatiorem se debitorem fateri.

857. Boterus de Inst. urbium.

858. Lege hist, relationem Lod. Frois de rebus Japonicis ad annum 1596.

859. Guicciard. descript. Belg. anno 1421.

860. Giraldus Cambrens.

861. Janus Dousa, ep. lib. 1. car. 10. And we perceive nothing, except the dead bodies of cities in the open sea.

862. Munster l. 3. Cos. cap. 462.

863. Buchanan. Baptist.

864. Homo homini lupus, homo homini daemon.

865. Ovid. de Trist. l. 5. Eleg.

866. Miscent aconita novercae.

867. Lib. 2 Epist. 2. ad Donatum.

868. Eze. xviii. 2.

869. Hor. l. 3. Od. 6.

870. 2 Tim. iii. 2.

871. Eze. xviii. 31. Thy destruction is from thyself.

872. 21 Macc. iii. 12.

873. Part. 1. Sec. 2. Memb. 2.

874. Nequitia est quae te non sinet esse senem.

875. Homer. Iliad.

876. Intemperantia, luxus, ingluvies, et infinita hujusmodi flagitia, quae divinas poenas merentur. Crato.

Subsect. ii.

The Definition, Number, Division of Diseases.

What a disease is, almost every physician defines. 877Fernelius calleth it an “affection of the body contrary to nature.” 878Fuschius and Crato, “an hindrance, hurt, or alteration of any action of the body, or part of it.” 879Tholosanus, “a dissolution of that league which is between body and soul, and a perturbation of it; as health the perfection, and makes to the preservation of it.” 880Labeo in Agellius, “an ill habit of the body, opposite to nature, hindering the use of it.” Others otherwise, all to this effect.

Number of Diseases. How many diseases there are, is a question not yet determined; 881Pliny reckons up 300 from the crown of the head to the sole of the foot: elsewhere he saith, morborum infinita multitudo, their number is infinite. Howsoever it was in those times, it boots not; in our days I am sure the number is much augmented:

882 ——— macies, et nova febrium

Terris incubit cohors.

For besides many epidemical diseases unheard of, and altogether unknown to Galen and Hippocrates, as scorbutum, small-pox, plica, sweating sickness, morbus Gallicus, &c., we have many proper and peculiar almost to every part.

No man free from some Disease or other. No man amongst us so sound, of so good a constitution, that hath not some impediment of body or mind. Quisque suos patimur manes, we have all our infirmities, first or last, more or less. There will be peradventure in an age, or one of a thousand, like Zenophilus the musician in 883Pliny, that may happily live 105 years without any manner of impediment; a Pollio Romulus, that can preserve himself 884“with wine and oil;” a man as fortunate as Q. Metellus, of whom Valerius so much brags; a man as healthy as Otto Herwardus, a senator of Augsburg in Germany, whom 885Leovitius the astrologer brings in for an example and instance of certainty in his art; who because he had the significators in his geniture fortunate, and free from the hostile aspects of Saturn and Mars, being a very cold man, 886“could not remember that ever he was sick.” 887Paracelsus may brag that he could make a man live 400 years or more, if he might bring him up from his infancy, and diet him as he list; and some physicians hold, that there is no certain period of man's life; but it may still by temperance and physic be prolonged. We find in the meantime, by common experience, that no man can escape, but that of 888Hesiod is true:

Πλείη μὲν γὰρ γαῖα κακῶν, πλειη δὲ θάλασσα,

Νοῦσοιδ' ἄνθρωποι ἐιν ἐφ' ἡμέρη, ἠδ' ἐπὶ νυκτὶ

Ἁυτοματοι φοιτῶσι. ———

Th' earth's full of maladies, and full the sea,

Which set upon us both by night and day.

Division of Diseases. If you require a more exact division of these ordinary diseases which are incident to men, I refer you to physicians; 889they will tell you of acute and chronic, first and secondary, lethals, salutares, errant, fixed, simple, compound, connexed, or consequent, belonging to parts or the whole, in habit, or in disposition, &c. My division at this time (as most befitting my purpose) shall be into those of the body and mind. For them of the body, a brief catalogue of which Fuschius hath made, Institut. lib. 3, sect. 1, cap. 11. I refer you to the voluminous tomes of Galen, Areteus, Rhasis, Avicenna, Alexander, Paulus Aetius, Gordonerius: and those exact Neoterics, Savanarola, Capivaccius, Donatus Altomarus, Hercules de Saxonia, Mercurialis, Victorius Faventinus, Wecker, Piso, &c., that have methodically and elaborately written of them all. Those of the mind and head I will briefly handle, and apart.

877. Fern. Path. l. 1. c. 1. Morbus est affectus contra, naturam corpori insides.

878. Fusch. Instit. l. 3. sect. 1. c. 3. a quo primum vitiatur actio.

879. Dissolutio foederis in corpore, ut sanitas est consummatio.

880. Lib. 4. cap. 2. Morbus est habitus contra naturam, qui usum ejus, &c.

881. Cap. 11. lib. 7.

882. Horat. lib. 1. ode 3. “Emaciation, and a new cohort of fevers broods over the earth.”

883. Cap. 50. lib. 7. Centum et quinque vixit annos sine ullo incommodo.

884. Intus mulso, foras oleo.

885. Exemplis genitur. praefixis Ephemer. cap. de infirmitat.

886. Qui, quoad pueritae ultimam memoriam recordari potest non meminit se aegrotum decubuisse.

887. Lib. de vita longa.

888. Oper. et. dies.

889. See Fernelius Path. lib. 1. cap. 9, 10, 11, 12. Fuschius Instit. l. 3. sect. 1. c. 7. Wecker. Synt.

Subsect. iii.

Division of the Diseases of the Head.

These diseases of the mind, forasmuch as they have their chief seat and organs in the head, which are commonly repeated amongst the diseases of the head which are divers, and vary much according to their site. For in the head, as there be several parts, so there be divers grievances, which according to that division of 890Heurnius, (which he takes out of Arculanus,) are inward or outward (to omit all others which pertain to eyes and ears, nostrils, gums, teeth, mouth, palate, tongue, weezle, chops, face, &c.) belonging properly to the brain, as baldness, falling of hair, furfur, lice, &c. 891Inward belonging to the skins next to the brain, called dura and pia mater, as all headaches, &c., or to the ventricles, caules, kells, tunicles, creeks, and parts of it, and their passions, as caro, vertigo, incubus, apoplexy, falling sickness. The diseases of the nerves, cramps, stupor, convulsion, tremor, palsy: or belonging to the excrements of the brain, catarrhs, sneezing, rheums, distillations: or else those that pertain to the substance of the brain itself, in which are conceived frenzy, lethargy, melancholy, madness, weak memory, sopor, or Coma Vigilia et vigil Coma. Out of these again I will single such as properly belong to the phantasy, or imagination, or reason itself, which 892Laurentius calls the disease of the mind; and Hildesheim, morbos imaginationis, aut rationis laesae, (diseases of the imagination, or of injured reason,) which are three or four in number, frenzy, madness, melancholy, dotage, and their kinds: as hydrophobia, lycanthropia, Chorus sancti viti, morbi daemoniaci, (St. Vitus's dance, possession of devils,) which I will briefly touch and point at, insisting especially in this of melancholy, as more eminent than the rest, and that through all his kinds, causes, symptoms, prognostics, cures: as Lonicerus hath done de apoplexia, and many other of such particular diseases. Not that I find fault with those which have written of this subject before, as Jason Pratensis, Laurentius, Montaltus, T. Bright, &c., they have done very well in their several kinds and methods; yet that which one omits, another may haply see; that which one contracts, another may enlarge. To conclude with 893Scribanius, “that which they had neglected, or perfunctorily handled, we may more thoroughly examine; that which is obscurely delivered in them, may be perspicuously dilated and amplified by us:” and so made more familiar and easy for every man's capacity, and the common good, which is the chief end of my discourse.

890. Praefat. de morbis capitis. In capite ut variae habitant partes, ita variae querelae ibi eveniunt.

891. Of which read Heurnius, Montaltus, Hildesheim, Quercetan, Jason Pratensis, &c.

892. Cap. 2. de melanchol.

893. Cap. 2. de Phisiologia sagarum: Quod alii minus recte fortasse dixerint, nos examinare, melius dijudicare, corrigere studeamus.

Subsect. iv.

Dotage, Frenzy, Madness, Hydrophobia, Lycanthropia, Chorus sancti Viti, Extasis.

Delirium, Dotage. Dotage, fatuity, or folly, is a common name to all the following species, as some will have it. 894Laurentius and 895 Altomarus comprehended madness, melancholy, and the rest under this name, and call it the summum genus of them all. If it be distinguished from them, it is natural or ingenite, which comes by some defect of the organs, and overmuch brain, as we see in our common fools; and is for the most part intended or remitted in particular men, and thereupon some are wiser than others: or else it is acquisite, an appendix or symptom of some other disease, which comes or goes; or if it continue, a sign of melancholy itself.

Frenzy. Phrenitis, which the Greeks derive from the word φρην, is a disease of the mind, with a continual madness or dotage, which hath an acute fever annexed, or else an inflammation of the brain, or the membranes or kells of it, with an acute fever, which causeth madness and dotage. It differs from melancholy and madness, because their dotage is without an ague: this continual, with waking, or memory decayed, &c. Melancholy is most part silent, this clamorous; and many such like differences are assigned by physicians.

Madness. Madness, frenzy, and melancholy are confounded by Celsus, and many writers; others leave out frenzy, and make madness and melancholy but one disease, which 896Jason Pratensis especially labours, and that they differ only secundam majus or minus, in quantity alone, the one being a degree to the other, and both proceeding from one cause. They differ intenso et remisso gradu, saith 897Gordonius, as the humour is intended or remitted. Of the same mind is 898Areteus, Alexander Tertullianus, Guianerius, Savanarola, Heurnius; and Galen himself writes promiscuously of them both by reason of their affinity: but most of our neoterics do handle them apart, whom I will follow in this treatise. Madness is therefore defined to be a vehement dotage; or raving without a fever, far more violent than melancholy, full of anger and clamour, horrible looks, actions, gestures, troubling the patients with far greater vehemency both of body and mind, without all fear and sorrow, with such impetuous force and boldness, that sometimes three or four men cannot hold them. Differing only in this from frenzy, that it is without a fever, and their memory is most part better. It hath the same causes as the other, as choler adust, and blood incensed, brains inflamed, &c. 899Fracastorius adds, “a due time, and full age” to this definition, to distinguish it from children, and will have it confirmed impotency, to separate it from such as accidentally come and go again, as by taking henbane, nightshade, wine, &c. Of this fury there be divers kinds; 900ecstasy, which is familiar with some persons, as Cardan saith of himself, he could be in one when he list; in which the Indian priests deliver their oracles, and the witches in Lapland, as Olaus Magnus writeth, l. 3, cap. 18. Extasi omnia praedicere, answer all questions in an ecstasis you will ask; what your friends do, where they are, how they fare, &c. The other species of this fury are enthusiasms, revelations, and visions, so often mentioned by Gregory and Bede in their works; obsession or possession of devils, sibylline prophets, and poetical furies; such as come by eating noxious herbs, tarantulas stinging, &c., which some reduce to this. The most known are these, lycanthropia, hydrophobia, chorus sancti Viti.

Lycanthropia. Lycanthropia, which Avicenna calls cucubuth, others lupinam insaniam, or wolf-madness, when men run howling about graves and fields in the night, and will not be persuaded but that they are wolves, or some such beasts. 901Aetius and 902Paulus call it a kind of melancholy; but I should rather refer it to madness, as most do. Some make a doubt of it whether there be any such disease. 903Donat ab Altomari saith, that he saw two of them in his time: 904Wierus tells a story of such a one at Padua 1541, that would not believe to the contrary, but that he was a wolf. He hath another instance of a Spaniard, who thought himself a bear; 905Forrestus confirms as much by many examples; one amongst the rest of which he was an eyewitness, at Alcmaer in Holland, a poor husbandman that still hunted about graves, and kept in churchyards, of a pale, black, ugly, and fearful look. Such belike, or little better, were king Praetus' 906daughters, that thought themselves kine. And Nebuchadnezzar in Daniel, as some interpreters hold, was only troubled with this kind of madness. This disease perhaps gave occasion to that bold assertion of 907Pliny, “some men were turned into wolves in his time, and from wolves to men again:” and to that fable of Pausanias, of a man that was ten years a wolf, and afterwards turned to his former shape: to 908Ovid's tale of Lycaon, &c. He that is desirous to hear of this disease, or more examples, let him read Austin in his 18th book de Civitate Dei, cap. 5. Mizaldus, cent. 5. 77. Sckenkius, lib. 1. Hildesheim, spicel. 2. de Mania. Forrestus lib. 10. de morbis cerebri. Olaus Magnus, Vincentius Bellavicensis, spec. met. lib. 31. c. 122. Pierius, Bodine, Zuinger, Zeilger, Peucer, Wierus, Spranger, &c. This malady, saith Avicenna, troubleth men most in February, and is nowadays frequent in Bohemia and Hungary, according to 909Heurnius. Scheretzius will have it common in Livonia. They lie hid most part all day, and go abroad in the night, barking, howling, at graves and deserts; 910“they have usually hollow eyes, scabbed legs and thighs, very dry and pale,” 911saith Altomarus; he gives a reason there of all the symptoms, and sets down a brief cure of them.

Hydrophobia is a kind of madness, well known in every village, which comes by the biting of a mad dog, or scratching, saith 912Aurelianus; touching, or smelling alone sometimes as 913Sckenkius proves, and is incident to many other creatures as well as men: so called because the parties affected cannot endure the sight of water, or any liquor, supposing still they see a mad dog in it. And which is more wonderful; though they be very dry, (as in this malady they are) they will rather die than drink: 914de Venenis Caelius Aurelianus, an ancient writer, makes a doubt whether this Hydrophobia be a passion of the body or the mind. The part affected is the brain: the cause, poison that comes from the mad dog, which is so hot and dry, that it consumes all the moisture in the body. 915 Hildesheim relates of some that died so mad; and being cut up, had no water, scarce blood, or any moisture left in them. To such as are so affected, the fear of water begins at fourteen days after they are bitten, to some again not till forty or sixty days after: commonly saith Heurnius, they begin to rave, fly water and glasses, to look red, and swell in the face, about twenty days after (if some remedy be not taken in the meantime) to lie awake, to be pensive, sad, to see strange visions, to bark and howl, to fall into a swoon, and oftentimes fits of the falling sickness. 916 Some say, little things like whelps will be seen in their urine. If any of these signs appear, they are past recovery. Many times these symptoms will not appear till six or seven months after, saith 917Codronchus; and sometimes not till seven or eight years, as Guianerius; twelve as Albertus; six or eight months after, as Galen holds. Baldus the great lawyer died of it: an Augustine friar, and a woman in Delft, that were 918Forrestus' patients, were miserably consumed with it. The common cure in the country (for such at least as dwell near the seaside) is to duck them over head and ears in sea water; some use charms: every good wife can prescribe medicines. But the best cure to be had in such cases, is from the most approved physicians; they that will read of them, may consult with Dioscorides, lib. 6. c. 37, Heurnius, Hildesheim, Capivaccius, Forrestus, Sckenkius and before all others Codronchus an Italian, who hath lately written two exquisite books on the subject.

Chorus sancti Viti, or St. Vitus's dance; the lascivious dance, 919 Paracelsus calls it, because they that are taken from it, can do nothing but dance till they be dead, or cured. It is so called, for that the parties so troubled were wont to go to St. Vitus for help, and after they had danced there awhile, they were 920certainly freed. 'Tis strange to hear how long they will dance, and in what manner, over stools, forms, tables; even great bellied women sometimes (and yet never hurt their children) will dance so long that they can stir neither hand nor foot, but seem to be quite dead. One in red clothes they cannot abide. Music above all things they love, and therefore magistrates in Germany will hire musicians to play to them, and some lusty sturdy companions to dance with them. This disease hath been very common in Germany, as appears by those relations of 921Sckenkius, and Paracelsus in his book of Madness, who brags how many several persons he hath cured of it. Felix Plateras de mentis alienat. cap. 3, reports of a woman in Basil whom he saw, that danced a whole month together. The Arabians call it a kind of palsy. Bodine in his 5th book de Repub. cap. 1, speaks of this infirmity; Monavius in his last epistle to Scoltizius, and in another to Dudithus, where you may read more of it.

The last kind of madness or melancholy, is that demoniacal (if I may so call it) obsession or possession of devils, which Platerus and others would have to be preternatural: stupend things are said of them, their actions, gestures, contortions, fasting, prophesying, speaking languages they were never taught, &c. Many strange stories are related of them, which because some will not allow, (for Deacon and Darrel have written large volumes on this subject pro and con.) I voluntarily omit.

922Fuschius, Institut. lib. 3. sec. 1. cap. 11, Felix Plater, 923Laurentius, add to these another fury that proceeds from love, and another from study, another divine or religious fury; but these more properly belong to melancholy; of all which I will speak 924apart, intending to write a whole book of them.

894. Cap. 4. de mol.

895. Art. Med. 7.

896. Plerique medici uno complexu perstringunt hos duos morbos, quod ex eadem causa oriantur, quodque magnitudine et modo solum distent, et alter gradus ad alterum existat. Jason Pratens.

897. Lib. Med.

898. Pars maniae mihi videtur.

899. Insanus est, qui aetate debita, et tempore debito per se, non momentaneam et fugacem, ut vini, solani, Hyoscyami, sed confirmatam habet impotentiam bene operandi circa intellectum. lib. 2. de intellectione.

900. Of which read Felix Plater, cap. 3. de mentis alienatione.

901. Lib. 6. cap. 11.

902. Lib. 3. cap. 16.

903. Cap. 9. Art. med.

904. De praestig. Daemonum, l. 3. cap. 21.

905. Observat. lib. 10. de morbis cerebri, cap. 15.

906. Hippocrates lib. de insania.

907. Lib. 8. cap. 22. Homines interdum lupos feri; et contra.

908. Met. lib. 1.

909. Cap. de Man.

910. Ulcerata crura, sitis ipsis adest immodica, pallidi, lingua sicca.

911. Cap. 9. art. Hydrophobia.

912. Lib. 3. cap. 9.

913. Lib. 7. de Venenis.

914. Lib. 3. cap. 13. de morbis acutis.

915. Spicel. 2.

916. Sckenkius, 7 lib. de Venenis.

917. Lib. de Hydrophobia.

918. Observat. lib. 10. 25.

919. Lascivam Choream. To. 4. de morbis amentium. Tract. 1.

920. Eventu ut plurimum rem ipsam comprobante.

921. Lib. 1. cap. de Mania.

922. Cap. 3. de mentis alienat.

923. Cap. 4. de mel.

924. PART. 3.

Subsect. v.

Melancholy in Disposition, improperly so called, Equivocations.

Melancholy, the subject of our present discourse, is either in disposition or habit. In disposition, is that transitory melancholy which goes and comes upon every small occasion of sorrow, need, sickness, trouble, fear, grief, passion, or perturbation of the mind, any manner of care, discontent, or thought, which causeth anguish, dullness, heaviness and vexation of spirit, any ways opposite to pleasure, mirth, joy, delight, causing frowardness in us, or a dislike. In which equivocal and improper sense, we call him melancholy that is dull, sad, sour, lumpish, ill disposed, solitary, any way moved, or displeased. And from these melancholy dispositions, 925no man living is free, no stoic, none so wise, none so happy, none so patient, so generous, so godly, so divine, that can vindicate himself; so well composed, but more or less, some time or other he feels the smart of it. Melancholy in this sense is the character of mortality. 926“Man that is born of a woman, is of short continuance, and full of trouble.” Zeno, Cato, Socrates himself, whom 927Aelian so highly commends for a moderate temper, that “nothing could disturb him, but going out, and coming in, still Socrates kept the same serenity of countenance, what misery soever befell him,” (if we may believe Plato his disciple) was much tormented with it. Q. Metellus, in whom 928Valerius gives instance of all happiness, “the most fortunate man then living, born in that most flourishing city of Rome, of noble parentage, a proper man of person, well qualified, healthful, rich, honourable, a senator, a consul, happy in his wife, happy in his children,” &c. yet this man was not void of melancholy, he had his share of sorrow. 929Polycrates Samius, that flung his ring into the sea, because he would participate of discontent with others, and had it miraculously restored to him again shortly after, by a fish taken as he angled, was not free from melancholy dispositions. No man can cure himself; the very gods had bitter pangs, and frequent passions, as their own 930poets put upon them. In general, 931“as the heaven, so is our life, sometimes fair, sometimes overcast, tempestuous, and serene; as in a rose, flowers and prickles; in the year itself, a temperate summer sometimes, a hard winter, a drought, and then again pleasant showers: so is our life intermixed with joys, hopes, fears, sorrows, calumnies: Invicem cedunt dolor et voluptas,” there is a succession of pleasure and pain.

932 ——— medio de fonte leporum

Surgit amari aliquid, in ipsis floribus angat.

“Even in the midst of laughing there is sorrow,” (as 933Solomon holds): even in the midst of all our feasting and jollity, as 934Austin infers in his Com. on the 41st Psalm, there is grief and discontent. Inter delicias semper aliquid saevi nos strangulat, for a pint of honey thou shalt here likely find a gallon of gall, for a dram of pleasure a pound of pain, for an inch of mirth an ell of moan; as ivy doth an oak, these miseries encompass our life. And it is most absurd and ridiculous for any mortal man to look for a perpetual tenure of happiness in his life. Nothing so prosperous and pleasant, but it hath 935some bitterness in it, some complaining, some grudging; it is all γλυκύπικρον, a mixed passion, and like a chequer table black and white: men, families, cities, have their falls and wanes; now trines, sextiles, then quartiles and oppositions. We are not here as those angels, celestial powers and bodies, sun and moon, to finish our course without all offence, with such constancy, to continue for so many ages: but subject to infirmities, miseries, interrupted, tossed and tumbled up and down, carried about with every small blast, often molested and disquieted upon each slender occasion, 936uncertain, brittle, and so is all that we trust unto. 937 “And he that knows not this is not armed to endure it, is not fit to live in this world (as one condoles our time), he knows not the condition of it, where with a reciprocalty, pleasure and pain are still united, and succeed one another in a ring.” Exi e mundo, get thee gone hence if thou canst not brook it; there is no way to avoid it, but to arm thyself with patience, with magnanimity, to 938oppose thyself unto it, to suffer affliction as a good soldier of Christ; as 939Paul adviseth constantly to bear it. But forasmuch as so few can embrace this good council of his, or use it aright, but rather as so many brute beasts give away to their passion, voluntary subject and precipitate themselves into a labyrinth of cares, woes, miseries, and suffer their souls to be overcome by them, cannot arm themselves with that patience as they ought to do, it falleth out oftentimes that these dispositions become habits, and “many affects contemned” (as 940Seneca notes) “make a disease. Even as one distillation, not yet grown to custom, makes a cough; but continual and inveterate causeth a consumption of the lungs;” so do these our melancholy provocations: and according as the humour itself is intended, or remitted in men, as their temperature of body, or rational soul is better able to make resistance; so are they more or less affected. For that which is but a flea-biting to one, causeth insufferable torment to another; and which one by his singular moderation, and well-composed carriage can happily overcome, a second is no whit able to sustain, but upon every small occasion of misconceived abuse, injury, grief, disgrace, loss, cross, humour, &c. (if solitary, or idle) yields so far to passion, that his complexion is altered, his digestion hindered, his sleep gone, his spirits obscured, and his heart heavy, his hypochondries misaffected; wind, crudity, on a sudden overtake him, and he himself overcome with melancholy. As it is with a man imprisoned for debt, if once in the gaol, every creditor will bring his action against him, and there likely hold him. If any discontent seize upon a patient, in an instant all other perturbations (for — qua data porta ruunt) will set upon him, and then like a lame dog or broken-winged goose he droops and pines away, and is brought at last to that ill habit or malady of melancholy itself. So that as the philosophers make 941eight degrees of heat and cold, we may make eighty-eight of melancholy, as the parts affected are diversely seized with it, or have been plunged more or less into this infernal gulf, or waded deeper into it. But all these melancholy fits, howsoever pleasing at first, or displeasing, violent and tyrannizing over those whom they seize on for the time; yet these fits I say, or men affected, are but improperly so called, because they continue not, but come and go, as by some objects they aye moved. This melancholy of which we are to treat, is a habit, mosbus sonticus, or chronicus, a chronic or continuate disease, a settled humour, as 942 Aurelianus and 943others call it, not errant, but fixed; and as it was long increasing, so now being (pleasant, or painful) grown to an habit, it will hardly be removed.

925. De quo homine securitas, de quo certum gaudium? quocunque se convertit, in terrenis rebus amaritudinem animi inveniet. Aug. in Psal. viii. 5.

926. Job. i. 14.

927. Omni tempore Socratem eodem vultu videri, sive domum rediret, sive domo egrederetur.

928. Lib. 7. cap. 1. Natus in florentissima totius orbis civitate, nobilissimis parentibus, corpores vires habuit et rarissimas animi dotes, uxorem conapicuam, pudicam, felices liberos, consulare decus, sequentes triumphos, &c.

929. Aelian.

930. Homer. Iliad.

931. Lipsius, cent. 3. ep. 45, ut coelum, sic nos homines sumus: illud ex intervallo nubibus obducitur et obscuratur. In rosario flores spinis intermixti. Vita similis aeri, udum modo, sudum, tempestas, serenitas: ita vices rerum sunt, praemia gaudiis, et sequaces curae.

932. Lucretius, l. 4. 1124.

933. Prov. xiv. 13. Extremum gaudii luctas occupat.

934. Natalitia inquit celebrantur, nuptiae hic sunt; at ibi quid celebratur quod non dolet, quod non transit?

935. Apuleius 4. florid. Nihil quicquid homini tam prosperum divinitus datum, quin ei admixtum sit aliquid difficultatis ut etiam amplissima quaqua laetitia, subsit quaepiam vel parva querimonia conjugatione quadam mellis, et fellis.

936. Caduca nimirum et fragilia, et puerilibus consentanea crepundiis sunt ista quae vires et opes humanae vocantur, affluunt subito, repente delabuntur, nullo in loco, nulla in persona, stabilibus nixa radicibus consistunt, sed incertissimo flatu fortunae quos in sublime extulerunt improviso recursu destitutos in profundo miseriarum valle miserabiliter immergunt. Valerius, lib. 6. cap. 11.

937. Huic seculo parum aptus es, aut potius omnium nostrorum conditionem ignoras, quibus reciproco quodam nexu, &c. Lorchanus Gollobelgicus, lib. 3. ad annum 1598.

938. Horsum omnia studia dirigi debent, ut humana fortiter feramus.

939. 2 Tim. ii. 3.

940. Epist. 96. lib. 10. Affectus frequentes contemptique morbum faciunt. Distillatio una nec adhuc in morem adaucta, tussim facit, assidua et violenta pthisim.

941. Calidum ad octo: frigidum ad octo. Una hirundo non facit aestatem.

942. Lib. 1. c. 6.

943. Fuschius, l. 3. sec. 1. cap. 7. Hildesheim, fol. 130.

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