Bad Diet a cause. Substance. Quality of Meats.
According to my proposed method, having opened hitherto these secondary causes, which are inbred with us, I must now proceed to the outward and adventitious, which happen unto us after we are born. And those are either evident, remote, or inward, antecedent, and the nearest: continent causes some call them. These outward, remote, precedent causes are subdivided again into necessary and not necessary. Necessary (because we cannot avoid them, but they will alter us, as they are used, or abused) are those six non-natural things, so much spoken of amongst physicians, which are principal causes of this disease. For almost in every consultation, whereas they shall come to speak of the causes, the fault is found, and this most part objected to the patient; Peccavit circa res sex non naturales: he hath still offended in one of those six. Montanus, consil. 22, consulted about a melancholy Jew, gives that sentence, so did Frisemelica in the same place; and in his 244 counsel, censuring a melancholy soldier, assigns that reason of his malady, 1347“he offended in all those six non-natural things, which were the outward causes, from which came those inward obstructions;” and so in the rest.
These six non-natural things are diet, retention and evacuation, which are more material than the other because they make new matter, or else are conversant in keeping or expelling of it. The other four are air, exercise, sleeping, waking, and perturbations of the mind, which only alter the matter. The first of these is diet, which consists in meat and drink, and causeth melancholy, as it offends in substance, or accidents, that is, quantity, quality, or the like. And well it may be called a material cause, since that, as 1348Fernelius holds, “it hath such a power in begetting of diseases, and yields the matter and sustenance of them; for neither air, nor perturbations, nor any of those other evident causes take place, or work this effect, except the constitution of body, and preparation of humours, do concur. That a man may say, this diet is the mother of diseases, let the father be what he will, and from this alone, melancholy and frequent other maladies arise.” Many physicians, I confess, have written copious volumes of this one subject, of the nature and qualities of all manner of meats; as namely, Galen, Isaac the Jew, Halyabbas, Avicenna, Mesue, also four Arabians, Gordonius, Villanovanus, Wecker, Johannes Bruerinus, sitologia de Esculentis et Poculentis, Michael Savanarola, Tract 2. c. 8, Anthony Fumanellus, lib. de regimine senum, Curio in his comment on Schola Salerna, Godefridus Steckius arte med., Marcilius Cognatus, Ficinus, Ranzovius, Fonseca, Lessius, Magninus, regim. sanitatis, Frietagius, Hugo Fridevallius, &c., besides many other in 1349English, and almost every peculiar physician, discourseth at large of all peculiar meats in his chapter of melancholy: yet because these books are not at hand to every man, I will briefly touch what kind of meats engender this humour, through their several species, and which are to be avoided. How they alter and change the matter, spirits first, and after humours, by which we are preserved, and the constitution of our body, Fernelius and others will show you. I hasten to the thing itself: and first of such diet as offends in substance.
Beef.] Beef, a strong and hearty meat (cold in the first degree, dry in the second, saith Gal. l. 3. c. 1. de alim. fac.) is condemned by him and all succeeding Authors, to breed gross melancholy blood: good for such as are sound, and of a strong constitution, for labouring men if ordered aright, corned, young, of an ox (for all gelded meats in every species are held best), or if old, 1350such as have been tired out with labour, are preferred. Aubanus and Sabellicus commend Portugal beef to be the most savoury, best and easiest of digestion; we commend ours: but all is rejected, and unfit for such as lead a resty life, any ways inclined to melancholy, or dry of complexion: Tales (Galen thinks) de facile melancholicis aegritudinibus capiuntur.
Pork.] Pork, of all meats, is most nutritive in his own nature, 1351 but altogether unfit for such as live at ease, are any ways unsound of body or mind: too moist, full of humours, and therefore noxia delicatis, saith Savanarola, ex earum usu ut dubitetur an febris quartana generetur: naught for queasy stomachs, insomuch that frequent use of it may breed a quartan ague.
Goat.] Savanarola discommends goat's flesh, and so doth 1352Bruerinus, l. 13. c. 19, calling it a filthy beast, and rammish: and therefore supposeth it will breed rank and filthy substance; yet kid, such as are young and tender, Isaac accepts, Bruerinus and Galen, l. 1. c. 1. de alimentorum facultatibus.
Hart.] Hart and red deer 1353hath an evil name: it yields gross nutriment: a strong and great grained meat, next unto a horse. Which although some countries eat, as Tartars, and they of China; yet 1354 Galen condemns. Young foals are as commonly eaten in Spain as red deer, and to furnish their navies, about Malaga especially, often used; but such meats ask long baking, or seething, to qualify them, and yet all will not serve.
Venison, Fallow Deer.] All venison is melancholy, and begets bad blood; a pleasant meat: in great esteem with us (for we have more parks in England than there are in all Europe besides) in our solemn feasts. 'Tis somewhat better hunted than otherwise, and well prepared by cookery; but generally bad, and seldom to be used.
Hare.] Hare, a black meat, melancholy, and hard of digestion, it breeds incubus, often eaten, and causeth fearful dreams, so doth all venison, and is condemned by a jury of physicians. Mizaldus and some others say, that hare is a merry meat, and that it will make one fair, as Martial's epigram testifies to Gellia; but this is per accidens, because of the good sport it makes, merry company and good discourse that is commonly at the eating of it, and not otherwise to be understood.
Conies.] 1355Conies are of the nature of hares. Magninus compares them to beef, pig, and goat, Reg. sanit. part. 3. c. 17; yet young rabbits by all men are approved to be good.
Generally, all such meats as are hard of digestion breed melancholy. Areteus, lib. 7. cap. 5, reckons up heads and feet, 1356bowels, brains, entrails, marrow, fat, blood, skins, and those inward parts, as heart, lungs, liver, spleen, &c. They are rejected by Isaac, lib. 2. part. 3, Magninus, part. 3. cap. 17, Bruerinus, lib. 12, Savanarola, Rub. 32. Tract. 2.
Milk.] Milk, and all that comes of milk, as butter and cheese, curds, &c., increase melancholy (whey only excepted, which is most wholesome): 1357some except asses' milk. The rest, to such as are sound, is nutritive and good, especially for young children, but because soon turned to corruption, 1358not good for those that have unclean stomachs, are subject to headache, or have green wounds, stone, &c. Of all cheeses, I take that kind which we call Banbury cheese to be the best, ex vetustis pessimus, the older, stronger, and harder, the worst, as Langius discourseth in his Epistle to Melancthon, cited by Mizaldus, Isaac, p. 5. Gal. 3. de cibis boni succi. &c.
Fowl.] Amongst fowl, 1359peacocks and pigeons, all fenny fowl are forbidden, as ducks, geese, swans, herons, cranes, coots, didappers, water-hens, with all those teals, curs, sheldrakes, and peckled fowls, that come hither in winter out of Scandia, Muscovy, Greenland, Friesland, which half the year are covered all over with snow, and frozen up. Though these be fair in feathers, pleasant in taste, and have a good outside, like hypocrites, white in plumes, and soft, their flesh is hard, black, unwholesome, dangerous, melancholy meat; Gravant et putrefaciant stomachum, saith Isaac, part. 5. de vol., their young ones are more tolerable, but young pigeons he quite disapproves.
Fishes.] Rhasis and 1360Magninus discommend all fish, and say, they breed viscosities, slimy nutriment, little and humorous nourishment. Savanarola adds, cold, moist: and phlegmatic, Isaac; and therefore unwholesome for all cold and melancholy complexions: others make a difference, rejecting only amongst freshwater fish, eel, tench, lamprey, crawfish (which Bright approves, cap. 6), and such as are bred in muddy and standing waters, and have a taste of mud, as Franciscus Bonsuetus poetically defines, Lib. de aquatilibus.
Nam pisces omnes, qui stagna, lacusque frequentant,
Semper plus succi deterioris habent.
All fish, that standing pools, and lakes frequent,
Do ever yield bad juice and nourishment.
Lampreys, Paulus Jovius, c. 34. de piscibus fluvial., highly magnifies, and saith, None speak against them, but inepti et scrupulosi, some scrupulous persons; but 1361eels, c. 33, “he abhorreth in all places, at all times, all physicians detest them, especially about the solstice.” Gomesius, lib. 1. c. 22, de sale, doth immoderately extol sea-fish, which others as much vilify, and above the rest, dried, soused, indurate fish, as ling, fumados, red-herrings, sprats, stock-fish, haberdine, poor-John, all shellfish. 1362Tim. Bright excepts lobster and crab. Messarius commends salmon, which Bruerinus contradicts, lib. 22. c. 17. Magninus rejects conger, sturgeon, turbot, mackerel, skate.
Carp is a fish of which I know not what to determine. Franciscus Bonsuetus accounts it a muddy fish. Hippolitus Salvianus, in his Book de Piscium natura et praeparatione, which was printed at Rome in folio, 1554, with most elegant pictures, esteems carp no better than a slimy watery meat. Paulus Jovius on the other side, disallowing tench, approves of it; so doth Dubravius in his Books of Fishponds. Freitagius 1363extols it for an excellent wholesome meat, and puts it amongst the fishes of the best rank; and so do most of our country gentlemen, that store their ponds almost with no other fish. But this controversy is easily decided, in my judgment, by Bruerinus, l. 22. c. 13. The difference riseth from the site and nature of pools, 1364sometimes muddy, sometimes sweet; they are in taste as the place is from whence they be taken. In like manner almost we may conclude of other fresh fish. But see more in Rondoletius, Bellonius, Oribasius, lib. 7. cap. 22, Isaac, l. 1, especially Hippolitus Salvianus, who is instar omnium solus, &c. Howsoever they may be wholesome and approved, much use of them is not good; P. Forestus, in his medicinal observations, 1365relates, that Carthusian friars, whose living is most part fish, are more subject to melancholy than any other order, and that he found by experience, being sometimes their physician ordinary at Delft, in Holland. He exemplifies it with an instance of one Buscodnese, a Carthusian of a ruddy colour, and well liking, that by solitary living, and fish-eating, became so misaffected.
Herbs.] Amongst herbs to be eaten I find gourds, cucumbers, coleworts, melons, disallowed, but especially cabbage. It causeth troublesome dreams, and sends up black vapours to the brain. Galen, loc. affect. l. 3. c. 6, of all herbs condemns cabbage; and Isaac, lib. 2. c. 1. Animae gravitatem facit, it brings heaviness to the soul. Some are of opinion that all raw herbs and salads breed melancholy blood, except bugloss and lettuce. Crato, consil. 21. lib. 2, speaks against all herbs and worts, except borage, bugloss, fennel, parsley, dill, balm, succory. Magninus, regim. sanitatis, part. 3. cap. 31. Omnes herbae simpliciter malae, via cibi; all herbs are simply evil to feed on (as he thinks). So did that scoffing cook in 1366Plautus hold:
Non ego coenam condio ut alii coqui solent,
Qui mihi condita prata in patinis proferunt,
Boves qui convivas faciunt, herbasque aggerunt.
Like other cooks I do not supper dress,
That put whole meadows into a platter,
And make no better of their guests than beeves,
With herbs and grass to feed them fatter.
Our Italians and Spaniards do make a whole dinner of herbs and salads (which our said Plautus calls coenas terrestras, Horace, coenas sine sanguine), by which means, as he follows it,
1367Hic homines tam brevem vitam colunt —
Qui herbas hujusmodi in alvum suum congerunt,
Formidolosum dictu, non esu modo,
Quas herbas pecudes non edunt, homines edunt.
Their lives, that eat such herbs, must needs be short,
And 'tis a fearful thing for to report,
That men should feed on such a kind of meat,
Which very juments would refuse to eat.
Roots.] Roots, Etsi quorundam gentium opes sint, saith Bruerinus, the wealth of some countries, and sole food, are windy and bad, or troublesome to the head: as onions, garlic, scallions, turnips, carrots, radishes, parsnips: Crato, lib. 2. consil. 11, disallows all roots, though 1370 some approve of parsnips and potatoes. 1371Magninus is of Crato's opinion, 1372“They trouble the mind, sending gross fumes to the brain, make men mad,” especially garlic, onions, if a man liberally feed on them a year together. Guianerius, tract. 15. cap. 2, complains of all manner of roots, and so doth Bruerinus, even parsnips themselves, which are the best, Lib. 9. cap. 14.
Fruits.] Pastinacarum usus succos gignit improbos. Crato, consil. 21. lib. 1, utterly forbids all manner of fruits, as pears, apples, plums, cherries, strawberries, nuts, medlars, serves, &c. Sanguinem inficiunt, saith Villanovanus, they infect the blood, and putrefy it, Magninus holds, and must not therefore be taken via cibi, aut quantitate magna, not to make a meal of, or in any great quantity. 1373Cardan makes that a cause of their continual sickness at Fessa in Africa, “because they live so much on fruits, eating them thrice a day.” Laurentius approves of many fruits, in his Tract of Melancholy, which others disallow, and amongst the rest apples, which some likewise commend, sweetings, pearmains, pippins, as good against melancholy; but to him that is any way inclined to, or touched with this malady, 1374Nicholas Piso in his Practics, forbids all fruits, as windy, or to be sparingly eaten at least, and not raw. Amongst other fruits, 1375Bruerinus, out of Galen, excepts grapes and figs, but I find them likewise rejected.
Pulse.] All pulse are naught, beans, peas, vetches, &c., they fill the brain (saith Isaac) with gross fumes, breed black thick blood, and cause troublesome dreams. And therefore, that which Pythagoras said to his scholars of old, may be for ever applied to melancholy men, A fabis abstinete, eat no peas, nor beans; yet to such as will needs eat them, I would give this counsel, to prepare them according to those rules that Arnoldus Villanovanus, and Frietagius prescribe, for eating, and dressing. fruits, herbs, roots, pulse, &c.
Spices.] Spices cause hot and head melancholy, and are for that cause forbidden by our physicians to such men as are inclined to this malady, as pepper, ginger, cinnamon, cloves, mace, dates, &c. honey and sugar. 1376 Some except honey; to those that are cold, it may be tolerable, but 1377 Dulcia se in bilem vertunt, (sweets turn into bile,) they are obstructive. Crato therefore forbids all spice, in a consultation of his, for a melancholy schoolmaster, Omnia aromatica et quicquid sanguinem adurit: so doth Fernelius, consil. 45. Guianerius, tract 15. cap. 2. Mercurialis, cons. 189. To these I may add all sharp and sour things, luscious and over-sweet, or fat, as oil, vinegar, verjuice, mustard, salt; as sweet things are obstructive, so these are corrosive. Gomesius, in his books, de sale, l. 1. c. 21, highly commends salt; so doth Codronchus in his tract, de sale Absynthii, Lemn. l. 3. c. 9. de occult. nat. mir. yet common experience finds salt, and salt-meats, to be great procurers of this disease. And for that cause belike those Egyptian priests abstained from salt, even so much, as in their bread, ut sine perturbatione anima esset, saith mine author, that their souls might be free from perturbations.
Bread.] Bread that is made of baser grain, as peas, beans, oats, rye, or 1378over-hard baked, crusty, and black, is often spoken against, as causing melancholy juice and wind. Joh. Mayor, in the first book of his History of Scotland, contends much for the wholesomeness of oaten bread: it was objected to him then living at Paris in France, that his countrymen fed on oats, and base grain, as a disgrace; but he doth ingenuously confess, Scotland, Wales, and a third part of England, did most part use that kind of bread, that it was as wholesome as any grain, and yielded as good nourishment. And yet Wecker out of Galen calls it horsemeat, and fitter for juments than men to feed on. But read Galen himself, Lib. 1. De cibis boni et mali succi, more largely discoursing of corn and bread.
Wine.] All black wines, over-hot, compound, strong thick drinks, as Muscadine, Malmsey, Alicant, Rumney, Brownbastard, Metheglen, and the like, of which they have thirty several kinds in Muscovy, all such made drinks are hurtful in this case, to such as are hot, or of a sanguine choleric complexion, young, or inclined to head-melancholy. For many times the drinking of wine alone causeth it. Arculanus, c. 16. in 9. Rhasis, puts in 1379wine for a great cause, especially if it be immoderately used. Guianerius, tract. 15. c. 2, tells a story of two Dutchmen, to whom he gave entertainment in his house, “that 1380in one month's space were both melancholy by drinking of wine, one did nought but sing, the other sigh.” Galen, l. de causis morb. c. 3. Matthiolus on Dioscorides, and above all other Andreas Bachius, l. 3. 18, 19, 20, have reckoned upon those inconveniences that come by wine: yet notwithstanding all this, to such as are cold, or sluggish melancholy, a cup of wine is good physic, and so doth Mercurialis grant, consil. 25, in that case, if the temperature be cold, as to most melancholy men it is, wine is much commended, if it be moderately used.
Cider, Perry.] Cider and perry are both cold and windy drinks, and for that cause to be neglected, and so are all those hot spiced strong drinks.
Beer.] Beer, if it be over-new or over-stale, over-strong, or not sodden, smell of the cask, sharp, or sour, is most unwholesome, frets, and galls, &c. Henricus Ayrerus, in a 1381consultation of his, for one that laboured of hypochondriacal melancholy, discommends beer. So doth 1382 Crato in that excellent counsel of his, Lib. 2. consil. 21, as too windy, because of the hop. But he means belike that thick black Bohemian beer used in some other parts of 1383Germany.
——— nil spissius illa
Dum bibitur, nil clarius est dum mingitur, unde
Constat, quod multas faeces in corpore linquat.
Nothing comes in so thick,
Nothing goes out so thin,
It must needs follow then
The dregs are left within.
As that 1384old poet scoffed, calling it Stygiae monstrum conforme paludi, a monstrous drink, like the river Styx. But let them say as they list, to such as are accustomed unto it, “'tis a most wholesome” (so 1385 Polydore Virgil calleth it) “and a pleasant drink,” it is more subtle and better, for the hop that rarefies it, hath an especial virtue against melancholy, as our herbalists confess, Fuchsius approves, Lib. 2. sec. 2. instit. cap. 11, and many others.
Waters] Standing waters, thick and ill-coloured, such as come forth of pools, and moats, where hemp hath been steeped, or slimy fishes live, are most unwholesome, putrefied, and full of mites, creepers, slimy, muddy, unclean, corrupt, impure, by reason of the sun's heat, and still-standing; they cause foul distemperatures in the body and mind of man, are unfit to make drink of, to dress meat with, or to be 1386used about men inwardly or outwardly. They are good for many domestic uses, to wash horses, water cattle, &c., or in time of necessity, but not otherwise. Some are of opinion, that such fat standing waters make the best beer, and that seething doth defecate it, as 1387Cardan holds, Lib. 13. subtil. “It mends the substance, and savour of it,” but it is a paradox. Such beer may be stronger, but not so wholesome as the other, as 1388Jobertus truly justifieth out of Galen, Paradox, dec. 1. Paradox 5, that the seething of such impure waters doth not purge or purify them, Pliny, lib. 31. c. 3, is of the same tenet, and P. Crescentius, agricult. lib. 1. et lib. 4. c. 11. et c. 45. Pamphilius Herilachus, l. 4. de not. aquarum, such waters are naught, not to be used, and by the testimony of 1389Galen, “breed agues, dropsies, pleurisies, splenetic and melancholy passions, hurt the eyes, cause a bad temperature, and ill disposition of the whole body, with bad colour.” This Jobertus stiffly maintains, Paradox, lib. 1. part. 5, that it causeth blear eyes, bad colour, and many loathsome diseases to such as use it: this which they say, stands with good reason; for as geographers relate, the water of Astracan breeds worms in such as drink it. 1390 Axius, or as now called Verduri, the fairest river in Macedonia, makes all cattle black that taste of it. Aleacman now Peleca, another stream in Thessaly, turns cattle most part white, si polui ducas, L. Aubanus Rohemus refers that 1391struma or poke of the Bavarians and Styrians to the nature of their waters, as 1392Munster doth that of Valesians in the Alps, and 1393Bodine supposeth the stuttering of some families in Aquitania, about Labden, to proceed from the same cause, “and that the filth is derived from the water to their bodies.” So that they that use filthy, standing, ill-coloured, thick, muddy water, must needs have muddy, ill-coloured, impure, and infirm bodies. And because the body works upon the mind, they shall have grosser understandings, dull, foggy, melancholy spirits, and be really subject to all manner of infirmities.
To these noxious simples, we may reduce an infinite number of compound, artificial, made dishes, of which our cooks afford us a great variety, as tailors do fashions in our apparel. Such are 1394puddings stuffed with blood, or otherwise composed; baked, meats, soused indurate meats, fried and broiled buttered meats; condite, powdered, and over-dried, 1395all cakes, simnels, buns, cracknels made with butter, spice, &c., fritters, pancakes, pies, sausages, and those several sauces, sharp, or over-sweet, of which scientia popinae, as Seneca calls it, hath served those 1396 Apician tricks, and perfumed dishes, which Adrian the sixth Pope so much admired in the accounts of his predecessor Leo Decimus; and which prodigious riot and prodigality have invented in this age. These do generally engender gross humours, fill the stomach with crudities, and all those inward parts with obstructions. Montanus, consil. 22, gives instance, in a melancholy Jew, that by eating such tart sauces, made dishes, and salt meats, with which he was overmuch delighted, became melancholy, and was evil affected. Such examples are familiar and common.
1347. Fecit omnia delicta quae fieri possunt circa res sex non naturales, et eae fuerunt causae extrinsecae, ex quibus postea ortae sunt obstructiones.
1348. Path. I. l. c. 2. Maximam in gignendis morbis vim obtinet, pabulum, materiamque morbi suggerens: nam nec ab aere, nec a perturbationibus, vel aliis evidentibus causis morbi sunt, nisi consentiat corporis praeparatio, et humorum constitutio. Ut semel dicam, una gula est omnium morborum mater, etiamsi alius est genitor. Ab hac morbi sponte saepe emanant, nulla alia cogente causa.
1349. Cogan, Eliot, Vauhan, Vener.
1352. Non laudatur quia melancholicum praebet alimentum.
1353. Male alit cervina (inquit Frietagius) crassissimum et atribilarium suppeditat alimentum.
1354. Lib. de subtiliss. dieta. Equina caro et asinina equinis danda est hominibus et asininis.
1355. Parum obsunt a natura Leporum. Bruerinus, l. 13. cap. 25. pullorum tenera et optima.
1356. Illaudabilis succi nauseam provocant.
1357. Piso. Altomar.
1358. Curio. Frietagius, Magninus, part. 3. cap. 17. Mercurialis, de affect, lib. I. c. 10. excepts all milk meats in Hypochondriacal Melancholy.
1359. Wecker, Syntax. theor. p. 2. Isaac, Bruer. lib. 15. cap. 30. et 31.
1360. Cap. 18. part. 3.
1361. Omni loco et omni tempore medici detestantur anguillas praesertim circa solstitium. Damnanturtum sanis tum aegris.
1362. Cap. 6. in his Tract of Melancholy.
1363. Optime nutrit omnium judicio inter primae notae pisces gustu praestanti.
1364. Non est dubium, quin pro variorum situ, ac natura, magnas alimentorum sortiantur differentias, alibi suaviores, alibi lutulentiores.
1365. Observat. 16. lib. 10.
1366. Pseudolus act. 3. scen. 2.
1367. Plautus, ibid.
1368. Quare rectius valedutini suae quisque consulet, qui lapsus priorum parentum memor, eas plane vel omiserit vel parce degustarit. Kersleius, cap. 4, de vero usu med.
1369. In Mizaldo de Horto, P. Crescent. Herbastein, &c.
1370. Cap. 13. part. 3. Bright, in his Tract of Mel.
1371. Intellectum turbant, producunt insaniam.
1372. Audivi (inquit Magnin.) quod si quis ex iis per annum continue comedat, in insaniam caderet. cap. 13. Improbi succi sunt. cap. 12.
1373. De rerum varietat. In Fessa plerumque morbosi, quod fructus comedant ter in die.
1374. Cap. de Mel.
1375. Lib. 11. c. 3.
1376. Bright, c. 6. excepts honey.
1377. Hor. apud Scoltzium, consil. 186.
1378. Ne comedas crustam, choleram quia gignit adustam. Schol. Sal.
1379. Vinum turbidum.
1380. Ex vini patentis bibitione, duo Alemani in uno mense melancholici facti sunt.
1381. Hildesheim, spicel. fol. 273.
1382. Crassum generat sanguinem.
1383. About Danzig in Spruce, Hamburgh, Leipsig.
1384. Henricus Abrmcensis.
1385. Potus tum salubris tum jucundus, l. 1.
1386. Galen l. 1. de san. tuend. Cavendae sunt aquae quae ex stagnis hauriuntur, et quae turbidae and male olentes, &c.
1387. Innoxium reddit et bene olentum.
1388. Contendit haec vitia coctione non emendari.
1389. Lib. de bonitate aquae, hydropem auget, febres putridas, splenem, tusses, nocet oculis, malum habitum corporis et colorem.
1390. Mag. Nigritatem inducit si pecora biberint.
1391. Aquae nivibus coactae strumosos faciunt.
1392. Cosmog. l. 3. cap. 36.
1393. Method, hist. cap. 5. Balbutiunt Labdoni in Aquitania ob aquas, atque hi morbi ab acquis in corpora derivantur.
1394. Edulia ex sanguine et suffocato parta. Hildesheim.
1395. Cupedia vero, placentae, bellaria, commentaque alia curiosa pistorum et coquorum, gustui servientium conciliant morbos tum corpori tum animo insanibiles. Philo Judaeus, lib. de victimis. P. Jov. vita ejus.
1396. As lettuce steeped in wine, birds fed with fennel and sugar, as a Pope's concubine used in Avignon. Stephan.
Quantity of Diet a Cause.
There is not so much harm proceeding from the substance itself of meat, and quality of it, in ill-dressing and preparing, as there is from the quantity, disorder of time and place, unseasonable use of it, 1397 intemperance, overmuch, or overlittle taking of it. A true saying it is, Plures crapula quam gladius. This gluttony kills more than the sword, this omnivorantia et homicida gula, this all-devouring and murdering gut. And that of 1398Pliny is truer, “Simple diet is the best; heaping up of several meats is pernicious, and sauces worse; many dishes bring many diseases.” 1399Avicen cries out, “That nothing is worse than to feed on many dishes, or to protract the time of meats longer than ordinary; from thence proceed our infirmities, and 'tis the fountain of all diseases, which arise out of the repugnancy of gross humours.” Thence, saith 1400 Fernelius, come crudities, wind, oppilations, cacochymia, plethora, cachexia, bradiopepsia, 1401Hinc subitae, mortes, atque intestata senectus, sudden death, &c., and what not.
As a lamp is choked with a multitude of oil, or a little fire with overmuch wood quite extinguished, so is the natural heat with immoderate eating, strangled in the body. Pernitiosa sentina est abdomen insaturabile: one saith, An insatiable paunch is a pernicious sink, and the fountain of all diseases, both of body and mind. 1402Mercurialis will have it a peculiar cause of this private disease; Solenander, consil. 5. sect. 3, illustrates this of Mercurialis, with an example of one so melancholy, ab intempestivis commessationibus, unseasonable feasting. 1403Crato confirms as much, in that often cited counsel, 21. lib. 2, putting superfluous eating for a main cause. But what need I seek farther for proofs? Hear 1404Hippocrates himself, lib. 2. aphor. 10, “Impure bodies the more they are nourished, the more they are hurt, for the nourishment is putrefied with vicious humours.”
And yet for all this harm, which apparently follows surfeiting and drunkenness, see how we luxuriate and rage in this kind; read what Johannes Stuckius hath written lately of this subject, in his great volume De Antiquorum Conviviis, and of our present age; Quam 1405portentosae coenae, prodigious suppers, 1406Qui dum invitant ad coenam efferunt ad sepulchrum, what Fagos, Epicures, Apetios, Heliogables, our times afford? Lucullus' ghost walks still, and every man desires to sup in Apollo; Aesop's costly dish is ordinarily served up. 1407Magis illa juvant, quae pluris emuntur. The dearest cates are best, and 'tis an ordinary thing to bestow twenty or thirty pounds on a dish, some thousand crowns upon a dinner: 1408Mully-Hamet, king of Fez and Morocco, spent three pounds on the sauce of a capon: it is nothing in our times, we scorn all that is cheap. “We loathe the very 1409light” (some of us, as Seneca notes) “because it comes free, and we are offended with the sun's heat, and those cool blasts, because we buy them not.” This air we breathe is so common, we care not for it; nothing pleaseth but what is dear. And if we be 1410witty in anything, it is ad gulam: If we study at all, it is erudito luxu, to please the palate, and to satisfy the gut. “A cook of old was a base knave” (as 1411Livy complains), “but now a great man in request; cookery is become an art, a noble science: cooks are gentlemen:” Venter Deus: They wear “their brains in their bellies, and their guts in their heads,” as 1412Agrippa taxed some parasites of his time, rushing on their own destruction, as if a man should run upon the point of a sword, usque dum rumpantur comedunt, “They eat till they burst:” 1413All day, all night, let the physician say what he will, imminent danger, and feral diseases are now ready to seize upon them, that will eat till they vomit, Edunt ut vomant, vomut ut edant, saith Seneca; which Dion relates of Vitellius, Solo transitu ciborum nutriri judicatus: His meat did pass through and away, or till they burst again. 1414Strage animantium ventrem onerant, and rake over all the world, as so many 1415slaves, belly-gods, and land-serpents, Et totus orbis ventri nimis angustus, the whole world cannot satisfy their appetite. 1416“Sea, land, rivers, lakes, &c., may not give content to their raging guts.” To make up the mess, what immoderate drinking in every place? Senem potum pota trahebat anus, how they flock to the tavern: as if they were fruges consumere nati, born to no other end but to eat and drink, like Offellius Bibulus, that famous Roman parasite, Qui dum vixit, aut bibit aut minxit; as so many casks to hold wine, yea worse than a cask, that mars wine, and itself is not marred by it, yet these are brave men, Silenus Ebrius was no braver. Et quae fuerunt vitia, mores sunt: 'tis now the fashion of our times, an honour: Nunc vero res ista eo rediit (as Chrysost. serm. 30. in v. Ephes. comments) Ut effeminatae ridendaeque ignaviae loco habeatur, nolle inebriari; 'tis now come to that pass that he is no gentleman, a very milk-sop, a clown, of no bringing up, that will not drink; fit for no company; he is your only gallant that plays it off finest, no disparagement now to stagger in the streets, reel, rave, &c., but much to his fame and renown; as in like case Epidicus told Thesprio his fellow-servant, in the 1417Poet. Aedipol facinus improbum, one urged, the other replied, At jam alii fecere idem, erit illi illa res honori, 'tis now no fault, there be so many brave examples to bear one out; 'tis a credit to have a strong brain, and carry his liquor well; the sole contention who can drink most, and fox his fellow the soonest. 'Tis the summum bonum of our tradesmen, their felicity, life, and soul, Tanta dulcedine affectant, saith Pliny, lib. 14. cap. 12. Ut magna pars non aliud vitae praemium intelligat, their chief comfort, to be merry together in an alehouse or tavern, as our modern Muscovites do in their mead-inns, and Turks in their coffeehouses, which much resemble our taverns; they will labour hard all day long to be drunk at night, and spend totius anni labores, as St. Ambrose adds, in a tippling feast; convert day into night, as Seneca taxes some in his times, Pervertunt officia anoctis et lucis; when we rise, they commonly go to bed, like our antipodes,
Nosque ubi primus equis oriens afflavit anhelis,
Illis sera rubens ascendit lumina vesper.
So did Petronius in Tacitus, Heliogabalus in Lampridius.
1418 ——— Noctes vigilibat ad ipsum
Mane, diem totum stertebat? ———
——— He drank the night away
Till rising dawn, then snored out all the day.
Snymdiris the Sybarite never saw the sun rise or set so much as once in twenty years. Verres, against whom Tully so much inveighs, in winter he never was extra tectum vix extra lectum, never almost out of bed, 1419 still wenching and drinking; so did he spend his time, and so do myriads in our days. They have gymnasia bibonum, schools and rendezvous; these centaurs and Lapithae toss pots and bowls as so many balls; invent new tricks, as sausages, anchovies, tobacco, caviar, pickled oysters, herrings, fumados, &c.: innumerable salt meats to increase their appetite, and study how to hurt themselves by taking antidotes 1420“to carry their drink the better; 1421and when nought else serves, they will go forth, or be conveyed out, to empty their gorge, that they may return to drink afresh.” They make laws, insanas leges, contra bibendi fallacias, and 1422brag of it when they have done, crowning that man that is soonest gone, as their drunken predecessors have done, — 1423quid ego video? Ps. Cum corona Pseudolum ebrium tuum —. And when they are dead, will have a can of wine with 1424Maron's old woman to be engraven on their tombs. So they triumph in villainy, and justify their wickedness; with Rabelais, that French Lucian, drunkenness is better for the body than physic, because there be more old drunkards than old physicians. Many such frothy arguments they have, 1425inviting and encouraging others to do as they do, and love them dearly for it (no glue like to that of good fellowship). So did Alcibiades in Greece; Nero, Bonosus, Heliogabalus in Rome, or Alegabalus rather, as he was styled of old (as 1426Ignatius proves out of some old coins). So do many great men still, as 1427Heresbachius observes. When a prince drinks till his eyes stare, like Bitias in the Poet,
1428 ———(ille impiger hausit
Spumantem vino pateram.)
——— a thirsty soul;
He took challenge and embrac'd the bowl;
With pleasure swill'd the gold, nor ceased to draw
Till he the bottom of the brimmer saw.
and comes off clearly, sound trumpets, fife and drums, the spectators will applaud him, “the 1429bishop himself (if he belie them not) with his chaplain will stand by and do as much,” O dignum principe haustum, 'twas done like a prince. “Our Dutchmen invite all comers with a pail and a dish,” Velut infundibula integras obbas exhauriunt, et in monstrosis poculis, ipsi monstrosi monstrosius epotant, “making barrels of their bellies.” Incredibile dictu, as 1430one of their own countrymen complains: 1431Quantum liquoris immodestissima gens capiat, &c. “How they love a man that will be drunk, crown him and honour him for it,” hate him that will not pledge him, stab him, kill him: a most intolerable offence, and not to be forgiven. 1432“He is a mortal enemy that will not drink with him,” as Munster relates of the Saxons. So in Poland, he is the best servitor, and the honestest fellow, saith Alexander Gaguinus, 1433 “that drinketh most healths to the honour of his master, he shall be rewarded as a good servant, and held the bravest fellow that carries his liquor best,” when a brewer's horse will bear much more than any sturdy drinker, yet for his noble exploits in this kind, he shall be accounted a most valiant man, for 1434Tam inter epulas fortis vir esse potest ac in bello, as much valour is to be found in feasting as in fighting, and some of our city captains, and carpet knights will make this good, and prove it. Thus they many times wilfully pervert the good temperature of their bodies, stifle their wits, strangle nature, and degenerate into beasts.
Some again are in the other extreme, and draw this mischief on their heads by too ceremonious and strict diet, being over-precise, cockney-like, and curious in their observation of meats, times, as that Medicina statica prescribes, just so many ounces at dinner, which Lessius enjoins, so much at supper, not a little more, nor a little less, of such meat, and at such hours, a diet-drink in the morning, cock-broth, China-broth, at dinner, plum-broth, a chicken, a rabbit, rib of a rack of mutton, wing of a capon, the merry-thought of a hen, &c.; to sounder bodies this is too nice and most absurd. Others offend in overmuch fasting: pining adays, saith 1435 Guianerius, and waking anights, as many Moors and Turks in these our times do. “Anchorites, monks, and the rest of that superstitious rank (as the same Guianerius witnesseth, that he hath often seen to have happened in his time) through immoderate fasting, have been frequently mad.” Of such men belike Hippocrates speaks, l. Aphor. 5, when as he saith, 1436“they more offend in too sparing diet, and are worse damnified, than they that feed liberally, and are ready to surfeit.”
1397. Animae negotium illa facessit, et de templo Dii immundum stabulum facit. Peletius, 10. c.
1398. Lib. 11. c. 52. Homini cibus utilissimus simplex, acervatio cirborum pestifera, et condimenta perniciosa, multos morbos multa fercula ferunt.
1399. 31. Dec. 2. c. Nihil deterius quam si tempus justo longius comedendo protrahatur, et varia ciborum genera conjungantur: inde morborum scaturigo, quae ex repugnantia humorum oritur.
1400. Path. l. 1. c. 14.
1401. Juv. Sat. 5.
1402. Nimia repletio ciborum facit melancholicum.
1403. Comestio superflua cibi, et potus quantitas nimia.
1404. Impura corpora quanto magis nutris, tanto magis laedis: putrefacit enim alimentum vitiosus humor.
1405. Vid. Goclen. de portentosis coenis, &c. puteani Com.
1406. Amb. lib. de Jeju. cap. 14. “They who invite us to a supper, only conduct us to our tomb.”
1407. Juvenal. “The highest-priced dishes afford the greatest gratification.”
1409. Na. quaest. 4. ca. ult. fastidio est lumen gratuitum, dolet quod sole, quod spiritum emere non possimus, quod hic aer non emptus ex facili, &c. adeo nihil placet, nisi quod carum est.
1410. Ingeniosi ad Gulam.
1411. Olim vile mancipium, nunc in omni aestimatione, nunc ars haberi caepta, &c.
1412. Epist. 28. l. 7. Quorum in ventre ingenium, in patinis, &c.
1413. In lucem coenat. Sertorius.
1415. Mancipia gulae, dapes non sapore sed sumptu aestimantes. Seneca, consol. ad Helvidium.
1416. Saevientia guttura satiare non possunt fluvii et maria, Aeneas Sylvius, de miser. curial.
1418. Hor. lib. 1. Sat. 3.
1419. Diei brevitas conviviis, noctis longitudo stupris conterebratur.
1420. Et quo plus capiant, irritamenta excogitantur.
1421. Fores portantur ut ad convivium reportentur, repleri ut exhauriant, et exhauriri ut bibant. Ambros.
1422. Ingentia vasa velut ad ostentationem, &c.
1424. Lib. 3. Anthol. c. 20.
1425. Gratiam conciliant potando.
1426. Notis ad Caesares.
1427. Lib. de educandis principum liberis.
1428. Virg. Ae. 1.
1429. Idem strenui potatoris Episcopi Sacellanus, cum ingentem pateram exhaurit princeps.
1430. Bohemus in Saxonia. Adeo immoderate et immodeste ab ipsis bibitur, ut in compotationibus suis non cyathis solum et cantharis sat infundere possint, sed impletum mulctrale apponant, et scutella injecta hortantur quemlibet ad libitum potare.
1431. Dictu incredible, quantum hujusce liquorice immodesta gens capiat, plus potantem amicissimum habent, et cert coronant, inimicissimum e contra qui non vult, et caede et fustibus expiant.
1432. Qui potare recusat, hostis habetur, et caede nonnunquam res expiatur.
1433. Qui melius bibit pro salute domini, melior habetur minister.
1434. Graec. Poeta apud Stobaeum, ser. 18.
1435. Qui de die jejunant, et nocte vigilant, facile cadunt in melancholiam; et qui naturae modum excedunt, c. 5. tract. 15. c. 2. Longa famis tolerantia, ut iis saepe accidit qui tanto cum fervore Deo servire cupiunt per jejunium, quod maniaci efficiantur, ipse vidi saepe.
1436. In tenui victu aegri delinquunt, ex quo fit ut majori afficiantur detrimento, majorque fit error tenui quam pleniore victu.
Custom of Diet, Delight, Appetite, Necessity, how they cause or hinder.
No rule is so general, which admits not some exception; to this, therefore, which hath been hitherto said, (for I shall otherwise put most men out of commons,) and those inconveniences which proceed from the substance of meats, an intemperate or unseasonable use of them, custom somewhat detracts and qualifies, according to that of Hippocrates, 2 Aphoris. 50. 1437 “Such things as we have been long accustomed to, though they be evil in their own nature, yet they are less offensive.” Otherwise it might well be objected that it were a mere 1438tyranny to live after those strict rules of physic; for custom 1439doth alter nature itself, and to such as are used to them it makes bad meats wholesome, and unseasonable times to cause no disorder. Cider and perry are windy drinks, so are all fruits windy in themselves, cold most part, yet in some shires of 1440England, Normandy in France, Guipuscoa in Spain, 'tis their common drink, and they are no whit offended with it. In Spain, Italy, and Africa, they live most on roots, raw herbs, camel's 1441milk, and it agrees well with them: which to a stranger will cause much grievance. In Wales, lacticiniis vescuntur, as Humphrey Llwyd confesseth, a Cambro-Briton himself, in his elegant epistle to Abraham Ortelius, they live most on white meats: in Holland on fish, roots, 1442butter; and so at this day in Greece, as 1443Bellonius observes, they had much rather feed on fish than flesh. With us, Maxima pars victus in carne consistit, we feed on flesh most part, saith 1444Polydore Virgil, as all northern countries do; and it would be very offensive to us to live after their diet, or they to live after ours. We drink beer, they wine; they use oil, we butter; we in the north are 1445great eaters; they most sparing in those hotter countries; and yet they and we following our own customs are well pleased. An Ethiopian of old seeing an European eat bread, wondered, quomodo stercoribus vescentes viverimus, how we could eat such kind of meats: so much differed his countrymen from ours in diet, that as mine 1446author infers, si quis illorum victum apud nos aemulari vellet; if any man should so feed with us, it would be all one to nourish, as Cicuta, Aconitum, or Hellebore itself. At this day in China the common people live in a manner altogether on roots and herbs, and to the wealthiest, horse, ass, mule, dogs, cat-flesh, is as delightsome as the rest, so 1447Mat. Riccius the Jesuit relates, who lived many years amongst them. The Tartars eat raw meat, and most commonly 1448horse-flesh, drink milk and blood, as the nomades of old. Et lac concretum cum sanguine potat equino. They scoff at our Europeans for eating bread, which they call tops of weeds, and horse meat, not fit for men; and yet Scaliger accounts them a sound and witty nation, living a hundred years; even in the civilest country of them they do thus, as Benedict the Jesuit observed in his travels, from the great Mogul's Court by land to Pekin, which Riccius contends to be the same with Cambulu in Cataia. In Scandia their bread is usually dried fish, and so likewise in the Shetland Isles; and their other fare, as in Iceland, saith 1449Dithmarus Bleskenius, butter, cheese, and fish; their drink water, their lodging on the ground. In America in many places their bread is roots, their meat palmettos, pinas, potatoes, &c., and such fruits. There be of them too that familiarly drink 1450salt seawater all their lives, eat 1451raw meat, grass, and that with delight. With some, fish, serpents, spiders: and in divers places they 1452eat man's flesh, raw and roasted, even the Emperor 1453Montezuma himself. In some coasts, again, 1454one tree yields them cocoanuts, meat and drink, fire, fuel, apparel; with his leaves, oil, vinegar, cover for houses, &c., and yet these men going naked, feeding coarse, live commonly a hundred years, are seldom or never sick; all which diet our physicians forbid. In Westphalia they feed most part on fat meats and worts, knuckle deep, and call it 1455cerebrum Iovis: in the Low Countries with roots, in Italy frogs and snails are used. The Turks, saith Busbequius, delight most in fried meats. In Muscovy, garlic and onions are ordinary meat and sauce, which would be pernicious to such as are unaccustomed to them, delightsome to others; and all is 1456because they have been brought up unto it. Husbandmen, and such as labour, can eat fat bacon, salt gross meat, hard cheese, &c., (O dura messorum illa), coarse bread at all times, go to bed and labour upon a full stomach, which to some idle persons would be present death, and is against the rules of physic, so that custom is all in all. Our travellers find this by common experience when they come in far countries, and use their diet, they are suddenly offended, 1457as our Hollanders and Englishmen when they touch upon the coasts of Africa, those Indian capes and islands, are commonly molested with calentures, fluxes, and much distempered by reason of their fruits. 1458Peregrina, etsi suavia solent vescentibus perturbationes insignes adferre, strange meats, though pleasant, cause notable alterations and distempers. On the other side, use or custom mitigates or makes all good again. Mithridates by often use, which Pliny wonders at, was able to drink poison; and a maid, as Curtius records, sent to Alexander from King Porus, was brought up with poison from her infancy. The Turks, saith Bellonius, lib. 3. c. 15, eat opium familiarly, a dram at once, which we dare not take in grains. 1459Garcias ab Horto writes of one whom he saw at Goa in the East Indies, that took ten drams of opium in three days; and yet consulto loquebatur, spake understandingly, so much can custom do. 1460 Theophrastus speaks of a shepherd that could eat hellebore in substance. And therefore Cardan concludes out of Galen, Consuetudinem utcunque ferendam, nisi valde malam. Custom is howsoever to be kept, except it be extremely bad: he adviseth all men to keep their old customs, and that by the authority of 1461Hippocrates himself, Dandum aliquid tempori, aetati regioni, consuetudini, and therefore to 1462continue as they began, be it diet, bath, exercise, &c., or whatsoever else.
Another exception is delight, or appetite, to such and such meats: though they be hard of digestion, melancholy; yet as Fuchsius excepts, cap. 6. lib. 2. Instit. sect. 2, 1463“The stomach doth readily digest, and willingly entertain such meats we love most, and are pleasing to us, abhors on the other side such as we distaste.” Which Hippocrates confirms, Aphoris. 2. 38. Some cannot endure cheese, out of a secret antipathy; or to see a roasted duck, which to others is a 1464delightsome meat.
The last exception is necessity, poverty, want, hunger, which drives men many times to do that which otherwise they are loath, cannot endure, and thankfully to accept of it: as beverage in ships, and in sieges of great cities, to feed on dogs, cats, rats, and men themselves. Three outlaws in 1465Hector Boethius, being driven to their shifts, did eat raw flesh, and flesh of such fowl as they could catch, in one of the Hebrides for some few months. These things do mitigate or disannul that which hath been said of melancholy meats, and make it more tolerable; but to such as are wealthy, live plenteously, at ease, may take their choice, and refrain if they will, these viands are to be forborne, if they be inclined to, or suspect melancholy, as they tender their healths: Otherwise if they be intemperate, or disordered in their diet, at their peril be it. Qui monet amat, Ave et cave.
He who advises is your friend
Farewell, and to your health attend.
1437. Quae longo tempore consueta sunt, etiamsi deteriora, minus in assuetis molestare solent.
1438. Qui medice vivit, misere vivit.
1439. Consuetudo altera natura.
1440. Herefordshire, Gloucestershire, Worcestershire.
1441. Leo Afer. l. 1. solo camelorum lacte contenti, nil praeterea deliciarum ambiunt.
1442. Flandri vinum butyro dilutum bibunt (nauseo referens) ubique butyrum inter omnia fercula et bellaria locum obtinet. Steph. praefat. Herod.
1443. Delectantur Graeci piscibus magis quam carnibus.
1444. Lib. 1. hist. Ang.
1445. P. Jovius descript. Britonum. They sit, eat and drink all day at dinner in Iceland, Muscovy, and those northern parts.
1446. Suidas, vict. Herod, nihilo cum eo melius quam si quis Cicutam, Aconitum, &c.
1447. Expedit. in Sinas, lib. 1. c. 3. hortensium herbarum et olerum, apud Sinas quam apud nos longe frequentior usus, complures quippe de vulgo reperias nulla alia re vel tenuitatis, vel religionis causa vescentes. Equus, Mulus, Asellus, &c. aeque fere vescuntur ac pabula omnia, Mat. Riccius, lib. 5. cap. 12.
1448. Tartari mulis, equis vescuntur et crudis carnibus, et fruges contemnunt, dicentes, hoc jumentorum pabulum et bonum, non hominum.
1449. Islandiae descriptione victus corum butyro, lacte, caseo consistit: pisces loco panis habent, potus aqua, aut serum, sic vivunt sine medicina multa ad annos 200.
1450. Laet. occident. Ind. descrip. lib. 11. cap. 10. Aquam marinam bibere sueti absque noxa.
1451. Davies 2. voyage.
1453. Benzo et Fer. Cortesius, lib. novus orbis inscrip.
1454. Linschoten, c. 56. Palmae instar totius orbis arboribus longe praestantior.
1455. Lips. epist.
1456. Teneris assuescere multum.
1457. Repentinae mutationes noxam pariunt. Hippocrat. Aphorism. 21. Epist. 6. sect. 3.
1458. Bruerinus, lib. 1. cap. 23.
1459. Simpl. med. c. 4. l. 1.
1460. Heurnius, l. 3. c. 19. prax. med.
1461. Aphoris. 17.
1462. In dubiis consuetudinem sequatur adolescens, et inceptis perseveret.
1463. Qui cum voluptate assumuntur cibi, ventriculus avidius complectitur, expeditiusque concoquit, et quae displicent aversatur.
1464. Nothing against a good stomach, as the saying is.
1465. Lib. 7. Hist. Scot.
Retention and Evacuation a cause, and how.
Of retention and evacuation, there be divers kinds, which are either concomitant, assisting, or sole causes many times of melancholy. 1466 Galen reduceth defect and abundance to this head; others 1467“All that is separated, or remains.”
Costiveness. In the first rank of these, I may well reckon up costiveness, and keeping in of our ordinary excrements, which as it often causeth other diseases, so this of melancholy in particular. 1468Celsus, lib. 1. cap. 3, saith, “It produceth inflammation of the head, dullness, cloudiness, headache,” &c. Prosper Calenus, lib. de atra bile, will have it distemper not the organ only, 1469“but the mind itself by troubling of it:” and sometimes it is a sole cause of madness, as you may read in the first book of 1470Skenkius's Medicinal Observations. A young merchant going to Nordeling fair in Germany, for ten days' space never went to stool; at his return he was 1471grievously melancholy, thinking that he was robbed, and would not be persuaded but that all his money was gone; his friends thought he had some philtrum given him, but Cnelius, a physician, being sent for, found his 1472costiveness alone to be the cause, and thereupon gave him a clyster, by which he was speedily recovered. Trincavellius, consult. 35. lib. 1, saith as much of a melancholy lawyer, to whom he administered physic, and Rodericus a Fonseca, consult. 85. tom. 2, 1473of a patient of his, that for eight days was bound, and therefore melancholy affected. Other retentions and evacuations there are, not simply necessary, but at some times; as Fernelius accounts them, Path. lib. 1. cap. 15, as suppression of haemorrhoids, monthly issues in women, bleeding at nose, immoderate or no use at all of Venus: or any other ordinary issues.
1474Detention of haemorrhoids, or monthly issues, Villanovanus Breviar. lib. 1. cap. 18. Arculanus, cap. 16. in 9. Rhasis, Vittorius Faventinus, pract. mag. tract. 2. cap. 15. Bruel, &c. put for ordinary causes. Fuchsius, l. 2. sect. 5. c. 30, goes farther, and saith, 1475“That many men unseasonably cured of the haemorrhoids have been corrupted with melancholy, seeking to avoid Scylla, they fall into Charybdis.” Galen, l. de hum. commen. 3. ad text. 26, illustrates this by an example of Lucius Martius, whom he cured of madness, contracted by this means: And 1476 Skenkius hath two other instances of two melancholy and mad women, so caused from the suppression of their months. The same may be said of bleeding at the nose, if it be suddenly stopped, and have been formerly used, as 1477Villanovanus urgeth: And 1478Fuchsius, lib. 2. sect. 5. cap. 33, stiffly maintains, “That without great danger, such an issue may not be stayed.”
Venus omitted produceth like effects. Mathiolus, epist. 5. l. penult., 1479“avoucheth of his knowledge, that some through bashfulness abstained from venery, and thereupon became very heavy and dull; and some others that were very timorous, melancholy, and beyond all measure sad.” Oribasius, med. collect. l. 6. c. 37, speaks of some, 1480“That if they do not use carnal copulation, are continually troubled with heaviness and headache; and some in the same case by intermission of it.” Not use of it hurts many, Arculanus, c. 6. in 9. Rhasis, et Magninus, part. 3. cap. 5, think, because it 1481“sends up poisoned vapours to the brain and heart.” And so doth Galen himself hold, “That if this natural seed be over-long kept (in some parties) it turns to poison.” Hieronymus Mercurialis, in his chapter of melancholy, cites it for an especial cause of this malady, 1482priapismus, satyriasis, &c. Haliabbas, 5. Theor. c. 36, reckons up this and many other diseases. Villanovanus Breviar. l. 1. c. 18, saith, “He knew 1483many monks and widows grievously troubled with melancholy, and that from this sole cause.” 1484Ludovicus Mercatus, l. 2. de mulierum affect. cap. 4, and Rodericus a Castro, de morbis mulier. l. 2. c. 3, treat largely of this subject, and will have it produce a peculiar kind of melancholy in stale maids, nuns, and widows, Ob suppressionem mensium et venerem omissam, timidae, moestae anxiae, verecundae, suspicioscae, languentes, consilii inopes, cum summa vitae et rerum meliorum desperatione, &c., they are melancholy in the highest degree, and all for want of husbands. Aelianus Montaltus, cap. 37. de melanchol., confirms as much out of Galen; so doth Wierus, Christophorus a Vega de art. med. lib. 3. c. 14, relates many such examples of men and women, that he had seen so melancholy. Felix Plater in the first book of his Observations, 1485“tells a story of an ancient gentleman in Alsatia, that married a young wife, and was not able to pay his debts in that kind for a long time together, by reason of his several infirmities: but she, because of this inhibition of Venus, fell into a horrible fury, and desired every one that came to see her, by words, looks, and gestures, to have to do with her,” &c. 1486Bernardus Paternus, a physician, saith, “He knew a good honest godly priest, that because he would neither willingly marry, nor make use of the stews, fell into grievous melancholy fits.” Hildesheim, spicel. 2, hath such another example of an Italian melancholy priest, in a consultation had Anno 1580. Jason Pratensis gives instance in a married man, that from his wife's death abstaining, 1487“after marriage, became exceedingly melancholy,” Rodericus a Fonseca in a young man so misaffected, Tom. 2. consult. 85. To these you may add, if you please, that conceited tale of a Jew, so visited in like sort, and so cured, out of Poggius Florentinus.
Intemperate Venus is all but as bad in the other extreme. Galen, l. 6. de mortis popular. sect. 5. text. 26, reckons up melancholy amongst those diseases which are 1488“exasperated by venery:” so doth Avicenna, 2, 3, c. 11. Oribasius, loc. citat. Ficinus, lib. 2. de sanitate tuenda. Marsilius Cognatus, Montaltus, cap. 27. Guianerius, Tract. 3. cap. 2. Magninus, cap. 5. part. 3. 1489gives the reason, because 1490“it infrigidates and dries up the body, consumes the spirits; and would therefore have all such as are cold and dry to take heed of and to avoid it as a mortal enemy.” Jacchinus in 9 Rhasis, cap. 15, ascribes the same cause, and instanceth in a patient of his, that married a young wife in a hot summer, 1491“and so dried himself with chamber-work, that he became in short space from melancholy, mad:” he cured him by moistening remedies. The like example I find in Laelius a Fonte Eugubinus, consult. 129, of a gentleman of Venice, that upon the same occasion was first melancholy, afterwards mad. Read in him the story at large.
Any other evacuation stopped will cause it, as well as these above named, be it bile, 1492ulcer, issue, &c. Hercules de Saxonia, lib. 1. c. 16, and Gordonius, verify this out of their experience. They saw one wounded in the head who as long as the sore was open, Lucida habuit mentis intervalla, was well; but when it was stopped, Rediit melancholia, his melancholy fit seized on him again.
Artificial evacuations are much like in effect, as hot houses, baths, bloodletting, purging, unseasonably and immoderately used. 1493Baths dry too much, if used in excess, be they natural or artificial, and offend extreme hot, or cold; 1494one dries, the other refrigerates overmuch. Montanus, consil. 137, saith, they overheat the liver. Joh. Struthius, Stigmat. artis. l. 4. c. 9, contends, 1495“that if one stay longer than ordinary at the bath, go in too oft, or at unseasonable times, he putrefies the humours in his body.” To this purpose writes Magninus, l. 3. c. 5. Guianerius, Tract. 15. c. 21, utterly disallows all hot baths in melancholy adust. 1496“I saw” (saith he) “a man that laboured of the gout, who to be freed of this malady came to the bath, and was instantly cured of his disease, but got another worse, and that was madness.” But this judgment varies as the humour doth, in hot or cold: baths may be good for one melancholy man, bad for another; that which will cure it in this party, may cause it in a second.
Phlebotomy. Phlebotomy, many times neglected, may do much harm to the body, when there is a manifest redundance of bad humours, and melancholy blood; and when these humours heat and boil, if this be not used in time, the parties affected, so inflamed, are in great danger to be mad; but if it be unadvisedly, importunely, immoderately used, it doth as much harm by refrigerating the body, dulling the spirits, and consuming them: as Joh. 1497Curio in his 10th chapter well reprehends, such kind of letting blood doth more hurt than good: 1498“The humours rage much more than they did before, and is so far from avoiding melancholy, that it increaseth it, and weakeneth the sight.” 1499Prosper Calenus observes as much of all phlebotomy, except they keep a very good diet after it; yea, and as 1500Leonartis Jacchinus speaks out of his own experience, 1501“The blood is much blacker to many men after their letting of blood than it was at first.” For this cause belike Salust. Salvinianus, l. 2. c. 1, will admit or hear of no bloodletting at all in this disease, except it be manifest it proceed from blood: he was (it appears) by his own words in that place, master of an hospital of mad men, 1502“and found by long experience, that this kind of evacuation, either in head, arm, or any other part, did more harm than good.” To this opinion of his, 1503Felix Plater is quite opposite, “though some wink at, disallow and quite contradict all phlebotomy in melancholy, yet by long experience I have found innumerable so saved, after they had been twenty, nay, sixty times let blood, and to live happily after it. It was an ordinary thing of old, in Galen's time, to take at once from such men six pounds of blood, which now we dare scarce take in ounces: sed viderint medici;” great books are written of this subject.
Purging upward and downward, in abundance of bad humours omitted, may be for the worst; so likewise as in the precedent, if overmuch, too frequent or violent, it 1504weakeneth their strength, saith Fuchsius, l. 2. sect., 2 c. 17, or if they be strong or able to endure physic, yet it brings them to an ill habit, they make their bodies no better than apothecaries' shops, this and such like infirmities must needs follow.
1466. 30. artis.
1467. Quae excernuntur aut subsistunt.
1468. Ex ventre suppresso, inflammationes, capitis dolores, caligines crescunt.
1469. Excrementa retenta mentis agitationem parere solent.
1470. Cap. de Mel.
1471. Tam delirus, ut vix se hominem agnosceret.
1472. Alvus astrictus causa.
1473. Per octo dies alvum siccum habet, et nihil reddit.
1474. Sive per nares, sive haemorrhoides.
1475. Multi intempestive ab haemorrhoidibus curati, melancholia corrupti sunt. Incidit in Scyllam, &c.
1476. Lib. 1. de Mania.
1477. Breviar. l. 7. c. 18.
1478. Non sine magno incommodo ejus, cui sanguis a naribus promanat, noxii sanguinis vacuatio impediri potest.
1479. Novi quosdam prae pudore a coitu abstinentes, turpidos, pigrosque factos; nonnullos etiam melancholicos, praeter modum moestos, timidosque.
1480. Nonnulli nisi coeant assidue capitis gravitate infestantur. Dicit se novisse quosdam tristes et ita factos ex intermissione Veneris.
1481. Vapores venenatos mittit sperma ad cor et cerebrum. Sperma plus diu retentum, transit in venenum.
1482. Graves producit corporis et animi aegritudines.
1483. Ex spermate supra modum retento monachos et viduas melancholicos saepe fieri vidi.
1484. Melancholia orta a vasis seminariis in utero.
1485. Nobilis senex Alsatus juvenem uxorem duxit, at ille colico dolore, et multis morbis correptus, non potuit praestare officium mariti, vix inito matrimonio aegrotus. Illa in horrendum furorum incidit, ob Venerem cohibitam ut omnium eam invisentium congressum, voce, vultu, gestu expeteret, et quum non consentirent, molossos Anglicanos magno expetiit clamore.
1486. Vidi sacerdotem optimum et pium, qui quod nollet uti Venere, in melancholica symptomata incidit.
1487. Ob abstinentiam a concubitu incidit in melancholiam.
1488. Quae a coitu exacerbantur.
1489. Superstuum coitum causam ponunt.
1490. Exsiccat corpus, spiritus consumit, &c. caveant ab hoc sicci, velut inimico mortali.
1491. Ita exsiccatus ut e melancholico statim fuerit insanus, ab humectantibus curatus.
1492. Ex cauterio et ulcere exsiccato.
1493. Gord. c. 10. lib. 1. Discommends cold baths as noxious.
1494. Siccum reddunt corpus.
1495. Si quis longius moretur in iis, aut nimis frequenter, aut importune utatur, humores putrefacit.
1496. Ego anno superiore, quendam guttosum vidi adustum, qui ut liberaretur de gutta, ad balnea accessit, et de gutta liberatus, maniacus factus est.
1497. On Schola Salernitana.
1498. Calefactio et ebullitio per venae incisionem, magis saepe incitatur et augetur, majore impetu humores per corpus discurrunt.
1499. Lib. de flatulenta Melancholia. Frequens sanguinis missio corpus extenuat.
1500. In 9 Rhasis, atram bilem parit, et visum debilitat.
1501. Multo nigrior spectatur sanguis post dies quosdam, quam fuit ab initio.
1502. Non laudo eos qui in desipientia docent secandam esse venam frontis, quia spiritus debilitatur inde, et ego longa experientia observavi in proprio Xenodochio, quod desipientes ex phlebotomia magis laeduntur, et magis disipiunt, et melancholici saepe fiunt inde pejores.
1503. De mentis alienat. cap. 3. etsi multos hoc improbasse sciam, innumeros hac ratione sanatos longa observatione cognovi, qui vigesies, sexagies venas tundendo, &c.
1504. Vires debilitat.
Bad Air, a cause of Melancholy.
Air is a cause of great moment, in producing this, or any other disease, being that it is still taken into our bodies by respiration, and our more inner parts. 1505“If it be impure and foggy, it dejects the spirits, and causeth diseases by infection of the heart,” as Paulus hath it, lib. 1. c. 49. Avicenna, lib. 1. Gal. de san. tuenda. Mercurialis, Montaltus, &c. 1506Fernelius saith, “A thick air thickeneth the blood and humours.” 1507Lemnius reckons up two main things most profitable, and most pernicious to our bodies; air and diet: and this peculiar disease, nothing sooner causeth 1508(Jobertus holds) “than the air wherein we breathe and live.” 1509Such as is the air, such be our spirits; and as our spirits, such are our humours. It offends commonly if it be too 1510hot and dry, thick, fuliginous, cloudy, blustering, or a tempestuous air. Bodine in his fifth Book, De repub. cap. 1, 5, of his Method of History, proves that hot countries are most troubled with melancholy, and that there are therefore in Spain, Africa, and Asia Minor, great numbers of mad men, insomuch that they are compelled in all cities of note, to build peculiar hospitals for them. Leo 1511Afer, lib. 3. de Fessa urbe, Ortelius and Zuinger, confirm as much: they are ordinarily so choleric in their speeches, that scarce two words pass without railing or chiding in common talk, and often quarrelling in their streets. 1512Gordonius will have every man take notice of it: “Note this” (saith he) “that in hot countries it is far more familiar than in cold.” Although this we have now said be not continually so, for as 1513Acosta truly saith, under the Equator itself, is a most temperate habitation, wholesome air, a paradise of pleasure: the leaves ever green, cooling showers. But it holds in such as are intemperately hot, as 1514Johannes a Meggen found in Cyprus, others in Malta, Aupulia, and the 1515Holy Land, where at some seasons of the year is nothing but dust, their rivers dried up, the air scorching hot, and earth inflamed; insomuch that many pilgrims going barefoot for devotion sake, from Joppa to Jerusalem upon the hot sands, often run mad, or else quite overwhelmed with sand, profundis arenis, as in many parts of Africa, Arabia Deserta, Bactriana, now Charassan, when the west wind blows 1516Involuti arenis transeuntes necantur. 1517Hercules de Saxonia, a professor in Venice, gives this cause why so many Venetian women are melancholy, Quod diu sub sole degant, they tarry too long in the sun. Montanus, consil. 21, amongst other causes assigns this; Why that Jew his patient was mad, Quod tam multum exposuit se calori et frigori: he exposed himself so much to heat and cold, and for that reason in Venice, there is little stirring in those brick paved streets in summer about noon, they are most part then asleep: as they are likewise in the great Mogol's countries, and all over the East Indies. At Aden in Arabia, as 1518 Lodovicus Vertomannus relates in his travels, they keep their markets in the night, to avoid extremity of heat; and in Ormus, like cattle in a pasture, people of all sorts lie up to the chin in water all day long. At Braga in Portugal; Burgos in Castile; Messina in Sicily, all over Spain and Italy, their streets are most part narrow, to avoid the sunbeams. The Turks wear great turbans ad fugandos solis radios, to refract the sunbeams; and much inconvenience that hot air of Bantam in Java yields to our men, that sojourn there for traffic; where it is so hot, 1519“that they that are sick of the pox, lie commonly bleaching in the sun, to dry up their sores.” Such a complaint I read of those isles of Cape Verde, fourteen degrees from the Equator, they do male audire: 1520One calls them the unhealthiest clime of the world, for fluxes, fevers, frenzies, calentures, which commonly seize on seafaring men that touch at them, and all by reason of a hot distemperature of the air. The hardiest men are offended with this heat, and stiffest clowns cannot resist it, as Constantine affirms, Agricult. l. 2. c. 45. They that are naturally born in such air, may not 1521endure it, as Niger records of some part of Mesopotamia, now called Diarbecha: Quibusdam in locis saevienti aestui adeo subjecta est, ut pleraque animalia fervore solis et coeli extinguantur, 'tis so hot there in some places, that men of the country and cattle are killed with it; and 1522Adricomius of Arabia Felix, by reason of myrrh, frankincense, and hot spices there growing, the air is so obnoxious to their brains, that the very inhabitants at some times cannot abide it, much less weaklings and strangers. 1523Amatus Lusitanus, cent. 1. curat. 45, reports of a young maid, that was one Vincent a currier's daughter, some thirteen years of age, that would wash her hair in the heat of the day (in July) and so let it dry in the sun, 1524“to make it yellow, but by that means tarrying too long in the heat, she inflamed her head, and made herself mad.”
Cold air in the other extreme is almost as bad as hot, and so doth Montaltus esteem of it, c. 11, if it be dry withal. In those northern countries, the people are therefore generally dull, heavy, and many witches, which (as I have before quoted) Saxo Grammaticus, Olaus, Baptista Porta ascribe to melancholy. But these cold climes are more subject to natural melancholy (not this artificial) which is cold and dry: for which cause 1525Mercurius Britannicus belike puts melancholy men to inhabit just under the Pole. The worst of the three is a 1526thick, cloudy, misty, foggy air, or such as come from fens, moorish grounds, lakes, muck-hills, draughts, sinks, where any carcasses, or carrion lies, or from whence any stinking fulsome smell comes: Galen, Avicenna, Mercurialis, new and old physicians, hold that such air is unwholesome, and engenders melancholy, plagues, and what not? 1527Alexandretta, an haven-town in the Mediterranean Sea, Saint John de Ulloa, an haven in Nova-Hispania, are much condemned for a bad air, so are Durazzo in Albania, Lithuania, Ditmarsh, Pomptinae Paludes in Italy, the territories about Pisa, Ferrara, &c. Romney Marsh with us; the Hundreds in Essex, the fens in Lincolnshire. Cardan, de rerum varietate, l. 17, c. 96, finds fault with the sight of those rich, and most populous cities in the Low Countries, as Bruges, Ghent, Amsterdam, Leiden, Utrecht, &c. the air is bad; and so at Stockholm in Sweden; Regium in Italy, Salisbury with us, Hull and Lynn: they may be commodious for navigation, this new kind of fortification, and many other good necessary uses; but are they so wholesome? Old Rome hath descended from the hills to the valley, 'tis the site of most of our new cities, and held best to build in plains, to take the opportunity of rivers. Leander Albertus pleads hard for the air and site of Venice, though the black moorish lands appear at every low water: the sea, fire, and smoke (as he thinks) qualify the air; and 1528some suppose, that a thick foggy air helps the memory, as in them of Pisa in Italy; and our Camden, out of Plato, commends the site of Cambridge, because it is so near the fens. But let the site of such places be as it may, how can they be excused that have a delicious seat, a pleasant air, and all that nature can afford, and yet through their own nastiness, and sluttishness, immund and sordid manner of life, suffer their air to putrefy, and themselves to be chocked up? Many cities in Turkey do male audire in this kind: Constantinople itself, where commonly carrion lies in the street. Some find the same fault in Spain, even in Madrid, the king's seat, a most excellent air, a pleasant site; but the inhabitants are slovens, and the streets uncleanly kept.
A troublesome tempestuous air is as bad as impure, rough and foul weather, impetuous winds, cloudy dark days, as it is commonly with us, Coelum visu foedum, 1529Polydore calls it a filthy sky, et in quo facile generantur nubes; as Tully's brother Quintus wrote to him in Rome, being then quaestor in Britain. “In a thick and cloudy air” (saith Lemnius) “men are tetric, sad, and peevish: And if the western winds blow, and that there be a calm, or a fair sunshine day, there is a kind of alacrity in men's minds; it cheers up men and beasts: but if it be a turbulent, rough, cloudy, stormy weather, men are sad, lumpish, and much dejected, angry, waspish, dull, and melancholy.” This was 1530Virgil's experiment of old,
Verum ubi tempestas, et coeli mobilis humor
Mutavere vices, et Jupiter humidus Austro,
Vertuntur species animorum, et pectore motus
Concipiunt alios ———
But when the face of Heaven changed is
To tempests, rain, from season fair:
Our minds are altered, and in our breasts
Forthwith some new conceits appear.
And who is not weather-wise against such and such conjunctions of planets, moved in foul weather, dull and heavy in such tempestuous seasons? 1531 Gelidum contristat Aquarius annum: the time requires, and the autumn breeds it; winter is like unto it, ugly, foul, squalid, the air works on all men, more or less, but especially on such as are melancholy, or inclined to it, as Lemnius holds, 1532“They are most moved with it, and those which are already mad, rave downright, either in, or against a tempest. Besides, the devil many times takes his opportunity of such storms, and when the humours by the air be stirred, he goes in with them, exagitates our spirits, and vexeth our souls; as the sea waves, so are the spirits and humours in our bodies tossed with tempestuous winds and storms.” To such as are melancholy therefore, Montanus, consil. 24, will have tempestuous and rough air to be avoided, and consil. 27, all night air, and would not have them to walk abroad, but in a pleasant day. Lemnius, l. 3. c. 3, discommends the south and eastern winds, commends the north. Montanus, consil. 31. 1533“Will not any windows to be opened in the night.” Consil. 229. et consil. 230, he discommends especially the south wind, and nocturnal air: So doth 1534Plutarch. The night and darkness makes men sad, the like do all subterranean vaults, dark houses in caves and rocks, desert places cause melancholy in an instant, especially such as have not been used to it, or otherwise accustomed. Read more of air in Hippocrates, Aetius, l. 3. a c. 171. ad 175. Oribasius, a c. 1. ad 21. Avicen. l. 1. can. Fen. 2. doc. 2. Fen. 1. c. 123 to the 12, &c.
1505. Impurus aer spiritus dejicit, infecto corde gignit morbos.
1506. Sanguinem densat, et humores, P. 1. c. 13.
1507. Lib. 3. cap. 3.
1508. Lib. de quartana. Ex aere ambiente contrahitur humor melancholicus.
1509. Qualis aer, talis spiritus: et cujusmodi spiritus, humores.
1510. Aelianus Montaltus, c. 11. calidus et siccus, frigidus et siccus, paludinosus, crassus.
1511. Multa hic in Xenodochiis fanaticorum millia quae strictissime catenata servantur.
1512. Lib. med. part. 2. c. 19. Intellige, quod in calidis regionibus, frequenter accidit mania, in frigidis autem tarde.
1513. Lib. 2.
1514. Hodopericon, cap. 7.
1515. Apulia aestivo calore maxime fervet, ita ut ante finem Maii pene exusta sit.
1516. “They perish in clouds of sand.” Maginus Pers.
1517. Pantheo seu Pract. Med. l. 1. cap. 16. Venetae mulieres quae diu sub sole vivunt, aliquando melancholicae evadunt.
1518. Navig. lib. 2 cap. 4. commercia nocte, hora secunda ob nimios, qui saeviunt interdiu aestus exercent.
1519. Morbo Gallico laborantes, exponunt ad solem ut morbus exsiccent.
1520. Sir Richard Hawkins in his Observations, sect. 13.
1521. Hippocrates, 3. Aphorismorum idem ait.
1522. Idem Maginus in Persia.
1523. Descrip. Ter. sanctae.
1524. Quum ad solis radios in leone longam moram traheret, ut capillos slavos redderet, in maniam incidit.
1525. Mundus alter et idem, seu Terra Australis incognita.
1526. Crassus et turpidus aer, tristem efficit animam.
1527. Commonly called Scandaroon in Asia Minor.
1528. Atlas geographicus memoria, valent Pisani, quod crassiore fruantur aere.
1529. Lib. 1. hist. lib. 2. cap. 41. Aura densa ac caliginosa tetrici homines existunt, et substristes, et cap. 3. stante subsolano et Zephyro, maxima in mentibus hominum alacritas existit, mentisque erectio ubi telum solis splendore nitescit. Maxima dejectio maerorque si quando aura caliginosa est.
1532. Mens quibus vacillat, ab aere cito offenduntur, et multi insani apud Belgas ante tempestates saeviunt, aliter quieti. Spiritus quoque aeris et mali genii aliquando se tempestatibus ingerunt, et menti humanae se latenter insinuant, eamque vexant, exagitant, et ut fluctus marini, humanum corpus ventis agitatur.
1533. Aer noctu densatur, et cogit moestitiam.
1534. Lib de Iside et Osyride.
Immoderate Exercise a cause, and how. Solitariness, Idleness.
Nothing so good but it may be abused: nothing better than exercise (if opportunely used) for the preservation of the body: nothing so bad if it be unseasonable. violent, or overmuch. Fernelius out of Galen, Path. lib. 1. c. 16, saith, 1535“That much exercise and weariness consumes the spirits and substance, refrigerates the body; and such humours which Nature would have otherwise concocted and expelled, it stirs up and makes them rage: which being so enraged, diversely affect and trouble the body and mind.” So doth it, if it be unseasonably used, upon a full stomach, or when the body is full of crudities, which Fuchsius so much inveighs against, lib. 2. instit. sec. 2. c. 4, giving that for a cause, why schoolboys in Germany are so often scabbed, because they use exercise presently after meats. 1536Bayerus puts in a caveat against such exercise, because “it 1537corrupts the meat in the stomach, and carries the same juice raw, and as yet undigested, into the veins” (saith Lemnius), “which there putrefies and confounds the animal spirits.” Crato, consil. 21. l. 2, 1538protests against all such exercise after meat, as being the greatest enemy to concoction that may be, and cause of corruption of humours, which produce this, and many other diseases. Not without good reason then doth Salust. Salvianus, l. 2. c. 1, and Leonartus Jacchinus, in 9. Rhasis, Mercurialis, Arcubanus, and many other, set down 1539immoderate exercise as a most forcible cause of melancholy.
Opposite to exercise is idleness (the badge of gentry) or want of exercise, the bane of body and mind, the nurse of naughtiness, stepmother of discipline, the chief author of all mischief, one of the seven deadly sins, and a sole cause of this and many other maladies, the devil's cushion, as 1540Gualter calls it, his pillow and chief reposal. “For the mind can never rest, but still meditates on one thing or other, except it be occupied about some honest business, of his own accord it rusheth into melancholy.” 1541“As too much and violent exercise offends on the one side, so doth an idle life on the other” (saith Crato), “it fills the body full of phlegm, gross humours, and all manner of obstructions, rheums, catarrhs,” &c. Rhasis, cont. lib. 1. tract. 9, accounts of it as the greatest cause of melancholy. 1542“I have often seen” (saith he) “that idleness begets this humour more than anything else.” Montaltus, c. 1, seconds him out of his experience, 1543“They that are idle are far more subject to melancholy than such as are conversant or employed about any office or business.” 1544Plutarch reckons up idleness for a sole cause of the sickness of the soul: “There are they” (saith he) “troubled in mind, that have no other cause but this.” Homer, Iliad. 1, brings in Achilles eating of his own heart in his idleness, because he might not fight. Mercurialis, consil. 86, for a melancholy young man urgeth, 1545it as a chief cause; why was he melancholy? because idle. Nothing begets it sooner, increaseth and continueth it oftener than idleness.1546A disease familiar to all idle persons, an inseparable companion to such as live at ease, Pingui otio desidiose agentes, a life out of action, and have no calling or ordinary employment to busy themselves about, that have small occasions; and though they have, such is their laziness, dullness, they will not compose themselves to do aught; they cannot abide work, though it be necessary; easy as to dress themselves, write a letter, or the like; yet as he that is benumbed with cold sits still shaking, that might relieve himself with a little exercise or stirring, do they complain, but will not use the facile and ready means to do themselves good; and so are still tormented with melancholy. Especially if they have been formerly brought up to business, or to keep much company, and upon a sudden come to lead a sedentary life; it crucifies their souls, and seizeth on them in an instant; for whilst they are any ways employed, in action, discourse, about any business, sport or recreation, or in company to their liking, they are very well; but if alone or idle, tormented instantly again; one day's solitariness, one hour's sometimes, doth them more harm, than a week's physic, labour, and company can do good. Melancholy seizeth on them forthwith being alone, and is such a torture, that as wise Seneca well saith, Malo mihi male quam molliter esse, I had rather be sick than idle. This idleness is either of body or mind. That of body is nothing but a kind of benumbing laziness, intermitting exercise, which, if we may believe 1547Fernelius, “causeth crudities, obstructions, excremental humours, quencheth the natural heat, dulls the spirits, and makes them unapt to do any thing whatsoever.”
1548Neglectis urenda filix innascitur agris.
——— for, a neglected field
Shall for the fire its thorns and thistles yield.
As fern grows in untilled grounds, and all manner of weeds, so do gross humours in an idle body, Ignavum corrumpunt otia corpus. A horse in a stable that never travels, a hawk in a mew that seldom flies, are both subject to diseases; which left unto themselves, are most free from any such encumbrances. An idle dog will be mangy, and how shall an idle person think to escape? Idleness of the mind is much worse than this of the body; wit without employment is a disease 1549Aerugo animi, rubigo ingenii: the rust of the soul, 1550a plague, a hell itself, Maximum animi nocumentum, Galen, calls it. 1551“As in a standing pool, worms and filthy creepers increase, (et vitium capiunt ni moveantur aquae, the water itself putrefies, and air likewise, if it be not continually stirred by the wind) so do evil and corrupt thoughts in an idle person,” the soul is contaminated. In a commonwealth, where is no public enemy, there is likely civil wars, and they rage upon themselves: this body of ours, when it is idle, and knows not how to bestow itself, macerates and vexeth itself with cares, griefs, false fears, discontents, and suspicions; it tortures and preys upon his own bowels, and is never at rest. Thus much I dare boldly say; he or she that is idle, be they of what condition they will, never so rich, so well allied, fortunate, happy, let them have all things in abundance and felicity that heart can wish and desire, all contentment, so long as he or she or they are idle, they shall never be pleased, never well in body and mind, but weary still, sickly still, vexed still, loathing still, weeping, sighing, grieving, suspecting, offended with the world, with every object, wishing themselves gone or dead, or else earned away with some foolish phantasy or other. And this is the true cause that so many great men, ladies, and gentlewomen, labour of this disease in country and city; for idleness is an appendix to nobility; they count it a disgrace to work, and spend all their days in sports, recreations, and pastimes, and will therefore take no pains; be of no vocation: they feed liberally, fare well, want exercise, action, employment, (for to work, I say, they may not abide,) and Company to their desires, and thence their bodies become full of gross humours, wind, crudities; their minds disquieted, dull, heavy, &c. care, jealousy, fear of some diseases, sullen fits, weeping fits seize too 1552familiarly on them. For what will not fear and phantasy work in an idle body? what distempers will they not cause? when the children of 1553 Israel murmured against Pharaoh in Egypt, he commanded his officers to double their task, and let them get straw themselves, and yet make their full number of bricks; for the sole cause why they mutiny, and are evil at ease, is, “they are idle.” When you shall hear and see so many discontented persons in all places where you come, so many several grievances, unnecessary complaints, fears, suspicions, 1554the best means to redress it is to set them awork, so to busy their minds; for the truth is, they are idle. Well they may build castles in the air for a time, and sooth up themselves with fantastical and pleasant humours, but in the end they will prove as bitter as gall, they shall be still I say discontent, suspicious, 1555fearful, jealous, sad, fretting and vexing of themselves; so long as they be idle, it is impossible to please them, Otio qui nescit uti, plus habet negotii quam qui negotium in negotio, as that 1556Agellius could observe: He that knows not how to spend his time, hath more business, care, grief, anguish of mind, than he that is most busy in the midst of all his business. Otiosus animus nescit quid volet: An idle person (as he follows it) knows not when he is well, what he would have, or whither he would go, Quum illuc ventum est, illinc lubet, he is tired out with everything, displeased with all, weary of his life: Nec bene domi, nec militiae, neither at home nor abroad, errat, et praeter vitam vivitur, he wanders and lives besides himself. In a word, What the mischievous effects of laziness and idleness are, I do not find any where more accurately expressed, than in these verses of Philolaches in the 1557Comical Poet, which for their elegancy I will in part insert.
Novarum aedium esse arbitror similem ego hominem,
Quando hic natus est: Ei rei argumenta dicam.
Aedes quando sunt ad amussim expolitae,
Quisque laudat fabrum, atque exemplum expetit, &c.
At ubi illo migrat nequam homo indiligensque, &c.
Tempestas venit, confringit tegulas, imbricesque,
Putrifacit aer operam fabri, &c.
Dicam ut homines similes esse aedium arbitremini,
Fabri parentes fundamentum substruunt liberorum,
Expoliunt, docent literas, nec parcunt sumptui,
Ego autem sub fabrorum potestate frugi fui,
Postquam autem migravi in ingenium meum,
Perdidi operam fabrorum illico oppido,
Venit ignavia, ea mihi tempestas fuit,
Adventuque suo grandinem et imbrem attulit,
Illa mihi virtutem deturbavit, &c.
A young man is like a fair new house, the carpenter leaves it well built, in good repair, of solid stuff; but a bad tenant lets it rain in, and for want of reparation, fall to decay, &c. Our parents, tutors, friends, spare no cost to bring us up in our youth, in all manner of virtuous education; but when we are left to ourselves, idleness as a tempest drives all virtuous motions out of our minds, et nihili sumus, on a sudden, by sloth and such bad ways, we come to nought.
Cousin german to idleness, and a concomitant cause, which goes hand in hand with it, is 1558nimia solitudo, too much solitariness, by the testimony of all physicians, cause and symptom both; but as it is here put for a cause, it is either coact, enforced, or else voluntary. Enforced solitariness is commonly seen in students, monks, friars, anchorites, that by their order and course of life must abandon all company, society of other men, and betake themselves to a private cell: Otio superstitioso seclusi, as Bale and Hospinian well term it, such as are the Carthusians of our time, that eat no flesh (by their order), keep perpetual silence, never go abroad. Such as live in prison, or some desert place, and cannot have company, as many of our country gentlemen do in solitary houses, they must either be alone without companions, or live beyond their means, and entertain all comers as so many hosts, or else converse with their servants and hinds, such as are unequal, inferior to them, and of a contrary disposition: or else as some do, to avoid solitariness, spend their time with lewd fellows in taverns, and in alehouses, and thence addict themselves to some unlawful disports, or dissolute courses. Divers again are cast upon this rock of solitariness for want of means, or out of a strong apprehension of some infirmity, disgrace, or through bashfulness, rudeness, simplicity, they cannot apply themselves to others' company. Nullum solum infelici gratius solitudine, ubi nullus sit qui miseriam exprobret; this enforced solitariness takes place, and produceth his effect soonest in such as have spent their time jovially, peradventure in all honest recreations, in good company, in some great family or populous city, and are upon a sudden confined to a desert country cottage far off, restrained of their liberty, and barred from their ordinary associates; solitariness is very irksome to such, most tedious, and a sudden cause of great inconvenience.
Voluntary solitariness is that which is familiar with melancholy, and gently brings on like a Siren, a shoeing-horn, or some sphinx to this irrevocable gulf, 1559a primary cause, Piso calls it; most pleasant it is at first, to such as are melancholy given, to lie in bed whole days, and keep their chambers, to walk alone in some solitary grove, betwixt wood and water, by a brook side, to meditate upon some delightsome and pleasant subject, which shall affect them most; amabilis insania, et mentis gratissimus error: a most incomparable delight it is so to melancholise, and build castles in the air, to go smiling to themselves, acting an infinite variety of parts, which they suppose and strongly imagine they represent, or that they see acted or done: Blandae quidem ab initio, saith Lemnius, to conceive and meditate of such pleasant things, sometimes, 1560“present, past, or to come,” as Rhasis speaks. So delightsome these toys are at first, they could spend whole days and nights without sleep, even whole years alone in such contemplations, and fantastical meditations, which are like unto dreams, and they will hardly be drawn from them, or willingly interrupt, so pleasant their vain conceits are, that they hinder their ordinary tasks and necessary business, they cannot address themselves to them, or almost to any study or employment, these fantastical and bewitching thoughts so covertly, so feelingly, so urgently, so continually set upon, creep in, insinuate, possess, overcome, distract, and detain them, they cannot, I say, go about their more necessary business, stave off or extricate themselves, but are ever musing, melancholising, and carried along, as he (they say) that is led round about a heath with a Puck in the night, they run earnestly on in this labyrinth of anxious and solicitous melancholy meditations, and cannot well or willingly refrain, or easily leave off, winding and unwinding themselves, as so many clocks, and still pleasing their humours, until at last the scene is turned upon a sudden, by some bad object, and they being now habituated to such vain meditations and solitary places, can endure no company, can ruminate of nothing but harsh and distasteful subjects. Fear, sorrow, suspicion, subrusticus pudor, discontent, cares, and weariness of life surprise them in a moment, and they can think of nothing else, continually suspecting, no sooner are their eyes open, but this infernal plague of melancholy seizeth on them, and terrifies their souls, representing some dismal object to their minds, which now by no means, no labour, no persuasions they can avoid, haeret lateri lethalis arundo, (the arrow of death still remains in the side), they may not be rid of it, 1561they cannot resist. I may not deny but that there is some profitable meditation, contemplation, and kind of solitariness to be embraced, which the fathers so highly commended, 1562 Hierom, Chrysostom, Cyprian, Austin, in whole tracts, which Petrarch, Erasmus, Stella, and others, so much magnify in their books; a paradise, a heaven on earth, if it be used aright, good for the body, and better for the soul: as many of those old monks used it, to divine contemplations, as Simulus, a courtier in Adrian's time, Diocletian the emperor, retired themselves, &c., in that sense, Vatia solus scit vivere, Vatia lives alone, which the Romans were wont to say, when they commended a country life. Or to the bettering of their knowledge, as Democritus, Cleanthes, and those excellent philosophers have ever done, to sequester themselves from the tumultuous world, or as in Pliny's villa Laurentana, Tully's Tusculan, Jovius' study, that they might better vacare studiis et Deo, serve God, and follow their studies. Methinks, therefore, our too zealous innovators were not so well advised in that general subversion of abbeys and religious houses, promiscuously to fling down all; they might have taken away those gross abuses crept in amongst them, rectified such inconveniences, and not so far to have raved and raged against those fair buildings, and everlasting monuments of our forefathers' devotion, consecrated to pious uses; some monasteries and collegiate cells might have been well spared, and their revenues otherwise employed, here and there one, in good towns or cities at least, for men and women of all sorts and conditions to live in, to sequester themselves from the cares and tumults of the world, that were not desirous, or fit to marry; or otherwise willing to be troubled with common affairs, and know not well where to bestow themselves, to live apart in, for more conveniency, good education, better company sake, to follow their studies (I say), to the perfection of arts and sciences, common good, and as some truly devoted monks of old had done, freely and truly to serve God. For these men are neither solitary, nor idle, as the poet made answer to the husbandman in Aesop, that objected idleness to him; he was never so idle as in his company; or that Scipio Africanus in 1563Tully, Nunquam minus solus, quam cum solus; nunquam minus otiosus, quam quum esset otiosus; never less solitary, than when he was alone, never more busy, than when he seemed to be most idle. It is reported by Plato in his dialogue de Amore, in that prodigious commendation of Socrates, how a deep meditation coming into Socrates' mind by chance, he stood still musing, eodem vestigio cogitabundus, from morning to noon, and when as then he had not yet finished his meditation, perstabat cogitans, he so continued till the evening, the soldiers (for he then followed the camp) observed him with admiration, and on set purpose watched all night, but he persevered immovable ad exhortim solis, till the sun rose in the morning, and then saluting the sun, went his ways. In what humour constant Socrates did thus, I know not, or how he might be affected, but this would be pernicious to another man; what intricate business might so really possess him, I cannot easily guess; but this is otiosum otium, it is far otherwise with these men, according to Seneca, Omnia nobis mala solitudo persuadet; this solitude undoeth us, pugnat cum vita sociali; 'tis a destructive solitariness. These men are devils alone, as the saying is, Homo solus aut Deus, aut Daemon: a man alone, is either a saint or a devil, mens ejus aut languescit, aut tumescit; and 1564Vae soli in this sense, woe be to him that is so alone. These wretches do frequently degenerate from men, and of sociable creatures become beasts, monsters, inhumane, ugly to behold, Misanthropi; they do even loathe themselves, and hate the company of men, as so many Timons, Nebuchadnezzars, by too much indulging to these pleasing humours, and through their own default. So that which Mercurialis, consil. 11, sometimes expostulated with his melancholy patient, may be justly applied to every solitary and idle person in particular. 1565Natura de te videtur conqueri posse, &c. “Nature may justly complain of thee, that whereas she gave thee a good wholesome temperature, a sound body, and God hath given thee so divine and excellent a soul, so many good parts, and profitable gifts, thou hast not only contemned and rejected, but hast corrupted them, polluted them, overthrown their temperature, and perverted those gifts with riot, idleness, solitariness, and many other ways, thou art a traitor to God and nature, an enemy to thyself and to the world.” Perditio tua ex te; thou hast lost thyself wilfully, cast away thyself, “thou thyself art the efficient cause of thine own misery, by not resisting such vain cogitations, but giving way unto them.”
1535. Multa defatigatio, spiritus, viriumque substantiam exhaurit, et corpus refrigerat. Humores corruptos qui aliter a natura concoqui et domari possint, et demum blande excludi, irritat, et quasi in furorem agit, qui postea mota camerina, tetro vapore corpus varie lacessunt, animumque.
1536. In Veni mecum: Libro sic inscripto.
1537. Instit. ad vit. Christ, cap. 44. cibos crudos in venas rapit, qui putrescentes illic spiritus animalis inficiunt.
1538. Crudi haec humoris copia per venas aggreditur, unde morbi multiplices.
1539. Immodicum exercitium.
1540. Hom. 31. in 1 Cor. vi. Nam qua mens hominis quiscere non possit, sed continuo circa varias cogitationes discurrat, nisi honesto aliquo negotio occupetur, ad melancholiam sponte delabitur.
1541. Crato, consil. 21. Ut immodica corporis exercitatio nocet corporibus, ita vita deses, et otiosa: otium, animal pituitosum reddit, viscerum obstructiones et crebras fluxiones, et morbos concitat.
1542. Et vide quod una de rebus quae magis generat melancholiam, est otiositas.
1543. Reponitur otium ab aliis causa, et hoc a nobis observatum eos huic malo magis obnoxios qui plane otiosi sunt, quam eos qui aliquo munere versantur exequendo.
1544. De Tranquil. animae. Sunt qua ipsum otium in animi conjicit aegritudinem.
1545. Nihil est quod aeque melancholiam alat ac augeat, ac otium et abstinentia a corporis et animi exercitationibus.
1546. Nihil magis excaecat intellectum, quam otium. Gordonius de observat. vit. hum. lib. 1.
1547. Path. lib. 1. cap. 17. exercitationis intermissio, inertem calorem, languidos spiritus, et ignavos, et ad omnes actiones segniores reddit, cruditates, obstructiones, et excrementorum proventus facit.
1548. Hor. Ser. 1. Sat. 3.
1550. Moerorem animi, et maciem, Plutarch calls it.
1551. Sicut in stagno generantur vermes, sic et otioso malae cogitationes. Sen.
1552. Now this leg, now that arm, now their head, heart, &c.
1553. Exod. v.
1554. (For they cannot well tell what aileth them, or what they would have themselves) my heart, my head, my husband, my son, &c.
1555. Prov. xviii. Pigrum dejiciet timor. Heautontimorumenon.
1556. Lib. 19. c. 10.
1557. Plautus, Prol. Mostel.
1558. Piso, Montaltus, Mercurialis, &c.
1559. Aquibus malum, velut a primaria causa, nactum est.
1560. Jucunda rerum praesentium, praeteritarum, et futurarum meditatio.
1561. Facilis descensus Averni: Sed revocare gradum, superasque evadere ad auras, Hic labor, hoc opus est. Virg.
1562. Hieronimus, ep. 72. dixit oppida et urbes videri sibi tetros carceres, solitudinem Paradisum: solum scorpionibus infectum, sacco amictus, humi cubans, aqua et herbis victitans, Romanis praetulit deliciis.
1563. Offic. 3.
1564. Eccl 4.
1565. Natura de te videtur conqueri posse, quod cum ab ea temperatissimum corpus adeptus sis, tam praeclarum a Deo ac utile donum, non contempsisti modo, verum corrupisti, sedasti, prodidisti, optimam temperaturam otio, crapula, et aliis vitae erroribus, &c.
Sleeping and Waking, Causes.
What I have formerly said of exercise, I may now repeat of sleep. Nothing better than moderate sleep, nothing worse than it, if it be in extremes, or unseasonably used. It is a received opinion, that a melancholy man cannot sleep overmuch; Somnus supra modum prodest, as an only antidote, and nothing offends them more, or causeth this malady sooner, than waking, yet in some cases sleep may do more harm than good, in that phlegmatic, swinish, cold, and sluggish melancholy which Melancthon speaks of, that thinks of waters, sighing most part, &c. 1566It dulls the spirits, if overmuch, and senses; fills the head full of gross humours; causeth distillations, rheums, great store of excrements in the brain, and all the other parts, as 1567Fuchsius speaks of them, that sleep like so many dormice. Or if it be used in the daytime, upon a full stomach, the body ill-composed to rest, or after hard meats, it increaseth fearful dreams, incubus, night walking, crying out, and much unquietness; such sleep prepares the body, as 1568one observes, “to many perilous diseases.” But, as I have said, waking overmuch, is both a symptom, and an ordinary cause. “It causeth dryness of the brain, frenzy, dotage, and makes the body dry, lean, hard, and ugly to behold,” as 1569Lemnius hath it. “The temperature of the brain is corrupted by it, the humours adust, the eyes made to sink into the head, choler increased, and the whole body inflamed:” and, as may be added out of Galen, 3. de sanitate tuendo, Avicenna 3. 1. 1570“It overthrows the natural heat, it causeth crudities, hurts, concoction,” and what not? Not without good cause therefore Crato, consil. 21. lib. 2; Hildesheim, spicel. 2. de delir. et Mania, Jacchinus, Arculanus on Rhasis, Guianerius and Mercurialis, reckon up this overmuch waking as a principal cause.
1566. Path. lib. cap. 17. Fernel. corpus infrigidat, omnes sensus, mentisque vires torpore debilitat.
1567. Lib. 2. sect. 2. cap. 4. Magnam excrementorum vim cerebro et aliis partibus conservat.
1568. Jo. Retzius, lib. de rebus 6 non naturalibus. Praeparat corpus talis somnus ad multas periculosas aegritudines.
1569. Instit. ad vitam optimam, cap. 26. cerebro siccitatem adfert, phrenesin et delirium, corpus aridum facit, squalidum, strigosum, humores adurit, temperamentum cerebri corrumpit, maciem inducit: exsiccat corpus, bilem accendit, profundos reddit oculos, calorem augit.
1570. Naturalem calorem dissipat, laesa concoctione cruditates facit. Attenuant juvenum vigilatae corpora noctes.
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