Perturbations of the mind rectified. From himself, by resisting to the utmost, confessing his grief to a friend, &c.
Whosoever he is that shall hope to cure this malady in himself or any other, must first rectify these passions and perturbations of the mind: the chiefest cure consists in them. A quiet mind is that voluptas, or summum bonum of Epicurus, non dolere, curis vacare, animo tranquillo esse, not to grieve, but to want cares, and have a quiet soul, is the only pleasure of the world, as Seneca truly recites his opinion, not that of eating and drinking, which injurious Aristotle maliciously puts upon him, and for which he is still mistaken, male audit et vapulat, slandered without a cause, and lashed by all posterity. 3400“Fear and sorrow, therefore, are especially to be avoided, and the mind to be mitigated with mirth, constancy, good hope; vain terror, bad objects are to be removed, and all such persons in whose companies they be not well pleased.” Gualter Bruel. Fernelius, consil. 43. Mercurialis, consil. 6. Piso, Jacchinus, cap. 15. in 9. Rhasis, Capivaccius, Hildesheim, &c., all inculcate this as an especial means of their cure, that their 3401“minds be quietly pacified, vain conceits diverted, if it be possible, with terrors, cares,” 3402 “fixed studies, cogitations, and whatsoever it is that shall any way molest or trouble the soul,” because that otherwise there is no good to be done. 3403“The body's mischiefs,” as Plato proves, “proceed from the soul: and if the mind be not first satisfied, the body can never be cured.” Alcibiades raves (saith 3404Maximus Tyrius) and is sick, his furious desires carry him from Lyceus to the pleading place, thence to the sea, so into Sicily, thence to Lacedaemon, thence to Persia, thence to Samos, then again to Athens; Critias tyranniseth over all the city; Sardanapalus is lovesick; these men are ill-affected all, and can never be cured, till their minds be otherwise qualified. Crato, therefore, in that often-cited Counsel of his for a nobleman his patient, when he had sufficiently informed him in diet, air, exercise, Venus, sleep, concludes with these as matters of greatest moment, Quod reliquum est, animae accidentia corrigantur, from which alone proceeds melancholy; they are the fountain, the subject, the hinges whereon it turns, and must necessarily be reformed. 3405“For anger stirs choler, heats the blood and vital spirits; sorrow on the other side refrigerates the body, and extinguisheth natural heat, overthrows appetite, hinders concoction, dries up the temperature, and perverts the understanding:” fear dissolves the spirits, infects the heart, attenuates the soul: and for these causes all passions and perturbations must, to the uttermost of our power and most seriously, be removed. Aelianus Montaltus attributes so much to them, 3406“that he holds the rectification of them alone to be sufficient to the cure of melancholy in most patients.” Many are fully cured when they have seen or heard, &c., enjoy their desires, or be secured and satisfied in their minds; Galen, the common master of them all, from whose fountain they fetch water, brags, lib. 1. de san. tuend., that he, for his part, hath cured divers of this infirmity, solum animis ad rectum institutis, by right settling alone of their minds.
Yea, but you will here infer, that this is excellent good indeed if it could be done; but how shall it be effected, by whom, what art, what means? hic labor, hoc opus est. 'Tis a natural infirmity, a most powerful adversary, all men are subject to passions, and melancholy above all others, as being distempered by their innate humours, abundance of choler adust, weakness of parts, outward occurrences; and how shall they be avoided? The wisest men, greatest philosophers of most excellent wit, reason, judgment, divine spirits, cannot moderate themselves in this behalf; such as are sound in body and mind, Stoics, heroes, Homer's gods, all are passionate, and furiously carried sometimes; and how shall we that are already crazed, fracti animis, sick in body, sick in mind, resist? we cannot perform it. You may advise and give good precepts, as who cannot? But how shall they be put in practice? I may not deny but our passions are violent, and tyrannise of us, yet there be means to curb them; though they be headstrong, they may be tamed, they may be qualified, if he himself or his friends will but use their honest endeavours, or make use of such ordinary helps as are commonly prescribed.
He himself (I say); from the patient himself the first and chiefest remedy must be had; for if he be averse, peevish, waspish, give way wholly to his passions, will not seek to be helped, or be ruled by his friends, how is it possible he should be cured? But if he be willing at least, gentle, tractable, and desire his own good, no doubt but he may magnam morbi deponere partem, be eased at least, if not cured. He himself must do his utmost endeavour to resist and withstand the beginnings. Principiis obsta, “Give not water passage, no not a little,” Ecclus. xxv. 27. If they open a little, they will make a greater breach at length. Whatsoever it is that runneth in his mind, vain conceit, be it pleasing or displeasing, which so much affects or troubleth him, 3407“by all possible means he must withstand it, expel those vain, false, frivolous imaginations, absurd conceits, feigned fears and sorrows; from which,” saith Piso, “this disease primarily proceeds, and takes his first occasion or beginning, by doing something or other that shall be opposite unto them, thinking of something else, persuading by reason, or howsoever to make a sudden alteration of them.” Though he have hitherto run in a full career, and precipitated himself, following his passions, giving reins to his appetite, let him now stop upon a sudden, curb himself in; and as 3408Lemnius adviseth, “strive against with all his power, to the utmost of his endeavour, and not cherish those fond imaginations, which so covertly creep into his mind, most pleasing and amiable at first, but bitter as gall at last, and so headstrong, that by no reason, art, counsel, or persuasion, they may be shaken off.” Though he be far gone, and habituated unto such fantastical imaginations, yet as 3409Tully and Plutarch advise, let him oppose, fortify, or prepare himself against them, by premeditation, reason, or as we do by a crooked staff, bend himself another way.
3410Tu tamen interea effugito quae tristia mentem
Solicitant, procul esse jube curasque metumque
Pallentum, ultrices iras, sint omnia laeta.
In the meantime expel them from thy mind,
Pale fears, sad cares, and griefs which do it grind,
Revengeful anger, pain and discontent,
Let all thy soul be set on merriment.
Curas tolle graves, irasci crede profanum. If it be idleness hath caused this infirmity, or that he perceive himself given to solitariness, to walk alone, and please his mind with fond imaginations, let him by all means avoid it; 'tis a bosom enemy, 'tis delightsome melancholy, a friend in show, but a secret devil, a sweet poison, it will in the end be his undoing; let him go presently, task or set himself a work, get some good company. If he proceed, as a gnat flies about a candle, so long till at length he burn his bodv, so in the end he will undo himself: if it be any harsh object, ill company, let him presently go from it. If by his own default, through ill diet, bad air, want of exercise, &c., let him now begin to reform himself. “It would be a perfect remedy against all corruption, if,” as 3411Roger Bacon hath it, “we could but moderate ourselves in those six non-natural things.” 3412“If it be any disgrace, abuse, temporal loss, calumny, death of friends, imprisonment, banishment, be not troubled with it, do not fear, be not angry, grieve not at it, but with all courage sustain it.” (Gordonius, lib. 1. c. 15. de conser. vit.) Tu contra audentior ito. 3413If it be sickness, ill success, or any adversity that hath caused it, oppose an invincible courage, “fortify thyself by God's word, or otherwise,” mala bonis persuadenda, set prosperity against adversity, as we refresh our eyes by seeing some pleasant meadow, fountain, picture, or the like: recreate thy mind by some contrary object, with some more pleasing meditation divert thy thoughts.
Yea, but you infer again, facile consilium damus aliis, we can easily give counsel to others; every man, as the saying is, can tame a shrew but he that hath her; si hic esses, aliter sentires; if you were in our misery, you would find it otherwise, 'tis not so easily performed. We know this to be true; we should moderate ourselves, but we are furiously carried, we cannot make use of such precepts, we are overcome, sick, male sani, distempered and habituated to these courses, we can make no resistance; you may as well bid him that is diseased not to feel pain, as a melancholy man not to fear, not to be sad: 'tis within his blood, his brains, his whole temperature, it cannot be removed. But he may choose whether he will give way too far unto it, he may in some sort correct himself. A philosopher was bitten with a mad dog, and as the nature of that disease is to abhor all waters, and liquid things, and to think still they see the picture of a dog before them: he went for all this, reluctante se, to the bath, and seeing there (as he thought) in the water the picture of a dog, with reason overcame this conceit, quid cani cum balneo? what should a dog do in a bath? a mere conceit. Thou thinkest thou hearest and seest devils, black men, &c., 'tis not so, 'tis thy corrupt fantasy; settle thine imagination, thou art well. Thou thinkest thou hast a great nose, thou art sick, every man observes thee, laughs thee to scorn; persuade thyself 'tis no such matter: this is fear only, and vain suspicion. Thou art discontent, thou art sad and heavy; but why? upon what ground? consider of it: thou art jealous, timorous, suspicious; for what cause? examine it thoroughly, thou shalt find none at all, or such as is to be contemned; such as thou wilt surely deride, and contemn in thyself, when it is past. Rule thyself then with reason, satisfy thyself, accustom thyself, wean thyself from such fond conceits, vain fears, strong imaginations, restless thoughts. Thou mayst do it; Est in nobis assuescere (as Plutarch saith), we may frame ourselves as we will. As he that useth an upright shoe, may correct the obliquity, or crookedness, by wearing it on the other side; we may overcome passions if we will. Quicquid sibi imperavit animus obtinuit (as 3414Seneca saith) nulli tam feri affectus, ut non disciplina perdomentur, whatsoever the will desires, she may command: no such cruel affections, but by discipline they may be tamed; voluntarily thou wilt not do this or that, which thou oughtest to do, or refrain, &c., but when thou art lashed like a dull jade, thou wilt reform it: fear of a whip will make thee do, or not do. Do that voluntarily then which thou canst do, and must do by compulsion; thou mayst refrain if thou wilt, and master thine affections. 3415“As in a city” (saith Melancthon) “they do by stubborn rebellious rogues, that will not submit themselves to political judgment, compel them by force; so must we do by our affections. If the heart will not lay aside those vicious motions, and the fantasy those fond imaginations, we have another form of government to enforce and refrain our outward members, that they be not led by our passions.” If appetite will not obey, let the moving faculty overrule her, let her resist and compel her to do otherwise. In an ague the appetite would drink; sore eyes that itch would be rubbed; but reason saith no, and therefore the moving faculty will not do it. Our fantasy would intrude a thousand fears, suspicions, chimeras upon us, but we have reason to resist, yet we let it be overborne by our appetite; 3416“imagination enforceth spirits, which, by an admirable league of nature, compel the nerves to obey, and they our several limbs:” we give too much way to our passions. And as to him that is sick of an ague, all things are distasteful and unpleasant, non ex cibi vitio saith Plutarch, not in the meat, but in our taste: so many things are offensive to us, not of themselves, but out of our corrupt judgment, jealousy, suspicion, and the like: we pull these mischiefs upon our own heads.
If then our judgment be so depraved, our reason overruled, will precipitated, that we cannot seek our own good, or moderate ourselves, as in this disease commonly it is, the best way for ease is to impart our misery to some friend, not to smother it up in our own breast: aliter vitium crescitque tegendo, &c., and that which was most offensive to us, a cause of fear and grief, quod nunc te coquit, another hell; for 3417 strangulat inclusus dolor atque exaestuat intus, grief concealed strangles the soul; but when as we shall but impart it to some discreet, trusty, loving friend, it is 3418instantly removed, by his counsel happily, wisdom, persuasion, advice, his good means, which we could not otherwise apply unto ourselves. A friend's counsel is a charm, like mandrake wine, curas sopit; and as a 3419bull that is tied to a fig-tree becomes gentle on a sudden (which some, saith 3420Plutarch, interpret of good words), so is a savage, obdurate heart mollified by fair speeches. “All adversity finds ease in complaining” (as 3421Isidore holds), “and 'tis a solace to relate it,” 3422Ἀγαθὴ δε παραίφασις ἐστὶν ἐταίρου. Friends' confabulations are comfortable at all times, as fire in winter, shade in summer, quale sopor fessis in gramine, meat and drink to him that is hungry or athirst; Democritus's collyrium is not so sovereign to the eyes as this is to the heart; good words are cheerful and powerful of themselves, but much more from friends, as so many props, mutually sustaining each other like ivy and a wall, which Camerarius hath well illustrated in an emblem. Lenit animum simplex vel saepe narratio, the simple narration many times easeth our distressed mind, and in the midst of greatest extremities; so diverse have been relieved, by 3423exonerating themselves to a faithful friend: he sees that which we cannot see for passion and discontent, he pacifies our minds, he will ease our pain, assuage our anger; quanta inde voluptas, quanta securitas, Chrysostom adds, what pleasure, what security by that means! 3424“Nothing so available, or that so much refresheth the soul of man.” Tully, as I remember, in an epistle to his dear friend Atticus, much condoles the defect of such a friend. 3425“I live here” (saith he) “in a great city, where I have a multitude of acquaintance, but not a man of all that company with whom I dare familiarly breathe, or freely jest. Wherefore I expect thee, I desire thee, I send for thee; for there be many things which trouble and molest me, which had I but thee in presence, I could quickly disburden myself of in a walking discourse.” The like, peradventure, may he and he say with that old man in the comedy,
3426Nemo est meorum amicorum hodie,
Apud quem expromere occulta mea audeam.
and much inconvenience may both he and he suffer in the meantime by it. He or he, or whosoever then labours of this malady, by all means let him get some trusty friend, 3427Semper habens Pylademque aliquem qui curet Orestem, a Pylades, to whom freely and securely he may open himself. For as in all other occurrences, so it is in this, Si quis in coelum ascendisset, &c. as he said in 3428Tully, if a man had gone to heaven, “seen the beauty of the skies,” stars errant, fixed, &c., insuavis erit admiratio, it will do him no pleasure, except he have somebody to impart what he hath seen. It is the best thing in the world, as 3429Seneca therefore adviseth in such a case, “to get a trusty friend, to whom we may freely and sincerely pour out our secrets; nothing so delighteth and easeth the mind, as when we have a prepared bosom, to which our secrets may descend, of whose conscience we are assured as our own, whose speech may ease our succourless estate, counsel relieve, mirth expel our mourning, and whose very sight may be acceptable unto us.” It was the counsel which that politic 3430Comineus gave to all princes, and others distressed in mind, by occasion of Charles Duke of Burgundy, that was much perplexed, “first to pray to God, and lay himself open to him, and then to some special friend, whom we hold most dear, to tell all our grievances to him; nothing so forcible to strengthen, recreate, and heal the wounded soul of a miserable man.”
3400. Animi perturbationes summe fugiendae, metus potissimum et tristitia: earumque loco animus demulcendus hilaritate, animi constantia, bona spe; removendi terrores, et earum consortium quos non probant.
3401. Phantasiae eorum placide subvertendae, terrores ab animo removendi.
3402. Ab omni fixa cogitatione quovismodo avertantur.
3403. Cuncta mala corporis ab animo procedunt, quae nisi curentur, corpus curari minime potest, Charmid.
3404. Disputat. An morbi graviores corporis an animi. Renoldo interpret. ut parum absit a furore, rapitur a Lyceo in concionem, a concione ad mare, a mari in Siciliam, &c.
3405. Ira bilem movet, sanguinem adurit, vitales spiritus accendit. moestitia universum corpus infrigidat, calorem innatum extinguit, appetituin destruit, concoctionem impedit, corpus exsiccat, intellectum pervertit. Quamobrem haec omnia prorsus vitanda sunt, et pro virili fugienda.
3406. De mel. c. 26. ex illis solum remedium; multi ex visis, auditis, &c. sanati sunt.
3407. Pro viribus annitendum in praedictis, tum in aliis, a quibus malum velut a primaria causa occasionem nactum est, imaginationes absurdae falsaeque et moestitia quaecunque subierit propulsetur, aut aliud agendo, aut ratione persuadendo earum mutationem subito facere.
3408. Lib. 2. c. 16. de occult. nat. Quisquis huic malo obnoxius est, acriter obsistat, et summa cura obluctetur, nec ullo modo foveat imaginationes tacite obrepentes animo, blandas ab initio et amabiles, sed quae adeo convalescunt, ut nulla ratione excuti queant.
3409. 3. Tusc. ad Apollonium.
3411. Epist. de secretis artis et naturae cap. 7. de retard. sen. Remedium esset contra corruptionem propriam, si quilibet exerceret regimen sanitatis, quod consistit in rebus sex non naturalibus.
3412. Pro aliquo vituperio non indigneris, nec pro admissione alicujus rei, pro morte alicujus, nec pro carcere, nec pro exilio, nec pro alia re, nec irascaris, nec timeas, nec doleas, sed cum summa praesentia haec sustineas.
3413. Quodsi incommoda adversitatis infortunia hoc malum invexerint, his infractum animum opponas, Dei verbo ejusque fiducia te suffulcias, &c., Lemnius, lib. 1. c. 16.
3414. Lib. 2. de ira.
3415. Cap. 3. de affect. anim. Ut in civitatibus contumaces qui non cedunt politico imperio vi coercendi sunt; ita Deus nobis indidit alteram imperii formam; si cor non deponit vitiosum affectum, membra foras coercenda sunt, ne ruant in quod affectus impellant: et locomotiva, quae herili imperio obtemperat, alteri resistat.
3416. Imaginatio impellit spiritus, et inde nervi moventur, &c. Et obtemperant imaginationi et appetitui mirabili foedere, ad exequendum quod jubent.
3417. Ovit Trist. lib. 5.
3418. Participes inde calamitatis nostrae sunt, et velut exonerata in eos sarcina onere levamur. Arist. Eth. lib. 9.
3419. Camerarius Embl. 26. Cen. 2.
3420. Sympos. lib. 6. cap. 10.
3421. Epist. 8. lib. 3. Adversa fortuna habet in querelis levamentum; et malorum relatio, &c.
3422. Alloquium chari juvat, et solamen amici. Emblem. 54. cent. 1.
3423. As David did to Jonathan, 1 Sam. xx.
3424. Seneca Epist. 67.
3425. Hic in civitate magna et turba magna neminem reperire possumus quocum suspirare familiariter aut jocari libere possimus. Quare te expectamus, te desideramus, te arcessimus. Multa sunt enim quae me solicitant et angunt, quae mihi videor aurestuas nactus, unius ambulationis sermone exhaurire posse.
3426. “I have not a single friend this day, to whom I dare to disclose my secrets.”
3428. De amicitia.
3429. De tranquil. c. 7. Optimum est amicum fidelem nancisci in quem secreta nostra infundamus; nihil aeque oblectat animum, quam ubi sint praeparata pectora, in quae tuto secreta descendant, quorum conscientia aeque ac tua: quorum sermo solitudinem leniat, sententia consilium expediat, hilaritas tristitiam dissipet, conspectusque ipse delectet.
3430. Comment. l. 7. Ad Deum confugiamus, et peccatis veniam precemur, inde ad amicos, et cui plurimum tribuimus, nos patefaciamus totos, et animi vulnus quo affligimur: nihil ad reficiendum animum efficacius.
Help from friends by counsel, comfort, fair and foul means, witty devices, satisfaction, alteration of his course of life, removing objects, &c.
When the patient of himself is not able to resist, or overcome these heart-eating passions, his friends or physician must be ready to supply that which is wanting. Suae erit humanitatis et sapientiae (which 3431 Tully enjoineth in like case) siquid erratum, curare, aut improvisum, sua diligentia corrigere. They must all join; nec satis medico, saith 3432 Hippocrates, suum fecisse officium, nisi suum quoque aegrotus, suum astantes, &c. First, they must especially beware, a melancholy discontented person (be it in what kind of melancholy soever) never be left alone or idle: but as physicians prescribe physic, cum custodia, let them not be left unto themselves, but with some company or other, lest by that means they aggravate and increase their disease; non oportet aegros humjusmodi esse solos vel inter ignotos, vel inter eos quos non amant aut negligunt, as Rod. a Fonseca, tom. 1. consul. 35. prescribes. Lugentes custodire solemus (saith 3433Seneca) ne solitudine male utantur; we watch a sorrowful person, lest he abuse his solitariness, and so should we do a melancholy man; set him about some business, exercise or recreation, which may divert his thoughts, and still keep him otherwise intent; for his fantasy is so restless, operative and quick, that if it be not in perpetual action, ever employed, it will work upon itself, melancholise, and be carried away instantly, with some fear, jealousy, discontent, suspicion, some vain conceit or other. If his weakness be such that he cannot discern what is amiss, correct, or satisfy, it behoves them by counsel, comfort, or persuasion, by fair or foul means, to alienate his mind, by some artificial invention, or some contrary persuasion, to remove all objects, causes, companies, occasions, as may any ways molest him, to humour him, please him, divert him, and if it be possible, by altering his course of life, to give him security and satisfaction. If he conceal his grievances, and will not be known of them, 3434“they must observe by his looks, gestures, motions, fantasy, what it is that offends,” and then to apply remedies unto him: many are instantly cured, when their minds are satisfied. 3435Alexander makes mention of a woman, “that by reason of her husband's long absence in travel, was exceeding peevish and melancholy, but when she heard her husband was returned, beyond all expectation, at the first sight of him, she was freed from all fear, without help of any other physic restored to her former health.” Trincavellius, consil. 12. lib. 1. hath such a story of a Venetian, that being much troubled with melancholy, 3436“and ready to die for grief, when he heard his wife was brought to bed of a son, instantly recovered.” As Alexander concludes, 3437“If our imaginations be not inveterate, by this art they may be cured, especially if they proceed from such a cause.” No better way to satisfy, than to remove the object, cause, occasion, if by any art or means possible we may find it out. If he grieve, stand in fear, be in suspicion, suspense, or any way molested, secure him, Solvitur malum, give him satisfaction, the cure is ended; alter his course of life, there needs no other physic. If the party be sad, or otherwise affected, “consider” (saith 3438Trallianus) “the manner of it, all circumstances, and forthwith make a sudden alteration,” by removing the occasions, avoid all terrible objects, heard or seen, 3439“monstrous and prodigious aspects,” tales of devils, spirits, ghosts, tragical stories; to such as are in fear they strike a great impression, renewed many times, and recall such chimeras and terrible fictions into their minds. 3440“Make not so much as mention of them in private talk, or a dumb show tending to that purpose: such things” (saith Galateus) “are offensive to their imaginations.” And to those that are now in sorrow, 3441Seneca “forbids all sad companions, and such as lament; a groaning companion is an enemy to quietness.” 3442“Or if there be any such party, at whose presence the patient is not well pleased, he must be removed: gentle speeches, and fair means, must first be tried; no harsh language used, or uncomfortable words; and not expel, as some do, one madness with another; he that so doth, is madder than the patient himself:” all things must be quietly composed; eversa non evertenda, sed erigenda, things down must not be dejected, but reared, as Crato counselleth; 3443 “he must be quietly and gently used,” and we should not do anything against his mind, but by little and little effect it. As a horse that starts at a drum or trumpet, and will not endure the shooting of a piece, may be so manned by art, and animated, that he cannot only endure, but is much more generous at the hearing of such things, much more courageous than before, and much delighteth in it: they must not be reformed ex abrupto, but by all art and insinuation, made to such companies, aspects, objects they could not formerly away with. Many at first cannot endure the sight of a green wound, a sick man, which afterward become good chirurgeons, bold empirics: a horse starts at a rotten post afar off, which coming near he quietly passeth. 'Tis much in the manner of making such kind of persons, be they never so averse from company, bashful, solitary, timorous, they may be made at last with those Roman matrons, to desire nothing more than in a public show, to see a full company of gladiators breathe out their last.
If they may not otherwise be accustomed to brook such distasteful and displeasing objects, the best way then is generally to avoid them. Montanus, consil. 229. to the Earl of Montfort, a courtier, and his melancholy patient, adviseth him to leave the court, by reason of those continual discontents, crosses, abuses, 3444“cares, suspicions, emulations, ambition, anger, jealousy, which that place afforded, and which surely caused him to be so melancholy at the first:” Maxima quaeque domus servis est plena superbis; a company of scoffers and proud jacks are commonly conversant and attend in such places, and able to make any man that is of a soft, quiet disposition (as many times they do) ex stulto insanum, if once they humour him, a very idiot, or stark mad. A thing too much practised in all common societies, and they have no better sport than to make themselves merry by abusing some silly fellow, or to take advantage of another man's weakness. In such cases as in a plague, the best remedy is cito longe tarde: (for to such a party, especially if he be apprehensive, there can be no greater misery) to get him quickly gone far enough off, and not to be overhasty in his return. If he be so stupid that he do not apprehend it, his friends should take some order, and by their discretion supply that which is wanting in him, as in all other cases they ought to do. If they see a man melancholy given, solitary, averse from company, please himself with such private and vain meditations, though he delight in it, they ought by all means seek to divert him, to dehort him, to tell him of the event and danger that may come of it. If they see a man idle, that by reason of his means otherwise will betake himself to no course of life, they ought seriously to admonish him, he makes a noose to entangle himself, his want of employment will be his undoing. If he have sustained any great loss, suffered a repulse, disgrace, &c., if it be possible, relieve him. If he desire aught, let him be satisfied; if in suspense, fear, suspicion, let him be secured: and if it may conveniently be, give him his heart's content; for the body cannot be cured till the mind be satisfied. 3445 Socrates, in Plato, would prescribe no physic for Charmides' headache, “till first he had eased his troubled mind; body and soul must be cured together, as head and eyes.”
3446Oculum non curabis sine toto capite,
Nec caput sine toto corpora,
Nec totum corpus sine anima.
If that may not be hoped or expected, yet ease him with comfort, cheerful speeches, fair promises, and good words, persuade him, advise him. “Many,” saith 3447Galen, “have been cured by good counsel and persuasion alone.” “Heaviness of the heart of man doth bring it down, but a good word rejoiceth it,” Prov. xii. 25. “And there is he that speaketh words like the pricking of a sword, but the tongue of a wise man is health,” ver. 18. Oratio, namque saucii animi est remedium, a gentle speech is the true cure of a wounded soul, as 3448Plutarch contends out of Aeschylus and Euripides: “if it be wisely administered it easeth grief and pain, as diverse remedies do many other diseases.” 'Tis incantationis instar, a charm, aestuantis animi refrigerium, that true Nepenthe of Homer, which was no Indian plant, or feigned medicine, which Epidamna, Thonis' wife, sent Helena for a token, as Macrobius, 7. Saturnal. Goropius Hermat. lib. 9. Greg. Nazianzen, and others suppose, but opportunity of speech: for Helena's bowl, Medea's unction, Venus's girdle, Circe's cup, cannot so enchant, so forcibly move or alter as it doth. A letter sent or read will do as much; multum allevor quum tuas literas lego, I am much eased, as 3449Tully wrote to Pomponius Atticus, when I read thy letters, and as Julianus the Apostate once signified to Maximus the philosopher; as Alexander slept with Homer's works, so do I with thine epistles, tanquam Paeoniis medicamentis, easque assidue tanquam, recentes et novas iteramus; scribe ergo, et assidue scribe, or else come thyself; amicus ad amicum venies. Assuredly a wise and well-spoken man may do what he will in such a case; a good orator alone, as 3450Tully holds, can alter affections by power of his eloquence, “comfort such as are afflicted, erect such as are depressed, expel and mitigate fear, lust, anger,” &c. And how powerful is the charm of a discreet and dear friend? Ille regit dictis animos et temperat iras. What may not he effect? As 3451Chremes told Menedemus, “Fear not, conceal it not, O friend! but tell me what it is that troubles thee, and I shall surely help thee by comfort, counsel, or in the matter itself.” 3452 Arnoldus, lib. 1. breviar. cap. 18. speaks of a usurer in his time, that upon a loss, much melancholy and discontent, was so cured. As imagination, fear, grief, cause such passions, so conceits alone, rectified by good hope, counsel, &c., are able again to help: and 'tis incredible how much they can do in such a case, as 3453Trincavellius illustrates by an example of a patient of his; Porphyrius, the philosopher, in Plotinus's life (written by him), relates, that being in a discontented humour through insufferable anguish of mind, he was going to make away himself: but meeting by chance his master Plotinus, who perceiving by his distracted looks all was not well, urged him to confess his grief: which when he had heard, he used such comfortable speeches, that he redeemed him e faucibus Erebi, pacified his unquiet mind, insomuch that he was easily reconciled to himself, and much abashed to think afterwards that he should ever entertain so vile a motion. By all means, therefore, fair promises, good words, gentle persuasions, are to be used, not to be too rigorous at first, 3454“or to insult over them, not to deride, neglect, or contemn,” but rather, as Lemnius exhorteth, “to pity, and by all plausible means to seek to redress them:” but if satisfaction may not be had, mild courses, promises, comfortable speeches, and good counsel will not take place; then as Christophorus a Vega determines, lib. 3. cap. 14. de Mel. to handle them more roughly, to threaten and chide, saith 3455Altomarus, terrify sometimes, or as Salvianus will have them, to be lashed and whipped, as we do by a starting horse, 3456that is affrighted without a cause, or as 3457Rhasis adviseth, “one while to speak fair and flatter, another while to terrify and chide, as they shall see cause.”
When none of these precedent remedies will avail, it will not be amiss, which Savanarola and Aelian Montaltus so much commend, clavum clavo pellere, 3458“to drive out one passion with another, or by some contrary passion,” as they do bleeding at nose by letting blood in the arm, to expel one fear with another, one grief with another. 3459 Christophorus a Vega accounts it rational physic, non alienum a ratione: and Lemnius much approves it, “to use a hard wedge to a hard knot,” to drive out one disease with another, to pull out a tooth, or wound him, to geld him, saith 3460Platerus, as they did epileptical patients of old, because it quite alters the temperature, that the pain of the one may mitigate the grief of the other; 3461“and I knew one that was so cured of a quartan ague, by the sudden coming of his enemies upon him.” If we may believe 3462Pliny, whom Scaliger calls mendaciorum patrem, the father of lies, Q. Fabius Maximus, that renowned consul of Rome, in a battle fought with the king of the Allobroges, at the river Isaurus, was so rid of a quartan ague. Valesius, in his controversies, holds this an excellent remedy, and if it be discreetly used in this malady, better than any physic.
Sometimes again by some 3463feigned lie, strange news, witty device, artificial invention, it is not amiss to deceive them. 3464“As they hate those,” saith Alexander, “that neglect or deride, so they will give ear to such as will soothe them up. If they say they have swallowed frogs or a snake, by all means grant it, and tell them you can easily cure it;” 'tis an ordinary thing. Philodotus, the physician, cured a melancholy king, that thought his head was off, by putting a leaden cap thereon; the weight made him perceive it, and freed him of his fond imagination. A woman, in the said Alexander, swallowed a serpent as she thought; he gave her a vomit, and conveyed a serpent, such as she conceived, into the basin; upon the sight of it she was amended. The pleasantest dotage that ever I read, saith 3465Laurentius, was of a gentleman at Senes in Italy, who was afraid to piss, lest all the town should be drowned; the physicians caused the bells to be rung backward, and told him the town was on fire, whereupon he made water, and was immediately cured. Another supposed his nose so big that he should dash it against the wall if he stirred; his physician took a great piece of flesh, and holding it in his hand, pinched him by the nose, making him believe that flesh was cut from it. Forestus, obs. lib. 1. had a melancholy patient, who thought he was dead, 3466“he put a fellow in a chest, like a dead man, by his bedside, and made him rear himself a little, and eat: the melancholy man asked the counterfeit, whether dead men use to eat meat? He told him yea; whereupon he did eat likewise and was cured.” Lemnius, lib. 2. cap. 6. de 4. complex, hath many such instances, and Jovianus Pontanus, lib. 4. cap. 2. of Wisd. of the like; but amongst the rest I find one most memorable, registered in the 3467French chronicles of an advocate of Paris before mentioned, who believed verily he was dead, &c. I read a multitude of examples of melancholy men cured by such artificial inventions.
3431. Ep. Q. frat.
3432. Aphor. prim.
3433. Epist. 10.
3434. Observando motus, gestus, manus, pedes, oculos, phantasiam, Piso.
3435. Mulier melancholia correpta ex longa viri peregrinatione, et iracunde omnibus respondens, quum maritus domum reversus, praeter spem, &c.
3436. Prae dolore moriturus quum nunciatum esset uxorem peperisse filium subito recuperavit.
3437. Nisi affectus longo tempore infestaverit, tali artificio imaginationes curare oportet, praesertim ubi malum ab his velut a primaria causa occasionem habuerit.
3438. Lib. 1. cap. 16. Si ex tristitia aut alio affectu caeperit, speciem considera, aut aliud qui eorum, quae subitam alterationem facere possunt.
3439. Evitandi monstrifici aspectus, &c.
3440. Neque enim tam actio, aut recordatio rerum hujusmodi displicet, sed iis vel gestus alterius Imaginationi adumbrare, vehementer molestum. Galat. de mor. cap. 7.
3441. Tranquil. Praecipue vitentur tristes, et omnia deplorantes; tranquillitati inimicus est comes perturbatus, omnia gemens.
3442. Illorum quoque hominum, a quorum consortio abhorrent, praesentia amovenda, nec sermonibus ingratis obtudendi; si quis insaniam ab insania sic curari aestimet, et proterve utitur, magis quam aeger insanit. Crato consil. 184. Scoltzii.
3443. Molliter ac suaviter aeger tractetur, nec ad ea adigatur quae non curat.
3444. Ob suspiciones curas, aemulationem, ambitionem, iras, &c. quas locus ille ministrat, et quae fecissent melancholicum.
3445. Nisi prius animum turbatissimum curasset; oculi sine capite, nec corpus sine anima curari potest.
3446. E graeco. “You shall not cure the eye, unless you cure the whole head also; nor the head, unless the whole body; nor the whole body, unless the soul besides.”
3447. Et nos non paucos sanavimus, animi motibus ad debitum revocatis, lib. 1. de sanit. tuend.
3448. Consol. ad Apollonium. Si quis sapienter et suo tempore adhibeat, Remedia morbis diversis diversa sunt; dolentem sermo benignus sublevat.
3449. Lib. 12. Epist.
3450. De nat. deorum consolatur afflictos, deducit perterritos a timore, cupiditates imprimis, et iracundias comprimit.
3451. Heauton. Act. 1. Scen. 1. Ne metue, ne verere, crede inquam mihi, aut consolando, aut consilio, aut rejuvero.
3452. Novi faeneratorem avarud apud meus sic curatum, qui multam pecuniam amiserat.
3453. Lib. 1. consil. 12. Incredibile dictu quantum juvent.
3454. Nemo istiusmodi conditionis hominibus insultet, aut in illos sit severior, verum miseriae potius indolescat, vicemque deploret. lib. 2. cap. 16.
3455. Cap. 7. Idem Piso Laurentius cap. 8.
3456. Quod timet nihil est, ubi cogitur et videt.
3457. Una vice blandiantur, una vice iisdem terrorem incutiant.
3458. Si vero fuerit ex novo malo audito, vel ex animi accidente, aut de amissione mercium, aut morte amici, introducantur nova contraria his quae ipsum ad gaudia moveant; de hoc semper niti debemus, &c.
3459. Lib. 3. cap. 14.
3460. Cap. 3. Castratio olim a veteribus usa in morbis desperatis, &c.
3461. Lib. 1. cap. 5. sic morbum morbo, ut clavum clavo, retundimus, et malo nodo malum cuneum adhibemus. Novi ego qui ex subito hostium incursu et inopi nato timore quartanam depulerat.
3462. Lib. 7. cap. 50. In acie pugnans febre quartana liberatus est.
3463. Jacchinus, c. 15. in 9. Rhasis Mont. cap. 26.
3464. Lib. 1. cap. 16. aversantur eos qui eorum affectus rident, contemnunt. Si ranas et viperas comedisse se putant, concedere debemus, et spem de cura facere.
3465. Cap. 8. de mel.
3466. Cistam posuit ex Medicorum consilio prope eum, in quem alium se mortuum fingentem pacuit; hic in cista jacens, &c.
3467. Serres. 1550.
Music a remedy.
Many and sundry are the means which philosophers and physicians have prescribed to exhilarate a sorrowful heart, to divert those fixed and intent cares and meditations, which in this malady so much offend; but in my judgment none so present, none so powerful, none so apposite as a cup of strong drink, mirth, music, and merry company. Ecclus. xl. 20. “Wine and music rejoice the heart.” 3468Rhasis, cont. 9. Tract. 15. Altomarus, cap. 7. Aelianus Montaltus, c. 26. Ficinus, Bened. Victor. Faventinus are almost immoderate in the commendation of it; a most forcible medicine 3469Jacchinus calls it: Jason Pratensis, “a most admirable thing, and worthy of consideration, that can so mollify the mind, and stay those tempestuous affections of it.” Musica est mentis medicina moestae, a roaring-meg against melancholy, to rear and revive the languishing soul; 3470“affecting not only the ears, but the very arteries, the vital and animal spirits, it erects the mind, and makes it nimble.” Lemnius, instit, cap. 44. This it will effect in the most dull, severe and sorrowful souls, 3471“expel grief with mirth, and if there be any clouds, dust, or dregs of cares yet lurking in our thoughts, most powerfully it wipes them all away,” Salisbur. polit. lib. 1. cap. 6. and that which is more, it will perform all this in an instant: 3472“Cheer up the countenance, expel austerity, bring in hilarity” (Girald. Camb. cap. 12. Topog. Hiber.) “inform our manners, mitigate anger;” Athenaeus (Dipnosophist. lib. 14. cap. 10.) calleth it an infinite treasure to such as are endowed with it: Dulcisonum reficit tristia corda melos, Eobanus Hessus. Many other properties 3473Cassiodorus, epist. 4. reckons up of this our divine music, not only to expel the greatest griefs, but “it doth extenuate fears and furies, appeaseth cruelty, abateth heaviness, and to such as are watchful it causeth quiet rest; it takes away spleen and hatred,” be it instrumental, vocal, with strings, wind, 3474Quae, a spiritu, sine manuum dexteritate gubernetur, &c. it cures all irksomeness and heaviness of the soul. 3475Labouring men that sing to their work, can tell as much, and so can soldiers when they go to fight, whom terror of death cannot so much affright, as the sound of trumpet, drum, fife, and such like music animates; metus enim mortis, as 3476Censorinus informeth us, musica depellitur. “It makes a child quiet,” the nurse's song, and many times the sound of a trumpet on a sudden, bells ringing, a carman's whistle, a boy singing some ballad tune early in the streets, alters, revives, recreates a restless patient that cannot sleep in the night, &c. In a word, it is so powerful a thing that it ravisheth the soul, regina sensuum, the queen of the senses, by sweet pleasure (which is a happy cure), and corporal tunes pacify our incorporeal soul, sine ore loquens, dominatum in animam exercet, and carries it beyond itself, helps, elevates, extends it. Scaliger, exercit. 302, gives a reason of these effects, 3477“because the spirits about the heart take in that trembling and dancing air into the body, are moved together, and stirred up with it,” or else the mind, as some suppose harmonically composed, is roused up at the tunes of music. And 'tis not only men that are so affected, but almost all other creatures. You know the tale of Hercules Gallus, Orpheus, and Amphion, felices animas Ovid calls them, that could saxa movere sono testudinis, &c. make stocks and stones, as well as beasts and other animals, dance after their pipes: the dog and hare, wolf and lamb; vicinumque lupo praebuit agna latus; clamosus graculus, stridula cornix, et Jovis aquila, as Philostratus describes it in his images, stood all gaping upon Orpheus; and 3478trees pulled up by the roots came to hear him, Et comitem quercum pinus amica trahit.
Arion made fishes follow him, which, as common experience evinceth, 3479 are much affected with music. All singing birds are much pleased with it, especially nightingales, if we may believe Calcagninus; and bees amongst the rest, though they be flying away, when they hear any tingling sound, will tarry behind. 3480“Harts, hinds, horses, dogs, bears, are exceedingly delighted with it.” Scal, exerc. 302. Elephants, Agrippa adds, lib. 2. cap. 24. and in Lydia in the midst of a lake there be certain floating islands (if ye will believe it), that after music will dance.
But to leave all declamatory speeches in praise 3481of divine music, I will confine myself to my proper subject: besides that excellent power it hath to expel many other diseases, it is a sovereign remedy against 3482 despair and melancholy, and will drive away the devil himself. Canus, a Rhodian fiddler, in 3483Philostratus, when Apollonius was inquisitive to know what he could do with his pipe, told him, “That he would make a melancholy man merry, and him that was merry much merrier than before, a lover more enamoured, a religious man more devout.” Ismenias the Theban, 3484Chiron the centaur, is said to have cured this and many other diseases by music alone: as now they do those, saith 3485Bodine, that are troubled with St. Vitus's Bedlam dance. 3486Timotheus, the musician, compelled Alexander to skip up and down, and leave his dinner (like the tale of the Friar and the Boy), whom Austin, de civ. Dei, lib. 17. cap. 14. so much commends for it. Who hath not heard how David's harmony drove away the evil spirits from king Saul, 1 Sam. xvi. and Elisha when he was much troubled by importunate kings, called for a minstrel, “and when he played, the hand of the Lord came upon him,” 2 Kings iii. Censorinus de natali, cap. 12. reports how Asclepiades the physician helped many frantic persons by this means, phreneticorum mentes morbo turbatas — Jason Pratensis, cap. de Mania, hath many examples, how Clinias and Empedocles cured some desperately melancholy, and some mad by this our music. Which because it hath such excellent virtues, belike 3487Homer brings in Phemius playing, and the Muses singing at the banquet of the gods. Aristotle, Polit. l. 8. c. 5, Plato 2. de legibus, highly approve it, and so do all politicians. The Greeks, Romans, have graced music, and made it one of the liberal sciences, though it be now become mercenary. All civil Commonwealths allow it: Cneius Manlius (as 3488Livius relates) anno ab urb. cond. 567. brought first out of Asia to Rome singing wenches, players, jesters, and all kinds of music to their feasts. Your princes, emperors, and persons of any quality, maintain it in their courts; no mirth without music. Sir Thomas More, in his absolute Utopian commonwealth, allows music as an appendix to every meal, and that throughout, to all sorts. Epictetus calls mensam mutam praesepe, a table without music a manger: for “the concert of musicians at a banquet is a carbuncle set in gold; and as the signet of an emerald well trimmed with gold, so is the melody of music in a pleasant banquet.” Ecclus. xxxii. 5, 6. 3489Louis the Eleventh, when he invited Edward the Fourth to come to Paris, told him that as a principal part of his entertainment, he should hear sweet voices of children, Ionic and Lydian tunes, exquisite music, he should have a — and the cardinal of Bourbon to be his confessor, which he used as a most plausible argument: as to a sensual man indeed it is. 3490 Lucian in his book, de saltatione, is not ashamed to confess that he took infinite delight in singing, dancing, music, women's company, and such like pleasures: “and if thou” (saith he) “didst but hear them play and dance, I know thou wouldst be so well pleased with the object, that thou wouldst dance for company thyself, without doubt thou wilt be taken with it.” So Scaliger ingenuously confesseth, exercit. 274. 3491“I am beyond all measure affected with music, I do most willingly behold them dance, I am mightily detained and allured with that grace and comeliness of fair women, I am well pleased to be idle amongst them.” And what young man is not? As it is acceptable and conducing to most, so especially to a melancholy man. Provided always, his disease proceed not originally from it, that he be not some light inamorato, some idle fantastic, who capers in conceit all the day long, and thinks of nothing else, but how to make jigs, sonnets, madrigals, in commendation of his mistress. In such cases music is most pernicious, as a spur to a free horse will make him run himself blind, or break his wind; Incitamentum enim amoris musica, for music enchants, as Menander holds, it will make such melancholy persons mad, and the sound of those jigs and hornpipes will not be removed out of the ears a week after. 3492Plato for this reason forbids music and wine to all young men, because they are most part amorous, ne ignis addatur igni, lest one fire increase another. Many men are melancholy by hearing music, but it is a pleasing melancholy that it causeth; and therefore to such as are discontent, in woe, fear, sorrow, or dejected, it is a most present remedy: it expels cares, alters their grieved minds, and easeth in an instant. Otherwise, saith 3493Plutarch, Musica magis dementat quam vinum; music makes some men mad as a tiger; like Astolphos' horn in Ariosto; or Mercury's golden wand in Homer, that made some wake, others sleep, it hath divers effects: and 3494Theophrastus right well prophesied, that diseases were either procured by music, or mitigated.
3468. In 9. Rhasis. Magnam vim habet musica.
3469. Cap. de Mania. Admiranda profecto res est, et digna expensione, quod sonorum concinnitas mentem emolliat, sistatque procellosas ipsius affectiones.
3470. Laguens animus inde erigitur et reviviscit, nec tam aures afficit, sed et sonitu per arterias undique diffuso, spiritus tum vitales tum animales excitat, mentem reddens aeilem, &c.
3471. Musica venustate sua mentes severiores capit, &c.
3472. Animos tristes subito exhilarat, nubilos vultus serenat, austeritatem reponit, jucunditatem exponit, barbariemque facit deponere gentes, mores instituit, iracundiam mitigat.
3473. Cithara tristitiam jucundat, timidos furores attenuat, cruentam saevitiam blande reficit, languorem. &c.
3474. Pet. Aretine.
3475. Castilio de aulic. lib 1. fol. 27.
3476. Lib. de Natali. cap. 12.
3477. Quod spiritus qui in corde agitant tremulem et subsaltantem recipiunt aerem in pectus, et inde excitantur, a spiritu musculi moventur, &c.
3478. Arbores radicibus avulsae, &c.
3479. M. Carew of Anthony, in descript. Cornwall, saith of whales, that they will come and show themselves dancing at the sound of a trumpet, fol. 35. 1. et fol. 154. 2 book.
3480. De cervo, equo, cane, urso idem compertum; musica afficiuntur.
3481. Numen inest numeris.
3482. Saepe graves morbos modulatum carmen abegit. Et desperatis conciliavit opem.
3483. Lib. 5. cap. 7. Moerentibus moerorem adimam, laetantem vero seipso reddam hilariorem, amantem calidiorem, religiosum divine numine correptum, et ad Deos colendos paratiorem.
3484. Natalis Comes Myth. lib. 4. cap. 12.
3485. Lib. 5. de rep. Curat. Musica furorem Sancti viti.
3486. Exilire e convivio. Cardan, subtil, lib. 13.
3487. Iliad. 1.
3488. Libro 9. cap. 1. Psaltrias. Sambuciatrasque et convivalia ludorum oblectamenta addita epuliis ex Asia invexit in urbem.
3490. Ista libenter et magna cum voluptate spectare soleo. Et scio te illecebris hisce captum iri et insuper tripudiaturum, haud dubie demulcebere.
3491. In musicis supra omnem fidem capior et oblector; choreas libentissime aspicio, pulchraram foeminarum venustate detineor, otiari inter has solutus curis possum.
3492. 3. De legibus.
3493. Sympos. quest. 5. Musica multos magis dementat quam vinum.
3494. Animi morbi vel a musica curantur vel inferuntur.
Mirth and merry company, fair objects, remedies.
Mirth and merry company may not be separated from music, both concerning and necessarily required in this business. “Mirth,” (saith 3495Vives) “purgeth the blood, confirms health, causeth a fresh, pleasing, and fine colour,” prorogues life, whets the wit, makes the body young, lively and fit for any manner of employment. The merrier the heart the longer the life; “A merry heart is the life of the flesh,” Prov. xiv. 30. “Gladness prolongs his days,” Ecclus. xxx. 22; and this is one of the three Salernitan doctors, Dr. Merryman, Dr. Diet, Dr. Quiet, 3496which cure all diseases — Mens hilaris, requies, moderata dieta. 3497Gomesius, praefat. lib. 3. de sal. gen. is a great magnifier of honest mirth, by which (saith he) “we cure many passions of the mind in ourselves, and in our friends;” which 3498Galateus assigns for a cause why we love merry companions: and well they deserve it, being that as 3499Magninus holds, a merry companion is better than any music, and as the saying is, comes jucundus in via pro vehiculo, as a wagon to him that is wearied on the way. Jucunda confabulatio, sales, joci, pleasant discourse, jests, conceits, merry tales, melliti verborum globuli, as Petronius, 3500 Pliny, 3501Spondanus, 3502Caelius, and many good authors plead, are that sole Nepenthes of Homer, Helena's bowl, Venus's girdle, so renowned of old 3503to expel grief and care, to cause mirth and gladness of heart, if they be rightly understood, or seasonably applied. In a word,
3504Amor, voluptas, Venus, gaudium,
Jocus, ludus, sermo suavis, suaviatio.
Gratification, pleasure, love, joy,
Mirth, sport, pleasant words and no alloy,
are the true Nepenthes. For these causes our physicians generally prescribe this as a principal engine to batter the walls of melancholy, a chief antidote, and a sufficient cure of itself. “By all means” (saith 3505 Mesue) “procure mirth to these men in such things as are heard, seen, tasted, or smelled, or any way perceived, and let them have all enticements and fair promises, the sight of excellent beauties, attires, ornaments, delightsome passages to distract their minds from fear and sorrow, and such things on which they are so fixed and intent.” 3506“Let them use hunting, sports, plays, jests, merry company,” as Rhasis prescribes, “which will not let the mind be molested, a cup of good drink now and then, hear music, and have such companions with whom they are especially delighted;” 3507“merry tales or toys, drinking, singing, dancing, and whatsoever else may procure mirth:” and by no means, saith Guianerius, suffer them to be alone. Benedictus Victorius Faventinus, in his empirics, accounts it an especial remedy against melancholy, 3508“to hear and see singing, dancing, maskers, mummers, to converse with such merry fellows and fair maids.” “For the beauty of a woman cheereth the countenance,” Ecclus. xxxvi. 22. 3509 Beauty alone is a sovereign remedy against fear, grief, and all melancholy fits; a charm, as Peter de la Seine and many other writers affirm, a banquet itself; he gives instance in discontented Menelaus, that was so often freed by Helena's fair face: and 3510Tully, 3 Tusc. cites Epicurus as a chief patron of this tenet. To expel grief, and procure pleasure, sweet smells, good diet, touch, taste, embracing, singing, dancing, sports, plays, and above the rest, exquisite beauties, quibus oculi jucunde moventur et animi, are most powerful means, obvia forma, to meet or see a fair maid pass by, or to be in company with her. He found it by experience, and made good use of it in his own person, if Plutarch belie him not; for he reckons up the names of some more elegant pieces; 3511Leontia, Boedina, Hedieia, Nicedia, that were frequently seen in Epicurus' garden, and very familiar in his house. Neither did he try it himself alone, but if we may give credit to 3512Atheneus, he practised it upon others. For when a sad and sick patient was brought unto him to be cured, “he laid him on a down bed, crowned him with a garland of sweet-smelling flowers, in a fair perfumed closet delicately set out, and after a portion or two of good drink, which he administered, he brought in a beautiful young 3513wench that could play upon a lute, sing, and dance,” &c. Tully, 3. Tusc. scoffs at Epicurus, for this his profane physic (as well he deserved), and yet Phavorinus and Stobeus highly approve of it; most of our looser physicians in some cases, to such parties especially, allow of this; and all of them will have a melancholy, sad, and discontented person, make frequent use of honest sports, companies, and recreations, et incitandos ad Venerem, as 3514Rodericus a Fonseca will, aspectu et contactu pulcherrimarum foeminarum, to be drawn to such consorts, whether they will or no. Not to be an auditor only, or a spectator, but sometimes an actor himself. Dulce est desipere in loco, to play the fool now and then is not amiss, there is a time for all things. Grave Socrates would be merry by fits, sing, dance, and take his liquor too, or else Theodoret belies him; so would old Cato, 3515Tully by his own confession, and the rest. Xenophon, in his Sympos. brings in Socrates as a principal actor, no man merrier than himself, and sometimes he would 3516“ride a cockhorse with his children.” — equitare in arundine longa. (Though Alcibiades scoffed at him for it) and well he might; for now and then (saith Plutarch) the most virtuous, honest, and gravest men will use feasts, jests, and toys, as we do sauce to our meats. So did Scipio and Laelius,
3517Qui ubi se a vulgo et scena in secreta remorant,
Virtus Scipiadae et mitis sapientia Laeli,
Nugari cum illo, et discincti ludere, donec
Decoqueretur olus, soliti ———
Valorous Scipio and gentle Laelius,
Removed from the scene and rout so clamorous,
Were wont to recreate themselves their robes laid by,
Whilst supper by the cook was making ready.
Machiavel, in the eighth book of his Florentine history, gives this note of Cosmo de Medici, the wisest and gravest man of his time in Italy, that he would 3518“now and then play the most egregious fool in his carriage, and was so much given to jesters, players and childish sports, to make himself merry, that he that should but consider his gravity on the one part, his folly and lightness on the other, would surely say, there were two distinct persons in him.” Now methinks he did well in it, though 3519 Salisburiensis be of opinion, that magistrates, senators, and grave men, should not descend to lighter sports, ne respublica ludere videatur: but as Themistocles, still keep a stern and constant carriage. I commend Cosmo de Medici and Castruccius Castrucanus, than whom Italy never knew a worthier captain, another Alexander, if 3520Machiavel do not deceive us in his life: “when a friend of his reprehended him for dancing beside his dignity,” (belike at some cushion dance) he told him again, qui sapit interdiu, vix unquam noctii desipit, he that is wise in the day may dote a little in the night. Paulus Jovius relates as much of Pope Leo Decimus, that he was a grave, discreet, staid man, yet sometimes most free, and too open in his sports. And 'tis not altogether 3521unfit or misbeseeming the gravity of such a man, if that decorum of time, place, and such circumstances be observed. 3522Misce stultitiam consiliis brevem — and as 3523he said in an epigram to his wife, I would have every man say to himself, or to his friend,
Moll, once in pleasant company by chance,
I wished that you for company would dance:
Which you refus'd, and said, your years require,
Now, matron-like, both manners and attire.
Well, Moll, if needs you will be matron-like,
Then trust to this, I will thee matron-like:
Yet so to you my love, may never lessen,
As you for church, house, bed, observe this lesson:
Sit in the church as solemn as a saint,
No deed, word, thought, your due devotion taint:
Veil, if you will, your head, your soul reveal
To him that only wounded souls can heal:
Be in my house as busy as a bee.
Having a sting for every one but me;
Buzzing in every corner, gath'ring honey:
Let nothing waste, that costs or yieldeth money.
3524And when thou seest my heart to mirth incline,
Thy tongue, wit, blood, warm with good cheer and wine:
Then of sweet sports let no occasion scape,
But be as wanton, toying as an ape.
Those old 3525Greeks had their Lubentiam Deam, goddess of pleasure, and the Lacedaemonians, instructed from Lycurgus, did Deo Risui sucrificare, after their wars especially, and in times of peace, which was used in Thessaly, as it appears by that of 3526Apuleius, who was made an instrument of their laughter himself: 3527“Because laughter and merriment was to season their labours and modester life.” 3528Risus enim divum atque; hominum est aeterna voluptas. Princes use jesters, players, and have those masters of revels in their courts. The Romans at every supper (for they had no solemn dinner) used music, gladiators, jesters, &c. as 3529Suetonius relates of Tiberius, Dion of Commodus, and so did the Greeks. Besides music, in Xenophon's Sympos. Philippus ridendi artifex, Philip, a jester, was brought to make sport. Paulus Jovius, in the eleventh book of his history, hath a pretty digression of our English customs, which howsoever some may misconstrue, I, for my part, will interpret to the best. 3530“The whole nation beyond all other mortal men, is most given to banqueting and feasts; for they prolong them many hours together, with dainty cheer, exquisite music, and facete jesters, and afterwards they fall a dancing and courting their mistresses, till it be late in the night.” Volateran gives the same testimony of this island, commending our jovial manner of entertainment and good mirth, and methinks he saith well, there is no harm in it; long may they use it, and all such modest sports. Ctesias reports of a Persian king, that had 150 maids attending at his table, to play, sing, and dance by turns; and 3531Lil. Geraldus of an Egyptian prince, that kept nine virgins still to wait upon him, and those of most excellent feature, and sweet voices, which afterwards gave occasion to the Greeks of that fiction of the nine Muses. The king of Ethiopia in Africa, most of our Asiatic princes have done so and do; those Sophies, Mogors, Turks, &c. solace themselves after supper amongst their queens and concubines, quae jucundioris oblectamenti causa (3532saith mine author) coram rege psallere et saltare consueverant, taking great pleasure to see and hear them sing and dance. This and many such means to exhilarate the heart of men, have been still practised in all ages, as knowing there is no better thing to the preservation of man's life. What shall I say, then, but to every melancholy man,
3533Utere convivis, non tristibus utere amicis,
Quos nugae et risus, et joca salsa juvant.
Feast often, and use friends not still so sad,
Whose jests and merriments may make thee glad.
Use honest and chaste sports, scenical shows, plays, games; 3534 Accedant juvenumque Chori, mistaeque puellae. And as Marsilius Ficinus concludes an epistle to Bernard Canisianus, and some other of his friends, will I this tract to all good students, 3535“Live merrily, O my friends, free from cares, perplexity, anguish, grief of mind, live merrily,” laetitia caelum vos creavit: 3536“Again and again I request you to be merry, if anything trouble your hearts, or vex your souls, neglect and contemn it,” 3537“let it pass.” 3538“And this I enjoin you, not as a divine alone, but as a physician; for without this mirth, which is the life and quintessence of physic, medicines, and whatsoever is used and applied to prolong the life of man, is dull, dead, and of no force.” Dum fata sinunt, vivite laeti (Seneca), I say be merry.
3539Nec lusibus virentem
Viduemus hanc juventam.
It was Tiresias the prophet's council to 3540Menippus, that travelled all the world over, even down to hell itself to seek content, and his last farewell to Menippus, to be merry. 3541“Contemn the world” (saith he) “and count that is in it vanity and toys; this only covet all thy life long; be not curious, or over solicitous in anything, but with a well composed and contented estate to enjoy thyself, and above all things to be merry.”
3542Si Numerus uti censet sine amore jocisque,
Nil est jucundum, vivas in amore jocisque.
Nothing better (to conclude with Solomon, Eccles. iii. 22), “than that a man should rejoice in his affairs.” 'Tis the same advice which every physician in this case rings to his patient, as Capivaccius to his, 3543 “avoid overmuch study and perturbations of the mind, and as much as in thee lies live at heart's-ease:” Prosper Calenus to that melancholy Cardinal Caesius, 3544“amidst thy serious studies and business, use jests and conceits, plays and toys, and whatsoever else may recreate thy mind.” Nothing better than mirth and merry company in this malady. 3545“It begins with sorrow” (saith Montanus), “it must be expelled with hilarity.”
But see the mischief; many men, knowing that merry company is the only medicine against melancholy, will therefore neglect their business; and in another extreme, spend all their days among good fellows in a tavern or an alehouse, and know not otherwise how to bestow their time but in drinking; malt-worms, men-fishes, or water-snakes, 3546Qui bibunt solum ranarum more, nihil comedentes, like so many frogs in a puddle. 'Tis their sole exercise to eat, and drink; to sacrifice to Volupia, Rumina, Edulica, Potina, Mellona, is all their religion. They wish for Philoxenus' neck, Jupiter's trinoctium, and that the sun would stand still as in Joshua's time, to satisfy their lust, that they might dies noctesque pergraecari et bibere. Flourishing wits, and men of good parts, good fashion, and good worth, basely prostitute themselves to every rogue's company, to take tobacco and drink, to roar and sing scurrilous songs in base places.
3547Invenies aliquem cum percussore jacentem,
Permistum nautis, aut furibus, aut fugitivis.
Which Thomas Erastus objects to Paracelsus, that he would be drinking all day long with carmen and tapsters in a brothel-house, is too frequent among us, with men of better note: like Timocreon of Rhodes, multa bibens, et multa vorans, &c. They drown their wits, seethe their brains in ale, consume their fortunes, lose their time, weaken their temperatures, contract filthy diseases, rheums, dropsies, calentures, tremor, get swollen jugulars, pimpled red faces, sore eyes, &c.; heat their livers, alter their complexions, spoil their stomachs, overthrow their bodies; for drink drowns more than the sea and all the rivers that fall into it (mere funges and casks), confound their souls, suppress reason, go from Scylla to Charybdis, and use that which is a help to their undoing. 3548Quid refert morbo an ferro pereamve ruina? 3549When the Black Prince went to set the exiled king of Castile into his kingdom, there was a terrible battle fought between the English and the Spanish: at last the Spanish fled, the English followed them to the river side, where some drowned themselves to avoid their enemies, the rest were killed. Now tell me what difference is between drowning and killing? As good be melancholy still, as drunken beasts and beggars. Company a sole comfort, and an only remedy to all kind of discontent, is their sole misery and cause of perdition. As Hermione lamented in Euripides, malae mulieres me fecerunt malam. Evil company marred her, may they justly complain, bad companions have been their bane. For, 3550malus malum vult ut sit sui similis; one drunkard in a company, one thief, one whoremaster, will by his goodwill make all the rest as bad as himself,
3551 ——— Et si
Nocturnos jures te formidare vapores,
be of what complexion you will, inclination, love or hate, be it good or bad, if you come amongst them, you must do as they do; yea, 3552though it be to the prejudice of your health, you must drink venenum pro vino. And so like grasshoppers, whilst they sing over their cups all summer, they starve in winter; and for a little vain merriment shall find a sorrowful reckoning in the end.
3495. Lib. 3. de anima Laetitia purgat sanguinem, valetudinem conservat, colorem inducit florentem, nitidum gratum.
3496. Spiritus temperat, calorem excitat, naturalem virtutem corroborat, juvenile corpus diu servat, vitam prorogat, ingenium acuit, et hominum negotii quibuslibet aptiorem reddit. Schola Salern.
3497. Dum contumelia vacant et festiva lenitate mordent, mediocres animi aegritudines sanari solent, &c.
3498. De mor. fol. 57. Amamusideo eos qui sunt faceti et jucundi.
3499. Regim. sanit. part. 2. Nota quod arnicas bonus et dilectus socius, narrationibus suis jucundis superat omneni melodiam.
3500. Lib. 21. cap. 27.
3501. Comment. in 4 Odyss.
3502. Lib. 26. c. 15.
3503. Homericum illud Nepenthes quod moerorem tollit, et cuthimiam, et hilaritatem parit.
3504. Plaut. Bacch.
3505. De aegritud. capitis. Omni modo generet laetitiam in iis, de iis quae audiuntur et videntur, aut odorantur, aut gustantur, aut quocunque modo sentiri possunt, et aspectu formarum multi decoris et ornatus, et negotiatione; jucunda, et blandientibus ludis, et promissis distrahantur, eorum animi, de re aliqua quam timent et dolent.
3506. Utantur ve nationibus ludis, jocis, amicorum consortiis, quae non sinunt animum turbari, vino et cantu et loci mutatione, et biberia, et gaudio, ex quibus praecipue delectantur.
3507. Piso ex fabulis et ludis quaerenda delectatio. His versetur qui maxima grati, sunt, cantus et chorea ad laetitiam prosunt.
3508. Praecipue valet ad expellendam melancholiam stare in cantibus, ludis, et sonis et habitare cum familiaribus, et praecipue cum puellis jucundis.
3509. Par. 5. de avocamentis lib. de absolvendo luctu.
3510. Corporum complexus, cantus, ludi, formae, &c.
3511. Circa hortos Epicuri frequenter.
3512. Dypnosoph. lib. 10. Coronavit florido serto incendens odores, in culcitra plumea collocavit dulciculam potionem propinans psaltriam adduxit, &c.
3513. Ut reclinata suaviter in lectum puella, &c.
3514. Tom. 2. consult. 85.
3515. Epist. fam. lib. 7. 22. epist. Heri demum bene potus, seroque redieram.
3516. Valer. Max. cap. lib. 8. Interposita arundine cruribus suis, cum filiis ludens, ab Alcibiade risus est.
3518. Hominibus facetis et ludis puerilibus ultra modum deditus adeo ut si cui in eo tam gravitatem, quam levitatem considerare liberet, duas personas distinctas in eo esse diceret.
3519. De nugis curial. lib. 1. cap. 4. Magistratus et viri graves, a ludis levioribus arcendi.
3520. Machiavel vita ejus. Ab amico reprehensus, quod praeter dignitatem tripudiis operam daret, respondet, &c.
3521. There is a time for all things, to weep, laugh, mourn, dance, Eccles. iii. 4.
3523. John Harrington, Epigr. 50.
3524. Lucretia toto sis licet usque die, Thaida nocte volo.
3525. Lil. Giraldus hist. deor. Syntag. 1.
3526. Lib. 2. de aur. as.
3527. Eo quod risus esset laboris et modesti victus condimentum.
3528. Calcag. epig.
3529. Cap. 61. In deliciis habuit scurras et adulatores.
3530. Universa gens supra mortales caeteros conviviorum studiosissima. Ea enim per varias et exquisitas dapes, interpositis musicis et joculatoribus, in multas saepius horas extrahunt, ac subinde productis choreis et amoribus foeminarum indulgent, &c.
3531. Syntag. de Musis.
3532. Atheneus lib. 12 et 14. assiduis mulierum vocibus, cantuque symphoniae Palatium Persarum regis totum personabat. Jovius hist. lib. 18.
3533. Eobanus Hessus.
3535. Vivite ergo laeti, O amici, procul ab angustia, vivite laeti.
3536. Iterum precor et obtestor, vivite laeti: illad quod cor urit, negligite.
3537. Laetus in praesens animus quod ultra oderit curare. Hor. He was both Sacerdoa et Medicus.
3538. Haec autem non tam ut Sacerdos, amici, mando vobis, quam ut medicus; nam absque hac una tanquam medicinarum vita, medicinae omnes ad vitam producendam. adhibitae moriuntur: vivite laeti.
3539. Locheus Anacreon.
3540. Lucian. Necyomantia. Tom. 2.
3541. Omnia mundana nugas aestima. Hoc solum tota vita persequere, ut praesentibus bene compositis, minime curiosus, aut ulla in re solicitus, quam plurimum potes vitam hilarem traducas.
3542. “If the world think that nothing can be happy without love and mirth, then live in love and jollity.”
3543. Hildesheim spicel. 2. de Mania, fol. 161. Studia literarum et animi perturbationes fugiat, et quantum potest jucunde vivat.
3544. Lib. de atra bile. Gravioribus curis ludos et facetias aliquando interpone, jocos, et quae solent animum relaxare.
3545. Consil. 30. mala valetudo aucta et contracta est tristitia, ac proptera exhilaratione animi removenda.
3546. Athen. dypnosoph. lib. 1.
3547. Juven. sat. 8. “You will find him beside some cutthroat, along with sailors, or thieves, or runaways.”
3548. Hor. “What does it signify whether I perish by disease or by the sword!”
3549. Frossard. hist. lib. 1. Hispani cum Anglorum vires ferre non possent, in fugam se dederunt, &c. Praecipites in fluvium se dederunt, ne in hostium manus venirent.
3551. Hor “Although you swear that you dread the night air.”
3552. Ἠ πίθι ἠ ἄπιθι. “Either drink or depart.”
Last updated Sunday, March 27, 2016 at 11:52