The Anatomy of Melancholy eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 2,057 pages of information about The Anatomy of Melancholy.
will bring his action against him, and there likely hold him.  If any discontent seize upon a patient, in an instant all other perturbations (for—­qua data porta ruunt) will set upon him, and then like a lame dog or broken-winged goose he droops and pines away, and is brought at last to that ill habit or malady of melancholy itself.  So that as the philosophers make [941]eight degrees of heat and cold, we may make eighty-eight of melancholy, as the parts affected are diversely seized with it, or have been plunged more or less into this infernal gulf, or waded deeper into it.  But all these melancholy fits, howsoever pleasing at first, or displeasing, violent and tyrannizing over those whom they seize on for the time; yet these fits I say, or men affected, are but improperly so called, because they continue not, but come and go, as by some objects they aye moved.  This melancholy of which we are to treat, is a habit, mosbus sonticus, or chronicus, a chronic or continuate disease, a settled humour, as [942] Aurelianus and [943]others call it, not errant, but fixed; and as it was long increasing, so now being (pleasant, or painful) grown to an habit, it will hardly be removed.


SUBSECT.  I.—­Digression of Anatomy.

Before I proceed to define the disease of melancholy, what it is, or to discourse farther of it, I hold it not impertinent to make a brief digression of the anatomy of the body and faculties of the soul, for the better understanding of that which is to follow; because many hard words will often occur, as mirach, hypocondries, emerods, &c., imagination, reason, humours, spirits, vital, natural, animal, nerves, veins, arteries, chylus, pituita; which by the vulgar will not so easily be perceived, what they are, how cited, and to what end they serve.  And besides, it may peradventure give occasion to some men to examine more accurately, search further into this most excellent subject, and thereupon with that royal [944]prophet to praise God, ("for a man is fearfully and wonderfully made, and curiously wrought”) that have time and leisure enough, and are sufficiently informed in all other worldly businesses, as to make a good bargain, buy and sell, to keep and make choice of a fair hawk, hound, horse, &c.  But for such matters as concern the knowledge of themselves, they are wholly ignorant and careless; they know not what this body and soul are, how combined, of what parts and faculties they consist, or how a man differs from a dog.  And what can be more ignominious and filthy (as [945]Melancthon well inveighs) “than for a man not to know the structure and composition of his own body, especially since the knowledge of it tends so much to the preservation, of his health, and information of his manners?” To stir them up therefore to this study, to peruse those elaborate works of [946]Galen, Bauhines, Plater, Vesalius, Falopius, Laurentius, Remelinus, &c., which

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The Anatomy of Melancholy from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.