and those immaterial, as I have said. Sometimes
they cannot well discern this disease from others.
In Reinerus Solenander’s counsels, (Sect,
,) he and Dr. Brande both agreed, that
the patient’s disease was hypochondriacal melancholy.
Dr. Matholdus said it was asthma, and nothing else.
Solenander and Guarionius, lately sent for to
the melancholy Duke of Cleve, with others, could not
define what species it was, or agree amongst themselves.
The species are so confounded, as in Caesar Claudinus
his forty-fourth consultation for a Polonian Count,
in his judgment "he laboured of head melancholy,
and that which proceeds from the whole temperature
both at once.” I could give instance of
some that have had all three kinds semel et simul
and some successively. So that I conclude of our
melancholy species, as many politicians do of
their pure forms of commonwealths, monarchies, aristocracies,
democracies, are most famous in contemplation, but
in practice they are temperate and usually mixed, (so
Polybius informeth us) as the Lacedaemonian,
the Roman of old, German now, and many others.
What physicians say of distinct species in their books
it much matters not, since that in their patients’
bodies they are commonly mixed. In such obscurity,
therefore, variety and confused mixture of symptoms,
causes, how difficult a thing is it to treat of several
kinds apart; to make any certainty or distinction
among so many casualties, distractions, when seldom
two men shall be like effected per omnia
’Tis hard, I confess, yet nevertheless I will
adventure through the midst of these perplexities,
and, led by the clue or thread of the best writers,
extricate myself out of a labyrinth of doubts and
errors, and so proceed to the causes.
SUBSECT. I.—Causes of Melancholy.
God a cause.
“It is in vain to speak of cures, or think of
remedies, until such time as we have considered of
the causes,” so Galen prescribes Glauco:
and the common experience of others confirms that
those cures must be imperfect, lame, and to no purpose,
wherein the causes have not first been searched, as
Prosper Calenius well observes in his tract de
atra bile to Cardinal Caesius. Insomuch that
"Fernelius puts a kind of necessity in the knowledge
of the causes, and without which it is impossible
to cure or prevent any manner of disease.”
Empirics may ease, and sometimes help, but not thoroughly
root out; sublata causa tollitur effectus as
the saying is, if the cause be removed, the effect
is likewise vanquished. It is a most difficult
thing (I confess) to be able to discern these causes
whence they are, and in such variety to say what
the beginning was. He is happy that can perform
it aright. I will adventure to guess as near
as I can, and rip them all up, from the first to the
last, general and particular, to every species, that
so they may the better be described.