The Anatomy of Melancholy eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 2,057 pages of information about The Anatomy of Melancholy.
sacerdotio, vel in collegiis suis in aeternum incarcerati, inglorie delitescant.  Sed nolo diutius hanc movere sentinam, hinc illae lachrymae, lugubris musarum habitus, [2101]hinc ipsa religio (quod cum Secellio dicam) “in ludibrium et contemptum adducitur,” abjectum sacerdotium (atque haec ubi fiunt, ausim dicere, et pulidum [2102] putidi dicterium de clero usurpare) “putidum vulgus,” inops, rude, sordidum, melancholicum, miserum, despicabile, contemnendum.[2103]


SUBSECT.  I—­Non-necessary, remote, outward, adventitious, or accidental causes:  as first from the Nurse.

Of those remote, outward, ambient, necessary causes, I have sufficiently discoursed in the precedent member, the non-necessary follow; of which, saith [2104]Fuchsius, no art can be made, by reason of their uncertainty, casualty, and multitude; so called “not necessary” because according to [2105]Fernelius, “they may be avoided, and used without necessity.”  Many of these accidental causes, which I shall entreat of here, might have well been reduced to the former, because they cannot be avoided, but fatally happen to us, though accidentally, and unawares, at some time or other; the rest are contingent and inevitable, and more properly inserted in this rank of causes.  To reckon up all is a thing impossible; of some therefore most remarkable of these contingent causes which produce melancholy, I will briefly speak and in their order.

From a child’s nativity, the first ill accident that can likely befall him in this kind is a bad nurse, by whose means alone he may be tainted with this [2106]malady from his cradle, Aulus Gellius l. 12. c. 1. brings in Phavorinus, that eloquent philosopher, proving this at large, [2107] “that there is the same virtue and property in the milk as in the seed, and not in men alone, but in all other creatures; he gives instance in a kid and lamb, if either of them suck of the other’s milk, the lamb of the goat’s, or the kid of the ewe’s, the wool of the one will be hard, and the hair of the other soft.”  Giraldus Cambrensis Itinerar.  Cambriae, l. 1. c. 2. confirms this by a notable example which happened in his time.  A sow-pig by chance sucked a brach, and when she was grown [2108]"would miraculously hunt all manner of deer, and that as well, or rather better, than any ordinary hound.”  His conclusion is, [2109]"that men and beasts participate of her nature and conditions by whose milk they are fed.”  Phavorinus urges it farther, and demonstrates it more evidently, that if a nurse be [2110]"misshapen, unchaste, dishonest, impudent, [2111]cruel, or the like, the child that sucks upon her breast will be so too;” all other affections of the mind and diseases are almost engrafted, as it were, and imprinted into the temperature of the infant, by the nurse’s milk; as pox, leprosy, melancholy, &c.  Cato for some such reason would make his servants’ children

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