The Anatomy of Melancholy eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 2,057 pages of information about The Anatomy of Melancholy.

The quantity depends upon the party’s habit of body, as he is strong or weak, full or empty, may spare more or less.

In the morning is the fittest time:  some doubt whether it be best fasting, or full, whether the moon’s motion or aspect of planets be to be observed; some affirm, some deny, some grant in acute, but not in chronic diseases, whether before or after physic.  ‘Tis Heurnius’ aphorism a phlebotomia auspicandum esse curiationem, non a pharmacia, you must begin with bloodletting and not physic; some except this peculiar malady.  But what do I?  Horatius Augenius, a physician of Padua, hath lately writ 17 books of this subject, Jobertus, &c.

Particular kinds of bloodletting in use [4242]are three, first is that opening a vein in the arm with a sharp knife, or in the head, knees, or any other parts, as shall be thought fit.

Cupping-glasses with or without scarification, ocyssime compescunt, saith Fernelius, they work presently, and are applied to several parts, to divert humours, aches, winds, &c.

Horseleeches are much used in melancholy, applied especially to the haemorrhoids.  Horatius Augenius, lib. 10. cap. 10. Platerus de mentis alienat. cap. 3. Altomarus, Piso, and many others, prefer them before any evacuations in this kind.

[4243]Cauteries, or searing with hot irons, combustions, borings, lancings, which, because they are terrible, Dropax and Sinapismus are invented by plasters to raise blisters, and eating medicines of pitch, mustard-seed, and the like.

Issues still to be kept open, made as the former, and applied in and to several parts, have their use here on divers occasions, as shall be shown.


SUBSECT.  I.—­Particular Cure of the three several Kinds; of Head Melancholy.

The general cures thus briefly examined and discussed, it remains now to apply these medicines to the three particular species or kinds, that, according to the several parts affected, each man may tell in some sort how to help or ease himself.  I will treat of head melancholy first, in which, as in all other good cures, we must begin with diet, as a matter of most moment, able oftentimes of itself to work this effect.  I have read, saith Laurentius, cap. 8. de Melanch. that in old diseases which have gotten the upper hand or a habit, the manner of living is to more purpose, than whatsoever can be drawn out of the most precious boxes of the apothecaries.  This diet, as I have said, is not only in choice of meat and drink, but of all those other non-natural things.  Let air be clear and moist most part:  diet moistening, of good juice, easy of digestion, and not windy:  drink clear, and well brewed, not too strong, nor too small.  “Make a melancholy man fat,” as [4244]Rhasis saith, “and thou hast finished the cure.”  Exercise not too remiss, nor

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The Anatomy of Melancholy from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.