Robert Burton.

The anatomy of melancholy : what it is, with all the kinds, causes, symptoms, prognostics, and several cures of it : in three partitions, with their several sections, members, and subsections, philosophically, medically, historically opened and cut up : with a satirical preface, conducing to the fol online

. (page 20 of 48)
Online LibraryRobert BurtonThe anatomy of melancholy : what it is, with all the kinds, causes, symptoms, prognostics, and several cures of it : in three partitions, with their several sections, members, and subsections, philosophically, medically, historically opened and cut up : with a satirical preface, conducing to the fol → online text (page 20 of 48)
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in the end dried up by old age, and extinguished by death
for want of matter, as a lamp for defect of oil to maintain it*

Subs EOT. VI. — Of the sensible Said.

Next in order is the sensible faculty, which is as far be-
yond the other in dignity as a beast is preferred to a plant,
having those vegetal powers included in it. 'Tis defined an
" Act of an organical body by which it lives, hath sense, ap-
petite, judgment, breath, and motion." His object in general
is a sensible or passible quality, because the sense is affected
with it The general organ is the brain, from which princi-
pally the sensible operations are derived. This sensible soul
is divided into two parts, apprehending or moving. By the
apprehensive power we perceive the species of sensible things
present, or absent, and retain them as wax doth the print of
a seal. By the moving, the body is outwardly carried from
one place to another; or inwardly moved by spirits and
pulse. The apprehensive faculty is subdivided into two
parts, inward or outward. Outward, as the five senses, of
touching, hearing, seeing, smelling, tasting, to which you may
add Sealiger's sixth sftise of titillation, if you please ; or that
of speech, which is the sixth external sense, according to
LuUius. Inward are three — common sense, fantasy, mem-
ory. Those five outward senses have their object in outward
things only and such as are present, as the eye sees no colour
except it be at hand, the ear sound. Three of these senses
are of commodity, hearing, sight, and smell ; two of necessity,
touch, and taste, without which we cannot live. Besides, the
sensitive power is active or passive. Active in sight, the eye
sees the colour ; passive when it is hurt by his object, as the
eye by the sunbeams. According to that axiom, Visibile forte
destruit sensum} Or if the object be not pleasing, as a bad
sound to the ear, a stinking smell to the nose, &c.

1 " Too bright an object destroys the organ."
VOL. I. 14

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210 Anatomy of the Soul [Part. L aeo. 1

Siffht,"] Of these five senses, sight is held to be most
precious, and the best, and that by reason of his object, it
sees the whole body at once. By it we learn, and discern
all things, a sense most excellent for use ; to the sight three
things are required ; the object, the organ, and the medium.
The object in general is visible, or that which is to be seen,
as colours, and all shining bodies. The medium is the illu-
mination of the air, which comes from ^ light, commonly
called diaphanum ; for in dark we cannot see. Tlie organ is
the eye, and chiefly the apple of it, which by those optic
nerves, concurring both in one, conveys the sight to the com-
mon sense. Between the organ and object a true distance
is required, that it be not too near, nor too far off. Many
excellent questions appertain to this sense, discussed by phi-
losophers ; as yvhether this sight be caused intra mittendo^ vd
extra mittendo, S^c, by receiving in the visible species, or
sending of them out, which * Plato, * Plutarch, * Macrobius,
• Lactantius, and others dispute. And besides it is the sub-
ject of the perspectives, of which Alhazen the Arabian, Vi-
tellio, Roger Bacon, Baptista Porta, Guidus Ubaldus, Aqui-
lonius, &c., have written whole volumes.

Hearing.^ Hearing, a most excellent outward sense, " by
which we learn and get knowledge." His object is sound,
or that which is heard ; the medium, air; organ the ear. To
the sound, which is a collision of the air, three things are
required ; a body to strike, as the^ hand of a musician ; the
body struck, which must be solid and* able to resist ; as a
bell, lutestring, not wool, or sponge ; the medium, the air $
which is inward, or outward ; the outward being struck or
collided by a solid body, still strikes the next air, until it
come to that inward natural air, which as an exquisite organ
is contained in a little skin formed like a drum-head, and
struck upon by certain small instruments like drum-sticks,
conveys the sound by a pair of nerves, appropriated to that

1 Lmnen est actus perspicni. Lumen praot. Philot. 4. * lae. Mp* 8, de opit
& luce proTenit, Inz est in oorpore lucido. Dei, 1.
fi Satur. 7, o. 14- * In PbsBdon * De

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Mem. 2, subs. 6.] Anatomy of the Sottl. 211

use, to the common sense, as to a judge of sounds. There is
great variety and much delight in them ; for the knowledge
of which, consult with Boethius and other musicians.

SmdlingJ] Smelling is an " outward sense, which appre-
hends by the nostrils drawing in air ; " and of all the rest it
is the weakest sense in men. The organ in the nose, or two
small hollow pieces of flesh a little above it ; the medium the
air to men, as water to flsh ; the object, smell, arising from a
mixed body resolved, which, whether it be a quality, fume,
vapour, or exhalation,, I will not now dispute, or of their
differences, and how they are caused. This sense is an organ
of health, as sight and hearing, saith ^ Agellius, are of dis-
cipline; and that by avoiding bad smells, as by choosing
good, which do as much alter and affect the body many times,
as diet itself.

Taste.'] Taste, a necessary sense, "which perceives all
savours by the tongue and palate, and that by means of a
thin spittle, or watery juice." His organ is the tongue with
his tasting nerves ; the medium, a watery juice ; the object,
taste, or savour, which is a quality in the juice, arising from
the mixture of things tasted. Some make eight species or
kinds of savour, bitter, sweet, sharp, salt, &c, all which sick
men (as in an ague) cannot discern, by reason of their organs

Touchitig,'] Touch, the last of the senses, and most ignoble,
yet of as great necessity as the other, and of as much pleas-
ure. This sense is exquisite in men, and by his nerves
dispersed all over the body, perceives any tactile quality.
His organ the nerves; his object those first qualities, hot,
dry, moist, cold ; and those that follow them, hard, soft, thick,
thin, &C. Many delightsome questions are moved by phi-
losophers about these five senses; their organs, objects,
mediums, which for brevity I omit.


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212 Anatomy of the Soul [Part L sec. t

SuBSECT. VII. — Of the Inward Senses.

Oommon SeTiseJ] Inner senses are three in number, so
called, because they be within the brain-pan, as common
sense, fantasy, memory. Their objects are not only things
present, but tliey perceive the sensible species of things to
come, past, absent, such as were before in the sense. This
common sense is the judge or moderator of the rest, by
whom we discern all differences of objects ; for by mine
eye I do not know that 1 see, or by mine ear that I hear, but
by my common sense, who judgeth of sounds and colours ;
they are but the organs to bring the species to be censured ;
80 that all their objects are his, and all their offices are his.
The fore part of the brain is his organ or seat

FantasyJl Fantasy, or imagination, which some call esti-
mative, or cogitative (confirmed, saith *Femelius, by fre-
quent meditation), is an inner sense which doth more fully
examine the species perceived by common sense, of things
present or absent, and keeps them longer, recalling them to
mind again, or making new of his own. In time of sleep
this faculty is free, and many times conceives strange,
stupend, absurd shapes, as in sick men we commonly observe.
His organ is the middle cell of the brain ; his objects all the
species communicated to him by the common sense, by com-
parison of which he feigns infinite other unto himself. In
melancholy men this faculty is most powerful and strong, and
often hurts, producing many monstrous and prodigious things,
especially if it be stirred up by some terrible object, pre-
sented to it from common sense or memory. In poets and
painters imagination forcibly works, as appears by their
several fictions, antics, images ; as Ovid's house of sleep.
Psyche's palace in Apuleius, &c. In men it is subject and
governed by reason, or at least should be ; but in brutes it
hath no superior, and is ratio hrutorumy all the reason they

1 Phis. 1. 6, c. 8.

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Mem. 2, sabs. 8.] Anatomy of the SouL 213

Memory.'] Memory lays up all the species which the senses
have brought in, and records them as a good register, thai
they may be forthcoming when they are called for by fan-
tasy and reason. His object is the same with fantasy,
his seat and organ the back part of the brain.

Affections of the Senses, sleep and waking,] The affec-
tions of these senses are sleep and waking, common to all
sensible creatures. " Sleep is a rest or binding of the out-
ward senses, and of the common sense, for the preservation
of body and soul ** (as * Scaliger defines it) ; for when the
common sense resteth, the outward senses rest also. The
fantasy alone is free, and his commander reason; as ap-
pears by those imaginary dreams, which are of divers kinds,
natural, divine, demoniacal, &c., which vary according to
humours, diet, actions, objects, &c., of which Artemidorus,
Cardanus, and Sambucus, with their several interpreters,
have written great volumes. This ligation of senses pro-
ceeds from an inhibition of spirits, the way being stopped by
which they should come ; this stopping is caused of vapours
arising out of the stomach, filling the nerves, by which the
spirits should be conveyed. When these vapours are spent,
the passage is open, and the spirits perform their accustomed
duties; so that "waking is the action and motion of the
senses, which the spirits dispersed over all parts cause."

SuBSECT. Vni. — Of the Moving Faculty.

Appetite,"] This moving faculty is the other power of the
sensitive soul, which causeth all those inward and outward
animal motions in the body. It is divided into two faculties,
the power of appetite, and of moving from place to place.
This of appetite is threefold, so some will have it ; natural, as
it signifies any such inclination, as of a stone to fall downward,
and such actions as retention, expulsion, which depend not
on sense, but are vegetal, as the appetite of meat and drink ;

1 BxoTcit. 280.

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214 Anatomy of the SouL (Tart. L see. 1

hunger and thirst. Sensitive is common to men and brutes.
Voluntary, the third, or intellective, which commands the
other two in men, and is a curb unto them, or at least should
be, but for the most part is captivated and overruled by
them ; and men are led like beasts by sense, giving reins ta
their concupiscence and several lusts. For by this appetite
the soul is led or inclined to follow that good which the
senses shall approve, or avoid that which they hold evil ; his
object being good or evil, the one he embraceth, the other he
rejecteth ; according to that aphorism. Omnia appetuwt honum^
all things seek their own good, or at least seeming good.
This power is inseparable from sense, for where sense is,
there are likewise pleasure and pain. His organ is the same
with the common sense, and is divided into two powers, op
inclinations, concupiscible or irascible ; or (as * one translates
it) coveting, anger, invading, or impugning. Concupiscible
covets always pleasant and delightsome things, and abhors
that which is distasteful, harsh, and unpleasant Irascible,
* quasi aversans per Iram et odium, as avoiding it with anger
and indignation. All affections and perturbations arise out
of these two fountains, which, although the Stoics make light
of, we hold natural, and not to be resisted. The good affec-
tions are caused by some object of the same nature ; and if
present, they procure joy, which dilates the heart and pre-
serves the body ; if absent, they cause hope, love, desire, and
concupiscence. The bad are simple or mixed; simple for
some bad object present, as sorrow, which contracts the heart,
macerates the soul, subverts the good estate of the body,
hindering all the operations of it, causing melancholy, and
many times death itself; or future, as fear. Out of these
two arise these mixed affections and passions of anger, which
is a desire of revenge ; hatred, which is inveterate anger ;
zeal, which is offended with him who hurts tiiat he loves ;
and knixatpeicaKia, a compound affection of joy and hate, when
we rejoice at other men's mischief, and are grieved at theii

> T. W. Je^nite, in his Passions of the liOnde. * Yclonrio.

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Mem. 2, snbs. 8.J Anatomy of the Soul. 215

prosperity ; pride, self-love, emulation, envy, shame, &c, of
which elsewhere.

Moving from place to pldce, is a faculty necessanly follow-
ing the other. For in vain were it otherwise to desire and
to abhor, if we had not likewise power to prosecute or eschew,
by moving the body from place to place ; by this faculty,
therefore, we locally move the body, or any part of it, and go
from one place to another. To the better performance of
which, three things are requisite: that which moves; by
what it moves ; that which is moved. That which moves, is
either the efficient cause, or end. The end is the object,
which is desired or eschewed ; as in a dog to catch a hare,
&c The efficient cause in man is reason, or his subordinate
fantasy, which apprehends good or bad objects ; in brutes
imagination alone, which moves the appetite, the appetite this
faculty, which, by an admirable league of nature, and by me-
diation of the spirit, commands the organ by which it moves ;
and that consists of nerves, muscles, cords, dispersed through
the whole body, contracted and relaxed as the spirits will,
which move the muscles, or * nerves in the midst of them,
and draw the cord, and so per consequenSf the joint, to the
place intended. That which is moved, is the body or some
member apt to move. The motion of the body is divers, as
going, running, leaping, dancing, sitting, and such like, re-
ferred to the predicament of stttts. Worms creep, birds fly,
fishes swim ; and so of parts, the chief of which is respiration
or breathing, and is thus perfcxrmed. The outward air is
drawn in by tiie vocal artery, and sent by mediation of the
midriff to the lungs, which, dilating themselves as a pair of
bellows, reciprocally fetch it in, and send it out to the heart
to cool it ; and from thence now being hot, convey it again,
still takmg in fve&tu Such a like motion is that of the pulse,
of which, because many have written whole books, I will say

> Nerri k ipliitii moTentor, flpiiitof ab anlm*, Melaaet


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216 Anatomy of the Soul [Part. L sec 1.

SuBSECT. IX. — Of the national Soul.
In the precedent subsections I have anatomized those in-
ferior faculties of the soul ; the rational remaineth, " a pleas-
ant but a doubtful subject " (as ^ one terms it), and with the
like brevity to be discussed. Many erroneous opinions are
about the essence and original of it ; whether it be fire, as
Zeno held ; harmony, as Aristoxenus ; number, as Xenocra-
tes ; whether it be organical, or inorganical ; seated in the
brain, heart or blood ; mortal or immortal ; how it comes into
the body. Some hold that it is ex trculitce, as Phil, 1, de
Anima, TertuUiany Lactantius de opific. Dei, cap. 19. Hugo>t
lib, de Spiritu et Anima, Vincentius BeUavic, spec, naturcd,
lib. 23, cap, 2, et 11. Hippocrates, Avicenna, and many
^ late writers ; that one man begets another, body and soul ;
or as a candle from a candle, to be produced from the seed ;
otherwise, say they, a man begets but half a man, and is
worse than a beast that begets both matter and form ; and
besides the three faculties of the soul must be together in-
fused, which is most absurd as they hold, because in beasts
they are begot, the two inferior I mean, and may not be well
separated in men. ' Galen supposeth the soul crasin esse, to
be the temperature itself; Trismegistus, Musaeus, Orpheus,
Homer, Pindarus, Phaerecides Syrus, Epictetus, with the
Chaldees and -Egyptians, affirmed the soul to be immortal,
as did those British * Druids of old. The * Pythagoreans
defend Metempsychosis ; and Palingenesia, that souls go from
one body to another, epotd prius Lethes undd, as men into
wolves, bears, dogs, hogs, as they were inclined in their lives,
or participated in conditions.

t " inque ferinas
Possumus ire domas, pecudamqae in corpora condi.**

1 Velcurio. Jucnndum et anoeps sub- * Read JSneas Ghkseus dial, of the Immor-

jectura. 2 Gocleniiis in •^vyoJi. P«g- *aii*y o^ ^^^ Soul. t Ovid. Met. 15.

802. Bright in Phys.Scrib. 1.1. David "^t'^^^^^^^L **^®,''1u'^***^^#^^

CrusiuB, Melancthon, Hipplus Hemiufl, 5«"/»» <» ^ !«*««* in the bieuti of cU.

Tieylnus Lemnius, &c. » JAb. an mores "®-
iequantur, &c. * OflBsar. 6^ com.

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Mem. 2, subs. 9.] Anatomy of the SouL 217

* Lucian's cock was first Euphorbus a captain :

" Hie ego (nam memini) Trojani tempore bellL
Panthoides Euphorbus eram."

A horse, a man, a sponge. ^Julian the Apostate thought
Alexander's soul was descended into his body : Plato in
Timaeo, and in his Phaedon (for aught I can perceive), differs
not much from this opinion, that it was from Gk)d at first, and
knew all, but being inclosed in the body, it forgets, and learns
^new, which he calls remimscentia, or recalling, and that it
was put into the body for a punishment ; and thence it goes
into a beast's, or man's, as appears by his pleasant fiction de
sortitione animarum, lib, 10, de rep. and after ' ten thousand
years is to return into the former body again.

* " post varios annos, per miUe fignras,
Bursus ad humansB fertur primordia vitse."

Others deny the immortality of it, which Pomponatus of
Padua decided out of Aristotle not long since, PlinitLs Avun^
cuius, cap, 1, lib, 2, et lib, 7, cap. 55 / Seneca, lib, 7, epist, ad
Lucilium epist. 55 ; Dicearchus in ThiU. Tusc. Epicurus,
Aratus, Hippocrates, Galen, Lucretius, lib, 1.

** (Prffiterek gigni pariter cum corpore, et unk
Grescere sentimus, pariterque senescere mentem.)'* f

Averroes, and I know not how many Neoterics. J " This
question of the immortality of the soul, is diversely and won-
derfully impugned and disputed, especially among the Italians
of late," saith Jab. Gokrus, lib, de immort, aninue, cap. 1.
The popes themselves have doubted of it ; Leo Decimus, that
Epicurean pope, as § some record of him, caused this ques*
tion to be discussed pro and con before him, and concluded
at kvSt, as a profane and atheistical moderator, with that

1 In Oallo. Idem. > Nioephorus, hist, with the body, grows with it, and dectyi

Bb. 10, cap. 85. ^ Phaedo. • Clau- with it." t Haec qusestio multos pv

dian, lib. 1, de rap. Proaerp. t"Be- annos yarii, ac mirabiliter impugnat*,

MMf we observe tluit the mind is bom &c. ( Colerus, ibid

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218 Anatomy of the SouL [Part. I. se< . i.

verse of Cornelius Gallus, Et redit in mhilum, qtu)d/uit ante
mhiL It began of nothing, and in nothing it ends. Zeno
and his Stoics, as * Austin quotes him, supposed the soul so
long to continue, till the bodj was fully putrefied, and re-
solved into materia prima ; but after that, in fumos evanes-
cm-e^ to be extinguished and vanished ; and in the mean time,
whilst the body was consuming, it wandered all abroad, et ^
hnginquo rnuUa annunciare, and (as that Clazomenian Her-
motimus averred) saw pretty visions, and suflfered I know not
what '\ Errant exangues sine corpore et ossilms umbrce.
Others grant the immortality thereof, but they make many
fabulous fictions in the mean time of it, after the departure
fVom the body ; like Plato's Elysian fields, and that Turkey
paradise. The souls of good men they deified ; the bad
(saith * Austin) became devils, as they supposed ; with many
8uch absurd tenets, which he hath confiited. Hierome, Aus-
tin, and other Fathers of the Church, hold that the soul is
immortal, created of nothing, and so infused into the child or
embryo in his mother's womb, six months after »the * concep-
tion ; not as those of brutes, which are ex tradtLcCy and dying
with them vanish into nothing. To whose divine treatises,
and to the Scriptures themselves, I rejourn all such atheis-
tical spirits, as Tully did Atticus, doubting of this point, to
Plato's Phsedon. Or if they desire philosophical proofs and
demonstrations, I refer them to Niphus, Nic Faventinus's
tracts of this subject To Fran, and John Picus in digress ;
sup. 3, de Anima, Tholosanus, Eugubinus, to Soto, Canas,
Thomas, Peresius, Dandinus, Colerus, to that elaborate tract
in Zanchius, to Tolet's Sixty Reasons, and Lessius's Twenty-
two Arguments, to prove the immortality of the soul. (7a»i-
paneUa lib. de Sensu rerum, is large in the same discourse,
Albertinus the Schoolman, Jacob. Nactantus, tom. 2, op.
handleth it in four questions, Antony Brunus, Aonius Pale-
arius, Marinus Marcennus, with many others. This reason-

*' De eccles. dog. cap. 16. t Ovid. 4, rum lares, malomm rerd larras et lem*
Met. ** The bloodless shades without ures. * Some say at three days, eom
dtber body or twnes wander." i Bono- six weeks, others otherwise.

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Hfern. 2, subs. 10.] Anatomy of the SouL 219

able soul, which Austin calls a spiritual substance moving
itself, is defined by philosophers to be " the first substantial
act of a natural, humane, organical body, by which a man
lives, perceives, and understands, freely doing all things, and
with election." Out of which definition we may gather, that
this rational soul includes the powers, and performs the duties
of the other two, which are contained in it, and all three fac-
ulties make one soul, which is inorganical of itself, although
it be in all parts, and incorporeal, using their organs, and
working by them. It is divided into two chief parts, differ-
ing in office only, not in essence. The understanding, which
is the rational power apprehending ; the will, which is the
rational power moving ; to which two, all the other rational
powers are subject and reduced.

SuBSECT. X. — 0/tke Understanding

"Undekstandino is a power of the soul, ^by which we
perceive, know, remember, and judge as well singulars, as
universals, having certain innate notices or beginnings of arts,
a reflecting action, by which it judgeth of his own doings, and
examines them." Out of this definition (besides his chief
office, which is to apprehend, judge all that he performs,
without the help of any instruments or organs) three differ-
ences appear betwixt a man and a be.ast. As first, the sense
only comprehends singularities, the understanding universal-
ities. Secondly, the sense hath no innate notions. Thirdly,
brutes cannot reflect upon themselves. Bees indeed make
neat and curious works, and many other creatures besides ;
but when they have done, they cannot judge of them. His
object is Gk)d, -Srw, all nature, and whatsoever is to be under-
stood ; which successively it apprehends. The object first
moving the understanding, is some sensible thing ; after by
discoursing, the mind finds out the corporeal substance, and
fix)m thence the spiritual. His actions (some say) are appre-
hension, composition, division, discoursing, reasoning, memory,

1 MelanothoD.

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220 Anatomy of the Soul. [Part L seo L

which some include in invention, and judgment. The com-
mon divisions are of the understanding, agent, and patient ;
speculative, and practical ; in habit, or in act ; simple, or
compound. The agent is that which is called the wit of man,
etcumen or subtilty, sharpness of invention, when he doth
invent of himself without a teacher, or learns anew, which
abstracts those intelligible species from the fantasy, and
transfers them to the passive understanding, * " because there
is nothing in the understanding, which was not first in the
sense." That which the imagination hath taken from the
sense, this agent judgeth of, whether it be true or false ; and
being so judged he commits it to the passible to be kept.
The agent is a doctor or teacher, the passive a scholar ; and
his office is to keep and further judge of such things as are
committed to his charge ; as a bare and rased table at first,
capable of all forms and notions. Now these notions are two-
fold, actions or habits ; actions, by which we take notions of,
and perceive things ; habits, which are durable lights and
notions, which we may use when we will. Some reckon up
eight kinds of them, sense, experience, intelligence, faith,

Online LibraryRobert BurtonThe anatomy of melancholy : what it is, with all the kinds, causes, symptoms, prognostics, and several cures of it : in three partitions, with their several sections, members, and subsections, philosophically, medically, historically opened and cut up : with a satirical preface, conducing to the fol → online text (page 20 of 48)