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

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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 21 of 48)
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suspicion, error, opinion, science; to which are added art,
prudency, wisdom ; as also * synteresis, dictamen rcttionts,
conscience; so that in all there be fourteen species of the
understanding, of which some are innate, as the three last
mentioned ; the other are gotten by doctrine, learning, and
use. Plato will have all to be innate ; Aristotle reckons up
but five intellectual habits ; two practical, as prudency, whose
end is to practise; to fabricate; wisdom to comprehend the
use and experiments of all notions and habits whatsoever.
Which division of Aristotle (if it be considered aright) is all
one with the precedent ; for three being innate, and five
acquisite, the rest are improper, imperfect, and in a more
strict examination excluded. Of all these I should more
amply dilate, but my subject will not permit Three of them

1 Nihil in Intellectu, quod non prios flierat in aensu. Veleurio. < The p ire part
of the conecience.

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Mem. 2, subs. 11.] Anatomy of the Soul. 221

I will only point at, as more necessary to my following dis-

Synteresis, or the purer part of the conscience, is an innate
habit, and doth signify " a conversation of the knowledge of
the law of God and Nature, to know good or evil." And (as
our divines hold) it is rather in the understanding than in the
will. This makes the major proposition in a practical syllo-
gism. The dictamen rationis is that which doth admonish us
to do good or evil, and is the minor in the syllogism. The
conscience is that which approves good or evil, justifying or
condemning our actions, and is the conclusion of the syllo-
gism ; as in that familiar example of Regulus the Roman,
taken prisoner by the Carthaginians, and suffered to go to
Rome, on that condition he should return again, or pay so
much tor his ransom. The synteresis proposeth the ques-
tion; his word, oath, promise, is to be religiously kept,
although to his enemy, and that by the law of nature. * " Do
not that to another which thou wouldest not have done to
thyseli'." Dictamen applies it to him, and dictates this or the
like : Regulus, thou wouldst not another man should falsify
his oath, or break promise with thee ; conscience concludes,
therefore, Regulus, thou dost well to perform thy promise,
and oughtest to keep thine oath. More of this in Religious

SuBSECT. XL— 0/ the Win.

Will is the other power of the rational soul, *" which
covets or avoids such things as have been before judged and
apprehended by the understanding." If good, it approves ;
if evil, it abhors it ; so that his object is either good or eviL
Aristotle calls this our rational appetite ; for as, in the sensi-
tive, we are moved to good or bad by our appetite, ruled and
directed by sense ; so in this we are carried by reason. Be-
Bides, the sensitive appetite hath a particular object, good or

1 Quod tibi fieri non vis, alteri ne fece- cipit. vel rejicit ; approbat, vel improbat*
ris 'BMabintellectu monstratasie- Philip. Ignoti nulla oupido.

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222 Anatomy of the Soul [Part. L seo. X

bad ; this an universal, immaterial ; that respects onlj things
delectable and pleasant ; this honest. Again, they differ in
liberty. The sensual appetite seeing an object, if it be a
convenient good, cannot but de^re it ; if evil, avoid it ; but
this is free in his essence, ^ " much now depraved, obscured,
and fallen from his first perfection ;. jet in Some of his (dera-
tions still free," as to go, walk, move at his pleasure, and to
choose whether it will do or not do, steal or not steaL Other-
wise, in vain were laws, deliberations, exhortations, counsels,
precepts, rewards, promises, threats and punishments ; and
Grod should be the author of sin. But in ^ spiritual things
we will no good, prone to evil (except we be regenerate, and
led by the Spirit), we are egged on by our natural concupis-
cence, and there is &ra^ia, a confusion in our powers, • " our
wlyole will is averse from God and his law," not in natural
things only, as to eat and drink, lust, to which we are led
headlong by our temperature and inordinate appetite,

* " Nee no8 obniti contra, nee tendere tantiun

we cannot resist, our concupiscence is originally bad, oup
heart evil, the seat of our affections captivates and enforc^h
our will. So that in voluntary things we are averse from
Gk)d and goodness, bad by nature, by ^ ignorance worse, by
art, discipline, custom, we get many bad habits ; suffering
them to domineer and tyrannize over us ; and the devil is
still ready at hand with his evil suggestions, to tempt our
depraved will to some ill-disposed action, to precipitate us to
destruction, except our will be swayed and counterpoised
again with some divine precepts, and good motions of the
spirit, which many times restrain, hinder and check us, when
we are in the full career of our dissolute courses. So David.
corrected himself, when he had Saul at a vantage. Eeveng^.

1 Melancthon. Operationes plemmq.ue "We are neither able to oontetid agadi^

ferse, etsi libera sit ilia in essentia sua. them, nor only to make way." & Vol

> In civilibus libera, sed non in spirituali- propter ignorantiam, qnod bonis studUa

bus Osiander. > Tota voluntas aversa non sit instructa mens ut debolt, aat di-

^ Deo. Omnis homo mendaz. * Virg. vinis pneoeptis ezoulta.

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Mem. 2, subs. 11.] Anatomy of the Sotd. 223

and malice were as two violent oppugners on the one side ;
but honesty, religion, fear of Grod, withheld him on the other.
The actions of the will are veUe and noUsj to will and nill ;
which two words comprehend all, and they are good or bad,
accordingly as they are directed, and some of them freely per-
formed by himself ; although the Stoics absolutely deny it|
and will have all things inevitably done by destiny, imposing
a fatal necessity upon us, which we may not resist ; yet we
say that our will is free in respect of us, and things contin*
gent, howsoever in respect of Grod's determinate counsel, they
are inevitable and necessary. Some other actions of the will
are performed by the inferior powers, which obey him, as the
sensitive and moving appetite ; as to open our eyes, to go
hither and thither, not to touch a book, to speak fair or foul ;
but this appetite is many times rebellious in us, and will not
be contained within the lists of sobriety and temperance. It
was (as I said) once well agreeing with reason, and there was
an excellent consent and harmony between them, but that is
now dissolved, they often jar, reason is overborne by passion :
Fertur eguis auriga, nee audit currtis hahenas, as so many
wild horses run away with a chariot, and will not be curbed*
We know many times what is good, but will not do it, as she


1 " Trahit invitum nova vis, aliudque onpido,
Mens, aliud suadet,"

Lust counsels one thing, reason another, there is a new re-
lactancy in men. * Odi, nee possuniy cupiensj non esse quod
odi. We cannot resist, but as Phsedra confessed to her nurse^
• qtUB loqueris, vera sunt, sed Juror suggerit sequi pejora ; she
said well and true, she did acknowledge it, but headstrong
passion and fury made her to do that which was opposite.
So David knew the filthiness of his fact, what a loathsome,
foul, crying sin adultery was, yet notwithstanding, he would
commit murder, and take away another man's wife, enforced
against reason, religion, to follow his appetite.

1 Med. Orid. • Orid. < Seneca. Hipp.

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224 Dejimtion of Melancholy. [Part. L sec. 1.

Those natural and vegetal powers are not commanded by
will at all ; for " who can add one cubit to his stature ? "
These other may, but are not ; and thence come all those
headstrong passions, violent perturbations of the mind ; and
many times vicious habits, customs, feral diseases ; because
we give so much way to our appetite, and follow our inclina-
tion, like so many beasts. The principal habits are two in
number, virtue and vice, whose peculiar definitions, descrip-
tions, differences, and kinds, are handled at large in the ethics,
and are, indeed, the subject of moral philosophy.

MEMB. m.

SuBSECT. I. — Definition of Melancholy, Name, Difference.

Having thus briefly anatomized the body and soul of man,
as a preparative to the rest ; I may now fi-eely proceed to
treat of my intended object, to most men's capacity; and
after many ambages, perspicuously define what this melan-
choly is, show his name and differences. The name is im-
posed from the matter, and disease denominated from the
material cause ; as Bruel observes, lAeXavxokUi quasi W^xuva
Xo"^, from black choler. And whether it be a cause or an
effect, a disease or symptom, let Donatus Altomarus and
Salvianus decide; I will not contend about it. It hath
several descriptions, notations, and definitions. *Fracasto-
rius, in his second book of intellect, calls those melancholy,
" whom abundance of that same depraved humour of black
choler hath so misaffected, that they become mad thence, and
dote in most things, or in all, belonging to election, will, or
other manifest operations of the understanding." ^ Melanelius
out of Galen, Ruffus, ^tius, describe it to be " a bad and

1 Melancholicos yocamus, qnos exnbe- rectam rationein, Tolnntatem pertinent,

rantia yelpravitas Melanchoun ita male >elelectioneni,Tel intellect As operationes.

habet, ut inde insaniant rel in omnibus, < Pessimum et pertinacissimum morbam

▼el in ploribus iisqne manifestis sive ad qui homines in bruta degenerare oogit.

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Mem. 3, sabs. 1.] Definition of Melancholy. 225

peevish disease, which makes men degenerate into beasts : "
Gralen, " a privation or infection of the middle cell of the
head," &c., defining it from the part aflTected, which ^ Her-
cules de SaxoniS, approves, lih, 1, cap. 16, calling it "a
depravation of the principal function ;" Fuschius, lih, 1, cap.
23, Amoldus Breviar. lib, 1, cap, 18, Guianerius, and others ;
" By reason of black choler," Paulus adds. Halyabbas sim-
plj calls it a " commotion of the mind." Aretaeus, ^ " a per-
petual anguish of the soul, fastened on one thing, without an
ague ; " which definition of his, Mercurialis de affect cap, lih.
1, cap. 10, taxeth ; but JBlianus Montaltus defends, lih. de
morh. cap. 1, de Mehm. for suflScient and good. The common
sort define it to be " a kind of dotage without a fever, having
for his ordinary companions, fear and sadness, without any
apparent occasion. So doth Laurentius, cap. 4, Piso, lih. 1,
cap. 43, Donatus Altomarus, cap. 7, art. medic, Jacchinus,
in com. in Uh. 9, Khasis ad Almansor, cap. 15. Yalesius
eocerc. 17, Fuschius, instittU. 3, sec. 1, c. 11, 4*^., which
common definition, howsoever approved by most, ' Hercules
de Saxonia will not allow of, nor David Crucius, Theat. morh.
Herm. lih. 2, cap. 6, he holds it insufficient; "as * rather
showing what it is not, than what it is ; " as omitting the
specific difference, the fantasy and brain ; but I descend
to particulars. The summum germs is " dotage, or anguish
of the mind," saith AretaBUS ; " of the principal parts," Her-
cules de Saxonia adds, to distinguish it from cramp and paJsy,
and such diseases as belong to the outward sense and motions
[depraved] * to distinguish it from folly and madness (which
Montaltus makes angor animi, to separate) in which those
functions are not depraved, but rather abolished ; [without
an ague] is added by all, to separate it from frenzy, and
that melancholy which is in a pestilent fever. (Fear and
sorrow) make it differ from madness ; [without a cause] is

1 Panth. med. « Angor animi in explicat. * Animae fanctiones immin-

una contentione deflxus, absque febre. uuntur, in fotuitate, toUuntur in ma-

* Cap. 16, 1. 1. < Eorum definitio raor- nia, depravantur solum in melancholia.

bus quid non sit potiiu quam quid sit, Here, de Sax. cap. 1, tract, df* Melanoh

VOL. I. 16

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226 Of the Paris affected^ ^c. [Part. L sec 1.

lastly inserted, to specify it from all other ordinary passions
oi [fear and sorrow]. We properly call that dotage, as

* Laurentius interprets it, " when some one principal faculty
of the mind, as imagination, or reason, is corrupted, as all
melancholy persons have." It i^ without a fever, because
the humour is most part cold and dry, contrjtry to putrefac-
tion. Fear and sorrow are the true characters and insep-
arable companions of most melancholy, not all, as Her*
de Saxoni4, Tract de posthumo de MelanchoHa, cap. 2, well
excepts ; for to some it is most pleasant, as to such as laugh
most part ; some are bold again, and free from all manner of
fear and grief, as hereafter shall be declared.

SuBSECT. n. — Of the Fart affected. Affection. Parties

Some difference I find amongst writers, about the principal
part affected in this disease, whether it be the brain, or heart,
or some other member. Most are of opinion that it is the
brain ; for being a kind of dotage, it cannot otherwise be but
that the brain must be affected, as a similar part, be it by
*■ consent or essence, not in his ventricles, or any obstructions
in them for then it would be an apoplexy, or epilepsy, as

* Laurentius well observes, but in a cold, dry distemperature
of it in his substance, which is corrupt and become too cold,
or too dry, or else too hot, as in madmen, and such as are in-
clined to it \ and this • Hippocrates confirms, Gralen, the Ara-
bians, and most of our new writers. Marcus de Oddis (in a
consultation of his, quoted by * Hildesheim) and five otherai
there cited are of the contrary part ; because fear and sorrow,
which are passions, be seated in the heart. But this objection
is suflSciently answered by • Montaltus, who doth not deny that
the heart is affected (as • Melanelius proves out of Galen) by
reason of his vicinity, and so is the midriff and many other

1 Cap. 4, de mel. * Per consensum sive per oerebmin oontingat, et procerum

«iTe per essentiam. ^ Cap. 4, de mel. auctorltate et ratione stabilitur. * Ub.

) Sec. 7, de mor. vulgar, lib. 6. < Spi- de Mel. Cor yero vicinitatis ratione nxA

••el. de melancholia. 6 Cap. 8, de mel. afflcitur, acceptum transyersom ac stom-

pars aflbcta oerebram ^ya per ooosensum, achus cum doraali spina, &e.

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Mem. 8, subs. 2.] Of the Parts affected^ S^e, 227

parts. They do compati, and have a fellow-feeling by the
law of nature ; but forasmuch as this malady is caused by
precedent imagination, with the appetite, to whom spirits
obey, and are subject to those principal parts, the brain must
needs primarily be misaffected, as the seat of reason ; and
then the heart, as the seat of affection. ^ Gappivaccius and
Mercurialis have copiously discussed this question, and both
conclude the subject is the inner brain, and fram thence it is
communicated to the heart and other inferior parts, which
sympathize and are much troubled, especially when it comes
by consent, and is caused by reason of the stomach, or
myrach, as the Arabians term it, whole body, liver, or
* spleen, which are seldom free, pylorus, meseraic veins, &a
For our body is like a clock, if one wheel be amiss, all the
rest are disordered; the whole fiibric suffers; with sucb
admirable art and harmony is a man composed, such excel-
lent proportion, as Ludovicus Vives in his Fable of Man
hath elegantly declared.

As many doubts almost arise about the ^ affection, whether
it be imagination or reason alone, or both, Hercules de
Saxonid proves it out of Galen, ^tius, and Altomarus, that
the sole fault is in ^imagination. Bruel is of the same
mind ; Montaltus in his 2 cap, of Melancholy confutes this
tenet of theirs, and illustrates the contrary by many ex-
amples : as of him that thought himself a shell-fish, of a nun,
and of a desperate monk that would not be persuaded but
tliat he was damned ; reason was in fault as well as imagina-
tion, which did not correct this error ; they make away them-
selves oftentimes, and suppose many absurd and ridiculous
tilings. Why doth not reason detect the fallacy, settle and
persuade, if she be free ? * Avicenna therefore holds both
corrupt, to whom most Arabians subscribe. The same is
maintained by • Areteus, ' Grorgonius, Guianerius, &c To

1 Lib. 1, cap. 10. Subjectum est cere- nandi, non o<«itandi, nee inenioran<U

bnun interius. > Rar6 qnisquam tu- Isesa hie. » Lib. 8, Fen. 1, Tract. 4,

morem effag^t lienis, qui hoc morbo cap. 8. > Lib. 8, cap. 6. ' Lib Med

ftflBdtnr, Piso. Qnis affoctus. > See cap. 19, part. 2, Trao. lA, cap 2.

Donat. ab Altomap. * Facnitas Imi^-


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228 Of the Parts affected, ^c. [Part. 1. sec. i

end the (ontroversy, no man doubts of imagination, but that
it is hurt and misaffected here ; for the other, I determine
with * Albertinus Bottonus, a doctor of Padua, that it is first
in " imagination, and afterwards in reason ; if the disease be
inveterate, or as it is more or less of continuance ; but by
accident," as * Her. de Saxonia adds ; " faith, opinion, dis-
course, ratiocination, are all accidentally depraved by tlie
default of imagination."

Parties affected,"] To the part affected, I may here add
the parties, which shall be more opportunely spoken of else-
where, now only signified. Such as have the moon, Saturn,
Mercury misaffected in their genitures, such as live in over
cold, or over hot climes ; such as are bom of melancholy
parents ; as offend in those six non-natural things, are black,
or of a high sanguine complexion, 2 that have little heads,
that have a hot heart, moist brain, hot liver and cold stomach,
have been long sick ; such as are solitary by nature, great
students, given to much contemplation, lead a life out of
action, are most subject to melancholy. Of sexes both, but
men more often ; yet ' women misaffected are far more
violent, and grievously troubled. Of seasons of the year, the
autumn is most melancholy. Of peculiar times : old age, from
which natural melancholy is almost an inseparable accident ;
but this artificial malady is more frequent in such as are of
a * middle age. Some assign forty years, Gariopontus thirty.
Jubertus excepts neither young nor old from this adven-
titious. Daniel Sennertus involves all' of all sorts, out of
common experience, ^in omnibus omnino corporibus cujus-^
cunque constttiUioms domtnatur. ^tius and Aretius f ascribe
into the number " not only • discontented, passionate, and
miserable persons, swarthy, black; but such as are most

1 Hildesheim spioel. 2, de Melane. fol. 3 Areteus, lib. 8, cap. 6. * Qui prop«

207, et fol. 127. Quandoque etiam ra- statum sant. Aret. Mediis convenil

tlonalissiaffectusinvefcerataasit. •Lib. aetatibus, Piso. *De quartano.

' poflthnmo de Melane. edit. 1620, deprira- f Mb. 1, part. 2, cap. 11. « Primui

tor fides, discursus, opinio, &c., per ad Melancholiam non tarn moestns sed

▼Iflam Imaginationis, ex Accidenti.— et hilares, jocosi, cacbinnantes, irrisores,

* Qui parrnm caput habent, inseniiati et, qnl pleromqiie pmrnbri flunt.
plerique sunt. Arist. in phydOQnioipia.

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Mem. 8, subs. 3. J . Matter of Melancholy, 229

merry lind pleasant, scoffers, and high coloured." " Genei^
ally," saith Rhasis, ^"the finest wits and most generous
spirits, are before other obnoxious to it ; " I cannot except
any complexion, any condition, sex, or age, but ^ fools and
Stoics, which, according to ' Synesius, are never troubled
with any manner of passion, but as Anacreon's cicada, sine
sanguine et dolore ; similes fere diis sunt. Erasmus vindi-
cates fools from this melancholy catalogue, because they have
most part moist brains and light hearts ; ^ they are &ee from
ambition, envy, shame and fear ; they are neither troubled in
conscience, nor macerated with cares, to which our whole life
is most subject

SuBSECT. III. — Of the Matt&r of Mdancholy.

Of the matter of melancholy, there is much question be-
twixt Avicen and Galen, as you may read in • Cardan's
Contradictions, * Valerius's Controversies, Montanus, Prosper
Calenus, Cappivaccius, ' Bright, ® Ficinus, that have written
either whole tracts, or copiously of it, in their several trea-
tises of this subject. • " What this humour is, or whence it
proceeds, how it is engendered in the body, neither Galen,
nor any old writer, hath sufficiently discussed, as Jacchinus
thinks ; the Neoterics cannot agree. Montanus, in his Con-
sultations, holds melancholy to be material or immaterial ; and
so doth Arculanus ; the material is one of the four humours
before mentioned, and natural. The immaterial or adventi-
tious, acquisite, redundant, unnatural, artificial ; which * Her-
cules de Saxoni^ will have reside in the spirits alone, and to
proceed from a " hot, cold, dry, moist distemperature, which,

1 Qui stmt irabtilis ingentt, et mriltsB sanit tuenda. » Quisre ant qtialis sit

perspicacitatis de focili incidant in Mel- humor, aut qusB Istius dififerentiae et quo-

ancholiam, lib. 1, cont. Tract. 9. modo gignantur in corpore, scrutandum,

s NuDquam sanitate mentis excidit aut hSlc enim re multi veterum lab(»rayerunt,

d<d<Mre caj^tur. Brasm. & Li laud, zkeo fkcile aceipere ex (}aIeno sententiam

cadvit. 4 Vacant conscientiae camifi- ob loquendi varietatem. Leon. Jaech.

eina, nee pudeflunt, nee verentur, nee com. in 9, Rhasis cap. 15, cap. 16, in %

dilaoerantur millibus cuiarum, quibus lUiasis. * Lib. posthum. de Melan.

totaTitaobnoxiaest. & Lib. 1, tract. 8, edit. Venetiis 1620, cap. 7 et 8. Ab in

soQtradic. 18. * Ub. 1. cont. 21. temperie calida, humida, &c.

Bxif^ht, ea. 16. « Lib. 1, cap. 6, de

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230 Matter of Mekmchofy, [Part. 1. sec. l

wit] tout matter, alter the brain and functions of it * Para-
celsus wholly rejects and derides this division of four hu-
moui*s and complexions, but our Gralenists generally approve
of it, subscribing to this opinion of Montanus. '

This material melancholy is either simple or mixed; of-
fending in quantity or quality, varying according to his place,
where it settleth, as brain, spleen, meseraic veins, heart,
womb, and stomach ; or differing according to the mixture
of those natural humours amongst themselves, or four unnat-
ural adust humours, as they are diversely tempered and
mingled. If natural melancholy abound in the body, which
is cold and dry, " so that it be more ^ than the body is well
able to bear, it must needs be distempered," saith Faventius,
** and diseased ; " and so the other, if it be depraved, whether
it arise from that other melancholy of choler adust, or fix)m
blood, produceth the like effects, and is, as Montaltus con-
tends, if it come by adustion of humours, most part hot and
dry. Some difference I find, whether this melancholy mat-
ter may be engendered of all four humours, about the colour
and temper of it Gralen holds it may be engendered of
three alone, excluding phlegm, or pituita, whose true asser-
tion * Valesius and ^Menardus stiffly maintain, and so doth
• Fuschius, Montaltus, * Montanus. How (say they) can
white become black ? But Hercules de Saxonia, lib, post, de
mela, c. 8, and ^ Cardan are of the opposite part (it may be
engendered of phlegm, etd rard conttngat, though it seldom
come to pass), so is ® Guianerius and Laurentius, c 1, with
Melanct. in his Book de Anima, and Chap, of Humours ; he
calls it Asininam, dull, swinish melancholy, and saith that he
was an eye-witness of it ; so is ' Wecker. From melancholy
adust ariseth one kind ; from choler another, which is most
brutish ; another from phlegm, which is dull ; and the last
from blood, which is best Of these some are cold and dry,

1 Secundum magis aut Hiinus si in coiv * Ooncil. 26. ^ Lib. 2, oonvfadic. cap. 11.

pore fuerit, ad inteniperiem plusquam « De feb. tract, diff. 2, cap. 1, tion eat ne-

corpus salubriter ferre poterit : inde cor- gaudum ex hao fieri M elanchoUcos

pus morbosum effitur. 3 Lib. 1, con- ? In Syntax.

trorers. cap. 21. > Lib. 1, sect. 4, cap. 4.

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Mem. 3. subs. 4.] Species of Melancholy. 231

others hot and dry, * varying according to their mixtures, aa
they are intended, and remitted. And indeed as Rodericus
a Fons. cons. 12, 1, determines, ichors, and those serous mat-
ters being thickened become phlegm, and phlegm degenerates
into choler, choler adust becomes ceruginosa melancholia, as
vinegar out of purest wine putrefied or by exhalation of purer

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 21 of 48)