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 42 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 42 of 48)
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which are incident to nurses, much darker may so come to
the child. * For these causes Aristotle, Polil. Uh. 7, c. 17,
Phavorinus and Marcus Aurelius would not have a child put
to nurse at all, but every mother to bring up her own, of what
condition soever she be ; for a sound and able mother to put
out her child to nurse, is ncOuree tntemperies, so *Guatso
calls it, 'tis fit, therefore, she should be nurse herself; the
mother will be more careful, loving, and attendant, than any
servile woman, or such hired creatures ; this all the world
acknowledgeth, convenientissimum est (as Rod. h Castro, de
nat muiierum, lib. 4, c. 12, in many words confesseth) matrem
ipsam lactare infantem, ^ It is most fit that the mother should
suckle her own infant" — who denies that it should be so ? —
and which some women most curiously observe ; amongst the

> lib. 2. de Cnsaribus. SBetla, o. 27, alimento degeneret corpcui, et animui
1.1, i^ccUsfl. hist. « Ne insitiyo laotis oorrampatur. • lib. 8, de dv. —

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ifem. 4, subs. 1.] Nurte^ a Cause. 437

rest, * that queen of France, a Spaniard by birth, that was
so precise and zealous in this behalf, that when in her absence
a stnM3ge nurse had suckled her child, she was never quiet
till she had made the infant vomit it up again. But she was
too jealous. If it be so, as many times it is, they must be
put forth, the mother be not fit or well able to be a nurse,
I would then advise such mothers, as ^ Plutarch doth in his
book, de liheris educandis^ and * S. Hierom, li. 2, episU 27,
LcBtce de institut. fL Magninus part. 2, JReg. saniU cap, 7,
and the said Rodericus, that they make choice of a sound
woman, of a good complexion, honest, free from bodily dis-
eases, if it be possible, all passions and perturbations of th6
mind, as sorrow, fear, grief, * folly, melancholy. For such
passions corrupt the milk, and alter the temperature of the
child, which now being * Udum et moUe lutum^ ^ a moist and
6ofr clay" is easily seasoned and perverted. And if such a
nurse may be found out, that will be diligent and careful
withal, let Phavorinus and M. Aurelins plead how they can
against it, I had rather accept of her in some cases than the
mother herself, and which Bonacialus the physician, Nic.
Biesius the politician, lib. 4, de repvh, cap. 8, approves,

* " Some nurses are much to be preferred to some mothers.**
For why may not the mother be nought, a peevish, drunken
flirt, a waspish, choleric slut, a crazed piece, a fool (as many
mothers are), unsound, as soon as the nurse? There is
more choice of nurses than mothers ; and therefore except the
mother be most virtuous, staid, a woman of excellent good
parts, and of a sound complexion, I would have all children
in such cases committed to discreet strangers. And 'tis the
only way; as by marriage they are ingrafted to other families
to alter the breed, or if anything be amiss in the mother, as
Ludovicus Mercatus contends, Tom. 2, lib. de morb. luered. to
prevent diseases and future maladies, to correct and qualify
the child's ill-disposed temperature, which he had from hia

1 Stephaous. > To. 2. Nntrioes non BDer. * Prohibendnm ne stoUda laetel
■nasTis, sod mazimi probas deligamuB. & Pen. * Natrices interdum matxl*

* Nntrix non ait laadTa aufc temulenta. bus sunt meliorea.

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488 Causes of Mdanchohf. [^vr^. L seo. s

parents. This is an excellent remedy, if good choice bi
made of such a nurse.

SuBSECT. U. — Education a Game of Melancholy.

Education, of these accidental causes of Melancholy,
may justly challenge the next place, for if a man escape a
bad nurse, he may be undone by evil bringing up. ^ Jason
Pratensis puts this of education for a principal cause ; bad
parents, step-mothers, tutors, masters, teachers, too rigorous,
too severe, too remiss or indulgent on the other side, are
oflen fountains and furtherers of this disease. Parents and
such as have the tuition and oversight of children, offend
many times in that they are too stem, always threatening^
chiding, brawling, whipping, or striking ; by means of which
their poor children are so disheartened and cowed, that they
never after have any courage, a merry hour in their lives, or
take pleasure in anything. There is a great moderation to
be had in such things, as matters of so great moment to the
making or marring of a child. Some fright their children
with beggars, bugbears, and hobgoblins, if they cry, or be
otherwise unruly ; but they are much to blame in it, many
times, saith Lavater, de spectris^ part. 1, cap. 5, ex metu in
morhos graves incidunt et noctu dormientes clamanty for fear
they fall into many diseases, and cry out in their sleep, and
are much the worse for it all their lives ; these things ought
not at all, or to be sparingly done, and upon just occasion*
Tyrannical, impatient, hare-brained schoolmasters, aridi ma*
gittrij so * Fabius terms them Ajaces flageUiferi^ are in this
kind as bad as hangmen and executioners, they make many
children endure a martyrdom all the while they are at school,
with bad diet, if they board in their houses, too much severity
and ill-usage, they quite pervert their temperature of lK>dy
and mind ; still chiding, railing, frowning, lashing, tasking,
keeping, that they are fracti animis^ moped many times

1 lib. de morbis capitis^ cap. de mania; caosas. Ii^Jiuta noreroa. * Lib. 9j

Hand postrema causa supputatur edn- c^;i 4^
eatlOf inter has mentts abalienationis

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M dm. 4, subs. 2.] Education, a Cause, 439

weary of their lives, * nimia severitate deficiunt et desperarU,
and think no slavery in the world (as once I did myself) like
to that of a grammar scholar. PrcBceptorum ineptiis dia-
cruciantur ingenia ptierorum, * saith Erasmus, they tremble
at his voice, looks, coming in. St Austin, in the first book
of his confess, et 4, ca^ calls this schooling meticulosam neces-
sitatem, and elsewhere a martyrdom, and confesseth of him*
self, how cruelly he was tortured in mind for learning Greek,
nuHa verba noveram, et savis terrorihus et pcents, ut nossem,
instabatur mihi veJiemerUer^ I knew nothing, and with cruel
terrors and punishment I was daily compelled. ^ Beza com-
plains in like case of a rigorous schoolmaster in Paris, that
made him1)y his continual thunder and threats once in a
mind to drown himself, had he not met by the way with an
uncle of his that vindicated him from that misery for the
time, by taking him to his house. Trincavellius, lib. 1, consil
16, had a patient nineteen years of age, extremely melancholy,
ob nimium studtum, Tarvitii et prceceptoris minas, by reason
of overmuch study, and his * tutor's threats. Many masters
are hard-hearted, and bitter to their servants, and by that
means do so deject, with terrible speeches and hard usage so
crucify them, that they become desperate, and can never be

Others again, in that opposite extreme, do as great harm
by their too much remissness, they give them no bringing up,
no calling to busy themselves about, or to live in, teach them
no trade, or set them in any good course ; by means of which
their servants, children, scholars, are carried away with that
stream of drunkenness, idleness, gaming, and many such
irregular courses, that in the end they rue it, curse their
parents, and mischief themselves. Too much indulgence
causeth the like, ^inepta patrts lenitas et facilitas prava when
as Mitio-like, with too much liberty and too great allowance,

* Idem. Et quod maziin^ nocet, dam flit, ad Testam. * Pins mentis paeda-

in teneris ita timent nihil conantur. gogioo superciUo abstnlit, qu4m unquam

" The pupiPs fiusulties are perverted by pneceptis snis sapientiao instillaTit.

the indiscretion of the master.*' > PrsB- * Ter. Adelph. 8, 4.

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440 CatLses of Melancholy. [Part. I. boo. t

they feed their children's humours, let them revel, wench,
riot, swagger, and do what thej wiU themselves, and then
punish them with noise of musicians ;

1 ** Obsonet, potet, oleat unguenta de meo;

Amat? dabitnr k me argentum ubi erit commodum.
Fores effiregit? restituentur: descidit

Vestem? resarcietnr. Faciat quod lubet,

Snmat, consumat, perdat, decretum est pati/'

But as Demeo told him, tu iUum corrumpi sints, your lenity
will be his undoing, prcevidere videor jam diem iUum^ quum
hie egens profugiet aliqtid miHtatum, I foresee his ruin. So
parents often err, many fond mothers especially, dote so
much upon their children, like ' JBsop's ape, till in the end
they crush them to death, Corporum nutrices animarum
noverc(E, pampering up their bodies to the undoing of their
souls ; they will not let them be * corrected or controlled, but
still soothed up in everything they do, that in conclusion
"they bring sorrow, shame, heaviness to their parents,
(Ecclus. cap, XXX. 8, 9,) become wanton, stubborn, wilful,
and disobedient; rude, untaught, headstrong, incorrigible,
and graceless ; " " they love them so foolishly," saith * Car-
dan, "that they rather seem to hate them, bringing them
not up to virtue but injury, not to learning but to riot, not to
sober life and conversation, but to all pleasure and licentious
behaviour." Who is he of so little experience that knows
not this of Fabius to be true ? * " Education is another
nature, altering the mind and will, and I would to Grod (saith
he) we ourselves did not spoil our children's manners, by

1 Idem. Act. 1, sc. 2. " Let him feast, odisae potins Tideamiirf iUos non ad vir-

drink, perfume himself at mj expense : tutem sed ad injuriam, non ad eruditio-

If he be in love, I shall supply him with nem sed ad luzum, non ad Tirtutem sed

money. Has he broken in the gates ? roluptatem educantes. ^ Lib. 1, o. 8.

they shall be repaired. Has he torn his Educatio altera natura, id^rat animos

garments ? they shall be replaced. Let et yoluntatem, atque utinam (inquit) lib-

him do what he pl/eases, take, spend, erorum nostroram mores non tpsi per-

waste, I am resolved to submit." ^Cam- deremus, quum in&ntiam statim deliciis

erarius, em. 77, cent. 2, hath elegantly soivimus : molli >r ista educatio, quam

expressed it an emblem, perdit amando, Indulgentiam vocamus, nervos omnes, et

fcc. s prov. xiii. 24. *^ He that spareth mentis et corporis firangit; fit ex hii con

ttie rod hates his son." * Lib. 2, de suetudo, inde natura.

eonsol. Tam stult6 pueros diligimus ut

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Mem. 4, sabs. 8.] Terrors and AffrightSy Causes. 441

our overmuch cockering and nice education, and weaken the
strength of their bodies and minds, that causeth custom,
custom nature," &c For these causes, Plutarch in his book,
de lib. educ, and BUerom, epist, lib. 1, episL 17, to Lceta de
institute fUcB^ gives a most especial charge to all parents,
and many good cautions about bringing up of childr^i, that
they be not committed to indiscreet, passionate, bedlam
tutors, light, giddy-headed, or covetous persons, and ^mu«
for no cost, that they may be well nurtured and taught, it
being a matter of so great consequence. For such parents
as do otherwise, Plutarch esteems of them * ** that are more
careful of their shoes than of their feet," that rate their
wealth above their children. And he, saith ^Cardan,
^that leaves his son to a covetous schoolmaster to be in*
formed, or to a close Abbey to fast and learn wisdom to-
gether, doth no other, than that he be a leai^ed fool, or a
sickly wise man."

SuBSBCT. III. — Terrors and Affrights^ Causes of Mehncholy.

TuLLT, in the fourth of his Tusculans, distinguishes these
terrors which arise from the apprehension of some terrible
object heard or seen, from other fears, and so doth Patritius,
lib. 5, 7XL 4, de regis ingtitut. Of all fears they are most
pemicioils and violent, and so suddenly alter the whole
temperature of the body, move the soul and spirits, strike
such a deep impression, that the psu^ties can never be re-
covered, causing more grievous and fiercer melancholy, as
Felix Plater, c. 3, de mentis aUenoL ' speaks out of his ex*
perience, than any inward cause whatsoever; and imprints

1 Perinde aglt ac si quiB de oalceo sit denies ita animnm eommoTent, nt spiri*

loUoitiifi. pedem nihU caret. JUTen. Nil tns nnnqiuun recnpeient, gniTforemqiia

pstrl minus est qoam Alias. s lib. 8, melanelioliam terror fitcit, qaam qasB ab

de sapient, qal avaris psedagogls paeros interna caosa fit. Impressio tarn fbrtis iv

alendos dant, Tel olaosos in ooenobiis je- spiritibas tiamorlbosqae cerebri, at mc-

ionare simal et sapere, nihil aliad agant, tracta tota sang^inea massa, a^re ezprl>

vM nt ^nt ▼«! non sine stalUtla eraditl, matur, et hno tiorrenda species melandio*

vel non integra Tita Saplentes. > Ter- lias fteqnenter oblata mihi, omnet nam^

ror et matas nuudm^ ex improTiso aooe* eens, vlroa, JonaiM, lenas.

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142 Causes of Melancholy. [Part I. seo. a

Itself so forcibly in the spirits, brain, humours, that if aU the
mass of blood were let out of the body, it could hardly be
extracted. This horrible kind of melancholy (for so he
terms it) had been often brought before him, and troubles
and affrights commonly men and women, young and old of
all sorts." * Hercules de Saxonia calls this kind of melan-
choly {ab agttcUione spirituum) by a peculiar name, it comes
from the agitation, motion, contraction, dilatation of spirits, not
from any distemperature of humours, and produceth strong
eflfects. This terror is most usually caused, as ^Plutarch
will have, "from some imminent danger, when a terrible
object is at hand," heard, seen, or conceived, *" truly ap-
pearing, or in a ' dream ; " and many times the more sudden
the accident, it is the more violent

t.** Stat terror animis, et cor attonitum salit, *
PaTidumque trepidis palpitat venis jecnr.'*

** Their soul's affright, their heart amazed quakes,
The trembliug liver pants i' th* veins, and aches.*'

Arthemedorus the grammarian lost his wits by the unex-
pected sight of a crocodile, Laurentius, 7, de mdan. ^The
massacre at Lyons, 1572, in the reign of Charles IX., was
60 terrible and fearful, that many ran mad, some died, great-
bellied women were brought to bed before their time, gener-
ally all aflfrighted aghast Many lose their wits '"by the
sudden sight of some spectrum or devil, a thing very com-
mon in all ages," saith Lavater, part, 1, cap, 9, as Orestes
did at the sight of the Furies, which appeared to him in
black (as % Pausanias records). The Greeks call them
fiop/M^Keta, which so terrify their souls, or if they be but
affrighted by some counterfeit devils in jest,

* Tract, de melan. cap. 7 et 8, non ab arft fllitim bello mortniim, Inde Melan-

Intemperie, sed agitatiooe, dilatatione, cholica conaolari noluit. t Senec.

eontractione, motn spirituum. i Lib. Here. Oet. * Quarta pars Comment,

de fort, et yirtut. Alex, piweertim ine- de statu religloiiis in Oallia sub Garolo 9.

nnte pericuio, ubl res prope adsunt terri- 1672. & Ex occarsa dannonam aliqui

biles. 2 nt a Tisione horrenda. leveift ftuoTecorripiuntiir,etexperieDtiaiiotinB

apparente, vel per insomnia, Piatems. est. % lib. 8, in Aresd.

A painter's wift In BaaU, 1600. Somnl-

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Mem. 4, subs. 3.] Terrors and Affrights, Causes. 443

* " nt pneri trepidant, atqne omnia csBcis
In tenebris metuunt "

as children in the dark conceive hobgoblins, and are so
afi-aid, thej are the worse for it all their lives. Some bj
sudden fires, earthquakes, inundations, or any such dismal
objects ; Themison the physician fell into a hydrophobia, by
seeing one sick of that disease ; (Dioscorides, L 6, c. 38,) or
by the sight of a monster, a carcass, they are disquieted
many months following, and cannot endure the room where
a corpse hath been, for a world would not be alone with a
dead man, or lie in that bed many years afler in which a
man hath died. At ^ Basil many little children in the spring
time went to gather flowers in a meadow at the town's end,
where a malefactor hung in gibbets ; all gazing at it, one by
chance fiung a stone, and made it stir, by which accident, the
children affrighted ran away ; one slower than the rest,
looking back, and seeing the stirred carcass wag towards
her, cried out it came after, and was so terribly affrighted,
that for many days she could not rest, eat, or sleep, she
could nqt be pacified, but melancholy, died. ^ In the same
town another child, beyond the Rhine, saw a grave opened,
and upon the sight of a carcass, was so troubled in mind
that she could not be comforted, but a little after departed,
and was buried up. Platerus, observcU. L 1, a gentlewoman
of the same city saw a fat hog cut up, when the entrails were
opened, and a noisome savour offended her nose, she much
misliked, and would not longer abide ; a physician in presence
told her, as that hog, so was she, full of filthy excrements,
and aggravated the matter by some other loathsome in-
stances, insomuch this nice gentlewoman apprehended it so
deeply, that she fell forthwith a vomiting, was so mightily dis-
tempered in mind and body, that with all his art and per-

• Lncret. i Pnelln extra nrbem in siibito rerersa pntavlt earn Tocare, post

prato concurrentes, &c., moesta et mel- paucos dies obiit, proximo sepnlchro col-

ancholica domum rediit per dies aliquot locata. Altera patibulnm sero prseter-

Texata, dam mortua est. Plater. > AI- lens, metnebat ne nrbe exolusa iUio per-

lera trans-Rhenana ingressa sepalcbrum noctaret, nnde melancholica ftcta, per

recons apertum. vldit cadaver, et domum multos annos laborarit. Platerus.

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444 Causes oj Melancholy. [Part. I. sec. 2

suasions, for some months after, he could not restore her to
herself again, she could not forget it, or remove the object
out of her sight. Idem, Manj cannot endure to see a wound
opened, but thej are offended ; a man executed, or labour of
any fearful disease, as possession, apoplexies, one bewitched ;
^or if they read by chance of some terrible thing, the symp-
toms alone of such a dbease, or that which they dislike, they
jire instantly troubled in mind, aghast, ready to apply it to
themselves, they are as much disquieted as if they had seen it,
or were so affected themselves. Hecatas sihi videntur sommarcy
they dream and continually think of it. As lamentable effects
are caused by such terrible objects heard, read, or seen, auditus
maximos motus in corpore fa/sit^ as * Plutarch holds, no sense
makes greater alteration of body and mind ; sudden speech
sometimes, unexpected news, be they good or bad, prtsmsa
minus oraiio, will move as much, animum obruere, et de sede
sud deficercy as a * philosopher observes, will take away our
sleep and appetite, disturb and quite overturn us. Let them
bear witness that have heard those tragical alarms, outcries,
hideous noises, which are many times suddenly heard in the
dead of the night by irruption of enemies and accidental
fires, &C., those ' panic fears, which often drive men out of
their wits, bereave them of sense, understanding and all,
some for a time, some for their whole lives, they never re-
cover it. The ^Midianites were so affi^hted by Gideon's
soldiers, they breaking but every one a pitcher ; and * Han-
nibal's army by such a panic fear was discomfitted at the
walls of Rome. Augusta Livia hearing a few tragical verses
recited out <^ Virgil, 2\i MarceUus eris, S^c, fell down dead
in a swoon. Edinus king of Denmark, by a sudden sound
which he heard, * " was turned into fury with all his men,"
Cranzius, L 5, Dan. hist, et Alexander ab Alexandra, L 3, c.
5. Amatus Lusitanus had a patient, that by reason of bad

1 Snbitiu ooenrsiifl, Inopitutta lectio, qnno inftat comna ilanntu ait. Aldat

*Ub. d«auditione. • 'Dieod. Prodio- embl.122. 4Jad. 6, 19 sPlutai^

mils, lib. 7. Amornm. 8 Effoso oei^ ohus, yita ^s * In fbroran com m^

Dflint ftigiMites agBiine turmas, Quia mm dte TBniu.

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Mem. 4, subs. 8.] Terrors and Affrights, Causes, 445

tidings became epilepticus, cen» 2, cura, 90, Cardan subtiL 2.
18, saw one that lost his wits by mistaking of an echo. If
one sense alone can cause such violent commotions of the
mind, what may we think when hearing, sight, and those
other senses are all troubled at once? as bj some earth*
quakes, thunder, lightning, tempests, &c At Bologna in
Italy, Anno 1504, there was such a fearful earthquake
about eleven o'clock in the night (as ^ Beroaldus, in his book,
de UrrcR motu, hath commended to posterity) that all the
city trembled, the people thought the world was at an end,
actum de mortalibus, such a fear^l noise, it made such a
detestable sinell, the inhabitants were infinitely affrighted,
and some ran mad. Audi rem atroceniy et anncdibus memo^
random (mine author adds), hear a strange story, and wor-
thy to be chronicled: I had a servant at the same time called
Fulco Argelanus, a bold and proper man, so grievously
terrified with it, that he ^ was first melanchdy, after doted,
at last mad, and made away himself. At * Fuscinum in
Japoha ^ there was such an earthquake, and darkness on a
sudden, that many men were offended with headache, many
overwhelmed with sorrow and melancholy. At Meacum
whole streets and goodly palaces were overturned at the
same time, and there was such a hideous noise withal, like
thunder, and filthy smell, that their hair stared for fear, and
their hearts quaked, man and beasts were incredibly terrified^
In Sacai, another city, the same earthquake was so terrible
unto them, that many were bereft of their senses ; and others
by that horrible spectacle so much amazed, that they knew
not what they did." Blasius, a Christian, the reporter of the
news, was so a£&ighted for his part, that though it were two
montlis after, he was scarce his own man, neither could he

1 Subitariiu teme motuf. * Ckiepit plnrfmis eor moerore et melajicholia ob-

Inde deeipere earn dkpaidio sanitatis, in- mwetur. Tantum fSremitam edebat, at

de adeo dementans, ut sibi ipsi mortem tonitra fragOTem imitari Tideretar^ tan*

inferret. » Historica relatio de rebus tamque, &o. In urbe Sacai tam horrif-

Japonieis Tract. 2, de l^gat. r^is Ohineo- ions ftdt, ut homines viz sui < ompotea

ris, a Lodovico Frois, Jesuita. A. 1696. essent i sensibus abalienafci, moorore <^

FiuMdni de repente tanta aSris caligo et presri tam borrendo spectaeulo, &e.
teme motus, ut multi oapite dolerent.

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446 Causes of Melanchofy. [Part 1. sec. %

drive the remembrance of it out of his mind. Many times,
some years following, they will tremble afresh at the * remem-
brance or conceit of such a terrible object, even all their
lives long, if mention be made of it. Cornelius Agrippa
relates out of Gulielmus Parisiensis, a story of one, that after
a distasteful purge which a physician had prescribed unto him,
was so much moved, ^ " that at the very sight of physic he
would be distempered," though he never so much as smellcd
to it, the box of physic long after would give him a purge ;
nay, the very remembrance of it did eflfect it ; ' " like travel-
lers and seamen," saith Plutarch, "that when they have be^i
sanded, or dashed on a rock, forever aft«r fear not that
mischance only, but all such dangers whatsoever."

SuBSECT. IV. — Scoffs, GalumnieSy hitter Jests, how they cause

It is an old saying, * " A blow with a word strikes deeper
than a blow with a sword ; " and many men are as much
galled with a calumny, a scurrilous and bitter jest, a libel, a
pasquil, satire, apologue, epigram, stage-play or the like, as
with any misfortune whatsoever. Princes and potentates
that are otherwise happy, and have all at command, secure
and free, quihus potentia scelerts impunitatem fecit, are griev-
ously vexed with these pasquilling libels and satires; they
fear a railing *Aretine, more than an enemy in the field, which
made most princes of his time (as some relate) " allow him a
liberal pension, that he should not tax them in his satires." '
The gods had their Momus, Homer his Zoilus, Achilles his
Thersites, Philip his Demades; the Caesars themselves in
Rome were commonly taunted. There was never wanting a
Petronius, a Lucian in those times,, nor will be a Rabelais,
an Euphormio, a Boccalinus in ours. Adrian, the sixth pope,

1 Qunm subit illius tristissima noctis Titer vulnerant. Bernardas. s 1

Imago. s Qui solo afipectu medicinn sauciat corpus, mentem sermo. * Sci-

raovebatur ad pergandam. > Siout via- atis eum esse qui a nemine fere mvi evA

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 42 of 48)