Robert Burton.

The Anatomy of Melancholy online

. (page 69 of 138)
Online LibraryRobert BurtonThe Anatomy of Melancholy → online text (page 69 of 138)
Font size
QR-code for this ebook


(saith he) "all other medicines fail, by the help of God this alone shall
do it, and 'tis a crowned medicine which must be kept in secret."

"[Symbol: Rx]. Epithymi semunc. lapidis lazuli, agarici ana [Symbol:
Ounce]ij. Scammnonii. [Symbol: Dram]j, Chariophillorum numero, 20
pulverisentur Omnia, et ipsius pulveris scrup. 4. singulis
septimanis assumat."

To these I may add _Arnoldi vinum Buglossalum_, or borage wine before
mentioned, which [4267]Mizaldus calls _vinum mirabile_, a wonderful wine,
and Stockerus vouchsafes to repeat verbatim amongst other receipts. Rubeus
his [4268]compound water out of Savanarola; Pinetus his balm; Cardan's
_Pulvis Hyacinthi_, with which, in his book _de curis admirandis_, he
boasts that he had cured many melancholy persons in eight days, which
[4269]Sckenkius puts amongst his observable medicines; Altomarus his syrup,
with which [4270]he calls God so solemnly to witness, he hath in his kind
done many excellent cures, and which Sckenkius _cent. 7. observ. 80._
mentioneth, Daniel Sennertus _lib. 1. part. 2. cap. 12._ so much commends;
Rulandus' admirable water for melancholy, which _cent. 2. cap. 96._ he
names _Spiritum vitae aureum, Panaceam_, what not, and his absolute
medicine of 50 eggs, _curat. Empir. cent. 1. cur. 5._ to be taken three in
a morning, with a powder of his. [4271]Faventinus _prac. Emper_. doubles
this number of eggs, and will have 101 to be taken by three and three in
like sort, which Sallust Salvian approves _de red. med. lib. 2. c. 1._ with
some of the same powder, till all be spent, a most excellent remedy for all
melancholy and mad men.

"[Symbol: Rx]. Epithymi, thymi, ana drachmas duas, sacchari albi
unciam unam, croci grana tria, Cinamomi drachmam unam; misce, fiat
pulvis."

All these yet are nothing to those [4272]chemical preparatives of _Aqua
Chalidonia_, quintessence of hellebore, salts, extracts, distillations,
oils, _Aurum potabile_, &c. Dr. Anthony in his book _de auro potab. edit.
1600._ is all in all for it. [4273]"And though all the schools of
Galenists, with a wicked and unthankful pride and scorn, detest it in their
practice, yet in more grievous diseases, when their vegetals will do no
good," they are compelled to seek the help of minerals, though they "use
them rashly, unprofitably, slackly, and to no purpose." Rhenanus, a Dutch
chemist, in his book _de Sale e puteo emergente_, takes upon him to
apologise for Anthony, and sets light by all that speak against him. But
what do I meddle with this great controversy, which is the subject of many
volumes? Let Paracelsus, Quercetan, Crollius, and the brethren of the rosy
cross, defend themselves as they may. Crato, Erastus, and the Galenists
oppugn Paracelsus, he brags on the other side, he did more famous cures by
this means, than all the Galenists in Europe, and calls himself a monarch;
Galen, Hippocrates, infants, illiterate, &c. As Thessalus of old railed
against those ancient Asclepiadean writers, [4274]"he condemns others,
insults, triumphs, overcomes all antiquity" (saith Galen as if he spake to
him) "declares himself a conqueror, and crowns his own doings. [4275]One
drop of their chemical preparatives shall do more good than all their
fulsome potions." Erastus, and the rest of the Galenists vilify them on the
other side, as heretics in physic; [4276]"Paracelsus did that in physic,
which Luther in Divinity. [4277]A drunken rogue he was, a base fellow, a
magician, he had the devil for his master, devils his familiar companions,
and what he did, was done by the help of the devil." Thus they contend and
rail, and every mart write books _pro_ and _con, et adhuc sub judice lis
est_: let them agree as they will, I proceed.


SUBSECT. IV. - _Averters_.

Averters and purgers must go together, as tending all to the same purpose,
to divert this rebellious humour, and turn it another way. In this range,
clysters and suppositories challenge a chief place, to draw this humour
from the brain and heart, to the more ignoble parts. Some would have them
still used a few days between, and those to be made with the boiled seeds
of anise, fennel, and bastard saffron, hops, thyme, epithyme, mallows,
fumitory, bugloss, polypody, senna, diasene, hamech, cassia, diacatholicon,
hierologodium, oil of violets, sweet almonds, &c. For without question, a
clyster opportunely used, cannot choose in this, as most other maladies,
but to do very much good; _Clysteres nutriunt_, sometimes clysters nourish,
as they may be prepared, as I was informed not long since by a learned
lecture of our natural philosophy [4278]reader, which he handled by way of
discourse, out of some other noted physicians. Such things as provoke urine
most commend, but not sweat. Trincavelius _consil. 16. cap. 1._ in
head-melancholy forbids it. P. Byarus and others approve frictions of the
outward parts, and to bathe them with warm water. Instead of ordinary
frictions, Cardan prescribes rubbing with nettles till they blister the
skin, which likewise [4279]Basardus Visontinus so much magnifies.

Sneezing, masticatories, and nasals are generally received. Montaltus _c.
34._ Hildesheim _spicel. 3. fol. 136 and 238._ give several receipts of all
three. Hercules de Saxonia relates of an empiric in Venice [4280]"that had
a strong water to purge by the mouth and nostrils, which he still used in
head-melancholy, and would sell for no gold."

To open months and haemorrhoids is very good physic, [4281]"If they have
been formerly stopped." Faventinus would have them opened with
horseleeches, so would Hercul. de Sax. Julius Alexandrinus _consil. 185.
Scoltzii_ thinks aloes fitter: [4282]most approve horseleeches in this
case, to be applied to the forehead, [4283]nostrils, and other places.

Montaltus _cap. 29._ out of Alexander and others, prescribes [4284]
"cupping-glasses, and issues in the left thigh." Aretus _lib. 7. cap. 5._
[4285]Paulus Regolinus, Sylvius will have them without scarification,
"applied to the shoulders and back, thighs and feet:" [4286]Montaltus _cap.
34._ "bids open an issue in the arm, or hinder part of the head."
[4287]Piso enjoins ligatures, frictions, suppositories, and
cupping-glasses, still without scarification, and the rest.

Cauteries and hot irons are to be used [4288]"in the suture of the crown,
and the seared or ulcerated place suffered to run a good while. 'Tis not
amiss to bore the skull with an instrument, to let out the fuliginous
vapours." Sallus. Salvianus _de re medic. lib. 2. cap. 1._ [4289]"because
this humour hardly yields to other physic, would have the leg cauterised,
or the left leg, below the knee, [4290]and the head bored in two or three
places," for that it much avails to the exhalation of the vapours; [4291]
"I saw" (saith he) "a melancholy man at Rome, that by no remedies could be
healed, but when by chance he was wounded in the head, and the skull
broken, he was excellently cured." Another, to the admiration of the
beholders, [4292]"breaking his head with a fall from on high, was instantly
recovered of his dotage." Gordonius _cap. 13. part. 2._ would have these
cauteries tried last, when no other physic will serve. [4293] "The head to
be shaved and bored to let out fumes, which without doubt will do much
good. I saw a melancholy man wounded in the head with a sword, his brainpan
broken; so long as the wound was open he was well, but when his wound was
healed, his dotage returned again." But Alexander Messaria a professor in
Padua, _lib. 1. pract. med. cap. 21. de melanchol_. will allow no cauteries
at all, 'tis too stiff a humour and too thick as he holds, to be so
evaporated.

Guianerius _c. 8. Tract. 15._ cured a nobleman in Savoy, by boring alone,
[4294]"leaving the hole open a month together," by means of which, after
two years' melancholy and madness, he was delivered. All approve of this
remedy in the suture of the crown; but Arculanus would have the cautery to
be made with gold. In many other parts, these cauteries are prescribed for
melancholy men, as in the thighs, (_Mercurialis consil. 86._) arms, legs.
_Idem consil. 6. & 19. & 25._ Montanus 86. Rodericus a Fonseca _tom. 2.
cousult. 84. pro hypochond. coxa dextra_, &c., but most in the head, "if
other physic will do no good."


SUBSECT. V. - _Alteratives and Cordials, corroborating, resolving the
Reliques, and mending the Temperament_.

Because this humour is so malign of itself, and so hard to be removed, the
reliques are to be cleansed, by alteratives, cordials, and such means: the
temper is to be altered and amended, with such things as fortify and
strengthen the heart and brain, [4295]"which are commonly both affected in
this malady, and do mutually misaffect one another:" which are still to be
given every other day, or some few days inserted after a purge, or like
physic, as occasion serves, and are of such force, that many times they
help alone, and as [4296]Arnoldus holds in his Aphorisms, are to be
"preferred before all other medicines, in what kind soever."

Amongst this number of cordials and alteratives, I do not find a more
present remedy, than a cup of wine or strong drink, if it be soberly and
opportunely used. It makes a man bold, hardy, courageous, [4297]"whetteth
the wit," if moderately taken, (and as Plutarch [4298]saith, _Symp. 7.
quaest. 12._) "it makes those which are otherwise dull, to exhale and
evaporate like frankincense, or quicken" (Xenophon adds) [4299]as oil doth
fire. [4300]"A famous cordial" Matthiolus in Dioscoridum calls it, "an
excellent nutriment to refresh the body, it makes a good colour, a
flourishing age, helps concoction, fortifies the stomach, takes away
obstructions, provokes urine, drives out excrements, procures sleep, clears
the blood, expels wind and cold poisons, attenuates, concocts, dissipates
all thick vapours, and fuliginous humours." And that which is all in all to
my purpose, it takes away fear and sorrow. [4301]_Curas edaces dissipat
Evius_. "It glads the heart of man," Psal. civ. 15. _hilaritatis dulce
seminarium_. Helena's bowl, the sole nectar of the gods, or that true
nepenthes in [4302]Homer, which puts away care and grief, as Oribasius _5.
Collect, cap. 7._ and some others will, was nought else but a cup of good
wine. "It makes the mind of the king and of the fatherless both one, of the
bond and freeman, poor and rich; it turneth all his thoughts to joy and
mirth, makes him remember no sorrow or debt, but enricheth his heart, and
makes him speak by talents," Esdras iii. 19, 20, 21. It gives life itself,
spirits, wit, &c. For which cause the ancients called Bacchus, _Liber pater
a liberando_, and [4303]sacrificed to Bacchus and Pallas still upon an
altar. [4304]"Wine measurably drunk, and in time, brings gladness and
cheerfulness of mind, it cheereth God and men," Judges ix. 13. _laetitiae
Bacchus dator_, it makes an old wife dance, and such as are in misery to
forget evil, and be [4305]merry.

"Bacchus et afflictis requiem mortalibus affert,
Crura licet duro compede vincta forent."

"Wine makes a troubled soul to rest,
Though feet with fetters be opprest."

Demetrius in Plutarch, when he fell into Seleucus's hands, and was prisoner
in Syria, [4306]"spent his time with dice and drink that he might so ease
his discontented mind, and avoid those continual cogitations of his present
condition wherewith he was tormented." Therefore Solomon, Prov. xxxi. 6,
bids "wine be given to him that is ready to [4307]perish, and to him that
hath grief of heart, let him drink that he forget his poverty, and remember
his misery no more." _Sollicitis animis onus eximit_, it easeth a burdened
soul, nothing speedier, nothing better; which the prophet Zachariah
perceived, when he said, "that in the time of Messias, they of Ephraim
should be glad, and their heart should rejoice as through wine." All which
makes me very well approve of that pretty description of a feast in [4308]
Bartholomeus Anglicus, when grace was said, their hands washed, and the
guests sufficiently exhilarated, with good discourse, sweet music, dainty
fare, _exhilarationis gratia, pocula iterum atque iterum offeruntur_, as a
corollary to conclude the feast, and continue their mirth, a grace cup came
in to cheer their hearts, and they drank healths to one another again and
again. Which as I. Fredericus Matenesius, _Crit. Christ. lib. 2. cap. 5, 6,
& 7_, was an old custom in all ages in every commonwealth, so as they be
not enforced, _bibere per violentiam_, but as in that royal feast of [4309]
Ahasuerus, which lasted 180 days, "without compulsion they drank by order
in golden vessels," when and what they would themselves. This of drink is a
most easy and parable remedy, a common, a cheap, still ready against fear,
sorrow, and such troublesome thoughts, that molest the mind; as brimstone
with fire, the spirits on a sudden are enlightened by it. "No better
physic" (saith [4310]Rhasis) "for a melancholy man: and he that can keep
company, and carouse, needs no other medicines," 'tis enough. His
countryman Avicenna, _31. doc. 2. cap. 8._ proceeds farther yet, and will
have him that is troubled in mind, or melancholy, not to drink only, but
now and then to be drunk: excellent good physic it is for this and many
other diseases. _Magninus Reg. san. part. 3. c. 31._ will have them to be
so once a month at least, and gives his reasons for it, [4311]"because it
scours the body by vomit, urine, sweat, of all manner of superfluities, and
keeps it clean." Of the same mind is Seneca the philosopher, in his book
_de tranquil. lib. 1. c. 15._ _nonnunquam ut in aliis morbis ad ebrietatem
usque veniendum; Curas deprimit, tristitiae medetur_, it is good sometimes
to be drunk, it helps sorrow, depresseth cares, and so concludes this tract
with a cup of wine: _Habes, Serene charissime, quae ad, tranquillitatem
animae, pertinent_. But these are epicureal tenets, tending to looseness of
life, luxury and atheism, maintained alone by some heathens, dissolute
Arabians, profane Christians, and are exploded by Rabbi Moses, _tract. 4._
Guliel, Placentius, _lib. 1. cap. 8._ Valescus de Taranta, and most
accurately ventilated by Jo. Sylvaticus, a late writer and physician of
Milan, _med. cont. cap. 14._ where you shall find this tenet copiously
confuted.

Howsoever you say, if this be true, that wine and strong drink have such
virtue to expel fear and sorrow, and to exhilarate the mind, ever hereafter
let's drink and be merry.

[4312] "Prome reconditum, Lyde strenua, caecubum,
Capaciores puer huc affer Scyphos,
Et Chia vina aut Lesbia."

"Come, lusty Lyda, fill's a cup of sack,
And, sirrah drawer, bigger pots we lack,
And Scio wines that have so good a smack."

I say with him in [4313]A. Gellius, "let us maintain the vigour of our
souls with a moderate cup of wine," [4314]_Natis in usum laetitiae
scyphis_, "and drink to refresh our mind; if there be any cold sorrow in
it, or torpid bashfulness, let's wash it all away." - _Nunc vino pellite
curas_; so saith [4315]Horace, so saith Anacreon,

"[Greek: Methuonta gar me keisthai
polu kreisson ae thanonta.]"

Let's drive down care with a cup of wine: and so say I too, (though I drink
none myself) for all this may be done, so that it be modestly, soberly,
opportunely used: so that "they be not drunk with wine, wherein is excess,"
which our [4316]Apostle forewarns; for as Chrysostom well comments on that
place, _ad laetitiam datum est vinum, non ad ebrietatem_, 'tis for mirth
wine, but not for madness: and will you know where, when, and how that is
to be understood? _Vis discere ubi bonum sit vinum? Audi quid dicat
Scriptura_, hear the Scriptures, "Give wine to them that are in sorrow," or
as Paul bid Timothy drink wine for his stomach's sake, for concoction,
health, or some such honest occasion. Otherwise, as [4317] Pliny telleth
us; if singular moderation be not had, [4318]"nothing so pernicious, 'tis
mere vinegar, _blandus daemon_, poison itself." But hear a more fearful
doom, Habac. ii. 15. and 16. "Woe be to him that makes his neighbour drunk,
shameful spewing shall be upon his glory." Let not good fellows triumph
therefore (saith Matthiolus) that I have so much commended wine, if it be
immoderately taken, "instead of making glad, it confounds both body and
soul, it makes a giddy head, a sorrowful heart." And 'twas well said of the
poet of old, "Vine causeth mirth and grief," [4319]nothing so good for
some, so bad for others, especially as [4320]one observes, _qui a causa
calida male habent_, that are hot or inflamed. And so of spices, they
alone, as I have showed, cause head-melancholy themselves, they must not
use wine as an [4321]ordinary drink, or in their diet. But to determine
with Laurentius, _c. 8. de melan._ wine is bad for madmen, and such as are
troubled with heat in their inner parts or brains; but to melancholy, which
is cold (as most is), wine, soberly used, may be very good.

I may say the same of the decoction of China roots, sassafras,
sarsaparilla, guaiacum: China, saith Manardus, makes a good colour in the
face, takes away melancholy, and all infirmities proceeding from cold, even
so sarsaparilla provokes sweat mightily, guaiacum dries, Claudinus,
_consult. 89. & 46._ Montanus, Capivaccius, _consult. 188. Scoltzii_, make
frequent and good use of guaiacum and China, [4322]"so that the liver be
not incensed," good for such as are cold, as most melancholy men are, but
by no means to be mentioned in hot.

The Turks have a drink called coffee (for they use no wine), so named of a
berry as black as soot, and as bitter, (like that black drink which was in
use amongst the Lacedaemonians, and perhaps the same,) which they sip still
of, and sup as warm as they can suffer; they spend much time in those
coffeehouses, which are somewhat like our alehouses or taverns, and there
they sit chatting and drinking to drive away the time, and to be merry
together, because they find by experience that kind of drink, so used,
helpeth digestion, and procureth alacrity. Some of them take opium to this
purpose.

Borage, balm, saffron, gold, I have spoken of; Montaltus, _c. 23._ commends
scorzonera roots condite. Garcius ab Horto, _plant. hist. lib. 2. cap. 25._
makes mention of an herb called datura, [4323]"which, if it be eaten for
twenty-four hours following, takes away all sense of grief, makes them
incline to laughter and mirth:" and another called bauge, like in effect to
opium, "which puts them for a time into a kind of ecstasy," and makes them
gently to laugh. One of the Roman emperors had a seed, which he did
ordinarily eat to exhilarate himself. [4324]Christophorus Ayrerus prefers
bezoar stone, and the confection of alkermes, before other cordials, and
amber in some cases. [4325]"Alkermes comforts the inner parts;" and bezoar
stone hath an especial virtue against all melancholy affections, [4326]"it
refresheth the heart, and corroborates the whole body." [4327]Amber
provokes urine, helps the body, breaks wind, &c. After a purge, 3 or 4
grains of bezoar stone, and 3 grains of ambergris, drunk or taken in borage
or bugloss water, in which gold hot hath been quenched, will do much good,
and the purge shall diminish less (the heart so refreshed) of the strength
and substance of the body.

"[Symbol: Rx]. confect. Alkermes [Symbol: Ounce]ß lap. Bezor.
[Symbol: Scruple]j. Succini albi subtiliss. pulverisat. [Symbol:
Scruple]jj. cum Syrup, de cort. citri; fiat electuarium."

To bezoar stone most subscribe, Manardus, and [4328]many others; "it takes
away sadness, and makes him merry that useth it; I have seen some that have
been much diseased with faintness, swooning, and melancholy, that taking
the weight of three grains of this stone, in the water of oxtongue, have
been cured." Garcias ab Horto brags how many desperate cures he hath done
upon melancholy men by this alone, when all physicians had forsaken them.
But alkermes many except against; in some cases it may help, if it be good
and of the best, such as that of Montpelier in France, which [4329]Iodocus
Sincerus, _Itinerario Galliae_, so much magnifies, and would have no
traveller omit to see it made. But it is not so general a medicine as the
other. Fernelius, _consil. 49_, suspects alkermes, by reason of its heat,
[4330]"nothing" (saith he) "sooner exasperates this disease, than the use
of hot working meats and medicines, and would have them for that cause
warily taken." I conclude, therefore, of this and all other medicines, as
Thucydides of the plague at Athens, no remedy could be prescribed for it,
_Nam quod uni profuit, hoc aliis erat exitio_: there is no Catholic
medicine to be had: that which helps one, is pernicious to another.

_Diamargaritum frigidum, diambra, diaboraginatum, electuarium laetificans
Galeni et Rhasis, de gemmis, dianthos, diamoscum dulce et amarum,
electuarium conciliatoris, syrup. Cidoniorum de pomis_, conserves of roses,
violets, fumitory, enula campana, satyrion, lemons, orange-pills, condite,
&c., have their good use.

[4331] "[Symbol: Rx]. Diamoschi dulcis et amari ana [Symbol: Dram]jj.
Diabuglossati, Diaboraginati, sacchari violacei ana j. misce cum
syrupo de pomis."

Every physician is full of such receipts: one only I will add for the
rareness of it, which I find recorded by many learned authors, as an
approved medicine against dotage, head-melancholy, and such diseases of the
brain. Take a [4332]ram's head that never meddled with an ewe, cut off at a
blow, and the horns only take away, boil it well, skin and wool together;
after it is well sod, take out the brains, and put these spices to it,
cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, mace, cloves, _ana_ [Symbol: Ounce]ß, mingle the
powder of these spices with it, and heat them in a platter upon a
chafing-dish of coals together, stirring them well, that they do not burn;
take heed it be not overmuch dried, or drier than a calf's brains ready to
be eaten. Keep it so prepared, and for three days give it the patient
fasting, so that he fast two hours after it. It may be eaten with bread in
an egg or broth, or any way, so it be taken. For fourteen days let him use
this diet, drink no wine, &c. Gesner, _hist. animal. lib. 1. pag. 917._
Caricterius, _pract. 13. in Nich. de metri. pag. 129._ Iatro: _Wittenberg.
edit. Tubing. pag. 62_, mention this medicine, though with some variation;
he that list may try it, [4333]and many such.

Odoraments to smell to, of rosewater, violet flowers, balm, rose-cakes,
vinegar, &c., do much recreate the brains and spirits, according to
Solomon. Prov. xxvii. 9. "They rejoice the heart," and as some say,
nourish; 'tis a question commonly controverted in our schools, _an odores
nutriant_; let Ficinus, _lib. 2. cap. 18._ decide it; [4334]many arguments
he brings to prove it; as of Democritus, that lived by the smell of bread
alone, applied to his nostrils, for some few days, when for old age he
could eat no meat. Ferrerius, _lib. 2. meth._ speaks of an excellent
confection of his making, of wine, saffron, &c., which he prescribed to
dull, weak, feeble, and dying men to smell to, and by it to have done very
much good, _aeque fere profuisse olfactu, et potu_, as if he had given them
drink. Our noble and learned Lord [4335]Verulam, in his book _de vita et
morte_, commends, therefore, all such cold smells as any way serve to
refrigerate the spirits. Montanus, _consil. 31_, prescribes a form which he
would have his melancholy patient never to have out of his hands. If you
will have them spagirically prepared, look in Oswaldus Crollius, _basil.
Chymica_.

Irrigations of the head shaven, [4336]"of the flowers of water lilies,
lettuce, violets, camomile, wild mallows, wether's-head, &c.," must be used
many mornings together. Montan. _consil. 31_, would have the head so washed
once a week. Laelius a Fonte Eugubinus _consult. 44_, for an Italian count,
troubled with head-melancholy, repeats many medicines which he tried,
[4337]"but two alone which did the cure; use of whey made of goat's milk,
with the extract of hellebore, and irrigations of the head with water
lilies, lettuce, violets, camomile, &c., upon the suture of the crown."
Piso commends a ram's lungs applied hot to the fore part of the head,
[4338]or a young lamb divided in the back, exenterated, &c.; all
acknowledge the chief cure in moistening throughout. Some, saith
Laurentius, use powders and caps to the brain; but forasmuch as such
aromatical things are hot and dry, they must be sparingly administered.



Online LibraryRobert BurtonThe Anatomy of Melancholy → online text (page 69 of 138)