THE ANATOMY OF MELANCHOLY
BY DEMOCRITUS JUNIOR
SUBSECT. I.-- Bad Diet a cause. Substance. Quality of Meats.
ACCORDING to my proposed method, having opened hitherto these secondary causes, which are inbred with us, I must now proceed to the outward and adventitious, which happen unto us after we are born. And those are either evident, remote, or inward, antecedent, and the nearest: continent causes some call them.
These outward, remote, precedent causes are subdivided again into necessary and not necessary. Necessary (because we cannot avoid them, but they will alter us, as they are used, or abused) are those six non-natural things, so much spoken of amongst physicians, which are principal causes of this disease. For almost in every consultation, whereas they shall come to speak of the causes, the fault is found, and this most part objected to the patient; Peccavit circa res sex non naturales: he hath still offended in one of those six. Montanus, consil. 22, consulted about a melancholy Jew, gives that sentence, so did Frisemelica in the same place; and in his 244 counsel., censuring a melancholy soldier, assigns that reason of his malady, "he offended in all those six non-natural things, which were the outward causes, from which came those inward obstructions; and so in the rest."
These six non-natural things are diet, retention and evacuation, which are more material than the other because they make new matter, or else are conversant in keeping or expelling of it. The other four are air, exercise, sleeping, waking, and perturbations of the mind, which only alter the matter. The first of these is diet, which consists in meat and drink, and causeth melancholy, as it offends in substance, or accidents, that is quantity, quality, or the like. And well it may be called a material cause, since that, as Ferneius holds, "it hath such a power in begetting of diseases, and yields the matter and sustenance of them; for neither air, nor perturbations, nor any of those other evident causes take place, or work this effect, except the constitution of body, and preparation of humour, do concur. That a man may say, this diet is the mother of diseases, let the father be what he will, and from this alone, melancholy and frequent other maladies arise." Many physicians, I confess, have written copious volumes of this one subject, of the nature and qualities of all manner of meats; as namely, Galen, Isaac the Jew, Halyabbas, Avicenna, Mesue, also four Arabians, Gordonius, Villanovanus, Wecker, Johannes Bruerinus, Sitologia de Esculentis et Poculentis, Michael Savanarola, Tract. 2, c. 8, Anthony Fumanellus, lib. de regimine senum, Curio in his Comment on Schola Salerna, Godefridus Stekius arte med.,
Marsilius cognatus, Ficinus, Ranzovius, Fonseca, Lessius, Magninus, regim. sanitatis, Frietagius, Hugo Fridevallius, &c., besides many other in English, and almost every peculiar physician, discourseth at large of all peculiar meats in his chapter of melancholy: yet because these books are not at hand to every man, I will briefly touch what kind of meats engender this humour, through their several species, and which are to be avoided. How they alter and change the matter, spirits first, and after humours,
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by which we are preserved, and the constitution of our body, Fernelius and others will show you. I hasten to the thing itself: and first of such diet as offends in substance.
Beef] Beef, a strong and hearty meat (cold in the first degree, dry in the second, saith Galen l. 3, c. 1., de alim. fac.) is condemned by him and all succeeding authors, to breed gross melancholy blood: good for such as are sound, and of a strong constitution, for labouring men if ordered aright, corned, young, of an ox (for all gelded meats in every species are held best), or if old, such as have been tired out with labour, are preferred. Aubanus and Sabellicus commend Portugal beef to be the most savoury, best and easiest of digestion; we commend ours: but all is rejected, and unfit for such as lead a resty life, any ways inclined to Melancholy, or dry of complexion: Tales (Galen thinks) de facile melancholicis ægritudinibus capiuntur.
Pork.] Pork, of all meats, is most nutritive in his own nature, but altogether unfit for such as live at ease, are any ways unsound of body or mind: too moist, full of humours, and therefore noxia delicatis, saith Savanarola, ex earum usu ut dubitetur an febris quartana generetur: naught for queasy stomachs, insomuch that frequent use of it may breed a quartan ague.
Goat.] Savanarola discommends goat's flesh, and so doth Bruerinus, l. 13, c. 19, calling it a filthy beast, and rammish: and therefore supposeth it will breed rank and filthy substance; yet kid, such as are young and tender, Isaac accepts, Bruerinus and Galen, l. 1, c. 1, de alimentorum facultatibus.
Hart.] Hart and red deer hath an evil name: it yields gross nutriment: a strong and great grained meat, next unto a horse. Which although some countries eat, as Tartars, and they of China; yet Galen condemns. Young foals are as commonly eaten in Spain as red deer, and to furnish their navies, about Malaga especially, often used; but such meats ask long baking, or seething, to qualify them, and yet all will not serve.
Venison, Fallow Deer.] All venison is melancholy, and begets bad blood; a pleasant meat: in great esteem with us (for we have more parks in England. than there are in all Europe besides) in our solemn feasts. 'Tis somewhat better hunted than otherwise, and well prepared by cookery; but generally bad, and seldom to be used.
Hare.] Hare, a black meat, melancholy, and hard of digestion, it breeds incubus, often eaten, and causeth fearful dreams, so doth all venison, and is condemned by a jury of physicians. Mizaldus and some others say, that hare is a merry meat, and that it will make one fair, as Martial's Epigram testifies to Gellia; but this is per accidens, because of the good sport it makes, merry company and good discourse that is commonly at the eating of it, and not otherwise to be understood.
Conies.] Conies are of the nature of hares. Magninus compares them to beef, pig, and goat, Reg. sanit. part. 3, c. 11; yet young rabbits by all men are approved to be good.
Generally, all such meats as are hard of digestion breed melancholy. Aretus, lib. 7 cap. 5, reckons up heads and feet, bowels, brains, entrails, marrow, fat, blood, skins, and those inward parts, as hearts, lungs, liver, spleen, &c. They are rejected by Isaac, lib. 2 part. 3, Magninus, part. 3. cap. 17, Bruerinus, lib. 12, Savanarola, Rub. 32, Tract. 2.
Milk.] Milk, and all that comes of milk, as butter and cheese, curds, &c., increase melancholy (whey only excepted, which is most wholesome): some except
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asses' milk. The rest, to such as are sound, is nutritive and good, especially for young children, but because soon turned to corruption, not good for those that have unclean stomachs, are subject to headache, or have green wounds, stone, &c. Of all cheeses, I take that kind which we call Banbury cheese to be the best, ex vetustis pessimus, the older, stronger, and harder, the worst, as Langius discourseth in his Epistle to Melancthon, cited byMizaldus, Isaac, p. 5, Gal. 3, de cibis boni succi, &c.
Fowl.] Amongst fowl, "peacocks and pigeons, all feuny fowl are forbidden, as ducks, geese, swans, herons, cranes, coots, didappers, waterhens, with all those teals, curs, sheldrakes, and peckled fowls, that come hither in winter out of Scandia, Muscovy, Greenland, Friezland, which half the year are covered all over with snow, and frozen up. Though these be fair in feathers, pleasant in taste, and have a good outside, like hypocrites, white in plumes, and soft, their flesh is hard, black, unwholesome, dangerous, melancholy meat; Gravant et putrefaciunt stomachum, saith Isaac, part. 5, de vol., their young ones are more tolerable, but young pigeons he quite disapproves.
Fishes.] Rhasis and Magninus discommend all fish, and say, they breed viscosities, slimy nutriment, little and humourous nourishment. Savanarola adds, cold, moist: and phlegmatic, Isaac; and therefore unwholesome for all cold and melancholy complexions: others make a difference, rejecting only amongst fresh-water fish, eel, tench, lamprey, crawfish (which Bright approves, cap. 6), and such as are bred in muddy and standing waters, and have a taste of mud, as Franciscus Bonsuetus poetically defines, Lib. de aquatilibus:asses' milk. The rest, to such as are sound, is nutritive and good, especially for young children, but because soon turned to corruption, not good for those that have unclean
stomachs, are subject to headache, or have green wounds, stone, &c. Of all cheeses, I take that kind which we call Banbury cheese to be the best, ex vetustis pessimus, the older, stronger, and harder, the worst, as Langius discourseth in his Epistle to Melancthon, cited byMizaldus, Isaac, p. 5, Gal. 3, de cibis boni succi, &c.
"Nam pisces omnes, qui stagna, lacusque frequentant,
Semper plus succi deterioris habent."
"All fish, that standing pools, and lakes frequent,
Do ever yield bad juice and nourishment."
Lampreys, Paulus Jovius, c. 34, de piscibus fluvial. highly magnifies, and saith, None speak against them, but inepti et scrupulosi, some scrupulous persons; but eels, c. 33, "he abhorreth in all places, at all time; all physicians detest them,
especially about the solstice." Gomesius, lib. 1. c. 22, de sale, doth immoderately extol sea-fish, which others as much vilify, and above the rest, dried, soused, indurate fish, as ling, fumados, red-herrings, sprats, stock-fish, haberdine, poor-john, all shellfish. Tim. Bright excepts lobster and crab. Mesarius commends salmon, which Bruerinus contradicts, lib. 22, c. 17. Magninus rejects conger, sturgeon, turbot, mackerel, skate.
Carp is a fish of which I know not what to determine. Franciscus Bonsuetus accounts it a muddy fish. Hippolitus Salvianus, in his Book de Piscium natura et præparatione, which was printed at Rome in folio, 1554, with most elegant pictures, esteems carp no better than a slimy watery meat. Paulus Jovius on the other side, disallowing tench, approves of it; so doth Dupravius in his Books of Fish-ponds. Frietagius extols it for an excellent wholesome meat, and puts it amongst the fishes of the best rank; and so do most of our country gentlemen, that store their ponds almost with no other fish. But this controversy is easily decided, in my judgment, by Bruerinus, l. 22, c. 13. The difference riseth from the site and nature of pools, sometimes muddy, sometimes sweet; they are in taste as the place is from whence they be taken. In like manner almost we may conclude of other fresh fish. But see
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more in Rondoletius, Bellonius, Oribasius, lib. 7, I. 22, Isaac, l. 1, especially Hippolitus Salvianus, who is instar omnium solus, &c. Howsoever they may be wholesome and approved, much use of them is not good; P. Forestus, in his medicinal
observations, relates, that Carthusian friars, whose living is most part fish, are more subject to melancholy than any other order, and that he found by experience, being sometimes their physician ordinary at Deift, in Holland. He exemplifies it with an instance of one Buscodnese, a Carthusian of a ruddy colour, and well liking, that by solitary living, and fish-eating, became so misaffected.
Herbs.] Amongst herbs to be eaten I find gourds, cucumbers, coleworts, melons, disallowed, but especially cabbage. It causeth troublesome dreams, and sends up black vapours to the brain. Galen, loc. affect. l. 3, c. 6, of all herbs condemns
cabbage; and Isaac, lib. 2, c. 1, Animæ gravitatem facit, it brings heaviness to the soul.
Some are of opinion that all raw herbs and salads breed melancholy blood, except bugloss and lettuce. Crato, consil. 21 lib. 2, speaks against all herbs and worts, except borage, bugloss, fennel, parsley, dill, balm, succory. Magninus, regim. sanitatis, part.
3, cap. 31. Omnes herbæ simpliciter malæ, via cibi; all herbs are simply evil to feed on (as he thinks). So did that scoffing cook in Plautus hold:
"Non ego coenam condio ut alii coqui solent,
Qui mihi condita prata in patinis proferunt,
Boves qui convivas faciunt, herbasque aggerunt."
"Like other cooks I do not supper dress,
That put whole meadows into a platter,
And make no better of their guests than beeves,
With herbs and grass to feed them fatter."
Our Italians and Spaniards do make a whole dinner of herbs and salads (which our said Plautus calls coenas terrestres, Horace, coenas sine sanguine), by which means, as he follows it,
"Hic homines tam brevem vitam colunt --
Qui herbas hujusmodi in alvum suum congerunt,
Formidolosum dictu, non esu modo
Quas herbas pecudes non edunt, homines edunt."
"Their lives, that eat such herbs, must needs be short,
And 'tis a fearful thing for to report,
That men should feed on such a kind of meat,
Which very juments would refuse to eat:"
They are windy, and not fit therefore to be eaten of all men raw, though qualified with oil, but in broths, or otherwise. See more of these in every husbandman and herbalist.
Roots.] Roots, Etsi quorundamn gentiuam opes sint, saith Bruerinus, the wealth of some countries, and sole food, are windy and bad, or troublesome to the head: as onions, garlic, scallions, turnips, carrots, radishes, parsnips: Crato, lib. 2.
consil. 11, disallows all roots, though some approve of parsnips and potatoes.
Magninus is of Crato's opinion, "They trouble the mind, sending gross fumes to the brain, make men mad, especially garlic, onions, if a man liberally feed on them a year
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together." Guianerius, tract. 15, cap. 2, complains of all manner of roots, and so doth Bruerinus, even parsnips themselves, which are the best, Lib. 9. cap. 14.
Fruits.] Pastinacarum usus succos gignit improbos. Crato, consil. 21, lib. 1, utterly forbids all manner of fruits, as pears, apples, plums, cherries, strawberries, nuts, medlars, serves, &c. Sanguinem inficiunt, saith Villanovanus, they infect the blood, and putrefy it, Magninus holds, and must not therefore be taken via cibi, aut quantitate magni, not to make a meal of, or in any great quantity. Cardan makes that a cause of their continual sickness at Fessa in Africa, "because they live so much on fruits, eating them thrice a day." Laurentius approves of many fruits, in his Tract of Melancholy, which others disallow, and amongst the rest apples, which some likewise commend, sweetings, pairmains, pippins, as good against melancholy; but to him that is any way inclined to, or touched with this malady, Nicholas Piso in his Practics, forbids all fruits, as windy, or to be sparingly eaten at least, and not raw. Amongst other fruits, Bruerinus, out of Galen, excepts grapes and figs, but I find them likewise rejected.
Pulse.] All pulse are naught, beans, peas, vetches, &c., they fill the brain (saith Isaac) with gross fumes, breed black thick blood, and cause troublesome dreams. And therefore, that which Pythagoras said to his scholars of old, may be for ever applied to melancholy men, A fabis abstinete, eat no peas, nor beans; yet to such as will needs eat them, I would give this counsel, to prepare them according to those rules that Arnoldus Villanovanus, and Frietagius prescribe, for eating and dressing, fruits, herbs, roots, pulse, &c.
Spices.] Spices cause hot and head melancholy, and are for that cause forbidden by our physicians to such men as are inclined to this malady, as pepper, ginger, cinnamon, cloves, mace, dates, &c., honey and sugar. Some except honey; to
those that are cold, it may be tolerable, but Dulca se in bilum vertunt (sweets turn into bile), they are obstructive. Crato therefore forbids all spice, in a consultation of his, for a melancholy schoolmaster, Omnia aromatica, et quicquid sanguinem adurit: so doth Fernelius, consil. 45. Guianerius, tract. 15, cap. 2. Mercurialis, cons. 189. To these I may add all sharp and sour things, luscious, and over-sweet, or fat, as oil, vinegar, verjuice, mustard, salt; as sweet things are obstructive, so these are corrosive.
Gomesius, in his books, de sale, l. 1, c. 21, highly commends salt; so doth Codronchus in his tract, de sale Absynthii, Lemn. l. 3, c. 9. de occult. nat. mir., yet common experience finds salt, and salt-meats, to be great procurers of this disease.
And for that cause belike those Egyptian priests abstained from salt, even so much, as in their bread, ut sine pertuibatione anima esset, saith mine author, that their souls might be free from perturbations.
Bread.] Bread that is made of baser grain, as peas, beans, oats, rye, or overhard baked, crusty, and black, is often spoken against, as causing melancholy juice and wind. Joh. Mayor, in the first book of his History of Scotland, contends much for the wholsomeness of oaten bread: it was objected to him then living at Paris in France, that his countrymen fed on oats, and base grain, as a disgrace; but he doth ingenuously confess, Scotland, Wales, and a third part of England, did most part use that kind of bread, that it was as wholesome as any grain, and yielded as good nourishment. And yet Wecker out of Galen calls it horse-meat, and fitter for juments than men to feed on. But read Galen himself, lib. 1. De cibis boni et mali succi, more largely discoursing of corn and bread.
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Wine.] All black wines, over-hot, compound, strong thick drinks, as Muscadine, Malmsey, Alicant, Rumney, Brownbastard, Metheglen, and the like, of which they have thirty several kinds in Muscovy, all such made drinks are hurtful in this case, to such as are hot, or of a sanguine choleric complexion, young, or inclined to head-melancholy. For many times the drinking of wine alone causeth it. Arculanus, c. 16. in 9. Rhasis, puts in wine for a great cause, especially if it be immoderately used. Guianerius, tract. 15. c. 2. tells a story of two Dutchmen, to whom he gave entertainment in his house, "that in one month's space were both melancholy by drinking of wine, one did nought but sing, the other sigh." Galen, l. de causis morb. c. 3. Matthiolus on Dioscorides, and above all other Andreas Bachius, l. 3. 18, 19, 20, have reckoned upon those inconveniences that come by wine: yet notwithstanding all this, to such as are cold, or sluggish melancholy, a cup of wine is good physic, and so doth Mercurialis grant, consil. 25, in that case, if the temperature be cold, as to most melancholy men it is, wine is much commended, if it be moderately used.
Cider, Perry.] Cider and perry are both cold and windy drinks, and for that cause to be neglected, and so are all those hot spiced strong drinks.
Beer.] Beer, if it be over-new or over-stale, over-strong, or not sodden, smell of the cask, sharp, or sour, is most unwholesome, frets, and galls, &c. Henricus Ayrerus, in a consultation of his, for one that laboured of hypochondriacal melancholy discommends beer. So doth Crato in that excellent, counsel of his, Lib. 2. consil. 21. as too windy, because of the hop. But he means belike that thick black Bohemian beer used in some other parts of Germany,
" -- nil spissius illa
Dum bibitur, nil clarius est dum mingitur, unde
Constat, quod multas fæces in corpore linquat."
"Nothing comes in so thick,
Nothing goes out so thin.
It must needs follow then
The dregs are left within."
As that old poet scoffed, calling it Stygie mostrum conforme palludi, a monstrous drink, like the river Styx. But let them say as they list, to such as are accustomed unto it, "'tis a most wholesome (so Polydor Virgil calleth it) and a pleasant drink," it is more subtile and better, for the hop that rarefies it, hath an especial virtue against melancholy, as our herbalists confess, Fuchsius approves, Lib. 2. sec. 2. instit. cap. 11. and many others.
Waters.] Standing waters, thick and ill-coloured; such as come forth of pools, and moats, where hemp hath been steeped, or slimy fishes live, are most unwholesome, putrefied, and full of mites, creepers, slimy, muddy, unclean, corrupt, impure, by reason of the sun's heat, and still-standing; they causs foul distemperatures in the body and mind of man, are unfit to make drink of, to dress meat with, or to be used about men inwardly or outwardly. They are good for many domestic uses, to wash horses, water cattle, &c., or in time of necessity, but not otherwise. Some are of opinion, that such fat standing waters make the best beer, and that seething doth defecate it, as Cardan holds, Lib. 13. subtil. "It mends the substance, and savour of it," but it is a paradox. Such beer may be stronger, but not so wholesome as the other, as
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Jobertus truly justifieth out of Galen, Paradox, dec. 1. Paradox 5. that the seething of such impure waters doth not purge or purify them, Pliny, lib. 31. c. 3. is of the same tenet, and P. Crescentius, agricult. lib. 1. et lib. 4. c. 11. et c. 45. Pamphilius Herilachus, l. 4. de nat. aquarum, such waters are naught, not to be used, and by the testimony of Galen, "breed agues, dropsies, pleurisies, splenetic and melancholy passions, hurt the eyes, cause a bad temperature, and ill disposition of the whole body, with bad colour." This Jobertus stiflly maintains, Paradox, lib. 1. part. 5. that it causeth blear eyes, bad colour, and many loathsome diseases to such as use it: this which they say, stands with good reason; for as geographers relate, the water of Astracan breeds worms in such as drink it. Axius, or as now called Verduri, the fairest river in Macedonia, makes all cattle black that taste of it. Aleacman now Peleca, another stream in Thessaly, turns cattle most part white, si potui ducas. L. Aubanus Rohemus refers that struma or poke of the Bavarians and Styrians to the nature of their waters, as Munster doth that of the Valesians in the Alps, and Bodine supposeth the stuttering of some families in Aquitania, about Labden, to proceed from the same cause, "and that the filth is derived from the water to their bodies." So that they that use filthy, standing, ill-coloured, thick, muddy water, must needs have muddy, illcoloured, impure, and infirm bodies. And because the body works upon the mind, they shall have grosser undrstandings, dull, foggy, melancholy spirits, and be really subject to all manner of infirmities.
To these noxious simples, we may reduce an infinite number of compound, artificial, made dishes, of which our cooks afford us a great variety, as tailors do fashions in our apparel. Such are puddings stuffed with blood, or otherwise composed; baked meats, soused indurate meats, fried and broiled buttered meats; condite, powdered, and over-dried, all cakes, simnels, buns, cracknels made with butter, spice, &c., fritters, pancakes, pies, sausages, and those several sauces, sharp, or over-sweet, of which scientia popinæ, as Seneca calls it, hath served those Apician tricks, and perfumed dishes, which Adrian the sixth Pope so much admired in the accounts of his predecessor Leo decimus; and which prodigious riot and prodigality have invented in this age. These do generally engender gross humours, fill the
stomach with crudities, and all those inward parts with obstructions. Montanus, consil. 22, gives instance; in a melancholy Jew, that by eating such tart sauces, made dishes, and salt meats, with which he was overmuch delighted, became melancholy, and was evil affected. Such examples are familiar and common.
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SUBSECT. II.-- Quantity of Diet a Cause.
THERE is not so much harm proceeding from the substance itself of meat, and quality of it, in ill-dressing and preparing, as there is from the quantity, disorder of time and place, unseasonable use of it, inntemperance, overmuch, or overlittle taking of it. A true saying it is, Plures crapula quam gladius, This gluttony kills more than the sword, this omnivorantia et homicida gula, this all devouring and murdering gut.
And that of Pliny is truer, "Simple diet is the best; heaping up of several meats is pernicious, and sauces worse; many dishes bring many diseases." Avicen cries out, "That nothing is worse than to feed on many dishes, or to protract the time of meats longer than ordinary; from thence proceed our infirmities, and 'tis the fountain of all diseases, which arise out of the repugnancy of gross humours." Thence, saith Fernelius, come crudities, wind, oppilations, cacochymia, plethora, cachexia, bradiopepsia, Hinc subite mortes, atque intestata senectus, sudden death, &c., and what not.
As a lamp is choked with a multitude of oil, or a little fire with overmuch wood quite extinguished, so is the natural heat with immoderate eating, strangled in the body. Pernitiosa sentina est abdomen insaturabile: one saith, An insatiable
paunch is a pernicious sink, and the fountain of all diseases, both of body and mind.
Mercurialis will have it a peculiar cause of this private disease; Solenander, consil. 5. sect. 3, illustrates this of Mercurialis, with an example of one so melancholy, ab intempestivis commessationibus, unseasonable feasting. Crato confirms as much, in that often cited Counsel, 21, lib. 2. putting superfluous eating for a main cause. But
what need I seek farther for proofs? Hear Hippocrates himself; Lib. 2, Aphor. 10, "Impure bodies the more they are nourished, the more they are hurt, for the nourishment is putrefied with vicious humours."
And yet for all this harm, which apparently follows surfeiting and drunkenness, see how we luxuriate and rage in this kind; read what Johannes Stuckius hath written lately of this subject, in his great volume De Antiquorum Conviviis, and
of our present age; Quam portentosæ coenæ, prodigious suppers, Qui dum invitant ad coenam efferunt ad sepulchrum (they who invite us to supper, only conduct us to our tomb), what Fagos, Epicures, Apetios, Heliogables, our times afford? Lucullus' ghost walks still and every man desires to sup in Apollo; Æsop's costly dish is ordinarily served up. Magis illa juvant, quæ pluris emuntur (The highest-priced dishes afford the most gratification). The dearest cates are best, and 'tis an ordinary thing to bestow twenty or thirty pounds upon a dish, some thousand crowns upon a dinner: Mully- Hamet, king of Fez and Morocco, spent three pounds on the sauce of a capon: it is nothing in our times, we scorn all that is cheap. "We loathe the very light (some of us, as Seneca notes) because it comes free, and we are offended with the sun's heat, and those cool blasts, because we buy them not." This air we breathe is so common, we care not for it; nothing pleaseth but what is dear. And if we be witty in anything, it is ad gulam: If we study at all, it is erudite luxu, to please the palate, and to satisfy the gut. "A cook of old was a base knave (as Livy complains), but now a great man in
request; cookery is become an art, a noble science: cooks are gentlemen:" Venter Deus: They wear "their brains in their bellies, and their guts in their heads," as
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Agrippa taxed some parasites of his time, rushing on their own destruction, as if a man should run upon the point of a sword, usque dum rumpantur comedunt, "They eat till they burst:" All day, all night, let the physician say what he will, imminent danger, and feral diseases are now ready to seize upon them, that will eat till they vomit, Edunt ut vomant, vomunt ut edant; saith Seneca; which Dion relates of Vitellius, Solo transitu ciborum, nutiri judicatus: His meat did pass through and away, or till they burst again. Strage animantium ventrem onerant, and rake over all the world, as so
many slaves, belly-gods, and land-serpents, Et totus orbis ventri nimis angustus, the whole world cannot satisfy their appetite. "Sea, land, rivers, lakes, &c., may not give content to their raging guts." To make up the mess, what immoderate drinking in every place? Senem potum pota trahebat anus, how they flock to the tavern: as if they were fruges consumere nati, born to no other end but to eat and drink, like Offellius Bibulus, that famous Roman parasite, Qui dum vixit, aut bibit aut mixit; as so many casks to hold wine, yea worse than a cask, that mars wine, and itself is not marred by it, yet these are brave men, Silenus Ebrius was no braver. Et quæ fuerunt vitia, mores sunt: 'tis now the fashion of our times, an honour: Nunc vero res ista eo rediit (as Chrysost. serm. 30, in v. Ephes. comments) Ut effeminatæ ridendæque ignaviæ loco habeatur, nolle inebriari; 'tis now come to that pass that he is no gentleman, a very milk-sop, a clown of no bringing up, that will not drink; fit for no company; he is your only gallant that plays it off finest, no disparagement now to stagger in the streets, reel, rave, &c., but much to his fame and renown; as in like case Epidicus told Thesprio his fellow-servant, in the Poet. Ædipol facinus improbum, one urged, the other replied, At jam alii fecere idem, erit illi illa res honori, 'tis now no fault, there be so many brave examples to bear one out; 'tis a credit to have a strong brain, and carry his liquor well; the sole contention who can drink most, and fox his fellow the soonest. 'Tis the summum bonum of our tradesmen, their felicity, life, and soul, Tanta dulcedine effectant, saith Pliny, lib. 14.
cap. 12. ut magna pars non aliud vitæ præmium intelligat, their chief comfort, to be merry together in an alehouse or tavern, as our modern Muscovites do in their mede-inns, and Turks in their coffee-houses which much resemble our taverns; they will labour hard all day, long to be drunk at night, and spend totius anni labores, as St. Ambrose adds, in a tippling feast; convert day into night, as Seneca taxes some in his times, Pervertunt officia noctis et lucis; when we rise, they commonly go to bed, like our antipodes,
"Nosque ubi primus equis oriens afflavit anhelis,
Illis sera rubens accendit lumina vesper."
So did Petronius in Tacitus, Heiogabalus in Lampridius.
"-- Noctes vigilabat ad ipsem
Mane, diem totum stertebat.--"
"-- He drank the night away
Till rising dawn, then snored out all the day."
Snymdiris the Sybarite never saw the sun rise or set so much as once in twenty years. Verres, against whom Tully so much inveighs, in winter he never was extra
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tectum vix extra lectum, never almost out of bed, still wenching and drinking; so did he spend his time, and so do myriads in our days. They have gymnasia bibonum, schools and rendezvous; these centaurs and Lapithæ toss pots and bowls as so many balls; invent new tricks, as sausages, anchovies, tobacco, caviare, pickled oysters, herrings, fumadoes, &c.: innumerable salt meats to increase their appetite, and study how to hurt themselves by taking antidotes "to carry their drink the better; and when nought else serves, they will go forth, or be conveyed out, to empty their gorge, that they may return to drink afresh." They make laws, insanas leges, contra bibendi fallacias, and brag of it when they have done, crowning that man that is soonest gone, as their drunken predecessors have done,-- quid ego video? Ps. Cum corona Pseudolum ebrium tuum --. And when they are dead, will have a can of wine with Maron's old woman to be engraven on their tombs. So they triumph in villainy, and justify their wickedness; with Rabelais, that French Lucian, drunkenness is better for the body than physic, because there be more old drunkards than old physicians. Many such frothy arguments they have, inviting and encouraging others to do as they do, and love them dearly for it (no glue like to that of good fellowship). So did Alcibiades in Greece; Nero, Bonosus, Heliogabalus in Rome, or Alegabalus rather, as he was styled of old (as Ignatius proves out of some old Coins). So do many great men still, as Heresbachius observes. When a prince drinks till his eyes stare, like Bitias in the Poet,
-- "(ille impiger hausit
Spumantem vino pateram)."
-- "a thirsty soul;
He took challenge and embraced the bowl:
With pleasure swill'd the gold, nor ceased to draw
Till he the bottom of the brimmer saw."
and comes off clearly, sound trumpets, fife and drums, the spectators will applaud him, "the bishop himself (if he belie them not) with his chaplain, will stand by and do as much," O dignum principe haustum, 'twas done like a prince. "Our Dutchmen invite all comers with a pail and a dish," Velut infundibula integras obbas exhauriunt, et in monstrosis poculis, ipsi monstrosi monstrosius epotant, aking barrels of their bellies." Incredibile dictu, as one of their own countrymen complains: Quantum liquoris immodestissima gens capiat, &c. "How they love a man that will be drunk, crown him and honour him for it," hate him that will not pledge him, stab him, kill him; a most intolerable offence, and not to be forgiven. "He is a mortal enemy that will not drink with him," as Munster relates of the Saxons. So in Poland, he is the best servitor, and the honestest fellow, saith Alexander Gaguinus, "that drinketh most healths to the honour of his master, he shall be rewarded as a good servant, and held the bravest fellow that carries his liquor best," when a brewer's horse will bear much more than any sturdy drinker, yet for his noble exploits in this kind, he shall be accounted a most valiant man, for Tam inter epulas fortis vir esse potest ac in bello, as much valour is to be found in feasting as in fighting, and some of our city captains, and carpet knights will make this good, and prove it. Thus they many times wilfully pervert the good temperature of their bodies, stifle their wits, strangle nature, and degenerate into beasts.
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Some again are in the other extreme, and draw this mischief on their heads by too ceremonious and strict diet, being over-precise, cockney-like,and curious in their observation of meats, times, as that Medicina statica prescribes, just so many ounces at dinner, which Lessius enjoins, so much at supper, not a little more, nor a little less, of such meat, and at such hours, a diet-drink in the morning, cock-broth, China-broth, at dinner, plum-broth, a chicken, a rabbit, rib of a rack of mutton, wing of a capon, the merry-thought of a hen, &c.; to sounder bodies this is too nice and most absurd.
Others offend in over-much fasting: pining adays, saith Guianerius, and waking anights, as many Moors and Turks in these our times do. "Anchorites, monks, and the rest of that superstitious rank (as the same Guianerius witnesseth, that he hath often seen to have happened in his time) through immoderate fasting, have been frequently mad." Of such men belike Hippocrates speaks, 1 Aphor. 5, when as he saith, "They more offend in too sparing diet, and are worse damnified than they that feed liberally, and are ready to surfeit.
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