صور الصفحة
PDF
النشر الإلكتروني

and make them fearfull and sonowfull, heavie hearted, as the iest, dejected, discontented, solitarie, silent, wearie of their lives, dull and heavie, or merrie, &c. and if far gone, that which Apuleius wished to his enemy, by way of imprecation, is true in them; "b Dead mens bones, hobgoblins, ghosts are ever in their minds, and meet them still in every turn: all the bugbears of the night, and terrors, fairybabes of tombs, and graves are before their eyes, and in their thoughts, as to women and children, if they be in the dark alone." If they hear, or read, or see any tragicall o'ojert, it sticks by them, they are afraid of death, and yet weary of their lives, in their discontented humours they quarrel with all the world, bitterly inveigh, taxe satyrically, and because they cannot otherwise vent their passions, or redress what is amiss, as they mean, they will by violent death at last be revenged on themselves.

SUBSEC. IV. Symptomes of Maids, Nunnes, and Widows Melancholy.

BECAUSE Lodovicus Mercatus in his second book de mulier. affect, cap. i. and Rodericus a Castro de morb. mulier. cap. 3. lib. 2. two famous Physicians in Spain, Daniel Sennertus of Wittenberg lib. {.part. 2. cap. 13. with others, have vouchsafed in their works not long since published, to write two just Treatises de Melancholia virginum, Monialium Viduarum, as a particular species of melancholy (which I have already specified) distinct from the rest: (" for it much differs from that which commonly befals men and other women, as having one only cause proper to women alone] I may not omit in this generall Survey of melancholy Symptomes, to set down the particular signs of such parties so mis-affected.

The causes arc assigned out of Hippocrates, Cleopatra, Moschion, and those old Gynaclorum Scriptores, of this ferall malady, in more ancient Maids, Widows, and barren Women, ob septum transversum violatum saith Mercatus, by, reason of the midriffe or Diapliragma, heart and brain offended with those vicious vapours which come from menstruous blood, inflammationem arteria circa dorsum, Rodericus adds, an inflammation of the back, which with the rest is offended

k Apul. lib. t. semper obviae species mortuorum quicquid umbrarum est uspiam, quicquid lemurum et larvarum oculis ''suis aggerunt, sibi fingunt omnia noctium occursacula, omnia bustorum formidamina, omnia sepulebrorum terriculamenta. *Differt enim ab ea quae viris k reliquis fenunis communiier conungit, propriam habens causam.

by by b that fuliginous exhalation of corrupt seed, troubling tlie brain, heart and mind; the brain, I say, not in essence, but by consent, Universa enim hit jus affect as causa ah utero pendet, & a sanguinis menstrui malitia, for in a word, the whole malady proceeds from that inflammation, putredity, black smoky vapours, &c. from thence comes care, sorrow, and anxiety, obfuscation of spirits, agony, desperation, and the like, which are intended or remitted ; si amatorius accesscrit ardor, or any other violent object or perturbation of mind. This melancholy may happen to Widows, with much care and sorrow, as frequently it doth, by reason of a sudden alteration of their accustomed course of life, &c. To such as lye in childe-bed of) suppressant purgationem; but to Nunnes and more ancient Maids, and some barren Women for the causes abovesaid, 'tis more familiar, crebrius his qiutm reliquis accidit, inquil Jiudericus, the rest are not altogether excluded.

[graphic]

Out of these causes Rodericus defines it with Areteus, to be angorem antmi, a vexation of the mind, a sudden sorrow from a small, light, or no occasion, c with a kind of still dotage and grief of some part or other, head, heart, breasts, sides, back, belly, &c. with much solitarinesse, weeping, distraction, &c. from which they are sometimes suddenly delivered, because it comes and goes by fits, and is not so permanent as other melancholy.

But to leave this brief description, the most ordinary symptomes be these, pulsatio jitxta dorsum, a beating about the back, which is almost perpetuall, the skin is many times rough, squalid, especially, as Areteus observes, about the arms, knees, and knuckles. The midriffe and heart-strings do burn and beat very fearfully, and when this vapour or fume is stirred, flyeth upward, the heart it self beats, is sore grieved, and faints, fauces siccitate pracluduntur, ut difficulter possit ab uteri strangulatione decerni, like fits of the mother, Ahus plerisq; nil reddit, aliis exigttum, acre, biliosum, lotium flavuvt. They complain many times, saith Mercatus, of a great pain in their heads, about their hearts, and hypocondries, und so likewise in their breasts, which are often sore, sometimes ready to swoon, their faces are inflamed, and red, they are dry, thirsty, suddenly hot, much troubled with winde, cannot sleep, &T.

1 Ex menstrui sanguinis tetra ad cor & cerebrum exhalatione, vitiatum semen rnentem perturbat, Jte non per essentiam, sed perconsensum. Aniniuimxrens U anxius inde malum tralut, U spiritus cerebrum obfuscantur, quae cuncta augenuir, &c. 'Cum tacito delirio ac dolore alicujus partis internae, dorsi, hyiocondrii, cordis regionem & universam mammr.m interdurn occupantis, &c. Cutis ali()uar.do squalidn, aspera, mgosa, prascipue cubitis, genibus, & digitornm articuiis, prsccordia ingenti sxpe icrrore xstuant & pulsant, cumque vapor excitatus sursum evolat, cor palpitat aut premitur, animu» deficit, Stc.

E e 4 And And from hence proceed ferina deliramenta, a brutish kinde of dotage, troublesome sleep, terrible dreams in the night, subrusticas pudor vcrecundia ignava, a foolish kinde of bashfulness to some, perverse conceipts and opinions, f dejection of mind, much discontent, preposterous judgement. They are apt to loath, dislike, disdain, to be weary of every object, &c. each thing almost is tedious to them, they pine away, void of counsell, apt to weep, and tremble, timorous, fearfull, sad, and out of all hope of better fortunes. They take delight in nothing for the time, but love to be alone and solitary, though that do them more harm; And thus they are affected so long as this vapour lasteth; but by and by as pleasant and merry as ever they were in their lives, they sing, discourse and laugh in any good company, upon all occasions, and so by fits it takes them now and then, except the malady be inveterate, and then 'tis more frequent, vehement, and continuare. Many of them cannot tell how to express themselves in words, or how it holds them, what ailes them, you cannot understand them, or well tell what to make of their sayings; so far gone sometimes, so stupified and distracted, they think themselves bewitehed, they are in despair, apta ad fielum, desperationem, dolores mammis K hypocondriis. Mercatus therefore adds, now their breasts, now their hypocondries, belly and sides, then their heart and head akes, now heat, then wind, now this, now that offends, they are weary of ail; * and yet will not, cannot again tell how, where or what offends them, though they be in great pain, agony, and frequently complain, grieving, sighing, weeping and discontented still, sine causa manifesto, most part, yet I say they will complain, grudge, lament, and not be perswaded, but that they are troubled with an evill spirit, which is frequent in Germany, saith Rodericus, amongst the common sort: and to such as are most grievously affected, (for he makes three degrees of this disease in women) they are in despair, surely forespoken or bewitehed, and in extremity of their dotage, (weary of their lives) some of them will attempt to make away themselves. Some think they see visions, confer with spirits and devils, they shall surely be damned, are afraid of some treachery, imminent danger, and the iike, they wil not speak, make answer to any question, but are almost distracted,

f Animi dejectio, perversa rerum existimaio, pneposterum judicium. Fasndiosae, languentes, taediosae, consilii inopes, lachrymosx, timentcs, moests, cum symma rerum metiorum desperitkme, nulla re delectamur, solimdinem amant, &c. *NoIunt aperire molesiiam quam patiuutur, sed conquerunrur omen de capite, corJe, mammis, &c. In puteos fere maniaci prosilire, ac strangulaii cupinnt, nulla orationis suavitate ad spem satutis recuperaiidam erig , &c. Familiares non curant, non loquuntur, non respondent, &c. & hxc graviorz, si, &c.

madj mad, or stupid for the time, and by fits : and thus it holds them, as they are more or less affected, and as the inner humour is intended or remitted, or by outward objects and perturbations aggravated, solitariness, idleness, &c.

Many other maladies there are incident to young women, out of that one and only cause above specified, many ferall diseases. I will not so much as mention their names, melancholy alone is the subject of my present discourse, from which I will not swerve, The several cures of this infirmity, concerning Diet, which must be very sparing, Phlebotomy, Physick, internall, externall remedies, are at large-in great variety in * Rodericus a Castro, Sennertus, and Mercatus, which whoso ■will, as occasion serves, may make use of. But the best and surest remedy of all, is to see them well placed, and married to good husbands in due time, hinc ilhe lachryma, that is the primary cause, and this the ready cure, to give them content to their desires. I write not this to patronize any wanton, idle flurt, lascivious or light huswives, which are too forward many times, unruly, and apt to cast away themselves on him that comes next, without all care, counsel, circumspection, and judgment. If religion, good discipline, honest education, wholesome exhortation, fair promises, fame and loss of good name cannot inhibit and deterre such, (which to chast and sober maids cannot chuse but avail much) labour and exercise, Strict diet, rigor and threats may more opportunely be used, and are able of themselves to qualifie and divert an ill disposed temperament. For seldom should you sec an hired servant, a poor handmaid, though ancient, that is kept hard to her work, and bodily labour, a coarse country wench troubled in this kind, but noble virgins, nice gentlewomen, such as are solitary and idle, live at ease, leadea life out of action and imployment, that fare well, in great houses and joviall companies, ill disposed peradvenrure of themselves, and not willing to make any resistance, discontented otherwise, of weak judgment, able bodies, and subject to passions (grandiores virgines, saith Mercatus, sterilcs & vidiia plerumq; melancholic a ) such for the most part are misaffected, and prone to this disease. I do not so much pity them that may otherwise be eased, but those alone that out of a strong temperament, innate constitution, are violently carried away with this torrent of inward humours, and though very modest of themselves, sober, religious, vertuous, and well given, (as many so distressed maids are) yet cannot make resistance, these grievances will appear, this malady will take place, and now manifestly shews it self, and may not other

* Clisteres & Ucllcborismum Mnth.oli summe laudat,

wise be helped. But where am I? Into what subject have I rushed? What have I to do with Nunnes, Maids, Virgins, Widows? I am a Batehelor my self, and lead a Monastick life in a Colledg, na ego sane ineptus qui htec dixerim, I confess 'tis an indecorum, and as Pallas a Virgin blushed, when Jupiter by chance spake of Love matters iu her presence, and turn'd away her face; me reprima.m, though my subject necessarily require it, I will say no more.

And yet I must and will say something more, add a word or two in graiiam Virginum St Viduarum, in favour of all such distressed parties, in commiseration of their present estate. And as I cannot chuse but condole their mishap that labour of this infirmitie, and are destitute of help in this case, so must I needs inveigh against them that are in fault, more then manifest causes, and as bitterly tax those tyrannizing Pseudopolititians, superstitious orders, rash vows, hard hearted parents, guardians, unnatural friends, allies, (cal them how you will) those careless and stupid overseers, that out of worldly respects, covetousness, supine negligence, their own private ends (cum sibi sit interim bene ) can so severely reject, stubbornly neglect, and impiously contemn, without all remorse and pitie, the tears, sighs, groans, and grievous miseries of such poor souls committed to their charge. How odious and abominable are those superstitious and rash vows of Popish Monasteries, so to hind and inforce men and women to vow virginitie, to lead a single life against the laws of nature, opposite to religion, policie, and humanity, so to starve, to offer violence, to suppress the vigor of youth, by rigorous statutes, severe laws, vaine perswasions, to debar them of that, to which by their innate temperature they are so furiously inclined, urgently carried, and sometimes precipitated, even irresistably led, to the prejudice of their souls health, and good estate of body and minde: And all for base and private respects, to maintain their gross superstition, to inrich themselves and their territories as they falsly suppose, by hindering some marriages, that the world be not full of beggers, and their parishes pestered with Orphanes ; stupid politicians; hacciue fieri flagiiia? ou^ht these things so to be carried? better marry then burn, saiih the Apostle, but they are otherwise perswaded. They wil by all means quench their neighbours house if it be on fire, but that fire of lust which breaks out into such lamentable flames, they will not take notice of, their own bowels oftentimes, flesh and hloud shall so rage and burn, and they will not see it: miserum est, saith Austin, seipsum non miserescere, and they are miserable in the meane time, that cannot pity themselves, the common good of all, and per consequens their own estates. For let

them

« السابقةمتابعة »