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their very intimate and familiar friends, and even then they frequently fit wholly filent, or enter into conversation with seeming pain and reluctance. Frambefarius, a French physician, had two such patients, omnino taciturnos, whom no provocation could prevail upon to speak: and Rodericus à Fonseca gives an instance of a melancholy young man, of only seven and twenty years of age, who was so extremely bashful that he could neither eat nor sleep if any person was present. The mind, in these cases, seems conscious of its debility, and ashamed to expose its defective powers.
Love of SOLITUDE is the first symptom and highest enjoyment of a melancholy mind. The fears and sorrows which fill the melancholy bosoms of these poor sufferers drive them from all the lively enjoyments of social life. The strong sense they entertain of the inadequacy of their powers to endure the company, or support the conversation, of other men, without becoming objects of laughter and derision, subdues all the energies of their souls.
While by this dire disease their souls are toss'd,
Like BELLÉROPHON, they wander through the
deepest glooms and most sequestered vales, fad, solitary, and dejected; avoiding the sight of their fellow creatures, and averse even from their best and most familiar friends. The first symptoms by which the citizens of Abdera discovered the melancholy of Democritus, were, his 'forsaking the city, wandering, in the day, on the green banks of the neighbouring brooks, and sleeping at nights in dark groves or hollow trees. The Egyptians, in their hieroglyphics, express a melancholy man by a hare sitting in her form, as being the most timid and solitary of all animals.
A TEDIUM VITÆ, or weariness of life, fucceeds. Incapable of relishing any of the pleasures or amusements of the world, uneasy and restless in every situation, displeased with every occurrence, and anxious to pull the crawling ferpent from their hearts, they call one moment upon death to relieve them from their miseries, and the next fly from his feared embrace: unwilling to die, and yet unable to live,
Until the increasing wound such pangs create,
The poisoned bowl of Socrates, the dagger of
and the sword of Nero, are the fell instruments which fate bequeaths to their disordered fouls.
· MELANCHOLY discloses its symptoms according to the sentiments and passions of the minds it affects. An ambitious man fancies himself a lord, statesman, minister, king, emperor, or monarch, and pleases his mind with the vain hopes of even future preferment. Elinora Meliorina, a melancholy but aspiring lady of Mantua, conceived she was married to a king, and would kneel down and address her husband as if he were on his throne; and if she found by chance a bit of glass on a dung-hill, or in the street, she would say it was a jewel sent to her by her lord and husband. The mind of a covetous man sees nothing but his re or spe, and looks at the most valuable objects with an eye of hope, or with the fond conceit that they are already his own, A love-fick brain adores, in romantic strains, the lovely idol of his heart,
" And in the shape of Corin, fits all day
or fighs in real misery at her fancied frowns. And a scholar's mind evaporates in the fumes of imaginary praise and literary distinction.
Rhafis, the Arabian, divides the symptoms of melancholy into three degrees : First, falfa cogitatio, such as confist in false conceits and idle thoughts : secondly, falso cogitata loqui, where the patient soliloquises and utters his conceits to himself; and thirdly, when the patient puts his conceits into practice. But it is impossible to speak sufficiently upon this subject ; for to attempt a description of a phantastical conceit, a corrupt imagination, or a vain thought, would be like the artist, in Ausonius, who attempted to paint an echo. Certain it is, however, that there is nothing so vain, absurd, ridiculous, extravagant, impossible, incredible, chimerical, prodigious, or strange, which a melancholy man will not really fear, feign, suspect, and imagine: and what Ludovicus Vives said in jest, of a silly country fellow that killed his ass for drinking up the moon, ut lunam mundo rederet, we may truly say of him in earnest. The tower of Babel never yielded such confusion of tongues as the chaos of melancholy does variety of fymptoms; for there is in every species of melancholy fimilitudo disimilis; as in men's faces, a disagreeing likeness still: and as in a river we swim in the same place, though not in the fame identical water, so this disease yields a continued succession of different symptoms.
CHAPTER THE. FIFTH.
THE CURE OF MELANCHOLY.
ELANCHOLY is said to be the inex
orable parent of every mental disease ; but Paracelsus ridicules the idea of its being incurable ; and certain it is, that this dreadful malady, even in its most afflicting stages, seldom .causes immediate death ; except, indeed, by the ungoverned hand of the miserable sufferer. Montanus, however, is of opinion, that to whatever extent the patient may be relieved, fome dregs and vestiges, the veteris veftigia flamme, will still remain, and accompany him to his grave; and unquestionably it is a disease much more easy to be prevented than entirely cured.
". To administer to a mind diseased,
is certainly a task surrounded with difficulties I 3.