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their causes, consequences, and cures, together and apart, that every man, who is in any meafure affected with this ENGLISH MALADY, may know how to examine it in himself, and apply the remedies.
It must, however, be confessed, that it is extremely difficult to distinguish these three species from each other, and to describe their several causes, symptoms, and cures, inasmuch as they are so intermixed with other diseases, are so frequently confounded together, and have so close an affinity with each other, that they can scarcely be separated by the most experienced, or discerned by the most accurate physician. Melancholy frequently exists as a disease together with the vertigo, stone, gravel, caninus appetitus, jaundice, and ague: and Paulus Regoline, a great doctor in his time, who was consulted on the case of a melancholy patient, was so confounded with a confusion of symptoms, that he knew not to what species to refer it: and Trincavellius, Fallopius, and Francanzanus, famous doctors in Italy, being separately consulted in the case of the melancholy Duke of Cleves, gave all of them, at the same time, three different opinions on the subject. It appears, in the works of Reinerus Solinander, that he and Dr. Brande both agreed that a patient's disease was hypochondriacal mem
lancholy, while Dr. Matholdus infifted it was asthma, and nothing else: and in the case of a Polish Count, Cafar Claudinus was of opinion, that he laboured under the head melancholy and the bodily melancholy at the same time. three kinds, indeed, may exist in the same subject semel et fimul, or in succession. The several species of melancholy seem to be with physicians what the pure forms of governments are with politicians; each distinct kind, the monarchic, the aristocratic, and the democratic, are most admirable in theory; but in practice, as Polybius truly observes, they will never be found independent and unmixed;* as might be instanced
“ The great and tedious debates," says a. sensible French writer of the old political school, « about the best form of fociety, are only proper for the exercise of wit; and have their being only in agitation and controversy. A new form of government might be of some value in a new world; but ours is a wortà ready made to our hands, and in which each distinct form is blended by custom. We do not, like Pyrrho and Cadmus, make the world; and by whatever authority it is we affert the privilege of setting it to rights, and giving it a new form of government, it is impossible to twist it from its wonted bent, without breaking all its parts. In truth and reality, the best and moft excellent government for every nation, is that under which it is maintained; and its form and effential convenience depends upon custom. We are apt to be displeased at the present condition ; but I do nevertheless maintain, that, to desire any other form of government than that which is already established, is
in the ancient governments of Rome and Lacedemon, and in the modern governments of Germany and England: and therefore, it is in like manner of little consequence what physicians say of distinct species of diseases in their mootings and speculations, fince, in their patients' bodies, the diseases are generally intire and mixed.
both vice and FOLLY, When any thing is out of its proper place, it may be propped; and the alterations and corruptions natural to all things, obviated so as to prevent their being carried too far from their origin and principles; but to undertake to cart anew so great a mass, and to change the foundation of fo vast a buildiag as every government is, is reforming particular defects by an un rsal confusion, and like curing a disorder by death."
CHAPTER THE THIRD.
OF THE CAUSES OF MELANCHOLY.
ALEN observes, that “it is in vain to
speak of cures, or think of remedies, until the causes of a disease have been traced and considered ;” and, indeed, common experience proves so generally, that those cures must be lame, imperfect, and to no purpose, wherein the sources of the disease have not been first searched, that Fernelius calls it primo artis curativæ, and says, it is impossible, without this knowledge, to cure or prevent any manner of disease. * Empiricks may by chance afford a patient temporary relief; but, from their ignorance of causes, cannot thoroughly eradicate the complaint. Sublatâ caufâ tellitur effectus. It is only by removing the cause, that the effect is to be vanquished. To discern, however, the primary causes of the disease of melancholy, to thew of what they confift, and, amidst such a number of varying and frequently anomalous indications, to trace them to the spring from whence they flow, is certainly a talk of almost insurmountable
* Rerum cognoscere caufas, medicis imprimis neceffarium, fine qua nec morbum curare, nec præcavere licet,
difficulty;* and happy is he who can perform it right.t
Causes may be considered as either general or special. General causes are natural or supernatural. Supernatural causes are those which spring from God and his angels, or, by his permiffion, from the devil and his ministers; for the Almighty sometimes visits the sons of men with this direful disease, as a punishment for their manifold fins and wickedness, of which the holy scriptures furnish us with many instances, in the characters of Gehazi, I Jehoram,David, ||
* Tanta enim morbi varietas ac differentia ut non facile dignorcatur, unde initium morbus sumpferit. Melanelius è Galeno.
+ Montaigne, after commenting very pleasantly on the absurdity of pretending, amidst such an infinite number of indications, to discern the true sign of every disease, relates the celebrated fable from Ælop of the physician, who, having bought an Ethiopian Nave, endeavoured to search for the true cause of the blackness of his complexion, and having persuaded himself that it was merely accidental, and owing to the ill ufage he had received from his former masters, put him under a preparatory course of medicine, and then bathed and drenched him for a long time with cold water, in order to restore him to his true complexion ; but the poor fellow retained his fable hue, and loft, irrecoverably, his health. But Montaigne entertained great prejudices against the useful science of medicine. | 2 Reg. v. 27.
§ 2 Chron, xxi. 15.