Heroical love causeth Melancholy. His Pedigree, Power, and Extent

Heroical love causeth Melancholy. His Pedigree, Power, and Extent

In the preceding section mention was made, amongst other pleasant objects, of this comeliness and beauty which proceeds from women, that causeth heroical, or love-melancholy, is more eminent above the rest, and properly called love. The part affected in men is the liver, and therefore called heroical, because commonly gallants. Noblemen, and the most generous spirits are possessed with it. His power and extent is very large, and in that twofold division of love, φιλειν (philein) and εραν (eran) those two veneries which Plato and some other make mention of it is most eminent, and χατ εξοχην (chat exochen) called Venus, as I have said, or love itself. Which although it be denominated from men, and most evident in them, yet it extends and shows itself in vegetal and sensible creatures, those incorporeal substances (as shall be specified) , and hath a large dominion of sovereignty over them. His pedigree is very ancient, derived from the beginning of the world, as Phædrus contends, and his parentage of such antiquity, that no poet could ever find it out. Hesiod makes Terra and Chaos to be Love's parents, before the Gods were born: Ante deos omnes primum generavit amorem. Some think it is the self-same fire Prometheus fetched from heaven. Plutarch amator. libello, will have Love to be the son of Iris and Favonius; but Socrates in that pleasant dialogue of Plato, when it came to his turn to speak of love, (of which subject Agatho the rhetorician, magniloquus Agatho, that chanter Agatho, had newly given occasion) in a poetical strain, telleth this tale: when Venus was born, all the gods were invited to a banquet, and amongst the rest, Porus the god of bounty and wealth; Penia or Poverty came a begging to the door; Porus well whittled with nectar (for there was no wine in those days) walking in Jupiter's garden, in a bower met with Penia, and in his drink got her with child, of whom was born Love; and because he was begotten on Venus's birthday, Venus still attends upon him. The moral of this is in Ficinus. Another tale is there borrowed out of Aristophanes: in the beginning of the world, men had four arms and four feet, but for their pride, because they compared themselves with the gods, were parted into halves, and now peradventure by love they hope to be united again and made one. Otherwise thus, Vulcan met two lovers, and bid them ask what they would and they should have it; but they made answer, O Vulcane faber Deorum, &c. "O Vulcan the gods' great smith, we beseech thee to work us anew in thy furnace, and of two make us one; which he presently did, and ever since true lovers are either all one, or else desire to be united." Many such tales you shall find in Leon Hebreus, dial. 3. and their moral to them. The reason why Love was still painted young, (as Phornutus and others will) "is because young men are most apt to love; soft, fair, and fat, because such folks are soonest taken: naked, because all true affection is simple and open: he smiles, because merry and given to delights: hath a quiver, to show his power, none can escape: is blind, because he sees not where he strikes, whom he hits, &c." His power and sovereignty is expressed by the poets, in that he is held to be a god, and a great commanding god, above Jupiter himself; Magnus Dæmon, as Plato calls him, the strongest and merriest of all the gods according to Alcinous and Athenæus. Amor virorum rex, amor rex et deum, as Euripides, the god of gods and governor of men; for we must all do homage to him, keep a holiday for his deity, adore in his temples, worship his image, (numen enim hoc non est nudum nomen) and sacrifice to his altar, that conquers all, and rules all:

"Mallem cum icone, cervo et apro Æolico,
Cum Anteo et Stymphalicis avibus luctari
Quam cum amore" --

"I had rather contend with bulls, lions, bears, and giants, than with Love;" he is so powerful, enforceth all to pay tribute to him, domineers over all, and can make mad and sober whom he list; insomuch that Cæcilius in Tully's Tusculans, holds him to be no better than a fool or an idiot, that doth not acknowledge Love to be a great god.

"Cui in manu sit quem esse dementem velit,
Quem sapere, quam in morbum injici," &c.

That can make sick, and cure whom he list. Homer and Stesichorus were both made blind, if you will believe Leon Hebreus, for speaking against his godhead: and though Aristophanes degrade him, and say that he was scornfully rejected from the council of the gods, had his wings clipped besides, that he might come no more amongst them, and to his farther disgrace banished heaven for ever, and confined to dwell on earth, yet he is of that power, majesty, omnipotency, and dominion, that no creature can withstand him.

"Imperat Cupido etiam diis pro arbitrio,
Et ipsum arcere ne armipotens potest Jupiter."

He is more than quarter-master with the gods,

--"Tenet Thetide æquor, umbras
Æaco, coelum Jove:"

("He divides the empire of the sea with Thetis,-- of the Shades, with Æacus,-- of the Heaven, with Jove.")

and hath not so much possession as dominion. Jupiter himself was turned into a satyr, shepherd, a bull, a swan, a golden shower, and what not, for love; that as Lucian's Juno right well objected to him, ludus amoris tu es, thou art Cupid's whirligig: how did he insult over all the other gods, Mars, Neptune, Pan, Mercury, Bacchus, and the rest? Lucian brings in Jupiter complaining of Cupid that he could not be quiet for him; and the moon lamenting that she was so impotently besotted on Endymion, even Venus herself confessing as much, how rudely and in what sort her own son Cupid had used her being his mother, "now drawing her to Mount Ida, for the love of that Trojan Anchises, now to Libanus for that Assyrian youth's sake. And although she threatened to break his bow and arrows, to clip his wings, and whipped him besides on the bare buttocks with her pantofle, yet all would not serve, he was too headstrong and unruly." That monster-conquering Hercules was tamed by him:

"Quem non mille feræ, quem non Sthenelejus hostis,
Nec potuit Juno vincere, vicit amor."

"Whom neither beasts nor enemies could tame,
Nor Juno's might subdue, Love quell'd the same."

Your bravest soldiers and most generous spirits are enervated with it, ubi mulieribus blanditiis permittunt se, et inquinantur amplexibus. Apollo, that took upon him to cure all diseases, could not help himself of this; and therefore Socrates calls Love a tyrant, and brings him triumphing in a chariot, whom Petrarch imitates in his triumph of Love, and Fracastorius, in an elegant poem expresseth at large, Cupid riding, Mars and Apollo following his chariot, Psyche weeping, &c.

In vegetal creatures what sovereignty love hath, by many pregnant proofs and familiar examples may be proved, especially of palm-trees, which are both he and she, and express not a sympathy but a love-passion, and by many observations have been confirmed.

"Vivunt in venerem frondes, omnisque vicissim
Felix arbor amat, nutant et mutua palmæ
Fúdera, populeo suspirat populus ictu,
Et platano platanus, alnoque assibilat alnus."

(Claudian. descript. vener. aulæ. "Trees are influenced by love, and every flourishing tree in turn feels the passion: palms nod mutual vows, poplar sighs to poplar, plane to plane, and alder breathes to alder.")

Constantine de Agric. lib. 10. cap. 4. gives an instance out of Florentius his Georgics, of a palm-tree that loved most fervently, "and would not be comforted until such time her love applied herself unto her; you might see the two trees bend, and of their own accords stretch out their boughs to embrace and kiss each other: they will give manifest signs of mutual love." Ammianus Marcellinus, lib. 24, reports that they marry one another, and fall in love if they grow in sight; and when the wind brings the smell to them, they are marvellously affected. Philostratus in Imaginibus, observes as much, and Galen lib. 6. de locis affectis, cap. 5. they will be sick for love; ready to die and pine away, which the husbandmen perceiving, saith Constantine, "stroke many palms that grow together, and so stroking again the palm that is enamoured, they carry kisses from the one to the other:" or tying the leaves and branches of the one to the stem of the other, will make them both flourish and prosper a great deal better: "which are enamoured, they can perceive by the bending of boughs, and inclination of their bodies." If any man think this which I say to be a tale, let him read that story of two palm-trees in Italy, the male growing at Brundusium, the female at Otranto (related by Jovianus Pontanus in an excellent poem, sometimes tutor to Alphonsus junior, King of Naples, his secretary of state, and a great philosopher) "which were barren, and so continued a long time," till they came to see one another growing up higher, though many stadiums asunder. Pierius in his Hieroglyphics, and Melchior Guilandinus, Mem. 3. tract. de papyro, cites this story of Pontanus for a truth. See more in Salmuth Comment. in Pancirol. de Nova repert. Tit. 1. de novo orbe Mizaldus Arcanorum lib. 2. Sand's Voyages, lib. 2. fol. 103. &c.

If such fury be in vegetals, what shall we think of sensible creatures, how much more violent and apparent shall it be in them!

"Omne adeo genus in terris hominumque ferarum,
Et genus æquoreum, pecudes, pictæque volucres
In furias ignemque ruunt; amor omnibus idem."

"All kind of creatures in the earth,
And fishes of the sea,
And painted birds do rage alike;
This love bears equal sway."

"Hic Deus et terras et maria alta domat."

Common experience and our sense will inform us how violently brute beasts are carried away with this passion, horses above the rest,-- furor est insignis equarum. "Cupid in Lucian bids Venus his mother be of good cheer, for he was now familiar with lions, and oftentimes did get on their backs, hold them by the mane, and ride them about like horses, and they would fawn upon him with their tails." Bulls, bears, and boars are so furious in this kind they kill one another: but especially cocks, lions, and harts, which are so fierce that you may hear them fight half a mile off, saith Turberville, and many times kill each other, or compel them to abandon the rut, that they may remain masters in their places; "and when one hath driven his co-rival away, he raiseth his nose up into the air, and looks aloft, as though he gave thanks to nature," which affords him such great delight. How birds are affected in this kind, appears out of Aristotle, he will have them to sing ob futuram venerem for joy or in hope of their venery which is to come.

"Æeriæ primum volucres te Diva tuumque
Significant initum, perculsæ corda tua vi."

"Fishes pine away for love and wax lean," if Gomesius's authority may be taken, and are rampant too, some of them: Peter Gellius, lib. 10. de hist, animal. tells wonders of a triton in Epirus: there was a well not far from the shore, where the country wenches fetched water, they, tritons, stupri causa would set upon them and carry them to the sea, and there drown them, if they would not yield; so love tyranniseth in dumb creatures. Yet this is natural for one beast to dote upon another of the same kind; but what strange fury is that, when a beast shall dote upon a man? Saxo Grammaticus, lib. 10. Dan. hist. hath a story of a bear that loved a woman, kept her in his den a long time and begot a son of her, out of whose loins proceeded many northern kings: this is the original belike of that common tale of Valentine and Orson: Ælian, Pliny, Peter Gillius, are full of such relations. A peacock in Lucadia loved a maid, and when she died, the peacock pined. "A dolphin loved a boy called Hernias, and when he died, the fish came on land, and so perished." The like adds Gellius, lib. 10. cap. 22. out of Appion, Ægypt. lib. 15. a dolphin at Puteoli loved a child, would come often to him, let him get on his back, and carry him about, "and when by sickness the child was taken away, the dolphin died." "Every book is full" (saith Busbequius, the emperor's orator with the Grand Signior, not long since, ep. 3. legat. Turc.) , "and yields such instances, to believe which I was always afraid lest I should be thought to give credit to fables, until I saw a lynx which I had from Assyria, so affected towards one of my men, that it cannot be denied but that he was in love with him. When my man was present, the beast would use many notable enticements and pleasant motions, and when he was going, hold him back, and look after him when he was gone, very sad in his absence, but most jocund when he returned: and when my man went from me, the beast expressed his love with continual sickness, and after he had pined away some few days, died." Such another story he hath of a crane of Majorca, that loved a Spaniard, that would walk any way with him, and in his absence seek about for him, make a noise that he might hear her, and knock at his door, "and when he took his last farewell, famished herself." Such pretty pranks can love play with birds, fishes, beasts:

" Cúlestis æstheris, ponti, terræ claves habet
Venus, Solaque istorum omnium imperium obtinet."

(Orpheus hymno Ven. "Venus keeps the keys of the air, earth, sea, and she alone retains the command of all.")

and if all be certain that is credibly reported, with the spirits of the air, and devils of hell themselves, who are as much enamoured and dote (if I may use that word) as any other creatures whatsoever. For if those stories be true that are written of incubus and succubus, of nymphs, lascivious fauns, satyrs, and those heathen gods which were devils, those lascivious Telchines, of whom the Platonists tell so many fables; or those familiar meetings in our days, and company of witches and devils, there is some probability for it. I know that Biarmannus, Wierus, lib. 1. cap. 19. et 24. and some others stoutly deny it, that the devil hath any carnal copulation with women, that the devil takes no pleasure in such facts, they be mere fantasies, all such relations of incubi, succubi, lies and tales; but Austin, lib. 15. de civit. Dei. doth acknowledge it: Erastus de Lamiis, Jacobus Sprenger and his colleagues, &c. Zanchius, cap. 16. lib. 4. de oper. Dei. Dandinus, in Arist. de Anima, lib. 2. text. 29. com. 30. Bodin, lib. 2. cap. 7. and Paracelsus, a great champion of this tenet amongst the rest, which give sundry peculiar instances, by many testimonies, proofs, and confessions evince it. Hector Boethius, in his Scottish history, hath three or four such examples, which Cardan confirms out of him, lib. 16. cap. 43. of such as have had familiar company many years with them, and that in the habit of men and women Philostratus in his fourth book de vita Apollonii, hath a memorable instance in this kind, which I may not omit, of one Menippus Lycius, a young man twenty-five years of age, that going between Cenchreas and Corinth, met such a phantasm in the habit of a fair gentlewoman, which taking him by the hand, carried him home to her house in the suburbs of Corinth, and told him she was a Phoenician by birth, and if he would tarry with her, "he should hear her sing and play, and drink such wine as never any drank, and no man should molest him; but she being fair and lovely would live and die with him, that was fair and lovely to behold." The young man a philosopher, otherwise staid and discreet, able to moderate his passions, though not this of love, tarried with her awhile to his great content, and at last married her, to whose wedding, amongst other guests, came Apollonius, who, by some probable conjectures, found her out to be a serpent, a lamia, and that all her furniture was like Tantalus's gold described by Homer, no substance, but mere illusions. When she saw herself descried, she wept, and desired Apollonius to be silent, but he would not be moved, and thereupon she, plate, house, and all that was in it, vanished in an instant: "many thousands took notice of this fact, for it was done in the midst of Greece." Sabine in his Comment on the tenth of Ovid's Metamorphoses, at the tale of Orpheus, telleth us of a gentleman of Bavaria, that for many months together bewailed the loss of his dear wife; at length the devil in her habit came and comforted him, and told him, because he was so importunate for her, that she would come and live with him again, on that condition he would be new married, never swear and blaspheme as he used formerly to do; for if he did, she should be gone: "he vowed it, married, and lived with her, she brought him children, and governed his house, but was still pale and sad, and so continued, till one day falling out with him, he fell a swearing; she vanished thereupon, and was never after seen." "This I have heard," saith Sabine, "from persons of good credit, which told me that the Duke of Bavaria did tell it for a certainty to the Duke of Saxony." One more I will relate out of Florilegus, ad annum 1058, an honest historian of our nation, because he telleth it so confidently, as a thing in those days talked of all over Europe: a young gentleman of Rome, the same day that he was married, after dinner with the bride and his friends went a walking into the fields, and towards evening to the tennis-court to recreate himself; whilst he played, he put his ring upon the finger of Venus statua, which was thereby made in brass; after he had sufficiently played, and now made an end of his sport, he came to fetch his ring, but Venus had bowed her finger in, and he could not get it off. Whereupon loath to make his company tarry at present, there left it, intending to fetch it the next day, or at some more convenient time, went thence to supper, and so to bed. In the night, when he should come to perform those nuptial rites, Venus steps between him and his wife (unseen or felt of her) , and told her that she was his wife, that he had betrothed himself unto her by that ring, which he put upon her finger: she troubled him for some following nights. He not knowing how to help himself, made his moan to one Palumbus, a learned magician in those days, who gave him a letter, and bid him at such a time of the night, in such a cross-way, at the town's end, where old Saturn would pass by with his associates in procession, as commonly he did, deliver that script with his own hands to Saturn himself; the young man of a bold spirit, accordingly did it; and when the old fiend had read it, he called Venus to him, who rode before him, and commanded her to deliver his ring, which forthwith she did, and so the gentleman was freed. Many such stories I find in several authors to confirm this which I have said; as that more notable amongst the rest, of Philinium and Machates in Phlegon's Tract, de rebus mirabilibus, and though many be against it, yet I, for my part, will subscribe to Lactantius, lib. 14. cap. 15. "God sent angels to the tuition of men; but whilst they lived amongst us, that mischievous all-commander of the earth, and hot in lust, enticed them by little and little to this vice, and defiled them with the company of women:" and to Anaxagoras, de resurrect. "Many of those spiritual bodies, overcome by the love of maids, and lust, failed, of whom those were born we call giants." Justin Martyr, Clemens Alexandrinus, Sulpicius Severus, Eusebius, etc., to this sense make a twofold fall of angels, one from the beginning of the world, another a little before the deluge, as Moses teacheth us, openly professing that these genii can beget, and have carnal copulation with women. At Japan in the East Indies, at this present (if we may believe the relation of travellers) , there is an idol called Teuchedy, to whom one of the fairest virgins in the country is monthly brought, and left in a private room, in the fotoqui, or church, where she sits alone to be deflowered. At certain times the Teuchedy (which is thought to be the devil) appears to her, and knoweth her carnally. Every month a fair virgin is taken in; but what becomes of the old, no man can tell. In that goodly temple of Jupiter Belus in Babylon, there was a fair chapel, saith Herodotus, an eyewitness of it, in which was splendide stratus lectus et apposita mensa aurea, a brave bed, a table of gold, &c., into which no creature came but one only woman, which their god made choice of, as the Chaldean priests told him, and that their god lay with her himself, as at Thebes in Egypt was the like done of old. So that you see this is no news, the devils themselves, or their juggling priests, have played such pranks in all ages. Many divines stiffly contradict this; but I will conclude with Lipsius, that since "examples, testimonies, and confessions, of those unhappy women are so manifest on the other side, and many even in this our town of Louvain, that it is likely to be so. One thing I will add, that I suppose that in no age past, I know not by what destiny of this unhappy time, have there ever appeared or showed themselves so many lecherous devils, satyrs, and genii, as in this of ours, as appears by the daily narrations, and judicial sentences upon record." Read more of this question in Plutarch, vit. Numæ, Austin de civ. Dei. lib. 15. Wierus, lib. 3. de præstig. Dæm. Giraldus Cambrensis, itinerar. Camb. lib. 1. Malleus malefic. quæst. 5. part. 1. Jacobus Reussus, lib. 5. cap. 6. fol. 54. Godelman, lib. 2. cap. 4. Erastus, Valesius de sacra philo. cap. 40. John Nider, Fornicar. lib. 5. cap. 9. Stroz. Cicogna. lib. 3. cap. 3. Delrio, Lipsius Bodine, dæmonol. lib. 2. cap. 7. Pererius in Gen. lib. 8. in 6. cap. ver. 2. King James, &c.

 

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