Prognostics of Jealousy. Despair, Madness, to make away themselves and others

Prognostics of Jealousy. Despair, Madness, to make away themselves and others

Those which are jealous, most part, if they be not otherwise relieved, "proceed from suspicion to hatred, from hatred to frenzy, madness, injury, murder and despair."

"A plague by whose most damnable effect.
Divers in deep despair to die have sought,
By which a man to madness near is brought,
As well with causeless as with just suspect."

In their madness many times, saith Vives, they make away themselves and others. Which induceth Cyprian to call it, Fúcundam et multiplicem perniciem, fontem cladium et seminarium delictorum, a fruitful mischief, the seminary of offences, and fountain of murders. Tragical examples are too common in this kind, both new and old, in all ages, as of Cephalus and Procris, Phæreus of Egypt, Tereus, Atreus, and Thyestes. Alexander Phæreus was murdered of his wife, ob pellicatus suspitionem, Tully saith. Antoninus Verus was so made away by Lucilla; Demetrius the son of Antigonus, and Nicanor, by their wives. Hercules poisoned by Dejanira, Cæcinna murdered by Vespasian, Justina, a Roman lady, by her husband. Amestris, Xerxes' wife, because she found her husband's cloak in Masista's house, cut off Masista, his wife's paps, and gave them to the dogs, flayed her besides, and cut off her ears, lips, tongue, and slit the nose of Artaynta her daughter. Our late writers are full of such outrages.

Paulus Æmilius, in his history of France, hath a tragical story of Chilpericus the First his death, made away by Ferdegunde his queen. In a jealous humour he came from hunting, and stole behind his wife, as she was dressing and combing her head in the sun, gave her a familiar touch with his wand, which she mistaking for her lover, said, "Ah Landre, a good knight should strike before, and not behind:" but when she saw herself betrayed by his presence, she instantly took order to make him away. Hierome Osorius, in his eleventh book of the deeds of Emanuel King of Portugal, to this effect hath a tragical narration of one Ferdinandus Chalderia, that wounded Gotherinus, a noble countryman of his, at Goa in the East Indies, "and cut off one of his legs, for that he looked as he thought too familiarly upon his wife, which was afterwards a cause of many quarrels, and much bloodshed." Guianerius cap. 36. de ægritud. matr. speaks of a silly jealous fellow, that seeing his child new-born included in a caul, thought sure a Franciscan that used to come to his house, was the father of it, it was so like the friar's cowl, and thereupon threatened the friar to kill him: Fulgosus of a woman in Narbonne, that cut off her husband's privities in the night, because she thought he played false with her. The story of Jonuses Bassa, and fair Manto his wife, is well known to such as have read the Turkish history; and that of Joan of Spain, of which I treated in my former section. Her jealousy, saith Gomesius, was the cause of both their deaths: King Philip died for grief a little after, as Martian his physician gave it out, "and she for her part after a melancholy discontented life, misspent in lurking-holes and corners, made an end of her miseries." Felix Plater, in the first book of his observations, hath many such instances, of a physician of his acquaintance, "that was first mad through jealousy, and afterwards desperate:" of a merchant "that killed his wife in the same humour, and after precipitated himself:" of a doctor of law that cut off his man's nose: of a painter's wife in Basil, anno 1600, that was mother of nine children and had been twenty-seven years married, yet afterwards jealous, and so impatient that she became desperate, and would neither eat nor drink in her own house, for fear her husband should poison her. 'Tis a common sign this; for when once the humours are stirred, and the imagination misaffected, it will vary itself in divers forms; and many such absurd symptoms will accompany, even madness itself. Skenkius observat. lib. 4. cap. de Uter. hath an example of a jealous woman that by this means had many fits of the mother: and in his first book of some that through jealousy ran mad: of a baker that gelded himself to try his wife's honesty, &c. Such examples are too common.


Previous Next