Loss of Liberty, Servitude, Imprisonment, how they cause Melancholy.

Loss of Liberty, Servitude, Imprisonment, how they cause Melancholy.

To this catalogue of causes, I may well annex loss of liberty, servitude, or imprisonment, which to some persons is as great a torture as any of the rest. Though they have all things convenient, sumptuous houses to their use, fair walks and gardens, delicious bowers, galleries, good fare and diet, and all things correspondent, yet they are not content, because they are confined, may not come and go at their pleasure, have and do what they will, but live aliena quadra, at another man's table and command. As it is in meats so it is in all other things, places, societies, sports; let them be never so pleasant, commodious, wholesome, so good; yet omnium rerum est satietas, there is a loathing satiety of all things. The children of Israel were tired with manna, it is irksome to them so to live, as to a bird in a cage, or a dog in his kennel, they are weary of it. They are happy, it is true, and have all things, to another man's judgment, that heart can wish, or that they themselves can desire, bona si sua norint: yet they loathe it, and are tired with the present: Est natura hominum novitatis avida; men's nature is still desirous of news, variety, delights; and our wandering affections are so irregular in this kind, that they must change, though it must be to the worst. Bachelors must be married, and married men would be bachelors; they do not love their own wives, though otherwise fair, wise, virtuous, and well qualified, because they are theirs; our present estate is still the worst, we cannot endure one course of life long, et quod modo voverat, odit, one calling long, esse in honore juvat, mox displicet; one place long, Romæ Tybur amo, ventosus Tybure Romam, that which we earnestly sought, we now contemn. Hoc quosdam agit ad mortem (saith Seneca) quod proposita sæpe mutando in eadem revolvuntur, et non relinquunt novitati locum: Fastidio cæpit esse vita, et ipsus mundus, et subit illud rapidissimarum deliciarum, Quousque eadem? this alone kills many a man, that they are tied to the same still, as a horse in a mill, a dog in a wheel, they run round, without alteration or news, their life groweth odious, the world loathsome, and that which crosseth their furious delights, what? still the same? Marcus Aurelius and Solomon, that had experience of all worldly delights and pleasure, confessed as much of themselves; what they most desired, was tedious at last, and that their lust could never be satisfied, all was vanity and affliction of mind.

Now if it be death itself another hell, to be glutted with one kind of sport, dieted with one dish, tied to one place; though they have all things otherwise as they can desire, and are in heaven to another man's opinion, what misery and discontent shall they have, that live in slavery, or in prison itself? Quod tristius morte, in servitute vivendum, as Hermolaus told Alexander in Curtius, worse than death is bondage: hoc animo scito omnes fortes ut mortem servituti anteponant, All brave men at arms (Tully holds) are so affected. Equidem ego is sum qui servitutem extremum omnium malorum esse arbitror: I am he (saith Boterus) that account servitude the extremity of misery. And what calamity do they endure, that live with those hard taskmasters, in gold mines (like those 30,000 lndian slaves at Potosi, in Peru), tin-mines, lead-mines, stone-quarries, coal-pits, like so many mouldwarps under ground, condemned to the galleys, to perpetual drudgery, hunger, thirst, and stripes, without all hope of delivery. How are those women in Turkey affected, that most part of the year come not abroad; those Italian and Spanish dames, that are mewed up like hawks, and locked up by their jealous husbands? how tedious is it to them that live in stoves and caves half a year together? as in Iceland, Muscovy, or under the pole itself where they have six months' perpetual night. Nay, what misery and discontent do they endure, that are in prison? They want all those six non-natural things at once, good air, good diet, exercise, company, sleep, rest, ease, &c., that are bound in chains all day long, suffer hunger, and (as Lucian describes it) "must abide that filthy stink, and rattling of chains, howlings, pitiful outcries, that prisoners usually make; these things are not only troublesome, but intolerable." They lie nastily among toads and frogs in a dark dungeon, in their own dung; in pain of body, in pain of soul, as Joseph did, Psalm cv. 18, "They hurt his feet in the stocks, the iron entered his soul." They live solitary, alone, sequestered from all company but heart-eating melancholy; and for want of meat, must eat that bread of affliction, prey upon themselves. Well might Arculanus put long imprisonment for a cause, especially to such as have lived jovially, in all sensuality and lust, upon a sudden are estranged and debarred from all manner of pleasures: as were Huniades, Edward, and Richard II., Valerian the Emperor, Bajazet the Turk. If it be irksome to miss our ordinary companions and repast for once a day, or an hour, what shall it be to lose them for ever? If it be so great a delight to live at liberty, and to enjoy that variety of objects the world affords; what misery and discontent must it needs bring to him, that shall now be cast headlong into that Spanish inquisition, to fall from heaven to hell, to be cubbed up upon a sudden, how shall he be perplexed, what shall become of him? Robert Duke of Normandy being imprisoned by his youngest brother Henry I., ab illo die inconsolabili dolore in carcere contabuit, saith Matthew Paris, from that day forward pined away with grief. Jugurtha that generous captain, "brought to Rome in triumph, and after imprisoned, through anguish of his soul, and melancholy, died." Roger, Bishop of Salisbury, the second man from King Stephen, (he that built that famous castle of Devizes in Wiltshire), was so tortured in prison with hunger, and all those calamities accompanying such men, ut vivere noluerit, non nescierit, he would not live, and could not die, between fear of death, and torments of life. Francis, King of France, was taken prisoner by Charles V., ad mortem fere melancholicus, saith Guicciardini, melancholy almost to death, and that in an instant. But this is as clear as the sun, and needs no further illustration.

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