Dialogue on the Threshold

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Sunday, 24 October 2010

Melancholia flatuosa

Melancholia Flatuosa multiplicem ob causam difficilis curationis est. Nam praeter vehementem venarum meseraicarum a crassa crudaque materia, tum melancholica, tum pituitosa, unde contumaces perpetuo spiritus elevantur, obstructionem: maxima etiam intemperaturae viscerum inaequalitas subest. Hujus quidem ratione non levia accidentia ingruunt, excrementorum nempe suppressio ab exiccante et humiditatem exugente calido hepate: difficilis spiratio a comprimente septum transversum inflato ventriculo, dolore ventriculi a flatuum distensione et intemperie frigida; eructationes, vomitiones, et successu temporis ab obstructione putredo, cujus venenata evaporatione perculsa mens deficit, et delirium accidit.

Windy melancholy is difficult to cure by reason of its manifold causes. For, besides the violent obstruction of the meseraic veins by incrassate undigested matter, now melancholic, now phlegmatic, and constantly giving off unyielding vapours, a fluctuation in the greatest degree underlies the imbalance in the internal organs. Because of this, grave corollary effects aggressively proliferate: retention of the excretions due to the parching and moisture-draining action of the heated liver; difficulty in breathing due to compression of the transversal septum by the bloated stomach, with pain in the stomach arising from windy distension and excess chill; belching; vomiting; and, over the course of time, due to the blockage, a suppuration, whose poisonous evaporation causes the stricken mind to go astray and delirium to occur.

Johannes Fienus (Jean Fyens), De Flatibus humanum corpus molestantibus commentarius novus ac singularis, in quo Flatuum natura, causae et symptomata describuntur, eorumque remediae facili et expedita methodo indicantur. Antwerp, 1582; Heidelberg, 1589; Frankfurt, 1592 (with notes by Lievinus Fischer); Amsterdam, 1643; Hamburg, 1644; some editions bear the title Physiographia de flatibus.

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