Monday, October 23, 2006

The Anatomy of Melancholy: Quote of the Day

"Rhasis and Magninus discommend all fish, and say they breed viscosities, slimy nutriment, little and humorous nourishment. Savonarola adds cold; moist and phlegmatic, Isaac; and therefore unwholesome for all cold and melancholy complexions: others make a difference, rejecting only, amongst freshwater fish, eel, tench, lamprey, crawfish (which Bright approves), and such as are bred in muddy and standing waters, and have a taste of mud . . . Lampreys, Paulus Jovius, highly magnifies and saith, none speak against them, but inepti and scrupulosi; but eels, "he abhorreth in all places, at all times, all physicians detest them, especially about the solstice." Gomesius doth immoderately extol sea-fish, which others as much vilify, and above the rest, dried, soused, indurate fish, as ling, fumadoes, red-herrings, sprats, stock-fish, haberdine, poor-john, all shell-fish. Tim. Bright excepts lobster and crab. Messarius commends salmon, which Bruerinus contradicts. Magninus rejects conger, sturgeon, turbot, mackerel, skate.

Carp is a fish of which I know not what to determine."

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