And happy NOT-belated birthday to berin. :)
Hope there's enough Forgotten English (© Jeffrey Kacirk) to go around!
Dismal, gloomy, distressful; [from] Anglo-Saxon dreorig, sorrowful, Icelandic dreyrigr, gory.—Rev. James Stormonth's Dictionary of the English Language, 1884
Hedgehog Soup for Mental Health?
Today is the birthday of Phillippe Pinel (1745-1826), French physician and pioneer of modern psychology. Pinel, who was among the first to consider forms of insanity as an illness rather than the result of demons, might well have appreciated Hieronymus Brunschwig's pleasant-sounding treatment to soothe a depressed spirit, as found in his book A Most Excellent and Perfecte Homish Apothecarye (translated by John Hollybush, 1561): "He that is become mad with sadness and heaviness, to him ought fair to be spoken and made merry; many things should be promised him, and some given. If it is a man, let him be refreshed with women, for the same avoideth anger; but if it be a woman, let her be refreshed with men; the same bringeth them soon to their senses." A less likely approach was found in the 17th-century Fairfax Household Book, which advised, "For a lunatic, take a hedge-hog and make a broth of him, and let the patient eat of the broth and flesh."