The History of the World/Book 2
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Whether the world be finite, and but one.
He World, and this, which by another name men have thought good to call Heaven (under the pourprise and bending cope wherof, all things are emmanteled and covered) beleeve wee ought in all reason to be a God, eternall, unmeasurable, without beginning, and likewise endlesse. What is without the compasse hereof, neither is it fit for men to search, nor within mans wit to reach and conceive. Sacred it is, everlasting, infinite, all in all, or rather it selfe all and absolute: finite and limited, yet seeming infinite: in all motions, orderly and certaine: howbeit in shew and judgement of man, uncertaine: comprehending and containing all whatsoever, both without and within: Natures work, and yet very Nature it selfe, producing all things. Great follie is it then, and meere madnesse, that some have devised and thought in their mind to measure it; yea, and durst in writing set down the dimensions therof: that others againe, by occasion hereupon taken or given, have delivered and taught, That worlds there are innumerable: as if we were to beleeve so many natures as there were Heavens: or if all were reduced to one, yet there should bee so many sunnes and moones neverthelesse, with the rest also of those unmeasurable and innumerable starres in that one: as though in this pluralitie of worlds we should not alwaies meet with the same question still at every turne of our cogitation, for want of the utmost and some end to rest upon: or, if this infinitenesse could possibly be assigned to Nature, the worke-mistresse and mother of all; the same might not bee understood more easily in that one Heaven which we see; so great a worke especially and frame as it is. Now surely a fantasticall follie it is of all other follies, to goe forth of it, and so to keepe a seeking without, as if all things within were well and cleerely knowne alreadie: as who would say, a man could take the measure just of any third thing, who knoweth not his owne: or the mind of man see those things, which the very world it selfe may not receive.
Of the forme and figure of the World.
That the forme of heaven is round, in fashion of an absolute and perfect globe, the name thereof principally, and the consent of all men agreeing to call it in Latine Orbis, i. a roundle; as also many naturall reasons, do evidently shew: to wit, not only for that such a figure every way falleth and bendeth upon it selfe, is able to beare and uphold it selfe, includeth and compriseth it selfe, having need thereto of no joints, as finding in any part therof no end nor beginning: or because this forme agreeth best to that motion, whereby ever and anon it must turne about: (as hereafter it shall appeare) but also because the eiesight doth approve the same: in that, looke which way soever you will thereupon, it seemeth to bend downeward, round and even on all sides, sheweing a just Hemisphere, a thing not incident possibly to any other figure.
Of the motion of Heaven.
That the World thus framed, in a continuall and uncessant circuit, with unspeakeable swiftnesse turneth round about in the space of foure and twentie houres, the rising and setting ordinarily of the sun hath left cleere and doubtlesse. Now, whether it being in height infinite, and therefore the sound of so huge a frame, whiles it is whirled about, and never resteth in that revolution, cannot be heard with our eares, I cannot so easily resolve and pronounce: no more I assure you, than I may avouch the ringing of the starres that are driven about therewith, and roll withall their owne spheres: or determine, that as the heaven mooveth, it doth represent indeed a pleasant and incredible sweet harmonie both day and night: although to us within, it seemeth to passe in silence. That there be imprinted therein the pourtraicts of living creatures, and of all things besides without number, as also that the bodie thereof is not all over smooth and slicke (as we see in birds egs) which excellent authors have tearmed Tenerum, is shewed by good arguments: for that by the fall of naturall seeds from thence of all things, and those for the most part blended and mixed one with another, there are engendred in the world and the sea especially, an infinite number of strange and monstrous shapes. Over and besides, our eiesight testifieth the same; whiles in one place there appeareth the resemblance of a waine or chariot, in another of a beare, the figure of a bull in this part, of a *letter in that, and principally the middle circle over our head, more white than the rest, toward the North pole.
Why the World or Heaven is called Mundus.
Verily for mine owne part, moved I am and ruled by the generall consent of all nations. For, the World, which the Greekes by the name of ornament, called kosmoV, wee for the perfect neatnesse and absolute elegancie thereof, have tearmed Mundus. And without all question, Heaven wee have named Cœlum; as it were, Engraven and garnished, according as M. Varro interpreteth it. And hereto maketh much the orderly ranke of things therein, and namely the circle called Signifer, or the Zodiake, set forth and divided by the formes of twelve living creatures therein portraied: together with the manner of the sunnes race throughout them, keeping ever the same course still, for so many ages past.
Of the foure Elements.
Neither see I any doubt made as touching the elements, That they bee foure in number. The highest, Fire: from whence are those bright eies of so many shining starres. The next, Spirit, which the Greekes and our countrimen by one name called Aire: Vitall this element is, and as it giveth life to all things, so it soone passeth through all, and is intermedled in the whole: by the power wherof, the Earth hangeth poised and ballanced just in the middest, together with the fourth element, of the Waters. Thus by a mutuall intertainement one of another, divers natures are linked and knit together: so as the light elements are kept in and restrained by certaine weights of the heavier, that they flie not out: and contrariwise, the massier bee held up, that they fall not downe, by meanes of the lighter, which covet to be aloft. So, through an equall endevor to the contrarie, each of them hold their owne, bound as it were by the restlesse circuit of the very world: which, by reason that it runneth evermore upon it selfe, the earth falleth to bee lowest, and the middle of the whole: and the same hanging steadily by the poles of the Heaven, peiseth those elements by which it hangeth in a counterballance. Thus it alone resteth unmooveable, whiles the whole frame of the world turneth about it: and as it is knit and united by all, so all rest and beare upon the same.
Of the seven Planets.
Betweene the earth and heaven, there hang in the same spirit or element of aire abovenamed, seven starres, severed one from another, and distant asunder certaine spaces, which of their variable motion we call wandering planets, whereas indeed none stray and wander lesse than they. In the middest of them the Sunne taketh his course, as being the greatest and most puissant of all the rest: the very ruler, not of times and seasons onely, and of the earth, but also of the Starres and Heaven it selfe. Beleeve we ought, this Sunne to be the very life, and (to speake more plainely) the soule of the whole world, yea, and the principall governance of nature: and no lesse than a God or divine power, considering his workes and operations. He it is that giveth light to all things, and riddeth them from darkenesse: hee hideth the other starres, and sheweth them againe: he ordereth the seasons in their alternative course: he tempereth the yeere, arising ever fresh and new againe, for the benefite and good of the world. The lowring dimnesse of the skie he dispatcheth, yea, and cleareth the darke mists and clowdinesse of mans mind: to other stars likewise he lendeth out his owne light. Most excellent, right singular hee is, as seeing all, and hearing all. For this, I see, is the opinion of Homer (the prince of learning) as touching him alone.
I suppose therefore that to seeke after any shape of God, and to assigne a forme and image to him, bewraieth mans weakenesse. For God, whosoever he be [if haply there be any other, but the very world] and in what part soever resiant, all sense he is, all sight, all hearing: hee is all life, all soule, all of himselfe. And verily to beleeve that there be gods innumerable, and those according to mens vertues and vices, to wit, Chastitie, Concord, Understanding, Hope, Honour, Clemence, Faith; or (as Democritus was of opinion) That there are two gods onely, and no more, namely, Punishment, and Benefite: these conceits, I say, make mens idleness and negligence the greater. But all commeth of this, That fraile and craftie mortall men, remembring well their owne infirmitie, have digested these things a part, to the end that each one might from thence chuse to worship and honour that whereof he stood in need most. And hereupon it is, that in sundrie nations we find the same gods named diversly, according to mens devotion: and in one region ye shall have innumerable gods. The infernall powers beneath likewise, yea, and many plagues have been raunged by themselves, and reckoned for gods in their kind, whiles with trembling feare wee desire that they were pacified. Which superstition, hath caused a chappel to be dedicated to the Fever, in the mount Palatium, even by publick order from the State: likewise an altar to Orbona, near the temple of Lares: besides another erected to Bad fortune in the Esquiliæ. And thereby we may conceive there are a greater number of gods in heaven above, than of men upon earth: since that every one of their own accord make so many gods as they list, fitting themselves with Iunoes and Genij for their patrons. Now, certain nations there be that account beasts, yea, & some filthy things, for gods; yea, and many other matters more shamefull to be spoken: swearing by stinking meats, by garlicke, and such like. But surely, to beleeve that gods have contracted marriage, & that in so long continuance of time no children should bee borne betweene them: also that some are aged, and ever hoarie and gray: others againe young and alwaies children: that they be blacke of colour and complexion, winged, lame, hatched of egs, living and dying each other day; are meere fooleries, little better than childish toies. But it passeth and exceedeth all shamelesse impudencie, to imagine adulteries among them: eftsoones also chiding, scolding, hatred, and malice: and more than that, how there bee gods, patrones of theft and wickednesse. Whereas in very deed, a god unto a man is he, that helpeth a man; and this is the true and direct pathway to everlasting glorie. In this way went the noble Romans in old time: and in this tract at this day goeth, with heavenlly pace, Vespasian Augustus, both he and his children: Vespasian, I say, the most mightie ruler of the whole world: whiles hee relieveth the afflicted State of the Romane Empire and Commonweale. And this is the most auncient manner of requitall to such benefactours, That they should be canonized gods. And hereof came the names as well of all other gods, as of the stars and planets (which I have mentioned before) in recognisance of mens good deserts. As for Iupiter verily and Mercurie, and other princes raunged among the gods, who doubteth that they were called otherwise among themselves? and who confesseth not how these been celestiall denominations, to expresse and interprete their nature?
Now, that the soveraigne power and desire, whatsoever it is, should have regard of mankind, **is a toy and vanitie worthie to be laughed at; For can wee chuse but beleeve, can wee make any doubt, but needs that Divinitie and Godhead must be polluted with so base and manifold a ministerie? And hardly in manner may it be judged, whether of the twaine be better and more expedient for mankind to beleeve, that the gods have regard of us; or to bee persuaded that they have none at all: considering, That some men have no respect and reverence at all of the gods, others againe so much, as it is a very shame to see their superstition. Addicted these are and devoted to serve them by forraine magicke ceremonies: they weare their gods upon their fingers in rings, yea, they worship and adore monsters: they condemne and forbid some meats; yet they devise others for them. Impose they doe upon them hard and vengible charges to execute, not suffering them to rest and sleepe in quiet. They chuse neither marriages, nor children, ne yet any one thing els, but by the approbation and allowance of sacred rites and mysteries. Contrariwise, others there are so godlesse, that in the very Capitoll they use deceit, and forsweare themselves even by Iupiter, for all that he is readie to shoot his thunderbolts. And as some speed well ynough with their wicked deeds and irreligion: so others againe feele the smart and are punished by the saints whom they adore, and the holy ceremonies which they observe.
Howbeit, betweene both these opinions, men have found out to themselves a middle godhead and divine power, to the end that wee should give still a more uncertaine conjecture as touching God indeed. For, throughout the whole world, in every place, at all times and in all mens mouths, Fortune alone is sought unto and called upon: she only is named and in request; shee alone is blamed, accused, and endited. None but she is thought upon; she only is praised, she only is reproved and rebuked: yea, and worshipped is shee with railing and reprochfull tearms: and namely when she is taken to be wavering and mutable: and of the most sort supposed also blind: roving at random, unconstant, uncertaine, variable, and favouring the unworthie: whatsoever is laid forth, spent and lost, whatsoever is received, woon & gotten: all that comes in, all that goes out, is imputed to Fortune: and in all mens reckonings and accounts, she makes up the booke, and sets all streight. So abject wee are, so servile also and enthralled to Lots, that even the very chaunce of Lots is taken for a god, than which nothing maketh us more doubtfull and ignorant of God.
Now there are another sort, that reject Fortune and Chaunce both, & wil not abide them; but attribute the events and issues of things, to their owne severall starres, and goe by the fatall horoscope or ascendent of their nativitie: affirming that the same shal ever befall, which once hath been set downe and decreed by God: so as hee for ever after may sit still and rest himselfe. And this opinion beginneth now to settle and take deepe root, insomuch as both the learned, and also the rude and ignorant multitude, run that way on end. From hence (behold) proceed the warnings & admonitions of lightenings, the fore-knowledge by Oracles, the predictions of Sooth-saiers, yea, and other contemptible things not worthie to bee once spoken of; as sneesing, and stumbling with the foot, are counted matters of presage. Augustus Cæsar of famous memorie hath made report and left in writing, that his left foot shoe was untowardly put on before the right, on that very day, when hee had like to have miscarried in a mutinie among his souldiors.
Thus these things every one doe enwrap and entangle silie mortall men, void of all forecast and true understanding: so as this only point among the rest remaineth sure and certain, namely, That nothing is certaine: neither is there ought more wretched and more prowd withall, than man. For all lively creatures els take care onely for their food: wherein Natures goodnesse and bountie of it selfe is sufficient: which one point verily is to bee preferred before all good things whatsoever, for that they never thinke of glorie, of riches, of seeking for dignities and promotions, nor over and above, of death. Howbeit, the beleefe that in these matters the gods have care of mens estate, is good, expedient, and profitable in the course of this life: as also that the vengeance and punishment of malefactours may well come late (whiles God is busily occupied otherwise in so huge a frame of the world) but never misseth in the end: and that man was not made next in degree unto God for this, That he should bee wel neere as vile and base as the bruit beasts. Moreover, the cheefe comfort that man hath, for his imperfections in nature, is this, That even God himselfe is not omnipotent, and cannot do all things. For neither is he able to worke his owne death, would hee never so faine, as man can doe when hee is wearie of his life; the best gift which he hath bestowed upon him, amid so great miseries of his life: nor endow mortall men with everlasting life: ne yet recall, raise, and revive those that once are departed and dead: nor bring to passe, that one who lived, did not live: or hee that bare honourable offices, was not in place of rule and dignitie. Nay, he hath no power over things done and past, save only oblivion: no more than he is able to effect (to come with pleasant reasons and arguments to prove our fellowship therin with God) that twise tenne should not make twentie: and many such things of like sort. Whereby (no doubt) is evidently proved, the power of Nature, and how it is shee, and nothing else, which wee call God. I thought it not impertinent thus to divert and digresse to these points, so commonly divulged, by reason of the usuall and ordinarie questions as touching the Essence of God.
Of the nature of Planets; and their circuit.
Let us returne now to the rest of Natures workes. The Starres which we said were fixed in the heaven, are not (as the common sort thinketh) assigned to every one of us; and appointed to men respectively: namely, the bright and faire for the rich; the lesse for the poore: the dimme for the weak, the aged and feeble: neither shine they out more or lesse, according to the lot & fortune of every one, nor arise they each one together with that person unto whom they are appropriate; and die likewise with the same: ne yet as they set and fall, do they signifie that any bodie is dead. There is not, ywis, so great societie betweene heaven and us, as that together with the fatall necessitie of our death, the shining light of the starres should in token of sorrow go out and become mortall. As for them, the truth is this, when they are thought to fall, they doe but shoot from them a deale of fire, even of that abundance and overmuch nutriment which they have gotten by the attraction of humiditie and moisture unto them: like as we also observe daily in the wikes and matches of lampes or candles burning, with the liquor of oile. Moreover, the cœlestiall bodies, which make and frame the world, and in that frame are compact and knit together, have an immortall nature: and their power and influence extendeth much to the earth: which by their effects and operations, by their light and greatnesse might be knowne, notwithstanding they are so high and subtile withall, as we shall in due place make demonstration. The manner likewise of the heavenly Circles and Zones shall bee shewed more fitly in our Geographicall treatise of the earth, for as much as the consideration thereof appertaineth wholly thereunto: onely we will not put off but presently declare the devisers of the Zodiake, wherein the figures are.
The obliquitie and crookednesse thereof, Anaximander the Milesian is reported to have observed first; and thereby opened the gate and passage to Astronomie, and the knowledge of all things: and this happened in the 58 Olympias. Afterwards Cleostratus marked the signes therein, and namely those first of Aries and Sagitarius. As for the Sphere it selfe, Atlas devised long before. Now for this time we will leave the very bodie of the starrie heaven, and treat of al the rest betweene it and the earth.
Certaine it is, that the Planet which they call Saturne, is the highest; and therefore seemeth least; also that hee keepeth his course, and performeth his revolution in the greatest circle of all: and in thirtie yeeres space at the soonest, returneth againe to the point of his first place. Moreover, that the mooving of all the Planets, and withall of Sunne and Moone, go a contrarie course unto the starrie heaven, namely, to the left hand, (i. Eastward:) whereas the said heaven alwaies hasteneth to the right (i. Westward.) And albeit in that continual turning with exceeding celeritie, those planets be lifted up aloft, and carried by it forcible into the West, and there set: yet by a contrarie motion of their owne, they passe every one through their severall waies Eastward; and for all this, that the aire rolling ever one one way, and to the same part, by the continuall turning of the heaven, should not stand still, grow dull, and as it were congealed, whiles the globe thereof resteth idle, but dissolve and cleave, parted thus and divided, by the reverberation of the contrarie beames, and violent crosse influence of the said planets. Now, the Planet Saturne is of a cold and frozen nature, but the circle of Iupiter is much lower than it, and therefore his revolution is performed with a more speedie motion, namely, in twelve yeares. The third, of Mars, which some call the Sphere of Hercules, is firie and ardent, by reason of the Sunnes vicinitie, and well neere in two yeares runneth his race. And hereupon it is, that by the exceeding heat of Mars, and the vehement cold of Saturne, Iupiter who is placed betwixt, is well tempered of them both, and so becommeth good & comfortable. Next to them is the race of the Sunne, consisting verily of 360 parts [or degrees:] but to the end that the observation of the shadowes which hee casteth, may returne againe just to the former markes, five daies be added to every yeere, with the fourth part of a day over and above. Whereupon, every fift yeere leapeth, and one odde day is set to the rest: to the end that the reckoning of the times and seasons might agree unto the course of the Sunne. Beneath the Sunne a goodly faire starre there is, called Venus, which goeth her compasse, wandering this way and that, by turnes: and by the very names that it hath, testifieth her emulation of Sunne and Moone. For all the while that shee preventeth the morning, and riseth Orientall before, she taketh the name of Lucifer (or Day-starre, ) as a second sun hastening the day. Contrariwise, when shee shineth from the West Occidentall, drawing out the day light at length, and supplying the place of the Moone, shee is named Vesper. This nature of hers, Pythagoras of Samos first found out, about the 42 Olympias: which fell out to bee the 142 yeere after the foundation of Rome. Now this planet, in greatnesse, goeth beyond all the other five: and so cleere and shining withall, that the beames of this one starre cast shaddowes upon the earth. And hereupon commeth so great diversitie and ambiguitie of the names thereof: whiles some have called it Iuno, others Isis, and othersome the Mother of the gods. By the naturall efficacie of this starre, all things are engendred on earth. For whether she rise East or West, she sprinkleth all the earth with dew of generation, and not onely filleth the same with seed, causing it to conceive, but stirreth up also the nature of all living creatures to engender. This planet goeth through the circle of the Zodiake in 348 daies, departing from the sunne never above 46 degrees, as Timæus was of opinion. Next upon it, but nothing of that bignesse and powerfull efficacie, is the starre Mercurie, of some cleped Apollo: in an inferiour circle hee goeth, after the like manner, a swifter course by nine daies: shining sometimes before the sunne rising, otherwhiles after his setting, never farther distant from him than 23 degrees, as both the same Timæus and Sosigenes doe shew. And therefore these two planets have a peculiar consideration from others, and not common with the rest abovenamed. For those are seene from the sunne a fourth, yea, and third part of the heaven: oftentimes also in opposition full against the sunne. And all of them have other greater circuits of full revolution, which are to be spoken of in the discourse of the great yeare.
Of the Moones nature.
But the planet of the Moone, being the last of all, most familiar with the earth, and devised by Nature for the remedie of darknesse, outgoeth the admiration of all the rest. She with her winding and turning in many and sundrie shapes, hath troubled much the wits of the beholders, fretting and fuming, that of this star, being the nearest of all, they should be most ignorant, growing as it doth, or els waining, evermore. One while bended pointwise into tips of horns; another whiles divided just in the halfe, and anon againe in compasse round: spotted sometime and darke, and soone after on a suddain exceeding bright: one while big and full, and another while all at once nothing to be seene. Sometime shining all night long, and otherwhiles late it is ere she riseth: she also helpeth the sunnes light some part of the day; eclipsed, and yet in that eclipse to be seene. The same at the moneths end lieth hidden, at what time (it is supposed) she harboureth and travaileth not. At one time yee shall see her below, and anon aloft: and that not after one manner, but one while reaching up close to the highest heaven, and anotherwhile readie to touch the mountains: sometimes mounted on high unto the North, & sometime cast downe below into the South. Which severall constitutions and motions in her, the first man that observed, was Endymeon: and thereupon the voice went, That he was enamoured upon the Moone. Certes, thankfull we are not as we ought to be unto those who by their travaile and carefull endevor, have given us light in this Light, But delighted rather we are wonderously (such is the pestilent wit and wicked disposition of man) to record in Chronicles, bloudshead and murders: that leaud acts and mischeevous deeds should be knowne of them, who otherwise are ignorant of the world it selfe. Well to proceed, the Moone being next to the centre, and therfore of least compasse, performeth the same course and circuit in seven and twentie daies, and one third part of a day: which Saturne the highest planet runneth (as we said before) in thirtie yeers. After this, making stay in conjunction with the Sun two daies, forth she goeth, and by the thirtieth day at the most, resumeth to the same point and ministerie againe: the mistresse, if I may so say, and the teacher of all things Astronomicall, that may be knowne in heaven. Now by her meanes are we taught that the yeare ought to be divided into twelve moneths: for as much as, the Moone meeteth or overtaketh the Sun so many times before hee returneth to the same point where he began his course. Likewise that shee looseth her light (as the rest of the planets) by the brightnes of the Sunne when shee approacheth neere. For borrowing wholly of him her light, shee doth shine: much like to that which we see glittering & flying too and fro in the reflection and reverberation of the Sunne-beames from the water. And hereupon it is that shee, by her more mild and unperfect power dissolveth, yea and encreaseth, so great moisture as she doth, which the Sun beames may consume. Hence it cometh also, that her light is not even and equall in sight, because then only when she is opposite unto the Sunne, she appeareth full: but all other daies she shineth no more to us here on earth, than she conceiveth light of the Sunne. In time verily of conjunction or change, she is not seene at all: for that whiles she is turned away, all the draught of light, she casteth thither back againe, from whence she received it. Now that these planets are fed doubtlesse with earthly moisture, it is evident by the Moone, which so long as she appeareth by the halfe in sight, never sheweth any spots, because as yet shee hath not her full power of light sufficient to draw humour unto her. For these spots bee nothing els but the dregs of the earth, caught up with other moisture among the vapours.
Of the Sunne and Moones eclipse: and of the Night.
Moreover, the eclipse of the Moone and Sunne (a thing throughout the universall contemplation of Nature most mervellous, and like a strange and prodigious wonder) doth shew the bignesse and shadow of these two planets. For evident it is, that the Sun is hidden by the comming betweene of the Moone and the Moone again by the opposition of the Earth: also that the one doth quit the other, in that the Moone by her interposition bereaveth the Earth of the Sunnes raises, and the Earth again doth the semblable by the Moone. Neither is the Night any thing els but the shade of the Earth. Now the figure of this shaddow resembleth a pyramid, pointed forward, or a top turned upside downe: namely, when as it falleth upon it with the sharp end thereof, nor goeth beyond the heights of the Moone; for that no other starre is in that maner darkened: and such a figure as it, alwaies endeth point-wise. And verely, that shaddows grow to nothing in great space of distance, appeareth by the exceeding high flight of some foules. So as the confines of these shadows, is the utmost bound of the aire, and the beginning of the fire. Above the Moone all is pure and lightsome continually. And we in the night doe see the stars, as candles of any other lights from out of darknes. For these causes also the Moone in the night season is eclipsed onely. But the reason why the Sunne and Moone are not both in the eclipse at set times and monethly, is the winding obliquity of the Zodiake, and the wandering turnings of the Moone one while farre South, and another while as much North (as hath been said:) and for that these planets do not alwaies in their motion meet just in the points of the eclipticke line, to wit in the head or taile of the Dragon.
Of the magnitude of Starres.
The reason of this lifteth up mens minds into heaven: and as if they beheld and looked downe from thence, discover unto them, the magnitude of the three greatest parts of the whole world. For the Sunnes light could not wholly be taken away from the earth, by the Moone comming betweene, in case the earth were bigger than the Moone. But the huge greatnesse of the Sunne is more certainely knowne, both by the shadow of the Earth, and the bodie of the Moone: so as it is needlesse to search and inquire into the largenesse thereof, either by proofe of eiesight, or by conjecture of the mind. How unmeasurable it is, appeareth evidently by this, That trees which are planted in limits from East to West, casteth shaddowes equall in proportion; albeit they be never so many miles asunder in length: as if the Sunne were in the middest of them all. This appeareth also about the time of the equinoctiall in all regions meridionall, when the sun shineth directly plumbe over mens heads, and causeth no shadow. In like manner, the shaddows of them that dwell Northerly under the Solstitiall circle in summer, falling all at noone-tide, Northward, but at sun rising, Westward, doing the same demonstration. Which possibly could not be, unlesse the sunne were farre greater than the earth. Moreover, in that, when he riseth, hee surpasseth in breadth the hill Ida, compassing the same at large both on the right hand and the left, and namely, being so farre distant as he is: The eclipse of the Moone doth shew also the bignesse of the Sun, by an infallible demonstration; like as himselfe eclipsed, declareth the littlenes of the earth. For whereas there be of shadows three formes and figures: and evident it is, that if the darke materiall bodie which casteth a shadow, bee equall in bignesse to the light, then the shaddow is fashioned like a columne or piller, and hath no point at the end: if it bee grater, it yeeldeth a shadow like a top directly standing upon the point, so as the nether part therof is narrowest, and then the shadow likewise is of infinite length: but if the said bodie bee lesse than the light, then is represented a pyramidall figure like an hey-cock, falling out sharpe pointed in the top, which manner of shaddow appeareth in the Moones eclipse: it is plaine, manifest, and without all doubt, that the sunne is much bigger than the earth. The same verily is seene by the secret and covert proofes of Nature it selfe. For why in deviding the times of the yeere, departeth the Sunne from us in the winter? marry, even because by meanes of the nights length and coolenesse, he would refresh the earth, which otherwise no doubt he should have burnt up: for, it notwithstanding, he burneth it in some measure, so excessive is the greatnesse thereof.
The inventions of men as touching the observation of the heavens.
The reason verily of both eclipses, the first Romane that published abroad and divulged, was Sulpitius Gallus, who afterwards was Consul, together with M. Marcellus: but at that time being a Colonell, the day before that king Perseus was vanquished by Paulus, he was brought forth by the Generall into open audience before the whole hoast, to fore-tell the eclipse which should happen the next morrow: whereby he delivered the armie from all pensivenesse and fear, which might have troubled them in the time of battaile, and within a while after hee compiled also a booke thereof. But among the Greekes, Thales Milosius was the first that found it out, who in the 48 Olympias, and the fourth yeere thereof, did prognosticate and foreshew the Sunnes eclipse that happened in the raigne of Halyattes, and in the 170 yeere after the foundation of the citie of Rome. After them, Hipparchus compiled his Ephemerides, containing the course and aspects of both these planets, for sixe hundred yeares ensuing: comprehending withall the moneths according to the calculation and reckonings of sundrie nations, the daies, the houres, the situation of places, the aspects, and latitudes of divers townes and countries; as the world will heare him witnesse: and that no lesse assuredly, than if he had been privie to Natures counsels. Great persons and excellent these were doubtlesse, who above the reach of all capacitie of mortall men, found out the reason of the course of so mightie starres and divine powers: and whereas the silie mind of men was before sett and to seeke, fearing in these eclipses of the starres some great wrong & violence, or death of the planets, secured them in that behalfe: in which dreadfull feare stood Stesichorus and Pindarus the poets (notwithstanding their loftie stile, ) and namely at the eclipse of the Sun, as may appeare by their poemes. As for the Moone, mortall men imagine that by Magicke sorcerie, and charmes, she is inchaunted, and therfore helpe her in such a case when she is eclipsed by dissonant ringing of basons. In this fearefull fit also of an eclipse, Nicias the Generall of the Athenians (as a man ignorant of the course thereof) feared to set saile with his fleet out of the haven, and so greatly endaungered and distressed the state of his countrie. Faire chieve yee then for your excellent wit, ô noble Spirits, interpretours of the heavens, capable of Natures workes, and the devisers of that reason whereby ye have surmounted both God and man. For who is he, that seeing these things, and the paineful ordinarie travels (since that this tearme is now taken up) of the starres; would not beare with his own infirmitie, and excuse this necessitie of being borne to die? Now, for this present I will breefely and summarily touch those principall points which are confessed and agreed upon as touching the said eclipses, having lighly rendered a reason thereof in most needfull places: For neither such prooving and arguing of these matters, belongeth properly to our purposed worke; neither is it lesse wonder to bee able to yeeld the reasons and causes of all things, than to be resolute and constant in some.
Certaine it is, that all eclipses in 222 moneths have their revolutions, and return to their former points: as also that the Sunnes eclipse never happeneth but about the change of the Moone, namely, either in the last of the old, or first of the new, which they call the Conjunction: and that the Moone is never eclipsed but in the full, and alwaies somewhat preventeth the former eclipse. Moreover, that every yeere both planets are eclipsed at certain daies and hours under the earth. Neither be these eclipses in all places seene, when they are above the earth: by reason sometimes of cloudie weather, but more often, for that the globe of the earth hindereth the sight of the bending convexitie of the heaven. Within these two hundred yeares found out it was by the wittie calculation of Hipparchus, that the Moone sometime was eclipsed twise in five moneths space, and the sunne likewise in seven. Also that the Sunne and Moone twice in thirtie daies were darkened above the earth: howbeit seene this was not equally in all quarters, but of divers men in divers places: and that which maketh mee to marvell most of all in this wonder, is this, that when agreed it is by all, that the Moone light is dimmed by the shaddow of the earth, one while this eclipse happeneth in the West, and another while in the East: as also, by what reason it happened, that seeing after the Sunne is up, that shaddow which dusketh the light of the Moone, must needs be under the earth: it fell out once, that the Moone was eclipsed in the West, and both planets to be seen above the ground in our horison. For that in twelve daies both these lights were missing, and neither Sun nor Moone were seene: it chaunced in our time, when both the Vespasians (Emperors) were Consuls, the father the third time, and the son the second.
Of the Moones motion.
Cleare it is, that the Moone alwaies in her encreasing, hath the tips of her hornes turned from the Sunne toward the East: but in the waine, contrariwise Westward. Also that shee shineth (the first day of her apparition) 3/4 parts, and the 24 part of one houre, and so riseth in proportion the second day forward unto the full: and likewise decreaseth in the same manner to the change. But alwaies she is hidden in the chaunge within foureteene degrees of the Sunne. By which argument wee collect, That the magnitude of the other planets is greater than the Moones, for as much as they appeare otherwhiles when they be but seven degrees off. But the cause why they shew lesse, is their altitude: like as the fixed starres, which by reason of the Sunnes brightnesse are not seene in the day time: whereas indeed they shine as well by day as night: and that is manifestly prooved by some eclipses of the Sunne, and exceeding deepe pits, for so they are to bee seene by day light.
Generall rules touching the motions and lights of other Planets.
Those three, which we say are above the Sunne, bee hidden when they goe their course together with him. They arise in the morning, and be called Orientall Matutine: and never depart farther than eleven degrees. But afterwards meeting with his raies and beames, they are covered: and in their triple aspect retrograde, they make their morning stations 120 degrees off, which are called the first: and anon in a contrarie aspect or opposition 180 degrees off, they arise in the evening, and are Occidentall Vespertin. In like sort approching from another side within 120 degrees, they make their evening Stations, which also they call the second, untill he overtake them within twelve degrees, and so hide them: and these are called the evening settings. As for Mars, as he is neerer to the Sunne, so feeleth he the sunne beames by a quadrant aspect, to wit, ninetie degrees: wherupon that motion tooke the name, called the first and second Nonagenarie, from both risings. The same planet keepeth this stationarie residence sixe moneths in the signes: whereas otherwise of his owne nature, but two moneths. But the other planets in both stations or houses continue not all out foure moneths apeece. Now the other two inferiour planets under the Sunne, goe downe and are hidden after the same manner in the evening Conjunction: and in as many degrees, they make their morning rising: and from the farthest bounds of their distance, they follow after the Sunne: and after they have once overtaken him, they set againe in the morning, and so outgoe him. And anon keeping the same distance, in the evening they arise againe unto the same limits which wee named before, from when they are retrograde, and return to the Sunne, and by the evening setting, they be hidden. As for Venus, she likewise maketh two stations according to the two manners of her appearance, morning and evening, when she is in farthest bounds and utmost points of her Epicycle. But Mercurie keepeth his stations so small a while, that they cannot be observed. This is the manner and order as well of the lights and appearances of the planets, as of their occultations and keeping close intricate in their motion, and enfolded within many straunge wonders. For chaunge they doe their magnitudes and colours: sometime they approch into the North, the same againe goe backe toward the South, yea, and all on a suddaine, they appeare one while neerer to the earth, and another while to the heaven: wherein, if we shall deliver many points otherwise than former writers, yet confesse we doe, that for these matters we are beholden unto them, who first made demonstration of seeking out the waies thereto: howbeit, let no man despaire, but that he may profit and go forward alwaies in farther knowledge from age to age. For, these straunge motions fall out upon many causes. The first is, by reason of those eccentrique circles or Epicycles in the Stars, which the Greekes call Absides: for needs we must use in this Treatise the Greeke tearmes. Now every one of the planets have particular Auges or circles aforesaid by themselves, and these different from those of the starrie heaven: for that the earth from those two points, which they call Poles, is the very centre of the heaven, as also of the Zodiake, situate overthwart betweene them. All which things are certainely knowne to be so, by the compasse, that never can lie. And therefore for ever centure there arise their owne Absides, whereupon it is, that they have diverse circuits and different motions, because necessarie it is, that the inward and inferiour Absides should bee shorter.
Why the same Planets seeme sometime higher, and sometime lower.
The highest Absides therfore from the centre of the earth are of Saturn, in the signe Scorpio: of Iupiter in Virgo: of Mars in Leo: of the Sunne in Gemini: of Venus in Sagittarius: of Mercurie in Capricorne: and namely in the middle or fifteenth degree of the said signes: and contrariwise the said planets in the same degrees of the opposite signes are lowest, and to the centre of the earth neerest. So it commeth to passe, that they seeme to move more slowly, when they go their highest circuit: not, for that naturall motions doe either hasten or slacke, which bee certaine and severall to every one: but because the lines which are drawne from the top of the Absis, must needs grow narrow and neere together about the centre, as the spokes in cart wheeles: and the same motion by reason of the neerenesse of the centre, seemeth in one place greater, in another lesse. The other cause of their sublimities is, for that in other signes they have the Absides elevated highest from the centre of their owne eccentrique circles. Thus Saturne is in the height of his Auge in the 20 degree of Libra, Iupiter in the 15 of Cancer, Mars in the 28 of Capricorne, the Sunne in the 29 of Aries, Venus in the 16 of Pisces, Mercurie in the 15 of Virgo, and the Moone in the 4 of Taurus. The third reason of their altitude or elevation, is not taken from their Auges or circles eccentric, but understood by the measure and convexitie of heaven, for that these planets seeme to the eie as they rise and fall, to mount up or settle downeward through the aire. Hereunto is knit and united another cause also, to wit, the Zodiakes obliquitie, & latitude of the planets, in regard of the eclipticke: For through it the starres which we called wandering, doe move and take their course. Neither is there any place inhabited upon earth, but that which lieth under it. For all the rest without the poles, are fruitlesse, desert, and ill favored. Only the planet Venus goeth beyond the circle of the Zodiake, two degrees: which is supposed to be the very efficient cause, that certaine living creatures are engendered and bred even in the desert and inhabitable parts of the world. The Moone likewise raungeth throughout all the breadth of it, but never goeth out of it. Next after these the starre of Mercurie hath the largest scope in the Zodiake, but yet so, as of 12 degrees (for that is the bredth thereof) he wandereth but eight, and those not equally, but two in the middest, foure above, and two beneath. Then the Sunne in the midst, goeth alwaies betweene the two extremities of the Zodiake: but in his declining course from South and North, he seemeth to wind bias after the manner of Dragons or Serpents, unequally. Mars in his latitude leaveth the eclipticke line foure halfe degrees, Iupiter two degrees and a halfe, Saturne no more but two, like as the Sunne. Thus you see the manner of the latitudes, as they descend Southward, or ascend Northward. And upon this is the reason grounded also of the third opinion of them, who imagine that the planets doe arise and mount from the earth upward into heaven. For very many have thought, although untruly, that they climbe in this manner. But to the end that they may be reproved and confuted, we must lay open an infinite and incomprehensible subtiltie, and that which containeth all those causes & reasons abovesaid. First therfore this is agreed upon and resolved, that these stars or planets in their evening setting, are neerest to the earth, both in regard of latitude, & also of altitude: and then they be called Occidentall Vespertine, i. when the Sun toward the evening, covereth them with his raies: also, when they be farthest from the earth, aswel in latitude as elevation, they be Oriental Matutine, & arise or appear in the morning before the Sun is up: as also that then they are Stationaries in their houses, which be in the middle points of the latitudes, which they cal eclipticks. Likewise, confessed it is, that so long as the planets are neer to the earth, their motion seemeth to encrease & be quicke: but as they depart on high, to decrease and be slow. And this reason is approved & confirmed principally by the elevations and depressions of the Moone. As doubtlesse it is also, and held for an infallible rule, that every planet being Orientall Matutine, riseth every day higher than other. The superior three above the Sun diminish even from their first stations unto the second. Which being so, it will plainely appeare, that every planet Orientall Matutine, rising before the Sun, beginneth to mount the latitude Septentrionall, & decline from the Ecliptick Northward: in such sort, that from the time that they begin to dismatch, their motion increaseth by little & little more sparely. But in the first Stations, they are at the highest altitude & ascent: for then and not before, the numbers begin to be withdrawn, & the planets to go backward, and be retrograde. Whereof a particular reason by it selfe may be given, in this manner: The Planets being smitten in that part whereof we spake, they are both inhibited by the triangular beames or Trine aspect of the Sun, to hold on a streight and direct course in the longitude of the heaven, and so be retrograde: & so are raised up aloft by the firie power of the said Sun. This cannot presently at the first be understood by our eiesight: whereupon they are supposed to stand, and hereof their Stations tooke the name. Then proceedeth forward the violence of the Sunne beames or aspect, and the vapor thereof by repercussion, forceth them to be evidently retrograde, and goe backward. And much more is this perceived in their even rising, when they be Orientall Vespertine, when the Sunne is wholly against them, and when they be driven to the very top of their Absides, and so not seene at all, because they are at the highest, and goe their least motion, which is so much the lesse, when as it happeneth in the highest signes of their Auges or Absides. From the even arising after the Sunne-setting, they descend toward the latitude meridionall, for now the motion lesse diminisheth, but yet encreaseth not before the second stations: for that they are forced to descend, by reason of the sun beames comming from the other side of their Epicycle: and the same force beareth them downeward againe to the earth, which by the former triangular aspect raised them aloft toward heaven. So much skilleth it whether the said beames came from beneath or above. The same happeneth much more in the even setting when they be hidden with the raies of the Sunne. This is the reason of the superiour planets above the Sunne: but the Theorique is more difficult of the rest, and hath by no man before us been delivered.
Generall rules as touching the Planets.
First and formost therefore let us set down the cause why Venus starre never departeth from the Sunne more than 46 degrees, and Mercurie not above 23: and (being as they are diverse Planets) why oftentimes they retire backe unto the Sunne within that compasse. For to be resolved in this point, note wee must, that both of them have their Absides turned opposite to the rest, as being seated under the sun: and so much of their circles is underneath, as the forenamed were above: and therefore farther off they cannot bee, because the curvature and roundle of their Absides in that place, hath no great longitude. Therefore both edges of their Absides, by a like proportion keepe an indifferent mean, & their course is limitted: but the short spaces of their longitudes, they recompence again with the wandering of their latitudes. But what is the reason that they reach not alwaies to 46 degrees, and to 23? yes ywis doe they: but this the Canonicall Astronomers have missed of in their Aphorismes. For it is apparent, that their Absides also or Auges doe moove, because they never overpasse the Sunne. And therefore when their edges from either side are perceived to fall upon the very point, then the planets also are supposed to reach unto their longest distances: but when their edges or the points of their Epicycles, be short so many degrees, the starres themselves are thought to returne more speedily in their retrogradation, than in their direct course forward, albeit the utmost extremitie which they both have, is ever the same. And from hence is the reason understood of the contrarie motion of these two planets. For the superiour planets move most swiftly in the even setting, but these most slowly. They, I say, be farthest from the earth, when they move slowest; and these, when they goe swiftest: for as in the former the neerenesse of the centre hasteneth them; so in these, the extremitie of the circle: they, from their morning Station to their evening mansion; but Venus contrariwise is retrograde from the Station Vespertine, to the Matutine. Howbeit, she from the morne rising beginneth to climbe the latitude Septentrionall: but to follow the altitude and the Sunne, from the morning station: as being most swift and at the highest in the morne setting. Moreover she beginneth to digresse in latitude, and to diminish her motion from the morne rising: but, to be retrograde, and withall to digresse in altitude, from the evening station. Again the Planet Mercurie, being Oriental Matutin, beginneth both waies to climbe, that is, to mount higher day by day; but to digresse in latitude, being Orientall Vespertine: and when the Sunne hath overtaken him within the distance of fifteene degrees, he standeth still for foure daies unmoveable. Within a while he descendeth from his altitude daily, and goeth backe retrograde from the even setting, namely, when the Sunne hideth him with his raies, to the Moone rising, when hee appeareth before the Sunne is up. This starre onely, and the Moone, descend in as many daies as they ascend. But Venus ascendeth up to her station in fifteene daies and the vantage. Againe, Saturne and Iupiter are twice as long descending, and Mars foure times. See how great varietie is in their nature, but the reason thereof is evident. For they which goe against the vapour and heat of the Sunne doe also hardly descend. Many secrets more of Nature, and lawes whereunto she is obedient, might bee shewed about these things. As for example: The planet of Mars, whose course of all others, can bee least observed, never maketh station but in quadrate aspect: as for Iupiter, in triangle aspect; and very seldome severed from the Sunne 60 degrees, which number maketh sixe angled formes of the heaven, that is to say, is the just sixt part of the heaven: neither doth Iupiter shew his rising in the same signe this yeer, as in the former, save only in two signes, Cancer and Leo. The planet of Mercurie seldome hath his even rising in Pisces, but very often in Virgo; and the morne rising in Libra. In like manner, the morne rising in Aquarius, but very seldom in Leo. Neither becommeth he retrograde in Taurus and Gemini: and in Cancer, not under the 25 degree. As for the Moone, she entreth not twise in Conjunction with the Sunne in any other signe, but in Gemini: and sometime hath no Conjunction at all, and that only in Sagitarius. As for the last and first of the Moone, to be seene in one and the selfesame day or night, happeneth in no other signe but in Aries, and few men have had the gift to see it. And hereupon came Linceus to be so famous for his eiesight. Also, the Planets Saturne and Mars are hidden with the Sunne beames, and appeare not in the heaven at the most 170 daies: Iupiter 36, or at least tenne daies wanting: Venus 69, or when least, 52: Mercurie 13, or at least, 17.
What is the cause that the Planets alter their colours.
The reason of the Planets altitudes is it that tempereth their colours, according as they be neerer or farther off from the earth. For they take the likenesse of the aire, into the coasts whereof they enter, in their ascent: and the circle or circumference of another planets motion, coloureth them as they approach either way, ascending or descending. The colder setteth a pale colour, the hotter a red, and the windie a fearefull and rough hue. Onely the points and conjunctions of the Absides, and the utmost circumferences, shew a darke blacke. Each planet hath a severall colour, Saturne is white, Iupiter cleere and bright, Mars fierie and red, Venus Orientall (or Lucifer) fair, Occidental (or Vesper) shining, Mercurie sparkling his raies, the Moon pleasant, the Sunne when he riseth burning, afterwards glittering with his beames. Upon these causes the sight is entangled, and discovereth even those starres also which are contained and fixed in the skie, more or lesse. For one while a number of them appeare thicke, about the halfe Moone, when in a cleare and calme night she gently beautifieth them: another while they are seene but here and there, insomuch as we may wonder, that they are fled upon the full Moone, which hideth them: or when the beames either of the Sunne or other abovesaid have dazzeled our sight. Yea, the very Moon her selfe hath a feeling, doubtlesse, of the Sunne beames, as they come upon her: for those raies that come sidelong, according to the convexitie of the heaven, give but a darke and dim light to the Moone, in comparison of them that fall directly with streight angles. And therefore in the quadrangle aspect of the Sunne, she appeareth divided in halfe: in the triangle, she is well neere environned, but her circle is halfe emptie and void: howbeit in the opposition she seemeth full. And againe, as she is in the waine, she representeth the same formes, decreasing by quarters as she increased: with like aspects, as the other three planets above the sun.
The reason of the Sunnes motion, and the unequalitie of daies.
A2 for the Sunne himselfe, a man may observe foure differences in his course: twice in the year making the night equal to the day, to wit, in the Spring, and Autumne: for then he falleth just upon the centre of the earth, namely, in the eight degree of Aries and Libra. Twise likewise exchanging the compasse of his race: to lengthen the day from the Bruma or midwinter, in the eight degree of Capricorn; and again to lengthen the night from the summer sunnesteed, being in as many degrees of Cancer. The cause of unequall daies, is the obliquitie of the Zodiake: whereas the one halfe just of the world, to wit, sixe signes of the Zodiake, is at all times above and under the earth. But those signs which mount upright in their rising, hold light a longer tract, and make the daies longer: wheras they which arise crooked and goe bias, passe away in shorter and swifter time.
Why lightnings are attributed to Iupiter.
Most men are ignorant of that secret, which by great attendance upon the heavens, deepe clearkes and principall men of learning have found out: namely, that they bee the fires of the three uppermost planets, which falling to the earth, carrie the name of lightnings, but those especially which are seated in the middest, to wit, about Iupiter, haply, because participating the excessive cold and moisture from the upper circle of Saturn, and the immoderate heat from Mars that is next under, by this meanes he dischargeth the superfluitie: and hereupon it is commonly said, That Iupiter shooteth and darteth lightenings. Therefore, like as out of a burning peece of wood a cole of fire flieth forth with a cracke, even so from a starre is spit out as it were and voided forth this cœlestial fire, carrying with it presages of future things: so as the heaven sheweth divine operations, even in these parcels and portions which are rejected and cast away as superfluous. And this most commonly happeneth when the aire is troubled, either because the moisture that is gathered, mooveth and stirreth forward that abundance to fall; or els for that it is disquieted with the birth (as it were) proceeding from a great bellied star, and therefore would be discharged of such excrements.
The distances of the Planets.
Many have assaied to find out the distance and elevation of the Planets from the earth, and have set downe in writing, that the Sunne is distant from the Moone 18 degrees, even as much as the Moone from the earth. But Pythagoras, a man of quicke spirit, hath collected, that there are 126000 furlongs from the earth to the Moone, and a duple distance from her to the Sunne, and so from thence to the twelve signes three times so much. Of which opinion was also our counrieman Gallus Sulpitius.
Of the Planets musicke and harmonie.
But Pythagoras otherwhiles using the tearmes of musicke, calleth the space betweene the earth and the Moone a Tonus, saying, that from her to Mercurie is halfe a tone: and from him to Venus in manner the same space. But from her to the Sunne as much and halfe againe: but from the Sunne to Mars a Tonus, that is to say, as much as from the earth to the Moone. From him to Iupiter halfe a tonus: likewise from him to Saturne halfe a Tonus: and so from thence to the Signifer Sphære or Zodiake so much, and halfe again. Thus are composed seven tunes, which harmonie they cal Diapason, that is to say, the Generalitie or whole state of concent and accord, which is perfect musicke. In which, Saturne moveth by the Dorick tune: Mercurie by Phthongus, Iupiter by the Phrygian, and the rest likewise: a subtiltie more pleasant ywis than needfull.
The Geometrie or dimension of the world.
A STADIUM or furlong maketh of our pases 125, that is to say, 625 foot. Posidonius saith, That from the earth it is no lesse than fortie stadia to that height or altitude wherein thicke weather, winds and clouds, doe engender. Above which, the aire is pure, cleere, and light, without any troubled darkenesse. But from the cloudie and muddie region to the Moone, is twentie hundred thousand Stadia: from thence to the Sunne five thousand. By meanes of which middle space betweene, it commeth to passe, that so exceeding great as the Sunne is, he burneth not the earth. Many there be moreover, who have taught, that the clouds are elevated to the height of nine hundred stadia. Unknowne these points are, and such as men cannot wind themselves out of: but as well may they now be delivered to others, as they have been taught to us: in which notwithstanding, one infallible reason of a Geometricall collection which never lieth, cannot be rejected, if a man would search deep into these matters. Neither need a man to seeke a just measure hereof (for to desire that, were in a manner a point of fond and foolish idlenesse, as if men had nothing els to doe) but onely to make an estimate, and resolve upon a guesse and conjecture thereof. For, whereas it is plaine and apparent by the course of the Sunne, that the circle through which he passeth, doth containe three hundred threescore, and almost sixe degrees: and alwaies the dimetrent line, or diameter, taketh a third part of the circumference, and little lesse than a seventh part of a third: it is plain, that deducting one halfe thereof (by reason that the earth, situate as a centre, commeth betweene) the sixt part well neere of this great circuit which he maketh about the earth (so farre as our mind doth comprehend) is the very heigth from the earth up to the Sunne, but the twelfth part to the Moone, because she runneth so much a shorter compasse than the Sunne: whereby it appeareth, that she is in the middest betweene the earth and the Sunne. A wonder it is to see how farre the presumpteous mind and heart of man will proceed, and namely being invited and drawne on by some little successe, as in the abovenamed matter. The reason whereof ministreth plenteous occasion of impudencie, for they who dared once to give a guesse at the space betweene the Sunne and the earth, are so bold to doe the like from thence to heaven. For presuming, that the Sunne is in the middest, they have at their fingers ends by and by the very measure also of the whole world. For looke how many seven parts the dimetrent hath, so many 2 parts or thereabout, hath the whole circle: as if they had gotten the just and certaine measure of the heaven by levell, and the plumb or perpendicular line. The Ægyptians according to the reckoning which Petosiris and Necepsos have invented, doe collect, That every degree in the circle of the Moone, which is the least (as hath been said) of all other, containeth 33 stadia, and somewhat more: in Saturne the greatest of all the rest, duple so much, and in the Sunne: which we said was the middest, the halfe of both measures. And this computation hath very great importance, for he that will reckon the distances betweene the circle of Saturne and the Zodiake, by this calculation shall multiplie an infinite number of Stadia.
Of suddaine starres.
THERE remaine yet some fewe points as touching the world: for in the very heaven there bee starres that suddainely arise and appeare, whereof be many kinds.
Of Comets or blazing stars, and cœlestiall prodigies, their nature, situation, and diverse sorts.
THESE blazing starres the Greekes call Cometas, our Romanes Crinitas: dreadfull to be seene, with bloudie haires, and all over rough and shagged in the top like the bush of haire upon the head. The same Greekes call those starres Pogonias, which from the nether part have a maine hanging downe, in fashion of a long beard. As for those named Acontiæ, they brandish and shake like a speare or dart: signifying great swiftnesse. This was it, whereof Tiberius Cæsar the Emperour wrate an excellent Poeme in his fift Consulship, the last that ever was seene to this day. The same, if they be shorter and sharpe pointed in the top, they use to call Xiphiæ: and of all other palest they be, and glitter like a sword, but without any raies or beames: which, another kind of them, named Disceus (resembling a dish or coit, whereof it beareth the name, but in colour like to amber) putteth forth here and there out of the brimmes and edges thereof. As for Pitheus, it is seene in forme of tunnes, environned within a smokie light, as if it were a concavitie. Ceratias resembleth an horne: and such a one appeared when the whole manhood of Greece fought the battaile of Salamis. Lampadias is like to burning torches: and Hippeus to horse maines, most swift in motion, and turning round. There is also a white Comet with silver haires, so bright and shining, that hardly a man can endure to looke upon it, and in mans shape it sheweth the verie image of a god. Moreover, there be blazing starres that become all shaggie, compassed round with hairie fringe, and a kind of maine. One heretofore appearing in the forme of a main, changed into a speare, namely in the hundred and eight Olympias, and the 398 yeere from the foundation of Rome. Noted it hath ben, that the shortest time of their appearance is a seven-night, and the longest eightie daies. Some of them move like wandering planets: others are fixed fast, and stir not. All in manner are seene under the very North star called Charl le maignes waine: some in no certaine part thereof, but especially in that white, which hath taken the name of the ***Milke circle. Aristotle saith, That many are seene together: a thing that no man but hee hath found out, so farre as I can learne. Mary, boisterous winds, and much heat of weather, are foretokened by them. There are of them seene also in winter season, and about the Antarticke South pole: but in that place without any beames. A terrible one likewise was seene of the people in æthyopia and Ægypt, which the king who raigned in that age, named Typhon. It resembled fire, and was plaited or twisted in maner of a wreath, grim and hideous to be looked on; and no more truly to be counted a starre, than some knot of fire. Sometimes it falleth out, that the Planets and other stars are bespread all over with hairs. But a Comet lightly is never seene in the West part of the heaven.
A fearefull starre for the most part this Comet is, and not easily expiated: as it appeared by the late civile troubles when Octavius was Consull: as also a second time by the intestine warre of Pompey and Cæsar. And in our daies about the time that Claudius Cæsar was poysoned, and left the Empire to Domitius Nero, in the time of whose raigne and government, there was another in manner continually seene, and ever terrible. Men hold opinion, that it is materiall for presage to observe into what quarters it shooteth, or what starres power and influence it receiveth: also what similitudes it resembleth, and in what parts it shineth out and first ariseth. For if it be like unto flutes or hautboies, it portendeth somewhat to Musicians: if it appeare in the privie parts of any signes, let ruffians, whoremaisters, and such filthie persons take heed. It is respective to fine wits and learned men, if it put forth a triangular or fouresquare figure with even Angles, to any situations of the perpetuall fixed starres. And it is thought to presage, yea, and to sprinckle and put forth poyson, if it be seene in the head of the Dragon, either North or South.
In one onely place of the whole world, namely, in a temple at Rome, a Comet is worshipped and adored: even that, which by Augustus Cæsar himselfe of happie memorie, was judged very luckie and fortunate to him: who, when it began to appeare, gave attendance in person as overseer to those plaies and games which he made to Venus Genetrix, not long after the death of his father Cæsar, in the colledge by him instituted and erected. For, that joy of his he testified in these words, In those very daies during the solemnitie of my Plaies, there was seene a blazing star for seven daies together, in a region of the skie which is under the North starre Septentriones. It arose about the eleventh houre of the day, bright it was and cleere, and evidently seene in all lands. By that starre it was signified (as the common sort beleeved) that the soule of (Iulius) Cæsar was received among the divine powers of the immortall gods. In which regard, that marke or ensigne of a starre was set to the head of that Statue of Iulius Cæsar, which soone after we dedicated to him in the Forum Romanum. These words published he abroad: but in a more inward joy to himselfe, hee interpreted and conceived thus of the thing, That this Comet was made for him, and that himselfe was in it borne. And verily, if we will confesse a truth, a healthfull, good and happie presage that was, to the whole world. Some there be who beleeve, that these be perpetuall stars, and go their course round, but are not seene, unlesse they bee left by the Sunne. Others againe are of opinion, that they are engendred casually by some humour and the power of fire together, and therby do melt away and consume.
Hipparchus his opinion of the starres. Also historicall examples of Torches, Lampes, Beames, Fierie darts, opening of the Firmament, and other such impressions.
Hipparchus the foresaid Philosopher (a man never sufficiently praised, as who proved the affinitie of starres with men, and none more than he, affirming also, that our soules were parcell of heaven) found out and observed another new starre engendred in his time, and by the motion thereof on what day it first shone, he grew presently into a doubt, Whether it happened not very often that new starres should arise? and whether those starres also mooved not, which we imagine to be fast fixed? The same man went so farre, that he attempted (a thing even hard for God to performe) to deliver unto posteritie the just number of starres. Hee brought the said starres within the compasse of rule and art, devising certaine instruments to take their severall places, and set out their magnitudes: that thereby it might be easily discerned, not only whether the old died, and new were borne, but also whether they moved, and which way they tooke their course? likewise, whether they encreased or decreased? Thus he left the inheritance of heaven unto all men, if any one haply could be found able to enter upon it as lawfull heire.
There be also certain flaming torches shining out in the skie, howbeit, never seen but when they fall. Such a one was that, which at the time that Germanicus Cæsar exhibited a shew of sword-fencers at utterance, ran at noonetide in the sight of all the people. And two sorts there be of them. Namely, Lampades, which they call plaine torches; and the other Bolides, i. Launces, such as the Mutinians saw in their calamitie, when their cittie was sacked. Herein they differ, for that those lampes or torches, make long traines, whiles the forepart onely is on a light fire. But Bolis burneth all over, and draweth a longer taile. There appeare and shine out after the same manner certaine beames, which the Greekes cal Docus. Like as, when the Lacedemonians being vanquished in sea fight, lost the Empire and dominion of Greece. The firmament also is seene to chinke and open, and this they name Chasma.
Of the strange colours of the Skie.
THERE appeareth in the Skie also a resemblance of bloud; and (than which nothing is more dread and feared of men) a fierie impression, falling from out of heaven to earth: like as it happened in the third yeere of the hundred and seven Olympias, at what time as king Philip made all Greece to shake with fire and sword: And these things verily, I suppose to come at certaine times by course of Nature, like as other things; and not, as the most part thinke, of sundrie causes, which the subtile wit and head of man is able to devise. They have indeed been forerunners of exceeding great miseries, but I suppose those calamities happened not because these impressions were, but these therefore were procreated to foretell the accidents that ensued afterward. Now, for that they fall out so seldome, the reason therefore of them is hidden and secret, and so not knowne, as the rising of planets abovesaid, the eclipses, and many other things.
Of the heaven flame.
LIKEWISE there are seene starres together with the Sunne all day long: yea, and very often about the compasse of the Sunne, other flames, like unto garlands of corne eares: also circles of sundrie colours, such as those were when Augustus Cæsar in the prime of his youth entred the citie of Rome (after the decease of his father) to take upon him that great name and imperiall title of his.
Of cœlestiall crownes.
ALSO the same garlands appeare about the Moone, and other goodly bright stars which are fixed in the firmament. Round about the Sunne there was seene an Arch, when Lu. Opimius and Q. Fabius were Consuls: as also a round circle, when L. Porcius and M. Acilius were Consuls.
Of suddaine Circles.
THERE appeared a Circle of red colour, when L. Iulius and P. Rutilius were Consuls. Moreover, there are strange eclipses of the Sunne, continuing longer than ordinarie, as namely, when Cæsar Dictatour was murdered. Moreover, in the warres of Antonie, the Sunne continued almost a yeere long with a pale and wan colour.
OVER and besides, many Sunnes are seene at once, neither above nor beneath the bodie of the true Sunne indeed, but crosse wise, and overthwart: never neere, nor directly against the earth, neither in the night season, but when the Sunne either riseth or setteth. Once they are reported to have beene seene at noone day in Bosphorus, and continued from morne to even. Three Sunnes together our auncitors in old time have often beheld, as namely, when Sp. Posthumius with Q. Mutius, Q. Martius with M. Porcius, M. Antonius with P. Dolabella, and Mar. Lepidus with L. Plancus, were Consuls. Yea, and we in our daies have seene the like, in the time of Cl. Cæsar of famous memorie, his Consulship, together with Cornelius Orsitus his Colleague. More than three we never to this day find to have been seene together.
THREE Moones also appeared at once, and namely, when Cn. Domitius and C. Fannius were Consuls, which most men called Night-Sunnes.
Daylight in the night.
OUT of the firmament by night, there was seene a light, when C. Cœlius and Cn. Papyrius were Consuls, yea, and oftentimes besides, so as the night seemed as light as the day.
Burning shield or targuets.
A BURNING shield ran sparkling from the West to the East, at the Sunnes setting, when L. Valerius and C. Marius were Consuls.
A strange sight in the Skie.
BY report there was once seene, and never but once, when Cn. Octavius, and C. Scribonius were Consuls, a sparkle to fall from a starre: and as it approached the earth, for to waxe greater, and after it came to the bignesse of the Moone, to shine out and give light, as in a cloudie and darke day: then, being retired again into the skie, it became (to mens thinking) a burning lampe. This, Licinius Syllanus the Proconsull saw, together with his whole traine.
The running of stars too and fro in the Skie.
SEENE there bee also starres to shoot hither and thither, but never for nought and to no purpose: for, from the same quarter where they appeare, there rise terrible winds, and after them stormes and tempests both by sea and land.
Of the starres called Castor and Pollux.
I HAVE seene my selfe in the campe, from the souldiours sentinels in the night watch, the resemblance of lightening to sticke fast upon the speares and pikes set before the rampiat. They settle also upon the crosse saile-yards, and other parts of the ship, as men doe saile in the sea: making a kind of vocall sound, leaping too and fro, and shifting their places as birds doe which flie from bough to bough. Daungerous they be and unluckie, when they come one by one without a companion: and they drown those ships on which they light, and threaten shipwrack, yea, and they set them on fire if haply they fall upon the bottome of the Keele. But if they appeare two and two together, they bring comfort with them, and foretell a prosperous course in the voiage, as by whole comming, they say, that dreadfull, cursed, and threatening Meteor called Helena, is chased and driven away. And thereupon it is, that men assigne this mightie power to Castor and Pollux, and invocate them at sea, no lesse than gods. Mens heads also in the even-tide are seene many times to shine round about, and to be of a light fire, which presageth some great matter. Of all these things there is no certain reason to be given, but secret these be, hidden with the majestie of Nature, and reserved within her Cabinet.
Of the Aire.
IT remaineth now (thus much and thus farre being spoken of the world it selfe, to wit, the starrie heaven and the planets) to speake of other memorable things observed in the Skie. For even that part also have our forefathers called Cœlum, i. the Skie, which otherwise they name Aire: even all that portion of the whole, which seeming like a void and emptie place, yeeldeth this vitall spirit whereby all things do live. This region is seated beneath the Moone, and farre under that planet (as I observe it is, in manner by all men agreed upon.) And mingling together an infinite portion of the superiour cœlestiall nature or elementarie fire, with an huge deale likewise of earthly vapours, it doth participate confusedly of both. From hence proceed clouds, thunders, and those terrible lightenings. From hence come haile, frosts, shoures of raine, stormes and whirlewinds: from hence arise the most calamities of mortall men, and the continuall warre that Nature maketh with her owne selfe. For these grosse exhalations as they mount upward to the heaven, are beaten backe and driven downeward by the violence of the starres: and the same againe when they lift, draw up to them those matters, which of their owne accord ascend not. For thus we see, that shoures of raine doe fall, foggie mists and light clouds arise, rivers are dried up, haile stormes come downe amaine, the sunne beames do scorch and burne the ground, yea, and drive it every where to the middle centre: but the same againe unbroken, and not loosing their force, rebound backe and take up with them whatsoever they have drunke up and drawne. Vapours fall from aloft, and the same returne againe on high: winds blow forcibly, and come emptie, but backe they goe with a bootie, and carrie away every thing before them. So many living creatures take their wind and draw breath from above: but the same laboureth contrariwise, and the earth infuseth into the aire a spirit and breath, as if it were cleane void and emptie. Thus whiles Nature goeth too and fro, as forced by some engine, by the swiftnesse of the heaven, the fire of discord is kindled and growth hot. Neither may shee abide by it, and stand to the fight, but being continually carried away, she rolleth up and downe: and as about the earth shee spreadeth and pitcheth her tents, as it were, with an unmeasurable globe of the heaven, so ever and anon of the clouds she frameth another skie. And this is that region where the winds raigne. And therefore their kingdome principally is there to bee seene, where they execute their forces, and are the cause well neere of all other troubles in the aire. For thunderbolts and flashing lightenings most men attribute to their violence. Nay, more than that, therefore it is supposed that otherwhiles it raineth stones, because they were taken up first by the wind: so as we may conclude, that they cause many like impressions in the aire. Wherfore many matters besides, are to be treated of together.
Of ordinarie and set seasons.
IT is manifest, that of times and seasons, as also of other things, some caues bee certaine; others, casuall and by chaunce; or, such as yet the reason thereof is unknowne. For who need to doubt, that Summers and Winters, and those alternative seasons which wee observe by yearely course, are occasioned by the motion of the Planets. As therefore the Sunnes nature is understood by tempering and ordering the yeare: so the rest of the starres and planets also, have every one their proper and peculiar power, and the same effectuall to shew and performe their owne nature. Some are fruitfull to bring forth moisture, that is turned into liquid raine: others to yeeld an humour either congealed into frosts, or gathered and thickened into snow, or els frozen and hardened into haile: some affourd winds: others warmth: some hote and scorching vapours: some, dewes: and others, cold. Neither yet ought these starres to be esteemed so little as they shew in sight, seeing that none of them is lesse than the Moone: as may appeare by the reason of their exceeding heigth. Well then, every one in their owne motion, exercise their severall natures: which appeareth manifestly by Saturne especially, who setteth open the gates for raine and shoures to passe. And not onely the seven wandering starres bee of this power, but many of them also that are fixed in the firmament; so often as they bee either driven by the accesse and approch of those Planets, or pricked and provoked by the casting and influence of their beames: like as we find it happeneth in the seven starres called Sucula, which the Grecians of raine name Hyades, because they ever bring foule weather. Howbeit some, of their owne nature, and at certaine set times doe cause raine; as the rising of the Kids. As for Arcturus, he never lightly appeareth without some tempestuous and stormie haile.
The power of the Dog starre.
WHO knoweth not, that when the Dog starre ariseth, the heat of the Sunne is fierie and burning? the effects of which starre are felt exceeding much upon the earth. The seas at his rising do rage and take on, the wines in sellars are troubled, pooles also and standing waters doe stirre and move. A wild beast there is in Ægypt, called Orix, which the Ægyptians say, doth stand full against the Dog starre when it riseth, looking wistly upon it, and testifieth after a sort by sneesing, a kind of worship. As for dogs, no man doubteth verily, but all the time of the canicular daies they are most readie to run mad.
That the starres have their severall influences in sundrie parts of the signes, and at divers times.
MOREOVER, the parts of certaine signes, have their peculiar force, as appeareth in the equinoctiall of Autumne, and in mid winter; at what time wee perceive, that the Sunne maketh tempests. And this is prooved, not onely by raines and stormes, but by many experiments in mens bodies, and accidents to plants in the countrey. For some men are strucken by the Planet, and blasted: others are troubled and diseased at certaine times ordinarily, in their bellie, sinews, head, and mind. The Olive tree, the Aspe or white Poplar, and Willows, turn or wryth their leaves about at Midsummer, when the Sun entreth Cancer. And contrariwise, in very Mid-winter, when he entreth Capricorn, the hearb Penyroial floureth fresh, even as it hangs within house drie and readie to wither. At which time all parchments and such like bladders or skins are so pent and stretched with spirit and wind, that they burst withall. A man might marvell hereat, who marketh not by daily experience, that one hearbe called †Heliotropium, regardeth and looketh toward the Sunne ever as he goeth, turning with him at all houres, notwithstanding he be shaddowed under a cloud. Now certaine it is, that the bodies of oysters, muskles, cockles, and all shell-fishes, grow by the power of the Moone, and thereby again diminish: yea, and some have found out by diligent search into Natures secrets, that the fibres or filaments in the livers of rats and mice, answere in number to the daies of the Moones age: also that the least creature of all others, the Pismire, feeleth the power of this Planet, and alwaies in the chaunge of the Moon ceaseth from worke. Certes, the more shame it is for man to be ignorant and unskilfull, especially seeing that hee must confesse, that some labouring beasts have certaine diseases in their eies, which with the Moone doe grow and decay. Howbeit the excessive greatnesse of the heaven and exceeding heigth therof, divided as it is into 72 signes, maketh for him, & serveth for his excuse. Now these signs are the resemblances of things or living creatures, into which the skilfull Astronomers have with good respect digested the firmament. For example sake, in the taile of Taurus there be seven, which they named in old time Vergiliæ; in the forehead other seven called Suculæ: and Boötes who followeth after the waine, or great Beare Septentriones.
The causes of raine, showers, winds, and clouds.
I CANNOT denie, but without these causes there arise raines and winds: for that certaine it is, how there is sent forth from the earth a mist sometimes moist, otherwhiles smokie, by reason of hote vapours and exhalations. Also, that clouds are engendred by vapours which are gone up on high, or els of the aire gathered into a waterie liquor: that they bee thicke, grosse, and of a bodily consistence, wee guesse and collect by no doubtfull argument, considering that they overshaddow the Sunne, which otherwise may be seene through the water, as they know well, that dive to any depth whatsoever.
Of Thunder and Lightening.
DENIE I would not therefore, but that the fierie impressions from stars above, may fall upon these clouds, such as we oftentimes see to shoot in cleare and faire weather: by the forcible stroke whereof, good reason it is, that the aire should bee mightily shaken, seeing that arrowes and darts when they are discharged, sing and keepe a noise as they flie. But when they encounter a cloud, there ariseth a vapour with a dissonant sound (like as when a red hot yron maketh an hissing being thrust into water) and a smokie fume walmeth up with many turnings like waves. Hereupon stormes doe breed. And if this flatuosite or vapour doe struggle and wrestle within the cloud, from thence it commeth that thunderclaps be heard; but if it breake through still burning, then flieth out the thunderbolt: if it bee longer time a strugling, and cannot peirce through, then leames and flashes are seene. With these, the cloud is cloven; with the other, burst in sunder. Moreover, thunders are nothing els but the blows and thumps given by the fires beating hard upon the clouds: and therefore presently the fierie chinkes and rifts of those clouds do glitter and shine. Possible it is also, that the breath and wind elevated from the earth, being repelled backe, and kept downe by the starres, and so held in and restrained within a cloud, may thunder, whiles Nature choketh the rumbling sound, all the while it striveth and quarrelleth; but sendeth forth a cracke when it breaketh out, as wee see in a bladder puffed up with wind. Likewise it may be, that the same wind or spirit whatsoever, is set on fire by fretting and rubbing, as it violently passeth headlong downe. It may also be stricken by the conflict of two clouds, as if two stones hit one against another; and so the leames and flashes sparkle forth. So as all these accidents happen by chance medley, and be irregular. And hereupon come those brutish and vaine lightenings, such as have no naturall reason, but are occasioned by these impressions abovesaid. With these are mountaines and seas smitten: and of this kind bee all other blasts and bolts that doe no hurt to living creatures. As for those that come from above, and of ordinarie causes, yea, and from their proper starres, they alwaies presage and foretell future events. In like maner as touching the winds, or rather blasts, I would not denie but that they may proceed from a drie exhalation of the earth, void of all moisture: neither is it impossible, but that they doe arise out of waters, breathing and sending out an aire, which neither can thicken into a mist, nor gather into clouds: also they may be driven by the lugitation1 and impulsion of the Sunne, because the wind is conceived to bee nought els but the fluctuation and waving of the aire, and that by many meanes also. For some we see to rise out of rivers, firths, and seas, even when they be stil and calme: as also others out of the earth, which winds they name Altani. And those verily when they come backe againe from the sea, are called Tropæi: if they goe onward, Apogæi.
What is the reason of the resounding and doubling of the Eccho.
BUT the windings of hils, and their often turnings, their many tops, their crests and ridges also bending like an elbow or broken, and arched as it were into shoulders, together with the hollow noukes of vallies, do cut unequally the aire that reboundeth them fro: which is the cause of reciprocall voices called Echoes, answering one another in many places, when a man doth holla or houpe among them.
Of winds againe.
NOW, there be certaine caves and holes which breed winds continually without end: like as that is one which we see in the edge of Dalmatia, with a wide mouth gaping, and leading to a deepe downefall: into which if you cast any matter of light weight, be the day never so calme otherwise, there ariseth presently a stormie tempest like a whirlepuffe. The places name is Senta. Moreover, in the province of Cyrenaica there is reported to bee a rocke consecrated to the South-wind, which without prophanation may not be touched with mans hand; but if it be, presently the South wind doth arise and cast up heapes of sand. Also in many houses there bee hollow places devised and made by mans hand for receipt of wind, which being enclosed with shade and darkenesse, gather their blasts. Whereby we may see how all winds have one cause or other. But great difference there is betweene such blasts, and winds. As for these, they bee setled and ordinarie, continually blowing; which, not some small tracts & particular places, but whole lands doe feele, which are not light gales, nor stormie puffes, named Auræ and Procellæ, but simply called Winds, by the Masculine name Venti: which whether they arise by the continuall motion of the Heaven, and the contrarie course of the Planets; or whether this wind bee that spirit of Nature that engendreth all things, wandering to and fro as it were in some wombe; or rather the aire, beaten and driven by the unlike influences and raies of the straying starres or planets, and the multiplicitie of their beames: or whether all winds come from their owne starres, namely these planets neerer at hand; or rather fall from them that be fixed in the firmament. Plaine and evident it is, that guided they be by an ordinarie law of Nature, not altogether unknowne, although it be not yet throughly knowne.
The natures and observations of the Winds.
THE old Greeke writers, not so few as twentie, have set downe and recorded their observations of the Winds. I mervell so much the more, that the world being so at discord, and divided into kingdomes, that is to say, dismembred as it was; so many men have had care to seeke after these things, so intricate and hard to bee found out, and namely in time of warres and amid those places, where was no safe lodging nor abode, and especially when pirates and rovers, common enemies to mankind, held well neere all passages: I mervaile, I say, that at this day each man in his owne tract and countrey taketh more light and true knowledge of some things by their commentaries and bookes, who never set foot there, than they doe by the skill and information of home-borne inhabitants; whereas now in time of so blessed and joious peace, and under a prince who taketh such delight in the progresse of the State and of all good arts, no new thing is learned by farther inquisition, nay, nor so much as the inventions of old writers are throughly understood. And verily it cannot bee said, that greater rewards were in those daies given, considering that the bountie of fortune was dispersed, and put into many mens hands: and in truth most of these deepe clearkes and learned men, sought out these secrets for no other reward or regard, than to doe good unto posteritie. But now, mens manners are waxen old and decay; now, all good customes are in the waine: and notwithstanding that the fruit of learning bee as great as ever it was, and the recompence as liberall, yet men are become idle in this behalfe. The seas are open to all, an infinite multitude of Sailers have discovered all coasts whatsoever, they saile through and arrive familiarly at every shore: all for gaine and lucre, but none for knowledge and cunning. Their minds altogether blinded, and bent upon nothing but covetousnes, never consider that the same might with more safetie be performed by skill and learning. And therefore seeing there be so many thousand poore sailers that hazard themselves on the seas, I will treat of the Winds more curiously and exquisitly than perhaps beseemeth the present worke that is begun.
Many sorts of Winds.
MEN in old time observed foure Winds only, according to so many quarters of the world (and therefore Homer nameth no more:) a blockish reason this was, as soone after it was judged. The Age ensuing, added eight more; and they were on the other side in their conceit too subtile and concise. The Moderne sailers of late daies, found out a meane betweene both: and they put unto that short number of the first, foure winds and no more, which they tooke out of the later. Therefore every quarter of the heaven hath two winds apeece. From the equinoctiall sunne-rising bloweth the East wind Subsolanus: from the rising therof in Mid-winter, the southeast Vulturnus. The former of these twaine the Greekes call Apeliotes, and the later Eurus. From the mid day, riseth the South wind: and from the sunne-setting in mid-winter the Southwest, Africus. They also name these two, Notus and Libs. From the equinoctiall going downe of the Sunne, the West wind Favonius commeth: but from that in Summer season, the Northwest Corus: and by the same Greekes they are tearmed Zephyrus and Argestes. From the North-waine or pole Arctike, bloweth the North wind Septentrio: betweene which and the Sunne rising in Summer, is the Northeast wind Aquilo, named Aparctias and Boreas by the Greekes. A greater reckoning than this for number, is brought in by some, who have thrust in foure more between; namely, Thracias betweene the North and the Summer setting of the Sunne: in like manner Cæcias in the middest betweene the Northeast Aquilo, and that of the Sunne rising in the equinoctiall Sub-solanus. Also, after the Sunne rising in Summer, Phœniceas in the middest, between the Southeast and the South. Last of all, between the South and the Southwest, Lybonotus, just in the middest, compounded of them both, namely, betweene the Noone steed, and the Sunsetting in Winter. But here they could not lay a straw, and see to make an end. For others have set one more yet, called Mese, betweene the Northeast wind Boreas, and Cæcias: also Euronotus, betweene the South and the Southwest winds. Besides all these, there be some Winds appropriate and peculiar to every nation, which passe not beyond one certaine tract and region: as namely Scyros among the Athenians, declining a little from Argestes; a Wind unknowne to other parts of Greece. In some other places it is more aloft, and the same then is called Olympias, as comming from the high hill Olimpus. But the usuall and customable manner of speech, understandeth by all these names Argestes only. Some call Cæcias, by the name of Hellespontias: and give the same Winds in sundrie places divers names. In the province likewise of Narbone, the most notorious wind is Circius, and for violence inferiour to none, driving directly before it very often, the current at Ostia in to the Ligurian sea. The same wind is not onely unknown in al other climates of the heaven, but reacheth not so much as to Vienna, a citie in the same province. As great & boisterous a wind as he is otherwise, yet, a restraint he hath before he come thither, and is kept within few bounds by the opposition of a meane and small hill. Fabianus also avoucheth, that the South winds enter not so farre as into Ægypt. Whereby, the law of Nature sheweth it selfe plainely, that even Winds have their times and limits appointed.
To proceed then, the Spring openeth the Sea for sailers: in the beginning whereof, the West Winds mitigate the winter weather, at what time as the Sun is in the 25 degree of Aquarius, and that is the sixt day before the Ides of Februarie. And this order holdeth in manner with all other winds, that I will set down one after another: so that in every leap yeere ye anticipate & reckon one day sooner, and then againe keepe the same rule throughout all the foure years following. Some call Favonius (which beginneth to blow about the seventh day before the Calends of March) by the name of Chelidonius, upon the sight of the first swallowes: but many name it Orinthias, comming the 71 day after the shortest day in Winter; by occasion of the comming of birds: which wind bloweth for nine daies. Opposite unto Favonius is the Wind which we called Sub-solanus. Unto this Wind is attributed the rising of the Vergiliæ or seven stars, in as many degrees of Taurus, sixe daies before the Ides of May; which time is a southerly constitution: and to this Wind the North is contrarie. Moreover, in the hotest season of the Summer, the Dog-starre ariseth, at what time as the Sun entreth into the first degree of Leo, which commonly is the fifteenth day before the Calends of August. Before the rising of this Starre for eight daies space or thereabout, the Northeast winds are aloft, which the Greekes call Prodromi, i. forerunners. And two daies after it is risen, the same winds hold still more stiffely, and blow for the space of fortie daies, which they name Etesiæ. The Sunnes heat, redoubled by the hotnesse of that starre, is thought to be assuaged by them: and no winds are more constant, nor keepe their set times better than they. Next after them come the Southerne winds againe, which are usually up, untill the Starre Arcturus riseth, and that is nine daies before the Æquinoctiall in Autumne. With it entereth Corus, and thus Corus beginneth the Autumne. And to this Vulturnius is contrarie. After that equinoctiall, about foure and fortie daies, the Vergiliæ goe down, and begin Winter, which season usually falleth upon the third day before the Ides of November. This is Winter Northeast wind, which is farre unlike to that in summer, opposite and contrarie to Africus. Now, a seven-night before the Mid-winter day, and as much after, the sea is allaied and calme for the sitting and hatching of the birds Halciones, whereupon these daies tooke the name Alcionis: the time behind, plaieth the part of Winter. And yet these boisterous seasons full of tempests, shut not up the sea: for pyrates and rovers at the first forced men with present perill of death, to run headlong upon their death, and to hazard themselves in Winter seas; but now a daies covetousnesse causeth men to doe the like.
The coldest winds of all other, be those which we said to blow from the North pole, and together with them their neighbour, Corus. These winds doe both allay and still all others, and also scatter and drive away clouds. Moist winds are Africus, and especially the South wind of Italie, called Auster: Men report also, that Cæcias in Pontus gathereth and draweth to it selfe clouds. Corus and Vulturnus, are drie, but onely in the end when they give over. The Northeast and the North, engender snow. The North wind also bringeth in haile, so doth Corus. The South wind is exceeding hote and troublous withall. Vulturnus and Favonius bee warme. They also bee drier than the East: and generally all winds from the North and West, are drier than from the South and East. Of all winds the Northerne is most healthfull: the Southerne wind is noisome, and the rather when it is drie; haply, because that when it is moist, it is the colder. During the time that it bloweth, living creatures are thought to bee lesse hungrie. The Etesiæ give over ordinarily in the night, and arise at the third houre of the day. In Spaine and Asia they blow from the East: but in Pontus, from the North: in other quarters, from the South. They blow also after the Mid-winter, when they be called Orinthiæ; but those are more mild, and continue fewer daies. Two there be that change their nature together with their site and place: The South wind in Affricke bringeth faire weather, and the North wind there is cloudie. All winds keepe their course in order for the more part, or els when one ceaseth, the contrarie beginneth. When some are laid, and the next to them doe arise, they goe about from the left hand to the right, according to the Sunne. Of their manner and order monthly, the prime or fourth day after the change of the Moone, doth most commonly determine. The same winds will serve to saile contrarie waies, by meanes of setting out the sailes: so as many times in the night, ships in sailing run one against another. The South wind raiseth greater billowes and more surging waves than the North: for that the South wind ariseth below from the bottome of the sea; the other blustereth aloft, and troubleth the top of the water. And therefore after Southerne winds, earthquakes are most hurtfull. The South wind in the night time is more boisterous, the Northerne wind in the day. The winds blowing from the East, hold and continue longer than those from the West. The Northren winds give over commonly with an odde number: which observation serveth to good use in many other parts of naturall things, and therefore the male winds are judged by the odde number. The Sun both raiseth and also laieth the winds. At rising and setting he causeth them to be aloft: at noone-tide, he represseth and keepeth them under, in Summer time. And therefore at mid-day or mid-night commonly the winds are downe and lie still, for both cold and heat if they be immoderate, doe spend and consume them. Also raine doth lay the winds: and most commonly from thence they are looked for to blow, where clouds breake and open the skie to be seene. And verily Eudoxus is of opinion (if wee list to observe the least revolutions) that after the end of every fourth yeere not onely all winds, but other tempests and constitutions also of the weather, returne again to the same course as before. And alwaies the Lustrum or computation of the five yeers, beginneth at the leape year, when the Dog star doth arise. And thus much concerning general winds.
Of suddaine blasts.
NOW will we speake of suddaine blasts: which being risen (as hath beene said before) by exhalations of the earth, and cast downe againe; in the meane while appeare of many fashions, enclosed within a thin course of clouds newly overcast. For such as be unconstant, wandering, and rushing in manner of land flouds (as some men were of opinion, as wee have shewed) bring forth thunder and lightening. But if they come with a greater force, sway, and violence, and withal burst and cleave a drie cloud asunder al abroad, they breed a storm, which of the Greekes is called Ecnephias: but if the clift or breach bee not great, so that the wind be constrained to turn round, to rol and whirle in his discent, without fire, that is to say lightning, it makes a whirlepuffe or ghust called Typhon, that is to say, the storm Ecnephias aforesaid, sent out with a winding violence. This takes with it a peece broken out of a congealed cold cloud, turning winding, and rolling it round, and with that weight maketh the owne fall more heavie, and changeth from place to place with a vehement and suddaine whirling. The greatest danger and mischeefe that poore sailers have at sea, breaking not onely their crosse saile-yards, but also writhing and bursting in peeces the very ships: and yet a smal matter is the remedie for it, namely, the casting of vinegre out against it as it commeth, which is of nature most cold. The same storme beating upon a thing, is it selfe smitten backe againe with a violence, and snatcheth up whatsoever it meeteth in the way aloft into the skie, carrying it backe, and swallowing it up on high. But if it breake out from a greater hole of the said cloud, by it so borne downe, and yet not altogether so broad, as the abovenamed storme Procella doth, not without a cracke; they call this boisterous wind Turbo, casting downe and overthrowing all that is next it. The same, if it be more hote and catching a fire as it rageth, is named Prester; burning, and withall laying along, whatsoever it toucheth and encountreth.
Other enormious kinds of Tempests.
NO Typhon commeth from the North, ne yet any Ecnephias with Snow, or while Snow lieth on the ground. This tempestuous wind, if when it brake the cloud burned light withall, having fire of the owne before, and catched it not afterward, it is verie lightning; and differeth from Prester, as the flame from a cole of fire. Againe, Prester spreadeth broad with a flash and blast; the other gathereth round with forcible violence. Typhon moreover or Vortex, differeth from Turben in flying backe: and as much as a crash from a cracke. The storme Procella from them both, in breadth: and to speake more truly, rather scattereth than breaketh the cloud. There riseth also upon the Sea, a darke mist, resembling a monstrous beast; and this is ever a terrible cloud to the sailers. Another likewise called a Columne or Pillar, when the humour and water ingendred, is so thicke and stiffe congealed, that it standeth compact of it selfe. Of the same sort also is that cloud which draweth water to it, as it were a long pipe.
In what Lands lightnings fall not.
IN Winter and Summer seldome are there any lightnings, and that is long of contrarie causes: because in winter the aire is driven close togither, and thickened with a deeper course of clouds: besides, all the exhalations breathing and rising out of the earth being starke, congealed, and frozen hard, doe extinguish cleane what fierie vapour soever otherwise they receive: which is the reason that Scythia and other cold frozen quarters thereabout, are free from lightnings. And Ægypt likewise upon the contrarie cause, and exempt from lightnings; namely, exceeding heat: for the hote and drie exhalations of the earth, gather into very slender, thin, and weake clouds. But in the Spring, and Autumne, lightnings are more rife; because in both those seasons, the causes as well of Summer as Winter, are confused and corrupt. And this is the reason also, that lightnings are common in our Italie; for that the aire being more moveable and wavering, by reason of a kinder Winter and a cloudie Summer, is alwaies of the temperature of Spring or Autumne. In those parts also of Italie which lie off from the North, and encline to warmth, (as namely in the tract about Rome and Campania) it lighteneth in Winter and Summer alike, which happeneth in no other part thereof.
Sundry sorts of Lightnings, and Wonders thereof.
VERIE many kinds of Lightnings are set downe by Authours. Those that come drie, burne not at all, but only dissipate and dispearse. They that come moist, burne not neither, but blast things, and make them looke duskish. Now a third kind there is, which they call Bright and Cleare, and that is of a most straunge and wonderfull nature; whereby tunnes and such like vessels are drawne drie, and their sides, hoopes, and heads, never toucht therewith or hurt, nor any other shewe and token thereof is left behind: Gold, copper, and silver money is melted in the bagges, and yet the verie bagges no whit scortched, no nor the waxe of the seale hurt and defaced, or put out of order. Martia a noble Ladie of Rome being great with child, was strucke with lightning: the child shee went withall was killed within her, and shee without any harme at all lived still. Among the Catiline prodigies it is found upon record, that M. Herennius (a Counsellor and States-man of the incorporate towne Pompeianum) was in a faire and cleare day smitten with lightning.
Of observations as touching Lightning.
THE auncient Tuscanes by their learning doe hold, that there be nine gods that send forth Lightnings, and those of eleven sorts: for Iupiter (say they) casteth three at once. The Romanes have observed two of them, and no more; attributing those in the day time to Iupiter: and them in the night, to Summanus or Pluto. And these verily be more rare, for the cause afore-named; namely, the coldnesse of the aire above. In Hetruria, they suppose that lightnings breake also out of the earth, which they call Infera, i. Infernall; and such be made in mid-winter. And these they take to be terrene and earthly, and of all most mischievous and execrable: neither be those generall and universall lightnings, nor proceeding from the starres, but from a verie neare and more troubled cause. And this is an evident argument for distinction, that all such as fall from the upper skie above, strike aslant and side-wise: but those which they call earthly, smite straight and directly. But the reason why these are thought to issue forth of the earth is this; because they fall from out of a matter nearer to the earth, for as much as they leave no markes of a stroke behind: which are occasioned by force not from beneath, but comming full against. Such as have searched more subtillie into these matters, are of opinion, that these lightnings come from the Planet Saturne, like as the burning lightning from Mars: And with such lightning was Volsinij (a most wealthie cittie of the Tuscanes) burnt full and whole to ashes. Moreover, the Tuscanes call those lightnings Familiar, which presage the fortune of some race, and are significant during their whole life: and such are they that come first to any man, after he is newly entred into his own patrimonie or familie. Howbeit, their judgement is, that these private lightnings are not of importance and fore-tokening above ten yeeres; unlesse they happen either upon the day of first marriage, or of wedding. As for publicke lightnings, they be not of force above 30 yeeres, except they chaunce at the very time that townes or colonies be erected and planted.
Of raising or calling out Lightnings by coniuration.
IT appeareth upon record in Chronicles, that by certaine sacrifices and prayers, Lightnings may be either compelled or easily entreated to fall upon the earth. There goeth a report of old in Hetruria, that such a lightning was procured by exorcisms and conjurations, when there entred into the cittie Volsinij (after all the territory about it was destroyed) a monster, which they named Volta. Also, that another was raised and conjured by Porsenna their King. Moreover, L. Piso (a writer of good credit) reporteth in his first booke of Annales, that Numa before him practised the same feat many a time and often: and when Tullus Hostilius would have imitated him and done the like (for that he observed not all the ceremonies accordingly) was himselfe strucke and killed with lightning. And for this purpose, sacred groves we have and altars, yea and certaine sacrifices due thereto. And among the Iupiters surnamed Stateres, Tonantes, and Feretrij, we have heard that one also was called Elicius. Sundry and divers are mens opinions as touching this point, and every man according to his owne liking and fansie of his mind. To beleeve that Nature may be forced and commaunded, is a very audacious and bold opinion: but it is as blockish on the other side and senselesse, to make her benefits of no power and effect; considering that in the interpretation of Lightning, men have thus farre forth proceeded in skill and knowledge, as to foretell when they will come at a set and prescript day: and whether they will fordoe and frustrate the daungers pronounced, or rather open other destinies, which lie hidden: and an infinite sort of publicke and privat experiments of both kinds are to be found. And therefore (since it hath so pleased Nature) let some men be resolved herein, and others doubtfull: some may allow thereof, and others condemne the same. As for us, we will not omit the rest which in these matters are worth remembrance.
Generall rules of Lightning.
THAT the Lightning is seene before the thunderclap is heard, although they come indeed joyntly both togither, it is certainly knowne. And no marveile, for the eye is quicker to see light, than the eare to heare a sound. And yet Nature doth so order the number and measure, that the stroke and the sound should accord together. But when there is a noise, it is a signe of the lightning proceeding of some naturall cause, and not sent by some God: and yet evermore this is a breath or wind that commeth before the thunderbolt: and hereupon it is, that every thing is shaken and blasted ere it be smitten: neither is any man strucken, who either saw the lightning before, or heard the thunderclap. Those lightnings that are on the left hand, be supposed to be luckie and prosperous, for that the East is the left side of the world: but the comming therof is not so much regarded as the returne; whether the fire leape back after the stroke given; or whether after the deed done and fire spent, the spirit and blast abovesaid, retire backe againe. In that respect the Tuscanes have devided the Heaven into 16 parts. The first, is from the North to the Sunnes rising in the Equinoctiall line: the second, to the Meridian line, or the South: the third, to the Sunne-setting in the Equinoctiall: and the fourth, taketh up all the rest from the said West to the North starre. These quarters againe they have parted into 4 regions apeece: of which 8 from the Sun-rising, they called the Left; and as many againe from the contrarie part, the Right. Which considered, most dreadfull and terrible are those lightnings, which from the Sunne-setting reach into the North: and therefore it skilleth very much, from whence lightnings come, and whither they goe: the best thing observed in them is, when they returne into the Easterly parts. And therefore, when they come from that first and principall part of the skie, and have recourse againe into the same, it is holden for passing good hap: and such was the signe and token of victories given (by report) to Sylla the Dictatour. In all other parts of the element, they be lesse fortunate or fearfull. They that have written of these matters, have delivered in writing, that there be lightnings, which to utter abroad is held unlawfull; as also to give eare unto them, if they be disclosed, unlesse they be declared either to parents, or to a friend and guest. How great the vanitie is of this observation, was at Rome, upon the blasting of Iunoes temple, found by Scaurus the Consull, who soone after was President of the Senat. It lightneth without thunder, more in the night than day time. Of all creatures that have life and breath, man onely it doth not alwaies kill; the rest, it dispatcheth presently. This priviledge and honour, wee see Nature hath given to him; whereas otherwise so many great beasts surpasse him in strength. All other creatures smitten with lightning, fall downe upon the contrarie side; man onely (unlesse he turne upon the parts stricken) dyeth not. Those that are smitten from above upon the head, stie downe and sinke directly. Hee that is strucken watching, is found dead with his eyes winking and close shut: but whosoever is smitten sleeping, is found open eyed. A man thus comming by his death, may not by law be burned: Religion hath taught, that hee ought to be enterred and buried in the earth. No living creature is set a fire by lightning, but it is breathlesse first. The wounds of them that be smitten with thunderbolts, are colder than all the bodie besides.
What things are not smitten with Lightning.
OF all those things which growe out of the earth, Lightning blasteth not the Laurell tree; nor entreth at any time above five foot deepe into the ground: and therefore, men fearfull of lightning, suppose the deeper caves to be the surest and most safe: or els booths made of skinnes of sea-beasts, which they call Seales, or Sea-calves; for of all creatures in the sea, this alone is not subject to the stroke of lightning: like as of all flying foules the Ægle, (which for this cause is imagined to be the armour-bearer of Iupiter, for this kind of weapon.) In Italie betweene Tarracina and the temple of Feronia, they gave over in time of warre, to make towres and forts; for not one of them escaped, but was overthrowne with lightning.
Of straunge and prodigious raine, to wit, of Milke, Blood, Flesh, Iron, Wooll, Tyles, and Brickes.
BESIDES these things above, in this lower region under Heaven, we find recorded in monuments, that it rained milke and blood, when M. Acilius and C. Porcius were Consuls. And many times els besides it rained flesh, as namely, while L. Volumnius and Serv. Sulpitius were Consuls: and looke what of it the foules of the aire caught not up nor carried away, it never putrified. In like manner, it rained yron in the Lucanes countrey, the yeere before that M. Crassus was slaine by the Parthians, and togither with him all the Lucanes his souldiers, of whome there were many in his armie. That which came downe in this raine, resembled in some sort Sponges: and the Wisards and Soothsayers being sought unto, gave warning to take heed of wounds from above. But in the yeere that L. Paulus and C. Marcellus were Consuls, it rained wooll about the castle Carissa, neare to which a yeare after, T. Annius Milo was slaine. At the time that the same Milo pleaded his owne cause at the barre, there fell a raine of tyles and bricks, as it is to be seene in the records of that yeere.
Of the rustling of Armour and sound of Trumpets heard from Heaven.
IN the time of the Cimbrian warres, we have been told, that Armour was heard to rustle, and the Trumpet to sound out of Heaven. And this happened very often both before and after those warres. But in the third Consulship of Marius, the Amerines and Tudertes saw men in armes in the skie, rushing and running one against another from the East and West; and might behold those of the West discomfited. That the very firmament it selfe should be of a light fire, it is no marvaile at all; for often times it hath been seene, when clouds have caught any greater deale of fire.
Of Stones falling downe from the skie.
AMONG the Greekes there is much talke of Anaxagoras Clazomenius, who by his learning and skill that he had in Astronomie, foretold in the second yeere of the 78 Olympias, what time a stone should fall from out of the Sunne: and the same happened accordingly in the day time, in a part of Thracia neere the river Aegos; which stone is shewed at this day as bigge as a waine load, carrying a burnt and adust colour: at what time as a comet or blazing starre also burned in those nights. Which if any man beleeve that it was fore-signified, must needs also confesse, that this divinitie or fore-telling of Anaxagoras was more miraculous and wonderfull than the thing it selfe: and then farewell the knowledge of Natures workes, and welcome confusion of all, in case we should beleeve that either the Sunne were a stone, or that ever any stone were in it. But, that stones fall often times downe, no man will make any doubt. In the publicke place of Exercise in Abydos, there is one at this day upon the same cause preserved and kept for to be seene, and held in great reverence: It is but of a meane and small quantitie, yet it is that which the selfesame Anaxagoras (by report) fore-signified that it should fall in the mids of the earth. There is one also at Cassandria, which was in old time usually called Potidæa, a colonie from thence deducted. I my selfe have seene another in the territorie of the Vocantians, which was brought thither but a little before.
Of the Rainebow.
THOSE which wee call Rainebowes, are seene often without any wonder at all, or betokening any great matter: for they portend not so much as rainy or faire daies, to trust upon. But manifest it is, that the Sunne beames striking upon an hollow cloud, when their edge is repelled, are beaten backe against the Sunne: and thus ariseth varietie of colours by the mixture of clouds, aire, and fiery light together. Certes, they never are knowne but opposite to the Sunne; nor at any time otherwise than in forme of a Semicircle: ne yet in the night season, although Aristotle saith there was a Rainbow seen by night: howbeit he confesseth, that it could not possibly be but at the full of the moone. Now they happen for the most part in winter, namely, from the Autumne Equinoctiall, as the daies decrease and waxe shorter. But as daies growe longer againe, that is to say, after the Spring Equinoctiall, they be not seen no more than about the summer Sunstead, when daies are at longest. But in Bruma, that is to say, when they be shortest, they chaunce very often. The same appeare aloft, when the Sunne is low; and below, when hee is aloft. Also, they be of narrower compasse, when the Sunne either riseth or setteth, but their body spreadeth broad: and at noone narrower it is and small, yet greater and wider in circumference. In Summer time they be not seene about noon-tide, but after the Autumne Equinoctiall, at all houres; and never more at once than twaine. The rest of the same nature, I see few men doe make any doubt of.
Of Haile, Snow, Frost, Mist, and Dew.
HAILE is engendred of Raine congealed into an Ice: and Snow of the same humour growne togither, but not so hard. As for Frost, it is made of dewe frozen. In winter Snowes fall, and not Haile. It haileth oftner in the day time than in the night, yet haile sooner melteth by farre than snow. Mists be not seene neither in Summer, nor in the cold weather. Dewes shew not either in frost, or in hote seasons; neither when winds be up, but only after a calme and cleere night. Frostes drie up wet and moisture; for when the yce is thawed and melted, the like quantitie of water in proportion is not found.
Of the shapes of Clouds.
SUNDRY colours and divers shapes are seene in clouds, according as the fire intermingled therin, is either more or lesse.
Of the properties of weather in diver places.
MOREOVER, many properties there be of the Weather, peculiar to certaine places: the nights in Africke, be dewie in winter. In Italie, about Locri and the lake Velinus, there is not a day but a Rainbow is seene. At Rhodes and Syrcusæ, the aire is never so dimme and cloudie, but one hour or other the Sunne shineth out. But such things as these shall be related more fitly in due place. Thus much of the Aire.
Of Earth and the nature thereof.
THE Earth followeth next: unto which alone of all parts of the world, for her singular benefites wee have given the reverent and worship full name of Mother. For like as the Heaven is the (mother) of God, even so is she of men. She it is that taketh us when we are comming into the world, nourisheth us when we are new born: and once being come abroad, ever sustaineth & beareth us up: and at the last when we are rejected and forlorne of all the world besides, she embraceth us: then most of all other times, like a kind mother, she covereth us all over in her bosome: by no merit more sacred than by it, wherwith she maketh us holy and sacred; even bearing our tumbes, monuments, and titles, continuing our name, and extending our memorie, thereby to make recompence and weigh against the shortnesse of our age: whose last power wee in our anger wish to be heavie unto our enemie, and yet she is heavie to none, as if we were ignorant that she alone is never angry with any man. Waters ascend up, and turn into clouds, they congeale and harden into haile, swell they doe into waves and billowes, and downe they hasten headlong into brookes and land flouds. The aire is thickened with clouds, and rageth with winds and stormes. But she is bountifull, mild, tender over us and indulgent, readie at all times to attend and wait upon the good of mortall men. See what she breeds being forced! nay, what shee yeeldeth of her owne accord! what odoriferous smels, and pleasant savours! what holesome juices and liquors, what soft things to content our feeling, what lovely colours doth shee give to please our eie, how faithfully and justly doth she repay with usurie that which was lent and credited out unto her! Finally, what store of all things doth shee seed and nourish for our sake! Alas poore wretch, pestiferous and hurtfull creatures, when the vitall breath of the aire was too blame to give them life, shee could not otherwise chuse but receive them. But in that they prooved afterwards bad and venemous, the fault was to bee laid upon the parents that engendred them, and not to bee imputed unto her. For, she entertaineth no more a venemous serpent after it hath stung a man: nay, more than that, she requireth punishment, for them that are slow and negligent of themselves to seeke it. She it is that bringeth forth medicinable hearbes, and evermore is in travaile to be delivered of some thing or other, good for man. Over and besides, it may bee thought and beleeved, that for very pittie of us she ordained and appointed some poisons, that when wee were wearie of our life, cursed famine (most adverse and crosse of all other to the merits of the earth) should not consume and wast us with languishing and pining consumption, and so procure our death; that high and steepe rocks should not dash and crush our bodies in peeces; nor the overthwart and preposterous punishment by the halter, wreath our neckes, and stop that vitall breath, which we seeke to let out and be rid of: last of all, that we might not worke our owne death in the deepe sea, and being drowned, feed fishes, and be buried in their bellies, ne yet the edge and point of the sword cut and pierce our bodie, and so put us to dolourous paine. So that it is no doubt, but in a pittifull regard and compassion of us, she hath engendred that poyson, by one gentle draught whereof, going most easily downe, wee might forgoe our life, and die without any hurt and skin broken of our bodie, yea, and diminish not one drop of bloud: without greevous paine, I say, and like onely to them who be athirst: that being in that manner dead, neither foule of the aire, nor wild beast prey upon or touch our bodies, but that he should be reserved for the earth, who perished by himselfe and for himselfe: and, to confesse and say the troth, the earth hath bred the remedie of all miseries, howsoever we have made it a venome and poison to our life. For after the like sort we employ yron and steele, which wee cannot possibly bee without. And yet we should not doe well and justly to complaine, in case she had brought it forth for to doe hurt and mischeefe. Now surely to this onely part of Nature and the world, wee are unthankfull, as though shee served not mans turne for all dainties; not for contumelie and reproch to be misused. Cast shee is into the sea, or els to let in peeres frithes, eaten away with water. With yron tooles, with wood, fire, stone, burdens of corn tormented she is every houre: and all this much more to content our pleasures and wanton delights than to serve us with naturall food and necessarie nourishment. And yet, these misusages which shee abideth above, and in her outward skin, may seeme in some sort tollerable. But wee, not satisfied therewith, peirce deeper and enter into her very bowels, wee search into the vaines of gold and silver, wee mine and dig for copper and lead mettals. And for to seeke out gemmes and some little stones, we sinke pits deep within the ground. Thus wee plucke the very heart-strings out of her, and all to weare on our finger one gemme or pretious stone, to fulfill our pleasure and desire. How many hands are worne with digging and delving, that one joint of our finger might shine againe. Surely, if there were any devils or infernal spirits beneath, ere this time verily these mines (for to seed covetousness and roiot) would have brought them u above ground. Marvaile we then, if she hath brought forht some things hurtfull and noisome? But savage beasts (I well thinke) ward and save her, they keep sacrilegious hands from doing her injurie. Nay ywis it is nothing so. Dig wee not amongst dragons and serpents? and together with veines of gold, handle we not the roots of poisoned and venomous hearbes? Howbeit, this goddesse wee find the better appaied and lesse discontented for all this misusage, for that the end and issue of all this wealth, tendeth to wickednesse, to murder and warres, and her whome wee drench with our bloud, wee cover also with unburied bones. Which neverthelesse, as if shee did reproove and reproch us for this rage and furie of ours, shee her selfe covereth in the end, and hideth close even the wicked parts of mortall men. Among other imputations of an unthankfull mind, I may well count this also, That wee bee ignorant of her nature.
Of the forme of the earth.
THE first and principall thing that offereth it selfe to bee considered, is her figure, in which by a generall consent we doe all agree. For surely wee speake and say nothing more commonly, than the round ball of the earth; and confesse that it is a globe enclosed within two poles. But yet the forme is not of a perfect and absolute roundle, considering so great heigth of hils, & such plains of downs: howbeit, if the compasse therof might be taken by lines, the ends of those lines would meet just in circuit, and prove the figure of a just circle. And this the very consideration of naturall reason doth force and convince, although there were not those causes which we alleadged about the heaven. For in it the hollow bending convexitie boweth and beareth upon it selfe, and every way resteth upon the centre thereof, which is that of the earth. But this, being solid and close compact, ariseth still like as if it swelled, stretching and growing without forth. The heaven bendeth and inclineth toward the centre, but the earth goeth from the centre, whiles the world with continuall volubilitie and turning about it, driveth the huge and excessive globe thereof into the forme of a round ball.
Of the Antipodes, whether there be any such. Also of the roundnesse of water.
MUCH adoe there is here, and great debate betweene learned men; and contrariwise those of the leaud and ignorant multitude: for they hold, that men are overspread on all parts upon the earth, and stand one against another, foot to foot: also that the Zenith or point of the Heaven is even and alike unto all: and in what part soever men be, they go still and tread after the same manner in the middes. But the common sort, aske the question and demaund, How it happeneth that they opposite just against us, fall not into Heaven? as if there were not a reason also readie, That the Antipodes againe should marvaile why we fell not downe? Now there is reason that commeth betweene, carrying a probabilitie with it even to the multitude, were it never so blockish and unapt to learne; That in an uneven and unequall Globe of the Earth, with many ascents and degrees, as if the figure thereof resembled a Pine apple, yet neverthelesse it may be well enough inhabited all over in every place. But what good doth all this, when another wonder as great as it ariseth? namely, That it selfe hangeth, and yet falleth not togither with us: as if the power of that Spirit especially which is enclosed in the World, were doubted: or that anything could fall, especially when Nature is repugnant thereto, and affordeth no place whither to fall: for like as there is no seat of Fire, but in fire; of Water, but in water; of Aire and Spirit, but in aire; even so, there is no roome for Earth but in earth, seeing all the Elements besides, are readie to put it backe from them. Howbeit, wonderfull it remaineth still, How it should become a Globe, considering so great flatnesse of Plaines and Seas? Of which doubtfull opinion, Dicearchus (a right learned man as any other) is a favourer; who, to satisfie the curious endeavours of Kings and Princes, had a charge and commission to levell and take measure of mountaines: of which he said, that Pelion the highest, was a mile and a halfe high by the plumb rule; and collected thereby, that it was nothing at all to speake of , in comparison of the uniersall rotunditie of the whole. But surely in my conceit, this was but an uncerteine guesse of his; since that I am not ignorant, that certaine tops of the Alpes, for a long tract together, arise not under fitie miles in height.
But this is it that troubleth the vulgar sort most of all, if they should be forced to beleeve, that the forme of water also, gathered round in the top. And yet there is nothing in the whole world more evident to the sight, for the drops every where not onely as they hang, appeare like little round bals, but also if they light upon dust, or rest upon the hairie downe of leaves, we marke to keepe a perfect and exquisite roundnesse. Also in cups that are filled brim full, the middle part in the top swell most. Which things, considering the thinnesse of the humour, and the softnesse thereof setling flat upon it selfe, are sooner found out by reason than the eie. Nay, this is a thing more wonderfull, that when cups are filled to the full, put never so little more liquor thereto, the overplus will run over all about: but contrariwise it falleth out, if you put in any solide weights, yea, and it were to the weight of twentie deniers or French crownes in a cup. Forsooth the reason is this, that things received within forth, lift up the liquour aloft to the top, but poured upon the tumour that beareth aloft above the edges, must needs glide off and run by. The same is the reason why the land cannot be seene by them that stand upon the hatches of the ship, but verie plainly at the same time from the top of the mastes. Also as a ship goeth afarre off from the land, if any thing that shineth and giveth light bee fastened to the top-gallant, it seemeth from the land side to goe downe and sinke into the sea by little and little, untill at last it bee hidden cleane. Last of all, the very Ocean, which we confesse to bee the utmost and farthest bound environing the whole globe, by what other figure els could it hold together and not fall downe, since there is no banke beyond it to keepe it in? And even this also commeth about to bee as great a wonder, how it commeth to passe, although the sea grow to be round, that the utmost edge therof falleth not downe? Against which, if that the seas were even, flat, and plaine, and of that forme as they seeme to be, the Greeke Philosophers to their owne great joy and glorie doe conclude: & prove by Geometricall subtile demonstration, that it cannot possibly be that the water should fall. For seeing that waters run naturally from aloft to the lower parts, and that all men confesse, that this is their nature, and no man doubteth that the water of the sea, came ever in any shore so farre as the devexitie would have suffered: doubtlesse it appeareth, that the lower a thing is, the neerer it is to the centre; and that all the lines which from thence are sent out to the next waters, are shorter than those which from the first waters reach to the utmost extremity of the sea. Hereupon the whole water, from every part thereof, bendeth to the centre, and therefore falleth not away, because it inclineth naturally to the inner parts. And this we must beleeve, that Nature the workemaistris framed and ordained so, to the end that the earth, which being drie, could not by it selfe alone without some moisture, keepe any consistence; and the water likewise could not abide and stay, unless the earth upheld it: in which regard they were mutually to embrace one another, and so be united, whiles the one opened all the creekes and noukes, and the other ran wholly into the other, by the meanes of secret veines within, without and above, like ligaments to clasp it, yea, & so break out at the upmost tops of the hils: whether being partly carried by a spirit, and partly expressed forth by the ponderositie of the earth, it mounteth as it were in pipes: and so far is it off from danger of falling away, that it leapeth up to the highest and loftiest things that bee. By which reason it is evident also, why the seas swell not and grow, notwithstanding so many rivers daily run into them.
How the water is united and knit to the earth.
THE earth therefore in his whole globe is in the middest thereof, hemmed in with the sea, running round about it. And this needeth not to be sought out by reason & argument, for it is knowne alreadie by good proofe and experience.
Navigation upon the sea and great rivers.
FROM Gades and Hercules pillars, the West sea is at this day navigable, and sailed all over, even the whole compasse of Spaine and France. But the North Ocean was for the most part discovered, under the conduct of Augustus Cæsar of famous memorie, who with a fleet compassed all Germanie, and brought it about as farre as to the cape of the Cimbrians: and so from thence having kenned and viewed the vast & wide sea, or els taken knowledge therof by report, he passed to the Scythian climate and those cold coasts, frozen & abounding with too much moisture. For which cause there is no likelyhood, that in those parts the seas are at an end, whereas there is such excessive wet that all stands with water. And neer unto it from the East, out of the Indian sea, that whole part under the same clime of the world which bendeth toward the Caspian sea, was sailed throughout by the Macedonian armies, when Seleucus & Antiochus reigned, who would needs have it so, that Seleucus & Antiochus should beare their names. About the Caspian sea also many coasts and shores of the Ocean have been discovered, and by peecemeale, rather than all whole at once, the North of one side or other, hath been sailed or rowed over. But yet to put all out of conjecture, there is a great argument collected by the Meere Mæotis, whether it bee a gulfe and arme of that Ocean (as I perceive many have beleeved) or an overflowing of the same, and devided from it by a narrow peece of the continent. In another side of Gades from the same, West, a great part of the south or Meridian goulfe, round about Mauritania is at this day sailed. And the greater part verily of it, like as of the East also, the victories of great Alexander viewed and compassed on everie side, even as farre as to the Arabian goulfe. Wherein, when Caius Cæsar, the sonne of Augustus, warred in those parts, the markes and tokens, by report, were seen remaining after the Spaniards shipwracke. Hanno likewise, in the time that Carthage flourished in puissance, sailed round about from Gades to the utmost bounds and lands-end of Arabia, and set downe that navigation and voiage of his in writing: like as also Himilco, at the same time was sent out in a voiage to discover the utter coasts of Europe. Moreover, Cornelius Nepos writeth, that in his time one Eudoxus (a great sailer) at what time as hee fled from king Lathyrus, departed out of the Arabian gulfe, and held on his course as farre as Gades. Yea, and Cœlius Antipater long before him, reporteth, That he saw the man who had sailed out of Spaine into Æthiopia for trafficke of merchandise. The same Nepos maketh report as touching the compassing about of the North, that unto Qu. Metellus Celer (Colleague to C. Afranius in the Consulship, but at that time Proconsull in Gaule) certaine Indians were given by a king of the Suevians, who as they sailed out of India for trafficke, as merchants, were driven by tempest, and cast upon Germanie. Thus the seas flowing on every side about this globe of the earth, divided and cut into parcels, bereave us of a part of the world: so as neither from thence hether, nor from hence thither, there is a thorow fair and passage. The contemplation wherof, serving fit to discover and open the vanitie of men, seemeth to require and challenge of me, that I should project to the view of the eie, how great all this is whatsoever it bee, and wherein there is nothing sufficient to satisfie and content the several appetite of each man.
What portion of the earth is habitable.
NOW first and formost me thinkes, men make this reckoning of the earth, as if it were the just halfe of the globe, and that no portion of it were cut off by the Ocean: which notwithstanding, clasping round about all the middest thereof, yeelding forth and receiving againe all other waters besides, and what exhalations soever that go out for clouds, and feeding withall the very starres, so many as they be, and of so great bignesse; what a mightie space thinke you, wil it be thought to take up and inhabite, and how little can there be left for men to inhabite? Surely the possession of so vast and huge a deale, must needs bee exceeding great and infinite. What say you then to this, That of the earth which is left, the heaven hath taken away the more part? For whereas there bee of the heaven five parts, which they call Zones: all that lieth under the two utmost, to wit, on both sides about the poles, namely, this here which is called Septentrio, i. the North, and the other overagainst it, named the South, it is overcharged with extreme and rigorous cold, yea, and with perpetuall frost and yce. In both Zones, it is alwaies dim and darke, and by reason that the aspect of the more mild and pleasant planets is diverted cleane from thence, the light that is, sheweth little or nothing, & appeareth white, with the frost onely. Now, the middle of the earth, wheras the Sunne hath his way, and keepeth his course, scorched and burnt with flames, is even parched and fried againe, with the hote gleames thereof, being so neer. Those two onely on either side about it, namely, betweene this burnt Zone and the two frozen, are temperate: and even those have not accesse and passage the one to the other, by reason of the burning heat of the said planet. Thus you see, that the heaven hath taken from the earth three parts: and what the Ocean hath plucked from it besides, no man knoweth. And even that one portion remaining unto us, I wot not whether it be not in greater danger also. For, the same Ocean entring (as we will shew) into many armes and creekes, keepeth a roaring against the other gulfes and seas within the earth, & so neer commeth unto them, that the Arabian gulfe is not from the Ægyptian sea above 115 miles: the Caspian likewise from the Pontick but 375. Yea, and the same floweth betweene, and entreth into so many armes, as that thereby it devideth Affricke, Europe, and Asia asunder. Now, what a quantitie of the land it taketh up, may be collected and reckoned at this day by the measure and proportion of so many rivers, and so greate Meres. Adde thereto both lakes and pooles: and withall take from the earth the high mountaines, bearing up their heads aloft into the skie, so as hardly the eie can reach their heigths: the woods besides, and steep discents of the vallies, the wildernesses, and wast wilds left desert upon a thousand causes. These so many peeces of the earth, or rather as most have written, this little pricke of the world (for surely the earth is nothing els in comparison of the whole) is the onely matter of our glorie. This, I say, is the very seat thereof: here wee seeke for honours and dignities, here wee exercise our rule and authoritie: here we covet wealth and richesse: here all mankind is set upon stirres and troubles: here wee raise civile warres still one after another: and with mutuall massacres and murders wee make more roume in the earth. And to let passe the publick furious rages of nations abroad, this is it, wherein we chase and drive out our neighbour borderers, and by stealth dig turfe from our neighbours soile to put it unto our owne: and when a man hath extended his lands, and gotten whole countries to himselfe farre and neere, what a goodly deale of the earth enjoieth hee? and say that hee set out his bounds to the full measure of his covetous desire, what a great portion thereof shall he hold when he is once dead, and his head laid.
That the earth is the middest of the world.
THAT the earth is in the middest of the whole world, it appeareth by manifest and undoubted reasons: but most evidently, by the equall houres of the equinoctiall. For, unlesse it were in the middest, the Astrolabe and instruments called Diophæ, have proved, that nights and daies could not possibly bee found equall: and those abovesaid instruments above all other, confirm the same: seeing that in the equinoctiall by one and the same line both rising and setting of the Sun are seene, but the Summer Sunne rising, and the Winter setting, by their owne severall lines. Which could by no meanes happen, but that the earth resteth in the Centre.
Of the unequall rising of the Starres: of the Eclipse, both where and how it commeth.
NOW three Circles there be enfolded within the Zones afore-named, which distinguish the inequalities of the daies: namely, the Summer Solstitiall Tropicke, from the highest part of the Zodiacke in regard of us, toward the North clime. And against it, another called the Winter Tropicke, toward the other Southerne Pole: and in like manner the Equinoctiall, which goeth in the mids of the Zodiacke circle. The cause of the rest, which we wonder at, is in the figure of the very earth, which together with the water, is by the same arguments knowne to be like a Globe: for so doubtlesse it commeth to passe, that with us the stars about the North pole, never go down; and those contrariwise of the Meridian, never rise. And again, these here be not seen of them, by reason that the globe of the earth swelleth up in the mids between. Again, Trogloditine and Ægypt, confining next upon it, never set eie upon the North pole stars: neither hath Italie a sight of Canopus, or that which they name Berenices haire. Likewise another, which under the Empire of Augustus, men surnamed Cæsaris Thronon: and yet they be starres there, of speciall marke. And so evidently bendeth the top of the earth in the rising, that Canopus at Alexandria seemeth to the beholders, elevate above the earth almost one fourth part of a signe: but if a man looke from Rhodes, the same appeareth after a sort, to touch the very Horizon: and in Pontus, where the elevation of the North pole is highest, not seene at all: yea, and this same Pole at Rhodes is hidden, but more in Alexandria. In Arabia, all hid it is at the first watch of the night in November; but at the second, it sheweth. In Meroe, at Mid-summer in the evening, it appeareth for a while: but some fewe daies before the rising of Arcturus, seene it is with the very dawning of the day. Saylers by their voyages, find out and come to the knowledge of these starres most of any other, by reason that some seas are opposite unto some starres; but other lie flat and encline forward to other: for that also, those pole starres appeare sodainly, and rising out of the sea, which lay hidden before under the winding compasse, as it were of a ball. For the heaven riseth not aloft in this higher pole, as some men have given out: else should these stars be seene in every place: but those that unto the next Sailers are supposed to be higher, the verie same seeme to them afarre off drowned in the sea. And like as this North pole seemeth to be aloft unto those that are situate directly under it; so to them that be gone so farre as the other devexitie or fall of the earth, those abovesaid stars rise up aloft there, whiles they decline downward which here were mounted on high. Which thing could not possibly fal out but in the figure of a ball. And hereupon it is, that the inhabitants of the East perceive not the eclipses of Sunne and Moone in the evening, no more than those that dwell West, in the morning: but those that be at noone in the South, they see verie often. At what time as Alexander the Great wan that famous victorie at Arbela, the moone (by report) was eclipsed at the second houre of the night: but at the very same time in Sicilie, she arose. The eclipse of the Sunne, which chanced before the Kalends of Maij, when as Vipsanus and Fonteius were Consuls, (and that was not many yeeres past) was seene in Campania betweene the 7 and 8 houres of the day: but Corbulo (a generall Commaunder then in Armenia) made report, that it was seene there betweene the tenth and eleventh houres of the same day: by reason that the compasse of the globe discovereth and hideth some things to some, and other to others. But, and if the earth were plaine and levell, all things should appeare at once to all men; for neither should one night be longer than another; ne yet should the day of 12 houres appeare even and equall to any, but to those that are seated in the mids of the earth, which now in all parts agree and accord together alike.
What is the reason of the day light upon earth.
AND hence it commeth, that it is neither night nor day at one time in all parts of the world; by reason that the opposition of the globe bringeth night, and the round compasse and circuit thereof, discovereth the day. This is knowne by many experiments. In Affricke and Spaine, there were raised by Annibal, high watch towres: and in Asia for the same feare of rovers and pyrats, the like helpe of beacons was erected. Wherein it was observed often times, that the fires giving warning afore-hand (which were set a burning at the sixt houre of the day) were descried by them that were farthest off in Asia, at the third houre of the night. Philonides, the courrier or Post of the same Alexander above-named, dispatched in nine houres of the day a 1200 stadia, even as farre as from Sicyone to Elis: and from thence againe (albeit he went down hill all the way) he returned oftentimes, but not before the third hour of the night. The cause was, for that he had the Sunne with him in his first setting out to Elis; and in his returne back to Sicyone, he went full against it, met with it, and ere he came home over-passed it, and left it in the West behind, going from him. Which is the reason also, that they who by day-light saile Westward in the shortest day of the yeere, rid more way was than those who saile all the night long at the same time, for that the other doe accompanie the Sunne.
The Gnomonicke Art of the same matter: as also of the first Diall.
ALSO the Instruments serving for the houres, as Quadrants and Dials, will not serve for all places: but in every 300 stadia, or 500 at the farthest, the shadowes that the Sunne casteth, doe chaunge: and therefore the shadow of the Style in the Dyall, which they call the Gnomon, in Ægypt, at noone-tide, in the Equinoctiall day, is little more in length than halfe the Gnomon. But in the cittie of Rome, the shadowe wanteth the ninth part of the Gnomon. In the towne Ancona, it is longer than it a 35 part. But in that part of Italie which is called Venice, at the same time and houre, the shadow and the Gnomon be all one.
Where and when there be no shadowes at all.
In like manner they say, that in the towne Syene (which is above Alexandria 50 stadia) at noone-tide in the middes of Summer there is no shadow at all: and for farther experiment therof, let a pit be sunke in the ground, and it will be light all over in every corner: whereby it appeareth, that the sunne then is just and directly over that place, as the very Zenith thereof. Which also at the same time happeneth in India, above the river Hypasis, as Onesicratus hath set downe in writing. Yea and it is for certaine knowne, that in Berenice, a citie of the Troglodites, and from thence 4820 stadia in the same country, at the towne of Ptolemais (which was built at the first upon the very banke of the Red-sea, for the pleasure of chasing and hunting of Elephants) the selfesame is to be seene 45 daies before the Summer Sunstead, and as long after: and that for 90 daies space, all shadowes are cast into the South. Againe, in the Iland Meroe, which is the capitall place of the Æthiopian nation, and is inhabited 5000 stadia from Syene upon the river Nilus, twice in the yeere the shadowes are gone, and none at all seene: to wit, when the sunne is in the 18 degree of Taurus, and in the 14 of Leo. In the countrey of the Oretes within India, there is a mountaine named Maleus, neere unto which the shadowes in Summer are cast into the South, and in winter to the North. There, for 15 nights and no more, is the starre Charles-waine neere the pole to be seene. In the same India, at Patales (a most famous and frequented port) the Sunne ariseth on the right hand, and all shadowes fall to the South. Whiles Alexander made abode there, Onesicritus a captaine of his, wrote that it was observed there, That the North starre was seene the first part only of the night: also in what places of India there were no shadowes, there the North starre appeared not: and that those quarters were called ††Ascis, neither kept they any reckoning of houres there.
Where twise in the yeere, the shadowes goe contrarie waies.
BUT throughout all Trogliditine, Cratosthesnes hath written, that the shadowes two times a yeere for 45 daies, fall contrary waies.
Where the day is longest, and where shortest.
IT commeth thus to passe, that by the variable increment of the day-light, the longest day in Meroe doth comprehend 12 Equinoctiall houres, and eight parts of one houre above: but in Alexandria 14 houres, in Italie 15, in Britaine 17: where, in Summer time the nights being light and short, by infallible experience shew that which reason forceth to beleeve: namely, that at Midsummer time as the Sunne approcheth neere to the pole of the world, the places of the earth lying underneath, hath day continually for six moneths: and contrariwise night, when the Sunne is remote as farre as Bruma. The which, Pythias of Massiles hath written of Thule, an Island distant Northward from Brittaine sixe daies sailing: yea, and some affirm the same of Mona, which is an Island distant from Camalodunum, a towne of Brittaine, about two hundred miles.
Of Dials and Quadrants.
THIS cunning of shadowes and skill named Gnonomice, Anaximenes the Milesian, the disciple of Anaximander abovenamed, invented: and he was the first also that shewed in Lacedæmon the Horologe or Diall, which they call Sciotericon.
How the daies are observed.
THE very day it selfe men have after diverse manners observed. The Babylonians count for day all the time betweene two sunne risings. The Athenians, betweene the settings. The Umbrians from noone to noone. But all the common sort every where, from daylight untill it be darke. The Romane Priests, and those that have defined and set out a civile day, likewise the Ægyptians and Hipparchus, from midnight to midnight. That the spaces betweene lights, are greater or lesse betwixt Sunne risings, neer the Sunne-steeds, than the equinoctials, it appeareth by this, that the position of the Zodiake about the middle parts thereof, is more oblique and crooked, but toward the Sunne-steed more streight and direct.
The reason of the varietie and difference of sundrie countries and nations.
HEREUNTO we must annex and join such things as are linked to cœlestiall causes. For doubtlesse it is, that the Æthyopians by reason of the Sunnes vicinitie, are scorched and tanned with the heat thereof, like to them that be adust and burnt, having their beards and bush of haire curled. Also, that in the contrarie clime of the world to it, in the frozen and icie regions, the people have white skins, haire growing long downeward, & yellow; but they be fierce & cruell by reason of the rigorous cold aire: howbeit, the one as wel as the other in this change and mutabilitie, are dull and grosse: and the very legs doe argue the temperature. For in the Æthyopians the juice or bloud is drawne upward again by the nature of heat: but among the nations Septentrionall, the same is driven to the inferiour parts, by reason of moisture apt to fall downeward. Here there breed noisome and hurtfull wild beasts: but there, bee engendred creatures of sundrie and divers shapes, especially foules and birds of many formes and figures. Tall they are of bodily stature, as well in one part as the other: in the hote regions, by occasion of the naturall motion of fire; in the other, for the nourishment by moisture. But in the middest of the earth, there is an holesome mixture from both sides: the whole tract is fertile and fruitfull for all things, the habite of mens bodies of a meane and indifferent constitution. In the colour also there sheweth a great temperature. The fashions and manners of the people are civile and gentle, their sences cleare and lightsome, their wits pregnant and capable of all things within the compasse of Nature. They also beare soveraigne rule, and sway Empires and Monarchies, which those uttermost nations never had: yet true it is, that even they who are out of the temperate Zones, may not abide to bee subject nor accommodate themselves unto these: for such is their savage and brutish nature that it urgeth them to live solitarie by themselves.
THE Babylonians were of this opinion, that earthquakes and gaping chinkes, and all other accidents of that nature, are occasioned by the power and influence of the Planets: but of those three onely, to which they attribute lightenings. And by this means, namely, as they keepe their course with the Sunne, or meet with him; and especially when this concurrence is about the quadratures of the heaven. And surely if it be true that is reported of Anaximander the Milesian naturall Philosopher, his prescience annd foreknowledge of things, was excellent & worthie of immortalitie: who, as they say, fore-warned the Lacedæmonians to looke well into their citie and dwelling houses, for that there was an earthquake toward: which fell out accordingly: when not onely their whole citie was shaken, overthrowne, and fell downe, but also a great part of the mountaine Taygetus, which bare out like to the poupe of a ship, broken as it were from the rest, came downe too, and with the fall, covered all over the foresaid ruins. There is reported another shrewd guess of Pherecydes, who was Pythagoras his maister, and the same likewise divine and propheticall: hee by drawing water out of a pit, both foresaw and also foretold an earthquake there. Which if they be true, how farre off, I pray you, may such men seeme to bee from God, even whiles they live here upon earth? But as for these things verily, I leave it free for every man to weigh and deeme of them according to their owne judgement: and for mine owne part I suppose that without all doubt the winds are the cause thereof. For never beginneth the earth to quake, but when the sea is still; and the weather so calme withall, that the birds in their flying cannot hover and hang in the aire, by reason that al the spirit and wind which should beare them up, is withdrawne from them: ne yet at any time, but after the winds are laid, namely, when the blast is pent and hidden within the veines and hollow caves of the earth. Neither is this shaking in the earth any other thing, than is thunder in the cloud: nor the gaping chinke thereof ought els, but like the clift whereout the lightening breaketh, when the spirit enclosed within, struggleth and stirreth to goe forth at libertie.
Of the gaping chinkes of the earth.
AFTER many and sundrie sorts the earth therefore is shaken, and thereupon ensue wondrous effects. In one place the walls of cities are laid along: in another they be swallowed up in a deepe and wide chaune: here are cast up mightie heapes of earth; there, are let out rivers of water; yea, and sometimes fire doth breath forth, and hote springs issue abroad: and in another place the course and channell of rivers is turned clean away, and forced backward. There goeth before and commeth with it a terrible noise: one while a rumbling more like the loowing and bellowing of beasts: otherwhile it resembleth a mans voice, or els the clattering and rustling of armour and weapons, beating one upon another, according to the qualitie of the matter that catcheth and receiveth the noise, or the fashion either of the hollow cranes within, or the cranie by which it passeth, whiles in a narrow way it taken on with a more slender and whistling noise: and the same keepeth an hoarse din in winding and crooked caves; rebounding again in hard passages; roaring in moist places; waving and floting in standing waters; boiling and chafing against solide things. And therfore oftentimes a noise is heard without any earthquake: and never at any time shaketh it simply after one and the same manner, but trembleth and waggeth to and fro. As for the gaping chinke, sometimes it remaineth wide open, and sheweth what it hath swallowed up: otherwhiles it closeth up the mouth, and hideth all: and the earth is brought together so againe, as there remaine no markes and tokens to be seene: notwithstanding many a time it hath devoured cities, and drawne into it a whole tract of ground and fields. Sea coasts and maritime regions most of all other, feele earthquake: neither are the hillie countries without this calamitie. For, I my selfe have knowne for certaine, that the Alpes and Apenine have oftentimes trembled. In the Autumne also & Spring there happen more earthquakes than at other times, like as lightenings. And hereof it is, that Fraunce and Ægypt least of all other, bee shaken: for that in Ægypt the continuall summer, and in Fraunce the hard winter, is against it. In like maner earthquakes are more rife in the night than in day time. But the greatest of all others use to be in the morning and evening. Toward day light there bee many: and if by day, it is usually about noone. They fortune also to be when the Sunne and Moone are eclipsed, because in those times all tempests are asleepe and laid to rest. But especially, when after much raine there followeth a great time of heat; or after heat, store of raine.
Signes of earthquake comming.
SAILERS also have a certaine fore-knowledge thereof, and guesse not doubtfully at it: namely, when the waves swell suddainely without any gale of wind, or when they in the ship are shocked with billowes shaking under them. And then are the things seene to quake which stand within the ships, as well as those in houses, and with a rustling noise give warning beforehand. The foules likewise of the aire sit not quietly without feare. In the skie also there is a signe thereof: for when there will bee an earthquake, there goeth before, either in day time, or soone after the Sunne is gone downe, a thin streake or line, as it were, of a cloud lying out in a great length. Moreover, the water in wels and pits is more thicke and troubled than ordinarie, and not without a stinking sent.
Remedies or helpes against earthquakes toward.
BUT a remedie there is for the same, such as vaults and holes in many places do yeeld: for they vent out and breath forth the wind that was conceived there before: a thing observed in certaine townes, which by reason they stand hollow, and have many sinkes and vaults digged to rid and convey away their filth, are lesse shaken. Yea, and in the same towns, those parts which be pendant, are the safer: as is well seene in Naples, where that quarter thereof which is solide and not hollow, is subject to such casualties. And in houses the arches are most safe, the angles also of walls, yea, and those posts which in shaking will jog to and fro every way. Moreover, walls made of bricke or earth, take lesse harme when they be shaken in an earthquake. And a great difference there is in the very kind and manner of earthquakes, for the motion is after many sorts. The safest is, when houses as they rocke, keepe a trembling and warbling noise: also when the earth seemeth to swell up in rising: and againe to settle downe and sinke with an alternative motion. Harmelesse it is also, when houses run on end together by a contrarie stroke, and butt or jur one against another: for the one moving doth withstand the other. The bending downeward in maner of waving, and a certaine rolling like to surging billowes, is it that is so dangerous & doth all the mischeefe; or when the whole motion beareth and forceth it selfe to one side. These quakings and tremblings of the earth give over when the wind is once vented out: but if they continue stil, then they cease not until fortie daies end: yea, and many times it is longer ere they stay: for as much as some of them have lasted for the space of a yeere or two.
Monstrous Earthquakes seene never but once.
THERE happened once (which I found in the bookes of the Tuscanes learning) within the territorie of Modena, (whiles L. Martius and Sex. Iulius were Consuls) a great strange wonder of the Earth: for two hilles encountered together, charging as it were, and with violence assaulting one another, yea and retiring againe with a most mightie noise. It fell out in the day time: and betweene them there issued flaming fire and smoke mounting up into the skie: while a great number of Romane Gentlemen (from the high way Æmylia) and a multitude of servants, yea and passengers by, or wayfaring men, stood and beheld it. With this conflict and running of them together, all the villages upon them were dashed and broken in peeces: verie much cattell that was within, dyed therewith. And this happened the yeere before the warre of our associates: which I doubt, whether it were not more pernicious to the whole land of Italie, than the civile warres. It was no lesse monstrous a wonder that was knowne also in our age, in the very last yeere of Nero the Emperor (as we have shewed in his actes) when medowes and olive rowes (notwithstanding the great publicke port-way lay betweene) passed overthwart one into anothers place, in the Marrucine territorie, within the lands of Vectius Marcellus a Gentleman of Rome, Procurator under Nero in his affaires.
Wonders of Earthquakes.
THERE happen together with Earthquakes, deluges also and inundations of the sea, to wit, infused and entring into the earth with the same aire and wind, or else received into the hollow receptacle, as it setleth downe. The greatest Earthquake within the remembrance of man, was that which chaunced during the Empire of Tiberius Cæsar, when 12 cities of Asia were over-turned and laid flat in one night. But the Earthquakes came thickest and most together in the Punick warre, when within one yeere there were reported at Rome to have ben seven and fiftie. In which yeere verily, when the Carthaginians and Romans fought a battaile at Thrasymenus lake, neither of both armies tooke knowledge of a right great earthquake. Neither is this a simple evill thing, nor the daunger consisteth onely in the very Earthquake and no more; but that which it portendeth, is as bad or worse. Never abode the citie of Rome any earthquake, but it gave warning before-hand, of some straunge accident and unhappie event following.
In what places the Seas have gone backe.
THE same cause is to be rendred of some new hill or peece of ground, not seene before; when as the said wind within the earth, able to huffe up the ground, was not of power sufficient to breake foorth and make issue. For there groweth firme land not onely by that which rivers bring in (as the Ilands Echinades, which were heaped and raised up by the river Achelous; and so by Nilus the greater part of Ægypt, into which, if we beleeve Homer, from the Iland Pharus, there was a cut by sea of a day and nights sailing:) but also by the retiring and going backe of the sea; as the same Poet hath written of the Circeiæ. The like (by report) happened both in the haven of Ambracia, for ten miles space; and also in that of the Athenians, for five miles, neere Pireæum: also at Ephesus, where sometime the sea beat upon the temple of Diana. And verily (if we give eare to Herodotus) it was all a sea from above Memphis to the Æthiopian hils: and likewise from the plaines of Arabia. It was sea also about Ilium, and the flat of Teuthrania; and all that levell whereas the river Mæander now runneth by goodly medowes.
The reason of Islands that newly appeare out of the sea.
THERE be lands also that put forth after another manner, and all at once shew on a sodaine in some sea: as if Nature cryed quittance with her selfe, and made even, paying one for another; namely, by giving againe that in one place, which those chawmes and gaping gulfes tooke away in another.
What Ilands have sprung up, and at what times.
THOSE famous Ilands long since, to wit, Delos and Rhodes, are recorded to have growne out of the sea: and afterwards, others that were lesse, namely, Anaphe beyond Melos; and Nea, between Lemnus and Hellespont. Alone also, betweene Lebedus and Teos: Thera likewise, and Therasia, among the Cyclades; which shewed in the fourth yeere of the 135 Olympias. Moreover, among the same Ilands 130 yeeres after, Hiera, which is the same that Automate. And two furlongs from it, after 110 yeeres, Thia, even in our time, upon the 8 day before the Ides of Iuly, when M. Iunius Syllanus and L. Balbus were Consuls.
What Lands the Seas have broken in betweene.
EVEN within our kenning and neare to Italie, betweene the Ilands Æoliæ; in like manner neare to Creta, there was one shewed it selfe with hote fountaines out of the sea, for a mile and a halfe: and another in the third yeere of the 143 Olympias, within the Tuscane gulfe, and this burned with a violent wind. Recorded it is also, that when a great multitude of fishes floted ebbe about it, those persons died presently that fed therof. So they say, that in the Campaine gulfe, the Pithecusæ Ilands appeared. And soone after, the hill Epopos in them (at what time as sodainly there burst forth a flaming fire out of it) was laid level with the plain champion. Within the same also there was a towne swallowed up by the sea: and in one earthquake there appeared a standing poole; but in another (by the fall and tumbling downe of certaine hils) there grew the Iland Prochyta: For after this manner also Nature hath made Ilands. Thus, she disjoyned Sicilie from Italie, Cyprus from Syria, Eubœa from Bœotia, Atalante and Macris from Eubœa, Besbycus from Bithynia, Leucostia from the promontorie and cape of the Syrenes.
What Ilands became to ioyne unto the Maine.
AGAINE, shee hath taken Ilands from the Sea, and joyned them to the firme land; and namely, Antissa to Lesbos, Zephyria to Halicarnassus, Aëthusa to Myndus, Dromiscos and Perne to Miletus, and Narthecusa to the promontorie Parthenius. Hybanda, sometime an Iland of Ionia, is now distant from the sea 200 stadia. As for Syrie, Ephesus hath it now in the midland parts far from the sea. So Magnesia, neighbour to it, hath Derasitas and Sophonia. As for Epidaurus and Oricum, are no more Ilands at this day.
What Lands have been turned wholly into Sea.
NATURE hath altogether taken away certaine Lands: and first and formost where as now the sea Atlanticum is, it was sometime the Continent for a mightie space of ground; if wee give credit to Plato. And soone after in our Mediteranean sea, all men may see at this day how much hath been drowned up, to wit, Acamania by the inward gulfe of Ambracia; Achaia within that of Corinth; Europe and Asia within Propontis and Pontus. Over and besides, the sea hath broken through Leucas, Antirrhium, Hellespont, and the two Bosphori.
What Lands have swallowed up themselves.
AND now to passe over armes of the sea and lakes. The very earth hath devoured and buried her selfe: to wit, that most high hill Cybotus, with the town Curites; Sipylus in Magnesia: and in the same place before-time, the most noble citie called Tantalus: the territories of Galanis and Gamale in Phænice, togither with the very cities. Phogium also, a passing high hill in Æthiopia, as if the very stronds and Continent were not to be trusted, but they also must worke hurt and mischiefe.
What Citties have been drowned with the Sea.
THE sea Pontus hath overwhelmed Pyrrha and Antyssa about Mæotis, Elice, and Bura, in the gulfe of Corinth: whereof, the markes and tokens are to be seene in the deepe. Out of the Iland Cea, more than 30 miles of ground was lost sodainly at once, with many a man besides. In Sicilie also the sea came in, and had away halfe the citie Thindaris, and whatsoever Italy nourseth, even all betweene it and Sicilie. The like it did in Bœotia and Eleusina.
Of the strange wonders of the Land.
FOR, let us speake no more of Earthquakes, and whatsoever else of that kind; and namely, of the graves and Sepulchres of Citties, buried and extant to be seene. But discourse we rather of the wonders, than the mischiefes wrought by Nature in the earth. And surely the Storie of cœlestiall things was not more hard to be uttered and declared: the wealth is such of mettals and mines, in such varietie, so rich, so fruitfull, rising still one under another for so many ages; notwithstanding that daily there is so much wasted and consumed throughout the world, with fires, ruines, shipwracks, warres, and fraudulent practises: yea and so much spent with ryot and superfluous vanities, by so many men living, that it is infinite: yet see, how many sorts of jemmes there be still, so painted and set out with colours? In precious stones, what varietie of sundrie colours? and how bespotted are they! And among them, behold the whitenesse and bright hew of some one, excluding all else but only light. The vertue and power of medicinable fountaines: the continuall burning so many hundred yeeres together of fire issuing forth in so many places: the deadly dampes and exhalations in some places, either sent out of pits when they were sunke, or else from the very native seat and position of the ground; present death in one place to the birds and foules of the aire only (as at Soracte, in a quarter neere unto the cittie:) in other, to all other living creatures, save onely man: yea, and sometime to men also, as in the territories of Sinuessa and Puteoli. Which dampe holes, breathing out a deadly aire, some call, Charoneæ Scrobes, i. Charons ditches. Likewise in the Hirpines land, that of Amsanctus, a cave neere unto the temple of Nehpites, which as many as enter into, die presently. After the like manner, at Hierapolis in Asia there is another such, hurting all that come to it but only the Priest of Cybele, the great mother of the Gods. In other places there be also caves and holes of a Propheticall power: by the exhalation of which, men are intoxicate, and as it were drunken, and so foretell things to come, as at Delphi, that most renowmed Oracle. In all which things, what other reason can any mortall man make, than the divine power of Nature diffused and spred through all, which breaketh forth at times in sundry sorts?
Of certaine Lands that evermore doe quake.
SOME parts of the earth there be, that shake and tremble under mens feet as they goe: and namely, in the territorie of the Gabians, not farre from Rome citie, there be almost two hundred acres of ground which tremble as horsemen ride over them: and likewise in the territorie of Reate.
Of Islands ever floting and swimming.
CERTAINE Islands are alwaies waving and never stand still, as in the countrey about Cæcubum, Reate abovenamed, Mutina, and Statonia. Also in the Lake Vadimonis, and neer the waters Cutyliæ, there is a shaddowie darke grove, which is never seene in one place a day and night together. Moreover, in Lydia, the Isles Calanucæ, are not onely driven to and fro by winds, but also many be shoved and thrust with long poles, which way a man will: a thing that saved many a mans life in the warre against Mithridates. There be other little ones also in the river Nymphæus called Saltuares [or Dauncers, ] because in any consort of Musicians singing, they stirre and move at the stroke of the feet, keeping time and measure. In the great Lake of Italie Tarquiniensis, two Islands carrie about with them groves and woods: one while they are in fashion three square, another while round, when they close one to the other by the drift of winds, but never fouresquare.
In what lands it never raineth. Also many strange wonders and miracles of the earth, and other elements heaped together.
PAPHOS hath in it a famous temple of Venus: upon a certaine floore and altar whereof, it never raineth. Likewise in Nea, a towne of Troas, a man shall never see it raine about the image of Minerva. In the same also the beasts killed for sacrifice, if they bee left there, never putrifie. Neere to Harpasa, a towne in Asia, there stands a rocke of stone of a strange and wonderous nature: lay one finger to it, and it will stirre, but thrust at it with your whole bodie, it will not move, but stiffely resist. Within the demie Island of the Tauri, and cittie Parasinum, there is a kind of earth that healeth all wounds. But about Assos in Troas, there growes a stone, wherewith all bodies are consumed, and thereupon Sarcophagus it is called. Two hils there be neere the river Indus: the nature of the one is to hold fast all manner of yron, and of the other, not to abide it: and therefore if a mans shoe soll be clouted with hob nailes, in the one of them a man cannot pluck away his foot, and in the other hee can take no footing at all. Noted it is, that in Locri and Crotone there was never pestilence knowne, nor any trouble or daunger by earthquake. And in Lycia ever after an earthquake, it hath been faire weather for fortie daies. In the territorie of Arda, if corne be sowed, it never commeth up. At the altars Murtiæ in the Veientian field, likewise in Tusculanum and the wood Cyminia, there be certaine places, wherein whatsoever is pitched into the ground, can never be plucked up againe. In the Crustumine countrey all the hey there growing, is hurtfull in the same place: but be it once without it, good and holsome it is.
What is the reason of the reciprocall ebbe and flow of the seas: and where it is that they keepe no order, and are without reason.
OF the nature of waters much hath beene said: but the sea-tide that it should flow and ebbe againe, is most mervellous of all other. The manner thereof verily is divers, but the cause is in the Sunne and Moone. Betweene two risings of the Moon, they flow twice, and twice goe backe, and alwaies in the space of foure and twentie houres. And first as hee riseth aloft together with the world, the tides swell, and anone againe, as it goeth from the heigth of the Meridian line, and enclineth Westward, they slake: againe, as she moveth from the West, under our horison, and approcheth to the point contrarie to the Meridian, they flow, and then they are received backe into the sea untill she rise againe: and never keepeth the tide the same houre that it did the day before: for it waiteth and giveth attendance upon the Planet, which greedily draweth with it the seas, and evermore riseth to day in some other place than it did yesterday. Howbeit the tides keepe just the same times betweene, and hold alwaies sixe houres apeece: I meane not of every day and night or place indifferently, but onely the equinoctiall. For in regard of houres, the tides of the sea are unequall: for as much as by day and night the tides are more or lesse one time than another: in the equinoctiall onely they are even and alike in all places. A very great argument this is, full of light, to convince that grosse and blockish conceit of them who are of opinion, that the planets being under the earth, loose their power: and that their vertue beginneth when they are above onely. For they shew their effects as well under as above the earth, as well as the earth which worketh in all parts. And plaine it is, that the Moone performeth her operations as wel under the earth, as when we see her visibly aloft: neither is her course any other beneath, than above our horizon. But yet the difference and alteration of the Moone is manifold, and first every seven daies: for whiles she is new, the tides be but small untill the first quarter: for as she groweth bigger, they flow more, but in the full they swell and boile most of all. From that time they begin againe to be more mild: and in the first daies of the wain unto the seventh, the tides are equall: and againe when she is devided on the other side, and but halfe Moon, they encrease greater. And in the Conjunction or the change, they are equall to the tides of the full. And evidently it appeareth, that when she is Northerly, and retired higher and farther from the earth, the tides are more gentle, than when shee is gone Southerly: for then shee worketh neerer hand, and putteth forth her full power. Every eight yeere also, and after the hundreth revolution of the Moone, the seas returne to the beginning of their motions, and to the like encrease and growth: by reason that she augmenteth all things by the yeerly course of the Sunne: for as much as in the two equinoctials they ever swel most, yet more in that of the Autumne, than the Spring: but nothing to speak of in Mid-winter, and lesse at Mid-summer. And yet these things fall not out just in these very points and instants of the times which I have named, but some few daies after: like as neither in the full nor in the change, but afterward: ne yet presently so soone as the heaven either sheweth us the Moone in her rising, or hideth her from us at her setting, or as shee declineth from us in the middle climate, but later almost by two equinoctiall houres. For as much as the effect of all influences and operations in the heaven reach not so soone unto the earth, as the eiesight pierceth up to the heaven: as it appeareth by lightnings, thunders, and thunderbolts. Moreover, all tides in the maine Ocean, overspread, cover and overflow much more within the land, than in other seas besides: either because the whole and universall element is more courageous than in a part: or for that the open greatnesse and largenesse thereof, feeleth more effectually the power of the planet, working forcibly as it doth farre and neere at libertie, than when the same is pent and restrained within those streights. Which is the cause that neither lakes nor little rivers ebbe and flow in like manner. Pythias of Massiles, writeth, That above Brittane the tide floweth in height eightie cubites. But the more inward and Mediteranean narrow seas are shut up within the lands, as in an haven. Howbeit, in some places a more spacious libertie there is that yeeldeth to the power and commaund of the Moone: for wee have many examples and experiments of them that in a calme sea without wind and saile, by a straunge water onely, have tided from Italie to Utica in three daies. But these tides and quicke motions of the sea, are found to be about the shores, more than in the deepe maine sea. For even so in our bodies the extream and utmost parts have a greater feeling of the beating of arteries, that is to say, the vitall spirits. Yet notwithstanding in many firthes and armes of the sea, by reason of the unlike risings of the planets in every coast, the tides are diverse, and disagreeing in time, but not in reason and cause, as namely in the Syrtes. And yet some there bee that have a peculiar nature by themselves, as the Firth Taurominitanum, which ebbeth and floweth oftener than twice: and that other in Eubœa, called likewise Euripus, which hath seven tides to and fro in a day and a night. And the same tyde three dayes in a moneth standeth still, namely in the 7, 8, and 9 daies of the moones age. At Gades, the fountaine next unto the chappell of Hercules, is enclosed about like a well; the which at some times riseth and falleth as the Ocean doth: at others againe, it doth both, at contrarie seasons. In the same place there is another spring that keepeth order and time with the motions of the Ocean. On the banke of Betis there is a towne, the wells whereof as the tyde floweth, doe ebbe; and as it ebbeth, doe flow: in the mid times betweene, they stirre not. Of the same qualitie, there is one pit in the towne Hispalis; all the rest be as others are. And the sea Pontus evermore floweth and runneth out into Propontis, but the sea never retireth backe againe within Pontus.
Marvailes of the Sea.
ALL seas are purged and scoured in the full Moone; and some besides at certaine times. About Messala and Nylæ, there is voided upon the shoare, certaine dregges and filthinesse like to beasts dung: whereupon arose the fable, That the Sunnes oxen were there kept in stall. Hereunto addeth Aristotle (for I would not omit willingly any thing that I know) that no living creature dieth but in the refluxe and ebbe of the sea. This is observed much in the Ocean of Fraunce, but found onely in man by experience, true.
What power the Moone hath over things on Earth and in the Sea.
BY which it is truly guessed and collected, that not in vaine the planet of the Moone is supposed to be a Spirit: for this is it that satisfieth the earth to her content: shee it is that in her approch and comming toward, filleth bodies full; and in her retire and going away, emptieth them againe. And hereupon it is, that with her growth, all shell-fish waxe and encrease: and those creatures which have no blood, them most of all doe feele her spirit. Also, the blood in men doth encrease or diminish with her light more or lesse: yea the leaves of the trees and the grasse for fodder (as shall be said in convenient place) doe feele the influence of her, which evermore the same, pierceth and entreth effectually into all things.
The power of the Sunne, and why the sea is salt.
THUS by the fervent heat of the Sunne, all moisture is dried up: for we have been taught, that this Planet is Masculine, frying and sucking up the humiditie of all things. Thus the broad and spatious sea hath the taste of salt sodden into it: or els it is, because when the sweet and thin substance thereof is sucked out from it, which the fiery power of the sunne most easly draweth up, all the tarter and more grosse parts thereof remaineth behind: and hereupon it is, that the deepe water toward the botome, is sweeter and lesse brackish than that above in the top. And surely, this is a better and truer reason of that unpleasant smacke and tast that it hath, than that the sea should be a sweat issuing out of the earth continually: or, because over-much of the drie terrene element is mingled in it without any vapour: or else because the nature of the earth infecteth the waters, as it were, with some strong medicine. We find among rare examples and experiments, that there happened a prodigious token to Denis tyrant of Sicilie, when hee was expelled and deposed from that mightie state of his, and this it was; The sea water within one day in the haven grew to be fresh and sweet.
In like manner of the Moones nature.
ON the contrary, they say that the Moone is a planet Fœminine, tender and nightly, dissolveth humors, draweth the same, but carrieth them not away. And this appeareth evidently by this proofe, that the carkasses of wild beasts slaine, she putrifieth by her influence, if she shine upon them. When men also are sound asleepe, the dull nummednes thereby gathered, she draweth up into the head: shee thaweth yce, and with a moistening breath proceeding from her, enlargeth and openeth all things. Thus you see how Natures turne is served and supplyed, and is alwaies sufficient; whiles some starres thicken and knit the elements, others againe resolve the same. But as the Sunne is fed by the salt seas, so the Moone is nourished by the fresh river waters.
Where the Sea is deepest.
Fabianus saith, that the Sea where it is deepest, exceedeth not fifteene furlongs. Others againe doe report, that in Pontus the sea is of an unmeasurable deapth, over-against the nation of the Coraxians, the place they call Bathea Ponti, whereof the botome could never be sounded.
The wonders of waters, Fountaines, and Rivers.
OF all wonders this passeth, that certaine fresh waters hard by the sea, issue and spring forth as out of pipes: for the nature of the waters also ceaseth not from straunge and miraculous properties. Fresh waters run aloft the sea, as being no doubt the lighter: and therefore the sea water (which naturally is heavier) upholdeth and beareth up whatsoever is brought in. Yea and amongst fresh waters, some there be that flote and glide over others. As for example, in the lake Fucinus, the river that runneth into it: in Larius, Addua; in Verbanus, Ticinus; in Benacus, Mincius; in Sevinus, Ollius; in Lemanus lake, the river Rhodanus. As for this river beyond the Alpes, and the former in Italie: for many a mile as they passe, carrie forth their owne waters from thence where they abode as strangers, and none other; and the same no larger than they brought in with them. This is reported likewise of Orontes, a river in Syria, and of many others. Some rivers againe there be, which upon an hatred to the sea, run even under the botom thereof; as Arethusa, a fountaine in Syracusa: wherein this is observed, that whatsoever is cast into it, commeth up againe at the river Alpheus, which running through Olympia falleth into the sea shore of Peloponnesus. There go under the ground, and shew above the ground againe, Lycus in Asia, Erasinus in Argolica, Tygris in Mesopotamia. And at Athens, what things soever are drowned in the fountaine of Æsculapius, be cast up againe in Phalericus. Also in the Atinate plaines, the river that is buried under the earth, twentie miles off appeareth againe. So doth Timavus in the territorie of Aquileia. In Asphaltites (a lake in Iurie which engendreth Bitumen) nothing will sinke nor can be drowned, no more than in Arethusa in the greater Armenia: and the same verily, notwithstanding it be full of Nitre, breedeth and feedeth fish. In the Salentines countrey, neere the towne Manduria, there is a lake brim full: lade out of it as much water as you will, it decreaseth not; ne yet augmenteth, poure in never so much to it. In a river of the Ciconians, and in the lake Velinus in the Picene territorie, if wood be throwne in, it is covered over with a stonie barke. Also in Surius, a river of Colchis, the like is to be seene: insomuch, as ye shall have very often the barke that overgroweth it, as hard as any stone. Likewise in the river Silarus beyond Surrentum, not twigs onely that are dipped therein, but leaves also grow to be stones; and yet the water thereof otherwise is good and holesome to be drunke. In the verie passage and issue of Reatine meere, there groweth a rock of stone bigger and bigger by the dashing of the water. Moreover, in the red sea there be olive trees and other shrubs, that grow up greene. There be also very many springs, which have a wonderfull nature, for their boiling heat: yea, and that upon the very mountaines of the Alpes; and in the sea betweene Italie and Ænaria: as in the Firth Baianus, and the river Liris, and many others. For in divers and sundrie places yee may draw fresh water out of the sea, namely about the ylands Chelidoniæ and Aradus: yea and in the Ocean about Gades. In the hot waters of the Padovans, there grow green herbs: in those of the Pisanes, there breed frogs: and at Vetulonij in Hetruria, not farre from the sea, fishes also are bred. In the territorie Casinas, there is a river called Scatebra, which is cold, and in Summer time more abounding and fuller of water than in winter: in it, as also in Stymphalis of Arcadia, there breed and come foorth of it little water-myce, or small Limpins. In Dodone, the fountaine of Iupiter being exceeding chill and cold, so as it quencheth and putteth out light torches dipped therein, yet if you hold the same neere unto it when they are extinct and put out, it setteth them on fire againe. The same spring at noontide, evermore giveth over to boile and wanteth water, for which cause they call it Anapavomenos: anon it beginneth to rise untill it be midnight, and then it hath great abundance: and from that time againe it fainteth by little and little. In Illyricum there is a cold Spring, over which, if yee spread any clothes, they catch a fire and burne. The fountaine of Iupiter Hammon in the day time is cold, all night it is seething hote. In the Troglodites countrey there is a fountaine of the Sunne, called the Sweet Spring, about noone it is exceeding cold, anon by little and little it groweth to be warm, but at midnight it passeth and is offensive for heat and bitternesse. The head of the Po, at noone in Summer, giveth over, as it were, and intermitteth to boile, and is then ever drie. In the Island Tenedus there is a spring, which after the Summer Sunnesteed, evermore from the third houre of the night unto the sixt, doth overflow. And in the isle Delos, the fountaine Inopus, falleth and riseth after the same sort that Nilus doth, and together with it. Over against the river Timavos, there is a little Island within the sea, having hote wels, which ebbe and flow as the tide of the sea doth, and just therewith. In the territorie of the Pitinates beyond Apenninus, the river Novanus at every mid-summer time swelleth and runneth over the bankes, but in mid-winter is cleane drie. In the Faliscane countrey, the water of the river Clitumnus maketh the oxen and kine white that drink of it. And in Bæotia, the river Melas maketh sheepe blacke: Cephyssus running out of the same lake, causeth them to be white: and Penius againe giveth them a black colour: but Xanthus neer unto Ilium, coloureth them reddish; and hereupon the river tooke that name. In the land of Pontus there is a river that watereth the plaines of Astace, upon which, those Mares that feed, give blacke milke for the food and sustenance of that nation. In the Reatine territorie there is a fountaine called Neminia: which, according to the springing and issuing forth out of this or that place, signifieth the change in the price of corne and victuals. In the haven of Brindis there is a Well, that yeeldeth unto sailers and sea-faring men, water, which will never corrupt. The water of Lincestis, called Acidula [i. Soure] maketh men drunken no lesse than wine. Semblably, in Paphlagonia, and in the territorie of Cales. Also in the Isle Andros there is a fountaine neere the temple of father Bacchus, which upon the Nones of Ianuarie, alwaies runneth with water that tasteth like wine, as Mulienus verily beleeveth, who was a man that had beene thrice Consull. The name of the Spring is Dios Tecnosia. Neere unto Nonacris in Arcadia, there is the river Styx; differing from the other Styx, neither in smell nor colour: drinke of it once, and it is present death. Also in Berosus (an hill of the Tauri) there bee three fountaines, the water whereof whosoever drinketh, is sure to die of it, remedilesse, and yet without paine. In a countrey of Spaine called Carrinensis, two Springs there bee that runne neere together, the one rejecteth, the other swalloweth up all things. In the same countrey there is another water, which sheweth all fishes within it of a golden colour, but if they be once out of that water, they bee like to other fishes. In the Cannensian territorie, neere to the lake Larius, there is a large and broad well, which every houre continually, swelleth and falleth downe againe. In the Island Sydonia before Lesbos, an hote fountaine there is that runneth onely in the Spring. The Lake Sinnaus in Asia, is infected with the wormewood growing about it, and thereof it tasteth. At Colophon in the vault or cave of Apollo Clarius, there is a gutter or trench standing full of water: they that drinke of it, shall prophesie and foretel strange things like Oracles, but they live the shorter time for it. Rivers running backward, even our age hath seene, in the latter yeers of Prince Nero, as we have related in the acts of his life. Now, that all Springs are colder in Summer than Winter, who knoweth not? as also these wonderous workes of Nature, That brasse and lead in the masse or lumpe sinke downe and are drowned, but if they be driven out into thin plates, they flote and swim aloft: and let the weight be all one, yet some things settle to the bottome, others againe glide above. Moreover, that heavie burdens and lodes be stirred and removed with more ease in water. Likewise, that the stone Thyrreus, bee it never so big, doth swim whole and entire: breake it once into peeces, and it sinketh. As also, that bodies newly dead fall downe to the bottome of the water, but if they bee swollen once, they rise up againe. Over and besides, that emptie vessels are not so easily drawne forth of the water, as those that bee full: that raine water for salt pits is better and more profitable than all other: and that salt cannot be made, unlesse fresh water be mingled withall: that sea-water is longer before it congeale, but sooner made hote and set a seething. That in Winter the sea is hoter, and in Autumne more brackish and salt. And that all seas are made calme and still with oyle: and therefore the divers under the water, doe spurt & sprinckle it abroad with their mouths because it dulceth and allaieth the unpleasant nature thereof, and carrieth a light with it. That no Snowes fall where the sea is deepe. And, whereas all water runneth downeward by nature, yet Springs leape up; even at the very foot of Ætna, which burneth of a light fire so farre forth, as that for fiftie, yea, and an hundred miles, the waulming round bals and flakes of fire cast out sand and ashes.
The marvailes of fire and water iointly together, and of Maltha.
NOW let us relate some strange wonders of fire also, which is the fourth element of Nature. But first, out of waters. In a citie of Comagene, named Samosatis, there is a pond, yeelding forth a kind of slimie mud (called Maltha) which will burne cleare. When it meeteth with any thing solide and hard, it sticketh to it like glew: also, if it bee touched, it followeth them that flee from it. By this meanes the townesmen defended their walls, when Lucullus gave the assault, and his souldiours fried and burned in their owne armours. Cast water upon it, and yet it will burne. Experience hath taught, That earth onely will quench it.
OF the like nature is Naphtha: for so it is called about Babylonia, and in the Austacenes countrey in Parthia, and it runneth in manner of liquid Bitumen. Great affinitie there is betweene the fire and it; for fire is readie to leape unto it immediately, if it bee any thing neere it. Thus (they say) Medea burnt her husbands concubine, by reason that her guirland annointed therewith, was caught by the fire, after shee approchd neere to the altars, with purpose to sacrifice.
Of places continually burning.
BUT amongst the wonderfull mountaines, the hill Ætna burneth alwaies in the nights: and for so long continuance of time yeeldeth sufficient matter to maintaine those fires: in winter it is full of Snow, & covereth the ashes cast up, with frosts. Neither in it alone doth Nature tyrranize and shew her crueltie, threatning as shee doth a generall consuming of the whole earth by fire. For in Phoselis the hill Chimæra likewise burneth, and that with a continuall fire both night and day: Ctesias of Gnidos writeth, That the fire therof is enflamed and set a burning with water, but quenched with earth. In the same Lycia the mountaines Hephæstij, being once touched and kindled with a flaming torch, do so burne out, that the very stones of the rivers, yea and the sand in waters, are on fire withall; and the same fire is maintained with raine. They report also, that if a man make a furrow with a staffe that is set on fire by them, there follow gutters as it were of fire. In the Bactrians countrey, the top of the hill Cophantus burneth every night. Amongst the Medians also, and the Cæstian nation, the same mountains burneth: but principally in the very confines of Persis. At Susis verily, in a place called the White Tower, out of fifteene chimnies or tunnels the fire issueth, and the greatest of them, even in the day time carrieth fire. There is a plaine about Babylonia, in manner of a fish-poole, which for the quantitie of an acre of ground, burneth likewise. In like sort neere the mountaine Hesperius in Æthyopia, the fields in the night time doe glitter and shine like starres. The like is to bee seene in the territorie of the Megapolitanes, although the field there within-forth bee pleasant, and not burning the boughes and leaves of the thick grove above it. And neere unto a warme Spring, the hollow burning furnace called Crater Nymphæi, always portendeth some fearful misfortunes to the Apolloniates, the neighbours thereby, as Theopompus hath reported. It encreaseth with showers of raine, and casteth out Bitumen to be compared with that fountain or water of Styx that is not to be tasted, otherwise weaker than all Bitumen besides. But who would mervell at these things? in the mids of the sea, Hiera one of the Æolian Islands neere to Italie, burned together with the sea for certaine daies together, during the time of the allies warre, untill a solemne embassage of the Senat made expiation therefore. But that which burneth with the greatest fire of all other, is a certaine hill of the Æthyopians Theœr Ochema,2 which sendeth out most parching flames, in the hotest sunne shine daies. Lo in how many places with sundrie fires Nature burneth the earth.
Wonders of fires by themselves.
MOREOVER, since the nature of this onely element of fire is to be fruitful, to breed it selfe, and to grow infinitely of the lest sparkes; what may be thought will be the end of so many funeral fires of the earth? What a Nature is that which feedeth the most greedie voracitie in the whole world without losse of it selfe? Put thereto the infinite number of stars, the mightie great Sunne; moreover the fires in mens bodies, and those that are inbred in some stones; the attrition also of certaine woods one against another; yea, and those within clouds, the very originall of lightenings. Surely, it exceedeth al miracles, that any one day should passe, and not all the world bee set on a light consuming fire, since that the hollow fierie glasses also set opposite against the Sunne beames, sooner set things a burning than any other fire. What should I speak of innumerable others, which be indeed little, but yet naturally issuing out in great abundance? In the Promontorie Nymphæum, there commeth forth a flaming fire out of a rock, which is set a burning with raine. The like is to be seene also at the waters called Scantiæ. But this verily is but feeble when it passeth and removeth, neither endureth it long in any other matter. An ash there is growing over this fierie fountaine and covering it, which notwithstanding is alwaies greene. In the territorie of Mutina, there riseth up fire also, upon certaine set holidaies unto Vulcane. It is found written, That if a cole of fire fall downe upon the arable fields under Aricia, the very soile presently is on fire. In the Sabines territorie, as also in the Sidicines, stones if they be annointed or greased, will be set on a light fire. In a towne of the Salentines called Egnatia, if fire be laid upon a certaine hallowed stone there, it will immediately flame out. Upon the alter of Iuno Lacinia standing as it doth in the open aire, the ashes lie unmoveable and stirre not, blow what stormie winds that will on every side. Over and besides, there be fires seene suddainely to arise, both in waters and also about the bodies of men. Valerius Antias reporteth, That the lake Thrasymenus once burned all over: also that Servius Tullius in his childhood, as hee lay asleepe, had a light fire shone out of his head: likewise, as L. Martius made an Oration in open audience to the armie, after the two Scipios were slaine in Spain, and exhorted his souldiors to revenge their death, his head was on a flaming fire in the same sort. More of this argument, and in better order, will we write soone hereafter. For now we exhibite and shew the mervailes of all things huddled and intermingled together. But in the meane while, my mind being passed beyond the interpretation of Nature, hasteneth to lead as it were by the hand the minds also of the readers, throughout the whole world.
The measure of the whole earth in length and breadth.
THIS our part of the earth whereof I speake, floting as it were within the Ocean (as hath been said) lieth out in length most from the East to the West, that is to say, from India to Hercules pillars consecrated at Gades: and as mine authour Artemidorus thinketh, it containeth 85 hundred, and 78 miles. But according to Isidorus 98 hundred, and 18. M. Artemidorus addeth moreover, from Gades within the circuit of the sacred Promontorie, to the cape Artabrum, where the front and head of Spaine beareth out farthest in length 891 miles. This measure runneth two waies. From the river Ganges and the mouth thereof, whereas he dischargeth himselfe into the East Ocean, through India and Parthyene unto Myriandrum a citie of Syria, situate upon the gulfe or Firth of Isa, 52 hundred and 15 miles. From thence taking the next voiage to the Island Cyprus, to Patara in Lycia, Rhodes and Astypatæa (Islands lying in the Carpathian sea) to Tænarus in Laconia, Lilybæum in Sicilie, Calaris in Sardinia, 34 hundred and 50 miles. Then to Gades 14 hundred and 50 miles. Which measures being put all together, make in the whole from the said sea, 85 hundred 78 miles. The other way, which is more certaine, lieth most open and plaine by land, to wit, from Ganges to the river Euphrates 50 hundred miles and 21. From thence to Mazaca in Cappadocia 244 miles, and so forward through Phrygia and Caria to Ephesus 400 miles, 98. From Ephesus through the Ægean sea to Delos 200 miles. Then to Isthmus 212 miles. From thence partly by land, and partly by the Laconian sea and the gulfe of Corinth, to Patræ in Peloponnesus 202 miles and an halfe: so, to Leucas 86 miles and a halfe, and as much to Corcyra. Then to Acroceraunia 132 miles and an halfe: to Brundusium 86 miles and an halfe: so to Rome 3 hundred miles and 60. Then to the Alpes as far as the village Cincomagus 518 miles. Through Fraunce to the Pyrenæan hils, unto Illiberis 556 miles, to the Ocean and the sea coast of Spaine 332 miles. Then the cut over to Gades seven miles and a halfe. Which measure by Artemidorus his account, maketh in all 86 hundred 85 miles. Now the breadth of the earth, from the Meridian or South point, unto the North, is collected to bee lesse almost by the one halfe, namely, 54 hundred and 62 miles. Whereby it appeareth plainely, how much of the one side heat of fire, and on the other side frozen water hath stollen away. For I am not of mind that the earth goeth no farther than so, for then it should not have the forme of a globe; but that the places on either side bee unhabitable, and therefore not found out and discovered. This measure runneth from the shore of the Æthyopian Ocean, which now is habited, unto Meroë , 550 miles. From thence to Alexandria 1200 and 40 miles. So, to Rhodes 583 miles; to Gnidus, 84 miles and a halfe; to Cos, 25 miles; to Samus, 100 miles; to Chius, 84 miles; to Mitylene, 65 miles; to Tenedos, 28 miles; to the cape Sigæum, 12 miles and a halfe; to the mouth of Pontus, 312 miles and a halfe; to Carambis the promontorie, 350 miles; to the mouth of Mæotis, 312 miles and an halfe; to the mouth of Tanais, 265 miles: which voyage may be cut shorter (with the vantage of sailing directly) by 89 miles. From the mouth of Tanais, the most curious Authors have set downe no measure. Artemidorus was of opinion, that all beyond was unfound and not discovered, confessing that about Tanais the Sarmatian nations doe inhabit, who lie to the North pole. Isidorus hath added hereto twelve hundred miles, as farre as to Thule: which is a judgement of his grounded upon bare guesse and conjecture. I take it, that the borders of the Sarmatians are knowne to have no lesse space of ground, than this last mentioned commeth unto. And otherwise, how much must it be, that would containe such an innumerable companie of people shifting their seats ever and anon, as they do. Wherby I guesse, that the over-measure of the clime inhabitable, is much greater. For I know certainly, that Germanie hath discovered mightie great Ilands not long since. And thus much of the length and breadth of the earth, which I thought worth the writing. Now the universall compasse and circuit thereof, Eratosthenes (a great Clerke verily for all kind of literature, and in this knowledge above all others doubtlesse most cunning, and whome I see of all men approved and allowed) hath set downe to be 252000 stadia. Which measure, by the Romanes account and reckoning, amounteth to 300 hundred and 15 hundred miles. A wonderous bold attempt of his! but yet so exquisitely calculated and contrived by him, that a shame it were not to beleeve him. Hipparchus, a wonderfull man both for convincing him, and all his other diligence besides, addeth moreover little lesse than 25000 stadia.
The Harmonicall measure, and Circumference of the world.
Dionysodorus in another kind would be beleeved: (for I will not beguile you of the greatest example of Grecian vanitie.) this man was a Melian, famous for his skill in Geometrie: hee dyed very aged in his owne countrey: his neere kinswomen (who by right were his heires in remainder) solemnized his funerals, and accompanied him to his grave. These women (as they came some fewe dayes after to his sepulchre for to perfourme some solemne obsequies thereto belonging) by report, found in his monument an Epistle of this Dionysidorus, written in his own name To them above, that is to say, To the Living: and to this effect, namely, That hee had made a step from his sepulchre to the bottome and centre of the earth, and that it was thither8 42000 stadia. Neither wanted there Geometricians, who made this interpretation, That he signified that this Epistle was sent from the middle centre of the earth, to which place downward from the uppermost aloft, the way was longest; and the same was just halfe the diametre of the round globe: whereupon followed this computation, That they pronounced the circuit to be 255000 stadia. Now the Harmonicall proportion, which forceth this universalitie and nature of the world to agree unto it selfe, addeth unto this measure 7000 stadia, and so maketh the earth to be the 96000 part of the whole world.