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IT remaineth now to write of those living creatures, which are the most subtill of all other that Nature hath brought forth: forasmuch as some are of opinion, That they breath not, ne yet have any blood at all.
Of Insects in generall.
MANY and sundrie sorts there be of Insects, as well among land creatures as those that flie in the aire. Some are winged, as Bees: some have partly wings and partly feet, as Pismiers: others want both, and neither flie nor goe on their feet. And well may they all be called Insecta: by reason of those cuts and divisions, which some have about the necke, others in the breast and belly; the which doe goe round and part the members of the bodie, hanging togither only by a little pipe a fistulous conveiance. There be of them, that have not the bodie divided entire, one part from the other by these incisunes, cuts, and wrinkles; but they appeare onely either under the bellie, or upon the backe above, and go no deeper, neither yet round the whole compasse of the bodie. But a man shall perceive in them certaine rings or circles, apt to bend and wind to and fro, & those so plated and plaited one over another, that in no thing elsewhere, is more seen the workmanship of Nature, than in the artificiall composition of these little bodies.
The industrie and subtiltie of Nature in framing these Insects.
IN BODIES of any bignesse, or at leastwise in those of the greater sort, Nature had no hard peece of worke to procreat, forme, and bring all parts to perfection; by reason that the matter wherof they be wrought, is pliable and will follow as she would have it. But in these so little bodies (nay prickes and specks rather than bodies indeed) how can one comprehend the reason, the power, and the inexplicable perfection that Nature hath therein shewed? How hath she bestowed all the five senses in a Gnat? and yet some there be, lesse creatures than they. But (I say) when hath she made the seat of the eies to see before it? where hath she set and disposed the tast? where hath shee placed and inserted the instrument and organ of smelling? and above all, where hath she disposed that dreadfull and terrible noise that it maketh, that wonderfull great sound (I say) in proportion of so little a body? Can there be devised a thing more finely & cunningly wrought than the wings set to her bodie? Marke what long-shanked legs above ordinarie shee hath given unto them. See how shee hath set that hungrie hollow concavitie in stead of a belly: and hath made the same so thirstie and greedie after blood, and mans especially. Come to the weapon that it hath to pricke, pierce, and enter through the skin; how artificially hath shee pointed and sharpened it? And being so little as it is, (as hardly the finenesse thereof cannot be seen) yet as if it were of bignes and capacitie answerable, framed it she hath most cunningly for a twofold use: to wit, most sharpe pointed, to pricke and enter; and withall, hollow like a pipe for to sucke in and conveigh the bloud through it. Come to the Wood-worme, what manner of teeth hath Nature given it, to bore holes and eat into the verie heart of hard oke? who heareth not the sound that she maketh whiles she is at her worke? and in wood and timber is in manner all her feeding. We make a wonder at the monstrous and mightie shoulders of Elephants, able to carrie turrets upon them. Wee marveile at the strong and stiffe necks of Bulls, and to see how terribly they will take up things and tosse them aloft into the aire with their hornes. We keepe a woondring at the ravening of Tygres, and the shag manes of Lions: and yet in comparison of these Insects, there is nothing wherein Nature and her whole power is more seene, neither sheweth she her might more than in the least creatures of all. I would request therefore the readers, that in perusing this treatise, they will not come with a prejudicate opinion, nor (because many of these sillie flies and wormes be contemptible in their eies) disdaine, loath, and contemne the reports that I shall make thereof; seeing there is nothing either in Natures workes that may seeme superfluous, or in her order unworthie our speculation.
Whether Insects doe breathe at all; and whether they have blood or no?
DIVERS HAVE denied that they breath at all; and upon this reason they ground their position, Because they have no arterie or windpipe annexed or reaching to any instrument within, of respiration. And they be of opinion, that they live indeed as plants, hearbs, and trees: howbeit (say they) there is a great difference betweene having life, and drawing wind or vitall breath. And by the same rule they affirme, that they have no bloud, which is in none that be without heart and liver. Neither doe any things breath which want lungs. And from hence ariseth a world of other questions thereupon depending. For the same men denie flatly, that these creatures have any voice: notwithstanding so great humming of Bees, & singing sound of Grashoppers, and such other, whereof wee will consider in due time and place, accordingly. Verily for mine owne part, the more I looke into Natures workes, the sooner am I induced to beleeve of her even those things that seeme incredible. Neither doe I see any inconvenience to beleeve, that these Insects may as well draw wind and breath without lungs, as live without such noble and principall parts as are requisite for life in other creatures: according as wee have alreadie shewed in the discourse of fishes and such like, that live in the sea; howsoever the quantitie, depth, and heights of the water, may seeme to impeach and stop their breath. For who would easily beleeve, that some creatures should flie at libertie, and living as they doe in the mids of wind and aire, yet want wind and breath themselves? that they should have a sense and care to seeke their living, to engender, to worke, and to forecast for the time to come: and albeit they have no distinct members, to carrie (as it were in a ship) their severall senses, yet that they should heare, smell, and tast; yea and be endued with other singular gifts besides of Nature, to wit, wisdome, courage, skill, and industrie. Indeed, confesse I must, that bloud they have none: no more have all creatures that live upon the land: howbeit a moist humor they have, somewhat like unto bloud, which serveth them in stead thereof. Like as in Cuttles of the sea, there is found a certaine blacke liquor in stead of bloud: and in all the sort of Purples and such shell fishes, that excellent juice which staineth and dieth so as it doth. Semblably in these Insects, whatsoever humour it is whereby they live, the same may well enough goe for bloud and so be called: all the while that every man hath libertie to give it what name he thinketh fittest. As for me, my purpose is not to judge and determine of these doubtfull quillets, and their causes: but to set downe and shew the nature of such things as be cleare and apparent.
The substance of the bodie in these Insects.
THESE INSECTS, so farre as a man may perceive, seeme not to have either sinewes or bones, no chine nor gristle, no fat, no flesh, ne yet so much as a tender and brittle shell, as some sea-fishes have, nor that which may be truly called a skin; but a certaine corporall substance of a middle nature between all these: for their bodie without, is like a drie thing, and yet more tender and soft than a sinew: whereas in all other parts the matter is to be accounted rather drie than hard. This is the very substance whereof they consist, and nothing have they besides. For within them there is nought, unlesse it be in some very few, who have a certain pipe or conduit in stead of a gut, and the same wrapped and enfolded together. Which is the cause, that if they be cut in twaine and pulled in peeces, yet they have a speciall propertie to live long, and each part asunder will pant and stirre by it selfe. The reason is, because the vitall vertue in them (whatsoever it is) is not seated in any one member, this or that, but spread and defused throughout the whole bodie; and least apparent in the head, of all other parts: for, that alone, unlesse it be plucked away together with the breast, mooveth not one jot. No kind of creatures have more feet than these: and the more they have, the longer live they when they be divided asunder; as we see by experience in the Scolopendres. Eies they have, that is certaine; and besides sight, they are not without the sences of feeling and tasting: some there be which smell, and a few that have their hearing also.
BUT AMONG THEM ALL, Bees are principall, and by good right deserve especiall admiration, as being the onely Insects ordained by Nature for mans use. They gather honie, a most sweet, pleasant, fine, and wholesome liquor. They frame the honie combes, and worke the waxe, which serve for a thousand turnes in this life. They endure paines continually, and dispatch their worke and businesse. They have a policie and Commonwealth among themselves. They hold their severall counsels: and there is not a swarme or cast that they have, without a king and captaine of their own: and that which is most admirable of all, there be civile fashions and customes among them. Moreover, being as they are, neither tame and gentle, nor yet to be counted wild and savage, yet (see the wonderous worke of Nature!) by the means of so little a creature, nay, a shaddow rather (to say a truth) of the least creature, shee hath effected a thing incomparable. What strength of sinewes, what force and puissance is able to countervaile this so great industrie and effectuall power of theirs? what wit and policie of man is answerable to their discreet and orderly course? Beleeve me, they passe them all, & in this one point surpasse, That all things are common among them, and nothing know they private and severall. What should we debate and make question any more as touching their breath? Why should we dispute of their bloud, which cannot chuse but bee very little in such small bodies? Let us rather consider hence-forth their wit, and the gifts of their mind.
The naturall order and regiment that is in Bees.
BEES ALL WINTER time keep close within their hives. And good reason: for how possibly should they endure hard frost and chilling snow? how should they abide the peircing blasts of the North winds? And verily it is the manner of all these Insects so to doe, but yet they keepe not in so long. For why? being nestled warme as they are within our houses, they sooner doe recover their vigor, and come abroad betimes. But as concerning Bees, either the times have changed, and places altered their course, or els the writers beforetime of this argument have greatly erred. They begin to retire themselves and take up their wintering harbor, presently upon the setting and occultation of the starre Vergiliæ; and come not forth into the field againe, untill after the rising and apparition thereof. So that Bees goe not abroad at the very beginning of the Spring, as writers have set downe, (for who seeth not the contrarie throughout all Italie) but remaine still close and secret, untill that Beanes begin to bloume; before which time they settle not themselves to any worke or labour. But from thence forward, they loose not a day, they slacke not their painefull travell, neither play they one jot, if the weather be faire and will permit. The first thing they doe, is to make their combes and waxe, that is to say, their own habitations and storehouses. When they are provided of lodging, they thinke upon the multiplying of their owne kind: and finally, they gather and make both honie and waxe: the substance whereof they sucke from the flowers of trees and hearbes, from the gums also of trees which breed such gluey matters; and besides, out of the juice, gum, and rosin of the willow, elme, and cane. With these and such like, they plaister all the hive within throughout, as it were with a coat or parget, entermingling withall other juices that are more unsavorie, gathered from the bitterest hearbes they can get: to the end that they might keepe out other little vermines that are greedie of their honnie: as knowing full well, that they are about a peece of worke which is worthie to be desired and sought after. Of this gummie and glutinous substance they frame also their dores and entries which are wide and large.
The proper tearmes belonging to their worke.
THE FIRST FOUNDATION of their worke, skilfull honie-maisters doe call Commosis: the second Pissoceros: the third Propolis, which lieth betweene those former coats and the waxe of the honie-combe, whereof there is so great use in Physicke. Commosis is the first coat or crust of a bitter tast. Pissoceros commeth next after it, as it were a thinner course of pitch or varnish, and a weaker kind of waxe, made of the more liquid and mild gum of vines and Poplars. But Propolis consisteth of a more solide matter, as having the strength of some floures withall: howbeit, as yet it is no full and perfect waxe, but the foundation and strengthening of the combes: and serveth as a good defence against cold, and to stop the passage of waspes and such hurtfull creatures as would doe injurie to the Bees, for still a strong sent it carrieth, as which many men doe use in stead of Galbanum. After this munition done, then followeth the provision of that which is called Erithace, some tearme it Sandaracha, and others, Cerinthus. This must serve for the Bees meat, whereof they are to live whiles they worke: and found it is oftentimes, laid apart within the concavities of their combs, it being also of a bitter tast. Now this Erithace commeth of the * Spring-dew, and the moisture issuing out of trees in manner of gumme: in lesse abundance ever, when the Southwest wind bloweth: but when it is full South, more blacke: and in the Northerly constitution, farre better and more red withall. Great store hereof Bees meet with upon Almond trees. Menecrates saith, that it is a flower for shewing what harvest shall ensue: ** but no man saith so besides him.
What flowers they be which Bees serve themselves most withall for their worke.
AS FOR WAXE, Bees gather and make it of the flowers of all trees, hearbes, and plants, saving the docke and *** goose-foot, which are two kinds of hearbes. Some except also a kind of Broome called Spart: but untruly, for in Spaine (where there be many places full of that shrub) the honie carrieth the strength thereof in the tast. I am besides of opinion, that they be deceived, who thinke that Bees gather not of Olive trees. For we see it ordinarie, that there be more casts and swarmes of Bees where Olives grow in greater abundance. These pretie creatures hurt no fruit whatsoever. They will not settle upon a flower that is faded, much lesse of any dead carkasse. They use not to goe from their hive about their businesse above threescore paces; And if it chaunce, that within the precinct of these limits they find not flowers sufficient: out goe their spies, whom they send forth to discover forage farther off. If in this expedition, before they come home againe, they bee overtaken by the night, they couch upon their backes for feare least their wings should bee overcharged with the evening dew, and so they watch all night untill the morning.
Those that have taken especiall pleasure in Bees.
SUCH IS THE INDUSTRIE of this creature, that no man need to wonder at those two persons who delighted so much in them, that the one (namely Aristomachus of Soli) for threescore yeares lacking but twaine, did nothing els but keepe Bees: and Philiscus the Thasian emploied the whole time of his life in forrests and desarts, to follow these little animals; whereupon hee was surnamed Agrius. And both these upon their knowledge and experience, wrate of Bees.
The order that they keepe in their worke.
THE MANNER of their businesse is this. All the day time they have a standing watch and ward at their gates, much like to the corps de guard in a campe. In the night they rest untill the morning: by which time, one of them awaketh and raiseth all the rest with two or three bigge hums or buzzes that it giveth, to warne them as it were with sound of trumpet. At which signall given, the whole troupe prepareth to flie forth, if it be a faire and calme day toward: for they doe both foresee and also foreshew when it will be either windie or rainie, and then will they keepe within their strength and fort. Now when the weather is temperate (which they foreknow well enough) and that the whole armie is on foot and marched abroad, some gather togither the vertue of the flowers within their feet and legs: others fill their gorge with water, and charge the downe of their whole bodie with drops of such liquor. The younger sort of them go forth to worke, and carrie such stuffe as is before-named, whiles the elder labour and build within the hive. Such as carrie the flowers abovesaid, stuffe the inner parts of their legs behind (and those Nature for that purpose hath made rough) with the helpe of their forefeet; and those again are charged full by the meanes of their muffle. Thus being laden with their provision, they returne home to the hive, drawne even togither round as it were in a heape, with their burden: by which time, there be three or foure readie to receive them, and those ease and discharge them of their load. For this you must thinke, that they have their severall offices within. Some are busie in building, others in plaistering and overcasting, to make all smooth and fine: some be at hand to serve the workemen with stuffe that they need; others are occupied in getting readie meat and victuals out of that provision which is brought in: for they feed not by themselves, but take their repast togither, because they should both labour and eat alike, and at the same houre. As touching the manner of their building, they begin first above to make arch-worke embowed, in their combs, and draw the frame of their worke downward; where they make two little allies for every arch or vault, the one to enter in by, the other to go forth at. The combs that are fastened togither in the upper part, yea and on the sides, are united a little, and hang all together. They touch not the hive at all, nor joine to it. Sometime they are built round, otherwhiles winding bias, according to the proportion of the hive. A man shall find in one hive honycombs somtime of two sorts: namely, when two swarmes of Bees accord togither: and yet ech one have their rites and fashions by themselves. For feare least their combs of waxe should be readie to fall, they uphold them with partition-wals, arched hollow from the bottome upward, to the end that they might have passage every way to repaire them. The formost rankes of their combs in the forefront, commonly are built void and with nothing in them, because they should give no occasion for a theefe to enter upon their labours. Those in the backe part of the hive, are ever fullest of honie: and therefore when men would take out any combes, they turne up the hives behind. Bees that are emploied in carrying of honie, chuse alwaies to have the wind with them, if they can. If haply there doe arise a tempest or a storme whiles they bee abroad, they catch up some little stonie greet to ballaise and poise themselves against the wind. Some say, that they take it and lay it upon their shoulders. And withall, they flie low by the ground under the wind when it is against them, and keepe along the bushes, to breake the force thereof. A wonder it is to see and observe the manner of their worke. They marke and note the slow-backs,1 they chastice them anone, yea, and afterwards punish them with death. No lesse wonderfull also it is to consider how neat and cleane they be. All filth and trumperie they remove out of the way: no foule thing, no ordure lieth in the hive to hinder their businesse. As for the doung and excrements of such as are working within, they be laid all on a heape in some by corner, because they should not goe farre from their worke: and in foule weather (when otherwise they have nought to doe) they turne it forth. Toward evening, their noise beginneth to slacke and grow lesse and lesse: untill such time as one of them flieth about with the same lowd humming wherewith shee waked them in the morning, and thereby giveth a signall (as it were) and commaundement to goe to rest: much after the order in a campe. And then of a suddaine they are all husht and silent.
Of the Drone-bees.
THE HOUSES AND HABITATIONS that Bees build first, are for the Commons: which being finished, they set in hand with a pallace for their king. If they foresee that it will be a good season, and that they are likely to gather store of provision, they make pavilions also for the Drones. And albeit they be of themselves bigger than the very Bees, yet take they up the least lodgings. Now these Drones be without any sting at all, as one would say unperfect Bees, and the last fruit of such old ones as are wearie and able to doe no more good; the very latter brood and encrease, and to say a truth, no better than slaves to the right Bees indeed. And therefore the others as maister Bees over them, have them at their commandement: if any drudgerie or such like businesse is to be done, out are they sent first: make they but slow hast in that they are set about, sure they are to pay for it, and to be punished without mercie. And not only in their ordinarie worke they serve them in good stead, but also they helpe them to multiplie: for the hotter that the place is, the more hope there is of a greater increase. Certes, this is found by experience, That the better the hive is peopled with a number of Bees, the Cast when time comes will be the greater, and the oftener will they swarme. But after the honie is growing once to maturitie and perfection, then begin they to drive these Drones out of dores: nay, ye shall have many Bees set upon one poore Drone, and kill him outright. So that a man shall not lightly see any of that kind but in the Spring time.
If one plucke off the wings from a Drone, and put him againe within the hive, he will never lin2 untill he have done the like by all the rest of the same kind. As touching the roiall pallaces for the kings and captaines that shall bee, built they are all most stately, great of receit, in shew magnificent, seated by themselves apart, and like citadels raised upon some high knap or tuft of a mountaine. If one of these castles chance to be pressed or crushed, there will be no more come of that princely race. All the lodgings and roumes where the Bees abode is, are six cornered, according to the number of feet emploied in that worke. None of all this is done at any set time or day appointed: but they take the opportunitie when they can espie faire weather to fit their businesse, and so doe these things by snatches. And surely within a day or two at the most, they fill their store-houses with honie.
The nature of Honie.
THIS PLEASANT AND SWEET LIQUOR which we call honie, is engendred naturally in the aire, and especially by the influence and rising of some starres: but principally during the fervent heat of the canicular daies, even when the Dog starre is in his full power and force: never before the appearing of the starre Vergiliæ, but alwaies before day. For so about the day breake betimes in the morning, the leaves of trees are found bedewed with honnie: and looke whosoever they are, that have occasion to be abroad in the aire about the dawning of the morrow, they may evidently perceive their clothes wet with a clammie humour of honie, yea, and their haires glewed therewith together, if they goe bare headed. Bee it what it will, either a certaine sweat of the skie, or some unctuous gellie proceeding from the starres, or rather a liquor purged from the aire when it purifieth it selfe; would God wee had it so pure, so cleare, and so naturall, and in the one kind refined, as when it descendeth first, whether it be from skie, from starre, or from the aire. For even now such as it is, passing (as it were) through so many hands: namely, falling from a region so high and remote from us, and in the way as it commeth catching much filth; and namely, infected with the grosse vapour of the earth which it meeteth in the fall: moreover, sucked and drunke (as it is) by the Bees from the leaves of trees and grasse, and so gathered and laid up in their little bellies or bladders, (for at their mouth they spew it up againe;) corrupted also and sophisticated with other humors drawne out of flowers; finally, so long soking within the hives, and suffering so many alterations: yet for all the sorrow, a great resemblance it carrieth still with it of a most pleasant, sweet, and cœlestiall liquor.
The best kind of Honie.
THE BEST HONIE is ever there, where the best flowers are; within the receptacles whereof, it lieth. As we may see in the countrey about Athens, which carrieth the name for honie: also in Sicilie within those territories about Hymettus and Hybla: and lastly, in the Island Calydna. Now this honie, whereof we treat, is at the first cleare and thin as water: and for certaine daies in the beginning, it workes and boiles like to new wine, and so purgeth it selfe. By the twentieth day it getteth a certaine consistence and thicke substance, and soone after gathereth a thin creame or skin over it: which in the very heat of working, is raised of a scum, and so thickeneth. The best simply that Bees can sucke, and least infected with the corruption of tree branches, is that which they get out of the leaves of Oke, Tilia [i. Linden tree,] and Canes.
The sundrie sorts of Honie, according to diverse regions.
HONIE (as we said before) is better or worse, according to the region where it is gathered; and that in many respects. For in some place ye shall have goodly combs: howbeit more commendable for waxe than the honie in them: as in the Pelignians countrey,3 and Sicilie. In others, and namely in Candie, Cypres, and Affricke, the combes yeeld more honie than waxe. Some countries there be, especially in the North parts, where the combes passe for bignesse; insomuch, as in Germanie there hath been a hony-combe seene eight foot long, and black all within. But in what region soever it be that honie is found, three kinds there be of it. First, the Spring honie, made of flowers onely; like as the combe also: and thereupon the Greekes call it Anthinon, which is as much to say as the Floure-honie. Some would not have this to be once touched, but to serve for nourishment of the young Bees, that the swarmes or casts may be more strong and lustie. Others againe leave for the Bees of none lesse than of it: by reason of the great plentie like to follow, at the rising of those notable starres in Summer ensuing. Moreover, the combes are in their principall beautie about the Sunnestead in Summer, when daies be longest, at what time as the Vine and Thyme do begin to floure. Also, in taking forth of the honycombs, needfull it is to be well advised in ordering the matter for the provision of food for Bees. If they be cut short and destitute of their meat, they either despaire and die for want, or else depart and flie away. Contrariwise, if you leave them too much, plentie breeds idlenesse, that they will not labour: neither deigne they to feed of Erithace, their ordinarie food, but fall to the good honie. They therefore that bee well experienced in these matters, thinke it good to leave them the twelfth part of this store and vintage, if I may so say, which is gathered in the combes. And verily, it seemeth that Nature hath ordained a certaine set day for to begin this vintage, if men would take knowledge thereof, and marke it well; namely, the thirtieth day, after the Bees swarmed and went forth: and usually it falleth out, that this gathering commeth within the month of May. A second kind of honie there is, which we call Summer honie, and is named also Horæum, of that principall season wherein it is made, namely, in the very middest of dogdaies, when the star Sirius is in his full strength: and that commonly is thirtie daies after the Sunne-stead. And I assure you, Nature hath shewed her admirable and excellent power to men ward in this behalfe; in case their fraud and deceit would suffer her workes in their entire and proper nature without corruption and sophistication, which marreth all, and maketh nothing but confusion. For upon the rising and apparition of any starre, and especially of those that be more excellent than the rest; or after that a rainebow is seene above the earth, and no showers of raine presently follow, but a drisling dew warmed with the raies and beames of the sunne; yee shall have that which falleth, not to be bare honie, but a very medicinable thing, even a cœlestiall gift, singular good for eies and ulcers, yea, and comfortable to the principall noble parts within the bodie. And if this happen to be at the rising of the dog starre, and it chaunce withall, that upon the same day (as oftentimes it falleth out) Venus, Iupiter, or Mercurie be Orientall, then shall yee have so heavenly a sweet liquor, that no one thing in the world may bee comparable to it for the curing of all our maladies, and even to reduce and recover us backe from death to life, like unto that cœlestiall and divine Nectar, which immortalizeth the gods above.
The markes of good Honie.
MORE PLENTIE OF HONIE is gathered in the full of the Moone, than at any other time: and if therewith the weather be faire, the same will be more uncteous and fattie. In all kinds, the best honie is that, which runneth of it selfe as new Wine and Oile; and called it is Acedon, as a man would say, gotten without care and travell.4 All Summer-honie is red, as being made in the driest season of the yeare. The honie which commeth of Thyme, is held to bee the best and most profitable: in colour like gold, in tast right pleasant; evident to be knowne by the little leaves therein: and the same is likewise fattie. That which is made of Rosemarie, or within the aire & vapour of the sea, is thick: and such verily as is thus candied, and will not run, like life-honie, is nothing commendable. As for Thyme honie, it will not thicken: and if a man touch it, rope it will and draw small slimie threds after it: which is a principall sign of the weight and heavinesse thereof. If honie be short in the handling, and soone breake, and that the drops part one from the other, it is thought to be a token of the worst and coursest of all. Another triall there is besides of good honie, namely, if it be fragrant and odoriferous to smell unto, sweet in tast, and biting withall, or quicke at the tongues end, glutinous, and cleare. As touching the driving of hives for Summer honie, Thasius5 Dionysius is of opinion, that the tenth part thereof should be left for the Bees, namely, if they were full: if not, then according to the proportion: but if they were but light and very thin, he would not have them to bee touched at all. The Athenians goe by this rule, and doe observe duly the Caprificiall day, which is kept holie unto Vulcan: for then they ever begin to drive their hives for this kind of honie.
Of a third kind of Honie: and how a man should know good Bees.
THERE IS A THIRD SORT of wild honie, which the Greekes call † Ericæum, and is of least reckoning. It is gathered after the first raine in Autumne, when the heath and lings only bloum in the woods, whereupon it seemeth as if it were sandie. This kind of honie is engendered for the most part after the rising of Arcturus, much about the Ides of September. Some there be that continue in gathering Summer honie unto the rising of Arcturus: betweene which and the Autumne Æquinoctiall are 14 daies: & from thence unto the setting of the Vergiliæ (namely, for the space of 48 daies) the said heath is most in his blouming time. This shrub the Athenians call Tetralix; the Eubœans name it Sisara: and they repute it to be a flower most pleasant to Bees, haply, because at that time there is no plentie of other flowers. This gathering of honie is about the end of vintage & the occultation of the Vergiliæ; and commonly endeth by the Ides of November. In driving of the hives for this honnie, by good reason, two [third] parts thereof would be reserved for the Bees: and especially those corners of the combes, which have in them the provision called Erithace. From the mids of winter unto the rising of Arcturus, for 60 daies Bees are nourished only with sleepe, without any other food. But from that time unto the Spring equinoctiall, and namely, where the weather is more warme, they are awake. Howbeit, they lie stil in their hive, & then fall to their victuals which they laid up in store against that time. But in Italie they do the like indeed after the rising of the star Vergiliæ: howbeit, untill then they do nothing but sleep. And there verily, men use when they take the honie forth of the hives, to weigh the combs, and so by weight dispence & set out how much they will leave them for their food: having this opinion, that they are bound to deale injustice & equitie even with the very Bees: insomuch, as it is commonly said, If they be defrauded of their due in this societie & part-taking, and find falsehood in fellowship, they will die for greefe: and so both the old stock will be lost, and the hope also of a new increase. In the first place therfore, this is a rule, That such folk only be set about this businesse to drive the hives, who are neat and clean. A theefe,6 & a woman whiles she is in her monthly sicknesse, they abhor. In taking out of honie, the best means to drive away the Bees, is to smoke them out of the hive: for feare that you anger them, or that they devour the honie themselves with more greedinesse. Moreover, when they grow to be idle, perfuming and smoking of them thus now and then, maketh them more fresh to goe about their worke. For when they lie still and doe nothing, they make their combes look dead and blackish. Againe, if they be overmuch smoaked, they will be the worse for it: and surely, the very honie soone catcheth the hurt hereof: for so tender and weake will it be, that with the least dew that is, you shall have it to turne and waxe soure. And therefore in all kinds of honie they observe and keepe that which is called Acapnon, [i. without smoke.] The honie gathered of both sorts of Thyme, called thereupon Bithymum, is not white: howbeit, very good it is for eies and to cleanse ulcers.
Now as touching the generation of Bees,7 and how they multiply and encrease, much dispute there hath been among the learned, and a nice question this is. For first and foremost, Bees were never seen to engender one with another: and therefore most men have been of opinion, that young Bees must needs be made of flowers fitly and handsomly laid togither and composed, according to Natures lore. Others say, that one master-Bee, which is the king in every swarme, doth beget them all: and that he forsooth is the only male; bigger also than the rest and more strong, because hee should not faint and faile in the action; for without such an one, we see there is no breed: and him all the other Bees attend upon, not as their leader and captain, but as the female follow the male. Certes this were a good conjecturall opinion, and sounding to a truth, but that the breed of these Drone-bees abovesaid, doth checke and overthrow it cleare: for what reason is there that one and the same manner of procreation, should bring forth some perfect and others unperfect? The former opinion yet might seeme more probable, but for another difficultie and inconvenience that crosseth it too: for otherwhiles in the utmost edges and sides of the combs, there are seen to breed the bigger kind of Bees, which chase & drive the others away: and this vermin is called Oestrus, [i. the gad-Bee or Horse-flie.8] Now if those little wormes or grubs from whence the Bees come, were made of flowers, which they themselves formed and brought into fashion, how commeth this gad-Bee, and whereof is hee made? This is certein, that Bees couvie and sit as Hens doe: and that which is (after a sort) by them hatched, seemeth at the first to be a little white grub or maggot, lying crosse overthwart the honey, and so fast sticking thereto, as if it seemed to feed thereupon. The king that shalbe, at the very first is yellow, and of the colour of honey: as if he were made of the most choise and excellent flower of all the rest: nothing like to a grub as the other, but presently hath wings. The rest of the multitude, when they begin to take some shape, are called Nymphae: like as the Drones at the beginning, be tearmed Sirenes or Cephenes.9 If a man take their heads from either sort, before they be winged, it is a most pleasant and excellent meat for the old dams. In processe of time, as they grow bigger, the old Bees distill and drop meat into their mouthes, as they sit upon them: and then they keepe most humming (as some thinke) for to set the combs into an heat, which is requisite and necessarie for the hatching of them: and thus they continue, untill the little pellicles or membranes be broken; within which, everie one lieth by it selfe, as egs: and then they break forth all togither and shew themselves accomplished Bees. The manne and experiment hereof, was seene upon a time in a ferme neare unto Rome, belonging to a Nobleman of Rome who somtime had been Consull: for hee caused his hives to be made of lanterne hornes that a man might see through into them. These young wormes be 45 daies before they come to their perfection.
There is found in some combs, a certaine bitter thing and hard like to wax, which the Latins call Clerus.10 This is as it were the abortive and untimely fruit of the Bees, to wit, when either by maladie or idlenes, or rather upon some barrennesse and unfruitfull disposition by nature, Bees are not able to bring the same to perfection.
As for the young Bees, they are not so soone abroad, but they begin to labour with their mothers, and are trained by them to learne how to gather honey. This young people have a young king also, unto whome they make court, and whome they follow. And many such kings are bred at first, for feare least they should want: but when the young Bees are growne bigge, they all agree with one accord and voice, to kill those that be most untoward among them, for feare they should make divisions, factions, and siding to parts. These kings be of two sorts: those that are red all over, be better than the blacke or partie-coloured. All the race of them be verie faire and goodly to see to; and twice as big as the rest: their wings shorter, their legges streight; in their port and manner of march, more stately: carrying in their front a white starre, like a diademe or coronet: farre brighter also and more neat they be than the common sort.
The regiment of Bees, and their government.
WHAT SHOULD a man now dispute about Hercules, whether there was but one of that name or many? Likewise as touching the Sepulchre of Prince Bacchus, where and which it is? As also trouble his head in many other such like antiquities, buried by long continuance of time. For behold, in one small matter that is daily seene in our countrey houses, in a thing annexed to our fermes, and whereof there is such store, all Authours who have written of Agriculture are not yet resolved: namely, Whether the king of Bees alone hath no sting, and is armed only with majestie? or, whether Nature hath bestowed a sting upon him, and denied him only the use therof? For certain it is, that this great commander over the rest, doth nothing with his sting: & yet a wonder it is to see, how they all are ready to obey him. When he marcheth abroad, the whole armie goeth forth likewise: then they assemble togither, & environ him round about; they are his guard, and so close they keepe united togither, that they will not suffer him once to be seene. At other times, when all his people are busie in labor, himselfe (as a right good captaine) overseeth their workes, goeth about from one to another, encouraging them in well-doing, and exhorting them to plie their businesse: himselfe onely exempt from all other travell and painstaking. About his person he hath a certain guard ever attendant: he hath his Lictors and officers alwaies in readinesse, in token of majestie and princely port. Hee never setteth forward, but when the whole swarme is prest likewise to goe forth: and in truth, long time before, a man may perceive that they be about a voiage and expedition; for, many daies togither there is an extraordinarie humming and noise within, whiles they prepare to dislodge, trussing up as it were their bag and baggage, and expecting onely a faire day of remoove. And suppose that the kind have in some battaile lost one of his wings, yet will not his hoast forsake him and flie. When they be in march, each one desireth and striveth to be next the prince, as taking a joy and pride to be seene of him, how lustily they performe their devoir. If he begin to be wearie, they support him with their shoulders: if hee be tired indeed and faint outright, they carry him full and whole. If any one of their owne companie chaunce to faile for very wearinesse, and doe drag behind, or stray aside and wander out of the way, it will yet endeavour to follow the armie only by the smell and sent. Where the king once setleth and taketh up his resting place, there they all pitch downe their tents and encampe. And I assure you, herein lieth a matter of great weight and importance: as touching the Auguries & presages gathered by the manner of their setling, prognosticating both to publicke states and also to privat persons, somthing to ensue of much moment, either for good or otherwise, according as they have been observed to hang togither in clusters like bunches of grapes, either at mens houses or upon the temples of the gods.11 By occasion whereof, folke had recourse to their devotions and sacrifices, for to appease the heavenly powers: and yet oftentimes such foretokens have not ben expiat without some strange events in the end. There was a swarme of Bees rested upon the very lips and mouth of Plato, when he was but a very babe and infant;12 Another cast of Bees setled within the very camp of Generall Drusus, the very same day, when he obtained that notable victorie at Arbalo.13 By which examples we may see, that this conjecturall skill and learning of these Soothsayers holdeth not alwaies, nor proveth ever true: for they forsooth suppose this to be evermore a portenteous sign of some fearfull event and misfortune.14 To returne againe to our captain Bee: if he chaunce to be entrapped and surprized by the enemie, the whole armie is sure withall to be taken with him. If he be deffeited and slaine, the field is lost: all the rest are scattered, and seeke their fortune to serve some other prince: for without one king or other, live they cannot. Sometime they are driven to kill those of the kings race, and namely when there be many kings togither: but this they doe perforce and full against their wills:and before they will so doe, they chuse rather to ruinate and pull downe the houses wherein they were bred; especially when there is some feare of scarsitie, by reason of the unkind season: and at such a time also, they chase and drive away the drone-Bees. And yet I see some doubt made of them: for divers are of opinion, that they be a kind of Bees by themselves, and that the rest doe set against them as very theeves. The biggest they are of all others, but blacke and broad bellied: good reason therefore that they should be called Theeves, because they come stealing and eat up their hony. Certein it is, that these drones be killed by the other Bees: and surely, king of their owne they have none. But how they should be naturally without a sting, there is some question, and the same as yet not determined. This is well known, that in a moist and rainie spring, Bees multiply better: but if it be drie weather, there will be more encrease of honey. Now if it happen, that the meat in one hive be spent, the Bees belonging thereto will assaile their next neighbours, with intent to rob and spoile them of their provision. But they on the contrarie side, put themselves in battaile aray, with full purpose to receive them againe. And if there chance to be a keeper by, to see the combat, that one part which perceiveth him to favor their side, will not once make at him for to sting him. Other causes there are besides, which make them often go togither by the ears: and then shall ye have two severall captains to arraunge their battailons one against another. But most of all they brawle and jarre upon occasion of gathering and carrying flowers, whiles they call each one to his owne companie, for to come forth and take part. But all this great fray is soone parted and dispatched, either by casting up some dust among them, or by making a little smoke and perfume under them. And reconciled soon they be againe, with setting before them a messe of milke, or honied-water.
Of the sundrie sorts of Bees in generall: and what things be contrarie and hurtfull unto them.
THERE IS A KIND OF RUSTICALL and wild Bee: and such are more rough and hideous to see to: much angrier also and curst than the rest: howbeit, more laborious and painfull by farre. Of domesticall and tame house-Bees, there are two sorts. The best be those that are short, well trust up and round, and withall, painted with sundrie colours. The long ones be the worse, and such as resemble waspes: and yet the worst of all others, bee those that are hairie all. Within the kingdome of Pontus there bee white Bees, and those make honey twice in everie moneth.15 Moreover, along the river Thermodoon, there be two sorts more. The one, gathereth hony in trees: others, within the ground, and bring great encrease thereof: for they frame their combs with a threefold course and ranke. The sting that Nature hath given unto Bees, sticketh within their bellies. Some are of opinion, that with the first prick they give with it, they die presently. Others hold, that they die not withall, unlesse they thrust it forth so far, that some of the gut followeth after: mary howsoever it be, they become afterwards no better than drones: neither gather they any more honey, as if they were guelded of their vigor and strength; so as they cease to doe good and harme both at once. We find it written in Chronicles, that horses have been stung to death by them. Filthie stinking savours they cannot abide, and namely, such as be contagious; and from them will they flie farre enough. Nay more than that, sure they will be to haunt and sting them that smell as they goe of sweet pomanders and odoriferous ointments, notwithstanding they be otherwise themselves subject to the injurie of most living creatures. For first and foremost, they are molested and assailed by those of their owne nature, but yet degenerate and of bastard breed, to wit, Waspes and Hornets: also by a kind of Gnats called Muliones.16 Swallowes, Martins, and some other birds, make foule work among them, and are their mortall enemies. The Frogs lie in wait for them as they come to drinke: which is the principall worke they have to doe, when they be about to multiply and breed young. And not those Frogs onely which keepe in standing pooles and running rivers, but those land-Frogs of a Todes kind will come of their owne accord from out of the brambles and briers where they keepe, and leap up to the very dore and entrance of the hive; where they will blow and breath in unto them: and when the Bees come flying forth thither, to see what the matter is, soone are they snapt up and devoured. And as for Frogs, all the sort of them are supposed not to feele the prick of their sting. Sheepe also are no friends of theirs: for if they once get entangled within their wooll, hardly can they get out again. Seeth but Crabfishes neer unto their hives, the very aire & smell therof will kill them. Over and besides, Bees naturally are many times sick; and that do they shew most evidently: a man shall see it in them by their heavie looks, and by their unlustines to their businesse: ye shall marke how some will bring forth others that be sicke and diseased, into the warme sunne, and be readie to minister unto them and give them meat. Nay, ye shall have them to carie forth their dead, and to accompanie the corps full decently, as in a solemne funerall. If it chaunce that the king be dead of some pestilent maladie, the commons & subjects mourne, they take thought and grieve with heavie cheere and sad countenance: idle they be, & take no joy to do any thing: they gather in no provision: they march not forth: onely with a certain dolefull humming they gather round about his corps, and will not away. Then requisite it is and necessarie, to sever and part the multitude, and so to take away the bodie from them: otherwise they would keepe a looking at the breathlesse carcasse, and never go from it, but still mone and mourne without end. And even then also they had need be cherished and comforted with good victuals, otherwise they would pine away and die with hunger. To conclude, a man may soone know when Bees be well in health, by their chearefulnesse and fresh hue that they carrie.
Diseases of Bees.
THERE BE DISEASES also and imperfections in their worke: and namely, when they fill not their comes, or bring not to perfection their young Bees. The first is called Cleros, like as the other Blapsigonia.17 Moreover, the sound made by reverberation of the aire, which men call Eccho, is hurtfull unto them: for they feare mightily that resounding noise, comming with a double stroke. Mists and Fogs also trouble them much. As for Spiders, they be their greatest enemies of all others, in case they can prevaile so much as to enter into the hive, and weave a copweb within it: for they kill all the Bees, and there is no remedie against it. Over and besides, that Moth or Butterflie18 which useth to flie about the snuffe of a candle burning, (a poore silie flie otherwise and of base account) here doth much hurt, and that in divers sorts. For not only it selfe eateth and gnaweth the waxe of their combes, but also doth blow and leave behind them such excrements as afterwards prove other moths. Also, wheresoever he goeth and flieth within the hive, he leaveth behind him a certaine substance, comming most from the dustie downe of his wings, with which he thickeneth the threds (as it were) of copwebs. There breed likewise even in very wood, certain wormes, which above all things make means to eat the combes. What should I speake of their owne greedie feeding and glutting themselves with too much liquour of the flowers, in the Spring time especially? whereupon ensueth a daungerous fluxe and loosenesse of their bellie. As for Oile, it is not bane to Bees onely, but also to all other Insects: especially, if a man dip their heads in it, and then let them be in the Sunne; for presently they will die of it. Many times Bees are causers of their owne death, with getting a surfet by excessive devouring of honie, namely, when they see it readie to be taken out of the hive: for otherwise they are very thriftie and overgreat sparers, and such, as at other times will drive out those that wast prodigally and be gluttinous, no lesse than such as be idle luskes, and slow at worke. Nay, even their owne honie doth them hurt: for if they be annointed therewith in their hinder parts, they will die upon it. Lo how many enemies this creature (so liberall and bountifull) hath! see, how many casualties it is subject unto! and yet what be these I have alreadie rehearsed, in proportion and comparison of those which are omitted? Their remedies will we speake of in convenient time and place: for this present, content I will my selfe to treat onely of their natures.
How to keepe Bees to the hive: and the manner of repairing them.
BEES JOY in the clapping of hands, and ringing of brasen basons: at the sound thereof they will assemble and come together. Whereby, it is a plaine case, that they have the sence of hearing. When they have done their taske of worke; when they have brought foorth their young ones, and fully accomplished all their devoire; then they performe a solemnitie of exercise: wherein after they have flowne abroad in the open aire at libertie, fetched their compasse about on high, gathered into rings and rounds in manner of tournament for their pleasure: then at last when it it time of repast, they returne home againe. The longest time that they can live, (say, that they passe through all daungers, and no misfortune light upon them, but every thing that is adverse, fall out well and happily) is not above seven yeares.19 And never was it knowne or heard of, that an hive continued above ten years. Some writers be of opinion, That dead Bees if they bee kept within house all a Winter, and when the Spring is come, bee laid forth in the hote Sunne to frie, and one whole daie be kept covered all over with figtree ashes, they will revive and be quicke againe.20 But suppose they be not onely dead, but their bodies also lost and gone, some say they may be repaired and a new swarme engendred, by laying the fresh paunches of oxen or kine newly killed, with the dung, garbage and all, within a dunghill there to putrifie. Virgill affirmeth,21 that the carkasses of any young steeres, will doe the same: like as dead horses will breed Waspes and Hornets: and Asses carrion turne to be Beetle-flies, by a certaine metamorphosis which Nature maketh, from one creature to another. And yet there be none of all these, but are seene to engender: howbeit the manner of their breed is much after the nature of Bees.
Of Waspes and Hornets.
WASPES USE to build them nests on high, of earth and clay, and therein doe make their roomes and cells of wax. Hornets, in caves and holes under the ground. All these verily have their chambers made with sixe corners, and yet their nests consist of some barke and substance like cobwebs. And as they be a barbarous and savage kind of creatures, so their young is not uniforme: one is readie to flie abroad, whiles another is yet but yong and not fledge, and a third a meere worme and grub still. All these breed in the Autumne, and never in the Spring. When the moone is in the full, they encrease marveilously. As for the little Wasps, called Ichneumones22 (and lesse they be than others) they use to kill one kind of Spiders called Phalangia, and carrie them into their nests: they besmeare them all over with a liniment, sit over them, and so procreate their owne kind. Moreover, all the sort of these live upon flesh, contrarie to the manner of Bees, which will not touch a dead carcasse. But Waspes hunt after the greater flies: and when they have whipt off their heads, carrie away the rest of their bodies for that provision. The wild Hornets use to keepe in hollow trees. All winter time, like other Insects, they lie hidden, and live not above two yeeres. If a man be stung with them, hardly he escapeth without an ague. And some have written, that 27 pricks of theirs will kill a man. The other Hornets which seeme to be the gentler, be of two sorts. The lesse of bodie, doe worke and travaile for their living, and they die when winter is come. But the greater sort of them continue two yeeres: and those also are nothing daungerous, but mild and tractable. These make their nests in the spring, and the same for the most part having foure dores or entries unto them, wherein the lesser labouring Hornets abovesaid, are engendred. When those are quick, brought to perfection, and gotten abroad, they build longer nests; in which they bring foorth those that shall be mothers and breeders: by which time, those yong Hornets that worke, be readie to doe their businesse and feed these other. Now these mothers appeare broader than the rest: and doubtfull it is, whether they have any sting or no? because they are never seen to thrust them forth. These likewise have their drones among them, as well as Bees. Some thinke, that toward winter, these all doe loose their stings. Neither Hornets nor Waspes, have kings or swarms, after the manner of Bees: but yet their repaire their kind and maintaine their race by a new breed and generation.
Of Silkewormes: the Bombylius, and Necydalus. And who first invented silke cloth.
A FOURTH KIND of flie there is,23 breeding in Assyria, and greater than those above-named, called Bombyx, [i. the Silkeworme.]24 They build their nests of earth and clay, close sticking to some stone or rocke, in manner of salt: and withall so hard, that scarsely a man may enter them with the point of a speare. In which they make also waxe, but in more plentie than Bees: and after that, bring forth a greater worme than all the rest before rehearsed. These flies engender also after another sort; namely, of a greater worme or grub, putting forth two horns after that kind: and these be certain Cankerwormes. Then these grow afterward to be Bombylij; and so forward to Necydali: of which, in six moneths after, come the silkeworms Bombyces. Silkeworms spin and weave webs like to those of the Spiders, and all to please our dainty dames, who thereof make their fine silkes and velvets, forme their costly garments and superfluous apparell, which are called Bombycina. The first that devised to unweave these webs of the Silke-worme, and to weave the same againe, was a woman in Coos named Pamphila, daughter of Latoos:25 and surely she is not to be defrauded of her due honour and praise, for the invention of that fine silke, Tiffanie, Sarcenet, and Cypres, which instead of apparell to cover and hide, shew women naked through them.
Of the Silkeworme in Cos.
IT IS COMMONLY SAID, that in the Iland Cos there be certain Silkeworms26 engendred of flowers, which by the meanes of raine-showers, are beaten downe and fall from the Cypres tree, Terebinth, Oke, and Ash: and they soone after doe quicken and take life by the vapour arising out of the earth. And men say, that in the beginning, they are like unto little Butterflies naked; but after a while (being impatient of the cold) are overgrowne with haire; and against the winter, arme themselves with good thicke clothes: for being rough-footed, as they are, they gather all the cotton and downe of the leaves which they can come by, for to make their fleece. After this, they fall to beat, to felt and thicken it close with their feet, then to card it with their nailes: which done, they draw it out at length, and hang it between the braunches of trees, and so kembe it in the end to make it thin and subtil. When all is brought to this passe, they unwrap and enfold themselves (as it were) in a rond ball and clew of thread, and so nestle within it. Then are they taken up by men, put in earthen pots, kept there warme, and nourished with bran, untill such time as they have wings according to their kind: and being thus well clad and appointed, they are let go to doe other businesse. Now as touching the wooll or fleece which they have begun, men suffer it to relent in some moisture, and so anon it is spun into a small thread, with a spindle made of some light Kex or Reed. This is the making of that fine Say, whereof silke cloth is made; which men also are not abashed to put on and use, because in summer time they would goe light and thin. And so farre doe men draw backe now a daies from carrying a good corslet and armour on their backes, that they thinke their ordinarie apparell doth over-lode them. Howbeit, hitherto have they not medled with the Assyrian Silkworme, but left it for the fine wives and dames of the city.
Of Spiders, and their generation.
IT WERE NOT AMISSE to join hereunto a discourse of Spiders, for their admirable nature, which deserveth a speciall consideration. Wherein, this is first to be noted, that of them there be many kinds, and those so well knowne unto every man, that needles it is to particularize and stand much upon this point. As for those which be called Phalangia, their stinging and biting is venomous, their bodie small, of diver colours, and sharpe pointed forward; and as they goe, they seeme to hop and skip. A second sort be blacke, and their feet are exceeding long. All of them have in their legs, three joints. The least of this kind, called Lupi, spin not at all nor make any webs. The greater, stretch foorth their webs before the small entries into their holes within the ground. But the third kind of Spiders, be they which are so wonderfull for their fine spinning and skilfull workmanship: these weave the great and large cobwebs that wee see; and yet their verie wombe yeeldeth all the matter and stuffe whereof they be made. Whether it be, that at some certein season naturally their belly is so corrupt (as Democritus saith:27) or that within it there is a certain bed (as it were) which engendreth the substance of silke. But surely whatsoever it is, so sure and steadie nailes the Spider hath; so fine, so round, and even a thread she spinnes, hanging thereunto her selfe, and using the weight of her owne bodie in stead of a wherve; that a wonder it is to see the manner thereof. Shee beginneth to weave at the very mids of the web, and when she hath laid the warpe, bringeth over the woofe in compasse round. The mashes and marks she dispenseth equally by even spaces; yet so, as every course groweth wider than other: and albeit they do encrease still from narrow to be broader, yet are they held and tied fast by knots that can not be undone. Marke, I pray you, how artifically she hideth the snares in that net of hers, made into squares, to catch the poore flies. A man would not thinke (who seeth the long yarne in her web wrought serce-wise,28 smoothed and polished so cunningly, and the verie manner of the woofe so glewish and clammie as it is, of it selfe) that all were to any purpose, and served for that which she intendeth. See withall, how slacke and hollow the net is made, to abide the wind, for feare of breaking: and thereby so much the better also to fold and enwrap whatsoever commeth within her reach! What a craft is this of hers to leave the upper part hereof in the front undone, as if she were wearie, (for so a man may guesse, when he can hardly see the reason) and (as it is in hunters net and toile) that so soone as those nets be stumbled upon, they should cast the flies headlong into the lap and concavitie of the net? To come now unto her nest and hole: Is there any Architecture comparable to the vault and arched frame? And for to keepe out the cold, how is it wrought with a longer and deeper nap than the rest! What subtiltie is this of hers, to retire into a corner so farre from the mids, making semblance as though she meant nothing lesse than that she doth, and as if she went about some other businesse! Nay, how close lyeth she, that it is impossible for one to see, whether any bodie bee within or no! What should I speake of the strength that this web hath to resist the puffes and blasts of winds? of the toughnesse to hold and not breake, notwithstanding a deale of dust doth weigh and beare it downe? Many a time ye shall see a broad web reaching from one tree to another: and this is when she learneth to weave and beginneth to practise and trie her skill. She stretcheth a thread, and warpeth in length from the top of the tree downe to the very ground; and up again she whirles most nimbly by the same thread: so as at one time, she spinneth and windeth up her yarne. Now if it chaunce that any thing light into her net, how watchfull, how quick-sighted, how readie is she to run? Be it never so little snared even in the very skirt and utmost edge thereof, she alwaies skuds into the mids; for so by shaking the whole net, she entangleth the flie or whatsoever it be, so much the more. Looke what is slit or rent therein, she presently doth mend and repaire, and that so even and small, that a man cannot see where the hole was derned and drawne up againe. These Spiders hunt also after the yong Lizards: first they enfold and wrap the head within their web: then, they catch hold and tweake both their lips togither, and so bite and pinch them. A worthy sight and spectacle to behold, fit for a king, even from the stately Amphitheatres, when such a combat chanceth.
Moreover, there bee many presages and prognostications depend upon these Spiders: for against any inundations and overflowings of rivers, they weave and make their cobwebs higher than they were wont. In faire and cleare weather, they neither spin nor weave: upon thicke and cloudie daies, they be hard at worke: and therefore many cobwebs be a signe of raine. Some thinke,it is the female that spinneth and weaveth; and the male, which hunteth and getteth in the provision for the familie: thus ordering the matter equally in earning their living, as man and wife togither in one house.29 Spiders engender togither with their buttocks, and little worms they doe lay like egs. For, considering that the generation of all Insects besides, in a manner can be declared and shewed no otherwise, I must not deferre the relation of it, being so admirable as it is. Well then, these egs they do lay in their webs, but scattering here and there, because they use to skip and leape when they thrust them forth.30 The Phalangius onely sitteth upon the egges within the very hole, and those in great number: which begin not so soon to peepe, but they eat the mother, yea and oftentimes the father likewise, for he helpeth her also to coove. And these kind of Spiders bring commonly 300 at a time: whereas all the rest have fewer. They sit ordinarily thirtie daies. As for yong Spiders, they come to their full growth and perfection in 4 weeks.
SEMBLABLY, THE LAND SCORPIONS doe lay certaine little worms or grubs in manner of egs: and when they have so done, perish likewise for their labour, as the Spiders. Their stings be as venomous and daungerous, as those of serpents: and albeit there ensue not thereupon so present death, yet they put folke to more paine a great delae; insomuch as they languish and lie drawing on three daies before they die. If a maiden be stung with one of them, she is sure to die of it: other women also for the most part catch their death thereby, and hardly escape. Yea and men also find their poison to be mortall and deadly, if they be stung in a morning by them when they creepe newly out of their holes, fasting, and before that they have discharged their poison by pricking one thing or other first. Their sting lieth in their tails, and readie they are with it alwaies to strike.There is not a minute of an houre but they practise and trie how they can thrust it forth, (so malicious they be) because they would not loose and misse the first opportunitie presented unto them. They strike both sidelong or byas, and also crooked and bending upward, with their taile. The poison that commeth from them, is white, as Apollodorus saith: who also hath set down nine sorts of them, and distinguished them by their colours, which me thinkes, was but superfluous and more than needed;31 considering that a man cannot know by his discourse, which of them he would have to be least hurtfull and noisom. He affirmeth, that some have double stings, and that the males are more curst and cruell than the females: for he avoucheth, that they doe engender togither, and that the males may be knowne by this, That they are long and slender. Moreover, that they be all of them venomous about mid-day, when they bee enchaffed and set into an heat, by the scalding and scorching sunne: also when they be drie and thirstie, they cannot drinke their full and quench their drought. This is well knowne, that those which have seven joints in their tailes, be more fell than the rest: for it is ordinarie to have but six. In Affricke, this pestilent creature useth to flie also, namely, when the Southerne winds blow, which carrie them aloft in the aire and beare them up as they stretch forth their armes like oares. The same Apollodorus before-named avoucheth plainly, that some of them have very wings indeed.32 The people called Psylli (who making a gainfull trade and merchandise of it, to bring in hither unto us the poisons of other countries, and by that meanes have filled Italie with forrein venomous beasts) have many times assaied to bring them hither; but never would they abide so much as the aire of Sicilie, nor live in that tract. Howbeit we see of them now and then in Italie, but harmlesse they be all: like as in many other places besides, and namely about Pharus in Ægypt. In †† Scythia they be so daungerous, that they kill their hogs; which otherwise be creatures that can eat such poisons, and yet live and doe full well. And if it be true that is said, the black swine die more speedily, especially if after they be stung, they goe into the water and drench themselves. If a man bee stung with a Scorpion and drinke the powder of them in wine, it is thought to be present remedie. Men hold, that nothing is more contrary unto them than oile, if they be dipped therein: as also to the Stelliones, which are made like Lizards, and doe no hurt to them onely, because they are without bloud. Like as the Scorpions also are said to be harmelesse to any thing that is bloudlesse. Some are of opinion, that they likewise devoure their young, save onely one who is more slie and craftie than the rest, who gets upon the rumpe behind of the mother, and there sits, being assured that he is safe enough in that place, both from sting of taile and tooth in mouth. This Scorpion revengeth the death of his other brethren and sisters: for in the end he skips upon the back of father and mother both, where he gnaweth and eateth them to death. To conclude, Scorpions usually doe breed eleven young ones at a time.
Of Stellions and Grashoppers.
THE STELLIONS after a sort be of the nature of Chamæleons, living onely upon dew and Spiders.33 Grashoppers also live much after the same manner. And they be of two sorts; namely, the lesser, which come first, and die last: but those be mute. The latter breed, seldome or never flie: and those likewise are of two kinds. Such as sing alowd, be named Echetæ; and the lesser sort of them Terttigoniæ: but those other are more shrill, and chant full merrily. The male Grashoppers in both kinds doe find themselves are silent. The people of the East countries make their food of them: even the very Parthians, who otherwise abound in wealth.34 The hee Grashoppers are the sweeter meat before the time of engendring: and the shee Grashoppers afterward, by reason of egs knotted within them, and those be white. They engender with their bellies upward. They have a certain roughnesse upon their backs, which is very sharpe, and therwith they worke a hollow gutter in the ground, as a nest to lay their egs and breed in. At the first, appeareth a little worme or magot; whereof commeth afterward that which they call Tettigometra, as one would say, the mother of Grashoppers, or the great grashopper.35 For about the Sunstead in Summer, the utmost crust or case thereof breaketh, and then out they flie, and alwaies in the night. At the first, blacke they be and hard withall. Of all creatures that are known to live, the Grashoppers alone have no mouth: in stead whereof, they have a certaine sharpe pointed thing in their breast (like unto their tongues that carrie stings in their mouths) and with it they sucke and licke in the dew. Their breast is full of little pipes, from whence commeth that ringing noise of the Echetæ which we doe heare, as I have above said. Moreover, their bellie is emptie and hath nothing in it. When a man raiseth them, so as they bee thereby forced to flie, they yeeld forth a certaine humour: which is the onely argument that they bee nourished of the dew. They have moreover this one marke from all other creatures living, namely, no concavitie of their bodie to be seen whereby to void out any excrements. So dim-sighted they be, that if a man chaunce to come neare unto them, plucking in and stretching out his finger before them, they will presently leape upon it, supposing that it is some leafe that waggeth. Writers there bee, that make two more kinds of them, namely, the greater, which appeare at the first spring and budding of trees; whereupon it is called Surcularia: and a lesser, which some name Frumentaria, others Avenaria. For this sheweth it selfe when corne is ripe and begins to die in the straw.
Places wherein there be no Grashoppers: also where they are mute.
IN COUNTRIES bare and naked of trees and wood, there breed no Grashoppers: and therefore ye shall have them at Cyrene, about the towne, but not in the plaines and fields thereof. Neither shall a man meet with them in woods that be cold and full of shade. It seemeth also, that they take a liking to some one quarter more than another: for in the region of the Milesians, few places there be that have them: but in Cephalenia, there is a river that doth limit and bound them: for of the one side there be plentie of them; and on the other, few or none. In the territorie of Rhegium they be all mute. Passe the river once and come into the Locrians countrey, yee shall heare them chaunt lustily. Wings they have like to those of Bees, but larger, to the proportion of their bodies.
The wings of Insects, and sundrie kinds of Beetles.
OF INSECTS, some carrie two wings about them, as the flies: others foure, as Bees. As for Grashoppers, they flie with wings made like pellicles or fine skins. In summe, all Insects which be armed with a sting in their bodies or taile, have foure a peece: and none againe have above twaine that carrie their offensive weapon in the mouth.36 To the former, Nature hath given it for to revenge; to the other, onely to feed themselves, and content their appetite. Moreover, plucke from any of them their wings, there will never come new in the place. None that have a sting in their taile, be double winged. Some Insects there be, which have growing a certaine huske or cod over their wings, for the safeguard and defence thereof, as the Beetles: and the wings of such be thinner and more brittle than others. Sting have they none, but a certaine kind of the great ones be armed with two long hornes boking out before them, and two-forked they be and toothed like pinsons, in the top, which (when they lift) they can bring togither and make them meet, and so nip and bite withall. These Beetles, folke use to hang about the necke of young babes, as present remedies against many maladies.37 Such Beetles, Nigidius calleth Lucanes.38 Over and besides, there is another sort, which tumbling upon their backe in dung, do roll it into great round balls with their feet; and therein doe make nests for to bestow the little grubs (which are their young) against the cold of winter. Some ther be that use to flie up and down, and where ever they go, make a great buzzing noise as if they lowed. Ye shall have others again that keepe in medowes; yea and Creckets that haunt the hearth and stocke of chimnies, where the[y] make many holes, and lie cricking alowd in the night.
The Glo-wormes, are named by the Greeks Lampyrides, because they shine in the night like a sparke of fire: and it is no more but the brightnes of their sides and taile: for one while, as they hold open their wings, they glitter; another while when they keepe them close togither, they be shadowed and make no shew. These Glowhards never appeare before hay is ripe upon the ground; ne yet after it is cut downe. Contrariwise, the flies called Blattæ, live and be nourished in darkenesse: a light is an enemie unto them, and from it they flie. They breed commonly in baines and stouves, of the moist vapours that be there. Of the same kind there be other great Beetles red in colour, which worke themselves holes in the drie earth, where they frame certaine receptacles like unto Bees combs, little and small, full of pipes resembling hollow spunges; and all for a kind of bastard honey, whereof yet there is some use in Physicke. In Thrace neare to Olynthus, there is a little territorie or plot of ground, where this one creature (among all other) cannot live; whereupon the place is called Cantharolethus.39 The wings generally of all Insects, bee whole, without any slit: and none of them hath a taile but the Scorpion. Hee alone hath not onely armes, but also a sting in the taile.40 As for the rest, some of them have a sharpe pricked weapon in their muzzle, as namely, the Breese or great Horse-flie, called in Latine Asilus or Tabanus, whether you will. Likewise Gnats also, and some kind of flies. And these prickes serve them in good stead both for mouth and tongue. Some of these are but blunt, and not good for to pricke, but onely handsome to sucke withall, as flies, which have all of them a tongue, beeing evidently fistulous and like a pipe. And none of all these have any teeth. There be Insects with little hornes proaking out before their eyes, but weake and tender they be, and good for nothing; as the Butterflies. And there bee againe, that are not winged, and such be the Scolopendres. All Insects that have legges and feet, goe not directly, but bias and crooked. Of which, some have the hinder legges loner than the former, and such bend hooked outward; as the Locusts.41
THE LOCUSTS lay egges in Autumne, by thrusting downe into the ground the fistule or end of their chine, and those come forth in great abundance. These eggs lie all winter long in the earth; and at the end of the spring the yeere following, they put out little Locusts, blacke of colour, without legs, and creeping upon their wings. Hereupon it commeth, that if it be a wet spring and rainie, those egs perish and come to no good: but in a drie season, there will be greater encrease and store of Locusts the Summer ensuing. Some writers hold opinion, that they lay and breed twice a yeare: likewise that they perish and die as often. For they say, that when the star Vergiliæ doth arise, they breed: and those afterwards about the beginning of the Dog-daies, die; and others then come in their place. Others say, that they engender and breed againe their second litter, at the full or setting of Arcturus. True it is indeed, that the mothers die so soone as they have brought foorth their little ones, by reason of a small worme that presently breedeth about their throat, which choketh them.42 And at the same time, the males likewise miscarrie. See what a little matter (to speake of) bringeth them to their death! and yet a woonder it is to consider, how one of them when it list will kill a serpent: for it will take him fast by the chaws, and never lin biting untill shee hath dispatched him. These little beasts breed no where but in plaine and champion countries, namely, such as be full of chinkes and crevises in the ground. It is reported, that there be of them in India, three foot long; where the people of the countrey use their legs and thighes for sawes, when they be throughly dried. These Locusts come by their death another way, besides that above-named: for when the wind taketh them up by whole troopes togither, they fall downe either into the sea, or some great standing pooles.43 And this many a time happeneth by meere chaunce and fortune; and not (as many have supposed in old time) because their wings are wet with the night dew. For even the same Authors have written, that they flie not in the night for cold. But little know they, that it is ordinarie with them to passe over wide and broad seas, and to continue their flight many daies togither without rest. And the great wonder is this, that they know also when a famine is toward: in regard wherof, they seeke for food into farre countries: in such sort, as their comming is ever holden for a plague of the gods, proceeding from their heavie wrath and displeasure. For then commonly they are bigger to be seene,44 than at other times: and in their flight they keepe such a noise with their wings, that men take them for some straunge foules. They shade and darken the very Sunne as they flie, like unto a great clowd: insomuch, as the people of every country behold them with much feare, least they should light in their territorie, and over-spread the whole countrey. And verily their strength is such, that they hold out still in their flight: and as if they had not enough of it to have flowne over seas, they give not over to traverse mightie great countries in the continent. And looke in what place soever they settle, they cover whole fields of corne with a fearfulle and terrible clowd: much they burn with their very blast, and no part is free but they eat and gnaw even the very dores of mens dwelling houses. Many a time they have been knowne to take their flight out of Affricke, and with whole armies to infest Italie: many a time have the people of Rome, fearing a great famine and scarcitie toward, beene forced to have recourse unto Sibyls bookes for remedie,45 and to avert the ire of the gods. In the Cyrenaick region within Barbarie, ordained it is by law, every three yeares to wage warre against them, and so to conquer them: that is to say, first to seeke out their neasts, and to squash the egges; secondly, to kill all their young; and last of all, to proceed even to the greater ones, and utterly to destroy them: yea, and a grievous punishment lieth upon him that is negligent in this behalfe, as if hee were a traitour to his prince and countrey.46 Moreover, within the Island Lemnos there is a certaine proportion & measure set down, how many & what quantitie every man shall kill; and they are to exhibit unto the magistrate a just and true account thereof, and namely to shew that measure full of dead Locusts. And for this purpose they make much of Iaies, Dawes, and Choughs,47 whom they doe honour highly, because they flie opposite against the Locusts, and so destroy them. Moreover, in Syria they are forced to levie a warlike power of men against them, & to make riddance by that means. See in how many parts of the world this hurtfull and noisome vermine is dispersed and spread: and yet in Parthia they are taken for very good meat. The voice that they have (such as it is) seemeth to come from the hinder part of their head: for about that place where the joincture is of the shoulders to the nape of the necke, they are supposed to have certaine teeth, which by grating and grinding one against the other, doe yeeld a kind of crashing noise: and namely, about the time of both Æquinoctials: like as the Grashoppers at midsummers Sunstead. Locusts engender after the manner of all other Insects which do engender: to wit, the female carieth the male: and she lying underneath, bendeth up the very end of her taile against the other: and thus they continue a good while ere they part asunder. To conclude, the males of all this kind be lesse than the females.
Of the ordinarie Pismires of our countrey in Italie.
MOST PART OF INSECTS do breed a grub or little worme. For even the very Ant in the Spring time doth bring forth such wormes like egges. These silie creatures labour and travell in common, as the Bees doe: this onely is the difference, that Bees doe make their owne meat; whereas these store up only their food and provision. As touching their strength, if a man would compare the burdens that they carie, with their own bodies, he will find and confesse, that there is not a creature againe in the world, for that proportion, stronger. And how doe they carrie them? even with their very mouths. Howbeit, if they meet with any greater load than they can bite betweene their chawes, then they set their shoulders to it, and with their hinder legs also make meanes to drive it forward. They have among them a certain forme of Commonwealth: they remember they are not without care and fore-cast. Looke what seeds or graines they do lay up for provision, sure they will be to gnaw it first, for feare they should sprout and take root again and so grow out of the earth. If a corne or seed be too big for their carriage, they divide it into peeces, that they may goe with it more easily into their house. If their seeds within, chaunce to take wet, they lay them abroad, and so drie them. They give not over worke by night, when the Moone is at the full: but when she is in the change, they rest and play them. When they are at worke, how painefull are they? how busie, how industrious? And for as much as they make their purveiance in diverse places, and bring from all parts, without knowledge one of the other: they keepe among them certain market daies, for a mutuall enterview and conference together. And verily, it is a world to see, how then they will assemble; what running, what greeting, what entercourse and communication there is betweene them, whiles they are inquisitive, as they meet one with another, What newes abroad: even like marchants at a Burse. Their warfare is so ordinarie and continuall, that wee may see the very hard flint and pebble stones worne with their passage too and fro: wee may see (I say) a very path-way made where they use to goe about their worke: whereby, let no man doubt of what force and power continuall use is, of any thing whatsoever, be it never so little. Of all living creatures, they onely and men, doe enterre and burie their dead among them. To conclude, throughout all Sicilie a man shall not see a flying Ant.
Of Indian Pismires.
IN THE TEMPLE OF Hercules at Erythræ,48 there were to bee seene the hornes of a certain Indian Ant, which were there set up for a wonder to posteritie. In the countrey of the Northerne Indians named Dardæ, the Ants doe cast up gold above ground from out of the holes and mines within the earth: these are in colour like to cats, and as big as the ††† wolves of Ægypt. This gold beforesaid which thy worke up in the winter time, the Indians do steale from them in the extreame heat of Summer, waiting their opportunitie, when the Pismires lie close within their caves under the ground, from the parching Sun: yet not without great daunger. For if they happen to wind them and catch their sent, out they goe, and follow after them in great hast: and with such furie they flie upon them, that oftentimes they teare them in peeces; let them make way as fast as they can upon their most swift Camels, yet they are not able to save them. So fleet of pace, so fierce of courage are they, to recover gold that they love so well.
The diverse generation of some Insects.
MANY INSECTS there be that breed after another sort, than the former above specified: and principally of dew, which setleth upon the Radish leafe in the beginning of Spring.49 For being made thicke, and hardened with the heat of the Sunne, it groweth to the bignesse of the graine of Millet. From it ariseth a little grub, and three daies after it becommeth a kind of canker-worme: and so in processe and tract of time it groweth bigger without mooving at all, and gathered an hard huske or case about her: onely if a man touch the webbie particles, wherein the said worme lieth enwrapped, it will seeme to stir. This is called Chrysalis: and after some time, when the kex or huske is broken, he proveth a faire flying butter-flie.
Of Insects that breed in wood, and of wood.
SEMBLABLY, THERE BE some Insects engendred of raine drops standing upon the earth; and others also in wood. For not onely the ordinarie wood-wormes breed in timber, but also certain Brees and Horse-flies come of it, yea, and other such like, whensoever the wood is dotted with overmuch moisture. Like as within one of our bodies there have been found broad wormes, of thirtie foot in length, yea, and sometimes with the vantage.50 Also there have ben seen in dead carions many wormes: and the very flesh of men whiles they be alive, is apt to breed such vermine: and so in the haire of the head to harbour lice; of which filthie and lothsome creatures, both Sylla the Dictatour, and also Alcman (one of the most renowmed Greeke Poets) perished.51 Moreover, birds are much infested and troubled therewith. And as for Feasants, they will die therof, unlesse they bestrew themselves with dust. Of such beasts as carie haire, it is verily thought that the Asse alone and Sheepe are free from this kind of vermine. Some kind of cloth likewise is apt to engender lice, & especially those which are made of wooll, that Sheepe bare which were worried of Wolves.52 Over and besides, I find in some writers, That there is some water will engender this vermine, if we doe but wash therein. For even in waxe there will breed mites, but such are thought to be of all creatures that have life, the very least. Also, ye shall have others again engender of filthie drie dust, namely, fleas, which use to skip and hop with their hinder feet lustily like these tumblers and vautours. Last of all, there be those that come of a certaine moist powder in cranies of the ground, and those be our ordinarie little flies.53
Of one kind of creature that hath no paßage to void excrements.
THERE IS A CREATURE as foule and illfavoured as the rest,54 which hath evermore the head fast sticking within the skin of a beast, and so by sucking of bloud liveth, and swelleth withall. The only living creature of all other that hath no way at all to rid excrements out of the bodie: by reason whereof, when it is too full, the skin doth cracke and burst, and so his very food is cause of his owne death. In Horses, Asses, and Mules, these doe never breed. In Kine and Oxen they be common: and otherwhiles in dogs, who are pestered not onely with these tickes, but also with all other vermine abovenamed. And in Sheepe and Goats a man shall find none other but tickes. It is as strange a thing also to see, how the horseleeches which be nourished in standing waters of fennes, are thirstie after bloud. For these will thrust their whole head into the flesh for to draw and sucke out bloud. Finally, there is a kind of flies that plagueth dogges, and none els: they are busie commonly about their eares, where they will bite & sting them shrewdly; for there they cannot come by them with their teeth to snap and kill them.
Of Moths and Gnats.
WOOLL AND CLOTH when they be dustie breed moths,55 especially if a Spider also be gotten within them. For the Spider is very thirstie, and by reason that he drinketh up all the moisture of the cloth or wooll, he increaseth the drinesse much more. In paper also they will engender. A kind of them there is that carie their coats and cases with them, as Cockles and Snailes doe: but they have feet to be seen. If they be turned out of their coats or husks, they presently die. If they grow still, they will proove to be Chrysalides. The wild fig-tree doth breed certaine Gnats called Ficarij. As for the Cantharides or French greene flies, they be bred of little wormes in Fig-trees, Peare-trees, wild Pines or Pitch-trees, the Eglantine brier, and Roses: A venomous vermine this is, howbeit, medicinable in some sort. The wings be they that are good in Physicke: cast them away, and the rest is deadly. Moreover, there be other Gnats, that soure things will engender. And no marvell, seeing that there be some wormes found in snow, & those are white, if the snow be but thin and new fallen. But in case it have lien long, and be deepe, a man shall find in the mids within, those that are red, (for snow also if it be old, waxeth red) rough and hairie, greater also than the rest, and dull of motion.
Of the fire-flie, called Pyralis or Pyrausta.
THE FIRE ALSO, a contrarie element to generation, is not without some living creatures engendred therein. For in Cypres, among the forges and furnaces of copper, there is to be seen a certaine foure-footed creature, and yet winged, (as big as the greater kind of flies) to flie out of the very middest of the fire: and called it is of some Pyralis, of others Pyrausta. The nature of it is this: So long as it remaineth in the fire, it liveth: but if it chaunce to leape foorth of the furnace, and to flie any thing far into the aire, it dieth.56 There is a river in the kingdome of Pontus called Hypanis, which about the Summer Sunnestead, useth to bring downe the streame certain thin pellicles or bladders like unto grape kernils: out of which there breaketh forth and issueth a foure footed flie, like unto those above named: and it liveth not above one day, whereupon it is called Hemerobion, [i. a day-flie.] All other Insects of like sort, may continue and live a seven-night. The Gnat and little wormes, three weekes: but such as bring foorth their young alive, may endure a full month. As for the Metamorphosis of these creatures from one from to another, it is most commonly performed in three daies, or foure at the most. All the rest of the winged kind, lightly die in Autumne: among which, the Brees and Horse-flies are ordinarily blind first. To be short, those flies which have been drowned, and so come to their death, if they be laid and kept in hote cinders or ashes, will come againe to themselves, and revive.
A discourse Anatomicall, of the nature of living creatures, part by part, according to their particular members.
IT REMAINETH NOW to treat of the severall parts of the bodie, and over and above the former description, to particularize and set downe the storie of one member after another. First therfore, this is generall, that all living creatures whatsoever having bloud, have also heads.57 And few of them have cops or crested tufts upon their heads, unlesse it be birds, and those are of diverse formes & fashions. The Phœnix is adorned with a round plume of feathers, out of the mids of which there groweth another little pennache. Peacockes carie upon their heads a tuft (as it were) of little hairie trees: and the Stymphalides,58 a locke of crisped and curled haires. Phesants have feathers standing up like hornes. The pretie Titmouse or Nonett is filletted or coifed upon the head: and in lieu thereof, the Larke hath a little peruke of feathers, and thereupon at first it was called Galerita, but afterwards after the French word Alanda, and of it one of the Romane Legions tooke the name, because of their pointed morions.59 Wee have written alreadie of the Ginnie or Turkie Cockes and Hens, upon whom Nature hath bestowed a folding crest, lying from the very bill, over the middest of the head, unto the nape of the necke. She hath given likewise unto all the sort of Seamewes, Fen-duckes, and Moore-hens, certain cops and crisped ruffes: to the Woodpeck also and Baleare Crane.60 But above all others, the house dunghill Cocks carie upon their heads the goodliest ornament of their comb, and the same consisting of a massie and fleshie substance, endented besides like a saw. And yet we may not properly say it is either flesh, gristle, or callositie, but composed of some particular matter by it selfe, which cannot well bee named. As for the crests of Dragons, I could meet with no man hitherto that ever saw them.
To come now to Hornes, there be many fishes (as well of the sea as fresh waters) and also Serpents, that have hornes in divers and sundrie sorts. But to speake a truth and properly, they be no hornes indeed, for those pertaine onely to four-footed beasts. As for Actæon and Cippus, of whom we read in our Latine historie, that they had hornes, I take them to be meere fables, and no better.61 Certes, in nothing more hath Nature taken her pleasure than in this: as if shee had meant to sport and make her selfe merrie in these armes and weapons of beasts. For in some shee hath made them knagged and braunched, as in Deere, both red and fallow; in others, plaine and uniforme, without tines, as in the Spitters, a kind of Stag, which thereupon be called Subulones in Latine, for that their hornes be like a shomakers ¶ Nall blade. There be againe which have broad hornes, and plated like a mans hand, with fingers standing out of them, whereupon the beasts that beare them be called Platycerotes, [i. broad horned.] Roe Buckes have by nature branched heads, but they are small: and these doe not mew and cast them yearely, as the Stag and Bucke. All the sort of Rams be armed with crooked hornes, turning and winding with certaine revolutions, as if they were gantlets or whorlebats,62 given them by Nature to thumpe and jurre withall. Buls hornes be streight and upright, readie alwaies to doe a mischeefe. The females of this kind, to wit, Cowes, are horned as well as Buls: wheras in many others, the males only be in that wise armed. The wild Goats called Roch-goats have their hones turning backward, whereas in fallow Deere they bend rather forward. There is a kind of Roe Bucke, called in Affricke Addace, which the Greekes have named Strepsiceros, and they have upright hornes: but they are furrowed and wreathed round about, as if they were ribbed like the backe of a Lute; or rather chamferred like the ridge of a land, and alwaies sharpe pointed with a tip. Ye shall have droves and heards of beasts, namely, Kine and Oxen in Phrygia, which will stir and wag their hornes like eares.63 And those in the kingdome of the Troglodites, carie their hornes pendant directly to the ground, which is the cause, that as they eat, they are forced to beare their neckes awrie, and looke at oneside.64 Some have but one horne apeece, and that either in the mids of the forehead, as the Oryx, or else in the nose, and muffle, as the Rhinoceros, wherof we have written before. In summe, there be that have strong and hard-hornes to butt with: others to strike and gore withall: some crooking forward, others bending backward. In some, they are good onely to tosse and fling, and that in diverse manners. For there be of them that give backe; others turne one against another, and some even joine and meet together: but all run up sharpe pointed in the end. A kind of beasts there is, that use their hornes in stead of hands, to scratch their bodies when it itcheth: & others serve their turne to sound the way before them, as certain shell-Snailes and Winkles. And these hornes given for this purpose are some of them of a fleshie substance, as those of the Serpents called Cerastæ: and otherwhiles one alone without a fellow. As for the Periwinckles and Snailes aforesaid, they are never without twaine a peece: and at this passe they have them, to put out and draw in as they list. In Buffles hornes the barbarous people of the North parts use to drinke: and yee shall have the hornes of one Buffles head to hold full two measures, called Urnæ, which is about eight gallons.65 In some countries men head their speares and javelines with horne. With us in Italie they be cut into thin plates, and serve for lanternes: and surely they are so transparent and cleare, that they make the candle (within enclosed) to cast the greater light, and farther off. nay, they are good for many other toies of delight and pleasure: insomuch, as some paint & die them with sundrie colours, others vernish and anneile them: and yee shall have men to make thereof their fine inlaid workes in Marquettrie of divers colours, called thereupon Cerostrata. All hornes in manner be hollow, save that as they grow toward the pointed tip, they bee solide and massie: onely Deeres both red and fallow, are sound and entier throughout: and every yeare they fall off. husbandmen in the countrey, when they see their Oxe hoofes surbatted and worne too neare neere the quicke with overmuch travell, annoint their hornes with sweet grease, and that is the way to make them grow againe. And in very truth the hornes of these beasts are of so pliable a substance, and easie to be wrought, that as they grow upon their heads, even whiles the beasts are living, they may with boiling waxe bee bended and turned every way as a man will: yea, and if they bee cut when they breake new forth out of the skin, they may be easily writhed to grow severed in sundry parts, so as every head may seeme to have foure hornes. For the most part, the hornes of Cowes are more tender and thinner than the other: like as wee see it is in the females of smaller beasts. ¶¶ Ewes have none at all: ne yet Hinds and Does: no more than the beasts that have feet cloven and devided into many toes: or those that be whole hoofed, except the Indian Asse, who is armed with one horne and no more.66 Beasts cloven footed in twaine, have likewise two hornes: but none at all have they which are toothed in the upper mandible. They that make this reason, Because the matter of their teeth runneth all into the horne, and so contrariwise; are deceived, and soone convinced by this, That Hinds and Does are toothed no more than Stags and Bucks, and yet are not horned. In other beasts the hornes grow to the very bone of the head, in Deere onely they come out of the skin, and are graffed no deeper. Fishes of all living creatures have the biggest heads, for the proportion of their bodies: haply, because they might the better dive under water and sinke to the bottome. No kind of Oisters have any head at all: no more than Spunges, or any other in manner, which want all their sences but onely feeling. Some have heads indeed, but within their bodie, and not devided apart from it, as Crabs and Creifishes.
Mankind of all living creatures hath most haire on the head, even men as much as women: as we may see in those countries, where they never cut their haire, but let it grow. And namely in Savoy, Dauphine, and Languedoc about the Alpes, where men and women both weare long haire: and thereupon a part of France is called Comata. And yet this is not so generall, but that the nature of some land and soile, may make some alteration and varietie. For the Myconians naturally have no haire at all:67 like as the Caunians be all subject to the disease of hard and swelling Spleenes, even from their mothers wombe.68 Some reasonlesse creatures likewise are by nature bald, as Ostriches, and certaine ¶¶¶ water Ravens, which of the Greekes are named thereupon Phalacro-coraces. Seldome doe women shed their haire cleane, and become bald: but never was there any guelded man knowne to be bald: nor any others that be pure virgins, and have not sacrificed unto Venus. The haire growing beneath the ventricles of the brain, and under the crown of the head, like as also about the temples and eares, falleth not off quite. Man alone of all creatures, groweth to be bald: I speak not of those that are so by nature. Men, women, and horses, wane gray-haired: men and women both, begin at the fore-part of their heads to be grislie, and afterwards behind. Men and women alone are double crowned.
Some creatures have the bones of their skull flat, plaine, thin, and without marrow: and the same united and joined together by certaine sutures or seames endented and toothed on either sides, which run one into another. The ruptures and crackes of the braine-pan, cannot be consolidated and saudred perfectly againe: But if the spils and peeces be gently taken forth, and but small, there is no daunger of death: for in their place there will grow a certaine callous cicatrice, or fleshie substance, that will supplie in some sort that defect. Beares of all others have the tenderest skuls; and Parrots, the hardest; as we have said before in place convenient.69
Moreover, all living creatures which have bloud, have likewise brains: yea, and those in the sea which we call Soft-fishes, although they have no bloud at all, as namely, the Pour-cuttles or Polypes. But man, for his bignesse and proportion hath the most braine of all other: and the same is the moistest and coldest part that he hath within his bodie. Enfolded it is within two tunicles or kels, both above and beneath: whereof, if the one bee peirced and wounded, [to wit, Pia mater] there is no way but present death. Also, men commonly have more braines than women. And both of them have neither bloud nor veines therein: as for that, which is in other creatures, it wanteth all kind of fat. The learned Anatomists, who have searched deeply into the nature of things, doe teach us a difference betweene the braine and marow of bones: for, brains in the boiling and seething, waxe hard. In the middest of the braine of all creatures there be certaine little § bones. Man alone in his infancie hath his braine to pant and beat: and fully settled it is not, nor confirmed, before that he begins to speake. Of all parts necessarie for life, it is placed highest, and next unto the cope of head and heaven both: without flesh, without bloud, without filth and ordure. And in truth, it is the fort and castle of all the sences: unto it all the veines from the heart doe tend: in it they all doe likewise end. It is the very highest keepe, watch-tower, and sentinell of the mind: it is the helme and rudder of intelligence and understanding. Moreover, in all creatures it lieth forward in the front of the head: and good reason, because all our sences bend that way just before our faces. From our braine comes sleepe, from thence proceedeth our naps, our nods, our reeling, and staggering. And looke what creature so ever wanteth braine, the same sleepeth not. Stags (by report) have within their heads twentie little wormes, to wit, in the concavitie under their tongue, and about that joincture where the head is graffed to the chin-bone.
Man alone hath not the power to shake his Eares. Of flaggie, long, and hanging eares, came the surnames first of the Flacci (families, and houses in Rome).70 There is no one part of the bodie costeth our dames more than this, by reason of the precious stones and pendant pearles thereat. In the East countries, men also as well as women thinke it is a great grace and braverie to weare earings of gold. As touching their proportion, some creatures naturally have bigger or lesser than others. Deere onely, the fallow as well as the red, have them slit and as it were devided. In Rats and Mice they be hairie. To conclude, no creature hath ears but those that bring forth their young alive: and none of them are without, save onely Seales, Dolphins, Vipers, and such fishes as wee called Cartilagineous and gristly. And these all in stead of eares, have certaine holes or conduits, except the foresaid gristly fishes, and the Dolphins: and yet manifest it is, that they do heare well ynough. For delighted they be with musicke: and upon some great noise and suddain cracke they are astonished, and then easily taken. But marvell it is how they should heare as they doe: neither can I comprehend the reason and meanes thereof, no more than I am able to shew how they doe smell? for no Organes and Instruments have they thereof to be seene, & yet there is not an hound upon the land senteth better, nor hath a finer nose than they. Of all foules, the Like-owle and the Otus alone, have feathers like eares: the rest have only holes to heare by. And after the same manner skaled fishes and serpents. In Horses, Mules, and Asses, and all such as serve either packe or saddle, the eares are tokens of their courage more or lesse, and will shew what stomacke is within them. If they be tired and wearie, they hang down flaggie: bee they afraid, you shall perceive them to wag too and fro: in heat of furie, they stand pricking up: in sicknesse they lie downe.
Man only of all creatures hath a Face and Visage: the rest have either musles and snouts, or else bils and beakes.
Other creatures have Foreheads also as well as man: but in man alone we may see and read sorrow and heavinesse, mirth and joy, clemencie and mildnesse, crueltie and severitie, and in one word, guesse by it, whether one be of a good nature or no?
In the ascent or rising of the forehead, man hath Eie-brows set; like unto the eaves of an house; which he can moove as he list, either both at once, or one after another; and in them is shewed part of the mind within. By them we denie, by them we graunt. These shew most of all others, pride and arrogancie. Well may it be that pride doth appeare and settle in some other part, yet here is the seat & place of residence. True it is that in the heart it beginneth, but hither it mounteth and ascendeth, here it resteth and remaineth. No part can it find in the whole bodie more eminent and hautie, and withall more steepe than the browes, wherein it might rule and raigne alone without controulment.
Next under the browes is the Eie, the most precious member of the whole bodie, which by the use of light maketh difference betweene life and death. Yet hath not Nature given eies to all creatures: Oisters have none: and for some other shell-fishes, it is hard to say whether they have any or none. As for Scallops, if a man stir his fingers against them as they lie gaping open, they will shut, as if they saw. And the shell-fishes called Solenes,71 give backe if any edge-toole come neare unto them. Of foure-footed creatures, Moldwarpes see not at all: a certaine shew and forme they have of eies to be seene, if a man take off the skin that lieth over the place.72 Moreover among foules of the air, those of the Herons kind, which are called Leuci, for that they be white, want by report one eie.73 And for certaine, in case of Augurie, if these birds74 flie either into the South or North, it is holden for an excellent good presage, for they assure men that perill is past and promise securitie. Nigidius affirmeth, That neither Locusts nor yet Grashoppers have eies.75 As for Snailes and such like, the two little hornes that they put forth, serve them in stead of eies, as they sound or trie the way before them.76 The earth-mads77 and all the sort of wormes and grubs, are without eies. Men alone of all living creatures have eies of dives colours, some of one, and some of another. For all other creatures of one and the same kind, are eied alike. Howbeit, some horses there be that extraordinarily have §§ red eies. But in men it is hard to set downe the infinite varietie and difference in them: for some have great glaring eies: others againe as little and as pinking. Others also there be that have them of a moderate and reasonable bignesse. Some be goggle-eied, as if they would start out of their heads, and those are supposed to be dim-sighted: others be hollow eied, and they are thought to have the best and clearest sight: like as they who for colour have Goats eien.78 Moreover, ye shall have some men, who can discerne a far off: others againe that see not but neere at hand. Many there are, whose eiesight dependeth of the Sunnes light: for let the day be overcast and cloudie, or the Sun gone downe, they see just nothing. And others contrariwise there be, that al the day time have but a bad sight: yet in the night season, they see better than any others. As concerning two bals or apples in one eie, as also who they be that can bewitch and hurt folke with their very eie, sufficient hath been said alreadie.79 §§§ Gray eies commonly in the darke see more cleare than others. It is reported of Tiberius Cæsar the Emperour to have had this propertie by himselfe, that if he were awakened in the night, for a while he could see every thing as well as in the cleare day light; but soone after, by little and little, the darknesse would overcast and shaddow all againe: a gift that no man in the world was ever knowne to have but himselfe.80 Augustus Cæsar of famous memorie, had ‡ red eies like to some horses: and indeed wall eied he was, for the white thereof was much bigger than in other men: which also was the cause, that if a man looked earnestly upon him, and beheld him wistly (and a man could not anger him worse) he would be displeased, & high offended.81 Claudius Cæsar had a fleshie substance about the corners of his eies, that tooke up a good part of the white, and many times they were very red and bloudshotten. C. Caligula the Emperour his eies were ever set in his head, and stiffe againe.82 Nero had a very short sight; for unlesse he winked (as it were) and looked narrow with his eies, he could not well see ought, were it never so neare. Twentie couple of professed masters of fence and sword-plaiers there were in the fense-schoole, that C. Caligula the Emperour maintained: & among the rest, two there were & no more, whom a man could not make to wink, or once to twinckle with their eies: present before them what weapon he would, or make offer to strike, so steadie and firme were they: and therefore they evermore caried the prize, and were invincible. So hard a matter is it for a man to keepe his eies from twiring. And many men naturally cannot chuse but be evermore winking and twinckling with their eies: but such are holden for fearefull and timorous persons.83 None have their eies all of one colour: for the ball or apple in the middest is ordinarily of another colour than the white about it. Neither in any one part of the bodie are more signes and tokens to be gathered of the affection and disposition of the hearte, than in the Eie: of man especially above all other creatures. By it we may know whether one bee modest, staied, sober, gentle, mild, pittifull, or no. It sheweth mallice, hatred, love, heavinesse, sorrow, and joy. In the cast also of the Eie there is as much varietie: for some have a furious, cruell, terrible, fierce, sterne, and firie looke: others shew gravitie and constancie in their Eie. Some have an overthwart regard with them, others looke askew and awrie. One while, a man lookes atone-side, and hath a wanton sheepes eie: another while he casteth his eie downe, and lookes heavily: and when hee list againe, he can give one a pleasant and merrie looke. In breefe, the Eies are the verie seat and habitation of the mind and affection. For one while they bee ardent and fierie: otherwhiles they bee bent and fixed upon a thing: one time they twincke, another time they winke close and see nothing. From them proceed the teares of compassion: when we kisse the eie, we thinke that wee touch the very heart and soule. From hence commeth our weeping: form hence gush out those streames of water that drench and run downe the cheekes. But what might this water and humour bee, that in heartes greefe issueth in such plentie, and is so readie to flow? where may it lie at other times, when wee are in joy, in mirth, and repose? It cannot bee denied, That with the Soule we imagine, with the Mind we see, and the Eies as vessels and instruments receiving from it that visuall power and facultie, send it soon after abroad. Hereupon it commeth, that a deepe and intentive cogitation blindeth a man so, that hee seeth not; namely, when the sight is retired farre inward. Thus it is, that in the Epilepsie or Falling-sicknes, the eies are open and yet see nothing: for why? the mind within is darkened. Moreover, Hares have this qualitie, to sleepe open eyed; and so doe many men besides them: and this the Greeks doe expresse by the tearme korubantia|=n84 Nature hath framed and compounded the Eie, of many thin membranes or skins. As for those tunicles withoutforth, they are tough and hard ‡‡ like horne, to withstand the injuries of heat and cold: and those shee hath ordained eftsoones to be cleansed and purified with the moisture of teares; to the end that they should be slipperie and mooveable, for to turne quickly and to shift from all that may offend.85 As for the middle part and membrane of the Eie, she hath set it in a ball, like a window made of transparent horne [or rather of a ‡‡‡grape:] the little compasse whereof containeth all the sight of the Eye, and suffereth it not to wander and roll here and there, but directeth it as it were within a certaine pipe or small conduit: by which meanes also (to notice by the way) the apple being gathered into so narrow a circle, doth easily avoid all inconveniences that are incident unto it, for to annoy the same. This ball and point of the sight is compassed also round about with other circles of sundry colours, black, blewish, tawnie, russet, and red;86 to the end that by this medley and temperate mixture of colors environed with the white besides, the light might be let in and represented to the Opticke-sinew: and also by a temperate reverberation and beating backe from those other colours, it should not dazzle or offend the apple with the exceeding brightnesse thereof. In summe, this mirror or glasse-window, is so perfect and so artificially contrived, that as little as the ball of the sight is, a man may see himselfe full and whole in it. And this is the cause that many foules, from a mans fist are ready to pecke at the eyes above all other parts, for that they would gladly sort and draw unto their owne representation and image, which they see in the eies, as unto that which they naturally affect.87 Certain sumpter-horses and mules and such like beasts of carriage onely, are troubled with sore eyes, and diseased that way at every chaunge and encrease of the moon. But man alone, in the catarrhact and suffusion of the Eie, by voiding from it a certain humor which troubled the sight, doth recover and see againe. There have been many known blind twentie years and more, and yet afterwards enjoyed the benefit of their eies. Some have been borne blind, without any fault or defect of their eies. Divers men likewise have sodainly lost their sight by some secret accident, and no outward offence knowne to give occasion thereof. Many right skillfull masters in Chirurgerie, and the best learned Anatomists, are of opinion, That the veines of the eies reach to the braine. For mine owne part, I would rather thinke, that they passe into the stomacke. This is certain, I never knew a mans Eie pluckt out of his head, but he fell to vomiting upon it, & the stomack cast up all within it. S150 We that be citizens of Rome, have a sacred and solemne manner and use among us, To close up their Eies that lie a dying, and are giving up the ghost; and when they be brought to the funerall fire, to open them againe. The reason of this ceremonious custome is grounded hereupon, That as it is not meet for men alive to have the last view of a mans Eie in his death, so it is as great an offence to hide them from heaven, unto which this honour is due, & the body now presented. Man alone is subject to the distortion and depraved motion of his Eies. Hereof are come the surnames of certaine families in Rome, Strabones and Pæti:88 for that the first of those houses were squint-eyed, and [the second] had rolling eies. Those that were borne blinke but with one eye, our countrymen called Coclites: as also them that were pink-eied and had verie small eies, they tearmed Ocellæ.89 As for such as came by those infirmities by some injurie or mischaunce, they were surnamed Lucini.90 Moreover, we see that those creatures which ordinarily do see by night (as Cats doe) have such ardent and fierie eyes,91 that a man cannot endure to looke full upon them. The eyes also of the Roe-bucke and the Wolfe are so bright, that they shine againe, and cast a light from them.92 The Sea-calves or Seales, and the Hyenes, alter eftsoons their eies into a thousand colours. Over and besides, the eies of many fishes doe glitter in the night, when they be drie: like as the putrified and rotten wood of some old trunke of an oke or other wood. We have said before, that those winke not nor shut their eie-lids, who cannot roll their eies atone-side, but are faine to turne their whole head withall when they would see a thing that is not just before them.93 The Chamæleons (by report) roll their eies all whole every way as they list, up and downe, too and fro. Crabs looke awrie. And yet such fishes as are enclosed within a brittle and tender shell, have their eies inflexible and stiffe. Lobsters and Shrimpes for the most part, have their eyes standing out verie hard, albeit they be covered with the like shells. Those that have hard eies, are not so well sighted as those that have moist. It is commonly said, that if a man plucke the eies out of the heads of young serpents, or yong Swallowes, they will have new againe in their place. All Insects and other creatures that lie within hard shells, stirre their eies as four-footed beasts doe their eares: but in those that have tender shells, their eies be hard. And all such, as also fishes and Insects, have no lids to their eies, and therefore cover them not. For there be none without a thin membrane or pellicle over them, which is cleare and transparent like glasse.
Men and women have haire growing on the brims of both Eie-lids: but women doe colour them every day with an ordinarie painting that they have: so curious are our dames and would so faine be faire and beautifull, that forsooth they must die their eies also. Nature ywis gave them these hairy eyelids for another end, namely, for a palasade as it were and rampier of defence for the sight, yea and to stand out like a bulwarke for to keepe of and put by all little creatures that might come against their eyes, or what things soever els should chaunce to fall into them. Some write, That the haire of the eielids will shed and fall away, but not without some great injurie, and namely, in such persons as be overmuch given to leacherie. No other living creatures have these haires, but such as otherwise be clad all over their bodies with haire or feathers. But, as foure-footed beasts have them in the upper lid onely, so Foules have none but in the nether: like as those serpents which are tender skinned and are foure-footed, as Lizards. The Ostrich is the only foule which hath haire on the upper eye-lid. The Ape hath on them both as well as man. Moreover, all foules have not eie-lids, and therefore such doe not winke, namely, those that bring forth living creatures. The greater and heavier foules, when they would close their eies, do it with drawing up the nether lid. The same also twinkle by means of a pellicle or skin comming from the corners of their eies. Doves and such like birds winke with both eie-lids: but fourefooted beasts that lay egs, as Tortoises and Crocodiles, use the nether lid onely, without any twinkling at all, because their eies be very hard. The utmost compasse or edge of haire in the upper lid, the Latines called in old time Cilium, and thereof came the name of the browes, to be Supercilium in Latine. This brim of the eie-lid, if it be divided by any wound, cannot be drawne togither againe: like as some few parts besides of mans bodie.
Under the eies, are the balls of the Cheeks, which men and women only have; which in old time they called Genæ in Latin. And by the law of the twelve Tables, women were expressely forbidden not to teare, rent, or scratch them in any case with their nailes. This is the seat of bashfulnesse and modestie: heare appeareth most of all the rednesse of blushing. Under them, are the hollow pits of the cheekes, wherein mirth and laughter doe lodge and inhabit.
Man only hath his Nose standing forth aloft, which now adaies they dedicate to slie scoffing and derision, insomuch as they attribute that tearme to dry mockers and flowters.94 And verily there is not a creature besides, that hath his nosthrills so bearing out. [As for birds, serpents, and fishes, they have holes only to smell at, without any other nostrils to be seene.] And hereof come the surnames of Simones and Silones, whereof the former have flat noses, the other are hooked and camoise nosed upward. Infants have been known many times when they are seven moneths old, to want the holes and passages both of nose and eares.
Then follow the Lips: some men there be that put them far out, by reason that they are gag-toothed or tut-mouthed, and those are called Brocci.95 Others againe who are blabber-lipped, are named in Latine Labeones.
As for the Mouth, all creatures have it that bring forth their young alive: and either it is gentle and pliable, or els hard and unruly; as we see horses, that either willingly receive, or else refuse the bit. By which also we give to men, the tearme either of modest and good countenance, or els of shamelesse and untoward. but instead of mouth and lips both, Nature hath give to all foules sharpe Bills of an hornie substance, and as many of them as live upon ravin and prey, have them hooked inward: but such as gather and pecke onely, they have straight beakes. As for those that either grase, root, or pudder in mud, like to swine, they are broade and flat billed. As for horses, they feed in pasture, or be at racke and manger. And the wider mouthes have they that live of killing and devouring other beasts.
No creature living, but man and women, have Chins and Iawes.96 The river Crocodile alone mooveth the upper chaw: the land Crocodiles chew as other creatures doe, but only bias.
Of Teeth, there be three sorts: for either they be framed like sawes, or else set flat, even, and levell: or last of all, stand gabbing out of the mouth. The saw teeth run one betweene another, as if two combs grew togither, because they should not weare if they met one with another, as we see in serpents, fishes, and dogs. Horses and men have their teeth of one even levell. The Bore, the water-Horse, and the Elephants, have their tuskes and fangs sticking forth. Of those teeth which are smooth and meet just one against another; such as divide and cut the meat, bee broad edged, as the fore-teeth: those that grind and chew, bee double, and stand within the chaw: but such as sever and part the meat in the mouth, be sharpe pointed: and we call them our eie-teethe, the Latines, Caninos, or Dog-teeth. And these are they, that of saw-teeth be the longest. Even and levell-raunged teeth, be either in both chawes alike, as in an horse; or els they be wanting before in the upper chaw, as in Kine, Buls, Oxen, Sheep, and all such as chew cud. Goats have none above but the two foreteeth. None have gabbed tusks standing forth of the mouth, whose teeth are fashioned like a saw. The females of them that have those fangs and tuskes, if haply they have the like (for seldome they are seene with such) make no offensive use of them at all: for whereas the Bores doe strike with them, the Sowes only doe but bite. No horned beast hath such tuskes: But all those that have hollow teeth, whereas in all the rest, they be sound and solid. All fishes be toothed like sawes, save only the Guilt-head Scarus; for this only of all creatures living within the water, hath an even course of teeth.97 Furthermore, many fishes bee found to have their mouth, yea and their tongue, covered and beset all over with teeth: to the end, that by the meanes of many wounds (as it were) they might make soft their meat, which otherwise they could not possibly chew and teare. In many the teeth stand in the pallat and roufe of their mouth, yea and in their very taile.98 Moreover, some there be that have them crooking inwardly to the mouth, that the meat might not fall out againe: as having no other meanes to hold it in. Also, the Aspides and Serpents are likewise toothed, but they have above, both on the right side and the left, two teeth that be very long, and those are hollowed within after the manner of small pipes, like to the stings of Scorpions, by which they discharge their poison. The best writers who have searched most curiously into the secrets of Nature doe hold, That the venome of Serpents is nought but their gall; and that by certaine veines under their ridge bones, the same passeth along to the mouth. Some say, that a Serpent hath but one venemous tooth, which because it is crooked, therefore he turneth and bendeth it upright when he would sting or bite withall. Others affirme, that at such a time the same falleth out, and a new commeth up againe and groweth in the place: for easie it is to be driven or shaken out: and we see some of them handled and carried in mens bosoms, without that tooth. It is said moreover, that the Scorpions have the like tooth in their taile, and most of them three togither. Vipers teeth are covered and lie hidden within their gumbs. This serpent being full of poison, redoubleth her pricke, and at every bite letteth in poison into the wound. No flying foule hath teeth, save onely the Bat or winged mouse. Of all creatures which beare no hornes, the Camell onely hath no foreteeth in the upper chaw. Such as are horned, have no saw-teeth. Snailes likewise have teeth: witnesse the leaves and tendrils of vines, which the very least of them all do gnaw and eat away. But for Seafishes, That those which live in shells, or be gristly, should have their foreteeth; and namely, that the sea-Urchins five apeece, I cannot but wonder how men could come by the knowledge.99 Insects, instead of teeth, have a sharpe prick to sting withall. Apes have teeth even as a man. An Elephant hath foure teeth within to chew with, (besides those that stand out) which in the males turne and bend upward, but in the female they are streight, and shut directly downward. The fish also called Musculus Marinus, which goeth before the Whale or Whirlepoole as his guide,100 hath no teeth at all; but instead thereof, his mouth all within, his tongue also and pallat, is rough againe with certaine bristles. The lesse foure-footed land-beasts, have the two fore-teeth of either side, longer than the rest. As for all other creatures, they bring their teeth with them into the world: man only is born without them, & at the seventh moneth they commonly breed. In all other creatures they continue full and stick fast; except men, Lions, Horses, Mules, Asses, Dogs, and such as chew cud, for these chaunge their teeth: but Lions and Dogs cast onely the eie-teeth, called Canini in Latine. The eie-tooth of a Wolfe (so it grow on the right side of the head) is thought to doe straunge matters.101 The great grinders which stand beyond the eye-teeth, in no creature whatsoever do fall out of themselves. As for the farthest cheek-teeth in a mans head, which be called Genuini, [i. the Wit-teeth] they come about the time that hee is twentie yeeres old; and in many at fourescore yeeres of age. Sure it is, that those teeth fall from women in their old age, and soone after come againe: such women I meane, as had no children in their youth. And Mutianus hath reported, That he saw one Zancles a citizen of Samothrace,102 who had new teeth comming up after he was an hundred yeeres old and foure. Moreover, males ordinarily have more teeth than the females: as we may see in mankind, Sheepe, Goats, and Swine.103 Timarchus the sonne of Nicocles the Paphian, had a double course of teeth in either jaw. He had a brother also who never cast his foreteeth, and therefore he wore them before, to the very stumps. Wee read in Chronicles of one man that had a tooth growing out of the very pallat of his mouth. As for the eye-teeth, if they be lost by any mischaunce, there neer grow againe any other for them. In Horses onely, of all other creatures, teeth waxe whiter by age: for in the rest, they turne to be browne and reddish. The age of Horses, Asses, and Mules, is known by a marke in the teeth: a horse hath in all, fortie. At the end of thirtie moneths, he looseth his fore-teeth of either chaws, as well above as beneath: the yeere following as many, even those that be next, namely at what time as they put out those which be called the cheeke-teeth. At the beginning of the fifth yeere, he looseth other two, but there come up new in the place in the sixth yeare. By the seventh yeare he hath all, as well those that should come in others place, as those which are firme and never chaunge. A guelding never casts his teeth, no not his sucking teeth, in case he were guelded before. Asses in like manner begin to shed their teeth at the thirtieth moneth of their age; and so forward from sixe moneths to sixe moneths: and if they fole not before they have shed their last teeth, they are for certein to be held barren. Kine and Oxen, when they be two yeares old, doe chaunge their teeth. Hogs or wine never have any teeth to fall. Now whenas these markes are gone out, which shew the age of Horses, Asses, and such like, ye must (to know their age) goe by the overgrowth and standing out of the teeth, the greynesse of the haire over their browes, and the hollow pits therabout: for then are they supposed to be sixteen yeares of age. As touching men, some are thought to have venome and poison in their teeth: insomuch as if they be shewed bare and naked against a cleare mirror or looking-glasse, they will dim the beautie thereof, yea and kill young pigeons whilest they be calow and unplumed.104 But forasmuch as wee have spoken sufficiently of Teeth, in our treatise as touching the generation of Man,105 we will passe over the rest, and proceed unto other parts; save only that this is to be observed and noted, How children be sicke when they are about the breeding of teeth. And to conclude, of all other creatures, those are most dangerous with their teeth, which have them framed like sawes, and closing one betweene another.106
Now as concerning Tongues, we observe much diversitie in them: for all creatures are not tongued alike. First and formost, Serpents have very thin tongues, and the same three-forked, blacke of colour, shaking, and readie to pierce;107 and if a man take them forth, very long. Lizards have tongues two-forked and full of haires: so have the Seales or Sea-calves a double tongue: but the tongues of these beforenamed, are as small as haires: as for the rest, their tongues serve them to licke their muffes and lips all about. Fishes have their tongues for the greatest part therof, cleaving fast to their pallat; and in Crocodiles they are so, cleane throughout. But as well fishes as other creatures of the water, have a fleshie palat, which serveth them in stead of a tongue, to tast withall. Lions, Libards, and all of that sort, yea and Cats, have their tongues rough and uneven, made like a file with many small edges lapping one over another in such sort, as that with licking it will weare the skin of a man so thin, that their spittle and moisture when it commeth neare unto the bloud and the quicke, will drive oftentimes into rage and madnesse, those whome they so licke, yea although otherwise they be made tame and gentle to come to hand.108 As touching the tongues of Purple fishes, wee have written alreadie. Frogs have their tongues in the forepart fast to the mouth: the hinder part within toward their throat, is free and at libertie, wherby they keep that croking which we hear at one season of the year; namely, when the males call unto the females for to engender; and then they be named Olalygones:109 for at that time they let downe their neither lip somwhat under the water, that they gargle with their tongue levell to the water, which they receive into their throat: and so while their tongue quavereth withall, they make that croking noise abovesaid. He that would looke then advisedly upon them, should see their specks so swolne and stretched out full, that they will shine againe: hee should perceive their eyes ardent and fiery with paines that they take thus with the water. Those creatures that have pricks and stings in their hin-parts, are furnishd also with tongue and teeth. As for Bees, their tongue is very long; and the Grashoppers put it forth a good way.110 They that have a fistulous sting or pricke in their mouth, are provided neither of teeth nor tongue. In some Insects (as namely Pismires) the tongue lieth close within. Elephants, above all other beasts, have a large and broad tongue. All creatures have their tongues loose and at libertie at all times, each one in their kind: man only is oftentimes so tongue-tied, that needfull it is to cut certain strings and veines for to ease it. Metellus the high priest and chief sacrificer at Rome, had such a stutting and stamering tongue (by report) that against he should dedicate the temple of the goddesse Opifera, he laboured so with his tongue for utterance, for certaine moneths togither, and tooke such paines, as if he had beene upon the racke.111 All children, by that time that they be seven yeeres old at the farthest, speake readily, so as they be not by some unnaturall cause empeached. But some men there be, which have their tongues so at commaundement, and so artifically they can handle it and their throat togither, that they are able to counterfeit the singing of all birds, and the voice of any other creature, that one cannot know and discerne them asunder. As touching Tast, which is the judgement of meats and drinks, to wit, what Smacke and tallage they have? all other living creatures find it at the tip of their tongue only: but man tasteth as well with the pallat or roufe of his mouth. The spongeous kernels, which in men be called Tonsillæ, or the Almands, are in Swine named the Glandules. That which betweene them hangeth downe from the inmost part and roufe of the mouth, by the name of Uvula, is to be found in man onely.
Under it, there is a little tongue (which the Greekes call Epiglossis) at the root of the other: and the same is not to be found in any creature that laieth egs. A twofold use it hath, lying as it doth betweene the two pipes. Whereof, that which beareth more outward, and is called The rough Arterie, or the Windpipe, reacheth unto the lungs and heart. And as a man doth eat and swallow downe his meat, this foresaid little flap doth cover it, for feare least as the spirit, breath and voice passeth that way, the meat or drinke (if it should goe wrong to the other conduit or passage) might endaunger a man and put him to great trouble. The other is more inward, called properly the Gullet, or the Wezand, by which we swallow downe both meat and drinke, and it goeth to the stomacke first, and so to the belly. This also the said flap doth cover by turns, to wit, as a man doth either speake or draw his breath, least that which is alreadie passed into the stomacke, should come up againe, or be cast up unseasonably, and thereby empeach a man in his speech. The Windpipe, consisteth of a gristlie and fleshie tunicle: the Wezand, of a membranous or sinewie substance and flesh togither.
There is no creature having a Necke indeed, but it hath also both these pipes. Well may they have a gorge or throat in whome there is found but the gullet onely: but nape of necke behind, they can have none. As for those upon whome Nature hath bestowed a neck, they may with ease turne their head about too and fro every way, to looke about them, because it is composed of many spondyles, or turning round bones, tied and fastned one upon another by joints and knots. The Lion onely, togither with the Woolfe, and the Hyæna, have this neck bone of one entire and straight peece, and therefore stiffe that it cannot turne.112 Otherwise it is annexed to the chine, and the chine to the loines.
This Chine likewise is a bonie substance, but made long and round, and fistulous within, to give passage to the marrow of the backe, which descendeth from the braine. Learned men are of opinion, that this marrow is of the same nature that the brain is: and they ground upon this experience, That if the thin and tender skinne that encloseth it, be cut through, a man cannot possibly live, but dieth immediatly. All creatures that be long legged, have likewise in proportion as long neckes. So have also water-foules, although their legges be but short. But contrariwise, yee shall not see any birds with long neckes, that have hooked tallons. Men onely and Swine, are troubled with the swelling bunch in their throats: which many times is occasioned by corrupt water that they drinke. The upper part or top of the wezand, is called the Gorge, or the Gullet: the nether part or the extremitie thereof, is the Stomacke. There is another fleshie concavitie of this name, under the windpipe, annexed to the chine-bone: long it is and wide, made in fashion of a bottle, flagon, or rather a gourd. Those that have no gullet, are also without a stomacke, a necke, and a wezand; as fishes: for their mouthes and bellies meet. The sea-Tortoise hath neither tongue nor teeth: with the edge of his muffle (so sharpe it is) hee is able well enough to chew all his victuals.
Under the Arterie or Wind-pipe, is the mouth of the Stomacke; of a callous or gristly substance, thicke toothed, with prickles in manner of a bramble, for the better dispatching of the meat: and these notches or plaits grow smaller and smaller, as they approach nearer to the bellie: so as the utmost roughnesse thereof in the end is like unto a smiths file.
Now are we come to the Heart, which in all other living creatures is situate in the very middest of the breast: in man onely it lieth beneath the left pap, made in manner of a Peare, and with the pointed and smaller end beareth out forward.113 Fishes alone have it lying with the point upward, to the mouth. It is generally received and held, that it is the first principall part which is formed in the mothers wombe: next unto it the braine, and the eies last of all. And as these bee the first that die, so the Heart is last. In it (no doubt) is the most plentie of heat, which is the cause of life. Surely it ever moveth and panteth, like as it were another living creature by it selfe. Covered it is within-forth with a very soft, yet a strong tunicle, that enwrappeth it: defended it is beside with a strong mure of ribs, and the breast bone together: as being it selfe the principall fortresse and castle, which giveth life to all the rest. It containeth within it certain ventricles and hollow receits, as the cheefe lodgings of the life, and bloud, which is the treasure of life. These in greater beasts are three in number: and none there is without twaine. This is the very seat of the mind & soule. From this fountaine there doe issue two great vessels, Maister-veines, or Arteries, which are divided into branches: and being spread as well to the fore-part as the backe parts of the bodie, into smaller veines, doe minister vitall bloud to all the members of the bodie. This is the only principall part of the bodie that cannot abide to be sick, or languish with any infirmitie: this lingereth not in continuall paine: no sooner is it offended, but death ensueth presently. When all other parts are corrupt and dead, the Heart alone continueth alive. All living creatures that have an hard and stiffe Heart, are supposed to be brutish: those that have small Hearts, be taken for hardie and valiant: contrariwise, they are reputed for timorous and fearfull, which have great Hearts. And the biggest Heart, in proportion of the bodies, have Mice, Hares, Asses, Deere, Panthers, Weasels, Hyænes; and in one word, all creatures either by nature fearefull, or upon feare hurtfull. In Paphlagonia, Partridges have two Hearts. In the Hearts of Horses, Kines, Bulls, and Oxen, are otherwhiles bones found. The Heart in a man groweth yearely two drams in weight, untill he be fiftie yeares of age: and from that time forward it decreaseth from yeare to year as much: wherupon he is not able to live above one hundred yeares, for want of Heart: as the Ægyptians be of opinion; whose manner is to preserve the dead bodies of men spiced and embaumed. It is reported of some men, that they have Hearts all hairie: & those are held to be exceeding strong and valorous. Such was Aristomenes the Messenian, who slew with his owne hands 17 300 Lacedæmonians. Himselfe being sore wounded and taken prisoner, saved his owne life once, and made an escape out of the cave of a stone quarrie, where he was kept as in a prison: for he gat forth by a narrow Foxe holes under the ground. Being caught a second time, whiles his keepers were fast asleepe, he rolled himselfe to the fire, bound as he was, and so without regard of his owne bodie, burnt in sunder the bonds wherewith he was tied. And at the third taking, the Lacedæmonians caused his breast to be cut and opened, because they would see what kind of Heart he had: and there they found it all overgrowne with hair. Moreover, this is observed in perusing the inwards of beasts, That when they be well liking, and do presage good, the Heart hath a kind of fat in the utmost tip thereof: Howbeit, this would be noted, That according to the Soothsaiers learning, their Heart is not alwaies taken for a part of the bowels or entrailes. For after the 123 Olympias,114 when Pyrrhus king of Epyrus was departed out of Italie, what time as L. Posthumius Albinus was king sacrificer at rome, the Soothsaiers and Wisards began first to looke into the heart, among other inwards. That very day when as Cæsar Dictatour went first abroad in his roiall purple robe, and tooke his seat in the golden chaire of estate, he killed two beasts for sacrifice, and in both of them the entrailes were found without any Heart: whereupon arose a great question and controversie among the Augures and Soothsaiers, How it could be, that any beast ordained for sacrifice should live without that principall part of life: or whether possibly it might loose it for that present onely? Over and besides, it is held for certaine, that if any die the trembling and ach of the Heart, or otherwise of poyson, their Heart will not burne in the fire. And verily, an Oration there is extant of Vitellius, wherein he challengeth Piso, and chargeth him directly with poysoning of Germanicus Cæsar, upon this presumption: for he openly protested and prooved, That the heart of Germanicus would not consume in the funerall fire, by reason of poyson. But contrariwise, Piso alledged in his own defence the foresaid disease of the Heart called Cardiaca, wherof as he said Germanicus died.
Under the Heart lie the Lights, which is the very seat of breathing: whereby we draw and deliver our wind. For which purpose, spungeous it is and full of hollow pipes within. Few fishes, as we said before, have any Lungs: other creatures also that lay egges, have but small, and the same full of froth, and without bloud: whereupon they be not thirstie at all: which is the cause likewise that Seales and Frogs can dive so long under the water. The Tortoise also, albeit he have verie large Lungs, and the same under his shell, yet there is no bloud therein. And verily, the lesser that the lungs be, the swifter is the body that hath them. The Chamæleons Lights be very big, for the proportion of his bodie, for little or nothing els hath he within it.
Next followeth the Liver, which lieth on the right side. In that which is called the head of the Liver, much varietie and difference there is.115 For a little before the death of Marcellus (who was slaine by Anniball) as he sacrificed, there was found a Liver in the beast, without that head or fibres aforesaid. And the next day after, when he killed another for sacrifice, it was seen with twain. When C. Marius sacrificed at Utica, the same was likewise wanting in the beast, being opened. Semblably, whence prince C. Caligula the Emperour sacrificed upon the first day of Ianuarie, at his entrance into the Consulship, the Liver head was missing: but see what followed! in that yeare his hap was to be slaine. Moreover, his successor Claudius, within a month before he died by poyson, met with the like accident in his sacrifice. But Augustus Cæsar, late Emperor of famous memorie, as he killed beasts for sacrifice, the very first day that he entred upon his imperiall dignitie, found in sixe of them sixe Livers, which were all redoubled and folded inward, from the nethermost lobe or skirt beneath: wherupon answer was made by the Soothsaiers, that within one yeare he should double his power and authoritie. The foresaid head of the Liver, if it chance to be slit or cut, presageth some evill hap, unlesse it be in case of feare and pensivenesse: for then it betokeneth good issue, and an end of care and sorrow. About the mountaine Briletum and Tharne, also in Chersonesus neere unto Propontis, all the Hares ordinarily have two Livers: and (a wonderous thing it is to tell) if they bee brought into other countries, one of the said Livers they loose.116
Fast to the Liver hangeth the Gall; yet all creatures have it not. And about Chalcis in Euboea, the sheepe are quite without Gall. But in Naxus they all have two Gals, and the same very big. The strangers that come into both those parts, think the one as prodigious and monstrous as the other. Horses, Mules, Asses, Deere both red and fallow, Roe buckes, Swine, Cammels, and Dolphins, have no Gall. Some Mice and Rats there bee which have it. And few men there be without, howbeit, such are of a stronger constitution, more healthfull, and longer lived. Howbeit some are of opinion, That all Horses have Galls, not annexed to their Liver, but within their bellie: and as for the Deere abovesaid, it lieth (as they thinke) either in their taile, or else their guts: which (by their saying) are so bitter, that Hounds and Dogs by their good wils would not touch them. Now this Gal is nothing els but an excrement purged from the worst bloud: and therfore bloud is taken to be the matter thereof. Certaine this is, that no creatures have livers, but such as likewise have bloud. And in truth, the Liver receiveth bloud from the Heart, unto which it is adjoined, and so conveigeth and destributeth it into the veines. Blacke choller lying in the Liver causeth furie and madnesse in man: but if it be all cast up by vomit, it is present death. Hereupon it commeth, that we tearme furious and raging persons by the name of chollericke, or full of Gall: so great is the venome of this one part; if it reach once to the seat of the mind, and possesse it. Nay more than that: if it be spread and dispersed over all parts of the bodie, it infecteth it with the yellow jaundise, yea, and coloureth the very eies, as it were with Saffron. Let it out of the bladder or bag wherein it is, ye shall see it stain vessels of Brasse, yea, they will become blacke againe, and loose their brightnesse if they be touched therewith. No marvell then if the venome and poyson of Serpents, proceed from the Gall. They that use to feed of worme-wood growing in Pontus, commonly have no Gall. Ravens, Quailes, and Feasants, have their Gall joining to their kidneies, or rather to their guts, of one side and no more: and some to the guts only, as Pigeons, Hawkes, and Lampreies. Few birds there be that have Gall in the Liver. As for Serpents and Fishes, they have the greatest Gals of all others, for the proportion of their bodies. Most of them117 have their Gall along their guts throughout, in manner of the Hawke and the Kite. Moreover, in all Whale-fishes their Gall is fastened to the Liver: and so wee see it lieth in the Seales, whose Gall is singular good for many purposes. Oxe Gall in limming giveth a golden colour: The Soothsaiers have dedicated it to Neptune, & the mighty power of Water. Augustus the Emperour found two Gals in a beast that he killed for sacrifice, upon that very day whereon he obtained that famous victorie at Actium. Some say, that the lobes or fibres in the smal Livers of certaine Mice and Rats, are commonly found to be as many as the moone is daies old in every month: and looke how many daies you reckon of her light, so many may you count the fibres aforesaid. Also, that their liver groweth at mid-winter, when daies be at shortest. In the kingdomes of Grenada and Andalusia in Spaine, Connies are many times found with double Livers. The land Frogs of Toads kind, have one lop or lappet of the liver, which Ants will not touch; because of the poyson therein, as is supposed. Liver of all things may be kept and preserved longest: and we read in Chronicles, that there have been found in some cities long besieged, Livers in salt or powder, which had continued a hundred years. Serpents and Lizards have long Livers. In that sacrifice which Cæsina Volaterranus killed, Dragons were seene to issue from among the Entrails and the Liver; and this turned to be a luckie presage. And verily, why should we thinke this report or any other in sacrifices, to be incredible? considering that upon the very day that king Pyrrhus was slaine, the heads of the beasts being slaine for sacrifice, (notwithstanding they were cut off from their bodies,) mooved forward upon the ground, and licked up their owne bloud.
The upmost inwards of a man, to wit, the Heart and the Lungs, are devided from the other entrailes beneath, by certaine pellicles or rimmes of the Midriffe, which the Latines call Proecordia (because they are drawne and set before the Heart as a defence:) and the Greekes Phrenes. True it is, that Nature in great providence hath enclosed all the noble and principall parts within severall skins and coats of their owne, which might serve in stead of sheiths and cases for their better defence: but in this partition of the Midriffe, she had a more particular regard to the propinquitie of the Stomacke and Bellie, least that the vitall parts being so neare, should be oppressed and suffocated with the steames and vapors of the meat therein boiling. To that part are we beholden for our quicke wit, this membrane of the Midriffe we may thank for our readie conceit and understanding: to which effect, charged it is with no flesh, but composed of fine & subtile sinewes. The same likewise is the very especiall seat of mirth: as we may perceive evidently by tickling under our arme holes, unto which it reacheth: and as in no place of mans bodie the skin is more fine and tender, so it taketh as great pleasure to be tickled & lightly scratched there. And hereupon it is, that in solemne combates of sword-fencers at utterance with the sharpe, as also in field battels, we have many a time seene men wounded and thrust through the Midriffe, to die laughing.118
To proceed in our Anatomie, all creatures having a Stomack or Read, are not without a Bellie under it. As many as chew cud, have the same ¶¶ double- or two-fold, the rest one and no more: and looke who want bloud, are without it also. For some there be that have one entire gut, which beginneth at the mouth, and by a certaine way redoubleth and returneth backe againe thither, and namely, the Cuttill and the Polype. In man it is annexed to the bottome of the Stomache, like as in a Dog. And in these twaine onely, narrower it is in the lower part: which is the cause, that none but they doe vomit: for when their bellies bee full, the streight passage beneath keepeth the meat from descending, and so it returneth upward: which cannot happen to them that have it wide and large, whereby the meat is sooner sent downe into the guts beneath. Next to the bag of the Stomacke, men and sheepe have the small guts called Lactes, through which the meat passeth: in others it is named Ile.119 Next unto which are the greater guts, that reach unto the Paunch: and in man they are full of windings and turnings: which is the reason, that as many as have a great space betweene the Stomacke and the Paunch, are more hungrie and greedie of meat than others. And those who have the fattest and most greatest bellies, most commonly are the grossest of capacitie and understanding. Some foules likewise have a two-fold receptacle for their meat: the one is the gizzer, craw, or gorge, wherein they bestow at the first their meat when they take it new: the other is the true Stomacke indeed; into which they send out of the former, the victuals alreadie altered, prepared, and in good forwardnes of concoction. And such be Hens and Pullein, Coists or Stock-doves, House-doves or Pigeons, and Partridges. All the rest in manner want the said gezzier, but in stead thereof have a wider gorge, wherethrough the meat passeth into the Stomacke, as Choughs, Ravens, and Crowes. Some againe there bee that have neither one nor other, but bee farre different from the rest, and these have their bellie hard to their gorge: and especially such as have long neckes and narrow, as the bird Porphyrio. The paunch or belly of those beasts which are whole houfed, is hard & rough. And in land beasts, it is thicke toothed, and set full of sharpe prickes: in others it is framed rugged likewise, plaited and crosse in manner of lattice, readie to catch and bite whatsoever. Those which have not teeth in both chawes, nor yet chew cud, do in this bellie concoct and digest their victuals, and out of it they send the meat into the paunch where the guts lie. This member, in the middes, is in all creatures fastened to the navill: and in man it is like unto that of a swine, having toward the neather part, a great gut named Colon: and this is it, which giveth occasion to the intollerable paine of the colique. This Gut in dogs, is very straight and narrow, whereupon they have much adoe to discharge it, and lightly they doe not skummer, but with great paine and difficultie. Those creatures of all others be counted most unsatiable, whose meat passeth immediatly out of their belly into the straight gut Longaon, or the Tiwill: as among foure-footed beasts, the Woolfe, engendred betweene the Hind and a hee-Wolfe:120 and in foules, the Cormorant. An Elephant hath foure bellies or paunches: all other parts within, bee answerable to those in Swine. Their lungs be foure times as big as those in an Oxe. The gorge or craw, & the stomack or gulet in birds, is the thicke and fleshie. In the maw or stomacke of Swallowes young birds, there be some certaine little white stones, or els of a reddish colour, called thereupon Chelidonij: and they be in great request in Art Magicke, namely for charmes and enchantements. Likewise in the second belly or paunch of young Heifers, there is found a small, blacke, and gravelly stone round as a ball, and light withall: a singular remedie (as it is thought) for women that have hard labour and be delivered with much paine and difficultie, so it bee taken before that ever it touch the ground. The Stomacke and the Guts, are kept within a fat and thin cawle, in all creatures but those that lay egs.
Unto this Cawle, is fastned the Splene on the left side of the belly just over against the liver. And otherwhiles these two shift their places, and in one lieth where the other should; but that is ever held as a prodigious token. Some are of opinion, that those creatures which lay egs have a Splene, but it is very small: as also the Serpents. And surely such an one appeareth plainly in the Tortoise, Crocodile, Lizards, and Frogs. Certein it is, that the bird Ægocephalus121 hath none at all, no more than others that want bloud. This member hath a proprietie by it selfe sometimes, To hinder a mans running: whereupon professed runners in the race that bee troubled with the splene, have a devise to burne and wast it with an hot yron. And no marveile: for why? they say that the Splene may be taken out of the bodie by way of incision, and yet the creature live neverthelesse: but if it be man or woman that is thus cut for the Splene, hee or shee looseth their laughing by the meanes. For sure it is, that untemperate laughers have alwaies great Splenes. In Scepsis (a countrey of Asia) the sheepe have very small Splenes, and from them were devised the remedies to cure the disease thereof, and to wast their excessive greatnesse.
But about Briletum and Tharne (the hils abovenamed) the Deere have four Kidnies apeece: whereas on the contrarie side, neither feathered foule nor skalie fish, have any. Moreover, the Kidnies sticke close unto the bones. The right kidney in all creatures is the bigger, lesse fat, and dryer of the twaine: howbeit in both of them, there is a fat issueth out of the mids, save only in Seales. All living creatures are fattest about the raines of the backe: and sheepe may be so farre overgrowne with fat, that they will die thereof. Sometime there be little stones found in them. All four-footed beasts that bring forth their young quick, have Kidnies. And of such as lay egs, the Tortoise alone, which also hath all other entrails. The Kidnies of a man, be like to those of Kine and Oxen, as if they were composed of many togither.
Nature hath embarred the Breast-part (wherein lie the vitall members) with ribbes round about: but toward the belly (which needs must grow and stretch) she hath not so done, but hath given it libertie: for no living creature hath bones to compasse the paunch. Mans Breast onely is broad and square: in all other sit is framed otherwise, like the keele of a ship: which is more evidently to be seene in birds and in water-foules most of all others. As for Ribs, man only hath eight that be full and whole: Swine have ten: horned beasts thirteene: Serpents thirtie.
Under the belly and paunch in the fore-part of the bodie, hangeth the bladder: which no creature laying egs hath, save onely the Tortoise. It is found in none but such as have a paire of lungs, and the same with bloud: neither in any creeping creature without feet. Betweene it and the belly be certaine canals or arteries, reaching to the groine, which by the Greeks are named Ilia [i. the Flanks.]122 In the bladder of a Wolfe, is found a little stone called Syrites. But in some mens bladders, ye shall see otherwhiles certaine grosse haires to engender, like to bristles; also gravell and stones, which put them to intollerable paine. This bladder consisteth of a certaine tunicle or skin, which if it be once wounded, cannot again be consolidated; no more than those fine pellicles or rinds that enwrap the braine and the heart. For you must thinke, that there be many sorts of these membranes or filmes serving to sundrie uses.
As for women, their inward parts are answerable to mens in all these aspects abovesaid and besides, they have by themselves adjoyning close unto the bladder, another little bag or purse; whereupon it is called in Latine Uterus: and it hath another name beside, to wit, Loci: which we call the Matrice, the Mother, or the Wombe: and in other creatures it is tearmed Vulva. In Vipers, and such as hatch their egs, within them it is double. In those that lay egges, it lyeth fast to the Midriffe. In women, it hath of either side two chambers or concavities. If at any time it chance to be perverted and turned the wrong way, or take aire into it, it is deadly, and riseth up to stop the wind. If Kine be with Calfe, men say, that they carie not their yong, but in the tight cell or receptacle thereof, yea, although they go with two Calves at once. Our fine-toothed gluttons doe find a better tast in a Sowes wombe that slippeth and casteth her Pigs and it together, or is cut out of her bellie, than if the dam bringeth foorth her fruit at the full time. The one forsooth is called Ejecticia, the other Porcaria. And the best is that of a young Sow that never farrowed before: and contrariwise, of old Sows and such as have given over to farrow. After she hath pigged, unlesse she be killed the same day, the same hath a dead colour, and is but leane. And yet that of a young Swine is not greatly commended, unlesse it be of her first Pigs. Howbeit, those of old Sowes also be in request, so they have not given over breeding: and namely, if they be taken either within two daies before they should pig, or within two daies after they have pigged, or at leastwise, the very same day. The next to the cast-wombe abovesaid, is that of a Son killed a day after she hath pigged. The paps and teats of such a Sow, newly having farrowed, is counted excellent good meat, so that it be taken before that ever the Pigs sucked them drie: but those of a Sow which hath cast her Pigs before time, is held for the worst of all. In old time they called this morcell in Latine Abdomen,123 and before it was growne hard and brawnie, they never were wont willingly and wittingly to kill Sowes, ¶¶¶ even upon the point of their farrowing, and being readie to Pig [as our monstrous gluttons doe nowadaies, because they would have the teats soft, tender, and full of milke.]
All horned beasts having teeth growing in but one jaw, and pasterne bones about their feet, doe beare tallow or sewet, and feed fat. Those that be clove-footed, or otherwise have feet devided into many toes, and beare no hornes; have no tallow, but grease or fat. The tallow or sewet groweth to be hard, and when it is throughly cold, is brittle and apt to crumble and breake; and is ever found in the edge and extremities of the flesh: contrariwise, the seame or grease is enterlarded betweene the flesh and the skin; liquid it is, and easie to melt. Some creatures there bee that will never be fat, as the Hare and Partridge. Generally, whatsoever is barren, bee it male or female, will soon feed fat. Sooner grow they to be old which are overfat. No living creatures there are but have a certaine fat in their eies. And the tallow in any thing whatsoever, is sencelesse: for neither hath it Arteries nor Veines. The fat also & grease in most of them, is without sence. And hereupon it is, That some affirme, how Mice and Rats have gnawne and eaten fat Hogs whiles they were alive, and made them nests in their backes: yea, and Lucius Apronius sometimes Consull, had a sonne so fat that he could not goe, so heavie was he loden with grease; insomuch, as he was faine to take some of his grease foorth of the bodie, and so discharge himselfe and become lighter.
Marrow seemeth to be much of the same nature: in youth it is red, and in age, waxeth white. This is never found but in hollow bones: and yet not in the legs of Horse, Asse, Mule, or Dog. And therefore if they chance to be broken, they will not sowder and unite againe; which happeneth when the Marrow runneth out to the place of the fracture. In those that carie grease or sewet, fattie it is and greasie: but in horned beasts it resembleth Tallow. Sinewie it is, and that onely in the edge of the backe of as many as have no bones, as namely, in all fishes. Beares have none at all. A Lion likewise hath but very little, to wit, in some few bones of his thighs and buts behind, and also of his legs before under his shoulders. For his other bones are so hard, that they will strike fire, as it were an hard flint. The Marrow is hard in them that gather no grease, but rather tallow.
The bones of Asse legs are good to sound shrill, and to make pipes of. Dolphins have verie bones, and not prickie chines: for they bring foorth their young alive. Serpents have onely prickie ridges. Fishes that be soft have no bones: but their bodie is bound with certaine hoopes or circles of flesh, as the Cuttill and the Calamarie. Neither have Insects any bones at all. Those fishes which be not soft, but gristly, have a kind of marrow in their ridge bone. Seales have gristle, and no bone. The eares and nosethrils of all creatures, if they beare up but a little, have a soft tender gristle apt to bend and wind: such is the goodnesse of Nature, providing that they should not breake. A gristle if it be broken, will not close together and be sound. Neither will bones, if ought be cut from them, grow againe: unlesse it be in horses and such beasts of cariage, and namely, betweene the houfe and the pasternes.
A man Groweth in heigth and length untill he be one and twentie yeares of age: then beginneth he to spread and burnish in squarenesse. As well men as women-kind, shute up most and undoe the knot that hindered their growth, when they come to fourteene yeares of age, and be undergrowne: and most is this seene, if some sicknesse happen about that time.
As for the Sinewes, Ligaments, and Cords, which take their beginning at the heart, be covered (as it were) with a certaine white and glutinous substance; and the like cause and nature they have. These in all bodies, are tied to the slipperie bones: the knittings of the bones together, which be called joints, they fasten and bind together, some by comming betweene, others by clasping round about, and others againe, by passing crosse over: in one place they bee twined round, in another broad, according as the figure of each part doth require. Be they cut atwo, as they cannot knit againe, so they put a man to no paine: pricke or wound them, a wonder to see, what extremitie of paine will thereupon ensue. Some creatures be without nerves and sinewes, as namely fishes, for they stand much upon Arteries: and yet ye shall have neither the one nor the other in soft fishes. Look where there be Sinewes, Cords, and Ligaments, those that lie more inward and underneath, stretch out the part and give libertie: wheras the uppermost that lie over them, draw the same in as much.
Among these are hidden the Arteries, that is to say, the passages of the spirit and life. And over them ride the Veines, even the very conduits and channels that carie the bloud. The Pulse or beating of Arteries, is most evident in the extremities or ends of any members; and for the most part bewraieth hidden diseases. Herophilus that renowmed Poet and interpreter of Physick, hath with marvellous skill reduced the order thereof into an art: he hath set downe most artificially, the certaine measures and times, the compasse, the metricall lawed thereof, according to every age: when they strike even and steadie, when too fast, when too slow. But the skill hereof is little exercised, and his invention in that behalfe neglected: because it seemed overwittie, subtile, and curious. Howbeit, the observation of the strokes, either comming thicke and fast, or slow and softly, giveth a great light to judge of the strength of Nature, that governeth our life. Arteries want sence, and no marvell, for they be without bloud. Neither doe they all containe within them vitall spirit. For there have beene knowne some of them cut in twaine, and yet that part of the bodie only is mortified, which received the offence. Birds have neither Veines nor Arteries. Likewise, Serpents, Tortoises, and Lizards, have but very little bloud. The Veines dispersed at the last into most fine and small threadie fibres under all the skin, grow at the length to be so slender that the bloud cannot possibly passe through them, nor any thing else: save a thin humour or moisture, which through infinite small pores of the skin doth breath forth, and standeth there like a dew, and is called Sweat. The place where all the Veines doe meet in a round knot together, is the Navell.
Of Bloud, as well that which soonest waxeth drie, as that which will not thicken at all. Also, which is the grossest bloud, and heaviest, which the lightest and thinnest: and last of all, what creatures living have no bloud at all.
Those that have much bloud, and the same fat and grosse, are angrie and chollericke. The bloud of males is commonly blacker than that of females: yea, and more in youth than in old age: and the same in the bottome and lower part, settleth fatter and grosser than above. In bloud consisteth a great portion and treasure of life. When it is let out, it carieth with it much vitall spirit: howbeit, sencelesse it is, and hath no feeling. The strongest creatures be they which have the thickest bloud: but the wisest, those that have thinnest: the more fearefull, that have least: but dull and blockish altogether which have none at all. Buls bloud of all others soonest congealeth and waxeth hard, and therefore poyson it is, to be drunke especially. The bloud of Bores, red and fallow Deere, Roe-buckes, and all Buffles, will not thicken. Asses bloud is most fattie and grosse: and contrarily, mans bloud is thinnest and finest. Those beasts that be fat have small store of bloud, because it is spent in fatnesse. Man onely bleedeth at the nose: some at one nosthrill alone, others at both: and some againe void bloud downeward by Hæmorrhoids. Many there be that cast up bloud at certaine times ordinarie, by the mouth: as not long since Macrinus Viscus, late Pretor of Rome: and usually every yeare Volusius Saturninus, Provost of the citie, who notwithstanding lived untill he was above fourescore and ten yeares of age. Bloud is the onely thing in the bodie that encreaseth presently. For so we see, that beasts killed for sacrifice will bleed most freshly and in greater abundance, if they dranke a little before. Those creatures that lie hidden in the earth at certain times (as we have said before) have no bloud in all that while; unlesse it bee some few, and those verie small drops gathered about their hearts. a wonderfull worke of Nature, that it should be so: as also, that in a man it should alter and change ever and anon, so as it doth upon every small occasion: and the force and strength thereof varie, not only for defect and want of matter to disperse abroad, but also for every little motion and passion of the mind, as shame, anger, and feare. For one while it sheweth pale, another whiles red, more or lesse, in much varietie of degrees. In case of anger it will shew one colour: of shame and bashfulnesse appearing in another. In fear, doubtlesse it retireth and flieth back, in such sort, as a man knoweth not what is become of it: so as many in that fit have been stabbed and run through, and yet bled not at all one drop: but this suddaine change of colour happeneth to men onely. For in other creatures, which (as we have said) doe alter their hue, it is an outward colour that they take from the reflection of certaine places neare unto them, man alone hath this change from within himselfe. To conclude, all maladies, and death especially, consume the bloud.
Whether in Bloud resteth the soveraignetie or no? Also of the nature of Skin, of Haires, and the Paps.
Some measure not the finenesse of spirit and wit by the puritie of bloud: but suppose that creatures are brutish, more or lesse, according as their Skin is, thicker or thinner: and as the other covertures of their bodies be either grosse and hard, or thin and tender: as we see for example in Oisters and Tortoises. They affirme moreover, that the thick hides in Kine and Oxen, and the hard bristles in Swine, impeach the entrance of subtile aire and fine spirit into their bodies: in such wise, that nothing can pierce and passe through, which is pure and fine, as it should be. And hereto they bring men also, as a proofe, who are thicke skinned, and more brawnie, for to be more grosse of sence and understanding: as who would say, that Crocodiles were not very wittie and industrious, and yet their skin is hard enough. And as for the River-horse, his hide is so thicke, that thereof javelines and speares are turned: and yet so industrious is this beast, that in some case he is his owne Physician, and he hath taught us to open a veine, and let bloud. The Elephants skin is so tough and hard, that thereof be made targuets and shields, of so good proofe, that it is impossible to pierce them through: and yet they are thought to be of all foure-footed beasts, most ingenious and wittie. Wherefore, conclude wee may, that the skin it selfe is sencelesse, and hath no fellowship at all with the understanding: especially that of the head; and wheresoever it is of it selfe naked, and without flesh, be sure (if it be wounded) impossible it is to consolidate the wound, and namely, in the eie lids and the bals of the cheekes. All creatures that bring forth their young quicke, are hairie: those that lay egs, have either feathers, as birds: skales, as fishes: or else bee covered with shels, as Tortoises: or last of all, have a plaine skin and no more, as Serpents. The quils of all feathers bee hollow. Cut them, they will grow no more: plucke them, they will come againe. Insects flie with thin and brittle pellicles or membranes. The sea Swallowes have them evermore moist and drenched in the sea. As for the Bat, he is afraid to wet them, and therefore flieth about housen, & his wings besides are divided into joints. The haires that grow forth of a thick skin, are commonly hard and grosse: but evermore thinner and finer in the females. In Horses and Mules they grow at length upon their maines. Lions also have them long about their shoulders and foreparts. Connies have long haires about their cheekes, yea, and within-forth: as also in the soles of their feet: and so hath the Hares, according to the opinion of Trogus: who thereby collecteth, that hairie men likewise are more letcherous than others. The hairiest creature of all others is the Hare. In mankind only there groweth haire about the privie parts: & whosoever wanteth it, man or woman, is holden for barren, & not apt for generation. Haires in men and women are not all of one sort: for some they bring with them into the world, others come up & grow afterwards. Those that they have from their mothers wombe, do not lightly fall and shed, & least of all in women. Yet shall ye have some women to shed the hairs of the head by occasion of sicklinesse: as also other women to have a kind of downe upon their face; and namely, when their monethly fleures doe stay upon them. In some men, the latter kind of haires, to wit, of the beard, &c. will not come of their owne accord, without the helpe of Art. Foure-footed beasts doe shed their haire yeerely, and have it grow againe. Mens haire of their heads, groweth most: and next to it, that of their beards. If the haire be cut, it groweth not again at the cut end, but springeth forth from the root. It groweth apace in some sicknesses, and most of all in the consumption of the lungs, and in old age, yea and upon the bodies of the dead. In leacherous persons, the haire of their head, browes, and eye-lids, with which they came into the world, doe fall more early than in others: but those that spring afterwards, grow sooner againe, if they be cut or shaven. The wooll and haire that foure-footed beasts doe beare, is more course and thick by age, but it commeth not in such plentie as before. And such have alwaies their back well covered with haire and wooll, but their bellies bare. Of Kine and Oxe hides sodden, there is made glew: but the Bulls hide hath no fellow for that purpose. Man only of all males, hath evidently paps in his breasts: other creatures have little nipples onely in shew of teats. Neither have all females teats in their breast, but only such as are able to suckle their young. None that lay egs have paps: nor any have milke unlesse they bring forth their young living, and yet of all foules I must except the Bat alone. As for the illfavoured Scritchowles, called Stryges,124 I thinke they be but tales that goe of them: namely, That they will give milke out of the breasts to young infants. True it is, all men agree in this, That the manner was in old time, to use in cursing and execration, the name of Strix, but what bird it should be, I suppose no man yet knoweth.
Notable observations in living creatures, as touching their Paps.
Shee Asses are much pained with the ach of their Udders, when they have foled: and therefore after sixe moneths, they will not give them any more sucke: whereas mares doe suckle their colts a whole yeare almost. Those beasts which be whole-houfed, and have not above two young at once, have all of them two Paps and no more, and those in no other place els, but betweene their hinder legges. Such as be cloven-footed, and horned likewise, have them in that place: but Kine have foure teats, Ewes and Goats but two apeece. Such beasts be very fruitfull and bring many young, and likewise whose feet be parted into toes, these have many nipples or teat heads all along their belly, disposed and set in a double course, as namely, Sowes of which, those of the better kind have twelve, the common sort, but ten. Also Bitches after the same manner. Some beasts have foure teats in the mids of their belly, as the Panthers: some twaine and no more, as the Lionesse. The Elephant alone hath twaine under his shoulders or legs before, and those not evident in the breast part, but short thereof, and lying hidden as it were within the arm-pits. And generally, none that have their feet divided into toes, have Udders behind under their hin-legs. A Sow, at every farrow, giveth the formost nipples to those pigs that come first, and so in order as they be farrowed: and those teats be they that are next to her throat, and highest. Every pig knoweth the own pap, and will take it & no other, when it commeth first into the world; and thereof it is nourished. If a pig be taken from the Sow, the milke of that pap will drie up presently, or returne backe, and the pap it selfe fall flat to the belly. Also if it chance that but one sucking pig be left, that pap alone will do the part and let down milke, which Nature first appointed for that one pig. Shee Beares have foure paps apeece. Dolphins have no more but two teats and nipples in the bottome of their belly, and those not very apparent to the eye, nor streight and direct, but lying somewhat aside and byas: and no beast besides giveth sucke as it runneth, but shee. To conclude, Whales, Whirlepooles, and Seales, nourish their young with their udder and teats.
Of Milke: and of what milke cheese cannot be made.
The Milke that commeth from a woman, before shee hath gone seven moneths with child, is not good: but from all that time forward, it is holesome, because the infant may live and doe well after that tearme. Many are so frim and free of milke, that all their breasts are strut and full thereof, even as farre as to their arme-holes. Camels give milke untill they be great with young againe: and their milke is thought to be most sweet and pleasant in tast, if to one measure thereof you put three of water. A Cow hath no milke ordinarily, before that shee hath calved. The first milke that she giveth downe, is called Beestins:125 which, unlesse it be delaied with some water, will soone turn to be as hard as Pumish stone. Shee Asses are not so soone with young, but they have milke in their udders. But if they go in good and battle126 pasture, it is not good that their young foles should sucke in their milke in two daies after; for the very tast thereof, is enough to kill them: and this disease that commeth of such Beestins, is called Colostratio. The milke that those give which have teeth in both chawes, is not good to make cheese of, because it will not cruddle. Camels milke, of all others, is thinnest: and Mares milke next to it. Asses milke is holden for to be the thickest, and therfore they use it in stead of renning, to turn milke and gather curds thereof. It is thought also t be very good for to make womens skin faire and white. Certes the Empresse Poppæa, wife to Domitius Nero, had alwaies wheresoever she went, five hundred shee Asses milch, in her traine:127 and in their milke she bathed and washed her whole bodie, as in an ordinarie baine, supposing that thereby her skin was not onely whiter, but also more neat, smooth, and void of rivels. All sorts of milke will thicken by fire, and turne into whey with cold. Cowes milke maketh more cheese than Goats milk, by twice as much almost, although you take no more of the one than the other. The milke of those that have above foure paps, is naught for cheese, but theirs is better that have but twaine. The ronnet of an Hind-calfe, a Leveret, and a Kid, is much commended. But especially of a Leveret or Rabbet,128 which also is medicinable for the fluxe of the bellie: a thing to be observed in them alone, of all creatures that are toothed in both chawes. A wonder it is, that barbarous nations living of milke, have for so many hundred yeeres either not known, or els not regarded the benefit of cheese;129 and yet they used to thicken their milke into a kind of pleasant soure-crud, in manner of a Sellibub: and to charn butter thereof: which is the very scum and crame of milke, much thicker than that which is called Whey. To conclude, I may not let passe, That Butter hath the vertue and properties of oile: insomuch, as forraine and barbarous nations, doe anoint their children therewith, as we also doe ours.
Cheese of sundrie sorts.
At Rome, (the onely place that hath best meanes neare at hand, to judge of the fruits and commodities of all nations in the world) the Cheeses which come out of the province of Nemausium, and from the villages of Læso and Baux, are highly praised for the best; but they last not long: their commendation is for the present season while they be greene and new. There are brought good cheeses from two coasts of the Alpes, which greatly praise the pasture thereabout. Also, daintie cheeses are made in Dalmatia, from whence we have passing good, and namely, from Drinaldi. Moreover, the province of Ceutronia sendeth us excellent chese from Nausium. But the great store and plentie of cheese commeth from the Apennine mountain: which yeeldeth us the Cebane cheese out of Liguria: and that is very fine meat, notwithstanding it be made most of Ewes milke. Also out of Umbria we have good cheese, from the dairie s along the river Æsio. Howbeit in the confines betweene, Tuscane and Liguria, the monstrous great cheeses are made, and namely about Luca, for one of them weigheth a thousand pounds. Next to these in goodnes, be those that are made neere unto the citie of Rome about Vestinum: but from out of the Sardinian territorie and the plains thereabout, there come cheese that passe all the rest. As for cheeses made of Goats milke, they are not to be defrauded of their due praise, especially when they are fresh and new made; and if besides, they may have a little drinesse in smoke, which giveth both a good lustre & also a pretie tast unto them: for such cheeses be made within the very citie of Rome, and goe beyond all others. As for the cheeses made in Fraunce, they tast like a medicine, and have an atomaticall rellish with them. For outlandish cheeses beyond-sea, the Bithynian carry the best name. That there is a certain tartar or salt, (if by nothing els) may well be knowne by the tast of the cheese made thereof: for there is none but the older they are, the more saltish they bee: and yet such are well knowne to recover their fresh tast againe, if they bee soked in thyme-vinegre. Some report, that Zoroastres lived in the desert wildernes twentie yeeres with cheese: the which was so well tempered, that it seemed nothing old, for neither it moulded, nor yet bred vermin.
The difference betweene the members of Man and other creatures.
Of living creatures upon the land, Man alone is two-footed. He only hath a cannell bone and shoulders; armes also to embrace: whereas others have shoulders onely and fore-legs to rest upon. In all creatures that have hands, they be fleshie withinforth onely: for the back-part consisteth of skin and sinewes. Some men there be, with six fingers to one hand. We have heard that M. Curiatius, a nobleman of Rome, had two daughters so handed: wherupon they were surnamed Sedigitæ. Also there was a man named Volcatius, who was an excellent Poet, and had six fingers to an hand, whereupon he was surnamed Sedigitus. Every finger of a mans hand hath three joints; the thumb twaine, and it bendeth and boweth full opposite to all the rest of the fingers: and yet by it selfe he stretcheth awrie from the others, and is thicker than the rest of the fingers. The little finger is equall in length to the thumbe: the fore-finger and the fifth (or ring-finger) are just of one size: betweene which, the middle finger is the longest. Those foure-footed beasts that live of ravine and prey, have five toes in their fore-feet, whereas others have but foure. Lions, Wolves, and Dogs, and some few others, have likewise five toes or pawes in their hin-feet, and one like a spurre, which beareth foorth behind and hangeth downe from the pasterne-bone of the foot. All other smaller beasts have five to a foot. The armes of all men be not of a just and even measure: for it is well knowne, That there was a Thracian sword-fencer named Studiosus, belonging to the fence-schoole of C. Caligula the Emperor, whose right arme was longer than the left. Certain beasts without reason, use the ministerie of their fore-feet in stead of hands, and as they sit up on their rumpe, reach meat therewith to their mouth; as the Squirrils.
The resemblance that Apes have to men.
As for all the race and kind of Apes, they resemble the proportion of men perfitly in the face, nose, eares, and ey-lids: which eye-lids, these creatures alone (of all foure-footed) have under their eyes as well as above: nay, they have paps and nipples in their breasts, as women: armes also and legs, bending contrary wayes, even as ours do. Nailes they have likewise and fingers like to us; with the middle-finger longer than the rest, as ours be. A little they differ from us in the feet: for somwhat long they are, like as their hands be: and the sole of their foot is answerable to the palme of their hands. Thumbs and great toes they have moreover, with joints like (in all the world) to a man. And setting aside the member of generation, and that only in the hee Ape, all inward parts are the very same that ours, as if they were made just by one patterne.
Nailes are taken and reputed for the extremities and utmost ends of the sinewes: and yee shall find them in as many as have fingers or toes. But in Apes they are channelled halfe round like a gutter tile: whereas in man they be flat and broad. When one is dead, they will grow. In ravenous creatures, hooked they be and bowing inward: in dogs, right and straight, save only that, which in most of them crooketh from behind their leg like a spurre. All creatures that have the fashion of a foot, have toes thereto, except an Elephant. And yet he seemeth to have an apparence of five in number, but they are not divided asunder; or if they be, they are not distinct one from another but very slightly, and liker rather to houfes than to nails: the fore-feet also are bigger than the hinder. In the hin-feet they have short joints. The Elephant bendeth his hammes inward, as doth a man: whereas all other living creatures, bow the joynts of their hinder legs otherwise than of the former. For such as engender and breed young alive, bend their knees before them: but the joint of their hough behind, cleane backward. Mens knees and elbowes, doe bow contrarie one to the other: so doe Beares and all the sort of Apes; which is because that they be not so swift of foot as others. Four-footed beasts, as many as lay egs, (as the Crocodile and Lizards) have their knees before, bending backward; but those behind, bowing forward: and yet their legs be crooked like a mans thumb. In like sort, they that have many feet: unlesse it be the hin-feet of all, in as many as do skip and hop; for they all be streight. Birds (after the manner of four-footed beasts) doe bow their wings forward, but the joynt of their legges backward.
In the Knees of men, there is generally reposed a certain religious reverence, observed even in all nations of the world. For, humble suppliants creepe and crouch to the knees of their superiours; their knees touch, to their knees they reach forth their hands: their knees (I say) they worship and adore as religiously as the very altars of the gods. And for good reason haply they do so; because it is commonly received, That in them there lieth much vitall strength. For in the very joint and knitting of both knees, on either side thereof before, there are two emptie bladders (as it were) like a paire of cheekes; which hollownesse or concavitie, if it be wounded and pierced through, causeth as present death as if the throat were cut. In other parts likewise of the bodie, we use a certain religious ceremonie: for as our manner is to offer the backe part of the right hand to be kissed, so we put it forth and give it as well in testimonie of faith and fidelitie. It was an auncient fashion in Greece, when they would make court and and with great reverence tender a supplication to some great personage, for to touch the chin. In the tender lappet of the eare, is supposed to rest the seat of remembrance, which we use to touch when we purpose to take one for to beare witnes of an arrest or other thing done, and to depose the same in the face of the court. Moreover, behind the right eare likewise is the proper place of Nemesis (which goddesse could never find yet a Latine name, so much as in the very Capitol) and that place are we woont to touch with the fourth finger (which is next to the least) in token of repentance, when we have let fall some word rashly, and would crave pardon of the gods therefore. The crooked and swelling veines in the legs, man alone hath, and women very seldome. Oppius writeth, that C. Marius (who had been Consull of Rome seven times) endured, without sitting downe for the matter, to have those vains taken forth of his legs: a thing that never any was knowne to abide before him. All four-footed beasts begin to goe ordinarily on the right hand, and use to lie downe on the right side: others go as they list. Lions and Camels only have this propertie by themselves, To keepe pace in their match foot by foot, that is to say, they never set their left foot before their right, nor overreach with it, but let it gently come short of it and follow after. Men and women have the greatest feet in proportion, of all creatures: but females ordinarily in every kind have lesse and slender feet than males. Men and women onely have calves in their legs, and their legs full of flesh. Howbeit we read in some writers, That there was one man in Ægypt had no calfe at all to his legs, but was legged like a Crane. Man alone hath palmes of his hands, and broad flat soles to his feet: and yet some there be, who that was are deformed and disfigured. And thereupon it came, that divers came to be surnamed Planci, [i. flat-footed:] Plauti, [i. splay-footed:] Scauri, [i. with their ankles standing over-much out:] Pausi, [i. broad footed.] Like as of their misshapen legs some have bin named Vari [i. wry-legged:] others, Vatiæ, and Vatinij, [i. bow-legged:] which imperfections beasts also are subject unto. Whole houfed are all they that beare not hornes: in regard whereof they be armed with houfe in stead of that offensive weapon: and such as they be, have no ankle-bones: but all cloven-footed have those bones. Howbeit as many as have toes, want ankles: and in one word, there is not one hath them in the fore-feet. Camels have ankles like to Kine and Oxen, but somwhat lesse: for indeed they be cloven footed, although the partition be very little, and hardly discerned under the foot, but seemeth flesh all over the sole, as Beares also, which is the cause that if they travaile farre unshod, their feet are surbated, and the beasts will tire.
A discourse of beasts houfes.
The Houfes of Horses, Mules, Asses, and such like beasts of carriage only, if they be pared and cut, will grow againe. In some parts of Sclavonia, the Swine are not cloven-footed, but whole houfed. All horned beasts in manner be cloven footed: but no beast beareth two hornes, and hath withall the houfe of one entire peece. The Indian Asse hath onely one horn. The wild goat also called Oryx, is cloven houfed, and yet hath but one horn. The Indian Asse moreover, of all whole houfed beasts alone, hath the pasterne or ankle-bones. As for Swine, a mungrell kind they are thought to be of both, in regard of those bones; and therupon are reputed filthie and accursed. They that have thought that a man had such, are soone convinced. As for the Once, he indeed alone of all those whose feet are divided into toes, hath that which somewhat resembleth a pasterne bone. So hath a Lion also, but that it is more crooked and winding. As for the streight pasterne bone indeed, it beareth out with a belly in the joynt of the foot; and in that hollow concavitie wherein the said bone turneth, it is tied by ligaments.
Of birds feet, and their Clawes or Tallons.
Of Foules, somehave their feet divided into clees and toes; others be broad and flat footed: and some are betweene both; which have indeed their toes parted and distinct, and yet their feet be broad between. But all of them have foure toes to a foot: to wit, three in the fore-part, and one behind at the heele in manner of a spurre: howbeit this one is wanting in some that are long legged. the Wrynecke or Hickway, with some few others, have two before and other two behind. The same bird putteth out a tongue of a great length, like to serpents.130 It turneth the necke about and looketh backeward: great clawes it hath like those of Choughes. Some bigger birds have in their legs one other shanke-bone more than ordinarie. None that have crooked tallons, be long-legged. All that staulke with long shankes, as they flie stretch out their legs in length to their tailes: but such as be short-legged draw them up to the mids of their belly. They that say, No bird is without feet, affirme also, That • Martinets have feet: like as also the swift Swallow called Oce, and the sea Swallow Drepanis. And yet such birds come so little abroad, that they be seldome seene. To conclude, there have ben now of late, Serpents known flat-footed like Geese.131
Of the feet of Insects.
All Insects having hard eies, have their fore-legges longer than the rest, to the end that otherwhiles they might with them, scoure their eies, as wee see some flis doe: but those whose hinder-legs are longest, use to skip and hop, as Locusts. Howbeit, all of them have six legs apeece. Some Spiders there be, that have two over and above the ordinarie, and those be very long: and every leg hath three joynts. As for some sea-fishes, wee have said before that they have eight legs: namely, Manyfeet, Pourcuttles, Cuttles, Calamaries, and Crabfishes; and those moove their fore-clees like armes a contrary way, but their feet either they turne round or else fetch them crooked atone-side: and a man shall not see any living creature again, all round, but they. As for others, they have two feet to guide them and lead the way; but Crabs onely have foure. There be Insects besides upon the land, that exceed this number of feet; and then, they have no fewer than twelve: as the most sort of wormes: yea and some of them reach to an hundred. No creature whatsoever hath an odde foot. As touching the legs of those which be whole houfed, they be all full as long when they first come into the world, as ever they will be: well may they shoot out bigger and burnish afterward, but (to speake truly and properly) they grow no more in length. And therefore when they be young sucking foles, a man shall see them scratch the eare with the hinder-feet; which, as they wane elder and bigger, they are not able to doe, because their legges thrive only in outward compasse, and not in length. Which also is the cause, that when they be new foled, they cannot feed themselves but kneeling, untill such time as their necks be come to their full growth and just proportion.
Of Dwarfes: and genital parts.
There are no living creatures in the world (even the very foules of the air not excepted) but in each kind there be dwarfes to be found. As for those males, which have their instruments of generation behind, we have sufficiently spoken. In Wolves, Foxes, Weesils, and Ferrits, those genitall members be of a bonie substance, and of them there be soveraign medicines made, for to cure the stone and gravell in mans bodie engendred. The Beares pisle also, becommeth as hard as an horne (men say) so soone as his breath is out of his bodie. As for Camels pisles, they use in the East countries to make their best bow-strings thereof, which they account to be the surest of all others. Moreover and besides, the genitall parts put a difference betweene nation and nation; also betweene one religion and another: for the priests of Cybele (the great mother of the gods) use to cut off their owne members and so gueld themselves, without daunger of death. On the contrary side, some few women there be, monstrous that way, and in that part resemble men: like as wee see there are Hermaphrodites, furnished with the members of both sexe. In the daies of Nero the Emperour, the like accident was seene (and never before) in some four-footed beasts. For he, in very truth, exhibited a shew of certaine Mares that were of the nature of those Hermaphrodites, found in the territorie of Treviers in Fraunce: and they drew togither in his owne coach. And verily a straunge and wondrous sight this was, To see the great monarch of the world, sit in a charriot drawne by such monstrous beasts. As touching the stones of Rams, Buckes, and greater beasts, they hang dangling downe betweene their legs: but in Bores, they be trust togither, & knit up short close to their belly. Dolphins have these parts very long, and the same lying hidden within the bottome of their bellies. In Elephants likewise they be close and hidden. In as many creatures as doe lay egges, the stones sticke hard to their loines within the bodie: and such bee ever most quicke of dispatch in the act of generation, and soone have done the feat. Fishes and Serpents have none at all, but in stead therof there be two strings or veines reach them from their kidnies to their genitall member. The •• Buzzard (a kind of Hawke) is provided of three stones. A man hath his cods sometimes bruised and broken, either by some extraordinarie accident, or naturally: and such as be thus burst, are counted but halfe men, and of a middle nature betweene Hermaphrodites and guelded persons. To conclude, in all living creatures whatsoever, the males bee stronger than the females, setting aside the race of Panthers and Beares.
There is not a living creature, excepting men and Apes, (take as well those that bring foorth their young alive, as others that lay egges onely) but is furnished with a taile, for the necessarie use of their bodies. Such as bee otherwise rough-haired and bristly, yet have naked tailes, as Swine: those that be long shagged and rugged, have very little and short skuts, as Beares: but as many as have long side haires, be likewise long tailed, as Horses. If Lizards and Serpents have their tailes cut off from their bodies, they will grow againe. In fishes they serve in good stead, as rudders and helmes to direct them in their swimming: yea they fit their turnes as well as oares, to set them forward as they stirre them, to this or that hand. There be Lizards found with double tailes. Kine and Oxen have the longest rumpe for their tailes of any other beasts; yea and the same at the end, hath the greatest tuft and bush of haire. Asses have the said docke or rumpe longer than horses: and yet all such beasts either for saddle or packe, have it set out with long haires. Lyons tailes are fashioned in the verie tip thereof, like unto Kine or Oxen, and Rats: but Panthers are not in that wise tailed. Foxes and Wolves have shag tailes like sheepe, but that they be longer. Swine carrie their tailes turned and twined round. And Doges, that be of curres kind and good for nothing, carrie their tailes close underneath their bellies.
Aristotle is of opinion, That no living creature hath any voice, but such onely as are furnished with lungs and wind-pipes: that is to say, which breath and draw their wind: & therefore he holdeth, that the noise which we heare to come from Insects, is no voice at all, but a very sound occasioned by the aire that getteth within them, and so being enclosed, yeeldeth a certaine noise, and resoundeth againe. And thus it is (quoth he) that some keepe a humming or buzzing as Bees: others make a cricking with a certain long traine, as the Grashoppers; for evident it is, and well knowne, that the aire entring those pipes (if I may so tearme them) under their breast, and meeting with a certaine pellicle or thin skin, beateth upon it within, and so setteth a stirring, by which attribution, that shrill sound commeth. Againe, it is as apparent, that in others, namely, Flies and Bees, the buzzing which wee heare, beginneth and endeth ever with their flying. For (no doubt) that sound commeth not of any wind that these little creature either draw or deliver, but of the aire which they hold enclosed within, and the beating of their wings together. As for Locusts, it is generally beleeved and received, that they make that sound with clapping of their feathers or wings and thighes together. In like manner, among fishes in the waters; the great Scallops make a certaine noise as they shoot out of the water. But soft fishes and such as lie covered with a crust or shell, neither utter voice, nor yet yeeld sound. As for other fishes, although they be without lungs and pipes, yet are they not quite mute, but deliver a certaine sound. Howbeit, they that would maintaine, that fishes are dumbe indeed, doe cavill and say, that such a noise commeth of a crashing and grinding their teeth together. But what will they say then to the water-Goat, and the river-Bore, which in the river Achelous do evidently grunt: as also others, whereof we have spoken?132 Againe, such as lay egges doe hisse: and Serpents draw their hissing out in length. The Tortoise hisseth likewise, but after a broken manner, with staies and rests betweene. Frogs keepe a croaking after their kind, as hath been said before: & yet a man may seeme well to doubt thereof, how it should be? considering, that the noise which they make commeth but from their teeth and mouth outward, and is not framed in their breast or stomack. Howbeit, in them there is great difference, by occasion of the nature of diverse countries. For in Macedonie (by report) they are mute: and there also the Swine be dumbe. As for birds, the least evermore be most full of chirping, chaunting, and singing; and most of all, about the treading time. Some of them keepe a singing when they fight, as Quailes: others, when they go to fight, as Partridges: and some again after victorie, as Cockes. And they have a crowing by themselves differing from the cackling of hens: whereas in other birds you cannot discerne the male from the female by the singing, as we see in Nightingales. Some sing all the year long, others at certain times, as we have more at large declared, in the particular treatise of each bird. The Elephant he sendeth out at his very mouth (somewhat short of his muffle) a certaine sound like to sneesing: but through that muffle or trunke of his, he soundeth (as it were) out of a Trumpet. Kine onely of females, have a bigger voice than Buls: for in every kind els the female hath a smaller voice than the males: like as wee see in mankind, the guelded Eunuchs. As an infant is comming into the world, it is not heard to crie all the while that it is in the birth, before it be fully borne. When it is a yeare old, it beginneth to prattle and talke, but not afore. King Crassus had a sonne,133 who lying swaddled in his cradle, spake by that time he was sixe months old: but this was a prodigious sign, and presaged the finall ruin of that kingdome. Those children that begin with their tongue betime, are later ere they find their feet. The voice in man or woman beginneth to change & waxe greater at 14 years of age. The same in old age groweth again to be smaller: & in no other creature doth it more often alter. Moreover, as touching the Voice, there be strange and wonderfull matters reported, and those worth the rehearsall in this place. For first and formost, we do see, That upon the skaffold or stage in publicke Theatres, if the floore be strowed over well and thick with saw-dust or sand, the voice of the actors will be drowned & lost, yea, and remaine still above the skaffold, as it were there buried: also where there be hollow & uneven wals round about: or emptie drie-fats and tuns set, the voice will be taken up in them, and passe no farther; but the same voice, betweene two walls directly set one along by another, runneth apace: yea, & through a vault it may be heard from the one end to the other, be the sound never so low; provided that all bee smooth and even betweene, and nothing to hinder the passage thereof. To speake yet somewhat more of the Voice: In it resteth a great part of the countenance and visage of man, whereby hee is discerned and knowne. For we know a man by hearing his voice before wee see him, even as well as if our eies were fixed upon him. And looke how many men and women there are in the world, so many sundrie voices there bee, for each one hath a several voice, as well as a face, by himselfe. And hereof ariseth that varietie of nations, that diversitie of languages, all the world through. From hence come so many tunes in song, so many notes in Musicke, as there bee. But above all, the greatest thing to be noted in Voice, is this, That whereas the utterance of our mind, thereby dooth distinguish us from brute and wild beasts: the same even among men maketh as great a difference betweene one and another, as the other is betweene man and beast.
Of the excrescence and superfluitie of some members. Also the discourse and sayings of Aristotle as touching mans life.
Looke what part is more than ordinarie by nature, in any living creature, the same serveth to no use. As for example, the sixt finger in a mans hand is evermore superfluous, and therfore fit for nothing. It was thought good in Ægypt once to nourish and keep a monstrous man who had foure eies, whereof twaine stood in the backe part of his head behind: but surely he saw never a whit with them. I wonder verily, that Aristotle not onely beleeved, but also sticked not to set downe in writing, that there were certaine signes in mans bodie, whereby wee might foreknow whether he were long lived or no. Which, albeit I take to be but vanities, and not rashly to bee uttered without good advisement, (because I would not have men amused, and busily occupied in searching Prognostications in themselves, as touching their owne life), yet will I touch the same, and deliver them in some sort, since so great a clearke as Aristotle was, held them for Resolutions, and thought them worth the penning. Hee putteth downe therefore, as signes of short life, thin teeth, long fingers, a leaden hew, many lines in the palme of the hand, with crosse bars or short cuts.134 contrariwise, hee saith, That those who are Lute backed, thicke shouldered, and bending forward, who also in in one hand have two long life lines, and above two and thirtie teeth in their head, and besides are well hanged,135 and have large eares, bee long lived. And as farre as I can guesse, he requireth not, that all these signes should concurre and meet together, for to signifie as is beforesaid: but, as I suppose, his meaning is, that every one of them by it selfe is significative and sufficient. Surely, these Physiognomers and Chiromantines or Palmestrie, as frivolous and foolish as they be, yet now adaies are in credite, & every man is full of them. Trogus, a most grave and renowmed Author among us, is of opinion moreover, That there is judgement to bee given, not onely of mens complexions, but also of their conditions, by their very sight and countenance: and surely, I thinke it not amisse to set down his very words. A large and broad forehead (saith he) is token of a dull conceit and heavie understanding: and contrariwise, they that have a little forehead, are by nature fickle and inconstant: and finally,a round forehead, and bearing out, argueth anger and choller, as if this outward tumor thereof bewraied the swelling and boiling of that humour. In whomsoever the eie-browes are streight and lie even, they betoken soft and effeminat persons: but if they bend and bow toward the nose, they shew austeritie. Say their turning and bending be toward the temples of the head, they are signs of a mocker and scorner: finally, where they lie very low, such persons (be yee sure) are malicious, spightfull, and envious. Long eies, in whomsoever they be, doe testifie hurtfull and daungerous persons. They that have the corners full of flesh, are of a malicious nature: where the white of the eie is spread large and broad, it is a token of impudencie. And such as everywhiles be winking and closing of there eie-lids, (trust me truly) they bee giddie-headed, and unstaied. Those that have great eares, and especially the laps therof, make account they be blabs of their tongue, and fooles withall. Thus much of Physiognomie, according to Trogus.
Of the spirit and breath of living creatures: also , what things be venomous in tast, and do kill. Of mens food. And last of all, what hindereth digestion and concoction of meat.
The breath of Lions hath a very strong deane and stinking smell with it: but that of a Beare is pestilentiall and deadly: insomuch, as no beast will touch where a Beare hath breathed and blowne upon: for surley such will sooner corrupt and putrifie than others, as if they were blasted. As for the breath of a man, Nature hath suffered it to be infected many waies, namely, by the viands and meat that hee eateth, by faultie and rotten teeth, and most of all, by old age. And yet our breath, without which there is no sence, feeleth no paine it selfe, as being void of feeling,, and altogether sencelesse. The same goeth and cometh continually without rest and intermission: the same is alwaies new and fresh: and as it shall depart out of the bodie last, so it shall remaine alone, when all is gone besides it. Finally, returne it shall into the aire and the heaven, from whence it first came. Now, albeit this breath that we draw, be the very meanes whereby we live, and without which we cannot maintain our life, yet otherwhiles troublesome it is unto us, and plagueth us as a very punishment ordained for us. The Pardians of all others bee most subject to this inconvenience, even from their very youth, by reason of their grosse feeding of all meats indifferently, without choise and discretion: and especially of their drunkennesse. For excessive drinking of wine causeth stinking breath. But the Nobles and great States of that countrey have a remedie therefore, and make their breath sweet, by taking with their meats the kernels of Pome-citrons, which yeeld a most pleasant savour. The very breath of Elephants causeth Serpents to come out of their hols: but Stags and such other Deere, therewith doe blast and burne them. As touching certaine kinds of men, who by sucking only could draw and fetch out the poison out of bodies wounded by venomous Serpents, we have alreadie spoken. As for hogs, they will feed of Serpents, and doe well ynough, wheras to other creatures they be no better than poyson. All those little creatures, which we named Insects, will die if they bee but sprinckled or wet with Oyle. The Vultures or Geires which flie from sweet ointments, are desirous yet of other odors and perfumes: like as Beetles like well the smell of Roses. Some Serpents there be that the Scorpioni killeth. The Scythians poyson their arrow heads with the venomous filthie bloud of vipers and mans together. A present poyson this is, and remedilesse; and it no soone toucheth but it taketh, and killeth forthwith. As touching those creatures that feed of poyson, we have spoken heretofore. Moreover, some creatures there be, which otherwise being harmelesse, if they bee fed with venomous beasts or plants, become also themselves noisome and daungerous. The wild Bores in Pamphylia, and upon mountaines of Cilicia, that have eaten Salamanders, become venomous: and whosoever chaunce to eat of their venison, are sure to die upon it. And yet cannot a man know any such venome therein, either by sent at nose, or tast of tongue. Moreover, the very water or wine wherein a Salamander hath been stiffled or suffocated, or whereof it hath but drunke, will kill a man that shall but sip thereof never so little. The like is to be said of that Frog which we call Rubeta, [i. the toad that liveth in bushes.] See how many ambushes our life is subject unto! Waspes feed greedily on Serpents, and upon that food their stings bee deadly. And therefore you see it skilleth much what meats we eat, and the manner of our food is very materiall. As we may learne farther in that treatise which Theophrastus wrote of the Ichythyophagi that live of fish: where he hath set downe, That Kine and Oxen doth eat fish, but they must in any case be alive.136
To come now unto mens diet: their best and most wholesome feeding is upon one dish and no more, and the same plaine and simple: for surely this hudling of many meats upon one another of diverse tasts, is pestiferous: but sundrie sauces are more daungerous than that. As touching our concoction: all tart and sharp meats are of hard digestion: also fulnesse and surfeting: hastie and greedie feeding likewise be enemies to digestion, and hurtfull to the stomacke. In summe, we digest our meat more hardly in Summer than in Winter, and in age worse than in youth. Now to helpe and remedie all this excesse and enormitie, vomite hath been devised: but use it whosoever will, he shall find the naturall heat of his bodie thereby to decay: he shall sensibly perceive that it hurteth the teeth, and eies especially. To goe to bed upon a full stomacke, and to digest in sleepe, is better to make a man fat and corpulent, than strong and lustie. And therfore wrestlers and champions who are acquainted with full and liberall diet, use rather to walke after meat for to digest. And in one word, much watching maketh best digestion.
Of making bodies fat or leane. Also, what things being tasted, doe allay hunger, and quench thirst.
Bodies grow to be burly and grosse, with sweet meats, fat feeding, and much drinke: contrariwise, drie diet, actually cold, and thirst withall, make a bodie leane. There bee beasts in Affricke, and especially the lesser sort, which drinke not above once in foure daies. A man may well live seven daies without any food whatsoever: & well it is knowne, that many have continued more then eleven daies without meat or drinke. There bee beasts in Affricke, and especially the lesser sort, which drinke not above once in foure daies. A man may well live seven daies without any food whatsoever: & well it is knowne, that many have continued more then eleven daies without meat or drinke. There have been some knowne so hungrie evermore, that nothing would satisfie them, and such have died for very famine, although they did nothing els but eat: a disease incident to no creature but to man. Some againe can assuage and appease their hunger, yea, and slacke and extinguish their thirst with a very little, and yet preserve and maintaine the naturall strength of their bodie: namely, with tasting Butter, Cheese made of Mares or Asses milke, and Licorice. But to conclude and knit up this discourse: the worst and most dangerous thing every way that can be in all the course of our life, is Excesse and Superfluitie; but to the health of our bodies most of all: and therefore the best course is, to cut off by all meanes that which is offensive and heavie to the bodie. Thus much shall suffice as touching living and sensible creatures. Let us therefore now proceed to the rest of Natures workes.
[NOTES FOR BOOK 11]
* Rore verno, or Sea-dew, Rore marino.
** Being deceived with the Homonymie of the word Cerinthus, which hath
a double signification.
*** Chenopode.† i. Heath or Ling-honie.
¶¶ With us it is otherwise.¶¶¶ Or rather Alpine.
§ Ossiculæ, some reade Oscula, holes.§§ Glauci.
‡ Glauci.‡‡ keratoeideis
¶¶ Aristotle saith foure-fold.¶¶¶ Incientes.
[END OF NOTES FOR BOOK 11]
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