¶Of the hearing. Cap. 18.
THe vertue of hearing, hath effect and doing in the lims of the eares.* And the hering is properly a vertue ye percei∣ueth so winds: & to make perfect hearing, foure things at the lest be néedful, yt is to wit, the cause efficient, a couenable lim, a niene space bringing ordinately ye sownd to the wit, and the soule • taking héede thereto. The cause efficient is the ver∣tue that is called. Animalis audibilis, of féelyng and hearing. The couenable lim is a gristle bone set in the care, and is hollow and drye and some deale harde, wound & wrapped as a wispe or wreath. It is hollow, that it maye containe the spirite and arre in the hollownesse ther∣of. It is woond & wrapped as a wreath, least the spirit of hearing should be aslo∣med and hurt by sodam and strong smi∣ting. And therefore by circularitie of the limme, sownd temperately receiued, beateth not againe the spirit of hearing, but maketh it perfect, and is liking ther∣to. Also it is harde and drye, that so the smiting of the aire may bée made better and stronger, and the sownd the more. As in tabers and timbrels that sownd bet∣ter in the Northerne winde that is cold and drye, then in the Southerne winde, that is méeke, moyst & soft,* as Constan∣tinus and Aristotle say. The space that bringeth is aire rebounding, that goeth into the holes of the eares, and smiteth the gristle bone, that is the first instru∣ment and lymme of the hearing, and it needeth that the soule take heede, For* so long as it is thoughtful and intendeth to diuers things, it is the lesse mightie to doe the deed of the vertue of hearing, as we sée in many, that be beset all about: for welnigh they heare nothing, while the thought taketh no héed. And therfore nothing is perceiued by hearing. Hea∣ring is made in this manner. Two si∣newes come out of the inner part of the brayne, & be fastened in the gristle bone of the eare: by the which sinewes, the spirite Animalis is brought to the fore∣said gristle bones, to which gristle bones the vtter aire referring the shape & lyke∣nesse of some sownde is meanlye ioyned thereto, and so the aire that is smitten, smiteth those gristle bones, and in them being the spirit, by the propertie of the aire, that is therein smiting, the sinewes is chaunged. And so the spirite taking a lykenesse turneth to his Cell fantastike, & presentoth that lykenesse to the soule, & so the hearing is made perfect. Wher∣fore it appereth, that the hearing is aire: for alway it is multiplied by reboūding. And therefore it is, that kinde set, ye•it of hearing, in the middle of the rounde head, as Arist. saith li. 12. For ye hearing, as it were in a manner winding about Page [unnumbered] taketh the aire, that is smit all about, and not straight and forthright. Also this wit, like as the other wits be, is grieued and destroyed with too great noyse, and is pleased and preserued with temperate sowndes. Wherefore in Exa∣miron, Ambrose sayth, that men of the Country where the riuer Nylus ariseth, are voyd of hearing, through the horri∣ble roaring and noyse: because that the Riuer falling downe from the top of the high hill, smiteth into the eares of the men of the Countrey, & so maketh them astonied & deafe. This wit as the other wits haue, hath ofte many griefes. For sometime it is all lost, and is then called deafenesse: & somtime it is diminished, and is then called heauinesse of hearing: and sometime it passeth out of course. The cause of the griefe commeth some∣time of default of the brayne, or of a si∣newe that is the waye of the hearing: and if that sinew be stopped or grieued with some euill, that letteth the office thereof. And also of default of the eares, for sometime they be corrupt and grieued with diuers humors, and sometime rot∣ten filth-therein, stoppeth the hollownes thereof. And sometime grauell and pow∣der falleth therein, and letteth the passage of the aire, that it may not come to the spirite of hearing. And sometime the si∣newes of hearing be grieued by itching and fretting of wormes. And sometime the instruments and lyms of hearing, be infected and grieued with corrupt ayre, hot or colde. And sometime it is let by winde and great ventositie closed in the pores of ye sinewes of hearing: as appe∣reth in them that séeme that they heare pipes, hornes, or belles. By all which things, the hearing is diminished or lost: as it shall be sayd after in the treatise of the eares.