¶Of the wonderfull natures of the Water, the Aire, and the Windes. Chapter. 6.
THE other two Elementes, are of no lesse power, to wit, Wa∣ter, and Ayre, neyther doeth Nature cease to worke in them wonderfull thinges. For so great is the necessi∣tye of Water, that without it, no li∣uing creature can lyue, no hearbe, nor Plant, without the moystening of Page [unnumbered] water, can burgen or bud forth. In it is the seminarie vertue of all things, first of liuing creatures, whose seede is ma∣nifest to be watrye: and although the seedes of shrubs and hearbes are earth∣ly, yet it must néedes be, that they must be corrupted with water, if they are to be fruitefull, whether it come to passe, through ye imbibed moisture of ye earth, or through dew or rain; or through wa∣ter of purpose put vnto it: for water and earth alone, are described by Moses, to bring forth a lyuing soule: but to the water be appoynteth a two folde bring∣ing forth, to wit• of things swimming in the water, and of things flieng in the aire aboue the earth. Moreouer, of things brought forth of ye earth, part are bound to the water. The same the Scripture doth testifie saieng: That after the cre∣ation, shrubs and plants budded not, be∣cause God had not rained vpon ye earth. So great is the power of the Element, that the spirituall regeneration cannot be without water, as Christ himselfe witnessed to Nichodemus. There is al∣so an excéeding great force thereof, in religion, in purgings, and purifications, and of no lesse necessitie than of ye fire. The commodities thereof are infinite, and vse manifold; and all things do con∣sist of the power thereof, as that which hath the force of begetting, nourishing, and increasing. Wherevpon Thales Mi∣lecius and Hesiodus, did appoynt the water to be the beginning of all things, and sayd that it was the auncientest and the mightiest of all Elementes, because that it ruled ouer all the rest. For (as sayeth Pliny) the water deuoureth the earth, it quencheth ye fire, it clymbeth a∣loft, and by stretching abroad of clouds, it challengeth heauen vnto it, and the same fallyng downe, is the cause of all things growing vpon the earth. There are innumerable wonders of water, set forth by Pliny, Solinus, and many Hi∣storians. Of whose wonderfull vertue also. Ouid maketh mention in these vearses.
Moreouer Iosephus maketh menti∣on, of the wonderfull nature of a cer∣taine riuer, running betwéene Archea, & Raphanea, Cities of Siria, which runne with their full chanell, during ye whole Saboth, by and by as it were fayling through the stopping of the fountaines, for sixe whole dayes together, a man may passe drye shod, through the chan∣nell, and againe the seauenth daye, the Page 167 causes of nature being not knowen it returneth to the former abundaunce of water, wherefore the inhabitants call it Sabbatheus, by reason of the vii. daye, holy among the Iewes, and the Gospell doeth beare vs witnesse, of the Pro∣batica the fish ponde,* into the which af∣ter the water was moued by the An∣gell, he which first came into it was de∣lyuered of what disease soeuer. The same vertue and power is read to haue of the Nimphes Iomdes, which was in the territorie of the Aelians,* by the riuer Cytheron into the which, he that went with a sicke body, went out of it whole and sound, without any griefe of body. Pausanias reporteth that there is in Liceum a Mountaine in Arcadia,* a fountaine which was called Agria, vn∣to the which, as often as the drouth of the Countrey did threaten spoyle to the Corne, the Priests of Iupiter Liceus, entring after sacrifice offered, worship∣ing the holy water, with holy prayers, holding a braunch of Oke in his hand, thrust it downe into the water. Then the water being moued, the vapour bée∣ing from thence lifted vp into the ayre, became clowds, which méeting together, did ouercast all the skie, which not long after, tourning into raine, did wholsom∣ly water the whole region. But concer∣ning the miracles of water, besides ma∣ny other Authours, Ruffus Ephesius, a Phisition, hath written wonderous things, and found in no other Authour that I know of: it remaineth to speak of the aire. This is a vitall spirite, go∣ing through all things that are, giuing life to all things, and making them to stand together, binding, mouing, and fil∣ling all things. Héerevpon the Doctors of the Hebrewes, doe not recken it a∣mong the Elementes, but as it were a meane & a gliew, ioyning diuers things in one together, and reckoning it as it were the resounding spirite of ye worlds instrument: for he doth next of all con∣ceiue in himselfe, the influence of all ce∣lestiall things, and doeth communicate as well with other Elements, as with euery mixed thing, and doth no lesse re∣ceiue & retaine in him as it were a cer∣taine heauenly glasse, the shape, forme & kinde of all things, as well naturall, as artificiall, and of speaches whatsoeuer: & carrieng them with him, & imprinting in them, as well in sleepe as in waking, the bodies of men and liuing creatures, doth enter in through the poores, and ministreth matter of sundry wonderful dremes, diuinations & soothsaiengs. Héer∣of also men saieth,* that it commeth to passe, why one passing by a place, in the which a man hath bene slaine, or a car∣kasse newly hidden, doth tremble with feare and dread: because the ayre bée∣ing there full of horrible shapes of mur∣thering, doth moue and trouble the spi∣rite of the man, whilest together it is drawen in, with ye lyke shapes & formes, whereof it hapneth that feare insueth, for euery sodaine impression doeth astonish nature. For this cause, manye Philoso∣phers haue supposed, that the aire is the cause of dreames, and of manye other impressions of the soule, by the bring∣ing of shapes, similitude•, or showes, which are fallen from thi••s, and spea∣ches multiplied in the very aire, vntill they come to ye senses, & at length to the fantasie and soule of the receiuer, to wit, that soule, which being cléere frō cares, & not letted, & méeting with such shapes, is by thē instructed, for ye shapes of things, although of their owne nature, they be brought to ye senses of men & liuing cre∣atures, yet from heauen while they are in the aire, they may get some impressi∣on, whereby together with the aptnesse, they are rather caried from the disposi∣tion of the receiuer, to the sense of one, then of another. And for this it is pos∣sible, that naturally & without all super∣stition, by ye meanes of no spirit, a man may in a very short space declare to a man, the conceit of his minde, be the di∣stāce & dwelling neuer so far: although ye time wherin this hapneth cannot possi∣bly be mesured, yet within 24. houres yt must néedes be done, and I know how to doe it. Moreouer, the Abbot Triteni∣us, in times past knowe it and did it, And how certaine shapes not onely spi∣rituall but also naturall, do flowe from things, by influēce of bodies frō bodies, Page [unnumbered] and doe waye strong in the verye ayre, and doe offer and shew themselues vn∣to vs,* by light and by mouing, both to the sight, and to other senses also, and sometimes do worke maruailous things in vs, as Platinus doth proue & teach.
And we doe sée, how when the South winde bloweth, the aire is thickned in∣to thinne clowdes, in the which as in a glasse the Images being farre distant, of Castles, of mountaines, of horses and men, and of other things, are reflected, which immediately at the falling of the clowdes vanish awaye. And Aristotle in his Meteors, doth declare the cause, for that the raine bowe is gathered in a clowde of the aire, from a certaine simi∣litude of a looking glasse. And Albert sayth, that the shapes of bodyes by the force of nature, may easely be expressed in the moyst aire, after the same sorte, that ye Images of things are in things. And Aristotle reporteth, that it happe∣ned to one, through weakenesse of his sight, that the next ayre vnto him was his glasse, and the visible raie or beame, was striken backe vnto him, and could not enter: wherevpon which waye hée went, he thought that his Image went before him face to face: likewise by the skilfull workmanship of certaine glas∣ses, the Images which we will see in the aire, are also cast a far off out of the glosses, which then ignorant men séeing, suppose that they sée the shaddowes of spirits or ghosts, whereas for all that they are none such, but certaine Images like to themselues, and voyde of all life. And it is knowen if a man be in a dark place and voyde of all lyght, sauing that some where the Sunne beame enter in through a very lyttle hoale, if a péece of white paper be put vnderneath it, or a plaine glasse, those things are séene in it, which abroade the Sunne giues lyght vnto. And there is another illusion more meruailous, where when Images are painted by a certaine workmanship, or letters written,* a man in a cléere night, doth set them against the beames of the full Moone, through whose images mul∣tiplied in the aire, and drawen vp, and cast backe, together with the beames of the Moone, some other man being priuie to the matter a great wayes off, sée•th, readeth, and knoweth them, in the very dish or circle of the Moone: which doubt∣lesse is very profitable skill to bewray secrets, to cities and townes besieged, in times past, practised by Pythagoras, and at this day not vnknowen to some, and to my selfe. And all these things, & greater, are grounded vpon the very na∣ture of the aire, and haue theyr reasons out of Mathematike and Optike.* And as these Images, are reflected to ye sight, so are they often times to the hearing, which is manifest in the Ecko. But they haue more hidden workmanships and skilles, that a man also a farre off, may heare and vnderstande what ano∣ther speaketh and whispereth in secret.
The windes also consist of the Ele∣ment of the aire, for they are nothing els than the ayre moued & stirred. Of these ther are foure principalls, blowing from the 4. quarters of heauen, to wit, Notus from the South, Boreas from the North, Zephyrus from the West, and Apelio∣tes or Eurus, from the East: Which Pontanus comprehending in these two pretie verses sayth.
The South winde is meridionall, clowdie, moyst, hot and sicklye, which Ierome calleth the butler of raine, and Ouid thus describes him.
The South winde flyeth with moist wings, hauing his terrible countenance couered with pitchie blacknes, his beard is loaden with showers, water floweth from his hoare haires, clowdes sitteth vpon his browe, and his fethers and bo∣some are wet.
And Boreas being contrarye to No∣tus, is a Northerly winde, vyolent and sounding, and shril, which scattering the clowdes, maketh the aire cléere, and frée∣seth the water.
Page 168Ouid bringeth him in speaking of himselfe in this sort: Apta mihi vis est, &c. I haue an apte or fit force where∣with I driue away sad clowds, I shake the Seas, and ouerthrow currey Dakes, I harden clowdes, and I driue downe hayle vnto the earth. I my selfe, when I haue gotten my brothers in the open aire (for that is my fielde) I striue and struggle with so great indeuour, that the middle of the aire doth ring with my shaking, and sixe leapeth out of ye hol∣low clowdes. Euen I when I haue en∣tered into the round holes of ye earth, & haue fiercely set my back vnder chinkes below. I stir vp spirites (I make ye Di∣uell to stir) & set the whole world in a shaking.
But Zephyrus ye West winde, which is also called Fauonius, is verye light, bloweth from ye west, & brething pleasant∣ly, is cold and moist, thawing frosts, and snow, & bringing forth grasse & flowers. Contrary to this is Eurus, which also is termed Subsolanus & Apeliotes,* blow∣ing from ye East: this winde is watry & clowdy, & of a swifte deuouring nature. Of these; thus singeth Ouid, Eurus ad Auroram, &c.
Eurus goeth to Aurora, & to ye king∣dome of Nabathium, to Persia, & to the quarters lieng vnder the beames of the morning. The euening & the sea show∣ers, which are warme with ye Sun goo∣ing downe, are next to Zephirus. And shiuering Boreas inuadeth Scythia, & the 7. starres. The contrary ground is moi∣stened with continuall showers & raine from the South.