Of Clowdes. chap. 4.
A Clowd is animpression made in the ayre, in the middle of many vapours, gathered and bread into one body, in the middle region of the ayre, thickened to∣gethers by coldnesse of place. And so a cloud is commonly matter to snow, raine, and hatle. And a clowde is gendered in this manner: The heat of heauen by his owne vertue, draweth to it right subtile vapourable parts of water and of earth, and wasteth the most subtill partes thereof, and maketh the other deale thick, and •ourneth it into a clowde of ayre. Thereof speaketh Isidore and sayth, That a clowd is thicknesse of ayre, ga∣thered together by drawing of vapours, and of fumosityes of the earth, and of the Sea. Also by lyghtnesse of ayre and put∣ting and shouing of windes, the substance of the clowd moueth hither & thither and about. And a cloud is kindly hollow, with many holes as a spoung: & therfore he re∣ceiueth soone impressions of the ener bo∣dies. And therfore by entring and incom∣ming of the Sunne beames, a cloude re∣presenteth and sheweth diuerse formes & shapes & coulours, as it doth in the rain∣bowe, that is not else but a certaine dewe clowde in his substaunce, diuersly shapen, and colours gendered by the Sun beames: and a clowde is hollow within: and by his figuration and shape with the sphere of heauen, to the which he is nigh: the clowde is rounde, without and aside, the clowde hath no certeine forms nor shape propried. For when a clowde com∣meth aside halfe nigh to another, eyther confirmeth himselfe to other in figure and shape, as Beda sayth. Also by light∣nesse of his owne substaunce, a Clowde moneth vpward and moneth more swift∣ly or slowly, as it is more or lesse putte with the winde. Also the more subtile and pure the vapoures bée, of the which a Clowde is compownded, the more shining and bright impression of the Sunne beames, the clowde receiueth: and for that the clowd is cleere, it passeth there through, but it bee when the substaunce thereof is there gathered in the ayre of fumosityes that hée greate and thicke. For then the clowde is thicke and darke, and taketh awaye from: vs the lyght of the Sunne, and taketh it out of our sight, if he bée set betwéene vs and the Sunne; Also a clowde sette betwéene vs and the Sunne, swageth and bateth the heate thereof. Therefore the presence of clowde is pleasing to reaping men and to other, that trauaile in strong heat of the Sunne. Also a clowde by heate of the Sunne re∣solued and departed into raine, maketh the earth plenteous, and to bring foorth hearbes, grasse, and seedes: and that by out shedding of raine. Also for a clowde is full nigh, is as it were mother of all things that be gendered in the ayre, and certayne common matter of diuerse thinges, hee sendeth to the earth of his owne substaunce. And that is knowen: for now he reineth, nowe hée hayleth, nowe hee snoweth, nowe he lyghteneth, and nowe hee thundereth. Also a clowd is gathered of waters of the Sea, and being Page [unnumbered] brought vp afore the Sunne, by the bene∣fit of the heat of heauen, tourneth all the fal•nesse and bitternesse into freshnesse. For such is clowde commeth of the wa∣ter of the Sea: neuerthelesse when hee is parred with the Sunne, it hath neither smacke nor sauour of the sea. Also a cloud is profitable to the earth, when he is re∣solues and fallen into raine. But hée is full gréeuous and noifull when he tour∣neth into winde:* for then he gendereth groan tempest both in sea and in lande. Also as Cloude that hangeth• on high in the 〈…〉 of the ayre, séemeth ioyned next •• heauen: and is neuerthelesse with∣out comparison néerer to the earth then to heauen• Also meeting & comming toge∣ther of Clowdes, setteth oft the ayre on fire an〈…〉, and ingendereth lighte∣ning and thundering: Also sometime of winds 〈…〉 in hollownesse of Cloudes, commeth in •odeine breaking of partes of Clowde•. And by such departing of part from •a•t• the Cloude maketh greate •••••nd thunder. Also when corrupte vapoures bée there drawne vp out of 〈…〉 and ditches, and from carteins, 〈…〉 corrupt thinges, of theyr in∣cooporation in substaunce of Clowdes, nowhere shall great corruption, pestilence, and infection. Also the néerer the clowde into the earth and the farther from hea∣uen; the more in quantitie he sheweth to the sight of them that beholde them. Therefore the greatest clowde, when he is nigh heauen séemeth least. And yt which is least in it selfe séemeth most when hee is n•••h to the earth, as Beda sayth. Also oft a clowde that is gendered onelye of drye vapours and windy is deceiuable: for the signifieth and betokeneth raine, & paieth nought but winde, and whirling winde. Also rainy clowdes, if they fall s••irily and at once to the earth: where they fall, there they bée noyfull, for they do bround. But if they falt some & some and dropying meale, they giue great pro∣fit so fruites that growe. Also oft as a Clowde bespringeth the earth with drop∣ping, but wasteth himselfe in ah•• be∣springing. For when hée bespringeth at her things and moysteth them, by his owne dissolution hée bringeth himselfe to nought; as Gregory sayth.* Also when one Clowde is contrary to another, hee is cause of tempest and of motion in the ayre: for contrarynesse and mée•ing of Clowdes commeth of contrarye parting and shoouing of windes. And therefore of beating of clowdes commeth great moo∣uing in the aire.