¶Of a Gnat. Chap. 12.
A Gnat is a little flie, and is called Culex, and hath that name of Acu∣leo, a sting: for he sucketh bloud, & hath in his mouth, a pipe like a prick, & there∣with he pearceth the flesh for to suck the bloud, and is accounted among Volati∣les, as the Bee is, though he haue a body of a worme, with many feete: For hee hath wings and flyeth therewith, and is gendred of rotted or corrupt vapours of carrens, and corrupt place of marreyes. By continual flapping of wings, he ma∣keth noyse in the aire, as though he hur∣red: and sitteth gladly vpon carraines, botches, scabbes, and sores: and is full noyfull to scabbed Horses, and sore backed, and grieueth sléeping men with noyse and with biting, and waketh them of their rest, and flyeth about most by night, and pearceth and bileth members vpon the which he sitteth, and draweth toward lyght, and gladly he seeth lyght, and so vnwarely he falleth into a Can∣dle or into the fire, and for coueting to sée lyght, he burneth himselfe ofte. And is best féeding to swallowes, for Gnats be taken for best beloued meate to swa∣lowes that flye in the aire, & hunt flies. And they are called Sciniphes, that is to vnderstand small flies, but most noyfull in stings: for Scines in Gréeke, is Mus∣ca in Latine, a flye in English: and ther∣of commeth Scinomia, a houndes flye, & with such flies the land of Aegypt was smitten, as Isidore sayth. And Scinomia is the worst kinde of flyes, with greater bodye and broader wombes, than other flyes, and lesse flight: but they be full tender, and cleaue fast in the members of beasts, on the which they smite. In wooll, haire, and bristles of beasts, and namely in hounds, such a flye hideth hir selfe, and sucketh and drinketh bloud: in∣somuch that she gnaweth the flesh, and maketh it swell with botches and pim∣ples, as it fareth in eares of old hounds, the which eares such flyes gnawe and make them swell and full of sores. And so it is no wonder though such Flyes stinke right foule, that are fedde with such corrupt meates and humours.