¶Of a Culuer or Doue. Chap. 6.
CUluers are called Columbe, & they haue that name of Colore, of ye neck: for in the necke their feathers be sprong with many diuers colours, as Isid. saith. And Culuers be milde birds and meeke, and haunt and loue company of men, & haue conuersation in their multiplieng. In olde time men called them Venerias, lecherous: for they vse ofte neasts, and conceiue with billing and loue; and use much lecherie. And therefore a Culuer is called Columba, colens lumbos, as it were tilling landes and reynes, as Isid. sayth, For Culuers lay in all times and haue birdes, if their dwelling be hot, & their meate ready. And they haue better birdes in haruest than in springing time or in summer, and that for plentie of meate, as Isid. saith. li. 5. Arist. speaking of the kinde of Culuers saith, That the Culuer is a lecherous birde, and they kisse or bill each other, before their trea∣ding. And if the old male may not tread, yet he ceaseth not to bill. And often the female leapeth vpon the female, when the male lacketh, and so in kissing & bil∣ling, they cast not Semen: but of such manner treading sometime come egges, and of such egges come no birdes, but they be as winde egges. And all birdes that be like to Culuers, lay in springing time twice or thrice, and lay two egges, and lay not the third time, but when the second laieng is corrupt and destroyed. Also li. 6. he saith, that for the most part, Culuers haue two birdes, male and fe∣male, and the first bird is male: & some time one bird is hatcht and commeth out of the shell in one daye, and the other on the morrowe. And the male sitteth on brood by day, & the female by night, & the first egge filleth it selfe, and sheddeth in twentie daies, and first the Culuer pearceth the shell, and then dealeth it. And male and female heateth the birds in one time, and the female is more busie about the birdes than the male, and lai∣eth egges ten times in one yeare, and sometime xi. times or xii. as in Aegypt, and the male treadeth the female after one yeare.
Also lib 8. he sayeth, That when the Culuer hath birdes, anone the male ru∣leth the birdes: and if the female tarie ouer long ere shée come to the Byrdes, Page [unnumbered] for sorenesse of the birth, than the male smiteth and beateth hir, and compelleth hir to sit hir selfe vpon the birdes. And when the birdes wex, the male goeth and sucketh salte earth, and he giueth and putteth it in the mouth of the birdes to make them haue talent to meate.
And when the male will put the birds out of the neast, he treadeth them both.
Also Culuers haue this propertie, as Turtells haue: they areare or lyfte not vp their heads when they drinke, ere they haue dronke inough, and generally they liue and bréeds fiftéene yeares. Huc vsque Arist. But the properties of Cul∣uers, that are vsuall and notably know∣en, the Glose toucheth vppon this sen∣tence: Oculi tui Columbarum. Cant. 1. Where it is sayd, that a Culuer hath no gall, and hurteth, and woundeth not with the bill, but his owne pere. And moreo∣uer he maketh his neast in dennes and holes of stones, and féedeth others birds, and draweth to the companye of Cul∣uers that wander and straye about, and abideth nigh riuers, and eateth the best greynes, and hath groning in the stéede of song: they flye in flockes, and loue companye, and they defende themselues with the wings & with the bill: and they eate no carraines, nor other vncleane things. The Culuer feedeth two birds. The Culuer sitting on riuers, séeth the shadow of the Goshawke comming, and as seene as it séeth the Goshawke, it flyeth into the inner place of an hoale, and there hideth it selfe, as sayeth the Glose vpon the foresayd sentence. And as Constantine sayth in Viatico, The bloud of a Culuer is medicinable, for it is sayd, that the bloud drawen vnder the right wing, and dropped in hot, swa∣geth and slaketh the ach of bleared eyen: and hath burning dirt, and throweth it out of the neast, and custometh and tea∣cheth hir birdes likewise to cast it out, as Aristotle saith.* The Culuer is mes∣senger of peace, ensample of simplenes, cleane of kinde, plenteous in young, fol∣lower of méeknesse, friend of companye, forgetter of wrongs: and the more it is feathered, the more plentuous it is in kinde founde. Therefore rough soo∣ted Doues bréede well nigh in euerye month. The Culuer is kindly fearfull, & seldome in safetie, but when shée is in an hole of stone, and there she resteth for a time. The Culuer is forgetfull, & therefore when the birdes are borne a∣waye, she forgetteth hir harme and da∣mage, and leaueth not therefore to build and bréede in the same place, as Ierome sayth, Also she is nicely curious: for sit∣ting on a trée, she beholdeth and looketh all about toward what part she will fly, and bendeth hir necke all about, as it were taking aduisement: but oft, while she taketh aduisement of flight, ere she taketh hir flight, an arrowe flyeth tho∣rough hir body, and therefore she fayleth of hir purpose: for that that she was a∣bout long to doe, she performed not in due time, as Gregory sayth. Also as it is sayd In dietis perticularibus, Culuer flesh is hard to digest, and gleymie, and therefore it giueth great nourishing and thicke, & namely flesh of young Culuers. But when they begin to flye, because of mouing and of trauayle, it looseth much of that heauinesse, and the flesh is made more light and more able to digest: and the elder it is, ye harder it is, & the worse to digest, and the worse nourishing it gi∣ueth to bodies. Also sometime a same Culuour is found and faught to beguile and to despise wilde Culuours, & leadeth them into the net. And to deceiue them the more stilye, it goeth with them into the Fowlers net, & suffreth it selfe to be caught & wrapped therein, and draweth them toward meate, as it wer in liknes of friendship, but so in féeding, draweth them to grins and to their destruction. Also (as Ambrose sayth in Aegypt & in Syria, a Culuer is taught to beare let∣ters, and to be messenger out of one pro∣uince into another. For it loueth kindly the place and the dwelling, wher it was first fed and nourished, and be it neuer so farre borne into farre country, alway it will returne home againe, if it be re∣stored to fréedome: and oft to such a cul∣uer, a letter is craftely bound vnder the one wing, & then it is let go: then it fli∣eth vp into the aire, & ceaseth neuer till it come to ye first place in which it was Page 181 bred. And sometime in the way ene∣mies know thereof, and letteth it with an arrowe, and so for the letter that it beareth it is wounded and slaine, and so it beareth no letter without perill: for ofte the letter that is so borne, is cause and occasion of the death of it.
(*Of Doues likewise, there are di∣uers sortes, the Stock-doue or Wood∣coyst, the house Doue, and the Turtle doue: these are common. The flesh of these Doues are contrarye to those bo∣dies that are grieued with the goute, for that they cause ache of bones, heate of bloud, and ripen postumate humoures. The flesh splitted hot, and layd to anye part of the bodye, draweth the humour, where the Phisition will.)