DE AQVA ET EIVS ORNATV.
FOrasmuch as the proper∣ties of fire & of aire are de∣scribed, now it is conueni∣ent to remēber somewhat the effects & doing of wa∣ters as it belongeth to this worke. And water is called Aqua, as it were Equa, euen. For it resteth neuer of mouing, till the ouerside therof be euen, as Isid. saith. li. 12. Also Const. saith, that water is a colde element & moist, & more subtill then earth, & bright & cleane, and not held in with his owne markes and bonds. For water shuld all to shed & fall to naught, except it were stopped & held in with other marks and bonds then his owne. In Exameron Basilius describeth ye properties of water in general & saith: that among all elements water is most profitable, for water maketh heauen tē∣perate, and the earth plenteous, and in∣corporateth ye aire with vapours, & ma∣keth Page [unnumbered]〈1 page duplicate〉Page [unnumbered]〈1 page duplicate〉Page [unnumbered] it thicke, & stieth vp on high, & cha∣lengeth heauen. Water is cause of al that is bred & springeth: for it bréedeth corne & fruit, & bringeth forth trées, hearbs and grasse, & wipeth of filth, & washeth awaye foulenesse, and giueth drinke to man and beast. For water ioyneth with ye earth, & pearceth & filleth it, & nourisheth the heat of heauen, & tempereth al ye nether things. For but if these neather things were tē∣pered in their mouing about, they should burne & be wasted by strēgth of heat: this water dronke of beasts leadeth forth the meat & feeding into liuing of flesh. This giueth spirit & breath to fish, as the aire giueth to other beasts, & ioyning of bodie & soule. This shed into the inner parts of the earth, ioyneth ye parts therof. For by strength of great drines ye earth shuld fal to pouder, but if the partes were ioyned together by moisture & water. Also this passing by the inward waies of ye earth, taketh changing in likenesse & coulour, & sauour of place by which it passeth. And therfore water is, and séemeth now salt, now sweet & fresh, now cléere, now trou∣blous, now thicke, now thin. For water hath no determinate quality nor colour, nor sauour, to ye intent it shuld so be able to take easily all coulours & sauours, and therefore ye more cleane & pure ye water is, ye more dark & dim it seemeth, when ye Sun beames come not therein to giue it colour & hew. This moueth from ye mid∣dle toward the vtter roundnes, & stinteth not till the vtter partes thereof be made euen, & the parts therof like far from the middle point of ye earth. Also this taketh light of the Sun beames, & reboundeth it againeward toward heauen. And for it hath ye vtter part of a mirrour, & sheweth his kinde, by working and doing of light rebounded, likenesse & Image of things be séene therin, and the faces of them that looke therin, be knowen & séene therin, as it were in a mirrour.
Also this sheddeth abroad the beames that thirleth the substaunce thereof, and spreadeth them more largely in breadth, & therefore it maketh things that be séene therin seeme more then they be in them∣selues. These generall properties of wa∣ter, & many other thou maist find in Exa∣meron. And there be many diuerse wa∣ters as he saith. For water springeth & cōmeth of the aire, as raine water. And for this is heuenly water, it is most pro∣fitable to things that grow in earth. O∣ther waters spring & walme out of ye in∣ner parts of ye earth, as well water & pit water. And some water passeth & rūneth on the earth, as water of riuers: and some water beclippeth the féeds of the earth, & of ye roundnesse thereof, as the sea of Oc∣cean, & of middle earth, that is mother & generall head and spring of all waters, as Constantine sayth. Then raine water is of it selfe, bright, cléere, thin, light, and sauourie. The cléerenesse therof sheweth, that none other thing is meddeled there∣with. And the lightnesse and sauourynes of it, sheweth the subtill substance there∣of. Among al waters this is best to plen∣teousnesse of ye earth, & namely when it falleth with thunder. For with his mo∣uing, thunder smiteth of vapours: and so maketh the water subtill & cleere, pure and cleane. And the water that is med∣led with Snow, or molten of Snow, is worse and not good for them that be fa∣sting. For it smiteth the stomake, and ri∣ueth it togethers, and bréedeth cough, & setteth the téeth an edge, as Constantine saith. Of diuersitie of waters, and diuerse qualitie and working thereof, séeke be∣fore lib. 6. of drinke. chap. 31. there yée shall finde it more plainely declared and open.
And after Raine water, Well water is best, namely if it spring out of stones, or fall downe of high wells. For the wel is head and spring of liuing water, that springeth and runneth continually out of priuie veines of the earth. Therefore a Well is called Fons, as it were Fouens, nourishing, or Fundens, shedding, as Isi∣dore sayth. And hath priuie comming out of the veines of the earth. And hath his springing and rising out of daye wayes of stones, and a Well multiply∣eth his waters, and communicatiueth himselfe: for hée hideth himselfe to no∣thing: And communicatiueth and par∣teth himselfe as well to Pilgrimes and straungers, as to men of the same coun∣trye.
Page 190Also he cleanseth himselfe and other things: for well water that runneth out of sad stones is cleere, and cleanseth of most filth and hoare also. Also a well re∣nueth himselfe, and altreth other things, and helpeth, for alwaye he renueth his waters, and giueth benefice of renuing & altring, to things that plunge thēselues in welles, as the Glose sayth super psa. Also it abateth thirst, and cooleth and re∣fresheth wayfairing men in heate, & gi∣ueth to them that be a thirst, drink, that is contrary to heate and drinesse. Also a well maketh the places plenteous yt bée nigh thereabout, for places that be nexte to wells, commonly haue mo hearbes & grasse, & floures, & be more fructuous thā other. Also a well in the middle therof, springeth first vp of the earth, & casteth away from it selfe pouder & grauell yt be in his way, for a well springeth & walm∣eth vp by violence of his mouing, & pas∣seth through ye earthy parts, & departeth and dealeth part from part, & sheddeth & sparpleth them asunder. Also a Well be∣cause of his cléerenesse (as it were a myr∣rour) sheweth shapes and likenesse of things that be there afore: and therfore men that looke in wells, sée therin theyr owne faces, and as well the riuelyng & other speckes that defile the fairnesse be seene in water of wells.
Also a well by qualytie of times, of winter and of Summer chaungeth his owne qualitie. For as Macrobius saith, in winter a well is hot, & cold in Sum∣mer time: the cause therof is, for in win∣ter heate flyeth and voideth the master of his contrary, and draweth inward to the inner part of a well, and by presence of that heate and continuall beating, the mouth of the well is hot: and the con∣trary in summer for contrary cause, for because of heate yt hath masterie in the aire in summer, coldenesse flyeth to the inner parts of wayes and veynes of the wel, and therefore water that springeth, is found the more cold that time. Also by the highnes of place of ye springing of water, the well sendeth his water: for ye water is led as high in pipes, as ye place of spring of the water is, that he spring∣eth in: for if a well springeth in ye top of an hill, oft by pipes the water is led to ye same highnes into another hill, & is not led higher than his own springing place, except it be by violence. Also though a well be little in his owne spring: yet for it springeth continuallye, it is originall cause of manye great Riuers, for there is no Riuer, but it springeth out of some Well, knowen or vnknowen, as Isidore saith. Also a well amendeth water of lakes, and other standing wa∣ters, as it were quickning thē with ver∣tue. For when a wel is litle & springeth or passeth by a great lake, it maketh the water therin ye more wholsome, & the fish yt is therin ye better in point & state. Also a well taketh & receiueth heat, vertue, & sauor of waies & veines of ye earth, yt it passeth by, as Isid. saith. Therfore wells be now hot, now colde, now smelling of brimstone, after ye diuers qualities of the earth that it passeth by, as Isid. saith li. 12 In Italy is a well, & the water thereof, ofte healeth sore eyen: Also in Affrica is a well, and the water thereof maketh the voyce well sownding and singing. Also in Boetia be two Welles, that one ma∣keth good minde, and that other maketh forgetfulnesse. Also in Aethiopia is a well of red colour, and he that drinketh thereof, shall anone be wood or mad. Also in Cecilia be two wells, and one thereof maketh females barren, and that other maketh them that be barren, able to con∣ceiue. Also in Idumea is a Well, that chaungeth colour foure times a yeare: for thrée moneths it séemeth troublous, as it were tempered with powder, thrée months red as bloud, thrée months green, and thrée months a manner blue. Men of that Countrie, call that Well, Iobs Well.
Also in Siloa at the foote of the mount Sion, is a well that runneth not alway, but certaine daies & houres. Also in Sar∣dinia be hot wells that helpe eyen, and reproue théeues for their euill doing, & maketh them knowen by blindnes. Also he saith yt in Egipt is a well, in ye which burning brondes be quenched, & quench∣ed bronds are kindled. Also among the Garamantes there is a Well so cold by day, that it may not be dronk, & so hot by Page [unnumbered] night, that it may not be touched. Huc vsque Isidore. Héereof it followeth, that a well hath sauor and kinde of his owne ground. For if the ground be swéete & pure, the water shall also be swéete and pure, and againward. Also if the ground be brimstonie or slimie, the water shall sauour of brimstone and slime: and so if the well in his own spring be corrupt and vicious, all that runneth out is vi∣cious and corrupt.
*There are in Englande, Waters that cure lame and diseased: at Bathe, at Saint Anne at Buckstone, & New∣man regis.