¶Of the hill Aetna. Ca. 10.
AEtna is an hill in the lande or Ile of Cecile, and cut of that hill breaketh fire wt brimstone, as it were in hell, as Isidore sayth lib. 14. cap. 7. It is sayde, that this hill hath dennes full of brim∣stone in the Southeast side, & those dens stretch vnto ye sea, and receiue waues & waters, and gathereth winde, and that winde bloweth out brimstone, and gen∣dreth fire thereof. Also out of that hill, breketh bright burning smoke, and com∣meth to the land, as Isi. saith there. Also it is sayd, that in this hill, a certaine fi∣gure appeareth, & oft men of that coun∣try heare about this hill Aetna, groning, like a cōplaining voyce of dole, & sorow, and of woe. Therefore many déeme that there is a place of paine, and some soules be pained therin: but I affirme not that, but it seemeth that S. Gregory, in his Dialogue, thereof maketh minde.
(*Aetna, otherwise called ye mount Gibello in Cycill, whereof Saint Au∣gustin hath made oft mention, is a mer∣uailous hil, at the foote whereof is a lit∣tle towne of the same name, & woods, & trées of diuers kindes planted. On the toppe thereof is a barraine ground mixt with ashes, in Winter time couered with snowe.
Page 205This containeth in circuit twentie fur∣longs, and is inuyroned with a banke of ashes, of the height of a wall. In the middle is also a rounde hill, of the same colour and matter, wherin be two great hoales, fashioned like vnto two cuppes, which be called Crateres. Out of these doe rise sometime sundrye great flames of fire, sometime horrible smoke, some∣time are blowen out burning stones in infinit numbers. Moreouer before that the sayd fire appeareth, there is hearde within the grounde, terrible noyse and roaring: and also (which is more mer∣uaile) when the smoke and fire is most abundaunt and feruent, yet round about the toppe of the sayd hill, are alwayes seene snowe, and hoare frosts. Plyme writeth, that the fire appeareth alwaye at night.
Of the hill Hecla in the Ile of Ise∣land, from the toppe whereof, is cast foorth the blacke and graye Pommice stones, wherout issueth a hideous flame, stinking of sulphure, and within a dred∣full noise. The common people of that Countrey, beléeue the sayde place to bee a part of hell, because there are diuers apparations of ghostes, that shew them∣selues visible, and profer their seruice to men. They appeare for the most part in the forme of those, which by vyolent ad∣uenture haue bene killed or drowned: callyng men by their names, and bid∣ding them goe to the Mount Hecla. In the olde time the marriners termed these Goblines, Polantines: vpon what occasion I finde not written. Onely the soyle distaunt from the hill, is verye fruitfull ground: as writeth George A∣gricola.)