Of the Earth. chap. 1.
ANd so the éarth is set in the middle space of the world like farre from all parts of heauen & is called Terra in la∣tine. & betokeneth all ye roundnesse of the earth in ye singular number, & all ye parts therof in the plural number, as Isi. saith. And he saith that earth is called Terra, & hath ye name of the ouer part Que tera∣tur, yt is trode. And is called Humus also, & hath ye name of the sea that is moist & ioyned thereto. And is called Tellus, for we take fruit therof: & is called Ops, for it heapeth with fruit. And is called A∣rida, for it is able to be cared and tilled or for it is distinguished frō water by his owne drines, & is moist, & hath moisture of water, yt is nigh therto, as Isi. saith. Ba¦silius in Ex. describeth ye properties of ye earth, & saith in this manner. The earth is ye lowest body & middle, & like far from the parts of heauen, & therfore wise men call it ye middle of heauen, & amōg al bo∣dies the earth is most corpulent, & hath least of subtilty & of simplicitie, & is the other foundation of ye world: & is colde & drie in kind: & is least in quantitie in cō∣parison to heauen, though it be most in it selfe: In qualitie it is obscure, & of it selfe darke, & is round in shape, & not abiding together but by glew of water. And the whole earth resteth, though parts thereof moue often. And is habitation of bodies that haue life, and is called the stoole of Gods owne foote.
Esa. 66. This saith the Lord, heauen is my seate and earth is my footstole.
Mat. 5. But I say vnto you, sweare not at all neither by heauen, for it is Gods seate, nor yet by the earth, for it is foot∣stoole.
The fairenesse of this element is least in ye body of ye world. For ye the working of ye might of God is least seene therein: And therfore it is said, yt God toucheth ye earth with his lowest foot: for in compa∣rison to the greatnesse & fairenesse of hea∣uen, it séemeth that highnesse of this wis∣dome of God, sheweth least in ye body of earth. And though the earth be lowest in cōmparison to ye body of heauen, yet ne∣uerthelesse it taketh most influence of ye lights of heauen, & is therfore most plen∣teous, as mother of al: and bringeth sorth many, diuers, & most contrary kinds: and for yt it is in ye middle of heauen, it taketh on euery side influence & effect of heauen. And so that ye séemeth to lacke therin of nobility in substāce, is recouerd in effect & in vertue. For in a manner it bringeth forth some more noble kinds, then doth heauē yt is high with stars, as we sée. And for high•nes the earth conceiueth & brin∣geth forth creatures with life, féeling, & reason as Basi. saith. Also heereto he saith as ye Philosopher saith, that ye earth is e∣uen way with his owne weights, & eue∣ry part thereof busieth with his owne weight to come to the middle of ye earth. By that busieng & inclination of partes, ye whole earth hangeth in euen weight a∣boue the middle point, & is euenly held vnmouable, as it is written.
Psa. 19 The heauens declare the glorie of God, and the firmament sheweth his glorious worke.
Psa. 24. The earth is the Lords, and all that therin is, the cōpasse of the world, and they that dwell therin.
For he hath sounded it vpon the seas, & established it vpon the flouds.
Thou hast founded ye earth vpon his sta∣blenesse, &c. And therefore li. 12. Isi. calleth ye earth Solum, for it is a sad element, & bereth vp all ye elemēts of euery body be it neuer so heuie: therfore all heuy things yt be aboue & from the earth, be without rest til it come to the earth that is sted∣fast Page 202 and stable, and rest when they come to the earth, and for the worthy proper∣ties and noble effectes of the earth, er∣rour of nations faineth, that earth was God indéede. And therefore in old time, they did all reuerence and worship ther∣to, as Isidore toucheth li. 8. in Tractat• de Dijs gencium & nominibus. cap.••. And saith, that in olde time men called the earth Ceres, the mother of God, and hath that name of fruites that it bring∣eth foorth: for it defendeth and nourish∣eth all that néedeth meate and drink, for ye earth is mother of plentie, for nothing on liue may grow, but if it be rooted and maured in substaunce of earth. Also it is called Ops, riches, for the earth is better than other riches: and also of the earth euerye creature on liue, hath riches of meate and of liuelode. And also is cal∣led Vesta the Goddesse, either for it stan∣deth stedfast, or for it is clothed wt trées, hearbs, and grasse. And he saith, ye Earth taketh colour of séedes, leaues & grasse, which wither and fade in winter: and of wether in springing time, and in sum∣mer: for then it is clothed and hid with grasse, hearbes, & floures, and is spoyled thereof in haruest and in winter. And in signe & token of so great plentie, a great female Image was made, & called Alma mater, ye high mother. And ye Image was crowned wt towers, & she was set in a chaire, & Lions followed & wer subiect to hir, & she hare a key in ye one hand, & a ta∣ber or timbrell in that other hand: and hir chare-men brandished swordes that they bare on hande: And it was fay∣ned, that Cockes followed the good wife that sate on the chaire. And ye earth was called Mother, for she bringeth forth ma∣ny things, and bréedeth meate and foode to all things, which should els dye: & is called Mater Alma, the high Mother, for she féedeth all beasts, & is nourisher of e∣lements, as Isid. saith. And it is said, that she beareth on hir head a crowne wt to∣wers, for ye earth is adorned with so ma∣ny great Cities and Boroughs that bée builded therevpon: and is borne with a chaire of wheeles, for ye earth hangeth in the aire that moueth, and is sustained therein: and she sitteth in a moouing chaire, for though other things moue, it is sayd, that onely the earth mooueth not. And in that that Lyons be mylde & subiect to the Image of the earth, it is to vnderstand, that euery kinde, though it be neuer so sie•ce or cruell, in time of •eath he shall be ouercome and subiect to the earth: and for that she beareth a key in hir hand, she betokeneth, that ye earth is cloased in winter, & opened in spring∣ing time, that fruit may grow & sp•••g: & for that it is said, ye Cocks serue ye earth, that sheweth, that birdes & fod•les •éed seedes of the earth. Therefore fowles néede to follow the earth, & lyght downe there to finde therein séedes and me•••. The sound and noyse of the 〈…〉 be∣tokeneth, that in tillyng of fields is noise of instruments, of cultures, of shar•e, & of mattockes, that are of brasse: For in olde time the earth was filled with in∣struments of brasse, •re yron was found, as Isidore saith. Hir seruaunts be segned girt with swords, and betokeneth that ofte for to defende and winne earth and lande, is warre and battaile, and swordes drawen therein. In this ma∣ner and in many other, the properties of the earth, be described in mystike mea∣ning of fables, as it is sayd and rehear∣sed of Isidore. And though the earth be among Elements most stable, as it is sayd and rehearsed yet by effect and doo∣ing, it is most passible of Elements. Al∣so though it be colde in substance, yet it conteineth in it selfe firie vapours, that come out therof, as it doth in the hil, that is named Aetna and Vulcanus; as he sayth there. Also, though the earth bée blacke and vnséemly without, yet with∣in it containeth many precious things: for by imprinting of influence of heuen, in ye inner veynes of ye earth, be gendred precious stones & noble mettall: & so the vertue of ye earth is hid within, by these likenesses that be without. Also ye earth is beclipped about with the sea, and is beset and beate with the armes thereof, and is by priuy waies, thirled with moi∣sture of the sea, least the earth and the partes thereof should fall into powder, by masterie of drinesse, as Beda sayeth. Also though the whole Earth be founde Page [unnumbered] and sad in substaunce thereof, yet euery part thereof moueth kindly towarde the middle point, and because of meddeling of firie and of airie parts, the earth is in some parts thereof hollow and dim, and spoungie, and smokie. And windie vapor commeth into the hollownesse thereof, & shaketh & moueth parts of the earth, and bréedeth earth quaking as Ari. saith lib. Metheor. Colde winde (saith he) mo∣ued in the wombe of the earth, maketh that mouing yt is called earth quaking. And there it followeth, as noyse & sound commeth of diuers beating and froting in the aire of bodies together therein, so noise and sound commeth of diuers sha∣king and mouing of windes that are hid in the earth, and thereof this is to∣ken, for it resteth not till ye earth cleaue, and the winde with a voyce issueth out, &c. And there Aristotle saieth also, that in places where strong concourse & running is of ye sea, & mouing of waues, and in places with much thinnesse in the earth, is strong earth shaking, as it fell in Hercules time in some Ilandes, in whom the earth began to rise, as it had bene an hill. Then the place cloue, & out came a great wind, & it destroied a great Citie, whereof there remaineth remem∣braunce to this day. Also he sayth there, that with eueth shaking commeth a ma∣ner dimnesse, that hideth the sunne with out clowdes, all the while the earth sha∣king dureth, by reason of darke vapors and great. And before the earth quake, commeth a token and sheweth his com∣ming, a long clowde and straight as a line is séene in heauen before the going downe of the Sun. And there it is said, that somtime the earth quake commeth in Eclipse of the Moone: for then ye heat of the Sunne commeth not to the ayre to make it cléere, nor to wast the vapor, that is cause of the earth shaking.
Also in li. de vegitabitibus Aristotle saith, that earth shaking is not in graue∣ly place, but in place with many dennes within, and hardnes without, as a place of hills and of mountaines: For if the place be not hard and sad without, the vapour issueth and passeth out by little & little, and so much vapour gathereth not together yt it is strong inough to mooue the earth: but when the place is hollow, and full of dennes & holes within, & sad and hard without, the parts of vapours be gathered together, and then is strong shaking, so that sometime it cleaneth & •enteth the earth. Than in place that is all full of holes, falleth not lightly earth shaking, by reason that the vapors passe out continually, neither in places that be full harde and sadde, for there maye not much vapour enter, because of straight∣nesse of place and partes. But it fal∣leth in places that be hollowe within, and harde and sadde without. Huc vs∣que Aristot.
Also for the earth is an Element, the whole earth is lyke in substaunce to all the parts therof: but in qualitie ye earth is diuersly disposed in diuers parts, and chaungeth complection & kinde by med∣lyng of qualyties of other elements, and is not all of one manner of disposition, but chaungeth now colour and now sa∣uour. This diuersitie commeth of many manner of causes, and in many manner of wise: sometime of highnesse & low∣nesse, for the high place is aboue, and the low beneath, and the ouer place is not so hot as the neather. For as Macrobi∣us saith, the printing of the sun beames is more strong in low places thā in high, for the aire is more thicke in valleyes, than in mountaines: therefore in val∣leyes is more gathering of sun beames, and more hurtling and smiting of great aire and thitke. In mountaines & hills the aire is thin and cléere, therefore the beames be sparpled and not fast helde together: and so the lesse heate is gen∣dred there. Also by diuers taking of the sunne beames, for that that taketh most and strong sunne beames is most plen∣teous and fruitfull. And land that is far from the sunne beames, is lesse able to beare fruite and corne.
Also by diuersitie of kinde of winds, for land on whom Eastern wind blow∣eth continually, is temperate hot, and as it were meane betwéene moyst and dry, as Constant. saith. Therefore such land is full plenteous in bearing of flowers fruite and corne, and most couenable for Page 203 habitation of mankinde. And therefore the Westerne winde longeth to colde∣nes and moysture, and maketh the land lesse temperate, and therefore Westerne winde is lesse plenteous. And Northern winde drieth and cooleth land, yet by re∣son of cleane aire, it maketh it subtil and pure, and so in the North, men be high of stature & faire of shape: because of the outward aire, the pores be stopped, and kinde heate is helde within, by vertue whereof, the stature is great, & the shape of body faire and seemelye. And for the Sothern winde is hot and moyst, it ma∣keth the land that it bleweth continu∣ally on, troubly, hot, and thicke, and sad: therfore men of the South land, be con∣trary to men of the North lande in sta∣ture and in shape, and therefore men of such lands be not so bold and hardy, nor so wrathfull and angry, neither so great •anglers and boasters, as other be, as Constantine sayth. Also the qualities or properties of the earth are diuers, as it is nigh to the sea, or far from thence: for land yt is nigh to the South sea, is more hot and moyst, than land that is nigh to the North sea, for hot vapour & moyst, commeth out of the South sea, and hea∣teth the land that is nigh thereto. The contrary is of the North sea, therfore the sea that is called Mare Ponticum, is fre∣sher or lesse salt, than other seas: for cold∣nesse hath more masterie therein, and therfore cold vapour that commeth ther∣of, cooleth land yt is nigh therto. Also land changeth & is diuers by working & tra∣uell of men, for the more land is delued, and eared, & ouerturned, the vertue that is therein, is the more medled with all the parts thereof, and so laud is amend∣ed and made more able to beare manye manner of Corne and fruite. And when land lyeth long idle and resteth it pa•reth, and is the worse to beare corne and fruite. Also if good lande be bedewed or be rained, if fasteth and amendeth: & grauelly land and stony is the worse, for it is the more hard.