Of Spelunca. chap. 56.
SPelunca is a Ditch or hollownesse vnder the earth: and hath that name Spelunca, of speculando, waiting & espi∣eng. For because of widenesse thereof it is an able place to abide in, & to behold & look about. And hath a wide mouth at en∣tring, and open toward the light, and a straightend within. And so spelunca is a place vnder the earth: first shewing light at the entring, and then darke & troubly in passing inwarde. And in the farther end hard & straight, and rough & ragged in the outgoing at the farther end: if so be that the out going may be found, as Da∣mascene saith. And namely in other pla∣ces there stones & mettals be digged and mined, be such hollowe ditches and dens vnder the earth, & left so hollow & void, when stones and mettalls be voided and taken thence. And the ouer part is vnder∣set with poasts & pillars, that it may not fal. But oft by great heauines of ye earth, those pillars be ouercharged, & fal for soft∣nesse of their owne matter: or the ground beneath is moist, and falleth, & the pillars fall, and so all those that be therin be de∣stroied and vtterly spilt. Therefore it is harde and perillous to abide in mines vnder the earth. For they are colde and moist, darke, vnstable, and vnhelthy. And they be rough, hard, and heauie aboue: & hollowe and déepe beneath. Also such places bée couenable to hiding and lur∣king of wilde beasts, and to put therein filth and vncleanenesse, and to dwelling and abiding of Serpentes and of other beasts.