¶De Oue. cap. 81.
A Séepe is called Ouis, and is a softe Beast, and beareth Woll, and is vnarmed in body, and pleasing in heart: and hath that name Ouis, of Oblacio, offering: for men in olde time offered shéepe in sacrifice, and not Buls, as Isidore saith libro. 12.
And some of these beasts are called Page 376Bidentes, as it were with two teeth, for among eight teeth two passe the other. And Nations vsed them most in sacri∣fice, as Isidore sayeth. Or else they bée called Bidentes, as the age meneth Qua∣si biennes, as they were of two yeares old: For of that age they were, when they were chosen to sacrifice: but most verily they haue the name of two strou∣ting téeth, with the which they be yaned. And li. 5. Aristotle speaketh of shéepe, and saith, that they conceiue and yane vntil 8. yeare. And li. 7. if sheepe conceiue toward the Northen wind, they conceiue males. And if they conceiue toward ye Southern winde, then they conceiue females. And such as the veines bée vnder the shéepes tongue, of such colour is the lambe when he is yaned. Look before de Agnis & Ari∣ete. And whē old shéep be moued to gene∣ration in certeine time ordeined, the shep∣heards say, that it is a good signe in them: And if young shéep be moued so, they tell yt it betokeneth pestilence among shéep in that yéere.
Also libro. 8. Aristotle sayth, that shéepe conceiue in drinking water, and there∣fore heardes giue them Salte to eate, to make them drinke the more, and to conceiue the more faster, and to kéepe them the more safe and whole without all kind of sicknesse. And also in Haruest they giue to them Cucurbitas,* such hearbes, & salt them to make much milke in their teates. And shéepe conceiue with Tilles and salt: & if shéepe fast thrée daies and cate afterward, then they ware soone fat. And colde water of the North is good to them in Summer, & warme wa∣ter of ye South is good to thē in haruest: and meat helpeth them in the end of the daye & of the night: For by farre wayes and long trauaile they waxe leane, and heards know which of them maye dure in Winter, for vpon some is found Ise, & vppon some no Ise is founde, and some of them bée séeble and may not shake off the Ise. And shéepes flesh yt is nourished in watry places is euill, as flesh of other foure footed beasts is, that bée nourished in places that be right moyst and watry, and those that haue long tailes maye worse away with winter, then those that haue broade tailes, and those that haue litte Wooll and crispe, may worst away with Winter. And Wooll of shéepe that a Wolfe eateth, is infected, & the cloth that is made thereof is lousie. Also libro. 8. he saith, that in shéep is lesse wit and vnder∣standing thē in another foure footed beast. And Thunder gréeueth them, and if one abide alone, & if it be in the euentide, it may happen that she shall cast her lambe for dread. Also li. 8. ca. 67. Plinius sayth, that thundering maketh solitary shéep to cast their lambs. The remedy and helpe thereof is, to gather & bring them toge∣ther into one flocke. Looke before in this same booke, in littera A. where he trea∣teth de Ariete & Agno.
(*Of sheepe, their Wooll is a singu∣lar benefit in a common wealth, especial∣ly the Cotsell wooll for finenesse. And in Bartholmes time, the Staple for Wooll, was not so well husbanded as it hath bene since. The increase of pasture for shéepe, hath so much decreased the tillage of corne, that vntill it be restored againe, there wil grow a poore common wealth: the more shéepe, the déerer the wooll, the flesh, and the fell: the moe shéepe the dée∣rer corne and graine, beside, Béefe, But∣ter, Egges, & Chéese: Pastures consumes tillage, the want of tillage bréedes beg∣gars, decayes villages, hamlets, & vpland townes. It is better to want Wooll then corne, shéepe then men, but excesse & pro∣digalitie, which cannot away with mea∣sure, hath brought this England to great penurie: it is espyed where it wanteth, but not wanting where it is espied, much lesse regarded.)