An history of the wonderful things of nature set forth in ten severall classes wherein are contained I. The wonders of the heavens, II. Of the elements, III. Of meteors, IV. Of minerals, V. Of plants, VI. Of birds, VII. Of four-footed beasts, VIII. Of insects, and things wanting blood, IX. Of fishes, X. Of man
Jonstonus, Joannes, 1603-1675., Libavius, Andreas, d. 1616., Rowland, John, M.D.
Page  43

CHAP. III. Of the Water.

Artic. 1. Of the quantity and colour of Waters.

SO much for Ayr: Now followes the Element of Water. And first we shall consider the quantity, and the colour of it. In the Country of the great Cham, near the City Simqui, there is the River Quian, which is 10 miles broad; and waters 200 Cities, and it is so long, that it cannot be sailed in 100 dayes. Polus writes, That he told in the Haven of it 50000 Ships. Also in Moscovia the Duina is so great by the melting of the Snow, that it cannot be passed over in a whole day with a well sayling Ship, it is at least 50 miles broad. Jovius, a Lake of Genebar, the Portingals call it January, Thuan. histor. l. 16. is so large under Capricorn, that men write, who have sailed thither, That all the Ships in the World may well harbour there. As for Colours, they are different in many waters. Danubius is white as milk and water, which divides Noricum, and Windelicia from Ger∣many, Agricol. de Natur. effluent. The Waters of the Mayn, especially where it hath passed the Francks, and is fallen into the Rheyn, are yel∣lowish. The Fountain Telephus is muddy near Patra, and mingled with blood. In Ethiopia there are red Waters, that make one mad that drinks them. At Neusola in the Mountain Carpaths, waters run∣ing out of an old passage under ground, are green. At Ilza, that which comes forth of the Mountains of Bohemia, and runs into Danu∣bius, is black.

Artic. 2. Of the Taste of Water.

THere is no lesse variety of Waters in their tastes: Some are sweet, some taste like wine: you shall find every where, salt, Allom tasted, sharp bitter waters every where. The Waters of Eleus, Chocops, Rivers, are sweet: The Kings of Persia drank of them, and transported them to far Countries. The water of Cardia in a field called Albus, is sweeter then warm milk. Pausanias. So is Vinosa near Paphlagonia; whence so many strangers come thither to drink of it. In the bosome of the Adriatick Sea, where it turns to Aquileia; there are 7. Fountains, and all of them, except one, are salt, Polyb. in Hist. At Malta there is one, that the waters running above are very sweet, but the lower waters are brackish, Aristobul: Cassand. The small River Exampeus is so bitter, that it taints the great River Hypanis in Pontus. In the Lake Ascanium, and some Fountains about Chalcis, the upper waters are sweet, and the lower taste of nitre, Plin. in Hist. The Fountains are sowr about Culma; and because the water, though it be cold, boyls, they seem to be mad, Agricol. lib. cit. In the same place there is a Mineral water, which they call Furious, because it Page  44 boyls and roars like thunder. In Cepusium at Smolicium, it not onely eats iron, but turns it into brasse. But the water about Tempe in Thes∣saly, of the River Styx, can be contained in no vessel of silver, brasse, iron, but it eats through them, nothing but a hoof can hold it.

Artic. 3. Of the Smell of Water: and of the first and second qualities.

THe hot Baths that are distant from Rhegium, the Town of Lepi∣dus Aemilius 26 miles, smell of so gallant Bitumen, that they seem to be mingled with Camphir. There was a Pit in Peloponnesus near the Temple of Diana, whose water mingled with Bitumen smelt as pleasant as the unguent Cyzicenum. In Hildesham there are two Foun∣tains; the one flowes out of Marble that smells like stinck of rotten Eggs, and taste sweet: but if any man drinks of it fasting, he will belch, and smell like the Marble pownded: The other is from Brim∣stone, and smells like Gun-Powder: The water of this brook, co∣vers with mud the stones that lie in the channel of it, scrape it off and dry it, and it is Brimstone, Agric. lib. cit. Arethusa, a Fountain of Si∣cily, is said to smoke at a certain time. At Visebad, there is a Spring in the Road-way, the water whereof is so hot, that you may not onely boyl Eggs in it, but scall'd chicken, and hoggs; for it will fetch off feathers or hair, if you dip them in, or pour it upon them.

Ptolomy Comment. lib. 7. affirms, That at Corinth there is a Fountain of water, which is colder than Snow. Near the Sea-Banks at Cuba, there is a River so continual, that you may sayl in it; yet it is so hot, that you cannot touch it with your hands, Martyr Sum. Ind. Near the Province Tapala it runneth so hot, that one cannot passe over it, Ramus. tom. 3. At Segesta in Sicily, Halbesus suddenly growes hot in the middle of the River. Pontus, is a River that lyes between the Country of the Medes and the Scythians, wherein hot burning stones are rolled, yet the water it self is cold. These, if you move them up and down, will presently cool, and being sprinkled with water, they shine the more bright. Lastly, near the City Ethama, there is a River that is hot, but it is good to cleanse the Lepers, and such as are ulcerated, Leonius. Also some waters swim above others. Arsa∣nias swims above Tigris that is near unto it, so often as they both swell and overflow their banks▪ Peneres receiveth the River Eurôta, yet it admits it not, but carrieth it a top of it like oyl for a short space, and then forsakes it, Plin. hist. Natural.

Artic. 4. Of the Diverse running of the Water.

IT is said of Pyramus, a River of Cappadocia, which ariseth from Fountains that break forth in the very plain ground, that it present∣ly hides it self in a deep Cave, and runs many miles under ground, and afterwards riseth a Navigable River, with so great violence, that if any man put a sphear into the hole of the Earth where it breaks forth Page  45 again, the force of it will cast out the sphear; Strabo l. 12. Not far from Pompeiopolis in the Town Coricos, in the bottom of a Den of wonderfull depth, a mighty River riseth with incredible force; and when it hath ran with a great violence a short way, it sinks into the Earth again, Mela. l. 1. c. 6. The Water Marsia after it hath run along tract, from the utmost Mountains of the Peligni, passing through Marsius and the Lake Fucinus, it disemboggs into a Cave, then it opens it self again in Tiburtina, and is brought 9 miles with Arches built up, into Rome, Plin. l. 31. c, 3. The Sabbaticall River was wont to be empty every seventh day, and was dry; but all the six dayes it was full of water. But that ceased when the sacrifice ceased, Joseph. l. 7. c. 24. There is a certain River Bocatius speaks of, every ten years, it makes a mighty noyse, by the stones striking together; and this is suddenly in a moment, and the stones ran downwards for 3. dayes, and 3 or 4 times a day, though it be fair weather; and after three dayes all is quiet. Strabo writes of the Rivers of Hircania, l. 11. There are in the Sea high shores that are prominent, and are cut forth of Rocks; but when the Rivers run out of the Rocks into the Sea with great violence, they passe over a great space as the fall betwixt the Sea and the Rocks, that Armies may march under the fall of the waters as under Arches, and receive no hurt▪ Trochlotes in North Norway makes such a noyse when it runs, that it is heard 20 miles, Olaus, l. 2. c. 28. Beca in Livonia runs forth of the Rocks with such a fall, that it makes men deaf, Ortel: in Livon. T∣nais, by a very long passage from Scythia, falling into the Lake Meo∣tis, it makes it so long and broad, that those that are ignorant of it, take it for a great Mountain, Boccatius. In Solomon's Temple there ran a Spring, great in Summer, small in Winter; Euseb. praeparat. Evangel. l. 9. c. 4. If you ask the cause, it is taken from the Time. All things are wet in Winter, then are the Channels full; and for want of evaporation the waters are kept in. But in Summer all things are dry, and the Suns heat penetrates. Hence it is that they are con∣gregated in their Fountains, and run out by the Ayr inforcing them. Maeander is so full of windings and turnings, that it is often thought to run back again, &c. He that seeks more concerning Nilus and other Waters, let him read Geographerrs.

Artic. 5. Of the change of quantity and of qualities, in Waters.

THis great variety in Waters that I have set down, is a token of the wisdome and power of God▪ and it is no lesse wonder, that the same waters should be so diversly changed. It is certain that they are changed. A Fountain in the Island Tenedos alwayes from 3. at night till 6. after the Summer Solstice, overflowes. There is another in odon, that hath its Name from Jupiter, it fails always at Noon-day; And the River Po in Summer, as if it took its rest, growes dry, saith Pliny. In Italy, Tophanus a Fountain of Anagnania is dry when the Lake Fucinus is frozen; at other times of the year it runs with great quan∣tity of water, Agricol. l. cit. passim. The Waters of the Lake of Ba∣bylonPage  46 are red in Summer. Boristhenes at some times of the year seems to be died with Verdigrease. The water of the Fountain of the Tungri is boyling hot with fire subterraneal, and is red. The Waters of the River Caria by Neptuns Temple were sweet, and are now salt. But in Thrace when Georgius Despota ruled, a sweet Fountain grew to be bitter intolerably, and whole rivers were changed at Citheron in Beo∣tia, as Theophrastus writes. Men report, that of the Mineral Waters which run by the Pangaeus, a Mountain of Thrace, an Athenian cotyle weighs in Summer 64 grains, and in Winter 96. In the Province of Cyrene, the Fountain of the Sun is hot at midnight, afterwards it cooles by degrees; and at Sun-rising it is cold: and the higher the the Sun riseth, the colder it is; so that it is frozen at mid day: then again by degrees it growes warm, it is hot at Sun-set; and the more the Sun proceeds, the hotter it becomes. The same Fountain every day as it growes cold at mid-day, so it is sweet; as it growes hot at midnight, so it growes bitter.

Artic. 6. Of some other things admirable in Waters.

THey were wonders that are passed, but greater follow. In those, it is easy to assign a cause, mixture or some such like, if you right∣ly consider it; but here it is difficult, for though you may in some, yet commonly we must fly to hidden qualities. I will briefly rehearse them. Some drops of a Fountain of the Goths powred upon the Earth, cease to move, and are thickned by the ayr. The waters of Cepusia in Pitchers turn into a Stone, those of Rhaetid make people foolish; they pull out the teeth in two years, and dissolve the ligaments of the si∣news, which Pliny writes to be in Germany by the Sea-side. Those of Islandia change things that are hollow into stones. Tybur covers Wood with stone covers. Zamenfes in Africa makes clear voyces. Soractes when the Sun riseth, runs over, as though it boyled, birds that then drink of it die. He growes temperate, who drinks of the Lake Clitori∣us; and he forgets who drinks of a well nere the River Orchomenus, sacred to the God Trophonius, Philarch. He proves dull of wit that drinks of a Fountain in the Island Cea. Agricola de reb. 〈…〉 terra efflu∣ent. gives a cause for it, as for the former, by reason of the bitumen. For, saith he, the seeds of wild Parsnips wrapt in a linnen clout, and put in∣to Wine, as also the powder of the flowers of Hermodactylus, which the Turks use, being drunk with it, are the cause that it will make a man sooner and more drunk, so some kind of Bitumen mixt with water, is wont to make men drunk.

The horses, drinking Sebaris are troubled with sneesing, whatsoever is sprinkled with it, is couloured black. Clitumnus of Umbria drank of, makes white Oxen, and Cesiphus of Beotia white sheep: but a River in Cappadocia makes the hair whiter, softer, and longer. In Pontus, Asta∣ces waters the fields, in which Mares are fed, that feed the whole Countrey with black milk. The waters in Gadaris make men bald, and deprive Cattle; of hair, hooffs and horns. Cicero writes that in the Marshes of Reate, the hoofs of beasts are hardned. The hot baths Page  47 at the Fort of New-house, colour the Silver Rings of such as wash in them with a Golden colour, and make Gold Rings more beautifull. Aniger that runs out of Lapithum a Mountain of Arcadia will nourish no fish in it, till it receive Acidan, and those that go then out of it in∣to Aniger are not edible, but they in Acidan are, Pausanias. Agri∣gentinum a Lake of Sicily will beare those things that do not swim in the waters. In Aethiopia there is one so thin that it will not carry up leaves that fall from the next Trees. In the lake Asphalties a man bound hand and foot cannot sink. The cause is held to be the great quantity of Salt. Hieronymus Florentinus, saw a Bankrupt bound and cast headlong from the Tower into it, and it bore him up all the night. Posidonius observ∣ed that bricks in Spain, made of Earth, with which their Silver plate is rub'd, did swim in the waters. Cleon and Goon were two Foun∣tains in Phrygia; either of their waters made men cry. There were two in the fortunate Island; they that tasted of one laught till they di∣ed, the other was the remedy for them.

Anauros of Thessaly and Boristhenes, send out no vapour, nor exhalati∣on: many refer the cause of it to its mixture, others seek it other-where. Agricola. l. 2. de effl. ex terr. c. 17. saith, In what part of the Rivers, the Channels in the Fords have no veins and fibres, by that they can breath forth no exhalations. In the snows of Mount Caucasus, hollow Clods freez, and contain good water in a membrane: there are Beasts there, that drink this water, which is very good, and runs forth when the membranes are broken. Strab. in Geograph. Nilus makes women so fruitfull that they will have 4, and 6, at one venter; Pliny in Histor. There is a Well of water, that makes the inhabitants of the Alps to have swollen throats. Lang. l. 5. Epist. 43. But in field Rupert neer to Argentina, there is a water said to be, that makes the drinkers of it troubled with Bronchocele, they seem to be infected with quicksilver: for this is an enemy to the brain and nervs, for it not only sends back flegme to the glandulous parts of the head and neck, but that which is heaped up in the head, it throws down upon the parts under it, Sebizius de acidul. s. 1. dict. 6. Corol. 1. thes. 12. Diana, a Ri∣ver of Sicily that runs to Camerina, unlesse a chast woman draw its water, it will not mingle with Wine; Solinus, C. 10. Styx in Arca∣dia drank of, kills presently, it penetrates and breaks all; yet it may be contained in the horns of one kind of Asse, Seneca. l. 3. natur, c. 25. Two Rivers runs into Niger, a River in Africa, one is reddish, the other whitish, Barrens. Histor. dec. 1. l. 3. c. 8. If any man drink of both, he will be forced to Vomit both up, but if any man drink but of one, he shall Vomit leasurely, but when they are both run into Niger, and a man drink them mingled, he shall have no desire to Vomit. Narvia is a River of Lithuania; so soon as Serpents tast of the water, they give a hiss, and get away. Cromer. descript. Polon. l. 1. A Foun∣tain of Sardinia, in the Mediterranean, keeps the length and short∣nesse of dayes, and runs accordingly. In the Island of Ferrum, one of the Canaries, there is no water, the Ayr is fiery, the ground dry, and man and beast are sad for want of water. But there Page  48 is a Tree, the kind is unknown, the leaves are long, narrow, and all∣ways green. A Clowd allwaies surrounds it, whereby the leaves are so moystned, that most pure liquour runs continually from it, which the inhabitants fetch, setting vessells round the Tree, to take it in. Bertius in descript. Canariar. Sea-waters if they be lukewarm, they por∣tend tempests before two days be over, and violent Winds. Lemnius de occult. l. 2. c. 49. In England, nere New-Castle there is a lake called Myrtous, part whereof is frozen in Summer. Thuan. in Histor. But I have done with these. Authours have more, if any man desire it, especially Claudius Vendilinus, whom I name for honour sake, if he seek for the wonders of Nilus.

Artic. 7. Of some Floods or Waters; and of the Universall Deluge.

THe Floods were signs of Gods anger, and so much the more as that was greater, and mens sins more grievous. The greatest was that we call the generall Deluge, which began about the end of the year of the World, 1656. All the bars of the Channels were broken, and for 40 dayes a vaste quantity of water was poured down. Also the Fountains of the great Deep were cut asunder; so that the Waters increased continually for 150 dayes, and passed above the highest Mountains 15 Cubits. At length they abated by degrees; for after 70 dayes the tops began to appear. The Inhabitants of the New World say, they had it from their Ancestours. Those of Peru say, that all those Lands lay under waters, and that men were drown∣ed, except a few, who got into woodden Vessels like Ships; and having provision sufficient, they continued there, till the waters were gone: Which they knew by their dogs which they sent forth of doors; and when the dogs came in wet, they knew they were put to swim; but when they returned dry, that the waters were gone, August. Carat. But they of Mexico say, that five Suns did then shine, and that the first of them perished in the waters, and men with it, and what∣soever was in the earth.

These things they have described in Pictures and Characters from their Ancestors; giving credit to Plato's Flood, which was said to have hapned in the Island Atlantis. Lupus Gomara. But Lydiat ascribes the cause of that universal Deluge to a subterraneal fire in a hotter de∣gree, increasing the magnitude by rarefaction, so long as it could not gt out of its hollow places. Genesis seems to demonstrate it. For the Fountains of the great Deep are said to be broken open; and that a wind was sent forth after 40 dayes, and the waters were quieted. We must understand a wind from a dry Exhalation, which a subter∣raneous fire much increased, had most abundantly raised out of the deep of the Sea, which was then thrust forth of them, and did in∣crease the motion of the ayr that it laid hold of, together with the revolution of the Heavens, and the vehemency of the Firmament. But there were other miraculous Deluges besides this.

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