CHAP. I. Of Subterraneous Exhalations.
MEteors are made of Exhalations, the Sun and the rest of the Stars draw them forth; and the subterraneall fire is the worker of very many of them. We shall speak nothing of them. These are some hurtfull, some safe, as may be proved by many Examples. At the foot of the Mountain Tritulum Halveatum, there are waters you must ascend by 43 degrees; to a place of sweating, It is in length three miles, the more you are lifted up above them, the hotter you are; the more you descend into them, the cooler. Those draw flegme from the parts, and cure distillations from the head. There is a hot Bath near the hot waters that run forth of the Lake Agnanum; The ditches are covered with Turves of grasse, and stones being removed, a hot vapour is sent out, that makes them sweat that receive it. Out of Avernus a Lake of Campania, before Agrippa had cut down the Woods that covered it, and laid it open, the Exhalations were so thick that came forth, that the birds were killed that flew over it. At the Lake of Agnanum in Italy, there is a Mountain, in which there is a narrow Cave, it declines moderately downwards, being 8 foot long; if you touch the earth of it with your foot or hand, it feels hotter than Page 74 the rest, it choaks any living creature that is cast in by the venomous blast, deprives them of sense and motion, though you pull it out pre∣sently; but cast the same presently into the next Lake, it is a wonder how it restores their life again, Camer. Cent. 7. Mirab mem. 50. In the Island Ebusus, Exhalations do so infect the ground, that if they fall upon places where Serpents are, the pestilent Creatures cannot endure them. In the great places of refreshment at Baianum there is a ditch, the water whereof sends forth such hot vapours, that wax Candles will melt, & be put on• by them; and they are so pernicious, that men fall down dead therewith. In Babylon there is a Cave also, out of which riseth such a pestilent vapour, that it kills all that draw it in. Also Pluto∣nium in a little hill of a Mountainous Country hath so moderate a mouth, that it can receive but one Man, but it is wonderfull deep: It is compassed about with square pales, and that so many as would compasse in half an Ac•e, which are so full of clowdy thick dark∣nesse, that the ground can hardly be seen. The Ayr hurts not those who come to the outside of the pales, as being clear from that dark∣nesse, when the winds blow not; If a living Creature goes in, he dies immediately. Bulls brought in fall down, and are drawn forth dead. Lastly, at Hierapolis in Syria, as Dio in the Life of Trajan writes, there is a den of a filthy and deadly smell; what living creature sucks it in, is destroyed by it; Only Eunuchs are free from the venom and hurt of it, Scaliger, Exerc. 277. Sect. 4.