CHAP. XVI. Of the Stones, Schistos, Galactites, Gip, Selenites, Amiantos.
SChistos the more it shines like Iron, the harder it is. In Missena there are bred some knobs about the bigness of a Wallnut, so hard, that laid on an anvil, they resist the strokes. Agricola saw one of Mis∣sena, that weighed 14 pounds. Galactites at Hildesham is dug forth of a Sand-pit; yearly it increaseth from a milky and lutinous juice so that some are found as big as ones head; they say it makes Nurses full of milk that drink it in powder with water or sweet wine. All Gin is hard: In Saxony in the Land of Hildesham, it is found like to Sugar; The Inhabitants of Hercinium, and Thuringum, burn •hat which is hard, and grind that which is burnt; and wetting it with water, they use it for Lime: what colour soever it be, it growes white by burning. Lysistratus of Sy•e, Brother to Lysippus, was the first that made a Mans picture with a face in Gyp, and then poured Wax melted into that form, trying thereby to make it better. A wall was made of Gyp, in pieces of Ash-colour, at Northusia in Thuringia, and the Port of Alg••s, a Town of Mauritania Caesariensis. Selenites is a stone that is wont to be found at dark night when the Moon increaseth; and it represents the Moon by shining in the night, and it increaseth and diminisheth with it daily. It not onely shews your face, but it will represent the image of a thing behind your back. It endures the Suns heat, and Winters cold, but it cannot away with rain; for it will corrupt, if great pieces of it be exposed to rain. Amianthus is made of an appro∣priate juice; the fire is so far from polluting its lustre, that if it be cast in, it will shine the brighter. Once lighted, it never goes out, if oyl fail not. Hence it is called Asbestos; and because it is like to womens full hair, and to mens hoarinesse, it is called Bostrychitis and Corsoides. We saw (saith Pliny) in banqueting places, napkins made of it, that when the filth was burnt out of them, were cleansed more with fire, than they would have been with water. It was found at the siege of Athens, that things anointed with it would not burn; under L. Sylla. This stone is kembed, spun and wove, though with difficulty, because it is short: and they make not onely Napkins, but Table-cloaths of it▪ and Towels. Also of old time they made the Funeral Coats for Kings, which were put upon them, when they were put into great fires to be burnt, that so the ashes of their bodies being parted from the wood-ashes, might be laid up in their Sepulchres. Pliny saith, that this Linnen hath been found to equall the price of the best pearls; but now it is sold at mean rates.