« AnteriorContinuar »
ters, and hot and dry summers, are good to be known; as well for the discovery of the causes, as for divers provisions. That of plenty of haws, and hips, and brier-berries, hath been spoken of before. If wainscot, or stone, that have used to sweat, be more dry in the beginning of winter, or the drops of the eaves of houses come more slowly down than they use, it portendeth a hard and frosty winter. The cause is, for that it sheweth an inclination of the air to dry weather; which in winter is ever joined with frost.
813. GENERALLY a moist and cool summer portendeth a hard winter. The cause is, for that the vapours of the earth are not dissipated in the summer by the sun; and so they rebound upon the winter.
814. A HOT and dry summer, and autumn, and especially if the heat and drought extend far into September, portendeth an open beginning of winter; and colds to succeed toward the latter part of the winter, and the beginning of the spring: for till then the former heat and drought bear the sway, and the vapours are not sufficiently multiplied.
815. AN open and warm winter portendeth a hot and dry summer; for the vapours disperse into the winter showers; whereas cold and frost keepeth them in, and transporteth them into the late spring and summer following.
816. BIRDS that use to change countries at certain seasons, if they come earlier, do shew the temperature *of weather, according to that country whence they came as the winter birds, namely, woodcocks, feldfares, etc. if they come earlier, and out of the northern countries, with us shew cold winters. And if it be in the same country, then they shew a temperature of season, like unto that season in which they come as swallows, bats, cuckooes, etc. that come towards summer, if they come early, shew a hot summer to follow.
817. THE prognostics, more immediate, of weather to follow soon after, are more certain than those of seasons. The resounding of the sea upon the shore; and
the murmur of winds in the woods, without apparent wind, shew wind to follow; for such winds breathing chiefly out of the earth, are not at the first perceived, except they be pent by water or wood. And therefore a murmur out of caves likewise portendeth as much.
818. THE upper regions of the air perceive the collection of the matter of tempests and winds, before the air here below: and therefore the obscuring of the smaller stars, is a sign of tempest following. And of this kind you shall find a number of instances in our inquisition De ventis.
819. GREAT mountains have a perception of the disposition of the air to tempests, sooner than the valleys or plains below: and therefore they say in Wales, when certain hills have their night-caps on, they mean mischief. The cause is, for that tempests, which are for the most part bred above in the middle region, as they call it, are soonest perceived to collect in the places next it.
820. The air, and fire, have subtile perceptions of wind rising, before men find it. We see the trembling of a candle will discover a wind that otherwise we do not feel; and the flexuous burning of flames doth shew the air beginneth to be unquiet; and so do coals of fire by casting off the ashes more than they The cause is, for that no wind at the first, till it hath struck and driven the air, is apparent to the sense; but flame is easier to move than air: and for the ashes, it is no marvel, though wind unperceived shake them off; for we usually try which way the wind bloweth, by casting up grass, or chaff, or such light things into the air.
821. WHEN wind expireth from under the sea, as it causeth some resounding of the water, whereof we spake before, so it causeth some light motions of bubbles, and white circles of froth. The cause is, for that the wind cannot be perceived by the sense, until there be an eruption of a great quantity from under the water; and so it getteth into a body: whereas in the first putting up it cometh in little portions.
822. WE spake of the ashes that coals cast off; and of grass and chaff carried by the wind; so any light thing that moveth when we find no wind, sheweth a wind at hand; as when feathers, or down of thistles, fly to and fro in the air.
FOR prognostics of weather from living creatures, it is to be noted, that creatures that live in the open air, sub dio, must needs have a quicker impression from the air, than men that live most within doors; and especially birds who live in the air freest and clearest; and are aptest by their voice to tell tales what they find; and likewise by the motion of their flight to express the same.
823. WATER-FOWLS, as sea-gulls, moor-hens, etc. when they flock and fly together from the sea towards the shores; and contrariwise, land-birds, as crows, swallows, etc. when they fly from the land to the waters, and beat the waters with their wings, do foreshew rain and wind. The cause is, pleasure that both kinds take in the moistness and density of the air; and so desire to be in motion, and upon the wing, whithersoever they would otherwise go: for it is no marvel, that water-fowl do joy most in that air which is likest water; and land-birds also, many of them, delight in bathing, and moist air. For the same reason also, many birds do prune their feathers; and geese do gaggle; and crows seem to call upon rain : all which is but the comfort they seem to receive in the relenting of the air.
824. THE heron, when she soareth high, so as sometimes she is seen to pass over a cloud, sheweth winds: but kites flying aloft shew fair and dry weather. The cause may be, for that they both mount most into the air of that temper wherein they delight: and the heron being a water-fowl, taketh pleasure in the air that is condensed; and besides, being but heavy of wing, needeth the help of the grosser air. But the kite affecteth not so much the grossness of the air, as the cold and freshness thereof; for being a bird of prey, and therefore hot, she delighteth in the fresh air; and, many times, flyeth against the wind; as
trouts and salmons swim against the stream. And yet it is true also, that all birds find an ease in the depth of the air; as swimmers do in a deep water. And therefore when they are aloft, they can uphold themselves with their wings spread, scarce moving them.
825. FISHES, when they play towards the top of the water, do commonly foretel rain. The cause is, for that a fish hating the dry, will not approach the air till it groweth moist; and when it is dry, will fly it, and swim lower.
826. BEASTS do take comfort generally in a moist air and it maketh them eat their meat better; and therefore sheep will get up betimes in the morning to feed against rain: and cattle, and deer, and conies, will feed hard before rain; and a heifer will put up nose, and snuff in the air against rain.
827. THE trefoil against rain swelleth in the stalk; and so standeth more upright; for by wet, stalks do erect, and leaves bow down. There is a small red flower in the stubble-fields, which country-people call the wincopipe; which if it open in the morning, you may be sure of a fair day to follow.
828, EVEN in men, aches, and hurts, and corns, do engrieve either towards rain, or towards frost: for the one maketh the humours more to abound; and the other maketh them sharper. So we see both extremes bring the gout,
829. WORMS, vermin, etc. do foreshew likewise rain; for earth-worms will come forth, and moles will cast up more, and fleas bite more, against rain.
830. SOLID bodies likewise foreshew rain. As stones and wainscot, when they sweat: and boxes and pegs of wood, when they draw and wind hard; though the former be but from an outward cause; for that the stone, or wainscot, turneth and beateth back the air against itself; but the latter is an inward swelling of the body of the wood itself.
Experiment solitary touching the nature of appetite
in the stomach.
831. APPETITE is moved chiefly by things that are cold and dry; the cause is, for that cold is a kind of indigence of nature, and calleth upon supply; and so is dryness and therefore all sour things, as vinegar, juice of lemons, oil of vitriol, etc. provoke appetite. And the disease which they call appetitus caninus, consisteth in the matter of an acid and glassy phlegm in the mouth of the stomach. Appetite is also moved by sour things; for that sour things induce a contraction in the nerves placed in the mouth of the stomach, which is a great cause of appetite. . As for the cause why onions, and salt, and pepper, in baked meats, move appetite, it is by vellication of those nerves; for motion whetteth. As for wormwood, olives, capers, and others of that kind, which participate of bitterness, they move appetite by abstersion. So as there be four principal causes of appetite; the refrigeration of the stomach joined with some dryness, contraction, vellication, and abstersion; besides hunger; which is an emptiness; and yet over-fasting doth, many times, cause the appetite to cease; for that want of meat maketh the stomach draw humours, and such humours as are light and choleric, which quench appetite most.
Experiment solitary touching sweetness of odour from the rainbow.
832. IT hath been observed by the ancients, that where a rainbow seemeth to hang over, or to touch, there breatheth forth a sweet smell. The cause is, for that this happeneth but in certain matters, which have in themselves some sweetness; which the gentle dew of the rainbow doth draw forth: and the like do soft showers; for they also make the ground sweet: but none are so delicate as the dew of the rainbow where it falleth. It may be also that the water itself hath some sweetness; for the rainbow consisteth of a glomeration of small drops, which cannot possibly fall but from the air that is very low;