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The Principal Navigations, Voyages, Traffiques and Discoveries by Richard Hakluyt

Part 5 out of 8

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Id suffocationis periculum nullo testimomo, nec nostra nec patrum
nostrorum, vel quÓm longŔ retro numeraris, memoria confirmari potest.

The same in English.

THE FIFTH SECTION.

[Sidenote: Munster. Frisius. Zieglerus.] The Iland, most part thereof, is
mountainous and vntilled But that part which is plaine doth greatly
abound with fodder, which is so ranke, that they are faine to driue their
cattell from the pasture, least they surfet or be choaked.

That danger of surfetting or choaking was neuer heard tell of, in our
fathers, grandfathers, great grandfathers or any of our predecessours
dayes, be they neuer so ancient. [Footnote: In the tenth and eleventh
centuries, corn and other crops seem to have been raised in considerable
quantities, but at present only small crops of potatoes, turnips, and
cabbages are grown. The pastures are good, and many horses, cattle, and
sheep are reared.]

SECTIO SEXTA.

[Sidenote: Munst. Frisius.] Sunt in hac Insula montes elati in coelum,
quorum vertices perpetua niue candent, radices sempiterno igne Šstuant.
Primus Occidentem versus est, qui vocatur Hecla, alter crucis, tertius
Helga. Item Zieglerus. Rupes siue promontorium Hecla Šstuans perpetuis
ignibus. Item Saxo. In hac itidem Insula mons est, qui rupem sideream
perpetuŠ flagrationis Šstibus imitatus, incendia sempiterna iugi
flammarum eructatione continuat.

Miracula IslandiŠ Munsterus & Frisius narraturi mox in vestibulo, magno suo
cum incommodo impingunt. Nam quod hic de monte Hecla asserunt, etsi aliquam
habet veritatis speciem, tamen quod idem de duobus alijs montibus perpetuo
igne Šstuantibus dicunt, manifestŔ erroneum est. Illi enim in Islandia non
extant, nec quicquam, quod huic tanto scriptorum errori occasionem dederit,
imaginari possumus. Facta tamen est, sed nunc demum Anno 1581. ex monte
quodam australis IslandiŠ, maritimo, perpetuis niuibus & glacie obducto
memorabilis fumi ac flammŠ eruptio, magna saxorum ac cineris copia eiecta.
CŠterum ille mons longe est ab his tribus, quos authores commemorant,
diuersissimus. Porro etsi hŠc de montibus ignitis maximŔ vera narrarent,
annon naturaliter ista contingerent? An ad extruendam illam, quŠ mox in
Munstero, Zieglero & Frisio sequitur, de orco Islandico opinionem aliquid
faciunt? Ego sanŔ nefas esse duco, his vel similibus naturŠ miraculis ab
absurda asserenda abuti, vel hŠc tanquam impossibilia cum quadam impietate
mirari. Quasi ver˛ non concurrant in huiusmodi incendijs causŠ ad hanc rem
satis validŠ. Est in horum montium radicibus materia vri aptissima, nempe
sulphurea & bituminosa. Accedit aŰr per poros ac cauernas in terrŠ viscera
ingressus, ac illum maximi incendij fomitem exsufflans vnÓ cum nitro, qua
exsufflatione tanquam follibus quibusdam, ardentissima excitatur flamma.
Habet siquidem ignis, his ita conacnientibus, quŠ tria ad vrendum sunt
necessaria, materiam scilicet, motum, & tandem penetrandi facultatem:
Materiam quidem pinguem & humidam ideoque flammas diuturnas alentem: Motum
prŠstat per terrŠ cauernas admissus aŰr: Penetrandi facultatem facit ignis
vis inuicta, sine respiraculo esse nescientis, & incredibili conatu
violenter erumpentis, atque ita (non secus ac in cuniculis machinisue seu
tormentis bellicis, globi Ŕ ferro maximi, magno cum fragore ac strepitu, Ó
sulphure & nitro, Ŕ quibus pyrius puluis conficitur, excitato, eijciuntur)
lapides & Saxa in ista voragine ignita, ceu quodam camino, collique facta
cum immodica arenŠ & cinerum copia, exspuentis & eiaculantis, idque vt
plurimum, non sine terrŠmotu: qui si secundum profunditatem terrŠ fiat,
succussio Ó Possidoneo appellatur vel hiatus erit, vel pulsus. Hiatu terra
dehiscit: pulsu eleuatur intumescens, & nonunquam, vt inquit Plinius
[Sidenote: Lib. 2. cap. 20.], motes magnas egerit: Cuiusmodi terrŠmotus iam
mentionem fecimus, maritima IslandiŠ Australis Anno 1581 infestantis quÝque
Ó Pontano his verbis scitissimŔ describitur.

Ergo incerta ferens raptim vestigia, anhelus
Spiritus incursat, nunc huc, nunc percitus illuc,
Explorßtque abitum insistens, & singula tentat,
Si qua forte queat victis erumpere claustris.
Interea tremit ingentem factura ruinam
Terra, suis quatiens latas cum moenibus vrbes:
Dissiliunt auulsa iugis immania saxa, &c.

HŠc addere libuit, non qu˛d cuiquam hŠc ignota esse existimemus; sed ne nos
alij ignorare credant, atque ideo ad suas fabulas, quas hinc extruunt,
confugere velle.

CŠterum video quid etiamnum admirationem non exiguam scriptoribus moueat,
in his, quos ignoranter fingunt, tribus IslandiŠ montibus, videlicet cum
eorum basin semper ardere dicant, summitates tamen nunquam niue careant.
Porr˛ id admirari, est prŠter authoritatem tantorum virorum, quibus ĂtnŠ
incendium optimŔ notum erat, quŠ, c¨m secundum Plinium hybernis temporibus
niualis sit, noctibus tamen, eodem teste, semper ardet. Quare etiam
secundum illos, ille mons, cum adhac niuium copia obducitur, & tamen ardeat
sordidarum animarum quoque erit receptaculum: id quod HeclŠ propter niues
in summo vertice & basin Šstuantem, adscribere non dubitarunt. [Sidenote:
Cardanus.] Vix autem mirum esse potest, qu˛d ignis montis radicibus latens,
& nunquam, nisi rarissimŔ erumpens, excelsa montis cacumina, quŠ niuibus
obducuntur, non collique faciat. Nam & in Caira, altissima montis cacumina
niuibus semper candentia esse perhibentur: & in Beragua quidem similiter,
sed 5000 passuum in coelum elata, quŠ niuibus nunquam liberentur, cum tamen
partibus tantum decem ab Šquatore distent. Vtrßmque hanc prouinciam iuxta
Pariam esse sitam accepimus. Quid? quod illa TeneriffŠ (quŠ vna, est ex
insulis Canarijs, quŠ & fortunatŠ) pyramis, secundum Munsterum, 8 aut 9
milliarium Germanicorum altitudine in aŰra assurgens, atque instar ĂtnŠ
iugiter conflagrans, niues, quibus media cingitur, teste Benzone Italo,
IndiŠ occidentalis Historico, non resoluit. Quod ipsum in nostra Hecla quid
est, quod magis miremur? Atque hŠc ita breuiter de incendijs montanis.

Nunc illud quoque castigandum arbitramur, quod hos montes in coelum vsque
attolli scribant. Habent enim nullam prŠ cŠteris IslandiŠ montibus
notabilem altitudinem. PrecipuŔ tertius ille Helga Ó Munstero appellatus,
nobis Helgafel. i. Sacer mons, apud monasterium eiusdem nominis, nulla sui
parts tempore Šstiuo nimbus obductus, nec montis excelsi, sed potius collis
humilis nomen meretur, nunquam, vt initio huius sectionis dixi, de incendio
suspectus. Nec ver˛ perpetuŠ niues HeclŠ, vel paucis alijs adscribi
debebant: Permultos enim habet eiusmodi montes niuosos Islandia, quos omnes
vel toto anno, non facilŔ collegerit aut connumerarit, horum prŠdicator &
admirator Cosmographus. Quin etiam id non negligendum, quod mons Hecla non
occidentem versus, vt Ó Munstero & Zieglero annotatum est, sed inter
meridiem & orientem positus sit. Nec promontorium est: sed mons ferŔ
mediterraneus.

[Sidenote: Annales IslandiŠ.] Incendia perpetua ragi, &c. Quicunque
perpetuam flammarum cructationem HeclŠ adscripserunt, toto coelo errarunt,
ade˛, vt quoties flammas eructarit, nostrates in annales retulerint, viz.
anno Christi 1104. 1157. 1222. 1300. 1341. 1362. & 1389. Neque enim ab illo
de montis incendio audire licuit, vsque ad annum 1558. quŠ vltima fuit in
illo monte eruptio. Interea non nego, fieri posse, quin mons infernŔ
latentes intus flammas & incendia alat, quŠ videlicet statis interuallis,
vt hactenus annotatum est, eruperint, aut etiam forte posthac erumpant.

The same in English.

THE SIXTH SECTION

[Sidenote: Monsterus. Frisius.] There be in this Iland mountaines lift vp
to the skies, whose tops being white with perpetuall snowe, their roots
boile with euerlasting fire. The first is towards the West, called Hecla:
the other the mountaine of the crosse: and the third Helga. Item
Zieglerus. The rocke or promontone of Hecla boileth with continuall fire.
Item: Saxo. There is in this Iland also a mountaine, which resembling the
starrie firmament, with perpetuall flashings of fire, continueth alwayes
burning, by vncessant belching out of flames.

Munster and Frisius being about to report the woonders of Island doe
presently stumble, as it were, vpon the thresholde, to the great
inconuenience of them both. For that which they heere affirme of mount
Hecla, although it hath some shew of trueth: notwithstanding concerning the
other two mountaines, that they should burne with perpetuall fire, it is a
manifest errour. For there are no such mountaines to be found in Island,
nor yet any thing els (so farre foorth as wee can imagine) which might
minister occasion of so great an errour vnto writers. Howbeit there was
seene (yet very lately) in the yeere 1581 out of a certaine mountaine of
South Island lying neere the Sea, and couered ouer with continuall snow and
frost, a marueilous eruption of smoke and fire, casting vp abundance of
stones and ashes. But this mountaine is farre from the other three, which
the sayd authours doe mention. Howbeit, suppose that these things be true
which they report of firie mountaines: is it possible therefore that they
should seeme strange, or monstrous, whenas they proceed from naturall
causes? What? Doe they any whit preuaile to establish that opinion
concerning the hell of Island, which followeth next after in Munster,
Ziegler, and Frisius? For my part, I thinke it no way tollerable, that men
should abuse these, and the like miracles of nature, to auouch absurdities,
or, that they should with a kinde of impietie woonder at them, as at
matters impossible. As though in these kindes of inflammations, there did
not concurre causes of sufficient force for the same purpose. There is in
the rootes of these mountaines a matter most apt to be set on fire, comming
so neere as it doeth to the nature of brimstone and pitch. There is ayer
also which insinuating it selfe by passages, and holes, into the very
bowels of the earth, doeth puffe vp the nourishment of so huge a fire,
together with Salt-peter, by which puffing (as it were with certeine
bellowes) a most ardent flame is kindled. [Sidenote: Three naturall causes
of firie mountaines.] For, all these thus concurring fire hath those three
things, which necessarily make it burne, that is to say, matter, motion,
and force of making passage: matter which is fattie and moyst, and
therefore nourisheth lasting flames: motion which the ayer doeth performe,
being admitted into the caues of the earth: force of making passage, and
that the inuincible might of fire it selfe (which can not be without
inspiration of ayre, and can not but breake foorth with an incredible
strength) doeth bring to passe: and so (euen as in vndermining trenches and
engines or great warrelike ordinance, huge yron bullets are cast foorth
with monstrous roaring, and cracking, by the force of kindled Brimstone,
and Salt-peeter, whereof Gunne-powder is compounded) chingle and great
stones being skorched in that fiery gulfe, as it were in a furnace,
together with abundance of sande and ashes, are vomitted vp and discharged,
and that for the most part not without an earthquake which, if it commeth
from the depth of the earth, (being called by Possidonius, Succussio) it
must either be either an opening or a quaking. Opening causeth the earth in
some places to gape, and fall a sunder. By quaking the earth is heaued vp
and swelleth, and sometimes (as Plinie saith) [Sidenote: Lib. 20. cap. 20.]
casteth out huge heaps: such an earth-quake was the same which I euen now
mentioned, which in the yere 1581 did so sore trouble the South shore of
Island. And this kinde of earth-quake is most clearkely described by
Pontanus in these verses:

The stirrng breath runnes on with stealing steppes,
vrged now vp, and now enforced downe:
For freedome eke tries all, it skips, it leaps,
to ridde it selfe from vncouth dungeon.
Then quakes the earth as it would burst anon,
The earth yquakes, and walled cities quiuer.
Strong quarries cracke, and stones from hilles doe shiuer.

I thought good to adde these things, not that I suppose any man to be
ignorant thereof: but least other men should thinke that we are ignorant,
and therefore that we will runne after their fables, which they do from
hence establish. But yet there is somewhat more in these three famed
mountaines of Island, which causeth the sayd writers not a little to
woonder, namely whereas they say that their foundations are alwayes
burning, and yet for all that, their toppes be neuer destitute of snowe.
Howbeit, it beseemeth not the authority and learning of such great clearks
to marueile at this, who can not but well know the flames of mount Aetna,
which (according to Plinie) being full of snowe all Winter, notwithstanding
(as the same man witnesseth) it doth alwayes burne. Wherefore, if we will
giue credit vnto them, euen this mountaine also, sithens it is couered with
snowe, and yet burneth, must be a prison of vncleane soules: which thing
they haue not doubted to ascribe vnto Hecla, in regard of the frozen top,
and the fine bottome. And it is no marueile that fire lurking so deepe in
the roots of a mountaine, and neuer breaking forth except it be very
seldome, should not be able continually to melt the snowe couering the
toppe of the sayd mountaine. [Sidenote: Cardanus] For in Caira (or Capira)
also, the highest toppes of the mountaine are sayd continually to be white
with snowe: and those in Veragua likewise, which are fiue miles high, and
neuer without snowe, being distant notwithstanding but onely 10 degrees
from the equinoctiall. We haue heard that either of the forsayd Prouinces
standeth neere vnto Paria. What, if in Teneriffa (which is one of the
Canarie or fortunate Islands) the Pike [Footnote: The Peak.] so called,
arising into the ayre, according to Munster, eight or nine Germaine miles
in height, and continually flaming like Aetna: yet (as Benzo an Italian,
and Historiographer of the West Indies witnesseth) is it not able to melt
the girdle of snowe embracing the middest thereof. Which thing, what reason
haue we more to admire in the mountaine of Hecla? And thus much briefly
concerning firie mountaines.

Now that also is to be amended, whereas they write that these mountaines
are lifted vp euen vnto the skies. For they haue no extraordinarie height
beyond the other mountaines of Island, but especially that third mountaine,
called by Munster Helga, and by vs Helgafel, that is the holy mount,
standing iust by a monastery of the same name, being couered with snowe,
vpon no part thereof in Summer time, neither deserueth it the name of an
high mountaine, but rather of an humble hillocke, neuer yet as I sayd in
the beginning of this section, so much as once suspected of burning.
Neither yet ought perpetuall snowe to be ascribed to Hecla onely, or to a
few others; for Island hath very many such snowy mountaines, all which the
Cosmographer (who hath so extolled and admired these three) should not
easily find out, and reckon vp in a whole yere. And that also is not to be
omitted, that mount Hecla standeth not towards the West, as Munster and
Ziegler haue noted, but betweene the South and the East: neither is it an
headland, but rather a mid-land hill.

[Sidenote: The chronicles of Island.] Continueth alwayes burning &c.
whosoeuer they be that haue ascribed vnto Hecla perpetuall belching out of
flames, they are farre besides the marke: insomuch that as often as it hath
bene enflamed, our countreymen haue recorded it in their yerely Chronicles
for a rare accident: namely in the yeeres of Christ 1104, 1157, 1222, 1300,
1341, 1362, and 1389: For from that yeere we neuer heard of the burning of
this mountaine vntill the yeere 1558, which was the last breaking foorth of
fire in that mountaine. In the meane time I say not that is impossible, but
that the bottome of the hill may inwardly breed and nourish flames, which
at certaine seasons (as hath bene heretofore obserued) haue burst out, and
perhaps may do the like hereafter. [Footnote: The surface of the country is
very mountainous, but there are no definite ranges, the isolated volcanic
masses being separated by elevated plateaux of greater or less size. The
whole centre is, in fact, an almost continuous desert fringed by a belt of
pasture land, lying along the coast and running up the valleys of several
of the greater riuers. This desert is occupied partly by snow mountains and
glaciers, partly by enormous lava streams, partly by undulating plains of
black volcanic sand, shingle, and loose stones. This region is of course
without verdure, and entirely uninhabited. The rocks are all of igneous
origin, but of very different ages, traps, basalts, amygdaloids, tufas,
ochres, and porous lavas. The number of active volcanoes is, at present,
not great, but hot springs and mud volcanoes testify to the existence of
volcanic action along a line running from the extreme south west at Cape
Reykjanes to the north coast near Husavik. The only recent well ascertained
eruptions have been from Hecla, Aotlugja, Skaptar Vokul, and (in 1874-5)
from the mountains to the south-east of Myratu Lake. The eruption of
Skaptar in 1783 is the greatest anywhere on record in respect of the
quantity of lava and ashes ejected. Earthquakes are not unfrequent. The
greatest mountain group is the Vatna or Klofa Yokul, on the south coast, a
mass of snow and ice covering many hundred square miles, and sending down
prodigious glaciers which almost reach the sea. From one of these a torrent
issues, little more than a hundred yards long, and a mile and a half broad.
The line of perpetual snow ranges from 2,000 to 3,000 feet. The loftiest
summits of this great mountain mass have never been ascended, but the
highest point is believed to be the Orefa Yolcal, 6,405 feet. The other
considerable peaks in different parts of the island are Herdubreidr (an
extinct volcano), 5,290 feet, Eyjafjalla Yokul, 5,579 feet, SnŠfels Yokul,
5,965 feet, and Hecla, 5,095 feet.]

SECTIO SEPTIMA.

[Sidenote: Frisius. Munst.] Montis HeclŠ flamma nec stuppam lucernarum
luminibus aptissimam adurit, neque aqua extinguitur: Eˇque impetu, quo
apud nos machinis bellicis, globi eijciuntur, illinc lapides magni in
aera emittuntur, ex frigoris & ignis & sulphuris commixtione. Is locus Ó
quibusdam putatur carcer sordidarum animarum. Item Zieglerus. Is locos
est carcer sordidarum animarum.

Nec stuppam adurit.) Vnde habeant Scriptores, non satis conijcitur. HŠc
enim nostris hominibus prorsus ignota, nec hic vnquam, nisi prodidissent
illi, audita fuissent. Nemo enim est apud nos tam temerariŠ curiositatis,
vt huius rei periculum, ardente monte, facere ansit, vel quod scire licuit,
vnquam ausis fuerit. Quod tamen Munsterus asserit. Qui, inquit, naturam
tanti incendij contemplari cupiunt, & ob id ad montem propius accedunt, eos
vna aliqua vorago viuos absorbet &c. QuŠ res, vt dixi, nostrŠ genti est
ignota prorsus. Exstat tamen liber veteri Noruagorum lingua scriptus, in
quo terrarum, aquarum, ignis, aŰris, &c. miracula aliquot confusa reperias,
pauca vera, plurima vana & falsa. Vnde facile apparet, Ó Sophis quibusdam,
si dijs placet, in Papatu olim esse conscriptum: [Sidenote: Speculum
Regale.] Speculum Regale nomen dederunt, propter vanissima mendacia, quibus
totus, sed plŠr˙mque sub religionis & pietatÝs prŠtextu (quo difficilius
est fucum agnoscere) scatet speculum minimŔ regale, sed Anile & Irregulare.
In hoc speculo figmenta quŠdam de HeclŠ incendio, his quŠ nunc tractamus
non multum dissimilia, habentur, nullo experimento magis quÓm hŠc
stabilita, ideˇque explodenda.

CŠterum ne audaculus videar, qui speculum illud Regale mendacij accusem;
nullum ver˛ ex his quŠ minus credibilia affert, recenseam; Accipe horum
pauca Lector, quŠ fidem minimŔ mereri existimarim.

1. De quadam Insula HyberniŠ; quŠ templum & Parochiam habet: Cuius incolŠ
decedentes non inhumantur: sed ad aggerem seu parietem coemeterij, viuorum
instar erecti, consistunt perpetu˛: Nec vlli corruptioni, nec ruinŠ.
obnoxij: vt posterum quiuis suos maiores ibi quŠrere & conspicere possit.

2. De altera HyberniŠ Insula, vbi homines emori nequeant.

3. De omni terrÔ & omnibus arboribus HyberniŠ, quŠ omnibus omnin˛ venenis
resistant, serpentes & alia venenata, vbiuis terrarum, solÔ virtute &
prŠsentia, etiam sine contactu, enecent.

4. De tertia HyberniŠ Insula: Qu˛d hŠc dimidia Diabolorum colonia facta
sit. In dimidiam vero propter templum ibidem exstructum, iuris habeant
nihil, licet & pastore (vt tota Insula incolis) & sacris perpetu˛ careat:
idque per naturam ita esse.

5. De quarta HyberniŠ Insula, quŠ in lacu qu˛dam satis vasto fluitet: cuius
gramina, quibusuis morbis prŠssentissimum remedium existant: Insula ver˛
ripam lacus statis temporibus accedat, idque vt plurimum, diebus Dominicis,
vt tum quiuis facilŔ eam veluti nauim quandam, ingrediatur: id quod tamen
pluribus simul, per fatum licere negat. Hanc vero Insulam septimo quoque
anno ripŠ adnasci tradit, vt Ó continente non discernas: In eius autem
locum mox succedere alteram, priori, naturam, magnitudine & virtute
consimilem: quŠ vnde veniat, nesciri: idque cum qu˛dam quasi tonitru
contingere.

6. De venatoribus NoruegiŠ, qui lignum domare (sic enim loquitur,
quantumuis impropriŔ: c¨m ligno vt non vita, ita nec domitura competat)
adeo docti sint, vt asseres 8. vlnas longi, plantis pedum eorundem
alligati, tanta eos celeritate, vel in excelsis montibus, promoueant, vt
non mod˛ canum venaticorum, aut caprearum cursu, sed etiam auium volatu
superari nequeant: atque vnico cursu, vnico etiam hastŠ ictu, nouem vel
plures capreas feriant. [Sidenote: Gronlandia.] HŠc & similia, de Hybernia,
Noruegia, Islandia, Gronlandia, de aquŠ & aŰris etiam miraculis, centonum
ille magister, in suum speculum collegit: Quibus, licet suis admirationem,
vulgo stuporem, nobis tamen risum concitauit.

Sed Frisium audiamus. Flamma, inquit, Montis HeclŠ nec stuppam, lucernarum
luminibus aptissimam, adurit, nec aqua extinguitur. Atqui inquam, ex Schola
vestra Philosophica petitis rationibus hoc Paradoxon confirmari poterit.
Docent enim Physici, commune esse validioribus flammis omnibus vt siccis
extinguantur, alantur ver˛ humidis: Vnde etiam fabri, aqua inspersa, ignem
excitare solent. C¨m enim, aiunt, ardentior fuerit ignis, Ó frigido
incitatur, & ab humido alitur, quorum vtrumque aquŠ inest. Item: Aqua solet
vehementes accendere ignes: Quoniam humidum ipsum quod exhalat, pinguius
redditur, nec Ó circumfuso fumo absumitur, sed totum ignis ipse depascitur,
qu˛ purior inde factus, ac simul collectus, Ó frigido alacrior inde
redditur. Vnde etiam ignes artificiosi aqua minimŔ extinguibiles. Item:
Sunt sulphure & bitumine loca abundantia, quŠ sponte ardent, quorum flamma
aqua minimŔ extinguitur. Prodidit etiam Philosophus, Aqua ali ignem. Arist.
3. de anim. Et Plin. lib. 2. Nat. Histor. cap. 110. Et Strabo lib. 7. In
NymphŠo excitŔ Petra flamma, que aqua accenditur. Idem, Viret Štern¨m
contexens fontem igneum fraxinus. Quin & repentinos ignes in aquis
existere, vt Thrasumenum lacum in agro Perusino arsisse totum, idem autor
est. [Sidenote: Chronica Islandie.] Et anno 1226, & 1236. non procul Ó
promontorio IslandiŠ Reykianes, flamma ex ipso mari erupit. Etiam in
corporibus humanis repentinos ignes emicuisse, vt Seruio Tullio dormienti,
Ŕ capite flammam exsilijsse: Et L. Martium in Hispania, interfectis
Scipionibus, concionem seu orationem ad milites habentem, atque ad vltionem
exhortantem, conflagrasse, Valerius Antias narrat. Meminit etiam Plinius
flammŠ montanŠ, quŠ, vt aqua accendatur, ita terra aut foeno extinguatur.
Item, Alterius campestris, que frondem densi supra se nemoris non adurat.
QuŠ cum ita sint, mirum, homines id in solÔ HeclÔ mirari (ponam enim iam
ita esse, cum non sit tamen, qu˛d Ó quoquam scire potuerim) qu˛d multis
aliarum terrarum partibus seu locis, tam montanis, quÓm campestribus, cum
ea commune esset.

Eo impetu quo apud nos globi. Sic enim Munsterus. [Sidenote: Frisius.] Mons
ipse cum furit, inquit, horribilia tonitrua insonat, proijcit ingentia
Saxa, sulphur euomit, cineribus egestis, tam longŔ terram circumcirca
operit, vt ad vicesimum lapidem coli non possit, &c. CŠterum oportuit
potius cum ĂtnÔ, aut alijs montibus flammiuomis, quos mox recitabo,
comparasse, cum non deesset, non mod˛ simile, sed prope idem: Nisi fortŔ
qu˛d incendia rarius ex HeclÔ erumpant, quÓm alijs id genus montibus. Nam
proxunis 34. annis prorsus quieuit, facta videlicet vltima eruptione, An.
1558. vt superius annotauimus. Et nihil tam magnificŔ dici potest de nostra
Hecla, quin idem, vel maius cŠteris montibus flammiuomis competat, vt mox
apparebit. Qu˛d ver˛ sulphur eiaculetur, manifestum est commentum nullo
experimento apud nostrates cognitum.

Is locus est carcer sordidarum animarum. Hic prŠfandum esse mihi video,
atque veniam Ó Lectore petendam qu˛d cum initio proposuerim, de terra &
incolis diuisim agere in hac prima parte tamen, quŠ sunt merit˛ secundŠ
partis miscere cogar. Euenit hoc scriptorum culpa, qui InsulŠ situi ac
miraculis, religionis incolarum particulam hanc, de opinione infernalis
carceris, confuderunt. Quare etiam vt hunc locum attingamus, quis non
miretur isthoc commentum ab homine cordato in Historia positum esse? Quis
non miretur, viros sapientes e˛ perduci, vt hŠc vulgi deliramenta
auscultent, nedum sequantur? Vulgus enim extraneorum & hominum colluuies
nautica (hic enim saniores omnes tam inter nautas quam reliquos excipio,)
de hoc insolito naturŠ miraculo audiens, ingenito stupore ad istam, de
carcere animarum, imaginationem fertur: Siquidem incendio nullam substerni
materiam videt, quemadmodum in domesticis focis fieri consueuit. Atque hac
persuasione vulgi fama inoleuit dum (vt ad maledicta optimŔ assuefactum
est) vnus alteri huius montis incendum imprecatur. Quasi ver˛ ignis
elementaris & materiatus ac visibilis, animas, i. substantias spirituales
comburat. Quis denÝque non miretur cur eundem carcere damnatorum, non in
Ătna etiam, nihilo minus ignibus ac incendijs celebri, confingant? At
confinxit dices, Gregorius Pontifex. Purgatorium igitur est. Sit sanŔ:
Eadem igitur huius carceris veritas quŠ & purgatorij. Sed priusquam longius
procedamus, libet hic referre fabulam perlepidam, huius opinionis
infernalis originem & fundamentum: Nempe cuidam extraneorum naui Islandiam
relinquenti & turgidis velis citissimo cursu iter suum rectÓ legenti,
factam obuiam alteram similiter impigro cursu, sed contra vim tempestatum,
velis & remis nitentem: cuius prŠfectus rogatus, quinam essent? Respondisse
fertur: De Bischop van Bremen. Iterum rogatus quo tenderent? ait. Thom
Heckelfeldt tho, Thom Heckelfeldt tho. HŠc videns Lector vereor, ne peluim
postulet dari: Est enim mendacium adeo detestandum, vt facilŔ nauseam
pariat. Abeat igitur ad Cynosarges & ranas palustres: illud enim eiusde
facimus atque illarum coax, coax. Nec ver˛ dignum est hoc commentum, quod
rideatur, nedum refutetur. Sed nolo cum insanis Papistis nugari: Quin
potius ad scriptores nostros conuertamur.

Atque inprimis nequeo hic, clarissimi viri, D. Casparis Peuceri, illud
prŠterire. Est in Islandia, inquit, mons Hecla, qui immanis barathri, vel
inferni potius profunditate terribilis, eiulantium miserabili & lamentabili
ploratu personat, vt voces plorantium circumquaque, ad interuallum magni
milliaris audiantur. Circumnolitant hunc coruorum & vulturum nigerrima
agmina, quŠ nidulari ibidem ab incolis existimantur. Vulgus incolarum
descensum esse per voraginem illam ad inferos persuasum habet: Inde cum
prŠlia committuntur alibi in quacunque parte orbis terrarum aut cŠdes fiunt
cruentŠ commoueri horrendos circumcirca tumultus & excitari clamores atque
eiulatus ingentes longÔ experientiÔ didicerunt. Quis ver˛ rem tam
incredibilem ad te vir doctissime perferre ausus fuit? Nec enim vultures
habet Islandia, sed genus aquilarum secundum, quod ab albicante caudÔ
Plinius notauit & Pygarsum appellauit. Nec vlli sunt huius spectaculi apud
nos testes: Nec denÝque ibidem coruos aut aquilas nidificare probabile est,
quŠ, igni & fumo semper inimicissimo, potius Ó focis vel incendijs
arceantur. Et nihilominus in huius rei testimonium, (vt & exauditi per
voraginem montis tumultus extranei,) experientiam incolarum allegant, quŠ
certŔ contraria omnia testatur. Vnde ver˛ foramen vel fenestra illa
montana, per quam clamores, strepitus & tumultus apud antipodes, periŠcos &
antŠcos factos exaudiremus? De quÔ re multa essent, quŠ authorem istius
mendacij interrogatum haberem, mod˛ quid de illo nobis constaret: qui
vtinam veriora narrare discat, nec tam perfrictÔ fronte similia,
incomperta, ßtque, ade˛ incredibilia, clarissimo viro Peucero, aut alijs
referre prŠsumat.

Ast ver˛ Munsterus cum incendij tanti & tam incredilis caussas in
famosissimÔ Ătna inuestigare conatus sit, quam rem illic naturalem facit,
hic ver˛ prŠternaturalem imo infernalem faciat, an non monstri simile est?
CŠterum de ĂthnÔ quid dico? Quin potius videamus quid de HeclŠ incendio
alias sentiat Munsterus.

[Sidenote: Munsterus Cosmograph. vniuersal. lib. 1. cap. 7.] Dubium non
est, inquit, montes olim & campos arsisse in orbe terrarum: Et nostra
quidem state ardent. Verbi gratia: In Islandia mons Hecla statis temporibus
foras proijcit ingentia Saxa, euomit sulphur spargit cineres, tam longŔ
circumcirca, vt terra ad vicesimum lapidem coli non possit. Vbi autem
montium incendia perpetua sunt, intelligimus nullam esse obstructionem
meatuum, per quos mod˛, quasi fluuium quendam, ignes, mod˛ flammas, nunc
ver˛ fumum tant¨m euomunt. Sin per temporum interualla increscunt, internis
meatibus obturatis, eius viscera nihilominus ardent Superioris autem partis
incendia, propter fomitis inopiam, non nihil remittunt ad tempus. Ast vbi
spiritus vehementior, rursus reclusis meatibus ijsdem vel alijs, ex carcere
magnÔ vi erumpit, cineres, arenam, sulphur, pumices, massas, quŠ habent
speciem ferri, saxa, alißsque materias foras proijcit, pler˙nque non sine
detrimento regionis adiacentis. HŠc Munsterus. Vbi videas quŠso Lector,
quomodo suo se iugulet gladio, videas inquam hic eadem de incendio HeclŠ &
ĂtnŠ opinionem & sententiam, quŠ tamen lib 4. eiusdem, admodum est dispar,
vt illic ad causas infernales confugiat.

Habet profect˛ IndiŠ occidentalis mons quidam flammiuomus Šquiores mult˛,
quÓm hic noster censores & historicos, minimŔ illic barathrum
exŠdificantes: Cuius historiam, quia & breuis est, & non illepida,
subijciam, ab Hieronimo Benzone Italo in Historiar noui orbis, lib. 2. his
verbis descriptam.

Triginta quÝnque, inquit, milliarium interuallo abest Legione mons
flammiuomus, qui per ingentem craterem tantos sŠpe flammarum globos
eructat, vt noctu latissimŔ vltra 10000. passuum incendia reluceant.
Nonnullis fuit opinio, intus liquefactum aurum esse, perpetuam ignibus
materiam. Itßque Dominicanus quidam monachus cum eius rei periculum facere
vellet, ahenum & catenam ferream fabricari curat mˇxque in montis iugum cum
quatuor alijs Hispanis ascendens, catenam cum aheno ad centum quadraginta
vlnas in caminum demittit. Ibi ignis feruore, ahenum cum parte catenŠ
liquefactum est. Monachus non leuiter iratus Legionem recurrit, fabrum
incusat, qu˛d catenam tenuiorem mult˛, quÓm iussisset ipse, esset
fabricatus. Faber aliam multo crassiorem excudit. Monachus montem repetit:
Catenam & lebetem demittit. Res priori incoepto similem exitum habuit. Nec
tant¨m resolutus lebes euanuit, verum etiam flammŠ globus repentŔ Ŕ
profundo exsiliens, propemodum & Fratrem & socios absumpsit. Omnes quidem
adeo perculsi in vrbem reuersi sunt, vt de eo incoepto exequendo nunquam
deinceps cogitarent &c.

O quam censura dispar? In montano IndiŠ occidentalis camino auram: IslandiŠ
ver˛, infernum quŠrunt. Sed hoc vt nimis recens, ac veteribus ignotum
fortasse reijcient: Cur igitur eundem, quem in Hecla IslandiŠ, animarum in
ChimŠra carcerem, LyciŠ monte, cuius noctu di˙que flamma immortalis
perhibetur, non sunt imaginati scriptores? Cur no in Ephesi montibus, quos
tŠda flammante tactos, tantum ignis concipere accepimus, vt lapides quoque
& arenŠ in ipsis aquis ardeant, & ex quibus accenso baculo, si quis sulcum
traxerit, riuos ignium sequi narrator Ó Plinio? Cur non in Cophantro
Bactrorum monte, noctu semper conflagrante? Cur non in Hiera Insula, medio
mari ardente? Cur non in Ăolia, similiter in ipso mari olim dies aliquot
aliquot accensa? Cur non in Babyloniorum campo, interdiu flagrante? Cur non
in Ăthiopum campis, Stellarum modo, noctu semper nitentibus? Cur non in
illo LiparŠ tumulo, ampla & profunda voragine hiante, teste Aristotele, ad
quem non tut˛ noctu accedatur: ex quo Cymbalorum sonitus, crotalorum
boatus, cum insolitis & inconditis cachinnis exaudiantur? Cur non in
Neapolitanorum agro ad Puteolos? Cur non in illa superius commemorata
TeneriffŠ pyramide montana, instar ĂtnŠ, iugiter ardente, & lapides, vt ex
Munstero videre est, in aŰra exspuente? Cur non in illo Aethiopum iugo,
quod Plinius testatur, horum omnium maximo aduri incendio? Cur non denique
in Vesuuio monte, non sine insigni viciniŠ clade, & C. Plinij exitiali
detrimento, dum insueti incendij causas perscrutaturus venit, nubium tenus
flammas cum saxis euomente, pumicum & cinerum ineffabili copiÔ aŰra
replente, & solem meridianum per totam viciniam densissimis tenebris
intercipiente? Dicam, & dicam quod res est: Quia scilicet illis, vtpote
notioribus, fidem, etsi inferni esse incendia finxissent, minimŔ adhiberi
prŠuidebant: HeclŠ ver˛ Šstum, cuius rumor tardius ad eorum aures peruenit,
huic commento vanissimo stabiliendo, magis inseruire putabant. Sed
facessite: DeprŠhensa fraus est: Desinite posthac illam de inferno Heklensi
opinionem cuiquam velle persuadere. Docuit enim & nos, & alios, vobis
inuitis, consimilibus incendijs, operationes suas Natura, non Infernus. Sed
videamus iam plura eiusdem farinŠ vulgi mendacia, quŠ Historicis &
Cosmographis nostris ade˛ malŔ imposuerunt.

The same in English.

THE SEUENTH SECTION.

[Sidenote: Frisius. Munsterus.] The flame of mount Hecla will not burne
towe (which is most apt for the wieke of a candle) neither is it quenched
with water: and by the same force that bullets are discharged out of
warlike engines with vs, from thence are great stones cast foorth into
the aire, by reason of the mixture of colde, and fire, and brimstone.
This place is thought of some to be the prison of vncleane soules. Item:
Zieglerus. This place is the prison of vncleane soules.

Will not burne towe. Where these writers should finde such matters, it is
not easie to coniecture. For our people are altogether ignorant of them,
neither had they euer bene heard of heere among vs, if they had not brought
them to light. For there is no man with vs so rashly and fondly curious,
that dareth for his life, the hill being on fire, trie any such
conclusions, or (to our knowledge) that euer durst: which notwithstanding
Munster affirmeth, saying: They that are desirous to contemplate the nature
of so huge a fire, & for the same purpose approch vnto the mountaine, are
by some gulfe swallowed vp aliue, &c. which thing (as I sayd) is altogether
vnknowen vnto our nation. [Sidenote: Speculum regale written in the
Noruagian tongue.] Yet there is a booke extant, written in the ancient
language of the Noruagians, wherein you may finde some miracles of earth,
water, fire, and aire, &c. confusedly written, few of them true, and the
most part vaine and false. Whereupon it easily appeareth that it was
written long since by some that were imagined to be great wise men in the
time of Popery. [Sidenote: Whence the fables of Island grew.] They called
it a royall looking glasse: howbeit, in regard of the fond fables,
wherewith (but for the most part vnder the shew of religion and piety,
whereby it is more difficult to finde out the cousinage) it doeth all ouer
swarme, it deserueth not the name of a looking glasse royall, but rather of
a popular, and olde wiues looking glasse. In this glasse there are found
certaine figments of the burning of Hecla, not much vnlike these which we
now entreat of, nor any whit more grounded vpon experience, and for that
cause to be reiected.

But that I may not seeme somewhat foolehardy, for accusing this royall
looking glasse of falshood (not to mention any of those things which it
reporteth as lesse credible) loe heere a few things (friendly reader) which
I suppose deserue no credit at all.

1. Of a certain Isle in Ireland, hauing a church and a parish in it, the
inhabitants whereof deceasing are not buried in the earth, but like liuing
men, do continually, against some banke or wall in the Churchyard, stand
bolt-vpright: neither are they subiect to any corruption or downefall:
insomuch that any of the posteritie, may there seeke for, and beholde their
ancestors.

2. Of another Isle of Ireland, where men are not mortall.

3. Of all the earth and trees of Ireland, being of force to resist all
poisons, and to kill serpents, and other venimous things, in any countrey
whatsoeuer, by the only vertue and presence thereof yea euen without
touching.

4. Of a third Isle of Ireland, that the one halfe thereof became an
habitation of deuils, but that the sayd deuils haue no iurisdiction ouer
the other halfe, by reason of a Church there built, although, as the whole
Isle is without inhabitants, so this part is continually destitute of a
Pastor, and of diuine seruice: and that it is so by nature.

5. Of a fourth Isle of Ireland floating vp and downe in an huge lake, the
grasse whereof is a most present remedy for all kinde of diseases, and that
the Iland, at certeine seasons, especially on Sundayes, commeth to the
banke of the lake, so that any man may then easily enter into it, as it
were into a shippe: which notwithstanding (sayth he) destiny will not
suffer any more then one to enter at a time. Furthermore he reporteth that
this Island euery seuenth yere groweth fast to the banke, so that you
cannot discerne it from firme land: but that into the place thereof there
succeedeth another, altogether like the former, in nature, quantitie, and
vertue: which, from what place it commeth, no man can tell: and that all
this happeneth with a kinde of thundering.

6. Of the hunters of Norway who are so expert to tame wood (for so he
speaketh very improperly, whereas vnto wood neither life nor taming can be
ascribed) that wooden pattens of eight elnes long being bound to the soles
of their feet do cary them with so great celeritie euen vpon hie
mountaines, that they cannot be outrun, either by the swiftnes of hounds
and deere, or yet by the flying of birds. And that they will kill nine roes
or more at one course & with one stroke of a dart.

These and such like, concerning Ireland, Norway, Island, Gronland. of the
miracles of water, and aire, this master of fragments hath gathered
together into his looking glasse: whereby, although he hath made his owne
followers woonder, and the common people to be astonished, yet hath he
ministred vnto vs nothing but occasion of laughter.

But let vs heare Frisius. The flame of mount Hecla (sayth he) will not
burne towe (which is most apt matter for the wicke of a candle) neither is
it quenched with water. But I say that this strange opinion may be
confirmed by many reasons borrowed out of your schoole of Philosophy. For
the natarall Philosophers doe teach, That it is common to all forcible
flames to be quenched with dry things, and nourished with moiste:
whereupon, euen blacksmithes, by sprinckling on of water, vse to quicken
and strengthen their fire. For (say they) when fire is more vehement, it is
stirred vp by colde, and nourished by moisture, both which qualities doe
concurre in water. Item, water is wont to kindle skorching fires: because
the moisture it selfe, which ariseth, doth proue more fattie and grosse,
neither is it consumed by the smoke enclosing it, but the fire it selfe
feedeth vpon the whole substance thereof, whereby being made purer, and
gathering round together, it becommeth then more vehement by reason of
colde. And therefore also wild-fires cannot be quenched with water. Item,
There be places abounding with brimstone and pitch, which burne of their
owne accord, the flame wherof cannot be quenched with water. The graund
Philosopher also hath affirmed, that fire is nourished by water. Arist 3.
de anim. And Plinie, in the second booke of his naturall historie cap. 110.
And Strabo in his 7. booke. In Nympheum there proceedeth a flame out of a
rocke, which is kindled with water. The same author sayth: The ashe
continually flourisheth, couering a burning fountaine. And moreouer that
there are sudden fires at some times, euen vpon waters, as namely that the
lake of Thrasumenus in the field of Perugi, was all on fire, as the same
Strabo witnesseth. And in the yeares 1226, and 1236, not farre from the
promontorie of Islande called Reykians, a flame of fire brake forth out of
the sea. Yea euen vpon mens bodies sudden fires haue glittered: as namely,
there sprang a flame from the head of Seruius Tullius lying a sleepe: and
also Lucius Martius in Spaine after the death of the Scipions, making an
oration to his souldiers, and exhorting them to reuenge, was all in a
flame, as Valerius Antias doth report. Plinie in like sort maketh mention
of a flame in a certaine mountaine, which, as it is kindled with water, so
is it quenched with earth or haye: also of another field which burneth not
the leaues of shadie trees that growe directly ouer it. These things being
thus, it is strange that men should accompt that a wonder in Hecla onely
(for I will graunt it to be, for disputation sake, when indeede there is no
such matter so farre foorth as euer I could learne of any man) which is
common to manie other parts or places in the world, both hilly and plaine,
as well as to this.

[Sidenote: Frisius.] And by the same force that bullets, &c. Munster saith
the like also. This mountaine when it rageth, it soundeth like dreadfull
thunder, casteth forth huge stones, disgorgeth brimstone and with the
cinders that are blowen abroad, it couereth so much ground round about it,
that no man can inhabite within 20. miles thereof, &c. Howbeit, they ought
to haue compared it with Aetna, or with other fierie mountaines, whereof I
will presently make mention, seeing there is to be found in them, not onely
a like accident, but in a manner the very same. Vnlesse perhaps this be the
difference, that flames brake seldomer out of Hecla, then out of other
mountaines of the same kinde. For it hath now rested these 34. yeares full
out, the last fierie breach being made in the yeare 1558. as we haue before
noted. And there can no such wonders be affirmed of our Hecla, but the same
or greater are to be ascribed vnto other burning mountaines, as it shall by
and by appeare.

But that brimstone should be sent foorth it is a meere fable, and neuer
knowen vnto our nation, by any experiment.

This place is the prison of vncleane soules. Here I am constrained to vse a
preface, and to craue pardon of the Reader, because, whereas in the
beginning I propounded vnto my selfe to treat of the land, and of the
inhabitants distinctly by themselues, I must of necessitie confusedly
handle certaine matters in this first part, which do properly belong vnto
the second. This is come to passe through the fault of these writers, who
haue confounded this part of the inhabitants religion concerning the
opinion of hell, or of the infernall prison, with the situation & miracles
of the island. Wherfore that we may come to this matter, who can but wonder
that wise men should be growen to this point, not onely to listen after,
but euen to follow and embrace the dotings of the rude people: For the
common sort of strangers, and the offskowring of mariners (here I do except
them of better iudgement aswell mariners as others) hearing of this rare
miracle of nature, by an inbred and naturall blockishnesse are earned to
this imagination of the prison of soules: and that because they see no wood
nor any such fewell layed vpon this fire as they haue in their owne
chimneys at home. And by this perswasion of the grosse multitude, the
report grew strong, especially (as they are too much accustomed to banning
and cursing) while one would wish to another the firie torments of this
mountaine. As though elementarie, materiall and visible fire could consume
mens soules being spirituall, bodiless and inuisible substances. And to be
short, who can but woonder, why they should not faine the same prison of
damned soules, aswell in mount Aetna, being no lesse famous for fires and
inflamations then this: But you will say, that Pope Gregorie fained it so
to be. Therefore it is purgatorie. I am content it should be so: then there
is the same trueth of this prison that there is of purgatorie. But before I
proceede any further I thinke it not amisse to tell a merie tale, which was
the originall and ground of this hellish opinion: namely that a ship of
certaine strangers departing from Island, vnder full saile, a most swift
pace, going diectly on her course, met with another ship sailing against
winde & weather, and the force of the tempest as swiftly as themselues, who
hailing them of whence they were, answere was giuen by their gouernor, De
Bischop van Bremen: being the second time asked whether they were bound: he
answered, Thom Heckelfeld tho, Thom Heckelfeld tho. I am affeard lest the
reader at the sight of these things should call for a bason: for it is such
an abominable lie, that it would make a man cast his gorge to heare it.
Away with it therefore to fenny frogs, for we esteeme no more of it, then
of their croaking coax coax. Nay, it is so palpable that it is not worthy
to be smiled at, much lesse to be refuted. But I will not trifle any longer
with the fond Papists: let vs rather come vnto our owne writers.

And first of all I cannot here omit a saying of that most worthie man
Doctor Caspar Peucer. There is in Islande (quoth he) mount Hecla, being of
as dreadfull a depth as any vaste gulfe, or as hell it selfe, which
resoundeth with lamentable, & miserable yellings, that the noise of the
cryers may be heard for the space of a great league round about. Great
swarmes of vgly blacke Rauens and Vultures lie hoouering about this place
which are thought of the inhabitantes to nestle there. The common people of
that countrey are verily perswaded, that there is a descent downe into hell
by this gulfe: and therefore when any battailes are foughten else where, in
whatsoeuer part of the whole world, or any bloudie slaughters are
committed, they haue learned by long experience, what horrible tumults and
out-cryes, what monstrous skritches are heard round about this mountaine.
Who durst be so bold (most learned Sir) to bring such an incredible report
to your eares: Neither hath Island any Vultures, but that second kinde of
Eagles, which Plinie noted by their white tayles, and called them Pygarsi:
neither are there any with vs, that can beare witnesse of the foresaid
spectacle: nor yet is it likely that Rauens and Eagles would nestle in that
place, when as they should rather be driuen from thence by fire and smoke,
being things most contrarie to their nature. And yet notwithstanding for
proofe of this matter, as also of a strange tumult heard within the hollow
of the mountaine, they allege the experience of the inhabitants, which
indeede testifieth all things to the contrarie. But whereabout should that
hole or windowe of the mountaine be, by the which we may heare outcries,
noyse and tumults done among them, who inhabite the most contrarie,
distant, and remote places of the earth from vs: Concerning which thing I
would aske the author of this fable many questions, if I might but come to
the knowledge of him: in the meane time I could wish that from hencefoorth
he would learne to tell troth, & not presume with so impudent a face to
enforme excellent Peucer, or others, of such vnknowen and incredible
matters.

But to returne to Munster, who endeuouring to search out the causes of the
great and strange fire of that famous hill Aetna, is it not monstrous that
the very same thing which he there maketh natural, he should here imagine
to be preternaturall, yea infernal? But why do I speake of Aetna? Let vs
rather consider what Munster in another place thinketh of the burning of
Hecla.

[Sidenote: Munsterus Cosmograph. vniuersalis lib. 1. cap. 7.] It is without
doubt (saith he) that some mountaines and fields burned in old time
throughout the whole world: and in this our age do burne. As for example:
mount Hecla in Island at certaine seasons casteth abroad great stones,
spitteth out brimstone, and disperseth ashes, for such a distance round
about, that the land cannot be inhabited within 20. miles thereof. But
where mountaines do continually burne we vnderstand that there is no
stopping of the passages, wherby they poure forth abundance of fire
sometime flaming, & sometime smoaking gas it were a streaming flood. But if
betweene times the fire encreaseth, all secret passages being shut vp, the
inner parts of the mountaine are notwithstanding enflamed. The fire in the
vpper part, for want of matter, somewhat abateth for the time. But when a
more vehement spirite (the same, or other passages being set open again)
doth with great violence breake prison, it casteth forth ashes, sand,
brimstone, pumistones, lumpes resembling iron, great stones, & much other
matter, not without the domage of the whole region adioyning. Thus farre
Munster. Where consider (good Reader) how he cutteth his throat with his
owne sword, consider (I say) that in this place there is the very same
opinion of the burning of Hecla, & the burning of Aetna, which
notwithstanding in his 4. booke is very diuerse, for there he is faine to
run to infernall causes. A certaine fierie mountaine of West India hath
farre more friendly censurers, & historiographers then our Hecla, who make
not an infernall gulfe therof. The History of which mountain (because it is
short & sweete) I will set downe, being written by Hieronimus Benzo an
Italian, in his history of the new world, lib. 2. These be the words.
"About 35. miles distant from Leon there is a mountaine which at a great
hole belcheth out such mightie balles of flames, that in the night they
shine farre and neare, aboue 100. miles. Some were of opinion that within
it was molten gold ministring continuall matter & nourishment for the fire.
Hereupon a certain Dominican Frier, determining to make trial of the
matter, caused a brasse kettle, & an iron chain to be made: afterward
ascending to the top of the hill with 4. other Spaniards, he letteth downe
the chaine & the kettle 140. elnes into the fornace: there, by extreme
heate of the fire, the kettle, & part of the chaine melted. The monke in a
rage ran back to Leon, & chid the smith, because he had made the chaine far
more slender then himselfe had commanded. The smith hammers out another of
more substance & strength then the former. The Monke returnes to the
mountains, and lets downe the chaine & the cauldron; but with the like
successe that he had before. Neither did the caldron only vanish & melt
away: but also, vpon the sudden there came out of the depth a flame of
fire, which had almost consumed the Frier, & his companions. Then they all
returned so astonished, that they had small list afterward to prosecute
that attempt, &c." What great difference is there betweene these two
censures? In a fiery hill of West India they search for gold: but in mount
Hecla of Island they seeke for hel. Howbeit they wil perhaps reiect this as
a thing too new, & altogether vnknowen to ancient writers. Why therefore
haue not writers imagined the same prison of soules to be in ChimŠra an
hill in Lycia (which, by report, flameth continually day and night) that is
in mount Hecla of Island? Why haue they not imagined the same to be in the
mountaines of Ephesus, which being touched with a burning torch, are
reported to conceiue so much fire, that the very stones & sand lying in the
water are caused to burne, & from the which (a staffe being burnt vpon
them, & trailed after a man on the ground) there proceede whole riuers of
fire, as Plinie testifieth? Why not in Cophantrus a mountaine of Bactria,
alwayes burning in the night? Why not in the Isle of Hiera, flaming in the
midst of the sea? Why not in Aeolia in old time likewise burning for
certaine daies in the midst of the sea? Why not in the field of Babylon
burning in the day season? Why not in the fields of Aethiopia glittering
alwaies like stars in the night? Why not in the hill of Lipara opening with
a wide and bottomlesse gulfe (as Aristotle beareth record) whereunto it is
dangerous to approch in the night: from whence the sound of Cymbals and the
noyse of rattles, with vnwonted and vncouth laughters are heard? Why not in
the field of Naples, neare vnto Puteoli? Why not in the Pike of Teneriffa
before mentioned, like Aetna continually burning and casting vp stones into
the aier, as Munster himselfe witnesseth? Why not in that Aethiopian hill,
which Plinie affirmeth to burne more then all the former? And to conclude,
why not in the mountaine of Vesuuius, which (to the great damage of al the
countrey adioyning, & to the vtter destruction of Caius Plinius prying into
the causes of so strange a fire) vomiting out flames as high as the clouds,
filling the aire with great abundance of pumistones, and ashes, & with
palpable darknesse intercepting the light of the sunne from al the region
therabout? I wil speake, & yet speake no more then the truth: because in
deede they foresaw, that men would yeeld no credite to those things as
being too well knowen, though they should haue feined them to haue beene
the flames of hell: but they thought the burning of Hecla (the rumour
whereof came more slowly to their eares) to be fitter for the establishing
of this fond fable. But get ye packing, your fraud is found out: leaue off
for shame hereafter to perswade any simple man, that there is a hel in
mount Hecla. For nature hath taught both vs & others (maugre your opinion)
to acknowledge her operations in these fire workes, not the fury of hell.
But now let vs examine a few more such fables of the common people, which
haue so vnhappily misledd our historiographers & cosmographers.

SECTIO OCTAUA.

[Sidenote: Frisius Zieglerus, Olauus Magn.] Iuxta hos montes (tres
prŠdictos Heclam, &c.) sunt tres hiatus immanes, quorum altitudinem apud
montem Heclam potissimum, ne Lynceus quidem perspicere queat: Sed
apparent ipsum inspicientibus, homines prim¨m submersi, adhuc spiritum
exhalantes, qui amicis suis, vt ad propria redeant, hortantibus, magnis
suspirijs se ad montem Heclam proficisci debere respondent: Sicque subit˛
euanescunt.

Ad confirmandum superius mendacium de Inferno terrestri ac visibili,
commentum hoc, non minus calumniosum (etsi facilŔ largiar, Frisium non tam
calumniandi, quÓm noua & inaudita prŠdicandi animo ista scripsisse) quÓm
falsum ac gerris Siculis longŔ vanius ac detestabilius, excogitarunt
homines ignaui, nec coelum ec infernum scientes. Quos scriptores isti, viri
alioqui prŠclarissimi & optimŔ de Repub. literaria meriti, nimium
prŠpropero iudicio secuti sunt.

CŠterum optandum esset, nullos tanto nouitatis studio Historias scribere,
vt non vereantur aniles quasuis nugas ijs inserere, atque ita aurum purum
coeno aspergere. Qui ver˛ demum sunt homines illi submersi, in lacu
infernali natitantes, & nihilominus cum notis & amicis confabulantes? Anne
nobis veterem Orphea, cum sua Euridice, in Stygias relabente vndas,
colloquentem, & in his extremi orbis partibus, tanquam ad Tanaim Hebr˙mque
niualem, cantus exercentem lyricos, rediuiuum dabitis? CertŔ, etsi nolint
alij futilem huiusmodi ineptiarum leuitatem ac mendacium agnoscere, agnouit
tamen rerum omnium haud negligens Šstimator Cardanus, lib. 18. subtil.
cuius hŠc sunt verba.

Est Hecla mons in Islandia, ardÚtque non aliter ac Ătna in Sicilia per
interualla, ideˇque persuasione longa (vulgi) concepta, qu˛d ibi expientur
animaŠ. Alij, ne vani sint, affingunt inania fabulŠ, vt consona videantur.
QuŠ sunt autem illa inania? Qu˛d spectra comminiscuntur, se ad montem
Heclam ire respondentia, ait idem. Et addit. Nec in Islandia solum, sed
vbique, licet rar˛, talia contingunt: SubdÝtque de laruÔ homicidÔ
Historiam, quŠ sic habet. Efferebatur, inquit, anno prŠterito, funus viri
plebeij Mediolani, orientali in porta iuxta templum maius foro venali, qu˛d
Ó caulium frequentia nomen caulis nostra lingua sonat. Occurrit mihi notus:
Peto, vt medicorum moris est, quo morbo excesserit? Respondet ille:
consuesse hunc virum hora noctis, tertia Ó labore redire domum: Vidit
lemurem nocte quadam insequentem: Quam cum effugere conaretur, ocyus citato
pede abibat: Sed Ó spectro captus atque in terram proiectus videbatur.
Exclamare nitebatur: Non poterat. Tandem, cum diu in terra cum larua
volutatus esset, inuentus Ó prŠtereuntibus quibusdam, semiuiuus domum
relatus, cum resipuisset, interrogatus, hŠc quŠ minus expectabantur,
retulit. Ob id animam despondens, cum nec ab amicis, nec medicis, nec
sacerdotibus persuaderi potuisset, inania esse hŠc, octo inde diebus
perijt. Audiui postmodum & ab alijs, qui vicini essent illi, neminem ab
inimico vulneratum tam constanter de illo testatum, vt hic, quod Ó mortuo
fuisset in terram prouolutus. Cum quidam quŠrerent, quid ille postquam in
terram volutaretur ageret? Conatum, inquit, mortuum adhibitis gulŠ manibus,
vt eum strangularet: Nec obstitisse quicquam, nisi qu˛d se ipsum tueretur
manibus. Cum alij dubitarent, ne fortŔ hŠc Ó viuo passus esset,
interrogarentque in quo mortuum Ó viuo secernere potuisset? Caussam
reddidit satis probabilem, dicens se tanquam cottum attrectasse, nec pondus
habuisse, nisi vt premebatur. Et paul˛ post addit. Eadem ver˛ ratione qua
in Islandia, in arenŠ solitudinibus Ăgypti & ĂthiopiŠ, IndiŠque vbi Sol
ardet, eŠdem imagines, eadem spectra viatores ludificare solent. Hactenus
Cardanus. Inde tamen nemo concluseret, sicut de Islandia scriptores nostri
faciunt, in illis Ăgypti and ĂthiopiŠ, IndiŠque locis, carcerem existere
damnatorum.

HŠc ex Cardano adscribere libuit, vt etiam extraneorum testimonia pro
nobis, contra figmenta tanta afferamus. Conuincit autem prŠsens Cardani
locus hŠc duo, scilicet: nec esse IslandiŠ proprias spectrorum
apparitiones: (quod etiam omnes norunt, nisi eius rei ignorantiam nimis
affectent) nec illud mortuorum cum viuis, in hiatu Heclensi, colloquium,
nisi ementitis hominum fabulis, quauis ampulla vani oribus, niti, quibus
beluŠ vulgares, ad confirmandam de animarum cruciatibus opinionem, vsŠ
fuerant. Et quisquam est, qui illis scriptorum hiatibus, mortuorum
miraculis ad summum vsque refertis, adduci potest vt credat? Quisquam, qui
vanitatem tantam non cotemnat? CertŔ. Nam & hinc conuicia in gentem nostram
recte sumi aiunt: Nihil scilicet hac proiectius ac deterius esse vsquam,
quŠ intra limites Orcum habeat. Scilicet hoc commodi nobis peperit
Historicorum ad res nouas diuulgandas auiditas. Verum illa Ŕ vulgi dementia
nata opinio, vt stulta ac inanis, & in opprobrium nostrŠ gentis conficta,
hactenus, vt spero, satis labefactata est. Quare iam perge Lector, vlterius
hanc de secretis infernalibus Philosophiam cognoscere.

The same in English.

THE EIGHT SECTION.

[Sidenote: Frisius. Zieglerus. Olaus magnus.] Neare vnto the mountaines
(the 3. fornamed Hecla &c.) there be three vaste holes, the depth
whereof, especially at mount Hecla, cannot be discerned by any man, be he
neuer so sharpe sighted: but there appeare to the beholders thereof
certaine men at that instant plunged in, & as yet drawing their breath,
who answere their friends (exhorting them with deepe sighs to returne
home) that they must depart to mount Hecla: and with that, they suddenly
vanish away.

To confirme the former lie, of an earthly & visible hell (albeit I will
easily grant that Frisius in writing these things did not entend to reproch
any, but only to blaze abroad new & incredible matters) certaine idle
companions knowing neither hell nor heauen haue inuented this fable, no
lesse reprochfull then false, and more vaine & detestable then Sicilian
scoffes. Which fellowes these writers (being otherwise men of excellent
parts, and to whom learning is much indebted) haue followed with an ouer
hastie iudgement.

But it were to be wished, that none would write Histories with so great a
desire of setting foorth nouelties & strange things, that they feare not,
in that regard to broch any fabulous & old-wiues toyes, & so to defile pure
gold with filthy mire. But I pray you, how might those drowned men be
swimming in the infernal lake, & yet for al that, parletng with their
acquaintance & friends? What? Will you coniure, & raise vp vnto vs from
death to life old, Orpheus conferring with his wife Euridice (drawen backe
againe down to the Stigian flood) & in these parts of the world, as it were
by the bankes of snowey Tanais, & Hebrus descanting vpon his harpe? But in
very deed although others will not acknowledge the falsbood, & vanity of
these trifles, yet Cardane being a diligent considerer of al things in his
18. booke de subtilitate, doth acknowledge & find them out. Whose words be
these. There is Hecla a mountaine in Island, which burneth like vnto Ătna
at certain seasons, & hereupon the comon people haue conceiued an opinion
this long time, that soules are there purged: some, least they should seeme
liars, heape vp more vanities to this fable, that it may appeare to be
probable, & agreeable to reason. But what be those vanities? namely, they
feine certaine ghosts answering them, that they are going to mount Hecla;
as the same Cardane saith. And further he addeth. Neither in Island only,
but euery where (albeit seldome) such things come to passe. And then he
tels this storie following of a man-killing spright. There was (saith he)
solemnized this last yeare the funerall of a comon citizen, in the gate
neare vnto the great Church, by that marketplace, which in regard of the
abundace of herbs, in our tong hath the name of the herbmarket. There meets
with me one of mine acquaintance: I (according to the custome of
Phisitians) presently aske of what disease the man died? he giueth me
answere that this man vsed to come home from his labour 3. houres within
night: one night among the rest he espied an hobgoblin pursuing him: which
to auoid, he ran away with al speed: but being caught by the spright, he
was throwne down vpon the ground. He would faine haue made a shout, & was
not able. At length (when the spright & he had struggled together vpon the
ground a good while) he was found by certain passengers, & carried home
halfe dead. And when he was come to himselfe againe, being asked what was
the matter, he vp and tolde this strange relation. Hereupon (being vtterly
daunted, & discouraged, when neither by his friends, nor by Phisitians, nor
by Priests, he could be perswaded, that these things were but his owne
conceits, & that there was no such matter) 8. daies after he died. I heard
also afterward of others which were his neighbors, that no man could more
constantly affirme himselfe to be wounded of his enemy, then this man did,
that he was cast vpon the ground by a ghost. And when some demanded what he
did, after he was tumbled on the earth? The dead man (quoth he) laying his
hands to my throat, went about to strangle me: neither was there any
remedy, but by defending my selfe with mine own hands. When others doubted
least he might suffer these things of a liuing man, they asked him how he
could discerne a dead man from a liuing? To this he rendered a very
probable reason, saying that he seemed in handling to be like Cottum, &
that he had no weight, but held him down by maine force. And presently
after he addeth. In like manner as in Island, so in the desert sands of
Ăgypt, Ăthiopia, and India, where the sunne is hot, the very same
apparitions, the same sprights are wont to delude wayfaring men. Thus much
Cardane. Yet from hence (I trow) no man will conclude as our writers of
Island do, that in the places of Ăgypt, Ăthiopia, and India, there is a
prison of damned soules.

I thought good to write these things out of Cardane, that I may bring euen
the testimony of strangers on our sides, against such monstrous fables.
This place of Cardane implieth these two things, namely that apparitions of
sprights are not proper to Island alone (which thing al men know, if they
do not maliciously feigne themselues to be ignorant). And secondly that
that conference of the dead with the liuing in the gulfe of Hecla is not
grounded vpon any certainty, but only vpon fables coined by some idle
persons, being more vaine then any bubble, which the brutish common sort
haue vsed, to confirme their opinion of the tormenting of soules. And is
there any man so fantasticall, that wilbe induced to beleeue these gulfes,
mentioned by writers, to be any where extant, although they be neuer so ful
of dead mens miracles? yea doubtlesse. For from hence also they say, that
reproches are iustly vsed against our nation: namely that there is nothing
in all the world more base, & worthlesse then it, which conteineth hell
within the bounds therof. This verely is the good that we haue gotten by
those historiographers, who haue bin so greedy to publish nouelties. But
this opinion, bred by the sottishnes of the common people hath hitherto (as
I hope) bene sufficiently ouerthrowen as a thing foolish & vaine, and as
being deuised for the vpbrayding of our nation. Wherefore, proceede
(friendly Reader) and be farther instructed in this philosophy of infernall
secrets.

SECTIO NONA.

[Sidenote: Frisius & Munst.] Circum ver˛ Insulam, per septem aut octo
menses fluctuat glacies, miserabilem quendam gemitum, & ab humana voce
non alienum, ex collisione edens. Putant incolŠ, & in monte Hecla, & in
glacie loca esse, in quibus animŠ suorum crucientur.

Egregium scilicet HistoriŠ augmentum, de Orro Islandico in vnius montis
basin, haud sanŔ vastam, coacto: Et interdum (statis forsan temporibus)
loca commutante. Vbi scilicet domi in foco montano delitescere piget, &
exire, pelag˙sque sed sine rate, tentare iuuat, seseque in glaciei
frustella colligere. Audite porr˛, huius secreti admiratores: En porrigam
Historicis aliud HistoriŠ auctarium nequaquam contemnendum. Scribant
igitur, quotquot his scriptorum commentis adherent, Islandos non sol¨m
infernum intra limites habere, sed & scientes volentes ingredi, atque
intactos eodem die egredi. Quid ita? Quia peruetus est InsulŠ consuetudo,
vt maritimi in hanc glaciem, ab Historicis infernalem factam, manŔ phocas,
seu vitulos marinos captum eant, ac vesperi incolumes redeant. Addite
etiam, in scrinijs & alijs vasis ab Islandis carcerem damnatorum asseruari,
vt paul˛ post ex Frisio audiemus.

Sed maturŔ prŠvidendum erit vobis, ne Islandi fortitudinis & constantiŠ
laudem vestris nationibus prŠripiant: Quippe qui tormenta (vt historicis
vestris placet) barathri sustinuisse & velint & possint, illßque sine vllo
grauiore damno perrumpere atque effugere valeant, quod quidem ipsum ex iam
dictis efficitur: Et multos nostratium enumerare possum, qui in ipso
venationis actu longiusculŔ Ó littore digressi, glacie Ó Zephyris
dissipata, multa milliaria glaciei insidentes, tempestatis violentia
profligati, & aliquot dies ac noctes continuas crudelissimi pelagi
fluctibus iactati, sicque (id enim, inquam, ex prŠsenti Historicorum
problemate consequitur) tormenta & cruciatus barathri glacialis experti
sunt: Qui tandem mutata tempestate, atque Ó Borea spirantibus ventis, ad
littora, cum hoc suo glaciali nauigio rursus adacti, incolumes domum
peruenerunt: Quorum aliqui etiam hodie viuunt. Quare hoc nouitatis auidi
arripiant, indeque, si placet, iustum volumen conficiant, atque ad
Historiam suam apponant. Nec enim vanissima illa commenta aliter, quÓm
eiusmodi iocularibus excipienda & confundenda videntur. CŠterum, ioco
seposito, vnde digressi sumus, reuertamur.

Prim¨m igitur ex sectione secunda satis constat, glaciem, neque septem,
neque octo mensibus circa ipsam Insulam fluitare: Deinde etiam, glaciem
hanc, et si interdum ex collisione grandes sonitus & fragores edit,
interdum propter vndarum alluuionem, raucum murmur personat, quicquam tamen
humanŠ voci simile resonare aut eiulare minimŔ fatemur.

Quod autem dicunt, nos & in glacie, & in monte Hecla loca statuere, in
quibus animŠ, nostrorum crucientur, Id ver˛ seri˛ pernegamus, Deˇque ac
Domino nostro Iesu Christo, qui nos Ó morte & inferno eripuit, & regni
coelestis ianuam nobis reserauit, gratias ex animo agimus, qu˛d nos de
loco, in quem animŠ nostrorum defunctorum commigrent, rectius, quÓm dicunt
isti Historici, instituerit. Scimus & tenemus animas piorum non in
Purgatoriam Pontificiorum, aut campos Elysios, sed in sinum AbrabŠ, in
manum Dei, in Paradisum coelestem, mox Ŕ corporis ergastulo transferri.
Scimus & tenemus de impiorum animabus, non in montanos focos & cineres, vel
glaciem nostris oculis expositam, deflectere, sed in extremas mox abripi
tenebras, vbi est fletus & stridor dentium, vbi est frigus, vbi est ignis
ille, non vulgaris, sed extra nostram scientiam & subtilem disputationem
positus. Vbi non mod˛ corpora, sed animŠ etiam, i.e. substantiŠ
spirituales, cruciantur. Huic extremo & tenebricoso carceri non Islandos
viciniores, quÓm Germanos, Danos, Gallos, Italos, aut quamuis aliam gentem,
quoad loci situm, statuimus. Nec de huius carceris loco sit˙ue quicquam
disputare attinet: sufficit nobis abundŔ, qu˛d illius tenebricosum foetorem
& reliqua tormenta, dante & iuuante Domino nostro Iesu Christo, cuius
precioso sanguine redempti sumus, nonquam sumus visuri aut sensuri. Atque
hic de orco Islandico disputationis colophon esto.

The same in English.

THE NINTH SECTION.

[Sidenote: Frisius and Munster.] But round about the Iland, for the space
of 7. or 8. moneths in a yere there floateth ise, making a miserable kind
of mone, and not vnlike to mans voice, by reason of the clashing
together. The inhabitants are of opinion that in mount Hecla and in the
ise, there are places wherein the soules of their countreymen are
tormented.

No doubt, a worthy augmentation of the history, concerning the hel of
Island, shut vp within the botome of one mountaine, & that no great one:
yea, at some times (by fits and seasons) changing places: namely, when it
is weary of lurking at home by the fires side within the mountaine, it
delighteth to be ranging abroad, & to venter to sea, but without a ship, &
to gather it selfe round into morsels of yce. Come forth, & giue care all
ye that wonder at this secret. Lo, I will afford these historiographers
another addition of history very notable. Let them write therfore, that the
Islanders haue not only hel within their iurisdictction, but also that they
enter into it willingly & wittingly, & come forth againe vntouched the very
same day. How can that be? [Sidenote: Taking of Seales on the the ice.] Why
it is an ancient custome of the Island that they which inhabite neare the
sea shore do vsually go betimes in a morning to catch Seales, euen vpon the
very same ise which the historiographers make to be hel, & in the euening
returne home safe and sound. Set downe also (if ye please) that the prison
of the damned is kept in store by the Islanders in coffers and vessels, as
we shall anon heare out of Frisius.

But you had need wisely to foresee, lest the Islanders beguile all your
countries of the commendation of courage & constacy: namely, as they (for
so it pleaseth your writers to report) who both can and will endure the
torments of hell, & who are able to breake through & escape them, without
any farther hurt: which thing is necessarily to be collected out of that,
that hath bin before mentioned. [Sidenote: Westrerne winds disperse the
ice.] And I am able to reckon vp a great many of our countnmen who in the
very act of hunting, wandring somewhat farre from the shoare (the ice being
dispersed by westerne winds) & for the space of many leagues resting vpon
the ice, being chased with the violence of the tempest, & some whole daies
& nights being tossed vp & downe in the waues of the raging sea, & so (for
it followeth by good consequence out of this probleme of the
historiographers) haue had experience of the torments, & paines of this
hell of ice. Who at the last, the weather being changed, & the winds
blowing at the North, being transported again to the shoare, in this their
ship of ice, haue returned home in safety: some of which number are aliue
at this day. Wherefore let such as be desirous of newes snatch vp this, &
(if they please) let them frame a whole volume hereof, & adde it to their
history. Neither do these vaine phantasies deserue otherwise to be handled
& confuted, then with such like meriments, & sportings. But to lay aside
all iesting, let vs returne to the matter from whence we are digressed.
[Sidenote: Ice floateth not 7. or 8. moneths about Island.] First of all
therefore it is euident enough out of the second section, viz. ice floateth
not about this Iland, neither 8. nor 7. moneths in a yere then, that this
ice (although at some times by shuffling together it maketh monstrous
soundings & cracklings, & againe at some times with the beating of the
water, it sendeth forth an hoarse kind of murmuring) doth any thing at all
resound or lament, like vnto mans voice, we may in no case confesse. But
wheras they say that, both in the Isle, and in mount Hecla we appoint
certaine places, wherin the soules of our countrimen are tormented, we
vtterly stand to the deniall of that and we thanke God & our Lord Iesus
Christ from the botome of our hearts (who hath deliuered vs from death &
hell, & opened vnto vs the gate of the kingdome of heaŠn because he hath
instructed vs more truely, concernmg the place, whether the soules of our
deceased countrimen depart, then these historiographers doe tell vs. We
know and maintain that the soules of the godly are transported immediatly
out of their bodily prisons, not into the Papists purgatory, nor into the
Elysian fields, but into Abrahams bosome, into the hand of God, & into the
heauenly paradise. We know & maintaine concerning the soules of the wicked,
that they wander not into the fires & ashes of mountaines or into visible
ice, but immediatly are carried away into vtter darknesse, where is weeping
& gnashing of teeth, where there is colde also, & fire not comon, but far
beyond our knowledge & curious disputation. Where not onely bodies, but
soules also, that is spirituall substances are tormented. And we do also
hold, that the Islanders are no whit nearer vnto this extreame & darke
prison, in regard of the situation of place, then the Germans, Danes,
Frenchmen, Italians, or any other nation whatsoeuer. Neither is it any
thing to the purpose, at all to dispute of the place or situation of this
dungeon. It is sufficient for vs, that (by the grace and assistance of our
Lord Iesus Christ, with whose precious blood we are redeemed) we shall
neuer see that vtter darknesse, nor feele the rest of the torments that be
there. Now let vs here shut vp the disputation concerning the hell of
Island.

SECTIO DECIMA.

[Sidenote: Frisius, Zieglerus Saxo fere similiter.] Qu˛d si quis ex hac
glacie magnam partem ceperit, eßmque vasi ant scrinio inclusam, quÓm
diligentissimŔ asseruarit, illa tempore glaciei, quŠ circum insulam est,
degelantis, euanescit, vt neque minima eius particula vel guttula aquŠ
reperiatur.

Id profecto necessari˛ addendum fuit: Hanc scilicet glaciem, voces humanas,
secundum Historicos, representatem, & damnatorom receptaculum existentem,
non esse, vt reliqua in vastissima hac vniuersitate omnia, ex Elementi
alicuius materia conflatam. Siquidem cum corpus esse videatur, corpus tamen
non sit, (quod ex Frisij paradoxo rectŔ deducitur) cum etiam corpora dura &
solida perrumpat, non secus ac, spectra & genij: Restat igitur cum non sit
elementaris naturŠ, vt vel spiritualem habeat materiam, vel coelestem, vel
quod ipsi forsan largiantur, infernalem. Infernalem tamen esse non
assentiemur, quia ad aures nostras peruenit frigus infernale longŔ esse
intractabilius, quam est hŠc glacies, humanis manibus in scrinio reposita,
nec quicquam suo contactu, vel nudatam carnem lŠdere valens. Nec profect˛
spiritualem esse dabimus; accepimus enim Ó Physicis, substantias
spirituales nec cerni, nec tangi, nec ijs quicquam decedere posse: quŠ
tamen omnia in hanc historicorum glaciem, quantumuis, secundum illos,
hyperphysicam, cadere certum & manifestum est. PrŠterea & hoc verissimum
est, eam calore solis resolutam, ac in superficie sua stagnantem, siti
piscatorum restinguendŠ, non secus ac riuos terrestres, inseruire: Id quod
substantiŠ spirituali denegatum est. Non est igitur spiritualis, vt nec
infernalis. Iam ver˛ coelestem habere materiam, nemo audebit dicere: Ne
forte inde aliquis suspicetur, glaciem hanc barathrum, quod illi Historici
affingunt, secum Ŕ coelo traxisse: Vel id coelo, quippe eiusdem materiŠ cum
glacie, commune esse, atque ita carcer damnatorum cum Paradiso coelesti
loca commutasse, Historicorum culpa putetur.

Quare cum glacies hŠc Historica nec sit elementaris, vt ex prŠsenti loco
Frisij optimŔ sequi iam toties monuimus: nec spiritualis, nec infernalis,
quod vtr˙mque breuibus, solidis tamen rationibns demonstrauimus: nec
coelestis materiŠ, quod opinari religio vetat: relinquitur omnino, vt
secnndum eosdem Historicos nulla sit, quam tamen illi tÓm cum stupenda
admiratione prŠdicant, & nos videri ac tangi putamus. Est igitur, & non
est: Quod axioma vbi secundum idem, & ad idem, & eodem tempore, verum esse
poterit, nos demum miraculis istis glacialibus credemus. Itßque iam vides
Lector, ad hŠc refellenda nullo alio esse opus, quÓm monstrari quomodo
secum dissideant. Sed haud mirum, eum qui semel vulgi fabulosis rumoribus
se cermisit, sŠpius errare. Cuiusmodi etiam prodidit quidam de glaciei
huius Sympathia, qu˛d videlicet molis, cuius pars esset, discessum
insequeretur, vt omnem obseruatÝonis diligentiam ineuitabili fugŠ
necessitate deciperet. Atqui sŠpe idimus eiusmodi solitariam molem post
abactam reliquam glaciem, nullis vectibus nullis machinis detentam, ad
lÝttus multis septimanis consistere. Palam est igitur, illud de glacie
miraculum fundamento niti, quÓm est ipsa glacies, magis lubrico.

The same in English.

THE TENTH SECTION.

[Sidenote: Frisius. Zieglerus. Saxo.] If any man shall take a great
quantity of this ice, & shall keepe it neuer so warily enclosed in a
coffer or vessel, it wil at that time when the ice thaweth about the
Iland, vtterly vanish away, so that not the least part thereof, no nor a
drop of water is to be found.

Surely, this was of necessity to be added: namely, that this ice, which
according to historiographers representeth mans voice, & is the place of
the damned, doth not as all other things in this wide world, consist of the
matter of some element. For whereas it seemeth to be a body, when indeed it
is no body: (which may directly be gathered out of Frisius absurd opinion)
whereas also it pierceth through hard & solide bodies, no otherwise then
spirits & ghosts: therefore it remaineth, seeing it is not of an elementary
nature, that it must haue either a spirituall, or a celestial, or an
infernal matter. But that it should be infernall, we can not be perswaded,
because we haue heard that infernall cold is farre more vnsufferable then
this ise, which vseth to be put into a boxe with mens hands, & is not of
force any whit to hurt euen naked flesh, by touching thereof. Nor yet will
we grant it to be spirituall: for we haue learned in naturall Philosophy,
that spiritual substances can neither be seene nor felt, & cannot haue any
thing taken from them: all which things do notwithstanding most manifestly
agree to this ise of the Historiographers, howsoeuer according to them it
be supernatural. Besides also, it is most true, that the very same yse
being melted with the heat of the sunne, & resolued into water, vpon the
vpper part therof, standeth fishermen in as good stead to quench their
thirst, as any land-riuer would do, which thing can no way be ascribed to a
spirituall substance. It is not therefore spirituall, nor yet infernall.
Now none wilbe so bold to affirme, that it hath celestiall matter, least
some man perhaps might hereupon imagine, that this ise hath brought hell
(which the historiographers annexe vnto it) downe from heauen together with
it selfe: or that the same thing should be common vnto heauen, being of one
& the same matter with ise, & so that the prison of the damned may be
thought to haue changed places with the heauenly paradise, & all by the
ouersight of these Historiographers. Wherfore seeing the matter of this
historicall ise is neither elementarie (as we haue so often proued by this
place of Frisius) neither spirituall, nor infernall, both which we haue
concluded euidently in short, yet sound and substanciall reasons: nor yet
celestiall matter, which, religion forbiddeth a man once to imagine: it is
altogether manifest, that according to the said historiographers, there is
no such thing at all, which notwithstanding they blaze abroad with such
astonishing admiration, & which we thinke to be an ordinary matter commonly
seene and felt. Therefore it is, and it is not: which proposition when it
shall fall out true, in the same respect, in the same part, and at the same
time, then will we giue credite to these frozen miracles. Now therefore the
Reader may easily iudge, that wee need none other helpe to refute these
things, but onely to shew how they disagree one with another. But it is no
maruell that he, which hath once enclined himselfe to the fabulous reports
of the common people, should oftentimes fall into error. There was a like
strange thing inuented by another concerning the sympathy or conioining of
this ise: namely, that it followeth the departure of that huge lumpe,
whereof it is a part, so narrowly, & so swiftly, that a man by no diligence
can obserue it, by reason of the vnchangeable necessitie of following. But
we haue oftentimes seene such a solitarie lumpe of ise remaining (after the
other parts thereof were driuen away) and lying vpon the shore for many
weekes together, without any posts or engines at all to stay it. Therefore
it is plaine that these miracles of ise are grounded vpon a more slippery
foundation then ise it selfe.

SECTIO VNDECIMA.

[Sidenote: Frisius.] Non procat ab his montibus, (tribus prŠdictis) ad
maritimas oras vergentibus, sunt quatuor fontes diuersissimŠ naturŠ. Vnus
suo perpetuo ardore omne corpus sibi immissum raptim conuertit in saxum,
manente tamen priore formÔ. Alter est algoris intolrerabilis. Tertius vel
melle dulcior & restinguendŠ siti iucundissimus. Quartus plane exitialis,
pestilens, & virulentus.

Etiam hŠc fontium topographia satis apertŔ monstrat, quÓm ex impuro fonte
has suas narrationes omnes miraculosas hauserit Geographus. Id enim dicere
videtur: Montes hos tres prŠdictos ferŔ, contiguos esse: Siquidem tribus
montibus quatuor fontes indiscrete adscribit. Alioqui si non vicinos
statuisset, vni alicui horam duos fontes adscripsisset. Sed neque hi montes
contigui sunt (quippe multis milliaribus inuicem dissiti) neque iuxta hos
fontes illi quatuor reperiuntur: quod, qui credere nolit, experiatur.
CŠterum ad hŠc confundenda sufficit, credo, ipsorum historicorum
contrarietas. Nam de duobas fontibas quidam Frisio his verbis contradicit.
Erumpunt ex eodem monte (HeclÔ) fontes duo, quorum alter equarum
frigiditate, alter feruore intolerabili exedit omnem elementarem vim. Hi
duo sunt primi illi Frisij fontes, nisi quod hţc miraculum indurandi
corpora, alteri fontium attributum, omissum sit. Atqui non simul possunt ex
ipso monte, & iuxta montem erumpere.

Hţc vero libenter quŠsierim, quÔ ratione quisquam ex Peripatecicis dicat,
aliquid ipso elemento aquŠ frigidius, aut igne calidius? Vnde demum,
scriptores, ista frigiditas? Vnde iste feruor? Nonne Ŕ Schola vestra
accepimus aquam esse elementum frigidissimum & humidum, atque adeo
fngidissimum, vt ad constituendas qualitates secundas, remitti sit necesse,
nec simplicem vsibus humanis inseruire? (HŠc ego nunc Physicorum oracula
fundo, vera an falsa, nescio). Testis est vnus omnium, & pro omnibus,
Iohannes Fernelius lib. 2. PhysiologiŠ, cap. 4. Sic, inquit, qualitates hŠ
(quatuor primŠ) quatuor rerum naturis summŠ obtigerunt, vt quemadmodum paro
igne nihil calidius, nihilque leuius: Sic terra nihil siccius, nihil
grauius: Aquam sinceram, nullius medicamenti vis gelida euincet, vt nec
aŰrem, vllius humor. SummŠ prŠterea sic illis insunt, vt ne minimum quidem
possint augescere, remitti ver˛ possint. Nolo huc rationes seu argumenta
Physicorum aggregare. Vnum profecto hic cauendum est, ne dum fontium
miracula prŠdicant scriptores, vt glaciem Islandorum, ita etiam fontes
creatorum numero eximant. Nos fontium adiuncta, quŠ huc scriptores
pertraxerunt ordine persequemur. Primus suo perpetuo calore: PlurimŠ sunt
in Islandia thermŠ seu fontes calidi: Pauciores ardentes: quos neque
cuiquam miraculo esse debere existimamus, cum huiusmodi, vt a scriptoribus
didici, passim abundet Germania, prŠcipuŔ in ijs locis, quŠ non sunt procul
ab Alpium radicibus. Nota est fama thermarum Badensium, Gebarsuiliensium,
Calbensium, in ducatu Wirtebergensi, & multarum aliarum quarum meminit
Fuchsius in lib. de arte medendi. Et non solum Germania, sed etiam Gallia,
& longe magis omnium bonorum parens Italia, inquit Cardanus. Et Aristoteles
narrat, circa Epyrum calidas aquas scaturire, vnde locus Pyriphlegeton
appellatur. Atque inquam, hŠc ideo minus miranda, quod vt incendij montani,
ita feruoris aquei caussas indagarint NaturŠ speculatores: Aquam scilicet
per terrŠ venas sulphureas, aut aluminosas labi, indeque non calorem sol¨m,
sed saporem etiam & virtutes alienas concipere. Docuit hoc Aristoteles
libro de mundo. Continet, inquit, terra in se multos fontes, vt aquŠ, ita &
spiritus & ignis: Quidam amnium more fluunt, & vel ignescens eijciunt
ferrum: Nunc tepidŠ aquŠ erumpunt, nunc feruentissimŠ, nunc temperatŠ.
[Sidenote: Lib 3. Nat. quŠst.] Et Seneca: Empedocles existimabat ignibus,
quos multis locis apertos tegit terra, aquam calescere, si subiecti sint
solo, per quod aquŠ transitus est. Et scite de thermis Baianis Pontanus.

Baiano sed ne fumare in littore thermas
Mirere, aut liquidis fluitare incendia venis:
Vulcani fora sulphureis incensa caminis
Ipsa monent, latŔ mult¨m tellure sub ima
Debacchari ignem, camposque exurere opertos.
Inde fluit, calidum referens ex igne vaporem,
Vnda fugax, tectis feruent & balnea flammis.

Hoc loco attingendum duxi quod tradit Saxo Grammaticus, Danorum
celebratissimus historicus, IslandiŠ fontes quosdam nunc ad summum
excrescere, & exundare: Nunc ade˛ subsidere, vt vix fontes agnoscas. Qui
etsi rariores apud nos inueniuntur, adscribam tamen similes, etiam alibi Ó
natura productos, ne quis hic monstri quippiam imaginetur. Hos autem
recitat Plinius. In Tenedo Insula vnum, qui semper Ó tertia noctis hora, in
sextam solstitio Šstiuo exundet. In agro Pitinate, trans Apenninum montem,
fluuium esse, qui omnibus Solstitijs Šstiuis exundet, brumali tempore
siccetur. Refert etiam de fonte quodam satis largo, qui singulis horis
intumeseat & residat. Nec id magis neglidendum: subire terras flumina,
rursusque redire; vt Lycus in Asia, Erasinus in Argolica, Tigris in
Mesopotamia, quibus Cardanus addit Tanaim in Moscouia: Et quŠ in Ăsculapij
fonte Athenis immersa sunt, in Phaletico reddi. Et Seneca scribit esse
flumina, quŠ in specum aliquem subterraneum demissa, ex hominum oculis se
subducunt, quŠ consumi paulatim & intercidere constet: Eademque post
interuallum reuerti, recipereque & nomen & cursum priorem. Et iterum
Plinius; fluuium in Atinate campo mersum, post 20 millia passuum exire. QuŠ
omnia, & his similia, IslandiŠ fontes, miraculo nullo, prŠ cŠteris esse
debere, ostendunt.

Omne corpus immissum continu˛ conuertit in saxum. His duobus adiunctis,
feruore nempe, seu ardore vehementissimo, & virtute indurandi corpora,
primum suum fontem describit Frisius. Et fama quidem accepi, ipse non sum
expertus, existere similem fontem in Islandia, non procul Ó sede Episcopali
Schalholt, apud villam nomine Haukadal. Habet simile Seneca, dicens, fontem
quendam esse, qui ligna in lapides conuertat, hominumque viscera
indurescere, qui aquam eius biberint: Et addit eiusmodi fontes in quibusdam
ItaliŠ locis inueniri: quod Ouidias Ciconum flumini tribuit 15. Metamorph.

Flumen habent Cicones, quod potum saxea reddit
Viscera, quod tactis inducit marmora rebus.

Et Cardanus: Georgius Agricola, inquit, in Elbogano tractu iuxta oppidum Ó
falconibns cognominatum, integras cum corpore abietes in lapidem conuersas
esse, atque quod maius est, in rimis etiam Pyritidem lapidem continere. Et
Domitius Brusonius, in Sylare amne, qui radices montis eius, qui est in
agro vrbis Vrsentinorum olim, nunc Contursij lambit, folia & arborum ramos
in lapides transire, non fide aliorum, sed propria, vt qui incola sit
regionis, (cui rei etiam Plinius astipulatur) narrat, cortices aute
lapidum, annos numero ostendere. Sic (si scriptoribus credimus) guttŠ
Gotici fontis sparsŠ lapidescunt. Et in Vngaria, Cepusij aqua, in vrceos
infusa, lapidescit. Plinius refert etiam, vt in Ciconom flumine, & in
Piceno lacu velino, lignum deiectum, lapideo cortice obduci.

Secundus algoris intolerabitis. Quantum ad secundum fontem attinet, nullus
hic est qu˛d quisquam sciat, algoris intolerabilis, sed plurimi bene
frigidi, ita vt vulgaribus riuis Šstiuo sole tepescentibus, non sine
voluptate ex frigidioribus illis aquam hauriamus. Sunt & longŔ frigidiores
fortŔ alibi: Nam & Cardanus in agro Corinthio Ŕ montis vertice fluentem
riuum commemorat, niue frigidiorem: Et intra primum Ó Culma lapidem,
Insanam vocatum: quŠ aqua cum feruere videatur, sit tamen longe
frigidissima, &c.

Tertius vel melle dulcior. Neque id prorsus verum est. Non enim est vllus
apud nos, qui vel minima ex parte cum mellis dulcedine conferri possit.
Rectius igitur Saxo, qui fontes (quoniam plures sunt) in Islandia dicit
inueniri Cerealem referentes liquorem, vt etiam ibidem non diuersi saporis
sol¨m, sed diuersi etiam coloris fontes & flumina reperiuntur.

Etsi autem tradunt Physici aquam naturaliter ex se neque saporem neque
odorem habere, tamen, vt superius attigimus, veri simile est, quod alij per
accidens vocant, eam sŠpe referre qualitatem terrŠ, in qua generatur, & per
cuius venas transitum atque excursum habet: Atque hinc aquarum odores,
colores, sapores, alios atque alios existere, Cuiusmodi sunt, de quibus
narrat Seneca, quorum alij famem excitant, alij bibentes inebrient, alij
memoriŠ officiant, alij inuent eandem, alij vini saporem & virtutem
reprŠsentent: [Sidenote: Lib. de mirab. auscultat.] Vt ille apud Plinium in
Andro Insula fons, in templo Liberi, qui Nonis Ian: vini sapore fluat. Et
apud Aristotelem fons in agro Carthaginensi, qui oleum prŠbeat, & guttulas
Cedri odore representet. Item, Orcus fluuius ThessaliŠ, influens in Peneum,
olei instar supernatans: [Sidenote: Lib. 2. de Element.] Cuiusmodi etiam
narrat Cardanus in Saxonia esse, iuxta Brumonis oppidum, fontem oleo
perfusum: Et in Sueuia, iuxta Coenobium, cui Tergensche nomen est. Item, in
valle mentis Iurassi. Causam huius rei putat esse bitumen valde pingue,
quod oleum sine dubio contineat. Idem, famam esse ait, in Cardia, iuxta
locum Dascbyli, in campo albo aquam esse lacte dulciorem. Aliam quoque
iuxta pontem, qua Valdeburgum itur. Iam aquarum vini saporem referentium
meminit his verbis Propertius, 3. lib. Elegiar.

En tibi per mediam bene olentia flumina Naxon,
Vnde tuum pota Naxia turba merum.

Est autem Naxus Insula vna ex Cycladibus, in mari Ăgeo. Causam huius
assignat Cardanus, quod hydromel vetustate transeat in vinum. Aristoteles
commemorat SiciliŠ fontem, quo incolŠ loco aceti vtantur. Idem saporum aquŠ
causam in calorem retulit, quod terra excocta mutet & prŠbeat saporem aquŠ.

Iam de aquŠ coloribus ita Cardanus. Eadem est ratio colorum aquŠ, ait, quŠ
& saporum: videlicet Ó terra originem trahere. Nam Candida est aqua, ad
secundum lapidem Ó Glauca, MisenŠ oppido: Rubea, vt in Radera MisenŠ
fluuio, iuxta Radeburgum: Et olim in IudŠa iuxta Ioppen: Viridis, in
Carpato monte, iuxta Neusolam: CŠrulea aut blaua, inter Feltrium &
Taruisium, & in Thermopylis etiam talem fuisse referunt: Nigerrima in
Allera fluuio SaxoniŠ, vbi in Visurgim se exonerat. CaussŠ sunt argillŠ
colores, sed tenuiores. Item Aristoteles: circa Iapygiam promontorium, esse
fontem, qui sanguinem fundat, addens, eam maris partem suo foetore
nauigantes procul arcere. Aiunt prŠterea in IdumŠa fontem esse, qui quater
in anno colorem mutet, cum sit colore nunc viridi, nunc albo, nunc
sanguineo, nunc lutulento.

Et de aquarum odore sic Cardanus. Similis ratio differentiŠ est in
odoribus. Plerumque tamen aquarum odores iniucundi sunt, qu˛d rar˛ terra
bene oleat. PessimŔ olim foetabat in Ălide, Anigri fluminis aqua, vsque ad
perniciem, non solum piscium, sed etiam hominum. Iuxta Metonem in Messania,
in puteo quodam optimŔ olens aqua hauriebatur. HŠc ideo recito, vt nullus
magis in Islandia quÓm alibi, aquarum, colores, odores, sapores, miretur.

Quartus plane exitialis. Autor est Isidoras, esse fontem quendam, cuius
aqua pota vitam extinguat: Et Plinius: Iuxta Nonarim, inquit, ArcadiŠ, Styx
(iuxta Cyllenem montem, ait Cardan. Sola equi vngula continebatur: referunt
ea sublatum Alexandrum magnum) nec odore differens, nec colore, epota
illico necat. Idem, In Beroso Taurorum colle sunt tres fontes sine remedio,
sine dolore mortiferi: Et quod longŔ maximum est, quod Seneca stagnum esse
dicat, in quod prospicientes statim moriantur. Nos ver˛ Islandi etiam hunc
quartum Frisij fontem, cuius etiam Saxo meminit, vt antehac semper, itidem
etiam nobis hodie penitus ignotum testamur: Hocque igitur nomine, Deo
immortales gratias agimus, qu˛d ab eiusmodi fontibus & serpentibus,
insectis venenatis, ac alijs pestiferis & contagiosis, esse nos immunes
voluerit.

PrŠterea est apud prŠdictos fontes tanta sulphuris copia. Montes tres Ó
Munstero & Frisio igniuomi dicti, omnes longissimo interuallo Ó nostris
fodinis distant. Quare cum iuxta hos montes fontibus quatuor, quos
tantopere miraculis celebrant, locum & situm faciant, necesse est eos
fontes pari ferŔ interuallo Ó fodinis sulphureis remotos esse. Nec ver˛
apud montem Heclam, vt Munsterus, nec apud hos Frisij fontes (quorum rumor
quÓm verus sit, hactenus ostensum est) sulphur effoditur: Nec patrum
nostrorum memoria effossum esse arbitramur. [Sidenote: Sulpher in bore. ali
IslandiŠ parte.] Neque verum est, quod de sulphuris copia tradit Munsterus,
esse videlicet pene vnicum InsulŠ mercimonium & vectigal. Nam cum insula in
quatuor partes diuisa sit, quarta pars, nempe borealis, tantum dimidia, hoc
vtitur mercimonio, nec sulphuris mica in vectigal InsulŠ penditur.

The same in English.

THE ELEUENTH SECTION.

[Sidenote: Frisius.] Not farre from these mountaines (the three forenamed)
declining to the sea shoare, there be foure fountaines of a most contrary
nature betweene themselues. The first, by reason of his continuall heat
conuerteth into a stone any body cast into it, the former shape only
still remaining. The second is extremely cold. The third is sweeter then
honey, and most pleasant to quench thirst. The fourth is altogether
deadly, pestilent, and full of ranke poison.

Euen this description of fountaines doth sufficiently declare howe impure
that fountaine was, out of which the geographer drew all these miraculous
stories. For he seemeth to affirme, that the three foresaid mountaines doe
almost touch one another: for he ascribeth foure fountaines indifferently
vnto them all. Otherwise if he had not made them stand neare together, he
would haue placed next vnto some one of these, two of the foresaid
fountaines. But neither doe these mountaines touch (being distant so many
leagues a sunder), neither are there any such foure fountaines neare vnto
them, which, he that wil not beleeue, let him go try. But to confute these
things, the very contrariety of writers is sufficient. For another
concerning two fountaines gainsayth Frisius in these words. There do burst
out of the same hill Hecla two fountames, the one whereof, by reason of the
cold streames, the other with intollerable heat exceedeth al the force of
elements. These be Frisius his two first fountaines, sauing that here is
omitted the miracle of hardening bodies, being by him attributed to one of
the said fountaines. But they cannot at one time breake forth, both out of
the mountaine it selfe, and neare vnto the mountaine.

But here I would willingly demannd, by what reason any of the Peripateticks
can affirme, that there is some thing in nature colder then the element of
water, or hotter then the element of fire. From whence (I pray yon, learned
writers) proceedeth this coldnesse: From whence commeth this heate: Haue we
not learned out of your schole that water is an element most colde and
somewhat moist: and in such sort most cold, that for the making of
secundarie qualities, it must of necessitie be remitted, & being simple,
that it cannot be applyed to the vses of mankind: I do here deliuer these
Oracles of the naturall Philosophers, not knowing whether they be true or
false. M. Iohn Fernelius, lib. 2. Phys. cap. 4. may stand for one witnesse
amongst all the rest, & in stead of the all. So excessiue (satth he) be
these foure first qualities in the foure elements, that as nothing is
hotter then pure fire, & nothing lighter: so nothing is drier then earth, &
nothing heauier: and as for pure water, there is no qualitie of any
medicine whatsoeuer exceedeth the coldnes thereof, nor the moisture of
aire. Moreouer, the said qualities be so extreme & surpassing in them, that
they cannot be any whit encreased, but remitted they may be. I wil not
heare heape vp the reasons or arguments of the natural Philosophers. These
writers had need be warie of one thing, lest while they too much magnifie
the miracles of the fountains, they exempt them out of the number of things
created, as wel as they did the ice of the Islanders. We wil prosecute in
order the properties of these fountains set downe by the foresaid writers.
[Sidenote: Many hote Baths in Island.] The first by reason of his
continuall heat. There be very many Baths or hote fountains in Island, but
fewer vehemently hote, which we thinke ought not to make any man wonder,
when as I haue learned out of authors, that Germanie euery where aboundeth
with such hote Baths, especially neere the foot of the Alpes. The hote
Baths of Baden, Gebarsuil, Calben in the dutchy of Wirtenberg and many
other be very famous: all which Fuchsius doeth mention in his booke de Arte
medendi. And not onely Germanie, but also France, & beyond all the rest
Italy that mother of all commodities, saith Cardan. And Aristotle
reporteth, that about Epyrus these hote waters doe much abound, whereupon
the place is called Pyriplegethon. [Sidenote: The causes of hote Baths.]
And I say, these things should therefore be the lesse admired, because the
searchers of nature haue as wel found out causes of the heate in waters, as
of the fire in mountaines: namely, that water runneth within the earth
through certaine veines of Brimstone & Allom and from thence taketh not
onely heat, but taste also & other strange qualities. Aristotle in his
booke de Mundo hath taught this. The earth (saith he) conteineth within it
fountains not only of water, but also of spirite & fire: some of them
flowing like riuers, doe cast foorth red hote iron: from whence also doeth
flow, sometimes luke-warme water, sometimes skalding hote, and somtimes
temperate. And Seneca. [Sidenote: Lib. 3. nat. quŠst.] Empedocles thought
that Baths were made hote by fire, which the earth secretly conteineth in
many places, especially if the said fire bee vnder that ground where the
water passeth. And Pontanus writeth very learnedly concerning the Baian
Baths.

No maruell though from banke of Baian shore
hote Baths, or veines of skalding licour flow:
For Vulcans forge incensed euermore
doeth teach vs plaine, that heart of earth below
And bowels burne, and fire enraged glow.
From hence the flitting flood sends smokie streames,
And Baths doe boil with secret burning gleames.

I thought good in this placel to touch that which Saxo Grammaticus the most
famous historiographer of the Danes reporteth. That certaine fountains of
Island do somtime encrease & flow vp to the brinke: sometimes againe they
fall so lowe that you can skarse discerne them to be fountaines. Which kind
of fountaines, albeit they bee very seldome found with vs, yet I will make
mention of some like vnto them, produced by nature in other countries, lest
any man should think it somwhat strange. Plinie maketh a great recitall of
these. There is one (saieth he) in the Isle of Tenedos, which at the
Solstitium of sommer doth alwaies flow from the third houre of the night,
till the sixt. In the field of Pitinas beyond the Apennine mountaine, there
is a riuer which in the midst of sommer alwaies encreaseth, and in winter
is dried vp. He maketh mention also of a very large fountaine, which euery
houre doeth encrease and fall. Neither is it to be omitted, that some
riuers run vnder the ground, and after that fall againe into an open
chanel: as Lycus in Asia, Erasinus in Argolica, Tigris in Mesopotamia, vnto
which Cardan addeth Tanais in Moscouia: and those things which were throwen
into Ăsculapius fountaine at Athens, were cast vp againe in Phaletico. And
Seneca writeth that there are certaine riuers which being let downe into
some caue vnder ground, are withdrawen out of sight, seeming for the time
to be vtteriy perished and taken away, and that after some distance the
very same riuers returne, enioying their former name and their course. And
againe Plinie reporteth that there is a riuer receiued vnder ground in the
field of Atinas that issueth out twentie miles from that place. All which
examples and the like, should teach vs that the fonutaines of Island are
not to be made greater wonders then the rest.

Doth forthwith conuert into a stone any body cast into it. By these two
properties, namely warmth or most vehement heat, & a vertue of hardening
bodies doth Frisius describe his first fountaine. And I haue heard reported
(though I neuer had experience thereof my selfe) that there is such a
fountain in Island not far from the bishops seat of Schalholt, in a village
called Haukadal. Seneca reporteth of the like, saying: That there is a
certain fountain which conuerteth wood into stone, hardening the bowels of
those men which drinke thereof. And addeth further, that such fountains are
to bee found in certaine places of Italy: which thing Ouid in the 15. booke
of his Metamor. ascribeth vnto the riuer of the Cicones.

Water drunke out of Ciconian flood
fleshy bowels to flintie stone doeth change:
Ought else therewith besprinckt, as earth or wood
becommeth marble streight: a thing most strange.

And Cardane. Georgius Agricola affirmeth, that in the territorie of
Elbogan, about the town which is named of Falcons, that the whole bodies of
Pine trees are conuerted into stone, and which is more wonderfull, that
they containe, within certaine rifts, the stone called Pyrites, or the
Flint. And Domitius Brusonius reporteth, that in the riuer of Silar
(running by the foote of that mountain which standeth in the field of the
citie in old time called Vrsence, but now Contursia) leaues and boughs of
trees change into stones, & that, not vpon other mens credite, but vpon his
own experience, being borne & brought vp in that country, which thing
Plinie also auoucheth, saying, that the said stones doe shew the number of
their yeeres, by the number of their Barks, or stony husks. So (if we may
giue credite to authors) drops of the Gothes fountain being dispersed
abroad, become stones. And in Hungary, the water of Cepusius being poured
into pitchers, is conuerted to stone. And Plinie reporteth, that wood being
cast into the riuer of the Cicones, and into the Veline lake in the field
of Pice, is enclosed in a barke of stone growing ouer it.

[Sidenote: Riuers of Island in sommer season lukewarme.] The second is
extremely cold. As for the second fountaine, here is none to any mens
knowledge so extremely cold: In deed there be very many that bee
indifferently coole, insomuch that (our common riuers in the Sommer time
being luke-warme) wee take delight to fetch water from those coole springs.
It may be that there are some farre colder in other countries: for Cardane
maketh mention of a riuer (streaming from the top of an hill in the field
of Corinth) colder then snow, and within a mile of Culma, the riuer called
Insana seeming to be very hote is most extremely cold, &c.

The third is sweeter than honie. Neither is this altogether true. For there
is not any fountaine with vs, which may in the least respect be compared
with the sweetnesse of honie. And therfore Saxo wrote more truly, saying,
that certaine fountaines (for there be very many) yeelding taste as good as
beere, and also in the same place there are fountains & riuers not onely of
diuers tasts, but of diuers colours.

And albeit naturall Philosophers teach, that water naturally of it selfe
hath neither taste nor smel, yet it is likely (as we haue touched before,
which other call per accidens) that oftentimes it representeth the
qualities of that earth wherein it is engendred, and through the veines
whereof it hath passage and issue: and from hence proceed the diuers &
sundry smels, colours and sauours of all waters. Of such waters doeth
Seneca make mention, whereof some prouoke hunger, others make men drunken,
some hurt the memory, & some helpe it, & some resemble the very qualitie
and taste of wine, as that fountaine which Plinie speaketh of [Sidenote: In
lib. de mirab.] in the Isle of Andros, within the temple of Bacchus, which
in the Nones of Ianuary vsed to flow ouer with wine. And Aristotle
reporteth, that in the field of Carthage there is a fountain which yeeldeth
oile, & certaine drops smelling like Cedar. Also Orcus a riuer of Thessalie
flowing into Peneus, swimmeth aloft like oile. Cardane reporteth, that
there is in Saxonie, neere vnto the town of Brunswic, a fountaine mixed
with oile: and another in Sueuia neere vnto the Abbey called Tergensch.
Also in the valley of the mountain Iurassus. He supposeth the cause of this
thing to bee very fattie pitch, which cannot but conteine oile in it. The
same author saieth: It is reported that in Cardia neere to the place of
Daschylus, in the white field, there is water sweeter then milke. Another
also neere vnto the bridge which we passe ouer going to the towne of
Valdeburg. Propertius likewise in the third booke of his Elegies mentioneth
certaine waters representing the sauour of wine in these words.

Amidst the Isle of Naxus loe, with fragrant smels and fine
A freshet runs; ye Naxians goe fill cups, carouse, there's wine.

This Naxus is one of the Islands called Cydades lying in the ĂgŠan sea.
Cardane giueth a reason hereof, namely, because Hydromel or water-hony, in
long continuance will become wine. Aristotle nameth a fountaine in Sicilia,
which the inhabitants vse in stead of vineger. The same author maketh the
cause of sauours in water to be heate, because the earth being hote
changeth and giueth sauour vnto the water.

Now concerning the colours of water so saieth Cardane. There is the same
reason (saith he) of the colours of water, that there is of the sauours
thereof, for both haue their originall from the earth. For there is white
water within two miles of Glanca a town in Misena: red water in Radera a
riuer of Misena not farre from Radeburg: & in old time neere vnto Ioppa in
Iudea: greene water in the mountaine of Carpathus by Nensola: skie-coloured
or blue water betweene the mountains of Feltrius & Taruisius: & it is
reported that there was water of that colour in Thermopylis; cole-blacke
water in Alera a riuer of Saxonie, at that place where it dischargeth it
self into the Weser. The causes of these colours are the colours of the
soile. Also Aristotle saieth, that about the promontorie of Iapigia, there
is a fountaine which streameth blood: adding moreouer, that Mariners are
driuen farre from that place of the sea, by reason of the extreme stench
thereof. Furthermore, they say that in IdumŠa there is a fountaine which
changeth color foure times in a yeere: for somtimes it is greene, somtime
white, somtime bloodie, & somtimes muddy coloured.

Concerning the smels of waters, thus writeth Cardane. There is the like
reason of difference in smell. But for the most part the steames of waters
bee vnpleasant, because the earth doeth seldome times smel well. The water
of the riuer Anigris in Aelis stanke, to the destruction, not onely of
fishes, but also of men. About Meton in Messania, out of a certaine pond
there hath bene drawen most sweet smelling, and odoriferous water. I doe
recite all these examples to the end that no man should make a greater
wonder at the colours, smels, and sauours of waters that be in Island, then
at those which are in other countreis.

The fourth is altogether deadly. Isidore affirmeth, that there is a
certaine fountaine whose water being drunke, extingnisheth life. And Plinie
saieth, That about Nonaris in Arcadia, the riuer of Styx (neere the
mountaine of Cillene, saieth Cardane: it would be contained in nothing but
an horse-hoofe: and it is reported that Alexander the great was poisoned
therewithal) not differing from other water, neither in smell nor colour,
being drunke, is present death. [Sidenote: The same Author saieth.] In
Berosus an hill of the people called Tauri, there are three fountains,
euery one of them deadly without remedy, & yet without griefe. And (which
is the strangest thing of all the rest) Seneca maketh mention of a poole,
into which whosoeuer looke, do presently die. But, as for this fourth
fountaine of Frisius, which Saxo doeth likewise mention, we Islanders, as
alwayes heretofore, so euen at this day do testifie, that it is vtterly
vnknowen vnto vs: [Sidenote: Island free from snakes and other venemous
beasts.] and therefore in this regard, we render vnto God immortall thanks,
because he hath vouchsafed to preserue our nation from such fountains, from
serpents and venemous wormes, & from al other pestiferous & contagious
creatures.

Furthermore about the foresaid mountaines there is such abundance of
brimstone. The three mountains called by Munster and Frisius, Fierie
mountains, do all of them stand an huge distance from our Mines. Wherefore,
when as neere vnto these hils they haue found out a place for foure
fountains, which they doe so mightily extoll for wonders, they must needs
haue some Brimstone Mines also, standing a like distance from the said
fountaines. And assuredly, neither about mount Hecla, as Munster would haue
it, nor by Frisius his fountaines (the report whereof how true it is, hath
bene hitherto declared) is Brimstone digged vp at this day: nor I thinke
euer was within the remembrance of our fathers. Neither is it true that
Munster reporteth concerning the abundance of Brimstone namely, that it is
almost the onely merchandize and tribute of the Iland. [Sidenote: Brimstone
Mines onely in the North part of Island.] For whereas the Iland is deuided
into foure partes, the fourth part onely towards the North (nay, but euen
the halfe thereof) doeth vse it for merchandize, and there is not one
crumme of Brimstone paied for tribute the Iland.

SECTIO DVODECIMA.

[Sidenote: Munst] Piscium tanta est copia in hac Insula, vt ad altitudinem
domorum sub aperto coelo vendedi exponantur.

Sub aperto coelo. Id quidem facere vidimus mercatores extraneos, donec
naues mercibus extraneis exonerarint, incipiantque easdem rursus piscibus &
reliquis nostratium mercibus onerare. An ver˛ nostri homines id aliquando
fecerint, non satis liquet. CertŔ copiosa illa & vetus piscium abundantia
iam desijt, Islandis & istius boni, & aliorum penuria laborare
incipientibus, Domino Deo meritum impietatis nostrŠ flagellum, quod vtinam
fitŔ agnoscamus, immittente.

The same in English.

THE TWELFTH SECTION.

[Sidenote: Munster] There are so great store of fishes in this Iland, that
they are laid foorth on piles to be sold in the open aire, as high as the
tops of houses.

In the open aire. In deed we haue seen other country merchants doe so,
vntill they had vnladen their ships of outlandish wares, & filled them
againe with fishes & with other of our countrey merchandize. But whether
our men haue done the like at any time, it is not manifest. [Sidenote:
Abundance of fish about island diminished.] Certainly, that plentifull and
ancient abundance of fish is now decaied, and the Islanders now begin to be
pinched with the want of these and other good things, the Lord laying the
iust scourge of our impietie vpon vs, which I pray God we may duely
acknowledge.

SECTIO DECIMATERTIA.

[Sidenote: Frisius.] Equos habent velocissimos, qui sine intermissione 30.
millaria continuo cursu conficiunt.

Quidam in sua mappa IslandiŠ, 20. millaria comunuo cursu assequi tradit
cuiusdam parosciŠ equos. Sed vtrumque impossibile ducimus. Nam maximŠ
celeritatis & roboris bestias (Rangiferos appellant) scribit Munsterus non
nisi 30. millaria 24. horarum spacio conficere.

The same in English.

THE THIRTEENTH SECTION.

[Sidenote: Frisius.] They haue most swift horses, which wil run without
ceasing a continual course for the space of 30. leagues.

A Certaine Cosmographer in his Map of Island reporteth concerning the
horses of one parish, that they will run 20. leagues at once in a continued
race. But we account both to bee impossible. For Munster writeth that those
beasts which excell all other in swiftnesse & strength of body, called
Rangiferi [Marginal note: Raine deere], cannot run aboue 36. leagues in 24.
houres.

SECTIO DECIMAQUARTA.

[Sidenote: Munst.] Cete grandia instar montium prope Islandium aliquando
conspiciuntur, quŠ naues euertunt, nisi tubarum sono absterreantur, aut
missis in mare rotundis & vacuis vasis, quorum lusu delectantur,
ludificentor. Fit aliquando, vt nautŠ in dorsa cetorum, quŠ Insulas esse
putant, anchoras figentes. sŠpe periclitentur, vocantur autem eorum
lingua Trollwal, Tuffelwalen. i. Diabolica cete.

Instar montium: En tibi iterum, Lector, Munsteri, Telenicis Echo, et cŠcum,
vt dici solet, insomnium. Deformat, me Hercule, ade˛ mendax et absurda
hyperbole historiam, idque tant˛ magis quant˛ minus est necessaria. Nam
quorsum attinet mentiri Historicum, si historia est rei verŠ narratio?
Quorsum tropicas hyperboles assumet? Quid conabitur persuadere, aut quo
pertrahere Lectorem, siquidem nihil nisi simplicem rerum expositionem sibi
proponit?

Pictoribus atque, PoŰtis,
Quodlibet audendi semper fuit Šqua potestas:
Non itidem Historicis.

Dorsa cetorum, quŠ insulas putant. Nata est hŠc fabula, vt et reliquŠ, ex
mendacio quodam, vt antiquo, ita ridiculo et vano, cuius ego fidem
titiuilitio non emam. Est autem tale: Missos fuisse olim Legatos cum
sodalitio monastico, ab Episcopo Bremensi (Brandanus veteribus Noruagis,
Crantzio, ni fallor, Alebrandus appellatur) ad fidem Papisticam, quŠ tum
Christiana putabatur, in Septentrione prŠdicandam et diuulgandam: Eosque,
vbi immensum iter Septentrionem versus nauigando consumpsissent ad insulam
quandam peruenisse: ibique iacta anchora descensum in Insulam fecisse,
focos accendisse: (Nam verisimile est nautas in ipso mari glaciali frigore
non parum esse vexatos) et commeatum naualem ad reliquum iter expediuisse.
Ast vbi bene ignibus accensis incaluerant foci, Insulam hanc submersam cito
euanuisse, nautas autem per prŠsentem scapham vix seruatos fuisse. Habes
huius rei fundamentum, Lector, sed quÓm incredibile, ipse vides. Quid ver˛
tandem est animi nautis, qui in mari procelloso videntes scopulum, vel, vt
Munsterus, Insulam perexiguam emergere, non vitent potius omni studio,
allisionem et naufragium metuentes, quÓm vt in portu parum tuto quiescere
tentent? Sed vbi anchora figenda? Solent enim, vt plurimum deesse nautis
tam immensi funes, vt in altissimo Šquore anchoram demittant: Igitur in
dorsis cetorum, respondet Munsterus. Oportet igitur, vestigium vnci prius
effodiant. O stultos nautas, balenarum carnem, Ó terrŠ cespitibus, inter
fodiendum, non dignoscentes nec lubricam cetorum cutem, Ó terrestri
superficie internoscentes. Digni profect˛, quibuscum ipse Munsterus,
nauclerus transfretaret. Equidem hoc loco, vt et superius, de miraculis
IslandiŠ terrestribus agens, Ŕ Tantali; vt aiunt, horto fructus colligit,
id est, ea consectatur, quŠ nunquam reperiuntur, nec vsquam sunt, dum
miracula hinc inde conquirere, terram et pelagus verrere, ad HistoriŠ suŠ
supplementum studet: Vbi tamen nihil nisi cotnmentitia tantum venari
potest.

Vocantur autem lingua eorum Trollwal. Ne vltra peram, Munstere: Nullam
siquidem es linguŠ nostrŠ cognitionem adeptus: Quare merit˛ puderet tantum
virum, rem ignotam alios velle docere: Est enim eiusmodi incoeptum
erroribus obnoxium complurimis, vt vel hoc tuo exemplo docebimus. Dum enim
vis alijs autor esse, quomodo nostra lingua balenŠ vel cete appellentur,
detracta, per inscitiam, aspiratione, quŠ pene sola vocis significationem
facit, quod minimŔ verum est, affers: Non enim val nostra lingua balenam,
sed electionem siue delectum significat, Ó verbo, Eg vel .i. eligo, vel
deligo: vnde val, &c. At balena Hualur nobis vocatur: Vnde tu Trollhualur
scribere debebas. Nec ver˛ Troll Diabolum, vt tu interpretaris, sed
Gigantes quosdam montanos significat. Vides igitur, quomodo in toto
vocabulo turpiter, quod haud tamen mirum, erres. Leuis quidem illa in
linguam nostram iniuria, in vnica tantum voce: quoniam plures, haud dubiŔ,
non noras.

Idem alijs etiam vsu venit: Non enim probandum est, qu˛d quidam, dum
IslandiŠ descriptionem, ab Islandis acceptam, ederet, maluerit omnia, aut
certŔ plurima promontoriorum, sinuum, montium, fontium, fluminum,
tesquorum, vallium, collium, pagorum nomina desprauare (qu˛d nostrŠ linguŠ
ignaris, non sciret Ó nostratibus accepta satis exactŔ legere) atque
corrumpere, quÓm prius ab ipsis Islandis, qui turn temporis, id est, Anno
1585. In Academia Haffniensi vixerunt, quomodo singula legi ac scribi
deberent, ediscere. Ipsum certŔ hac natiuorum nominum et appellationum
voluntaria deprauatione, (qua factum est, vt ipsi ea legentes, paucissima
nostra agnoscamus) in linguam nostram, alioqui puram et auitam penŔ
elegantiam retinentem, non leuiter peccasse reputamus.

CŠterum iam plurima IslandiŠ miracula, quŠ quidem scriptores nostri
attigerunt, sic vtcunque examinauimus. Sed tamen priusquam alio diuertamur,
in hac parte attingendum videtur, quod idem ille in mappa IslandiŠ, quam
sub suo nomine, prŠdicto anno edi fecerat, de duobus, prŠter supra dictos,
fontibus IslandiŠ prodidit: quorum alter lanas albas colore nigro, alter
nigras, albo inficiat. Quod quidem vbi acceperit, aut vnde habeat, scire
equidem non possumus: Nec enim apud nostrates, nec apud extraneos
scriptores, reperire licuit. Sed vndecunque est, fabula est, nec veritatis
micam habet. Quamuis autem sit incredibile, Lanas nigras albo infici
colore, cum traditum sit a Plinio, Lanarum nigras nullum imbibere colorem:
Tamen simile quiddam narratur Ó Theophrasto: Flumen esse in Macedonia, quod
oues nigras, albas reddat. Et illa, cuius etiam superious memini, rapsodia
Noruagica, speculum scilicet illud Regale, hos ipsos fontes IrlandiŠ, quŠ
hodie Hybernia, non IslandiŠ esse affirmat. Quod forsan Lectori imposuit,
in lingua peregrina, pro R, S, legenti.

Non maiorem fidem meretur, quod Historicus quidam habet. Esse in Islandia
saxum, quod montium prŠrupta non extrinseca agitatione, sed propria
natiuaque motione peruolitet: Id qui credere volet, quid incredibile ducet?
Est enim commentum tam inauditum, vt nullum eius simile, fabulatos fuisse
EpicurŠos (qui tamen multa incredibilia excogitasse Luciano visi sunt)
constet: Nisi fortŔ hominem qui Islandis proprio nomine Stein dicitur,
sentit Historicus rupes quasdam circuisse, vel circumreptasse. Quod, etsi
ridiculum est in Historiam miraculosam referre, hominem scilicet moueri vel
ambulare, tamen ad saluandam Historici fidem, simulandum: ne figmentum
illud, per se satis absurdum, nec dignum quod legatur, durius
perstringamus.

Eodem crimine tenentur, quicunque; IslandiŠ, coruos albos, picas, lepores,
et vultures adscripserunt: Perrar˛ enim vultures, cum glacie marina, sicut
etiam vrsos (sed hos sŠpius quam vultures) et cornicum quoddam genus,
Islandis Isakrakur, aduenire obseruatum est. Picas ver˛ et lepores, vt et
coruos albos, nunquam Islandia habuit.

Atque hŠc ferŔ sunt, quŠ de prima commentarij nostri parte per quotidianas
oocupationes, in prŠsentia, affere licuit. QuŠ in hunc finem Ó me scripta
sunt, (quod etiam prius testatus sum,) vt scriptorum de terra ignota
errores, et quorundam etiam affectata vanitas, patefierent: Neque enim
eorum famŠ quicquam detractum cupio: Sed qu˛d veritati et patriŠ, operam
meam consecraram, ilia, quŠ hactenus dicta sunt Ó multis, de Insula, fidem
valde exiguam mereri, necesse habui ostendere: ac ita mihi viam ad
sequentia de Incolis sternere.

Commentarij primŠ partis Finis.

The same in English.

THE FOURETEENTH SECTION.

[Sidenote: Munster] There be seen sometimes neere vnto Island huge Whales
like vnto mountains, which ouerturne ships, vnlesse they be terrified
away with the sound of trumpets, or beguiled with round and emptie
vessels, which they delight to tosse vp and downe. It sometimes falleth
out that Mariners thinking these Whales to be Ilands, and casting out
ankers vpon their backs, are often in danger of drowning. They are called
in their tongue Trollwal Tuffelwalen, that is to say, the deuilish Whale.

Like vnto mountains. Loe here once againe (gentle Reader) Munsters
falsifying eccho, and (as the prouerbe saieth) his blind dreame. Such a
false and sencelesse ouer reaching doeth exceedingly disgrace an historie,
and that by so much the more, by how much the lesse necessary it is. For to
what purpose should an Historiographer make leasings, if history be a
report of plaine trueth? Why should he vse such strange surmountings? What
is it that he would perswade, or whither would he rauish the reader, if he
propoundeth vnto himselfe nothing but the simple declaration of things:

Poets and Painters had leaue of old,
To feigne, to blaze, in all things to be bold.
But not Historiographers.

The backs of Whales which they thinke to be Ilands. This fable, like all
the rest, was bred of an old, ridiculous and vaine tale, the credite and
trueth whereof is not woorth a strawe. [Sidenote: Certain letters sent by
Brandan bishop of Breme, to preach Christian faith in the North.] And it is
this that foloweth, namely, that the bishop of Breme (called by the ancient
Norwaies Brandan, and by Krantzius, if I be not deceiued, Alebrandus) in
old time sent certanie Legates with a Couen of Friers to preach and publish
in the North the popish faith, which was then thought to bee Christian, and
when they had spent a long iourney in sailing towards the North, they came
vnto an Iland, and there casting their anker they went a shore, and kindled
fiers (for it is very likely that the Mariners were not a litle vexed with
the nipping cold which they felt at sea) and so prouided victuals for the
rest of their iourny. But when their fires grew very hote, this Iland
sanke, and suddenly vanished away, and the Mariners escaped drowning very
narowly with the boate that was present. This is the foundation of the
matter, but how incredible it is, I appeale to the Reader. But what ailed
these Mariners, or what meant they to doe, who in a tempestuous sea, seeing
a rocke before their eyes, or (as Munster saieth) a little Iland, would not
rather with all diligence haue auoided it for feare of running a shore and
shipwracke, then to rest in such a dangerous harbour? But in what ground
should the anker be fastened? for Mariners for the most part are destitute
of such long cables, whereby they may let downe an anker to the bottom of
the maine sea, therfore vpon the backs of Whales, saith Munster. But then
they had need first to bore a hole for the flouke to take hold in. O silly
Mariners that in digging can not discern Whales flesh from lumps of earth,
nor know the slippery skin of a Whale from the vpper part of the ground:
with out doubt they are woorthy to haue Munster for a Pilot. Verily in this
place (as likewise before treating of the land-miracles of Island) he
gathereth fruits as they say, out of Tantalus his garden, and foloweth hard
after those things which will neuer and no where be found, while he
endeuoureth to proule here and there for miracles, perusing sea and land to
stuffe vp his history where notwithstanding he cannot hunt out ought but
feigned things.

But they are called in their language Trollwal. Go not farther then your
skil, Munster, for I take it you cannot skill of our tongue: and therefore
it may be a shame for a learned man to teach others that which he knoweth
not himselfe: for such an attempt is subiect to manifold errours, as we
will shew by this your example. For while you take in hand to schoole
others, & to teach them by what name a Whale-fish is to be called in our
tongue, leauing out through ignorance the letter H, which almost alone
maketh vp the signification of the worde, you deliuer that which is not
true: for val in our language signifieth not a Whale, but chusing or choise
of the verbe Eg vel, that is to say, I chuse, or I make choise, from whence
val is deriued, &c. But a Whale is called Hualur with vs, & therefore you
ought to haue written Trollhualur. Neither doeth Troll signifie the deuill,

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