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Upon this occasion we must not omit to mention the admiration that is lavished upon this plant by the Gauls. The Druids—for that is the name they give to their magicians1— held nothing more sacred than the mistletoe and the tree that bears it, supposing always that tree to be the robur.2 Of itself the robur is selected by them to form whole groves, and they perform none of their religious rites without em- ploying branches of it; so much so, that it is very probable that the priests themselves may have received their name from the Greek name3 for that tree. In fact, it is the notion with them that everything that grows on it has been sent immediately from heaven, and that the mistletoe upon it is a proof that the tree has been selected by God himself as an object of his especial favour.

The mistletoe, however, is but rarely found upon the robur; and when found, is gathered with rites replete with religious awe. This is done more particularly on the fifth day of the moon, the day which is the beginning of their months and years, as also of their ages, which, with them, are but thirty years. This day they select because the moon, though not yet in the middle of her course, has already considerable power and influence; and they call her by a name which signifies, in their language, the all-healing.4 Having made all due preparation for the sacrifice and a banquet beneath the trees, they bring thither two white bulls, the horns of which are bound then for the first time. Clad in a white robe the priest ascends the tree, and cuts the mistletoe with a golden sickle, which is received by others in a white cloak.5 They then immolate the victims, offering up their prayers that God will render this gift of his propitious to those to whom he has so granted it. It is the belief with them that the mistletoe, taken in drink, will impart fecundity to all animals that are barren, and that it is an antidote for all poisons.6 Such are the religious feelings which we find entertained towards trifling objects among nearly all nations.

SUMMARY.—Remarkable facts, narratives, and observations, one thousand one hundred and thirty-five.

ROMAN AUTHORS QUOTED.—-M. Varro,7 Fetialis,8 Nigidius,9 Cornelins Nepos,10 Hyginus,11 Massurius,12 Cato,13 Mucianus,14 L. Piso,15 Trogus,16 Calpurnius Bassus,17 Cremutius,18 Sextius Niger,19 Cornelius Bocchus,20 Yitruvius,21 Græcinus.22

FOREIGN AUTHORS QUOTED.—Alexander Polyhistor,23 Hesiod,24 Theophrastus,25 Democritus,26 Homer, Timæus27 the mathematician.

1 Magos.

2 Decandolle was of opinion, that the mistletoe of the Druids was not a viscum, but the Loranthus Europæus, which is much more commonly found on oaks.

3 δρῦς, an "oak." It is much more probable that it was of Celtic origin.

4 Omnia sanantem.

5 "Sagum." Properly, a "military cloak."

6 It was, in comparatively recent times, supposed to be efficacious for epilepsy.

7 See end of B. ii.

8 Author of a History or Annals of Rome. Nothing further is known of him.

9 See end of B. vi.

10 See end of B. ii.

11 See end of B. iii.

12 See end of B. vii.

13 See end of B. iii.

14 See end of B. ii.

15 See end of B. ii.

16 See end of B. vii.

17 He is wholly unknown: but is conjectured to have lived in the reign of Caligula or Tiberius.

18 See end of B. vii.

19 See end of B. xii.

20 He is unknown; but Solinus speaks of him as a valuable writer.

21 M. Vitruvius Pollio, an eminent architect, employed by Augustus. His valuable work on architecture is still extant.

22 See end of B. xiv.

23 See end of B. iii.

24 See end of B. vii.

25 See end of B. iii.

26 See end of B. ii.

27 See end of B. ii.

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