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The silk-worm, too, is said to be a native of the isle of Cos, where the vapours of the earth give new life to the flowers of the cypress, the terebinth, the ash, and the oak which have been beaten down by the showers. At first they assume the appearance of small butterflies with naked bodies, but soon after, being unable to endure the cold, they throw out bristly hairs, and assume quite a thick coat against the winter, by rubbing off the down that covers the leaves, by the aid of the roughness of their feet. This they compress into balls by carding it with their claws, and then draw it out and hang it between the branches of the trees, making it fine by combing it out as it were: last of all, they take and roll it round their body, thus forming a nest in which they are enveloped. It is in this state that they are taken; after which they are placed in earthen vessels in a warm place, and fed upon bran. A peculiar sort of down soon shoots forth upon the body, on being clothed with which they are sent to work upon another task. The cocoons1 which they have begun to form are rendered soft and pliable by the aid of water, and are then drawn out into threads by means of a spindle made of a reed. Nor, in fact, have the men even felt ashamed to make use2 of garments formed of this material, in consequence of their extreme lightness in summer: for, so greatly have manners degenerated in our day, that, so far from wearing a cuirass, a garment even is found to be too heavy. The produce of the Assyrian silk-worm, however, we have till now left to the women only.

1 "Lanificia."

2 Early in the reign of Tiberius, as we learn from Tacitus, the senate enacted "ne vestis Serica viros fædaret"—' That men should not defile themselves by wearing garments of silk," Ann. B. ii. c. 33.

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