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Egypt, too, has many trees which are not to be found elsewhere, and the kind of fig more particularly, which fur this reason has been called the Egypitian fig.1 In leaf this tree resembles the mulberry-tree, as also in size and general appearance. It bears fruit, not upon branches, but upon the trunk itself: the fig is remarkable for its extreme sweetness, and has no seeds2 in it. This tree is also remarkable for its fruitfulness, which, however, can only be ensured by making incisions3 in the fruit with hooks of iron, for otherwise it will not come to maturity. But when this has been done, it may he gathered within fur days, immediately upon which another shoots up in its place. Hence it is that in the year it produces seven abundant crops, and throughout all the summer there is an abundance of milky juice in the fruit. Even if the incisions are not made, the fruit will shoot afresh four times during the summer, the new fruit supplanting the old, and forcing it off before it has ripened. The wood, which is of a very peculiar nature, is reckoned among the most useful known. When cut down it is immediately plunged into standing water, such being the means employed for drying4 it. At first it sinks to the bottom, after which it begins to float, and in a certain length of time the additional moisture sucks it dry, which has the effect of penetrating and soaking all5 other kinds of wood. It is a sign that it is fit for use6 when it begins to float.

1 The Ficus sycamorus of Linnæus. It receives its name from being a fig-tree that bears a considerable resemblance to the "morus," or mulberry-tree.

2 This is not the case.

3 This appears to be doubtful, although, as Fée says, the fruit ripens but very slowly.

4 This, Fée says, is a fallacy

5 "Aliam" omanem." This reading seems to be very doubtful.

6 This wood was very extensively used in Egypt for making the outer cases, or coffins, in which the mummies were enclosed.

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