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The name of "Persica," or "Persian apple," given to this fruit, fully proves that it is an exotic in both Greece as well as Asia,1 and that it was first introduced from Persis. As to the wild plum, it is a well-known fact that it will grow anywhere; and I am, therefore, the more surprised that no mention has been made of it by Cato, more particularly as he has pointed out the method of preserving several of the wild fruits as well. As to the peach-tree, it has been only introduced of late years, and with considerable difficulty; so much so, that it is perfectly barren in the Isle of Rhodes, the first resting-place2 that it found after leaving Egypt.

It is quite untrue that the peach which grows in Persia is poisonous, and produces dreadful tortures, or that the kings of that country, from motives of revenge, had it transplanted in Egypt, where, through the nature of the soil, it lost all its evil properties—for we find that it is of the "persea"3 that the more careful writers have stated all this,4 a totally different tree, the fruit of which resembles the red myxa, and, indeed, cannot be successfully cultivated anywhere but in the East. The learned have also maintained that it was not introduced from Persis into Egypt with the view of inflicting punishment, but say that it was planted at Memphis by Perseus; for which reason it was that Alexander gave orders that the victors should be crowned with it in the games which he instituted there in honour of his5 ancestor: indeed, this tree has always leaves and fruit upon it, growing immediately upon the others. It must be quite evident to every one that all our plums have been introduced since the time of Cato.6

1 I. e. Asia Minor.

2 Hospitium.

3 See B. xiii. c. 17. The Balanites Ægyptiaca of Delille.

4 It was this probably, and not the peach-tree, that would not bear fruit in the isle of Rhodes.

5 Perseus.

6 Fée remarks that the wild plum, the Prunus silvestris or insititia of Linnæus, was to be found in Italy before the days of Cato.

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