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The rush,1 so frail in form, and growing in marshy spots, cannot be reckoned as belonging to the shrubs, nor yet to the brambles or the stalk plants; nor, indeed, in strict justice, to any of the classes of plants except one that is peculiarly its own. It is extensively used for making thatch and matting, and, with the outer coat taken off, for making candles and funeral torches. In some places, however, the rush is more hard and firm: thus, for instance, it is employed not only by the sailors on the Padus for making the sails of boats, but for the purposes of sea-fishing as well, by the fishermen of Africa, who, in a most preposterous manner, hang the sails made of it behind the masts.2 The people, too, of Mauritania thatch their cottages3 with rushes; indeed, if we look somewhat closely into the matter, it will appear that the rush is held in pretty nearly the same degree of estimation there as the papyrus is in the inner regions of the world.4

1 The Scirpus lacustris of Linnæus.

2 And not in front of them.

3 Mapalia.

4 Egypt, namely.

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