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Wounds and incisions of trees are treated also with pigeon dung and swine manure. If pomegranates are acid, the roots of the tree are cleared, and swine's dung is applied to them: the result is, that in the first year the fruit will have a vinous flavour, but in the succeeding one it will be sweet. Some persons are of opinion that the pomegranate should be watered four times a year with a mixture of human urine and water, at the rate of an amphora to each tree; or else that the ex- tremities of the branches should be sprinkled with silphium1 steeped in wine. The stalk of the pomegranate should be twisted, if it is found to split while on the tree. The fig, too, should be drenched with the amurca of olives, and other trees when they are ailing, with lees of wine; or else lupines may be sown about the roots. The water, too, of a decoction of lupines is beneficial to the fruit, if poured upon the roots of the tree. When it thunders at the time of the Vulcanalia,2 the figs fall off; the only remedy for which is to have the area beneath ready covered with barley-straw. Lime applied to the roots of the tree makes cherries come sooner to maturity, and ripen more rapidly. The best plan, too, with the cherry, as with all other kinds, is to thin the fruit, so that that which is left behind may grow all the larger.

(28.) There are some trees, again, which thrive all the better for being maltreated,3 or else are stimulated by pungent substances; the palm and the mastich for instance, which derive nutriment from salt water.4 Ashes have the same virtues as salt, only in a more modified degree; for which reason it is, that fig-trees are sprinkled with them; as also with rue,5 to keep away worms, and to prevent the roots from rotting. What is still more even, it is recommended to throw salt6 water on the roots of vines, if they are too full of humours; and if the fruit falls off, to sprinkle them with ashes and vinegar, or with sandarach if the grapes are rotting.7 If, again, a vine is not productive, it should be sprinkled and rubbed with strong vinegar and ashes; and if the grapes, instead of ripening, dry and shrivel up, the vine should be lopped near the roots,8 and the wound and fibres drenched with strong vinegar and stale urine; after which, the roots should be covered up with mud annealed with these liquids, and the ground spaded repeatedly.

As to the olive, if it gives promise of but little fruit, the roots should be bared, and left exposed to the winter cold,9 a mode of treatment for which it is all the better.

All these operations depend each year upon the state of the weather, and require to be sometimes retarded, and at other times precipitated. The very element of fire even has its own utility, in the case of the reed for instance; which, after the reed-bed has been burnt, will spring up all the thicker and more pliable.10

Cato,11 too, gives receipts for certain medicaments, specifying the proportions as well; for the roots of the large trees he prescribes an amphora, and for those of the smaller ones, an urna, of amphora of olives, mixed with water in equal proportions, recommending the roots to be cleared, and the mixture to be gradually poured upon them. In addition to this, in the case of the olive and the fig, he recommends that a layer of straw should be first placed around them. In the fig, too, more particularly, he says that in spring the roots should be well moulded up; the result of which is, that the fruit will not fall off while green, and the tree will be all the more productive, and not affected with roughness of the bark. In the same way, too,12 to prevent the vine-fretter13 from attacking the tree, he recommends that two congii of amurca of olives should be boiled down to the consistency of honey, after which it must be boiled again with one-third part of bitumen, and one-fourth of sulphur; and this should be done, he says, in the open air, for fear of its igniting if prepared in-doors; with this mixture, the vine is to be anointed at the ends of the branches and at the axils; after which, no more fretters will be seen. Some persons are content to make a fumigation with this mixture while the wind is blowing towards the vine, for three days in succession.

Many persons, again, attribute no less utility and nutritious virtue to urine than Cato does to amurca; only they add to it an equal proportion of water, it being injurious if employed by itself. Some give the name of " volucre"14 to an insect which eats away the young grapes: to prevent this, they rub the pruning-knife, every time it is sharpened, upon a beaver-skin, and then prune the tree with it: it is recommended also, that after the pruning, the knife should be well rubbed with the blood of a bear.15 Ants, too, are a great pest to trees; they are kept away, however, by smearing the trunk with red earth and tar: if a fish, too, is hung up in the vicinity of the tree, these insects will collect in that one spot. Another method, again, is to pound lupines in oil,16 and anoint the roots with the mixture. Many people kill both ants as well as moles17 with amurca, and preserve apples from caterpillars as well as from rotting, by touching the top of the tree with the gall of a green lizard.

Another method, too, of preventing caterpillars, is to make a woman,18 with her monthly courses on her, go round each tree, barefooted and ungirt. Again, for the purpose of pre- venting animals from doing mischief by browsing upon the leaves, they should be sprinkled with cow-dung each time after rain, the showers having the effect of washing away the virtues of this application.

The industry of man has really made some very wonderful discoveries, and, indeed, has gone so far as to lead many persons to believe, that hail-storms may be averted by means of a certain charm, the words of which I really could not venture seriously to transcribe; although we find that Cato19 has given those which are employed as a charm for sprained limbs, employing splints of reed in conjunction with it. The same author,20 too, has allowed of consecrated trees and groves being cut down, after a sacrifice has first been offered: the form of prayer, and the rest of the proceedings, will be found fully set forth in the same work of his.

SUMMARY.—Remarkable facts, narratives; and observations, eight hundred and eighty.

ROMAN AUTHORS QUOTED.—Cornelius Nepos,21 Cato22 the Censor, M. Varro,23 Celsus,24 Virgil,25 virginus,26 Saserna27 father and son, Scrofa,28 Calpurnius Bassus,29 Trogus,30 Æmilius Macer,31 Græcinus,32 Columella,33 Atticus Julius,34 Fabianus,35 Mamilius Sura,36 Dossenus Mundus,37 C. Epidius,38 L. Piso.39

FOREIGN AUTHORS QUOTED.—Hesiod,40 Theophrastus,41 Aristotle,42 Democritus,43 Theopompus,44 King Hiero,45 King Attalus46 Philometor, King Archelaus,47 Archytas,48 Xenophon,49 Amphilochus50 of Athens, Anaxipolis51 of Thasos, Apollodorus52 of Lemnos, Aristophanes53 of Miletus, Antigonus54 of Cymæ, Agathocles55 of Chios, Apollonius56 Pergamus, Bacchius57 of Miletus, Bion58 of Soli, Chæreas59 of Athens, Chæristus60 of Athens, Diodorus61 of Priene, Dion62 of Colophon, Epigenes63 of Rhodes, Euagon64 of Thasos, Euphronius65 of Athens, Androtion66 who wrote on Agriculture, Æschrion67 who wrote on Agriculture, Lysimachus68 who wrote on Agriculture, Dionysius69 who translated Mago, Diophanes70 who made an Epitome of Dionysius, Aristander71 who wrote on Portents.


1 Or laser. See B. xix. c. 15.

2 See B. xviii. c. 35.

3 Pœnâ emendantur.

4 It is very doubtful whether this is not likely to prove very injurious to them. This passage is from Theophrastus, De Causis, B. iii. c. 23.

5 Without any efficacy, beyond a doubt.

6 The action of salt upon vegetation is, at the best, very uncertain.

7 These recipes are worthless, and almost impracticable.

8 This method is still adopted, but with none of the accessories here mentioned by Pliny.

9 A dangerous practice, Fée remarks, and certainly not to be adopted.

10 Mitior.

11 De Re Rust. 93.

12 At the present day, fumigations are preferred to any such mixtures as those here described. Caterpillars are killed by the fames of sulphur, bitumen, or damp straw.

13 "Convolvulus." He alludes to the vine Pyralis, one of the Lepidoptera, the caterpillar of which rolls itself up in the leaves of the tree, after eating away the foot-stalk.

14 The "fly," or "winged" insect. The grey weevil, Fée thinks, that eats the buds and the young grapes.

15 An absurd superstition.

16 This may possibly be efficacious, but the other precepts here given are full of absurdity.

17 It might possibly drive them to a distance, but would do no more.

18 An absurd notion, very similar to some connected with the same subject, which have prevailed even in recent times.

19 De Re Rust. 160. The words of this charm over the split reed while held near the injured limb, were as follow:—"Sanitas fracto—motas danata daries dardaries astataries"—mere gibberish.

20 De Re Rust. 139. This prayer was offered to the deity of the sacred grove, after a pig had been first offered—"If thou art a god, or if thou art a goddess, to whom this grove is sacred, may it be allowed me, through the expiation made by this pig, and for the purpose of restraining the overgrowth of this grove, &c." It must be remembered that it was considered a most heinous offence to cut down or lop a consecrated grove. See Ovid, Met. B. viii. c. 743.

21 See end of B. ii.

22 See end of B. iii.

23 See end of B. ii.

24 See end of B. vii.

25 See end of B. vii.

26 See end of B. iii.

27 See end of B. x.

28 See end of B. xi.

29 See end of B. xvi.

30 See end of B. vii.

31 See end of B. ix.

32 See end of B. xiv.

33 See end of B. viii.

34 See end of B. xiv.

35 Fabianus Papirius; see end of B. ii.

36 See end of B. x.

37 See end of B. xiv.

38 A Roman rhetorician, preceptor of Antony and Augustus. He is said to have claimed descent from Epidius, a deity worshipped on the banks of the Sarnus.

39 See end of B. ii.

40 See end of B. vii.

41 See end of B. iii.

42 See end of B. ii.

43 See end of B. ii.

44 See end of B. ii.

45 See end of B. viii.

46 See end of B. viii.

47 See end of B. viii.

48 See end of B. viii.

49 For Xenophon of Lampsacus, see end of B. iii.

50 See end of B. viii.

51 See end of B. viii.

52 See end of B. viii.

53 See end of B. viii.

54 See end of B. viii.

55 See end of B. viii.

56 See end of B. viii.

57 See end of B. viii.

58 See end of B. vi.

59 See end of B. viii.

60 See end of B. xiv.

61 See end of B. viii.

62 See end of B. viii.

63 See end of B. ii.

64 See end of B. x.

65 See end of B. viii.

66 See end of B. viii.

67 See end of B. viii.

68 See end of B. viii.

69 See end of B. xii.

70 See end of B. viii.

71 See end of B. viii.

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