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Barley-meal, too, is employed for medicinal purposes; and it is a curious fact, that for beasts of burden they make a paste of it, which is first hardened by the action of fire, and then ground. It is then made up into balls, which are introduced with the hand into the paunch, the result of which is, that the vigour and muscular strength of the animal is considerably increased. In some kinds of barley, the ears have two rows of grains,1 and in others more; in some cases, as many as six.2 The grain itself, too, presents certain differences, being long and thin, or else short or round, white, black,3 or, in some instances, of a purple colour. This last kind is employed for making polenta: the white is ill adapted for standing the severity of the weather. Barley is the softest of all the grains: it can only be sown in a dry, loose soil,4 but fertile withal. The chaff of barley ranks among the very best; indeed, for litter there is none that can be compared with it. Of all grain, barley is the least exposed to accidents, as it is gathered before the time that mildew begins to attack wheat; for which reason it is that the provident agriculturist sows only as much wheat as may be required for food. The saying is, that "barley is sown in a money-bag," because it so soon returns a profit. The most prolific kind of all is that which is got in at Carthage,5 in Spain, in the month of April. It is in the same month that it is sown in Celtiberia, and yet it yields two harvests in the same year. All kinds of barley are cut sooner than other grain, and immediately after they are ripe; for the straw is extremely brittle, and the grain is enclosed in a husk of remarkable thinness. It is said, too, that a better polenta6 is made from it, if it is gathered before it is perfectly ripe.

1 The Hordeum distichum of Linnæus.

2 Hordeum hexastichum of Linnæus. The Hordeum vulgare, or com- mon barley, has but four rows.

3 These varieties are not known at the present day, and Fée questions if they ever existed. There is a black barley found in Germany, the Hor- deum nigrum of Willdenow.

4 A caleareous soil is the best adapted for barley.

5 Nova Carthago, or New Carthage.

6 This fallacious opinion is shared with Galen, De Facult. Anim. B. vi. c. 11.

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