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The cultivation of the fitch,1 too, is attended with no difficulty. It requires weeding, however, more than the vetch. Like it, the fitch has certain medicinal2 properties; for we find the fact still kept in remembrance by some letters of his, that the late Emperor Augustus was cured by its agency. Five modii will sow as much ground as a yoke of oxen can plough in a day. If sown in the month of March,3 it is injurious, they say, to oxen: and when sown in autumn, it is apt to produce head-ache. If, however, it is put in the ground at the beginning of spring, it will be productive of no bad results.

1 Or orobus, the Ervum ervilia of Linnæus.

2 It is thought by many that the ervum is unwholesome, being productive of muscular weakness. The blade of it is said to act as a poison on pigs. However, we find the farina, or meal, extolled by some persons for its medicinal qualities; and if we are to trust to the advertisements in the newspapers, it is rising rapidly in esteem. See B. xxii. c. 73.

3 From Columella, B. ii. c. 11

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