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When you have reason to fear these influences, make bonfires in the fields and vineyards of cuttings or heaps of chaff, or else of the weeds that have been rooted up; the smoke1 will act as a good preservative. The smoke, too, of burning chaff will be an effectual protection against the effects of fogs, when likely to be injurious. Some persons recommend that three crabs should be burnt2 alive among the trees on which the vines are trained, to prevent these from being attacked by coal blight; while others say that the flesh of the silurus3 should be burnt in a slow fire, in such a way that the smoke may be dispersed by the wind throughout the vineyard.

Varro informs us, that if at the setting of the Lyre, which is the beginning of autumn, a painted grape4 is consecrated in the midst of the vineyard, the bad weather will not be pro- ductive of such disastrous results as it otherwise would. Archibius5 has stated, in a letter to Antiochus, king of Syria, that if a bramble-frog6 is burried in a new earthen vessel, in the middle of a corn-field, there will be no storms to cause injury.

1 Columella, De Arborib. c. 13, gives similar advice.

2 This absurd practice is mentioned in the Geoponica, B. v. c. 31.

3 As to this fish, see B. ix. c. 17.

4 "Uva picta" This absurdity does not seem to be found in any of Varro's works that have come down to us.

5 Nothing whatever is known of him or his works; and, as Fée says, apparently the loss is little to be regretted.

6 Rubeta rana.

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