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The first kind of lettuce which grows spontaneously, is the one that is generally known as "goat1-lettuce;" thrown into the sea, this vegetable has the property of instantaneously killing all the fish that come into its vicinity. The milky juice of this lettuce,2 left to thicken and then put into vinegar, is given in doses of two oboli, with the addition of one cyathus of water, to patients for dropsy. The stalk and leaves, bruised and sprinkled with salt, are used for the cure of wounds of the sinews. Pounded with vinegar, and employed as a gargle in the morning twice a month, they act as a preventive of tooth-ache.

1 "Caprina." See B. xxvi. c. 39.

2 Fée is of opinion that this in reality is not a lettuce, but that Pliny has been led, by the milky juice which it contains, to that conclusion. In B. xxvi. c. 39, he calls it "tithymalum." Hardouin conjectures it to have been the spurge, or Euphorbia lathyris of Linnæus, the juice or which is a violent drastic; and Fée is of opinion that it must have been one of the Euphorbiaceæ. At the same time, he says, powerful as their properties are, we cannot believe that they exercise the destructive effects on fish here stated.

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