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CHAP. 6.—PEPONES: ELEVEN REMEDIES.

The fruit known as pepones1 are a cool and refreshing diet, and are slightly relaxing to the stomach. Applications are used of the pulpy flesh in defluxions or pains of the eyes. The root, too, of this plant cures the hard ulcers known to us as "ceria," from their resemblance to a honeycomb, and it acts as an emetic.2 Dried and reduced to a powder, it is given in doses of four oboli in hydromel, the patient, immediately after taking it, being made to walk half a mile. This powder is employed also in cosmetics3 for smoothing the skin. The rind, too, has the effect4 of promoting vomiting, and, when applied to the face, of clearing the skin; a result which is equally produced by an external application of the leaves of all the cultivated cucumbers. These leaves, mixed with honey, are employed for the cure of the pustules known as "epinyctis;"5 steeped in wine, they are good, too, for the bites of dogs and of multipedes,6 insects known to the Greeks by the name of "seps,"7 of an elongated form, with hairy legs, and noxious to cattle more particularly; the sting being followed by swelling, and the wound rapidly putrifying.

The smell of the cucumber itself is a restorative8 in fainting fits. It is a well-known fact, that if cucumbers are peeled and then boiled in oil, vinegar, and honey, they are all the more pleasant eating9 for it.

1 As to the several varieties of the pumpkin or gourd, known under this name, see B. xix. c. 24.

2 Dioscorides states to the same effect, and, as Fée thinks, with a probability of being correct.

3 "Smegmata."

4 This assertion, Fée says, is utterly untrue.

5 From ἐπί, "upon," and νὺξ, "night." These are red or whitish pustules, accompanied with sharp pains, which appear on the skin at night, and disappear in the day-time. See c. 21.

6 Or "many-legs." See B. xxix. c. 39. Probably one of our millepedes or centipedes: though Fée suggests that it may have been a large caterpillar

7 From σηπε̂ιν. "to rot."

8 This, Fée says, is untrue: but it is hard to say on what grounds he himself asserts that the smell of the cucumber is faint, and almost nauseous.

9 This, probably, is not conformable to modern notions on the subject.

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