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The hyacinth1 grows in Gaul more particularly, where it is employed for the dye called "hysginum."2 The root of it is bulbous, and is well known among the dealers in slaves: applied to the body, with sweet wine, it retards the signs of puberty,3 and prevents them from developing themselves. It is curative, also, of gripings of the stomach, and of the bites of spiders, and it acts as a diuretic. The seed is administered, with abrotonum, for the stings of serpents and scorpions, and for jaundice.

1 See c. 38 of this Book; also B. xvi. c. 31.

2 From the herb "hysge," used for dyeing a deep red. See B. ix. c. 65, and B. xxi. c. 36. No such colour, Fée says, can be obtained from the petals of either the Lilium Martagon or the Gladiolus communis, with which it has been identified.

3 It has no such effect; and the slave-dealers certainly lost their pains in cosmetizing their slaves with it, their object being to make them look younger than they really were, and not older, as Hardouin seems to think.

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