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All kinds of pears, as an aliment, are indigestible,1 to persons in robust health, even; but to invalids they are forbidden as rigidly as wine. Boiled, however, they are re- markably agreeable and wholesome, those of Crustumium2 in particular. All kinds of pears, too, boiled with honey, are wholesome to the stomach. Cataplasms of a resolvent nature are made with pears, and a decoction of them is used to disperse indurations. They are efficacious, also, in cases of poisoning3 by mushrooms and fungi, as much by reason of their heaviness, as by the neutralizing effects of their juice.

The wild pear ripens but very slowly. Cut in slices and hung in the air to dry, it arrests looseness of the bowels, an effect which is equally produced by a decoction of it taken in drink; in which case the leaves also are boiled up together with the fruit. The ashes of pear-tree wood are even more efficacious4 as an antidote to the poison of fungi.

A load of apples or pears, however small, is singularly fatiguing5 to beasts of burden; the best plan to counteract this, they say, is to give the animals some to eat, or at least to shew them the fruit before starting.

1 This depends considerably, as Fée says, upon the kind of pear.

2 See B. xv. c. 16.

3 There is no truth whatever in this statement.

4 They are equally inefficacious for the purpose.

5 See B. xxiv. c. 1. An absurdity, upon which Fée has uselessly expended a dozen lines of indignation.

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    • A Dictionary of Greek and Roman Antiquities (1890), VINUM
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