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Pythagoras makes mention, too, of a plant called aproxis, the root of which takes fire1 at a distance, like naphtha, of which we have made some mention, when speaking2 of the marvellous productions of the earth. He says too, that if the human body happens to be attacked by any disease while the cabbage3 is in blossom, the person, although he may have been perfectly cured, will be sensible of a recurrence of the symptoms, every time that plant comes into blossom; a peculiarity which he attributes to it in common with wheat, hemlock, and the violet.

I am not ignorant, however, that the work of his from which I have just quoted is ascribed to the physician Cleemporus by some, though antiquity and the unbroken current of tradition concur in claiming it for Pythagoras. It is quite enough, however, to say in favour of a book, that the author has deemed the results of his labours worthy to be published under the name of so great a man. And yet who can believe that Cleemporus would do this, seeing that he has not hesitated to publish other works under his own name?

1 Fée says that the only cases known of a phænomenon resembling this, are those of the Dictamnus albus, white dittany, which attracts flame momentarily when in flower, and of the Tropæolum majus, or great Indian cress. He thinks, however, that there are some trees so rich in essential oil, that they might possibly ignite as readily as naphtha.

2 In B. ii. c. 10.

3 Another reading here is "aproxis," which seems more probable.

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