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The agrifolia,1 pounded, with the addition of salt, is good for diseases of the joints, and the berries are used in cases of excessive menstruation, cœliac affections, dysentery, and cholera; taken in wine, they act astringently upon the bowels. A decoction of the root, applied externally, extracts foreign bodies from the flesh, and is remarkably useful for sprains and tumours.

The tree called "aquifolia," planted2 in a town or country- house, is a preservative against sorceries and spells. The blossom of it, according to Pythagoras, congeals3 water, and a staff4 made of the wood, if, when thrown at any animal, from want of strength in the party throwing it, it falls short of the mark, will roll back again5 towards the thrower, of its own accord—so remarkable are the properties of this tree. The smoke of the yew kills6 rats and mice.

1 Fée thinks that the copyists have made a mistake in this passage, and that the reading should be "aquifolia," the same plant that is mentioned afterwards under that name. He identifies them with the Ilex aquifolium, or holly. See B. xvi. cc. 8, 12, where Pliny evidently confounds the holm- oak with the holly.

2 Dioscorides says, B. i. c. 119, "the branches of the rhamnus it. is said, placed at the doors and windows, will avert the spells of sorcerers." It is not improbable that Pliny, in copying from some other author, has mistaken the one for the other.

3 An exaggeration, no doubt. The Cissampelos Pareira of Lamarck, an Indian plant, abounds in mucilage to such an extent, that an infusion of it in water becomes speedily coagulated.

4 One would be induced to think that this story is derived from some vague account of the properties of the Boomerang. Although supposed by many to have been the invention of the natives of Australasia, representations of it are found on the sculptures of Nineveh. It is not improbable that Pythagoras may have heard of it from the Magi during his travels in the East. See Bonomi's Nineveh, p. 136.

5 "Recubitu" seems preferable to "cubitu."

6 This is very doubtful, Fée says.

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