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The plant known as "pæonia"1 is the most ancient of them all. It still retains the name2 of him who was the first to discover it, being known also as the "pentorobus"3 by some, and the "glycyside"4 by others; indeed, this is one of the great difficulties attendant on forming an accurate knowledge of plants, that the same object has different names in different districts. It grows in umbrageous mountain localities, and puts forth a stem amid the leaves, some four fingers in height, at the summit of which are four or five heads resembling Greek nuts5 in appearance; enclosed in which, there is a considerable quantity of seed of a red or black colour. This plant is a preservative against the illusions6 practised by the Fauni in sleep. It is generally recommended to take it up at night; for if the wood-pecker7 of Mars should perceive a person doing so, it will immediately attack his eyes in defence of the plant.

1 The Pæonia officinalis of Linnæus, our Peony.

2 Pæon, the physician. mentioned in the Iliad, B. . 1. 401. as healing Pluto, when wounded by Hercules.

3 From its five seeds, which resemble fitches.

4 "Sweet to the view," apparently.

5 See B. xxiii. c. 76.

6 He means nightmare.

7 See B. x. cc. 18, 20, and B. xxvii. c. 60.

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