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The following are some of the reveries of magic.1 A whetstone upon which iron tools have been frequently sharpened, if put, without his being aware of it, beneath the pillow of a person sinking under the effects of poison, will make him give evidence and declare what poison has been administered, and at what time and place, though at the same time he will not disclose the author of the crime. When a person has been struck by lightning, if the body is turned upon the side which has sustained the injury, he will instantly recover the power of speech—that is quite certain.2 For the cure of inguinal tumours, some persons take the thrum of an old web, and after tying seven or nine knots in it, mentioning at each knot the name of some widow woman or other, attach it to the part affected. To assuage the pain of a wound, they recommend the party to take a nail or any other substance that has been trodden under foot, and to wear it, attached to the body with the thrum of a web. To get rid of warts, some lie in a footpath with the face upwards, when the moon is twenty days old at least, and after fixing their gaze upon it, extend their arms above the head, and rub themselves with anything within their reach. If a person is extracting a corn at the moment that a star shoots, he will experience an immediate cure,3 they say. By pouring vinegar upon the hinges of a door, a thick liniment is formed, which, applied to the forehead, will alleviate headache: an effect equally produced, we are told, by binding the temples with a halter with which a man has been hanged. When a fish-bone happens to stick in the throat, it will go down immediately, if the person plunges his feet into cold water; but where the accident has happened with any other kind of bone, the proper remedy is to apply to the head some fragments of bones taken from the same dish. In cases where bread has stuck in the throat, the best plan is to take some of the same bread, and insert it in both ears.

1 Of which the Persian Magi were the most noted professors.

2 The "constat" here, whether it belongs to the magicians, or to Pliny himself, is highly amusing, as Ajasson remarks.

3 Sillig appears to be right in his conjecture that the "vel" here should be omitted.

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