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And not only this, but the filthy excretions even of sheep, the sweat adhering to the wool of the flanks and of the axillary concavities—a substance known as "œsypum"1—are applied to purposes almost innumerable; the grease produced by the sheep of Attica being the most highly esteemed. There are numerous ways of obtaining it, but the most approved method is to take the wool, fresh clipped from those parts of the body, or else the sweat and grease collected from any part of the fleece, and boil it gently in a copper vessel upon a slow fire: this done, it is left to cool, and the fat which floats upon the surface collected into an earthen vessel. The material originally used is then subjected to another boiling, and the two results are washed in cold water; after which, they are strained through a linen cloth and exposed to the sun till they become bleached and quite transparent, and are then put by in a pewter box for keeping.

The best proof of its genuineness is its retention of the strong smell of the original grease, and its not melting when rubbed with water upon the hand, but turning white, like white-lead in appearance. This substance is extremely useful for inflammations of the eyes and indurations of the eyelids. Some persons bake the wool in an earthen pot, until it has lost all its grease, and are of opinion that, prepared this way, it is a more useful remedy for excoriations and indurations of the eyelids, for eruptions at the corners of the eyes, and for watery eyes. And not only does this grease heal ulcerations of the eyes, but, mixed with goose-grease, of the ears and generative organs as well; in combination also with melilote and butter, it is a cure for inflammations of the uterus, and for excoriations of the rectum and condylomata. The other uses to which it is applied, we shall detail on a more appropriate occasion.

The grease, too, of the wool about the tail is made up into pills, unmixed with any substance: these pills are dried and pulverized, being an excellent application for the teeth, when loose even, and for the gums, when attacked by spreading ulcers of a cancerous nature. Sheep's wool, too, cleaned, is applied by itself, or with the addition of sulphur, for dull, heavy pains, and the ashes of it, burnt, are used for diseases of the generative organs: indeed, this wool is possessed of such sovereign virtues, that it is used as a covering for medicinal applications even. It is also an especial remedy for the sheep itself, when it has lost its stomach, and refuses to feed; for, upon plucking some wool from the tail, and then tying the tail therewith, as tight as possible, the sheep will fall to feeding immediately. It is said, however, that the part of the tail which lies beyond the knot so made will quickly mortify and die.

1 "Œsypum" is often mentioned by Ovid as a favourite cosmetic with the Roman ladies.

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