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The broth prepared from sea-frogs,1 boiled in wine and vinegar, is taken internally as a neutralizer of poisons and of the venom of the bramble-frog,2 as also for injuries inflicted by the salamander.3 For the cure of injuries caused by the seahare and the various serpents above mentioned, it is a good plan to eat the flesh of river-frogs, or to drink the liquor in which they have been boiled: as a neutralizer, too, of the venom of the scorpion, river-frogs are taken in wine. Democritus assures us that if the tongue is extracted from a live frog, with no other part of the body adhering to it, and is then applied—the frog being first replaced in the water—to a woman while asleep, just at the spot where the heart is felt to palpitate, she will be sure to give a truthful answer to any question that may be put to her.

To this the Magi4 add some other particulars, which, if there is any truth in them, would lead us to believe that frogs ought to be considered much more useful to society than laws.5 They say, for instance, that if a man takes a frog and transfixes it with a reed, entering the body at the sexual parts and coming out at the mouth, and then dips the reed in the menstrual discharge of his wife, she will be sure to conceive an aversion for all paramours. That the flesh of frogs, attached to the kype or hook, as the case may be, makes a most excellent bait, for purples more particularly, is a well-known fact. Frogs, they say, have a double6 liver; and of this liver, when exposed to the attacks of ants, the part that is most eaten away is thought to be an effectual antidote to every kind of poison.

There are some frogs, again, which live only among brakes and thickets, for which reason they have received the name of "rubetæ,"7 or "bramble-frogs," as already8 stated. The Greeks call them "phryni:" they are the largest in size of all the frogs, have two protuberances9 like horns, and are full10 of poison. Authors quite vie with one another in relating marvellous stories about them; such, for instance, as that if they are brought into the midst of a concourse of people, silence will instantly prevail; as also that by throwing into boiling water a small bone that is found in their right side, the vessel will immediately cool, and the water refuse to boil again until it has been removed. This bone, they say, may be found by exposing a dead bramble-frog to ants, and letting them eat away the flesh: after which the bones must be put into the vessel,11 one by one.

On the other hand, again, in the left side of this reptile there is another bone, they say, which, thrown into water, has all the appearance of making it boil, and the name given to which is "apocynon."12 This bone, it is said, has the property of assuaging the fury of dogs, and, if put into the drink, of conciliating love and ending discord and strife. Worn, too, as an amulet, it acts as an aphrodisiac, we are told. The bone, on the contrary, which is taken from the right side, acts powerfully as a refrigerative upon boiling liquids, it is said: attached to the patient in a piece of fresh lamb's-skin, it has the repute of assuaging quartan and other fevers, and of checking amorous propensities. The spleen of these frogs is used as an antidote to the various poisons that are prepared from them; and for all these purposes the liver is considered still more efficacious.

1 See B. ix. cc. 40, 67, 74, 83.

2 See B. viii. c. 48, B. xi. cc. 19, 76, 116, B. xxv. c. 76.

3 See B. x. c. 86.

4 Under the name "magi," he is probably speaking here, not of the ordinary magicians, but the Magi of the East, from whom Democritus largely borrowed.

5 A piece of wit on the part of our author, in which he seldom indulges.

6 See B. xi. c. 76.

7 From "rubus," a "bramble."

8 In B. viii. c. 48. It is not improbable that the "rubetæ" of the ancients were toads.

9 Projections of the bones in which the eyes are set, as Dalechamps remarks.

10 "Plenæ veneficiorum." It was long a matter of doubt whether the toad is really poisonous, but it has been recently ascertained that the pustules on the skin contain a most active poison.

11 "Solium" and "oleum" are the readings here, but we adopt the conjecture of M. Ian, and substitute "ollam."

12 "Averting dogs."

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