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There is another finer kind of scale which is detached from the surface of the metal, like a very fine down, and known as "stomoma."1 But of all these substances, and even of their names, the physicians, if I may venture so to say, are quite ignorant, as appears by the names they give them; so unacquainted are they with the preparation of medicaments, a thing that was formerly considered the most essential part of their profession.2 At the present day, whenever they happen to find a book of recipes, if they wish to make any composition from these substances, or, in other words, to make trial of the prescription at the expense of their unhappy patients, they trust entirely to the druggists,3 who spoil everything by their fraudulent adulterations. For this long time past, they have even purchased their plasters and eye-salves ready made, and the consequence is, that the spoiled or adulterated wares in the druggists' shops are thus got rid of.

Both lepis and flower of copper are calcined in shallow earthen or brazen pans; after which they are washed, as described above,4 and employed for the same purposes; in addition to which, they are used for excrescences in the nostrils and in the anus, as also for dullness of the hearing, being forcibly blown into the ears through a tube. Incorporated with meal, they are applied to swellings of the uvula, and, with honey, to swellings of the tonsils. The scales prepared from white copper are much less efficacious than those from Cyprian copper. Sometimes they first macerate the nails and cakes of copper in a boy's urine; and in some instances, they pound the scales, when detached, and wash them in rain water. They are then given to dropsical patients, in doses of two drachmæ, with one semisextarius of honied wine: they are also made into a liniment with fine flour.

1 Ajasson describes this substance as consisting merely of the pure metal in a state of minute mechanical division; it would appear, therefore, to be scarcely, if at all, different from the articles described in the last Chapter. The word στόμωμα means a "hard substance," or "hard scales," therefore the application of this term to a substance like down, "lanugo," is perhaps not very appropriate.—B.

2 Beckmann comments at some length on this passage; Vol. I. p. 328. Bohn's Edition.

3 "Seplasiæ." The druggists dwelling in the Seplasia. See B. xxxiii. c. 58.

4 In Chapters 22 and 23, as applied to Cadmia and Cyprian copper, respectively.—B.

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