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CHAP. 28.—CHERNITES.

Less active in its properties is chernites,1 a stone which preserves bodies without consuming them, and strongly resembles ivory in appearance: the body of King Darius, they say, was buried in it. The stone that is known as "porus,"2 is similar to Parian marble in hardness and whiteness, but is not so heavy. Theophrastus mentions also a transparent stone that is found in Egypt, and is similar to stone of Chios in appearance; it is by no means improbable that it may have existed in his time, for stones, we know, disappear, and new kinds are discovered. The stone of Assos,3 which is saltish to the taste, modifies the attacks of gout, the feet being placed in a vessel made of it for the purpose; in addition to which, in the quarries of this stone, all maladies of the legs disappear, whereas, in mines in general, the legs become affected with disease. "Flower of stone of Assos" is the name given to a soft stone which crumbles into dust, and is found very efficacious in some cases; it resembles red pumice in appearance. In combination with Cyprian wax, this stone is curative of affections of the mamillæ; and, employed with pitch or resin, it disperses scrofulous sores and inflammatory tumours. Used in the form of an electuary, it is good for phthisis, and, with honey, it causes old sores to cicatrize, and consumes proud flesh. It is used, also, for the cure of wounds of an obstinate nature inflicted by animals, and acts as a desiccative upon suppurations. Plaisters, too, are made of it for gout, bean-meal being incorporated with it for the purpose.

1 Both of them varieties of calcareous tufa, Ajasson thinks.

2 Both of them varieties of calcareous tufa, Ajasson thinks.

3 Or Sarcophagus: see the preceding Chapter.

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