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Fabrics that are called conchyliated are subjected to the same process in all other respects, but without any admixture of the juice of the buccinum; in addition to which, the liquid is mixed with water and human urine in equal parts,1 one-half2 only of the proportion of dye being used for the same quantity of wool. From this mixture a full colour is not obtained, but that pale tint, which is so highly esteemed; and the clearer3 it is, the less of it the wool has imbibed.

(40.) The prices of these dyes vary in proportion to the quantity produced by the various shores; still, however, those who are in the habit of paying enormous prices for them, may as well be informed that on no occasion ought the juice of of the pelagiæ to exceed fifty,4 and that of the buccinum one hundred sesterces for one hundred pounds.5

1 "Pro indiviso."

2 "Dimidia et medicamina adduntur." This, no doubt, is the sense of the passage, as it is evident that only a thinner dye was required for tint, though at first sight it would appear as though one-half more were required for the same quantity of wool. The quantity therefore would be 155 1/2 pounds of dye to fifty pounds of wool.

3 Tantoque dilutior, quanto magis vellera esuriunt." This seems to be the meaning of the passage: some commentators would read "dilucidior" for "dilutior," and it would appear to be preferable.

4 There can be little doubt that Salmasius is right in his conjecture that the reading here should be "quingentos," "five hundred," instead of "quinquagenos," "fifty:" as it is evident from what Pliny has said in previous Chapters, that the juices of the pelagia were considerably more valuable than those of the buccinum.

5 He states this by way of warning to those who are in the habit of paying enormous prices for dyes, such as one hundred denarii for a pound, as mentioned in the last Chapter.

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