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[52] Why should I mention the origin, cultivation, and growth of the vine? But, that you may know what affords the recreation and delight of my old age, I will say that vine-culture gives me a joy of which I cannot get too much. For I pass over the inherent force of all those things which are generated from the earth—a force that, from the tiny fig-seed, or grape-stone, or from the smallest seeds of other [p. 65] fruits and plants, can produce such mighty trunks and boughs. Are not the results obtained from mallet-shoots, sprouts, cuttings, divisions, and layers enough to afford wonder and delight to any man? The vine which droops by nature and falls to the ground unless it has support, raises itself by its finger-like tendrils and enfolds in its embrace the props that hold it up; and as it turns and twists with many a varying course the skilful gardener with his pruning knife checks its growth lest it run to wood and spread too far.

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