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A TRULY wonderful fact is stated by Aristotle in the seventh book of his Problems, 1 and by Plutarch in the eighth of his Symposiaca. 2 “If,” say they, “you place heavy weights on the wood of the palmtree, and load it so heavily and press it down so hard that the burden is too great to bear, the wood does not give way downward, nor is it made concave, but it rises against the weight and struggles upward and assumes a convex form. 3 It is for that reason,” says Plutarch, “that the palm has been chosen as the symbol of victory in contests, since the nature of its wood is such that it does not yield to what presses hard upon it and tries to crush it.”

1 Fr. 229, Rose.

2 4.5.

3 Hardly to be taken literally. The same statement is made by Pliny, N. H. xvi. 223; Theophr. Enquiry into Plants, v. 6 (i. 453, L.C.L.); Xen. Cyrop. vii. 5. 11 (ii. 267, L.C.L.)

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