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However, Phænias the Eresian compels us to entertain the idea that, perhaps, the name may be meant for cedron, as from the cedar-tree. For, in the fifth book of his treatise on Plants, he says that the cedar has thorns around its leaves; and that the same is the case with the citron is visible to everybody. But that the citron when eaten before any kind of food, whether dry or moist, is an antidote to all injurious effects, I am quite certain, having had that fact fully proved to me by my fellow-citizen, who was entrusted with the government of Egypt. He had condemned some men to be given to wild beasts, as having been convicted of being malefactors, and such men he said were only fit to be given to beasts. And as they were going into the theatre appropriated to the punishment of robbers, a woman who was selling fruit by the wayside gave them out of pity some of the citron which she herself was eating, and they took it and ate it, and after a little while, being exposed to some enormous and savage beasts, and bitten by asps, they suffered no injury. At which the governor was mightily astonished. And at last, examining the soldier who had charge of them, whether they had eaten or drunk anything, when he learnt of him that some citron had been given to them without any evil design; on the next day he ordered some citron to be given o some of them again, and others to have none given to them And [p. 142] those who eat the citron, though they were bitten, received no injury, but the others died immediately on being bitten. And this result being proved by repeated experiments, it was found that citron was an antidote to all sorts of pernicious poison. But if any one boils a whole citron with its seed in Attic honey, it is dissolved in the honey, and he who takes two or three mouthfuls of it early in the morning will never experience any evil effects from poison.
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