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The olive-tree1 of India is unproductive, with the sole exception of the wild olive. In every part we meet with trees that bear pepper,2 very similar in appearance to our junipers, although, indeed, it has been alleged by some authors that they only grow on the slopes of Caucasus which lie exposed to the sun. The seeds, however, differ from those of the juniper, in being enclosed in small pods similar to those which we see in the kidney-bean. These pods are picked before they open, and when dried in the sun, make what we call "long pepper." But if allowed to ripen, they will open gradually, and when arrived at maturity, discover the white pepper; if left exposed to the heat of the sun, this becomes wrinkled, and changes its colour. Even these productions, however, are subject to their own peculiar infirmities, and are apt to become blasted by the inclemency of the weather; in which case the seeds are found to be rotten, and mere husks. These abortive seeds are known by the name of "bregma," a word which in the Indian language signifies "dead." Of all the various kinds of pepper, this is the most pungent, as well as the very lightest, and is remarkable for the extreme paleness of its colour. That which is black is of a more agreeable flavour; but the white pepper is of a milder quality than either.

The root of this tree is not, as many persons have imagined, the same as the substance known as zimpiberi, or, as some call it, zingiberi, or ginger, although it is very like it in taste. For ginger, in fact, grows in Arabia and in Troglodytica, in various cultivated spots, being a small plant3 with a white root. This plant is apt to decay very speedily, although it is of intense pungency; the price at which it sells is six denarii per pound. Long pepper is very easily adulterated with Alexandrian mustard; its price is fifteen denarii per pound, while that of white pepper is seven, and of black, four. It is quite surprising that the use of pepper has come so much into fashion, seeing that in other substances which we use, it is sometimes their sweetness, and sometimes their appearance that has attracted our notice; whereas, pepper has nothing in it that can plead as a recommendation to either fruit or berry, its only desirable quality being a certain pungency; and yet it is for this that we import it all the way from India! Who was the first to make trial of it as an article of food? and who, I wonder, was the man that was not content to prepare himself by hunger only for the satisfying of a greedy appetite? Both pepper and ginger grow wild in their respective countries, and yet here we buy them by weight—just as if they were so much gold or silver. Italy,4 too, now possesses a species of pepper-tree, somewhat larger than the myrtle, and not very unlike it. The bitterness of the grains is similar to that which we may reasonably suppose to exist in the Indian pepper when newly gathered; but it is wanting in that mature flavour which the Indian grain acquires by exposure in the sun, and, consequently, bears no resemblance to it, either in colour or the wrinkled appearance of the seeds. Pepper is adulterated with juniper berries, which have the property, to a marvellous degree, of assuming the pungency of pepper. In reference to its weight, there are also several methods of adulterating it.

1 Fée expresses himself at a loss to conjecture what trees are here meant by Pliny.

2 Fée remarks, that there are many inaccuracies in the account here given by Pliny of the pepper-tree, and that it does not bear any resem- blance to the juniper-tree. The grains, he says, grow in clusters, and not in a husk or pod; and he remarks, that the long pepper and the black pepper, of which the white is only a variety divested of the outer coat, are distinct species. He also observes, that the real long pepper, the Piper longum of Linnæus, was not known to the ancients.

3 Fée remarks, that this is not a correct description of ginger, the Amomum zingiber of Linnæus. Dioscorides was one of those who thought that ginger was the root of the pepper-tree.

4 It is very doubtful what tree is here alluded to by Pliny, though certain that it is not one of the pepper-trees. Sprengel takes it to be the Daphne Thymelæa.

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