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Of a peculiar nature, too, though to be reckoned among the water1-plants, is the bramble, a shrub-like plant, and the elder, which is of a spongy nature, though not resembling giant fennel, from having upon it a greater quantity of wood. It is a belief among the shepherds that if they cut a horn or trumpet from the wood of this tree, it will give all the louder sound if cut in a spot where the shrub has been out of hearing of the crowing of the cock. The bramble bears mulberries,2 and one variety of it, known as the cynosbatos,3 bears a flower similar to the rose. There is a third variety, known to the Greeks as the Idæan4 bramble, from the place where it grows: it is slighter than the others, with smaller thorns, and not so hooked. Its flower, mixed with honey, is employed as an ointment for sore eyes and erysipelas: and an infusion of it in water is used for diseases of the stomach.5

The elder6 bears a small black berry, which contains a viscous juice, employed more particularly for staining7 the hair. The berries, too, are boiled in water and eaten.8

1 The bramble is sometimes found on the banks of watery spots and in marshy localities, but more frequently in mountainous and arid spots.

2 Known to us as blackberries. This tree is the Rubus fruticosus of Linnæus; the same as the Rubus tomentosus, and the Rubus corylifolius of other modern botanists.

3 The Rosa canina of Linnæus: the dog-rose or Eglantine.

4 The Rubus Idæus of botanists; the ordinary raspberry.

5 See B. xxiv. c. 75.

6 See B. xxiv. c. 35.

7 They are still used for dyeing, but not for staining the hair.

8 Only as a purgative, probably.

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