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[174] ABOUT the same time there were brought to the king from the Aurea Chersonesus, a country so called, precious stones, and pine trees, and these trees he made use of for supporting the temple and the palace, as also for the materials of musical instruments, the harps and the psalteries, that the Levites might make use of them in their hymns to God. The wood which was brought to him at this time was larger and finer than any that had ever been brought before; but let no one imagine that these pine trees were like those which are now so named, and which take that their denomination from the merchants, who so call them, that they may procure them to be admired by those that purchase them; for those we speak of were to the sight like the wood of the fig tree, but were whiter, and more shining. Now we have said thus much, that nobody may be ignorant of the difference between these sorts of wood, nor unacquainted with the nature of the genuine pine tree; and we thought it both a seasonable and humane thing, when we mentioned it, and the uses the king made of it, to explain this difference so far as we have done.

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