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Next in size after these are the fruit called by us "cotonea,"1 by the Greeks "Cydonia,"2 and first introduced from the island of Crete. These fruit bend the branches with their weight, and so tend to impede the growth of the parent tree. The varieties are numerous. The chrysomelum3 is marked with indentations down it, and has a colour inclining to gold; the one that is known as the "Italian" quince, is of a paler complexion, and has a most exquisite smell: the quinces of Neapolis, too, are held in high esteem. The smaller varieties of the quince which are known as the "struthea,"4 have a more pungent smell, but ripen later than the others; that called the "musteum,"5 ripens the soonest of all. The cotoneum engrafted6 on the strutheum, has produced a peculiar variety, known as the "Mulvianum," the only one of them all that is eaten raw.7 At the present day all these varieties are kept shut up in the antechambers of great men,8 where they receive the visits of their courtiers; they are hung, too, upon the statues9 that pass the night with us in our chambers.

There is a small wild10 quince also, the smell of which, next to that of the strutheum, is the most powerful; it grows in the hedges.

1 The quince, the Pirus Cydonia of Linnæus.

2 From Cydonia, a city of Crete. The Latin name is only a corruption of the Greek one: in England they were formerly called "melicotones."

3 Or "golden apple." The quince was sacred to Venus, and was an emblem of love.

4 Apparently meaning the "sparrow quince." Dioscorides, Galen, and Athenæus, however, say that it was a large variety. Qy. if in such case, it might not mean the ostrich quince?

5 "Early ripener."

6 Quinces are not grafted on quinces at the present day, but the pear is.

7 Fée suggests that this is a kind of pear.

8 Probably on account of the fragrance of their scent.

9 We learn from other sources that the bed-chambers were frequently ornamented with statues of the divinities.

10 The Mala cotonea silvestris of Bauhin; the Cydonia vulgaris of modern botanists.

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