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Let thus much be deemed sufficient on the subject of bricks. Among the other kinds of earth, the one of the most singular nature, perhaps, is sulphur, an agent of great power upon other substances. Sulphur is found in the Æolian Islands, between Sicily and Italy, which are volcanic, as already1 stated. But the finest sulphur of all, is that which comes from the Isle of Melos. It is obtained also in Italy, upon the range of hills in the territories of Neapolis and Campania, known as the Leucogæi:2 when extracted from the mines there, it is purified by the agency of fire.

There are four kinds of sulphur; the first of which is "live" sulphur, known as "apyron"3 by the Greeks, and found in solid masses, or in other words, in blocks. This, too, is the only sulphur that is extracted in its native state, the others being found in a state of liquescence, and requiring to be purified by being boiled in oil. This kind is green and transparent, and is the only sulphur that is used for medicinal purposes. A second kind is known as the "glebaceous"4 sulphur, and is solely employed in the workshops of the fullers. The third kind, also, is only used for a single purpose, that of fumigating wool, a process which contributes very greatly to making the wool white and soft; "egula"5 is the name given to it. The fourth kind is used in the preparation of matches more particularly.

In addition to these several uses, sulphur is of such remarkable virtue, that if it is thrown upon the fire it will at once detect, by the smell, whether or not a person is subject to epilepsy. Anaxilaüs used to employ this substance by way of pastime: putting sulphur in a cup of wine, with some hot coals beneath, he would hand it round to the guests, the light given by it, while burning, throwing a ghastly paleness like that of death upon the face of each. Its properties are calorific and maturative, in addition to which, it disperses abscesses on the body: hence it is that it is used as an ingredient in plasters and emollient poultices. Applied to the loins and kidneys, with grease, when there are pains in those parts, it is marvellously effectual as a remedy. In combination with turpentine, it removes lichens on the face, and leprosy,6 the preparation being known as "harpax,"7 from the celerity with which it acts upon the skin; for which reason it ought to be removed every now and then. Employed as an electuary, it is good for asthma, purulent expectorations, and stings inflicted by scorpions. Live sulphur, mixed with nitre, and then bruised with vinegar and applied, causes morphew to disappear, and destroys nits in the hair; in combination, too, with sandarach and vinegar, it is good for diseases of the eyelids.

Sulphur has its place among our religious ceremonies, being used as a fumigation for purifying houses.8 Its virtues are also to be perceived in certain hot mineral waters;9 and there is no substance that ignites more readily, a proof that there is in it a great affinity to fire. Lightning and thunder are attended with a strong smell of sulphur, and the light produced by them is of a sulphureous complexion.

1 In B. iii. c. 6.

2 See B. xviii. c. 29.

3 "Untouched by fire." Native sulphur.

4 "Gleba."

5 Sulphur has been always considered highly useful for the cure of cutaneous affections.

6 From ἅρπαζω, "to carry away."

7 Ovid, in his "Art of Love," speaks of purifying houses with eggs and sulphur.

8 Ovid, in his "Art of Love," speaks of purifying houses with eggs and sulphur.

9 See B. xxxi. c. 32.

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