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Bp. Hall, Characterismes of Vices, p. 173 {Works, 1634).

' Let not his smoothing ivords

Bewitch your hearts

. . . . . for all this flattering gloss
He will be found a dangerous protector.'

Shahs., 2d Ft. Henry VI., i. 1.

1 Dangerous peer
That smoothest it so with king and common-weal.'

Shake., 2d Ft. Henry VL, ii. 1.

'His [Henry III.'s] expression, "licking the chancery," hath
left posterity to interpret it, whether taxing him for ambition,
liquorishly longing for that place; or for adulation, by the
soft smoothing of flattery making his way thereunto.'

Fuller, Worthies, vol. i. p. 117 (repr. 1811).

There are numerous instances of words expres-

1 Magnetic Lady, iv. 1. Cf. ' To wipe a person down,' to flatter
or pacify (Slang Dictionary).

2 There is an evident reference here (as pointed out by the
brothers Hare, ' Guesses at Truth,' 1st Ser. p. 137, 3d ed.) to Zeno's
illustration, ' Cum autem diduxerat, et manum dilataverat, palmse
illius similem eloquentiam esse dicebat ' (Cic. de Orat., 32).


sive of the idea of flattering having originally
meant to smooth, 1 or stroke down, e.g. —

1. ' To claw ' is very commonly used in old writers
for to flatter —

1 Claw no man in his humour.'

Shaks., Much Ado About Nothing, i. 3.

1 Some object that he [Cambden] claws and natters the Gran-
dees of his own age.' Fuller, H. State, p. 137 (1648).

'Why the King cajoleth the great Monasteries ... in the
foresaid preamble the King fairly claweth the great Monas-
teries.' Fuller, Church Hist, ii. 211 (ed. 1842).

So c clawback ' was used for flatterer, e.g. —

1 Parasite, a clawback, flatterer, soother, smoother, for good
chear sake.' Cutgrave.

2. 6 To curry/ or c curry favour,' originally to
e currg Javel, 2 (Fr.) etriller fauveau, to curry the
chestnut horse, to soothe an animal by rubbing
him down and combing him, to flatter.

' Thei curreth kynges and her back claweth.'

P. P. Creole, c. iii.

So we meet (Dut.) streelen, to flatter, soothe,
from sir eel, a curry-comb. 3

3. ' To glaver,' or 6 glafTer ' (prov. Eng.) = to
flatter, connected with (Welsh) glaf (= smooth),
(prov. Bug.) glafe^ (Lat.) glaber (smooth), 'glib.'

1 So the Latin verb calvor, to deceive (whence calumnia), seems
to contain the root of calvus, smooth.

2 Vide Douce's Illustrations of Shakspere, p. 291.

3 Philolog. Soc. Proceedings, g vol. iii. p. 149.


4. (Russ.) gladit (to flatter, smooth, stroke),
(Boliem.) Idaditi, connected with (Dut) glad, (Ger.)
glatt, (Bohem.) hladhj (= smooth), cf. l glatte
worte' = flattery (Ger., Prov. ii. 16). So (Swed.)
sliita ord (smooth, i.e., flattering, words), from slkt
(smooth), (Goth.) slaihts, (Ger.) slicht, l sleek.' *

Compare —

' The schilling vissage of the god Cupicle,
And his dissimilit slekit wourdes quhyte.'

Gawin Douglas, Bulces of Eneados (1553).

5. (Fr.) palper (' to handle gently, stroak
softly, also to flatter, sooth, cog,' Cotgrave), (Lat.)

6. (Fr.) chatouiller, 'to tickle, touch gently,
also to flatter, claw, smooth, please with faire
words/ (Cotgrave).

7. (It.) lisciare (' to smooth, to sleeke, to
stroke, or claw smoothly and softly. Also, to flatter
or cog withall,' Florio), from liscio (smooth),
Gk. \iaaos.

8. (Prov. Eng.) rchane (to stroke, to coax),
Tchanter (to flatter), (North). — Wright. (Cleve-
land) wholly, to stroke the back of an animal gently,
also to wheedle or cajole a person (Atkinson).

1 Cf. Ps. xii. 2 ; Prov. vi. 24, where the original implies smooth
speeches, &c.

2 Cf ' Cui male si palpere recalcitrat undique tutus' (Hor. Sat.
ii. 1, 20). So Buttmann connects Gk. airarav (to deceive) with
d.Tra.(petv and dirreadai (to touch, handle), (Lexilogus, s. v.)


9. (Ir.) sliomaim, (Gael.) sliom (to flatter),
from sliom (smooth, sleek, ' slim ').

10. (Lat.) mulcere (1, to stroke down ; 2, soothe,
flatter), connected with mulgere (to milk a cow),
dfieXyco, (Ir.) miolc (milk) ; and near akin are the
(Ir.) miolcaim} (to flatter, soothe) and

11. (Lith.) milzu (1, to stroke down, milk; 2,
cajole, persuade).

12. (Ir.) bladairim (I flatter), bladar (flattery,
soothing), {cf, 6 blether ' and ' blather') from
bladh (smooth, flat, also flattery). With n inserted,
blandar, blandaraim, which seem to account for
the Latin blandus, blandior (to flatter.) ' Blan-
disseur, sl soother, smoother, flattering sycophant,
or claw-back ' (Cotgrave).

13. (Ger.) schmeicheln, (Dut.) smeecken, (Dan.)
smigre (= to flatter), Eng. ' smicker,' (Swed.)
smeka (to stroke, caress), smickra, to flatter.
Skinner (Etymologicon, 1671) gives Eng. to
6 smuckle ' = to flatter.

14. (Heb,) chdlaq 2 (to be smooth), Hiphil
(1) to smooth, (2) to flatter (Prov. xxix. 5 ;
Ps. xxxvi. 3), (? cf. Ko\a%). A cognate word
is —

1 Cf. (Ir.) bleacktaire (1, a milker; 2, a soother), Ueachd (milk),
&c. Similarly (Gk.) dwirrio (to flatter, orig. to caress or stroke with
the hand), has been traced to the Sanskrit root duh (to milk).
M. Miiller quoted by Pictet, Orig. Ind. ii. 25.
2 P?n.



15. (Heb.) cMld/c 1 (to be smooth), Piel (1) to
stroke or smooth anyone's face, (2) soothe, caress,
flatter. Thus we are told in a curious anthropo-
morphic phrase in Zech. vii. 2, that Sherezer and
others were sent ' to stroke the face of Jehovah, i.e.,
to conciliate or entreat His favour. 2

16. (Esthon.) libbe (smooth, flattering), con-
nected with libbama (to lick). Cf (Prov.) lepar (1,
to lick ; 2, to cajole, flatter).

17. (Prov.) lagot (flattery), (Sp.) lagotear (to
flatter), connected with (QoW\.)\>i-laigo7i (to lick),
Diez. Compare

' I learn that smooth-tongu'd flatteries are
False language.' Quarks, Grammar of the Heart.

And the German proverb, ' Schmeichler sind
Katzen, die vorne lecken und hinten kratzen.'
And so Macaulay —

' The amiable king had a trick of giving a sly scratch with
one hand, while patting and stroking with the other.'

Essay on Frederick the Great.

* It is observable that which way soever a wicked man
useth his tongue, he cannot use it well. Mordet detrahendo,
lingit adulando : He bites by detraction, licks by flattery ;
and either of these touches rankle ; he doth no less hurt by
licking than by biting.'

Thos. Adams, Sermon on the Taming of the Tongue.

1 n ^-

2 Vide, Keil on Minor Prophets, in he, vol. i. (Clark, Trans.)


Synonymous with flattery is i adulation/ the
Latin adulatio, from adulor. This last word has
sorely perplexed almost every etymologist that
has attempted to analyse it ; and yet, if I am not
mistaken, the true explanation of it is neither dif-
ficult nor recondite. The most absurd and con-
flicting derivations have been suggested; for
example, ad aulam (from i standing in the hall ')
by Wedgwood, ad and a supposed word via (=
Greek ovpa, ' tail '), from a dog wagging its tail, 1
by Donaldson (Varron., p. 259), adoro (pray to)
by others. It is much more probable, I think,
that adulor represents the Greek d&uXlfo (Jiadulizo),
from aSvkos (Jiddulos), Doric forms of rjBu\l^co,

1 As 'wheedle 'is the (Ger.) wedeln (to wag the tail), cf. (It.)
codiare (Florio). This is the origin that Wedgwood adopts for
'flatter,' connecting it with (0. Norse) Jladra (to wag the tail).
He might have quoted in support of his view the following
from Bp. Keynolds, where, speaking of the ' flattery of dogs,' he
quotes —

1 Ovprj fih p 6y Zo-yve, xal oUara /ca/3/3a\ev &fj.(pu. Od. p. 302.

For wanton joy to see his master near,

He wav'd h\s, flattering tail, and toss'd his ear.'

Works, vi. 32 (ed. 1826).

Beaumont and Fletcher speak of

' Lying, or dog flattering,
At which our nation's excellent.' The Mad Lover.

King Charles I. confessed to Sir Philip Warwick that he loved
greyhounds better than spaniels, ' for they equally love their
masters, and yet do not flatter them so much ' (Mem. of Charles I.
p. 365). The type of the 'flattering sycophant,' says the great
puritan divine Thomas Adams, is ' the fawning spaniel, that hath
only learned to fetch and carry, to spring the covey of his master's
lusts, and to arride and deride him ' (Works, vol. ii. p. 119,
Kichol's ed.)


?;8u\o?, from rjSvs (sweet), and so means to say
sweet things, "be sweet upon a person (cf. rjSuvco,
rjSvXoyeco). 1

So our ' soothe ' is without doubt the verbal
form of (0. Eng.) ' soote,' ' sote ' (sweet), 2 Dan.
sod, and meant originally to sweeten ; (Goth.)
sutkjan, connected with sutis (sweet), (Dut.) zoet,
(A. -Sax.) swet, swaes, (Ger.) suss, (Gk.) tfSvs,
(Sans.) svddu (sweet, tasty), from the root svdd (to
taste, eat). Hence also ' to soother ' (Devon.),
i sooter ' (to court) ; (A.-Sax.) swadkrian, from
swaes (sweet). Cf. —

1 Witli sothery butter theyr bo-dyes anoynted.'

The Four P's, 0. PL v. 87 (i.e., sweet, savoury.
"Wright, Prov. Diet., s.v.)

1 Jellies soother than the creamy curd.'

Keats, Eve of St Agnes, xxx.

And Shakspere uses ' words of sooth ' for ' words
of sweetness' (Richard II. iii. 3.)

The (Sans.) svddu (sweet) also appears in the
Latin suadere (lit. to soothe or sweeten), per-
suadere, ( to persuade ' (lit. to sweeten thoroughly
and effectually, per intensive) corresponding to an
Eng. ' to for-soothe.' ' To sweeten ' was once used
pretty nearly in the same sense, e.g. —

1 Since writing the above, I have found that the same origin had
been previously suggested in Richardson's Diet. The long u in
adulor, it must be admitted, remains a difficulty.

* ' The rose wexeth soote, smooth, and soft.'

Chaucer, Trollus and Creseide.


* Amadouer, To flatter, to smooth, to gloze with . . . ; to
sweeten, or appease a harsh or angry spirit with faire words.'

Gotgrave, 1660.

1 The Holland Embassador here do endeavonr to sweeten us
with fair words.' Pepys' Diary, June 16, 1664.

Closely akin is the Latin suavis (sweet, for suad-
vis, (Sans.) svad, svddu), which gives us our
■ assuage ' (from the 0. Fr. assouager, through a
Latin assuaviare), ( to sweeten, soothe, or soften.'

1 Al my breste Bolleth* for bitter of my galle ;
May no Suger so swete' a-swagen hit vnnethe.'

Vision of P. Plowman (1362), Pass. v. 1. 100
(E.E.T.S., Text A).

As flattery pleases, or, as we sometimes say,
tickles a person's vanity and self-esteem pretty
much in the same way that sweetmeats and dain-
ties gratify his palate, it was a natural mode of
expression to call such plausive language ' sweet
or sugared speech,' i soothing,' ' soft sawder ' (pro-
bably for 6 soother '), ' suasion,' or 6 adulation,'
words all having in common the same idea of
sweetness, and all springing from the same root.
Compare also (A.- Sax.) swaes-sprdec (sweet-speech)
= flattery, swaes-laecan (make-sweet), to flatter.

1 Sin, the mind's harlot,' says Thomas Adams, ' preaches
according to the palate of her audience, placentia ; nay, it is
placenta, a sweet cake, whose flour is sugar, and the humour
that tempers it honey, sweet, pleasant.'

TJie Fatal Banquet.


In the curious old comedy of ' The Conibate of
the Tongue and the Five Sences for Superiorities
the heroine soliloquises as follows : —

'Fie Lingua wilt thou now degenerate?
Art not a woman 1 do'st not loue reuenge ?
Delightful speeches, sweete persuasions ?

Oft have I seasoned sauory periods

With sugred words, to delude Gustus taste.'

Lingua, i. 1 (1632, sig. A 3).

(She) ' The selie soul ycaught hath in her nette
Of her sugred mouth alas ! nothing ware.'

Chaucer, Remedy of Love.

Phineas Fletcher describes Colax the flatterer
as one that

' All his words with sugar spices.'

The Purple Island, canto viii. 44.

' Her she soone appeas'd
With sugred words, and gentle blandishment.'

Spenser, F. Q., Bk. III., canto vi. 25.

1 Your fair discourse hath been as sugar,
Making the hard way sweet and delectable.'

Shaks., Richard II, ii. 3.

1 Hide not thy poison with such sugar d words*

U Ft. Henry VI., iii. 2.

{ So I have seen an unblown virgin fed
With sugar'd words.'

Quarks, Emblems, Bk. I. ii.

Other examples are the following : —

1 Amieller, To sweeten ; intice, allure, inveagle with honeyed
words ; '



' Emmieller, To behoney, to sweeten, . . . pacifie, or ap-
pease, with sweet means.' Cotgrave.

Both from miel. So c to honey ' was used by the
Elizabethan writers with the signification of coax-
ing or flattering.

' Cans't thou not honey me with fluent speach.'

Antonio and 3/ellida, A 4 (in Nares).

Compare the Gk. ixeCkiaao), fjueXlaaco (to soothe),
connected with fiekca-aa, fiiki (honey) ; and the
phrase, < Tiro t y\vKaLveLv pyjuarcoh ixayeipiicois, i.e., as
De Quincey renders it, ' to wheedle the people with
honeyed words dressed to its palate ' (Aristophanes,
Knights, 216).

(0. Norse) milda (to soothe, appease), mildr
(gentle, 'mild'), are connected with (Gael.) mills
(sweet), (Ir.) mills, and mil (honey), (Lat.) mel.
So (Lat.) mulceo, mulsus (to soothe, flatter, also to
sweeten drinks, &c), would seem to have been in-
fluenced by, if not directly derived from, mel,
mulsum (mead). ' Indulge,' (Lat.) indulgere, is
for indulcere (to be sweet to a person), connected
with dulcis (sweet) ; and (Fr.) adouclr, (Sp.)
adulcir, (It.) addolcire, from a Latin form dulcire,
' to sweeten, smooth, asswage, appease, pacifie '
(Cotgrave), 1 are similar formations. In like man-
ner, douceur (a gift) is the Lat. dulcor (sweet-

1 From adoucir, through a Swiss form adauhir, comes the 0.
Eng. ' adaw ' in Spenser, to abate, soften (Wedgwood). Cf. ' as-
suage,' supra.


ness), 0. Eng. dolce, a gift, 1 and exactly corre-
sponding to this is the Gk. ehva (gifts), from the
Sanskrit svad, sv&du (sweet), lit. ' sweet things
wherewithal to "persuade.'' Cf. (Fr.) pot-de-vin
and our l bribe,' which originally meant a piece of
bread, (Fr.) bribe, as it were a ' sop to Cerberus,'
(Gk.) fjieiXia, gifts, lit. i soothers.' See fjueiXicraa

The following apt illustration is to be found
in Lord Campbell's ' Life of Lord Lyndhurst '
(1869) :—

'He never condescended to anything like direct flattery,
but he felicitously hit upon the topic which he knew would
tickle the amour propre of those whom he wished to dulcify '

— i.e., to soothe, l swage,'' persuade, or sweeten.

1 I give this word on the authority of Wright's ' Dictionary of
Obsolete and Provincial English.'

[ 73 ]



VITIS ' — ' BAD ' — ' VETCH,

' VITIUM ' AND ' VITIS ' — ' BAD -

What a noble object is a full-grown tree ! How
stalwart in its gnarled bulk, how lofty in its sturdy
independent growth ! What a staid and reverend
aspect they wear, i those green-robed senators of
mighty woods/ hoary with eld, wrinkled and
scarred by numberless years ! Stand at the foot
of an ancient tree, whether it be a stately elm or
a rugged oak ; look up at its towering expanse of
branches, observe its whelked and furrowed bole,
and try to clasp it round. 1 One feels overwhelmed
almost with a sense of his own weakness and di-
minutiveness, compared with the grandeur of its
majestic height, its massive proportions, its sem-
piternal duration. It seems, too, the very emblem
of stability. Let the stoutest athlete try his
strength against a tree (like Milo of old), and with

1 The Marton Oak at Prestbury, in Cheshire, is no less than 64
feet 5 inches in girth at the bottom (N. and Q., 5th S. ii. 366).


what a grim stolidity of indifference it smiles down
at his puny efforts — contemptuous in its immo-
bility. And it is almost the same in its warfare
with the forces of nature. It may indeed so far
comply with ' the season's difference ' as to sur-
render its crown of leaves ; but the powers of life
are still strong at its heart, and are ever adding
new circles to its girth. A tree is no time-server.
The veteran of the forest lifts its head as erect
into the azure calmness of the summer sky, as
towards the threatening gloom of winter when the
heavens are gathering blackness ; when the storm
breaks and roars against its branches, it seems to
exult in its unshaken might — as the winds bluster
and spend their force, the rooted giant, swaying its
huge arms aloft, seems to grapple with its adver-
sary and return blow for blow. It may, perhaps,
be altogether overborne and laid prostrate by the
violence of the tempest; but it is incapable of bend-
ing, it scorns to yield to hostile pressure. If it
falls, we deplore its untimely fate with something
of human sympathy, accounting it an irreparable
loss when a lordly tree is torn up from its roots
and stretched along upon the earth, battered and
disfigured. It seems like the overthrow of a
mighty man of valour, of a king who had survived
a hundred well-fought battles, and has now met
his doom at last, and fallen in the fulness of his


Indeed, this heroic vigour and strength of
character so apparent in trees has often been com-
pared to the corresponding qualities in men.
1 Some men/ says George Fox, the founder of the
Quakers, ' have the nature of tall, sturdy oaks, to
flourish and spread in wisdom and strength.' As
we delight in applying the phrase 6 hearts of oak '
to our brave sailors, so did the Eomans apply the
word robur, expressive of the strength or robustness
of the oak, to the courage of their invincible
soldiery; and in Italian, according to Florio's
definition, robore is ' an oake, also courage, hardi-
nesse or stoutnesse of minde.' In his i Essay on
Gardening,' Shenstone the poet remarks that ' all
trees have a character analogous to that of men :
oaks are in all respects the perfect image of the
manly character: in former times I should have
said, and in present times I think I am authorized
to say, the British one: As a brave man is not
suddenly either elated by prosperity or depressed
by adversity, so the oak displays not its verdure
on the sun's first approach, nor drops it on his
first departure. Add to this its majestic appear-
ance, the rough grandeur of its bark, and the wide
protection of its branches.' He further expresses
the opinion, in which most people will coincide
with him, that i a large, branching, aged oak, is
perhaps the most venerable of all inanimate objects.'
That these heroic qualities of vigour and strength


so remarkable in trees were shared by them in
common with men was noticed by the most ancient
writers, and it was even supposed that the stoutest
warriors derived their origin from certain of the
hardest kinds of trees. Thus Hesiod 1 states that
the third generation of articulately-speaking men
were made by Father Zeus out of ash-trees — a
proper material for a tough and hardy race. It
was out of the sacred ash, Yggdrasil, that the first
man was believed to have been created in the
Northern mythology ; and in Anglo-Saxon, cesc, an
ash, is also the word for a man, a warrior. The
Arcadians 2 were said to be a race of men sprung
from the trunks of hard oaks ; while Isaiah, it may
be remembered, styles the warriors of the invading
Assyrian army ' trees of the forest ' (Ch. x. 19.
Compare Amos ii. 9). 3

Of things endued with life, the largest, and
beyond all question the longest-lived, is a tree.
So far as any earthly thing can be, it is the
emblem of changeless duration, of immortality. 4

1 Works and Days, 11. 143-145.

2 Virgil, ^En. VIII. 315.

3 In Icelandic, skati, a poetical term for a towering, lordly man, is
said to be cognate with the Swedish skata, the top of a tree
(Cleasby, Diet, s.v.)

4 Hence, doubtless, it was that such trees as the

' Trusty yew,
Cheerless, unsocial plant, that loves to dwell
Midst skulls and coffins, epitaphs, and worms/

have been from time immemorial adopted as appropriate denizens
of Christian burying-places.


The way in which it seems to defy tne attacks
of all-destroying Time is perfectly marvellous.
Generations of men may come and go, but it
makes no difference to it. Dr Holmes, speaking
of a leafy veteran blown down in the year 1852,
and counting its years by its rings, moralises as
follows : —

'Here are some human lives laid down against the periods
of its growth to which they corresponded. This is Shake-
speare's. The tree was seven inches in diameter when he was
born ; ten inches when he died. A little less than ten inches
when Milton was born ; seventeen when he died. Then comes
a long interval, and this thread marks out Johnson's life, dur-
ing which the tree increased from twenty-two to twenty-nine
inches in diameter. Here is the space of Napoleon's career ;
the tree doesn't seem to have minded it. ... It remembers
all human history as a thing of yesterday in its own dateless
existence.' x Autocrat of the Breakfast- Table.

One or two instances of their remarkable longe-
vity may be mentioned. The tree known as the
Tortworth Chestnut is calculated to be not less
than 1100 years old. 2

A fir-tree near Mont^ Blanc, called the Chamois
Stable, has been ascertained to be more than 1200
years of age. 3

1 Compare Cowper's address to the Yardley Oak —

' By thee I might correct, erroneous oft,
The clock of history, facts and events
Timing more punctual, unrecorded facts
Recov'ring, and misstated setting right —
Desp'rate attempt, till trees shall speak again » '

2 Notes and Queries, 1st S. iv. 401-403, 488. 3 Id. vi. 45.


The Salcey-Forest Oak, in Northamptonshire, is
believed to have weathered the gales of more than
fifteen centuries. 1

A few of the olive-trees at present to be found
at Gethsemane, it is supposed, may have been
witnesses of the Agony in the Garden. Even a
greater antiquity has been claimed for some of the
cedars of Lebanon ; and the gigantic terebinth, or
' oak,' of Mamre, beneath which the Patriarch
Abraham pitched his tent (Gen. xiii. 18), used to
be pointed out in the time of Josephus, was still
standing and revered in the days of Constantine
the Great, and its trunk was actually still visible,
it is said, in the seventeenth century. 2 Evelyn
mentions a cypress in Persia which was reputed to
be 2500 years old (Silva, Bk. III. ch. 3).

1 Grindon, Trees of Old England, p. 18. Other historic tree3
are the ' Shire Oak ' at the meeting of York, Nottingham, and
Derby shires ; and ' Orouch Oak ' at Addlestone, Surrey, beneath
which Wicliffe is said to have preached.

2 Stanley, Jewish Church, vol. i. p. 33.

* II y a aux bains de Casciano, en Toscano, entre Pise et Florence,
un cheue qui e"tait de'ja fameux par sa masse et par sa vetuste dans
les guerres de 1300 entre les Pisans et les Toscans. II n'a pris un
jour ni un cheveu blanc depuis ces cinq siecles. Sa tige s'eleve
aussi droite, sur des racines aussi saines, a quatre-vingts pieds du
sol : et ses bras immenses, qui poussent d'autres bras iunombrables
comine un polype terrestre, n'ont pas une brauche seche a leurs ex-
tremites. II a mille ou douze cents ans, et il est tout jeune. C'est
assis sous ce chene de Casciano que j'ecrivis cette Harmonic, en
1826. J'ai vu depuis le platane de Godefroi de Bouillon, dans la
prairie de Constantinople ; les croises camperent a ses pieds, et un
regiment de cavalerie tout entierpeut encore aujourd'huis'y ranger
a l'ombre en bataille. J'ai vu depuis les oliviers de la colline de
Golgotha, vis-a-vis de Jerusalem, qui passent peur avoir etc* temoins
de l'agonie et de la sueur de sang du Christ.'

Lamai'tine, Harmonies Poetiques, p. 137 (Paris, 1863).


The sacred Bo-tree of Ceylon (Ficus religiosa)
is still reverenced as the identical one planted on
the introduction of Buddhism, 307 years before
the Christian era (Tennent, Christianity in Ceylon,
p. 335).

But even these, ancient as they were, are but babes
compared with others that naturalists make men-
tion of. Humboldt, in his 6 Yiews of Nature ' (pp.
268 seq., ed. Bohu), records an instance of a bao-
bab-tree estimated to have reached the astonishing
age of 5150 years, 1 while that known as the dragon-
tree, and found in Madeira and the other ' islands
of Atlantis,' is put down by the same writer as
attaining to just double^that number of years. One
particular tree of the latter species, which existed
4000 years ago, is declared to be in life at this
day, identified by historical description. This
dragon-tree is a vegetable relic of an earlier world,
says M. Pegot-Ogier, and cohabitant with the
monstrous animals which have long since vanished

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