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"1. SUD has a roundish olive-shaped root, externally black, but "white internally, and fo fragrant as to have obtained in Perfia "the name of Subterranean Musk: its leaf has some resemblance to "that of a leek, but is longer and narrower, ftrong, fomewhat rough "at the edges, and tapering to a point. 2. SUMBUL means a spike "or ear, and was called nard by the Greeks. There are three "forts of Sumbul or Nardin; but, when the word ftands alone, it “means the Sumbul of India, which is an herb without flower or fruit, "(he fpeaks of the drug only) like the tail of an ermine, or of a "small weafel, but not quite fo thick, and about the length of a finger. It is darkish, inclining to yellow, and very fragrant: it "is brought from Hinduftán, and its medicinal virtue lafts three "years." It was eafy to procure the dry Jatámánsì, which corresponded perfectly with the defcription of the Sumbul; and, though a native Muselmán afterwards gave me a Perfian paper, written by himself, in which he represents the Sumbul of India, the Sweet Sumbul, and the Jatámánsì as three different plants, yet the authority of Tohfatu'l Múmenìn is decifive, that the Sweet Sumbul is only another denomination of nard, and the physician, who produced that authority, brought, as a fpecimen of Sumbul, the very fame drug, which my Pandit, who is alfo a phyfician, brought as a fpecimen of the Jatámánsì: a Bráhmen of eminent learning gave me a parcel of the fame fort, and told me that it was used in their facrifices; that, when fresh, it was exquifitely fweet, and added much to the scent of rich effences, in which it was a principal ingredient; that the merchants brought it from the mountainous country to the northeaft of Bengal; that it was the entire plant, not a part of it, and received its Sanferit names from its resemblance to locks of hair; as it is called Spikenard, I fuppofe, from its resemblance to a Spike, when it is dried, and not from the configuration of its flowers, which the Greeks, probably, never examined. The Perfian author describes


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the whole plant as refembling the tail of an ermine; and the Fatámánsì, which is manifeftly the Spikenard of our druggifts, has precisely that form, confifting of withered stalks and ribs of leaves, cohering in a bundle of yellowish brown capillary fibres, and conftituting a spike about the fize of a small finger. We may on the whole be affured, that the nardus of PTOLEMY, the Indian Sumbul of the Perfians and Arabs, the Jatámánsì of the Hindus, and the Spikenard of our shops, are one and the fame plant; but to what class and genus it belongs in the Linnean fyftem, can only be afcertained by an inspection of the fresh bloffoms. Dr. PATRICK RUSSEL, who always communicates with obliging facility his extensive and accurate knowledge, informed me by letter, that Spikenard is carried over "the defert (from India, I prefume) to Aleppo, where it is ufed in "fubftance, mixed with other perfumes, and worn in fmall bags, "or in the form of effence and kept in little boxes or phials, like "âtar of rofes." He is perfuaded, and fo am I, that the Indian nard of the ancients, and that of our fhops, is one and the fame vegetable.

Though diligent refearches have been made at my request on the borders of Bengal and Bekàr, yet the Jatámánsì has not been found growing in any part of the British territories. Mr. SAUNDERS, who met with it in Bután, where, as he was informed, it is very common, and whence it is brought in a dry ftate to Rangpur, has no hesitation in pronouncing it a fpecies of the Baccharis ; and, fince it is not poffible, that he could mistake the natural order and effential character of the plant, which he examined, I had no doubt that the Jatámánsì was compofit and corymbiferous with stamens connected by the anthers, and with female prolifick florets intermixed with hermaphrodites: the word Spike was not ufed by the ancients with botanical precision, and the Stachys itself is verticillated, with only two


fpecies out of fifteen, that could juftify its generick appellation. I therefore concluded, that the true Spikenard was a Baccharis, and that, while the philofopher had been fearching for it to no purpose,

the dull fwain

Trod on it daily with his clouted shoon,

for the Baccharis, it seems, as well as the Conyza, is called by our gardeners, Ploughman's Spikenard. I fufpected, nevertheless, that the plant, which Mr. SAUNDERS defcribed, was not Jatámánsì; because I knew that the people of Bután had no such name for it, but distinguished it by very different names in different parts of their hilly country: I knew alfo, that the Butías, who fet a greater value on the drug than it seems, as a perfume, to merit, were extremely reserved in giving information concerning it, and might be tempted, by the narrow spirit of monopoly, to mislead an inquirer for the fresh plant. The friendly zeal of Mr. PURLING will probably procure it in a state of vegetation; for, when he had the kindness, at my defire, to make inquiries for it among the Bután merchants, they affured him, that the living plants could not be obtained without an order from their sovereign the Dévarájà, to whom he immediately dispatched a messenger with an earnest request, that eight or ten of the growing plants might be fent to him at Rangpur: fhould the Dévarájà comply with that request, and should the vegetable flourish in the plain of Bengal, we shall have ocular proof of its class, order, genus, and species; and, if it prove the fame with the Jatámánsì of Népal, which I now must introduce to your acquaintance, the question, with which I began this effay, will be fatisfactorily answered.

Having traced the Indian Spikenard, by the name of Jatámánsì, to the mountains of Népàl, I requested my friend Mr. Law, who then refided at Gayá, to procure fome of the recent plants by the means


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of the Népalefe pilgrims; who, being orthodox Hindus and poffeffing many rare books in the Sanferit language, were more likely than the Butias to know the true Jatámánsì, by which name they generally distinguish it many young plants were accordingly fent to Gayà, with a Perfian letter fpecifically naming them, and apparently written by a man of rank and literature; fo that no fufpicion of deception or of error can be justly entertained. By a mistake of the gardener they were all planted at Gayà, where they have bloffomed and at first feemed to flourish: I must therefore, defcribe the Fatámánsì from the report of Mr. BURT, who favoured me with a drawing of it, and in whofe accuracy we may perfectly confide; but, before I produce the defcription, I must endeavour to remove prejudice, in regard to the natural order of the spikenard, which they, who are addicted to swear by every word of their master LINNEUS, will hardly abandon, and which I, who love truth better than him, have abandoned with fome reluctance. Nard has been generally fuppofed to be a grass; and the word ftachys or Spike, which agrees with the habit of that natural order, gave rise, perhaps, to the fuppofition. There is a plant in Java, which moft travellers and some physicians called Spikenard; and the Governor of Chinfura, who is kindly endeavouring to procure it thence in a state fit for examination, writes me word, that "a Dutch author pronounces it a grafs "like the Cypirus, but infifts that what we call the Spike is the fibrous

part above the root, as long as a man's little finger, of a brownish "hue inclining to red or yellow, rather fragrant, and with a pungent, "but aromatick, fcent." This is too flovenly a defcription to have been written by a botanist; yet I believe the latter part of it to be tolerably correct, and fhould imagine that the plant was the fame with our Jatámánsì, if it were not commonly afferted, that the Javan fpikenard was used as a condiment, and if a well-informed man, who had seen it in the island, had not affured me, that it was a fort of Pimento,

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Pimento, and confequently a fpecies of Myrtle, and of the order now called Hefperian. The resemblance before mentioned between the Indian fumbul and the Arabian Sûd, or Cypirus, had led me to fufpect, that the true nard was a grafs or a reed; and, as this country abounds in odoriferous graffes, I began to collect them from all quarters. Colonel KYD obligingly fent me two plants with fweet-smelling roots; and, as they were known to the Pandits, I foon found their names in a Sanferit dictionary: one of them is called gandhas'at'hì, and ufed by the Hindus to fcent the red powder of Sapan or Bakkam wood, which they scatter in the festival of the vernal season; the other has many names, and, among them, nágaramaftac and gónarda, the fecond of which means rufiling in the water; for all the Pandits infist, that nard is never used as a noun in Sanferit, and fignifies, as the root of a verb, to found or to rustle. Soon after, Mr. BURROW brought me, from the banks of the Ganges near Heridwàr, a very fragrant grafs, which in some places covers whole acres, and diffuses, when crushed, so strong an odour, that a person, he says, might eafily have fmelt it, as ALEXANDER is reported to have smelt the nard of Gedrofia, from the back of an elephant: its bloffoms were not preserved, and it cannot, therefore, be defcribed. From Mr. BLANE of Lucnow I received a fresh plant, which has not flowered at Calcutta; but I rely implicitly on his authority, and have no doubt that it is a fpecies of Andropogon: it has rather a rank aromatick odour, and, from the virtue afcribed to it of curing intermittent fevers, is known by the Sanferit name of jwaráncusa, which literally means a fever-hook, and alludes to the iron-book with which elephants are managed. Laftly, Dr. ANDERSON of Madras, who delights in useful purfuits and in affifting the purfuits of others, favoured me with a complete fpecimen of the Andropogon Nardus, one of the most common graffes on the Coast, and flourishing most luxuriantly on the mountains, never eaten by cattle, but extremely grateful to bees, and containing an effential oil, which, he understands,




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