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have been, if the nard of GARÇIAS and of ARRIAN was one and the fame plant, it is wonderful, that it should ever have been exported to Perfia and Arabia, where it grew, we are told, in fo great abundance. The nard of Arabia was, probably, the ANDROPOGON Schananthus, which is a native of that country; but, even if we fuppofe, that the spikenard of India was a reed or a grass, we shall never be able to diftinguish it among the many Indian fpecies of Cypirus, Andropogon, Schanus, Carex, and other genera of thofe natural orders, which here form a wilderness of fweets, and fome of which have not only fragrant roots, but even spikes in the ancient and modern fenfes of that emphatical word; one of them, which I never have seen in bloffom, but fuppofe from its appearance to be a Schanus, is even called Gónarda, and its dry root has a most agreeable odour; another, which RHEEDE names Bálaca, or Ramacciam, or white Irivéli, and which BURMAN thought a variety of the Schenanthus, is a confiderable article, it feems, of Indian commerce, and, therefore,, cultivated with diligence, but less esteemed than the black fort, or Carabála, which has a more fragrant root and affords an extremely odoriferous oil (e). All thofe plants would, perhaps, have been called nards by the ancients; and all of them have stronger pretenfions to the appellation of the true spikenard, than the Febrifuge ANDROPOGON, which the Hindus of Behár do not use as a perfume. After all, it is affuming a fact without proof, to affert, that the Indian spikenard was evidently gramineous; and, surely, that fact is not proved by the word arifta, which is conceived to be of a Grecian origin, though never applied in the fame sense by the Greeks themfelves, who perfectly well knew what was best for mankind in the vegetable system, and for what gift they adored the goddess of Eleufis. The Roman poets (and poets only are cited by Dr. BLANE, though natur

(e) 12 Hort. Malab. tab. 12. and 9 H. M. p. 145. See alfo the Flora Indica, and a note from HERMAN on the valuable oil of Seree.

alists also are mentioned) were fond of the word arifta, because it was very convenient at the close of an hexameter, where we generally, if not conftantly, find it; as HOMER declares in LUCIAN, that he began his Iliad with M, because it was the first commodious word, that presented itself, and is introduced laughing at a profound critick, who discovered in that single word an epitome of the whole poem on the wrath of ACHILLES: fuch poets as OvID and LACTANTIUs defcribed plants, which they never had seen, as they defcribed the nest of the phenix, which never existed, from their fancy alone; and their descriptions ought not seriously to be adduced as authorities on a queftion merely botanical; but, if all the naturalists of Greece and Italy had concurred in affuring us, that the nard of India bore an ear or spike, without naming the fource of their own information, they would have deserved no credit whatever; because not one of them pretends to have feen the fresh plant, and they had not even agreed among themselves, whether its virtues refided in the root or in the bufky leaves and stalks, that were united with it. PIETRO DELLA VALLE, the most learned and accomplished of eastern travellers, does not feem to have known the Indian spikenard, though he mentions it more than once by the obfolete name of Spigonardo; but he introduces a Sumbul from Khatá, or a part of China, which he had feen dry, and endeavours to account for the Arabick name in the following manner:-"Since the Khatάian "Sumbul, fays he, is not a Spike but a root, it was probably fo named, "because the word Sumbul may fignify, in a large acceptation, not

only the spike, but the whole plant, whatever herb or grafs may be "fown; as the Arabick dictionary (f), entitled Kámús, appears to in"dicate:" The paffage, to which he alludes, is this: SUMBUL, fays


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(f) Giacchè il Sombol del Cataio é radice e non è Spiga, potremmo dire, che così s'i chiami, perchè forfe la parola Sombol poffa piu largamente fignificare non folo la fpiga, ma tutta la pianta di ogni erba ò biada, che fi femini; come par, che il Camus, vacabolario Arabico, ne dia indizio.

Lett. 18. di Laghd d. "the

"the author of the Kámús, is an odoriferous plant, the strongest of
which is the Súrì, and the weakeft, the Hindi; but the Sumbul of Rúm
"has the name of nardin." I fuggested in
my former paper, and fhall
repeat in this, that the Indian spikenard, as it is gathered for use, is in
fact the whole plant; but there is a better reason why the name Sumbul
has been applied to it. By the way, DELLA VALLE failed, as he tells
us, along the coaft of Macrán, which he too fuppofes to have been a
part of Gedrofia; but he never had heard, that it produced Indian spike-
nard, though the Perfians were fully acquainted with that province;
for he would not have omitted fo curious a fact in his correfpondence
with a learned physician of Naples, for whose fake he was particularly
inquifitive concerning the drugs of Afia: it is much to be wished, that
he had been induced to make a fhort excurfion into the plains of Ma-
crán, where he might have found, that the wonderful tree, which
ARRIAN places in them, with flowers like violets, and with thorns of
fuch force and magnitude, as to keep wild beasts in captivity, and to transfix
men on horseback, who rode by them incautiously, was no more probably
than a Mimosa, the bloffoms of which resembled violets in nothing but
in having an agreeable scent.

Let us return to the Arabs, by whom DIOSCORIDES was tranflated with affistance, which the wealth of a great prince will always purchafe, from learned Greeks, and who know the Indian spikenard, better than any European, by the name of Sumbulu'l Hind: it is no wonder, that they represent it as weaker in scent and in power than the Sumbul of the lower Afia, which, unless my fmell be uncommonly defective, is a strong Valerian; especially as they could only have used the dry nard of India, which lofes much of its odour between Rangpur and Calcutta. One question only remains (if it be a question), whether the Sumbulu'l Hind be the true Indian spikenard; for, in that cafe, we know the plant to be of the natural order, which LINNAEUS calls aggregate. Since the publication

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publication of my paper on this subject, I put a fair and plain question severally to three or four Muffelman physicians, "What is the Indian name of the plant, which the Arabs call Sumbulu'l Hind?" They all answered, but fome with more readiness than others, Jatámánsì. After a pretty long interval, I fhewed them the Spikes (as they are called) of Jatámánsì, and asked, what was the Arabick name of that Indian drug: they all answered readily, Sumbulu'l Hind. The fame evidence may be obtained in this country by any other European, who seeks it; and if, among twelve native physicians, verfed in Arabian and Indian philology, a fingle man should after due confideration give different answers, I will cheerfully fubmit to the Roman judgement of non liquet. My own inquiries having convinced me, that the Indian spikenard of DIOSCORIDES is the Sumbulu'l Hind, and that the Sumbulu'l Hind is the Fatámánsì of AMARSINH, I am perfuaded, that the true nard is a species of Valerian, produced in the most remote and hilly parts of India, such as Népál, Morang, and Butan, near which PTOLEMY fixes its native foil: the commercial agents of the Dévarája call it also Pampi, and, by their account, the dried fpecimens, which look like the tails of ermines, rife from the ground, resembling cars of green wheat both in form and colour; a fact, which perfectly accounts for the names Stachys, Spica, Sumbul, and Khúshah, which Greeks, Romans, Arabs, and Perfians have given to the drug, though it is not properly a Spike, and not merely a root, but the whole plant, which the natives gather for fale, before the radical leaves, of which the fibres only remain after a few months, have unfolded themselves from the base of the stem. It is used, say the Butan agents, as a perfume and in medicinal unguents, but with other fragrant fubftances, the scent and power of which it is thought to increase: as a medicine, they add, it is principally esteemed for complaints in the bowels. Though confiderable quantities of Jatámánsì are brought in the caravans from Butan, yet the living plants, by a law of the country, cannot be exported without a licence from the sovereign,



and the late Mr. PURLING, on receiving this intelligence, obligingly wrote, for my fatisfaction, to the Dévarája, requesting him to fend eight or ten of the plants to Rangpur: ten were accordingly fent in pots from Tafifudan, with as many of the natives to take care of them under a chief, who brought a written anfwer from the Rájá of Butan; but that prince made a great merit of having complied with fuch a request, and my friend had the trouble of entertaining the meffenger and his train for several weeks in his own houfe, which they feem to have left with reluctance. An account of this tranfaction was contained in one of the last letters, that Mr. PURLING lived to write; but, as all the plants withered before they could reach Calcutta, and as inquiries of greater importance engaged all my time, there was an end of my endeavours to procure the fresh Jatámánsì, though not of my conviction, that it is the true nard of the ancients.


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