The term agile, which in Hebrew we suppose to have been converted into alzel, and from which were formed ahalim and ahaloth, appears to have been the source of its confusion with aloes. Spren gel has observed that the primitive name seems to be preserved in the Arabic appellations and ,t„Z, which may be read alloeh (or alloet) and allieh. These come extremely near \,\J aelwa, pronounced elwa—the Hindoo name of the medi cal aloe. Hence the two names became confounded, and one of them applied to two very different sub stances. But it was soon found necessary to dis tinguish the agallochum by the term uXaXonv, which has been translated into lign-aloe. That the name aloe was considered to be synonymous with ahalim, at an early period, is evident, as the Chaldee translation of the Psalms and Canticles, the old Latin version of the Proverbs and Canticles, and the Syriac translation, have all rendered the Hebrew word by aloes' (Rosenmiiller, 1. c. p. 234). There can be little or no doubt that the same odor iferous agila is intended in the passage of John xix. 39. When the body of our Saviour was taken down from the cross, Nicodemus, we are told, brought myrrh and aloes for the purpose of wind ing it in linen clothes with these spices. But the quantity (too lbs.) used has been objected to by some writers, and therefore Dr. Harris has sug gested, that, ' instead of i.kar6p, it might originally have been Sercar6v, TO lbs. weight. It is well known, however, that very large quantities of spices were occasionally used at the funerals of Jews. But before objecting to the quantity of this expensive wood, disputants should have ascertained the proportions in which it was mixed with the myrrh, an article sufficiently abundant and of mo derate price, because easily obtained by the Arabi ans from the opposite coast of Africa. Dr. Harris has, moreover, objected, that `the Indian lign-aloes is so odoriferous and so agreeable, that it stands in no need of any composition to increase or moderate its perfume.' But this very excellence makes it better suited for mixing with less fragrant substances, and, however large the quantity of these substances, like the broken vase, ' the scent of the roses will hang round it still.' The only passage where there is any difficulty is that in which there is the earliest mention of the ahaloth (Num. xxiv. 6). Here Balaam, referring to the flourishing condition of the Israelites, says, ' as the trees of akalinz, which the Lord bath planted, and as cedar trees beside the waters.' Whether the expression is here to be understood literally, or merely as a poetical form, is doubtful, especially as authorities differ as to the true read ing; some versions, as the .Septuagint, Vulgate,
Syriac, and Arabic, having ' tents' instead of lign aloes,' from which it would seem that, in place of tp9r1,1, ahalim, they had found in their copies olialim (Rosenmiiller, p. 235).
• T In Arabian authors numerous varieties of agallo chum are mentioned. These are enumerated by various writers (Cels. Hieroba. p. 143). Persian authors mention only three : 1. Aod-i-hindee, that is, the Indian ; 2. Aml-i-chinee, or Chinese , kind (probably that from Cochin-China) ; while the ' third, or Sumunduree, a term generally applied to things brought from sea, may have reference to the inferior variety from the Indian islands. In old works, such as those of Bauhin and Ray, three kinds are also mentioned :--t. Agallochum prx stantissimum, also called Calanzbac ; 2. A. Officin arum, or Palo de Aguilla of Linschoten; 3. A. sylvestre, or Agzala brava. But besides these varieties, obtained from different localities, perhaps from different plants, there are also distinct varieties, obtainable from the same plant. Thus in a MS. account by Dr. Roxburgh, to which we have had access, and where, in a letter, dated Sth Dec. 1808, from R. K. Dick, Esq., judge and magistrate at Silhet, it is stated that four different qualities may be obtained from the same tree :—rst, Churkee, which sinks in water, and sells from 12 to 16 rupees per seer of 2 lbs.; 2d, Doim, 6 to 8 rupees per seer; 3d, Siniula, which floats in water, 3 to 4 rupees ; and 4th, Choorunz, which is in small pieces, and also floats in water, from t to t rupee per seer (the three last names mean only 2d, 3d, and 4th kinds); and that sometimes So lbs. of these four kinds may be obtained from one tree. All these tugrsr-trees, as they are called, do not pro duce the Aggur, nor does every part of even the most productive tree. The natives cut into the wood until they observe dark-coloured veins yield ing the perfume ; these guide them to the place containing the aggur, which generally extends but a short way through the centre of the trunk or branch. An essence, or attur, is obtained by bruising the wood in a mortar, and then infusing it in boiling water, when the attur floats on the sur face. Early decay does not seem incident to all kinds of agallochum, for we possess specimens of the wood gorged with fragrant resin (111zestr. Him. Rot. p. 173) which shew no symptoms of it ; but still it is stated that the wood is sometimes buried in the earth. This may be for the purpose of in creasing its specific gravity. A large specimen in the museum of the East India House displays a cancellated structure, in which the resinous parts remain, the rest of the wood having been removed, apparently by decay.—J. F. R.