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tubes in a furnace, when the metal volatilizes, and the vapor, condensing Into a liquid in a somewhat cool part of the tube, runs into a receiving-vessel, and is ultimately transferred to molds, where it solidifies with a crystalline texture. B. is represented by the chemist by the symbol Bi; haB the atomic weight or equivalent of 208, and has the specific gravity of 9788 to 9833 (water=1000). The metal B. is seldom employed by itself in the arts. The alloys of B. are of considerable commercial importance. In combination with tin, B. forms an alloy possessing great sonorousness, and therefore suitable for bells. The alloy of 8 of B., 5 of lead, and 3 of tin, readily fuses at 202° F. (94.4° C), and therefore melts in boiling water; and the alloy of 2 of B., 1 of lead, and 1 of tin, at 200.75° F. (93.7° C). Either of the latter alloys is entitled to the term fiuMe allot/, and when mixed with some mercury, becomes still more fusible, and may then bo used in forming molds for toilet-soaps, and in taking casts.

B. forms several compounds of service in the arte and in medicine; it combines with oxygen to form several oxides, of which the trioxide, Bi3Oi, is the most important. It may be prepared by evaporating the solution of the trinitrate of B., 2Bi(NOi)i, to dryness, and then heating, when the nitric acid, 8N»0», escapes, and leaves the teroxide of B., Bi,Oi, as a yellowish powder. It is employed in the porcelain manufacture as an agent for fixing the gilding, and for increasing the fusibility of fluxes, at the same time neutralizing the colors which are often communicated by them. The trinitrate of B. is prepared by acting upon the metal B. with a mixture of one part of commercial nitric acid and one part of water, and applying heat. The subnitrate or basic nitrate of B. receives the names of Pearl White, Pearl Powder, Blanc de Fard, Blanc cCEtpagne, Majettery of B., and Perlweitt and Sehminkweus (German). It is used as a cosmetic, bat is apt to become gray in tint, and even brown or black, when sulphureted hydrogen, often evolved from sewers, cesspools, and drains, comes in contact with it.

The subnitrate of B., the only medicinal preparation formed from this metal, acts as a local irritant and caustic poison on animals. On man, when given in small doses, it acts locally as an astringent, diminishing secretion. On account of the frequent relief given by it in painful affections of the stomach, where there is no organic disease, but where sickness and vomiting take place, accompanied by cramp or nervous disorder, it is supposed to act orl the nerves of this viscus as a sedative. It has also been denominated tonic and antispasmodic. Vogt says, that when used as a cosmetic, it has bees known to produce a spasmodic trembling of the face, ending in paralysis.

BISON, a name given by the ancients to an animal of the same genus with the oi (qv,), still called the B., or the European B. {bos bison of some naturalists, bo> nrtifoi Others) also known as the aurochs (Germ., wild animal or wild ox). This animal at one time abounded in most parts of Europe, but is now found only in the forests of Moldavia, Wallachia, Lithuania, and Caucasus. Herds of bisons, carefully protected by the emperor of Russia, and believed to amount to about 800 in all, roam through the great forest of Bialowieza, in Lithuania. The B. differs from all varieties of the common ox, in the arched line of the back, which rises in a sudden elevation behind the neck; the hump which is formed not consisting, however, of mere fat, but in great part of the very thick and strong muscles which support the large head. It is remarkable for strength in the fore-parts, and trees of 5 or 6 in. in diameter cannot withstand the thrusts of old bulls. It is capable of repelling all the attacks of the wolf or bear, rushing upon, overthrowing, and then trampling an adversary. Its horns are short, tapering, very distant, spreading, a little curved inwards at the point. They are affixed not at the extremities of the most elevated salient line of the head, as in the ox, but considerably in front of it. The figure of the forehead differs also from that of the ox in its greater breadth, and in its convex profile. Another important anatomical difference is in the number of ribs, of which the B. has 14 pair, whilst the ox has only 13; and the vertebras of the tail are fewer, being only 19 instead of 21. The hair of the forehead is long and shaggy; that under the chin and on the breast forms a sort of beard: and in winter the neck, hump, and shoulders are covered with long woolly hair, of a dusky brown color, intermingled with a short, soft, fawn-colored fur. This long hair is gradually cast in summer. The legs, back, and hinder-parts arc covered with short dark-brown hair. The tail terminates in a large tuft. The females are not so large as the males, nor do they exhibit the same shagginess of the fore-parts. The B. is the largest quadruped now existing in Europe, although within the historic period there appears to have existed along with it an ox exceeding it in size; and it appears to have been this ox, and not the B., which was called urus (q.v.) by the ancients, although their bonasvs (or bonamu) was probably the same with the bison.—The food of the B. consists of grass and brushwood, and the leaves and bark of young trees. Its cry is peculiar, "resembling a groan or a grunt, more than the lowing of an ox." It does not attain its full stature till after its sixth year, and lives for about 30 or 40 years. The period of gestation appears to be the same with that of the ox. The B. has never been reduced to subjection by man, and the domestication even of individuals taken young, has been very partial. It generally shows a great aversion to the domestic ox. The common statement, however, that the B. calf invariably refuses to be suckled by the domestic cow, is contradicted on the excellent authority of the master of the imperial forests in the Russian government of Grodno.—The B. is generally very shy, and can only be approached from the leeward. fts smell being very acute. It Is easily provoked, and is not approached without danger. It runs very swiftly, although it cannot long continue its flight, galloping with its head very low, so that the hoofs are raised higher than the head.

There is no historical evidence that the B. ever existed in Britain; but remains of this, or of a very closely allied species, are found in pliocene fresh-water beds in several parts of England, as well as on the continent of Europe. The size of these B. bones is, however, so great as of itself to cause a doubt of the identity of the species, and the horns are longer in proportion. The fossil B. has been called bison, priseus; bison being by some naturalists separated as a genus from bos, upon the ground chiefly of the osteological differences in the head.

The American B. (bos Amerieanus of some naturalists, B. bison of others) is interesting as the only species of the ox family indigenous to America, except the musk ox (q.v.) of the subarctic regions. It is commonly called buffalo by the Anglo-Americans, although it is very different from the buffaloes (q.v.) of the old world. It was found in vast numbers in the great prairies between the Mississippi and the Rocky mountains; it occurred as far n. as the vicinity of Great Marten iake, in 1st. 68° or 64°; extensive level and marshy tracts there affording suitable food, although it was nowhere else to be met with in so high a latitude. Its southern limit seems to have been New Mexico. It was comparatively rare to the w. of the Rocky mountains, and appears to have been rare to the e. of the Appalachians, even on the first settlement of Europeans. Within the present century, however, it was found in the western parts of the slate of New York, and in large numbers in that of Ohio; but it can no longer be classed among the game animals of the U. S. A small herd was discovered in western Texas in lbS8, and in isolated valleys of the northwest a few specimens may, perhaps, still be found. Formerly enormous herds congregated; the great plains were sometimes spotted and darkened with them as far as the eye could reach; "countless thousands" are described as coming to refresh themselves in stagnant pools; and their paths were said to be, in some parts of the wilderness, as frequent and almost as conspicuous as the roads in the most populous parts of the United Suites.

It is stud that many Indian tribes subsisted almost entirely on the flesh of the B. The spear and the bow and arrow were much employed by them in hunting it, though many of them also used fire-arms. They frequently pursued it on horseback; but the hunter, whether on horseback or on foot, had often much difficulty in getting within shot, upon account of its keenness of scent, and the speed with which it ran. The chase of the B. was also very dangerous, as it was apt to turn upon an adversary, and even a fleet horse could not always escape it. Great numbers, however, were sometimes killed when the hunters could succeed in throwing the herds that were scattered over the plains into confusion, so that they ran wildly, without heeding whither. Another expedient of the Indians was to set fire to the grass of the prairies around them, when they retired in great consternation to the center, and were easily killed. A sort of pound or inclosure was sometimes made, with a long avenue leading to it, and an embankment of snow, such, that when the animals had descended over it they could not return, and by this means great numbers were often captured and killed. Livingstone describes a similar expedient as in use for killing wild animals in South Africa. Sometimes, also, the Indians contrived to throw them into consternation, and to make them run towards a precipice, over which many of the foremost were driven by the crowds which thronged up behind.

The American B. is very similar to the European. In general, it is of rather smaller size, but this does not appear to be always the case, and it is said sometimes to attain a weight of 2000 lbs. Its limbs and tail are shorter, and the tail consists of fewer vertebra. The horns are shorter and more blunt. The fore-parts are still more shaggy, and retain more of their shaggincss in summer. The ground upon which many naturalists have rested their chief confidence of specific difference has been, however, the presence of an additional pair of ribs, the American B. being said to have 15 pair; but Mr. Vasey has recently ascertained that, like the European B., it has only 14. The more gregarious habit may perhaps be accounted for, like that of the American beaver, by difference of circumstances.

The wolf is quite unable to contend with the B., but many wolves often hang around the herds, to devour calves which may stray, or aged animals which have become too weak to keep up with the rest. These have sometimes been seen assailed by whole packs of wolve3, and dealing death to many of their assailants, before they were compelled to yield to numbers and hungry pertinacity. The only American animal that is singly capable of overcoming the B. is the grisly bear. See Beak.

The flesh of the B. is very good, and diners from that of the ox in having a sort of venison flavor. The hump, in particular, is esteemed a delicacy.—Pemmican (q.v.), so much the food of fur-hunters and northern toyageurs, is made of the flesh and fat of the bison.—The tallow forms an important article of trade. One bull sometimes yields 150 lbs. The skins are much used by the Indians for blankets, and, when tanned, as coverings for their lodges and beds. A blanket of B.'s skin is not unfrcquently sold for three or four pounds sterling in Canada, to be used as a traveling cloak or wrapper. The Mandan Indians make canoes of B. skins spread upon wicker-work frames. These canoes have the round form of the Welsh coracle (q.v.). The long hair or fleece is spun II.—19a.

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and woven into cloth; and some of it which has been brought to England has been made into very line cloth: stockings, gloves, etc., are also knitted of it. A male B. yields from 6 to 8 lbs. of this long hair.

The few attempts that have been made to domesticate the American B. have been so far successful, that they afford encouragement to further experiments. The size and strength of the animal make it probable that, if domesticated, it would be of great use. See illus., Antelopes, vol. I., p. 510, fig. 15.

BISSA 608, or Biju'ga Islands, a group of small volcanic islands, about 20 in all, off the w. coast of Africa, in lat 10° 2' to 11" 42' n., and long. 15° to 17° w., opposite the mouth of the Rio Grande. The islands are inclosed by a reef, and, with a few exceptions, are thickly wooded. Many of them appear to be densely peopled by a savage, thievish negro race, who cultivate maize, bananas, and palms, ami feed cattle and goats, which constitute their chief wealth. There are several fine ports. On one of the islands, Bulama, the British formed a settlement in 1792, but were obliged to abandon it the following year, on account of its unhealthiness. Bissao, one of the group, on which there is a Portuguese settlement, has a pop of 8000. It carries on a large trade is slaves, nearly all its European inhabitants being engaged in the traffic. It has also a trade in rice, wax, hides, etc.,

BISSELL, William Henkt Augustus, D.d. See page 892.

BISSELL, William II., 1811-60; a graduate from Jefferson medical college in 1835, who practiced in New York state. In 1837, he went to Illinois, and was in the legislature in 1840; afterwards studied law and became prosecuting attorney. He was a col. in the Mexican war; elected to congress in 1849, and while there had a sharp discussion with Jefferson Davis about the bravery of northern and southern soldiers, which provoked Davis to send hiin a challenge. B. accepted, chose muskets for the weapons, and prescribed a distance that would in all probability insure death for both. There was no duel, the challenge being withdrawn after some interference of friends. In 1856, he was chosen governor of the state.

BISBEN, Wilhem, a distinguished Danish sculptorof the present century was b. near Blesvig in 1798, and studied his art for 10 years in Rome, under the guidance of his countryman, Tliorwaldsen. Returning home, he executed a number of excellent works (a bust of Oersted, Atalante hunting, etc.). In 1841, he returned to Rome, being commissioned by the government to make 18 statues larger than life. Along with these he produced a Venus, and a charming piece, "Cupid sharpening his Arrow." Being recalled to Copenhagen, he was commissioned to' execute a frieze several hundred feet long for the great hall of the palace, representing the development of the human race according to the Greek mythology. Tliorwaldsen, in his will, appointed B. to complete his unfinished works and have charge of his museum. In 1850, he was made director of the academy of arts, Copenhagen. At the Paris exhibition in 1855, he was the only sculptor who represented Danish art. He died in 1868.

BISSEXTILE, the old name of leap year. In the Julian computation a day was added to February every fourth year, but instead of making it as now the 29th, the 24th day of the month was counted twice (bit), and as that day was the sixth (sexto) before the calends of Mar. it was called bissextile.

BISTOET, Polygonum bistorta, a perennial plant, 1 to 11 ft. high, with a simple stem, ovate subcordate and wavy leaves, the radical leaves tapering into a long footstalk, and one dense terminal cylindrical spiked raceme of flesh-colored flowers. The root is about the thickness of the little finger, blackish brown externally, reddish within, and tortuous (whence the name bistort). The whole plant is astringent, containing much tannin; the root is one of the strongest vegetable astringents, and is much employed in medicine, botli internally and externally, in hemorrhages and many other complaints. B. is a native of meadows in Europe, and is found in Britain, but is by no means common. 8ce Polygonum.

BIS TRE, or Bis'ter, is a pigment of a warm brown color, prepared from the scot of wood, especially beech. It is used in water-colors after the manner of Indian ink.

BISTBITZ, a fortified t. of Transvlvania, beautifully situated on the Bistritz rive;', in a fine valley about 50 m. n.e. of rtlausenburg. In its vicinity are the remains of an ancient castle, once the residence of the illustrious Hunynds. It hns several large cattlefairs, but the extensive general trade it once carried on is now entirely gone. Forming, as it docs, the last strong position in the n.e. of Transylvania, it was repeatedly during 1848-49 the scene of hot strife between the Hungarian and Austrian generals. Pop. '80,8063. B. is also the name of a river which, rising in e. Hungary, flows se. through Bukowina and Moldavia, and joins the Sereth near Baku, after a course of 110 m., and is called the Golden B., on account of the auriferous character of its sands.

BISTTLinJG'GTrB, or Bisanaoar, a t. of India, in Guzerat, in the territories of Guicowar, 82 m. n.w. of Mhow. It has a large transit trade, and manufactures cotton cloths. Pop. 18,000.

BISTTLPTTR', or Besulpore, a t. of India, in the British district of Bareilly, n.w. prov. inces. It is 24 m. s.e. from Bareilly. It haa a good bazaar, and is abundantly supplied with water. Pop. 71, 9005."

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BIT, or Bitt, in ship-building. Is a frame composed chiefly of two short but strong vertical timbers, fixed into or upon the deck in the fore-part of the vessel. Its main purpose is for fastening the cable when the ship rides at anchor, and for "leading" the principal ropes of the rigging. To "bit the cable," is to fasten it around the bit. Various kinds are called "riding-bits," "Elliott's bits," " Carrick-bits," "paul-blts," "jeerbits," '• topsail-sheet-bits," etc. Having to resist great strains, the bits are strongly bolted to the beams that support the deck.

BITCHE, a German t. of Alsace-Lorraine, in a wild and wooded pass of the Vosges, about 16 m. e.s.e. of Sarreguemines. Its citadel, which is built on a precipitous and isolated rock, in the middle of the town, is well supplied with water, defended by 80 cannon, has accommodation for a garrison of 1000 men, and is considered all but impregnable. The Prussians under the duke of Brunswick attempted to surprise it in 1793, but failed. Pop. of town, 2908, who are engaged in the manufacture qf matches, watchglasses, and porcelain. The German spelling is Bitteh.

BITH00B, a t. in India in the district of Cawnpore, and lieutenant-governorship of n.w. provinces, stands on the right bank of the Ganges, about 12 m. n.w. of Cawnpore itself. B., particularly devoted to the worship of Brahma, has numerous pagodas. It is, of course, a favorite resort for pilgrims, who here, as at Benares and Bindraban, havo access to the sacred stream for purposes of ablution, by means of elaborately constructed

f hauls. During the mutiny of 1857, B. acquired an unenviable notoriety as the strongold of Nena Sahib. Here also Havelock more than once exacted retribution, however inadequate, defeating the Nena in the field, and burning his fort. B. in 1871 contained 8322 inhabitants.

BITHYHIA, an ancient division of Asia Minor, was separated from Europe by the Propontis (sea of Marmora) and the Thracian Bosporus (strait of Constantinople), and was bounded n. by the Euxine, and s. by Galatia, Phrygia, and Mysia. Its eastern limits were n6t very clearly defined, but they at least extended as far as Paphlagonia. It contained the famous Greek cities or colonies of Chalcedon, Heraclca, etc.; and at later periods, Nicomedia, Nicaea, and Prusa were flourishing cities of Bithynia. The inhabitants of B. were supposed to be of Thracian origin. The country was subdued (560 B.C.) by Croesus of Lydia, and, five years later, fell under the Persian dominion. But about 440 or 430 B.C., it became an independent kingdom under a dynasty of native princes, who made Nicomedia their capital. The last King, Nicomedes III., made the Romans his heirs, and with a large addition from the Pontic kingdom, B. became a province of the empire (74 B.C.). Under Trajan, B. was governed by Pliny the Younger, whose letters to the emperor on the administration and condition of the province contain the wellknown passage respecting the Christians. The emperor Diocletian made Nicomedia his habitual residence. In 1298, Osman the Turk broke into the country, and in 1328, Prusa or Brusa, then the chief town of B., became the capital of the kingdom of the OsmanlL

BITLIS, a t. of Asiatic Turkey, in the vilayet of Erzcrum, in lat. 38" 24' n., and long. 42° 5' e., about 120 m. s.e. from Erzerum. It is situated at an elevation of 5156 ft. above the level of the sea, in a deep ravine traversed by the river Bitlis, one of the head streams of the Tigris. B. is a straggling, irregular place, covering a large surface of ground, and surrounded by bare limestone mountains, rising to a height of about 2000 ft. above the valley, which" is filled with orchards and gardens, and watered by numerous streams and springs. It has 3 mosques, about 12 convents belonging to the howling dervishes, who appear to have made B. their head-quarters, several well-stocked bazaars, and extensive manufactures of cotton cloths, which are celebrated for their bright red dye. It has also a very extensive trade. The import of British goods is small. The population consists of about 2000 Mohammedan and 1000 Armenian families. The Persians defeated Solyman the Magnificent near B. in 1554.

BITON TO (ancient Butuntum), a t. of Italy, in the province of Bari, and 10 m. w.s.w. of the city of Bari. It is situated in a fruitful plain about 5 m. from the sea, is well built, is, conjointly with Ruvo, the see of a bishop, and has a fine cathedral, monasteries, and a nunnery. Pop. 22,726, who carry on an extensive trade in a wine called Zagaretio, which is largely cultivated in the environs. B. is the birthplace of Giordani, the mathematician. In its vicinity, the Spaniards, under count de Montemar, gained a splendid victory over the Austrians on the 25th of May, 1734, the result of which was that Spaiu re-obtained possession of the kingdom of Naples.

BITTERFELD, a t. in Saxony, 17 m. n. of Leipsic, at the junction of the Lobor and the Mulde: pop. '80, 6581. It has foundries, breweries, and various other manufactories. B. was founded in the 12th c. by the Flemings.

BITTENFELD, IlERWAUTn Von, a Prussian gen., one of the three leaders that commanded the invasion into Bohemia in 1866. B. was b. in 1796, and gained his first martial laurels in the war of liberation, especially in the battle of Leipsic. In the vcar 1848, he commanded the first regiment of the guards. In 1863, raised to the rank of gen., be acquired great fame through his daring crossing of the Sund, and capture of the isle of Alsen. In the campaign of 1866, he was intrusted with the occupation of Saxony, and then with the command of the army which advanced from Saxony into Bitter. Kqa

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Bohemia. He contributed largely to the brilliant victories of Hunerwasser, Gitschin, Munchcngriltz, and Koniggratz. On the outbreak of the war in 1870, B. was made governor of the Rhine provinces; and in the next year he was raised to the rank of

feneral field-marshal. In the war of 1866, one of his sons fell; in that of 1870, two were illed.


BITTEB. KINO, SouUmrea amara, a shrub or small tree of the natural order polygalacea (q. v.), a native of the Indian archipelago, which has received its name from its Intense bitterness. The genus differs from the usual structure of the order in its regular flowers. The B. K. has large oval leaves and axillary racemes of flowers. It is used medicinally in fevers and other diseases.

BITTERN, Butavrut, according to some modern ornithologists, a genus of the heron (q.T.) family (ardeida); but regarded by others as a mere sub-genus of heron (anUa\ and not a very well defined one. Bitterns are indeed chiefly distinguished from herons by the long, loose plumage of the neck, which they have the power of erecting at pleasure, along with the rest of their clothing feathers, so as greatly to increase their apparent size. The back of the neck, however, is merely downy, or almost bare, the long feathers being on the front and sides. Bitterns also differ from herons in the greater length of their toes, the middle toe being as long as the shank. They are almost all solitary birds, inhabiting reedy and marshy places, where they lie hid during the day, and will almost allow themselves to be trodden upon ere they take wing; they feed during ttie night, and then, also, often rise spirally to a great height into the an-, and emit loud resounding cries. Their food consists chiefly of frogs, cud partly, also, of fish, lizards, water-insects, etc., and even of small birds and quadrupeds. The claw of the middle toe is serrated on the inner edge, probably to aid in securing slippery prey. —The Common B. (B. steUarU, or ardea stcllari*) is a bird very widely diffused over the old world, being found in almost all, at least of the temperate, parts of Europe; Asia, and Africa, which are sufficiently marshy for its manner of life. It is now rare in Britain, owing to drainage; but was formerly more common, and in the days of falconry, was carefully protected by law in England, on account of the sport which it afforded. Its flesh also was in high esteem, and is not rank and fishy, like that of the herons generally. In size, it is rather less than the common heron; the bill is about 4 in. long, the feathers on the crown of the head are greenish black, and the plumage in general of a dull yellow color, beautifully and irregularly marked and mottled with black. The B. makes a rude nest of sticks, reeds, etc., in its marshy haunts, and lays four or five

f'ecnish-brown eggs. It has a peculiar bellowing cry, which lias obtained for it such nglish provincial names as mire-drum, bull of the bog, etc., and many of its appellations in other languages, perhaps even its name B. (bitour, botur, botaurus). Some naturalists used to assert that the booming cry of the B. was produced by the bird inserting its bill into a reed; that notion, however, has long since been exploded. When assailed, it fights desperately with bill and claws; and it is dangerous to approach it incautiously when wounded, as it strikes with its long sharp bill, if possible, at the eye. See illus.. Birds, p. 574, fig. 7.

—The Little B. (B. minutus, or ardea minuta) is common in some parts of Europe, but rare in Britain. Its whole length is only about 13 in.—The American B. (B. lentiginosm, or A. lentiginosa), a species almost equal in size to the common B., and very similar to it in habits and voice, has occasionally been shot in Britain. It is common in many parts of North America, migrating northward and southward, according to the season. The crown of the head is reddish brown, and the colors and markings of the plumage differ considerably from those of the common B.—The Least B. (/?. or A. exilis) is another North American species, of very small size, which is also migratory, and somewhat social in its habits. The Australian B. (B. or A. australi*) is generally diffused throughout Australia, wherever marshes or sedgy rivers occur. In habits it closely resembles the B. of Europe. The head and upper parts generally are purplish brown, except the wings, which are buff, conspicuously freckled with brown; the throat, breast, and belly mottled brown and buff.

BIT TEEN, Bitter Liquid, or Salt Oil, is an oily liquid obtained during the preparation of common salt (q. v.). When the mother-liquor of the evaporating pans ceases to deposit crystals of common salt, there is left behind in the boilers the material called bittern. It consists principally of a strong solution of common salt, along with the chlorides of magnesium and calcium, which are valuable sources of the element bromine (q.v.) The B. obtained from the salt-works at Epsom was at one time the source of the sulphate of magnesium (hence called Epsom salts), but at present this salt is obtained in other ways.

BITTER PRINCIPLES are extracts from various plants by maceration in water or other liquid. Some bitter principles can be crystallized, while the bitter of hops and wild cherry cannot be so treated. Some of the vegetable bitters are soluble in water, and some in alcohol, and their properties arc usually neuter, having neither bases nor acids. There is a wide use of bitters as a tonic, but the great portion of those sold are merely a disguise for strong drink, and of no other use to the drinker.

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