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unsatisfactory. Even in the case of the body it is a question how

the sweet liquid drunk becomes salt sweat whether it is merely by

the departure of some element in it which is sweetest, or by the

admixture of something, as when water is strained through ashes.

Actually the saltness seems to be due to the same cause as in the case

of the residual liquid that gathers in the bladder. That, too, becomes

bitter and salt though the liquid we drink and that contained in our

food is sweet. If then the bitterness is due in these cases (as with

the water strained through lye) to the presence of a certain sort of

stuff that is carried along by the urine (as indeed we actually find a

salt deposit settling in chamber-pots) and is secreted from the

flesh in sweat (as if the departing moisture were washing the stuff

out of the body), then no doubt the admixture of something earthy with

the water is what makes the sea salt.

Now in the body stuff of this kind, viz. the sediment of food, is

due to failure to digest: but how there came to be any such thing in

the earth requires explanation. Besides, how can the drying and

warming of the earth cause the secretion such a great quantity of

water; especially as that must be a mere fragment of what is left in

the earth? Again, waiving the question of quantity, why does not the

earth sweat now when it happens to be in process of drying? If it

did so then, it ought to do so now. But it does not: on the

contrary, when it is dry it graws moist, but when it is moist it

does not secrete anything at all. How then was it possible for the

earth at the beginning when it was moist to sweat as it grew dry?

Indeed, the theory that maintains that most of the moisture departed

and was drawn up by the sun and that what was left over is the sea

is more reasonable; but for the earth to sweat when it is moist is


Since all the attempts to account for the saltness of the sea seem

unsuccessful let us explain it by the help of the principle we have

used already.

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