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form salt water when it condenses again. This I know by experiment.

The same thing is true in every case of the kind: wine and all

fluids that evaporate and condense back into a liquid state become

water. They all are water modified by a certain admixture, the

nature of which determines their flavour. But this subject must be

considered on another more suitable occasion.

For the present let us say this. The sea is there and some of it

is continually being drawn up and becoming sweet; this returns from

above with the rain. But it is now different from what it was when

it was drawn up, and its weight makes it sink below the sweet water.

This process prevents the sea, as it does rivers, from drying up

except from local causes (this must happen to sea and rivers alike).

On the other hand the parts neither of the earth nor of the sea remain

constant but only their whole bulk. For the same thing is true of

the earth as of the sea: some of it is carried up and some comes

down with the rain, and both that which remains on the surface and

that which comes down again change their situations.

There is more evidence to prove that saltness is due to the

admixture of some substance, besides that which we have adduced.

Make a vessel of wax and put it in the sea, fastening its mouth in

such a way as to prevent any water getting in. Then the water that

percolates through the wax sides of the vessel is sweet, the earthy

stuff, the admixture of which makes the water salt, being separated

off as it were by a filter. It is this stuff which make salt water

heavy (it weighs more than fresh water) and thick. The difference in

consistency is such that ships with the same cargo very nearly sink in

a river when they are quite fit to navigate in the sea. This

circumstance has before now caused loss to shippers freighting their

ships in a river. That the thicker consistency is due to an

admixture of something is proved by the fact that if you make strong

brine by the admixture of salt, eggs, even when they are full, float

in it. It almost becomes like mud; such a quantity of earthy matter is

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