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3



Ripening is a sort of concoction; for we call it ripening when there

is a concoction of the nutriment in fruit. And since concoction is a

sort of perfecting, the process of ripening is perfect when the

seeds in fruit are able to reproduce the fruit in which they are

found; for in all other cases as well this is what we mean by

'perfect'. This is what 'ripening' means when the word is applied to

fruit. However, many other things that have undergone concoction are

said to be 'ripe', the general character of the process being the

same, though the word is applied by an extension of meaning. The

reason for this extension is, as we explained before, that the various

modes in which natural heat and cold perfect the matter they determine

have not special names appropriated to them. In the case of boils

and phlegm, and the like, the process of ripening is the concoction of

the moisture in them by their natural heat, for only that which gets

the better of matter can determine it. So everything that ripens is

condensed from a spirituous into a watery state, and from a watery

into an earthy state, and in general from being rare becomes dense. In

this process the nature of the thing that is ripening incorporates

some of the matter in itself, and some it rejects. So much for the

definition of ripening.

Rawness is its opposite and is therefore an imperfect concoction

of the nutriment in the fruit, namely, of the undetermined moisture.

Consequently a raw thing is either spirituous or watery or contains

both spirit and water. Ripening being a kind of perfecting, rawness

will be an imperfect state, and this state is due to a lack of natural

heat and its disproportion to the moisture that is undergoing the

process of ripening. (Nothing moist ripens without the admixture of

some dry matter: water alone of liquids does not thicken.) This

disproportion may be due either to defect of heat or to excess of

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