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bodies together again as to leave no entrance even for moisture.

Therefore heat does not dissolve them (for it only dissolves those

bodies that are solidified by cold alone), nor does water (for it does

not dissolve what cold solidifies, but only what is solidified by

dry heat). But iron is melted by heat and solidified by cold. Wood

consists of earth and air and is therefore combustible but cannot be

melted or softened by heat. (For the same reason it floats in

water-all except ebony. This does not, for other kinds of wood contain

a preponderance of air, but in black ebony the air has escaped and

so earth preponderates in it.) Pottery consists of earth alone because

it solidified gradually in the process of drying. Water cannot get

into it, for the pores were only large enough to admit of vapour

escaping: and seeing that fire solidified it, that cannot dissolve

it either.

So solidification and melting, their causes, and the kinds of

subjects in which they occur have been described.


All this makes it clear that bodies are formed by heat and cold

and that these agents operate by thickening and solidifying. It is

because these qualities fashion bodies that we find heat in all of

them, and in some cold in so far as heat is absent. These qualities,

then, are present as active, and the moist and the dry as passive, and

consequently all four are found in mixed bodies. So water and earth

are the constituents of homogeneous bodies both in plants and in

animals and of metals such as gold, silver, and the rest-water and

earth and their respective exhalations shut up in the compound bodies,

as we have explained elsewhere.

All these mixed bodies are distinguished from one another, firstly

by the qualities special to the various senses, that is, by their

capacities of action. (For a thing is white, fragrant, sonant,

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