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of fat are a sooty smoke and those of oily substances a greasy

steam. Oil does not boil away or thicken by evaporation because it

does not give off vapour but fumes. Water on the other hand does not

give off fumes, but vapour. Sweet wine does give off fumes, for it

contains fat and behaves like oil. It does not solidify under the

influence of cold and it is apt to burn. Really it is not wine at

all in spite of its name: for it does not taste like wine and

consequently does not inebriate as ordinary wine does. It contains but

little fumigable stuff and consequently is inflammable.

All bodies are combustible that dissolve into ashes, and all

bodies do this that solidify under the influence either of heat or

of both heat and cold; for we find that all these bodies are

mastered by fire. Of stones the precious stone called carbuncle is

least amenable to fire.

Of combustible bodies some are inflammable and some are not, and

some of the former are reduced to coals. Those are called

'inflammable' which produce flame and those which do not are called

'non-inflammable'. Those fumigable bodies that are not liquid are

inflammable, but pitch, oil, wax are inflammable in conjunction with

other bodies rather than by themselves. Most inflammable are those

bodies that give off smoke. Of bodies of this kind those that

contain more earth than smoke are apt to be reduced to coals. Some

bodies that can be melted are not inflammable, e.g. copper; and some

bodies that cannot be melted are inflammable, e.g. wood; and some

bodies can be melted and are also inflammable, e.g. frankincense.

The reason is that wood has its moisture all together and this is

continuous throughout and so it burns up: whereas copper has it in

each part but not continuous, and insufficient in quantity to give

rise to flame. In frankincense it is disposed in both of these ways.

Fumigable bodies are inflammable when earth predominates in them and

they are consequently such as to be unable to melt. These are

inflammable because they are dry like fire. When this dry comes to

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