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frankincense, gum. Amber, too, appears to belong to this class of

things: the animals enclosed in it show that it is formed by

solidification. The heat is driven out of it by the cold of the

river and causes the moisture to evaporate with it, as in the case

of honey when it has been heated and is immersed in water.) Some of

these bodies cannot be melted or softened; for instance, amber and

certain stones, e.g. the stalactites in caves. (For these stalactites,

too, are formed in the same way: the agent is not fire, but cold which

drives out the heat, which, as it leaves the body, draws out the

moisture with it: in the other class of bodies the agent is external

fire.) In those from which the moisture has not wholly gone earth

still preponderates, but they admit of softening by heat, e.g. iron

and horn.

Now since we must include among 'meltables' those bodies which are

melted by fire, these contain some water: indeed some of them, like

wax, are common to earth and water alike. But those that are melted by

water are of earth. Those that are not melted either by fire or

water are of earth, or of earth and water.

Since, then, all bodies are either liquid or solid, and since the

things that display the affections we have enumerated belong to

these two classes and there is nothing intermediate, it follows that

we have given a complete account of the criteria for distinguishing

whether a body consists of earth or of water or of more elements

than one, and whether fire was the agent in its formation, or cold, or


Gold, then, and silver and copper and tin and lead and glass and

many nameless stone are of water: for they are all melted by heat.

Of water, too, are some wines and urine and vinegar and lye and whey

and serum: for they are all congealed by cold. In iron, horn, nails,

bones, sinews, wood, hair, leaves, bark, earth preponderates. So, too,

in amber, myrrh, frankincense, and all the substances called

'tears', and stalactites, and fruits, such as leguminous plants and

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