[61a] Thus earth when it is not forcibly condensed is dissolved only by water; and when it is condensed it is dissolved by fire only, since no entrance is left for anything save fire. Water, again, when most forcibly massed together is dissolved by fire only, but when massed less forcibly both by fire and air, the latter acting by way of the interstices, and the former by way of the triangles; but air when forcibly condensed is dissolved by nothing save by way of its elemental triangles, and when unforced it is melted down by fire only.As regards the classes of bodies which are compounds of earth and water, [61b] so long as the water occupies the interspaces of earth which are forcibly contracted, the portions of water which approach from without find no entrance, but flow round the whole mass and leave it undissolved. But when portions of fire enter into the interspaces of the water they produce the same effects on water as water does on earth; consequently, they are the sole causes why the compound substance is dissolved and flows. And of these substances those which contain less water than earth form the whole kind known as “glass,” [61c] and all the species of stone called “fusible”; while those which contain more water include all the solidified substances of the type of wax and frankincense.And now we have explained with some fullness the Four Kinds, which are thus variegated in their shapes and combinations and permutations; but we have still to try to elucidate the Causes which account for their affective qualities. Now, first of all, the quality of sense-perceptibility must always belong to the objects under discussion; but we have not as yet described the generation of flesh and the appurtenances of flesh, nor of that portion of Soul which is mortal. But, in truth, these last cannot be adequately explained [61d] apart from the subject of the sensible affections, nor the latter without the former; while to explain both simultaneously is hardly possible. Therefore, we must assume one of the two, to begin with, and return later to discuss our assumptions. In order, then, that the affective properties may be treated next after the kinds, let us presuppose the facts about body and soul.Firstly, then, let us consider how it is that we call fire “hot” by noticing the way it acts [61e] upon our bodies by dividing and cutting. That its property is one of sharpness we all, I suppose, perceive; but as regards the thinness of its sides and the acuteness of its angles and the smallness of its particles and the rapidity of its motion—owing to all which properties fire is intense and keen and sharply cuts whatever it encounters,—these properties we must explain by recalling
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