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Besides, no privation is capable of more and less. Neither can any man say, that one among those that cannot see is more blind than another, or that one among those that cannot speak is more silent than another, or that any thing is more dead than another among those things that never had life. But in cold things there is more and less, and excess and diminution to several degrees; in a word, there is both intensity and remission as well as in hot things; because the matter suffers in some things more violently, in others more languidly, and therefore some things are hotter, some things colder than others, according to the nature of the matter. For there is no mixture of habit with privation. Neither does any power admit of privation opposite to it, nor associate with it in the same subject, but it withstands it altogether. Hot things allow themselves to be mixed [p. 311] with cold things to a certain degree, as black with white, heavy with light, and sour with sweet,—this community and harmony of colors, sounds, medicaments, and sauces generating several tastes and pleasures grateful to the senses. But the opposition of privation and habit is an antipathy never to be reconciled; the being of the one enforcing the destruction of the other. Which destruction, if it fall out seasonably, according to the opposition of contrary powers, the arts make great use of, but chiefly Nature, not only in her other creations, but especially in the alterations of the air, and in all other things of which the Deity being the adorner and dispenser obtains the attribute of harmonical and musical. Not that those attributes are given him for the disposal of deep and shrill, black and white, so as to make them agree together; but for his governing in the world the sympathies and antipathies of cold and heat in such a manner that they may unite and separate again, and for reducing both to a decent order, by taking that which we called ‘the overmuch’ from both.

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load focus Greek (Harold Cherniss and William C. Helmbold, 1957)
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