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Chapter XX.

PYTHAGORAS, Plato, and Aristotle say that the voice is incorporeal; for it is not the air that makes the voice, but the figure which compasseth the air and its superficies, having received a stroke, give the voice. But every superficies of itself is incorporeal. True it is that it moveth with the body, but of itself it hath no body; as we perceive in a staff that is bended, the matter only admits of an inflection, while the superficies doth not. According to the Stoics, a voice is corporeal, since every thing that is an agent or operates is a body; a voice acts and operates, for we hear it and are sensible of it; for it falls and makes an impression on the ear, as a seal of a ring gives its similitude upon the wax. Moreover, every thing that creates a delight or molestation is a body; harmonious music affects with delight, but discord is tiresome. And every thing that is moved is a body; and the voice moves, and having its illapse upon smooth places is reflected, as when a ball is cast against a wall it rebounds. A voice spoken in the [p. 173] Egyptian pyramids is so broken, that it gives four or five echoes.

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