Terms

4 kinds of perfect Compounds

Stones, Metals, Plants, Animals
 
After the four elements there come to be discussed the
four kinds of perfect compounds 1 generated by them:
stones, metals, plants, and animals. Though each contains
all four, in each one element predominates : earth in the
stone, water in metals (as chemists find to be true, who
declare that they are generated by a viscous water, or
waterish quicksilver); with air plants have so much
affinity, that unless they be abroad in it they give no in-
crease, and fire is not less natural to animals. Then in
each, according to its kind, and even in parts of each, the
degrees of preponderance are varied. Thus in plants the
roots resemble the earth, by reason of their thickness, and
the leaves water, because of their juice; flowers the air,
because of their subtilty, and the seeds the fire, by reason
of their multiplying spirit. In animals the bones resemble
the earth, flesh the air, the vital spirit fire, the humours
water. Nay, even in the soul itself, according to Augustine,
the understanding will resemble fire, reason the air, imagina-
tion water, and the senses earth
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