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[p. 217]mentary. As to that portion of the phlegm which is carried in the veins, seeing that this is of service to the animal, it requires no evacuation. Here too, then, we must pay attention and recognise that, just as in the case of each of the two kinds of bile, there is one part which is useful to the animal and in accordance with its nature, while the other part is useless and contrary to nature, so also is it with the phlegm; such of it as is sweet is useful to the animal and
according to nature, while, as to such of it as has become bitter or salt, that part which is bitter is completely undigested, while that part which is salt has undergone putrefaction. And the term "complete indigestion" refers of course to the second digestion- that which takes place in the veins; it is not a failure of the first digestion- that in the alimentary canal- for it would not have become a humour at the outset if it had escaped this digestion also.
It seems to me that I have made enough reference to
what has been said regarding the genesis and destruction of humours by Hippocrates, Plato, Aristotle, Praxagoras, and Diocles, and many others among the Ancients; I did not deem it right to transport the whole of their final pronouncements into this treatise. I have said only so much regarding each of the humours as will stir up the reader, unless he be absolutely inept, to make himself familiar with the writings of the Ancients, and will help him to gain more easy access to them. In another treatise
I have written on the humours according to Praxagoras, to Praxagoras, son of authority Nicarchus; although this authority makes as many as ten humours, not