The Harvard Classics Volume 38 eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 478 pages of information about The Harvard Classics Volume 38.

In this place, therefore, and that indeed in a single chapter, I shall only endeavour to refer the various particulars that present themselves in the dissection of the heart and arteries to their several uses and causes; for so I shall meet with many things which receive light from the truth I have been contending for, and which, in their turn, render it more obvious.  And indeed I would have it confirmed and illustrated by anatomical arguments above all others.

There is but a single point which indeed would be more correctly placed among our observations on the use of the spleen, but which it will not be altogether impertinent to notice in this place incidentally.  From the splenic branch which passes into the pancreas, and from the upper part, arise the posterior coronary, gastric, and gastroepiploic veins, all of which are distributed upon the stomach in numerous branches and twigs, just as the mesenteric vessels are upon the intestines.  In a similar way, from the inferior part of the same splenic branch, and along the back of the colon and rectum proceed the hemorrhoidal veins.  The blood returning by these veins, and bringing the cruder juices along with it, on the one hand from the stomach, where they are thin, watery, and not yet perfectly chylified; on the other thick and more earthy, as derived from the faeces, but all poured into this splenic branch, are duly tempered by the admixture of contraries; and nature mingling together these two kinds of juices, difficult of coction by reason of most opposite defects, and then diluting them with a large quantity of warm blood, (for we see that the quantity returned from the spleen must be very large when we contemplate the size of its arteries,) they are brought to the porta of the liver in a state of higher preparation.  The defects of either extreme are supplied and compensated by this arrangement of the veins.


The motion and circulation of the blood are confirmed from the particulars apparent in the structure of the heart, and from those things which dissection unfolds

I do not find the heart as a distinct and separate part in all animals; some, indeed, such as the zoophytes, have no heart; this is because these animals are coldest, of one great bulk, of soft texture, or of a certain uniform sameness or simplicity of structure; among the number I may instance grubs and earth-worms, and those that are engendered of putrefaction and do not preserve their species.  These have no heart, as not requiring any impeller of nourishment into the extreme parts; for they have bodies which are connate and homogeneous and without limbs; so that by the contraction and relaxation of the whole body they assume and expel, move and remove, the aliment. 

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The Harvard Classics Volume 38 from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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