Imágenes de páginas
PDF
EPUB

Hold up

tedious explanations of ministerial the first class of nations, or rather put squabbles, annual budgets, or even for it at the head of European civilization : the very expensive farce of Parlia- whereas the clever rogues, the Fredementary votes. The sic volo sic jubeo ricks, the Louis the Fourteenths, the of a Wellington would answer all the Francises, and the Charles the Fifths, purpose, as it does of that other fool- embrued their hands incessantly in the trap, a responsible Cabinet. What, blood of their fellow-creatures, and indeed, is diplomacy itself, and the made misery for their subjects. If whole code of international law, but a then, gentle reader, you are not too deferential sacrifice to the folly of wise, if you are more worthy of Gomankind. This consideration con- tham than of Athens, set yourself tains the philosophy of Oxenstiern's down without hesitation as among the celebrated axiom, and satisfactorily privileged order of society. explains why fools in general make your head at the highest ; set yourself the best ministers. They sympathize unblushingly in the high places; and with the public for whom they act, laugh to scorn, as an honest man should and the public sympathizes with them; do, every one who presumes on his inand they instinctively hit upon the tellectual superiority, and has the insoineasures which are suited to the in- lent pretension to think himself better, tellectual calibre of the majority. because he is wiser, than his neighThey never, by the brilliancy of their bors, and has got the start of the are conceptions, disturb the settled order in which he lives. Decry talents of things, nor, by putting mankind hardily; neglect genius superciliously; upon thinking, disturb their digestion, vote illumination a bore, and consist. and force them upon the most disa- ency a mark of the beast; and above greeable of the functions of life. all, as far as your interest and patronJames, the most foolish of all possible age extend, be sure to shut out from kings, maintained his empire in peace preferment all manner of persons who for a long series of years, and laid the are so unfitted for place or distinction, foundation of that national develope- as not either to be, or at least affect ment which placed England among to be, downright fools.

I THINK OF THEE.

I Think of thee, in the night

Yet

may I not repine, When all beside is still,

Since thou hast won thy rest at last, And the moon comes out, with her pale, sad And all the grief is mine.

light, To sit on the lonely hill :

I think upon thy gain, When the stars are all like dreams,

Whate'er to me it cost, And the breezes all like sighs,

And fancy dwells, with less of pain, And there comes a voice from the far-off On all ihat I have lost ; streams,

Hope—like the cuckoo's endless tale, Like thy spirit's low replies !

-Alas! it wears its wing S

And love, that like the nightingale I think of thee, by day,

Sings only in the spring! 'Mid the cold and busy crowd, When the laughter of the young

Thou art my spirit's all, Is far too glad and loud;

Just as thou wert in youth, I hear thy low, sad tone,

Still from thy grave no shadows fall And thy sweet, young smile I see,

Upon my lonely truth ;-My heart—my heart were all alone, A taper yet above thy tomb, But for its thoughts of thee!

Since lost its sweeter rays,

And what is memory, through the glooin, Of thee, who wert so dear,

Was hope, in brighter days!
And, yet, I do not weep;
For, thine eyes were stained by many a tear I am pining for the home
Before they went to sleep ;

Where sorrow sinks to sleep,
And, if I haunt the past,

Where the weary and the weepers come,

and gay

And they cease to toil and weep!

When earthward they alight, Why walk about with smiles

And flash their splendors on the eye That each should be a tear,

Just as they take their flight ! Like the white plumes that fling their I never knew how dear thou wert, wiles

Till thou wert borne away ” Above an early bier !

I have it, yet, about my heart, Or like those fairy things, –

Thy beauty of that day ; Those insects of the east,

As if the robe thou wert to wear, Which have their beauty in their wings, In other climes, were given, And shroud it while they rest ;

That I might learn to know it there, Which fold their colors of the sky

And seek thee out, in heaven !

ESSAYS ON PHYSIOLOGY, OR THE LAWS OF ORGANIC LIFE.*

Essay IV.-ON THE POWERS BY WHICH THE OPERATIONS OF THE ORGANIC FRAME ARE

CARRIED ON.

We have now, we hope, sufficiently mazes; here, like unwearied laborexplained what is to be understood byers, the most minute vessels are dethe term percipient sensibility, or per- positing, particle by particle, the solid ception, and how its powers are exhi- bone, the contractile muscle, or the bited in the organic frame ;-it is that lucid humors of the eye; here, too, property by which we are aware of the absorbents ply their task, unbuildour being, and by which we are con- ing and removing, and striving, as it nected to the world around us: it is were, for victory: hence is the fraine by this that we experience pleasure subjected to a perpetual succession of and pain, and every emotion. All particles, till life becomes extinct ! that embitters life, or renders it de During a certain period of its exsirable, acts through this medium ; in istence the animal frame grows, or infact, deprived of this property, man creases in size, when at length, the and the animal would resemble the natural stature being acquired, it beplant, and rise up and pass away in a comes stationary. This gradual instate of utter unconsciousness.

crease, or growth, is effected by the Let us now turn our attention to appropriation and assimilation of fresh those phenomena which man, in com- matter, which received into the system mon with all animated nature, exhi- becomes there vivified and deposited bits, and which, depending on that in various parts, as its wants may repower termed latent sensibility, are quire. But this operation is continucarrying on their operations through- ed, not only while the body is growout the system,-silently indeed, and ing, but when this growth is complete ; unnoticed, except in their effects. for as it perpetually undergoes loss, These phenomenà are all subservient this must be continually repaired, to the organic life of the individual, otherwise the body becomes attenuatand comprehend the operations by ed, and dies from exhaustion. which the growth of the frame is ef That the animal frame should be fected, its bulk maintained, and its capable of assimilating, or converting losses repaired. How complicated is extraneous inanimate matter into a the animal machine! and how num- portion of itself, living and sensitive, berless and intricate are the actions is an astonishing and inexplicable there constantly in progress. Here, fact; nor is it less so, that minute to mingle with the vital Auid, the lac- arterial ramifications, all proceeding teals pour along their milky streams; from one and the same slock, and ofhere, the red tide, carrying warmth fering no apparent difference in conand life, flows through countless struction, should be endowed with the

* See page 225. 43 ATHENEUM, vol. 1, 3d series.

property of separating from the blood ing parts of themselves, undergo, as (according to the several parts each it were, the first stamp of organizamay be destined to nourish) earthy tion, and enter upon their career of vimatter, or fibrine, or fluids of various tality; the soil, however, necessary compositions, density, and transparen- for the growth and nutrition of many cy: these are facts, the causes of plants, does indeed contain a great which ingenuity fails to unravel, and proportion of decomposed animal or in which conjecture is lost.

vegetable matter; but this forms no With respect to the nutrition of objection : for, in the first place, anianimals, this observation will, we mal or vegetable bodies lose by putrethink, be found generally to hold good, faction all claim to be considered as viz. : that animals require for their organized ; and, in the second place, support, particles which have immedi- it would appear, that it is by the peately belonged to, and formed part of, culiar gases arising from such decomorganized bodies, either of the animal posed matter, that vegetables are or vegetable kingdom; being, as we nourished, whereas animals require may hence conclude, unable to assi- recent vegetables or animal matter, for milate particles belonging immediately their support. Thus does it appear, to bodies purely inorganic: and it that one of the purposes for which the would seem also, that animals derive vegetable kingdom is designed, is to a larger proportion of nutritive matter form a vast laboratory, in which varifrom bodies whose composition is si- ous inorganic substances are to be premilar to their own, that is, from other pared for the use of the animal world, animals, than from vegetable sub- by effecting upon them a necessary, stances. Now, although the natural peculiar and most wonderful change; food of many animals consists entirely a step preparatory to a new change as of vegetable matter, yet we see that wonderful-for a particle of matter, such require and consume a much originally unorganized, may become a larger quantity in proportion, than car- portion of the grass which covers the nivorous animals, which make flesh meadow,-of the ox which grazes uptheir food. For instance, the weight on it,-of man, the lord of the creaof matter requisite for the support of tion,—and when he moulders in the a carnivorous animal, is infinitely less earth, return to its original state, and than what a graminivorous animal of again become incorporated in plants, even a smaller bulk would require. to run a new career. Hence we may conclude, that all sub It has been stated, that the animal stances, before they become fitted for frame owes its existence and growth the nutrition of the animal race, must to the appropriation and assimilation undergo a peculiar change and modi- of fresh particles, which become idenfication,-in fact, Lecome organized ; tified with the rest of the body; let and that in the Aesh of animal bodies, us explain how this is effected :-Prothe relative proportion of nutriment is ceeding from the inner surface of the greatest.

stomach and the intestines, numerous If this be the case, that all matter, small tubes or vessels are observable, before it be fitted to support animal whose office it is to separate and ablife, must itself have been immediately sorb, or take up, the nutritive particles in a state of previous organization, it of the food, as prepared by the digesmay be asked, Does not the vegetable tive organs for their reception : this world also follow the same law ? No: nutritious portion is called the chyle. The great Author of the universe has When the food has entered the stoso constructed the vegetable tribes, mach, it becomes mixed with saliva, that they are enabled to convert the and the gastric juice. By the agency particles of inorganic matter into of these it becomes converted into an organic bodies ; to assimilate various uniform pulpy mass, to which the earths, water, and air, which, becom- name of chyme is given; but it is not

yet fitted for the system; it now pags- On the structure of the frame itself es through the pyloric orifice of the their operations are continually carristomach into the duodenum, (a portioned on ; for it must not be forgotten, of intestine,) and becomes there mixed that the organized living machine is with the pancreatic juice and bile. undergoing a double set of internal The pancreatic juice is a fluid prepar- operations, its destruction and renovaed by a gland termed the pancreas, the tion; and whatever comes off in the bile by the liver. By the action of constant wear of this machine is taken these fluids on the pulpy mass, a com- up by these vessels, the absorbents, or, plete conversion is effected, and that as they are called, lymphatics, from portion fitted for the purposes of the the limpid Auid we always observe animal economy is, as we have said, them to convey. termed chyle. If we examine the The minute tubes which form the state of these minute tubes or vessels commencement of the lymphatics, are in an animal recently killed, and be- furnished with orifices so small as to fore the vital warmth is extinguished, be totally imperceptible to the naked we shall see them (at least if the ani- eye ; and each orifice, endowed with mal has been lately fed) filled with a the power of contracting or dilating, milky fluid, from whence they have absorbs or refuses, according to the their name lacteals : this milky fluid peculiar impression produced by the is the chyle.

object in contact. The lacteals having thus absorbed In what manner the lymphatics, and this nutritive portion of the food, after indeed the whole absorbent system, communicating freely with each other, propel or convey the fluids they conpass through certain glands termed tain, is a question on which physiolomesenteric, where the chyle appears to gists have entertained very different acquire new properties. Emerging views ; some, for instance, and these from these glands, the lacteals carry eminent men, have asserted it as the chyle onwards, till they enter, at fact, that fluids circulate through and last, into the thoracic duct, a vessel ascend these minute tubes, contrary which passes along the spine, and to the law of gravitation, not from pours the chyle into a large vein, al- any propelling power in the tubes most immediately entering the heart, themselves, but by that principle termed the left subclavian vein ; here which causes the ascent of liquids it becomes mingled with the blood. through tubes of great minuteness, It has not yet, however, lost its cha- termed capillary attraction. To this racter ; but after passing through the opinion, however ingenious and appaheart, and thence through the lungs, rently satisfactory, there are many it becomes incorporated with the rest strong objections: for were it correct, of the blood, from which it is no we might expect that neither age, nor longer to be distinguished.

sex, nor temperament, nor habit, There is, however, another set of would produce the least variation or vessels, which, as well as the lacteals, irregularity in the absorbing power, terminate in the thoracic duct, and and that all would proceed with unicontribute likewise to the repair and formity. But this is far from being preservation of the system.

the case ; for as much so as every viThroughout every part of the tal function, the action of the absorbframe, in the interior as well as on ents is liable to irregularities inconthe surface, are distributed innumera- sistent with the theory just mentioned. ble vessels, destined to absorb and Indeed it is much to be doubted whecarry into the blood the superfluous ther any of the functions of organized Auids of the body, as well as all sub- bodies, on which their vital existence stances immediately within the sphere depends, are to be accounted for upon of their action. External bodies are purely mechanical principles ; a supnot the only ones on which they act. position which has led to theories very

а

ous.

ingenious, but unfortunately errone- Håller, who often gives the name of

lymph indiscriminately to the fluid of It appears more possible, according the absorbents, and to the serum of to our ideas, that the absorbent ves- the blood. sels are endowed with a sufficient From the circumstances attending power of carrying on or propelling the the production of the lymph, we might fluids they contain, by some peculiar be led to judge, that its nature and action in themselves, which they are component parts would be subject to enabled to exert so as to answer the variety and change ; and this is found end in view.

to be the case; but in the chyle these The lymphatics, after arising from differences are still more evident, various parts of the frame, the surface arising from the various substances as well as the interior, by minute used as food. Indigo, madder and tubes in close contact, unite and di- beet-root tinge it with their respective vide, and so intermingle with each hues. It is, however, as we have other as to form a close network, said, in general white, slightly viscid, which, with a similar tissue of nerves and much resembles milk. When reand blood-vessels, forms the cellular moved from its vessels and exposed to and membranous textures of the body. the air, it separates into two parts, Emerging thence, and proceeding viz. : fibrine and serum :and the onwards, they form distinguishable lymph also, under similar circumtrunks, and again enlarge by the union stances, undergoes the same change. of others; and multitudes of these Both the lacteals and lymphatics run together a parallel course, forming terminate in the thoracic duct, which companies proceeding from different empties its contents into the left subquarters, and by different routes, for clavian vein. At the point of junction the same destined place; the whole, between these a valve is placed, so however, communicating largely with constructed as effectually to prevent each other.

the blood from finding its way into the In various parts, and for reasons not thoracic duct, but which offers no imfully known, companies of these absorb- pediment to the exit of the chyle. ents form themselves into masses of From this source then the blood reconvolutions, differing in number and ceives its supplies, and nothing can magnitude, and intermingled with a incorporate with the system, or be resimilar congeries of blood-vessels. ceived into it, without proceeding These masses are the glands, (ob- through this channel. served in the neck and other parts,) Having now conducted the nutrithe uses of which are not, as yet, fully ment through its various stages, till it ascertained, although it is most proba- enters into the blood to supply the ble that some change is effected by continual drain upon this reservoir of their agency on the lymph, by which vitality, we shall follow up the subject, it is rendered more fit for the purposes and proceed to give a more detailed of the animal frame ; and this would account of that most beautiful and infurther appear, from the increased teresting phenomenon of the animal tendency to coagulate, which it mani- frame, the circulation of the blood. fests after passing through the glands, The circulation of the blood is an (which it does slowly, as if impeded operation immediately connected with by the way,) as well as some altera- our existence, and on which it detion in its appearance.

pends ; and will it not excite our asAt the same time, however, it must tonishment, that two centuries have be observed, that the real nature of scarcely elapsed since its laws have the lymph is far from being well un been at all correctly ascertained ! and derstood. By some it is considered even now, many points are disputed, as' analogous to the serum of the and enveloped in obscurity. We may blood, which is indeed the opinion of with safety conclude, that the ancients

« AnteriorContinuar »