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Full text of "The Discovery Of The Child"

110              THE DISCOVERY OF THE CHILD

in outline, the two great systems—that of the circulation, which,
having for its centre the heart, permeates the whole body with its
extremely minute system of capillary vessels, and the nervous
•system, which, having its principal centre in the brain, sends out
.an infinite number of branches which break up into the microscopic
ramifications of the periphery.

As is well known, capillary vessels and ultimate nerve-endings
are to be found in all the most minute parts of the body, the blood
supplying the material nourishment, and the nervous element
maintaining the vital tone even in histological places. In order to
obtain a clear impression of the distribution of the capillary system
and of the peripheral nervous system, it is enough to remember
that the prick of a pin in any part of the body whatever (external
.or internal) causes bleeding and gives rise to pain. If, speaking
theoretically, we could dissect out in a complete manner the
^circulatory system and the nervous system, the result would be a
reproduction of the body in all its details: in the first case a * red
man', and in the second, a * white man'.

To the ' red man' belongs the life of nutrition, since in him
are linked up the systems which serve to gather in from the outside
world the material necessary for sustaining the body—food and
•oxygen—as well as the organs intended to get rid of refuse. On
<the -otjier hand, embodied in the c white man' are the organs of
4he senses, which serve to collect sensations from the external
'world, and the immense muscular system which carries out motor
activity. Although the two * men' are quite distinct one from the
other and are clearly separated in their functions (one takes in
material for the body, the other food for the spirit), yet they are
interlocked so closely and are in such intimate reciprocal relation-
ship that no part of the organism could function without their
mutual action. The heart beats and drives the blood onward,
because it is enervated; the nerve centres and the nerves carry out
their work because they are fed by the blood.

The muscles form, the most massive .part of the bodily struc-
ture. They are attached to the skeleton, which exists in order to