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U. S. CoNsur. Generat,, Frankfout a. M. 



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J. k J. HABPER, No. 


ROMAN EMPIRE. Bj Edwau Qibboh, Eaq. Complete in 4 vol*. 8vo. 
Wiib EngraTingi. 

Thii Slaraotvped Eoibon of Gibbon'* Rome b weU printed on ■ good nnd t^pe, 
and caotain* uib necemu^ Hip*, uid is, in all raBpecte. fofia. Theaa hcts ue 
Mated, baouae nunt of the London edition* new offered for aale in thia couDttr are 

jl Uw Deceeeerj Ha» dec, 1 ,._ 

juriout to the eje* 10 reu them. Yec, with at 

I higher price thandu Aj — '--" " "''- 


itagee, Ihej are aM a 

tlui PregieH of Society, from (be Ri« of the Hodern Kingdoma to the Feaoe 
of Faiia, in 1763. Bj Willuh RuaaiLL, IjL.D. : and a Contumntion of the 
Uialoij to the Present Time, bj Willuh Jdmis, Eaq. With Annotations 
bj an Amntcan. In 3 nria. Sto, With BngnTinga. 

of his Ijfe and Writing*. To wbieh an added Qaestioas for the Eiaounalion 
of Stndenta. Bj John Fioar, A.M. Complete in 1 vol. Bto. Willi a Poi- 
timit aod Engraimga. 

CHARLES V. With a Tievr of the Pr^resi of Society in Eorope, from tha 

THE HISTORY OF SCOTLAND during the Reigns of Queen 
Man and of King Jamaa VI. till hia AccaiHtai to the Crown of England. 
With a Renew of the Scottiah Hiatory preriou* to that Period ; and an Appen- 
dll containing Original Letten. To nhich U affixed 

of Trade with thai Country prior to the Diacoiery of the Faasage to it by the 
Cue of Oood Hope. With an Appendix containing Obeenatioaa on the Civil 
FoUcy, the Law* aikd Jadicial ProcraJinsa, the Arti, the Science*, and Reli- 
fions Institationa of the Indiana. By Willuk Robsitsoh, D.D. Complete 
in I vol. Sto. With Engraving*. 


WiLLiu DunuF, Vic* Pieudent of the National Academy of De^giu In I 

ANNALS OF TRYON COUNTY; or, the Border Warfaro of 
NaW'Ymk) during the ReTOlution. B; Wh.W. Cahtbill. 8to. 


THE BOOK OF NATHHE. By Jobk Mabok Goois M.D., 

F.R.a. To which U now piefitod, • Sketch of Iha Anlhoi'i Lib. Coo^Ma 
in ont (olaine, 8id. 
" Thi* worii is cntninlT the bail philox^ihical digaK of the kind which na hare 

NATURAI^ HISTORY ; or, Uncle PhiUp'a CoiiTersBtioiM with 
tba Cbildren about Toola and Trailai among the Infariot Animata. Iflmo. 
WUh ntuneniua Engraring*. 


Engnnnga. 18mo. 

TbaatDdTofNitanlHutoiy iiat alltuoea, and (o slmoat ereiy ptnon, oodDaMIi 
nlaasing and initmcUTa : the c^jsct in Uiia aQminble Tolnme hw b««n 10 randgi it 
doublf captiTUiny by thB plain and aioiple stjis in which it i* traalod, and br tha 
numarooa engiaiin^ with which Ihs tenl ia lUuatnted. There ia no branch of thia 
daliihtfiil Bciencfl mare pleuing than that which exhibit* the wonderlul goodncaa and 
wudom of tha CmUor, ai they ate displayed in the enrUeaa Tatietias of insect life — 
their forma, habita, capaciliea and woika — and which inveatigatet tha Datura and 
poculiaiitiea of Ibaas duninuliva tribea of aniir-"-' — ■-■ 

TUKE. By Roikit Mciiia, Eiq. ISmo. With EagraTinga. 

EGYPT. ByRaT. HicuEL RuaaBLL, LL.D. [No. X3 of the Familr Li- 
btarj.l ISmo. 

TING. Bj Ra*. M. RciHLL, LL.D. [No. ST Fam. Lib.] 18nui. 

BtA AND ABVaSINIA. B; Rar. M- R°•«■I■^ LL.D. ISum. No. 61 
of the Famil; Library.] Eogravinga. * 

Eaq. ISmo. [No. 03 of the Family Libniy.] Engnvinga. 

an Account of the Whale-Fiahery. By Pioleaaon LbbLii and JmaaoH. With 
EograTinga. [No. H of the Family Library.] ISmo. 

JiKH WitaoH, Eaq. R. K.'GaiT]Li.i, LL.D. and PiofenoT jAKlaoH. IBmo. 
[Noa. 47, 48, A; 4a of tha Family Libra/y.J Engravings. 

ANDZOOIX)Gy OF AFRICA. By ProSsBorJiKBeoii and Jakes Wilson, 
Esq. [No. 16 of the Family IShrary.] 18mo.' 

jcirizeaoyGoOQlc ^ 

Notiett of Harptr't Librariet of Standard Work*. 


" Tbg fVmily Libnrr — A title irhich, fnnii thn ralaabla md entaruimnr maftet 
Che coUectHm coulniiu, u welt u from the cariiiut style of iti exBcation, it well da- 
MrreL Ho OuniVf. iadeccl. in which there are children lo be brought op, ought to 
be without thi* Library, u it fumiaha* the readieat naource* for (hat education which 
ooahl to acccmpanr or aucceed that of tha boatding-Khool or the academy, and ia 
innnitely mota conduciTe than eilhar to the cultiration of the inlellecl." — MtnlUy 

" We hiTe npeatadly home teattmony to Om utility (^ thia work. It la oiM of Ihe 
beat that haa e>er boen iaaned from Ihe American preaa, and ahoold be id the Ubrary 
ef ttm bmily denrona Of treasuring ny uaelol knonledga." — Bturn Si*tttmin%. 

" The Family Library preaHila, in ■ compendiona and cOfnenieiU Ibnii. well- 
writteo hiatotiea of popitlar men, kiiwdotDB. aeiancsa, ftc, uranfed and edited by 
.1..- _j — __j J ;__!_ jjpnj Ji,g nj(,- -• '—J —.1-—^.^-- ~ 

tbia wiftera, ai>d diawD antiiely a 
Cturtm l rm G—tUL. 

ct and accndiled aothoritiea.''- 


" TM FkmSw Cbtnal Utrmy ia another of Ihoae cheap, naeful, and aleganl mAa 
vrtikh we lately anoke of aa brming >ii en in our publiahing hiatory." — ^Mcutor. 

"Ttuawoik, pabUiheil ata low pfice, la beiatifiilly got op. Though to piofaaa to 
be coiilem with tiandattonaof IheClaaaica baa been denuunced aa ' (he thin diaguias 
of indoleiice,' tbeie an thouaanda who hare no leiaure Ibr atudying the dead lati- 
fnagea, who urould yet like ia know what wm thought and aaid bythe aagea and 
poMaMF antiquity. To them thia worli will be aCreaaure."— Swulay TVmu. 

" We aee m reaaoa why thia worii ttiould tux find ita way into tlie boudoir 
lady, aa well aa into the libian of the leamnL It ia cheap, portable, and altaptlMT 
awork which may aafelj be placed in the handa of peraona of both Mxea-'—meUy 


Thia work eanoot &il to be acceptable to yoolh of both aexea, aa wen aa to a large 
portion of (be reading eotomnnity, who haye not had the b<oafit of a learned edno- 
tioD."— Omdnvn'* JfiwaRM. 


Thia cooiaa of publicaliona will mors eapecially embrace bdA woib aa an 

ada^ad, not to Ihe eitmnea of early childhood or of idranced youlh, bat to that 

in(eniiailiale ^ace which Ilea between childhood and the opming of maturity, 

whan the triflea of the nnreerji and (he aimple leaema of the achaal-roam bate 

._ ...-:. .. — =-:,. :_- _ 1^ bffyn the taate for a Ug^ oid«i 

aacandency in tbaii ataad. In tha aalac- 

tion of wnna intccalad for tb« 

the riamg goMntion in thia phatk period of Ibau' a^it- 
liititr* cbaiacler are recehiu Ihair nionldtaig tanpieaa, 
altea that the ntmoat care and Bcnipuloeitya&ll be ex- 

enaaed. They are fixed In their deteimination that oMhing of ■ queabonaUe tond- 

. ahall Bnd admiaaion into pagae coneecnlad lo the holj 

parpoae ef biatnicting the thoughta, ngulatiug the paaaiona, and aellUng tha piiixi- 
plea of tha young. Bereial interaating unmLMa M thia Litnaiy an now bdore the 

Fictillona corapodtion ia now adnulted to foim an e x te uai Te and important pDC> 
tlra of liieraton. Well-wnwgfai oovela take their rank by the aid* of real nanaltraa, 
and are appealed to ai evidence in all quEetiona concerning man. In them the cna- 
toma of Eountriaa, the tianaitiana and shihlRa of character, and eren the Tory pecn- 
liaiitiee of caaMine and dialect an cnrioualr pieaened. 

Thia ■■ Libniy of Select Novell" will embiace none bnt aoch aa hiye receind the 

mipTeaa of general oninibation, or have been wnlten by anthora of eauSlidiad char- 

i and the pabLuhen bepe to reci^ive aucb mcoungemoit fR>m the public 

nagaaa will enable them ID the eoaiae of lime 10 prnduoaB aatiea of workaof 

mifonn appmnnee, aud inclndint iiuai of Ihe really TalnaUe nonia and ronancaa 

IhathaTo been or abaJI be iaaned from the modeni Englirii and Amattcan preaa. 

AwtMH worka, by eminent aulhora, have already been oabliahed in thia LitiTaiy, 
aAlcb are arid aepwMeljr or in ectnplBta leu^For the dllea at* the CatatognaL 


MiM4Uaneotu Works Pttbluhed by J. ^ J. Harper. 

THE FAMILY LIBRARY.— EmbRcing the Following Worlu 
in IBmo. With Plates, &c. 

Grnl.—a. A'aiMial Haltrg of ituedi.— 4. Gait's Ltft of Lord Bum.— VI. Bulb's 
I^tofMshnmmvL—n. StaKl'sXfUmoi.iWmcAiyjnJTV'iKAmift.— 18, 13. Gleig's 
fliusrjF «/ (Ac BMt.—H. IHicmiry and AdomOire n till Polar Siat, tfe. Bj Profn- 
■or L«lia. PiDTeiNiir JamesiHi, ina Hugh HumT, Eaq. — 15. Crotj't life of Oargt 
Ihi Fanrili.-'in. Ditamn and Ademvt ■> Afiiec Bt Prat JamoMo. James 

-.- le. Duamn and Ademvt ■> Afiiea. Bf Prat 

Wilson, Em]., and Hogh llum;, Eaq.—il, IB, 19. CuTmingtiuo'a _ . _ 
Pamttrt and SailfiiBrt.-~Vi. Junes'* HiMety gf CUtaby imd Ou Cruada.— 21, SS. 
Bell'a Lifi ef Mary Qiiim ^ StaU.—23. RuaseU's Andtnl aid Mottn Bgyrt.—2t. 
Flelcher's JiUlnry r>f Ptlml—lS. Smith's FmlkaU, Otaaa, and Ami a tmmiU.~Vi. 
Brewiler'i Uh <tf Sir Inaa NnHort^ZI. Rusasll's mtaiy ^ Pabttiiu, w lit BUy 
' • "" Hemes' Mamn <^ die Baanai J««9tBw— 29. ■"•'•■ 

- ■" Lneee/F-'- "—■ -' '" - 

Sacrei , 

of BQKnjani.—aO. I^ ef Evig NsmgaUrt.—3U A JJiicr^liBn mf Piban'e liilaS, 

John's Ltuei ef CtUtraled Trmfln.-^l, 43. 
iMiu in/TBt a i*/Hm rrtarrK a. Rmg ef Pruetia,—A2, 44. Skttchte from Vwfifli 
Hiifiiry.— 45, 46. Thalcher'B /ndun fugrapAy^— 47. 46. 49. AuUry o/ /ndiii.— 50. 
BievOa'a Lettoi on Naiia-iLl aiagk—il, S2. Taylai's i£iisry g/ Jn^ini — 53. IKt- 
B>wr«iBn»A»ffortAiiniCoa«Uij/lnimRi,— 54, Humboldl'a TWltii.— 55, S6. EuIm's 
Xftfff* sa iVkfiinil PAiJsH^y.— 57. Hudie's Owdt to Ihe Oittrvaiim ef A'ahirt.— 58. 
Abeterombie on Ihs PUioJowty s/ lAi JWsmJ f uliiv>.— 59. Dick oa the J ai puwiim tt 
■f SocEMk— 60. Jaoea'a fi'iiinry r>/ CAarlcnuM.— 61. Bouell'a HieUry ef A'vWa 

F*anil(n, <fc, toLs. 4 liS. 
CLASSICAL SERIES^-Noa. 1, S, conlauiing Xenophon. (Anabsiia and Ctio- 
IwdiB.>-~3. 4. Leland'a DumnUiean.— & Rose's Salhisl—S, 7. CBsai's Coinnieiit- 
•riaa.— fl, 9, 10. Cicero'a Ontioas, Offices, &c 

DRAUATIC BEKIE8.— 1, 2, 3, caDUiaii« Hassmger's Plays.— 4, S. Fmd'i 

THE BOY'S AM) GIRL'S LIBRARY.— Embracing the Fol- 
lowing Works in 18iiu>. With EngnvingB. 
Na l.baiDgLiTaaeflha Apostles, &c^-3, 3. Swias Family Robinson.— 4. Sundaj 
ETsoiiua, lat Tid. — 6. Sen a a Oauiaa. — 0. Uncle Philip m Nslaral History. — 1, 6. 
'ndjan iWta.— 0, 10, 11. Talea ftom Ameiicati Histotj.— 12. The Youne Crnsoa.- 

■t Tid. — 6. Sen d a Oauiaa. — 0. Uncle Philip m Nalaral History.— 
" '" "" "■ ■ ' - Ameiicati IIislotT.—12. T"- " " — 

Perilaof ibaSaa- 15. Fai 
It's Orphan. — 16. Omama 
s Philqi on Christianity.— 

13. Snndn Erroinga, Sd lOl.— 14. Psriliof lb« Saa- 15. Famale Biography.- 10. 
Carolina Weaterley^l7. CleTfTman's Orphan.— la Omamana Diseoraieil.— 19. 
Simday Eraidnaa, 3d toL— SO. uncls Philqi on Christianity.^t. Uncle Philip on 

LIBRARY OF SELECT NOVELS.— Embracing the Following 
Popular Works. 12mo. 
Koa. 1, S. Cyril ThomtotL— 3, 4. The Dntchnun'* Fireside.— 9, 6. The Yooue 
Dnke.— 7, B. Caleb Williama.— 9, 10. The Club-Book.— 11, 18. De Van.— 13, 14. 
TbeSmunlei.— IS, la. Eonne Aram.— 17, 18. Evaliru.- 19,S0. Tlia8py.-^1, tS. 
Westmrd Ho !— 23, M. Tales ol Glaaber-8pa^25, 36. Uanij Haalanen^-BT, 36. 

THEOLOGICAL LIBRARY.— Embracing the Following 

Works.- With Plates. 
No. 1. Life of TRcliC^S. Conaiiteacy oTRerelatlon.— 3, 4. Lift of LnUtar.— d, & 
Lib of Oriiuner. 

0^ Any one <^ til* oiotM Worlu may be obtained eeparaUly. 


H«ryW« atwM^ffe gMOim. 



■mf. AK. phu- wo. axd r.Lj. or PHiuim«tu. 






3c,r.z6doy Google 


In UUanpting to fonuifa the rraden of " Th« Book of Nkture" irilh k 
delineation of the life mi character of its distinguished author, even a 
more experienced biographer might approach the task with hesitancy. 
The writer of the following sketch will not therefore aHect to conceal lus 
spprahensions that in so brief a space as is allotted to him, he may fail of 
doing justice lo the name and memory of one possessed of such Tar»in- 
tellectual and moral endowments. Happily, however, the name of Dr. 
John Hason Good has become identified with the luatory of our own times, 
and his numerous and able contributiona to our stock of knowledge, of a 
Uterary, profesiijaal, and religious nature, furnish a monument to his me- 
mory more Impeiiahable than brass. His friend and contemporary, Dr. 
Olinlhus Gregory, in his " Memoir^" embracing his life, writings, and 
character, has given to the world ample testimoaials of his surprising 
genius, untiring industry, and extiaordinaiy erudition. And though the 
Imes are traced by the hand'of affection, yet we discover no marks of ful- 
some adulation or enthusiastic eulogy. The writer seemed to feel that to 
depart from the simple aud artless namuive of facts would but detract from 
(be merits of the individual whose learning and virtues constiD;[ed his theme. 
Litde else than a summary of this interesting biography will be attempted 
in the present sketch. 

Dr. John Mason Good was the son of the Rev. Peter Good, a minister 
of the Independent or Congregational class of Dissenters, at Epping, in 
Essex. He was bom May 2fith, 1764, and received his name from the 
celebiwed John Mason, author of the treatise on " Self-knowledge," who 
was his maternal uncle. 

His first studied were under the superintendence of his father ; who, 
for the sake of educating his sons to his own mind, organized a semi- 
nary, in which were also the sons of a few of his personal friends, — 
the number of pupils being limited to sixteen. There he very early 
acquired those habits of study, and that taste for literary pursuils, in which 
he was destined to excel in sAer-life. He acquired, while very young, an 
accurate knowledge of the Latin, Greek, and French languages, and thus 
laid the foundation for his subsequent high attainments as a linguist. 

When he was a Uttle more than twelve years of age, his mdefatigable 
■todies began very serionsly to impair his health, and his sedentaiy habits 
produced a curvature of the spine, which interrapted his growth, snd 
well nigh destroyed his constitution. But even then, it was only at the 
fomnt irapoTttmiiy of his honoured fathflr, that he consented to paitaka 


vith hifl companionB of those rural and healthful spoits, m necesiaiy to 

mental relaxation and corporeal strength. And although he seemed to have 

no reliah for these puerile pursuits at firat, yet their effect upon his bod^ 

and mind was such, that he soon engaj^ io them with his characteristic 

ardour, and became as healthful, agile, and erect ai any of lus youthful 


At fifteen years of age he was ^tprenliced to Mr. Johnson, a surgeon 
^Mthecary, at Giosport. Here he quickly acquired and performed the 
pharmaceutic functions ; and, by reading and practice, very soon became a 
very valuable assistant to his master. Within the fim year, notwithstand- 
ing his multifarious avocations, he commenced his career as a writer, by 
eomposing a " Dictionary of Poetic Endings," and a number of little 
poenu of sterlingoneiiL Next, he employed his leisure horns in drawing 
up " An abstracted View of the principal Tropes and Figures of Rhetoric in 
Aeir Origin and Powers," illustrated by a variety of examples. 

Before he had completed his* sixteenth year, Mr. Johnson's Qlnesi 
threw upon his apprentice an unusual weight of responsibility ; and the 
business of conducting the establishment, alnuMt entirely without super- 
intendence, engrossed most of his time. He nevertheless began under these 
embarrassing circumstances to study the Italian language, of which he 
■oon made himself master ; and his coRunonplace book shovra with what 
seal, industry, and effect he pursued this and his other studies. 

Shortly afterward, however, Mr. Johnson's continued indisposition ren- 
dered it necessary to engage a gentleman of skill and experience to con- 
duct his ezt«nsive business ; and he selected for this purpose Mr. Babingion, 
th^i an assistant^urgeon at Harlem Hospital, and since well kucwn as a 
physician of high reputation in London. 

The death of Mi. Johnson occurring soon after the consummation of 
this arrangement. Dr. Babington and Mr. Good were separated, after having 
formed a mutual and endearing attachment, each having availed himself oT 
opening prospects which simultaneously presented themselves. AJler punniii^ 
his studies a short time under the direction of a skilfiil surgeon at Havant, 
into whose family he vras received, he was offered a partnership wiA a repu- 
table surgeon at Sudbury. To quaUfy himself for this situation he went to 
London in 1783, and attended the lectures of Dr. Fordyce, Dr. Lowder, and 
other eminent professors ; and availing himself of the advantages of hos- 
pital practice, he became an active member of a socit^ty for the promotion 
of natural philosophy, then existing among the students of Guy's Hospital. 
He soon distinguished himself by the part he took in the discussions, and 
by his original essays, one of which, " On the Theory of Earthquakes," is 
said to have been peculiarly ingenious, elaborate, and classical. ' 

The following summer of 1784, he commenced hia professional career u 
Sudbury, and though but twenty years of age, soon gave striking proa& 
of his surgical akill, which gained him the confidence of the public ; and his 
partner soon after retired from the business, and resigned the practice in bis 
favour. In 178S, he married Miss Godfrey, of Co^esholl, a youug lady 
of accomplished mind and fascinating manners. But scarce had the joyous 
festivity of his youlhiul heart commenced, which he so beautifully ezpreoses 
in the poem written on his marriage, before he found, alaa I ■* a worm waa 


h tha bnd of thU sweet rose." Id a little more dian six montha his beW^ 
companioa died of coasumptioD. 

Such w»B the diDck upon his sensibilities produced by this sad and me- 
Uucholjr beresTement, that it seemed lo have paralyzed his mental energies ; 
during the four yean of his solitaiy condition, he seemed lo suspend 
tfaoae acti*e literary employments, of which he had given so hopeful promise. 
In 1789, he married a second time. The object of his choice was die 
daughter of Thomas Fenn, Esq., a highly respectable banker at Sadbury. 
With this lady, who possessed superior excellence and worth, he shared 
the conjugal endearments during the last thirty-eight yeara of his life. 
The fruits of this marriage were six chjldreni two only of whom with dieit 
widowed mother sarrive. 

The year after (his marriage. Dr. Qood commenced the study of the 
Hebrew language, of which he goon acquired a critical knowledge, as was 
exhibited in some of the most valuable productions of his pen. The 
sphere of his professional labour became very extensive, and a pros- 
pect of competence and even wealth was opened before him. But too 
soon he proved the versatility of all human poaseesions; fbrinl792,bybecom- 
ing legally bound for the debts of others, or by lending a large sum of money 
to personal friends which they were unable to pay, he became involved in 
greU pecuniary embarrassment. Instead, however, of availing him- 
self of the entire relief which was promptly offered by Mr. Fenn, he esti- 
ifaated his loss as the penal infliction for bis imprudence, and therefore de- 
termined to tax hie mental resources for bis penance ; and to his misfor- 
tune he was indebted for the developeipent of genius and talent of which he 
was uU then unconscious. 

He began with tncroasing assiduity a course of literary activity almost 
without a parallel. He wrote [days, made translaticms, composed poems 
and philosophical essays, which, though possessed of acknowledged merit, all 
failed to yield him pecuniary remuneration to any extent At length, how- 
ever, he published his fiigitive pieces in " The World," the Morning Post 
of that day, and under the signature of the " Rural Bard," he intioduced 
himself to popular favour. 

In the year 1798^ having unsuccessfully contended against the frowits of 
adversity, he was fortunate enough to receive a proposition to remove to 
London, and engage in partnership with a surgeon and apothecary of ex- 
tensive practice in the metropolisi and to obtain an official connexion as 
■urgeon in one of the prisons. He avuled himself of this opening, and 
went to London, his spirits buoyant with hope, that a ^rer and brighter 
day was about to dawn upon him. But ag^ he waa doomed to the sad 
and unavoidable defeat of his apparently well-founded expectations : for, 
having been admitted the same year a member of the College of Surgeons, 
and having received other marks of professional distinction, his partner 
became jealous of his rising popularity, and his envy caused him to pursue 
a couiae of conduct which resulted in the failure of their bosineeB and 
the dissolution of their partnership. Still he concealed frt>m his father- 
in-law, and even from his own fajnily, the extent of his embarrassments, 
and almmk from receiving fiill relief, ibou^ perfectly witliin his readi ; and 
letolved to incur no obligation, but rely upon his own resources. 



Allhoogb he waa Buironnded by an increasing family, freqaeot and 
imezpect»i vexationa, and the defeat of all his favourite projecta, eadi in 
ila turn did not in the least disheaxlen him, but, on the contrary, were con- 
linual iucentiTea to bis profesaional activity and to the moat extended 
literaiy research. For nearly four yeara, thoa circumstanced, he concealed 
hia anxieties from those he most loved, maintained a cheerlul demeanour 
among hia friends, pursued hia theoretical and practical inquiries into eveiy 
accessible channel ; and, at length, by his exertions, and the blessing of Ood, 
Burmounted every difficulty, and obtained professional reputation and emo- 
lument, sufficient to satisfy his lliiiat fol* fame, and to place him in what 
are regarded as reputable and easy circumstancea. 

In 17S9, he gained a premium of twenty guineas by successfully com- 
peting before the Medical Society ; having presented the best dissertation 
on the question, " What are the diseases most frequent in worlchousea, poor- 
houses, and similar ineliluticins, and what are the best means of cure 
and of prevention." Soon after, his talents and acquirements began to be 
highly appreciated, and in 1707 he commenced his translation of Lucretins. 
To h^ Imowledge of the Hebrew, Greek, Latin, French, and Italian, he now 
added that of the German, Spanish, and Portuguese ; and, by the year 1800, 
be had made considerable attainments in the Arabic and Persian languages. 
Very soon he gave evidence in some of the Reviews of his success in 
these difficult languages, and attracted the attention and secured the kind 
offices of many of the literati of Great Britain. 

Ue next published his " History of Medicine," which haa. not since been 
anipassed either in accuracy or style. During the few years which in- 
tervened between his temporal embarrassments and his final triumph over 
them, in 1812, besides multiplied prodactions of his pen in prose and poetry, 
of which a catalogue would be loo prolix for our present purpose, he made 
s translation of the Song of Songs or Sacred Idyls, Essay on Medical Tech- 
nology, Translation of the Book of Job ; and, in conjunction with Dr. Gregory . 
and Mr. Boswoith, prepared for the press the Pantologia, or Universal 
Dictionary of Arts, Sciences, and Words, in twelve volumes, royal octavo.. 

In the year IBIO, he was invited to deliver a series of lectures ax the 
Surrey Institution, "on any subjects, literary or scientiGc, which would be 
agreeable to himself." He comphed with die request of the directors, and 
delivered a first, second, and third series of lectures during three succesaive 
winters, to crowded audiences which attended with gr^ification and de- 
light His subjects were — of the first series, " The Nature of the Material 
Worid ;" the second, " The Nature of the Anunate World ;" and the third, 
"The Nature of the Mind." To these lectures we are indebted for the 
nucleus upon which Dr. Good afterward amplified, until die " Book of 
Nature" was the finished product. 

He continued, in addition to these immense intellectual laboura, to perfoim 
the duties of surgeon and apothecary, walking twelve or fifteen milea a day 
through the streets of London, until the year 1820, when he added the more 
elevated character of a physician, and, in his own language, " began the 
world afresh, with good omens and a fair breeze." Immediately afterward^ 
he pubUshed his " Physiological System of Nosology," and within two 
yevB, " The Study of Medidne" was SmAei. This woA the Biidah 

3c,r.z6doy Google 


Mediosl Rerievs pniDoiiiice " heytati bU campuiMn the beit of (be kincl 
in tha En^ish language," and ita author " one who conld derour whole 

Such were the perpetual occnpatitMu of thui eminent man, liteiary and 
professional, and such the splendid acquirements which he gained by his 
genius and industry, eren anud a larger share of perplexities and dieap- 
pointments than hare served to damp the energies of many who might other- 
wise have shone as stars of the first magnitude. Thus illustrating his 
claims to fnw merit, wHch, according to Oliver Goldsmith, " consists, not 
in a man's never falling, but in rising as often as he falls." 

So great a variety of occupations woidd have thrown moat men into 
eonfusion ; but such was the energy of Dr. Good's mind, such bis habits 
of order and activitjr, that he earned them all forward simultaneously, and 
anffer«diione to be ne^ected, or inadequately executed. Indeed, his prac- 
tical maxim was akin to that of another eminent indiridnal of indefatigable 
^ipiication, the late Dr. E. D. Clarke, who said, " 1 have lived to know the 
great secret of human happiness is this,— never suffer your energies to 
stagnate. The old adage of ' too many irons in Uie fire' conveys' an abo- 
minable lie. You cannot have too many ; poker, tongs, and all — keep 
diem all going." 

Hence we find him at one and the same time engaged in acquiring 
several distinct languages ; translating laigely &om others ; editing and 
sustaining Reviews ; contributbig to c^ier penodieals on various and dis- 
tinct brancliea of polite literature ; preparing for the press original woiks ; 
enriching his commonplace book with " d^ant extracts," the result of his 
immense reading, besides daily performing (he arduous dutiee of .a general 
practitioner, (a an extent of which many would have complained, 
thou^ (hey had no other occnpations; and which thousands make a sufii- 
dent apology for ne^ecting to read even the prcrfeswonal inqnovementa of 
their own time. The great secret of his distingnisbed caieer was, in having 
adopted eariy in Lfe Mr. Mason's " Rules for Students," as commended 
by the example of his father ; that, for eminence and success in literary - 
pursuits, " five things are necessary ; viz. a prc^r distribution and ma- 
nagement of his time ; a right method of reading to advantage ; the order 
and regulation of tus studies ; the proper way of collecting and preserving 
useful sentiments from books and conversation ; and the improvement of his 
thonghta when alone." 

In these five particulais it will be perceived that Dr. Good greatly ex- 
celled ; and his eminence as a scholar, philosopher, linguist, and physician 
was, no doubt, the result of his perseverance in practising them, rather 
than of any extraordinary originality of genius, or splendid endowments 
of nature. 

Amorig the rare excellences of the character of Dr. Good, and by no 
means the least interesting trails of his history, may be mentioned his 
extraordinary temperance, fortitude, humility, and devotion. Amid all the 
occupauons of his professional life, and all his application toJiterary pur- 
suits as a student and an author, he still found time and inclination to in> 
Testigate the claims of Christianity ; and, having become txtnvinced of its 
tndh and importance, practised upon its precepts with rigid scnpulmia- 


leai, and waa erentaslly led to embrace iu doctrines and il« apirit 
aa the great ultimatum of human attaiunente. In the language of hia bio- 
grapher, he had " sought for intelligence at the Great Fountain of intellect, 
and had found Him whom to know is life eternal." 

It IB true, that in the former part of his life. Dr. Good was led into many 
errors of opinion, which he found reason to recant ; and he afterward de- 
fH«cated the enora in [H'actice resulting from those opinions. But although, 
at that time, the ranks of infidelity were moat numerously, and, we may 
add, ably occupied, and by many of his literary associates ; yet he could 
never altogether overcome the* principles impressed upon his mind by the 
early instniclions of his father : and hence he was preserved Irom those fatal 
errors, wfateh, if received into bis mind at that time, wonid doubtless have led 
him into a labyrinth of metaphysical subde^, from which he might never 
have extricated himself. 

But he avoided these dangers to which by his early associationa he waa 
exposed; being protected by the impressions made on his mind under his pa- 
temal roof^ in &vDur of tbs truth and au^enticity of the sacred Scriptures ; 
and he wrote an essay tm the " Credibihty of Kevelation," which is still 
extant : bnt, it seems, he either wanted the opportunity, or perhaps the moral 
courage, to publieh it, although it WHS admirably calculated (obeUBeM,judg- 
i>^ irom the extracts finished by his biographer. 

Still, however much as he admired the general aystem of revelation, and 
ably as he could defend it, it would seem that he vacillated in his creed fivm 
one error to another, and wandered in the maaes of iutelleetual and moral 
obscurity, in Ml view of the Light which could alone illuminate his path. 
He acknowledged its existence, occasionally glanced towards it, which 
only served to make his ** daritness visible ;" yet still he sought not fm 
tranquillitr and peace by impUcidy yielding to its influence^ In an eaeay 
" On H^piness," written abont this time, he reasons himself very elabo- 
rately into the persiuaion that there is an inthnale connexion " between 
morab and nattnal philosophy ;" Uiat " the same spark that shoots through 
the mind the raya of science and infonnation, douses through the heart 
the softer energies of nature," and he thus exhibita the final issue of this 
raomentone inquiry : 

" From such considerations as these, then, it restdts, that he is pinsuing 
the most probable path to himian felicity, who, blessed by nature with a 
Boul moderately alive to the social affections, and an understanding that 
elevates him above the prejudices and passions of the ignorant, cultivates 
with a aedulous attention the one that he may best enjoy the capacities of 
die other." 

With these views of the nature of ha^^ess and the best method of 
securing it, be was led to the avowal of the system of Materialiam, and that 
of tiie Univeisalisls, with respect to futive punishment ; and becoming asso- 
ciated with a numbo- of gentlemen who professed their belief in the doc- 
trines of modem Socinianism, he soon acquired a kindred spirit, and on his 
removal to London, in 1798, he joined the congregation of Mr. Bclsham, a 
distinguished minister of that persuafflon in the metrop«riis, where he c<hi- 
■tantly attended worship until the year 1807. 

Dining Ae fourteen yeara he was thus connected mih this Sooinian con- 


gngBtiOB, hia religioui bdierwas in nowJM Mttled ; and by hn earl^ bau- 
haiity with the truth, he wu praerred to a. great extent from the wont ten- 
dencin of thia aTStem. Hence, aays faia biographer, " He was too learned 
and too honest erer to affinn that the belief of the Dirinily and atonement of 
onr Lord waa unknown in the purest ages of the church, but was engen* 
dered among other corruptions by false philosophy ; and he had uniibnnly 
too great a. regard for the scripturea of the New Teatament, to aaaerl that 
the apostles indulged in far-fetched reasoning, oi made use of a Greek word 
(^nri'ivin) which conveyed an erroneous notion, from want of knowledge 
of the term they ought to have employed : he never contended that St. Paul 
did not mean to teach the doctrine of the resurrection of the body in the 
fiAeenth chapter of the first epistle to the Corinthians ; never sported the 
pemiciona aophiam thai ' where mystery begins religion ends.' Being 
* bmied alive' in occitpatioiis, and immened in vexations of no otdinary 
occurrence, he did not commune frequently with his own heart, and too 
naturally sunk into a lamratable indiiSerence to religion, at least, if that 
word correctly imply < converse with God ;' bnt he never evinced indif- 
ference to truth and rectitude, nor ever, I believe, became involved in the 
more avrful petplexities of skepticism. 

"Indeed, the Bible was always with him a fevonrite book; though fiir 
many years, it ia to be feared, he turned- to it rather as a source of literary 
amusement, or of critical speculation, than for any higher pnrposes. Afier 
Ua death there was found an interleaved Pocket Bible, bound in two 
volumes, in which he often entered notes and obaervations. This interest 
ing relic is now in my posaessioo. The annotations are very numerons, 
and, by the variatioiis in the handwriting and the appearance of the ink, 
mark with sufficient accuracy the dates of their insertion, from 1790, when 
ibey were commenced, until about 1824, when he found the type in which 
the Bible is printed too small for him to continue reading it with comfort. 
These notee present decisive proofs of the nature of his sendments in dif- 
ferent periods of his life ; and in some cases mark his solicitude in later 
age to correct the errors of the seaawi of speculation aitd thou^tleaaness." 

Although he had become bewildered by adopting erroneous sentiaMints, 
yet he never entirely lost his love of truth ; and hence the forced and unna- 
tural critjcisms in which his theological friends indulged, and the skeptical 
spirit which acme of them manifested, by shocking his upri^tness, contri- 
bnted to hia ultimate emaneipaldon. 

After contending against the conflict within him for fourteen years, the 
preaching at the Socinian chapel at length gaye him eerioua pain ; and lan- 
guage from the pulpit, which Dr. Good regarded as equivalent to the rKont- 
mtndation of skepticism, led to the following correspondence. 

" CwUu Plan, Jm. 96tk, 1B07. 

"Dear Sir, 

"It is with mncfa regret I feel myself compelled to discontinue m^ 

attendance at the chapel in , and to break off my onmexiwi with 

• aociety with which I have cordially associated for neariy fomteen years 

" I sinoerely respect your talents, and the indcAtigaUe attention yon have 


paid to BiUioal and theolo^cal aubjeeta ; I have the fiilleat couTictioii of 
ywa sincerity and desire to promote what ^u believe to be the great cause 
of tnith and Chriadanity^ ; but I feel severelj' diat our minda are not caa- 
stituted alike ; and being totally incapable of entering into that apirit of 
akopttciam triiich jrou deem it your duty to mculeate from tlie pulpit, I 
should be guilty of hjrpocrisy if I were any longer to countenance, by a 
personal attendance on your miniaiiy, a system which («ven admitting it to 
be right in itself) is, at least, repugnant to n^ own heart, and my own 

" Without adverting to subjects which have hurt me on farmer occasions, 
I now directly allude to vaiioue opinions deUvered in your very elaborate 
and, in many respects, excellent sennon of Sunday last ; and especially to 
the ssaertiaH that it is impossible to demonstrate the existence and attributes 
of a God ; that all who have attempted such demonBtnUions have only in- 
volved themselves in poi^lexity ; and that though a Chrisuao may see 
enough to aaUsfy himsdf upon ^e subject, from a survey of the works of 
nature, he never can prove to himself the being and attributes of a Ood, 
clearly and free from all doubt 

" I mean merely to repeat what I understood to be the general sense of 
the proposition ; and not to contend diat my memory has furnished me with 
your own words. And here peimit me to observe, that I have been so long 
taught a different creed, not only from the reasonings of St. Paul, Rom. i. 30, 
and elsewhere, but from many of the beet theologiatts and philosophers of 
our own couotiy, from Sir I. Newton, Clarice, Barrow, aiid Locke, that I 
cannot, without pain, hear what a^tpeara to me a principle irrefragably ^sto- 
Uished, treated with skepdcism, snd especially with such skepticism circu- 
lated from a Chrietian pulpit. 

" I have thus, privately, naboeomed my motives to you, because, both as a 
muuster and as a gentleman, yon are entitled to them ; and because I should 
be sorry to be thou^t to have acted without motives, and even without 
sufficient motives. My esteem and beat wishes, however, you will always 
possess, notwithstanding my secession from the chapel ; for I am pereuaded 
of the integrity of your efforts. I am obliged to you for every atteudon 
you have shown me, and shall, at all times, be happy to return you any 
service in my power. 

" I remain. Dear Sir, 
" Tour obliged aud faiihliil friend and servant, 


M To John Muom Good, Esq. CifioLon Place. 

" , Joi. 27tk, 1807. 

"Dear Sir, 

" I am obliged to yon for your polite communication of your intentton to 
withdraw from ' chq)el, and of your motives for that deter- 

mination. Having myself exercised to so great an extent the right of pri- 
vate judgment, I would be tiie last person to object to the exercise of that 
right in others. 

" I cannot, however, help considering myself as peculiarly unfbrlu&ats, 
tint after all the pains which I have taken to eatabliab the truth of the 


I leTelatHm, I should, in the CBtimaiiaii of an inteUigest 'and, I 
wonld hope, not iincandiil heiirer, lie open to ifae charges of meulcatimgjrom 
ti* pulpit a spirit of skepticitm, and that the alluiiou which I made on Ehm- 
4ay last to tbo nrwatbfactoiy nature of the exploded d priori demoDBtration 
of the Divine existence, ahmtid have been undentood as a declaration ot a 
deficiency u the proper evidence of the being and attributes oi God. 

" X certainly would not myself attend the ministry of a preacher who waa 
akeptical either m regard to the Divine eiisieDce, or the trath of the Chiis- 
tian revelation. I must, therefore, completely juetijy yon in withdrawing 
from roy nunistty while you entertain your present views. I can only regret, 
that I have expressed myself inadvertently in a mamier so liahl^to be mis- 
■nderetood ; uid sincerely wishing you health and happiness, 
"J am, Dear Sir, 

" Toot obedient servaat, 

" To THB RKTBUin) '■ . 

" CaroSne Place, Jan. SBfA, IS07. 
"Dear Su-, 
"lamobliged to yon fbr your letter, and add only a word or two, in ex- 
planation of a eii^le phrase which you seem to regard as nncandid. Th« 
Hinn sk^aieism I have not need opprobiieusly, bui in the very sense in 
which yon yourself seem to have applied it, in the discourse in quesUoD, to 
the apostle Thomas, by Bsserting, upon his refusal to admit the evidence of 
bis feUow-disclples, as to our Saviuur'a resurrection, that 'it is possible, per- 
haps, th^ the tkeptidtm of Thomas may, ia this gutaace, have been car- 
lied s little too hi.' 

" I quote your idea, and, I believe, yom' words. &nd here, without ad- 
verting to otiier expressions of a similar nature, suffer me to' close with ask- 
ing yoa, whether 1 can legitimately draw.any other conclusion from sach 
a propositioD, than that a skepticism, in some small degree short of thai 
manifested by 8t Thomas, is, in the opinion of him who advances dial 
proposition, BOt only justifiable, but an act of duty t aad that, to a certais 
extent, he means to inculcate the spirit or disposition on which it isfoimdedT 
" It only remuna that I repeat my sincere wishes for yonrhappiness, and 

* Dear Sir, 

" Your obedient servant, 

** John Masoh Go«>," 

To tlus letter Mr. Good received no reply. 

Soon after, he surrendered all the characteristics of the Socinian cree^ 
and became a constant attendant upon Divine worship at Temple church ; 
and in a few years aflerwaid, he wrote another essay " On H^tpinees," di^ 
feringvery widely &om that to which reference has been made in a former 
part of this memoir, and fiiniishing a happy commentary on the advantage* 
he had derived from the evangelical reformation in his creed. It was not, 
however, until 1S16, that Dr. Good distinctly communicated to hie friends 
ilia coidial pManaatMi, that the evaagelicai representation of the doetriae* 


of Scripture wu that vtuch alone accorded with the sjrstem of remled 
troth, Bod declared his conviction, " that there was no inteimediate gronnd 
upon which a aound reasoner could make a fair etand between that of pan 
Deism, and that of moderate ordiodoxy, as held by the erangelical dasMl 
both of chnrchmen uid dissenters." 

It is but candid to remind the reader, that this great change of sentiment, 
followed as it was by a coirespondent change of practice, took place when 
Us subject was in the vigour of manhood, and the maturity of his intellectual 
acqnirements. And to exhibit this change, as it was, thorough and radical, 
QOtwithstanding it has been insinuated otherwise, the following notes in hi« 
BUJe are inserted, written by himself. 

" Hebrews x. IB, 20. The spirit of man is concealed by the veil of the 
flesh : the spiritual things of the law, the holy of holies, were concealed by 
the veil of the temple. Christ is the end and aom of the whole ; and oa 
the high-prieat entered into the holy of holies by the veil of the temple 
under the law, so we can only enter into the holiest by ' the blood of Jesus,' 
by the veil of his flesh, or incarnation, of which the veil of the temple was 
a striking type. And never did type and antitype more completely har- 
monize with each other, and prove ^eir relation : for when Christ exclaimed 
upon the cross, ' It is finished,' and gave up the ^lost— when the veil of 
bis flesh was rent, the veil of the temple was rent at the same moment. 
The former entrance into the holy of holies, whieh was only temporary and 
typical, then vanished — and the ' new and living way,' the way everlasting, 
was then opened ; and what under the old dispensation was only apea to 
the bigfa-priest, and that but once a year, was, from that moment, open to 
us all, and open for all times and all occasions — a consecrated way, in 
which we are exhorted to enter with all boldness, in fiill assurance of fitith; 
having ' our hearts first sprinkled from an evil conscience, and our bodies 
washed with pure water.'" 

" GsNasis ii. 28, 24. Under the figuratiTe language contained in these 
two verses is a concealed representation of the whole mystery of the gospel 
— the union of Christ with the church, the glorious bride, that in the fubiess 
of the times he will present to himself, free firom spot or wrinkle, holy and 
without blemish. 8l Paul expressly tells us, Eph. v. 30, 31, that this mo- 
mentous fact is here referred to, aod spoken of in veiled or esoteric lan- 
guage. It is the first reference in the Old Testament — the earliest history 
of man, therefore, opens witii it ; it was the mystery of Paradise — ■ the 
hidden wisdom which Ood orduned before the world unto bis own gloiy.' " 

" Gbnxsib iiL 7. And the eyes of them both were opened, and they 
knew that they were naked, and they sewed fig-leaves," &c. 

" It is so in every age and every part of the world. The moment a nan 
becomes consciously guilty, his eyes are opened to the knowledge of evil ; 
—.he feels himself naked, and seeks a cover or a hiding'plaoe : he ia Ml 
of shame, and cannot endure to be looked at even by his fellows ; — 4t« 
endeavours by some fiitnsy pretext, some apron of fig-leaves, to screen 
either himself or the deed he has committed from their eyes. But most of 
all does he feel his nakedness before God, and endeavour to hide frtim his 
[wesence. Happy, indeed, is he, who, with this consciousness of guilt and 
■hwne. is able by any meaaa to disoera a coveriiig that m^y conceal tb» 


tukod dabnni^ of his penon from the penecmting eye of his Maker. One 
such eoreriog 4ere is, and but one, and bleseed is he vho is permitted 
to lay hold of it, and to put it on— it is the robe of the Redeemer's 
' rigfateousneas." 

For the same pnrpoae, we here insert a specimen of his devotional 
poetty ; not so much for its poetic merit, as for the distinct and decided 
expresoion of sentiment it contains. 

. TBI vokd; and tHS wosD wu wirn aos. 

O woSD t O whdom I BedTao'i high thsma 1 

Wbsra iniul tha tbonie bs^in ? — 
Hsk«r and SaSerar !— Lord Suprame ! 

Tat atcrifiM for ua ! 

How, RitaoH ! trim Ihj brigtiteat lamp, 

Tbf bbldeit powara axcite ; 
Vaater thj donbti, a copiona cajnp^ 

And aim thae for tho fight. 

Vlair nalDie tbrongh — and, ttom the lOniul 

Of thing* Lo ■enifl revaal'd, 
CoDlaad t U thins alike to aouad 

Th' abjaa of IhiDp concealed. 

Hold, and aiGnn that Ood mait head 

The linnot'i contiite lighi, 


Prova b/ the plummat, mla, and Una, 

By logic'a oiceat plan. 
That M«H Donid ne'er b« half divina 

Nor an^l ditini be man : 

That he who bold* the worida io awe. 

Whose fiat formed the akr, 
Could ne'er be lubjagate to law. 

Nor Ivesthe, and groan, and die. 

This prora till all tho Uam'd aubnlt : 

Here laaming 1 deepiie, 
OtooIj own what Holj Wiit 

To Qsavenly minds supplies. ' 

O Word ! O Wiwlom !~baaiidle*s tliome 

Of raptuTS and of grief ; — 
Lord, I beliOTB tha truth anprema, 

O, help mj unbelief. 

Tins derotional efihsion fuTnishes us a satisfactory and concluuve demon- 
stration of the entire revolution which his sentimenls had undergone; and the 
emotions of his heart seemed very frequently to prompt his muse, for a 
great number of poetical pieces were found among his private papers. 

•* For the last seven or eight years of his life. Dr. Good, persuaded of 
the incalculable benefits, of the highest order, likely- to accrue irom Bible 
Bnd Missionary Societies, gave to them his most cordid support ; on many 
occasions advocating their cause at public meetings, and on others emidoy- 


in^ his pen in their defence. To the concerns of " the Chnrch Minnonai^ 
Society" especially, he devoted himself with the utmost activity and ardour, 
as a most judicious, learned, and able member of ita commitiee. He sug- 
gested some useful plans for ihe instruction of missionaries, and, in certain 
cases, of their wives, in the general principles of medical science, the 
nature and openiUon of the simpler remedies, and in the safe pracUcal 
application of such knowledge (o numerous cases which may obviously 
occur amoi^ the inhabitants of the dark and uncivilized regions in which 
Christian missionaries most frequently labour. These suggestions were 
not merely proposed in general terms, in the committee ; but, in many 
instances, carried into the minuiioc of detail, by instructions which Dr. Good 
gave personally lo the missionaries themselves. Nor was die advice thus 
given conlined to professional topics. The stores ot his richly endowed 
mind were opened to their use on subjects of general literature, biblical 
criucism, the rules of translation, the principles of geology, botany, zoology, 
nay, every department of knowledge calculated to fit them thoroughly for 
their noble onil arduouB undertakbg. Nor, again, were these kind and 
valuable offices confined to individuals of the Church Missionary Society 
alone. His soul was luo liberal and capacious, and his conviction of the 
pancity of the labourers too deep, to induce him for a moment to vish or 
to imagine that the glorious object could be accomplished entirely by mis- 
sionaries of anyone persuasion. On different occasions I have introduced 
to him missionaries and others connected with various religious societies, 
viho were anxious to profit by his advice, on topics respecting which they 
scarcely knew where else to apply; and, imiformly, the individuals who 
thus availed themselves of the privilege, have testified in the most lively 
terms their grateful sense of the affectionate kindneas of his demeanour, and 
the value of his suggeBiions." 

His piety exhibited itself in his intercourse with his patients ; for, in pre- 
scribing for an intricate disease, he was in the habit of praying for Divine 
direction ; on administering a medicine himself, he was known frequently 
to utter a short ejaculatory prayer ; and, in cases where a fatal issue was 
inevitable, he most scrupulously avoided ilie cruel delusion too common on 
such occasions, and with the utmost delicacy and feeling, announced his 

As an evidence of his devoticma] character, the following, bearing date 
Jnly 27th, 1823, is here mserted. 


"Which I purpose to use, among others, every morning, so long as it 
may please God thai I shall conunue in the exercise of my profession ; and 
which is here copied out, not so much to estiat my own memory, as to give 
a hint to many who may perhaps feel thankful for it when I am removed 
to a slate u'here personal vanity can have no access, and tlie opinion of the 
world can be no longer of any importance. I should wish it to close the 
tubsequem editions of my 'Study of Medicine.' 

*'0 thou great Bestower of health, strength, and comfort! grant thy bleat- 
ing upon the professional duties in which this day 1 may ^"g^gp- Give me 


judgment to d»cem disease, and skill to treat il ; and crown with thy famut 
the means that may be devised for recovery ; for, with thine assistance, the 
humblest inatnimeut may succeed, as, without it, the ablest must prove 

" Save me from all sordid motives ; and endow me with a sjiirit of [aty 
and liberaUly towards the poor, and of tendemess and sympaijiy towards 
all;, that I n^ay enter into the rarions feelingsby which they are respectively 
tried ; may weep with those that weep, and rejoice with those that rejoice. 

" And sanctify thou their soula, as well as heal their bodies. Let faith 
and patience, and every Christian virtue they arc called upon to exercise, 
have their perfect work : ao that in the gracious dealings of thy Spirit and 
of thy providence, they may find in the end, whatever that end may be, that 
il has been good for them to have been afflicted. 

" Grant this, O heavenly Father, for the love of that adorable Redeemer, 
who. while on earth, went about doing goonl, and now ever liveth to make 
intercession for us in heaven. Amen." 

One cannot help being struck with the resemblance of character between 
die great Bocrhaave and Dr. Good ; but that exceUent man Baron Haller 
resembled him still closer. This great and learned physician in the eaiiy 
part of his life, likewise, had doubts concerning the objects of the Christian 
faith. ** But these doubts were dispelled by a auccessful application to 
every branch of science on the one hand, and by a candid examination ot 
the aacred oracles on the other. The first, by purging his soul, accordbg 
to his own emphatic language, of arrogance and pride, filled it with true 
poverty of spirit. The second convinced him that the Divine Revelation 
conveyed in the Holy Scripttires is a boon worthy of the merciful Autlior 
of our nature to give, and such as is fit for guilty mortals to receive with 
hiunble gratitude and reverence." 

The parallel between these great and good men, devoted as they were 
lo the work of doing good to the bodies and souls of their fellow-men, is 
still greater, from the circumstance that Dr. Good, like Boerhaave and 
Haller, had envious and malignant enemies. But be never regarded calumny 
and detraction, nor ever thought it necessary to conlute them. He adopted 
the sentiment of Boerhaave, who said, " They are Rparks which, if you do 
not blow them, wil! go out of themselves. The surest remedy against scan- 
dal is, to live it down by perseverance in well-doing ; and by praying to 
God that ha would cure die distempered minds of those who traduce and 
injure us." 

After a life of virtue and consistent piety, snch as characterized Dr. John 
Mason Good, the reader may anticipate a peaceful termination, even in the 
light of nature itself. But, illumin^ed as were the dark valley and shadow 
of death by the resplendent light and glory of the Christian levelauon, his 
path seemed, like " that of the just," to " shine brighter and brighter even 
to the perfect day." 

MaHt the hiimiliiy, devotion, and faith which were exhibited in the hour 
of hw approaching dissolution. He called the members of his family around 
his bed, and thua addressed them : " I have taken what unfortunately the 
generality of Christians too much lake— I have taken the middle walk of 
Cbristlaaity — ^I have taideaTonred to live up to its dstlM and doctrines^ 


but I hare lived below ita priviJegea. I have had large opportoiutiea girca 
ne, but I have not improved them aa I inighL I have beea led aatraj 
by the vanity of human learning, and by lh« iova of hvmoK applaiue." 

How insigaificant are the highest intellectual endowments, and the moat 
extensive erudition, when compared with the Christian character. In the 
lig^t nf the invisible world juitdawning upon bis vision, be exclaimed, more 
than once, " O, the vanity of human learning V « 0, the folly of human 
applauaer* And then he would dwell with evident aatisfaction upon the 
text, which he bo often repeated in his last momenta — " Jeaua Christ, the 
same yesterday, to-day, and for ever." And after the power of distinct 
articulation was gone, and he waa almost in the embrace of death, when 
his kind clergyman repeMed the worda, " Behold the Lamb of God I" be 
added, as the last effort of bis exiling breath, "who taketh away the 
sina of the world." 

For this brief outline of the life and death of the learned and excellent 
author of the ** Book of Nature," I Am indebted chiefly to " Dr. Gregory's 
Memoirs," and to the able review of that worit in the " Chnstiau Spec- 
tator." And although precluded by the limits of this sketch from entering 
into numerous details of his writings, learning, and virtues, which possess 
an enduring interest ; yet enougli is here recorded to afibrd matter for much 
useful reflection and improvement to the philosopher, the philanthropiat, and 
the Chrbtiau. And the profession of medicine is here seen to be honoured 
in the life of one of its most enlightened and sealons votaries, who superadded 
to his high literary and professional attainments the still higher eharactet 
of a sincere and consistent GhrisUan philosopher, bequeathing to us and to 
poslerUy his bright example, to be inscribed with those of Boerhaave, Haller, 
Mead, and Rush, on the tablet of our memories, stimulating us to emulate 
their virtues, that we may, like them, have a peaceful death, dieered 
' by the hope of a blissful inunortalily. 

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Trx praent rolome, which u designed to take a syBtemadc, but ptqralar, 
■mrey of the nuwt int«restiDg features of the general scikxok or natdhi, . 
fer the pnipose of elucidating what has been found obscure, controverting 
•nd correcting whu haa been felt erroneoua, and derelopisg, b^ new and 
original news and hjrpotheses, much of what yet remains to be more satis- 
faetorify explained, derives its origin from the folloving drcumstanccs ; — 

Toirards the close of the year ISIO, the author had the htmour of 
receiving a visit from a deputation of the Directors of the Sukret IiaaTi- 
TDTiOM, founded on what had been antecedently the Lxvsrian MraErrji, 
with a request on the part of their Cfaairman, Dr. Adum Clarke, that he 
woidd undertake a department of lectures in that literary and scientific 
establishment ; with the generous offer of leaving to himself a nomination 
•f time, terms, and subject. He regretted his inability of acceding to so 
kind a request at that particular period ; bat being a little more at liberty 
not long afterward, he readily consented, on a second application by 
Dr. I<ettsom and other Directors ; and the ensuing volume contains the 
course of study he ventured to make choice of; the lectures having been 
divided into seiies, and deUvered in successive years. 

It was his intention to have carried the plan to a somewhat more pro- 
tracted extent, though the present is sufficiently complete for the outline 
laid down ; but, though earnestly and repeatedly preaeed to proceed farther, 
or even to go over the same lectures agam, an angniented sphere of pro- 
fessional duties compelled him, with mudi reluctance, to decline the invita- 
tion ; and the same cause haa prevented him, till the present period, &om 
fulfilling a subsequent request to submit them to the public ; though he haa 
always intended to do so aa soon as he could find leisure. 

Aa die lectures were delivered from general recollection, though with 
the author's manuscript at hand, it is possible that those who took notes 
nij find ft ttm fuu^gga in the present text slightly varied torn what was 


uttered al the time. Yet he belierea that, upon an accurate ezaminatka), 
Buch discrepancies will be found but few, and of no importance. 

The iHaTiTUTioN has had its day, but it eel in glory, and had the satis- 
factioQ of reaping its own reward. Its proprietary shares, like those of 
eveiy other literary institution in thia metropolia, were soon found to have 
been fixed at too low a price. And, a difficulty having been experienced 
in obtaining the consent of every proprietor to an adequate additional sub- 
scription, it was wisely resolved, almost from the first, to make a yearly 
encroachment upon the capital, and to maintain the Institution at ita zenith 
of vigour and activity till the whole of such capital should be expended, 
rather than to let it live through a feeble and inefficient existence, thou^ 
for a longer period of time, by limiting it to the narrow scale of its annual 
income alone. 

To the crowded and persevering audience by which, Irom year lo year, 
the author had the gratification of being surrounded, many of whom 
are yet within the circle of his acquaintance and friendship, he still looks 
back with gratitude ; and can never forget the ardour and punctuality of 
their attendance. It ia a lively recollection, indeed, of the manner in which 
his labours were received, when delivered, that chiefly induces him to hope 
for a favourable reception of them m Iheir present form. 

The progress of time, and the mental activity with which it has been 
followed up, have strikingly confirmed various hints and opinions which 
he venmred to suggest as he proceeded, and have introduced a few novel- 
ties into one or two branches of science since the period referred to ; but the 
interval which has hereby occiu-red has enabled the author to keep pace 
with the general march of the day, and to pay due attention to soch doc- 
trines or discoveries in their respective positions of time and place. 

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I. Ob Hatter, and the Materia] World 35 

IL On the Elementary and ConstitiieDt Principles ofnUngs ... 34 

III. The Subject continued 43 

IV. On the Properties of Matter, easen^ and peculiar 60 

T. The Subject conliuued S7 

T1, On Geology 65 

VII. Tbe Subject (Continued 73 

VIII. On Organized Bodies, and the Structure of PlantB compared with 

thnt o[ Animals 81 

IX. On the ^nenil AnalOf^ of Animal and Vegetable Life .... 93 

K, On the Principle of Lire, Irrilability, and Musriilar Power . . . 109 
XI. On the Bonea, Cartiliifies, TeeCFi, Hair, Wool, Silk, Feathera, and 

other hard or solid Pana of the Animal Frame 113 

XII. On the Digestive Function, and the Organs contributory to it; the 
different Kinds of Food employed by different Animals; and 
the Continuance of Life through long Periods of Fasting . . 133 
Xni. On the Circulation of the Blood, Reiipiratian, and Animalization . 138 
XIV. On the Processes of Assimilation ana Nutrition, and the interest- 
ing FfTectB to which they lead ISl 

XV. Oa the External Senses of Animals IM. 

I. On Zoological Syatems, and the distinctive Characters of Animals 173 

n. The Subject continued 183 

ni. On the Varieties of ths Human Race 198 

IV. On Instinct 811 

V. On the distinguishing Chaiacteia of Instinct, Sensation, and 

Intelligence 390 

VI. On Sympathy and Fascination 231 

TIL On Sleep, Dreaming, Revery, and Trance ; Sleep-walking, and 

81ee[HaUiinc SiS 



Lett PM* 

VIIL On Voice and Language ; Vocal Inutationa, and Ventriloquism . 3M 
IX. On natural and inarticiUate Language, or that of Animals; arti- 
ficial and articulate Language, or Uiat of Man 363 

X. On legible Language, imitative and symbolical 374 

XL On the literary Education of former Timea; and especially that 

of Gntece and Rome 389 

Xn. On the Dai^ or Middle Ages ; 399 

Xlll. On the Revival of Uterature 313 

NATOBS or TBI mud: it« attnftii. rAcvLrms axb rummU' 

I. On Materialism and Immaterialism 339 

U. On the Nature and Duration of tlie Soul, as explained bypopular 

Tradition, by various Schools of Philosoi^y, and by Revelation 333 

IIL On Human Understanding 343 

IV. The Subject continued 351 

V. On Ancient and Modern Skeptics 361 

VI. On the Hypothesis of Common Sense 374 

VII. On Human Happiness 38d 

VIIL On the general Faculties and Free-agency of the Mind . . . . S98 

IX. On the Oriffin, Connoexion, and Character of the Passiona • . 407 
X. On the leading Characters and Passions of savage and civilised 

Life 415 

XI. On Temperaments and Constitutional Propenrities 439 

xn. On Pathognomy, or the Expression of the PassionB 439 

XIII. On Physiognomy and Craniognomy, or the Expression of the 

Temper and Disposition 437 

XIV. On the Language of the PasaiouB 44g 

XV. On Taste, Genius, and Imaginatloa 469 

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In the oomprehenBive nnge of ecienRe prapoMd to be treated of in the 
Sniucr ImrmmoH, Ihe department to whicn I sIihII have the honour of bo* 
■eechingyonr scteniioii will b« ihnt of n&tvru. pbilowpht, orpsTaic«,iiidw 
mOBt extensive sense of these terms : th;(t branch of science which makea 
tue of the individual principles and discoverieB of every other branch within 
the range of nature, as the architect makes use of Iti0 bricks, the mortar, the 
wood, and the marble of different artiiaiis, And builds up the whole into apei^ 
' feet eJiRce ; which takes a bird's eye view, as It were, of a picturesque and 
apreadins landscape fiom some commanding eminence ; and, without baring 
laboured in the delnilsor arranging the ground, of cultivatingihe soil, of plinting 
the woods, of winding tlie rivers, of enriching the scenery with flocks, herds, 
bridges, and building, points out the general conneziun of part with part, 
and the harmony which flows from their combined effect. This, indeed, is to 
employ these terms in a somewhat wider senH tbau has been anignod to 
them In modem times; foreven the Natural Philosophy of Lord Bacon, thongfa 
it embraces the two divisions of special physic and metaphyslc, as he cans 
them, does not extend to the doctrine of " the nature And state of man," which 
ia transferred to another division of general science ;* yet that the study of 
physics, or natural philosophy, had ihis more extended meaning among tho 
Greeks and Ramans, is clear, since the poem of Empedoctea on " Nature," 
and that of Lucretius, on "the Nature of Things," the two moat complatfl 
physiological works of which we have any account In antiquity, were ex- 
pressly lormed upon this comprehensive scale ; and heoce Ihe philosophy of 
geology and mineralogy, the ptiilosophy of botany and zoology, toe ptiikwoidij 
of human understanding', the philosoj^y sf society and whatever relates to it, 
Orgeneral and synthetical surveys of thesedlRerent departments of science, are 
a* equally branches of physics, or the -nature of things, as equally part'of the 
■poi or n&TVHS, as any separate branch which is more ordinarily so arranged. 

Thus explained, the scope of Ihe study before us is almost universal, and 
only a small portion of it can be engaged in during a single series. I shall 
endeavour to advance in it ss I am able ; and the mlinite variety it presents 
to ua will at all limes, 1 trust, prevent the pursuit from proving dull or unio- 
teresting. Could it indeed be completed as it ought, it would consiitule the 
raiLosoPBiA raiiu, or universal science of the great aathor 1 have just ad- 
verted to. 

Hy sole ol^ect, taowever, is to commnnicate infonoation ao for ai I " w j 


be able ; to exhaust nothing, hut to tounh apon many things ; to gire a desira 
for learning, rather than to cnnsumniate the kamins tliat mnj m desirablej 
to run over the vast volume of nature, not in its separate pages, hut ia its 
table of contents, so ihat we may hereafter be the belter prepared for atudying 
it more minutely, and for feeling in some measure at home upon the rarious 
subjects it presents to us. 

Yet, after all, lectures alone can do but little, whatever the energy or per- 
spicuity with which they may be delivered. They may, perhaps, awaken a 
latent propensity, or enkindle a transient inelinalion ; but unless the new- 
born flame be fed and Toslered, unless it be nourished by study, as well as 
excited by hearing, it will perish as soon ns lighted up; or, if it continue, will 
only blaze forth io a foppery of knowledge far more contemptible than Uie 
grossest ignorance. 

Let us, then, enter upon our respertive duties with equal ardour. The path 
of science is open toevery variety of age,andalmoBt to every variety of educa- 
tion. Thousands at this nioment behind are pressing forwaiil.and will surpass 
those that are before ; and the richest and most grHtifying reward I can ever 
receive wiH be, to Snd thai many to whom this course of study is delivered 
will hereafter be able to communicate to me the same proportion of informa- 
tion, which it is m^ dui}[ to suppose 1 can at present communicate to them. 

One of the first inquiries that can ever press upon the mind muat relate to 
the nature of mjittbb, and the origin of the world around us : what is thii 
common subslanue from which every thing visible has proceeded, and to which 
every thing visible is reducible? has It existed from all eleruityl or has it 
been called into being by the voice of an Omnipotent Creator I and in either 
cnse, has it uniformly exhibited its present harmony and arrangement, or has 
there been a period in which it was destitute of form and order, a waste and 
shapelpsa chaos 1 

These are questions which have tried the wisdom of man in all ages ; and, 
I may add, wliich in all ages have proved its littleness, and the need we stand 
in of illnminalion from a superior source. Such, upon one or two points, «a 
have received ; upon the rest we are still ignorant ; and, but for what we hare 
received, we should have been still ignorMUt upon the wliule. 

If we search into the systems of all the ancient sRhoois of philosophy, 
amid an infinite variety of jarring opinions in other respects, we find them, 
perhaps witliout an exception, coiicurring in a belief of the eternity of mat- 
ter, or that general substance which conatitntes the visible world around us ; 
which was sometimes conceived to be intelligent in many of its corpuscles, 
and unintelligent in the rest, as was taught hyDemocriius; sometimes intelli- 
gent as a whole, though uniutelligent in its separate parts, as taught both by 
Aristotle and Plato ; and sometimes unintelligent in ail its parts and particles, 
whether united or disjoined, which formed the dogma of Epicurus. Under 
some modidcation or other, however, the doctrine of the eternity of matter 
appears to have been universal among the philosophers of ancient nations. 
That a loose and floating idea of Its creation, by the energy of a pure ioielU- 
gence, is occasionally to be met with, and which probably existed as a rem- 
nant of patriarchal tradition, must be admitted; for the Tuscans were 
generally allowed to have entertained such an idea, an'd,we find it frequently 
adverteci to and opposed by the leaders of Ibft differeOt schools ; hut in no 
Instance, does it seem to have been imbodied or promulgated as a doutriue of 

The grand motive for this general belief appears to have been a supposed 
absurdity in conceiving that any tliitig could be created out ofnothing.* The 
Epicureans, and many other schools of philosophers, who borrowed it from 
them, perpetually appeal to this poaiiion. It was current, however, amoDK 
many ofthe philosophers of Greece at a much earlier period; forDemocritus 
expressly asserted, according to Diogenes Laeriius, "that nothing could 

or tbna nibHiiiDcnt punnf^ln Iba piM«I 
nuodUe 1^» gf tbe BUttf * tuitua^ i 


tpriDg' from nothinpf, or could ever return to nothing." Epienrus, in the few 
frugmenlB of hia ihat have reached us, echoed Ihe tenet in the roUowing 
terms : " Know first of all, that nothing can spring from nonentity." It waa 
thus given by Aristotle : " To suppose what has been created has been created 
troat nothing, is to divest it nr all power ; for it is a dogma of those who pre- 
tend thus to think, that every thing must siill possess its own nature." Proia 
the Greeks it passed to the KomaDS, and appears as foUowa in Lucretius :— 

Admit ibla tmth, Qiat nuiitu Avn DoCMni Bpiiii^ 

And it was thus long afterward reiterated by Pertius, as the common doc- 
trine of his day :— 

The Greeks theraselres, however, seem to have received il from the East) 
and to have become acquainted with it as a branch of nmnosophy; for it 
constitutes, even in the present day, a distinct doctrine of Brahminica) reli- 
gion, and is thus urged in uiiivocsl terms in the Yajur Veid, in the course 
of an address tn Brehm, or the Supreme Being: " The ignorant assert that 
the universe, in the beginning, did not exist in its author, and that it was 
created out of nothing. O ye, whose hearts are pure 1 how ctndd lomethirtg 
arm Ota of notkiiif^ T'l 

This reasoning seems, indeed, to have spread almost universally, and pei> 
haps from the same quarter ; for we find many of the Jewish theologians, and 
not a few of the Christian fathers, too much influenced by Platonic principles, 
giving countenance to the same doctrine, though probably not to the full ex- 
tent of [he Platonic school. Thus, the author of the Book of Wisdom, ■ 
book written in Greek instead of in Hebrew, and hereby proving his own era 
as well as the school in which he had studied, expressly asserts that " The 
almigh^ hand of the Lord created the world out of mfatkvmtd (amorphous) 
matter, B, Mifirm a.}it A while Athenagoras, Tatiaii, Theophilus of Antioch, 
Ailianasius, and Gregory Nazianzen, appear to have concurred in the same 
opinion ; and Justin Martyr affirms it to have been the general creed of his 
own era : " For that the word of God," says he, "firmed the toorld out of tut- 
fithioaed matter, Moses distinclty asserts, Plato and his adherents maintitin 
and ourselves have been taught to believe." 

This is one specimen of the very common attempt in the writings of (he 
fathers to blend the nsrrative and doctrines of Hoses with the priQci[des of 
Plalonism, which, in truth, had been embraced by many of them before tht^ 
conversion. The text of Moses, when accurately examined, will be found, 
if I mistake not, to lead us to a very different conclusion. This text consists 
of the first and second verses of the book of Genesis, and is as follows; " la 
the beginning God created the heaven and the earth ; and the earth was with- 
out form and void, and darkness was upon the face of the deep (or abyss) ; 
and the Spirit of God moved upon the face of the waters." Now in this pas- 
sage we seem to have a aiaieracnt of three distinct facts, each following the 
other in a regular series: first, an absolute creation of the heaven and the 
earth, which, we are expressly told, took place foremost,or in the beginning; 
next, the condition of the earth when it was thus primarily created, being 
ftmorphons and waste, or in the words before us, " wiiliout form and void ;" 
and, thirdly, the earliest creative effort to reduce it from this shapeless and 


tt. n* nadK BUT Bai nolMS 


void orwaate condition into a state ot order and productiveneis— ** the Spirit 
of God moved npoa the face of the waten." And hence, to maiDtaia mim 
the Moaaic namtion that the heaven or the earth existed in a wante and 
amorphoua maai anlecedentlj to the firat act of creation, is to denude Ihv 
•Mies of such namtion, and to put that process first whu;h Hoses hw put 

I enter not here into the conectness of the general rendering, nor into the 
exact impart of the word k'^^i "created;" for whatever be the rendering, the 
same consecutiv e order of events must be adhered to, and the same conclu- 
sion must follow. I am perfectly ready, however, to admit that ms does by 
no means at all times import an absolute creation out of nothing-, but, like 
atale in our own language, that it occasionally denotes the formalion of one 
thing out of another; yet when we are told that, if Hoses had really intended 
to express an absolute creation of the earth out of QothiDf , he would tiave 
used some other won), which should have limited us to this idea, I confidenUy 
put it to any critic, what word he could have employed specially appropriated 
to such a purpose, and limited to such a sense, at the lime he wrote ! or even 
what word, thus restrained, he could select in our own day, from any spolten 
language throughout the world? Words are not invented for an exclusive 
expression of solitary faels, but for general use. The creation of the world, or 
of any thing whatever, out of nothing, is a fuct of this kind ; and no language 
ever had or ever will have a term precisely struck out for the purpose of ro- 
presenting such an idea, and exclusively apprupristed to it : and assuredly 
there could be no such word at the lime Moses first spoke of the fact, and 
communicated the doctrine; as, antecedently to this, it could not have been 
called for. And it will not be questioned. I think, that there is more sound 
sense and judgment in employing, as on the present occasion, a well under- 
stood term, that comes nearest to (he full extent of the idea intended to be 
conveyed, than to invent a new word fur the purpose, that nobody has ever 
heard of, and, consequently, that nobody can coiQprehetid the meaning of, till 
4he very term that is thus objected to, or some other word from the vulgar 
dialect, shall be had recourse to as its interpreter. Yet although, in the Hebrew 
Scriptures, the word m^ is occasionidly used synonymously with our own 
terms, " to make, produce, or cause to be," lo import a formHiion from a sub- 
•tanpe already in existence, we have sufficient proof that it was also under- 
stood of old to import emphatically, tike our own word " create," an absolute 
formation out of nothing. Haimonides expressly tells us, that it was thus un- 
derstood in the passage before us, as well as in all others that have a reference 
to it, by the ancient Hebrews ; while Origen affirms, that such was its import 
among many of the Christian fathers, whatever might be the opinion of the 
rest, and forx;ibly objects to the passage just quoted from the Book of Wis- 
dom, as a book not admitted Into the established canon of Scripture. 

Still, however, the doctrine of a creation of something out of nothing was 
^nerally held to be a palpable absurdity ; and a variety of hypotheses were 
invented to avoid it, of which the three following appear to have been the 
chief ; each of them, however, if I mistake not, plunging us into an absurdity 
ten times deeper and more inextricable. The first is that of an absolute and 
independent eternity of matter, to which 1 have already referred ; the second, 
that of its emanation from the essence of the Creator; the third that of 
idealism, or the non-existence of a material world. 

1 have already remarked, that the ria:sT of these was modified under the 
plHstic hands of different philosophers of antiquity into a great variety of 
shapes; and hence, in some form or other, is to be traced through most of 
the Grecian schools, whether of the Ionic or italic sect— or, in ouier words, 
whether derived from ThaJes or from Pythagoras. In no shape, however, is 
it for a moment capable of standing the test of sober inquiry. We-may re- 
gard matter as essentially and eternally intelligent, or as essentially and eter- 
nally unintelligent ; as essentially intelligent in its severnL parts, or as essen- 
tially iniAlligeat as a whole. The dilemma is equnlin all these cases. Hat- 
ter cannot be iMelligeat aa a whole, without being inteUJgeut in every atom. 


for a eonconne of unintel1if«nt Atom* can nererprodDce iDl«1tiK«De« ; but if 
it be ii)tellig«nt in every atom, then are we perpetually meeting irith unintel- 
ligent compounds reauUing from iiiielUgenl elements. If, again, matter be 
, esseutially eternal, but at tlie same time esseDtially uainielligent, both qepa- 
rately ana collectively, then, au iiitelli^nt principle beini traced in the world, 
and even in man himaeir, ne are put into poBBession of two coetenial inds- 
pendeiit principle, destitute of all relative cionneiion and common medium 
or action. 

The BicoiiD HTPOTHUU to nrhicb I have adverted is not iesa crowded with 
difficuities and abaurdiljei ; but it haR a more imposing appearance, and h>a 
beace, in many periods and among many nations, been more popjilar, and 
was perpetually leading away a multitude of the philosophora from the pre- 
ceding system. According to this hypothesis, the universe is an emanation 
or exiension of the essence of the Creator. Now, under tliia belief, however 
mndifled, the Creator himself is rendered material ; or, in other words, mat- 
ter iiself, or the visible substance of the world, is rendered the Creator ; and 
we merely shin the burdeti, without getting rid of it. Th^re can be no diffi- 
culty in tracing this doctrine to its source. It runs, as 1 have already ob- 
served, through the whole texture of that species of materialism which con- 
stitutes the two grand religions of the East — Brahraism and Buddhism ; and 
was undoubtedly conveyed by Pythagoras, and, perhaps, antecedently, t^ 
Orpheus (if such an individual ever existed, which Cicero* seems to have 
disbelieved, from a passage of Aristotle, not to be found, however, in any of 
his writings that have descended to us), into different parts of Greece, in con- 
sequence of their com muni cations with the gymnosophists. From Pythago- 
ras it descended to Plato and Xeiiophanes, and, under diffiarent modifications, 
became a tenet uf tlie academic and eleatic schools. I have already quoted 
the principle on which it is founded, from M. Ancjuetil du Perron's transla- 
tion uf the Oupnek'-hat, or Abridgment of the Veids,-t the passage at larg« 
is as follows, and developes the eulire doctrine as well as the principle; 
"The whole universe is the Creator, proceeds from the Creator, exists in 
bim, and returns to him. The ignorant assert that the universe, in the begin- 
ning, did not exist in its Author, and that i( was created out of nothing. O 
ye, whose hearts are pure ! how could somethingarise out of nothing T This 
First Being alone, and without likeness, was the u.i. in the beoinning: 
he could multiply himself under different forms ; he created fire from hia 
essence, which is light," tie. So, in another passage of the Yogur Veid, 
"Thou art Brahma! thou art Vishnu! ihou art Kodral thou artPiaJapat! 
Ihon art DeTonta! ihou art air! thou art Andri! thou art the moon ! thou ait 
substance! thonartDJaml thon art the earth', thoo art the world'. Olordof 
the world ! to thee humble adoration ! O soul of the world ! thou who super- 
intendest the actions of the world 1 who destroyesi the world ! who creates! 
the pleasures of the world ! O life of the world ! the visible and invisible 
worlds are the sport of thy power! Thon art the sovereign, OtmiversBl sonl! 
to thee humble udoration! thou, of all mysteries the most mysterious! 
O thou who art exalted beyond all perception or inlagmatioa! thoa who hast 
neither beginning nor eud ! to Ihec bumble adoration r^ 

As this doctrine became embraced by man^ of the Greek and Roman phi- 
losophers, it is not to be wondered at that it captivated still more of their 
Cteta i and hence we tind it, with peihaps the exception of Empedocles and 
ucretius, more or leas pervading all of them, from Orpheus to Virgil. It is 
in reference to this that Aratus opens his Phenomena with that beautiful 
passage which is so rorcit'v appealed to by SL Paul in the conrse of bis ad- 
dress to the Athenians on Mar's Hill,^ of whicb 1 will beg your acceptance of 
the following version : — 

:g...sjv Google 


Ovcwia and likes, Ibr God la ■!] to ^, 

But perhaps the pasiage moat expreai is one coDtained in a very ancient 
Greek poem entitled De Munda, and ascribed lo Orpheus, iu the original higblr 
beautifu], and of which, for want of a belter, 1 must trouble you with the fol- 
lowing tnuulation: — 

Joit tint (ibu, »hg« ihnndcra mil abim ; 

Alt pnnwr it Uh ; u> Iriid all flDry iln, 
Foe Ua nN (Mm ewbiun aU ibu IK»4 

Tbis doctrine hai not been conHned to ancient times, or to the boundariei 
of India and the republics of Greece and Rome ; it has descended Ihrongti 
every age. and has its votaries even in the present day. M. \nquelil du Per- 
ron, whom 1 have already »p(iken of, as the Latin translator of the Oupnek'- 
hat, or Upanishad, from the Persian version, has himself distinctly avowed 
an inclination to it ; the writings of M. Necknr are full of it i) and M. Isnard 
has professedly advanced and supported it in his work, " Sur I'lmmortalil^ de 
I'Ame," piinted at Paris in ISO;). 1 do not know that it exists nt present to 
any great extent hi our own country ; but if we look back to sonietliiiig less 
llian a ceulury, we shall find it current among the philosophers of various 
schools, and especially that of which Lord Bolin^roke has been plared at 
the head ; and hence running through every page of the celebrated Essay on 
Man, In Ih^ composition of which it is probable that Mr. Pope was imposed 
upon by hia noble patron, and was not suffiitieiilly alive to tne full tenoency 
of its principles. The critics on the Continent, however, perceived the ten- 
dency on ilB first appearance ; and hence its author was generally, though in- 
correctly, denominated the modem Lucretius, and the poem itself was re- 
garded as one of the most dangerous productions that ever issued from the 
press ; as a mast insidious attempt, by confining the whole of our views, oar 
reasoningB, and our expectations In the present state of things, to noderniiue 

* Ir Ailf ioxfyit*Bui 7^ Minor' iviftt itifuw 
'A^rnr fwra! U Ai«t wiaai f)r irytai, 

w.,\. '--- — '--fij ii AiAf irixfaiicrfa ir^rw 


t Z«»I tm. mSei^ 


"-" " ' j^ rj talttii — " ' — 

■- zdcViiw 

ZA nSii^r ^^ 'i "> »*f m * t irralenc 

■m Bir W. JOmC* Wort^ t. p. «48. 

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tbe great doctriiMs of a future itaU Knd the immortalitT of the soul. In mtr 
own day we allow to it a very liberal eilent of bold imagery and poetic 
liceoae, and with such atlowance it may be perused without mischief; but a 
few versea alone are aufficienl to prove its evil bearing, if olricjtly and liiernllT 
oterpreled. The following distich, for e sample, beautiful as it is in ilaeli, 
diacloaea the rery quintescence of SpinoBism :* — 

and the geoeral result drawn from the entire passage, which is too long to 
be quoted, is no less so . — 

If ereiy thing bo right at present, there is no necessity for a day of correction 
or retribution liereafcer; and the chief ai^u me nt a/Torded by nature in favour 
of a future existence is swept away inamomeut. Unite the propositions con- 
tained in these two couplets, and illustrated through the whole poem, and it 
follows that the univerae is God, and God the universe j thnt amid all the 
moml evila of life, the sufferings of virtue, and the triumphs of vice, it is in 
Tain to expect any degree of compensation or adjustment ii) a future state ; 
every thing being but an individual part of one stupendous whole, which 
could not poesihiy exist otherwise ; and that the only consolation which re- 
mains for us under the pressure of pain or caUmity is, that if we are not at 
ease, there are others that are so — that if our own country is devoured by 
war, or desolated by pestilenee, (here are coniithee remote from us that know 
nothing of such aflliclious — that the general good is superior to the general 
toil, and made to flow from it, and, couseiiuenlly, that rehateoer u, ti nght —■ 

If fiUcnH hoA CArlhqmlwa bre^k noi Hckveu'i dtplsn, 
Wkl Uwn ■ Uoifli c» m CillKu T 

The THIRD HTPoTBtsis to which I have referred, ia (hat of the idealists, or 
those who maintain that there is no such thing as a material or external 
world; that the existence of man consists of noUiing more (han impressions 
and ideas, ■* of pure ineorporeal spirit, which' surveys every thing in the 
same unsubs[an(ial manner as the visions of a dream. Some of the tenets 
of Malbninche appear to have a tendency to this theory ; but it has been 
chiefly developed in modern (imesb^ Bishop Berkeley and Mr. Hume. Their 
premises are mdeed somewhat different, but their conclusion is the same; 
excepting that the argument is pressed much farther by the latter than waa 
ever intended by the (ormer, and leads to more dangerous consequences. In ' 
Germany, Professor Kant has allowed a part of this tenet, as well as parts 
of various other tenets,| to enter into his system, or that which he choosei 
to distinguish by the name of the Tramcendental Philotophy, and which not ' 
long since bade fair to ob(ain a universal sway over the Continent, though 
for some years it has appeared to he considerably decJinine in its reputation. 
It was my intention to have traced the origin of the ideal nypotheais, and to 
iMve pointed out its sophi.'ms, but our time will not allow me; and it is the 
leas necessary, as 1 shall have an opportunity, on a future occasion, of re- 
verting to all these various conjectures and examining them al full length.J 

But why, after all, is it necessary to support the proposition, (ha[ " no(hing 
can spring from nothing V Why may not tomtihine tpring Jroin nothing, 
when the proposition is applied to Omnipotence '4 f may be answered, per^ 
haps, because it ii a self-contradiction, an imposaibiliiy, an absnrdiiy. Thia, 
however, is only to argue in a circle ; for why ia it a self-contradiclion, or an 
impoasibility ! "It is impossible," said M. Leibnitz, "for a thing to be 

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and not lobe at the same time." This impoasibililr I admit; because, to 
assert the contrary, would imply a aeir-contradiction abeolute and universal, 
founded upon the very nature of things, and coasequenLly applicable to Oin- 
nipolence itself. But the posilLon that "nothiug can spring from nothing" is 
of a very different character ; il is necesearily true when applied to man, but 
it ia not necessarily true when applied to God. Instead of being oiiofule and 
tmivetial, it Mrdative snd limited; the nature of things does nut allow us to 
reason concerning it when its reference is to the latter; and hence we have 
no authority to say that it is impossible to the Deity; or to matntain that an 
absolute creation out of nothing by the Deity is au absurdity or self-contra- 
diction. It is absurd to suppose that matter does not exist; il is absurd to 
suppose that it does exist eternally and independently of the Creator ; il is 
absurd to suppose that it constitutes the Creator himself: but, as it is not ab> 
sord to suppose its absolute formation out of notliinjif by the exercise of an 
almighty power, and as one of these four propositions must necessarily be 
true, reason should induce us to embrace the last wtihtbe same promptitude 
with which we reject the other three. 

So far, indeed, from intimating any absurdity in the idea that matter may 
be created out of nothing by ue inlerposiiion of an almighty intelligence, 
reason seems, on the contrary, rather Co point out to us the possibility of an 
equal creation out of nothing of ten thousand other substances, of which each 
may be the medium of life and happiness to infinite orders of beings ; while 
every one may, at the same time, be as diaiinet from every other, as the whole 
may be from matter, or as mHlIer is from what, without knowing any thing 
farther of, we commonly denominate spirit. Spirit, as generally used amonv 
modem metaphysicians, is, to say the most of it, but a negative term employed 
to express something that ia not matter ; but there may be ten ihsusand some- 
things, and substrates of being, and moral excellence and felicity, which are 
not matter, none of which, however, we can otherwise characterize. Yet 
why, between all or any of these and matter itself, tlJere should be such an 
utter opposition and discrepancy as was contended for by Dcb Cartes, and has 
since Men maintained by most metaphysicians, I cannot possibly conjecture ; 
Dor conceive why it should be universally thought necessary, as it still ap- 
pears to be thought, that the essence of the eternal Creator himself must in- 
dispensably consist of the essence of some one of the orders of bcmgs whom 
he lias crested.— -Why may it not be as distinct from that of an archan^t as 
from that of a mortal 1 from the whole of these various substances, which I 
have just supposed, and which we cannot otherwise contemplate or charac 
terize than by the negative term Spirit, as it is from matter, which is more ina. 
mediately aubmitted to our eyes, and constitutes the substrate of onr own 
being and sensations 1 

Matter, then, we are compelled to regard aa a substance created out of no- 
thing by an intelligent first cause ; himself immaterial, self-existent, eternal, 
and alone; and of matter the whole visible universe is composed. It is ar- 
ranged and regulated by an extensive code of laws, of which, however, we 
know but a few ; and which give birth to a multiplicity of concrete forms, 
under which alone we are capable of contemplating it; for no effort has 
hitherto succeeded in ultimately enucleating the compound and tracing il to 
Its elementary particles. We may divide and subdivide aa we please; bat 
when we' have followed it up into its subtlest rudiments, its most retiring 
principles, by the aid of ihe best glasses which the best art of man can pro- 
vide for us, we learn no more of the real nature of its primitive essence than 
we do from an acom or a pebble. 

But we are as ignorant of matter in its total scope as \r« are of it in its 
elementary partiefea. We can examine it as it exists in the ^lobe, but the 

globe 00 which we tread is but as a drop to the ocean ; Ihe earth is surrounded 
y other planets, by other worlds, by other STstems of worlds ; all of which, 
we have reason to believe, are composed of the same substance, and regu- 
lated by the same laws. We stretch out our view on every side, but there are 
■till worlds beyond us t we call in the aid of the best glaasea, but ihey still 


■mpau OUT reach; till st length we resi^ ouraelTes to iniagiiiBtioii, and ia 
the confneion of oar thoaghts and the weakness of onr language, wa gpttk 
of space aa being Riled, and or mailer as being infinite. 

"niia view of the subject has given rise to a Tariety of magnificent speco* 
lations, at which I shall just glance, without meaning to dwell upon theio. Is 
all this immensity of naatter, this universe of worlds within worlds, and bvs> 
terns within systeniB, the result of one single (iat of the great Cnatoi T Did 
the Power that snake it into existence give it from the first the general order 
and harmony and perfection that prevail at present 1 or did he merely prodnefl 
& vast central and a^regate cbaoa, as the rude has is'of futun worlds, the , 
parent^tock or atorehouse from which they have since issued by a lenef of 
oietiact efforts and evolutions 1 or, thirdly, has every separate system of 
worlds, or every separate planet, been the result of a sefarate Iniui, and i 
separate act of creation % 

It is of little [mportanee which of these splendid fancies we adopt ; for all 
of them are but fanciea, and built upon conjecture alone. In a couiM of 
philosophical inquiry, however, it becomes us to be acquainted with their az> 
utence; and to be informed, beyond this, that the second is the speculation 
which has been more generally espouaed by philosophers ; that, I mean, 
which conceives the existence of a central and primary chaos, from which 
all the heavenly bodies have successively proceeded, of whatever kind or 
description, whether suns, stars, comets, or planets ; though the mode by 
whichsuchelfortshavebeenproducedhasbeen variously accounted for. Des 
Cartes seems to have Buppoaed stars to have preceded planets in the order of 
' creation ; and that the earth was at first a atar, and continued so till rendered 
Opaque by having its bright surface incrusted with grosser and untranai 
matter, and drawn into the vortex of the solar system ; and Leibnitz ad , 
hit conjecture. Whiaton conceived it to have been originally a comet, the 
rude materials of which constituted the chaos of the earth ; and Buffon, to 
have consisted of a comet and a portion of the Bun's exterior limb or ed^ 
carried off by such comet, in consequence of its having given the son an 
oblique stroke in (he courae of its orbit; the chaos of the earth being thni 
formed by the vapoury substance of the impinging comet uniting with a por- 
tion of the sun's igneous mass ; and in this manner he endeavoured to accoont 
for the production of every other planet of the solar system. 

But of all this class of speculations (for aeenredly they deserve no higher 
character), the most splendid and comprehensive is that which was first em- 
braced by Dr. Herschel, and was perhaps an improvement on a ^rior taypo- 
thesis of M. Bn&bn ; but which, so precarious is the life of a p(utoso|Aical 
hypotbesis, he himself discarded, nut many years afterward, for somethii^ 
newer. It supposes the existence of an immense maas of opaque but igueoua 
natter, seated in the centre of universal nature ; that the sun and every other 
star were originallv portions of this common substance ; that it ii rtdcanie 
In its structure, and subject to eruptions of inconceivable force and violence j 
ttatthesun andeveryoUierlaminary of every other system were thrown forUi 
ftom it at different times, by the operation of such projectile powera ; and 
that these, pOBsetflin^ in a great degree the qualities of tile parent body, tlueir 
forth aflerward at different times, by means of similar volcaDoea,pi~ '' 
'" " ■ ■ ' fhich, by f . - ■; 

•f their own snbatance, each of which, by the common hwa of p 
Bsaumed an orbicular motion, constituted a distinct planet, and became the 
chaoaof arising world.* Hence, according to thia comprehennve and daring 
^rpotheais, the existine universe has acquired its birth; hence new systenu 
M worlds are perpein^y rising into being, and new planets are added to sya- 
* — m already created. 

mdv created. 
, ' Bnt woriue and systems of worlds are not only perpetually creatiiif, Qtgj 
•re also perpetually dtmuiishing and disappearing. It is an extraorainaiT 
bcl, that within the period of Hie last centon^, not leas than thhteen atari m 
dUhnnt omwuUalimf, none of them below the aizlh maKnttadBt Mm lolaQr 

3c,r.z6doy Google 


to hKve pertshed ; forty (o have changed their magnitnde by becominf eithat 
much larger or much smaller; »ad ten new Btars to have supplied the place 
of those th&L are lost." Some of these changes may perhaps be accounted 
for b^ Bupposinf a proper motion id the solar or siderial systems by which the 
reUtire positions of several of the heavenly bodies have varied. But this ex 
[Sanation, though it may apply to several of the cases, will by no means apply 
to all of them ; in many instances it is unquestionable, that the stars them- 
■elves, the supposed habitations of other kinds or orders of iiitelligeot beiogs, 
together with the different planets by which it is probable they were sur- 
rounded, and to which they may have given light ana fructifying seasons, as 
the sun gives light and fruitfulness to the earth, have utterly vanished, and 
the spots which they occupied in the heavens luve become blanks. Wliat 
has thus befallen other systems will assuredly befall our own ; of the time 
and the manner we know nothing, but the fact is incontrovertible ; it is fore- 
told by revetaiion, it is inscribed in the heavens, it is felt throughout the 
earth. Such is the awful and daily text; what then ou2ht to be the com 


Ooa study for the present lecture is the first or simplest principles of bodies, 80 
far BB we have hitherto been able to obtain any degree of knowledge uponlhia 
recondite inquiry, and the means by which they are combined or separated 
firom each other, so as to produce different kinds and orders of sensible objects. 

A very slight contemplation of nature is suOicient to show us that matter 
under every visible form and modiflcalion, when regarded in its general mass, 
is perpetually changing ; alternately living, dying, and reviving ; decomposing 
into elements that elude our pursuit ; and recombining into new shapes and 
tuergies and modes of existence. The purest and most compact metals be- 
come tarnished or converted into a calx or oxide on its surface, and the 
most durable and crystallized rocks crumble into granules ; and the matter 
constituting these oxides and granules, by an additional series of operations, 
is Biill farther decomposed, till every vestige of their late character is lost, 
and the elementary principles of which they consisted are ^propriated to 
other purposes, and spring to view under other forms and ^cutties.. Tho 
same process takes place in the organized world. The germ becomes a 
seed, the seed a sapling, Ihe sapling a tree ; the embryo becomes an infant, 
the infant a youth, the youth a man : and having thus ascended the scale of 
maturity, both, in like manner, begin the downward path to decay t and, so 
far as relates to the visible materials of which they consist, both at length moi^ 
der into one common elementary mass, and furnish fresh fuel for fresh gene- 
ralions of animal or vegetable existence ; so that all is in motion, all is stnviog 
to burst the bonds of its present stale ; not an atom is idle ; and the frugal cco- 
nomv of nature makes one set of materials answer the purpose of mauy, and 
moulds it into every diversified (igare of being and beauty and happinesB. 

It has hence been said, that matter is necessarily corruptible, and is per- 
petually changing from its intrinsic nature, and that the physical and moral 
ovils of life are mainly attributable to this perverse and incorrigible propen- 
sity. Such was the doctrine of many of the most eminent schotris of ancient 
philosophy, both of Greece and Asia, and such continues to be the doctrine 
of various schools of the present day ; a doctrine which has not unfrequently 
been considered as of the utmost importance, and as forming the best defence ' 
nS the benevolence of the Supreme Architect ; who, we are told, notwith- 

• Bn Dr. Btnctel'i ObiKnIkm oompand wUb nuMtafdX FhlL nna. ml. boU. Mlf 



sUndiiiff al] the pains and calamitiea, the IdiduII* and diaonleri of nature, baa 
made the moat of matter that ii would admit of, and has tempered it not only 
Wtth a paailive predominuncy of good over evil, but with as much and aa 
real good aa could pcsaibly be iafuaed iiilo it. 

To argue thus is to revive the theory of pure Fiatonism, far too extenairely 
introduced into the Christian world, as I hinted in our laat lecture, upon the 
fint conversion of the Grecian philosophers, who had been chiefly students 
in the Platonic school ; and to suppose the existence of matter aa an inde- 
pendent and eternal principle. " God," aaya the sublime but mistaken foun- 
der of this school, " wills, a> far a* U upoitibU, every thing good and 
ikothingevil;"* "but it cannot be that evil should be destroyed, for tbere 
must always be a something contnry to good,*^ a If^^vnt hiAi«ii^ " an in- 
nate propenaity to disorder,^ in that eternal and independent principle of 
matter out of which aJl visible things are created. 

How much more consolatory, as well as agreeable to right reason, is the 
view taken of this abstruse subject in the pages of genuiite, unstnihisticated, 
and unphijosophized revelation, in which the present is represented as a state, 
not of actual oecesai^, but of preordained probation ; willedl, in infinite 
wisdom, by the great First Cauae, to promote tne best ultimate happiness of 
man: and matter aa a substance produced out of nothing by his almighty 
fiat ! It was one of the express objects o( the preceding lecture to prove, not 
only that matter does exist, in opposition to those who have thou|rht it expe- 
dient to deny the being of a eensiDle and material world, but that it could not 
exist by any other means ; and that, while there ia no self-contradiction or 
absurdity in contending that matter, and that ten thousand other aubstancea , 
than matter, may be produced out of nothing by the energy of an infinite 
and omnipotent intelligence, there is so pure and perfect an absurdity in en- 
deavouring to account for its existence upon ever^ other theory wtuch has 
hitherto been invented, that right reason should mduce us to embrace the 
former opinion with the same promptitude with which we 6y from every 
opinion that oppoaes it. 

Matter, then, is the production of an almighty intelligence, and as such is 
entitled to our reverence; although, from a just abhorrence of many ancient, 
and not a few modem errors, it has loo often been regarded in a low and 
contemptible light. Though not essentially eternal, as was contended for 
by all the schools of Greece and Asia, nor esseniiafly intelligent, aa waa 
contended for by several of them, it evinces in every part and in every ope- 
ration the impress of a divine origin, and is the only pathway vouchaafod to 
oar external senses by which we can walk— 

the soft auromer moonlight. Althoueh, when contemplated in its aggre^ata 
mass, and especially in iia organized form, it is perpetually changing, it ja 
flrery where perfect in its kind, and even at present bears indubitable proob , 
of being capacified for iocorruptibility. In ita elementary principlea it ia 
maintained by the best schools of both ancient and modem times to be solid 
and unchangeable ; and, even in many of ita compound forms, it diacorera 
an obvioua approach to the same character. The firm and mighty nuaa ibat 
constitutes the pyramids o( Rgypt has resisWd the assaolts of lime and of 
tempests for, perhaps, upwards of four thousand years, and by many critical 
aiitiquariea is supposed lo have triumphed over the deluge itself. While 
there ia little doubt that the hard and closely ciystallizad granitic monntains 
of every country in which they occur, " the everlasting hiUs," to copy a cor- 
rect and beautiful figure from the pages of Hebrew poetry, are coeval with 
Ibe creation, and form at this moment, as they formed at first, the lowest 
depths, as well as the topmost peaks of the globe. That tbey are la 

■TkMttLp.m tlW. tmWL 8MilBBnriMr,HIM.niLllt>.ILa»*K.«l> 



ereiT instance considemblj' attenuated and wasted avay admiU, indeed, of 
BO aoubt ; but to have borne the brunt of to long and iaceiaant a warfare, 
without actually being worn down to the level of the cirouruiaeent plaini, 
afibrds no feeble proof of an almoat imperiahable nature, and a proof open 
to the contemplation of the moat common capacities. 

There are various examples of the Macedonian stater or ^Id coin, struck 
in the reign of Philip, at this time preserved in the rich cabinet of the Flo- 
rence gallery,* which, though thev nave continued in existence for at least 
SSOO yean, do not not appear to have lost any thing of their weigtL Bar 
thelemi, making a trivial mistake in the weight of the drachma, which h* 
calculated at 66.55 grains English, suspected that these had sustained upOK 
the average a loss o? about seven-eighths of a grain during this long period^ 
but as M. Fabbroni has since satisfactoiily proved that the drachma Avas nol 
mote than 66.8 grains, and as this is the aclual weight of several staters in 
this cabinet, we have a demoustralioa that they have sustained no diminution 

Vet, in it . ^ 

traordinary instances oi indestructibility or resistance to decomposition; and 
it should be especially remarked, that its indestructibility or indecomposaUe 
power appears to hold a direct proportion to its subtilitjr, its levity, its activity, 
its refined ethereal or spiritualized modification of bemg. 

Water is as much a compound as any of the earths, yet we have strong 
reason for believing that for the most part it exists unchangeably from age to 
age ; and that its integrity has been not essentially interfered with from lbs 
commencement of the world. Its constituent parts are by no means broken 
into, but continue the same, whether under a solid form, as that of ice ; under 
its usual form, as that of a liquid ; or under an elastic form, as that of va- 
pour ; it is the same in the atmosphere as on the earth ; it falls down of the 
very same nature as it ascends, and the electric flash itseif appears, generally 
speaking, to have no other influence upon it than that of hastening its precipi- 
tation. It is only to be decomposed, that we know of, by a very concentrated 
action of the most powerful chemical agents ; and even this, whether by 
art or by nature, upon a very limited scale. 

A similar identity appears to exist in atmospheric air, which is, probably, 
at least as indesiructible as water ; for its composition, when purged of dia 
heterogeneous substances which are often combined with it, is the same la 
the deepest valleys as on the highest cliffs ; at the equator, and at the poles ; 
the earth's suifaoe, and the height of 31,000 feet* above it ; in many of which 
situations, and especially the more elevated, it is impossible for it ever to be 
generated ; since the constituent parts of which it is composed are not found 
to exist in a separate state for its production. It is capable, indeed, of de- 
composition ; tiut, like water, becomes decomposed with great difficulty, and 
probably consists at this moment, as to its general mass, of the very tdeutio 
particles that formed it on its first emerging from a state of chaos. 

Of the composition of the subtler gases we know nothing. The specifio 
weight of several of them has been ascertained, andthe constituent principles 
of one or two of them, as nitrogen and hydrogen, have been guessed at, 
but nothing more ; for the boldest experiments of chemistry have hitherto 
been exerted in vain to effect their decomposition. While as to those whitih 
are more immediately connected with the principle of animal life, and iqton 
which many schools of modem philosophy have supposed it altogether to de- 

rid, as caloric, and the electric and voltaic fluids, the laat of which seems 
truth to tw only a peculiar modification of the second, together with other 
■nbstances or quslities which in sulitilty and activity have a consideratde 
resemblance to them, as light and the magnetic aura, we are not only whol^ 
inc^Mble of decomposing them by any process whatever, but even of deter- 
l^nmg them to tie ponderable, or to possess any of the other common pro- 
parties of matter, as extent and solidity. Whence we are, in fact, iiicap«blf 

• 8n Mabalm^ Jmnxftl, toL tt^L p. SS, 

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ot ueertaining vhether tbey be matter at all, whether mere qualities of mat- 
ter, or whether some other itiork subtle and spiritualized snbBianees,* inter- 
taiiing themielres under different combinations vith the material mass, and 
giviag birth to many of ita moat extraordinary properties and phenomena. 

Tix queetion is entered upon at Gome length by Professor Bezelins, in his 
fEndanatory Statement," published in the Memoirs of the Academy of 
Stocuiolm for ISlSfiti which he endeavours to support the probability that 
the dectric floids aql caloric are material as well as the fluid of light ; but, to 
do this, be is compelled to alter the common definition of matter, and tocon^ 
tend tltat matter doea not neceisarily possess gravitation or aggregation-t 

The materiality of light has been attempted to be proved by its efTects on 
soIiitiODS of mmiate of ammonia and pnissiate of potash, when placed in a 
aitaatkm tobe crystallized. The c^stallization of these salts may he directed 
at pleastnre by the introduction of light at one or the other side of the ves- 
■els cont^ning such solutions. Camphor displays a like affinity for light 
All this, bowerer, shows merely that light possesses an influence of some 
kind ; but it by no means establishes that such influence is a material one.t 

Is it inquired to what important point these abslnise speculations lead i I 
may reply, among others, to the foUowins : 

First, to a prOMbility, if not to a proof; that matter, under peculiar modifi- 
ealkna, is capable of making an approximation to something beyond itself, 
as ordinarily displayed ; andhereby of becoming fitted, whenever necessary, 
for an intercourse and union with an immaterial principle. 

And, secondly, to a clearer view of the coincidence of natural phenomena 
with one of the most glorious discoveries of revelation. For notwithstand- 
ing that matter, under every visible shape and textore, is at present, in a 
greater or less degree, perpetually changtng and decomposing, the moment 
we perceive that this is not a necessary effect, dependent upon its intrinsic 
nature, but a beneScial power superadded to it for the mere purpose of render- 
Ing it a more varied ana more extensive medium of being, oeauty, and hapni. 
ness — the moment we find ground for believing, that in its elementary pnn- 
dples it is essentially solid and unchangeable ; and that even in many of ita 
CMopounds it is almost as much exempted from the law of change — we 
are prepared tOf onteinplate a period in some distant futurity, In which, the 
great omect for which it has been endowed with this superadded power being 
accom^ehed, the exemption may extend equally to every part and to every 
compound : a period in which there will be new heavens and a new earth) 
and whatever is now corruptible will put on incorruption. 

Bnt what, after all, is master in its elementary pnnciples, as far as we are 
callable of following them up 1 Can it be divided and subdivided to infinity t 
or is there a limit to such divisibility, beyond which the process cannot pos- 
sibly proceedl and if so, are the ultimate bodies into which it is capable ot 
dissolving still susceptible of developement, or, from their attenuation, I»> 
moved beyond all power of detection T 

These are questions which have agitated the world in almost all ages, and 
have laid a foundation for a variety of theories, of too much consequence to 
bemssed over in a course of physical investigation. 

The tenet of an infinite divisibility of matter, whether in ancient or modem 
limes, appears to have been a mere invention for the purpose of avoiding one 
or two self-coutiadictions sup^sed to be cha^able upon the doctrine of its 
ultimate and elementary solidity ; bnt which, I much fear, will be found to 
bavB given birth to far more self-contradiction than it has removed. The 
mode of reasoning, however, by which this tenet was arrived at in ancient 
Oreec*, was essentially different from that by which it has been arrived at ia 
OUT own day. 

It being, as we observed in onr last lecture, an uncontroverted maxlnt 
among all the Greek philosophers, of every sect and school whatever, that 
nodiing coold proceed from nothing, matter was of course conceived to have 


Mdited etentany, or it could not have existed at all. Bat it appeared obvjona 
lo mMt of them, that mailer is ae certainly unintelligent as they conJectuTed 
it is certainly eternal. The existence of intelligence, however, is still more 
d^onstrable tfarouehout nature than the existence of matter iUelf; und 
hence auch ^iloaopners were driven to the acluiowledginent of an intelli- 
gent principte distinct from a material aubatance j and from the union of Uiese 
two powera they accounted for the origin of the world : matter bein^ merely 
peasive and plastic, and put into form and endowed with the qualities and 
propertiea ot body by the energy of the inlelligeot agent. But if form and 
corporeal properties have been communicated to it, it must, before such com- 
nunication, and in its first or primal state, have been destitute of form'; and 
that it was thus destitute is incontrovertible, continued the same schools of 
'iy, because form presupposes the existence of intelligence, and must 
every shape and modification, the product of an intelligent energy; 
for it is impossible that matter could have had a power of assuming one mode 
of form ratner than another mode : since, if capable of assuming any kind, it 
must have been equally capable of assuming every kind, and, of course, of 
exhibiting intelligent effects without an intelligeni cause, which would be 
ntler nonsense. 

Such is the general train of reasoning that seems to have operated upon the 
minds of Pytbagoras, Plato, and Aristotle, in impelling them to the belief that 
matter, in its primary state, to adopt the words of Cicero, in which be ex- 
plains the Platonic doctrine, " is a substance without form or quality, but 
capable of receiving all forme, and undergoing every kind of change ; in domg 
which, however, it never suffers annihilation, but merely a solution of its 
{nrts, which are in their nature infinitely divisible, and move in portions of 
space which are also infinitely divieible."* 

But if we abstract from matter form and quality, and at the same time deny 
it intelligence, what is there left to constitute it an eternal substance of any 
kindl and by what means could pure incorporeal intelligence endow it with 

These difficulties are insuperable ; and, though attempted lo be explained 
in different ways by each of these philosophers, they press like millstoues 
upon their different systems, and are perpetually in danger of drowning 
them. Pythagoras compared the existence of matter, in its primary and 
amorphous state, to pure arithmetical nurabers, before they are rendered 
Tieible by arithmetical tig^ires. " Umly," saya he, " and one (the former of 
which be denominated monad) are to be distinguished from each other ; 
vmtj/ia an abstract conception, resembling primary or incorporeal matter in 
its general aggregate ; one appertains to things capable of being numbered, 
and may be compared to matter rendered visible under a particular form." 
80 again, "Number is not infinite any more than mailer; but it is never- 
titeless the source of that infinite divisibility into equal parts which is the 
property of all bodies."! 

Numben, however, were not more generally had recourse to by Pylhago- 
Xas, to typify elementary matter under different modifications, than they are 
in liie present day by the moat elaborate chemists, to express its particular 
combinations: "As in all well-known compounds," observes Sir Humphry 
Davy, " the proportions of the elements are in certain definite ratios to each 
oUier, it is evident that these ratios may be expressed by numbers. "J In 
consequence of which they are so expressed in various places by himself, 
and by many French, Swedish, and English chemists, the hint having been 
flrst suggested, I believe, by Higgens or Dallon. And hence the doctrine of 
numbers is well known to have been very largely and very repeatedly had 
ncourse to under the Pvthagorean system, and to have been used in entana- 
tion, not only of the endowment of different portions of mailer with diBerent 
forms, but of the harmony with which the different natures of matter and 


BUnd unite in identic anbatancea. Numbers and Ibrma are, in consequence, 
not unfraquently contemplated as the same thing — as the models or arche- 
types after which the world in all its parts is framed— as the cause of entity 
to visible beinfTB : rD9!Jpi9w»[atrfDE(iIniiT4tvM«.* 

And hence, again, under the term monad, or unity, Pythagoraa is generally 
conceived to have symbolized Ood, or the active principle in nature ; nnder 
duad, the passive principle, or matter ; and under triad, the visible world, 
produced by the union ot the two fonner. 

Srthagoras, however, was as much attached to music as to numbers, re- 
iogil as a mere branch of the science of numben applied to a defioile 
object. He has, indeed, the credit of having invented the monochord, and of 
having applied Uie principles of music, as well as those of numbers, to the 
study of pnysics. He conceived that the celestial spheres, in which the pla- 
nets move, striking upon the elastic ether through which they pass, must pro- 
duce a Boond, and a soond that must vary acconling to the diversity of their 
magnitude, velocity, and relative distance; and, as the adjustment of the 
heavenly bodies^ each other ia perfect in every respect, he farther conjec- 
tured, that the harmbtiy produced by their revolutions must also be the most 
perfect imaginable : and nence the origin of a notion, which is now, however, 
only entertained in a figurative sense, a sense frequently laid bold of by our 
own poets, and thus uqniaitely enlarged on by Dryden : — 

Fmn laimoDj, fhm baar^lr TaiaoBf, 

Wlwa NUnra iHAnauii ■ Iwp 
Or>iTinc MOOH t^f. 
And gonld wK tnn bir iMid, 

AbI Huk^ psws otiey. 
Tnm bumgdy, Oan hoT^y lamonjr, 
TUi DDitenal fiinw btfin ; 


What Pythagoras thus callednumbers, Plato denominated ttinM; a term which 
bat, hence, descended to our own day, and is on every one's lips, although in 
a different sense from what it originally imported. The reason or wisdom 
of tbe great First Cause, and which he denominates the logos of God, i Urtt, 
or i XfrwA na e«9, and not unfreqoently Awo-Wc (DeminrEUs), Plalo descritwi 
as a distinct principle from the Oriffinal Cause or Deity himself, from whom 
this efficient or operative cause, this divine wisdom or lo^*t eraanates, and 
baa eternally emanated, as li^ht and heat from the sun. Thus emanUing, he 
conceived it to be the immediate region or reservoir of ideas or intellectual 
forms, of the archetypes or patterns of things, subsisting by themselves as 
real beings — ^tmnirtM — in this their eternal and original well-spring; and 
the union of which with the whole, or any portion of primary or incorporeal 
matter, immediately produces palpable forms, and renders them objects of 
contem)dation and science to the external senses.t 

It is, hence, obvious that Plato contended for a triad or trinity of sab- 
stances in the creation of the visible universe — God, divine wisdom, or the 
eternal source of intellectual forms or ideas, and incorporeal matter. And it 
is on this accoimt that several of the earliest Christian fathers, who, as 1 have 
already observed, had been educated in the Platonic school, and had imbibed 
his notions, regarded this doctrine as of divine origin; and endeavoured, 
though preposterously, to blend the trinity of Plato, and that of the Christian 
Scriptme, into one common dogma : an attempt which has been occasionally 
revived in modem times, especially by Cudworth and Ogilvie, with great 
profnodity of learning and great shrewdness of Bi|fument, but, at the same * 
tfimytj witn as little success as in the first ages of CErisUanity. 


It u to thia theory, which, indeed, ii highly fitted for poetry, uid maoh 
better so than for diy, dialectic diacussioo, Akenaide beautifuUy alludea in 
the flret book of his " PleaeureB of Imaginatton :"— 

Bni« fnn UMMMt, or, mid ibe iiolt sCnlglii, 
Tw nvwa mapended Im BoniwT Ivnip { 
En miMmUlH, woodi, or Nmint idasM Iha ^ata. 
Or Wudom Uogbl Iba miu armm bet Ion ; 
TbaiUTediVEisnttlOu: lltttmiMn mb-d 

TlM Jtnn olemtl itf cnuod tblnga ; 

ti» ndiuii Km, Um DMoa^ iiMniniil Imip, 

Tbo nounUlB, moda, ud Mnua, tb* n^lUc tfoft^ 

And WMmb'* miai ealMli]. Pnm Uu Ont 

OtimVtatBi Ua Kn* tWm bs lli'd, 

Wliat IM admlT d tm kn^ bla itul mil* 

And ill Iba lUi niiNy or iMuis. 

'While, however, we thus point out the fancifulnesa snd imperfectioiu of 
tbeae hypotheaea, let ub, with the candour of genuine phiioso{)liy, do justice 
to the merits of their great inventors, and join in the admirstioa which haa 
been so didy bestowed upon them by the wise and learned of every country. 
It WBS Plato who first suggested to Galileo, even upon his own confession, 
that aDtagonlst power by which a rectilinear motion can be converted into an 
orbicular, and thus laid a basis for oui accounting for the regular movements 
of the heavenly bodies,* a subject upon which we shall enter to a certain ex- 
tent in our next lecture; who, in some degree, anticipated that correct system , 
of colours which nothing but the genius of a Newton could fully develope 
and explain ;\ who, in mathematics, unfolded to us the analytic method of 
solving a problem,]; and in theosophy so far surpassed all the philost^heTs 
of his country, in tiis correct views and sublime descriptions of the Deity, 
that he seems almost to have drunk of the inspiration of Horeb or of Sioai ; 
sod who, in his Timasus, applies to the wisdom of God, the Xiyuiiiis m 6ai — a 
term which in Hebrew could scarcely be translated by any other word than 

that of Jevah or Jehovah — <^ fmic ^<^ " whatkveb is bssiktullv btxrhai.." 
. Of. Pythagoras, it is only necessary to direct the attention to the two fol- 
lowing very extraordinary facts, to place him beyond the reach of panegyric ; 
the first of which has occasionally furnished reflection for other wnters, 
thoogh the latter remains unnoticed to the present moment. At an antedate 
of two thousand two hundred years from the age of Copernicus, this won- 

derful genius laid the first foundation of the Copemican system, and taught 
to bis disciples that the earth revolves both around her own axis and around 
the sun; that the latter motion is conducted in sn oblique path or zodiac ;D 

d that the moon is an earth of the same kind as our own, and replete wi£ 
animals, irtiose nature, however, be does not venture to describe.lP 

"Rie second extraordinary fact to which I allude, is one we have already 
lUgtitly glanced at, but which must not so cursorily be relinquished ; 1 mean 
fiiat, inascribingtotheprimary or elementary forms of bodies, in their unions 
with each other, relative proportions so exact, yet so diversified, that forms 
and numbers may be employod as synonymes or convertible terms, he has ex- 
hibited so close a coincidence with one of the latest and most surprising dis' 
coveries of the present day, that though 1 dare not call it an anticipation, I 

OaUUDtoHiTaltDttiKainikinlUUMtitdcbe, p.aM,4(a. Le]rd,lB3a. DiUHia, OililiM do Dasov 
S PlourciTi 

t nu. da Flad 

"M. Bt loiir. p. mi. 

Puiifaa,iaKULap.l1. la IHocLa 

ila OIK UBt oT ■tw.auth'i mmlon Smc : 

daFUcHlaFUlo«.Ut>.L<Mp.lS,p.31. DateB. m agpr. p. 

— " waft. p. »1. i PloUrcL In ' 

laAiifaa,iaKUL(ap.l1. la T" 


an at a Iom bow else to cbaracteTize it ; for it has been mintitelr aacertained 
Wilhiii the last ten or twelve yetua, by an almost infinite variety of accurate 
and well-defined experiments by Higgens, Dalcon, Ga^ Lusaac, and Davy, 
that the combinations and separations of all simple bodies are conducted m 
a definite and invariable ratio of relative weight or measure ;* as that of one 
pait to one part, one part to two parts, one to three, or one to four ; and, con- 
aeqaently, lliat every change iA the compound thus produced, whether of ad- 
dition or diminution, is a precise multiple or divisor of such ratio; or, in other 
words, that the different elementary bodies whicii enter into such compounds 
can never unite or separate, never lay hold of or let go each other, in any 
other proportions. 

Let us exemplify this remark by a familiar instance or two. It is now well 
known to every one that the calxes, oxides, or, as they are often called, rnsts, 
of metals, consist of a certain portion of oxygen with a certain portion of^ 
the metal, which is thus converted into a calx or oxide. It is also knownin 
the present day to most persons, that the greater number of metals are pos- 
aessed of two or more kinds of oxides, produced by a union of different 
proportions of the oxygen and the metal, and often distinguishable even by 
dieir colour; as minium or red lead, and ceruse or white lead, which are 
equally oxides of the metal whose name they bear. Now, in whatever 
proportion the oxygen imites with the metal to produce an oxide of one 
kind, it invariably unites by a multiple or divisor of the same proportion 
to produce every kind of oxide belonging to the same metal. Thus we 
have discovered not lees than four different oxides of antimony in different 
parts of the world : the lowest or simplest of them contains 4i parts of oxy- 
gen to 100 parts of metal ; the next simplest contains 18 parts of oxygen to 
100 parts of metal, which is four times H; the third oxide consists of 37 
parts of oxygen to 100 parts of metal, which is six times 4i ; and the fourth 
oxide, 36 parts of oxygen to 100 parts of metal, which is eight times H. 
So tin, which possesses three discovered oxides, has for its lowest the propor- 
tion of 7 parts of oxygen to lOOparts of metal; foritssecond oxide, tiparts 
of oxygen to 100 parts of metal, which is twice 7; and for its highest, 31 
parts of oxygen to lOO parts of metal, which is three times 7. I have given 
the proportions in round nimibera ; but if I were to use the fractions that 
belong to them, the comparative results would be precisely the same. Nor 
can we possibly combine these substances in any other proportions, so as to 
produce oxides; for the corpuscles of which they consist will not lay hold 
of or let go each other in any other ratios. It is possible that we may here- 
after detect an oxide of antimony consisting of a less proportion of oxygen 
than Hi but if we ever should, we are confident beforehand that such pro- 
portion will be 31. It is also possible that we may meet with an oxide con- 
taining more than 4i and less than 18 parts of the oxygen in 100 ; but if we 
should do BO, we can nearly anticipate that such proportion will be 9. And 
hence, as these proportions, though constantly true to their respective series, 
are constantly diversified in dilTerenl substances, their radical figures or num- 
bers may be employed,' and now actually are employed, and that very gene- 
rally, and in perfect coincidence with the system of the Pythagorists, as sy- 
nbnymes of the simple forms or substances whose progressive character they 
describe. This curious coincidence of ancient and modem philosophy, for 
at present I will call it nothing more, 1 cannot but regard as a very marvelloua 
fact ; and am not a little surprised that it should not hitherto have occurred, 
as it does not appear to have done, to the minds of any of those learned and 
ingenious chemists who have chiefly been employed in applying and building 
up the discovery. And it is not the least important part of this discovery, 
that not only in the union or separation of simple substances, but in nil well- 
known and more complicated compounds, so far as the experimental series 
haa been carried, the elementary bodies which enter into them exhibit pro- 

* Ite <Bl7 wmvil cucptioii I un iwan 0/ to Utii (eDBnl prbtcJ;^ la lalba ttuDUOBdon of Iha «lfr' 
■MOUeTH. Daluu^ drunulnc ■ usane, u deioitial by >li Hampbir DiTy, PUl. TrOK. 
a(tBIJ,p.VD: rf Ilk hill jnlnliili III s jii iml liiniiiiiMiMliiiir ll»inniii iiaiilw 


portioDB equallf definite and invariable; thus affording another proof of cIoM 
oonnexiOLi between the phenomenii of nature and the occasional developa- 
menls of revelation j the philosopher beholding now, as the prophet beheld 



[Tbe la^ta cooUaiKd,) 

Tki few steps we have hitherto taken in the wide and magnificent scope 
before us have only led to an eatabliaiiment of two or three fundamental 
ftxioms, of no small importance in the science of physics, and to a d^vetope- 
ment of two or three of the most ingenious and most popular hypothe«es of 
former times, invented to account for the ori^ii of the world aromid us, and 
the elementary and conaliluent principles of things : especially the hypothe- 
sis of numbers, as proposed by Pythagoras, and that of ideas, as prupoaed 
by Plato ; and their application to primary and incorporeal matter, in order to 
endow it with form and quality. There are yet two or three other hypothe- 
ses upon the same subject that amply demand our attention, and are replete 
with an equal degree of ingenuity and fine imagination ; especially the Peri- 
patetic and the Atomic, or that of Aristotle and that of Epicurus; and we 
nave also to trace out the relative degree of influence which each of these 
has exerted on the philosophical theories of later times. 

Aristotle had too much penetration not to see that the hypothesis of Plato ' 
was just as inadequate as that of Pythagoras to a solution of the great ques- 
tion concerning the production of the visible world : and he proposed a third 
■cheme, which has also had its share of popularity. According to this re* 
modelled plan, the sensible universe is the result of four distinct principles, 
— inlelligence, matter, form, and privation; which last term is little more 
than a mere synonyme for space or vacuum ; and thus far the theory of Aris- 
totle chiefly differs from that of Plato, by interweaving into it his fourth prin- 
dple, derived from Democritus, and the other Atomic philosophers, and which 
he seems to have added to it with a view of providing a proper theatre for the 
two principles of form and matter tq move in. He supposes all these to have 
equally existed from eternity; and the three last to have been eternally acted 
upon or thrown into a definite series of motions, upon which alone the ex- 
istence and harmony of things are dependent, by the immutable and imma- 
terial pnnciple of inlelligence, whose residence he places in the purest and 
loftiest sphere or circle of the heavens ; a sphere that in its vast embrace 
comprehends ten lower er subordinate spheres, that lie between itself and the 
earth, which forms the centre of the whole, and, in conjunction with the 
earth, constitutes (he universal world. 

This Supreme Intelligence Aristotle conceived to be in himself for ever 
at rest; and the tranquil and peaceable sphere in which he resides he deno- 
minated tbe empyreum or heaven of bliss. But though enjoying eternal rest 
himself, he communicates motion, necessarily and essentially, upon tliis 
theory, to the sphere immediately below him ; as this, in its turn, communi- 
cates it in different directions, and with different velocities, to the other 
spheres that revolve within ita mnge ;* whence the sphere thus earliest re* 
ceiving motion, and nearest to the empyreum, Aristotle denominated the pbt- 
Mm MOBILE, or first moving power : it constituted the tenth in the regrilar 
•eriea ; the ninth, or that which lies next to it, being denominated the ciyt* 

• AilM.ny-l».l.i»f^*. OtCmL] 



UliiM bBSTeni ; tbe eighth, tiie starry aphere, or faeavenB ; and the remamins 
•even deiiTing their names from, and being appropriated to, the different re- 
volutions of the different planets, as Saturn, Jupiter, Mars, Apollo or the sun, 
TenuB, Hercuiy, and Diana or the mooo : the earth, rorming the centre of the 
whole, bein^ an imperfect sphere, with a larger proportion of matter at the 
equator; od which account the earth was conceived to turn on her axis in a 
rocking motion, revolving round the axis of the ecliptic, and making the stars 
^tpear to shift their places at the rate of about one degree in seventy-two 
yean. According to which calculation, all of them will appear to perlorm a 
complete revolution in the spate of SS,9 jO years, and, consequently, to return 
to the precise situation they occupied at the commencemeot of such period. 
This period was hence denominated the annus luoNva, or okeat vkaii, and 
not unfrequently the plitohic tear, as the same kind of revolution was in 
some measure taught also by Plato. 

The motory power, thus impressed by the intelligent moving principle, not 
Toluniarily but by necessity, upon the different heavenly spheres, and finally 
npon the earth, and productive of that catenation of effects which is equally 
without beginning and without end, Aristotle denominated nature, and thus 
furnished us with a word, which has for ages been so extensively made use of, 
ttaat,though there is nothing in all language more imprecise,there is nothing we 
could spare with more inconvenience. The same term, indeed, is occasionally 
employed by Plato, but in a sense still less definite if possible, and at taa 
same time still less comprehensive. 

On the revival of literature, this theory, together with the Other branches 
of Peripatetic science, was chiefly restored and studied ; and continued, 
tadeed, to be generally adhered to for upwards of a century after the publi- 
eatiOD of the Copemican system ; which is well known to have at first ex< 
perieuced but a very cold and inhospitable reception from the literary world. 
And it is hence this theory that is principally adverted to and described in the 
productions of all the early poets as well as philosophers of every port ol 
nodem Europe. And so complete was the triumph oi the Peripatetic school 
in all its doctrines throughout Christendom, st this period, that Melancthon 
makes it a matter of complaint that, even in the sacred assemblies, parts of 
the writings of Aristotle were read to the people instead of the Gospel. 
£ven Milton himself, though bom considerablj' more than a century after 
Copernicus, wavers as to the propriety of adopting bis hypothesis of the 
bea*ene, and hence, in his Paradise Lost,* leaves it doubtful which of the 
two, the new or the old, ought to be preferred. The best and most splendid 
description of the Aristotelian theory that I have ever met with is contained ia 
theLusiadof Camoens: the whole is too longfor quotation, but Imay venture to 
afflirn, that you will be pleased with the following lines from Mr. Mickel's very 
spirited version of the Portuguese bard, as delmeating the different heavenly 
spheres that were su[^scd, as I have already observed, to lie one within 
another, like the different tunics of an ouion : — 

Iteaapluncbahold: Ilia Ont Is wlda< 

. , rtmbnldu 

Vmaan tl ■Uoda.— WHUb Iu iU—,. 
In motkn ■wUtor ibui ttBUfkiiiliu^ u 
BwIKh (tan id|bt th* punliu putt mav in, 
AMlwr <plian whlrti minirfu — " -^~ - 

Hiese hypotheses are abstruse, and perhaps ill calculated to afford smuse- 
Boit ; but iu a comrse of [diysictd study tbey ought by no iq^ans to be orer- 

■v Google 


looked. Abstnue as they are, the one or the other of them it interWDren 
with the whole nnsfo of claaaical literature, and, as I have already remarked, 
held the ascendant in the horizon of metaphysics till within the last two cen- 
turies ; and I have dwelt upon them the rather, because, much as we still 
bear of them, and find them adverted to in books, I am not acquainted with 
any work whatever that ^^ives any thin^ like a clear and intelligiDle summary 
of their principles. Their more prominent defects are, in few words, as 
follows : Independently of conveying very imperfect and erroneous views of 
the creationi tney equally concur in reducing matter, notwithstanding its pre- 
tended eternal existence, to a nonentity, and confound its properties with 
those of pure intelliKenee, by giving to numbers, ideas, or a mere abstract 
notion, real form and existence. The most powerful advocate of the Pla- 
tonic theory, in modem times, was the very excellent Bishop Be Aetey ; who, 
in the true apirit of consistency, and with a boldness that no consequences 
could deter, openly denied the existence of a material world, and thus reduced 
the range of actual entities from three to two, an intelligent first cause, and 
, intellectual forms or ideas, and gave the death-blow to the system by aTOwin^ 
its necessary result. 

In modem times, however, as 1 have already hinted at, the infinite divisibi- 
lity of matter has for the most part been supported upon different grounds, and 
philosophers have involved themselves in tne same fatal consequences, by s 
much snorter process o( reasoning- No compound or visible bodies, it is 
well known, ever come into immeaiate contact with each'other, orinSuence 
each other by means of simple solidity. The earth is affected by the sun, 
the moon by the earth ; the waters of the earth by the moon. Light is re- 
flected from eubetances to which it directs its course, at a diatance, and with- 
out impinging upon them. The particles of all bodies deemed the moat 
> solid and impermeable, are capable of approaching nearer, or receding far- 
ther from each other, by an application oi different degrees of cold or neaL 
We can, hence, it is said, form no conception of perfect solidity; and every 
phenomenon in nature appears to disprove its existence. The minutest cor- 
puscle we can operate upon is still capable of a minuter division, and ths 
parts into which it divides, possessing the common natareofthe corpuscle 
which has produced them, must necessarily, it is added, be capable of a still 
farthef division ; and as such divisions can have no asaignabfe limit, matter 
must necessarily and eBsentially be divisible to infinity. 

Such was the reasoning of Des Cartes, and of the numerous host of philo- 
sophers who attached themselves to his theory about the middle of the seven- 
teenth century. The argument, indeed, is highly plausible ; but it was soon 
obvious, that, like the Grecian incorporeity of matter, it leads to a pure non- 
entity of a material world : for that which is essentially unsolid and infi* 
nitely divisible, must at length terminate in nothing. And hence, Leibnitz 
attempted to amend the system, about half a century, and Boscovich, about el 
century afterward, by contending, as indeed Zeno is supposed to have done 
formerly, that matter has its ultimate atoms, or monads, as they were deno- 
minated by Leibnitz, from the language of Pythagoras, beyond which it is 
altogether Indivisible ; and that these ultimate atoms or monads are simple 
ineztended points, producing, however, the phenomenon of extension, by 
their combination, and essentially possessed of the powers of attraction and 

There is such a charm in novelty, that it oflen leads us captive in despite 
of the most glaring errors, and intoxicates our judgment as fatally as the cup 
of Circe. It is upon this ground alone we can account for the general adop- 
tion of this new system, when first proposed in its finished slate by Bosco- 
vich, and the geiieral belief that the Gordian knot was at length fairly united, 
and every difficulty overcome. It required a period of some years for the 
heated imagination to become sufficiently cool to enable mankind to see, as 
every one sees at present, that the difficulties chargeable upon the doctrine 
of an infinite divisibility of matter are not touched t)^ the present theory, and 
lenuiin in as full ftHce as before its appeenace. If the tnonadai or ultimate 


pi^ta of matter here adverted to, poasei* bodj, thejr mu«t be U capable of 
eKeosion, and conaequenliy of divisioii, as niBterial body under any other 
dimenaion or modificatioa ; if they do not possess body, then are they as 
tnach nonentities as the primal or amorphous matter of Plato or Pythagoras. 
AgiUn, we are told that these points or monads are endowed with certain 
powers; as those, for example, of attraction and repulsion. But powers 
mnst be the powers of something : what is this something to which these 
poweia are thus said to appertain 1 If the ultimate and inextended points be* 
lore ns have nothing but these powers, and be nothing but these ppwers, then 
are such powers powers of nothing, powers without a substrate, and, coose- 
qaenUy, as mnch nonentitieB as on the preceding argument. Visible or sen- 
sible matter, moreover, it is admitted by M. Boscovich and his disciples, is 
possessed of extension ; but visible or sensible matter is also admitted to be 
& mere resultof a combination of inextended atoms:— how can extension pro- 
ceed from what is inextended ? — of two diametrical opposites, how is it pos- 
sible that either can become the product of the other 1 

It is unnecessary to pursue this refutation. The lesson which the whole 
of sucb fiaC'Spun and fanciful hypotheses teach us, and teach us equally, ia, 
that it is impossible to philosophize without a firm basis of first principles. 
We must have them in physics as well as in metaphysics, — in matter as well 
as in morals ; and hence the best physical schools m Greece, as well as la 
more modem times, — those which have contended for the eternity of matter, 
>a well as those which have contended for its creation out of nothing, — have 
equallv found it necessary to take for granted, what, in fact, can never be 
proved, that matter in its lowest and ultimate parts consists of solid, impene- 
trable, and moveable particles of definite sizes, figures, and proportions to 
space ; from different combinations of which, though invisible m tnemselvesi 
eT»y visible substance is produced. 

This theory, which has been commonly distinguished by the name of the 
Atomic philosophy, was first started in Greece by Leucippus or Democritns, 
and afterward considerably improved by Epicurus j and as it bears a striking 
analogy to many of Che features which mark the best opinions of Ihe^reseni 
day, and has probably given ihem much of their colour and complexion, ifit 
have not originated them, 1 shall take leave to submit to you the foUowinc 
outline of it: — " 

The Atomic philosophy of Epicurus, in its mere phytieal conteinplationf 
allows of nothing but matter and apace, which are equally toAnite and un- 
bounded, which nave equally existed from all eternity, and from different 
combinations of which every visible form is created. These elementary 
principles have no common property with each other : for whatever matter 
IB, that space is the reverse of ; and whatever space is, matter is the contrary 
to. The actnallv solid parts of all bodies, therefore, are matter; their actu^ 
pores space ; ana the parts which are not altogether soUd, but an intermixttuo 
of Bolidily and pore, are space and matter combined. Anterior to the forma- 
tion of the miiverse, space and matter existed uncombined, or in their pure 
and elementary state. Space, in its elementary state, is abscdute and per- 
fect void; matter, in its elementary slate, cona lata of inconceivably minnte 
seeds or atoms, so small that the corpuscles of vapour, light, and heat are 
compounds of Uiem ; and so solid, that they cannot possiUy be broken or 
abraded by any concussion or violence whatever. Tb» express figure of 
these primary atoms is various : there are round, square, pointed, jagged, as 
well as many other shapes. These shapes, however, are not diversified to 
infiDilyi hut the atoms themselves of each existent shape are inftnite or in- 
numeralile. Every atom is possessed of certain intrinsic powers of motion. 
Under the old school of Democritus, the perpetual motions hence produced 
were of two kinds : a descending motion, from the natural gravity of the 
atoms i and a rebounding motion, from colliaioa and mutual clash. Besides 
these two motions, and to explain certain phenomena to which they did not 
_ ■ nil oMliH <• tfnn Bon tt teiflk In Uw snikrt Pnltflonen* to Ui nuitaUaB of " Tbe NMma Et 


gi^ar competent, and which were not Bccounted for under the old sjvtenii 
picanu supposed that some atoms were occaaionall^ possesved of a third, 
by which, in aome very small denree, they descended m an oblique or curvi- 
linear direiilion, deviating from the common and right line anomalously ; and 
in this respect resembling the oscillationa of the magnetic needle. 

These infinite groups of atoms, flying through all time and soane in differ- 
ent directions, and under different lawsj have inlerchaftgeabiy tried and exhi- 
bited every possible mode of rencounter; sometimes repelled from each 
other by concussion, and sometimes adhering to each other from their own 
jagged or pointed construction, or from the casual inlersiices which two or 
more connected atoms must produce, and which may be just adapted to thou 
of other figures, as globular, ova], or square. Hence the origin of compound 
and visible bodies ; hence the origin of large masses of matter ; hence, event- 
ually, the origin of the world itself. When these primary atoms are cloaely 
compacted, and but little vacuity or space lies between, tbey produce those 
kinds of substances which we denominate solid, as stones and metals ; when 
they are loose and disjoined, and a large quantity of space or vacuity is inter- 
posed, they exhibit bodies of lax texture, as wool, water, vapour. In one 
mode of combination they form earth ; in another, air ; and in another, fire. 
Arranged in one way, they produce vegetation and irritability ; in another 
vay, animal life and perception. Man hence arises, families are formed, so- 
cieties are multiplied, and governments are instituted. 

The world, thus generated, is perpeluallv sustained by the application of 
fresh tides of elemeiitary atoms, flying witri inconceivable rapidity through 
all the infinity of space, invisible from their minuteness, and occupying the 
posts of those that are as perpetually flying off. Yet nothing is eternal or 
immutable but these elementary seeds or atoms themselves. The compound 
formsof matter are continually decomposing and dissolving into their original 
corpuscles ; to this there is no exception : minerals, vegetables, and animals, 
in this respect all alike, when ihey lose their present make, perishing for 
ever, and new combinations proceeding from the matter into which they dis- 
solve. But the world itself is a compound though not an organized being; 
sustained and nourished, like organized beings, from the material pabulum 
that floats through the void of infinity. The world itself must, therefore, in 
the same manner, perish : it had a beginning, and it will have an end. Its 
present erasis will be decompounded ; it will return to its original, its elemen- 
tary atoms ; and new worlds will arise from its destniclion. 

Space is infinite, material atoms are infinite, but the world is not infinite. 
This, then, is not tiie only world, nor the only material system that exists. 
The cause that has produced this visible system is competent to prodnce 
others : it has been acting perpetually from all eternity ; and there are other 
worids, and other systems of worlds, existing around us. 

Those who are acquainted with the writings of Sir Isaac Newton and Mr. 
Locke, will perceive in this sketch of the Atomic philosophy the rudiments of a 
very great part of their own systems, so far as relates to physics; we may, 
indeed, fairly regard them as offsets from the theory before us, cleared in a 
ve^ great degree of its errors, and enlarged in their principles, and forti- 
fled by more recent observations and discoveries. I must, for the racaent, 
confine myself to the following quotations from the first of these high orna- 
ments of our country. " All tTiings considered," says Sir Isaac, " it seema 
probable that God, in the beginning, formed matter in tolid, matty, hard, tm- 
pmetrabU, movtabU particUi ; of such lixa atid _^gvre», ^ni vilh aiicb olher 
proptrtia, and in such prcportton to space as most conduced to the end for 
which he formed them." So again : "While the primitive and solid particles 
of matter continue entire, they may compose bodies of one and the game 
nature and texture in all ages; but snouldthey wear away, or break inpieceB, 
the nature of Ihinge depending on them would be changed. Water and 
earth, composed of old worn particles and fragments of particles, would not 
be of the same nature and texture now, with water and earth composed of 
enUie iwrlidei U the beginning ; and therefore, that nature may be lastuif, 


tha chaiiM* of corporeal thinp are to be placed only in the varioui t^tarar 
lUMU, aad nete OMioeiatitnu and motion* til these permanent particlea : com- 
pouod bodiei being apt to break, aoi ia the mid»t of solid parlicleK, but wbera 
thoBe particles are laid together, and touch only in a few poinla." 

The Epicurean doctrine, moreover, of a flux and reflux of elementary pur- 
tidea exterior to every material syatem, perpetually feeding and repleniahiDg 
it, and canyinK off Ita dissolved and r^ected rudiments, bears no small !»- 
MmUance to Ibe ethereal medium of Sir Isaac Newton ; and, in its law of 
action, has been singularly revived within the course of the last six years by 
Profeasor Leslie, in his principles of impulsion, as detailed in his " InquiiT 
into the Nature of Heat." It is a docinne, also, peculiarly coincident wiui 
Dr. Herschel's recent theory of nebulte, urraiiky ways in ttie heavens, which) 
contrary to his own earlier opinions, and those of former astronomers, who 
ascribed such appearance to the mixed light thrown forth from clusters ot 
stars too remote to be reached by the best telescopes, he now resolves, as 
ve shall Itave occasion to show more minutely in due time, into masses of a 
luminoaa fluid, existing Independei^y of all stars or planets, though origin- 
ally, perhaps, emitted from them; aggregated bjr a variety of causes Uiat 
tend to give ita minute particles unity j sometimes forming new stars 
by its condensation, aud often feeding and regenerating those that are 

Such ia a brief surrey of the chief theories of the primitive or elementary 
substance of matter wnic.h have been offered in ancient or modem times; 
fran a combination of the different particles of which, in different modes 
and proportions, and under the operation of different laws, all sensible bodies 
are supposed to have proceeded. 

Of sensible bodies thus produced, some, however, in direct repugnancy to 
the Atomic phQosophy, whether of ancient or more recent limes, have been 
very gener^ly conceived to have been formed first ; to be peculiarly simple 
in their composition, indecomposable by any known powers m their structure, 
and to be the basis of all other bodies, or those from which all other bodies 

Eroceed, by different unions and modifications: and hence such substances 
■ve been denominated eonttuuent principlts, or eonttituaa tUmaib; concern- 
ing the kind and number of which, however, we have had almost as manjr 
cnimions offered as coucerning the origin and nature of the primitive piinck- 
lUes themselves. 

Thus, among both the ancients and the modems, sometimes Are, some- 
times air, sometimes earth, and sometimes water, has been considered as the 
sole constituent element or source of things. Sometimes two of these sub- 
stances have been thus denominated, and sometimes three; but more ffen^ 
tally the whole. OecaaiODally, indeed, a fifth and even a sixth have he«a 
added to the number, as cold and oil, each of these having at times been 
considoKd as simple and indecomposable substances : while, under the old 
Atomic system, and especially as improved by Epicurus, alt such principles 
w«re completely swept away, and no one sensible substance whatever was 
conceived to be better entitled to the character of a constilnent principle than 
another; the whole equally flowing from peculiar modification* and combi- 
nations of the primitive or elementary principles — the asanu paiifoanu — and 
equally resolving into them upon decomposition. 

Of these different theories, the greater number are scarcely worth exa- 
mining ; and I shall only therefore observe, that for that which supposes the 
existence nf four distinct elements, fire, air, earth, and water, and which for 
ages |}8s been in almost universal acceptation, and would have been so still 
but for the recent discoveries of chemiiiry, we ate indebted to Empedocles. 
This celebrated philosopher, and verv excellent poet, flourished about foor 
centuries before the Chrislain-era. His opinions, like those of almost all 
the earliest sages, were given in metre, in a didactic poem, " Oh NjItubc," of 
which only a few fragments have descended to our own times. He was a 
native of Sicily, and Us talents and his coimtry are celebrated bv Lucretius, 
who wasi nevertheless, of a very difi^ieni school of philosophy, 19 verses so 


«logUit and so descriptive, that I cannot refrain tima preBcnting yon with a 
Uteral but very humble tranalalion of them ; introduced, more eapeciaUyt M 
thejr are, with observaliona upon different rival philoflophen, who employed 
one, two, and various other numbers of the comnioiily esteemed elements, 
and in various combioationa, as the baaia of their respective theories. 

Nor mnden !<•• tke lun irho aie irkli rui 

Would fUn flDDUldX, or Umilid «TVAH wil]kK4KTHI 

.. — ....._.,j Jtin. rax, xran, mkth, 

moDdifUid iprinftlv wlttalMIMiiydnr; 
d, fton ibe lUr JEoLim Oaldi, SiLdia 

Bm unflbl BO frtmd'raiu, wo 

So Mr, H poR, ma lonlj un tl bouc. 

' B* lU nhnnM, ao shin cub m. 

Alnil4r •l™t, <^ t" Inferioc 
Thoiilh doctHnga rh>]iicni fl 

-E'silthOH mlngok Itie priii[:lji)« nC thing!, 
And gnttlj waader'd Id HOompl bo iml. 

Let our controvertists of the present day learn a lesson of Llwrality from 
this correct and polished reasoner, whose own theory is well known (o have 
been that of Epicurus, to which I have just adverted, namely, that one sub- 
stance is just as much entitled lo the character of a constituent element as 
another, and that every thin^ equally proceeds from, and in turn is resolved 
into, tiie primitive and invisible atoma or principles of matter. 

It is to this theory alone that all the experiments of modem chemistty are 
giving countenance. Air, water, and earth, suspected to be compounds m the 
time of Epicurus, have been proved to be such in our own dny ; while of the 
actoal nature of heat or fire, mankind are just aa muoformed now as they 
were then. 

In the process, however, of destroying these supposed elements, chemistry 
has occasionally seemed to detect others ; and hence, instead of air, fire, 
earth, and water, aa simple or indecomposable substances, we have had 
phlogiston, acids, and alkalies; sulphur and phosphorus; oxygen, hydro- 
gen, nitrogen, and carbon, progressively arising before us, and laying 
claim to an imperishable existence. All of them, however, have fallen, or 
are falling in their turn, without having hved long enough to reach the com- 
mon age of man ; all of them have been proved, or reasonably suspected, to 
be compounds of other substances, that may yet, perhaps, be detected to be 
compoonds of something beyond. Even oxygen, the most briUiant of the 
whole, the boasted discovery of Lavoisier, and out of which he was supposed 
to have built to his own memory "a monument more durable than brass," has 
had its throne shaken to its foundation by Sir Humphry Davy, and is at this 
moment, like the Roman empire in its decline, obUged to divide its sway with 
a new and popolar power, which this last celebrated chemist has denominated 
chlorine ; while of the more subtle and active agents, lig^t, caloric, the 
magnetic and electric fluids, we know nothing but from their effects, and can 
only say of each— rial Komiaii tiaUra. 

Is physical science, tbeo, a vain show 1 — a mere house of cards, built up 
for the sole pmpose of being ptUleddown again T—AMnredlynoL Hie finn 



illy obtuned upon many essentii , 

-iiUirbed by aoy Tuture change of Hyiteni, or novelty of di>cov*__, 

■nd tbe ucenainnienl of a multitude of recondite facts, and their application 
to tome of our moat extensive and valuable arta, auffidently prove Uval phi- 
loM^y haa neither lived nor laboured in vain. Although we have not been 
aUe to break through the apell completely — to follow up the Proteu»-fonn of 
maiter into ita deepest receasee, and fix it in its last shape and character — 
we have ancceeded in developing many of its most important laws, u it will 
be tbe object of the ensuing lecture to point out, and to apply them to a solu- 
tion of many of its moat important phenomena. Whatever is sure and 
trusty baa remained to us, and whatever has given way has been mere chi- 
mera and shadow : we have chiefly, perhaps only, failed where we bare 
cither been too curious, or have suOered imagination to become our chaiioteei 
in the slow and sober journey of analysis. 

Before we quit this subject, let us, in the candid spirit of genuine philoso* 
phy, do the same justice to Rpicurus as we attempted in our last lecture to 
Pytbag<oms and Plato. It has been very generally said and very generally 
believed, principally because it has been very generally said, that the great 
■nd mighty cause of this beautiful and harmonious formation of worlds, and 

? stems of worlds, in the opinion of Epiiiurus, was mere chjuicb, or fobtufb. 
here is nothing, however, in those fragments of his works which have d^ 
Bcended to us, ihat can in anyway countenance so opprobrious an opinion, but 
variooa passages that distinctly controvert it, — passages in which he perempto- 
rily denies the existence of chakci or roaTUKt:, either as a deity or a cause of 
action ; and unequivocally refers the wliole of those complex series of percus- 
sions and repercussions, interchanges and coiiibinationB, exhibited by the ele- 
mentary seeasor atoms ofmallerduring the creative process, to achain of immi^ 
table laws which they received from the Almighty Architect at the beginning, 
and which they still punctually obey, and will for ever obey, till the univerae 
aball at length cease to exist." " V/hom," says Epicurus, in a letter to bis dj». 
ciple Menaeceus, that has yet survived the preying tooth of time, and will be 
found in Diogenes Laertius, "do you believe to be more excellent than he who 
piously reveres the gods, who feels no dread of death, and rightly estimatea 
the design of nature I Such a man does not, with the multitude, regard 
cBAHca as a god, for he knows that God eon never act aX random; nor as a 

r does he conceive, that from anv such 
power flows the good or the evil that measures the real happiness of numau 
life." He held, however, that the laws which govern the universe were alto- 

gether arranged and imposed upon it by the Creator at its first formation, and 
that the successive train of events to which they have given rise, have fol- 
lowed as the necessary result of such an arransement, and not as the imme- 
diate soperintendence of a perpetually conirolling Providence. For it was 
the 0[HDion of Epicurus, as well as of Aristotle, that perfect rest and tran- 
quillity are essential to the perfect happiness even of Him, who, to adopt U> 
own ^nguage in another place, possesses ail immortality and beatitude, 
"Think not.^' savs he. "that the different motions and revolutions of the 

Tbink not," says he, "that the different motions and revolutions of tha 
besvene, tbe lising, setting, eclipses, and other phenomena of the planets, 
are produced by the immtdiale control, superintendence, or ministration ot 
Him who possesses all immortality and beatitude ; it is from the immulable 
laws which they received at t>ie beginning, in the creation of the ouiveiM) 
that Uiey punctually fulfil their several circuits." 

Tbe origin of this calumny upon the character of Epicums it is by no 
nwans difficult to trace, and it has been sufficiently traced, and sufficiently 
nposed, by Diogenes Laertius, Gassendi, Du Bondelle, and other diitio- 
fmahed wnteis, who have done ample justice to his memory ; and upon the 
coftTessions of Plutarch, Cicero, and Seneca, abundantly proved, that it was 
die same rancorous spirit of envy among many of hie competitors for public 
lams, and especially among the Stoic pliiloaophera, which strove to fix upon 

■honvmnUDri'alDiiiiliTlntothli ■abJ«Bi,tlH mdaria nftrnd Ca thg«i 


him th« charge of voInptDOiu living, though the moit temperate and alHteiiii- 
one Athenian of his day ; tbRi thus, with yet keener malevolence, endeavoured 
to brand htm vith the Btill fouler reproach of the groseest impiety and athe- 
ism. It is, indeed, scarcely to be believed, if the fact were not concurrently 
attested by all the writers of autiauity, that the philosopher whose name, 
from the low and malignant spirit 1 have jusi adverted to, hiiB been prover- 
bialised for general hcentiousness and excess, drew the whole of hia daily 
diet from the plainest pottage, intermiied with the herbs and fruits of his 
pleasant and celebrated garden. " I am perfectly contented," says he, in oa 
epietle to another friend, '■ with bread and water alone ; but send me a piece 
of your Cyprian cheese, that 1 may indulge myself whenever i feel disposed 
for a luxurious treat." Such, too, was the diet of his disciples. Water, says 
Diodes, was their common beverage ; and of wine they never allowed them- 
selves more than a very small cup. And hence, when the city of Athens was 
besieged by Demetrius, and its inhabitants reduced to the utmost extremity, 
the scholars of Epicurus bore up under the calamity with less incotiveftienee 
than any other class of citizens ; the philosopher supporting them at his own 
expense, and sharing with ibem daily a small ration of his beans. The plea> 
sure of friendship, tlie pteaaure of virtue, the pleasure of tranquillity, the plea- 
sure of science, ihe pleasure of gardening, the pleasure of studvmg the works 
of nature, and of admiring her in all the picturesque beauty of net evolutions, 
formed the sole pursuit of his life. This alone, he affirmed, deserves the 
name of pleasdbk, and can alone raise the mind above the grovelling and mis- 
named pleasures of self-indul^nce, debauchery, and excess. 

There is something gratifying to an enlarged and liberal spirit in being 
thus able to rescue from popular, but unfounded obloquy, a sage of trans- 
cendant genius and almost unrivalled intellect, and in restoring him to the 
admiration of the virtuous and the excellent. That he did not feel the force of 
any argument offered by nature in proof of the immortality of the soul, and 
was in this respect considerablv below the standard of Socrates and Cicero, 
must be equally admitted and lamented; and should teach us the high value 
of that full and satisfactory light which was then so much wanted and baa 
since been so gloriously shed upon this momentous subject. But let it at the 
same time be remembered, that, with a far bolder front than either of the 
philosophers here adverted to, he dared to expose the grosgness and the absur- 
dities of the popular religion of his day, and in his life and his doctrmes gave a 
perpetual rebuke to vice and immorality of every kind. And hence, indeed, the 
mam ground of the popular calumny with which his character was attaeke^ 
and mich has too generally accompanied hia memory lo the present day. 



In onr last lecture I endeavoured to render it probable, that all visible or 
sensible matter is ^e result of a combioBtion of various solid, impenetrable, 
and exquisitely finf particles or unite of the same substance, loo minnle to 
. be delected by any operation of the senses. Of the shape or magnitude of 
these particles we know nothing : and even their solidity and impenetrability, 
as 1 then observed, la rather an assumption for the purpose of avoiding seve- 
ral striking; difficulties and absurdities that follow from a denial of theM 
qoalitiea, than an ascertained and established fact. 

From this unsatisfactory view of it in its elementary and impalpable state, 
let Ds now proceed to contemplate it in ita manifest and comtaned forma, and 
lo investinte the more obvious properties they offbr, and the general lawa 
by which they are regulated. 

:> jvGtXwIc 


Tbe ehuige of diataoce between one material bodf and anotliari or, In 
other words, their approach to or aeparaiion from each other, i* called 
MonoH ; and the wide ezpanae in which motion of any kind is performed, ii de 
nominated bpici. 

Hatter has its EsasimAL, and its picduar pBopsftrtcs. Its essential 
properties are those which are common to it under every form or mode ol 
combination. Its peculiar properties are those which only appertain to it tm 
derdeflnite forms or definite circumsiances. 

The usairrui. PHopEa-nEB of matter are usually classed undeV the six follow 
in^ heads: pasBivily,eitenBion,density, impenetrability,dtTisibilityiandgTaTi 
talion ; which, however, may easily be reduced to four, since eilena ion, density 
and irapenetrability.raay be comprehended under the ^neral term cohesibility 

PjLSSivnT, tnerfta or irii iatriia. Is the tendency in a body to persevere in a 
siTen state, whether of rest or motion, till disturbed by a body of auperioi 
force. And hence these terms, which are mere synonymes, imply a power of 
naobility as well as a power of quiescence ; although passivity has ohen been 
conflned to quiescence, while mobility has been made a distinct property 
Thus it is from the same power, or tendency to passivity, tbal a cannon ball 
continues its motion after being projected from a gan, as that by which it re- 
mained at rest Ijefore it was thrown off; for it is a well known theorem in pro- 
jectiles, that the action of the powder on a bullet ceases as soon as the bullet 
ts ont of the piece. In like manner a billiard ball at rest wilt continue so till 
pot into motion by a billia^ ball in motion, for it can never commence' motion 
of its own accord. While a billinrd ball in motion would persevere in motion, 
and in the same velocity of motion, for ever, if it met with no resistanea. 
Bat it does meet with resistance from a variety of causes, as the friction of 
the atmosphere, the friction of the green cloth, and at last a contact with one 
of the sides of the table, or with the ball against which it is directed. 

In this last case either bull will receive conversely the same precise pro- 
portion of rest or motion which it communicates. Thus, if tbe ball in motion 
strike the ball at rest obliquely, the latter will be put into a certain decree ot 
activity, sod the fo'rmer will, in the very same degree, be impeded in its pro- 
gnu, and receive an ec|ual tendency to a state ol^real. If the latter, on the 
contrary, by what is significantly called a dead stroke, receive the whole 
charge of motion which belongs to the. former, it will give to the former, in 
like manner, the whole possession of its quiescence, and tbe state of each 
wilt be completely reversed : tbe ball hitherto at rest proceeding with all the 
velocity of inat hitherto in motion, and the ball hitherto in motion exhibiting 
Ibe dead stand of tliat hitherto at rest. 

80, if it were possible to place an orb quietly in some partioolar part of 
•pace, where it would be equally free from the attractive influence of ever; 
one of tbe celestial Bystenis, it would, from the same tendency to inerlitude, 
jemain quiescent and at rest for ever. While, on the contrary, if a body 
were to be thrown fhim any one of the planets by tlie projectile force nf a 
volcano,or of any other agency, beyond the range of the attractive or centripetal 
power of sncli planet, it would continue the same velocity of motion for ever 
which it possessed at tlie moment of quitting the extreme limit of tlie [danet'a 
influence; ntdeas in its progress it should encounter the influence of some olbei 
flitaet ; uid in this last case it would be either drawn directly into contact 
with the planet it thus casually approached, or would have its path inflected 
into a circle, and revolve around it as a satellite, according to its velooity, 
and the relative direction of its course at tlie moment the planetary influence 
began to take effect Thus a body projected horizontally to tbe distance of 
about 4.3S miles from the earth's surface, provided there were no resistance 
in liie atmoapbere, would not fall tnck again, but beeome a satellite to the 
eutbf and pfirpetnally revolve around it at this distance. The moon is sup- 
poeed to tuve no atmosphere, or, at the utmost, one rarer than we can pro- 
nnce with onr best air-pumpa: she is also supposed to possess larger and 
more active volcanoes than any which are known to exist on tlu earth. And 
heoM it requires no great stretch of imagination to ecnceiye that bodiee 



may occauonally be thrown from the mooD, by the projectile power of nch 
volcanoes, to luch a distance as that they should never lelurn to her surfuce: 
for if the momentum be oal; sufficient to cause the mass ejected to proceed 
Kt the rate of about 8,S00 feet in the first second of time,* an,<i in a line passing 
through the moon and the earth, such effect would necessarily be produced; 
since, in this case, the propelled mass would quit the ceDtripetal power of the 
former, and be drawn into that of the latter, and would either become a satel- 
lite to the earth, or be precipitated to its surface, according as the rectUinaBr 
force of the projectile was equal or inferior to the attractire foroeof the earth 
■t their first meeting together. 

Yet this is, perhaps, but little more than the velocity with which a twenty- 
four pound cannon ball would travel from the moon's surface; since iis'velo- 
city on the earth's surface may be' calculated at about 3,000 feet for the fint 
second ; and it would rush nearly four limes as rapidly if not impeded by the 
resistance of the atmospliere. And hence it is to this cause that M. Gibers 
first, and M. la Place has since, ascribed the origin of those wonderful aero- 
lites, or stones, that are now known to have fallen from the air alsome period 
or other in every quarter of the globe ; believing them to be in every instance 
volcanic productious of the moon, throvrn by the impulse of the exploaioa 
beyond the range of her centripetal influence. 

CoHHiBiLiTv is the tendency which one part of matter evinces to unite with 
another part of matterso as to form out of different bodies one common mass. 
It includes the three modes which have often been regarded as three distinct 
propenies, of exUiuion, deiuily, and inmenetrabUily. Extcksiok is a term as 
applicable to space as to matter: "The extension of body," observes Mr. 
Locke, " being nothing but the cohesion or continuity of solid, separable, 
moveable parts ; and the extension of space the continuity of unsclid, insepa- 
rable, and immovpable parts." Hence extension applies to all directions of 
matter, for its continuity may take place in all directions; but in common 
language the longest extension of a body is called its length, the next its 
breadth, and the shortest its thickness. 

Df NsiTT is a property in matter to cohere with a closer degree of approxi- 
mation between the dinerent particles of which it consists ; so that the same 
body, when in the exercise of this property, occupies a smaller portion of 
apace than before it was called into act. Hence density cannot be a property 
of sgace, the parts of which, as I have just observed, are immoveable, and 
eannot, therefore, either approach or recede. 

lMFiiiBTB«Bii.rrr is the result of density, as density is of extension. It a 
that property in matter which prevents two bodies from occupying the saoM 
place at the same time. They are all branches of the common property of 
eohesibility. A wedge of iron, indeed, may force its way through the solid 
fibres of the trunk of a tree ; but it can only do this by separating them from 
each other: it cannot penetrate the matter of frhich those fibres consist. In 
like manner, when a ship is laundied, her hulk cannot sink into the water 
without displacing the exact bnlk of water which existed in the space thai 
the bulk below the surface now occupies. 

To a cursory survey, however, there are some phenomena that seem to 
■how that certain bodies are penetrable by others. Thus, if a cubic inch of 
water be mixed with a cubic inch of spirit of wine or sulphuric acid, the biJk 
of the compound will be something less than two cubic inches. But in thia 
case one of the fluids appears to admit apart of the other ttuidinto its pores i 
a fact of which there can be but little doubt, since, if no evaporation be 
allowed to take place, though the bulk of the mixture is somewhat diminished, 
its weight is precisely equal to what it ought to be. The combination of diflfe- 
rent metals affords, not unfreqently, similar instances of equal introsusoeption. 

DivismtuTr is a power in matter directly opposed to its eohesibility. It 
is that property of .1 body by which \t ifi capacified for separating into paitB) 
the union or continuity of which constituted its extension. 

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Dirinbili^, however, does not destroy cohesion in every initance einially ; 
IhoDgb the fiirther it proceeds, the farther it jooseos it. We are told by Mr. 
Boyle, that two Rivins and a half of silk were, on one occaBion, spun into a 
Ihread not less than three hundred yards long, which is, not wiUii landing, « 
much ahorter length than ihq spider ia capable of spinniug his web of the 
aune weight. Huschenbroek mentions an artist of Nuremburg, who drew 
void wire so fine that 500 inches of it only weighed one grain ; and Dr. Wol- 
&tlon has obtained platinum wire as fine as nJcoth of an inch.'^ The thick- 
DCSt of tin-foil ta about a thousandth part of an inch;f that of gold-leaf is 
lesi than a two hnndredih thousandth part of an inch ; and the gilding of lace 
w still thinner, prt^ably in aooie cases not more than a millionth part of an 
inch ; and there are living beings visible to the mieiuscope, of which a mil- 
lion million would not make up the bulk of a common grain of sand. Yet it 
ifl highly probable, from what has actuaily been ascertained of the anatomy 
of mionte and miacroscopic aoimals, that many of these are as comj^cated 
in their ttmciore as the elephant or the whale. 

Gravitation is the common basis upon which all the preceding propertiM 
■re built, except pasiiviiy ; the great principle into which all the rest resolve 
themselves. Gravitation is the attraction by which bodies of all kinds act 
upon each other, with a force regulated by the aggregate proportion of their 
tespective quantities of matter, and decreasing as the squares of the distance! 
increase. It is a law impressed on matter universally ^ and hence operates 
alike on the minutest and on the largest masses ; produces what we call 
weight on earth, or the tendency of heavy bodies to faU towards the earth's 
centre; and governs the revolutions of ths planets. The five principles 
which regulate its mode of action, and constitute its magniAcent code of 
Uws, are thus summed up by M. la Place.^ 

I. Gravitation takes place between the most minnte particles of bodies. 

9. It |s proportional to their masses. 

3. It IS mversely as the squares of the distances. 

4. It is transmitted instantaneously from one body to another. 

e. It acts equally on bodies in a state of rest, and upon those whicb, 
moving within its range, seem to be flying off from its power. 

To a casual observer there are many substances that seem to fly away from 
the earth, and consequently to oppose this general law. Thus smoke, when 
extricated from burning bodies, and vapour, when separated from liquids, 
■flcend into the atmosphere ; and a piece of cork, plunged to the bottom of a 
vessel of water, rises rapidly to the surface. But, in all these phenomena, 
the bodies that seem to move upwards merely give way to bodies of a heavier 
kind, or, in other words, which have a stronger tendency towards the earth, 
liins smoke and vapour only ascend, because the durrounding air, which is 
heavier than these, presses downwards and takes their place ; and the cork 
rises because lighter than the watn into which it has been plunged : bat 
empty the vessel, and the cork will remain at the bottom, because heavier 
than the surrounding airj and let the smoke or the vapour be received into a 
ntcnnm, and it will remain as much at the bottom as the cork. 

It was first systematically demonstrated by Sir Isaac Newton, that all the 
motioiM of all the heavenly bodies depend upon the same power; and the 
princiide thus struck out has of later years been still more extensively and 
even more accurately applied to a solution of the most complicated pheno* 
inena. This principle in astronomy is denominated the centripetal force, and 
Aetenn is sufficiently precise for all common purposes; since, alihougt^ 

rikiiif.with perfect strictness, the central point of no solid substance is 
actual spot in which its attractive power is chiefly lodged, yet it has been 
abundantly proved by Sir Isaac, that all the matter of a sphencal body, or a. 
■phenol surface, may, in generally estimating its attractive force on other 
natt«r, be considered as collected in the centre of such sphere. And hence, 
H aU Ute celestial bodies are nearly ajdierical, their action on bodies at s di>- 



tBDM ma; be held the same as if the whole of the matter of which they coo- 
■iit were condeosed into their reapective centres. 

To what extent in the heavens the poweT of gtavitation ranges it is impot- 
■ible to determine; there can be little doubt, however, that it extends from 
one fixed star to another, although its effects are too inconsiderable to be 
calculated by man. It may possibly inBuence the progressive motion Of 
several of the stars, aiid, as I had occasion to observe in a preceding lectore, 
is the caoae to which Dr. Herachel ascribes the origin of the material 
universe, which he supposed at one time, thoug'h he aeems afterward to 
have modified his opinion, as we sliatt notice in our next study, to have 
issued from an immense central mass of matter, peculiarly volcanic in its 
structure, and'to have been, consequently, thrown forth in different quanti- 
ties, and at different limes, by enormous explosions ; each distinct mass, thus 
forcibly propelled, aaauming, from the common law of projectiles, ^i orbicu- 
lar path, and endowed with the common property of the parent bodv, electing 
in like manner, minuter masses at different periods of time, woicli have 
eqoally assumed.the same orbicular motion, and ultimately become plsnets 
to the body from which they have immediately issoed, and which constitutes 
their central sun. 

To produce such an clfect, however, and in reality to prodnce any of the 
motions which occur to us in the celestial bodies, the passivitv of matter ia 
Just as necessary as its gravitation. I have already observed that, owiof^ to. 
Its passivity, or vis nihtis, matter has a tendency to persevere in any given 
state, whether of motiou or of rest, till opposed by some exterior power; and 
that the path it assumes must necessarily be that of a right line, unless the 
power it encounters shall bend it into a different direction. A projectile, 
therefore, as a planet, for example, thrown forth from a volcano, would travel 
in a right line for ever, and with the exact velocity with which it was thrown 
forth at first, if there were nothing to impede its progress, or to alter the 
course at first given to it. But the attraction of the volcanic sphere figm 
which it has been launched does impede it, and equally so from every point 
of its surface : the consequence of which muEt necessarily be, that every 
step it advances over the parent orb it must be equally drawn back or reined 
in, and hence its rectilinear path must be converted into a curve or parabola, 
and a tendency be given to it to escape in this line, which may be contem- 
plated as a line of perpetual angles, instead of in a direct course ; and as soon 
as the projectile or planet has acquired the exact point in which the two an- 
tagonist powers precisely balance each other — the power of fiying off from 
the centre, communicated to it by the volcanic impulsion, and which is de- 
nominated its cENTRiruoiL FOKci, aod the power of falling forwards to the 

matter, which the parent sphere c 
ciiTTRiprTAi. roBCR — it wilL have reached its proper orbit; and, through the 
influence of this constant antngonism of the two properties of passivity and 
gravitation, of a centrifugal and centripetal force, persevere in the same to the 
end of time. 

Of the immediate cause of gravitation, or the nature of that power which 
impels different bodies to a union, we are in a very considerable degree of 
ignorance ; or rather, perhaps, may be aaid to know nothing at all. It ia 
necessary, however, to notice one very singular phenomenon concerning it, 
and to give a glance at two out of various theories by which gravitation has 
been attempted lu be accounted for. 

The phen'onienon is, that although owing to this power, all bodies have a 
tendency to come into contact, they never come into actual contact : some 
kind of pore or open space being still left between the corpuscles of bodies 
tiiai approach the nearest to each other. Thus, a plate of healed iron, solid 
as it appears to be, and altogether destitute of pores, becomes contracted in 
every direction by cold. So, too, as I have already observed, equal measures 
of water and alcohol, or of water and sulphuric acid, have their outk sensiblr 
diminiihed. In like manner, Newton has remarked, that when two ' ' 

. sensibly 


riiM m wilbin sbont a ten thousandth part of tui inch of each other, uring 
ine metallic pUtes aa amierometer on tbiB occasion, thej support each other's 
weight u powerfully aa iftbey were in actual contact, and (hat some additional 
fi>ice ia requisite in order to make (hem approach still nearer. Nor is the 
force neceuar^ to prodace this effect of tnvial moment : Professor Robison 
baa calculated it, and has ascertained by experiment that it is equal to a pres* 
■me of a thonsaod poaiids for every square inch of glass. Air ia not neces- 
mj to this naiitance, for it is equally manifest in a vacuum ; yet it is a very 
mmooa fiict, thU nnder water it ahnost entirely dieappeara. It ia, however, 
hi^y probable that the contact is never perfect, otherwise the two plates 
nngfatM eqteeted to cohere in such a manner as to become an individual mass. 

ft is hence clear that matter, from some cause or other, ia possessed of a 
aspoiMTB at w^ as of an attbactivb force ; and that, like the taller, although 
its law has not been hitherto exactly ascertained, it increases in a reg;u^ 
{Roportion to its decrease of distance, or, in other words, as bodies approxi- 
mate each other. 

It has hence been said, and this is the common theory of those who regiard 

Sivitation as an eesenlial property of matter, (hat matter is universslly en- 
wed with two opposite powers ; by the one of which material substances 
aUnct each other, and indace a perfect union; and by the other of which 
they lepel each other when they are on the point of union, and prevent a 
perfect contact. It is admitled, however, on all hands, and is indeed per- 
fectly clear in itself, that the rejKilsive power ia of an almost inRnitely less 
RDge than the attractive. I have supposed the attractive power, or that of 
(tavitatkm, to operate tmm world to world ; jet the repulsive power can 
Bevor be exerted, except " between such particles as are actually, or very 
neariy, in contact with each other; since it requires no greater pressure, 
when acting on a given surface, to retain a ^lon of air in the space of half 
a nUoDtllun to retain a pint in the Bpaceof half apint, which could not pos- 
■iny be,if the particles exercised amutual repulsion at all possible distances."* 
litis idea, however, of double and opposite powers co-exieling; in the sams 
mibstanee, and in every cotpuscle of the same substance, has been uniformly 
iislt dilHcidt of admission by the best and .gravest pliilosophers ; and hence 
Sir Isaac Newlon, while allowing the repulsive power of matter, which in 
trath ia far more obvious to our senses in consequence of its very limited 
raoget baa felt a strong propensity to question gravity as forming an essential 
property of matter itself, and to account for it from another source. "To 
show," says he, " Uiat I do not take gravity for an essential propcrtj; of bodies, I 
have added one question concerning its cause, choosing to propose it by way of 
aaestton,becBUseIamnotyelsalis<iedBh<iuclt,forwatitolex:penmenta."f la 
wis question he suggeats the existence of an ethereal and elastic medium per- 
vadingaU space; andsupports his Buppoeiuon tiy strong arguments, and conse- 
qnentfy with much spparent confidence, deduced from the mediums, or gases, 
at tber are now called, of light and heat, and magnetism, respecting all which, 
from their extreme subtlety, we can only reason concerning their properties. 
This elastic medium he conceives to be much rarer within the denae bodies 
of the lun, the stars, the planets, and the comets, than in the more empty 
celestial spaces between them, and (o grow more. and more dense as it 
recedes from the celestial bodies to still greater distances: by which means 
allof tfaeno, in his opinion, are forced towards each other by the excess of an 
' icptesBure. 

tituled; provided, a L .. ,. ._ — ^ 

pose, that the corpuscles of such a medium are repelled by bodies of common 
matter with a force decreasing, like other repulsive forces, simply as the dis- 
tsocei increase. Its density, under these circumBtances, would be every 
wfaera sDch as to produce the semblance of an attractbn, varying like the 
tttiMtloit of gravitation. The hypothesis in connexion with the existenM 

• Dr. TomO IMS- itil. 11011 iO/ikmijntta 



of a repoIsiTe force in comiiKtii matter has a great advantage in point of nm 
plicit)', and may perhaps hereafter be capable of proof, tbougli at preient it 
can (Hil; be regarded, and waa at firet only offered, as an lijrpotheaiB. 

H. la Place, equally dissaliafied as Sir Isaac Newlon with the idea of gnyi- 
tation beinE an easential property of matter, paaaeB away from the inquiry 
with Buitaue modesty, to prHcii'cal subjeclE of lar higher importance, and 
which equally grow out of it, in whatever light it is contemplated. " la this 
principle," laya he, " a primordial law of nature 1 or la it a general effect of 
an unluiown cause ? Here we are arrested b;^ cur i^oranoe of the Dature 
of the essential properties of matter, and deprived of all hope of answering 
the question in a satisfactory manner. Instead, then, of forming hypoiheaea 
on the Buhjeet, let us content ourselves with examining more particulaiiy the 
manner in which philoBopbers have made uae of this moat extraordmary 

There is, indeed, one very striking objection to Sir Isaac Newton's su^et- 
tion, and which it eeems very difficult to repel. It is, that though it may 
account for the attraction of gmvitation, as a phenomenon common to matter 
in general, it 1^ no means accounts for a variety of particular attraeliona 
which are found to take place between particular bodies, or bodiea particulaiiy 
^rcumatanced; and which, excepting in one or two iastaucee,ou^t,peiiiaps, 
to be contemplated as modifications of gravitation. 

Upon these particular attractions, or modes of attraction, includiug homo- 
geneous attraction, or the ettraciion of aggregation, heterogeneoua sttnc- 
tion, or the attraction of capillary bodies, elective attraction, and thoae of 
magnetism and electricity, each of which is replete with phenomena of amoit 
interesting and curious nature, 1 intended to have touched in the present lec- 
ture, but our limited hour is so nearly expired, that we must postpone (ha 
consideration «f them as a study for our next meeting. Yet it is Dot possibi* 
to close the observations which have now been submitted, without testifying 
our gratitude to the memory of that transcendent genius whom the provi- 
dence of the adorable Architect of the universe at length gave to mankind six 
thousand years after its creation, to unravel its regular confusion, and reduce 
the apparent intricacy of its laws to that sublime and comprehensiTe simpli- 
city which is the peerless proof of its divine original. 

It has been aaid, that the discovery of the universal law which binds th« 
pebble to the earth, and the planets to the aim, which connects stars with 
stars, and operates through infinity, was the result of accident. Nothing can 
be more untrue, or derogatory to the great discoverer himself. The earliest 
studies of Newton were the harbinger of his future fame : his mighty mind, 
that comprehended every thing, wan gJive to every thing ; the little and Ih« 
great were equally the subjects of his restless researches : and bis attention 
to the fall of the apple was a mere link in the boundless cliain of thought, 
with which he had already been long labouring to meaaure the phenomena 
Of the universe. 

Grounded, beyond all hia contemporaries, in the aure principles of mathe> 
matica, it was at the age of twenty-two that he first applied the sterling trea- 
sure he had collected to a solution of the system of the world. The descent 
of heavy bodies, which be perceived nearly the same on the summit of the 
loftiest mountains and on the lowed surface of the earth, suggested to hhn 
the idea that gravity might possibly extend to the moon; and that, combined 
with some projectile motion, it might be the cause of the moon's elliptic orbit 
round the earth : a Gu^gestion in which he was instantly confirmed by ob- 
■erring that all bodies in their fall describe curves of some modification or 
other. And he further conceived, that if the moon were retained in her orbit 
by her gravity towarda the earth, the planets must also in all probability ba 
retained in their several orbits by their gravity towards the sua. . 

To verify this sublime conjecture, it was necessary to ascertain two iwir 
Md ^ab w i te poaitions t to determine the law of the progreuive 4' "' 

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mod aacertained [he Irutbof hit principles by SLnp];i[jgtl)em,prncticiill; and al< 
teraat«ly,tothephenomenaor the heaveni,an(]loa variety oitfiiTestrud bodies. 
The bald and beautifiil theorem being at length arrived at, and unequivo- 
cally GBtablished — a Theorem equally applicable to the minutest corpnsclea, 
and the hugeit aggrep^tions of matter — that all the particlea of matter attrant 
each other directly hh their masa, and inversely as (he square of their dis* 
tance, he at once beheld the cause of thoaa perturbations of motion to wbicb 
the beavenlybodiesarenecensarily and BO perpeluall J subject: it became mani- 
fest, that the {rianets and comets, reciprocally acting and acted upon, muil 
dCTiale a little from the laws of that perfect ellipse which they would pre- 
cisely follow if they had only to obey the action of the aun : it was manifeat, 
that the satellites of the different planets, exposed to the complicated action of 
tbe sun, and of each other, must evince a similar disturbance: that the corpus- 
cles which composed the difTereni heavenly bndies in their formation, perpetu- 
ally pressing towards one common centre, must neceasanly have produced, in 
every instance, a epherical mass : that their rotatory motion must at tbe aaoM 
time have rendered this spherical Hgure in aome degree imperfect, and hava 
flattened theae masses at their poles ; anJ, finally, that the particles of immense 
beds of water, as the ocean, easily separable as ihey are fi:V>m each other, and 
nnequally operated upon by the sun and the moon, must evince auch oscilla- 
tions aa the ebbing and fiowInK of the tides. The origin, progress, and per- 
fection of these splendid conjectures, verifications, andeetablished principles, 
were communicated in two distinct books, known to every one under the 
title* of hi* " Principia" and his " Optics ;"— books which, though not actu- 
ally inspired, fall but little short of inspiration, and have more contributed to 
eult the intellect of man, and to display the perfections of the Dieiy, thao 
vy t>uiig upon which inspiration has not placed its direct and awful itamp. 


^Tha (abject continued.) 

Wa closed onr last lecture with remarks on the universal operation of tbe 
common principle of gravity over matter in all its visible forms, from the 
tninutett shapes developed by the microscope, to the mightiest suns and con- 
■tellations in the heavena. But we observed, also, that, mdependently of this 
onireraid and easential power of attraction, matter possesses a variety of pe- 
culiar attractions dependent upon circumstances of limited influence, and 
which consequently render such attractions themselves of local extent. 

These I will now proceed to notice to you in the following order : — Kt, 
The attraction of lumogetitoui bodies towards each other, which is denomi- 
nated, in chemical tecnnology, the attraction of aggregation : 9dly, The 
attraction of keUro^tntout bodies towards each other, under particmar ci^ 
cnrostances, which in its more obvious cases is denominated cnpillaiy attrac- 
tion ; 3dly, The attraction of bodies exhibiting a peculiar degree of affinity 
to each other, and which is denominated electrive attraction : 4thly, The 
attraction of the electric fluid ; and. Sihly, That of the magnetic. 

I. The law of physics, which has rendered every material substance capa- 
ble of attracting and being attracted by every other material substance, teem* 
at the same time to have produced this power in a much atronger degree be- 
tween smsTARcu OF LtKB ntTOTin. Thus, drops of water placed upon a 
fitate of dry glass have a tendency to unite, not only when they tou<£, hot 
^Antet MalBor vMoity lo eatdi otber ; and globulea of quic^tm MiD 


mora to ; tad it is (hia kind of attraction wbidi ia called the attractUn of 
■ggregatioo. And in bolli Iheae caa«B the attraction in question evinces a 
considerable siiperiorjiy of force to the general attraction of greritatioD; 
since the particles of the drops or globules ascend from the surface of the 
^ass, except those that form their narrow base, and are drawn towards their 
proper centres, instead of being drawn towards the centre of the earth. 

If, however, the convex shape of the drop of water be destroyed iiy pressing 
it over the glass into a thin extended film, ine general attraction of gravitation, 
icting with increased effect upon an increased space, will overpower the indi- 
'viduu attraction of aggregation, and ihe particles of water will be restrained 
from attempting a spherical figure as before. In ihe ouirikBilver, nevertheless, 
the attraction of aggregation being much stronger uian in the water, it will 
still continue to prevail ; and it is only by a very minute and elaborate divi- 
sion of the particles of this material that we can give to the attraction of 
gravitation a predominancy. 

The same result occurs in the homogeneous particles of oil. And hence, 
if we divide its particles by shaking- a certain portion of it in water, we find, 
upon giving the mixture rest, that the water will first sink to the bottom, or, 
which is the same thing, the particles of the oil will rise to the surface ; and 
then that these particles, as soon as they have reached the range of each 
other's attraction, will unite into one common body. 

Now, in all these cases it is obvious that the particles of matter thna 
obeying the law of homogeneous attraction assume or attempt to assume a 
spherical figure ; and we not unfrequently perceive a similar attempt, even 
where the breadth of the surface, and the consequent potency of the attraction 
of gravitation, would hardly induce us to expect that there could be the least 
effort towards it; as, for example, in a glass brim-full, or somewhat more 
than brim-full of wine, or any other liquid. 

We behold the same figure in the drops of rain as they descend from the 
clouds ; a figure which, in fact, is the sole, cause of the vaulted form of the 
rainbow, as 1 may possibly take leave to explain more particularly on some 
fiiture occasion. We behold it in reality throughout all nature, in every sub- 
stance whose particles are capable of uniting and separating with ease; and, 
consequently], of readily obeying the laws of cohesibility and divisibility, as 
those of liquids ; and we should see it equally in solids, but that the particles 
of these last are incapable of doing readily either the one or the other. 

What, then, is the general cause that produces so general an effect % 
Cleariy this ; a cause to which I have already in some degree adverted, in 
speaking of the general attraction of graviiatlon: that, there bemg an equal ten- 
dency in every particle of homogeneous bodies to press torelher, they most 
press equally towards one common centre, and strive to be as little remote from 
that centre as possible. Such a strife, however, must necessarily produce a 
globular or spherical form ; for it is in such a form only that the extreme par- 
ticles, or those constituting its surface, and which are prevented from a closet 
approach by those that lie within, are equally near and equally remote in 
every direction. 

Hence, then, the cause of the globular figure of drops of quicksilver, drops 
(tf water, drops of rain, and drops of dew, collected and suspended f^m -the 
fresh leaves of plants in the balmy air of the morning : and hence onveason, 
though there is also another that concurs with it, and which I shaU' explain 
presently, for the convex shape assumed by a wine-glass of liqaid of any 
kind, on its surface, when brim-full, or somewhat more. 

The same reasoning may be applied to account for the s pliqi^ l figure of 
the heavenly bodies ; each of which, though probably composed of many 
different or heterogenous substances in itself, may be fairly contemplated as 
a homogeneous mass when compared with those 1^ which It is surrounded : 
and hence, too, we see the necessity for their having at firet existed, from 
some cause or other, in a fluid state ; since, otherwise, the different corpuscles 
vhich enter into their make could not have assumed that symmetrical 
irrangement which slone gives sphericity to the total bulk. 
^. W* have equal proofs of the same peculiar utraction existing betwrcn 


■olid bodleB) thonsfa the proofs are not so cammon ; itnce, as I haT» Jost olv 
Mrved, the particlea of solid bodies have less povrer of movement, and.con- 
•equentlv, of adaptation to each other, than those of liquids. Thus, two 
plates of lead, whose opposite surfaces correspond so exactly that every par- 
ticle of each surface ahall have a bearing upon the particle oppoaed to it, when 
once united by pressure, assisted by a litlle friction, cohere so powerfully u 
to require a veiy considerable force to separate them. And ii may be shown, 
dlher by measuring- this force, or by suapending- the lead in the vacuum of an 
■ir-pump, that the pressure of the atmosphere is not materially coocemed 
in producing this effect. A cohesion of this kind is sometimes of practical 
utility in the arts ; little omainents of laminated silver remainiiig attached to - 
iron, or steel, with which they have been made to connect Ihemsetvea by the 
powerful pressure of a blow, ao as to form one mass with it. And it ia now 
* well'known fact, and of a most curious nature, that one of the causes by 
which eight-day clocks go at limes irregularly, and monthly clocks, whose 
weights are much larger and heavier, oAen amounting to not less than thirty 
pounds, stop suddenly, proceeds from the attraction which lakes place between 
their leaden weights and the leaden ball of the pendulum, when the weights 
have descended just so low as to be on a level, and, consequently, very nearly 
in a state of contact, with the penduluin-ball. And hepce the reason why 
both these kinds of clocks, if the pendulum have not actually stopped, seem 
gradually, a few d^ys afterward, to recover their former accuracy; the 
attraction diminishing as the distance once more increaBes.* In like manner, 
Stndor remarks that Mamrof steel become sometimes erroneous by acquiring 
magnetic polarity .-f 

It ia by the same means that the greater number of rocks seem to be pro- 
dared that enter into the substance of the earth's solid crust. The lowei^ 
most of these, as I shall have occasion to observe in an ensuing lecture, are 
united by an intimate crystallization, which is the most perfect fonn of aggra. 
gate or homogeneous attraction that luin exist between solid bodies, and 
which muat have commenced while such bodies were in a fluid state. 
Some of the upper kinds or families are united b^ a particular cement, 
which is notliing more than a substance possessmg a peculiar attrac- 
tion, or, if I may be allowed the expression, physical pariialiiy to the rudi- 
mental corpuscles of which the rock consists ; and others by nothing mora 
than the law of aggregation or homogeneous attraction in ils simplest state ; 
whence earths unite to earths in consequence of mutual approximation, 
assisted by their own or a superincumbent pressure, in the same manner as 
1 have Just stated that plates of lead or other metals unite to metals. 

II. But there are substances that are ohlike ih tuib HATttaa, as solids and 
Ouids, for instance, that under particular cireumstHne«s are often found to 
exhibit a mutual attraction; whence this mode of union is called BBruuiai. 
moos ATranonuK, and from its occurring most palpably between liquids and 
■olid substances possessing small capillary or hair-tubes, cahuiArt it< 

The cause of this attraction is obvious ; and it is stiQ more clearly a mere 
modification of the general attraction of gravitation, than the preceding 
power of homogeneotis attrection. It is the common attractive property ofma- 
lerial substance for material substance ; the liquid, or that whose particles are 
easily separaUe, pressing toward the solid, whose parts'are by any actionof their 
own altogether inseparable. Hence the reason why water or any other liquid 
hangs about the sides at a wine-glass : hence, partly, the reason why a wine- 
glan, when somewhat more than brim-full ofa liquid, does not overflow ; the 
eiMiperative reason being, as I have already stated, the homogeneous attraction 
of itte corpuscles of the fluid for each other, which prevents them from sepa- 
nting naaily : and heiiee also the reason why a liqmd contained in a narrow. 
DMked and inverted phial does not obey the common attraction of grevita. 
tion, and fall to the earth, although the stopper be removed to allow it, tiU w« 

*Mm,l,|nifcilMU^I— ■ rOlbLXULllL T«Df^MM.PULlLUa. 


aid tho power or ^viiation, or rather loosea the povrer of the peculiar 
attraction, by shaking- the phial. 

In this last case it is maiiirest that the heterogeneoua attrFLCtion, or that 
between the two different substances, is stronger than the common force o( 
gravity. In minute capillary tubes or porei this ia still more obvious, buch 
are the pores of a piece of sponge, when pressed or softened, so as to be- 
come more pliable to the action of water or of any other liquid within its 
reach. For, in this case, the water being minmely divided by the pores of 
the sponge into very small portions, and aiill surrounded by the pores ia 
every direction after such division, has its common force of gravitation and 
its peculiar foroe of homogeneous attraction equally overpowered; and as- 
cends from the surface of the e^iKh, instead of descendiug to it, or uniting 
into a spherical form; and thesame kind of pores, and, consequently, the same 
kind of power, being continued to the utmost height of the sponge, it will 
rise to the full extent of its column. The tubes of various imperfect crys- 
tals, as those of sugar, for example, are still smHller; and heace the lateral 
attraction must be still stronger; and any liquid within its reach will rise 
both higher and more freely, till the sugar at length becomes dissolved, and, 
consequently, its pores are totally destroyed. The cause of capillary attrac- 
tion is therefore obvious : and the reasoning and phenomena now submitted 
may be applied to an explanation of every other species of the same kind 
tilat may occur to us. 

III. The third particular attraction I have Doticed,iB that of bodus ma 
rxcuiAxn BoDiis, and which has hence been denominated blectivi or chehiou.' 
IN ; as the tendencies they have to each otlier have been denominated 
I. Thus lime has a strong affinity for carbon icBcid, and greedily attracts 
it from the atmosphere, which hence becomes purified by being deprived of it. 
But the same substance has a still stronger affinity for sulphuric acid, and hence 
parts with its carbonic Etcid, which flies off in the form of gas, in order to 
unite with the sulphuric whenever it has a possibility of doing so. It Is 
highly probable that this kind of attraction ia also nothing more than a pecu- 
liar modification of that of graviLation, more select in its range, but more 
active in its power. To trace out the various suhslancea tnai are pos- 
aeesed of this peculiar property, and to measure the degrees of their affiiii- 
ties, is one of the chief branches of chemistry, but of too voluminotia a 
nature to touch farther upon at present. 

ly. V. The two remaming kinds of attraction to which 1 have adverted, 
those of iLtcTRTCiTT and of maonktibm, are still more select, and perhaps 
Btill more powerful than even the preceding : but the phenomena to which 
they give rise cannot, 1 think, be attributed to any modification of a gravi- 
tating ethereal medium. We call the medium in both these cases a fluid, but 
we know little or nothing of the laws by which they are regulated ; whether 
ttiev be different stibstances, or, according to M. Ampore, th« same substance 
under different mod ideation a, or whether, in reality, they be material sub- 
stances at all. They are certainly deficieni in the most obvious properties 
of common matter, and may be another substrate of being united to it. 

There are algo two other substances, or which are generally conceived to 
be substances, in nature, of a very attenuate texture, which largely pqd- 
tribute to the changes of material bodies. 1 mean uoht and hut, of ^e 
general nature of which we are still also in a considerable degree of igno- 
rance. Like the powers of magnetism and electricity, we only know them, 
and can only reason concerning Ihem, by their effects. These efiects, indeed, 
are of a most curious and interesting character, but spread too widely to be 
followed up in the course of the present lecture, though we may endeavour to 
pursue them, and, as far as we are able, to develope them, hereafter. 

All these fotir powers or essences, for we know not which to call them, con- 
cur in exhibiting none of the com toon properties of matter ; their respective par- 
ticles repel each other at least as imwerfully as they attract, and in the cases 
of light and heat repel alone, and without attracting. Tbev may, posBibl;r> 
bepondetaUei but ii eo, we have uo inttruments fine euouga to detect their 


idatiTs weights ; and we sre hence incapable of delenniningr, aa I look lears 
toobaerre on a former occasion, irhelher ihey be matter at all, whether men 
properties of matter, or whether modificatioiiB of some etherealised and in- 
eorporeid Robatniie, combining itself with the material mass, and exciting 
msiiv of its most extraordinary phenomena. It is at present, however, very 
much the h^it to generalise Ihem into one common origin ; and to conceive 
the whole as modified results of matter, or of the gravitating property of 
matter. Thus, the attractive ftowers of chemical affinity and of^ electricity 
are tdeatified in the following passage of Sir Humphry Davy's valuable "Ele- 
ineota of Chemical Philosophy :" — " Electrical effects are exhibited by the 
tame bodies when acting oi mtaiei, which produce chemical phenomena 
when acting by their porticJej; it is not improbable, therefore, that the pri- 
tnary cause of both may be the same."* And in like manner, in an adjoin- 
ing passage, he suggests that all the various properties or essences that have 
thus far passed in survey before us, may be nothing more than the general 
attractive power of matter, though he admits that at present we are incompe- 
tent to determine upon the subject. "Wjth regard to the great speculative 
^aestiona, whether the electrical phenomena depend upon one fluid in exeoM 
m the bodies positively electrified, and in deficiaicy in the bodies negatively 
electrified, or upon two different fluids capable by iheir combination of pro- 
ducing heal and light, or whether they may be particular exerliont oftlie g»- 
ntrataltraaivepimerqftnatCer, it is, perhaps, impossible to decide, in the pre- 
■eot imperfect stale of our knowledge. "f 

And hence, heat, in the view of Sir Humphry Davy, Count Rumford, and 
various other justly celebmted chemists and philosophers of the present day, 
coincidenlly with the doctrine of the Peripatetic school, is a mere property of 
matter, and not a. substance sui generis, as was contended for by the Epicu- 
Teans, in opposition to the disciples of Aristotle, and is contended for by the 
disciples of Boerhaave, Black, Crawford, and most of the chemists of our own 
times. The cause of heat, among those who deny it a substantive existence, 
consists in a vibrating motion of the constituent particles of the heated body, 
loo rapid to be traced by the eye. And as it is known to every one that bodies 
in genera), as they become heated, occupy a larger space, and have their parti- 
cles more widely repelled and separated trOTO eacii other than in a colder 
temperature, it has of late become afavouiite doctrine that the repulsive 
power, which in our last lecture we noticed to exist throughout matter, de- 

Knds altogether upon the property of heat; in consequence of which Sir 
jmphry Davy uses heat and calorific repulsion as synonrmoiis teims, and 
hence regards heat and gravitation, or general attrac^Sn, aa antagonist 

There is much plausible reasoning to be urged in favour of this hypothesis. 
It will as readily account for many, perhaps most, of the phenomena which ac- 
company bodies in their change irom one temperature to another, as the posi- 
tion of the substantive form of heat, and has some advantage in point of sim- 
plicity ; but it is opposed by a variety of facts of so stubborn and intractable 
a nature, that no efforts of ingenuity have hitherto been capable of bending ' 
Ihem into the service of the new doctrine. I observed, for instance, in our 
last lecture, that when two plates of glass are within a ten thousandth part 
of an inch of each other, they cannot be made to approach nearer withfiut a 
strong additional pressure. ! observed, farther, that Professor Robison has 
calculated the extent of this pressure from actual experiment, and finds it 
amount to not less than a thousand pounds weight for every square inch of 
the glass. Now this resistance or repulsive power between the two plates 
of glass takes place equally under an air-pump and in the fullest exposure to 
,the air of the atmosphere, but it appears to cease under water. By what 
cause the repulsion is excited in the two former instances, or disappeanr 
in the latter, we know not ; but it does not seem possiUe for any ingenuity 
of argument to connect this repulsive power with beat, whether regarded as a 
■i^tauce or a melc property. 

•BsLlklKni HJpLiw 

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Heat, igain, vhich undoubtedly makei tlie particles or iron repel each other, 
Mtbtt nvenweightaofthetn occupy a larger space — makes the particle* cf t 
ball of day, on the contrnry, allract each other ialo a closer appro jimation, w 
H very considerably to leasen its dimensions ; and it was on account of this 
peculiar property thai Mr. Wedgewood selected this last material for the pur- 
pose of Ibnning his celebrated pyrometer, or instrument for measuring in- 
tense heats, the increase of the heat being indicated by the decrease oi the 
mass of clay. 

' So water at about 49° of Fahrenheit, which forms its medium of density, 
begins to e^mnd upon exposure to heat, and continues to expand in propor- 
tion as additional neat is applied; but below 43° it begins to expand also 
npon exposure to cold, and continues to expand in the very same ratio upcm the 
application of additional cold, till at 32° it freezes and becomes fixed. This 
curious phenomenon has never been accounted for. If calorific tepulsioa 
prodace the expansion above 43°, what is it that produces the same elfect 
below t We can, perhaps, explain the cause of the expansion during the act 
of freezing, from ttie peculiar shape of the crystals which the water assumea 
in the act of consolidating j but this explanation will in no respect apply to 
the expeaaion of the water when it reaches the freezing point. In this curi- 
ous and DniLlustrated fact cold ^>peara to be as much entitled to the character 
of a repulsive power as heat. 

For these and numerous other reasons, therefore, heat is even at the pre- 
sent moment usually regarded, not as a mere quality of body produced by 
internal vibration, and forming an antagonist power to the attraciion of coh». 
aion, but as a distinct and independent substance. The sources of heat are 
various, thou^ by far the principal reeervoir throughout the whole solar 
system is the sun himself, which Dr. Herschel believes to be perpetually 
secreting the matter of heat from those dark and discoloured parts on its sur- 
foce which we call spots, by many astronomers regarded as volcanoes, and 
many of which are larger than, and some of them five or six times aa largeaa 
the diamelcr of tho earth ! This material Dr. Herschel supposes to be flrst 
thrown oCT in the form of an atmosphere, and afterward this atmosphere to 
be diffused in every direction through the whole range of the solar empire ; 
and, in the Philosophicnl Trnnaaciions for ISOI, he has endeavoured to ahow 
that the variation in the heat of different years is owing to the more or less 
copious supply of fuel which such spots communicate. 

This opinion I at present merely glance at ; as it is my intention on a fu- 
ture occasion lo examine its validity, as well as to trace out the othersonrcea 
from which heat is derived, and to take a survey of the laws by which it Is 
regulated. It will form a progressive part of that investigation to follow up 
the general nature of light ; to try the question whether it be a substance or 
a property ; and if a substance, whether distinct from or a mete modificatioD 
of heat. 1 shall at present only observe, that, in one of the latest opinions 
of the philosopher to whom I have Just adverted, it is not only a substance, 
but the source of all visible substances, and the basis of all worlds. 

Dr. Herschel has recently taken great pains to prove, but with no small 
degree of repugnancy to a former hypothesis of his, that the luminous fluid 
which so often appears in the heavens on a bright night, and ahoots streaks 
athwart them, ia dilTbaed light, existing independently of suns or stars, though 
perhaps originally thrown forth from them ; another kind of ethereal matter 
being sometimes united with that of light, and hence rendering it at timea 
capable of opacity. In this diffused state he calls every distinct mass a ne- 
bulosity; he conceives all its particles to be subject to the common laws of 
gravitation, or the centripetal force ; and that certain circumstances, unknown 
to us, may have occasionally produced a nearer approximation between some 
particles than between others ; whence the diituBed nebiilasity is, in such 
part, converted into a denser nucleus, which by its comparative proponde- 
lancy, must lay a foimdsiion for a rotatory motion, and attract and deter- 
mine the circumjacent matter still more closely to itseU^ vad conse^umtlyi 
di m i n is h the extent of the nebuloui mi£k 


Tfie DDcIei thus uiaing may soiiietiniea be double or triple, or >till more 
complicated ; and whenever tiiis occurs, the nebulosity wiU be brokea into 
different nebulK, or Binaller nebulous clouds ; and if ROme of them be much 
minuter than others, the minuter may at length attend upon the larger, as 
SBtelliteB upon a planet : and Dr. Herschel gives instances of all these pheno- 
nwDa actually completed, or in a train of completion, in different parte of Uu 
▼iiible heavens. 

Such he Bubmits as his latest opinion of the general construction of the 
heavens ; belie ving^lars, planets, and comets to have originated, and to be 
■till originating, from such a source ; the nebulous matter contained in a cu- 
bical space seen under an angle of len degrees demanding a condenaation of 
two tnllton and two hundred and eight thousand billion times before it can 
be BO concentrated as to constitute a globe of the diameter and density of om 

Some of these masses of light are indistinct and barely visible even by Dr. 
Herschel's forty feet telescope ; and he hence calculates, that if a mass Ihua 
tracedout contain a cluster of five thousand stars, they must be eleven mil- 
lions of millions of millions of miles off. H. Huygens entertained an analtK 
Sous idea: and conceived that there are stars so immensely remote, thatthejr 
ght, although travelling at the rate of eleven millions of miles in a minute, 
and having thus continued to travel from the formation of the earth, or for 
nearly six thousand years, has not yet reached us. 

But this sublime conception is of much earlier origin ; and it is due to the 
magnificence of the Epicurean scheme to state that it is to be found com- 
[detely developed among its principles. Lucretius has beautiAilIy alluded to 
It in bnes of which I must beg your acceptance of the following feeble trans- 
lation, the only difference being, that lightning or the electric fluid, is here 
employed instead of light, at least by Havercamp ; for Voasius, in the Ley- 
den edition, gives us light for lighlnaig, reading lumuia instead of Jvbmna. 
The poet is speaking of the immensity of space : — 

WkU OnM niM on boandl 0>r M Inad mUs, 

ImiDMBiiiV, indlmncasmUT ifinail, 

Fnn afB m ■■■ nqilaailaii Uftiiiilnfi am. 

In nln, iMr A^ IMnMul I dlaut, Mll^ 

And ■nr dlmn nan the nrfs orOUifli, 

Sd nil Utt (pxa or spMlu (faca Iku nnlla, 

T)ma|lk omr pan H loBidia illkt.* 

From this immense range of nebulous light Dr. Herschel derives eometa, 
as well as stars and planets, believing them, indeed, to be the rudiments of 
the two Utter ; and he has especially noticed, as originating from tiiis source, 
the well-remembered comet that so brilliantly, and for so long a period of time, 
visited onr horizon during tlie close of the year 181 1 j which he ctmeeiTee 
wiU be converted into a stellar or planetary orb as soon as its lominona mat- 
ter, and especially that of its enormoua tail, shall be sufficiently concentrsied 
for this purpose. This tail he calculated, when at its greatest apparent 
stretch in October of the same year, at something more than a bundml mil- 
lions of miles long, and nearly fifteen millions broad, though its bright or 
solid nucleus or plaoetary body was not supposed to measure more than four 
bmidredand twenty-eight miles. Its perihelion path, or nearest a{mro«ch to the 
tan, is stated M a distance of ninety-seven millions of miles, ite distance from 
the earth at ninety-three miUiona. The comet of 1B07 approached the earth 
within sizty-oue millions of miles, or about a third nearer the earth, and that 

Dinna'ln, nmndo 

Earat idB iiaiBim jMtM iDfiu ajte nbw^ 

FlmMH mavOi, 1b nmBtH BDitliaa fMM> 

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or I6S0 wlthia a ■istii of ita diameter, or u near as 147,000 milei^ ita tail b^ 
iiiE of alike length. 

There ie one comet, however, that ws eeem to be aomewhat better ae- 
quainied with than wil)i tliia that paid ua ao near a viait, or indeed than with 
any other, rrom its having approached iia vieibiy for foai times in aucceaaion, 
if not oftener. It was towards the begianingf of last century that Mr. Halley 
wuB struck with the remark, that the general elements and character of the 
comets observed in 1631, 1607, and 1683, were nearly the same ; whence he 
concluded that the whole formed but one identical body, that took about 
Bereiity-siz years to complete ita eccentric orbit; and hence, allhoufj^ ia 
consequence of this eccentricity, and its travelling emid a range of heavenly 
bodiea that are altogether invisible to us, and wnoae influence seems to tiid 
defiance to calculation, it is difficult to fonn an estimate of ita progress, be 
ventured to suggest, that it would appear again, making due allowances for 
these incidents, towards the close of 17&8, or the commencement of 1769 ; 

and he had the high aatisfaction of seeing his prediction verified; the comet 
paasing its perihelion March ISth, 1759, within the limits of the errors of 
which ne thought his results susceptible. It is apparently this comet, wbtch 

at this lost period only excited the curiosity of astronomers and mathemati- 
cians, that in 1466, or four revolutions earlier, towards the close'of what are 
onlled the dark agea, spread such consternation over all Europe, already, 
indeed, terrified by the rapid successes of the Turkish arms, tliat Pope Cu- 
Uxtus was Induced to compose a prayer for the whole western church, in 
which both the Turks and the comet were included in one sweeping ana^ 

Admitting the truth of Dr. Herschel's hypolbesis, as we are now contem- 
plating it, it is possible that some of the lately discovered planets, which an 
now attendant upon the sun, were formerly comets, whose orbits have fot 
ages been growing progressively more regular, as well as their constitutional 
rudiments more dense' ; and such, indeed, is the opinion of M. Voigt, an<l of 
various other philosophers on the continent. 

The object of the present and the preceding lecture has been to submit s 
sketch of the most obvious properties belonging to tuma, so as to enable 
you to obtain a bird's-eye view of the general phenomena it is capable of as- 
suming, and the general changes it is necessarily sustaining. From the qua- 
lities I have placed before you, of passivity, cohesibility, divisibility, and at- 
tractions of various kinds, must necessarily result, according to the intensity 
with which they are called into action, the phenomena of liquidity, viscidity, 
toughness, elasticity, symmetry of arrangement, solidity, strength, and resi- 
lience. But the powers which thus perpetually build up the inoiganic world, 
and to this our survey has been entirely conflned, perpetually also destroy 
it ; for the whole, as I have had occasion to observe, is a continued circle of 
action ; a circle moat wise, most harmonious, most benevolent : and henot 
as one compound substance decays, another springs up in its place, and can 
only spring up in consequence of such decay. 

There is, however, another lesson, if I mistake not, which we may readily 
learn from these lectures, however imperfectly delivered, and which is alto- 
gether of a moral character: I mean that of humility, in regard to our own 
opinions and attainments ; and of complacency, in regard to those of othera. 
After a revolution of sti thousand years, during the whole of which period ol 
time the restless ingenuity of man has been inceasanily hunting in pursuit of 
knowledge, what is there in physical philosophy thai is thorouglily and per 
fectly known even at the present moment 1 and of the little, thai ia uns 
known, what is there which has been acquired without the clash of contro- 
versy and the warfare of opposing speculations 1 Truth, indeed,— for ev«i 
praised be the great Source of Truth, for so eternal and immutable a deeree 
— has at all times issned, and at all times will issue, from the conflict j bnl 
while we behold philosophers of tlie higtaest reputation, philosophers equally 
balanced in the endowment of native genius, proved by the great teachei 
Time to have beat alternately "'i«mfcw iipon poinls to which toey bad boo 


taOy dinotad the wbole Bcomen of their intellect, how abiord, bov eOD- 
tamptible U the fond confidence of common life I Yet vhat, indeed, wkm 
(oiily eatimatod by the survey that has now been briedy taken of the HneiUa 
noiTene, — what ii the aegregate opinion, or the ag^ncgate importanca of the 
whole human race! We call ouraelTes lords of the visible creation: nor 
ought we at any time, wilh affected abjection, to degrade or deapise the high 
cUtof a rational and immortal existence. — Yet, what is the visible creation t 
by whom peopled t add where are its entrances and outgoinga 1 Turn wher- 
ever we will, we are eqoally confounded and overpowered : the little and the 
great are alike beyond our comprehension. If we take the microacope, it no- 
folda to ns, as 1 observed in our last lecture, nving beings, probably endowed 
with as complex and perfect a structure an the whale or die ebptnnt, ao 
ninale that a million of millions of them do not occupy a bulk larger tbai^ 
common grain of sand. If we exchange the microacope for the telatsopa, 
we bebaJd man himself reduced to a comparative scale of almost infinitely 
smaller dimension, fixed to a minute planet that is scarcely jwreeptiUe 
througbout the vast extent of the solar system ; while this system itself lonna 
bat an insenatble point in the multiWdiDOus marahallinga of groups of worida 

— f worlds, above, below, and on every side of us, that spread 

e immensity ofspace, and in subUme, though silent harmony 

vpon groups of worlds, above, below, and on every side of us, that spread 
thrao^ all the immensity ofspace, and in subUme, thoug' " - ' 
deelan the glory of Gqd, and show forth his handy work. 


Thibk are some subjects on which the philosopher is obliged to exerciae 
neariy as much imagination as the poet; for it is the only faculty by which 
be can expatiate upon them. Such is a great part of the magniflceiit study 
upon which we have touched in our preceding lectures. Space, immensity, 
IhfinitT, pure inconrareal inlelli^nce, matter created out of notbing, innu- 
merable systems of worlds, and innumerable orders of beings ^where is the 
mind strong enough lo grapple with such ideas as these 1 They at once en- 
tice and overwhelm us. -Keason copes with them till she is exhausted, and 
(ben gives us over to conjecture. Hence, as we have already seen, inven- 
tion at times takea the place of induction, and the man of wisdoo^ has his 
dream as well as the man of fancy. 

Let ns descend from such magnificent flights ; let ns quit the possible for die 
actual; and equally incapable of following up the fugitive material of which 
tbe visible universe consists, into its elementarv principles and collective mass. 
let ns examine it as far as we are able, in the general laws, structure, ana 
I^aomena it exhibits in the solid substance of the globe on which we tread. 

It is this inquiry that constitutes the science of oiolooy, a brief outline of 
which ia intended as a study for the present lecture ; — a science than which 
few are of more importance, but which is only at present in its infanc;^, and 
of eoone almost entirely indebted for its existence to the unwearied assiduitj 
and discoveries of modem times. 

The direct object of geology is, to unfold tbe solid substance of the earth 
— 4> discover by what causes its several parts have been either arranged or 
disorganised— and from what operations have originated the general stratifl- 
eation of ita materials, the inequalities of its surface, and the vast variety of 
bodies that enter into its make. 

In porauiDg thia investigation, many difflcultiea occur to us. Tbe bam 
anrfaca, or mere crust of the earth's structure, is the whole we are capable of 
boring into, or of acquiring a knowledge of, even by the deepest clefts of vol- 
eaooas, or the deepest bottoms of different seas. It is not often, however, 
that we have thepower of examining either seas or volcanoes so low as to 
Ihair bottom, llie inhabitable part of tbe globe bears but a small proportion 

60 ' OB GEOLOOT. . 

to the aninhabiteble, and the civilized an aJmoat infinilely amBller pctmonioD 
BtiU. Hence our experience niuBl be extremely limited ; & thouarad fsets 
may be readily conceived lo be unfolded that we are incapabl« of aecooBl- 
iag for; and, at the same time, a variety of contradictory Dypotheaefl to be 
formed with a Tiew of accounting for them.' 

So far aa the superlicies of the earth haa been laid open to us by ravlnei, 
riven, mines, eartnquakes, and other causes, we ^nd il compoied of a multi- 
tude of stony masses, sometimes simple, or consiBltng- of a single mineral 
substance, as limestone, serpentine, orquartz; but more frequently compound, 
or constructed of two or more simple materials variously intermixed and 
united ; as granite, which ia abomposilion of quartz, felspar, and mica ; and 
sienite, which is a composition of felspar and bomblend. These atony masses 
or roeka are numerous, and they appear to be laid one over the other, so that 
a rock of one kind of stone is covered by a rock of another kind, and due 
second by a third kind, and so on, in many instances, for a very considerable 
number of times In succession. In this superposition of rocxa it is easily 
observable that tbeir situation is not arbitrary. Every stratum occupies a 
determinate place ; ao that they follow each oiner in regular order from the 
deepest part of the earth's crust, which has been examined, to the very sur- 
face. Thus there are two things respecting rocks which claim our peculiar 
attention — their composition and their relative situation. And independently 
of the rocks thus considered as constituting almost the whole of the eartb'a 
crust, there are other maesea of fossil materials tliat must be likewise 
minutely studied; which traverse rocks in a different direction, and are 
known by the name of veins ; as if the rocks had been split asunder in dif- 
ferent places from top to bottom, and the chasms had been afterward filled up 
with tne matter which constitutes the vein. And hence the viura whicti 
intersect rocks are as much entitled to our attention as the stbuctdbi and 
stTTTATiaN of the rocks themselves. 

Rocks, aa to their stbuctubx, may be contemplated under two divisiona, 
Ifiivlt and eoTnpovnd. 

The simple envision is, however, rather a speculative than a practical con- 
templation. It.iB possible that rocks, and of immense magnitude, may exist 
in parts of the globe we are not acquainted with, that are perfecity simple 
ana immixed in their structure; but it is seldom, perhaps never, that they have 
been actually found in such a state, at least to any considerable extent. 

It is only under a compound form, therefore, or as composed of more than 
one mineral substance, that rocks are to be contemplated in our present sur- 
vey of the subject; and in this form we meet with them of two kinds: 
CBanumD, or composed of graiaa, or nodules, agglutinated by a cement, as 
Mndstone and breccia or pudding-stone ; and AaaBBOATSD, or composed of 
parts connected without a cement, as granite and gneiss. The component 
parts of the cemented rocke are often vei^ multifarious ; those of granite and 
gneiss much less so, conaisiing chiefly of felspar, mica, and quartz, wiUi gar- 
nets, shorl, or hornblend occasionally intermixed with the mass. The gra- 
nite that forms the flag-stones of Westminster Bridge are supposed to luve 
been brought from Dartmoor; and, like the rest of the Dartmoor granite, ia 
remarkable for the length of its crystals of felspar, which in some instances 
are not less than four inches. 

The aggregate rocks, like the cemented, are sometimes found of an inde- 
terminate, but more generally of a determinate or regular form ; and it 
ia the office of that branch of mineralogy to which M. Werner has given the 
name o( oryelognoiy, to distinguish and describe them by these peculiarities. 
This is a branch into which f cannot plunge, for it would lead us from that 
^neral view of the science to which our present courae of study is direoted, 
into a detailed analysis. Those who are desirous of pursuing it in this line 
of developement may consult with great advantage Professor Jameaon'a Sys- 
tem of Mineralogy, or M. Brogniarl's Traits El^mentaire, or H. Cuvier'a 
Easayontbe Theory of the Earui.preflxed to hla Fossil Remaios. I can (mly 
observe, al present, that the total number of rooky ipasaea, or different kindt a 


iockai vhether simple or compound, which have been Miherto otMemdi 
■moant to about lixtyg of which (he principal aeem to be the eigfat following;; 
granite, gneiia, homblend, limestone, wacke, basalt, quartz, and clay. 

Let na next pass on, then, to consider their relative bithitioi*. Of the 
different rocks ihgs g-lanced al, and placed over each other, the whole cnut 
of ttw euth is composed, to the Erealest depth that the industry of man baa 
beenaUe to penetrste; and I have already observed, that with respect to 
each other, they occupy a determinate situation, which holds invariably in 
ever; part of the globe. Thus, lime^one, excepting under particular circum- 
stances, hereaAer to be explained, is nowhere found under granite, but always 
above it. This general view of the subject may, indeed, induce a 9U[^)o- 
flition that every separate layer which constitutes a part of the earth's sur- 
face ia extended round the entire globe, and wrapped about the central 
nucleus, like the coats of an onion; the kind of rock that is always lowest, or 
nearest the centre, uniformly supporting a second kind, and this second kind 
a third, and so on. Now, ih^^gh the differuni kinds or layers of rocks do 
not in reality extend round the earth in this itiiifemipted inanner — though, 
partly from the inequality of the hucleus on which they real, partly from theii 
own mequality dT thickness in different places, and pfuily from other causes, 
the contmuity is often interrupted — yet still we trace enough of it to eon< 
vince ua that the rocks which constitute the crust of the earth, when coa< 
templated upon a large scale, are every where the same, and that they inva- 
riably occupy a like situation with respect to each other. 

The labours of Mr. Kirwau and M. de Saussure gave the earliest hints upon 
this subject; and the geological theories of Professor Werner of Freyburg, 
tnd of H. de Cuvier ol^aris, are entirely founded on the aame. These theo- 
ries, though derived in some measure from different sources of mineralogical 
study, coincide not merely in their general outline, but in all their more pn^ 
^ minent parts, and only differ in their mode of accounting for the more limited 
or local deposites. . ' 

H. Werner, " from whom alone,''.to adopt the language of H. deCuvier, " we 
can date the commencement of real geology," so far as respects the mineral 
natures of the strata, divided in bis first view of the subject, all the varioua 
rock» that enter into the solid crust of the earth, into nve classes. 

Of tliAe the first class consists of those rocks which, if we were to mp- 
pose eacfi layer to be extended over the whole earth, would lie lowest, or 
nearest the centre, and be covered by aU'the rest ; it comprises seven distinct 
aets, aa .granite, gneiss, mica-slate, clay-slate, a peculiar kind of porphyry, 
sieBita, and a peculiar kind of serpentine. Of these granite lies the under- 
most, and sienite the upperinost; and in the midst of several of them we meet 
with beds of 'not less tlwt eight other kinds of rock, as though dropped into 
. them by accident — as topaz, another kind of porphyry, serpentine, limestone,'' 
flinl-alale,'and trap, q^usrts, and gypsum ; which are hence called subordinate 
r*cks of this alasa, and wbid) extend the whole number of sets belonging to 
it to fifteen. 

Thesi ar^siipppBed to have been earliest produced, and when the earth • 
first emerged. from a state ef chaos to a state of order; and are hence deno- 
minated pRuiiTiTa fouhAtiohs. They are distinguished hy the following 
character. Not s single relic of either animal or vegetable petrifaction ia to 
be fotmd in any of them. The loiVermost or older contain no carbonaceous 
natter; which is discoverable but very sparingly in the superior or newer. 
Thev are al) chemical combinations, and generally crystallized ; the cryat^ 
lixed qnearsncc beioR most perfect in the olde8t,Hnd gradually becoming less 
perfect in the newer fonnationB. I have already observed that the whole of 
this scale of formations does not regularly coat the nucleus of the earth ; so 
litUe so, indeed, that sometimes even the granite itself, the lowermost rock 
of all, is left bare, and not pressed down or coated hy a deposite of any other 
kind of rock : and so of the rest. Wherever this deficiency takes place, the 
foek thus leR at liberty rises uniformly higher than it is found to do when 
pnaaed upon and invested with ita coniiBOo coatinga; Bat every rock doea 


Boti under rach circnmstaoeea, riae equallj higb> ot with an equal degnc ot 
fteedom ; for grantle rises highest oi all ; and hence ire frequently And it 
Gomposing the tops of our loftiest chains of mountains, as well as the basis 
of the earth's solid crust. It forms the gtvat body of the Swiss nu 
and the Alps, though gneiss is here also found in great abundance. 

The level of gneus, when left at equal liberty, is a little lower than that of 
tmiite. It conalitutea the vast mass of the Carpathian mountains, tbiu 
diride Transylvania and Hungary from Poland. 

The level of mica-slate is lower than (hat of gneiss, and the level of clay- 
slate lowest of all. So that there is a regular sinking of these respectivo 
levels from granite to clay-elate : while the newer porphyry and sienite are 
often laid over their summits, as though these two formations had been da- 
posited long after the prodnction of the others ; an idea which is still farther 
strengthened by our meeting occasionsJly with a bed of breccia, or pudding- 
stone, composed of fragments of the older or lower rocks, capping the gneiss, 
granite, or other formation before (he porphyry or sienite has been deposited. 

The srcoim cuss of roctis, ar that which, wTien the number of coatings is 
complete, lies immediately over the preceding, consists of gray-wacke uate, 
and a peculiar kind ef limestone, greenstone, and amygdalcfl ; togedier with 
aabordinate masses of the proper primitive formations, eienile, poiphyry, and 
granite ; as thous-h some portions of these had become ciyst^lizM after the 
rest, along with Ine nest layers in succession, or had been separated from tha 
parent rocks by some early commotion. Gray-wacke, which ia a concreta 
term, denolinga conglomerate rock of a peculiar kind, having a basis of clay- 
slate, and being studded or otherwise Intersected wiiJi portion* of quartz, fel- 
spar, and scales of mica, may be exemplified by what in Cornwall is called 
k*Uas, a far more euphonous word ; and hence gray-wacke and grey-wacka 
slate may be dlslinguished by the terms amorphoK and tc/tittote lullas. Tha 
Cornish killas lies directly over the granite of that county, which possesses 
the rharactet ascribed by Werner to granite of the highest antiquity.* 

Theee formations, for the most part, irregularly alternate with each other, 
instead of preserving one regular and successive order, as the different sets 
of the primitive formations dot excepting that the limestone appears usnaUy 
undermost, and placed, as (he basis of the rest, upon the sienite oruppennost 
of the first class. It is in this second class of formations that pelrifactifms 
first make their appearance ; and it deserves particular attention that they an 
nniformly confined, both in the animal end vegetable kingdoms, to those of 
the lowest links in the scale of organization'; and even among these to spe- 
fiies which are al present altogether unknown, and which appear therefore to 
be totally extinct. Thns the animal petrifactions consist entirely of ammo- 
nites, mytililes, unknown corals, and other zoophytic worms; and ttie vego- 
table petrifaulions of reeds, ferns, and other palm-like plants, mosses, and 
Other cryptogamic productions, which occupy the lowest part in the sc^ of 
vegetable life, as zoophytic worms do among animals. It is here, also, Oiai 
caroonaceouB matter, whish is chiefly of vegetable origin, first mtdies its ap> 
pearance in any considerable auantity. 

To this class of rocks, thereiore, M. Werner has given the name of Tujmi- 
ntm TOBMi.TioHH ; as believing them to have been produced while the earth 
was iu a state of transition from inorganic matter to organic life,— from an 
uninhabited to an inhabited ccmdition. The date of their formation, however, 
is proved even from their natural appearance, to have been very remote i 
since, as already observed, the whole of the petiif net ions which they contain 
consist of plants and animals, not only of Ute very lowest species, but which 
now seem to be altogether extinct. 

The THiBD cLtaa of rocks Is denominated tloktz, that is, ruT or loaixm- 
TAL roiuuTions, in consequence of their usually appearing in beds much 
more nearly horizontal than the preceding. They lie immediately over the 
transition-class, and consist of the twelve following distinct sets of rock, each 


•( iMA i> ^:eneraUf fonad in a paiticular flitufltion ; sanditone of diSin>eiit 
Unda, and differently amnged, tbree sets ; limestone, three aete ; gypeum, 
two Mta; calamine; chaJk; coal; trap. The trap osually coven the whole 
of thia claas, as the newer porphyry and aienite cover the primitive forma- 
liona : the relative poaition of the reat is more variable. The floetz or hori- 
zontal elaaa ia characteriaed by its containing an abundance of petrifactions 
in every ana of its sets, and these of known animal and vegetable kinds ; 
tbottgh atill, of those that occupy the lower parts of the acale, as shells, 
fiahes, the fishei mnch mutilated, a few tortoiaee, ferns, pines, and reeds ; in- 
dicating that they were formed at a period in which organized beiiiga of this 
character abonuied, bat in which those of odier duincters did not exist, or 
but rarely. • 

'Dm room cuss of formations, mider the Wemerian system, is denomi- 
nated AUOTuju, and constitutes the great mass of t)ie actual surface of the 
earth's solid crast. They have been evidently produced by the gradual ac- 
tion of tain, river-water, air, and the elastic gases, upon the other classes, and 
majr, comparatively, be considered as very recent formations, or rather as de- 
poaitM, whoae formations are still proceeding. They may be divided into 
two kind* t Iboao deposited in the valleys of mountainous districts, or those 
elevated [daina whlen often occur in moDntaius, and those deposited upon flat 

The first kind conilats of sand, gravel, and similar materials, which conf U- 
tnted part of the neighbouring mountaini in their original state, and which 
lem^Dt notwithstanding that these less durable inrin have been ibus washed 
or tdown away. They sometimes contain ores, which bUo Bxisted in the 
nefghbouring moimtains, and have been carried down by the agency of rain, 
aiTt or the uaatic gMcs. The ores principally discovered in such sitoations 
•re those of gold and tin ; and these soils are often washed in order to se- 
parate them. Beda of loam are also occasionally met with on the plains of 
mountains, formed of the decomposed elemenla of animal and vegetable 
bodiea that once occupied their sides. 

lihe second kind of alluvial depositee, or that which occupies the flat land, 
aonsiati of loam, clay, sand, marl, calcsinler, and ealctuff, or stalactitia tnfa, 
the basis of our common petrifactions ; and which is found very largely in 
Sweden, Oennany, and Italy, clothing with a calcareous, coat the smaller 
branches of trees, leaves, prickles, moss, and other minute plants ; eggs, 
birds, and birds' nests ; preserving them from decay, by defending them froia 
the action of the air. The clay and sand Eometimes contain petrified wood { 
and in many parts are found the skeletons of quadrupeds, even of the lai^eat 
magnitades, as we shall have occasion to observe hereafter.* Here, also, 
OCeur earths and brown coal (in which is often traced mineral amber), wood, 
ooal, bituminous wood, and bug iron ore. 

The LiST, or dwsbmobt, of ths nva ci.Aasis of rocks of the Wemerian sys- 
tem, ia denominated ToLcuno fomutiors ; and consists of two distinct seta> 
HilM and true. 

The false comprise mineral SQbstances which have experienced a change 
from the combustion of beds of coal situated in the neighbouriiood : the chief 
nineials which are thus altered are porcelain, jasper, earth, slag, burnt-clay, 
columnar clay, ironstone, and, perhaps, polishing slate. 

The real volcanic minerals are those which have been thrown out of the 
crater of a volcaiw, and consist of three kinds : first, those which, having 
- been discharged frequently, have formed the crater itself of the mountain; 
eecondiv, those which have rolled down in a stream, and are known by ths 
name of lavaa : and, thirdly, the residual matter contained in the water which 
is on«) ejected, composed of ashes and other li);ht substsnces, and whicht 
when renoemd solid by evaporation, is denominated volcanic tuff or tufa. 

I have observed that these different classes of mineral formations are often 
tanned in Tsrioua directions by other mineral siAslancea which are called 

•■nsalMlLlMta. rti wriitlnsl ij^m. imt tTw ilMlnnirn rJamwi nf ■Hiwli 


Tum, ai if tlie rocks they compose had split uunder in difierent placei fron 
top to botlom, and the chums bad been afterward filled up from other 
sources. These transTcrse liaes or veins are worthy of notice in regard to 
their th^>e and the tubitaata with which they are filled. 

With respect to their tAope, they appear to be almost always widest abore, 
and gTHdualiy to diiniaish as they aeepen, till at last they tennioate in a 
point; exactly as if Ibey had been originally fissures in the rock. Occa- 
sionally, indeed, they are observed to widen and contract alternately in dif- 
ferent parts of their course ; but this is by no means a common appearance. 

Sometimea they are partially or altogether empty; and in this case they 
are real fissures, and are so denominated ; but generally they are filled with 
matter more or less simple, and more or less different from the rock 
through which they pass. All the formations I have already noticed as 
existing in the shape of locks bave also been found in the shape of veins : 
whence we have veins of granite, porphyry, limestone, basalt, wacke, green* 
stone, quartz, clay, felspar, pit-coal, common salt, and metala of every kind. 
When the veins are compound, or consist of a variety of substances, these 
substances are almost always disposed in regular layers ; one species of 
mineral constituting a central line or cylinder, and this being incrusted with 
a, second mineral, and the second with a third, and in the same manner to 
the utmost sides of the veins. These layers are occasionally very numerous ; 
that of the vein Georgius, at Freyburs, consists of not less than nine, and 
there is another in the same district, which, nccording to M. Werner extends 
to thirteen. It is not unruaminon to flud veins crossing each other in the same 
rock ; and when this occurs, one of the veins may be traced passing through 
the other without any interruption, and completely culling it in two, the ct 
vein always separating and vanishing at the point of InteTsection. 

Nothing appears more obvious than that these veins must bave been origi> 
nally fissures produced by some unknown violence in the rocks in which they 
occur; and it is highly probable, as conjectured by M. Werner, that the mine- 
ral materials which constitute them have been deposited slowly from above 
during the formation of the different classes or sets of rock of which the dif- 
ferent layers consist, while the rocks in which they occur were covered with 
water. Upon this theory veins are of courae newer than the rocks in which 
they are met with, and which must have split to bave produced them: and 
where two veins cross each other, that is obviously the newest that traverses 
the adjoining without interruption, as the fissures constituting the second vein 
must have been formed after the first was filled up. 

The nvt classes of rock formations we have thus far considered are those 
which entered into Professor Werner's system, as it first made its appearttiice. 
Tbev are supposed to exist over the globe generally, and to be independent 
of chorographic or typographic changes, and have hence been still farther 
denominated OHtvaasAL roBMATioNS. - 

M. Werner has since, however, been induced to add to these a hiitu class, 
consisting of what he has called pabtul or loch, fobuatioks : comprising 
those which are so olten found in vast hollows or basins of particular coun- 
tries ; the materials of which are, in many instances, strangely intermixed, 
and have probably been carried down into such basins by circumacribed 
deluges, produced by an exundation of rivers or seas, occasionally alter- 
nating with each other, or by other partial disruptions. We have here, there- 
fore, reason to expect, — what in fact is perpetually met with, — a motley 
combination of whatever substances may have existed in the course of sucli 
seas or rivers or rifted soils, with masses or fragments of most of the omraa. 
a*i. roBiUTioirB, alternate beds of marine, and fresh water alluvions, and, 
consequently, animal and vegetable remains of all kinds. 

The composite rocks that fill up the great basin around Paris, in which tho 
skeletons of so many unknown animals, even quadrupeds of the bogest size, 
elephants, hippopotami, tapirs, mammoths, and other pachyderm atous, or 
thick-skuinecl monsten, have been discovered, are of this local foRMATtoir. 
The celebrated quarries of Miungen, on the Rhine, are of a like kind ; and 


fteW) having been eiroaeoaaiy reg&rded of the same antiqpitf aa WeTiiei*B 
mnnuAL rouuTiom, have beeti appealed to bj varioiu writers aa affording 
proofs of the falsity of his theory,* 

' We have other instances of this focal formation in'many parts of our own 
conntry, and particulaily near the banks of the Thames. Mr. Trimmer has 
^Ten an interesting account of the substrate of two fields in the f icioity of 
Brentfopd, that are loaded with the organic lemains of the larger kiode of 
qnadrupeds; as bones of elephants, approaching to both the Astatic and the 
African species ; horns of deer, apparently as enormous as those dug up in 
Ireland ; bones of the bos genus ; and teeth and bones of the hippopotamus; 
the last very abundant, and intermixed with fresh water shells,T and other 
fresh water relics. 

Occasionally, however, marine remains are foimd intermingled with eocii 
animal fossils and composing their beds instead of those of fresh water ; and 
not unfrequently layers of the one kind, as in the basin of Paris, are irreKtt- 
larty sunnonnted by layers of the other. But no human skeletons are dis- 
covered in the midst of any of these rocks, although the bones of man are 
u capable of preservation as those of any other animal : the only known 
instance o{ this sort being that imported into our own country from Guade- 
loupe by Sir Alexander Cochrane, and which is now exhibited in the British 
Hoseum, imbedded in a block of calcareous stone ; a very accurate descrip- 
tion of which has been published in the Philosophical Tiansaotiont by Mr. 

It IS hence obvious, that the catastrophes which involved these enormous 
qnadrupeds in destruction must have occurred at a period when mankind had 
no existence in the regions which are thus overwhelmed; and in some places 
overwhelmed alternately bv disruptions and inundations of sea and of fresh 
water. And it is equally obvious, that as the fossil bones are not rolled or 
violently distorted, or deprived of their natural contour, such remains have 
not been brought to their present beds from a distance ; but that the deluge 
must have been sudden, and overtaken them in their natural resorts; and 
hence may, in many ca<es, have swept away all the individuals of a speciea 
tai a common calamity. 

T^re is, however, a great difficulty with some naturalists in conceiving 
that such animals as the elephant, ihe tapir, the rtiinoceros, the hippopotamnst ' 
the mammoth, or mastodon, animals now only found in the lomd regions, 
could have existed in these northern parts of the globe. H. de Harschall 
endeavoured by one sweeping stroke of the fancy to solve this, as well as 
that of the extreordinary fragments in which they are ol^en imbedded, and 
held out that the whole have fallen at different times, like meteoric stonest 
ftom heav^n-t The real difficulty, however, vanishes in a considerable de- 
fieei if not entirely, when we reflect, that altbough the torrid regions furnish 
us with some of theee genera, they do not appear in any instance to contain 
the mme precise species as are traced among the large fossil quadrupeds of 
the northern and colder parts : and hence it is no argument, that because the 
habits of the extant species do not qualify them for a residence in these lat- 
ter regions, such situations might not have furnished a comfortable home to 
the species whose remains are found among us. The fossil species do not 
differ less from the living to which they mate the nearest approach, (han 
various animals Uiat are familiar to us do from others that belong to the same 
tribes, and which are found, under one species or other, over the whole world, 
llie race of horses, of swine, or of sheep, furnishes us with abundant exam- 
ples of this remark: and that of dogs affords perhaps a still more striking 
Uustration; for while under one form, that of the itatu or Arctic fox, the 
eanis I^igtmu of LinnKus, we And it in the northernmost coast of America, 
•nd even tne frozen sea, living in clefts, or burrowing on the naked mouo- 



Mbw, aad in that of the almoat Infinite rarieUeB of the cJamOtarit or dome^ 
tic dog, in the boiom of our own conntry,— in the form of tii« c. sureuf, 
chacai or Jackal, we meet with it in the WHrmest parts of Asia and Baibarr, 
prowling at ni^ht in flocka of one or two hundred individuals. 

The extensive tusbiucb or put-fiium, which are so common to man^ 
parts of Enrope, are produced by an accumulation of the remains of aphas- 
nnm and other aquatic moasea. These surround and cover up the small 
knolls upon which they are formed; or, in many places, descend alonr tha 
TslleysaAer the manner of the glaciers of Switzerland; but, while the latter 
melt away every year at their lower edges, the moaaea are not checked by 
any obstacle in their regular increase ; and as such increase takes place in 
deleimiaate proportions, by sounding their depth to the solid ground we may 
ftinn some eatimate of their antiquity. 

The ordinary rise of those extensive ranges of nowva which are eeen 
■kirting the coaats of many conntries, and especially when the shore is not 
very bold, is a mixed effort of aea and wind. To produce this, however, the 
•oil thtA the sea washes over must consist of sand. This is first pushed in 
anccesaive Hdes towards the shore ; it nest becomes dry, by being left there 
at every reflux of the sea; and la then drifted up the beach, and to a consi* 
deratde distance from the beacli, by the wiuda which are almost always blow- 
ing from the sea, and ohen in whirls or eddies ; and are at length fixed by 
the growth of wild plants, whose seeds are in like manner wafted about on 
the wioga of the breeze, or rnaually dropped with the exeretlona of birds or 
Other animals tbat pass over them. In several parts, observes M. Cuvier, 
these proceed with a frightful rapidity, overwhelming forests, houses, and 
cultivated fields in their irresistible progreas. Those on the coast of the 
Bay of Biscay have actually buried a considerable number of Tillages whosa 
extatence is noticed in the records of the middle ages. And even m the pre- 
aent day they are threatening not fewer than ten distinct hamlets with almost 
inevitable destruction : one of which, named Mimigan, has been in perpetual 
danger for upwards of twenty years, from a sand-hiU of more than sixty feet 
in perpendicular height, ptoduced by the cause we are now contemfdatjng, 
and wtiich is very obviously augmenting.* 

"niere are various forelands on the coasts of the North Bes, and particulariy 
OD those of the counties of Sleswigh and Holstein, which are formed in the 
•ame manner.f But the moat extraoriJinan' inroads of sand storms and 
sand Soods are, perhapa, those which have talien place in the Libyan Pesert 
and in Lower Egypt. M. Denon informs us, in his travels over this part of 
the world, that the summits of the ruins of ancient citiea buried under moun- 
tains of drifted sands still appear externally; and that but for a ridge of 
mountains, called the Libyan Chain, which borders the left bank of the 
Nile, and forms a barrier against the invasion of these sands, the shores of 
the river, on that side, would long aince have ceased to be b^itahle. 
"Nothing," says M. Denon, "can be more melane holy, than to walk over 
Tillages swallowed by the sand of the desert, to trample nnder foot the roofs 
of their houses, to strike against the tops of their minarets, and to reflect, 
that yonder, in days of yore, were cultivated fields, that hard by were groves 
of flourishing trees, and the dwellings of men close at hand; — and that alt 
has new vanished."! 

The various tsumm that spot the surface of the sea have arisen from diflbr^ 
ent cauaes. Many of them have been merely separated from tiie adjohiio^ 
continent by the inroad of the sea itself upon the mainland ; others have 
been thrown up by volcanoes, which have at times disgorged prodigious 
Mocks of granite among the mixed materials, such as are nequentfy found in 
the Danish archipelago.ln the midst of the geat, or alluvial matter, which has 
collected around them. . Other islands are altogether the masonry of madre- 

• X«poR«i]nniSD(iaalo«iu erauOiilf o<'etaHaBT,DTta'arBI««T,liyX.Tuiriti,SaRik^br 
WS.U.I. CbtIk, TI)«Tortll*BvUl,t)l. t I>*,TsntMa«OIlKlqDW,tMa.L 

^ J™™** IfatM nQOiTTtort ■nidMT.fctni. IIT. (>iiiipB«Ik>UiBilai«kaatriiaSDi<nnJni^d* 


e&ormouB belts of coral reefs. Host of the calcareous zoophytes : 
plOT«d in their construction, but the principal wttna is the madrepora IvbrktOa 
at LinnKus. 

In so large an abundance, and with so much facility, ii calcareous matter 
elaboiated by these, as welt as by various other animals, and especially the 
testaceous worms, that M, Cuviei is inclined to ascribe all the calcareous 
rocks that enter into the lolid crust of the earth to an animal origin.* But 
this is to suppose the earth of a far hi^er antiq^uity, and to have been Ihs 
iobject of more numerous general deluges, and mveraiona of sea and land, 
dianate called for by the Wemerian system, orappearreconcileable with the 
Hoaaie narrative. M. Cuvier apprehends, indeed, that such catastrophea may 
have occurred five or six times in succession, at a distance of fonr, five, or 
aix thousand years from each other { and that even thechfllli form ation found 
in the basin of Paris originated in a revolution of this kind that occurred an- 
teoedently to Uut which is nsuBlly regarded as the food of Noah. And, fol- 
lowing up this idea, he conceives, towards the close of his introductory 
Thecny of the Earth, that if the science of fossil organic pToducljons oould 
be carried to a much higher degree of perfection, we should be able to obtain 
for fiiUer information upon this subject ; " and man, to whom only a short 
■^aceof time is allotted upon the earth, would have the glory of rcatoringlA* 
kulory of ihoiaaiuii t^ aga-mhidipnctded tht taittenee ^tlukunum race, and 
of thousands of animwh tlat never were contemnoraneous with his species." 

oir oioLooT. 

Ii Our last Study I attempted a brief sketch of the chief jAenomena that 
occur to the eye of the geologist upon asurvey of the solid crust of the earth, 
as far as he is able to penetrate into it. The concluaion to which snch phe- 
nomena lead us is the following : that the rudimental materials of the globe, 
to the utmost depths we are able to trace them, existed at its earliest period, 
in one confuaed and liquid masa ; that they were afterward separated, and ar- 
ranged by a progreaaive seriea of operations, and a uniform system of lawa, 
the more obvious of which appear to be those of gravity and crystallization ; 
and that they have since been convulsed and dislocated by some dreadful 
commotion and inundation that have extended to every region, and again 
thrown a great part of the organic and inorganic creation into a promiscuous 

Now, the only two causes that can enter into the mind of man as being 
competent to the fluidity that apppears at first to have existed throughout the 
whole cmst of the earth are riai, or a peculiar sotyairr. But, if a solvent, 
that solvent must have been wmn : for there is no other liquid in nature 
in sufficient abundance to act the part of a solvent upon a scale so extensive. 

And hence our inquiries into this subject become in some degree limited, 
and are chiefly confined to what have been called the Plutonic and the N». 
TcmiN hypotheses ; the origin of the world in its present state from igneous 
fusion, and from aqueous solution. Both these theories are of very early 

wmenMli>U»:.aiviileartala. tnisL , 

mrrtbtBi VH orttfuUT Sold ; tliitl IbiM nnlvvMl duidfm it.- — 

orDftUangaiauDi laths BnifaimirUialliniigr; ill alcuwnM ouUi « Um lal 

n OK GEOLoay. 

date, and both or them have been agitBted in ancient ae well as in modem 
times mthacoaeiderabledegreaol waniith ae well as or plausible argumenL 

Among the ancienle, Heracltiua seems to have headed the adTOcatea for the 
former theorv, and Thales, or rather Epicurus, the aupport«n or tiie latter. 
In what may' be regarded as madem times, Hooke may, perhaps, be held the 
reviver of the Plutonic system, which has since, as I nave already observed, 
been supported by the cosmological doctrines of BufTon and Dr. Herschel. 
Ite principal champions, however, in the present day are Dr. Hutton, Pro- 
feasor Ptayfair,* and Sir James Hall ; names, unquestionably, of high literary 
rank, and entitled to the utmost deference, but most powerfully opposed by 
(he distinguished authorities of Werner, whose system I have just glanced 
at, Saussure, Kirwan, Cavier, and Jameson, not to mention that the general 
Toice of geologist! is very considerably in favour of the latter class of philo- 
eophen, and consequently of the Neptunian or aqueous hypothesis. Let vm, 
then, take a brief view of each of these theories in their order. 

AccordingtotheformeT,Dr the Plutonic conjecture, heat is the great somrce, 
got only of the original production, but of the per3)etiial reproduction of 
(hinea. Tbis theory supposes a regular alternation of decay and renovation. 
Of decoy induced by the action of light, air, and other gases, rain, and other 
WAlera, upon the hardest rocks, by wnich they are worn down and their par 
tides progressively carried towards the ocean, and ultimately deposited in 
its bed ; and of rtnoTiation, by means of an immense subterranean beat, con- 
stantly present at different depths of the mineral regions; which operates in 
the fusion and recombination of the materials thus carried down end contained 
there, and afterward in their sublimation and re-exposure to view in new 
■trata of a more compact and perfect character. Hence, the existing strata 
of every period consist, upon this theory, of the wreck of a former world, 
more or less completely fused and elevated by the agency of violent heat, and 
reeonsolidated fay subsequent cooling: of the general nature of which heat, 
however, we are still left in a considerable degree of ignorance. "It is not 
fire, in the usual sense of the word," observes Mr. Playfair, ** but heat, which 
is required for this purpose; and there is nothing chimerical in supposing 
that natute has the means of producing heat, even in a very great degree, 
without the assistance of fuel or of vitu air. Friction is a source of neat 
unlimited, for what we know, in its extent ; and so, perhaps, are other ope- 
rations, chemical and mechanical ; nor are either combustible substances or 
vital air concerned in the heat thus produced. So, also, the heat of the sun's 
rays in the form -of a burning-glass, the most intense that is known, is inde- 
pendent of the substance just mentioned ; and though the heat would not cal- 
cine a metal, nor even burn a piece of wood, without oxygenous gas, it would 
doubtless produce as high a temperature in the absence as in the presence of 
that gns."T 

This subterranean heat, moreover, is supposed to derive a rerr considera- 
ble accession of power from the vast superincumbent wei^t tnat is perpe- 
tually pressing upon its materials; in confirmation of which a variety of 
curious experiments are appealed to, and especially a very ingenious set lately 
carried into effect and described by Sir James Hall, by which it has been 
rendered probable, that when the gases of any fusible substance, as the car- 
bonic acid of carbonate of lime, for example, are rendered incapable of flying 
oB, a much less quantity of actual heat is sufficient for the purpose of fusion 
than when such gases, freed from a heavy compression, can escape with 
facility. Now, the subterranean heat being supposed to exist at prodigious 
depths below the surface, the substances on which it operates must be so 
enormously compressed, as not only to render them easily fused, but in 
many instances to prevent their volatilization after the fusion has takeik 
place ; and from this circumstance it is possible, we are told, to explain a 
variety of appearances and qualities in minerals, and to answer a vanety of 
) <^istians which would otherwise weigh heavy against the general theory. 

~Il[inliM>iM» lY iNi ITiiftniilm TTi—T nf flu F«wi» BdlDb. Un. ftUAi 



To (lie loiodple of an alternate decay and renovation, oepaiatad Inm tba 
weane bf wbicn they are tof^Kiaed, upon this iheoiy, to be aceompliBbed, 
there aeems to be no ver; aerioua objection. It ia as readity allowea by the 
Neptunian as by the Plntouic geologist, that the strata of the earth are liable 
to waate, and are, indeed, perpetually wasiiog ; and that the waste raaleriali 
are carried forward to tlie Hea. But the appearance of shells in limestone 
and marbles, in which the sparry structure is as perfect as In primary lime- 
stone, and throDgh which are distributed veins oi crystallised carbonate of 
lime, together with a variety of similar facts, fatally militate against tiie 
agency of heat as a universal cause ; since, in such case, allowing it to have 
been sufficient to produce the general eflecC of crystallization, every vestige 
of tbo structure of the shells mast have been destroyed, and every atom of 
the cBibonic acid totally evaporated. 

It is, secondly, useless to argue, that there are other sources of heat than 
eombostioQ or deflagraiiOQ; because, admitting the fact to Mr. Playfair*B 
Utmost desire, it can be satisfactorily proved thai all these sources are at 
little capable of acting in the interior parts of the globe, to the extent sup- 
posed in the theory before us, as combustion itself, which is reliniguished by 
Its defenders ss incompetent to their purpose. But even allowinr the full 
operation of all, or of any one of these causes, we have no method pointed 
out to us b^ which this subterranean heat is duly preserved and regulated — 
no controllmg power that directs it to the proper place at the proper season, 
without which it must be as likely to prove a cause of bavoc and disorder a* 
of renovation and harmony. It is useless, therefore, lo pursue this theory 
any farther. Jn epile of ^e magnificence of its structure, (he universalitv 
of Its application, the plausibility of its appearance, and the talents with whicli 
it has been supported, it is built upon assumption alone j it lays down prin- 
ciples which it cannot support, and deals in fancy and conjecture rather than 
in solid facts and firm evidence. 

Let OS next, then, take a glance at the theory by which this is chiefly op- 
posed, and which, as I have already observed, is denominated the Nemmux. 

Under this hypothesis, the two substances that were first evolved out of the 
general chaos on the formation of the earth, and chemically united to each 
other, were hydrogen and oxygen, in such proportion as to produce water, 
which is a compound of these substances, and in such quantity as to be able 
to hold every other material in a state of thin paste or solution. Of the ma^ 
terisla thus held in solution granite is supposed to have been produced first, 
and in by far the greatest abundance. It hence, consolidated first, probably 
forms tne foundation of the superficies of the globe, aud perhaps toe entire 
nucleus of the globe itself; and, as has been already seen, while it constitutes 
the basis of every other kind of rock, rises higher than any of them. It con- 
sista, as we have already observed, of felspar, qiiartz, and mica, all which 
must therefore have concreted by a crystallization nearly simultaueons ; and 
from its containing no organic remains, it is obvious that it most have been 
formed prior to the existence of the animal and vegetable kingdoms. All the 
other rocks, upon this hypothesis, began to crystallize and consolidate after 
the formation of granite, in the order in which we have already traced them ; 
iitd some of these before (he whole of the granite was renaered perfecUy 
Ann, whence we trace beds of several of them in the granite formation itself; 
and as the aame kind of action appears to apply to the whole, we, in 
like manner, trace beds of the newer rocks successively in formations of those 
that are older; and, at last, remains of animal and vegetable materials, which 
are hence proved lo have had an existence coetaneous with the newer classes. 

The law of gravity appears to have operated through the whole of this pro- 
cess ; and hence water, as the least heavy material, must have risen to the 

lei^^ collected in such hollows as were most convenient for its reception: 
these hollows constitute the bed of the ocean- 
Water, thus collected in the cavity of the ocean, is carried by the atmoa- 
pfaeie over the,to(w of the most elerated mouutaine, on which it is precipi- 


n ON oEOLoor. 

tated in rain, and Tonni torrentj by which it retaniH with Tarions degrees of 
npiditjr into the common reaeiToir. This restlesi motion and pragreaa of the 
water m the form of rain or torrents graduallir attenuate and wear away the 
hardest rodko, and carry their detached parts to diatancee more or leae con- 
■iderable; whence we meet with limestone, claj, quartz, or flint, sand, and 
mineral ores, in places to which they do not naturally belonB-. The influence 
of the air, and the varying temperature of the atmosphere, facilitate the atte- 
nnation and destruction of these rocks. Heat acta upon their surface, and 
renders it more accessible, and more penetrable to the moisture, as it enters 
into their texture ; the Umeatone rocks are reduced by efflorescence.'and the 
air itaeir affords the acid principle by which the efflorescence is continued. 
Such are a few of the numerous causes that contribute to the disunion of 
concrete bodies, and powerfully co-operate with that wonderful fluid which 
alternately fonns and uuforma ; which creates, decomposea, and regenerates 
all nature. 

The immediate efl'ecta of water in the shape of rain ia to depress the moun- 
tains. But the materials which compose tbem must resist m proportion to 
their hardneae ; and hence we ought not to be surprised at meeting occasion- 
ally with peaks which bare stood firm amid the wreck of ages, and atiU i«- 
main to attest the original level of the mountain-breadths which have distq>> 
peared. These primitive rocks, alike inaccessible (o the assault of lime and 
to that of the once animated beings which cover the less elevated heights 
with their relics, may be considered as the origin of streams and riven. 
The water which falls on their summits flows down in torrents by theirlate- 
ral anrfaces. In its courae it wears away the soil upon which it is inccs- 
saalty acting. Ithollows out channels of a depth proportioned to its rapidihr, 
its quantity, and the hardness of the rock over which it paases, and at the 
same time cairiea along with it fragments of such stones as it loosens in its 

These atones, rolled by the water, strike together, and mutually break ofl' 
their projecting angles; and hence we obtain collections of rounded flints 
which line the beds of rivers, and of emaller pebbles which the sea is perpe- 
tually throwing upon the shores, often incrusted with a gravelly or calcareous 
edging. The powder which is produced by the rounding of the flints, or is 
washed down from the mountains, frequently stagnates, forms a paste, and 
agglutinates into fresh masses of the rocky matter of which it consists ; often 
imbedding flints and other materials, and constituting compound aubatances 
known by the nama of pndding-stones and grit-stones, which chiefly differ 
from each other in the coarseness or fineness of their grains, or in the cement 
which connects them. And if the water be loaded, as it often is, with mi- 
natety-divided particles of quartz, it will proceed to crystallize whenever it 
becomes quiescent ; and will form stalactites, agates, cornelians, rack-crys- 
tals, plain or coloured, according as it Is destitute of, or combined with, any 
eolonrin^ material: and if the material with which the water be impregnated 
be lime mstead of quartz, the cryatallization will be calcareous alahaster, or 

Many of the earths are now known to be metallic oxides, and all of them 
are auspeeted to be so: and hence a degree of heat capable of foaing 
them, and depriving them of the '>xygen which gives them their oxide form, 
will necessarily convert them into their metallic aiate. That such currents 
of heat, from electricity and other causes, are occasionally, and perhaps in 
different places perpetually, existing beneath the surface of the earth, the 
Neptunian ia as ready to admit aa the Plutonic geologist ; and hence the ori- 
gin of metallic minerala, of mioea, orea, ochres, and pyrites. 
' . ■ . . ■ \e matter eontj 

re us, to the cha. „ 

, „ e of shell and coral animals is 

pepetnally adding to the mass of its earths, and laying a foundation for ne# 
iriands and numerous beda of limestone, in which we very often perceivs 
iai^MsiODS of the shells firom which the toil has originated. On the other 

OIT a£OLOOT. 77 

Itand we obserre nmneroiiB qnantitiefl of r^elablMf both BiibBiuim and in- 
pnfleial, heaped and deposited together by currents or other cauaes, eontti- 
Xatiag diatinct atrata, which progressiTely become decomposed, loae their 
organimion, and coofonnd tneir own principles with those of the eartha. 
Hence the origin of pit-coal, and secondary schiata or slates ; to whicbi 
bowerer, the decomposition of animal aubstances has also lar^ly contributed. 
Hettce, too, the formation And extrication of a Tsriety of acids and slkalieat 
which have eaaentially adminiatered to the actual fbeaomem of the face of 
(he earth. 

llie action of volcanoee hu coulribated mnch in all ages, and ia still con- 
tribating in our own, to the preaent state of the earth's surface. We have 
daily proofa of the moantaiua which it has elevated, and have already noticed 
it aa one source of the oumerona islands thatstud the face of the ocean; and 
wehaTejost adverted to the aubterranean agencies of eleotricity, heat, water, 
and other gases and fluids which form ils fael. But the operation of volco- 
noea is more limited and local than that of the preceding agents, " They 
scctimolate substances," says M. Cuvier, " on the surface 5iat were formerly 
buried deep in the bowels of the earth, aAer baring changed or modified their 
nature or appearances, and raise them into mountains; bnt they hare never 
nised op nor overturned the strata through which their apertures pasB.aiid hare 
in no degree contributed to the elevation of the great mountaine, which am 
not volcanic." 

Inundations of seas and rivers have also, from time to time, added theirtre- 
mendons foR:e ; but there is no ground for concluding that any cataatn^e of 
thia kind has been universal for the last four thousand years ; nor, in fact, 
that Buch an event has eyer occurred more than once since the ear^ luis 
been Tendered habitable. 

In examining, then, the merita of the antagonial eyatems of geology before 
na, the Plutonic is pertiaps best entitled to the praise of boldness of con- 
ception and unlunited extent of view. It aspires, in many of its modiOcations, 
not only to acconnt for the present appearances of the earth, but for that of 
Ae universe ( and traces out a scheme by which every planet, or system of 
planets, may be continued indefinitely, and perhapa for ever, by a peipetml , 
series of restoration and balance. 

With this BTstem the Neptunian forms a perfect contrast. It is limited to 
the earth, ana to the present appearances of the earth. It resolves ltie|re, 
nnine origin of things into the operation of water; and while it admits the 
existence of subterranean fires to a certain extent, and that several of the 
|dKnomena that strike us most forcibly may be the result of such an agency. 
It perem^rily denies that such an agsncy is the sole or universal canse of 
the existing state of things, or that it could possibly be rendered competent 
to snch an effect. 

Note especially afaould we feel disposed to adhere to this theory, tfom its 
general comcidence^with the geology of the Scriptmes. The Moaaie narra- 
tive, indeed, with bold and soaring pinioni, takes a comprehensive fweep 
ttirongh the vast range of the solar system) if ni>t thraogo that of the urn- 
verse ; and in ils history of the simultaneous origin of this syatem touches 
efaiefly upon geology, as the part most interesting to ounetves; bnl so liir •• 
it caters upon this doctrine, it ia in sufficiently cloee acconhuHse witti the 
Neptunian scheme,— with the great volume of nature aa now curaorUy 
£[^>ed into. Tbe narrative opena, as I had occasion to observe iu the lec- 
ture on Hatter and a Hdaterial World, with a atatement of three distinct facts, 
each following the other in a regular series, in the origin of the vlaible worid. 
First, an absolute creation, as opiXMed to a mere remodi^ation of the heaven 
and the- earth, which constituted the earliest step in the creative process. 
Secondly, the condition of the earth when it was thus primarily brought into 
beiitf, which waa that of an amorphous or shapeless waste. And, thirdly, 
a oommencing effbrt to reduce the nnfasliioned mass to a condition of order 
and harmony. " In the beginning," saya the sacred historian, " God obutid 
the heaven and the earth.— And the earth was witbout roan sin> vom : and 


darkneflfl was upon the face of the deep (or sb^u).— And the Spirit of Qod 
Mo*n> upon the facb or thi wj.Tna." 

We tu« hence, therefore, necessarily led to infer that the first chan|e of 
the forntleHB chaos, after lie existence, was into il state of untverBEd aqueous 
solution ; for il was upon the surface of the waters that the Divine Spirit 
commenced his operative power. We are next informed, that this chaotie 
mass acquired shupe, not instantaneouBiy, but by a series of six distinct days, 
or smaATioHB (that is, epochs), aa Moaes aficrward calls them ;* and uipa- 
rently through the agency of the established laws of gravity &nd crystalliza- 

It tells uH, thai during the Grat of these days, or generations, was evolved, 
what, indeed, agreeably to the laws of gravity, must have been evolved lint 
of all, the matter of lignt and heat; of all material substances the most subtle 
and attenuate ; those by which alone the sun operates, and has ever operated, 
upon the earth and the other planets, and which may be the identical sub> 
stances that constitute his esacDce.t And it tells us also, that the luminons 
matter thus evolved produced light without the assistance of the sun or moon, 
which were not set in the sky or Srmament, andhadnorule till the fourth day 
or generation : that (he light thus produced flowed by tides, and altematdy 
intermitted, constiiuting a single day and a single night of each of such epochs 
or generations, whatever their length might be, of which we have no infonna- 
tion communicated to us. 

It tells us, ihat during the second day or generation uprose progressively 
the fine fluids, or walera, as they are poelicaliy and beautifully denominated) 
of the firmament, and filled the blue ethereal void with a vital atmosphere. 
That during the third day or generation the waters more properly so called, 
or the grosser and compacter fluids of the general mass, were strained off 
and gathered together into the vast bed of the ocean, and the diy land began 
to make its appearance, by disclosing the peaks or highest points of the primi- 
tive mountains ; in consequence of^which a progress instantly commeneod 
front inorganic matter to vegetable organization, the surface of the earth, as 
well above as under the waters, being covered with plants and herbs, bearing 
seeds after their respective kinds ; thus laying a basis for those carbonaceous 
materials, the remains of vegetable matter, woich we have already observed 
are occasionally to be traced in some of the layers or formations of the class 
of primitive rocks (the lowest of the whole), without a single particle of ani- 
mal relics intermixed with them. 

It tells us, that during the fourth day, or epoch, the stm and moon, now 
completed, were set in the firmament, the solar system was finished, its laws 
were est^lished, and the celestial orrery was put into play ; in conseqaeoce 
of which the harmonious revolutions of signs and of seasons, of days and of 
years, struck up for the first time their mighty symphony. That the fifth pe- 
riod was allotted exclusively to the formation of water-fowl, and the countless 
tribes of aquatic creatures ; and consequently, to that of those lowest tanks 
of animal life, testaceous worms, corals, and other zoophytes, whose relicSf 
as we have already observed, are alone to be traced in the second class of 
rocks or transition-formations, and still more freely in the third or horizontal 
formations ; these being the only animals as yet created, since the air and 
the water, and the utmost peaks of the lolliest mountains, were the only parts 
as yet inhabitable. It tells us, still continuing the same grand and exquisite 
climax, that towards the close of this period, the mass of waters having suffl- 
eiently retired into the deep bed appointed for them, the sixth and conclndinf 
period was devoted to the formation of terrestrial animals ; and, last of all, as 
the masterpiece of the whole, to Uiat of man himself. 

Such is the beautiful but literal progression of the' creation, according to 
the Mosaic account, as must be perceived by every one who will canfiillf 
peruse it for himself. 

01 the extent, however, of the dats or sairaKATioin that preceded the formap* 

*0m.U.l rBniiIwl,?ULTnu.n4.1xiilT. 



tion of the Rtm xai moon, uid their display in the sky or firaument, it gives 
no, u I h&ve Junt observed, uo information whatever. We only know that 
the flow of luminous matter which measured ihem advanced or was kindled 
up by regular tides ; so that it alternately appeared and diaappearedi coii>- 
meiicing with a dawn and terminating with a dusk or darknese ; for at the 
dose ofeach it is said, " and the evening and the morning were the first day :" 
or, more literally, as indeed suggested in the marginal reading of our national 
vereion, " and there was evening and there was morning the first day ;" that 
U, there was dusk and dawn, and by no means such an evening and moming 
w we have at present And hence, Origen observes, that "no one of a sound 
mind can imagine there was an evening and a morning during the first three 
days without a aun."* So that the passage should, perhaps, be rendered) as 
most stiictly it might be, " and there was duak u ther* was dawn, the first 
day."— nnn or ipa Ti'i aip 'n'l- 

It has, indeed, been contended, that each of these periods eonatitated a so- 
lar day, or a revolution of the earth round its own axis, and consequently 
answered to the measure of twenty-four hours, as at present But to main* 
tain this opinion it is necessary to suppose that the sun and the moon were 
set in the sky "to rule over the day and over the night," — "to divide the tight 
from the darknesB,"— and to " be for signs, and for seasons, and for days, and 
for Tears," on or before the very first day or generation ; for otherwise there 
could be no solar day, or such as we have at present, produced by a revoln- 
tion of the earth round her own axis. And there have not been wanting 
eosmologists and critics, as Whiston and Rosenmiiller, who have maintained 
that the sun and the moon were created antecedently to the earth ; that they 
had their stations allotted them in the heavens, and actually produced solar 
days and diurnal revolutions o( the enrth from the first. But though their 
own hypothesis require this, the idea is directly opposed to the spirit and the 
letterofiheMosaic narrative, and hence can in no respect be acceded lobyany 
one who is snxioos to preserve this narrative in its integrity and simplicity. 

How much more explnnatory and pertinent is the remark of our own ex- 
cellent Bishop Hall, when speaking of the primeval iighl, that during the first 
three days illuminaied the face of nature : " Not," says he, " of the sun or 
stars, WHICH wru not rrr ckkitsd ; but a comnjon brightness only, to dis- 
tinguish Tai TiHE, and to remedy the former confused darkness." And how 
admir^ly to the same efifect does Bishop Beveridge thus express himself: 
** Wtien he said, Ul there be light, by that word the light, which was rot bk- 
roBi, BiaAH TO Bi. But when he said (that is, three days or generations 
afterward), let Ihert be lightt in ih^Jtrmament, to divide the cuiyjram 0\e night, 
he thereby o&tb laws to thb tionx he had before made, where he would have 
it SB, and what he would have it do. This is what we call the law of nstare ! 
that law which God hath put into the nature of every thing ; whereby it 
always keeps itself within such bounds, and acts according to such roles, as God 
hath set it, and by tiiat means showaforth the glory of his wisdom and power." 

Nothing, indeed, can be clearer, than thai, according to Moses, the sun and 
the moon were only set in the heavens during the fourth day or generation in 
the woi^ of creation ; and that, whatever may be the relative proportion of 
the times and the seasons, the light and the darkness, the day and the night, 
that have occurred subsequently, we have no reason to suppose they occurred 
in the same proportion antecedently ; since we are expressly told by the same 
inspired writer, that their immediate office, on being set in the sxy, was to 

.■these divisions of time, as they have ruled them, with a single miraouloua 
exception or two, ever since, and to divide the .light from thedaikness, as it 
has since been divided. 

We have no knowledge whatever, therefore, of the length of the flrat three 
or four DATS or obubxatioicb that marked the great work of creation, antec«> 
dently to the completion of the sun and moon, and their appointment to tbeii 
m^ttctive pmt*. And hence, for all that appears to the contrary, they nuy 



faara beea aa long u the Wemerian lyitem, and Uw book of nature, and I 
may add the term GCHiuTiom. employed by Moms himacir, aeem to iadkata. 
Nor let it be suppased Tor a moment, that the term day in lbs Hrt>iflw 
tongue seem* to demand ■ limitation to the period of four-aad-lwantj' houn, 
aa it ordinarily imports; for there is no tens in any langaaga that U lued 
with a wider latitude of conilruction than the Hebrew C3V Om*)< *" "■ 
Ar&bic form, which is the word for day in the original. We are oonilaatly, 
indeed, employing this very word, as Englishmen, with no small degi«e of 
freedom, in our own age ; for you will all allow me to dn^ the phras* " in 
our own i.ea," and to adopt " in our own day" in its stead; thusmakingAM 
and DAI terms of similar import. But in Hebrew the same termiaamployad, 
ifpoisible, inastill wider range of interpretation : for it not only denotes, as 
with ourselves, half a diurnal rerolution of the earth, or a whole oiumal rsTO- 
lution, but in many instances an entire year, or reTolutioh of the eulh rottnd 
the sun; and this not only in the propbetic writings, which are often ap- 

?!aled to in support of this remark, but in plain historical narrative as well. 
bus id Eiod. xiii. ID, the verse, " thou shall keen this ordinance in its 
season Jrom year Ui ytor," if literally rendered, would be " tbvtuA dayt tjf 
davi," or, " througb daifi upon dayi," — Tvyry CD'S- And in like manner, 
Judges, xvii. 16, "I will give ibee ten AektU of silver ly the year," if 
strictly interpreted, would be "per dit*—fir Iht dayt," — tn^t >■■ "foi tlie 
ARRau. ciBOLi of days," — a'D'"?- 

Sometimes, again, the Hebrew Oy, or day, compriaea the whole teim of 
life, as in 1 Cbron. xxix. 16 — 

Oar Bin (13'Q'i] on suih in ■ dudaw. 
And Uio* la DOH (tildlii(. 

So again, Job, zIt. 6— 

Tuni tnm blra (hat b« our nfl, 

TIU ht ititJI Kcomplkb, ■• u tamlliif, hk MiHOt'- 

But the clearest and most pertinent proof of the latitude with which the 
term dv, or dat, is employed in the Hebrew Scriptures, is in the veiy nam. 
live of the creation before us : for after having staled in the Srst chapter of 
Genesis that the work of creation occupied a period of six nAn, the ^aaine 
inspired writer, in recapitulating his statement, chap. ii. 4, proceeds to tell 
us, " these are" — or rather, " mch were the oawaiuTioHs of the heavens and 
of the earth when they were created; in tki dat (ora) that the Lord God 
made the earth and the heavens." In which paasage Mooes distinctly tells ua 
that, in the preceding chapter, he has used the term o)', kat, in the sense of 
generation, succession, or epoch ; while we find him here extending the saaM 
term dat to the whole hexaemeron, the entire term of lime, whatever it niaj 
be, that these six days or generations filled op. So that the sense given to 
Ibfl word by Moses, msiead of limiting us to the idea of twenty-four hours' 
duration, naturally leads us to ascribe, not only a different, bat a mwh en. 
larged extent of time to the divisions he has marked by the word or, or 
DAT: or at least to those terms which occurred before the government of tha 
sun and the moon was established, and the heavenly orrery commenced its 
harmonious action. 

Whether, indeed, the days from this last period, cpnstituling the Afth ud 
sixtb, ««re of a different length from any of the preceding, which may also 
have differed from each other, and were strictly diurnal revolntions of 
twenty-four hours, it is impossible exactly to determine. But it is a quea. 
tion which by no'means affects the actual face of nature or the geological 
Bjrstem before us; for as the third or horizontal series of rocks in which pe- 
trifactions of ntown animal and vegetable substances begin to make their 
appearance must have continued to aucmenl for ages after the comgdetion 
of the hexaemeron, or sit epochs of creation, whatever be the duration 
••signed to them ; and bb the two lollieet, the fourth and fifth aeta of rocka. 


wihs aUnvM and TCAeaaic,aTB stiU fonainfrtand luT« been, ever sincfl lh0gfnt 
WHt of ei«ation « aa completed, the preeiae dimtiOD of the laal two ds^ of 
eraatrre labour can have no inflaence npoa tbis qneation. But to a (dam yei 
aUoBtiTo reader of the Mosaic accomit even theae two daja raott, 1 Ihuihi 
appear (o bate been of a far more proiractod len^ than (hat of twentjr-Itoor 
hmua eacta, and eopeciallr the lixth day ; for it ia difikwlt to conoeive bow 
tbe firat parent of mankind could have got through the vast extent of wmk 
awigned to him within the short tenn of twelve or fODtieen honra of day- 
li^it, without a minele, which ia bj do meana intimated to nst and aa diffl- 
eult to suppoae that he waa emplored through tbe niKfat. On Itaia laat da; 
were created, aa we learn fropi Gen. i. 34— K, all the land-animala after their 
kmd,cattle,andwildbeaats,tindreptile8i then Adam hiiiuelf,bDl alone i wha 
waa next, aa we learn from ch. ii. 15—33, taken and pot into the garden of 
Eden, to drait it and Utktfp it ,- where he bad explaiaed to him tbe Ueea he 
might eat of, and the tree he might not j after whidi were bron^ to him, 
Uiat he might make himaelf acauainted with their reniective naturea, erery 
beast of the field andeverj fowl of the air; to allof wnom he gave names as 
soon aa their respevlive charactere became known to hbn. Sutueqaently to 
which (for at Ihia time, t. 90, there waa not found a help-meet for him), be 
waa plonged into a deep sleep, wh«i tbe woman waa formed oat of a pwrt of 
himielf, which completed the creative labour of thia last day alone. 

Tliat the same Almighty Power who created light t^ a word, sayinf 
*IW 'TTT "^K Tl' "be li^t! and light was,*" could have ruled tbe whole of tfaia, 
or even formed the universe, by a word, as well, ia not to be doubted ; but as 
both the book of revelation and the book of nature concur in telling ns 
that such was not the foci, and that the work of creation went on progres- 
sively, and under the infiuenee of a code of natural lawa, we are called upon 
to examine into the mareli of this marvellona progress t^ the lawa of natuiv 
referred to, and to uAderstand it by tbeir operations. Nor is it more deroga- 
tory to Him with whom a tbonnnd yean are aa one day, aod one day as a 
tboueand yeare, to suppose tbst He allotted six hundred or six thousand 
jean to the completion of Us design, than that He took six solar days for 
the purpose ; and surely there ia something far more magnificent in conceiV' 
ii^ the world to have gradnally attained form, order, and vitality, by the mciJ ' 
operation of powers commimicated to it in a atate of chaos, through a oinglB 
command, which instantly took effect and commenced, and persevered and 
perfected the design propoaed, than in conceiving tbe Almighty engufod in 
personal and continuous exertiona, though for a more limited period of time. 

TbuB, in progressive order, uprose the stupendous system of the world : 
Iba brighthost of morning stars shouted together on Its birth-day; and the 
eternal Creator looked down with complacency on the finished fabric, and 
■ saw that it was good." 

t oaaimzxD aontxa, txo tbz smnTmas or PLum comrtMWB wm tkm 

FaoM the unorganized world, which has formed the main aut^eot of oar 
last two lectures, let us now rise a step higher in the scale of creation} and 
ascend bom insentient matter to life, under the various modificatioiu it as- 
sumes, and the means by which it is upheld and transmitted. 

If I dig up a stmie, and remove it from one place to anotherrthe stone win 
■nflbr no alteration by the change of dace ; biU if I dig up a plant aitd remove 
it, (be idant will instantly sicken, and perhaps die. whatistbetaiiisof this 

tt oiT oroanizi:d bodies, 

diflbrence t Both htve proceeded from a mioute moleonle, a nndeiu or i 
^rm i both have a tendency to preierve their derivative or family coofipim* 
lion, and both have been augmented and perfected from one common HOit> 
If I break the stone to piecea, every individual fragment will be found po»- 
■esaed of the characteriaiie powers of the agmgate mass ; it ia only altered 
in ilH ihape and magnitude; but if 1 tear off a branch from the TMantrthe 
branch will initantly wither, and lose the specific properties of the parent 

No external examination, or reasoning d priori will explain this dillhrence 
of effecL It is only by a minute attention to the relative histories. Interior 
atructures, and modes of growth of the two substances, that we are enabled 
to offer any thing like a satisfactory answer; and by such examination we 
find Ibal the stone has been produced fortuitously, baa grown by external 
accrexion, and can only be destroyed by mechanical or chemical force ; while 
the plant has been produced by generation, has grown by nuirition, and been 
' destroyed by death : that it has been actuated by an internal power, and pos- 
■essedof parts mutually dependent and contributory to each other's functions. 

In what this internal power conaisla we know not. Differently modiBed, 
we meet with it in both plants and animals ; and wherever we find it we de- 
nominate it the pnnciplt o^/t/«, and dislin^ish the individual substance it 
actuates by the name of nn orgaaiud bemg. And hence, all the various 
bodies in nature arrange themselveB under tne two divisions of organixed 
and unorganized : the former possessing an origin hy generation, growth by 
nutrition, and a termination by death ; and the latter a fortuitous origin, eX' 
ternal growth, and a termination by chemical or mechanical force. 

This distinction is clear, and it forms a boundary that does not seem to be 
broken in upon by a single exception. In what, indeed, that wonderful power 
of cryslaltization consisia, or by what means it operates, which gives a definite 
and geometrical figure to the nucleus or primary molecule of every distinct 
species of crystal ; and which, with an accuracy that laughs at all human 
precision, continues to impress the same figure upon the growing crystal 
through every stag^ of its enlargement, thus naturally eepantting one ape* 
ctes from another, and enabling us to discriminate each by its geometrical 
shape alone — we know not ; but even here, where we meet with an approach 
towards that formative effort, that internal action and consent of parts which 
peculiarly characterize the living substance, there ia not the smallest trace 
of an organized arrangement -, while the origin ia clearly fortuitous, and the 
growth altogether esternal, from the mere apposition of surrounding matter. 

So, on the other hand, in comla, sponges, and fuel, which form the lowest 
natural orders among ar.imals and vegetables, and the Brat of which seema 
to constitute the link that connects the animal and vegetable with the mmeral 
world, — for it has in different periods been ascribed to each, — simple as is their 
structure, and obtuse as is the living principle that actuates them, we have still 
■ufflcient marks of an organized make ; of an origin hy generation, the gene- 

ntion of buds or bulbs, of growth by nutrition, and of termination by death. 
But the animal world differs from the vegetable as widely as both these 
differ from the mineral. How are we to distinguish the organization of ani- 
mals from that of plants f — In what does their difference consist 1 and here 
I am obliged to confess, that the boundary is by no means so clearly marked 
out j and that we are fur the most part compelled to characterize tlie differ^ 
enee rather by description than by definition. Nothing, indeed, is easier 
than to distinguish animals and vegetables in their more perfect states: we 
can make no mistake between a horse and a horse-chestnut tree, a butterfly 
and a blade of grass: We behold the plant confined to a particular spot, 
deriving the whole of its nutriment from such spot, and affording no mark 
either of consciousness or sensation ; we behold the animal, on the contrary, 
caoable of mtn^ing at pleasure from one place to another, and exhibiting not 
only marks of consciousness niid sensation, but often of a very high degree 
of intelligence aa well. Yet, if we hence lay down conscioasness or aan- 
satioo, and loeomDlioOt as the two cbatacleristic features of animal Ule, w« 


dun woii And our definilioD unteruble ; Tor while the Liamean clus of wonn§ 
•Biwds initances, in perhaps e*ery one of iu orders, of aairaals destitute of 
locomoiioD, aad evincing no mark of conaciouBneH or senution, there are 
nrioiu ipecieaof plants that are sthctlji locomDtive, and that discover Baiuch 
■esrer approach to a sensitive faculty. 

However strikiag, therefore, the distinctions between animal and ve^taUe 
life, in their mora perfect and elabonte forms, as we approach the contiguous 
extremities of the two kingdoms we find these distinctions fading 8w«y so 

and the mutual advances so close and intimate, that it becomes a tnak of no 
common difficulty to draw a line of distinction between them, or to determine 
to which of them an individual may belong. And it is probable, that that ex- 
Iraordinary order of beings called zonphyies, or animated plants, hs the term 
imports, and which by Woodward and Beaumont were amiiiged as minerals,* 
and by Ray and Lister as vegetables, hitve at last obtained an intraductioa 
into the animal kingdoRi.t less on account of any otherproperty they possess, 
than of tlieir aRbrding, on being burnt, »n ammonincal smdl like that which 
issues from fniml bones, or any other animal orgnns, and which is seldom or 
never observed from burnt vegetable substances of a decided and unquestion- 
able character. Ammonia, however, upon destructive distillation, is met with 
in small quantities in particular parts of most if not of all vegetables, though 
never perhaps in the whole plant. Thus it occurs slightly in the wood or 
▼Qgetable fibre; in extract, gum-muciUge, camphor, resin, and balsam ; gum- 
resin, gluten, and caoutchouc : besides those substances thHt are common to 
both animals and vegetables, as sugar, fixed oil, albumen, fibriiie, and gelatine, 
l^ere are some plants, however, ihut even in their open exposure to a 
burning heat give fortti an ammoiiiacal smeli closely approaching to that of 
animal substance. The clavarias or chtb-iope, and many other funguses, do 
this. But a distinction in the degree of odour may even here be observed, 
if accurately attended to. Yet the davariaa wereonre regarded as zoophytes, 
and are arranged by Millar in the same division as the corala and cnrallines.f 
M. de Mirbel, in his very excellent treatise " On the Anatomy and Physio- 
l^y of Plants," has endeavoured to lay down a distinirtion between the ani- 
naal and the vegetable world in the following terms, and it is a distinction 
which seems to be approved by Sir Edward Smith ; " Plants alone have a 
power of drawing nourishment from inorganic matter, mere earths, salts, or 
airs; substances incapable of nourishing animals, which only feed on what 
is or has been organized matter, either of a vegetable or animal na'.ure. 80 
that it should seem to be the office of vegetabte life alone to Iranaform dead 
natter into organized living bodies."^ Whence another learned French phy- 
aiolugist, M. Richersnd, has abser«ed that the aliments by which animals are 
nourished are selected from vegetable or animal substances atone; the 
elements of the mineral kingdom being too heterogeneous to the iialure of 
animals to he converted into their own substance wi'.hout being first elabo- 
Tated by vegetable life ; whence plants, says M. Richerand, may be considered 
as the laboratory in which nature prepares aliment for suimals.U 

■ mi. Tnu. (Ul. ITT. r PkrHimi'i Omnlc ItmnliM, 1. 13, U. 1ST, 1H. 

1 Serenl md-m of lUa tceam at ftmsl lave Terr ■iniuiir pnperuci : (bu Iba o. tisnutetH hi- » 

ib*-lir. ftom ill iHini ctucny tbun<l\n ilw clift* ud bollown of oak^lma. ' In Ii^ind, II I* amplarcd m 
llhiii M dm* wnnda with ; uS, In Virfiala. u ajiKid pIMen aiwn. 

Ttmt m aoae ernuninie pluM, nd t^wmlly imons Uh iiiiwih, Uui no 1» InnllT mdii u bura 
hj ■D* mMo^ Hacb h IM Rmdntili aHiipyrelira, « ailed on Uiia renr lerimiH ; nd vUdi l« SeitM 

ri ■ Ill I in niiiiiHiiiHn ..^-g^.^—-^ — j^i j.i...— .j--,^-..---, 

- - ■ — ,^ wmtHiBl UwMadDdoulai^agb. 

■■lUn. There tioniiqHfea or brsiua^ 

D.|-..:S ■■.*.. 0(W|C» 


I eoDeoT wHh time elegant writen in tdmitting the beanlifiil and kamio. 
■fcma relation eo cArioualy eatablisbed between mineiBls, planta, and aiii> 
mala; bat it ia at the eame time impoaaible to allow of the diatineliOB 
between Tagetable and animal life bere laid down ; because, flnt, vuielablea 
are by no meana nonrisbed ezcliuively, aa, indeed, M. Hiibet bimaelf ftanUy 
allowa, from terrene element! ; and, secondly, beeanae animals are aa litUe 
nourished ezclusivdy ttoia vegetable materials. Among- insects, worms, 
and even flsfaea, there are many tribes that derive by far ue greater poitioo 
of their increase from the mineral kingdom alone ; while even in man him- 
self, air, water, common salt, and lime, which last is almost always an ingre- 
dient of common salt, are substances indispensable to his growth, and are 
derived immediately from the mineral kingdom. 

In laying; down, therefore, a distinctive character for animals and planta, 
we are compelled to derive it from the more perfect of each kind ; and to 
leave the extreme cases to be determined by the chemical components etimi- 
nated on their decomposition. And under tbis broadview of the subject 
I now proceed to observe, that while they asree in an origin by generation, 
a growth by nutrition, and a termination by (uath ; in an organized stracture, 
and an internal living principle ; they differ in the powers with which the 
living principle is endowed, and the effects it is capable of exerting. In 
the [uant it is limited, so far as we are capable of tracing it, to the proper* 
ties of irritability, contractility, and simple instincts; in the animal it su- 
peradda to these properties those of muacularity, sensation, and voluntary 

There have been, indeed, and there still are, physiologists who,'— not ad- 
verting to the extraordinarv effects which the power of irritability is capable 
of ^rodncing when roused by different stimulants, and under the mfluence o[ 
an mtemal and all-pervading principle of life, <^rating by instinctive laws 
and instinctive actions, or those, as we shall riiow hereafter, which are spe- 
cialty directed to the ^wth, preservation, or reproduction of a living frame, 
or any particular part of it, — have conceived planta as well as animals to be 
possessed of aenealion and muscular fibres j and as sensation is the result of 
a particular orean, and the organ producing it is connected with various 
Others, have at the same time liberally endowed them with a brain, a heart, 
and a stomach; and have very obligingly permitted them to possess ideas, 
and the means of communicating ideas ; to fall in love and to marry, and thus 
far to exercise the distinctive faculty of volition. The whole of which, how- 
over, is mere fancy, grounded altogether upon an erroneous and contracted 
view of the effects ofthe principle of irritability when powerfully excited by 
(he influence of light, heat, air, moisture, and other causes. 

In reality, such kinds of loves and intermarriages are not peculiar to 
plants, but are common to all nature ; they exist between atom and atom, 
and the pliiloBopher calls them attractions ; they exist between congeries and 
eongeries, and the chemist calls them affinities ; they exist between the iron 
and the loadalone, and every one denominates them magnetism. Nor let it 
be said that in these cases of mutual union we have noUiing more than a 
mere .aggregation of body ; for we have often a third substance produced, and 
actually generated, as the result of such union, far more diacrepant tmtn the 
parent substances both in quality and feature than are ever to be met with in 
vegetable or animal life. Thus, if an acid be married to an alkali, the pro- 
geny broue^ht forth will be a neutral salt, possessing not the remotest resem- 
blance to the virtues of either of its parents. In like manner, if alkohol be 
married to any of the more powerful acids, and the banns be solemnized over 
an altar of fire,. but not otherwise, the offspring en^ndered will be a sub- 
stance called ether, equally unlike both its parents in its disposition. But the 
form or featurea are as frequently changed aa the temper. Thus, if we unite 
olive oil, which ia a liquid, with some of the oxides of lead, which are pow- 
ders, the result is neither a liquid nor a powder, nor a medium of the two, 
which would be a paste, but the hard adhesive plaster ueiully called diachy- 
lon. So, again, if mmiatic acid, which is a liquid, sport in ddliance with t& 


volitfle DTinidi tifnip^", whieh ii an invisible pu, tho fruit of tbeir embnoM 
irill bt •nil mon extnordinai^ in pc^t of foim, A>r the gas uid the liqtud 
will «ngHid«r that Mlid substance commonly known b; the name of sal am- 
ntMiac, or, in flie new nomendatme, muiiaie of ammonia. In like manneiv 
onr common smdlioff salts, or carbonate of ammonia, tbou^ a hard, concrete 
OTStaUization, are we mere result of the union of two hinsible gasei, am* 
nonia and carbonic acid eas, t>r lixed air « and which, having duly paid their 
oonrt to each other, give birth to this solid substance. 

But in all this it msy be said that we have no instance of a mnlti^UealioD 
■ in realitj 

of mnltiplicatioa tlso— and instances &r more extraoidinaty and for more 

of species; nor in reaUtj of any thing mora than the production of a third 
■obstaiuse, issnins, like the fabled ptuenix of antiquity, ovt of the ashes or 
decomposition or the parent stock ; yet in many cases we have instances 

laolillo than are ever to be Anmd in the mnltiplicatira of either animals or 
vegetables. 8nch especially are those woodenbl increases that oocnr in the 
case of fennenis and of contagions. A few particles of yesi lyi^ dormant 

menlaUe fluid, and in a few honn prc^tamte their kind throu^ the largest 

1 a few honn prc^tagate their kmd torou^ the largest 
manufacturea; so that at length everypaiticle of the 
a substance of their own nature. A few pestilential 

in a dessert-nwon are inliodnced into a bairet of beer, or of any other Cbn 

"eSmOtaad ii * ' - "^ ' "-' ' '^ "^ ■'" ' 

ist was over 

fluid is converted into a substance of their own nature. A few pestilential 
miasms are thrown forth from a stagnant marsh or a foul piison, and give 
Urth mstantaneonsly to myriads and myriadH of the same species of partidea, 
till the atmosidiere becomes impregnated with tiiem through a range of many 
milea in diameter. Two or three particles of the matter of plague are packed 
q» in a bagof cotton at Aleppo, and are many months afterward set at libeity 
in Onat Britain. Aided t^ the stimulus of the air, they instantly set to 
muk, and pfoereate so ra[ridly, that the wlude country in less than a week 
la laid prostrate by tbe enonnity of their ir~— ~ 

ctmofpf that take place in consequence of such imions, are in both cases 
noihmgmore than elective attractions: in the minenl and gaseous kingdoms 
, prodnced by what chemists have denominated the princifde of affiaity, and in 
the vegjetalMB by what physiologists have called the principle of trntabitity; 
a princiole Ar nicer and nobler and more deiicate'thaa tlut of aflnity, and 
under tbe influence of an internal, an all-pervading, and identifying vital 
power, eapaUe, as diAirently excited by different stimulants, of prodociiw 
nr nicer and nobler, more delicate and more complicated effiscts ; but whii£ 
in itself is nof more diSeient from the principle of e^ndy than it is from that 

No experiment or observation has hitherto proved vegetables to be pos- 
sessed of aity higher powers than those of irritability, contractility, and 
those instinctive oaergies which we shall hereafter show are dqMndent upon 
tbe prinniide of life. 

It is abnoat stqieiflnons to ohserve, in this jdace, that there are also powers 
and focnlties of a much faif^er character than any I have yet noticed, apper- 
tainbig to the noUernnka of animals { fbrat present I am only pointmg out 
tbe leading ehaiacten by which animUs in general may be distinguished 
from vegetables ui geneial, and shall have sufficient oiqrartnnities, as we imv 
ceed, ol advotting to these additional Acuities, and of investigating tneir 
raapeotive excellencies. 

Our immediate concern, then, is with vkoetable ura; its general laws, 
structore, and phenomena. And upon this subject I shall touch ss briefly as 
possible, intendmg it as a mere vestibule or introduction to the more impor- 
tant study of animal pbilosophy. 

Plants, then, like an i mala, u I have already observed, are produced by 
generation, and Ihrougta the medium of ova, or eggs. The exceptions to this 
common rule are few, and they occur raWly in both kingdoms. The egg 
erf the plant is its seed; a doctnne not of^ modem origin, but tan^t and im- 
ierstood quite as deady, and with as close a reference to tbe liMe of animal 


life, by Ifae sifeientB, ri in the preient dny .* The Med is aimietiima Ddi«di 
but moT« generallj coveted with a pericarp, whence plants become naturally 
divided into the two grand arrang^DieDts of gymnospermouB and angiusper- 
moua. The pericarp is or various forma and aintcturea; and of iheae the 
more common are the legume, silique, or Bilicle, being merely Tarietiea of 
what, among ooraeUeB, is denominated in popular language cod or pod ; the 
loment which ia a kind of pod not lu frequent as either of the former, but of 
which we have an inatance in the mimoaaB and the casaia fittvla ; the pome 
or core-apple, of which we have inatances in the common apple and the pear; 
the drupe, or atone-apple, InsUnceB of which occur to ub in the plum, cherry, 
andalmond; the glume or chafT; the berry; the aciaus or conglomerate berry, 
KB in the rasp; the nut; and the cepsule-t 

Stripping oiT ihia outer covering, we find the aeed to conaiat internally of a 
eoreJlvm, or hearllet, and externuUy of a fleshy or parenchymatous sub- 
stance, surrounded with a double integument, sometimes single, sometimes 
bifid, and sometimes more than bifid; and hence denominated monocolyle- 
donous, dicotyledonous, polycoCyledonous. In popular language these are 
called seed-lobes, or Beed-ieaves : and in the phaBeolous rndgarii, or common 
kidney-bean, we have as Birikiug an iustance as in any plant, and which even- 
one must have noticed, juet peeping in two distinct segments above the ground, 
as soon as the seed haE begun to germinate. It was very genernlly supposed 
formerly, and is alill supposed by some botanists, that the seeds of various 
ordere of plants, as the mossea, fungi, and alg«e, are acotyledonoua, or totally 
destitute of a cotyledon of any kind. But as many, perhaps most, {danta of 
this kind have of late been found to poBsess some such parenchyma, we have 
great reason for believing that this or^m is universal, and that (here is no 
such thing as an acotyledonoua seed in the whole vegetable kingdom. In 
reality, the cotyledon appears absolutely necessary for the ^rminatlon and 
future growth of the seed, and may hence be denominated its lungs or |da- 
centule. Like the perfect plant, it possesses lymphatics and alr-vesaela. 
Tlirough the former of these it absorbs the moislura of the soil into which it is 
plunged, decomposes a part of it into its elementarv principles, and conducts 
those principles, together with the undecomposed water, to the corcle or 
hearllet, which becomes stimulated to the process of germination by the oxy- 
gen thus set at liberty. 

Mra. Ihbetson has attempted to prove that the cotyledon is- of no use 
whatever for the purpose of nourishment ; which, according to her observa- 
tions, is only conveyed to the cortle by what she calls a system of nourishinf 
vessels, altogether distinct from the cotyledon. It is not very clear, however, 
what is here meant by nourishing vessels ; nor can we for a moment admit 
■that so large an organ as the cotyledon, and apparently so important, can be 
designed lor no otner otBce than merely, as ttiis lady conjectures, to acreen 
the primordial leaves from the light and air on their flrsl formation."} 

According to Mr. Mirbel's experiments, as detailed in the Memoira of tha 
National Institute, the soil. and the albumen in the cotyledon are both con- 
cerned in the developemerit of the germ; and both cuntinue to contribute 
conjointly till' the albumpn is entirely absorbed : at which time the plant has 
strength enough to derive from ihe-soil or the atmosphere the nourishment it 
nquires from this period. In this respect the albumen of the cotyledon cor- 
reiponda with the vitellua of the hen's egg. 

In roarine plants that are destitute of a radicle, as the water caltrop (tnqm 

* Oin F Ittnai pnpi ihlfu rpSm IXalat. 


NrtoM ), the germ mtut necMMrily be aupported in the fint instwiee by mean* 
of the cotyledOD. 

Il is the corcle nhich is the true pvncfum Wtnu of Tegetable life, and to 
this Ibe cotyledon is ■ubserrient. The corcle consiata of twQ parts, an 
aacending and a descending ; the fonner called its plumule, which gives birth 
to the trunk and branchea; the latter named its roeiel, which ^vee binh to 
tbe toot and radicles. The position of the curcle in the seed is always in 
the Ticiniiy of the kilum or eye, which is a cicatrix or umbilicus remaining 
aiter the separation of the^^u or umbilical cord from the pericarp, to which 
tbe aeed hu hereby been attached. The finit radicle or germinating brancb 
of the roste) nnifonnly elongates, and -pushes into the earth, before the plu- 
mule erincei any change. Like the cotyledon, the tadictes consist chiefly of 
lymphatics and ^r-fcsaela, which serve to separate tbe water from the aoil, 
in Older that tbe oxygen may be aepaiated from tbe water. 

Hence orinnatea the root, unquestionably the most important part of the 
plant, and which in some sense may he regarded as the plant itself: for if 
•rery other part of the plant be destroved, and the root remain uninjured, 
this orgsa will regerminaie and tbe whole plant be renewed ; but if the root 
petiah, the plant Mcomes lost irrecoverably. Yet there are various pheno- 
mena in vegetable life that manifest a amaller difference in the nature of the 
root and the trunk, than we should at first be induced to suppose ; for WiU 
loughby observed, more than a century and a half ago," that in several spe- 
cies, and especially those of the prunus and aalix, cherry and willow tribes, 
if -the stem branchea be bent down to the earth, plunged into it, and coiitinued 
in Ihia situation for a few months, these branches will throw forth radicles ; 
and if, after this, the original root be dug up, and sufTeTed to ascend into the 
•tr, so that the whole plant become completely inverted, tite original root will 
thiow forth stem-branches and bear the wild fruit peculiar to its tnbe. The 
ihinphora Mangle, or man grove -tree, grows naturally in this manner; for 
its atem-brancbea, having reached a certain perpendicular height, bend down- 
wards of their own accord, and throw forth root-branches into the soil, from 
which new truuks arise, so that il is not uncommon, in some parts of Asia 
and Africa, to meet with a single tree of tbia species covering the oozy waters 
in whieh it grows with a forest of half a mile in length. The ficua Indiea, 
or bauyao, grows in the same manner, and often with enormous tnmka, 
eqtially derived from a primary root. The lai^st tree of this kind known 
to Europeans, is on an island in the river Nerbedda in the Guzzerat, distin- 
ffuisbed iu honour of a Bramin, of high i«pulaliou, by the nam9of Cubbeer 
Bun High floods have destroyed many of its incurved stems, yet its princi- 
pal stems measure two IhouBHUd feet in circumference, the numtwr of its 
hrger trunks, each exceeding the bulk of our noblest oaks, amount to three 
hundred and flfiy, while that of its smaller are more than three thousand ; so 
that seven thousand persons may fiud ample room to repose under its enof 
mous shade, and may at the same time be richly supplied from tbe vaatabnn- 
dtnce of fruit which it yields in its season. 

Tbe solid parts of the trunk of the plant consist of coktbx, cuticle, or 
enter berk: uaBH,cuTrs, or inner bark; albo&hom, or soft wood ; uorom, or 
bard wood ;t sud meddlla, or pith. Lioueus gave tbe name of medulla to 
the piib of idauts, upon a supposition that it had a near resemblance to the 
medulla spioalis of quadrupeds. A closer investigation, however, baa since 
proyed that Itiis resembtonce is very faint, and that the pith or medulla of 
, iT^ «»».— ism. T jL iios. iiM, iise,— isri, y 

% iroa lb* ctental pnpwtta tC 
tat u KoiMnt Df wbkti aef ilnl . 

■ led 10 laia ilniaiv GDncmnon. lou ue iineiiu 

, lb* iaoody pul ofnk In lUl ngEMUan I* i»lT fMi-teiiUw i4' Uh wMa. Al 

■bnilKif It,ud1b* nM«inM>lnMp. UftumndaiitxiUll aDBfH kw qmllnorKiUd awini 
k«tteHMOSff ikar«vu4(kiii*iirUMmeaBaHliMcsiiMd«U*nriuli]o«. OnsiMn drr ino4 
•oBMs* ikou ooMHutta of lu wdaai of ■nUn-. B*na Uh oJdw woad, Uunfli In Uh m»t of Unbw bt 

KMTwoiBntoaltMibuflDHlitbef IU vrifhiof ntv. AH jJanlmdr ^ msd* itw Deal M ■■ 
. toMLarcasnari: wkMO*k*OMalsdi^auitill|BnsiBMMliUMaglBrilwMdL 


lympiuLtiei, wotdd olberwiBe be frequently in dana;eT of periah- 
mg thioiqih aMolnte drought ; but sradnBlly of less ose ai the plant advancM 
in agSt and beoomet poBwand of mese ornamental appoDdages ; and hence, 
except in » low instanceB, annually encroached upon, and at length totally 
dUitented b^ the amroundin^ Ucnum. 

All theee lie in concentric circIeB ; and the trank enhove*, by the fomiation 
of a new liber or inner bark every year ; the whole of lae liber of one year, 
sxcepting indeed ita outermost layer, nhich is transformed into cortex, 
becoming the albnrauin of the next, and the alburnum becoming the ligniun. 
Such, at leaat, is the common theory, and which seemi to be well supported 
ly the experimenta of Malpighi and Qrew : but it hai lately been conirOTerted 
in Mr. Knight, who eontendj, that the liber bae no concern in the formation' . 
of new wood, which proceeds from the alburnum alone, a new laver of albnr- 
Bun being formed for this purpose annually. I cannot discuss the argument 
at fveaent: nor is i( of any great importance; since, under either system, it 
k obriom that a mark of any kind, which has penetrated throng the outer 
klto the innei barit, mtist in a long process of years be comparatively trans- 
Cerred to the central parts of the crunk. On which account we often find, in 
felling trees of great longevity, aa an oak, for example, the date of very 
mnote national eras, and the initials of monarchs, who flourished in very 
«a^ periods of onr national history, stamped in the very heart of the timber 
gn its being sobdivided. 

Some or these memorials at« very curious, and M. Klein, the well-known 
Semetaty of Dantzic, has given various examples in his letter to Sir flana 
ESoaoe, bart., the President of the Royal Society.* One of these oonaiats of 
a long aeries of letters discovered, in 1T27, in the trunk of a full-grovn 
beocb, near Dantzic, in land belonging to the family of Daniel BerdinoltE. 
llie ialtera D. B. were chiefly conspicuous in the solid wood ; the wood 
towards the bark, and thai towards the heart, Uiat is, in each extremitv, 
"bearing not the least trace of letters." M. Klein relates another example 
from ^ B^mnerides of Natund Curiositiesit recorded by Joannes Myerus. 
It consists of a thief hanginff from a gibbet, apparently drawn by nature's 
own pencil in the timber oia beech-tree : aa also the figure of a cmcifled 
man, found in a tree of the same kind ; and that of a chalice with a sword, 
perpendicularly erect, sustaining a crown on its point ; whiclt was preserred 
at the Hague, and.had been seen by himself. 

Such marks were fbrmeriy attributed to miraculous intervention, or regarded 
as marvellous sports of nature: bat the hints now offered will easily explain 
Ih^ origin. 

Foreign aobstancea have often been found imbedded in the aame way, 
having at one time been sunk into the inner bark, or peuetrated it by a wound 
or oiner exoavation, and afterward covered over with new annual growths 
<rf liber and albunium. Thus Sir John Cleti gives an account of a horn of a 
luge deer which was found in the heartofanoakin Winiield Park, Cumber- 
laim, fixed in the timber with large iron cramps, with which, of course, it 
had bean Hastened on.J And we are hence aUe to account for the occasional 
detection of a oapricorn beetle,^ or other insect which has been found in the 
centre of a trunk, the animal having crept into an accidental cleft, and either 
died there naturally, or been aneated ana imprisoned by the secretion of the 
aatter of new inner baik wbile in the torpitude of its auielian state. And 
hence, indeed, the cause of the very wonderful phenomena of toads or frogs 
Being at times found in a like situation; having in the same way been 
mipacted in the hole or cnck into which they had crept, by the glutinous 
tuid of the inaer bark, during aickneas or a protracted winter sleep. Some 

fBpteH. Na. Cn. dKil. UL n. T. Ota. «L 
lb. 1741, niL ttt. p. Ml. 


re found allTe vhoo the tree ia cnt dovn, dsrlviDf both oU snd 
.„»_.». enough fiom the mrnHuuHng reMele of tbe ttae anring their im- 
pnoonment. la the Hemoin of the Paris Academy there is an ezunple of a 
toad found in a tteo that waa prored to be a centun old.* 

Aj tlte series of ooncentrio cireles, prodneed in the trunk of a tree by the 
grawUiof everyyear, are still visible after ^convenion of every other part 
into lignum, or hard wood, we can trace its age vith a considerable degree 
of certainty, by allowing a year for .every outer cii«le, and about two or three 
yean for tne complete Ugmfication of the innennoet.f 

Independently of these more solid parts of the trunk or stem, we "{(Gnerally 
meet with some portion of parenchyma and cellular substance, iind always 
with tiie different systems of vegetable vessels disposed in one common and 
uniform anangenient. The lower orders of [dauU, indeed, soch as the an- 
nnalei and bienniala, consist almost exclusively of parenchyma or cellulu 
■ubstance, with an inner and outer btA, and the respective vessels of the 
TegetaUe syetem. 

These vessels are adducent and reducent, or arteries and veins, lacteal 
or sap-ressels, and lymphatics. Many of these may be seen by the naked 
eye, and especially the aap-veaaels ; and the vascular structure of the whole 
has been sufficiently proved by Oessner, by means of the air-pump. The 
reducent or returning vessels are stated, by Sir E. Smith, to bring bock the 
elaborated sap lioin the leaves to the liber for the new layer of ma cJiB&tg 

The lymphatics lie iaunediBtely under the cuticle and in the cuticle. Iltey 
wuatnnose in different ways thioagfa their minute intermediate branches, 
and, by surroundine the apertures of the cuticle, perform the alternating 
economy of iahalatiMi and exhalation. Their direction varies in different 
epecies of plants, but is always unifonn in the same species. 

Immediately below these lie the adducent veiMls or arteries i tbey are the 
U^est of all the vegeuUe veaaels, rise immediaiely from the root, and eom- 
mooicate nutriment in a perpendicular direction ; and, when the st^n of a 
nlaat is cut horizontally, Uiey instantly appear in circtes. Interior to these 
lie the reducent vessels or veins : which are softer, more numerous, and more 
minute than the arteries j and in young shoots run down tbrongh tbe cellular 
lextore and the pith. Between the arteries and veins are situated ibx air- 
vutU, a» they wve formeriy called ; but which Or. Darwin and Mr. Knight 
bave sufficiently succeeded in proving to contain, not air in their natural etate, 
but aap.^ They seem to be uie true gennine lacteals issuing from the root, 
as, in animals, they issue from the villous coatmg of the intestinal canal. 
They are delicate membranous t^s, stretching in a q>iral direction, the 
folds being sometimes doee to eetch other, and sometimea mere distant, but 
genetelly growing thicker towards the root, and especially in ligneous pluits. 
These vessels also are very minute, and, according to numerous observations 
of Hedwig made with the microscope, seldom (xceed a 990ih part of a line, 
or a 3000UI part of an inch in diameter. 

The lymphatics of a plant may be often aeen with great ease by merely 
stri^^g off the cuticle with a delicate hand, and then subjecting it to a 
micnwc<^ ; and in the course of the examination we are also frequently able 
to trace the existence of a ^at multitude of valves, W the action of which 
the apertures of the lymphatics are commonly found cfosed.jf Whether the 
otherayateme of vegetable vessels possess the same mechanism, we bave not 
been able to determine decisively; the following experiment, however, 
ahoold induce us to conclude that they do. If we take the stem of a com- 

•r pfDpecbut, nor haddet oThm- 

_ _ _ M3»BrTouiiilodli«oBi 

) innid.nBii(Hiy,^M. 8csil»WilIilaiiii«*iInlHid.n^l3& , __^ . 

'"*i« ■mim Ifl tmttn iJdttliinil jrot^Mlig tWia Mr. gnl^'i mpwlmwite. aMnB.niM.lM, 
iJMMft tXmmri, T. les. ■nWUM.f.nL 


mon balskmine,* or of nricnia other plnnta, and cut it horizontaltf at i(a lower 
end, and plunge it, bo cut, into a decoction of Brazil wood, or any other 
coloured fluid, we ahall perceive that the arteriea or adducent veisela, aa also 
the lacteala, will become filled or injected by an abeorption of the colouied 
liquor ; but that the Teins, or reducent veasels, will not become filled ; of 
coune evincing an obstacle, in thiB direction, to the ascent of the coloured 
flaid. But if we invert the stem, and in like manner cut horizontally the ex- 
tremity which till now was uppermost, and plunge it so cut into the same 
fluid, we shall then perceive thut tlie veins will become injected, or Buffer the 
fluid to aBcend, but that the arteries will not : proving cleariy the some kind 
of obstacle in the course of the aneries in this direction, which was 
ptOTed to exiHt in the veins in the opposite direction ; and which reverse 
obstacles we can scarcely ascribe to any other cause than the existence of 

By this double set of vessets, moreover, poaeesaed of an opposite power, 
and acting in an opposite direction, the one to convey the sap or vegetable 
blood forwards. Had the other to bring it backwards, we are able very suffi- 
ciently to establish the phenomenon of a circulatory system ; and, sccording 
to several of the experiments of M. Wijldenow, it seems probable that this 
circulatory system is mainlained by the projectile force of a regular and alter- 
nate contraction and dilatation of the vegetable vessels. Yet the great minate- 
Desa of these vessels must ever render it extremely difiicuK to obtain any 
thing like absolute certainty upon this subject. Even in the most perfectly 
eat&blished circulntory systems of animals, in man himself, it is not once in 
five hundred instHnces that we are able to acquire any manifest proof of snob 
afact : we are positive of the existence of an alieniati.ig systole and diastole 
in tbe heart, from the pulsation given to the larger arteries when pressed 
upon; but no degree of pressure produces any such pulsation in the minuter 
arteries, at least, iu a healthy stale { yet we have full reason to believe that 
tbe same action of the heart extends to the minutest as to the largest arte- 
ries. How much less, then, ought we to expect <iny full demonstntion of 
this point in the vessels of vegetables, in every instance so mueh more minute 
than those of the more perfect animals, and seldom exceeding, as I have 
already observed, a three- thousandth part of an inch in diameter! 

It IJecomes me, however, to confess, that no experiments which have 
hitherto been made have detected the existence of either motlRc or sensiflc 
fibres themselves in vegetables, although very high degrees of galvanic dec- 
tricity have for this puiTXtse been applied to the most irritable of them, as the 
dionna mxue^iula, or Venus fly-trap ; oxalis ttntUiva ; different species of 
drosera, or sun-dew ; acscias of various kinds, and other mimosas j and espe- 
cially the mimosa pudiea, and tentitna, the common sensitive plants of our 
green-houses. Humboldt has uniformly failed ; Rafn appears to have suc- 
ceeded in one or two instances ; but his general want of success prevents us 
from being able to lay any weight on the single case or two in which hs 
seems to have been more fortunate. 

It should be observed, that the matter of fibrine, or the principle of the 
muscular fibre, formerly supposed to exist exclusively in snimal substances, 
has lately been detected by M. Vauquelin in vegetables also. Dr. Hales cut 
off the stems of vines in the spring, and by fixing tubes on the stumps, found 
that the sap rose in many instances to the height of thirty-five feeL Tubes 
have been fixed to the large arteries of animals, as near as possible to tbtf 
heart, in which the blood did not rise higher than nine feet. 

It has long t>een admitted by botanists in general, that the thoms of plants 
are abortive branches ; the scales of buds have, in like manner, been regarded 
as transformed leaves; and it has lately been conjectured byM. de Caadolle, ' 


la :— TIili li Uw plaai nuiniDH irirf It H. WUldtwrw flw lUi {nipoM, ** it 


PUnis >re also pouesMd of cutaneouB secernents or perspjratfwy vesuli ; 
ind in many pUnu the quantity of fluid thrown off by ihis eniiinctoiy ■■ very 
eonnderable. Keil, by a very sccunile aet of experiments, Ranertained that 
io bis own person he perapired 31 ounces in twenty-four hours. Hales, by 
•xperintents equHlly accurate, determined that a sun-flower, of the weight of 
three pounds only, throws off S3 ounces in Lhe aume period of time, or nearly 
half its own weight. To support this enormous expenditure it is necessary 
that i^anls should be suppliea with amuchlsrsei proportion of lilitriment than 
animal! ; and such is actually the fact. Keil ate and drank 41b. lOoz. in the 
twenty-four hours. Seventeen limes more nourishment was taken in from 
the Tools of^e sun-flower than was taken in by the man. 

PlHnts, nevertheless, do not appear to have the smallest basis for sensatioii, 
admitting; that sensation is the result of a uervous system ; and we are not 
acquatflbed with any other source from which it can proceed : notwithstand- 
ing that Percavat and Darwin, as already observed, nave not only endowed 
them with sensation, but with consciousness also ; and the latter, indeed, with 
a brain, and the various passions and some of the. senses to which this organ 
fives birth-t 

Yet, though the vessels of planta-do not appear to possess any muscalar 
fibres, we have evident proofs of the existence of a contractile and irritable 

EDwer from some other principle ; and a variety of facts concur in makine it 
Ighly probable that it is by the exercise of such a principle that the differ- 
ent fluids are propelled through their respective vessels : nor is there any 
odier method dv which such propulsion can be reasonably accounted for. 
Grew ascribed tne ascent of the sap to its levity, as though acting with the 
force of a vapour : Malpighi, to an alternate contraction and dilatation of the 
air contained in what he erroneously conceived to be air-vessels : Perrault to 
femtentation: Hales and Tourne fort, to capillary attraction: not one of which 
theories, however, will better explain the tact than another, as Dr. Thomson 
has ably established ; as he has also the probability of a contractile power in 
lhe different sets of vessels distributed so wonderfully over tixt vegetidile 

That a contractile power may exist independently of muscular fibres, we 
have abundant proofs even in the animal system itself. We see it in the 
human cniis or skin, which, though totally destitute of such fibres, is almost 
for ever contracting or relaxinj; upon the application of a variety of other 
powers ; powers external and ioternal, and totally difterenl io their mode of 
operation. Thus, austere preparations and severe degrees of cold contract 
it very sensibly : heal, on the contrary, and oleaginous preparations, as sen- 
sibly r«liix it. The passions of the mind exercise a still more powerful eflisct 
' : for while it becomes corrui^ated by fear and horror, it is smoothed and 

. . , ... i^^oj Hnger, 

e incapable of 

being made to contract by any power whatever, still should we have no great 
difficulty in conceiving a circul:itory system in animals or vegetables wtuioat 
any sucti cause, while we reflect that one-half of the circulation of the blood 
in man himself is accomplished without such a contrivance; and this too, 
the more difficult half, since the veins, through the greater extent of their 
course, have to oppose the attraction of gravitation instead of being able to 
take advantage of it. kis in the present day, however, a well-known fact, 
and has been sufficiently ascertained by the fate Dr. Parry of Bath, and OD 
the Continent by Professor Doll inger, that the contractile power of the mna- 
eular Bbres is not called ijito action even by the arteries in the course of the 
ordinary circulation of the blood, since, sa we shall have occasion to (Swerve, 
DO increase of size or change of bulk of any kind takes place in arteries 
either in the contraction or dilatation of the heart's ventricles in a state of 

II«B.dali BodM ffAiesdl, Ubl HL 


MUffAM^UDjU. tWlllikanv,FllBdp.tfBMuMM 


bMdth, nnlMs when ther are preaaed upon by the finger or Mine other cson 
of reajitance. 

In what part of t. plant the vital principle chiefly exists, oi to what quattei 
it retireB during the winter, we know not ) but we are just as ignorant in 
' lespect to animal life. In both it operates towards every point ; it conaista 
in the whole, and reaides in the whole ; and its proof of existence is drawn 
flrom ita exerciaing almost every one of ita functions and eflectms its combi- 
natitma in direct opposition to the laws of chemical affinity, which would 
otherwise as much control it as they control ihe mineral world, and which 
eonalantly assume an authority as soon aa ever the vegetable is dead. Hence 
tlie plant thrives and increases in its bulk ; puts forth annually a new pro- 
geny of buds, and becomes clothed with a brautiful foliago of lungs (every 
leaf being a distinct long in itaelf*) for the reaptrationof the rising brood; and 
with an hannoiuouB circle irf action, that can never be too much admired, 
Amiiahee a perpetoal supply of nutriment, in every diversified form, for the 
nowth and perfection of animal life t while it receives in rich abundance, 
fnm the waste and diminution, and even decomposition of the same, the 
means of new birtlui, new buds, and new harvests. 

In fine, eve^ thing is formed for eveir thins; and aubaista by the kind in- 
tercourse of giving and receiving benenls. The electric fire tliat 80 alarma 
us by its thunder, and by the awful effects of its flash, purifies the stagnant 
atmosphere above us ; and fuses, when it rushes beneath us, a thousand n:' — 
nd veins into metals of incalculable utility. New ialanda are r ' 

riaing from the unfathomable gulfs of Ihe ocean, and enlarging the bouiid&. 
riea of organized life ; sometimes thrown np, all of a sndtfen, by the dread 

Jncy of volcanoes, and sometimes reared imperceptibly by the Dun effiHla 
corals and madrepores. Liverworts and mosses first cover the bare and 
ngged surface, when not a regetaUe of any other kind ia capaUe of aubaiat- 
ing there. They flourieh, bear fruit, and decay, and the mould they produce 
forma aa appnmriate bed for higher orders of plant-seeds, which sre floating 
on the wings of the breeze, or swimming on the billows of the deep. Birds 
next ali^it on the new-formed rook, and sow, with interest, the seeds of the 
berriea, or the e^s of the worma and insects on w^ch they have fed, and 
which pass through them without injury ; and an occasional awell of the aea 
floata into Ihe rismg island a mixed mass of sand, ahella, drifted sea-weed, 
skins of the caauarina, and shells trf the cocoa-nut. Thus the vegelahla 
mould hecomes enriched with animal materials j and the whole sumoe ia 
progresaivUy covered with beihaf^, shaded by forests of cocoa and olher 
trees, and rendered a proper habitation for man and the domeaiic aoimala that 
attend upon him. 

Hie tide that makes a deaolating inroad on one aide of a coaat, throwa up 
Tsat maaaes of sand on the opposite : the lygenm, or aea-mat-weed, thai wiu 
grow onno other soil, thrivea here and fi^ea it, and preventa it from being 
waahed back or blown away i to which the lime-gTas8,t cooch-graaa^ aaod- 
reed,^ and rarioua apeciea of willow lend their aid. "nius freafa laoda are 
formed, freafa banka upraiaed, and die boisterous sea repelled by its own 

Frosts and sons, water and air, equally promote fructification m their r^. 
tpecttre ways ; and the termes, or white ant, the mole, the hampater, and the 
etith-womi, break np the ground or delve into it, that it may enjoy their aaln- 
brioua influences, ia like manner, they are equally the miniatem of pntre- 
&ction and decomposition ; and liverworts aiid Amguses, the ant and the 
beetle, the dew-worm, the ship-worm, and the wood-pecker, contribute to the 
general efilect, and aoon reduce the tnmka of the atouteat oaks, if lying waate 
and unemployed, to their elementary principles, so aa to form a productive 
mould for successive progenies of animal or vegetable existence. Such is 
the simple but beantifuf circle of nature. Every Itung lives, flourishes, and 


dseaji! emy thin? dies, but DOthing Is lost: for the gnat principle of UA 
onlf idtangea ita form, and Aw destroetion of one generatign is the Tiriflefc 
lion of the next* Hence, the Hindoo niTtholoBiste, with a force and elegancs 
pecidiarly striki^, and which am nowhere to be panlleled in the theogonies 
of Oresca and Ronw, describe the Sapreme Being, whom tha^ denomtoBte 
Brabait aa fanning and regnlating the tmiverae thronrii the agency of a triad 
of infeitor gods, each of wtuun eontribntes equally to the general result, under 
the names of Brahma, Vianu, and Iswara ; or die genentlng power, the pie- 
Kiring or orauummating power, and the deeompoeing power. And hence 
the Cluielian jduloeopher, with a aimpUcity ae much more atftUme than the 
Hindoo'!, aa it ia more veiaciona, exclaims, on contemplating the regnUr coo- 
AMion, aie intricate harmony, of the scenes that rise before him— 


CTbg nlltct eoMJoncd.] 

Tai pttrfectim of an «rt consists in the employment of a comprehensire 
■yflem of laws, commenenrate to every tmrpoee within its scope, bnt con- 
cealed &om the eye of Uie spectator ; and in the production of^ effects that 
•eon to flow forth spontaneously, as though uncontrolled by their influence, 
•nd which are equally excellent whether regarded indiridnally, or in refer- 
ence to the proposed result. 

Such is toe great art of na 

muBt, aa faras he is able, t , _. 

geaei»l principles, and collect its separate pheDomena, and digest them into 
g^KTal classes. This, in many inslancea, we are able to do j and in such 
cases we obtain a tolerable insight into the nature of things. But so vast, so 
unbounded is the theatre before us, so complicated is its machinery, and so 
doselT does one fact follow up and press upon another, that we are often 
bewiloeied and lost in the mighty maze, and are incapable of determining the 
laws by which it is regulated, or of arranging the phenomena of which it it 

The zoologist, in order to assist his inquiries, divides the whole animal 
creation into six general heads or classes : as thoae of mammals, birds, am- 
philrials, fishea, insects, and worms. Each of these classes he sid>diTides 
mio orders t of each of his orders he makes a distinel section for a multi- 
tude of kinds or genem; and each of his kinds becomes a still more subor- 
dinate section for the species or iydlTiduals of which the separate kinds con- 
sist. But he is perpetually finding, not only that many cases in each of his 
inferior divisions are so equally allied to other divisions that he knows not 
how to arrange them, bnt that even his classes or first divisioos themselves 
labour under the same difficulty ; since he occasionally meets with animals 
that by the peculiarity of their construction seem equally to 'defy all artificial 
method and all natural order. Thus the myxine glvtmota, whicn bv Linnsas 
was renided and ranked as a worm, has been introduced by BlocD Into the 
t^asB of fishes, and is now known by the name of gastrobranchus cacva, or 
hag-fish. Tlie siren lacertina, which was at first contemplated by Linnsus 
as an ami^bions animal of a peculiar genua, was afterward tieclated by 

•SHspmilita MitileMIlB Bw l M t i mm ttilM AjtdmJgi, Td. T. WL ao, by J. H. Btgrn, VSI, ■*• 



Camper and Gmelin to be a fish approaching the nature of an eel, and vu 
■mnsed accordingly. It has aince, however, been restored from the clsM 
of fianea to thai of amphibtalt, and ia in the preaent day believed bv varioita 
soologifita to be nothing more than a variety of the lizard. And thus the 
faippopotamus, the tapir, and the swine, which by Linnieue were ranked in the 
filth order of mamniais with the borae, are arranged by Cuvier with the rhino- 
ceros and the sokotyro, that have hilherlo formed a part of the second ordec 

The eel, in ita general habita and appearance, has a near similitude to the 
serpent; many of ila epeciea live out of the water as weil as in it; and, like 
the serpent, hunt for woriSB, Bnails,and other fnod.over meadows and marshes. 

The platypus anafima, or duck-bill (the ornithorhyncus paradoxvt of Blu- 
Rienbacb), one of the many wonders of New South Wales, unites in its for^ 
and habits the three claases of birds, quadmpedB, and amphibials. Its feet, 
which are four, are those of a quadruped; out each of them is palmate or 
wehbed like a wild-fowi'a ; and instead of lips it has the precise bill of a 
ihoveler or other broad-billed water bird ; while its body ia covered with a fur 
exactly resembling an otter's. Yet it lives, like a lizant, chiefly in the water, 
digs and burrowB under the banks of rivera, and feeds on aquatic plants and 
aquatic animals. The viverra orweasel, in several of iia apeclea, approaches 
the monkey and squirrel tribes; is playful, a gi>od mimie, andposaesaea a pre- 
hensile tail. The flying squirrel, the flyinglizard, or draco volaru,Ktd eapecially 
the bat, approach in their volant endowment the buoyancy of bLKiB,andareable 
to fly by winged membranes instead of by feathers. The exocetus votitiau, or 
flying-fiah, and several other fishes, derive a similar power from their long 
pectoral fins ; while the troctilus, or hummiug-bird, unites the clasa of birds 
with that of insects. It is in one of its species, T. minwnui, the least of the 
feathered tribes; feeds, like insects, un,the nectar of flowers alone, and like 
the bee or butterfly, collects it while on the wing, fluttering from flower lo 
flower, and all the while humming its simple accent of pleasure. Its tongue, 
tike tliat of many insects, is mlBBilc, When taken it expires instantly ; and 
after death, on account of its diminutive size, the elegaciee of its shape, and 
the beauty of its plumage, it is worn by the Indian ladies aa au ear-rlng. 

Such being the perplezlly and seeming confusion that extend through the 
whole chain of animal hfe, ii is not to be wondered at that we should at times 
meet with a similar embarrassment in distinguishing between animal life and 
plants, and between plants and minerals. I gave a curaory glance at this 
subject in our last lecture, and especially in regard to that extraordinai^ divi- 
sion of organized subsuincea which, for want of a better term, we continue to 
denoroinale zoophytes; many of which, aa, for example, various speciea of 
the alcyony and madrepore, bear a striking resemblance to crystals, and 
other mineral concretions; while great numbers of them, and paruculariy the 
eorals, corallines, and some other species of alcyony, as the sea-Gg, sea- 
quince, pudding-weed, and above all the stone-lily (which last, however, is 
now only found in a petritied slate^, have the nearest possible approach to a 
vegetable appearance. Whence, as I have already observed, anionu: the ear- 
lier naluraliets, who expressly directed their atceiition to these suhstances, 
some regarded them aa minerals, and others as vegetables ; and it is aot till 
of late years, only, indeed, since it has been ascertained that the chemical 
elemenlB they give forth on decomposition are of an animal nature, that they 
have been admitted into the animal kingdom. 

Among plants, in like manner, we often meet with instances of individual 
species that are equally doubtful, not only as to what kind, order, or class of 
vegetable existence they belong, but even as to their being of a vegetable na- 
ture of any kind, till their growth, their habits, and their composition an 
minutely examined into. But independently of these individual caseB, we 
also perceive, in the general principle of action and animal life, that the more 
it is investigated, the more it is calculated to excite our astonishment, and to 
indicate to us, so far aa relates to the soaoaoiNATi powkrb of the animal.frame, 
the application o( ono common system to both, and lo demonstrate one com- 
mon oedvation from one common and Almighty Cause. Having, tberefom, 

tsqetablt: and antuai, life. 

in OOT lut lectore, nibmitted to jour attentioD a brief ontlioe of the ii 
of planta, I shall npw proceed to point out a f«w of these genend n 
blancee, and ihall endeavour to wiect those which are eitlier most curiooi or 
most prominent.* 

Plants, then, like animals, are prodaced by ordinBry generation; and 
though we meet with various instances of production by the generation of 
buds and bulbs, or of slips and offdets, the paralleliBm, instead of being 
hereby diminished, is ouly drawn the closer ; for we meet with just as many 
inatanees of the same rsrielies of propagation among animals. Thus the 
hvdra, or polype, ss it is more generally called, the aslerias, and sevend spe- 
cies of the leech, as the tiirudo viridii, for example, are uniformly propagated 
by lateral sections, or pullulating slips or off'seis;t while almost every genua 
ofzoophytic worms is only capable of increase by buds, bulbs, or layers; and 
some of these animals, like the houseleek and various grasses, by spontane- 
ous separation. In effect, most of the kinds now referred to, whether ani- 
naals or vegetables, may be regarded less as single individuals than as assem- 
blages or congeries of individuals ; for in most of them every part exists dis- 
tinctly of every other part, and is often a miniaiu^ of the general form. The 
various branches of a tree olfer a similar example, and present a striking 
contrast with the various branches of a perfect animal. In the taller every 
distinct part contributes to one perfect whole: the arm of a man has no heart, 
no Ivigs, no stomach ; but the branch of a tree has a complete system of or- 
gans to itself, and is hence capable in many cases of existing by itself, and 
producing buds, layers, and other kinds of offspring, when separated from 
the trunk. Tlie different parts of the polype are equally independent, and 
are hence equally capable of a separate increase. It is owing to this princi- 
ple that we are able to graft and bud : and M. Trembly, having applied the 
same kind of operation to the animals we are now Hpeaking nf, found that, by 
numerous grafts of diiTerent kinds upon each other, he was enabled to pro- 
duce monsters as wild and extravagant as the most visionary poet or fiibiijut 
ever dreamed of. 

The blood of j]la{i(s, like that of animals, instead of being simple Is oon>- 
pound, and consists of a great muttitnde-of compacter corpuscles, globules 
for the most part, but not always globules, floating \a a looser ana almost 
diaphanous fluid. From this common current of vitality, plants, like animals, 
secrete a variety of substances of diflferenl, and frequently of opposite powers 
and qualities, — substances nutritive, medicinal, or destructive. And, as in 
animal life, so also in vegetable, it is often observed that the very same tribe, 
or even individual, that in some of its organs secretes a wholesome aliment, 
in other organs secretes a deadly poison. As the viper pours into the reser- 
voir situated at the bottom of his hollow tusk a fluid fatal to other animals, 
while in the general substance of his body he ofl'ers us not only i, heaithftil 
nutriment, but, in some sort, an antidote fur the venom of his jaws : so the 
jatropha maA&ot, or Indian cassava, secretes a juice or oil extremely poison- 
ous in its root, while its leaves are regarded as a common esculent in tbe 
country, and are eaten like spinach-leaves among ourselves ; though the root, 
when deprived, by exposure to heat, of this poisonous and volatile oil, is one 
of the most valuable foods In the world, and sjvqs bread to tbe natives, and 
tapioca as an article of commerce. Its starch rs like Ihatof the finest wheat- 
flour, and, combined with potatoes and sugar, yields a very excellent cider 
and perry, according to the proportions employed. In like manner, while the 
bark of tne cinnamon tree (lauros cimuantmatm) is exquisitely fnigrant,'the 
smell of the flowers is highly ofTenaive, and by most persons is compared to 
that of newly-sawn bones,— by St. Pierre to that of human excrement.^ So 

■ OnmRilnllr. Knl(ai'tutli4a.PliB.Tnmi.1Bia,pu(tt.p. IT>— ISl. 

> ifl.k. — .-i^^i^ iHibieet vtSch li niHrilh' MppoHd ID Tw oTmodi 

hraiia iimipaOuov SOraTai \^ •' For, LikB pLuts, ■ 

Drtaa InMamii In Ik* smhor^ Imulailcn aTLiMnt. 

iiIiMlnniltalbaBoxilSoclBtj'. Hm nomna'a Annili, Sift. p. Ml. 

• OMmniinMr. Kni(ai>utii4a.nin.TtBii.]Bia,pu(tt.p. it>— lai. 

r ThvM Arlarotta. qpon i mb^ect vtSch li niHrilh' MppoHd id Tw oT taoAm Hmoanrj, 'tirwif yip rJ 



the cainriKft bark and cutor oil are obtained from pUnla poiMmoui in eome 
part or other. 

The amvri^ in one of iti species, offers the balm-of-gilead tree ; in another) 
the gum-elemi tree ; and in a third,* the poison-asb, that secretes a liquid 
gum aa black as ink It is from a fourth species of this genua, 1 will just ob- 
serve u 1 psaa along, in order the more completely to familiariae it to lu, 
that we obtain that beautifnl plant which, under the name of rone-wood,! >■ 
now so great a favourite-in our drawing-rooma. 

The acacia nilotica^ or gum<ar«bic tree, is a rich iofltance Id proof <rf the 
same observation. Ita root throws forth a fluid that smells as offensively 
as asaf<Btida £ tiie juice of its stem is severely sour and astringent ; ttw se 
Gemments oi its cutis eaude a sweet, saccharine, nutritive gum, the common 
|mn-aiabic of the shops, and ita flowers diffuse a highly ftanuit and regal- 
ing odour. So the arenga palm produces sugar, an exceUent sago, and a 
poisonons juice that even irritates the skin. 

Btit perhaps the taurus, as a genus, offers us the most extensive variety of 
subBtaaces of different qualities. This elegant plant, in one of its species, 
gives OS the cinnamon tree ;$ in another, the cassia, or wild cinnamon ;| in 
a third, the eamphor tree if in a fourth, the alligator-pear ;** in a fifth, the 
sassafras ;tt in a sixth, a sort of gum-benjamin,tf though not the real gum- 
benjamin, which is a 'styrax ; while in a seventh, the L. cBHtttco, it exhiUta 
a tree wi^ a sap as poisonous as that of the manchineel. > 

And truly extraordinary is it, and highly worthy of notice, that Tariooa 
plants, or juices of plants, which are falally poisonous to some animals, may 
not only be eaten with impunity by others, but will afford them a sound and 
wholesome nutriment. How numerous are the insect tribes that feed and 
fatten on all the species of euphorbia, or noxious spurge ! The dhanesa, or 
Indian buceros, leeds to excess on the nux vomica; the land-crabi^ on the 
berries of the hippomane or manchineel-tree, and the loxia (cTossbeai:) of the 
Bahamas on the fruit of tile amyris toxifera, or poi son-ash. ||| The leaves of 
the kalmia laiifolia are feasted on by the deer and the round'homed elk, but 
are mortally poisonous to sheep, to homed cattle, to hones, and to man. 
The bee extracts honey without injury from ita nectarvi but the adventurer 
who partakes of that honey after it is depoaited in the niveMiells falls a vic- 
tim to his repast 

There are some tribes of animals that exfoliate their cuticle annually, such 
a> grasshoppers, spiders, several species of crabsand serpents. Amongvege- 
laMes we meet with a similar variation from the common rule in the shmbl^ 
cinqnefoiliTT indigenous to Yorkshire, and the plane-tree of the West In- 
dies,*** which most readers know sends forth every spring new colonies by 
means of runners, as we usually denominate them, m eveiy direction, that, 
shortly after they have obtained a settlement for themselves, break off all 
connexion with the parent stock. 

Among animals, some are locomotive or migratoiT, and others sta- 
tionary or permanent ; the same variety is to be traced among vegetables. 
Unquestionably the greater number of animals are of the migratory kind, yet 

1 L. bmtir 


IBS nbliiii continiinl by O. P, ItegaHln, _ _ _ 
r H. AptBnln, ut. 147. lb. imHpeot id Un^onltladBi 
un donumunuii, by p. Holnibcf ^«i, p. 481, sit. IN. 

!■ iln waU mnhy sr nmRk, thai ntriaiu botaoeiHii plmta wbleh qnlDg np Hunc uOHn tbu i 

1«^ yM an nMMd by csnla wbra oflbiid ilon^ fin 1 UghH nsUih nid wm MlotAy utlbg aiA 

I tommlxed. - This, M Blf J. B. anhb laa yiWIraMr obMrrt. b pmttentoily f 

ta IDMBlM by IMI 
^natlE Id ba BUan 

■v Google 


la vnrr order of wonna we meet with Bome inetaooee thai natnrpUf aj^ntaia 
to the latteri while almott every genua and apeciea of the loofdiytio ortleiv 
ita nullepoiea, madreporea, tubiporei, corgoniBs, iaiseBi eoraUinea, and 
/^ODgicfl, cui only be included under it. Plants, on the contm^, are for th« 
mott put atatiODary, yet there are many that are birly entitledto ben< 
gardea aa locomolive or migratory. The natural order attnuxMM, the tooatv* 
DHA poLTaTHiA of the sexual ayat'em, offers us avarielyof inetanceaof whiah 
the Jragaria or strawberry gepua may be selected as a familiar exEun^e. 
The iH^Date, the testicular, and the premorae rooted tribes afford us sinuloi' 
proolB : — many of these grow from a new biilb, or knob, or radicle, while tha 
old root, of whatever description it may be, dies away; in conaequence of 
which we can only conclude that the vital principle of the plant has quitted 
an old, dilap^ated, and ruinous mansion, to take poeeeasion of a new one. 
IftBoiDDch tAat were a person, on ihe point of travelling to the East Indies, to 
plant the root of an orchis,* or a scabious,t in a particular spot in his gardoot 
and to search far it in the same spot on his return home, be would be in no 
small degree disappointed ; and if he were to remain abroad long, he must 
carry his pursuit to half an acre's distance, for thus far would someofiheao 
roots perhaps have travelled in a few years. 

- The male valisneria sails from shore to shore over the water in pursuit of 
bis female. And amultitudeof sea-plants float through the ocean, and tiavi^ 
ptaUy of food wherever they go, send out no roots in order to search for it. 

nants, like animals, have a wonderful power of maintaining their propef 
temperature, whatever be the temperature of the atmosphere that sumunda 
them t and hence occasionally of raising the thermometer, and occasionally 
of depressing it. Like animals, too, they are found to exist in most astonisl^ 
ing wgrees of heat and cold, and to accommodate tiiemselves accordingly. 
Wherever the interest or curiosity of man has led him into elimates of Ihe 
highest oordien] latitudes ) wherever he has been able to exist himself, or to 
trace a vestige of animal being around him ; there, too, has he beheld plants 
of an exquisite beauty and perfection : perfuming, in many instances, the 
dead and silent atmosphare with their fragrances, utdembelljahing the banea 
scenery with their corols. 

It is said that animals of a certain character, the cold-blooded and amphi> 
bious, have a stronger tenacity lo life than vegetables of any kind. But the 
assertion seems to have been hazarded too precipitately } for admitliog that 
the common water-newt} has been occasionally found imbedded in large 
masios of ice, perfectly torpid and apparently frozen ; and that the common 
eel,& when eqtially frozen and torpified, is capable of being conveyed a thou- 
sana miles up die conntij, as from SL Petersburgh, for example, to Moscow, 
in which country, we are told, it is a common practice thus to convey it ; and 
that both, on beii^ carefully thawed, may be restored to as full a possession 
of health and activity aa ever ; yet the torpitude hereby induced can onlv be 
compared to that of deciduous plants in the winter montbsj during which 
season we all know that, if proper care be exercised, they may be removed 
to any distance whatever without the smallest inconvenience. 

Plants, again, are capable of existing In very high degrees of heaL M. 
Sonnerat found the vitex a^wut eaitnt, and two species oFaspalathus, on tiw 
banks of alhenna] rivulet in Ihe island of Lucon, the heat of which raised tbo 
thermometer to 171° of Fahrenheit and so near the water, that its roots 
swept into it. Around the borders of a volcano in the isle of Tanna, whero 
Ibe thermometer stood at 910°, Mr. Forster found a variety of flowers floo- 
liahing in Ibe highest state of perfeclion ; and confervas, and other watoN 
^anta, are by no means nnfrequently traced in the boiling springs of Italjt 
taising the thermometer to ai9° or tlie boiling point. 

^^nim■l■ an cq>able of enduring a heat quite as extreme. Air has oAea 
b^en breatiied by the human qecies with impunity at 964°. TiUet mentiins 

.•OnUiiMri^grMtMML t BuMca omW «r dnlh Ml 

t UmM afiMCta. % Hoiana onth^ 


I.: .l,^.<HWlC 


Ita having been respired at 300° ; the Royal Academy asserti at 30T>, er 190^ 
Reaumur, in an oven, for the space or ten minutes ;* and Morantiu gives ft 
case at 395° Fahr., and that for a space of Sve mtmites. Even ia the denser 
medium of water, animal* of various kinds, and especially fishes, have been 
occBBionallf traced alive and in health in very high temperalures. Thus Dr. 
Clarke asserts, tjial in one of the tepid spring of Bonarbash^, situatad near 
the Scaniander, or Mender, as it is now called, nolwithslanding the thermo- 
meter was raised to 62° Fahr., fishes were seen sporting in the reservoir.f 

So in the thermal springs of Bahia in Brazil many small fishes are seen 
flwimming in a rivulet that raises the thermometer to 66°, the temperature of 
the air being only 77i°. Sonnerat, however, found fishes existing in a hot 
spring at the Manillas at 158° Fahr. :J and M, Humboldt and M. Bonpland, 
in travelling through the province of Quito in South America, perceived other 
fishes thrown upalive, and apparently in health, from the bottom of a volcano, 
in the course of its explosions, along with water and heated vapour that 
raised the thermometer to 310°, being only two degrees short of the boiling 

In realitjr, without wandering from our own country, we may at times meet 
with a variety of other phenomena perfectly consonant in their nature, and 
altogether as ezlrmordinary, if we only attend to them as they rise before us. 
Thus the eggs of the musca vomitoria, our common flesh-IIy, or blow-fly, are 
often deposited in the heat of summer upon putrescent meat, and broiled «ith 
Buch meal over a gridiron in the form of steaks, in a heat not merely of 31£^, 
but of three or four times 213°; and yet, instead of being hereby destroyed, 
we sometimes lind them quickened by this very exposure into their Iqrve or 
grub state. And although I am ready to allow that, in the simple fonn of 
seeds or eggs, plants or animals may be expected to sustain a far higher de- 
gree of heat or cold with impunity, than in their subsequent and more perfect 
state, yet it cannot appear more extraordinary that in such perfect state ihOT 
ahould be able to resist a heat of 210° or 313°, than that in the slate of seeds 
or eggs they should be able to exist in, and to derive benefit from, a heat three 
or four times as excessive. 

In the vegetable world we meet with other peculiarities quite as sjngtdar, 
and which gives them an approach to the mineral kingdom: we have already 
observed that some of them, and especially among the algK and the mosses, 
are nearly or altogether incombustible, as the byssus otteifoi, which, on being 
thrown into the fire, instead of burning, is converted into glass ; and the fon- 
tinalis antipyrtUca, a plant indigenous to the Highlands, but more freqnrat In 
Scandinavia, where from its dilficulty of combustion it Is used 1^ the poor as 
a lining for their chimneys, lo prevent them from catching fire. 

Animals are often contemplated under the three divisions of terrestrial, 
aquatic, and aerial. Plants may be contemplated in the same manner. 
Among animals it is probable that the largest number consists of the firtt 
division; yet from the great variety of submarine genera that are known, and 
from nearly an equal variety, perhaps, that are not known, this is oncertauk 
Among vegetables, however, it is highly probable that the largest number 
belongs to the submarine section, if we may Judge from the almost countless 
species of fuel and other equally prolific tribes of an aqueous and subaqaeons 
origin, and the incalculable individuals that appertain to each species ; and 
more especially if we take into consideration the greater equality of tempe- 
lature which must necessarily exist in the submarine hills and valleys. 

Many animals are amphibious, or capable of preserving life in either ele- 
ment; the vegetable world is not without instances of a similar power. 
'Hie algK, and especially in the tdva and fucus tribes, oflliir us a multitude of 
exam[des. The joncus, or rush, in many of its species, is an amphibions 
pUnt; so, too, is the oryza or rice-plant. In other words, all thme will 

■ HIM. !• PAiad. Bejtk d» Bdmeei, ITU, p. IBS, b. IB. 

I ^■'"^PUt n. Gmoa, Eppl, lad as nol; Lud. p. Ill, M. (d. 

t B» indnaM tiT RwniniiA UumuDaur, lod nLnkua ihe Ihm nmlUi tt tt>. ■ 


ftmriah entir^Ijr covered with water, or with their rootB sione ihoolin^ into 
a moiRt >ot]. 

Animals of rarioua kinds are aiirial : perhaps the tenn is not osed with 
Strict correotnesB. It will, at least< apply with taon correctness' to plants. 
All the most succulent plants of hot climate* are of this description: such are 
■everal of the palms and of the canes ; and the greater number of plants thai 
embellish the arid Karro fields of the Cape of Good Hope.* Succtdent u 
the^ are, these will only grow in soils or sands so sere and adust that no 
moisture can be extracted from them, and are even destroyed by a fall sapply 
of wet or by a niny season. The Solandra^roiuJ^ora, a Jamaica shrub, wu 
long propagated in our own stoves by cuttings, which, though freely watered, 
cotua never be made to produce any signs of fructification, notwithstanding 
that the cuttings grew several feet in length every season. By accident a 
pot with young cuttings was mislaid and forgotten tn the Kew garden, uid 
nad DO water given il; it was hereby rednced to it* healthy aridity, and everr 
extremity produced a fiower.-f 

And hence it is an opinion common to msnv of the ablefl physiologists of 
tfae present day, that these derive the whole of their nutriment from Uie sur- 
rounding atmosphere ; and that the only advantage which they acquire from 
thrusting their roots into snch strata is that of obtaining an erect position. 
Tbere are some quadrupeds thai appear to derive nutriment in the same man< 
■ett Thus the bradypus tridaaytuM, or sloth, never drinks, imbibes by its 
cntaneou* absorbeals, and trembles at the feeling of rain ; and, in common 
witbtbe.bird tribes, has only one ultimate or excrementary duct; while the 
oUve cavyj avoids water of every kind almost as pertinaciously as does also 
the ostrich, which is in consequence said by the Arabs never to drink. And 
yet these are animals almost as succulent as any we are acquainted with. 

But, however true this may t>e with regard to animals, we have manifest 
proofs that vegetables of certain tribes and descriptions are altogether sup> 
ported by the atmosphere that surrounds them ; for, important aa is the organ 
of a root to plants in general, there are several which luve no root whatever) 
and can derive nutriment in no other way. The water-caltropf isaninetonce 
directly in point. The seed of this plant has no rostel, and consequently can 
never, m the first instance, beconla rooted. From the homed nut or pericarp 
of the seed, as it lies in water, which is its natural element, shoots forth a 
long plumule perpendicularly towards the surface of the stream ; during iba 
. ascent of which a variety of capillary branched leaves shoot forth from the 
sides of the plumule, some of which bend downward, atid fix tite whole plant 
to the bottom by penetrating mto the soil below the stream i the leaves alone 
in this late staffs of germination acting the part of a root, and giving maturity 
to ti^e still nnfinished plant. The cactus genus, in some of its very numerous 
species, offert us an example of similar evolution; and especially in the 
opnntia tribe, or that which embraces the prickly pears or Indian figs of our 
gnen.honses, of which the cochineal plantH is one form. Of these, several 
ffow by the mere introduction of one of their thick llesfay leaves into a soil 
of almost any kind that is sufficiently dry ; they obtain an erect position, but 
Mver root, or shoot forth radicles : and hence almost the whole of their 
moistore must necessarily be derived from the surrounding atmosphere. 

Perhspa one-half of the fuci have no root whatever: many of them, indeed, 
consist of vesicles ot vesicular bulbs alone, sessile upon the matrix of some 
atone or ahel> that supports them, and propagate their kinds by offsets, with- 
out any other vegetable organs. The seeds of the fucue proltfir sometimes 
erolre noUiing but a leaf; the plant being propagated also by leaf upon leaf, 
either forked or elliptiCi without root. 

The apbyteia Ayttnora is a curious instance in pmnl. This plant is equally 
dealitDte of leavea, atem, and root -, and consists alone of a sessile, coriacaooa, 

■ Taa nl* Mn UhI mwra tUi Ottt !■ Uial wUdi Iklli fiv ■ hw mlu 1b iIm mttatt ; dnrlnf Ik» M 
^knltanin]Bl^nkMnlBwbu<<w- r ^i*<V* InindoitlOD to Bmn, *t & Ml. 

tCnOaewdir. ndilaiba on tniHdlBBT,l»>iHlluC.«ta|ia, <itfiUM»iit[, drtnb bntfi 
ai UN C an*«, V itnr enr. I* am or ■wtaniat ana At1o(. 



wer, Mten u a Inxoir by the HottoatoUi and nmiliB tv 

the rooU of the eupfaorbU nKMrtdinuM ; flower propttgatin; flown bom 



But perhape the plant moat decisire upon lliii iubject is the aiiial tpidtm- 
drwM,* ftnt, ir I miitake not, deecribed by that excellent PoitOftueM pbjtolo- 
~it Lonreira, and denominated aerial fram iU very eUiaordinaiy piopertiea. 
'a ia a native of Java and the East Indies beyond the Ganges ; and, in tbo 
laiur region, it is no nncommon thin; for the inhabitants to pluck it up, on 
aceoont of the elegance of its leaves, the beautv of its flower, and the ezqni- 
■ite odour it dilRiaea, and to suspend it by a silken cord from the eeilinp of 
their HMms; where, fhnn year to year, it continues to put forth new leaves, 
new blossoms, and new rragrance, excited alone to new life aai action by the 
■timolns of the snTTOandiitg atmosphere. 

Ttut stimulns ia oxygen ; ammonia is a good stimnlus, but oxjgmi poa- 
Msses far superior powers, and hence without some portion of oxygen few 
plants can ever be made to genninate. Hence, too, the use of cow-^lung and 
Other animal recrements, which consist of muriatic acid and ammonia : while 
in bt, oil, and other fltuda, that contain little or no oxygen, and eonsial 
altogether, or nearly so, of hydro^n and carbon, seeds may be confloed for 
ages without exhibiting any germination whatever. And nence, again, and 
ifie fact deserves to be extensively known, however torpid a seed may be, 
and destitute of all power to vegetate in any other sabatanee, if steeped in a 
diluted solutionof oxygenated muriatic acid, at a temperature of about 46° or 
48P of Fahrenheit, provided it still possess its principle of vitality, it will ger- 
Bunate in a few hours. And if, alter this, it M planted, as it ought to be, in 
Its ^>pn>pnate soil, it wiU grow with as much speed and vigour as if it had 
ovioced no torpitude whatever. 

I have said that few plants can be made to lemunata when the oxy^n is 
■null in quantity, and the hydr<%eo abundant: and I have made the limila- 
Iton, becanse aquatic planta, and aach as grow in maitbes, and other moist 
plaoes, are i«mariuible. not only for parting with a large quantity of oxygen 
gas, but also for absorbing hydrog«n gas freely ; and are hence peculiarly 
calculated for purifying the regions in which tney flourish, and in some sort 
for correcting the mischief that flows from the decomposition of the dead 
vegetable and animal materials thai is peipetusUy takinf^ place in snch sitn^ 
lions, and loading the atmosphere with febrile and other miasma.- 

Bui the instances of resemblance tietween animal and vegetable physiology 
are innnmer^le. Some plants, Uke a few of our biida, more of our insects, 
•nd almost all oar forest beasta, appear to sleep through the day, and to 
awake and become active at night: wEiiletbegTeaternnmSe)-,liketM greater 
. munber of animals, resign themaelves to sleep at sunset, and awake rein- 
▼igoraled with the dawn. Like animals, they all feel the living power excited 
by small degrees of electricity, bat destroyed by severe shocu ; and like ani- 
awle, too, they differ in a very extraordinary degree in the duration of many 
of their speoiea. Borne tribes of boletus unfold themselves in a few houn, 
Uke the ephemera and hemerobioa tribes (Hay-fly and Sprinc-By), and aa 
■peedily decay. Several of the Amgi live only a few days ; others weeks or 
months. Annual {dants, like the greater part of our insects, live tbiee, four, 
or even eight months. Biennial i:^!*, like the longn-lived insects, and 
BOflt of our shell-fishes, conlinoe alive sixteen, eighteen, or even twenty-four 
~~'.a continueonly a few yeara,butDora 

.,„ , varie^ to he met with in the neater 

M tarda, quadnueds, and flahea ; while shrubs and trees are, lor the 
jt part, coequal with the age of man, and a few of them equal that allotted 
to him in the earliest periotu of the world. Of theso last, the Adansonia 
dig^ata, or calabash tree, la perhaps one of the most extraordinary. Indi- 
""OOUB to the land of the patriarchs, and atiU outrivaUing the patiiaichal age, 

• au^endons tree, compared with which our own pant oak, in balk M vnU 

■v Google 



u in yrafa, ia but so infant, aeema to require not leaa than a thoosand years 
to five it full vigour and maturity. Extending iu enormous arms over ibfl 
diy and bamn mQ from which it shoots nalurallT, it aifbrda shelter to whole 
niioiu of barbarians, and in its pleasant subacid fruit administers an ampla 
HiM^y to their hunger. 

IJet it not, bowever, be imagined that, by pointing out snch fireqnent in- 
stances of resemblance between animal and vegetable life, I mean to degrade 
tbs tank of animal being from its proper level ; for it will be one of the chief 
ol^iects of our subsequent studies to develope and delineate its molUform and 
raaneleristic superiorities. I am only tracing at present the common prin- 
ciple of vitality to its first outlines: I am endeavouring to unfold to you, in 
its simplest and rudest operations^ that grand, and wonderful, and compie- 
hensive system, which, though under different modiflcatiotu, nnqoestionably 
controlliog both plants and animals, from the first moment it begins to act 
infuses energy into the lifeless clot^ draws forth form and beauty, and indi- 
vidual being, uom unshapen matter, and stamps with organization and pro- 
pensities the common dust we tread upon. And If, in tnjs its lowest scale 
of vpenikm^—itf under the influence of these its simplest laws, and the mere 
powers (so for as we are able to tnce them) of contractility and iiritability, 
It be c^wble of producing effects thus striUng, thus incomprehensible, wlwt 
may we not expect when the outline is filled up and the svstem rendered coin- 
plelet Whatmaywe not expect when we behold,snperadded to the poweraof 
oonlractaity and iiritdulity, those of sensation and vdnntaiy motion 1 What, 
store especially, when to these ate stm fartberadded (he ennobling facnlties of a 
ntiooal and intelligent soul.— the nice organs of articulation andspeech, — tbe 
aloquence of language,— the means of interchangins ideas, and of imbody- 
iufc if I may so express myself^ all the t^nomena of the mind 1 

Bnch an the important subjects to which our subseijuent studies are to be 
directed. In the mean time, from the remarks which have already been 
hazarded, we cannot, I think, but be struck with the two following sublime 
characters, which pre-eminenlly, indeed, distinguish sll the works of nature : 
- — « grand compnoensiveness of scheme, a sunple but beautiful circle of 
action, by whicn every system is made to conlnbute to the well-being of 
every qrstem, every part to Uie harmony and hairiness of the whole ; and 
a nice, and delicate, and ever-rising gradation from shapeless mailer to form, 
from form to feeling, from fading to intellect, from the clod to the crystal, 
from the crystal to the plant, from the plant to the animal, from brutal life to man. 
Here, placed on ihe sumioit of this nlupendous pyramid, lord of all around 
him, the only being through tbe whole range of the visible creation endowed 
with a power of contempUtiDg and appreciating the magnificent scenery by 
which he is encompassed, and of adoring its Almighty Architect — at once 
the head, the heart, and the tongue of the whole— well, indeed, mar he exult 
and rejoice I But let him rejoice with modesty. For, in the midst of this 
fmmd exaltation, it is possible that he forms but one of the lowest linlu tn 
" the golden everlasting chain" of intelligence ; that he stands on the mere 
threshold of the worid of perception ; and that there exists at least aa wide 
a disproportion between the sublimeet characters that ever were bom of 
women, <wr Bacons, Newtons, and Lockes, our Aristotles, Des Cartes, and 
Eulers, and (he humblest raidca of a loftier world, as there is between these 
bighly-gifled mortals and the most unknowing of the animal creation. Yet 
nam, tlunks to its beniOcenl Bestower I is itself immortal, and knowledge is 
eternally progressive ; and hence man, too, if he improve the talents in- 
Iruflled to nim, as it is his duty to do, may yet hope, unblamed, to ascend 
hertttfter aa h^h above the present sf^ere of these celestial intelligences, aa 
they are at present placed above the sphere of man. But these are specula- 
tions in some degree too sublime for us : (he momen( we launch into them, 
that moment we become hwt, and find it necessary (o return with suiUble 
modesty to our proper province, — an examiualion of the world aronnd us i 
'where, with all (he aids of which we can avail ourselves, vre shall still find 
dUBculties enough to try the wisd<Mi of tbe wisest, and the potienoe of tha 


X piUMWLm or ur, uRmiiuTT, and 

Wi bare diatinguislied ot^Hnic from inorganic matter i tnd have charac- 
teriied the former, among other diETtrenceE, by its beinE actuated in everjr 

' ' ' ' ' of parts mutually de- 

What thep is thii in- 
r, which, in some sort 

the lowest tribes of the vej^etable kingdom, whose general laws and pheno* 
niena constituted the subject of our last studv, — this fleeting and evanescent 
euei^, which, unseen, by the eye, untracked by the understanding, is only 
knownt like its great Author, by its effects ; but which, tike him too, whereTor 
it winds its career, is perpetually diOuaing around it life and health, and bar- 
tnouT and happiness 1 

I do not here enter into the consideration of a thinking or intelligent prin- 
ciple, or even a principle of sensation, both which are altogether of distinct 
Batures from the present, and to which I shall entreat your attention here- 
After; but confine myself entirely to that inferior but energetic power npcm 
which the identity and individuality of the being depend, and upon a failure 
of which the individual frame ceases, the organs lose their relative connexion) 
the laws of chemistry, which have hitherto been controlled by its superior 
authority, assume their action, and the whole system becomes decomposed 
nitd resolved into its primary elements. 

The subject is, indeed, recondite, but it is deeply interesting : it has occu- 
pied the attention of the wisest and the liesl of mankind in all ages ; and 
though, after the fruitless efforts with which such characters have hitherto 
pursued it, 1 have not the vanity to conceive that I shall be able to throw 
njWD it any tbin^ like j>erfect daylight, you will not, 1 presume, be displeased 
with my submitting to vou a brief outline of some few of the speculations to 
which It has given birtn, together with the conjectures it has excited in my 
own mind. 

Of the innumerable theories that have been started upon this subject, the 
three following are those which are chiefly entitled to our attention. Life is 
the result of a general harmony or consent of action between the different 
organs of which the vital frame consists. — Life is a principle inherent in the 
blood.— Life is a gas, or aura, communicated to the system from without. 
Each of these theories has to ttoasl of a very high degree of antiquity j and 
each, after having had its day, and spent itself, has successively yielded to 
its rivals; and in its turn has reappeared, under a difTerent modiflcation, ia 
tome subsequent age, and run through a new siage of popularity. 

For THE STHTEH OP HAKuoNv We 016 Indebted to the mventive genius of 
AristozenuB, a celebrated physician of Greece, who was at first a pupil of 
Lamptus of Brythrma, afterward of Xenophylus the Pythagorean, and lastly 
of Aristotle. He was most excellently skilled in music, and is supposed to 
have given the name of habmont to his system from his attachment to this 
science. It is an ingenious and elegant dogma, and was at one time highly 
fashionable at Rome as well as at Athens ; and is thus alluded to and ex- 
plained by Lactantius : " As in musical instruments, an accord and assent of 
sounds, which musicians term hashonv, is produced by the dile tone of the 
String ; so in bodies, the faculty of perception proceeds from a connexion 
Mid vigour of the meiiibere and organs of the frame."' 

To this theory there are two objections, either of which is fatal to it. Tha 


iiM Is, that tdmittinKthe aboolute aeceuit^ or the heallh or perfection of 
«v«iT«fipatate the health or perfection of the whole, we are still a» 
mien in the dark as ever in respect lo the principle by which this harmoni- 
OM machine has been developed, and is kept ia pei^tval play. The second 
ol^liont by which, indeed, it was Tigorously sltacked 1^ the Epicureans, 
■nd al lengta completely diiven from the Gsli, is derived'from observing that 
the health or well>beinf of the general system does not depend upon that of 
ha collective oilcans ; and that tomg parts are of far more consequence lo it 
than others. 'niUB the mind, observes Lucretius, in his able refutation of 
this hypothesis, may be diseased, while the body remains unaffected ; or the 
body, on the contrary, may lose some of its own organs, while the mind, ot 
even the seneral he^Ih of the body itself, continues perfect. 

The abu Polignac, who, consistently with the Cartesian system, makes a 
Tery proper distinction between the principle of the mind or soul, and thatof 
the Ule, enters readilv into the hypothesis of Aristozenus in regard to the 
lattet power, though he thinks it inapplicable to the former: and Leibnitz 
appears to have availed himself of it as a means of accounting for the union 
between the soul and body in his celebrated system, which he seems to have 
named, from the theory before us, the system of pbb'Kstisubhed babmoht. 
By a writer of the present day, however, M. Lueac, the doctrine of Aristoze- 
nus seems to have been resuscitated in its fullest scope, and even to have 
been carried to a much wider latitude than its inventor had ever intended] 
f<»' the theory of M. Lusac affects to regard, not only the of man and 
other aniraals, but the vast frame of the universe, as a sort of musical organ 
or inatramenl ; the concordant and accumulated action of whose different 
parts or agents he denominates, like Aristozenus, Aartnony. " Concerts of 
music," says he, " afford a clear example : you perceive hannony in inusia 
when different tones, obtained by the touch of various inBtruments, excite 
one gmeral sotmdi a compound of the whole." This obseivatioo he appliea 
lo the grand operations ot nature, the irregularities of which, resulting' from 
innndalionB, eardiqni^es, vtricatjoes, tempests, and similar evils, ihiapbiloso- 
" s as the dissonances occasionally introduced into music to 


tighten Ihe harmony of the entire system. With respect to the harmony 
m' the human frame, individually contemplated, or the concordant action of 
Ibe different parts of the body, he observes, "It may be said, that of this 
minciple I have merely a eonmsed notion; and I admit it, if the assertion 
ungrfy Uiat I have neither a perfect nor a distinct, nor an entire comprehen- 
sion of what produces this harmony — in what it consists, or how it acts. I 
know not what produces the harmony of various instruments beard siroulta- 
■eoualy; but I can accurately distinguish the sounds which are occasioned 
when musicians are tumng, frnm those wlpch are produced when, being com- 
jdetely hi tune, and every one uniting in the piece, the separate parts are 
axecnted with precision. When I hear an hannouious sound, whatever be 
its nature, I can distinguish the harmony, though incapable of investigating 
its caose." 

1 shall only observe, farther, that in the doctrine of Mr. (now Sir Humphry) 
Davy, which holds life itself as a perpetual series of corpuscular changes, 
and the subslrate, or living body, as the being in which these changes take 
[dace, we cannot but observe a leaning towards the same system; and we 
dull have occasion, in a subsequent lecture, to' notice one or two others of 
equally modem date that touch closely upon it in a few polnts.t 

Let ns pass on, then, to a consideration of Ihe second hypothesis I have 
noticed, and which consists in regarding the blood rrsiLr as thb rantciPLa 
^ UTB. This opinion lays claim to a still hi^er antiquity than the we- 
eeding ; and, in a general view of the question, is far better founded. It na* 
the fiSlest support of the Mosaic writings, which expressly appeal to the doc- 
tiine, that " the life of all flesh is the blood thereof,'^ as a basis for the ouli. 

•I>aI>nttNHBnl,aTll,ilP<llUfH,loaLLlM. inmlmat. iMtanv. 

t Lfitt iTtL 14. 


nuy MCtion of the Levitical code i a doctriae, indeed, of no new inTantioii, 
tma at that eaily period, but probably derived expreasly from the ritual of 
ttM histMr patriarcnB, if we may be allowed to ai^al to a similar belief and 
a aimuar practice among the Parseea, Hiiidooa, and other oriental nationa of 
verj remote antiquity, who leem rather to have drawn thiapart of their oer^ 
monial directlv from the law or traditioo of tbe patriarch*, than indirectly 
from that of the Jew*. 

Amoitf the Qreeke and Romans, were the aothority of tbe noet* to be of 
Vttf arau, we ahoidd imagine that tiiia hypotheaja never ceaaed to be in repn- 
tstion: for the n^pBtMHrot. or purplt dtath, of Homer, and the purjnrta 
tm im a, otpwpU l^e, of Virgil (phrasea evidently derived from this theory), 
are oraimonplace term* amid all of them : but the real fact is, that amffli^ 
tte jriiiloaDphers, we do not know of more than two, Empedode* and Critiast 
1!^ may be (airly said to have embraced it. 

' In modem times, however, this hypotheaiH has again dawned forth, and risen 
even to meridian splendour, under auspices that entitle it to our moet attentive 
eonaiderUion. Harvey, to whom we are indebtedforafullknowledgeof the 
dtcolatlon of the blood, may be regarded as the phtmphor of its nprising; 
Rofiinan speedily became a convert to the revived doctrine t Hnxham not 
only adopted it, but pursued it with so much ardour, as, in his own belief, to 
trace the immediate part of the blood in which the principle of lifo is dia^ 
linctiy seated, and which he supposed to be its red particles. But it is to that 
aecnrate and truly original physiologist, Mr. John Hunter, that we can only 
look for a fair restoration of this system to the favour of the jtresent day, or 
for its erection upon any thing like'a rational basis. By a variety of import- 
ant experiments, this indefatigable and accurate observersncceeded tnpnmog 
incontTovertibly that the bloc^ contributes in a far greater iegna, not only to 
tbe vital action, hut to the vital material of the system, than anjr other con- 
■titnent part of it, whether fluid or solid. But he went beyond this disoovery, 
and afforded equal proof, not only that the blood is a means of life to every 
Other part, but that it is actually alive itself. "The difficulty," lays he, "ol 
conceiving that tbe blood is endowed with life, while eirculaling, arisee 
merely from its being a fluid, and the mind not being accustomed to the idea 
of a hvin^ fluid. — I Aall endeavour," he continues, " to show that oiganiza- 
tlon and life do not in tbe least depend upon each other; that organization 
may arise out of living parts and produce action, but that life can never arin 
out of or produce organization."* 

Thi* is a bold speculation, and some part of it is advanced too hastily : for 
instead of its being true, " that life can never arise out of or produce organ- 
ization," the mostcurso^ glance Into nature will be sufficient to convince 
evei^ man that orsanization is the ordinary, perhaps the only, means by which 
life la transmitted; and that wherever life appears, its tendency, if not its 
actual result, is nothing else than or^ization. But though he failed in hla 
reasoning, he completely succeeded in his facts, and abundantly proved tfaU 
the blood itself though afluid and in a sCaCeof circulation, is actually endowed 
with life : for be proved, first, that II is capable of bein^ acted upon and con< 
trading, like the solid muscular flbre, upon the applicatcou of astimulns ; oT 
which every one has an instance in that cake or cosgulnm into which tha 
blood contracts itself when drawn from the arm, probably in consequence 
of the stimulus of the atmosphere. He proved, next, that in all degree* of 
atmoapherieat temperature whatever, whether of heat or cold, which the body 
is capable of enduring, it preserves an equality in its own temperature ; and 
in addition to this very curious phenomenon, he proved also, that a new-laid 
egg, the vessels of v^ich are merely in a nascent slate, has a power of pro. 
etrving its proper temperaiiire. and of resisting cold, heat, or putrefaction, for 
a considerable period longer than an egg that has been frozen, or in any othar 
way deprived of its vital principle. Thirdly, he proved, in the instance of 
pan^c limbs, that the blood is capable of preserving vitality when every 

• Honnr en the Slotd, p, N 


«aw put of M orgaa has loM iU viUl power, and is the only cboso of Ita 
Bot twcomtaif «>inq)t. Foonhlr, that thonrii not vascular itaelf, it is capdda, 
by Ita own aMrgy, of [Hrodueing new reaseu out of ita own lubatance, and 
waeto of orery dennption, aa Wmphatica, arteries, reina, and even nerves.* 
nnally, he proved, that the Mood, when in a atate of health,, is not only, L'ke 
the nrascnlar fibre, capable of contracting npou the application of a certain 
degree of appropriate stimolos, but that, like the mmevlar fibre also, it is 
hiatantly exnanated of Its vital power whenever such stimttlus is exceaaivei 
and that the aaine stroke of lightning that deatroys the muacolar fibre, and 
leaves it Oaeoid and uncontracted, deatroya the Mood, and leaves it loose- and 

. a ^tuauit alter some foreign and superadded principle] t 

is at one time alive, and at another time dead, cannot he life itself. 

The next theory, therefore, to which I have adverted, undertakea to ezidain 
In what this foreign and superadded principle consists. Somb azQirumLT 
avBTLB eia or aou — some fine, elastic, invisible fluid, sublimed by nature in 
tba deepest aad most imaj^roacbable recesses of ber labotstory, and spirited 
with the most active of her energies. Aji approach towards this hypotheais 
is also of great antiquity ; for it constituted one of the leading featutes <rf 
the Epicurean philosophy, and is etirionsly developed by Lucretius in his poem 
on the Nature of Things. According to him. it ib a gas or aura, for which in 
hla day there was no name, difibsed through every part of the living fabric, 
awiAer and mwe atteonate than heat, air, or vapour, with all which it con- 
onn in tonoiof the soul or mind as ita chief elementary principle ^— 

And in«« M KMl or ^ao ou anil Uiilf t 

Bnt it is to the astonishing discoveries of modem chemistry alone that vr« 
are indebted for any fair application of any ancb fluid to account for dw 
idAnomena of life. 

Among the numerous gases which modem ehemiitry has detected, there 
are three which are pre.«minently entitled to our attention, thongh they seem 
to have been glanced at by the Epicureans : caloric, or the matter of heat, 
chiefly characterized in our own day as a distinct subatance, by the labour* 
of Dr. Bla<± and Dr. Crawford ; oxygen, or the' vital pan of atmospheric 
air, first discovered by Priestly, and explained by Lavoiaier ; and the fluid 
which is collected by the Voltaic trough, and which is probably nothing more 
than the electric flmd nndera peculiar form. 

Of these, caloric, as a distinct entity, was detected Snt. It was found to 
be a gas of most astonishing energy and activity, and, at the same time, to 
be oithe utmost eonaeqaence to the living anbitance ; to exist manifeatly 
wherever life exists, and to diiappear on its cessation. It was hence con- 
ceived to be the principle of life itself. 

But oxygen began now to start into notice, and the cnrions and indispen- 
eaUe rart it performs in the respiration, as well as in various ether functions 
of both animal and vegetable existence, to be minutely explored and asee^ 
tained, and especially by the microscopic eye of M. Girtanner.{ The genius 
of Crawford fell prostrate before that of Lavoiaier. Oxygen whs now 
regarded as the principle of life, and heat as its mere attendant or handmaid. 

About the year 1790, Professor Galvani,of Bologna, sceidentslly discovered 

■■ innl, OM Dm Haft of ■ frof oa Un ud to BOutlAil. ad M wOQDdi knl, wttliw 


that the cniral nerve. of a froff, wbieh had been cat up for hii dinner, con- 
tracted and became conTulseaoii the application of a knife welted vith water t 
and following* up this simple fact, he soon discovered also, that a aimilar kind 
of contraction or convulsion might be produced in the mnaclea of other 
animals, when in like manner prepared for the experiment, not only during 
life, but for a considerable period after death; and that in all such oaaes a 
fluid of some sort or other was either given to tbe contracting body or taken 
from iL And Professor Volia, about the same period, succeeded in proving 
that the flaid thus traced to be given or received wae a true electric aura ; diat 
it might, in like manner, be obtained by a pile of metallic plates, of two or 
three different kinds, separated from each other by water, or wetted cloth or 
wadding; and be so accumulated by a multiplication of such plates, as to 
produce the moat powerful SKcncy in all chemistry. It u not necessary to 

pursue tbii subject any fartner. Every one in the present day has a 
knowled^ of Galvanisni and Voltaiam; eveiy one has witneseed some oi 
those curione and astoniabing effects which the Voltaic fluid is capable of 
operating on the muscles of an animal for many houn after death : and it 
only remains to be added, that sint^e the discovery of this eztraordinair 
power, oxygen has in its turn fallen a sacrifice to tbe Voltaic Quid, and this 
last has been contemplated by numerous physiologists as constituting the 
principle of life ; an a duid received into the animal system from without, and 
atimuuting its different organs into vital action. " The identity," says Dr. 
Wilson P£llip, ** of Galvanic electricity and nervous influence is established 
by these experimeata." 

Tba result of the whole appeara to be, that neither physiology nor chemiitiy, 
with all the acctiracv and assiduity with which these ecieoees have been pur- 
sued of late yean, has been able to arrest or develope tbe fugitive principle 
of life. The^ have unfolded to us the means by which life, perhaps, is pro- 
duced and maintained ia the animal frame, but they have given ub no informa- 
tion as to the thing itself; we behold the inBlniment before ns, and ses 
something of the fingers that play upon it, but we know nothing whatever of 
the mysleiionsessencelhat dwells m the vital tubes, and constitutes tbeiital 
harmony. . 

It seems to be on this account, chiefly, that the existence of sneh a princi- 

ge as a substantive essence hHs been of late yean denied by MH. Dumaa, 
ichat, Richerand, Magendie, and, indeed, most of the physiologists of France ; 
whose hypothesis has been caughl up and pretty widely circuUted in our'owD 
country, as though nothing in natural science can be a fair doctrine of belief, 
unless its subject be matter of clear developement and explanation. But this 
uncalled-for skepticism has involved these philosophers in a dilemma from 
which it seems mipossible for them to extricate themselves, and which we 
ahall have occasion to notice more fully hereafter: 1 mean the existence of 

Ewera and faculties without an entity or substantial base to which they 
long, and from which they originate. They allow themselves to employ 
tbe term, and cannot, indeed, do without itj but alter all they mean nothing 
by it. " No one in the present day," says M. Richerand, " contests the ax- 
I PBDICIPI.B or Lira, which subjects the beings who enjoy it to an 

order of laws difllerent from those which are obeyed by inanimate beings ; by 
means of which, among its principal characteristics, the bodies which rr an- 
MaTBS are withdrawn from the absolute government of chemical affinities, and 
are capable of maintaining their temperature at a near degree of equality, 
whatever be that of the surrounding atmosphere. Its aasiircB is not designed 
to preserve the aggregation of constituent molecules, but to collect other 
molecules which, oy assimilating themselves te the oi^ns that it vivirus, 
may replace those which daily losses carry off, and which are employed in 

'■tttaialiitid>itkel,lb«inil<MaitUcilliiC(7TsrTwuBai(iiilyiiiida, bat ccmpMat lain UalMUlai*, aid 
In On mat ama or ■ neantlr-dlnBclsd Itog, I17 Dr. Alniiuar atnin, pbyadu u Uw qonn, In ITV 

thoofa no >dmnuB wu ukn of It. A. mlnuis »eoooui of l>r. Bi»vr«i'« np— ' '--" — ._...-~j 

TnH.ailTtt. BHih>isUut^BiiidjarHsAclaa,ToLIU.p.l>,ldidlL 


noriiing snd Bngmontiag them>'^ Yet, when we come (o examine into tha 
MDJeetmoTQ eloaoly, we find that all these termai so expreBaiTe of aapecilh; 
beinc and distinct ttaliiT-^ia Msitm that vmrm and AimiATn, bu neither 
beinf , nor estenee, nor Tiviflcation, nor animation, nor reality of any kind ; 
(hat the wlude of these ezpfessione are metaphysic&I ; and that the word 
TTTAi. pbunhpu is not designed to express a distinct being, but is merely an 
abridged formula, denoting the totautt or powiai iLonrn which animate liT- 
in(bodies,and dJstingoiahthem from inert malter, the totautt o» paoramaa 
and Liwswhichgotem the animal economy.t So that we have here not only 

iite em[doynient of teims that have no meaning, but properties and laws, 
powers and piinciplea, witlionl an; ''"" ' 

dalitHi, — effect! without a cause. 

d piinciples, witlionl any source,— a superstructure wiUioot a fonn- 

Bat what is this curioua and delicate instrument itself t — this machine that 
so nicely responds to the impressions commanicated to it, -and Tisitdy enve- 
k>peB so inTisible a constituent 1 

It ia not my intention in this series of popular study to enter into any mir 
nuts history of tha animal frame, but shall confine myself to UioBe general 
views of it which are requisite to sliow by what means it is operated upon 
fay the delicate powers we have just contemplated, and the more curious pile- 
nomena which result from such an impulse. 

Ttie animal frame, then, is a combmation of living solids and fluids, duly 
harmonized, and equally contributory to each other's perfection. The prip* 
ciple of life, whatever it consists of, exists equally in Irath ; in some kinds in 
a greater, in others in a lees degree. In the fluids, Mr. Hunter has traced it 
down to Uieir first and lowest stage of existence, for he has traced it in tha 
chyle il and there are evident proofs of its accompanying several of those 
which are elinunated from the body ; in the blood it is found, as we hsTe 
already had occasion to notice, in a high degree of activity, and probably io 
a aiiU nigfaer in the nervous Quid. 

In tiie solids it varies equally. There are some in which It can seareely 
b« trsoed at all, excepting from their increasing growth, as the cellular mem- 
brane, and the bones ; in others, we find a perpetual internal activity, ot sua- 
eeptibilily to external impressions. But it is in those irritable threads or fibres 
whicb constitute the general substance of the muscles or flesh of an animal, 
that the princif^e of life exerts itself In its most extraordinary manner, and 
which it more immediately, therefore, falls within the scope of the present 
laeture to investigate. 

The muscle of an animal is a bondle of these irritable fibres, or soft, red, 
evlindrictl, and nearly inelastic threaib^ formed out of a substance which the 
coemists, from the use to which it it applied, denominate flbrine ; and which, 
when examined microscopically, are seen to divide-and subdividb, as far as 
Ibepoweroffflaases will carry the eye, into minuter bundles of fibrils, or still 
smaller threads, parallel to each other, and bound together b}r n delicate cel- 
lular web-work, obTiously of a different nature. The^ are uniformly accom- 
.panied thningh their course by a number of very mmute nerves, wfaidi are 
chorda or tubes that originate from the brain, and branch o«t in every direc- 
tian, either immediately from the brain itself, or from some part of the spinal 
marrow, which is a continuation of this organ; by which means a pespetoal 
coram onicatiod is kept up between the sensorium and the remotest pwl of 
the body, as we shall have farther occasion to notice hereafter.^ Upon the 

I Ininlmr^i, fiina t iHoaUa 

TH qq'i LLE AnHB. ft l^aonln anotn 


liu iUfi«pn«iHlB],qiHUaqMai>Ud1)ll«unc«ll«dal>iI. 

_. , Htfnr AfpifmUaii dai mrtiaUwMii^' — ■" '" '^-^- 

iiiaiiittinMnnMqi^iL' ' "* 

. , ^,j»ilmaiKiattttkimMi 

p-BI. PBta,SnLieOi. 


IHilicilion of my irritatiiifr or Btimnlating power, Uwm fibiei unmedUtelT 
eootnet in their length, sod upon the ceisation of such power return to their 
Coniier itate of relaxation : and it is cfai«A; by this curious cootriTance Uiat 
Ihfl aninial ajstrai is enabled to fulfil all ita functions. The aiimuli bj which 
the fibre*, whether of motion or of senaation, are toosed iato action, are per- 
b^M innnmeiable in the whole ; but a few general classes may easily be de- 
rised to comprise all those by which ihey are ordinarily affected. And while 
by an adminnle diversity of constnictiop, some sets of fibres are only affected 
1^ some sets of stimuli, other sets are only affected by others ; and in thia 
manner all the organs are compelled, as it ne^e, to execute the different offices 
intrusted to them, and no one interferes with that of another. Thus the 
fibres of the external senses are affect«d by external objects; they coatnct 
and give notice of the presence and degree of power of such objects to &e 
brain, throti^ the medium of the nerves, which, as 1 have just observed. 

always accompany them, and which either terminate in or arise from that 
organ : bat whde toe irritative and sensitive fibres of tlie ear are excited only 
by the stimulus of sound, snd have no impression produced upoa them by 
that.of light, those of the eye are excited only by the stimulus of light, and 
remajb uninaneaced by that of sound : and so of the other organs of external 
fense. And- bence we obtain a knowledge of one set or claaa of stimuli, 
which (ma their acting upon the organs of sense, are called sensitive stimuli, 
«nd the motims to which ihey give rise sensitive motions. 

Agmio, tbb very substances naturally introduced into many of the maacular 
organs of the bMy, and especially the hollow muscles, are sufficient to ex- 
cite them to a due perfonnance of their functions : thus, the lungs are excited 
to tbe act of respiration by the stimulns of the air we breathe, the stomach 
to tlut of digestion by the stimulus of the food introduced into it ; so the 
heart and Uood-vesseis are excited by the stimulus of the blood ; uid the 
vessels tbat carry off the recremental materials by the different stimuli which 
these matniala contain in themselves. We hence obtain anotber class of 
•timoli, which are denominated stimuli of simple irritation; and the moiiMii 
ther produce, simple irritative motions, or muiious of irritation. 

Bat tbe sensory, or brain, which thus receives notice generally, or is im- 
prMied upon by tbe different actions that are peq)ctually takingplace all over 
tiie nstem, throu^ the medium of its own mmificationH, or nervea, that mii- 
fbnnly acecompany the irritable fibres, in many instances originates motions, 
and Uus proves a stimulus in itself. All voluntary motions are of this kind | 
the will, which is a faculty of the sensorium, being the exciting caase, and 
thus giving birth to a third class of stimuli, and of a very extensive range, 
which are called stimuli of volition. While habit or association becomes, in 
a variety of instances, a sufficient Impulse to other motions, and thus con- 
atitutcs a fourth class ; which are hence named associate stimuli, or stimuli 
of association. 

But though the muscular fibre is, perhaps, mora irritable than any other 
part of the system, the principle of irritability and a fibrous structura an by * 
no means necessarily connected; for, while the cellular membrane is Qbraus 
but has no irritability whatever, the skin is not fibrous but is highly irritable. 

Hence solids and fluids are equally necessair to the perfection of the living 
■yatnn. Food, air, and the ethereal gases, caloric, oxygen, and die medium 
of electricity, are the stimuli by which it is chiefly excited to action; and, by 
their combination, contribute in some degree to the matter of the system 
itself; but of the mysterious power that developes the organs and sWies 
the stimuli, that hannonizes the action and constitutes the life, we know 

We see clearly, however, that the moving powers are, for the most part, 
the muscles ; and it is a subject of perpetual astonishment to tbe physiologist 
to observe the prodigious force whieh these vital cords ara made capable of 
exerting, and the infinite variety of puiposes to which they thus become sub- 
■ervient. And were it not that the whole univerae swarms with proofs of 
Intelligence and design— were it not that there exists, to adopt the beautiful 
worda of the poet— 


_ B<Bk* la IbB raanlDf ttmta, 

II waj formerlrtoo much the cDstomto regard the aniiusl frame as a mere 
mechanical macnine ; whence, in that spirit or absurdity with which the 
wiiesl of manUnd are occasionaUy afflicted, Deicartes affected to believe 
that bnt[«H are as destitute of consciousnesa as a block of wood, and that it 
ia exactly the same sort of necessity which drives a dog forward in pnnnit 
of a hare, that compels the different pipes of an orgsn to gin forth different 
tones upon a pressure of the finj^rs against its different keys. It is not every 
one, however, in modem times who has adopted the mecnanical theoiy thai 
ha* carried it to this extremity of absurdity ; but all of them are still carry- 
ing it too far who reason concerning the principal motions of the body as 
mere mechanical motions, and the powers which the muscles exert as mere 
mechanical powers ; in which the bones are the levers, the joints the fulcra, 
and the muscles the moving cords ; for it so happens that all the effects for 
which the whole of this complicated machinery is absolalely necessary out 
of the body, are in many instances performed by a single part of it within 
Ibe body, namely, by the moving cords or muscles alone, without either bones 
or joiata, levers or fulcra. 1 do not mean to contend diat there is no kind 
of resemblance or conformity of principle between the laws of animate and 
inanimate mechanics, for 1 well know that in a variety of points the two sys- 
tems very closely concur ; but I am obliged to contend that they are still two 
distinct systems, and that in the one case the living power exercises an Influ- 
ence which finds no sort of similitude In the other. 

It is, indeed, carious to observe the difference of result which baa flowed 
&om the calculations of the different promoters of this theory; and which 
^one, were there nothing else to oppose them, woold be sufficient to prove 
the fallacy of their reasoning. Amon([ those who have adopted (his mode 
of explanation, and Have pnrsued it with most acuteneas, and may be re- 
nnlea as the fathers of the school, I may be allowed to mention Borelli and 
Keil ; but while the fonner, in order to account for the circulation of the 
blood in man, calculated the force with which the heart contracts to be equal 
to not less than a hundred and eighty thousand pounds weight at every con> 
traction, the latter could not estimate it at more than eight ounces. 

In like manner Borelli, in applying the same theory to the power witk 
which the human stomach tritnrates, or, as we now call it, digests its food, 
calculated it, in conjunction with the assistance it receives from the auxiliary 
muscles, which he conceived to divide the labour about equally with itself, 
as equal to two hundred and sixty-one thousand one hundred and eigbty-aix 
poirnds; and Pitcaim has made it very little less, since he estimates the 
moiety contributed by the stomach alone at one hundred and seventeen thon^ 
sand and ei^ty-eignt pounds ; which gives to these organs jointly a force 
more than equal to that of twenty mill-stones ! " Had be," says Dv. Monro, 
** assigned five ounces as the weight of the stomach, he had been neaivr the 

The laHacy of this theory, however, and especially as it applies to Uie sto- 
mach, has been completely exposed in our own day, by the weU-ascertai&ed 
&ct, that though the muscular coat of the stomach in most animsis bears 
' some part in the process of digestion, this important operation ia almoat en- 
tirely performed by a powerful chemical solvent secreted by the stomach 
■tselr for this very purpose, and hence denominated the gastric Juice ; and' 
which answers all the purposes of the most violent muscular pressure we can 
conceive, and with a curious simplicity of contrivance. 

The laws of physical force will certainly better apply to the action of the 
hHtrt and aiteries than to that of the stomach, andu" 

3c,r.z6doy Google 


in ucotuitiDK for the circnlation of the blood ; but the moment we reflect that 
on^half of thii rerr circulatioD, that 1 mean which depeailB upon the veine,' 
Bnd which has for the most part to contend a^icwt the attraction of gravita- 
tion, inaiead of being able to avail itself of its assistance, is produced with- 
out any muscular propulsion that we are able to discover, and that even tba 
arteries do not, when uninfluenced by pressure, appear to change their diame- 
ter in a slate of health,* we are neceesarily driven to the conclusion, (hat 
then is in animal statics, as well as in animal mechanics, a something dis- 
tinct and independent, and which the laws of physical force are altogether 
incompetent to expiaio. Dr. Young, in his excellent Croonian lecture, read 
before (he Royal Society in I809,f has endeavoured to revive the roechanical 
dieory ; but he is still compelled to admit a variety of phenomena in the ani- 
inal machine, and especially in the circulatory system, which are altogether 
tmaccountable upon any of the known prioeiplea of common hydraulics, and 
which can never fail to reduce us to the same result. 

So far, therefore, as we at present know, the circulstioD of the blood ii 
performed by a double projectile powers one moiety being dependent on 'the 
action of the living principle in the heart, and perhaps the arteries ; and th« 
other moiety on the common law of hydraulics, or the vacuum produced in 
the heart by that very contractiou or systole which has just propelled the 
blood returned from the lungs into 'the arterial system. Whence the heart 
itself becomes alternately a forcing and a suction pump; being the former 
in respect to the arteries, and the latter in respect to the veins.} 

Upon a moderate estimate, the common labourer may be said to employ a 
force capable of raising a.weight of ten pounds to the height of ten feet in 
a second, and continued for ten hours a day. A moderate horizontal weiriit 
forastrongporter.walkingat the rate of three miles an hour, is 300 pounds: 
the chairman walks four miles an hour, and carries 150 pomids. Tne daily 
work of -a horse is equal to that of five or six men upon a plane ; but from 
his horizontal figure in drawing up a steep ascent, it does not exceed the 
power of three or four ihen. In working windmiilsi twenty-ftve square feel 
of the sails iseijuivalent to the work of a single labourer; whence a full-sized 
mill, provided it could be made to work eight honrs a day, would be equiva- 
lent to the daily labour of thirty-four men. A steam engine of the beat con- 
struction, with a thirty inch cylinder, has the force of forty horses ; and aa 
it acts without intermission, will perform the woric of 120 horses, or of 
GOO men ; every square inch of the piston being equivalent to the power of a 

Then are many muscles given to ns which tlie common customs and habita 
of life seldom render it necessary to exert, and which in consequence grow 
stiff and immoveable. Tumblen and buffoons are well aware of this fact; 
and it is principally by a cultivation of these neglected muscles that they aro 
able to assume those outrageous postures and grimaces, and exhibit those 
feats of agility, which so olten amuse or surprise us. 

The same muscles of different persons, however, though of the same length 
and thickness, and, so far as we are . able to trace, composed of the same 
number of fibres, are by no means uniformly possessed of the same degree 
of power; and we here meet with an express deviation from the law of 
physical mechanics ; as we do dso in the curious fact, that whatever be the 
power they possess, they grow stronger in proportion to their being used, 
provided they are well used, and not exhausted by violence or over-exertion. 

I have calculated the average weight carried by a stout porter in this me- 
tropolis at 900 pounds j but we are told there are porters in Turkey, who by 
accustoming themselves to this kind of burden from an early period, are 
wiAe to carry from 700 to 900 pounds, though they walk at a elower rata, 
and only carry the burden a short distance. "The weakest man can lift with 
his hands about 135 pounds, a strong man 400. Topdiam, a carpenter, men- 

•BHLM.TTn ^«l,tt■l•DlrlgAIlIlH^'■«tIu]ro^K«d<<:llH.Tal.tLp.l«. EdU.U,lM. 
t Onika PuncOon u' uw Hwt ud Anoli^ nil. TnoL ISOO, p. I. 
tBHSu«]rBf)fad.TDl.tip.l». Ed.l(L 


BO Rpeaieoij lowttras ine ironi oi loe stage- 

e prodigioua powen thna exerted t^ hucoaD mnscleB will lend na to be- 
with !«■■ Huiprise the proofs of far superior powers exerted by the 
les of other animals, though it will by no means lead us to the means of 


tioned t^ Desagoliers, could lift 500 pounds. He rolled up a strontr pewt«r 
dii^witn his finger*. He Ijfted with his teeth and knees a table six feet lonp, 
with a half hundred weight at the epd. He bent a poker, three inches m 
circumference, to a. right angle, by striking it upon his left forearm ; another he 
. bent and unbent about his neck, and snapped ^ hempen rope two inches in 
circumference. A few years ago there was a person at Oxford who could 
bdld his arm extended for half a minute, with haJf a hundred weight hanging 
on bis little finger."* Ws are also told by Desaguliers of a man who, by bend- 
ing his body into an aicb, and having a harness fitted to his hips, was enable of 
sustaining a cannon weigUng two or three thousand pounds. And not man^ 
winters ago, the celebrated Belzoni, when first entering on public life, exhi- 
bited himself to the theatres of this metropolis, and by a similar kind of har- 
nesaing was capable of lupporting, even m an upright positien, a pyramid of 
ten or twelve men sonnounted ^ two or three children, whose aggregate 
weight could not be much less than 9000 pounds; with wbicb weight he 
walked repeatedly towards the front of the stage. 

Theprodi" "^ ' '—'- 

hold with 1< 

muides ol 

accounting for such beta. 

The elephant, whibh may be contemplated as a huge c 
animal excellencies, is capable of carrymg with eaae a burden of between 
three and foar Aousand pounds. With its stupendous trunk (which has been 
calculated by Cuvier to consist of upwards or thirty thousand diatinet mua- 
cles) it soaps off the stoutest branches from the stoutest treea, and tears up 
the trees themselves with its tusks. How accomulaled the power that is lodged 
inttie musetes of the lion ! With a single alroke of his paw ne breaks the back- 
bone of a horse, and runs off with a buRalo in bis jawa at full speed : be 
cniahee the bones between his teeth, and swallows them as apart of hia fooil. 

Nor ia it necessary, in the mystery of the animal economy, that the musclei 
should always have the benefit of a'bony lever. Ilie tail of the wbale ia 
merely muscular and ligamentoua; and yet this is the instrument of ite chief 
and most powerful attack; and, possessed of this instrument, to adopt the 
language of an old and acenraie obeerver,t " a long-boat he valueth no more than 
duat, for he can beat it all in shatters at a blow." The skeleton of the shari: 
is entirely cartilaginous, and totally destitate of proper bone ; yet is it the 
most dreadful tyrant of the ocean : it devours with its cartilaginous jaws 
whatever falls in its way ; and in one of its species, the squalus atrehariai, 
or white shark, which is often found thirty feet long, and of not less than 
four tbouaand pounds weight, has been known to swallow a man whole at a 

The aepia oetopodta, or eight-armed cuttlefish— the -polyptis of Aristotle 
— is found occaaionally of an enormous size in the Meoiterranean and 
Indian seas, ite arms being at times nine fathoms in length, and so prodi- 

Sous in their muscular power, that when lashed round a man, or even a New- 
undland dog, there is great difficulty in extricating themselves ; and hence 
dw Indians never venture out without hatchets in their boats, to cut off the 
animal's holders, should he attempt to fasten on them, and drag them under 

But this snt^ect would require a large volume, instead of occupying the 
elose of a sin^e lecture. Let us turn from the great to the diminutive. 
How confounding to the skill of man is the muscular arrangement of the 
insect class I Minute as is their fonn, there are innumerable tnoea that unite 
in themaelvea all the powers of motion that characterize the whole of the 
other classes ; and are able, as their own will directs, to walk, run, leap^ 
swim, er fly, with as much facility as quadrupeds, birds, and fisbes 
exercise these faculties separately. But such a combination of func- 
tions demands a more complicated combination of motive powen ; and what 


it draumdi it nceiTCB. In the merelarTeorc&tCTpillarofioOMiu,oriiiaBel 
approaching to tho butterfiyi Lyonet has detected not Icbb than fonr thonaand 
and aixty-Qfle distinct mucleB, which ii about ten timea the number that be- 
loni: to the whole human body i and yet it is probable that these do not cm- 
atitute any thing like the number ttiat appertain to tbe same insect In it* 
I perfect slate. The elator noctUuciu, or [^osphoresaent spring, ia a winged 
msect ; but it has also a set of elastic muBcles, which en^te it, when laldon 
its back, to spring up nearly half a foot at a bound, in order to recoTer its 
position. This insect is also entitled to notice in consequence of its secreting 
a light, which is so mncb beyond that of our own glow-worm, that a person 
may see to read the smallest print by it at midnight. The cicada ipMDiana, 
or spomona graBshopper, is in like manner endowed with a double power of 
motion t and when attempted to be caught will either fiy completely off, at its 
wtion, or bound away at the distance of,-f wo or three j^rds at every lean. 
This insect is indigenous to our own country, and is one of thiose which m 
their larve and pupe states discharge, from the numeiouB pores about the tail, 
that frothy matenal upon plants which ia commonly known bj the name of 

Crabs and spiders have a strong muscular power of Itarowiuff off an entire 
limb whenever seized by it, in order to extricate themselves from eonfino- 
ment; and moat of them throw off also, once a year, their skin or erusta- 
ceons coverini^, and secrete a new one. The muscular elasticity of the 
^onng spider gives it, moreover, the power of wings; whence it is ofienseen, 
in tibie autumn, ascending to a considerable elevation, wafted about by Ifae 
bteeae, and filling the atmosphere with its fine lb reads. Tbe land-crab (cancer 
nricoia) inh^its the woods and mountains of a country ) but its muscular 
atracture enables it to travel once a year to tbe seacoast to wash off ita 
spawn in the waters. The spawn or egge thus depomted sink into the sanda 
at the bottom of the sea, and are soon hatched ; after which mill)(»i of Ultla 
crabs are seen quilting Uieir native element for a now and untiled one, and 
roving instinctively lowards the woodlands. 

"nie hinge of the common oyster isasinglemnscle; and it is no more than 
a sinj^e muscle in the chama gigaa, or greu clamp-fish, an animal of the oyster 
form, but the lai^st testaceous worm we are acquainted with. It has been 
taken in the Indian Ocean of a weight not less than 539 pounds ; the fish, or 
inhabitant, being large enourii to fumish 190 men with a meal, and strong ' 
enough to lop off a hand witn ease, and to cut asunder the cable of a large 

Nor is the muscular power allotted to the worm tribes less wonderful than 
that of iiwects, or its variety leaa atriking and appropriate. The leech and 
Other sucker-worms are as well acquainted with the nature of a vacuum as 
Torricelli ; and move from place to place by alternately converting the mua* 
Cidar disks of their head and tail into ur-pumpe. 

The sucker of the cyclopterus, a genus of fishes denominated suchen 
from tiieir wonderfollT adhesive property, is perhaps the most powerful, for 
the size of the Beh, or any we are acquainted with ; and is formed at will, 
by merely uniting the peculiar muscles of its ventral fins into an oval con- 
cavity. In this state, if pulled by the tail, it will raise a pailful of water 
rather than resign its hold. 

The teredo navaJU, or ship-worm, is seldom six inches in length, but the 
muscles and armour with which its head is provided enables it to penetrate 
readily into the stoutest oak planks of a vessel, committing dreadful havoc 

Eniiion not thicker than a piece of writing-paper. The seaman, as hi 
Ids the ruin before faim, vents his spieen against the little Iribes'tfaat have 
^oduced it, and denounces Uiem as the most mischievous veimin in the ocean- 
But a tornado arises— the strength of the whirlwind is abioftd— the elonds 



irdown « deluge over the mounUini— and whole foreits fall pKWtnW be- 

e it! tury. Down rolls the gathering wreck towards the deep, and blocka 

np the mouth of that very creek the aeaman haa entered, and where he now 
toda himself in a itate of captivity. How shall be extricate himself from 
hit imprisonment 1 — an impnsonment aa rigid as that of the Baltic in the 
winter aeaaon. But the hosts of the teredo are in motion :— thouaanda of 
Utile augurs are applied to the floating barrier, aud attack it in every direc 
tion. It is perforated, il is lifchieaed, it becomes weak ; it is dispersed, or 
precipitated to the bottom; and what man could not effect, is the work of 
a worm. Thus it is that nothing is made in fain ; and that in physics, aa 
well H in morals, allhou|^ evil is intermingled with good, the good ever 
maintains a predominancy. 

In a former lecture we took a general surrey of the characleriElic features 
that distiaguiah the unorganized from the organized world, and the vege- 
table kingdom from the animal: we examined into die nice structure of 
plants, and the resemblances which they bear to the animated form. Id out 
laat lecture we proceeded to an inquiry into the nature of the living principle, 
took a glance at a few of the theories that have been invented to explain its 
eaaence and mode of operation, and contemplated the origin and powers of 
the muacular fibre, which may be denominated Hi grand executive organ. 

The muscles of an animal, however, are not the only instruments of animal 
motion ; the bones, cartilages, and ligaments contribute very largely lo the 
action.andtheskjn is not uiifrequenilysaubatitute for the muscle it£eTf. These, 
Itierefore, as well as a variety of other bodies minutely coimected with them, 
or evincing a similarity of conettnction, — as the teeth, hair, nails, horns, 
shells, and membranes, — are now to pass under our review, and are entitled 
to our closest attention; and I may add, that their diversity gf uses and ope- 
rations, and the curious phenomena to which they give rise, are calculated to 
afford not less amusement than instruction. 

I had occasion lo remark lately,* that lime is a substance absolutely nece*. 
■ary to the srowth of man. It is, in truth, absolutely necessary to ihe growJh 
of almost all aaimals; even soft-bodied or molluscous worms, except ins 
few instances, are not free from it ; nay, even infusory animals, so minute aa 
to be only discerned by the microscope, still afford a trace of it in the calcare- 
ous speck which constitutes their snout; but it is in Ihe bones and shells 
of animals that time is chiefly to be found ; and hence those animals possess 
moat of it in whom these o^ans are most abundant. 

Bone, shell, cartilage, and membrane, however, in their nascent state, are 
all the same substance, and originate from a viscid fluid, usually supposed to 
be the eoagulable lymph, or more liquid part of the blood ; which, secreted in 
one manner, constitutes jelly, or gelatine, a material characterized by its solu- 
bility in warm water, heated Co alnut half the boiling point ; and secreted in 
another manner, forms albumen, or Ihe material of the wliite of the egg, cha- 
racterized by its coagulatlngiustead of dissolving in about the same heat: the 
difference, tioweTer, Between the two, consisting merely, perhaps, in the dit 
fereut proportion of oxygen they contain. ATembrane, is gelatin, with a 
•mall proportion of albmnen to give it a certain degree of soLdity ; cartilage 

1. IiML vL On aaoliiiiT, p. 13, and taalBi uJ I.eel. tIIL Ou Ornnlunl Dodka. Bd ite 

r Pb«h finmnBM.1 til IhMt aT Ah^MBl- b. gj ^ ^^ ^ 


114 ON THE BONES, tc. 

is membrane, with a larger proportion of albumen to g:ive it a •till greater degTM 
of solidity; and bone and shell are mere cartilaee, hardened by the inHertion 
of lime into IheirinterioT, the time being secreted forlhis purpose by Bparticular 
set of vessels, and absorbed by the bony or shelly rudiments in their soft stale. 
And hence any substances which, like the mineral acids, for example, have a 
power of dissolving the earthy matter of the two last, and of leaving the car- 
tilage untouched, may be readily employed as reagents, to reduce them to 
their primary softness : and it was by this meant that Cleopatra, as we are 
told by Pliny, dissolved one of the costly pair of pearls thai formed her ear- 
rings, each of which was valued al upwards of eighty thousand pounds (^caUit* 
$t$ieiiiuin), at a feast given to Mark Antony, and then jiresen led it to him in a 
goblel, with ail equal mixture of wine.* 

In the adult stale, however, as well as in the embryo state, it is necessary 
that the bones, like every other substance of the animal frame, should be 
punctually supplied with the elementary matter, or the means of fanning the 
elementary matter, of which it essentially consists, the old matter of every 
kind being worn out by use, and carried away by a distinct set of vessels, 
called lymphatics or absorbents. It is the office of the digestive organs to 
receive such supply from without, and to prepare it for the general use. 
And hence, if we could conceive it possible .for these organs, or any organs 
dependent upon theni, to be so perultarly diseased as to be incapable of pre- 
paring or conveying to Ihe bones n sufEeient quantity of lime (of which some 
portion is contamed in almost every kind of food) to supply the place of that 
which is perpetually passing olf, the necessary consequence would be, that 
the bones would progressively lose their hardness, .and become cartilaginons 
and pliable/ Now we sometimes do meet with the digestive or the secretory 
organs affected by such a kind of disease, and that both in children and adults. 
In children it is more common, and is called kickets ; in grown persons it is 
simply called a sormsss or thk bones, or naLumB osbidh. in the fomer 
case, the softened spine becomes bent from the weight of the head, and other 
estremities, which it is now no longer able to sustain, ivhile the chest and 
most of the limbs partake of the general distortion. In the latter case many 
of the bdncs are sometimes reduced to imperfect cartilages, and can be bent 
and unbent in any (direction. 

Lime, however, is never found in the animal system in its pure state, and 
is certainly never introduced into it in such a state. It is usually combined 
with aome acid, either the phosphoric, in which case the compound is called 
phosphate of lime ; or carbonic acid gas^when il is called cartKinate of lime, 
or common chalk. 

It is of no small importance to attend to the nature of these two acide ; for 
it is the difference between them that chiefly constitutes the difference be- 
tween bones and shells; bones uniformly consisting of a larger proportion 
of phosphate of lime, or lime and phosphoric acid, and a less proportion of car- 
bonate ; and shells of a larger proportion of carbonate of lime, and a less pro< 
portion of phosphate. There are a few other ingredients that enter into the 
composition of both these substances, and which are chiefly obtained from 
the materials of common salt, as sulphuric acid andsodaj but the proportions 
are too small to render it necessary to dwell upon them in a course of popu- 
lar study. Bones, shells, cartilages, and membranes may therefore be re- 
garded as substances of the same kind, differing only in degree of solidity 
from the different proportions that they possess of albiunen and salts 
of lime. 

Teeth, horn, coral, tortoise-shell, fish-scales, and the crustaceous integu- 
ments of crabs, millepedest and beetles, are all compounds of the same ele- 
ments combined in' different proportions, and rendered harder or softer as 
they possess a larger or smaller ,quantity of calcareous salts ; ivory and the 

Mvh AnUMif't, jtlretdj bttlawfd, hul bewi Tilu&l UJmt tht pries of thiuaiaglt ptmA* 
muBdlog ED dtiBolTB \u flrJlaitt <rb«ii lbs vru nddnlf ■toppod bj Lte uDptn, wAo d» 
riatMbm. nin. ii.». 


•WRiek of teeth pmesaaing the largeit qnaatity, and consisting almost excln- 
mnly of phoaphale of lime, with a BmBll proportion of animal matter. 

Ins g«latia and sJbumen are nnquestionably generated in (he animal sys- 
tem itself from ihe different substances it receives under (he form of food; 
and it is curious to observe the facility and mpidity with which some animals 
are capable of producing Ihem. The (^trobraachua ctccut, or hag-Gsh, a 
■moll lamprey-like anim^ of not more than eigh[ inches long, will convert a 
large veaael of water in a short period of (ime into size or mucilage, of such 
a thickness that il may be drawn out in threads. The fomi and habits of 
this liltleanimal are singular: Linnsus regarded it &» a worm; butBlochhas 
nmoved it, and with apparent propriety, into the class nf fishea. It ia a can- 
ning aiiendant upon the hooka of the Baherman ; and as soon as it perceives 
a larger flah to be lakeo, and by its capltvity rendered incapable of resiBtanoe, 
it darts into its mouth, preys voraciously, like the fabled vultures of Prome- 
theus, on its inside, and works its way out through the fish's akin. 

But though gelatin and albumen are unqueitionably animal productions, 
the one a secretion from Ihe blood, and the other a constituent principle of it, 
there is a doubt whe(her lime ought ever to be regarded in the same charac- 
ter. A very large portion is pe;peiually introduced into the stomach from 
without. In onr lec[nre on the analogy between the structure of planta and 
of animals,* I had occasion to observe, that it forms an ingredient in common 
salt; not, indeed, necessarily so, but from the difficulty of separating the 
other tngredienls from their combination wi[h it ■. yet it enters not more £eety 
into common salt than into almost every other article, whether animal, vege- 
table, or mineral of which our diet ia liaually composed. And upon thia com- 
mon fact it is more graerally conceived, al present, to be a suDStance com- 
monieated to the animal frame, than generated by it. 

Thia opinion, however, ia by no means established; and there are many 
cirenmilancea that may lead ua to a conlrary conclusion. Though almost 
every kind of food contains some portion of lime, i( by no means oontaina aa 
eqn^ portion ; and yet we find that a healthy young animal, whatever be the 
sort of food on which it is fed, wilt still provide lime enough from some quar- 
ter or other to sadsfy the demand of its growing bones, and' to maintain them 
in a due degree ofsolidity and hardneae. 

Again, the soil of some counlriea, as the moonlains of Spain, for example, 
conais (ft almost entirety of gypeura or some other species ol^ limestone ; white 
in other countries these are substances very rarely (o be met with. It 
is a curious fact, that in that vast part of tlie globe which has been latest dis- 
covered, and to which modem geographers have given the name of Aualralia, 
eompriaing New-Holland and the islands ^ith ivhich its shores are studded, 
not a aiagle ImkI or stratum of limestone has hitherto been detected, and the 
buildera are obliged to make use of burnt shells for their moitar, for which 
I have lately adviaed them to aubstitute burnt coral.f Now, it would be 
natural to suppose that tlie animate and vegetables of such a country would 
partake of tlie deHciency of its soil, and that the shells and bones which it 
produces would be less compact io tbeir texture than those of other countries ; 
yet this snpposilion ia not verified by fact : nature is still adequate to her own 
work i the bones of animals are as indurated and perfect in these regions aa 
in any parti of the old worid ; while the shells are not onlv as perfect, but far 
more numerous; and the frequent reefs of coral, allogelneT an animal pro- 
duction, that shoot forth from the shores in bold and maasy projections, prove 
clearly that a coral rock, largely aa it consists of lime, foima the basis of 
almoat eveiy island. 

Ttie prodigious quantity of lime, moreover, that is secreted by some ani- 
mala al stated periods, b^nd what they secrete at other times, aeema to 
indicate a power of generating this earth in their own bodies. The stag, elk, 
and sereral other species of the deer-tribe, cast their antlers annually, and 

idiliUnMbi^or chalk hnvil 
« !• Hill to b« tnoMi M Iks llilHr . 

ttnta btm a mm m* on th* ftBhir iMi «f th 


nnew Ibem in full petfectiOD in about twelve weeks. These antl«n an ml 
bones; and those of the elk are somsHmes as heavy as hair a hundred pouoda 
weight, and in a fossil stale in Ireland have been dug up "till heavier, and 
of the enonnoua measure of eight feet Ion; , and fourteen feet from tip to tipt 
on beholding which, we ntay well, indeed, exclBiin with Waller,— 

Inlikeni . , . , 

ing, and apparently with- 
out any very great degree of trouble. The animal at this time relirea 
to some lonely and shellered place, where, in its naked and defeiicelesa stale, 
it may avoid the attack of others of the same tribe which are not in the same 
■itua ion : a line instinctively drawn now separates the shell into two parts, 
which are easily shaken off, when the iecernent vesiela of the skin pour forth 
a copious efflux or sweat of [;alcareous matter all over the body, the more 
liquid parts of which are as rapidly drunk up by the abMirbent vessels, so 
that a new calcareous membrane is very soon produced, which as speedily 
hardens uito a new calcareous crust, and the entire process is completed in 
about a fortnight. This genua, also, in many of its apeclea, is capable of re- 
producing an entire limb, with the whole of its calcareous casing, whenever 
deprived of it by accident or disease, or it voluntarily throws it olf, as 1 have 
already observed it is capable of doing, to extricate itself from being seized 
hold of; though the new limb is seldom so large or powerful as the original. 
So, in other animals, we aemetimeB find a large and preternatural aeeretioo of 
calcareous matter, in consequence of a diseased habit of particular organs, or 
of the system generally. The human kidneys are too often subject to a mor- 
bid affection nf this kind, whence a frequent necessity for one of the most 
painful operations in surgery. The cbalkatones, as they are eironeoualy 
called, that are ollen produced in protracted fits of gout and ibenmatiamr 
are rather lilhate of soda than any compound of lime ; but instauces are not 
wanting in which one of the lungs has been found converted into an entirv 
quarry of limeatone. 

In the Transactions of the Boyal Society there are several cases related 
of young persons who, in consequence of a morbid habit, threw out a variety 
of calcareous excrescences, either over the hands and feat, or over the wbolo 
body~;* and about four years since, a Leicestershire heifer was exhibited for 
& show in this metropolis, the head and neck of which were completely im- 
bedded in homy excrescences of ibis kind, and the back and limbs profustiy 
■[»inkled over with Ihem : some of the horns, and especially those about the 
dew'lap, were as long and as large as the aatural horns of the forehead, but 
they were much more calcareous and brittle. A calcareous scurf, moreover, 
was secreted over every part of the skin, which, whenever the skin waa 
scratched or bitten, united with the fluid that oozed forth, ramided, and diva- 
ricated into maaaes of small roses. At the request of the proprietor 1 took, 
an account of this extraordinary animal, and have since communicated it to 
the Royal Society. In ell other respects it wae in good health ; its size waa 
proportionate to its age, and its appetite enabled it todigcst foods of every kind 
equally; and thougt^ in consequence of this, its diet had been frequently 
varied, the propensity to a secretion of calcareous matter contiaued the samo 
under every change. 

It appears, therefore, very doubtful whether the animal economy be not U 
limes capable of generating lime, as well as ^laiio or albumen, out of tbe 
difiereut m ale riala introduced into the stomach in the form of food. Vauqualin 
endeavoured to decide the question by a variety of exfieriments upon the 
nature of the egg-thells of a sitting hen, and an examination into the propor^ 
tion of calcareous matter contained in a given weight of shells, compand 
widi the calcareous matter fumiabed by her food, and that dischargeo aa • 

■ B^aM Mr. Bslur^ KeoBBt oTUm poRUflM'Ba.FUI. Tnx. far ITH 


; and, so far as ttaeM erperimente go, they support tUa opinion 
of a generation of time, and thai in vety conaiderable abuadancf, the weight 
■ecieted appearing to have been live limes aa much us that introduced into 
the Blomach. But to determine the questioa i neon trove rlibly requires to 
niee a precision in the mode ofconducting such experiments, as from a variety 
<rf circumstances, it seems almost impossible to attain. 

It is to the power which the living principle possesses, either of secreting 
or generating the substance of lime by its natural action, that we are indebted 
for all those elegant shells that enrich the cabinet of the conchologiel, and 
seem to vie with each other in the beauty of their spots, tile splendour and 
irridescence of their colours, and the graceful inflection of their wreaths. 
And it is to the power which the same principle possesses, of forming this 
cnbslance by a morbid action, that we owe not only tljose unsightly excres- 
cences I have Josi mentioned, but lome of (he most costly ornaments of so- 
peretiiion or luxury : those agale-formed bezoards which in Spain, Portu^l, 
and even HoUend were lately worn as amulets against contagion, and which 
have been let out for hire at a ducat a day, and been sold as high as three 
hundred guineas a piece; and those delicate pearls which constitute an object 
4>f desire among the fair sex of every country, and which give additional 
attmciion to the most finished form. 

The first are usually obtained from the stomach or intestines of the goat or 
antelope; in the latter case being called oriental bezoards, and possessiog 
the liighest value. The most esteemed are those obtained from the stomach 
of that species of the oriental antelope called the gazel, to which the Persian 
and Arabian poets arc perpetually advening whenever they stand in need of 
an imwe to express elegance of form, fleetness of speed, or captivating soft- 
neu ofthe eyes. The second are obtained from the inside of the shells of 
the mytilus margarUi/inu and mya margaritijira, pearl-muscle and pearl- 
taster ; the former, producing the larffest and consequently the richest, is 
foond most commonly on the coast of Ceylon ; the latter not unfrequently 
iSa that of our own country, and was traced some centuries ago in great 
abundance in the river Conway in Wales. Linnnus is said to have been ac- 
quainted with a process by which he could excite at pleasure a secrelioii of 
new pearls in the pearl-oysters whiph he kept in his reservoirs. It is gene- 
rally supposed to be a diseased secretion somewhat similar to that of the 
■tone in tne human bladder. 

The murex Irilotni, or musical marex, is here also worth noticing. Its 
ealcaraous shell is ventricose, oblong, sn>ooth, with rounded whorls, toothed 
aperture, and short tieak, about fifteen inches long, white, and appearing as if 
covered with brown, yellow, and black scales. It inhabits India and the 
Booth Seas, and is used by the New-Zealanders as a musical shell, and by 
the Africuis and many nations of the East as a military horn. 

Before we quit this subject, 1 will just observe, that it is to the same tribe 
we are indebted for our nacre or mother-of-pearL which is nothing more than 
the innermost layers of the shell, in which the morbid works or concretions 
which we call pearls lie imbedded ; and that to the same order of sheUs the 
Indians owe their wampum or pieces of common money, which are formed of 
the Venus ma-cenaria, or clam-shell, found in a fossil state ; and that our own 
heralds owe the scallop, osirea maxima, that so often Hgures in the field of 
our family arms, and was formerly worn by pilgrims on the hat or coal, in 
its natural state, as a mark that they had crossed the sea for the purpose of 
payii^: their devotions at the Holy Land. 

From these facts and observations we cannot but behold the great import- 
ance of lime in the construttion of the animal frame, the extensive use which 
is made of it, and the variety of purposes to which it is applied : combined in 
different proportions with gluten and albumen itaflfords equally the means of. 
strength and protection, produces the bones within and the shells wilhont, 
the external and internal skeleton, and is discoverable in every class, order, 
and even genus of animals, except a very few of the soft worms and insects 
tn their first and unfinished state. 

lid OIT THE BONES, &c. 

I( if hence Uie cerambyx, and Bevenl ottur tribes of insects, are able to 
make that shrill sound which the; ^ive forth on being taken, and which ap- 
pears like a cty from the moulh, but is in reality nothing mote than the fric- 
tion of the chest of the insect against the upperpart of its abdomen and wing- 
■hella. And it is hence, also, that the ptinaa Jatidiciu, or death-watch, pro- 
duces those measured strokes against the head or other part of a bed ia the 
vaiddle of the night, which are so ala'rmiog' to the fearful and superstitioua ; 
but which, in trufh, are nothing more than a call or signal by which the one 
Kx is enticed to the other, and is merely produced by the insect'^ striking 
the bony or homy front of its head against the bed-post, or iome other bard 

Having, then, taken a brief survey of the elementary nature and chemi- 
cal composition of these harder parts of the animal frame, 1 shall proceed to 
make a few remarks upon the relative powers of each, and their diveraiHed 

S plications amid the different kinds of animals ia which they are em- 

The BOHu in their colour are usually white; bnt tbii docs not hold uni- 
versally, for those of the gar-pilte(eBi>x bebme) are green j and in some varie- 
ties of the common fowl they approach to a black: Abelfazel remaiks this 
of the fowls of Berar, and Niebulir of those of Persepolis. 

The bones of an animal, wherever they exist, are unquestionably the 
levers of its organs of motion : and so far the mechanical theorists are correct. 
In man and quadrupeds, whose habits require solidity of strength rather than 
flexibility of accommodation, they are hard, firm, and unpliant, and consiat 
of eluten fuUv saturated with phosphate and carbonate of lime. In serpents 
ana fishes, wnose habits, on the contrary, demand flexibility of motion, they 
are supple and cartilaginous ; the gluten ia in excess, and the phosphate of 
lime but email in proportion to it, and in some Rsbes altogether deficient in 
the composition of their skeleton, though still traceable in their scales and 
aeveral other parts. In birds, whose natural habits demand levity, the bones 
are skilfully hollowed out and communicate with the lungs, and instead of 
being filled with marrow are titled with air, so that the purpose for whlL-h 
the structure of birds was designed is as obvious, and as deeply marked, in 
&e bones as in the wings, whose quills also are for the same reason left hol- 
low, or rather are Med with air, and in many tribes communicate with the 
lungs as the hones do. . 

The skeleton of the cutlle-Gah (sepia qffieinaUs) is extremely singular: its 
back bone, for some purpose unknown to us, is much broader than thai of any 
other aquatic' animal of the same size, and of course would be much heavier 
but for a curious contrivance lo prevent this effect, which consists in its 
being exquisitely porous and cellular, and capable, like the bones of binia, of 
becoming filled with air, or exhausted of it, at the option of the animal, in or- 
der to ascend or descend with the greater facility. It is an animal of this 
kind, or cloHely akin to it,* that inhabits the shell of the beautiful paper-nau- 
tilus, and still more beautiful pearl-nautilus (argonauta and nautilus tribes), 
and which hence obtain no inconsiderable portion of that lightness which en- 
ables them, ivith their extended sails, to scud so dexterously before the wind. 
In the calamary (sepia lotigo) we meet with an approach towards the same 
contrivance, in a kind of leafy plate introduced into the body of the animal ; 
and even in the cloak of the slug-tribe we trace something of the same sort, 
though proporttonably smaller, and verging to the nature of horn. 

Generally speaking, the bones grow cartilaginous towards their exlremi. 
ties, and the muscles tendinous; by which means the fleshy and osseous 
parts of the organs of motion become assimilated, and fitted for that it 


of the one pat into the oUier upon which their rnotnal aclion depends. Tba 
extent and nature of the motion is determined by the nature of the articula- 
tion, which is varied with the niceat skill to answer the purpose intended. Id 
oatt^iceoua worms the only articulation is thai of the hin^: in the cancer 
tribes the tendon ia articulated with the crust, whence the wonderful strength 
and activity of th« claws ; and it is articulated in a similar manner with the 
■caly plates of some species of the tortoise. In insects the part received and 
the part receiving form each a segment of a spheroid ; whence the motion 
ma; be either rotatory or lateral, at pleasure. In mammalian animals the 
Iftwer jaw only has a power of molionj but in birds, serpents, and fishes, the 
upper jaw in a greater or less degree possesses a similar power. 

The motion of serpents is produced, according; to Sir Everard Home, by their 
ribe, which for the most part accompany them, not only as organs of reapira- 
tiOD, but from the hiud extremity to the neck, and are possessed of a peculiar 

Kwer of motion by means of peculiar muscles. " The verlebrffi are articu- 
ed by ball and socket joints (the ball bein| formed upon the lower, and the 
socket on the upper one), and/ have therefore much more extensive motion 
than in other animals." In the draca -colatu the skeleton of the wings is 
formed oat of ribs which " are superadded for this purpose, and make no part 
of the organs of respiration ; the ribs in these animals appear to work in suc- 
cession, Uke the feel of a caterpillar." 

The Tsrra vary in their form and position almost as much as the bones. 
Where jaw-bones exist they are usually fixed immoveably in their sockets; but 
in BMDe animals a few of them are left moveable, and in others the whole. 
The muB maritimat, or African rat, the largest species of this genus which 
baa hitherto been discovered, and seldom less than a full-sized rabbit, has the 
■in^ar property of separating at pleasure to a considerable distance the two 
front loeth of the lower jaw, which are not less than an inch and a quarter 
long. That elegant and extraordinary creature the kangaroo, which, from 
the increase that has lately taken place in hia Majesty's gardens at Kew, we 
may soon hope to see naturalized in our own country, is possessed of a simi- 
lar faculty. And the hollow tusks or poisoning fangs of the rattlesnake, and 
other deadly serpents, are situated in a pecuUar bone on each side of the 
upper Jaw, so articulated with the rest, that the animal can either depress or 
devate them at his option. In a quiescent state they are recumbent, with 
their points directed'inwards; but whenever the animal is irritated he in- 
stantly raises •them ; and at the moment the^y inflict a wonnd, the poison, 
which lies in a reservoir immediately below, is injected through their tubes 
by the act of pressure itself. 

In the shark and ray genera the whole of the teeth are moveable, and lie 
imbedded in jaw- cartilages instead of in jaw-bones, and like the fangs of the 
poisonous serpents are raised or depressed at pleasare. The teeln of the 
xiphias gladiut, or sword-tieh, are similarly inseried ; while his long sword- 
like snout is armed externally, and on each side, with a taper row of sharp, 
strong, pointed apines or hooks, which are sometimes called his teeth, and 
which give rise to his popular name. 

The ant-eater and manis swallow their aliment whole ; and in many ani- 
mals the jaws themselves perform the office of teeth, at least with the assist- 
ance of the tongue. In birds this is generally the case, sometimes in insects, 
. whose Jaws are for this purpose serrated or denticulated at the edge, and fre- 
quently in molluscous worms. The Jaws of the triton genus act like the 
blades of a pair of scissors. The snail and slug have only a single Jaw, 
semilunar in its form, and denticulated : but the mouth of the nereis has several 
bony pieces. The sea.mouse (aphrodita acuUata) has its teeth, which are 
four, fixed upon its pMboscis, ana is of course able to extend and retract them 
at pleasure ; and the leech has three pointed cartilaginous teeth, which it 
is able to employ in the same way, and by means of which it draws blood 
fteely. In like manner, though insects cheifly depend upon a serrated jaw, 
yet many of them are also possessed of very powerful fangs, of which w« 
nave a striking instance in tne araiiea micvima, or biid-spider, an inh^itant 


ot Sontli America, faimd among treeg, ami a derourer of ofter iancti 
and even amall birds. It ia of to enormous a size that its fatigs an equal 
M the lalona of a hawk ; and iis eyes, which are eig-ht in number, arrangBd 
aa a smaller square b tbe middle of a larger, are capaUs of being act in tha 
maaner or lenses, and used as microscopet. 

In many animals, especially the herbivorous, the tongue itaelf ia anned 
with a serrated apparatus, ibe paptUs being poiuled and recurrated, and «n&- 
Utngthem to tear up the grass with mu<;h greater facility. In the cat-kind 
the tongue is covered with sharp and strong prickles, which enable the aoi- 
inal to take a strong hold ; and similar processes are met with in Uvb bat and 
the opoaaum. In the lamprey and myxine families, the tongue itself is eo- 
Tcred with teeth. In that grotesque and monstrous bird the toui^n, whova 
bill is nearly aa large as its whole body, the tongue is lined with a bundle of 
feathers, of the use of which, however, we are totally ignorant, thou^ it is 
probably an organ of taste. 

In the crab and lobster tribes (He teeth are placed in the Btomach,the whole 
of which ia a very singular organ, Ii is rormed oti a bony apparatns, and 
hence does not collapse when empty. The leeth are inserted into it roimd 
its lower aperture or pylorus : their surface ia extremely hard, and their mar- 
gin serrated or denticulated, so that nothing can pass through Uie opeoung 
without being perfectly comminuted. Tbe bonea and teeth are moTed by 
peculiar mnsclea. It is a curioua fact, that at the time tbe animal thro wa M 
ita shell, it also disgorges its bony stomach and secretes a new one. 

The teeth of the cuttle-fiah are arranged not "very differently, being aitnated 
in the centre of the lower part uf the body ; they are two in number, and borayr 
and in their figure exactly resemble the bill of a parrot. 

The teeth of the echinus genus (sea-hedgehog) are of a ve^aingnlararrwifis- 
tnent. A round opening ia left in the centre of the shell Jor Ibe entrance of 
the food : a bony siruclure, in which five teelh are inaerted, fills up this aper- 
ture ; and as these parts are moveable by numerous muscles, they lorm a Tory 
complete organ of maslication. 

Such is the variety which the hand of nature, aomelimes, perhaps, sportive, 
but always skilful, has introduced into the structure and arrangement of the 
teeth of animals, or the organs are meant lo supply their ^aoe. 

The enn urn m appehdaobs offer an equal diveraity, and donstilale the 
next Bubjeel of our inquiry. 

All living bodies, whether animal or vegetable, are furnished with this inte- 
gument : in all of them it ia intended as a defence against the injuries to 
which, by their aituation, they are commonly expoaed; and in moat of them 
it also answers the purpose of an emunctory organ, and throws off from the 
body a variety of Suids, which either serve by their odour to disiiuguish the 
ndividual, or are a recrement eliminated from its living materials. 

This integument accompaniea animals and vegetables frum iheii firal forma- 
tion: it involves equally the seed and the egg; and possessing a natur* 
)esB corruptible than the parts it encloses, often preserves them uninjured for 
many years, till tbey ca.n meet with the proper soil or eeason for their healthy 
and perfect evolution. 

This is a curious subject, and must not be too hastily passed over. After 
tah-ponds have been frozen to the verv bottom, and aU the fishes contained 
ia them destroyed; or after they have been comjdetely emptied, and cleared 
•f theirraud; eels and other Sahes have been again found in them, thougn no 
attempt has been made lo restock tbe ponds. Whence has proceeded this 
reproduction t Many of the ancient schools of philosophy, and even some 
•f ttuMe of more modem date, refer us to the doctrine of spontaneous gene- 
ration, and believe that they have here a clear proof of its truth. But this ia 
10 account for a difficulty b^ involving ourselves in one of a much greatei 
o need of, ana which 
... reproduced fishes have alone 

I from the ova of those which formerly inhabited the fish-pond; and 
vkkh, from some eause or other, had sunk so deep into the soi^ as to b« 


bqrMtdlhe gmmnatiDf indnence of the wartnth and air contained iu the inper* 
Bttuit wUAT, oomnniDicated to it bf the sun and the Btmoaphere. But tiM ind^ 
■tneliUe texture of the iotegnment which enelosed the fecuodated ova lia> 
preMiTedlbeui.pediaps for years, front injury ind corruption; and they hare 
only waited for that very exposure U> light, sir, abA warmth, which the re- 
moral of the ■uperioi stratum of mud has produced, to awaken from their 
dormant elate into life, form, and enjoyment ; and but for which they would 
have remained in the same itate, donnant bnt not destroyed, for tenor twelve 
timet aa long a period. 

So, in the hollows upon our waste lands, when they have been for some 
time filled with stagnant water, we not unfrequentjy find eela, minnows, and 
other small species of the carp genus, leeches,* and water insects, and won- 
der how they coiild get into suet) a situation. But the mud which has been 
emptied out of the preceding fish-pond has perhaps been thrown into these 
Teiy hollow* ; or the ova of the animals have been carried into the sam« 
plaeo by tome more recondite cause ; and they have been waiting, year after 
year, for the accidenlal circumstance which has at length arrived, and given 
Uiein the AiH influence of warmth, water, light, and atr. 

The ova of many kinds at« peculiarly lijcht, and almost invunbhr minote. 
They are hence, when the mud, which has been removed from nsh-ponds 
become* dry and decomposed into powder, swept by the breew into the 
atmosphere, from which they have occasionally descended into the large 
tanks which are made in India as reservoirs for rain-water ; and producing 
(heir respecUve kinds in this situation, have appeared, to the astonishment of 
all beholders, to have fallen from the clouds with the rain itself. Dr. Th<nn- 
*on, in adverting to this curious fact, observes (hat it is diflScult to accoont 
for it satiafaetorily-t The explanation now offered will, if 1 mistake not, 
■nfllciently meet the case. 

Many insect* can only be hatched in a particular animal organ j and it !• 
(he office of the integument of the ovum to preserve it in a perfect state till 
it has an opportunity of reachfng its proper nidus.^ Thu* the norse-gsdlly, or 
oeatroB e^M, depoaitea its e^s on the hairs of this animal, and sticks them to 
the htir-roots by a viscous matter which it secretes for this purpoae. But 
here they could never be hatched, though thev were to remam throug^h the 
whole lire of the horse : Iheir proper nidus ts tne horse's stomach or intes- 
tines, and to this nidus they must be conveyed by some Ineans or other; and 
in their first situation they must remain and be preserved, free from tnjuij 
or corruption, till they can obtain auc;h a conveyance. The integument in 
which they are wrapped up gives them the protection they stand in need of; 
and the itching which they excite in the horse's skin compel* him to lick the 
itching part with his tongue ; and by this simple contrivance the ova of the 
gadfly are at once conveyed to his mouth, and pass with the food into the 
very nidus which is designed for them. 

It is the same interment that, by its incormptibility, preserve* the cater- 
pillar during the torpitade of its chrysalid slate, while snspended by a single 
thread from the eaves of an incumbent roof; and which thus enables the 
worm to be transformed into a butterfly. The larve of the gnat, when ap- 
praaching the same defenceless stale, dives boldly into the water, and i* 
[HOtected by the same indestmctible sheath from the dangers of an untried 

In several apeeiea the insect remains in ils chrysalid stale for many yean ; 
the locust, in one of it* species at least, the cicada lepteiideeim, appear* m' 
nvmber* once only in seventeen yean,and the pHlmer-worm once-only In 
thirty years ; cycles not reciwnised bv the meteorologist, but which are well 
entitled to hi* attention : and, through the whole range of their dnration, it 
is the integument we are now epeaking of that furoishe* the animal with a 
■ecure protection. 

Wbcnoe come* It that plants of distant and opposite cUmatei (for every 

•aMmoLMi^DaM. TaBd*(rFMteTia.r.TK 

HI ON THE B0HE5, &c. 

dimale haa ita indigenous planla as well as its indigenoDS animala) Bhotdd so 
freqoenlly meet together in Ihe aame region T that those which naturvlly be- 
long to the Cape of Good Hope should be fonnd wild in New-Holland t and 
those of Africa on (he coast of Norway 1 and that thq Floras of every climate 
under the heavens should conEOcinte in the stoves and gBrdens of our own 
country ^ It is the imperishable naiure or the integument that surrounds 
their seeds by which this wonder is chiefly effected. Some of these seeds 
are provided with littie hooks, and fasten themselves to the skioa of animals, 
and are thus carried about from place to place ; others adhere by a native 
glne lo the feathers of water- fowls, 'and are washed off in distant seas; 
while a third sort are provided by nature with little downy wing;a, and hence 
rise into the atmosphere, and are blown about by the breezes towards every 
quarter of the compass. Of ibis last kind is the light seed of Ihe betula aiba, 
or birch-tree; which, in consequence, is occasionafly seen germinating on the 
summit of the loftiest rocks and the tops of the highest steeples.* But it is to 
man himself that this dissemiDftiion of plants is chiefly owinr. He who in 
tome sort commands nature — who changes the desert into a oeautifiil land- 
scape — who lays waste whole- countries, and restores them to their former 
firuftfulness — is (be principal instrument of enriching one country with the 
botanical treasures of all the rest. Wan, migrations, and crusades, traveU 
curiosity, and commerce, have all contributed lo store Europe with a midti- 
tudc of foreign productions, and to transplant our own productions into foreign 
quarters. Almost all the culinary plants' of England, and the greater nnmter 
of oar species of com, have reached us from Italy or the Sas(;t America 
has since added some; and it is possible that Australia may yet add a few 

The utmost period of time to which seeds may hereby be kept, and be en- 
abled to retain their vital principle, and consequently their power of germina- 
tton^ has not been accurately determined ; but we have proofs enough to show 
that the duration may be very long. Thus, M. Triewald relates Ihat a paper 
of melon-seeds, found in 1763, in the cabinet' of Lord Mortimer, and appa- 
rently collected in 1660, were then sown, and produced flowers and excellent 
fruit it and Hr. R. Gale gives an instance of a like effect from similai seeds 
after naving been kept thirty-three years. ^ 

M. Saint-Hilaire sowed various seeds belonging to the collection of Ber- 
nard de jQBsieu, forty-five years after the col'" -'■--'--'•---- --- j- "^ — 

consisted of three hundred and fifty distinct si , 

not the whole, proved productive. In some Ine cotyledon appeareii to hare 
nearly, but not entirely, perished : in which, therefore, though the seeds 
•welled, and promised fairly at first, they died away gradually. And as it is 
a well-known fact that melons improve from seeds that have been kept for 
two or three years, he conceives tnat in this caae the cotyledons have been 
ripened during such period. Q 

Animal seeds or eggs, when perfectly impregnated, appear capable of pre- 
servation as long. Bomare, indeed, afiuma, that he himself found three egga, 
which, protected from the action of the air, had continued fresh in the wall 
of a church in which they must have remained for a period of thret hundrtd 

The integnment which covers seeds, eggs, insects, and worms, seldom con- 
sists of more than two distinct layers, and is sometimes only a single one; 
but in the four classes of red-blooded animals it consists almost uniformly 
of three layers, which are as follows : first, the true skin, which lies lower-' 
most, is the basis of the whole, and may be regarded as the condensed extern 
nal surface of the ceUularsubstance, with nerves, blood-vessels, and absorbents 
interwoven m its texture ; secondly, a mucous web (rete mucosum), which g^ves 
the different colours to the skin, but which can only be traced as a distinct 

■Tbicsli m IMoHiliig trtlde on Uil> tiiBjea pabtMiad kni liaBe Ths sbon wm ddinnd; m andOB 
tl wUdi nu; Ho tmrnd u itie Jimmil of Sclanu ind Uh Am, No. vll. ^ t. 
tWU]iliDaw,i>rtitclpliK, jtcJUT. tPliil.TnDi.Tol.iUL tn.TnLiUU. 

l|Tlllosmnu.Ilit.*<iLilU.ii.HB,inlia«arlI.Sklm-aiUln. if noikaatfr*, ntOoaC 


kmr tn wann-blooded animalB ; and, thirdly, the cnticle, wbich eoren tha 
wnole, and is furnished in the differeot claaies with peculiar organs for the 
IbrnMtion and exeretioo of a. varietj of ornamental or defensive matariaU— «• 
hairs, feathen, wool, and silk. 

Tbe com, or tsiie (kw, is seldom nnifiiTinly thick, even in the same ani- 
mal : thus, in man, and other mammals, it is much thicker on the back than 
in the front of the body ; but in the different clasaes or (fenera of animals it 
offers us every possible variety. Generally speaking, it ia thinnest in birds, 
excepting in the duck tribe and in birds of prey. Its conaistency and elaati. 
eily in horses, oxen, sheep, and other cattle, render it an object nf Mgh value, 
and lay a fonndalion for a variety of our most important trades and manufac- 
lares. In many animals ii is so thick and tough, as to be proof against a 
musket-ball. It is aometimcg found so iu the elk, but usually bo in the ele- 
fhant, which, at the same time, possesses the aingularity of being seDsible 
to the sting uf flies. The skin of the rhinoceros despises equally the assault 
of swords, musket-balls, and arrows. 

I have observed already, that in many animals the skin performs the offlca 
of a muscle, thou;^ it is seldom that any thing like a fibrous structure can be 
traced in it Tlie skin of man offers a few partial instances of this power, as 
in the forehead and about the neck. In most quadrupeds we tiaqe toe power 
extending over the whole body, and enablingtfiem to throw offal their option 
insects and other. small animals that irritate them. The skin of the faorae 
shudders thmugh every point of it at tbe sound of a whip, and is said to be 
generally convulsed on the appearance of a lion or tiger. Birds, and espe- 
cially the cockatoo and heron tribes, derive hence a power of moving at plea- 
sure the feathers of the crest, neck, and tail; and the hedgehog, of lollinf 
himself into a ball, and erecting his bristles by way of defence. 

Tbe colour of the akin is derived from the hete hdcosvh, or kdoous wu, 
which, BB I have already remarked, is diapoaed between the true skin and tbe 
cuticle. The name of rete, or web, however, does not properly applv to this 
substance, for it has no vascularity, and is a mere butter-like matenat, which, 
when black, has a near resemblance in colour, as well as consistency, to the 
grease introduced between the nave of a wheel and its axletree. It is to this 
we owe the l>eautiful red or violet that tinges the nose and bind-guarters of 
some t>aboons, and the exquisite silver that whitens the belly of the dolphin 
and other cetaceous Sshes. In the toes and tarsal membrane of ravens and 
tnrkeys it is frequently black ; in hares and peacocks, gray ; blue in the tit- 
mouse; green in the waterhen; yellow in the eagle; orange in the stork; 
and red in some species of scolopai or woodcock. It gives that intermixture 
of colours which beaprinklea the skin of the frog and salamander ; but it is 
for the gay and gliitering scales of fishes, the splendid metallic shells of 
beetles, and the gaudy eye-apots that bedrop the winge of the butterfly, that 
nature reserves the .utmost force of this wonderful pigment, and sports with 
itrin har happiest caprices. 

The dillerent colours, and shades of colours, of the human skin, are attri- 
butable to the same material. Most of these, however, are intimately con- 
nected with a very full access of solar light and heat ; for a deep sun-bnmed 
■kin has a nearapproach to a mulatto.* Aud hence the darkness or black- 
ness of the complexion has been generally supposed to proceed from the 
effect produced upon the mucous pigment by tiie solar rays, and especially 
those of the calorific kind, in consequence of their attracting and detaching 
the oxygen of the pigment in proportion to the alniDdance with which it 
impinges against the animal siuface, and in the same [HOportion setting at 
libeKy the cartxtn, which is thus converted into a more or less perfect cnai- 
coaL As this, however, is a sut^ect which I shall have occasion to reven to 

ID a distinct sludv upon the varieties of the human nce,t it is n 
h> pursue it any farther at present. 
It is a most cdriona circomstance, that the children of tKgviMS are nnifoni^ 



botn wMtet or newlj so ; and that the blHck pigment wliich coloim tbero ia 
not fully lecreted till several months after birth. It sometimes hamMiUi 
Ihongta nnly, that from a moriiid state of the secretorr organs there is so 
ingment secreted at all, or a white pigment is secerDed ioEtead of a black j 
wnence we have white negroes, or persons exhibiting all the comnioa cha- 
ncten of the negro-hreed in the form of the head and features of the face, 
with the anomaly of a while skin. And it sometimes happens, though still 
mure rarely, that from a similar kind of morbid action afiecitng the secretory 
organs, the black pigment is secreted in alternate or interrupted divisioiH; 
and in this case we have negro children with brindled, marbled, or spotted 
skins : an instance of which was brought to me by a gentleman about two 
years ago, who had purchased the child in America, and who, I believe, after- 
ward exhibited it in this metropolis as a public show. 

The cDTicLK is the thinnest of the layers that form the general intec^ment 
of the skin. It often, however, becomes thicker, and somelimes even hcnnv, 
by use. Thus it is always thicker in thesoleof the fooland palm of the hand} 
and homy in the palms of blacksmiths and dyers ; and still more so io the 
soles of those who walk barefooted on burning sands. It ii annually thrown 
olT whole by many tribes of animals — as grasshoppers, serpents, and spidera 
-~and as regularlv renewed; and by some animals it is renewed'atill more 
frequently : it is shed not less than seven times by the caterpillar of the moth 
and butterfly before either becomes a chrysalis. There are a few plants that 
exfoliate their cuticle in the same manner, and as regulaity renew iL The 
West India plane-tree throws it off annually. 

Prom the cuticle shoots forth a variety of substancea, which either protect 
or adorn it, Uie roots of which are not unfrequently imbedded in the true skia 
itself. Of the harder Icind, and which serve chiefly as a defence, are the 
naQs, scales, claws, and horns ; of the softer and more ornamental -kinds, are 
hair, wool, silk, and feathers. 

Hair is the most common production, for we meet witii it not only in all 
mammals, but occasionally in birds, flshes, and- insects, varying in coiuis- 
tency and flneness, from a down invisible to the naked eye, to a bristle strong 
enough to support, when a foot long, ten or twelve pounds weight without 

Wool is not essentially different in its chemical properties from hair, and 
it varies equally in the fineness and coarseness of its texture. It is generally 
supposed by the growers, that the fineness of its texture depends upon the 
nature of the soil; yet of the two finest sorts we are at present acquainted 
with, that of Spain and that of New South Wales, which last is an ofllset 
^m the Cape of Good Hope, and has yielded specimens of broad cloth, 
manufactured in this countiy, as aoft and silky as that of unmixed Merino 
wool — that of Spain is grown on a pure limestone soil, covered with small 
le^mtnous plants instead of with grass ; and that of New 84Mith Wales on a 
soil totally destitute of lime, and covered with a long, rich, succulent graas 

Pood, however, or climate, or both, must be allowed, under certain circum- 
stances, toposseMS a considerable degree of inSuence; for it is acurious fact, 
that the hair of the goat and rabbit tribes, and the wool of the sheep tribe, are 
equally converted into silk by a residence of these animals in that district of 
^ia Minor which is called Angora, though we do not know that a similar 
change is produced by a residence in any other region; while, on the con- 
truj, the wool of sheep is transformed into hair on the coesl of Guinea. 

Ilie fine glossy silk of the Angora gont is well known in this country, as 
being often employed for muAs and other articles of dress. How far these 
animals might be made to perpetuate this peculiar habit by a removal from 
Angora to other countries has ttever yet been tried. Upon the whole, the 
•oil and climate of New>Holland offer the fairest prospect of success to aueb 
•n attempt; and under this impression I have for some time been engaged in 
an endeavour to export a few of each genus of these animals from Angon to 
Port TadcKm. 


Bilk, hdwever, U chiefly secreted bjr inaects, lu aome Bptti^es of spider, 
wboM threads, like the hair of the Aagora goat, assume & silky kIdbi and 
Inbricity, and the pbalena mori, or ailk-worm, which yields it in great abiu^ 
dance. Yet there are a few siiell-Sshes which generate the annte, and eape- 
ciallv the genas pinna, or nacre, in hU ite species; whence Reaumur calU 
tills kind the sea silk-worm. Tt is produced in the form of an ornamental 
byssus or beai^: the animal is found gregariously in the Heditdrranean and 
Indian seas ; and the weavers of Palermo manufacture ite soft threads iato 
glossy stuffs or other silky textures. And I may here otnerTe, that there are 
various trees Ihat possess a like material in the fibres of their bark, ■■ the 
moms papyrijera, and several other species of the mulberry : in consequence 
of which It has been doubted by some naturalists whether the silk-worra 
actually generates its cocoon, or merely eliminates it from the supply 
received as its food; but as the silk-worm forms it from whatever plants it 
feeds on, it is obviously an original secretion. 

From the iategninent of the skin originates also that beautiful plvmaox 
which peculiarly charvcterizes the class of birds, and the colours of which 
■re protwbly a result of the same delicate pigment that prodacea, as we have 
Already remarked, the varying colours of the skin itself; though, from thb 
minuteness with which it is employed, the hand of chemistry haa not been 
able to separate it from the exqmsitely line membrsjie in which it ia mvolved. 
But it is impossible to follow np this ornamental attire through all ita won- 
derful features of graceful curve and irridescent colouring, — of downy deli- 
eacT and m^jeatic strength, — from the tiny rainbow that plays on the neck of 
Ibe nnraming-bird, to the beda of azure, emerald, and hyacinth, that teaselate 
ibe winga ofthe parrot tribe, or the ever-ahifiing eyes that dazzle in the tail 
of the peacock ; — from the splendour and taper elegance of the feathers ot 
(be bird of Miradise, to the giant quills of the created eagle or th^ coodor— 
IhM crested eagle, which in size Is as large aa a sheep, and is said to be aUa 
to cleave a man's scull at a stroke ; and that condur which, extending it> 
enonnooa wings to a range of sixteen feet in length, has been known to fly 
off with children of ten or twelve yean of age. 

Why have not these monsters of the sky been appropriated to the uae of 
man T How comes it that be who haa subdued the ocean and cnlUvoied the 
earth ; who has harnessed elephants, and even lions, to his chariot wheels^ 
should never have availed himself of the wings of the eagle, the vulture, or 
the frigate pelican T That, ha?ing conquered the difflcaiiy of ascending into 
the atmosphere, and ascertained the possibility of travelling at the rate of 
eighty miles an hour through its void regions, he should yet allow himself to 
be the mere sport of the whirlwind, and not tame to hie use, and harness to 
bis car, the wmged strength of these aerial racers, and thus stamp with realitr 
some of the boldest fictions of the heathen poets 1 The bint has, indeed, 
long been thrown out ; and the perfection to which the art of falconry wa* 
carried in former times sufficiently secures If against the charge of absurdly 
or extravagance. 


Uimca every visible form and modiGcation matter is perpetually changing: 
not neceaaarily ao, or from its intrinsic nature; for the best schaols of 
lAcient times cODCur with the beat achnols of modern times, in holding ita 
elementary principles, as I have already observed, to be solid and unchsnge. 
aUe ) and we have atill farther aeen, that even in some of its compoundTbnt 



SaeonB, etlierealized, and inTisible tomta, it is probsbljr alike exempted rnnn 
I law of chan^i while the Chriatuin looks forward with holy hope to a 
period when thia exemption will be ^oeral, and extend to every part and te 
, every compound ; to a period in which there will be itew heavens and a new 
earth, and what is now corruptible will put on iacoiruption. 

At present, however, we can only contemplate matleT, under every visible 
form and modification, as perpetually changing ; aa living, dying, and reviv' 
ing; decomppaing into its primordial elementu, and recombining into new 
forme, and energies, and modes of existence. The germ becomes a seed, 
the seed a sapling, the sapling a tree: tbe embryo becomes an infant, the 
infant a youth, the youth a man ; and, having thus ascended the scale of ma» 
tnrity, both instantly begin the downward path to decay; and, so far as 
relates to the visible materials of which they consist, both at length moulder 
into one common elementary mass, and furnish fresh fuel for fresh genera- 
tions of animal or vegetable existence. So that all is in motion, all is striving 
to burst the bonds of its present stale ; not an atom is idle j and the frugU 
economy of nature raaltes one set of materials answer the purpose of many, 
aod moulds it into every diversified figure of being, and beauty, and happiness. 

But till the allotted term of existence has arrived, animals and vegetables 
are rendered equally capable of counteracting the waste they are perpetuftlfy 
sustaining in their individual frames ; and are wisely and benevolently en- 
dowed with organs, whose immediate function it is to prepare a supply of 
reformative and vital matter adequate to the general demand. 

or this class of organs in plants we took a brief survey in our eighth 
leetare ; and shall now proceed to notice the same class as it exists in ani- 
mals, and which ie generally distinguished bylhenameortheDiaESTiTssTsms. 

There ie, perhaps, no animal function that displays a larger diversity of 
means by which it is performed than the present ; and, pertiaps, the only point 
in which all aaimals agree, is in the possession of an internal canal or cavity 
of some kind or other in which the food is digested ; an agreement which may 
be regarded as one of the leading features by which the animal structure in 
distinguished from the vegetable. 

Let us then, in the first place, trace this cavity as it exisls in man and the 
more perfect animals ; the organs which are. supposed to be auxiliary to it, 
and the powers by which it accomplishes its important trust, I<et us next 
observe the more curious deviations and substitutes that occur in classes thst 
are differently formed : and, lastly, let us attend lo a few of the more singular 
anomalies that are occasionally met with, and especially in animals that are 
cap^le of subsisting on air or water alone, or of enduring very long afaali- 
nences or privations of food. 

The alimentary cavity in man extends from the mouth through the whole 
range of the intestinal canal :* and hence its different parts are of very dif- 
ferent diameters. In the mouth, where it commences, it is wider; it con- 
tracts in the esophagus or gullet; then again widens to form the stomach, 
and afterward again contracts into the tube of the intestines. This ttibe 
itself is also of different diameters in different parts of its extent ; and it is 
chiefly on this diversity of magnitude that anatomists have established its 
divisions. Its general length is five or six times that of the man himself; 
and in children not less than ten or twelve times, in consequence of their 
diminutive stature. la some animals it is imperforate; it is so occasionally 
in birds, and fiahes, and almost uniformly so in zoophytes. 

Generally speaking, the extent of the digestive cavity bears a relation (o 
tiie nature of the aliments by which the individual is designed to be nou- 
rished. The less analogous these aliments are to the substance of the animal 
they are to sustain, the longer they must remain in the body to undeivo the 
changes that are necessary to assimilate them. Hence the intestinal tube 
of herbiviirous animals ie very long, and their stondach is extremely large, 
mod often doable or triple; while the carnivorous have a short and straight 


digestive canal, the food on wbich thej feed being already of their own 
DaturBi and containing a larger quantily of nourishment in a lesa bulk ; and 
hence demanding a smaller proportion both of time and space to become fit 
for use. In this respect man holde a medium between the two : his digestire 
canal is less complex than that of most animalH thai feed on grass alone, and 
more exteniive than thnl of most animals [hat are confined to a diet of their 
own kind. Man is bence omnivorous, and is capable of aubsistrng on an 
aliment of either sort ; and from his digestive organa, aa well as from varions 
others, ii better qualified for every vanely of soil and climate than any other . 

Man, however, ia by no means the only omnivorous animal in the world; 
for Ihe gi«al Author of nature it perpetually showing us that, though he ope- 
rates by ecneral laws, he is in every instance the lora and not the slave of 
them. Hence, among quadrupeds, the swine, and among insects the ant, 
poBseHseH as omnivorous a power as man himself, and feeds equally -on the 
fleshy parts of animals, and on grain, and the sweet juices of vegetables. In 
consequence of this omnivorous power in Ihe ant, we may often make use of 
liitn as a skilful anatomist ; for, by puttin? a dead frog, mouse, or other small 
animal in a box perforated with holes, and placing it near an ant4iill, we shall 
find it in a few days reduced to a perfect and exquisite skeleton, every atom 
of the aoft parts being separated and devoured. 

Tbe aolia materials of the food are first masticated and moistened in the 
mouth, excepting in a few cases, in which ii is swallowed whole. It is then 
introduced into the stomacb, and converted into an homogeneous pulp or 
paste, which is called chyme ; and shortly afterward, by an additional pro- 
cess, into a fluid for the most part of a milky appearance, denominated chyle ; 
in which state it is absorbed or drunk up voraciously b^ thousands and tens 
of thousands of little mouths of very minute vesaels, which are not often found 
in the stomach, but line the whole of the interior coaling of that part of the 
intestinal tube into which the stomach immediately empties itself, and which 
are perpetiudly waiting to imbibe its liquid contents. These vessels eonsti- 
tnte a distinct part of the Ivrnphalic system ; they are called lacteals from Ihe 
nnrnl milky af^arance of the liquid they absorb and contain. They pro- 
gtetsively anastomose or unite together, and at length terminate in one 
common trunk, named the thoraeic duct, which conveys Ihe different streams 
thus collected and aggregated to the sanguineous system, to be still farther 
operated upon, and elaborated by the action of the heart and the lungs. 

The means by which the food is broken down and rendered piZtaceona 
after being received into the stomach are various and complicated. In Ihe 
first place, the muscular tunic of the stomach acts upon it \>y a slight con- 
traction of its fibres, and so far produces a mechanical resolution : secondly, 
tbe hi^ temperature maintained in the stomach by the quantity of blood 
contained in the neighbouring viscera and sanguiferous vessels, gives it Ihe 
benefit of accumulated heat, and so far produces a coococtive resolution: 
and, thirdly, the stomach itself secretes and pours forth from the mouths of 
its minute arteries a very powerful solvent, which is by far the chief agent in the 
process, and thus produces u chemical resolution. In this manner the moiat- 
ened and mandncated food becomes converted into the pasty mass we have 
aireadv called chyme : and, fourthly, there are a variety of juices separated 
from the mass of the blood by distinct glands situated for this purpose in its 
vicinity, which sre thrown into the duodenum, or that part of the canal into 
which the stomach immediately opens, by particular conduits, and in some 
way or other appear to contribute to the common result, and to transform the 
chyme into chyle, but concerning the immediate powers or modes of actioo 
of which we are in a considerable degree of darkness. Of these gjands the 
■nosl remarkable and the most general are the liver and tbe pancreas or 
BweeUbread ; Ihe first of which secretes the bile, and ie always of a conaj. 
deraUe size, and appears to prodnce a very striking effect on the blood itself, 
by a removal of Mveral of its principles iodepeiidently of its office a* a 
digestive organ. 


From thia brief Burrey of tha proceu of digutian it is Dbriona that the 
■tonuch itseir perfonoB by f&r Ihe principal part ; in aoine animala, indeed« 
it appean to petrorm the whole ; aad it is heace neceaaary that we examiaa 
the pneral structure and powers of thia organ with a little more minuleneaa. 

In man the atomach Is situaled on the left side of the midriffj in ita figure 
it reaemblee the pouch of a bag-pipe; ita lefi end ia most capacious; its 
apper side is concaTe, ila lower convex ; and the two orifices for receivinf 
and discharging the food are both situated its the upperpart. In its substance 
It conaiats of three distinct costs or layers, the external and internal of whicii 
are membranous, and tbe middle muscular. The internal coat, moreover, ia 
lined with a villous or downy apparatus, and is extremely ooDvoluled or 
wrinkled ; tbe wrinkles incraasing in size as the diameter of tbe stomach 

From what I haT« already obserred, it muat appear that the invceaa of 
digestion in man conaista of three distinct acts: mastication, which is the 
office of the mouth, and by which the food ia first broken down ; chymifica- 
tion, or ita reduction into pulp, which ia the office of the stomach ; and chy- 
lification, or its dilution into a fluid state, which is the office of that put at 
the intestinal canal which immediately communicates with the stomietL 
Tbe whole of this process is completed in about three hours, and under cer- 
tain states of the stomach, lo which I shall advert presentlv, aloMst aa quickly 
as the food is swallowed. The most important of these three actions is \ti»t 
of chymihcalion ; and, while it takes place, both orifices of tbe stomach are 
closed, and a degree of chilliness is often produced in the system generally, 
from the demand which the stomach makes npon it for «n auxiliary sap|dy 
of heat, without an augmentation of which it appears incapable of performmg 
thia important function. 

Considering the comparatively slender texture of the chief digesting organ, 
and the totghness and the solidity of the eubstances it digests, it cannot 
appear snrprising that mankind should have run into a variety of mistaken 
theories in accounting for its mode of action. Empedocles and Hippoeratea 
supposed the food to Vb softened by a kind of putrefaction. Galen, .whOM 
doctrine descended to tecent times, and was zealously supported by Grew 
and SantarelU, ascribed the elTeet to concoction, produced, like the ripening 
and softening of fruits beneath a summer sun, by the high temperature of the 
stomach from causes just pointed out. Pringle aud Macbride advocated tha 
doctrine of fermeulaiion, thus uniting the two cnuses of heal and putrefac- 
tion assigned by the Greek writers ; while BorelH, Keil, and Pitcaim reaolved 
the entire process into mechanical action, or trituration ; thus making the 
muBcular coating of the stomach an enormous mitl-atone, which Dr. Pitcaim 
was extrevagant enough to conceive grouad down the food with a pressure 
equal to a weight of not less than a nundred and seventeen thousand and 
eighty pounds, assisted, at the same time, hi ita gigantic labour, by an equal 
pressure derived from the surrounding muscles." 

Each of these hypotheses, however, was encumbered with insuperable ab- 
actions i and it is difficult to say which of them was most incompetent to 
explain the fact for which they were invented. 

Boerfaaave endeavoured to give them force by interunioo, and hence com* 
Irined tiie mechanical theory of pressure with the chemical theory of concoc- 
tion; white Haller contended for the process of maceration. But still n 
something else waa found wanting, and continued to be so till Cheselden in 
lucky hour threw out the hint, for at first it was nothing more than a hint, of & 
mmiatnium secreted into some part of the digestive system; ahint which 
waa aoon eagerl* laid hold of, and successfully fotloweo up by Haller, Reau- 
mur, Spallftnzaia, and other celebmted physiologists. And though Cheael- 
den was mistaken in the peculiar fluid to which he ascribed the mlveot 
energy, namely, the saliva, still he led forward to the important fact, and tfaa 
•ASTiin ivioB was soon afterward clearly detected, anc' ' 
tibly estaUished. 

• aM SbM I. Locdm I 

3c,r.z6doy Google 


stomach, and empty themselTes into its ca»ity by innumerable orifiofeg invi- 
■ibte to (he naked eve ; and it i« bence called gaairic juice, from ynr^, which 
ia Greek for gtomacn. . Mr. Gruickehank Bupposea about a pound of it to be 
poured forth every twenty-four houm. "The drink," saye he, " taken into 
the atomaeh may be two pounda in twenty-four houra ; the saliva Swallowed 
may be one pmmd in the aame period, the gaalric juice another, the pan- 
ereatic Juice another. The bile poured into the inteatineB Haller suppoaea 
about twen^ ouncea, besides the fluid aecreted through the whole of the 
internal lurlacea of the intestines ;"* which Halter calculates at not leas than 
eight pounds In twenty-four honrs, — a calculation, nevertheless, that Blumen- 
bach regards «a eztravagant.f 

"niB quantity of the gastric jtiice, however, seems to vary very considerably, 
according to the demand of the system generally, or the state of the stomach 
itself. In canrivorouB birds, whose stomachs are inembranous alone, and, 
consequently, whose food is chymified by (he sole action of the gastric juice, 
without any collateral assiatance or previous mastication, this fluid is secreted 
in much larger abtmdance ; as it ia also in those who labour under that 
morbid state of the stomach which is called canine appetite; or when, on 
lecorery from fevers, or in conae^uence of long abstinence, the svstem is 
reduced to a state of great exhaaation, and a keen sense of hnnger mduces a 
desire to devour food voraciouely and almost perpetually. 

Such ivas the situation of Admiral Byfon and hw two IHenda, Captains 
Cheap and Hamilton, after they had been shipwrecked on the western coast 
of Soiitii America, and had been emaciated, as he tells us, to skin and bone, 
by having suffered with hnnger and fatigue for some months. "The go- 
vernor," s^s Admiral Byron, " ordered a table to be spread for us with cold 
bam and (owti, which only we three sat down to, and in a short time dea- 
patched mote than ten men with common appetites would have done. It is 
amazing that our eating to that excess we had done from the time we first 
got anion? these kind Indians had not killed us ; we were never satisfied, and 
used to take all opporltmities, for some months aiter, of filling our pocketa 
vhpn we were not seen, that we might get up two or three times in the night 
to cram ourselves. |*{ 

When pure apd in a healthy state, the eastric Juice is a thin, transparent, 
and uninflammable fluid, of a weak sdine taste, and destitote of smell. 
Geneiallv speaking, it is neither acid nor alkaline ; but it appears to vary 
more or leas in these propertiet, not only in animals whose organs of <Ugea> 
lioD are of a difierent structure, but even in the very same animal under dif- 
ferent circumstances. It may, however, be laid down as an established rule, 
tbaiineamiBoroaseindgramintvoroiu animals posseHsing only a single stomach; 
thia fluid is acid, and colours blue vegetable juices red ; in omnirorcmt animals, 
aa man, whose food is composed both of vegetable and animal diet, it is neo- 
ttal ; and in graminivorous rvmrnating animals with four stomachs, and par- 
ticnlariy in the adults of these tribes, it hae an alkaline tendency, and co- 
lours bltie vegetable Jniees green. 

of animala. Among mankind, and especially in civilized life, the food is nsu- 
ally eaten in a state of sweetness and freshness ; but fashion, and the luxuri- 
ona desire of having it softened and mellowed to our hands, tempt us to keen 
aeversl kinds aa long as we can endure the smell. The wandering hordes oi 
fypeiea, however, and the inhabitants of various savage countries, and eq»- 



eUIj thoM about Ihe month of the Onnge river in Africa, cany Uiis fori of 
liizory to a much higher pitch, for they have no objection to an ofleniln 
■mellt snd appear to *b1ik tneii food in proportion to its qtproach towaidi 
putraliiclion. Now all tbeae foods, whatever be the degree of tiuai patridity, 
are equally restored to a ilate of sweetneas by Ihe action of tiiis Juice, a 
abort lime after they have Iteen introduced into the stomach. 

Dr. Fordyce made a vaTiety of experiment* in reference to this suUect 
upon the dog, and found uniformly thai the moat putrid meal he could be 
made to.svrailuw, was in a very short time deprived of it« putrescency. We 
cannot, tiierefore, be surprised that crows, vultures, and hyenas, who find a 
pleasure in tainted fleeb, should fatten upon so impure a diet ; nor that the 
' ''1 should have its courtiers among insects as well as the flower- 


The gastric juice hai hence been employed as an antiseptic in a variety of 
cases out of the body. 

Spallanxani has ascertained that the' gastric juice of the crow and the dog 
will preserve veal and mutton perfecUy sweet, and without consumptiou, 
tbiity-seven days in winter^ while the same meats immersed in water emit 
.a fetid smell as early as the seventh day, and by the thirtieth are resolved 
into a atate of most offensive liquidity. 

Physicians and surgeons have equally availed themselves of this corrective 
qnalily, and have occasionally employed the gastric juice, internally in case* 
u indigestion from a debilitated stomsoh, and externally as a check to gan- 
granes, and a eiimulus to impotent and indolent ulcere. I do not know that 
this practice has hitherto taken place very largely in our own country, but it 
has been extensively resorted to on the Continent, and especially in Switzei* 
land and Italy ; and in many cases with great success. 

But the gastric juice is as remarkable for its solvent as for its antiputres- 
cent property. Of this any industrious observer may satisfy bimseli by at- 
tending to theprocessof digestion in many of our most common animals; but 
it has been most strikingly exemplified is the experiments of Reaumur and 
Spallanzani. Pieces or the toughest meats, and of the most solid bones, en- 
closed in small perforated tin caaea to guard against all muscular action, have 
been repeatedly thrust into the stomach of a Duzzard : the meals were uni- 
formly found diminished to three-fourths of their bulk in the space of twentv- 
four hours, and reduced to slender threads ; and the bones were wholly m- 
geeted, eilber upon the first trial or a few repetitions of it. Dr. Stevens repealed 

iL : . — .!._ t ... _.. 1. .. jjj-^ perforated ivory ball, 

y to swallow and disgor^ 
when a like efiTect was observed. 

The eaatric juice of the dog dissolve* ivory itself and the enamel of the 
teeth; that of the hen has dissolved an onyx and diminiabed ei louis-d'or;* 

fibrous par 

. , r is not long 

that, upon examitiing the stomach and intestinal tube of a man who diecin one 
of the public hospitals of this metropolis, and who had some years before 
swallowed a number of clasp-knives out of hardihood, their Iwndles were 
found diKesled, and their blades blunted, though he had not been able to dis- 
eharge tnem from his body. 

It is in consequence of this wonderful power that the stomach is sometimes 
found in the extraordinary condition of digesting itself ; and of exhibiting, 
when examined on dissection, various erosions in different parts of it, and 
especially lowards the upper half; into which the gastric jtiice is supposed to 
flow most freely. It is the opinion of Mr. John Hunter,! however, whose 
opinions are always entitled to respect, that such a fad cati never lalte place 
except in cases oi sudden death, when the stomach is in full health, and the 
gaslnc juice, now just ponred forth, is surrounded by a dead organ. For he 
^usibly argues, that the moment the stomach begins to be diseased, it-. 



teasM to ■ecreU Qm fluid, at least in a atate of perfect actititT ; and that ao 
hmg aa it ia itaelf abve, it ia capable, by ita liv'mg principle, of couiiieractmg 
tbe effect of tliiaadTCDt power. Yet a caaeha« lately been published by Mr. 
Bnma of Gtaagow, in which lh« atontach appears to have been eroded, 
alt]ioiig:htl>edeftth,inaleadof being sudden, did not take place till after a long 
Blneaa and peat emaciation of the body. It is possible, however, that even 
here the atomach did not participate in the disease. That the living princi- 
ple of the atomach is capable, so long as it continues in the stomact, of re- 
sialingtbeaclion of the gastric ^uice, can hardly he questioned. And it is to 
the auperior power of this principle of life, that worms and the ova of insect* 
are 10 oftencapable of existing in the atomach uninjured, and even of thriving 
in the midat of ao destructible an agency. 

But tlMHigfa the Bolvent juice of the stomach is the chief agent in the pn>- 
CMS of d^estion, its muscDlar power contributes alwaya aomething, and ia 
many animala a considerable proportion, towards the general result; and 
hence, the shape and alructure of thiaorgan, instead of bemg luiifannly alike, 
is ratwd with the most skilful attention to the nature of the mecluniam by 
which it is to operate. 

In its geneni construction the stomach of different animals may be divided 
tnto three kinda ; memlHanoua, muscular, and bony. The lirst is conunon to 
mminlvDTOus quadrupeds, and to camivorooe animals of moat kinds ; to 
MMep, oxen, horses, doge, and cats ; eagles, falcons, aaakeB, frogs, newts, and ' 
the greater number of fishes, as well as to man himself. 'Hte second is 
eommon to gnminivorous iMrds ; and to granivoroua animals of most kinds ; 
to fowii, diKka, turfccT*, geese, and pigeons. Tlie third, to a few apterous 
insects, a few soMmdied worms, and a few zoophytes ; to the cancer^nus, 
the cntlle^Oah, the sea-hedgehog; tubipores and madrepores. 

Of the memtnanous stomach we have already taken notice in describing 
that of man t and at the bony stomach we took a glance in a lato lecture on 
the teeth and other masticatory organs. It only remains, therefore, that we 
make a few remarks on that singular variety of the membranous ^tomach 
which belongs to mminont anim^, and on the muscular stomach of grani- 
vorooB and gnminiv orous birds. 

All animals which mminate must have more stomachs or ventricles than 
one i some have two, some three ; and the sheep and ox not leas than four. 
The food is carried down directly into the first, which lies upon the left side, 
and is the largest of all ; the vulgar name for this is the paunek. There are 
no wrinkles on its internal surface ; but the food is considerably macerated 
in it by the force of its muacnlar coat, and the digestive secretions which are 
poured into it. Yet, in consequence of the vegetable and unanalogous nature 
of the food, it requires a much farther comminution ; and ia hence forced up 
by the esophagus into the mouth, and a second time masticated; and this 
constitDtes the act called rumination, or chewing the cud. Af(er this pro- 
cess, it is sent down into the second ventricle, for the esophagus opens 
equ^^ into both, and the animal has a power of directing it to wliich. 
soever it pleases. This ventricle is called Che botmel or htng't-kood; its 
intonal surface contains a number of cells, and resembles a honey-comb ; it 
macerates the food still farther; which is then orotruded into the third ven- 
tricle, thM, on account of its verv numerous folas or wrinkles, is called mang- 
pliei, and vnlsariy many^lvi. It is here still farther elaborated, and is then 
sent into the fourth ventncle, which, on account of its colour, is called lAef-ai, 
and bv tlie French It caiiU, or the curdle, sluce it ie here that the milk sucked 
by calves flnt assumes a curdled appearance. It is thus that the process of 
digestioa ia completed, and it is this com^riment that constitutes the true 
■tomaeta, to whidi the others are only vestibules. 

Then are aome animals, however, which do not ruminate, that'have more 
than one stomach ; thos the hampster has two, the kangaroo three, afid the 
sdotb not less than four-* Nor <U)es the conformation terminate even with 


madnipedf; for ainonr birds the ostrich hu two rentrielea,* and nimrM 
bbea the atoinateiu tooto^ The horM and au, on Ihe oontruTt tbon^ 
gruainiToronB qiudmpedfl like the ox, haw oot^ one ~' "- 

neceBsarilj fettered by its own general laws, nor compelled, eren uuder the 
same circumstances, to adopt the same caaie to produce th« same effect. 
Yet, if we had time, we might proceed be)naDd this remark, and point out, if 
I mistake not, the reasons uir such diversities, and the skill with which they 
are introdaeed. Thns the horse and ass are fontied for actirity, and requirs 
lightness ; and hence the bulk and complexity of three or four stomachs would 
counteract the object for which they are created; but it does not interfere with 
the ptmnits of the ox, which is heavy and indolent in its natnre ; and which, 
though it may pethuis be employed as a beast of burden, can never be mado 
use of fortfpeed. llie activity of the horse and ass, moreover, excites, from 
the atimulDs it produces, a larger seoretimi of nsttic Juice than is met with in 
the ox, and thus in a considerable degree supplies a substitute for the three 
deflcient stomachs ; but it by no means extracts the natriment so entirely IJom 
the food introduced into it ; and we hence see the reason why the dimg of 
horses is richer than that of black cattle, and why they require thtee or foni 

times as much provender. 

We may apply Uie whole 
habitation is the sandy and burning deserts of the torrid zone, where not a 

We may apply Uie whole of these remarks to the ostrich, whose peculiar 

Made of grass is to be seen for hundreds of mUes, and where the little food 
It lights npon must be made the most of. The double stomach it posseasea 
enables it to accomplish this purpose, smd to digest coarse grass, prickly shrubs, 
and scattered pieces of leatner, with equal ease. This animal is sUMiosed to 
be one of the most gttipid in nalnre, and to have no disceimnentinlheclKnoo 
of its food ; for it swallows stone, glass, iron, and whatever else cornea 
in its way, along with its proper sustenance. But it is easy to redeem 
the ostrich from such a reproach, at least in the instance before us i for these 
Terr articles, by their hard and indestructible property, perform the ofice of 
teeut in the animal's stomach ; they eaaUe it to iritarate its food most mi- 
tmtely, and to extract its last particle of nutriment. It is true that in the 
class of birds, or that to which the ostrich ttelongs, a double stomach most 
necessarily, to a certain extent, oppose the general levity by which this class 
is nsnallv characterized. But the wings of the ostrich are not designed for 
fUght : they assist him in that rapidity of running for which he is so cele- 
brated, and in which he exceeds all otlier animals, but are not designed to 
lift him tram the earth. In reality, the ostrich a»)eara to be the connecting 
link between birds and quadru^eas, and espedal^ ruminant quadn^eds. In 
its general portrBit,as welt asm the stmctnre of its stomach it has a near re* 
eamblance to ttie camel; in its voice, instead of a whistle, it has a grunt, like 
that of the hog ; in its disposition, it is as easily tamed as the horse, and like 
him maybe employed, and often has been, as a racer, though in speed it outstrips 
the swiftest race-horse in the worid. Adanson asserts, indeed, that it will do 
so when made to carry double ; and Aat, when at the factory of Podore, he had 
two ostriches carefully broken in, the strongest of which, tiiougfa yonng, woohl 
run swifter, with two negroes on his back, than a racer of the best breed. 

Yet widely different is the mechanism of the stomach in birds of flight that 
feed on vegetables : nor could any contrivance be better adapted to unite the 
two characters of strength and levity. Instead of the bulky and complicated 
compartments of the membranous stomach of ruminant animals, we here meet 
with a thick, tough, muscular texture, small in size, but more powerful than 
m stontest jaw-bone, and which is usaally called amaiai. 

It consists of four distinct muscles, a \aige hemispherical pair at the sidea, 
•ad two smaller muscles at the two ends or the cavity. These muscle* arc 

• TtUMMntl. AuMsi^ Ac. ^UB, ITU. 


dntiBBnisbed from the rett belonging to the aniinal. not lesi bv their colour 
than ay their prodigion* strength; and the internal cuticle witn which they 
ue covered U peculiarly csUoua, and oReu becomea quite homy from prea> 

■ore and friction. 

The gixzard of pniDg birdst aa the gooM and tnrkey, diffiBta in some do- 
me in the fotmation of ita muaclci from that of gnnivoroiu. "Riey hare 
uao ** a awell in the lower part of the eaotdiagua, which anawera the pnrpoae 
erf a reaerroiri in which Uw gtaaa is retained, mecerated, and mixed with the 
aecretioiu potiTed out t^ the glandniar aurfacei announding it, in tiiia respect 
etneapondmg to the drat am aecond BtotOBebt of mnunatiiig animala, hi 
which the grass ia prepared for masiifioatioB,"* Ihoogfa essentially lighter. 

In moM urda, indeed, we meet with an approach towards this, in a earity 
ntoated above (be moscnlar stomadi, and called the crop, oi craw, llua 
txH roceives the food bom the mouth, and slightly softena it by a moooas 
Suid secreted firam ita hiteiior ; and thus prepared, a ^ux of it la given back 
to the ymmg, when there are yonng to partue of it, and the rest ia saU to 
the ginard cv^iroper atomach, whose moscular mechanism, ia eoiOanctkn 
with its gaatnc J11K9, soon eomminates it into the most impalpaUe pnlp. 
Thsre are sev»u kinds, however, that, tike the ostrich, endeavour to assist 
Oia moscnlar action by swallowhig pebbles or gravel ; some of which And 
this additional aid to indispena^le, toat they are not able to digest their food, 
■nd grow lean without iL Spdlsnzani ait^iwted to prove that these atooea 
■re of no use, and are only awallowed by accident 1 bnt their real advantage 
has been eomidetely estuiliahed by Mr. J. Hunter, who has correctly oU 
served, that the larger the giszarda, the Urgei are the peUdee fonnd in them. 
laOegixnrdof atuAeyhecoantedtwohaodredi inthatof agoose,athonsand^ 

Reaumur and Spallanzanl have put the prodinons power of this moscular 
stomach to the test, by compelling geese and otner birds to swallow needles, 
butcets, and otiterhara and pointed substances; whlcb, in every experiment, 
vete foiind, a f^w hours afterward, on killing and examining ue animal, or 
OD ita regorging them, to be broken off and blnnted, without any injury to 
stomach whatever. 

Yet, as all animals are not designed fin- all hinds of food, aelther the force 
of the strongest moscular fibrea, nor the solvent power of the most active 
gaatric Juice, will avail in every jhstance. The wild-boar and the vulture 
devour the rattlesnake uninjured, and fatten upon it ; bnt there are many 
kinds of v^etables which neither of these are capable of diguting. Hie 
owl digests flesh and bone, biUcannotbe mads to mgestgiamorbread; and 
ia one mstanca died, under tiie experimmis o£ Spallansani, when confined to 
vegetaUe food. The falcon seems as little capable of dissolving veget^lee 1 

St the eagle dissolves bread and heme equally ; and wood-figeona may, in 
« manner, be t«onght to live, and even to thrive, on flesh meat. Thepro- 
ceUaiJa pdagiea, or aiotmy petreUlives entirely oo oil, as Ute fU of oaaA 
whales and other fishes, whenever he can get it; and if not,eaaTerU every 
tiling he awallows into oiL He dischor^ pure oil ftara his monlh at objects, 
diat crffend him ; and feeds his young with tne same substance. 'Hiis ia the 
anost daring of all birds in a tempest, thou^ not more than six inches long. 
As soon ss Ibe chMds begin to oMlect, he quits his rocky covert, and enkiys 
the gathering and magDifleent aeraerv ; he rides triumimuiily on the wniil- 
wino, and sums witli ineredfiile velocity the giddiest peaks and deepest 
hollows of the most tremendous waves. His appesranee ia a sore presage 
•r foul weather to the seaman. 

lliere aie some tribes of animals that ^pear capable of subsistmg on water 
alone, and a few on mere air, incapable as these substancee seem to he, at 
first right, of aflbrding any thing like solid nutriment. Leeches and tadpoles 
present us with familiar prools Ot the former asaertion. and there are varions 
tjn^ of flshea that may ds added to the catalogue. Rondelel kept a silver 
Ml in pars water alma for three yean t and at the end of that panod it had 


gnwn BB larM u the gltisn grlobe th&t contained it. Several BpecieB of ttM 
carp Und, and eepecially tbe gold-fiah, have a similar power ; and even die 
pike, the most gluttonous, perhapa, of the wbole dua, will both live and 
tbiive upon water alone in a marble basin. 

Tbe bee, and varioua other inaectB, derive tiieir nutriment from the nectar 
and effluvium of flowers. So also doea tbe trochiluB genma, or hnmminc- 
bird) which appears to be the connecting link between the two ClasBes ; bnn- 
ing like the bee itaelf with a joyous hum around the bloaeom on which it 
li^ta ; and in one of ita epeciea, t. mutuiuu, not exceeding it in size, and 
<my weighing from 90 to 45 grains. « 

.Ajt alone appears 'sufficient for tbe support of animals of otber kinds. 
Snails and chameleons have b«en known repeatedly to live upon nothing else 
ftnyeara.* Gannui asserts that it is a sufficient food for spiders; and tiial 
Ihongh they will devour other food, as fishes will that may be maintained alone 
on water, they do not stand in need of any otber. Latreille conGnns this 
assertion to a considerable extent, by informm^ us that he stuck a, spider to a 

Siece of cork, and precluded it from commumcation with any thing else for 
>ur successive months, at the end of which time it appeared to be as lively 
as ever.! And Mr- Bakeitells us, in the Philosophical TransacUoiu, that he 
had a beetle that lived in a glass confinement for three years without food, 
and then fled away by accident. 

The larres of ants, as well as of several other insects of pi«y, are not only 
■opported by air, but actually increase in bulk, and undergo their metamor- 
piuMis without any other Dourisbment. It is probable, also, that air is at times 
the only food of the scolopendra phowphorta, or .luminous centipede, which 
has been seen illuminating tbe atmosphere, and sometimes falling into a ship, 
a thousand miles from land. 

Amphibious animals have a peculiar tenacity to life under every circum- 
stance of privation ; and not only frogs and toads, but tortoises, lizards, and 
serpents are well known to have existed for months, and even years, without 
other food than water — in some instances, without other food than air. 

Mr. Bruce kept two cerastes, or horned snakes, in a glass jar for two ^eara, 
without giving them any thing. He did not otiserve that they slept in the 
winter-season ; and they cast their skins, as usual, on the last day of April.} 

Lizards, and especially the newt species, have been found imbedded in a 
chalk-rock, apparently dead and fossilized, but have reaesumed living action on 
exposure to the atmosphere.^ On their detection in this state the mouth is 
usually closed with a glutinous substance, and closed so tenaciously, thtf 
' they often die of eDffi>cation in the very effort to extricate themselves from 
this material.| 

In respect to toads the same fact 'has been ascertained, for nearly two 
years, by way of experiment if and has been verified, by accident, for a much 
tonger term of time. The late Edward Walker, Esq., of Gueetinethorpe, 
Essex, informed me, not long since, that he had found a toad perfectly abve 
in the midst of a full-giown elm, after it was cut down by his order, exactly 
occuprin^ the cavity which it appeared Kvadually to have scooped out as it 
grew m size, and which had not tne HmaUeet external communication by any 
apetttu« that could be traced. And very explicit, and apparently verv cau- 
tious, accounts have been repeatedly published in different journals, of their 
having been found alive, imbedded in the very middle of trunks of trees and 
Uocka of marble, so large and massy, that, if the accounts be true, they 
mnst have been in such situations for at least a century." There is a veiT 
particular case of this kind given by M. Seigue, in the Memoirs of the Royd 
AcadHuy of Paris.ft 


TImw obwrratiooB lead ni to another anomaly of a more extraordinary 
latiHe BtiU ; and that is, the povrer which man htmsetf poaMSses of exiatingr 
witbOBt food, under certain circumBtannea, for a very long period of time, 
ltd! it often found to iniie i^aee ia caeefl of madneu, especially that of 
the melancholy kind, in which the patient reaolutely refiues either to eat or 
drink for many weeke together, with little apparent loae either of bnlk oi 

There ia a si^idar hiitory of Cicely de Ridgeway, preserved amonf the 
Recorda in the IViwer of London, which states, that in the reign of Edward 
III., having been condemned for the murder of her husband, she remained for 
fortT days without either food or drink. Thia was ascribed to a miracle, and 
Ifae Viiur condescended in conaeqaence to grant a pardon. 

'Hu CambiidgeBfaire farmer's wife, who, about twenty years ago, waa buried 
onder a snow-storm, continued ten or twelve days wiuiout tasting any thing 
but a little of the snow which covered her. But in Marions other casea we 
have proofa of abalinetace from food having been carried much farther, and 
without aerioua evil. In the Edinburgh H^ical Bssaya for 1790, Dr. Ecelea 
make* mention of a beautiful young lady, " about sixteen years of age," who, 
in consequence of the sudden death of an indulgent father, was thrown into 
S state of tetanus, or rigidity of all the muscles of the body, and especially 
those of deglutition, so violent sa to render her incapable of swallowing for 
two long and distinct perioils of time ; in the first iostance for thirty-four, and 
in the second, which occurred shortly afterward, for fifty-fonr days; daring 
" all which time, her first and second fastings, she declared," says Dr. Bccles, 
" she lud no sense of hun^r or thint ; and when they were over, she had 
not lost much of her flesh." 

In our own day we have had neariy as etrikinganinstanceof this extraordi- 
nary fact, in the case of Ann Moore, of Tnttrary, in Staflbrdshire, who, in 
ebnsequence of a great and increasing difficulty in swaUowing, at first limited 
.berseU to avery small daily [wrtion of bread ^ne, and oh March nth, 1807, 
relinquished eren this, allowing herself only occasionally a little tea or water, 
and in the enauiiw September pretended to riietain altogether from liquids as 
weU as solids. From the account of Mr. Granger,* a medical practitioner 
of reputation, who saw her abont two years aiterward, she appears to have suf- 
fered ver^ considerably, either from her ^stinence or from that general morbid 
habit which induced her to use abstinence. He says, indeed, that her mental 
faculties were entire, her voice moderately strong, and that she could join in 
conversation without undergoing any ai^arent fatigue : but he says, also, that 
hw pulse was feeble and slow ; that she was altogether confined to her bed ; 
that her limbs were extremely emaciated ; that convulsions attacked her on 
BO slis^t an excitement as surprise, and that she had then very lately lost the 
use of her lower limbs. 

It afterward appeared, that in this account of herself she was guilty of 
some degree of imposition, in order to attract visiters, and obtain pecuniary 

nts. Dr. Henderson, another medical practitioner, at deserved repute in 
leigUmnrtuwd) had suspected this, and published his suspicions :t and an 

■d twjii of md ■» pmm Hna^ Uidmtt wommA Mr ■■ linqaMIa to tapiart tk> lift of Ihnrdt, 
ModOfiBd oth^ toqiUHAlfl of ilw baomctUiii ftfnUj : bnt Uu^ttuj kU pvriitilf nnonaddd liy nervarj, 
at (mi wuii, IB H u bUnopt Oh ilr liy ibiir bctatc mamvmmA hj m sxlBiiKad ncstm. In >am 
at BoniT or mni, tawmr, ttor lin ■nub lonier Uiu tn lio» pdmsed ladBi mw. Tte pnMilo 

«MMKikK(lMMroritaaiiBMnka« ihiimMjiIIi tnm if ilm Mii* miiIii [iiihj (IwlT, bniOMH 

ISiol onkttad&in Iba dnaodBiuwHirMH (0 pafndgikopofH of aw^mlninadlnlL TUa, 
tawi w .ii ittto mrl Mi Hiw ofttid Iw Dr. mwfd*. Ha ftwid ilw tbM ftoK wBl Un ■ bOfK or 
AamrpwMaf IkBagBdKmnT, aeaaiAiit lottaaiampn*meortba«anr,ad**H(>TlaM Mwn. 
.Mntfttowmwllaf MHathm. lHay do aieeair If tlia ma tv Mm ikui V Faki. or Ufkw 
ItaaUS*: ttetOMki^aal damkatflUb tan S^/MwUiAnlU lift wUnattBOa fit amal boun; 
nilliailiiiaiyialliiilnliVT-^-— -■ — — nf llimnlnlii ii rlin jrlril. mi ihn |-'T [nl-r-ir>Tl In 
■ ftHiidutnHin*. 

mtcmtntM pdnt bi iba InipeniBn of tlu atiDAipbini la 
■ polM ftr aMM d*]r> mueadtaitlT lo iha Anf^ bi<B(jiliBi(i 
^•riMiln ftooiMlalDboan. Da nnhMue daa Aioa FtariHi— _« ■• •» 
Maiknla, *a. 18IT. Puta,Bn>.Mt. 

•Unbvib Mad. and 8nr|. MmMl. Kd. m. Mj,WW,f.nt. 

1 A> Xxa^Htta oribabapoanra ofjum Moan, odM aa nMiof Waau arTXnbMTiAc Vr 


Intellifirat commiltee wu at length armnged, and a»ented tabf the wonati 
hmeS, for tbe purpose of watching her by day an.d b; oiffil. Ctit off 
boreby albwelher from fluidB, which she had of late prete^ed to Klinqaiih, 
M well as from solida, she was hardly able to reach the tenth day, and still 
less lo confeas, as she then did, that she had occasionally been sopfdied by 
ber daughter with water and tea. " On the whole," the conuniUee conclnd^ 
Id their account of her, " though this woman is a base impoator with reapect 
to her pfetence of Mai abstinence from all food whatever, liquid or aoiid, yet 
she can periiifis eodnre the privation of solid food longer than any other per* 
SOD. It ia tiiong^t by those best acquainted with her, that she existed on B 

mere trifle, and that from hence came die temptation to aay that she did not 
take any thing. If, therefore, any of her friends could have convered ( -^ - - - 
of water to her, unseen by the watch, and she could occauonally have 

out of it, little doubt is entertained that she woold have gone through the 
month's trial with credit. The daughter aays that her mother's prindpu food 
ia tee, and then is reason to believe tiiis to be tme."* But thii cminioa 
leaves the case almost as extraordinary as before the detection of the fraud i 
for if true, and it ia greatly borne out by the fact to which il ^ipeals, thia 
woman was capable of subsisting on what is ordinarily regarded as no nutri< 
ment whatever, and required nouing more for her suj^xnt than an ocoad<»ul . 
dnng ht of pure water. . 

HQduius, Haller, and other physiologists have collected various inatanoea 
of a similar kind : many of them of a much longer duration of abstinence t 
some of them, indeed, extending to not less than sixteen years t hut in gmb- 
lal too loosely written and attested to be entitled to full reliance. \et the 
Philosophical Transactions in their different volumes contain numerous cases 
of the same kind, apparently drawn up with the most scniptdoua caution, and 
■upporled by Uie best kind of concurrent evidence. In one of the earlier 
volumest we meet with an account of four men who were compelled to sut^ 
sist upon water alone for twenty-four days, in consetfuence oi their having 
been buried in a deep excavation by the fall of a supenocnmbetit etralDni « 
earth under which they were working, and il being this length of time before 
Ihey were extricated. The water \mch they drank of was from a spring at 
hand i and they drank of it freely, but tasted nothing else. 

A still more extraordinary account is recorded in the same Journal for the 
year 174S, and consists of the history of a young man, who, at the age of six* 
teen or seventeen, from having drunk very freely of cold water when in a 
Ticdent perspiration, was thrown into an inflammatory fever, from which lie 
«acaped with dilBculty, and with such a dislike to foods of all kinds, that for 
itghitm years, at the time thia accotmt was drawn up, he had never tasted 
any tiaag but water. The fact was well known throughout the neigbbotor- 
hood ; but an imposition having been suspected by several persons irtio saw 
him, he had beeujshut up at timea in close conflnement for twenty daya at a 
lrial,wilhthemoat scrupulous care that be ahould communicate withnothing 
but wator. He unifonmy enjbyed good health, and appears to have had qJeO' 
tiona, but seldom. 

A multitude of hypotheses have been offered to account for these wonder- 
ful anomalies, bnt none of them do it satisfactorily ; and I should be tmworthy 
of the conAdence you repose in me, if I did not ingenuously confess my utter 
igitoianee upon the snt^ect. Water in most cases appears to have been abao- 
lutely necessary, yet not in all i for Hildanns^ who, tnou^ somewhat inufi- 
naUve, wpeara to have been an honest and an able man in the main, assons 
us, that Eva Flegen, who had fasted for sixteen years when he saw her in 16)S, 
had abstained entirely from liquids as well as solids : and in ttie case of im- 
pacted toads, especially thbse found in blocks of closely crystallized maiblei 
the moisture they receive must often be very insignificant. 

•A Ton BitKHn or Aiu lloocs, tba pnlMA«) Futbii W«Mn of Tuban, sn. HIL 
^T^ aninian btn InlbniMd lu (& ttili poor wemui dM U MteHmtM tbmt tt 

ciiiizedoy Google 


PeriMpi one of the moat aiiignlar cxsea, and at the aame time one of lbs 
beet autoeniicated on record, it that of Janet M'Leod, pablisbed in the Phi* 
)a*o[^cal Tmuactiona b^ Di. Mackenzie.* She wae at (bia time Ihutjr- 
tfaree yean of age, umnairied, and from the age of flneen*had had wiona 
ptroxymii of epitepey, which had conaiderably ihakm her framet rendeied 
the e)e*ator musclei of the eyelids paralytic, so that ehe could only aee by 

ly her 

lifting the lids up, and produced so ngid a locked jaw that her month could 
rarely be forced open l^ any contrivance. She had lost Tery neariy her 
power of speech and degluti^on, and with this, sU desire dlher to ea 
Her lower limbs were retracted towards her body sbe was entirely confined to 
her bed, slept much, and bad seldom any other erestions than periodical di*. 
chaigea irf blood, apparently from the lunss, which was chiefly thrown ont 
by the Doetrils. Diirmg a very few intervab of relaxation riM was preTKiled 
■pen with ffreat difficulty to put a few crumbs of bread, comminuted in lli» 
hand, into her moath, togetlier with a lilUe water sucked from her own hand, 
and in one or two inslancea a little grnel ; but even at these attempts ahXKMt 
the whole was r^ected. On two occasion! also, after a total abstinence of 
many months, she made si^e of wishin^r to drink some water, which wee 
immediately procured for her. On the fint occasion the whole seemed to be 
returned from her mouth ; but she wae greatly refreshed by having it rubbed 
upon her throat. On the second occasion, she drank ofl" a pint at once, hut 
could not be either prevailed upon or forced to drink any more, notwithstand- 
ing that her lather had now fixed a wedge between her teeth, two of which 
were hereby broken out. With these exceptions, however, she seems to have 
passed upwards of four years without either liquids or solids of any kind, or 
even ao anpearanee of swallowing. Sbe lay fbr the most part like a log of 
wood, with a pulse scarcely perceptible from feebleness, but distinct and 
legnlar: her countenance was clear and pretty fresh; her features neither 
disfigured nor sunk I her bosom round and prominent, and her limbs not ema- 
ciatea. Dr. Mackenzie watched iier with occasional visits, for eight or nine 
year*, at the close of which period she seems to have been a little improved. 
Hifl narrative is very precisely as well as minutely detailed, and previously to 
its being sent to the Royal Society, was read over before the patient's parenta, 
who wore known to be perscms of great honesty, as also before the elder of 
thaDarisb.wboappear8tohave been an excellent man ; and, when sent, was 
by a certificate as to the general truth of the facts, siomd br 
of the patish, the sheriff-^pute, and six other individiii^ of 
lOB oeigmKiuiliood, Of high ch&racter, and moat of them Justices of the 

Yet even with the freest use of water, what can ire make of such cases 
vpoa any cfaun of chemicBl facts at present discovered 1 What can we 
make of it, even in cou)unction with lh« use of air I The weight and solid 
contents of the animal body are derived chiefly from that prmciple which 
modem chemists denominate cartion ; yet neither water nor air, when in a 
stale of purity, contains a particle of carbon. Again, the substance of the 
■oimal bame is distiagsisned from that of the vegetaUe by itt being satu- 
rated with nitrt^en, of which plants possesses comparativelybntverTlitilei 
yet Ihongh the basis of atmospherical air cooslsta of nitrogen, water oas no 
more of this nrinciide than it nas of carbon ; nor is it hitMrto by an^ means 
established, tnal even the nitrogen of the animal system is in anr instance 
derived from the air, or introdut^ by the process of respiration ; K>r the ex- 
perimenla upon this subject, so far as they go, are in a state of oppositiont 

and keep the question on a balance-^du amtrariaJacU- 

Shall we, then, suppose with others, that the circle of perpetual mutatim, 
iriiich is imposed upon everr other species of visible matter, is in these cases 
■nqvended, and that the diobrent organs of the system are, so long aa tbe 
swHnaly ctmtinoes, rendered iacoRt^>tU>le I But tail is to aimx>se the iate(w 
votionofaminde, and without aoadequatecauie. Letui,then,iathHreoB> 


llBw our igiurraiiee than attempt to be wiie upon the basig of conceit All that 
we do know is, that bodies ot ereiy kind are reducible to a few elementary 
principles, which appear to be unchange^le, and are certainly invisible ; and 
Aat from different comtunationB and modificationfl of these proceeda every 
ooocrete andriaible form: hence, air iiaelf, and water; hence mineral,, vege- 
table, and animal aubatances. Air, therefore, and water, or either aeparat^^ , 
may contain the rudimentol materials of all the rest. We behold metallic 
stonet, and of lai^ magnitude, fall from the air, and we auppoae them to be 
formed there : we behold idanta auapended in the atmosphere, and atiU, year 
after year, thriving and blooming, and diSUsiog odoura : we behold insects 
ufmreiitly aiutained from the same source ; and worms, fishes, and ocea- 
BionaUy man himself, supported from the one or the other, or from hoth. 
niese an facta, and as facts alone we must receive them, for we have U 
present no meana of reasoning upon them. There are innnmeiable mysterier 
in matter as well as in mind ; and we are not yet acquainted with the nature 
of those elementary principles from which every compound proceeds, and to 
which every thing is reducible. Vie are equally ignorant of their shapes, 
their wei^^t, or their measure. 

m TBB oiBODunoii or thb blooo, kespdution, asd AitnuuaATioir. 

The progress of science is slow, and oflen imperceptible ; and Ihon^ in a 
few instances it has been quickened by an accidental discovery or an accU 
dental idea, that has given a new turn, or a new elasticity to the chain of 
our reasonina, still have we been compelled in every instance to follow op 
the chain, link after link, and series after series, and have never leaped for- 
ward through an intermediate space without endangering our security, or 
being obliged to retrace our career by a painful and laborious reinvestigation. 

It required a period of three thousand six hundred years to render the 
doctrine of a vacuum probable, and of five thonsaad six hundred to estaUish 
it upon a soUd foundation. For its probability we are iuclebted to Epicurus, 
for Its certainty to Sir Isaac Newton. The present theory of the solar sys- 
tem was commenced bv Pythagoras and his disciples five centuries befoiv 
Christ, and only completed by Copernicus fifteen centuries after Christ. 
Archimedes was the first who invented the celebrated problem for squaring 
the paralMA, which was upwards of two hundred years before the Christian 
sn; yet aa~ exact problem for sqaaring the circle is a desideratom in the 
present day. The simple knowledge of the magnet was ^miliar to the Ro- 
mans, Greeks, and some of tiie oriental nations while in their infancy ; it has 
been employed by the mariner for nearly six centuries in Europe, and for a 
much longer peri^■* by the Chinese, in their own seas ; yet at this moment 
we are acquainted 'tn only a very few of its laws, and have never been aUa 
to wpropnate it to anv other purpose than that of the compass. 

Tiie circulation of tne blood in the animal system is our subject of study 
for the present lecture, and it is a subject which has laboured under the same 
difficulties, and has required as long a period of time as almost any of the 
preceding sciences, for its complete illustration and establishment. Hippo- 
cotes ^ssed at it; Aristotle believed it; Servetua, who was burnt as a 
heretic in IfiSS, taught it ; and Harvey, a century afterward, demonstrated it. 

I shall not here enter into the various steps by which this wondeiful dis- 
covery was at length effected ; the difficulty can be only fairiy appreciated 
t^ those who are acquainted with the infinitely minute tubes into which the 
distributive arteries branch out, and from which the collective veins arise ; 
btit every one is interested in the important fact itself, for it has done mote 


tmrardl Mtstdiahhig the healing art upon a rational basis, and ■n^ecting the 
aStrexX diMaaea or mankind to a successful mode of practice, than an; 
Other discovery that has emblazoned the annals of medicine. 

la our la« lecture we traced the action of the diffestive organs : ve beheld 
the food first comminuted by means of jana, t«etn, or peculiar muscles or 
membranea ; next converted into a pulpy mass, and afterward into a milky 
liqnid ; and in Uiis state drunk up by the mouths of inaiunerable minnle 
vessels, that progressively miite into one common trunk, and eonrey it to 
the heart as the chi^ organ of the system, for the use and benefit of the 

But the new-formed fluid, even at the time it has reached the heart, has by 
DO means undergone a sufficient elaborKtion to become genuine blood, or to 
support the living action of the different organs. It has yet to be operated 
upon by the air, and must for this purpose be sent to the lungs, and again re- 
turned to the heart, before it is fitted to be thrown into the ^aeral circulation. 

Tbia is the rule that takes place in all the more perfect anmials, as mammals, 
birda, and most of the amphibiali ;* and hence tteeae claasea are said to have a 
double circulalitn. And as the heart itself consists of four cavities, a pair 
belonging to each of the two circulations, and each pair u divided from the 
other b^ a strong membrane, they are also said to have not only a double 
circulation, but a double heart — a pulmonary and a corporeal heart. 

The Mood is first received into the heart on the pulmonary side, and is con- 
veyed to the lungs by an artery which is hence called the pulmonary artery, 
that soon divides into two branches, one for each of the lungs; in which 
organs they still farther divide into innumeisble ramifications, and form a 
beautifnl network of vessels upon the air vesicles of which the substance 
of the lui^ consists ; and by this means every particle of blood is exposed 
In its turn to the full influence of the vital gases of the atmosphere, and be- 
comes thoroughly assimilated to the nature of the animal system it is to 
■appori. The invisibly minute arteries now terminate in equally minute 
veins, which progressively unite till they centre in four common trunks, 
which carry back theblood, now thorougldy ventilated and of a florid hoe, to 
the left side or corporeal department of the heart. 

From this quarter the corporeal circulation commences : the stimulus of 
thebloodltselfexcites the heart to that alternate contrHClion which constitutes 
pulsation, and which is continued through the whole coune of the arteries i 
and by tlus vor^ contraction the blood is impelled to the remotest part of the 
body, the arterial vessels continuing to divide and to subdiviae, and to 
branch out in every possible direction, till the eye can no longer follow them, 
even when aided by the best glasses. 

liie arterial blood havuw thus visited every portion of every organ, and 
supplied it with the food of life, is now retumeo, faint, exhauB|pd, and of a 
[MU^e hue, by the veins, as in the pulmonary circulation ; it receives, a short 
space before it reaches the heart, its regular recruit of new matter from the 
digestive organs, and then empties itself into the ri^t aide or pulmonaiy de- 
partment of the heart, whence it is again sent to the lune%, as before, for a 
new sa[]^ of vital power. n 

Tlie circulation of the blood, therofore, depends upor .wo distinct sets of 
veuels, arteries and veins; the former of which carry it forward to every 
nut of the system, and the latter of which return it to its central source. 
Both sets of vessels are generally considered as consisting of three distinct 
layera or tunics ; an external, which in the arteries is peculiarly elastic ; a 
middla, which is muscular in both, but whose existence is doubted by some 
^ysiologiats; and an internal, which may be regarded as the common covering 
or cuticle. The projectile power exercised over the arteries is unqnestion- 
My the contraction to which the muscular tunic of the tieart is excited by 


the stimuliu or tbe blood itself; and vhich coulraclion would be pi 
but that the heut araean to become exhausted in a considerable depM of 
its mnscttlar initability by the exertion that produces the contraction, and 
hence speedil^r returns to its prior state of relaxation, exhibiting that alter- 
BBtinK sncceesiOn ot systole' and diastole which constitutes pulsation.* 

In UM venal system, however, we meet with even fewer proofs of muscular 
Cbre than in the arterial, and no such force of the heart as to produce pulsa- 
tion on a pressure of the flnger; and hence, to this moment, we are in a 
greater decree of ignorance as to the projectile power by which this system is 
actuated. The theDries that have been chiefly advanced upon the sutiject 
tie, first, that of a vis i tergo, or an impetus given to the blood by the arterial 
eotitraction, which is supposed tjy its supporters to he sufficient to operate 
through ihft whole length of the venal canals ; secondly, that of capillary at- 
traction, the nature of which we explained in a former lecture ; and lastly, 
a theory of a much more complicated kind than either, and which supposea 
tbe projectile power to result jointly from the impetna communicated by the 
heart and arteries, from the pressure of the surrounding organs, and esp^ 
cially fitnn the elasticity of the lungs, and the play of the dia[Ai«gm, in ooo- 
junction vrith the natural irritability of the delicate membrane that lines the 
mterior of the reins, (t is unnecessary to enter into a consideration of any 
of these thecwies ; for they all stand self-convicted of incompetency ; and 
the last, which is the most operose of the whole, has been only invented to 
aui^ly the acknowledged inefficacy of the other two.f Whatever this projec- 
tile power consists of, it appears to have some resemblance to that of tite 
vegetal^ system ; and, like many of the vessels in the latter, is assisted 
by the artifice of numerous valves inserted in different [wrtvo^ tt>e veiul 

The most important process which takes place in the circulation of the 
Uood is that of its ventilation in the lungs. II is this process which consti- 
tute* the economy of bcspiutwh, ai 

than Cimmerian darkness. 

We see tbe blood conveved to the lungs of a deep purple hue, faint and 
exhausted by being drained in a considerable degree of its vital power, or 
immature and unassimilated to the nature of the system 't is about to support, 
in consequence of its being received fresh from the lacteal trunk. We behold 
it returned from the lungs spirited with newpeas of life, perfect in its ctm- 
formation, more readily disposed to coagulate, and the dead purple hue tiaiw 
formed into a bright scarlet. How has this wonderful change been accom> 
fished 1 what has it parted with 1 what has it received 1 and 1^ what means 
nas so beneficial a barter been produced 1 

These are questions which have occupied the attention of physiologists in 
almost all ages ; andtbou^webavenotyet attained to anything like demon' 
stratioD, or even universally acceded to any common theory, the experiments 
of modem times have established a vatiety of very important facts which 
may ultimately lead to such atheory, and clear away the difficulties by which 
we are still encumbered. 

These facts I shall proceed to examine into in language as familiar »m I 
eao^mploy ; I must nevertheless presume upon a general acquaintance with 
the elementary principles and nomenclature of modern chemistry, since a 
summary survey of zoonomy is not designed to enter into a detail of ita 

UnlioilHlMuniSn A*vSl^ 
*••" ••'~' ••'••— •! of blQod^ tbe 

Uodd li, H It inn, MskM up lau'lha rtfkl i 
. Bo Uul Um hMn, ■pm Afa bMiUtU piTndpi 

at MM. U. p. U, Sd Ma. M 


men slfAabel or rndimenti, but to ap^y and harmonlM detached facta thU 
rdate to it, and to condenae the matenala that have bean collected by others 
iato a naiTow but regular compaBs. 

The chief aubatsnce which haa been ascertained to be introdnced from the 
atmosphere into the air^TCBicles of the lungs durio; the set of respiration, 
nd from these into the blood, is oxygen, of which the atmosjihere, when pure, 
cmisiatsof tboui twenty-eight parts in a hundred, the remaining scTenty-two 
being nitrogen. 

"nal this gaseous fluid enters into the longs is rendered hi^y probable from 
ft multiplieity of experimeots, wtuch concur to proving that a larger portion 
of oxygen is received by every act of inspiration than is returned by eveiy 
correspondent act of expiraiion ; , and that it passes from the air-vesiclM of 
the longs into the blood we have also reason to believe fnwi the chai^ie of 
colour which immediately takes place in the latter, and from other experiments 
made out of the body, as well as in the body, which abundantly ascertain thai 
oxygen has a power of producing this change, and of coaveitiiv the deep 
poiple of the blood into a bright ecaiiet. 

It is also sapposed*eryg«oeraIly, that a considerable portion of caloric or 
the matter of heat, in its elementair fbrm, is communicated to the blood at the 
same time and in coitjwiction witb the oxygen ; hot as this aabatance baa 
hitherto proved impondenhls to every scheme that has been devised to aM«N 
tain its w«i|Jit, this coDttnnes at present a point avowedly undetermined. That 
an increase of sensible beat at all times accompanies an increase of respi* 
ration is admitted by evsir one ; but since ealonc may be obtained by other 
means, if obtainable at all, and since a denial of its existence as a distinct 
substance has of late years been as atrenaouslv urged as It was in former 
times by the Peripatetic school, and upon expenmenta inacceasitde to those 
fddkwojdwrs, we are at present in a slate of darkness upon this snigeet, bom 
which I am much abaid we are not likely to be extricated very sopn. 

I have drradr observed that nitrogen, or azote, as it is also called, is the 
Other gaseous miid that constitutes lu respirable air of the almoaphei«. And 
flom a variety of well-conducted experunents bv Mr., now Sir Humf^uy, 
Davy, it appesrs also that a certain quantity of this gas is bnbibed by the 
Imgs in (be same manner they imbibe oxygen, and that, like ongen, it is 
also conunnnicated from the lungs to the blood while circulating thtougfa its 
■nbatanee ; for in the experiments adverted to he found that, as in the case 
of the oxygen, a smaller quantity was always returned by every successive 
act ot expiration than had been mhaledby every previous act of mspiration.* 

The only gas that seems to have been thrown out from the lungs in tbe 
course of these experiments is carbonic acid ; a very minuie proportiim of 
which appears also te be almost always contained in the atmospheric air, 
ttoo^ altogether a foreign material, probabfy eliminated from the decompo- 
sition of animal and vegetable bodies, that is perpetually taking placCi and 
certainly unnecessary to healthful resiriration. 

lite general result of these expeiiraeuts was as follows : the natural ii^ 
^rations were about twenty-six or twenty-seven in a minute ; thirteen cirine 
inebea of air were in every instance taken in, and ^out twelve and three* 
qaaiUm thrown out by the expiration that succeeded. 

The atmos^teric or inspired air contained in the thirteen cubic inchesr— 
nine and a huf of mtrogen, three and four-tenths of oxygen, snd one-tenth of 
an inch of earbmie acid. The twelve inches and three-quarten of returned 
■far contained nine and three-tenths of nitrogen, two and two-tenths of oxy- 
gen, and oite and two-tenths of carbonic acid. 

This inhalation, however, varies in persons of diSerenl-Bized chests from 
9G to 33 cid>iG indies, at a temperatnie of G5° ; but these by tbe beat of the 
longs, and satnrated with moisture, become forty or fofly-one cubic inches. . 

Tsking, iherefbre, 40 cubic inches as the quantity of air eaually inhaled 
■nd ezhded about 90 times in a minute, it will follow that a full-gioira ftf,f.nt,. 

,.,:., ,.^.l)(W|C 


■on reiptraa 48,000 cubic inohet in sn honr, or 1,159,000 cubic inchM in the 
coune of a day t > quantity equal to about 79 hoffBheads. 

A aimilu train of expenmenla has more lately been pursued by Mesan. 
Alien aai Pepys, and will be found fully detailed in the Transactiona of the 
Royal Society for 1808. They confirm the preceding proportions, excepting 
in the retention of nitrogen ; this substance having been found by Messrs. 
Allen and -Pepys to have been returned in every respimtion, in tlie preeiM 
proportion in which it was received. It Is highly protnible, however, tnat the . 
diet of these two sets of ingenious experimenters had not previously con- 
sisted of the same proportion of animal and vegetable malerials j ahd that Iho 
blood in the former instance was less chared with nitrogbn than in the 
latter ; which would at once account for the difference. 

Upon Sir Humphry Davy'a experiments, however, the quantity of nitro- 
gen received by the lungs is very inconsiderable, not amounting to more 
uun two-t«nlbH of a cubic inch in an inspiration. And omitting the con- 
sideration of this gas, as also that of caloric, on account of the unsettled state 
of the question, respiration, from this view of the subject, consists merely in 
the act of receiving oxygen, and throwing ont carbonic acid gas ; the longs 
imbibing and communicating to the system not lees than 33.1 cubic inches of 
the former, and parting with not less than S6.6 of tlie latter, every minute. 
So that, taking the gravity of carbonic acid gas, as calculated by Lavoisisr, 
eleven ounces of solid carbon or charcoal are emitted from the lungs every 
twenty-four hours.* 

The whole of the theory and some of the supposed facts here advanced, 
however, have of late been verv considerably disputed by Mr. EUie, in his 
Inquiry into the-Changes induced on Atmospheric Air by the Germination of 
Seeds. He concurs with Messrs. Allen and Pepys, in ascertaining that pre- 
cisely the same quantity of nitroeen is expired as is inspired ; bat ne objects 
to their conclusion, that the whole of any constituent element of respired air 
introduced into the air-vesicles, and not relumed by the alternate expiration, 
is netettarily conveyed into the blood-veaaels, believing that much of this 
may remain unascertained, in consequence of an increased, but not sensibly 
increased, expansion of the chest. He admits that carbonic vapour is thrown 
forth in the quantity usually alleged, wilh every act of expiration; but he 
offers evidence to prove thai it is the carbon only that is discharged from 
the animal system, in connexion with the exhaling vapour ; contending that 
the carbon thus existing is separated from the vapour by ita union ii>ilA Ac 
vAoU of tkt oxygen introduced by the previous act of inapitation, by which 
alone it is converted into carbonic acid gas : for he found Uie same decom- 
position of atmospheric air produced by introducing a small bladder, moistened, 
and flUed with any substance, or perfectly empty, and introdoced into an 
inverted riasa containing a certain proportion of atmospheric air, standing 
upon quicksilver. He denies, therefore, that the air-vessels are in any de- 
gree porous to gases of any kind, excepting caloric ; and, consequently, 
denies that the blood is converted from a £ep modsna hue into a bright 
, scarlet by its union with oxygen ; believing, or seeming to believe, that tiii> 
result is entirely produced by the action of the caloric separated in the air- 
vesicles upon the union of the carbon of the vapour exhaled from their sur- 
faces, with the oxygen introduced by inspiration. So that, accordinc to this 
theory, respiration is nothing mors than an introduction of caloric mto tha 
system, and the conversion of a portion of oxygen (the whole received by the 
act of inspiratian) into an equal bulk of carimnic acid by the carbon exhaled 
from the living organized body. Air, therefore, examined after respintiMi, 
is found to diOer from the same air before it is breathed, in hating lost a por- 
tion of oxygen, gained an equal volume of carbonic acid, and in Ming loaded 
with pure watery vs^ur, the vapour thrown off from the lungs ; and he 
has offered an additional proof that the oxygen of tha carbonic acid is that 
intrDdoced in the act of inspiration,- by showing, aa in the case of breatb* 

• nm. Tmm. lao^ i«t u. m. 



iBg bydA^en gaa, that ao catfeonic acid ia reUirned, aod apparently none 
jHwuced. ^ 

Id iqipaaitioD to the hypothesia of Dr. Priestley, he seem* lo show, and 
plaaaibly to Bstabllsh, thai all teireatrial phuits, whether growing in abaoluta 
^jknesa, in the shade, or exposed to the direct rays of the sun, are constantly 
removiag a quantity of oxygen from the atmosphere, and aubetituling an 
exaJUly equal Tolume of carbonfc acid ; that they produce this change by 
emitting from their leaves, flowers, fruits, ntems, and roots, and by a procesa 
like animal exhalation, caibonaceous matter, which combines with the oxy- 
gen of tbe surrounding air ; and that such a function ia essentially necessary . 
<o their vital existence. In doing this, however, the eaibonaceona matter is 
given forth more freely from the green parts than from any other, especially 
when exposed to the direct rays of the sun, by means of its affinity for the 
calorific rays ; in conaequence of which tbe oxyren of the eaiixia is set at 
liberty, and esc^iee from tbe cellular texture of the green parts through the 
external poKS ; an action, how'ever, which ia not necesaaiy lo life, for a plant 
does not die when this bas ceased, while it is equally found to occur in a dead 
aa in a livbg plant. It was probably this occaaiooal escape of oxygen that 
indnced Priestley to regard it as an invariable and constant process, i^rding 
s compeoaabon for the antpat carbon thrown into the air, and thus taking 
from and firing to the animal world what Beemed to be mutually demanded. 

Ifr. Ellis alw affirms thxX all the various colours of vegetables depend on 
tbe varied proportion of alkaline and acid matter mixed with the juices of the 
cfdonred parts of plants : that green and yellow, for example, are always pro- 
dnoed t^ an excess of alkali in the colourable juices of tbe leaf or flower ; 
and all the shades of red, by a predominance of acid ; while a neutral mix- 
tore produces a white. Ana hence there is most green in the summer sea- 
Bon, when the oxygen ie parted with most freely, aa drawn away by the rays 
of light ; while in autumn, when thero is less separation, the other coloun 
of yellow and red are most frequent. 

Mr. Ellis has also quoted a variety of experiments on different kinds of 
fiahes, miuRles, marine testacea, snails, leeches, zoophytea, and tadpoles, in 
which it was found that the water wherein these animals had been placed 
badkwtapartof its oxyren, and received an addition of carbonic acid, while 
its nitrogen had remained unafllected.* 

TiuB nypotheats, however, requires confirmation, and is at present open to 
many oltjectiona. If caloric can penneate animal membranes, aa Mr. Bllia 
admits it to do, and unite by chemical affinity with the blood in the blood- 
vessels, so alio may oxygen in certain cases of combination. Mr. Porrett 
haa flbovra that tbe Vottxic fluid, when operating upon water, is capable of 
carrying even water itself through a piece of bladder, and of raising it into a 
heapagiinat the force of gravitation; and hence other affinities may not only 
introduce the oxygen of Qie respired air, or a part of it, into the blood of the 
Uood-vessela in the lungs, through the tissue of the air-cella, but at the same 
time carry off the superabundant carbon in the form of carbonic acid, inatead 
of its being thrown out in that of carbonic vapour. Nor have we any proof 
that carbon will dissolve in water, and produce such vapour ; and hence such 
an idea is gratuitous.! 

Of the general operation, however, there is no doubt, whatever be the 
manner in which it is performed: and by such operation the new blood 
becomes assimilated to the nature of the system it has to nourish ; and the 
tid er exbansted blood both relieved from a material that may be said to suf- 
focate it, and reinsjririted for fresh action. In this state of perfection, pro- 
duced from the matter of food introduced into the stomach, and elaborated 
by the gases of the atmosphere, received chiefly by the act of respiration, but 
perhaps partly also by the absorbing pores of the skin, the tdood on its ana- 
lysis is found to consist of the following nine parts, independently of its aerial 

• btabTtDiD ite Ctaamta ioiacel nAUmnliartB Air b; Uw Oaimbiatliia atOt^tit. Siu MPL 
a*«lnkFBUHrlB4itW«uni>ilMCIiu(si,*c.eT(i. 1811. 

etilyiiribiLaALtLTiit.Lp.«irTlnan>'(Aaa^srFtiUM.NB.ilUl.|>.Tl m 


msleriala :— Brat, a peculiar aroma, or odoar, of which entry one moat ba 
fenaible who baa been preaenl at a elaughter-tiouae on cutting up the fresh 
bodiea of oxen ; secondly, fibrine, or flbroua matter ; thirdly, oDCoaffiihU* 
matter, but no gelatin, which is a subsequent secretion ; fourthly, albumen; 
fifthly, red-colouring matter; sixthljr, iron; serenthly, sulphur; eighthly, 
■oda; and, lastly, water. Theproponiouorth^separts larTBlmostintaitely, 
according to the age, temperament, and manner of living ; each of these 
havinE a character thdt essentially belongs to it, with particnlar ahadea that 
are onen difficult to be laid hold of. 

Of these component parts, the moat extraordinary are the red-eolouting 
matter, the iron, and the sulphur; nor are we by any meana acquainted with 
itie mode by which they obtain an existence in the blood. I nave already 
bad occasion to observe, that albumen and fibrine are snbstancea formed by 
the action of the living principleout of the common ma leriala ofthe food, and 
that it is probable the lime found in the bones and other parts is produced in 
the same manner. Whether the iron and sulphur that are traced m the blood 
have a similar origin, or exist in the different articles of our diet, and are 
merely separated from the other materials with which they are combined, is 
a physical problem that yet Tcmaina to be solved. It should be observed, 
however, that the solphur does not exist in a free slate even in the blood itself, 
but is only a component part of its albumen. Considering the universality of 
these substances in the blood, and the uniformity of their proportion in similar 
ages, temperaments, and habits, whatever be tlie soil on which we reside; 
that those who live in a country in which these minerals are scarcely to be 
traced have not less, while those who live in a country that overflows with 
them have not more ; it is perhaps most rational is conclude, that they are 
generated in the laboratory of the animal system itself, by the all-controlling 
mSoence of the living prinuple. 

'nie exact proportion of sulphur contained in the astern has been less ac- 
curately ascertained than that of the iron, which last in an adult, the weight 
of whose blood may Ite estimated at SSlbs.,* ought usually to amomit to 
seventy scruples, or about three ounces : and hence the blood of about forty 
men contains iron enou^ to make a ffood plougbshsre, and might easily luLve 
its iron extracted from it, be reduced to a metallic state, and manufactured 
into auch an instrument. 

Iron is seldom found except in the red particles of the blood ;f and it haa 
hence been supposed by the French chemtBls to be the colouring material 
itself. The process of respiration, according to the theory of Lavoisier and 
Fourcroy, is a direct process of combustion, in wtiich ttie animal system 
finds the carbon, and the atmosphere the oxy^n and caltmc ; and in conse- 

Sience of the sensible heat which is set at hberty during the combustion, 
e iron of the blood is converted into a red oxide, and hence neceaaaiily 
becomes a pigment. 

But it is impossible to ascribe the red colour to this principle ; for, first, we 
are b^ no means certain that the air communicates any auch suliatance aa 
ealono to the blood ; and, secondly, lei the sensible heal of the blood arise 
from whatever quarter it may, it can never be sufficiently augmented l^ the 
most violent degree, either of local or ^neral inflammation, to convert the iron 
of the blood into a red oxide, which, indeed, is never produced without r^id 
combustion, flame, and intense heat. And hence. Sir Humphry Davy eon- 
jecturos thecHitionitselfof thehlood tol>e the real colouring material, and to 
be separaled from the oxygen, with wUich it la necessarily united to constitute 

• "-rr*— * ""— •*" I— i—^— '" intdnlt u>d hcalUir mto tobowHaSorUMtaUn mlfkiil 
tebalf. Br tuMliiMiiu on ibe wale»iawi (lueru jm/uiirii;, Iw Iboad U» pniiianliia In tlili nSMlM 

t Mr. Bnnda dMtM UW tnn ailsti mm bi Uie rad putichn of (be blood than tn Um Mlur m^nHflm • 
■nndlDf to hi* KpKfiinnu, II etlau linliiia itiy liwwuldimlila qnanaiy in utjoruim; bnl iMttM 
B*adUlnIlwdlTb, IntbaamnLuidln ('natiod enaHDoil. PUl.TruL IB11,b. Ill 
THMDiUn bm tnad It u ■ mnnltiKni In cu-^hslli and oyiur«belli. TMmioii'* Anula aC nUai 
No. I, n. M. B« BmeUu bB prond Brands (o bo mlalalua, ud Ilut bOD BiM( Isidr In ibl Uaoi, 
MHlillMcaQHoruiaredoaliiiir. a« tilt Anim. OiiailltlT. 


eartxHiic uid gu, by the matter of li^Iit, which he aappoBea to be iatiodneed 
into the ajatem in the act of i«apiration, inatead of die matter of caloric ; In 
conMqnence of which it immediately becomes a pinnent. But the dificnltiu 
which attend thia theory are almost, if not altofcetner, aa ntimeroua ai thoM 
whieh attend the theory of combustion, and it La unneceaauy to purme Um 
■object ai^ farther. 

In t)w Philoiophical TranBactions, and in aeveral of the best eitabliahed 
foreign Hemoira, we meet with a few vei^ curious inatancea of apontaneona 
inflammation, or active combustion, havrngf occurred in the hninaa body. 
The accident haa uaoally been detected by the penetrating smell of burning 
and sooty films, which nave diffused themselves to a considerable distauea ; 
uid the aufierers have in every instance been discovered dead, with the body 
more or less completely burnt up, and containing in the burnt parts nothiiq 
more than an oily, sooty, extremely feiid, sndcrumbly matter. In one or two 
Instances there has appeared, when the light was totally excluded, a &int 
lambent flame bickering over the limba ; but the general combostiou waa ao 
feeble, that Ihecfaaira and other furniture of the room within the reach of tha 
burning body have in no instance been found more than scorched, and in 
most instances altogether uninjured. 

II is by no means easy to explain these extraordinary facts ; but the^ havo 
been too frequent, and are too well authenticated in different countries, to 
Joetify oar disbelief. lo every instance but one the subjects hsTe been females, 
somewhat advanced in life, and apparently much addicted to spirituous 
liquors. 1 shall hence only observe, in few words, that the aniRial body in 
Itself consists of a variety of combustible materials ; and that the process of 
respiration (though not completelr established to be such) haa a very naat 
dliance to thalof combustion itself: thatthe asual heat of the blood, takingthat 
of man as our standard, is 98° of Fahrenheit, and under an inflammatoiy teiii> 
perament may be 103° or 104° ; and hence, though by no meaas waSiaeaOy 
exalted for open or manifest combustion, may be more than sufficiently so 
for a alow or amothered combustion ; since the combostion of a dimg-bill at^ 
dom exceeds 61°, and is not often found higher in fermenting iwynackst 
when they first burst forth into flame. The use of ardent spirits may possi- 
bly, in the cases before us, have predisposed the system to so extraonunaiY 
an accident; though we ali know that this is not a common result of sucn 
ahabit, mischievons as it is in other respects. The lambent flame emitted 
fimn the body is probably phosphorescent and hence little likely to set fin to 
the anrrounoing furniture. It is not certain whether this flsme originatea 
■poataneoosly, or is only spontaneously continued, after liaying been mo- 
doced by a lighted substance coming too nearly in contact with a body thDs 
■nrcharged with inflammable materials. 

Soeh, then, are the circulatory and respiratory systems in As most porfeot 
animals; as mammals, birds, and amphibials. It should be observed, bow- 
erer, that in birds the hollow bones the mselves, and a variety of air-cells that 
are connected with them, constitute, as we have already had occasion to lu^ 
'lice," a part of the general respiratory o^n, and endow them with that 
levity of form which so peculiarly cbaractenwa themi and which is so skil- 
nillyadaptedlo their intention. It shooldberemarked, also, that in moat am- 

phtbioos animals, and especially in the tmtle, whw inletkir structare is this 
-most perfect of the entire class, the two ventricles, or larger caritiea of tba 
heaiti communicate something after the manner in which they do in tha hu- 
man foelDs. The lungs of this class are fur the most part unusually lar^; 
aitd Ihey have a power of extracting oxygen from water aa well as fimn air; 
l^nce their c^iability of existing in both elements. The oxygen, how- 
ever, obtained from the water ii not by a decomposition of the water into its 
elementary parte, but only by a separation of such air as is loosely combined 
wititit; for if water be deprived of air or oxygen, the animal soon expires. 
We have already observed that some amphibials appear lo posaeas only a 
aiogle heart, and even that of a very simple structure. 

* SartMi. LeMOnxl. ^ lis. K 


In flsbes the be&rt is single, or cotiiisti only of two computmenta ioBtnid 
of four, and hence the circulation is single also. The eiUs in this clus an- 
swer the inlention of lungs, and the blood is sent to them for this purpose 
from the heart, in order to be deprived of its excess of carbon, and supplied 
with its deficiency of oxygen. It is not returned to the heart, as in the case 
of the superior animals, but is immcdatiely distributed over the body by an 
aorta or large artery issuing froni the organ of the gills. The oxygen in 
these aninuds is separated from the water instead of from the air; and for this 
purpose the water usually passes through the mouth beCoie it reaches the 
ffills: yet in the ray-tribe there is a conducting aperture on each side of the 
head, through which the water travels instead of through the mouth. In the 
lamprey il is received by seven apertures opening on each aide of the head 
into hags,wbiGhperformtheofficeof gills, and passes oil by the same orifices, 
and not, as has been supposed, by a different opening said to constitute its 

In the common leech there are sixteen of these orifices on each side of the 
belly, which answer the same purpose. In the sea-mouse [Hphrodica acuUata) 
" the water passes through the lateral openings between the feel into the 
cavity under the moHcleB of the hack,"* 

The siren possesses a singular construction, and exhibits both eills and 
Ituigs ;t thus uniting the class of fishes with that of amphibials. Linntnu 
did not know how to arran^ this curious animal, and shortly before faia 
death formed a new order of^ amphibials, which he called heimtcs, for the 
purpose of receiving it. It ranks usually in the class of fishes. 

The only air-vessels of the winged insects have a resmblance to the aper- 
tures of the lamprey, and are called stigmata. In most instances these aiB 
placed on each side of the body ; and each is regarded as a distinct trachea, 
conducting the air, as M. Cuvier eleeantl^ expresses it, in search of the blood, 
as the blood has no means of travelling in search of the air.{ T^ey are of 
various shapes and number, and are sometimes roqnd, saroelimes oval, but 
more generally elongated like a button-hole. In the grasshopper they are 
twenty-four, disposed in four distinct rows. 

The membranous tube that runs along the hack of insectt is called by 
Cuvier the dorsal vessel. It discovers an sjtemate dilatation and contractitHi : 
and is supposed by insny naturalists to be a heart, or to answer the purpcM 
of a heart. Cuvier regards it as a mere vestige of a heart, without contrac- 
tions from its own exertion, and without ramifications of any kind : the cnn- 
tractions being chiefly produced by the action of the muscles nmning along 
the back and sides, as also by the nerves and traches, or stigmata. Scorpions 
and spiders have a proper heart ; and as the term ituecU is now confined br 
M. Cuvier and M. Marcel de Serres to those that have only this dorsal vesselt 
or imperfect heart, the two former genera are struck out of the Ust of insects 
as given by LinnKus.^ 

This organ differs very considerably in its structure and degree of simpli- 
city in moluBcous animala. The heart of the teredo has two auricles and 
two ventricles ; that of the oyster one auricle and one ventricle. In tho 
muscle the heart is not, stricUy speakiug, divided into an auricle and ventri- 
ele, but rather consists of an oval bag, through the middle of which the lower 
portion of the intestine passes. Ttro veins from the gills open into the heart, 
one on each aide, which niay be considered aa the auricles. 

In several of the crustaceous insects of Linnsus, as, for example, the mo- 
noculuB and craw-fish, the stigmata ccnverge into a cluster, so as to form 
gills ; which in some species are found seated in the claws, and in other spe- 
cies under the tail. These have for the most part a small single heart, and 

■ Hr B. Hdm^ PhD. TrtM. IBIS, p. ago. 

1 Boma'a Life sf Hnnur, pnflied to Huntu^ Tiwtbg on ttw mood, iDlusimlfni, &■>. p. IIL 

t EiiDnin«,leuii|Dipi>iiTiiitiURElunlHTl'iU,c'Ml'ilrqnliacti0clHrlai(ii|' LogMSfaM. 
Ooiim.La^SiM.l,Aii.«. _ 

}BaEH.KuciadaSnna'8laUiiiaM,TUlo(&'i Jtund, nLillr. p. IIB; Kid xpedsU; Til raw M 
tanliarrtiU. No alll.p.MT,MS.wi3»4. 


Gonaeqnenlly a single circulation, the course of which, however, ii directljr 
the reverse of Ihat pursued in fiahes; for the heart in the present instance 
propels the blood through the body, and the gilla receive it, and propel it to 
the hesrt. This is also the case in the snail, slug, and many other sofl- 
bodied worms, which possesa !i gill in the neck, consisting of a single apertnre, 
which it can open and shut at pleasure. Yet with a singular kind of appai- 
rent sportiveneaa, the cutile-fiah is possessed of threedistlnct hearts, whlGh la 
one moie than is allotted to mankind, in whom this oi^r>n ■" o^y double. 

In zoophytes we are in great ignorance both as to their sanguineous uid 
TMpiratory functions. That they stand in need of oxygen, and even of 
nitrogen, has been sufficiently determined by Sir H. Davy ; as it has also that 
they absorb their oxygen and nitrogen, as fishes do, from the water which 
holds these gases in solution. Their nutrition appears to be effected by n 
immediate derivation of the nutritive fluid from tbeir interior cavity into thfl 
gelatinous substance of their body.* 

Hence then the respiratory organs of the animal kingdom mav be divided into 
three classes; lungs, gills, and holes or stigmata: each of tne three classei 
exhibits a great variety in its form, but the office in which they ara employed 
is the same. Animalsof every kind muat be snpplied with air,or rather with 
oxygen, however they may differ in other respectsin tenacity of life; for a 
Tacuum, or a medium deprived of oxygen, kills them equally. Snails and 
■lugs corked up in small bottles have been found to live till they had ex- 
hausted (he air of every particle ofoxygen, and to die immediately anerward: 
and frogs and land-turtles, which are well known to survive the loss of the 
spinal marrow for months, and that of the head or heart for several days, die 
almost instantly on exposure to a vacuum.t 

Connected with this general subject, (here is still an important question to 
be resolved, and which has greatly occupied the attention of phygiologists for 
the last fifty years. 

Mediately or immediately, almoet all ahimal nutriment, and, consequently, 
ilmost all animal organization, is derived from a vegetable source. Tne 
blade ofgrass becomes a muscular fibre, and the root of a yam or a potato a 

human brain. What, then, is that wonderful process which assimilates sub- 
stances in themselves so unlike ; that converts the vegetable into an aoimal 
form, and endows it with animal powera 1 

Now to be able (o reply succinctly to this question, it is necessaiv Brst of 
all (0 inquire into the chief feature in which anim^ and vegetable subatancea 
agree, and the chief feature in which they differ. 

Animals and vegetables, then, agree in their equal necessity of extracting 
a certain sweet and saccharine fluid, as the basis of their support, from what- 
ever substances may for this purpose be applied to their respective organs 
of digestion. Animal chyle and vegetable sap make a very cloia opproadi' 
to each other in their constituent principlea as w-u <^ m their external ap- 
pearance. In this respect pia^tB auu animals agree. They disagree, inas- 
much as animsi sutntances possess a very targe proportion of azote, with a 
small comparative proportion of carbon ; while vegetable substances, on the 
contrary, possess a very large proportion of carbon, with a small compara- 
tive proportion of azo(e. And it is hence oovious, (uai vegetable matter can 
only be assimilated to animal by parting with its excess ofcarbon, and filling 
up its deficiency of azote. 

Vegetable substances, then, part first of all with a considerable portion of. 
their excess of cartmn in the stomach and intestinal canal, dunng the procesa 
of digestion ; a certain quantity of the carbon detaching a certain (juantity of 
the oxygen existing in these organs, as an elementary part of the air or water 
ihmr contain, in consequence of its closer affinity to oxygen, and prodnelng 
ewoonic acid gas ; a fact which has been clearly ascertained bv a variety of 
experiments by M. Jurine of Geneva. A surplus of carbon, nowever, still 
«nlen the animal ayatem through the medium of the lacteals, and continues 


tocircnlatewilh the cbyle, or the blood, till it reaches the Iioikb. Here avaia 
a c«rt&iD portion of carbon ia perpetually pnrted with apou every eipintiOD, 
in the form of carbonic vapour, according- to Mr. Elile, but according to Sir 
H> Davy and others, in that of carbonic gM, in cooBeqnencc of its uDion 
with a part of the oiy^n introduced into the lungs with every returning in- 
■piration ;* while the excess that yet remains is carried off by the skin, ia 
consequence of its contact with almoapheric air : a fact put beyond all doubt 
l^ the ezperimentB aad obserratioDs of M. Jurine, although on a superficial 
view, opposed by a few experiments of Mr. Ingenhouz.t and obrious to eveiy 
one, from the well-known circumstance that the purest linen, upon the purest 
■kin, in the purest attnosphere, soon becomes discoloured. 

In this way, then, and by this triple co-operation of the stomach, the lungs, 
and the skin, vegetable matter, in its conversion iuto animal, puts with ttw 
whole of its excess of cart>on> 

lis deficiency of azote becomes supplied in a twofold method : first, at the 
lungs ; also, by the process of respiration, as should appear from the concor- 
renl experiments of Dr. Priestley and Sir H. Davy^ which agree in showing 
that a larger portion of azote is inhaled upon every inspiration than is retumea 
by every succeeding expiration; inconsequence of which Ae portion retained 
in the lungs seems to enter into the system, in the same manner as the re- 
tained oxygen, and perhaps in conjunction with it ; while, in union with this 
economy of the lungs, the skin also absorbs a considerable quantity of azote, 
and thus completes the sup^y that is necessary for the animalizatioil of 
vegetable food :^ evincing hereby a double consent of action in these two 
organs, and giving us some insight into the mode by which insects and worms, 
which are totally destitute of lungs, are capable of employing the skin as a 
substitute for lungs, by breathing uirough the spiracles existing in the skin 
for this purpose, or merely through the common pores of the skin, wtthoni 
any such additional mechanism. It is by this mode, also, that respiration 
takes place through the whole vegetable world, offering as another instance 
of resemblance to many parts of the animal ; in consequence of which, 
insects, worms, and the leaves of vegetables equally perish by being smearod 
over with oil, or any other viscous fiuid that obstructs their cutaneous orifices. 

But to complete the great circle of universal action, end to preserve the 
important balance of nature in a state of equipoise, it ia necessary, also, to 
inquire by what means animal matter ia reconverted into vegetable, so as to 
aflord to plants the same basis of nutriment which plants have previoiialy 
afforded to animals 1 

Now this is for the most part obtained by the process of PDracricnoN, or 
a return of the constituent principles of animal matter to their original affini- 
ties, from which they have been inflected by the superior control of the vital 
principle, aa lonv ag it inhabited the animal frame, and coerced into other 
combinations wid proawtioua,]! Putrefaction is, therefore, to be regarded 
as a very intportaot link in the great cirahi sC muveisal life and harmony. 

The constituent principles of animal matter we have alteuly enumerated : 
tbey are moat of tiiem compound substances, and fall back into their reapec- 
tire primordia aa the putrefactive process sets them at liberty. This process 
oommences among the constituent gases ; and it is only necessary to notica 
the respective changes that take place in this quarter, as every other change 
is an induced result. 

a. JnrlmlcctaWbintlilcdlollMlwiwiitofaila Amotrt: U 

Mmqr^ mnlu, hhI tun mo riBB aaBnBed bT oUw «qia 

F^uln MtBHin m I* TnawmUon 4m AoUniu, pu A. Si 

y-^MtmatnU!* MtOBln tn h CaaMnmlMn d> l-Oiypm, a 

_ i M«iM bnm ammr, Itm DBInActlDo la the mlj poiUln er. , . 

rft hBprtn elptoiifiift. odnuLai tiMa.lDAenl.lnnidniiaiduidfEUnpniareruMiH 
nj vvi*i but QuBiuUi ba« ■aSctomlr Aawn tiM liimiiillj ■■ u *"^'i*"- tt&L 


OTtbeseyaseal hxve already observed, that azote or nitrogen is byfu 
the largest m retpeot of quantity, and it appears also to be by far the most 
active. Hence, on the ccsBation of the vital principle, the azotic corpuscles 
veiy speedily msike anadvance-tovrardsthoBeofoxyeen, and generally in the 
softer and more fla id parts of the syHlem ; the control of (he vital principle being 
here looserand less powerfully exerted. Aunion readily takes place between 
the two, and thus combined they fly off in the form of nitric acid ; while at the 
same time another portion of azote combines with some portion of hydrogen, 
and escapes in the form of ammonia or volatile alkali. A spontaneous de- 
eompoaition having thus commenced, all the other component parts of the 
lifeless machine are set at liberty, and By olf either separately or in dif- 
ferant combinations ; during which series of actions, from the union of hy- 
drogen with carbon, and especially if conjoined at the same time with some 
portion of phosphorus or sulphur, is thrown forth that offensive aura which 
u the peciuiar characteristic of the putrefactive process, and which, accord- 
ing to ue |»rticular mode in which the different elementary substances com- 
biae, constitutes the fetor that escapes from putrid fishes, rotten eggs, or any 
Other decomposing animal substances. 

In this manner, then, by simple, binary, or ternarv attractions and combi- 
nations, the whole of the substance constituting tne animal system, when 
destilolie of its vital principle, flies off progressively to convey new pabnlnm 
to the woild of vegetation ; and nothing is leli behind but lime or the earUi 
of bones, and soil or the earth of vegetables : the former furnishing plants 
with a perpetual stimulus by the eagerness with which it imbibes oxygen, and 
the latter oflering them a food ready prepared for their digestive organs. 

Id order, however, that putrefaction should take place, it is necessary that 
certain accessaries to such a process should be present, without which putre- 
faction will never follow. Of these the chief are rest, air, moisture, andheat. 

Without kEST the putrefactive process in no instance takes place readily, 
and in some instances does not take place at all : for animal flesh, when ex- 
posed to the perpetual action of running water, is often found converted into 
one common mass of fat or spermaceti, as I shall presently have occasion to 
obeerre mote minutely. 

Au most necessanly coexist, for potrefaction can never be induced in a 
TBDunin. Yet we must not only have air, but genuine atmospheric air ; or, in 
olher words, the surrounding medium must be compounded of the gases 
which constitute the air of the atmosphere, and in their Just proportions. To 
pcDve this, it is sufficient to mention that dead animal snbstance has been 
exposed t^ M. Morveau,* and other chemists, for five or six years in confined 
vessels, to the action of simple nitrogen, hydrogen, carbon, and various other 
nsBs, without any change tAat can be entitled to the appellation of pntie. 

Then most slso be moistuu ; for as I have already observed, putrefaction 
commences in the softer and more fluid parts of the animal system. On this 
Bcooont ft laielr occurs during a sere harmattan or drying wind of anykbid, 
and never in a frost so severe as to destroy all moisture whatsoever; the 
power of ftost exercising quite as effectual a control over the elements of 
animal matter as the living principle itself. 

For the same reason there mast be rkat; since in the total absence of 
beat frost must necessarily take place, together with an entire privation of 
nxristuTS. On this last account, again, the heat made nse of must only be to 
a certain extent, as about 661° of Fahrenheit ; for, if carried much higher, the 
rarefaction which takes jdace in the surrounding atmosphere will induce an 
Mcent of all the fluids in the animal substance towards its surface ; whence 
ther wiD fty off in the form of vapour, before the putrefying process can have 
hsa time to commence, and leave nothing behind but dry indurated materials, 
lUe of putrefaction because destitute of all moisture. Our dinner- 


lablei too often supply ue with inilances of this fact, in dUbes of roast or 
bailed meat too Idiif exposed to the action of the lire, and hence reduced to 
juiceleas and ragged fibres, totally devoid of nutriment, and capable of keep- 
ing for weeks or months, without betraying any putrefactive iudication. 

In like manner, when bodies are buried beneath the hot and arid sands of 
Egypt or Arabia, with a sultry sun shining, almost without ceasing, upon the 
■andy surface, the heat hereliy produced is -so considerable as to raise the 
whole of the fluids of the animal system to the cuticle, whence they are im- 
mediately and voraciously drunk up by the bibulous sands that surround it; 
or, piercing their interstices, are thrown off into the atmosphere in the form 
of insensiUe vapour. In consequence of which, when a bcdy thus buried is 
dug up a few weeks after its interment, Instead of being converted into its 
original elements, it is found changed into a natural mummy, altogether as 
hard, and as capable of preservation as any artificial mummy, prepared with 
Uie costliest septics employed on such uccanions. 

When dead animal organs are deposited in situations in which only a very 
■mall portion of atmospheric air is capable of having access to them, a change 
indeed takes place, but of a very different description from that of putrefac- 
tion, and which is of a most curious and extraordinary nature. For in such 
cases the animal organs, instead of being converted into their original elc- ' 
inents,are transmuted into fat, wu, or spermaceti; or rather into a substance 
nugeiten*t and possessing a middle nature between thnt of the two fonner, 
whence the French chemists have given it the appellation of intpociac ; a 
term not strictly classical, but for which the chemists of our own country 
have not hitherto substituted any other. 

This result is observed, not tmfrequently, in bodies that are drowned, and 
rendered incapable of rising to the surface of the water ; for in such a sjttw- 
tion but very little air, and, consequently, very Utile oxygen, can reach them 
from the external atmosphere. And it is to these circumstances we ought, 
perhaps, to resolve the singular appearance in the body of Colonel Pollen, 
who was wrecked a few years ago in the Baltic Sea, near Memel, and within 
sight of the coast ; and whose corpse was six months afterward thrown on 
shore, with the features of the face so Utile varied, that every one of his ac- 
quaintance recognised him ai the first glance. The body had protiably been 
entangled in the submarine sands on first sinking, and been retained in this 
situation for months, cut olf from that exposure to external air which is ab- 
solutely necessary in all cases of putrefaction properly so called. A similar 
conversion into wax-fat was observed also in ITB6 and 1787, on opening the 
^Mfn commana, or common burial pile in the churchyards of the Innocents at 
Paris, for the purpose of laying the foundation of a new pile of buildings. 
For the bodies tnai on this occasion were dug up, instead of being dissolved 
into their elemeutary corpuscles, were found for the most part converted into 
this very substance of waxy fai or adipocire. , The populace were alanned at 
the phenomenon, and the chemists were applied to for an explanation. H. 
Fourcroy, among others, attended upon this occasion; and bis solution, which 
wiU apply to all cases of a similar kind, referred the whole to the extreme 
difficidty with which external air had obtained any communication with Um 
inhumed bodies, in consequence of the close adaptation of coffin to coSa, 
and the compactness with which every pit had been filled up Difficult, 
however, as this communication must have been, he conceived tnat, from the 
natoral elasticity of atmospheric air, some small portion of it had still entered, 
conveying, perhaps, just oxygen enough to excite the new action of decomr 
position, 'niis having commenced, the constituent oxygen of the dead ani* 
mal organs would itself be progressively disengaged, and rapaciouBly laid 
hold of by aU the other constituent principles, from their strong and general 
affinity to iL During this gradual evolution, there can be little doubt that the 
greater part of it wotnd be seized by the predominant azote, a very considenb- 
ble part by the carbon, and the rest by the hydrogen; and the result would 
be, upon the total but very slow escape of the constituent and disengaged 
(M^ien, that the whole or nearly the whole of the azote a ctmsideraUa por 


tfm ot th* eaibou, aod a certain qoantity at the hydrogen, would escape alio 
•— lesTini behind the remainder of the carbon aad the hydrogeo, now iocv 
pable oiMcape from tho want of ozygea to give wings to their flight, to- 
gether with the residua) earth of tlie animal machine. 
, But hydrogen and carbon, though in tbia case incapable of sublimation 
for want of oxygen, would still, from theit mulual attraction and juztapoai- 
tion, enter into a new union and prodace a new result, and this result mu«t 
neceasarily be fat'; for fat is nothing else than a combination, in given pro- 
portions, of carbon and hydro^n. And hence, whatever the respective ani- 
tnal organs of the bodies deposited in these burial caverns tony have antece- 
dently consisted of, whether mnscles, ligament, tendon, skin, or cellular «ub- 
itance, when thus deprived of their oxygen and azote, the whole must of ne- 
ceuity be converted into faL Pure and genuine fut it would have been, pro- 
Tided there bad been nothing left behind but mere carbon and hydrogen, imd in 
tbeir respective proportions for the fonnalion of fat ; but as we can scarcely 
conceive such proportions conld taXe place, or that every corpuscle of the azote 
could be carried oS before the total escape of the oxygen, many parts of it 
mnat necessarily have assumed a flaky, soapy, or waxy appearance, from the 
union of the azote left behind with some portion of the hydrogen, and the 
consequent production of ammonia or volatile alltali; since, by an intermix* 
tun or alkali with fat, every one knows that soap or a saponaceous substance 
is uniJbrmly produced. 

But, excepting in situations of this kind, in reality, in every situation in 
vhieh dead animal matter, destitute or its living principle, is exposed to the 
usual auxiliaries of putrefaction, putrefaction will necessdrily ensue, and the 
balance will be fairly maintained: — the common elements of vital organlzv- 
tiMi will be set at liberty to commence a new career, and the animal world 
will restore to the vegetable the whole which it has antecedently derived 

In this manner is it, then, that nature, or niber that the God of nature, is 
for ever unfolding that simple but beautiful round of action, that circle of 
eternal motion, in which every link maintains its relative importance, and the 
baldness of every part flows from the harmony of the whole. Can we, then, 
do better than coaclaiB with the correct and spirited apostrophe of one of our 
most celebrated poets t — 

SSI TBB raoosssB or assuolatioii um kutiutioh ; utD thi craioos amors 


Ws have traced out in our preceding studies something of the means by which 
form, and magnitude, and motion are produced in the inorganized world :— 
how the various substances that surround us combine and separate, vanish 
font ua and reappear, and, in the multifarious processes they undeigo, give rise 
lo new products by new and perpetually shining involutions. We have fcr^ 
dwr traced an ouUuw of the means by which organized matter is capable of 
- " " g np the cnrions structures of plants and animals ; how the chief fnno- 




tioiM Ihey poasem am carried on, and by what meana they iMpeoUraly ac- 
quire maturity and perfection. 

But it is not only necesaary thai Iha ayatem ahoutd in this manner be ma- 
tnred and perfected by a freah application of materials, but that the old niat»- 
rlala which conatitnte every organ should be piogreasively removed from the 
' init in consequence of their being worn out by use, and ibeir place su|v> 


it(^ from definite stores. Let us, then, devote the present hour t 
uiquiry how thin latter change occurs in vascular and living matter, in tb« 
vegetable and animal ayslem: by what meana the dead or exhausted and 
worn-out elements of the different organs are carried off, and replaced by new 
reformative roaterialB, and what are the principal phenomena that result from 
Snch a series of operations. 

The blood, then, in animals, and the sap, which may be regarded as a tp^ 
eies of blood, in plants, of both which we have already treated, are the vital 
eurrenta torn which every organ of the individual fnune derives the nouriah- 
ment it standa in need of, and into which it pours ultimately a consideraUs 
portion of ite waste and eliminated fragments ; for the provident frugality of 
nature suffers nothing to be loal, and, as far as possible, works up the (M 
materials, time after time, into freah food for tlie subsistence of the entire 

To produce tbia double purpoae two diatinct aeta of vessels are necessary ; 
one for that of separating from the common mass of the blood, and recom- 
bining into new aaaocialiona, tltoae particular parts of it which the formation 
of the fresh matter demanda ; and the other for that of carrying back the 
refected materials into the general current. And hence theas two sett of ve*- 
sels bear the same relation to each other as the veins and arteries of the an^ 
mal frame, accompany every part of the frame to its farthest extremities, an^ 
indeed, constitute the general maaa of the frame itself. From the respective 
offices they perform, uiey are denominated ascKHHEirr and tBaoRBurT sye- 
tema : in tnetr utmost rRmifications they are too minute to be traced by the 
keenest eye, or the nicest experiment of the anatomist; but where they ai« 
not quite so minute, they are sufficiently discoverable, and their course is 
sufficiently capable of being followed up, from the delicate apertures or 
months by which, in infinite numbera, they open on all animal surfaces, or 
' hollowa whatever, to their incipient sources. 

The accaBHurrs, or that set of vessels whose ofBce it is to separate parti- 
cular parts from the blood for particular pnipoaes, are evidently continuations 
of some of those very subtile ramiHcationa of the arteries which, on account 
of their fineness, are called capillary ; and the iBsoaaiNTe, or that set of ves- 
sels whose office it is to imbibe or drink up the waste and exhausted materials, 
ftre as evidently distinct and attenuate tubes, progressively uniting, and ulti- 
mately emptying themselves into the venoua ayetem; the common trunk in 
which they concentre, and in which Lilso concentre the lacteals of the ali- 
mentary canal, named the thoracic duct, being a tough membranouB channd, 
situate upon the interior part of the spine, of about tne diameter of a crow- 
quill in man, and running in a serpentine direction through the diaphragm or 
midriff to an angle formed by a union of the Jugular and snbclavian veins, 
into which it opens, and nhere of course it terminates, leaving the waste ana 
the new food, now ultimately intermixed, to be still farther elaborated and 
refitted for use by those subsequent and specific operations of the heart and 
the lungs which we have already described.* 

The simplest action, perhaps, that is evinced by the mouiha of the seere- 

*'nilidoiiliI«utlaibTidanb1eMlorTgHd) ms lltlls, If U lU, knmni ta tM ■mlii.irtB MMsd 
atagannj'orbMaiKnUsBiBililMatptMniaUMKnnnarptnliiu-MUrtHtsdteiix; andbMiLlto 
panriQifilHHTHNldnasaiKiMiNlBaianMabaUgfliU iha Uma itf Hsubm, HaMa', tai Cmek- 
Aaik. H. HifHidl* aod H. FliDdrin, oTPuiv, tun at liu 1m« nrr acHn hi mmMMIh ■ tImt at 
tta MA)M fn irnnr nqniu not mhuIiUt AAint ftoa ibu ef Om oil Kteol, nd la UaidBf Ika Ita 
«^ I M Ml BbMtaui u* lb* Tdu; lint Um ImmI* (teoA ftoJ, bni biUiii Aa: mJ IM Om 
■jBftiukaliaTdDibtDAaninnwwIiUanr, Tbeli ayaliatoW tntHaoMla^S mVAt, Ml ^ n^ 
o^iiDsl abon, Tliaii|amM<ab«hdtoai«jbataiA 


3c,r.z6doy Google 

AsamiLATion and nutrition. m 

lorj or ■ecmunt VMsela, coDButs in Beparatin; and throwmK fbith a flns 
lympb (hun the mrfoce or all membranes and organs whatever, for the poN 
poae of lutoieatinf them, aa we ^reaae the axletree of onr caniage-whMla ; 
■nd thoi prereatuvoae membrane or organ from being injured b^ the friciiou 
of another. Of thu everjr one who has been present on the cutting up of 
alangtatered oxen must have seen an abundant and striking instance, f 

vwMMir thai ascends from every part of the warm carcaas : which Tspoar, 
WHO condensed by cold or any other cause, is found to be little more than 
tlw ienim or watery part of the blood. And one of the sim^riest actions 
eriiiMd by the months of (he absorbent vessels consistg in their drinking up, 
as with a sponge, this attenuate or lymphatic fluid, wbenit has answered iu 
purpose, so aa to make room for a fresh and perpetual effusion : whence 
these vessels are often called vn^rvimc, as well aa absorbent, in conae- 
^oence of their being so frequently fonnd loaded with thia line and colourless 

And here, perhaps, the first remark that must occur to every one is, Uie 
necessity there seems to exist, that these correspondent systems of vessels 
ahotild maintain the nicest harmony or balance ia their respective functions , 
since, if the one operate either with a leas or a larger power than the other, 
disease must inevitably follow ; the nature of the malady being determined 
by the nature of the cause that produces it. 

Wehaveallof aiheard, and most of us have seen, instaneea of the disorder 
called dropsy; and many of us have surveyed it both in k local and a general 
form, u,dn)psy of the head, dropsy of the cheat, dropayof the abdomen, and 
dropsy of the cellalar membrane or system at large. This disease may take 
place fiom two canses ; as, for example, from a too great excitement of the 
seeement system, or a too little excitement of the absorbent. If, from s 
morbid irritability in the secernent vessels of any one of the cavities I have 
Jnst advened to, an mtdoe proportion of lubricating lymph be secreted and 
sleara forth, the natoral tone and action of the correspondent absorbeot ves- 
sels will not be sufltcient to carry off the surploe ; and hence that surplus will 
■ccnmolate, and dropsy ensue, although the absorbent vessels of the part 
vSected be in a state of usual health and vigour ; the disease depending ^to- 
gether on the morbid and predominant excitement of the secements. 

But suppose the absorbent resHela of a particular cavity, in conseqaeitca 
irfcold, e^itetion from great previous exercise, or any other cause, to be 
TMidersd torpid and inert, and, cons«]aently, incqiaUe of continuing their 
tcd^onted measmtt of action ; is this case, dropsy will also «isue,notwitlw 
standing tbe conespooding seeement vessels are in a state of natural health, 
and nobrger portion of $mph is secreted than a state of natttral health de- 
mai^ ; for tbe fluid will now accumulate, frmn tbe morbid l0r(dtods of ttm 
afaaortent system, and its inability to fulfil its function. It is tumce, as ereij 
oao must perceive, a point of the utmost consequence to determine the nature 
of the cause in dropsy; as, in truth, it ia in every other disease, before ws 
attempt a remedy ; since an error npon this subject may be prodnctive of tbo 
BOst serioos, and indeed fatal consequences. For it is obvious that we may 
stimtdate whore we ought to diminish action, or we may i<imiiiir»h action 
where we ondit to stimulate. 

OecasiooaUy, however, the action is equally increased in both seta of ves- 
sds ; as, for example, an inflammation of the leg or arm ; and in this case 
there is great heat ud dryness, and at tbe same time considerable L 
eence or swelliiv- for under this affection the mouths of the ac 
TCsnnlSi being more distended than in a natural state, pour forth the eoagnl^ 

huw. intermixed with si , . . 

absMtents, thoogh they as eagerly drink up the finer parts of what is thus 
r^ridly strained off, are tncapable of carrying away with equal ease tboae of 
• grosser textnre ; in consequence of which these last remain behind, and 
prodoce tomefaction by their accumulation. 
As tinsib >lWi ^r* i>wet with an eqnal degree of iHmmiJi^f instead nt 


iiomsed action io both these sets o( vessels -, as on exposure to cold and damp 
UmperatureH ; in cases of spare and coarse diet ; or of old &ge. And the 
fesiilt of this double decrease of energy is dryness, as ia the former instancci 
but combined with leanness and corrugation of the organs that are thus 
affected. It is hence the boaea of old people are more easily broken, and the 
skin is harsher and more wrinkled than in the middle of life ; hence the shii- 
relied and squalid appearance of gipsies and beggars ; and hence, in a consi- 
derable degree, the low and stint^l stature of the Esquimaux, Laplandera, 
and ToneuoseH. 

For all the usual purposes of health and organic nutrition, the common 
action and common degree of action evinced by theae respondent systemB of 
vessels are perfectly sufficient, though not more than sufficient. It may hap- 

Cn, however, that in consequence of severe violence from external injury or 
ternal disease, a considerable portion of an organ, as a part of some of tliB 
nuBcles that belong to an arm or a leg, may be totally destroyed or killed, 
and, consequently, rendered incapable of performiug its proper function. 
How ia nature, or, which ia the same thing, the remedial principle of life, to 
act in such circumstances t If the dead part remain, it ia manireat that it 
nuBt impede the living parts that surround it in the execution of their appro- 
priate office : independently of which they want the space which the dead part 
sccupies, and the aid which it formerly contributed. It is obvious that two 
processes are here necessary : the dead part must be carried off, and its post 
must be fiiled up by a substitute of new matter posaessing the precise proper- 
lies of the old. And here we meet with a clear and striking instimce of 
that wonderful instinctive power which pervades every portion of the vital 
systems, both of the animal and vegetable world, and which is perpetually 
prompting them to a repair of whatever evils they may encounter, by tu 
most skilful and deRnite methods. 

In order to comply with this double demand of carryingoff the dead matter, 
and of providing- a substitute of new, eacti of the systems before ui com- 
mences, in the living substance that immediately surmunds that which re- 
quires removal, a new mode and a new degree of action. 

A boundary line is first instinctively drawn between the dead and useless, 
uid the living and active parts: and the latterrelract and separate themsetves 
fmni the former, as though the two had been skilfully divided by a knife. 
This process being completed, the mouths of the surrounding absorbent ves- 
sels set to work with new and increased power, and drink up and carry off 
whatever the material may he of which the dead part consists, whether fa^ 
muscle, ligament, cartilage, or bone ; the whole is equally imbibed and taken 
away, and a boUuw is produced, where the dead part existed. At the same 
time the mouths of the corresponding secernent vessels commence a simdaT 
increase and newness of action, and instead of the usual lymph, pour forth 
into the hollow a soft, bland, creamy, and inodorous fluid which is denomi- 
Batedpns; that progressively Slls up the cavity, presses gradually against 
the sujterincumbent skin, in the gentlest manner possible distends and atte- 
nuates it, and at length bursts it open, and exposes the whole of the interior to 
the action of the gases of the atmosphere. 

It was at one time conceived, and by writers of considerable eminence and 
judgment, and of as late a date as the time of Mr. Hewson, that the injured 
and dead parts were themselves dissolved and converted into pus ; but this 
opinion has been disproved in the most satisfactory manner by the minole 
and accurate experiments of Mr. John Hunter, Sir Evererd Home, and Mr. 
Cmickshank ; and the process has been completely established as 1 have now 
celated it. 

In what immediate way the gases of the atmosphere operate so aa to assist 
''' ~ ~ lent mouths of what ia now the clean and exposed surface of a 
producing incarnation, or the formation of new matter of the verr 
same kind and power as that which has been carried off, and enable them to fiU 
np the cavity with such new matter, and perfect the cure, we do not exactly 
uww. Various theories have been offered upon ^lis reiy curious siU^ect; 


bat at pretent they are theoriea, and nothing more ; and I shall not, therefore^ 
detain you with a relation of them. Thus much, however, we do know, that 
lbs ciMtperation of the atmosphere with the action of the raonlhs of the aa- 
Gsroenl ayitem engaged in the work of reatonlion is, in *ome way or other, 
peodiatly beneficial ; and that, generally speaking, the wider the opening, 
and the freer the access of atmospheric air of a due temperature to tne sur- 
face of the wound, or, which is the same thing, the freer it cornea in contact 
with the mouths of the secernent vessels, the more rapidly and auspicioualy 
the work of impletion and asfiimilation proceeds. Neither do we know, pre- 
cisely, why pus, rather than any other kmd of fluid, should in the first instance 
be poured forth, for the purpose of filling up the hollow, and producing a rup- 
ture of the skin ; but we know to a ccrtainlv that some aucb general process 
if in moat caaes absolutely neceMary; we know that such a rupture muat 
take place in the natural mode of cure ; that the atmosphere must come into 
elose contact with the months of the restorative secements ; that 9 mUdet at 
aoftet fluid could not possibly be secreted for such a purpose ; and that the 
entire process exhibits prooft of moat admirable skill and sagacity. It is 
at timea posaible for ns to assist the process by the lancet, which accelerates 
the opening. Yet, even In this case, we do no more than aaaiat it, and ara 
only, aa we ought ever to be in all similar cases, humble coadjotors and imi- 
tators of nature, and adrairen of that all-perfect and ever-present wiadom 
which we are so often called upon to witness, but are never capabla of 

A jHUcess closely similarto this is perpetually unfolding in vegetable life. 
And It was merely by taking advantage of this process that Mr. Forsytbe was 
able to make old, but well-rooted, stumps of fruit-trees throw forth, far mora 
npidly Oun be could saplings, a thrifty family of vigorous and well-hearing 
shoots: for the compost for which he was so celebrated does nothing mora 
than merely increase the secernent and absorbent action of the vegetable frame 
t^iUetimalatin^pK>peny,an4defendthe wounded part to which it is ap> 
^ed from being injured by the inclemency of the weather. 

From what has thus far been observed, it appears obvious that all the different 
parts of the living body are assimilating organs, or, in other words, ara capa- 
blfl of converting the common nutriment of the blood into their own respective 
natures, and for their own respective uses. And it has also appeared, thai 
voder jntrticolarcircunHtances every part is capable, moreover, of secreting 
a materia] different from that of its own nature ; as, for example, the materiu 
of pas, whenever such a substance is necessary. 

This view of the subject will lead us to understand with facility how it is 
possible for various oq^ans of the system to maintain two distinct secretions 
at the same time : one of a matter similar to Its own aubstance, and exclu- 
■irely for its own use } and soother of a matter distinct from its own sob- 
■tanee, and in many instances subservient to the system in generaL 

Of this last kind are the stomach, the liver, the respiraton organ, and the 
biain: each of which secretes, independently of the matter for its own nou- 
ttehment, a matter absolutely necessary to the health and perfection of the 
lenenl machine ; as the gastric juice, the curious and wonderful properties 
of which I described on a former occasion ; the oxygenous principle of the 
inspirad air, and, as some suppose, those of light or caloric ; the bile ; and 
the nervous fluid, or material of sensation. 

There ara various other organs of a smaller kind, and simpler texture, 
which also perform the same double office, and aecrete materials of a much 
more local use, or which are intended to be altogether thrown away from the 
svstem, as waste or noxious Iwdies. And to the one or the other of these 
dasses belong the kidneys, the intestinal tube, the minute and very simple ~ 
pers^ratory rolliclea of the skin, the delicate organs that separate the saliva 
and mncns Utat serve to lubricate the mouth and nostrils, and those that ela* 
borate tiie teara, the wax of the inner ear, and the fat. 

The organs, of whatever size or texture, that perform this double function, 
an calLed secretory frauds i and they are distinguished into dtfl^rent sets, 


rrom their peculiar ofllce or peculiar stnictiire: assaliTary.lacbrTtiul, 
m, If hfch are denominated Trom the ronner character, and apply to the 
imailest and aimpleit of them ; conglobate, which are of a larger lonn, and 
of an intricate conrolutioii, and belong exclusively to the absorbent lystem^- 
oa the mesenteric and lumbar ; and glomerate and conglomerate, which are 
eompoaed of a congeries of sanguineous veasels, without anv cavity, but with 
one or more mouths, or excretoiy dticts aa they are called, which, in the latter, 
open into one common trunk,^ — as the mammary and pancreatic ; both which 
kinds am denominated from the character of their airuciure. 

It is by this peculiar organization iu animals and plants that all those nice 
m) infinitely varying exbalationa or olhpr fluids are thrown forth from dif- 
ferent parts of them, by which such parts, or the whole individna], or (ha 
entire species of individuals, are respectively characterized. Our own aensea 
are too dull to trace a discharge of any kind of easence or *apour from the 
surface of the human skin in its ordinary action ; but the discoloration 
which soon takes place upon the purest linen, when wont in the purest atmos- 
I^ere, aufficieniiy proves the existence of such an efflux ; and there are various 
Ulmtils whosB olfactory organs are much acuter than our own, as our domes- 
tic dogs, for example, that ate able to discern a difference in the odour of 
tbe vapour which issues from the skin of every individual, and that in bet 
identify iheir respective mastetv, and diatinguiBb them from other individuals, 
by this character alone. 

It is to this Bense chiefly that quadrupeds, birds, fishes, and most insect 
tribes trust themselves in their search after food; and hence the stipe- 
rior aculeness of this power in animals of such kinds is a strong proof 
of that unerring Wiadom which regulates the world, and is equally coa- 
a^aoua in every part of it. Under peculiar circumstances, however, the 
sense of smell appears to be far more lively among mankind than when sucii 
etreuinstancea do not exist. M. Virey, wtio has written a very learned trea- 
tise upon this subject, asserts, that it occurs among savages in a far higher 
degree of activity than among civilized nationa, whose olfactory nerves an 
blunted by an habitual exposure to strong odours, or intricate combination of 
odours, and by tbe use of high-flavoured foods. And among petsona in a 
keen morbid state of irritability it has been often fouud, even m civilized life, 
maoh sharper than among savages. The Journal des S9av9n8, an 1667, 
nves a curious history of a monk who was said to be able to ascertain, by 
tM diflference of odour alone, the sex and age of a person, whether be were 
married or single, and the manner of life to which he was aecustomed.* 

When the exhalation from the human skin is increased by muscular exer- 
eise, or any other exertion, it is rendered visible ; and in this state it is geoe- 
nlly found to combine with i t a certain portion of dissolved animal oil or faL 
Even without much increased action of the system, it is poMible at times to 
obtain a knowledge of its existence under particular circumstances, or by 
particular applications. Thus, in cold subterraneous caverns, where the atr 
IS dense and heavy, the natural evaporation often escapes from the suifaco 
of Ibe body in the form of thick clouds ; and a bright mirror, when held near 
a warm and naked skin, in the temperature of the atmosphere, soon becomes 
obscured by a moist vapour. 

The quantity of this fluid discharged, either in a stale of quiescence or of 
increased action, has not been determined with any great degrees of exact- 
Bees. According to M. de Sauvages,t a man of mid<Ue stature and age, weigh- 
ing 146Ibs., takes daily of food and drink about 56 ounces (circiter quinqua- 
ginia BOX oncias),his dinner being about twice as much as his supper. In 
toe same period he perspires about SS ounces; viz. about twelve during the 
third part of hla time in which he sleeps, and sixteen during the two-thii^ in 
which he is awake. It af^tears certain, from theexperimeute of Gorter, that 


itm wei^ of (he bodjr u more diintnUbed by the same (inantity of tweat 
than of mere perapiraiion. 

SandorinB, whoM experimenti of msuarinfl the weight of the body vbra 
made intbewumcUmate of Italy, ascertaioed that in that region eight poundi 
of food received by the oiouth were, by the different insensible eeciwtioiis, 
ledttoBd to three ; makiDg- the •proportion of insensible exhalation as Sve to 
sight. In cold cUmales, howeTer, it has been determined that it does not 
unonnt to more than two-thirds of this proportion i and of either quantity it 
has lately been very satisfactorily established, that more ihan half this secre- 
tion baa been thrown forth from the snrface of the lungs ; which 1 estimated 
in a previous lecture, and from'the experiments andcalculatioai of Lavoiaiert 
aa diacfaaj^ng not leas than eleven oooces of sobd carbon or chaicoal in 
every four-and-twenty hours." 

Plants transpire precisely in the same way, and to a much greater extent, 
thrungh the medium of their leaves ; which, while they form a great part of 
their cuticle, may, as I have observed on a former occaBion,t be also contem- 
plated as their lung*. Hales calculated that a snn-flower, three feet high, 
transmits in twelve hours one pound four ounces of fluid by avoirdupois 
weight. Bishop Watson put an inverted glass vessel, of the capacitv of twenty 
cubic inches, on graia which had been cut during a very ioiense heat of the 
snn, and after many weeks had passed without rain ; in two minutes it was 
filled with vapour, which trickled with drops down ite sides. He coUeelad 
these ou a piece of muslin, carefully weighed, and repeated the experiment 
for several days between twelve and three o'clock j and estimated, as the 
resnlt of his experiment, that an acre of grass land transpires in twenty-fotir 
boon not less than 6,400 quarts of water. Dalton, for dew and rain toge- 
ther, makes the mean of England and Wales 36 inches, thus amounting, in a 
year, to 28 cirinc mites of water. Grew, in 1711, calculated the number of 
acres in South Britain at 46300,000, and allowed a million to Holland.} 
Smith, for £n^and alone, gives 73i millions in the present day.^ 

Bat the same general surface in animals and vegetables that thna largely 
iecreles delicate fluids, largely also imbibes them by the corresponding sys- 
tem of abooibent vessels, opening with their spongy mouths or ducts in every 
directioii. Hales ascertained that the above sun-Bower, which threw off not 
less than twenty ounces of fluid in twelve hours, snspended its evaporation 
la soon as the dew fell, and absorbed two or three ouncea of the dew instead- 

eontharides, arsenic, and other poisona, producing the most fatal effects, and 
•IlogetlieT absorbed by the shin, are decisive and incontrovertible proofs of 
•oeh an action. It is hence the bradypus, or slolh, supports itself withool 
drinking, perhaps, at any time, and the ostrich and camel for very long p»- 
rioda, tfaongh the latter is also posaeBsed of a natural reservoir. And henca 
the diief impletion of the human body, in many cases of abdominal dropsy ; 
■iDce peraona labouring under this disease have often been observed to ml 
with rapidity during the most rigid abstinence from drinks of every kind. 

Along with the common odour of insensible perspiration, discharged tnm 
the human surface, we often meet with other odours of a much etronaer 
kind, produced by particular diseases or particular modes of life, and whlcli 
an distinctly perceptible. Thus the food of garlic yields a perqiiration pos- 
sessing a garlic smell ; that of pease a leguminous sraell ; cotne oils ana tu 
a rancid smell, which is the cause of this peculiar odour among the inhabit- 
ants of Greenland; and acids a smell of acidity. Among ^ss-Uowen^ 
from the large qoantity of sea-salt that enters into the materials of tbeir 
manuiacture, the sweat is SDmetimet so highly impregnated, that die aalt tbar 

■■•riMLLonniUL tasted. LBCnrati. 

tnai nHKteisu,p.w tPau.Ksi.iiK.m. r<iair>NitFULiLm 



empiOT, and imbibe by the skin and long*, has been Men to collect in cryitilf 
upon their f&ces. 

Hence, too, the rarioui sniella that are emitted from the sarfaeB of otlier 
animale, and cHpecinlly that ol muali, which ie one of the most common. 
WetTace thii isiuhig' generally from the bodies of many of the ape flpeclee, and 
eepecially the BimiajocchiM ; slill more profusely from the opoMom, and oeu- 
•ionalty from hedgehogs, water-rats, hares, serpents, and crocodiles, lie 
odour of civet is the production of the ciret-cat alone, the Tirena xibtAa, 
and Tirerra emelta of Linnssus ; though we meet -with faint traces of it in 
•ome varieties of the domestic cat, the felis eaiia of the aame writer. Ge- 
nuine castor is, in like manner, a secretion of the castor fiber; bnt the sus 
Tajaasn, and variouB other species of swine, yield a smell that makes an ap. 
proach towards it. 

Among insects, however, these odours are considerably more varied, as well 
as considerably more pleasant ; for the musk-scent of the cerambix motdiatiu, 
the apis^o^Tonj, and the tipuls moKhifira, is far more delicate than that at 
the musk quadrupeds ; while the cerambix luaveoUm, and several species of 

the ichneumon, yield the sweetest perfume of the rose ; and the pMiolaled 

~'iez a balsamic ether hj^ly fragrant, but peculiar to itself. ¥el insects, 

; other classes of animals, furnish instances of disagreeable and even 


disgusting scents, as well as of those that are' fragrant. Thus, several 
species of the melita breathe an essence of garlic or onions ; the staphilinna 
bnat^Ki has a stench intolerably fetid, though combined with the perfume of 
■pices; while the caterpillars of almost all the hymenoptera, and the larves 
of various other orders, emit an exhalation in many instances excessively 
pungent. The carabna creptfiuu, and sclopela of Fabricius, pour forth a simi- 
lar vapour, accompanied with a strange crackling sound. 

The odorous secretions belonging to the veftetable tribes an well known 
to be still more variable ; sometimes poured forth from the leaves of the 
plant, as in the bay, sweet-briar, and heliotrope i sometimes from the tnuA, 
as in the pines and junipers; but more generally from the enrol. It is Axna 
the minute family of ttie jungermannia, nearly related to the mosses, and 
often scareely visible to the eye, that we derive the chief senae of that de- 
lightful fragrance perceptible afler a shower, and especially at even-tide :* 
and from the florets of the elegant anthoxanthum odorattm, or spring-gran, 
that we are chiefly furoished with the sweet and fragpranl scent of new-mown 
hay. But occasionally the odours thus secreted are as intolerable as any that 
are emitted from the animal world ; of which the ferala tai^iitida, or asa- 
fetida plant, and the stapellaAir>ti/a,orcarrion-flower, are sufficient emufdn. 

To the same secernent powers, moreover, of animals and vegetables, ez- 
istiog in particular organs rather than extended through the system gene- 
rallyt we are indebted for a variety of very valuable materials in trade and 
diet, as gums, rosins, wax, fat, oils, spermaceti. And to the same cause wo 
owe, also, the production of a multiplicity of poisons and other deleterious 
substances ; such, for instance, as the poison of venomous serpents, which ia 
found to consist of a genuine gum, and is the only gum known to be secreted 
by animal organs ; the electric gas of the gymnotus efedrtcui and raia (or^ 

a; the pungent sting of the stmging-neltle, uttica urou, and of the hec^ 
which are produced from a strocture of a similar kind -, for every acn- 
lens or stinging point of the nettle is a minute and higbly irriuble dnct, that 
leads to a minute and highly irritable biUb, flUed with a minute drop of t«i7 
acrid fluid : and hence, whenever any substance presses against any of tla» 
aonlei or stinging points of the plant, the impression is commmiicated to ths 
bulb, which instantaneously contracts, and throws forth the minute izap of 
acrid fluid through the ducts upon the substance tital tonches tbem. 

As the secernent system tnus evidently allots particular organs for Om 
secretion of particular materials, the absorbent system is in like manner oolj 
etpaUe of imbibing and introducing into the general frame paitiddar mate- 



liili in particular parts of it. Tiius, opium and alkobol, the jaics of Mm^ 
and eiiential oil of laurel or bitter almonds, produce little or no e%ct upon 
the abaorbentfl of ijie akin, but a very considerable effect upon the coatinr of 
the alomacb. In like manner, carbonic acid g-as invigorates rather than 
iniureB, when applied to the ^orbents of the stomach, but inatantlj destroy 
life when applied to those of the lunga ; while the aroma of the tozicaria 
Mictuariauit, or Boa upas, of which we have heard so much of late jeaxa, 
prorea equally a poison, whether received by the skin, the stomach, or 
the lanes. 

So, uso, ■ubalancea that are poisonous to one tribe of animals are nwdi- 
cinal to a aecood, and even highly nutritive to a third. Thus, swine are poi- 
soned by pepper-aeeds, which to man are a serviceable and grateful ^itce ; 
while henbane-roota, which destroy mankind, prove & wholeaoine dtetto 
Bwiue. In like manner, aloes, which to our own kind is a useful medicine, 
is a rank venom to dogs and foxes ; and the horse, which is poisoned by the 
phellandrum aquaticum, or water-hemlock, and corrosive soblimate, will 
take a drachm of arsenic daily, and improve hereby both in his coat and 
It has already appeared, that the secernent vessels of any part of the sys- 
tem, in order lo accompliah a beneficial purpose, as, for example, that of re- 
noring a destroyed or injured portion of an organ, may change their action, 
and secrete a material of a new nature and character. An equal change is 
not unfrequently produced under a. morbid habit, and the secretion will then 
be of a deleterious instead of being of a healthy and sanative kind. And 
hence, onder the influence of definite causes, the origin of such miachlev- 
ous and fatal secretions, in some instances tlirown lorth generally, and in 
othetv only from particular organs, as the matter of smaU-pox, measles, putrid 
fevers of various kinds, cancer, and hydrophobia, or the poisonous saliva of 
mad dogs. 

But the field opens before uh to an unbounded extent, and we should low 
ourselves in the subject if we were to proceed much farther. It is obvious, 
that in organic, as in ino^anic nature, every thing is accnrately arranged 
upon a principle of mutual adaptation, and regulated by an harmonious anta^ 
gonism, a system of opposite yet accordant powers, that balance each other 
with most marvellous nicety; that increase and diminution, life and death, 
proceed with equal pace; that foods are poisons, and poisons foods; and, 
finally, that there is good enough in the world, if rightly improved, to make 
na happy In our respective stations so long as they are allotted to us, and evil 
enoagb to wean us from them by the time the grant of life is usually recalled. 

X cxTsaKAL annxs or imiuLB. 

Tbi anbjact of study for the present lecture is the organs of external sense 
in aninuls ; their origin, structure, position, and powers ; and the diveraities 
tfarr exhibit in diffiBrent hinds and species. 

The external senses vary in their number : in all the more perfect animals 
they are five ; and consist in the faculties of sight, smell, hearing, taste, and 


It is by these conveyances that the mind or sensory receives a knowledge 
at whatever it passing within or without the system ; and the knowledge it 
thus ^ts possession of is called perception. 

The different kinds of perception, therefore, are as numerous aa the difligrMit 
chinneU tbrongh which they are received, and they produce an effect npoo 


tltfl aeoMOTj, %hich uBiully' reinains for a Itma time aRer the ezciftig enwe 
has ceaaed lo operate. This effect, foi want of a better term, we call mqmt- 
tioiu; and Ibe particular facts, or ibitiga impreEaed, and of wbicb the imprah 
iiona retain, aa it were, the print or picture, idtat. 

The Menaory hai the power of Bunering-lJiifl effect or theae ideaa to remain 
latent or anobaerved, and of callinr them into observation at its option : It ia 
the active exerciae of thia power tnal coiutitutea lAoi^Af. 

The qame conatilution, moreover, by which the mind ia enabUd to take « 
review of any introduced impression, or to exercise its thought upon any in- 
ttvduced idea, empowers it to combine such impreBaimiR or ideas into every 
poasible modification and varietv. And bence arises an entirely new source 
o( knowledge, far more exalted in its nature, and infiaildy more extenaiva 
in, its range : hence memory and the mental passions; hence reason, jodg- 
ment, conscioosdess, and imagination, which have been correctly and ele- 
gantly termed the internal itntei, in contnftlistioclion to those by which we 
obtain a knowledge of things exterior to the sensorial region. 

Thus far we can proceed safely, and feel onr war before as ; bnt clouds 
and darkness hane over all heyond, and a gulf unfathomable to the ^ummet 
of mortals. Of the sensory, or mind itself, we know nothing ; we have no 
chemical test that can reach its essence, no glasses Uiat can trace its mode 
of union with the braiti, no abstract principles that can determine the laws of 
its control. We see, however, enough to convince us that its powers are of 
a very different description from those of (he body, sAd Revelation informa 
DB that its nature is so too. Let us receive the information with gratitode, 
and never lose si^t of the duties it involves. 

But this subject would lead us astray even at our outset ; it is important, 
and it is enticing; and the very shades in which mach of it is wrapped op 
prove an additional incitement to ourcuriosity. It shall form the basis of soma 
subsequent investigation,* but our present concern ia with the eztenial humi 

These, for the most part, issue from the bnun, which, in all the more per- 
fect animals, is an organ approaching to an oval figore ; and consists of threa 
distinct parts : the terebnim, or brain properly so called ; the cerebel, or 
little bram, and the oblongated marrow. The first constitutes the largest and 
uppermost part; tlie second lies kielow and behind; the third, level with tbe 
second, and in front of it— it apoears to issue equally out of the two otiin 
parts, and gives birth to the spins! marrow, which mav hence be regarded ai 
a continuation of the brain, extended Ihroagb tbe whole chain of tbe spiaa er 

From this general owaii arises a certain nimiber of long, whitish, pulpy 
■trings or bundles of fibres, capable of being divided and subdivided into 
minuter bundles of filaments or still smaller fibres, as far as the power of 

g Bases can carry the eye. These strings are denominated nerves; and by 
eir different ramifications convey different kinds or modifications of sensa- 
tio|^ to different parts of the body, keep up a perpetual communication with 
its remotest organs, and give activity to the muBcles. They have been snp- 
posed by earlier physiologiBis to be tubular or hollow, and a few experimenta 
have been tried lo establish this doctrine in the present day, but none that 
have proved satisfactory. 

At the brain consists of three general divisions, it might, at first sislit, be 
supposed that each of them is allotted to some distinct and aacertaioable par- 
pose: as, for example, that of fornung- the seat of intellect,or thinking; tbe 
aeat of tbe local senses of sight, sound, taste, and smell; and the seat of 
general feeling or motivity. But the experiments of anatomists ap<a thk 
abstruse subject, numeroos and diversified as they have been of late yean. 
tad, unhappily, upon living aa^ell as upon dead animals, have arrived at 

notUng conclusive In re«Mct to it : and nave rather givei ->-•-- 

than to ctamnrent opinuHU. So that we are neariy c 

or AHIMALS. 1«. 

quBinted with the reuon of this confonnation, and of the reipective than whick 
each diTuioD takei in producing the general effect. 

,The Derves uDifomity issue in psin, one for each aide of the body, and the 
mimber of the pain it thirty'-nine ; of which nine rise immediately from the 
great divisioaa of the brain, under which we have just contemplated it, and 
are chiefly appropriated to the four local senaea ; and thirty from the ipiaat 
marrow, through different apertures in the bone Ihsl encases it, and are alto- 
gether distributed over the body, to produce the fifth or general sense of 
touch and feeling, aa also irritability to the muscles. 

That these nervousor pulpy fibres are the organs by which the various sea- 
eatious are produced or maintained is demonstrable from the following fsets i 
If we divide, or tie, or merely compreBs, a nerve of any kind, the muscle with 
which it communicatea becomes almost instantly palsied ; but upon untying 
or removing the compression, the muscle recovers its feeling and mobUity. 
If the compression be made on any particular portion of the brain, tliat part 
of the body becomes motionless which derives nerves from the portion com- 
pressed. And if the cerebrum, cerebel, or oblongaled marrow be irritated, 
ezcfDcisling pain or convulsions, or both, take place all over the body, tbongfa 
chiefly where the irritation is applied to the last of these three parts. 

The matter of sensation, or nervous fluid, as for want of a more pivcisa 
knowledge upon this subject we must still continue to cbU it, is prob^ly as 
homogeneous in its first formation as the fluid of the blood ; but, like tho 
blood, it appears to be changed by particular actions, either of particular parts 
of the brain, or of the particular nervous fibres themselves, into fluids of very 
different properties, and producing very different results. And it is probably 
in coDseqaence of such chanees algne that it is capable of exciting one set 
of organs to communicate to ine brain the sensation of soimd alone, another 
set that of sight alone, and so of the rest. While branches from the spinil 
marrow, or fountain-nerve of touch, are diffused over every portion of ih« 
body, sometimes in conjunction with the local nerves, as m the orj^aiu of 
Iocs) sense, and sometimes alone, as in every other part of the system.* 
' Such an idea leads us naturally to a very curious and recondite subject, 
which has never, that 1 know of, been attended to by physiologists, and will 
at the same time throw no small degree of light upon it . — I mean the pro- 
duction of other senses and sensori^ powers than are common to the more 
perfect animals, or such a modification of some one of them as may give the 
■emblance of an additional sense. 

What, for example, is that wonderful power by which migratory birds and 
ibhes are capable of steering with the precision of the expertest mariner 
fitom climate to climate, and from coast to coast ; and which, if possessed by 
man. might, perhaps, render superfluous the use of the magnet, and consider. 
iMy infrmge upon the science of logarithms I Whence comes it that the tleld- 
Un and red-wmg, that pass their summers in Norway, or the wild-duck and 
nwrganser, thai in like manner summer in the woods and lakes of Lapland, 
are able to track the pathless void of the atmosphere with the utmost nicety, 
and arrive on our own coasts uniformly in the beginning of Octobert or that 
the cod, the whiting, and the herring should visit us in innumerable shoals 
firom iraartars equally remote, and with an eqnal exactness of calculatioul 
the eoi pursuing th« whiting, which flies before it, from the banks of Now- 
foondland to the southern coasts of Spain; and the cachalot, or spermaceti 
irtiale, driving vast armies of herrings from the arctic regions, and devouring 
thoosands of those that are in the rear every hour. 

We know nothingofthia sense, or the means by which all this is prodoeed ; 
and, knowing nothmg of it, and feeling nothing of it, we have no terms bf 
vhKh to reason cooceming it. 

Tet it is a sense not limited to migratory animals. A carrier-pigeon has 
bMD l»oiwht in a bag from Norwich to this metropolis, constituting a dUtance 
of IM vmn I and having been let off with a letter tied round tie neck, fnm 

■ Bm BdM^ Anta. XMoamj, p. W, IN. 

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Uu t(^ of St. Paul'S) hu ntmrned home through the sir in a Btnigfat line, is 
four or five hours. 

Bufibn useita, that a hawk or e^e can tturel two hundred leagues Id ten 
hmin, and relates a story of one ttut travelled two hundred and filty leagues 
in sixteen hours. 

A Newfoundland dog has in lilce manner been brought from Plymouth to 
London by water, and having got loose, has run home by land with a speed 
■o rapid as to prove that his course must have been nearly in a sRai^t line, 
though every inch of it was unknown to him. 

At such instances we start back, and, as far as we can, we disbelieve them, 
and think we become wise in proportion as we become skeptical. Meanwhile, 
nature pursues her wonder-workmg course, equally uninfluenced by our doubts 
or our convictions.* 

^Even ^moag mankind, however, we occasionally meet with a sort of sen- 
sation altogether as wonderful and inexplicable. For there are some persons 
so peculiarly affected by the presence of a. particular object, that is neither 
seen, smelt, lasted, heard, or touched, as not on^to be conscious of its pre- 
sence, but to be in an agony till it is removed. The vicinity of a cat not un- 
frequently produces such an effect ; and 1 have been i. witness to the most 
decisive proofs of this in several inst^ices. It is possible that the anomalous 
sense may in this instance result from a peculiar irritability in some of the 
nervous branches of the organ of smell, which may render them capable of 
being irritated ip a new and peculiar manner : but the persona thus a&cted 
are no more conscious of an excitement in this organ of sense than in any 
other ; and from the originality of the sensation itself find no terms in any 
languase by which the sensation can be expressed. 

Sharks and rays are generally supposed by naturalists to be endowed with 
a peciUiar sense in the organ of a tubular structure found immediately under 
the integuments of the head though they have not agreed as to the exact 
character of this additional sense. Trevannius calls it genetally a sixth 
organ of sensation. M. Jacohson, and Dr. de Blainville, who quotes his 
authority, regard it as a local organ of touch. M. Roux, who seems to have 
examined it with great attention, believes it to be the source of a feeling of a 
middle nature betweeq,the two senses of touch and hearing-t The bat appears 
to have, in like manner, an additional sensific power, for it is observed to 
avoid external objects when in their vicinity, while the eye, ear, and nose are 
closed, and there is no direct touch ; and this peculiar feeling has been called 
a sixth sense generally by naturalists, without discriminating it farther. 

What is the cause of those peculiar sensations which we denominate hon- 

Srand thirst I A thousand theories have been advanced to account frar 
MM, but all have proved equally unsatisfactory, and have died one after an- 
other almost as soon a% they have received a birth. We trace indeed the 
oraans in which they immeOMlely reside, and know by the Bensations them- 
selves that the one exists in the nepion of the stomach, and the other in that 
of the throat : but though we call tKem sensations, they have neither of them 
any of the common cbaractera of touch, ttste, hearing, seeing, or smelUne. 

-^■"■SS.^"?""*™"^ pmrorof <™Una<ir«iilm«].™tarTn« tb. oa of tba nteniiiT powv i^ 
Mhan. WhU« ita qmalon wii mnBiirf loMnta li*M tt» oftm (biUrt STiiimTMmniUMiriwnir 
ftooilln dUIkali]r(^>«oiintlii(ftirlti uti Hva Htd,lii oppMUon u CauAn «A While. ami mUb 
M oniUlHlofMa, UM oui MnuMr Miita only dlapfBB by mnini IBU hota and o^^ 
' Ana bou^ am w liU n IBIS, Uw Ibu Dr. Jhumt Mi btmaalr aUad apon to "— tii^t -■>* (HeniaB 
«Ub > Ttow of Aipnnlnc ibeai; wUcli bstaudon In aw oT ilii iiaiai iiiimlilii aaMva <■ iIh mtonl 
UMnToTiMcntorTbMata balbondliKiwairevaaTOiber Iniruie. " A limin&rtbio,- ««■ ba, 
1?^ ««Wai™»eooft»th«ili»j«nM»to»»awhhdlaartMiiiiimpowa™ioullyOT^^ 

tba mU of iriaur, and Uma ba Onows Into iha ■HuaUon oT otW anlmili wMeb — ->" uitU m Om 
aaiBDii; Unitil mvtowB Inwr iilrmiiaf iha&at, unr miiiM i jwr nuwin btUwaoh tteHiMvtt ttet 
mtana^aftototr; l>M^ttha>baB|oftwuMiud,nnrtbcilliiwcdMiu|MM OUatmAonkB 
9?"^^i™™°l.*''^'»*'°^ ofBlitaadlndtMBtowbiHnUiSSiMntahanuHBad 
BMddb]> FhU.'hana.ISM. p.11. Tha Mnnnat ai'tBUoH anlnat aU in^dMialM; bWu (Kd Oa 
AISI^Tir*«ogndii|Araa mlmtln oT bMa, la wtsn lotliaiBlvMliBarHtHarwMiliaMnlM 

1 BM MlMr M tUa aB^aal, UlDB. JmiD. or Sctaaga, No. Ui. Act. UL jL n, ISHl 



Foods and driak* are thenntural and common means of quieting their pain, 
bat there are other means that may be also employed for this purpose, and 
vhtch are often found to answer as a temporary aubslitute ; as, for instance, 

Cressure against the coati of the stomach in the case of hunger, and stimo- 
Liine the salivary glands in the case of thirat. It is hence that chewing a 
mouthful of hay alone, or merely moistened with water, proves so refresh- 
ing to a tired horse, and is found so serviceable when we dare not allow him 
to slake his thirst by drinking, garages and Havage beasts are equally sensi- 
ble of the advantage of pressure in the case of hunger, and resort to it npcm 
all occasions in which they cannot take off the pain in the usual way. 

The manis or pangolin tribes, that swallow their food whole, will swallow 
■tones or coals or any other substance, if they cannot obtain nutriment : not 
that their instinct deceives them, but for the purpose of acquiring such B 
pressure aa may blunt the sense of hunger, which is fonnd so corroding. 
Almost all carnivorous beasts pursue the same plan ; and a mixture of pieces 
of coal, atone, slate, and earth is often met witn in the stomach of ostriches, 
cassowaries, and even loads. The Kamtschatkadale obtains the same pnr- 

Ese by swallowing saw-dust ; and some of the northern Asiatic tribes by a 
ard placed over (he region of the stomach, and tightened behind with cords, 
in proportion to the severity of Ihe suffering. Even in our own country we 
often pursue the same end by the same means ; and employ a tight hanoker- 
chief, instead of a tightened stomach-board. 

In consequence of this difference in the mode in which the matter of touch 
or general feeling is secreted under different circumstances, we may also per- 
ceive why some parts of the body, although perhaps as largely furnished with 
the nerves of touch or general feeling as other parts, are far less sensible and 
irritable ; as the bonea, the teeth, and the tendons ; and why the veiy same 
parts should, under other circumstances, as when morbidly aSbcted, become 
Ihe most sensible or irritable of all the organs of the system ; a fact well 
known toall,but I believe not hitherto satisfactorily accounted for by any one. 

We may see also why inflammation, attacking (Afferent organe of (he body, 
should be accompanied with very different sensations. In the bones and car- 
tUages, except in extreme cases, it is accompanied with a doll and heavy 
pain; in the brain, with an oppressive and stupifying pain ; and in the ito- 
nach, with a nauseating uneasiness. So, agam, in the skin, muscles, and 
cellular membrane, it is a pain that rouses and excites the system generally ; 
bat in those parts which are supplied with the two branches of nerves which 
are called par vagum and sympathetic, as the loins and kidneys, the patient 
is affected with lowness of spirits from the first attack of the inflammation.* 

Dr. Gall, whose physiological theory has excited so much attention of lata 
years on the Continent, has endeavoured to account for all these varieties of 
feeliDg, and indeed for all the animal senses of every kind, both external and 
internal, by supposing some particular part of the brain to be allotted to each, 
a&d that the general character and temperament of the Individual is the result 
of the diSbtent proportions which these different parts or chambers of the 
biain bear to one another. He Supposes, also, that this organ is possessed 
f>f two distinct sets of nervous fibres — a secernent and an absorbent ; both 
directly connected with what is called the cineritioua or ash -coloured part of 
tbebi«in; the former issuing from it and secreting the fluid of the will, or that 
by which the mind operates on the muscles ; and the latter terminating in it, 
and conveying to it the fluid of the external senses, secreted by those senses 
themselves, and communicatinD; a knowledge of the presence and degree of 
power of external objects. This elaborate theory, and the facts to which it 
apmds, were very minutely investigated, a few years ago, by a rety excel- 
lent commitiee of'^the physical class of the French National Institute, assisted 
by Mr. (nowDr.)Spurzheim, the intimate friend and coadjutor of its inventor, 
and who is well known to have contributed quite as much to the establlih- 
ment of this speculation as himself. This committee, after a my minnie 

* Bour oa BiMd, P- mt MO 


Dcinz.aoy Google 


■nd cautious ressareh, ^re it u a part of their report, that (he doctrine of Ibe 
origin and action of (he nerves i* probably correct; but that thia doctiino 
does not appear to hare eldj iramediato or neceseary conoezion with that part 
of Dr. Gall's theory which relatee to distiui^t fuactioiiB posiQsaed by distuct 
parts of the brain.* The origin, and distribution, and action, however, of the 
nervous tninkg have since been far more accurately traced oul by Mr, 
Charles Bell, M. Magpendie, and various other physiologisls ; while, in refutar 
tton of the doctrine thai ascribes distinct functions to distinct parts of Uie 
brain, it may be sufficient lo observe, for the present, that man;^ '>f ">B nerves 
productive of different functions originate in ttie same part, while others, pro- 
doctive of the same function, originate in different parts. 

There is no animal whose lirain is a precise couoterpart to thtU of man ; and 
it has hence been conceived, that by attending to the distinctions between the 
boman brain and that of other animals, we might be able to account for their 
different degrees of intelligence. But the varieties are so numerous, and Uie 
parts which are deficient in one animal are found connected with such new 
combinations, modifications, and deficieneies in others, that it is impossible 
for us lo avail ourselves of any such diversities. Aristotle endeavoured to 
establish a distinction by laying it down as a maxim that man has the largest 
brain of all animals in proportion to the size of his body ; a maxim which naa 
been almost universally received from his own time to the present period. 
But it has of late years, and upon a more extensive cultivation of compata- 
tive anatomy, been found to fail in various instsnces : for while the bram of 
several species of the ape kind bears as large a proportion to the body as that 
of man, the brain of several kinds of birds bears a proportion still Isrger. 
H. SAmmeringhas carried the comparison through a great diversitv of genera 
and species : but the following brief table will be sufficient for tne pieaent 
purpose. The weigiit of the brain to that of the body fonn^- 

In man, from ^ to A P^- 

— sevenl tribes of simia ^ — 
-dog - ■ - Ht - 

— elephant - - lij — 

— sparrow - - iC — 

— canary bird - - ^ — 

— goose - . ^ _ 

— turtle (smallest) - ,J4, — 

H. Sammering has hence endeavoured to correct the rule of Aristotle by a 
modifleatioQ, under which it appears lo hold universally ; and. thus corrected, 
it runs as follows r " Man has tne largest brain of all animals in proportion lo 
thegenera! mass of nerves that issue from it." 

Thus, the brain of the horse gives only half the weight of that of a man, 
but the nerves it sends forth are ten times as bulky. The largest brain which 
M. Sftmmecing ever dissected in the horse-trAe weighed only lib. 4m., 
while the smallest he ever met with in an adull man was 31b. sjoz-f 

It is a singular circumstance, that in the small heart-shaped pnlpy sub- 
fltance of the human brain, denominated the pineal gland, and whioQ Dea 
Cartes regarded as the seat of the soul, a collection of sandy matter should 
invariably be found after the first few years of existence ; and it is Still more 
singular, that such matter has rarely, if ever, been detected but in the l»ain 
of a few bisulcated animals, as that of the fallow-deer, in which it has baeo 
found by sammering il and (hat of the goal, in which it has been traced by 

The nervous system of all the vertebral or first four classes of aiumals,^ 
mammals, birds, amphibials, and fishes, — are characterized by the two follow- 
ing properties : — first, ihe organ of sense consists of a gland or ganglion wift 

Mw«t »Uu>t^KpMfli»ll,lTTa,iiriTt>itailiMwi»EiMiib>11.17W BetBlwb.Ii.MI. 



t hmg: Uid bifid chord or npinal marrow descending from it, of a amaller ffia- 
luter thsa the gland itself; and, Becoadlf, botfi are seversUy encIosed,ta h 
b<my caae or covering. 

In man, as we hare already obserred, this g^land, or ganglion, is (witli a 
few exceptions) larger than in any other animal, in proportion to the size of 
the body; witbont any exception whatever in proportion to the size of the 
diord or spinal marrow that iBsaes from it. 

In other animals, even of the vertebral clasBes, or those immediately befoi« 
ns, we meet with every variety of proportion ; from the ape, which, in this 
respect approa^es nearest to that of man, to tortoises and fishes, in which 
the brain or ganglion does not much exceed the diameter of the spinal mar- 
row itself. 

It is not therefore to be wondered at that animals of a still lower descrip- 
tion aboidd exhibit proofs of a nervous chord or spinal marrow, withoot a 
vnperior gtond or lirain of any kind ; and that this chord should even be des- 
titnte of Its common bonjr defence. And such is actually the conformation 
of the nervous system in insects, and, for the most part, in worms ; neither 
of wliich are possessed of a cranium or spine, and in none of which we are 
able to trace more than a slif^t enlargement of the superior part of the 
nervous chord, or spina] marrow, as it is called in other animals — a part situ- 
ated near the mouth, and apparently intended to correspond with the organ 
of a brain. The nervous chord, however, in these animals, is, for the most 
part, proportionally larger than in those of a' superior rank ; and at various 
oistanees is possessed of little knots or ganglions, from which fresh ramifica- 
tions of nerves |hoot forth, like branches from the trunk of a tree, and whieli 

zoophytic worms we can scarcely trace any distinction of structure, 

and ate tot^ly unable to recognise a nervous system of any kind. The com- 
mon and almost transparent ftydra or polype, which is often to be found in 
the stagnant waters of our own country, with a body about an inch long, and 
anna or tentacles in proportion, appears to conaist, when examined by the 
best glasses, of nothing bnt a granular structure, something like boiled sago, 
connected by a gelatinous substance into a definite form.* Hydatids and 
[nfosorr animals exhibit a similarity of make. The common formative prin^ 
ciple of all these may be reasonably conjectured to consist in the living 
power of the Mood alone, or rather of the fluid which answers the purpose of 
Dfood ; and their principles of action to be little more than instinctive. 

Can we, then, conceive that all these difierent kinds, and orders, and 
elaaaes of animals, thus differently organized and differently endowed with 
InleOigcnee, are possessed of an equality of corporeal feelingt or, to adopt 
the language of the poet, that — 

"Hiie is an interesting question, and deserves to be examined at some 
length. It may, perhaps, save the heart of genuine sensibility from a few of 
those pangs whicn, even under the happiest circumstances of life, will be 
ttill called forth too frequently ; and if there be a hum"" Oeme so hardened 
and barbarized as to take advantage of the conclHolon to whicn the inquiry 
may lead us, he will furnish an additional prt^"'' of its correctness in his own 
person, and show himself utterly unquali^d for the discussion. 

Life and sensation, then, are by jk> means necesmrily connected ; the 
blood is alive, but we all know it bdS no sensation ; and vegetables are alive, 
btA we have no reason to Bupp«M they possess any. Sensation, so far as we 
in aMe to trace it, is the sole result of a nervous structure. Yet, though 
Ihin limited, it has already appeared that it does not exist equally in every 
Ulldttf^ ume stmcttire, nor in every part of die same kind. The akintt 


more Miuible to pain than the lung:^, the bnin, or the Btomftcb ; bnt emlhe 
■kin itaetf is more Bensible in some parts than in others, which are appa> 
rentlj supplied with an eqaal number of nerves, and of aervea from the very 
eame quarter. It is perhaps least sensible in the gums ; a liiUe more so on 
thehairjacalpof the head; much more so on the front of the body ; and most 
of all to in the interior of the eyelids : while the bonea, teeth, cartilages, 
cuticlct and cellular membrane, though largely supplied with nerves, have no 
sensatioa whatever in a healthy state. 

Ab the degree of intelligence decreases, we have reaaon to believe that the 
iotenaity of touch or corporeal feeling decreases also, excepting in particular 
organs, in which the sense of touch is employed as a local power. And 
hence we may reasonably conjecture that in some of the lowest ranks of ani- 
mals, the sensibility may not exceed, even in their most lively organs, the 
Bcnteneas of the human cellular membrane, cuticle, or gums. 

This, however, does not rest upon conjecture or even upon loose indefinite 
Teasoning. We find in our own syatem that those parts which are moat inde- 
pendent of all the other parts, and can reproduce themselves most readily, 
are posaessed of the smallesl portion of sensation; such are all the amten- 
dagea of the true sldo, the cuticle, hero, bair, beard, and nails ■. some of which 
are so totally independent of the rest, that they will not only continue to live, 
but even to grow, for a long time after the death' of every other part of 
the body. 

Now it is this very property by which every kind of animal below the 
rank of man is in a greater or leas degree distinguished from man himself. 
AU of them are compounded of organs which in a greater or less degree ap- 
proach towards that independence of the general system wfiich, in man, the 
inMnsible or less sensible parts alone possess; and hence all of them are 
capable of reproducing parts that have been destroyed by accident or disease, 
with vastly more facility and perfection than mankind can do. 

I have once or twice had occasion to apply this remark to the lobster, 
which has a power not only of reproducing its claws spontaneously, when 
deprived of them by accident or disease, but of throwing them off sponta- 
neously whenever laid hold of by them, in order to extricate itself from the 
imprisoning grasp. The iipnla ptctmtformii, or inaect vulgarly called father- 
long-legB, and several of the spider-family, are possessed of a similar power, 
ana exercise it in a similar manner. These limbs are renewed by the forma- 
tive effect of the living principle in a short period of time : but it would be 
absurd to imagine that in thus voluntarily parting with them the animal puts 
himself to any very intolerable degree of pain ; for in such case he would not 
exert himself to throw them off. The gad-fly, when it has once fastened on 
the hand, may be cut to pieces apparently without much disturbance of it< 
gratification ; and the polype appears to lie in as perfect health and content- 
ment when turned inside out as when in its natural state. This animal may 
be divided into halves, and each half by its own formative and instinctira 
offort will produce the half that is deficient, and in this manner an individual 
of the tribe may be multiplied into countleaa numbers. 

In manv animals of the three classes of amphibiats, insects, and worms, 
the most dceadful wounds that can be infiicled, unless actually mortal, seem 
liardly to accelenu death ; and hence we have a decisive proof that the pain 
endured by such animSlo must be very conaiderably and almost infinitely less 
than would be suffered by atwoals of a more perfect kind, and especiallv 
by man j since in these the pain itself, and the sympathetic fever which fol- 
lows as its necessary result, would 1« sufficient to kill them independently 
of any other cause. 

The life of man is in jeopardy upon the ttacture or amputation of a limb; 
and even at times when his body has been sp&ttered over with a charga 
of small shot, or only of gunpowder. But M. Ribaud, with a spirit of expe- 
rimenting that I wUl not justify, has struck differwit beetles through with 
pins, and cut and lacerated others in the severest manner, all of which lived 
through Iboir lunal term of life as tboa^ no injury had been ooannitted on 


or ANIHAL8. 

D bj a pin through the chest ; yet after five months the animal still moved 
its feet and antennas. 

In the beginning of November, Redi opened the skull of a land- tortoise, and 
excavated it of the whole brain. He expressly tells us that the tortoise did 
Dot seem to saffer : it moved about as before, bat groped for its path, for the 
eyes closed soon after losing the brain, and never opened anin. A fleshy 
integument was produced, t^ich covered the opening of the ssul), but the in- 
stinctive power of the Uving principle was . incompetent to renew the brain, 
and in the ensuing May, six months afterward, the animal died.* 

Spallanzani has incontestibly proved that tin snail has a power of repro- 
dncing^ a new head when decapitated ; but it should be remariied that tha 
bnin of the snail does not exist in its head. 

I will not pursue this argument any farther; it is in many respects painful 
and abhorrent ; and consists of experiments in which I never have been, and 
trust I never shall be, a participant. But I avail myself of the facts them- 
selves in ordA to establisn an imporlant conclusion in [diysiology, which I 
could not so well have established without them. 

Let ua turn to a more checTfol subject, and examine a few of those pecn- 
liarities in the external senses which characterize the different classes and 
orders of animals, so far as we are acquainted with such distinction*; and 
admire the wisdom which they display. 

llie only sense which seems common to uiimals, and which pervades 
ahnost the whole surface of their bodies, is that of general touch or feeling; 
whence H. Cuvjer supposes that the material of touch is the sensorial power 
in its simplest and uncompounded state ; and that the other senses are only 
modifications of this material, though peculiarly elaborated by peculiar 
organs, which are also capable of receiving more delicate impresBionB.f 
Touch, however, has its peculiar local organ, as well as the other senses, for 
particnlar purposes, and purposes in which unusual delicacy and precision 
■re required ; in man this peculiar power 'of touch is well known to be seated 
in the nervous papilln of the tongue, lips, and extremities of th« fingers. Its 
situation in other animals I shall advert to presently. 

The differences in the external senses of the £&erent orders and kinds 
of animals, consists in their number and degree of energy. 

All the classes of vertebral animals possess the same number of senses as 
man. Bight is wanted in zoophytes, in various kinds of molnscous and articu- 
lated worms, and in thelarves of several species of insects. Hearing does not 
exist, or at least has not been traced to exist, in many molluscous worms, 
and several msects in a perfect state. Taate and smell, like the general and 
simple sense of touch, seem seldom to be wanting in any animal. 

liie local sense of todch, however, or that which is of a more elaborate 
character, and capable of being exercised in a higher degree, appears to be 
e<Hifined to the three classes of mammals, birds, and insects : ana even in tbs 
last two it is by no means common to aU of them, and less so among inseota 
than among birds. 

In apes and macancoes, constituting the quadrumana of Blumenbach, it 
residos partly in the tongue, and tips of the fingers, as in man, but equally, 
and in some species even in a supenor degree, v. their toes. In the racoon 
^ (imns iolor) it exists chiefly in the nnd<^r surface of the front toes. In the 
^ nors* attd cattle orders, it is supposed by most naturalists to exist conjointly 
in the tongoe and snoot, and in the pig and mole to be confined to the snout 
alone ; this, however, is uncertain ; aa it is also, though there seems to be 
ntofe reason for such a belief, that in the elephant it is seated in the proboscis. 
Some physiologists have supposed the bnstly hairs of the tiger, lion, and 
eat, tone an oif:anof the same kind; bnl there seema little ground for such 
an opinion. In the opossam (and especially the Cayenne opossum) it exirti 


i«ry jitSilj in th« tail ; and M. C uvier siupectB that it haa a sinular existanoa 
is ail the preheiuile- tailed mammals. 

Blumenbacli supposes tbe same sense to have a place in the same organ in 
the platypus, or oraithorhynchus, as he calls it, that most extraordiuary dack- 
UUed quadruped which has lately been discovered in Auslralia, and, by its 
iatermixtaie oit organs, confounds the different classes of animals, and seta 
kll natnral arrangement at defiance. 

The local orgaq of touch ot feeling in ducks and geese, and some other 
genera of biids, appears to be situated in Uie integument which covers the 
extremity of the mandibles, and especially the upper mandible, with which 
apparatus they aie well known to feel for their food in the midst of mud ia 
whii^ Ihey can neither see nor perhaps smell it. 

We do not know that ampbibials, fishes, or worms posseu -any thing like 
a local sense of touch : it has been suspected in some of these, ana especially 
In the arms of the cuttle-lish, and in the tentacles of worms that possess this 
oigan ; but at present it is suspicion, and nutbtDe more. 

In tlM insect tribes, we have much reason lor believing such a Kate to 
reside in the antennas, or in the tentacles ; whence the former of these are de> 
nominated by the German naturalists fvldkomer or feeling-horns. Thia be- 
lief has not been fully established, but it is highly plausible, from the genenl 
possession of the one or the other of these organs by the insect tribesi the 
gcoenl purpose to wliich they apply them, and the necessity which there seems 
for some such organ from the crustaceous or homy texture of their external 

The senses of tasts and bbuu. in animals bear a very near affinity to the 
local sense of touch ; and it is difficult to determine whetiier the upper mao. 
diUe of the duck-tribe, with which they distinguish food in the mud, may not 
be an organ of taate or smell as well as of touch ; and there are some natu- 
ralists t^l in like manner regard the cirrous filaments or antennules attached 
to the mouths of insects as organs of taste and touch equally. Taste in the 
more perfect animals resides jointly in the papillse of the tongue and the 
palate ; but I have already had occasion to observe that it may exist, and in 
nill peifection, in the palate alone, since it has been found so in persona who 
bare completely lost the tongue from external force or disease. 

In animals that posseaa the organ of nostrils thia is alivays the seat of 
smell; and in many quadrupeds, most birds, and perhaps most &ahes,'it ia 
I senae far more acute than in man, and that which is chiefly confided in. 
For the most pan it resides iu the nerves distributed over a mncoua mem- 
brane that lines the interior of the bones of the nostrils, and which is called 
diB Schneiderian membrane, in honour of M. Schneider, a celebrated anato- 
nist. who first accurately described it. Generally speaking, it will be fouod 
that the acuteness of smell bears a proportion' in all animals to the extent 
of surface which this membrane displays; and hence, in the dog and cattle 
ItSms, as well as in several others, it possesses a variety of folds or convtdu- 
tioBi, and In birds is continued to the utmost points of the nostrils, which ia 
different kinds open in very different parts of the mandible. 

The frontal sinuses, which are lined with this delicate membrane, an 
larger in the elephant than in any other quadruped, and in this anihial Ihe 
•esse is alao eontinued through the flexible organ of its proboscis. In ths 
pg the smelling organ is likewise very extensive ; and in most of the mam- 
nals possessing proper horns it ascends as high as the processes of the Iiob 
tnl bone from which the horns issue. 

It is not known thai the cetaceous tribes possess any organ of tinell ; their 
blowing holes are generally regarded as such j but the point has been by no 
means fully estalriiahed. We are in the same uncertainty with respect to 
■mphibiala and worms ; the sense is suspected to exist in ail die fotiaes, and 
in several of the latter, especially in the cuttle-fish, but vo distinct oigan has 
luthsito been traced out satisfactoHly. 

In fishes there is no doubt; the olfactory nerves are very obviously distii- 
btile4 on an olfactory membrane, and in several inatances the sawU aie 


iloaUe, and, conMcnwntlr, tbe nostrila qaadrajde, a pair for esch moot. TIub 
powerful inlet of pleaaure to fiahes oiten prores fHtal to tbein ttom ita my 
perfeetiMi ; for Beveral kind* are bo Btrtn^ljr ftllured by tbe odour of mtijoniin, 
aaatetida, and other aromai, that by emeuiiis the hand over with ttaase anb- 
atancM, and imnwning it in the wateri they will often flock toward* the fin- 
cera, and in their intoxication of delie-ht may easily be laid hold of. And 
EcDce the angler freqnently oTerspreada hia baits with the aame subatancct, 
and ttius arms himself with a double decoy. 

There can be no doubt of the existence of the same senae in inaeeta ; for 
Ibey posaeaa a very obvious power of distingnishing the odorous propettiea 
ofbodlea,eTen at a considerable distance beyond the range of their vision] 
' but the o^an id which this sense resides has not been satiafactorily pointad 
out; Reimar nK^oaes it to exist in their stigntBta. and Knoch in their ante 
ikh: pair o( feelers. 

The general organ of HB&anie is the ear, bat not always so ; for in moat 
of those who hear t^ tbe Eustachian tnbe only, it is the mouth, and in tbe 
whale tribee the noatrUa or blow-hole. It is so, howerer, in all the more 
perfeet aaimala, which utnaUy for this pntpose possess two distinct entrances 
into the organ ; a larger and external, surrounaed by a lobe ; and a snuUer 
and inlemd, opening into the mouth. It is this last which is denominated 
the Enstaehian tube. The shape of the lobe is seldom found even in msin- 
mala umilar to that in mas, excepting among the monkey and tbe porcupine 
tribea. In many kinds there is neither external lobe nor external passage. 
Tboe, in the frost and most amphibious animals, the only entrance ia the 
internal, or that from tbe mouth ; and in tbe cetaceous tribes the oaly e^ctire 
entianee ia probably of the aame kind; for, Ihonsh these may be aaidtopoa- 
aess an extMnal apertnte, it ia almost iiqwrceptibly minute. It is a cunooa 
Saet, that, among ue serpents, tbe blind-worm or common harmless aoake ie 
the only mecies that appears to posseas an aperture or either sort ; the rest 
have a rommeBt of the orgaii witnin, but we are not acqnainted with its being 
perrioua to a<Hmd. 

Kahea are well known to possess a hearing orgnti, and the skate and ahark 
htre tbe rndiaaenl of an external ear ; but, like oUierfiabes, they seem chiefly 
to receive aoand by tbe internal tubule alone. 

That inaeeta in general hear is nnqoestionable, but it is highly questionable 
by what organ they obtain the sense of hearing. The antennas, and perhaps 
Bsrdy because we do not know tbetr exact use, have been supposed li^ many 
BUnnliata to fiimiah tbe means ; it appears fatal, however, to this immion to 
obaerre, that sptdara heat, thoo^ they have no true antennas, and tnat other 
iuecM which poaaeas them naturally seem to hear as correctly after they are 
oat off. 

Tba sanse of vismn exhibits peifaape more variety in tbe different clatsea 
of animals than any of the external aenses. In man, and tbe greater number 
of qnndmpeds, it is guarded by an ni^r and lower eyelid ; both of which 
in man, bnt neither of which in most quadrupeds, are terminated by the addi- 
tional defence and ornament of cilia or eyelashes. In tbe elephant, opoaaomi 
•eal, cat-kind, and various other mammals, all birds, and all fishes, we 
£nd a third eyelid, or nictitating membrane, as it is usually called, arising 
from tlw internal angle of the eye, and capable of covering the pupil with a 
tfain transparent vol, either wholly or in part, and hence of defendmg tbe eyes 
from danger in their search after food, la the dog this membrane ia narrow} 
in oxen and horaes it will extend over half the eyeball ; in Urda it will easily 
cover the whole ; and it is by means of this veil, according to Cuvier, that the 
eagle is capaUe of lookii^ directly against the noonday sun. In fiabea it ia 
nlmoat always tqwn Uie stretch, as iu their uncertain element they are ex- 
poaed to more dangers than any other animaL Serpents have neither this 
■ot airr olhn eyelid ; nor any kind of external defence whatever bat 0» 
flOounoB integument o( tbe skin. 

The largest eyea in proportion to the size of the animal belong to the bird 
tates, SM aaany tha smallest to the whale : tbe smalleat allogether to 


the ahrew and nude ; in the latter of which the eye ia not Urgei than a 
pin'i head. 

The iris, with bat few ezceptionB, partakes of the colour of the hair, and i* 
hence perpetuail}' Taiying >d difibrent species of the same genus. The pnpil 
ezbilrits a very considerable, thongh not an equal, variety in its shape. In 
nun it is circular; in the lion, llger, and indeed all the cat-kind, it is oblong j 
timnsverae in the horse and in ruminating animals; and heart-shaped in the 

In man, and the monkey tribes, the eyes are placed directly under the fore- 
head t in other mammals, birds, and reptiles, more or less laterally ; in some 
flahea, as the genua pleuroneotes, including the turbot and flounder tribes, 
both eyes are placed on the same side of the head ; in the snail they are 
situated on its nonis, if the black points on the extremities of the horns of 
this worm be real eyei, of nhich, however, there is some doubt ; in spiden 
the 03^0* are distributed over different parts of the body, and in different 
arrangements, usually eight in number, and never less than six. The eyes 
of tl^e sepia have lately been detected by M. Cuvier : their construction is 
very beautiful, and nearly as compticated as that of vertebrated animals.* 
Polypes and several other zoophytes appear sensible- of the presence of li^t, 
and yet have no eyes ; as the nostrils are not in every animal necessary to 
the senae of smeu, the tongue to that of taste, or the ears to that of sound. 
Adlstinctorgauianot always requisite for a distinct sense. In nun himself 
ve have already seen this in regard to the sense of touch, which exists both 

aiid of the BiiDen, but the feeling is also diffused, though in a subordinate and 
leas precise degreei over every part of the body. It is p<Msible, therefoiB, 
in auimals that appear endowed with particular senses, without particolar 
organs for their residence, thai these senses are diffused, like thai of touch, 
over the surface generally ; though there can be no doubt that, for want of 
Mich appropriate organs, they must be lesa acute and precise than in ■nimaii; 
that possess Ihem.f 

But who of us can say what is possible 1 who at ns can say what baa 
aetaally been donet After all the assiduitv with which this attractive science 
has been studied, from the time of Aristotle lo that of Lucretius, or of Pliny, 
and from these perjpds lo the present day, — after all the wonderful and im- 
portant discoveries which have been developed in it, natural history is even 
yet bat little more than in its infancy, and zoonomy is scarcely entitled to the 

name of a science in any sense. New varieties and species, and even kinds 
of beings, are still arising to our view among animab, among vegetable*, 
aiDOng minerals : — new struclures are detecting in those already known, and 
new laws in the application of their respective powers. 

But the globe has been upturned from its foundation ; and with the wreck 
of a great pan of its substance has intermingled the wreck of a great part 
of its inhabitants. It is a most extraordinary fact, that of the five or six 
distinct layers or strata of which the solid crust of the earth is found to con- 
sist, so far as it has ever been dug into, the lowermost, or granitic, as we ob- 
•erved on a former occaaion.t contauia not a particle of animal or vegetable 
materials of an^ kind ; the second, or transition formation, as Werner has 
denominated it, is filled, indeed, with fossil relics of animals, but of animals 
not one of which is to be traced in a living state in the present day ; and it is 
not till we ascend lo the third, or floetz stratification, that we meet with a 
single organic remain of known animal structures. 

M. Cuvier has been engaged for the last fifteen years in forming a claesilt- 
cation, and establishing a museum of non-descript animal fossils, for the 
purpose of deciding, as far as may be, the general nature and proportion of 
those tribes that are now lost to the world : and in the department of quad- 
lupeds alone, his collection of unknown species amounted in the year 1810 to 
not less than seventy-eight, some of whicn he has been obliged to amngs 

a, Sid. Puta, ISIT. 



under new mnera, u we shall hare occasion to notice still forther in & sub- 
Kqoeat study. In the new and untried soil of America, the bones of un- 
known kinds and species lie buried in profusion j and my late friend Professor 
Buton, of Philadelphia, one of ourfiral transatlantic pnyatologists, infonned 
me by letter a sliort time before his death, that they are perpetually turning 
.Up skeletons of this description, whose living representatives are nowhen 
to be met with. 

In few words, e»ery region has been enriched with wonders of ttnimal 
life that have long been extinct for ever. Where is now that eaormous mam-> 
moth, whose bulk ontriTsIled the elephant's 1* where that gigantic tapir, of a 
structure neariy as mountainous,* wnose huge skeleton has neen founil in a 
fossil state in France and Germany ; while its only living type, a pigray of 
what baa departed, exists in the wilds of America T where is now the 
breathing form of the fossil sloth of America, the magaloninz of Cuvieri 
whose size meted that of the ox T* where the mighty moniter,* outstripping 
the lenj^ened bulk of the crocodile I itself, too, alord of the ocean, and yet, 
whose only relics have been traced in the quarries of Maestrichi ; to which, 
as to another leviathan, we may well apply the forcible description of the 
Book of Job, " at whose appearing the mighty were afraid, and who made the 
'deep to boil as a caldron : who esteemed iron as straw, and brass as rotten 
wood i who had not his like upon the earth, and was a king amid the children 
of pride.*^ 

Over this recondite and bewildering subject skeptics have laug^ied and cntica 
have puzzled themselves ; it is natural history alone that can find ua a clew 
to the labyritith, that enables us to repose faith in the records of antiquity, and 
that establishes the important position, that the extravagance of a description 
ia no argument against the truth of a description, and that it is somewhat too 
much lo deny that a thing has existed formerly, for the mere reason thai it 
does not exist now. 

• •MaalMii.LManlL tlB>i,tliX.n.ti.U,tL 

ciiiizedoy Google 


Oil toouxKotL BTiTUUi AHD m Dtrancrm cauticnu or umuiM. 

Wan* every department of nattira diiplaj^s an miboimded scope to the 
eOntempl&tiTe mind,— a something on which it may perpetually dwell with 
Mw and KTOwing delight, and new uid growing- improvement ; we behold tn 
ttie great division of the animal kingdom a combinaiion of allurements that 
draw oBi and fix us, and fascinate us with a sort of paramount and magical 
captiTity, nokaown to either of the other branches of natural histoir ; and 
which seem to render them chiefly or alone desirable and interesting, in pro- 
portion as they relate to animal life. There ie, indeed, in the minerd domain. 
■n awe, and a grandeur, and a majesty, irresistibly impressive and sublime; 
and that cannot fail to lift up the heart to an acknowledgment of the mighty 
Power which piled the massy cliffs npon each other, and rent the mountains 
unnder, and flung their scattered fragments over the valleys. There is in 
the realm of vegewileB an immeasurable profusion of bounty and of beauty, 
<t( every thing tliat can delight the external eye, and gratify the desire ; 
maap^ sriendid, variegated, exquisite. But the moment we open the gates 
of tne animal kingdom a new world pours upon us, and a new train of affec- 
tions take possession of the bosom ; it is here, for the first lime, that we 
behold the nice lineaments of feeling, motion, spontaneity ; we associate and 
•ympathiie with every thing around us, we insensibly acknowledge an ap- 
proximation (often indeed very remote, but an approximation nevertheless) 
to oar own nature, and run over with avidity the vast volume that lies before 
us, of tastes, and customs, and manners, and propensities, and passions, and 
consummate instincts. 

But where shall we commence the perusal of this volume ! the different 
page* of whicli, though each intrinsically interesting, lie scattered, like the 
■il^l leaves of antiquity, over every part of tlie globe, and r^uire to be col- 
lected and arranged in order, to give us a just idea of their relative excellencCt 
and to enable us to contemplate them as a whole. 

The difficulty has been felt in all ages ; and hence multiplied classifica- 
tiona, or schemes for assorting, and grouping into similar divisions, such indl- 
Vidu^B as indicate a similar atTucture,or simUar habits, or similar powers, have 
been devised in different periods of the world, and especiallytn modem times, in 
which the study of zoology has i>een pursued with a searching spirit, unknown 
to the sages of antiquity. — And well has it deserved to be so pursued. " Tills 
mibject," otiserves M. Biberg, " is of so much importance, and of such an 
extent, that if the ablest men were to attempt to treat it thoroughly, an age 
would pass away before they could explain completely the admirable economy, 
habits, and aliuciure even of the most imperceptible insecL There is not a 
■iwle species that does not, of itself, deserve an historian."* 

Before we gird ourselves then to a critical indagation into any particular 
part of the immense theatre which this study presents to us, it may be con- 
venrent to contemplate it upon that general survey which it is the object of 
■nch schemes or classifications to lay down ; to travel over it and rauk ita 
more prominent characters by a map, anterior to our entering upon the conn- 
far ilaelf. And such are the humble pretensions of the present lecture | 
wliieh will merely attempt to place before you a brief sketcn of zoology, ta 



imrd to its bare onUiae* ; for such a sketch is the whole that our time will 
alfow ; vet if it be found faithful, it will atauredly be found beneficial i for if 
the outlinefl be correctly laid down, the picture may be filled op at our 

That most sublime and magnificent of sU poems, ancient or modem, tlw 
Book of Job, estsbliBhes, in ihe most satisfactory manner, that the study of 
natural history, and especially the historj of the animal kingdom, was cnlfr 
Tated at a very early period of the worlds— in all probabQity as early, at least, 
as the Mosaic epoch, — with a considerable degree of minute attention in 
regard to various kinds and species ; and the detailed references to the habits 
and manners of other animals that lie scattered tbrDUfch almost e*ery pert of 
the Hebrew Scriptures, and especially Uirough the book of Psalms, and tbosfl 
of the Piophecies, and the distinct historical notice which is giren of the 
scientific acquaintance of Solomon with this attractive study,* estshlish, not 
only that it was attended to at a very early period, but that it was a very 
favourite and fashionable pnrsuil for many affes throughout Egypt, Syria, and 

tainty, pointed out the expediency of a methodical anangemenl of animal* 
wu Aristotle. His works upon this subject have reached us ; yet white tlwy 

Arabia. But the lirst physiologist who, we can aay, with any degree of c«i> 
._: ._..,..,. .,. , '^-Tical ai -»-.—.- 

prove that he took the same extensive and scientific v 
of all other subjects, to which he directed ihe wonderful powers of his o__ 
prehensive mind, ihev prove also, that the study of natural history in Greece 
had by no means, in nls day, kept pace with a Tarictv of other studies ; and 
that be did not conceive, aided as he was by all the mighty patronage of 
Alexander the Great, and Ihe concurrent exertions of every other physiolo- 
gist, that he was in possession of a sufficiency of facts to attempt the same 
kind of eystemalic arrangement here, which he is so celebrated for baring 
effected almost every where else. He modestly contented himseli; tber^ 
fore, with pointing out the important use of such an arrangement as soon as 
it could be accomplished, and with suggesting a few hinta u to Uw prineij^ 
upon which it should be constructed. He otwervee, that the distinctive eba* 
racters of animals might be taken frtmi the nature of their food, from Ibeii 
actions, their manoers, or their different structures. That their inhabiting 
land or water, offers a distinction of another sort : and that of land ar~ — '~ 

there are some kinds thai respire by lunge, as quadrupeds, and others that 
have no such kind of respiration; that some are wingeo, and olhera wingtesB; 
that some possess proper blood, while others are exsanguineous ; that some 
pradnee tbeir voung bv ^gs, and these be named oviparotts, while other* bring 
Ibem forth naked, and these he called viviparous ; that quadmpeds, again, 
may, perhaps, be distinguished by the mske of the foot, as hemg of urM 
kinds, undivided, cloven, and digitated, or severed into toes or cUws.f 

T|iese, indeed, were mere hints, and only intended as such { but tber wen 
truly valuaUe and important; for they roused zoologists to that general coa>- 
panson of animal with animal, which could not fail of Tory ecsentially id> 
Tancing the cause of n; "' ' " ' ' ' ' ■ ■-— - ■ ..... 

fonndation of almost e 

d to the world. 

To mn over a list of these arrangements would be rqually nseleas and 
Jejune. The writers who have ohietly signalized themselves in this depart- 
ment, are Gesner, Aldrovandi, Johnston, Ray, Linnsus, Klein, LacdpMe, 
Blumenbach, and Cuvier; and in particular sections of it, Lamarck, Bloch, 
Fabric i us, Latreille, and Brogniart; all of whom have floiirished since the 
middle of the sixteenth centnry ; most of whom have contributed something 
of importance to a scientific method of studying and ^ttibuting Hnmwln } 
and toe most celebrated of whom are Ray, Linnnus, and Cuvier. 

The system of Ra^ is derived, in its first outlines, from that recommenda- 
tion of Arislotle, which auj^gests an attention to the different Btinctnres of 
diArcnt descriptions of snunal life ; and hii observation, that one of tluM 

■lltantf, n t AilM.HW.ABln.Ub.LTCp.l,e4hl^cW>S. 


dil&rances coosists In their possesHng lan^ and a suiguineoue syatem, or 
their being deatitute of lufigi and exsauguineouB. 

The Linntean method is. for the moat part, built upon thia general arrauge- 
ment of Mr. Ray, especiajly in retard to quadrupeds ; it is, howerer, an ex- 
tenaionof it, and certainly an improrement. That of M. Cuvier,in its aubor- 
dinale division, is Founded upon both these; but in its primary and leading 
distinctions, upon the nervous or sensorial, instead of upon the respiratory 
and sanguineous syeteiqs ; all aDimals, upon H. Curler's scheme, being pn- 
majilT divided into vertebrated and invertebrated ; those furnished witn ti 
baek-DOne, or vertebral Chain, for the purpose of enclosing the spinal marraw, 
and thoae destitute of auch a chain ; the secondary sections, consisting of 
vertebrated animals with wann blood, and vertebrated animala with cold 
blood ;' invertebrated animals with blood-veasels, and invertebisted animal* 
without blood-vessels. 

All these, under his last modification, which is that subjoined to his Lec- 
tures on Comparative Anatomy,* are regarded as embracing nine diatinct 
clasaea; sa, I. mahmilbj and, II. xirds, which belong to the warm-blooded 
vertebral division. III. amphibulb; and, IV. fishbs, which belong to the cold- 
blooded vertebral division ; and the five following, which fill up the division 
of invertebral animals : V. molluscous, sofl-bodied marine animals, or mostly . 
marine animals, as oysters, limpets, whelks, cuttle-fish, pipe-worms or ahip- 
wonns, defended by a testaceous covering. Vt. cauSTAcaoim; aa craEM, 
rarioua lobsters, shrimps, ECB-spiders, and the monoculus tribes. VII. ir- 
sioTs; being all thoae ordinarily so denominated. VIII. worms; embracin. 
along with those commonly so called, leeches, and various sea-wornis witli 

; being all thoae ordinarily so denominated. VIII. worms; embracing, 

one with those commonly so called, leeches, and various sea-wornis witn 

istles on the sides of the body, as aphrodites, terebels or naked ship-wonna, 
■erpules, amphitrites, nereids, tooth-shells. IX. zoopHrrEs ; the term being 
used very extensively, so as to include, not only all tbe zoophytes or plant-like 
animals of LinuEcus and other naturalists, but all their mfusory, wheel, or 
microscopic animals ; their medusas or sea-nettles, actinias or aoemonies, and 
other efflorescent worms, urcbins, and star-fiehes ; and thus largely infringing 
on the molluscous order of prior arrangements. 

Many of these classes have inferior aections and subsections, under which 
tbe geiieia that appertain to them are respectively marshalled. But in a 
general oullioe it ia not necessary to follow up the arrangement more 

The common classification of zoological writers of the presrat day is atill 
that of Linnteus ; and as such, it is that which I shall regularly follow up in 
the remainder of the present study, as being best adapted to popular pnipMes. 
it is probable, however, that the classification of Cuvier will ultimately take 
the lead of it ; it is somewhat more abstruse, but considerably more definite ; 
and offers a noble specimen of scientific ingenuity, applied to one of (he 
noblest branches of scientific study ; and I shtul hence advert to this classifica- 
tion as we proceed, for a comparison with that of the Justly celebrated 
Swedish naturalist. 

The Limuean system of zootogfy divides all animals into six classes, ^id 
each class into a definite number of orders j every order consisting of an in- 
definite number of kinds or genera; and every kind or genus of an indefinite 
DQmber of species : the individuals in each sptecies bein^ perhaps innumerable. 

The six classes are as follows : I. mammals, or suckUng animals ; II. Inrds { 
m. amphibials ; IV. fishes; V. insects; VI. worms. 

These may be contemplated either in sn ascending or a descending scale. 
As we have begun with brute matter, and l^ave progressively pursued it rran 
a shapeless mass to mineral cty stall ization, from mineral crystallizaticNi to 
vegetable organization, and from vegetable organization to animal apoots- 
neity, it will be most congruous still to continue in tbe same direction, and 
to commence with the lowest class constituting the worm tribes. 

I. Woaiss, in the Linnsan vocabulary, is a term of far more exienaive 

• LfBOM d'AuUotg Ob^bS* dm O. Carlar, Sn, 4 un. Vttit, IMA. 

,.,: ...^.(HIVIC 


import than in ila popalar Bigniflcation ; and the reason ot^his we iliall pei^ 
ceive as we proce^. Tbey include aU animals below Uie rank of insects 
. and a^ classically characterized, as being mostly without distinct bead ana 
without feet ; the most prominent orgaii being their tentacles or feelers. The 
class is divided into mi okdru ; inlestinal, molluscous, test&ceous, soophy tic, 
and infusory. 

The nsarr asniR or nmarniAi., wilh a few exceptions which ve found in 
the waters, consists of animals that are uniformly traced in the bowels of 
the earth, or of other animals ; whence, indeed, taeir ordinal name. They 
are ordinarily characterized as being; simple, naked animals. Without limbs. 
I shall instance as examples of it, the asearia, which ia found so frequently ; 
in the intealinal tube of mankind, in Ihe apeciefl of maw or tbread-wonn, and 
round-worm : the tsnia, which comprises aoiongf many othera the two ape- 
ciea of tape-worm and hydatid; and the filaria or Guinea-worm, which 
inhabits both the Indies, and is frequent in the muming dew ; at which time 
it winds unperceived into (he naked feet of staves, or ottier menialii,Bnd ere- 
Mes the moat troubleaome itchinga, frequenll}^ accompanied with inflammation 
and ferer. The only method of extracting it is to draw it out cautiously by 
meana of a piece of ailk tied round its head as it peeps from the inflamed anr- 
face { for if, in conaequence of too much straining, the animal should break, 
the part remaining under the skin will atill aurvive, grow wilh redoubled 
vigour, and occaaionaUy augment the local inflammation to such an extent, 
as Id prove fatal. It ia often twelve feet long, though not larger in diameter 
than a horse-hair. 

The next intestinal worm at which it is worth while to throw a glance as 
we pass on, is the fasciola or fluke, principally known from one of its spe- 
cies being found in larire abundance in the liver of sheep during the diseue 
called the rot, but whewer the cause or the result of this disease has never 

!'et been suflScienlly ascertained. There are other species of this animal 
Dund in the stomacn, intestines, or liver of various other animals, and occa- 
sionally of man himself. The fasciola is hermaphrodite and oviparous. 

The gordiuB or hair-worm ia chiefly worthy of notice as being supposed, in 
one of Its species, if incantiousty handled, to inflict a bite at the end of Ihe 
fingera, and produce the complaint called a whitlow. It inhabits soft stagnant 
waters, is from four to aix inches long, and is almost perpetually twisting 
itself into various contortions and knots. 

The last two kinds I shall enumerate under this order of worms are, the 
lambricuB or earth-worm, including the dew-worm and the slug; and the 
hirudo or leech, both of them too well known under several species to require 
any farther remark in the present rapid outline. This order includes neariy 
the whole of M. Cuvier'sclasaof worms, with the exception of his sea-worms, 
already adverted to. 

The sacoim oumb of the n 
or sorr-BoDiEK s 

■nini'U to those found in snail, oyster, nautilos, and other shells, hut without 
a shelly defence : and hence, in their ordinal character, they are described as 
simple animals, naked, but furnished with limbs, of some kmd or other. By 
this last mark they are distinguished from the precediog, or intestinal order, 
which, as already observed, consists of simple animals, naked and destitute 
of limbs. To ptace the order more immediately before you, I shall select a 
few examples from those animals that are most familiar to us, or are moat 
remarkable for the singularity of their structure or other properties. 

The Umax or slug is one of the most simple animals tnat belong to this 
order; its only limbs are four feelers, tentacles, or horns, as they are com- 
monly called, situate above the mouth, with a black dot at the tip of each of 
the laqrer onea, which ia aupposed to be an eye, though thia ucint has not 
baiin fully estaldiabed. Another genus of molluscous worms is the tembella ; 
one species of which is the abip-worm, wilh an oblong, creeping, naked body, 
and nomeroua capillary feelers about the mouth, from four to six inches m 
length. It is sometimes enclosed in a testaceous or shelly tube, and ia then 


(tailed teimet, pipB^wonn, or ebeVj ehip-wonn, and belongs to the next order. 
Id both forma it is peculiarly deatnictive to ahii^inKi boring it* wsj into the 
nouteat oab ptaoks, with great rapidity and racility; and chiefly forming k 
neceaaily for their being copper-bottomed. The animal ia, in ila habits, gre- 
gariona ; and hence, in Bltackine a Teasel, it advances in a tnullitudinous body, 
every individual punctiliously adhering to its own cell, which is separated from 
the adjoining by a partition not thicker than a piece of writing-paper. In a 
preceding lecture, however, I had occasion to observe, when giiuieing at the 
shelly ^ip-wonn, or leTedo navalit, Ihnt, by its attacking the stagtwDt trunks 
of trees and other vegetable materials, that in many parts of the woild are 
washed or thrown down by torrents and tomadoea from the mountains, and 
block up the mouths of creeks and rivers, and thun powerfully contributing 
to the dissolution of dead vegetable matter, it produces far more benefit than 
evil; the benefit being universal, but the evil partial and limited. In 1731 and 
1739 they appeared in great numbers on the banks of Zealand, and consider- 
ably alarmed the Dutcn, lest the piles by which these banks are supported 
should have been suddenly destroyed. They never, however, staid long 
enough to commit mischief, the climate, perhaps, being too cold for them. 

Another genus worthy of notice underthis order is the actinia, which includes 
those species of naked sea-worms which are vul^rly called sea-daisy, 
actiniaficJ/u; sea-carnation, a.Z)tan<A(u,' sea-anemony, a-aSncmonrndei; and 
oes-marigold, a. CaUndtda ; from their resemblance to the atoms and flowers 
of these plants. The first three are found on the wanner rocky coasts of 
our own country, as those of Sussex -, and the last on the shores of Bai^ 
badoes. The sea-carnation is sometimes thrown upon our flat coaats, and 
left evacuated of its water by the return of the tide ; in which case it has the 
ejnearance of a dander, long-atalked, yeUow fig. 

Most of ns are acquainted with some apeciea of the Mpia or cuttle-fish, . 
which is another genus of the order before as. The common cuttle-fish, 
sepia q^ciaalit, is an inhabitant of the ocean, and is preyed upon by the whale 
and plaise tribes ; its arms are also frequently eaten off by the conger.«e1, 
but are reproducible. The bony scale on the back is that alone wkich ia 
usually sold in the shops, under the name of cuttle-fish, and is employed in 
making pounce. These animals have the singular power, when pursued by 
an enemy, of squirting out a black fluid or natural ink, which darkens the 
waters all around, and thus enables it to escape. This natural ink forms ma 
ingredient in the composition of our Indian inks. The worm or fidi wu 
fonnerly eaten by the ancients, and ia still occasionally used as food by the 
Italians. In hot climates, some of the species grow to a prodi^ons eiie, and 
are armed with a dreadful apparatus of holders, furnished with Bnckers,b7 
which, Uke the elephant with its proboscis, they can rigidly fasten upon and 
convey their prey to the mouth. In the eight-armed cuttle-fish, aepia oeto- 
poJia, which mhabils the Indian seas, the arms or holder* are said to be not 
less than nme fathoms m length. Inconsequenceof which the Indians ne*^ 
venture to sea without hatchets in their boats to cut off these monatrona arms, 
should the animal attempt to fasten npon them, and drag them under water. 
This genua, with that of the aivonauta and nautilus, constitute the oidor 
cBPtuLOMmA of CuTier, which belongs to his claas named kouxw*. 

The medusa is another genua entiUed to attention, as affording vaiioos ape- 
cies that shine with great splendour in the water. The worms of this kind 
ore vulgarly denominated sea-netlles, and consist of a tender gelatinois maea, 
of varions figures, furnished with arms or tentaoular processes, isaung froaa 
the under surface. The larger species, when touched, produce in the band 
a slight tingling and redness, and hence, indeed, the same of ssa^MtlleB, hy 
which they are commonly distinguished. A few of the speoiet are found m 
oar own coasts ; but by far the greater number are exotica. 

The asterias, sea-star, or star^sh, is another genus of molluscous w(Hrms, 
snd, in some of its species, is known to all of us. The most enriona »p»- 
efes of this genus is the asterias Cc^ut Mtdtua, or basket-fish [ wluch inhabits 
most seas, and conaists of five central rsya, eat^ of which divides Into two 


'malleT oiMi, and each of vtiich smaller ones ag^in divides into two othen | 
the nme kind of division and aubdivJBioa beins continued to a vast extent, 
and every njr regularly decreasing in size, till at ienglh tbe Tamifieationa 
amount to many ihouaands, forming a beautiful net-woil spread over tha 
water. llM colour of the worm varies ; being sometimes pale, sometimea 
nddiab-while, sometimes brown. 

The only other genus 1 shall mention under this order is the echinns, sea- 
urchin, or hedgehog : its speciea are very onmeroas, and of a mU multi- 
plicity of forms, globular, ovat, shield-like, and heart-shaped. Bdany of them 
appear to have long since become extinct, and are only to be found m a stale 
of petrifaction, llie surrounding spines formanadmirablecoat of mail when 
perfect; but they are generally brtAen off from the shell when it is picked 
up empty on our own coasts. 

The Tmac oBDEa t)f the Linncan class of wobms are called nsucu, or 
TtaTACioos ; and coropriee those that are surrounded with a shelly or testa- 
ceona covering. They are of three kinds ; those possessing a ain^ shell, 
of whatever fonn or kind, and hence denominated univalves ;UioBe possessing 
two shells, which are called bivalves or conchs ; and those possessing more 
than two shells, which are in consequence named multivalves. 

"nie D]nvu,Tzs, or sntcLs-VALvco, are the moat numerous, and exhibit the 

greatest variety of forms. For the most part ibey are regularly or irregnlariy 
__.-. _. .1. _ ... _ . . . jnujQy q{ them may be meotii ' "' *" " 

the periwintde is a species ; tne animal in all which is a limax or sing. 

apiral : among the most common of them may be m^ntjoneil the helix or 

■nail-^nus ; the patella or limpet ; and the turbo or wrealh-genns, of which 

' ; tne animal in all which is a limax or sing. 

!, the murcx or purple-shell so highly valued by 

Saisite dye it is capaole of producing ; the volute or 
ne polished spiral sheila, wiUiout lips or perforationt 
which so often omanient our chimney-pieces, sometimes embeQished wilk 
dots, and at otiier times with bands of colours of various hues ; the stromboi, 
eompiisbg die tarser shells appropriated to the same purpoie, spiral like the 
vtdnte, but with a large expanding lip spreading into a groove on the left side, 
and onen still farther projecting into lobes or daws, the back fivquen^ 
covered with Urge wails or tubercles, in some species called coromant s 
foot ; in aU which, the animal or inhabitant ia still a limax or slug ; and the 
nautilus and argonaata, the pearl-nsnlilue and paper-nautilus ; Uie first of 
which is lined with a layer of a most beautiful pearly gloss, and in the East 
ia mannfactirred into drinking-enps ; and the second of which is remarkable 
for its exquisite h^lness, and the rumour common to most conutries of ila 
Inving lana to mankind the first idea of sailing. In reality, it sails itaelf, 
and with exquisite dexterity ; and to this end the animal that is usually found 
inhabiting the diell, and which, till of late, was supposed to be a four-armed 
cuttle-fish, tboogh now regarded as an ocythoe, by Dr. Leach Damed o. Craii- 
diii, in memory of the indefatigable, but unfortunate, Cranch of the British 
Ibueum,* as soon as it has risen to the surface, erects (wo of Its urns to ft 
eoDsideraUe height and throws out a thin membrane between them, thutpn^ 
ducing a natural sail ; while the oars or rudder are formed by_ the other two 
arms being thrown over tbe shell into the water, by which ingenious con- 
trivance, or raUier instinctive device, die paper'naulilus sails along with eon- 
i^raUe rapidity. M.Cuvier has separated the nautilus from die rest tbou^ 
distinctly a univalve ; and, as we have already noticed, has united it with 
the enttw-fish, under an order of mollusc^ which he calls c^h&lopoda. Hm . 
(ndinal name^br the others is with him «ABTasopoo&, as moat of them emwl 
on their bellies, and carry the ahell over them as a shield. They have a dl^ 
tinct and moveable head, by which they essentially difier from our next order, 
which are without a distinct head of any kind. The two sexes am uoited in 
the* ... . -- 

1 the oyster and tlie mwde 


r^cinzeaoy Google 


(oitres and mytilus), both whjcb contain apeciei that produce pearisi Bsd 
mother-of-pearl; tboDgh the real pearl-niDScle is amya or gaper, found 
chiefly on the coasts of Malabar and Ceylon, where the priacipal peaii- 
fisheries are established. The species of oyster that produces small pearis 
is BOmBtiines traced on our ovrn shores, and is said to have been at one time 
frequent in the river Conway, in Wales. Most of the oysters cast Iheir 
spawn towards the close of the spning', or in the beginning of the suniioer, as 
the month of May. This spawn is by the fishennen called spat, awl in size 
and figure each resembles the drop of a candle. As toon as cast or thrown 
off, these embrvon disks adhere to stones, old oyiter-sheUs, pieces of wood, 
or whatever other substance comes in their way; a calcareous secretion 
issues from the surface of their bodies, and in the course of twenty-four 
hours begins to be converted into a shelly substance. It is two or three 
yean, however, before they acquire their full size. 

The scallops, which are a tribe belongine- to the oyster kind, are capable 
of leaping out of the water at pleasure, to the distance of half a yard ; when 
elevated tbey open their shells, and eject the water within them, and then 
falling back into the water close them with a loud soap. 

Among the more elegant of this division is the nacre, pinna, or sea-pen, so 

.„ ,,.... .. .. — .1. — -marlof.which (alimaxor sl"-^ 

which by the Italianl is woven iiito.a liind of silky plait. And tmonc the 

called from its form ; the animaflDf. which (a limaz or slug) secretes, i 
tuve already observed, a large quantity of line strong siuLy hair, or beard. 

most extraordinary is the gigantic ^ama or clamp-shell, in form reselling 
Uie oyster: one species of which we noticed not long suce, as found in Uia 
IndianOcean, of tne weight of between five and six hundred pounds; the fisti 
or inhabitant large enough to furnish a hundred and twenty men with a full 
meal, and strong enough to lop off a man's hand, and cut asunder the cable 
of a large ship. 

Of the utri,TTVAj.Tn> tutaobodb worh^ or those containing more than two 
shells, there are but three known species, the chiton, the lepas or acora-shdl, 
and the phloas, or, as it is often imprc^rly called, pholas, so denominated 
from its secreting a phosphorescent liquo> of great brilliancy, which illumi- 
nates whatever it touches or happens to fall upon, and to which Liuoteua 
chiefly ascribed the luminous appearance -'which the sea often assumes at a 
distance : a subject, however, which wa shall have occasion to examine 
hereafter. -, 

The rouBTH oanaa of the Linnffian cla^^ of wonvi is called ■oopbttcs, w 
n.u(T-untiui:.s, so denominated from theif ^efflorescing like idanta. Blost of 
them are of a sofl texture, as the hydr&or polype, so well known from its 
being cajMble of existing when turned iijipe out, uid of reproducing any part 
of its tentacles or body when destTOjjH by accident Some are ctnky or 
leathery, as different species of the al^Kiium ; some bibulous, as the spongia 
or sponge, which is now decidedly ascertfflned to be an animal substance; 
and some calcareous, as the numerous families of conl, which, under the 
form of tubular, starry, or stony stems, are denominated tnbiporei, madre- 
pores, and isjses. 
_ The niTE or ufusokt osdeb or wobms, comprehends those minnto and 
simple animalcules which are seldom capable of being tnuted, except bv a 
mioroscope ; and, for the most part, reside in putrid infusions of vegetabMS, 
or in stagnant waters filled wiih vegetable matter. Of these, the smalleet 
known species is denominated monas. To a glass of the highest magnlfyii^ 
power it appears nothing more than a minute simple point or speck of jelly, 
obvionsly, now ever, evincing motion, but often from its delicacy seeming to 
blend itself with the water in which it swims. 

Such is a bird's eye view of the Linnasan class of worms, and its five orders 
of intestinal, molltiscous, testacBous, zoophytic, and infusory animals. 

The nfSBDTS form the mrr olabs m an ascending scale; classically cba- 
Taeteriaed as smaU animals, breathing through lateral spiracles, armed on 
all sides with a bony skin, or covered with hair; furnished with numenoa 
feet and moveable antemue or boms, which project from the body, and ai« 


flu probable itutnimenta of senistion. They are lo volnmiDOua in tbeir 
ordera, as well at in tbe genera belonging to the clua (tbis single clau con- 
Wning, peibapa, aa many specieB as are known to tlie whole twenty-four 
claaaee of the vegetable kiogdom), that our time will allow ua to do little 
tBOre than ioataace the names of a. few of the most common and familiar 
kinds, nndet the ordinal anangement. The orders are seven ; all inaecta 
being included under' the technical names of coleopteroua, hemipterouai 
leptdopteroBB, nennqiteTouai bymenopteioua, dipteroust and apterooa { t>r, to 
exchange the Greek for Engliah terma, tmdei tbosa of craalaeeous-wingedi 
half-crastaeeoti8-winged,scuy-wiiiged, reticalate or nel-work-winged, mem- 
bnnaceoni-winged, two-winged, and winglesa. From all which it ii ob- 
Tioui that the ordinal character of insects is derived from the general idea of 
wings ; to which I may add, that under this general idea, while the indivi- 
duals of the last order are destitute of win^ and those of the last but one 
are only pocsesaed of two wings, the individnals of the preceding five onlers 
have four wings each, though not particularly specified in their ordinal names. 

The coLiormoiia or cBuSTtcEons-wuiarD ihsbcts, constituting the naiT 
oanaa, are by far the most numerous ; and, as the ordinal term imports, em- 
brace all tbote whose wings are of a shelly or crustaceous haidncBs ; and are 
tubdistinguished by the nature of their antennas as being clubbed at the end, 
thread-like or bristly. Amonff the more familiar of this order, I may men- 
tion the searabKUs or beetle-kinds, a very numerous race, equallv distin- 
Sished by the metallic lustre of (heir wing-ahells, and their attacnment to 
nghiUfl, and other animal fillh. The dermestes or leather-eater, the larvea 
or grubs of one species of ^hich are found ho pernetuallv to prey on the 
bindings of boiAa, and sometinies even on the shelves of librariea. Tbe 
coccinella or lady-bird ; the curculio or weavil, the larve of which it fonnd 
so frequently in our filbert and hazel-nuts, and which secretes such a quantity 
of bUe as to give the nut a bitter taste to a conaideiable extent beyond tbe 
place in nhiui it is immediately seated. 

The ptinos, producing in one of it« speciea the death-watch, i« another 
insect belongitu' to this order, whose solemn and measured strokes, repeated 
in tbe dead of the night, are so alarming to the fearful and auperstitiotis ; but 
which, as we formeriy noticed, merely proceed from the animal't spiking its 
little homy frontlet against the bedpost it inhabits, as a call of love ta the 
other sex. The lampyris or glow-worm, the cantharis or Spanish-fly, and 
the forficula or earwig: the last of which is characterized by the singularity 
of its brooding over its own young like a hen, and only leavinE them at night, 
when it roams abroad in quest of food for their support. A few of these, as 
the tady-bird and earwig, are by M. Cuvier taken away from the present 
order, and, with several of the enHuing, as the cockroach, locust, and grasa- 
honper, carried to a new order, which he has named okhithofteiu. 

The BEcoNo okdeh of irsectb, entitled hehiftek* or half-crustaeeons, 
and by some writers nHTHooTA, lus the two upper of the four wing* some- 
what hard or shelly, though less to than the preceding, while the two lower 
wings are for the most part soft and membranaceous. To this order belong 
the coccus or cochineal imect ; the blalla or cockroach, of which the chafier 
.is a species; the gryllus or locust, of which one species is the little cheerful 
chirping cricket ; the cicada or grasshopper, still more celebrated for its mu- 
sical powers than the cricket ; and the cimeX or bug, celebrated also, but for 
powers which you will, periiaps, spare me from detailing. 

Tbe THiBD oRDKa of insects, cobEorTGRA, Or sciLT-wiNOEn, contains hot 
three genera or kinds ; and these are, the papilio or butter^, the [diaUena or 
common moth, and the sphinx or hawk-moth ; which last has a near resem- 
Uance lo both the others, and flies with a humming noise, chiefly in the 
morning and evening, as the moth flies chiefly in the evening and at night, 
and the butterfly only in the daytime. They have all a general resemblance 
lo each other, and feed equally on the nectary of flowers : the antennas of 
the butterflies are mostly knobbed or clubbed at the tip ; those of the moths 
. ue monilifonn, those of tbe sphinxes tapering. 


The irECHOFTSBons irscctbi or those with fonr retienlate or Mt-intk 
wings, form the toitrtr ordek oflheLiDnKan clua; andthejr iiisybeexen> 
plilied by the ephemera and hemerobiua, the day-9]r and Hhj-ltv of tha 
angler, those little busy uiBecta that surraand us in conadeH mnltitnde* wben 
we walk on ihe banks of ft river in a fine summer's ereaing, aod the whole 
duration of whose life, in a perfect state, seldom exceeds two days, and oReo 
not more than as many hours ; while it has comparatively a lonr life m its 
imperfect state, or previous lo its metamorpbosia. It is the sfnallia of seve- 
tal entomologista. This order is not numerous, and I will UierefoTe only add 
another example, the libellula or large dragon-fly, so denominated from its 
ferocity towards smaller insects ; usually seen over stagnant waters ; the 
more common species, libellula FiVjv, possessing a beautiful, glittering, and 
^en>blue body, with wings bloish towards the middle. The Ittrre in iti 
mtemal parts, is larger than the insect, and catches its prey at a distance, by 
suddenly darting forwatd the lower lip. The trachev, or respiratoiy organs, 
are singularly placed al the verge Of the tail. It is the odonata of Cuvier. 

The riFTH ohdbr or ihbicts comprises the HruEifOPTBai, the fiiezata of 
some entomologists, or those possessed of four raembranaceous wmgs, most 
of which are armed with a sting at the tail. They <rf coarse include the ana 
and vespa, or wasp and bee. To which I mar add the formica or ant, Ihs 
ichneumon, and the cynips or gall-fly, to whicn we are indebted for our gaU- 
nuts, whose peculiarities and babita I shall hereafter have an opportaniiy ct 
reverting to. 

The eixTH ORDia or nsKm is denominated dipteiu, and deviates from all 
the preceding in possessing only two wings instead of four. It includea 
among others the musca or common fly, the hippobosca or horse-fly, the 
oestris or gad-fly, the lipula or father-long-kegs, aiio the culez or gnat It is 
■ubdistinguished into such animals as possess a sucker wiUi a proboscis, 
and such as possess a sucker without aproboscis. lliis order is the antllata 
of some entomologiats. 

The LAST ORDEB OF iNSBCTTs dlfien etill more tarrely tmm- all that have 
been hitherto noticed ; for it consists of those kinds tnat have no wings whkt- 
ever, and hence the class is called imai or windless. To this order belong 
most of those insects that are fond of burrowing in Bnimal (ilth upon the aoi- 
inal surface ; as the pulex, pediculus, and acarus, the flea, louse, and itch-in- 
sect. To the same order belongs also the aranea or spider; the oniscns, 
wood-louse or millepede ; the scorpio or scorpion, and even the cancer or 
cnb, and lobster ; the Linnnan system making no distinction between land 
and water animals from the difficulty of drawing a line; of which, indeed, the 
cancer genus is a very striking example, since one of the species, cancer 
evrieola or land-crab, is, as we have already seen, an inhabitant of woods and 
mountains, and merely migrates to the nearest coast once a year for the pur- 
pose of depositing its spawn in the waters. These, however, are separated 
from the class of msects inM. Cuvier's class! Bcation, and form a distinct class 
by themselves under the name of cbostacea. ; while the greater part of the 
rest, as spiders, water-spiders, spring-tails, millepedes, centipedes, and scor- 
pions, are also carried lo a distinct order of the insect class, which he hsa 
called eNiTHAPTesA, leaving to his own orderof trrm. nothing more than 
the first three of the preceding list, the flea, louse, and lick or itch-insect. 

But of all the animals belonging io this division under the Linntean classi- 
fication, I should mention, perhaps, on account of its ein^^ar instinctive 
faculties, the lermes or white ant. The kind which inhabits India, AJrics, 
and South America is gregarious, and forms a community, fax exceeding in 
wisdom and policy the bee, the ant, or the beaver. The houses they build 
have the appearance of pyramids, of ten or twelve feet in height ; and an 
divided into appn^riate apartments, magazines for provisions, arched cham- 
bers, ajid galleries of communication. The walls of all these are so firmly 
cemented that they will bear the nei^ht of four men without givins way ; and 
on the plains of Senegal, the collective pyramids appear like villages of tha 
natives. Their powers of destruction are equal to tuoee of aicbitectaiTe ; for 



■0 !•{■£; and dexterously will they destroy, in leaa bodies, food, funitim, 
books, efotbeS) snd timber of whatever msgiiitude, leaving in ererj instance 
Ibe merest thin surface, that a lar^beam will in a fev hours be eaten to a 
shell not tliicker than a page of writing paper. 

It was my Intention to hare flniahad our surrey of the Linnnan arstem in 
Uw DOurse of the present lecture ; but the prospect swells ao widely before 
us that it is impossible ; and the remaioing four classes of fishes, amphibtals, 
birds, and mammals muai be reserved for another study. 

In the mean time, allow me to remark, that low and little as the tribes we 
have thus far contemplated may appear, (he^ all Tariously contribute to the 
oommon good of animal being, and aid, in difierent ways, the harmonious eiiw 
ele of decomposJIioQ, renovation, and mHturitv of life, health, and enjoyment. 
The insect tribes, beautiful as they are in their respective liveries, may be 
ngarded as the grand scavengers of nature. 'Wherever putridity is to be found, 
they are present to devour the substance from which it issues ; and such is 
the extent and rapidity of their action, that it has been calculated by some na- 
taraliata that the progeny of not more than a doien flies will consume a dead 
a in a shorter space than a hungry lion. Thus, while they people the 

invisible to the naked eye, puree it of those noxious particles with which it 
is often impregnated, and which, at certain seasons are apt to render it pesti- 

The mdefatig^e labour of the worra-tribes in promo^ng the general good 
is still more striking and manifest. The gordius or hair-worm perforates 
day to give a passage to springs and running water ; the lumbricus or earth- 
worm pierces the s^ that it may enjoy the benefit of air, light, and moisture; 
the terebella and terredo, the naked ship-worm and the. shelly ship-worm, 
penetrate dead wood, and the pliloas and mylilus, rocks, to effect their disso- 
lution ; while the termes or white ant, as we have just observed, attacks 
almost every thing within its reach, animal, vegetable, or mineral, with equal 
rapacity, and,reduees to its elementary principles whatever has resisted the 
assault of every other species. The same system of warfare is, indeed, ^ur- 
saed among themselves ; yet it is pursued, not from hate, as among mankind, 
but from instinct, and as the means of prolonging and extending as well as 
of diminishing and cutting short the term of life and enjoyment. 

It has often been urged against the goodness, and sometimes against the 
existence, of the Deity, that thedifierent tribes of animals are, in this manner, 
allowed to prey upon one another as their natural food, and that a large part 
(rf the i^obe is covered with putrid swamps, or wide inhospitable forests, or 
merely inhabited by ravenous beasts and deadly serpents. 

Presumptuous mnrmurers ! and what would your wisdom advise, were 
Providence to consult you upon so glaring an error 1 Would you then leave 
every rank of animals to perish by the mere effects of old age T With tl 

mple 90 often before you of the misery endured bv a favourite horse or a 
)nrile di^ when suffered to drain out the Inst aregs of existence in tlw 
midst of ease he cannot enjoy, snd of food he cannot partake of, — a miseiy 

which often compels us, as an act of mercy, to anticipate his fate, i_ 

last, hj the aid of violence, — would you arandon every animal to the same 
wretchedness, only a hundred-fold multiplied by the horrors of want and 
hunger, which he must, by growing every day more infirm, be every day 
growing more incapable of appeasing t — Or wonld you cut short the evil at 
once, by deslro^i^ death itself, and thus rendering every animal immortal ! 
Tbej would not thank yon for such an interference, nor applaud the vain 
benevolence that might dictate it; an interference which, by .preventing the 
necessity for offspring, would extirpate from the animal fran^ its best feel- 
ings ; which would extinguish the wise snd harmonious djitribnliori into 
sexes; and make an equal inroad on the pleasures of sense ^d the endear, 
tnents of instinct. 

It is granted, that a great part of the globe is an inhospitable wilderness j 
that it consists, to a considerable extent, of waste iitaccessible Jungle overran 


of the bainpiter, the mole-rat, and the white ant. E*eD here, however, 
wherever life exists, it exists to those that possess it as an enjOTment ; while 
Iheae very soazkes and these very animals only fill up what man has no occa- 
sion for, iad eonaJly and inetantly dis^tpear as soon as he presents himself, 
and exercises utat indiutij and ingenuity which alone constitate his au thoiily ; 
and ujion which alone his health and bis happiness are made to depend. 

But this is not all.— While in their different gradations these ontcasts fhtm 
nan ara thus enjojrtnK life themselves, they are preparing, in the beat manner 
possible, the various tracts they occupy for his future use and habitation. 
Tbo soil that supports ub, and gives us our daily bread, is nothini bnt a mix- 
ture of animal and vegetable materials ; other substances, indeed, enter into 
it, bat the great, the important, the active, and leavening coDstituent is of an 
organized origin. These materials, then, are perpetually forming SJid accu- 
mulating, and rising into an unbounded and inexhaustible Etorehouse of sub- 
sequent riches and plenty by the alternate generation and decomposition of 
the different kinds and onlers of plants and animals which thus fill np, and, u 
we are apt to believe, encumber the regions we are contemplating ; regitms 
which, tnongb in our own day uneX[dored or abandoned botn by savage and 
cttilized man. may, in that revolution of countries and of governments which 
is perpetually passing before our eyes, become, in some future period, the 
■eat of universal dommion, the emporium of taste and elegance, of^virtue and 
the sciences. 80 the fairest fields of Rome were fbimed out of the putrid ' 
Pontine manbea, and England ha» become what she is, from being a lud of 
bogs and of bli^ta, of wolves, wild boars and gloomy forests. 

ElllizedDy Google 



(Tba ndtlKi cmlmwd.] 

Ill oar last lecture we took a momentary glance at the histoir of zoology 
M & acieiice, nolioed tlie primary features of the beat methodical ai 

D of that of LinnBoa, which still takea the lead amid the writera 
of the iNreaeiit day, and ia hence chiefly entitled to atlentioD in a ootme of 
ponnlar stody, generally collating it, howerer, with that of H. Curier, aa we 

We obaerred that the LiontBaa system compreheDds all animals of every 
deaoriptioii whatever, imder the six classes of mammals, birds, amphibials, 
flabes, inaects, and worms. We pursued this arraogemeut in an ascending 
■cale, aa most consistent with the plan adopted at the opening of the present 
eoune of instmclion ; and commencing with the class of worms, finished 
with that of insei^s. It remains for us to prosecute the same rapid ootline of 
inqoiry through the four unexamined claasea of fishes, amphibiala, birds, and 

FisRaa are classically characterized in the Linnnan system aa being always 
inhabitants of the water; swift in their motion, end voracious in their appe- 
tite i twealhing by means of gills, which are generally united by a ixiny arch; 
swimming by means of radiate fins, and for Oa moat part covered over with 
cartilaginous scales. 

The class is divided into six orders ; the ordinal characters being taken 
from the position of the ventral or belly fins, or from the substance of the 
gills. The orders are, apodal, fishes containing no ventral or belly fine; 
Jugular, having the ventral fins before the pectoral ; thoracic, havmg the 
ventral fins under the pectoral ; abdominal, having the ventral fins behind the 
pectoral. In all these four, the rays or divisions of the gills are bonv. In 
the fifth order, which is called branchioste^us, the gills are destitute of bony 
rsjrij and in the sixth, or chondropterygioos order, the gills are cartilagi- 
noiis J all which will be easiest explained by a few familiar examjdes. Into 
thegraeral divisions of this class H.Cuvier has introduced no chiutge of any 
importance whatever, his own sections and names running parallel with those 
of IJnnaus. 

The kind best calcolaled to elucidate the naar or apodai. okdcr, is the well 
known munena or eel ; since every one must have noticed, that this fish has 
DO ventral or, indeed, under-fine oi any kind. In many of its species, it has 
a very near approach to the serpent tribes ; insomuch that several of them 
are called sea-serpents, and by some naturalists are described as branches of 
the serpent genus. Even our own common eel, munena Anguilla, ia often 
observed to quit its proper element during the night,. agd, like the snake, to 
wander over the meadows in search of snails and worms:- 

The next genus I shall mention is the gymnolua, of whicb ope. species, 
gympotus 3tetriaut_ if , ihe electric eel, an inhabitant of the rivers of 
South America, fn»Mfii*e'ta'G>ur feet long, and peculiarly distinguished by 
its power of infiicmig'^n efeiitrical shock, so severe as to benumb the limu 
of tnose thai are e^meLtb it. The ahockjx equally inflicted whether the 
fish be touched by the ifaked hand, or by a Ion|g" stick. It is by this extraor- 
dinary power, whicb it ^ipptoys alike defenaivdy and ofiensively, that the 
electric eel escapes flroin tM Jaws of larger Ash^f, and is enabled to seize 
various smaller fishes as fbBd for its own ase. - There are, however, a few 
other fishes, as we shall have occasion to notice iii proceeding, that possess a 
similar power, as the torpedo of European seas, and especiaUy of the Hedi- 
k, and the electric iilurus of tnose of Aftica. 


The oBiiy other genaa it will be necessary to glance at under this order, JM 
the xipliiae or aword-fish ; ao denominated from its long aword-Iike and ser- 
iated snoot, with which it penetrates and destroys its prey. Its chief species 
is found in the Mediterranean and other European seas, sometiaieB not less 
than twenty feet long ; ia very active, and, in one instance, has been known 
to attack an East Indiaman with so prodi^ous a force, as to drive its awoid ' 
or inout completelv through the bottom of the ship, and must have destroyed 
it by the leak which wotila hereby have been occasioned, had not the animal 
been killed by the violence of its own exertion ; in conaeqoence of which, 
the snout remained imbedded in the ribs of the ship, and no leak of any extent 
was prodnced. A. fragment of this Teasel, with the sword imbedded in it, 
has been long lodged as a curiosity in the British Museum. 

The JDOVLAK ORDCH of fishes, distinguished by the ventral or belly fins 
being placed before the pectoral or chest fins, is the next in successioi^ and 
.contains only six separate kinds ; of which the two most familiar to ourown 
Gounlrv are the gadns or codfish, including, among a variety of other species. 
the haddock, whiting, and ling ; and the blennius or blenny, including several 
■peciea of the hake. In these the ventral or belly fins are advanced so far 
forward, as to be immediately under the jole. 

Of the THiBD or tboucic oidib, in which the ventral fins lie somewhat 
backwarder, and directly under the pectoral or chest fins, I may instance, 
among those most familiar to us, the zeus or John dor6e ; ttit [deuronecles^ 
including the numerous families of plaice, flal-fish, flounder, sole, turbot ; the 
eyes of all which are situate on the same side of the head, in some species 
on the len side, in others on the right, but always on one side alone : the 
perca or perch, one species of which, perca tcanotnt, has & power, like the 
eel, of quittingthewater, and climbing up trees, which it effepls bymeansof 
the spines on its giU'Covers, and the Hpinous rays of ila other fins ; and the 

risterostene or stickle-back. Among the more remarkable or curious kinds, 
may mention the echeneis, remora, or sucking-fish, which inhabits the Me- 
diterranean and Pacific seas ; and though only from twelve to eighteen inches 
long, adherea so firmly to the sides of vessels and of larger fishes, by its 
head, that it is often removed vrith great difficulty ; and was, by the ancients, 
supposed to have the power of arresting the motion of the ship to which it 
■dtiered. I may also mention the chEiodon rowtratta, beaked or rostrate 
ehtetodon, an inhabitant of the Indian seas, which curiously catches for its 
food insects that at« flyingover the surface of the sea, by ejecting water from 
its tubular snout with so exact an aim as to strikq and stun tbem with Um 
greatest certainty, and hereby to bring them down into its jaws. 

The rouBTB obdib of the LinnEean class of nsnca, is called iBDomnu. ; in 
consequence of having the ventral or betly fins placed considerablv more 
backward, and behind the pectoral or cheat fins : and here, as in all tde pre- 
ceding, the gills are bony. The salmo or salmon, with its numerous famHies 
of trout, smelt, char, and grayling ; the esox or pike, including the gar-fish ; 
the clupea or herring, which, as a genus, comprises the pilchard, sprat, and 
anchovy ; the cyprinus or carp, including the gold-fish, gudgeon, tench, and a 
variety of similar species; the mugil or mullet; are among the more familiar 
kinds of this extensive order. 

Of these, the herring la one of the most remarkable, from its migratory 
habits ; and (he carp, from ila great longevity, having in many instances been 
known to reach more than a nundred years of age, and from its facility of 
bein^ tamed and made to approach the edge of a fish-pond on the Sound of 
Hs dinner-bell, and to eat crumbs of bread out of a man's hand. 

But amid the most singular of the kinds belonging to titis order is ibc 
exocnius or flying-fish, which, though occasionally traced in other seas, la 
chiefly found between the tropics, and has a power, by means of its long 
pectoral fins, of raising itself out of the water and continuing suspended ia 
the air (ill theae fins become dry ; by which means it effectually avoids thejaws 
of such predatory fishes as are in pursuit of iL But unhappily it is often 
Mixed at the same time by the talons of ospreys, sea-gulls, or some otber 


npuioDf bitdf thkt are peipetnallr boverii^ over (he water to tak« advan- 
la|« of it! aacent. Tbere are, boweTer, varioua other fiabea that have ■ 
ftmiUr power of flight or aiupeiuion, and from a aimilar cause, bnt none in 
•0 complete adegree. It is to thia curious power Deoa Swift makes aUnaioD 
in the toUowing lines : — 

The rtrm om»>b or nsHn is denominated mKuncBioimemm, in conse- 
qnence of Its gills being destitute of booy rays ; by which it is peculiarly 
distinguished from all the preceding orders, and obtains a mark which has 
been laid hold' of by Linnteus as constituting its ordinal character. It con- 
sists, for the most part, of a group of sea-rooiisters, or natural deformities, if 
the term might be allowed ; as the ostraceou or iruak-fish, the diodoo and 
Iretradon, sun-fish, and lamp-flsh, many of which are so completely truncated 
at ehber end as to resemble the middle part of any common lerge fish with' 
Its bead and taD lopped off; the syngnathus, pipe or needle-fidi ; and the 
lophiusor frOK-fisb. iDooeof the species of tbislutkindwenieet withaain- 
pilar decoy for entraining smaller fishes as iu prey. Thia species, 1. pisca- 
torius, which is about seven feet long, and iohsbita most European seas, lurke 
behind sand-hills or heaps of stone, and throwing over them the slender appen- 
dages on hia head, which have the appearance of wonna, cDtices the smaller 
fishes to advance and play around them till they come within his reach, when 
he instantly darls forward and secures Ihem as his spoil. 

The SIXTH and last order or fihfes is denominated CHONDROPTBBraiocs, 
aa having the gills wholly cartilagiDOua, which constitutes its ordinal charac- 
ter. It induMs, among other kinils, Uie icipeDSer or sturgeon, squalns or 
. shark, raia or ray, petromyzon or lamprey, aud gastrobmncDus or nag-fiah. 
Of these, one of the most useful is the aiur«eon : its different apecies may 
be ranked among the large fishes ; ihev are inhabitants of the aea, bnt ascead 
riven annually. The flesh of all of them is most delicious ; from the roe is 
procured the sauce called caviare, and from the sounds and muscular part b 
made isinglass. They feed on worms and other fishes, and the femalee are 
lanrer than the niales. 

This order, in the shark, contains the most dreadful of all the monsters of 
the main. The aaualus Careharia* or white sharli, which often extends to 
thirty feet iu length, and four thousand pounds in weight, followa shifM with 
a view of devouhnir every thing that comes iu hla way, and has occasionally 
been known to sw^low a man whole at a mouthful. But in order to gnani 
ne in some degree againel the perils of their presence, a peculiar stream of 
light issues in the dark from their tapering, subcompressed bodies, which 
cannot well be mistaken ; and as some compensation for their rapacity, we 
obtain tnm their liver a lai^ ijuantily of useful oil, and find in their skin a 
veryvalaable material for carnage-traces in some countries, and for polish- 
ineVood, ivory, and other hard substauccs, in all countries. 

Thenextclaastottkat of fishes in an ascending direction is named auprisu; 
which, for the sake of brevity, and having no Enf[lish synonym to meet it, 1 
shall take leave now, as I have on former occasions, to render akpbibuls. 
The terra, indeed, whether regarded as Greek or English, is not very strictly 
precise in its present application ; for it intimates an intention to include iu 
thia class all animals capable of existing in ihe iwo elements of air and . 
water. We have already observed, however, that tiiere are various fishestas 
the eel-tribe generally, one species of the perch, and two or three of the exo- 
ctetos or flyiag-fiah, to which many more might be added, that are c^wble 
of existing m air as well as in water ; while ue insect kinds offer ns a stUl 
greater number that are similarly endowed, and the worms a still more nome- 
rous train. It has been said, indeed, that the' animals of this claaa have a 
peculiar agreement in the structure of their organs of respiration, which 


makM an approach to that of birds and qoadrapeda, aod differa reij uMn- 
tiallj from that of fishes, insects, aod v/oratB. Upon the whole, hoverer, 
there u no class that offers so greal a divenity in the make of ilarespiratoiy 
oroaos as the class before us, of which I had occasioii to take notice in the 
progress of our last series of stud^. In the tortoise and others among the 
more perfect of the amphibious tnbes, the remark of their anpraximation to 
the respiratory orffans of the higher classes will unquestionably hold ; but It 
will by no means hold in various cases of the lizards ; while the proper place 
for the siren, which is possessed of both long^s and gills, remains doubtfnl to 
this moment: it is sometimes grouped among tbe fishes, sometimes in the 
order of amphibians reptiles ; while Linnsus, after having in the eaiiier edi< 
tions of hie system fixed it in this last situation, appears to have intended, 
had his Itfe been spared long enough to have formed a new order of amphibiaU 
for the express purpose of receiving it, which be proposed to deoominate 

As the Linmean class of ampfaibials at present stands, it consists of not 
more than two orders, h>ptu.>8, or amphibious animals poasessing feet ; and 
saRTEifTS, or amphibious animads without feet. The different kinds undef 
each are but few: the reptiles containing only fivej the teatudo, draco, 
lacerta, rana, and siren j or, in plain English, the tortoise, flying dragoD.liiard, 
frog or toad, and siren. The serpents comprise only seven genera : the cro- 
lalue, or rattlesnake; boa; coluber, or viper; anguis, harmless snake, or blind 

or lizard ; for it includes, among other species, the aUigator, crocodile, premier 
lizard, chameleon, salamander, newt, and eft. 

Among the seven genera of SKRPBirrs, the first three, r«tdeanake, boa, and 
viper, or rather coluber, are more or iesH poisonous : the rattlesnake in sil ita 
species, which are six or seven ; the boa, in five, out of about seventeen; and 
(he coluber or viper, in about thirty, out of about a hundred and thirty ; the , 
two most fatal of which last are, c. Cerattes, or homed serpent ; and c. /fqja, ' 
hooded serpent, or cobra de capello. In both Asia and Africa we meet With 
whole tribes of barbarians who are capable of handling the moat poisonous 
of these emp^ibials, and of eating them up alive from nead to tail, without 
the smallest injury : even the bite itself producing no mischief. I'faese bar- 
barians, some of whom were known to the Greeks and Romans, and are par- 
ticularly alluded to by Celsus and Lucan, were formerly called Psylli. The 
power they affect has been laughed at by M. Denon, but without any kind of 
reason for derision. It is a curious subject, however, and connected with 
others of equal singularity ; and must, therefore, be reserved for a future 

The poisonous Serpents differ from each other in their respective kinds, br 
having their bodies more or less coveted with scuta or plales, instead of with 
mere scales; excepting that the rattlesnake is chiefly distinguished by the 
rattle at his tail. The four harmless genera are characterizedljy having their 
bodies covered altogether with simple scales, and never with plates, or as 
.being ringed, wrinkled, or tubercled. 

This class is not much disturbed by H. Cuvier's later arrangement ; but he 
has separated the tortoises from the lizards, denominating the 6ni, as an 
order, CHiLOHii ; and the second, biubu; and has removed the frogs, salB- 
manders, and siren, into a fourth order, to which he has given the name of 
iiTBAOHu,cbaracterizing them by the possessionofanaked skin; feet; with 
braachin in the young. 

But we must hasten in our rapid career to the siao class, distinguished by 
having the body covered with feathers and down ; protracted and naked jaws ; 
two wings, formed for Sight ; and biped. This class consists of six orden ; 



acdpitrM] ido«; iiiMrei; fralin; nUina; paHserea. In Engiiih vyno- 
nyow, birds of fmy i pie« ; veb-footea birds j waders ; galUaaceoos birds ; 
and the mixed class of thrashes, sparrows, and finches. These orders are 
diiiBty distinrnished from each othejr b^ the peculiar make of die bill, and of 
the feet. Under M. CaTier** clftssi fixation, the ^inaions, and even the names, 
are the same, with the exception that for pics or pies, he has given the better 
appellation of seaniores or climbers. Every one of diem, or rather o*er]r 
distinct kind under every one of them, might agreeably occupy us through an 
entile leetnre; so ourioas, bo attractive, so interesting, are their structuiest 
Ibeir powers, their habits, their instincts. But all these must, be re- 
•erven for aubsaqoent stadies.* Our only concern at present is to give a 
gUnee at'tbe manner in which they are grouped tinder the lionnan syatenk 
U is the mere al[diabet of the science tvwhich we must at present confine 

lite ucmrsBs, or predaeion* birds, constituting the nssT oann, with a lull 
■omewhat hooked downward, and four claws hooked and sharp^pointed. It 
consists of not more than four genera, the vulture, including the coudnr (t, 
Ctryphm), as one of lis spedesj the faico, including the numeroiu families 
of the ragle, falcon, hawk, oaprey, buzzard, and kite, together with variona 
others ; the owl and the lanius or smike, of which the butcher-bird (t. CMurio) 
is one of the chief species. 

The rtoa or nu, form the sboohd and most numerous order. The bill ia 
here comptessed and convex, which constitutes the onUnal character. A 
secondary distinction, taken firom the feet, divides them into tribes formed for 

which seems to eonnect the bird with the insect-class. In one of its species, 
troehaoa mtmrntu, or leaet humming^-bird, it sometimes does not weigQ mora 
than twenty grains, nor measute much more than an inch ; it is, ctmseqoently, 
less than several of the bee-tribes, and, like the bee, feeds on the nectar of 
fiowers, which it hovers about and extracts while on the wing with a de- 

To this order, also, frran similarity of IhD and foot, belong the very nome- 
lons fiunilies of the paittacns or parrot kind, including the proper parrot, mac- 
caw, parrakeet, cockatoo, and lo^ ; eqnall^ celebrated for their imitative 
powers, (bek loweviiy, and the s[»enclia variety of their colours ; the par»- 
disea or bird of Pandise, etiiefly a native of New-Guinea, and distingmshed 
t^ the Ion; and ttpet el^ance of its beading feathers ; the monstrous rham- 
poaaloa or toucan, whose bill is, in some species, lar^r than its body, and 
wliose tongue is qnsinUy tipped with a bundle of feathers, probaUy answer- 
ing the purpose of an organ of taste. 

All thus lar ^anced at are exotics. Among the kinds a few of whose spe- 
cies are inhabitants of onr own coantiy, 1 may mention the social and clamo- 
nros corvns or crow-tribe. Including the rook, raven. Jay, jack-daw, and various 
others ; the piens or woodpecker, that drives into the stoutest and toughest 
timber-Uees of the forest its hard and wedge-like bill, and often with a force and 
echoing sonnd like the stroke of the woodman ; and whose bony and pointed 
tongue transfixes tiie various ioaects npon which it feeds, and in thu state 
not onfreqnently draws them out from a considerable depth in the batk of 
trees into which th^ have crept for protection. The alcedo, or kbgfisher, 
is another genna of this order, whose speciee haunt streams«Bd riven for the 
little fishes on which they feed, and are most dextorons anglers In catehing 
them. To these we may add the cocnlns or cuckoo, that, with the same 
want of natural affectimi which marks tba ostrich, builds no nests for its 
agfs, except wider particular circumstances, but availi Itself of that of the 
heagv-spanow, or soma other bird, and ottondons to foster-parents the can of 


a of btrdi is denominated AHsaass, and in BngUsh i 

D,-..ssjv Google 


rocmo: they are ordinarily^ characterized by having the bill corered with 
■kin, broad or gibbous at the tip, and a palmate or wet-foot, formed for swim- 
utiagt the tongue is UDiformly fleshy, and the bill, in ra^ny instanceB, denti- 
colate or toothed. It includes only thirteen kinds, of which I may take, as 
examidea, thj anaa, comprehending the very numerous families of dock, 
gooae, ■ wan, wild -duck, teak, and staoveler : the mergus or meivanser; ales 
or awk; m^^o^'^b or penguin; pelecanus or pelican ; colymbus, compri- 
■ing the grebes, gulUemots, and divers ; and proceliaria or petrel. The petrela 
bave an extraordinary habit of spouting from their bills a considerable quan- 
tity of oil upon any object that offends them. The procellsria peUgiea, or 
stormy petrel, is the moat daring of all birds during a tempesi, Uiouch not 
iBore ^n six ini^hea long. The moment he beholds the black clouds col- 
lecting, he quits his rocky retreat nnd enjoys the magnificent and growinif 
spectacle ; he darts ezultingly athwart the concave, and skims with Iriom- 
pttanl temerity the loftiest peaks and deepest valleys of the most tremendous 
waves. The appearance of this bird is, to the sailor, a sure presage of an 
approaching storm. 

The BILUA.X, or widebs, form, the roua-rH order of birds in the IJnnBan 
■^stem. They are characterized by posseising a roundish or BUbcylindrio 
bill, a fleshy tongue, and legs naked above the knees. The ardea, or genus 
that includes the herons, cranes, and bitterns, is the most numeroua. Tha 
Bcolonax, which includes the curlew, snipe, and woodcock; the tringa, which 
incluoes the sandpiper, the ruff, and reeve, and the lap-wing or pewit; the 
fulica, which includes the gallinule, coot, and moor-ben ; and the charadriua 
or plover; are among those that are most familiar to us. To this order 
also belongs the tantalus or ibis, so celebrated for the divine honours paid to 
it for many ages throughout Egypt; and, at least, a most valuable bird from 
its clearing the land of those numerous reptiles and insects, which are left 
upon its surface after the exundationa of the Nile. It is the abu-bannes of 
Bruce, which, however, H. Cuvier regards as not property a tantalus ; and 
has, consequently, made a distinct genua for receiving it, to which he has 

Bven the name of neumenius ; and bence, under bis class iflcalion, it ia a 
eumeniua lbi>, instead of a Tantalus Ibii. 

The nrvB order embraces the oillinx or daujhacbous sihw ; those which 
■ttictly come under the denomination of poultry. They are chiefly charac- 
lerized by having a convex bill, with the upper mandible arched. Tbey ara 
the least numeroua of all the orders next to the Aociprraas, and extend to not 
more than ten kinds or genera ; many of which, however, are very extensive 
in their species. The kinds most familiar to us are the phasianus or phea- 
eant, including all the families, and their numerous varieties of common sock 
and hen; the tetrao or partiidee, including all the families and their numeroua 
varieties of grouse, red-game, olack-game, ptarmigan, and quail ; the pavo or 
peacock; and meteagris or turkey. To this ortfer also belong the numidia, 

E'ntado or guinea-hen, the Otis or bustard, the didus or dodo, and the struthio, 
eluding those- large and stately birds, the emeu, cassiowary, and ostrich ; 
the last of which, though incapable of flying, derives from its win^ a fleet- 
ness of running, that la unrivalled by any anjmal whatever. This bird ia 
capable of being tamed, and may be conveniently rode ; and Adanson aaserta, 
that, when mounted, it will surpass the speed of the most r&pid courser. He 
tells us, that while be was at the factory at Podore, he was in posssesion of 
two tame ostrichea, the oldest of which, though younr, would carry tvro 
negroes upon its back, with a rapidity superior to what nas ever been exhi- 
bil«d by the fleetest racer upon the Newmarket turf. 

The LAST oania of the bird class is entitled passibbs, for which, in th» 
sense here intended, we have no exact English synonym ; but it is designed 
lo include various kinds and families, which, forthe most part, rasy be denomi- 
nated small birds and singing birds. They are characterized by having the 
bill conic and aharp-poiuted, and the nostrils naked. To this order belong 
the alauda or lark kind; the columba, pigeon, and dove kind; the emberiza 
or bunting, including theyeUow-hammer j the friogiUa or finch, with all ita 

DiBTncnrE characters or andulb. i«0 

mmueteat fpeciet of goldfinch, green^fineh, thiatls-flnch, linnet, and spuraw t 
the hinindo, including the swift, swallow, and manin -. the lozia ov gitMbeak, 
ineknding the bullfinch and hanGnch, the only finches, [ am at present aware 
or, that do net belong lo the fringilU genus : and the motacilla, a most inte- 
resting group, as including the nightingale, whose song surpaases that of aU 
the Binginf tnrds of the grove ; and ine redbreast, wnose book ia, indeed, 
l0M sonorooB and iiriking, but who is so justly celebrated and beloTed for hif 
social qualities ; together with all the amusing 8i>ecie8 and varieties of wrena - 
Bad wag-tails. To ^e order of pssaeies a^tertain alao the pipra or nwinal(ia> 
some of which are pecnliarly mosicali and the lurdna, compriaing thoM 
«weet melodious choristers, the thrnsb, the throstle, and the blacMiiTd. 

Such iM a brief and. scanty surrey of the interesting and instmctivB claM 
of Irirda: and thus, in the elegant language of the poei of the SeasonSi 

Norshoold we suffer their other curious endowments to pass by us uimo- 
tieed. The muscles, and delicate plumage of their winga, give them not 
merely the power of flight, but, under different raodificatlons, a nearlv equal 
command over earth, air, and water : for such a provisioo enables tne rail, 
destitute aa he ia of a webbed foot, to rival, in swimming and diving, the guil- 
lemot { Uw oatrich,as we havejuBi observed, to outstrip in running the speed 
of the race-horsej and even the diiaiiuitive swallow, and various other mi- 
gratory binls, to double, when on the wing, the pace of the fleetest ostrich | 
■nd lo dart, twice a year, across the Atlantic and Mediterranean, often at the 
rate of a mUe in a minute for sevaral minutes in succession ; and perbapa 

• Cual>>to° "f *liiihi( bbd*, nrlfb Uw ttmt of iMr bagltuilnt nd roitng Id ilni, flODi ■ mait of Bn 

— '-' '-s. Willi taeiuuMrioiil mm ciriMriH<e«,n)mlTbriii( Oat oTalHliiu pvAiMkaL Plan 

' la<irHr.JgtaBl*>ikinU,inMualncrUialJiKw;r>DdniaiHi44itaiaoiilMjc<lba- 


ISO as zooLomcAL ststehs, and the 

generally, and with perfect ease, at the rate of a mile erery two iniiialei, or 
upwards of leven hundred miles every twenty-four hours, till it nkchea ths 
precincts of its summer or winter residence. 

We ascend to the rissr snd hiovest club— to tiiat rank of animals which 
i* most complicate in form and most competent in power. This class i> 
chiefly distinguished by the possession of lungs, and an organ for suckling ; 
and most of its kinds possesa four supporters in the shape of hands or feet, 
or both. To this last chnracter the class was fonoeriy indebted for its clessic 
name, which was vuuiaDFEDs, or roDR-roortD. As some of the kinds under 
it, however, In its modem arrangement, are possessed of no supporters of uiy 
sort, either hands or feet ; others have four bands and no feet ; and oUiers, 
S:|^n, have two of esch, the absurdity of retaining snch a name most be ob- 
vious to every one ; and hence it has been correctly and elegantly exchanged, 
by Linneeus, for that of Mammalu, from tlie mammsry or suckling organ 
which belongs to every kind of the {lass, as it stands at present, and to no 
kind whatever out of it j and which, as we have no fair synonym for it m our 
own tongue, I shall beg leave now, as I have on various other occasions, to 
render hanhua. 

The class is distributed into seven orders ; the characters of which are 
taken from the number, situation, and structure of the teeth. "Hie seveo 
orders are as follows :— primates, bnita, fers, glires, pecora, bellus, cete. It 
is difficult to lind Englisn synonyms for these Latin terms, which, in several 
instances, are used in a kind of. arbitrary sense, not strictly pointed out by tha 
terms themselves. The following are the beet that occur to me : chieftauis ( 
bivte-beasts ; savage beasts ; burro wing-beasts ; cattle ; warriors ; and whales. 

The FiBsr oant a, primates or cHiBrr*iiiH, is distinguished by the possessioa 
of four cutting teeth in each jaw. This mark would also include the race of 
man ; and Linneeus has actually included him in the order before us, as he is 
included in the class by Cnvier and most of the naturalists. From such 
arrangements, however, I shall take leave to differ. Han ongfat to stand by 
himseir} he has characters peculiar to himself, and which place him at aa 
infinite distance from all otlier animals. With this exclusion, the entire class 
is reduced to three kinds, the simia or monkey ; the lemur or maucauco; and 
the vespertilio or bat : kinds which can only be collectively entitled to the 
appellation of primates or chiefs, from their very slight resemblance to man 
in the general distribution of the teeth : for though a few of the monkey tribes 
have an approximation in their exterior and erect form, in the greater number 
this character is veiy inappreciate, while it is nearly lost in the lemur, and 
altogether so in the bat. 

Among the simia kind, the most singular species is certainly the ouraiw- 
outai^, especially the grave, gentle, and very docile Pongo. I have onl^ 
lime to otwerve farther upon this kind, that those without tails are denomi- 
nated apes ; those with short tails, baboons ; and those with lone tails proper 
monkeys. Among the lemurs, the most curious, perhaps, is the 1. volant, 
or flying maucaaco, the galiopithecus volant, or flying colugo of Pallas and 
Shaw ; an action which he is able to accomplish from tree to tree by means 
of a strong leathery membrane that surrounds the body and reaches from the 
head to the fore-feet, hind-feet, and extremity of the tail; and which gires 
him an approach to the bat 

Of the vespertilio or bat-kind, which is well knovm to fly only by nl^t, 
and by means of an expansive membrane, instead of by wmgs, one ofiu 
most extraordinary faculties is that of a knoiv ledge of the presence, and appa- 
rently of the approach, of objects, by some other sense or medium than toat 
of vision ; for when deprived of its eyes, this knowledge, and a conseanent 
power of avoiding objects, seems still to continue- "Ine vespertilio Pom- 
vynu, or temate bat, an inhabitant of India and Africa, is said to be fond of 
blood, and occasionally to fasten on such persona as he finds asleep, and to 
suck their veins till he becomes bloated. He might hence, under proper 
management, be rendered an able and valuable substitute for the leeek. la 
poetry he has often been introduced, under the name of vanqiiiei am a moat 
tiidcous and spelling monster. 


The sHMKD oaDim, brvta, or Bsun-Buvra, is diBtiognished b^ baving no 
' fora-teetb in either jaw. It include! the nine followiag kinds : rhinoceroi, 
■ukolyro, ele[rtianl, trichecns, — the morHe, walrus, mtinate or lumantin, the 
dolphin of Uie poets of Greece and Rome, by whom it has been celebnUed 
for its love of music, and pethape not altogether without foundation i—lbe 
bradypus or sloth, the mynDecopiiBffUB or ant-eater, the-manis or pangolioi 
the dasypuB or armadillo, and the platypus or duck-bill, the onuthorhynchua 
paradomu of Bluroenbach ; that curious little quadruped which has hitherto 
only been discorered in AuBtmlia, or the regions in and about New South 
Wales i and which seems to be a quadruped by its feel, a water-fowl by its 
intl, and an amphibial by its fondness for water. It is not yet quite certain 
whether this singular animal suckles its young, or has a mammary organ for' 
this purpose ; and if not, it must be discarded from its present situation, 
Ifaoagb we should be at no small loss to know where else to plac« it. 

The THiui C1.1SS of mammjils is denominated mjs or batabb bkibtbj and 
if distinguished by having;, in ererr instance, fore-teeth, above and below, 
the number varying in di&rent kinds, from two to ten ; and in posseBsing a 
•olitaiy task. The order comprises eleven kinds, the names of which are as 
follows : the phoca or seal, a water-quadruped, whose skin is so useful to us 
tor varioiis purposes ; and which, tike the stag, is found to shed tears when in 
trouble : the canis or dog-kind, including the numeroiu families of wolf, fox, 
jackal, hytena : the felis or cat-kind, including a variety of tribes of a some- 
what similar appearance, but far mightier, and nobler in their powers, aa the 
lynx, the leopard, the panther, tiger, and lion, all of which have a power of 
climbing trees, thouKh the weight of the larger apecies makes them do it 
very awkwardly, aud only to a short height ; all ot which pitch on their feet 
in falling ; and all of which see better in the night than by day ; the viverra, 
inclnding the ichneumon, and several of the weasels : the mnstela, including 
other species of the weasels, tlie stoat, polecat, otter, ferret, sable, ai^ 
ermine ; to the two last of which we are indebted for the luxurious dresses 
that pass under their name. Almost all of the muBtelas have a power of se> 
creting and discharging a most fetid and intolerable stench at their will ; and 
many of them do it as a means of defence : and often so effectually that the 
Tery beast that pursues them is compelled to relinquish the chase, so com- 
^etely is he overpowered by its noisome vapour. The remainder of this 
Older are the ursus or bear; the didelphia or opossum; the marcopius or 
kangaroo, which is now naturalixing in the royal parks of our own country; 
the talpa or mole ; the sorex or shrew ; and the erinaceus or hedgehog ; which 
last is capable of being tamed, and is actually tamed by the Oalmucs, and 
made a very useful domestic servant in deBtroying mice, toads, beetles, and 
ottier vermin. 

The roOBTH obubb of mammalian animals is denommated euais, for which 
we may use the words mawainnaB, or sunBowus. They are dietingniBhed 
1^ having two fore-teeth in each jaw, close to each other, bnt remote frtnn 
the grinders ; and being without tusks. They all, in a greater or less degree, 
burrow in tlw earth, and Blmost all of them sleep through the whole, or a 
great part of the winter. To this order, therefore, we can all of us, of our. 
own accord, refer the ten following kinds, which are the whole that are in- 
cluded imder it. The hystrtx or porcupine ; the cavia or cavy ; the castor or 
beaver ; the mus genns, comprehending the numerous families of the mouse 
and rat ; the arctomys or marmot ; the scjurus or squirrel, some of which 
have a long flying membrane that enables them to vault from tree to tree, like 
some species of the lemur; the myoxus or donnouM ; the dipus or Jerboa, 
whose form resembles the kangaroo, but whose habits the dormoQBe; the 
lepiu, comprising the hare and rabbit tribes; and the hyrax or daman; with 
nioet of which we are too well acquainted to require any detailed account in 
io cmrsory a survey as the present. 

The ncoKA or cittu kinds form the next or rma obdeb, and comprehend 
fliose homed quadrupeds which are most familiar and most useful to us. To 
this division, therefore, necessarily belong the bos, ovis, capn, and cemis 
kinds; OTtioour own langttage, the ox, slwep, goat, and deer:. and ai con- 


neet«d TiUi these, in habits as well u in external appeannce, the noschni, 
antilope, camelue — the miisk, antelope, camel, and camBleopard, or giraS^ 
They are ordinally din tin g-ui shed by being without upper fore-teeth, but having 
BiK or eight in the lower jaw, remote from the Kriflders. TTiey have ail fonr 
stomacbs, are hoofed, and have the hoof divided in the middle ; and, except 
the camel, have two false hoofs, which, in walking do not touch tM 
ground. Such as have horns have no tusks, and such aa have tuaki have no 
nomB; they ruminate or chew the cud; and from the torpid action of their 
multifid digestive canal, are apt to have balls form in different p«ita of it, 
owing to the frequent concretion of their food, occasionally iDteimized, bat 
more usually covered with a quantity of hair, which they lick from tbeii 
bodies. Some of these balls are of a whitish hue, and' will I>ea7 a fine polish, 
and are known h^ the name of bezoarda. These are chiefly the ]»oauction 
of the antelope luad ; and were formerly in very high estimation as amuleta 
and febrifuges. 

The SIXTH OEoaa of mammals embraces the aNxus or wakbios xnaa, 
poaseaaing both upper and lower fore-teeth, and hoofed feet. Tbo order 
coosietB of only four genera; the equus, or horse, mule, and ass tribes; the 
hippopotamus or river-horse ; the tapir, which iti appearance and habits niakea 
an approach to the river-liorse, but is smaller in sizei and the nmsetons 
families of the sus or swine kind. 

The I.ABT anDER under the mammalian class consists of the cm or WKiu 
Kunn. and embraces ihe monodon, sea-nnicom or narwahl ; balsna, common 
whale; physeter, cachalot, or spermaceti whale; and delphinus or dolphin, 
including, as two of its species, the phoccena or porpoise, the ores or gram- 
pus, and the dugong. 

Tbeie is some force in introducing these sea-monsters into the aaoie clan 
with quadrupeds; but they are still continued here by M. Cuvier. They 
have a general concurrence of structure in the heart, lungs, backbone, and 
organ for anekling; but their teeth have little resemUaoce ; and they have 
neither nnstriia, feet, nor hair ; instead of nostrils, possessing a aiHtacle oi 
blowing-hole on the fore and upper part of the head ; and instead of feet, finai 
in which, as well as in their general habits, mannen, and residence in tbo 
waters, they have a close resemblance to fishes. These are chiefly iuhat^ 
ants of the polar seas, and several of the larger species afford maleriala that 
are highly valuable as articles of commerce or manufactures. AU of them 
produce a considerable quantity of blubber or the basis of the coarser animal 
oils ; the common whale sometimes to as lai^e a quantity as 6 or 9,000Um 
weight : from tlie homy laminte of whose upper jaw, as well as from that 
of the baliena PkytcUvt or Sn-fish, we obuiia also extensive layers of wlul»- 
boDe ; while the cachalot supplies us with epennaceti from its nead, and wiUi 
ambergris from some of its digestive organs ; a substance, however, only to 
be procured from such organs when the animal is in a state of sickneas. The 
most warlike of the order is the grampus, which will often engage with ■ 
cachalot or common whale of double its size, and continiie the c<mteat till it 
baa destroyed it. 

To this order also belongs the dugong or sea-cow of Bomatra, which has of 
late excited ao much attention among naturalials. It was at one time suppoaed 
to be a hippopotamus or river-horse, hut Sir Thomas Raffles has of late suffi- 
ciently proved it to he a cetaceous mammal. It is usually taken on the MTa- 
lacca coast by speariog ; its length is often from eight to nine feet. Its front 
extremities are two fluny paddles ; ita only hind extremity is its taJi, which 
is a very powerful instrument. It is never found on land or in fresh water, 
but generidly in the shallows and inlets of the sea; the breasts of lim adolt 
females are of a large size, and especially during the time of aucUing. Its 
food seems to conaist entirely of fuci and submarine algv, which it fli^ and 
browses upon at the bottom of the shallow inlets of the sea, where it chieAy 
inhiMta. Its flesh resembles that of young beef, and is very delicate anid 

In M. Cuvier's arrangement the class of m»mmala ia enttrdy Iecas^ 
* PML Tnoi. len^r. IK 


tnd divided into three orders, or principal Hectioni, as distinmshed by cUwt 

- - efteti wlii- -^ 

ftinci familieB, of which the first six belonc to 
the first order ; the next three to the second ; and the last two to the thiiX 

01 nails, by hoofs, or by fin-like feet; while the whole of these orders are ft 

tber subdivided into eleTea distinct families, of which the first six belonc 
Ibe first order ; the next three to the second ; and the last two to the thiiX 

The six families beloag^ng to the first order, the nail or claw-footed, at* 
"■ese :— 

I. Binianiini : two-handed. Thumbs separate on the superior extremitiM 

nlr- Designed to include rasn alone. 

II. Quadrumana : four-handed. Thumbs or great toea Mpants on s 
of the fourfeeL Monkies andm 

III. Sarcophaga : flesh-feeders. No separate thumbs or great loea on thtt 
anterior extremities. Bals, flying lemurs, hedgehogs, shrews, moles, bears, 
weuels, civets, eats, including the lion and tiger-tribes ; dogs, including tiia 
fox and wolf-tribes, and the opossums. 

IV. Rodentia : gnawers. Want the canine teetb only. Caviei, beareiat 
•qnirrels, rats of Jl kinds. 

V. Edentata: edentulate. Want both Ibe incisive and eaniae teeth. AbU 
eaters, pangolins, and annadilloes. 

VI. Tardigrada; slow-footed. Want only the incisive teeth. Sloth Mbe*;. 
The three families belonging to the second or hoof-footed order, an the 

following : — 

Til. Pachyderroata : thick-skinned. More than two toes ; more than two 
hoofs. Elephants, tapirs, hogs, hippopotamus, rhinoceros, and hyrax or 

Vin. Ruminantia : ruminants. Two toes ; two hoofs. Camels, nmsks, 
deer, giraffes, goats, sheep, oxen. 

IX. Solipeda; single-hoofed. One toe, one hoof. Horse alone, including 
the ass-tribe. 

The two familiee belonging to the third, or fln-footed order, are the fol' 

X. Amphibia : amphibinla. Four feet. Seals and morses. This family- 
name should be changed, since the same term is also employed by M. CuvieTt 
after other naturalists, as the name of a distinct class of other animala. 

XI. Cetacea: cetaceous. Feet Qn-like. Manates or lamantins, dolpliini, 
cachalots, whales, and narwahls. 

We have thus run rapidly over a map of the different classes end kinda 
of animals as they are found extant in our own day. But those traced in a 
living state in our own day are by no means the whole that have existed for- 
merly. In the lecture on Geology, in the preceding series,* we had occasion 
to observe that the various formations of rock, and especially the tiansition 
formations, open to ns very numerous examples of whole families now no 
longer in existence ; many of which have probably ceased to exist for several 
thousands of years ; some of which, indeed, are ho far removed from the nees 
of the present day, as to require the invention of new genera, if not ot new 
orders m a zoological arrangement for their reception. 

Stukeley, Lister, and other paleologists and naturalists of the last century, 
paid no small attention to this subject, and dragged forth the unrecognised 
relics of various animals from their fossil abodes : but it has since been pm^ 
sued with extraordinair spirit and activity by the concurrent labours of Karg, 
Schlottheim, Fischer, Eapen, CoUini, Blumenbach, Hnmboldt, Werner, Buek- 
land, and, above all others, Cuvier; insomuch that the ascertaiAed lost kinds 
bid fair in process of lime to be almost as numemus as those that are living. 

The last physiologist is well known to have formed amost valuable and ex- 
tensive museum for the reception and arrangement of fossil animal remains ; 
and so rich and varied is his possession, thai he has commenced and made a 
eonsidemblepro^fls in a classificatLon for systematically dislingnishing them. 
The alluvial soil of our own country has furnished him with nnmenna 
exani|Aei; the shell-marl and peat-bogs of Ireland, with one w two of tUll 
not* tttiiiiig character, and paniculariy with specimens, more or leu per* 

• Srln I. Leaan tL 



tout, of itB enonnons elk, one of the mcnl celebnttd of all the fooBil mniHUk 
t'mg anjmelfl. The Meditemnean coaat, RusBia, and both Ajnericai havs 
amply coDtributed to the collection. But it is to the limestone quarriea 
of ^ningen and Geylenreulh, and the allematiiig quarriea of Paria, that it ia 
chiefly indebted for its very interesting supply of the animal remaioa of a for> 
mer world. 

We have not time to travel eren over an outline of this wonderful reposi- 
tory. Those who have no opportunity of examining it on the spot, may be 
abundantly gratified by a perusal of M. Cuvier*s Tsluable ana extensive 
work on the fosHiI remaius of qusdrupeds :* which, though chiefly devoted to 
this particular claai, is nevertheless rich in its history of extinct kinds and 
species of birds, amphibials, and fishea. We can only glance at a few of the 
more striking of the whole collection. 

These are to be found chiefly in the class of mammals, and etpeciaUy 
among the largest kinds. The gypsum-formation of Paris, supposed to 6e 
a fresh water deposite, has furnished M. Cuvier with two entirely original ge- 
nera, and each genus with several species, the whole of which appear to be 
ntteiiy extinct. 

To these he has given the name of palKOtherium and aooplotherium, or 
ouiia BEiST, in allusion to its existence m the olden times ; and DiFSNCELUa 
BKAST, in allusion to the want of canine teeth in the genus it designates. 
Both genera belong to the Linneean order of bellos or WAaaioa-aaiaTS, and 
tiie Cuverian order of pachtUishita, or thick'Skinned, 

1 he station of the first is allotted in this order after the tainr, and before 
the rhinoceros and the horse, which gives ns the best idea of its general cha- 
racter. It is generically dislinguialied by having forty-four teeth; in eack 
jaw six fore-teeth, two mcisors, fourteen molars: snout extended, flexible ; 
fore and hind feet quadrifid. 

The gypsumquarries alone have famished fire distinct species of this very 
singular tmimal, in a more or less perfect state of its skeleton. 1. PaUeothe- 
rium magTMm, of the size of the hoiee. S. P. medium; and, 3. P. enunun, 
each of the size of a bog. i. P. cvrtwn, with decurtale, patulous feet. & P. 
mtmu, of the size of a sheep. Besides which, five other species have been 
discovered in other parts of France, imbedded in fresh-water limestone, or ia 
alluvial soil; oueol them, P. g^onJeun^ as large aa the rhinoceros; and an- 
other, P. Utpiroidu, of the size of an ox. 

The second species, or uidplothiudh, is somewhat smaller, and has its 
station assigned between the rhinoceros or the horse on the one hand, and the 
hippopotamus, hog, and camel on the other. It has forty-four teeth in a con- 
tinuous series J being in each jaw six foro-teeth; two incisors, not longer 
than the fore-teeth; fourteen molars; fore and hind feet bifld, with distinct 
metacarpal and metatarsal bones; and accessary digits in a few. This genus 
also oAers four species, varying from the size of the horse or aas to that 
af the leopard or elegant gazelle. 

There is also another genus of entirely extinct quadrupeds, belonging (o 
the same order, and of stiU larger magnitude, which M. Cuvier has been able 
to constitute from remains found in different parts of the world, to which be 
has given the name of mastodoh. It makes a near approach to the elephant, 
and in one or two of its species vies with it in size. The ascertained species 
are Ave; the largest of which, called the great mastodon, has been found in 
considerableabundance near the river Ohio; and specimens of whose skeletoiu 
have been brought to our own country, and exhibited imder the name of lujs- 
MOTH, which, however, is an error ; as mammoth is a Russian term, ap- 
plied toafossil species of genuine elephant, which we shall notice presently. 
But the mastodon has in America been confounded with the mammoth. 
Both have been dug up in the alluvial soil of Siberia. Of the other species, 
two have been discovered by M. Humboldt in America alone ; one both in 
America and at Simorre in Europe j and one bolh in Saxony and Monta- 

UuTltr'i RiHroBtbt Theory oTtte BMli,wtthPn<baB( Jaa*. 


bmard. Tliey are all of leas ma^itnde than the neat mastodon ; and, from 
the character of the teeth, there ia no doubt that bQ the species vers grazing^ 

The foasil elephant, to which I have Jual refeired, the proper mammoth 
of natural bistoiy, makes a nearer approach to the Asiatic than to the African 
liring species ; but it nevertheless difTera lo much from botii, as to leave no 
qneation of its heatg an entirely extinct animal. Various relics of it, u 
uones and teeth, have been found scattered over almost every part of EnropA, 
as well as in Asia and both Americas ; occasionally in our own island, in 
the Isle of Sheppey, and in Ireland. But they are more common, and m K 
&r more perfect slate, in Sweden, Norway, Poland, and opecisUy in Asiatic 
Roasia ; and M. Cuvier inclines to a belief that the bones of Arcbbiriiop 
Pontoprndan's giants of the north are nothing more thtm remains of this ani- 
Bud. The most perfect specimen of this kind that has ever been met with, 
was discovered, in the year 1799, by a Tungusian fisherman. It ai»>eared at 
this time like a shapeless mass, projecting from an ice-bank near the month 
of a river in the north of Siberia. Year alter year a larger and a larger por- 
tion of the aoiinal was rendered visible by the melting of the ice in which it 
was imbedded ( but it was not till five years after the first detection that its 
enormous carcass became entirely disengaged, and fell down from an ioe- 
cra^ upon a sand-bank, on the coast of the Arctic Ocean. The greater put 
of ita fleah was soon afterward devoured by the white bear, or cut away by 
the Jahuts of the neighbourhood, as food for their doga ; yet when, in 1806, 
Hr. Adams examined it on the spot, and carefully collected all its remaining 
parte, more than thirty pounds weight of ita hair and bristles were gathered 
froin the wet sand-bani into which thev had tteen trampled; and toe nusa 
6t extreiDGlT Uiick and heavy skin, whicn was still left, demanded the utmost 
exertions often men for its removal. 

The other extinct animals of the same class and order, collected or described 
by M. Cuvier, are a fossil rhinoceros, sufficiently distinguished from the only 
two species at present known ; two unknown species of the hippopotamus ; 
and two of Uie tapir. 

Of the fossil rhinoceros, the earliest specimens noticed were those described 

tnr Grew, and consist of bones dug out of alluvial soil near Canterbuiy. 

Since which period, other relics have been traced in various parts of (Germany, 

d Italy ■ ■ — ■ ■ ■ 

France, and Italy ; while, in Siberia, an entire animal has been discovered, 
with its flesh and akin little injured. Of the two developed species of foaail 
hippopotamus, there is a doubt whether the largest, found in toe allavial soil 
<» rnnce and Italy, may not belong to an extant species ; but the other, 
wUch is not larger than a hog, ia strongly characterized, and widely difllerent 
ttma either of the two living species of the present day. The two discovered 
apeciee of fossil tapir evince a like difference of size, the one being small, the 
ouier gigaolic ; while both are foimd in diffbrent parties of France, Germany, 
anl Italy. 

' All these belong to the pachydermatous or warriorM)rder of the mammal 
class, which may, perhaps, be regarded as the richest of all the divisions of 
foeail animals. But there is no class or order without like examples : and 
the caves of Gaylenreuth, on the frontiers of Bayreuth, as examined by 
Esper, have fiimished quite as extensive a variety as the quarries around Paris. 
He haLi hence derived two entirely extinct Hpeciea of bear, one of the size of 
the horse; several speciesof the dog; one of the cat; and two of the weasel: 
iD of whicfa are possibly extinct, thongh there ia a doubt respecting one or 
two of them. In these caves alone, indeed, according to M. Esper, tne enor- 
mons mass of animal earth, the prodigious nomber o? teeth, jaws, and other 
IxHKs, aitd the heavy grouping of the stalactites, render the place a fit temple 
for the God of Death. Hundreds pf cart-loads of bony remains mi^hl be 
removed, and nmneroiu bags be loaded with fossil teeth, almost without 

bemg missed. 

The fosail deer and elk tribe form also a i__, 
Amottir these the celebrated elk of Ireland, dug out of a marl-i»t near DriM- 

I collection. 


heda, with its antlers of nearly eleven feet from tip to tipi* finras ds ebief. 
The finest fallon-<jeer, red-deer, roeB, and stags, beloagine to the fowl king^ 
dom, have been found in Scania, Sommea, Etampes, Orleans, or scatterra 
over Europe, in Lmeatone, peat-bogs, or sand pitc. M. Cuvier has descjibed 
■even distinct species, all of which, with the exception of one, are extinct or 
unknown species. Of the fossil ox, bnffido, and antelope gemui, he has given 
four distinct species, all apparently unknown. 

He has also collected fossit remains of the horse and hog genera, without 
being able to ascertain to what species they belong: and rarioua animals of 
the order glires or gnawers, as beavers, guinea<pigs, and rabbits, and two 
decidedly unknown species of the sloth tribe, which he has distinguished by 
the names of Megalonix and Megatherium, the first as large as an ox, eariieat 
discovered in llmesione caves in Virginia in 1796 ; and the second of the 
size of the rhinoceros, hitherto found only in South America. Specimens of 
the ox'Sized have since been found in Buenos Ayres, in Lima, and in Para- 
guay ; and of these three the first, a perfect skc^too, was sent as a preaent 
to M. Cuvier by the Marquis Loretio in 1789. 

Relics of fossil seals and laniantins, though less perfect than moat of tha 
preceding, enter also into this extraordinary collection. 

In the other classes M. Cuvier has hitherto made less progress; tbonghhis 
collection of fossil, and apparently unknown amphibials, especially of tha 
crocodile and tortoise tribes, is considerable, and highly interesting, and should 
his life be spared for ten or twelve years loneer, we may have reason to 
expect these classes to be filled up as numerously as that of mammals. 

Among the most extraordinary of the fossil amphibials he has enumented, 
m the gigantic monster first discovered as early as the year 1766, in the lime- 
stone quarries at Maestricht, and which was at that time regarded by soma 
tiaturalists as a whale, by others as a crocodile, andbya third set as an enor- 
mous unknown fish. M. Cuvier has sufficiently ascertained that it must have . 
formed an intermediate genus between those animals of the lizard tribe which 
possess a long and forked tongue, and those with a short tongue and a palate 
armed with teeth ; and it is hence generally regarded in ^e present day as a 
MONITOR, making an approach towards the crocodile. The length of the ske- 
leton seems to nave been about twenty-four feet: the head is itie sixtii part 
of the whole length of the animal, which is nearly the proportion it beats in 
the crocodile. The tail must have been very strong, and its width at the 
extremity have rendered it a most powerful oar, capable indeed of opposing 
sny violence of the watere ; and it is hence chiefly that M. Cuvier regards it 
as having been an inhabitant of the ocean: though we are hereby put into 
possession of a kind or species far supaasing in size and power any of those 
which it most nearly resembles, and al least rivalling the magnitude of the 
crocodile, t 

The circumstances under which most of the preceding large and fossil ani- 
mals have been found, and especially those traced in Siberia, afford sufficient 
proof that the catastrophe which arrested them must have overtaken them 
suddenly while in their native regions ; and that they could not have been 
brought into their present situations from a remote distance. And we have 

• Bm StrTbonM MMji>eu>> hmvM oflbliunhiu] In Phil. Tnin. ITM. 

TUtlilbanmia Atryefru of Dr. HlMwn : ■ nmo bg tua UMIM l» II Ovs iOdivraada*. irto »■ 
BMi* IB 1i»« ban aovBlinsd wUta uiiii ^Hdn or riMdl Ilk, ud b« ndkmd 10 U H eomnpn u llnl ttaa 
hnriooi HilB In Itaa Brilhill i>l«. SpsdniaDB. Imtod, ub ■UlDlleii lo be ml wHh In lUaqautn': 
ailI>r,IIIt*nt,iB iba «■» mr nftrred to, qiuiwpviora IXtv ego Dr. HUHni, (C ENokmih, 
Id whlebbB (dnmlothB ikalMaii* oCibrH gnu •Un iliumn Ikulr Iw up In trouu, oM oTwUcb 
iiiimiiiiii iilirnn r'""1 — n Uidlpgiidliehmiu. And be nidi, itbai wnSd KOnMilHwibntlMtiB*- 
dM Iwd not been mnr tfea nUnel. Ibu nw Uton, inittirH IM Hnnm oT nul, mn (Iw tiaD< ika 
MnMOMOfUUMdcici; *Dd,U()lulElkluce.Hnn|liiinwiiMe(«ii. Edtp. Jonni. rfBrtwjn He. V. 


*, TlialtHslt tnimnliol ihlaclus law bum tlnai atntlientHj trUtitea br elliwdi mw li ; Mit tlw 
BiaM*utHiorwlitob,Jertup(,*reihe PIrMiHanit oTIbelue Mr. Cb^bnn.indUie Xtffioiim»tt 
P riftMB i BiKklind. The ramtlni oCIhe Inn ire Uie moH laipeiAn ; Uimili rrara ■ lufe pntlaii eflk* 
lower Jrn^jnp Itoniheml USUOMIIeld, mar Oilbnl, indilhlib-boiHi found u CneUMil, In S*eae>. 

' ^^ . ^ ^.^^..^i: '?_^'?™''' I" ™*"* *'."'W".^ __^ ttb-Teto-i o™ 

b. G<(il.Trui.ieiiwUl* 
Mam, bol 11 bu ■ Imfk 


■ndnaiadlnaflu,muiit,uHlnrTnHnwgiHNt. lu kmiiikHemeu baTebsKiopinidisfiUiTfta*, 
■ndUabnlkubanaq^^leJUntoruiekplMiilHnnlbelhlitL Geol. True, lenv U.*cd.L put U 
n*«niiaii»(ir tUa gnnH BMksa u ipfiiacii n UM or SalH, boi 11 bu ■ laagikaDd UUttly« 


hence facts to abow, as we had occasion to observe formerly, that rariouB 
qu&drnpedfl of the largest size, as Ibe jclephant, mammoth, rhinoceros, and 
oippopotamua, which are now traced in a living state in the hot parts of Asia, 
Amca, or America aloue, formerly existed, as to certain species that have 
been lon^ extinct, in the highest northern latitudes : and that, conaetjuently, 
■nch •pecies most have had such a discrepancy of habit and organization, 
like the dog and the ox tribes of our own day, as enabled them te endure tha 

Such, then, is a brief sketch, I will not say of the animal kingdom, but of 
the most popular arrangements which have hilherto been attempted concern- 
ing it. It would have been much easier, and might have been mnch more 
interesting, to have extended the survey : but the thread of connexion would 
then, probablv, have escaped from us, and we should have lost the system in 
the fulness of the description. 

Enough, however, and more than enough, has, I trust, been offered to prove 
that the study of zoology is of a most inierestinf and inviting character, 
equally calculated to win the heart, and to inform the head. I have dwelt some- 
what more at \aTge upon the three lowest classea of worms, insects, and 
fishes, for the very reason that these classes have too often been passed over 
by naturalists, as little wonliy of their attention ; and because I wished to 
impress upon your minds, by tne incontrovertible fact of living examples, that 
nothing is low, nothing little, nothing in itself unworthy, in the view of the 
great Creator and common Parent of the universe ; that nothing lies beyond 
uie reach of his benevolence, or the shadow of his protection. God alike sup- 
plies the wants and ministers to the eujoyments of every living creature : he 
Alike finds them food in rocks and in wildernesses, in the bowels of the earth, 
and in the depths of the ocean. His is the wisdom that, to different kinds 
and in different ways, has adapted different habits and modes of being ; and 
has powerfully endowed with instinct where he has strikingly restrained 
intelligence. II is he that has given cunning where cunning is found neces- 
sary, and wariness where caution is demanded ; that has furnished with ra- 
[Hdity of foot, or fin, or wing, where such qualities appear expedient; and 
where might is of moment, has afforded proofs of a might the most terrible 
and irresistible. 

At the bead of the whole stands man, the noblest monument of creative 
power " in this diurnal scene," and in a state of purity and innocence, a faint 
miageof the Creator himself; connected with the various classes of animals 
by his corporeal organization, but infinitely removed from them b^ the pos- 
session of an intelligent and immortal spirit ; his chief distinction, to the 
external eye, consisting In the faculty of language, and the means of conunu- 
nicating and interchanging ideas : — a subject full of interest and of import- 
ance, and towards which, therefore, I shall beg leave to direct your attention 
alter we have examined this lord of the universe in the different varieties he 
exhibits indifferent parts of the world, under the influence of climate, manner 
of life, and incidents circumstances. 

nmOfti muT ■ itsre ibu wtnf, or il 
Stej nmm ■ aimi or fKUMain, lika or 
Bflbd «b« Ibw wU:, each dlAn li 
[B tmi. In BfiirB, dlObn.* 



Thd« f&r we have confined onTselvei to the different classes of animals 
belovr the rank of man. The sketch has been rapid and unfinished, but I hope 
not altogether unfaithful, or without its use. Let us now proceed to a geae- 
nl flurrej of the human species ; the generic character by which matt is dis- 
tinguished from other animals, and the family character by which one nation 
is ustinguished from another nation. 

If we throw an excursive glance orer the globe, and contemplate the dif- 
ferent appearances of mankind, in different parts of it, and especially if we 
contrast these appearances where they are most unlike, we cannot bul be 
struck with astonishment, and feel anxious for information concerning the 
means by which so extraordinary an efiecl has been produced. Tbe height 
of the Patagonian and the Caffre is seldom less than six feet, and it is do un- 
common thing to meet with individuals among them that measure from six 
feet seTBn to six feet ten : compared with these, the Lsplandera and Eski- 
maux are real dwarfs ; their stature seldom reaching five feet, and being more 
commonly only four. Observe the delicate cuticle, and the exquisite rose 
and lily, (hat beautify the face of the Georgian or Circassian : contrast them 
with the coarse skin and greasy blackness of the African negro, and ima- 
gination is lost in the discrepancy. Take the nicely-turned and globtdar 
form of the Geo^ian head, or the elegant and onangular oval of the Georgian 
fiu» : compare the fonnerwith the flat skull of the Carib ; and the latter with 
the flat visage of the Mogul Tartar, and it must, at first sight, be difficnlt to 
conceive that eaoh of tliese could have proceeded from one common source. 
Yet the diversities of the intellectual powers are, perhaps, as great as thoss 
of the corporeal: thoughl am ready to admit, that for certain interested pnr- 
poses of the worst and wickedest description, these diversities, for Uie last 
naif century, have, even in our own country, been magnified vastly beyond 
their fair average, though the calumny has of late begun to lose its power. 

The external characters thus glanced at form a few of the extreme bomt* 
dsiiee : but all of them run into each other by such nice and imperceptible 
gradations in contiguous countries, and sometimes even among the same 

nile, as to constitute innumerable shades of varieties, and to render it dif- 
t, if not impossible, to determine occasionally to what region an indivi- 
dnal may belong when at a distance from his own home. 

It has hence been necessary to classify tlie human form : and the five grand 
sections, for we can no longer call them quarters, into which the glooe is 
divided by the geographers of our own day, present us with a system of 
dassiflcatioD equally natural and easy : for in each of these sections we meet 
with a marked distinciion. a characteristic outline that can never be mistaken, 
except in the few anomalies already adverted to, and which belong to almost 
every general rule ; or in instances in whiuh we can obviously trace an inter- 
mixture of aboriginal families. 

Befora we attempt, then, to account for these distinctions, let lu endeavour, 
as briefly as possible, to point them out ; and consider them nnder the flvs . 
heads of (he 

EuiiopEAiT iuce; 

Asiatic iuce; 

Amekicam KjLce; 

African race ; 

AnsTRALtAic race; 
or, as they are denominated by M. Blumenbach, in bis excellent woA npoD 
tlua suttlect,* the Caucasian, Mongolian, American, Ethiopuu, and Huiy 



Gmdin 1ia« punned the nme eeneral diviiiooB, but has merely diatin- 
tuished the respective races ; ana accordingiy his five definilioDS are the 
whitBi browD, copper-coloured or red, black, and tawny man. 

L The most ay ra metrical, and therefore the most elegant variety of the 
human form, ia that which I have called ErRoPEAH, in coneequence of its 
being traced in the European division of the globe more largely than in any 
other; and the most perfect lineaments of this variety are those of the region 
of Asia Minor, on tlie borders of Europe, the parent spot from which it has 
been imported — liueamente which we find distributed among the Georgians, 
Circaasiani, Mingreliana, Armenians, Persians, and other nations that skirt 
die southern foot of the vast chain of the Caucasus. And it is on this 
SGconnt that M. Blumenbach has given the name of the Oiucasuh variety to 
die European form in general. It is remarkable that in this spot of the globe 
man waa firet created : here be first received the breath of hfe, and arose in 
the image of his Maker. The die has not yet lost its divine impress : for 
bere we still meet, and in all ages have met (so far as relates to the exterior 
gracea), with the most eJtquisite models of symmetry and beauty. 

The general colour of the Edropbar or GioagiAn variety, the wmn divi- 
sionofGmelin, ia fair; that of the cheeks more or less red; the head globu- 
lar; the face straig-ht and oval, with the features moderately distinct; the 
forehead slightly flattened; the nose narrow, and sligbtly aquihne; the 
eheek-bonea unprominent ; the mouth small ; the lips a little turned out, 
eapecially the under one; the chin full and rounded; the eyes and hair vah- 
aue, but the former, for the most part, blue, and t)<e latter yellow, or brown 
and lowing. 

II- The colour of the Asutic, or Hosooi.lui, the Browk-iuii of Gmelin, ia 
yellowish brown or olive, with scarcely ever an appearance of red in the 
cheeka, which seems to be confined to the European varietur; the head, 
inatead of being globular, is nearly square ; the cheek-bones wide ; and the 
general face flat; the eyes are black and small ; the chin rather prominent; 
and the hair blmckiah and scanty. 

in. The AjiiBicAii, or Rxd-hw of Gmelin, is of an obscure orange, 
rosty-iron, or copper colour ; the head is less square, the cheek-bones less 
expanded, and the face less fattened than in the Asiatic ; the eyes are deeply 
seated; and the hair is black, straight, and thick. This Variety seems to 
fbrm a middle point between the European and the Asiatic. 

IV. The colour of the Atmcah, the ErmopuK of Blumetibach, and BucZ' 
MAN of Gmelin, varies from a deep tawny to a pitch or perfect jet. The head 
is narrow; the face narrow, projecting towards the lower part: the forehead 
arched; the eyes projecting; the nose thick, almost intermixed with the 

this variety recedea farther than in any other from the European, and ap. 
proachea much nearer than in any other that of the monkey. 

V. The AoBTBAUAN, or inhabitant of New South Wales, and the nnmeroua 
dnaters of islands that begirt that prodigious ran^ of unexplored country, 
together with the South Sea islands in general, constituting the M* of 
Wumenbach, and the TAvtirv-MiH of Gmelin, is of Wackish-brown or maho- 
gany colour : the head is somewhat narrowed at its upper part ; the forehead 
somewhat expanded ; the upper jaw slightly prominent ; and the nose tiroad, 
but distinct ; the hair harsh, coarse, long, and curiy. This variety seems to 
form ft middle point between the European and the African; as the American 
does between tne Guropean and the Asiatic. Bo that, in a more compendious 
view of the hnman race, we might contract the five varietiea into three : — the 
Eaiopean, Asiatic, and African ; and regard the other two aa mere interreniiig 
shi^ea of variety. ■ 

In this general classification of mankind, however, there are two obaerra- 
tiona that are peculiarly worthy of attention. The first is, that althoD^ 
these distinctive characters will bold in the main, it ia not to be expected that 
they will apfilT to eveiy individiul of the particular dirision to which they 


nbr; Dor tbat they belong bo escluairely to sDcfa diTiiion af never to be 
traced, even by anatur^ introduction, among other divisions. The second 
iSf that from the restless or inquiring spirit of several of the divisions, and the 
nugratioQi which have hence ensued, we ou^ht to expect to meet occasion- 
ally with the distinctive characters of such divisions among other diviai<»ts, 
and in regions to which they do not naturally appertain. 

A perfect jet of the skio has never, perhaps, been found in onr own coon- 
try* in any person of genuine English rvLce ; but a dark, swarthy, and even 
copper-colour is by no me&ns uncommon; and an equal difference is ob- 
iervable in die globularity of the head, and the Satness or sharpnest of the 
tsce. la like manner the skin is occasionally found among tne red tribes 
of America ;* and black among the tawny tribes of Australia, and even the 
olive nations of India. So Captain Cook informs us that, among the natives 
of the Friendly Islands, he saw hundreds of European faces, and not a few 
genuine Roman noses. And Adaneon asserts that he was struck witli the 

Sueral beauty and proportion of several Senegambian females, in spite of 
sir colour ; while Vaitant and Le Maire give a similar' testimony concent 
ingthe Caffre women, and the negressee of Gambia and Senegal. 

The most inquiring and consequently the most migratory of the Ave divf- 
si(Nia under wlucli we are contemplating the race of man, is unquestionablv 
the European. And hence we have reason to expect that we shall meet witn 
more numerous establishments of the European form in regions to which it 
does not naturally belong than of any ot the others. And experience con- 
fimiB this expectation. It is, in truth, the migratory spirit of this peculiar 
division that nas filled Kurope itself; for, as I nave already had occasion to 
remark, the division in its eartieat state was confined to the southern foot ot 
the Caucasus, and branched out into Europe from this region. And thus, in 
tiie west of Africaf«x tending from Fez to the Zaara, we discover considerable 
patches of the same lineage, the progenitors of which have either shot 
through the isthmus of Suez or crossed the Mediterranean ; while every one 
knows that, from a similar spirit of migration, America, both North and 
South, and India in its southern promontory of the Deccan, have for several 
centuries past exhibited patches of a similar kind. 

The Asiatio nice, properly so called, have in like manner had their migra- 
tions ; and hence we trace the form and features of this family, spreading 
souiherly through the whole of Egypt atid Abyssinia ; northerly from the 
Imaus or Caff of the Caucasus towaras the Arctic boundaries of Europe and 
America, amid the Laplanders and Nova Zemblians of the former, and tha 
Greenlanders and Iskimos or (as we have it from the French writers) EsquU 
maux of the latter; and westerly from the north of Persia along the banks 
of the Euxine, in successive waves, and chiefly under the different denomi- 
nations of Fins, Goths, Alans, and Hunsj the last two uniting on Tarious 
occasions, and especially under the triumphant banners of Attila, and over- 
nmning great part of Germany, and consequently intermixing with the 
European race ; at the same time driving the Fins into higher northern lati- 
tude, along the shores of the Baltic, wiiere they at length intermingled with 
the Laplanders. Among both these nations, therefore, whether blended or 
separate, we still meet with very strong marks of the true, genuine Asiatio 
face, flat, wide, and of a sallow or olive hue; the eyes being small, and tlw 
hair dark and scanty. 

It is probable, also, that the more polished nations of America, as tba 
Toltecs and Mexicans that belong to the northern, and the Peruviana and 
Araocans that belong to the southern division ot this continent, have originatod 
from an Asiatic scarce. De Guignes, Forater, and Humboldt concur in b^ 
lieriag them to have been of Chinese or Japanese descent ; while the msM 
of the numerous tribes that constitute the chief population of this oontinentt ^ 
and are altogether distinguished in external and internal character from tbo ^ 
prsceding nations, seems to have issued, in various migrations, from somt oC 


the Ted or cappeT-eolonTed tribei with lank hair, which hsve of lata years been 
traced in particular parts of Africa. It ie also probable that AuBtralia hai ia 
like manner been peopled by Bucceiaive wares of roTerg frDni both these 
eoDtineats : for we trace proofB of both eources, someiimee separate, and 
sometimes mixed. ButthetheorieHthat hare been offered upon this subject are 
too numerous, and for the most part loo fanciful for a minute detail, and belongs 
nttber lo the geographer than to the physiolo^st. 

llteTe are some pnilosophers who have assigned several pther diatinctire 
characters to the different families of mankind thaci auy thus far dwelt upon ; 
and which are chiefly derired from the stature, the shape of a particular limb, 
or the intellect : thus the g'igantic height of the Patagouian has been adverted 
lo as a very prominent feature ; the pigmy form of tlie Esquimaux f and the 
still more pig'my form of the Kimos of Madarasca;', if any reliance may be 

e laced on the testimony of Commerson, now that it has been corroborated by 
Fodare, and still more lately by the Abb6 de Rochon ; the curved leg of the 
Calmuc race ; the long leg of the Indian ; and the high calf and flat foot of 
the Ethiopian. But it appears to me that all such distinctions are upon too 
narrovra scale, and perhaps too much dependent upon particular circumstances, 
for an admission into the lines of a broad and original demarcation. To the 
different powers of the intellect, which are still less to the point than evea 
these corporeal peculiarities, I shall have occasion to advert presently. 

Omitting, then, the consideration of these subordinate points, whence have 
proceeded those striking and far slTOnger characteristics which we have 
noticed in the preceding divisions! Are the different dislributioas of man 
mere varieties of one common species, or distinct species merely cODoected 
under an imaginary genus 1 Has the hunun race proceeded from one souico 
or from many I 

In a country proressing the Christian religion, and appealing to the records 
of Moses, as an established and veritnble authority, I oug'ht, perhaps, to blush 
at proposing such a question in public : but the insinuatious which have in 
various ways been thrown out against this authority demand it, and I hasten 
to rescue, so far as I am able, the first and most interesting account we pos- 
sess of the creation of man, from the philosophical doubts which have been 
thrown upon it, and to reconcile it with the natural history of man in onr 
own day. 

The Mosaic statement has met with two distinct classes of opponents, each 
of which has pretended to a different ground of ohjeciion. The one has re> 
garded this statement as altogether untrue, and neverintended to be believed; 
as a mete allegory or fiction , — a beautiful mythos often indulged in by other 
oriental writers in the openings of their respective histories ; — as an enliven* 
ing frouiispiece to a book of instruction. The other class has been in some 
degree more guarded in its attack ; and has rather complained that the state- 
ment is inexplicit than that it is untrue. These last philosophers have found 
out that in its comoion interpretation it does not accord wiui the living vo^ 
lume of nature; and they hence contend that the common interpretation is 
incorrect; they perceive, or think they pereeive, a variety of chasms in the 
■acred text which it is necessary to fill up before it can be made to harau^ 
Dtze with natural facta and appearances. 

At die head of the former class stand the names of some of the first nata- 
nl historians and scholars of modem times, as LinnKus, Buffon, Helvetius, 
Mocboddo, and Darwin. And from whom do these philosophers, thus d»- 
paiting from the whole letter and spirit of the Mosaic history, pretend to de- 
five the race of man 1 The four former from the race of monkeys ; and the 
last, to complete the absurdity, from the race of oysters ; for Dr. Darwin se- 
riouely conjectures thai as aijuatic animals appear to have been produced be- 
fbre terrestrial, and every living substance to have originated from a form or 
nnclena exquisitely simple and minute, and to have been perpetually 
developing andexpandingits powers, and progress! velyadvaucing towards per- 
laetion, man himmlf must have been of the aquatic order on his first creation ; 
at that time, indeed, in^ereeptible from hi« exility, but in prooaw ot jma. 


w rather of agei, acaniTiiir a visible or ojrater-like fomit with little gills, 
iiist«ad of lungs, and, like Uie oyster, produced apontaneously, without dis- 
tinction into sexes ; that, as reproduolion is always fitvourable lo imprOTement, 
the aquatic at oyster mannikin, by being progresBLvely accuBtomea to seek its 
food on (he nascent shores or edges of the primKTaloceaD, most have grown, 
kfter a revolution of countless generations, first into an amphibious, and 
then into a terrestrial animal; and, in tike maimer, from being without se^ 
first also into an androgynous form, and thence into distinct lule and 

It is not necessary to notice tiiis dreara of a poetizing philosopher, which 
bad also been dreamed of lon^ before his own day, any farther than to remark 
thai it is in every respect inferior to the opinion of two of the moat ce1ebrU«d 
schools of ancient Greece, the Epicurean and the Stoic; who, though they 
disiigTeed on almost every oiher point, concurred in their dogma concemmg 
the origin of man ; and Mlieved him to have sprung, equally with [dants ana 
animals of every kind, from the tender soil of the new-formed earth, at that 
time infinitely more powerful and prolific ; produced in myriads of little 
wombs that rose, like mote-hills, over ifae surface of the ground, and were 
afterward transformed, for bis nourishment, into myriads of glandular and 
milky bulbs, so as to form a marvellous substitute for the human breast. 

In the correct and elegant description of Lucretius, — 

And frivolooB as such a theory n 

one which was current amongthi _ ... 

which supposed mankind to have been propagated by eternal generation, and 
of course the univene, like himself, to be eternal and self-exiBteot : compared 
with which, an origin from the dust of the earth, even after the manner of 
vesetables, is incompatablv less monstrous and absurd. 

Let us now pass on to the hypothesiH of those modem philosopbera who 
would associate the tribes of man with the tribes of the monkey, and oriri- 
Date both from one common stock, in the same manner as the ox and bu^Jo 
are said to be derived from the bison, and the different varieties of sheep from 
the argali. 

There are a few wonderful histories afloat of wild men and wild women 
found in the woods of Germany and France; some of which are said to have 
been dumb, others to have bad the voice of sheep or of oxen, and others again 
to have walked on all-fours. And from these few floating tales, not amounting, 
in modem times, to more than nine m* ten, Linnasus thou^t proper to introduce 
the oraog-otang into the human family, and to regud such instances of wild 
men as tne oonnecting species t>etween this animal and mankind in a state 
of civilized society. Wnence Lord Monboddo has amused us with legends 
-of men found in every variation of barbarism ; in some instances even un- 
gregarious or solitary ; in others, uniting, indeed, into small hordes, but ao 
scanty even in nalunu or inarticulate language, as to be obliged to assist their 
own meaning by signs and gestures ; and, consequently, to be incapable of 
conversing in (he dark ; of a third sort who have in some degree improved 
upon their natural language, but have still so much of the savage beast be- 
longing to Ihem, as to employ their teeth and nails, which last are not less 
than an inch lon^, as weapons of defence ; and of a fourth aort, found in aa 
island of the Indian seas, with the full possession of speech, but with tails 
like those of eats or monkeys ; a set of dreadful cannibals, which at«ne time 
killed and devoured every Dutchman they could lay their hands upon. 

It is truly wonderful that a scholar of Loid Honboddo's accomplishments 

Sh Tmpd oT Kinn, Cul. L p. St. », 11. & H, <*' UE^ •B^ <<>■ *■><>''' 


of trajh 10 abanrd and sxtfVTagiuit i 
iag. Badii lomances &re certainly in exiatence ; but they are nothing mora 
than the fabled newi of a few low and iUilerate manners, whose nomea 
wera never suScient to give them the alighteat degree of authority, even 
vrken they were first uttei«d ; and which, for the moat part, dropped succea- 
■iTolyuito an obaciire and ignominous grave on the moment of their birth, 
and would have ailently mouldered away into their elemental notbingneaa, 
had not thia very singular writer chosen to rake up their decomposing atooii, 
in order to support an hypotheais which sufficiently proves its own weak- 
liMS by the scouted and extravagant evidence to which it is compelled to 

Of the wild men and wild women of Linnteua, some appear to have beea 
ideote, escaped from their keepers ; a few exaggerated accounta of stray 
children from some wretched horel of Lithuanian peasants ; and one of them, 
a young negreaa, who, during a shipwreck on the French coast, had swam 
on shore, and at once saved herself from death, and, what ia worse than 
death, from slavery, fihe ia said to have been fwmd in the woods of Cham- 
pagne, about the middle of the last century, and was at first exhibited under 
the name of la filU Korvage and la belU towage ; and had the honour, soon 
afterward, of bemg paintea as a sign-poet to one of our most celebrated inns 
in this metropolis, which is still known by the name of the Bell Saoage. 
Tliia young negress waa instracied in the French language by the family into 
YrtHxe hoepilahle hands she felt, and was afterward, from some unacoonnt- 
able whim, denominated Mademoiselle rj Blijic* 

In order, however, to settle this question completely^ let me mention a few 
of the anatomical points in which the orang-otang differs from the human 
Ibnn, and which cannot possibly be the effect of a mere variety, but must 
necessarily flow from an original and inherent distinction. More might be 
added, but what 1 shall offer will be sufficient ; and if 1 do not touch upon a 
comparison of the interior faculties, it is merely because I will neither msult 
your undentandings nor degrade my owu, by bringing tiiem into any kind of 

Both the orang and pongo, which of all the monkey tribes make the nearest 
approach to the slructure of the human skeleton, have tiiree vertebra fewer 
than man. They have a peculiar membranous pouch connected with the 
larynx or organ of the voice, which belongs to no division of man whatever, 
white or black. The larynx itself is, in consequence of this, so peculiarly 
CMistTucied as to render it less capable even of inarticulate sounds than tlut 
of almost every other kind of quadruped ; and, lastly, they have no proper 
feet ; for what are so called are, in reality, as directly hands as the terminal 
Mgans of the arms : the ^at toe in man, and that which chiefly enables him 
to walk in an erect position, being a perfect thumb in the orang-otanr. 
Whence this animal is naturally formed for climbing : and its natural posi- 
tion in walking, and the position which it always assumes excepting when 
nnder diaeipline, is that of^ all-fours j the body being supported on four hands, 
instead of on four fleet as in Quadrupeds. And it is owing to this wide and 
eaaential difference, as, indeed, we had occasion to obaerve in our last study, 
tlut M. Covier, and other zoologists of the present day, have thought it ex- 
pedient to invent a new name by which the monkey and maucauco tribes may 
M'dislingnished from all the rest; and.insteadoftiDADuipKDs, have called them 
VUDBinuiu, or vaDWJtuvnjkXM ; by which they are at the same lime equally 
diatingniriied from every tribe of the human race, which are uniformly, and 
altme, Buumui. 

But throwing the monkey kind out of the question, as in no respect related 
to the race of man, it must at least be admitted, contend the second class of 
fliilOKqibera before us, that the wide differences in form, and colour, and 
t^res of Intellect, which the several diriaions of mankind exhibit, ai ytm 

'■nrnmnmifHiiiMfHiiriiriMnniaii nl I ii in. alt 


hsre now uiauged them, muat neoegaiuily have originated from diffisrent 
sources { and that even the Mosaic account itself will afford couDtenanee to 
such an bypotbcsis. 

TliiB opinion was first stated, in modern ti[neB,b7the celebrated Isaac Pey- 
ten librarian to the Prince of Cond^ ; who, about the middlcof last centniy, 
cimtended, in a book which was not long' afterward condemned to the flames, 
though for other errors in conjunction with the present, thai the narration of 
Uoees speaks expressiy of the creation of two distinct species of man ;— an 
elder species which occupied a part of the sixth day's creation, and is related 
ID tbe ^ret chapter of Genesis ; and a junior, confined to Adam and Eve, the 
immediate progenilors of tbe Hebrews to whom this account was addressed; 
and which is not referred to till the seventh verse of the second chapter, and 
even then without any notice of the etact period in which they were formed. 
After which transaction, observes this writer and those who think with him, 
the historian confineH himself entirely to the annals of his own nation, orof 
those which were occasionally connected with it. Neither is it easy, they 
adjoin, to conceive upon any other explanation, bow Cain in so early a period 
of the world as is usually laid down, could have been possessed of the im- 

eementfl of husbandry which belonged to him ; or what is meant by the fear 
I expressed, upon leaving his father's family, alXer the nburder of Abel, that 
every one who found him would slay him ; or, aeaiD, his eoing forth into 
mother country, marrying a wife there, and budoing a city soon after the 
hinh of his eldest sun. 

Now, a cautious perusal of the Mosaic narrative will, I think, incontestably 
prove that the two accounts of the creation of man refer to one and the 
same fact, to which the historian merely reiurna, in the seventh verse of the 
second chapter, for the purpose of giving it a more detailed consideration: 
for it is expressly asserted in the fifth, or preceding verse but one, as the 
immediate reason for (he creation of Adam and Eve, that at that " time there 
was not a man to till the ground j" while, as to the existence of artificers 
competent to the formation of the first rude instruments employed in hus- 
bandrj', and a few patches of mankind scattered over the regions a^oining 
that in which Cain resided, at the period of his fratricide, it snould be recol- 
lected that this first fall of man by the hand of man, did not take place till a 
hundred and twenty-nine years after the creation of Adam : for it was in his 
one hundred and thirtieth year that Seth was given to him in the place of 
Abel : an interval of time amply sufficient, especially if we take into conai- 
deralion the peculiar fecundity of both animals and vegetables in their pri- 
meval state, for a multiplication of the race of man, to an extent of many 
thousand souls. 

On such a view of the subject, therefore, it should seem that the only fair 
and explicit interpretation that can be given to the Mosaic bisloiy is, that 
the whole human race has proceeded from one single pair, or in the word* 
of another part of the Sacred Writings, that God "hath made of om blood 
all nations of men for to dwell on all the face of the earth."* The book of 
nature is in this as in every other respect in miion with that of Revelation: 
it telle us that one single pair must have been adequate to all the purposes 
on which this class of pnilosophers have grounded their objections : and it 
should be farther observed to them, that thus to multiply causes without ne- 
cessity is not more inconsistent with the operations oi nature than with the 
principles of genuine philosophy. 

But the question still retunis : whence, then, proceed those astonishing 
diversities among the different nations of mankind, upon which the arrangfr- 
ment now offered is founded I 

The answer is, that they are the effect of a combination of caoaes; soma 
of which are obvious, others of which must be conjectured, and a few of 
which are beyond the reach of human comprehension : — but all of which ai* 
aonuaoa to other aninialat u well as to man ; for axUaordinai; at tbaaa 


dJTBraitiet may Appear, they are eqiiallj to be met with in tbe varietiei of 
MTenil other kinds of animalB that can tie proved to have been prod or ed from 
a single secies, and, in one or two instances, from a single pair. 

The chief causes we are acquainted with are the fourfoUowing : climate, 
food, manner of life, and hereditary diseases. 

I. The influence which clinite principally produces on the animal frame 
is on the ctdour of the slcin and on the extent of the stature. All the deepest 
colours we are acquainted with are those of hot climates ; and ail the lightest 
those of cold ones. In our own country we perceive daily, that an exposure 
to the rvys of the sun turns the skin Tram its natural whiteness to a deep 
brown or tan ; and that a seclusion froia the sun keep iL fair and unfreckled. 
In like manner the tree-frog (rana arborea) while living in the shade is of a 
light yellow, but of a dark green' when he is obliged Co shift from the shade 
into the sunshine. So the nereis lacustru, though whitish under the dark- 
ness of a projecting bank, is red when exposed to the sun's rays. And that 
the larves of most msecls that burrow in the cavities of the earth, of plants, 
or of animals, are white, from the same cause, is clear, since being confined 
under glasses that admit the influence of solar light, they exchange their 
wblteaess for a brownish hue. 

The same remark will apply to plants as well as to animals ; and hence 
nothiiw more is necessary to bleach or whiten them, than to exclude them 
from the light of day. Hence the birds, beasts, flowers, and even fishes of 
the equatorial regionE are uniformly brighter or deeper tinctured in their spots, 
their feathers, their petals, and their Hcales, than we find them in any other 
part of the world. And hence, one reaaoa at least for the deep jet which, 
for the most part, prevails among mankind under the equator; the daik-browa 
and coppercoloun found under the tropics; and the olive, shifting through every 
intennediate shade to the fair and sanguine complexion, as we proceed from 
the tropic of 'Cancer northwards. Hence, too, the reason why the Asiatic 
and Afncan women, confined to the walls of their seraglios, are as while as 
Europeans ; wt^ Moorish children, of both sexes, are, at first, equally fair, 
and why the fairness continues among the girls, but is soon lost among the 

As we approach the poles, on the contrary, we find every thing progres- 
sively whiten; bears, foxes, hares, falcons, crows.andblackbirds, all assume 
the same common livery ; while many of them chang* their colour with tho 
change of the season itself. For the same reason, as also because they have 
a thinner mucous web, the Abyssinians are less deep in colour than the negro 
race; for though their geographical climate is neariy the same, their physical 
climate differs essentiaUy : the country stands much higher, and its lemperv 
ture is far lower. 

The immediate matter of colour, as I had occasion to observe more fully 
in a proceding lecture, is the mucous pigment which forms the middle layer 
of the general integument of the slun ; and upon this the sun, in hot climates, 
appears to act in a twofold manner ; first, by the direct affinity of its colorific 
lays with the oxvgen of the animal surface, in consequence of which the 
oxygen is detacned and flies off; and the carbon and hydrogen being set 
at liberty, form a mora or less perfect charcoal according to the nature of 
their union; and next, by the indirect infiuence which its calorific rays, like 
many other stimulants, produce upon the liver, by exciting it to a secrotion 
of mon abundant bile, and of a deeper hue. i have formerly remailced that 
this second or colouring layer of the general integument of the skin, differs 
(as indeed all the layers of ibe skin do) in its thickness, not only in diflereut 
kinds of animals, but very frequently in difTe rent species, varieties, and even 
indiTiduals. Thus' in our own coontry we find it more abundant in some 
persons than in others ; and wherever it is most abundant, we find the com- 
plexioD also of a darker and coarser and greasier appearance, upon a con^ 
mon exposure to the solar light aud heat: and we find also, that the hair is 
almost uniformly influenced by such iucredle of colour, and is pn^Muttonally 
coaner and darker. 


It H of some conNqDance to attend to thU obaerration ; for it may serrs 
to explain a phyaiological fact that hae hitherto been suppoaed of difficuU 

A certain degree of beat, though leas than that of the tropica, appeara 
favourable to increaae of Btature ; and I have already observed, that the tallest 
tribea we are acquainted with aie situated at the back of Gape Horn, and the 
Cape of Good Hope. On the contrary, the most diminutive we are acquainted 
witn ate those that inhabit the coldest regions or the highest mountains in 
the world : such are the Laplanders and Nova Zembliana in Europe, the 
Samoieds, Ostiacs, and^ungooses in Asia, and the Oreentandeis and Esqui- 
maux in America. Such, too, are the Kimoa of Madagascar, if the account 
of these pigmy people may be depended upon, whose native region is staled 
to be the central and highest tracts of the island, forming, according to Com* 
merson, an elevation of not less than sixteen or eighteen hundred fathoms 
above the level of the sea. 

A multitude of discinct tribes have of late years been diacovered in the in- 
terior of Africa, in the midst of the black tribes, exhibiting nothing mme than 
a red or copper hue, with lank black hair. And, in like manner, aroond the 
banks of Ine lower Orinoco, in Mexico, where the climate is much hotter, 
there are many clans of a much tighter hue than those around the banks of 
the Rio Negro, where it is much cooler j and M. Humboldt has hence ven- 
tured to assert Ihat-we have here a full proof that climate produces no t/Beet 
upon the colour of the skin. Such an assertion, however, is far too hasty ( 
for he shouldfirstbavesbowntbatthe thickness of the mucous web or colour- 
ing material is equally abundant in all these instances. For if it be more 
abundant (as it probably is) in the tribes that are swarthiest, we have reason to 
expect that a swarthier colour will be found where there is an equal or even 
a less exposure to solar light and heat ; and we well know that the hair will 
TatT inproportion.* 

11. The eSfects of DimasirT xdids or roan upon the animal system are aa 
extensive and as wonderful as those of different climates. The fineness and 
coarseness of the wool or hair, the firmness and flavour of the fiesti, and 
in some degree the colour of the skin, and extent of the stature, are all influ- 
enoed by the nature of the diet. Oils and spirits produce a peculiar excite- 
ment of the liver ; and tike the calorific rays of the sun, neoally become the 
means of throwing an overcharge of bile into the circulation. Hence the 
sallow and olive hue of many who unduly addict themselves to vinous pota- 
tion, and who at the same time make use of but little exercise. And hence 
also the dsrk and dingy colour of the pigmy people inhabiting hi^ nortliera 
latitudes, to whom we have just adverted, and Whose usual diet consista ot 
fish and other oils, often rancid and offensive. Though it must be admittod 
that this colour is in most instances aided by the clouds of smoke in which 
thev sit constantly involved in their wretched cabins, and the filth and gr«aae 
with which they often besmear their skins. And hence, also, one cause of 
their diminutive stature ; the food they feed on being nnassimilating and in- 
nutritive. Swine and all other animals fed on madder-root, or that of nllium 
verwmor yetlow-ladies-lKd-straw, have the bones themselves tinged of a deep 
red, or yellow : and M. Huber of Lausanne, who has of late years made so 
many valuable discoveries in the natural habits of the honey-bee, has proved 
hhnself able by a diffiirence in the food alone, as indeed Debraw had done loof 
before him,! to convert what is commonly, but improperly, called a neolei 
into a queen bee. 

IIL It would be superfluous to dwell on the changes of body and pace}K 
tive powers produced in the animal system by a DnriaBHCB or ths MASmu 
Aim coBTOMB. We have the most striking proofs of this effect in all the 
domestic animals t>y which we are surrounded. Compare the wild b(R«e 
with the diiciplined ; ttie bison with the ox, which last is usoally regarded am 

HCK^lSOg. ^^ i-i^i~ ia«Pliil.T™nift.lAT.j.U 


tlie biwn in a atata of Umeneu ; and the Siberian argali with the abeep which 
k nid to have spniog' fToia it. Compare the modem Romani with the an- 
cient } llie low cannioK and serrile temper or loo many of the Greek tribes of 
the piaMDt day, that still bend to and kiss the Ottoman rod, with the noble 
eourage and intriotic enthusiasm of their forefathers, who drove baok the 
tyrant of Persia, and his million of men across liie Hellespont, and dashed 
lo piecea tke prond bridge with which he boasted of having conquered the 

It is in reality from Ions and deeply rooted habit alo&e that the black, nd. 
and olive colour of the Ethiopian, American, and Mopils is continued in the 
future lineage for so many generations after their removalinto other parts of 
the world ; and that nothing will, in general, restore the skin to its orif ioal 
fairness but a long succession of intermixtures witb the European vanety. 
It is a singular circumstance that the black colour appears to form a less per- 
manent habit tiian the red or olive ; or, in other words, the colour chieBy pro- 
duced by the action of the sun's coloriGc rays, than that produced by the 
action of its calorific rays : for the children of olive and copber-coloared parent* 
exhibit the parental hue from the moment of birth ; but iti those of Uacka it 
is usually sii, eight, or ten months before the black pigment is fully secreted. 
We aloo sometimes find this not secreted at ail, whence the anomalv of while 
negroes : and sometimes only in interrupted lines or patches, whence the 
anomaly of spotted negroes ; and we have even a few rare cases of negroes 
in America who, in consequence of very severe illnesB, have had the whole 
of the black pigment absorbed and carried off, and a while pigment diffused 
in its stead. In other words, we have instances of a black man being sud- 
denly bleached into a white man. These instances are indeed of rare occur- 
rence: but they ate sufficient to show the absurdity of the argument for a 
plurality of human slocks or species, from a mere diSerence in the colour of 
the skin ; an argument thus proved to be aliosether superficial, and which we 
am gravely assert to be not more than Am-deq). 

It is in consequence of this power in the aysteio, of accreting a dark-co- 
loured pigment under particular circumstances, that we not unfrequcntlv sea 
the skin of a very fair woman, when in a state of pregnancy, changed to a 
deep lawny, and almost lo a black ; and it is hence that the black pigment of 
the eye is perpetually maintained and replenished.* 

Dr. Wells gave a paper to the Royal Society, which was read April 1, 1813, 
containing an account of a woman (Harriet Tresh) " whose left shoulder, 
arm, and hand are aa black as the blackest African's, while all the rest of the 
■kin is very white. She is a' native of Sussex, and the cause she assigns is, 
that her mother set her foot upon a lobster during her preffnancy." €o that 
we have not only instances of blacks being suddenly bleached, but of whites 
being made more or less black, la like manner, confined birds sometimes 
bec<»iB wholly black ; and are said to become so occasionally in the course 
of a single night. So the male kestrel, from being barred on the tail feathers, 
becomes wholly aalMWloured except at the end; and the heron, gidt, and 
others, whose tail is white when matured, are for the first two years mottled. 

IV. But it is probable that a very er^t part of the more' striking distinc- 
tions we hare noticed, and almost all the subordinate variations occasionally 
to be met witb, are the result of a Moaam txa heriditabt irrsonoH. The 
vast infloenee which this recondite but active cause possesses over both the 
body and the mind are known in some degree to every one from facts that 
are daily presenting themselves to us. We see gout, consumption, scro- 
fula, le]vosy, proptwated on various occasions, and madness and fatuity and 
hypochondriacal auctions as frequently. Hence the unhappy race of Albi- 
noes, and whole pedigrees of white negroes ; hence the pigmy stature of 
some families, and the gigantic size of others. 

Even when accident, or a cause we cannot discover, has produced a preter- 
natonl conformation or defect in a particular organ, it is astonishing to 

• CunfenLMt. OB Oonn. Am. Id nfMd 10 Iba nt <tf DnwiB(. 

., Google 


behold how readily it ia ofteo copied by the genenttire principle, uid how to- 
naciouely it adheres to the future lineage. A preternatural defect of the hand or 
foot hat been propaB:ated for many generations, and has in numerous instances 
laid a foundation for the family name. The nameB of Varus and Plautua 
among the ancient Romans afford familiar exempli li cat ions. Hence, homless 
sheep and hornless oxen produce an equally nomle as ofbpring; tlie bioad- 
tailed Astatic sheep yields a progeny with a tail equally monalrow, sod often 
of not less than half a hundred pounds' weight ; and dogs and cats with muti- 
lated tails not unfrequently propagate the casual deficiency. 

There is a very peculiar variety of the sheep kind given in the Phiktsophieal 
Tmnsactions for 1813, by Colonel Humphreys of America, and which the 
American naturalisls liare called from its boned oreibowy legs, ovis jlneon : 
but the common people "the otter breed," from its resemblance to the genft- - 
ral form of the otter, and a rumour that it was at first produced by an unnatural 
in tercoorie between individuals of the two distinct kinds. Its size ia small; the 
full weight being about 46lb., with loose articulations, crooked fore-legs, and 
great feebleness of power ; whence it walks with difficulty, and it therefoi* 

auiet, and not fond of rambling. Accident seems to have produced this kind 
rst, but the form has been most correctly preserved in the progeny ; and so 
tenaciously, that if a common sheep and ancon sheep of either sex unite, the 

J'Oung will be either a perfect ancon, or have no trace of it j ftnd if two ai« 
imbed at the same time, and one be of one variety and the other of tbe other, 
each is found to be perfect in its way, without any amalgamation. 

In like manner, in all probability, from some primary accident resulted the 
peculiarshapeof the head and face in most nations as well as in most families; 
and hence, loo, those enormous prominences on the hinder parts of one or 
two of the nations at the back of the Cape of Good Hope, of which m in- 
stance WHS not long since exhibited in this country with some degree of oat- 
raee on moral feeling. 

Man, then, is not the only animal in which such Tariallons of form sod fea- 
ture occur; nor the animal in which thsy occur either most frequently or in 
the most extraordinary and extravagant manner. 

M. Blumenbach, who has pursued this interesting subject with a livelineaa 
the most entertaining, and a chain of argument the most convincing, has 
selected the swine genus from among many other quadrupeds that would hare 
answered as well, especially the dog and the sheep, in order to institute a com- 
parison of this very Kind ; and he has completely succeeded in showing that 
the swine, even in countries where we have historical and undeniable proofs, 
as especially in America, of its being derived from one common and imported 
stock, exhibits, in its different varieties, distinctions not onlv as numemns 
uid astonishing, but, so far as relates to the exterior frame, of the very same 
kind as are to be met with In the different varieties of the human species. 

In regard to size the Cuba swine, well known, as he observes, to nave been 
imported into that island from Europe, are at the present day double the 
height and magnitude of the stock from which they were hred. Whence we 
may well laugh at every argument in favour of more than one human stock 
or species drawn from the difference of stature in different nations of man. 
In regard to colour they display at least as great a diversity. In Piedmont 
the swine are black ; in Bavaria, reddish-brown ; in Normandy, white. Hu- 
man hair, observes M. Blumenbach, is somewhat different from swine's bri»> 
ties ; yet in the present point of view they may be compared with each other. 
Fair hair is sou, and of a silky texture; black hair is coarser, and often 
woolly. In like manner, among the white swme in Normandy, the biistlea 
on the body are longer and softer than among other awine ; and even thoM oa 
the back, which are usually stouter than the rest, are flaccid, and cannot be 
employed by the brush-makers. 

The whole difference between the cranium of a negro and that of a Etnro- 

Jt greater than that which exists between the c; 
the wild boar ana that of the domestic swine. Those who are in posaeasion 
of Daubenton's drawings of the two, must be aensible of this the fint m^ 


Snt Atf eon^wre th«in together. The peculisritjr waaag the Hjadooa of 
nag tu bono of tba leg remarkably loas, meet« a precise puajlel in tbe 
■wine of Normandy, which aUnd so high on iheir hind tjuarters, that the 
back forms ui ioclioed pdane to the head ; and at the head itself partial of 
ibe Mme direction, the anont ia but lUtle removed from the ground. 

In aome countries, indeed, the swine have degenerated into races that in 
■inpilarity far exceed the moat extravagant variations that have been fouud 
•mong tiw human species. What can differ more widely than a cloven foot 
and a Mlid hoof t yet swine are found with both: tl}G variety trith a aoUd 
hoof was known to the ancients, and still exists in Hungary and Sweden: 
and even tbe common sort that were carried by the Spaniards to the ie]g 
at CidM, in 1609, have since degenerated into a variety with a hoof of the 
wune solid kind, and of the enormous size of not less than half a span in 

' How absurd, Uien, to contend that the distinctions in the different varieties 
•f the human race must have proceeded from a plurality of species, while we 
are compelled to admit thai distinctions of a sunilax xind, but more oumft- 
roils and more eztiavagant, have proceeded from a single species in other 
animals ! 

It maj appear singular, perhaps, that I bave taken* no notice of tbe wide 
difference which is supposed to exist in the intellectual faculties of the dif- 
, Jiarent varieties of man. To confess the truth, I have purposely omitted it; 
beeanse of all the arqnments that bave ever been offered to support the doc- 
trine of different ppecies, this appears to me tbe feeblest and most superficial. 
It may suit thenarrawpnrposeof aslave<merchant, — of a trafficker m human 
fiervea and muscles, — of a wretch who, in equal defiance of the feelings and 
the laws of the day, has the impudence to offer for sale on the polluted shores 
at onr own country, in-one and the same lot, as was the ease not long since, 
a dead cameleopard and a living Hottentot woman : — it may suit their purpose 
lo introdnce sneb a distinction into Iheir creed, and to let it constitute the 
whole of their creed, bat it is a distinction too trifling and evanescent to claim 
the notice of a physiologist for a moment. 

Tlw variable talents o7 the mind are as propagable as the variable features 
of the body, — how, or by what means, we know not, — but tbe fact is incon- 
trovertible. Wit and dulness, genius and idiotism, run in direct streams from 
generation to generation i and hence the moral character of families, of tribes, 
of whole nations. The understanding of the negro race, it is admitted, ia 
in many tribes strikingly and habitually obtuse. It has thus, indeed, been 
ptopagated for a long succession of ages ; and, till Uie negro mind receives 
a new turn, till it becomes caltivaied af d called forth into action by some 
such benevolent stimulus as that which is now abroad generally, and espe- 
cially such as is afforded it by the African Institution of our own country (an 
eatanlisbinenl that ought never to be mentioned without reverence), the same 
obtnseness must necessarily continue, and by a prolongation of the habit, 
may, perhaps, even increase. But let the man who would argue from this 
dngie fact, that the race of negroes must be necessarily an inferior species, 
distinct from all the rest of the world, compare the taste, the talents, the 
genius, the erudition, that have at diff'erent periods blazed forth in different 
uidividuals of this despised people, when placed under tbe fostering prori- 
dence of kindness luid cullivation, with his own or those of the generality erf 
his own countrymen, and let him bluah for the mistake he has made, and the 
injury he has committed. 

Preidig, of Vienna, was an excellent srcbilect, and a capital perfonner on 
tbe violin ; Hannibal was not only a colonel of artilleir in the Russian service, 
but deeply skilled in the mathematical and physicu sciences ; so, too, was 
Listet, of the tsle of France, who waa in consequence made a member of 
tbe French Academy; and Arno, who was honoured with a diploma of 
doctor of philosophy bv the university of Wurtemberg, in 1734. Let us add 
to these the names of Vasa and Ignatius Sancho.wboae taste and genius haTS 
enriched the polite literature of our own country] and, wUhauob eujoplss 


of negro powen before lu, ii it powihie to do otherwiw than adopt tlw wny 
just oMerr&tion of « very qntdnt orator, nho hu told ui that tfaa " BBgrOi 
like the white man, ia still God's tmage, although carred in ebony r* 

Nor is it to a few casual individutJs among the black tiibea, appesringm 
distant countries, and it distant eras, that wc have to look for the cletnst 
proofs of humaji intelligence. At this raomeat, scattered like their own 
oases, their islands of beautiful verdure, over the eaetem and western deserts 
of Africa, multitudes of little principalities or negroes are still ezistiof, — 
multitndes that have, of late years, been detected and are still detecting, 
whose national virtues would dohonourlothe most polished states of Gunqw: 
vhile at Timbocloo, stretching deepest towards the east of these princi- 

Sities, from the western coast, we meet, if we raay credit the accounts we 
'e received, with one of the wealthiest, perhaps one of the most popnloos 
and best governed cities in the world ; its sovereign s negro, its army 
negroes, its people neeroes ; a city which is the general mart for the com- 
merce of western AfricB, and where trade and manufactores aeem to be 
equally esteemed and protetited.* 

We know not the antiquity of this kingdom : but there can be no doubt of 
its having ajostdaim^o a very high orieio: and it is possible that, at the very 
period in which Our own ancestors, as described by Julius Cesar, were naked 
and smeared over with paint, or merely clotiied with the skins of wild beasts, 
livin^in huts, and worshipping the misletoe, the black kingdom of Bambarra, 
of wEieh Timbuctoo is the capital, was as completely establisbed and floorisb- 
ingas st the present n 

Bambareens, like the Chinese, nearly in a stationary state for, perfaapit, up- 
wards of two thousand years, and has enabled the rude and painted Britons 
to become the first people of the world — the most renowned for arts and for 
arms — for the best virtues of the heart and the best faculties of the under- 
standing? Not a difference in the colour of the skin; — but, first, the peculitr 
favour of tbc Almighty: next, a political constitution, which was sighed for 
and in some deeree prefigured, by Plato and Tully, but regarded as a mastep- 

Siiece, beyond the power of human acccomplishment ; snd, lastly, a fond and 
□storing cultivation of science, in every ramification and department. 
Amid the uproar and ruin of the worid around us, these are blessings 
vhich we still possess ; and which we possess almost exclusively-t Vet us 
prize them as tney deserve ; let ua endeavour to be worthy of them. To the 
peat benefit resulting from literature and mental cultivation the age is, 
mdeed, thoroughly awake ; and it is consolatory to turn from the sickening 
scenes of the Continent, and Rx ih^eye in this point of view upon our own 
native spot; to behold the ingenuous minds of multitudes labouring with the 
desire of nseful knowledge ; to contemplate the numerous temples that are 
rising all around us, devoted to taste, to ^nius, to learning, to the libertl 
arts; and to mark the generous confederacies by which they are supported 
and embellished. 
In this little school of philosophy, surrounded by walls that w 

bn ftrlte most put nifn»,MunBHi modi of OMAnb hnqMHiv, uS pUa tt«Hln* <■ Ms| 
■MHn U Miopn. ^ MUM of s mUHUrtan MM sod ■«■« of bbra, rM (kidUr ta ^la tt 
In trilW Tf TTin^— ". ^"' <* — rj —•—■—, ■- —-" i- g— -t—- — «- a—i—j -.m™*.*—. Tm 
■ilis» IIWSMM, liitem, iiiliHiliiitlii llH nukHHiluM ind In tag ■triMa.nSielHitlTladliaMad^cacfe 
taltUiiilbMfkiUMdfiiltodnsoriilinapNtAainiBUT. TDan to ■ pa*tl ulamtlM !■ nvun if 
MH0m , mMftm fl twm. n arMat lanulMniUTSiiriDf torlUnaorikaMBdiB^^^aa 

I — iii'f r-iriiaiiiiw ■iliimn, iJihBdTlliBrlmsS im diiictefJidSirsliMSiSOsa 

t Tk* Lmsmwu MInndVlSll. 

ON WBTraCT. Sit 

ttdied With thsehoiceat coUectiona, and the rarert curiositiea of nature,f but 
which, from a concurrence of advene circiims lances, mnst have fallen into 
nuns, hsd not 70U, with laudable patronage, interposed, redecorated the 
■inkinf edifice, and made it once more echo to (he voice of instruction and 
atuAf ^here, where the geniua of Science has resumed tbe posseseion of 
bie aimple throne, and is once more thronged by a numerous train of atten- 
tive Totariea — here more especially may 1 address these observations without 
incurring the charge of rhapsody 01 extravagance. — Long may bo promising 
an Institution dourish ! soundly may it be cultivated ! and of iterliug value 
be the harvests that it produces ! 


TloxxB an various actions, and trains of actions, occasionally to be met 
with among mankind, but more frequently and more strikingly among other 
animals, wnich indicate the employment of definite means to obtain a definite 
end, without the intervention of that chain of thought which characterizes 
reoMN, and which have hence been ascribed to a distinct principle, that has 
been distinguished by the name of imtinct. 

Such, in the new-bom infant, and, indeed. In (he young of all mammalian 
•ttimals, is the act of bunting out for the mother's milky food, and of suck- 
ing with a perfection which can never be acquired in subsequent life. Such 
is the whole process of nestling or nidifleation among birds ; the periodi- 
cal ctutnge 01 salt for fiesh water among the sturgeon, salmon, and oUier 
fishes j and; anuMig insects, the formation of the exquisite decoy-lines (rf 
the spider, and the nice masooij of the bee, and of the termes btUieonu or 
white ant. 

The common fact admits of no dispute t the modes of accounting for It 
have been various, and in the utmost degree nnsatisfactory. In a general 
survey they may be resolved into three classes : first, those hypotheses which 
ascrilio the whole to the operation of body alone ; secondly, those which 
ascribe it to mind alone ; and, thirdly, those which derive it from a substance 
of a mediate nature between the twoi or attribute il partly to the one and 
partly to the other. 

In pursuing this highly interesting subject, I shall first briefiy notibe the 
principal opinions which have been offered upon it, in the order thus laid 
down, and point out their irrelevancy : and then propose a new theory, and 
explain the grounds upon which it is founded, 

1. It was the opinion of Des Cartes that brutes are mere mechanical ma- 
chines ; that they have neither ideas nor sensalioQ ; neither pain nor plea- 
sure; and that their outcries under puDisbment, and their alacrity in pxa. 
sning an enemy or devouring a meal are produced by the very same sort of 
forcCt which, exerted upon the different keys of an oi^an, compels its respecl- 
ive pipes to give forth different sounds. And a great part of the Cardinal 
Polignac's very elegant I^tin poem, entitled An ti- Lucretius, is written in 
direct support of this most whimsical hypothesis. I shall, perhaps, have 
occasion to examine it somewhat more at targe in a snbseauent study : for 
the present it may In sufficient to observe that, in spite of all the philosoi^ 
in the world, the. coachman to this hour has whipped, and will yet continue 
to whip, his horses, the huntsman to halloa his hounds, and the bird-trainer 
to sing or whistle to his bullfinches ; though if tlie whcde wen men meclw- 

■iBi MBHnB, ud «eMd Itt OM pnosi. 




uical machinea, tbe; might u well wbipAe gandB, halloo to lbs wtvti, and 

whistle to the winds. 

Under this view of the subject all instinctive actioni were of coqim re- 
fened to a principle o( bod^, or gross langibis inatter, not endowed with 
peculiar or exclusive properties ; and wherever any thins of the aame d» 
acription was to be found among mankind, it was instantly separated from 
all connexion with inteliigenue, and referred to the same source. 

The JDcongTuities accompanying this hypothesis have not, however, nre- 
Tented other philosophers from following it to a certain latitude in modem 
times, although it has been seldom, perhaps never of late days, pursued to th« 
extent contended for by Des Cartes. The ideas of Dr. Reid, who has ex- 

risly written upon this sutiject, do not appear to be very perspicuous : yet 
Dbviously espouses the doctrine of a mechanical principle of animal 
actions ; and the actions which are resolvable into this principle are, in his 
opinion, of two kitids, — those of instinct, and those of habit. Instinct ia wilA 
him, therefore, as well as with Des Cartes, a property of body or gross matter 
alooet unendowed with any peculiar powers, and merely operated upon by a 
combination of mechanical forces, 

n. In direct opposition lo this corporeal hypothesis, Mr. Smellie and Dr. 
Duwia have contended that instinct is altogether a mental principle, the 
bmte tribespossessingan intelligent faculty of the very same nature aslnan- 
fcind, thoi^h more limited in its range. From this point, however, these two 
phyaiologists disagree, and fly off in opposite directions ; the former contend- 
ing that reason is the result of instinct," and the latter that instinct is the 
result of reason. In the promplilude and perfection with which the new- 
bom infant seeks out and sncka its mother's breast, Dr. Darwin asserts that, 
although Uw chain of thought nhich directs it to the accomplishment of its 
object ts concealed from the view, it still exists ; and he endeavours to fallow 
it up and develope it^ in which, however, it is not worth while to accompany 
him, for the whole process, even upon his own showing, is so complex, that it 
Winild nther require the genius of an adult Newton to untold it, than yield to 
tile dawning powers of a new-t>oTn infant. 

I will Just observe, that in various cases of the instinctive facnity the moat 
excursive theorist cannot picture to his imagination any thing like a chain ot 
ftought, or previous reasoning; any thing like habit or imitation, by which tbe 
means and the end are joined together. Let us take, as an example, the very 
commiminstanceof a brood of young ducks brought up under a hen, and 
contrary to all the instincts and feelings of the foster-mother, plunging snd- 
denlv into the water, while she berselftrembles piteously on the brink of the 

Sana, not daring to pursue them, and expecting every moment to see them 
rowTied. By what kind of experience or observation, by what train ot 
tiionfffat or reasoning has the scarcely fledged brood been able to discern that 
a web-foot fits them for swimming, and that a Gesuied foot would render them 
incapable t — a knowledge that mankind have only acquired by long and re- 
peated contemplation, and which has never been fully explained to this hour. 


^ 8a,p.igt, "homa* 

MHWtowuiilUiBliMliietainiirWBitqadMotfnitnl; ihMnwT 

iluH naUitia ; Out Uh imalUnnea iM !*««■•■ of ntanla >ra biibbi. 

>■ wlA wHleb iMr nmite am Mdnnd : IkU sU uilm^ «»,£«» 

_„ — ._ , — 1 an iha difiiky uid nparlMity at ibg liwun liii«n«i i» il»— "■ 

^Md 10 eoBttrta Um spadB.* 

IOB.lHfe«,aiUkBaiBMiiH',BnltandindddiriaiMUitlai.u lu liu *liDn eoolbiindrf InidiM v 
Ma£ "flMMlM^'' sirslw, "InpUaiaanitiHitprlnclnleiw mlml — 
OrcawM, as IMNM 9«lai of ubnla (n mdgind lAh raliid.'' 

t''BTiaaUMatlnw ibm dKm 
imifmnmtt*rlie^lif!Utiitet,^...„ __■ 

C&SwC-XDDaoa. Lwt.1f?a,V "SnttMOab* tMoL, 

•^ WaUMlaqa flM ibnod ofyMmc out* «UI he llw pnidBOt • Iba m 

ON rasTINCT. ta 

B^lt, imitation, and instniction would all concur in tflwhing tbem to flee 
from the water, aa a source of inevitable deatruction : and yet, in orooailion 
to all these inSuencea and premonitiona, we see thorn rush into it, and harm- 
leasly : we see tliem obeying an irresistible impulK, whieli directs them to 
what is fitting', stamped in tne interior of their little frameB, and wliich is 
aqually remote from the laws of mind and of mechanism. 

In like manner, by what process of imitation, education, or reaconin; does 
the nnt>weevil (curculio twatm) seek ont exclusively, aiid with the nicest 
knowledge of the plant, the green hazel in the month of Au^st, while it* 
nnt-aliell is j^et son and easily penetrable ! What past experience or oours* 
of argument inatructs her that this is the fruit best adapted, or perbapa only 
adapted, to the digestive powers of her future progeny t With « finiihed 
knowledge of her ut, as aoon as she is prepared to deposite her egga, sbe 
aingles out a nut, pierces it with her protxwcis, and then, turning round ao> 
enralely, drops an egg into the minute perforation; having accomplished 
which, she paseea on, ineroea another nut, dropa another egg, and so coiv- 
tinuea tQ] she has ezhaoated her entire atock. The nut, not essentially in> 
Jured, continuea to grow. The egg ia aoon hatched; the voung Urre or 
maffgot flnda ita foodalready riprat^and in waiting for it ; ana aliout the Urn* 
of Its fuU growth, falla with the mature nut to Uie ground, and at lengll^ 
creep* out oy gnawing a circular hole in the side. It then burrowa under the 
surface of the ground, where it continues dormant for eight monlhe, at the 
lennination of which time it casts its akin, commences a chirealis of the 
general ahape and appearance of the beetle kind, and in the bednniBg of 
August throws off the chrysalid invesunem, creeps to the eurface of the 
ground, finds itself accwnmodated widi winp, becomes an inhabitant of the 
air, end instantly pursues the verv same tram of actions to provide for n qeT 
pngtay which had been poraoed oy the parent insect of the year before. 

In all such cases it ia clear that there li a princiide implanted in ibe living 
form equally diatinct from all mechanical, cbenucal, and tatjona) powers 
which directs the agent by an unerring impose, or, tat other words, impels it 
by a prescribed and unerring law, to accomidish a definite end by a deOnlM 

Such instinctive powers are not only allowed npou Hr. Smellie's bypor 
thesia, but are conceived to be almost innumerable; and teasoB. instew at 
giving birth to them, is, in his opinion, as I have already observed, ths general 
reault of them, and consists in the power of comparing one instinct with - 
another, end assenting to those that preponderate. According to this hypo- 

Mincto, as pulsation, digestion, secretion; all natural feelins> we so manr 
instincts, as love of life, dread of death, and the desire of progeny) all las 

passions aie so many instincts, as fear, hope, envy, benevcrience, revereaoe, 
superstition, devotion ; and hence life is nothing more than a bundle of isr 
sttncte ;* and reason, which is itself founded upon an instinctive prino^At, 
consists, as T have just observed, of noltiing more than a power or teodeney 
to eompare the different strengths of these antagonist forces whenever they 
are brought into a state of action, and to be guided by those that are preiwk 
lent; or that ofl^r what is felt or conceived to be the best means of obtaioiflf 
B proposed end. The objections to which this bynothesM is ezponed, m 
rather the evils chargeable upon it, are innumerable ; but it is suficieiU to obr 
serve, at present, that it as effectually confounds the separste facaUie* of 
instinct and reason as the preceding hirpotheais of Dr. Darwin, Md, cooapr 
qtientlr,^tneitheraf the two opinions are in anyrespeot mote atvnissiMe 
(nan those which refer the instinctive faculty to a maehaiuc^ piiaeipia, 9b 
ia other words, to the common properties of unorganized matter. 

III. There ia a tiiird class of phuoeopheis, who, aenaihle of the diOotiUy 
of Uie case, have endeavoured to get over it by contending that imtiMU tf» 
9t*w^ui*taii ttat they either originate in a power wfaish holdt m mm- 

ml. T. p. M. 

iv:-^..s..v Google 


mediBte nature betwem matter and mind; or else are in loine Inrtances 
aimply material, and in otbera simply mental. 

■ Tlie »ery excellent and learned Cudworth belonged to the first of tbeao 
two divisions, and mav be regarded as havine taken the lead in the Mbeme 
which it developes. I hav« already observed, in a former study, that (hia 
profound nietapnyiician was eo strongly attached to ihe Platonic theory of 
Uie creation' of the world, that he strove, with the full force of hia migh^ 
mind, 10 restore this theory to general Togue. And as it was one inqiortant 
principle in this theory that incorporeal form, or an active and plastic nature, 
exists throDghont the world independently of pure mind and pure mattef.aod 
tbat the last is solely rendered visible and endowed with manifest propertiea 
try a union with this active intermede, Cudworth conceived Uiat all iiutinct- 
ive powers might be satisfactorily resolved into the operation of tbe sanM 
vecondary energy in proportion as it pervades the universe.* In oppoaiticu 
to which doctiine, however, it is sufficient to remark, that as the existence of 
all visible matter, whether organized or unorganized, upon the leading prin- 
ciple of the Platonic theory, is^quaJly the result of this plaatic power, and 
produced by a union with it, it should follow that unorganized matter ought 
occasionally at least to give proofs of an instinctive faculty, as well as- matter 
in an orgamzed state ; proofs of definite means to accomplish a definite rad, 
' and that end the general weal, preservation, or reproduction of die hody ex- 
hibiting it. But as, by the common nonsent of all mankind, no such iMultr 
. hi ever to be tncei in unorganized matter, it cannot be referred to a piincl- 
[de which is eq^ually common and essential to all visible mattar, whether 
under an organized or on unorganized ui vd ideation. 

At the head of the second division of the last class of philosopher* to whom 
I have referred, we may perhaps place M. Buflbn ; who, incapable of acced- 
ing altogether to the mechanical hypothesis of EMs Cartes, yet not chooe- 
in^ to silot to animald below the rank of man the possession of an mtelligent 

Kinciple, kindly endowed them with the property of life, which Dei Cartes 
d morosely withheld by contending that tney were mechanical machines 
alone, and very obligingly allowed them to possess.a faculty of distinguish- 
ing between pleasure and pain, together with a general desire for the lonner 
and a general aversion for the latter. And having time equipped the different 
tribes of brutes, he conceived that he had sufficiently accouqted far the ex- 
istence of instinctive actions, by leaving them to the opemtion of this dialin- 
ffuishing faculty upon the mechauical properties of their respective organs. 
H. Reimar, however, an ingenious German professor, who fiourished towards 
the close of the last century, did not conceive in the same manneF: and 
hence, in a woik immediately directed to the instinct of animals, and put>- 
lished at Hamburgh in 1769, hedivides the actions which he apprehends ought 
to pass under this name into three classes— mechanical, representative, and 
spontaneous : by Ihe first kitending all the proper actions of animal organs 
over which the will has no eontrof, as the pulsation of the heart, the secretion 
of the various fluids, and the dilatation of the pupil; by the second, those 
which depend upon an imperfect kind of memory, and which, so far as it ia 
menuHy, brutes enjoy in common with mankind; and by the third, those 
which originate from M. Buffon's admitted faculty of distinguishing pleasnra 
from pain, and the desire consequent upon it of possessing Uie one aad avoid- 
ing the other. 

It is, however, a sufficient answer to both these ophiion*, which in troth 
are founded upon one common basis, that, like tbe theories of Darwin and 
Smellie, th^ eaually confound, though in a different manner, powers that 
•te easentiaUy distinct. The founders of these opinions may, with Darwin 
and Smellie, derive the instinctive faculty from a principle of mind, or with 
Des Cartes and Dr. Reid from a principle of body ; but they have no ri^^t to 
^itv * it lh>m both, or to contend that its different ramifications originate in 
wnw instances froin the t>neaource,andin others from the Othsr: tbong^W 

3c,r.z6doy Google 

ON msrmcT. tis 

I btn Blnady obwired, if the^ do deriTs it fh>in toiud alone, Hbay will ba 
cotnpelled to admit its existence in a thottsaod cawi in which not a noj^ 
aUriDiUe or mind c«a be traced ; while, if they derive it from body alonei thef 
offer a canse that ia inadequate to the effect produced. 

H. Cnvier baa taken a ground still different from any of these pbiJoMphen. 
He haanot, indeed, expresaly written upon the subject, but in a veiV accumto- 
deaenptioD of a somewhat eiligiilu' ouTans-outang,* ha anfflciently unfolds 
bis tmuion, that instinct consists of ideas which do not originate from sensa- 
tion, nnt flow immediately from the brain, and are truly innate. His wards 
are as follows : " The understanding may have ideas ^vithout the aid of tba 
senses; two-thirds of the brute creation are moved by ideas whicbtherdonot 
owe to their sensations, but which flow immediately from their bram. In- 
stinct constitutes this order of phenomena : it is composed of ideas trvljr 
innate, in which the senses have never bad the smallest share." llien is s 
perplexity in this passage, which I am surprised at in the writings of so exact 
• pnysiologist : it first confounds instincts with ideas, as other jdiilosopbera 
bare confounded ttiein with feelings ; and next affinns that ideas may flow 
from the brain without the aid of tbe external senses. That " the wMientouI- 
M^" may have ideas without the aid of tbe senses," I admit ; but then it can- 
Dot have them from tbe brain, this being the very foundation and fonntaia of 
the senses ; that from which they rise, and that in which tbey termioale. 
Tbe imderstanding may, undoubtedly, have ideas from the exetcisa of its 
own proper powers alone, but this can only be the ease with pore inteUectnal 
beings, and to assimilate the faculty of instinct with a faculty of this -exalted 
diaracter, is to clothe brutes with endowments superior to. those of mankind; 
tt is to elevate the ourang-outang above an Aristotle or a Bacon. 

Hence H. Dapont de Nemours, in. sn article read before tbe National 
Institute in 1807, advises to drop the term instinct altogether, as the only 
means of avoiding tbe Tocjfcs on some of which every writer has shipwrecked 
himself. He asserts, that there is in fact no such thing in existence ; and that 
everv action which has hitherto been described under such name is the mere 
result of intelligence, of thouf^t, habit, example, or the association of ideas. 
But this is only to revive, in a new form, the theory of Darwin or of SmelUe; 
while it is onlv necessary to advert to the explanatory examples offered by H, 
Duponi himself, to see that many of thmn are utterly incapable, b^ any in- 
genuity whatever, of being resolved into a principle either of intelligence or 
of mecnanism.f - . 

Nothing, therefore, is clearer than that the [Hinctple of instinct has 
hitherto never been explicitly pointed out, nor even the term itself precisely 
defined : it has been derived from mechanical powers, from mental powers, 
from Imth together, and from an imaginary intermediate essence, supposed 
•qnatly to pervade all imbodied matter, ana to give it form and structure. It 
bas been made sometimes to include the sensstions, sometimes tbe psssions, 
- sometimes tbe reason, and sometimes the ideas: it has sometimes been re 
strieted to animals, and sometimes extended to vegetable life.} 


■OtfMt, Id «Uek bi ubn ■ ; 

Tiii»iiMriiiiii*i|iiiiin.riii iimr I ir 

1 Dr.'^UMMk tm imnj paUMiad any iMonn ntaH iqn tUm i 
vl«>ar)b*tB*a»altnpo«*narulBds,uiilla kilMl^nHl loillow 

■ irirlkaliivddilkf >U>ft<allr(tramni,liUHniiMv«rls wl 

«BbMa2«dlBMaptlMlplcii,iiMnlHnM«lteall]'.l^ oTi 

' ' mnr, Ismail tiKUiu, isl 

■ Mallifnco ^iDbU 

™ rf WAm WW— - ■- ' 



B go^MtfTaMM^jdUl 

.. , , . Jlrdo,froniki> 

ovBKaAtf IkBliMIMttnlknilrlaMtlnwniuk-' — 

Dr. B^codkB InUn anc ■■ oUB^n innDd 
OMllmt i^ilt wU wtuh b* wrtua «nlll« Ob uu 

i l ■ ! ■ I llj Tlill- In' ' - ^ 

■laa* ft<a ttaa tlifSm mtft Oatftrnfi 


Ibder thnt eircamitanoet I shall beg TOur oandid attention to a new visW 
of tbe subject, and & view that may tend to give ua a more deflnite idea of the 
miore of the action, and conseqiieatly of the extent and real meaning of tbs 

In an early lecture of the preceding series* I endeavoared to point out the 
eominiKi or eiaential, and many of tlie pecaliar, propertiee of inorganic matJi 
teri and in a nbaeqnent studyf I attempted to lay down the more prominent 
ebaracten by which inorganic iadistinguiBhed Trom organic matter, as a jitone, 
for exam^e, from a. [dant or an animal. I obaerved thai, on investigating the 
hiltory of the atone, it wonld be found to have been produced fortuitously ; 
to have grown by external accretion, nnd only to be destructible by cliemical 
or mechanical means : while, on investigating the history of the plant or the 
animal, il would be found to have been produced by generation ; tu have 
frown by nutrition, or internal instead of external accretion; and to bo 
deatmctible by death ; to be actuated by an internal power, and possessed of 
ports mutually dependent, and contributing to each other'a functic»s. I ob- 
■erved farther, that in what this internal power cooaiata we know not ; that la 
plants and animals it appears to be somewhat differently modified, but that 
wherever we meet with it we term it the pbihcipu or i-nra, and characteri e 
the individual substance it actuates by the name of an organized being, fnta 
ita posaeaaion of oi^anized parts, in contradistinction to ul thi>se substances 
whicb ire deatitnte as well of life as of internal organs, and which are hence 
denominated tmorganixed. 

Upon Siwther occasion I took a brief survey of the chief theories which 
have been oSiBred upon the nature of this mysterious and fugitive essence i^. 
■ which I observed was altogether a distinct principle from that of thought, 
and from that of sensation, for both these must also be kept distiDgoisned 
ftom each other, I remarked, that in modem times il had at one period been 
said to be derived from caloric, thennogen, or the elementary matter of heat, 
at it exists in the organized system, Irum the well ascertamed importance 
of this substance (if it be a substance) towards the perfection, and even con> 
tinnance, of all the vital functions : that at another time il was, for the same 
reason, su[)posed to consist of oxygen introduced into the sj'stem by every 
act of inspiration ; and still more lately of the Toltalc aura, in consequence 
of those wonderful effects which this aura is now well known to produce on 
Om mascular fibres of animals, not only during life, but often for some hoars 
after death has taken place.' I remarked farther, that Mr. John Hunter had 
traced this living princiole to many of the organized fluids, as well as to tho 
■olids; and that he had especially developed il in the blood, whicb, eoinci- 
dently with the Mosaic declaration, he believed to be its immediate seat. 
" Tbe ditBculty," observes he, " of conceiving that the blood is endowed with 
life while circulating, arises merely from its being a fluid; and the mind not 
being accustomed to the idea of a living fluid."^ And I observed, that by a 
variety of important and well-defined experiments, this enterprising and inde- 
fetigaole indagator had succeeded in proving, not only Aat it contnbntes in a 
greater degree to the vital action and to tbe vital material of the general sya- 
lem than any other constituent part of it, whether solid or fluid, but has all 
the essential properties of life ; that it is capable of being acted upon, end 
eontiaoUng, like the muscular fibre, upon the application of an appropriate ati- 
muloa, as atmospheric air, for example ; on wnich occasion it Meomes con- 
stringed into that cake or coagulum which every one must have beheld in 
blood drawn from the arm ; that in all degrees of atmospherical temperature, 
of beat or cold, whicb the body is capable of enduring, it maintains an 

_-, , wUllDflT: «ad a ilWD kc- 

■MDM till nit^ prliidplt 1 Ua dl'liw nvnialln-: Ua unrwtinf biilp ; 1 llfU 10 A IM, nla iBMdt 


i Bm7 OD Uia Blud, Ac |lK. 



mmlilr in its own temperatan with scarcelr any TariaUim : tbit in tiw mm 
orpanlyticlimbiit ia tte only power that continoea vitality in them tnd pce- 
■erreB them from corruption : that though not vascalar itsell^ it it oapaUs 
by ita owd energy at producing new veaaeli out of ila Awn sobstaaeoi ami 
reiaela, too, of every description, lymphatics, arteries, and eren nerrea ; aad, 
flnaily, that thourii, like the muscular fibre, it is capahle of contracting opoa 
the application of a certain degree of appropriate atimuloa, like the mnicalir 
fibre, alao, it ia inntaDtly exhaualed of ita *ita] power whenever anch atimolna 
ii exceaaive ; and that the stroke of lightning which destroys the moacnlar 
fibre and leaves it daccid and incontraclile, deslroya likewise the blood, and 
lea*ea it loose and incoagulable. 

In every organized system, then, whether animal or vegetable, and in every 
part of BU(^ system, whether solid or fluid, we trace an evident proof of that 
controlling and identifying power which physiologisla have denominated, and 
with much pro]»iety,tlie paiHcvLB or Lira. Of its. cause and nature we know 
no (Dore than we do of the caoae and nature of gravitation or magneliim. It 
is neither essential mind nor eaaential matter; it is neither paaaion nor aenaa^ 
tlon ; bat, though nnqnestionabty distinct from all these, is capable of com- 
bining with any of them : it is possessed of its own book of laws, to whiob. 
under the same circumatancH, it adheres without the smallest deriattoni 
and ita sole and oniform aim, whether acting generally or locally, is thai of 
health, preservation, or reproduction. The agency by which it operates ia 
that which we denominate or should denominate ikbtinct, and the actions by 
which its sole and uoiform sim ia accomplished are what we mean or ahonld 
meanbynamnnm AonoHs; or, to apeak somewhat more pnciaely, lastiaot 
is the operation of the living principle, whenever manifntly directing its 
operations to the health, preservation, or reproduction of a hving franw, or 
any part of soch frame.* 

T&» law of instinct, then, is the law of the living prineipls; iostiocttvo 
actions are the actions of the living principle ; and either is that power irtiicll 
dwracterislically distingnis'heB organised from unorganised matter, and psr> 
vades and regulates the former as gravitation pervades and r«galales the laU 
ler, uniformly operating by definite means, in definite circumstances, to Ibe 
general welfare of the individual system or of its separate organs ; advueinf 
them to perfection, preserving them in it, or laying a fonnda^oo for their i»- 
prodnction, as the nature of the case may require. It appliea equally to plants 
and to animals, and to every part of the plant as well as to every part of tho 
animal, so long aa such pan continues alive-f It is this which maintains from 
age to ag«, with so much nicety and preciaton, the distinctive characters of dif- 
fwent kmda and species ; which, as is noticed in aprccoding study, carries off 
the waste or worn out matter, supplies it with newj: and in a thooaand ii^ 
staneea suggests the mode of cure, or even effecte the cure itself, in cases of 
injury or disease. It is " the divinity that atira within ua" of St^ j the vis ro^ 
dieatTix natune of Hoffman and CuUen,^ and the physiciaua of oar own day. 
It Is hence the strawberry travels from spot to spot, and the cod or the cockoOt 
with a wider nsfce, from shore to shore, or from climate to climate.| 

•1ML«nn*MMtmdJtaBBiT, 18U; ■iilllr.K*iihiiaTtuiteT,IMHi<MrT.lllt,t«lama- 
iM* jmft nad Mtm tb* LUmM Suddji Id fUCh, llks ita pnHH ayxua, ha sfvoa Mr. KBlffeft 
iw ii a wit «f pntwlgn «■ Ite an-s or As jkbUb alniiln ud kOob of itun, wl couortna am 
'AttlntOmiotat iHmiailtaai mttett tl't\nu aim b» MMnd tau aoiftH* kHMM shMv 
■MlifM^ aad (iMllT loniitkiUt iriib sMmI lB«tML-^-SM TkMtnM Am «r FMlBa. wL UL r. Tf, 

tMf. K»ls>a,wWhlwf tii l i uu » »f rwoMnc ilw rtntW* oT nvMibteMOn 1Mb entrtpMl 
fti«,hH>>i«nihHtttnpflrpluia,a*HBiMalailM lM>«i of pMaua wrfBlai, Md Ife* )*■•« wa 
Moon of ibg wlm, piimiwi wlui bt alia o>(iuilt(Ma mttic ; and *Ma piuaanl la a h 
Mi4lwHlpr(id<«btfkacirn>ntaiNo»orlaanrika.iicu1aaHBn«n^aiid apdnnw n 
nu.TnH.inCii.Mk TtawMXe, naalta laiandauVinal'pBlrMiaaiinmMlVaiB 

___! . — .. . '-wgflm«)Ki,Uiaal»gfwKb !•■—-■ 

b all** M Ua HDOd of an 

af M* mWB, Dr. DwwH anlkaa ibta atrao«llMq> *aal* 


naion, it u perpeti 
i anezunple or two from both the vegetable and lh« animal wmid. 

In Mderthat the aesda of plants should [mNluce and perfect tbeir reapectira 
kindai it ia Meeaaaiy that iheir-ahDotB should ritte to the surface of the earth 
to eitjoy Um benefit of light and air. Now in whatever direction the eye of a 
tMd, iKMU which cennination fiist ndiatea, is placed, these shoots ascend 
eqatdlf ta> the surnice, either in curved or straight lines, according as each 
ucmt may be moet easily aecom[diahed. Mr. John H unter sowed a quantity 
or peaM and beana with their eyes placed in difierent directions, in a tub, 
wbicb he afterward inverted, so that the bottom wu turned uppennost while 
the mould was {nvvented from falling out by a fine nett Ana in order that 
the under surface might possees a superior stimulus of light and heat to the 
UM>er, he placed looaing-glassea around the mouth of the tuh in such a way 
Aat a mtiMi stronger li^t was reflected upon the inverted mould than that of 
tfaedinctnysofuieaun; while at the same time he covered the bottom of the 
tub with itraw and mats to prevent the mould in this direction from hein^ af- 
feeled by solar influence. Yet the sRme instinctive law of ascent still prevuled. 
AAer waiting a considerable length of time, and perceiving that no shoots had 
protruded through the lower surface of the moiud, he examined the contenta 
of the tub, and found that they had aU equally presaed upwards, and wen 
nuking their way through the long ci^uino of mould above tbem, towards the 
revmaed bottom of the vessel ; and that where the eyes had been placed 
downwards, the young shoots had turned round so as to take the same direo- 
tion. As one experiment leads on to another, he determined to try the eSect 
of i4acing other seeds of the same kinds in a tub to which a rotatory motion 
ahonld be given, so that every part of it might be equally and aliemately 
unMrmost, and the seeds shoidd have no a(»anlage id one direction over 
anotiier. Here, as we often behold in other cases, the instinctive principle 
of accommodation was baffied by a superior power, and the different shoota 
instead of ever turning ronnd uniformly adhered to a straight line, except 
where they met with a pebble or anyotber resistance, when lh^ made acurre 
to avoid such obstruction, and then resumed a straight line in the direction 
into which they were thereby thrown, without ever endeavouring to retuitt 
to the original path. 

Among animals we have vaiiooa proofs of a like impulse, and we hare also 
proofs Of its being occasionally; overpowered by a stronger cause. Thus, in 
cases of eruptive fever, there is an obvious effort of the instinctive princiide 
to throw the morbific matter towards the surface of the body, where tt can do 
least mischief. ' And where a deep-seated abscess has formed in the immo- 
diate neighbourhood of a cavity that cannot be opened into without great 
danger, as that of the chest or the stomach, the same instinctive princi|d« 
of preservation leads forward the action in a different direction, tbongh, as in 
the experiment of the bean-seeds in the inverted tub, with mncb greater 
labour and difficulty; and the abscess at length opens externally; and the 
remedial proceaa of the formation of new living matter which immediatdy 
succeeds, commences under the same mysterious guidance. If, in the course 
of this common tendency to the smface, an obstructive cause be encountered, 
of superior force to the instinctive principle itself, the latter, as in the experi- 
ment of the beans exposed to the action of a rotatory motion, is overpowered, 
and the result is doubtful, and often fatal. 

But these examples are general : let us advert to a few of a more particnlar 
nature. All the different species of birds, in constructing their nests, not 
onlyadhereto a peouharplan, but, wherever they can obtain them, to pecnliar 
kinds of materius : but if these materials be not to be procured, the accom- 
modating power of the instinctive principle, as iu the cases just related, 
directs tnem to others, and suggests the best substitutes. Thus the red- 
breast uniformly prefers oak-leaves as a lining for her nest, wherever she can 
aeouire them; but if these be not to be had, she supplies the want bjr mosa 
ana hair. So where the bird is of small size, and the eggs are natundly nu- 
merous, the nest is always made proportionally wanD* that the nestliajs amy 

ON ISBrtSCT. tit 

tU sqoallr parlmke of the y'liityiag he&t. Thni tha vren, who layi from tm 
to eighteen eKgai conBtnicts her little ediflee with the greatest care, and 
^Ihe wanneitmaleriala; while the plover nnd the earie, whoee eggi era eo 
few that the body mey easily cover them, build with litiTeaolioitadetimdwinw- 
lime* GODteot tnemaelvee with the naked den of a rock. And tboa, toOf in 
▼ery cold winter* in Lapland, the fond watei-fowl will occMiMuIlf (trip 
the dowo off its brea*t to line it* neat and protect ita pipgeny. 

When a waap, in attemptiog to tranapoit a dead oompanion from the dmL 
Snda the load too heary, he cut* off ita head, and carries it out io two portions.* 

A strawberry oflbet planted In a patch of sand wilkoend forUi almost lli« 
whole of its runners in the direction in which the proper soil lies aearMt, and 
few, and sometimes none, in the line in which it lies most remote. 

When a tree which reqtiires much moisture (says Mr. Knight) ha* qmmg 
up or been olanted in a dry soil, in the vicinity of water, it ha* been (Aservea 
that a mucn larger portion of its roots has been directed towards the water ; 
and that when a tree of a different species, and which requires a dry soil, has 
been placed in a similar situation, it has appeared, in the diractiod gireivto 
its roots, to have avoided the water and moist flOil.''t 

" When a tree (remarks Dr. Smith) happens to grow from teed on a wall 
(and he particularly alludes to an aeh in which Che fact actually occurred), it 
ha* been obaerved, on arriving at a certain size, to etop for a while and send 
down a root to the ground. As soon as this root was established in the Mil, 
Ae tree continued increasing to a large magnitude.'^ 

The best meana, perhaps, that a plant can poseea* of ieai*ting the elfbcts 
of dn>aght,is aluberooe orbulboua rooL The graaa called phleumpra^MK, 
or common catstail, when growing in paatarea that are uniformly moist, baa 
a fibfooa root, for it ia lorally suf^lied with a snScieQcy of water ; but in 
dry situations, or such as are only occasionally wet, ita root acquires a bol- 
bona .form, and thus instmctively accommodates the plant witk a natural 

And there are various other grasses, as the alopecurus gaucviatta, or geni- 
enlate foxtail, that exhibit the same cnnous adaptation.^ 

There are some jdiilosophers and physiologists who have endaavonred Io 
ucribe the whole of these very extraordinary phenomena to the mechanical 
powers of gravitation and centrifugal force r among whom I may especially 
mention Hr. Knight, who has attempted it in a ve^ ingenioua paper Io 
which I have Jual alluded. There are others who ascribe them to the opei^ 
tion of an intelligent princiftle, among whom, more especially, as I nsTa 
already observed, is Dr. Darwin. Of these two causes thfrmstancesjasl sub- 
mitted to you, and Ihouaands more might be added to them, solleient^ 
prove that the Bret Is inadequate and that the second does not always exiat ; 
at least that the phenomena are often found in organized forms id which, to 
a certainty, the precise organs do not exiat which are the only known seats 
of intelli^nce and seniation in the visible woiid. They are hence Io bo 
reaolved into another cause, equally remote from either, more complex in Ua 
operations than that of gravity, but lesBeo,pert)aps,thui those of InleUigeDce 
and feeling ; embracing a distinct family ot well-defined and oognsto aetiona, 
always aiming at the same common end, the perfection, preseiratiooi or 
reproduction of the system in which they exUt; and eonstitntmg what we 
should denominate instinct, the general property of the liTingprinctple or llw 
law of organized life in a state of action. 

But Ihe subject is too important to be cloaed here. It remains yet to point 
out the difference between instinct and aenaatton or feeling, ac well aa b^ 
tween instinct and reason. It remains yet for me to show yon that all theaa 
am equally distinct princitdea ; that they may exiat separately or coi^toinlly) 

ir.lHI.XLatl. rorUMWBinof 

intr^i^p^WMitba^ltaroiDitKUttw ' 

■n anna, iMiTwiDC F 111^ sal ^ U. 

, : .,,^.l)CW|C 


* also for me to offer ezmmples from unoBg the man enriooi oi 

airikitig insUncei of ucb oltheae lecODdile powera, butb under a more limine 
aad ft more complicated modificalioD. This ahall form the baeia of our enaums 
■tody. At preaent 1 shall only farther oheerve that inatinci may be defined 
the operMioa of the principle of orgsnized life bjr ihe exercise of certain b»> 
tnal pQwen directed to the preaeni or futurcgood of the individual ; and rea- 
. Ma the operation of the principle of intellectual life, by ihe exerciie of certain 
acquired powera directed to the *ame end. Both equally anawer their ottfectt 
are equally perfect in their kind, and equally diapUy their. common origin. 

Ttim 111 adw Um pomr which aotti 
TaldM idS* b* ^ «nakn MH 
Aai iDd ilM Bi^ ■ — ' — ■■ 


Wbl Fng ot CowMa em Ibgy RMdCAteT 
hMO, bwimjiUa, HMl ■ biit, 

•t^a tm « aU, ud tkm wM sAm unt 1 
■« booMt iMdnot noM • nInolMr ; 
■nm MTw u> oteikMt. bill JOK w kU, 
WUta iHU laa wide w Aon k howi «tl i 
■on. bj aDiek-HiBn. buliKaa is ni>, 
WUtb iMTtor Kmmo Moon H binta. 
nK ii>^««™ ilKiv^ «™on snv kat, 
OMnBitnil|n,Uis<itbti'niiT|D wriiaf ; 
Sn On tM M(lii| ud omfwtag ■!>■«■, 
Om la Ihtlr uran, wkU *n mil ooni 
And nMBB ntaa B>r loMinct ■■ Toa (M, 
b iU( 1 to Ood dlncM^ In tbM 1 K ptn.— rw 

OK m nwmnrrm oKia&orau of nraTcicT, auniTioB, um nmLLWiKai. 

Wa eloaed our laat atudy by obaerring that instinct is the operation at 
dia principle of orfcaniied life by the exerciie of certain natural powera 
directed to the |»eaent or future good of the individual, while reason is tbp 
t^k^tion of the principle of intellectual life by the exercise of certain ao- 
<piired iiowen directeo to the same end. Hence reason demands diaci^ina 
and attains maturity ; instinct, on the contraij, neither demands the one not 
IB eap^le of attaining the other ; it is disciplined and mature liom the firtti 
and is as perfect in the infant as in the man. 

Inatioct, however, has as often been confounded with rntum or bimsatiok 
«s it has with naovnoii, which is the outline or foundation of reason: and 
lienoe another source of those perplexities. and errors in distin^ishing b^ 
Mroen anintal and vegetable life wliich we noticed in the preceding lecture : 
peiplezitiea and errors which have been productive of the most absurd and 
oivv'^'ns eooaeqnencest and especially in regard to tiie delicate and elegant 
scienee of botany. 

Ivtinctt Bentatioo, and perception are all principles essentially diflbrent; 
Ihej mav, indeed, exist coj^intty^ but each of ihem is capable of existing 
•epatately. Instinct is the common law or property of organized matter, as 
gn*iUtioB ia of nnorganixed ; and Ihe former ban the same analogy to sen- 
■atioB vti perceptiiHi aa the latter does to crystallization and chemical sA- 
nity. Instmot is the general faculty of the organized mass, aa giaviistion ia 
of the unoiganised massi sensation and perception are peculiar powera or 
faculties appertaining to the flrst, as crystallization and affinity are appeiw 
tainiiw to Ine Moond : they can only exist under eertaii) circumstancee u the 
arnnized or unorguiized matter to which they respectively bekmg. 

This paiaUsl, indeed, may be carried much farther. Qravitotion diactnvn 
" ~ ditica ' -— ■ • 

t moditic^ions, diffenot degree* of pawn, and, e 

mtrraict, sehsation, akd inTELUOEifCE. 

^ _, iBbrent oltbeU. Instioct trincet in 

mncMi Gn*iiUion belongs eqinlly to the 11 ■, • 

tk>Di af unorgnoised nutter : inaiinct, in like manner, beloaf^ •qnally to the 
im&IIeat and to Uie targeat portions of organixMl mstter; it eziste ■like ik 
solids and in fluids ; tnttewholeframeandineTery partof thefiamst iaevoiy 
OTg«n, and in every part of every organ, so long as tiie principle of life eoo- 
(iiiues. Sir Isaac Newton eBtaUished tiie doctrine of gravitation, and oveiw 
came all ol^tiona to it chiefly by tbe taoAeaiy with wbich he propounded 
and illustrated iL Without inquinng into the nature of its ecsenee, be ooo- 
tented himself with recognising it t^ its operations and laws. It is the aim 
of the present study to follow this great example ; and leaving all diacnasiooa 
eoticerning the essence of instinct or of organised Ufe, on which Instinct is 
dependent, and which coostitates its sghere, as matter constilales the sphere 
of ^vitalion, to pomt out nothing more than the nature of its action, and oe- 
casionally to calcli a glance at the laws by which it is regulated. 

Prom what has bMO already said, we see clearly that the power of instinct 
rmu'equally through the limiU of vegetaUe and animal life, and conie- 
qnentlyt that itulinct, sensation and perception, whatever they cooaiit in, an 
powers or priociiries essentially diffbrenl. lustioct is the common property 
of organized life in all its forms, but life itself is not necessarily connected 
either with reason or sensation ; and it is of no smBll consequence that we 
attend to this curious and extraordinary fact, the pioofs of which are abun- 
dantly in our own possession. The blood is aljve, and has all the common 
properties of life, as was very satisfactorily shown in an antecedent lectnre, 
nom the experiments of Mr. John Hunter; bat we all know that it possessea 
neither feeling nor intelligence : the bones, the earttlagei^ the cellular men»- 
braoe, and the cuticle are alive ; but, in a state of health, they are eqaalty des- 
titute of both these properties, and whether in health or disease, are always 
destitute of the latter. 

Sensation and perception, bo far as we are capable of witnessing, can only 
exist in appropriate oivans, as nerves, or modiflcattoni of nerves, which ar« 
the only known seat of the one, and the brain, or some modification of brain, 
which is the only known seat of the other. In the higher classes of animals, 
as mammals, birds, amphibials, and fishes, the nerves lake their rise from die 
brain, or rather from some particular part of it. Bat this is not an indi»> 
pensablelaw of life; for, in msecta, we meet with nerves, but no brain; and 
in most zoopfaytic and many other tribes of worms, with neither brain nor 
nerves. And hence, wherever these oif^a or either of them are diseovei^ 
able, it is consistent witb right reason (o infer, that the facoin also exists to 
which they respectiveljr give riss. But, on the contrair, where neither of 
these organs exista, as in plants, and a multitude of tlte loweM tribes of ant- 
Dials, which in the zoological system of Lamarek are on this account denoiBi- 
nated cpaAie or insentient,* we have the same reasmi for infeiting that, 
though life is present, and, indeed, in many instances, pecniisriy (eoaeiooa 
and vigorODs, there Is neither intelligence nor senaatioot *ai that the whole 
of the vital funetions and operaliooa are performed, like the semblanceB of 
intellifrence in the preceding ease, by the common law of instinct; whioh, 
operating in ditferent ways, in different organs, and beings of diffi>reut stroo- 
tntea, appertains to living matter of every Kind. 

These observations will apply to the vegelaUe as well as to the snimal 
kingdom ; ftor plants hare a close analogy to the aenaeless tribes, the lubi- 
pores, mureporea, spon^ea, and infusory worms, we are now eonlem{datnig 
in their sti^btflre and origin, as well as m the limited range of titeif powers ; 
these animals being in manjr instances equally rimple in ttteir mue. and 
equally destitute of locomotion, and equally propagating their klnda ky ti>e 
generation of buds or bnlbs, instead of by that of seeds or eggs. Like these 
low kinds of animals, plaals, moreover, are altogether without organs either 
of sense or ioteUigence ; and it is consequently correct lo infer, that Ibejr m 



flfoaDy without the facultiea which it ii the aolt property of such wpuii la 
def elope. Aod hence, again, however curioiu end aetoniatung the poweif 
thej occuJodbUj' evince, they ere power* th&t can only be reaolvedt u in 
the cue of zoophytic wonne, into the ever praMnt and ever active law of 
inatinct or org^ized life. We bear, indeed, at times, of the aecription of 
mental or corporeal paseions to veget«bleB ; of general feeling and idea* ; of 
love and languishment, and deiire and &veraian. But all this it fancy, and 
piocMdi from an eironeouB and contracted view of the general nature of the 
uw of inetinet, and it* extraordtnaiy power of supplytng the place of senoe 
and reaeon, where these, or the organs in which they reside, are not piesant. 
We hear, in like manner, occasionally, of the brain, stomach, lungs, and 
nerree of vegetables ; but all this ia stiUmore imaginary thaa tbJe preceding; 
it i* a nwre UDcy built upon a mere fancy: nobody has ever been capable of 
poiating out the probaUe or even possible seat of such organs, and they have 
only b«n idly coigectured because the faculties to wbicli they give rise have 
been niiijectured antecedently. 

Is there, then, no such thing as instinctive feeling t— a term in every one's 
mouth, and which every one, till be tries, sumtoses he comprehends t What 
but an instinctive feeling is the love of life, the dread of death, the economy 
of pairing;, and the desire of progeny 1 

Wherever feeling eziata, these, in a certain sense, may tmqvestionably be 
called instinctive feelings ; but it should be remembered that the expresaioii 
is, in every instance, of a compound character, and involves two distinct 
ideaa, which may exist either Bepamlely or conjointly: and we have the same 
reason for using the pbimse imtiactivt mlelUgtact as mttituiivc jfedmff : for 
we can only mean, or ou^ht only to mean, inMrnct combined witbwIeUt^enoe, 
or uMlwet eomlHiied with fitiUng, aixording to the nature of the case 
before us. 

Combinations of this kind, indeed, are not unfrequenl; and I shall pr^ 
•ently proceed to produce examples of them : but it becomes necessary to 
observe, in the present place, that all tiie operations we are now adverting to, 
aad which are usually, chst^cterized as instinctive feelings, as self-preserva* 
tion, Httachment to lib, resistance of destniciion, reproduction of the whole 
or of separate parts of the system, and ev«n the economy of pauing, though 
oAen luited with feeling, and not unfrequenily with intelligence as well, 
occur, nevertheless, in a aiultiplicily of instances In which we have either 
direct proofs, or the most cogent reasons for believing, that there ia neither 
feelingnor intelligence whatever; and that every thing is the result of pure, 
t, insentient ii " 

iJing nor : 
inteliigeii . 

Ihavejustobservedthatthebloodisalive: it has all the commoH properti 
....... tural scj 

of life; irritability, contractility, and a power of maintaining its natural scale 
of heat, whatever be the temperature of the atmosphere .by which it is stir- 
rounded : and it is perpetually showing its attschmeot to life by the doe atid 
discretionary exercise of these properties with a view of preserving life. It 
equally resists every excess of cold or of heat that may be injurious to it, 
and hence sometimes raises the thermometer und sometimes depresses it: it 
contracts itself, like the muscular fibre, upon the application of an appropriate 
stimulaa, and conveys the principle of life, and powerfully assists in applying 
that principle to parts in which the vital action is languid, or has altogether 
ceased. There is no part of the animal system that evinces in a more emi* 
nent degree the faculty of self-preservation, or self- prod uetion, of attachment 
to life, orof resistance to whatever is injurious, than the blood ; and yet every 
one knows that this faculty is pure, unmixed instinct, equally destitute of 
feeling or intelligence : it is, as I have already defined instinct to be io every 
instance, a " simple operatiou of the principle of organized life by the exercise 
of certain naluraL powers directed to the present or future good of tbs 
In the new-laid egg we have an eqnal proof of the same faculty of self- 


•remratfon, the same tittachmeirt tolife, tmi rea'utanee to dettnictioD. For, 
like the blood ot a heahby aduh, tbe nen-laid tgg, the few and eimple veae^ 
of which are merely in a niacenl and liquescent atalei and which can acsTcelf 
be regarded otherwiae than aa a fluid, is capable equally of counteractiiq; 
heat, cold, and putreraclion, and does forcibly connteraet tnem for a consldMb 
able period longer than an «gg that has been frozen or in any olhar wa^ 
daprived of ila vital and instinctive principle. It is this vttat and instinctiTO 
principle that alone matares the eg^, and shapes the matter of which it con- 
'sista into distinct and specific lineaments, ana calls forth the power nhich it 
does not yet possess, of sensation and perception. In what way these attri- 
butes are produced we know not ; but we see them isauing from the matter 
of the egg alone, when aided by the additional and cherishing power of atmi4e 
heat. And, provided it be property regulated and applied, it a of no import' 
ance from what qnarter such heat in derived ; for we have already had occa- 
sion to observe, that the warmth of a sand-bath or of an oven will answer ma 
effectnally as that of the mother's sitting over it. 

But let as not rest here: let- us proceed to examples of the renewal or pro- 
pagation of life, from parent stocks ; to examples of the re|HOduction of the 
whole, or of separate parts of the syslem, in cases in which there is as ob- 
vions a destitution of sensation or mtelligence ; and where, as in the pT»- 
eeding instances, the whole must be the result of pure insentient instinct. 

"niere is not a single organ in the animal frame but what is perpetually 
reproducing itself, allernately dying and renewing; so that the same man of 
to-day has not an individual particle belonging to him of that which const!- 
. tnted his corporeal frame ten, fifteen, or twenty yeare a.go. And yet the 
whole of this important change, this entire reproduction of the matenal sy»- 
tem, tbou^ occurring in sentient and even in intelligent oi^ns, occnrs it 
the same tune without any kind of feeling or consciousness in tbe individtial, 
or the organs that constitute the individual. 

This very curious fact is still more obrioua in the generatiori of new 
matter of every kind, — muscular, glandular, bony, and even nervous, upon 
the death of a considerable portion of sn organ in consequence of external 
injury or other violence. The nice and admirable law by which the dead 
substance is carried off, and its place supplied by the gradual raprodoction 
of fresh matter of the very same nature and properties, 1 have already ex- 
[riained.* In the separation of the dead from the living parts, there is gene- 
rally, thou^ not always, some degree of pain, from the mcreased local action 
that takes place, and more especially from the tension given to the akin by ' 
the secretion of sound and healthy pus, in order to effect its bursting; but in 
the actual generation of the new material that is to Gil up tbe cavity, aod 
supply the place of what is lost, there is no pain or sensation whatever in a 
heallny process ; while, as I have likewise already observed, the pointing of 
the at»cess, like the pointing of the seeds of peas or beans, in what direction 

L .... -, nly towards the surf" " ' ""^ ' 

n order to reach it. 

The generation of life, then, no more necessarily demands or implies the 
existence of sensation, than attachment to life, or a self- preserving principle : 
it may be combined with it, but it may also exist separately or witboot it. 
Monro, hideed, has distinctly proved by experiment, that the limb of a frog 
can live and be nourished, and its wounds healed, withont sny nerve what- 
ever, and, consequently, without any source or known possibility of sensation. 

Let us apply this reasoning, whicn 1 admit is thus far drawn m>m individual 
partsofthe system alone, to a regeneration or renrodnction of the entire syslen. 

The lunga oralis of an animal are precisely analogous to tbe leaves of a 

ji^U AH these, as I have already observed, are pe "- -"■ — ■--'-- 

. AfceTy bal Joced alternation of decay and raprodnetiof 
.'green planls.this change is bo gradual as to elude nil notice. In deciduoin 
flants, OD-Uw oontrAy, it is sudden and (Avious toeveiyone; jetlbeitBs 



instiocttTe power tk&t prodacea the one change produce* kIco the other ; aad 
u in the foinier caee we have a perfect conecioueaees that the effect takee 
place without any sensstion or intelligence, no men will be eo extravagant 
as to maintain that there ia any seDsation or intelligence concerned in the 
latter. But the rery same procees that produces the leaves or aboots of 
plants produces also their buds; the vegetable vessels are the eame; there 
IS no new principle employed, but merely an adaptation of Jhe one common 
principle of inilinct or the law of simple life to the production of a different 
eflfact ; for the very same eye may, by too much or too little pruning of the 
wood, be converted into a shoot or intoa bud. Tbe buds of plaels, however, 
are their proper oflbprins ; and id many cases as perfectly so as their seed- 
lings, or those reared from seeds. In other instances we find a pn^ny 
equally perfect produced by a leparatioii of bulbs or roots, or by radicles 
shooting out from creeping- joints, as in the strawherry. In all which it 
would be absurd, even if plants were posaesHed of a nervous system, which 
they are not, to contend that a sense of feeling was more exerted than in the 
reproduction of the sepante organs of an snimal, to aupport the eoaunoa 
wear and tear of animal life. 

Why, then, should it ever have been contended that such a kind of aensation 
la necessary in the formation of seeds, by the conjoint action of what have been 
denominaied a male and fpmale organization 1 The stimulus of moisture,of 
light, beat, and air, evolves equally the specific flower; and the ever-preaent 
and all-^rrading law of Nature determines the different parts of the Bower, 
or the different flowers themselves, la be of different cbafacters : tbe farina 
ia accreted from tbe anther, a psj-t which is called the male organ ; and as it 
iroipa upon the open tube of the pistil, which is denominated tbe female o^aa, 
itiKoomee anew stimulus, and excites to a new action. But neither stimulus 
Bor action are necessarily sensation, nor the sources of sensation. The 
pistil, or rather the receptacle which lies at the bottom of tbe piatil, in 
consequence of this new excitation, evolvea or produces a new material, 
which we call a seed; but during the formation and evolution of this seed, 
(toca first 10 last, there is no more necessity for supposing the existence of any 
tbinglikcBensaiion, than during the antecedent stimulus of theli^t, sod heat, 
and moisture) upon (he parent stem by which the flower itself became evolved t 
or during the snme stimulus upon the joints or bulbs of the plant by which 
an equally healthy and perfect progeny has, perhaps, been produced from tbeae 
different o^ans. 

I have already observed, that in the lowest class of animals we meet wilfa 
inatances of reproduction equally varied, and of the very same nature : some- 
times by biids or bulbs, as in the caae of (he polype ; sometimes by slips or 
lateral offsets, aa in one or two species of the leecn; and sometimes, and per- 
haps more generally, by seeds or ova. But as, in the tribes I now refer to, 
we meet with neither nerves or nervous system, and as the reproduction 
of living matter does not necessarily demand the existence of a nervoas 
system, orof thai corporeal feeling to which alone, so far as we are acquainted 
with nature, a nervous system is capable of giving birth ; we have the strongeat 
reason for supposing that the generation of progeny is, in these cases, as un- 
accompanied with passion or sensation as in the instance of plants. 

I have dwelt ^e longer upon this subject, as being anxious to divest OM 
of the most elegant and interesting branches of natural history of the gmw- 
nesa and indelicacy with which it has been incrusted by the language and 
opinious of many modern physiologists ; and to open it as widely as possibte 
to the study and pursuit of every one. 

It must be obvious, I think, that instinct has no more necessary connexion 
with feeling or sensation than with intelligence ; and that even the facultic* 
of attachment to lilc, resistance to destruction, tbe economy of pairing, aad 
the wocees of genemlion, though often combined with both sensation itod 
, intelligence, are not necessarily combined with either of them \ that intdU- 
nnce is not more discrepant from sensation than sensation is froif instinct i 
(hat either nwy exist separately, and that all may exist U^thar, 


Wbenca derive the joung of every kind a knowledse of the peoolur powen 
tiiat Km to u^)eTl«tn to (hem heraafWr, even before the tuU foim*ima of tba 
orguu io whieh (hoH powen ue to reside 1 To adopt Uie beautiM luftugB 
of ths flnt phyaUdoj^ of Rome, 

HUa Inm pMM, ■tqua Idmih Ijnrfut^ 
At ontlvl puHbmnm, Kyraaetqiw '**'"'^_ 

Vli Mian 1 OMn Hmt dntai umiiiiMiM <wtim. 
AUtvu pl^nna «nu aU» oamB Tkum 
rUn^ H m paab Enanlnn pcWoalUnm.* - 

r yit turn ■pnKit*£ wUb hh 
niA««Dnc>': IMUmii 
h Amud MMh iDBtaD^ 1— 
no qataff anaplewni: wUk tl 
HI to Umv wUia, (ltd man tt' k 
uiaw, wbMi ant |M(M, ■ BsBakHia ■nauM. 

In like mannoT an Infant, in dsn^r of falling froin ita nune's anns, ebetchu 
OBt ita little hands to break the fall as though acquainted by experience with 
the a*e of «nch an action. We here meet with an inetance of pure inttinct ; 
bat we punue the same condoct in adult age, and we hare then an exaitipte 
of inatinct combioed with intelligence ; and intelli^nce, inatead of opposmg 
the inatinctive exertion, encourages and fortifles it So when eat^illai% 
obeerrea Mr. Smellie, are shaken from a tree, in whatever direction they di^ 
scend, they all instantly turn towards the tnmk and climb upwards, thon^ 
tiU now they have nevor been on the surface of the ground. 

The vegetable kingdom offen us examples of simple instinct eqasUy tia- 
nlar and marvellous. Thus the stalk of the convolvulus twines from the 
lel\ or east br the south to the west, the face being towards the south': the 
phaseoliu nu^urti, or kidney-bean, pursues the same coarse ; while the honey- 
Buckle and the hop take a perfectly reverae direction. ViFho Will reveal tow 
the canse of these differences 1 

In the foUowJDg instances the canse is obvious : it proceeds from the pe- 
•oliar structure and power of the different animals to which Aey relate; and 
it would perhaps be as obvious to us in the preceding, were we n intimately 
acquainted win the nature of plants aa of animals. The squint the ftolit 
mouse, and the very curious biid called nut-hatch (aitta Europaa), live equally 
on hazel-nuts ; but each of them opens them in a very different manner. 
The squirrel, after rasping off the small end, splits the shell io two with his 
lauE fore-teeth, as a man does with his knife ; the fleld-moase nibbles a hole 
with his teeth as regular as if drilled with a wimble, and yet so small that It 
is wonderful how the kernel can be extracted through it ; white the DUt-hatidi 
picks an irregular ragged hole with his bill ; but as this artist has no paws to 
hold the nut Arm while he pierces it, like an adroit workman he fixes it, as It 
were, in a vice in some cleR of a tree or in some crevice; when, standint 
over it, he readily perforates the stubborn shell ; and while at work makes s 
rappnng noise that may be heard at a considerable diatance-t 

The sphex or ichneumon wasp, in its perfect state, feeds on the nectary of 
flowers ; hut as seon as she is fitted to neposite her eggs, she becomes act»- 
aled by an appetite of another kind. She flret bores a small cylindrical bole 
In a sandy soil, into which, by accurately turning round, she drops an egs: 
she then seeks out a small creen caterpillar that inhabits the leaves of the 
cabbage-plant, and which she punctures with her sting, yet so sUgfatly and 
delicately as not to kill it ; she then rolls it up into a circle, and places it in 
the sandy nest immediately over the egg. She continues the purstit tiU dM 
has counted twelve ; and fiM, in like manner, deposited twelve cetsrpiUais 
one over the other ; and repeats the same process till she has exhausted hs^ 
■elf of bar eutin stock of eggs. She immediately closes the holes IT ' "" 



iBtnubng her eggi to the pareot heat of the bud. The egg in each aapKnie 
cell oi aperture if soon hatched, and finda its food duly prepared for it, and 
from its enfeeUed Mate incapable of resisting ita attack, though preaerred 
from putrefactku by the little life that has remained to it. It feeds pro- 
gressiraly on the twelve caterpillara ; and by the time il has exhausted them, 
becomes fitted for,aDd converted into, a chrysalia ; in due time it awakes from 
ita dormancy, woriu its wav to the surface of the eanh, throws off its chtj- 
talid investment, finds itaeli accommodated with wings, rises into the atmos- 
phere, feeds on the hone^ of planta instead of on maggots ; and at length 
pursues the very same train of actions to provide ilselC with a progeny which 
was pursued by the parent insect of the year before. 

In what I have tnus far advanced, I have chiefly proved, however, that 
instinct may exist separately : 1 will next proceed to a few examples, in which 
it will be dear to eveiv one that it ma^ exist in conjunction wiui each of the 
other two principles of sensation and intelligence. 

And, first, as to its union with aensation. Wherever a nervous system is 
to be traced, which alone ia the source of sensation, we have abundant proofs 
of such an alliance. We meet with it, without having language by which to 
describe it, in the glow and elasticity of health, in the satisfaction of a cheer- 
fa] meal, and in the refreshment of sound and natural sleep after fatigue ; and 
we meet with it still more obviously, and in diversities which language is ca- 
pable of characterizing, in all those natural emotions to which we. "have just 
. adverted, and which, in consequence of such alliance, hare obtained the 
popular name of instinctive sensations or feelings, but which in reaLty are 

Let us select a few other examples. We are told by Galen,* that on opening 
K goat big with Toung he found one of the youngones alive, which he hastity 
snatched up, ana took into a room where there were various vessels severally 
fitted for the pur^se with wine, oil, honey, milk, grains, and fruits. The 
little kid first rose upon its feet and walked ; then shook itself, and scratched 
its side with one of its hoofs ; it next smelt alternately at all the dishes before 
it, and at last fixed upon and licked up the millc In this case the sense of 
smell went distinctly in aid of the inalinctive search after food, and deter- 
mined the particular kind : so that the instinct and the senaatlon co-operated. 
Thus rabbits, when left to the operation of pure instinct, dig holes in the 
ground for warmth and protection ; but afier continuing for some time in a 
domestic state, and finding that they can obtain a more comfortable asylun 
by other means, and with less labour, they seldom pursue, even when they 
have an opportunity, the instinctive proccBs, but burrow in the straw, or 
whatever material is provided for them. 

In this case the sense of superior comfort combines itself, as in the pre- 
ceding, with the instinct, and pursues the same end, though t>y a change of 
the means. So again, the new-born young of all animals, in whatever war 
they take their food, are at first stimulated by instinct alone. The Iamb 
sucks, the chicken pecks, and the nestling of the sparrow gapes. In like 
manner, the mother secretes or selects its food from an instinctive stimulus 
alone. The udder of the dam awells and becomes painful, the erop of the 
pigeon does the same ; and there are some birds, whose common food is grain, 
that daring this season devour for their young, spiders and other insects, 
which nouiing could induce them to touch at any other time. This sweet 
intercourse of natural action lays a foundation for something that in a short 
time shows itself to be superior to instinct, thlT^gh it has often, but erroneously, 
been so denominated. The young of two different mothers, if interchanged 
as soon as they are bom or hatched, are as satisfied with the foster or suppo- 
•ititioua as wiu the natural parent ; and the mothers, unless made suspicioas 
of the deception, are as salistied with their foster or supposililious young. 
But let tiie same interchange be attempted a week or a month aAerward, anil 
in BO esse will it succeed. Short as has been the ioterveoiog period, them 

• Ita htda, to. H. Mf. «. 



hM boen a birth of feeling u well u a growtb of fonn ; the riunK lenu haa 
uniled iuelf with the already matura inatinct ; and the natural nurae and the 
natuial nimliog will pine equally, if separated from each othei. 

The poet we have juat adverted to, who may pre-emtnenlly be called the 
poet of natnre, baa beautifully illustnUed this remark by the yearnins affec- 
tion of the cow for her j^oung calf when it has atrayed from &er or she baa 
been robbed of it ; hunting after it with intense anxiety in every direction, 
mouniioc for it with a cry that cannot fail to wind itself into every feeling 
heart, and equally refusing the fattening glebe and the refreshing atieam.* 
The female augong or sea-cow of the Sumatra coast, whose general history 
we have already given a glance at.f evinces a like degree of maternal affec- 
tion i insomuch that when its young has been entrapped or speared, the 
mother purauee it so cloflely and so fearlessly as to be taken with the greatest 
ease, 'rhe young eea-calves have a abort, sharp, pitiable cry, which they 
frequently repeat ; and, like the stricken deer* are also said to shed tearsi 
which. Sir Thomas Raffles tells us, are carefully preserved by the common 
people as a charm, the poesesiion of which is supposed to secure the afi^ 
Uons of those to whom they are attached in the same manner as they attract 
the mother to her youag.J 

The instinct of this early aa:e, however, belongs to snch early age alone, 
and to the purpose of such eBrly age alone : and when it has answered that 
purpoK it ceases, and we meet with no more trace of it : but the feeling 
which follows so close upon it, and to which, perhaps, it has given birth, ia 
of a higher order, and continues for a much longer period of time j and for 
a period of time, indeed, directly proportioned to its intensity, or, in lothei . 
words, to the ucending rank of sentient or percipient life in. which it makes 
its appearance. 

Hence in the two lowest classes of animals, we meet with nothing of the 
sort whatever; the young of insects and worms having a foreign food pro- 
vided for them without the intervention of the mother: and hence, too, in 
various quadrupeda and birds the feeling progressively dies away as the 
young become independent ; while in man we Mhold ihe principle of intelli- 
fience, in its most lovely and interesting character, a moral and internal feel- 
ing, a sense of gralitnde and veneration on the one side, of keen complacency 
and delight on the other, and of active affection on both, catching hold of the 
two preceding principles, and producing a strong cord of interunion that can 
never be broken hut with the cords of the heart itself. 

Something of the kind is occasionally, indeed, to be met with in quadru- 
peds, as 1 have formerly observed in the case of the seal and lamantin tnbei 
(Irjchecus Manatut), which pass through life in families of single jnale and 
■ingle female, never deserting or deserted by their young, till the latter, hav- 
ing reached the term of maturity, separate to found families of their own. 

In these cases we see examples of all the three principles of instinct, sen- 
sation, and intelligence in a state of union : and we occasionally meet with still 
more extraordinary examples of Ihe same fact. One of the most extraordi- 
nary, perhaps, is that related by Mr. Gilbert While, in his very interesting 
History of Selbourn, of the gratitude and affection of a young hare towards a 
cat by which it had been suckled and brought up ; the leveret following the 
cat about the garden, playing with her tike a kitten, and bounding towards 
her upon her purring or uttering any other call of t«iderneBS. 

We see sometliing of the sa^ Rind of internal feeling, and often exalted 
to a still higher pitch, in the grantude and affection of the fond and faithful 
dog for a kind and indulgent master ; occasiunally, indeed, rising superior to, 
and openly triumphing over, the strongest instinctive feelings of Ihe animal 
frame, over thirst and hun^r, and the love of life itself^ and inciting him to 
perish voluntarily by the side of his master and share his grave, rdiher than 
abandon bis corse, when, in the course of a solitary journeyihe has suddenly 
follen a victim to accident dr violence. The late Bishop of Landaff hai s 

•ll*B«.Ntt.U.t3t, t a«t« n. UitBM u. D. m 

t FUL TnBi. ISSd, p. UL 


I :.:S.v Google 


■trikiu anecdote to tbis eSisct in hia very tnteraating Life, in wbieh he rditw 
the snadeti disappeanRce of a msn, who, it seems, had perished on tile lop 
of Hehellyo ; hia body was found two months afterward in. this exposed ud 
desolate «pot, with his faithru) dog stUI sitting by it* And he adds a similar 
tale, told him by the duke of Northnmtierland, concernitiK a young anielope 
that had perished by a fall, whone mother immediately quilled the pasture in 
which she was feedine, sat piteously by the side of the body, which she re* 
fused to quit, and died of grief and huneer. 

I will only a^oin another case of a like interesting kind, that occurred not 
Jong since in my own family. A iavourite cat, that was accustomed from 
day to day to take her station quietly at my elbow, on the writing-table, 
sometimes for hour after hour, while 1 was engaged in study, became at 
length less constant in her attendance, as she had a kitten to take can of. 
One morning she placed herself in the same spot, but seemed unquiet ; and, 
Instead of seating herself as tuual, continued to rub her furry sides against 
ray hand and pen, as though resolved to draw my atteutiou and make ma 
leaTe off. As soon as she had accomplished this point she leaped down on 
the carpet, and made towards the door with a look of great uneasiness. I 
opened the door for her as she aeemed to desire ; but instead at going forward, 
■he tamed round and looked earnestly at me as though she wished me to 
follow her, or had something to communicate. I did not fully nnderatand ber 
meaning, and being much engaged at the time, ahnt the door nson her, that 
■he mi^t go where she liked. In ieis than an hour afterward she had again 
found an entrance into the room, and drawn close to me-, but instead of 
monnting the table and rubbing herself against my hand aa before; abe waa 
now under the table and continued to rub heraelf against my feet ; on moving 
which, I struck them against a something which seemed to be in their way; 
and, on looking down, beheld, with equal grief and aatonishment, the dead 
body of her little kitten covered over with cinder-dtist, and which I supposed 
had been alive and in good heallh. I now entered into the entire train of this 
afflicted cat's feelings. She had suddenly lost the nursling she doted on, and 
was resolved to make me acquainted with i(, — asiuredly that 1 mi^t know ' 
her grief, and probably also tnat I might inquire into the cause ; and finding 
me too dull to understand her expressive motioning that I would follow her to 
the cinder-heap on which the dead kitten had been thrown, she tocdi the great 
labour of bringing it to me herself, from the area on the basement floor, and 
up a whole fli^t of stairs, and laid it at my feet. I took up the kitten in nty 
hand, the cat still following me, made inquiry into the cause of its deaUi, 
which 1 fomid, upon summoning the servants, to have been an "accident in 
which no one was much to blame i and the yearning mother having thna 
attained her object, and gotten her master to enter into her CBnse,and divide 
her sorrows with her, gradually took comfort, and resumed her former atation 
by my side. 

Yet, not unfrequently we meet with instanees of the imioa of mtelligMice 
alone with instinct alone ; of design and contrivance directed to extnoidi- 
naty occasions, no moral or internal feeling being necessary. 

The rook usually and inttinctivelybuildshernestin the taUeat branches of 
the tallest trees : in Wclboum churcfayard, however, as we learn in a letter 
to Dr. Darwin, from a relative, a rookery wae not long since formed on the 
outside of the spire, and Uie tops of the loftiest windows. There had formerljr 
bMn a row or grove of high trees in the n^hbourhood, but they had been 
cot down; and their aeriu tenants being dispoesessed of their proper man- 
iicm, bad betaken themselves to the church-spire and windows, as the most 
ai^npriale building for their purpose i and had that manifeatly evineed (he 

iwof UK «lil»T HdndVa, 

r llia,wtHD UunKfla wufiUlnfl, 

■v Google 


of inalinct with intelligsDce.* So the Jaekdawfl of Selbounii «e- 

mrding to Hr. White, not finding a sufficiency ot towen and ateefdei, 'and 
lofty hoDiea, on which they uiually hung their neati in tlus pleaiant Tillage, 
ftccommodated ihemselvei to the occasion, and built them in fonaken nbUk 

The ostrich is accused of a total want of natural feeling, because she abui* 
dans her eggs to he hstched by the heat of the sun ; when incubation is n^ 
cessary, however, the ostrich instinctively employs it, and that, too, In eon* 
Junclion with an intellj^ace which is rarely evioced by other birda. Thua 
in Seiiegal, irhete the heat is still great, she relinquishes her eggs dariw tlw 
day, but sits upon them through the night j and at the Cape of Good Hope, 
where the heat is less considerable, she sits upon them, like other birds, both 
day and night. In lilce manner <lucks and geese, though not renowned for 
sagacity, cover up their eggs when they quit them, till their return to the 
neat ; and there are few bii^ that do not turn and shift their eggs at diSnant 
periods of the tedious process of incubation, so as to give an eoosl degiM 
. of wannth to every part. We have already observed, nowevert tut the aft- 
commodatiof power of the instinctive priltciide to puticnlar circnmstanOMi 
which ao wonderfully enables it to supply the place of leaaon, gives it, in 
manv instances, a striking assumption of its character. It is, henea, poMi> 
Ue that one or two of the examplea here noticed may he leferrible to thia ao 
eommodating faculty ; but the exerciae of a certain extent of reason, as a 
distinct principle, must be admitted in several of them, in which there is not 
only a display of design and contrivance towarda the accompliehment of thia 
Dew object, but apparently of design and contrivance as the result of a gan^ 
lA convention and discussion of the question submitted to the tribe assemtded 
M the occasion, and whoae common interest is at stake. 

Generally speaking, the principle of instinct is perfect and infalliUe in its 
^idance ; there is, however, an occasional aberration, perfaapa a playfulness) ' 
ui this as in every other part of nature. Tfans the li(^ of the canme is, by 
lliea and various other insects, mistaken for the light and warmth of the sun, 
often to the loss of limb or even life itself. So the and blow-fly ■ 
(muBca eanMea and m. vomitoria) are deceived by the smell of the carrion- 
flower (stapelia hirnita), and often depoaite their eggs upon it instead of upon 

Ctrescent meat ; in consequence of which the gr^ die almost as aoon as 
[died, for want of proper nourishmenL 

In like manner we find, occasionally, a few migrating birds in oomrtrias 
where they were never seen before, and which have evioently mistaken their 

There are various instincts, connected, for the most part, with a singnlasity 
of configuration, that are either peculiar to the Inrda, or altogether anomatons. 
Bat they show, at least, that the great Author of nature is the lord and not Hm 
slave oi his own laws, and is at all times capable of prodncing definite effects 
by a diversity of means. Thus the didus *oIitarau, or soUtary dodo, in 
^neral esteemed almost as stupid a bird as the ostrich, divides the labour of 
incuhaiioD with his female, and alternately sits upon the ena daring bar 
absence, The hen of this tribe has a protuberance on each sioa tte breast, 
like the teat of qnadnipeds. When the young of the tiirtte.daire are hatched, 
and d^Mble of receiving nutriment from the crop of the motbar, the mala 
parent experiences an equal change and enlargement in thia oi^an, ascralea 
(he same nutritive material, and aqnUly eontributas to Iha auntoct of it* 

I have, already observed that insects in general deposiletiieir main plaeaa 
admirably suited to the future wants of the nascent larves, and than fDrar— 

lake leave of their embryo progeny : but the forficnla tn _ 

•ar-wig, broods over her young tikeahan, and only quits Htuaa at ni^l, 
which is dia usual period in which this genua fliea in pumit tf laai oc 

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Among migrating birds it is not very uncommon Tor the males alone to dan 
the daiigeri of a distant voyage, and to leave the feinales behind them s but 
in tlie friugilla CceUbt, or chaffinch, we find lliis rule iiojnpletely inverted ; for 
the female chaffinches of Sweden quit their males and migrate to Holland 
towards the winter, and duly return to thetn in the spring ; while manv of tho 
males indulge in a profound sleep during' the greater period of their aosence. 

Host vegetables mdulge in a winter-sleep of the same kind ; but there are 
■ome that sleep still longer. Ttius the tuberose root of the ferraria Frm- 
nolo, an ornamental herbaceous plant of the Cape of Good Hope, remains 
torpid every alternate year, and eometiraea continues in this state -for (wo 
years together, without putting forth either leaf or fibre. 

Let us close these observations with a momentary glance at the very ain- 
rular instinctive powers of llie cancer mricola, or land-crab. Tliis is an in- 
habitant of the tropical regions, and eapeciaily of the Uahama islands; it ii 
Eregnrious, and assotriates in large bodies tliat preserve an orderly sucictv, 
for the most part, in the recesses of inland mouniaina, though they rcguiariy 
once a year march down to the seaside in an army of some millions, to de- 
posite their spawn in the ocean. The time selected for this ejLpediiion is 
usually the month of May, when they sally forth from the stujnps of hollow 
trees, the clefts of rocks, and subterranean burrows, in enormous multitudes. 
The whole ground, indeed, is covered with this reptile band of advetilurers; 
and no geometrician could direct them to their destined station by a shorter 
course. They tuni neither to the right hand nor to the left, whatever be the 
obstacles that intervene! and if they meet with a house they will rather 
attempt to scale the walls than relinquish the unbroken tenor of their way. 
Occasionally, however, they are obliged to con form to tliefaceiif thecountry; 
and if it be intersected by rivers, they pursue the stream to its fountain head. 
In great dearth of miu they are compelled to hall, when they seek the most 
convenient encampment and remain there till the weather changes. They 
make a similar halt when the sun shijips with intense heal, and wait for the 
cool of the evening. The journey often lakes them up three months before 
they arrive on the seacoast; as soon as they accomplish which, they plunge 
into the water, shake off their spawn upon the sands, which they leave to 
nature to mature and vivify, and immediately measure back their steps to the 
roonntains. The spawn, thus abandoned, are not left to perish ; the soft 
sands afford them a proper nidus; the heat of the sun, ana the water, give 
them a birth ; when millions of little crabs are seen crawling to the shore and 
exploring their way to the interior of the country, and thus quitting ihejr 
elementary and native habitation, for a new and untried mode of existence. 
It is the marvellous power of instinct that alone directs them, as it directed 
the parent hosts from whom they have proceeded ; that marvellous power 
which is co-extensive with the wide range of organic life, universalli^ recog- 
nised, though void of sensation; consummately skilful, though destitute of 
intelligence ; demanding no growth or devclopement of faculties, but mature 
and perfect from its first formation. 

Tlie general corollary resultine from these observations is as follows : that 
instinct, as 1 have already defined it to be, is the operation of theprincipleof 
organized life by the exercise of certain natural powers, directed to the pre- 
sent or future good of the individual; while reason is the operation of the 
principle of intellectual life by the exercise of certain acquired powers di- 
rected to the same oUect ; that it appertains to the whole ajgsnized mass, as 
gravitation does to the whole unor^nized; equally actuating the smallest 
and the largest portions, the minutest particles and the bulkiest systems ; 
every organ and every part of every organ, whether solid or fluid, so long as 
it continues alive : that, like gravitation, it exhibits, imder particular cirenm- 
Btances, different modifications, different powers, and different eflecta ; but 
that, like gravitation, too, it is subject to its own division of laws, to which, 
ander definite circnmstances, it adheres without the smallest deviation ; and 
that its sole and uniform aim, whether acting generally or loeaUy, la that of 
peiiiKtioiii preservation, or teptodnction. 


- or Hs nxxle of existeoce we know nothing : but u little do we know of 
the i»inciple of gravilation or of mind. We can only auure ounelvea (hat 
Omy are mstinct powers, perhaps distinct essences ; uid we see Ihem sctinK, 
a« well separately as conjointly, for tbe general good. Under their accordant 
inftuence we behold the plastic and mysterious substance or matter, which 
we nioU be especially careful not to confound with themselrea, rising from 
"airy nothing" into entitv.; ascending from invisible elements into worlds 
and systems of woridg ; from shapeless chaos and confusion, into form, and 
order, and harmony ; from brute and lifeless immobility, into enervy and 
activity J into a display of instinct, feeling, perception'; of bebg, and SeauW, 
and happiness. One common design, one uniform code of laws, eqaally 
simple and majestic, equally local and comprehensive, pervades, inlorms, 
KOites, and consummates ihe whole. The eflecl, then, being one, the mighty 
cause that produced it must be one also; an eternal and infinite miity — Uie 
radiating fountain of all possible perfections — ever active, but ever at rest — 
ever present, though never seen — immaterial, incorporeal, ineffable: but the 
source of all mailer, of all mind, of all existences, and all modes of exist- 
ence. Whatever we behold is God— all nature is his awful temple — all 
■cieoces the porticoes that open to it : and the chief duly of philosophy is to 
conduct us to his altar ; to render all our attainments, which are the boun- 
teous afflationa of his spirit, subservient to his glory } and to engrave on the 
tablet of our hearts this great accordant motto of all natural and all revealed 
religion, of Athena and of Antioch, of Aratus and of St. Paul, " in him wa 
hn, and more, and have our being. " 

on BTHPATHT AMD ruonAtioiT. 

Wc have now summarily contemplated aeveral of the most important 
phenomena both of organic and inorganic nature ; and have traced out aome- 
thiiig of the laws by which these phenomena are produced and regulated. 
Among the most eitraordinary facts that have occurred to iia may, perhapa, 
be enumerated the occasional production of effects by causes wbicn do not 
appear to be immediately connected with them ; the operation of one body 
upon another remolely situated, and which, so far as we are able to trace 
tneiii, have no medium of comniunication. The sun is perpetually acting 
upon and influencing the earth, tbe earth the moon, the moon tbe ocean : the 
magnet operates upon iron, whatever bs (tie sheet of substance interposed ; 
and if the iron be divided into small filings, so that the different particles may 
move with facility, communicates to each an obvious polarity, and i^ves to 
the whole a peculiar and beautiful arrangement. And the repulsive and 
attractive powers of the electric flnid are supposed to act upon each other, not' 
only where two or more particles of this fluia are perfectly or very nearly in 
contact, but between all particles of it, at all distances, whatever obstacles 
may lie between tbem-t 

Chemical science lays open to us a wonderful field of similar affections 
and afflnities. Withui the range of its peculiar regions, we behold almost 
orery substance evincing a determinate series both of inclinationa and of 
antipathies, 'strongly attracted by one kind of material, indifferant towards a 
■econd, and powerfully avoiding a third. From these extraordinary e-idow- 
aenU proeeras irnqnestianably the union or separation of difiteent Dodiea, 

• AiSt-rtaMML 1.1,1 tTdm|^Lwtarci,val.L^IK 

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g to the natitrB of the endowments that are caUed into actiOB ; bol 
uenco, in perhapa cverf case, tommeDces before each bodiea tn in 
a ttaie of c^jntact, aixl in many caaea while the; are at -a consideraUB di*- 
Unc« bom each other. 

From Ufeleaa and inorganic matter tbcae peculiar and mvateiiona affisettona 
ucand to vegetable life, and diapl»y to us genna, molecules, tmd fibrila, 
■ahing not at nndom with germs, molecuiee, and fibrib, but each aefectia; 
the otSer, and occaaionally attmctiog them from remote aituationa, the femals 
malet and the male female rudimenta ; and this with the nicest diacriminalioa 
of their vaiiou powera of crassitude or tenuity, and, consequently, of reei- 
imKaladaptatum, without which no vital entity would ensue. PeTtups<meirf 
the BHMt extraordinary instances of this kind we are acquainted with eziata 
in the valiwieria ipiralU, aa aquatic and dicecoua plant, or one beloogiiut to 
OM class in which the male and the female are distinct iodividiials. Tha 
male has a Ions spiral stem, by which its flower is enabled at all times to 
■dapt itaetf to the surface of the water, frooi the bottom of which the plant 
diools forth, and to floM in the middle of tide-streams of almost every Tari»- 
lion ot Mcent The stem of the female is straight, and much shorter ; and 
ii hence only foimd in shallow waters, or on shores, where the tide exerts but 
litde inilnence. Thus difi^reatly formed and remotely situated, bow ia that 
anion to take place, without which there could be no increment, and tlie valisoeiu 
VouldbeUoUedoutof thebookof ve^table life. The whole prooeasti won- 
derful ; a port of it is obnous, but the rest is ctmcealed. As soon h lbs 
male flower is become perfected, the sprir^l stem dries aw&y, and the flower 
■eparates itself from itj and sails gallantly over the water in pursuit of the 
female, fbr the most part driven, indeed, by a current of the wind or of the 
■tream; yet aa soon aa it arrives within a ccrtdn range of the female, it 
obeys a new influence, and is attracted towards ii in various instances even in 
tq^sition to wind and tide, the powers that have hitherto directed it. What, 
now, ia this stupendous influence that thus operates at a distance, and gives 
to the male flower a new directionl It may possibly be a peculiar kind of 
odour or aroma ; and, perhaps, this is the most ptuloqophtcal way of account- 
ing for the fact : but however philosophical, it is altogether hypothetical, for 
we are incapable of ascertaining, and know nothing of the existence of any 
, such exhalation; and could we detect it, we sbonld be still totally ignorant 
of its mode of operation. 

The same curious pheaomena seem not unfrequently to take place 'in tha 
nnimal system : for here also we can truly affirm that bodies appear to act 
where they are not, and where we can trace no communicating medium. A 
snull laceration on one of the fingers, sometimes in our own country, but far 
more frequently in warmer climates, will produce, if unattended to, the disease 
of a locked jaw ] juii an ijiflammatioo or abscess of the liver a severe pain in 
the left shoulder. Yet in both these cases we are not distinctly acquainted 
with any closer connexion subsisting between the finger and the jaw, or the 
liver and the left shoulder, tban ibere is between these different organs and 
any other part of the syitem. We may theorlM) upon the nature of tha 
communication, but we nave no certain knowledge. 

The same fact is strikinglv exempliHed in the different operatioos of diflep- 
cnt poisons when introdu<^d into the stomach. Thus it has been observed 
by Mr. Brodie, in a valuable and ingenious paper, published in the Philosophical 
Trsosacttons for I8ll, that the infusion of tobacco, applied to any part of the 
alimentary canal, almost instantaneously, and apparently by some otner means 
than that of the circulation of the blood, destroys the action of the heart, 
Bnd consequently stops the pulsation, while the brain and the other muscles 
of the system, tiesides the heart, are comparatively but little affected ; and 
that alcohol, on the contrary, the esseatial oil of almonds, and the juica 
of aconite, destroy as rapidly the action of the brain, and throw the animal 
into violent convulsions, laborious respiration, and deadly stupor, while the 
heart continues its usual or nearly its usual pulsation, not only during the 
vhole of the symptoms, but for some minutes after death has actually taken 


(dac«. Tba woorara, perhaps & apeciea of tiennaa, with which lh« Indiini 
of Guiana poiaon die pointa of tbeir arrowa, prodDcaa the mat effict, whra 
inaened into a wound, as aconite juice ioiroduced into the atomaoh : it ope- 
nUa almoal eotirely upon the organ of the brain, and more npidlf thin it 
eould utlve there b^ the courae of the circulation. The upaa Jwiiar, lb* 
■nthiar Ttmcorta of'^Leechenaiit, .on the contrary, one -of the moat &talTeg»> 
table poisona of the ialand of Jara, producea death when inaertad into ft 
wound, not bv aSectinff the brain, but, like the infnaion of tobacco in tita 
Btomach, by deBtroying the action of the heart. 

In like manner, the poiaon of the ceraales, or bomedanake, though ao fatal 
in a few houra, often in a few mioutea when recened hy a wound, seems to 
produce little or no effect when taated and swallowed. " 11 i> clear," aajra 
Bruce, " the poiaon haa no activity, till through lonw sore or wound it ia 
admitted into circulAlon.* And a German phyaician (continnes he) waa 
bold enough to diatil Ibe pus or putrid matter flowing from the ulcer of a per- 
aon infected by the plague, and taale it afterward wiutont bad conaeqneneea.'* 

Of the immediate cauae or nature of this diTersJty of influence — this dis- 
crepancy of action between remote organs, we know no more than we do.of 
the cauae or nature of gravitation, of magnetism, or electricity. It has been 
denominated, indeed, mm^ailty,fdla»-fediag, or eamtnt ofpatU, in the gen»- 
ral langua^ of phyaidogical writen ; and * o long as we emj^oy tfaeae lofnis 
merely to import a definite kind or peculiarity of impulse, Uiey may have 
(heir use and convenience ; but tbey convey no knowledge, and ought not to 
be allowed, as 1 am afraid they sometimes are, to supply the place of know- 
ledge. That the muscles of the jaw-bone sometimes associate in tbeir action 
with the muscles of the hand or foot ; the organ of the left ahoulder with 
that of the liver -, and the atomaah, under some kinds of stimulus, with' the 
brain ; under oibera with the heart ; and under a third aort, aa all those that 
eicite nausea, with the skin \ while the skin, in return, associates very ^ne- 
rally with the action of the kidneys, are aacertsined and well-establuhad 
fhcts i but why they should be facts, or by what power or medium the asso- 
ciation ia maintained, we are altogether ignorant. 

When tlie circulation of the blood was drat discovered, it was supposed 
that all these anomalies mi^t fall wilhhi the range of this admualrie me- 
chanism, and might be explained by its operation. Not one of them, however, 
■a capable of such an explanation. Not is even the diffused redness which 
nniformly takes place around the nucleus of an inflamed part in any degree 
more intelligible or mora referriide to this piinci^ ; since, in consequence of 
the device of a circulating system, the vessels m the immediate vicinity of 
each other are as much cut off from all direct communication aa thoae st the 
renioteBt distance ; and only, so far as we an able te trace by ocular expe- 
riment, associate ^ the common current of the blood. Tliat tbey do, in facb 
aasociate 1^ other means we know ; bnt it is by means altogether concealed 
from ns : It Is by what, aa already observed, we call sympathy or fellow- 
feeling; but what we wily call so te express a pecuUarity of action, the canaa 
oT which we are incapable of penetrating. 

There is one curious uid highly important discovery in the animal eoonomyi 
however, that haa been made, or rather compleiely established, within tha 
last two or three years, which seems to show that auoh aaaociate aotkn of 
parts, at a distance from each other, may be Ibe tesvU of a direct interoania» 
or roedinm of commnnication, though the connecting channel is too snbtHe 
for punuit ; for it seems now te be ascertained, aa it had, indeed, been low 
anapected, though without the proof of actual experiment, that a vmety of 
substances pass from the stomach into the kidneys, apfiKFSntly withoot eiw 
tering inte the circulation of the blood, by an unnwwn and even a mock 
shorter course. Now, to the eye of the anatomist, there an no organs mora 
distinct from each other ; they not onlv lie far remote in situaticm, but sren 
in difftrent cavities, and are separated by a strong, atost memlHuai aalM 
dH peritmenm. 

• iMMlli M Ttnriib p. m. Sm iMis 



To detennine vhether juch a chuuiel actusll^ eziated or not, Dr. ^oflU' 
ton introduced into the stomach three eraina and s halt of the ialt called 
oniuiate of potash; the pretence of Wnich, in almost allkindiof colourieai 
jhiidi, ifl capable of detection to the utmost nicety, by mising with them a 
■mall portion of solution of iron, the colourless compound being immediately 
marked with a blue tinge. The above quantity was given to a healthy per- 
wn, about thirty-four years of age, and was repeated every hour to the Cuird 
tiiDe. The natural secretion from the kidneys being tested every half hoar, 
was found in two hours to be aliehtly dyed, and at ine end of four hours to 
affitrdadeepblue. Atlhi8perioa,juBt one hour after taking the last dose, and 
when the blood-vessela might be supposed to be fully impregnated with the 
material, if it passed to the kidneys through this conveyance, blood was taken 
from the arm, and allowed to coagulate, so that tbe serum or limpid part of tl 
might be fully separated. The presence of the prussiate was then endea- 
voured to be discovered, by means of the solution of iron, but without the 
]eBsteffect,for the serum stiU remained colourless. And in other experiments 
of a similar kind, made both by Dr. WoUaston and Dr. Marcet, it was satis- 
factoiily ascertained that the prossiate of potash, though it found its way 
readily Co the kidneys, did not exhibit any trace of its existence in the fluid 
of any other organ whatever, any more than in that of the blood ; as the 
saliva, the mucus of the nostrils, or the limpid dischai^ produced by blisters. 
Mr. Home has since shown, that ihubarb introduced mio the stomach in like 
manner finds a path to the kidneys, apparently without passing through the 
circulating system.* 

Hr> Home at one time suspected ihat.-the organ of the spleen aflbrdad a 
e from the stomach to the circulation of the blood in the cases before 

us, instead of the lacteal vessels, which immediately rise from the alimentary 
canal. Thia idea, he has, however, since relinquished as erroneons ; but had 
even such a passage existed, it would not have answered the purpose ; for it 
vould only have conducted materials by another path to the blood ; and tbe 
experiments of Dr. WoUaston have sufficiently proved, that the unknown 
channel, wherever it lies, has no connexion whatever with any part of the 
system of blood- veaeels, or even with the common system of aosorbent vee- 
sels : and so far he seems to have disproved a previous theory of Mr. Cbariea 
Darwin upon this subject, which held, that the absorbent system might be- 
come the channel, by assuming a retrograde action. Such action, howevert 
has never been established, and, independently of tbe experiments before us, 
it is rendered highly inconceiv^e by the known atrueture of tbe absorbent 
▼MMli tbemtelves. 

Tbe ooroUaiT, then, resulting from these observations, is, that in the animal 

S stem, as well as in inorganic nature, bodies invarioue instances act where 
ey are not, and through channels of influence or communication, with which 
we are altogether unacquainted. 

The examples thus far offered, in regard to animals, I readily admit, are 
taken from different parts of the same individual frame: but as they a 

drawn from parts remotely situated, and whose intercourse, so far as we are 
able to trace it, is aa mucn cut off as though they were of diflerent frames, 
excepting, indeed, by a channel which does not show itself to be resorted to 

in the cases before us, 1 mean the blood ; they may serve to lay a ground- 
work for our conceiving the possibility of a similar influence or aasociation 
of action between different parts of different frames, or, which is the same 
Iking, between living body and living body. 

I proceed, then, to offer examples of this latter kind of influence. The anh- 
Ject, 1 am aware, is not only of a very curious, but of a rery delicate nature, 


,__ Ji to be handled with the greateat dexterity; nor do I know of any 

^loaophical work to which we can turn aa a proper beacon to direct ui in 
our ponnit, and to detei-mine where the boundary of aober Judgment ceaaea, 
and that of ima^DHtion begins. 

Some of the instances I shall refer to may, perhaps, be denominated in- 
■tinctire influences. 1 have no objection to the tenn; but the facts will 
remain aa singular, and aa little accounted for, aa if no auch term were in 

AiiMin{ i^padrapeds, end, so far aa we know of them, among amphibiala, 
lieluts, and insects, there ezisla but little attachment of the male to the female 
during the time of pRrturition, or to hia own y ~~>k after the~female baa 
brou^t them forth. The aeat-tribes, and especih y those of the tricbecua 
' «,or Iamantin,froro which we have probably derived all the idle stories 
nen and mermaids, together with a few others, may, perhapa, be 
offered at an exception ; for these, and especially the Ismantin, farm union* 
of aingle male with single female that continue through life, and live in dia- 
tinct families with their offspring, till the last, acquiring maturiiyr leave their 
paternal home, and found similar families Tot themselves. Such, then, being 
the general fact with regard to other atumals, whence comes it to pftM that 
the males among the bird-tribes shouldevince, withafewexceptio^a,anatlacb- 
roent that is so rarely to be met with elsewhere 1 What is that wonderful power 
that rivets the greater number of male birds to female birds during the time of 
nestling and incubation ; that impels them to take an equal part m conttruet- 
W the neat, and eiimulates them with feelings unknown at any other seasoni 
Whence is it that several of them, as the mate raven (corvua Conu), divide 
the toil and time of sitting, and incubate the eggs by day as the female does 
t^ ni^ti or, that others of them, leaving to their respective females the 
■ entire process of incubation, sooth them through the wnole of this tedious 
period, often extending to not less than six or eight weeks, with their melo- 
dies from a neighbouring; bush, and supply them with food with the ntoosl 
tenderness and punctuality 1 

Whence is it, more especially amid birds that feed their young with a Tiacid 
chyle or milk, secreted at that peculiar period in the crop or craw, that thp 
crop of the male becomes enlarged and changed in its action, in the very 
same manner as that of the female, so as to enable him to divide the tender 
office of nursing, and to supply the yonng with an equal quantity of nutri- 
ntentl In the body of the mother we can, perhaps, trace a series of actions 
which, if they do not give us a full insight mto tne cause of such a cbangOi 
and auch an additional function, at least prepare ua to contemplate it vrith leas 
astonishment; it is a change, in a very conaiderable degree, analogous to 
what occurs in the female frame of most other kinds and classes when aimi- 
Isrly situated ; and which ia evinced in its highest and most beautiful perfec- 
tion in our own race. But in the production of a similar change in the crop 
of the male pigeon, we meet with a fact altogether anomalous and alone; 
there ia no connexion of org<in with oi^n ; no perceptible chain of actions 
that can have given riae to it ; the frames of the individuals are distinct It 
ia a pure sympathy excited in one being by a peculiar change produced in the 
organization of another, and leading to a similar change in the being that is 
Ihua moat wonderfully and Inexplicably operated upon. 

Let us pass from the bird-tribes to fiahea. There ar« various animals of 
this class that, on being touched, or even approached without being tonched, 
are enabled to exhaust the irritable or sensorial power, or both t(^;ether, of 
the hand or other limb that approaches them, so as to paralyze it and render 

it incapable of exertion. Such, especiallv, are those fisties which we denomi- 
nate the torpedo-ray, and the electric eel or gymnote. Of these the former 
has been longest known to naturalists ; for, jn consequence of its being an 
inhabitant of the Mediterranean Sea, it is described both by Greek and Soman 
writers, who impute its distinctive faculty to magic; and conceive that the 
■idinal has a power, not only of concentrating this magical energy at option, 
but if waiai nold of by a Ashing-juok, of u^wlling it ibiDUgn the whtte 


k, line, and rod, to ' 
, _ . r effeciing hia eicap 

will tike lM*e tluit to tramlate i — 

ItBgth oT tba book, line, and rod, to the arm of the angler, and hence hr pal> 
■jnnf hia aim, of effeciing hie eacape. So Oppiaa in Gieek vetaei, wnidi I 

llien ma;, peHiapa, be lome exa^ntion in thla deacHption ; but there arc 
not wanting natnraliete of modem times who contoDd that the torpedo ia able 
to throw hia benumbing influence to this extent and in thia manner. TUs inflo. 
ence, moreorer, ia altogether vnlnntaiy ; and hence the animal will aometimM 
allow himeelf to be tooched without exerting it. He ocoaatooallj^ loiten on 
tbemoiat aanda of the ahore after the tide haa retreated, burjrmg binwdf 
under the aand bj a briek flapping of hia fina, whieh aervea to flingtbia mat^ 
rill over him ; and in thia state he ia said to inflict at tiroea, even tnioagfa the 
aand that covers him, a torpor so severe aa to throw down the astouiabed pae- 
aenjmr that is inadvertently walking over it. 

We sow know something of the medium throngh which thia Biiim8l<^>fr 
ntea, and have no difficulty in referring it to an electric or Voltaic auim, and 
can even trace a kind of Voltaic apparatua in its struclnre. Yet, before tlia 
laws or power of electricity or Vollaiem were known, and, conaeguentlf, 
before the medium by which they act was followed up, which to thu hour, 
however, is only known by its results (for it has never been detected as an 
ol^eet of senae), it ia not to be wondered at that so mysterious an energy, 
operating or ceasing to operate at the option of the animal, and occasionally 
operitiiig at a diatance mm the individual affected, ahould be regarded aa k 
apeciea of magic or incantation. 

The Toltaio power of the electric eel o? gymnote, ia, however, moK ob- 
vioua and eihctive than that of the torpedo ; the gymnote making a sudden 
and concentrated aaeault tnr shocks, of leai or greater violence, as though 
fhMn K more highly-chaigMf battery ; and the tomedo, by a nombness or tor- 
por, whence, indeed, its name, produced by small but inceaaant vibrationa of 
vottaiem, seldom, exoepting in severe casea, amounting to the aggregitioa 
of shocks, and precisely similar to what ia felt in a limb upon amying to It 
a great multitude of weak strokes, rapidly repeated from a amall battery or 
Leyden phial. Yet even the peculiar properties of the gymnote were re- 
ceived with Aie greatest skepticiam for nearly a century after their first die. 
corer^; which, as this fish ia almost exclusively a native of the wattner seas 
and riven of Africa and America, did not take place till the middle of the 
Mventeenth century. They were first pointed out to the French Academy in 
1671, bj M. Richer, one of t^e travelling profeaaora aent out by the Academy 
to conduct certain mathematical obaervations in Cayenne ; but were not gene- 
rally credited till the concurrent experiments of M. Condamine, Mr. Ingram, 
Mr. Oravesend, and other celebrated natural historiana, set every doubt at 
rest, about a century afterward. ' 

lite more formidaUe power of the electric gymnote enables it, npoo the 
aatbority of abnoat every experimentist, to give not only severe shocks, both 
^a the water and out of toe water, when in actaal cootacl with another ani- 
■ raal, but to couvot titem, as we have Just observed that the torpedo is said to 
do, though upon doid>tfnl testimony, urough long rods or poles. It is hisUv 
probaUe, however, that such poles must Aral be wetted with water; for both 
the gymnote and the torpedo are found to be limited to precisely the same con- 
dnetma- and non-conducting mediums as are met with in common electricity. 

Id these cases we trace something of the medinm by which the irritable or 


MMorild power it exhaOated. lliere an nriotH other ca«et, honvfmt, in 
idiich, to tnia moment, we are aa i^ornnt, and as little capable of tracings it, 
>i mankind muit hav« been in regard to 6te animal* before ua, antecedentlj 
to a difcorery of the electric aura. And I here particularly allode lo the 
toipid effecia produced upon poisonous serpents end scorpions in Africs and 
America, on their being handled by peraons of two diSerest descriptioos j the 
one possessing this torpifying power natorally and hereditarily, and the other 
acquiring it by artiSctal preparation; such as chewing the roots or other 
parts of certain [dants, ruobing them in their hands, or bathing the body in 
aqneona infaaiona of titem, and thus impregnating the body of the operator 
with their virtues. 

There appears to be no country in the world BO much infested with Mt^ 
penta of thia kind as the ancient C]rrenaica, or that part of Africa which liea 
northward of the great desert of Sahara. Among the dlfl^rent tribes Ihmt 
formerly inhabited thia region, one of the most celebr&ted was the Psylli) 
and as this tribe seema to Rare been in full poaaession of this power, either 
from art or nature, and to have given the slrongesl and most extraordinary 
proofs of its haring possesaed it, all penoui capable of exerting a similar 
effect were denominated Payili by the Qreek and Roman writera. And henca 
Plutarch tells ua, that when Caio punued his march through the Cytenaic 
desert in search of Juba, he' took with him a variety of these Psylli to suck 
onl the pojaon from the wonnds of sucfa of his toldien u should be bitten by 
the numerous serpents of the country. 

It sf^Ksrs most probable that the Payili were not natnrally protected agahiM 
thw TCRom, but from long and akilfnl practice were acquainted with the vi^ 
tne of those plants which, as I have Just hinted, answer both ae a preserva- 
tive against the bite, and as an antidote after the bite has been inflicted : and, 
being strongly addicted to divination or pretended magic, as all the tiialoriana 
whonavegivenus any account of them affirm them to have been, aSbcted to de- 
rive their power of subduing poison from this preteniaturai source alone, and 
inculcated the belief that thev could only exercise it,ibj muttering or chant- 
ing some potent verae or spell over the person who was affected. And hence 
the disarming a serpent of his capacity of poisoning, or disarming the poison 
itself of its deadly effect after a wound tiad been received, was denomi- 
nated charming or incantation. SoSilius Italicna,* in allusion to the Psylli, 
or their neighboora, the Marmsrides, lib. iii. : 

D have been noifomily ascribed to the same inflnenee of eertain magical 

word* or versea chanted, or uttered in recitative ; and it appeal* alM to have 
been very generally conjectured, that there exists nme i\nda or species of 
poisorxius serpents that an capable of shutting their ears against the aonnda 
tfana uttered, and that will not tiesrken to or be charmed by the voice of the 
enchanter, however skilful the enchantment. 

Tli« sacred books abooad in allusions to this popolar tradition ;t they are 
fiqinnUy to be met with in the writings of the Greek and Roman poete, and 
even in the Sanscrit moralists, as, for example, in the Hitopadesa of Tishnu- 
■armao, probaUyof a higher antiquitythao the Psalmist himself, who tells os 
in his book of aphorisms, that "as a charmer draweth a serpent fkom his 
bole, eo a good wife, taking her husband ttma hie place of torture, enjoyeth 
happiness with liim."t 


t Ifc tvU. a, Si Dm Jtf . *U1. IT, Dm. nU. 11. 


Than an flome pbilosophera and hiitoriana, who hav« Tentared to diibe* 
lieve thatanyauchexlraordinary power has ever been poaaesaed by any peo- 
ple. The very cautioua writers of the Ancient Univeraal Hiatory expreaa no 
amall degree of Bkepticiam upon this point :* and M. Denon, one of the chief 
of the literati that accompanied Buonaparte to Egypt, has been bold enougib 
to laugh at the Bssertion, and to regard every pretension to such & power aa 
a direct imposture. He offers, however, no sufficient ground for his ridicule, 
and ia Satly contradicted by the concurrent testimony of all the beat travel- 
lera, both lo Africa and South America. Mr. Bruce is very full and very ex- 
plicit opon the subject. He distincclv states, from minute personal obsem- 
tion, that "all the blacks in the kingdomofSennaar, whether Funge or Nuba, 
are perfectly armed {by nature) against the bite of either scorpion or viper. 
Tbey take the cerastee (or horned serpent, being the most common, and on« 
of the most fatal of all the viper tribes) in their hands at all times, put them 
in their bosoms, a,ad throw them to. one soiotber, as children do apples or 
balls ;"t during which sport the serpents are seldom irritated to bite, and wbea 
they do bite, no mischief entiues from the wound. The Arabs of the same 
country, however, he tells us as distinctly, have not this protection naturally; 
but from their infancy tbey acquire an exemption from the mortal cone^ 
quences attending the bite of these animals, by chewing a particular root, 
Knd washing themselves with an infusion of particular plants in water. 

The Nuba and Funge, however, or those who are preserved naturally from 
the bite and venom of the viper and acoipion, are also highly skilful in tho 
knowledge and application of these roots, and other parts of plants,*lo those 
who have no natural protection or charm. Mr. Bruce has given a particular 
account of several of these plants, some of which aeem ouly capable of act- 
ing against the power of the serpent, others only against that of the scorpioi^ 
and a third sort against both. And in either instance, where they secure 
against the bile or sting, and thus operate as a preventive or prophylactic, 
they also secure equally against the poison, when introduced into the ayatsm 
by a wound, and thus operate as an aiitidote. 

In South America the natural charm does not seem to be possessed by any 
tribe : but the artificial charm, obtained by the use of peculiar plants, is koowo 
as extensively, and employed as successfully, as in Africa, and is found to 
possess the same double virtue of an antidote and a preventive. One of the 
most satisfactory accounts of this singular fuct is contained in a memoir 
drown up, in 1791, by Don Pedro d'Orbies y Vargas, a native of Santa Fe, 
which details a long and accurate list of experiments which he instituted to 
ascertain it. The plant chiefly employed by the American Indians, he tcU« 
us, is denominated in that part of the world v^jnco de guaco, guaco-withy, 
from their having first observed that the bird of this name, or, as Catesby 
calls it, the serpent-hawk, usually aucks it before it attacks poisonous ser- 
pents, and then attacks them without mischief.^ Prepared oy drinkmg % 
amall portion of the juice of this plant, and inoculating themselves with it 
also, by rubbing it upon three small punctures in the hands, breast, and feet, 
and thus impregnating the body with its virtues, Don Pedro himself, and all 
his domestics, were accustomed to venture into the open lields, and fearlessly 
seize hold of the largest and most venomous serpents. It was scarcely ever 
that the animal thus charmed or fascinated had power lo bite, and when hr 
did so, the wound produced was alight and of no consequence. H. Acrell, 
in the Ammnitales Academiee, after mentioning the same plant, tell ua that 
the senega is possessed of a like power.^ 

Of the truth of the fact, therefore, thus confirmed by the most Imsty travel- 
lers and historians, in different quarters of the world, there can be no doubt; 
and it adds to the facility of believing it to find that other animals besides 
men are possessed of a similar power. Thus the conderand the wild bomr 
feed hannlesaly on the rattlesnake, which appears to offer no resistance to 

•V<it.ULp.W|,ADpMdil. tlacnia. Ajioi^li.*.tltt. 

!lt appean to tn u» tuMortbiiM Mungtt at limunis. 
*aMn. Anrf. ™l tL N». lU. Mo— - =— '* 



. tbelr BtUck, and anffer no injury from iti venom after they have utMed theb 
hunger. In both these cases, the chsmi or power of protection appears to 
be nalural, as in the Nuba and Fun^ tribes of Africa. In the serpent-hawk 
or Euaco, However, just noticed, which derives its chief food from poisonous 
BiiHKes, Rnd in the lantaJus or ibis of li^gypt, the numenius RU of Cuvier* 
which equally attacks and devours Ihem, the charm or protection seems to b« 
artificial, and to depend upon the virtue of the plant to which Aey have re- 
course for this purpose ; tor I have already observed that the serpent-hawk 
uniformly applies to the ophiorrhiza before he commences the batile { while the 
ibis, though he appears to open the Rgbt without any such preparation, retires 
from the Iktd, if woimded, to the plant which he knows will serve as an antidotCt 
ajid immediately renews and continues it till he has vanquished his enemy. 

The fact, then, being incontrqvertible, we have next to inquire into tho 
secret and invisible cause of lo very aalutiferous and extraordinary an effect ; 
or ralhei, into the nature of the medium by which so extraordinary and effect 
is produced. That there is in all these cases a peculiar emanatioo iasuiug 
from the body of the protected, there is little doubt. 

But we have no reason for ascribing it to electricity orToltaism, since the 
persons thus peculiarly endowed, whether by art or nature, whether tempo- 
rarily or permanently, exhibit no proofs of an electric power upon any other 
animal, or of the same power, whatever it may be, in any other way. It 
appears, nevertheless, to be a power that operates in a manner somewhat 
siniiinr to, but in some respects more forcible and more general, than that of 
etcctricily: I mean by exhausting equally and altogether the muscular and 
sensorial energy of the serpejit or scorpion to which it is applied ; for, in 
regard to tlie serpent kinds, we are told distinctly, as well in America aa in 
Atrica, that they remain totally torpid and inactive beneath its influence; 
scarcely ever being able to muster up force enough to attempt any resistance, 
even wheneaten up 3live,a8 Bruce assures ushehasscen them, from tail to head, 
like a carrot ;* a fact which, doubtless, could never occur in animals ao active 
aiid courageous, unless they were secretly deprived of all power of resistance. 
We are not left, however, to mere conjecture upon this subject ; for 
Mr. Bruce most positively affirms, that they constanily sicken the moment 
they are laid hold of, and that they are sometimes so exhausted by this 
invisible power of fsBcination, as to perish as effectually, though not ao 
rapidly, as though they had been exhausted by an electric battery, or a stroke 
01 lightning : "I constantly observed," says he, "that however lively the 
viper was before, upon being seized by any of these barbarians, he seemed 
as if taken with nchuti cu^ fetblenai, frequently shut his eyes, and never 
turned his mouth towards the arm of the person that held bim.^f And in 
another place, lie as expressly aaserts, that he has seen the animal die while 
under the stroke of this invisible influence. 

We have here, then, an effect produced, and of the most powerful character, 
by one animal upon another, without our being in the least degree enable of 
tracing the medium of operation. 

Whetlier in this case actual contact is absolutely necessary does notaeem 
to have been ascertained or suffiniently attended to. 

In the case of electric fishes, vre have already seen It is not absolutely 
necessary i and in anollierphenomenon.peihapaof aatill moreextraordina^ 
nature than any I have yet adverted to, it seems to be still less BO, and, 
indeed, not at all necessary,— I mean the very curious fascinating power of 
the rattlesnake over various small animals, aa birds, squirrels, and leverets, 
which, incapable of turning off their own eyes from Inose of the serpent- 
enchanter, and overpowered with terror and amazement, seem to straggle to 
get away, and yet progressively approach him, as' though urged forward, or 
attracted by a power superior to that of natural instinct, till at length iheT 
' enter apparently without any foreicn force, into the serpent's moul^ whicn 
has all along been open to receive t^em, and are instantly devoured. 

•n«v<KAa.jkn(Bdu,r.aB. tib.p.«)i 

lv:-^.:S..v Google 


In the diActft^ of aceoanting: for tfaii mcMt eitraoidf nary Inflnenee, tben 
are aofflepenons who have ventured, aa in the preceding casei, to doubl the 
trath of tne feet, since, id the marrellous, it will always be Found far mors 
ewy to doubt than to determine, though the belief of il has been very gene- 
lally gaining- ground wiihin the course of the last half-rentuiy. Pennant 
leeniB to allow it with some degree of hesitation, admitting, however, the 
authority of those who have asserted it. Dr. Mead endeavoured to aceount 
for it upon the principle of mere terror ; iny late learned friend. Professor 
Barton of Philadelphia, upon that of acourageoos daring of parent anim^ 
in defence of their young, in aonsequence of which they often adventure too 
sear, and are seized upon; Dr. Barton apprehending that this is a fate which 
mere frequency puraues older than yonnger adimaTs. Neither of these ex- 
planations, however, can be very readily assented to ; the first being inade- 
quate to the effect produced, and Ilie second being contiary to the general 
observations of naturalists who have treated upon the subject: in conse- 
queoce of which Hajty A. Gordon, of South Carolina, has since ventured npon 
another explanation, which is highly ingenious, and may hereafter, perhaps, 
be fully ButMtantiated. In a paper published by him in the New York His- 
torical Society, he attributes the fascinating power supposed to be possessed 
by serpents to a vapour which they secrete, and can throw around them to a 
ceriain distance at pleasure. He advances various facts in support of this 
opinion, and observes, that the vapour produces a sickening and stnpifyinc 
effect; and alludes to a negro who, from a peculiar acuteness of smell, could 
discover a rattlesnake at a distance of two hundred feet when in the exercise 
ofthfs power, from his smell bein^ aflected by it; and who, on following such 
indication, always found s'ome animal drawn within its vortex, and struggling - 
Vith its influence.* 

Should this asserted fact be conSrmed bv others of a like kind, it will ^re • 
ns an insight into the nature, not only of the present, but of similar fascma- 
tiona, which we stand much, in need of. The greater acuteness of smell in 
barbarous and uncultivated tribes than in those of civilized nations, we have 
already had occasion to notice, and have endeavoured to account for.f In 
some instances it is highly probable that the emanation is alone perceptible 
by the animals that are overpowered by it; which may be the case in the 
example of serpenwharmers, and sometimes in the fascination of serpents 
themselves. In other examples, and especially those of arlificiei emanations, 
there is anodourof which every one is sensible, though its captivating power 
is conilned to the particular tribe to which it is directed ; and 1 now dlude to 
ibe mode of charming trout and other fresh-water fishes, by illininj the hand 
with aaafcetida, to which, indeed, we had occasion to refer in a lormer lee- 
ture.^ The trout, in its intoxication of delight (for here the charm is accoin- 
panied with a forcible pleasure instead of a forcible pain), resigns all caution, 
becomes dead to its natural instinct, and so far from flying from the eDsnarinr 
hand when introduced into the water, advances to it irresistibly, as the bird 
to the jaws of the rattlesnake, and suffers itself to be laid hold of and faU a 
prey to the decoyer. 

There is, hence, nothing in the accounts of these curious powers of fa«ci- 
nation that is hostile to our own experience : and diough our own senses may 
not be fine enough to detect the medium of action iu every instance, whether 
natural or artificial, we have soms reason for ascribing it seuerally to an 
overwhelming emanation, capable of leading captive the ordinary instincts 
and faculties of the animals upon which it is exercised, and hereby of hurry- 
ing them headlong to destruction. Cateshy, the best natural historian of 
North America, while admitting that he had never witnessed an instance of 
the fascination of the rattlesnake, asserts that he had received one unifomi 
aceount of it from a variety of persons who had witnessed it j nor is it, 
indeed, denied by Dr. Mead or Professor Barton, but only attempted to bo 
accoonted for upon principles which will not apply, or are not adegmlo. 

s.l(>.iU.v.*Tt. !■■ 



In trntb, the rattleanake does not seem to be the only serpent that ia poa- 
■eMed of this extraordinary inftuence. The American wriiera contend that 
the larger snakes of various kinds hare a similar power. Dr. Barrow, in fail 
travela into the interior of South America, asserts this to be a fact well known 
to almost eveiT peasant in that quarter of the world ; and Vaillant, in hit 
travel* into Africa, affirma lliat, at a place called Swortlaod, beholding a 
ahrike in Ihe very act of fascination by a large serpent at a dislaoce, the flery 
eyes and open mouth of which it was gradually approaching with convulsive 
tremblings, and the most piteous shrieks of distress, he shot the serpent 
before the bird had reached it; still, however, the bird did not fly, and on 
taking it up, it was already dead, being killed either by fear or by the faa- 
cinatinr infiuence of the serpent, although upon measuring the gronnd bfl 
found the apace between [hem to be not less than three feet and a half. 

M> Acrell, in a very interesting paper upon this subject in the Swedish 
AmiBDitates Academics,* contentu that the coluber Bena, or common viper, 
is in some degree endowed with the same fascinating power as the rattle- 
make. And there is a case much in point inserted in one of Ihe earijr 
TOlumea of the Philosophical Transactions, which states that a mouse, put, 
by way of experiment, into a cage in which a female viper was confined, ap* 
peared at first greatly agitated, and was afterward seen to draw near to the 
viper gradually, which continued motionless, but with fixed eyes and dis- 
tended mouth, and at length entered into its jaws and was devoured. 

There is, in truth, a secret kind of influence, but whether of the same kind 
or distinct from it, we have no means of ascertaining, which other a"' fpal f 
possess on particular occasions, and which is even in some cases possessed 
by man, and is known to disarm the fury of the most enraged or viciou 
quadrupeds. This is peculiarly seen at times in the case of watch-dogs, over 
' whom some housebreakers have found out the secret of exercising so seduc 
tlve and quieting a power, as to keep them in a profound silence while the 
burglary is committed. M. Lindecrantz, another interesting writer in the 
Amcenitate* Academics of Sweden, tells us, that the natives of Lapland and 
Dalame are in possession of this secret generally, insomuch that they cao 
instantly disarm the most furious dog, and oblige him to fly from them with 
all his usual signs of fear, such as dropping his tail, and euddenly becoming 

Grooms are sometimes found possessed of a similar power over horses' 
Mr. Townsend, a cleiwrnan of excelleul character and considerable learn- 
ing, has a striking anecdote to this effect, in his account of James SulUvan. » 
native of the county which forms the subject of his pen. The man, an awk- 
ward, ignorant rustic of the lowest class, was by profession a horaebreaker, 
and generally nicknamed the mliiaptrer, from its being vulgarly snpposed that 
he obtained his influence over unruly horaes by whispering to tnem. The 
actual secret of his fascinating power he kept entirely to himself, and it has 
died with him. His son, who is in the same occupation, knows nothing of iL 
But it was well known to etery one that, however nnbroken or vicious k 
horse, or even a mule, mi^ht be when brought to him, in the short space of 
half an hour he became alwgether passive under his influence, and was not 
mly entirely gentle and tractable, but in a very considerable degree continued 
■o, though somewhat more submissive to himself than to others. There wu 
a little mystery in his plan, bnt unquestionably no deceiL When sent for to 
tame an unruly horse, he oaiered the stable door to be shut upon himself and 
the animal alone, and not to bo opened till a given signal. This singular 
intercourse usually lasted for ahout half an hour; no bustle was heard, or 
violence seemingly had recourse to : but when the door was opened on the 
proper sign being given, the horse was always seen lyinc down, and Ihe fas- 
cinator by his side, playing with him familiarly as a child with a pnroy. " I 
once," says Mr. Townsend, " saw his skill tried on a horse tliat conld never 
before be brought to stand for a smith to shoe him. The day after Sullivau's 

■VaLfLNaIIXlb»inewpaBraiD,ITei. t Ve). It. No. SS. Ctodi ABlUnU, ITH. 



half-hoar lecture, I trent, not without some iacrednlity, to the smith's shifi^ 
widi many other cnriou* spectators, when we were eye-witnuses of the 
corafdete success of his art. This, too, had been a troop-horse, <md it was 
supposed, not without reason, that after regimental discipline had failed, no 
other would be found availine. I observed that the aniinal seemed iifraid 
whenever Sullivan either sp^e or looked at hitn."* In common cases, 
Mr. Townsend adds, even the mysterious preparation of a private interview 
was not necessary, the animal becoming tame at once. We have here, there- 
fore, another instance of most extraordiDary and instantaneous ascendency 
of one animal being over another, without any manifest medium of action, 
which we ai« occasionally, but not often, called upon to witness. That it 
could not have been force is clear; and (hough natural firmness sod intre- 
pidity may do much, they by no means appear to have been suIDcient in the 
present case, and could, mdeed, accomplisn but little in the darlc. Nor does 
there seem to be any mode of accounting for auch a control so reasonable as 
that of a natural or artificial emanation from the fascinator, which we have 
already adverted to ; and, if the last, obtained, perhaps, as in many of these 
instances, by illiiiing or impregnating the person of the operator with the 
Tirtues of various plants unknown or tittle linown to the rest of the world. 

Thus far we may proceed safely upon the subject before us. But some 
theorizers have not rested satisfied here, and with much rhapsody of inven- 
tion, have esrried forward the same mysterious agency into the recesses of die 
intellect, and contended that it is by a similar kind of medium, or, sometimes, 
by a sort of elective attraction, operating invisibly through the moral world, 
as the imperceptible powers before us operate in the physical, that mind pm- 
ducea oucasionally an instantaneoua influence upon mind; whence, say they, 
we are at times impelled, by a certain indescribable sympathy, to feel more 
pleased with one person of less intellectual and perhaps even less moral 
worth, than with another person, whose endowments in both reHpecta ai« 
confessedly superior: while others, pursuing the hallucination still farther, 
hare gravely suggested, is possibly by some such medium that an in- 
tercourse is occasionally maintained between ourselves and the spirits of our 
departed friends; between this world and worlds around us. To hunt down 
such vagaries would indeed be a thriftless employment; and I Miiy mentioa 
them to show that philosophy has its dreams and romances as well as his- 
tory or even poetry j and that the principles of physics are as liable to per- 
version as those of ethics. PhUosophy is a pilgrim, for the most part, of 
honest heart, clear foresight, and unomamented dress and mannenj^lha 
genuine bride to whom heaven has betrothed him is Reason, of celestial birth 
and spotless virginity; and the fair fruit of so holy a union is truth, virtue, 
sobriety, and orner. But should ever the plain pilgrim play the truant, aa 
unfortunately in the present corrupt slate of things we have reason to fear 
has too frequently proved a fact,— should ever Philosophy migrate from his 

E roper hermitage, and in an hour of ebriely connect himself with the hariol 
magmalion, what can be the reault of so unlicensed a dalliance but a spawn 
of monsters and miscreations j of hideous ajid unreal existences ; of phaa- 
toms and will-o'-the-wisps, equally abhorred by God and man ; treaeheroaslT 
haagmg up their dim wildfire, in the pestilent boaom of ipists and exhala- 
iKms, and from their murky shades alluring the incantious iuquirer to boos 
and atongfaS) and quagmires of wreck and ruin T ^^ 

oy Google 


W> are proceeding to a subject or much difficulty in theory, though of the 
gredtest familiarity in Tact ; and I freely confeaa to you, that although I hav« 
endeavoured to investi^te almoat every opinion that haa been offered uptm 
itf from the time of AnaloUe to our own day, I have never met with ao^ 
thiu^ in the least degree satis factory, or capable of unravelling the petpluu- 
lies in which it lies entangled. 

What can possibly be more opposite to each other than the two states of 
wakefulness and sleep 1 — the senses in fuUvigoiirand activity, alive to every 
pursuit, and braced up to every exertion,— and a suapenaioD of all teiise 
whatever, a looseitees and ioertnesa of the voluntary powers, so neari^ akin 
to death, that nothing but a daily experience of the fact itself could justify 
us in expecting that we could ever recover from it 

And yet, while such i« the lifeleesneas without, the mind, now destitute of 
the control of the will, is often overwhelmed with a chaos of ideas, ruahiDf 
upon each other with so much rapidity, that the transactions of ages are 
crowded Into moments, and so confused and disjointed, that the wildest and 
most incongruous fancies flit before us, and every thing that is poaeible be- 
comes united with every thing that is impossible. 

Such, however, are the oramary means devised by Inflnite Wisdom to 
reviTlfy the animal frame when eidiausted by the laboure of the day; to 
recruit it for new exertions, and enable it to fill up the measure of its 

The order I shall take leave to pursue in discussing this abstruse subject 
will consist, first, in a brief examination of the more prominent bypolhese* 
on sleep and dreaming that have been oSered to us by ancient and modern 
schools: secondly, in a minute analysis of the feelings and pbenomeua br 
which theae operations are characterized, agreeably to the aeries in whicii 
the^ occur 1 thirdly, in submitting the outline of a new theory to explain the 
entire process : and, lastly, in an- application of such theory to a variety of 
other aubjecta of a similar and equally extraordinary nature. 

Sleepmay be either natural or morbid. The former is uaually produced by 
whatever eshauata the principle of life ; as great muscular excitement, vio- 
lent pain, vehement use of the external senses ; or great mental excitement, 
M intense thought or severe dielrese. Morbid sleep is commonly occasioned 
by compression or commotion of the brain, and is hence often the result of 
congestion, plethora, or local injury to the skull. 

Compression and commotion, inongh leaa frequent, are more direct ind 
obvious causes: and hence the greater number of physiologists believe com- 
pression to take place, also, though in a alight degree, in every case of Data- 
nl sleep; and in reality to conatMita-the immediate, while sensorial eidiaue' 
tion only constitutes the remote, cuuso of this phenomenon, l^ey appeal 
to the lethargic effect of a full stomach in infante, and of drunkenness in 
•duttd, which they refer to' congestion in the brain, in consequence of a 
greater influx of blood into this or^n : and hence the^reason that a similar 
■ort of pressure is produced by some means or other m every case of sleep. 

But what are the means of pressure tims referred to 1 Ajid here a cODsi- 
deraUe difficulty ie felt by every school of physiologiater and two distinct 
■checnea are devised to get rid of it. By the one we are directed to the artv 
rial system, which, we are told, becomes pecoliarly excited and overchaigetl 
in the organ of the brain during wakefulness, from the activity of the internal 
•ensaa.* By the other we are directed to the absorbent syatem, which front 

Of of tbe ttikonu Htkle 00 ■!««* 


the same aclirity is said to become worn out and rendered torpid ia the nms 
oi^an ; and, hence, to be incapable of cairyuiE off the Ane fluid which ia 
perpetually exhaling from the secement Tesaels into tiie renthclei of the 

Nothing, however, can he more unfounded than both theae conjeetorea, and 
it is difficult to determine which of the two ia the moat so. But we are in no 
wani of either of them, for we ar« in no want of the preaanre which they 
are invented to accouQt for. The principle of exhaustion alone will, I trust, 
be found aufficient to Answer every purpose as a general cauae of natural 
sleep; and, were it posaible for ua to add that of local piessure, the sleep 
would no longer be natural, but rooihtd. 

Before we proceed farther, however, I will joat hint that Dr. Cullen sup- 
poses the nervous fluid or power to be disposed by nature to an alternating 
state of torpor and mobility.* He doea not admit that it is ever exhauatM 
and restored aa a secretion it and hence in sleep it is only auspended : and in 
conaeauence of this suspension the exercise of sense and volition is aus- 
pendea, also.{ Narcotics do not, therefore, in his view, exhaust, but only 
suspend the nervous power or fluid, and thus induce sleep, which coaeists in 
such suspenaioD. The apparently stimulaut power of narcotics he derives 
from the vigilant exertion of the vie medicatrix nalurs,— the inalinclive 
effort of nature to guard against such suspension of vital power as essen- 
tially miachievous, and, when i;arried to an extreme, fata] : and hence, nar- 
cotica are with him directly sedative, but only indirectly stimulanL He aup- 
poses both sleep and waiting to take place upon each other merely by a law 
of alternation: an explanation that will satisfy few. 

But the chief attention of physiologists, both ancient and modem, haa been 
directed to the subject of dreaming, which haa usually but erroneously been 
regarded as a distinct process from that of sleeping. Let us next, therefore, 
as briefly as may be, and before we enter into a direct analyais of tlie pheno- 
mena that suceeHsively arise, take a glance at a few of the conjectures by 
which dreaminghas hitherto been accounted for. 

Among the Greek philosophers we meet with two e^lanatioiu that ar« 
worthy of notice ; that of Epicurus, tiecause of its ingenuity, and that of 
Aristotle, because it has descended to the present times. 

According to the Epicurean hypothesis of sensalioo, all the oigana of ex- 
temal aense are stimulated to their appropriate functions, by the friction of 
an effluvium or emanation thrown off from the tiody perceived. This doc- 
trine, which still holds good, and is uniformly employed in modem times to 
explain the senses of taste and antell, was equally extended by Epicurus to 
those of sight and hearing: the former being supposed to depend upon an 
effluvium of exquisitely flne films, images, or bficiks, as they were technically 
called, perpetually issuing in every direction from every existing aubstancer 
somewhat in the manner in which snakes and grasshoppers cast off their 
skins annually, but almost infinitely finer, and altogether inviaib^. And as 
theae rush against the eye, they were conceived to convey to it a perfect image 
of the object from which they are ejected^ While eound was supposed to 
be excited in like manner by particles of a peculiar kind thrown off trom tbo 
sonorous body, and rousin? the ears by their appropriate stimulus. 

These effluvia of every kind were conceived to be so exquisitely attenoate 
that ^ey can pass, as light, heat, or electricity doe*, through a variety of 
solid bodiee, without being destroyed in their passagft- The effluvia or peUi- 
-cles of vision were supposed not unfrequently to arise from the very bodies 
of those that have been long buried; and- to be capable not only of tians- 
pjercing the soil m which they are inhumed, and of stimulating the organs of 
external sight, but of winding throng the substaacc of the flesh, and of sti- 
mulating the soul itself in the iotenor of the animal frame, especially when 

■ ocwlc 


in 8 itate of tlesp, in which the external sense is cloeed, or of deep atwtrao- 
IktD, in which it u inattentive ; and-thua of preaentiQg to the soul in its naked 
state, aa it may be called, pictures of objecta no longer in existence. A^d 
hence these paUosophers, with ^reat in^nnily, thougli, as it now appears, 
with ^reat incorrectness, undertook to solve many of the most difficult pro- 
blems in nature; accounted forthe casual appearance of spectres in the 
gloom of solitude and retiiement, and directly unfolded to the world th« 
" stuff that dreams are made of." 

11 is needless to point out the errors of this system, for it has long sunk 
into disuse, never to rise again. And 1 shall therefore proceed to the rival 
hypothesis of Aristotle, which, though equally unfounded in fact, has heea 
fortunate enough to descend to modem times, and to have met with very 
powerful adTocatet in M. Wolff" and M. Formey-f It was the doctrine of 
Ariatolle, that external sensalitAs not only produce by their stimulus a variety 
of iirru.LecTCAi. fobmb or images in the sensory, somewhat similar to tb« 
ideas of Plato, and for all practical purposes not very dissimilar to what is 
meant by ideas in the present day, but that these forms or ideas are Ihemselvea 
capable of producing another set of forma or ideas, though of a more airy and 
visionary kind : 

Ai VTBiT ibidaw bu tnelt ( alMd*. 

And to this secondary set, these slighter and more attenuate pictures of 
things, he gave the name of fbahtabus. la the opinion of this philosopher, 
dreams consist alone of these phantasms, or mere creatures of the imagina- 
tion, first excited by some previous motion or sensation in the hn\n, and alter- 
ward continued in a more or less perfect series, according to the power of 
the imagination itself. The only difference I am able to trace between this 
theory, as started by Aristotle, and as restarted by Wolff, is in the greater 
regularity that the latter assigns to the phenomena of dreaming, than the 
former does : M. Wolff believing them to be, in their commencement, excited 
by a sensation, and in their succession and series of representations to beaa 
much controlled by a pecaliar system of laws, as the motions of the heavenly 
bodies. Formey appears tO carry this point a little farther: his language is, 
if the dream be natural, it must necessarily originate agreeably to the law of 
sensation, and be continued by the law of imagination ; and hence he con- 
cludes those dreams to be supernatural, which either do not begin by sensa- 
tion or are not continued by the law of imaBination. 

It may be sufficient to remark upon this theory, first that the phantasms of 
Aristotle have as little claim to entity as the species of Epicurus j next, that 
the assumption of a code of laws, or rather of two distinct codes of taws, 
to regulate the fleeting train of our ideas In dreaming, is in itself altogether 
Tiaionary and gratuitous ; and that if the term chance otjorimtoutneti, a very 
useful term and full of meaning in alt languages, can with propriety be ap- 
pUed to any thing, there is no subject to which it can be belter applied than 
to that of dreaming ; in which the will, the only legislator and controller of 
onr ideas, has withdrawn its authority, and left the brain to a temporary law- 
lessness and misnile ; and, lastly, that the distinction which Is thus attempted 
to be drawn between natural and supernatural dreams ia not only altogether 
fanciful, but could never be of any possible avail, even if well founded; for, 
in order to distinguish between the two, it would be necessary to be intimately 
acquainted with those laws of sensation and imagination which are hen 
■lated to regulate our natural dreams, and the suspension of which produce 
dreams of a superior character. 

We are touching upon a delicate, and, perhaps, a danserons inquiry ( bnt 
as it has been boldly handled in modem times, and made the foundation of a 
mora daring speculation upon the subject, it must not be flinched from in our 
present discussion. That total absence of all natural law, which M. Fonner 



supposei ocoasion&lly to take place in the act of dreamit^;, and to difltingnisii 
the Bupern^turHl from Ibe natural vision, Mr. Andrew Baxter,* nnd, since hit 
time. Bishop Newton, conceive to take place in every instance of dreaming; 
and hence, that dreaming is at all timet, and on all occaaiont, a sapernatniiit 
operation. These excellent men divide dreams into two kinds, good and 
evil ; and conceive two kinds of agents, good and evil apirita, employed in 
tfieir production ; and, consequently, account for the one or the other sort of 
dreams, in proportion as the one or other kind of agents obtains a predo- 

Now it must be obvious that this conjecture is just as destitute of all tangible 
basis as either of the preceding; that it can make no appeal to facts sub- 
mitted to the senses. But, beyond this, its very foundalion'Stone consists of 
A principle that nomancan readily grant who maturely weighs its full import; 
namely, that dreaming is altogether an unnatural operation ; that nearly one- 
half of our lives is spent in a direct intercourse with invisible beings ; and 
that during this moiety of his existence man is no longer a free agent; his 
vhble train of thoughts and ideas being not loose and diamantted, but nui 
sway with by foreign compulsion, and the work of a demoniacal possessioa. 

The difficulties into which such an explanation throws its adherents are 
incalculable. Let us confine ourselves to one more example. There can be 
no doubt that other animals have their dreams as well as man, and that tbey 
kave them as vigorous and as lively. Every one has beheld his favourils 
dog, while asleep by the fireside in the winter season, violently stretching 
out his limbs, howling aloud, and at times starting abruptly, beneath the train 
of images of which his dream is composed. In what manner will such phi- 
losophers account for these various phenomenal Is dreaming a natural 
operation! or are good and evil sprits the natural attendants upon dogs and 
cats, as well as upon mankind ! The one or the other of these conclusions 
niust follow; aud there can be no difficulty in determining whicbof them will 
possess the general suffrage. 

That dreams, like every other occurrence in nature, may occasionally 
become the medium of some providential suggeslioD, or supemataral 
communication, I am by no means disposed to deny. That they have 
been so employed in former times is unquestionable ; and that they have 
been so employed occasionally among all nations in former times is highly 
probable i and the peculiar liveliness with which the trains of our dreaming 
ideas are usually excited, and from a cause which I ahall presently endeavour 
to explain, seems to point out such a mode of communication as peculiarly 
aligible. But I am at present attending to the natural phenomena alone, and 
can by no means enter into a consideration of such foreign interferem*^ 
which, as it certainly has been, may siitl therefore be, for all we can prove to. 
the contrary, oceaaionally introduced into them. 

In what may be called our own times, there are many valuable tvriters 
who have turned their attention to this curious subject, and who concur In 
the two following important positions : first, that the faculty, or at least the 
action, of the will is suspended during the influence of sleep : and, secondly, 
that in consequence of this suspension or discontinuance, the trains of ideas 
which peraevere in rushing over the mind, are produced and catenated by that 
general habit of association which catenates tnem while we are awake. The 
power of the will, it is contended, is not necessary to the existence of 
ideas, which, therefore, may continue while such power is in a state of abey- 
ance; but which, if they continue at all, must take the general order and suc- 
cession imprinted upon them by the law of association, excepting in cases in 
which such law is broken in upon a variety of incidental circumstances, as 
uneasiness arising from a surcharged stomach, or other bodily sensations. 

Such are the two fundamental principles upon which the theories of Hart- 
iy, Darwin, and Dugald Stewart, are respectively built ; and which, ia 
various ways, and with almost equal ingenuity, they seem very satisfactorily t» 


Into itu Nuun DfUn numu Bosl, irtMida Um ImnwnalUyaf IbBSaulimTlacadlh 

Uw fttOtifi—Ilt K«n ud PUHwiphy.tia. ITIO. 


kiTB estaUiabe^. But Uier« ia ttiU a veiy important queation, and which, 
iadeod, conatitutca the chief difficulty of the aubject, and that which none of 
tbeni nave attempted to answer, or, a.t least, have satisfied themBCives upon, 
while making- such attempt. 1 mean, whence comes it to pass that ideaa can 
at all exist in the brain during sleep, or that ali the internal senses are not aa 
much locked up aa the external senses, and the faculty of the will! 

In thecourse of the present lecture it will be my endeavour to account for 
Ihia moat curious phenomenon. But we must first follow up, in the aeries in 
which the; appear to ariae, the train of ctrcumBtances which accompany sleep 
and dreaming. The entire study is highly interesting, but requires cloae 
attention, in-order to its being fully comprehended. And when we have ad- 
vanced thus far, we shall obtain a clew, if I mistake not, to those n^ually 
abelruae and intimately connected subjects, sleep- walkinsi revery, and wmter- 
■leep; as wellas to various other obscurities that ramify m>m the same source. 

The fibres distributed over the m'oving organs of animals, I have already 
had occasion to observe, in a preceding lecture,* are of two sorts ; those of 
the nerves, which are called sensitive flbres, and those more properlv belong- 
ing to the muscles, which are called irritative fibres ; whicn last, However, 
are always accompanied byagrealeror less number of the former; by which, 
indeed, they become endowed with the sense of touch, aa well as are rendered 
capable of contributing to the other external senses, and of maintaining a 
commnnieatlon with the brain, from which the aensitive fibres issue, or in 
which they terminate. 

Both theae kinds of fibres become fatigued, exhausted