The Book of Curiosities, by The Rev. I. Platts—A Project Gutenberg eBook
But its duration, we may presume, must necessarily be limited; for as it is nourished, grows, and is raised up to its full strength and utmost perfection; so it must in time, in common with all material beings, begin to decay, and then hurry on into final ruin. Thus we see, by the imperfect survey which human reason is able to take of this subject, that the animal man must necessarily be complex in his corporeal system, and in its operations.
He must have one great and general system, the vascular, branching through the whole circulation: another, the nervous, with its appendages—the organs of sense, for every kind of feeling: and a third, for the union and connection of all these parts. Besides these primary and general systems, he requires others, which may be more local or confined: one, for strength, support, and protection,—the bony compages: another, for the requisite motions of the parts among themselves, as well as for moving from place to place,—the muscular system: another to prepare nourishment for the daily recruit of the body,—the digestive organs.
Paley observes, that, of all the different systems in the human body, the use and necessity are not more apparent, than the wisdom and contrivance which have been exerted, in putting them all into the most compact and convenient form: in disposing them so, that they shall mutually receive from, and give helps to one another: and that all, or many of the parts, shall not only answer their principal end or purpose, but operate successfully and usefully in a variety of secondary ways. If we consider the whole animal machine in this light, and compare it with any machine in which human art has exerted its utmost, we shall be convinced, beyond the possibility of doubt, that there are intelligence and power far surpassing what humanity can boast of.
But in the natural machine, the animal body, this is most wonderfully provided for, by internal powers in the machine itself; many of which are not more certain and obvious in their effects, than they are above all human comprehension as to the manner and means of their operation.
Thus, a wound heals up of itself; a broken bone is made firm again by a callus; a dead part is separated and thrown off; noxious juices are driven out by some of the emunctories; a redundancy is removed by some spontaneous bleeding; a bleeding naturally stops of itself; and the loss is in a measure compensated, by a contracting power in the vascular system, which accommodates the capacity of the vessels to the quantity contained. The stomach gives intimation when the supplies have been expended; represents, with great exactness, the quantity and quality, of what is wanted in the present state of the machine; and in proportion as she meets with neglect, rises in her demand, urges her petition in a louder tone, and with more forcible arguments.
For its protection, an animal body resists heat and cold in a very wonderful manner, and preserves an equal temperature in a burning and in a freezing atmosphere.
Join Kobo & start eReading today
A farther excellence or superiority in the natural machine, if possible, still more astonishing, more beyond all human comprehension, than what we have been speaking of, is the distinction of sexes, and the effects of their united powers. Besides those internal powers of self-preservation in each individual, when two of them, of different sexes, unite, they are endued with powers of producing other animals or machines like themselves, which again are possessed of the same powers of producing others, and so of multiplying the species without end. These are powers which mock all human invention or imitation.
They are characteristics of the Divine Architect. Galen takes notice, that there are in the human body above muscles, in each of which there are, at least, 10 several intentions, or due qualifications, to be observed; so that, about the muscles alone, no less than ends and aims are to be attended to! The bones are reckoned to be ; and the distinct scopes or intentions of these are above 40—in all, about 12,!
How passing wonder He who made him such! From clay our complex frames he moulds, And succours us in time of need: Like sheep when wandering from their folds, He calls us back, and does us feed. And so convinced was Galen of the excellency of this piece of divine workmanship, that he is said to have allowed Epicurus a hundred years to find out a more commodious shape, situation, or texture, for any one part of the human body! Indeed, no understanding can be so low and mean, no heart so stupid and insensible, as not plainly to see, that nothing but Infinite Wisdom could, in so wonderful a manner, have fashioned the body of man, and inspired into it a being of superior faculties, whereby He teacheth us more than the beasts of the field, and maketh us wiser than the fowls of the heaven.
We now proceed to consider The Curiosities of the Human Countenance. His Face , directed towards the heavens, prepares us to expect that dignified expression which is so legibly inscribed upon his features; and from the countenance of man we may judge of his important destination, and high prerogatives.
When the soul rests in undisturbed tranquillity, the features of the face are calm and composed; but when agitated by emotions, and tossed by contending passions, the countenance becomes a living picture, in which every sensation is depicted with equal force and delicacy. Each affection of the mind has its particular impression, and every change of countenance denotes some secret emotion of the heart. The Eye may, in particular, be regarded as the immediate organ of the soul; as a mirror, in which the wildest passions and the softest affections are reflected without disguise.
Hence it may be called with propriety, the true interpreter of the soul, and organ of the understanding. The colour and motions of the eye contribute much to mark the character of the countenance. The human eyes are, in proportion, nearer to one another than those of any other living creatures; the space between the eyes of most of them being so great, as to prevent their seeing an object with both their eyes at the same time, unless it is placed at a great distance.
HOLY SHIT, WHY IS THERE A THREE-INCH WHITE HAIR ON MY FOREHEAD?
Next to the eyes, the eye-brows tend to fix the character of the countenance. Their colour renders them particularly striking; they form the shade of the picture, which thus acquires greater force of colouring. The eye-lashes, when long and thick, give beauty and additional charms to the eye. No animals, but men and monkeys, have both eye-lids ornamented with eye-lashes; other creatures having them only on the lower eye-lid. The eye-brows are elevated, depressed, and contracted, by means of the muscles upon the forehead, which forms a very considerable part of the face, and adds much to its beauty when well formed: it should neither project much, nor be quite flat; neither very large, nor small; beautiful hair adds much to its appearance.
The Nose is the most prominent, and least moveable part of the face; hence it adds more to the beauty than the expression of the countenance. The Mouth and Lips are, on the contrary, extremely susceptible of changes; and, if the eyes express the passions of the soul, the mouth seems more peculiarly to correspond with the emotions of the heart. The rosy bloom of the lips, and the ivory white of the teeth, complete the charms of the human face divine. Another Curiosity on this subject is, the wonderful diversity of traits in the human countenance. It is an evident proof of the admirable wisdom of God, that though the bodies of men are so similar to each other in their essential parts, [Pg 20] there is yet such a diversity in their exterior, that they can be readily distinguished without the liability of error.
Amongst the many millions of men existing in the universe, there are no two that are perfectly similar to each other Each one has some peculiarity pourtrayed in his countenance, or remarkable in his speech; and this diversity of countenance is the more singular, because the parts which compose it are very few, and in each person are disposed according to the same plan.
If all things had been produced by blind chance, the countenances of men might have resembled one another as nearly as balls cast in the same mould, or drops of water out of the same bucket: but as that is not the case, we must admire the infinite wisdom of the Creator, which, in thus diversifying the traits of the human countenance, has manifestly had in view the happiness of men; for if they resembled each other perfectly, they could not be distinguished from one another, to the utter confusion and detriment of society.
We should never be certain of life, nor of the peaceable possession of our property; thieves and robbers would run little risk of detection, for they could neither be distinguished by the traits of their countenance, nor the sound of their voice. Adultery, and every crime that stains humanity, might be practiced with impunity, since the guilty would rarely be discovered; and we should be continually exposed to the machinations of the villain, and the malignity of the coward: we could not shelter ourselves from the confusion of the mistake, nor from the treachery and fraud of the deceitful; all the efforts of justice would be useless, and commerce would be the prey of error and uncertainty: in short, the uniformity and perfect similarity of faces would deprive society of its most endearing charms, and destroy the pleasure and sweet gratification of individual friendship.
The next subject is, The Curious Formation of the Eye. Its structure is one of the most wonderful things the human understanding can become acquainted with; the most skilful artist cannot devise any machine of this kind which is not infinitely inferior to the eye; whatever ability, industry, and attention he may devote to it, he will not be able to produce a work that does not abound with the imperfections incident to the works of men.
It is true, we cannot perfectly become acquainted with all the art the Divine [Pg 21] Wisdom has displayed in the structure of this beautiful organ; but the little that we know suffices to convince us of the admirable intelligence, goodness, and power of the Creator. In the first place, how fine is the disposition of the exterior parts of the eye, how admirably it is defended! Placed in durable orbits of bone, at a certain depth in the skull, they cannot easily suffer any injury; the over-arching eye-brows contribute much to the beauty and preservation of this exquisite organ; and the eye-lids more immediately shelter it from the glare of light, and other things which might be prejudicial; inserted in these are the eye-lashes, which also much contribute to the above effect, and also prevent small particles of dust, and other substances, striking against the eye.
The globe of the eye is composed of tunics, humours, muscles, and vessels; the coats are the cornea, or exterior membrane, which is transparent anteriorly, and opake posteriorly; the charoid, which is extremely vascular; the uvea, with the iris, which being of various colours, gives the appearance of differently coloured eyes; and being perforated, with the power of contraction and dilatation, forms the pupil; and, lastly, the retina, being a fine expansion of the optic nerve, upon it the impressions of objects are made.
The humours are the aqueous, lying in the forepart of the globe, immediately under the cornea; it is thin, liquid, and transparent; the crystalline, which lies next to the aqueous, behind the uvea, opposite to the pupil, it is the least of the humours, of great solidity, and on both sides convex; the vitreous, resembling the white of an egg, fills all the hind part of the cavity of the globe, and gives the spherical figure to the eye. The muscles of the eye are six, and by the excellence of their arrangement it is enabled to move in all directions. Vision is performed by the rays of light falling on the pellucid and convex cornea of the eye, by the density and convexity of which they are united into a focus, which passes the aqueous humours, and pupil of the eye, to be more condensed by the crystalline lens.
The rays of light thus concentrated, penetrate the vitreous humour, and stimulate the retina upon which the images of objects, painted in an inverse direction, are represented to the mind through the medium of the optic nerves. And from her repercussive caves augment!
Accelerated Reader Quiz List - Reading Practice
Dark night, that from the eye his function takes, The ear more quick of apprehension makes; Wherein it doth impair the seeing sense, It pays the Hearing — double recompense. Although the ear, with regard to beauty, yields to the eye, its conformation is not less perfect, nor less worthy of the Creator. The position of the ear bespeaks much wisdom; for it is placed in the most convenient part of the body, near to the brain, the common seat of all the senses. The exterior form of the ear merits considerable attention; its substance is between the flexible softness of flesh, and the firmness of bone, which prevents the inconvenience that must arise from its being either entirely muscular or wholly formed of solid bone.
It is therefore cartilaginous, possessing firmness, folds, and smoothness, so adapted as to reflect sound; for the chief use of the external part is to collect the vibrations of the air, and transmit them to the orifice of the ear. The internal structure of this organ is still more remarkable. Within the cavity of the ear is an opening, called the meatus auditorius, or auditory canal, the entrance to which is defended by small hairs, which prevent insects and small particles of extraneous matter penetrating into it; for which purpose there is also secreted a bitter ceruminous matter, called ear-wax.
The auditory canal is terminated obliquely by a membrane, generally known by the name of drum, which instrument it in some degree resembles; for within the cavity of the auditory canal is a kind of bony ring, over which the membrana tympani is stretched. In contact with this membrane, on the inner side, is a small bone malleus against which it strikes [Pg 23] when agitated by the vibrations of sound.
Connected with these are two small muscles: one, by stretching the membrane, adapts it to be more easily acted upon by soft and low sounds; the other, by relaxing, prepares it for those which are very loud. Besides the malleus, there are some other very small and remarkable bones, called incus, or the anvil, as orbiculare, or orbicular bone, and the stapes, or stirrup: their use is, to assist in conveying the sounds received upon the membrana tympani.
Behind the cavity of the drum, is an opening, called the Eustachian tube, which begins at the back part of the mouth with an orifice, which diminishes in size as the tube passes towards the ear, where it becomes bony; by this means, sounds may be conveyed to the ear through the mouth, and it facilitates the vibrations of the membrane by the admission of air.
We may next observe the cochlea, which somewhat resembles the shell of a snail, whence its name; its cavity winds in a spiral direction, and is divided into two by a thin spiral lamina: and lastly is the auditory nerve, which terminates in the brain.
The faculty of hearing is worthy of the utmost admiration and attention: by putting in motion a very small portion of air, without even being conscious of its moving, we have the power of communicating to each other our thoughts, desires, and conceptions. But to render the action of air in the propagation of sound more intelligible, we must recollect that the air is not a solid, but a fluid body.
Throw a stone into a smooth stream of water, and there will take place undulations, which will be extended more or less according to the degree of force with which the stone was impelled. Conceive then, that when a word is uttered in the air, a similar effect takes place in that element, as is produced by the stone in the water. Let us rejoice that we possess the faculty of hearing; for without it, our state would be most wretched and deplorable; in some respects, more sorrowful than the loss of sight; had we been born deaf, we could not have acquired knowledge sufficient to enable us to pursue any art or science.
Let us never behold those who have the misfortune to be deaf, without endeavoring better to estimate the gift of which they are deprived, and which we enjoy; or without praising the goodness of God, which has granted it to us: and the best way we can testify our gratitude is, to make a proper use of this important blessing. We now proceed to a more particular description of The Curiosities of the Human Heart; and the Circulation of the Blood.
- The Monkeys Grandma Loves Cheese.
- Madelines - Book of Change.
- Raspberry Pi for Secret Agents?
- The Heiress Effect (The Brothers Sinister Book 2).
- Extreme Pleasures?
See and adore his providence and power. With what admirable skill and inimitable structure is formed that muscular body, situated within the cavity of the chest, and called the human heart! Its figure is somewhat conical, and it is externally divided into two parts: the base, which is uppermost, and attached to vessels; and the apex, which is loose and pointing to the left side, against which it seems to beat.
Its substance is muscular, being composed of fleshy fibres, interwoven with each other. It is divided internally into cavities, called auricles and ventricles; from which vessels proceed to convey the blood to the different parts of the body. The ventricles are situated in the substance of the heart, and are separated from each other by a thick muscular substance; they are divided into right and left, and each communicates with its adjoining auricle, one of which is situated on each side the base of the heart.
The right auricle receives the blood from the head and superior parts of the body, by means of a large vein; and in the same manner the blood is returned to it from the inferior parts, by all the veins emptying their stores into one, which terminates in this cavity; which, having received a sufficient portion of blood, contracts, and by this motion empties itself into the right ventricle, which also contracting, propels the blood into an artery, which immediately conveys it into the lungs, where [Pg 25] it undergoes certain changes, and then passes through veins into the left auricle of the heart, thence into the left ventricle, by the contraction of which it is forced into an artery, through whose ramifications it is dispersed to all parts of the body, from which it is again returned to the right auricle; thus keeping up a perpetual circulation, for, whilst life remains, the action of the heart never ceases.
In a state of health the heart contracts about seventy times in a minute, and is supposed, at each contraction, to propel about two ounces of blood; to do which, the force it exerts is very considerable, though neither the quantity of force exerted, nor of blood propelled, is accurately determined. The heart comprises within itself a world of wonders, and whilst we admire its admirable structure and properties, we are naturally led to consider the wisdom and power of Him who formed it, from whom first proceeded the circulation of the blood, and the pulsations of the heart; who commands it to be still, and the functions instantly cease to act.
This important secret of the circulation of blood in the human body was brought to light by William Harvey, an English physician, a little before the year and when it is considered thoroughly, it will appear to be one of the most stupendous works of Omnipotence. And thence advance through paths and roads unknown.
- Famous 5 on the Case: Case File 1 : The Case of the Fudgie Fry Pirates.
- Read e-book The Lost Lady of Lone.
- The Book of Curiosities, by The Rev. I. Platts—A Project Gutenberg eBook.
- Join Kobo & start eReading today;
- Now and Forever.
- Animal Radio Mobile?
- Making Light: The Pitch Bitch: I'm not buying it!
These subtle channels, such is every nerve, For vital functions, sense, and motion serve;— They help to labour and concoct the food , Refine the chyle , and animate the blood. Anatomists have, not unaptly, compared the lungs to a sponge; containing, like it, a great number of small cavities, and being also capable of considerable compression and expansion.
The air cells of the lungs open into the windpipe, by which they communicate with the external atmosphere: the whole internal structure of the lungs is lined by a transparent membrane, estimated by Haller at only the thousandth part of an inch in thickness; but whose surface, from its various convolutions, measures fifteen square feet, which is equal to the external surface of the body. On this extensive and thin membrane innumerable branches of veins and arteries are distributed, some of them finer than hairs; and through these vessels all the blood in the system is successively propelled, by an extremely curious and beautiful mechanism, which will be described in some future article.
The capacity of the lungs varies considerably in different individuals. By each inspiration about forty cubic inches of air are received into the lungs, and at each expiration the same quantity is discharged. If, therefore, we calculate that twenty respirations take place in a minute, and forty cubic inches to be the amount of each inspiration, it follows, that in one minute, we inhale cubic inches; in an hour, the quantity of air inspired will be 48, cubic inches; and in the twenty-four hours, it will amount to 1,, cubic inches. This quantity of air will almost fill 78 wine hogsheads, and would weigh nearly 53 pounds.
From this admirable provision of nature, by which the blood is made to pass in review, as it were, of this immense quantity of air, and over so extensive a surface, it seems obvious, that these two fluids are destined to exert some very important influence on each other; and it has been proved, by a very decisive experiment of Dr. It must surely, therefore, be of the first importance to health, that the fluid of which we hourly inhale, at least, three hogsheads, should not be contaminated by the suspension of noxious effluvia.
Its chemical constitution is changed by respiration; the vital principle is destroyed, and its place supplied by a highly poisonous gas. The emanations from the surface of our bodies contribute, in a still greater degree, to vitiate the atmosphere, and to render it less fit for the healthful support of life. Many of the organs which compose our wonderfully complicated frame are engaged in discharging the constituent parts of our bodies, which, by the exercise of the various animal functions, are become useless, and, if retained, would become noxious.
Physiologists have instituted a variety of experiments, to ascertain the amount of the exhalations from the surface of the body.