« ZurückWeiter »
object before him : he is conscious that ( are viewed prospectively in combination, his penetration has detected the contrivance and array themselves as an assemblage of another's ingenuity. Such is not the of obstacles in simultaneous opposition ; case with him who is wholly ignorant of whereas it is for the most part necessary to the causes which yield so much pleasure to combat only one at a time; and the natural the former : the machine appears to be powers, reinforced by means which most comparatively of little excellence to him, if can command, may pass forward from he views it only as an assemblage of mate successive conquests over every opponent, rial parts; or it will strike into his heart the until they look back upon the field as commortifying regrets of ignorance, if he be plete masters. Now this habit may affect compelled to admire without knowledge. the conduct in other things; it may arm This ignorant person, with respect to in- with steady resolution and unabated exerward satisfaction, bears an inferiority to tion against seeming and real difficulties in the good mechanician, equal to that which the enterprises of life. This is one instance distinguishes a man, to whom every thing in in which a man's active tendencies may be nature is a mysterious agent, acting in a wrought upon by his intellectual habits. manner and for a purpose completely un- Causes of mental excitation exist in the known, from him who is “in various nature scenes of nature. There is a state of mind wise."
characterized by calm enjoyment, and it is It is farther to be noted, that admiration produced when the faculties repose with and respect have always been rendered as a complacency upon certain objects, as the farther tribute to noble intellectual endow-eye reposes, and would fain linger for ever, ments, among all nations that have emerged on grand or beautiful prospects. We may from the shadows which barbarism and take an instance. An indescribable sensasuperstition, intercepting the light of science, tion steals over an observer, when, on a throw upon the human mind. What an splendid night, he sees the moon travelling acute prelate has said concerning virtue in quiet majesty through heaven; his compared with vice, may be applied to delight seems as capacious and interminable knowledge compared with ignorance. He as the “blue profound” in which the host thinks that virtue, cæteris paribus, will of the sky perform their circuits, and his always prevail against vice; that mankind spirit rises to dignity when he beholds the have always reverenced virtue as such, and glory of the material world. Such pleasure condemned vice as such. Superior know- is not violent, but gently diffuses itself in ledge bears the same relative superiority to “ ambrosial rills" over the imagination. ignorance. Genius and wisdom, when On the other hand, there is a state of mind known and proved, claim universal homage characterized by more tumultuous joy. A from men of their own day, as well as storm in its most fearful commotions, the from those who shall come after. This violence of breakers foaming around the has been carried so far, as sometimes to shore, gleams of lightning athwart midnight injure truth. The influence which great darkness, and the thought that these instrunames have on the multitude is well known: ments of terror may be pointed to effect they are so many points of suspension, desolation, are among the causes of that from which the chain of public opinion intense feeling which combines pleasure and depends; it is possible for a celebrated dread. man, by a single aphorism, to wield the The soul is thus influenced through the passions and the judgments of the majo- senses; and it is therefore important to a rity. What man, however, but hè whose rational being, that this particular causation spirit soars to the heaven of invention, or be controlled by judgment, and that it have wholly possesses some rich paradise in the no alliance with ungoverned affections. region of unbounded science, can dare to The mental polity should be founded on pretend to such distinctions ?
laws, distinguished, like the moral laws of 4. The circumstances in which an accom- religion, by wisdom, goodness, and power; plished mind has been placed, as it ac- | thereby possessing, in their construction, quired its treasures, and passed through the benefit of all that is prudent in reason, every step of the accumulation, must cer- virtuous in affection, and resolute in selftainly assist in forming the general charac- denial and active exertion. Moreover, ter. Many of the difficulties which dismay since the perfection of his being is the end an individual who is about to enter on a proposed to himself by a wise man, in all new and untried path of study, are illusive; his exertions in the sphere of religion and when arrived at, they can scarcely be per- intellect, he rejects what debases, as inconceived. The circumstance which makes sistent with this desire, which, as by magtheir appearance so formidable, is, that they netism, trembles to its attracting pole he Supreme Good. In this is the advantage senses have to do with; that we, finding of a well-regulated understanding, that its imperfection, dissatisfaction, and want of light beams upon the forms of excellence complete happiness, in all the enjoyments breathing around, whilst it detects in their which the creatures can afford us, might be lurking places the hideous monsters of an | led to seek it in the enjoyment of Him, erroneous philosophy, which makes nature | with whom there is fulness of joy, and at minister to impiety, substitutes vice for whose right hand there are pleasures for virtue, and defrauds common sense of its evermore." just conclusions.
Each individual of the human race must For these and other reasons, it is evident be considered as the centre of a sphere; that a man's moral and intellectual princi- and as exerting attractive or repulsive ples are, if I may so express myself, like powers on all the rational beings within mathematical co-ordinates, by which the that circumference. As this applies to path of his behaviour may be ascertained, every rational being, within the sphere of that his temperament may, by intellectual each individual, it is evident, that in the causes, (to be found in the nature of his world an infinite number of desires and studies, and the method according to which aversions cross each other, and mingle their he pursues them,) be confirmed, modified, respective influences. This being the case, or counteracted; and that the ordinary tone social happiness, which was rescued from of his feelings, the principles on which he the scattering of “ Eden's first bloom," and admires, likes, judges, or censures, take which diffuses a fragrance through the habisome footing on the basis of his intellectual tations of mortality, can only be perfected habits.
by a wise control over the passions. And 5. We may consider farther, that this these breathe in the elements of desire or mental discipline has an influence on aversion; for they imbibe with thirsty vesociety, as well as the individuals to whom hemence every sweet draught that sparkles it is immediately applied. The pleasure in pleasure's cup, and care not for the conderived from literature is a branch which sequences of such luxury; or they violate sympathy takes from erudition, and engrafts that heavenly charity which is not easily into social life. It grows quickly under the provoked, by sternly rebuking from their warming and cherishing rays of friendship, presence every subject of their dislike. . and appears most vivid in the light of .There is no power that charms with so beneficence. Intellectual tastes, which rise | much interest as friendship, which, in many into magnitude with scientific attainments, instances, owes its birth to a coincidence of and are often the fruits of retired contem partialities and antipathies-- idem velle plation, diverge from the mind where they atque idem nolle, id demum firma amicitia exist; they give part of their own character est." The sympathies which swelled the to society by assimilation, and ever seeking soul of Cicero to rapture, were not annihiaccessions of strength from kindly and con lated by the death of his friends, but genial sources, and shrinking with sensitive reached even to their immortality. He dislike from rude ignorance, they mould exclaimed with enthusiasm,-“ præclawith silent, but strong control, the partia rum diem, cum ad illud divinum animolities and antipathies of social life.
rum concilium cætumque proficiscar; cumPartiality and antipathy seem to be que ex hâc turbâ et colluvione discedem ! natural genera, under which most of the proficiscar enim non ad eos solum viros, de different species of human habits may be quibus ante dixi, sed etiam ad Catonem arranged; for it is seldom that absolute meum.'"* indifference paralyzes the human constitu If, therefore, mental culture and intellection, and closes the avenues through which tual tastes affect our partialities and antipaexternal influence makes its way to the thies, they affect our social existence; and heart :—these feelings may be excited in it will readily be granted, that men do not the breast by every object which can be lose their intellectual in their social chaproposed to our minds, whether animal, racter. He who is an Archimedes in his moral, or intellectual ; and if it be asked, closet will retain his individual character Why man is placed under such an econo amidst the concussions of fortune, as that my? a solution of the question may be philosopher did amidst the sacking of his given in the words of the great Locke: 1 native city; when he enters into company, “ We may find a reason why God hath he is still a mathematician, and each subscattered up and down several degrees of ject of discussion, however it may have pleasure and pain, in all the things that been treated by the poet, or the man whose environ and affect us; and blended them together in almost all that our thoughts and
* Cicero de Senectute, c. 23. 112.- VOL. X.
Knowledge and Intellectual Habits considered.
only gift is common sense, when it arrives lowed in his course by the admiration and at him, is made subservient to the peculiari- imitation of a numerous class; some of ties of his taste.
| whom, perhaps, feared the inflictions of Mental associations were not wanting at the Herculean club which criticism put into the banquets of the ancients. The love of his grasp, and his mighty strength wielded ; song, which doubtless called to their recol- and many of whom tendered that veneralection the magnanimity of heroes, and tion, which was doubtless the genuine what were then deemed high and noble tribute of unbought and generous nature. endowments, reigned among the guests. Many of his sayings and sentences are Homer paints their disposition, when he fraught with strong fascination; they are describes Ulysses, entertained by king Alci- like so many formulæ, by which students nous, as professing with how much delight who range themselves under his standard the bard thrilled his soul.*
are accustomed to verify their own moral Αλκίνος κρείον πάντων αριδείξετε λαών, 19
calculations. Ητοι, μέν τόδε καλόν άκουέμεν εστιν αοιδου
6. I will conclude with a few remarks on Tolovo, olos 60' ļoti, Deous Évalíyklos
the effect which intellectual causes may have avdnv.
on piety, as a particular medium through
which they influence the human character. Thus the interesting strain elevated their The noblest principles that can regulate spirits to rapturous sentiments : imagination the intelligent mind, are, the love and fear spread a warm and exhilarating hue over of God. If these principles exercise contheir festivities, and made the place of con- tinual sway over our affections, rendering vivial meeting a rendezvous for mental our hearts at all moments obedient to their delights.
holy impulses, affording strength of resoluPerhaps the sway exerted over social life tion to abstain from impurity, and imparting by intellectual peculiarities, and preposses- unconquerable energy in carrying to their sions of soul, in all their shades of difference, results" all holy desires, and all good cannot be better illustrated than by the counsels," then indeed are we renewed, literary history of Johnson and his con- exalted, and useful. The love of God has temporaries. “The flow of soul" never a delightful effect on the aspect of human ceased to accompany and fertilize their life, on the prospects which anticipation career, obstructed occasionally by the weeds, paints, and fond hope believes, and even on often indeed dense and unyielding, of those fearful accidents of mortality at which human imperfection. Reader, trace in the heart would melt; as the sun in the your fancy the great moralist as he issued firmanient, whilst spreading a garment of from his abode, after his breakfast at a late light over nature's scenery, gives a winning hour of the day, and directed his steps to charm to every visible object. the house of a friend. Is religion the sub- Now, he whose enlightened understandject of conversation? Then you cannot ing has been often engaged in an inquiry avoid thinking yourself in a cathedral, and into the works of that Being whom it is so that you see the spirit of orthodoxy in pal- important to love and fear; in scrutinizing pable form, chasing away the remonstrances the uses to which those works were desof unconvinced opposition. We know that tined by that great Eternal; in discovering such a man could not live without influence their connexion with each other; and in The elements of his mind possessed energy admiring the superintending care which sufficient to transmute others, to whom perfects and harmonizes the whole will see were allotted less natural decision, and who the radiance of each grand, wise, and merwillingly resigned the trouble and responsi- ciful attribute, beaming from all the creation bility of judging for themselves. Sophistry of God. Thus, those principles may be melted before the heat of his penetration; strengthened in him, if he have them; or and it rarely happened, that evident truth, they may be generated, if he have them not: which must generally, and will at last pre- his own hallowed impressions will give vail, courted his friendship in vain, and testimony to the words of sacred writ, in was compelled to retire chagrined at the reference to Jehovah - For that thy refusal. His intellectual powers met those name is near, thy wondrous works declare. who denied revelation, with stern and un- Whatever excellencies may be derived to compromising firmness; the snails of infide- the mind from the richness of nature's lity drew in their boasted and terrible horns, diversified scenes and operations, wondrous and hid their slime at the slightest touch of as they are to human understanding, and his honest rebuke. He was indeed fol- demonstrating, as they do, the invisible
power and godhead of Him who made * Hom. Od. Lib. 9. c. 2.
them all; in a Christian, those excellencies
converge to a focus of piety, as rays of appears impossible to form a true estimate moral light, controlled by the medium of of the force which the heart exerts on the spiritual religion: you shall know a pious blood, it is to the arteries themselves that man almost as well by hearing him dis. we must direct our attention, in order to course on philosophy, as by hearing from ascertain the truth of the question, viz. his lips accents of thanksgiving and ado whether they assist in propelling the blood, ration.
or not? X. Y. Z. The following is a brief exposition of the
principal arguments upon which physiolo
gists have founded their respective opinions. ESSAYS ON PHYSIOLOGY, OR THE LAWS OF To each argument, as we proceed, we shall ORGANIC LIFE.
state the most forcible objection, either as (Continued from col. 255.)
it has occurred to others, or to ourselves, Essay VI.-On the Circulation of the
hoping that by this mode the subject will Blood.
be rendered more easy of comprehension to
our readers. WHETHER the heart be the sole power by | Dr. Hastings, of Worcester, performed which the circulation of the blood is ef a series of experiments on the arteries, with fected, or whether the arteries do conjointly a view to prove their muscularity. These assist? is a question which has remained consisted in the application of stimuli, both undecided since the days of Harvey; and chemical and mechanical, to the denuded the experiments of physiologists seem to arteries of various animals; and if the expethrow but a dubious light upon the subject. riments are to be relied on, their irritability,
The arguments appear to turn principally or disposition to contract on the applicaupon the following proposition, -Are the tion of a stimulus, (which is the property of fibres which compose the middle coat of muscular fibre,) is established. All expethe arteries, muscular, or not? If muscu riments of this nature, it is true, are liable lar, it is clear that they must aid in pro- to error; and the physiologist, from that pelling the blood onwards by their con circumstance, often founds his doctrine on traction, which the stimulus of the blood a false basis. But this objection can hardly would occasion; if not, then can the arte be brought forward against the experiries have no action on the blood beyond ments of Dr. Hastings; they were perwhat their acknowledged elasticity would formed with care, and judiciously varied, permit. To this, however, we can hardly yet attended uniformly by the same results. assent, until it be proved that they possess Granting then the irritability of arteries to another power besides mere elasticity, be proved, is it clear from thence, that their granting that they do not possess muscu muscularity is proved likewise ? For allarity.
though irritability be one of the peculiariWhen we reflect for a moment, it ap ties of muscles, yet it does not seem impropears almost impossible for the heart, how bable that it may be imparted also to other ever considerable its force may be, to modes of animal organization. propel the blood, divided as it is into so Bichât, in his writings, makes this strikmany thousand channels, through every | ing remark, “How could the pulsations of part of the system, while its course is all the arteries be uniform and synchronous, changed by each ramification, and often if one central power did not preside over indeed retroverted. From this view we | this pulsation ?" or, in other words, if every should be certainly led to suppose that the inch of artery throughout the frame had the arteries possessed an independent power of motion of the blood in its own power, and action; but that the capillaries do, cannot was capable of contracting, or not, at its own I think be denied, for experiments seem to will. To this it may be answered, that the prove that this system of vessels, at least, is correspondence of the arterial pulsation beyond the heart's influence.
with the contraction of the heart, does not Borelli, by whom the doctrine of the
prove the want of muscularity in the artesole agency of the heart is favoured, esti- ries, but merely their uniform action at mates its power as high as 180,000 pounds, the same time. Besides, it is not asserted while Keil, running equally into the other by any, as far as I know, that the arteries extreme, considers it equal only to five or are endued with a voluntary power;. for eight ounces. Did its force correspond to the heart is an acknowledged muscle, and the assertion of Borelli, it would be more 1 yet it has not such power to suspend its than equal to the purpose; but this cannot action, but uniformly contracts, upon the be granted : and the estimate of Keil is stimulus of the blood. equally without foundation. Since then it | Again, if a ligature be fastened round
an artery, all pulsation below it stops imme- nitric, and muriatic acids; but the arterial diately; this perhaps merely proves, that, fibre has altogether opposite qualities, viz. in consequence of the ligature, the passage that of not being soluble in acetic acid, of the blood any further is prevented, and but pretty easily soluble in mineral acids, the pulsation of the artery ceases from the diluted to a certain degree; from which loss of its usual stimulus. The pulse is solution it cannot be precipitated by means affected by diseases of the heart; that is, of alkali, or alkaline prussiates, which are every derangement of the frame, which the tests for the acid solution of fibrine. increases or diminishes the action of the Consequently, as the arterial fibre has neiheart, increases or diminishes also the arterial ther the structure of a muscle, nor its pulsation; whereas the pulse is not increased chemical properties and composition, it by local affections, as it would be, did the cannot be a muscle, nor perform the funcarteries possess an independent power. tions of a muscle; which is, besides, suffi
In answer to this, the following remark ciently evident from its elasticity.” Thus of Richeraud may be adduced ; viz. that much from Berzelius. in a common whitlow of the finger he has We may also observe another fact on observed the radial artery to pulsate a hun- this side of the argument, viz. that the dred times a minute, while on the unaf- circulation continues, perhaps, not indeed fected side its beats were only 70, and cor- very vigorously, in subjects where the whole responding to the pulsations of the heart. of the arterial system has been completely Besides, Spallanzani, who denies the ex- ossified, and is consequently incapable of istence of a muscular power in the arteries, the least contraction. The same also occurs allows, that after he had taken away the in paralysis of the limbs, where their power heart of frogs and other animals, the blood is often completely lost, and yet the circucontinued still to flow in the vessels till the lation still remains unimpeded. death of the animal. These experiments of | We have thus briefly stated some of the Spallanzani were all made on cold-blooded chief arguments advanced against, and in animals, and in them the laws of the circu favour of, the muscularity of the arterial lation certainly differ in many respects from fibres. To ourselves indeed it appears, those of animals possessing warm blood; that if the arterial fibre be not strictly and for this reason, the experiments, as | muscular, it at least possesses many of the relative to the point in question, would, we powers peculiar to muscles; and of this think, lose considerable weight. In addi- | Bichât seems to be aware, who, not allowtion to this, we rather imagine that the ing the arteries to be muscular, and yet capillaries were the vessels upon which he perceiving, from the laws of the circulation, made his observations, and they are gene that they cannot be inert tubes, considers rally allowed to possess in a great degree an them as endued with a power similar 10 independent power.
elasticity, but differing from it in being an But there is one great objection to the animal power, while elasticity is merely the muscularity of the fibrous coat of arteries, property of inert or unorganized matter, which has never yet been surmounted, and this he calls“ organic contractility.” namely, the difference in the chemical com Dr. Parry also, with the same view, has position between it and acknowledged mus termed it “ tonicity,” or “ vital force." This cles, in other parts of the body. It is cer organic contractility accounts for the various tainly reasonable to suppose, that parts phænomena of the circulation, as well as performing a similar function should have the muscularity of the arteries. à chemical composition at least not very When we lay bare an artery in the living dissimilar ; but Berzelius, a chemist of great body, and examine it ever so carefully, no celebrity, has proved that there exists a total alternate contraction and dilatation, corredissimilarity between them. The following sponding with the pulse, is in the least peris a translation of a passage in his work : ceptible, either to the eye or to the touch.
“ In consequence (says he) of the expe. | Now, if we cannot either feel or perceive riments thus made, it is beyond all doubt, this action, it is not unreasonable to conthat the fibrous membrane of arteries cannot clude that it does not exist. It will, perbe a muscle ; for while the latter is soft and haps, be asked, “Has then this vital conflaccid, and contains more than three-fourths tractility no influence on the circulation ?" of its weight of water, the artery is dry Far from it-many phænomena are perand very elastic. The muscular fibre | formed by its means, which could not be possesses the same chemical properties as accounted for on the principle of mere elastithe fibre of the blood, viz. that of being city. The arteries, resembling in this respect soluble in acetic acid, and of forming acknowledged muscles, are, to a certain scarcely soluble compounds with sulphuric, | degree, under the influence of the nerves.