The Harveian Oration, 1865

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Macmillan and Company, 1865 - 85 pages

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Page 55 - I frequently and seriously bethought me, and long revolved in my mind, what might be the quantity of blood which was transmitted, in how short a time its passage might be effected, and the like; and not finding it possible that this could be supplied by the juices of the ingested aliment without the veins on the one hand becoming drained, and the arteries on the other getting ruptured through the excessive charge of blood, unless the blood should somehow find its way from the arteries into the veins,...
Page 62 - I remember that when I asked our famous Harvey, in the only discourse I had with him, which was but a little while before he died, what were the things which induced him to think of a circulation of the blood, he answered me, that when he took notice that the valves in the veins of so many parts of the body were so placed that they gave free passage to the blood towards the heart, but opposed the passage of the venal blood the contrary way...
Page 25 - TO SUPPOSE that the eye with all its inimitable contrivances for adjusting the focus to different distances, for admitting different amounts of light, and for the correction of spherical and chromatic aberration, could have been formed by natural selection, seems, I freely confess, absurd in the highest degree.
Page 54 - But what remains to be said upon the quantity and source of the blood which thus passes is of a character so novel and unheard-of that I not only fear injury to myself from the envy of a few, but I tremble lest I have mankind at large for my enemies, so much doth wont and custom become a second nature.
Page 55 - ... that I not only fear injury to myself from the envy of a few, but I tremble lest I have mankind at large for my enemies, so much doth wont and custom, that become as anHIS MODE OF ARGUING. 55 other nature, and doctrine once sown and that hath struck deep root, and respect for antiquity, influence all men. Still the die is cast, and my trust is in my love of truth, and the candour that inheres in cultivated minds.
Page 11 - If, therefore, the attempt to explain them as the results of a similarity of the functions to be performed by such homologous parts entirely fails to satisfy the conditions of the problem ; and if, nevertheless, we are, with Cuvier, to reject the idea of their being manifestations of some higher type of organic conformity on which it has pleased the divine Architect to build up certain of his diversified living works, there then remains only the alternative that special homologies are matters of...
Page 25 - ... if, further, the eye does vary ever so slightly, and the variations be inherited, which is certainly the case ; and if any variation or modification in the organ be ever useful to an animal under changing conditions of life, then the difficulty of believing that a perfect and complex eye could be formed by natural selection, though insuperable by our imagination, can hardly be considered real.
Page 23 - And herein you should desire with all your might to shun the weakness, with a lively apprehension to avoid the mistake of supposing that the bright lights of the eyes were made in order that we might see ; and that the tapering ends of the shanks and hams are attached to the feet as a base in order to enable us to step out with long strides ; or again that the forearms were slung to the stout upper arms and ministering hands given us on each side, that we might be able to discharge the needful duties...
Page 22 - ... omnia perversa praepostera sunt ratione, nil ideo quoniam natumst in corpore ut uti possemus, sed quod natumst id procreat usum.
Page 56 - AS IT WERE, IN A CIRCLE. Now this I afterwards found to be true; and I finally saw that the blood, forced by the action of the left ventricle into the arteries, was distributed to the body at large, and its several parts, in the same manner as it is sent through the lungs, impelled by the right ventricle into the pulmonary artery, and that it then passed through the veins and along the vena cava, and so round to the left ventricle in the manner already indicated. Which motion we may be allowed to...

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