skin, so as to admit the dissolved food to the papillae underneath, which, in the mean time, remain defended from the rough action of the unbruised spiculae. There are brought together within the cavity of the mouth more distinct uses, and parts executing more distinct offices, than I think can be found lying so near to one another, or within the same compass, in any other portion of the body: viz. teeth of different shape, first for cutting, secondly for grinding; muscles, most artificially disposed for carrying on the compound motion of the lower jaw, half lateral and half vertical, by which the millis worked: fountains of saliva, springing up in different parts of the cavity for the moistening of the food, whilst the mastication is going on : glands, to feed the fountains; a muscular constriction of a very peculiar kind in the back part of the cavity, for the guiding of the prepared aliment into its passage towards the stomach, and in many cases for carrying it along that passage; for, . although we may imagine this to be done simply by the weight of the food itself, it in truth is not so, even in the upright posture of the human neck; and most evidently is not the case with quadrupeds, with a horse for instance, in which, when pasturing, the

food is thrust upward by muscular strength, instead of descending of its own accord. , In the mean time, and within the same cavity, is going on another business, altogether different from what is here described, that of respiration and speech. In addition therefore to all that has been mentioned, we have a passage opened, from this cavity to the lungs, for the admission of air, exclusively of every other substance; we have muscles, some in the larynx, and without number in the tongue, for the purpose of modulating that air in its passage, with a variety, a compass, and precision, of which no other musical instrument is capable. And, lastly, which in my opinion crowns the whole as a piece of machinery, we have a specific contrivance for dividing the pneumatic part from the mechanical, and for preventing one set of actions interfering with the other. Where various functions are united, the difficulty is to guard against the inconveniencies of a too great complexity. In no apparatus put together by art, and for the purposes of art, do I know such multifarious uses so aptly combined, as in the natural organization of the human mouth; or, where the structure, compared with the uses, is so simple. The mouth, with all these intentions to serve, is a single cavity ; is one machine; with its parts neither crowded nor confused, and each unembarrassed by the rest: each at least at liberty in a degree sufficient for the end to be attained. If we cannot eat and sing at the same moment, we can eat one moment, and sing the next: the respiration proceeding freely all the while. *

There is one case however of this double office, and that of the earliest nesessity, which the mouth alone could not perform ; and that is, carrying on together the two actions of sucking and breathing. Another route therefore is opened for the air, namely, through the nose, which lets the breath pass backward and forward, whilst the lips, in the act of sucking, are necessarily shut close upon the body from which the nutriment is drawn. This is a circumstance which always appeared to me worthy of notice. The nose would have been necessary, although it had not been the organ of smelling. The making it the seat of a sense, was superadding a new use to a part already wanted ; was taking a wise advantage of an antecedent and a constitutional necessity.


But to return to that which is the proper

subject of the present section,-the celerity

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and precision of muscular motion. These qualities may be particularly observed in the execution of many species of instrumental music, in which the changes produced by the hand of the musician are exceedingly rapid ; are exactly measured, even when most minute; and display, on the part of the muscles, an obedience of action, alike wonderful for its quickness and its correctness. Or let a person only observe his own hand whilst he is writing ; the number of muscles, which are brought to bear upon the pen; how the joint and adjusted operation of several tendons is concerned in every stroke, yet that five hundred such strokes are drawn in a minute. Not a letter can be turned without more than one, or two, or three tendinous contractions, definite, both as to the choice of the tendon, and as to the space through which the contraction moves; yet how currently does the work proceed l and when we look at it, how faithful have the muscles been to their duty, how true to the order which endeavour or habit hath inculcated For let it be remembered, that, whilst a man's handwriting is the same, an exactitude of order is preserved, whether he write well, or ill. These two instances, of music and writing, show not only the quickness and precision of muscular action, but the docility. II. Regarding the particular configuration

of muscles, sphincter or circular muscles ap

pear to me admirable pieces of mechanism. It is the muscular power most happily applied; the same quality of the muscular substance, but under a new modification. The circular disposition of the fibres is strictly mechanical; but, though the most mechanical, is not the only thing in sphincters which deserves our notice. The regulated degree of contractile force with which they are endowed, sufficient for retention, yet vincible ‘when requisite, together with their ordinary state of actual contraction, by means of which their dependence upon the will is not constant, but occasional, gives to them a constitution, of which the conveniency is inestimable. This their semi-voluntary character, is exactly such as suits with the wants and functions of the animal. - III. We may also, upon the subject of muscles, observe, that many of our most important actions are achieved by the combined help of different muscles. Frequently, a diagonal motion is produced, by the contrac

tion of tendons pulling in the direction of the

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