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was, muscular action, i. e. reciprocal contraction and relaxation being given, to describe how such an animal might be constructed, capable of voluntarily changing place. Something, perhaps, like the organization of reptiles, might have been hit upon by the ingenuity of an artist ; or might have been exhibited in an automaton, by the combination of springs, spiral wires, and ringlets: but to the solution of the problem would not be denied, surely, the praise of invention and of successful thought; least of all could it ever be questioned, whether intelligence had been employed about it, or not.
THE RELATION OF ANIMATED BODIES TO INANIMATE NATURE.
E have already considered relation, and under different views; but it was the relation of parts to parts, of the parts of an animal to other parts of the fame animal, or of another individual of the fame species.
But the bodies of animals hold, in their constitution and properties, a close and important relation to natures altogether external to their own; to inanimate substances, and to the specific qualities of these, e. g. they hold a Jlribl relation to the elements by which they are surrounded.
I. Can it be doubted, whether the 'wings of birds bear a relation to air, and the fins of fish to water? They are instruments of motion, severally suited to the properties of the medium in which the motion is to be performed: which properties are different. Was not this difference contemplated, when the instruments were differently constituted?
II. The structure of the animal ear depends for its use, not simply upon being surrounded by a fluid, but upon the specific nature of that fluid. Every fluid would not serve: its particles must repel one another; it must form an elastic medium: for it is by the successive pulses of such a medium, that the undulations excited by the sounding body are carried to the organ; that a communication is formed between the object and the sense; which must be done, before the internal machinery of the ear, subtle as it is, can act at all.
III. The organs of speech, and voice, and respiration, are, no less than the ear, indebted, for the success of their operation, to the peculiar qualities of the fluid, in which the animal is immersed. They, therefore, as well as the ear, are constituted upon the supposition of such a fluid, i. e. of a fluid with such particular properties, being always present. Change the properties of the fluid, and the organ cannot act: change the organ, and the properties of the fluid would be lost. The structure therefore of our organs, and the properties of our atmosphere, are made for one another. Nor does it alter the relation, whether you alledge the organ to be made for
the the element, (which seems the most natural way of considering it,) or the element as prepared for the organ.
IV. But there is another fluid with which we have to do; with properties of its own; with laws of acting and of being acted upon, totally different from those of air or water:— and that is light. To this new, this singular element; to qualities perfectly peculiar, persectly distinct and remote from the qualities of any other substance with which we are acquainted, an organ is adapted, an instrument is correctly adjusted, not less peculiar amongst the parts of the body, not less singular in its form, and, in the substance of which it is composed, not less remote from the materials, the model, and the analogy of any other part of the animal frame, than the element, to which it relates, is specific amidst the substances with which we converse. If this does not prove appropriation, I desire to know what would prove it.
Yet the element of light and the organ of vision, however related in their office and use, have no connection whatever in their original. The action of rays of light upon the surfaces of animals has no tendency to breed eyes in their heads. The fun might shine for ever upon living bodies without the smallest approach towards producing the sense of sight. On the other hand also, the animal eye does not generate or emit light.
V. Throughout the universe there is a wonderful proportioning of one thing to another. The size of animals, of the human animal especially, when considered with respect to other animals, or to the plants which grow around him, is such, as a regard to his conveniency would have pointed out. A giant or a pigmy could not have milked goats, reaped corn, or mowed grass; we may add, could not have rode a horse, trained a vine, shorn a sheep, with the fame bodily ease as we do, if at all. A pigmy would have been lost amongst rushes, or carried off by birds of prey.
It may be mentioned likewise, that, the model and the materials of the human body being what they are, a much greater bulk would have broken down by its own weight. The persons of men, who much exceed the ordinary stature, betray this tendency.
VI. Again; and which includes a vast variety of particulars, and those of the greatest