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George Burgess
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A Victorian Scrapbook

A Scrapbook of Newspaper Articles Compiled by George Burgess (1829-1905)

Victorian Science and Nature

The Head

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Transcript from original newspaper article: -

The HeadWe shall in a future Number explain the heart and lungs. We commence with the head, chiefly because we find it the commencement of Dr. Wilkinson’s arrangement; but the heart is a commencement also, and might by many be preferred as the seat of material life; but both heart and head are primaries, and it is in vain to assert that the one is the origin of the other, except in one aspect only, for each is an original in one sense and a secondary in another sense. It is a reciprocal agency that combines them. All things are double; we have a double beginning. There is no action in any single substance. It can only act because the heart acts; and the heart acts because the marrow of the brain and the spine acts – a seemingly perpetual motion, for the death of which there seems no natural necessity except accidental obstructions, or that habit of body which tends to hardness and is what is called old age. This hardness interrupts motion, and ultimately causes death; but were it not for this growing hardness, or the obstructions caused by disease, there seems nothing to prevent the mutual action of head and heart from being everlasting. But it is a fiat* of the Creator that it shall not be so; and therefore all nature is so ordered, that obstruction will take place, and old age come on, and the motion of life cease.

* fiat - Definition, 'An arbitrary order or decree'. Origin, Medieval Latin, from Latin:- 'let it be done'.