DISSIMILAR parts are those which we call organical, or instrumental, and they be inward or outward. The chiefest outward parts are situate forward or backward:--forward, the crown and foretop of the head, skull, face, forehead, temples, chin, eyes, ears, nose, &c., neck, breast, chest, upper and lower part of the belly, hypochondries, navel, groin, flank, &c.; backward, the hinder part of the head, back, shoulders, sides, loins, hipbones, os sacrum, buttocks, &c. Or joints, arms, hands, feet, legs, thighs, knees, &c. Or common to both, which, because they are obvious and well known, I have carelessly repeated, eaque præecipua et grandiora tantum; quod reliquum ex libris de anima qui volet, accipiat.
Inward organical parts, which cannot be seen, are divers in number, and have several names, functions, and divisions; but that of Laurentius is most notable, into noble or ignoble parts. Of the noble there be three principal parts, to which all the rest belong, and whom they serve -- brain, heart, liver; according to whose site, three regions, or a threefold division, is made of the whole body. As first of the head, in which the animal organs are contained, and brain itself, which by his nerves give sense and motion to the rest, and is, as it were, a privy counsellor and chancellor to the heart. The second region is the chest, or middle belly, in which the heart as king keeps his court, and by his arteries communicates life to the whole body. The third region is the lower belly, in which the liver resides as a Legat a latere, with the rest of those natural organs, serving for concoction, nourishment, expelling of excrements. This lower region is distinguished from the upper by the midriff, or diaphragma, and is subdivided again by some into three concavities or regions, upper, middle, and lower. The upper of the hypochondries, in whose right side is the liver, the left the spleen; from which is denominated hypochondriacal melancholy. The second of the navel and flanks, divided from the first by the rim. The last of the water course, which is again subdivided into three other parts. The Arabians make two parts of this region, Epigastrium and Hypogastrium, upper or lower. Epigastrium they call Mirach, from whence comes Mirachialis Melancholia, sometimes mentioned of them. Of these several regions I will treat in brief apart; and, first of the third region, in which the natural organs are contained.
De Anima.-- The Lower Region, Natural Organs.] But you that are readers in the meantime, "Suppose you were now brought into some sacred temple, or majestical palace (as Melancthon saith), to behold not the matter only, but the singular art, workmanship, and counsel of this our great Creator. And it is a pleasant and profitable speculation, if it be considered aright." The parts of this region, which present themselves to your consideration and view, are such as serve to nutrition or generation. Those of nutrition serve to the first or second concoction; as the sophagus or gullet, which brings meat and drink into the stomach. The ventricle or stomach, which is seated in the midst of that part of the belly beneath the midriff, the kitchen, as it were, of the first concoction, and which turns our meat into chylus. It hath two mouths, one above, another beneath. The upper is sometimes taken for the stomach itself; the lower and nether door (as Wecker calls it) is named Pylorus. This stomach is sustained by a large kell or kaull, called omentum; which some will have the same with peritoneum, or rim of the belly. From the stomach to the very fundament are produced the guts, or intestina, which serve a little to alter and distribute the chylus, and convey away the excrements. They are divided into small and great, by reason of their site and substance, slender or thicker: the slender is duodenum, or whole gut, which is next to the stomach, some twelve inches long, saith Fuschius. Jejunum, or empty gut, continuate to the other, which hath many meseraic veins annexed to it, which take part of the chylus to the liver from it. Ilion the third, which consists of many crinkles, which serves with the rest to receive, keep, and distribute the chylus from the stomach. The thick guts are three, the blind gut, colon, and right gut. The blind is a thick and short gut, having one mouth, in which the ilion and colon meet: it receives the excrements, and conveys them to the colon. This colon hath many windings, that the excrements pass not away too fast: the right gut is strait, and conveys the excrements to the fundament, whose lower part is bound up with certain muscles called sphincters, that the excrements may be the better contained, until such time as a man be willing to go to the stool. In the midst of these guts is situated the mesenterium or midriff composed of many veins, arteries, and much fat, serving chiefly to sustain the guts. All these parts serve the first concoction. To the second, which is busied either in refining the good nourishment or expelling the bad, is chiefly belonging the liver, like in colour to congealed blood, the shop of blood, situate in the right hypercondry, in figure like to a half-moon -- Generosum membrum Melancthon styles it, a generous part; it serves to turn the chylus to blood, for the nourishment of the body. The excrements of it are either choleric or watery, which the other subordinate parts convey. The gall placed in the concave of the liver, extracts choler to it: the spleen, melancholy; which is situate on the left side, over against the liver, a spongy matter that draws this black choler to it by a secret virtue, and feeds upon it, conveying the rest to the bottom of the stomach, to stir up appetite, or else to the guts as an excrement. That watery matter the two kidneys expurgate by those emulgent veins and ureters. The emulgent draw this superfluous moisture from the blood; the two ureters convey it to the bladder, which by reason of his site in the lower belly, is apt to receive it, having two parts, neck and bottom: the bottom holds the water, the neck is constringed with a muscle, which, as a porter, keeps the water from running out against our will.
Members of generation are common to both sexes, or peculiar to one; which, because they are impertinent to my purpose, I do voluntarily omit.
Middle Region.] Next in order is the middle region, or chest, which comprehends the vital faculties and parts; which (as I have said) is separated from the lower belly by the diaphragma or midriff, which is a skin consisting of many nerves, membranes; and amongst other uses it hath, is the instrument of laughing. There is also a certain thin membrane, full of sinews, which covereth the whole chest within, and is called pleura, the seat of the disease called pleurisy, when it is inflamed; some add a third skin, which is termed Mediastinus, which divides the chest into two parts, right and left; of this region the principal part is the heart, which is the seat and fountain of life, of heat, of spirit; of pulse and respiration -- the sun of our body, the king and sole commander of it -- the seat and organ of all passions and affections. Primum vivens, ultimum moriens, it lives first, and dies last in all creatures. Of a pyramidical form, and not much unlike to a pine-apple; a part worthy of admiration, that can yield such variety of affections, by whose motion it is dilated or contracted, to stir and command the humours in the body. As in sorrow, melancholy; in anger, choler; in joy, to send the blood outwardly; in sorrow, to call it in; moving the humours, as horses do a chariot. This heart, though it be one sole member, yet it may be divided into two creeks right and left. The right is like the moon increasing, bigger than the other part, and receives blood from Vena cava distributing some of it to the lungs to nourish them; the rest to the left side, to engender spirits. The left creek hath the form of a cone, and is the seat of life, which, as a torch doth oil, draws blood unto it, begetting of it spirits and fire; and as fire in a torch, so are spirits in the blood; and by that great artery called aorta, it sends vital spirits over the body, and takes air from the lungs by that artery which is called venosa; so that both creeks have their vessels, the right two veins, the left two arteries, besides those two common anfractuous ears, which serve them both; the one to hold blood, the other air, for several uses. The lungs is a thin spongy part, like an ox hoof (saith Fernelius), the town-clerk or crier (one terms it), the instrument of voice, as an orator to a king; annexed to the heart, to express their thoughts by voice. That it is the instrument of voice, is manifest, in that no creature can speak, or utter any voice, which wanteth these lights. It is besides the instrument of respiration, or breathing; and its office is to cool the heart, by sending air unto it, by the venosal artery, which vein comes to the lungs by that asperti arteria, which consists of many gristles, membranes, nerves, taking in air at the nose and mouth, and by it likewise exhales the fumes of the heart.
In the upper region serving the animal faculties, the chief organ is the brain, which is a soft, marrowish, and white substance, engendered of the purest part of seed and spirits, included by many skins, and seated within the skull or brain pan; and it is the most noble organ under heaven, the dwellinghouse and seat of the soul, the habitation of wisdom, memory, judgment, reason, and in which man is most like unto God; and therefore nature hath covered it with a skull of hard bone, and two skins or membranes, whereof the one is called dura mater, or meninx, the other pia mater. The dura mater is next to the skull, above the other, which includes and protects the brain. When this is taken away, the pia mater is to be seen, a thin membrane, the next and immediate cover of the brain, and not covering only, but entering into it. The brain itself is divided into two parts, the fore and hinder part; the fore part is much bigger than the other, which is called the little brain in respect of it. This fore part hath many concavities distinguished by certain ventricles: which are the receptacles of the spirits, brought hither by the arteries from the heart, and are there refined to a more heavenly nature, to perform the actions of the soul. Of these ventricles there are three -- right, left, and middle. The right and left answer to their sight, and beget animal spirits; if they be any way hurt, sense and motion ceaseth. These ventricles, moreover, are held to be the seat of the common sense. The middle ventricle is a common concourse and concavity of them both, and hath two passages -- the one to receive pituita, and the other extends itself to the fourth creek; in this they place imagination and cogitation, and so the three ventricles of the fore part of the brain are used. The fourth creek behind the head is common to the cerebel or little brain, and marrow of the back-bone, the last and most solid of all the rest, which receives the animal spirits from the other ventricles, and conveys them to the marrow in the back, and is the place where they say the memory is seated.