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on muscular Motion.

any chemical processes hitherto instituted, in such manner as to allow of a recombination into their former state. The composition of these substances appears to be naturally of transient duration, and the attractions of the elementary materials which form the gross substances, are so loose and unsettled, that they are all decomposed without the intervention of any agents merely by the operation of their own elementary parts on each other.

An extensive discussion of the chemical properties attaching to the matter of muscle would be a labour unsuited to this occasion; I should not, however, discharge my present duty, if I omitted to say, that all such investigations can only be profitable when effected by simple processes, and when made upon the raw materials of the animal fabric, such, perhaps, as the albumen of eggs, and the blood. But, until by synthetical experiments the peculiar substances of animals are composed from what are considered to be elementary materials, or the changes of organic Secretion imitated by art, it cannot be hoped that any determinate knowledge should be established upon which the physiology of muscles may be explained. Such researches and investigations promise, however, the most probable ultimate success, since the phenomena are nearest allied to those of chemistry, and since all other hypotheses have, in their turns, proved unsatisfactory.


Facts and Experiments tending to support and illustrate the preceding Argument.

An emaciated horse was killed by dividing the medulla spinalis, and the large blood-vessels under the first bone of the sternum.