Page:Philosophical Transactions - Volume 095.djvu/42

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Mr. Carlisle's Lecture

entirely supplied by nerves coming from ganglions, appear of this class; and thus the animal motions are principally regulated by the external stimuli, of which the occurrence seems to agree with the animal necessities: but the extensive illustrations which comparative anatomy affords on this point, are much too copious for any detail in this place.

There are two states of muscles, one active, which is that of contraction, the other, a state of ordinary tone, or relaxation, which may be considered passive, as far as it relates to the mind; but the sensorial or nervous power seems never to be quiescent, as it respects either the voluntary or involuntary muscles during life. The yielding of the sphincters appears to depend on their being overpowered by antagonist muscles, rather than on voluntary relaxation, as is commonly supposed. I have now finished this endeavour to exhibit the more recent historical facts connected with muscular motion.

It will be obvious to every one, that much remains to be done, before any adequate theory can be proposed. I have borrowed from the labours of others, without acknowledgement, because it would be tedious to trace every fact, and every opinion to its proper authority: many of the views are perhaps peculiar to myself, and I have adduced many general assumptions and conclusions, without offering the particular evidence for their confirmation, from a desire to keep in view the remembrance of retrospective accounts, and to combine them with intimations for future research. The due cultivation of this interesting pursuit cannot fail to elucidate many of the phenomena in question, to remove premature and ill founded physiological opinions, and eventually to aid in rendering the medical art more beneficial, by establishing its doctrines on more extensive and accurate views of the animal economy.