already known, or to place them before you in a new light. And, happily, this is not my function; I have to act simply as your remembrancer, to play the part of the herald who announces the familiar titles of a monarch on a state occasion.
Harvey's titles are three: he was the discoverer of the circulation of the blood; he wrote the "Exercitatio de Motu Cordis et Sanguinis;" he formulated anew the theory of epigenesis, and thereby founded the modern doctrine of development.
His first and, in general estimation, his greatest title to our honor has been challenged; but only to the confusion of the challengers. A century ago, your Fellow, Dr. Lawrence, in the excellent memoir prefaced to the college edition of Harvey's works, met the arguments of those who had, up to that time, attempted to dim his fame, with a solid refutation, which has never been answered, and to my mind remains unanswerable. In our own day, Dr. Willis has stated the facts of the case, and deduced the inevitable conclusion, with no less force and cogency. And, having taken some pains to get at the truth of the matter myself, I may state my clear conviction that Harvey stands almost alone among great scientific discoverers; not so much that, as Hobbes said, he lived to see the doctrine he propounded received into the body of universally-accepted truth, but because that doctrine was both absolutely original and absolutely new. I have yet to meet with a single particle of evidence to show that, before Harvey declared the fact that the blood is in constant circular motion, there was so much as a suspicion on the part of any of his predecessors or contemporaries that such is the case. Neither in Galen, nor in Servetus, nor in Realdus Columbus, nor in Cæsalpinus, is there a hint that a given portion of blood sent out from the left ventricle passes through the body and the lungs and returns to the place whence it started; yet this is the essence of Harvey's discovery.
Hence, when we hear of pompous inscriptions being put up in Spain to Michael Servetus, "the discoverer of the circulation," or in Italy to Cæsalpinus, "the discoverer of the circulation," it is well to recollect that churchyards have no monopoly of unhistorical inscriptions. Indeed, have we not ourselves, within easy walking-distance, that famous monument, the subject of Pope's scathing but just lines:
Like a tall bully, lifts its head and lies?"
Sir, I have no sympathy with chauvinism of any kind, but, surely, of all kinds that is the worst which obtrudes pitiful national jealousies and rivalries into the realm of science. We will not shame ourselves by permitting the fact of Harvey's English birth to enter into the consideration of his claims as a discoverer; but those claims once established beyond dispute, it is, I hope, something nobler and better than mere national vanity which brings us together to celebrate his birth;