not possibly have studied, in dead animals "the motion of the heart and blood in animals." To found his great thesis on a broad basis of experiment, Harvey vivisected a great many kinds of animals, from his own person to "shrimps, snails, and shellfish."
Chapter I of Harvey's great work, De Motu Cordis et Sanguinis in Animalibus, begins, "Cum multis vivorum dissectionibus (uti ad manum dabantur) animum ad observandum primum appuli quo cordis motus usum," etc.
Chapter II is entitled Ex vivorum dissectione, qualis sit cordis motus.
Chapter III is entitled Arteriarum motus qualis ex vivorum dissectione.
Chapter IV is entitled Motus cordis et auricularum qualis ex vivorum dissectione.
The argument that Harvey was led to his discovery by "reasoning upon the valves in the veins," as stated by Boyle, is well answered by his translator, Willis, who points out at some length that "when we turn to Harvey himself, in his works we nowhere find that he approaches his subject from the quarter now particularly indicated" (i. e., from the purpose of the valves in the veins).
Even Harvey was attacked during his life on the ground that the discovery of the circulation was of "no use" (Willis, p. 358), "because men still continued to die."
For Harvey the blood passed through the flesh (per partium porositates), and not until the microscope was available was it possible for Malpighi to discover the capillary circulation in 1661. This he did in the exposed lung of a living frog.
In recent years Claude Bernard greatly advanced our knowledge of the circulation by demonstrating, wholly by vivisectional methods, that the flow of the blood is regulated by a nervous mechanism continuously acting to contract or dilate the vessels according to the requirements of each organ or part of the body. Thus it is seen that every important step in the advance of our knowledge of the circulation of the blood has been made by vivisection and could not possibly have been made in any other way.
Similarly, the testimony of Sir Charles Bell is constantly adduced to prove the futility of vivisection. Bell is the anatomist to whom, with Magendie and Johannes Müller, we owe the first
- Harvei Opera, 1737, or The Motion of the Heart and Blood m Animals. Sydenham edition, London, 1847.
- Willis. William Harvey, a History of the Discovery of the Circulation of the Blood. London, 1878, pp. 301 ff.
- Cl. Bernard. Leçons sur le Diabète. Paris, 1877, p. 43.