Bauhaus-Universität Weimar

OBSERVATIONS ON IRRITABILITY. 29- 
But furely the glutinous matter of the mufcles of animals feems 
as unlikely to be endowed with an a Clive power, fuch as irritabi- * 
lity, as any other condiment part of the animal body ; nor can a- 
ny argument be deduced from its endeavouring to ftirink or {hor¬ 
ten itfelf when drawn out * ; for the glue of the fkin, ligaments, 
and tendons, as well as of the mufcles, has this property, which 
is, indeed, a kind of eladicity j~, and not fimilar to that power of 
alternate contraction which mufcular fibres are endowed with. 
In proof of his notion of the irritable nature of the mufcular 
glue, he adds, that young animals which abound 11101I with it are' 
mod irritable. The obfervation is: true, but feems to prove no¬ 
thing in the prefent cafe ; for the fkin’, ligaments, and tendons 
(which lad are a continuation of the- mufcles * only harder and 
more compacted) abound more in glue than the mufcles, and yet 
are in no degree irritable; The greater irritability of the fibres of 
young animals is to be deduced from their greater femfibiiity, and 
this is owing to their greater foftnefs and tendernefs : thus, what 
in new-born animals is a* fenfible and irritable mufcle, becomes af¬ 
terwards a tendon, which, in a found date, is free, from irritabili¬ 
ty, and is endowed, with, little or no feeling ^ 
Further, dnce the gelatinous matter in our aliments, and: 
even in our blood, is quite without any irritability, it mud owe 
this power to the particular difpofition or arrangement of its 
parts, or to fome other change which it undergoes when it becomes 
a part of a mufcle. If this may be fo* why may not the finer and 
more fubtile parts of the blood befo changed in the brain, as there to 
acquire a power of feeling and thinking? i. e. if irritability be a 
property of the mufcular glue, why may not fenfibility and intelli¬ 
gence be properties of the medullary fubdance of the brain ? for 
the known properties of matter give us reafon to think, that real 
activity is not more confident with its. nature, than feelipg or. 
thought. 
- But. 
* Aft. Gotting, vol. 2. p. 152. 
t f iafticity is not a property of hard bodies alone,-as M. de Haller feems to think (p. 15«.),. 
but is aifo found in foft ones : thus air, wool, , and the down of feathers are remarkably, e« 
laftic. 
t Aft, Gotting, to 1. 2. p. 140*
        

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