Page images

seen in the interior angle of the eyelids to convey the surplus tears through an appropriate tube into the nose, moistening the lining mem. brane of the nose, and contributing to the perfection of the sense of smell.

Upon the sense of smell little need be said, because it is less important to man that any other of his senses. The olfactory apparatus, however, is curious and complicated; and in savage life it is doubtless of much greater utility, destined as it is to be a sentinel over the sto. mach, to distinguish hurtful from wholesome food. In civilized life it is less valuable, because of superior knowledge on the subject of food and drinks. But though we may not adequately realize the advantages of this sense, yet, if it had not been important and useful, the appara. tus of this function would not be a part of our organization, for nothing here has been made in vain : and though we may not always compre. hend the value of any particular structure, we may be assured that there is nothing superfluous. In the inferior animals this sense is of vast importance, and constantly exerted, by many brutes, both sleeping and waking, and upon this their security often mainly depends.

It is certain, however, that the perception of certain odors, as the fragrance of fruits and flowers, if it were absent, would deprive us of no inconsiderable pleasurable enjoyment; while the sensibility of the olfactory nerves to certain odoriferous and volatile stimulants is often of great value, as in cases of suspended animation from any cause. The proximity of these nerves to the brain, in the nasal cavity, results in their greater susceptibility to impressions, and the knowledge of this fact enables us often to find access to the remaining vitality, when all the other nerves of the body have suspended their functions.

Next in order we pass to the consideration of the complicated and beautiful organization found in the ear, and whence we have the valu. able sense of HEARING. The science of acoustics, with all the ingenuity manifested in auditory instruments, has its origin in the structure of the human ear, by which alone we have been enabled to learn the philosophy of sound.

The external ear is familiar to us all in its appearance and singular conformation, constructed on the best possible model for the collection and transmission of the vibrations of the air, which we call sound, when put in motion by a solid body; and which, by their successive pulsations, travel directly onward to the auditory nerve, found in the internal ear, and thence communicated to the brain. Three muscles are attached to the external ear, not for motion, but to keep it tense, and increase its sensibility to vibrations. When these muscles move the ears, it is an unnatural perversion of them from their proper office, acquired by habit, and is only practiced by wags, buffoons, and those who are but a single remove from the long eared animals, whose faculties, in this respect, they imitate and acquire.

The tube for the transmission of sound to the internal ear is a canal through solid bone, three quarters of an inch long, and one quarter of an inch in diameter. It is gently curved, terminating below its entrance in a spoon-like cavity. On the edge of this expanded mouth a rim or hoop is found, upon which the tympanum or drum of the ear is stretched, like the head of a drum. The external skin is reflected into this ear tube, and lines it throughout. It is perforated by numerous ducts, opening into this canal, constantly pouring out an oily fluid which, when congelated, becomes like wax. Its use is not only to moisten the tympanum, but to kill insects, to all of which it is instantly fatal, and to prevent their intrusion, the entire tube is lined with strong short hairs, which afford increased protection.

Directly across this drum head we have described, is found a fine thread of nerve, the cord of the tympanum, which gives it the requisite sensibility. Beyond this drum, interiorly, is found what is called the labyrinth, indicative of its complex structure, and is composed of several parts. Behind the drum, a small bean-shaped cavity, called the drum barrel, is found, having an oval and round window, the one leading to another little cavity, called the vestibule, and the other to one of the three semicircular canals of the labyrinth. Attached to the tympanum are the four smallest bones of the body, and called by technical names signifying a hammer, an anvil, a stirrup, and a round bone. These are all connected together, and, small as they are, have minute mus. cles fastened to their extremities, which are visible. The internal ear is connected with the mouth by the Eustachian tube, so that the vibrations of the air reach both sides of the drum, and thus increase the sensibility to sound. The distribution of the auditory nerve, the numerous other canals and cavities in the bones surrounding the organ of hearing, for retaining and reverberating sounds, are too intricate and complicated for any thing like an intelligible description. In no portion of animal mechanism is a more striking and wonderful organization, notwithstanding the very small space in which this entire apparatus is constructed. But to enlarge farther would be an unprofitable consumption of your time.

Taste is the next of the external senses, and resides in the tongue, the appropriate nerve terminating in multiplied points upon its surface from the tip to the root of the tongue. It is in man only that this sense is found in any degree of acuteness and perfection. Many of the inferior animals are indifferent as to the tasting properties of their food; and all are guided by the smell, rather than taste, in selecting articles on which to feed. But taste is one of the most prominent sources of pleasure open to man, and but that its natural indications are perverted by depraved habits, it would contribute much more largely to human happiness.

FEELING, or touch, is the last of the external senses, by which, without the employment of the other organs of sense, we ascertain the physical qualities of bodies. It resides in the extremities of the nerves, and though generally existing, in the greatest perfection, in the ends of the fingers, because these are most used for the purpose, yet may be acquired, in an equal degree, by habitually using for the pur. pose any other part of the surface. It is to this sense we are indebted for our perception of the forms, and other characters, of bodies brought into contact with the skin.

It now only remains, in this summary of human organization, which is all that has been attempted, to notice the contrivance by which sounds are produced, including the mechanism of the human voice.

Very many animals, other than man, possess the faculty of making sounds, usually expressive of pain or want. These are inarticulate, for the most part, and if man were not placed in society with his Vol. XI.-Oct., 1840.


fellow men,

his admirable vocal organs would never be cultivated, nor would he ever learn any other than a similar inarticulate cry. The surprising superiority of the vocal organs in man, to those of all other animals, consists in the latter being incapable of uttering only a given number of sounds; while, in man, the organs of voice are so constructed as to be absolutely unlimited, there being no conceivable sound which the vocal apparatus cannot imitate and acquire,

First we have the WINDPIPE, opening into the mouth, which, from its being composed of successive rings, is never closed, and at its lower end divides into branches going to each lung, and transmitting the air in every act of respiration. At the top of the windpipe we find the larynz, covered at its top with a valve, and surrounded by cartilages or appendages of gristle. Within its calibre, directly under its valve, are four delicate membranes, always on the stretch, their edges nearly meeting, two being on each side, which are called the vocal cords. Upon these cords vibrations are produced by the current of air from the lungs, constituting sound. By the adjacent cavities in the bones of the face, forehead, and nose, these sounds are modified, and by the aid of the teeth, tongue, lips, nose, and throat, they become articulate. Hence you have all heard of the guttural, nasal, labial, and dental sounds, to designate the agency of each of these structures in the pecu. liarities of voice.

A shrill or rough voice depends upon the size, elasticity, moisture, &c., of the larynx, and the degree of force with which the expired air is propelled through the opening between the vocal cords. The larynx is smaller in women than in men, and hence the greater delicacy of the female voice. The change in the voice on arriving at adult years, so perceptible in young men, depends on an enlargement of the larynx, which occurs at that period of life. In short, the larynx is a musical wind instrument of which the hautboy is an imitation. Instead of fin. ger holes for varying the tones, this object is secured by muscles which, under the power of the will, elongate or shorten the vocal tube, in. creasing or diminishing its calibre. It is thus that in singing, conversation, or declamation, such varieties in rapidity, intensity, and strength, are exhibited by the human voice. By cultivation and habit these powers may be improved and increased illimitably, of which ventriloquism is an example, and may be acquired by any one who is fool enough to commit so useless a perversion of nature.

Finally, by this brief survey, we are reminded that “ the bones, by their joints and solidity, form the foundation of the human machine; the ligaments are strings which unite the parts together; the muscles are fleshy substances which, like elastic springs, put them in motion; the nerves, dispersed over the body, connect all its parts together; the arteries and veins, like rivulets, convey life and health throughout: the heart is the centre and focus of the circulation; the lungs inhale pure air, and expel noxious vapors; the stomach and adjacent organs are the magazines where the daily supply is prepared of every thing requisite for sustaining life; the brain, the immediate organ of the mind, is prepared and furnished in a manner suitable to the dignity of its inhabitant; the senses give warning of all that is necessary for the pleasure or use of the soul; while the organs of voice adapt man, by the use of language, to enjoyment and usefulness in society.” Truly we are " fearfully and wonderfully made;" and though there were no * heavens to declare the glory of God, nor firmament to show his handy work," and no other created being but myself in the material universe, my own body, by its transcendently admirable structure, ought to extort from me the concession of the repentant atheistical philosopher who, after examining in his study the human hand, exclaimed, in despite of his unbelief,

“I lay it down, and conscious rest in this,

None but a God could make it as it is."

TRE Address below we found in the office upon our arrival, accompanied by the following note from a much-respected member of the Oneida Conference, viz.

“ The inclosed is a copy of an Address, delivered before the Hones. dale Colonization Society, in July last, by the Rev. WILLIAM TƏBEY, formerly pastor of the Presbyterian Church of this place. Should you think it advisable, and have room in your Quarterly, you are at liberty to publish it. For this purpose I have obtained the consent of the author. The Address will speak for itself.”

Believing the Address, on the whole, calculated to do good, we have concluded to insert it, though there are several passages in it which, perhaps, require some qualification.—ED.

For the Methodist Magazine and Quarterly Review.


Delivered before the Honesdale Colonization Society, at Honesdale, on the evening

of July 8, 1839, at the request of the Executive Committee.



MEMBERS OF THE HONESDALE COLONIZATION SOCIETY :It gives me much' pleasure to address you in behalf of that cause whose interest it is the object of your association to promote. Among the great philanthropic enterprises of our age and country, I have ever regarded it as holding a high place. I have never doubted either the integrity or the motives of its advocates, the importance of its object, or the practicability of its plan. It professes to be a benevolent enterprise, and certainly it has all the external characteristics of one. What can be more benevolent than to restore the oppressed sons of Africa to the land from which they have been torn by cupidity and lawless vio. lence? What more proper, or more just, than to seek to repair, as far as practicable, the wrong that has been done, by sending back the children to the same land from which their fathers were taken, fur. inished with the blessings of civilization, Christianity, and freedom? What portion of the globe more adapted to their residence than those regions where their race has dwelt from immemorial time, the regions assigned it by their Creator in determining the bounds of the families of the earth? What climate more congenial to their constitution than Africa's “sun-illumined zone," and fertile shores ? What land on the face of the globe more rich in those productions which support life? What land more rich in the promise of abundance to the emigrants than the plains and hills of Western Africa, teeming with every variety of tropical plants and fruits, and abounding in ivory and gold? And is it not a work of benevolence, after having emancipated and conveyed them to these shores, to watch over their prosperity, defend them against surrounding foes, plant among them the institutions of knowledge and religion, and furnish them with a free government and equal laws? This the colonization societies have done for the thousands of emi. grants whom their beneficence has wafted to the land of their fathers. Were the colonization enterprise a selfish scheme, devised merely for the purpose of ridding the nation of the free blacks, it would not have followed the colonists with its care and benefactions beyond the ocean. It would not have planted among them schools and Christian churches. It would not have watched over them with paternal interest, until from very small beginnings they had grown into a flourishing com. monwealth. Had it been a mere selfish scheme, so many valuable lives would never have been sacrificed in its promotion; the fervors of a tropical sun had not sent the heroic Ashman to an untimely grave, and the devoted Mills had not found in the morn of his manhood an ocean sepulchre. The blood of the many missionaries who have fallen martyrs in this cause cries from the ground in refutation of the ca. lumny that would brand it as the ally of oppression. The labors of so many enlightened and benevolent men, whose praise is in all the American churches, the prayers and offerings of the pious of every denomination, from one end of the Union to the other, repel the charge. It is certainly a matter of astonishment, to say the least, that there should be found those who can believe that the pious and learned Dr. Finley, of New-Jersey, who devised the plan of the American Colonization Society, and such men as Frelinghuysen, Van Rensselaer, Marshall, Milnor, Fisk, Proudfit, Beecher, and a host of the most pious, liberal, enlightened minds of our country, should have lent their energies in advancing a plan which they considered calcu. lated to uphold and perpetuate the system of slavery. The charity which thinks this is not assuredly the charity which thinketh no evil. Much more astonishing is it that any should imagine that such are the men to become the dupes of southern avarice. No doubt there may have been those who have aided the Colonization Society from motives not wholly pure. And where was ever a benevolent enterprise under. taken in this world of which it could be said that every motive of all its advocates was perfectly incorrupt? The truth is, some individuals who have written and spoken in behalf of this society, have at times addressed the self-interest of slave-holders, feeling that they were pro. bably appealing to some men with whom no other argument would be of any avail; a course by no means uncommon among the advocates of benevolent objects, when they are seeking to persuade those whose hearts are not under the influence of religious principle. Of this circumstance advantage has been taken by men unfavorable to this en. terprise. Acting upon a principle which in this country is sometimes

« PreviousContinue »