Page images
PDF

knowledged to be admirably Artificial, it being fò nicely prepared, and adjufted to the peculiar Occafions of each respećtive Animal. In Man (2), it is of a Form proper for the erećt Posture of his Body. In Birds, of a Form proper for Flight; not protuberant, because that would obstrućt their Progress, but clofeandcovered, to afford the eafier Paflage through the Air. In Quadrupeds, its Form is agreeable to the Posture, and flower Motion of their Bodies : and in thefe too, various, according to their various Occasions. In fome large, erećt, and open, to hear the leaft Approaches of Dangers (3), in others

[ocr errors][merged small]

covered, to keep out noxious Bodies. In the Subterraneous Quadrupeds, who are forced to mine, and dig for their Food and Habitation, as a protuberant Ear, like that of other Quadrupeds, would obfirućt their Labours, and be apt tobetorn and injured; fo they have the contrary (4), their Ears fhort, lodged deep, and backward in their Head, and

-- , ' paffing

(4) Moles have no protuberant Ear, but only a round Hole between the Neck and Shoulder; - which Situation of it, together with the thick short Fur that covers it, is a fufficient Defensative against external Annoyances. The Meatus Auditerius is long, round, afid cartilaginous, reaching to the under part of the Skull. Round the infide, runs a little Ridge resembling two Threads of a Skrew ; at the Bottom whereof is a pretty Inlet, leading to the Drum, made, on one fide with the aforefaid cochleous Ridge, and on the other, with a small Cartilage. I observed there was cerumen in the Meatus. - - -

As to the inner Ear, it is fomewhat fingular, and different from that oftheother Quadrupeds, and much möre from Birds, although I have met with fome Authors that make it agreeing with that of Birds. There are three small Bones only (arī hollow) by which the Drum (to ufe the old appellation) or the Membrana Tympani (as otherscallit) asteth upôn the Auditory Nerve. The first is the Malleus, which hath two Procefes nearly of equal Length ; the longer of which is braced to the Membrana Tympani, the fhorter to the fide of the Drum or os Petrofum ; the back part of it refembles the Head and Stalk of a small Mushroom, fuch as are pickled. On the back of the Malleus lies the next small Bone, which may be called the Incus, long, and without any Process, having fomewhat the Form of the short Scoop wherewith WaterMen throw the Water out of their Wherries. To the End of this, the Third and last small Bone is tacked by a very tender Brace. This little Bone bears the Office of the Stapes, but is only forked without any Bafe. One of these Forks is at one Fenefira, or Foramen, the other at another ; in which FenefiræI : rehend the Forks are tacked to the Auditory Nerve. Thefe

neffre (equivalent to the Fenestra ovalis, and Rotunda in others) are the Inlets into the tochlea and Canales Semicirculares in which the Auditory Werve lieth. The Semicircular canalis lie at a díftance from thë Drum, and are not lodged (as in other

Animals) in a strong thick Body of Bone, but are thruft out with

: to the under part thereof, and all fufficient-, y fenced and guarded. And as for Infećts, Reptiles, and the Inhabitants of the Waters; if they enjoy. this Senfè, (as there is great Reason to think they do,) it may probably be lodged commodiously under the fame Security and Guard, as the Smelling, or fome other Senseis. - And moreover, as the Form of this Organis various in various Animals, fo in each of them its Structure is very curious and observable, beingin all admirably contrived to collećt the wandering, circumambient Impressions, and Undulations of Sound, and to convey them to the Senfory within. If I should run over the feveral Genera of Animals, we might finda notable Prospeċt of the Handy-work of God (5), even in this fo inconfiderable Part of Animals. But I shall only carry my Survey to |- - that

[ocr errors]

in the Skull, making an Antrum, with an handfome Arch leading into it, into which a part of the Brain enters. One Leg of the Malleus being faftened to the Membrana Tympani, and the Incus to the back of the Malleus, and the top of that to the top of the Stapes, and the Forks or Branches of the Stapes to the Auditory Nerve, I obferved that whenever I moved the Membrane, all the little Bones were at the fame time moved, and confequently the Auditory Nerve thereby affested alfo. I hope the Reader will excuse me for being fo particular in this Organ only of the Mole, a despifed Creature, but as notable an Example of God's Work, as its Life is different from that of other Quadrupeds ; for which reason it partly is that I have enlarged on this part differing from that of others, and which no Body that I know of, hath taken much notice of, and which is not discoverable without great Patience and Application ; and partly becaufe by comparing these Observations with Book VII. Ebap. 2. Note 4 we may judge how the Sense of Hearing is perormed. , , - - - (5) Among many Karieties, both in the inner, and outer Ear, those which appear in the Passage into the Rock-bone, are remarkable. For in an Owl, that perches on a Tree or Beam, and hearkens after the Prey beneath her; it is produced farther sut above, ".# is.

[ocr errors]

that of Man. And here the firft thing that offereth, it felf to our View is the Helix, with its tortuous Cavities, madetoftop, and collećt the fomorous Undulations, to give them a gentle Circulation and Refraćtion, and fo convey them to the Concha, or larger and more capacious round Cell at the entrance of the Ear. And to bridle the Evagation of the Sound, when arrived fo far, but withal not to make a Confufion thereof, by any difagreeable Re: we may take notice of a very curious rovision in those little Protuberances, called the Tragus, and Antitragus of the outward Ear, of a commodious Form and Texture (6), and conveniently lodged for this Ufe. The great Convenience and Benefit of this Form and Contrivance of the outward Ear, is fufficiently manifest by the want thereof which caufeth a confusion in the Hearing, zwith a certain Murmur, or Swooing like the fall of

[ocr errors]

below, for the better Reception of the least Sound. But in a Fox, that
fouteth underneath the Prey at Roof ; it is for the fame reafon, pro-
duced farther out below. In a Pole-Cat, which hearkens fraight
forward, it is produced behind, for the taking of a forward Sound.
Whereas in a Hare, which is very quick of hearing, and thinks of
nothing but being pursued, it is fupplied with a bony Tube; which
as a natural Otocoustick, is fo directed backward, as to receive the
fmalleft, and mof diffant Sound that comes behind her. Crew’s
Cofnolog. Sacr. lib. I. c. 5. §. 6.
(6) The Texture of the Tragus and Antitragus, is fofter than
that of the Helix ; which ferveth gently to blunt, not forcibly to
repel the Sound in the concha.
(7) Dr. Gibson's Anatomy, chap. 22. Book III.
Those whose Ears are cut off, have but a confused way of Hear-
ing, , and are obliged either to form a Cavity round the Ear with
their own Hands, or elfe to make ufe of a Horn, and apply the end
of it to the inner Cavity of the Ear, in order to receive the agitated
Air. . 'Tis likewife observed, that those whose Ears jut out, bear
better than fiat-eared Persons. Monfieur Dionis's Anat. De-
memfir, 8. - - -

I 4. Another

-

[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]

Another wife Provifion of the Creator is in the Substance of the outward Ear, which is Cartilaginous, the fitteft for this Place. For (asan ingenious Anatomift (8) observes), “if it had been Bone, it “ would havé been troublefome, and might by ma“ny Accidents have been broken off: If Flesh, it “ would have been subject to Contusion”. But indeed a worfer Confequence than this would have enfued fuch a foftnefs as that of Flesh, and that is, it would neither have remained expanded, neither would it fokindly receive and circulate the Sounds, but absorb, retard, or blunt their Progrefs into the inward, Organ. But being hard, and curiously fmooth and tortuous, Sounds find an easie Paflage, with a regular Volutation and Refraction ; as in a well-built Arch, Grotto, or Musical Inftrument, which magnify and meliorate Sounds ; and fome of which convey even a Whisper to a large Diftance (9). But from the outward, let us carry our Survey,

[ocr errors]

famed for the Conveyance of Whisperers, fuch as tẾe Prison of Dionysus at Syracus, which is faid to encrease a whiper to a Nofft; the clapping ones Hands to the Sound of a Cannon, core. nor the Aqueducts of Claudius, which carry a Voice fixteen Miles, and many others both Ancient and Modern. If the Reader hath a mind to be entertained in this way, he may find enough in Kircher's Phonurgia. But it may not be irkfome to mention one or two of our own in England. Among which, one of the most famed is the Whispering place in Gloucester Cathedral; which is no other than a Gallery above the East-end of the Choir, leading from one fide thereof to the other. It confisteth, (if I mifake not) of five Angles, and fix Sides, the middle-most of which is a naked, uncovered Window, looking into a Chappel behind it. I guess the two Whisperers stand at about twényfive Yards Diftance from one another. But the Dome of St. Paul's, London, is a more confiderable Whispering-place; where

[ocr errors]
« PreviousContinue »