The Ancient Library
 

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LINKAGE WITH THE MODERN TIME

of their education. For example, after long and baffling vivisections, Harvey demonstrates the systemic circulation of the blood. His dis­covery has come through years of anxious ob­servation, and not from what he has read (to the contrary!) in books. Yet his reasonings, if not his observations, never free themselves from the influence of Aristotle; and his great discovery sorely perplexes him, since he cannot understand the final cause, that is to say, the purpose, of the blood's rapid round throughout the body: not for generations was this to be cleared up through the discovery of oxygen and the gradual elucidation of the combustion involved in the renewal and cleansing of the system by the blood.

The cessation of growth brings decay to any branch of knowledge. Only further accomplishment can fully utilize and carry on the achievements of the past. Progress alone conserves, coming not to destroy but to fulfill.

Biology was not prosecuted after Galen's time, and the healing arts of medicine and surgery gained little that was new from clinical experience. Vainly they sought to conserve themselves through an eclecticism which tended to become partial and then scholastic. As the

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