Monday, 10 November 2014

The Warmth of the Human Body! - A Poetic and Scientific Perspective of 1725

1725 - John Reynolds
 "A View of Death"
 or The Soul's Departure from the World

The Background

For a poet to seek scientific reasoning to put forward his poetic expression, shows that even in 1725, Death and its final moments were mysterious for many common folk!

Here we take a part of the poem and its scientific reasoning!

Stanza III

The decay of Vital Parts

Oh! Say, what will become of me,

When monumental cold shall seize

This organized machine, and freeze

It's motive powers and faculties?

What the mysterious plight shall be

When life's weak lamp that all these years shone

Shall be extinct and gone;

And when the primigenial fire
That had the pulse keep time and beat,

And strike the moments of its heat,

Shall languish and expire?

Here the poet Reynolds uses Dr. Keill's findings to illustrate 'why the body remains warm'

Dr. James Keill, in his book concerning animal secretion,  has endeavoured to calculate the velocity of blood; he there supposes, that the heart contracts 80 times in a minute; that each contraction throws into ( the aorta) the adjoining artery, an ounce of blood; that, therefore, each minute, 80 ounces of blood runs, in that artery at least, at the rate of 52 feet in a minute.

This swiftness must very much heat it; so that it's reckoned by some, to be, in the heart, little less hot than scalding water.

This book has been owned by;

Mr. Mortimer Edwards - 1798
Mr. Charles Light - 1836
Ms. Ada Ellen Light (White), Daughter - 1879
Mr. Bernard White, Son - 1905
Mr. Sunil Baboo- 2010

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