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BIOSCJENOESUBRARV



LIBRARY

I ONIVWSWTY Of



u








THE LIBRARY
OF

THE UNIVERSITY
OF CALIFORNIA



PRESENTED BY

PROF. CHARLES A. KOFOID AND
MRS. PRUDENCE W. KOFOID




Frame of the House I live in.



H- ' . r
VrilJkAM

THE



HOUSE I LIVE IN;



THE HUMAN BODY.



FOR THE USE OF FAMILIES AND SCHOOLS.



BY WM. A. ALCOTT,

Author of the Young Mother and the Young- Man's Guide, and Editor of tho
Library of Health and the Annals of Education.



Second SESftfon



BOSTON:

LIGHT & STEARNS, 1 CORNHILL.
1837.



Entered according to Act of Congress, in the year 1837, by
WM. A. ALCOTT, in the Clerk's Office of the District Court
of Massachusetts.




PREFACE.



THE study of the human frame has usually
been confined to the members of the medical
profession. But wherefore ? Why should not
a subject which so nearly concerns us all, engage
the attention of others as well as surgeons and
physicians? Do we not carry about with us,
through life, a machine so ingeniously con-
structed, that in view of it, even an inspired
writer exclaimed, " I am fearfully and wonder-
fully made ? "

Our minds, moreover, are the tenants of bodies
so constructed as to be continually liable to
waste, as well as to become disordered ; and yet
we are neither taught the way to keep them in
order nor to prevent them from premature decay.
These bodies act also upon our minds in a won-
derful manner ; for if anything in the body is
wrong, it affects either our thoughts or our feel-
ings, or both.

To keep the mind and heart right, therefore,
we should know how to keep the body right.
1*






VI PREFACE.

"Who understands this ? What persons except
medical men, as I said before, ever study their
bodies ? Is it not strange that knowledge of
such vast importance should have been so long
overlooked, and practically disregarded ?

There are reasons, however, for all this
neglect. Many connect with the thoughts of
studying the human frame, the idea of skeletons,
dead bodies, knives, dissections, disinterments,
and violent deaths. No wonder the mind should
revolt at so horrible a picture ! No wonder that
Anatomy and Physiology for these are the
hard names given to the study of the body and
the laws of the body should be neglected and
despised, if these things are inseparable from it !

But they are not so. Both anatomy and
physiology may be studied with advantage, with-
out any connection with either. Much may be
learned with the aid of nothing but a book and
a few good engravings ; and in fact without
either of these. The body itself may be studied ;
that is always at hand. And if dissections are
even made, portions of birds or quadrupeds may
be obtained, which will partly answer the pur-
pose. The heart, for example, of most of the
common domestic animals, nearly resembles the
heart of man, and would answer every purpose.
All good citizens disapprove of every form of



PREFACE. VJ1

disrespect for the bodies of the dead ; and, above
all, the barbarous practice of robbing graves.

Still this subject must be studied. Man, as
has just been observed, has a body as well as a
mind. A system of education which overlooks
either, is essentially defective.

It was in this view, that the author com-
menced a series of essays on anatomy and phy-
siology, in the first volume of the Juvenile
Rambler, They were continued into Vol. 2, of
the same periodical, and also into Vols. 2, 3 and
4 of Parley's Magazine. Many of them were
written under the title of the " House I live in."
The favorable reception they met with, and the
solicitations of parents and teachers, together
with an increasing conviction of the absolute
necessity of something of the kind, have in-
duced him to go farther, and prepare a work for
families and schools.

But he wishes it to be distinctly understood,
that he does not intend this as a substitute for
any known work. The information which it
gives, in anatomy and physiology, would, indeed,
be of great value, without the study of other
authors. But it is chiefly intended to introduce
the young to such works as Smith's "Class
Book of Anatomy," and Comstock's " Outlines
of Physiology ; " and if its adoption in part as



Vlll PREFACE.

a reading book, and in part as a class book,
in our schools, should smooth or pave the way
to the use of those more complete works, the
writer would not regret its publication.

He looks forward to the period as not very
distant, whan a knowledge of the physical na-
ture of man will be as generally taught to every
individual of the whole race as arithmetic and
geography now are ; and will be as universally
found in our schools. And he cannot but fondly
hope to remove a little of the repugnance which
many feel to this study, by the peculiar manner
in which he has here presented it.

The general plan of the work is something
more than mere theory. It has been tested by
experiment, both in school and elsewhere; and
with the most complete success.

There is one more hope that the author in-
dulges, in the publication of this volume. It is,
that it will have a good tendency on morals.
Still more than all this. Besides having the
favorable tendency which physiology must have
on human happiness generally, the writer be-
lieves that no branch of natural science is more
likely to induce us to look " through Nature up
to Nature's God."

BOSTON, JANUARY, 1837.



CONTENTS.



INTRODUCTION. 13

f

; ;/ AI

CHAPTER I. GENERAL REMARKS.

Size of the House. Its Age Beauty Cost Rooms-
Occupants Furniture 2331



CHAPTER II. FRAME-WORK OF THE HOUSE.

The Thigh Bone. The Leg. The Knee Pan. The
Foot. Arch of the Foot. Proof of Contrivance. The
Ankle. . . 3240



CHAPTER III. MATERIAL OF THE FRAME.

Structure of Bones. Shape of the Bones. Particular
Description. Growth of Bone. Vessels of the Bones. 41 46



CHAPTER IV. SILLS OF THE HOUSE.

Situation of the Hip Bones. Structure. The Hip Joint.
An Abuse. . , . 4750



X CONTENTS.

CHAPTER V. BODY OF THE HOUSE.

Height. The Spine. Each Vertebra. General Descrip-
tion. The Ribs. The Breast Bone. The Collar Bone.
The Shoulder Blade. . . 5160



CHAPTER VI. BODY OF THE HOUSE. CONTINUED.
The Arms. The Hand. Uses of the Hand 6171

CHAPTER VII. THE CUPOLA.

The Cranium. The Teeth. Growth of the Teeth. Struc-
ture of the Teeth. Uses of the Teeth. Bones of the
Ear. Bone of the Throat 7285

CHAPTER VIII. THE HINGES.

The Hip Joint. Shoulder Joint. Elbow Joint. Liga-
ments. Capsules. Wear of the Joints. Synovia.
Abuses of the Joints. , . 86101



CHAPTER IX. REVIEW.

Number of Bones. Skeletons. Anatomy. Physiology.
Uses of Bones. .\ . .102112



CHAPTER X. COVERING OF THE HOUSE.

The Periosteum. The Muscles. The Tendons. Struc-
ture of the Muscles. Action of Muscles. Illustrations.
About Fat. Reflections.. ...113130



CONTENTS. XI

CHAPTER XL THE COVERING. BOARDS AND SHIN-
GLES.

The Skin. Coloring of the Skin. Change of Color. Oil
Glands. Pores of the Skin. Cleanliness. Hair and
Nails 131-143

CHAPTER XII. THE COVERING. THE WINDOWS.

General Remarks. The Human Eye. Situation of the
Eye. Coats of the Eye. Optic Nerve. The Tears.
The Eyelids. The Eyebrows. Remarks.. . . 144156

CHAPTER XIII. THE COVERING. THE DOORS.
The Ear. The Nose. The Mouth 157167

CHAPTER XIV. APARTMENTS AND FURNITURE.

General Remarks. The External Ear. Chambers of the
Nose. The Mouth, internally. The Salivary Glands.
Passages to the Ear. The Chest. Cavity of the Lungs.
The Food Pipe. The Stomach. The Intestines. Gall
Bladder, &c. The Abdomen. The Apartment of the
Circulation. Chambers of the Brain 168191

CHAPTER XV. FURNITURE OF THE HOUSE, AND ITS

USES.

The Blood. Preparing the Blood. Mastication or Chew-
ing. Swallowing. A Trap Door. Digestion. For-
mation of Chyle. Lacteals. Absorbents. Materials
for Blood. Nature of the Blood. Uses of the Blood.
Nature of Secretion. Motion of the Heart. Pulsa-
tion. Force of the Heart. Capillaries 192225



Xll CONTENTS.



CHAPTER XVI. FURNITURE, AND ITS USES. CON-
TINUED.

Purifying the Blood. The Lungs. Capacity of the
Lungs. Breathing. Uses of Breathing. Nature of
the Air. Breathing Air twice. Of Ventilation. Free
Motion of the Lungs. Tight Lacing 226239



CHAPTER XVII. TEMPERATURE OF APARTMENTS.
Curious Question. Variations of Temperature. . . . 240 246



INTRODUCTION.



BEFORE describing " the house I live in," it
will be necessary to give a short account of
other houses.




HUTS, OR WIGWAMS.

Among what we call savage nations, buildings
are very simple in their construction, and rude
in their appearance. They are often nothing



14 INTRODUCTION.

more than huts formed of the trunks of trees
driven into the ground, and fastened together at
the top. The branches and leaves of trees are
then interwoven. Afterwards they are covered
with bark, and some of the holes are perhaps
filled up with mud or clay. Such were the mis-
erable huts or wigwams of the North American
Indians.

From a very early period in the history of our
world, down to the present time, the people of
all climates have felt the need of houses to live
in, of some kind or other. In hot climates they
serve as a shelter from the scorching rays of the
sun, or the drenching rains which fall at certain
seasons ; or as a defence against wild beasts
and reptiles. In cold countries, they help to pre-
vent us from freezing, amid the frost and snow.

Many brute animals, as you know, build them-
selves houses. The beaver, the muskrat, the
bee, and the ant, are examples. But there is
one thing to be observed here which is, that
neither the beaver nor any otheranirnal but man,
builds its house one jot better now, than it did
5000 years ago ; and if the world should last
5000 years longer, these animals will, undoubt-
edly, continue to build just in the same way.



INTRODUCTION.



15



That is to say, they make no improvement. But
man has been constantly altering his mode of
building, and, as we think, making improvements.




ANOTHER SORT or HUTS.

One kind of dwelling, in early use, was in
the shape of a dome. The frame was formed
of long sticks, which would bend easily. These
were sharpened at both ends, and then bent
and driven into the ground. Next, these frames
were thatched (that is, their roof covered) with
straw. After this they were plastered inside
and outside, with clay or earth, which soon be-
came dry and hard. A place was left for a door
or entrance, but not more than two or three feet



16 INTRODUCTION.

high, so that on entering them they had to creep
on all fours ! A hole was also left at the top,
to let in the light and let out the smoke.

The Caffres and other nations in South
Africa live in such habitations, even now.
Large villages, called Jcraah, are made up of
them ; and the king's palace is nothing more
than one of these oven-like houses, a little
larger than the rest ; situated perhaps in the
midst of a large yard, and surrounded by a
thick row of rough wooden posts.




TENTS.

Another kind of habitations early used was
tents. They were at first made of skins ; after-
wards of felt, and various kinds of cloth.



INTRODUCTION. 17

To build a tent, they first set poles very firmly
in the ground, then spread on the covering and
fastened it to ihern. The edges of the covering
are fixed to the ground by pegs, or in some
other similar way. The patriarchs mentioned in
the Old Testament dwelt in tents. As their
wealth consisted chiefly of cattle, they could
thus move their houses from place to place, to
new pastures, very conveniently. The Tartars
and Bedouin Arabs still spread their tents in the
deserts, and some of them are large and con-
venient, and very richly ornamented.




ACCOUNT OF FRAMED HOUSES.

I cannot tell exactly at what period men
first learned to cut the trunks of trees into a
2*



18 INTRODUCTION.

square form, and frame them together into
houses ; but you see that these framed houses
were at first rather rude in their appearance.
It was not long, however, before they learned
to build them more elegantly ; and now for
many hundred years, but very little improve-
ment has been made in the style of wooden
buildings. But instead of wood, many build-
ings, especially in cities, are now made of brick
and stone, which you know are much more
durable than wood. This is particularly true of
stone, which, it is well known, will last several
hundred years.

I observed that there had been but very little
improvement made in the style of building for
many hundred years ; but I meant in regard to
elegance. People are learning, every year,
how to construct houses so as to make them
more convenient for those who occupy them ;
as well as more easily and cheaply warmed,
ventilated, &c. The ventilation or airing of
buildings, to purify them and make them more
healthy, was once scarcely thought of. And
as for fuel, which, so long as a country was new,
many were glad to burn as fast as they could,
in order to get it out of the way, they are now



INTRODUCTION. 19

contriving every ingenious method they possi-
bly can to save it.

FRAME OF A MODERN HOUSE.

So many houses are built of brick and stone
that perhaps some of my young city readers
will scarcely know what a wooden frame means.
At any rate, they will not know the names of
the pieces of timber of which it is composed,
as children in country towns usually do. I
have therefore thought it would be best to pre-
sent the picture of a wooden house frame, which
I have employed an eminent artist to draw.
It will be very necessary for the reader to study
it a little while ; for I shall speak of its sills,
posts, girts, cupola, &,c., presently, and I wish
to be understood.

When they build a wooden house, they first
lay a row of stones for underpinning. Some-
times they use other things instead of stones
for this purpose ; but not often. They lay
these stones in a square, exactly where they
mean to have the outside walls of the house.
Having taken care to make it level, that is,
just as high in one place as another, they



20 INTRODUCTION.

next lay on four long square sticks of timber,
and join them together at the corners. These
they call sills. If a house were to be exactly
square that is, just as long as it is wide and
you were to stand up in the air, over the sills,
after they were laid upon the underpinning and
framed together, they would look a little like
the following figure.



When they have placed the sills, and put
other pieces of timber across the inside of them,



INTRODUCTION. 21

then they set up other upright sticks upon them,
and frame them into the sills at the bottom, and
fasten them together with beams, studs, braces,
&c., in such a manner that they cannot fall
down ; and this they call the frame.




Here is a view of the front or fore side of the
frame of a wooden dwelling house. The en-
graver has marked it with letters, so that I can
describe it to you without difficulty. As you
look upon the front part of it, you can of course
see only one of the sills.



INTRODUCTION.

That which looks checkered at the bottom is
the underpinning. It is marked u, u. On it
lies the front sill of the house, s, s. Four large
upright pieces of timber standing on it are called
posts, p, p, p, p. The cross piece, b, &, which
unites them, is a beam. The other cross pieces,
half way from the beam to the sill, are called
girts, g, g. Studs, marked st, are small up-
right sticks framed into the cross pieces. Along
the top of the house is the ridge, or ridge-pole,
r, into which are framed sloping or oblique
pieces, to support the roof. These are called
rafters, or spars, sp. On the top of the house,
at c, is the frame of the cupola. The place
for a door, is marked d } and the places for
windows, w. The short slanting pieces, like
those marked br all those, I mean, which are
between 'the sill and beam are called braces.
Their use is to strengthen the frame.

With this short description, I hope what
I have to say in the following chapters will be
fully understood.



THE HOUSE I LIVE IN.



CHAPTER I.

GENERAL REMARKS.

Size of the House. Its Age Beauty Cost
Rooms Occupants Furniture.

" THE house I live in " is a curious build-
ing ; one of the most curious in the world.
Not that it is the largest, or the oldest, or the
most beautiful, or the most costly : or that it
has the greatest number of rooms or occupants,
or the most fashionable furniture. But it is
one of the most wonderful buildings in the
world, on account of the skill and wisdom of
the great Master Workman who planned it.
You cannot view it closely in any part of it,
without being struck with the wisdom he must
certainly have had, nor without desiring to be-
come acquainted with him.



24 THE HOUSE I LIVE IN.

SIZE OF THE HOUSE. I said it was not
the largest building in the world. Very far
indeed from that. The mosque of Omar, at
Jerusalem, which, according to travellers, is
1489 feet (more than a quarter of a mile) long,
and 995 feet wide, covering forty-one acres,
is of course millions of times as large. The
palace and church of the Escurial in Madrid, in
Spain, is nearly a mile in circumference. The
great tobacco factory at Seville, in Spain, covers
about seventeen acres, and is of course millions
of times as large as my house is. So are also
St. Peter's Church at Rome, and St. Paul's in
London ; the latter of which covers six acres.
Even the City Hall in New York, which is only
216 feet long and 105 broad, is many thousand
times as large as the house I live in. In
truth, the latter is only a foot or two in extent
in any direction. Its height is almost as dimin-
utive as its extent ; for though it has two stories,
with a cupola, it scarcely towers beyond the
height of six feet.

ITS AGE. It is not the oldest building in
the world. A traveller assures me that he
once saw a house in Nantes, in France, in



GENERAL REMARKS. 25

which Julius Caesar slept at the time of his pass-
ing through France to invade Great Britain ;
which you know is almost two thousand years
ago. Buildings of brick and stone several
hundred years old are very common in Europe.
They are, of course, less so here, because it is
little more than 200 years since our ancestors
came over here, and began to drive away the
savages and erect dwellings. Yet even here
you will occasionally find a house nearly 200
years old. There are some wooden houses,
both in Boston and its vicinity, which are not
far from 150 years old. But the dwelling I
am going to tell you about has not yet stood
half a century.

ITS BEAUTY. The house I live in is not
the most beautiful. It is not indeed without
beauty; but how would it compare with the
elegant temple of Solomon, in the days of its
glory ? or with the Arcade of Providence, the
Massachusetts Hospital in Boston, or the Capi-
tol at Washington ? Some indeed undertake
to say that it is a great deal more beautiful than
any of these ! On this point I leave you to form
3



26 THE HOUSE I LIVE IN.

your own opinion, after I have told you more
about it.

ITS EXPENSE. Nor is it the most costly.
Many a building has cost its millions of dollars.
The Capitol at Washington cost two millions,
and even the City Hall in New York half
a million. The Seville tobacco factory, in
Spain, cost six millions. Some European pal-
aces, or residences of kings, probably cost a
dozen or twenty millions. The house I live
in meanwhile, did not probably cost one thou-
sand. Indeed it scarcely cost me anything ;
for it was found ready to my hand. The ex-
pense of the human frame would be much more
than it is, were we not more anxious to bring
it to maturity as quickly as possible, than to
have it strong and firm. In general, the slower
the growth of the body, the better.

ROOMS. Nor does it contain the greatest
number of ROOMS that I have ever known in a
building. It contains indeed a very large num-
ber for so small a place. Perhaps there may
be a dozen, or fifteen, or twenty. Whereas the



GENERAL REMARKS. 27

Astor House in New York contains several
hundred, many of them large and commodious ;
and the Tremont House in Boston, one hundred
and eighty. The Palace of the Escurial in
Madrid has 1860 rooms.

OCCUPANTS. As to the number of occu-
pants, it will not compare at all with most
buildings. Churches will contain a thousand
people at a time some of them more. Thea-
tres will also accommodate their thousands of
visitors. Public houses will even accommodate
their hundreds of travellers, and some of our
boarding establishments many hundreds of
boarders. 1 have been shown a few boarding
houses in our own manufacturing villages that
contained not accommodated, for they did
not three or four hundred boarders. In Paris,
Vienna, Edinburg, St. Petersburg, and even in
New York, fifty persons, and sometimes more,
are occasionally crowded together into a single
building. The Spanish tobacco factory, of
which I have already spoken, employed 1500
to 2000 persons. But the house I am de-
scribing, like the huts of some of the ruder



28 THE HOUSE I LIVE IN.

tribes of New Holland, never accommodates
but one person, and that is myself.

I have mentioned the rude huts of some
tribes of the New Hollanders ; but theirs will
not compare very well with mine throughout.
They are made of the bark of a single tree,
bent in the middle, and placed with its two
ends on the ground. When they have lived in
a hut of this kind as long they please, they leave
it; and if they go to a new place, build an-
other : and the old one is taken possession of
by any that choose. Whereas I always carry
my house with me wherever I go. You will
interrupt me, perhaps, by saying that the snail,
the tortoise, the oyster, and the lobster, do the
same ; and you are right.

The house I live in is good for nothing at all
for any one but myself; and when I leave it,
it- will immediately go to decay. I would not
exchange it, however, if I could. I like it
as the Icelander does his frozen country
better than any other.

FURNITURE. Lastly, I have already con-
fessed that my furniture is not of the most
fashionable kind. Of this the reader can



GENERAL REMARKS. 29

best judge for himself when he understands
that it has been the same in kind for nearly
forty years. The fashions you know, in gen-
eral, are often changing like the moon ; and
what is in fashion now, will next year appear
ancient. Can it be expected, then, that the
furniture which was selected for the house I
live in during the past century, will correspond
with the fashions of the present ?




In Siam, they build their houses on posts or
pillars. This is because the country is low,
and apt to be overflowed every year by the
rivers ; and to build on high posts is the only
way to secure themselves against these floods.
My house, as you will see hereafter, stands on
3*



30



THE HOUSE I LIVE IN,



pillars, but they are made for motion ; whereas
you cannot move a Siamese house without
spoiling it.

There is one thing which bears a slight
resemblance to the house I live in. It is the
house, or tower, sometimes, in the East Indies,
placed on the back of the elephant. In these
houses or towers the people travel twenty or
more of them at a time. In like manner, I
carry about my house, from place to place,
wherever I go. Here is a picture of the house
on the back of an elephant, of which I have
just spoken.




The house I live in, after all, is most re-
markable for its convenience. Nothing could



GENERAL REMARKS. 31



possibly so well answer my purpose. I have
already told you that it would be good for
nothing for any other person. Your house,
my young reader, may be as beautiful, as curi-
ous, as large, and even as commodious for you,
as mine is for me ; but it would never answer
my purpose at all, even if I had it in my
power to exchange with you.

In the progress of the following chapters, I
shall give you many more particulars. I shall
describe to you, in the best way I can, the

FRAME, the COVERING, the APARTMENTS, the

FURNITURE, and the EMPLOYMENTS of the
house I live in ; and shall give you, briefly,
an account of the structure, uses and abuses of
each. At first, I intended to insert a little
dictionary or vocabulary of the hard words
which occur, with their meanings ; but I be-
lieve it is unnecessary ; for there are few, if
any, whose meaning you will not know at once,
either by their sense or the situation in which
they are placed.



CHAPTER II.



FRAME-WORK OP THE HOUSE.

The Thigh Bone. The Leg. The Knee


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