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WILLIAM HARVEY was born on the 1st of April, 1578, at Folkestone, on the southern coast of Kent. He was the eldest of nine children ; of the rest little more is known than that several of the brothers were among the most eminent merchants in the city of London during the reigns of the two first Stuarts. His father, Thomas Harvey, followed no profession. He married Joanna Falke, at the age of twenty, and lived upon his own estate at Folkestone. This property devolved 'by inheritance upon his eldest son; and the greatest part of




it was eventually bequeathed by him to the college at which he was educated.

At ten years of age he commenced his studies at the grammar school in Canterbury; and upon the 31st of May, 1593, soon after the completion of his fifteenth year, was admitted as a pensioner at Caius College, Cambridge.

At that time a familiar acquaintance with logic and the learned languages was indispensable as a first step in the prosecution of all the branches of science, especially of medicine: and the skill with which Harvey avails himself of the scholastic form of reasoning in his great work on the Circulation, with the elegant Latin style of all his writings, particularly of his latest work on the Generation of Animals, afford a sufficient proof of his diligence in the prosecution of these preliminary studies during the next four years which he spent at Cambridge. The two next were occupied in visiting the principal cities and seminaries of the Continent. He then prepared to address himself to those investigations to which the rest of his life was devoted ; and the scene of his introduction to them could not have been better chosen than at the University of Padua, where he became a student in his twenty-second year.

The ancient physicians gathered what they knew of anatomy from inaccurate dissections of the lower animals : and the slender knowledge thus acquired, however inadequate to unfold the complicated functions of the human frame, was abundantly sufficient as a basis for conjecture, of which they took full advantage. With them every thing became easy to explain, precisely because nothing was understood ; and the nature and treatment of disease, the great object of medicine and of its subsidiary sciences, was hardily abandoned to the conduct of the imagination, and sought for literally among the stars. Nevertheless, so firmly was their authority established, that even down to the close of the sixteenth century, the naturalists of Europe still continued to derive all their physiology, and the greater part of their anatomy and medicine, from the works of Aristotle and

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