¶Of the vertue vitall. Cap. 15.
AFter the vertue of kinde followeth the vertue vitall, that giueth lyfe to the bodye, whose foundation or proper place is the heart: out of the hart com∣meth lyfe to quicken all the lyms. The vertue of quick and kindly mouing, hel∣peth the working of this vertue, where∣by the hart and organe, and smal wayes be opened and spread, and drawen toge∣ther. And this dilation or spreading, is called the mouing of the heart from the middle into all the vtter partes. And so contrariwise constriction or the drawing together, is called, the mouing from the vtter parties towarde the middle of the hart, as it is séene in belowes of smiths. This vertue of lyfe openeth the heart by working of the lunges, and draweth in aire to the heart, and sendeth it foorth from the hart to ye other lyms by small wayes. And this vertue by the helpe of the vertue that closeth and openeth the heart, worketh and maketh breathing in a beast. And by breathing the breast moueth continually, but the sinewes and fleshly parts be first moued. But this blast or breath is néedfull to the slaking of vnkindly heate, and to the food of the spirite of lyfe, and also to the gendering of the spirit, that is named Animal, that giueth féelyng and moouing. For the kée∣ping of the kindly heate, is a temperate indrawing of colde ayre, and the kéeping of the spirite that is called Spiritus vi∣talis, of whose temperaunce the spirite is increased that is called Animalis. And therefore nothing is more néedfull to kéepe and to saue the lyfe, than breath well disposed and ordeined in all points. All this saith Constantinus in Pantign. Without meate and drinke a beast may liue for a time, but without breth draw∣ing of colde aire, a beast maye not endure in good case long, but the breath is corrupt and destroyed by straightning the pores, through the which the beast by a kinde of stranglyng, dyeth. The breath is corrupt first by euill dispo∣sition of the brayne, for if the brayne be Page 17 let of his office in any wise for defaulte of influence of spirites, then opening and closing of the heart fayleth: and then néedes must the beast be stiffeled, as it is séene in Apoplexia, and in other such causes. TREVISA. Apoplexia is an euill, that maketh a man léese all manner féeling. Also the same falleth by hurting of the heart, when the humours be voyded, that should kindly be therein: for so the spirites be voyded, and the at∣traction of the aire hath no place. And it fareth so in sodain smiting of the kind heate into the inner parts of the heart, as it happeneth in fearfull men in let∣ting bloud, that other while sayle and sowne. And so it happeneth of the in∣fection of the lyuer. For corruption of the lyuer taketh awaye generation of cleane pured bloud, that féedeth kindlye heate: and if kinde heate fayle, the spi∣rite vitall sayleth, and consequently the breath particularly or vniuersally is let. And so it happeneth in searching & pear∣cing of the lunges, as it fareth in them that haue the Tisike, in whom the breth straighted, vanisheth awaye by priuie hoales, and is not sufficient to temper the beate of the heart. And so it fareth in all repletion, and specially by sodayne filling of the inner veynes of the body: as appeareth in them that be sodaynlye stiffeled in the water: in whome the pores being let, the breath by a vyolent ouercomming and renting of the inner powers is stopped. Also by great corrup∣tion of the aire as in pestilence time, and in corrupt aire, when the spirite vitall eschewing his contrary, closeth himselfe in the inner parts of the heart, and so be∣ing ouerset with aire that is corrupt, may not rule the heart and other lymmes of the body, but faileth in himselfe, and as it were, sodainly vanisheth alwaye: and then thereof commeth death. Also of in∣fection and corruption of the humors of the breast, and of the breast plate and bone, as it is seen among those that haue the dropsie, pore, scurffe, canker, woolfe, & leprosie. Also by the stopping of the or∣gane & wayes that commeth from the langs, as appereth in them that haue the pirre & stifles, & be putrified and thicke breathed, and other such. Also by speciall corruption of the heart, as by biting of an Adder, or of anye other venemous worme: whole venyme pearcing to the heart, ouercommeth the kindly heat, and so stoppeth the way of the breath. Also by too much refraction of hot aire, as chaunceth in ouer hot stewes or bathe, or in the most feruent heate of ye Sun, that rerefieth & openeth the pores ouer measure, and so maketh too great exhala∣tion and wasting of the kinde heate: and so the colde aire that is drawen in, suf∣ficeth not to slake the heate superfluous, that is not of kinde, and so the breath is let. Also the same chaunceth of the duor colde aire yt draweth together ye brawns and the sinewes of the breast: and there∣by the vertue of breathing is let, as it chaunceth in them that sléep vpon snow. And the same other while chaunceth by stopping of a veyne of the heart, that is called Vena concaua, the holow veyne: when that veyne is stopped and closed, the way of the passage is let, by ye which way and passage, the bloud must go from the liuer to the heart, to féede and nou∣rish the spirite vitall. For when the heate wareth abundaunt, and the humor is withdrawen, the beast is stiffeled: for the breath sufficeth not to coole the hart. And so it fareth by ouerburdening of cholar on of other humors, in the most subtill, veynes of the heart, as appeareth in sharpe seuers, in the which the breath saileth. Also by ouer vyolent strayning of the throte and of the arteries: as we may sée in them that be hanged & stran∣gled, in the which the breath be••g •••∣ped, the heart sodainly burneth 〈…〉 beast dyeth forthwith. By these 〈…〉 and many other, the vertue, vitall 〈…〉 by default of breath. Of the vertue spi∣rituall, commeth wrath, fighting, indig∣nation, spite, and such passions, that arise in brute beastes through mouing of the spirital vertue with vehemencie, & with∣out discretion: but in men such passions be ordred and ruled by a certaine reason of wit. And of the vertue spiritall or vi∣tall, that is said shall suffice.