Anatomical exercitations concerning the generation of living creatures to which are added particular discourses of births and of conceptions, &c.
Harvey, William, 1578-1657., Lluelyn, Martin, 1616-1682.
Page  510

Of the Membranes and Humours of the Uterus.

HIeronymus Fabricius recounteth four sorts of bo∣dies,*which do consist without the Foetus, namely the Umbilical Vessels, the Membranes, Humours, and fleshy substance. Concerning which, I shall brief∣ly declare, wherein I differ in opinion from him, (by the instigation of several Observations) but first I shall succinctly lay down his opinion.

There are, saith he, three Membranes, two where∣of do encompass the Infant throughout, but the third doth not. Of those which do incompass the Foetus, one is the interiour, called〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉 id est, amiculum, the litle covering. The other is placed next to the former, and called in Greek〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉, in Latine, Innominata, the coat without a name (but it is by Interpreters fals∣ly called Secundae, or Secundina, the Secundine) and this also doth encompass the whole Foetus. The third is called〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉, id est, Intestinalis, the Gut-like Membrane, because it is like a stuffed Gut, or Pudding: which therefore doth not encompass the Foetus, but lieth over part of the breast and lower bel∣ly, and is extended to each horn of the Uterus. He doth confess that this Membrane is onely to be found in a Lamb, and a Calfe; and saith that it is joined to the Uterus, and doth by the Urachus receive the Urine of the foetus from the Bladder. And therefore, saith he, In Horned beasts, which*have this coat called Allantoides, the Urachus is so large, and straite, that it resembleth a Gut; grow∣ing by degrees lesser and lesser, even till it reach to the bottom of the bladder: which doth easily evincePage  511that its original is rather from the Allantoides, then from the Bladder. But in a Man, and other Animals which have teeth in both Jawes, the fore-mentioned largeness of the Urachus is so small, that whereas it riseth single from the bottom of the Bladder, it is pre∣sently after divided into most slender fibers, which passing along with the Umbilical Vessels, do transfund the Urine into the coat Chorion (in an almost invi∣sible manner.) And upon this ground he doth challenge Arantius of a double errour; both in that he denyed any Urachus to be found in a hu∣mane foetus; and likewise for saying, that it doth discharge its Urine through its privy member.

But for my part, I confess my self to be invol∣ved in the same errours with Arantius (if at least they be errours.) For I am sure of this, that if you compress the bladder of a large-grown foe∣tus, (be it the humane foetus, or of any other Ani∣mal) the Urine will start out at the Privities. But as for the Urachus, I never yet saw any such thing, nor could ever observe that upon compres∣sion of the bladder, the Urine would gush out in∣to the Secundines. I have indeed in Sheep and Deer, seen a certain Process of the bladder, which doth contain Urine in it; but never saw any such as the Urachus by him described.

And yet I will not too stiffly deny, that there is a Coat called Allantoides; for the Interiour mem∣branes are so thin and transparent, (such as wee have signified to be found between the two whites of an Egg) that they may easily impose upon the Eye. Likewise in a Hen-egg, between the Colliqua∣mentum and the White (that is, between the Am∣nion, and the Chorion) there is to be seen some whitish excrements, nay, sometimes the very down∣right excrements of the Guts; as we have former∣ly Page  512 spoken, and Coiterus hath also observed. More∣over, the Membrane of the Colliquamentum it self (wherein the Chicken doth swim) though it be pellucid, thin, and so subtle, that (according to Fabricius his own confession) thinner cannot be imagined: yet (since according to Him, all the membranes though never so thin, are nevertheless double) Nature may possibly sometimes upon necessity deposit the Urine, or some other excre∣ment between the Reduplications or folds thereof. And such a kinde of Allantoides as this, I shall willingly indulge to Fabricius: but as for any other kinde of Pudding, carried on to both the bornes of the Womb, I finde no such thing in the Secundines of Cloven-footed-beasts, nor any thing else, but the Conception it self. I onely finde, (as I have said before) a kinde of Process of the blad∣der, which being seated between the Umbilical Arteries, doth contain an excrementitious humour, and this Process is in some longer, and in others shorter.

Wherefore, in my judgment, the Coat which Fabricius calls Allantoides, is the meer Chorion: and yet the Antients called it Allantoides, from the fi∣gure of a double-pudding, which it doth resemble. For the exteriour membrane, which (like a Wallet tyed in the middle) is extended to the extremities of each Horn; and passing through the interposed part of the Uterus (or the connexion of both the Horns) is fastened together, is the Chorion; which, in Sheep, Goats, Hinds, and Does, and other cloven∣footed beasts, if you take it in your hand in the middle of that passage, you may draw it away entire: and this we have called their Egge, or Conception.

For it containeth as an Egge doth, a two-fold Page  513liquor, a foetus, and all things relating thereun∣to; and hath the same qualifications which Ari∣stotle assigneth to an Egge; namely, that out of part thereof an Animal ought to be constituted, and that the remainder ought to become the sup∣port and sustenance of that Animal, when it is now constituted.

And therefore that Coat which Fabricius cal∣leth Allantoides, I either conceive to be the Choriou, or that something praeter-natural had befalne some Animal which he had seen. For certain it is, that it is onely to be found in some few Ani∣mals, and not alwaies in them neither: for at the Beginning it is not found, & afterwards, in some it is more, and in others less conspicuous, and in some nothing at all is discernable, but meerly a Process. And Fabricius himself conceiveth it not usefull to the encompassing of the Infant, but only to the reception of the Urine. And truly I believe, that he maketh mention of it, rather in justification of the Doctrine of the Antients, then that himself found any such thing, or thought it usefull to any intent. But (both with the Antients, and the whole School of Physitians) he doth confess, that the Chorion doth contain Urine; where hee saith, that two humours are about the foetus, the one being Sweat, which is in the Amnion, the other Urine, which is contained in the Chorion.

By which it is manifest, that the Antients un∣derstood one & the same membrane under a double compellation; namely, in cloven-footed beasts, (in whom alone it is found) they called it Allan∣toides, by reason of its figure: but in other Ani∣mals, they called it Chorion, from its emploiment, because they conceived it was designed for the entertainment of the Urine. And therefore they Page  514 confess that this Coat is neither found in a Man, nor any other Animals. For what need of any o∣ther Coat to entertain the Urine, when that of∣fice, by their own confession, is already executed by the Chorion? And indeed, there can no pro∣bable reason be alledged why that coat should be found in Sheep, Goats, and other beasts which cleave the hoof, and not also in Dogs, Cats, Mice, and Others. For if it were instituted for the rece∣ption of the Urine, it is necessary, that the foetus of Sheep, and Cowes, should either abound with greater plenty of Urine then other animals which have Teeth in both Jawes; or else, that there are three diverse kindes of humours; or at least two Receptacles of the Urine. For this I am sure, that the Chorion is from the first beginning full of wa∣ter. But I do not here intend to dispute contro∣versies, I shall rather rehearse what I have found by experience.

It is one thing to exhibit the fabrick of a Con∣ception, or Embryo that is now perfected, as Fa∣bricius doth: but another thing, to disclose the the generation thereof, and first scheme and rudi∣ments of all: as it is a diverse business to describe Apples, or the ripe seeds of Plants, and their first production from the bud. We therefore will brief∣ly relate, how the Conception is framed by litle and litle, even from the beginning to the end; that it may thence more likely appear, what we are to conclude concerning the Membranes, and other Appurtenances relating to the Foetus.

All Living things do derive their Original (as we have said) from something, which doth contain in it both the matter, and efficient virtue and power: which therefore is that thing, both out of which, and by which, whatsoever is born, doth de∣duce Page  515 its beginning. And such an Original or Ru∣diment in Animals (whether they proceed from o∣ther Animals which do beget them, or else are spontaneous, and the Issues of Putrefaction) is a cer∣tain humour, which is concluded in some certain coat, or shell; namely, a similar body, having life actually in it, or in potentiâ: and this, in case it be generated within an Animal, and do there re∣main, untill it have produced an Vnivocal Ani∣mal, is commonly called a Conception: but if it be exposed without, by being born, or else as∣sume its beginning elsewhere, it is called either an Egg, or a Worm. But I conceive that both ought alike to be called Primordium, the first Ru∣diment from which an Animal doth spring; as Plants assume their nativity from the Seed: and all these Primordia are of one kinde, namely, Vital.

And this kinde of Rudiment I finde in the Vte∣rus of all Viviparous Animals, before any part of the foetus appear; namely, there is a cleare, stiffe, white humour (like the white of an Egge) which is included in a membrane, which I call their egge: and this doth fill up all the Vterus, and both the Horns thereof, in Hindes, Does, Sheep, and other Beasts which cleave the Hoof.

In process of Time, there is a most pure, and clear watry part distinguished or severed from the rest of the Rudiment, or egge, which we call the Colliquamentum, or dissolved part in a Hen-egge) and this doth in brightness or perspicuity farre exceed all the rest of the egge (in which it is com∣prehended. The form thereof is round, and it is concluded in its own proper membrane, which is most thin and transparent, which they call Am∣nion; as for the rest of the humor, which is thicker and darker then this, an exteriour coat, which is Page  516 contiguous to the concave superficies of the Vterus, and embraceth the whole Egge, doth contain it: which obtaineth a several figure, according to the diversity of the shape of the womb: for in some it is oval, in other oblong, but in Beasts which cleave the hoof, it resembleth a Wallet.

A litle while after, there doth appear in this crystal Colliquamentum, Punctum rubrum saliens, A Red leaping Point; from which most slender strings of litle Veines are disseminated, like rayes or beames. Anon the first concrement or substance of the Body doth appear, like a Magot, which is bent like a Keel of a Ship: and so the rest of the Parts doe follow in their order, as hath been related in our History. For we have obser∣ved that the Procreation of the foetus in Viviparous Animals is instituted in the same manner out of the Egg or Conception, as the Chicken out of the Henn-Egg.

But these Viviparous conceptions do (as I have noted) differ in Figure, Number, and Connexi∣on to the Vterus. For at the beginning, the Con∣ception (especially in those that cleave the hoofe) doth not grow to the Vterus; but being onely contiguous thereunto, doth fill up all its cavity, and distend it, and may be easily drawn out whole.

In such Creatures as cleave the hoofe, (which do conceive in the Horns of the Womb) and also in those that are whole-hoofed, there is onely one of these eggs found at a time, and that also ex∣tending it selfe to both the Hornes, and though sometimes they do produce a single, and some∣times a double foetus; and thereupon have some∣times one single Colliquamentum, and sometimes two (namely, one in the Right, and another in Page  517 the Left Horn) yet are they still concluded in that Common Egg or Conception.

But in other Animals, so many foetus, so many several Eggs are to be seen apart; and as many Colliquamentums in them, as it is in the Dog, the Cat, the Mouse, and such like Animals as have teeth in both their Jawes.

The Figure of the Conception in such as cleave the hoof, is like a Wallet; namely such, as Fabri∣cius doth attribute to the Allantoides. In a Mare, the internal shape of the womb resembleth a litle oblong Sack; but in a Woman, it is Orbicular.

In those Animals, whose conception doth cleave to their womb (which, truly, is not so in many, un∣till the foetus be fully formed) it is distinguished by its Diversity of Connexion: for in some, it doth stick onely in one place, by the mediation of a carnous substance, which we call Placenta, the Ute∣rine cake in women, because it resembleth the round figure of a Cake; but in others, it groweth to the Uterus in several places, being fastened thereunto by divers fleshy substances, or caruncles: namely, by five, in Hindes, and Does; by more in Cowes, but they are lesser also: but in the race of Sheep, by very many, and those of different magnitude. In Dogs and Cats, these Carnous Bodies, do (like a girdle) encompass every conception round. A like substance doth in Hares, and Moles, grow to the sides of their Uterus: as also the Uterine cake in a woman, which embraceth more then one half of the conception (as the cups do the Acorns, when they first spring) and therefore the gibbous part thereof doth stick fast to the womb, but the hollow part doth grow to the Chorion.

These things being premised, we shall now dis∣close, what our judgement is of these Humours,Page  518membranes, fleshy substance, and also of the distri∣bution of the Vmbilical vessels (which are spoken of by Fabricius.)

Fabricius doth rightly understand by the words 〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉 and 〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉, the Secundines, or After-Burden,* namely not the Membranes onely, but all that which doth come away last in the delivery (or at lest, not long after it) and is constituted of hu∣mours, membranes, and fleshy substance, as also of the Vmbilical Vessels.

But as for what he relateth concerning the hu∣mours, * which as he supposeth he doth receive from the Ancients (as a thing most sure, and which standeth in no need of any proof) namely, that the water in the Amnion, wherein the foetus swimmes, is its sweat; and that that outward Water in the Chorion is the Vrine, are both incon∣gruous, and false assertions: For both those two humours do appear in the conception before any portion of the foetus it self be in being: and that which he calleth the Urine, is before that (which they conceive to be the sweat.) Nay you may find these humours, especially the last, in some barren, and unfruitful conceptions (wherein there is no tract of a foetus at all.)

Such Conceptions as these, or Subventaneous eggs, Women do sometimes eject: and Aristotle saith * thy are called, Fluxus, Emanations or Fluxes, but we call them false conceptions, and slips. Such an egge as these, did Hippocrates shake from his abor∣ting Minstrel. For those creatures which do breed an Animal within themselves, have in some sort after their first conception, something like an egge within them, for a humour is conteined in a thin membrane, just as if you should pluck the shell off of the egge. But as for that humour conteined in the Chorion, which Page  519Fabricius and other Physitians conceive to be the Urine, Aristotle seemeth to apprehend it to be the liquour of the Sperme, or Geniture. For, he saith, *The seed being received by the Uterus, having con∣tinued in it a while, is covered with a membrane. For if it chance to fall out, before any dearticulation, or delineation of the parts do appear, it looketh like an egge covered with a membrane, when the shell is pilled off. But that membrane is full of Veins, name∣ly, the Chorion, which hath assumed its denomi∣nation a venarum choro, sive copia, from the conflux or multitude of veins.

I have often seen those kind of egges ejected in the second, or third moneth: they are many times corrupt and rotten within, and do steale out insensibly (like the Whites) and so delude those, who have entertained hopes of a true con∣ception.

Again, those fore-mentioned humours cannot be conceived to be sweat, or Urine: because they abound in such plenty at the very beginning, that the Embryo swimming in the middest thereof, is thereby secured (whilest his Mother runneth, or danceth, or doth imply her body by any forcible agitation) from the collision of the circumjacent parts, as it were by a fortress.

Add to all this, that many Animals never sweat at all: (when yet according to Aristotle, all Wa∣ter, Land, and Volatile Animals, and I shall put in creeping things, and Insects also, whether they be produced in the shape of an egge, or an Animal, or else be spontaneous productions, are all procreated after a like manner) all fowl, creeping things, and fishes, are conceived neither to Sweat, nor Urine. * The Dog, and Cat, do never sweat; nor any other Animal, while it doth emit abundance of Urine. Page  520 And certainly it is impossible, that any Animal should make water, before the Reines and Bladder are made.

Besides, which is a more evincing Argument then the rest, these humours cannot be excrementi∣tious, because so many litle filaments of Veins are disseminated into them: which doe derive Ali∣ment from thence (as from a large stock) and af∣terwards conduct it unto the foetus.

Againe, if the humour conteined in the Chorion, be the Urine; what need is there of the Allantoi∣des? and if the humour conteined in the Amnion be the Sweat, why did nature, who is so exact in all her contrivances, order the matter so ill, as to condemn the foetus to lye wallowing in its own Excrement? and why doth the Parent pre∣sently after delivery (for that is usual with seve∣ral creatures) devour that which is but the Excre∣ment of her foetus, together with the membranes which contein it, with so much greediness and appetite? Some have observed, that if the Animal do not eat up these membranes and humours, it will not give down its Milk freely.

If, notwithstanding all these arguments, some men will still maintain that these humours (which we dispose to the nutriment of the foetus) are ex∣crementitious; and that upon this inducement, viz. because they also improve according to the growth of the foetus: and that in the birth of some Animals (at which time the whole stock of Ali∣ment is in probability almost consumed) great store of these humours doth abound; and that therefore they must needs performe other offices, then can well consist with the dignity of the nu∣triment. Yet for all this, I confidently pronounce, that these humours are the Aliment of the foetusPage  521 from the beginning of all; (as the Colliquamentum and the White do serve the Chicken for the same purpose) but in process of time, the thinner, and purer parts being exhausted, the reliques do then put on the nature of an useful excrement: and are reserved in some Animals, that so they may secure the foetus and facilitate the delivery. For as Wine, when the Spirits are exhaled, turnes into dead∣wine: and as several Excrements do result from the reliques of the Aliment: so in like manner, when all that substance, which is commodious to the sustenance of the foetus, is derived out of the hu∣mour concluded in the Chorion; the remainder doth turn into a kind of excrement, and is reser∣ved for the uses aforesaid. But all that humour which was included in the Amnion, it common∣ly spent neer the approaching delivery; so that it is probable, that the foetus desireth to get out by reason his provisions faile him.

Lastly, if at any time there be any other hu∣mour conteined in the Allantoides (as indeed there sometimes is) I esteem it to be a preter-na∣tural humour. For I have seen when women at their delivery have had a mighty flux of water; and sometimes a two-fold water: our Midwives call them the By-waters. And therefore some women have a monstrous great belly, though they are brought to bed of a very litle & lean Childe; but such women do effund abundance of Waters. Some are of opinion, that the larger quantity of Waters, doth accompany weakly, and those fe∣male Children: but the lesser, strong, and male Children. I have often seen waters burst forth in the midst of the going with Child without Abor∣tion, the Child remaining safe, and strong even to the birth. As therefore there are naturally Page  522 but two Waters only, (whereof the one is contei∣ned in the Chorion, and the other in the Amnion) so it may sometimes fall out, beside the ordinary course of nature, that several Waters may be ac∣cumulated in membranes proper to themselves, or else in the reduplications of the Chorion.

As for the Membranes or Coats of the Womb,* since their proper use and office chiefly is, to con∣tein the Waters; and those Waters appear to be two only; it is most certain that the membranes them∣selves are not (necessary and usually) more then two.

But as for those who reckon three, I conceive they were deluded, because the Ancients call the self-same membrane sometimes Chorion, from the conflux of Veines; and sometimes Allantoides, from its figure.

Every conception is covered over with these two membranes; as also every Braine hath a dou∣ble Meninx: every Tree and Shrub a two-fold Bark; every Seed and Fruit a two-fold Covering: whereof the Exteriour is the harder, and tighter.

The more Interiour of the two fore-mentioned membranes (conteining the Colliquamentum, or purer humour) is the thinnest, and is called Am∣nion, that is, Amiculum, the litle covering, be∣cause it covereth and involveth the foetus. The Exteriour (which is by much the larger, and stronger membrane) is called Chorion, because (saith Fabricius) many Veins, and Arteries are as∣sembled in it, tanquam in Choro, as in a Quire. And hence the Coat of the Eye, and likewise that con∣texture of Veins and Arteries which is found in the Ventricles of the Brain, are both called〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉, from the resemblance they have with these veines in the Chorion.

Page  523 This Membrane Chorion doth fill all the Womb; conteining a stiffe, troubled humour; and to its exteriour part, the Vterine Cake or Caruncles ad∣hering, do fasten the Conception to the Womb.

The Interiour part of this Membrane (in a Wo∣man) is almost conjoined to the Amnion, nor is it easily separated from it. In those Animals which cleave the hoofe it is exceeding large, and conteineth a hundred-fold more moisture in it, then the Amnion. For the Amnion at the begin∣ning, is scarce so large as a Nutmeg, or fair Bean, and is commonly found in one Horn of the womb onely, namely in that where the Foetus inhabit∣eth.

The Coat Chorion is (chiefly in Women) rough, and viscous without; but within smooth, and glibbe, and interwoven with abundance of Veins. The upper part of it is (in Women) thick∣er, and softer, but the lower part, thinner and more membranous.

In women the After-burden groweth to the upper part of this membrane: But in Sheep, seve∣ral Caruncles are fastened to several parts of it. In Hinds, and Does, the conception doth cling to the Vterus at five places onely: but in a Mare it doth adhere to the Vterus in an infinite company of places. And therefore Fabricius saith, that the *After-birth is in almost all Viviparous creatures, a soft flesh, lax, porous, thick, and something black, growing about the terminations of the Vmbilical vessels, which he resembleth to a looser Parenchy∣ma or affusion of a Liver or Spleen; which is there∣fore by Galen called Caro adenosa, a glandulous*flesh; and we now commonly call it Hepar Vte∣rinum, the Uterine Liver; into which the extre∣mities of the Vmbilical vessels are disseminated, Page  524 which do derive nutriment from the womb to the foetus.

But now, this fleshy Substance neither is in all Animals, nor at all times in those in whom it is: but in those Animals onely in whom the conce∣ption doth firmly cleave to the womb, and then onely, when it is fastened to the womb to bring down sustenance to the foetus. For in the begin∣ning, the conception (like an egge seated in the womb) is contiguous to all the circum-jacent parts of the Uterus, but doth on no side grow thereunto; but doth produce its foetus (as it is in an Egge which is sat upon by the Henne) out of the Humours contained in it: but that adhaesion and cleaving to the womb, is then first of all pro∣cured, and also this fleshy body is then first begin∣ning to be generated (which fleshy substance is the Tye of the Conception to the womb) when the foe∣tus is now perfectly formed, and standing in need of other, and more plentifull supply of Aliment, doth dispatch the Extremities of the Umbilical vessels to the Uterus, as Emissaries or Agents, that may from thence (as the Roots to Plants) convey provisions. For in the beginning, (as we have shew∣ed) when the Punctum saliens, and the Blood doe onely appear, the Propagations of the Vmbilical vessels are onely disseminated through the Colliqua∣mentum, and the Coat Amnion. But when once the fabrick of the Body is set up, those Propagations do conduct themselves farther, and being grown more numerous, are divaricated in the Chorion al∣so, that so they may transport sustenance from thence to the foetus, out of the whitish humour which resideth there.

By which it appeareth, that the foetus of Vivi∣parous Animals is at the beginning fed in the same Page  525 manner, as the Chicken is sustained in the egge; and doth for that cause abide in the Vterus, that at length (when it hath no longer a supply from its own stock) it may, by the mediation of the ca∣runcles grow to the Vterus; and be more plenti∣fully supported, by the contribution of its Pa∣rent.

Wherefore Fabricius did rightly observe, that the conception was in some Animals scarce fastened to the Vterus at all. And therefore Sowes, and Mares, have none of this carnous connexion; but their egge or conception, as it is first of all constitu∣ted out of the moisture or juices which do flow in the Vterus, (as the Egge in the Hen is enlarged by the White, without any tye to the Vterus) so doth it also receive Augmentation; and the foetus al∣so, having Aliment administred to him from the conception, (wherein he is contained) is in the same manner supported, as the egge out of the li∣quors. Whence a notable argument doth result, that the Foetus of those Animals is no more nouri∣shed by the Mothers blood, then the Chicken in the egge: and that the Humour comprehended in the Chorion, is neither Urine, nor any other Excre∣ment, but the Aliment of the Foetus. Although (as we have observed before) when the alible juice is exhausted, the remainder thereof doth de∣generate into an Excrement, like to the Urine. And this also is evident, from that which we have formerly noted, concerning the Cotyledones; namely, that the fleshy substance is in those Ani∣mals of a spongy substance, and doth (like a Hony∣comb) consist of innumerable acetabula, holes or o∣rifices, which are all of them full of a mucous white matter; (which Galen also records to be ancient∣ly observed) and that thence the Extremities of Page  526 the Vmbilical vessels do suck Nutriment, which they transport to the foetus; as the small branches of the Mesenterical veines do, in those Animals which are already born, derive chyle out of the coats of the Guts, through which they are diffu∣sed.

I therefore apprehend the imployment of the Vterine cake and the caruncles, to be such as is commonly imputed to the Liver and the Breasts. For the Liver doth adde a preparation to the chyle which is attracted from the Guts, fitting the same for the sustenance of the Body; and likewise the Vterine cake doth afresh concoct the alible nutriment which proceedeth from the Pa∣rent, to support the foetus. The Breasts also (being composed of a glandulous substance) do strut with milk; and though they are parts which (in some Animals) do not appear at all, yet at the time of pregnation they are seen to be full, and tumorous: so the Vterine cake, being a laxe or flaggy and fungous substance, both flow with a whitish sap, and is never found but at the time of Ingravida∣tion. The Liver, I say, is the nutritive instrument of the Body wherein it is; the Breasts of the In∣fant, and the Placenta of the Embryo. And as the mother doth by her own food acquire more milke then she hath use for to sustain her flesh, and blood, which milk is reconcocted in her breasts, and trea∣sured up; so also such Females as are great with young (in whose womb this Placenta is) do pre∣pare, and suppeditate to their foetus an aliment which is defecated by those caruncles: by which it cometh to pass, that an impure or laudible diet is administred to the Embryo's, according as the Parents diet it self is either wholsome or impure, and according to the sufficient or imperfect con∣coction,Page  527 which they afford it in those organs of the Vterus. For some Embryo's have a more perfect organ provided for them, such as is that carnous substance of the Uterus, which is wanting in some. In some likewise this Vterine cake is thicker, lar∣ger, and fuller of Blood; but in others it is more spongy and paler: like those two Sweet-breads, or glandulous bodies called Thymus, and Pancreas. For you shall finde as much difference of these in A∣nimals, as of the Breasts, or of the Bowels: for to instance onely in Livers, they are in some ruddy and sanguine; in others, (as in the greatest part of Fishes, and likewise Cachectical persons) pale. Mares do feed upon the crude grass, and do not chew the cud; Sowes swill themselves with any filth, and both these want a Vterine cake, which is the organ of compleating the Aliment.

And therefore true is that of Fabricius; saying, *This fleshy substance is, in several kinds of Animals, different in Magnitude, Figure, Scite, and Number. Women have one onely; as Mice, Conies, Ginny-pigs, Bitches, Cats, and several Animals, whose feet are distinguished into toes, and have teeth in both jawes: but all Animals which cleave the hoof, and have teeth in one jaw onely, whether they be dome∣sticks, as the Sheep, the Cow, and the Goat; or wilde, as the Hinde, the Doe, the Roe, and the like, have diverse. Again, those Animals which have but one, in them it either resembleth a Cake (and thence cometh its denomination) as in Women, Conies, the Hare, and the Mole, Mice, and Ginney-pigs: or else it resembleth a zone or girdle, or swath ingirting the trunck of the body, as in Bitches, Cats, Ferrets, and the like. In some it is like a chalice, or Acorn cup, comprehending the greater part of the foetus (as in the Hare and the Cony:) where the convexePage  528part groweth to the Vterus, and the concavous re∣spects the foetus. Likewise in those females which have but one, and that resembling a Cake, though the figure be alike in them all, yet the scituation is unlike. For in a woman it groweth to the bottom of the womb, and is distant a great way, that is by the length of long vessels from the foetus: but in Mice, Ginny-pigs, and Conies, it is annexed partly to the Region of the Loynes, partly to the sides of the breast. But those ani∣mals which have more of these carnous substances then one, they are all of them furnished with teeth in one jaw onely, as Sheep, Cowes, Hinds, Roe-deer, and the like, and yet in these also there is a diversity. For Ewes have more caruncles, and those of different magnitude; the biggest whereof are as large as a Nutmeg; the least, as a Cich-pease, or Vetch: which are also of a round figure, and ruddy complexion, and their convex parts do respect the Uterus, ap∣pearing like soft Warts, or Nipples. But Cowes have greater, flatter, and paler, which are of a spon∣gy consistence, like Mush-rooms: and these seem to take their original from the Chorion. Hindes and Does have five onely; and those bred out of the womb, do protuberate towards the conception, and there exhibit their Cavities. But being firmly fastened to the Uterus, are not easily separated from it; except it be when the birth is drawing nigh; at which time (like ripe fruits) they do very easily forego their former connexion. And being torn off from the womb, I have observed the greater part of the Blood which flowes after∣ward, to issue, not from the Conception, but from the Uterus it self.

Fabricius treating of the Union of this Carnous substance with the Vterus, doth labour by many (but weak) arguments to prove, that the VmbilicalPage  429vessels, do join to the extremities of the vessels of the Womb by several insertions: and * this he doth undertake, chiefly, to countenance the old opinion received almost by all: for he confesseth that he can deliver nothing certaine touching this matter, because the Carnous substance hinders a man from discovering the truth thereof. But yet neither sense, nor reason do evince, that there are any more Anastomoses in the Vterus, then in the Liver, between the branches of the Gate, and Hollow-vein; or in the Breasts, between the veins which convey blood, and those that waft the Milk. There is indeed, in some places a kind of contigui∣ty or juxtaposition of those vessels, and sometimes an insertion of the one into the Coat of the other; but no where any such coalition, or Vnion, as Fa∣bricius conceiteth. For were it so, the veines ought to be inserted into the Arteries: for the vessels, which do convey blood into the Vterus and Caruncles are Arteries: but they which transport it from the Vterus to the Foetus, are Veins, as is ap∣parent to all men; because they waft the blood from the After-birth into the Hollow-vein.

Wherefore the Opinion of Arantius seems to me to be more true; namly that the Orifices of the Um∣bilical vessels are not united to the Orifices of the Vessels of the womb. For there are fewer Ves∣sels conducting blood to the womb, then veins re∣turning it to the foetus: and the greatest part of the propagations of these are terminated in the Chorion. And yet Fabricius, either overswayed by his respects to Antiquity, or his envy to Aran∣tius, doth stubborny persist in the patronage of the old opinion.

As concerning the Cotelydones, or Acetabula,*Page  530Fabricius concludeth nothing certain: but only compileth the several opinions of Antiquity. But we have before, in the History of Hinds and Does, shewed in what Animals these Acetabula are; where we have withal signified, that they are certain litle Cells of small capacity, dispersed through the Caruncles or fleshy substance, and fraught with a white, or gellyish substance: as the Honey-comb is full of Honey.

In Hinds, they do fitly resemble the shape of that cavity in the Haunch-bone which receiveth the Bone of the Thigh; and therefore they are by the Greeks called Cotyledones: and in Latine, A∣cetabula, because they resemble those litle Vessels or Sawsers, which were anciently brought to the table with Vineger for sawce. These cavities do not exceed in magnitude the perforations of a large sponge, and into each of them, so many slender sprigs of the Umbilical Vessels do deeply insinuate themselves; because in them is laid up the sustenance of the foetus, and not blood (as Fa∣bricius conceived) but a gelly resembling the thicker white of an egge. Whereby it appears (as we have formerly declared) that the foetus of such as cleave the hoof (as likewise all other) are not susteined by the mothers blood.

That which Aristotle delivereth concerning the *Acetabula, that they are diminished as the Foetus doth improve: is contrary to experience; for the larger the foetus, the larger the caruncles also, and their Acetabula, or cavities, are more capacious, and more numerous, and more full of an albugi∣neous juice.

If you compress these caruncles, no blood at all doth issue out; but as water, or honey doth Page  531 distill out of a squeezed Sponge, or Honey-comb. So in like manner if you press the Acetabula, an albugineous liquor doth drop out; and when that liquor is pressed out, the Acetabula are more contract, pale, and flaggy: and at last do resem∣ble the Nipples of the Breasts, or large falling Warts.

Aristotle indeed doth truly affirm, that these A∣cetabula are not in all Animals; for they are not in Women, nor in any else (as far as I know) who have onely one carnous substance in their V∣terus. But as for their office and use: I conceive that all the Caruncles (like Breasts) do not con∣tein blood, but digest a sap, like to the White of an Egge, which they do administer to nourish the foetus.

The description of the Vmbilical Vessels, is * elegantly delivered by Fabricius, as his Tables or Pictures of them are very artificial. *

The Veins, saith he, passing from the Uterus to∣wards the Foetus, are ever united, and improved: nor doth their conjunction give over, until two large Trunks do result out of them all; which penetrating the Navel of the Infant, they do constitute one onely large Trunk; which is inserted into the Liver of the Infant, and perforated into the Hollow and Gate∣vein. In like manner, the Arteries adjoined to these Veins, which are very numerous, and small, passing on from the Womb to the Foetus, and at last uniting their forces together, and so enlarging, do conspire into two large Trunks also; which after they have passed the Navel, do separate themselves and break company from the Veins, and sticking to the sides of the Bladder of Urine, by the help of an intervening Membrane; they do here and there disperse them∣selvesPage  532into the branches of the great Artery descend∣ing into the Thighs. But we must take notice that this description given by Fabricius, doth agree only to the Navel of an Infant, and is not common to the foetus of every Animal at large: Nor yet to an Infant neither, but after it is fully formed; for the Arteries (at the beginning,) are inconspi∣cuous, as being so slender, that we have need of the quick sight of a Lynceus to discern them: nor do they indeed reveal themselves afterwards, but only by their pulsation: for in other things they are no way distinguishable from Veins. Because there∣fore (as I have shewed elsewhere) the slender bran∣ches or filaments of the Arteries have no pulsati∣on, (at lest so far as we can discover) they cannot be known from Veins: for they are at that time so thin & subtle, that they are woven to the coats of the veins like the finest threds: or rather do ob∣scurly insinuate themselves into the tunicles of the veins: whereby they are utterly indiscernable. But all the veins (by a retrograde production) uniting their sprigs at last, do all conspire into one Trunk, (as all the branches into one stock) as also the Me∣seraick Veins are all concluded in the Venae Portae.

Neer the Embryo, they are divided into two Trunks; but when once they enter into him, they do constitute one onely Navel, which doth termi∣nate in the Hollow-vein, neer the right deaf-eare of the Heart; & passing through the Liver, is inserted into the Gate-vein, and doth scatter no more Pro∣pagations, untill by a very large Orifice it display∣eth it self out of the gibbous part of the liver. So that if you open the Trunk of the Hollow-vein from the deaf-ear of the Heart, downwards, and so exhaust it of all its blood, you may perceive three Orifices as Page  533 conjoined together; one whereof is the entrance into the descending Trunk of the Hollow vein, the other is the going out of the Branch of the Liver disseminated through all its gibbous part; but the third is the Original of this Umbilical vein. Where∣by it clearly appeareth, that the original of the veins is not to be sought for in the Liver: because the O∣rifice of the descending Trunk of the Hollow-vein is much larger then the Liver-branch; for the Umbili∣cal branch is as large as that. But the Branches are never said to be the Original of their Trunk, but ra∣ther where the Trunk is largest, there are wee to re∣pute the Original of the branches toreside: now that happeneth at the entrance of the right ventricle of the Heart; and therefore that ventricle is to be acc∣ounted the original, & promptuary of all the veins.

I return now to the Umbilical vessels, which are not divided after the same maner in all Animals; for there are found in some 2. or more litle Bran∣ches in the body of the foetus; whereof some pass into the Liver, others into the Vena Portae, or Mese∣raical veins. But in a human foetus, the Trunks of the veins & arteries being involved together, are com∣plicated, some 3. or 4. Fingers breadth from the Navel (as if one should twist so many wax candles together like a cord) being skinned over, and con∣glutinated by the help of a thick & gellyish mem∣membrane. This litle cord passing on to the Chorion, is in the flat part of the After-birth, and interior su∣perficies of the Chorion distributed into several Pro∣pagations; and thence is ramified into many other almost infinite litle Branches; by which the Ali∣ment attracted as it were by so many roots, is de∣rived to the foetus. The Veines relating to this li∣tle Cord, are distinguished in sundry places by Page  534litle knobbs, or warts, as it were by litle bladders full of blood, that so the blood might not rush in too forcibly upon the foetus. By the number of these protuberations, the superstitious Midwives do spend their divination concerning the num∣ber of children yet to come; and in case they finde none of these knobs, they pronounce the Woman barren for the future; and likewise by the distance betweene these protuberati∣ons, they fondly prophesie of the space be∣tween childe and childe; and also of the discri∣mination of the Sex, from the variety of their com∣plexion.

Also the constitution of the Umbilical vessels is like to this, in almost all other foetuses which have but one onely Uterine cake; namely, in Bitches, Mice, and others: but the litle cord is in them shorter, and less complicated. But in Cows, Ews, Hindes, Does, Sowes, and other Animals, whose foetus is not sustained by aliment derived from one carnous substance, or cake, but from diverse, the distribution of the Umbilical vessels is also diverse: For the litle branches, or terminations of the vessels are not disseminated through the cake onely, but also (and that chiefly too) without it, through the coat called Chorion, dispatching their most slender fibers thither likewise: just as the distribution of the Umbilical vessels (namely with∣out the litle cord) appeareth in a humane foetus, before the conception is fastened to the Uterus. Whereby it appeareth, that the Embryo doth not derive all his Aliment from the cake; but part thereof, and that the chiefest, from the humor con∣tained in the Chorion.

As touching the uses of the Vmbilical vessels,Page  535 I do not consent with Fabricius: for he is of opi∣nion that all the blood is derived to the foetus from the Vterus by the veines; and the vital spirits from the mother by the Arteries. He also denyeth, that any part of the foetus in the womb doth execute any publick function: but affirmeth, that each par∣ticular part taketh care onely for it selfe, how it may be nourished, augmented, and preserved. And also, because he findeth no Nerve amongst the Umbilical Vessels, he concludeth the foetus to be void of all Sense and Motion: Implying, that the Mothers Womb, or the Uterine Cake, is as it were the Heart, and Original from whence all things spring to the foetus, and from whence the Influent heat is divided amongst all the parts. All which are manifest mistakes. For the Humane Embryc, when he is not yet four moneths standing in the Womb (and some sooner) exerciseth an op∣parent motion, volutation, and calcitration: es∣pecially if he be prejudiced by extremity of cold or heat, or any other outward inconvenience. Likewise the Punctum saliens it self, (before the Heart is erected) doth stirre by an apparent pulsa∣tion, and also distribute blood, and spirits: and being (as we have observed) reduced to a dying and langiuishing condition by cold, is by the fresh accession of heat, kindled anew, and revived. And also in the Caesarean birth, it is very evident, that the Embryo's life doth not immediately pro∣ceed from the Parent, nor the Spirits result from her: for we have often seen Infants, which have been cut out of their Mothers Womb, survive their Parent for several hours: and have also known a Cony and a Hare which did live, though they were born by incision made upon the Uterus of Page  536 their Parents. Moreover, it is a sure way to know whether the Infant that sticketh in the birth be a∣live, or not, by the pulsation of the Vmbilical Ar∣teries. But most certain it is, that those Arte∣ries are not moved by the virtue or operation of the Mothers, but of his own proper Heart: For they keep a distinct time and pawze, from the Mothers pulse: which is easily experimented, if you lay one hand upon the Mothers wrest, and the other on the Infants Navel-string. Nay in a Ca∣sarean Section, when the Embryo's have been yet in∣volved in the membrane called Chorion, I have of∣tentimes found (even when the Mother was ex∣tinct, and stiffe almost with cold) the Vmbilical Arteries beating, and the Foetus himself lusty. Wherefore it is not true, that the Spirits do pro∣ceed to the foetus from the Mothers Arteries: nor is that more true; namely, that the Vmbilical Vessels of the foetus are conjoined by Anastomosis, to the Vessels of the Vterus. For the Foetus en∣joyeth his own proper life, and is furnished with beating Arteries, which are full of Blood, and Spirits long before the conception (in which he is formed, and walloweth) doth cleave to the Vterus: just as it is with Chicken in the Egge.

As for the use of the Arteries in the foetus (as also in grown bodies) we have in our Treatise of the Circulation of the blood, demonstrated it to be much different from what hath been former∣ly received: all which is also confirmed from hence.

The Secundines; they also are an undeniable part of the Conception, and do depend upon the Foetus, assuming life and their vegetal faculty from him. For as in the Mesentery, the blood Page  537 is derived to the Guts, by the branches of the Coeliacal, and Mesenterical Arteries; and that very Blood being circulated by the Veines, doth convey the chyle together with it unto the Liver, and the Heart: so in like manner, the Vmbilical Arteries do derive blood to the Secundines, which blood the Veins do reduce to the Foetus, together with alible juice. And therefore those Arteries do not immediately proceed from the Heart as principal Vessels; but (as instruments of inferiour rank and quality) do arise out of the Crural branches.

There came forth a Book of late, wrote by Adrianus Spigelius, entituled De formato Foetu, of the formed foetus: wherein he treateth concer∣ning the Use of the Umbilical Arteries; and doth demonstrate by powerful arguments, that the Foetus doth not receive its Vital Spirits by the Arteries from the Mother: and hath fully answe∣red those arguments which are alledged to the contrary. But he might also as well have pro∣ved by the same Arguments, that the Blood nei∣ther is transported into the foetus from the Mo∣thers Veines by the Propagations of the Umbili∣cal Veins: which is cheifly made manifest by the examples drawn from the Hen-egge, and the Cae∣sarean Birth.

For did the Heat and Life flow to the blood from the Mother; she being extinct, the Infant would instantly dye also; (for he must needs be a thing concluded in the same fatality) nay before her: for when death approacheth, the subordinate parts doe first languish, and grow cold, before the principal; and hereupon the Heart declines the last of all. The Blood, I Page  538 say, of the Foetus himselfe, should grow chill first, and disproportionate to its Office, as be∣ing derived from the Uterus; seeing that the V∣terus it self, is deprived and destitute of all vital heat, before the Heart.