Carlo Giovanni of the regular clerics of Jesus, general superior of the pious school of the Mother of God
The most famous Giovanni Alfonso Borelli left us nearly two years ago. The second part of his work On the Movement of Animals keeps him present in our memory and in the memory of learned people. What more active and more durable life than that which, trusted to scientific books, is transmitted from hand to hand and repeated by learned mouths without fear? Illusions are dissipated by the winds. What is expounded in this second part was suggested by the author in the first part. He investigates the internal movements, the structure of the muscles, the pulsation of the heart, the blood circulation through the vessels of the whole body in a perpetual movement. He analyses the cause of breathing, the organs of respiration and their function. He explains the spirits and nervous fluids to which he attributes the principal motions of the animals. He describes the digestion, the chyle and how nutrition is carried out with discharge of different excrements through several canals. He skilfully discusses sleeping and waking, the causes and periods of fever, and other good or bad modifications of life and health. He explained all these matters by such an easy theory, by so likely and obvious a mechanism that his compatriots said that he learned the tortuous paths of Nature and the wonderful assemblies of the animals and plants from Nature herself in some cave, like Numa Pompilius used to be taught by Egeria.