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in the frame-work, or if the materials should be poor, of what use would the building be after it should be completed?
2. The human body has a frame-work which sustains the house we live in. This house of ours, unlike the houses of men's making, is designed to be moved from place to place, and to be put in many different positions. It must be a strong and curiously planned frame-work that can support such a house without being broken or injured by the many movements required of it.
3. And yet if this house of ours be properly taken care of, the frame-work will support it and carry it about a great many years; and, what is still more curious, if any of the parts of the house, such as a door, a hinge, or a post, its inner apartments or its outer covering, get a little worn or injured by use, each has the power, with a little aid from the other parts, of repairing itself.
4. The bones of the body constitute the movable framework of which we have spoken. There are a great many of these bones-not less than two hundred and eight in number, besides the teeth-and they are joined together very curiously, and kept in their places by a great variety of braces, and bands, and cords, and pulleys, that hold the frame-work firmly, while they allow it to move freely in almost every direction.
5. This curious frame-work is sometimes called the skeleton. Nothing ever made by man can compare with it in beauty and excellence of workmanship. At the upper part of this framework is the skull, which is composed of eight bony plates closely interlocked1 on their edges. The upper part of the skull, which is the crown or top of the head, gives support to the scalp or skin of the head, and the hair, and protects from injury the brain, which lies beneath it.
6. The brain is the seat of thought. It is there that we think, and will, and reason; that we reflect upon the past, and make plans for the future. The brain is a very delicate organ; and, as it requires the very greatest care and protection, it is lodged in the hollow of the skull, which is the strongest and safest room in the house we live in. This lodging-place has been very appropriately called “the chamber of the soul."
7. On the front side of this chamber are two openings, which have been called "the windows of the soul." They are placed with great care in little hollows called sockets, so as to be as little exposed as possible to danger from blows that might chance to fall against that side of the chamber; and, by a little roof that projects over them, they are screened2 from the dust, the wind, and the rain. These windows are the most curious and most wonderful pieces of workmanship that can be conceived, but we have not time to describe them here.
8. But besides the bones of the skull, there are no less than fourteen bones of the face, and four small bones of the ear, and all together make up the frame-work of the head, which rests upon still another set of bones, called the spine, backbone, or spinal column. This is a very important part of the frame-work of the house we live in, and we shall hereafter see that it is very apt to get out of repair by bad usage.
9. This spinal column, which is the chief support of the body, is composed of no less than twenty-four bones placed one upon another, and so closely interlocked and bound together that it is almost impossible to separate them. Yet this column is very pliable and elastic, for it can be bent in all directions without injury; and between the bones are little cushions, formed of what is called cartilage, which yield to pressure like India-rubber, and spring back to their natural position when the pressure is removed.
10. Branching forward, and obliquely downward from the sides of this spinal column, are the ribs, twelve on each side, most of them fastened to the breast-bone in front. They give protection to the liver, lungs, heart, and large bloodvessels. Then there are the bones of the hands and the arms, the latter supported at the shoulder by the collar-bone, the bones of the pelvis at the lower part of the body, and the bones of the legs and feet; and thus we have the frame-work of the body completed.
11. The manner in which all the pieces of this frame-work are joined together, and the means by which they are made. to move easily in various directions, are exceedingly curious. Thus the shoulder has one kind of joint, and the elbow an
other, while the joints of the wrist and fingers are different still, each adapted to the motions which it is required to perform. They are also firmly held together by strong bands or ligaments, and the ends of the bones are very hard and smooth, and kept constantly oiled that they may not rub harshly upon each other. All these things show very clear ly the wisdom and skill of Him who planned the frame-work of the house we live in.
"This curious frame betrays the power divine,
15 LIG ́-A-MENT, that which ties one thing to
6 BE-TRAYS', shows; exhibits.
sk. The skull, or cra'-ni-um.
The spine, or spinal column, composed of 24 bones.
The collar-bone, or clav'-i-cle.
The shoulder-blade, or scap'-u-la. It is a flat, thin,
part of the chest. It can not be seen from the
s. The breast-bone, or ster'-num.
r. Ribs, branching out from the spinal column.
h. Upper bone of the arm, or hu'-mer-us.
ra. Outer bone of the fore-arm, or ra'-di-us.
u. Inner bone of the fore-arm, or ul'-na.
c. The wrist, composed of eight bones, called the car -
m. The palm of the hand, composed of five bones, call-
ph. The finger-bones, or pha-lan'-ges.
pl. Pelvis bones, called the in-nom-i-na'-ta.
sa. The sa'-crum. It connects with the lower vertebra,
and is bound by ligaments to the innominata.
h. The hip-joint.
f. Thigh-bone, or fe'-mur.
p. Knee-pan, or pa-tel'-la.
t. Shin-bone, or tib'-i-a.
fi. Small bone of the leg, or fib'-u-la.
ta. Instep, or tar'-sus.
me. Bones of the middle of the foot, or met-a-tar'-sus.
ps. Bones of the toes, or pha-lan'-ges.
The SKULL, a very important part of the human body, as it incloses and protects the brain, is composed of eight bones, whose ragged edges, called süt'-üres, interlock with each other. Each of these bones is formed of two plates of bony matter united by a spongy portion of bone. This formation interrupts, in a measure, the vibrations produced by external blows or falls, and prevents fractures from extending as far as they otherwise would in one continued bone.
The bones of the upper and lower limbs are enlarged at each extremity, as seen in the drawing, thus affording additional room, where most needed, for the attachment of the muscular tendons and ligaments which connect one bone with another.
THE BONES, AND THE INJURIES TO WHICH THEY
1. THE bones are composed of both animal and earthy ma terials. The animal part gives them life, and the earthy part gives them strength; and both kinds of material are supplied by the blood. If, then, there be but little blood in the system, or if it move slowly and feebly, it will not supply a sufficient quantity of this building material.
2. In infancy the bones, being then composed mostly of animal matter, are soft and yielding; but as the child advances in years they become gradually firmer, stronger, and harder, and in very old age they sometimes become so brittle as to be easily broken. So readily do the bones in early life yield to pressure, that they are often permanently bent out of shape by careless or ignorant management; and deformity,1 poor health, and sometimes early death, are the unfortunate results.
3. The spinal column, in its natural position, curves back ward and forward, but not from side to side. This arrangement of the bones, when connected with the cushion-like cartilages between them, gives to the body great ease and elasticity of movement, and prevents many injuries to which it would otherwise be exposed.
4. The natural position of the body is always the correct one; and when by accident or design the body is allowed to grow differently, one of God's laws is violated, and we are sure to be punished for it. In the growth of our bodies we may aid nature, but we can not with safety act in opposition to it. We may cultivate the habit of sitting and walking in an erect position, and thereby aid nature in providing for the proper growth of the spinal column.
5. But children often sit at their desks in the school-room, or stand during recitation, in a stooping position, or one that allows the body to curve sidewise. The bones gradually harden or grow in this position, until at length a confirmed stoop or a curvature3 of the spine is produced, and the body
loses that erect posture which is essential not only to manly beauty, but to health also. By this carelessness an important law of nature is violated, and deformity and suffering are the penalty paid for it. (See Figs. 2 and 3).
6. Many of the Chinese, thinking that a very small foot is a great beauty, bandage the feet of their female children so as to prevent the growth of the bones. The feet then, after a great amount of suffering, become mere awkward stumps, scarcely able to support the body, and almost wholly incapable of being used in walking. Some of the North American Indians flatten the foreheads of their children by pressure, because they think a very flat forehead is a mark of beauty; and some mothers, even among civilized and Christian people, have the equally bad taste and cruelty to compress1 and distort the bodies of their daughters, by cords and bandages, to make their waists smaller than their Maker designed them. The results of this cruel and wicked practice, when long persevered in, are weak, miserable, deformed bodies, and, frequently, wasting consumption and early death.
7. The bones are found to increase in size and strength, the same as other parts of the body, by a proper amount of exercise; while they become weak by inaction, and finally dwindle away. Thus the bones of the laboring man are hard and strong, while the bones of those who neglect exercise are loose in texture, weak, and deficient in size. The cause of these results is, that exercise makes the blood flow more
A person who sits facing an ascending desk should sit in an erect position, as in Fig 3, and not allow the body to curve sidewise, as in Fig. 2. For the purposes of writing, however, a level table, and right side to the table, with an erect position, and paper square with the table, are perhaps preferable; although many writing masters still adhere to the old rule, "left side to the desk," which necessitates a leaning posture, and imposes a continual strain upon the muscles which support the back.