William Harvey


English Physician, first to describe and detail blood circulatory system

Author Quotes

Memory cannot exist without endurance of the things perceived, and the thing perceived cannot remain where it has never been.

What amaritude or acrimony is deprehended in choler, it acquires from a commixture of melancholy, or external malign bodies.

Moderate labor of the body conduces to the preservation of health, and cures many initial diseases.

When in many dissections, carried out as opportunity offered upon living animals, I first addressed my mind to seeing how I could discover the function and offices of the heart's movement in animals through the use of my own eyes instead of through the books and writings of others, I kept finding the matter so truly hard and beset with difficulties that I all but thought, with Fracastoro, that the heart's movement had been understood by God alone.

All we know is still infinitely less than all that remains unknown.

Nature is nowhere accustomed more openly to display her secret mysteries than in cases where she shows tracings of her workings apart from the beaten paths; nor is there any better way to advance the proper practice of medicine than to give our minds to the discovery of the usual law of nature, by careful investigation of cases of rarer forms of disease.

And so I conclude that blood lives and is nourished of itself and in no way depends on any other part of the body as being prior to it or more excellent... So that from this we may perceive the causes not only of life in general... but also of longer or shorter life, of sleeping and waking, of skill, of strength and so forth.

Our total consolidated earnings were obviously battered by the charges related to our Brazil investments. However, we continue making good progress in streamlining our business portfolio.

Doctrine once sown strikes deep its root, and respect for antiquity influences all men.

Restlessness and intermission from sleep grieved persons are molested with, whereby the blood is dried.

Even if this may take more than half an hour or an hour or a day for its accomplishment, it does nevertheless show that the beat of the heart is continuously driving through that organ more blood than the ingested food can supply, or all the veins together at any time contain.

Take a walk to refresh yourself with the open air, which inspired fresh doth exceedingly recreate the lungs, heart, and vital spirits.

Everyone admits that the male is the primary efficient cause in generation, as being that in whom the species or form resides, and they further assert that his genitures emitted in coitus causes the egg both to exist and to be fertile. But how the semen of the cock produces the chick from the egg, neither the philosophers nor the physicians of yesterday or today have satisfactorily explained, or solved the problem formulated by Aristotle.

The animal's heart is the basis of its life, its chief member, the sun of its microcosm; on the heart all its activity depends, from the heart all its liveliness and strength arise. Equally is the king the basis of his kingdoms, the sun of his microcosm, the heart of the state; from him all power arises and all grace stems.

I avow myself the partisan of truth alone.

The challenge prior to the court decision was deciding exactly what methods and approaches they could use ... Educating All of One Nation.

I just start singing, and it all comes back.

The examination of the bodies of animals has always been my delight; and I have thought that we might thence not only obtain an insight into the . . . mysteries of Nature, but there perceive a kind of image or reflex of the omnipotent Creator himself.

I profess to learn and to teach anatomy not from books but from dissections, not from the tenets of Philosophers but from the fabric of Nature.

The heart is the household divinity which, discharging its function, nourishes, cherishes, quickens the whole body, and is indeed the foundation of life, the source of all action.

I want a full and thorough investigation of this, and then we will issue the report publicly, ... We want to be transparent about this, and we are cooperating fully with the NCAA.

The heart of animals is the foundation of their life, the sovereign of everything within them, the sun of their microcosm, that upon which all growth depends, from which all power proceeds.

In attempting to discover how much blood passes from the veins into the arteries I made dissections of living animals, opened up arteries in them, and carried out various other investigations. I also considered the symmetry and size of the ventricles of the heart and of the vessels which enter and leave them (since Nature, who does nothing purposelessly, would not purposelessly have given these vessels such relatively large size). I also recalled the elegant and carefully contrived valves and fibres and other structural artistry of the heart; and many other points. I considered rather often and with care all this evidence, and took correspondingly long trying to assess how much blood was transmitted and in how short a time. I also noted that the juice of the ingested food could not supply this amount without our having the veins, on the one hand, completely emptied and the arteries, on the other hand, brought to bursting through excessive inthrust of blood, unless the blood somehow flowed back again from the arteries into the veins and returned to the right ventricle of the heart. In consequence, I began privately to consider that it had a movement, as it were, in a circle.

There is a lust in man no charm can tame: Of loudly publishing his neighbor's shame: On eagles wings immortal scandals fly, while virtuous actions are born and die.

In man, then, let us take the amount that is extruded by the individual beats, and that cannot return into the heart because of the barrier set in its way by the valves, as half an ounce, or three drachms, or at least one drachm. In half an hour the heart makes over a thousand beats; indeed, in some individuals, and on occasion, two, three, or four thousand. If you multiply the drachms per beat by the number of beats you will see that in half an hour either a thousand times three drachms or times two drachms, or five hundred ounces, or other such proportionate quantity of blood has been passed through the heart into the arteries, that is, in all cases blood in greater amount than can be found in the whole of the body. Similarly in the sheep or the dog. Let us take it that one scruple passes in a single contraction of the heart; then in half an hour a thousand scruples, or three and a half pounds of blood, do so. In a body of this size, as I have found in the sheep, there is often not more than four pounds of blood.

Author Picture
First Name
Last Name
Birth Date
Death Date

English Physician, first to describe and detail blood circulatory system