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ON THE NATURAL FACULTIES Book I
[p. 27]there is nothing ineffective or superfluous, or capable of being better disposed. This, however, I shall demonstrate in my work "On the Use of Parts."
Passing now to the faculty of Growth
Lit. the auxetic or incremental faculty.
let us first mention that this, too, is present in the foetus in utero as is also the nutritive faculty, but that at that stage these two faculties are, as it were, handmaids to those already mentioned
i.e. to the alterative and shaping faculties (histogenetic and organogenetic).
, and do not possess in themselves supreme authority. When, however, the animal
If the reading is correct we can only suppose that Galen meant the embryo.
has attained its complete size, then, during the whole period following its birth and until the acme is reached, the faculty of growth is predominant, while the alterative and nutritive faculties are accessory- in fact, act as its handmaids. What, then, is the property of this faculty of growth? To extend in every direction that which has already come into existence- that is to say, the solid parts of the body, the arteries, veins, nerves, bones, cartilages, membranes, ligaments, and the various coats which we have just called elementary, homogeneous, and simple. And I shall state in what way they gain this extension in every direction, first giving an illustration for the sake of clearness.
Children take the bladders of pigs, fill them with air, and then rub them on ashes near the fire, so as to warm, but not to injure them. This is a common