Every egg, then, is not perfect; but some are to be held imperfect because they 전주오피 have not yet attained their true dimensions, which they only receive when extruded; others are imperfect because they are yet unprolific, and only acquire a fertilizing faculty from without, such are the eggs of fishes. Other eggs again are held imperfect by Aristotle, because they are of one colour only, inasmuch as perfect eggs consist of yelk and albumen, and are of two colours, as if better concocted, more distinct in their parts, endowed with higher heat. The eggs that are called centenine or hundredth eggs, and which Fabricius[227] will have it are engendered of certain remainders of albumen, are of one colour only, and by reason of their deficiency of heat and their weakness, are regarded as imperfect. Of all eggs, there are none more perfect than those of the hen, which are produced complete in all their fluids and appendages, of proper size and fruitful.

Aristotle assigns the following reason wherefore some eggs are of two colours, others of one hue only:[228] “In the hotter animals those things from which the principles of their origin are derived, are distinct and separate from those which furnish their nutrition; now the one of these is white, the other is yellow.” As if the chick derived its origin from the albumen and was nourished by the vitellus alone. In the same place he proceeds thus: “That part which is hot contributes properly to the form in the constitution of the extremities; but the part that is more earthy, and is further removed, supplies material for the trunk. Whence in eggs of two colours the animal derives its origin from the white, for the commencement of animal existence is in the white; but the nourishment is obtained from the yellow.” He consequently thinks that this is the reason why these fluids are distinct, and why eggs are produced of two colours.{304}

Now these ideas are partly true, partly false. It is not true, for instance, that the embryo of the common fowl is first formed from the albumen and then nourished by the vitellus; for, from the history of the formation of the chick in ovo, from the course of the umbilical vessels and the distribution of their branches, which undoubtedly serve for obtaining nourishment, it obviously appears that the constituent matter, and the nutriment are supplied to the chick from its first formation by the yelk, as well as the white; the fluid which we have called the colliquament seems farther to be supplied, not less by the vitellus than the albumen; a certain portion of both the fluids seems, in fact, to be resolved. And then the spot, by the expansion of which the colliquament is formed in the first instance, and which we have called the eye, appears to be impressed upon the membrane of the vitellus.

The distinction into yellow and white, however, seems to be a thing necessary: these matters, as they are undoubtedly of different natures, appear also to serve different offices; they are therefore completely separate in the perfect egg, one of them being more the other less immediately akin to proper alimentary matter; by the one the fœtus is nourished from the very beginning, by the other it is nourished at a later period. For it is certain, as Fabricius asserts, and as we afterwards maintain, that both of them are truly nutritious, the albumen as well as the vitellus, the albumen being the first that is consumed. I therefore agree with Aristotle against the physicians, that the albumen is the purer portion of the egg, the better concocted, the more highly elaborated; and, therefore, whilst the egg is getting perfected in the uterus, is the albumen as the hotter portion poured around in the circumference, the yelk or more earthy portion subsiding to the centre. For the albumen appears to contain the larger quantity of animal heat, and so to be nutriment of a more immediate kind. For like reasons it is probable that the albumen is purer and better concocted externally than it is internally.

When medical writers affirm that the yelk is the hotter and more nutritious portion of the egg, this I imagine is meant as it affords food to us, not as it is found to supply the wants of the chick in ovo. This, indeed, is obvious from the history of the formation of the chick, by which the thin albumen is ab{305}sorbed and used up sooner than the thick, as if it formed the more appropriate aliment, and were more readily transmuted into the substance of the embryo, of the chick that is to be. The yelk, therefore, appears to be a more distant or ultimate aliment than the albumen, the whole of which has been used up before any notable portion of the vitellus is consumed. The yelk, indeed, is still found inclosed within the abdomen of the chick after its exclusion from the shell, as if it were destined to serve the new being in lieu of milk for its sustenance.

Eggs, consisting of white and yellow, are therefore more perfect, as more distinct in constitution, and elaborated by a higher temperature. For in the egg there must be included, not only the matter of the chick but also its first nutriment; and what is provided for a perfect animal, must, itself, be perfect and highly elaborated; as that is, in fact, which consists of different parts, some of which, as already stated, are prior and purer, and so more easy of digestion; others posterior, and therefore more difficult of transmutation into the substance of the chick. Now the yelk and albumen differ from one another by such kinds of distinction. Perfect eggs are, consequently, of two colours: they consist of albumen and yelk, as if these constituted fluids of easier or more difficult digestion, adapted to the different ages and vigour of the chick.