Pache, Jean, Swiss adventurer,
who became Mayor of Paris, and even Minister of War during the
French Revolution, "the sleek Tartuffe that he was,"
is credited with the authorship of the famous revolutionary
motto, Liberty, Equality, and Fraternity, or Death (1746-1823).
Pachomius, St., an Egyptian
hermit, the founder of conventual monachism, who established
the first institution of the kind at Tabenna, an island in the
Nile; he also established the first nunnery under his sister
(292-348). Festival, May 14.
Pachydermata, hoofed animals
with thick skins and non-ruminant, such as the elephant and
Pacific Ocean, the largest
sheet of water on the globe, occupies a third of its whole surface,
as much as all the land put together. It is a wide oval in shape,
lying between Australia and Asia on the W., and North and South
America on the E. Except from Asia it receives no large rivers.
On its American shores the Gulf of California is the only considerable
indentation; the Okhotsk, Japanese, Yellow, and Chinese Seas,
on the Asiatic coast, are rather wide bays shut in by islands
than inland seas. Its innumerable islands are the chief feature
of the Pacific Ocean. The continental islands include the Aleutian,
Kurile, Japan, and Philippine Islands, and the archipelago between
the Malay Peninsula and Australia; the Oceanic Islands include
countless groups, volcanic and coral, chiefly in the southern
hemisphere, between the Sandwich Islands and New Zealand. Commerce
on the Pacific Ocean is only beginning, but will increase vastly
with the extension of the United States westward, the colonisation
of Australia, and the opening of Chinese and Japanese ports.
San Francisco and Valparaiso on the E., Hong-Kong and Sydney
on the W., are just now the chief centres of trade.
Packhard, distinguished American
entymologist and naturalist, born in Maine; his classification
of insects is accepted; b. 1839.
Pactolus, a small river of
Lydia, famous for the gold contained in its sand, due, it was
alleged, to Midas washing the gold off him in its waters, and
the alleged source of the wealth of Croesus; its modern name
is Sarabat. See Midas.
Pacuvius, an old Latin dramatist,
nephew of Ennius (q. v.);
wrote dramas after the Greek models (220-130 B.C.).
Padang (15), a town and free
port on the W. coast of Sumatra, the largest town on the island,
and the Dutch official capital.
Paderewski, Ignace Jan,
a celebrated pianist, born at Podolia, in Russian Poland; master
of his art by incessant practice from early childhood, made
his début in 1887 with instant success; his first
appearance created quite a furore in Paris and London;
has twice visited the United States; is a brilliant composer
as well as performer, and has composed numerous pieces both
for the voice and the piano; b. 1860.
Padilla, Juan Lopez de,
a celebrated Castilian noble, who headed a rebellion against
Charles V., which he heroically maintained till his defeat at
Villalos in 1521, and which his wife, Donna Maria, no less heroically
maintained against a strong besieging force after his capture
Padishah, from two Persian
words meaning "protector prince," is a title given
to the Shah of Persia and the Sultan of Turkey, and at one time
applied, among others, to the Emperors of Austria and Russia.
Padua (79), a walled city of Venetia,
23 m. by rail W. of Venice, has some manufactures of leather
and musical-instrument strings, but is chiefly interesting for
its artistic treasures; these include the municipal buildings,
cathedral, and nearly fifty churches, innumerable pictures and
frescoes, and Donatello's famous equestrian statue of Gattamelata;
there is also a renowned university, library, museum, and the
oldest botanical garden in Europe; after very varied fortunes
it was held by Venice 1405-1797, then by Austria till its incorporation
in Italy 1866. Livy was a native, as also Andrea Mantegna.
Pæstum, an ancient Greek
city of Lucania, in South Italy, with remains of Greek architecture
second only to those of Athens.
Pagan, Isabel, Scotch poetess,
authoress of the plaintive song "Ca' the Yowes to the Knowes"
Paganini, Nicolo, a celebrated
Italian violinist, born at Genoa of humble origin; widely famous
for his astonishing feats on a single-stringed instrument; was
a composer of musical pieces for both violin and guitar; died
heathenism (q. v.),
so called as lingering among the "pagani" or country
people, after Christianity had taken root in the large towns.
Pagoda, an Indian or Chinese
temple, associated chiefly with Buddhism, of a more or less
pyramidal form and of several storeys, the most imposing being
the Greek Pagoda of Tanjore; the name is applied also to a gold
coin worth 7s. 6d. stamped with a pagoda.
Pahlevi, name given to a translation
of the Zendavesta (q. v.)
in the Zend dialect for the use of the priesthood.
Paine, Thomas, a notorious
free-thinker and democrat, born in Thetford; emigrated to America,
contributed, as he boasted, by his pamphlet "Common Sense,"
to "free America," by rousing it to emancipate itself
from the mother-country; wrote the "Rights of Man"
against Burke's "Reflections"; had to emigrate to
France; took part in the Revolution to aid in its emancipation
also, offended Robespierre, and was put in prison, where he
wrote the first part of his "Age of Reason," a book
which offended the Christian world and procured him ignominy
and even execration in many quarters; died in New York, but
his bones were conveyed to England by Cobbett in 1819 (1737-1809).
Painter, William, author
of "Palace of Pleasure," a collection of tales chiefly
from Italian sources, which proved suggestive in furnishing
the dramatists with interesting subjects for representation
an Italian composer, born at Taranto; his great work, the opera "Il
Barbiere di Seviglia"; composed besides other operas, cantatas,
Paisley (66), a Renfrewshire
town, 7 m. W. of Glasgow, on the White Cart. It is the chief
centre of manufacture of cotton thread in the world, and its
other industries include dyeing, bleaching, woollen goods, and
engineering. There are several fine buildings, a Baptist Church
is said to be the finest modern ecclesiastical building in Scotland.
The ornithologist Wilson, Professor Wilson ( Christopher North),
and Tannahill were born here.
Palacky, Francis, distinguished
Bohemian historian and politician, born in Moravia, author of
a "History of Bohemia," in 5 vols., his chief work
and a notable (1798-1876).
Paladin, the name given to the
peers of Charlemagne, such as Roland, and also to knights-errant
name given to the study and the deciphering of ancient manuscripts.
Palæologus, the name
of a Byzantine family, several members of which attained imperial
dignity, the last of the dynasty dying in 1453; they came into
prominence in the 11th century.
name given to the study of fossil remains, a branch of geology.
Palafox, Don Joseph,
a Spanish soldier, born of a noble Aragonese family, who immortalised
himself by his heroic defence of Saragossa against the French
in 1808-9; on the fall of the place was taken to France and
imprisoned till 1813; on his release was created Duke of Saragossa
and promoted to other high honours at home (1780-1847).
Palais Royal, a pile of
buildings in Paris, of which the nucleus was a palace built
in 1629 by Lemercier for Richelieu, and known afterwards as
the Palais Cardinal, and which at length by gift of Louis XIV.
became the town residence of the Orleans family; these buildings
suffered much damage in 1848 and in 1871,
but have been restored since 1873.
Palamedes, one of the chiefs
of the Greeks at the siege of Troy, a man of inventive genius;
discovered the assumed madness of Ulysses, but incurred his
resentment in consequence, which procured his death.
Palanquin, in India and China
a covered conveyance for one person borne on the shoulders of
Palatinate, the name of two
States, originally one, of the old German empire, one called
the Lower Palatinate or the Palatinate of the Rhine, partitioned
in 1815 among the States of Baden, Bavaria, Prussia, and Hesse-Darmstadt,
and the other called the Upper Palatinate, now nearly all included
in Bavaria; the former has for principal towns Spires and Landau,
and the latter Ratisbon.
Palatine, one of the seven
hills of ancient Rome, and, according to tradition, the first
to be occupied, and forming the nucleus of the city; it became
one of the most aristocratic quarters of the city, and was chosen
by the first emperors for their imperial residence.
Palatine Count, a judicial
functionary of high rank under the early Frankish kings over
what was called a palatinate.
certain frontier counties in England, such as Chester, Durham,
and Lancaster, which possess royal privileges and rights.
Pale, The, that part of Ireland
in which after the invasion of 1172 the supremacy of English
rule and law was acknowledged, the limits of which differed
at different times, but which generally included all the eastern
counties extending 40 or 50 m. inland.
Palenque, a town in the State
of Chiapas, Mexico, discovered in 1760, buried under a dense
forest with extensive structures in ruins.
Palermo (273), capital of Sicily,
picturesquely situated in the midst of a beautiful and fertile
valley called the Golden Shell; is a handsome town, with many
public buildings and nearly 300 churches in Moorish and Byzantine
architecture, a university, art school, museum, and libraries;
industries are unimportant, but a busy trade is done with Britain,
France, and the United States, exporting fruits, wine, sulphur, &c.,
and importing textiles, coals, machinery, and grain.
Pales, in Roman mythology the
tutelary deity of shepherds and their flocks, the worship of
whom was attended with numerous observances, as in the case
of the nature divinities generally.
Palestine, or the Holy
Land, a small territory on the SE. corner of the Mediterranean,
about the size of Wales, being 140 m. from N. to S., and an
average of 70 m. from E. to W., is bounded on the N. by Lebanon,
on the E. by the Jordan Valley, on the S. by the Sinaitic Desert,
and on the W. by the sea; there is great diversity of climate
throughout its extent owing to the great diversity of level,
and its flora and fauna are of corresponding range; it suffered
much during the wars between the Eastern monarchies and Egypt,
and in the wars between the Crescent and the Cross, and is now
by a strange fate in the hands of the Turk; it has in recent
times been the theatre of extensive exploring operations in
the interest of its early history.
Palestrina, an Italian town,
22 m. SE. of Rome, on a slope of the Apennines, 2546 ft. above
sea-level, on the site of the ancient Præneste, with the
remains of Cyclopean walls, with a palace of the
Barberini (q. v.).
Pierluigi de, celebrated composer of sacred music, surnamed
the Prince of Music, born at Palestrina; resided chiefly at
Rome, where he wrought a revolution in church music, produced
a number of masses which at once raised him to the foremost
rank among composers; was the author of a well-known Stabat
Paley, Frederick Althorp,
classical scholar, grandson of the succeeding, born near York;
became a Roman Catholic, contributed to classical literature
by his editions of the classics of both Greece and Rome, remarkable
alike for their scholarship and the critical acumen they show
Paley, William, "one
of the most masculine and truly English of thinkers and writers,"
born at Peterborough; studied at Christ's College, Cambridge,
where he was Senior Wrangler, and obtained a Fellowship, held
afterwards various Church preferments, and died archdeacon of
Carlisle; was a clear writer and cogent reasoner on common-sense
lines, and was long famous, if less so now, as the author of "Horæ
Paulinæ," "Evidences of Christianity,"
and "Natural Theology," as well as "Moral and
Political Philosophy"; they are genuine products of the
time they were written in, but are out of date now (1743-1806).
Palgrave, Sir Francis,
historian, born in London, of Jewish parents of the name of
Cohen; was called to the bar in 1827, and became Deputy-Keeper
of Her Majesty's Records in 1838; was the author of a history
of the "Rise and Progress of the English Commonwealth"
and of a "History of England," tracing it back chiefly
to the Anglo-Norman period, among other works (1788-1861).
Palgrave, Francis Turner,
poet, son of preceding, born in London, professor of Poetry
at Oxford, editor of "Golden Treasury of Songs and Lyrics,"
as well as author of lyrics, rhymes, &c.; b. 1824.
Palgrave, William Gifford,
Arabic scholar, born at Westminster, brother of preceding; after
a brief term of service in the army joined the Society of Jesus,
and served as a member of the order in India, Rome, and in Syria,
where he acquired an intimate knowledge of Arabic, by means
of which he contributed to our knowledge of both the Arabic
language and the Arab race; wrote a narrative of a year's journey
through Arabia (1826-1888).
Pâli, the sacred language
of the Buddhists, once a living language, but, like Sanskrit,
no longer spoken.
Palimpsest, the name given
to a parchment manuscript written on the top of another that
has been erased, yet often not so thoroughly that it cannot
be in a measure restored.
Palingenesia, name equivalent
to "new birth," and applied both to regeneration and
restoration, of which baptism in the former case is the symbol;
in the Stoic philosophy it is preceded by dissolution, as in
the rejuvenescence process of Medea
Palinurus, the pilot of one
of the ships of Æneas, who, sleeping at his post, fell
into the sea, and was drowned.
Palissy, Bernard, the
great French potter and inventor of a new process in the potter's
art, born in Périgord, of humble parentage; celebrated
for his fine earthenware vases ornamented with figures artistically
modelled, but above all for his untiring zeal and patience in
the study of his art and mastery in it, making fuel of his very
furniture and the beams of his house in the conduct of his experiments;
he was a Huguenot, but was specially exempted, by order of Catherine
de' Medici, from the massacre of St. Bartholomew in 1672, although
he was in 1585, as a Huguenot, imprisoned
in the Bastille, where he died (1510-1590).
Palk's Strait, the channel
which separates Ceylon from the mainland of India, 100 m. long
and 40 m. wide, generally shallow. See
Palladio, Andrea, an
Italian architect, born at Vicenza, of poor parents; was precursor
of the modern Italian style of architecture, and author of a
treatise on architecture that has borne fruit; his works, which
are masterpieces of the Renaissance, consist principally of
palaces and churches, and the finest specimens are to be met
with in Venice and in his native place (1518-1580).
Palladium, a statue of Pallas
in Troy, on the preservation of which depended the safety of
the city, and from the date of the abstraction of which by Ulysses
and Diomedes the fate of it was doomed; it was fabled to have
fallen from heaven upon the plain of Troy, and to have after
its abstraction been transferred to Athens and Argos; it is
now applied to any safeguard of the liberty of a State.
Palladius, St., is called
the "chief apostle of the Scottish nation," but his
connection with Scotland during his lifetime is doubtful; he
was sent to Ireland by Pope Celestine in A.D. 430, whence, after
his death, his remains were brought by St. Ternan to Fordoun,
Pallas, one of the names of
Athena (q. v.) considered
as the goddess of war; a name of uncertain derivation.
Pallas, Peter Simon,
a German traveller and naturalist, born in Berlin, professor
of Natural History in St. Petersburg; explored Siberia, and
contributed to the geographical knowledge of the Russian empire
Italian patriot, who gave offence by his pasquinades to the
Papal Court and the Barberini; was betrayed and beheaded (1618-1644).
cardinal and historian, born at Rome; was of the Jesuit order,
and wrote a "History of the Council of Trent," in
correction of the work of Paul Sarpi (1607-1667).
Pallice, La, port of La Rochelle,
from which it is 3 m. distant, with harbourage for ocean-going
Palm, Johann Philipp,
a Nürnberg bookseller, tried by court-martial at the instance
of Napoleon, and shot, for the publication of a pamphlet reflecting
on Napoleon and his troops, an act, from the injustice of it,
that aroused the indignation of the whole German people against
him; "better," thinks Carlyle, "had he lost his
best park of artillery, or his best regiment drowned in the
sea, than shot that poor German bookseller" (1768-1806).
Palm Sunday, the Sunday before
Easter, is so called from its being commemorative of Christ's
triumphal entry into Jerusalem; it is observed by the Greek
and Roman Churches; in the latter palm branches are blessed
by the priest before mass, carried in procession, distributed
to the congregation, carried home by them, and kept throughout
Palma, 1, capital of the Balearic
Islands (61), on the Bay of Palma, SW. coast of Majorca; has
a Gothic cathedral, a Moorish palace, and a collection of pictures
in the old Town Hall; manufactures silks, woollens, and jewellery,
and does a busy trade. 2, One of the Canary Islands (39), 67
m. NW. of Teneriffe; grows sugar, and exports honey, wax, and
Palma, Jacopo, or The Old,
a celebrated painter of the Venetian school, was a pupil of
Titian; painted sacred subjects and portraits, all much esteemed
Palma, Jacopo, The Young,
nephew of the preceding, also a painter, but of inferior merit,
though he aimed to be the rival of Tintoretto and Paul Veronese
Palmer, the name given to a pilgrim
to the Holy Land who had performed his vow, in sign of which
he usually bore a palm branch in his hand, which he offered
on the altar on his return home.
Palmer, Edward Henry,
Oriental scholar, born at Cambridge; had an aptitude for languages,
and was especially proficient in those of the East; by his knowledge
of Arabic contributed to the success of exploring expeditions
to S. Palestine and Sinai; was appointed professor of Arabic
at Cambridge in 1871; produced a Persian-English Dictionary,
an Arabic Grammar, and a translation of the Korân, and
in 1882 undertook two missions to Egypt, in the latter of which
he and his party were betrayed and murdered; he was a man of
varied gifts and accomplishments, and the loss in scholarship
to his country by his fate is incalculable (1840-1882).
Palmer, Samuel, English
landscape-painter, chiefly in water-colours (1805-1881).
Henry John Temple, Viscount, English statesman, born,
of an Irish family, at Broadlands, Hants; was educated at the
universities of Edinburgh and Cambridge; succeeded to his father's
title, an Irish peerage, in 1802, and entered Parliament in
1807 as member for Newport, Isle of Wight; during his long career
he subsequently represented Cambridge University (1811-1831),
Bletchingly, South Hampshire, and Tiverton; from 1809 to 1828
under five Premiers he was Junior Lord of the Admiralty and
Secretary at War; and separating himself finally from the Tory
party, he joined Earl Grey's Cabinet as Foreign Secretary in
1830; contrary to all expectation he kept the country out of
war, and during the next 11 years he associated England's influence
with that of France in Continental affairs; returning to office
in 1846, he remained at his old post till 1851, steering England
skilfully through the Spanish troubles and the revolutionary
reaction of 1848; a vote of censure on his policy was carried
in the Lords in 1850, but, after a five hours' speech from him,
the Commons recorded their approval; he resigned owing to differences
with the Premier, Lord John Russell; in 1852 joined Lord Aberdeen's
coalition ministry, and on its fall became himself Prime Minister
in 1855; he prosecuted the Crimean War and the Chinese War of
1857, and suppressed the Great Mutiny in India; defeated in
1858, he returned to office next year with a cabinet of Whigs
and Peelites; his second administration furthered the cause
of free trade, but made the mistake of allowing the Alabama
to leave Birkenhead; he was Prime Minister when he died; a brusque,
high-spirited, cheery man, sensible and practical, unpretending
as an orator, but a skilful debater, he was a great favourite
with the country, whose prosperity and prestige it was his chief
desire to promote (1784-1865).
Palmistry, the art of reading
character from the lines and marks on the palm of the hand,
according to which some pretend to read fortunes as well.
Palmy`ra, a ruined city of Asia
Minor, 150 m. NE. of Damascus, once situated in an oasis near
the Arabian desert; a place of importance, and said to have
been founded by Solomon for commercial purposes; of imposing
magnificence as it ruins testify, as notably under Zenobia;
it was taken by the Romans in 272, and destroyed by Aurelian,
after which it gradually fell into utter
decay; its ruins were discovered in 1678; it contains the
ruins of a temple to Baal, 60 of the 300 columns of which were
Palo Alto, 33 m. SE. of San
Francisco; is the seat of a remarkable university founded by
Senator Stanford, and opened in 1891, to provide instruction,
from the Kindergarten stage to the most advanced and varied,
to students and pupils boarded on the premises; of these there
were 1000 in 1897.
Frederick, distinguished Danish poet, born in Fünen;
his greatest poem, "Adam Homo," a didactico-humorous
composition; was an earnest man and a finished literary artist
Pamela, a novel of Richardson's,
from the name of the heroine, a girl of low degree, who resists
temptation and reclaims her would-be seducer.
Pamirs, The, or the "Roof
of the World," a plateau traversed by mountain ridges and
valleys, of the average height of 13,000 ft., NW. of the plateau
of Thibet, connecting the mountain system of the Himalayas,
Tian-Shan, and the Hindu Kush, and inhabited chiefly by nomad
Kirghiz bands; territorial apportionments have for some time
past been in the hands of Russian and British diplomatists.
Pampas, vast grassy, treeless,
nearly level plains in South America, in the Argentine State;
they stretch from the lower Paraná to the S. of Buenos
Ayres; afford rich pasture for large herds of wild horses and
cattle, and are now in certain parts being brought under tillage.
Pampeluna or Pamplona
(31), a fortified city of Northern Spain, is 80 m. due SE. of
Bilbao. It has a Gothic cathedral and a surgical college, with
manufactures of pottery and leather, and a trade in wine. Formerly
capital of Navarre, it has suffered much in war; has this century
several times resisted the Carlists.
Pan, in the Greek mythology a goat-man,
a personification of rude nature, and the protector of flocks
and herds; originally an Arcadian deity, is represented as playing
on a flute of reeds joined together of different lengths, called
Pan's pipes; and dancing on his cloven hoofs over glades and
mountains escorted by a bevy of nymphs side by side, and playing
on his pipes. There is a remarkable tradition, that on the night
of the Nativity at Bethlehem an astonished voyager heard a voice
exclaiming as he passed the promontory of Tarentum, "The
great Pan is dead." The modern devil is invested with some
of his attributes, such as cloven hoofs, &c.
Panama (15), a free port in the
State of Colombia, on the Pacific coast of the isthmus of the
same name, and an oppressively hot and humid place, is the terminus
of the Panama railroad and the seat of a great transit trade.
It has a Spanish cathedral. The population, of Indian and negro
descent chiefly, is only half what it was when the canal works
were in full operation.
Panama Canal Geographers
were familiar with the idea of connecting the two oceans by
a canal through Central America as early as the beginning of
the 16th century, and Dutch plans are said to exist dating from
the 17th century. The first practical steps were taken by Ferdinand
de Lesseps in 1879; two years later work was begun; the cost
was estimated at £24,000,000, but on January 1, 1889,
the company was forced into liquidation after spending over £70,000,000,
and accomplishing but a fifth of the work. Extravagance and
incapacity were alleged among the causes of failure; but the
apparently insurmountable difficulties were marshes, quicksands,
and the overflow of the Chagres River, the prevalence of earthquakes,
the length of the rainy season, the cost of labour and living,
and the extreme unhealthiness of the climate.
Panathenæa, a festival,
or rather two festivals, the Lesser and the Greater, anciently
celebrated at Athens in honour of Athena, the patron-goddess
of the city.
Panchatantra, an old collection
of fables and stories originally in Sanskrit, and versions of
which have passed into all the languages of India, have appeared
in different forms, and been associated with different names.
Pancras, St., a boy martyr
of 16, who suffered under the Diocletian persecution about 304,
and is variously represented in mediæval legend as bearing
a stone and sword, or a palm branch, and trampling a Saracen
under foot, in allusion to his hatred of heathenism.
Pandects, the digest of civil
law executed at the instance of the Emperor Justinian between
the years 530 and 533.
Pandora (i. e. the All-Gifted)
in the Greek mythology a woman of surpassing beauty, fashioned
by Hephæstos, and endowed with every gift and all graces
by Athena, sent by Zeus to Epimetheus
(q. v.) to avenge the wrong done to the gods by his brother
Prometheus, bearing with her a box full of all forms of evil,
which Epimetheus, though cautioned by his brother, pried into
when she left, to the escape of the contents all over the earth
in winged flight, Hope alone remaining behind in the casket.
Pandours, a name given to a
body of light-infantry at one time in the Austrian service,
levied among the Slavs on the Turkish frontier, and now incorporated
as a division of the regular army.
Pandulf, Cardinal, was
the Pope's legate to King John of England, and to whom, on his
submission, John paid homage at Dover; d. 1226.
Pange Lingua, a hymn in
the Roman Breviary, service of Corpus Christi, part of which
is incorporated in every Eucharistic service; was written in
rhymed Latin by Thomas Aquinas.
Pánini, a celebrated Sanskrit
grammarian, whose work is of standard authority among Hindu
scholars, and who lived some time between 600 and 300 B.C.
Panipat (29), a town in the
Punjab, 53 m. N. of Delhi; was the scene of two decisive battles,
one in 1526 to the establishment of the Mogul dynasty at Delhi,
and another in 1701 to the extinction of the Mahratta supremacy
in North-West India.
Panizzi, Antonio, principal
librarian of the British Museum from 1850 to 1866, born at Modena;
took refuge in England in 1821 as implicated in a Piedmontese
revolutionary movement that year; procured the favour of Lord
Brougham and a post in the Museum, in which he rose to be one
of the chiefs (1797-1879).
Pannonia, a province of the
Roman empire, conquered between 35 B.C. and A.D. 8; occupied
a square with the Danube on the N. and E. and the Save almost
on the S. border; it passed to the Eastern Empire in the 5th
century, fell under Charlemagne's sway, and was conquered by
the modern Hungarians shortly before A.D. 1000.
Panopticon, a prison so arranged
that the warder can see every prisoner in charge without being
seen by them.
Panslavism, the name given
to a movement for union of all the Slavonic races in one nationality,
a project which lags heavily owing to the jealousy on the part
of one section or another.
Pantagruel, the principal
character of one of the two great works of Rabelais, and named
after him; he and his father Gargantua
figured as two enormous giants, being personifications of royalty
with its insatiable lust of territory and power.
Pantheism, the doctrine or
creed which affirms the immanency of God in nature, or that
God is within nature, but ignores or denies His transcendency,
or that He is above nature; distinguished from deism, which
denies the former but affirms the latter, from theism, which
affirms both, and from atheism, which denies both.
Pantheon, a temple in Rome,
first erected by Agrippa, son-in-law of Augustus, circular in
form, 150 ft. in height, with niches all round for statues of
the gods, to whom in general it was dedicated; it is now a church,
and affords sepulture to illustrious men. Also a building in
Paris, originally intended to be a church in honour of the patron
saint of Paris, but at the time of the Revolution converted
into a receptacle for the ashes of the illustrious dead, Mirabeau
being its first occupant, and bearing this inscription, Aux
grands hommes la patrie reconnaissant; it was subsequently
appropriated to other uses, but under the third republic it
became again a resting-place for the ashes of eminent men.
Pantograph, the name given
to a contrivance for copying a drawing or a design on an enlarged
or a reduced scale.
Panurge, one of the principal
characters in the "Pantagruel" of Rabelais, an exceedingly
crafty knave, a libertine, and a coward.
Panza, Sancho, Don Quixote's
squire, a squat, paunchy peasant endowed with rude common-sense,
but incapable of imagination.
Paoli, Pasquale de, a Corsican
patriot; sought to achieve the independence of his country,
but was defeated by the Genoese, aided by France, in 1769; took
refuge in England, where he was well received and granted a
pension; returned to Corsica and became lieutenant-general under
the French republic, raised a fresh insurrection, had George
III. proclaimed king, but failed to receive the viceroyalty,
and returned to England, where he died a disappointed man (1726-1807).
Papal States, a territory
in the N. of Italy extending irregularly from Naples to the
Po, at one time subject to the temporal sovereignty of the Pope,
originating in a gift to his Holiness of Pepin the Short, and
taking shape as such about the 11th century, till in the 16th
and 17th centuries the papal power began to assert itself in
the general politics of Europe, and after being suppressed for
a time by Napoleon it was formally abolished by annexation of
the territory to the crown of Sardinia in 1870.
Paphos, the name of two ancient
cities in the SW. of Cyprus; the older (now Kyklia) was a Phoenician
settlement, in which afterwards stood a temple of Venus, who
was fabled to have sprung from the sea-foam close by; the other,
8 m. westward, was the scene of Paul's interview with Sergius
Paulus and encounter with Elymas.
Papias, bishop of Hierapolis,
in Phrygia, who flourished in the middle of the 2nd century,
and wrote a book entitled "Exposition of the Lord's Sayings,"
fragments of which have been preserved by Eusebius and others;
he was, it is said, the companion of Polycarp.
Papier-Mâche is a
light, durable substance made from paper pulp or sheets of paper
pasted together and variously treated with chemicals, heat,
and pressure, largely used for ornamental trays, boxes, light
furniture, &c., in which it is varnished and decorated to
resemble lacquer-work, and for architectural decoration, in
which it is made to imitate plaster moulding; the manufacture
was learned from the Eastern nations. Persia, India, and Japan
having been long familiar with it; America has adapted it to
use for railroad wheels, &c.
Papin, Denis, French physicist,
born at Blois, practised medicine at Angers; came to England
and assisted Boyle in his experiments, made a special study
of the expansive power of steam and its motive power, invented
a steam-digester with a safety-valve, since called after him,
for cooking purposes at a high temperature; became professor
of Mathematics at Marburg (1647-1712).
a celebrated Roman jurist; was put to death by Caracalla for
refusing, it is said, when requested, to vindicate his conduct
in murdering his brother (142-212).
Papirius, a Roman pontiff to
whom is ascribed a collection of laws constituting the Roman
code under the kings.
Pappenheim, Count von,
imperial general, born in Bavaria; played a prominent part in
the Thirty Years' War; was distinguished for his zeal as well
as his successes on the Catholic side; was mortally wounded
at Lützen, expressed his gratitude to God when he learned
that Gustavas Adolphus, who fell in the same battle, had died
before him (1594-1632).
Pappus of Alexandria,
a Greek geometer of the third or fourth century, author of "Mathematical
Collections," in eight books, of which the first and second
have been lost.
Papuans, the name of the members
of the negro race inhabiting certain islands of Oceania, including
New Guinea, New Hebrides, New Caledonia, Fiji Islands, &c.
Papy`rus, the Greek name of
the Egyptian papu, is a kind of sedge growing 10 ft.
high, with a soft triangular stem, the pith of which is easily
split into ribbons, found still in Egypt, Nubia, Abyssinia, &c.;
the pith ribbons were the paper of the ancient Egyptians, of
the Greeks after Alexander, and of the later Romans; they were
used by the Arabs of the 8th century, and in Europe till the
12th; at first long strips were rolled up, but later rectangular
pages were cut and bound together book fashion; though age has
rendered the soft white pages brown and brittle, much ancient
literature is still preserved on papyrus; the use of papyrus
was superseded by that of parchment and rag-made paper.
Pará (40), a Brazilian port
at the mouth of the Guama, on the E. shore of the Pará
estuary, is a compact, regularly-built, thriving town, with
whitewashed buildings, blue and white tiled roofs, tree-shaded
streets, tram-cars, telephones, theatre, and cathedral; it is
the emporium of the Amazon trade, exporting india-rubber and
cacao, and sending foreign goods into the interior; though hot,
it is healthy.
Parable, a short allegorical
narrative intended to illustrate and convey some spiritual instruction.
Parabola, a conic section formed
by the intersection of a cone by a plane parallel to one of
Paracelsus, a Swiss physician,
alchemist, and mystic, whose real name was Theophrastus Bombastus,
born at Einsiedeln, in Schwyz; was a violent revolutionary in
the medical art, and provoked much hostility, so that he was
driven to lead a wandering and unsettled life; notwithstanding,
he contributed not a little, by his knowledge and practice,
to inaugurate a more scientific study of nature than till his
time prevailed (1493-1541).
Paraffin, name given by Baron
Reichenbach to a transparent crystalline substance obtained
by distillation from wood, bituminous coal, shale, &c.,
and so called because it resists the
action of the strongest acids and alkalies.
Paraguay (400), except Uruguay
the smallest State in South America, is an inland Republic whose
territories lie in the fork between the Pilcomayo and Paraguay
and the Paraná Rivers, with Argentina on the W. and S.,
Bolivia on the N., and Brazil on the N. and E.; it is less than
half the size of Spain, consists of rich undulating plains,
and, in the S., of some of the most fertile land on the continent;
the climate is temperate for the latitude; the population, Spanish,
Indian, and half-caste, is Roman Catholic; education is free
and compulsory; the country is rich in natural products, but
without minerals; timber, dye-woods, rubber, Paraguay tea (a
kind of holly), gums, fruits, wax, honey, cochineal, and many
medicinal herbs are gathered for export; maize, rice, cotton,
and tobacco are cultivated; the industries include some tanning,
brick-works, and lace-making; founded by Spain in 1535, Paraguay
was the scene of an interesting experiment in the 17th century,
when the country was governed wholly by the Jesuits, who, excluding
all European settlers, built up a fabric of Christian civilisation;
they were expelled in 1768; in 1810 the country joined the revolt
against Spain, and was the first to establish its independence;
for 26 years it was under the government of Dr. Francia; from
1865 to 1870 it maintained a heroic but disastrous war against
the Argentine, Brazil, and Uruguay, as a consequence of which
the population fell from a million and a half to a quarter of
a million; it is again prosperous and progressing. The capital
is Asunçion (18), at the confluence of the Pilcomayo
Paraguay River, a South
American river 1800 m. long, the chief tributary of the Paraná,
rises in some lakes near Matto Grosso, Brazil, and flows southward
through marshy country till it forms the boundary between Brazil
and Bolivia, then traversing Paraguay, it becomes the boundary
between that State and the Argentine Republic, and finally enters
the Paraná above Corrientes; it receives many affluents,
and is navigable by ocean steamers almost to its source.
Paraklete, the Holy Spirit
which Christ promised to His disciples would take His place
as their teacher and guide after He left them. Also the name
of the monastery founded by Abelard near Nogent-sur-Seine, and
of which Heloïse (q. v.)
Parallax, an astronomical term
to denote an apparent change in the position of a heavenly body
due to a change in the position or assumed position of the observer.
Paramar`ibo (24), the capital
of Dutch Guiana, on the Surinam, 10 m. from the sea, and the
centre of the trade of the colony.
Paramo, the name given to an
elevated track of desert on the Andes.
Paraná River, a great
river of South America, formed by the confluence of the Rio
Grande and the Paranahyba, in SE. Brazil, flows SW. through
Brazil and round the SE. border of Paraguay, then receiving
the Paraguay River, turns S. through the Argentine, then E.
till the junction of the Uruguay forms the estuary of the Plate.
The river is broad and rapid, 2000 m. long, more than half of
it navigable from the sea; at the confluence of the Yguassu
it enters a narrow gorge, and for 100 m. forms one of the most
remarkable rapids in the world; the chief towns on its banks
are in the Argentine, viz. Corrientes, Santa Fé, and
Parcæ, the Roman name of
the Three Fates (q. v.),
derived from "pars," a part, as apportioning to every
individual his destiny.
Parchment consists of skins
specially prepared for writing on, and is so called from a king
of Pergamos, who introduced it when the export of papyrus from
Egypt was stopped; the skins used are of sheep, for fine parchment
or vellum, of calves, goats, and lambs; parchment for drumheads
is made from calves' and asses' skins.
French name for clearings to provide hunting fields for the
French aristocracy prior to the Revolution.
great French surgeon, born at Laval; was from the improved methods
he introduced in the treatment of surgical cases entitled to
be called, as he has been, the father of modern surgery, for
his success as an operator, in particular the tying of divided
arteries and the treatment of gunshot wounds; he was in the
habit of saying of any patient he had successfully operated
upon, "I cared for him; God healed him"; his writings
exercised a beneficent influence on the treatment of surgical
cases in all lands (1517-1590).
Pariah, a Hindu of the lowest
class, and of no caste; of the class they are of various grades,
but all are outcast, and treated as such.
Paris (2,448), the capital of
France, in the centre of the northern half of the country, on
both banks of the Seine, and on two islands (La Cité
and St. Louis) in the middle, 110 m. from the sea; is the largest
city on the Continent, and one of the most beautiful in the
world. No city has finer or gayer streets, or so many noble
buildings. The Hôtel de Cluny and the Hôtel de Sens
are rare specimens of 15th-century civic architecture. The Palace
of the Tuileries, on the right bank of the Seine, dates from
the 16th century, and was the royal residence till the Revolution.
Connected with it is the Louvre, a series of galleries of painting,
sculpture, and antiquities, whose contents form one of the richest
collections existing, and include the peerless "Venus de
Milo." The Palais Royal encloses a large public garden,
and consists of shops, restaurants, the Théâtre
Français, and the Royal Palace of the Orleans family.
South of the river is the Luxembourg, where the Senate meets,
and on the Ile de la Cité stands the Palais de Justice
and the Conciergerie, one of the oldest Paris prisons. St.-Germain-des-Prés
is the most ancient church, but the most important is the cathedral
of Notre Dame, 12th century, which might tell the whole history
of France could it speak. Saint-Chapelle is said to be the finest
Gothic masterpiece extant. The Pantheon, originally meant for
a church, is the burial-place of the great men of the country,
where lie the remains of Voltaire, Rousseau, and Carnot. The
oldest hospitals are the Hôtel Dieu, La Charité,
and La Pitié. The University Schools in the Quartier
Latin attract the youth of all France; the chief are the Schools
of Medicine and Law, the Scotch College, the College of France,
and the Sorbonne, the seat of the faculties of letters, science,
and Protestant theology. Triumphal arches are prominent in the
city. There are many museums and charitable institutions; the
Bibliothèque Nationale, in the Rue Richelieu, rivals
the British Museum in numbers of books and manuscripts. The
Palace of Industry and the Eiffel Tower commemorate the exhibitions
of 1854 and 1889 respectively. Great market-places stand in
various parts of the city. The Rue de Rivoli, Rue de la Paix,
Rue du Faubourg St.-Honoré, and the Rue Royale are among
the chief streets; beautiful squares are numerous, the most
noted being the Place de la Concorde, between the Champs Elysées
and the Gardens of the Tuileries, in
the centre of which the Obelisk of Luxor stands on the site
of the guillotine at which Louis XVI. and Marie Antoinette,
Philippe Egalité, Danton, and Robespierre died. Boulevards
lined with trees run to the outskirts of the city. The many
roads, railways, canals, and rivers which converge on Paris
have made it the most important trading centre in France, and
the concourse of wealthy men of all nations has given it a high
place in the financial world. It is a manufacturing city, producing
jewellery, ornamental furniture, and all sorts of artistic "articles
de Paris." The centre of French, and indeed European, fashion,
it is noted for its pleasure and gaiety. The concentration of
Government makes it the abode of countless officials. It is
strongly fortified, being surrounded by a ring of forts, and
a wall 22 m. long, at the 56 gates of which the octroi dues
are levied. The Préfect of the Seine, appointed by the
Government, and advised by a large council, is the head of the
municipality, of the police and fire brigades, cleansing, draining,
and water-supply departments. The history of Paris is the history
of France, for the national life has been, and is, in an extraordinary
degree centred in the capital. It was the scene of the great
tragic drama of the Revolution, and of the minor struggles of
1830 and 1849. In recent times its great humiliation was its
siege and capture by the Germans in 1870-71.
Paris, the second son of Priam
and Hecuba; was exposed on Mount Ida at his birth; brought up
by a shepherd; distinguished himself by his prowess, by which
his parentage was revealed; married
Oenonë (q. v.); appealed to to decide to whom
the "apple of discord" belonged, gave it to Aphrodité
in preference to her two rivals Hera and Athena; was promised
in return that he should receive the most beautiful woman in
the world to wife, Helen of Sparta, whom he carried off to Greece,
and which led to the Trojan War (q.
v.); slew Achilles, and was mortally wounded by the poisoned
arrows of Hercules.
Paris, Matthew, English
chronicler; a Benedictine monk of St. Albans; author of "Chronica
Majora," which contains a history written in Latin of England
from the Conquest to the year in which he died (1195-1259).
Park, Mungo, African traveller,
born at Foulshiels, near Selkirk; was apprenticed to a surgeon,
and studied medicine at Edinburgh; 1791-93 he spent in a voyage
to Sumatra, and in 1795 went for the first time to Africa under
the auspices of the African Association of London; starting
from the Gambia he penetrated eastward to the Niger, then westward
to Kamalia, where illness seized him; conveyed to his starting-point
by a slave-trader, he returned to England and published "Travels
in the Interior of Africa," 1799; he married and settled
to practice at Peebles, but he was not happy till in 1805 he
set out for Africa again at Government expense; starting from
Pisania he reached the Niger, and sending back his journals
attempted to descend the river in a canoe, but, attacked by
natives, the canoe overturned; and he and his companions were
Parker, John Henry,
archæologist and writer on architecture; originally a
London publisher, his chief work the "Archæology
of Rome," in nine vols., a subject to which he devoted
much study (1800-1884).
Parker, Joseph, an eminent
Nonconformist divine, born in Hexham; minister of the City Temple;
a vigorous and popular preacher, and the author of numerous
works bearing upon biblical theology and the defence of it;
his magnum opus is the "People's Bible," of
which 25 vols. are already complete; b. 1830.
Parker, Matthew, archbishop
of Canterbury, born at Norwich; was a Fellow of Cambridge; embraced
the Protestant doctrines; became Master of Corpus Christi College,
Oxford; was chaplain to Anne Boleyn, and made Dean of Ely by
Edward VI.; was deprived of his offices under Mary, but made
Primate under Elizabeth, and the Bishop's Bible was translated
and issued under his auspices (1504-1575).
Parker, Theodore, an
American preacher and lecturer; adopted and professed the Unitarian
creed, but discarded it, like Emerson, for a still more liberal;
distinguished himself in the propagation of it by his lectures
as well as his writings; was a vigorous anti-slavery agitator,
and in general a champion of freedom; died at Florence while
on a tour for his health (1810-1860).
Parkman, Francis, American
historian, born in Boston; his writings valuable, particularly
in their bearing on the dominion of the French in America, its
rise, decline, and fall (1823-1893).
Parlement, the name given
to the local courts of justice in France prior to the Revolution,
in which the edicts of the king required to be registered before
they became laws; given by pre-eminence to the one in Paris,
composed of lawyers, or gentlemen of the long robe, as they
were called, whose action the rest uniformly endorsed, and which
played an important part on the eve of the Revolution, and contributed
to further the outbreak of it, to its own dissolution in the
Parliament is the name of
the great legislative council of Britain representing the three
estates of the realm—Clergy, Lords, and Commons. The Clergy
are represented in the Upper House by the archbishops and bishops
of sees founded prior to 1846, in number 26; the rest of the
Upper House comprises the dukes, marquises, earls, viscounts,
and barons of the peerage of Great Britain who sit in virtue
of their titles, and representatives of the Scotch and Irish
peerages elected for life; the total membership is over 550;
the House of Lords may initiate any bill not a money bill, it
does not deal with financial measures at all except to give
its formal assent; it also revises bills passed by the Commons,
and may reject these. Of late years this veto has come to be
exercised only in cases where it seems likely that the Commons
do not retain the confidence of the people, having thus the
effect of referring the question for the decision of the constituencies.
The Lords constitute the final court of appeal in all legal
questions, but in exercising this function only those who hold
or have held high judicial office take part. The House of Commons
comprises 670 representatives of the people; its members represent
counties, divisions of counties, burghs, wards of burghs, and
universities, and are elected by owners of land and by occupiers
of land or buildings of £10 annual rental who are commoners,
males, of age, and not disqualified by unsoundness of mind,
conviction for crime, or receipt of parochial relief. The Commons
initiates most of the legislation, deals with bills already
initiated and passed by the Lords, inquires into all matters
of public concern, discusses and determines imperial questions,
and exercises the sole right to vote supplies of money. To become
law bills must pass the successive stages of first and second
reading, committee, and third reading in both Houses, and receive
the assent of the sovereign, which has not been refused for
nearly two centuries.
Parliament, The Long,
the name given to the last English Parliament
convoked by Charles I. in 1640, dissolved by Cromwell in 1653,
and recalled twice after the death of the Protector before it
finally gave up the ghost.
Parliament of Dunces,
name given to a parliament held at Coventry by Henry IV. in
1494, because no lawyer was allowed to sit in it.
who, in the English Civil War, supported the cause of the Parliament
against the king.
Parma (44), a cathedral and university
town in N. Italy, on the Parma, a tributary of the Po, 70 m.
NE. of Genoa; is rich in art treasures, has a school of music,
picture-gallery, and museum of antiquities; it manufactures
pianofortes, silks, and woollens, and has a cattle and grain
market; Parma was formerly the capital of the duchy of that
name; it was the residence of Correggio as well as the birthplace
Parmenion, an able and much-esteemed
Macedonian general, distinguished as second in command at Granicus,
Issus, and Arbela, but whom Alexander in some fit of jealousy
and under unfounded suspicion caused to be assassinated in Media.
Parmenides, a distinguished
Greek philosopher of the Eleatic school, who flourished in the
5th century B.C.; his system was developed by him in the form
of an epic poem, in which he demonstrates the existence of an
Absolute which is unthinkable, because it is without limits,
and which he identifies with thought, as the one in the many.
Parmigiano, a Lombard painter
whose proper name was Girolamo Mazzola, born at Parma; went
to Rome when 19 and obtained the patronage of Clement VII.;
after the storming of the city in 1527, during which he sat
at work in his studio, he went to Bologna, and four years later
returned to his native city; failing to implement a contract
to paint frescoes he was imprisoned, and on his release retired
to Casalmaggiore, where he died; in style he followed Correggio,
and is best known by his "Cupid shaping a Bow" (1504-1540).
Parnassus, a mountain in Phocis,
10 m. N. of the Gulf of Corinth, 8000 ft. high, one of the chief
seats of Apollo and the Muses, and an inspiring source of poetry
and song, with the oracle of Delphi and the Castalian spring
on its slopes; it was conceived of by the Greeks as in the centre
of the earth.
Parnell, Charles Stuart,
Irish Home-Ruler, born at Avondale, in Wicklow; was practically
the dictator of his party for a time and carried matters with
a high hand, but at the height of his popularity he suffered
a fall, and his death, which was sudden, happened soon after
Parnell, Thomas, English
minor poet of the Queen Anne period, born in Dublin, of a Cheshire
family; studied at Trinity College, took orders, and became
archdeacon of Clogher; is best known as the author of "The
Hermit," though his odes "The Night-Piece on Death"
and the "Hymn to Contentment" are of more poetic worth;
he was the friend of Swift and Pope, and a member of the Scriblerus
Paros (7), one of the Cyclades,
lying between Naxos and Siphanto, exports wine, figs, and wool;
in a quarry near the summit of Mount St. Elias the famous Parian
marble is still cut; the capital is Paroekia (2).
Parr, Catherine, sixth
wife of Henry VIII., daughter of Sir Thomas Parr of Kendal,
was a woman of learning and great discretion, acquired great
power over the king, persuaded him to consent to the succession
of his daughters, and surviving him, married her former suitor
Sir Thomas Seymour, and died from the effects of childbirth
the year after (1512-1548).
Parr, Samuel, a famous classical
scholar, born at Harrow; became head-master of first Colchester
and then Norwich Grammar-School and a prebend of St. Paul's;
he had an extraordinary memory and was a great talker; he was
a good Latinist, but nothing he has left justifies the high
repute in which he was held by his contemporaries (1747-1825).
Parr, Thomas, called Old
Parr, a man notable for his long life, being said to have
lived 152 years and 9 months, from 1483 to 1635.
Parramatta (12), next to
Sydney, from which it is 14 m. W., the oldest town in New South
Wales; manufactures colonial tweeds and Parramatta cloths, and
is in the centre of orange groves and fruit gardens.
Parrhasius, a gifted painter
of ancient Greece, born at Ephesus; came to Athens and became
the rival of Zeuxis; he was the contemporary of Socrates and
a man of an arrogant temper; his works were characterised by
the pains bestowed on them.
Parry, Sir William Edward,
celebrated Arctic explorer, born at Bath; visited the Arctic
Seas under Ross in 1818, conducted a second expedition himself
in 1819-20, a third in 1821-23, a fourth in 1824-26 with unequal
success, and a fifth in 1827 in quest of the North Pole viâ
Spitzbergen, in which he was baffled by an adverse current;
received sundry honours for his achievements; died governor
of Greenwich Hospital, and left several accounts of his voyages
Parsees (i. e. inhabitants
of Pars or Persia), a name given to the disciples of Zoroaster
or their descendants in Persia and India, and sometimes called
Guebres; in India they number some 90,000, are to be found chiefly
in the Bombay Presidency, form a wealthy community, and are
engaged mostly in commerce; in religion they incline to deism,
and pay homage to the sun as the symbol of the deity; they neither
bury their dead nor burn them, but expose them apart in the
open air, where they are left till the flesh is eaten away and
only the bones remain, to be removed afterwards for consignment
to a subterranean cavern.
Parsifal, the hero of the legend
of the Holy Grail (q. v.),
and identified with Galahad (q.
v.) in the Arthurian legend.
Parson Adams, a simple-minded
18th-century clergyman in Fielding's "Joseph Andrews."
Parsons, Robert, English
Jesuit, born in Somersetshire, educated at Oxford and a Fellow
of Balliol College; he became a convert to Roman Catholicism
and entered the Society of Jesus in 1575; conceived the idea
of reclaiming England from her Protestant apostasy, and embarked
on the enterprise in 1580, but found it too hot for him, and
had to escape to the Continent; after this he busied himself
partly in intrigues to force England into submission and partly
in organising seminaries abroad for English Roman Catholics,
and became head of one at Rome, where he died; he appears to
have been a Jesuit to the backbone, and to have served the cause
of Jesuitry with his whole soul (1546-1610).
given to asexual reproduction, that is, to reproduction of plants
or animals by means of unimpregnated germs or ova.
Parthenon, a celebrated temple
of the Doric order at Athens, dedicated to Athena, and constructed
under Phidias of the marble of Pentelicus, and regarded as the
finest specimen of Greek architecture that exists; it is 228
ft. in length and 64 ft. in height. Parthenon
means the chamber of the maiden goddess, that is, Athena.
Parthenope, in the Greek
mythology one of the three Sirens
(q. v.), threw herself into the sea because her love
for Ulysses was not returned, and was drowned; her body was
washed ashore at Naples, which was called Parthenope after her
Parthia, an ancient country
corresponding to Northern Persia; was inhabited by a people
of Scythian origin, who adopted the Aryan speech and manners,
and subsequently yielded much to Greek influence; after being
tributary successively to Assyria, Media, Persia, Alexander
the Great, and Syria, they set up an independent kingdom in
250 B.C. In two great contests with Rome they made the empire
respect their prowess; between 53 and 36 B.C. they defeated
Crassus in Mesopotamia, conquered Syria and Palestine, and inflicted
disaster on Mark Antony in Armenia; the renewal of hostilities
by Trajan in A.D. 115 brought more varied fortunes, but they
extorted a tribute of 50,000,000 denarii from the Emperor Macrinus
in 218. Ctesiphon was their capital; the Euphrates lay between
them and Rome; they were over thrown by Ardashir of Persia in
224. The Parthians were famous horse-archers, and in retreat
shot their arrows backwards often with deadly effect on a pursuing
Partick (36), a western suburb
of Glasgow, has numerous villas, and its working population
is very largely engaged in shipbuilding.
Partington, Mrs., an imaginary
lady, the creation of the American humorist Shillaber, distinguished
for her misuse of learned words; also another celebrity who
attempted to sweep back the Atlantic with her mop, the type
of those who think to stave back the inevitable.
Pascal, Blaise, illustrious
French thinker and writer, born at Clermont, in Auvergne; was
distinguished at once as a mathematician, a physicist, and a
philosopher; at 16 wrote a treatise on conic sections, which
astonished Descartes; at 18 invented a calculating machine;
he afterwards made experiments in pneumatics and hydrostatics,
by which his name became associated with those of Torricelli
and Boyle; an accident which befell him turned his thoughts
to religious subjects, and in 1654 he retired to the convent
of Port Royal (q. v.),
where he spent as an ascetic the rest of his days, and wrote
his celebrated "Provincial Letters" in defence of
the Jansenists against the Jesuits, and his no less famous "Pensées,"
which were published after his death; "his great weapon
in polemics," says Prof. Saintsbury, "is polite irony,
which he first brought to perfection, and in the use of which
he has hardly been equalled, and has certainly not been surpassed
Pas-de-Calais, the French
name for the Strait of Dover; also the name of the adjacent
department of France.
Pasha, a Turkish title, originally
bestowed on princes of the blood, but now extended to governors
of provinces and prominent officers in the army and navy.
Pasiphaë, the wife of
Minos (q. v.) and mother
of the Minotaur (q. v.).
Paskievitch, a Russian general,
born at Poltava; took part in repelling the French in 1812,
defeated the Persians in 1826-27 and the Turks in 1828-29; suppressed
a Polish insurrection in 1831 and a Magyar revolution in 1849;
was wounded at Silistria in 1854 and resigned (1782-1856).
Pasquino, a cobbler or tailor
who lived in Rome at the end of the 15th century, notable for
his witty and sarcastic sayings, near whose shop after his death
a fragment of a statue was dug up and named after him, on which,
as representing him, the Roman populace claim to this day, it
would seem, the privilege of placarding jibes against particularly
the ecclesiastical authorities of the place, hence Pasquinade.
Passau (17), a Bavarian fortified
town, situated at the confluence of the Inn and the Danube,
105 m. E. of Münich by rail; is a picturesque place, strategically
important, with manufactures of leather, porcelain, and parquet,
and trade in salt and corn.
Passing-bell, a bell tolled
at the moment of the death of a person to invite his neighbours
to pray for the safe passing of his soul.
Passion Play, a dramatic
representation of the several stages in the passion of Christ.
Passion Sunday, the fifth
Sunday in Lent, which is succeeded by what is called the Passion
Passion Week is properly
the week preceding Holy Week, but in common English usage the
name is given to Holy Week itself, i. e. to the week
immediately preceding Easter, commemorating Christ's passion.
Passionists, an order of
priests, called of the Holy Cross, founded in 1694 by Paul Francisco,
of the Cross in Sardinia, whose mission it is to preach the
Passion of Christ and bear witness to its spirit and import,
and who have recently established themselves in England and
America; they are noted for their austerity.
Passover, the chief festival
of the Jews in commemoration of the passing of the destroying
angel over the houses of the Israelites on the night when he
slew the first-born of the Egyptians; it was celebrated in April,
lasted eight days, only unleavened bread was used in its observance,
and a lamb roasted whole was eaten with bitter herbs, the partakers
standing and road-ready as on their departure from the land
Passow, Franz, German philologist,
born in Mecklenburg, professor at Breslau; his chief work "Hand-Wörterbuch
der Griechischen Sprache"; an authority in subsequent Greek
Pasta, Judith, a famous
Italian operatic singer, born near Milan, of Jewish birth; her
celebrity lasted from 1822 to 1835, after which she retired
into private life; she had a voice of great compass (1798-1865).
Pasteur, Louis, an eminent
French chemist, born at Dôle, in dep. of Jura, celebrated
for his studies and discoveries in fermentation, and also for
his researches in hydrophobia and his suggestion of inoculation
as a cure; the Pasteur Institute in Paris was the scene of his
researches from 1886 (1822-1895).
Paston Letters, a series
of letters and papers, over a thousand in number, belonging
to a Norfolk family of the name, and published by Sir John Fenn
over a century ago, dating from the reign of Henry V. to the
close of the reign of Henry VII.; of importance in connection
with the political and social history of the period.
Pastoral Staff, a bishop's
staff with a crooked head, symbolical of his authority and function
as a shepherd in spiritual matters of the souls in his diocese.
Patagonia is the territory
at the extreme S. of South America, lying between the Rio Colorado
and the Strait of Magellan. Chilian Patagonia is a narrow strip
W. of the Andes, with a broken coast-line, many rocky islands
and peninsulas. Its climate is temperate but very rainy, and
much of it is covered with dense forests
which yield valuable timber; coal is found at Punta Arenas on
the Strait. The population (3) consists chiefly of migratory
Araucanian Indians and the Chilian settlers at Punta Arenas.
Eastern or Argentine Patagonia is an extensive stretch of undulating
plateaux intersected by ravines, swept by cold W. winds, and
rainless for eight months of the year. The base of the Andes
is fertile and forest-clad, the river valleys can be cultivated,
but most of the plains are covered with coarse grass or sparse
scrub, and there are some utterly desolate regions. Lagoons
abound, and there are many rivers running eastward from the
Andes. Herds of horses and cattle are bred on the pampas. The
Indians of this region (7) are among the tallest races of the
world. There are 2000 settlers at Patagones on the Rio Negro,
and a Welsh colony on the Chubut.
Patanjali is the name of two
ancient Indian authors, of whom one is the author of the "Yoga,"
a theistic system of philosophy, and the other of a criticism
on the Sanskrit grammarian Pánini.
Patchouli, a perfume with
a strong odour, derived from the dried roots of an Indian plant
introduced into the country in 1844.
Pater, Walter Horatio,
an English prose-writer, specially studious of word, phrase,
and style, born in London; studied at Oxford, and became a Fellow
of Brasenose College; lived chiefly in London; wrote studies
in the "History of the Renaissance," "Marcus
the Epicurean," "Imaginary Portraits," "Appreciations,"
along with an essay on "Style"; literary criticism
was his forte (1839-1894).
Velleius, a Latin historian of the 1st century, author
of an epitome, especially of Roman history, rather disfigured
by undue flattery of Tiberius his patron, as well as of Cæsar
Paterson, Robert, the
original of Scott's "Old Mortality," a stone-mason,
born near Hawick; devoted 40 years of his life to restoring
and erecting monumental stones to the memory of the Scotch Covenanters
Paterson, William, a
famous financier, born in Tinwald parish, Dumfriesshire; originated
the Bank of England, projected the ill-fated Darien scheme,
and lost all in the venture, though he recovered compensation
afterwards, an indemnity for his losses of £18,000; he
was a long-headed Scot, skilful in finance and in matters of
Pathos, the name given to an
expression of deep feeling, and calculated to excite similar
feelings in others.
Patlock, Robert, English
novelist, author of "Peter Wilkins," an exquisite
production; the heroine, the flying girl Youwarkee (1697-1767).
Patmore, Coventry, English
poet, born in Essex, best known as the author of "The Angel
in the House," a poem in praise of domestic bliss, succeeded
by others, superior in some respects, of which "The Unknown
Eros" is by many much admired; he was a Roman Catholic
by religious profession (1823-1896).
Patmos, a barren rocky island
in the Ægean Sea, S. of Samos, 28 m. in circuit, where
St. John suffered exile, and where it is said he wrote the Apocalypse.
Patna (165), the seventh city
of India, in Bengal, at the junction of the Son, the Gandak,
and the Ganges; is admirably situated for commerce; has excellent
railway communication, and trades largely in cotton, oil-seeds,
and salt. It is a poor city with narrow streets, and except
the Government buildings, Patna College, a Roman Catholic cathedral,
and a mosque, has scarcely any good buildings. At Dinapur, its
military station, 6 m. to the W., mutiny broke out in 1857.
It is famous for its rice, but this is largely a re-export.
Patois, a name the French give
to a corrupt dialect of a language spoken in a remote province
of a country.
Paton, John Gibson,
missionary to the New Hebrides, son of a stocking-weaver of
Kirkmahoe, Dumfriesshire; after some work in Glasgow City Mission
was ordained by the Reformed Presbyterian Church, and laboured
in Tanna and Aniwa for twenty-five years; his account of his
work was published in 1890; b. 1824.
Paton Sir Joseph Noel,
poet and painter, born at Dunfermline; became a pattern designer,
but afterwards studied in Edinburgh and London, and devoted
himself to art; his early subjects were mythical and legendary,
later they have been chiefly religious; he was appointed Queen's
Limner for Scotland in 1865, knighted in 1867, and in 1876 received
his LL.D. from Edinburgh University; his "Quarrel"
and "Reconciliation of Oberon and Titania" are in
the National Gallery, Edinburgh; the illustrations of the "Dowie
Dens o' Yarrow," and the series of religious allegories, "Pursuit
of Pleasure," "Lux in Tenebris," "Faith
and Reason," &c., are familiar through the engravings; "Poems
by a Painter" appeared in 1861; b. 1821.
Patras (37), on the NW. corner
of the Morean Peninsula, on the shores of the Gulf of Patras;
has a fine harbour; is the chief western port of Greece, shipping
currants, olive-oil, and wine, and importing textiles, machinery,
and coal; it is a handsome city, in the present century rebuilt
Patriarch, in Church history
is the name given originally to the bishops of Rome, Antioch,
and Alexandria, and later to those also of Constantinople and
Jerusalem, who held a higher rank than other bishops, and exercised
a certain authority over the bishops in their districts. The
title is in vogue in the Greek, Syrian, Armenian, and other
Churches. It was originally given to the chief of a race or
clan, the members of which were called after him.
Patricians and Plebeians,
the two classes into which, from the earliest times, the population
of the Roman State was divided, the former of which possessed
rights and privileges not conceded to the latter, and stood
to them as patrons to clients, like the baron of the Middle
Ages to the vassals. This inequality gave rise to repeated and
often protracted struggles in the commonalty, during which the
latter gradually encroached on the rights of the former till
the barrier in civic status, and even in social to some extent,
was as good as abolished, and members of the plebeian class
were eligible to the highest offices and dignities of the State.
Patrick, Order of St.,
an Irish order of knighthood, founded in 1783 by George III.,
comprising the sovereign, the Lord-Lieutenant, and twenty-two
knights, and indicated by the initial letters K.P.
Patrick, St., the apostle
and patron saint of Ireland; his birthplace uncertain; flourished
in the 5th century; his mission, which extended over great part
of Ireland, and over thirty or forty years of time, was eminently
successful, and at the end of it he was buried in Downpatrick,
henceforth a spot regarded as a sacred one. Various miracles
are ascribed to him, and among the number the extirpation from
the soil of all venomous reptiles.
Patrick, Simon, English
prelate; distinguished himself, when he was rector of St. Paul's,
by his self-denying devotion during the Plague of London; became
bishop in succession of Chichester and Ely, and was the author
of a number of expository works (1652-1707).
the name given to the writings of the early Fathers of the Christian
Patroclus, a friend of Achilles,
who accompanied him to the Trojan War, and whose death by the
hand of Hector roused Achilles out of his sullenness, and provoked
him to avenge the deed in the death of Hector.
Patteson, John Coleridge,
bishop of Melanesia, grand-nephew of Coleridge; a devoted bishop,
in material things no less than spiritual, among the Melanesian
islanders; was murdered, presumably through mistake, by the
natives of one of the Santa Cruz groups (1827-1871).
Patti, Adelina, prima donna,
born in Madrid, of Italian extraction; made her first appearance
at New York in 1859, and in London at Covent Garden, as Amina
in "La Somnambula," in 1861, and has since made the
round once and again of the Continent and America, North and
South; has been married three times, being divorced by her first
husband, and lives at Craig-y-nos Castle, near Swansea, Wales;
Pattison, Mark, a distinguished
English scholar, born at Hornby, Yorkshire; studied at Oxford,
and was for a time carried away with the Tractarian Movement,
but when his interest in it died out he gave himself to literature
and philosophy; wrote in the famous "Essays and Reviews"
a paper on "The Tendency of Religious Thought in England";
became rector of Lincoln College, Oxford; wrote his chief literary
work, a "Life of Isaac Casaubon," a mere fragment
of what it lay in him to do, and left an autobiography, which
revealed a wounded spirit which no vulnerary known to him provided
by the pharmacopoeia of earth or heaven could heal (1813-1889).
the name of a process for desilverising lead, dependent on the
fact that lead which has least silver in it solidifies first
Pau (31), chief town of the French
province of Basses-Pyrénées, on the Gave de Pau,
60 m. E. of Bayonne; is situated amid magnificent mountain scenery,
and is a favourite winter resort for the English; linen and
chocolate are manufactured; it was the capital of Navarre, and
has a magnificent castle; it stands on the edge of a high plateau,
and commands a majestic view of the Pyrenees on the S.
Pauillac, a port for Bordeaux,
on the left bank of the Gironde.
Paul, the name of five Popes:
Paul I., Pope from 757 to 797; Paul II., Pope
from 1464 to 1471; Paul III., Pope from 1534 to 1549,
was zealous against the Protestant cause, excommunicated Henry
VIII. in 1536, sanctioned the Jesuit order in 1540, convened
and convoked the Council of Trent in 1545; Paul IV.,
Pope from 1555 to 1559, originally an ascetic, was zealous for
the best interests of the Church and public morality, established
the Inquisition at Rome, and issued the first Index Expurgatorius;
Paul V., Pope from 1605 to 1621, his pontificate distinguished
by protracted strife with the Venetian republic, arising out
of the claim of the clergy for immunity from the civil tribunals,
and which was brought to an end through the intervention of
Henry IV. of France in 1607; it need not be added that he was
zealous for orthodoxy, like his predecessors.
Paul, St., originally called
Saul, the great Apostle of the Gentiles, born at Tarsus, in
Cilicia, by birth a Jew and a Roman citizen; trained to severity
by Gamaliel at Jerusalem in the Jewish faith, and for a time
the bitter persecutor of the Christians, till, on his way to
Damascus, in the prosecution of his hostile purposes, the overpowering
conviction flashed upon him that he was fighting against the
cause that, as a Jew, he should have embraced, and which he
was at once smitten with zeal to further, as the one cause on
which hinged the salvation, not of the Jews only, but of the
whole world. He did more for the extension, if not the exposition,
of the Christian faith at its first promulgation than any of
the Apostles, and perhaps all of them together, and it is questionable
if but for him it would have become, as it has become, the professed
religion of the most civilised section of the world.
Paul I., Czar of Russia, son of
the Empress Catharine II., and her successor in 1796; was a
despotic and arbitrary ruler; fought with the allies against
France, but entered into an alliance with Napoleon in 1799;
was murdered by certain of his nobles as he was being forced
to abdicate (1734-1801).
Paul and Virginia, a
celebrated novel by Saint-Pierre, written on the eve of the
French Revolution, in which "there rises melodiously, as
it were, the wail of a moribund world: everywhere wholesome
Nature in unequal conflict with diseased, perfidious art; cannot
escape from it in the lowest hut, in the remotest island of
the sea"; it records the fate of a child of nature corrupted
by the false, artificial sentimentality that prevailed at the
time among the upper classes of France.
Paul Samosata, so called
as born at Samosata, on the Euphrates, a heresiarch who denied
the doctrine of three persons in one God, was bishop of Antioch,
under the sway of Zenobia, but deposed on her defeat by Aurelian
Paulding, American writer,
born in New York State; author of "History of John Bull
and Brother Jonathan," and the novels "The Dutchman's
Fireside" and "Westward Ho" (1779-1860).
Pauli, Reinhold, German
historian of England, born in Berlin; studied much in England,
and became professor of History at Göttingen; wrote "Life
of King Alfred," "History of England from the Accession
of Henry II. to the Death of Henry VII.," "Pictures
of Old England," and "Simon de Montfort" (1823-1882).
Paulicians, a heretical sect
founded by Constantine of Mananalis about A.D. 660 in Armenia,
and persisting in spite of severe persecution, were transferred
to Thrace in 970, where remnants were found as late as the 13th
century; they held that an evil spirit was the creator and god
of this world, and that God was the ruler of the next; they
refused to ascribe divinity to Christ, to worship Mary, to reverence
the cross, or observe the sacraments of Baptism and Eucharist;
their name was derived from the special regard in which they
held the writings of St. Paul, from which they professed to
derive their tenets; they were charged with Manichæism,
but they indignantly repudiated the imputation.
Pauline, Browning's first poem,
written at 19 and published at 21, "breathless, intense,
melodramatic," says Professor Saintsbury, "eschewing
incident, but delighting in analysis, which was to be one of
the poet's points throughout, and ultimately to prevail over
Paulinus, the first archbishop
of York, sent in company with Augustin from Rome by Gregory
to Britain in 601: laboured partly in Kent and partly
in Northumbria, and persuaded Edwin of
Northumbria to embrace Christianity in 629; d. 644.
Paulus, Heinrich, one
of the founders of German rationalism, born near Stuttgart;
held in succession sundry professorships; denied the miraculous
in the Scripture history, and invented ingenious rational explanations,
now out of date (1761-1851).
Pausanias, a famous Spartan
general, the grandson of Leonidas, who, as commander-in-chief
of the Greeks, overthrew the Persian army under Mardonius at
Platæa in 479, but who, elated by this and other successes,
aimed at the sovereignty of Greece by alliance with Xerxes,
and being discovered, took refuge in a temple at Athens, where
he was blockaded and starved to death in 477 B.C., his mother
throwing the first stone of the pile that was cast up to bar
Pausanias, a Greek traveller
and topographer, lived during the reigns of Antoninus Pius and
M. Aurelius; wrote an "Itinerary of Greece" in 10
books, the fruit of his own peregrinations, full of descriptions
of great value both to the historian and the antiquary.
Pavia (30), on the Ticino, in
Lombardy, is an imposing "city of a hundred towers,"
with little industry or commerce; in its unfinished cathedral
St. Augustine was buried; San Michele, where the early kings
of Italy were crowned, dates from the 7th century; the University
was founded by Charlemagne, and has now attached to it colleges
for poor students, a library, museum, botanic garden, and school
of art; stormed by Napoleon in 1796, Pavia was in Austrian possession
from 1814 till its inclusion in the kingdom of Italy 1859.
Paxton, Sir Joseph,
architect of the Crystal Palace, born in Bedfordshire, was originally
a gardener in the service of the Duke of Devonshire, and promoted
to the charge of the duke's gardens at Chatsworth, where he
displayed the architectural ability in the construction of large
glass conservatories which developed itself in the construction
of the Great Exhibition of 1851, for which he received the honour
of knighthood (1803-1865).
Payn, James, English novelist,
born at Cheltenham; edited Chambers's Journal and
Cornhill Magazine; his novels were numerous and of average
quality, "Lost Sir Massingberd" and "By Proxy"
among the most successful (1830-1899).
Payne, John, actor and playwright,
born in New York; resided in London from 1813 to 1832; most
of his days a stranger in a strange land, immortalised himself
as the author of "Home, Sweet Home"; only his remains
buried at home 30 years after his death at Tunis (1792-1852).
Peabody, George, philanthropist,
born at Danvers, now Peabody, in Massachusetts, U.S.; made a
large fortune as a dry-goods merchant in Baltimore and as a
stockbroker as well in London; gave away for benevolent purposes
in his lifetime a million and a half of money, and left to his
relatives one million more; died in London; his body was laid
beside his mother's at South Danvers, U.S. (1795-1869).
Peace Society, a society
founded in 1816 for the promotion of permanent and universal
peace; advocates a gradual, proportionate, and simultaneous
disarmament of all nations and the principle of arbitration.
Peacock, Thomas Love,
English novelist, born at Weymouth; was pretty much a self-taught
scholar, and no mean one, as his literary activity over half
a century abundantly showed; held a post in the India House,
his predecessor being James Mill and his successor John Stuart
Mill; was an intimate friend of Shelley and the father-in-law
of George Meredith; he made his first literary appearance as
a poet in two small volumes of poems, and his first novel was "Headlong
Hall" as his latest was "Gryll Grange," all of
them written in a vein of conventional satire, and more conspicuous
for wit than humour; Thackeray owed not a little to him, little
as the generality did, he being "too learned for a shallow
Pearson, John, English prelate,
born in Norfolk; held a succession of preferments in the Church,
and in the end the bishopric of Chester, author of a very learned
work "Exposition of the Creed," of which Bentley said, "its
very dross is gold" (1612-1686).
Peasant War or Bauernkrieg,
revolt of the peasantry in the S. and W. of Germany against
the oppression and cruelty of the nobles and clergy which broke
out at different times from 1500 to 1525, and which, resulting
in their defeat, rendered their lot harder than before. The
cause of the Reformation, held answerable for the movement,
suffered damage as well, but indeed the excesses of the insurgents
were calculated to provoke the retribution that was meted out
Pechili, Gulf of, a great
land-locked bay opening in the NW. of the Yellow Sea, receives
the waters of the Hoang-ho, and on opposite tongues of land
at the mouth of it stand Port Arthur and Wei-hai-Wei.
Pecksniff, a pronounced hypocrite
in Dickens's "Martin Chuzzlewit," and who lies and
cants whether he is drunk or sober.
Pecock, Reginald, bishop
in succession of St. Asaph and Chichester, born in Wales; the
author, among other works, of the "Repressor of Over Much
Blaming of the Clergy" and the "Book of Faith";
he wrote on behalf of the Church against Lollards, but he offended
Churchmen as well as the latter—Churchmen because he agreed
with the Lollards in regard to the Bible as the rule of faith,
and the Lollards because he appealed to reason as the interpreter
of the Bible; he displeased the clergy also by his adoption
in theological debate of the mother-tongue, but figures since
in literature as the first English theologian; he was accused
of treating authority with disrespect as well as setting up
reason above revelation, obliged to recant in a most humiliating
manner, deprived of his bishopric, and condemned to solitary
confinement, away from his books, all to a few, and denied the
use of writing materials (1390-1460).
Pedro I., emperor of Brazil,
second son of John VI. of Portugal; reigned from 1822 to 1831,
when he abdicated in favour of his son (1798-1834).
Pedro II., emperor of Brazil,
son of preceding, ascended the throne in 1831; reigned peacefully
till 1889, when a sudden revolution obliged him to resign, and
retire to Europe and take up his abode in France, where he indulged
his taste for science and learning (1825-1891).
Peebles, Peter, a character
in Scott's "Redgauntlet."
Peeblesshire (19), a lowland
Scottish county bordered by Lanark, Midlothian, Selkirk, and
Dumfries; comprises hilly pastoral land watered by the upper
Tweed; Windlestraw, Hartfell, and Broadlaw are the highest of
its grassy hills; among the lesser rivers are the Leithen and
Quair; some crops are grown, but most of the land is devoted
to sheep grazing; a little coal is found in the N.; the only
towns are Innerleithen (3) and Peebles (5), the county
town, engaged in Tweed manufacture. The county is known also
by the name of Tweeddale; its representation
in Parliament is united with that of Selkirk.
Peel (4), a fishing town and holiday
resort on the W. coast of the Isle of Man, 12 m. NW. of Douglas;
it is noted for its castle.
Peel, Sir Robert, English
statesman, born near Bury, Lancashire, the son of a wealthy
cotton-spinner, to whose large fortune and baronetcy he succeeded;
graduated at Oxford in 1808, and next year entered Parliament
as Tory member for Cashel; he afterwards sat for his own university,
and after 1832 for Tamworth; he was appointed Under-Secretary
for the Colonies in 1811. and from 1812 till 1818 was Secretary
for Ireland; in 1822 he became Home Secretary, but seceded from
the Government when Canning became Premier in 1827; the question
at issue was Catholic Emancipation, and it was characteristic
of Peel that in the Government which succeeded Canning's he
had the courage, having changed his opinions, to introduce the
measure which removed the disabilities; opposed to Reform he
became leader of the Conservative opposition in the Parliament
of 1833; called to the Premiership in 1834 he could not maintain
his administration, and it was not till 1841 that the victory
of protection over the free-trade agitation gave him a stable
majority in the Commons; his first measure was a modification
of the corn laws on protectionist principles, 1842; then followed
the 7d. income-tax and general tariff revision; in 1845 the
agitation for free-trade in corn was brought to a crisis by
the Irish potato famine; Peel yielded, and next year carried
the final repeal of the corn laws; his "conversion"
split the Tory party and he retired from office, becoming a
supporter of the Whig ministry in its economical and ecclesiastical
policy; he was a master of finance, an easy speaker, slow to
form but conscientious to act upon his convictions, a man of
the highest character; his death was the result of a fall from
Peel Towers, the name given
to fortresses of the moss-troopers on the Scottish border.
Peele, George, dramatist,
of the Elizabethan period, born in London; author of "Arraignment
of Paris" and "David and Bathsabe," full of passages
of poetic beauty; has been charged with having led the life
of a debauchee and to have died of a disease brought on by his
profligacy, but it is now believed he has been maligned (1548-1597).
Peeping Tom of Coventry.
Peers, The Twelve, the
famous warriors or paladins at the court of Charlemagne, so
called from their equality in prowess and honour.
Pegasus, the winged horse, begotten
of Poseidon, who sprung from the body of Medusa when Perseus
swooped off her head, and who with a stroke of his hoof broke
open the spring of Hippocrene on Mount Helicon, and mounted
on whom Bellerophon slew the Chimera, and by means of which
he hoped, if he had not been thrown, to ascend to heaven, as
Pegasus did alone, becoming thereafter a constellation in the
sky; this is the winged horse upon whose back poets, to the
like disappointment, hope to scale the empyrean, who have not,
like Bellerophon, first distinguished themselves by slaying
Pegu (6), a town of Lower Burma,
in the province and on the river of the same name, 46 m. NE.
of Rangoon, is a very ancient city; the province (1,162) is
a rice-growing country, with great teak forests on the mountain
Pei-ho, a river of North China,
350 miles long; formed by the junction of four other rivers,
on the chief of which stands Pekin; has a short navigable course
south-eastward to the Gulf of Pechili, where it is defended
by the forts of Taku.
Peirce, Benjamin, American
mathematician and astronomer, born in Massachusetts, U.S.; wrote
on the discovery of Neptune and Saturn's rings, as well as a
number of mathematical text-books (1809-1880).
Peishwah, the name of the overlord
or chief minister of Mahratta chiefs in their wars with the
Mohammedans, who had his head-quarters at Poonah, the last to
hold office putting himself under British protection, and surrendering
his territory; nominated as his successor Nana Sahib, who became
the chief instigator of the Mutiny of 1857, on account, it is
believed, of the refusal of the British Government to continue
to him the pension of his predecessor who had adopted him.
Pekin (1,000), the capital of
China, on a sandy plain in the basin of the Pei-ho, is divided
into two portions, each separately walled, the northern or Manchu
city and the southern or Chinese. The former contains the Purple
Forbidden city, in which are the Imperial palaces; surrounding
it is the August city, in which are a colossal copper Buddha
and the Temple of Great Happiness. Outside this are the government
offices, foreign legations, the temple of Confucius, a great
Buddhist monastery, a Roman Catholic cathedral, and Christian
mission stations. The Chinese city has many temples, mission
stations, schools, and hospitals; but it is sparsely populated,
houses are poor, and streets unpaved. Pekin has railway communication
with Hankow, and is connected with other cities and with Russia
by telegraph. Its trade and industry are inconsiderable. It
is one of the oldest cities in the world. It was Kubla Khan's
capital, and has been the metropolis of the empire since 1421.
Pelagius, a celebrated heresiarch
of the 5th century, born in Britain or Brittany; denied original
sin and the orthodox doctrine of divine grace as the originating
and sustaining power in redemption, a heresy for which he suffered
banishment from Rome in 418 at the hands of the Church. A modification
of this theory went under the name of Semi-Pelagianism, which
ascribes only the first step in conversion to free-will, and
the subsequent sanctification of the soul to God's grace.
Pelasgi, a people who in prehistoric
times occupied Greece, the Archipelago, the shores of Asia Minor,
and great part of Italy, and who were subdued, and more or less
reduced to servitude, by the Hellenes, and supplanted by them.
They appear to have been, so far as we find them, an agricultural
people, settled and not roving about, and to have had strongholds
enclosed in cyclopean walls, that is, walls consisting of huge
boulders unconnected with cement.
Peleus, the son of Æacus,
the husband of Thetis, the father of Achilles, and one of the
Argonauts, after whom Achilles is named Pelides, i. e.
Pelew Islands (10), twenty-six
in number, of coral formation, and surrounded by reefs; are
in the extreme W. of the Caroline Archipelago in the North Pacific,
and SE. of the Philippines. They belong to Spain; are small
but fertile, and have a healthy climate. The natives are Malays,
and though gentle lead a savage life.
Pelham, a fashionable novel by
Bulwer Lytton, severely satirised by Carlyle in "Sartor"
in the chapter on "Dandies" as the elect of books
of this class.
Pelias, king of Iolchus, and
son of Poseidon, was cut to pieces by his own daughters, which
were thrown by them into a boiling caldron in the faith
of the promise of Medea, that he might
thereby be restored to them young again. It was he who, to get
rid of Jason, sent him in quest of the golden fleece in the
hope that he might perish in the attempt.
Pelican, a bird, the effigy
of which was used in the Middle Ages to symbolise charity; generally
represented as wounding its breast to feed its young with its
own blood, and which became the image of the Christ who shed
His blood for His people.
Pelides, a patronymic of Achilles,
as the son of Peleus.
Pelion, a range, or the highest
of a range, of mountains in the E. of Thessaly, upon which,
according to Greek fables, the Titans hoisted up Mount Ossa
in order to scale heaven and dethrone Zeus, a strenuous enterprise
which did not succeed, and the symbol of all such.
Pelissier, a French marshal,
born near Rouen; was made Duc de Malakoff for storming the Malakoff
tower, which led to the fall of Sebastopol in 1855; rose from
the ranks to be Governor-General of Algeria, the office he held
when he died (1794-1864).
Pella, the capital of Macedonia,
and the birthplace of Alexander the Great, stood on a hill amid
the marches NW. of Thessalonica.
Pellegrini, Carlo, a
caricaturist, born in Capua; came to London; was distinguished
for the inimitable drollery of his cartoons (1838-1889).
Pellico, Silvio, Italian
poet and patriot, born in Piedmont; suffered a fifteen years'
imprisonment in the Spielberg at Brünn for his patriotism,
from which he was liberated in 1830; he wrote an account of
his life in prison, which commanded attention all over Europe,
both for the subject-matter of it and the fascination of the
Pellisson, Paul, a man
of letters and a wit of the age of Louis XIV.; spent some five
years in the Bastille, but after his release was appointed historiographer-royal;
in his captivity he made a companion of a spider, who was accustomed
to eat out of his hand (1624-1693).
Pelopidas, a Theban general,
and leader of the "sacred band"; the friend of Epaminondas;
contributed to the expulsion (379 B.C.) of the Spartans from
the citadel of Thebes, of which they had taken possession in
380, after which he was elected to the chief magistracy; gained
a victory over Alexander of Pheræ the tyrant of Thessaly,
but lost his life in 362 while too eagerly pursuing the foe.
a war of thirty years' duration (431-404 B.C.) between Athens
and Sparta, which ended in the supremacy of the latter, till
the latter was overthrown at Leuctra by the Thebans under Epaminondas
in 371 B.C. This war is the subject of the history of Thucydides.
Peloponnesus (lit. the
Isle of Pelops), the ancient name of the Morea of Greece, the
chief cities of which were Corinth, Argos, and Sparta; it was
connected with the rest of Greece by the Isthmus of Corinth.
Pelops, in the Greek mythology
the grandson of Zeus and son of Tantalus, who was slain by his
father and served up by him at a banquet he gave the gods to
test their omniscience, but of the shoulder of which only Demeter
in a fit of abstraction partook, whereupon the gods ordered
the body to be thrown into a boiling caldron, from which Pelops
was drawn out alive, with the shoulder replaced by one of ivory.
Pembrokeshire (89), a
maritime county, the farthest W. in Wales; is washed by St.
George's Channel except on the E., where it borders on Cardigan
and Carmarthen. It is a county of low hills, with much indented
coast-line. Milford Haven, in the S., is one of the best harbours
in the world. The climate is humid; two-thirds of the soil is
under pasture; coal, iron, lead, and slate are found. St.
David's is a cathedral city; the county town is Pembroke
(18) on Milford Haven, and near it is the fortified dockyard
and arsenal Pembroke Dock (10).
Pemmican, a food for long voyages,
particularly in Arctic expeditions, consisting of lean meat
or beef without fat dried, pounded, and pressed into cakes.
The use of it is now suppressed.
Penance, in the Roman Catholic
Church an expression of penitence as well as the sacrament of
absolution; also the suffering to which a penitent voluntarily
subjects himself, according to the schoolmen, as an expression
of his penitence, and in punishment of his sin; the three steps
of penitence were contrition, confession, and satisfaction.
Penang or Prince of Wales
Islands (91), a small fertile island near the northern opening
of the Straits of Malacca, off the Malay coast, and 360 m. NW.
of Singapore; is one of the British Straits Settlements, of
value strategically; it is hilly, and covered with vegetation;
the population are half Chinese, a fourth of them Malays; figs,
spices, and tobacco are exported. The capital is Georgetown
(25), on the island. Province Wellesley (97), on the
mainland, belongs to the same settlement; it exports tapioca
and sugar. The Dindings (2), 80 m. S., are another dependency.
Penates, the name given by the
Romans to their household deities, individually and unitedly,
in honour of whom a fire, in charge of the vestal virgins, was
kept permanently burning.
Penda, a Mercian king of the 7th
century, who headed a reactionary movement of heathenism against
the domination of Christianity in England, and for a time seemed
to carry all before him, but Christianity, under the preaching
of the monks, had gained too deep a hold, particularly in Northumbria,
and he was overpowered in 665 in one final struggle and slain.
Pendennis, the name of a novel
by Thackeray, from the name of the hero, and published in 1849-50
in succession to "Vanity Fair."
Pendleton, a NW. suburb of
Manchester, in the direction of Bolton, with extensive manufactures
Pendragon, a title bestowed
on kings by the ancient Britons, and especially on the chiefs
among them chosen by election, so called from their wearing
a dragon on their shields or as a crest in sign of sovereignty.
Penelope, the wife of Ulysses,
celebrated for her conjugal fidelity during his twenty years'
absence, in the later half of which an army of suitors pled
for her hand, pleading that her husband would never return;
but she put them all off by a promise of marriage as soon as
she finished a web (called after Penelope's web) she was weaving,
which she wove by day and undid at night, till their importunities
took a violent form, when her husband arrived and delivered
Peninsular State, the
State of Florida, from its shape.
Peninsular War, a war
carried on in Spain and Portugal during the years 1808 and 1814,
between the French on the one hand and the Spanish, Portuguese,
and British, chiefly under Wellington, on the other, and which
was ended by the victory of the latter over the former at Toulouse
just after Napoleon's abdication.
or Psalms of Confession, is a
name given from very early times to Psalms vi., xxxii., xxxviii.,
li., cii., cxxx., which are specially expressive of sorrow for
sin. The name belonged originally to the fifty-first Psalm,
which was recited at the close of daily morning service in the
Penitents, Order Of,
a religious order established in 1272 for the reception to the
Church of reformed courtesans.
Penn, William, founder of
Pennsylvania, the son of an admiral, born in London; was converted
to Quakerism while a student at Oxford, and for a fanatical
attack on certain fellow-students expelled the University; his
father sent him to travel in France, and afterwards placed him
in charge of his Irish estates; his religious views occasioned
several disputes with his father, and ultimately brought him
into conflict with the Government; he spent several periods
of imprisonment writing books in defence of religious liberty,
among them "The Great Cause of Liberty of Conscience"
(1671); then travelled in Holland and Germany propagating his
views; his father's death brought him a fortune and a claim
upon the crown which he commuted for a grant of land in North
America, where he founded (1682) the colony of Pennsylvania—the
prefix Penn, by command of Charles II. in honour of the admiral;
here he established a refuge for all persecuted religionists,
and laying out Philadelphia as the capital, governed his colony
wisely and generously for two years; he returned to England,
where his friendship with James II. brought many advantages
to the Quakers, but laid him under harassing and undeserved
prosecutions for treason in the succeeding reign; a second visit
to his colony (1699-1701) gave it much useful legislation; on
his return his agent practically ruined him, and he was a prisoner
in the Fleet in 1708; the closing years of his life were clouded
by mental decay (1644-1718).
Pennant, Thomas, traveller
and naturalist, born near Holywell, Flintshire; studied at Oxford,
but took no degree; in 1746 he made a tour of Cornwall; among
his subsequent journeys, of which he published accounts, were
tours in Ireland (1754), the Continent (1764), Scotland (1769
and 1772), and Wales; he wrote several works on zoological subjects,
and published an amusing "Literary Life of the late Thomas
Pennant, Esq., by Himself," 1793 (1726-1798).
Pennsylvania (5,258), most
populous but one of the American States, lies N. of Mason and
Dixon's Line, separated by New Jersey, on the E. by the Delaware
River, with Ohio on the W., New York on the N., and Lake Erie
at the NW. corner. The country is hilly, being traversed by
the Blue Mountains and the Alleghany ranges, with many fertile
valleys between the chains, extensive forests, and much picturesque
scenery. The Cumberland Valley in the W. is one of the best
farming lands in New England. The Alleghany River in the W.
and the two branches of the Susquehanna in the centre water
the State. Pennsylvania is the greatest mining State in the
Union; its iron-mines and petroleum-wells supply half the iron
and most of the oil used in the country; its bituminous coal-beds
in the W. are extremely rich, and the anthracite deposits of
the E. are unrivalled; in manufactures, too, it ranks second
among the States; these are very varied, the most valuable being
iron, steel, and shipbuilding. Founded by Swedes, it passed
to English settlers in 1664; the first charter was granted to
William Penn in 1681. In the Revolution it took a prominent
part, and was among the first States of the Union. Education
is well advanced; there are 20 State colleges. The mining population
includes many Irish, Hungarian, and Italian immigrants, among
whom riots are frequent. Of the agriculturists many are of Dutch
descent, and about two millions still speak a Low German
patois known as Pennsylvanian Dutch. Harrisburg (39)
is the capital; the metropolis is Philadelphia (1,047),
the second largest city in the country; while Pittsburg
(239), Alleghany (105), Scranton (75), and
Reading (59) are among the many large towns.
Penny, originally a silver coin,
weighed in the 7th century 1/240-th of a Saxon pound, but decreased
in weight till in Elizabeth's time it was 1/63 of an ounce troy.
It was at first indented with a cross so as to be broken for
halfpennies and farthings, but silver coins of these denominations
were coined by Edward I. Edward VI. stopped the farthings, and
the halfpence were stopped in the Commonwealth. Copper coinage
was established in 1672. The present coins were issued first
in 1860. They are half the size of their predecessors, and intrinsically
worth one-seventh of their nominal value.
Penny Wedding, a wedding
at which the guests pay part of the charges of the festival.
Penrith (9), a market town of
Cumberland, and tourist centre for the English lakes; contains
a very old church and school, and ruins of a picturesque castle.
Brewing, iron-founding, and timber-sawing are its industries.
Penryn (3), a Cornish market
town at the head of Falmouth harbour; has manufactures of paper,
woollen cloth, and gunpowder. It has considerable fishing industry,
and ships the Penryn granite quarried near.
Penseroso, II, a famous
Italian poem by Milton, written in 1633.
Pensionary, the Grand,
a State functionary of Holland, whose office, abolished in 1795,
it was to superintend State interests, register decrees, negotiate
with other countries, and take charge of the revenues, &c.
Pentagram, a symbol presumed
to possess a magical influence, particularly to charm away evil
spirits, formed by placing the figure of an equilateral triangle
Pentamerone, a collection
of tales in the Neapolitan dialect, supposed to be told during
five days by ten old women to a pseudo-princess, and published
at Naples 1637; is of great value to students of folk-lore.
Pentateuch, the name given
by Origen to the first five books of the Bible, which the Jews
call the Law or Five-fifths of the Law, the composition of which
has of late years been subjected to keen critical investigation,
and the whole ascribed to documents of different dates and diverse
authorship, to the rejection of the old traditional hypothesis
that it was the work of Moses, first called in question by Spinoza,
and shown to be untenable by Jean
Astruc (q. v.).
Pentecost (i. e. fiftieth),
a great feast of the Jews, so called as held on the fiftieth
day after the second of the Passover. It is called also the
Feast of Harvest, or Weeks of First-Fruits, the Passover feast
being connected with the commencement and this with the conclusion
of harvest. It is regarded by the Jews as commemorative of the
giving of the law on Mount Sinai, and will never cease to be
associated in the Christian memory with the great awakening
from which dates the first birth of the Christian consciousness
in the Christian Church, the moment when the disciples of Christ
first realised in common that their Master
was not dead but alive, and nearer to
them than He had been when present in the flesh.
Pentelicus, a range of mountains
in Attica between Athens and Marathon, famous for its quarries
of fine white marble.
Penthesilea, the daughter
of Ares and the queen of the Amazons; on the death of Hector
she came to the assistance of the Trojans, but was slain by
Achilles, who mourned over her when dying on account of her
beauty, her youth, and her courage.
Pentheus, a king of Thebes,
opposed to the introduction of the Bacchus worship into his
kingdom, was driven mad by the god, and torn in pieces by his
mother and sisters, who, under the Bacchic frenzy, mistook him
for a wild beast.
Penthièvre, Duc de,
the father-in-law of Philippe Egalité, and the protector
of Florian (1725-1793).
Pentland Firth is the
strait between the Orkneys and the Scottish mainland connecting
the North Sea with the Atlantic, 12 m. long by 6 broad, and
swept by a rapid current very dangerous to navigation; 5000
vessels traverse it annually.
Pentonville, a populous
district of London, in the parishes of St James's, Clerkenwell,
and Islington, where is the Pentonville Model Prison, built
in 1840-42 on the radiating principle to accommodate 520 prisoners.
Penumbra, the name given to
the partial shadow on the rim of the total shadow of an eclipse,
also to the margin of the light and shade of a picture.
Penzance (14), the largest
town in Cornwall, most westerly borough in England, and terminus
of the Great Western Railway, is beautifully situated on the
rocky W. shore of Mount's Bay; its public buildings chiefly
of granite. It has a fine harbour and docks, and is the centre
of the mackerel and pilchard fishing industries. Its mild climate
makes it a favourite watering-place.
People's Palace, Mile
End Road, London, is an institution for the recreation and instruction
of the East-end population, opened by the Queen in May 1887,
and owing its origin to the impulse given by Sir W. Besant's "All
Sorts and Conditions of Men." In it are a library, art
galleries, concert and reading rooms, baths, gymnasium, &c.,
and technical classes and handicraft schools are held; these
are attended by 5000 pupils, and the institution is visited
by a million and a quarter people annually.
Pepin the Short, king
of the Franks, was the son of Charles Martel, and at first shared
with his brother Carloman the viceroyalty of the kingdom under
Hilderik III.; in 747 Carloman retired to a monastery, and five
years later Pepin deposed Hilderik and ascended the throne;
his kingdom embraced the valleys of the Rhine, the Rhône,
and the Seine; he united his interests with those of the Church,
and in 756 entered Italy to rescue the Pope from the threatened
domination of the Lombards; reduced Aistulf of Lombardy to vassalage,
assumed the title of Patrician of Rome, and by bestowing on
Pope Stephen III. the "Exarchate" of the Roman empire,
laid the foundation of papal temporal sovereignty, five cities
being placed under his jurisdiction; his subsequent exploits
included the conquest of the Loire Valley and the expulsion
of the Moors from France; his fame was overshadowed by that
of his son Charlemagne; d. 678.
Pepsin, an essential constituent
of the gastric juice extracted from the stomach of the calf,
sheep, and pig, and used in medicine to supply any defect of
it in the stomach of a patient.
Pepys, Samuel, author of
a famous Diary, a scholarly man and respected as connected with
different grades of society; held a clerkship in the Admiralty,
and finally the secretaryship; kept a diary of events from 1660
to 1669, which remained in MS. till 1826, when it was published
in part by Lord Braybrooke, and is of interest for the insight
it gives into the manners of the time and the character of the
author; the latest and completest edition of this Diary is that
of H. B. Wheatley, published in 1893-96, in eight vols. (1633-1703).
Pera, a suburb of Constantinople,
on the N. side of the Golden Horn, and the foreign diplomatic
Peræa, "the country
beyond," designated that part of Palestine beyond or E.
of the Jordan.
Perceval, a hero of the legends
of chivalry, famed for his adventures in quest of the Holy Graal.
Perceval, Spencer, English
statesman, born in London, son of the Earl of Egmont; bred to
the bar; entered Parliament as a supporter of Pitt, and held
a succession of posts under different administrations, attaining
the Premiership, which he held from 1800 to 1812, on the 11th
of May, of which year he was shot dead by a madman of the name
of Bellingham in the lobby of the House; he was devoted to the
throne, and a man of upright character but narrow sympathies
Percival, James Gates,
American poet and geologist, born at Kensington, Connecticut;
took his degree at Yale in 1815, and qualified as a medical
practitioner; he was for a few months professor of Chemistry
at West Point, but retired and gave himself to literature and
geology; his scientific works are valuable; "Prometheus
and Clio" appeared in 1822, "Dream of a Day"
in 1843; he died at Hazel Green, Wisconsin (1795-1856).
Percy, a noble English family
of Norman origin, the founder of which accompanied the Conqueror,
and was rewarded with grants of land for his services; a successor
of whom in the female line, Henry, the father of the famous
Hotspur, was created Duke of Northumberland in 1377.
Percy, Thomas, English prelate
and antiquary, born at Bridgenorth, Shropshire, the son of a
grocer; devoted himself to the collection of old ballads, and
published in 1765 "Reliques of Ancient English Poetry";
he published also ballads of his own, among them "The Hermit
of Warkworth," and was the author of "O Nannie, wilt
thou gang wi' me?" he associated with Johnson, Burke, and
other notables of the period, and was a member of Dr. Johnson's
Literary Club; became bishop of Dromore in 1782, where he was
held in affectionate regard; was blind for some years before
he died (1729-1811).
Perdiccas, a favourite general
of Alexander the Great, who, when on his deathbed, took his
signet ring off his finger and gave it to him; he became an
object of distrust after Alexander's death, and was assassinated
Pereira, Jonathan, pharmacologist,
born in London; author of the "Elements of Materia Medica,"
a standard work; was examiner on the subject in London University
Perekop, Isthmus of,
connects the Crimea with the S. of Russia; is pierced by a ship-canal.
Perez, Antonio, Spanish
statesman, and minister of Philippe II., born in Aragon; was
the tool of the king in the murder of Escoveda, the confidant
of John of Austria; was convicted of betraying State secrets
and imprisoned, but escaped; being in possession of royal secrets,
which he published, Philippe tried every
means to arrest him, but Perez evaded capture, and found refuge
in France, where he died in poverty (1539-1611).
Perfectionism, the doctrine
that moral perfection is by divine grace attainable in the present
Perfectionists, an American
sect or society founded by John Humphrey Noyes in 1848 at Oneida,
New York State, on Communistic principles, but owning no law
save that of the Spirit, and subject to no criticism but the
judgment they freely passed on one another, a system which they
were obliged to modify in 1880 so far as to recognise the rights
of matrimony and the family, and to adopt the principle of a
joint-stock limited liability company, on which lines the community
is proving a prosperous one.
Pergamos, the citadel of Troy,
a name frequently given by the poets to the city itself.
Pergamos, an ancient city
of Mysia, in Asia Minor; founded by a colony of Greek emigrants
in 3rd century B.C., and eventually the centre of a province
of the name, which was subject for a time to Macedonia, but
threw off the yoke and became independent, till it became a
Roman province by bequest on the part of Attalus III. in 133
B.C. The city possessed a library second only to that of Alexandria,
contained one of the seven churches mentioned in the Revelation,
and gave its name to parchment, alleged to have been invented
Peri, in the Eastern mythology
a fairy being of surpassing beauty, begotten of fallen spirits,
and excluded from Paradise, but represented as leading a life
of pleasure and endowed with immortality; there were male Peris
as well as female, and they were intermediate between angels
Periander, the tyrant of Corinth
from 625 to 585 B.C., was one of the seven sages of Greece,
and a patron of literature and the arts; Arion and Anacharsis
lived at his Court.
Pericles, the great Athenian
statesman, born in Athens, of noble parentage; was a devoted
disciple of Anaxagoras; entered public life 467 B.C. as a democrat,
and soon became head of the democratic party, to the increase
of the power of the citizens and annihilation of the domination
of the oligarchy centred in the Areopagus; hostile to territorial
aggrandisement, he sought, as his chief ambition, the unification
of Greece in one grand confederacy, but was defeated in this
noble aim by the jealousy of Sparta; he put down all rivalry,
however, in Athens itself, and established himself as absolute
ruler with the consent of the citizens, reforming the laws,
adorning the city, and encouraging literature and the arts,
masters, many wise in the one and skilful in the other, he had
at his disposal, such as few or none of the cities of the world
had ever before or have had since; the resulting prosperity
did but enhance the envy of the other States, Sparta in particular,
and two years before he died the spirit of hostility took shape
in the outbreak of the Peloponnesian
War (q. v.); he had surrounded the city with walls,
and his policy was to defend it from within them rather than
face the enemy in the field, but it proved fatal, for it tended
to damp rather than quicken the ardour of the citizens, and
to add to this a plague broke out among them in 430 B.C., which
cut down the most valiant of their number, and he himself lay
down to die the year after; he was a high-souled, nobly-bred
man, great in all he thought and did, and he gathered around
him nearly all the noble-minded and noble-hearted men of his
time to adorn his reign and make Athens the envy of the world;
d. 429 B.C.
a French banker and politician, born at Grenoble; took part
in the Revolution of 1830, became Minister of the Interior in
1831; suppressed the insurrections at Paris and Lyons; died
of cholera (1777-1832).
Perigee, the point in the orbit
of the moon or a planet nearest the earth.
Périgord, an ancient
territory of France, S. of Guienne, famous for its truffles,
of which Périgueux (q.
v.) was the capital; united to the Crown of France by Henry
IV. in 1589, it is now part of the department of Dordogne and
part of Lot-et-Garonne.
Périgueux (31), chief
town of the department of Dordogne, France, on the Isle, 95
m. by rail NE. of Bordeaux, is a narrow irregular town with
a cathedral after St. Mark's in Venice, museum of antiquities,
and library; iron and woollens are the industries; truffles
and truffle pies are exported.
Perihelion, the point on
the orbit of a planet or comet nearest the sun.
Perim, a small barren, crescent-shaped
island at the mouth of the Red Sea, belonging to Britain, and
used as a coaling-station.
the name given to the philosophy of Aristotle, from his habit
of walking about with his disciples as he philosophised in the
shady walks of the Lyceum.
Pernambuco (130), a seaport
in N. Brazil, consists of three portions connected by bridges:
Recife, on a peninsula, the business quarter; San Antonio, the
modern quarter, on an intermediate island; and Bon Vista, on
the mainland; manufactures cotton and tobacco, and has shipbuilding
yards; the trade chiefly with England, the United States, and
France; it is the capital of a province (1,100) of the name,
producing sugar and cotton.
Peronella, in fairy legend
a pretty country lass who exchanges places with an old wizened
queen, and receives the homage due to royalty, but gladly takes
back her rags and beauty.
Perowne, Stewart, Bishop
of Worcester, born at Burdwân, of Huguenot extraction,
educated at Cambridge; became a Fellow of Corpus Christi; held
several academic and ecclesiastical appointments; an eminent
Hebrew scholar and exegete; his chief work a commentary on the
Psalms; b. 1823.
Perpignan (28), a town on
the Têt, 7 m. from the sea; a fortress in the French department
of Pyrénées-Orientales; has a cathedral of the
14th century and a bourse in Moorish-Gothic, and manufactures
wine and brandy; belonged originally to Aragon; was taken by
France in 1475, and retaken, after restoration to Spain, in
1642, since which time it has belonged to France.
Perrault, Charles, French
man of letters, born in Paris; bred to the bar; distinguished
as the author of inimitable fairy tales, which have immortalised
his name, as "Puss in Boots," "Cinderella," "Bluebeard," &c.,
as also "Parallel des Anciens et des Modernes," in
which his aim was to show—an ill-informed attempt—that
the ancients were inferior in everything to the moderns (1628-1703).
Persecutions of the
Church, by which are meant those at the hands of Imperial
Rome, are usually reckoned 10 in number, viz., those under Nero
in 64, Domitian 95, Trajan 107, Hadrian 125, Marcus Aurelius
165, Severus 202, Maximinus 235, Decius 249, Valerianus 257,
and Diocletian 303; besides these there were others quite as
deadly within the Church itself on the part of orthodox against
heterodox, or Catholic against Protestant,
and Established against Nonconformist.
Persephone, in the Greek
mythology the daughter of Zeus and Demeter, the Proserpine of
the Romans. See Proserpine.
Persepolis, the ancient capital
of Persia, represented now by its ruins, which stand 25 m. from
the NW. shores of Lake Niris, on the banks of the Murghab River,
though in its palmy days it was described as "the Glory
of the East."
Perseus, in the Greek mythology
the son of Zeus and Danaë, and the grandson of Acrisius,
king of Argos, of whom it was predicted before his birth that
he would kill his grandfather, who at his birth enclosed both
his mother and him in a chest and cast it into the sea, which
bore them to an island where they became slaves of the king,
Polydectes, who sought to marry Danaë; failing in his suit,
and to compel her to submission, he ordered Perseus off to fetch
him the head of the Medusa; who, aided by Hermes and Athena,
was successful in his mission, cut off the head of the Medusa
with the help of a mirror and sickle, brought it away with him
in a pouch, and after delivering and marrying Andromeda in his
return journey, exposed the head before Polydectes and court
at a banquet, which turned them all into stone, whereupon he
gave the Gorgon's head to Athena to place on her shield, and
set out for Argos; Acrisius hearing of his approach fled, but
was afterwards killed accidentally by his grandson, who in throwing
a discus had crushed his foot.
Persia (7,000), occupies the
tableland 5000 ft. high between the Persian Gulf and Arabian
Sea on the S., the Caspian Sea and Turkestan on the N., Armenia
on the W., and Afghanistan and Beluchistan on the E., and is
a country three times as large as France; lofty mountain ranges
traverse it from NW. to SE. and gird its northern boundary;
the highest peak is Mount Demavend, 18,500 ft., in the Elburz,
overlooking the Caspian. Most of the rivers evaporate inland;
only one is navigable, the Karun, in the SW.; Lake Urumiyah,
in the NW., is the largest, a very salt and shallow sheet of
water. The eastern half of the country is largely desert, where
the sand is swept about in clouds by the winds. With little
rain, the climate is intensely hot in summer and cold in winter.
Forests clothe the outer slopes of the mountains, and scanty
brushwood the inner plains. Wheat and barley are grown on higher
levels, and cotton, sugar, and fruits on the lower, all with
the help of Irrigation. Agriculture is the chief industry; there
are manufactures of carpets, shawls, and porcelain. The internal
trade is carried on by caravans; foreign trade is not extensive,
and is chiefly in Russian hands; the exports include opium,
carpets, pearls, and turquoises. The capital is Teheran (210),
a narrow, crooked, filthy town, at the southern foot of the
Elburz. Tabriz (180), in the NW., is the emporium of trade.
Ispahân (60), Meshed (60), Barfurush (60), and Shiraz
(30) are the other important towns. The Government is despotic;
the emperor is called the Shah. The people are courteous and
refined in manner, witty, and fluent in speech; they are of
Aryan stock and Mohammedan faith. The original empire of Persia
was established by Cyrus 537 B.C. A century later decay set
in. Revival under Parthian and Sassanian dynasties lasted from
138 B.C. till A.D. 639. Persia became then a province of the
Arabs. From the 14th century it fell under Mongol sway, and
again in the 16th century under Turkish. The present dynasty
was founded in 1795. The future of the country is in Russian
and British hands.
Persian Gulf, a great inland
sea lying between Arabia and Persia, and entered from the Indian
Ocean through the Gulf of Oman; is 650 m. long and from 50 to
250 m. broad. The Arabian coast is low and sandy, the Persian
high. The chief islands are in the W., where also is the Great
Pearl Bank. The only river of importance received is the Shat-el-Arab,
which brings down the waters of the Euphrates and the Tigris.
Persian Wars, wars conducted
by Persia in the three expeditions against Greece, first in
490 B.C. under Darius, and defeated by the Athenians under Miltiades
at Marathon; the second, 480 B.C., under Xerxes, opposed by
Leonidas and his 300 Spartans at Thermopylæ and defeated
by the Athenians under Themistocles at Salamis by sea; and the
third, in 479 B.C., under Xerxes, by the Greeks under the Spartan
Pausanius at Platæa.
Persians, a name given to sculptured
draped male figures used as columns.
Persians, The, belonged
to the Aryan race, hence Iran, the original name of their country;
they were related rather to the Western than the Eastern world,
and it is from them that continuous history takes its start;
they first recognised an ethereal essence, which they called
Light, as the principle of all good, and man as related to it
in such a way that, by the worship of it, he became assimilated
to it himself. Among them first the individual subject stood
face to face with a universal object, and claimed a kinship
with it as the light of life. The epoch thus created was the
emancipation of the human being from dependent childhood to
self-dependent manhood, and it constituted the first epoch in
the self-conscious history, which is the history proper, of
the human race. The idea the Persians formed of the principle
of good came far short of the reality indeed, but they first
saw that it was of purely illuminating quality and universal,
and that the destiny of man was to relate himself to it, to
know, worship, and obey it. With the ethereal principle of good
they associated an equally ethereal principle of evil, and,
as they identified the one with light, they identified the other
with darkness. Man they regarded as related to both, and his
destiny to adore the one and disown the other as master. As
the light had no portion in the darkness, and the darkness no
portion in the light, the religion arose which pervades that
of the Bible, which requires the children of the former to separate
from those of the latter.
Persiflage, a French term
for a light, quizzing mockery, or scoffing, specially on serious
subjects, out of a cool, callous contempt for them.
Persigny, Fialin, Duc de,
a French statesman, a supporter all along of Louis Napoleon,
abetting him in all his efforts to attain the throne of France,
from the affair of Strasburg in 1836 to the coup d'état
of December 1851, and becoming in the end Minister of the Interior
under him; had to leave France at his fall (1806-1872).
Persius, the last king of Macedonia;
was conquered by Paulus Æmilius, and died captive at Rome
Persius, Roman satirist, born
in Etruria, was a pupil and friend of Cornutus the Stoic; a
man much esteemed, who died young, only 28; wrote six short
satires in the purity of a white-souled manhood, of much native
vigour, though not equal to those of Horace and Juvenal, and
that have commanded the regard of all scholars down to the present
time; they have often been translated (34-62).
Perth (30), the county-town of
Perthshire, on the Tay, 22 m. W. of Dundee: is a beautifully
situated town, with fine buildings, the
only old one being the restored St. John's Church. Its industries
are dyeing and ink-making. At Scone, 2 m. distant, the kings
of Scotland were crowned; and the murder of James I., the Gowrie
conspiracy, and the battle of Tippermuir are but a few of its
many historical associations. "The Five Articles of Perth,"
adopted by a General Assembly held there in 1618, did much to
precipitate the conflict between the Royal power and the Scottish
Church; they enjoined kneeling at the Lord's Supper, observance
of Christmas, Good Friday, Easter, and Pentecost, confirmation,
and the private administration of the sacraments.
Perth (8), the capital of West
Australia, on the Swan River.
Perthshire (122), the most
beautiful and varied county in Scotland, occupies the whole
of the Tay Valley and part of the Forth, and is bounded by nine
other counties. The N. and W. are mountainous, with many rivers
and lakes, and much of the finest scenery in Scotland; the Trossachs
and Loch Katrine are world famed. In the E. is extensive woodland
and the Carse of Gowrie, one of the most fertile of Scottish
plains. Ben Lawers is the highest mountain, Loch Tay the largest
lake. Much of the soil is good only for sheep farms, deer forests,
and grouse moors; the county is visited annually by thousands
of tourists and sportsmen.
Pertinax, Helvius, Roman
emperor in succession to Commodus; rose from the ranks by his
military services to the imperial dignity, which he was pressed
to accept against his will, and was assassinated by the Prætorian
Guards less than three months after, in consequence of the reforms
he projected in order to restore the ancient discipline of the
Perturbations, name given
to irregularities or slight deviations in the movement of a
heavenly body, due chiefly to the neighbourhood of another point
in its orbit.
Peru (3,000), a country in the
W. of South America, twice the size of Austro-Hungary, lies
between Brazil and Bolivia and the Pacific, with Ecuador on
the N. and Chile on the S.; it consists of a seaboard plain,
hot and rainless, but intersected by rich river courses, in
which sugar, cotton, and coffee are grown; the Andes chains,
snow-tipped and presenting every kind of climate and variety
of vegetation on their slopes and in their valleys, rich in
minerals and yielding chiefly great quantities of silver; and
the Montana, the eastward slopes of the Andes, clad with valuable
forests where the cinchona is cultivated, and the upland basins
of the Ucayalé River and the Upper Amazon, very fertile,
with great coffee and cacao plantations and abundant rain; the
chief articles of export are silver, nitre, guano, sugar, and
wool. Lima (200), the capital, is 8 m. inland from its port
Callao (35); has an old cathedral, and is the chief centre of
commerce; its principal merchants are Germans. The government
is republican; the ruling classes are of Spanish descent, but
half of the population are Inca Indians and a quarter are half-castes.
From the 12th to the 16th centuries the Incas enjoyed a high
state of civilisation and an extensive empire administered on
socialistic principles; they attained great skill in the industries
and arts. The Spanish conqueror Pizarro, landing in 1532, overthrew
the empire and established the colony; after three centuries
of oppression Peru threw off the Spanish yoke in 1824. The history
of the republic has been one of continual restlessness, and
a war with Chile 1879-84 ended in complete disaster; recovery
is slowly progressing.
Perugia (17), Italian walled
city on the right bank of the Tiber, 127 m. by rail N. of Rome,
with a cathedral of the 15th century, some noteworthy churches,
a Gothic municipal palace, picture gallery, university, and
library; is rich in art treasures and antiquarian remains; it
has silk and woollen industries; it was anciently called Perusia,
and one of the cities of ancient Etruria, and in its day has
experienced very varied fortunes; it was the centre of the Umbrian
school of painting.
Perugino, his proper name
Vannucci, Italian painter, born near Perugia, whence
his name; studied with Leonardo da Vinci at Florence, where
he chiefly resided; was one of the teachers of Raphael, painted
religious subjects, did frescoes for churches that have nearly
all perished, a "Christ giving the Keys to Peter"
being the best extant; Ruskin contrasts his work with Turner's; "in
Turner's distinctive work," he says, "colour is scarcely
acknowledged unless under influence of sunshine ... wherever
the sun is not, there is melancholy and evil," but "in
Perugino's distinctive work"—to whom he therefore
gives "the captain's place over all"—"there
is simply no darkness, no wrong. Every colour
is lovely and every space is light; the world, the universe,
is divine; all sadness is a part of harmony, and all gloom a
part of light" (1446-1524).
Peschiera, one of the fortresses
of the Quadrilateral (q.
v.), on an island in the Mincio, 14 m. W. of Verona.
Peshawar or Peshawur
(84), a town on the Indian frontier, and centre of trade with
Afghanistan, is 10 m. from the entrance of the Khyber Pass,
on the Kabul River, and though ill-fortified is a bulwark of
the empire, being provided with a large garrison of infantry
Peshito (i. e. simple),
a version of the Bible in Syriac, executed not later than the
middle of the 2nd century for Judaic Christians in the Syrian
Church, the version of the Old Testament being executed direct
from the Hebrew and that of the New being the first translation
of the Greek of it into a foreign tongue, and both of value
in questions affecting exegesis and the original text; the New
Testament version contains all the books now included except
the Apocalypse, Jude, 2 Peter, and 2 and 3 John.
Pessimism, a name given now
to a habit of feeling, now to a system of opinion; as the former
it denotes a tendency to dwell on the dark or gloomy side of
things, culminating in a sense of their vanity and nothingness,
while in the latter it is applied to all systems of opinion
which lay the finger on some black spot in the structure of
the life of the world or of the universe, which so long as it
remains is thought to render it unworthy of existence.
Heinrich, a celebrated educationist, born at Zurich;
founder of a natural system of education, beginning with childhood,
and who, however unsuccessful in the working of it himself from
his want of administrative faculty, persuaded others by his
writings to adopt it, especially in Germany, and to adopt it
both enthusiastically and successfully; his method, which he
derived from Rousseau, was based on the study of human nature
as we find it born in the child, and it aimed at the harmonious
development of all its innate capabilities, beginning with the
most rudimentary (1745-1827).
Pesth or Budapest (492),
on the left bank of the Danube, forming one municipality with
Buda on the right, is the capital of Hungary, and 173 m. by
rail E. of Vienna; Pesth is built on a plain,
joined to Buda by three bridges, the
last on the Danube, and is a thriving modern city, with picture
galleries, parliament house, library, university, science schools,
many baths, and public gardens; it makes machinery, agricultural
implements, cutlery, flour, &c., and does a great trade
in corn, wool, hides, wines, and bacon.
Petalism, banishment in Sparta
similar to ostracism in Athens, procured by writing the name
on an olive leaf.
Petard, a cone-shaped explosive
machine for bursting open gates, barriers, &c., made of
iron and filled with powder and ball.
Petasus, the winged-cap of the
Petchora, the largest river
in Northern Russia, rises in the Ural Mountains and flows N.
through Vologda and Archangel, then westward and N. again, entering
the Arctic Ocean by a large, island-studded estuary, after a
course of 1000 m. through sombre forests and wild, sombre scenery.
Peter, the Apostle,
originally called Simon, was a fisherman on the Sea of Galilee;
one of the first called by Christ to become a disciple; the
first to recognise, as the foundation-stone of the Church, the
divinity in the humanity of His Master, and the first thereafter
to recognise and proclaim that divinity as glorified in the
cross, to whom in recognising which, especially the former,
was committed the keys of the kingdom of heaven, and who accordingly
was the first to open the door of it to the Gentile world. He
was the principal figure in the history of the early Christian
Church, but was soon eclipsed by the overpowering presence and
zeal of Paul. Tradition, indeed, has something to tell of him,
but from it little of trustworthy can be gathered except that
he finished his career by martyrdom in the city of Rome. This
Apostle is represented in Christian art as an old man, bald-headed,
with a flowing beard, dressed in a white mantle, and holding
a scroll in his hand, his attributes being the keys, and a sword
in symbol of his martyrdom.
Peter, the First Epistle
of, addressed especially to Jewish Christians in certain
churches of Asia Minor, the members of which were suffering
persecution at the hands of their adversaries as evil-doers;
was written to exhort them to rebut the charge by a life of
simple well-doing, and to comfort them under it with the promise
of the return of the Lord.
Peter, the Second Epistle
Of, addressed to all who anywhere bore the Christian
name; appears to have been written not long before his death
to counteract certain fatal forms of error, at once doctrinal
and practical, that had already begun to creep into the Church,
and against which we meet with the same warnings in the Epistle
of Jude, the doctrinal error being the denial of Christ as Lord,
and the practical the denial of Him as the way, the truth, and
the life, to the peril of the forfeiture of eternal life.
Peter, the Wild Boy,
a savage creature of 13 years of age, found in 1725 in a forest
of Hanover, who was accustomed to walk on all fours, and climb
trees like a squirrel, living on wild plants, grass, and moss,
and who could not be weaned from these habits, or taught to
speak more than a syllable or two; he wore a brass collar with
his name on it; at length refused all food, and died in 1786.
Peter Martyr, 1, a Dominican
notorious for his severity as a member of the Inquisition, murdered
by a mob at Como in 1252, became the patron saint of the Inquisition.
2, A Protestant reformer, born at Florence, became a monk and
abbot at Lucca, from which, on embracing the doctrines of the
Reformation, he was forced to flee, first to Switzerland and
then to England in the reign of Edward VI., but had to retreat
from thence also on the accession of Mary to Strasburg, and
at length to Zurich, where he died (1500-1562). 3, A historian,
born at Arona, rose to become bishop of Jamaica, wrote on the
discovery of America, d. 1525.
Peter the Great, emperor
of Russia, son of the Czar Alexei, born at Moscow; succeeded
his half-brother Feodor in 1682, but was forced for a time to
share the throne with his half-sister Sophia, acting as regent
for her brother Ivan; conscious of his imperfect education,
he chose a Genoese named Lefort as his preceptor, and after
some years' careful training he deposed Sophia, and entered
Moscow as sole ruler in 1689; with the help of Lefort and Patrick
Gordon, a Scotsman, he proceeded to raise and discipline an
army on the European model, and determined also to construct
a navy; to reach the sea he made war on the Turks, and possessed
himself of the port of Azov, at the mouth of the Don; hither
he invited skilled artificers from Austria, Venice, Prussia,
and Holland, and a navy was built; from 1697 to 1698 he visited
the countries on the Baltic and England, acquiring vast stores
of information, working as a shipwright in the Dutch yards,
and finally taking back with him an army of mechanics; on his
return he vigorously reformed the Russian press, schools, and
church, introduced European manners and literature, and encouraged
foreign trade; desirous now of an opening on the Baltic, he
began in 1700 a long contest with Sweden, marked first by many
defeats, notably that of Narva, then the seizure of Ingria,
and founding of the new capital St. Petersburg 1703, the victory
of Pultowa 1712, seizure of the Baltic provinces and part of
Finland 1713, and finally by the Peace of 1721, which ceded
the conquered territories to Russia; in 1711 the Turks had recovered
Azov; in 1722 war with Persia secured him three Caspian provinces;
Peter pursued a vigorous and enlightened policy for the good
of Russia, but his disposition was often cruel; his son Alexei
was put to death for opposing his reforms, and on his own death
he was succeeded by the Empress Catherine I., the daughter of
a peasant, who had been his mistress, and whom he had married
in 1712 (1672-1725).
Peter the Hermit, a monk,
born in Amiens, of good family, who is credited with having
by his preaching kindled the enthusiasm in Europe which led
to the first Crusade; he joined it himself as the leader of
an untrained rabble, but made a poor figure at the siege of
Antioch, where he was with difficulty prevented from deserting
the camp; he afterwards founded a monastery near Liège,
where he died (1050-1115).
Peterborough (25), an English
cathedral city, on the Nen, partly in Huntingdonshire and partly
in Northamptonshire, on the edge of the Fen country, 76 m. N.
of London; has an old town-hall, manufactures of farm implements,
trade in malt and coal, and is a great railway centre; the cathedral
is one of the finest in Britain, of very varied architecture,
was restored and reopened afterwards in 1890.
Charles Mordaunt, Earl of, saw some active service as
a volunteer in Charles II.'s navy, and on the accession of James
II. threw himself into politics as an opponent of the king;
William III. showed him great favour; he was of the Queen's
Council of Regency when William was in Ireland, but imprudent
intriguing brought him a short confinement in the Tower in 1697;
the war of the Spanish Succession was the
opportunity which brought him fame; appointed to the command
of the British and Dutch forces, which fought for Charles of
Austria, he reduced Barcelona 1705, and Valencia 1706; retook
Barcelona from the French, and but for Charles's hindrance would
have entered Madrid; differences with other generals led to
his recall in 1707; the rest of his life was spent in retirement;
he was the friend of Pope, and held by him in genuine esteem;
he died in Lisbon (1658-1735).
Peterhead (12), a seaport
on the E. coast of Aberdeenshire, 30 m. NE. of Aberdeen; built
irregularly of reddish granite; has a free library and museum,
and is the seat of a convict prison; the chief industry is herring-fishing;
there are two harbours, and a third, a great harbour of refuge,
is in course of construction.
Peterhof (14), a town on the
Gulf of Finland, 18 m. W. of St. Petersburg, with a palace of
the Czar built in 1711 by Peter the Great.
Peterloo, a name, suggested
by Waterloo, given to an insurrectionary gathering in 1819 of
workers in St. Peter's Field, Manchester, to demand Parliamentary
reform, and which was dispersed by the military to the sacrifice
of 13 lives and the wounding of 600, a proceeding which excited
wide-spread indignation, and contributed to promote the cause
which it was intended to defeat.
Peter's, St., church at Rome,
is built, it is alleged, over the tomb of St. Peter, and on
the site of the basilica erected by Constantine and Helena in
306. The original structure after falling into decay was begun
to be rebuilt in 1450, and finally consecrated by Urban XIII.
in 1626. It is the largest and grandest church in Christendom,
covers an area of over 26,000 square yards, the interior of
it in length being 206 yards, the transept 150 yards, the nave
150, and the dome 465. It contains thirty altars, and is adorned
with numerous statues and monuments.
Peter's Pence, an annual
tribute of a silver penny per household in England to support
the chair of St. Peter at Rome, and which continued more or
less to be levied from the end of the 8th century till the days
of Elizabeth, when it ceased. The payment has been revived since
1848 in Britain, France, and Belgium in compensation to the
Pope for loss of his territorial possessions.
Peterwardein (4), a strong
Austrian fortress on the right bank of the Danube, near the
Servian frontier, 40 m. NW. of Belgrade; stands among unhealthy
Pétion de Villeneuve,
Jérôme, born at Chartres; figured in the
French Revolution as a zealous republican, member of the Tiers État,
one of the commission to reconduct the royal family from Varennes;
was mayor of Paris in the year of the September massacres, 1792;
was first President of the Convention, and, though his influence
was declining, member of the first Committee of Defence, 1793;
his attack on Robespierre proving unsuccessful he committed
suicide; his body was afterwards found on the Landes of Bordeaux
half devoured by wolves; was surnamed the "Virtuous,"
as Robespierre the "Incorruptible"; was of the Girondist
party; had "unalterable beliefs, not hindmost of them,"
says Carlyle, "belief in himself" (1783-1793).
Petite Nature, a French
term applied to pictures containing figures less than life-size,
but with the effect of life-size.
Petition of Right,
a petition presented to Charles I. by the Commons in 1628, and
that became law by the king's acceptance of it. It sought for
and obtained the abolition of certain grievances which the country
unconstitutionally suffered from, such as taxation or levying
of money without consent of Parliament, imprisonment without
cause shown, billeting of troops, and recourse to martial law
in a time of peace. This petition Charles I. would at first
fain have evaded, but the Commons would be satisfied with nothing
less than its acceptance entire.
Petöfi, Sandor, celebrated
Magyar poet and patriot, born in the county of Pesth, of poor
parents; first announced himself as a poet in 1844; wrote a
number of war-songs; fought in the cause of the revolution of
1848, and fell in the battle of Schässburg; his poetry
inaugurated a new era in the literature of his country (1823-1849).
Petra, a ruined city, and once
the rock capital of Edom, and afterwards of Arabia Petræa;
was a place of some importance at one time as a commercial centre;
the name Petra signifies rock.
the famous Italian lyric poet, born at Arezzo, in Tuscany, whither
his father had gone when exiled with Dante from Florence; spent
his youth in Avignon; intended for the profession of law, devoted
his time to the study of Cicero and Virgil; met Laura in the
church of St. Clare there in 1327, a lady of surpassing beauty;
conceived a passion for her which she could not return, and
wrote sonnets in praise of her, which immortalised both himself
and her; after travel in France and Germany he retired in 1337
to the valley of Vaucluse, where he composed the most of his
poems, and his reputation reached its height in 1341, when he
was crowned laureate in the Capitol of Rome; he was in Italy
when tidings reached him of the death of Laura in 1348, on the
anniversary of the day when he first met her, upon which he
gave expression to his feelings over the event in a touching
note of it in his Virgil; we find him again at Rome in 1350,
and after moving from place to place settled in Arqua in 1370,
where he died; his Latin works are numerous, and include an
epic on the Second Punic war, Eclogues, Epistles in verse, and
Letters of value giving the details of his life; his fame rests
on his lyrics; by those alone he still lives, and that more
from the finished art in which they are written than from any
glow of feeling they kindle in the reader's heart (1304-1374).
Petri, Laurentius, a
Swedish Reformer; was a disciple of Luther; became professor
of Theology and first Protestant archbishop of Upsala, and superintended
the translation of the Bible into Swedish (1499-1573).
Petrie, Flinders, Egyptologist,
son of an Australian explorer; after explorations at Stonehenge,
surveyed the pyramids and temples of Ghizeh in 1881-82; excavated
for the Egyptian Exploration Fund Nankratis, Am, and Defenneh;
has achieved many other important works of the kind, and issued
a popular work, "Ten Years' Diggings in Egypt";
Petrie, George, Irish archæologist,
born in Dublin, of Scottish parentage; bred to art; executed
Irish landscapes, but is best known for his "Essay on the
Round Towers of Ireland," a work of no small interest (1790-1866).
Petroleum, is the common name
of a series of rock oils found in large quantities in the United
States and Canada, near Rangoon, and in the neighbourhood of
the Caspian Sea. The oil issues from the rocks, or is drawn
from subterranean reservoirs, where its presence is supposed
to result from natural distillation of vegetable and animal
substances, and after refining, put in the market as benzoline,
paraffin, and lubricating oil. It is extensively used in the
industries, and has been applied as fuel to steamships.
Pétroleuse, was a
name given to certain Parisian women of the Commune of 1871,
who poured petroleum on the Hôtel de Ville and other buildings
to burn them.
Petronius, a Roman satirist
and accomplished voluptuary at the court of Nero, and the director-in-chief
of the imperial pleasures; accused of treason, and dreading
death at the hands of the emperor his master, he opened his
veins, and by bandaging them bled slowly to death, showing the
while the same frivolity as throughout his life; he left behind
him a work, extant now only in fragments, but enough to expose
the abyss of profligacy in which the Roman world was then sunk
at that crisis of its fate; d. 63.
Pettie, John, painter, born
at Edinburgh; his works, chiefly historical, were numerous,
and of a high character (1839-1893).
Petty, Sir William,
political economist, born in Hampshire; was a man of versatile
genius, varied attainments, and untiring energy; was skilled
in medicine, in music, in mechanics, and in engineering, as
well as economics, to which especially he contributed by his
Petty Jury, a jury of 12 elected
to try a criminal case after a true bill against the accused
has been found by a Grand Jury.
Petty Officers, officers
in the navy, consisting of four grades, and corresponding in
function and responsibility to non-commissioned officers in
Petty Sessions, name given
to sessions of justices of the peace to try small cases without
Peutinger, Conrad, an
Augsburg antiquary, left at his death a 13th-century copy of
a 3rd-century map of the Roman military roads, now in the Imperial
Library at Vienna, known as the "Tabula Peutingeriana"
Pfäfers, hot springs near
a village of the same name in the Swiss canton of St. Gall;
have been in use for 800 years.
Pfahlbauten, lake dwellings
of prehistoric date in Switzerland.
Pfalz, the German name for the
Pfeiffer, Ida, a celebrated
traveller, born in Vienna; being separated from her husband,
and having completed the education of her two sons and settled
them in life, commenced her career of travel in 1842, in which
year she visited Palestine, in 1845 visited Scandinavia, in
1846 essayed a voyage round the world by Cape Horn, in 1851
a second by the Cape of Good Hope, and in 1856 an expedition
to Madagascar, returning at the end of each to Vienna and publishing
accounts of them (1797-1858).
Pffleiderer, Otto, a
philosophical theologian, born in Würtemberg, professor
at Jena, and afterwards at Berlin; has written on religion,
the philosophy of it and sundry developments of it, in an able
manner, as well as lectured on it in Edinburgh in connection
with the Gifford trust, on which occasion he was bold enough
to overstep the limits respected by previous lecturers between
natural and revealed religion, to the inclusion of the latter
within his range; b. 1830.
Pforzheim (29), manufacturing
town in Baden, in the N. of the Black Forest; manufactures gold
and silver ornaments, and has chemical and other factories.
Phædrus, a Latin fabulist,
of the age of Augustus, born in Macedonia, and settled in Rome;
originally a slave, was manumitted by Augustus; his fables,
97 in number, were written in verse, and are mostly translations
from Æsop, the best of them such as keep closely to the
Phaëthon (i. e.
the shining one, and so called from his father), the son of
Helios (q. v.); persuaded
his father to allow him for one day to drive the chariot of
the sun across the heavens, but was too weak to check the horses,
so that they rushed off their wonted track and nearly set the
world on fire, whereupon Zeus transfixed him with a thunderbolt,
metamorphosed his sisters who had yoked the horses for him into
poplars and their tears into amber.
Phalanstery, a body of people
living together on the Communistic principle of Fourier; also
the building they occupy.
Phalanx, among the Greeks a
body of heavy infantry armed with long spears and short swords,
standing in line close behind one another, generally 8 men deep,
the Macedonian being as much as 16; its movements were too heavy,
and it was dashed in pieces before the legions of Rome to its
extinction; it was superseded by the Roman legion.
Phalaris, a tyrant of Agrigentum,
in Sicily, in the 6th century, who is said, among other cruelties,
to have roasted the victims of his tyranny in a brazen bull
which bears his name; the "Letters of Phalaris," at
one time ascribed to him, have been proved to be spurious.
Phallus, a symbol of the generative
power of nature, being a representation of the male organ of
generation, and associated with rites and ceremonies of nature-worship
in the early stages of civilised life, and the worship of which
was supposed to have a magic influence in inducing fertility
among the flocks and herds, as well as in the soil of the earth.
Pharamond, a Knight of the
Round Table, and the reputed first king of the Franks.
Pharaoh, a name, now proper,
now common, given in the Old Testament to the kings of Egypt,
identified with that of the sun-god Phra, and applied to the
king as his representative on earth; some 10 of the name occur
in the Bible, and it is matter of difficulty often to distinguish
one from another.
Pharisees (i. e. Separatists),
a sect of the Jews who adopted or received this name because
of the attitude of isolation from the rest of the nation which
they were compelled to assume at the time of their origin. This
was some time between the years 165 and 105 B.C., on their discovery
that the later Maccabæan chiefs were aiming at more than
religious liberty, and in their own interests contemplating
the erection of a worldly kingdom that would be the death of
the theocratic, which it was the purpose of Providence they
should establish; this was the separate ground which they at
first assumed alone, but they in the end carried the great body
of the nation along with them. They were scrupulously exact
in their interpretation and observance of the Jewish law as
the rule to regulate the life of the Jewish community in every
department, and were the representatives of that legal tendency
which gave character to the development of Judaism proper during
the period which elapsed between the date of the Captivity and
the advent of Christianity. The law they observed, however,
was not the written law as it stood, but that law as expounded
by the oral law of the Scribes, as the sole key to its interpretation,
so that their attitude to the Law of Moses was pretty much the
same as that of the Roman Catholics and the High Churchmen in
relation to the Scriptures generally, and they were thus at
length the representatives of clericalism as well as legalism
in the Jewish Church, and in doing so they took their ground
upon a principle which is the distinctive article of orthodox
Judaism in the matter to the present day. In the days of Christ
they stood in marked opposition to the
Sadducees (q. v.) both
in their dogmatic views and their political principles. As against
them, on the dogmatic side, they believed in a spiritual world
and in an established moral order, and on the political their
rule was to abstain from politics, except in so far as they
might injuriously affect the life and interests of the nation;
but at that time they had degenerated into mere formalists,
whose religion was a conspicuous hypocrisy, and it was on this
account and their pretensions to superior sanctity that they
incurred the indignation and exposed themselves to the condemnation
Pharos, an island of ancient
Egypt, near Alexandria, on which the first lighthouse was erected
by Ptolemy Philadelphus in 48 B.C.
Pharsalia, a district in the
N. of Greece, the southern portion of the modern province of
Larissa; was the scene of Cæsar's victory over Pompey,
Phelps, Elizabeth Stuart,
American authoress, born at Andover; wrote "Gates Ajar"
and other popular stories, is a great advocate, by lecturing
and otherwise, for social reform and the emancipation of women;
Phelps, Samuel, an English
actor, born in Devonport; made his début as Shylock
in London at the Haymarket in 1837, achieved his greatest successes
in Sadler's Wells by his representation of Shakespeare's plays
and the works of eminent dramatists of the 18th century; was
distinguished in comedy as well as tragedy, in which last he
primarily appeared and established his fame (1804-1878).
Pherecydes, an ancient Greek
philosopher, born in Syros in 6th century B.C.; distinguished
as having had Pythagoras among his pupils, and believed to have
been the author of many of the doctrines promulgated by his
disciple and named Pythagorean.
Phidias, the greatest sculptor
and statuary of ancient Greece, born at Athens; flourished in
the time of Pericles, and was appointed by him to direct the
works of art projected to the beautifying of the city, and expressly
commissioned to execute certain of these works himself; the
chief work that he superintended was the erection of the Parthenon,
much of which he himself adorned; and of the statues he executed
the most famous were one of Athena of ivory and gold for the
Parthenon, and a colossal one of Zeus, his masterpiece, also
of ivory and gold, for Olympia; accused of having appropriated
some of the gold intended for the statue of Athena he was acquitted,
but was afterwards charged with impiety for carving his own
likeness and that of Pericles on the shield of the goddess,
and was thrown into prison, where he died, 432 B.C.
Philadelphia (1,293), largest
city in Pennsylvania, on the Delaware, 100 m. from the sea and
90 m. by rail SW. of New York; is the third city in the Union
in population, manufactures, and commerce, regularly built with
plain substantial dwelling-houses; recently more splendid public
buildings have been erected, the town-hall, of white marble,
is the second highest structure in the world; a masonic temple
and Government offices of granite and the Mint are also fine
buildings; there is a university and colleges of science, medicine,
art, and music, many churches, a Roman Catholic cathedral, and
many hospitals and charitable institutions; the industries include
locomotive building, saw-making, woollen and cotton goods, sugar
and oil refining, and chemical works; it trades largely in coal.
Founded by William Penn in 1682, it was the central point of
the War of Independence; the first Congress met here, and the
Declaration of Independence was signed (1776) in a building
still standing; here too the Federal Union was signed (1778)
and the constitution drawn up (1787), and from 1790 to 1800
it was the capital of the United States.
André, a celebrated composer and chess-player,
born at Dreux; wrote a number of operas; in regard to chess
his great maxim was "Pawns are the soul of chess";
fled at the time of the Revolution to London, where he died
Philæ, an island of syenite
stone in the Nile, near Assouan, in Nubia, 1200 ft. long and
50 ft. broad; is almost covered with ancient buildings of great
beauty, among which is a temple of Isis, with a great gateway
dating from 361 B.C., which was converted into a church in 577.
Philatory, a transparent reliquary
to contain and exhibit the bones and relics of saints.
Philemon, Epistle to,
a short letter by Paul to a member of the Church at Colossæ
on behalf of a slave, Onesimus, who had deserted his service,
gone off with some of his property, and taken refuge in Rome,
but had been converted to Christ, and whom he begs not to manumit,
but simply to receive back as a brother for his sake.
Philemon and Baucis,
in the Greek mythology a pair of poor people who, in fond attachment
to each other, lived in a small cottage in Phrygia by themselves
and gave hospitality to gods in disguise when every other door
was shut against them, and to whom, in the judgment that descended
upon their inhospitable neighbours, the gods were propitious,
and did honour by appointing them to priesthood, when they would
rather have been servants, in a temple metamorphosed out of
their cottage. Here they continued to minister to old age, and
had but one prayer for themselves, that they might in the end
die together; when as they sat at the door of the temple one
day, bent with years, they were changed, he into an oak and
she into a linden. This is Ovid's version of the story, to which
he adds as the moral of it, "Those who piously honour the
gods are themselves held in honour."
Philip, an Indian chief whose
father had been a staunch friend of the Pilgrim settlers, was
himself friendly to the colonists, till in 1671 their encroachments
provoked him to retaliation; after six years' fighting, in which
many colonists perished and great massacres of Indians took
place, he was defeated and slain, 1676.
Philip of Macedon, the
father of Alexander the Great, usurped the kingdom from the
infant king Amyntas, his nephew and ward, in 360 B.C.; having
secured his throne, he entered on a series of aggressive wars,
making expeditions into Thrace and Thessaly; the siege of Olynthus
brought him into conflict with Athens, the two cities being
allies, and occasioned some of the most brilliant orations of
Demosthenes; the successive appeals for his aid against their
enemies by the Thebans and the Argives led him into Greece and
into the Peloponnesus; in 339 B.C. a council of Greek cities
appointed him commander-in-chief of their leagued forces in
a projected war against the Locrians, but the Athenians and
Thebans opposed his coming; the defeat of their armies at Chæronea,
338 B.C., placed all Greece at his feet; his next project was
an expedition against Persia, but while preparations were on
foot he was assassinated at Ægæ; a man of unbridled
lust, he was an astute and unscrupulous politician, but of incomparable
eloquence, energy, and military skill (382-336 B.C.).
Philip II., Philip-Augustus,
king of France, shared the throne with his father, Louis VII.,
from 1179, and succeeded him as sole
ruler in 1180; marrying Isabella of Hainault, he united the
Capet and Carlovingian houses; his grand aim was to secure to
himself some of the English possessions in France; his alliance
with Richard of England in the third crusade ended in a quarrel;
returning to France he broke his oath to Richard by bargaining
with John for portions of the coveted territory; an exhausting
war lasted till 1119; on Richard's death Philip supported Arthur
against John in his claim to Anjou, Maine, and Touraine; after
Arthur's murder, the capture of Château Gaillard in 1204
gave him possession of these three provinces with Normandy and
part of Poitou; the victory of Bouvines 1214 secured his throne,
and the rest of his reign was spent in internal reforms and
the beautifying of Paris (1165-1223).
Philip IV., the Fair, king
of France, succeeded his father Philip III. in 1285; by his
marriage with Joanna of Navarre added Navarre, Champagne, and
Brie to his realm; but the sturdy valour of the Flemish burghers
at Courtrai on the "Day of Spurs" prevented the annexation
of Flanders; his fame rests on his struggle and victory over
the papal power; a tax on the clergy was condemned by Boniface
VIII. in 1296; supported by his nobles and burghers Philip burnt
the papal bull, imprisoned the legate, and his ambassador in
Rome imprisoned the Pope himself; Boniface died soon after,
and in 1305 Philip made Clement V. Pope; kept him at Avignon,
and so commenced the seventy years' "captivity"; he
forced Clement to decree the suppression of the Templars, and
became his willing instrument in executing the decree; he died
at Fontainebleau, having proved himself an avaricious and pitiless
Philip VI., of Valois, king
of France, succeeded Charles IV. in 1328; Edward III. of England
contested his claim, contending that the Salic law, though it
excluded females, did not exclude their male heirs; Edward was
son of a daughter, Philip son of a brother, of Philip IV.; thus
began the Hundred Years' War between France and England, 1337;
the French fleet was defeated off Sluys in 1340, and the army
at Crécy in 1346; a truce was made, when the war was
followed by the Black Death; the worthless king afterwards purchased
Philip II., king of Spain,
only son of the Emperor Charles V.; married Mary Tudor in 1554,
and spent over a year in England; in 1555 he succeeded his father
in the sovereignty of Spain, Sicily, Milan, the Netherlands,
Franche-Comté, Mexico, and Peru; a league between Henry
II. of France and the Pope was overthrown, and on the death
of Mary he married the French princess Isabella, and retired
to live in Spain, 1559. Wedding himself now to the cause of
the Church, he encouraged the Inquisition in Spain, and introduced
it to the Netherlands; the latter revolted, and the Seven United
Provinces achieved their independence after a long struggle
in 1579; his great effort to overthrow Protestant England ended
in the disaster of the Armada, 1588; his last years were embittered
by the failure of his intrigues against Navarre, raids of English
seamen on his American provinces, and by loathsome disease;
he was a bigot in religion, a hard, unloved, and unloving man,
and a foolish king; he fatally injured Spain by crushing her
chivalrous spirit, by persecuting the industrious Moors, and
by destroying her commerce by heavy taxation (1527-1598).
Philip V., grandson of Louis
XIV., first Bourbon king of Spain; inherited his throne by the
testament of his uncle Charles II. in 1700; the rival claim
of the Archduke Charles of Austria was supported by England,
Austria, Holland, Prussia, Denmark, and Hanover; but the long
War of the Spanish Succession terminated in the peace of Utrecht,
and left Philip his kingdom; after an unsuccessful movement
to recover Sicily and Sardinia for Spain he joined England and
France against the Emperor, and gained the former island for
his son Charles III.; he died an imbecile at Madrid (1683-1746).
Philip the Bold, Duke
of Burgundy, was the fourth son of John the Good, king of France;
taken captive at Poitiers 1356; on his return to France he received
for his bravery the duchies of Touraine and Burgundy; on his
brother's accession to the French throne as Charles V. he exchanged
the former duchy for the hand of Margaret of Flanders, on the
death of whose father he assumed the government of his territories;
his wise administration encouraged arts, industries, and commerce,
and won the respect and esteem of his subjects; he was afterwards
Regent of France when Charles V. became imbecile (1342-1404).
Philip the Good, grandson
of the above, raised the duchy to its zenith of prosperity,
influence, and fame; he was alternately in alliance with England,
and at peace with his superior, France; ultimately assisting
in driving England out of most of her Continental possessions
Philiphaugh, a battlefield
on the Yarrow, 3 m. W. of Selkirk, was the scene of Leslie's
victory over Montrose in 1645.
Philippi, a Macedonian city,
was the scene of a victory gained in 42 B.C. by Octavianus and
Antony over Brutus and Cassius, and the seat of a church, the
first founded by St. Paul in Europe.
to the, an Epistle of Paul written at Rome during his
imprisonment there to a church at Philippi, in Macedonia, that
had been planted by himself, and the members of which were among
the first-fruits of his ministry in Europe. The occasion of
writing it was the receipt of a gift from them, and to express
the joy it gave him as a token of their affection. It is the
least dogmatic of all his Epistles, and affords an example of
the Apostle's statement of Christian truth to unbiased minds;
one exhortation, however, shows he is not blind to the rise
of an evil which has been the bane of the Church of Christ since
the beginning, the spirit of rivalry, and this is evident from
the prominence he gives in chapter ii. 5-8 to the self-sacrificing
lowliness of Christ, and by the counsel he gives them in chapter
Philippic, the name originally
applied to Demosthenes' three great orations against Philip
of Macedon, then to Cicero's speeches against Mark Antony; now
denotes any violent invective written or spoken.
(8,500), a large and numerous group in the north of the Malay
archipelago, between the China Sea and the Pacific, of which
the largest, Luzon, and the next Mindanao, are both much greater
than Ireland; are mountainous and volcanic, subject to eruptions
and continuous earthquakes. In the N. of the group cyclones
too are common. The climate is moist and warm, but fairly healthy;
the soil is very fertile. Rice, maize, sugar, cotton, coffee,
and tobacco are cultivated; the forests yield dye-woods, hard
timber, and medicinal herbs, and the mines coal and iron, copper,
gold, and lead. The chief exports are sugar, hemp, and tobacco.
The aboriginal Negritoes are now few; half-castes are numerous;
the population is chiefly Malayan, Roman Catholic at least nominally
in religion, and speaking the Tagal or the Visayan language.
Discovered by Magellan in 1521, who was
killed on the island of Mactan; they were annexed by Spain in
1569, and held till 1898, when they fell to the Americans. The
capital is Manilla (270), on the W. coast of Luzon; Laoag (37),
San Miguel (35), and Banang (33) among the largest towns.
Philips, Ambrose, minor
poet, born in Leicester, of good family; friend of Addison and
Steele, and a Whig in politics; held several lucrative posts,
chiefly in Ireland; wrote pastorals in vigorous and elegant
verse, and also some short sentimental verses for children,
which earned for him from Henry Carey the nickname of "Namby-Pamby"
Philips, John, littérateur,
born in Oxfordshire, author of "The Splendid Shilling,"
an admirable burlesque in imitation of Milton, and a poem, "Cider,"
an imitation of Virgil (1676-1708).
poetess, born in London; was the daughter of a London merchant
and the wife of a Welsh squire, a highly sentimental but worthy
woman; the Society of Friendship, in which the members bore
fancy names—hers, which also served her for a nom de
plume, was Orinda—had some fame in its day, and brought
her, as the foundress, the honour of a dedication from Jeremy
Taylor; her work was admired by Cowley and Keats; she was a
staunch royalist (1631-1664).
Philistine, the name given
by the students in Germany to a non-university man of the middle-class,
or a man without (university) culture, or of narrow views of
Philistines, a people, for
long of uncertain origin, but now generally believed to have
been originally emigrants from Crete, who settled in the plain,
some 40 m. long by 15 broad, extending along the coast of Palestine
from Joppa on the N. to the desert on the S., and whose chief
cities were Ashdod, Askelon, Ekron, Gaza, and Gath; they were
a trading and agricultural people, were again and again a thorn
in the side of the Israelites, but gradually tamed into submission,
so as to be virtually extinct in the days of Christ; their chief
god was Dagon (q. v.).
Phillip, John, painter,
born in Aberdeen; his early pictures illustrate Scottish subjects,
his latest and best illustrate life in Spain, whither he had
gone in 1851 for his health (1817-1867).
Phillips, Wendell, slavery
abolitionist and emancipationist generally, born at Boston,
U.S., and bred to the bar; was Garrison's aide-de-camp in the
cause, and chief after his death (1811-1884).
Philo Judæus (i.
e. Philo the Jew), philosopher of the 1st century, born
in Alexandria; studied the Greek philosophy, and found in it,
particularly the teaching of Plato, the rationalist explanation
of the religion of Moses, which he regarded as the revelation
to which philosophy was but the key; he was a man of great learning
and great influence among his people, and was in his old age
one of an embassy sent by the Jews of Alexandria in A.D. 40
to Rome to protest against the imperial edict requiring the
payment of divine honours to the emperor; he identified the
Logos of the Platonists with the Word in the New Testament.
Philocretes, a famous archer,
who had been the friend and armour-bearer of Hercules who instructed
him in the use of the bow, and also bequeathed his bow with
the poisoned arrows to him after his death; he accompanied the
Greeks to the siege of Troy, but one of the arrows fell on his
foot, causing a wound the stench of which was intolerable, so
that he was left behind at Lemnos, where he remained in misery
10 years, till an oracle declared that Troy could not be taken
without the arrows of Hercules; he was accordingly sent for,
and being healed of his wound by Æsculapius, assisted
at the capture of the city.
Philomela, daughter of Pandion,
king of Athens, and sister of Progne; she was the victim of
an outrage committed by her brother-in-law Tereus, who cut out
her tongue to prevent her exposing him, and kept her in close
confinement; here she found means of communicating with her
sister, when the two, to avenge the wrong, made away with Itys,
Tereus' son, and served him up to his father at a banquet; the
fury of Tereus on the discovery knew no bounds, but they escaped
his vengeance, Philomela by being changed into a nightingale
and Progne into a swallow.
Philopoemon, the head of
the Achæcan League, born at Megalopolis, and the last
of the Greek heroes; fought hard to achieve the independence
of Greece, but having to struggle against heavy odds, was overpowered;
rose from a sick-bed to suppress a revolt, was taken prisoner,
thrown into a dungeon, and forced to drink poison (252-183 B.C.).
Philosophe, name for a philosopher
of the school of 18th century Enlightenment, represented by
the Encyclopedists (q.
v.) of France; the class have been characterised by the
delight they took in outraging the religious sentiment. See
was, with the Elixir of Life, the object of the search of the
mediæval alchemists. Their theory regarded gold as the
most perfect metal, all others being removed from it by various
stages of imperfection, and they sought an amalgam of pure sulphur
and pure mercury, which, being more perfect still than gold,
would transmute the baser metals into the nobler.
a philosophy such as the philosophers of France gave instances
of, founded on the notion and cultivated in the belief that
scientific knowledge is the sovereign remedy for the ills of
life, summed up in two articles—first, that "a lie
cannot be believed"; and second, that "in spiritual
supersensual matters no belief is possible," her boast
being that "she had destroyed religion by extinguishing
the abomination" (l'Infame).
Philosophy, the science of
sciences or of things in general, properly an attempt to find
the absolute in the contingent, the immutable in the mutable,
the universal in the particular, the eternal in the temporal,
the real in the phenomenal, the ideal in the real, or in other
words, to discover "the single principle that," as
Dr. Stirling says, "possesses within itself the capability
of transition into all existent variety and varieties,"
which it presupposes can be done not by induction from the transient,
but by deduction from the permanent as that spiritually reveals
itself in the creating mind, so that a Philosopher is
a man who has, as Carlyle says, quoting Goethe, "stationed
himself in the middle (between the outer and the inner, the
upper and the lower), to whom the Highest has descended and
the Lowest mounted up, who is the equal and kindly brother of
all." "Philosophy dwells aloft in the Temple of Science,
the divinity of the inmost shrine; her dictates descend among
men, but she herself descends not; whoso would behold her must
climb with long and laborious effort; may still linger in the
forecourt till manifold trial have proved him worthy of admission
into the interior solemnities." Indeed philosophy is more
than science (q. v.); it
is a divine wisdom instilled into and inspiring a thinker's
life. See Thinker, The.
Philoxenus, a Greek poet
who lived at the court of Dionysius the Elder, tyrant of Syracuse;
condemned to prison for refusing to praise
some verses of the tyrant, he was led forth to criticise others,
but returned them as worse, begging the officers who handed
them to lead him back, which when the tyrant was told, he laughed
and released him.
Philpotts, Henry, bishop
of Exeter, born in Bridgwater, a keen Tory and uncompromising
High-Churchman, the chief actor in the celebrated
Gorham case (q.
v.), and noted for his obstinate opposition to political
reform as the opening of the floodgates of democracy, which
he dreaded would subvert everything that was dear to him (1778-1869).
Philtre, the name given to certain
concoctions of herbs, often deleterious and poisonous, supposed
to secure for the person administering it the love of the person
to whom it was administered; these love potions were popular
in the declining days of Greece and Rome, throughout mediæval
Europe, and continue to be compounded to this day in the superstitious
Phiz, the pseudonym of Hablot K.
Browne, the illustrator of the first edition of the "Pickwick
Papers" of Dickens.
Phlegethon, in the Greek
mythology a river in the lower world which flowed in torrents
of fire athwart it, and which scorched up everything near it.
Phlogiston, a name given
by the old chemists to an imaginary principle of fire, latent
in bodies, and which escaped during combustion.
Phocas, a common soldier who
raised himself by the aid of a faction to the throne of the
East, and for twenty years defied attempts to dethrone him,
but, being deserted by his party, was taken, subjected to torture,
and beheaded in 610. "His reign," says Gibbon, "afflicted
Europe with ignominious peace, and Asia with desolating war."
Phocion, a distinguished Athenian
general and statesman, a disciple of Plato and Xenocrates; was
wise in council as well as brave in war; opposed to the democracy
of Athens, led on by Demosthenes in the frantic ambition of
coping with Philip of Macedon and his son Alexander; and pled
for a pacific arrangement with them; but having opposed war
with Antipater, the successor of the latter, he was accused
of treason, and condemned to drink hemlock; the Athenians afterwards
repented of the crime, raised a bronze statue to his memory,
and condemned his accuser to death.
Phocis, a province of ancient
Greece, W. of Boeotia, and N. of the Gulf of Corinth; was traversed
by the mountain range of Parnassus, and contained the oracle
of Apollo at Delphi; allied to Athens in the Peloponnesian War,
the Phocians were crushed in the "Sacred War" after
ten years' fighting by Philip of Macedon, 346 B.C.
Phoebus (i. e. the radiant
one), an epithet originally applied to Apollo for his beauty,
and eventually to him as the sun-god.
Phoenicia, a country on the
E. shore of the Levant, stretching inland to Mount Lebanon,
at first extending only 20 m. N. of Palestine, but later embracing
200 m. of coast, with the towns of Tyre, Zarephath, Sidon, Gebal,
and Arvad. The country comprised well-wooded hills and fertile
plains, was rich in natural resources, richer still in a people
of remarkable industry and enterprise. Of Semitic stock, they
emerge from history with Sidon as ruling city about 1500 B.C.,
and reach their zenith under Tyre 1200-750, thereafter declining,
and ultimately merging in the Roman Empire. During their prosperity
their manufactures, purple dye, glass ware, and metal implements
were in demand everywhere; they were the traders of the world,
their nautical skill and geographical position making their
markets the centres of exchange between East and West; their
ships sailed every sea, and carried the merchandise of every
country, and their colonists settled all over the Mediterranean, Ægean,
and Euxine, and even beyond the Pillars of Hercules, in Africa,
in Britain, and the countries on the Baltic. Her greatest colony
was Carthage, the founding of which (823 B.C.) sapped the strength
of the mother-country, and which afterwards usurped her place,
and contended with Rome for the mastery of the world. But Phoenicia's
greatest gift to civilisation was the alphabet, which she herself
may have developed from Egyptian hieroglyphics, and which, with
its great merit of simplicity, has, slightly altered, at length
superseded among civilised nations every other system.
Phoenix, a bird which was fabled
at the end of certain cycles of time to immolate itself in flames,
and rise renewed in youth from the ashes. It has become the
appropriate symbol of the death-birth that ever introduces a
new era in the history of the world, and is employed by Carlyle
in "Sartor" as symbol of the crisis through which
the present generation is now passing, the conflagration going
on appearing nowise as a mere conflagration, but the necessary
preliminary of a new time, with the germinating principles of
which it is pregnant.
Phoenix Park, a magnificent
public park of 2000 acres in Dublin; is much used for military
reviews; it was rendered notorious in 1882 through the murder
by the "Invincibles" of Lord Frederick Cavendish,
who had just been appointed Irish Secretary, and his subordinate,
Phonograph, an instrument
invented by Edison (q. v.)
in 1877 for recording and reproducing articulate sounds of the
voice in speech or song, and to which the name of phonogram
Photius, patriarch of Constantinople;
was the great promoter of the schism on the question of the
procession of the Holy Ghost, between the Eastern and the Western
divisions of the Church, denying as he did, and erasing from
the creed the filioque
article (q. v.); d. 891.
Photogravure, a process
of reproducing pictures from the negative of a photograph on
a gelatine surface with the assistance of certain chemical preparations.
Photosphere, name given
to the luminous atmosphere enveloping the sun.
Phototype, a block with impressions
produced by photography from which engravings, &c., can
Phrenology claims to be a
science in which the relation of the functions of mind to the
material of the brain substance is observed. It asserts that
just as speech, taste, touch, &c., have their centres in
certain convolutions of the brain, so have benevolence, firmness,
conscientiousness, &c., and that by studying the configuration
of the brain, as indicated by that of the skull, a man's character
may be approximately discovered. As a science it is usually
discredited, and held to be unsupported by physiology, anatomy,
and pathology. It is held as strongly militating against its
claims that it takes no account of the convolutions of the brain
that lie on the base of the skull. Its originators were Gall,
Spurzheim, and Andrew and George Combe.
Phrygia, a country originally
extending over the western shores of Asia Minor, but afterwards
confined to the western uplands, where are the sources of the
Hermus, Mæander, and Sangarius; was made up of barren
hills where sheep famous for their wool grazed, and fertile
valleys where the vine was cultivated;
marble was quarried in the hills, and gold was found; several
great trade roads from Ephesus crossed the country, among whose
towns the names of Colosse and Laodicea are familiar; the Phrygians
were an Armenian people, with a mystic orgiastic religion, and
were successively conquered by Assyrians, Lydians, and Persians,
falling under Rome in 43 B.C.
Phrygian Cap, a cap worn
by the Phrygians, and worn in modern times as the symbol of
Phryné, a Greek courtesan,
celebrated for her beauty; was the model to Praxiteles of his
statue of Venus; accused of profaning the Eleusinian Mysteries,
she was brought before the judges, to whom she exposed her person,
but who acquitted her of the charge, to preserve to the artists
the image of divine beauty thus recognised in her.
Phtah, a god of ancient Egypt,
worshipped at Memphis; identified with Osiris and Socaris, and
placed by the Egyptians at the head of the dynasty of the kings
Phylacteries, strips of
vellum inscribed with certain texts of Scripture, enclosed in
small cases of calf-skin, and attached to the forehead or the
left arm; originally connected with acts of worship, they were
eventually turned to superstitious uses, and employed sometimes
as charms and sometimes by way of ostentatious display.
a school of economists founded by Quesney, who regarded the
cultivation of the land as the chief sources of natural well-being,
and argued for legislation in behalf of it.
Piacenza (35), an old Italian
city on the Po, 43 m. by rail SE. of Milan; has a cathedral,
and among other churches the San Sisto, which contains the Sistine
Madonna of Raphael, a theological seminary, and large library;
it manufactures silks, cottons, and hats, and is a fortress
of great strategical importance.
Pia-mater, a membrane which
invests the brain and the spinal cord; it is of a delicate vascular
Piarists, a purely religious
order devoted to the education of the poor, founded in 1599
by a Spanish priest, and confirmed in 1617 by Paul V., and again
in 1621 by Gregory XV.
Piazzi, Italian astronomer; discovered
in 1801 a planet between Mars and Jupiter, which he named Ceres,
and the first of the planetoids recognised, as well as afterwards
catalogued the stars (1746-1826).
Pibroch, the Highland bagpipe;
also the wild, martial music it discourses.
Picador, a man mounted on horseback
armed with a spear to incite the bull in a bull-fight.
Picardy, a province in the N.
of France, the capital of which was Amiens; it now forms the
department of Somme, and part of Aisne and Pas-de-Calais.
Piccolomini, the name of
an illustrious family of science in Italy, of which Æneas
Silvius (Pope Pius II.) was a member; also Octavio I., Duke
of Amalfi, who distinguished himself, along with Wallenstein,
in the Thirty Years' War at Lützen in 1632, at Nordlinger
in 1634, and at Thionville in 1639; was one of the most celebrated
soldiers that had command of the imperial troops (1599-1656).
Pichegru, Charles, French
general, born at Arbois, in Jura; served with distinguished
success in the army of the Republic on the Rhine and in the
Netherlands, but sold himself to the Bourbons, and being convicted
of treason, was deported to Cayenne, but escaped to England,
where in course of time he joined the conspiracy of Georges
Cadoudal against the First Consul, and being betrayed, was imprisoned
in the Temple, where one morning after he was found strangled
Pickwick, Samuel, the
hero of Dickens's "Pickwick Papers," a character distinguished
for his general goodness and his honest simplicity.
Pico, one of the Azores, consisting
of a single volcanic mountain, still in action; produces excellent
Pico della Miran`dolo,
a notable Italian champion of the scholastic dogma, who challenged
all the learned of Europe to enter the lists with him and controvert
any one of 900 theses which he undertook to defend, a challenge
which no one, under ban of the Pope, dared accept; he was the
last of the schoolmen as well as a humanist in the bud, and
was in his lifetime, with an astonishing forecast of destiny,
named the Phoenix (q. v.)
Picquart, Colonel, French
military officer; was distinguished as a student at the military
schools; served in Algiers; became a captain in 1880; was appointed
to the War Office in 1885; served with distinction in Tonquin;
became professor at the Military School; rejoined the War Office
in 1893, and was made head of the Intelligence Department in
1896; moved by certain discoveries affecting Esterhazy, began
to inquire into the Dreyfus case, which led to his removal out
of the way to Tunis; returned and exposed the proceedings against
Dreyfus, with the result that a revision was demanded, and the
charge confirmed; b. 1854.
Picton, Sir Thomas,
British general, born in Pembroke; served in the West Indies,
and became governor of Trinidad, also in the Walcheren Expedition,
and became governor of Flushing, and in the Peninsula and at
Waterloo, where he fell as he was leading his men to the charge
Picts, a race of people now believed
to be of Celtic origin, that from 296 to 844 inhabited the NE.
of Caledonia from the Forth to the Pentland Firth, and were
divided into northern and southern by the Grampians, while the
W. of the country, or Argyll, was occupied by the Dalriads or
Scots from Ireland, who eventually gained the ascendency over
them, to their amalgamation into one nation.
Picts' Houses, the name
popularly given to earth-houses
(q. v.) in several parts of Scotland.
Pied Piper of Hamelin,
the hero of an old German legend, had come to a German town,
offered to clear it of the rats which infested it for a sum
of money, but after executing his task was unrewarded, upon
which he blew a blast on his magic pipe, the sound of which
drew the children of the town into a cave, which he locked when
they entered, and shut them up for ever.
Piedmont, a district of Italy,
formerly a principality, ruled by the house of Savoy, surrounded
by the Alps, the Apennines, and the river Ticino; occupies the
W. end of the great fertile valley of the Po, a hilly region
rich in vines and mulberries, and a mountainous tract with forests
and grazing land intersected by lovely valleys, which send streams
down into the Po; the people are industrious; textile manufactures
are extensive, and agriculture is skilful; Turin, the largest
town, was the capital of Italy 1859-1865; in the glens of the
Cottian Alps the Vaudois or Waldenses, after much persecution,
Pierce, Franklin, the
fourteenth President of the United States, born in New Hampshire,
was the lifelong friend of Nathaniel Hawthorne; bred to the
bar; served in the Mexican War, and was
elected President in 1852; his period of office was one
of trouble, he supported the States' rights doctrine, and served
with the South in the Civil War (1804-1869).
Pieria, a district in Macedonia
E. of Olympus, inhabited by Thracians, and famous as the seat
of the worship of the Muses and their birthplace, giving rise
to the phrase Pierian Spring, as the source of poetic inspiration.
Pierides, the name given to
the Muses from their fountain Pieria
Piers Plowman, Vision of,
a celebrated satirical poem of the 14th century ascribed to
Pietà (i. e. piety),
the name given to a picture, the subject of which is the dead
Christ in the embrace of his sorrowing mother, accompanied by
sorrowing women and angels; that sculptured by Michael Angelo,
in St. Peter's at Rome, representing the Virgin at the foot
of the cross, and the dead Christ in her lap.
capital of Natal, 73 m. by rail N. of Durban; well situated
on the Umgeni River, with fine streets, an ample water-supply,
and a fine climate; has railroad connection with Johannesburg,
Pretoria, and Charlestown. A third of the population consists
of Kaffirs and coolies.
Pietists, the name given to
a religious party that arose in Germany at the end of the 17th
century, but without forming a separate sect; laid more stress
on religious feeling than dogmatic belief, and who at length,
as all who ground religion on mere feeling are apt to do, distinguished
themselves more by a weak sentimentality than by a sturdy living
Pietra Dura, a name given
to the purest kind of Florentine mosaic work, consists of hard
stones characterised by brilliancy of colour.
Pigeon English, a jargon
used in commercial dealings with the Chinese, being a mixture
of English, Portuguese, and Chinese.
Pig-Philosophy, the name
given by Carlyle in his "Latter-Day Pamphlets," in
the one on Jesuitism, to the wide-spread philosophy of the time,
which regarded the human being as a mere creature of appetite
instead of a creature of God endowed with a soul, as having
no nobler idea of well-being than the gratification of desire—that
his only Heaven, and the reverse of it his Hell.
Pigwiggin, an elf in love
with Queen Mab, who fights the jealous Oberon in furious combat.
Pilate, Pontius, Roman
procurator of Judea and Samaria in the days of Christ, from
A.D. 26 to 36; persuaded of the innocence of Christ when arraigned
before his tribunal, would fain have saved Him, but yielded
to the clamour of His enemies, who crucified Him; he protested
before they led Him away by washing his hands in their presence
that he was guiltless of His blood.
Pilatus, Mount, an isolated
mountain at the W. end of Lake Lucerne, opposite the Rigi; is
ascended by a mountain railway, and has hotels on two peaks.
A lake below the summit is said to be the last receptacle of
the body of Pontius Pilate, hence the adoption of the name of "Mons
Pilcomayo, a tributary of
the Rio Paraguay, in South America, which it joins after a course
of 1700 miles from its source in the Bolivian Andes.
Pilgrimage of Grace,
a rising in the northern counties of England in 1536 against
the policy of Cromwell, Henry VIII.'s Chancellor, in regard
to the temporalities of the Church, which, though concessions
were made to it that led to its dispersion, broke out afresh
with renewed violence, and had to be ruthlessly suppressed.
Pilgrim Fathers, the
name given to the Puritans, some 100 in all, who sailed from
Plymouth in the Mayflower in 1620 and settled in Massachusetts,
carrying with them "the life-spark of the largest nation
on our earth."
Pillar-Saints, a class
of recluses, called Stylites, who, in early Christian times,
retired from the world to the Syrian Desert, and, perched on
pillars, used to spend days and nights in fasting and praying,
in the frantic belief that by mortification of their bodies
they would ensure the salvation of their souls; their founder
was Simon, surnamed Stylites; the practice, which was never
allowed in the West, continued down to the 12th century.
Pillars of Hercules.
See Hercules, Pillars of.
Pillory, an obsolete instrument
of punishment for centuries in use all over Europe, consisted
of a platform, an upright pole, and at a convenient height cross-boards
with holes, in which the culprit's neck and wrists were placed
and fastened; so fixed he was exposed in some public place to
the insults and noxious missiles of the mob. Formerly in England
the penalty of forgery, perjury, &c., it became after the
Commonwealth a favourite punishment for seditious libellers.
It was last inflicted in London in 1830, and was abolished by
law in 1837.
Piloty, Karl von, a modern
German painter of the new Münich school, and professor
of Painting at the Münich Academy; did portraits, but his
masterpieces are on historical subjects, such as "Nero
on the ruins of Rome," "Galileo in Prison," "The
Death of Cæsar," &c.; he was no less eminent
as a teacher of art than as an artist (1826-1886).
Pilsen (50), a town in Bohemia,
67 m. SW. of Prague; has numerous industries, and rich coal
and iron mines, and produces an excellent beer, which it exports
in large quantities. It was an important place during the Thirty
Pindar, the greatest lyric poet
of Greece, and for virgin purity of imagination ranked by Ruskin
along with Homer, Virgil, Dante, and Scott; born near Thebes,
in Boeotia, of a musical family, and began his musical education
by practice on the flute, while he was assisted in his art by
the example of his countrywoman Corinna, who competed with and
defeated him more than once at the public festivals; he was
a welcome visitor at the courts of all the Greek princes of
the period, and not the less honoured that he condescended to
no flattery and attuned his lyre to no sentiment but what would
find an echo in every noble heart; he excelled in every department
of lyric poetry, hymns to the gods, the praises of heroes, pæans
of victory, choral songs, festal songs and dirges, but of these
only a few remain, his Epinikia, a collection of triumphal odes
in celebration of the successes achieved at the great national
games of Greece; he was not only esteemed the greatest of lyric
poets by his countrymen, but is without a rival still; when
Alexander destroyed Thebes he spared the house of Pindar (522-442
Pindar, Peter. See
Pindarees or Pindaris,
a set of freebooters who at the beginning of the present century
ravaged Central India and were the terror of the districts,
but who under the governor-generalship of Hastings were driven
to bay and crushed in 1817.
Pindus, Mount, is the range
of mountains rising between Thessaly and Epirus, which forms
the watershed of the country.
Pineal Gland, a small cone-shaped
body of yellowish matter in the brain, the size of a pea,
and situated in the front of the cerebellum,
notable as considered by Descartes to be the seat of the soul,
but is now surmised to be a rudimentary remnant of some organ,
of vision it would seem, now extinct.
Pinel, Philippe, a French
physician, distinguished for the reformation he effected, against
no small opposition, in the treatment of the insane, leading
to the abandonment everywhere of the cruel, inhuman methods
till then in vogue (1745-1826).
Pinero, Arthur Wing,
dramatic author, born in London; bred to law, took to the stage
and the writing of plays, of which he has produced a goodly
number; collaborated with Sir Arthur Sullivan and Mr. Comyns
Carr in a romantic musical drama entitled "The Beauty Stone";
Pinerolo (12), a town 23 m.
SW. of Turin, now a fortress in an important military position,
and in which the "Man with the Iron Mask" was imprisoned.
Pinkerton, John, a Scottish
antiquary and historian, born in Edinburgh; was an original
in his way, went to London, attracted the notice of Horace Walpole
and Gibbon; died in Paris, poor and neglected (1758-1826).
Pinkie, a Scottish battlefield,
near Musselburgh, Midlothian, where the Protector Somerset,
in his expedition to secure the hand of Mary Stuart for Edward
VI., defeated and slaughtered a Scottish army 1547.
Pinto, Mendez, a Portuguese
traveller; wrote in his "Peregriniçam" an account
of his marvellous adventures in Arabia, Persia, China, and Japan,
extending over a period of 21 years (1527-1548), of which, amid
much exaggeration, the general veracity is admitted (1510-1583).
Pinturicchio, Italian painter,
born at Perugia; was assistant to
Perugino (q. v.) when at work in the Sistine Chapel,
Rome, did frescoes and panel paintings, one of the "Christ
bearing the Cross" (1454-1513).
Pinzen, the name of two brothers,
companions of Christopher Columbus, and one of whom, Vicente
Yanez, discovered Brazil in 1500.
Piozzi, Hester, a female
friend of Johnson under the name of Mrs. Thrale, after her first
husband, a brewer in Southwark, whose home for her sake was
the rendezvous of all the literary celebrities of the period;
married afterwards, to Johnson's disgust, an Italian music-master,
lived with him at Florence, and returned at his death to Clifton,
where she died; left "Anecdotes of Johnson" and "Letters";
was authoress of "The Three Warnings" (1741-1821).
Pipe of Peace, a pipe offered
by an American Indian to one whom he wishes to be on good terms
Piræus (36), the port
of Athens 5 m. SW. of the city, planned by Themistocles, built
in the time of Pericles, and afterwards connected with the city
for safety by strong walls, which was destroyed by the Spartans
at the end of the Peloponnesian War, but restored, to fall afterwards
into neglect and ruins.
Pirano (9), a seaport of Austria,
on the Adriatic, 12 m. SW. of Trieste; has salt-works in the
neighbourhood, and manufactures glass, soap, &c.
Pirithous, king of the Lapithæ
and friend of Theseus, on the occasion of whose marriage an
intoxicated Centaur ran off with his bride Hippodamia, which
gave rise to the famous fight between the Centaurs and the Lapithæ,
in which Theseus assisted, and the former were defeated; on
the death of Hippodamia, Pirithous ran off with Persephone and
Theseus with Helen, for which both had to answer in the lower
world before Pluto; Hercules delivered the latter, but Pluto
would not release the former.
Pirke Aboth (i. e.
sayings of the Fathers), the name given to a collection of aphorisms
in the manner of Jesus the Son of Sirach by 60 doctors learned
in the Jewish law, representative of their teaching, and giving
the gist of it; they inculcate the importance of familiarity
with the words of the Law.
Pirna (11), a town in Saxony,
on the Elbe, 11 m. SE. of Dresden; has sandstone quarries in
the neighbourhood which employ 8000 quarrymen.
Pisa (38), on the Arno, 49 m. by
rail W. of Florence, is one of the oldest cities in Italy; formerly
a port, the river has built up the land at its mouth so that
the sea is now 4 m. off, and the ancient trade of Pisa has been
transferred to Leghorn. There are a magnificent cathedral, rich
in art treasures, a peculiar campanile of white marble which
deviates 14 ft. from the perpendicular, known as the leaning
tower of Pisa, several old and beautiful churches, a university,
school of art, and library. Silks and ribbons are woven, and
coral ornaments cut. In the 11th century Pisa was at the zenith
of its prosperity as a republic, with a great mercantile fleet,
and commercial relations with all the world. Its Ghibelline
sympathies involved it in terrible struggles, in which it gradually
sank till its fortunes were merged in those of Tuscany about
1550. The council of Pisa, 1409, held to determine the long-standing
rival claims of Gregory XII. and Benedict XII. to the Papal
chair, ended by adding a third claimant, Alexander V. Pisa was
one of the twelve cities of ancient Etruria.
Pisano, Nicola, Italian
sculptor and architect of Pisa; his most famous works are the
pulpit in the Baptistery at Pisa, and that for the Duomo at
Siena, the last being the fountain in the piazza of Perugia
Pisgah, a mountain range E. of
the Lower Jordan, one of the summits of which is Mount Nebo,
from which Moses beheld the Promised Land, and where he died
and was buried.
Pishin (60), a district of South
Afghanistan, N. of Quetta, occupied by the British since 1878
as strategically of importance.
Pisidia, a division of ancient
Asia Minor, N. of Pamphilia, and traversed by the Taurus chain.
Pisistratus, tyrant of Athens,
was the friend of Solon and a relative; an able but an ambitious
man; being in favour with the citizens presented himself one
day in the Agora, and displaying some wounds he had received
in their defence, persuaded them to give him a bodyguard of
50 men, which grew into a larger force, by means of which in
560 B.C. he took possession of the citadel and seized the sovereign
power, from which he was shortly after driven forth; after six
years he was brought back, but compelled to retire a second
time; after 10 years he returned and made good his ascendency,
reigning thereafter peacefully for 14 years, and leaving his
power in the hands of his sons Hippias and Hipparchus; he was
a good and wise ruler, and encouraged the liberal arts, and
it is to him we owe the first written collection or complete
edition of the poems of Homer (600-527 B.C.).
Pistoia (20), a town of N. Italy,
at the foot of the Apennines, 21 m. NW. of Florence, with palaces
and churches rich in works of art; manufactures iron and steel
Pistol, Ancient, a swaggering
bully and follower of Falstaff in the "Merry Wives of Windsor."
Pistole, an obsolete gold coin
of Europe, originally of Spain, worth some 16s. 2d.
Pit`aka` (lit. a basket),
the name given to the sacred books of the Buddhists, and constituting
collectively the Buddhistic code. See
Pitaval, a French advocate,
compiler of a famous collection of causes célèbres
Pitcairn Island, a small
volcanic island 2½ m. long and 1 broad, solitary, in
the Pacific, 5000 m. E. of Brisbane, where, in 1790, nine men
of H.M.S. Bounty who had mutinied landed with six Tahitians
and a dozen Tahitian women; from these have sprung an interesting
community of islanders, virtuous, upright, and contented, of
Christian faith, who, having sent a colony to Norfolk Island,
numbered in 1890 still 128.
Scottish physician and satirist, born at Edinburgh; studied
theology and law, and afterwards at Paris, medicine; he practised
in Edinburgh, and became professor at Leyden; returning, he
acquired great fame in his native city; in medicine he published
a treatise on Harvey's discovery of the circulation of the blood;
being an Episcopalian and Jacobite, he wrote severe satires
on all things Presbyterian, e. g. "Babel, or the
Assembly, a Poem," 1692 (1652-1713).
Pithom, a town of Rameses, one
of the treasure-cities built by the children of Israel in Lower
Egypt, now, as discovered by M. Naville, reduced to a small
village between Ismailia and Tel-el-Kebir.
Pitman, Sir Isaac, inventor
of the shorthand system which bears his name, born at Trowbridge,
Wiltshire; his first publication was "Stenographic Sound-Hand"
in 1837, and in 1842 he started the Phonetic Journal,
and lectured extensively as well as published in connection
with his system (1813-1897).
eminent Italian folk-lorist, born at Palermo, after serving
as a volunteer in 1860 under Garibaldi, and graduating in medicine
in 1866, threw himself into the study of literature, and soon
made the folk-lore of Italy, the special study of his life,
and to which he has devoted himself with unsparing assiduity,
the fruits from time to time appearing principally in two series
of his works, one in 19 vols. and another in 10 vols.; b.
Pitris (i. e. Fathers),
in the Hindu mythology an order of divine beings, and equal
to the greatest of the gods, who, by their sacrifice, delivered
the world from chaos, gave birth to the sun and kindled the
stars, and in whose company the dead, who have like them lived
self-sacrificingly, enter when they lay aside mortality. See
Rev. vii. 14.
Lindsay of, proprietor in the 16th century of the Fifeshire
estate name of which he bore, was the author of "The Chronicles
of Scotland," to which Sir Walter Scott owed so much; his
work is quaint, graphic, and, on the whole, trustworthy.
Pitt, William. See
Chatham, Earl of.
Pitt, William, English statesman,
second son of Lord Chatham, born near Bromley, Kent, grew up
a delicate child in a highly-charged political atmosphere, and
studied with such diligence under the direction of his father
and a tutor that he entered Cambridge at 14; called to the bar
in 1780, he speedily threw himself into politics, and contested
Cambridge University in the election of 1781; though defeated,
he took his seat for the pocket burgh of Appleby, joined the
Shelburne Tories in opposition to North's ministry, and was
soon a leader in the House; he supported, but refused to join,
the Rockingham Ministry of 1782, contracted his long friendship
with Dundas, afterwards Viscount Melville, and became an advocate
of parliamentary reform; his first office was Chancellor of
the Exchequer under Lord Shelburne; his reputation steadily
rose, but on Shelburne's resignation he refused the Premiership,
and went into opposition against the Portland, Fox, and North
coalition; that minority being defeated (1783) on their Indian
policy by the direct and unconstitutional interference of the
king, he courageously formed a government with a majority of
100 against him; refusing to yield to adverse votes, he gradually
won over the House and the country, and the dissolution of 1784
gave a majority of 120 in his favour, and put him in office,
one of England's strongest ministers; during his long administration,
broken only for one month in 20 years, he greatly raised the
importance of the Commons, stamped out direct corruption in
the House, and abolished many sinecures; he revised taxation,
improved the collection of revenue and the issue of loans, and
set the finances in a flourishing condition; he reorganised
the government of India, and aimed strenuously to keep England
at peace; but his abandonment of parliamentary reform and the
abolition of the slave-trade suggests that he loved power rather
than principles; his Poor-Law schemes and Sinking Fund were
unsound; he failed to appreciate the problems presented by the
growth of the factory system, or to manage Ireland with any
success; on the outbreak of the French Revolution he failed
to understand its significance, did not anticipate a long war,
and made bad preparations and bad schemes; his vacillation in
Irish policy induced the rebellion of 1798; by corrupt measures
he carried the legislative union of 1801, but the king refused
to allow the Catholic emancipation he promised as a condition;
Viscount Melville was driven from the Admiralty on a charge
of malversation, his own health broke down, and the victory
of Trafalgar scarcely served to brighten his closing days; given
to deep drinking, and culpably careless of his private moneys,
he yet lived a pure, simple, amiable life; with an overcharged
dignity, he was yet an attractive man and a warm friend; England
has had few statesmen equal to him in the handling of financial
and commercial problems, and few orators more fluent and persuasive
than the great peace minister.
Pitt Diamond, a diamond
brought from Golconda by the grandfather of the elder Pitt,
who sold it to the king of France; it figured at length in the
hilt of the State sword of Napoleon, and was carried off by
the Prussians at Waterloo.
Pittacus, one of the seven
sages of Greece, born at Mitylene, in Lesbos, in the 7th century
B.C.; celebrated as a warrior, a statesman, a philosopher, and
a poet; expelled the tyrants from Mitylene, and held the supreme
power for 10 years after by popular vote, and resigned on the
establishment of social order; two proverbs are connected with
his name: "It is difficult to be good," "Know
the fit time."
Pittsburg (321), second city
of Pennsylvania, is 350 m. by rail W. of Philadelphia, where
the junction of the Alleghany and the Monongahela Rivers forms
the Ohio; the city extends for 10 miles along the rivers' banks,
and climbs up the surrounding hills; there are handsome public
buildings and churches, efficient schools, a Roman Catholic
college, and a Carnegie library; domestic lighting and heating
and much manufacture is done by natural gas, which issues at
high pressure from shallow borings in isolated districts 20
m. from the city; standing in the centre
of an extraordinary coal-field—the edges of the horizontal
seams protrude on the hillsides—it is the largest coal-market
in the States; manufactures include all iron goods, steel and
copper, glassware, and earthenware; its position at the eastern
limit of the Mississippi basin, its facilities of transport
by river and rail—six trunk railroads meet here—give
it enormous trade advantages; its transcontinental business
is second in volume only to Chicago; in early times the British
colonists had many struggles with the French for this vantage
point; a fort built by the British Government in 1759, and called
after the elder Pitt, was the nucleus of the city.
Pityriasis, a skin eruption
attended with branlike desquamation.
Pius, the name of nine Popes, of
which only six call for particular mention: P. II., Pope
from 1458 to 1464, was of the family of the Piccolomini, and
is known to history as Æneas Sylvius, and under which
name he did diplomatic work in Britain and Germany; as Pope
he succeeded Callistus III.; he was a wily potentate, and is
distinguished for organising a crusade against the Turks as
well as his scholarship; the works which survive him are of
a historical character, and his letters are of great value.
P. IV., from 1559 to 1563, was of humble birth; during
his popehood the deliberations of the Council of Trent were
brought to a close, and the Tridentine Creed was named after
him. P. V., Pope 1566 to 1572, also of humble birth,
was severe in his civil and ecclesiastical capacity, both in
his internal administration and foreign relationships, and thought
to browbeat the world back into the bosom of Mother Church;
issued a bull releasing Queen Elizabeth's subjects from their
allegiance; but the great event of his reign, and to which he
contributed, was the naval victory over the Turks at Lepanto
in 1571. P. VI., Pope from 1775 to 1799; the commencement
of his popehood was signalised by beneficent measures for the
benefit of the Roman city, but he was soon in trouble in consequence
of encroachments on Church privileges in Austria and the confiscation
of all Church property in France, which ended, on his resisting,
to still further outrages, in his capture by the French under
Bonaparte and his expatriation from Rome. P. VII., Pope
from 1800 to 1823, concluded a concordat with France, crowned
Napoleon emperor at Paris, who thereafter annexed the papal
territories to the French empire, which were in part restored
to him only after Napoleon's fall; he was a meek-spirited man,
and was much tossed about in his day. P. IX., or Pio
Nono, from 1846 to 1878, was a "reforming" Pope, and
by his concessions awoke in 1848 a spirit of revolution, under
the force of which he was compelled to flee from Rome, to return
again under the protection of French bayonets against his own
subjects, to devote himself to purely ecclesiastical affairs;
in 1854 he promulgated the doctrine of the Immaculate Conception,
and in 1869 the Infallibility of the Pope; upon the outbreak
of the Franco-German War in 1871 the French troops were withdrawn
and Victor Emmanuel's troops entered the city; Pius retired
into the Vatican, where he lived in seclusion till his death.
Pix, the name of a little chest
in which the consecrated host is kept in the Roman Catholic
Church. See Pyx.
Pixies, Devonshire Robin Goodfellows,
said to be the spirits of infants who died unbaptized.
the conqueror of Peru, born at Truxillo, in Spain, the son of
a soldier of distinction; received no education, but was of
an adventurous spirit, and entered the army; embarked with other
adventurers to America, and having distinguished himself in
Panama, set out by way of the Pacific on a voyage of discovery
along with another soldier named Almagra; landed on the island
of Gallo, on the coast of Peru, and afterwards returned with
his companion to Spain for authority to conquer the country;
when in 1529 he obtained the royal sanction he set sail from
Spain with three ships in 1531, and on his arrival at Peru found
a civil war raging between the two sons of the emperor, who
had just died; Pizarro saw his opportunity; approached Atahualpa,
the victorious one, now become the reigning Inca, with overtures
of peace, was admitted into the interior of the country; invited
him to a banquet, had him imprisoned, and commenced a wholesale
butchery of his subjects, upon which he forced Atahualpa to
disclose his treasures, and then put him perfidiously to death;
his power, by virtue of the mere terror he inspired, was now
established, and he might have continued to maintain it, but
a contest having arisen between him and his old comrade Almagro,
whom after defeating he put to death, the sons and friends of
the latter rose against him, seized him in his palace at Lima,
and took away his life (1476-1541).
Plague, The, is a very malignant
kind of highly contagious fever, marked by swellings of the
lymphatic glands. From the development of purple patches due
to subcutaneous hæmorrhages the European epidemic of 1348-50
was called the Black Death. A quarter of the European population
perished on that occasion. Other visitations devastated London
in 1665, Northern Europe 1707-14, Marseilles and Provence 1720-22,
and South-East Russia 1878-79. The home of the Plague was formerly
Lower Egypt, Turkey, and the shores of the Levant. From these
it has been absent since 1844. Its home since then has been
in India, where it has assumed epidemic form 1836-38 and 1896-99.
Plain, The, the name given
to the Girondists or Moderate party in the French National Convention,
in contrast with the Mountain
(q. v.) or Jacobin party.
Planché, James Robinson,
antiquary and dramatist, born in London, of French descent;
author of a number of burlesques; an authority on heraldry and
costumes; he produced over 200 pieces for the stage, and held
office in the Heralds' Court (1796-1880).
Planetoids, the name given
to a number of very small planets revolving between the orbits
of Mars and Jupiter, originally called Asteroids, all of recent
discovery, and the list, amounting to some 400, as yet made
of them understood to be incomplete. They are very difficult
of discovery, many of them from the smallness of their size
and their erratic movements.
Planets, bodies resembling the
earth and of different sizes, which revolve in elliptical orbits
round the sun, and at different distances, the chief of them
eight in number, two of them, viz., Mercury and Venus, revolving
in orbits interior to that of the earth, and five of
them, viz., Mars, Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus, and Neptune, exterior,
the whole with the planetoids
(q. v.) and comets constituting the solar system.
Plantagenets, the name
attached to a dynasty of kings of England, who reigned from
the extinction of the Norman line to the accession of the Tudor,
that is, from the beginning of Henry II.'s reign in 1154 to
the end of Richard III.'s on Bosworth Field in 1458. The name
was adopted by Geoffrey of Anjou, the husband of Matilda, the
daughter of Henry I., whose badge was
a sprig of broom (which the name denotes), and which he wore
in his bonnet as descended from the Earl of Anjou, who was by
way of penance scourged with twigs of it at Jerusalem.
a printer of Antwerp, born near Tours, in France; celebrated
for the beauty and accuracy of the work that issued from his
press, the most notable being the "Antwerp Polyglot";
he had printing establishments in Leyden and Paris, as well
as Antwerp, all these conducted by sons-in-law (1514-1589).
Plassey, a great battlefield
in Bengal, now swept away by changes in the course of the river,
scarcely 100 m. N. of Calcutta; was the scene of Clive's victory
in 1757 with 800 Europeans and 2200 unreliable native troops
over Suraj-ud-Dowlah, the ruler of Bengal, which laid that province
at the feet of Britain, and led to the foundation of the British
Empire in India.
Plaster of Paris, a compound
of lime, sand, and water used for coating walls, taking casts,
and forming moulds.
Platæa, a city of ancient
Greece, in western Boeotia, neighbour and ally of Athens, suffered
greatly in the Persian and Peloponnesian Wars. It was destroyed
by the Persians 480 B.C., by the Peloponnesian forces 429 B.C.,
and again by the Thebans 387 B.C. Philip of Macedon restored
the exiles to their homes in 338 B.C.
Plato, the great philosopher,
born in Athens, of noble birth, the year Pericles died, and
the second of the Peloponnesian War; at 20 became a disciple
of Socrates, and passed eight years in his society; at 30, after
the death of Socrates, quitted Athens, and took up his abode
at Megara; from Megara he travelled to Cyrene, Egypt, Magna
Græcia, and Sicily, prolonging his stay in Magna Græcia,
and studying under Pythagoras, whose philosophy was then at
its prime, and which exercised a profound influence over him;
after ten years' wandering in this way he, at the age of 40,
returned to Athens, and founded his Academy, a gymnasium outside
the city with a garden, which belonged to his father, and where
he gathered around him a body of disciples, and had Aristotle
for one of his pupils, lecturing there with undiminished mental
power till he reached the advanced age of 81; of his philosophy
one can give no account here, or indeed anywhere, it was so
unsectarian; he was by pre-eminence the world-thinker, and though
he was never married and left no son, he has all the thinking
men and schools of philosophy in the world as his offspring;
enough to say that his philosophy was philosophy, as it took
up in its embrace both the ideal and the real, at once the sensible
and the super-sensible world (429-347 B.C.).
Ivanovich, Count, hetman of Cossacks, and Russian commander
in the Napoleonic wars; took part in the campaigns of 1805-7,
and scourged the French during their retreat from Moscow in
1812, and again after their defeat at Leipzig 1813; he commanded
at the victory of Altenburg 1813, and for his services obtained
the title of count (1757-1818).
Platonic Love, love between
persons of different sexes, in which as being love of soul for
soul no sexual passion intermingles; is so named agreeably to
the doctrine of Plato, that a man finds his highest happiness
when he falls in with another who is his soul's counterpart
Platonic Year, a period
of 26,000 years, denoting the time of a complete revolution
of the equinox.
Platt-Deutsch or Low
German, a dialect spoken by the peasantry in North Germany
from the Rhine to Pomerania, and derived from Old Saxon.
Platte, the largest affluent
of the Missouri, which joins it at Plattsmouth after an easterly
course of 900 m.
Plauen (46), a town in Saxony,
on the Elster, 78 m. S. of Leipzig, with extensive textile and
Plautus, a Latin comic poet,
born in Umbria; came when young to Rome, as is evident from
his mastery of the Latin language and his knowledge of Greek;
began to write plays for the stage at 30, shortly before the
outbreak of the second Punic War, and continued to do so for
40 years; he wrote about 130 comedies, but only 20 have survived,
the plots mostly borrowed from Greek models; they were much
esteemed by his contemporaries; they have supplied material
for dramatic treatment in modern times (227-184 B.C.).
Playfair, John, Scotch
mathematician, born at Benvie; bred for the Church, became professor
first of Mathematics and then of Natural Philosophy at Edinburgh
University; wrote on geometry and geology, in the latter supported
the Huttonian theory of the earth (1748-1819).
Pleiades, in the Greek mythology
seven sisters, daughters of Atlas, transformed into stars, six
of them visible and one invisible, and forming the group on
the shoulders of Taurus in the zodiac; in the last week of May
they rise and set with the sun till August, after which they
follow the sun and are seen more or less at night till their
conjunction with it again in May.
Pleiades, The, the name
given to the promoters of a movement in the middle of the 16th
century that aimed at the reform of the French language and
literature on classical models, and led on by a group of seven
men, Ronsard, Du Bellay, Belleau, Baïf, Daurat, Jodelle,
and Pontus de Tyard. The name "Pleiad" was originally
applied to seven contemporary poets in ancient Greece, and afterwards
to seven learned men in the time of Charlemagne.
Plenist, name given to one who
holds the doctrine that all space is filled with matter.
Plesiosaurus, an extinct
marine animal with a small head and a long neck.
Pleura, the serous membrane that
lines the interior of the thorax and invests the lungs.
inflammation of the lungs and pleura, Pleurisy being the inflammation
of the pleura alone.
Plevna (14), a fortified town
in Bulgaria, in which Osman Pasha entrenched himself in 1877,
and where he was compelled to capitulate and surrender to the
Russians with his force of 42,000 men.
Pleydell, Mr. Paulus,
a shrewd lawyer in Scott's "Guy Mannering."
Plimsoll, Samuel, "the
sailor's friend," born at Bristol; after experience in
a Sheffield brewery entered business in London as a coal-dealer;
interesting himself in the condition of the sailor's life in
the mercantile marine, he directed public attention to many
scandalous abuses practised by unscrupulous owners, the overloading,
under-manning, and insufficient equipment of ships and sending
unseaworthy vessels out to founder for the sake of insurance
money; entering Parliament for Derby in 1868, he secured the
passing of the Merchant Shipping Act in 1876 levelled against
these abuses; his name has been given to the circle with horizontal
line through the centre, now placed by the Board of Trade on
the side of every vessel to indicate
to what depth she may be loaded in salt water (1824-1898).
Plinlimmon (i. e.
five rivers), a mountain 2469 ft. high, with three summits,
on the confines of Montgomery and Cardigan, so called as source
of five different streams.
Pliny, the Elder, naturalist,
born at Como, educated at Rome, and served in the army; was
for a space procurator in Spain, spent much of his time afterwards
studying at Borne; being near the Bay of Naples during an eruption
of Vesuvius, he landed to witness the phenomenon, but was suffocated
by the fumes; his "Natural History" is a repertory
of the studies of the ancients in that department, being a record,
more or less faithful, from extensive reading, of the observation
of others rather than his own; d. A.D. 79.
Pliny, the Younger,
nephew of the preceding, the friend of Trajan; filled various
offices in the State; his fame rests on his "Letters,"
of special interest to us for the account they give of the treatment
of the early Christians and their manner of worship, as also
of the misjudgment on the part of the Roman world at the time
of their religion, as in their eyes, according to him, "a
perverse and extravagant superstition" (62-115).
Plotinus, an Alexandrian philosopher
of the Neo-Platonic school, born at Lycopolis, in Egypt; he
taught philosophy at Rome, a system in opposition to the reigning
scepticism of the time, and which based itself on the intuitions
of the soul elevated into a state of mystical union with God,
who in His single unity sums up all and whence all emanates,
all being regarded as an emanation from Him (207-270).
Plugston of Undershot,
Carlyle's name in "Past and Present" for a member
or "Master-Worker" of the English mammon-worshipping
manufacturing class in rivalry with the aristocracy for the
ascendency in the land, who pays his workers his wages and thinks
he has done his duty with them in so doing, and is secure in
the fortune he has made by that cash-payment gospel of his as
all the law and the prophets, called of "Undershot,"
his mill being driven by a wheel, the working power of which
is hidden unheeded by him, to break out some day to the damage
of both his mill and him.
Plumptre, Edward Hayes,
distinguished English divine and scholar, born in London; was
Dean of Wells; as a divine he wrote commentaries on books of
both the Old and New Testaments, and as a scholar executed able
translations in verse of Sophocles, Æschylus, and the "Commedia"
of Dante, the last perhaps his greatest and most enduring work
Plunket, Lord, Chancellor
of Ireland, born in Ireland, bred to the bar; entered the Irish
House of Commons; opposed the Union with Great Britain; after
the Union practised at the bar, and held legal appointments;
was made a peer, and materially aided the Duke of Wellington
in the House of Lords in carrying the Catholic Emancipation
Bill of 1829 (1764-1854).
Plutarch, celebrated Greek
biographer and moralist, born at Chæronea, in Boeotia;
studied at Athens; paid frequent visits to Rome, and formed
friendships with some of its distinguished citizens; spent his
later years at his native place, and held a priesthood; his
fame rests on his "Parallel Lives" of 46 distinguished
Greeks and Romans, a series of portraitures true to the life,
and a work one of the most valuable we possess on the illustrious
men of antiquity, and an enduring memorial of them (50-120).
Pluto, god of the nether world,
son of Kronos and Rhea, brother of Zeus and Poseidon, and husband
of Persephone; on the dethronement of Kronos the universe was
divided among themselves by the three brothers, Zeus assuming
the dominion of the upper world and Poseidon that of the ocean,
leaving the nether kingdom to him, a domain over which and forth
of which he ruled with a greater and more undisputed authority
than the other two over heaven, earth, and sea.
Plutonic Theory, the
theory that unstratifled rocks were formed by fusion in fire.
Plutus, the god of riches, son
of Jason and Demeter. Zeus is said to have put out his eyes
that he might bestow his gifts without respect to merit, that
is, on the evil and the good impartially.
Plymouth (87), the largest
town in Devonshire, stands on the N. shore of Plymouth Sound,
250 m. W. of London by rail; adjacent to it are the towns of
Stonehouse and Devonport. Among the chief buildings are a Gothic
town-hall, a 15th-century church, and a Roman Catholic cathedral.
The chief industry is chemical manufactures. There is a large
coasting and general trade, and important fisheries. Many sea-going
steamship companies make it a place of call. The Sound is an
important naval station, and historically famous as the sailing
port of the fleet that vanquished the Armada.
an anti-clerical body of Christians, one of the earliest communities
of which was formed in Plymouth about 1830; they accept, along
with Pre-Millenarian views, generally the Calvinistic view of
the Christian religion, and exclude all unconverted men from
their communion, while all included in the body are of equal
standing, and enjoy equal privileges as members of Christ. They
appear to regard themselves as the sole representatives in these
latter days of the Church of Christ, and as the salt of the
earth, for whose sake it exists, and on whose decease it and
its works of darkness will be burnt up. They are known also
by the name of Darbyites, from the name of one of their founders,
a barrister, John Nelson Darby, an able man, and with all his
exclusiveness a sincere disciple of Christ (1800-1882).
Pneumonia, name given to acute
inflammation of the lungs.
Po, the largest river in Italy, rises
6000 ft. above sea-level in the Cottian Alps, and after 20 m.
of rocky defiles emerges on the great Lombardy plain, which
it crosses from W. to E., receiving the Ticino, Adda, Mincio,
and Trebbia, tributaries, and enters the Adriatic by a rapidly
growing delta. Its total course is 360 m.; the width and volume
of its stream make it difficult to cross and so a protection
to all Italy. The chief towns on its banks are Turin, Piacenza,
Pocahontas, the daughter
of an Indian chief in Virginia, who favoured the English settlers
there, saving the life of Captain Smith the coloniser, and afterwards
married John Rolfe, one of the settlers; came to England, and
was presented at Court; several Virginian families trace their
descent to her.
Pocket Borough, a borough
in which the influence of some magnate of the place determines
the voting at an election time, a thing pretty much of the past.
Pocock, Edward, English
Arabic and Hebrew scholar, born at Oxford, and occupied both
the chairs of Arabic and Hebrew there, and left works in evidence
of his scholarship and learning in both languages, quite remarkable
for the time when he lived (1604-1691).
Pococke, Richard, English
prelate, born at Southampton; travelled
extensively, particularly in the East; wrote a description of
the countries of the East and of others, among them "Tours
In Scotland" and a "Tour in Ireland," all deemed
of value (1704-1765).
Podesta, the name given to the
chief magistrate of an Italian town, with military as well as
municipal authority; he was salaried, and annually elected to
the office by the council, and had to give an account of his
administration at the end of his term.
Podiebrad, George, king
of Bohemia; rose, though a Hussite, and in spite of the Pope,
from the ranks of the nobles to that elevation; forced his enemies
to come to terms with him, and held his ground against them
till the day of his death (1420-1471).
Poe, Edgar Allan, an American
poet, born in Boston, Massachusetts; a youth of wonderful genius,
but of reckless habits, and who came to an unhappy and untimely
end; left behind him tales and poems, which, though they were
not appreciated when he lived, have received the recognition
they deserve since his death; his poetical masterpiece, "The
Raven," is well known; died at Baltimore of inflammation
of the brain, insensible from which he was picked up in a street
one evening (1809-1849).
Poerio, Carlo, Italian patriot;
was conspicuous in the revolutionary movement of 1848; was arrested
and banished, but escaped to England, where he was received
with sympathy by Mr. Gladstone among others; he rose into power
on the establishment of the kingdom of Italy (1803-1867).
Poet Laureate, the English
court poet, an office which dates from the reign of Edward IV.,
the duty of the holder of it being originally to write an ode
on the birthday of the monarch.
Poetical Justice, ideal
justice as administered in their writings by the poets.
Poetry, the gift of penetrating
into the inner soul or secret of a thing, and bodying it forth
rhythmically so as to captivate the imagination and the heart.
Poet's Corner, a corner
in the SW. transept of Westminster Abbey, so called as containing
the tombs of Chaucer, Spenser, and other eminent English poets.
Christian, a German physicist and chemist, born at Hamburg;
professor of Physics at Berlin; was the editor for more than
half a century of the famous Annalen der Physik und Chimie,
and the author of numerous papers (1796-1877).
an Italian scholar, born in Florence, was a distinguished humanist,
and devoted to the revival of classical learning, collecting
MSS. of the classics wherever he could find them that might
otherwise have been lost, including Quintilian's "Institutions,"
great part of Lucretius, and several orations of Cicero, &c.;
wrote a "History of Florence," where he died; he was
the author of a collection of stories and of jests in Latin
at the expense of the monks (1380-1459).
Point de Galle (33), a
town on a promontory in the SW. of Ceylon, with a good harbour,
and the great port of call for the lines of steamers in the
a celebrated French mathematician, born at Pithiviers; was for
his eminence in mathematical ability and physical research raised
to the peerage; wrote no fewer than 300 memoirs (1781-1840).
Poitiers (34), the capital
of the dep. of Vienne, 61 m. SW. of Tours; has a number of interesting
buildings, a university and large library; in its neighbourhood
Clovis defeated Alaric II. in 507, Charles Martel the Moors
in 732, and the Black Prince the troops of King John in 1356.
Poitou, formerly a province in
France, lying S. of the Loire, between the Vienne River and
the sea; passed to England when its countess, Eleanor, married
Henry I., 1152; was taken by Philip Augustus 1205, ceded to
England again 1360, and retaken by Charles V. 1369.
Pola (31), the chief naval station
of Austria, 73 m. S. of Trieste, in the Adriatic; the harbour
is both spacious and deep; was originally a Roman colony, and
a flourishing seat of commerce.
Poland, formerly a kingdom larger
than modern Austro-Hungary, with a population of 24 millions,
lying between the Baltic and the Carpathians, with Pomerania,
Brandenburg, and Silesia on the W., and the Russian provinces
of Smolensk, Tchernigoff, Poltava, and Kherson on the E.; the
Dwina, the Memel, and the Vistula flowed through its northern
plains; the Dnieper traversed the E., the Dniester and the Bug
rose in its SE. corner. The country is fertile; great crops
of cereals are raised; there are forests of pine and oak, and
extensive pasture lands; vast salt-mines are wrought at Cracow;
silver, iron, copper, and lead in other parts. Poland took rank
among European powers in the 10th century under Mieczyslaw,
its first Christian king. During the 12th and 13th centuries
it sank to the rank of a duchy. In 1241 the Mongols devastated
the country, and thereafter colonies of Germans and Jewish refugees
settled among the Slav population. The first Diet met in 1331,
and Casimir the Great, 1333-1370, raised the country to a high
level of prosperity, fostering the commerce of Danzig and Cracow.
The dynasty of the Jagellons united Lithuania to Poland, ended
two centuries' contest with the Teutonic knights, and yielded
to the nobles such privileges as turned the kingdom into an
oligarchy and elective monarchy. At the time of the Reformation
Poland was the leading power in Eastern Europe. The new doctrines
gained ground there in spite of severe persecution. Warsaw became
the capital in 1569. The power and arrogance of the nobles grew;
the necessity for unanimity in the votes of the Diet gave them
a weapon to stop all progress and all correction of their own
malpractices. Sigismund III. made unsuccessful attempts to seize
the crowns of Russia and Sweden. In the middle of the 17th century
a terrible struggle against Russia, Sweden, Brandenburg and
the Cossacks ended in the complete defeat of Poland, from which
she never recovered. Wars with the Turks, dissensions among
her own nobles, quarrels at the election of every king, the
continuance of serfdom, and the persecution of the adherents
of the Greek Church and the Protestants, rendered her condition
more and more deplorable. Austria, Russia, and Prussia began
to interfere in her affairs. She was unfortunate in her choice
of kings, and in the second half of the 18th century she was
without natural boundaries, and Frederick the Great started
the idea of partition. The first seizure of territory by the
three interfering powers took place in 1772. A movement for
reform reorganised the Diet, improved the condition of the serfs,
established religious toleration, and promulgated a new constitution
in 1781; but a party of unpatriotic nobles resented it, and
laid the country open to a second seizure of territory by Prussia
and Russia in 1793. The Poles now made a desperate stand under
Kosciusko, but their three powerful neighbours were too strong,
and the final partition of Poland between
them took place in 1795. The Congress of Vienna rearranged the
division in 1815, and reconstituted the Russian portion as a
kingdom, with the Czar as king; but discontent broke into rebellion,
and led to the final repression of independence in 1832.
Polders, low marshy lands in
Holland and Belgium, drained and reclaimed from sea or river;
they form an important part of the former, and are conspicuous
from the verdure they display; they include nearly 150 acres
of good land, the largest being that of Haarlem Meer, which
is 70 square miles in extent, and was drained by steam.
Pole, the name given to the extremities
of the imaginary axis of the earth, round which it is conceived
Pole, Reginald, cardinal,
archbishop of Canterbury, born at Stourton Castle, Staffordshire,
of royal blood; studied at Oxford; took holy orders, and was
appointed to various benefices by Henry VIII., who held him
in high favour; but he opposed the project of divorcing Catherine,
and was driven from the royal presence and deprived of his power;
but elected to the cardinalate by the Pope, he tried to return
after Henry's death, but was not received back till Mary's accession,
when he came as Papal legate, and was appointed Archbishop of
Canterbury after the death of Cranmer, whom he refused to supersede
as long as he lived; he was not obsequious enough to the Pope,
and his legation was cancelled; the Queen's illness accelerated
his own end, and he died the day after her; he has been charged
with abetting the Marian persecution, but it is highly questionable
how far he was answerable for it (1506-1558).
Pole-star or Polaris,
a star in the northern hemisphere, in Ursa Minor, the nearest
conspicuous one to the N. pole of the heavens, from which it
is at present 1½° distant; a straight line joining
the two "pointers" in Ursa Major passes nearly through
Polignac, Duc de and
Duchess de, husband and wife; were chargeable with the
extravagances of the court of Louis XVI., and were the first
to emigrate at the outbreak of the Revolution, the former dying
in 1817 and the latter in 1793.
Polignac, Prince de,
French statesman, born at Versailles, of an old noble family,
prime minister of Charles X., to whose fall he contributed by
his arbitrary measures; in attempting flight at the Revolution
was captured and sentenced to death, which was converted into
banishment; he was allowed to return at length (1780-1847).
Politian, Angelo, eminent
Italian scholar, born in Tuscany; was patronised by Lorenzo
de' Medici, was made professor of Greek and Latin at the university
of Florence, his fame in which capacity drew to his class students
from all parts of Europe; he did much to forward the Renaissance
movement, and was distinguished as a poet no less than as a
scholar; he became a priest towards the close of his life (1454-1494).
the name given to the modern soi-disant science concerned
with the production, distribution, and exchange of wealth, against
the relevancy of which to the economics of the world Ruskin
has, for most part in vain, during the last forty years emitted
a scornful protest, affirming that this is "mercantile"
and not "political economy at all," which he insists
is the "economy of a state or of citizens," consisting "simply
in the production and distribution at fittest time and place
of useful or pleasurable things ... a science which teaches
nations to desire and labour for the things that lead to life,
and to scorn and destroy those that lead to destruction ...
though, properly speaking, it is neither an art nor a science,
but a system of conduct and legislature, founded on the sciences,
directing the arts, and impossible, except under certain conditions
of moral culture," with which last, however, the modern
political economists maintain their science has nothing whatever
Polk, James Knox, eleventh
President of the United States, of Irish descent; admitted to
the bar in 1820, entered Congress in 1825, became President
in 1844, his term of office having been signalised by the annexation
of Texas and California (1795-1849).
Pollio, Caius Asinius,
orator, historian, and poet, born at Rome; sided with Cæsar
against Pompey, and after the death of the former with Antony;
was a patron of letters and the friend of Virgil and Horace,
both of whom dedicated poems to him; he was the first to establish
a public library in Rome (76 B.C. to A.D. 4).
Pollock, Sir Edward,
an eminent English judge, born in London, contemporary of Brougham,
a Tory in politics, represented Huntingdon, was twice over Attorney-General,
became Chief Baron of the Exchequer in 1844, and made a baronet
on his retirement from the bench (1783-1870).
Pollock, Sir George,
field-marshal, born at Westminster, brother of the preceding;
distinguished himself in Nepal and the Afghan War, in the latter
forced the Kyber Pass, defeated Akbar Khan, and relieved Sir
Robert Sale, who was shut up in Jelallabad (1786-1872).
Pollok, Robert, Scottish
poet, born in Renfrewshire; bred for the Secession Church, wrote
one poem, "The Course of Time," in 10 books, on the
spiritual life and human destiny, which was published when he
was dying of consumption, a complaint accelerated, it is believed,
by his studious habits (1799-1827).
Pollux, the twin brother of
Castor (q. v.).
Polo, a game similar to hockey,
played on horseback with mallets, and devised by British officers
in India in place of football.
Polo, Marco, a celebrated
traveller, born in Venice of a noble family in 1271; accompanied
his father and uncle while a mere youth to the court of the
Great Khan, the Tartar emperor of China, by whom he was received
with favour and employed on several embassies; unwilling to
part with him the emperor allowed him along with his father
and uncle to escort a young princess who was going to be married
to a Persian prince on the promise that they would return, but
the prince having died before their arrival, and deeming themselves
absolved from their promise by his death, they moved straight
home for Venice, where they arrived in 1295, laden with rich
presents which had been given them; having fallen into the hands
of the Genoese in a hostile expedition, Marco was put in prison,
where he wrote the story of his adventures, originally in French
it would seem, which proved to be the first account that opened
up to wondering Europe the magnificence of the Eastern world
Polyandry, the name given
to a form of polygamy met with among certain rude races, under
which a woman is united and lives in marriage to several husbands.
Polybius, a Greek historian,
born at Megalopolis, in Arcadia; sent to Rome as a hostage,
he formed an intimate friendship with Scipio Æmilianus,
who aided him in his historical researches, and whom he accompanied
to Africa on the expedition which issued in the destruction
of Carthage, after which he returned
to Greece and began his literary labours, the fruit of which
was a history of Greece and Rome from 220 to 146 B.C. in 40
books, of which 5 have come down to us complete, a work characterised
by accurate statement of facts and sound judgment of their import,
written with a purpose to instruct in practical wisdom; he has
been called "the first pragmatical historian" (204-122
Polycarp, bishop of Smyrna,
one of the early Fathers of the Church, a disciple of the Apostles
and in particular of St. John; was for nearly 70 years bishop,
and suffered martyrdom for refusing to renounce Christ, "after
having served Him," as he said, "for 86 years";
of his writings the only one extant is an "Epistle to the
Philippians," the genuineness of which, at one time questioned,
is now established, and is of value chiefly in questions affecting
the canon of Scripture and the origin of the Church.
Polycrates, the tyrant of
Samos, and friend of Anacreon and art and literature generally;
formed an alliance with Amasis, king of Egypt, who, struck with
his prosperity, ascribed it to the envy of the gods, insinuating
that they intended his ruin thereby, and advised him, in order
to avert his impending doom, to throw the most valuable of his
possessions into the sea, upon which he threw a signet ring
of great price and beauty, to find it again in the mouth of
a fish a fisherman had sold him; still, though upon this Amasis
broke alliance with him, his prosperity clung to him, till one
day he was allured by a Persian satrap, his enemy, away from
Samos, and by him crucified to death, 521 B.C.
Polygnotus, an early Greek
painter, born in Thasos, and settled in Athens 463 B.C.; is
considered the founder of historical painting, and is praised
especially by Aristotle, who pays a high tribute to him; was
the first to attempt portrait-painting and exhibit character
by his art.
Polyhymnia, one of the nine
Muses (q. v.); she is represented
as in a pensive mood, with her forefinger on her mouth; she
was the inventress of the lyre and the mother of Orpheus.
Polynesia is the collective
name of all the islands of the Pacific of coral or volcanic
origin. These South Sea islands are scattered, isolated, or
more usually in groups over a stretch of ocean 7000 m. from
N. to S. and 6000 from E. to W.; with the exception of the two
chief members of the New Zealand archipelago they are mostly
small, and exhibit wonderful uniformity of climate; the temperature
is moderate, and where there are any hills to intercept the
moisture-laden trade-winds the rainfall is high; they are extremely
rich in flora; characteristic of their vegetation are palms,
bread fruit trees, and edible roots like yams and sweet potatoes,
forests of tree-ferns, myrtles, and ebony, with endless varieties
of beautiful flowering plants; their fauna is wonderfully poor,
varieties of rats and bats, a few snakes, frogs, spiders, and
centipedes, with the crocodile, being the chief indigenous animals;
the three divisions of Polynesia are Micronesia, comprising
five small archipelagoes in the NW., N. of the equator, of which
the chief are the Mariana and Caroline groups; Melanesia, comprising
eleven archipelagoes in the W., S. of the equator, of which
the largest are the Solomon, Bismarck, Fiji, New Caledonia,
and New Hebrides groups; and Eastern Polynesia, E. of these
on both sides of the equator, including New Zealand, Hawaii,
and Samoa, ten other archipelagoes, and numerous sporadic islands;
the first of these divisions is occupied by a mixed population
embracing many distinct elements, the second by the black, low-type
Melanesians, the third by the light brown, tall Polynesians;
traces of extinct civilisation are found in Easter Island and
the Carolines; most of the islands are now in the possession
of European powers, and are more or less Christianised; New
Zealand is one of the most enterprising and flourishing colonies
of Great Britain; everywhere the native races are dying out
before the immigration of Europeans.
Polyphemus, in Homeric legend
a son of Neptune, the most celebrated of the Cyclops, a huge
monster with one eye, who dwelt in Sicily in a cave near Ætna,
and whose eye, after making him drunk, Ulysses burnt out, lest
he should circumvent him and devour him, as he had done some
of his companions.
an institution for teaching the practical arts and the related
sciences, especially such as depend on mathematics.
Polytheism, a belief in a
plurality of gods each with a sphere of his own, and each in
general a personification of some elemental power concerned
in the government of the world.
Pombal, Marquis de,
a great Portuguese statesman, born in Coimbra; was Prime Minister
of Joseph I.; partial to the philosophic opinions of the 18th
century, he set himself to fortify the royal power, to check
that of the aristocracy, and to enlighten the people; he was
the pronounced enemy of the Jesuits, reformed the University
of Coimbra, purified the administration, encouraged commerce
and industry, whereby he earned for himself at the hands of
the people the name of the Great Marquis; on the accession of
Maria, Joseph's daughter and successor, he was, under Jesuit
influence, dispossessed of power, to die in poverty (1699-1782).
Pomerania (1,521), a Prussian
province lying between the Baltic and Brandenburg, with West
Prussia on the E. and Mecklenburg on the W., is a flat and in
some parts sandy country, with no hills, many lakes, and a large
lagoon, the Stettiner Haff, into which the chief river, the
Oder, falls; the islands of Wallin, Usedom, and Rügen belong
to the province; the main industry is agriculture, principal
products rye and potatoes; poultry-rearing and fishing are extensively
carried on; there are shipbuilding, machine-works, sugar and
chemical factories; Stettin, the capital, and Stralsund are
important trading centres; a university is at Greifswald; the
Slavic population embraced Christianity in the 12th century;
shortly afterwards the duke joined the German Empire; after
the Thirty Years' War much of the province fell to Sweden, and
the whole was not finally ceded to Prussia till 1815.
Pomona, or Mainland, the
largest island in the Orkneys, has a low treeless surface, many
lakes, and extensive pasture-land; agriculture has of late improved,
and, with stock-raising and fishing, is the chief industry;
the only towns are Kirkwall and Stromness.
Pomona, in the Roman mythology
is the goddess of fruits, who presided over their ripening and
in-gathering, and was generally represented bearing fruits in
her lap or in a basket.
Pompadour, Marquise de,
a famous mistress of Louis XV., born in Paris; celebrated for
her beauty and wit; throwing herself, though a married woman,
in the king's way, she took his fancy, and was installed at
Versailles; for 20 years exercised an influence both over him
and the affairs of the kingdom, to the corruption and ruin of
both, and the exasperation of the nation; she was preceded as
mistress of Louis by La Châteroux,
and succeeded by Du Barri (1721-1764).
Pompeii, an ancient Italian
seaport on the Bay of Naples, fell into the possession of Rome
about 80 B.C., and was converted into a watering-place and "the
pleasure haunt of paganism"; the Romans erected many handsome
public buildings, and their villas and theatres and baths were
models of classic architecture and the scenes of unbounded luxury;
the streets were narrow, provided with side-walks, the walls
often decorated with painting or scribbled over by idle gamins;
the number of shops witnesses to the fashion and gaiety of the
town, the remains of painted notices to its municipal life;
a terrible earthquake ruined it and drove out the inhabitants
in A.D. 63; they returned and rebuilt it, however, in a tawdry
and decadent style, and luxury and pleasure reigned as before
till in A.D. 79 an eruption of Vesuvius buried everything in
lava and ashes; the ruins were forgotten till accidentally discovered
in 1748; since 1860 the city has been disinterred under the
auspices of the Italian Government, and is now a favourite resort
of tourists and archæologists.
Pompey, Cneius, surnamed
the Great, Roman general and statesman; entered into public
life after the death of Marius; associated himself with Sulla;
distinguished himself in Africa and in the Mithridatic War;
was raised to the consulate with Crassus in 71 B.C.; cleared
the Mediterranean Sea of pirates in 67-66; formed against the
Senate, along with Cæsar and Crassus, the first triumvirate,
and in 54 entered into rivalry with Cæsar; after a desperate
struggle he was defeated at Pharsalia, and escaping to Egypt,
was assassinated there by orders of Ptolemy XII. (106-48 B.C.).
Pompey's Pillar, a block
of red granite near Alexandria, forming a pillar 98 ft. 3 in.
high; erected in honour of the Emperor Diocletian, who conquered
Alexandria in 296. The name is an invention of some mistaken
Ponce de Leon, Spanish navigator;
conquered Porto Rico in 1510, and discovered Florida in 1512.
Also the name of a Spanish poet; was a professor of Theology
at Salamanca; was translator of the Song of Solomon, and wrote
a commentary on it in Latin.
Poncho, a kind of cloak or shawl,
of woollen or alpaca cloth, oblong in shape, with a slit in
the centre, through which the wearer passes his head, allowing
the folds to cover his shoulders and arms to the elbows, and
to fall down before and behind; worn by the native men in Chili
and Argentina. Ponchos of waterproof are used by the United
Pondicherry (173), a small
French colony on the E. coast of India, 53 m. S. of Madras;
was first occupied in 1674. It was captured by the Dutch in
1693, and by the English successively in 1761, 1778, and 1793,
but on each occasion restored. The capital, Pondicherry (41),
is the capital of the French possessions in India; has handsome
tree-lined streets, government buildings, college, lighthouse,
cotton mills, and dye-works. The harbour is an open roadstead;
trade is small, the chief export oil seeds.
Pondos, a branch of Zulu-Kaffirs,
200,000 in number, occupying territory called Pondo Land, annexed
to Cape Colony, in South Africa.
Joseph, Polish general, born in Warsaw; commanded the
Polish contingent that accompanied Napoleon in his expedition
into Russia in 1812; was created Marshal of France on the field
of Leipzig; covered the retreat of the French army, and was
drowned crossing the Elster; his chivalrous bravery earned him
the honourable appellation of the Polish Bayard; he was buried
at Cracow, and his remains placed beside those of Sobieski and
Pons Asinorum (i. e.
Bridge of Asses), the fifth proposition in the 1st book of Euclid,
so called for the difficulty many a tyro has in mastering it.
Frederick Cavendish, military officer; served in the
Peninsular War; distinguished himself at Waterloo; lay wounded
all night after the engagement; was conveyed next day in a cart
to the village with seven wounds in his body; was a great favourite
with the army (1783-1837).
Pontefract (16), an ancient
market-town of Yorkshire, 13 m. SE. of Leeds; has a castle in
which Richard II. died, and which suffered four sieges in the
Civil War, a market hall, grammar school, and large market-gardens,
where liquorice for the manufacture of Pomfret cakes is grown.
Pontifex Maximus, the
chief of the college of priests in ancient Rome, the officiating
priests being called Flamens.
Pontifical, a service-book
of the Romish Church, containing prayers and rites for a performance
of public worship by the Pope or bishop; also in the plural
the name of the full dress of an officiating priest.
Pontine Marshes, a district,
26 m. by 17, in the S. of the Campagna of Rome, one of the three
malarial districts of Italy, and the most unhealthy of the three,
extending about 30 m. in length and 10 or 11 in varying breadth,
is grazing ground for herds of cattle, horses, and buffaloes.
Many unsuccessful attempts have been made to drain these marshes.
Pontus, the classical name of
a country on the SE. shores of the Black Sea, stretching from
the river Halys to the borders of Armenia; is represented by
the modern Turkish provinces of Trebizond and Sivas. Originally
a Persian province, it became independent shortly after 400
B.C., and remained so till part was annexed to Bithynia in 65
B.C., and the rest constituted a Roman province in A.D. 63.
Poole (15), a seaport of Dorsetshire,
5 m. W. of Bournemouth; has a trade in potters' and pipe-clay,
with considerable shipping.
Poole, Matthew, English
controversialist and commentator, born at York, educated at
Cambridge; became rector of St. Michael le Querne in London,
but was expelled from his living by the Act of Uniformity 1662;
retiring to Holland he died at Amsterdam; besides polemics against
Rome he compiled a "Synopsis Criticorum Biblicorum,"
containing the opinions of 150 Biblical critics (1624-1679).
Poona (160), 119 m. by rail SE.
of Bombay, is the chief military station in the Deccan, and
in the hot season the centre of government in the Bombay Presidency;
with narrow streets and poor houses, it is surrounded by gardens;
here are the Deccan College, College of Science, and other schools;
the English quarters are in the cantonments; silk, cotton, and
jewellery are manufactured; it was the capital of the Mahrattas,
and was annexed by Britain in 1818.
Poor Richard, the name assumed
by Franklin (q. v.) in
Pope (i. e. Papa), a title
originally given to all bishops of the Church, and eventually
appropriated by Leo the Great, the bishop of Rome, as the supreme
pontiff in 449, a claim which in 1054 created the Great Schism,
and which asserted itself territorially as well as spiritually,
till now at length the Pope has been compelled to resign all
territorial power. The present Pope, Pius X., is
the successor of 258 who occupied before
him the Chair of St. Peter.
Pope, Alexander, eminent
English poet, born in London, of Roman Catholic parents; was
a sickly child, and marred by deformity, and imperfectly educated;
began to write verse at 12 in which he afterwards became such
a master; his "Pastorals" appeared in 1709, "Essay
on Criticism" in 1711, and "Rape of the Lock"
in 1712, in the production of which he was brought into relationship
with the leading literary men of the time, and in particular
Swift, between whom and him a lifelong friendship was formed;
in 1715-20 appeared his translation of the "Iliad,"
and in 1723-25 that of the "Odyssey," for which two
works, it is believed, he received some £9000; afterwards,
in 1728, appeared the "Dunciad," a scathing satire
of all the small fry of poets and critics that had annoyed him,
and in 1732 appeared the first part of the famous "Essay
on Man"; he was a vain man, far from amiable, and sometimes
vindictive to a degree, though he was capable of warm attachments,
and many of his faults were due to a not unnatural sensitiveness
as a deformed man; but as a poet he is entitled to the homage
which Professor Saintsbury pays when he characterises him as "one
of the greatest masters of poetic form that the world has ever
Popish Plot, an imaginary
plot devised by Titus Oates
(q. v.) on the part of the Roman Catholics in Charles
II.'s reign; in the alleged connection a number of innocent
people lost their lives.
Porch, The, the name given
to the school of Zeno (q. v.),
so called from the Arcade in Athens, in which he taught his
philosophy, a "many-coloured portico," as decorated
with the paintings of Polygnotus
Porcupine, Peter, a pseudonym
assumed by William Cobbett
Porphyry, a Neo-Platonic philosopher
of Alexandria, born at Tyre; resorted to Rome and became a disciple
of Plotinus (q. v.), whose
works he edited; he wrote a work against Christianity, known
only from the replies (233-305).
Porsena, a king of Etruria,
famous in the early history of Rome, who took up arms to restore
Tarquin, the last king, but was reconciled to the Roman people
from the brave feats he saw, certain of them accomplished, as
well as the formidable power of endurance they displayed.
Porson, Richard, eminent
Greek scholar, born in Norfolk; was a prodigy of learning and
critical acumen; edited the plays of Æschylus and four
of Euripides, but achieved little in certification to posterity
of his ability and attainments; was a man of slovenly and intemperate
habits, and died of apoplexy (1759-1808).
Port Arthur, a naval station
on the peninsula extending S. into the Gulf of Pechili; conceded
to Russia on a lease of 99 years.
Port Darwin, one of the finest
harbours in Australia; is on the N. coast opposite Bathurst
Island; on its shores stands Palmerston, terminus of the overland
telegraph, the cable to Java, and a railway to the gold mines
150 m. inland.
Port Elizabeth (25), the
third largest town and chief trading centre of Cape Colony;
stands on Algoa Bay, 85 m. SW. of Grahamstown; it has magnificent
public buildings, parks, and squares, a college, library, and
museum. It is the chief port in the E. of the colony and for
Natal, the principal exports being wools, hides, and ostrich
Port Glasgow (15), a Renfrewshire
seaport on the S. shore of the Firth of Clyde, 3 m. E. of Greenock
and 20 W. of Glasgow; was founded by the magistrates of Glasgow
in 1668 as a port for that city before the deepening of the
river was projected. In the beginning of the 18th century it
was the chief port on the Clyde, but has since been surpassed
by Greenock and Glasgow itself. There are shipbuilding, iron
and brass founding industries, and extensive timber ponds.
Port Louis (62), capital of
Mauritius, on the NW. coast; is the chief port of the colony,
with an excellent harbour, and contains the British government
buildings, a Protestant and a Roman Catholic cathedral, barracks,
and military store-houses. It is a naval coaling-station.
Port Royal, a convent founded
in 1204, 8 m. SW. of Versailles, and which in the 17th century
became the head-quarters of Jansenism
(q. v.), and the abode of Antoine Lemaitre, Antoine Arnauld,
and others, known as the "Solitaires of the Port Royal."
They were distinguished for their austerity, their piety, and
their learning, in evidence of which last they established a
school of instruction, in connection with which they prepared
a series of widely famous educational works.
on the W. coast of Hayti, on Port-au-Prince Bay, is the capital;
a squalid town; exports coffee, cocoa, logwood, hides, and mahogany.
Portcullis, a strong grating
resembling a harrow hanging over the gateway of a fortress,
let down in a groove of the wall in the case of a surprise.
Porte, Sublime, or simply
the Porte, is a name given to the Turkish Government.
Porteous Mob, the name given
a mob that collected in the city of Edinburgh on the night of
the 7th September 1736, broke open the Tolbooth jail, and dragged
to execution in the Grassmarket one Captain Porteous, captain
of the City Guard, who on the occasion of a certain riot had
ordered his men to fire on the crowd to the death of some and
the wounding of others, and had been tried and sentenced to
death, but, to the indignation of the citizens, had been respited.
The act was one for which the authorities in the city were held
responsible by the Government, and the city had to pay to Porteous'
Porter, Jane, English novelist,
born in Durham; her most famous novels were "Thaddeus of
Warsaw" (1803) and "The Scottish Chiefs" (1810),
both highly popular in their day, the latter particularly; it
induced Scott to go on with Waverley; died at Bristol (1776-1850).
Porter, Noah, American philosophical
writer, born at Farmington, Connecticut, educated at Yale; was
a Congregationalist minister 1836-46, then professor of Moral
Philosophy at Yale, and afterwards President of the college;
Edinburgh University granted him the degree of D.D. in 1886;
among his works are "The Human Intellect" and "Books
and Reading"; b. 1811.
Porteus, Beilby, English
churchman, born at York, of American parentage; graduated and
became Fellow of Christ's College, Cambridge, and took orders
in 1757; from the rectory of Hunton, Kent, he was preferred
to that of Lambeth in 1767, thence to the bishopric of Chester
in 1776, and to that of London 1787; a poor scholar, he yet
wrote some popular books, especially a "Summary of Christian
Evidences," and "Lectures on St. Matthew's Gospel";
he posed as a Sabbatarian and an advocate of the abolition of
Portia, the rich heiress in the "Merchant
of Venice," whose destiny in marriage depended, as ordained
by her father, on the discretion of the
wooer to choose the one of the three caskets that contained
Portland, 1, the largest city
(50) and principal seaport of Maine, stands on a peninsula in
Casco Bay, 108 in. NE. of Boston by rail. It has extensive wharfs,
dry-docks, and grain-elevators, engineer shops, shoe-factories,
and sugar-refineries. Settled as an English colony in 1632,
it was ravaged by fire in 1866. Longfellow was born here. 2,
largest city (90) in Oregon, on the Willamette River, nearly
800 m. N. of San Francisco; is a handsome city, with numerous
churches and schools; there are iron-foundries, mechanics' shops,
canneries, and flour-mills; railway communication connects it
with St. Paul and Council Bluffs, and the river being navigable
for deep-sea steamers, it is a thriving port of entry.
Portland, Isle of, a
rocky peninsula in the SW. of Dorsetshire, connected by Chesil
Bank and the Mainland; is famous as the source of great quantities
of fine building limestone; here is also a convict-prison opened
1848, accommodating 1500 prisoners.
Portland Vase, an ancient
cinerary urn of dark blue glass ornamented with Greek mythological
figures carved in a layer of white enamel found near Rome about
1640, and which came into the possession of the Portland family
in 1787, and is now in the British Museum. It is ten inches
high and seven inches round.
Porto Rico (814), a West Indian
island, half the size of Wales, 75 m. E. of Hayti, is well watered
and very fertile. Ranges of hills run from E. to W., and are
covered with valuable timber. Sugar, coffee, and rice are the
principal crops; tobacco and tropical fruits are grown; cattle
and horses are reared. Textile goods, hardware, and provisions
are imported; the exports are sugar, coffee, tobacco, and cattle.
The capital is St. John's (24), Mayaguez (27), and Ponce (40),
the other towns. The island was discovered by Columbus, who
called it Hispaniola, in 1493. Colonised by Spain in 1510, it
attempted unsuccessfully to gain independence in 1820-23. The
abolition of slavery in 1873, and the growth of population,
marked the remainder of its history as a Spanish colony. It
was seized by the United States in the war of 1898.
Portobello (8), a Midlothian
watering-place on the Firth of Forth, 3 m. E. of Edinburgh,
with which it is now incorporated for municipal purposes; has
a fine esplanade and promenade pier, and manufactures of pottery,
bricks, and bottles.
Portsmouth, 1, largest city
(10) of New Hampshire, and only seaport in the State, on the
Piscataqua River, 3 m. from the ocean; is by rail 57 m. NE.
of Boston, a handsome old town and favourite watering-place;
near it is a U.S. navy-yard. 2, (12), On the Ohio River, in
Ohio; is the centre of an extensive iron industry. 3, (13),
Seaport and naval station on the Elizabeth River, Virginia.
Portsmouth (159), the most
important British naval station, a seaport and market-town,
is situated on Portsea Island, on the coast of Hants, 15 m.
SE. of Southampton. It is an unimposing town, but strongly fortified.
St. Thomas's and Garrison Chapel are old churches with historical
associations. The naval dockyards contain 12 docks lined with
masonry, vast store-houses, wood-mills, anchor-forges, and building-slips.
Some of the docks are roofed over, as also is a large building-slip
on which four vessels may be constructed at once. The harbour
can receive the largest war-vessels, and in Spithead roadstead
1000 ships can anchor at once. The trade of Portsmouth is dependent
on the dockyards. It owes its defences to Edward IV. Elizabeth,
and William III. It was the scene of Buckingham's assassination
and of the loss of the Royal George. Three novelists
were born here—Dickens, Meredith, and Besant.
Portugal (5,000), a country
as large as Ireland, bounded on the S. and W. by the Atlantic,
on the N. and E. by Spain, from which at different places it
is separated by the rivers Minho, Douro, Tagus, and Guadiana;
consists of the Atlantic slopes of the great peninsular tableland,
and has a moist, warm atmosphere, heavy rains, and frequent
fogs. The above rivers and the Mondego traverse it; their valleys
are fertile, the mountain slopes covered with forests. In the
N. the oak abounds, in the centre the chestnut, in the S. cork-trees
and palms. Agriculture, carried on with primitive implements,
is the chief industry. Indian corn, wheat, and in the S. rice,
are extensively grown; the vine yields the most valuable crops,
but in the N. it is giving place to tobacco. There are a few
textile factories. The largest export is wine; the others, cork,
copper ore, and onions, which are sent to Great Britain, Brazil,
and France. The principal imports, iron, textiles, and grain.
The capital is Lisbon, on the Tagus, one of the finest towns
in the world. Oporto, the chief manufacturing centre, and second
city for commerce, is at the mouth of the Douro. Braga was once
the capital. Coimbra, on the Mondego, is the rainiest place
in Europe. There are good roads between the chief towns, 1200
m. of railway and 3000 m. of telegraph. The people are a mixed
race, showing traces of Arab, Berber, and Negro blood, with
a predominance of northern strains. They are courteous and gentle;
the peasantry hard-working and thrifty. Roman Catholic is the
national faith, but they are tolerant of other religions. The
language is closely akin to Spanish. Education is backward.
The Government is a limited monarchy, there being two houses
of Parliament—Peers and Deputies. The Azores and Madeira
are part of the kingdom; there are colonies in Africa and Asia,
in which slavery was abolished only in 1878. The 14th and 15th
centuries saw the zenith of Portugal's fortunes. At that time,
in strict alliance with England, she raised herself by her enterprise
to the foremost maritime and commercial power of Europe; her
navigators founded Brazil, and colonised India. Diaz in 1487
discovered and Vasco da Gama in 1497 doubled the Cape of Good
Hope. In 1520 Magellan sailed round the world; but in the 16th
century the extensive emigration, the expulsion of the Jews,
the introduction of the Inquisition, and the spread of Jesuit
oppression, led to a speedy downfall. For a time she was annexed
to Spain. Regaining her independence, she threw herself under
the protection of England, her traditional friend, during the
Napoleonic struggle. She is now an inconsiderable power, commercially
thriving, politically restless, financially unsound.
Poseidon, in the Greek mythology
the god of the sea, a son of Kronos and Rhea, and brother of
Zeus, Pluto, Hera, Hestia, and Demeter; had his home in the
sea depths, on the surface of which he appeared with a long
beard, seated in a chariot drawn by brazen-hoofed horses with
golden manes, and wielding a trident, which was the symbol of
his power, exercised in production of earthquake and storms.
Posen (1,752), a province of Prussia
on the Russian frontier, surrounded by West Prussia, Brandenburg,
and Silesia; belongs to the great North German plain; has several
lakes, and is traversed by the navigable Warthe, Netze, and
Vistula. The prevailing industry is agriculture; the crops are
grain, potatoes, and hops; there are some manufactures of machinery
and cloth. Originally part of Poland, half the population are
Poles; except the Jews, most of the people are Catholics. The
capital is Posen (70), on the Warthe, by rail 185 m.
E. of Berlin. It is a pleasant town, with a cathedral, museum,
and library, manufactures of manure and agricultural implements,
breweries and distilleries. It is now a fortress of the first
rank. Gnesen and Bromberg are the other chief towns.
Posidonius, an eminent Stoic
philosopher, born in Syria; established himself in Rhodes, where
he rose to eminence; was visited by Cicero and Pompey, both
of whom became his pupils; maintained that pain was no evil; "in
vain, O Pain," he exclaimed one day under the pangs of
it, "in vain thou subjectest me to torture; it is not in
thee to extort from me the reproach that thou art an evil"
Positivism, the philosophy
so called of Auguste Comte
(q. v.), the aim of which is to propound a new arrangement
of the sciences and a new theory of the evolution of science;
the sciences he classes under the categories of abstract and
concrete, and his law of evolution is that every department
of knowledge passes in the history of it through three successive
stages, and only in the last of which it is entitled to the
name of science—the Theological stage, in which everything
is referred to the intervention of the gods; the Metaphysical,
in which everything is referred to an abstract idea; and the
Positive, which, discarding at once theology and philosophy,
contents itself with the study of phenomena and their sequence,
and regards that as science proper. Thus is positivism essentially
definable, in Dr. Stirling's words, as "a method which
replaces all outlying agencies, whether Theological deities
or Metaphysical entities, by Positive laws; which laws, and
in their phenomenal relativity, as alone what can be known,
ought alone to constitute what is sought to be known."
See Dr. Stirling's "Schwegler."
Posse Comitatus, a Latin
expression, signifies the whole coercive power of a county called
out in the case of a riot, and embraces all males over 15 except
peers, ecclesiastics, and infirm persons. These may be summoned
by the sheriff to assist in maintaining the public peace, enforcing
a writ, or capturing a felon; but usually the constabulary is
sufficient for these duties.
Post Restante, department
of a post-office where letters lie till they are called for.
Potemkin, Russian officer,
born at Smolensk, of Polish descent; a handsome man with a powerful
physique, who attracted the attention of Catharine II., became
one of her chief favourites, and directed the foreign policy
of Russia under her for 13 years; is understood to have been
an able man, but unscrupulous (1736-1771).
Potomac River, rising in
the Alleghany Mountaine, flows 400 m. eastward between Maryland
and the Virginias into Chesapeake Bay; the Shenandoah is the
chief tributary. The river is navigable as far up as Cumberland,
and is tidal up to Washington, which is on its banks.
Potosi (12), an important mining
and commercial town of Bolivia, situated 13,000 ft. above sea-level
on the slopes of the Cerro de Potosi; is one of the loftiest
inhabited places on the globe, but a dilapidated, squalid place.
There is a cathedral, next to Lima the finest in South America,
a mint, and extensive reservoirs; the streets are steep and
without vehicles; the climate is cold, and the surrounding hillsides
barren; the industry is silver mining, but the mines are becoming
exhausted and flooded.
Potsdam (54), 18 m. SW. of Berlin,
stands on an island at the confluence of the Nuthe and Havel,
and is the capital of the Prussian province of Brandenburg;
a handsome town, with broad streets, many parks and squares,
numberless statues and fine public buildings; it is a favourite
residence of Prussian royalty, and has several royal palaces;
was the birthplace of Alexander von Humboldt; has sugar and
chemical works, and a large violet-growing industry.
Pott, August Friedrich,
eminent philologist, born in Hanover; wrote on the Indo-Germanic
languages, a work which ranks next in importance to Bopp's "Comparative
Grammar"; he was the author of a number of philological
papers which appeared in the learned journals of the day (1802-1887).
Potter, John, archbishop
of Canterbury, born in Yorkshire, son of a draper, a distinguished
scholar; author of "Archæologia Græca,"
a work on the antiquities of Greece, and for long the authority
on that subject (1674-1747).
Potter, Paul, a great Dutch
animal-painter, lived chiefly at Amsterdam and The Hague; his
most celebrated picture, life-size, is the "Young Bull,"
now at The Hague (1625-1654).
Potteries, The, a district
in North Staffordshire, 9 m. long by 3 broad, the centre of
the earthenware manufacture of England; it includes Hanley,
Burslem, Stoke-upon-Trent, &c.
Pot-wallopers (i. e.
Pot-boilers), a popular name given prior to the Reform Bill
of 1832 to a class of electors in a borough who claimed the
right to vote on the ground of boiling a pot within its limits
for six months.
Pourparler, a diplomatic
conference towards the framing of a treaty.
Poussin, Nicolas, one
of the most illustrious of French painters, born near Andelys,
in Normandy; studied first in Paris and then at Rome, where
he first attained celebrity, whence he was in 1640 invited to
Paris by Louis XIII., who appointed him painter-in-ordinary,
with a studio in the Tuileries, returning three years after
to Rome, where he died; he is the author of numerous great works,
among which may be mentioned the "Shepherds of Arcadia," "The
Deluge," "Moses drawn out of the Water," "The
Flight into Egypt," &c., all of which display simplicity
of taste, nobility of character, and artistic talent of a high
Powell, Baden, physicist,
rationalist in theology, born in London; was Savilian professor
of Geometry at Oxford, wrote a number of treatises on physical
subjects, and contributed to the famous "Essays and Reviews"
an essay on the evidences of Christianity which gave no small
offence to orthodox people (1796-1860).
Powell, Major, American
geologist and ethnologist, born in New York State; served in
the Civil War, explored the cañon of Colorado, and became
Director of the U.S. Geological Survey; has written on geological
and ethnological subjects; b. 1834.
Powers, Hiram, American
sculptor, born in Vermont; began his career by modelling busts
at Washington, in 1837 emigrated to Italy, and resided the rest
of his life at Florence, where he produced his "Eve,"
his "Greek Slave," and other works (1807-1873).
Poynings's Law, an Act
of Parliament held at Drogheda in 1495 in the reign of Henry
VII., declaring that all statutes hitherto passed in England
should be also in force in Ireland, so called
from Sir Edward Poynings, the lieutenant
of Ireland at the time.
Poynter, Edward John,
painter, born in Paris; was educated in England, studied in
Rome and Paris, and settled in London in 1860; held appointments
at University College and at Kensington, but resigned them in
1881 to prosecute his art, which he has since assiduously done,
and with distinction; was elected President of the Royal Academy
in 1896; is the author of "Lectures on Art"; b.
Pozzo di Borgo, Count,
the lifelong enemy of Napoleon, born in Ajaccio, Corsica; was
a partisan of Paoli; obliged to flee from Corsica, took refuge
in London, in Vienna, and then in Russia, and plotted everywhere
to compass the ruin of his arch-enemy; seduced, out of simple
hatred of him, Bernadotte from the service of Napoleon, and
egged on the allies against France; represented Russia at the
Congress of Vienna, and died in Paris (1764-1842).
Pozzuoli (12), an Italian city
on the Bay of Naples, is noted for its classical remains; the
cathedral was once the temple of Augustus; there are ruins of
other temples, a forum, and the ancient harbour of Puteoli,
where St. Paul landed; the town has been submerged and partially
raised again by volcanic action; Mount Solfatara, behind, supplies
medicinal gases and springs; near it are the Italian works of
Armstrong of Elswick.
P. P., Clerk of this Parish,
the feigned author of a volume of memoirs written by Arbuthnot
in ridicule of Burnet's "History of My Own Times."
Praed, Winthrop Mackworth,
witty facile versifier and politician, born in London; practised
in verse-making from a boy, notably at Eton; bred for the bar,
entered Parliament as a Tory in 1830, and rose into office;
wrote several verse-tales, some pieces of promise, such as "Arminius"
and "My Pretty Josephine," a grotesque production
called "The Red Fisherman," and exquisite vers
de société (1802-1839).
Prætor, a Roman magistrate
at first, virtually a third consul, with administrative functions,
chiefly judiciary, originally in the city, and ultimately in
the provinces as well, so that the number of them increased
at one time to as many as 16.
a select body of soldiers distributed in cohorts, as many as
ten of a thousand each, to guard the person and maintain the
power of the emperors, and who at length acquired such influence
in the State as to elect and depose at will the emperors themselves,
disposing at times of the imperial purple to the highest bidder,
till they were in the end outnumbered and dispersed by Constantine
a term applied to "an ordinance of a very irrevocable nature
which a sovereign makes in affairs belonging wholly to himself,
or what he reckons within his own right," but applied more
particularly to the decree promulgated by Charles VI., emperor
of Germany, whereby he vested the right of succession to the
throne of Austria in his daughter, Maria Theresa, wife of Francis
of Lorraine, a succession which was guaranteed by France, the
States-General, and the most of the European Powers.
Prague (310), capital of Bohemia,
on the Moldau, 217 m. by rail NW. of Vienna, is a picturesque
city with over 70 towers, a great royal palace, unfinished cathedral,
an old town-hall, a picture-gallery, observatory, botanical
garden, and museums; the University, partly German and partly
Czech, has 300 teachers, 4000 students, and a magnificent library;
the centre of an important transit trade, Prague is the chief
commercial city of Bohemia; has manufactures of machinery, chemicals,
leather, and textile goods; four-fifths of the population are
Czechs; founded in the 12th century, it has suffered in many
wars; was captured by the Hussites 1424, fell frequently during
the Thirty Years' War, capitulated to Frederick the Great 1757,
and in 1848 was bombarded for two days by the Austrian Government
in quelling the democratic demonstrations of the Slavonic Congress
of that year.
Prairie, name given by the French
to an extensive tract of flat or rolling land covered with tall,
waving grass, mostly destitute of trees, and forming the great
central plain of North America, which extends as far N. as Canada.
Prakrit, name given to a group
of Hindu languages based on Sanskrit.
Pratique, license given to
a ship to enter port on assurance from the captain to convince
the authorities that she is free from contagious disease.
Praxiteles, great Greek sculptor,
born at Athens; executed statues in both bronze and marble,
and was unrivalled in the exhibition of the softer beauties
of the human form, especially the female figure, his most celebrated
being the marble one of Aphrodité at Cnidus; he executed
statues of Eros, Apollo, and Hermes as well, but they have all
with printed prayers on them, driven by hand, water, or wind-power,
in use among the Buddhists of Thibet.
Pre-Adamites, a race presumed
to have existed on the earth prior to Adam; traditional first
fathers of the Jews.
Precession of the Equinoxes,
name given to the gradual shifting of the equinoctial points
along the ecliptic from east to west. See
a play of Molière's, published in 1653, directed against
the affectations of certain literary coteries of the day.
Predestination, the eternal
decree which in particular foreordains certain of the human
family to life everlasting and others to death everlasting,
or the theological dogma which teaches these. See
Election, the Doctrine
Predicables, the five classes
of terms which can be predicated of a subject, viz.—genus,
containing species; species, contained in a genus;
differentia, distinguishing one species from another;
property, quality possessed by every member of a species;
and accident, attribute belonging to certain individuals
of a species and not others.
Pregel, a navigable river in
E. Prussia, 120 m. long and 730 ft. broad, which falls into
the Frische Haff below Königsberg.
Russian explorer, born in Smolensk; joined the army, served
against the Poles in 1861, and was appointed to Siberia in 1867;
his first explorations were in the country S. of the Amur; in
1871-73 he travelled through Southern Mongolia from Pekin to
the upper Yangtse-kiang region; thereafter his energies were
devoted to Thibet; he made repeated unsuccessful attempts to
reach Lhassa, exploring by the way the desert of Gobi and the
upper Hoang-ho, and died finally at Karakol, in West Turkestan;
he discovered the wild camel and wild horse, and brought back
valuable zoological and botanical collections, which are now
in St. Petersburg (1839-1888)
movement headed by Rossetti, Holman Hunt, and Millais, of revolt
against the style of art in vogue, traceable
all the way back to Raphael, and of a bold return to the study
of nature itself, agreeably to the advice of Ruskin, that "they
should go to Nature in all singleness of heart, and walk with
her laboriously and trustingly, having no other thought than
how best to penetrate her meaning: rejecting nothing, selecting
nothing, and scorning nothing"; the principle of the movement,
as having regard not merely to what the outer eye sees in an
object, but to what the inner eye sees of objective truth and
reality in it.
Presburg (52), the ancient
capital of Hungary, close to the Austrian frontier, on the Danube,
by rail 40 m. E. of Vienna; is a pleasant town, with a cathedral,
a town-house, and a Franciscan church, all of the 13th century,
the old Parliament House, and a ruined royal castle; manufactures
beer, dynamite, and starch, and trades largely in live stock
Presbyopia, diminution of
sight due to age, occurring usually about forty-five, when near
objects are less distinctly seen than distant, an affliction
due to the flattening of the lens.
form of Church government which, discarding prelacy, regards
all ministers in conclave as on the same level in rank and function,
and which is the prevailing form of Church government in Scotland;
inherited from Geneva, as also prevailing extensively in the
United States of America. The government is administered by
a gradation of courts, called "Kirk-Sessions," of
office-bearers in connection with a particular congregation; "Presbyteries,"
in connection with a small district; "Synods," in
connection with a larger; and finally a General Assembly or
a Synod of the whole Church, which, besides managing the affairs
of the collective body, forms a court of final appeal in disputed
matters or cases.
Prescott, William Hickling,
American historian, born at Salem, Massachusetts; son of a lawyer;
graduated at Harvard in 1814, and applied himself to study law;
by-and-by he travelled in Europe, married, and turned to literature
as a profession; growing blind, the result of an accident at
college, he fortunately inherited means, employed assistants,
and with great courage in 1826 began to study Spanish history. "Ferdinand
and Isabella" appearing in 1838, established his reputation
in both worlds; "The Conquest of Mexico" was published
in 1843, and "The Conquest of Peru" in 1847; he was
elected corresponding member of the French Institute; his style
is vivid, direct, and never dull; though not philosophical,
his histories are masterpieces of narrative and incident; he
died of apoplexy at Boston before completing the "History
of Philip II." (1796-1859).
Present Time, defined impressively
by Carlyle as "the youngest born of Eternity, child and
heir of all the past times, with their good and evil, and parent
of all the future with new questions and significance,"
on the right or wrong understanding of which depend the issues
of life or death to us all, the sphinx riddle given to all of
us to rede as we would live and not die.
President of the
United States, is popularly elected for four years,
or rather by delegates so elected to each State, and sometimes
re-elected for other four; is commander-in-chief of the army
and navy; sees to the administration of the laws, signs bills
before they pass into law, makes treaties, grants reprieves
and pardons, and receives an annual salary of 50,000 dollars.
Press-Gang, a party armed
with powers to impress men into the naval service in times of
emergency, a practice which often gave rise to serious disturbances,
and is not in any circumstances likely to be had recourse to
again. See Impressment.
Pressensé, Edmond de,
eminent French Protestant theologian, born at Luasanne, in Paris;
studied under Vinet and Neander at Berlin; became Protestant
minister in Paris; was elected a deputy in the National Assembly
in 1871, and a senator in 1883; wrote a "Life of Christ,"
and on numerous subjects of theological and ecclesiastical interest
Prester, John. See
Preston (112), Lancashire manufacturing
town on the Ribble, 31 m. N W. of Manchester; is a well laid
out brick town, with three parks, a magnificent town-hall, a
market, public baths, free library, museum, and picture-gallery;
St. Walburge's Roman Catholic church has the highest post-Reformation
steeple in England, 306 ft. The deepening of the river and construction
of docks have added to the shipping trade. The chief industry
is cotton, but there are also shipbuilding yards, engineer shops,
and foundries. One of Cromwell's victories was won here; it
was the birthplace of Richard Arkwright, and the scene of the
beginning of the English total abstinence movement in 1832.
Pretenders, The, the names
given to the son and the grandson of James II. (Prince Charlie)
as claiming a right to the throne of England, and called respectively
the Elder and the Younger Pretender; the elder, who made one
or two attempts to secure his claim, surrendered it to his son,
who in 1745 was defeated at Culloden.
Pretoria (whites, 10), capital
of the Transvaal, stands on a mountain-enclosed plain 1000 m.
NE. of Cape Town, and nearly 300 m. W. of Lorenzo Marquez, Delagoa
Bay, with both of which and with Natal it is connected by rail.
It is a thriving town, growing rapidly with flourishing trade,
the see of a bishop, and containing twenty English schools.
Coal is found near, and wheat, tobacco, cotton, and indigo grown.
It is the seat of the government of the Transvaal.
d'Exiles, Antoine François, or Abbé
Prévost, a French romancer, born in Heslin, Artois;
was educated by the Jesuits, and became a Benedictine monk,
but proving refractory, fled to Holland and England; wrote several
novels, but his fame rests on one entitled "Manon Lescaut,"
a work of genius, charming at once in matter and style; a "story,"
says Professor Saintsbury, "chiefly remarkable for the
perfect simplicity and absolute life-likeness of the character-drawing";
derives its name from the subject of it, a young girl named
Lucien Anatole, French littérateur and publicist,
born in Paris; distinguished himself as journalist and essayist;
was an enemy of the Empire, but accepted a post under Ollivier
as envoy to the United States in 1870, and committed suicide
at Washington almost immediately after landing; it was on the
eve of the Franco-German War, and he had been the subject of
virulent attacks from the republican press of the day (1829-1870).
Priam, the old king of Troy during
the Trojan War; was the son of Laomedon, who with the help of
Apollo and Poseidon built the city; had a large family by his
wife Hecuba, Hector, Paris, and Cassandra, the most noted of
them; was too old to take part in the war; is said to have fallen
by the hand of Pyrrhus on the capture of Troy by the Greeks.
Priapus, an ancient deity, the
personification of the generating or
fructifying power, and worshipped as the protector of flocks
of sheep and goats, of bees, of the vine and other garden products;
a worship known as the Priapus worship prevailed extensively
all over the East.
Price, Richard, English
moralist, born in Glamorganshire; wrote on politics and economics
as well as ethics, in which last he followed
Cudworth (q. v.), and
insisted on the unimpeachable quality of moral distinctions,
and the unimpeachable authority of the moral sentiments (1723-1791).
Prichard, James Cowles,
founder of ethnology and a philologist, born in Hereford; bred
to medicine, and practised in Bristol; wrote "Researches
into the Physical History of Mankind," "The Eastern
Origin of the Celtic Nations," "Analysis of Egyptian
Mythology," and the "Natural History of Man";
maintained the original unity of the race, and that the original
pair were negroes; philology was in his hands the handmaid of
ethnology, and he made himself master of the primitive languages
English prelate and scholar; remembered chiefly as the author
of a learned work entitled "The Connection of the History
of the Old and New Testaments"; wrote a "Life of Mahomet,"
popular in its day and for long after (1648-1724).
Pride's Purge, the name
given to a violent exclusion, in 1649, at the hands of a body
of troops commanded by Colonel Pride of about a hundred members
of the House of Commons disposed to deal leniently with the
king, after which some eighty, known as the Rump, were left
to deal with his Majesty and bring him to justice.
Priessnitz, founder of the
water-cure, in connection with which he had a large establishment
at Gräfenberg, in Austrian Silesia; was a mere empiric,
having been bred to farming (1799-1851).
Priest, properly a man in touch
with the religious life of the people, and for the most part
consecrated to mediate between them and the Deity; the prophet,
on the other hand, being one more in touch with the Deity, being
at times so close to Him as to require a priest to mediate between
him and the laity.
Priestley, Joseph, a Socinian
divine, born near Leeds; wrote in defence of Socinianism, and
in defence of Christianity; gave himself to physical research,
particularly pneumatic chemistry; is claimed as the discoverer
of oxygen; sympathised with the French Revolution; was mobbed,
and had to flee to America, where he died, believing in immortality
despite his materialistic philosophy (1733-1804).
Prim, Juan, a Spanish general;
distinguished as a statesman; rose to be Minister of War, but
aspiring to dictatorship, was shot by an assassin; he was the
leader of the movement that overthrew Isabella in 1868 and installed
Amadeo in her stead (1814-1870).
Primrose, the name of a family
in Goldsmith's "Vicar of Wakefield."
Primrose League, a politico-Conservative
organisation founded in 1883 in memory of Lord Beaconsfield,
and so called because the primrose was popularly reported to
be his favourite flower. It includes a large membership, nearly
a million, comprising women as well as men; is divided into
district habitations; confers honours and badges in the style
of Freemasonry, and has extensive political influence under
Prince Edward Island
(109), an island province of Canada, in the S. of Gulf of St.
Lawrence, occupies a great bay formed by New Brunswick, Nova
Scotia, and Cape Breton, and is somewhat larger than Northumberland.
The coast-line is exceedingly broken, the surface low and undulating,
and very fertile. The chief industry is agriculture, oats and
potatoes are the best crops; decayed shells found in beds on
the shore are an excellent manure; sheep and horses are raised
with great success. The climate is healthy, milder and clearer
than on the mainland, but with a tedious winter. Coal exists,
but is not wrought. The fisheries are the best on the Gulf,
but are not developed. Manufactures are inconsiderable. Discovered
by the Cabots, it was settled by the French in 1715, and ceded
to Great Britain in 1763. Constituted a province in 1768, the
name was changed from St. John to Prince Edward in 1799. Since
1875 the local government have bought out most of the great
proprietors, and resold the land to occupying owners. Education
is free. There are normal schools and two colleges. Half the
people are Roman Catholics. A railway traverses the island,
and there is daily steam communication with the mainland. The
capital is Charlottetown (13); Summerside, Georgetown, and Sourio
are the other towns.
Prince of Peace, a title
given by Charles IV. of Spain to his Prime Minister,
Don Manuel Godoy (q.
Princeton (3), a town of New
Jersey, 50 m. SW. of New York; was the scene of a battle in
the War of Independence, and the meeting-place of the Continental
Congress of 1783; now noted as the seat of the College of New
Jersey, founded at Newark 1746, and removed to Princeton ten
years later, with now 50 teachers and 600 students; Jonathan
Edwards and Dr. James M'Cosh as presidents, James Madison and
others as alumni, have given it lustre. The Theological Seminary,
the oldest and largest Presbyterian one in the States, was founded
in 1812, and a School of Science in 1871. The college is rich
in museums, observatories, laboratories, libraries, and funds.
Pringle, Thomas, minor
poet, born in Roxburghshire; edited the Monthly Magazine;
emigrated to South Africa; held a small government appointment;
was bullied out of it; returned home, and became Secretary to
the Anti-Slavery Society (1789-1834).
Printed Paper, Carlyle's
satirical name for the literature of France prior to the Revolution.
Prinzenraub (the stealing
of the princes), name given to an attempt, to satisfy a private
grudge of his, on the part of Kunz von Kaufingen to carry off,
on the night of the 7th July 1455, two Saxon princes from the
castle of Altenburg, in which he was defeated by apprehension
at the hands of a collier named Schmidt, through whom he was
handed over to justice and beheaded. See
Carlyle's account of this in his "Miscellanies."
Prior, Matthew, English
poet and diplomatist, born near Wimborne, East Dorset; studied
at Cambridge; became Fellow of Trinity College; was ambassador
to France; involved himself in an intrigue, was imprisoned,
and on his release lived in retirement; he is remembered as
a poet; wrote in 1687 a parody of Dryden's "Hind and Panther,"
entitled "The Story of the Country Mouse and the City Mouse,"
and afterwards, "Solomon on the Vanity of the World," "Alma;
or, The Progress of the Mind," after Butler, as well as
tales, lyrics, and epigrams; Professor Saintsbury calls him "the
king of 'verse of society'" (1664-1721).
Priscian, Latin grammarian
of the 6th century, born in Cæsarea; was author of "Grammatical
Commentaries" in 18 books, a standard work during the Middle
Ages, and in universal use at that time.
Priscillian, a Spaniard
of noble birth, who introduced a Gnostic and Manichæan
heresy into Spain, and founded a sect called after him, and
was put to death by the Emperor Maximius in 385; his followers
were an idly speculative sect, who practised a rigidly ascetic
style of life, and after being much calumniated did not survive
him over 60 years.
the seven colours a ray of pure white light is resolved into
when refracted through a prism, applied figuratively by Carlyle
to the pure light refracted through the soul of a man of genius.
Prisoner of Chillon,
the name given to François
de Bonivard (q. v.), who was for six years kept prisoner
in the castle of Chillon, on the Lake of Geneva, and is the
subject of a well-known poem by Byron.
Privateer, a private vessel
licensed by Government under a letter of marque to seize and
plunder the ships of an enemy, otherwise an act of the kind
is treated as piracy.
Privy Council, is theoretically
a council associated with the sovereign to advise him in matters
of government. As at present constituted it includes the members
of the royal family, the Cabinet, the two archbishops and the
bishop of London, the principal English and Scotch judges, some
of the chief ambassadors and governors of colonies, the Commander-in-Chief,
the First Lord of the Admiralty, &c. No members attend except
those summoned, usually the Cabinet, the officers of the Household,
and the Primate. The functions of the Privy Council may be grouped
as: (1) executive, in which its duties are discharged by the
Cabinet, which is technically a committee of the Privy Council;
(2) administrative—the Board of Trade, the Local Government
Board, and the Board of Agriculture originated in committees;
the Education Department is still a committee, and the Council
retains such branches as the supervision of medical, pharmaceutical,
and veterinary practice, the granting of municipal charters, &c.;
(3) judicial—the Judicial Committee is a court of law,
whose principal function is the hearing of appeals from ecclesiastical
courts and from Indian and colonial courts.
Privy Seal, the seal of the
sovereign appended to grants that do not require to pass the
Probus, Marcus Aurelius,
Roman emperor from 276 to 282, born in Pannonia; having distinguished
himself in the field as a soldier, was elected by the army and
the citizens to succeed Tacitus; defended the empire successfully
against all encroachments, and afterwards devoted himself to
home administration, but requiring the service of the soldiers
in public works, which they considered degrading, was seized
by a body of them compelled so to drudge, and put to death.
Proclus, a Neo-Platonic philosopher,
born in Constantinople; appears to have held a Trinitarian view
of the universe, and to have regarded the All abstractly viewed
as contained in the Divine ever emerging from it and returning
into it, a doctrine Implied in John i. 1, but far short of the
corresponding trinity in the ripe philosophy of Hegel (412-485).
Proconsul, name given to the
governor of a Roman province who was absolute ruler of it, disposed
of the army, dispensed justice, controlled administration, and
was represented by legates.
Procop, the name of two Hussite
leaders of the Taborites, who after leading successful forays
on all hands from their head-quarters in Bohemia, fell in battle
with their rivals the Calixtines at Lippau in 1434.
Procopius, a Greek historian,
born at Cæsarea, the secretary of Belisarius, and author
of a History of the Wars of Justinian, which is still the chief
authority for the events of his reign; d. 565.
Procrustes, a brigand of
ancient Attica, who when any one fell into his hands placed
him on a bed, stretching him out if he was too short for it
and amputating him if he was too long till he died; he was one
day overpowered by Theseus, who tortured him to death as he
had done his own victims; his practice has given name to any
attempt to enforce conformity by violent measures.
Procter, Bryan Walter, English
lyrist, known by his pseudonym as Barry Cornwall, born in London;
was bred to the bar, and was for 30 years a Commissioner of
Lunacy, and is chiefly memorable as the friend of all the eminent
literary men of two generations, such as Wordsworth, Lamb, and
Scott on the one hand and Carlyle, Thackeray, and Tennyson on
the other; he was no great poet (1787-1874).
Proctor, Richard Antony,
astronomer and lecturer on Astronomy; determined the rotation
of the planet Mars, and propounded the theory of the solar corona
is a Scottish law officer appointed by the sheriff, and irremovable
on efficient and good behaviour, whose duties are to initiate
the prosecution of crimes and inquire into deaths under suspicious
Progne, the sister of Philomela
and wife of Tereus, changed into a swallow by the gods. See
Progress of the
Species Magazines, Carlyle's name for the literature
of the day which does nothing to help the progress in question,
but keeps idly boasting of the fact, taking all the credit to
itself, like Æsop's fly on the axle of the careering chariot
soliloquising, "What a dust I raise!"
Prohibitionist, one who
would prohibit the sale of all intoxicating liquors.
Proletariat, the name given
to the lowest and poorest class in the State, and which still
retains the original Roman meaning, as denoting, from proles,
offspring, one who enriches the State not by his prosperity,
but by his progeny.
Prometheus (i. e.
Forethought), a Titan, the son of lapetus and Klymene, and the
brother of Epimetheus (q.
v.), who, when the gods, just installed on Olympus, met
with men at Mekone to arrange with them as to their dues in
sacrifice, came boldly forth as the representative and protector
of the human race and slew a bullock in sacrifice, putting the
flesh of it in one pile and the entrails with the bones in another,
veiled temptingly with fat, and invited Zeus to make his choice,
whereupon, knowing well what he was about, Zeus chose the latter,
but in revenge took away with him the fire which had been bestowed
by the gods upon mortals. It was a strife of wit versus
wit, and Prometheus, as the defender of the rights of man, was
not to be outwitted even by the gods, so he reached up a hollow
fennel stalk to the sun and brought the fire back again, whereupon
the strife was transformed into one of force versus force,
and Zeus caught the audacious Titan and chained him to a rock
on Mount Caucasus, where an eagle gnawed all day at his liver
which grew again by night, though, in inflicting this punishment,
Zeus was soon visited with a relenting heart, for it was by
express commission from him that Hercules, as a son of his,
scaled the rock and slew the eagle. The myth is one of the deepest
significance, reflecting an old belief, and one which has on
it the seal of Christ, as sanctioned of Heaven, that the world
was made for man and not man for the
world, only there is included within it an expression of the
jealousy with which Heaven watches the use mankind make of the
gifts that, out of her own special store, she bestows upon them.
Prometheus is properly the incarnation of the divine fire latent
from the beginning in the soul of man.
Propaganda, a congregation,
as it is called, at Rome, originated by Gregory XIII., and organised
in 1622 by Gregory XV., the object of which is to propagate
the faith of the Church among heathen nations and in countries
where there is no established hierarchy, connected with which
there is a college at Rome called the Congregatio de Propaganda
Fide, where pupils are instructed for different fields of missionary
a Latin elegaic poet, born in Umbria; went to Rome and became
a protégé of Mæcenas; devoted himself to
the cultivation of the poetic art; came under the spell of a
gifted lady, to whom, under the name of Cynthia, he dedicated
the first products of his muse, and whom he has immortalised
in his poems; in his elegies he follows Greek models; his poetry,
and the poetic quality it displays, have been much admired by
Goethe (51-14 B.C.).
Prophecy, properly not a forecasting
of particular events and the succession of them, but so far
as it refers to the future at all is an insight into the course
of things in the time to come from insight into the course of
them in days gone by or now, and that is believed to be the
character of Hebrew prophecy, founded on faith in the immutability
of the divine order of things.
Proselytes, converts from
heathenism to Judaism, of which there were two classes: Proselytes
of the Temple, those who accepted the ceremonial law and were
admitted into the inner court of The temple; and Proselytes
of the Gate, who accepted only the moral law, and were admitted
only into the outer court. They were a numerous class after
the Dispersion, and were reckoned at hundreds of thousands.
Proserpina, the daughter
of Zeus and Demeter, who was carried off while gathering flowers
by Pluto (q. v.), became
Queen of Hades, and is represented as sitting on an ebony throne
beside him wearing a crown. According to later tradition Pluto
had to allow her to revisit the upper world for two-thirds of
the year to compromise matters with her mother, her arrival
being coincident with the beginning of spring and her return
to Hades coincident with the beginning of winter. She became
by Pluto the mother of the Furies.
Prospero, one of the chief
characters in Shakespeare's "Tempest," an exiled king
of Milan, who, during his exile, practises magic, and breaks
his wand when he has accomplished his purpose.
Protagoras, one of the earliest
of the Greek Sophists, born at Abdera, and who flourished in
440 B.C., and taught at Athens, from which he was banished as
a blasphemer, as having called in question the existence of
the gods; he taught that man was the measure of all things,
of those that exist, that they are; and of those things that
do not exist, that they are not; and that there is nothing absolute,
that all is an affair of subjective conception.
Protection, name given to
the encouragement of certain home products of a country by imposing
duties on foreign products of the class, opposed to free-trade.
Protestantism, the name
given to a movement headed by Luther in the 16th century, in
protestation of the supremacy in spiritual things claimed by
the Church of Rome, and made on the ground of the authority
of conscience enlightened by the Word of God, conceived of as
the ultimate revelation of God to man.
Protestants, a name given
to the adherents of Luther, who, at the second Diet of Spires
in 1529, protested against the revocation of certain privileges
granted at the first Diet in 1526.
Proteus, in the Greek mythology
a divinity of the sea endowed with the gift of prophecy, but
from whom it was difficult to extort the secrets of fate, as
he immediately changed his shape when any one attempted to force
him, for it was only in his proper form he could enunciate these
Protogenes, a Greek painter
of the time of Alexander the Great, born in Caria; lived chiefly
at Rhodes; was discovered by Apelles, who brought him into note;
his masterpiece is a picture of Ialysus, the tutelary hero of
Rhodes, on which he spent seven years, and which he painted
four times over.
Protoplasm, a name given
to presumed living matter forming the physical bases of all
forms of animal and vegetable life; the term is now superseded
by the term bioplasm. See Dr. Stirling, "As
Proudhon, Pierre Joseph,
French Socialist, born at Besançon, the son of a cooper;
worked in a printing establishment, spent his spare hours in
study, specially of the social problem, and in 1840 published
a work entitled "What is Property?" and in which he
boldly enunciated the startling proposition, "Property
is theft"; for the publication of this thesis he was at
first unmolested, and only with its application was he called
to account, and for which at last, in 1849, he was committed
to prison, where, however, he kept himself busy with his pen,
and whence he from time to time emitted socialistic publications
till his release in 1852, after which he was in 1858 compelled
to flee the country, to return again under an act of amnesty
in 1860 and die; he was not only the assailant of property,
but of government itself, and preached anarchy as the goal of
all social progress and not the starting-point, as so many unfortunately
fancy; but by anarchy, it would seem, he meant the right of
government spiritually free, and, in the Christian sense of
that expression, to exemption from all external control (see
I Tim. i. 9) (1809-1865).
Prout, Samuel, eminent English
water-colour artist, born at Plymouth; had from a child an irrepressible
penchant for drawing, which, though discouraged at first by
his father, was fostered by his schoolmaster; was patronised
by Britton the antiquary, and employed by him to assist him
in collecting materials for his "Beauties of England and
Wales," but it was not till his visit to Rouen in 1818
that he was first fascinated with the subject that henceforth
occupied him; from this time excursions were continually made
to the Continent, and every corner of France, Germany, the Netherlands,
and Italy ransacked for its fragments of carved stone; the old
architecture that then fascinated him henceforth became a conspicuous
feature in all his after-works; "the works of Prout,"
says Ruskin, "will one day become memorials of the most
precious of things that have been ... A time will come when
that zeal will be understood, and his works will be cherished
with a melancholy gratitude, when the pillars of Venice shall
be mouldering in the salt shallows of her sea, and the stones
of the goodly towers of Rouen have become ballast for the barges
of the Seine" (1789-1852).
Prout, Father. See
one of the Romance dialects of France, spoken in the South of
France, and different from that spoken in the N. as in closer
connection with the original Latin than that of the N., which
was modified by Teutonic influence.
Provence, a maritime province
in the South of France, originally called Provincia by the Romans,
and which included the departments of Bouches-du-Rhône,
Basses-Alpes, Var, and part of Vaucluse.
Proverbs, Book Of, a
book of the Hebrew Scriptures, full of the teachings of wisdom
bearing on the conduct of life, and though ascribed to Solomon,
obviously not all of his composition, or even collection, and
probably ascribed to him because of his fondness for wisdom
in that form, and from his having procured the first collection.
The principles inculcated are purely ethical, resting, however,
on a religious basis, and concern the individual not as a member
of any particular community, but as a member of the human race;
the lessons of life and death are the same as in the covenant
with Moses, and the condition in both cases is the observance
or non-observance of God's commandments. There is no change
in the principle, but in the expansion of it, and that amounts
to the foundation of a kingdom of God which shall include all
nations. In them the bonds of Jewish exclusiveness are burst,
and a catholic religion virtually established.
Providence (175), a seaport
and semi-capital of Rhode Island, U.S., on a river of the name,
44 m. SW. of Boston; it is a centre of a large manufacturing
district, and has a large trade in woollens, jewellery, and
hardware; has a number of public buildings, and institutions,
churches, schools, libraries, and hospitals, as well as beautiful
villas and gardens.
Marcus Aurelius Clemens. Christian poet of the 4th century,
born in Spain; after spending the greater part of his life in
secular affairs, gave himself up to religious meditation, and
wrote hymns, lyrics, and polemics in verse.
Prussia (24,690), the leading
State of the German Empire, occupies about two-thirds of the
imperial territory, and contributes three-fifths of the population;
it stretches from Holland and Belgium in the W. to Russia in
the E., has Jutland and the sea on the N., and Lorraine, Bavaria,
Hesse-Darmstadt, Saxony, and Austria on the S.; the SW. portion
is hilly and the soil often poor, but containing valuable mineral
deposits; the N. and E. belongs to the great European plain,
devoted to agriculture and grazing; Hesse-Cassel is extremely
fertile, and Nassau produces excellent wine; in the E. and in
Hanover are extensive forests; Silesia, Westphalia, and Rhenish
Prussia contain the chief coal-fields, and are consequently
the chief industrial provinces; half the zinc of the world is
mined in Prussia; lead, iron, copper, antimony, &c., are
also wrought; the Hartz Mountains are noted for their mines;
Salt, amber, and precious stones are found on the Baltic shores;
textiles, metal wares, and beer are the main industries; Berlin
and Elberfeld are the two chief manufacturing centres on the
Continent; the great navigable rivers, Niemen, Vistula, Oder,
Elbe, Weser, Rhine, and their tributaries and canals, excellent
railways, and her central European position all favour Prussia's
commerce, while her coast-line, harbours, and growing mercantile
fleet put her in communication with the markets of the world;
seven-eighths of the people are Germans; Slavonic races are
represented by Poles, Wends, Lithuanians, and Czechs, while
the Danes appear in Schleswig-Holstein; the prevailing religion
is Protestant; education is compulsory and good; there are ten
universities, and many great libraries and educational institutions;
the Prussian is the largest contingent in the German army; the
king of Prussia is emperor of Germany. The basis of the Prussian
people was laid by German colonists placed amid the pagan Slavs
whom they had conquered by the Teutonic knights of the 13th
century; in 1511 their descendants chose a Hohenzollern prince;
a century later the Hohenzollerns of Brandenburg succeeded;
despite the Thirty Years' War Prussia became a European State,
and was recognised as a kingdom in 1703; Frederick the Great
(1740-1786) enlarged its bounds and developed its resources;
the successive partitions of Poland added to her territory;
humiliated by the peace of Tilsit 1807, and ruined by the French
occupation, she recovered after Waterloo; William I. and Bismarck
still further increased her territory and prestige; by the Austrian
War of 1866 and the French War of 1870-71 her position as premier
State in the German Confederation was assured.
Prynne, William, a Puritan
censor morum, born near Bath, bred to the bar; wrote
a book or pamphlet called "Histrio-Mastix, or the Player's
Scourge," against the stage, for which and a reflection
in it against the virtue of the queen he was brought before
the Star Chamber in 1634, sentenced to the pillory, and had
his ears cropped off, and for an offence against Laud, whether
by order of the Star Chamber or not is uncertain, was in 1637
sentenced anew, and "lost his ears a second and final time,
having had them 'sewed on again' before; this time a heroine
on the scaffold," adds Carlyle, "received them on
her lap and kissed him"; after this the zeal of Prynne
appears to have waxed cold, for he was as a recalcitrant imprisoned
by Cromwell, after whose death he espoused the Royalist cause,
and was appointed Keeper of the Records of the Tower (1600-1669).
Prytane`um, name given to
the public hall in Greek cities, and the head-quarters of the
an impostor, born in the South of France, who, being brought
to London, imposed on Compton, bishop of London, by fabricating
a history of Formosa, of which he professed to be a native,
but was convicted of the error of his ways by Law's "Serious
Call," and led afterwards what seemed a sober life, and
one to commend the regard of Johnson (1679-1763).
Psalms, The Book of,
the name given in the Septuagint to a collection of sacred songs
in the Hebrew Bible, which are all of a lyrical character, and
appear to have been at first collected for liturgical purposes.
Their range is co-extensive with nearly all divine truth, and
there are tones in them in accord with the experience and feelings
of devout men in all ages. Nay, "the Psalter alone,"
says Ruskin, "which practically was the service-book of
the Church for many ages, contains, merely in the first half
of it, the sum of personal and social wisdom,... while the 48th,
72nd, and 75th have in them the law and the prophecy of all
righteous government, and every real triumph of natural science
is anticipated in the 104th." The collection bears the
name of David, but it is clear the great body of them are of
later date as well as of divers authorship, although it is often
difficult to determine by whom some of them were written, and
when. The determination of this, however, is of the less consequence,
as the question is more a speculative one than a spiritual one,
and whatever may be the result of inquiry
in this matter now going on, the spiritual value of the Psalms,
which is their real value, is nowise affected thereby. It matters
nothing who wrote them or when they were written; they are
there, are conceived from situations such as are obvious
enough and common to the lot of all good men, and they bear
on spiritual interests, which are our primary ones, and these,
still, as in every other time, the alone really pressing ones.
They express the real experiences of living men, who lay under
an inner necessity to utter such a song, relieving themselves
by the effort and ministering a means of relief to others in
a like situation of soul.
Psyche (i. e. the soul),
in the later Greek mythology the youngest of three daughters
of a king, and of such beauty as to eclipse the attractions
and awake the jealousy of Venus, the goddess of beauty, who
in consequence sent Cupid, her son, to inspire her with love
for a hideous monster, and so compass her ruin. Cupid, fascinated
with her himself, spirited her away to a palace furnished with
every delight, but instead of delivering her over to the monster,
visited her himself at night as her husband, and left her before
daybreak in the morning, because she must on no account know
who he was. Here her sisters came to see her, and in their jealousy
persuaded her to assure herself that it was not a monster that
she slept with, so that she lit a lamp the next night to discover,
when a drop of oil from it fell on his shoulder as he lay asleep
beside her, upon which he at a bound started up and vanished
out of sight. She thereupon gave way to a long wail of lamentation
and set off a-wandering over the wide world in search of her
lost love, till she came to the palace of Venus, her arch-enemy,
who seized on her person and made her her slave, subjecting
her to a series of services, all of which she accomplished to
the letter, so that Venus was obliged to relent and consent
that, in the presence of all the gods of Olympus, Cupid and
she should be united in immortal wedlock. It is the story of
the trials of the soul to achieve immortality. See "Stories
from the Greek Mythology," by the Editor.
Society for, a society founded in 1882 to inquire into
the phenomena of spiritualism and kindred subjects of a recondite
kind, the subject of Telepathy having engaged recently a good
deal of attention.
Ptolemaic System, the highly
complex system of astronomy ascribed to Claudius Ptolemy, which
assumed that the earth was the centre of a sphere which carried
the heavenly bodies along in its daily revolution, accounted
for the revolutions of the sun and moon by supposing they moved
in eccentric circles round the earth, and regarded the planets
as moving in epicycles round a point which itself revolved in
an eccentric circle round the earth like the sun and moon.
Ptolemaïs, the name of
certain cities of antiquity, the most celebrated being Acre,
in Syria (q. v.).
Ptolemy, the name of the Macedonian
kings of Egypt, of which there were 14 in succession, of whom
Ptolemy I., Soter, was a favourite general of Alexander
the Great, and who ruled Egypt from 328 to 285 B.C.; Ptolemy
II., Philadelphus, who ruled from 285 to 247, a patron
of letters and an able administrator; Ptolemy III., Euergetes,
who ruled from 247 to 222; Ptolemy IV., Philopator, who
ruled from 222 to 205; Ptolemy V., Epiphanes, who ruled
from 205 to 181; Ptolemy VI., Philometor, who ruled from
181 to 146; Ptolemy VII., Euergetes II., who ruled from
146 to 117; Ptolemy VIII., Soter, who ruled from 117
to 107, was driven from Alexandria, returning to it in 88, and
reigning till 81; Ptolemy X., Alexander I., who ruled
from 107 to 88; Ptolemy X. Alexander II., who ruled from
81 to 80; Ptolemy XI., Auletes, who ruled from 80 to
51; Ptolemy XII., who ruled from 51 to 47; Ptolemy XIII., the
Infant King, who ruled from 47 to 43; Ptolemy XIV.,
Cesarion, the son of Julius Cæsar and Cleopatra,
who ruled from 43 to 30.
Ptolemæus), ancient astronomer and geographer,
born in Egypt; lived in Alexandria in the 2nd century; was the
author of the system of astronomy called after him; left behind
him two writings bearing one on astronomy and one on geography,
along with other works of inferior importance.
Publicans or Publicani,
a name given by the Romans to persons who farmed the public
revenues; specially a class of the Jewish people, often mentioned
in the New Testament, and specially odious to the rest of the
community as the farmers of the taxes imposed upon them, mostly
at the instance of their foreign oppressors the Romans, and
in the collection of which they had recourse to the most unjust
exactions. They were in their regard not merely the tools of
a foreign oppression, but traitors to their country and apostates
from the faith of their fathers, and were to be classed, as
they were, with heathens, sinners, and harlots.
eminent Italian pathologist, born in Urbino, and author of the "Storia
delle Medicina" (History of Medicine), the fruit of the
labour of twenty years (1794-1872).
Pucelle La (i. e. the
Maid), Joan of Arc, the maid par excellence.
Puck, a tricky, mischievous fairy,
identified with Robin Goodfellow, and sometimes confounded with
a house spirit, propitiated by kind words and the liberty of
Puebla (79), on an elevated plateau
7000 ft. above the sea, 68 m. due SE. of Mexico, is the third
city of the republic, and a beautiful town, with Doric cathedral,
theological, medical, and other schools, a museum, and two libraries;
cotton goods, iron, paper, and glass are manufactured; it is
a commercial city, and carries on a brisk trade. Is the name
also of a Colorado town (24) on the Arkansas River; it is in
a rich mineral district, and is engaged in the manufacture of
steel and iron wares.
Puerto de Santa Maria
(22), a seaport in Spain, on the Bay of Cadiz, 9 m. SW. of Xeres,
and the chief place of export of Xeres port or sherry wines.
Puerto Plata (15), the chief
port of the Dominican Republic, on the N. of Hayti; exports
tobacco, sugar, coffee, &c.
Puerto Principe (46),
a town on the E. of Cuba; manufactures cigars, and exports sugar,
hides, and molasses; originally on the shore, but removed inland.
Baron von, eminent German jurist, born at Chemnitz, Saxony;
wrote several works on jurisprudence, one of which, under the
ban of Austria, was burned there by the hangman, but his "De
Jure Naturæ et Gentium" is the one on which his fame
rests; was successively in the service of Charles XI. of Sweden
and the Elector of Brandenburg (1632-1694).
Pugin, Augustus Welby,
architect, born in London, of French parentage; made a special
study of Gothic architecture; assisted in decorating the new
Houses of Parliament, but becoming a Roman Catholic he gave
himself to designing a good number of Roman Catholic churches,
including cathedrals; he wrote several
works on architecture, and was the chief promoter of the "Mediæval
Court" in the Crystal Palace; he was afflicted in the prime
of life with insanity, and died at Ramsgate (1812-1852).
Pulci, Luini, Italian poet,
born at Florence; the personal friend of Lorenzo de' Medici,
and the author of a burlesque poem of which Roland is the hero,
entitled in Tuscan "Il Morgante Maggiore" ("Morgante
the Great"); he wrote also several humorous sonnets; two
brothers of his had similar gifts (1432-1484).
Pulque, a favourite beverage
of the Mexicans and in Central America, from the fermented juice
of the agave.
Pulteney, William, Earl
of Bath, English statesman; in 1705 entered Parliament zealous
in the Whig interest; was for years the friend and colleague
of Walpole, but afterwards, from a slight, became his bitterest
enemy and most formidable opponent; he contributed a good deal
to his fall, but, unable to take his place, contented himself
with a peerage, his popularity being gone (1682-1764).
Pultowa (43), a town in Southern
Russia, 90 m. by rail SW. of Kharkoff, on an affluent of the
Dnieper; manufactures leather and tobacco; here Peter the Great
won his victory over Charles XII. of Sweden in 1709.
Pultusk, a Polish town, 33 m.
N. of Warsaw; here Charles XII. gained a victory over the Saxons
in 1703, and the French over the Russians in 1806.
Pulu, a kind of silk obtained from
the fibres of a fern-tree of Hawaii.
Punch, the name of the chief character
in a well-known puppet show of Italian origin, and appropriated
as the title of the leading English comic journal, which is
accompanied with illustrations conceived in a humorous vein
and conducted in satire, from a liberal Englishman's standpoint,
of the follies and weaknesses of the leaders of public opinion
and fashion in modern social life. It was started in 1841 under
the editorship of Henry Mayhew and Mark Lemon; and the wittiest
literary men of the time as well as the cleverest artists have
contributed to its pages, enough to mention of the former Thackeray,
Douglas Jerrold, and Tom Hood, and of the latter Doyle, Leech,
Tenniel, Du Maurier, and Lindley Sambourne.
Pundit, a Brahmin learned in
Sanskrit and in the language, literature, and laws of the Hindus.
Punic Faith, a plighted promise
that one can put no trust in, such as the Romans alleged they
systematically had experience of at the hands of the Poeni or
Punic Wars, the name given
to the wars between Rome and Carthage for the empire of the
world, of date, the first from 264 to 241, the second from 218
to 201, and the third from 149 to 146 B.C., due all to transgressions
on the one side or the other of boundaries fixed by treaty,
which it was impossible for either in their passion of empire
to respect. It was a struggle which, though it ended in the
overthrow of Carthage, proved at one time the most critical
in the history of Rome.
Punjab (25,130), "five rivers,"
a province in the extreme NW. of India, watered by the Indus
and its four tributaries, Jhelum, Chenab, Ravee, and Sutlej;
its frontiers touch Afghanistan and Cashmir. Mountain ranges
traverse the N., W., and S; little rain falls; the plains are
dry and hot in summer. There is little timber, cow-dung is common
fuel; the soil is barren, but under irrigation there are fertile
stretches; wheat, indigo, sugar, cotton, tobacco, opium, and
tea are largely grown; cotton, silk, lace, iron, and leather
are manufactured; indigo, grain, cotton, and manufactured products
are exported in exchange for raw material, dyes, horses, and
timber. The population is mixed, Sikhs, Jats, and Rajputs predominate;
more than a half are Mohammedan, and more than a third Hindu.
Lahore is the capital, but Delhi and Amritsar are larger towns.
Several railways run through the province. The natives remained
loyal throughout the Mutiny of 1857-58, Sikhs and Pathans joining
the British troops before Delhi.
Puránas, a body of religious
works which rank second to the Vedas, and form the basis of
the popular belief of the Hindus. There are 18 principal Puránas
and 18 secondary Puránas, of various dates, but believed
to be of remote antiquity, though modern critical research proves
that in their present form they are not of very ancient origin.
Purbeck, Isle of, the
peninsula in South Dorsetshire lying between the river Frome,
Poole Harbour, and the English Channel; formerly a royal deer-forest;
has a precipitous coast, and inland consists of chalk downs;
nearly 100 quarries are wrought of "Purbeck marble."
Purcell, Henry, eminent
English musician, born at Westminster; was successively organist
at Westminster Abbey and to the Chapel Royal; excelled in all
forms of musical composition; was the author of anthems, cantatas,
glees, &c., which attained great popularity; he set the
songs of Shakespeare's "Tempest" to music (1658-1695).
Purchas, Samuel, collector
of works of travel and continuator of the work of Hakluyt, in
two curious works entitled "Purchas his Pilgrimage,"
and "Hakluyt's his Posthumous, or Purchas his Pilgrimmes,"
and was rector of St. Martin's, Ludgate, and chaplain to Archbishop
Purgatorio, region in Dante's "Commedia"
intermediate between the Inferno, region of lost souls, and
the Paradiso, region of saved souls, and full of all manner
of obstructions which the penitent, who would pass from the
one to the other, must struggle with in soul-wrestle till he
overcome, the most Christian section, thinks Carlyle, of Dante's
Purgatory, in the creed of
the Church of Rome a place in which the souls of the dead, saved
from hell by the death of Christ, are chastened and purified
from venial sins, a result which is, in great part, ascribed
to the prayers of the faithful and the sacrifice of the Mass.
The creed of the Church in this matter was first formulated
by Gregory the Great, and was based by him, as it has been vindicated
since, on passages of Scripture as well as the writings of the
Fathers. The conception of it, as wrought out by Dante, Carlyle
considers "a noble embodiment of a true noble thought."
See his "Heroes."
Purim, the Feast of, or Lots,
an annual festival of the Jews in commemoration of the preservation,
as recorded in "Esther," of their race from the threatened
wholesale massacre of it in Persia at the instance of Haman,
and which was so called because it was by casting "lots"
that the day was fixed for the execution of the purpose. It
lasts two days, being observed on the 14th and 15th of the month
Puritan City, name given
to Boston, U.S., from its founders and inhabitants who were
originally of Puritan stock.
Puritans, a name given to a
body of clergymen of the Church of England who refused to assent
to the Act of Uniformity passed in the
reign of Queen Elizabeth, because it required them to conform
to Popish doctrine and ritual; and afterwards applied to the
whole body of Nonconformists in England in the 16th and 17th
centuries, who insisted on rigid adherence to the simplicity
prescribed in these matters by the sacred Scriptures. In the
days of Cromwell they were, "with musket on shoulder,"
the uncompromising foes of all forms, particularly in the worship
of God, that affected to be alive after the soul had gone out
Pursuivant, one of the junior
officers in the Heralds' College, four in England, named respectively
Rouge Croix, Blue Mantle, Rouge Dragon, and Portcullis; and
three in Scotland, named respectively Bute, Carrick, and Unicorn.
Pusey, Edward Bouverie,
English theologian, born in Berkshire, of Flemish descent; studied
at Christ's Church, Oxford, and became a Fellow of Oriel, where
he was brought into relationship with Newman, Keble, and Whately;
spent some time in Germany studying Rationalism, and, after
his return, was in 1828 appointed Regius Professor of Hebrew
at Oxford; in 1833 he joined the Tractarian Movement, to which
he contributed by his learning, and which, from his standing
in the University, as well as from the part he played in it,
was at length called by his name; he was not so conspicuous
as other members of the movement, but he gained some notoriety
by a sermon he preached on the Eucharist, which led to his suspension
for three years, and notwithstanding his life of seclusion,
he took an active part in all questions affecting the interests
he held to be at stake; he was the author of several learned
works, among them the "Minor Prophets, a Commentary,"
and "Daniel the Prophet" (1800-1882).
Puseyism, defined by Carlyle
to be "a noisy theoretic demonstration and laudation of
the Church, instead of some unnoisy, unconscious, but
practical, total, heart-and-soul demonstration of
a Church, ... a matter to strike one dumb," and apropos
to which he asks pertinently, "if there is no atmosphere,
what will it serve a man to demonstrate the excellence of lungs?"
Pushkin, a distinguished Russian
poet, considered the greatest, born at Moscow; his chief works
are "Ruslan and Liudmila" (a heroic poem), "Eugene
Onegin" (a romance), and "Boris Godunov" (a drama);
was mortally wounded in a duel (1799-1837).
Pushtoo or Pushto, the
language of the Afghans, said to be derived from the Zend, with
admixtures from the neighbouring tribes.
Puteaux (17), a suburb of Paris,
on the left bank of the Seine, a favourite residence of the
Parisians, who have villas here.
Putney (18), a London suburb
on the Surrey side, 6 m. from Waterloo, has a bridge across
the Thames 300 yards long; the parish church tower dates from
the 15th century. The river here affords favourite rowing water,
the starting-place of the inter-universities boat-race; Putney
Heath was a favourite duelling resort; Gibbon was a native;
Pitt and Leigh Hunt died here.
Puy, Le (20), a picturesque town,
70 m. SW. of Lyons, a bishop's seat, with a 10th-century cathedral;
is the centre of a great lace manufacture.
a department in Central France, in the upper valley of the Allier,
on the slopes of the Auvergne Mountains. The soil is poor, but
agriculture and cattle-breeding are the chief industries; in
the mountains coal and lead are found, and there are many mineral
springs; there are paper and oil manufactures. The principal
town is Clermont-Ferrand (45), where Peter the Hermit preached
the first crusade.
Pygmalion, king of Cyprus,
is said to have fallen in love with an ivory statue of a maiden
he had himself made, and to have prayed Aphrodité to
breathe life into it. The request being granted, he married
the maiden and became by her the father of Paphus.
Pygmies, a fabulous people,
their height 13½ inches, mentioned by Homer as dwelling
on the shores of the ocean and attacked by cranes in spring-time,
the theme of numerous stories.
Pym, John, Puritan statesman,
born in Somersetshire, educated at Oxford; bred to law, entered
Parliament in 1621, opposed the arbitrary measures of the king,
took a prominent part in the impeachment of Buckingham; at the
opening of the Long Parliament procured the impeachment of the
Earl of Strafford, and conducted the proceedings against him;
he was one of the five members illegally arrested by Charles
I., and was brought back again in triumph to Westminster; was
appointed Lieutenant of the Ordnance, and a month after died
Pyramids, ancient structures
of stone or sometimes brick, resting generally on square bases
and tapering upwards with triangular sides, found in different
parts of the world, but chiefly in Egypt, where they exist to
the number of 70 or 80, and of which the most celebrated are
those of Ghizeh, 10 m. W. of Cairo, three in number, viz., the
Great Pyramid of Cheop, 449 ft. high, and the sides at base
746 ft. long, that named Chefren, nearly the same size, and
that of Mykerinos, not half the height of the other two, but
excelling them in beauty of execution. The original object of
these structures has been matter of debate, but there seems
to be now no doubt that they are sepulchral monuments of kings
of Egypt from the first to the twelfth dynasty of them.
Pyramus and Thisbe,
two lovers who lived in adjoining houses in Babylon, and who
used to converse with each other through a hole in the wall,
because their parents would not allow them open intimacy, but
who arranged to meet one evening at the tomb of Nisus. The maiden
appearing at the spot and being confronted by a lioness who
had just killed an ox, took to flight and left her garment behind
her, which the lioness had soiled with blood. Pyramus arriving
after this saw only the bloody garment on the spot and immediately
killed himself, concluding she had been murdered, while she
on return finding him lying in his blood, threw herself upon
his dead body and was found a corpse at his side in the morning.
Pyrene, a crystalline substance
obtained from coal tar, fats, &c.
Pyrenees, a broad chain of
lofty mountains running from the Bay of Biscay, 276 m. eastwards,
to the Mediterranean, form the boundary between France and Spain.
They are highest in the centre, Mount Maladetta reaching 11,168
ft. The snow-line is about 8000 or 9000 ft., and there are glaciers
on the French side. Valleys run up either side, ending in precipitous "pot-holes,"
with great regularity. The passes are very dangerous from wind
and snow storms. The streams to the N. feed the Adour and Garonne;
those to the S., the Ebro and Douro. Vegetation in the W. is
European, in the E. sub-tropical. Minerals are few, though both
iron and coal are worked. The basis of the system is granite
with limestone strata superimposed.
Pyroxyline, an explosive
substance obtained by steeping vegetable fibre in nitro-sulphuric
acid and drying after it is washed.
Pyrrha, in Greek mythology the
wife of Deucalion (q. v.).
Pyrrhic Dance, the chief
war-dance of the Greeks, of quick, light movement to the music
of flutes; was of Cretan or Spartan origin. It was subsequently
danced for display by the Athenian youths and by women to entertain
company, and in the Roman empire was a favourite item in the
Pyrrho, the father of the Greek
sceptics, born in Elis, a contemporary of Aristotle; his doctrine
was, that as we cannot know things as they are, only as they
seem to be, we must be content to suspend our judgment on such
matters and maintain a perfect imperturbability of soul if we
would live to any good.
Pyrrhonism, philosophic scepticism.
Pyrrhus, king of Epirus, and
kinsman of Alexander the Great; essayed to emulate the Macedonian
by conquering the western World, and in 280 B.C. invaded Italy
with a huge army, directed to assist the Italian Greeks against
Rome; in the decisive battles of that year and the next, he
won "Pyrrhic victories" over the Romans, losing so
many men that he could not pursue his advantage; 278 to 276
he spent helping the Greek colonies in Sicily against Carthage;
his success was not uniform, and a Carthaginian fleet inflicted
a serious defeat on his fleet returning to Italy; in 274 he
was thoroughly vanquished by the Romans, and retired to Epirus;
subsequent wars against Sparta and Argos were marked by disaster;
in the latter he was killed by a tile thrown by a woman (318-272
Pyrrhus, called also Neoptolemus,
son of Achilles; was one of the heroes concealed in the wooden
horse by means of which Troy was entered, slew Priam by the
altar of Zeus, and sacrificed Polyxena to the manes of his father.
Andromache, the widow of Hector, fell to him on the division
of the captives after the fall of Troy, and became his wife.
Pythagoras, a celebrated
Greek philosopher and founder of a school named after him Pythagoreans,
born at Samos, and who seems to have flourished between 540
and 500 B.C.; after travels in many lands settled at Crotona
in Magna Græcia, where he founded a fraternity, the members
of which bound themselves in closest ties of friendship to purity
of life and to active co-operation in disseminating and encouraging
a kindred spirit in the community around them, the final aim
of it being the establishment of a model social organisation.
He left no writings behind him, and we know of his philosophy
chiefly from the philosophy of his disciples.
Pythagoreans, the school
of philosophy founded by Pythagoras, "the fundamental thought
of which," according to Schwegler, "was
that of proportion and harmony, and this idea is to them as
well the principle of practical life, as the supreme law of
the universe." It was a kind of "arithmetical mysticism,
and the leading thought was that law, order, and agreement obtain
in the affairs of Nature, and that these relations are capable
of being expressed in number and in measure." The whole
tendency of the Pythagoreans, in a practical aspect, was ascetic,
and aimed only at a rigid castigation of the moral principle
in order thereby to ensure the emancipation of the soul from
its mortal prison-house and its transmigration into a nobler
form. It is with the doctrine of the transmigration of souls
that the Pythagorean philosophy is specially associated.
Pytheas, a celebrated Greek
navigator of Massilia, in Gaul, probably lived in the time of
Alexander the Great; in his first voyage visited Britain and
Thule, and in his second coasted along the western shore of
Europe from Cadiz to the Elbe.
Pythian Games, celebrated
from very early times till the 4th century A.D. every four years,
near Delphi, in honour of Apollo, who was said to have instituted
them to commemorate his victory over the Python; originally
were contests in singing only, but after the middle of the 6th
century B.C. they included instrumental music, contests in poetry
and art, athletic exercises, and horse-racing.
Python, in the Greek mythology
a serpent or dragon produced from the mud left on the earth
after the deluge of Deucalion, a brood of sheer chaos and the
dark, who lived in a cave of Parnassus, and was slain by Apollo,
who founded the Pythian Games in commemoration of his victory,
and was in consequence called Pythius.
Pythoness, the priestess of
Apollo at Delphi (q. v.),
so called from the Python (q.
v.), the dragon slain by the god.
Pyx, the name of a cup-shaped, gold-lined
vessel, with lid, used in the Roman Catholic churches for containing
the eucharistic elements after their consecration either for
adoration in the churches or for conveying to sick-rooms. Pyx
means "box." Hence Trial of the Pyx is the
annual test of the British coinage, for which purpose one coin
in every 15 lbs. of gold and one in every 60 lbs. of silver
coined is set aside in a pyx or box.