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 (q. v.).
PORCUPINE, PETER, a pseudonym assumed by WILLIAM COBBETT (q. v.).
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 AEschylus 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 feathers.
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.
PORT-AU-PRINCE (20), 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' widow L1500.
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 slavery (1731-1809).
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 her portrait.
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. See PLUTO.
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" (135-34 B.C.).
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 "Archaeologia Graeca," 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 order (1594-1665).
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 canon 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. 1836.
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 societe (1802-1839).
PRAETOR, 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.
PRAETORIAN GUARD, 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 in 312.
PRAGMATIC SANCTION, 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 Aphrodite at Cnidus; he executed statues of Eros, Apollo, and Hermes as well, but they have all perished.
PRAYING-WHEELS, cylinders 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 EQUINOXES.
PRECIEUSES RIDICULES, a play of Moliere'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 OF.
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 Koenigsberg.
PREJEVALSKI, NICHOLAS, 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)
PRE-RAPHAELITISM, a 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 and corn.
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.
PRESBYTERIANISM, that 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.
PRESSENSE, 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 (1824-1891).
PRESTER, JOHN. See JOHN, PRESTER.
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.
PREVOST D'EXILES, ANTOINE FRANCOIS, or ABBE PREVOST, 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 Manon (1697-1763).
PREVOST-PARADOL, LUCIEN ANATOLE, French litterateur 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 (1786-1848).
PRIDEAUX, HUMPHREY, 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 Graefenberg, 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 a grand-master.
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. v.).
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 Caesarea; 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 Manichaean 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.
PRISMATIC COLOURS, 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 FRANCOIS 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 great seal.
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 Caesarea, 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 (1837-1888).
PROCURATOR-FISCAL, 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 circumstances.
PROGNE, the sister of Philomela and wife of Tereus, changed into a swallow by the gods. See TEREUS.
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 AEsop'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 enterprise.
PROPERTIUS, SEXTUS, a Latin elegaic poet, born in Umbria; went to Rome and became a protege of Maecenas; 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.
PROPHETS. See PRIESTS, HEBREW PROPHECY.
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 secrets.
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 REGARDS PROTOPLASM."
PROUDHON, PIERRE JOSEPH, French Socialist, born at Besancon, 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 MAHONY, FRANCIS.
PROVENCAL LANGUAGE, 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-Rhone, 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.
PRUDENTIUS, 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 Executive.
PSALMANAZAR, GEORGE, 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.
PSYCHICAL RESEARCH, 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.
PTOLEMAIS, 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 Caesar and Cleopatra, who ruled from 43 to 30.
PTOLEMY (CLAUDIUS PTOLEMAEUS), 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.
PUCCINOTTI, FRANCESCO, 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 the cream-bowl.
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.
PUFFENDORF, SAMUEL, 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 Naturae 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 "Mediaeval 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 Carthaginians.
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.
PURANAS, 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 Puranas and 18 secondary Puranas, 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 Abbot (1577-1626).
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 poem.
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 Adar.
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 of them.
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.
PUY-DU-DOME (564), 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 Aphrodite 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 131/2 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 (1584-1643).
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 public games.
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. See PYRRHO.
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 B.C.).
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 Graecia, 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.
QUADRAGESIMA (i. e. fortieth), a name given to Lent because it lasts forty days, and assigned also to the first Sunday in Lent, the three Sundays which precede it being called respectively Septuagesima, Sexagesima, and Quinquagesima.
QUADRANT, an instrument for taking altitudes, consisting of the graduated arc of a circle of ninety degrees.
QUADRATIC EQUATION, an equation involving the square of the unknown quantity.
QUADRIGA, a two-wheeled chariot drawn by four horses abreast, used in the ancient chariot races.
QUADRILATERAL, THE, the name given to a combination of four fortresses, or the space enclosed by them, in North Italy, at Mantua, Legnago, Verona, and Peschiera.
QUADROON, the name given to a person quarter-blooded, in particular the offspring of a mulatto and a white person.
QUADRUPLE ALLIANCE, an alliance formed in 1719 between England, France, Austria, and Holland to secure the thrones of France and England to the reigning families, and to defeat the schemes of Alberoni to the aggrandisement of Spain.
QUAESTORS, the name given in Roman history to the officers entrusted with the care of the public treasury, originally two in number, one of them to see to the corn supply in Rome, but eventually, as the empire extended, increased, till in Caesar's time they amounted to forty. Under the kings they were the public prosecutors in cases of murder.
QUAIGH, a name formerly given to a wooden drinking-cup in Scotland.
QUAIN, JONES, anatomist, born at Mallow, Ireland; was professor of Anatomy and Physiology in London University; was author of "Elements of Anatomy," of which the first edition was published in 1828, and the tenth in 1800 (1796-1865).
QUAIN, RICHARD, anatomist, born at Fermoy, Ireland, brother of preceding, and professor in London University; author of a number of medical works; bequeathed a large legacy to the university for "education in modern languages" (1800-1887).
QUAIN, SIR RICHARD, physician, born at Mallow, cousin of preceding; edited "Dictionary of Medicine," and was President of Medical Council in 1891 (1816-1898).
QUAIR, an old Scotch name for a book.
QUAKERS, the SOCIETY OF FRIENDS (q. v.), so called first by Justice Bennet of Derby, because Fox bade him quake before the Lord.
QUARANTINE, the prescribed time, generally 40 days (hence the name), of non-intercourse with the shore for a ship suspected of infection, latterly enforced, and that very strictly, in the cases of infection with yellow fever or plague; since November 1896, the system of quarantine as regards the British Islands has ceased to exist.
QUARLES, FRANCIS, religious poet, born in Essex, of good family; a member of Christ's College, Cambridge, and Lincoln's Inn; held divers offices at the Court, in the city, and the Church; was a bigoted Royalist and Churchman, a voluminous author, both in prose and verse, but is now remembered for his "Divine Emblems," and perhaps his "Enchiridion"; he wrote in his quaint way not a few good things (1592-1644).
QUARTER DAYS, in England and Ireland Lady Day, 25th March; Midsummer Day, 24th June; Michaelmas Day, 29th September; and Christmas Day, 25th December; while in Scotland the legal terms are Whitsunday, 15th May, and Martinmas, 11th November, though the Whitsunday term is now changed to the 28th May.
QUARTER-DECK, the part of a ship abaft the main-mast, or between the main and mizzen, where there is a poop.
QUARTER-SESSIONS, a court held every quarter by justices of the peace in the several divisions of a county to try offences against the peace.