VIRGIL, great Latin poet, born near Mantua, author in succession of the "Eclogues," the "Georgics," and the "AEneid"; studied at Cremona and Milan, and at 16 was sent to Rome to study rhetoric and philosophy, lost a property he had in Cremona during the civil war, but recommended himself to Pollio, the governor, who introduced him to Augustus, and he went to settle in Rome; here, in 37 B.C., he published his "Eclogues," a collection of 10 pastorals, and gained the patronage of Maecenas, under whose favour he was able to retire to a villa at Naples, where in seven years he, in 30 B.C., produced the "Georgics," in four books, on the art of husbandry, after which he devoted himself to his great work the "AEneid," or the story of AEneas of Troy, an epic in 12 books, connecting the hero with the foundation of Rome, and especially with the Julian family, and which was finished in 19 B.C.; on his deathbed he expressed a wish that it should be burned, and left instructions to that effect in his will; he was one of the purest-minded poets perhaps that ever lived (70-19 B.C.).
VIRGIN ISLANDS (45), a group of islands in the West Indies, few of them of any size, belonging partly to Denmark, Britain, and Spain.
VIRGIN QUEEN, appellation popularly given to Queen Elizabeth.
VIRGINIA (1,655), one of the United States of America, a State somewhat larger than Scotland, between Maryland and North Carolina, so named by its founder Sir Walter Raleigh in honour of Queen Elizabeth; is divided from West Virginia by the Appalachians; it is well watered; the soil, which is fertile, yields the finest cotton and tobacco, and minerals, particularly coal and iron, are abundant; the largest city is Richmond, with flour-mills.
VIRGINIA, WEST (762), formed originally one State with the preceding, but separated in 1861 to join the Federal cause; is nearly the same in size and resources; is a great mining region, and is rich in coal and iron; its largest city is Wheeling, on the Ohio.
VISHNU, the Preserver, the second god of the Hindu triad, BRAHMA (q. v.) being the first and SIVA (q. v.) the third; revealed himself by a succession of avatars, RAMA (q. v.) being the seventh and KRISHNA (q. v.) the eighth; he has had nine avatars, and on the tenth he will come to judgment; he is extensively worshipped, and his worshippers, the Vaishnavas, are divided into a great number of sects.
VISIGOTHS, a branch of the Goths that settled in the South of France and in Spain.
VISTULA, a central river of Europe, which rises in the Carpathians and after a course of 600 m. falls into the Baltic; it is almost navigable throughout, and carries down great quantities of timber, grain, and other produce to the Baltic ports.
VITALIS, ST., a martyr of the 1st century, who was stoned to death, is represented as buried in a pit with stones on his head.
VITELLIUS, AULUS, Roman emperor; reigned only eight months and some days of the year 69; was notorious for his excesses, and was murdered after being dragged through the streets of Rome.
VITRUVIUS, POLLIO, Roman architect and engineer; wrote on architecture, lived in the days of Augustus.
VITTORIA (127), the capital of Alava, a Basque province in the North of Spain, famous as the scene of one of Wellington's victories in June 1813; has a fine old 12th-century cathedral and extensive manufactures; it is one of the most prosperous towns in Spain.
VIVES, LUDOVICUS, a humanist, born at Valencia, studied in Paris; wrote against scholasticism, taught at Oxford, and was imprisoned for opposing Henry VIII.'s divorce; died at Bruges (1492-1540).
VIVIAN, an enchantress in Arthurian legend. See MERLIN.
VLADIMIR (12), capital of a government in the centre of Russia, 120 m. NE. of Moscow; once practically the capital of the country, with many remains of its ancient grandeur.
VLADIMIR I. THE GREAT OR ST., grand-duke of Russia; converted to Christianity through his wife Anna Romanovna, laid the foundation of the Russian empire; has been canonised by the Russian Church; d. 1015.
VLADIMIR II., surnamed Monomachus; succeeded to the throne of Russia in 1113, and consolidated it by the establishment and enforcement of just laws; was married to Gida, a daughter of King Harold of England (1063-1126).
VOGLER, ABBE, composer, born in Wuerzburg; distinguished once both as a musical performer and teacher; lives only in Browning's "Dramatis Personae" (1749-1814).
VOGT, CARL, German naturalist, born at Giessen; a materialist and disciple of Darwin; has written on geology and anthropology; b. 1817.
VOGULS, a Finnish tribe on the E. slope of the Urals; are Christianised, but still practise many Shamanist rites; number some 20,000.
VOLAPUeK, a universal language by Schleyer, a German pastor; as yet practically limited to its applicability to commercial intercourse.
VOLGA, a river of European Russia, the largest in Europe, which rises in the Valdai Hills, and after a course of 2200 m. falls by a delta with 200 mouths into the Caspian Sea; it is navigable almost throughout, providing Russia with 7200 m. of water-carriage, and has extensive fisheries, especially of salmon and sturgeon.
VOLNEY, French philosopher, born at Craon; travelled in Egypt and Syria; wrote an account of his travels in his "Voyage"; was imprisoned during the Reign of Terror; patronised and promoted to honour by Napoleon, and by the Bourbons on their return; his principal work, "LES RUINES, OU MEDITATIONS SUR LES REVOLUTIONS DES EMPIRES," was an embodiment of 18th-century enlightenment (q. v.) (1757-1820).
VOLSUNGS, a race figuring in Norse and German legend of the 12th century, and with the fate in whose history it is so widely occupied, and that of its heroes.
VOLTA, ALESSANDRINO, Italian physicist, born at Como; professor of Physics at Pavia; made electrical discoveries which laid the foundation of what is called after him voltaic electricity; volt, the unit of electric motive force, being a term among sundry others in electric science similarly derived (1745-1827).
VOLTAIC ELECTRICITY, a current of electricity generated by chemical action between metals and different liquids as arranged in a voltaic battery.
VOLTAIRE, FRANCOIS MARIE AROUET DE, great French "persifleur" and "Coryphaeus of Deism," born in Paris, son of a lawyer; trained to scoff at religion from his boyhood, and began his literary career as a satirist and in the production of lampoons which cost him twice over imprisonment in the Bastille, on his release from which he left France in 1726 and went to England, where he stayed three years, and got acquainted with the free-thinking class there; on his return to Paris he engaged in some profitable commercial speculations and published his "Charles XII.," which he had written in England, and retired to the chateau of Cirey, where he lived five years with Madame du Chatelet, engaged in study and diligent with his pen, with whom he left France and went to Poland, after her death paying his famous visit to Frederick the Great, with whom before three years were out he quarrelled, and from whom he was glad to escape, making his head-quarters eventually within the borders of France at Ferney, from which he now and again visited Paris, where on his last visit he was received with such raptures of adulation that he was quite overcome, and had to be conveyed home to die, giving up the ghost exactly two months after. He was a man of superlative adroitness of faculty and shiftiness, without aught that can be called great, but more than any other the incarnation of the spirit of his time; said the word which all were waiting to hear and who replied yea to it—a poor word indeed yet a potent, for it gave the death-blow to superstition, but left religion out in the cold. The general, the great offence Carlyle charges Voltaire with is, that "he intermeddled in religion without being himself in any measure religious; that he entered the Temple and continued there with a levity which, in any temple where men worship, can beseem no brother man; that, in a word, he ardently, and with long-continued effort, warred against Christianity, without understanding, beyond the mere superficies, what Christianity was" (1694-1778).
VOLUNTARYISM, the doctrine that the Church should not depend on the State, but should be supported exclusively by the voluntary contributions of its members.
VOODOO, name given to a system of magic and superstitious rites prevalent among certain negro races.
VORTIGERN, a British prince of the 5th century, who, on the withdrawal of the Romans, invited the Saxons to aid him against the incursions of the Picts, to, as it proved, their own installation into sovereign power in South Britain.
VOSGES, a range of mountains in the NE. of France, since 1871 forming the Franco-German frontier by the inclusion of Alsace in German territory; they separate the basin of the Moselle from that of the Rhine.
VOSS, JOHANN HEINRICH, German poet and scholar, born in Mecklenburg; spent most of his life in Heidelberg; his fame rests chiefly on his idyllic poem "Luise" and his translations, particularly of Homer (1751-1826).
VOSSIUS, GERARD, Dutch philologist, born near Heidelberg; wrote a history of Pelagianism, which brought him disfavour with the orthodox; was made a prebendary of Canterbury through the influence of Laud; was, on some apology to orthodoxy in 1633, called to the chair of History in the Gymnasium of Amsterdam; he was a friend of Grotius; he fell from a ladder in his library, and was found dead (1577-1649).
VULCAN, the Roman god of fire and an artificer In metals, identified with the Greek HEPHAESTUS (q. v.); had a temple to his honour in early Rome; was fabled to have had a forge under Mount Etna, where he manufactured thunderbolts for Jupiter, the Cyclops being his workmen.
VULGATE, a version of the Bible in Latin executed by ST. JEROME (q. v.), and was in two centuries after its execution universally adopted in the Western Christian Church as authoritative for both faith and practice, and from the circumstance of its general reception it became known as the Vulgate (i. e. the commonly-accepted Bible of the Church), and it is the version accepted as authentic to-day by the Roman Catholic Church, under sanction of the Council of Trent. "With the publication of it," says Ruskin, "the great deed of fixing, in their ever since undisturbed harmony and majesty, the canon of Mosaic and Apostolic Scripture, was virtually accomplished, and the series of historic and didactic books which form our present Bible (including the Apocrypha) were established in and above the nascent thought of the noblest races of men living on the terrestrial globe, as a direct message to them from its Maker, containing whatever it was necessary for them to learn of His purposes towards them, and commanding, or advising, with divine authority and infallible wisdom, all that it was best for them to do and happiest to desire. Thus, partly as a scholar's exercise and partly as an old man's recreation, the severity of the Latin language was softened, like Venetian crystal, by the variable fire of Hebrew thought, and the 'Book of Books' took the abiding form of which all the future art of the Western nations was to be an hourly expanding interpretation."
VYASA, the mythical author of the Hindu Mahabharata and the Puranas; was the illegitimate child of a Brahman and a girl of impure caste of the fisher class.
WAAL, a S. branch of the Rhine, in Holland.
WACE, Anglo-Norman poet, born in Guernsey; author of two metrical chronicles, "Geste des Bretons" and "Roman de Rou," the latter recording the fortunes of the dukes of Normandy down to 1106 (1120-1183).
WACE, HENRY, Principal of King's College, London; has lectured ably on Christian apologetics, and written valuable works in defence of Christianity; b. 1836.
WADE, GEORGE, English general; commanded in Scotland during the rebellion of 1715, has the credit of the construction in 1725-35 of the military roads into the Highlands, to frustrate any further attempts at rebellion in the north (1668-1748).
WADMAN, WIDOW, a lady in "Tristram Shandy" who pays court to Uncle Toby.
WADY, an Arabic name for the channel of a stream which is flooded in rainy weather and at other seasons dry.
WAGNER, WILHELM RICHARD, the great musical composer, born at Leipzig; showed early a faculty for music, and began the enthusiastic study of it under Beethoven; in 1835 became conductor of the orchestra of the theatre of Magdeburg, and held the same post afterwards at Riga and Koenigsberg; his principal works were "Rienzi" (1840), "The Flying Dutchman" (1843), "Tannhaeuser" (1845), "Lohengrin" (1850), "Tristan and Isolde" (1859), "The Mastersingers of Nuernberg" (1859-60), and the "Ring of the Nibelungen," the composition of which occupied 25 years; this last was performed in 1876 at Bayreuth in a theatre erected for the purpose in presence of the emperor of Germany and the principal musical artists of the world; "Parsifal" was his last work; his musical ideas were revolutionary, and it was some time before his works made their way in England (1813-1883).
WAGRAM, a village, 10 m. NE. of Vienna, where Napoleon gained a great victory over the Austrians under the Archduke Charles, on July 5 and 6, 1809.
WAHABIS, a Mohammedan sect which arose among the Nedj tribe in Central Arabia, whose aims were puritanic and the restoration of Islamism to its primitive simplicity in creed, worship, and conduct; in creed they were substantially the same as the SUNNITES (q. v.).
WAIKATO, the largest river in New Zealand, in the North Island, the outlet of the waters of Lake Taupo, the largest lake; has a course of 170 m.
WAKEFIELD (37), a borough of Yorkshire, 9 m. S. of Leeds; has large woollen and other manufactures.
WALCHEREN, an island in the province of Zeeland, in the delta formed by the Maas and Scheldt; was the destination of an unfortunate expedition sent to the help of the Austrians against Napoleon in Antwerp, in which 7000 of the army composing it died of marsh fever, from which 10,000 were sent home sick and the rest recalled.
WALDECK-PYRMONT (57), two high-lying territories in North Germany forming one principality and subject to imperial authority; consists of hill and valley.
WALDENSES, a Christian community founded in 1170 in the south of France, on the model of the primitive Church, by Peter Walden, a rich citizen of Lyons, and who were driven by persecution from country to country until they settled in Piedmont under the name of the VAUDOIS (q. v.), where they still exist.
WALES (1,519), one of three divisions of Great Britain; is 135 m. in length and from 37 to 95 m. in breadth, and bounded on the NW. and S. by the sea; it is divided into 12 counties, of which 6 form North Wales and 6 South Wales; is a mountainous country, intersected by beautiful valleys, which are traversed by a number of streams; it is largely agricultural; has mines of coal and iron, lead and copper, as well as large slate-quarries, which are extensively wrought; the Church of England is the church established, but the majority of the people are Nonconformists; it is represented in Parliament by 30 members; the natives are Celts, and the native language Celtic, which is still the language of a goodly number of the people.
WALES, PRINCE OF, title borne by eldest son of the English monarch; first conferred in 1301 on eldest son of Edward I. after subjugation of Wales (1282); since 1901 borne by Prince George, formerly Duke of York; entered the navy in 1877, and attained the post of commander in 1890; became heir of the throne on death of his brother, Duke of Clarence (1892); married Princess Mary of Teck (1893), and has by this marriage four sons and a daughter; b. 1865.
WALFISH BAY, a dependency of Cape Colony, in the middle of the coast-line of German South-West Africa.
WALKER, GEORGE, defender of Londonderry against the army of James II., born in co. Tyrone, of English parents; was in holy orders, and by his sermons encouraged the town's-people during the siege, which lasted 105 days; he afterwards fought in command of his Derry men at the battle of the Boyne, where he lost his life.
WALLACE, ALFRED RUSSEL, English naturalist, born at Usk, in Monmouthshire; was devoted to the study of natural history, in the interest of which he spent four years (1848-52) in the valley of the Amazon, and eight years after (1854-62) in the East India Archipelago, from the latter of which expedition especially he returned with thousands of specimens of natural objects, particularly insects and birds, and during his absence he wrought out a theory in the main coincident with Darwin's natural selection in corroboration thereof; he has since devoted much of his time to the study of spiritualism, and in spite of himself has come to be convinced of its claims to scientific regard; he has written on his travels, "Contributions to the Theory of Natural Selection," "Miracles and Modern Spiritualism," &c.; b. 1823.
WALLACE, SIR WILLIAM, the champion of Scottish independence, born in Renfrewshire, second son of Sir Malcolm Wallace of Elderslie; was early seized with a desire to free his country from foreign oppressors, and ere long began to figure as chief of a band of outlaws combined to defy the authority of Edward I., who had declared himself Lord of Scotland, till at length the sense of the oppression became wide-spread, and he was appointed to lead in a general revolt, while many of the nobles held aloof or succumbed to the usurper; he drove the English from one stronghold after another, finishing with the battle of Stirling, and was installed thereafter guardian of the kingdom; such a reverse was more than the "proud usurper" could brook; he accordingly mustered a large army, and at Falkirk literally crushed Wallace and his followers with an overwhelming force, the craven nobles still standing aloof, one of them in the end proving traitor, and handing Wallace over to the enemy, who carried him off to London, and had him hanged, beheaded, and quartered.
WALLACE COLLECTION, a collection of works of art bequeathed to the nation by Lady Wallace, and now being housed in Hertford House, Manchester Square, London.
WALLENSTEIN, general of the Imperial army in the Thirty Years' War, born in Bohemia, of a Protestant family, but on the death of his parents was, in his childhood, adopted and educated by the Jesuits, and bred up in the Catholic faith; bent on a military life, he served first in one campaign and then another; rose in imperial favour, and became a prince of the empire, but the jealousy of the nobles procured his disgrace, till the success of Gustavus Adolphus in the Thirty Years' War and the death of Tully led to his recall, when he was placed at the head of the imperial army as commander-in-chief; drove the Saxons out of Bohemia, and marched against the Swedes, but was defeated, and fell again into disfavour; was deprived of his command, charged with treason, and afterwards murdered in the castle of Egra; he was a remarkable man, great in war and great in statesmanship, but of unbounded ambition; is the subject of a drama by Schiller, in three parts (1583-1634).
WALLER, EDMUND, poet, born in Hertfordshire to great wealth, and educated at Eton and Cambridge; early gave evidence of his genius for poetry, which, however, was limited in practice to the production of merely occasional pieces; he was in great favour at court; was a member of the Long Parliament; leant to the Royalist side, though he wrote a panegyric on Cromwell, which, too, is considered his best poem; he revived, or rather "remodelled," the heroic couplet form of verse, which continued in vogue for over a hundred years after (1605-1687).
WALLOONS, name given to the descendants of the ancient Belgae, a race of a mixed Celtic and Romanic stock, inhabiting Belgium chiefly, and speaking a language called Walloon, a kind of Old French; in Belgium they number to-day two and a quarter millions.
WALPOLE, HORACE, Earl of Orford, born in London, educated at Eton and Cambridge; travelled on the Continent with Gray, the poet, who had been a school-fellow, but quarrelled with him, and came home alone; entered Parliament in 1741, and continued a member till 1768, but took little part in the debates; succeeded to the earldom in 1791; his tastes were literary; wrote "Anecdotes of Painting in England," and inaugurated a new era in novel-writing with his "Castle of Otranto," but it is by his "Letters" he will live in English literature, which, "malicious, light as froth, but amusing, retail," as Stopford Brooke remarks, "with liveliness all the gossip of the time"; he is characterised by Carlyle as "one of the clearest-sighted men of his century; a determined despiser and merciless dissector of cant" (1717-1797).
WALPOLE, SIR ROBERT, Earl of Orford, Whig statesman, born at Houghton, Norfolk, educated at Eton and Cambridge; entered Parliament in 1701, and became member for King's Lynn in 1702; was favoured by the Whig leaders, and promoted to office in the Cabinet; was accused of corruption by the opposite party when in power, and committed to the Tower; on his release after acquittal was re-elected for King's Lynn; in 1715 became First Lord of the Treasury, and in 1721 became Prime Minister, which he continued to be for twenty-one years, but not without opposition on account of his pacific policy; on being driven against his will into a war with Spain, which proved unsuccessful, he retired into private life; he stood high in repute for his financial policy; it was he who established the first Sinking Fund, and who succeeded as a financier in restoring confidence after the bursting of the SOUTH SEA BUBBLE (q. v.); it is to his policy in defeating the plans of the Jacobites that the Hanoverian dynasty in great part owe their permanent occupancy of the British throne; it was a favourite maxim of his. "Every man has his price," and he was mortified to find that Pitt could not be bought by any bribe of his (1677-1745).
WALPURGIS NIGHT, the eve of the 1st May, when the witches hold high revel and offer sacrifices to the devil their chief, the scene of their festival in Germany being the BROCKEN (q. v.). This annual festival was in the popular belief conceded to them in recompense for the loss they sustained when by St. Walpurga the Saxons were persuaded to renounce paganism with its rites for Christianity.
WALSINGHAM, SIR FRANCIS, English statesman, born at Chiselhurst; was ambassador at Paris, and was there during the St. Bartholomew massacre, and was afterwards appointed one of Queen Elizabeth's Secretaries of State; he was an insidious inquisitor, and had numerous spies in his pay, whom he employed to ferret out evidence to her ruin against Mary, Queen of Scots, and he had the audacity to sit as one of the Commissioners at her trial (1536-1590).
WALSTON, ST., patron saint of husbandmen, of British birth; gave up wealth for agriculture, and died at the plough; is represented with a scythe in his hand and cattle near him.
WALTER, JOHN, London printer; the founder proper, though his father was the projector, of the Times newspaper, and forty years in the management of it, under which it became the "leading journal" of the day, a success due to his discernment and selection of the men with the ability to conduct it and contribute to it (1773-1847).
WALTER THE PENNILESS, a famous mob leader, adjutant of Peter the HERMIT (q. v.) in the first Crusade.
WALTON, IZAAK, the angler, born in Stafford; settled as a linen-draper, first in Fleet Street and then in Chancery Lane, London; married a lady, a grand-niece of Cranmer, and on her death a sister of Bishop Ken, by whom he had several children; he associated with some of the best clergymen of the Church of England, among the number Dr. Donne, and was much beloved by them; on the death of his second wife he went to Winchester and stayed with his friend Dr. Morley, the bishop; his principal work was the "Complete Angler; or, the Contemplative Man's Recreation," which was extended by his friend Charles Cotton, and is a classic to this day; he wrote in addition Lives of Hooker, Dr. Donne, Bishop Sanderson, Sir Henry Wotton, and George Herbert, all done, like the "Angler," in a uniquely charming, simple style (1593-1683).
WANDERING JEW. See JEW, WANDERING.
WAPENSHAW, originally gatherings of the people of a district in ancient times in Scotland, at which every man was bound to appear duly armed according to his rank, and make exhibition of his skill in the use of his weapons, against a time of war.
WARBECK, PERKIN, an impostor who affected to be Richard, Duke of York, second son of Edward IV., alleged to have been murdered in the Tower, and laid claim to the crown of England in preference to Henry VII. In an attempt to make good this claim he was taken prisoner, and hanged at Tyburn in 1499.
WARBURTON, WILLIAM, an English divine, born at Newark; was bishop of Gloucester; was author of the famous "Divine Legation of Moses," characterised by Gibbon as a "monument of the vigour and weakness of the human mind"; is a distracted waste of misapplied logic and learning; a singular friendship subsisted between the author and Pope (1698-1779).
WARD, ARTEMUS, the pseudonym of C. F. BROWNE (q. v.).
WARD, MRS. HUMPHRY, English authoress, born at Hobart Town; is a niece of Matthew Arnold; translated Amiel's "Journal," a suggestive record, but is best known by her romance of "Robert Elsmere," published in 1888, a work which was a help to some weak people and an offence to others of the same class; b. 1851.
WARD, WILLIAM GEORGE, English theologian; was a zealous promoter of the Tractarian Movement, and led the way in carrying out its principles to their logical issue by joining the Church of Rome; he was a broad-minded man withal, and won the regard of men of every school; became editor of the Dublin Review (1812-1882).
WARRINGTON (55), a parliamentary borough in Lancashire, on the Mersey, 20 m. E. of Liverpool; an old town, but with few relics of its antiquity; manufactures iron-ware, glass, soap, &c.; sends one member to Parliament.
WARS OF THE ROSES, name given to a civil war in England from 1452 to 1486, between the Houses of York and Lancaster, so called from the badge of the former being a white rose and that of the latter being a red; it terminated with the accession of Henry VII., who united in his person the rival claims.
WARSAW (465), formerly the capital of Poland, now of the province of Russian Poland; stands on the left bank of the Vistula, 700 m. SW. of St. Petersburg; is almost in the heart of Europe, and in a position with many natural advantages; is about as large as Birmingham, and the third largest city in the Russian empire; it has a university with 75 professors and 1000 students, and has a large trade and numerous manufactures.
WARTBURG, an old grim castle overhanging EISENACH (q. v.), where Luther was confined by his friends when it was too hot for him outside, and where, not forgetful of what he owed his country, he kept translating the Bible into the German vernacular, and where they still show the oaken table at which he did it, and the oaken ink-holder which he threw at the devil's head, as well as the ink-spot it left on the wall.
WARTON, THOMAS, English poet, born at Basingstoke; was professor of Poetry at Oxford, and Poet-Laureate; wrote a "History of English Poetry" of great merit, and a few poetic pieces in faint echo of others by Pope and Swift for most part (1728-1790).
WARWICK (11), the county town of Warwickshire, on the Avon, 21 m. SE. of Birmingham; it dates from Saxon times, and possesses a great baronial castle, the residence of the earls of Warwick, erected in 1394 on an eminence by the river grandly overlooking the town; it is the seat of several industries, and has a considerable trade in agricultural produce.
WARWICK, RICHARD NEVILLE, EARL OF, eldest son of the Earl of Salisbury, THE KING-MAKER (q. v.); fought in the "Wars of the Roses," and was in the end defeated by Edward IV. and slain (1428-1471).
WARWICKSHIRE (805), central county of England; is traversed by the Avon, a tributary of the Severn; the north portion, which was at one time covered by the forest of Arden, is now, from its mineral wealth, one of the busiest industrial centres of England; it contains the birthplace of Shakespeare; Birmingham is the largest town.
WASH, THE, an estuary of the E. coast of England, between the counties of Norfolk and Lincoln, too shallow for navigation.
WASHINGTON (278), capital of the United States, in the district of Columbia, on the left bank of the Potomac, 35 in. SW. of Baltimore; was founded in 1791, and made the seat of the Government in 1800; it is regularly laid out, possesses a number of noble buildings, many of them of marble, the chief being the Capitol, an imposing structure, where the Senate and Congress sit; near it, 11/2 m. distant, is the White House, the residence of the President, standing in grounds beautifully laid out and adorned with fountains and shrubbery.
WASHINGTON (340), a NW. State of the American Union, twice the size of Ireland; lies N. of Oregon; is traversed by the Cascade Mountains, the highest 8138 ft., and has a rugged surface of hill and valley, but is a great wheat-growing and grazing territory, covered on the W. by forests of pine and cedar; Olympia is the capital. Washington is the name of hundreds of places in the States.
WASHINGTON, GEORGE, one of the founders and first President of the United States, born at Bidges Creek, Westmoreland Co., Virginia, of a family from the North of England, who emigrated in the middle of the 17th century; commenced his public life in defending the colony against the encroachments of the French, and served as a captain in a campaign against them under General Braddock; In the contest between the colony and the mother-country he warmly espoused that of the colony, and was in 1775 appointed commander-in-chief; his first important operation in that capacity was to drive the English out of Boston, but the British rallying he was defeated at Brandywine and Germantown in 1777; next year, in alliance with the French, he drove the British out of Philadelphia, and in 1781 compelled Cornwallis to capitulate in an attack he made on Yorktown, and on the evacuation of New York by the British the independence of America was achieved, upon which he resigned the command; in 1789 he was elected to the Presidency of the Republic, and in 1793 was re-elected, at the end of which he retired into private life after paying a dignified farewell (1732-1799).
WATERBURY (46), a city of Connecticut, U.S., 88 m. NE. of New York, with manufactures of metallic wares; world-famous for its cheap watches.
WATERFORD (21), a town in a county of the same name (98), in Munster, Ireland, at the junction of the Suir and the Barrow; has a splendid harbour formed by the estuary, and carries on an extensive export trade with England, particularly in bacon and butter, the chief industries of the county being cattle-breeding and dairy-farming.
WATERLOO, a village 11 m. S. of Brussels, which gives name to a battle in which the French under Napoleon were defeated by an army under Wellington on June 18, 1815.
WATLING STREET, a great Roman road extending from Dover and terminating by two branches in the extreme N. of England after passing through London, the NE. branch, by York, and the NW. by or to Chester.
WATSON, WILLIAM, poet, born in Yorkshire; the first poem which procured him recognition was "Wordsworth's Grave," and his subsequent poems have confirmed the impression produced, in especial his "Lachrymae Musarum," one of the finest tributes paid to the memory of Tennyson on the occasion of his death; among his later productions the most important is a volume entitled "Odes and other Poems," published in 1894; has also written an admirable volume of essays, "Excursions in Criticism"; b. 1858.
WATT, JAMES, inventor of the modern steam-engine, born in Greenock, son of a merchant; began life as a mathematical-instrument maker, opened business in Glasgow under university patronage, and early began to experiment on the mechanical capabilities of steam; when in 1703, while engaged in repairing the model of a Newcomen's engine, he hit upon the idea which has immortalised his name. This was the idea of a separate condenser for the steam, and from that moment the power of steam in the civilisation of the world was assured; the advantages of the invention were soon put to the proof and established, and by a partnership on the part of Watts with MATTHEW BOULTON (q. v.) Watt had the satisfaction of seeing his idea fairly launched and of reaping of the fruits. Prior to Watt's invention the steam-engine was of little other use than for pumping water (1736-1819).
WATTEAU, ANTOINE, celebrated French painter and engraver, born at Valenciennes; his pictures were numerous and the subjects almost limited to pseudo-pastoral rural groups; the tone of the colouring is pleasing, and the design graceful (1684-1721).
WATTS, GEORGE FREDERICK, eminent English painter, born in London; is distinguished as a painter at once of historical subjects, ideal subjects, and portraits; did one of the frescoes in the Poets' Hall of the Houses of Parliament and the cartoon of "Caractacus led in Triumph through the Streets of Rome"; has, as a "poet-painter," by his "Love and Death," "Hope," and "Orpheus and Eurydice," achieved a world-wide fame; he was twice over offered a baronetcy, but on both occasions he declined; b. 1817.
WATTS, ISAAC, Nonconformist divine, born at Southampton, son of a schoolmaster; chose the ministry as his profession, was for a time pastor of a church in Mark Lane, but after a succession of attacks of illness he resigned and went on a visit to his friend Sir Thomas Abney, with whom he stayed for 36 years, at which time his friend died, and he resumed pastoral duties as often as his health permitted; he wrote several books, among which was a book on "Logic," long a university text-book, and a great number of hymns, many of them of wide fame and much cherished as helps to devotion (1674-1748).
WATTS, THEODORE, critic, born at St. Ives, bosom friend of Swinburne, who pronounces him "the first critic of our time—perhaps the largest-minded and surest-sighted of any age"; his influence is great, and it has been exercised chiefly through contributions to the periodicals of the day; has assumed the surname of Dunton after his mother; b. 1836.
WAUGH, EDWIN, a Lancashire poet, born at Rochdale, bred a bookseller; wrote, among other productions, popular songs, full of original native humour, the first of them "Come Whoam to thy Childer and Me" (1817-1890).
WAYLAND, the smith, a Scandinavian Vulcan, of whom a number of legends were current; figures in Scott's "Kenilworth."
WAZIRIS, a tribe of independent Afghans inhabiting the Suleiman Mountains, on the W. frontier of the Punjab.
WEALTH, defined by Ruskin to be the possession of things in themselves valuable, that is, of things available for the support of life, or inherently possessed of life-giving power.
WEBER, KARL MARIA VON, German composer, born near Luebeck, of a famed musical family; early gave proof of musical talent; studied at Vienna under Abbe Vogler, and at Dresden became founder and director of the German opera; his first great production was "Der Freischuetz," which established his fame, and was succeeded by, among others, "Oberon," his masterpiece, first produced in London, where, shortly after the event, he died, broken in health; he wrote a number of pieces for the piano, deservedly popular (1786-1826).
WEBER, WILHELM EDUARD, German physicist, born at Wittenberg; professor at Goettingen; distinguished for his contributions to electricity and magnetism, both scientific and practical (1801-1891).
WEBSTER, DANIEL, American statesman and orator, born at New Hampshire; bred to the bar, and practised in the provincial courts; by-and-by went to Boston, which was ever after his home; entered Congress in 1813, where, by his commanding presence and his animated oratory, he soon made his mark; was secretary for foreign affairs under President Harrison, and negotiated the Ashburton Treaty in settlement of the "boundary-line" question between England and the States; was much admired by Emerson, and was, when he visited England, commended by him to the regard of Carlyle as a man to "hear speak," as "with a cause he could strike a stroke like a smith"; Carlyle did not take to him; he was too political for his taste, though he recognised in him a "man—never have seen," he wrote Emerson, "so much silent Berserkir-rage in any other man" (1782-1852).
WEBSTER, JOHN, English dramatist of the 17th century; did a good deal as a dramatist in collaboration with others, but some four plays are exclusively his own work, the two best the "White Devil" and the "Duchess of Malfi."
WEBSTER, NOAH, lexicographer, born at Hartford, Connecticut, U.S.; bred to law; tried journalism; devoted 20 years to his "Dictionary of the English Language" (1758-1843).
WEDGWOOD, JOSIAH, celebrated English potter, born at Burslem, son of a potter; in 1759 started a pottery on artistic lines in his native place; devoted himself first to the study of the material of his art and then to its ornamentation, in which latter he had at length the good fortune to enlist Flaxman as a designer, and so a ware known by his name became famous for both its substantial and artistic excellence far and wide over the country and beyond; he was a man of varied culture and of princely generosity, having by his art amassed a large fortune (1730-1793).
WEDNESBURY (69), a town in Staffordshire, 8 m. NW. of Birmingham; iron-ware manufacture the chief industry; has an old church on the site of an old temple to Woden, whence the name, it is alleged.
WEDNESDAY, fourth day of the week, Woden's Day, as Thursday is Thor's. It is called Midwoch, i. e. Midweek, by the Germans.
WEEK, division of time of seven days, supposed to have been suggested by the interval between the quarters of the moon.
WEEPING PHILOSOPHER, a sobriquet given to HERACLITUS (q. v.) from a melancholy disposition ascribed to him, in contrast with DEMOCRITUS (q. v.), designated the laughing philosopher.
WEI-HAI-WEI, a city in a deep bay on the Shantung promontory, China, 40 m. E. of Chefoo, and nearly opposite Port Arthur, which is situated on the northern side of the entrance to the Gulf of Pechili; was leased to Great Britain in 1898, along with the islands in the bay and a belt of land along the coast; its harbour is well sheltered, and accommodates a large number of vessels.
WEIMAR (24), capital of the grand-duchy of Saxe-Weimar, in a valley on the left bank of the Ilm, 13 m. E. of Erfurt, and famous as for many years the residence of the great Goethe and the illustrious literary circle of which he was the centre, an association which constitutes the chief interest of the place.
WEINGARTNER, FELIX, composer and musical conductor, born at Zara, Dalmatia; has composed symphonic poems, operas, and songs; b. 1863.
WEISMANN, AUGUST, biologist, born at Frankfort-on-the-Main; studied medicine at Goettingen; devoted himself to the study of zoology, the first-fruit of which was a treatise on the "Development of Diptera," and at length to the variability in organisms on which the theory of descent, with modifications, is based, the fruit of which was a series of papers published in 1882 under the title of "Studies on the Theory of Descent"; but it is with the discussions on the question of heredity that his name is most intimately associated. The accepted theory on the subject assumes that characters acquired by the individual are transmitted to offspring, and this assumption, in his "Essays upon Heredity," he maintains to be wholly groundless, and denies that it has any foundation in fact; heredity, according to him, is due to the continuity of the germ-plasm, or the transmission from generation to generation of a substance of a uniform chemical and molecular composition; b. 1834.
WEISS, BERNHARD, German theologian, born at Koenigsberg; became professor at Kiel and afterwards at Berlin; has written on the theology of the New Testament, an introduction to it, and a "Leben Jesu," all able works; b. 1827.
WEISSENFELS (23), a town of Prussian Saxony, 35 m. SW. of Leipzig, with an old castle of the Duke of Weissenfels and various manufactures.
WEISSNICHTWO (Know-not-where), in Carlyle's "Sartor," an imaginary European city, viewed as the focus, and as exhibiting the operation, of all the influences for good and evil of the time we live in, described in terms which characterised city life in the first quarter of the 19th century; so universal appeared the spiritual forces at work in society at that time that it was impossible to say where they were and where they were not, and hence the name of the city, Know-not-where.
WEIZSAeCHER, KARL, eminent German theologian; studied at Tuebingen and Berlin; succeeded BAUR (q. v.) as professor at Tuebingen; was a New Testament critic, and the editor of a theological journal, and distinguished for his learning and lucid style; b. 1822.
WELLDON, JAMES EDWARD COWELL, bishop of Calcutta; educated at Eton and Cambridge; has held several appointments, both scholastic and clerical; has translated several of the works of Aristotle, and was Hulsean Lecturer at Cambridge in 1897; b. 1854.
WELLER, SAM, Mr. Pickwick's servant, and an impersonation of the ready wit and best quality of London low life.
WELLESLEY, a small province, part of Penang Territory, in the Straits Settlements; of great fertility, and yields tropical products in immense quantities, such as spices, tea, coffee, sugar, cotton, and tobacco.
WELLESLEY, RICHARD COWLEY, MARQUIS OF, statesman and administrator, born in Dublin, eldest son of the Earl of Mornington, an Irish peer, and eldest brother of the Duke of Wellington, and his senior by nine years; educated at Eton and Cambridge, where he distinguished himself in classics; in 1781 succeeded his father in the Irish House of Peers; entered Parliament in 1784; was a supporter of Pitt, and in 1797 appointed Governor-General of India in succession to Cornwallis, and raised to the English peerage as Baron Wellesley; in this capacity he proved himself a great administrator, and by clearing out the French and crushing the power of Tippoo Saib, as well as increasing the revenue of the East India Company, laid the foundation of the British power in India, for which he was raised to the marquisate, and voted a pension of L5000; he afterwards became Foreign Secretary of State and Viceroy of Ireland (1760-1842).
WELLHAUSEN, JULIUS, Old Testament scholar, born at Hameln; held the post of professor of Theology at Greifswald, but resigned the post from conscientious scruples and became professor of Oriental Languages at Marburg in 1885; is best known among us as a biblical critic on the lines of the so-called higher criticism, the criticism which seeks to arrange the different parts of the Bible in their proper historical connection and order; b. 1844.
WELLINGBOROUGH (15), a market-town in Northamptonshire, 10 m. NE. of Northampton; has some fine buildings; the manufacture of shoes a chief industry.
WELLINGTON (33), the capital of New Zealand, in the North Island, on Cook Strait; has a spacious harbour, with excellent accommodation for shipping, a number of public buildings, including government offices, and two cathedrals, a Roman Catholic and an Anglican, and a considerable trade; in 1865 it superseded Auckland as the capital of the whole of New Zealand.
WELLINGTON, ARTHUR WELLESLEY (or WESLEY), DUKE OF, born probably in Dublin, third son of the Earl of Mornington, an Irish peer, educated first at Chelsea, then at Eton, and then at a military school at Angers, in France; entered the army in 1787 as an ensign in the 73rd, and stepped gradually upwards in connection with different regiments, till in 1793 he became lieutenant-colonel of the 33rd; sat for a time in the Irish Parliament as a member for Trim, and went in 1794 to the Netherlands, and served in a campaign there which had disastrous issues such as disgusted him with military life, and was about to leave the army when he was sent to India, where he distinguished himself in the storming of Seringapatam, and in the command of the war against the Mahrattas, which he brought to a successful issue in 1803, returning home in 1805; next year he entered the Imperial Parliament, and in 1807 was appointed Chief Secretary for Ireland; in 1808 he left for Portugal, where he was successful against the French in several engagements, and in 1809 was appointed commander-in-chief of the Peninsular army; in this capacity his generalship became conspicuous in a succession of victories, in which he drove the French first out of Portugal and then out of Spain, defeating them finally at Toulouse on the 12th April 1814, and so ending the Peninsular War; on his return home he was loaded with honours, and had voted to him from the public treasury a grant of L400,000; on the return of Napoleon from Elba he was appointed general of the allies against him in the Netherlands and on 18th June 1815 defeated him in the ever-memorable battle of Waterloo; this was the crowning feat in Wellington's military life, and the nation showed its gratitude to him for his services by presenting him with the estate of Strathfieldsaye, in Hampshire, worth L263,000, the price paid for it to Lord Rivers, the proprietor; in 1827 he was appointed commander-in-chief of the army, and in 1828 was Prime Minister of the State; as a statesman he was opposed to Parliamentary reform, but he voted for the emancipation of the Catholics and the abolition of the Corn Laws; he died in Walmer Castle on 1st September 1852, aged 84, and was buried beside Nelson in a crypt of St. Paul's (1769-1852).
WELLINGTON COLLEGE, a college founded in 1853 at Wokingham, Berks, in memory of the Duke of Wellington, primarily for the education of the sons of deceased military officers; there is a classical school to prepare for the university, and a modern side to prepare for the army, &c.
WELLS, a small episcopal city in Somersetshire, 20 m. SW. of Bath; it derives its name from hot springs near it, and is possessed of a beautiful cruciform cathedral in the Early English style, adorned with some 600 statues of saints, 151 of which are life-size, and some of them colossal.
WELLS, CHARLES JEREMIAH, English poet, born in London; author of a dramatic poem entitled "Joseph and his Brethren," published in 1824, a poem which failed to attract attention at the time, and the singular merits of which were first recognised by Swinburne in 1875, the author having meantime given up literature for the law, to which he had been bred (1800-1879).
WELSH, DAVID, a Scottish divine, a gentlemanly scholarly man, professor of Church History in the University of Edinburgh; was Moderator of the General Assembly on the occasion of the Disruption of the Scottish Church (1843), and headed the secession on the day of the exodus (1793-1845).
WELSH, or WELCH, JOHN, a Scottish divine, a Nithsdale man; became Presbyterian minister of Ayr, and was distinguished both as a preacher and for his sturdy opposition to the ecclesiastical tyranny of James VI., for which latter he suffered imprisonment and exile; he was an ancestor of Jane Welsh Carlyle, and was married to a daughter of John Knox, who, when the king thought to win her over by offering her husband a bishopric, held out her apron before sovereign majesty, and threatened she would rather kep (catch) his head there than that he should live and be a bishop; she figures in the chapter in "Sartor" on Aprons, as one of Carlyle's apron-worthies (1570-1625).
WELSH CALVINISTIC METHODISTS, the largest Nonconformist body in Wales, of native growth, and that originated in the middle of the 18th century in connection with a great religious awakening; has an ecclesiastical constitution on Presbyterian lines, and is in alliance with the Presbyterian Church of England; it consists of 1330 churches, and has a membership of over 150,000, that is, on their communion roll, and two theological seminaries, one at Trevecca and one at Bala.
WELSHPOOL (6), town in Montgomeryshire, North Wales, on the left bank of the Severn, 19 m. W. of Shrewsbury, the manufacture of flannels and woollen goods being the chief industry.
WENDS, a horde of savage Slavs who, about the 6th century, invaded and took possession of vacant lands on the southern shores of the Baltic, and extended their inroads as far as Hamburg and the ocean, south also far over the Elbe in some quarters, and were a source of great trouble to the Germans in Henry the Fowler's time, and after; they burst in upon Brandenburg once, in "never-imagined fury," and stamped out, as they thought, the Christian religion there by wholesale butchery of its priests, setting up for worship their own god "Triglaph, ugliest and stupidest of all false gods," described as "something like three whales' cubs combined by boiling, or a triple porpoise dead-drunk." They were at length "fairly beaten to powder" by Albert the Bear, "and either swept away or else damped down into Christianity and keeping of the peace," though remnants of them, with their language and customs, exist in Lusatia to this day.
WENDT, HANS, German theologian, born in Hamburg, professor at Kiel and at Heidelberg; has written an excellent "Leben Jesu" among other able works; b. 1853.
WENEGELD, among the old Saxons and other Teutonic races a fine, the price of homicide, of varying amount, paid in part to the relatives of the person killed and in part to the king or chief.
WENER, LAKE, the largest lake in Sweden, in the SW., 150 ft. above the sea-level and 100 m. long by 50 m. of utmost breadth, contains several islands, and abounds in fish.
WENTWORTH. See STRAFFORD.
WEREWOLF, a person transformed into a wolf, or a being with a literally wolfish appetite, under the presumed influence of a charm or some demoniac possession.
WERNER, FRIEDRICH LUDWIG ZACHARIAS, a dramatist of a mystic stamp, born at Koenigsberg; is the subject of an essay by Carlyle, and described by him as a man of a very dissolute spiritual texture; wrote the "Templars of Cyprus," the "Story of the Fallen Master," &c. (1768-1823).
WERTHER, the hero of Goethe's sentimental romance, "THE SORROWS OF WERTHER" (q. v.).
WESLEY, CHARLES, hymn-writer, born at Epworth, educated at Eton and Oxford; was associated with his more illustrious brother in the establishment of Methodism; his hymns are highly devotional, and are to be found in all the hymnologies of the Church (1708-1788).
WESLEY, JOHN, the founder of Methodism, born at Epworth, in Lincolnshire, son of the rector; was educated at the Charterhouse and at Lincoln College, Oxford, of which he became a Fellow; while there he and his brother, with others, were distinguished for their religious earnestness, and were nicknamed Methodists; in 1735 he went on a mission to Georgia, U.S., and had for fellow-voyagers some members of the Moravian body, whose simple piety made a deep impression on him; and on his return in two years after he made acquaintance with a Moravian missionary in London, and was persuaded to a kindred faith; up to this time he had been a High Churchman, but from this time he ceased from all sacerdotalism and became a believer in and a preacher of the immediate connection of the soul with, and its direct dependence upon, God's grace in Christ alone; this gospel accordingly he went forth and preached in disregard of all mere ecclesiastical authority, he riding about from place to place on horseback, and finding wherever he went the people in thousands, in the open air generally, eagerly expectant of his approach, all open-eared to listen to his word; to the working-classes his visits were specially welcome, and it was among them they bore most fruit; "the keynote of his ministry he himself gave utterance to when he exclaimed, 'Church or no Church, the people must be saved.'" Saved or Lost? was with him the one question, and it is the one question of all genuine Methodism to this hour (1703-1791).
WESSEL, JOHANN, a Reformer before the Reformation, born at Groeningen; was a man of powerful intellect; taught in the schools, and was called by his disciples Lux Mundi (1420-1489).
WESSEX, a territory in the SW. of England, inhabited by Saxons who landed at Southampton in 514, known as the West Saxons, and who gradually extended their dominion over territory beyond it till, under Egbert, their king, they became supreme over the other kingdoms of the Heptarchy.
WEST, BENJAMIN, painter, born near Springfield, Pennsylvania, of Quaker parentage; was self-taught, painted portraits at the age of 16, went to Italy in 1760, and produced such work there that he was elected member of several of the Italian academies; visited England on his way back to America in 1763, where he attracted the attention of George III., who patronised him, for whom he painted a goodly number of pictures to adorn Windsor Castle; he remained in England 40 years, painting hundreds of pictures, and was in 1792 elected President of the Royal Academy in succession to Sir Joshua Reynolds; among his paintings were "The Death of General Wolfe," "Edward III. at Crecy," and "The Black Prince at Poitiers" (1738-1817).
WEST AFRICA, name given to the region SW. of the Sahara, consisting of low lands with high lands behind, and through the valleys of which rivers flow down, and including Senegambia, Upper Guinea, and Lower Guinea, the coast of which is occupied by trading stations belonging to the French, the English, the Germans, the Belgians, and the Portuguese, and who are severally forcing their way into the inland territory connected with their several stations.
WEST AUSTRALIA (161), the largest of the Australian colonies, though least populous, formerly called the Swan River Settlement, 1500 m. long and 1000 m. broad, and embracing an area nearly equal to one-third of the whole Australian continent; great part of it, particularly in the centre, is desert, and the best soil is in the W. and NE.; emigration to it proceeded slowly at first, but for the last 20 years it has been steadily increasing, especially since the discovery of gold, and it is now opening up; in 1890 it received a constitution and became self-governing like the other possessions of Great Britain in Australia; Perth, on the Swan River, is the capital, and the chief exports are wool and gold.
WEST BROMWICH (59), a manufacturing town of the "Black Country," in Staffordshire, 5 m. NW. of Birmingham; has important industries connected with the manufacture of iron ware; is of modern growth, and has developed rapidly.
WEST INDIES (3,000), an archipelago of islands extending in a curve between North and South America from Florida on the one side to the delta of the Orinoco on the other, in sight of each other almost all the way, and constituting the summits of a sunken range of mountains which run in a line parallel to the ranges of North America; they are divided into the Great Antilles (including Cuba, Hayti, Jamaica, and Porto Rico), the Lesser Antilles (including the Leeward and the Windward Isles), and the Bahamas; lie all, except the last, within the Torrid Zone, and embrace unitedly an area larger than that of Great Britain; they yield all manner of tropical produce, and export sugar, coffee, tobacco, cotton, spices, &c.; except Cuba, HAYTI (q. v.), and Porto Rico, they belong to the Powers of Europe—Great Britain, France, Holland, and Denmark, and till lately Spain. The name Indies was applied to them because when Columbus first discovered them he believed he was close upon India, as he calculated he would find he was by sailing west.
WEST POINT, an old fortress, the seat of the United States Military Academy, on the right bank of the Hudson River, 12 m. N. of New York; the Academy is on a plateau 188 ft. above the road; it was established in 1802 for training in the science and practice of military engineering, and the cadets are organised into a battalion of four companies officered from among themselves, all under strictest discipline.
WEST VIRGINIA. See VIRGINIA.
WESTCOTT, BROOK FOSS, biblical scholar, born near Birmingham; studied at Trinity College, Cambridge, and obtained a Fellowship; took orders in 1851, and became Bishop of Durham in 1890; edited along with Dr. Hort an edition of the Greek New Testament, the labour of years, and published a number of works bearing on the New Testament and its structure and teachings; b. 1825.
WESTKAPPEL DYKE, one of the strongest dykes in the Netherlands; protects the W. coast of Walcheren; is 4000 yards long, and surmounted by a railway line.
WESTMACOTT, SIR RICHARD, sculptor, born in London; studied at Rome under Canova; acquired great repute as an artist on his return to England, and succeeded Flaxman as professor of Sculpture in the Royal Academy; he executed statues of Pitt, Addison, and others, and a number of monuments in Westminster Abbey and St. Paul's; his latest work was the sculptured pediment of the British Museum (1775-1856).
WESTMACOTT, RICHARD, sculptor and writer on art, born in London, son of preceding; was distinguished for the grace, simplicity, and purity of his style as an artist; succeeded his father as professor of Sculpture in the Royal Academy, and wrote a "Handbook of Sculpture" (1799-1872).
WESTMEATH (71), an inland county in Leinster, Ireland; is mostly level and gently undulating; the soil in many parts is good, but little cultivated; the only cereal crop raised is oats, but the herbage it yields supplies food for fattening cattle, which is a chief industry.
WESTMINSTER, a city of Middlesex, on the N. bank of the Thames, and comprising a great part of the West End of London; originally a village, it was raised to the rank of a city when it became the seat of a bishop in 1451, but it was as the seat of the abbey that it developed into a bishop's see; the abbey, for which it is so famous, was erected as it now exists at the same period, during 1245-72, on the site of one founded by Edward the Confessor during 1045-65; in Westminster Parliaments were held as early as the 13th century, and it is as the seat of the legislative and legal authority of the country that it figures most in modern times, though the most interesting chapters in its history are connected with the abbey round which it sprang up. See Dean Stanley's "Memorials of Westminster."
WESTMINSTER ASSEMBLY OF DIVINES, a convocation of divines assembled under authority of Parliament, at which delegates from England and Scotland adopted the SOLEMN LEAGUE AND COVENANT (q. v.), fixed the establishment of the Presbyterian form of Church government in the three kingdoms, drew up the "Confession of Faith," the "Directory of Public Worship," and the Larger and Shorter Catechisms; it held its first meeting on 1st July 1643, and did not break up till 22nd February 1649.
WESTMINSTER HALL, a structure attached to the Houses of Parliament at Westminster, built by King William Rufus, and roofed and remodelled by Richard II.; was the scene of the trials of Wallace, Sir Thomas More, Strafford, Charles I., Warren Hastings, and others, as well as the installation of Cromwell as Lord Protector, and till 1883 the seat of the High Courts of Justice; is a place of great historic interest; has a roof composed of 13 great timber beams, and one of the largest in the world to be unsupported.
WESTMORLAND (i. e. westmoorland) (60), a northern county of England, 32 m. from N. to S. and 40 m. from E. to W.; is in the Lake District, and mountainous, with tracts of fertile land and forest land, as well as rich pasture lands.
WESTON-SUPER-MARE (15), a watering-place in Somersetshire, on the Bristol Channel, looking across it towards Wales.
WESTPHALIA, a German duchy, now a Prussian province; made with other territories in 1807 into a kingdom by Napoleon for his brother Jerome, and designed to be the centre of the Confederation of the Rhine; was assigned to Prussia in 1813 according to the Treaty of Vienna.
WETSTEIN, JOHANN JACOB, biblical scholar, born at Basel; was devoted to the study of the New Testament text; published a Greek Testament with his emendations and "Prolegomena" connected therewith; his emendations, one in particular, brought his orthodoxy under suspicion for a time (1693-1754).
WETTE, DE. See DE WETTE.
WETTER, LAKE, one of the largest lakes in Sweden, 70 m. long, 13 m. broad, and 270 ft. above the sea-level; its clear blue waters are fed by hidden springs, it rises and falls periodically, and is sometimes subject to sudden agitations during a calm.
WETTERHORN (i. e. peak of tempests), a high mountain of the Bernese Oberland, with three peaks each a little over 12,000 ft. in height.
WEXFORD (111), a maritime county in Leinster, Ireland; is an agricultural county, and exports large quantities of dairy produce; has a capital (11) of the same name, a seaport at the mouth of the river Slaney.
WEYDEN, ROGER VAN DER, Flemish painter, born at Tourney; was trained in the school of Van Eyck, whose style he contributed to spread; his most famous work, a "Descent from the Cross," now in Madrid (1400-1464).
WEYMOUTH (13), a market-town and watering-place in Dorsetshire, 8 m. S. of Dorchester; has a fine beach and an esplanade over a mile in length; it came into repute from the frequent visits of George III.
WHARTON, PHILIP, DUKE OF, an able man, but unprincipled, who led a life of extravagance; professed loyalty to the existing government in England; intrigued with the Stuarts, and was convicted of high-treason, and died in Spain in a miserable condition (1698-1731).
WHATELY, RICHARD, archbishop of Dublin, born in London; studied at Oriel College, Oxford, of which he became a Fellow, and had Arnold, Keble, Newman, Pusey, and other eminent men as contemporaries; was a man of liberal views and sympathies, and much regarded for his sagacity and his skill in dialectics; his post as archbishop was no enviable one; is best known by his "Logic," for a time the standard work of the subject; he opposed the Tractarian movement, but was too latitudinarian for the evangelical party (1787-1863).
WHEATSTONE, SIR CHARLES, celebrated physicist and electrician, born near Gloucester; was a man of much native ingenuity, and gave early proof of it; was appointed professor of Experimental Philosophy in King's College, London, and distinguished himself by his inventions in connection with telegraphy; the stereoscope was of his invention (1802-1875).
WHEEL, BREAKING ON THE, a very barbarous mode of inflicting death at one time, in which the limbs of the victim were stretched along the spokes of a wheel, and the wheel being turned rapidly round, the limbs were broken by repeated blows from an iron bar; this is what the French roue means, applied figuratively to a person broken with dissipation, or what we call a rake.
WHEELING (39), largest city in West Virginia, U.S., on the Ohio River, 67 m. SW. of Pittsburg; contains some fine buildings; is a country rich in bituminous coal; has extensive manufactures; is a great railway centre, and carries on an extensive trade.
WHEWELL, WILLIAM, professor of the "science of things in general," born at Lancaster, son of a joiner; studied at Trinity College, Cambridge, of which he became successively fellow, tutor, professor, and master; was a man of varied attainments, of great intellectual and even physical power, and it was of him Sydney Smith said, "Science was his forte and omniscience his foible"; wrote "Astronomy and General Physics in reference to Natural Theology," the "Philosophy of the Inductive Sciences," the "History of Moral Philosophy," an essay on the "Plurality of Worlds," &c. (1794-1866).
WHICHCOTE, BENJAMIN, Cambridge Platonist, born in Shropshire; was a Fellow and Tutor of Emmanuel College; was distinguished for his personal influence over his pupils, many of them eminent men; he gave a philosophical turn to their theological opinions (1609-1683).
WHIGS, name given at the end of the 17th century to the Covenanters of Scotland, and afterwards extended to the Liberal party in England from the leniency with which they were disposed to treat the whole Nonconformist body, to which the persecuted Scottish zealots were of kin; they respected the constitution, and sought only to reform abuses.
WHISTLER, JAMES ABBOT M'NEILL, painter and etcher, born at Lowell, Massachusetts; studied military engineering at WEST POINT (q. v.), and art at Paris, and settled at length as an artist in London, where he has exhibited his paintings frequently; has executed some famous portraits, in especial one of his mother, and a remarkable one of Thomas Carlyle, now the property of Glasgow Corporation; paintings of his exhibited in the Grosvenor Gallery, London, provoked a criticism from Ruskin, which was accounted libellous, and as plaintiff he got a farthing damages, without costs; very much, it is understood, to his critic's disgust, and little to his own satisfaction, as is evident from the character of the pamphlet he wrote afterwards in retaliation, entitled "Whistler versus Ruskin: Art and Art Critics"; b. 1834.
WHISTON, WILLIAM, divine and mathematician, born in Leicestershire; educated at Clare College, Cambridge, of which he became a Fellow; gained reputation from his "Theory of the Earth"; succeeded Sir Isaac Newton as Lucasian professor, but was discharged from the office and expelled from the university for Arianism; removed to London, where he lived a separatist from the Church, and died a Baptist; wrote "Primitive Christianity," and translated "Josephus"; he was a crotchety but a conscientious man (1667-1752).
WHITBY, a seaport and famous bathing-place in the North Riding of Yorkshire, 541/2 m. NE. of York; is situated at the mouth of the Esk, and looks N. over the German Ocean; it consists of an old fishing town sloping upwards, and a fashionable new town above and behind it, with the ruins of an abbey; Captain Cook was a 'prentice here, and it was in Whitby-built ships, "the best and stoutest bottoms in England," that he circumnavigated the globe.
WHITBY, DANIEL, English divine, born in Northamptonshire; became rector of St. Edmunds, Salisbury; involved himself in ecclesiastical controversy first with the Catholics, then with the High Church party, and got into trouble; had one of his books burned at Oxford; his most important work "Paraphrase and Commentary on the New Testament"; died an Arian (1638-1726).
WHITE, ALEXANDER, a Scottish divine, born in Kirriemuir, of humble parentage; a man of deep religious sympathies and fervid zeal, with an interest before all in spiritual things; studied the arts in Aberdeen and theology in Edinburgh, in the latter of which cities he ministers to a large attached flock; is the author of books, originally for most part addresses, calculated to awaken in others an interest in divine things akin to his own; b. 1837.
WHITE, SIR GEORGE STEWART, English general, has had a brilliant career; entered the army in 1853; won the Victoria Cross twice over; served in the Mutiny, in the Afghan Campaign (1879-1880), in the Nile Expedition (1885), in the Burmese War (1885-1887), and was made Commander-in-Chief in India in 1893, Quartermaster-General in 1898, and is now distinguishing himself by his generalship and heroism in the South African War; b. 1835.
WHITE, GILBERT, English naturalist, born in the village of Selborne, Hants; educated at Oriel College, Oxford, in which he obtained a Fellowship, which he retained all his life; became curate of Selborne, and passed an uneventful life studying the habits of the animals around him, where he "had not only no great men to look on, but not even men, only sparrows and cockchafers; yet has he left us a 'Biography' of these, which, under the title of 'Natural History of Selborne,' still remains valuable to us, which has copied a little sentence or two faithfully from the inspired volume of Nature, and so," adds Carlyle, "is itself not without inspiration" (1720-1793).
WHITE, HENRY KIRKE, minor poet, born at Nottingham; published a book of poems in 1803, which procured him the patronage of Southey; got a sizarship in St. John's, Cambridge; through over-zeal in study undermined his constitution and died of consumption, Southey editing his "Remains" (1785-1806).
WHITE, JOSEPH BLANCO, man of letters of an unstable creed, born in Seville, of Irish parentage; first ordained a priest; left the Catholic Church, and took orders in the Church of England; left the English, became a Unitarian, and settled to miscellaneous literary work; left an autobiography which reveals an honest quest of light, but to the last in doubt; he lives in literature by a sonnet "Night and Death" (1775-1841).
WHITE HORSE, name given to the figure of a horse on a hill-side, formed by removing the turf, and showing the white chalk beneath; the most famous is one at Uffington, in Berkshire, alleged to commemorate a victory of King Alfred.
WHITE HOUSE, name popularly given to the official residence of the President of the United States, being a building of freestone painted white.
WHITE LADY, a lady dressed in white fabled in popular mediaeval legend to appear by day as well as at night in a house before the death of some member of the family; was regarded as the ghost of some deceased ancestress.
WHITE MOUNTAINS, a range of mountains in Maine and New Hampshire, U.S., forming part of the Appalachian system; much frequented by tourists on account of the scenery, which has won for it the name of the "Switzerland of America"; Mount Washington, one of the hills, has a hotel on the summit approached by a railway.
WHITE NILE, one of the two streams forming the Nile, which flows out of the Albert Nyanza, and which unites with the Blue Nile from Abyssinia near Khartoum.
WHITE SEA, a large inlet of the Arctic Ocean, in the N. of Russia, which is entered by a long channel and branches inward into three bays; it is of little service for navigation, being blocked with ice all the year except in June, July, and August, and even when open encumbered with floating ice, and often enveloped in mists at the same time.
WHITEBOYS, a secret Irish organisation that at the beginning of George III.'s reign asserted their grievances by perpetrating agrarian outrages; so called from the white smocks the members wore in their nightly raids.
WHITEFIELD, GEORGE, founder of Calvinistic Methodism, born at Gloucester; was an associate of WESLEY (q. v.) at Oxford, and afterwards as preacher of Methodism both in this country and America, commanding crowded audiences wherever he went, and creating, in Scotland particularly, a deep religious awakening, but who separated from Wesley on the matter of election; died near Boston, U.S. (1714-1770).
WHITEHAVEN (18), a seaport of Cumberland, 38 m. SW. of Carlisle, with coal and hematite iron mines in the neighbourhood; has blast-furnaces, iron-works, and manufactures of various kinds, with a considerable coasting traffic.
WHITELOCKE, BULSTRODE, a statesman of the Commonwealth, born in London; studied law at the Middle Temple: sat in the Long Parliament, and was moderate in his zeal for the popular side; at the Restoration his name was included in the Act of Oblivion, but he took no part afterwards in public affairs; left "Memorials" of historical value (1605-1675).
WHITGIFT, JOHN, archbishop of Canterbury, born at Great Grimsby; was educated at Cambridge, and became Fellow and Master of Pembroke College; escaped persecution under Queen Mary, and on the accession of Elizabeth was ordained a priest; after a succession of preferments, both as a theologian and an ecclesiastic, became archbishop in 1583; attended Queen Elizabeth on her deathbed, and crowned James I.; was an Anglican prelate to the backbone, and specially zealous against the Puritans; contemplated, with no small apprehension, the accession of James, "in terror of a Scotch mist coming down on him with this new Majesty from the land of Knox, or Nox, Chaos, and Company"; his last words were, with uplifted hands and eyes, a prayer for the Church, uttered in King James's hearing (1530-1604).
WHITHORN, a small town in Wigtownshire, 12 m. S. of Wigtown, celebrated as the spot where St. Ninian planted Christianity in Scotland, and founded a church to St. Martin in 397.
WHITMAN, WALT, the poet of "Democracy," born in Long Island, U.S., of parents of mingled English and Dutch blood; was a large-minded, warm-hearted man, who led a restless life, and had more in him than he had training to unfold either in speech or act; a man eager, had he known how, to do service in the cause of his much-loved mankind; wrote "Leaves of Grass," "Drum-Taps," and "Two Rivulets" (1819-1892).
WHITNEY, ELI, an American inventor, born in Massachusetts; invented the cotton-gin, a machine for cleaning seed-cotton, and became a manufacturer of firearms, by which he realised a large fortune (1765-1825).
WHITNEY, WILLIAM DWIGHT, American philologist, born in Massachusetts; studied at Yale College, where he became professor of Sanskrit, in which he was a proficient, and to the study of which he largely contributed; has done much for the science of language (1827-1894).
WHITSUNDAY, the seventh Sunday after Easter, a festival day of the Church kept in commemoration of the descent of the Holy Ghost.
WHITTIER, JOHN GREENLEAF, the American "Quaker Poet," born at Haverhill, in Massachusetts, the son of a poor farmer; wrought, like Burns, at field work, and acquired a loving sympathy with Nature, natural people, and natural scenes; took to journalism at length, and became a keen abolitionist and the poet-laureate of abolition; his poems are few and fugitive (1807-1893).
WHITTINGTON, SIR RICHARD, Lord Mayor of London, born at Pauntley, Gloucestershire; came to London, prospered in business, was elected Lord Mayor thrice over, and knighted; this is the Whittington of the nursery tale, "Dick Whittington and his Cat" (1538-1623).
WHITWORTH, SIR JOSEPH, eminent mechanician, born at Stockport; the rival of Lord Armstrong in the invention of ordnance; invented artillery of great range and accuracy; was made a baronet in 1869 (1803-1887).
WHYTE-MELVILLE, GEORGE JOHN, novelist of the sporting-field, born at Mount Melville, near St. Andrews; entered the army, and for a time served in it; met his death while hunting (1821-1878).
WICK (8), county-town of Caithness, on Wick River, 161 m. NE. of Inverness, is the chief seat of the herring fishery in Scotland; Wick proper, with its suburbs Louisburgh and Boathaven, is on the N. of the river, and Pultneytown on the S.; has a few manufactures, with distilleries and breweries.
WICKED BIBLE, an edition of the Bible with the word not omitted from the Seventh Commandment, for issuing which in 1632 the printers were fined and the impression destroyed.
WICKLOW (61), a maritime county, with a capital of the name in Leinster, Ireland; is in great part mountainous and barren; has mines and quarries, and some fertile parts.
WICLIFFE, JOHN, or WYCLIF, the "Morning Star of the Reformation," born at Hipswell, near Richmond, Yorkshire; studied at Oxford, and became Master of Balliol in 1361, professor of Divinity in 1372, and rector of Lutterworth in 1375; here he laboured and preached with such faithfulness that the Church grew alarmed, and persecution set in, which happily, however, proved scatheless, and only the more emboldened him in the work of reform which he had taken up; and of that work the greatest was his translation of the Bible from the Vulgate into the mother-tongue, at which, with assistance from his disciples, he laboured for some 10 or 15 years, and which was finished in 1380; he may be said to have died in harness, for he was struck with paralysis while standing before the altar at Lutterworth on 29th December 1384, and died the last day of the year; his remains were exhumed and burned afterwards, and the ashes thrown into the river Swift close by the town, "and thence borne," says Andrew Fuller, "into the main ocean, the emblem of his doctrine, which now is dispersed all the world over" (1325-1384).
WIDDIN (14), a town on the right bank of the Danube, Bulgaria; is a centre of industry and trade; was a strong place, but by decree of the Berlin Congress in 1879 the fortress was demolished.
WIELAND, CHRISTOPH MARTIN, eminent German litterateur, born near Biberach, a small village in Swabia, son of a pastor of the pietist school; studied at Tuebingen; became professor of Philosophy at Erfurt, and settled in Weimar in 1772 as tutor to the two sons of the Duchess Amalia, where he by-and-by formed a friendship with Goethe and the other members of the literary coterie who afterwards settled there; he wrote in an easy and graceful style, and his best work is a heroic poem entitled "Oberon" (1733-1813).
WIELICZKA (6), a town in Austrian Galicia, near Cracow, famous for its salt mines, which have been wrought continuously since 1250, the galleries of which extend to more than 50 m. in length, and the annual output of which is over 50,000 tons.
WIER, JOHANN, physician, born in North Brabant; was distinguished as the first to attack the belief in witchcraft, and the barbarous treatment to which suspects were subjected; the attack was treated as profane, and provoked the hostility of the clergy, and it would have cost him his life if he had not been protected by Wilhelm IV., Duke of Juelich and Cleves, whose physician he was (1516-1566).
WIERTZ, ANTOINE, a Belgian painter, born at Dinant, did a great variety of pictures on a variety of subjects, some of them on a large scale, and all in evidence of a high ideal of his profession, and an original genius for art (1806-1865).
WIESBADEN (65), capital of Hesse-Nassau, a famous German watering-place, abounding in hot springs, 5 m. NW. of Mainz; has a number of fine buildings and fine parade grounds, picture-gallery, museum, and large library; is one of the best-frequented spas in Europe, and is annually visited by 60,000 tourists or invalids; it was famed for its springs among the old Romans.
WIFE OF BATH, one of the pilgrims in Chaucer's "Canterbury Tales."
WIGAN (55), a town in Lancashire, 18 m. NW. of Manchester, in the centre of a large coal-field; cottons are the staple manufactures; is a place of ancient date, and has some fine buildings.
WIGHT, ISLE OF, an island in the S. of England, included in Hampshire, from which it is separated by the channel of the SOLENT (q. v.); it is of triangular shape, is 23 m. of utmost length, and about 14 m. of utmost breadth; it is traversed by a range of chalk downs from E. to W.; the soil is fertile, especially in the E.; the scenery rich and varied, and the climate charming; Newport is the capital in the centre; near Cowes is Osborne House, the summer residence of Queen Victoria.
WIGTOWNSHIRE (36), the most southerly county in Scotland, in the SW. of which the largest town is Stranraer, and the county town Wigtown; it is an agricultural county, and largely pastoral.
WILBERFORCE, SAMUEL, English prelate, born at Clapham, third son of the succeeding; entered Oriel College, Oxford, at 18, where he distinguished himself by his powers of debate; took holy orders, and rose to eminence in the Church; was made Bishop of Oxford in 1845, and of Winchester in 1869; was a High Churchman of the pure Anglican type, and equally opposed to Romanism and Nonconformity; shone in society by his wit and powers of conversation; Carlyle often "exchanged pleasant dialogues with him, found him dexterous, stout and clever, far from being a bad man"; "I do not hate him," he said to Froude one day, "near so much as I fear I ought to do"; he found him "really of a religious nature," and secretly in sympathy with himself on religious matters; was killed by a fall from his horse; he was popularly known by the sobriquet of "Soapy Sam" (1805-1873).
WILBERFORCE, WILLIAM, eminent philanthropist, born at Hull, son of a wealthy merchant; attended St. John's College, Cambridge, at 17; represented his native town in Parliament as soon as he was of age; he was early and deeply impressed with the inhumanity of the slave-trade, and to achieve its abolition became the ruling passion of his life; with that object he introduced a bill for its suppression in 1789, but it was not till 1801 he carried the Commons with him, and he had to wait six years longer before the House of Lords supported his measure and the Emancipation Act was passed; he retired into private life in 1825, and died three days after the vote of 20 millions to purchase the freedom of the West Indian slaves; he was an eminently religious man of the Evangelical school; wrote "Practical View of Christianity" (1759-1833).
WILD, JONATHAN, an English villain, who for housebreaking was executed in 1725, and the hero of Fielding's novel of the name; he had been a detective; was hanged amid execration on the part of the mob at his execution.
WILDERNESS, a district covered with brushwood in Virginia, U.S., the scene of a two days' terrible conflict between the Federals and the Confederates on the 5th and 6th May 1864.
WILDFIRE, MADGE, a character in the "Heart of Midlothian," who, being seduced, had, in her misery under a sense of her crime, gone crazy.
WILFRID, ST., a Saxon bishop of York, born in Northumbria; brought up at Lindisfarne; had a checkered life of it; is celebrated in legend for his success in converting pagans, and is usually represented in the act; d. 709.
WILHELMINA I., queen of the Netherlands, daughter of William III., and who ascended the throne on his decease in November 1890; her mother, a sister of the Duchess of Albany, acted as regent during her minority, and she became of age on the 11th August 1898, when she was installed as sovereign amid the enthusiasm of her people; b. 1880.