Page images

petals cover a white membranaceous tube, which on its upper part divides into five short filaments, supporting at their points the anthers. This shrub is a native of the forests of Guiana, flowering in February.

OXYDATION, Q sometimes spelt

OXYGENATION, S Oxidation, &c. See Oxide. See also Murray’s “Chemistry,” vol. ii. for the proper use of the several terms.

OXYDIZEMENT, terms used by

OXYGEN12E, some authors for Oxypation, OxygexATIon, &c. which see.

OXYGEN, in chemistry, is one of the most important agents in nature; there is scarcely a single process, either natural or artificial, in which oxygen has not a share, but it is known only in combination with other bodies. “Oxygen,” says Mr. Murray, “denotes the solid base or gravitating matter, and oxygen gas is the name given to it, when it exists in the aerial form.” There are two vast sources whence oxygen is derived, viz. water and air; in the former it is condensed into the liquid form, and combined with about one-third of its weight of hydrogen; in the latter it is united with an azote, and forms about one-fifth of the atmosphere. Besides these, there are a multitude of other sources, such as many parts of the organized world, vegetable or animal, mineral acids and metallic oxides. Oxygen has a greater tentency to combination than any other chemical agent. It is necessary to support combustion, and during the process it combines with the combustible body. The products are compounds of oxygen, and are both numerous and important agents in chemistry. The acids are of this kind, and their activity is principally dependent on their oxygen, which they yield readily to other bodies, and which, by the dense state in which it exists, is often capable of exerting powerful affinities. All the metals, likewise, are capable of , combining with this principle, from which a number of compounds are formed. See GAs, orygen.

OXYGENATED muriatic acid, in chemistry, is prepared in the following manner: take equal parts of the oxide of manganese, and the red oxide of mercury or lead; put them into a glass retort, and add four parts of concentrated muriatic acid. This, on distillation, affords a quantity of yellow aeriform fluid, which is oxygenated muriatic gas; this being agitated with water combines with it, and

forms oxygenated muriatic acid. The gas is yellow and transparent, and possesses a most suffocating smell. It instantly extinguishes flame and animal life; but has been long used for bleaching. OXY GONE, in geometry, is an acute angled figure, or such, each of the angles of which is less than 90°. The term is chiefly applied to triangles, where the angles are all acute. OYER of a deed, in law, is when a man brings an action upon a deed, bond, &c,. and the defendant appears and prays that he may hear the bond, &c. where with he is charged ; and the same shall be allowed him. And he is not bound to plead till he has it, paying for the copy of the instrument. It is then set forth upon the pleadings. o OYER and TERMINER, in law, is a court, by virtue of the king’s commission, to hear and determine all treasons, felonies, and misdemeanors. This commission is usually directed to two of the judges of the circuit, and several gentlemen of the county ; but the judges only are of the quorum, so that the rest cannot act without them. OYEn of the records, in law, is a petition made in court, that the judges, for more satisfactory proof, will be pleased to hear or look upon any record. O YES, corrupted from the French oyez, hear ye, is an expression used by the crier of a court, in order to enjoin silence, when any proclamation is made. OYSTER. See Ostr E.A. OZANAM (JAMEs), in biography, an eminent French mathematician, was descended from a family of Jewish extraction, but which had long been converts to the Romish faith; and some of whom had considerable places in the parliament of Provence. He was born at Boligneaux, in Bressia, in the year 1640; and being a younger son, though his father had a good estate, it was thought proper to breed him to the church, that he might enjoy some small benefices which belonged to the family, to serve as a provision for him. Accordingly he studied divinity four years; but then, on the death of his father, he devoted himself entirely to the mathematics, to which he had always been strongly attached. Some mathe. matical books which fell into his hands first excited his curiosity; and by his extraordinary genius, without the aid of a master, he made so great a progress, that at the age of fifteen he wrote a treatise 0 that kind. For a maintenance, he first went to

[ocr errors]

Lyons to teach the mathematics, which answered very well there; and after some time his generous disposition procured him still bettersuccess elsewhere. Among his scholars were two foreigners, who expressing their uneasiness to him at being disappointed of some bills of exchange for a journey to Paris, he asked them how much would do, and being told fifty pistoles, he lent them the money immediately, even without their note for it. Upon their arrival at Paris, mentioning this generous action to M. Daguesseau, father of the chancellor, this magistrate was touched with it, and engaged them to invite Ozanam to Paris, with a promise of his favour. The opportunity was eagerly embraced; and the business of teaching the mathematics here soon brought him in a considerable income; but he wanted prudence for some time to make the best use of it. He was young, handsome, and sprightly ; and much addicted both to gaming and gallantry, which continually drained his Purse. Among others, he had a love intrigue with a woman who lodged in the same house with himself, and gave herself out for a person of condition. However, this expense, in time, led him to think of matrimony, and he soon after married a young woman without fortune. She made amends for this defect, by her modesty, virtue, and sweet temper; so that, though the state of his purse was not amended, yet he had more home-felt *joyment than before, being indeed comFletely happy in her as long as she lived. He had twelve children by fier, who most. * all died young; and he was lastly ren.

dered quite unhappy by the death of his wife also, which happened in 1701. Neither did this misfortune come singly; for the war breaking out about the same time, on account of the Spanish succession, it swept away all his scholars, who, being foreigners, were obliged to leave Paris. Thus he sunk into a melancholy state; under which, however, he received some relief and amusement from the honour of being admitted this same year an éteve of the Royal Academy of Sciences.

He seems to have had a presentiment of his death from some lurking disorder within, of which no outward symptom appeared. In that persuasion he refused to engage with some foreign noblemen, who offered to become his scholars, alleging that he should not live long enough to carry them through their intended course. Accordingly he was seized soon after with an apoplexy, which terminated his existence in less than two hours, on the third of April, 1717, at 77 years of age.

Ozanam was of a mild and calm disposition, a cheerful and pleasant temper, endeared by a generosity almost unparallelled. His manners were irreproachable after marriage; and he was sincerely pious and zealously devout, though studiously avoiding to meddle in theological questions. He used to say, that it was the business of the Sorbonne to discuss, of the Pope to decide, and of a mathematician to go straight to heaven in a perpendicular line. He wrote a great number of useful books.

[ocr errors][merged small][merged small]

As a numeral, P. signifies the same as * G. viz. 400; and with a dash over it, thus

F, 400,000. Among physicians, P. denotes pugil, or the eighth part of an handful; P. E. partes acquales, or equal parts of the ingredients: P. P. signifies pulvis patrum, i.e. the Jesuit’s powder; and ppt. praeparatus, prepared. PACE, a measure taken from the space between the two feet of a man, in walking; usually reckoned two feet and an half, and in some men a yard, or three feet. See MEASURE. The geometrical pace is five feet; and 60,000 such paces make one degree of the equator. PACKERS, persons whose employment it is to pack up all goods intended for exportation; which they do for the great trading companies and merchants of London, and are answerable if the goods receive any damage through bad packagre. *Aco, a species of the Camelus, found in Peru. PAEDERIA, in botany, a genus of the Pentandria Monogynia class and order. Natural order of Contortae. Rubiaceae, Jussieu. Essential character: contorted ; berry void, brittle, two-seeded; style bifid. There are two species, viz. P. foeti. da, and P. fragrans, the former is a native of the East Indies, and the latter of the island of Mauritius.

PAEDEROTA, in botany, a genus of the Diandria Monogynia class and order. Natural order of Personatae. Scrophulariae, Jussieu. Essential character: corolla four-cleft; calyx five-parted; capsule two-celled. There are three species.

PEONIA, in botany, peony, a genus of the Polyandria Digynia, class and order. Natural order of Multisiliquae. Ranunculaceae, Jussieu. Essential character: calyx five-leaved; petals five ; styles none; capsule many-seeded. There are five species, of which P. Albiflora, whiteflowered peony, has the root composed of a few cylindrical or fusiform tubers, united at top; stem, from a radical leafless sheath, two feet in height, slender, round; leaves alternate on long petioles; leaflets three-parted ; the whole plant is very smooth and shining; the calyx is raised above the floral leaf on a short, thick peduncle ; petals eight, very large, milk white, oval; concave, stamens about one hundred and fifty, with the filaments as well as anthers yellow; within the stamens is a fungose, subcontinuous, lob

ed crown, more slender than in its congeners; the germs are smooth, conical, purple at the tip; stigma compressed into a comb or crest, suborbicular, hooked : seeds, when ripe, of a yellowish testaceous colour. It is a native of Siberia ; it is well known among the Daurians and Mongols on account of the root, which they boil in their broth; the seeds they grind to put into their tea. PAGANISM, the religion of the Heathen nations, in which the Deity is represented under various forms, and by all kinds of images or idols; it is therefore called idolatry, or image worship. The theology of the Pagans was of three sorts, viz. fabulous, natural, and political or civil. The first treats of the genealogy, worship, and attributes of their deities; who were, for the most part, the offspring of the imagination of poets, painters, and statuaries. To their gods were given different names, and opposite attributes, ascribing to them every species of vice, as well as to some of them every virtue. There is, however, in the delightful fictions of Homer and Hesiod, much that is entertaining, curious, and even useful. The flowers of the garden and the field, whose beauties we so much admire, were once thought to be produced by the tears of Aurora, the goddess of the morning, whose rose-coloured fingers open the gates of the east, pour the dew upon the earth, and make the flowers grow. When the leaves were agitated, or the long grass of the meadows performed its graceful undulations, all was put in motion by the breath of Zephyrus, the god of the west-wind. The murmurs of the waters were the sighs of the Naiades, little deities who presided over rivers, springs, wells, and fountains. A god impels the wind; a god pours out the rivers; grapes are the gift of Bacchus; Ceres presides over the harvest; orchards are the care of Pomona. Does a shepherd sound his reed on the summit of a mountain, it is Pan, who, with his pastoral pipe, returns the amorous lay. When the sportsman’s horn rouses the attentive ear, it is Diana, armed with her bow and quiver, and more nimble than the stag that she pursues, who takes the diversion of the chase. The sun is a god, riding on a car of fire, dif. fusing his light through the world; the stars are so many divinities, who mea. sure with their beams the regular progress of fire ; the moon presides over the silence of the night, and consoles the world for the absence of her brother, Neptune reigns in the sea, surrounded

[ocr errors][ocr errors][ocr errors]

by the Neréides, who dance to the joyous shells of the Tritons. In the highest heaven is seated Jupiter, the master and father of men and gods. Under his feet roll the thunders, forged by the Cyclops in the caverns of Etna; his smile rejoices nature, and his nod shakes the foundation of Olympus. Surrounding the throne of their Sovereign, the other divinities quaff nectar from a cup, presented them by the young and beautiful Hebe. In the middle of the great circle shines, with distinguished lustre, the unrivalled beauty of Venus, alone adorned with a splendid girdle, in which the graces and sports for ever play; and in her hand is a smiling boy, whose power is universally acknowledged by heaven and earth Music, poetry, dancing, and the liberal arts, are all inspired by one or other of the nine muses; while the votaries of martial glory derive their courage, and success from Mars, the god of battles. Such is a general outline of the pleasing and inoffensive part of the fabulous theology of the Pagan world. On the other hand, as we have already intimated, many of the gods of the ancients possessed attributes at once disgraceful to, and unworthy of deity, and hurtful to the interests of morality and human happiness. Jupiter himself set an example of lust; and Bacchus was worshipped with cruel and obscene revellings. Many, however, of the heathen writers condemned this part of their theology; among which are Sanchoniatho, the Phoenician; and among the Greeks, Orpheus, Hesiod, and Pherecyde. The natural theology of the Pagans was studied and taught by the philosophers, who rejected the multiplicity of gods introduced by the poets, and brought their theology to a more rational form. Some of them seem to have possessed considerable knowledge respecting the unity of the Supreme Deity : yet even Socrates, the best man and wisest of the philosophers of the Pagan world, so far yielded to the prejudices and practices of the age in which fie lived, as to order his friends, just before his death, to sacrifice a cock to Esculapius, the god of physic. The political or civil theology of the Pagans was instituted by legislators, statesmen, and politicians. This chiefly respected their temples, altars, sacrifices, and rites of worship, and was properly their idolatry; the care of which belonged to the priests, who were servants of the state. These ceremonies, &c. were enjoined the commonalty, to keep them

in subjection to the civil power. Such was the religion of the greater part of the world before the promulgation of Christianity; and such still, in some form or other, is the religion of those parts of the world, containing a population of about 420 millions of souls; or above one half of the inhabitants of the whole earth, where the gospel is not preached, either in its purity, or as corrupted by the doctrines of Mahomet. The Missionaries employed for the conversion of the heathen, though very zealous, and very numerous, have hitherto made comparatively little progress. The Foreign and British Bible Society may possibly have some beneficial effects in enlightening the darkness of the pagan world; but, we are persuaded, nothing but conquest and civilization, short of miracle itself, will ever prove effectual in the extirpation of heathenism, and the final establishment of Christianity. PAGE; a youth of state retained in the family of a prince or great personage, as an honourable servant, to attend in visits of ceremony, do messages, bear up trains, robes, &c. and at the same time to have a genteel education, and learn his exercises. The pages in the King’s household are various, and have various offices assigned them, as pages of honour, pages of the presence chamber, pages of the back stairs, &c. PAGEANT, a triumphal car, chariot, arch, or other like pompous decoration, variously adorned with colours, flags, &c. carried about in public shews, processions, &c. PAGOD, or PAGona, a name whereby the East Indians call the temple in which they worship their gods. Before they build apagod, they consecrate the ground as follows: after having enclosed it with boards or pallisadoes, when the grass is grown on the ground, they turn an ash coloured cow into it, who stays there a whole day and night; and as cow-dung is thought by the Indians to be of a very sacred nature, they search for this sacred deposit, and having found it, they dig there a deep pit, into which they put a marble pillar, rising considerably above the surface of the earth. On this pillar they place the image of the god to whom the pagod is to be consecrated. After this the pagod is built round the pit, in which the pillar is fixed. The pagod usually consists of three parts, the first is a vaulted roof supported on stone or marble columns. It is adorned with images, and, being open, all persons without distinction are allowed to enter it: the second part is filled with grotesque and monstrous figures, and nobody is allowed to enter it but the bramins themselves: the third is a kind of chancel, in which the statue of the deity is placed ; it is shut up with a very strong gate. This word is sometimes used for the idol, as well as for the temple. Pagon, or Pagoda, is also the name of a gold and silver coin, current in several parts of the East Indies. PAIN, is defined to be an uneasy sensation arising from a sudden and violent


solution of the continuity, or some other

accident in the nerves, membranes, vessels, muscles, &c. of the body; or, according to some, it consists in a motion of the organs of sense; and according to others, it is an emotion of the soul occasioned by these organs. PAINTING. The art of painting may not improperly be defined, a mode of conveying ideas to the mind by means of a representation of the visible parts of nature. It is a language by which, though all things cannot, many at least may be expressed, in a stronger and clearer manner than can be effected by any other; nay, it is, to its extent, a universal language; though it is only in proportion as we are accustomed to read it, that we can hope to acquire ideas through its means. The particular education of our senses or organs is undoubtedly the only mode by which those senses can be rendered serviceable to us in their full extent ; for although, in their natural and uncultivated state, they are enabled to present us with tolerably clear and distinct ideas of things of a simple kind, or which dif. fer considerably from each other; it is far otherwise when we expect from them just ideas of things complicated, or of such as differ from each other by small, may almost imperceptible gradations. The untutored eye readily distinguishes black from white, red from blue, and purple from green; but is unable to detect the delicate transitions from one shade to another of the same colour, and still less the nicer variations of combined and complex colours. The quickest of all operations is perhaps that of sight, and in one moment we are enabled to see many objects; but we cannot, as Leonardo da Vinci properly observes, distinguish and understand clearly more than one at a time. Upon the first sight of a page of a written or a printed book, though we observe it to be

full of words, we do not discover the sense contained. No ; to understand, we are obliged to read it ; and in case the subject be abstruse, and our comprehensions dull, it may be necessary to peruse it two or three times before the whole sense be clearly understood by us; some there may be who never will comprehend it. The situation of that man, who, from long habit, reads with facility and quickness, is likewise far removed from that of the beginner, who having little practice, can only read slowly and with difficulty. We have judged it necessary to premise these few observations, in hopes to correct a mistaken but prevalent notion, that although a thorough conversance with painting is required ere a person be adequate to decide discreetly as to the executive parts of a work of art, to distinguish the copy from the original, or the pencils of the different masters; every man is intuitively enabled to enjoy the effect of the whole, to enter into the expression and feeling of the piece, and, in short, to judge rightly between a bad picture and a good one. Nay, a moment is sufficient for one of these self-dubbed critics to pass an irrevocable sentence on the most extensive and studied composition. In treating the subject before us, we shall not by a slow and tedious process attempt to conduct the student of painting through the long and rugged path, by which alone even a moderate degree of excellence may be attained; this would be like commencing a treatise on rhetoric with the minutiae of orthography and grammar. We shall rather, by a shortinquiry into the fundamental principles of the art, and a reference to the example of the greatest masters, draw his attention to the proper application of that mechanical skill of which we supoose him already possessed. Invention, composition, design, expression, chiara obscura, and colouring, may perhaps not improperly be termed the great component parts of painting, unless indeed it be insisted that invention is rather the parent and director of the others to the proper objects of their attainment. We have defined painting to be a mode of communicating ideas to the mind, by means of a representation of the visible parts of nature; and we have adopted this mode of expression, because the art can hardly be said to be confined to the mere representation of visible objects.

« PreviousContinue »