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their labours, as they would serve to point out the places for depredators to dive with success. Mr. Cordiner, from whose late excellent account of Ceylon we have extracted most of the preceding particulars, says, “As the boats arrive at Condaatchy to be employed in the fishery, they are regularly numbered, and their description and the names of their crews are registered in a book. The fishery, for the season of 1804, was let by government to a native of Jaffnapatam, who had resided for some years previously to it on the coast of Coromandel. For thirty days fishing, with 150 boats, he came under an obligation to pay 300,000 Porto Novo pagodas, or 120,000l sterling. . He sold the right of fishing to some of the best equipped boats for 3000 pagodas each, and that of others for 2500; but kept by far the greater part of them to fish on his own account. After every arrangement is completed, and the boats are ready to put to sea, their navigators and the divers are roused from their slumbers by the discharge of a cannon, the sounding of horns, and the beating of a kind of drum, called by the natives tom toms : this signal is generally made rather before midnight, when a breeze from the land prevails: the confusion that immediately follows the movements of upwards of six thousand persons in the dark may be better conceived than described; but in defiance of every obstacle, these silly people will not depart till they have performed certain ablutions and incantations, calculated, as they suppose, to forward their views. When they have reached the banks they cast anchor, and wait the approach of day; which no sooner arrives than each boat takes its station: at six or seven o’clock the diving commences. To facilitate this operation, a species of open scaffolding is projected from each side of the vessel, and it is from the scaffold the tackle is suspended, three stones on one side, and two on the other. The author we have just mentioned gives so clear and comprehensive an account of this dangerous business, which he saw performed, that we shall give part of it in his own words. “The diving stone hangs from an oar by a light country rope, and slip knot, and descends about five feet into the water. It is a stone of 56lbs. weight, of the shape of a sugar loaf. The rope passes through a hole in the top of the stone, above which a strong loop is formed, resembling a stirrup-iron, to receive the foot of the diver,”

who is entirely naked, except a piece of enhio wrapped round his waist; swimming near the side of the vessel, he takes the rope in one hand, and places his foot in the stirrup on the stone ; a basket is then thrown into the water to him, made of a hoop and net-work below it, in which he places the other foot: after preparing his lungs for ceasing to breathe, he presses his nostrils firmly with one hand, and with the other pulls the rope forming the slip-knot; the stone carries him instantly to the bottom, where he no sooner arrives, than he disengages himself from the stirrup, which, with the stone, is immediately drawn up by the people in the boat. The diver throws himself forward upon his face, and grasps everything in his way as rapidly as possible, and putting it into the basket, gives a signal when it is full by pulling the rope, when that also is hauled up; he then ascends by the rope, and frequently arrives at the surface before the basket: such is the conse. quence of custom, that though the diver cannot descend again without an interval of rest, he seldom enters the boat, remaining swimming and floating about during the whole day. Besides the other dangers peculiar to this pursuit, the divers are liable to be devoured by sharks; but whatever may be the cause, an accident seldom occuro which these superstitious people attro bute to the powerful aid of shark charm. ers, without whom, and the exercio of their diabolical incantations, they willo" no account undertake their labours. The most experienced diver has never been known to remain longer than one minute and a half under water, in which time he may gather 150 oysters, if they are null. rous, but he sometimes gains not "'. than from five to a dozen, acco. by coral pieces of rock and other ". stances, for he has no time to sep.” and examine what he seizes. Who" 300 boats are employed in the *: ry, it is supposed that at least 15 e divers are constantly descending: t noise of which resembles the ince” roaring of a cataract. The ret". : the fleet in regular order, , at ..." he two, P. M. and their arrival, with o crowds waiting to welcome their . s presents a very animating and gratifying spectacle. - t the The method adopted * o: nearls is dreadfully disgusting on. as o, do not o: this operation till the oysters "...i. deposited in heaps for ten days,"

flesh has become decidedly putrid: the reason for so doing is obvious, as the particles of decayed matter and maggots are readily floated off by repeated washings in inclined receptacles, so contrived as to arrest the progress of even the smallest pearls, as they descend by their weight. Every possible precaution is taken, by the picking and sifting, to secure the whole of the produce, and yet it is said that vast numbers are lost. After the most valuable are selected, they are sent to be drilled; a most inge. nious and delicate operation, which is thus performed: a piece of wood, in the shape of an inverted cone, is placed upon three legs, raising it about one foot from the ground: holes of various dimensions are made in the surface, to receive the Pearls: the person who drills sits close to the machine: he then drives the pearls steady into their sockets. “A well-temPered needle is fixed in a reed five inches song, with an iron point at the other end, formed to play in the socket of a cocoa nut-shell, which presses on the forehead of the driller. A bow is formed of a piece of bamboo and a string. The workman brings his right knee in a line with The machine, and places on it a small cup, formed of part of a cocoanut-shell, which is filled with water, to moderate the heat of friction. He bends his head over the machine, and applying the point of the needle to a pearl sunk in one of the pits, drills with great facility, every now and then dexterously dipping the little finger of his right hand in the water, and applying it to the middle, without impeding the operation. In this manner he bores a pearl in the space of two or three minutes, and in the course of a day perforates 300 small, or 600 large pearls— There are different methods of fishing for pearls practised in other parts of the world; but as the Ceylon fishery eclipses them all, and the simplicity of the invention is so obvious, it would be well if it were universally adopted. PEARL spar is a fossil of the calcareous kind, being composed of carbonate of lime with the oxides of iron and manganese: it has received different names, and occurs massive, disseminated, and crystallized: its colours are white, often with shades of grey, yellow, or red; but by mere exposure to the air, its colour darkens, it becomes brown, and at length nearly black. Specific gravity about 2.8. It does not melt before the blow pipe, but blackens: it effervesces with acids: it is said by Bergman to consist of WOL, IX,

Carbonate of lime . . . 50 Oxide of iron . . . . . 22 Oxide of manganese . . 28 100


PEARLSTEIN, or PEARLstone, in mineralogy, occurs in round and longish vesicles. Its lustre is shining and pearly, and its colour varies from the pears to the flesh-red and greyish black. It is composed of thin, concentric, lamellar concretions. It is translucent on the edges, easily frangible, and soft. It occurs in porphyry, and contains balls of obsidian, and is found in Hungary. It is composed of

Silex . - - - 75.25 Alumina . . . . . . 12. Oxide of iron . . . . 1.6 Potash . . . . . . 4.5 Lime . . . . . . . 2.5 Water . . . . . . 2.5 98.35 Loss . . . . . . . 1.65 100

PEAT, or, as it is sometimes called, TURF, is a congeries of vegetable matter, in which the remains of organization are more or less visible; consisting of the trunks of trees, of leaves, fruits, and stringy fibres, the remains of aquatic mosses. It occurs in extensive beds, called peat mosses, occupying the surface of the soil, or covered to the depth of a few feet with sand, gravel, and other matters. It is met with in great abundance in the northern, and in some of the central districts of Europe, in moist, uncultivated, mountainous tracts, and likewise in low valleys and fenny plains; and in several parts of the western shore of Great Britain. The depth of peat mosses is very various, from a few feet to twelve or fifteen yards: its consistence is very various ; sometimes in a semi-fluid state, forming a black impassable wilderness, studded here and there by tufts of rushes: when more solid, it is scantily covered over with heath and coarse grasses: in this state it is passable by sheep and other animals, especially during the dry season of the year. In deep peat mosses the upper part is loose, and less inflammable than the lower part of the bed. When of a good quality, it is moderately com


pact, and may be readily cut in small masses of the size of bricks. By exposure to the air it dries, and becomes very infl. mmable. In this country it is the common fuel of large districts of Wales and Scotland, and of some parts of England, where coal is scarce and dear. Its ashes are in high estimation as a manure, being applied in the form of a top-dressing: PECK, a measure of capacity, four of which make a bushel. PECORA, in natural history, the fifth order of the class mammalia. They have no fore-teeth in the upper jaw, but several in the lower; feet hoofed, cloven; they live on herbs, chew the cud, and have four stomachs, viz. the paunch, to macerate and ruminate the food; the bonnet, reticulate, to receive it; the omasus, of numerous folds, to digest it; and the obomasus, to give it ascescency, and prevent putrefac

tion. There are eight genera, viz. Antelope Capra Pos Cervus Camelus Moschus Camelopardalis Ovis.

PECTIS, in botany, a genus of the Syngenesia Polygamia Superflua class and order. Natural order of Compositae Oppositifoliae. Corymbiferae, Jussieu. Essential character: calyx five-leaved, cylindric ; florets in the ray five; down awned ; receptacle naked. There are four species. These are annual plants, and natives of the West Indies. PECULIAR, signifies a particular parish or church that hath jurisdiction within itself, for probate of wills, &c. exempt from the ordinary and the bishop's court. The Court of Peculiars is that which deals in certain parishes lying in several dioceses; which parishes are exempt from the jurisdiction of the bishops of those dioceses, and are peculiarly be. longing to the Archbishop of Canterbury, within whose province there are fiftyseven such peculiars. PEDALIUM, in botany, a genus of the Didynamia Angiospermia class and order. Natural order of Luridae. Bignoniae, Jussieu. Essential character: calyx fiveparted; corolla subringent, with a fivecleft border; nut tuberous, four-cornered, thorny at the corners, two-celled; seeds two. There is but one species, viz. P. murex, prickly-fruited pedalium: it is a native of the East Indies. PEDALS, the largest pipes of an orga so called because played and .# with the foot. The pedals are made square, and of wood; they are usually thirteen in number. They are of mo.

dern invention, and serve to carry the sounds an octave deeper than the rest. See ORGAN. PEDESTAL, in architecture, the lowest part of an order of columns, being that which sustains the column, and serves it as a foot or stand. The pedestal consists of three principal parts, viz. a square trunk, or dye, which makes the body; a cornice, the head; and a base, the foot of the pedestal. There are as many kinds of pedestals as there are of orders of columns, viz. the Tuscan, Doric, Ionic, Corinthian, and CompositeSee ARchitectuite. PEDEstals of statues, are such as serve to support statues or figures. Vignola observes that there is no part of architecture more arbitrary, and in which more liberty may be taken, than in the pedestals of statues; there being no rules or laws prescribed by antiquity, nor any settled even by the moderns. There being then no fixed proportions for these pedestals, the height depends on the situation and the figure that they sustain; when on the ground, the pedestal is usually two-thirds or two-fifths of that of the statue; the more massive the statue is, the stronger the pedestal must be. Their form and character, &c. are to be extraordinary and ingenious, far from the regularity and simplicity of the pedestals of columns. The same author gives a multiplicity of forms, as oval, triangular, multangular, &c. PEDICELLARIA, in natural history, a genus of the Vermes Mollusca class and order. Body soft, and seated on a rigid fixed peduncle; aperture single. Three species only are enumerated. P. globifera; head spherical; inhabits the Northern Seas, among the spines of echini; body minute, and resembling a mucor; head reddish, having the appearance of a small cherry; peduncle or stem tawny, and covered with a gelatious hyaline skin. P. tridens: head three-lobed, the lobes oval and awned; neck round: this class inhabits the Northern Seas, among the spines of the echini: the neck is smooth and hyaline, sometimes reddish; lobes of the head sometimes four, and three times as long as the neck, rarely unarmed with awn; peduncle reddish, and three times as long as the neck. PEDICELLUS, in botany, a partial flower-stalk, or the proper stalk of any single flower, in an aggregate or head of flowers. The principal stalk, which supports all the flowers, is called the common flower-stalk: the stalk of each par

tial flower, if it has one, is styled the proper flower-stalk, or “pedicellus.” PEDICULARIS, in botany, louse-wort, or red-rattle, a genus of the Didynamia Aniospermia class and order. Natural orer of Personatae. Pediculares, Jussieu. Essential character: calyx five-cleft; capsule two-celled, mucronate, oblique ; seeds coated. There are nineteen specles. PEDICULUS, in botany, a foot-stalk, so called by former botanists; but Linnatus has substituted, in its stead, “petrolus,” for the foot-stalk of the leaves; and “pedunculus,” for the foot-stalk of the flowers. Pediculus, in natural history, the louse, a genus of insects, of the order Aptera. Generic character: mouth with a retractile recurved sucker, without proboscis; no feelers; antennae as long as the thorax; two eyes; abdomen depressed; legs six, formed for running. These live by extracting animal juices; the larvae and pupae are six-footed, and nimble, resembling the perfect insect. There are between seventy and eighty species: of these some infest the bodies of quadrueds, others of birds, and some even of insects themselves. P. humanus, or common louse, is distinguished by its pale, livid colour, and lobated, oval abdomen. It is produced from a small oval egg, popularly called by the name of a nit, which is fastened or agglutinated by its smaller end to the hair on which it is deposited : from this egg proceeds the insect, complete in all its parts, and only different from the parent animal in its smaller size. When examined by the microscope, it is seen that the trunk, or proboscis, which is generally concealed in its sheath or tube, is of a very sharp form, and is furnished towards the upper part with a few reversed aculei or prickles; the eyes are large, smooth, and black ; the stomach and intestines afford a very distinct view of the peristaltic motion; the legs are each terminated by a double claw, not very much unlike that of a lobster, but of a sharper form; and the whole animal is every where covered by a strong granulated skin. Few insects are more prolific than the louse. It is said, that in about eight weeks, alouse might see five thousand of its own descendants. Each species of animal has a species of louse peculiar to itself, and sometimes more than one species, but the same is not to be found on two distinct animals. it is a fact well worthy of remark, that

the louse of the negro is specifically distinct from that of the white man. PEDIMENT, in architecture, is a kind of low pinnacle, serving to crown an ordonnance, or finish a frontispiece, and is placed as an ornament over gates, doors, windows, niches, altars, &c. being ordinarily of a triangular form, but sometimes forming an arch of a circle. PEIDOMETER. See PERAMBULATOR. PEDUNCLES, in botany, the footstalk of a flower, or head of flowers: the pedunculus elevates the flower and fruit only, without the leaves; the petiolus, or leaf-stalk, supports the leaves only, without the flower or fruit. Flower-stalks have different epithets, from the place which they occupy on the plant. When they proceed from the root, they are termed radicles; when from the stem, trunk-stalks; and when from the branch, branch-stalks. They sometimes afford excellent characters in discriminating the species: an example is found in a species of the globe amaranth, which is distinguished by its flower-stalks being furnished with two leaves, that are placed opposite, and immediately under each head of flowers. PEEK, in sea-language, is a word used in various senses: thus, the anchor is said to be a-peek, when the ship, being about to weigh, comes over her anchor in such a manner, that the cable hangs perpendicularly betwixt the hawse and the anchor. To heave a-peek, is to bring the peek so as that the anchor may hang a-peek. A ship is said to ride a-peek, when, lying with her main and fore yards hoisted up, one end of her yards is brought down to the shrouds, and the other raised up an end, which is chiefly done when she lies in rivers, lest other ships falling foul of her yards should break them. Riding a-broad peek, denotes much the same, excepting that the yards are only raised to half their height. PEER, in general, signifies an equal, or one of the same rank and station: hence, in the acts of some councils we find these words, with the consent of our peers, bishops, abbots, &c. Afterwards the same term was applied to the vassals or tenants of the same lord, who were called peers, because they were all equal in condition, and obliged to serve and attend him in his courts; and peers in fiefs, because they all held fiefs of the same lord. The term peers is now applied to those who are impannelled in an inquest upon a person, for convicting or acquitting him of any offence laid to his charge; and the reason why the jury is so called is, because by the common law, and the custom of this kingdom, every person is to be tried by his peers, or equals, a lord by the lords, and a commoner by commoners. See JURY. PEER of the realm, a noble lord who has a seat and vote in the House of Lords, which is also called the House of Peers. These lords are called peers, because, though there is a distinction of degrees in our nobility, yet in public actions they are equal, as in their votes in Parliament, and in trying any nobleman, or other person impeached by the Commons, &c. See PARLIAMENT. All the peers who have a right to sit and vote in Parliament, are to be summoned at least twenty days before the trial of a peer indicted for treason or felony: the method of proceeding in which is, after the indictment is found, the King, by commission under the great seal, appoints one of the peers, and generally the Lord Chancellor, to be Lord High Steward, who in these cases sits as judge. In order to bring the indictment before him, a certiorari is issued out of the court of Chancery; and another writ also issues for bringing up the prisoner, a precept being made for that purpose by the Lord High Steward, assigning a day, and the place of trial, .# for summoning the peers, twelve of whom are at least to be present, and as many more as choose to be present. The day of trial being come, and the Lord High Steward being seated in his usual state, after the commission is read, and the particular ceremonies are over, his lordship declares to the prisoner at the bar the cause of their assembly, assures him of justice, and at the same time encourages him to answer without fear; on which the indictment is read over, and the prisoner arraigned : when, after hearing all the evidence produced for the King, and the prisoner's answer, the prisoner is ordered to withdraw from the bar, when the lords go to some place by themselves, to consider of the evidence; and afterwards, being returned in order to give their verdict, the Lord High Steward openly demands of the lords on by one, beginning with the puisne lord, whether the prisoner, calling him by his name, be guilty of the crime for which he is arraigned ; when, laying their right hand upon their left breast, they separately answer, either gailty, or not guilty, up

on their honour; and if he be found guilty by a majority of votes more than twelve, he is brought to the bar again, when the Lord High Steward acquaints the prisoner with the verdict of his peers, and passessentence and judgment accordingly. It has been adjudged, that where such trial is by commission, as above, the Lord High Steward, after a verdict given, may take time to advise upon it, and his office continues till he passes judgment. A peer is not to be put upon any inquest, even though the cause has a relation to two peers; but in trials where any peer is either plaintiff or defendant, there must be two or more knights returned on the jury. Where a peer is defendant in a court of equity, he is not to be sworn to his answer, but it may be upon his honour, as in the trial of peers: however, when a peer is to answer to interrogatories, or to make an affidavit, or is to be examined as a witness, he is to be sworn. PEERESS, a woman who is noble by descent, creation or marriage. If a peeress by descent or creation marries a person under the degree of nobility, she still continues noble; but if she obtains that dignity only by marriage, she loses it on her afterwards marrying a commoner: yet, by the courtesy of England, she always retains the title of her nobility. No peeress can be arrested for debt of trespass; for though, on account of their sex, peeresses cannot sit in the House of Lords, yet they enjoy the privileges of eers, and therefore all peeresses by irth are to be tried by their peers. PEGANUM, in botany, a genus of the Dodecandria Monogynia class and order. Natural order of Multisiliquae. Rutaceae, Jussieu. Essential character: calyx fiveleaved, or none; corolla five-petalled; capsule three-celled, three-valved, manyseeded. There are two species, viz. P. harmala, a native of Spain, and P. dauricum, a native of Siberia. PEGASUS, in astronomy, a constellation of the northern hemisphere, in form of a flying horse. Pegasus, in natural history, a genus of fishes of the order Cartilaginei. Generic character: snout elongated; mouth beneath ; pectoral fins large; ventral fins single rayed; body compressed downwards, mailed; abdomen divided with bony segments. There are three species. P. draco is found in the seas of India, and is about three inches long, and distinguished by having its pectoral fins of so extraordinary a size, that it is enabled

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