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Phytolacca PHYTOLACCA, POKEWEED, or American Night- Towards the north of the city is the mouth of the river Piacenza,

shade, a genus of plant belonging to the decandria Trebbia, famous for the victory which Hannibal ob Piano Piacenza. class. See Botany Index.

tained over the Romans.

Forte
PHYTOLOGY, a discourse concerning the growth, PIANO FORTE, or FORTE Piano, is a musical in-
kind, and virtues of plants. See BOTANY, and Ma- strument, which is too well known to require any de-
TERIA MEDICA.

tailed description. We shall here, however, notice
PHYTON, a general of the people of Rhegium a some of its peculiarities. The voice, it has been ob-
gainst Dionysius, the tyrant of Sicily. He was taken served, is the original musical instrument; of this all
by the enemy, and tortured,' and his sou was thrown other instruments are to be considered but as imitations ;
into the sea. See SYRACUSE.

and it is remarkable with what promptitude, as well as PIA MATER, a thin membrane which covers the accuracy, the voice of man obeys tbe impulse of the brain, and is in immediate contact with it. Ste Ana- beart. Even a coarse ear is hurt by an error in its TOMY Index.

tone, amounting to what is called a comma; and a li.
PIABA, in Ichthyology, is a small fresh water fish mited voice can execute melodies which include 12
caught in all the rivers and brooks in the Brasils, and notes, or an octave and a fifth. Between these extremes
in some other parts in America. It is about the size the motion of the glottis does not amount to one twelftla
of the common minow.

of an inch, which must therefore be divided by the most
PIABUCU, in Ichthyology, is an American fish, ordinary singer into more than 1000 parts. All this
eaten in many places by the natives. It is said to be too, without any seeming effort of thought, is done in
so ravenous, and greedy of blood, that if a person go an instant, and repeated with rapidity, without mista.
into the water with a wound in any part of his body, king one of the divisions.
the piabucu will make up to it to suck the blood. It The great object in the construction of musical in-
seldom exceeds four inches in length.

struments is, to bring them as near as possible to express
PIACENZA is a city of Italy, in the duchy of the sounds produced by the human voice : the violin,
Parma, in E. Long. 10. 25. N. Lat. 45. It is a large bowever, and a few of the simple wind instruments, are
handsome city, whose name is derived by some from its the only ones found fully to express those momentary
pleasant situation, in a fruitful plain, on the Via Æmi- gradations of sentiment, and those tender and delicate
lia, about half a mile from the Po. It is the see of a emotions with which the heart is agitated. For the
bishop suffragan of Bologna, and has a university, but purpose of removing this defect of barmonie instru-
of no great fame. It is defended by a wall and a ments, the swell was added to the organ. Similar in-
strong citadel, and is reckoned about three miles in cir. provements were also attempted on other instruments of
cumference, so that it is somewhat bigger than Parma. the same kind, and the same way. The harpsichord
The houses are low, but well built; the great street, was shut up like the swell organ, and was opened by
called the Stradone, is in a direct line and of equal means of pedals, when the performer wished to enforco
breadth, with a foot-way fenced with posts on each side the sound. But as this was found not to succeed well,
like London, and is about 3000 feet long. The houses other methods were tried, and in particular unisons
are generally built of brick, and some of them are pret. were added to each note, which were brought on, ei-
tily painted. The cathedral is an old structure, but ther by means of pedals, or by another set of keys;
well adorned within. The duke of Parma, who is so and in this way the power of the barpsichord was great-
vereign of Piacenza, bas a palace in the city built by ly improved. Among all the keyed instruments, the
Vignola. There are many excellent paintings in this English piano forte seems to merit the preference, on
place. There are two-chapels painted, one with the account of the superior force of tone, adequate sweet-
history of St Catharine, and the other with a picture of ness, and great variety of voice, of which, by the in-
Christ, as also the altar of the church of St Augustine, genuity of British artists, it has now become susceptible.
all by Pordenone. In the same church there is a fine I: has been called a national instrument, because it is
picture of the blessed virgin, St Peter, and St Paul, said to be an English contrivance, the invention of the
by Paolo Veronese. At the Capuchins there is a Fran- celebrated poet, Nason. Mr Mason had seen some at.
cis by Guercino. There is a fountain said to have tempts that were made by the Germans to make keyed
been erected bere by Julius Cæsar, and the equestrian dulcimers, which were in some measure susceptible of
statues of the famous general Alexander I. duke of the forte and piano ; but as they were all constructed
Parma and Placentia, and of his son Ranuccio, both on one principle, and required a particular touch of the
in the great square. In the palace of Scotti, there are finger, which was of difficult acquisition, and which
a great many fine pictures by Lanfranco, who had spoiled it for barpsichord practice; as they were also
been a page in their family, and among the rest the deficient in delicacy and justness; and as the performer
rape of Helen, the taking of Troy, the blessed virgin, was by no means certain of producing the very strength
and St Francis. The trade of this city consists chiefly of sound intended, Mr Mason removed all those imper-
in their cheese, as at Parma, these cities being sur. fections, by detaching the mallet entirely from the key,
rounded with the richest pasture grounds in Italy ; and giving them only a momentary connection. It is
though the greatest part of wbat is called Parmesan by this improvement that the English piano forte is die
cheese is made in the duchy of Milan, and particular- stinguished from all others. Mr Mason's general prin-
ly at Lndi. See Parmesan Cheese-Without the walls, ciple may be fully understood by the following descrip-
which are wasbed by the rivers Trebbia and Po, there tion. In the figure on Plate CCCCXVIII. the parts
is a large seminary or college, magnificently erected are represented in their state of inaction. The key
by Cardinal Alberoni, a native of this city, but con ABK turus, as usual, on the round edge of the bar B,
siderably hurt lay the modern Goths in the last war. and a pin b, driven into the bar, keeps it in its place.
VOL. XVI. Part II.
+

Thie

3X

Piano Forte.

voi. n.

The dot F represents a section of the string. ED is of length. This greatly diminishes the fulness, and still fiare
the mallet, having a binge of vellum, by which it is at more the mellowness and distinctness of the tone, and Forte,
tached to the upper surface of the bar E. At the other frequently makes the very lowest notes hardly appreci- Piast u
end is the head D, of wood, covered with some folds of able. This inequality of tone about the middle of the
prepared leather. The mallet lies in the position repre instrument is somewhat diminished by constructing the
sented in the figure, its lower end resting on a cushion instrument with two bridges; one for the steel, and
bar K, which lies horizontally under the whole row of the other for the brass wires. But still the bass notes
mallets. The key AR bas a pin C, tipt with a bit of are very much inferior to the treble.
the softest cork or buckskin. This reaches to within PIASTUS, a native of Poland, was originally a
both of an inch of the shank of the mallet, but must not wheelwright, and the son of Cossisco, a citizen of Crus-
touch it.

The distance E e is about _d or th of the witz. He flourished in the year 830, when on the
length of the shank. When the end A of the key is extinction of the family of Popiel great disputes arose
pressed down on the stuffing (two or three thicknesses about his successor, and Cracow was afflicted with a se-
of the most elastic woollen list) it raises the mallet, by vere famine. During this extremity, when the people

Mod. Unie. means of the pin C, to the horizontal position E d, with were dropping down in the streets, two angels in human

History, in th or oth of an inch of the wire F; but it cannot forms, as the story is told, took up their residence with be so much pressed down as to make the mallet touch Piastus, who was celebrated for his piety and extensive p. 336,& c. the wire. At the same time that the key raises the charity. He had nothing left but a small cask of the mallet by means of the pin C, it also lifts off the damper common liquor of the country, and this he presented to G (a bit of spunge) from the wire. This damper is his new guests, who, charnied with his hospitality, fixed on the end of a little wooden pin G g, connected promised him the crown of Poland. The faith of Piawith the lever g H, which has a vellum hinge at H. stus was equal to his other virtues : be implicitly beThis motion of the damper is caused by the pin I, which lieved the word of his guests, and piously followed their is fixed into the key near to R. These pieces are so ad directions in every particular. He was ordered to disjusted, that the first touch of the key lifts the damper, tribute the liquor out of his little cask to the multiand, immediately after, the pin C acts on the shank of tude: he did so, and found that it was inexhaustible. the mallet. As it acts so near to its centre of motion, The people were astonished; all cried out, " A mirait causes the head D to move briskly through a consider- cle !" and the electors determined to choose a person able arch D d. Being made extremely moveable, and in whose favour Heaven bad so visibly declared : Piavery light, it is thus tossed beyond the horizontal posi- stus was accordingly taken from his shop, and raised to tion E d, and it strikes the wire F, which is now at li the ducal dignity. berty to vibrate up and down, by the previous removal Such is the relation of the canon of Cracow, which of the damper G. Having made its stroke, the mallet differs in many particulars from the account given by falls down again, and rests on the soft substance on the Guagnini, and several other historians. According to pin C. It is of essential importance that this mallet be' them, Piastus bad prepared a small collation, to enterextremely light. Were it heavy, it would have so tain some friends who were assembled at the birth of a much force, after rebounding from the wire, that it child. Two pilgrims, Paul and John, afterwards murwould rebound from the pin C, and again strike the dered at Rome, came about this time to Cracow. They wire. For it will be recollected, that the key is, at this begged charity at the door of the election-hall, and time, down, and the pin C raised as high as possible, so were rudely repulsed; upon which they stumbled on that there is very little room for this rebound. Lessen the house of Piastus, and were kindly received. The ing the momentum of the mallet by making it very

miracle we have mentioned was wrought by them; and
light, making the cushion at the top of the pin C very the two pilgrims, and not angels, were the instruments
soft, and great precision in the shape and figure of all of the elevation of the bespitable wheelwright. Though
the parts, are the only securities against the disagreeable we pay but little regard to the marvellous means by
rattling which these rebounds would occasion. In re which Piastus ascended the ducal throne of Poland, it
spect to the solidity and precision of workmanship, the would be presumptuous entirely to onit a fact attested
British instruments are unrivalled, and vast numbers by all the writers upon this subject : it was proper,
of them have been sent to all parts of the continent. therefore, to take notice of it, and we leave the rest to
As the blow of so light a mallet cannot bring much

the reader's judgment,
sound from a wire, it has always been found necessary Being now raised to the supreme dignity, he was not
to have two strings for each note. Another circum intoxicated with bis prosperity. His natural charity,
stance contributes to enfeeble the sound. The mechan- benevolence, and sweetness of disposition, remained :
ism necessary for producing it makes it almost impossible nothing was altered but his power of doing good. He
to give any considerable extent to the belly or sound was truly called the father of his people : the injured
board of the instrument. There is seldom any more of never returned unredressed, nor merit unrewarded.
it than what occupies the space between the tuning pins Piastus wiped the tear from the eyes of the widow;
and the bridge. This is the more to be regretted, be and was himself the guardian of the orpban, and the
cause the basses are commonly covered strings, that they general patron of the poor and distressed. His excel-
may be of a moderate length. The bass notes are also lent inclinations served bim in the room of great abi-
of brass, which bas a considerably lower tone than a lities; and the happiness that his people enjoyed made
steel wire of the same diameter and tension. Yet even them forget that their prince was not born a statesman
this substitution for steel in the brass strings is not and a warrior. Several intestine commotions arose due
enough. The highest of them are much too slack, and ring his administration, all which he quelled by the
the lowest ones must be loaded, to compensate for want mildness and clemency of his nature : his nobility wera
4

ashamed

Pica.

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Piastus ashamed of rebelling against a sovereign who devoted related as would be very difficult to credit, were we pot

his whole life to render bis people happy. He remo assured by some modern instances, of the perfection to Pica.

ved the court from Cruswitz, a city which he detest, which that faculty may be carried. At the age of ed, because it was the scene of Popiel's crimes and tra fourteen he was sent by his mother's direction, who was gical end, and fixed his residence at Gnesna, where he desirous that he should assume the clerical functions, to died beloved, esteemed, and even adored by his subjects. Bologna, at that time the principal resort of those who

It is in memory of this excellent prince, that all the studied the pontifical law. After spending two years natives of Poland, who have been since promoted to the there, he became disgusted with this pursuit, although ducal or regal dignity, were called Piastes, in contradi- such was his industry, even at that early age, that he comstinction to the foreigners.

piled an epitome of the pontifical epistles or decretals. Piastus associated his son Ziemovitus with him in the His disposition, however, strongly led him to the pursuit government before his death; a circumstance of much of philosophy, with an eager curiosity to penetrate the benefit to the people.

secrets of nature and science : with this view be travelPIAZZA, in building, popularly called piache, an led over Italy and France, visited the most celebrated Italian name for a portico, or covered walk, supported schools of each, and studied under the most famous by arches.

teachers of both countries. After seven years spent in The word literally signifies a broad open place or this course of instruction, and at the age of twentysquare; whence it also became applied to the walks or three, he went to Rome, and, after the fashion of the porticoes around them.

scholars of that time, brought himself into notice by Essa by PIBROCH, says Dr Beattie *, is a species of tune publicly proposing literary questions for disputation. Der Beattie

, peculiar, I think, to the Highlands and Western isles This sort of challenge was very common in that age, 8-o edit p. 422.

of Scotland. It is performed on a bagpipe, and differs and, when printing was scarcely practised, and the name pole. totally from all other music. Its rytbm is so irregular, of a man of learning less rapidly extended than it is

and its notes, especially in the quick movement, so mix now, was almost the only method that a person of saed and buddled together, that a stranger finds it almost perior attainments had to make himself known. Miimpossible to reconcile his ear to it, so as to perceive randola proposed 900 questions, or as they were called its modulation. Some of these pibrochs, being intend. conclusiones, in dialectics, mathematics, natural philosoed to represent a battle, begin with a grave motion re. phy, and divinity, diawn not only from the stores of the sembling a march, then gradually quicken into the on- Latin and Greek, but from the mysteries of the Heset; run off with noisy confusion and turbulent rapidity, brews and the arcana of the Chaldeans and Arabians. to imitate the conflict and pursuit ; then swell into a lo addition to the endless topics of metaphysics, theofew flourishes of triumphant joy; and perhaps close with logy, and the ordinary subjects of disputation, into the wild and slow wailings of a funeral procession. which he entered very profoundly, the conclusiones in

PICA. See CORVUS, ORNITHOLOGY Index. volved the ancient and obscure philosophy of Pythago

Pica Marina. See HÆMATOPUS, and ALCA, ORNI ras, Trismegistus, and Orpheus ; the doctrines of the
THOLOGY Index.

Cabala, or mystic interpretation of the sacred writings, Pica, in Medicine, a depravation of appetite, which according to the Hebrews, taught by Origen and Himakes the patient long for what is unfit for food, or larius ; the extent, uses, and learning of natural magic, incapable of nourishing ; as chalk, ashes, coals, plaster- which was vindicated from the vulgar reproach of imlime, &c. See MEDICINE Index.

piety and necromancy. Seventy-two new physical and Pica, or Pye, had formerly the same sense as ordi- metaphysical dogmata of the author's invention were nal, meaning a table or directory, pointing out the likewise proposed and defended. These propositions, order in which the devotional services appointed for according to the ostentatious practice on these occasions, different occasions were to be performed. According were fixed in the most public places in Rome, and the ly we are told it is derived from ti, a contraction of proposer engaged to defray the expences of any one Tvaš, a table ; and by others from litera picata, a great who should come from a distance for the purpose of disblack letter at the beginning of some new order in the puting with him. This challenge did not bring forprayer. The term was used in a similar sense by offi- ward any disputants, but exposed Mirandola to much cers of civil courts, who called their kalendars or al envy and jealousy, particularly from the professors of phabetical catalogues directing to the names and things science at Rome, who felt the reflection that would be contained in the rolls and records of their courts the cast upon their credit by their declining a competition pyes.

which they durst not encounter. Unable to injure bis Pica, or Picus, John, prince of Mirandola and Con- fame as a scholar, they made a much more dangerous atcordia, was born in the year 1463, under the pontificate tack upon the soundness of his faith ; thirteen questions of Pius II. He was the youngest son of John Francis of were selected, which were charged with the terrible Mirandola, and Julia, a lady of the noble family of Boiard. suspicion of heresy and contempt of the ordinances of Some of the credulous historians of the time bave rela the church; a suspicion very readily listened to by the. ted, that at his birth a globe of fire was seen to rest upon church when directed against great learning, which the his mother's bed, portendin!, say they, by its shape the increasing influence of philosophy and letters began to perfection of his genius, and by its eleinent, the celestial make her watch with extreme jealousy. Mirandola return of his mind. As soon as he was capable of receiv- pelled this attack by publishing his Apologia, or Deing instruction, he was placed by his mother's care fence of the accused Propositions ; which if he did not under the most able masters, and very early distinguisb- effectually clear away the suspicions be had incurred, ed himself by the vigour of his application, and the tended to confirm his enemies in their dread of his learnstrength of his memory; of which such prodigies are ing and powers; and it must be owned that, overlook

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