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two lines crosswise, after that old popish custom. Not so harmless was the superstition of deciding causes by a mode of trial, called the Judgment of the Cross, which prevailed in Europe, several centuries ago. In that kind of trial, as Du Cange tells us, the person accused of a crime was to remain with his arms extended before a cross for five or six hours, without motion. If he failcd in sustaining this trial, he lost his cause, and was judged guilty.
CRUSADES, expeditions against infidels, and for the recovery of the Holy Land. There were eight different crusades ; the rage for conquering the Holy Land continuing for nearly two centuries. The first crusade was undertaken in the year 1096. Before this period, pilgrimages to the holy sepulchre at Jerusalem had been common; and the pilgrims, on their return, had filled Europe with indignation, by recounting the outrages of the infidels, who were masters of Jerusalem and the Holy Land. While the minds of men were thus roused and inflamed, a monk, called Peter the Hermit, ran from province to province, with a crucifix in his hand, exciting princes and people to wage a holy war with the infidels. Persons of all ranks flew to arms with the greatest ardor, each warrior fixing a cross to his right shoulder; whence the expedition got the name of Crusade, or Croisado. Europe seemed, in one united body, to precipitate itself upon Asia. Peter the Hermit, and Walter, called the Moneyless, led forth an undisciplined multitude, computed at three hundred thousand men ; general Peter walking before them with a rope about his waist. Only twenty thousand of this immense rabble arrived at the borders of Asia; the rest, having supported themselves awhile with plunder and robberies, perished by the sword and famine, The more disciplined armies, led on by princes, noblemen, and the ablest generals in Europe, arrived in Asia ; and when mustered, they amounted to the prodigious number of one hundred thousand horsemen, and six hundred thousand foot. They took Jerusalem by assault,
put the inhabitants to the sword, without distinction of age or sex.
These frantic crusaders, having spread desolation far and wide, found most of their graves in
Asia ; a remnant only ever returning. They brought back with them the pestilence, the leprosy, and the small pox ; they also brought back with them several useful arts, which they had learned in those more polished countries, and several productions of the earth, before unknown.... Russell, A. Smith.
CUBA, a most valuable Spanish island in the West Indies; situated between 200 and 23° 30' north latitude; extending nearly seven hundred miles in length, and generally about seventy in breadth. It is the key of the West Indies, and the rendezvous of all the Spanish vessels which sail to or from the Spanish dominions on the American continent. The soil is exceedingly fertile, and might be made to produce all kinds of trop. ical fruits in great abundance ; but the lazy Spaniards neglect to cultivate it, and only a small part of the island is even cleared. Havanna is the capital. Cuba was discovered by Columbus, 1492 ; and by the year 1511, it was wholly conquered by the Spaniards, who had de. stroyed in that time, according to their own account, more than a million of the native inhabitants. Those who remained alive, finding their oppressions intolerable, had resolved to put an end to their own lives; when Vasco Porcellos, a Spanish officer, deterred them from it, by threatening that he would hang himself with them, for the sake of having the pleasure of tormenting tliem in the next world worse than he had done in this.
CUCKOO, a bird of a greyish colour, and less than a pigeon. They are plenty in England, and some other parts of Europe. Before winter sets in this bird dis. appears; in the spring its voice is heard, earlier or later, as the spring happens to be more or less forward. The cheerful voice of this bird teaches the farmer with great exactness, the proper time of sowing. . All other signs may fail, but the voice of the cuckoo is an unerring rule; for heaven has taught it to point out the sea. son. The cuckoo makes herself no nest; she contrives to deposit an egg with the eggs of the hedge sparrow, which hatches it, together with her own; and the young cuckoo, almost as soon as hatched, tumbles out the rest of the brood, and remains possessor of the nest, and the
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sole object of the future care of its unconscious stepmother, the old sparrow...Goldsmith, American Museum.
CUTTLE FISH, an animal of very extraordinary qualities. It is about two feet long, covered with a very thin skin, and its flesh composed of a jelly-like substance, strengthened within-side by a strong bone, of which great use is made by goldsmiths. The cuttle fish is found along many of the coasts of Europe ; but they are not easily caught, from a contrivance with which they are furnished by nature; this is a black substance, of the colour of ink, which is contained in a bladder, and is emptied at pleasure. Whenever therefore this fish is pursued and finds a difficulty of escaping, it shoots forth a quantity of this black liquor, by which the waters are totally darkened, and then it escapes by lying close at the bottom.... Goldsmith.
CYDNUS, the ancient name of a river in Asia. Al. exander the Great, when covered with sweat and dust, went into the Cydnus to wash himself at the hottest time of the day. As soon as he entered the water, his limbs grew stiff on a sudden, he turned pale, and the vital heat forsook almost every part of his body. His servants received him like a dying man, and carried him scarce sensible to his tent. So suddenly was his strength destroyed, young as he was, and hardened by warlike toils; a violent disease immediately seized him, who was perfectly well before, from which he very difficultly escaped, by the skill and fidelity of Philip, his physician....Van Swieten.
CYPRESS, one of the most majestic among North American trees; growing in great abundance in Geor. gia. The délicacy of its colour, and the texture of its leaves, exceed almost every thing in vegetation. It generally grows in the water, or in low flat lands, near the banks of great rivers and lakes, which are covered great part of the year, with two or three feet depth of water. When the planters fell these mighty trees, they raise a stage round them; and on this eight or ten negroes ascend with their axes, and fall to work round the trunk; which usually measures from eight to twelve
feet diameter, for forty and fifty feet straight shaft. This timber is thought to be the Gopher wood, of which Noah's ark was made; as great quantities of cypress grew about Babylon, near which place the ark was built. This wood is so incorruptible, that the remains of the ark might have been seen in Josephus's time, as he and others affirmed it was. The unperishable chests which contain the Egyptian mummies, are of cypress, The gates of St. Peter's Church at Rome, which had lasted from the time of Constantine to that of Pope Eugene the IV. that is to say, eleven hundred years, were of cypress, and had in that time suffered no decay. According to Thucidides, the Athenians, buried the bodies of their heroes in coffins of cypress, as being incorruptible and undecaying....Bartram, Bishop Wilson, Dar. tuin.
Dagon, an idol of the ancient Philistines, who in
habited the eastern coasts of the Mediterranean Sea, in the neighborhood of Judea. The upper part of this idol was of human shape, and the lower part like a fish, as mermaids are represented. This figure of Dagon seems to have been allegorically descriptive of the plenty yielded both by the land and sea ; to which his worshippers were equally indebted for their subsist
DAMASCUS, a famous city of ancient Syria, belonging now to the Turkish empire. It is thought to have been built by Uz, grandson of Shem; and consequently to be the most ancient city in the world. This was a city of note, in the time of the patriarch Abraham ; for the steward of his house, as the sacred historian says, was “ Eliezer of Damascus.” Such was its wealth and splendor, that at the time it was taken by Tamerlane, and with it three hundred thousand Turks, it was lighted with ninety thousand lamps of gold and silver." From Damascus was brought into Europe, and
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thence to America, the damask rose; also that kind of plum called damascene. Damascus is now called Sham.
DANCING SERPENTS. In India there is nothing more common than dancing serpents, which are carried about in a large flat vessel somewhat resembling a sieve. These serpents stand erect and put themselves in motion at the word of command. When their keeper sings a slow tune, they seem by their heads to keep time, when he sings a quicker measure, they appear to move more brisk and lively.... Goldsmith.
DANUBE, the largest river in Europe : it was formerly called Ister, and was the northern boundary of the ancient Roman empire. It rises in Suabia, and, passing through Bavaria, Austria, and Hungary, and then through several provinces of the Turkish empire, discharges itself into the Black Sea, by several mouths, after receiving sixty rivers in its course. There are cataracts on this river, both above and below Buda, in Hungary. The navigation of the Danube is of very little use to the different states of Bavaria, Austria, and Hungary, in comparison of what it would be if any of them possessed the whole of its course till it falls into the Black Sea : since the commerce which any nation can carry on by means of a river which does not break itself ir any great number of branches or canals, and which runs into another territory before it reaches the sea, can never be very considerable ; because it is always in the power of the nations which possess the other territory, to obstruct the communication between the upper country and the sea....Adam Smith.
DARIEN, a narrow isthmus, that joins North and South America together. It is three hundred miles in length, and generally about sixty miles in breadth; but in one place is no more than thirty-seven miles broad. From the tops of the mountains, the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans can both be seen at the same time; appearing to the spectator as at a very small distance from each other. In the year 1698, the Scots, under the avowed patronage of the crown of England, had planted a