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294 PHENICIANS. ..PHILADELPHIA....PICHINCA.
PHENICIANS, an ancient people of Asia, who inhabited the sea-coasts, in the neighborhood of the Israelites, and particularly Tyre and Sidon. The first navigators, of whom we have any account, were the Phenicians, who were scattered along the coasts of the Mediterranean and of the Red Sea. As early as the days of Moses, they had extended their navigation beyond the Pillars of Hercules, on the western coasis of Africa, toward the south ; and as far northward as the island of Britain, whence they imported tin and lead, which, according to the universal testimony of the ancients, were not then found in any other country....Bel. knap. The Phenicians are said to have been the first who applied astronomy to navigation.
PHILADELPHIA, the metropolis of Pennsylvania. It was laid out by William Penn, in the year 1683; and is intersected by a great number of streets, crossing each other at right angles, the buildings being large, and mostly of brick. This city lies in latitude 39° 57', fifty miles west from the Atlantic Ocean. It is situated about four miles due north from the confluence of the rivers Delaware and Schuylkill. The land near the rivers, between the city and the conflux of the rivers, is, in general, low, moist and subject to be overflowed. The land to the northward and westward, in the vicinity of the city, is high, and, in general, well cultivated. The air is much purer at the north, than at the south end of the city: hence the lamps exhibit a fainter flame in its southern than in its northern parts. The spot on which Philadelphia stands evidently appears to be made ground. The different strata through which they pass in digging to water, the acorns, leaves and sometimes branches, which are found above twenty feel below the surface, all seem to demonstrate this....Dr. Rush, Ch. Thompson.
PICHINCA, a volcanic mountain, almost three miles perpendicular height above the surface of the sea. LE is one of the highest peaks of the Andes, and is situated in Quito, a province of Peru. “ On the top of this mountain, (says Ulloa) was my station for measuring a degree of the meridian; where I suffered particular
hardships from the intenseness of the cold, and the violence of the storms. The sky around was, in general, involved in thick fogs, which when they cleared away, and the clouds by their gravity moved nearer to the face of the earth, appeared surrounding the foot of the moun. tain, at a vast distance below, like a sea enco
compassing an island in the midst of it. When this happened, the horrid noises of tempests were heard from beneath, discharging themselves on Quito and the neighboring country. I saw (continues he) the lightnings issue from the clouds, and heard the thunders roll far beneath me. All this time, while the tempest was raging below, the mountain-top where I was placed, enjoyed a delightful serenity, and a clear sky."
PIGEON, a bird bred tame in cotes or houses: of these birds there is a variety of species. Tame pigeons, in Europe, have been used to carry letters. They aro first brought from the place where they are bred, and wbither it is intended to send them back with information. The letter is laid under the bird's wing, and it is then let loose to return. When it finds itself at liberty, it soars up into the clouds to an amazing height, and continues flying aloft till it gets home, and then darts down with the utmost exactness, and brings the letter to those for whom it was intended. In an hour and an halb they will perform a journey of forty miles. At the execution of criminals at Tyburn in England, when the cart began to be drawn away from under the gallows, it was a custom to let a pigeon fly into the air, to give no. tice, to people at some distance that the culprits were dying.... Goldsmith,
PIMENTO TREE, a tree that bears a kind of spice, of a round figure, named Jamaica pepper, or alspice :: they grow spontaneously in great abundance in the island of Jamaica. This tree is purely a child of nature, and seems to mock all the labors of man in bis endeave ors to extend or improve its growth; for where it is not found growing spontaneously, it cannot be propagated from seeds or from the young plants. The trunk, which is of a grey colour, smooth and strong, rises to the height of fifteen or twenty feet. It then branches out on all
sides, richly clothed with leaves of a deep green, contrasted by an exuberance of white flowers. They form the most delicious groves that can possibly be imagined; filling the air with fragrance. As this tree which is no less remarkable for fragrance than beauty, suffers no rival plant to flourish within its shade, so these groves are not only clear of underwood, but there is beneath a close, clean, and smooth turf, of a fine bright colour. Over this beautiful surface the pimento spreads itself, here in extensive groves, there in groups; some crown.ing the hills, and others scattered down the declivities.... Bryan Edwards.
PIN, a short piece of brass wire, with a sharp point and round head, used in fastening the female dress. Pins were first brought from France into England, in the year 1543. Previous to that time they used ribbons, laces and skewers, for fastening clothes. In manufacturing pins in England, one man draws out the wire, another straights it, a third cuts it, a fourth points it, a fifth grinds it at the top for receiving the head : to make the head requires two or three distinct operations; to put it on is a peculiar business, to whiten the pins is another; it is even a trade by itself to put thein into the paper; and the important business of making a pin, is, in this manner, divided into about eighteen distinct operations, which in some manufactories, are all performed by distinct hands, though in others the same man will sometimes perform two or thrce of them.
In consequence of such a division and combination of the differ. ent operations, they are able to make more than two hundred-fold the number of pins, which they could make if they all wrought separately and independently.... Adam Smith.
PINNA, or Sea-wing, a surprising little animal of the deep. The pinna is contained in a two-valve shell, weighing sometimes fifteen pounds, and emits a beard of fine long glossy silk-like fibres, by which it is suspended to the rocks twenty or thirty feet deep beneath the surface of the sea. In this situation it is so successfully attacked by the eight-footed polypus, that the species, perhaps, could not exist but for the exertions of the
pinnotheris, which lives in the same shell, as a guard and, companion...Darwin.
PINNOTHERIS, a small crab, naked, but furnished with good eyes, and lives in the same shell with the pinna. When they want food the pinna opens its shell, and sends its faithful ally to forage ; but if the crab, or pinnotheris, sees the polypus, their common enemy, he returns suddenly to the arms of his blind hostess, who, by closing the shell, avoids the fury of the enemy; otherwise, when it has procured a booty, it brings it to the opening of the shell, where it is admitted, and they divide the prey. This was observed by Hallequist, in his voyage to Palestine.... Darwin.
PLAGUE, a contagious and fatal disorder, that has often depopulated extensive regions of the earth. In the year 1798, there was so terrible a plague at Rome, as to carry off ten thousand people in a day. The plague which spread itself in a manner over the whole world, in the year 1346, as we are told by Mazeray, was so contagious that scarce a village, or even a house escaped being infected by it. Before it had reached Europe, it had been for two years travelling from the great kingdom of Cathay, where it began by a vapor most horridly fætid : this broke out of the earth like a subterranean fire, and upon the first instant of its eruption, consumed and desolated above two hundred leagues of that country:
In 1611, about two hundred thousand persons died of the plague, in Constantinople. The great plague, as it was emphatically called, at London, was brought thither in some Levant goods, which came from Holland about the close of the year 1664; the deaths there amounted to between eight and ten thousand a week. (See article London.) The great plague of Marseilles, in France was brought thither from Syria, in May 1720 : the deaths were estimated at between fifty and sixty thousand. In 1792, the plague carried off about three hundred thousand people in Egypt....Goldsmith, et ceteri.
PLANETS, heavenly bodies which revolve round the sun as the centre of their motion ; they consist of pri
mary planets, satellites or moons, and comets. There are ten primary planets, which reckoned in order from the sun, are as follows : Mercury, Venus, the Earth, Mars, Juno, Pallas, Ceres, Jupiter, Saturn, and Herschel. The orbits of Mercury and Venus are within that of the earth; but the orbits of the seven other planets include the earth's orbit within theirs. The earth has one satellite or moon; Venus one ; Jupiter four ; Saturn seven ; and Herschel six. Planets receive their light from the sun ; but each fixed star is thought to be itself a sun, and to shine with its own light, upon worlds revolving round it. The ancients had knowledge only of seven planets, including the moon ; which they symbolically represented by the seven strings to Apollo's lyre. Kepler was the first who discovered the great and universal law of the motion of planets; namely, that a line drawn from the centre of the sun to the planet, and revolving with it, would always describe equal areas in equal times; insomuch that, however swiftly a planet moves when nearest the sun, or how slowly soever when farthest from it, the space contained within the angle it makes with the sun is exactly the same in any given time. See Comets.
PLANT, an organical body, destitute of sense, produced by the earth, to which it adheres by its roots, and ' receives its nourishment from it. The catalogue of plants, enumerated by Linnæus, the great botanist of Sweden, amounted to about ten thousand. The number since discovered and added to the list by botanists, circumnavigators, and travellers, is so very great, that the species now known and described considerably exceed twenty thousard ....Miller.
PLANTANE, a vegetable that grows spontaneously in all parts of this country, and is an excellent antidote to poison. Some years ago the Assembly of South Carolina purchased the negro Cesar's freedom, and gave him an annuity of one hundred pounds, for discovering the efficacy of plantane, together with that of hoarhound, as a cure for poison. Though the plantane, or hoarhound, will either of them have a good effect, alone, they are most efficacious together. Cesar's cure for