« ՆախորդըՇարունակել »
number of fifty thousand horsemen, driving their herds before them. Soliman being drowned, in 1220, in endeavoring to pass the Euphrates on horseback, Ertogrul, his son, took the command of the hordes, and advanced into the plains of Asia Minor. Ertogrul was succeeded by his son Osman, from whom the Turks took the name of Ottomans ; which new name soon became formidable to the Greeks of Constantinople, from whom Osman conquered a sufficient extent of territory to found a powerful kingdom. He soon bestowed on it that title, by assuming, in 1300, the dignity of Sultan, which signifies absolute sovereign.... Volney.
TWILIGHT, the light appearing before sun-rise 200 after sun-set ; occasioned by the refraction of the solar rays by the atmosphere. The region of the atmosphere where the light of the sun ceases to be refracted to us, is estimated by philosophers to be between forty and fifty miles high; and the rarity of the air is supposed to be from four thousand to ten thousand times greater at the summit of the atmosphere than at the surface of the earth. The duration of twiliglat, which commonly lasts till the sun is about eighteen degrees below the horizon, differs in different seasons and in different latitudes. In England the shortest twilight is about the beginning of October and of March ; in more northern latitudes, where the sun never sinks more than eightecu degrees below the horizon, the twilight continues the whole night. The time of its duration may also be occasionally affected by the varying height of the atmosphere....Darwin. In tropical climates or in the torrid zones, there is scarce any twilight; the darkness of night commencing almost immediately after sun-set.
TYRE, an ancient city, seated on an island of the Mediterranean Sea, about a quarter of a mile from the continent. It was surrounded with a strong wall, a hundred and fifty feet high, which the waves of the sea washed. It was a city of immense commerce and wealth ; but now, according to scripture prediction, is only inhabited by a few wretched fishermen. About three hundred and thirty years before our Saviour's
UNITED STATES OF AMERICA, &c.
birth. Alexander besieged Tyre ; which was taken after a siege of six months ; though the inhabitants used every measure to defend it, which ingenuity could devise, or resolution execute. After the city was taken, Alexander ordered two thousand Tyrians to be fixed on crosses along the sea shore... Rollin.
NITED STATES OF AMERICA, situated between the 46th and 31st degrees of north latitude; extending about twelve hundred and fifty miles in length, and one thousand and forty in breadth; containing, as is supposed, about five hundred and ninety million acres of fast land ; bounded north and east by the British provinces of Upper and Lower Canada, and New Bruns. wick; southeast by the Atlantic Ocean; south by East and West Florida ; and west by the river Missisippi. The population of the United States has more than doubled since the year 1774. Our seamen are more than four times as numerous; and domestic produce has increased six fold. In 1801, our exports exceeded fifteen times the proportion of 1774. The tonnage of merchantmen is almost five times as great. The aver. age price of labor has increased three fold, that of wheat has more than doubled, and the quantity of metallic medium is more than four times as great. The resources. which may be derived from the future sales of lands, will in all probability surpass five hundred million dollars.... Coxe, Blodget. Since the time of writing the above, to wit, in 1807, the condition and prospects of the United States have been lamentably changed for the
V. VACCINATION, the act of inoculating with the cow pock ; this being an eruptive disease, which attacks
VAPOR... VARNISH TREE.
the udders of cows, and which when transferred to the human system, secures it from the small pox. This mode of inoculating for the small pox, discovered by Dr. Jenner of Great Britain, in the year 1798, may perhaps be justly considered as the most memorable improvement ever made in the practice of physic. An institution in Great Britain, for the purpose of preserving and communicating the vaccine infection, and particularly for inoculating the poor, has been formed since the publication of Dr. Jenner's discovery. For this the public are principally indebted to the enlightened and benevolent exertions of Dr. Pearson, of London. A similar institution has been more recently formed in the city of New York. The first person who inoculated with the vaccine virus, in the United States, was Dr. Waterhouse, Professor of the Theory and Practice of Physic, in the University of Cambridge, Massachusetts. ....Miller.
VAPOR, small particles which, being separated from fluids, rarified, and rendered specifically lighter than air, ascend to a considerable height in the atmosphere, and are at length totally dissipated. The aqueous vapors, exhaled from the earth and water by the solar rays, compose the clouds; from which those humidities are precipitated in the form of rain. But there are other vapors arising from metals, extremely pernicious to animal life ; such, for instance, are those disengaged by the smelting or refining of lead, which communicate a deleterious quality to even the grass in their vicinity; so that the cattle feeding on it frequently perish; and, if any stagnant water be impregnated with these fumes, it proves equally fatal to fish. There are likewise mephitic vapors, discharged from the bowels of the earth; and which are peculiarly injurious both to men and catile : other poisonous vapors are generated in wells.... Willich. Scarce a year passes without hearing of the loss of lives, by venturing down into wells whose waters have been long stagnant; and this should never be attempted without previously cleansing the air in the well, by ventilation, or by other effectual means.
VARNISH TREE, or Tsi-chu, a valuable tree that
grows only in China, and the best in the southerly parts of that empire. It is a reddish gum, distilling from this tree, that gives an incomparable lustre and beauty to some of the Chinese manufactures. The tsi-chu, the bark and leaves of which resemble the ash, bears neither fruit nor flowers. It is, when full grown, about fifteen feet in length; and the circumference of its trunk, about two feet; the gum is obtained by making several rows of incisions round the trunk. A thousand trees yield, on an average, in one night, near twenty pounds of varnish.... H'interbutham.
VEGETABLE DIET, a pleasant and wholesome kind of sustenance, the use or disuse of which forms one trait of difference between the civilized man and the savage. The savage state is the most carnivorous. The shepherd who occupies a middle rank between the savage and the husbandman, uses in his diet, milk and butter, as well as fiesh. In the agricultural state vegetables are cultivated for food : by means of commerce and travels the useful vegetables belonging to countries distant from one another, are transplanted ; and as any people improve in agriculture, commerce and the aris of life, esculent vegetables are multiplied, and their use in human diet is proportionably increased. Accordingly Sir John Pringle affirms, that the quantity of vegetables used in and near London, at the time of the revolution, in 1688, was not more than one sixth of what was used in the same place in 1750.
VENICE, an aristocratical republic of Italy, founded in the fourth century, comprehending fourteen provinces, and containing about a quarter of a million people. This republic was fraudulently taken by the French, and by them was bartered away to the German emperor, to whom it was confirmed by the treaty of Luneville, in 1801. In the 4th century, when Atilla, king of the Huns, called the scourge of God, ravaged the north part of Italy, many of the inhabitants abandoned their country, and retired into the islands of the Adriatic gulph. As these islands were near each other, they found means to join them together, by driving piles on the side of the canals, and on which they built houses; and thus the
superb city of Venice had its beginning. It stands on seventy-two islands; and has been one of the most celebrated cities in the world for wealth and commerce. The Venetians, during the fourteenth and fifteenth centuries, carried on a very profitable trade in spiceries, and other East-India goods, which they distributed among the other nations of Europe. They purchased them chiefly in Egypt, at that time under the dominion of the Mamlouks, the enemies of the Turks, of whom also the Venetians were the enemies; and this union of interest, assisted by the money of Venice, gave the Venetians almost a monopoly of this rich commerce. After the discovery of the Cape of Good Hope by the Portuguese, in 1497, the trade of the Venetians began to decline, and at last sunk into insignificance.... Walker, A. Smith. The ruin of Venice was completed by its annexation to France. According to credible reports, its streets are filled with beggars ; among whom are the descendants of its ancient nobility and wealthiest citi
VENUS, a heathen goddess, feigned to be the patroness of love, and the graces, by the Grecian and Roman poets; who pretended the place of her nativity was Cyprus, a large and beautiful island in the Mediterranean Sea, belonging now to the Turkish empire. Here this goddess was worshipped, of old, by lewd rites and shameless prostitutions; and although by the gospel, which was preached and planted here by St. Paul himself, the professed worship of Venus was abolished and many converts to Christianity made ; yet the Cypriots, or people of Caramania, as the island is now called, continue, in general, even to the present time to be immersed in lewdness and debauchery.
VENUS, the brightest of all the planets. Its diameter is seven thousand six hundred and eighty-seven miles; its medial distance from the sun is sixty-eight million miles; and its periodical revolution is performed in two hundred and twenty-four days and seventeen hours. When this planet is in that part of its orbit which is west of the sun it rises before him in the morning, and is called the Morning Star ; when it is in the east