Part 38 out of 53
proclaimed king, but failed to receive the viceroyalty, and returned to
England, where he died a disappointed man (1726-1807).
PAPAL STATES, a territory in the N. of Italy extending irregularly
from Naples to the Po, at one time subject to the temporal sovereignty of
the Pope, originating in a gift to his Holiness of Pepin the Short, and
taking shape as such about the 11th century, till in the 16th and 17th
centuries the papal power began to assert itself in the general politics
of Europe, and after being suppressed for a time by Napoleon it was
formally abolished by annexation of the territory to the crown of
Sardinia in 1870.
PAPHOS, the name of two ancient cities in the SW. of Cyprus; the
older (now Kyklia) was a Phoenician settlement, in which afterwards stood
a temple of Venus, who was fabled to have sprung from the sea-foam close
by; the other, 8 m. westward, was the scene of Paul's interview with
Sergius Paulus and encounter with Elymas.
PAPIAS, bishop of Hierapolis, in Phrygia, who flourished in the
middle of the 2nd century, and wrote a book entitled "Exposition of the
Lord's Sayings," fragments of which have been preserved by Eusebius and
others; he was, it is said, the companion of Polycarp.
PAPIER-MACHE is a light, durable substance made from paper pulp or
sheets of paper pasted together and variously treated with chemicals,
heat, and pressure, largely used for ornamental trays, boxes, light
furniture, &c., in which it is varnished and decorated to resemble
lacquer-work, and for architectural decoration, in which it is made to
imitate plaster moulding; the manufacture was learned from the Eastern
nations. Persia, India, and Japan having been long familiar with it;
America has adapted it to use for railroad wheels, &c.
PAPIN, DENIS, French physicist, born at Blois, practised medicine at
Angers; came to England and assisted Boyle in his experiments, made a
special study of the expansive power of steam and its motive power,
invented a steam-digester with a safety-valve, since called after him,
for cooking purposes at a high temperature; became professor of
Mathematics at Marburg (1647-1712).
PAPINIANUS, AEMILIUS, a celebrated Roman jurist; was put to death by
Caracalla for refusing, it is said, when requested, to vindicate his
conduct in murdering his brother (142-212).
PAPIRIUS, a Roman pontiff to whom is ascribed a collection of laws
constituting the Roman code under the kings.
PAPPENHEIM, COUNT VON, imperial general, born in Bavaria; played a
prominent part in the Thirty Years' War; was distinguished for his zeal
as well as his successes on the Catholic side; was mortally wounded at
Luetzen, expressed his gratitude to God when he learned that Gustavas
Adolphus, who fell in the same battle, had died before him (1594-1632).
PAPPUS OF ALEXANDRIA, a Greek geometer of the third or fourth
century, author of "Mathematical Collections," in eight books, of which
the first and second have been lost.
PAPUANS, the name of the members of the negro race inhabiting
certain islands of Oceania, including New Guinea, New Hebrides, New
Caledonia, Fiji Islands, &c.
PAPY`RUS, the Greek name of the Egyptian _papu_, is a kind of sedge
growing 10 ft. high, with a soft triangular stem, the pith of which is
easily split into ribbons, found still in Egypt, Nubia, Abyssinia, &c.;
the pith ribbons were the paper of the ancient Egyptians, of the Greeks
after Alexander, and of the later Romans; they were used by the Arabs of
the 8th century, and in Europe till the 12th; at first long strips were
rolled up, but later rectangular pages were cut and bound together book
fashion; though age has rendered the soft white pages brown and brittle,
much ancient literature is still preserved on papyrus; the use of papyrus
was superseded by that of parchment and rag-made paper.
PARA (40), a Brazilian port at the mouth of the Guama, on the E.
shore of the Para estuary, is a compact, regularly-built, thriving town,
with whitewashed buildings, blue and white tiled roofs, tree-shaded
streets, tram-cars, telephones, theatre, and cathedral; it is the
emporium of the Amazon trade, exporting india-rubber and cacao, and
sending foreign goods into the interior; though hot, it is healthy.
PARABLE, a short allegorical narrative intended to illustrate and
convey some spiritual instruction.
PARABOLA, a conic section formed by the intersection of a cone by a
plane parallel to one of its sides.
PARACELSUS, a Swiss physician, alchemist, and mystic, whose real
name was Theophrastus Bombastus, born at Einsiedeln, in Schwyz; was a
violent revolutionary in the medical art, and provoked much hostility, so
that he was driven to lead a wandering and unsettled life;
notwithstanding, he contributed not a little, by his knowledge and
practice, to inaugurate a more scientific study of nature than till his
time prevailed (1493-1541).
PARAFFIN, name given by Baron Reichenbach to a transparent
crystalline substance obtained by distillation from wood, bituminous
coal, shale, &c., and so called because it resists the action of the
strongest acids and alkalies.
PARAGUAY (400), except Uruguay the smallest State in South America,
is an inland Republic whose territories lie in the fork between the
Pilcomayo and Paraguay and the Parana Rivers, with Argentina on the W.
and S., Bolivia on the N., and Brazil on the N. and E.; it is less than
half the size of Spain, consists of rich undulating plains, and, in the
S., of some of the most fertile land on the continent; the climate is
temperate for the latitude; the population, Spanish, Indian, and
half-caste, is Roman Catholic; education is free and compulsory; the
country is rich in natural products, but without minerals; timber,
dye-woods, rubber, Paraguay tea (a kind of holly), gums, fruits, wax,
honey, cochineal, and many medicinal herbs are gathered for export;
maize, rice, cotton, and tobacco are cultivated; the industries include
some tanning, brick-works, and lace-making; founded by Spain in 1535,
Paraguay was the scene of an interesting experiment in the 17th century,
when the country was governed wholly by the Jesuits, who, excluding all
European settlers, built up a fabric of Christian civilisation; they were
expelled in 1768; in 1810 the country joined the revolt against Spain,
and was the first to establish its independence; for 26 years it was
under the government of Dr. Francia; from 1865 to 1870 it maintained a
heroic but disastrous war against the Argentine, Brazil, and Uruguay, as
a consequence of which the population fell from a million and a half to a
quarter of a million; it is again prosperous and progressing. The capital
is Asuncion (18), at the confluence of the Pilcomayo and Paraguay.
PARAGUAY RIVER, a South American river 1800 m. long, the chief
tributary of the Parana, rises in some lakes near Matto Grosso, Brazil,
and flows southward through marshy country till it forms the boundary
between Brazil and Bolivia, then traversing Paraguay, it becomes the
boundary between that State and the Argentine Republic, and finally
enters the Parana above Corrientes; it receives many affluents, and is
navigable by ocean steamers almost to its source.
PARAKLETE, the Holy Spirit which Christ promised to His disciples
would take His place as their teacher and guide after He left them. Also
the name of the monastery founded by Abelard near Nogent-sur-Seine, and
of which HELOISE (q. v.) was abbess.
PARALLAX, an astronomical term to denote an apparent change in the
position of a heavenly body due to a change in the position or assumed
position of the observer.
PARAMAR`IBO (24), the capital of Dutch Guiana, on the Surinam, 10 m.
from the sea, and the centre of the trade of the colony.
PARAMO, the name given to an elevated track of desert on the Andes.
PARANA RIVER, a great river of South America, formed by the
confluence of the Rio Grande and the Paranahyba, in SE. Brazil, flows SW.
through Brazil and round the SE. border of Paraguay, then receiving the
Paraguay River, turns S. through the Argentine, then E. till the junction
of the Uruguay forms the estuary of the Plate. The river is broad and
rapid, 2000 m. long, more than half of it navigable from the sea; at the
confluence of the Yguassu it enters a narrow gorge, and for 100 m. forms
one of the most remarkable rapids in the world; the chief towns on its
banks are in the Argentine, viz. Corrientes, Santa Fe, and Rosario.
PARCAE, the Roman name of the THREE FATES (q. v.), derived
from "pars," a part, as apportioning to every individual his destiny.
PARCHMENT consists of skins specially prepared for writing on, and
is so called from a king of Pergamos, who introduced it when the export
of papyrus from Egypt was stopped; the skins used are of sheep, for fine
parchment or vellum, of calves, goats, and lambs; parchment for drumheads
is made from calves' and asses' skins.
PARCS-AUX-CERFS, the French name for clearings to provide hunting
fields for the French aristocracy prior to the Revolution.
PARE, AMBROISE, great French surgeon, born at Laval; was from the
improved methods he introduced in the treatment of surgical cases
entitled to be called, as he has been, the father of modern surgery, for
his success as an operator, in particular the tying of divided arteries
and the treatment of gunshot wounds; he was in the habit of saying of any
patient he had successfully operated upon, "I cared for him; God healed
him"; his writings exercised a beneficent influence on the treatment of
surgical cases in all lands (1517-1590).
PARIAH, a Hindu of the lowest class, and of no caste; of the class
they are of various grades, but all are outcast, and treated as such.
PARIS (2,448), the capital of France, in the centre of the northern
half of the country, on both banks of the Seine, and on two islands (La
Cite and St. Louis) in the middle, 110 m. from the sea; is the largest
city on the Continent, and one of the most beautiful in the world. No
city has finer or gayer streets, or so many noble buildings. The Hotel de
Cluny and the Hotel de Sens are rare specimens of 15th-century civic
architecture. The Palace of the Tuileries, on the right bank of the
Seine, dates from the 16th century, and was the royal residence till the
Revolution. Connected with it is the Louvre, a series of galleries of
painting, sculpture, and antiquities, whose contents form one of the
richest collections existing, and include the peerless "Venus de Milo."
The Palais Royal encloses a large public garden, and consists of shops,
restaurants, the Theatre Francais, and the Royal Palace of the Orleans
family. South of the river is the Luxembourg, where the Senate meets, and
on the Ile de la Cite stands the Palais de Justice and the Conciergerie,
one of the oldest Paris prisons. St.-Germain-des-Pres is the most ancient
church, but the most important is the cathedral of Notre Dame, 12th
century, which might tell the whole history of France could it speak.
Saint-Chapelle is said to be the finest Gothic masterpiece extant. The
Pantheon, originally meant for a church, is the burial-place of the great
men of the country, where lie the remains of Voltaire, Rousseau, and
Carnot. The oldest hospitals are the Hotel Dieu, La Charite, and La
Pitie. The University Schools in the Quartier Latin attract the youth of
all France; the chief are the Schools of Medicine and Law, the Scotch
College, the College of France, and the Sorbonne, the seat of the
faculties of letters, science, and Protestant theology. Triumphal arches
are prominent in the city. There are many museums and charitable
institutions; the Bibliotheque Nationale, in the Rue Richelieu, rivals
the British Museum in numbers of books and manuscripts. The Palace of
Industry and the Eiffel Tower commemorate the exhibitions of 1854 and
1889 respectively. Great market-places stand in various parts of the
city. The Rue de Rivoli, Rue de la Paix, Rue du Faubourg St.-Honore, and
the Rue Royale are among the chief streets; beautiful squares are
numerous, the most noted being the Place de la Concorde, between the
Champs Elysees and the Gardens of the Tuileries, in the centre of which
the Obelisk of Luxor stands on the site of the guillotine at which Louis
XVI. and Marie Antoinette, Philippe Egalite, Danton, and Robespierre
died. Boulevards lined with trees run to the outskirts of the city. The
many roads, railways, canals, and rivers which converge on Paris have
made it the most important trading centre in France, and the concourse of
wealthy men of all nations has given it a high place in the financial
world. It is a manufacturing city, producing jewellery, ornamental
furniture, and all sorts of artistic "articles de Paris." The centre of
French, and indeed European, fashion, it is noted for its pleasure and
gaiety. The concentration of Government makes it the abode of countless
officials. It is strongly fortified, being surrounded by a ring of forts,
and a wall 22 m. long, at the 56 gates of which the octroi dues are
levied. The Prefect of the Seine, appointed by the Government, and
advised by a large council, is the head of the municipality, of the
police and fire brigades, cleansing, draining, and water-supply
departments. The history of Paris is the history of France, for the
national life has been, and is, in an extraordinary degree centred in the
capital. It was the scene of the great tragic drama of the Revolution,
and of the minor struggles of 1830 and 1849. In recent times its great
humiliation was its siege and capture by the Germans in 1870-71.
PARIS, the second son of Priam and Hecuba; was exposed on Mount Ida
at his birth; brought up by a shepherd; distinguished himself by his
prowess, by which his parentage was revealed; married OENONE (q. v.);
appealed to to decide to whom the "apple of discord" belonged, gave
it to Aphrodite in preference to her two rivals Hera and Athena; was
promised in return that he should receive the most beautiful woman in the
world to wife, Helen of Sparta, whom he carried off to Greece, and which
led to the TROJAN WAR (q. v.); slew Achilles, and was mortally
wounded by the poisoned arrows of Hercules.
PARIS, MATTHEW, English chronicler; a Benedictine monk of St.
Albans; author of "Chronica Majora," which contains a history written in
Latin of England from the Conquest to the year in which he died
PARK, MUNGO, African traveller, born at Foulshiels, near Selkirk;
was apprenticed to a surgeon, and studied medicine at Edinburgh; 1791-93
he spent in a voyage to Sumatra, and in 1795 went for the first time to
Africa under the auspices of the African Association of London; starting
from the Gambia he penetrated eastward to the Niger, then westward to
Kamalia, where illness seized him; conveyed to his starting-point by a
slave-trader, he returned to England and published "Travels in the
Interior of Africa," 1799; he married and settled to practice at Peebles,
but he was not happy till in 1805 he set out for Africa again at
Government expense; starting from Pisania he reached the Niger, and
sending back his journals attempted to descend the river in a canoe, but,
attacked by natives, the canoe overturned; and he and his companions were
PARKER, JOHN HENRY, archaeologist and writer on architecture;
originally a London publisher, his chief work the "Archaeology of Rome,"
in nine vols., a subject to which he devoted much study (1800-1884).
PARKER, JOSEPH, an eminent Nonconformist divine, born in Hexham;
minister of the City Temple; a vigorous and popular preacher, and the
author of numerous works bearing upon biblical theology and the defence
of it; his _magnum opus_ is the "People's Bible," of which 25 vols. are
already complete; _b_. 1830.
PARKER, MATTHEW, archbishop of Canterbury, born at Norwich; was a
Fellow of Cambridge; embraced the Protestant doctrines; became Master of
Corpus Christi College, Oxford; was chaplain to Anne Boleyn, and made
Dean of Ely by Edward VI.; was deprived of his offices under Mary, but
made Primate under Elizabeth, and the Bishop's Bible was translated and
issued under his auspices (1504-1575).
PARKER, THEODORE, an American preacher and lecturer; adopted and
professed the Unitarian creed, but discarded it, like Emerson, for a
still more liberal; distinguished himself in the propagation of it by his
lectures as well as his writings; was a vigorous anti-slavery agitator,
and in general a champion of freedom; died at Florence while on a tour
for his health (1810-1860).
PARKMAN, FRANCIS, American historian, born in Boston; his writings
valuable, particularly in their bearing on the dominion of the French in
America, its rise, decline, and fall (1823-1893).
PARLEMENT, the name given to the local courts of justice in France
prior to the Revolution, in which the edicts of the king required to be
registered before they became laws; given by pre-eminence to the one in
Paris, composed of lawyers, or gentlemen of the long robe, as they were
called, whose action the rest uniformly endorsed, and which played an
important part on the eve of the Revolution, and contributed to further
the outbreak of it, to its own dissolution in the end.
PARLIAMENT is the name of the great legislative council of Britain
representing the three estates of the realm--Clergy, Lords, and Commons.
The Clergy are represented in the Upper House by the archbishops and
bishops of sees founded prior to 1846, in number 26; the rest of the
Upper House comprises the dukes, marquises, earls, viscounts, and barons
of the peerage of Great Britain who sit in virtue of their titles, and
representatives of the Scotch and Irish peerages elected for life; the
total membership is over 550; the House of Lords may initiate any bill
not a money bill, it does not deal with financial measures at all except
to give its formal assent; it also revises bills passed by the Commons,
and may reject these. Of late years this veto has come to be exercised
only in cases where it seems likely that the Commons do not retain the
confidence of the people, having thus the effect of referring the
question for the decision of the constituencies. The Lords constitute the
final court of appeal in all legal questions, but in exercising this
function only those who hold or have held high judicial office take part.
The House of Commons comprises 670 representatives of the people; its
members represent counties, divisions of counties, burghs, wards of
burghs, and universities, and are elected by owners of land and by
occupiers of land or buildings of L10 annual rental who are commoners,
males, of age, and not disqualified by unsoundness of mind, conviction
for crime, or receipt of parochial relief. The Commons initiates most of
the legislation, deals with bills already initiated and passed by the
Lords, inquires into all matters of public concern, discusses and
determines imperial questions, and exercises the sole right to vote
supplies of money. To become law bills must pass the successive stages of
first and second reading, committee, and third reading in both Houses,
and receive the assent of the sovereign, which has not been refused for
nearly two centuries.
PARLIAMENT, THE LONG, the name given to the last English Parliament
convoked by Charles I. in 1640, dissolved by Cromwell in 1653, and
recalled twice after the death of the Protector before it finally gave up
PARLIAMENT OF DUNCES, name given to a parliament held at Coventry by
Henry IV. in 1494, because no lawyer was allowed to sit in it.
PARLIAMENTARIAN, one who, in the English Civil War, supported the
cause of the Parliament against the king.
PARMA (44), a cathedral and university town in N. Italy, on the
Parma, a tributary of the Po, 70 m. NE. of Genoa; is rich in art
treasures, has a school of music, picture-gallery, and museum of
antiquities; it manufactures pianofortes, silks, and woollens, and has a
cattle and grain market; Parma was formerly the capital of the duchy of
that name; it was the residence of Correggio as well as the birthplace of
PARMENION, an able and much-esteemed Macedonian general,
distinguished as second in command at Granicus, Issus, and Arbela, but
whom Alexander in some fit of jealousy and under unfounded suspicion
caused to be assassinated in Media.
PARMENIDES, a distinguished Greek philosopher of the Eleatic school,
who flourished in the 5th century B.C.; his system was developed by him
in the form of an epic poem, in which he demonstrates the existence of an
Absolute which is unthinkable, because it is without limits, and which he
identifies with thought, as the one in the many.
PARMIGIANO, a Lombard painter whose proper name was Girolamo
Mazzola, born at Parma; went to Rome when 19 and obtained the patronage
of Clement VII.; after the storming of the city in 1527, during which he
sat at work in his studio, he went to Bologna, and four years later
returned to his native city; failing to implement a contract to paint
frescoes he was imprisoned, and on his release retired to Casalmaggiore,
where he died; in style he followed Correggio, and is best known by his
"Cupid shaping a Bow" (1504-1540).
PARNASSUS, a mountain in Phocis, 10 m. N. of the Gulf of Corinth,
8000 ft. high, one of the chief seats of Apollo and the Muses, and an
inspiring source of poetry and song, with the oracle of Delphi and the
Castalian spring on its slopes; it was conceived of by the Greeks as in
the centre of the earth.
PARNELL, CHARLES STUART, Irish Home-Ruler, born at Avondale, in
Wicklow; was practically the dictator of his party for a time and carried
matters with a high hand, but at the height of his popularity he suffered
a fall, and his death, which was sudden, happened soon after (1846-1891).
PARNELL, THOMAS, English minor poet of the Queen Anne period, born
in Dublin, of a Cheshire family; studied at Trinity College, took orders,
and became archdeacon of Clogher; is best known as the author of "The
Hermit," though his odes "The Night-Piece on Death" and the "Hymn to
Contentment" are of more poetic worth; he was the friend of Swift and
Pope, and a member of the Scriblerus Club (1679-1718).
PAROS (7), one of the Cyclades, lying between Naxos and Siphanto,
exports wine, figs, and wool; in a quarry near the summit of Mount St.
Elias the famous Parian marble is still cut; the capital is Paroekia (2).
PARR, CATHERINE, sixth wife of Henry VIII., daughter of Sir Thomas
Parr of Kendal, was a woman of learning and great discretion, acquired
great power over the king, persuaded him to consent to the succession of
his daughters, and surviving him, married her former suitor Sir Thomas
Seymour, and died from the effects of childbirth the year after
PARR, SAMUEL, a famous classical scholar, born at Harrow; became
head-master of first Colchester and then Norwich Grammar-School and a
prebend of St. Paul's; he had an extraordinary memory and was a great
talker; he was a good Latinist, but nothing he has left justifies the
high repute in which he was held by his contemporaries (1747-1825).
PARR, THOMAS, called OLD PARR, a man notable for his long life,
being said to have lived 152 years and 9 months, from 1483 to 1635.
PARRAMATTA (12), next to Sydney, from which it is 14 m. W., the
oldest town in New South Wales; manufactures colonial tweeds and
Parramatta cloths, and is in the centre of orange groves and fruit
PARRHASIUS, a gifted painter of ancient Greece, born at Ephesus;
came to Athens and became the rival of Zeuxis; he was the contemporary of
Socrates and a man of an arrogant temper; his works were characterised by
the pains bestowed on them.
PARRY, SIR WILLIAM EDWARD, celebrated Arctic explorer, born at Bath;
visited the Arctic Seas under Ross in 1818, conducted a second expedition
himself in 1819-20, a third in 1821-23, a fourth in 1824-26 with unequal
success, and a fifth in 1827 in quest of the North Pole _via_
Spitzbergen, in which he was baffled by an adverse current; received
sundry honours for his achievements; died governor of Greenwich Hospital,
and left several accounts of his voyages (1790-1855).
PARSEES (i. e. inhabitants of Pars or Persia), a name given to the
disciples of Zoroaster or their descendants in Persia and India, and
sometimes called Guebres; in India they number some 90,000, are to be
found chiefly in the Bombay Presidency, form a wealthy community, and are
engaged mostly in commerce; in religion they incline to deism, and pay
homage to the sun as the symbol of the deity; they neither bury their
dead nor burn them, but expose them apart in the open air, where they are
left till the flesh is eaten away and only the bones remain, to be
removed afterwards for consignment to a subterranean cavern.
PARSIFAL, the hero of the legend of the HOLY GRAIL (q. v.),
and identified with GALAHAD (q. v.) in the Arthurian legend.
PARSON ADAMS, a simple-minded 18th-century clergyman in Fielding's
PARSONS, ROBERT, English Jesuit, born in Somersetshire, educated at
Oxford and a Fellow of Balliol College; he became a convert to Roman
Catholicism and entered the Society of Jesus in 1575; conceived the idea
of reclaiming England from her Protestant apostasy, and embarked on the
enterprise in 1580, but found it too hot for him, and had to escape to
the Continent; after this he busied himself partly in intrigues to force
England into submission and partly in organising seminaries abroad for
English Roman Catholics, and became head of one at Rome, where he died;
he appears to have been a Jesuit to the backbone, and to have served the
cause of Jesuitry with his whole soul (1546-1610).
PARTHENOGENESIS, name given to asexual reproduction, that is, to
reproduction of plants or animals by means of unimpregnated germs or ova.
PARTHENON, a celebrated temple of the Doric order at Athens,
dedicated to Athena, and constructed under Phidias of the marble of
Pentelicus, and regarded as the finest specimen of Greek architecture
that exists; it is 228 ft. in length and 64 ft. in height. Parthenon
means the chamber of the maiden goddess, that is, Athena.
PARTHENOPE, in the Greek mythology one of the three SIRENS
(q. v.), threw herself into the sea because her love for Ulysses was
not returned, and was drowned; her body was washed ashore at Naples,
which was called Parthenope after her name.
PARTHIA, an ancient country corresponding to Northern Persia; was
inhabited by a people of Scythian origin, who adopted the Aryan speech
and manners, and subsequently yielded much to Greek influence; after
being tributary successively to Assyria, Media, Persia, Alexander the
Great, and Syria, they set up an independent kingdom in 250 B.C. In two
great contests with Rome they made the empire respect their prowess;
between 53 and 36 B.C. they defeated Crassus in Mesopotamia, conquered
Syria and Palestine, and inflicted disaster on Mark Antony in Armenia;
the renewal of hostilities by Trajan in A.D. 115 brought more varied
fortunes, but they extorted a tribute of 50,000,000 denarii from the
Emperor Macrinus in 218. Ctesiphon was their capital; the Euphrates lay
between them and Rome; they were over thrown by Ardashir of Persia in
224. The Parthians were famous horse-archers, and in retreat shot their
arrows backwards often with deadly effect on a pursuing enemy.
PARTICK (36), a western suburb of Glasgow, has numerous villas, and
its working population is very largely engaged in shipbuilding.
PARTINGTON, MRS., an imaginary lady, the creation of the American
humorist Shillaber, distinguished for her misuse of learned words; also
another celebrity who attempted to sweep back the Atlantic with her mop,
the type of those who think to stave back the inevitable.
PASCAL, BLAISE, illustrious French thinker and writer, born at
Clermont, in Auvergne; was distinguished at once as a mathematician, a
physicist, and a philosopher; at 16 wrote a treatise on conic sections,
which astonished Descartes; at 18 invented a calculating machine; he
afterwards made experiments in pneumatics and hydrostatics, by which his
name became associated with those of Torricelli and Boyle; an accident
which befell him turned his thoughts to religious subjects, and in 1654
he retired to the convent of PORT ROYAL (q. v.), where he spent
as an ascetic the rest of his days, and wrote his celebrated "Provincial
Letters" in defence of the Jansenists against the Jesuits, and his no
less famous "Pensees," which were published after his death; "his great
weapon in polemics," says Prof. Saintsbury, "is polite irony, which he
first brought to perfection, and in the use of which he has hardly been
equalled, and has certainly not been surpassed since" (1623-1662).
PAS-DE-CALAIS, the French name for the Strait of Dover; also the
name of the adjacent department of France.
PASHA, a Turkish title, originally bestowed on princes of the blood,
but now extended to governors of provinces and prominent officers in the
army and navy.
PASIPHAE, the wife of MINOS (q. v.) and mother of the
MINOTAUR (q. v.).
PASKIEVITCH, a Russian general, born at Poltava; took part in
repelling the French in 1812, defeated the Persians in 1826-27 and the
Turks in 1828-29; suppressed a Polish insurrection in 1831 and a Magyar
revolution in 1849; was wounded at Silistria in 1854 and resigned
PASQUINO, a cobbler or tailor who lived in Rome at the end of the
15th century, notable for his witty and sarcastic sayings, near whose
shop after his death a fragment of a statue was dug up and named after
him, on which, as representing him, the Roman populace claim to this day,
it would seem, the privilege of placarding jibes against particularly the
ecclesiastical authorities of the place, hence Pasquinade.
PASSAU (17), a Bavarian fortified town, situated at the confluence
of the Inn and the Danube, 105 m. E. of Muenich by rail; is a picturesque
place, strategically important, with manufactures of leather, porcelain,
and parquet, and trade in salt and corn.
PASSING-BELL, a bell tolled at the moment of the death of a person
to invite his neighbours to pray for the safe passing of his soul.
PASSION PLAY, a dramatic representation of the several stages in the
passion of Christ.
PASSION SUNDAY, the fifth Sunday in Lent, which is succeeded by what
is called the Passion Week.
PASSION WEEK is properly the week preceding Holy Week, but in common
English usage the name is given to Holy Week itself, i. e. to the week
immediately preceding Easter, commemorating Christ's passion.
PASSIONISTS, an order of priests, called of the Holy Cross, founded
in 1694 by Paul Francisco, of the Cross in Sardinia, whose mission it is
to preach the Passion of Christ and bear witness to its spirit and
import, and who have recently established themselves in England and
America; they are noted for their austerity.
PASSOVER, the chief festival of the Jews in commemoration of the
passing of the destroying angel over the houses of the Israelites on the
night when he slew the first-born of the Egyptians; it was celebrated in
April, lasted eight days, only unleavened bread was used in its
observance, and a lamb roasted whole was eaten with bitter herbs, the
partakers standing and road-ready as on their departure from the land of
PASSOW, FRANZ, German philologist, born in Mecklenburg, professor at
Breslau; his chief work "Hand-Woerterbuch der Griechischen Sprache"; an
authority in subsequent Greek lexicography (1786-1833).
PASTA, JUDITH, a famous Italian operatic singer, born near Milan, of
Jewish birth; her celebrity lasted from 1822 to 1835, after which she
retired into private life; she had a voice of great compass (1798-1865).
PASTEUR, LOUIS, an eminent French chemist, born at Dole, in dep. of
Jura, celebrated for his studies and discoveries in fermentation, and
also for his researches in hydrophobia and his suggestion of inoculation
as a cure; the Pasteur Institute in Paris was the scene of his researches
from 1886 (1822-1895).
PASTON LETTERS, a series of letters and papers, over a thousand in
number, belonging to a Norfolk family of the name, and published by Sir
John Fenn over a century ago, dating from the reign of Henry V. to the
close of the reign of Henry VII.; of importance in connection with the
political and social history of the period.
PASTORAL STAFF, a bishop's staff with a crooked head, symbolical of
his authority and function as a shepherd in spiritual matters of the
souls in his diocese.
PATAGONIA is the territory at the extreme S. of South America, lying
between the Rio Colorado and the Strait of Magellan. Chilian Patagonia is
a narrow strip W. of the Andes, with a broken coast-line, many rocky
islands and peninsulas. Its climate is temperate but very rainy, and much
of it is covered with dense forests which yield valuable timber; coal is
found at Punta Arenas on the Strait. The population (3) consists chiefly
of migratory Araucanian Indians and the Chilian settlers at Punta Arenas.
Eastern or Argentine Patagonia is an extensive stretch of undulating
plateaux intersected by ravines, swept by cold W. winds, and rainless for
eight months of the year. The base of the Andes is fertile and
forest-clad, the river valleys can be cultivated, but most of the plains
are covered with coarse grass or sparse scrub, and there are some utterly
desolate regions. Lagoons abound, and there are many rivers running
eastward from the Andes. Herds of horses and cattle are bred on the
pampas. The Indians of this region (7) are among the tallest races of the
world. There are 2000 settlers at Patagones on the Rio Negro, and a Welsh
colony on the Chubut.
PATANJALI is the name of two ancient Indian authors, of whom one is
the author of the "Yoga," a theistic system of philosophy, and the other
of a criticism on the Sanskrit grammarian Panini.
PATCHOULI, a perfume with a strong odour, derived from the dried
roots of an Indian plant introduced into the country in 1844.
PATER, WALTER HORATIO, an English prose-writer, specially studious
of word, phrase, and style, born in London; studied at Oxford, and became
a Fellow of Brasenose College; lived chiefly in London; wrote studies in
the "History of the Renaissance," "Marcus the Epicurean," "Imaginary
Portraits," "Appreciations," along with an essay on "Style"; literary
criticism was his forte (1839-1894).
PATERCULUS, MARCUS VELLEIUS, a Latin historian of the 1st century,
author of an epitome, especially of Roman history, rather disfigured by
undue flattery of Tiberius his patron, as well as of Caesar and Augustus.
PATERSON, ROBERT, the original of Scott's "Old Mortality," a
stone-mason, born near Hawick; devoted 40 years of his life to restoring
and erecting monumental stones to the memory of the Scotch Covenanters
PATERSON, WILLIAM, a famous financier, born in Tinwald parish,
Dumfriesshire; originated the Bank of England, projected the ill-fated
Darien scheme, and lost all in the venture, though he recovered
compensation afterwards, an indemnity for his losses of L18,000; he was a
long-headed Scot, skilful in finance and in matters of trade (1658-1719).
PATHOS, the name given to an expression of deep feeling, and
calculated to excite similar feelings in others.
PATLOCK, ROBERT, English novelist, author of "Peter Wilkins," an
exquisite production; the heroine, the flying girl Youwarkee (1697-1767).
PATMORE, COVENTRY, English poet, born in Essex, best known as the
author of "The Angel in the House," a poem in praise of domestic bliss,
succeeded by others, superior in some respects, of which "The Unknown
Eros" is by many much admired; he was a Roman Catholic by religious
PATMOS, a barren rocky island in the AEgean Sea, S. of Samos, 28 m.
in circuit, where St. John suffered exile, and where it is said he wrote
PATNA (165), the seventh city of India, in Bengal, at the junction
of the Son, the Gandak, and the Ganges; is admirably situated for
commerce; has excellent railway communication, and trades largely in
cotton, oil-seeds, and salt. It is a poor city with narrow streets, and
except the Government buildings, Patna College, a Roman Catholic
cathedral, and a mosque, has scarcely any good buildings. At Dinapur, its
military station, 6 m. to the W., mutiny broke out in 1857. It is famous
for its rice, but this is largely a re-export.
PATOIS, a name the French give to a corrupt dialect of a language
spoken in a remote province of a country.
PATON, JOHN GIBSON, missionary to the New Hebrides, son of a
stocking-weaver of Kirkmahoe, Dumfriesshire; after some work in Glasgow
City Mission was ordained by the Reformed Presbyterian Church, and
laboured in Tanna and Aniwa for twenty-five years; his account of his
work was published in 1890; _b_. 1824.
PATON SIR JOSEPH NOEL, poet and painter, born at Dunfermline; became
a pattern designer, but afterwards studied in Edinburgh and London, and
devoted himself to art; his early subjects were mythical and legendary,
later they have been chiefly religious; he was appointed Queen's Limner
for Scotland in 1865, knighted in 1867, and in 1876 received his LL.D.
from Edinburgh University; his "Quarrel" and "Reconciliation of Oberon
and Titania" are in the National Gallery, Edinburgh; the illustrations of
the "Dowie Dens o' Yarrow," and the series of religious allegories,
"Pursuit of Pleasure," "Lux in Tenebris," "Faith and Reason," &c., are
familiar through the engravings; "Poems by a Painter" appeared in 1861;
PATRAS (37), on the NW. corner of the Morean Peninsula, on the
shores of the Gulf of Patras; has a fine harbour; is the chief western
port of Greece, shipping currants, olive-oil, and wine, and importing
textiles, machinery, and coal; it is a handsome city, in the present
century rebuilt and fortified.
PATRIARCH, in Church history is the name given originally to the
bishops of Rome, Antioch, and Alexandria, and later to those also of
Constantinople and Jerusalem, who held a higher rank than other bishops,
and exercised a certain authority over the bishops in their districts.
The title is in vogue in the Greek, Syrian, Armenian, and other Churches.
It was originally given to the chief of a race or clan, the members of
which were called after him.
PATRICIANS AND PLEBEIANS, the two classes into which, from the
earliest times, the population of the Roman State was divided, the former
of which possessed rights and privileges not conceded to the latter, and
stood to them as patrons to clients, like the baron of the Middle Ages to
the vassals. This inequality gave rise to repeated and often protracted
struggles in the commonalty, during which the latter gradually encroached
on the rights of the former till the barrier in civic status, and even in
social to some extent, was as good as abolished, and members of the
plebeian class were eligible to the highest offices and dignities of the
PATRICK, ORDER OF ST., an Irish order of knighthood, founded in 1783
by George III., comprising the sovereign, the Lord-Lieutenant, and
twenty-two knights, and indicated by the initial letters K.P.
PATRICK, ST., the apostle and patron saint of Ireland; his
birthplace uncertain; flourished in the 5th century; his mission, which
extended over great part of Ireland, and over thirty or forty years of
time, was eminently successful, and at the end of it he was buried in
Downpatrick, henceforth a spot regarded as a sacred one. Various miracles
are ascribed to him, and among the number the extirpation from the soil
of all venomous reptiles.
PATRICK, SIMON, English prelate; distinguished himself, when he was
rector of St. Paul's, by his self-denying devotion during the Plague of
London; became bishop in succession of Chichester and Ely, and was the
author of a number of expository works (1652-1707).
PATRISTIC LITERATURE, the name given to the writings of the early
Fathers of the Christian Church.
PATROCLUS, a friend of Achilles, who accompanied him to the Trojan
War, and whose death by the hand of Hector roused Achilles out of his
sullenness, and provoked him to avenge the deed in the death of Hector.
PATTESON, JOHN COLERIDGE, bishop of Melanesia, grand-nephew of
Coleridge; a devoted bishop, in material things no less than spiritual,
among the Melanesian islanders; was murdered, presumably through mistake,
by the natives of one of the Santa Cruz groups (1827-1871).
PATTI, ADELINA, prima donna, born in Madrid, of Italian extraction;
made her first appearance at New York in 1859, and in London at Covent
Garden, as Amina in "La Somnambula," in 1861, and has since made the
round once and again of the Continent and America, North and South; has
been married three times, being divorced by her first husband, and lives
at Craig-y-nos Castle, near Swansea, Wales; _b_. 1843.
PATTISON, MARK, a distinguished English scholar, born at Hornby,
Yorkshire; studied at Oxford, and was for a time carried away with the
Tractarian Movement, but when his interest in it died out he gave himself
to literature and philosophy; wrote in the famous "Essays and Reviews" a
paper on "The Tendency of Religious Thought in England"; became rector of
Lincoln College, Oxford; wrote his chief literary work, a "Life of Isaac
Casaubon," a mere fragment of what it lay in him to do, and left an
autobiography, which revealed a wounded spirit which no vulnerary known
to him provided by the pharmacopoeia of earth or heaven could heal
PATTISON'S PROCESS, the name of a process for desilverising lead,
dependent on the fact that lead which has least silver in it solidifies
first on liquefaction.
PAU (31), chief town of the French province of Basses-Pyrenees, on
the Gave de Pau, 60 m. E. of Bayonne; is situated amid magnificent
mountain scenery, and is a favourite winter resort for the English; linen
and chocolate are manufactured; it was the capital of Navarre, and has a
magnificent castle; it stands on the edge of a high plateau, and commands
a majestic view of the Pyrenees on the S.
PAUILLAC, a port for Bordeaux, on the left bank of the Gironde.
PAUL, the name of five popes: PAUL I., Pope from 757 to 797;
PAUL II., pope from 1464 to 1471; PAUL III., Pope from 1534 to
1549, was zealous against the Protestant cause, excommunicated Henry
VIII. in 1536, sanctioned the Jesuit order in 1540, convened and convoked
the Council of Trent in 1545; PAUL IV., Pope from 1555 to 1559,
originally an ascetic, was zealous for the best interests of the Church
and public morality, established the Inquisition at Rome, and issued the
first _Index Expurgatorius_; PAUL V., Pope from 1605 to 1621, his
pontificate distinguished by protracted strife with the Venetian
republic, arising out of the claim of the clergy for immunity from the
civil tribunals, and which was brought to an end through the intervention
of Henry IV. of France in 1607; it need not be added that he was zealous
for orthodoxy, like his predecessors.
PAUL, ST., originally called Saul, the great Apostle of the
Gentiles, born at Tarsus, in Cilicia, by birth a Jew and a Roman citizen;
trained to severity by Gamaliel at Jerusalem in the Jewish faith, and for
a time the bitter persecutor of the Christians, till, on his way to
Damascus, in the prosecution of his hostile purposes, the overpowering
conviction flashed upon him that he was fighting against the cause that,
as a Jew, he should have embraced, and which he was at once smitten with
zeal to further, as the one cause on which hinged the salvation, not of
the Jews only, but of the whole world. He did more for the extension, if
not the exposition, of the Christian faith at its first promulgation than
any of the Apostles, and perhaps all of them together, and it is
questionable if but for him it would have become, as it has become, the
professed religion of the most civilised section of the world.
PAUL I., Czar of Russia, son of the Empress Catharine II., and her
successor in 1796; was a despotic and arbitrary ruler; fought with the
allies against France, but entered into an alliance with Napoleon in
1799; was murdered by certain of his nobles as he was being forced to
PAUL AND VIRGINIA, a celebrated novel by Saint-Pierre, written on
the eve of the French Revolution, in which "there rises melodiously, as
it were, the wail of a moribund world: everywhere wholesome Nature in
unequal conflict with diseased, perfidious art; cannot escape from it in
the lowest hut, in the remotest island of the sea"; it records the fate
of a child of nature corrupted by the false, artificial sentimentality
that prevailed at the time among the upper classes of France.
PAUL SAMOSATA, so called as born at Samosata, on the Euphrates, a
heresiarch who denied the doctrine of three persons in one God, was
bishop of Antioch, under the sway of Zenobia, but deposed on her defeat
by Aurelian in 272.
PAULDING, American writer, born in New York State; author of
"History of John Bull and Brother Jonathan," and the novels "The
Dutchman's Fireside" and "Westward Ho" (1779-1860).
PAULI, REINHOLD, German historian of England, born in Berlin;
studied much in England, and became professor of History at Goettingen;
wrote "Life of King Alfred," "History of England from the Accession of
Henry II. to the Death of Henry VII.," "Pictures of Old England," and
"Simon de Montfort" (1823-1882).
PAULICIANS, a heretical sect founded by Constantine of Mananalis
about A.D. 660 in Armenia, and persisting in spite of severe
persecution, were transferred to Thrace in 970, where remnants were found
as late as the 13th century; they held that an evil spirit was the
creator and god of this world, and that God was the ruler of the next;
they refused to ascribe divinity to Christ, to worship Mary, to reverence
the cross, or observe the sacraments of Baptism and Eucharist; their name
was derived from the special regard in which they held the writings of
St. Paul, from which they professed to derive their tenets; they were
charged with Manichaeism, but they indignantly repudiated the imputation.
PAULINE, Browning's first poem, written at 19 and published at 21,
"breathless, intense, melodramatic," says Professor Saintsbury,
"eschewing incident, but delighting in analysis, which was to be one of
the poet's points throughout, and ultimately to prevail over the others."
PAULINUS, the first archbishop of York, sent in company with
Augustin from Rome by Gregory to Britain in 601: laboured partly in Kent
and partly in Northumbria, and persuaded Edwin of Northumbria to embrace
Christianity in 629; _d_. 644.
PAULUS, HEINRICH, one of the founders of German rationalism, born
near Stuttgart; held in succession sundry professorships; denied the
miraculous in the Scripture history, and invented ingenious rational
explanations, now out of date (1761-1851).
PAUSANIAS, a famous Spartan general, the grandson of Leonidas, who,
as commander-in-chief of the Greeks, overthrew the Persian army under
Mardonius at Plataea in 479, but who, elated by this and other successes,
aimed at the sovereignty of Greece by alliance with Xerxes, and being
discovered, took refuge in a temple at Athens, where he was blockaded and
starved to death in 477 B.C., his mother throwing the first stone of the
pile that was cast up to bar his exit.
PAUSANIAS, a Greek traveller and topographer, lived during the
reigns of Antoninus Pius and M. Aurelius; wrote an "Itinerary of Greece"
in 10 books, the fruit of his own peregrinations, full of descriptions of
great value both to the historian and the antiquary.
PAVIA (30), on the Ticino, in Lombardy, is an imposing "city of a
hundred towers," with little industry or commerce; in its unfinished
cathedral St. Augustine was buried; San Michele, where the early kings of
Italy were crowned, dates from the 7th century; the University was
founded by Charlemagne, and has now attached to it colleges for poor
students, a library, museum, botanic garden, and school of art; stormed
by Napoleon in 1796, Pavia was in Austrian possession from 1814 till its
inclusion in the kingdom of Italy 1859.
PAXTON, SIR JOSEPH, architect of the Crystal Palace, born in
Bedfordshire, was originally a gardener in the service of the Duke of
Devonshire, and promoted to the charge of the duke's gardens at
Chatsworth, where he displayed the architectural ability in the
construction of large glass conservatories which developed itself in the
construction of the Great Exhibition of 1851, for which he received the
honour of knighthood (1803-1865).
PAYN, JAMES, English novelist, born at Cheltenham; edited
_Chambers's Journal_ and _Cornhill Magazine_; his novels were numerous
and of average quality, "Lost Sir Massingberd" and "By Proxy" among the
most successful (1830-1899).
PAYNE, JOHN, actor and playwright, born in New York; resided in
London from 1813 to 1832; most of his days a stranger in a strange land,
immortalised himself as the author of "Home, Sweet Home"; only his
remains buried at home 30 years after his death at Tunis (1792-1852).
PEABODY, GEORGE, philanthropist, born at Danvers, now Peabody, in
Massachusetts, U.S.; made a large fortune as a dry-goods merchant in
Baltimore and as a stockbroker as well in London; gave away for
benevolent purposes in his lifetime a million and a half of money, and
left to his relatives one million more; died in London; his body was laid
beside his mother's at South Danvers, U.S. (1795-1869).
PEACE SOCIETY, a society founded in 1816 for the promotion of
permanent and universal peace; advocates a gradual, proportionate, and
simultaneous disarmament of all nations and the principle of arbitration.
PEACOCK, THOMAS LOVE, English novelist, born at Weymouth; was pretty
much a self-taught scholar, and no mean one, as his literary activity
over half a century abundantly showed; held a post in the India House,
his predecessor being James Mill and his successor John Stuart Mill; was
an intimate friend of Shelley and the father-in-law of George Meredith;
he made his first literary appearance as a poet in two small volumes of
poems, and his first novel was "Headlong Hall" as his latest was "Gryll
Grange," all of them written in a vein of conventional satire, and more
conspicuous for wit than humour; Thackeray owed not a little to him,
little as the generality did, he being "too learned for a shallow age"
PEARSON, JOHN, English prelate, born in Norfolk; held a succession
of preferments in the Church, and in the end the bishopric of Chester,
author of a very learned work "Exposition of the Creed," of which Bentley
said, "its very dross is gold" (1612-1686).
PEASANT WAR or BAUERNKRIEG, revolt of the peasantry in the S.
and W. of Germany against the oppression and cruelty of the nobles and
clergy which broke out at different times from 1500 to 1525, and which,
resulting in their defeat, rendered their lot harder than before. The
cause of the Reformation, held answerable for the movement, suffered
damage as well, but indeed the excesses of the insurgents were calculated
to provoke the retribution that was meted out to them.
PECHILI, GULF OF, a great land-locked bay opening in the NW. of the
Yellow Sea, receives the waters of the Hoang-ho, and on opposite tongues
of land at the mouth of it stand Port Arthur and Wei-hai-Wei.
PECKSNIFF, a pronounced hypocrite in Dickens's "Martin Chuzzlewit,"
and who lies and cants whether he is drunk or sober.
PECOCK, REGINALD, bishop in succession of St. Asaph and Chichester,
born in Wales; the author, among other works, of the "Repressor of Over
Much Blaming of the Clergy" and the "Book of Faith"; he wrote on behalf
of the Church against Lollards, but he offended Churchmen as well as the
latter--Churchmen because he agreed with the Lollards in regard to the
Bible as the rule of faith, and the Lollards because he appealed to
reason as the interpreter of the Bible; he displeased the clergy also by
his adoption in theological debate of the mother-tongue, but figures
since in literature as the first English theologian; he was accused of
treating authority with disrespect as well as setting up reason above
revelation, obliged to recant in a most humiliating manner, deprived of
his bishopric, and condemned to solitary confinement, away from his
books, all to a few, and denied the use of writing materials (1390-1460).
PEDRO I., emperor of Brazil, second son of John VI. of Portugal;
reigned from 1822 to 1831, when he abdicated in favour of his son
PEDRO II., emperor of Brazil, son of preceding, ascended the throne
in 1831; reigned peacefully till 1889, when a sudden revolution obliged
him to resign, and retire to Europe and take up his abode in France,
where he indulged his taste for science and learning (1825-1891).
PEEBLES, PETER, a character in Scott's "Redgauntlet."
PEEBLESSHIRE (19), a lowland Scottish county bordered by Lanark,
Midlothian, Selkirk, and Dumfries; comprises hilly pastoral land watered
by the upper Tweed; Windlestraw, Hartfell, and Broadlaw are the highest
of its grassy hills; among the lesser rivers are the Leithen and Quair;
some crops are grown, but most of the land is devoted to sheep grazing; a
little coal is found in the N.; the only towns are Innerleithen (3) and
PEEBLES (5), the county town, engaged in Tweed manufacture. The
county is known also by the name of Tweeddale; its representation in
Parliament is united with that of Selkirk.
PEEL (4), a fishing town and holiday resort on the W. coast of the
Isle of Man, 12 m. NW. of Douglas; it is noted for its castle.
PEEL, SIR ROBERT, English statesman, born near Bury, Lancashire, the
son of a wealthy cotton-spinner, to whose large fortune and baronetcy he
succeeded; graduated at Oxford in 1808, and next year entered Parliament
as Tory member for Cashel; he afterwards sat for his own university, and
after 1832 for Tamworth; he was appointed Under-Secretary for the
Colonies in 1811. and from 1812 till 1818 was Secretary for Ireland; in
1822 he became Home Secretary, but seceded from the Government when
Canning became Premier in 1827; the question at issue was Catholic
Emancipation, and it was characteristic of Peel that in the Government
which succeeded Canning's he had the courage, having changed his
opinions, to introduce the measure which removed the disabilities;
opposed to Reform he became leader of the Conservative opposition in the
Parliament of 1833; called to the Premiership in 1834 he could not
maintain his administration, and it was not till 1841 that the victory of
protection over the free-trade agitation gave him a stable majority in
the Commons; his first measure was a modification of the corn laws on
protectionist principles, 1842; then followed the 7d. income-tax and
general tariff revision; in 1845 the agitation for free-trade in corn was
brought to a crisis by the Irish potato famine; Peel yielded, and next
year carried the final repeal of the corn laws; his "conversion" split
the Tory party and he retired from office, becoming a supporter of the
Whig ministry in its economical and ecclesiastical policy; he was a
master of finance, an easy speaker, slow to form but conscientious to act
upon his convictions, a man of the highest character; his death was the
result of a fall from horseback (1788-1850).
PEEL TOWERS, the name given to fortresses of the moss-troopers on
the Scottish border.
PEELE, GEORGE, dramatist, of the Elizabethan period, born in London;
author of "Arraignment of Paris" and "David and Bathsabe," full of
passages of poetic beauty; has been charged with having led the life of a
debauchee and to have died of a disease brought on by his profligacy, but
it is now believed he has been maligned (1548-1597).
PEEPING TOM OF COVENTRY. See GODIVA.
PEERS, THE TWELVE, the famous warriors or paladins at the court of
Charlemagne, so called from their equality in prowess and honour.
PEGASUS, the winged horse, begotten of Poseidon, who sprung from the
body of Medusa when Perseus swooped off her head, and who with a stroke
of his hoof broke open the spring of Hippocrene on Mount Helicon, and
mounted on whom Bellerophon slew the Chimera, and by means of which he
hoped, if he had not been thrown, to ascend to heaven, as Pegasus did
alone, becoming thereafter a constellation in the sky; this is the winged
horse upon whose back poets, to the like disappointment, hope to scale
the empyrean, who have not, like Bellerophon, first distinguished
themselves by slaying Chimeras.
PEGU (6), a town of Lower Burma, in the province and on the river of
the same name, 46 m. NE. of Rangoon, is a very ancient city; the province
(1,162) is a rice-growing country, with great teak forests on the
PEI-HO, a river of North China, 350 miles long; formed by the
junction of four other rivers, on the chief of which stands Pekin; has a
short navigable course south-eastward to the Gulf of Pechili, where it is
defended by the forts of Taku.
PEIRCE, BENJAMIN, American mathematician and astronomer, born in
Massachusetts, U.S.; wrote on the discovery of Neptune and Saturn's
rings, as well as a number of mathematical text-books (1809-1880).
PEISHWAH, the name of the overlord or chief minister of Mahratta
chiefs in their wars with the Mohammedans, who had his head-quarters at
Poonah, the last to hold office putting himself under British protection,
and surrendering his territory; nominated as his successor Nana Sahib,
who became the chief instigator of the Mutiny of 1857, on account, it is
believed, of the refusal of the British Government to continue to him the
pension of his predecessor who had adopted him.
PEKIN (1,000), the capital of China, on a sandy plain in the basin
of the Pei-ho, is divided into two portions, each separately walled, the
northern or Manchu city and the southern or Chinese. The former contains
the Purple Forbidden city, in which are the Imperial palaces; surrounding
it is the August city, in which are a colossal copper Buddha and the
Temple of Great Happiness. Outside this are the government offices,
foreign legations, the temple of Confucius, a great Buddhist monastery, a
Roman Catholic cathedral, and Christian mission stations. The Chinese
city has many temples, mission stations, schools, and hospitals; but it
is sparsely populated, houses are poor, and streets unpaved. Pekin has
railway communication with Hankow, and is connected with other cities and
with Russia by telegraph. Its trade and industry are inconsiderable. It
is one of the oldest cities in the world. It was Kubla Khan's capital,
and has been the metropolis of the empire since 1421.
PELAGIUS, a celebrated heresiarch of the 5th century, born in
Britain or Brittany; denied original sin and the orthodox doctrine of
divine grace as the originating and sustaining power in redemption, a
heresy for which he suffered banishment from Rome in 418 at the hands of
the Church. A modification of this theory went under the name of
Semi-Pelagianism, which ascribes only the first step in conversion to
free-will, and the subsequent sanctification of the soul to God's grace.
PELASGI, a people who in prehistoric times occupied Greece, the
Archipelago, the shores of Asia Minor, and great part of Italy, and who
were subdued, and more or less reduced to servitude, by the Hellenes, and
supplanted by them. They appear to have been, so far as we find them, an
agricultural people, settled and not roving about, and to have had
strongholds enclosed in cyclopean walls, that is, walls consisting of
huge boulders unconnected with cement.
PELEUS, the son of AEacus, the husband of Thetis, the father of
Achilles, and one of the Argonauts, after whom Achilles is named Pelides,
i. e. Peleus' boy.
PELEW ISLANDS (10), twenty-six in number, of coral formation, and
surrounded by reefs; are in the extreme W. of the Caroline Archipelago in
the North Pacific, and SE. of the Philippines. They belong to Spain; are
small but fertile, and have a healthy climate. The natives are Malays,
and though gentle lead a savage life.
PELHAM, a fashionable novel by Bulwer Lytton, severely satirised by
Carlyle in "Sartor" in the chapter on "Dandies" as the elect of books of
PELIAS, king of Iolchus, and son of Poseidon, was cut to pieces by
his own daughters, which were thrown by them into a boiling caldron in
the faith of the promise of Medea, that he might thereby be restored to
them young again. It was he who, to get rid of Jason, sent him in quest
of the golden fleece in the hope that he might perish in the attempt.
PELICAN, a bird, the effigy of which was used in the Middle Ages to
symbolise charity; generally represented as wounding its breast to feed
its young with its own blood, and which became the image of the Christ
who shed His blood for His people.
PELIDES, a patronymic of Achilles, as the son of Peleus.
PELION, a range, or the highest of a range, of mountains in the E.
of Thessaly, upon which, according to Greek fables, the Titans hoisted up
Mount Ossa in order to scale heaven and dethrone Zeus, a strenuous
enterprise which did not succeed, and the symbol of all such.
PELISSIER, a French marshal, born near Rouen; was made Duc de
Malakoff for storming the Malakoff tower, which led to the fall of
Sebastopol in 1855; rose from the ranks to be Governor-General of
Algeria, the office he held when he died (1794-1864).
PELLA, the capital of Macedonia, and the birthplace of Alexander the
Great, stood on a hill amid the marches NW. of Thessalonica.
PELLEGRINI, CARLO, a caricaturist, born in Capua; came to London;
was distinguished for the inimitable drollery of his cartoons
PELLICO, SILVIO, Italian poet and patriot, born in Piedmont;
suffered a fifteen years' imprisonment in the Spielberg at Bruenn for his
patriotism, from which he was liberated in 1830; he wrote an account of
his life in prison, which commanded attention all over Europe, both for
the subject-matter of it and the fascination of the style (1789-1854).
PELLISSON, PAUL, a man of letters and a wit of the age of Louis
XIV.; spent some five years in the Bastille, but after his release was
appointed historiographer-royal; in his captivity he made a companion of
a spider, who was accustomed to eat out of his hand (1624-1693).
PELOPIDAS, a Theban general, and leader of the "sacred band"; the
friend of Epaminondas; contributed to the expulsion (379 B.C.) of the
Spartans from the citadel of Thebes, of which they had taken possession
in 380, after which he was elected to the chief magistracy; gained a
victory over Alexander of Pherae the tyrant of Thessaly, but lost his life
in 362 while too eagerly pursuing the foe.
PELOPONNESIAN WAR, a war of thirty years' duration (431-404 B.C.)
between Athens and Sparta, which ended in the supremacy of the latter,
till the latter was overthrown at Leuctra by the Thebans under
Epaminondas in 371 B.C. This war is the subject of the history of
PELOPONNESUS (lit. the Isle of Pelops), the ancient name of the
Morea of Greece, the chief cities of which were Corinth, Argos, and
Sparta; it was connected with the rest of Greece by the Isthmus of
PELOPS, in the Greek mythology the grandson of Zeus and son of
Tantalus, who was slain by his father and served up by him at a banquet
he gave the gods to test their omniscience, but of the shoulder of which
only Demeter in a fit of abstraction partook, whereupon the gods ordered
the body to be thrown into a boiling caldron, from which Pelops was drawn
out alive, with the shoulder replaced by one of ivory.
PEMBROKESHIRE (89), a maritime county, the farthest W. in Wales; is
washed by St. George's Channel except on the E., where it borders on
Cardigan and Carmarthen. It is a county of low hills, with much indented
coast-line. Milford Haven, in the S., is one of the best harbours in the
world. The climate is humid; two-thirds of the soil is under pasture;
coal, iron, lead, and slate are found. ST. DAVID'S is a cathedral
city; the county town is PEMBROKE (18) on Milford Haven, and near it
is the fortified dockyard and arsenal PEMBROKE DOCK (10).
PEMMICAN, a food for long voyages, particularly in Arctic
expeditions, consisting of lean meat or beef without fat dried, pounded,
and pressed into cakes. The use of it is now suppressed.
PENANCE, in the Roman Catholic Church an expression of penitence as
well as the sacrament of absolution; also the suffering to which a
penitent voluntarily subjects himself, according to the schoolmen, as an
expression of his penitence, and in punishment of his sin; the three
steps of penitence were contrition, confession, and satisfaction.
PENANG or PRINCE OF WALES ISLANDS (91), a small fertile island
near the northern opening of the Straits of Malacca, off the Malay coast,
and 360 m. NW. of Singapore; is one of the British Straits Settlements,
of value strategically; it is hilly, and covered with vegetation; the
population are half Chinese, a fourth of them Malays; figs, spices, and
tobacco are exported. The capital is GEORGETOWN (25), on the island.
PROVINCE WELLESLEY (97), on the mainland, belongs to the same
settlement; it exports tapioca and sugar. The DINDINGS (2), 80 m.
S., are another dependency.
PENATES, the name given by the Romans to their household deities,
individually and unitedly, in honour of whom a fire, in charge of the
vestal virgins, was kept permanently burning.
PENDA, a Mercian king of the 7th century, who headed a reactionary
movement of heathenism against the domination of Christianity in England,
and for a time seemed to carry all before him, but Christianity, under
the preaching of the monks, had gained too deep a hold, particularly in
Northumbria, and he was overpowered in 665 in one final struggle and
PENDENNIS, the name of a novel by Thackeray, from the name of the
hero, and published in 1849-50 in succession to "Vanity Fair."
PENDLETON, a NW. suburb of Manchester, in the direction of Bolton,
with extensive manufactures and collieries.
PENDRAGON, a title bestowed on kings by the ancient Britons, and
especially on the chiefs among them chosen by election, so called from
their wearing a dragon on their shields or as a crest in sign of
PENELOPE, the wife of Ulysses, celebrated for her conjugal fidelity
during his twenty years' absence, in the later half of which an army of
suitors pled for her hand, pleading that her husband would never return;
but she put them all off by a promise of marriage as soon as she finished
a web (called after Penelope's web) she was weaving, which she wove by
day and undid at night, till their importunities took a violent form,
when her husband arrived and delivered her.
PENINSULAR STATE, the State of Florida, from its shape.
PENINSULAR WAR, a war carried on in Spain and Portugal during the
years 1808 and 1814, between the French on the one hand and the Spanish,
Portuguese, and British, chiefly under Wellington, on the other, and
which was ended by the victory of the latter over the former at Toulouse
just after Napoleon's abdication.
PENITENTIAL PSALMS or PSALMS OF CONFESSION, is a name given
from very early times to Psalms vi., xxxii., xxxviii., li., cii., cxxx.,
which are specially expressive of sorrow for sin. The name belonged
originally to the fifty-first Psalm, which was recited at the close of
daily morning service in the primitive Church.
PENITENTS, ORDER OF, a religious order established in 1272 for the
reception to the Church of reformed courtesans.
PENN, WILLIAM, founder of Pennsylvania, the son of an admiral, born
in London; was converted to Quakerism while a student at Oxford, and for
a fanatical attack on certain fellow-students expelled the University;
his father sent him to travel in France, and afterwards placed him in
charge of his Irish estates; his religious views occasioned several
disputes with his father, and ultimately brought him into conflict with
the Government; he spent several periods of imprisonment writing books in
defence of religious liberty, among them "The Great Cause of Liberty of
Conscience" (1671); then travelled in Holland and Germany propagating his
views; his father's death brought him a fortune and a claim upon the
crown which he commuted for a grant of land in North America, where he
founded (1682) the colony of Pennsylvania--the prefix Penn, by command of
Charles II. in honour of the admiral; here he established a refuge for
all persecuted religionists, and laying out Philadelphia as the capital,
governed his colony wisely and generously for two years; he returned to
England, where his friendship with James II. brought many advantages to
the Quakers, but laid him under harassing and undeserved prosecutions for
treason in the succeeding reign; a second visit to his colony (1699-1701)
gave it much useful legislation; on his return his agent practically
ruined him, and he was a prisoner in the Fleet in 1708; the closing years
of his life were clouded by mental decay (1644-1718).
PENNANT, THOMAS, traveller and naturalist, born near Holywell,
Flintshire; studied at Oxford, but took no degree; in 1746 he made a tour
of Cornwall; among his subsequent journeys, of which he published
accounts, were tours in Ireland (1754), the Continent (1764), Scotland
(1769 and 1772), and Wales; he wrote several works on zoological
subjects, and published an amusing "Literary Life of the late Thomas
Pennant, Esq., by Himself," 1793 (1726-1798).
PENNSYLVANIA (5,258), most populous but one of the American States,
lies N. of Mason and Dixon's Line, separated by New Jersey, on the E. by
the Delaware River, with Ohio on the W., New York on the N., and Lake
Erie at the NW. corner. The country is hilly, being traversed by the Blue
Mountains and the Alleghany ranges, with many fertile valleys between the
chains, extensive forests, and much picturesque scenery. The Cumberland
Valley in the W. is one of the best farming lands in New England. The
Alleghany River in the W. and the two branches of the Susquehanna in the
centre water the State. Pennsylvania is the greatest mining State in the
Union; its iron-mines and petroleum-wells supply half the iron and most
of the oil used in the country; its bituminous coal-beds in the W. are
extremely rich, and the anthracite deposits of the E. are unrivalled; in
manufactures, too, it ranks second among the States; these are very
varied, the most valuable being iron, steel, and shipbuilding. Founded by
Swedes, it passed to English settlers in 1664; the first charter was
granted to William Penn in 1681. In the Revolution it took a prominent
part, and was among the first States of the Union. Education is well
advanced; there are 20 State colleges. The mining population includes
many Irish, Hungarian, and Italian immigrants, among whom riots are
frequent. Of the agriculturists many are of Dutch descent, and about two
millions still speak a Low German _patois_ known as Pennsylvanian Dutch.
HARRISBURG (39) is the capital; the metropolis is PHILADELPHIA
(1,047), the second largest city in the country; while PITTSBURG
(239), ALLEGHANY (105), SCRANTON (75), and READING (59)
are among the many large towns.
PENNY, originally a silver coin, weighed in the 7th century 1/240-th
of a Saxon pound, but decreased in weight till in Elizabeth's time it was
1/63 of an ounce troy. It was at first indented with a cross so as to be
broken for halfpennies and farthings, but silver coins of these
denominations were coined by Edward I. Edward VI. stopped the farthings,
and the halfpence were stopped in the Commonwealth. Copper coinage was
established in 1672. The present coins were issued first in 1860. They
are half the size of their predecessors, and intrinsically worth
one-seventh of their nominal value.
PENNY WEDDING, a wedding at which the guests pay part of the charges
of the festival.
PENRITH (9), a market town of Cumberland, and tourist centre for the
English lakes; contains a very old church and school, and ruins of a
picturesque castle. Brewing, iron-founding, and timber-sawing are its
PENRYN (3), a Cornish market town at the head of Falmouth harbour;
has manufactures of paper, woollen cloth, and gunpowder. It has
considerable fishing industry, and ships the Penryn granite quarried
PENSEROSO, II, a famous Italian poem by Milton, written in 1633.
PENSIONARY, THE GRAND, a State functionary of Holland, whose office,
abolished in 1795, it was to superintend State interests, register
decrees, negotiate with other countries, and take charge of the revenues,
PENTACLE. See PENTAGRAM.
PENTAGRAM, a symbol presumed to possess a magical influence,
particularly to charm away evil spirits, formed by placing the figure of
an equilateral triangle athwart another.
PENTAMERONE, a collection of tales in the Neapolitan dialect,
supposed to be told during five days by ten old women to a
pseudo-princess, and published at Naples 1637; is of great value to
students of folk-lore.
PENTATEUCH, the name given by Origen to the first five books of the
Bible, which the Jews call the Law or Five-fifths of the Law, the
composition of which has of late years been subjected to keen critical
investigation, and the whole ascribed to documents of different dates and
diverse authorship, to the rejection of the old traditional hypothesis
that it was the work of Moses, first called in question by Spinoza, and
shown to be untenable by JEAN ASTRUC (q. v.).
PENTECOST (i. e. fiftieth), a great feast of the Jews, so called
as held on the fiftieth day after the second of the Passover. It is
called also the Feast of Harvest, or Weeks of First-Fruits, the Passover
feast being connected with the commencement and this with the conclusion
of harvest. It is regarded by the Jews as commemorative of the giving of
the law on Mount Sinai, and will never cease to be associated in the
Christian memory with the great awakening from which dates the first
birth of the Christian consciousness in the Christian Church, the moment
when the disciples of Christ first realised in common that their Master
was not dead but alive, and nearer to them than He had been when present
in the flesh.
PENTELICUS, a range of mountains in Attica between Athens and
Marathon, famous for its quarries of fine white marble.
PENTHESILEA, the daughter of Ares and the queen of the Amazons; on
the death of Hector she came to the assistance of the Trojans, but was
slain by Achilles, who mourned over her when dying on account of her
beauty, her youth, and her courage.
PENTHEUS, a king of Thebes, opposed to the introduction of the
Bacchus worship into his kingdom, was driven mad by the god, and torn in
pieces by his mother and sisters, who, under the Bacchic frenzy, mistook
him for a wild beast.
PENTHIEVRE, DUC DE, the father-in-law of Philippe Egalite, and the
protector of Florian (1725-1793).
PENTLAND FIRTH is the strait between the Orkneys and the Scottish
mainland connecting the North Sea with the Atlantic, 12 m. long by 6
broad, and swept by a rapid current very dangerous to navigation; 5000
vessels traverse it annually.
PENTONVILLE, a populous district of London, in the parishes of St
James's, Clerkenwell, and Islington, where is the Pentonville Model
Prison, built in 1840-42 on the radiating principle to accommodate 520
PENUMBRA, the name given to the partial shadow on the rim of the
total shadow of an eclipse, also to the margin of the light and shade of
PENZANCE (14), the largest town in Cornwall, most westerly borough
in England, and terminus of the Great Western Railway, is beautifully
situated on the rocky W. shore of Mount's Bay; its public buildings
chiefly of granite. It has a fine harbour and docks, and is the centre of
the mackerel and pilchard fishing industries. Its mild climate makes it a
PEOPLE'S PALACE, Mile End Road, London, is an institution for the
recreation and instruction of the East-end population, opened by the
Queen in May 1887, and owing its origin to the impulse given by Sir W.
Besant's "All Sorts and Conditions of Men." In it are a library, art
galleries, concert and reading rooms, baths, gymnasium, &c., and
technical classes and handicraft schools are held; these are attended by
5000 pupils, and the institution is visited by a million and a quarter
PEPIN THE SHORT, king of the Franks, was the son of Charles Martel,
and at first shared with his brother Carloman the viceroyalty of the
kingdom under Hilderik III.; in 747 Carloman retired to a monastery, and
five years later Pepin deposed Hilderik and ascended the throne; his
kingdom embraced the valleys of the Rhine, the Rhone, and the Seine; he
united his interests with those of the Church, and in 756 entered Italy
to rescue the Pope from the threatened domination of the Lombards;
reduced Aistulf of Lombardy to vassalage, assumed the title of Patrician
of Rome, and by bestowing on Pope Stephen III. the "Exarchate" of the
Roman empire, laid the foundation of papal temporal sovereignty, five
cities being placed under his jurisdiction; his subsequent exploits
included the conquest of the Loire Valley and the expulsion of the Moors
from France; his fame was overshadowed by that of his son Charlemagne;
PEPSIN, an essential constituent of the gastric juice extracted from
the stomach of the calf, sheep, and pig, and used in medicine to supply
any defect of it in the stomach of a patient.
PEPYS, SAMUEL, author of a famous Diary, a scholarly man and
respected as connected with different grades of society; held a clerkship
in the Admiralty, and finally the secretaryship; kept a diary of events
from 1660 to 1669, which remained in MS. till 1826, when it was published
in part by Lord Braybrooke, and is of interest for the insight it gives
into the manners of the time and the character of the author; the latest
and completest edition of this Diary is that of H. B. Wheatley, published
in 1893-96, in eight vols. (1633-1703).
PERA, a suburb of Constantinople, on the N. side of the Golden Horn,
and the foreign diplomatic quarter.
PERAEA, "the country beyond," designated that part of Palestine
beyond or E. of the Jordan.
PERCEVAL, a hero of the legends of chivalry, famed for his
adventures in quest of the Holy Graal.
PERCEVAL, SPENCER, English statesman, born in London, son of the
Earl of Egmont; bred to the bar; entered Parliament as a supporter of
Pitt, and held a succession of posts under different administrations,
attaining the Premiership, which he held from 1800 to 1812, on the 11th
of May, of which year he was shot dead by a madman of the name of
Bellingham in the lobby of the House; he was devoted to the throne, and a
man of upright character but narrow sympathies (1762-1812).
PERCIVAL, JAMES GATES, American poet and geologist, born at
Kensington, Connecticut; took his degree at Yale in 1815, and qualified
as a medical practitioner; he was for a few months professor of Chemistry
at West Point, but retired and gave himself to literature and geology;
his scientific works are valuable; "Prometheus and Clio" appeared in
1822, "Dream of a Day" in 1843; he died at Hazel Green, Wisconsin
PERCY, a noble English family of Norman origin, the founder of which
accompanied the Conqueror, and was rewarded with grants of land for his
services; a successor of whom in the female line, Henry, the father of
the famous Hotspur, was created Duke of Northumberland in 1377.
PERCY, THOMAS, English prelate and antiquary, born at Bridgenorth,
Shropshire, the son of a grocer; devoted himself to the collection of old
ballads, and published in 1765 "Reliques of Ancient English Poetry"; he
published also ballads of his own, among them "The Hermit of Warkworth,"
and was the author of "O Nannie, wilt thou gang wi' me?" he associated
with Johnson, Burke, and other notables of the period, and was a member
of Dr. Johnson's Literary Club; became bishop of Dromore in 1782, where
he was held in affectionate regard; was blind for some years before he
PERDICCAS, a favourite general of Alexander the Great, who, when on
his deathbed, took his signet ring off his finger and gave it to him; he
became an object of distrust after Alexander's death, and was
assassinated in Egypt.
PEREIRA, JONATHAN, pharmacologist, born in London; author of the
"Elements of Materia Medica," a standard work; was examiner on the
subject in London University (1804-1853).
PEREKOP, ISTHMUS OF, connects the Crimea with the S. of Russia; is
pierced by a ship-canal.
PEREZ, ANTONIO, Spanish statesman, and minister of Philippe II.,
born in Aragon; was the tool of the king in the murder of Escoveda, the
confidant of John of Austria; was convicted of betraying State secrets
and imprisoned, but escaped; being in possession of royal secrets, which
he published, Philippe tried every means to arrest him, but Perez evaded
capture, and found refuge in France, where he died in poverty
PERFECTIONISM, the doctrine that moral perfection is by divine grace
attainable in the present life.
PERFECTIONISTS, an American sect or society founded by John Humphrey
Noyes in 1848 at Oneida, New York State, on Communistic principles, but
owning no law save that of the Spirit, and subject to no criticism but
the judgment they freely passed on one another, a system which they were
obliged to modify in 1880 so far as to recognise the rights of matrimony
and the family, and to adopt the principle of a joint-stock limited
liability company, on which lines the community is proving a prosperous
PERGAMOS, the citadel of Troy, a name frequently given by the poets
to the city itself.
PERGAMOS, an ancient city of Mysia, in Asia Minor; founded by a
colony of Greek emigrants in 3rd century B.C., and eventually the centre
of a province of the name, which was subject for a time to Macedonia, but
threw off the yoke and became independent, till it became a Roman
province by bequest on the part of Attalus III. in 133 B.C. The city
possessed a library second only to that of Alexandria, contained one of
the seven churches mentioned in the Revelation, and gave its name to
parchment, alleged to have been invented there.
PERI, in the Eastern mythology a fairy being of surpassing beauty,
begotten of fallen spirits, and excluded from Paradise, but represented
as leading a life of pleasure and endowed with immortality; there were
male Peris as well as female, and they were intermediate between angels
PERIANDER, the tyrant of Corinth from 625 to 585 B.C., was one of
the seven sages of Greece, and a patron of literature and the arts; Arion
and Anacharsis lived at his Court.
PERICLES, the great Athenian statesman, born in Athens, of noble
parentage; was a devoted disciple of Anaxagoras; entered public life 467
B.C. as a democrat, and soon became head of the democratic party, to the
increase of the power of the citizens and annihilation of the domination
of the oligarchy centred in the Areopagus; hostile to territorial
aggrandisement, he sought, as his chief ambition, the unification of
Greece in one grand confederacy, but was defeated in this noble aim by
the jealousy of Sparta; he put down all rivalry, however, in Athens
itself, and established himself as absolute ruler with the consent of the
citizens, reforming the laws, adorning the city, and encouraging
literature and the arts, masters, many wise in the one and skilful in the
other, he had at his disposal, such as few or none of the cities of the
world had ever before or have had since; the resulting prosperity did but
enhance the envy of the other States, Sparta in particular, and two years
before he died the spirit of hostility took shape in the outbreak of the
PELOPONNESIAN WAR (q. v.); he had surrounded the city with
walls, and his policy was to defend it from within them rather than face
the enemy in the field, but it proved fatal, for it tended to damp rather
than quicken the ardour of the citizens, and to add to this a plague
broke out among them in 430 B.C., which cut down the most valiant of
their number, and he himself lay down to die the year after; he was a
high-souled, nobly-bred man, great in all he thought and did, and he
gathered around him nearly all the noble-minded and noble-hearted men of
his time to adorn his reign and make Athens the envy of the world; _d_.
PERIER, CASIMIR, a French banker and politician, born at Grenoble;
took part in the Revolution of 1830, became Minister of the Interior in
1831; suppressed the insurrections at Paris and Lyons; died of cholera
PERIGEE, the point in the orbit of the moon or a planet nearest the
PERIGORD, an ancient territory of France, S. of Guienne, famous for
its truffles, of which PERIGUEUX (q. v.) was the capital; united
to the Crown of France by Henry IV. in 1589, it is now part of the
department of Dordogne and part of Lot-et-Garonne.
PERIGUEUX (31), chief town of the department of Dordogne, France, on
the Isle, 95 m. by rail NE. of Bordeaux, is a narrow irregular town with
a cathedral after St. Mark's in Venice, museum of antiquities, and
library; iron and woollens are the industries; truffles and truffle pies
PERIHELION, the point on the orbit of a planet or comet nearest the
PERIM, a small barren, crescent-shaped island at the mouth of the
Red Sea, belonging to Britain, and used as a coaling-station.
PERIPATETIC PHILOSOPHY, the name given to the philosophy of
Aristotle, from his habit of walking about with his disciples as he
philosophised in the shady walks of the Lyceum.
PERNAMBUCO (130), a seaport in N. Brazil, consists of three portions
connected by bridges: Recife, on a peninsula, the business quarter; San
Antonio, the modern quarter, on an intermediate island; and Bon Vista, on
the mainland; manufactures cotton and tobacco, and has shipbuilding
yards; the trade chiefly with England, the United States, and France; it
is the capital of a province (1,100) of the name, producing sugar and
PERONELLA, in fairy legend a pretty country lass who exchanges
places with an old wizened queen, and receives the homage due to royalty,
but gladly takes back her rags and beauty.
PEROWNE, STEWART, Bishop of Worcester, born at Burdwan, of Huguenot
extraction, educated at Cambridge; became a Fellow of Corpus Christi;
held several academic and ecclesiastical appointments; an eminent Hebrew
scholar and exegete; his chief work a commentary on the Psalms; _b_.
PERPIGNAN (28), a town on the Tet, 7 m. from the sea; a fortress in
the French department of Pyrenees-Orientales; has a cathedral of the 14th
century and a bourse in Moorish-Gothic, and manufactures wine and brandy;
belonged originally to Aragon; was taken by France in 1475, and retaken,
after restoration to Spain, in 1642, since which time it has belonged to
PERRAULT, CHARLES, French man of letters, born in Paris; bred to the
bar; distinguished as the author of inimitable fairy tales, which have
immortalised his name, as "Puss in Boots," "Cinderella," "Bluebeard,"
&c., as also "Parallel des Anciens et des Modernes," in which his aim was
to show--an ill-informed attempt--that the ancients were inferior in
everything to the moderns (1628-1703).
PERSECUTIONS OF THE CHURCH, by which are meant those at the hands of
Imperial Rome, are usually reckoned 10 in number, viz., those under Nero
in 64, Domitian 95, Trajan 107, Hadrian 125, Marcus Aurelius 165, Severus
202, Maximinus 235, Decius 249, Valerianus 257, and Diocletian 303;
besides these there were others quite as deadly within the Church itself
on the part of orthodox against heterodox, or Catholic against
Protestant, and Established against Nonconformist.
PERSEPHONE, in the Greek mythology the daughter of Zeus and Demeter,
the Proserpine of the Romans. See PROSERPINE.
PERSEPOLIS, the ancient capital of Persia, represented now by its
ruins, which stand 25 m. from the NW. shores of Lake Niris, on the banks
of the Murghab River, though in its palmy days it was described as "the
Glory of the East."
PERSEUS, in the Greek mythology the son of Zeus and Danae, and the
grandson of Acrisius, king of Argos, of whom it was predicted before his
birth that he would kill his grandfather, who at his birth enclosed both
his mother and him in a chest and cast it into the sea, which bore them
to an island where they became slaves of the king, Polydectes, who sought
to marry Danae; failing in his suit, and to compel her to submission, he
ordered Perseus off to fetch him the head of the Medusa; who, aided by
Hermes and Athena, was successful in his mission, cut off the head of the
Medusa with the help of a mirror and sickle, brought it away with him in
a pouch, and after delivering and marrying Andromeda in his return
journey, exposed the head before Polydectes and court at a banquet, which
turned them all into stone, whereupon he gave the Gorgon's head to Athena
to place on her shield, and set out for Argos; Acrisius hearing of his
approach fled, but was afterwards killed accidentally by his grandson,
who in throwing a discus had crushed his foot.
PERSIA (7,000), occupies the tableland 5000 ft. high between the
Persian Gulf and Arabian Sea on the S., the Caspian Sea and Turkestan on
the N., Armenia on the W., and Afghanistan and Beluchistan on the E., and
is a country three times as large as France; lofty mountain ranges
traverse it from NW. to SE. and gird its northern boundary; the highest
peak is Mount Demavend, 18,500 ft., in the Elburz, overlooking the
Caspian. Most of the rivers evaporate inland; only one is navigable, the
Karun, in the SW.; Lake Urumiyah, in the NW., is the largest, a very salt
and shallow sheet of water. The eastern half of the country is largely
desert, where the sand is swept about in clouds by the winds. With little
rain, the climate is intensely hot in summer and cold in winter. Forests
clothe the outer slopes of the mountains, and scanty brushwood the inner
plains. Wheat and barley are grown on higher levels, and cotton, sugar,
and fruits on the lower, all with the help of Irrigation. Agriculture is
the chief industry; there are manufactures of carpets, shawls, and
porcelain. The internal trade is carried on by caravans; foreign trade is
not extensive, and is chiefly in Russian hands; the exports include
opium, carpets, pearls, and turquoises. The capital is Teheran (210), a
narrow, crooked, filthy town, at the southern foot of the Elburz. Tabriz
(180), in the NW., is the emporium of trade. Ispahan (60), Meshed (60),
Barfurush (60), and Shiraz (30) are the other important towns. The
Government is despotic; the emperor is called the Shah. The people are
courteous and refined in manner, witty, and fluent in speech; they are of
Aryan stock and Mohammedan faith. The original empire of Persia was
established by Cyrus 537 B.C. A century later decay set in. Revival
under Parthian and Sassanian dynasties lasted from 138 B.C. till A.D.
639. Persia became then a province of the Arabs. From the 14th century it
fell under Mongol sway, and again in the 16th century under Turkish. The
present dynasty was founded in 1795. The future of the country is in
Russian and British hands.
PERSIAN GULF, a great inland sea lying between Arabia and Persia,
and entered from the Indian Ocean through the Gulf of Oman; is 650 m.
long and from 50 to 250 m. broad. The Arabian coast is low and sandy, the
Persian high. The chief islands are in the W., where also is the Great
Pearl Bank. The only river of importance received is the Shat-el-Arab,
which brings down the waters of the Euphrates and the Tigris.
PERSIAN WARS, wars conducted by Persia in the three expeditions
against Greece, first in 490 B.C. under Darius, and defeated by the
Athenians under Miltiades at Marathon; the second, 480 B.C., under
Xerxes, opposed by Leonidas and his 300 Spartans at Thermopylae and
defeated by the Athenians under Themistocles at Salamis by sea; and the
third, in 479 B.C., under Xerxes, by the Greeks under the Spartan
Pausanius at Plataea.
PERSIANS, a name given to sculptured draped male figures used as
PERSIANS, THE, belonged to the Aryan race, hence Iran, the original
name of their country; they were related rather to the Western than the
Eastern world, and it is from them that continuous history takes its
start; they first recognised an ethereal essence, which they called
Light, as the principle of all good, and man as related to it in such a
way that, by the worship of it, he became assimilated to it himself.
Among them first the individual subject stood face to face with a
universal object, and claimed a kinship with it as the light of life. The
epoch thus created was the emancipation of the human being from dependent
childhood to self-dependent manhood, and it constituted the first epoch
in the self-conscious history, which is the history proper, of the human
race. The idea the Persians formed of the principle of good came far
short of the reality indeed, but they first saw that it was of purely
illuminating quality and universal, and that the destiny of man was to
relate himself to it, to know, worship, and obey it. With the ethereal
principle of good they associated an equally ethereal principle of evil,
and, as they identified the one with light, they identified the other
with darkness. Man they regarded as related to both, and his destiny to
adore the one and disown the other as master. As the light had no portion
in the darkness, and the darkness no portion in the light, the religion
arose which pervades that of the Bible, which requires the children of
the former to separate from those of the latter.
PERSIFLAGE, a French term for a light, quizzing mockery, or
scoffing, specially on serious subjects, out of a cool, callous contempt
PERSIGNY, FIALIN, DUC DE, a French statesman, a supporter all along
of Louis Napoleon, abetting him in all his efforts to attain the throne
of France, from the affair of Strasburg in 1836 to the _coup d'etat_ of
December 1851, and becoming in the end Minister of the Interior under
him; had to leave France at his fall (1806-1872).
PERSIUS, the last king of Macedonia; was conquered by Paulus
AEmilius, and died captive at Rome 167 B.C.
PERSIUS, Roman satirist, born in Etruria, was a pupil and friend of
Cornutus the Stoic; a man much esteemed, who died young, only 28; wrote
six short satires in the purity of a white-souled manhood, of much native
vigour, though not equal to those of Horace and Juvenal, and that have
commanded the regard of all scholars down to the present time; they have
often been translated (34-62).
PERTH (30), the county-town of Perthshire, on the Tay, 22 m. W. of
Dundee: is a beautifully situated town, with fine buildings, the only
old one being the restored St. John's Church. Its industries are dyeing
and ink-making. At Scone, 2 m. distant, the kings of Scotland were
crowned; and the murder of James I., the Gowrie conspiracy, and the
battle of Tippermuir are but a few of its many historical associations.
"The Five Articles of Perth," adopted by a General Assembly held there in
1618, did much to precipitate the conflict between the Royal power and
the Scottish Church; they enjoined kneeling at the Lord's Supper,
observance of Christmas, Good Friday, Easter, and Pentecost,
confirmation, and the private administration of the sacraments.
PERTH (8), the capital of West Australia, on the Swan River.
PERTHSHIRE (122), the most beautiful and varied county in Scotland,
occupies the whole of the Tay Valley and part of the Forth, and is
bounded by nine other counties. The N. and W. are mountainous, with many
rivers and lakes, and much of the finest scenery in Scotland; the
Trossachs and Loch Katrine are world famed. In the E. is extensive
woodland and the Carse of Gowrie, one of the most fertile of Scottish
plains. Ben Lawers is the highest mountain, Loch Tay the largest lake.
Much of the soil is good only for sheep farms, deer forests, and grouse
moors; the county is visited annually by thousands of tourists and