Part 45 out of 53
SCHWEINFURTH, GEORG AUGUST, German traveller in Africa, born at
Riga; wrote "The Heart of Africa," which gives an account of his travels
among the mid-African tribes; _b_. 1836.
SCHWENCKFELD, CASPAR VON, a Protestant sectary, born in Lower
Silesia, of a noble family; as a student of the Scriptures embraced the
Reformation, but differed from Luther on the matter of the dependence of
the divine life on external ordinances, insisting, as George Fox
afterwards did, on its derivation from within; like Fox he travelled from
place to place proclaiming this, and winning not a few disciples, and
exposed himself to much persecution at the hands of men of whom better
things were to be expected, but he bore it all with a Christ-like
meekness; died at Ulm; his writings were treated with the same indignity
as himself, and his followers were after his death driven from one place
of refuge to another, till the last remnant of them found shelter under
the friendly wing of COUNT ZINZENDORF (q. v.) (1490-1561).
SCHWERIN (34), capital of the grand-duchy of Mecklenburg-Schwerin;
has a pretty site on Lake of Schwerin (14 m. by 3), 47 m. SE. of Luebeck;
has a 14th-century cathedral, Renaissance castle, arsenal, &c., and
manufactures of lacquered ware, machinery, &c.
SCHWYZ (50), one of the three original cantons of Switzerland,
German speaking and Catholic; Lake Zurich forms part of the N. border,
and Lake Lucerne part of the S.; Zug with its lake is on the W.; is
mountainous, but good pasturage favours cattle-breeding, sheep and goat
rearing, &c.; important industries in cotton and silk are carried on;
Einsiedeln, with its famous monastery, attracts thousands of pilgrims,
and the Rigi is a favourite resort of summer visitors. The capital (7),
same name, is prettily situated 26 m. E. of Lucerne.
SCIENCE, as it has been said, "has for its province the world of
phenomena, and deals exclusively with their relations, consequences, or
sequences. It can never tell us what a thing really and intrinsically is,
but only why it has become so; it can only, in other words, refer us to
one inscrutable as the ground and explanation of another inscrutable." "A
science," says Schopenhauer, "anybody can learn, one perhaps with more,
another with less trouble; but from art each receives only so much as he
brings, yet latent within him.... Art has not, like science, to do merely
with the reasoning powers, but with the inmost nature of man, where each
must count only for what he really is."
SCILLY ISLANDS, a rugged group of islands belonging to Cornwall, 27
m. SW. of Land's End; consists of six larger islands--St. Mary's (1528
acres, pop. 1200), the largest--and some 30 smaller, besides numerous
rock clusters, the name Scilly being strictly applicable to a rocky islet
in the NW. of the group; climate is damp and mild; the cultivation and
export of large quantities of lilies is the principal industry, but
generally industries have decayed, lighthouses have reduced greatly the
hereditary occupation of pilotage, and emigration goes on; the only town
is Hugh Town (with two hotels, banks, pier, &c.), on St. Mary's; there
are some interesting ecclesiastical ruins, &c.; since 1834 much has been
done to improve the condition of the islanders by the then proprietor Mr.
A. J. Smith, and his nephew, T. A. Darien Smith, who succeeded in 1872.
SCIOPPIUS, CASPAR, a Protestant renegade, born in the Palatinate;
turned Catholic on a visit to Rome, and devoted his life to vilify his
former co-religionists, and to invoke the Catholic powers to combine to
their extermination; he was a man of learning, but of most infirm temper
SCIPIO, P. CORNELIUS, THE ELDER, surnamed Africanus Major, a
celebrated Roman general; was present at the engagement near the Tacinus
and at Cannae; was appointed proconsul of Spain at the age of 24, and made
himself master of nearly the whole of it against the Carthaginians; on
his return to Rome was made consul; transferred the seat of war against
Carthage to Africa, and landed at Utica; met Hannibal on the field of
Zama, and totally defeated him, and ended the Second Punic War in 202
B.C. (234-183 B.C.).
SCIPIO, P. CORNELIUS, THE YOUNGER, surnamed Africanus Minor, adopted
by the preceding, the proper name being L. Paullus AEmelius; after
distinguishing himself in Spain proceeded to Africa to take part in the
Third Punic War; laid siege to Carthage, took it by storm, and levelled
it with the ground in 146 B.C.; he was afterwards sent to Spain, where
he captured Numantia after a stubborn resistance, to the extension of the
sway of Rome; he was an upright and magnanimous man, but his character
was not proof against assault; he died by the hand of an assassin.
SCONE (pronounced Scoon), a, village in Perthshire, on the left bank
of the Tay, 2 m. N. of Perth; once the capital of the Pictish kingdom,
and the place of the coronation of the Scottish kings; near it is the
seat of the Earl of Mansfield.
SCOPAS, Greek sculptor, born at Paros, who flourished in 4th century
SCORESBY, WILLIAM, scientist, born at Whitby; began life as a
sailor; visited the Arctic regions twice over, and wrote an account of
his explorations; took to the Church, and held several clerical charges,
but retired in 1849, and gave himself to scientific researches, both at
home and abroad (1787-1857).
SCORY, JOHN, a Cambridge Dominican friar in 1530, who became bishop
of Rochester in 1551, and later of Chichester; was deprived of his living
on Queen Mary's accession; recanted, but fled abroad, whence he issued
his "Epistle to the Faytheful in Pryson in England"; returned in
Elizabeth's reign, and became bishop of Hereford; _d_. 1585.
SCOT, REGINALD, author of a famous work, "The Discoverie of
Witchcraft" (1584), remarkable as one of the earliest exposures of the
absurdities of witchcraft and kindred superstitions, which provoked King
James's foolish defence "Daemonology"; son of a Kentish baronet; educated
at Oxford, and spent a peaceful life gardening and studying; wrote also
"The Hoppe Garden" (1538-1599).
SCOTLAND (4,026), the northern portion of the island of Great
Britain, separated from England by the Solway, Cheviots, and Tweed, and
bounded N. and W. by the Atlantic and E. by the German Ocean; inclusive
of 788 islands (600 uninhabited), its area, divided into 33 counties, is
slightly more than one-half of England's, but has a coast-line longer by
700 m.; greatest length from Dunnet Head (most northerly point) to Mull
of Galloway (most southerly) is 288 m., while the breadth varies from 32
to 175, Buchan Ness being the eastmost point and Ardnamurchan Point the
westmost; from rich pastoral uplands in the S.--Cheviots, Moffat Hills,
Lowthers, Moorfoots, and Lammermoors--the country slopes down to the
wide, fertile lowland plain--growing fine crops of oats barley, wheat,
&c.--which stretches, with a varying breadth of from 30 to 60 m., up to
the Grampians (highest peak Ben Nevis, 4406 ft.), whence the country
sweeps northwards, a wild and beautiful tract of mountain, valley, and
moorland, diversified by some of the finest loch and river scenery in the
world; the east and west coasts present remarkable contrasts, the latter
rugged, irregular, and often precipitous, penetrated by long sea-lochs
and fringed with numerous islands, and mild and humid in climate; the
former low and regular, with few islands or inlets, and cold, dry, and
bracing; of rivers the Tweed, Forth, Tay, Dee, and Clyde are the
principal, and the Orkneys, Shetlands, and Hebrides the chief island
groups; coal and iron abound in the lowlands, more especially in the
plain of the Forth and Clyde, and granite in the Grampians; staple
industries are the manufacture of cottons, woollens, linen, jute,
machinery, hardware, paper, and shipbuilding, of which Glasgow is the
centre and commercial metropolis, while Edinburgh (capital) is the chief
seat of law, education, &c.; of cultivated land the percentage varies
from 74.8 in Fife to 2.4 in Sutherland, and over all is only 24.2; good
roads, canals, extensive railway and telegraph systems knit all parts of
the country together; Presbyterianism is the established form of
religion, and in 1872 the old parish schools were supplanted by a
national system under school-boards similar to England; the lowlanders
and highlanders still retain distinctive characteristics of their
Teutonic and Celtic progenitors, the latter speaking in many parts of the
Highlands their native Gaelic; originally the home of the PICTS
(q. v.), and by them called Alban or Albyn, the country, already
occupied as far as the Forth and Clyde by the Romans, was in the 5th
century successfully invaded by the Scots, a Celtic tribe from Ireland;
in 843 their king Kenneth was crowned king of Picts and Scots, and by the
10th century the country (known to the Romans as Caledonia) began to be
called Scotia or Scotland; government and power gradually centred in the
richer lowlands, which, through contact with England, and from the number
of English immigrants, became distinctively Anglo-Saxon; since the Union
with ENGLAND (q. v.) the prosperity of Scotland has been of
steady and rapid growth, manufactures, commerce, and literature (in all
branches) having flourished wonderfully.
SCOTS, THE, a tribe of Celts from Ireland who settled in the W. of
North Britain, and who, having gained the ascendency of the Picts in the
E., gave to the whole country the name of Scotland.
SCOTT, DAVID, Scotch painter, born in Edinburgh; he was an artist of
great imaginative power, and excelled in the weird; his best picture,
exhibited in 1828, was "The Hopes of Early Genius Dispelled by Death,"
though his first achievements in art were his illustrations of the
"Ancient Mariner"; but his masterpiece is "Vasco da Gama encountering the
Spirit of the Cape"; he was a sensitive man, and disappointment hastened
his death (1806-1849).
SCOTT, SIR GEORGE GILBERT, English architect, born in
Buckinghamshire, son of Scott the commentator; was the builder or
restorer of buildings both in England and on the Continent after the
Gothic, and wrote several works on architecture.
SCOTT, MICHAEL, a sage with the reputation of a wizard, who lived
about the end of the 12th and beginning of the 13th centuries, of whose
art as a magician many legends are related.
SCOTT, THOMAS, commentator, born in Lincolnshire; became rector of
Aston Sandford, Bucks; was a Calvinist in theology, author of the "Force
of Truth" and "Essays on Religion," the work by which he is best known
being his "Commentary on the Bible," a scholarly exposition (1747-1821).
SCOTT, SIR WALTER, the great romancer, born in Edinburgh, through
both father and mother of Scottish Border blood; his father, a lawyer, a
man "who passed from the cradle to the grave without making an enemy or
losing a friend," his mother a little kindly woman, full of most vivid
memories, awakening an interest in him to which he owed much; was a
healthy child, but from teething and other causes lost the use of his
right limb when 18 months old, which determined, to a marked extent, the
course of his life; spent many of the months of his childhood in the
country, where he acquired that affection for all natural objects which
never left him, and a kindliness of soul which all the lower animals that
approached him were quick to recognise; he was from the first home-bred,
and to realise the like around his own person was his fondest dream, and
if he failed, as it chanced he did, his vexation was due not to the
material loss it involved, but to the blight it shed on his home life and
the disaster on his domestic relationships; his school training yielded
results of the smallest account to his general education, and a writer of
books himself, he owed less to book-knowledge than his own shrewd
observation; he proceeded from the school (the High School, it was) at 15
to his father's office and classes at the University, and at both he
continued to develop his own bent more than the study of law or learning;
at his sixteenth year the bursting of a blood-vessel prostrated him in
bed and enforced a period of perfect stillness, but during this time he
was able to prosecute sundry quiet studies, and laid up in his memory
great stores of knowledge, for his mind was of that healthy quality which
assimilated all that was congenial to it and let all that did not concern
it slip idly through, achieving thereby his greatest victory, that of
becoming an altogether _whole_ man. Professionally he was a lawyer, and a
good lawyer, but the duties of his profession were not his chief
interest, and though he received at length a sheriffship worth L300 a
year, and a clerkship to the court worth L1500, he early turned his mind
to seek promotion elsewhere, and chose a literary career. His first
literary efforts were translations in verse from the German, but his
first great literary success was the publication, in 1802, of "The
Minstrelsy of the Scottish Border," and in this he first gave evidence
both of the native force and bent of his genius; it gave the keynote of
all that subsequently proceeded from his pen. This was followed the same
year by "Cadzow Castle," a poem instinct with military ardour, and this
by "The Lay of the Last Minstrel" in 1805; the first poem which gained
him popular favour, by "Marmion" in 1808, and by "The Lord of the Isles"
in 1814. Much as the rise of Scott's fame was owing to his poetical
works, it is on the ground of his prose writings, as the freest and
fullest exhibition of his genius, that it is now mainly founded. The
period of his productivity in this line extended over 18 years in all,
commencing with the year 1814. This was the year of the publication of
"Waverley," which was followed by that of "Guy Mannering," "The
Antiquary," "Rob Roy," "Old Mortality," and "The Heart of Midlothian" in
the year 1819, when he was smitten down by an illness, the effects of
which was seen in his after-work. "The Bride of Lammermoor," "Ivanhoe,"
"The Monastery," "The Abbot," "Kenilworth," and "The Pirate" belong to
the years that succeeded that illness, and all more or less witness to
its sorrowful effects, of which last "The Abbot" and "The Monastery" are
reckoned the best, as still illustrating the "essential powers" of Scott,
to which may be added "Redgauntlet" and "The Fortunes of Nigel,"
characterised by Ruskin as "quite noble ones," together with "Quentin
Durward" and "Woodstock," as "both of high value." Sir Walter's own life
was, in its inner essence, an even-flowing one, for there were in it no
crises such as to require a reversal of the poles of it, and a spiritual
new birth, with crucifixion of the old nature, and hence it is easily
divisible, as it has been divided throughout, into the three natural
periods of growth, activity, and death. His active life, which ranges
from 1796 to 1826, lay in picturing things and traditions of things as in
youth, a 25 years' period of continuous crescent expansiveness, he had
learned to view them, and his slow death was the result, not of mere
weariness in working, but of the adverse circumstances that thwarted and
finally wrecked the one unworthy ambition that had fatally taken
possession of his heart. Of Scott Ruskin says, "What good Scott had in
him to do, I find no words full enough to express... Scott is beyond
comparison the greatest intellectual force manifested in Europe since
Shakespeare... All Scott's great writings were the recreations of a mind
confirmed in dutiful labour, and rich with organic gathering of boundless
SCOTT, WILLIAM BELL, painter and poet, brother of David Scott, born
in Edinburgh; did criticism and wrote on artists; is best known by his
SCRANTON (102), capital of Lackawanna County, Pennsylvania, on the
Lackawanna River, 144 m. NW. of New York; does a large trade in coal, and
is the centre of a busy steel, iron, and machinery industry.
SCRIBE, EUGENE, French dramatist, a prolific and a successful, who
produced plays for half a century, well adapted for the stage, if
otherwise worthless (1791-1861).
SCRIBES, THE (i. e. writers), a non-priestly class among the Jews
devoted to the study and exposition of the Law, and who rose to a
position of importance and influence in the Jewish community, were known
in the days of Christ also by the name of Lawyers, and were addressed as
Rabbis; their disciples were taught to regard them, and did regard them
with a reverence superior to that paid to father or mother, the spiritual
parent being reckoned as much above the natural, as the spirit and its
interests are above the flesh and its interests.
SCRIBLERUS, MARTINUS, the subject of a fictitious memoir published
in Pope's works and ascribed to ARBUTHNOT (q. v.), intended to
ridicule the pedantry which affects to know everything, but knows nothing
to any purpose.
SCRIVENER, FREDERICK HENRY AMBROSE, New Testament critic, born at
Bermondsey, Surrey, educated at Cambridge; head-master of Falmouth School
from 1846 to 1856, and after 15 years' rectorship of Gerrans, became
vicar of Hendon and prebendary of Exeter; his "Plain Introduction to the
Criticism of the New Testament" ranks as a standard work; was editor of
the Cambridge Paragraph Bible, and one of the New Testament revisers
SCROGGS, SIR WILLIAM, an infamous Judge of Charles II.'s reign, who
became Chief-Justice of the King's Bench in 1678, and whose name is
associated with all manner of injustice and legal corruption; was
impeached in 1680, and pensioned off by the king; _d_. 1683.
SCUDERY, MADELEINE DE, French novelist, born at Havre, came to Paris
in her youth, and there lived to an extreme old age; was a prominent
figure in the social and literary life of the city; collaborated at first
with her brother Georges, but subsequently was responsible herself for a
set of love romances of an inordinate length, but of great popularity in
their day, e. g. "Le Grand Cyrus" and "Clelie," &c., in which a real
gift for sparkling dialogue is swallowed up in a mass of improbable
adventures and prudish sentimentalism (1607-1701).
SCULPTURED STONES, a name specially applied to certain varieties of
commemorative monuments (usually rough-hewn slabs or boulders, and in a
few cases well-shaped crosses) of early Christian date found in various
parts of the British Isles, bearing lettered and symbolic inscriptions of
a rude sort and ornamental designs resembling those found on Celtic MSS.
of the Gospels; lettered inscriptions are in Latin, OGAM (q. v.),
and Scandinavian and Anglican runes, while some are uninscribed;
usually found near ancient ecclesiastical sites, and their date is
approximately fixed according to the character of the ornamentation; some
of these stones date as late as the 11th century; the Scottish stones are
remarkable for their elaborate decoration and for certain symbolic
characters to which as yet no interpretation has been found.
SCUTARI (50), a town of Turkey in Asia, on the Bosporus, opposite
Constantinople; has several fine mosques, bazaars, &c.; large barracks on
the outskirts were used as hospitals by Florence Nightingale during the
Crimean War; has large and impressive cemeteries; chief manufactures are
of silks, cottons, &c. Also name of a small town (5) in European Turkey,
situated at the S. end of Lake Scutari, 18 by 16 m., in North Albania.
SCYLLA AND CHARYBDIS, two rocks opposite each other at a narrow pass
of the strait between Italy and Sicily, in the cave of one of which dwelt
the former, a fierce monster that barked like a dog, and under the cliff
of the other of which dwelt the latter, a monster that sucked up
everything that came near it, so that any ship passing between in
avoiding the one become a prey to the other.
SCYTHIANS, the name of a people of various tribes that occupied the
steppes of SE. of Europe and W. of Asia adjoining eastward, were of
nomadic habit; kept herds of cattle and horses, and were mostly in a
semi-savage state beyond the pale of civilisation; the region they
occupied is called Scythia.
SEABURY, SAMUEL, American prelate, born at Groton, Connecticut,
graduated at Yale and studied medicine in Edinburgh; entered the Church
of England in 1753, and devoted himself at first to missionary work;
subsequently held "livings" in Long Island and New York State in 1782;
was appointed bishop by the clergy of Connecticut; sought consecration at
the hands of the English archbishops who were afraid to grant it, and had
to resort to the bishops of the Scotch Episcopal Church for the purpose;
did notable work in establishing and consolidating Episcopacy in America
SEALED ORDERS, the orders given the commanding officer of a ship or
squadron that are sealed up, which he is not allowed to open till he has
proceeded a certain length into the high seas; an arrangement in order to
ensure secrecy in a time of war.
SEA-SERPENT, a marine monster of serpent-like shape whose existence
is still a matter of question, although several seemingly authentic
accounts have been circulated in attestation. The subject has given rise
to much disputation and conjecture on the part of naturalists, but
opinion mostly favours the supposition that these gigantic serpent-like
appearances are caused by enormous cuttlefish swimming on the surface of
the water, with their 20 ft. long tentacles elongated fore and aft. Other
fishes which might also be mistaken for the sea-serpent are the
barking-shark, tape-fish, marine snake, &c.
SEBASTIAN. ST., a Roman soldier at Narbonne, and martyred under
Diocletian when it was discovered he was a Christian; is depicted in art
bound naked to a tree and pierced with arrows, and sometimes with arrows
in his hand offering them to Heaven on his knees, he having been shot
first with arrows and then beaten to death.
SEBASTIANO DEL PIOMBO, Italian painter, born at Venice; was an
excellent colourist, and collaborated with Michael Angelo (1485-1547).
SEBASTOPOL (34), a fortified seaport of Russia, situated on a
splendid natural harbour (41/2 m. by 1/2), on the SW. of the Crimea; during
the Crimean War was destroyed and captured by the French and English
after a siege lasting from October 9, 1854, to September 18, 1855; has,
since 1885, been restored, and is now an important naval station; exports
large quantities of grain.
SEBILLOT, PAUL, celebrated French folk-lorist; _b_. 1843.
SECKER, THOMAS, archbishop of Canterbury, born at Sibthorpe,
Nottinghamshire; first studied medicine and graduated at Leyden in 1721,
but was induced to take orders, and after a year at Oxford was ordained a
priest in 1723; held various livings till his appointment to the Primacy
in 1758; noted as a wise and kindly ecclesiastic (1693-1768).
SECOND-SIGHT, name given to the power of seeing things future or
distant; a power superstitiously ascribed to certain people in the
Highlands of Scotland.
SECULARIST, name given to one who, discarding as irrelevant all
theories and observances bearing upon the other world and its interests,
holds that we ought to confine our attention solely to the immediate
problems and duties of this, independently of all presumed dependence on
revelation and communications from a higher sphere.
SEDAN (20), a town of France, in department of Ardennes, on the
Maas, 164 m. NE. of Paris; once a strong fortress, but dismantled in
1875, where in 1870 Napoleon III. and 86,000 men under Marshal Macmahon
surrendered to the Germans; noted for its cloth manufactories. Previous
to the Edict of Nantes was a celebrated centre of Huguenot industry and
SEDGEMOOR, district in central Somersetshire, 5 m. SE. of
Bridgwater, scene of a famous battle between the troops of James II. and
those of the Duke of Monmouth on July 6, 1685, in which the latter were
SEDGWICK, ADAM, geologist, born at Dent, Yorkshire; graduated at
Cambridge in 1808, became a Fellow in the same year, and in 1818 was
elected to the Woodward chair of Geology; co-operated with Murchison in
the study of the geological formation of the Alps and the Devonian system
of England; strongly conservative in his scientific theories, he stoutly
opposed the Darwinian theory of the origin of species; his best work was
contributed in papers to the Geological Society of London, of which he
was President 1829-1831; published "British Palaeozoic Rocks and Fossils"
SEELEY, SIR JOHN ROBERT, author of "Ecce Homo," born in London;
studied at Cambridge, became professor of History there in 1869 on
Kingsley's retirement; his "Ecce Homo" was published in 1865, a piece of
perfect literary workmanship, but which in its denial of the
self-originated spirit of Christ offended orthodox belief and excited
much adverse criticism; wrote in 1882 a work entitled "Natural Religion,"
in which he showed the same want of sympathy with supernatural ideas, as
also several historical works (1834-1895).
SEGOVIA (14), a quaint old Spanish city, capital of a province (154)
of the same name; crowns a rocky height looking down on the river Eresma,
32 m. NW. of Madrid; its importance dates from Roman times; has a great
aqueduct, built in Trajan's reign, and a fine Moorish castle and Gothic
cathedral; cloth-weaving the only important industry.
SEGU (36), a town of West Africa, on the Joliba, 400 m. SW. of
Timbuctoo; chiefly occupied by trading Arabs; once the capital of a now
decayed native State.
SEINE, an important river of France, rises in the tableland of
Langres, takes a winding course to the NW., passing many important towns,
Troyes, Fontainebleau, Paris, St. Denis, Rouen, &c., and discharges into
the English Channel by a broad estuary after a course of 482 m., of which
350 are navigable.
SEINE (3,142), the smallest but most populous department of France,
entirely surrounded by the department of Seine-et-Oise; Paris and its
adjacent villages cover a considerable portion of the area; presents a
richly wooded, undulating surface, traversed by the Seine in a NW.
SEINE-ET-MARNE (356), a north-midland department of France lying E.
of Seine; the Marne crosses the N. and the Seine the S.; has a fertile
soil, which grows in abundance cereals, vegetables, and fruits; many fine
woods, including Fontainebleau Forest, diversify its undulating surface.
Melun (capital) and Fontainebleau are among its important towns.
SEINE-ET-OISE (628), a department of NW. France, encloses the
department of Seine; grain is grown in well-cultivated plains and the
vine on pleasant hill slopes; is intersected by several tributaries of
the Seine, and the N. is prettily wooded. Versailles is the capital;
Sevres and St. Cloud are other interesting places.
SEINE-INFERIEURE (839), a maritime department of North-West France,
in Normandy, facing the English Channel; is for the most part a fertile
plain, watered by the Seine and smaller streams, and diversified by fine
woods and the hills of Caux; is a fruit and cider producing district; has
flourishing manufactures. Rouen is the capital, and Havre and Dieppe are
important trading centres.
SELBORNE, ROUNDELL PALMER, EARL OF, Lord Chancellor, born in
Oxfordshire; called to the bar in 1837, and after a brilliant career at
Oxford entered Parliament in 1847, and in 1861 became Solicitor-General
in Palmerston's ministry, receiving at the same time a knighthood; two
years later was advanced to the Attorney-Generalship; in 1872 was elected
Lord Chancellor, a position he retained till 1874, and again held from
1880 to 1885; refused to adopt Mr. Gladstone's Home Rule policy for
Ireland and joined the Liberal-Unionists, but declined to take office
under Lord Salisbury; was raised to an earldom in 1882, received various
honorary degrees; greatly interested himself in hymnology, and edited
"The Book of Praise"; wrote also several works on Church questions
SELBY (6), a market-town of Yorkshire, on the Ouse, 15 m. S. of
York; has a noted cruciform abbey church, founded in the 12th century,
and exhibiting various styles of architecture; has some boat-building;
manufactures flax, ropes, leather, bricks, &c.
SELDEN, JOHN, born at Salvington, Sussex; adopted law as a
profession, and was trained at Clifford's Inn and the Inner Temple,
London; successful as a lawyer, he yet found time for scholarly pursuits,
and acquired a great reputation by the publication of various erudite
works bearing on old English jurisprudence and antiquities generally; a
"History of Tithes" (1618), in which he combats the idea that "tithes"
are divinely instituted, got him into trouble with the Church; was
imprisoned in 1621 for encouraging Parliament to repudiate James's
absolutist claims; from his entrance into Parliament in 1623 continued to
play an important part throughout the troublous reign of Charles;
sincerely attached to the Parliamentary side, he was one of the framers
of the Petition of Right, and suffered imprisonment with Holies and the
others; sat in the Long Parliament, but, all through out of sympathy with
the extremists, disapproved of the execution of Charles; held various
offices, e. g. Keeper of the Rolls and Records in the Tower; continued
to write learned and voluminous works on biblical and historical
subjects, but is best remembered for his charming 'Table-talk, a book of
which Coleridge remarked, "There is more weighty bullion sense in this
book than I can find in the same number of pages of any uninspired
SELENE, in the Greek mythology the moon-goddess, the sister of
Helios, and designated Phoebe as he was Phoebus; she became by Endymion
the mother of 50 daughters.
SELF-DENYING ORDINANCE, a resolution of the Long Parliament passed
in 1644, whereby the members bound themselves not to accept certain
executive offices, particularly commands in the army.
SELIM I., a warlike sultan of Turkey, who, having dethroned and put
to death his father, Bajazet II., entered upon a victorious career of
military aggrandisement, overcoming the Persians in 1515, conquering and
annexing Egypt, Syria, and the Hejaz in 1517, finally winning for himself
the position of Imam or head of the Mohammedan world; greatly
strengthened his country, and strove according to his lights to deal
justly with and ameliorate the condition of the peoples whom he conquered
SELJUKS, a Turkish people who in the 10th century, headed by a chief
named Seljuk (whence their name), broke away from their allegiance to the
khan of Kirghiz, adopted the Mohammedan faith, and subsequently conquered
Bokhara, but were driven across the Oxus and settled HI Khorassan; under
Toghril Beg, grandson of Seljuk, they in the 11th century won for
themselves a wide empire in Asia, including the provinces of Syria and
Asia Minor, whose rulers, by their cruel persecution of Christian
pilgrims, led to the Crusade movement in Europe. The Seljuks were in part
gradually absorbed by the advancing Mongol tribes, while numbers fled
westward, where they were at length incorporated in the Ottoman Empire in
the 14th century.
SELKIRK (6), county town of Selkirkshire, on the Ettrick, 40 m. SE.
of Edinburgh; famed at one time for its "Souters"; is a centre of the
manufacture of tweeds.
SELKIRKSHIRE (27), a south inland county of Scotland; extends S.
from the corner of Midlothian to Dumfriesshire, between Peebles (W.) and
Roxburgh (E.); the grassy slopes of its hills afford splendid pasturage,
and sheep-farming is a flourishing industry; manufactures are mainly
confined to Galashiels and Selkirk; is traversed by the Ettrick and the
Yarrow, whose romantic valleys are associated with much of the finest
ballad literature of Scotland.
SELWYN, GEORGE, a noted wit in the social and literary life of
London in Horace Walpole's time, born, of good parentage, in
Gloucestershire; was expelled from Oxford in 1743 for blasphemy; four
years later entered Parliament, and supported the Court party, and
received various government favours; his vivacious wit won him ready
entrance into the best London and Parisian society; is the chief figure
in Jesse's entertaining "George Selwyn and his Contemporaries"
SELWYN, GEORGE AUGUSTUS, the first bishop of New Zealand, in which
capacity he wrought so zealously, that his diocese, by his extension of
Episcopacy, was subdivided into seven; on his return to England he was
made bishop of Lichfield (1809-1878).
SEMAPHORE, a name applied to the mechanism employed for telegraphing
purposes prior to the discovery of the electric telegraph; invented in
1767 by Richard Edgeworth, but first extensively used by the French in
1794, and afterwards adopted by the Admiralty in England; consisted at
first of six shutters set in two rotating circular frames, which, by
opening and shutting in various ways, were capable of conveying
sixty-three distinct signals; these were raised on the tops of wooden
towers erected on hills; later a different form was adopted consisting of
a mast and two arms worked by winches. The speed at which messages could
be transmitted was very great; thus a message could be sent from London
to Portsmouth and an answer be received all within 45 seconds. The
railway signal now in use is a form of semaphore.
SEMELE, in the Greek mythology the daughter of Cadmus and the mother
of Dionysus by Zeus, was tempted by Hera to pray Zeus to show himself to
her in his glory, who, as pledged to give her all she asked, appeared
before her as the god of thunder, and consumed her by the lightning. See
SEMINOLES, a nomadic tribe of American Indians who from 1832 to 1839
offered a desperate resistance to the Americans before yielding up their
territory SE. of the Mississippi (Florida, etc.); finally settled in the
Indian Territory, where they now number some 3000, and receive an annuity
from the American Government; missionary enterprise among them has been
successful in establishing schools and churches.
SEMIPALATINSK (586), a mountainous province of Asiatic Russia,
stretching between Lake Balkash (S.) and Tomsk; encloses stretches of
steppe-land on which cattle and horses are reared; some mining of silver,
lead, and copper is also done. Semipalatinsk, the capital (18), stands on
the Irtish; has two annual fairs, and is an important trading mart.
SEMI-PELAGIANISM. See PELAGIUS.
SEMIRAMIS, legendary queen of Assyria, to whom tradition ascribes
the founding of Babylon with its hanging gardens, and is said to have
surpassed in valour and glory her husband Ninus, the founder of Nineveh;
she seems to have in reality been the Venus or Astarte of the Assyrian
mythology. The story goes that when a child she was deserted by her
mother and fed by doves.
SEMIRAMIS OF THE NORTH, a name given to Margaret, Queen of Denmark;
also to Catharine II. of Russia.
SEMIRETCHINSK (758), a mountainous province of Asiatic Russia,
stretches S. of Lake Balkash to East Turkestan and Ferghana on the S.; is
traversed E. and W. by the lofty ranges of the Alatau and Tian-Shan
Mountains; the vast bulk of the inhabitants are Kirghiz, and engaged in
raising horses, camels, and sheep.
SEMITIC RACES, races reputed descendants of Shem, including the
Jews, the Assyrians, the Chaldeans, the Syrians, the Phoenicians, and the
Arabs, and are "all marked," as the editor has observed elsewhere, "by
common features; such appear in their language, their literature, their
modes of thinking, social organisation, and religious belief. Their
language is poor in inflection, has few or no compound verbs or
substantives, has next to no power of expressing abstract ideas, and is
of simple primitive structure or syntax. Their literature has neither the
breadth nor the flow of that of Greece or Rome, but it is instinct with a
passion which often holds of the very depths of being, and appeals to the
ends of the earth. In their modes of thinking they are taken up with
concrete realities instead of abstractions, and hence they have
contributed nothing to science or philosophy, much as they have to faith.
Their social order is patriarchal, with a leaning to a despotism, which
in certain of them, such as the Jews and Arabs, goes higher and higher
till it reaches God; called, therefore, by Jude 'the Only Despot.'"
SEMMERING, a mountain of Styria, Austria, 60 m. SW. of Vienna, 4577
ft. above sea-level; is crossed by the Vienna and Trieste railway, which
passes through 15 tunnels and over 16 viaducts.
SEMPACH (1), a small Swiss town, 9 m. NW. of Lucerne, on the Lake of
Sempach; here on the 9th of July 1386 a body of 1500 Swiss soldiers
completely routed the Austrians, 4000 strong, under Leopold, Duke of
SEN, CHUNDER. See CHUNDER SEN.
SENANCOUR, ETIENNE PIVERT DE, French writer, born at Paris; delicate
in his youth; was driven by an unsympathetic father to quit his home at
19, and for some time lived at Geneva and Fribourg, where a brief period
of happy married life was closed by the death of his young wife; returned
to Paris in 1798; supported himself by writing, and latterly by a small
Government pension granted by Louis Philippe; is best known as the author
of "Obermann," a work of which Matthew Arnold wrote, "The stir of all the
main forces by which modern life is and has been impelled, lives in the
letters of Obermann.... To me, indeed, it will always seem that the
impressiveness of this production can hardly be rated too high"
SENATE (i. e. "an assembly of elders"), a name first bestowed by
the Romans on their supreme legislative and administrative assembly; its
formation is traditionally ascribed to Romulus; its powers, at their
greatest during the Republic, gradually diminished under the Emperors; in
modern times is used to designate the "Upper House" in the legislature of
various countries, e. g. France and the United States of America; is
also the title of the governing body in many universities.
SENECA, ANNAEUS, rhetorician, born at Cordova; taught rhetoric at
Rome, whither he went at the time of Augustus, and where he died A.D.
SENECA, L. ANNAEUS, philosopher, son of the preceding, born at
Cordova, and brought to Rome when a child; practised as a pleader at the
bar, studied philosophy, and became the tutor of Nero; acquired great
riches; was charged with conspiracy by Nero as a pretext, it is believed,
to procure his wealth, and ordered to kill himself, which he did by
opening his veins till he bled to death, a slow process and an agonising,
owing to his age; he was of the Stoic school in philosophy, and wrote a
number of treatises bearing chiefly on morals; _d_. A.D. 65.
SENEGAL, an important river of West Africa, formed by the junction,
at Bafulabe, of two head-streams rising in the highlands of Western
Soudan; flows NW., W., and SW., a course of 706 m., and discharges into
the Atlantic 10 m. below St. Louis; navigation is somewhat impeded by a
sand-bar at its mouth, and by cataracts and rapids in the upper reaches.
SENEGAL (136), a French colony of West Africa, lying along the banks
of the Senegal River. See SENEGAMBIA.
SENEGAMBIA, a tract of territory lying chiefly within the basins of
the rivers Senegal and Gambia, West Africa, stretching from the Atlantic,
between Cape Blanco and the mouth of the Gambia, inland to the Niger;
embraces the French colony of Senegal, and various ill-defined native
States under the suzerainty of France; the interior part is also called
the French Soudan; the vast expanse of the contiguous Sahara in the N.,
and stretches of territory on the S., extending to the Gulf of Guinea,
are also within the French sphere of influence, altogether forming an
immense territory (1,000), of which ST. LOUIS (q. v.) in
Senegambia proper, is considered the capital; ground-nuts, gums,
india-rubber, &c., are the chief exports.
SENESCHAL, an important functionary at the courts of Frankish
princes, whose duty it was to superintend household feasts and
ceremonies, functions equivalent to those of the English High Steward.
SENNAAR (8), capital of a district of the Eastern Soudan, which lies
between the Blue and the White Nile, situated on the Blue Nile, 160 m.
SE. of Khartoum.
SENNACHERIB, a king of Assyria, whose reign extended from 702 to 681
B.C., and was distinguished by the projection and execution of extensive
public works; he endeavoured to extend his conquests westward, but was
baffled in Judea by the miraculous destruction of his army. See 2 Kings
SENS (14), an old cathedral town of France, on the Yonne, 70 m. SE.
of Paris; the cathedral is a fine Gothic structure of the 12th century;
has also an archbishop's palace, and is still surrounded by massive stone
walls; does a good trade in corn, wine, and wool.
SENUSSI, a Mohammedan brotherhood in the Soudan, founded by
Mohammed-es-Senussi from Mostaganem, in Algeria, who flourished between
1830 and 1860. The brotherhood, remarkable for its austere and fanatical
zeal, has ramified into many parts of N Africa, and exercises
considerable influence, fostering resistance to the encroachments of the
invading European powers.
SEPOY, the name given to a native of India employed as a soldier in
the British service in India.
SEPTEMBER, the ninth month of the year, so called as having been the
seventh in the Roman calendar.
SEPTEMBER MASSACRES. An indiscriminate slaughter in Paris which
commenced on Sunday afternoon, September 2, 1792, "a black day in the
annals of men," when 30 priests on their way to prison were torn from the
carriages that conveyed them, and massacred one after the other, all save
Abbe Secard, in the streets by an infuriated mob; and continued
thereafter through horror after horror for a hundred hours long, all done
in the name of justice and in mock form of law--a true Reign of Terror.
SEPTUAGINT, a version, and the oldest of any known to us, of the
Hebrew Scriptures in Greek, executed at Alexandria, in Egypt, by
different translators at different periods, commencing with 280 B.C.; it
is known as the Alexandria version, while the name Septuagint, or LXX.,
was given to it on the ground of the tradition that it was the work of
70, or rather 72, Jews, who had, it is alleged, been Drought from
Palestine for the purpose, and were fabled, according to one tradition,
to have executed the whole in as many days, and, according to another, to
have each done the whole apart from the rest, with the result that the
version of each was found to correspond word for word with that of all
the others; it began with the translation of the Pentateuch and was
continued from that time till 130 B.C. by the translation of the rest,
the whole being in reality the achievement of several independent
workmen, who executed their parts, some with greater some with less
ability and success; it is often literal to a painful degree, and it
swarms with such pronounced Hebraisms, that a pure Greek would often fail
to understand it. It was the version current everywhere at the time of
the planting of the Christian Church, and the numerous quotations in the
New Testament from the Old are, with few exceptions, quotations from it.
SEPULVEDA, JUAN GINES, Spanish historian, born at Pozo-Blanco, near
Cordova; in 1536 became historiographer to Charles V. and tutor to the
future Philip II.; was subsequently canon of Salamanca; author of several
historical works, of which a "History of Charles V." is the most
important, a work characterised by broad humanistic proclivities unusual
in his day and country; _d_. 1574.
SERAGLIO, in its restricted sense applied in the East to a harem or
women's quarters in a royal household; the former residence of the sultan
of Turkey, occupies a beautiful site on the E. side of Constantinople, on
a projecting piece of land between the Golden Horn and the Sea of
Marmora, enclosing within its 3 m. of wall government buildings, mosques,
gardens, &c., chief of which is the harem, which occupies an inner
SERAING (34), a manufacturing town of Belgium, on the Meuse, 4 m.
SW. of Liege; noted for its extensive machine-shops (locomotives, &c.);
established in 1817 by John Cockerill, and now, with forges, coal-mines,
&c., giving employment to some 12,000 men.
SERAMPUR (36), a town of modern aspect in India, on the Hooghly, 13
m. N. of Calcutta; originally Danish, was purchased by the British in
1845; manufactures paper and mats, and is associated with the successful
missionary enterprise of the Baptists Carey, Marshman, and Ward.
SERAPHIC DOCTOR, appellation applied to ST. BONAVENTURA (q. v.); also by
Carlyle to the doctors of the modern school of Enlightenment, or
march-of-intellect school. See _AUFKLAeRUNG_.
SERAPHIM, angels of the highest order and of etheriel temper,
represented as guarding with veiled faces the Divine glory, and
considered to have originally denoted the lightning darting out from the
SERAPIS, an Egyptian divinity of partly Greek derivation and partly
Egyptian, and identified with Apis.
SERASKIER, a Turkish general, in especial the commander-in-chief or
minister of war.
SERBONIAN BOG, a quagmire in Egypt in which armies were fabled to be
swallowed up and lost; applied to any situation in which one is entangled
from which extrication is difficult.
SERFS, under the feudal system a class of labourers whose position
differed only from that of slaves in being attached to the soil and so
protected from being sold from hand to hand like a chattel, although they
could be transferred along with the land; liberty could be won by
purchase, military service, or by residing a year and a day in a borough;
these and economic changes brought about their gradual emancipation in
the 15th and 16th centuries; mining serfs, however, existed in Scotland
as recently as the 18th century, and in Russia their emancipation only
took place in 1861.
SERINGAPATAM (10), a decayed city of S. India, formerly capital of
Mysore State, situated on an island in the Kaveri, 10 m. NE. of Mysore
city; in the later 18th century was the stronghold of Tippoo Sahib, who
was successfully besieged and slain by the British in 1799; has
SERJEANT-AT-ARMS, an officer attendant on the Speaker of the House
of Commons, whose duty it is to preserve order and arrest any offender
against the rules of the House.
SERPENT, THE, is used symbolically to represent veneration from the
shedding of its skin, and sometimes eternity, and not unfrequently a
guardian spirit; also prudence and cunning, especially as embodied in
Satan; is an attribute of several saints as expressive of their power
over the evil one.
SERPUKOFF (21), an ancient and still prosperous town of Russia, on
the Nara, 57 m. S. of Moscow; has a cathedral, and manufactures of
cottons, woollens, &c.
SERRANO Y DOMINGUEZ, Duke de la Torre, Spanish statesman and
marshal; won distinction in the wars against the Carlists, and turning
politician, became in 1845 a senator and favourite of Queen Isabella; was
prominent during the political unrest and changes of her reign; joined
Prim in the revolution of 1868, defeated the queen's troops; became
president of the Ministry; commander-in-chief of the army, and in 1869
Regent of Spain, a position he held till Amadeus's succession in 1871;
won victories against the Carlists in 1872 and 1874; was again at the
head of the executive during the last months of the republic, but retired
on the accession of Alfonso XII.; continued in active politics till his
SERTORIUS, Roman statesman and general; joined the democratic party
under MARIUS (q. v.) against Sulla; retired to Spain on the
return of Sulla to Rome, where he sought to introduce Roman civilisation;
was assassinated 73 B.C.
SERVETUS, MICHAEL, physician, born at Tudela, in Navarre; had a
leaning to theology, and passing into Germany associated with the
Reformers; adopted Socinianism, and came under ban of the orthodox, and
was burnt alive at Geneva, after a trial of two months, under sanction,
it is said, of Calvin (1511-1553).
SERVIA (2,227), a kingdom of Europe occupying a central position in
the Balkan Peninsula between Austria (N.) and Turkey (S. and W.), with
Roumania and Bulgaria on the E.; one-third the size of England and Wales;
its surface is mountainous and in many parts thickly forested, but wide
fertile valleys produce in great abundance wheat, maize, and other
cereals, grapes and plums (an important export when dried), while immense
herds of swine are reared on the outskirts of the oak-forests; is well
watered by the Morava flowing through the centre and by the Save and
Danube on the N.; climate varies considerably according to elevation; not
much manufacturing is done, but minerals abound and are partially
wrought; the Servians are of Slavonic stock, high-spirited and patriotic,
clinging tenaciously to old-fashioned methods and ideas; have produced a
notable national literature, rich in lyric poetry; a good system of
national education exists; belong to the Greek Church; the monarchy is
limited and hereditary; government is vested in the King, Senate, and
National Assembly; originally emigrants in the 7th century from districts
round the Carpathians, the Servians had by the 14th century established a
kingdom considerably larger than their present domain; were conquered by
the Turks in 1389, and held in subjection till 1815, when a national
rising won them Home Rule, but remained tributary to Turkey until 1877,
when they proclaimed their independence, which was confirmed by the
Treaty of Berlin in 1878.
SERVIUS TULLIUS, the sixth king of Rome from 578 to 534 B.C.,
divided the Roman territory into 30 tribes, and the people into 5
classes, which were further divided into centuries.
SESOSTRIS, a legendary monarch of Egypt, alleged to have achieved
universal empire at a very remote antiquity, and to have executed a
variety of public works by means of the captives he brought home from his
SESTERTIUS, a Roman coin either bronze or silver one-fourth of a
denarius, originally worth 21/2 asses but afterwards 4 asses, up to the
time of Augustus was worth fully 2d., and subsequently one-eighth less;
Sestertium, a Roman "money of account," never a coin, equalled 1000
sestertii, and was valued at L8, 15s.
SETTLE, ELKANAH, a playwright who lives in the pages of Dryden's
satire "Absalom and Achitophel"; was an Oxford man and litterateur in
London; enjoyed a brief season of popularity as author of "Cambyses," and
"The Empress of Morocco"; degenerated into a "city poet and a puppet-show
keeper," and died in the Charterhouse; was the object of Dryden's and
Pope's scathing sarcasms (1648-1723).
SETUBAL (English, St. Ubes) (15), a fortified seaport of Portugal,
at the mouth of the Sado, on a bay of the same name, 17 m. SE. of Lisbon;
has a good trade in wine, salt, and oranges; in the neighbourhood is a
remarkable stalactite cave.
SEVEN CHAMPIONS OF CHRISTENDOM, St. George, of England; St. Denis,
of France; St. James, of Spain; St. Anthony, of Italy; St. Andrew, of
Scotland; St. Patrick, of Ireland; and St. David, of Wales--often alluded
to by old writers.
SEVEN DEADLY SINS, Pride, Wrath, Envy, Lust, Gluttony, Avarice, and
SEVEN DOLOURS OF THE VIRGIN, the prediction of Simeon (Luke ii. 35);
the flight into Egypt; the loss of the child in Jerusalem; the sight of
her Son bearing the cross; the sight of Him upon the cross; the descent
from the cross; and the entombment--the festival in connection with which
is celebrated on the Friday before Palm Sunday.
SEVEN SAGES OF GREECE, Solon of Athens, his motto "Know thyself";
Chilo of Sparta, his motto "Consider the end"; Thales of Miletus, his
motto "Whoso hateth suretyship is sure"; Bias of Priene, his motto "Most
men are bad"; Cleobulus of Lindos, his motto "Avoid extremes"; Pittacus
of Mitylene, his motto "Seize Time by the forelock"; Periander of
Corinth, his motto "Nothing is impossible to industry."
SEVEN SLEEPERS, seven noble youths of Ephesus who, to escape the
persecution of Decius, fled into a cave, where they fell asleep and woke
up at the end of two centuries.
SEVEN WISE MASTERS, the title of a famous cycle of mediaeval tales
which centre round the story of a young prince who, after baffling all
efforts of former tutors, is at last, at the age of 20, instructed in all
knowledge by Sindibad, one of the king's wise men, but having cast his
horoscope Sindibad perceives the prince will die unless, after
presentation at the court, he keeps silence for seven days; one of the
king's wives, having in vain attempted to seduce the young man, in
baffled rage accuses him to the king with tempting her virtue, and
procures his death-sentence; the seven sages delay the execution by
beguiling the king with stories till the seven days are passed, when the
prince speaks and reveals the plot; an extraordinary number of variants
exist in Eastern and Western languages, the earliest written version
being an Arabian text of the 10th century: a great mass of literature has
grown round the subject, which is one of the most perplexing as well as
interesting problems of storiology.
SEVEN WONDERS OF THE WORLD, the pyramids of Egypt, the hanging
gardens of Babylon, the tomb of Mausolus, the temple of Diana at Ephesus,
the Colossus of Rhodes, the statue of Jupiter by Phidias at Olympia, and
the Pharos at Alexandria.
SEVEN YEARS' WAR, the name given to the third and most terrible
struggle between Frederick the Great of Prussia and Maria Theresa,
empress of Austria, for, the possession of Silesia, which embroiled
almost all Europe in war, and which had far-reaching effects on the
destinies of England and France as well as Prussia; began in 1756 by
Frederick's successful advance on Dresden, anticipating Maria Theresa's
intention of attempting the recovery of Silesia, lost to her in the
previous two wars. With Austria were allied France, Sweden, Poland, and
Russia, while Prussia was supported till 1761 by England. In 1762 Peter
III. of Russia changed sides, and Frederick, sometimes victorious, often
defeated, finally emerged successful in 1763, when the war was brought to
a close by the Peace of Hubertsburg. Besides demonstrating the strength
and genius of Frederick and raising immensely the prestige of Prussia, it
enabled England to make complete her predominance in North America and to
establish herself securely in India, while at the same time it gave the
death-blow to French hopes of a colonial empire.
SEVERN, the second river of England, rises on the E. side of
Plinlimmon, in Montgomeryshire, and flows in a circuitous southerly
direction through Montgomeryshire, Shropshire, Worcestershire, and
Gloucestershire, falling into the Bristol Channel after a course of 210
m.; is navigable to Welshpool (180 m.); chief tributaries are the Terne,
Wye, and the Stratford Avon; there is a "bore" perceptible 180 m. from
SEVERUS, L. SEPTIMIUS, Roman emperor, born in Leptis Magna, in
Africa; was in command at Pannonia, and elected emperor on the murder of
Pertinax, and after conquering his rivals achieved victories in the East,
especially against the Parthians, and thereafter subdued a rebellion in
Britain, and secured South Britain against invasions from the north by a
wall; died at York (146-211).
SEVIGNE, MADAME DE, maiden name Marie de Rabutin-Chantal, the most
charming of letter-writers, born at Paris; married at 18 the dissolute
Marquis de Sevigne, who left her a widow at 25; her beauty and rare
charms attracted many suitors, to one and all of whom, however, she
turned a deaf ear, devoting herself with touching fidelity to her son and
daughter, and finding all her happiness in their affection and in the
social intercourse of a wide circle of friends; her fame rests on her
letters, written chiefly to her daughter in Provence, which reflect the
brightest and purest side of Parisian life, and contain the tender
outpourings of her mother's heart in language of unstudied grace
SEVILLE (144), a celebrated Spanish city and river port on the
Guadalquivir, 62 m. NE. of Cadiz; an iron bridge connects it with Triana,
a large suburb on the other side of the river; many of the old
picturesque Moorish buildings have given place to modern and more
commodious structures and broader streets; the great Gothic cathedral
(15th century), containing paintings by Murillo, &c., is among the finest
in Europe; the Moorish royal palace, the great Roman aqueduct (in use
until 1883), the museum, with masterpieces of Murillo, Velasquez, &c.,
the university, archbishop's palace, Giralda Campanile, and the vast
bull-ring, are noteworthy; chief manufactures embrace cigars, machinery,
pottery, textiles, &c.; while lead, quicksilver, wines, olive-oil, and
fruits are exported; is capital of a province (545).
SEVRES (7), a French town on the Seine, 101/2 m. SW. of Paris,
celebrated for its fine porcelain ware (especially vases), the
manufacture of which was established in 1755; has a school of mosaic work
and museums for pottery ware of all ages and countries.
SEVRES, DEUX- (354), a department of West France; is watered by two
rivers, and in the N. thickly wooded; a varied agriculture, cattle and
mule breeding, and cloth manufacture are the principal industries. Niort
is the capital.
SEWARD, ANNA, poetess, born at Eyam, Derbyshire, but from the age of
seven spent her life at Lichfield, where her father was residentiary
canon; was a friend and indefatigable correspondent of Mrs. Piozzi, Dr.
Darwin, Southey, Scott, and others; author of "Louisa," a novel in
poetry, "Sonnets" and other poems, which had in their day considerable
popularity; her correspondence is collected in 6 vols. (1747-1809).
SEWARD, WILLIAM HENRY, American statesman, born at Florida, New York
State; was called to the bar at Utica in 1822, and soon took rank as one
of the finest forensic orators of his country; engaged actively in the
politics of his State, of which he was governor in 1838 and 1840; entered
the U.S. senate in 1849 as an abolitionist, becoming soon the recognised
leader of the Anti-Slavery party; was put forward by the Republican party
as a candidate for presidential nomination, but failing in this he
zealously supported Lincoln, under whom he served as Secretary of State,
conducting with notable success the foreign affairs of the country during
the Civil War and up to the accession of President Grant in 1869; spent
his closing years in travel and retirement (1801-1872).
SEXTANT, an instrument used in navigation (sometimes also in
land-surveying) for measuring the altitudes of celestial bodies and their
angular distances; consists of a graduated brass sector, the sixth part
of a circle, and an arrangement of two small mirrors and telescope;
invented in 1730 by John Hadley.
SEYCHELLES (16), a group of some 30 islands, largest Mahe (59 sq.
m.), situated in the Indian Ocean, 600 m. NE. of Madagascar; taken from
the French by Britain in 1798, and now under the governor of Mauritius;
are mountainous and mostly surrounded by coral reefs; export fibres,
nuts, palm-oil, &c.; Victoria, in Mahe, is the chief town, and an
imperial coaling station.
SFORZA (i. e. stormer), Italian family celebrated during the 15th
and 16th centuries, founded by a military adventurer, a peasant of the
name of Muzia Allendolo, and who received the name; they became dukes of
Milan, and began by hiring their services in war, in which they were
always victorious, to the highest bidder, the first of the number to
attain that rank being Francesco Sforza, the son of the founder, in 1450
(1401-1466), the last of the series being Francois-Marie (1492-1535).
SGRAFFITO, a decorative wall painting, produced by layers of plaster
applied to a moistened surface and afterwards operated on so as to
produce a picture.
SHADWELL, THOMAS, dramatist, who lives as the "MacFlecknoe" of
Dryden's "Absalom and Achitophel," born, of a good family, in Norfolk;
studied law and adopted literature, in which he made a successful start
with the comedy "The Sullen Lovers" (1668); his numerous plays, chiefly
comedies, are of little poetic value, but serve as useful commentaries on
the Restoration period; quarrelled with and satirised Dryden in the
"Medal of John Bayes," which drew forth the crushing retort in Dryden's
famous satire; succeeded Dryden as poet-laureate in 1688 (1640-1692).
SHAFITES, a sect of the Sunnites or orthodox Mohammedans, so called
from Shafei, a descendant of Mohammed.
SHAFTESBURY, ANTHONY ASHLEY COOPER, EARL OF, a notable politician,
prominent in the times of Cromwell and Charles II., born, of good
parentage, in Dorsetshire; passed through Oxford and entered Lincoln's
Inn; sat in the Short Parliament of 1640; changed from the Royalist to
the Parliamentary side during the Civil War, and was a member of
Cromwell's Council of State, but latterly attacked the Protector's
Government, and was one of the chief promoters of the Restoration;
Chancellor of the Exchequer in 1661, and later a member of the "Cabal";
he in 1672 was created an earl and Lord Chancellor, but, hoodwinked by
Charles in the secret Treaty of Dover, went over to the Opposition, lost
his chancellorship, supported an Anti-Catholic policy, leagued himself
with the Country Party, and intrigued with the Prince of Orange; came
into power again, after the "Popish Plot," as the champion of toleration
and Protestantism, became President of the Council, and passed the Habeas
Corpus Act; his virulent attacks on James and espousal of Monmouth's
cause brought about his arrest on a charge of high treason (1681), and
although acquitted he deemed it expedient to flee to Holland, where he
died; one of the ablest men of his age, but of somewhat inscrutable
character, whose shifting policy seems to have been chiefly dominated by
a regard for self; is the "Achitophel" of Dryden's great satire
SHAFTESBURY, ANTHONY ASHLEY COOPER, EARL OF, grandson of the
preceding, philosopher, born in London; was an ardent student in his
youth, made the grand tour, and entered Parliament in 1694, moving to the
Upper House on the death of his father in 1699, where, as a staunch Whig,
he gave steady support to William III.; withdrew from politics, never a
congenial sphere to him, on the accession of Anne, and followed his bent
for literature and philosophy; in 1711 his collected writings appeared
under the title "Characteristics," in which he expounds, in the polite
style of the 18th century, with much ingenuity and at times force, a
somewhat uncritical optimism, enunciating, among other things, the
doubtful maxim that ridicule is the test of truth (1671-1713).
SHAFTESBURY, ANTHONY ASHLEY COOPER, SEVENTH EARL OF, statesman and
philanthropist, born in London; was a distinguished graduate of Oxford,
and entered Parliament as a Conservative in 1826, took office under
Wellington in 1828, and was a lord of the Admiralty in Peel's ministry of
1834; succeeded to the earldom in 1851; but his name lives by virtue of
his noble and lifelong philanthropy, which took shape in numerous Acts of
Parliament, such as the Mines and Collieries Act (1842), excluding women
and boys under 13 working in mines; the Better Treatment of Lunatics Act
(1845), called the Magna Charta of the insane; the Factory Acts (1867);
and the Workshop Regulation Act (1878); while outside Parliament he
wrought with rare devotion in behalf of countless benevolent and
religious schemes of all sorts, notably the Ragged School movement and
the better housing of the London poor; received the freedom of Edinburgh
and London; was the friend and adviser of the Prince Consort and the
SHAH (Pers. "King"), an abbreviation of Shah-in-Shah ("King of
Kings"), the title by which the monarchs of Persia are known; may also be
used in Afghanistan and other Asiatic countries, but more generally the
less assuming title of Khan is taken.
SHAH-JEHAN ("King of the World"), fifth of the Mogul emperors of
Delhi; succeeded his father in 1627; a man of great administrative
ability and a skilled warrior; conquered the Deccan and the kingdom of
Golconda, and generally raised the Mogul Empire to its zenith; his court
was truly Eastern in its sumptuous magnificence; the "Peacock Throne"
alone cost L7,000,000; died in prison, a victim to the perfidy of his
usurping son Aurungzebe; _d_. 1666.
SHAKERS, a fanatical sect founded by one Ann Lee, so called from
their extravagant gestures in worship; they are agamists and communists.
SHAKESPEARE, WILLIAM, great world-poet and dramatist, born in
Stratford-on-Avon, in Warwickshire; his father, John Shakespeare, a
respected burgess; his mother, Mary Arden, the daughter of a well-to-do
farmer, through whom the family acquired some property; was at school at
Stratford, married Anne Hathaway, a yeoman's daughter, at 18, she eight
years older, and had by her three daughters; left for London somewhere
between 1585 and 1587, in consequence, it is said, of some deer-stealing
frolic; took charge of horses at the theatre door, and by-and-by became
an actor. His first work, "Venus and Adonis," appeared in 1593, and
"Lucrece" the year after; became connected with different theatres, and a
shareholder in certain of them, in some of which he took part as actor,
with the result, in a pecuniary point of view, that he bought a house in
his native place, extended it afterwards, where he chiefly resided for
the ten years preceding his death. Not much more than this is known of
the poet's external history, and what there is contributes nothing
towards accounting for either him or the genius revealed in his dramas.
Of the man, says Carlyle, "the best judgment not of this country, but of
Europe at large, is slowly pointing to the conclusion that he is the
chief of all poets hitherto--the greatest intellect, in our recorded
world, that has left record of himself in the way of literature. On the
whole, I know not such a power of vision, such a faculty of thought, if
we take all the characters of it, in any other man--such a calmness of
depth, placid, joyous strength, all things in that great soul of his so
true and clear, as in a tranquil, unfathomable sea.... It is not a
transitory glance of insight that will suffice; it is a deliberate
illumination of the whole matter; it is a calmly _seeing_ eye--a great
intellect, in short.... It is in delineating of men and things,
especially of men, that Shakespeare is great.... The thing he looks at
reveals not this or that face, but its inmost heart, its generic secret;
it dissolves itself as in light before him, so that he discerns the
perfect structure of it.... It is a perfectly _level_ mirror we have
here; no _twisted_, poor convex-concave mirror reflecting all objects
with its own convexities and concavities, that is to say, withal a man
justly related to all things and men, a good man.... And his intellect is
an unconscious intellect; there is more virtue in it than he himself is
aware of.... His art is not artifice; the noblest worth of it is not
there by plan or pre-contrivance. It grows up from the deeps of Nature,
through this noble sincere soul, who is a voice of Nature.... It is
Nature's highest reward to a true, simple, great soul that he got thus to
be _part of herself_." Of his works nothing can or need be said here;
enough to add, as Carlyle further says, "His works are so many windows
through which we see a glimpse of the world that was in him.... Alas!
Shakespeare had to write for the Globe Playhouse; his great soul had to
crush itself, as it could, into that and no other mould. It was with him,
then, as it is with us all. No man works save under conditions. The
sculptor cannot set his own free thought before us, but his thought as he
could translate into the stone that was given, with the tools that were
given. _Disjecta membra_ are all that we find of any poet, or of any
man." Shakespeare's plays, with the order of their publication, are as
follows: "Love's Labour's Lost," 1590; "Comedy of Errors," 1591; 1, 2, 3
"Henry VI.," 1590-1592; "Two Gentlemen of Verona," 1592-1593;
"Midsummer-Night's Dream," 1593-1594; "Richard III.," 1593; "Romeo and
Juliet," 1591-1596 (?); "Richard II.," 1594; "King John," 1595; "Merchant
of Venice," 1596; 1 and 2 "Henry IV.," 1597-1598; "Henry V.," 1599;
"Taming of the Shrew," 1597 (?); "Merry Wives of Windsor," 1598; "Much Ado
about Nothing," 1598; "As You Like It," 1599; "Twelfth Night," 1600-1601;
"Julius Caesar," 1601; "All's Well," 1601-1602 (?); "Hamlet," 1602,
"Measure for Measure," 1603; "Troilus and Cressida," 1603-1607 (?);
"Othello," 1604; "Lear," 1605; "Macbeth," 1606; "Antony and Cleopatra,"
1607; "Coriolanus," 1608; "Timon," 1608; "Pericles," 1608; "Cymbeline,"
1609; "Tempest," 1610; "Winter's Tale," 1610-1611; "Henry VIII.,"
SHAKESPEARE OF DIVINES, an epithet sometimes applied to JEREMY
TAYLOR (q. v.) on account of his poetic style.
SHALOTT, LADY OF, subject of a poem of Tennyson's in love with
Lancelot; wove a web which she must not rise from, otherwise a curse
would fall on her; saw Lancelot pass one day, entered a boat and glided
down to Camelot, but died on the way.
SHAMANISM, the religion of the native savage races of North Siberia,
being a belief in spirits, both good and evil, who can be persuaded to
bless or curse by the incantations of a Priest called a Shaman.
SHAMMAI, an eminent Jewish rabbi of the time of Herod, who held the
position of supreme judge in the Sanhedrim under the presidency of
HILLEL (q. v.), and whose narrow, rigid orthodoxy and repressive
policy became the leading principles of his school, "the House of
Shammai," which, however, carried the system to a pitch of fanatical zeal
not contemplated by its originator.
SHAMROCK, a small trefoil plant, the national emblem of Ireland; it
is matter of dispute whether it is the wood-sorrel, a species of clover,
or some other allied trefoil; the lesser yellow trefoil is perhaps the
most commonly accepted symbol.
SHAMYL, a great Caucasian chief, head of the Lesghians, who combined
the functions of priest and warrior; consolidated the Caucasian tribes in
their resistance to the Russians, and carried on a successful struggle in
his mountain fastnesses for thirty years, till his forces were worn out
and himself made captive in 1859; _d_. 1871.
SHANGHAI (380), the chief commercial city and port of China, on the
Wusung, an affluent of the Yangtse-kiang, 12 m. from the coast, and 160
m. SE. of Nanking; large, densely-peopled suburbs have grown round the
closely-packed and walled city, which, with its narrow, unclean streets,
presents a slovenly appearance; the French and English occupy the
broad-streeted and well-built suburbs in the N.; the low-lying site
exposes the city to great heat in the summer, and to frequent epidemics
of cholera and fever; an extensive system of canals draws down a great
part of the interior produce, and swells the export trade in tea, silk,
cotton, rice, sugar, &c.
SHANNON, the first river of Ireland, and largest in the British
Islands, rises in the Cuilcagh Mountains, Co. Cavan; flows in a
south-westerly direction through Loughs Allen, Ree, and Derg, besides
forming several lough expansions, to Limerick, whence it turns due W.,
and opens out on the Atlantic in a wide estuary between Kerry (S.) and
Clare (N.); has an entire course of 254 m., and is navigable to Lough
Allen, a distance of 213 m.
SHANS or LAOS, the name of a people, descendants of aborigines
of China, forming several large tribes scattered round the frontiers of
Burma, Siam, and South China, whose territory, roughly speaking, extends
N. as far as the Yunnan Plateau of South China; some are independent, but
the bulk of the tribes are subject to Siam, China, and the British in
Burma; practise slavery, are Buddhists, somewhat superstitious, indolent,
pleasure-loving, and for the most part peaceable and content; chased gold
and silver work, rice, cotton, tobacco, &c., are their chief exports.
SHARON, a fertile region in Palestine of the maritime plain between
Carmel and Philistia.
SHARP, ABRAHAM, a schoolmaster of Liverpool, and subsequent
bookkeeper in London, whose wide knowledge of mathematics, astronomy,
&c., attracted FLAMSTEED (q. v.), by whom he was invited in 1688
to enter the Greenwich Royal Observatory, where he did notable work,
improving instruments, and showing great skill as a calculator; published
"Geometry Improved," logarithmic tables, &c. (1651-1742).
SHARP, BECKY, an intriguing character in Thackeray's "Vanity Fair,"
very clever, but without heart.
SHARP, GRANVILLE, a noted abolitionist, born in London; trained for
the bar, but accepted a post in the London Ordnance Office, which he held
until the outbreak of the American War; was a voluminous writer on
philology, law, theology, &c., but mainly devoted himself to the cause of
negro emancipation, co-operating with Clarkson in founding the
Association for the Abolition of Negro Slavery, and taking an active
interest in the new colony for freedom in Sierra Leone; won a famous
decision in the law-courts to the effect that whenever a slave set foot
on English soil he becomes free; he was also one of the founders of the
Bible Society (1734-1813).
SHARP, JAMES, archbishop of St. Andrews, born in Banff Castle;
educated at Aberdeen University, visited England, where he formed
important friendships, and in 1643 was appointed "regent" or professor of
Philosophy at St. Andrews, a post he resigned five years later to become
minister of Crail; during the Protectorate he sided with the
"Resolutioners" or Moderates, and appeared before Cromwell in London to
plead their cause; in 1660 received a commission to go to London to
safeguard the interests of the Scottish Church, a trust he shamefully
betrayed by intriguing with Charles at Breda, and with Clarendon and the
magnates of the English Church to restore Prelacy in Scotland, he himself
(by way of reward) being appointed Archbishop of St. Andrews;
henceforward he was but a pliant tool in the hands of his English
employers, and an object of intense hatred to the Covenanters; in 1668
his life was attempted in Edinburgh by Robert Mitchell, a covenanting
preacher, and ultimately on Magus Muir, May 1679, he was mercilessly
hacked to pieces by a band of Covenanters headed by Hackston and John
SHASTER, a book containing the institutes of the Hindu religion or
its legal requirements.
SHAWNEES, a tribe of American Indians located originally in the
eastern slopes of the Alleghanies, but now removed to Missouri, Kansas,
and the Indian Territory.
SHEBA, believed to be a region in South Arabia, along the shore of
the Red Sea.
SHECHINAH, a glory as of the Divine presence over the mercy-seat in
the Jewish Tabernacle, and reflected from the winged cherubim which
overshadowed it, the reality of which it is the symbol being the Divine
presence in man.
SHEEPSHANKS, JOHN, art collector, born at Leeds, son of a
manufacturer; presented in 1856 a collection of works by British artists
to the nation, now housed in South Kensington (1787-1863).
SHEERNESS (14), a fortified seaport and important garrison town with
important naval dockyards in Kent, occupying the NW. corner of Sheppey
Isle, where the Medway joins the Thames, 52 m. E. of London; is divided
into Blue-town (within the garrison, and enclosing the 60 acres of
docks), Mile-town, Banks-town, and Marina-town (noted for sea-bathing).
SHEFFIELD (324), a city of Yorkshire, and chief centre of the
English cutlery trade, built on hilly ground on the Don near its
confluence with the Sheaf, whence its name, 41 m. E. of Manchester; is a
fine, clean, well-built town, with notable churches, public halls,
theatres, &c., and well equipped with libraries, hospitals, parks,
colleges (e. g. Firth College), and various societies; does a vast
trade in all forms of steel, iron, and brass goods, as well as plated and
britannia-metal articles; has of late years greatly developed its
manufactures of armour-plate, rails, and other heavier goods; its
importance as a centre of cutlery dates from very early times, and the
Cutlers' Company was founded in 1624; has been from Saxon times the
capital of the manor district of Hallamshire; it is divided into five
parliamentary districts, each of which sends a member to Parliament.
SHEFFIELD, JOHN, Duke of Buckinghamshire, son of the Earl of
Mulgrave, whose title he succeeded to in 1658; served in the navy during
the Dutch wars of Charles II.; held office under James II., and was by
William III. created Marquis of Normanby; a staunch Tory in Anne's reign,
he was rewarded with a dukedom, lost office through opposing Marlborough,
but was reinstated after 1710, and in George I.'s reign worked in the
Stuart interest; wrote an "Essay on Poetry," &c. (1649-1721).
SHEIKH, the chief of an Arab tribe; used often as a title of
respect, Sheikh-ul-Islam being the ecclesiastical head of Mohammedans in
SHEIL, RICHARD LALOR, Irish patriot, born in Tipperary; bred to the
bar; gave himself for some time to literature, living by it; joined the
Catholic Association; was distinguished for his oratory and his devotion,
alongside of O'Connell, to Catholic emancipation; supported the Whig
Government, and held office under Melbourne and Lord John Russell
SHEKEL, among the ancient Hebrews originally a weight, and
eventually the name of a coin of gold or silver, or money of a certain
weight, the silver = 5s. per oz., and the gold = L4.
SHELBURNE, WILLIAM PETTY, EARL OF, statesman, born in Dublin;
succeeded to his father's title in 1761, a few weeks after his election
to the House of Commons; held office in the ministries of Grenville
(1763), of Chatham (1766), and of Rockingham (1782); his acceptance of
the Premiership in 1782, after Rockingham's death, led to the resignation
of Fox and the entry of William Pitt, at the age of 23, into the Cabinet;
his short ministry (July 1782 to Feb. 1783) saw the close of the
Continental and American wars, and the concession of independence to the
colonies, collapsing shortly afterwards before the powerful coalition of
Fox and North; in 1784, on his retirement from politics, was created
Marquis of Lansdowne; was a Free-Trader, supporter of Catholic
emancipation, and otherwise liberal in his views, but rather tactless in
steering his way amid the troublous politics of his time (1737-1805).
SHELDONIAN THEATRE, "Senate House" of Oxford; so called from Gilbert
Sheldon, archbishop of Canterbury, who built it.
SHELLEY, MARY WOLLSTONECRAFT, author of "Frankenstein," daughter of
William Godwin and Mary Wollstonecraft; became the wife of the poet
Shelley in 1816 after a two years' illicit relationship; besides
"Frankenstein" (1828), wrote several romances, "The Last Man," "Lodore,"
&c., also "Rambles in Germany and Italy"; edited with valuable notes her
husband's works (1797-1851).
SHELLEY, PERCY BYSSHE, born at Field Place, near Horsham, Sussex,
eldest son of Sir Timothy Shelley, a wealthy landed proprietor; was
educated at Eton, and in 1810 went to Oxford, where his impatience of
control and violent heterodoxy of opinion, characteristic of him
throughout, burst forth in a pamphlet "The Necessity of Atheism," which
led to his expulsion in 1811, along with Jefferson Hogg, his subsequent
biographer; henceforth led a restless, wandering life; married at 19
Harriet Westbrook, a pretty girl of 16, a school companion of his sister,
from whom he was separated within three years; under the influence of
WILLIAM GODWIN (q. v.) his revolutionary ideas of politics and
society developed apace; engaged in quixotic political enterprises in
Dublin, Lynmouth, and elsewhere, and above all put to practical test
Godwin's heterodox view on marriage by eloping (1814) to the Continent
with his daughter Mary, whom he married two years later after the
unhappy suicide of Harriet; in 1816, embittered by lord Eldon's decision
that he was unfit to be trusted with the care of Harriet's children, and
with consumption threatening, he left England never to return; spent the
few remaining years of his life in Italy, chiefly at Lucca, Florence, and
Pisa, in friendly relations with Byron, Leigh Hunt, Trelawney, &c.;
during this time were written his greatest works, "Prometheus Unbound,"
"The Cenci," his noble lament on Keats, "Adonais," besides other longer
works, and most of his finest lyrics, "Ode to the South Wind," "The
Skylark," &c.; was drowned while returning in an open sailing-boat from
Leghorn to his home on Spezia Bay; "An enthusiast for humanity
generally," says Professor Saintsbury, "and towards individuals a man of
infinite generosity and kindliness, he yet did some of the cruellest and
some of not the least disgraceful things from mere childish want of
realising the _pacta conventa_ of the world;" Shelley is pre-eminently
the poet of lyric emotion, the subtle and most musical interpreter of
vague spiritual longing and intellectual desire; his poems form together
"the most sensitive," says Stopford Brooke, "the most imaginative, and
the most musical, but the least tangible lyrical poetry we possess"
SHENANDOAH, a river of Virginia, formed by two head-streams rising
in Augusta Co., which unite 85 m. W. of Washington, and flowing NE.
through the beautiful "Valley of Virginia," falls into the Potomac at
Harper's Ferry, after a course of 170 m.; also the name of a town (16) in
Pennsylvania, 138 m. NW. of Philadelphia; centre of an important coal
SHENSTONE, WILLIAM, poet, born, the son of a landed proprietor, at
Hales-Owen, Shropshire; was educated at Pembroke College, Oxford, and
during the years 1737-42 produced three vols. of poetry, the most noted
being "The Schoolmistress"; succeeded to his father's estate in 1745, and
entered with much enthusiasm and reckless expenditure into
landscape-gardening, which won him in his day a wider reputation than his
poetry; his "Essays" have considerable critical merit and originality,
while his poetry--ballads odes, songs, &c.--has a music and grace despite
its conventional diction (1714-1763).
SHEOL, the dark underworld or Hades of the Hebrews, inhabited by the
shades of the dead.
SHEPHERD KINGS or HYKSOS, a tribe of shepherds, alleged to have
invaded Lower Egypt 2000 years before Christ, overthrown the reigning
dynasty, and maintained their supremacy for 200 years.
SHEPHERD OF SALISBURY PLAIN, name of the hero, a shepherd of the
name of Saunders, in a tract written by Hannah More, characterised by
homely wisdom and simple piety.
SHEPPARD, JACK, a notorious criminal, whose audacious robberies and
daring escapes from Newgate Prison made him for a time the terror and
talk of London; drew some 200,000 people to witness his execution at
Tyburn; figures as the hero of a well-known novel by Harrison Ainsworth
SHEPPEY, ISLE OF, an islet in the estuary of the Thames, at the
mouth of the Medway, belonging to Kent, from which it is separated by the
Swale (spanned by a swing-bridge); great clay cliffs rise on the N., and
like the rest of the island, are rich in interesting fossil remains; corn
is grown, and large flocks of sheep raised; chief town is
SHEERNESS (q. v.), where the bulk of the people are gathered; is
gradually diminishing before the encroaching sea.
SHERBORNE (4), an interesting old town of Dorsetshire, pleasantly
situated on rising ground overlooking the Yeo, 118 m. SW. of London; has
one of the finest Perpendicular minsters in South England, ruins of an
Elizabethan castle, and King Edward's School, founded in 1550, and
ranking among the best of English public schools.
SHERBROOKE, ROBERT LOW, VISCOUNT, statesman, born, the son of a
rector, at Bingham, Notts; graduated at Oxford; obtained a Fellowship,
and in 1836 was called to the bar; six years later emigrated to
Australia; made his mark at the Sydney bar, taking at the same time an
active part in the politics of the country; returned to England in 1850,
and entered Parliament, holding office under Lord Aberdeen (1853) and
Lord Palmerston (1855); education became his chief interest for some
time, and in 1866 he fiercely opposed the Whig Reform Bill, but
subsequently made amends to his party by his powerful support of
Gladstone's Irish Church Disestablishment Bill, and was included in the
Liberal ministry of 1868 as Chancellor of the Exchequer, a post he held
till 1873, when he became Home Secretary; a man of great intellectual
force and independency of judgment; created a viscount in 1880; was
D.C.L. of Oxford and LL.D. of Edinburgh (1811-1892).
SHERE ALI, Ameer of Afghanistan, son and successor of Dost Mohammed,
at first favoured by Britain, but at last distrusted and was driven from
the throne (1823-1879).
SHERIDAN, PHILIP HENRY, a distinguished American general, born, of Irish
parentage, in Albany, New York; obtained a cadetship at West Point
Military Academy, and entered the army as a second-lieutenant in 1853;
served in Texas and during the Civil War; won rapid promotion by his
great dash and skill as commander of a cavalry regiment; gained wide
repute by his daring raids into the S.; cleared the Confederates out of
the Shenandoah Valley in 1864, and by his famous ride (October 19, 1864)
from Winchester to Cedar Creek snatched victory out of defeat, routing
the conjoined forces of Early and Lee; received the thanks of Congress,
and was created major-general; took an active part under Grant in
compelling the surrender of Lee, and in bringing the war to a
close; subsequently during Grant's presidency was promoted to
lieutenant-general; visited Europe in 1870 to witness the Franco-German
War, and in 1883 succeeded Sherman as general-in-chief of the American
SHERIDAN, RICHARD BRINSLEY BUTLER, dramatist and politician, born in
Dublin; educated at Harrow; was already committed to literature when, in
1773, he settled down in London with his gifted young wife, Elizabeth
Linley, and scored his first success with the "Rivals" in 1775, following
it up with the overrated "Duenna"; aided by his father-in-law became
owner of Drury Lane Theatre, which somewhat lagged till the production of
his most brilliant satirical comedy, "The School for Scandal" (1777) and
the "Critic" set flowing the tide of prosperity; turning his attention
next to politics he entered Parliament under Fox's patronage in 1780, and
two years later became Under-Secretary for Foreign Affairs in
Rockingham's ministry; his great speech (1787) impeaching Hastings for
his treatment of the Begums placed him in the front rank of orators, but
although he sat for 32 years in Parliament, only once again reached the
same height of eloquence in a speech (1794) supporting the French
Revolution, and generally failed to establish himself as a reliable
statesman; meanwhile his theatrical venture had ended disastrously, and
other financial troubles thickening around him, he died in poverty, but
was accorded a burial in Westminster Abbey (1751-1816).
SHERIF or SHEREEF, a title of dignity among Mohammedans of
either sex bestowed upon descendants of the Prophet through his daughters
Fatima and Ali; as a distinguishing badge women wear a green veil, and
men a green turban.
SHERIFF, in England the chief officer of the Crown in every county,
appointed annually, and intrusted with the execution of the laws and the
maintenance of peace and order, with power to summon the _posse
commitatus_. The office originated in Anglo-Saxon times, when it
exercised wide judicial functions which have been gradually curtailed,
and such duties as remain--the execution of writs, enforcement of legal
decisions, &c., are mostly delegated to an under-sheriff (usually a
lawyer) and bound-bailiffs, while the sheriff himself, generally a person
of wealth (the office being unsalaried and compulsory, but not
necessarily for more than one year) discharges merely honorary duties. In
Scotland the sheriff, or sheriff-depute as he is called, is the chief
judge of the county, and has under him one or more sheriffs-substitute,
upon whom devolves the larger portion of the important and multifarious
duties of his office. In America the sheriff is the chief administrative
officer of the county, but exercises no judicial functions at all.
SHERIFFMUIR, a barren spot stretching N. of the Ochils, in
Perthshire, 5 m. NE. of Stirling; was the scene of an indecisive conflict
between 9000 Jacobites under the Earl of Mar and 3500 Royalists under the
Duke of Argyll, November 13, 1715.
SHERLOCK, THOMAS, English prelate, born in London; became bishop in
succession of Bangor, Salisbury, and London, declining the Primacy; wrote
several theological works, and took up arms against the rationalists of
the day, such as Collins and Woolston (1678-1761).
SHERLOCK HOLMES, an amateur detective, a creation of Dr. Conan
SHERMAN, WILLIAM TECUMSEH, a distinguished American general, born,
the son of a judge, in Lancaster, Ohio; first saw service as a lieutenant
of artillery in the Indian frontier wars in Florida and California;
resigned from the army in 1853, and set up as a banker in San Francisco,
but at the outbreak of the Civil War accepted a colonelcy in the
Federalist ranks; distinguished himself at the battles of Bull Run (1861)
and Shiloh (1862); received promotion, and as second in command to Grant
rendered valuable service in reducing Vicksburg and Memphis; was present
at the victory of Chattanooga, and during 1864 entered into command of
the SW.; captured the stronghold of Atlanta, and after a famous march
seaward with 65,000 men took Savannah, which he followed up with a series
of victories in the Carolinas, receiving, on 26th April 1865, the
surrender of General Johnston, which brought the war to a close; was
created general and commander-in-chief of the army in 1869, a position he
held till 1869; published memoirs of his military life (1820-1891).
SHERWOOD FOREST, once an extensive forest, the scene of Robin Hood's
exploits, in Nottinghamshire, stretching some 25 m. between Worksop and
Nottingham, but now a hilly, disafforested tract occupied by country
houses and private parks, several villages, and the town of Mansfield.
SHETLAND or ZETLAND (29), a group of over 100 islands, islets,
and skerries, of which 29 are inhabited, forming the northernmost county
of Scotland, lying out in the Atlantic, NNE. of the Orkneys; Mainland
(378 sq. m.), Fell, and Unst are the largest; the coast-line is boldly
precipitous and indented, while the scenery all over the island is very
grand; the soil is peaty, ill adapted to cultivation, but there is
considerable rearing of stock, and the little shaggy pony is well known;
fishing is the chief industry, herring, cod, ling, &c. LERWICK
(q. v.) is the capital.
SHIBBOLETH, a word by which the Gileadites distinguished an
Ephraimite from his inability to sound the _sh_ in the word, and so
discovered whether he was friend or foe; hence it has come to denote a
party cry or watchword.
SHIELDS, NORTH, a flourishing seaport of Northumberland, on the
Tyne, near the mouth, 8 m. NE. of Newcastle-upon-Tyne, and lying within
the municipal borough of Tynemouth (47); is of quite modern growth, and
of a plain, uninteresting appearance; has a theatre, free library,
Mariners' Home, fine park, &c.; the docks cover 79 acres, and a large
export trade in coal is carried on.
SHIELDS, SOUTH (78), a busy seaport and popular watering-place in
Durham, with a frontage of 2 m. on the south bank of the Tyne, 9 m. NE.
of Newcastle-upon-Tyne, a place of residence from ancient times, with
Roman remains, &c.; has a theatre, public library, marine school, two
fine parks with central parade, 50 acres of docks, &c.; exports immense
quantities of coal and coke.
SHIITES, a sect of the Mohammedans, who reject the "SUNNA"
(q. v.) and championed the claims of Ali Mahommed's cousin and
son-in-law to succeed to the Caliphate, and maintain the divine right of
his descendants to represent the prophet in the Mohammedan Church. The
Persians belong to this sect.
SHIKARPUR (42), capital of a district (853) in N. Sind, India,
situated on rich alluvial ground, 18 m. W. of the Indus, and 330 m. N. of
Karachi; since the opening of the Indus Valley Railway it has lost much
of its importance as a commercial entrepot between India and Khorassan;
vicinity produces excellent grain crops, and carpets, cottons, &c., are
manufactured in the town.
SHILOH, a village 20 m. N. of Jerusalem, sacred as the site of the
resting-place of the Tabernacle on the settlement of the Jews in the land
of promise. Is a name also of the Messiah.
SHINAR, the vast alluvial plain extending along the Tagus and
Euphrates, forming the country of Chaldea and Babylonia.
SHINTOISM, the native religion of Japan; a system of ancestor
worship chiefly, combined with which is a religious homage paid to the
SHIP-MONEY, a tax levied by Charles I. at the suggestion of Noy, the
Attorney-General, who based its imposition on an old war-tax leviable on
port-towns to furnish a navy in times of danger, and which Charles
imposed in a time of peace without consent of Parliament, and upon inland
as well as port-towns, provoking thereby wide-spread dissatisfaction, and
Hampden's refusal to pay, which with the trial and decision in favour of
Charles contributed to bring about the Civil War, which cost Charles his
life; was declared illegal by the Long Parliament in 1640.
SHIPTON, MOTHER, a prophetess of English legend, whose preternatural
knowledge revealed in her prophecies, published after her death, was
ascribed to an alliance with the devil, by whom it was said she became
the mother of an ugly impish child.
SHIRAZ (30), a celebrated city of Persia, occupying a charming site
on an elevated plain, 165 m. NE. of Bushire; founded in the 8th century;
was for long a centre of Persian culture, and a favourite resort of the
royal princes; its beauties are celebrated in the poems of Haefiz and
Sadi, natives of the place; has been thrice wrecked by earthquakes, and
presents now a somewhat dilapidated appearance.
SHIRE, a river of East Africa, flows out of Lake Nyassa, and passes
in a southerly course through the Shire Highlands, a distance of 370 m.,
till it joins the Zambesi; discovered by Livingstone.
SHIRLEY, JAMES, dramatist, born in London, educated at Oxford and
Cambridge; entered the Church, but turning Catholic resigned, and after
trying teaching established himself in London as a play-writer; wrote
with great facility, producing upwards of thirty plays before the
suppression of theatres in 1642; fell back on teaching as a means of
livelihood, and with a temporary revival of his plays after the
Restoration eked out a scanty income till fear and exposure during the
Great Fire brought himself and his wife on the same day to a common
grave; of his plays mention may be made of "The Witty Fair One," "The
Wedding," "The Lady of Pleasure," "The Traitor," etc. (1596-1666).
SHISHAK, the name of several monarchs of Egypt of the twenty-second
dynasty, the first of whom united nearly all Egypt under one government,
invaded Judea and plundered the Temple of Jerusalem about 962 B.C.
SHITTIM WOOD, a hard, close-grained acacia wood of an orange-brown
colour found in the Arabian Desert, and employed in constructing the
SHOA (1,500), the southmost division of ABYSSINIA (q. v.);
was an independent country till its conquest by Theodore of Abyssinia in
1855; is traversed by the Blue Nile, and has a mixed population of Gallas
SHODDY, a stuff woven of old woollen fabrics teased into fibre and
of new wool intermixed.
SHOEBURYNESS, a town in Essex, near Southend, a stretch of moorland
utilised by the Government for gunnery practice.
SHOLAPUR (61), chief town in the Presidency of Bombay, in a district
(750) of the name, 283 m. E. of Bombay; has cotton and silk manufactures.
SHORE, JANE, the celebrated mistress of Edward IV.; was the young
wife of a respected London goldsmith till she was taken up by the king,
through whom, till the close of the reign, she exercised great power,
"never abusing it to any man's hurt, but to many a man's comfort and
relief"; was ill-treated and persecuted by Richard III. for political
purposes; subsequently lived under the patronage of Lord Hastings, and
afterwards of the Marquis of Dorset, surviving till 1527; the story of
her life has been made the subject of many ballads, plays, etc.
SHOREDITCH (120), parliamentary borough of East London; returns two
members to Parliament; manufactures furniture, boot and shoes, beer, etc.
SHOREHAM, NEW, a seaport 6 m. W. of Brighton; has oyster and other
fisheries, and shipbuilding yards.
SHORTHOUSE, JOSEPH HENRY, author of "John Inglesant," born in
Birmingham; wrote also "Sir Percival" and "Little Schoolmaster Mark,"
etc.; is remarkable for his refined style of writing, latterly too much
so; his first work, "John Inglesant," published in 1881, is his best;
SHOVEL, SIR CLOUDESLEY, a celebrated English admiral, born at Clay,
in Norfolk; was apprenticed to a cobbler, but ran away to sea, and rose
from grade to grade till in 1674 we find him a lieutenant in the
Mediterranean fleet; was knighted in 1689 for his gallantry as commander
of a ship in the battle of Bantry Bay, and in the following year as
rear-admiral was prominent at the engagement off Beachy Head; in 1692
gave heroic assistance to Admiral Russell at La Hogue, and in 1702 to
Rooke at Malaga; elevated to the commandership of the English fleets he
in 1705 captured Barcelona, but on his way home from an unsuccessful
attack upon Toulon was wrecked on the Scilly Isles and drowned
SHREWSBURY (27), county town of Shropshire, situated on a small
peninsula formed by a horse-shoe bend of the Severn, 42 m. W. by N. of
Birmingham; three fine bridges span the river here, connecting it with
several extensive suburbs; a picturesque old place with winding streets
and quaint timber dwelling-houses, a Norman castle, abbey church, ruined
walls, etc. The public school, founded by Edward VI., ranks amongst the
best in England; figures often in history as a place where Parliament met
in 1397-98, and in 1403 gave its name to the battle which resulted in the
defeat of Hotspur and the Earl of Douglas by Henry IV.; it was taken by
the Parliamentarians in 1644; chief industries are glass-painting,
malting, and iron-founding.
SHROPSHIRE or SALOP (236), an agricultural and mining county of
England, on the Welsh border, facing Montgomery chiefly, between Cheshire
(N.) and Hereford (S.); is divided into two fairly equal portions by the
Severn, E. and N. of which is low, level, and fertile, excepting the
Wrekin (1320 ft.), while on the SW. it is hilly (Clee Hills, 1805 ft.);
Ellesmere is the largest of several lakes; Coalbrookdale is the centre of
a rich coal district, and iron and lead are also found. Shrewsbury is the
capital; it consists of four Parliamentary divisions.
SHROVETIDE, confession-time, especially the days immediately before
Lent, when, in Catholic times, the people confessed their sins to the
parish priest and afterwards gave themselves up to sports, and dined on
pancakes, Shrove Tuesday being Tuesday before Ash Wednesday, or the first
day of Lent.
SHUMLA or SHUMNA (24), a fortified city of Bulgaria, 80 m. SE.
of Rustchuk; has an arsenal, barracks, etc., is an important strategical
centre between the Lower Danube and the East Balkans.
SHYLOCK, the Jew in Shakespeare's "Merchant of Venice."
SIAM (9,000 of Siamese, Chinese, Shans, and Malays), occupies the
central portion of the Indo-Chinese peninsula, wedged in between Annam
and Cambodia (E.) and Burma (W.), and extending down into the Malay
Peninsula; the wide Gulf of Siam forms the southern boundary; the rich
alluvial valleys of the Menam and the Mekhong produce great quantities of
rice (chief export), teak-wood, hemp, tobacco, cotton, etc., but of the
land surface only about one-twentieth is cultivated, a large portion of
the rest lying under forest and jungle; the Siamese are indolent,
ignorant, ceremonious, and the trade is mainly in the hands of the
Chinese; the mining of gold, tin, and especially rubies and sapphires, is
also carried on. Buddhism is the national religion, and elementary
education is well advanced; government is vested in a king (at present an
enlightened and English-educated monarch) and council of ministers; since
Sir J. Bowring's treaty in 1856, opening up the country to European trade
and influences, progress has been considerable in roads and railway,
electric, telephonic, and postal communication. BANGKOK (q. v.)
is the capital. In 1893 a large tract of territory NE. of the Mekhong was
ceded to France.
SIAMESE TWINS, twins born in Siam, of Chinese parents, whose bodies
were united by a fleshy band extended between corresponding breast-bones;
were purchased from their mother and exhibited in Europe and America,
realised a competency by their exhibitions, married and settled in the
States; having lost by the Civil War, they came over to London and
exhibited, where they died, one 21/2 hours after the other (1811-1874).