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born on the 1st of May, 1672.
After receiving a preparatory education, he entered the University of Oxford, at the age of fifteen, where he remained for ten years, and soon became distinguished for diligence and classical learning. His first publication appeared when he was twenty-two, in a
copy of verses addressed to Dryden the poet. After producing a translation of the fourth of Virgil's poems, called the Georgics (see Mantuan), and various other small pieces, he published, in 1695, a complimentary poem on the wars of King William III. which procured him a pension of £300 a-year, by which he was enabled to travel. He lost this pension on the death of William, in 1702. He was again rewarded, however, for a new publication of a similar nature, in 1704, by being appointed to a government office. In August, 1716, Addison married the dowager Countess of Warwick, by whom he had a daughter. After holding various offices connected with government, he was appointed by George I., in 1717, one of the Secretaries of State; an office, however, which he soon resigned. He died at Holland House, near London, on the 17th June, 1719. When dying, he sent for his stepson, the young Earl of Warwick, and grasping his hand, exclaimed with great earnestness, “See with what peace a Christian can die!" Soon after his death his works were published in four large volumes; the most celebrated of which are his Essays, which first appeared in the periodicals called the Tatler, the Spectator, the Guardian, and the Freeholder. Addison's writings are considered models of English composition.
ÆNE'AS, a Trojan prince, son of Anchíses and Venus. He is said to have left Troy (see Troy) during its siege, or when it was taken, bearing on his shoulders his aged father, and accompanied by his wife Creúsa and his son Julus or Ascánius. After wandering about for seven
years, during which his wife and father died, he landed in Italy with 100 followers. He was at first kindly received by Lati'nus, king of the country, but was afterwards attacked by him. In the war Latinus was defeated and slain. Æneas then married Lavin'ia, the daughter of Latinus, and took possession of his kingdom. Æneas was afterwards worshipped as a god by the Romans, under the title of Jupiter Indiges; and the famous Julian Roman family to which Cæsar belonged, boasted their descent from his son Julus.
AFRIT or AFREET, an imaginary monster, introduced by Southey into his poem, Thalaba. It is thus described:—He beheld a black demon heaped on the ground like a mountain, with two large horns on his head and a proboscis, fast asleep.
His head combined the likenesses of the elephant and the wild bull. His teeth grew out as the tusks of a boar, and all over his monstrous carcase hung shaggy hairs, like those of the bear. His nostrils were like the ovens of brick-burners, and his mouth resembled the vat of the dyer. When his breath came forth, from its vehemence, the dust rose up as a whirlwind, so as to leave a chasm in the earth; and when he drew it in, chaff, sand, and pebbles, from the distance of some yards, were attracted to his nostrils.
AGA COUPLET.-Two lines of eastern or Oriental poetry, perhaps written by an Aga--a general title given in Turkey and other eastern nations, either to a military officer, or a civil ruler.
AGIS.–Four kings of Sparta or Lacedæ'mon bore this name.
The last shared the kingly dignity with Leon'idas. At the period this Agis ascended the throne (244 B.c.), the manners of the Spartans had become very much corrupted. He at once zealously set to work, both by his personal example and public conduct, to
bring about a reform. In this he was opposed by his colleague, and the higher class of the people. And although he made great personal sacrifices for the accomplishment of this noble object, he only incurred the hatred of the bad, by whom he was seized and put to death, at the early age of twenty-four, when he had only reigned four years. Seeing one of his executioners moved to tears, Agis said, "Lament me not; though I suffer unjustly, I am happier than my murderers.
AIKIN, JOHN, M.D., was the son of a Dissenting minister of the same name. He was born at Kibworth Harcourt, a village in Leicestershire, in January, 1747. Besides receiving a classical school education, he studied two years at the University of Edinburgh, and afterwards in Manchester and London. Dr, Aikin first commenced practice as a physician at Chester, in 1770, where he also published his first work. In little more than a year he removed his practice to Warrington, where he continued till the year 1784. While here, he published some of his most valuable works. In 1772 Dr. Aikin married his cousin, Miss Jennings, with whom he enjoyed much happiness during the remainder of his long life. In 1784 he went to the University of Leyden, and took the degree of M.D. On returning to England he fixed on Yarmouth to renew his practice. After remaining there for about seven years, he withdrew with his family to London in 1792. On account of declining health Dr. Aikin finally retired to Stoke Newington, where he continued to reside till his death, which took place by apoplexy, in December, 1822, at the mature age of almost seventysix. His writings are numerous, and upon a variety of subjects. Besides editing the Monthly Magazine for ten years, and afterwards other periodicals, his principal works are-A General Biographical Dictionary; Select
Works of the British Poets; Lives of John Howard and Agricola, and (along with his sister, Mrs. Barbauld) Evenings at Home, &c., &c.
AL'ARIC, a celebrated king of the Goths, a warlike nation in the east of Europe. He was greatly respected for his military valour, and during his reign he kept the Roman empire in constant alarm. After twice receiv. ing large sums from the Emperor Honorius, to retire from the walls of Rome, he besieged it a third time, entered the city on the 24th August, 410, and plundered it. He died a few months afterwards, in the fourteenth year of his reign.
ALBION, the Latin name for Great Britain, from Albion, the son of Neptune, who is said to have reigned there, or, what is more likely, from Albus (Lat. white), on account of the chalky white cliffs of England.
ALBURNUM, Lat. (from Albus white) The soft, sappy, pale-looking part of the tree next the bark, being the new wood, or the part produced by the year's growth,
ALCÆ'US, a famed lyric poet of Mityléne in Lesbos, an island of Greece. He lived about the year 600 B.C., being of the same period and country with the famous poetess Sappho, to whom he paid his addresses. Only a few fragments of his works now remain,
ALEXANDER THE GREAT.—This renowned prince, who was born 356 B.C., was the son of Philip II. king of Macedon, and of Olym'pias, a daughter of the king of Epi'rus. He early displayed great military talents and high genius, which were cherished and matured by the sage instructions of the profound Ar'istotle, whose teaching and training he enjoyed for about five years. Philip having gone to war, Alexander, when only fifteen years of age, was left to govern Macedonia. He quelled a dangerous sedition which broke out in the State, and soon afterwards followed his father to the field, and saved his life in battle. Philip being murdered (336 B.c.) when engaged in celebrating his daughter's marriage, and when just on the eve of setting out on his Asiatic expedition against the Persians, at the head of the combined force of Greece, Alexander, in his twentieth year, succeeded to the Macedonian throne, and the command of the Greeks. He immediately entered into all his father's warlike schemes. After, next
subduing all opposition in the neighbouring states of Europe, he set out (334 s.c.) on the Asiatic expedition, with an army of about 35,000 men and a very small sum of money. His future career, as well as that of the two past years, was one of the most brilliant and successful recorded in the history of military exploits. Asia Minor, Assyria, Egypt, Persia, Tartary, &c. &c, all fell before him. In short, during the twelve years and eight months of his reign, he may be said to have conquered the then known world. He died suddenly at Babylon, in the very hight of his glory, 323 B.C., in his thirtythird year. Notwithstanding of many good qualities, Alexander latterly gave himself up to much excess and debauchery, and is said to have wept because he had no more countries to conquer; thus proving himself to be “the youth that all things but himself subdued.”
ALEXANDRIA, an important city on the northwest coast of Egypt, built by Alexander the Great, 332 B.C., and named after him. Population, 60,000.
ALMA’DEN, an inland town in Spain, situated on a hill of cinnabar amongst the Morena Mountains. Population, 7000.
ALPS, a celebrated range of mountains separating Italy from France, Switzerland, and Germany, towering to the stupendous hight of above 15,000 feet; Mount Blanc, the highest peak, is 15,732 feet high. See The Course, page 116.