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IN the drama of modern literature, the same happy production of an author's genius which forms, by its title and situation, the prologue to his work with his readers, is the epilogue of his own task, and generally records his final feelings toward that task.

Those of the Editor of the London Encyclopædia on the present occasion are certainly akin to the joy of harvest:' he is released from a degree of toil of which, at the commencement of his undertaking, though not without experience in this department of literature, he had no adequate conception; and from anxieties of which a fair judgment can only be formed by a species of author not very common, even in this prolific age of the genus,-the Editor of an entire Encyclopædia.

His task has been completed (he may say with Dr. Johnson) with ‘little assistance from the learned and without the patronage of the great.' He will shortly mention a few 'honorable' names in connexion with contributions as original he believes in their conception and plan, as ample and accurate in their details: but the object of the Proprietor and Editor has been to furnish an Encyclopædia for the educated and upper portions of the middle and mercantile classes-reasonable in price, while respectable in scientific character; in short, to popularize the researches of original writers and discoverers, and present that ample abridgment of the entire mass of human knowledge which is so often demanded by persons in every department of active and professional life, but in which they do not expect to find materials for the distinct and full cultivation of any one science. An Encyclopædia is rather designed to lead to the portal of the temple of knowledge, to announce its divisions, its priesthood, and its rites; reminding those who are ambitious of attaining excellence in any particular science, that they must become individual worshippers, under superior guidance: and the praise of originality must be constantly sacrificed, in this department of literature, to that of usefulness.

That he has in some measure succeeded in his designs, the Editor presumes to conclude from the sale of the work during publication: this has often stimulated him to fresh exertions when disposed to sink in weariness, and encouraged the proprietor to concur in the enlargement of the original portion. Still it is to the future that the spirited Publisher must look for his remuneration, and, 'as the Editor can bear testimony to the honorable promptitude with which all its serious pecuniary engagements have been fulfilled, he feels confident that the public will not disappoint the fair expectations of the Publisher in this respect.

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The following is a list of principal articles, and their contributors:

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The Editor is himself responsible, in addition to the onerous task of compilation connected with this work, for a family of distinct articles too numerous to particularize. In that task, and in the articles on AFRICA, ENTOMOLOGY, MINERALOGY, NUMISMATOLOGY, and all the miscellaneous articles in Chemistry and Medicine from AIR, it is finally his mournful satisfaction to record the dutiful and valuable assistance he received from a most hopeful and lamented son, JOHN CURTIS, who, on the eve of completing his nineteenth year, was snatched from his family and the world in February last. 'If there be,' says the truly philosophical Historian of Enthusiasm, a real and necessary agency in heaven as well as on earth, and if human nature is destined to act its part in such an economy-then the removal of individuals in the very prime of their fitness for useful labors ceases to be impenetrably mysterious. This excellent mechanism of matter and mind, which beyond any other of His works declares the wisdom of the Creator-shall stand up anew from the dust of dissolution, with freshened powers, and, with a store of hard-earned and practical wisdom for its guidance, shall essay new labors-we say not perplexities and perils-in the service of God.'

Grove House School,

Islington, August 1829.




A, is the first letter, and first vowel of the al- They go a begging to a bankrupt's door.

phabet in all the modern, and in most of the ancient languages. In English, some grammarians have given it three sounds, the broad, open, and slender; others have even added to these; but, in fact, it has regularly only two sounds peculiar to itself, a short and a long one; all the other sounds being irregular, varying according to its combination with other letters.

The broad sound, resembling that of the German a, is found in many of our monosyllables, as all, wall, malt, salt; in which a is pronounced as au in cause, or aw in law. Many of these words were anciently written with au, as fault, waulk; which happens to be still retained in fault.

A open, not unlike the a of the Italians, is found in father, rather, and more obscurely in fancy, fast, &c.

A, slender, or close, is the peculiar a of the English language, resembling the sound of the French e masculine, or diphthong ai in païs; or perhaps a middle sound between them: to this perhaps a middle sound between them: to this the Arabic a is said nearly to approach. Of this sound we have examples in the words place, face, waste; and all those that terminate in ation, as relation, nation, generation.


May peace still slumber by these purling fountains'
Find, when we come a fishing here.
Which we may every year
Find, when we come a fishing here.
Now the men fell a rubbing of armour, which a
great while had lain oiled.
He will knap the spears a pieces with his teeth.
More's Antid. Athm.
Another falls a ringing a Pescennius Niger, and
judiciously distinguishes the sound of it to be mo-
Addison on Medals.

4. A is used in burlesque poetry, to lengthen
out a syllable, without adding to the sense.
For cloves and nutmegs to the line-a
And even for oranges to China.


5. A is sometimes in familiar writings, put by a barbarous corruption for he; as, will a come, for will he come.

the power of the French a in these phrases, a 6. A, in composition, seems to have sometimes. droit, a gauche, &c. and sometimes to be contracted from at; as, aside, aslope, afoot, asleep, athirst, aware.

I gin to be a weary of the sun;

And wish the state of th' world were now undone.
Shakspeare's Macbeth.
And now a breeze from shore began to blow,

A is short, as glass, grass; or long, as glaze,
gruze: it is marked long, generally by an e final, The sailors ship their oars, and cease to row;
plane; or by an i added, as plain. The short a
is open, the long a close.

1. A, taken materially, or for itself, is a noun; as, a great A, a little a.

Truly were I great A, before I would be willing to be so abused, I should wish myself little a, a thousand times. Wallis's Correction of Hobbes. 2. A, an article set before nouns of the singular number; a man, a tree, denoting the number one; as a man is coming, that is, no more than one; or an indefinite indication, as, a man may come this way, that is, any man. This article has no plural signification. Before a word beginning with a vowel, it is written an; as, an ox, an egg, of which a is the contraction.

3. A is placed before a participle, or participial noun; and is considered by Wallis, as a contraction of at, when it is put before a word denoting some action not yet finished; as, I am a walking. It also seems to be anciently contracted from at, when placed before local surnames; as, Thomas a Becket. In other cases, it seems to signify to, like the French à. A hunting Chloe went.


Then hoist their yards a-trip, and all their sails
Let fall, to court the wind, and catch the gales.
Dryden's Ceyr and Alcyone.

Pope, Hor.

A little house with trees a row, And like its master very low. awake; the same with rise, rouse, wake. 7. A is sometimes redundant; as, arise, arouse,

per se, meaning by itself, is used by our elder A, with the addition of the two Latin words writers to denote a nonesuch. It may have been adopted from the custom of the child's school, in which every letter, we may presume, was taught to be expressed per se.

AA (Peter Vander), a celebrated bookseller of century, and compiled many useful geographical Leyden, flourished in the beginning of the last works. He published an Atlas of 200 Charts (Galerie Agreable du Monde, 66 vols. folio), editions of the Thesaurus Antiquitatum Græcoand a Collection of Travels in Europe, 30 vols. rum and of the Thesaurus Antiquitatum Italiæ, 12mo. &c.

Aa, a river of Semigalila, Courland, which runs
Prior. into the Gulf of Riga.

AA, a river of France, which rises in the department of Pas de Calais, beyond Rumilly le Comte, near Taeroune, runs N. E. through Artois, and becomes navigable near St. Omers; whence it passes N. to Gravelines, below which it falls into the English Channel. At St. Omers, the Colme and an inferior branch separate from it. AA, a river in Westphalia, which rises near Munster, waters that city, and falls into the river Ems.

AA, a river of Switzerland, which rises in Underwalden, and empties itself into the Lake of Lucerne also a river of Underwalden, which falls into the Lake of Waldstadten opposite Gersau. This is likewise the name of a third river of Switzerland, which rises N. W. of Lucerne, and unites itself with the Aar, three miles S. W. of Brugg; and of a fourth in the canton of Zurich, which rises near Gruningen, and empties itself

in the Greiffen.

AA, a river of Dutch Brabant, rising on the borders of Guelderland, and running into the Dommel, near Bois le Duc. Also, a river of Overyssel, in Holland, falling into the Lake of Giter.

AABAM, or AABAN, a term used by some alchemists to signify lead.

AACH, a river in Suabia, which falls into the Lake of Constance.

AACH, a town in the circle of Suabia, situated near the source of the above river, and almost equidistant from the Danube, and the lake Constance. Also another river of Suabia, joining

the Iller.

AAHUS, a small district of Germany, in the circle of Westphalia, and bishopric of Munster, containing twenty parishes and four towns. AAHUS, the capital, has a good castle, and lies N. E. of Coesfeldt.

AAKIRKE, a town in the island of Bornholm, Denmark, with the rank and privileges of a city. The provincial court and synod are held in it.

AALBORG, or AALBOURG, a bishopric of Denmark, in North Jutland, length and breadth about 75 miles. It occupies the whole northern part of the peninsula, and contains several flourishing towns and noble manors. Population about 90,000.

AALBORG, the capital of the bishopric of that name, lies on the south coast of Lymfurt, on the confines of the bishopric of Wiburg. Next to Copenhagen and Odensee, it is the richest and most populous town in Denmark. The name signifies Ecl-town, great quantities of eels being caught here. It has an exchange for merchants, a safe and deep harbour, (though the entrance near Hals is somewhat dangerous,) a considerable trade in corn, and herrings, and manufactories of soap, train oil, guns, pistols, saddles, and gloves. It was taken by the Swedes, in the years 1643 and 1658. Lon. 9. 46. E. lat. 57. N. AALEN. See AHLEN.

AALTEN, a town of Breedevort, in Dutch Guelderland, near Munster, containing 3500 Inhabitants.

AAM, or HAAM, a liquid measure, used by the Dutch, containing 128 mingles, (a measure weighing nearly 36 ounces avoirdupois,) or 288 pints English, or 1483 Paris measure.

AANCHE, in music, a name sometimes given to wind instruments and organ pipes, with reeds or tongues, as the clarionet, hautboy, &c.

AANES, in music, the tones and modes of the modern Greeks.

AAR, a small island in the Baltic.

AAR, a river of Germany, falling into the Rhine, near Sintzig.

AAR, a large river of Switzerland, which has its source in a lake, near Mount Schreckhorn, in the south of the canton of Berne, and running N. W. through the whole extent of the lakes of Brientz and Thun to Berne, takes a circuitous course to Soleure; whence it flows E. to Arburg, and N. E. to Brugg; below which, being joined by the Reuss and Limmat, it falls into the Rhine, opposite Waldschut.

AARASSUS, in ancient geography, a town of Pisidia, in Asia, supposed to be the Anassus of Ptolemy.

AARCHET, in music, instruments played with a bow, as the violin and violincello.

AARGAU, ARGOVIA, or ARGOU, anciently one of the 45 districts or divisions of Switzerland, receiving its name from the Aar, and composing the German part of the canton of Berne, with part of Solothurn, Lucerne, and Underwalden. It now includes only that part of Berne which in 1798 was formed into a separate canton, having Arau for its capital; but received in 1803 the whole of Baden and the Frickthal, in addition to its territory. It is bounded by Zug and Zurich on the N. has the Rhine for its boundary E. the cantons of Solothurn and Basil W. and Zug S. containing 11 districts, and 48 jurisdictions. Population 132,763.

AARHUUS, a large diocese in N. Jutland, which extends from that of Wiburg to Categat, about 65 miles in length, and 33 in breadth. It is intersected by many excellent rivers, and lakes, abounding with fish, and adorned with a variety of large forests. It contains five towns, eight royal bailiwicks, and six counties. Population 135,000.

AARHUUS, or ARHUSEN, the capital of the bishopric of that name, lies between the sea and a lake, from which water is conveyed by a broad canal, that divides the town into two unequal parts. It is large and populous, and has six gates, two principal churches, two market places, an university, a free school, and a wellendowed hospital. It carries on a good trade in corn. The cathedral, which was begun in 1201, is 150 paces in length, 96 in breadth, and nearly 45 German ells in height.

AARON, Heb. a mountaineer, the brother of Moses, and first high priest of the Israelites, was great-grand-son of Levi by the father's side, and grandson by the mother's. His history being fully narrated in the Pentateuch, it needs only to be added here, that he died upon Mount Hor, in the 123d year of his age, being the 40th after the departure from Egypt; A. M. 2522, of the Julian period, 3262, and before the Christian æra, 1452. See MOSES and MAGICIAN.

AARON,(St.) a British martyr, who suffered along with St. Julius, another native of Britain, under Dioclesian, about the same time with St. Alban, the British proto-martyr.

AARON, of Alexandria, a learned presbyter and physician of the seventh century, in whose works the small-pox is first mentioned.

AARON, a market town of France, in the department of Mayenne, having extensive iron works.


AARON, OF HAROUN, AL RASCHID, a celebrated khalif of the Saracen empire, of whom many fabulous legends are told.

AARSEÑS, (Francis,) Lord of Someldyck and Spyck, was one of the greatest statesmen the United Provinces ever produced. Having been some years under M. Mornay, at the court of William I. prince of Orange, Barneveldt sent him, as agent for the States, to Paris, where he acquired for himself great reputation under Henry IV. Villeroi, &c. Being soon after invested with the character of ambassador, Henry gave him precedence next to the Venetian minister. He resided at the court of France 15 years, and was created a knight and a baron by the king; was afterwards ambassador at Venice; and to several princes in Germany and Italy: and in 1620, was appointed the first of three extraordinary ambassadors to England, where, in 1641, he settled the marriage between the princess Mary and prince William, the father of our William III. He died at a very advanced age.

AARSENS, (Peter,) a painter, called Long Peter, on account of his stature, born at Amsterdam in 1519. He was eminent in altar and kitchen pieces. A lady of Alckmaer offered 200 crowns to preserve one of his altar pieces, that was destroyed in the insurrection, in 1566.

AARTGEN, or AERTGENS, a painter of merit, the son of a wool-comber of Leyden, born in 1498. He studied painting under Engelbrechtz, but was devoted to the bottle, and was drowned

in 1564.

AASAR, in ancient geography, a town of Judæa, in the tribe of Judah, between Azotus and Ascalon. In St. Jerome's time it was a hamlet.

AAVORA, in natural history, the fruit of a large species of the palm tree, that grows in Africa and the West Indies. It is of the size of a hen's egg, and several are included in one shell.

AB, in the Hebrew calendar, the 11th month of the civil year and the 5th of the ecclesiastical. It answers to the moon, which begins in July and ends in August, and consists of 30 days. The Jews fast on the 1st of this month in memory of Aaron's death; on the 9th, because on that day, both the first and second temples were burnt; and on the 18th, because the sacred lamp in the sanctuary was that night extinguished, in the reign of Ahaz. The 9th of this month was also remarkable for the publication of Adrian's edict, which prohibited that unfortunate people, not only from continuing in Judæa, but even from looking back to Jerusalem to lament its desolation.

Aв, in the Syriac Calendar, is the last of the summer months. The eastern Christians called the first day of this month Suum Miriam, the fast of Mary, and, fasted from that to the 15th, which they called Fathr-Miriam, the cessation of the fast of the Virgin.

AB, at the beginning of the names of places,

generally shews that they have some relation to an abbey, as Abingdon.

ABA, or ABAU, HANIFAH. See HANIFAH. ABA, ABAS, ABOS, or ABUS, in ancient geography, a mountain of Greater Armenia; Strabo says, the Euphrates and Araxes both rose in it, the former running eastward and the latter westward.

ABA, or ABÆ, in ancient geography, a town of Phocis in Greece, near Helicon, famous for an oracle of Apollo, older than that at Delphi; as well as for a rich temple, plundered and burnt by the Persians. See ABANTIS.

ABABDE, in geography, a tribe of the Bedouin Arabs, inhabiting, according to M. Burckhardt, that part of the west shore of the Arabian Gulf, which is south of the Kosseir, and in about the latitude of Derr. The country is mountainous, and the people faithless and barbarous.

ABABILO, or ABABIL, in mythology, a fabulous bird mentioned in the Koran, who, according to the Mahometan doctors, has a foot like that of a dog.

ABACA, in botany, an Indian plant, a native of the Philippine Islands. There are two species, the white and the grey. The former produces lint, of which very fine linen is made; the latter hemp, which is used for nothing but cordage.

ABACÆNUM, or ABACENE, in ancient geography, a town of Sicily, whose ruins are supposed to be those still lying near Trippi, a citadel on a high mountain, near Messina.

ABACAY, in natural history, a species of parrot in the Philippine Islands, called also Calangay.

ABACH, or WELTENBURG, a market town in Lower Bavaria, seated on the Danube; nine miles from Ratisbon. It is defended by a citadel, and is remarkable for Roman antiquities, as well as for its mineral waters, which are celebrated for curing various diseases. Lon. 11. 56. E. lat. 48.

53. N.

ABACINARE, in archæology, Ital. from bacino, a basin, or bacio, a dark place, a punishment, described by writers of the middle age, wherein the criminal was blinded, by holding a red hot basin, or hot irons before his eyes.

ABACISCUS, in ancient architecture, the square compartments of Mosaic pavements. ABACISTA, O. L. an arithmetician. so that the white was aboue, as the folk y seye, ABACK', on back, backwards. And drof the rede al abak out of the put ney The rede, as for sorinesse, by turnede hym atten ende, And asailede the wyte, and made hym abac wende. R. Gloucester, p. 131. But when they came where thou thy skill didst show, They drew abacke, as half with shame confound.

Spenser's Pastorals, June.

A noble heart ought not the sooner yield,
Not shrink abacke for any weal or woe.
Mir. for Mag. p. 359.

Yet Albert new resources still prepares,
Conceals his grief, and doubles all his cares;

Away there! lower the mizen-yard on deck,"
He calls," and brace the foremost-yards aback!"
Falconer's Shipwreck.
ABACK, OF ABAKE, in sea-language signifies

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