Obrazy na stronie
PDF

No sensible quantity of water seemed to be formed during these analyses. This shows farther that what has been called a prussiate of mercury is really a prusside of that metal. When a pure solution of potash is introduced into this gas, the absorption is rapid. If the alkali be not too concentrated, and be not quite saturated, it is scarcely tinged of a lemon-yellow color. But, if the prussine be in excess, we obtain a brown solution, apparently carbonaceous. On pouring potash combined with prussine into a saline solution of black oxide of iron, and adding an acid, we obtain prussian blue. It would appear from this phenomenon that the o is decomposed the instant that it comines with the potash; but this conclusion is premature; for, when this body is really decomposed by means of an alkaline solution, carbonic acid is always produced, together with prussic acid and ammonia. But on pouring barytes into a solution of prussine in potash, no precipitate takes place, which shows that no carbonic acid gas is present. On adding an excess of quicklime, no trace of ammonia is perceptible. Since, then, no carbonic acid and ammonia have been formed, water has not been decomposed, and consequently no prussic acid evolved. How then comes the solution of prussine in potash to produce prussian blue, with a solution of iron and acid : The following is M. Gay Lussac's ingenious solution of this difficulty:— The instant an acid is poured into the solution of prussine in potash, a strong effervescence of carbonic acid is produced, and at the same time a strong smell of prussic acid becomes perceptible. Ammonia is likewise formed, which remains combined with the acid employed, and which may be rendered very sensible to the smell by the addition of quicklime. Since, therefore, we are obliged to add an acid in order to form prussian blue, its formation occasions no farther difficulty. Prussine rapidly decomposes the carbonates at a dull red heat, and prussides of the oxides are obtained. When passed through sulphuret of barytes, it combines without disengaging the sulphur, and renders it very fusible, and of a brownish black color. When put into water we obtain a colorless solution, but which gives a deep brown (maroon) color to muriate of iron. What does not dissolve contains a good deal of sulphate, which is doubtless formed during the preparation of the sulphuret of barytes. dissolving prussine in the sulphureted hydrosulphuret of barytes, sulphur is precipitated, which is again dissolved when the liquid is saturated with prussine, and we obtain a solution having a very deep brown maroon color. This gas does not decompose sulphuret of silver, nor of potash. Prussine and sulphureted hydrogen combine slowly with each other. A yellow substance is obtained in fine needles, which dissolves in water, does not precipitate nitrate of lead, produces no prussian !. and is composed of one volume prussine (cyanogen), and one volume and a half of sulphureted hydrogen.", Ammoniacal gas and prussine begin to act on each other whenever they come in contact; but

some hours are requisite to render the effect complete. We perceive at first a white thick vapor, which soon disappears. The diminution of volume is considerable, and the glass in which the mixture is made becomes opaque, its inside being covered, with a solid brown matter. On mixing ninety parts of prussine, and 227 ammonia, they combined nearly in the proportion of one to one and a half. This compound gives a dark orange-brown color to water, but dissolves only in a very small proportion. The liquid produces no prussian blue with the salts of iron. When prussic acid is exposed to the action of a voltaic battery of twenty pairs of plates, much hydrogen gas is disengaged at the negative ole, while nothing appears at the positive pole. t is because there is evolved at that pole prussine, which remains dissolved in the acid. A portion of pure cyanide of mercury was heated by Faraday till perfectly dry, and then enclosed in a green glass tube, and, being collected to one end, was decomposed by heat, whilst the other end was cooled. The cyanogen soon appeared as a liquid, limpid, colorless, and very fluid; not altering its state at 0°Fahr. A tube containing it being opened in the air, the expansion within did not seem to be very great; and the liquid passed with comparative slowness into the state of vapor, producing great cold. The vapor collected over mercury proved to be pure cyanogen. Liquid cyanogen, evolved in contact with moisture, does not mix with the water, but floats over it. In a few days the water and cyanogen react on each other, and carbonaceous matter is evolved. Faraday, Phil. Trans. 1823. In the first volume of the Journal of Science and the Arts, Sir H. Davy has stated some interesting particulars, relative to prussine. By heating prusside of mercury in muriatic acid gas, he obtained pure liquid prussic acid, and corrosive sublimate. By heating iodine, sulphur, and phosphorus, in contact with prusside of mercury, compounds of these bodies with prussine or cyanogen may be formed. That of iodine is a very curious body. It is volatile at a very moderate heat, and on cooling collects in flocculi, adhering together like oxide of zinc formed by combustion. It has a pungent smell. and very acrid taste. PRUTH, a considerable river of Europe, which rises in the palatinate of Marmarosch, Hungary, and forms the boundary between the Russian and Turkish dominions in Moldavia, falling into the Danube below Galatz. . It is remarkable for the perilous situation of the Russian army under Peter I. in 1712, from which it was extricated by a treaty with the Turkish vizier. PRY, v. n. Perhaps of Span. perojar, to observe. To peep narrowly; inspect curiously or monio. He that prieth in at her windows, shall also hearken at her doors. Ecclus. xiv. 23. I can counterfeit the deep tragedian, Speak, and look back, and pry on every side, Intending deep suspicion. Shakspeare. Richard III. Nor need we with a prying eye survey The distant skies to find the milky way. Creech.

[ocr errors][ocr errors][ocr errors]

I waked, and, looking round the bow'r, Searched ev'ry tree, and pry'd on every flow'r, If any where by chance I might espy The rural poet of the melody. Dryden. We have naturally a curiosity to be prying and searching into forbidden secrets. L’Estrange. All these I frankly own without denying ; But where has this Praxiteles been prying 2 - Addison. PRYNNE (William), an English lawyer, who greatly distinguished himself in the civil commotions under Charles I., was born at Swainswick, in Somersetshire, in 1600. His Histriomastix, written against stage plays in 1632, containing some reflections that offended the court, he was sentenced by the star-chamber to pay a fine of £5000, to stand in the pillory, to lose his ears, and to perpetual imprisonment. During his confinement, he wrote several more books; particularly, in 1637, one entitled News from Ipswich, which reflecting severely on the bishops, he was again sentenced by the starchamber to another fine of £5000, to lose the remainder of his ears in the pillory, to be branded on both cheeks with S: L. for seditious libeller, and to be ..". imprisoned in Caernarvon castle. Nothing however could intimidate the stubborn spirit of Prynne, he continued to write, and in 1640, being set at liberty by the house of commons, he entered London in a kind of triumph, was elected into parliament for Newport in Cornwall, and opposed the bishops with great vigor, being the chief manager of archbishop Laud's trial. In the long parliament he was zealous in the Presbyterian cause; but, when the Independents gained the ascendancy, he opposed them warmly, and promoted an agreement with the king. When the army divided the house, and refused him entrance, he became a bitter enemy to them and their leader Cromwell, and attacked them with his pen so severely that he was again imprisoned : but he pleaded the liberty of the subject so successfully that he was enlarged. Being restored to his seat after Cromwell's death, with the other se. cluded members, he assisted in promoting the restoration, and was appointed keeper of the Tower records; where he was very useful by the collections he published from them. He presented forty volumes of his works, in folio and 4to., to Lincoln's Inn library, of which society he was a member; and, dying in 1669, was buried under the chapel. PRYTANES, in Grecian antiquity, were the presidents of the senate, whose authority consisted chiefly in assembling the senate; which, for the most part, was done once every day The senate consisted of 500, fifty senators being elected out of each tribe : after which lots were cast, to determine in what order the senators of each tribe should preside; which they did by turns, and during their presidentship were called prytanes. However, all the fifty prytanes of the tribes did not govern at once, but one at a time, viz. for seven days; and, after thirty-five days, another tribe presided for other five weeks; and so of the rest PRZEMYSL, a circle and town of Austrian Poland, in the centre of that country, to the west of the circle of Lemberg. Its area is 1420

square miles, population of the circle about 212,000, of the town 7500; the former consists of a vast plain, traversed nearly throughout its extent by the river San; and watered by a number of other minor streams. The surface is occasionally diversified by gentle elevations and woods. The only manufacture is a coarse linen and leather. The town is the see both of a Greek and Catholic bishop.

PRZIBRAM, a town in the west of Bohemia, near silver and lead mines, nineteen miles south of Beraun, and thirty-three S.S. W. of Prague. ". 2300.

RZIPICA, the greatest river in the east of

Poland, is joined partly by a canal, partly by the stream of the Muchawica, to the Bug and Vistula, the great rivers of the central part of that kingdom, and after flowing west falls into the Dnieper forty miles above Kiev.

PRZIPCOVIUS (Samuel), a learned Socinian writer, born in 1590, who was driven from Poland with many others of that sect in 1658. He took refuge in Prussia, where he died in 1670, aged eighty. His works are inserted in the collection of Socinian writers published in 1656, in 9 vols. folio.

[ocr errors]

PsALM'ist, ba\uoc. A holy song: psalmPSALTER, ist is the author of such a PsALTERY. song ; psalms, a collection of psalms: psaltery, a harp on which they are

played. Praise with trumpets, pierce the skies, Praise with harps and psalteries. Sandys's Paraph. The choice and flower of all things profitable in other books, the psalms do both more briefly contain and more movingly express, by reason of that poetical form wherewith they are written. Hooker. The trumpets, sacbut, psalteries, and fife, Make the sun dance. Shakspeare. Coriolanus. Sternhold was made groom of the chamber, for turning certain of David's psalms into verse. Peacham. The sweet singer of Israel with his psaltery, loudly resounded the benefits of the Almighty Creator. Id. Those just spirits that wear victorious palms, Hymns devote and holy psalms Singing continually Milton In another psalm he speaks of the wisdom and power of God in the creation. Burnet. How much more rational is this system of the psalmist, than the Pagan's scheme in Virgil, where one deity is represented as raising a storm, and another as laying it! Addison. Nought shall the psaltery and the harp avail, When the quick spirits their warm march forbear, And numbing coldness has unbraced the ear. Prior. She, her daughters, and her maids, meet together at all the hours of prayer in the day, and chaunt psalms, and other devotions, and spend the rest of their time in such good works, and innocent diversions, as render them fit to return to their psalms and prayers.

PsALMs, Book of, a canonical book of the Old Testament. Most of the psalms have particular titles, signifying either the name of the author, the person who was to set it to music or sing it, the instrument that was to be used, or the subject and occasion of it. Many of the salms are inscribed with the names Korah, Jeuthun, &c., from the persous who were to sing them. PSALMANAZAR (George), the name assumed by a very extraordinary character, born in France and educated in a Jesuit's College: upon leaving which, he led the life of a pilgrim, At Liege he entered into the Dutch service, and afterwards into that of Cologne. In the habit of a pilgrim he begged through several countries, in elegant Latin, and, accosting only gentlemen and clergymen, received liberal supplies, which he spent as freely. In Germany he §: for a native of Formosa, a convert to Christianity, and a sufferer for it. At Sluys he fell in with brigadier Lauder, a Scots colonel, who introduced him to the chaplain; who, to recommend himself to the bishop of London, took him over to that city. The bishop patronised him with credulous humanity, and a large circle of his great friends patronised him as a prodigy. He published a History of Formosa, and invented a character and language for that island, and translated the church catechism into it, which was examined by learned critics and approved. Some of the learned, however, doubted him, particularly Drs. Halley, Mead, and Woodward. He was allowed the use of the Oxford library, and employed in compiling the Universal History. Some errors in his History of Formosa first led him to be suspected as an impostor. He died in 1753, and in his last will confessed the imposture. PsALMody. The act or practice of singing holy songs was always esteemed a considerable part of devotion. The plain song was early used, being a gentle inflection of the voice, not much different from reading, like the chant in cathedrals; at other times more artificial compositions, like our anthems. Sometimes a single rson sung alone; sometimes the whole assemly joined together, which was the most ancient and general practice. At other times, as in those of king David, the psalms were sung alternately, the congregation dividing themselves into parts, and singing verses in turns. There was a fourth way of singing, pretty common in the fourth century, which was, when a single person began the verse, and the people joined with him in the close; this was often used for variety in the same service with alternate psalmody. The use of musical instruments, in the singing of psalms, seems to be as ancient as psalmody itself; the first psalm we read of being sung to the timbrel, viz. that of Moses and Miriam, after the deliverance of the Israelites from Egypt: and afterwards musical instruments were in constant use in the temple of Jerusalem. See ORGAN. In the early ages of Christianity much was done by the priests to mystify the principles of the various branches of psalmody, and the arts and sciences in general, in order more effectually to keep the common people in ignorance, and consequently in superstition. To create the greater reverence for the church and its priests, who were alone supposed capable of understanding its sacred mysteries, psalmody was carefully inculcated in the minds of youth as of divine

origin, and thoroughly to be understood o by

actual inspiration. Ecclesiastical modes of accentuation were adopted in the reading of the gospels, epistles, &c.; and, for the performance of those parts of the divine worship which were sung rather than thus musically or artificially declaimed (see article Music, p. 280), the authentic, and, 300 years afterwards, the plagal modes of the ancient Greeks were introduced into the church by Gregory VIII. He declared that, to ensure the perfect development of his principles of psalmody, he was duly inspired by God. These difficulties, together with the syllabic nature of their music, to suit the rythmical structure of the words, the exact performance of which required the utmost attention to acquire, excluded all participation on the part of the people in praising their Maker, but through the medium of the priests: a principle which, for ages, proved a most powerful engine of priestcraft. Of these ecclesiastical accentuations an idea may be formed, though but a faint one, for they are but mere shadows of them, by attending our cathedral service; they were formerly expressed by a number of signs, termed pes flexus, pes sinuosus, pes gutturalis, quassus, resupinus, quilissimi, &c., each of which designated a peculiar inflexion of the human voice. With the exception of the Metzian hymns, which, from their popularity, are supposed to have partaken much of the principles of natural melody, and written by Benoit, who established himself at Metz soon after the return of Charlemagne from Rome (a specimen of which style we have inserted in our article Music), the principles appertaining to syllabic music were maintained unimpaired, in the church of Rome, up to the eighteenth century, to the total exclusion of musical rhythm: and, notwithstanding the rapid progress of the arts and sciences after the extinction of the Bards and Druids, it was not before the first dawnings of the reformation that melody, independently of absolute prosodial quantity and accentuation, was generally introduced into the divine service, when, as may be expected, the grand distinction took place between the Protestant and Catholic modes of psalmody. The fauxbourdons of the Roman church are however still adopted by the Protestants of Germany and Switzerland, both in the modern as well as in the ancient modes; a species of music brought to the highest pitch of excellence in the pontificate of Marcellus, by Palestrina and others; though of late, even amongst the Catholics themselves, such have been the mutations of their ideas relative to ecclesiastical music, these compositions have been allowed to be superseded by others totally of an opposite description, as the performance of the works of Haydn, Mozart, Rhigini, &c., has abundantly testified; thus completing a revolution which, but fifty years ago, would not have been anticipated without feelings of horror and disgust. In the church of England the system of psalmodising in four parts has been of late generally superseded by adhering to one, in which all classes may with facility join. It is nevertheless susceptible of great improvement, as we shall endeavour presently to show. But, as the understanding of the principles of music, like those of painting, depends more upon example than precept, one good specimen of either conveying more to the mind, the eye, or ear, than volumes, we have but little more to offer upon this subject than what . has been stated in substance in our article Music. With respect to the proper mode of singing, that is to be preferred which best tends to induce the o assembled for the purpose of praising their Maker to join with the greatest ease, devotion, and dignity: singing in parts constituting a system, which, whilst it precludes the possibility of congregational psalmody, can only be effected with tolerable decency, by the hiring of persons to do that which we are in fact commanded to do for ourselves. The first point to be attended to is propriety of articulation; this is effected by warbling steadily on the vowel, and quickly pronouncing the consonant: singing being only a lengthening of the mode of speech. The necessity of this observation will immediately be felt in the singing of the following lines from Dr. Watts,

[ocr errors]

when, if we endeavour to warble upon the consonant, no tone can be produced, neither can any sense be given to the melody or words; dwelling, on the contrary, upon the vowels, and quickly pronouncing the consonants, the air is set in motion, a tune is formed, and the words thoroughly understood and felt, more especially when the congregation joins in the manner commended by the ritual, which the reader will |. us if we observe, consists neither in the oisterous vociferation, as if in glorification of our noisy powers, too often observed in dissenting meetings, nor in the gross indifference so prevalent in the church of England. Of the two modes upon which all modern music is composed, the major one, being the simplest to understand, is to be preferred; but great advantages will be obtained in the formation of psalm-tunes upon the other modes of the ancient Greeks, the adoption of which added greatly to the celebrity of their extraordinary, most powerful, and varied music, as compared with our own; for the truth of this remark we need only refer the reader to our article Music, where the powers of the different Grecian modes are made evident in our practical illustration of the principles of Scottish music. The mixt Lydian mode, comprising the notes from G to G .#our diatonic scale of C, making the half-tones fall between the third and fourth, and sixth and seventh intervals, instead of the third and fourth, and seventh and eighth, intervals of the octave, mingles well with the harmonic powers of the organ, though it is best felt when employed in the construction only of melody. The Lydian mode or measure, which has been supposed by many writers to have been lost to us, is precisely our scale of F major; the same may be said of the Ionian, transposed a fourth lower than the Lydian measure. Excepting the AEolian mode, which is our descending minor scale, these are the only modes capable of receiving the principles of harmonic support. The Dorian mode,

and the melodious Phrygian, are formed of materials entirely different from all others; and, being remarkable as rejecting all harmonic support, are peculiarly serviceable for places of worship where there are no organs, or where the mode of worship rejects the use of musical instruments to accompany the singing of the psalms and hymns. As the musical staff and clef were inserted to express the different compasses of the human voice, and as all appreciable musical sound is expressed within the limits of the octave, and one note, termed the ninth (the replication of the second of the scale), it follows that melody suitable for psalmody must, of all species of music, be the easiest to comprehend. The rincipal points of attention, in the Lydian and onian measures, are the situations of the two half-tones denominated in solmisation mi fa, and, in the disjoined tetrachordial order, C sound, forming the modern major scale, mi fa and si do, thus: CD Ef GA B c (the capitals denoting tones, and the Romans half-tones). This scale, so simple in its construction, and so strictly conformable to the feelings of every one possessing a musical ear, is sufficient to explain the whole mysteries of modern psalmody: the alteration of one or the other of the half-tones constituting the means whereby modulation is effected into the dominant, sub-dominant, and relative minor of the primitive key, which are the utmost limits assigned for the composition of psalmody. The principles also of any well regulated melody in others of the Grecian modes are to be acquired with equal facility; the being habituated to the major and minor systems of sound causing the ancient modes in general to be only momentarily difficult to adopt. To E. this assertion we notice the known secular, or want of a sacred, melody, “Scots wha hae, which is written in the mixt Lydian mode of the ancient Greeks. On the variety of opinions published about the latter end of the sixteenth century upon the use and abuse of psalmody in churches, and of the efforts of many writers to prove the impropriety of its introduction in the reformed church, as a relic only of monkish superstition, we need not offer a comment. According to the Scriptures it has always formed, together with instrumental accompaniments, a part of the divine service; and, sanctioned by the most enlightened men of the age, it prevails universally. Upon the subject of interludes, voluntaries, &c., “interruptions of the divine service, as they have often been fairly designated, we would observe that they were adopted in the church as early as the time of St. Ambrose, and that in cases where the organist confines himself to the performance of the sacred compositions of Handel, Graun, Mozart, Marcello, &c., and, in the composition of his interludes, strictly regulates his melody according to the style of the psalm tune, improper associations of ideas ...is not be raised in the minds even of the most fastidious; on the contrary, they are known to create a tone of feeling highly proper for the occasion. Having, in our article ORGAN, sufficiently explained our sentiments on the abuses of extemporaneous performances, and of the immoral tendency of introducing secular music into the church, we cannot better conclude this article, than by recommending to the heads of our ecclesiastical affairs, the establishment of one collection of psalm tunes to be sung throughout the established, church: such a regulation would surely prove not less useful than one form of prayer; at least the parishioners of one church would then have the advantage of joining in this part of the divine service with facility at another, which, from the strange mixture of musical styles observed at the different churches, is now become impossible. The PsALTERY was a musical instrument much in use among the ancient Hebrews, who called it nebel; but we know little or nothing of the precise form of the ancient psaltery. See Music. PSAMMETICUS, or PsAMMETIchus, a renowned conqueror, who subduing eleven other petty kings of Egypt became the founder of a new dynasty in the kingdom of Egypt, about 670 B.C. He is memorable likewise for taking the city of Azot, after a siege of twenty-nine

ears. y PSATYRIANS, a sect of Arians, who, in the council of Antioch, held in the year 360, maintained that the Son was not like the Father as to will ; that he was taken from nothing, or made of nothing; and that in God generation was not to be distinguished from creation. PSELLUS (Michael Constantine), a learned Christian of the eleventh century, was, by birth, a Constantinopolitan of consular rank, and flourished under the emperor Constantine Monomachus. He was the chief instructor of the Constantinopolitan youth, and at the same time the companion and the preceptor of the emperor. Towards the close of his life, Psellus retired into a monastery, and soon afterwards died. His works, which have been much celebrated, are, Commentaries upon Aristotle's Logic and Physics; a Compendium of Questions and Answers; and an Explanation of the Chaldean Oracles. PSEU’DO, n.s. From Gr. bevöoc. A prefix, which signifies false or counterfeit : as pseudo-apostle, a counterfeit apostle. I will not pursue the many pseudographies in use, but show of how great concern the emphasis were, if rightly used. It is not according to the sound rules of pseudology, to report of a pious prince, that he neglects his devotion, but you may report of a merciful prince, that he has pardoned a criminal who did not deserve it. - Arbuthnot. PSHAW, interj. An expression of contempt. A peevish fellow has some reason for being out of hunour, or has a natural incapacity for delight, and therefore disturbs all with pishes and pshaws. Spectator. PSIDIUM, the guava, or bay plum, a genus of the monogynia order, and icosandria class of plants; natural order nineteenth, hesperideae: cAL. quinquefid, superior; there are five petals; the berry is unilocular and monospermous. There are two species: 1. P. pomiferum, the red guava; and 2. P. pyriferum, the white guava. The red guava

rises to twenty feet, and is covered with a smooth bark; the branches are angular, covered with oval leaves, having a strong midrib, and many veins running towards the sides, of a light green color, standing opposite o very short foot-stalks. From the wings of the leaves the flowers come out upon foot-stalks an inch and a half long: they are composed of five large roundish concave petals, within which are a great number of stamina shorter than the petals, and tipped with pale yellow tops. After the flower is past, the germen becomes a large oval fruit, shaped like a pomegranate. A decoction of the roots of guava is employed with success in dysenteries: a bath of a #. of the leaves is said to cure the itch and other cutaneous eruptions. Guayava, or guava, is distinguished from the color of the pulp into the two species above-mentioned, the white and the red; and, from the figure of the fruit, into the round and the pear-fashioned or perfumed guava. The latter has a thicker rind, and a more delicate taste than the other. The fruit is about the bigness of a large tennis ball; the rind or skin generally of a russet stained with red. The pulp within the thick rind is of an agreeable flavor, and interspersed with a number of small white seeds. The rind, when stewed, is eaten with milk, and preferred to any other stewed fruit. From the same part is made marmalade; and from the whole fruit is prepared the finest jelly in the world. The fruit is very astringent, and nearly of the same quality with the pomegranate; so should be avoided by all who are subject to costiveness. The seeds are so hard as not to be affected by the fermentation in the stomachs of animals; so that when voided with the excrements they take root, germinate, and produce thriving trees. Whole meadows in the West Indies are covered with guavas which have been propagated in this manner. The buds of guava, boiled with barley and liquorice, produce an excellent ptisan for diarrhoeas, and even the bloody flux, when not too inveterate. The wood of the tree, employed as fuel, makes a lively, ardent, and lasting fire. PSITTACUS, the parrot, in ornithology, a genus belonging to the order pica. The bill is hooked from the base; the upper mandible is moveable: the nostrils are round, placed in the base of the bill, which in some species is furnished with a kind of cere: the tongue is broad, and blunt at one end: the head is large, and the crown flat: the legs are short, the toes placed two before and two behind. It might seem surF. why this animal, which is not naturally a ird of prey, but feeds on fruits and vegetables, should have the crooked beak allotted to the hawk and other carnivorous birds: the reason seems to be that the parrot being a heavy bird, and its legs not very fit for service, it climbs up and down trees by the help of this sharp and hooked bill, with which it lays hold of any thing and secures itself before it stirs a foot; and helps itself forward very much, by pulling its body on with this hold Of all animals, the parrot and crocodile are the only ones which move the upper jaw; all creatures else moving the lower only. The parrot loves nothing so much as the seeds of the carthamus, or bastard saffron. Parrots

« PoprzedniaDalej »