Obrazy na stronie
[ocr errors]



MITHRIDATES, the name of seven kings of Pontus. See Pontus.

Mithridates VII., surnamed Eupator the Great, succeeded to the throne at the age of eleven years, about A. A. C. 123. The beginning of his reign was marked by ambition, cruelty, and artifice. He murdered his own mother, who had been left by his father coheiress of the kingdom; and he fortified his constitution by antidotes against the poison with which his enemies at court might attempt to destroy him. He early inured his body to hardships, and employed himself in the most manly exercises, often remaining whole months in the country, and making frozen snow and the earth the place of his repose. Ambitious aud cruel, he spared no pains to acquire power and dominion. He murdered the two sons whom his sister Laodice had by Ariarathes king of Cappadocia, and placed one of his own children, only eight years old, on the throne. These proceedings alarmed Nicomedes king of Bithynia, who had married Laodice the widow of Ariarathes. He suborned a youth to be king of Cappadocia, as the third son of Ariarathes; and Laodice was sent to Rome to impose upon the senate, and assure them that her third son was m.w alive, and that his claim to the kingdom of Cappadocia was just. Mithridates, on his part, sent to Rome Gordius the governor of his son; who solemnly declared before the Roman people, that the youth who sat on the throne of Cappadocia was the third son and lawful heir of Ariarathes, and that he was supported as such by Mithridates. The Roman senate, to settle the dispute, took Cappadocia from Mithridates, and Paphlagonia from Nicomedes. These two kingdoms, being thus separated from their original possessors, were presented with'their freedom and independence; but the Cappadocians refused it, ana received Ariobarzanes for king. Such were the first seeds of enmity between Rome and the king of Pontus. Mithridates, to destroy their power in Asia, ordered all the Romans in his dominions to be massacred in one night; when no fewer than 150,000, according to Plutarch, or 80,000, as Appian mentions, were made the victims of his cruelty. This called aloud for vengeance. Aquilius, and soon after Sylla, marched against Mithridates with a large army. The former was made prisoner; but Sylla obtained a victory over the king's generals; and another decisive engagement rendered him master of all Greece, Macedonia, Ionia, and Asia Minor. This ill fortune was aggravated by the loss of about 200,000 men, who were killed in the several engagements that had been fought; and MithriVol. XV.—Parti.

dates, weakened by repeated ill success by sea and land, sued for peace; which he obtained on condition of defraying the expenses which the Romans had incurred by the war, and of remaining satisfied with his paternal possessions. But Mithridates not long after took the field with an army of 140,000 infantry and 16,000 horsemen, which consisted of his own forces and those of his son-in-law Tigranes king of Armenia. With such a numerous army he soon made himself master of the Roman provinces in Asia; as the Romans, relying on his fidelity, had withdrawn the greatest part of their armies. But the news of his warlike preparations were no sooner heard than Lucullus marched into Asia, and blocked up the camp of Mithridates, who was then besieging Cyzicus. The Asiatic monarch escaped, and fled into the heart of his kingdom. Lucullus pursued him, and would have taken him prisoner after a battle, had not the avarice of his soldiers prevented. The appointment of Glabrio to the command instead of Lucullus, was favorable to Mithridates, who recovered the greatest part of his dominions. The sudden arrival of Pompey, however, soon put an end to his victories. A battle was fought near the Euphrates by moon-light, and a universal overthrow ensued. Mithridates, bold in his misfortunes, rushed through the thickest ranks of the enemy at the head of 800 horsemen, 500 of whom perished in the attempt to follow him. He fled to Tigranes, but that monarch now refused him an asylum. He however found a safe retreat among the Scythians; and though destitute of power, friends, and resources, yet he still meditated the overthrow of the Roman empire. But his wild projects were rejected by his followers, and he sued for peace. Pompey declared that, to obtain it, Mithridates must ask it in person. Scorning to trust to his enemy, he resolved to conquer or die; but his subjects refused to follow him, and revolting, made his son Pharnaces king, who, according to some, ordered him to be put to death. This unnatural treatment broke the heart of Mithridates; he obliged his wife to poison herself, and attempted to do the same. But the frequent antidotes he had taken in youth fortified his constitution against the poison; and, when this failed, he attempted to stab himself. The blow not proving mortal, a Gaul, at his own request, gave him the fatal stroke, about A. A. C. 64. Such was the miserable end of a man, who, according to Roman authors, proved a more powerful and indefatigable adversary to Rome than Pyrrhus, Perseus, Antiochus, or even Hannibal himself. Mithridates has been commended for his virtues, and censured for his vices. As


a commander he deserves the most unbounded applause; and it creates admiration to see him waging war, with such success, during so many years, against the most powerful people on earth, led to the field by a Sylla, a Lucullus, and a Pompey. The greatest rejoicings took place in Rome and in the Roman armies at the news of his death: twelve weeks were appointed for public thanksgivings to the gods; and Pompey, whe had sent the first intelligence of his death to Rome, and partly hastened his fall, was rewarded with uncommon honors. It is said that Mithridates conquered twenty-four nations, whose different languages he knew, and spoke with the same fluency as his own. He was acquainted with the Greek, language, and even wrote in it a treatise on botany. His skill in physic is well known. Superstition as well as nature had united to render him great; and Justin says his birth was accompanied by the appearance of two large comets, for seventy days successively, whose splendor excelled that of the meridian sun.

MITHRIDATICUM Belli M, the Mithridatic war, one of the longest and most celebrated wars ever carried on by the Romans against a foreign power. See Pontes.

MITIGATE, v.a. 1 Fr. mitiger; Lat. mi<iMitiga'tion,n.t. \go. To temper; allay; alleviate: mitigation, abatement, or qualification, of that which is harsh, penal, or painful.

Mishaps are mastered by advice discreet, And counsel mitigates the greatest smart.

Faerie Queene. We could greatly wish that the rigour of their opinion were allayed and mitigated. Hooker.

They caused divers subjects to be indicted of sundry crimes; and when the bills were found they committed them, and suffered them to languish long in prison, to extort from them great fines and ransoms, which they termed compositions and miti/ratiow. Bacon's Henry VII.

I undertook
Before thee; and, not repenting, this obtain
Of right, that I may mitigate their doom,
On me derived. Milton's Paradise Lost.

A man has frequent opportunity of mitigating the fierceness of a party, of softening the envious, quieting the angry, and rectifying the prejudiced.

Addison's Spectator. Since that period, remedies have been applied to it, if not of permanent cure, at least of temporary mitigation. Canning.

MITRA, in Roman antiquity, a cap or covering for the head, worn by the ladies, and sometimes by the men; but it was looked upon as a mark of effeminacy in the last, especially when it was tied upon their heads.

MITRE, n. s. J Fr. mitre; Lat. micro ; Gr. Mi'tked, adj. > iitrpa. An ornament or crown for the head; particularly a priestly or episcopal crown: hence a carpenter's pointed joint, i.e. like the acute-angled ornaments of a mitre.

Nor Panthcus, thee, thy mitre, nor the bands Of awful Phoebus, saved from impious hands.


Mitred abbots, among us, were those that were exempt from the diocesan's jurisdiction, as having within their own precincts episcopal authority, and being lords in parliament were called abbots sovereign.

Aylijje's Tarergon.

Shall the loud herald our success relate, Or mitred priest appoint the solemn day 1 Prior. Bishopricks or burning, mitres or faggots, have been the rewards of different persons, according aa they pronounced these consecrated syllables, or not.

A Mitre is a sacerdotal cap pointed and cleft at top, worn by bishops and certain abbots on solemn occasions. The high-priest among the Jews wore a mitre, as did also the inferior priests:

Mitre, in architecture, is an angle that is just 45°, or half a right one. If the angle be a quarter of a right angle, they call it a half mitre. To describe such angles, they have an instrument called the mitre square; with this they strike mitre lines on their quarters or battens; and for despatch they have a mitre box, as they call it, which is made of two pieces of wood, each about an inch thick, one nailed upright on the edge of the other; the upper piece has the mitre lines struck upon it on both sides, and a kerf to direct the saw in cutting the mitre joints readily, by only applying the piece into this box.

Mitre isused by the writers of the Irish history for a sort of base money, which was very common there about 1270, and for thirty years before and after. There were several other pieces called, according to the figures impressed upon them, rosaries, lionades, eagles, &c. They were imported from France and other countries, and were so much below the proper currency, that they were not worth a halfpenny each. They were at length decried in 1300, and good coins struck in their place. These were the first Irish coins in which the sceptre was left out. They were struck in the reign of Edward, the son of Henry III., and are still found among the other antiquities of that country. They have the king's head in a triangle full-faced. The penny, when well preserved, weighs 22 grs.; the halfpenny 10J grs.

MlTROWITZ, a town on an island in the river Save in the Austrian states of Sclavonia. It is the chief place of the frontier district of Peter Waradein, and has a good trade in hides and cattle. It was ceded to Austria by the Turks, in 1699. Population 3500. Sixteen miles S. S. W. of Peter Waradein.

MITTAU, or Mietau, the capital of the government of Courland, in European Russia, is situated on the river Aa, in the province of Semigallia. It has above 12,000 inhabitants, of whom nearly half are Germans, and about 1000 Jews. The town has generally an uninviting aspect; and the ramparts are fallen into decay. The churches are a Catholic, a Calvinist, and two Lutheran, in only one of which the service is performed in Lettonian, the language of the country: in the others the German is used The public school of Mittau is the principal in Courland: it has also an academical gymnasium, founded by the duke of Courland, in 1775, but both like the ancient castle are in a decayed state. The manufactures are linen stockings, leather, and soap. This town was for several years during his exile the residence of Louis XVIII. of France. It is 140 miles north of Konigsberg, and fifty-six west of Riga.

MITTENS, n.s. Fr. mitaine; Lat. manias. Gloves without fingers.

December must be expressed with a horrid aspect, as also January clad in Irish rug, holding in furred mitten* the sign of Capricorn.

Peacham on Drawing.

MITTENT, adj. Lat. mittens. Sending out or forth.

The fluxion proceedeth from humours peccant in quantity or quality, thrust forth by the part miltent upon the inferior weak parts. Wisemans Surgery.

MITTENWALD, the capital of the county of Wenderfels, Bavaria, is situated on the Iser, and has 1800 inhabitants. Thirteen miles N. N. W. of Innspruck. 1

MITTERBURG, a town of the Austrian kingdom of Illyria, has a castle and a rock, and a population of 1650. Thirty miles south-east of Trieste.

MITTIMUS, n. J. Lat. mittimus, mitto, to send. A warrant by which an offender is committed to prison.

The evil spirit hath said the evening before, tomorrow shalt thou be with me; and now Saul hasteth to make the devil no liar. Rather than fail, he gives himself his own mittimus. Bp. Hall.

Mittimus, in law,has two significations: 1. A writ for removing or transferring of records from one court to another. 2. A precept or command in writing, under the hand and seal of a justice of the peace, directed to the gaoler of some prison, for the receiving and safe keeping of an offender charged with any crime, until he be delivered by due course of law.

MITTWEYDA, a town of Saxony, in the circle of Leipsic, has manufactures of cotton, muslin, linen, hats, and worsted stockings. Population 3800. Old Mittweyda is a small adjoining village. Thirty-two miles west by south of Dresden. Both have often suffered by fire.

MITURE, a large riverof the Caraccas, entering the Caribbean Sea, near the mouth of the gulf of Maracaibo, in lat. 11° 27' N. There is a settlement of the same name on its banks.

MITYLEN^E, Mittlene, or Mytelene, in ancient geography, a powerful and affluent city, capital of the island of Lesbos. It received its name from Mitylene, the daughter of Macareus, a king of the country. It is greatly commended by the ancients for the stateliness of its buildings and the fruitfulness of its soil, but more particularly for the great men it produced: Pittacus, Alcsus, Sappho, Terpander, Theophanes, Hellanicus, &c, were all natives of Mitylene. It was long a seat of learning; and, with Rhodes and Athens, had the honor of having educated many of the great men of Rome and Greece. In the Peloponnesian war the Mityleneans suffered greatly for their revolt from Athens; and in the Mithridatic wars they had the boldness to resist the Romans, and disdain the treaties which had been made between Mithridates and Sylla. It is now called Metelin.

MITZLER (Laurence Charles de Kolof), a German musical composer of eminence, was born at Vettlesheim in 1711. He received his education at Anspach, and studied music under Erhman and Carby. In 1731 we find him at the university of Leipsic, where he made a respect

able proficiency in mathematics and natural philosophy, and after a residence of twelve years gave public lectures in these branches of science. He published a treatise on the claims of music to be considered as a science; and lectured upon it. At length he accompanied a Polish nobleman to Warsaw, and grew into so great favor at court as to obtain from the king a patent of nobility. Other works of his are, a Musical Library, or an Analysis of Books and Writings on Music, Leipsic, 3 vols, published between the years 1738 and 1754; A Musical Illustration of the War carried on by the emperor Charles VI., against the Allied Forces, Wittenberg, 1753; The Elements of Thorough Bass, Leipsic, 1739; The Musical Oculist, &c, 1740; and a German Translation of Fux's Gradus ad Parnassum, 1742. His death took place in 1788.

MIT, v. a. & tr. n.} Teut. miscJtin; Lat. Mix'tion, n.». >misceo. To mingle; unite Mix'ture. J to something else; form

of different substances or materials; to be united in one substance: mixtion and mixture mean, intromission; the art of mixing; state of being mixed; or the mass formed; in particular that which is added or mixed.

A mixed multitude went up with them, and flocks and herds. Ezod. xii. 38.

Ephraim hath mixed himself among the people.

Hos. vii. 8.

He sent out of his mouth a blast of fire, and out of his lips a flaming breath, and out of his tongue he cast out sparks and tempests; and they were all mixed together. 1 2 Esdr.

0 happy mixture, wherein things contrary do so qualify and correct the one the danger of the other's excess, that neither boldness can make us presume, as well as we are kept under with the sense of our own wretchedness; nor, while we trust in the mercy of God through Christ Jesus, fear be able to tyrannise over us! * Hooker.

Brothers, you mix your sadness with some fear; This is the English not the Turkish court.


Come, phial!

What if this mixture do not work at all? Id.

I have chosen an argument, mixt of religious and civil considerations; and likewise mist between contemplative and active. Bacon's Holy War.

To raise desert and virtue by my fortune,
Though in a low estate, were greater glory,
Than to mix greatness with a prince that owns
No worth but that name only. Massinger.
Others, perceiving this rule to fall, short, have

Efeced it out by the mixtion of vacuity among bodies,
believing it is that which makes one rarer than an-
other. Digby on Bodies.
She turns, on hospitable thoughts intent;
What choice to choose for delicacy best,
What order, so contrived as not to mix
Tastes, nor well joined, inelegant, but bring
Taste after taste, upheld with kindest change.


But is there yet no other way, besides These painful passages, how we may come To death, and mix with our connatural dust 1


Air, and ye elements, the eldest birth Of nature's womb, that in quaternion run Perpetual circle, multiform; and mix And nourish all things. Id.

They are not to be lightly passed over as elementary or subterraneous mist'ians. Browne.

Neither can God himself be otherwise understood, than as a mind free and disentangled from all corporeal mixtures, perceiving and moving all things.


Cicero doubts whether it were possible for a community to exist, that had not a prevailing mixture of piety in its constitution. Addison's Freeholder.

While we live in this world, where good and bad men are blended together, and where there is also a mixture of good and evil wisely distributed by God, to serve the ends of his providence.

Atterbury's Sermons. Those liquors are expelled out of the body, which, by their mixture, conve.t the aliment into an animal liquid. Arbuthnot, I, by baleful furies led, With monstrous mixture stained my mother's bed.


The best punch depends on a proper nurture of sugar and lemon. Shenstone.

Mixture is a compound of several different bodies in the same mass. Simple mixture consists only in the simple apposition of parts of different bodies to each other. Thus, when powders of different kinds are rubbed together, the mixture is only simple, and each of the powders retains its particular characters. In like manner, when oil and water are mixed together, though the parts of both are confounded, so that the liquor may appear to be homogeneous, we cannot say that there is any more than a simple apposition of the parts, as the oil and water may very easily be separated. But the case is very different when bodies are chemically mixed; for then one or both bodies assume new properties, and can by no means be discovered in their proper form without a particular chemical process adapted to this purpose. Hence chemical mixture is attended with many phenomena which are never observed in simple mixtures, such as heat, effervescence, &c. To chemical mixture belongs the union of acids and alkalies, the amalgamation of metals, solution of gums, &c., and upon it depend many of the principal operations of chemistry.

Mixture, in pharmacy, a medicine which differs from a julep in this respect, that it receives into its composition not only salts, extracts, and other substances dissoluble in water; but also earths, powders, and such substances as cannot be dissolved.

MIZMAZE, n. s. Of Maze, reduplicated. A cant word to express a maze, labyrinth, or any thing confused.

Those who are accustomed to reason have got the true key of books, and the clue to lead them through the mixmaxe of variety of opinions and authors to truth. Locke.

MIZQUE, a province in the government of Santa Cruz de la Sierra, Peru, bounded south by the province of Yamparaes, south-west by that of Charcas, west by that of Cochabambas, and north by the Andes. It is of hot temperature, and produces wheat, maize, pulse, sugar-cane, and wine. Population 62,000. The capital is a decayed town of the same name.

MIZRAIM, or Misraim, the second son of Ham, and grandson of Noah; supposed to have

been the same with Menes, the first king of Egypt. See Egypt. Hence

Mizraim, or Misraim, is used in scripture to denote the Higher and Lower Egypt, which see. It sometimes occurs singular, Mazor: 2 Kings xix.; Isaiah xix.; Micah vii.

MIZ'ZEN, n. J. Dan. and Swed. mcsan; Ital. mizzanaJ Span, mezana; Belg. bizaan; Fr. basenne. The mast nearest a ship's stern.

The muse is a mast in the stem or back part of a ship: in some large ships there are two such masts; that standing next the main mast is called the main mizzen, and the other near the poop the bonaventure mizzen: the length of a mizzen mast is half that of the main mast, or the same with that of the main topmast from the quarterdeck, and the length of the mizzen topmast is half that. Bailey.

A commander at sea had his leg fractured by the fall of his mizzen topmast. Wiseman's Surgery.

MIZ'ZLE, or Mistle, V. n. From Mist, which see. To rain in small or dew-like drops.

A woman of fashion who is employed in remarks upon the weather, who observes from morning to noon that it is likely to rain, and from noon to night that it spits, that it puzzles, that it is set in for a wet evening ; and, being incapable of any other discourse, is as insipid a companion, and just as pedantic, as he who quotes Aristotle over his tea, or talks Greek at a card-table. B. Thornton.

MNEMONICS, or artificial memory, had its advocates and professors in the ancient world. Herodotus tells us it was accurately taught and practised in Egypt; whence it travelled to Greece. Chiron, the astronomer, we know, also arranged the stars upon a method of this kind twelve centuries before Christ. The Romans, likewise, cultivated this art with success.—Cic. de Rhet. lib. iii., and de Orat. lib. ii.; Quint. Inst. Orat. lib. xi.

In modern times artificial memory has been elaborately treated by Dr. Grey, in his well known Memoria Technica. We have been favored, for the use of this work, with a communication from Mr. Todd, of Winchester, accompanying his splendid Historical Tablets and Medallions, 4to., founded on the principle, but exhibiting much more simplicity than Dr. Grey's scheme. This author quotes a happy passage from Addison, as suggesting the original idea of his work.

'There is one advantage,' says that great writer, Dialogues upon Ancient Medals, 'that seems to me very considerable, which is the great help to memory one finds- in medals: for my own part, I am very much embarrassed in the names and ranks of the several Roman emperors, and find it difficult to recollect upon occasion the different parts of their history; but your medallists, upon the first naming of an emperor, will immediately tell you his age, family, and life. To remember where he enters in the succession, they only consider in what part of the cabinet he lies; and, by running over in their thoughts such a particular drawer, will give you an account of all the remarkable parts of his reign.' But this is not all. 'For this too," says the same author, ' is an advantage medals have over books—that they tell their story much quicker, and sum up a whole volume in twenty

« PoprzedniaDalej »