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vowels, by one of two channels, either by a passing into e, and e into i; or, on the other hand, by a passing into o, and o into u. The primitive nature of this sound is also indicated by its predominance in the oldest languages, and by the fact that it is the vowel which a child learns first and most easily to pronounce, as is shown by its occurrence in so many nursery words,' such as ta-ta, dada, nana, papa, mama. In the speech of our Anglo-Saxon forefathers, a had two sounds-the long a in father, and the short a in man. The first is now usually replaced by o+e, oe, oa, or ou, as in stone, toe, hoar, and ought, which in Anglo-Saxon were written stán, tá, hár, áhte. The short a is sometimes retained, as in cat; or is replaced by o, a+e, or o+e, as in the words comb, ape, bone.

In modern English, the letter a has six distinct sounds. Of these, the continental a in father is the least usual in the speech of educated persons, but has been more frequently preserved in some northern dialects. The short a, in which the tongue is thrust forward instead of being kept back as far as possible, is the most common, as in the words man, hat, wag, land, dagger. The name-sound ae, which is the Italian e, is usually denoted by the help of a postscript e, as in the words make, pane, fate, tale, ale. In fare and ware the same notation expresses the diphthong, which is denoted by ai or ea in fair and swear. The diphthongal sound aw is sometimes denoted by a reduplication of the following consonant, as in the words all, tall. Lastly (as in the words among, about, final), a, like all the other vowels, occasionally drops into the neutral or fundamental vowel, the sound which slips most easily out of the mouth without conscious effort, and has thus at last reverted to the original sound of the Egyptian hieroglyph of the eagle, from which it started in the long history of some sixty centuries through which it has now been traced. See also articles ALPHABET, LETTERS, VOICE.


A, as a note in Music, is the major sixth of the scale of C. See MUSIC, SCALE. For A Major and A Minor, see also KEY. For A in ABBREVIATIONS, see under that head; and see DOMINICAL LETTERS. Al is a symbol by which first-class vessels are classed in Lloyd's Register of British and Foreign Shipping. See LLOYD'S.

Aa, the name of a number of European rivers; the word being akin to the Old High German aha,


water.' Thus, there are three streams called Aa in Westphalia, one in Switzerland, and one in North France. They are all small.



Aalborg (Eel-town), a seaport in the north of Jutland, on the south side of the Liimfiord. is the seat of a bishopric, and has a considerable trade, exporting spirits, hides, cattle, butter, eggs, and chalk. Pop. (1880) 14,152; (1890) 19,503.

Aalen, a town in the east of Würtemberg, on the Kocher, 46 miles E. of Stuttgart. It has manufactures of wool and silk, dye-works, and iron-works. Pop. (1885) 6805; (1890) 7155.

Aalesund, a Norwegian town, with an excellent harbour, built on three small islands on the coast of the province of Romsdal. It has (1890) 8383 inhabitants, mostly fishermen or sailors.

Aali Pasha, a distinguished Turkish statesman, born at Constantinople in 1815. At the early age of fifteen he became a clerk in the foreign office, and rose steadily from one diplomatic post to another, at home, Vienna, and elsewhere, till in 1844 he became ambassador at London. This varied experience left on his acute mind a profound impression of the absolute necessity of extensive reforms in the government of the


Ottoman empire; and with these reforms, under the sultans Abdul Medjid and Abdul Aziz, the name of Aali Pasha is identified. He presided at the Commission which passed the famous reforming decree of 1856, the Hatti-Humayun. At the Congress of Paris he represented the Porte, and maintained its cause with zeal and skill. He was Grand-vizier more than once; and from 1861 till his death, held alternately with the like-minded Fuad Pasha the most influential posts in the Turkish service. He was active in suppressing the Cretan rebellion in 1867-68, and in repressing Egyptian efforts to shake off the supremacy of the Porte. He died 6th September 1871.

Aalst. See ALOST.

Aar, next to the Rhine and Rhone, the largest river in Switzerland, rises in the glaciers of the Bernese Oberland, forms the Falls of Handeck, 180 feet high, flows through the lakes Brienz and Thun, and passing the towns of Interlaken, Thun, Berne, Soleure, and Aarau, joins the Rhine above Waldshut after a course of nearly 200 miles. It is a beautiful crystal stream; its main tributaries are the Reuss and the Limmat.

Aarau, capital of the canton of Aargau (q.v.).


Aard-vark (Dutch earth-hog'), or CAPE ANTEATER (Orycteropus capensis), one of the Edentata, and the only ant-eater with teeth. It has seven molars on each side above, and six on each side below; with neither incisors nor canine teeth. It is a stout animal, with long, pig-like snout, tubular mouth, the usual termite-catching tongue, large ears, fleshy tail, and short, bristly hair. The limbs are short and very muscular; on the fore feet are four, on the hind five powerful claws, used in burrowing and in excavating the hills of the white



ants (see TERMITES), on which it feeds. It is nocturnal in its habits, and is very inoffensive and timid. When pursued, it can burrow itself out of sight in a few minutes, working inwards with such rapidity as to make it almost impossible to dig it out. Its total length is about five feet, of which the tail is 1 foot 9 inches. Its dwelling is a burrow at a little distance from the surface, and thence it may be observed creeping at dusk. Three species are known-one in South Africa, another in Senegal, and a third in South Nubia. The flesh is considered a delicacy. See ANT


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Aard-wolf ('earth-wolf;' Proteles Lalandii), a South African carnivore, belonging to a subfamily of Hyænidæ. It is fox-like in size and habit, but has longer ears and a less bushy tail. resembles a hyæna in its sloping back, in its colour, markings, and dorsal mane, but has five toes on the fore feet, and the head is much more pointed and civet-like. The back teeth are small and simple, and there is no carnassial or special cutting-tooth. The strong, blunt claws are, as usual, non-retractile. It feeds on carrion, white ants, larvæ, &c., but not on living vertebrates. It is timid and nocturnal in its habits, social but quarrelsome in its life, and tolerably swift in its pace, though usually trusting rather to burrowing than to flight. Like the Hyænas, the Aardwolves habitually fight among themselves. CARNIVORA, CIVET, HYENA.


Aargau (French Argovie), the least mountainous canton of Switzerland, on the lower course of the Aar, with the Rhine for its north boundary. Its surface is diversified with hills and valleys, and is generally fertile. Agriculture, fruit-growing and cattle-breeding, manufactures of cotton, and strawplaiting are carried on; there are valuable quarries; mineral baths are in use at Baden and elsewhere. The area is about 540 sq. m., and the pop. in 1880 was 198,645; in 1888, 193,834, rather more than half being Protestants. German is the predominant language. The chief town is Aarau, situated on the Aar; pop. (1880) 5944; (1888) 6809.

Aarhuus, second in size of Danish cities, is a seaport on the east coast of Jutland, with a very lively transit trade by sea and by rail. Since 951 the seat of a bishop, it has a fine Gothic cathe dral of the 13th century. Grain, hides, tallow, butter, eggs, cattle, and oysters are exported, while wine, petroleum, salt, sugar, tobacco, manufactured articles, and colonial wares are imported. Pop. (1870) 15,025; (1880) 24,831; (1890) 33,308.

Aaron, the elder brother of Moses, was appointed his assistant and spokesman, and, in spite of his share in the idolatry of the golden calf, at the giving of the Mosaic law received for himself and his descendants the hereditary dignity of the priesthood. Aaron assisted his brother in the administration of public affairs, and was high-priest for forty years. He died at Mount Hor, on the borders of Idumea, in the 124th year of his age (Numbers, xxxiii. 39). See HIGH-PRIEST, PRIEST.

Aaron's Beard, a popular name for a number of cultivated plants: (a) Saxifraga sarmentosa (nat. ord. Saxifragaceae), an easily cultivated cottage-plant, usually grown in hanging pots, from which the long stems or runners droop down, bearing at intervals clumps of roundish, hairy, somewhat decorative leaves. The flowers have a close resemblance to those of London Pride.

(b) Hypericum calycinum, also called Rose of Sharon (Hypericaceae). It is a native of the SE. of Europe, has a prostrate, creeping, shrubby habit, and bears (from July to September) very large bright yellow flowers, 3 to 4 inches in diameter.

(c) Geropogon hirsutus (Compositæ), a South European annual of easy culture, related to Tragopogon (Goat's Beard), bearing purplish capitula.

Ababdeh, a people allied to the Bishâri, inhabiting parts of Upper Egypt and Nubia, and included by some authorities in the Ethiopic family of the Hamites. See AFRICA.

Ab'aca, a species of plantain (Musa_textilis), which yields a valuable fibre, the so-called Manilla Hemp of commerce. It is a native of the Philippine Isles, where it is extensively cultivated; and is like the Banana (q.v.) in habit of growth. The

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Abaco, GREAT and LITTLE, islands of the Bahama group. The largest is 80 miles long. See BAHAMAS.

Chinese Abacus.


infant-schools to make Ab'acus, an instrument sometimes employed in the elementary operations of arithmetic palpable. It consists of a frame with a number of parallel wires, on which beads or counters strung, being variously arranged to represent units, tens, &c. By the ancient Romans it was used in practical reckoning, and it is still in use in some parts of Russia, in the Caucasus, Persia, and China. According to Professor Knott's monograph on The Abacus (Yokohama, 1886), the abacus was probably a Semitic invention, introduced by the Semites to the Aryans, and so passed on to the Chinese. An improved abacus is called 'adder' in the United States.


Ab'acus, in Architecture, is a square or oblong level tablet placed above the capital of a column, and supporting the entablature. In the Doric, old Ionic, and Tuscan orders, the abacus is either flat and square, or has a moulding on the upper edge; but in the new Ionic, Corinthian, and Roman orders, the abacus has concave sides, with truncated angles. In the Norman style, it may be square or octagonal; in Early English it is often circular, but in early French Gothic is usually In later Gothic it is generally octagonal.


Abaddon, a Hebrew word meaning 'destruction,' used in Job as a poetical term for Sheol, the kingdom of shadows, in rabbinical legends the deepest place in hell; in the Apocalypse, the name of the angel of the abyss, the bottomless pit, the same as Apollyon.

Abakansk, a fortified Siberian town, on the Abakan, near its junction with the Yenisei, in the government of Yeniseisk. Pop. 2000.

Ab'ana and Pharpar, mentioned in Scripture as rivers of Damascus. The former is generally identified with the Barada, flowing through the city; the latter with the Awaj, which rises on the SE. slopes of Hermon, passes within 8 miles of Damascus, and falls into a lake to the south.

Abancourt, CHARLES XAVIER JOSEPH D', a Douai in 1758. A nephew of Calonne, and a revoFrench minister during the Revolution, born at lutionist, he advanced rapidly in the army, and became minister of war in June 1792. Two months later he was denounced by Thuriot, and was murdered by the mob at Versailles, September 9,


Scottish legal procedure, signifies the act by which Abandonment. Abandoning an action, in a pursuer, at any time before final judgment, abandons or withdraws from his action on the payment of the costs incurred; the effect being that, although his action is dismissed, he is at liberty to bring another action on the same grounds. The same purpose is effected in England by the plaintiff, in the High Court of Justice, giving a notice called discontinuance. In England, however, this is in the power of the plaintiff only before any step has been taken subsequent to the statement of defence.

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Afterwards, the authority of the judge is required; one reason for this distinction being that in England a defendant may obtain decree against the plaintiff on his counter-claim, a convenient practice not yet introduced to Scotland. As regards criminal proceedings, these may in England be stopped by a warrant of the Attorney-General, called Nolle prosequi (q.v.), granted where justice requires; in Scotland, where criminal proceedings are always in the hands of the public prosecutor, the technical expression is deserting the diet,' which can be done before a jury is sworn, and does not exclude a new prosecution.


Abandonment, in Marine Insurance, signifies the relinquishment to the underwriter of all interest in the subject of insurance, and is implied in every settlement for a total loss. Notice of abandonment is given by the insured, where he has reasonable ground for thinking there is a total loss, but it may not be accepted by the underwriter. See INSUR


Under the Abandonment of Railways Acts of 1850, 1867, and 1869, the Board of Trade may, on good cause shown, sanction the abandonment of railways, even though partly made, if three-fifths in value of the shareholders consent. The effect is to relieve the company from liability to carry out the undertaking. Compensation is made to landowners and contractors, and usually the depositmoney is applied as assets.

Abandonment is often applied to the act of master and crew leaving a ship after collision. This they should not do if by ordinary care and skill they will not be exposed to extraordinary risk of


Abandonment or exposure of children under the age of two, so as to endanger life or permanently injure health, is an offence punishable in England by penal servitude, under the Offences against the Person Act, 1861. In Scotland, the exposure or desertion of children is a crime at common law.

In the United States, non-user does not generally constitute abandonment, but where an abandonment is acted upon in good faith, it destroys the original owner's rights. Legal rights once vested, must be divested to while able rights may be abandoned at pleasure. There may be an abandonment of an easement, an improvement, an invention or discovery, of a trust fund, a mining claim, a right under a charter or land warrant.

Abarbanel, ABRABANEL, or ABRAVANEL, ISAAC BEN JEHUDAH, a Jewish writer, was born at Lisbon in 1437. He was employed in affairs of state by Alfonso V. of Portugal; under his successor, John II., he was suspected of treason, and obliged to flee, his property being confiscated (1483). For a time he served King Ferdinand of Aragon, but he shared in the expulsion of the Jews from Spain (1492), and died at Venice in 1508. His works comprise critical and doctrinal commentaries on the Bible, with important philosophical treatises. His eldest son, Juda Leon (Leo Hebræus),

was a doctor and philosopher, author of Dialoghi di Amore (1535).

Aba'rim, the range of highlands, or mountains, to the east of the Jordan, in the land of Moab. The highest point is Mount Nebo, from which Moses had his Pisgah view' of Palestine. It is somewhat uncertain whether Pisgah was the same as Abarim, or merely a part of it. Ancient rude altars, probably as old as the time of the Amorites, were discovered here by Captain Conder in 1881.

Abased, or ABAISSÉ, in Heraldry, signifies that a chevron, fess, or the like, is placed lower than in its usual position.


Abatement. This is a term used in various senses in the law of England. (1) Abatement of Freehold, where a stranger without right enters and gets possession before the heir or devisee. (2) Abatement of Nuisance, which means the act of a party in removing, with the least possible damage, any nuisance or unlawful obstruction from his property. (3) Abatement of Actions formerly took place by the death, marriage, or bankruptcy of a party; but under the Judicature Act the action proceeds, the necessary parties being added, except where the right of action does not transmit. Pleas in abatement are those known in Scotland as 'no title to sue,' and all parties not called,' and are now dealt with in the same way. The term is also used in both England and Scotland to denote the reduction of legacies where the estate is insufficient to pay in full. Abatement, or rebate, is the discount allowed for cash, or paid on a bill, and is also used for a deduction sometimes made by the Customs House on damaged goods, or for loss in warehouses. Abatement is also a reduction of a legacy, general or specific, on account of the insufficiency of the estate of the testator to pay his debts and legacies.

In the United States courts, by act of congress, personal actions do not abate by death of a party, if the cause of action survives. Unlike the abatement of a suit at common law, the death of one of the parties to a bill in equity before final decree has the effect of suspending the proceeding, but does not extinguish the right of further prosecution, by proper representatives, within a reasonable time.

Abatements, in Heraldry, are marks of disgrace alleged in some heraldic treatises to have been borne by persons who had been guilty of unknightly conduct. Menestrier justly calls them 'sottises Anglaises' (English absurdities); and, as they were never in actual use, they need not be here described in detail.

intrenchment, consisting of trees felled and laid Ab'attis (Fr.) is an old and simple species of side by side; the butt-ends are fixed in the earth, the smaller twigs cut off, and the branches are directed towards the enemy.

Abattoir is the French term, sometimes used here, for slaughter-house. See SLAUGHTER-HOUSES.

Abauzit, FIRMIN, was born of Protestant parentage at Uzès, in Languedoc, 11th November 1679, and on the revocation of the Edict of Nantes (1685) was despatched by his mother to Geneva. Here that he became versed in almost all the sciences. he prosecuted his studies with such intense ardour He travelled in Holland and England in 1698, and attracted the notice of such men as Bayle and Newton. King William wished to retain him in England; but his affection for his mother recalled him to Geneva, where he died March 20, 1767. He helped to translate the New Testament into French (1726); and published numerous theological and archeological treatises, which were collected in two vols. (Amst. 1773). Rousseau, who hated to praise a contemporary, penned his solitary panegyric on Abauzit in the Nouvelle Heloise.

Abbadie, ANTOINE THOMSON and ARNOULDMICHEL D', born in Dublin of French family, the former in 1810, the latter in 1815. Educated in France, they became famous as travellers in Abyssinia between 1837 and 1848. The elder brother published on his return a catalogue of Ethiopian MSS., the Géodésie d'Ethiopie (1860-73); in 1881 a Dictionary of the Amarinna (Amharic) language; and in 1890 Géographie de l'Ethiopie. The younger published, in 1868, his Douze Ans dans la Haute-Ethiopie; and he was distinguished for his studies of the Basque language. He died in 1893.

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