Francis Lieber.

Library of universal knowledge. A reprint of the last (1880) Edinburgh and London edition of Chambers' encyclopaedia, with copious additions by American editors (Volume 13) online

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obtained unless the shot fits with extreme tightness into the gun; and if it does so. and
the gun is a muzzle-loader, it is scarcely possible to load it. The ordinary principle has
the projectile smaller than the bore, so as to pass readily into the gun. resting, of course,
on the bottom of the bore. The projectile is covered with a soft metal, as lead, which
expands with the pressure behind, and fits the shot trtght into the grooves; but from the
fact that it rested (at the commencement of the expansion) on the bottom of the bore,
the axis of the shot is always beiow the axis of the bore. To obviate this, sir William
Armstrong designed the "shunt" system, which in practice has been found admirably
effective. In rifling the gun, the groove for 14 in. from the muzzle consists of a wide,
deop indentation (b in fig. 1), and at the side of it a narrow indentation of less depth a;
from 14 in. to 22 in. from the muzzle, this narrow groove gradually deepens, till it

A A* Shrubs.


attains the level of the broad groove, after which they run together for a short distance,
until a shunt at c, fig. 1 narrows the whole groove on the same side as a to the original
width of b. Projecting from the

shell is an iron flange too high to i ?. .

puss the narrow groove, and still ^p ' " '^^~

higher by its side, a narrow band of /V"^ ff f ^^^ ,L

zinc or of brass studs. Each of (" -j~ "

these passes freely along the broad

dee}) groove of the bore. As the _.

shot is rammed home, the twist of g '

the rifling brings the iron flange against the edge d (fig. 1) of the broad deep groove,
which enables both the flange and zinc band to pass freely until past /. (fig. 1.) where
the inclined plane' ends. At c, however, where the groove becomes narrowed to only
the width of the flange and band together, the shot is shunted over to the left. In this
position it is rammed home. In coming out, of course, the pressure of the twist is
reversed, and the zinc band presses against the straight edge e; on reaching/, the force
of the exploded powder behind drives the shot on, while the inclined groove from / to g
flattens clown the zinc band, so that the projectile ceases to lie on the bottom of the bore,
and is firmly centered by its several bands on the shallow grooves (whatever their num-
ber may be) round the bore's circumference. The lead fitting at the back of the shot \\r*
been meanwhile driven by the explosion into the deep wide grooves, so as to stop wint.

The Russians have a shunt system borrowed from sir W. Armstrong's, but differing
in details. American guns, on similar principles, have been made experimentally. The
invention does not appear to have been yet applied to small arms.

There is only a minute difference between the diameters of bore and projectile.

SHURTLEFF, NATHANIEL BRADSTUEET, 1810-74; b. Boston, Mass.; son of Dr.
Benjamin, graduate of Harvard university, 1831; of the medical school, 1834; commenced
practice at Boston; mayor of Boston, 1868-70. He was learned in the sciences, an accu-
rate genealogist, and a close and careful student of history. Notwithstanding that he
claimed descent from 11 of the pilgrims of Plymouth, he was a devoted Roman Catholic.
He was a contributor to the Qenealogical Register, and edited the Records of the Governor
and Company of Massachusetts bay, 1638-86, 6 vols. ; and, with David Pulsifer, a publi-
cation from the MSS. of Nathaniel Morton, called the Records of the Colony of New
Plymouth, 12 vols. He was author of several historical works.

SHUSH A, or ScnusciiA, a fortified t. of Russian Transcaucasia, in the government
of Elizabetpol, and 120 in. s.w. of the town of Schemacha. It w r as founded by Nadir
shah, and occupies a strong position on a mountain, accessible only on one side. Povx
'67, 19,341.

SHUSTEB, a city of Persia, in Khuzistan, on the Karun, 30 m. e.s.e. of Dizful, at the
foot of a range of sandstone hills. In the early part of the present century, it was an
important town and the capital of the province; but it was nearly depopulated by an
epidemic in 1832, and was much damaged by an inundation in 1840. On a height stands
the castle, commanded however, by a loftier elevation. The walls have been allowed to
fall, and a fourth part of the town is in ruins. Customs are collected here, but the trade
is not extensive. Pop. about 8,000.


SFIUTE, SAMUEL, 1 653-1742; b. London; educated at Leyden. He served under
Marlborough in Flanders, and was governor of Massachusetts, 1716-23. During his
term he had a dispute with the legislature, who refused to fix his salary and denied his
right to negative the speaker.

SHUTTLE, the instrument used to carry the weft-thread in weaving. Sec LOOM.

SHYEXNE', a co. in s.w r . Dakota, unorganized. It is drained by the Shyenne river,
White river, and Bad river. Its surface is mountainous, con'.r'ning a portion of the
Black Hills which created the gold excitement in 1875-76, ard part of the Bad Lands
near the South fork of the Sheycnne, celebrated for wonderful exhibition of fossil bones,
and petrified wood, although the surrounding country has every element of fertility.
The name of Bad Lands originated with the Indians, and has since been construed with-
out reason, to mean barren lands.

SIAL OGOGUES are substances which, by local stimulating action, increase the secre-
tion of saliva. Among the substances which thus act as direct stimulants to the sali-
vary glands (q.v.). we may especially mention horse-radish root, mezercon bark, and
pellitory root. Horse radish root when chewed, produces a copious flow of saliva, and
has been found useful in aiding deglutition in cases of paralysis of the tongue. If
mezereou bark is used in the same way, the saliva should be frequently ejected^ in con-
sequence of the acrid properties which it absorbs from the drug. Pellitory root is the
best of this class of remedies. Fragments weighing from half a dram to a dram
may be frequently chewed when we wish to increase the flow of saliva in cases of facial
neuralgia, rheumatism of the muscles of mastication, and paralysis of the tongue.

U. K. XIII. -30 ==



SIAM (native name TJidi= the free, or M'uang Thdi= the kingdom of the free), the
chief state of Indo-China, is bounded on the s. by the gulf of Siam and the Malay pen-
insula. On the w., n., and e., the frontier-line is ill denned and fluctuating, owing to
many tribes being only partially under subjection, and to the constant wars of aggran-
dizement between Siam and the Malayan and Burmese races on the w., ami the Cambo-
dian and Cochin-Chinese races on the east. According to a recent account, the country
lies in lat. 4 J to 21 n., long. 96 to 102 e. : is 1200 m. in length, and about 3f>0 m. in
extreme breadth. Area estimated at from 190,000 to 290,000 sq.m.; pop. static! at from
6,000,000 to 10.000.000. The kingdom consists of 41 provinces, each governed by a

Ehraya, or functionary of the highest rank. There are numerous districts beyond Ihc
mils of the kingdom proper, as the Laos, Malayan, and Cambodian depeiuk m ies, u hich
arc more or less under subjection to Siam, and pay tribute generally mice in three years.
Siam itself pays tribute to China, but only as a matter of usage and convenience, for it
receives from 'that country more than a return, in the remission of duties upon Siamese
vessels bound to Chinese ports. Cambodia is situated between Siam on the w. and
Cochin-China, and as sovereignty over it is claimed by both these countries, :.r.d as it is
too feeble to resist the claims, it pays tribute to both.

Surface, Hydrography, Uoast-uiie, Soil, and Climate. The mountains which corer the
northern districts of the country, and form natural barriers along its e. :md w. frontiers,
are branches of the great system of tlie Himalaya. Though the northern dependencies
of Siam are mountainous, the kingdom proper is a vast plain, which only 1 ccoims hilly
on its northern frontier. The great river of the country, the Kile of Siam, is (ailed by
foreigners Meuam, or more commonly Meinam; but the Siamese call all rivers by this
name, and distinguish the river by adding lo the name Mei am the name of the chief
town or village on its banks; thus Mcnnm Bangkok is the river of Bangkok, that is, the
great river of the country, which Europeans and other foreigners have agreed to call
Meinam.- This river, the great life-sustaining arterj' of the country, rises among the
mountains of the Chinese province of Yunnan, whence it flows s., and after a course of
more than 800 m. in this direction, throws itself by three mouths, which are from 6 to 8
fathoms deep, into the gulf of Siam, about 80 m. (18 m. in direct line) below Bangkok.
It receives a number of important afflvu nts, notably the river Phitsalok, which joins it
in lat. about 17 85' n. The annual inundation of the Meinam, the occasional non-
occurrence of which entails failure cu a great portion of the rice crops, commences in
June and ends in November. Impregnated with the rich soil which it brings from the
interior, its waters in August overflow the Lanks to a height sometimcg exceeding 6 ft.
above the ordinary level. The tract of country within the direct influence of the inun-
dations is estimated at 12,000 sq.m.; but, properly speaking, the actual valley of the
Meinam, commencing 450 m. above the mouth of that river, and with an average breadth
of 50 m., has an area of upward of 22,000 sq.m., and forms a tract of country the fertility
of which is not exceeded in any other quarter of the globe. Of the other great rivers,
the chief is the Mei-kong, which flows through the eastern districts of the empire, and
is said to be 1600 m. long. The coast-lire fringing the edge of ihe gulf of Siam may be
roughly estimated at 1100 m., exclusive of minor windings. The principal ports on the
coast-line arc Paknam (pop. 6,500), defended by three forts; Paklat, a fiw miles above
Paknam (pop. 7,000), defended by a fort on each side of the river; Meklong. at the
mouth of the river of the same name, lorg. ]CO 10' e., a beautiful city, with floating
bazaars, fine pagodas and gardens, and a p< p. of 10.000; Chautaburi, long, about 103 e.,
near the mouth of a river which, though fhort, fertilizes with its inundations a consider-
able district, a place of active trade with China and Cochin-China, with a pop. of 6,000;
and Bangplasoi. 27 m. e.s.e. of Paknam, engaged in a profitable fishery and in agiiculture,

Eop. 6,000. The breadth of the Malayan peninsula, in lat. 11 n., is only 50 m., and
ere two streams, the one flowing w. to Ihc bay of Bengal, and the other e. to the gulf
of Siam, ofttr great facilities for the construction of a ship-can*!, for their sources being
n^ar each other, a few miles of canalization are all that would be required to connect
them, and thus form a sea-way across the peninsula, which would shorten ihe voyage
between India and eastern Asia by many days, and often by wctks. The climate of
Siam is. for a tropical region, salubrious; the resident missionaries speak highly in its
favor. The me;in temperature at Bangkok for a series of eight years was 81 14'; the
maximum heat within the same .space was 97', and the minimum 54. Hurricanes and
typhoons are almost unknown in Siam, though it is visited every year by the s.w. and
n e. monsoons the former bringing clouds, thunder-storms, and rain, the latter bringing
refreshing weather.

Affnculture, Flora, and Fauna. In Sinm, few of the instruments in use in scientific
agriculture are known, and in many parts of the country, in 155. the ground was pre-
pared for the seed by turning herds of buffaloes into the fields to trample down the
weeds and move the soil, and afterward by harrowing the ground with thorny shrubs.
But the soil here is so rich that the smallest outlay of capital and labor is lewarded by
abundant harvests. A much more advanced system of agriculture, however, has been
introduced within recent years, and the- quantity of agricultural products exported has
greatly increased. Rice and sugar are the principal crops. Of the ether products, the
chief are aquila, or eagle-wood, renowned for its perfume, and extensively used on that
account at funerals, marriages, and other ceremonies ill eastern Asia; gutta-percha,



cardamoms, gamboge, bamboo,, the rattan, valuable palms, the guava, mango; daurien,
esteemed the king of fruits in Siam; the mangostecu, arid many other fruits and other
lives, including leak and a variety of valuable ship and house timbers. Among the
nr.inuils, the most famous is the elephant, which abounds in the forests. It is against
thj l.iw of Siam to kill elephants, as these animals are considered the property of the
king; but many of them are nevertheless slain for the sake of their tusks. A. variety of
tills miimal, said to be peculiar to Siam, is the white elephant, which is not really while, of a light mahogany color. This animal is held in the highest veneration, the cause
of which is that he is "supposed to be the incarnation of some future Buddha, and will
therefore bring blessings 0:1 the country which possesses so great a treasure." lie is fee 1
upon fresh grass, and sugar-canes and plantains, served in rich dishes, is covered will-,
ornaments, inhabits a building attached to the palace, enjoys the rank of nobility, anc"
is tended by a staif of officers, guards, valets, etc. Tigers abound, especially in the
Laos country in the n. ; tiger-cats, rhinoceroses, boars, wild pigs, elks, and deer o c
many kinds, tenant the woods. Crocodiles, lizards, and serpents of various kinds are
numerous. Excellent fish are found on the coasts and in the rivers.

Minerals. Gold is found among the mountains, and silver in combination with other
metals; copper, tin, ie.ul, and iron are abundant, and are extensively worked by the
Chinese. Precious stones are found in great number and variety.

Muniifacf i/rex. Vases, urns, and other vessels, in the manufacture of which gold is
embossed upon silver, are made here iu great numbers, and have an oriental celebrity.
Gold-beat ing, iron-founding, and manufactures of line cloth, glass wares, and pottery
are carried on.

Commerce, Exports, and Imports. In former times, Bangkok (q.v.), the capital, was
the most commercial city e. of the cape of Good Hope, after Calcutta and Canton, and
60 British ships were engaged in trade with the river Meiuam. But in 1855, such had
been the influence of bad legislation, and such the destructive progress of monopoly,
that the foreign trade had become reduced almost to nothing. Sir John Bowring, her
majesty's plenipotentiary, arriving in Siam, negotiated a treaty of friendship and com-
merce with the Siamese rulers (signed at Bangkok, April, 1855), which provides that
British subjects are permitted to trade freely in all the sea-ports of Siam, may purchase
lands, houses, etc., and may profess the Christian religion undisturbed. By this treaty
all monopolies are rescinded, British traders purchasing directly from the producer, and
selling directly to the purchaser, without the interference of any third party. Export
duties are levied upon all goods that leave the country, but they pay one impost only,
whether this be levied under the name of inland-tax, transit-duty, or duty on exporta-
tion. Prior to 185(5, when the treaty first took effect, the British arrivals (including
Mussulman vessels under the British flag) amounted to only 12 per annum; in 1S5S
they amounted to 81 vessels; and in 1875 the entries at the port of Bangkok, which is
the center of the foreign trade of Siam, included 211 British vessels, of 110,625 tons,
nd the elearanfes included 204 British vessels, of 107,789 tons; but the trade with
Britain is of a very fluctuating character. The total exports in 1875 amounted to
1,755,711, and the total imports amounted to 1,329,811. In 1875 the chief articles
exported were rice and sugar, and the principal imports of British goods were iron and
machinery. These, statistics are for the port of Bangkok alone. No statement can be
given of the revenue and expenditure; but judging from the quantity of duty -paying
goods exported, it may be supposed that the former is satisfactory.

Inhabitants and Government. The Siamese proper, that is, the Thai race, form
about a third of the entire population. " They are gentle, timid, careless, and almost
passionless." They differ in several respects from many eastern nations. Lying,
though frequently resorted to as a protection against injustice and oppression, is not a
national characteristic. The Siamese are inclined to be idle, inconstant, and exacting;
but they are sincere, very affectionate in their domestic relations, witty in conversation,
and, like the Chinese, expert in mimicry. About a third of the whole population are
Chinese, who are great emigrants, but who, wherever they go, preserve their own lan-
guage, customs, costume, habits, and social organi/.-ition. There are, it is estimated,
1,500,000 Chinese hi Siam; in Bangkok alone there are 200,000. All the active business
of the country is in their hand*. The Laos people (see SHAN STATES) are also very
numerous in the country, and there are considerable numbers of Malays and Cam-
bodians. The religion of the Siamese is Buddhism (q.v.), which inculcates the highest
veneration for life in whatever form. A Siamese, will' not kill vermin or serpents; and
the lameness of many creatures that in Europe flee from the presence of man is
observed by all strangers. The use of betel (q.v.) is almost universal in Siam. All the
belles of Siam stain their teeth black. The Siamese are extremely ceremonious in
their intercourse one with another. An inferior crouches sind crawls on the ground
before a dignitary, and speaks of himself as "your slave a hair a little beast."
They are a small well-proportioned race, with olive-colored skin, and black hair, of
which all that they allow to grow is a tuft about two inches long on the top of the
head the rest being shaven off. They are remarkably fond of jewelry and ornaments,
and the dresses of Ihe higher functionaries and nobles is splendid and beautiful.
They are fond of music; have a number of good native instruments, as well as the
common European ones, and are skillful performers

Siam. AGO


The government is an absolute and hereditary monarchy, and there are two kinen.
The first king is the actual monarch; the second king, who receives about <>i;e-!hiul of
of the revenue, and has an army of 2,000 men, seems to occupy the place of first coun-
selor, and is invariably consulted by the first king before any decisive step in the
administration of affairs is taken. The present first king, Phrabat Somdetja Fiira Para-
minthara, was born in 1823, and ascended the throne on his father's death, Oct. 1,
1868. The second king, Kroman Bawarawichai Chau, son of the last named, succeeded
his father in 1868. Since a decree of 1874 the king shares the legislative- power wi;h the
supreme council of state and with his cabinet or senabodi.

Hiatory. The annals of the Siamese begin about five centuries r,.c. But nothing
authentic is known of the history of the country liil 1350, in which year Ayuthia, the
former capital, was founded. Cambodia was first conquered in 1532, and ia this cen-
tury the Siamese dominion extended to Singapore. The present dynasty ascended the
throne in 1783. There have been numbers of Protestant and Catholic missionaries in
Siam since the year 1828, but so far as the Siamese are concerned, their labors have
been almost if not altogether fruitless. For further information ou this most interesting
country and people, see Bowring's Siam (Lond. 1857.)

SIAM. GULF OF, an important arm of the Chinese sea, is bounded on the n. and w.
by Siam, on the s.w. by the Malay peninsula, and on the n.e. by Cambodia. At its
entrance between Cambodia point and the peninsula of Patani on the Malay peninsula,
it is 235 m. wide, and from the line drawn between these two points it extends inland in
a n.w. direction to the mouth of the Meinam, a distance of 450 miles. Four great rivers,
navigable to a considerable distance from their mouths, aud the chief of which is the
Meinam (see SIAM), fall into the gulf. It is uuvisited by hurricanes of any kind, and
shipwrecks here are very rare.

SIAMESE TWINS, a name given to two youths, Eug and Chang, born of Chinese
parents in Siam, in 1811, having their bodies united by a band of flesh, stretching from
the end of one breast-bone to the same place in the opposite twin. The survival to
advanced life of such a lusus natures makes this one of the most remarkable cases on
record. A union of the bodies of twins by various parts is not an unusual occurrence
(see MONSTROSITY). Ambrose Pare has depicted instances of union by the back, belly,
and forehead. The last occurred iu two girls, who lived to the age of ten years, when
one of them dying, a separation was made; the wound of the living girl assumed a bud
character, and soon proved fatal. The Hungarian tisters, who lived about a century
since, were united by the back, had one passage from the intestines, and each had one
from the urinary organs. They died when they were 2 years of age. The Siamese
twins were purchased of their mother at Meklong, a city of Siam, and were brought to
America by capt. Coffin and Mr. Hunter in 1829. On examination, the connecting
band seemed to have united them at first face to face, but constant traction had so
changed its direction, that they stood partially side by side. Its length above was about
two in.; below, nearly four; from above downwa'rd, it measured three in.; and
its greatest thickness was one and a half inches. It was covered with skin, and when
the center was touched, both felt it; but on touching either side of the median line, only
the nearest individual was sensible of it. The connection between the Siamese twins
presented many interesting points in regard to physiology and pathology, for although
they formed two perfectly distinct beings, they appeared most frequently to think, act,
and move as one individual.

After realizing a competence by the exhibition of themselves in the various conn-
tries of Europe, the Siamese twins settled in one of the southern states of America,
where they were married to two sisters, and had offspring Owing to domestic quarrels,
however, two houses were found necessary, each living with his wife a week at a time
alternately. Ruined by the civil war in America, the Siamese twins again made the
tour of Europe and exhibited themselves to the public. They died in 1874, the one sur-
viving the other an hour or two only.

_ 1'or a full account of the structural peculiarities of such cases, sec St. Hilaire's His
toire den Anomalies de I Organisation d'Homme et des Animaux.

SIABA, properly, Ceara (q.v.).

SIBBALD, Sir ROBERT, an eminent Scottish naturalist, b. at Edinburgh. April 15,
1641, of a good family (the Sibbalds of Balgonie, in Fife), studied at the high-school
and university of Edinburgh, and afterward pursued his medical studies at Leyden,
Paris, and Augers; settled as a physician in Edinburgh in 1662. devoted much time to
botany and zoology, and aided sir Andrew Balfour in establishing a bolanic garden in
Edinburgh. Having inherited an estate, he retired from medical practice, but contin-
ued his scientific pursuits; was appointed by Charles II. his majesty's geographer for
Scotland, and was encouraged to prepare a work on the geography and natural history

__ -_ great

time, but his Collection of Several Treatue in Folio Concerning Scotland, as It was of Old,
and also in Later Times ( Edin. 1739), is not without value.

A pa Slam.


SIBE'RIA, n vast territory in northern Asia, belonging to Russia. In England the
*iame is generally applied to all the Russian possessions in Asia, with the exception of
the TranscaucaMan and Armenian provinces. Siberia so defined is bounded on the n.
by the Arctic ocean; on the e. by the seas of Kamchatka, Okhotsk, and Japan, all of
them arms of the Pacific ocean: on the w. by the Ural mountains, Ural river, and
Caspian sea. The southern boundary is made to include the recent Russian acquisitions
in Turkestan, runs from lake Issyk Kul, n.u.e., then eastward by Kiahta to the Argun
river, which it follows to the Amur; the latter it follows to long. 135 e., where it trends
in a s.s.w. direction, ascending the Usuri tributary for 200 m., and then runs straight to
the sea at the northern frontier of Corea. In the official language of Russia, however,
Siberia is not of so wide extent. The Russian possessions in Turkestan form a sepa-

Online LibraryFrancis LieberLibrary of universal knowledge. A reprint of the last (1880) Edinburgh and London edition of Chambers' encyclopaedia, with copious additions by American editors (Volume 13) → online text (page 108 of 203)