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

. (page 114 of 203)
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 114 of 203)
Font size
QR-code for this ebook


next employed, and so on. This 13 the method employed in Britain; in France and



Signature.
Siklis.

Italy, figures are generally used. Signatures (as B2, B3, etc.) are also placed oil certain
pages of the same sheet, as a further direction to the book-binder.

SIGNET, in England, one of the seals for the authentication of royal grants. Prior
to 1848 all letters-patent and other documents which had to pass the privy seal required
} first to have the signet affixed, and passed from the signet-office to the office of the privy
seal in the form of signet bills, verified by the signet-seal and superscription and the big-
nature of the clerk of the signet. By act 11 and 12 Viet. c. 82, however, warrants under
the royal sign-manual, countersigned by one of the principal secretaries of state, luive
been made per se sufficient authority for the privy seal to be affixed, and the signet-office
lias been abolished. The signet in Scotland is a seal which, seems to have been originally
intended to authenticate royal warrants connected with the administration of justice.
The principal class of agents or attorneys in Scotland are called writers to the signet,
it is said from their having been originally clerks in the office of the secretary of state,
by whom writs passing the signet were prepared. Sec WRITERS TO THE SIGNET.

SIGNING, SEALING, and DELIVEEY of a deed, in English law, is the mode of exe-
cuting a deed. The main acts are, however, the sealing and delivery, for signature is not
absolutely essential at least in some kinds of deeds known to English law. The use
of the seal is an ancient form of authenticating deeds, still kept up in England, though
long superseded in Scotland by simple subscription. In practice, a wafer or seal is
attached to the end of the English deed, and the party who executes it must, after sig-
nature, put his finger on the seal, and say: " I deliver this as my act and deed," at the
same time handing the deed to the person who is to have the custody thereof.

SIGN-MANUAL, ROYAL,, the subscription of the sovereign, which must be adhibited
to all writs which have to pass the privy seal or great seal. When attached to a grant
or warrant, it must be countersigned by one of the principal secretaries of state, or by
the lords of the treasury. The sign-manual, in practice, consists but of the initial of the
sovereign's name, with the letter R added, for Rex or Regina.

SIGOURNEY, Mrs. LYDIA HUNTLEY (Huntley being her maiden name), American
authoress and poet, was b. at Norwich, Conn., in 1791. She was, like most young
ladies of ability in New England at that period, early engaged in teaching, and much
of her early writings consist of tales, essays, instructive letters, and poems, for her
pupils and the young. Her first published work was a volume of poems in 1815. In
1819 she was married to Mr. Charles Sigourney, a merchant of Hartford. In 1822 she
f published a descriptive poem on the Traits of the Aborigines of America; and in 1824 a
Sketch of Connecticut Forty Years Since. These were followed by Pocahontas and other
Poems, Lays of the Heart, Tales in, Prose and Verse, etc. In 1840 Mrs. Sigourney visited
Europe, and on her return, with a freedom common to American authors, wrote her
Pleasant Memories of Pleasant Lands. She compiled amusing and instructive books for
the young, and was a constant contributor to magazines and other periodicals of poems,
whose subjects, style, and sentiment gave her the designation of "the American
Hemans." She died at Hartford, June, 1865.

SIHUN'. See JAXARTES.

SIKHS. The term Sikh, a corruption of the Sanskrit s'ishya, signifying "disciple,"
is applied to a community of which the Punjab, in northern India, constitutes, sub-
stantially, the confines. Less commonly, even among themselves, the members of this
community are also known as Sinhs (vulgarly Singhs), that is, "lions," a title given,
them by Govind, the last and most influential of their hierarchs. Every name of a Sikh,
male now terminates with the word Siuh.

Originally a body of mere religionists, the Sikhs, what from the energy which they
developed under repression, and the inducements to join them which they offered as
proselytizers, grew, by degrees, in strength and numbers, and ended in a formidable
nationality. Their originator, NSnak, was born in 1469, in the vicinity of Lahore, and
died in 1539, not far from the place of his nativity. To him succeeded, in turn, nine
pontiffs, each of whom, like himself, is popularly denominated guru, or "teacher."
These were Angad, Amard&s. RamdSs, Arjunmall, Hargovind, HarrSy, Harkrishnaj
Teghbahadar, and, finally, Govind.

The aim of Nilaak was pointedly humanitarian, and designed to combine Hindus
and Mohammedans, at the cost of what he held to be only unimportant compromise, into
one harmonious brotherhood. Sufficient proof of the comprehensive character of his
scheme is afforded by the circumstance that he accepted concurrently the incarnations
of Nco-Brahrnanism and the mission of the Arabian prophet. His three immediate
successors, while zealously protecting the interests of the infant sect, avoided secular
pursuits, and held themselves aloof from political complications. Arjunmall, however,
not content with signalizing himself as compiler of the Adigranth, and as founder of
Amritsar, the holy city of the Sikhs, engaged with ardor in trade, and rendered himself
conspicuous as a partisan of the rebellious prince Khusru, son of Jahangir. Hargovind,
who came after Arjunmall, called the Sikhs to arms, led them in person to battle, and
though he remitted nothing of his assiduity as a guru, became an active and useful,
though sometimes refractory, adherent of the Great Mogul, against whom his prede-
tessor had plotted. HarrSy subsequently espoused the part of Dari Shukoh, when cou-



Sikh.



492



tending with his brothers for the throne of India. Harkrishna, son of Harray, died a
child, and was only nominally a guru. Teghbahildar, after a career of turbulence, was
executed as a rebel, by command of Aurangzeb, at Delhi. However deficient in the
qualifications demanded for spiritual leadership, it can scarcely be doubted that he con-
tributed, to an important degree, in preparing for the complete change of Sikhism which
was affected by his son, Govind. The chief motive that instigated Govind, the tenth
of the " teachers," to bring about this change was, with some probability, a desire to
avenge the ignominious death of his father. He resolved to combat the Mohammedan
power and, in deviation from the principles enunciated by Nauak. the Mohammedan
religion as well. But Hinduism, with its social restrictions of caste, its fantastic fictions,
, and its irrational idolatry, likewise fell under his ban. God, he inculcated, is not to be
' found save in humility and sincerity. In what measure he was a man of thought is
evinced by his legacy to his co-religionists, the second volume of the Sikh scriptures. A
Sikh, it is therein taught, is to worship one God, to eschew superstition, and to practice
strict morality, but equally is to live by the sword. The purport of this last injunction
is unmistakable. Govind was assassinated, while in the imperial service, in 1708, on
the banks of the Godavari. He died, it is true, without beholding the fulfillment of the
purpose for which he had striven; but he had, nevertheless, succeeded in stirring his
followers to an ambition for political independence an idea which was ultimately trans-
formed into a reality. His successor, but only as a temporal leader, Bauda, suffered a
cruel death. He did but little to advantage his sect ; and his memory is not held in
reverence.

With the decline of the Moghul empire, the might of the Sikhs, in spite of their
intermittent reverses, steadily increased, until, in 1764, they convened a general assembly,
formally assumed the character of a substantive nation, and issued coin from which the
name of the emperor was omitted. Their commonwealth was still denominated, as it
had been by Govind, Kh&lsa; and the component states of the federation, ordinarily
said to have been twelve in number, were thenceforward distinguished as Misls. Fore-
most in influence among these states was that of Sukarchakiya, the chieftain of which
was Maha Sinh, for whose son, the famous Ranjit Sinh (Runjeet-Singh, q.v.), it was
reserved to consolidate the Misls into a unity subject to his own undivided control. The
virtual headship of Ranjit Sinh dates from the year 1805, though it was not until 1838
that he attained the zenith of his ascendency. He died in the year following, at the
age of 59. During 1845 and 1846 the Sikhs ceased to exist as a nation; and their
country has since been ruled by the English. Yet every loyal Sikh is still confident that
his people is suffering but a transitory depression, and that'it is destined to retrieve, and
even to surpass, its bygone glory. In the meantime, the reputed son of a wife or con-
cubine of Ranjit Sinh, Dilip Sinh, is a pensioner of the British government, has pro-
fessed Christianity, and has taken up his abode in England.

Ethnologically considered, the Sikhs are, in large proportion, of Jat origin; the
Jfits, whom some take to be one with tte classical Getae. being a tribe extensively dif-
fused over the n. of India. But other Hindus have helped to swell their ranks, and also
not a few Mohammedans. The ten gurus are accounted Kshatriyas, or of the second
Brah manical caste, the martial. The descendants of these several races, from intermar-
riage and other causes, cannot, however, now be discriminated; and there is no division
of the multiform population of India that strikes more than the Sikhs, as respects physi-
cal uniformity. For symmetry and comeliness, and, it may be added, for courage and
powers of endurance, the lions of the Punjab are altogether remarkable.

Nauak's was, undoubtedly, by far the most successful of the repeated attempts which
have been made to fuse together the incompatible dogmas of Hinduism and -Islamism.
None of the authors of these attempts seem, indeed, to have been acquainted with other
than the mere surface of the two religions which they would have blended into one.
With the Mohammedan, the existence of the Deity as a pure spirit, and his creatorship
of the world, are fundamental postulates. On the other hand, the radical doctrine of
the Hindu is pantheism, agreeably to which the universe, alternatively God, is a single
eternal substance, under the twofold aspect of spirit and matter. These sets of first
principles, which NSnak and his fellow-reformers could never have clearly apprehended,
are palpably impossible of reconciliation. Without rejecting all that is distinctive of
his creed, no Hindu can assent to the theology of Islam; and, conversely, every intelli-
gent follower of the Arabian prophet must be aware that the monism and metempsycho-
sis of Brahmanism are utterly antagonistic to the leading positions of his own faith.
Govind, as we have seen, openly repudiated the notion of "amalgamating Hinduism and
Mohammedanism. An opportunity of becoming acquainted with his real views and
those of Nanak in their fullness has been provided for English readers by Dr. Trumpp's
translation (London, 1877) of the Adigranth (the Original Record). The Oranth con-
tains also extensive quotations from Kubir and other predecessors of Nfinak. A sec-
ond Granth, by Guru Govind Sinh, has not yet been translated. These Voluminous
compositions aro metrical throughout, and are in an archaic Indian vernacular, older
than Hindi and Panjabi. They are written in the same character as the Sanskrit, the
values of the letters being altered, though their forms are retained.

Among the numerous divisions into which Sikhism, as a system of belief and prac-
tice, has ramified, two at least, apart from the grea,f. central sect, deserve specification.



493



Sikh.



First are the Udasis, professors of indifference to mundane concerns; a sect whose
origin is attributed to S'rlchand, a son of Nanak. These recluses, whom AmSidas
refused to recognize as genuine Sikhs, have, to this day, numerous disciples. The
Akalls sprung up just after the time of Govind. For extravagance of fanaticism, these
Ishmaelites have, it is hoped, no rivals; and the style of their piety is comparable with
that of a Thug.

As specimens of the superstitions of the Sikhs, it may be noted that, like the Hindus,
they look upon the eating of beef as a deadly offense, and that, like the modern fol-
lowers of Zoroaster, they attach sin fulness to the act of extinguishing a light with the
breath. Some illustrations of practical Sikhism may also be gathered even from the
few remarks that have been made touching the gurus. It is not irrelevant to add, that
Amardils humanely discountenanced the cremation of widows, and that ArjunmaH com-
mitted suicide. The morality of ordinary Sikhs is as positively maintained by one class
of writers as it is denied by another. Evidence should seem to show that the agricul-
turists among them are much on a par, as to correctness of life, with other Indian culti-
vators of the soil. As to their soldiers, however, it has been observed that they are
deeply tainted with those repulsive impurities for which the Persians are so infamous.
Though forbidden the use of tobacco, they are under no restriction as concerns indul-
gence in bhang, opium, and intoxicating drinks; and it would be gross flattery to com-
mend them on the score of sobriety. As regards morality, there is reason to believe that
they have greatly degenerated since the days of Govind.

The gross Sikh population has been most variously estimated by different statis-
ticians, some of whom compute it at considerably less than half a million of persons,
while others deem a million and a quarter, or even a million and a half, to be not
excessive.

For the most satisfactory extant treatment of the subject of this article, the reader is
referred to capt. J. D. Cunningham's H.itoi~y of the Sikhs. Sir J. Malcolm's Sketch of
the Sikhs; The Asiatic Researches, vols. i. and xi. ; the collective works of prof. H. H.
"Wilson, vols. i. and ii. ; and The Calcutta Review, vols. xxxi. and xxxiii., may likewise
be consulted with advantage.

SIKH WAES, two brief but desperate contests waged between the British power in
India and the Sikhs in 1845-46, 1848-49, which resulted in the destruction of the latter
as an independent nation. The first had its origin in the dissensions which convulsed
the Sikh country after the death of Runjeet Singh (q.v.), and which necessitated the
exercise of a wary regard on the part of the Calcutta authorities. At length an army of
Sikhs, flushed with their triumph over all lawful authority in their own country,
crossed the Sutlcj, and extended their ravages over British territory; but their advanced
guard was met by sir Henry Hardinge, the governor-general, at the head of four regi-
ments of infantry and one of dragoons, and routed at Mudki (q.v.) with heavy loss.
Three davs after, their main body, which had meantime crossed the river, and intrenched
itself at Feroze-Shah (q.v.), was attacked by a larger force of British under Gough and
Hardinge, and after a bloody conflict, which lasted two days, also routed. Still undis-
mayed by these reverses, they again intrenched themselves at Sobraon; but a fresh
body which had just crossed the Sutlej at Alivval (q.v.), 19,000 strong, with 68 pieces
of cannon, was wholly routed and driven across the river by sir Harry Smith, at the
head of 7,000 men, with 32 guns; and their main body was soon after similarly dis-
persed at Sobraon (q.v.). The British then crossed the river, took Lahore, and restored
the authority of the young maharajah, from whom they took the territory between the
Beas and the Sutlej, the treaty confirming this settlement being made at Lahore, Mar.
9, 1846. But the internal disturbances in the kingdom of Lahore soon became as active
as before, and induced the maharajah's prime-minister to put the country under the
company's protection; and a residency with a guard of regular troops was then estab-
lished in the capital. On April 20. 1848, two British officers were murdered by a Sikh
chief, the dewan Moolrsj of Multan; and as this was found to be but a premonitory
symptom of a general outbreak, a small force of British under lieut. Edwarcles, aided
by a body of Sikhs, under the rajah of Bbawalpfir, gallantly attacked the army of Mool-
raj, which, after a desperate conflict of 9 hours, they defeated on June 18, and both
sides in the mean time having received re-enforcements, again on July 1. Multan was
then laid siege to, but the defection of 5,000 auxiliary Sikhs under Shere Singh (the son
of the sirdar Chuttur Singh, the governor of Hazara, who had been for some time in
revolt, and had driven the British from his district) compelled the British to retreat.
For some time the British authorities in the Punjab were hampered by a want of mili-
tary force, and though the maharajah and much of his army still opposed the Sikh
rebels, little reliance could be placed upon most of it. Shere Singh now succeeded in
raising his army to 40,000, but was defeated by lord Gough at Ramnugger (Nov. 22).
The inconsiderate haste of Gough at Chillianwalla (Jan. 13) rearly lost, him that great
battle, which was saved only by the extreme valor of his soldiers; but amends for this
fault was made at Guzerat (q.v.), where the power of Shere Singh and his allies was
completely broken. Meanwhile, the fortress of Multan had, after a protracted bom-
bardment' been captured; and the Company, seeing no other mode of protecting then
territories from annoyance by these warlike, fanatics, annexed the Punjab, Mar. 2fy
1849, thus terminating the existence of the Sihs as an independent nation.



Sikiang. 494

Silicon.

SI-KIANQ', or WESTERN RI7EB, a river at the southern extremity of China proper.
It has lately been ascertained by our surveyors to be navigable for vessels not drawing
more than 16 ft. of water for about 100 m. from its mouth. The Si-kiang is remark-
able for the purity and clearness of its waters. It is at present chiefly useful m con-
veying the sugar-cane that grows in its vicinity, as well as rafts of timber from the
forests of Kwangse to the markets of Canton.

SIK KIM, a small protected state in the n.e. of India, bounded on the w. by Nepaul,
and on the s.e. by Bhotan. Area, 1670 sq.m. ; pop. 61,766.




spring from the stalk ot the germen,

ia the mouth of the corolla; 10 stamens; 3 styles; the capsule 3-celled, 6-toothed, many-
seeded. The species are numerous, mostly natives of the temperate parts of the northern
hemisphere, annual and perennial plants; nine or ten of them natives of Britain, and
others frequent in flower-gardens. One of the most common British species is the BLAD-
DER CAMPION (S. iuflatti), a perennial, whick grows in corn-fields and dry pastures, and
near the sea-shore, has a branched stem fully a foot high, ovate-lanceolate bluish green
leaves, panicles of white flowers, and an inflated calyx, with a beautiful network of
veins The young shoots are sometimes used like asparagus, and have a peculiar but
agreeable flavor, somewhat resembling that of peas. They are best when most blanched.
The cultivation of this plant was long ago strongly recommended, but it has not obtained
a place among garden plants. The Moss CAMPION (8. acault*) is a pretty little plant,
with beautiful purple flowers crowing in patches so as to form a kind of turf, one of the
finest ornaments of the higher mountains of Scotland, and found also in Cumberland
and Wales. Many species, some of them British, are popularly called CATCHFLY, from
their viscidity, as S. Anglica, a species found in sandy and gravelly fields in many parts
of Britain.

SILE'NTTS, son of Pan and G*a (the earth), is generally represented as the chief of
the Sileni or older Satyrs (q.v.), and the inseparable companion of Bacchus, with whom
he took part in the contest against the Gigantes, slaying Enceladus. In most respects he
seems to have resembled the other satyrs, and to have borne a strong likeness to sir J.
Falstaff, being in addition noted for his wisdom and his power of prophecy. Silenus had
a temple at Elis.

SILE SIA, a province of the kingdom of Prussia, included in the limits of the German
empire, lies s. of the provinces of Brandenburg and Posen, and is bounded on the e. by
the Polish provinces of Russia and Austria, and on the s. and w. by the Austrian prov-
inces of Silesia and Bohemia, and the kingdom of Saxony. It is divided into three gov-
ernments: Liegnitz, in the w. ; Breslau, in the e. ; and Oppeln, in the s. ; and these, again,
are subdivided into circles. Area, 15,666 English .sq.m.; pop. '71, 3.707,144, of whom
1,896,136 were Catholics, 1,760,341 Protestants, and 46,629 Jews; '75, 3,843,699. Of the
population, speak Polish, more than 90,000 employ other Slavic dialects, and the
rest use the German language. This province, the largest and much the most populous
of the Prussian provinces, is crossed from n.e. to s.w. by a broad strip of mountainous
country, which widens out at each extremity; and along the whole eastern boundary,
and in the s. are ranges of low hills; in the n.w. and center the surface is flat and heathy,
or sandy, with numerous stagnant pools. Silesia is almost wholly included in the basin
of the Oder (navigable as far s. as Ratibor), which flows through it from s.e. to n.w.,
and receives from each side numerous tributaries; but a small poriion in the extreme s.
is drained into the Vistula, which here takes its rise. The soil is altogether fertile and
well cultivated, more so, however, in lower than in upper Silesia; and cereals of all
kinds, oil-plants, beet, hops, occasionally vines, and, above all, flax and hemp, are the
crops of the province; but of late years the cultivation of tobacco and of plants yielding
dye-stuffs has been receiving increased attention. Cattle and sheep, the latter excellent
in quality, and partly of pure or mixed merino blood, are reared in the highlands, the
annual produce of wool averaging fully 140,000 cwt. The mines of Silesia are of great
importance; iron, copper, and lead are the chief products; coal is found in abundance.
The manufacture of lace, averaging in annual value 1,500,000, is carried on in the
mountainous districts, chiefly around Schweidnitz; and the production of other fabrics,
as linen, cotton, and woolen goods, paper, iron, leather, glass, and earthenware, is vigor-
ously carried on throughout the province. The Oder and the great central railway from
Berlin and Posen to Vienna afford ample facilities for commerce. There are a university
at Breslau, gymnasia in the principal towns, and a great number of professional and
industrial schools.

Silesia was inhabited at the beginning of the Christmn era by the Quadi and Lygii,
who, like the other German tribes, advancing westward in the 6th c., were succeeded by
Slavic tribes. It formed part of the Slavic kingdom of Moravia, was next joined to
Bohemia, and in the beginning of the 10th c. to Poland. In 1163 it was separated from
the kingdom of Poland, but was ruled by dukes who were of the royal line of Piast;
these dukes, to repeople the country, which had been devastated by the numerous civil
wars, encouraged the settlement of German colonies, especially in low r er Silesia. The
practice of division and subdivision of territory prevailed so extensively in Silesia that



AQK Sikiang.

Silicon.

at one time it had no less than 17 independent dukes, and to save itself from reincor-
poration with Poland, it acknowledged the sovereignty of the kings of Bohemia, with
which, and with Germany, from the time of the emperor Karl IV., it was iudissolubly
connected. In 1537 the duke of Liegnitz, one of the numerous Silesian princes, entered
into an agreement of mutual succession (erbterbriidcruitg) with the elector of Branden-
burg, on the extinction of either reigning line; and the other ducal lines becoming
gradually extinct their possessions fell to Liegnitz or to Bohemia, or lapsed to the
emperor. In 1075, when the last ducal family, that of Liegnitz, failed, its territories of
Liegaitz, Brieg, and Wohlau would have fallen to Prussia; but the emperor of Germany
refused to recognize the validity of the agreement of 1537, and took possession of the
Liegnitz dominions, as a lapsed lief of Bohemia. The remainder of Silesia was thus
incorporated into the Austrian empire. In 1740, Frederick II. of Prussia, taking advan-
tage of the helpless condition of Maria Theresa of Austria, laid qlaim, on the strength of



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 114 of 203)