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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Btate legislature, 1859; appointed col. of the 27th N. Y. regiment, which he led at Bull Kun
wnere he was severely wounded; made brig.gen. of volunteers, and after his recovery
commanded a brigade in Franklin's division of the army of the Potomac in campaign of
1862; was at the siege of Yorktown; commander of the division on Franklin's transfer to
the 6th corps; at the battle of Gaines's mill rendered important service; at Glendale and
Malvern Hill held the right of the main line; maj.gen. of volunteers July 4th, and
engaged at second battle of Bull Run, South mountain, and Antietam; in October made
commander of 12th corps which he led at Chancellorsville and Gettysburg in command
of the right wing of the army; April, 1864 was placed in command of the district of
Vicksburg; in August succeeded gen. Hooker in command of 20th corps; in Sherman's
march to the sea, commanded the left wing of the army participating in all the engage-
ments to the surrender of Johnson. After the war was a member of the 41st and 42d

SLOBDOSK . or SLOBODSKOI', a t. of Russia, in the government of Viatka, is situated
on the river Viatka, about 16 m. n.e. of the town of the same name. Pop. '67, 6,904.

SLOE, or SI,OE- THORN, Prun-us spinoxa, a shrub of the same genus with the plum, and
perhaps really of the same species with it and the bullace. It is generally a shrub of 4
to 10 ft. high, sometimes becoming a small tree of 15 to 20 feet. It is much branched, and
the branches terminate in spines. The youngest shoots are covered with a fine down.
The flowers are small, snow-white, and generally appear before the leaves. The fruit ii
ovate, or almost globose, pale blue with blackish bloom, and generally about the size of
the largest peas. The sloe is abundant in thickets and borders of woods, and in arid
places in Britain and almost all parts of Europe. The shoots make beautiful walking-
sticks. Although spiny, the sloe is not suitable for hedges, as its roots spread, and^ it
encroaches on the fields. The bark is bitter, astringent, and tonic. The flowers, with
the calyx, are purgative, and are in some places much used as a domestic medicine. The
leaves are used for adulterating tea. The unripe fruit dyes black. The fruit is very
austere. It is much used on the continent of Europe for making a preserve, also in
some places for making a kind of brandy. An astringent extract, called German aceacia.



is prepared from it, which was once much employed in cases of diarrhea and- mucous
and bloody discharges. The juice is much used to impart roughness to port wine, and
iu the fabrication of spurious port.

SLO NIM, a t. of European Russia, in the government of Grodno, and 72 m. s.e. of
the town of that name. It has large manufactures of cloth. Pop. '67, 10,166.

SLOOP is a one-masted cutter-rigged vessel, differing from a cutter, according to old
authorities, in having a fixed bowsprit and somewhat smaller sails in proportion to the
hull. The terms " sloop" and " cutter" appear, however, to be used nearly indiscrim-
inately. In the British navy, a sloop-of-war is a vessel, of whatever rig, between a cor-
vette and a gun-boat, and ordinarily constituting the command of a commander. In the
days of the sailing navy, sloops-ot'-war carried from 10 to 18 guns; but, with the intro-
duction of steam, the number of guns has ceased to be distinctive.

SLOPS, in the navy, are somewhat more extensive than " necessaries" in the army.
They comprise the clothes and bedding of a sailor. Within certain limits, government,
acting through the ship's paymaster, supplies the men with slops at cost-price. When a
sailor dies, his slops are sold by auction for the benefit of his representatives.

SLOTH, Bradypus, a genus of mammalia, of the order edentata, and family tardigrada.
The name was given from observation of the very slow and awkward movements of the
animals of this genus on the ground; but a better acquaintance with their habits, and
observation of their movements among the branches of trees, for which their conforma-
tion peculiarly adapts them, have shown it to be by no means appropriate or descrip-
tive. In like manner, Buffon's notion that they are creatures of imperfect organization,
and doomed to a miserable existence, has been completely exploded. Their structure, like
that of every other creature, is admirably adapted to their mode of life. They feed on
the leaves, buds, and young shoots of trees, among the branches of which they are born
and spend their whole life, rarely and unwillingly descending to the ground. They do
not walk upon the branches, but cling beneath them, with the back downward. The
fore-legs are much longer than the hinder ones, and are used for embracing a branch, or
for drawing in the branches on the foliage of which they are to feed, and both the fora
and hind feet are furnished with very long, curved, and sharp claws. The pelvis is very
wide; and the hind-legs, thus widely separated, also diverge from one another. The
structure of the wrist and ankle-joints is such that the palm or sole is turned toward the
body, so that upon the ground, the animal is compelled to rest on the side of the hind-
foot, while the length of the fore-legs causes it to rest on the knee or elbow of them,
struggling forward by a shuffling movement, and dragging itself along by stretching out
the fore-legs alternately and hooking the claws into the ground, or grasping some object.
But in a dense tropical forest, sloths generally find it easy to pass from the branches of
one tree to those of another, often taking advantage for this purpose of a time when
branches are brought within their reach by the wind. Where the trees are more distant
from each other, they will eat up the whole foilage of a tree ere they descend from it.
The hair of sloths is coarse and shaggy, of a very peculiar texture, inelastic, and much
like grass withered iu the sun, but affords an excellent protection from insects, while it
also gives them such an appearance that they are not readily observed except when in
motion. The muzzle of sloths is short, and the tail is short. There are no incisor teeth,
but sharp canine teeth, and eight molars in the upper, six in the lower jaw. The molars
are cylindrical, penetrated by no laminae of enamel, and adapted merely for c/ushing,
not for grinding, the food. For this, however, there is compensation in the stomach,
which is somewhat imperfectly divided, by transverse ligatures, into four compart-
ments, for the longer retention and more thorough digestion of the food, alt hough there
is no rumination. The female sloth produces only one young one at a birth, which
clings to its mother till it becomes able to provide for itself. The voice of sloths is a
low plaintive cry. Their chief enemies are large snakes, but against these they defend
themselves by their powerful fore-legs and claws. A sloth has been known to grasp a
dog round the neck and strangle it. There are very few species. One species has the
fore-feet furnished with only two toes: the others have three. These, with other dif-
ferences, have been made the ground of a recent division of the genus into two. The
TWO-TOED SLOTH or UNAU (Bradypus or Cholcepus didactylm) is about two ft. in length,
of a uniform grayish-brown color, often with a reddish tint. The best known specie^
of THREE TOED &LOTH is the Ai (Bradypns or Achcus tndactyluit), which is smaller thar^
the Unau, has a more obtuse muzzle, and is generally brownish gray, slightly variegated,
with hairs of different tints, the head darker than the body. All the sloths belong to the
tropical parts of America.

SLOT TING-MACHINE, a machine for cutting slots, or square grooves, in metal. It
is of great importance in mechanical engineering, and many very ingenious inventions
have been made for facilitating the process. The principle is, however, very simple,
and is the same in all. It consists of a cutting tool, or chisel, held very firmly in an arm,
which is pressed down and raised alternately. The tool is thus made to pare off a thin
portion of the metal each time it descends, until it has cut a slot of sufficient size.
Water is continually thrown on to prevent the metal from becoming overheated by th

Bui all-pox.

SLOTTGH, a village of England, in the county of Buckingham 18 m. w. of London,
by the Great Western railway. On the road between Slough and Windsor, which is
distant about 2 m., lived sir William Herschel, and at the observatory which he erected
here, in which was placed his great telescope, many of his important astronomical dis-
coveries were made. Pop. '71. 4,509.

SLOVAKS, THE, are the Slavic inhabitants of north Hungary, who in the 9th c.
formed UK- nucleus of the great Moravian kingdom, but who, after the bloody battle of
Presburg (907 A.D.), were gradually subjugated by the Magyars, to whom even yet tl.ey
bear uo friendly feeling. The Slovaks who are of a soft, pliant disposition, and industri-
ous character, number about 1,900,000, and are mostly Catholics. The Slovaks whose
character probably comes nearest to that of the old Slavic type, travel in great numbers
over Germany and Poland as pedlers. Their language is a dialect of Bohemian.
Among the most notable of the Slovak authors are the poets Holly and Kollar (q.v.);
Matth. Bel (1684-1749): Stephan Leschka (1757-1818), editor of the first Slovak journal;
Bernolak, author of a Slovak grammar; Palkovitsh (died 1835); and Tablitsh, who pub-
lished four volumes of poetry (1806-12). A fine collection of popular Slovak ballads has
been published by Kollar (2 vols., Of en, 1834).

SLOVENTZI, or VINDS, a south Slavic race found in Hungary and other Austrian
provinces, numbering 1,260,000 chiefly Roman Catholics of the Latin rite. They are
sometimes confounded with the Wends, who are a distinct though remotely kindred
people. The language, related to the Servian, is written in Roman characters, and at
the rise of the reformation, was beginning to receive literary culture. There is some
recent literature, chiefly religious.

SLOW-MATCH, a combustible material, such as cotton, hemp, tow, etc., of ten dipped
in a solution of nitrate of potash (saltpeter), and formed into a thin rope. It is used for
exploding gunpowder in various ways on account of its slow, steady way of burning, a
sufficient length, being taken to enable the operator to remove to a safe distance before
the explosion. Slow-match was much used by artillerymen for firing of cannon, but it
has generally given way to friction fuses and percussion caps.


SLUG, Limaff, a genus of gasteropodous mollusks, of the division inonacia (hermaph-
rodite), and of the family limacidce, which is closely allied to the snail family, helicidee,
but has no external shell. There is, however, a rudimental shell, generally concealed
within the mantle, placed over the respiratory cavity. The limacidm are diffused over the
whole world. They commit great ravages among field and garden crops during moist
weather. In frosts they become dormant, taking shelter under clods and at the roots of
plants. They lay eggs in clusters in moist places, often at the roots of grass. The eggs
resemble smull ovatbags of jelly. The body is generally oval or oblong, elongated.
The foot is not distinct from the body. There are four retractile tentacles; the eyes are
at the tips of the longer pair. Slugs often climb trees in quest of decaying vegatable mat-
ter on which to feed, and let themselves down by means of mucous threads, for the for-
mation of which there is a small aperture at the hinder end of the body. Of British
species, one of 'the most common is the GRAY SLUG (Umax nyre,tti), which is of a
whitish ash color; another is the GREAT GRAY SLUG (L. mamrmts or antiquorum), the
largest British species; another is the BLACK SLUG (L. ater), often popularly called the
black snail. The RED SLUG (agrion agrestiz) is also very plentiful. Careful gardeners
often gather slugs by the aid of a lantern at night, and destroy them. They may also
be killed by watering the ground with a weak solution of ammonia.

SLT/R, in musjc, an arch drawn over two or more notes not on the same degree,
to indicate that' these notes are to be played legato, or smoothly and fluently

In vocal music, a slur is placed over all the notes that are to be

sung to the same syllable, unless where they are grouped together by a commnn line.
A slur must be distinguished from a tie, which is a similar arch drawn over two notes
on the same degree, and denoting that instead of the two notes written, one is to be
played of the length of both.

8LTJTSK, a t. of European Russia, in the government of Minsk, about 63 m. s. of the
town of that name, near the source of the lesser Slutch. With the exception of its
public buildings, the houses are almost entirely of wood. Pop. '67, 9,647.

SMACK is a generic term for small decked or half-decked vessels employed in the
coasting and fishing trade. The majority of smacks are," however, rigged as cutters,
sloops, or yawls. According to Wedgew'ood the m in this word is a corruption of /
the Anglo-Saxon has snakk, a small vessel, and there is a corresponding form in the
other Teutonic and Scandinavian tongues.


77 Rlonph.


SMALL-ASMS, in the modern acceptation, consist of the weapons actually carried l:y
a man They have been described under their respective heads, BAYONET. FIUK-AUMS,
LANCE, Swoitu, PISTOL, etc.

SMALL-ARMS FACTORIES, ROYAL, are the establishments through -which all the
small arms of every description are supplied to the regular army, the militia, yeomanry,
and volunteers. The headquarters are at Enfield, where there is a vast manufactory ; and at
Birmingham there is a considerable establishment for viewing the arms supplied Ly con
tractors. For many years there had been a small ordnance factory at Enfield lock,
where a few thousand muskets were laboriously forged by hand each year; but when
the sudden introduction of the rifle, and the demands of the Russian war, called fora
supply of arms, which the trade of all Europe and America was unable to meet, govern-
ment determined to erect machinery for the fabrication of arms For this purpose the
factory at Eutield was entirely remodeled; machinery of great power and delicacy wa
adopted; and now. when in full work the factory can turn out daily 1000 complete and
proved rides, besides a corresponding complement of other small-arms. At the same
time the accuracy of workmanship is so great that a hundred rifles might be taken
entirely to pieces, the several portions thrown promiscuously together, and a hundred
complete rilles could be forthwith re-formed without any difficulty from the same pieces.
Much of the merit of this great establishment was due to maj.gen. Manlty Dixon of the
royal artillery, who long superintended the factory after it was remodeled. The success
of the factory has reduced in a remarkable degree the cost of rifles, and has brought
down correspondingly the price charged by the trade for the large quantities still
intrusted to it. The successive adoption of the Snider and Martini rifles has been the
means of producing a great change in the plant at Enfield.

The cost of the factories when in full operation is of course considerable. In the
year 1874, when the army was being armed with the Martini rifle, the charge was
173,837; in 1878, 153,673.

SMALL DEBTS is a phrase current in Scotland to denote debts under 12, recovera-
ble in the sheriff court. See SHERIFF. In England the same debts are recoverable in
the county court, (q.v.).

SMALL-POX, or VARIOLA, is one of the most formidable of the class of febrile diseases
known as the exanthemata (q.v ). All cases of regular small-pox are divisible into three
stages viz. : (1), that of the initial or eruptive fever; (2), that of the progress and matur-
ation of the specific eruption; and (3) that of the decline. Some writers make a primary
stage of the period of incubation, or of the time intervening between the reception of
the poison into the system, and the first appearance of febrile symptoms; but this is not
entitled to be regarded as a stage of the disease, seeing that no symptoms of disorder have
begun to show themselves. 1 he first stage begins with rigors, followed by heat and dry-
ness of the skin, a quickened pulse, furred tongue, loss of appetite, pain in the pit of
the stomach, w"ith nausea, vomiting, headache, and often pains in the back and limbs.
The violence of the pains iiv,,lhe back, and the obstinacy of the vomiting, are frequently
very well marked and characteristic symptoms. In children, the disease is often ushered
in by convulsions; while delirium sometimes attends its outset in adults. On the third
day, minute red specks begin to come out first on the face, then on the neck and wrists,
and on the trunk of the body, and lastly, on the lower extremities. The fever usually
begins to subside as soon as the eruption appears, and by the beginning of the fifth day,
when the eruption is generally completed, the fever has entirely disappeared. The
second stage commences when the eruption is fully out. Upon the second or third day
of the eruption, a little clear lymph is seen in each pimple, which has increased consid-
erably in size since its first appearance, and which is thus converted into a vesick. The
vesicles gradually increase in breadth, and become converted into pustuhs, which are at
first depressed in the center, but by the fifth day of the eruption become turgid and
hemispherical; the suppuration on the face being complete by about the eighth day from
the commencement of the fever, and the same process rapidly following in the other
parts of the body in the same order of succession as that in which the eruption originally
appeared. The pustules then break, and scabs or crusts form over them, which usually
fall off after four or five days' existence. The number of pustules in any special case
and the severity of the disease, stand in a direct ratio to one another; for "the number
of pustules indicates, in the first place, the quantity of the variolous poison which ha*
been reproduced in the blood; and. in the second place, it is alsoadirect measure of the
extent to which the skin suffers inflammation. Sometimes there are not more than half-
a-dozen pustules; sometimes there are many thousands. If all these were collected into
cne, it would bean enormous .phlegmon. For both these reasons, the system suffert
commotion, distress, and peril, in proportion to the quantity of the eruption." Watson'*
lectures, etc., 4th ed. vol. ii. p. 857. The progress of the pustules is usually accom-
panied with swelling of the skin of the face, with a painful sensation of heat and tension;
the scalp is often swollen; soreness of the mouth and salivation usually supervene; and
the patient exhales a peculiar and disagreeable odor. About the eighth or ninth day of
the disease, a recurrence of the fever, known as " the fever of maturation," pets in with
varying degrees of intensity, according to the number and arrangement of the pustules.
When the pustules are numerous, they run together; when they are few, they keep
U. K. XIII.-37



separate. Hence the division of small-pox into the two great varieties of distinct and
confluent, or variola discreta and variola confluents; and this division is of the highest
importance, because the distinct form of the disease, in which the pustules are isolated,
is scarcely ever dangerous; while the coniluent form, in which they coalesce, is never
free from danger. The third or declining stage is, in the distinct variety, little more than
a period of convalescence. About the eleventh or twelfth day, the pustules on the face
become brown and dry at the top, or some of them break, and the fluid which oozes out
solidifies into a yellowing crust; and from this time the process of desiccation goes on, the
swelling of the face subsides, and at last only dry scabs remain, which gradually fall off
about the fourteenth day. It is not till three or four days after the scabs have formed on
the face, that the same process is completed over the whole body. The scabs are usually
completely gone by the twenty-first day, leaving behind them blotches of a reddish brown
color, which sometimes continue for some months before they quite disappear; and some
of the pustules, in consequence of ulceration of the true skin, leave pits, especially oil
the face, which remain permanently. The period of scabbing is accompanied by various
symptoms of improvement: the tongue becomes clean, the appetite returns, and by the
time that the scabs have fallen off, the patient may be regarded as restored to health; so
that the entire course of a case of distinct or discrete small-pox occupies about three
weeks. In the confluent form of the disease, the eruptive fever is more violent, the pain
in the back is more severe, and the sickness more obstinate, and the eruption comes out
earlier and less regularly than in the distinct variety which we selected for description as
representing the more natural course of the disease. Moreover, the pustules do not fill
so completely, nor are they of the normal yellow purulent hue, being whitish, brown, or
even purple. But vhe most important difference between the two forms is in the second-
ary/ever, which sets in when the pustules are mature. This fever, which is slightly
marked in distinct small-pox, is usually intense, and highly dangerous in the confluent
form; and it is at this period of the disease that death most commonly occurs. Statistics
show that the eighth day of the eruption is the most perilous day, and the second week
the most perilous week. The early occurrence of death that is to say, during the first
week denotes a peculiar malignancy in the disease. " The nervous system," says Dr.
Watson, "appears to be overwhelmed by the force of the poison. During the second
week, the disorder proves fatal chiefly in the way of apnoea; from some affection of th
respiratory passages. After that period, the characters of asthenia commonly predomi-
nate, the patient sinks under some casual complication, or the powers of life are gradu-
silly worn out by so much irritation of the surface, and sa large aa amount of suppura-
tion." Op. cit., vol. ii. p. 860.

The above are the essential symptoms of small-pox, both in the distinct and confluent
form. This disease is, however, often accompanied by other symptoms, which we have
merely space to name; such as sore throat (which often depends upon pustules situated
there), salivation, and (in the confluent form, during the secondary feverj erysipelatous
inflammation, leading to the formation of abscesses, glandular swelling*, sloughing sore*
on the sacrum, etc. In pregnant women, the disease often' causes abortion, which is
most commonly followed by death. The dead child occasionally, but not often, is
covered with pustules.

The cause of small-pox is universally allowed to be a specific contagion, of whose nature
we are in the most profound ignorance. There is probably no disease so contagious as
this. Dr. Haygarth stated (in 1793) that, during his long attention to this subject, not a
single instance has occured to prove that persons liable to small-pox could associate in the
lame chamber with a patient in the distemper without receiving the infection; and he
was informed by an American physician of an instance in which the poisonous effluvium
crossed a river 1500 feet wide, and affected 10 out of 12 carpenters who were working
on the other side. The contagion acts either through the air, or by contact with the
skin, or by inoculation; and the disease may be caused by the dead body, even when it
has not been touched. What products of the diseased body are contagious is not exactly
known, but the contents of the pustules and the dried scabs certainly are so. Opinions
*re divided as to the period at which the disease begins and ceases to be contagious. It
is safest to maintain that it is capable of self-propagation as soon as the febrile symp-
toms have exhibited themselves. How soon the patient ceases to be dangerous, cannot
be decided with accuracy; but the stability of the contagious principle may be inferred
from the fact, that clothing will retain it for months, and it is said for years, when con-
fia"d. Like all the contagious exanthemata, small -pox appears in an epidemic form, at
irregular, and, in our ignorance, it would almost seem capricious intervals. After aq
extraordinary exemption, perhaps for j r ears, a district is suddenly invaded by it, and

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 133 of 203)