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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"Continues to suffer for a longer or shorter period, after which the disease spontaneously
disappears dies out, as it were and does not reappear perhaps for j'ears. Different
epidemics vary very much in their severity, and isolated cases are usually milder than
those occurring when the is epidemic. Race has much to do with the severity of
the disease; the constitution of the dark races, the negro and the red Indian, being sin-
cularly susceptible of the contagion, and exhibiting very little power of resisting the
fatal tendency of the disease.

It is universally admitted that the discovery of vaccination (q.v.), by which small-pox
in deprived of its danger, is the greatest triumph of modern medicine. Inoculation (q.T.)



protected the individual, but increased rather than diminished the total number of
deaths, while vaccination has the advantage of protecting both the individual and the
community. Although, in the great majority of cases, vaccination affords perfect pro-
tection against small-pox, it not very unfrequently happens that vaccinated persons,
when exposed to the contagion of small-pox, get the disease in a modified form, milder
and shorter even than after inoculation, and therefore incomparably milder than in the
natural form. The disorder occurring under these circumstances has received the
various names of modified or post-vaccinal small-pox, or the varioloid disease. As Dr.
Wood observes: "It is impossible to describe minutely all the shapes which the vario-
loid disease assumes. There is every shade between the slightest symptoms, scarcely
recognizable as having affinity with small-pox, and the nearest possible approach Uv*he
regular disease." Practice of Medicine, 4th ed., vol. i., p. 380. In whatever form the
varioloid disease appears, it wants the peculiar odor of small-pox, and secondary fever is
very rare. The constitutional disturbance which, for the first week, may have been as
severe as in the ti .;. disease, usually subsides entirely when the eruption has reached its
height, and the patient is convalescent at the period when, if he had not been vaccinated,
he would have been in the greatest danger.

With regard to prognosis, it may be stated generally, it is a very fatal, and was
formerly an extremely destructive disease one death occu"ring in every four cases.
Modified small-pox is very seldom fatal, although instances of death are occasionally
reported. Small-pox is more fatal at the two extremes of life than in the intervening
period, and, as has been already noticed, is especially dangerous in pregnancy. In olden
times, it was believed that the eruption was an effort of nature to get rid of the noxious
matter, and hence heating and stimulating measures were adopted with the view of pro-
moting the eruption. To Sydenham (q.v.) belongs the credit of first recommending an
entirely opposite or cooling mode of treatment; but his suggestions met with the most
severe opposition, and it was not till long after his death that the cooling treatment was
fairly established. In mild cases, and in cases of varioloid disease, the physician has
merely to guard the patient against hurtful influences, such as stimulating foods or
drinks, too hot a room, or improper exposure to cold, and to prescribe cooling drinks
during the fever, and occasional laxatives if they shall be required. In more severe
cases, the fever may be combated by saline purgatives, prescribed so as to produce two
or three liquid stools daily, and by free ventilation of the surface of the body. Wlien
the eruption is all out, if the pimples on the face are few and distinct, the danger may
be regarded as over, and no further treatment is required. If, however, the disease
assume a confluent form, wakefulness and restlessness are apt to come on about the
eighth day, and opiates in free doses may be prescribed with benefit. If the pustules
are abnormally torpid iu reaching their maturity, it may be expedient to administer
strong broths, or even wine; and when the pustules are livid, and intermixed with
petecchise (q.v.), bark and acids must then be additionally ordered, although the patient
is then too often beyond the reach of help. During the secondary fever, the bowels
must be kept gently open, and opiates should be prescribed once or twice each day. A
more nourishing diet, is now called for, and wine should be given if the pulse is very
weafc. The external itching is partly relieved by the opiates, but local applications are
also employed: cold cream, or a mixture of equal parts of olive oil and lime water, may
be thus used with advantage. Special methods have been devised for the purpose of
preventing the pitting or seaming of the face, which is often a hideous permanent dis-
figurement of the patient. The best, application of this kind is probably that of nitrate
of silver. Mr. Higginbottom, who first suggested this application, touched each dis-
tinct papilla with a solid stick of lunar caustic, previously moistened ; but when the
spots were confluent, he washed the whole face, about the third day after the eruption,
with a stiong solution of this salt, containing eight scruples to the ounce of water. In
the Paris hospitals, various mercurial preparations are employed, which are said to
cause the pustules to abort. M. Briquet recommends mercurial ointraept, simply thick-
ened with powdered starch. Dr. Wood of Philadelphia remarks, that as the ointment
sometimes salivates, it should be diluted with an equal quantity of lard before the starch
is added. Prof. Bennett of Edinburgh recommends the application of calamine (carbon-
ate of zinc) mixed with olive oil; it forms a coherent crust, and thus excludes the air.

During the period of desquamation, an occasional warm bath may be prescribed with
advantage; and the patient should always resort to this measure, as a precaution against
carrying the contagion about with him, before again mixing in society.

The history of this remarkable disease is clothed in considerable obscurity. There ia
no evidence that it was known to the Greek or Arabian writers of the 6th c., and the first
accurate description of it is that of Rhazes, an Arabian physician, who flourished early
in the 10th century. It appears to have reached England toward the close of the 9th c.
After the crusades it prevailed in most of the temperate countries of Europe, but did not
reach the northern countries of Norway, Lapland, etc., for some time later. In 1517 it
was carried from Europe to St. Domingo; and three years later, it reached Mexico, where
it committed fearful devastations, and whence it spread with intense vimlence through-
out the new world. (According to Robertson, three millions and a half of people wer
destroyed in Mexico alone.) In 1707. it was introduced into Iceland, when more than a
fourth part of the whole population fell victims to it; and it reached Greenland still la-

Smallpox. K o A


ter (in 1733), when it spread so fatally as almost to depopulate the country. These cases
are striking illustrations of the law that seems universally true, that- a contagious dis-
ease is always most virulent on its first introduction to a new scene of action.

SMALL-FOX ix SHEEP, Variola ovina, although resembling the small-pox of men,
is a distinct disease, not communicable either by contagion or inoculation to men or
children, or even to dogs or goats. Although common on the continent of Europe, it
was unknown in this country for at least a century, until in 1847 it appeared in jN'or-
folk and the eastern counties, and in the summer of 1862 in Wiltshire near Devizes.
Variolous sheep or infected skins appear in both cases to have imported the disease from
abroad. About ten days after exposure to contagion, the infected sheep become fever-
ish, have a muco-purulent nasal discharge, and a hot, tender skin. The red pimples
which first appear, in about three days become white, and afterward leave scabs or ul-
cers. The weakness is great, and the mortality varies from 25 to 90 per cent. Good
food and nursing are the appropriate remedies. Promptly and carefully must the tick
be separated from the sound; but if the spread of the disorder be not thus immediately
checked, the whole of the sound flock should be inoculated. The disease thus arti-
ficially produced appears in ten days, runs a mild course, occasions a loss of from two
to five per cent, and in three weeks the disorder is got rid of, and all risk of contagion
over. Further details will be found in prof. Simmonds's " Report on Small-pox," in vol.
25 of the Journal of the Royal Agricultural Society of England

SMALLWOOD, WILLIAM, about 1730-92; b. Md. ; in the revolution commanded a
Maryland battalion; was present at White Plains, in Sullivan's Staten Island expedition,
and at the battle of Germantown. He refused to serve under baron Steuben, and left
the army with the rank of maj.gen. In 1785 he was elected to congress, and was gov-
ernor of his native state, 1785-8.

SHALT, a name applied to the colored glass compositions used for making the tes-
aerse employed in forming mosaics. See also COBALT.

SMART, BENJAMIN HUMPHREY, b. England 1785; a teacher of elocution in Lon-
don. He was considered an authority upon English orthoepy, and was a voluminous
writer on many topics. Among his works may be mentioned Grammar of English Pro-
nunciation (1810), Grammar of English Sounds (1813), and a Pronouncing Dictionary
(1836), founded upon Walker's.

SMART, CHEISTOPHER, 1722-70; b. Kent, England, educated at Cambridge, where he
took the Statonian prize for poetry 5 years in succession. In 1753 he came to London
and endeavored to make a living by his pen. He translated the Psalms, Horace, and
Phsedrus, into English verse, and made a prose translation of Horace. His original
poems show considerable talent, and were published in collected form. He became in-
sane through dissipation and deprivations, and died in a debtor's prison.



SMEATON, JOHX, an eminent civil engineer, was b. at Austhorpe, near Leeds, in
1724, and early showed a bent toward mechanical pursuits. At the age of 15, he had
constructed a machine for rose-engine turning. About 1750, he removed to London, to
commence business ns a mathematical instrument maker; but we find him in the follow-
ing year resuming his desultory experiments in mechanical invention; an "odometer"
for ships, a compass, and improvements in water and wind-mill machinery, being the
chief products of his inventive genius. His improvements on mill-work were found on
trial to be of great value, increasing the effective force by one-third, and gained Smeaton
the Copley medal of the royal society in 1753. In 1753, he was chosen a member of the
royal society; nnd in the following year, to extend his practical acquaintance with en-
gineering, he visited the Netherlands, and inspected the embankments, canals, and
other remarkable works of that country. In 1755, an event occurred which was to af-
ford him the opportunity of attaining the very summit of his profession the second
wooden light-house on Eddystone rock was destroyed by fire in December. The speedy
re-erection of another beacon was of the utmost importance, at.d the execution of the
work was intrusted to Smeaton. The new light-house was built of stone; the cutting of
the rock for the foundations commenced in Aug. 1756, the building was executed be-
tween June 1757, and Oct. 1759, and the lantern lighted on Oct. 16 of the latter
year. This great work, the greatest of its kind hitherto undertaken, remained 120 years
a stable monument of Smeaton's engineering skill. Yet he seems to have had little em-
ployment for some time subsequently, as he applied for and obtained in 1764 the post of
" receiver of the Derwentwater estate," the funds of which were applied for the behoof of
Greenwich hospital; and this situation he held till 1777, by which time he was in full
professional employment. The chief of his other engineer'ng works were the con-
struction of the greater portion of Ramsgate harbor (1744); the laying out, of the line of
the Forth and Clyde canal, and the superintendence of the excavation of most of it; the
rendering of the Caldcr (Yorkshire) navigable; the erection of Spurn light-house, and of
several important bridges in Scotland; together with an immense amount of mill-ma-
chinery. He also greatly improved Newcomen's steam engine, but the mighty achieve-
ments of Watt in the same field threw his labors completely into the shade. He is said to

KQ-I Smallpox.


have prevented the fall of the old London bridge for many years by sinking a great quan-
tity of stones around one of the piers, which had become undermined by the strength of the
Thames current. In 1783, his health began to decline, and he retired from active business,
dyiusr at Austhorpe of paralysis, Oct. 28, 1792. He was one of theclu'ef promoters of the
"'Society of Civil Engineers," which was started in 1771, and after Smeaton's death pub-
lished (1797), in three 4to volumes, his numerous professional reports, which were re-
garded by his successors " as a mine of wealth for the sound principles which they un-
fold, and the able practice they exemplify." For a large portion of his life Srneuton
was in constant attendance en parliament, which, in difficult or important engineering
schemes invariably demanded, and almost always followed his advice a proof not only
of his eminence in his profession, but of his caution, judgment and integrity. See the
biography prefixed to his "Reports."

SMEE, ALFRED, b. England, 1818; member of the college of surgeons, 1840; fellow
of the Royal society, 1841 ; lecturer to the Aldersgate street school of medicine, surgeon
to the bank of England, senior surgeon to the royal general dispensatory; a thorough
student of electricity. He invented the Smee voltaic battery and the method by wfeich the
bank of England notes are printed. He is a conservative politician, and author of nu-
merous works on physiology, electricity, etc.


SMELLIE, WILLIAM, 1740-95; b. Edinburgh, Scotland; became a printer, educated
himself, and in 1759 was editor of the Scots Magazine. In 1771, then being a publisher,
he issued the first edition of the Sfncydopadia Bntannica, many of the articles being
written by himself. From 1773 to 1776 he was joint editor with Gilbert Stuart of the
Edinburgh Magazine and Review. He was the author also of Tilt Philosophy of Natural
History (1790-99), which was reprinted in this country.

SMELT, Osmerus, a genus of the salmon or trout family (salmonidce), of which only a
few species are known, differing from the salmon, trout, etc., in having long conical
teekh on the jaws and tongue, and on the tip of the vomer, the rest of the vomer being

fish of

lender the tail larger ia proportion and more forked. The lower jaw is much longer
than the upper. The scales are small; the back is whitish, tinged with green; the
upper part of the sides shows bluish tints, the lower part of the sides and the belly are of
a bright silvery color. The smelt has a peculiar cucumber-like smell and a delicious
flavor, on account of which it is highly esteemed for the table, where it often appears
as an accompaniment of other fish. The smelt is partly an inhabitant of fresh water,
and partly of the sea. It ascends rivers to no great distance from the sea in autumn,
and descends in spring. Great numbers of smelts are taken in estuaries and near the
mouths of rivers by small-meshed nets. They are also taken on the open sea-coast,
chiefly on low sandy shores as that of Lincolnshire. The attempt has been successfully
made to keep the smelt continually in fresh-water ponds, in which it not only throve
well without loss of flavor, but propagated abundantly. No effort has j r et been made
to turn this discovery not a very recent one to any economical account. Although
found both on the eastern and western coasts of Britain, the smelt is unknown on the
s. coast of England, where the name smelt or SAND SMELT is given to the atherine (q.v.).
Another British species, the Hebridean smelt (0. Hebridicus), was first discovered near
Rothesay in 1837 and described by Yarrell. It is so rare as to be unimportant. The
AMERICAN SMELT (0. viridescens) is regarded as distinct from the common smelt. It
has a longer body and a greener back. It is found on the north-eastern coasts of
America as far s. as the Hudson.


SMERDIS, the younger son of Cyrus, put to death secretly by the order of hi*
brother Cambyses, who was jealous of him. The governor of the palace haying a brother
strikingly resembling the murdered prince, set him up as the true Smerdis, and on the
death of Cambyses had him proclaimed king. Some of the Persian nobles soon sus-
pected the cheat, and were satisfied of it when they found that the false Smerdis had no
ears. Seven nobles then entered the palace and killed the pretender after he had reigned
seven months. After this Darius Hystaspes was chosen king B.C. 521.

SMET, PETER JOHN DE, 1801-72; b. Belgium; educated at Mechlin; came to the
United States; in 1821; entered the Jesuits' novitiate at Whitemarsh, Md. : was one of the
founders of the university of St. Louis; superintended missions among the Pottawotta-
mie and Flathead Indians in 1840, and had great influence over the tribes. He published
Oregon Missions; Wei^rn Missions and Missionaries; Letters, Sketches, and Residence in tht
tRocky Mountains.

SMEW, Mergettus albellus, a bird of the family anatidae, very nearly allied to the
goosander and mergansers, but having a shorter bill. The whole length of the male is
not quite 18 in. ; that of the -female, not quite 15. The smew is only known in Britain
as a winter visitant, appearing in greatest numbers in severe winters, and sometimes on

flmibert. K C O


inland lakes and ponds, as well as on the sea-coast. It abounds on the northern coasts
of Asia, and in some parts of continental Europe.

8MIBERT, or SMYBERT, JOHN, 1684-1751 ; b. Edinburgh ; studied art in Italy,
and became a portrait-painter in London. In 1728 he came to America with Dean
Berkeley, and settled in Boston. Among his more noted works are the portrait of
Jonathan Edwards and the group of Berkeley's family with the artist himself, now
owned by Yale college.

8HILA CK, a natural order of exogenous plants, ranked by Lindley in his class
dictyogens (q.v.), and consisting of herbaceous or half-shrubby plants, generally more
or less climbing, with reticulated leaves, and bisexual or polygamous flowers, a 6-parted
perianth, six stamens, a free 3-celled ovary, with cells one or many seeded, three stigmas,
and a roundish berry. There are about 120 known species, mostly of the genus smilax,
scattered over the globe, but most numerous in the temperate and tropical parts of Asia
and America. The root stocks (rhizomes) of many species yield sarsaparilla (q v.). But
some species have fleshy tabers, particularly smilax China, a native of China and Japan,
the tubers of which are very large and nutritious and used for food. Smilax 'pseudo-
China, an American species, has similar tubers. The roots of Racburghia mridijtora,
after being boiled and soaked in lime-water to remove their acridity, are preserved in
syrup as an article of food in the Eastern peninsula and Malayan islands. The stems of
this plant are sometimes 100 fathoms long.

SMILES, SAMUEL, b. Scotland, 1816; educated as a physician, but practiced a short
time only. He was editor of the Leeds I'imes; in 1845 became connected with railway
management, and continued in this until 1866. He has written many biographical and
didactic books, such as the Life of George Stephenson (1858); Self -Help (1860), which
attained a large circulation; ana Duty (1880). His works are prized for practical moral
and social lessons.

SMILLIE, GEORGE D., b. New York, 1840; son of James, the landscape engraver;
studied painting with James M. Hart; opened a studio in 1862; exhibited for the first
time, 1864. His ' ' Sunny Brook Farm" brought him into notice, and soon after its apptear-
ance he became a member of the national academy of design. His ftrvorite subjects are
scenes from the Adirondacks and White Mountain views.

SMILLIE, JAMES D., b. New York, 1833; employed by the American bank-note com-
pany as engraver until he went to Europe in 1862 to study painting. He became a member
of the national academy in 1865, having been associated with his brother George D. for
the year previous. One of his most attractive pictures is " Ausable Lake," in the Adi-
rondacks. He illustrated Bryant's poem, Among the Trees, with 22 plates.

SMIRKE, ROBERT, 1780-1867; b. England; began to practice his profession as an
architect in London in 1805. Among his works in the classic style are the college of
physicians, the post-office, the mint, and the British museum ; in the Gothic style, the
extension of the Inner temple, and the restoration of York minster. He published
Specimens of Continental Architecture (1806).

SMIRKE, SYDNEY, b. England about 1800; brother of sir Robert, and himself an
architect. His most important works are the Oxford and Cambridge university club,
Pall Mall front, restorations in the Temple church, 1842, Peel's portrait gallery at Dray-
ton Manor, the Carlton club, and (in connection with Mr. Panizzi, the librarian) the
great British museum reading-room, of which the dome has a diameter but 2 ft. less
than that of the Pantheon.

SMITH, a co. in n. Kansas, adjoining Nebraska; drained by Solomon river and
several creeks; pop. '80, 13,885 13,006 of American birth. The surface, a rolling

Erairie, affords excellent pasture land; wheat, corn, and oats are staples. Co. seat,
mith Center.

SMITH, a co. in central Mississippi, drained by Strong and Leaf rivers; 620 sq.m.;
pop. '80, 8,084. The surface is nearly level, with large forests of oak, pine, magnolia,
and other trees; the soil is poor and sandy. The main productions are cotton, rice,
Indian corn, sweet potatoes, and wool. Sheep and swine are raised in large numbers.
Co. seat Raleigh.

SMITH, a co. in n. Tennessee, intersected by Cumberland river and Caney Fork;
860 sq.m. ; pop. '80, 17,799. The surface is hilly, with large forests of black walnut, oak.
poplar, and tulip trees; the soil is fertile. The main productions are wheat, corn, oats,
weet potatoes, tobacco, wool, honey, butter, and sorghum molasses. Sheep and swine
are raised in great numbers. Limestone is found in some parts. Co. seat, Carthags.

SMITH, a co. in n.e. Texas; drained by the Sabine river, its n. boundary, and by the
Neehes and Angelina; traversed by the International anrl Great Northern railroad; about
1000 sq.m.; pop. '80, 21,85021,715 of American birth, 10,^57 colored. The surface
is rolling and heavily wooded; cotton, corn, wheat, pork, and cattle are the staples. Co.
seat, Tyler.

SMITH, ADAM, the founder of political economy as a separate branch of human
knowledge, was b. in the town of Kirkcaldy, in Fifeshire, on June 5, 1723. His
family belonged to the respectable middle class of Scotch life; his father was comp-

KQQ Smlberi.


troller of the customs of th port of Kirkcaldy, and his mother, Margaret Douglas. \vas
the daughter of a small Fifeehire laird. His father died a short time before his birth,
and he was the object of the care and solicitude of a widowed mother, to whom he was
closely attached, and who long lived to be proud of his attainments. When he was no
more than three years old, the poor woman got a sad fright, from a calamity hardly
known at the present day the child was stolen by gypsies; but he was tracked and
recovered by his uncle as they were seeking a hiding-place in the neighboring wood of
Leslie. This was the only adventure in his quiet life. After getting the usual burgh-
tchool education in Kirkcaldy, he was sent, in 1737, to the university of Glasgow. He
there secured an exhibition on the Snell foundation, which took him to Balliol college,
Oxford. He studied there for seven years, and left traditions as of a man of large ac-
quirements and peculiar independence of thought. It is said that he was intended for
the English church, but if so, his own convictions crossed the designs of his friends. He
returned to Kirkcaldy, and lived for a while wth his mother there in undisturbed seclu-
sion and study. It was said to be his practice to stand ruminating, with his back to the
fire, and his head leaning against the chimney-piece and over an old fireplace in Kirk-
caldy it used to be shown how he had thus worn a piece off the paint. In 1748 he came

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 134 of 203)