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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field, in the 12th c., was an open spot which served the citizens as a playground and a
place for a stroll. Being a little n. of Newgate, and w. of Aldersgate, it was outside th
city walls. It was in Smilhfield that the rebel Wat Tyler met his death in 1381. Sev-
tral noted tournaments were held here; and the place is associated with trials by battla,


the burnings of martyr?, public executions during many centuries, and a variety of inci-
dents connected with the history of the metropolis.

The most celebrated fair in England, Bartholomew fair (q.v.), was always held in

A cattle-market was held in Smithfield at least seven canturies ago, for Fitzstephen
has mentioned it in 1150. The corporation had official control over the market for more
than 500 years, dating from 1345; and the city authorities have never to this day relaxed
their hold over the one only live-cattle market, in the metropolis.- At one time there was
a project for removing the market to a field near Sadlers' Wells, at another to a spot
near the n. end of Gray's Inn lane: while a spirited projector spent 100,000 in building
'a new market at Islington; but powerful influences prevented the removal of the cattle-
market until 1855. The lust market-day in the old spot was on June 11 in that year;
after which the trade was transferred to the large and very complete establishment "built
by the corporation at Pentonviile. For several years after this Smithfield was practically
useless. In I860, however, the corporation obtained an act for erecting market buildings

numerous avenues, and has about 200 shops for dealers in meat, which is partly coun-
try-killed. This arangement has enabled the city authorities to abolish Newgate market,
which had become a serious obstruction to city traffic. Under the market three railways,
sunk deeply below the ground-level, traverse the area, one going eastward to Aldersgate
and Finsbury, one southward to Ludgate and Blackfriars, and one north-westward to
King's Cross and the n. of London. Near the middle of Smithfield is a circular spiral
road descending to an underground railway goods station. The remainder is laid out in
well-paved carriage and foot ways, with a small ornamental green or garden, including
paths, seats, and a drinking-fountain. There is also a new market for poultry, butter,
cheese, pork, etc., distinct from the meat-market. The extensive new works and altera-
tions have greatly improved the appearance of Smithfield, and increased its salubrity.

SMITHSO NIAN INSTITUTION, at Washington, district of Columbia, was organ-
ized by act of congress in 1846, in accordance with the will of James Smithson, who
bequeathed the reversion of an estate amounting to $515,169 to the United States, to be
devoted to '' the increase and diffusion of knowledge among men." He was an English-
man, a natural son of Hugh, third duke of Northumberland, and Mrs. Elizabeth Macie,
a niece of Charles, duke of Somerset. He devoted his life to scientific pursuits, espe-
cially to chemistry, and died at Genoa in 1829. The institution is governed by regents
appointed bv the federal government, and has erected a spacious edifice, with museum,
library, cabinets of natural history, and lecture rooms, which occupies a prominent situ-
ation at Washington, the capital of the United States. It receives copies of all copyright
books, and exchanges with other countries, and its museum is enriched with the gather-
ings of national exploring expeditions. A portion of its funds is devoted to scientific
researches, and the publication of works too expensive for private enterprise. Under
the active management of professor Joseph Henry, the secretary, have been organized
departments of astronomy, ethnology, meteorology, and terrestrial magnetism. Among
the publications already issued are the Smithsonian Contributions to Knowledge, 20 vols.,
4to, distributed gratis to libraries; Annual Reports, and Miscellaneous Collections. The
courses of public lectures by eminent scientific men are among the attractions of the
American capital.

SMITHSONIAN INSTITUTION (ante), at Washington, D.C., founded on the
bequest of James Smithson, an Englishman^ to the government of the United States for
the purpose of creating an establishment for the increase and diffusion of knowledge
among mankind. The amount at first received, $515,000, was subsequently increased
by the residuary estate to $541,000, which was deposited in the treasury as a perpetual
loan, the interest to be employed forever in promoting the object of the testator. By
the plan adopted, the accumulations of interest were first employed in erecting a com-
modious and secure building of imposing architecture as the home of the institution.
The board of regents is composed of the chief-justice of the supreme court; three sena-
tors, appointed by the vice-president; three representatives, appointed by the speaker of
the house; and six citizens, appointed by joint resolution of congress, two of whom must
be residents of the district of Columbia, and no two can be of any one slate. The
regents choose one of their number as chancellor, and appoint a secretary who is director
of the institution, chooses his own assistants, and conducts the active operations. Besides
the regents, the president and vice-president of the United States, the cabinet officer^
and such persons as they may elect honorary members, constitute the "establishment"
styled the "Smithsonian Institution." When the trust was accepted widely different
ideas were entertained in congress and by distinguished men throughout the country
concerning the methods by which the object of the testator could be best attained. One
proposed a university of "the highest possible grade; another an observatory to surpass
all others on the globe; another Ihe cultivation of seeds and plants for distribution, with
printing-presses, and courses of lectures on physical and moral science, government. ;u'<]
public law; a third, an institution for experiment and research in physical science, espe-


cially pertaining to useful arts and the development of the natural resources of the coun-
try; aud a 1'ourtli, an establishment for Fearing sheep, horses, and silk-worms, with a
gival horary attaelicd. The first secretary, the eminent Joseph Henry, at the time of
liis upp liutmeut professor in Princeton college, in entering on his office, drew up for the
s a, scheme for ihe operation of the institution which they cordially adopted and
have since maintained. Its leading principles are that as the testator's design was to
increase and diffuse knowledge amour/ mankind, the institution should spend its lahor
and resources on no object merely local, or even national; and should not devote its
energies to anything which could be done as well by any existing organization, lu
accordance with these principles, in the progress of the institution, its library has been
incorporated with the library of congress; its gallery of art transferred to the Corcoran,
art gallery; its meteorological observations to the U. S. signal service, of which they
were taken as the foundation; its herbarium and entomological collections to the U. S.
department of agriculture; and the national museum, deposited by law in the Smith-
sonian building, Troni the begianing was partly, and is now entirely, supported by tho
government. Having originated, developed, and finally transferred these branches of
scientific pursuit, the institution devotes its energies and means: I. To the IXCUJSASE of
human knowledge. To promote this object it issues three series of publications: 1. Con-
tributions to knoirleJr/c. These are memoirs pertaining to every branch of physical sci-
ence, and contain positive additions to knowledge, based on original research, but
excluding everything resting on an unverified hypothesis. 2. Miscellaneous collections,
consisting of monographs designed to facilitate the study of natural history. Papers
presented for publication in either the first or second series are submitted to competent
committees for examination, first, as to their being real additions to the existing knowl-
edge of the subjects to which they pertain; second, whether as such they are worthy of
publication by the institution. No restriction H made in favor* of any particular branch
of knowledge. The design is to stimulate men who have talents for original investiga-
tion to make researches, by offering to publish to tho world an account of their discov-
eries, and to aid them in defraying the necessary expenses. Beyond this, apart from
presenting to the author a few T copies of his contribution, no remuneration is made; tho
publication under such favorable auspices, combined with the association of the author's
name with Smithson's, being considered and accepted as a sufficient honorarium. 3.
Annual report*, containing a statement to congress of the operations of the institution;
with an appendix of translations from foreign books biographies of distinguished sci-
entists, ethnological and meteorological essays, correspondence, and accounts of unusual
phenomena. II. The DIFFUSION of knowledge is specially promoted by a system, early
commenced and sedulously prosecuted, for f he interchange of American and foreign scien-
tific thought an:l achievement. This system lias now attained great proportions. It brings
nations, societies, and individuals into close communion. Through it the publications
of the national government, as well as those of the institution, are exchanged. It is
now familiarly known as the Smithsonian system of international exchanges, and is tho
medium for the exchange of scientific and literary materials between tho United Stated
and other nations. By means of it thousands of works, embracing the details of the
latest inventions and discoveries, are brought to America; while, in turn, a knowledge
is diffused abroad of whatever is dons in the United States to advance, by the increase
of knowledge, the welfare of men. There are now about 2,200 foreign societies in cor-
respondence with the institution, besides many individuals, all freely sharing the bene-
fits of the arrangement. The packages of exchanges are transmitted by the principal
transportation companies of Christendom either without charge or at reduced i
and are passed through all custom-houses free of duty. The Victual expense of ocean
transportation is borne by the institution.

In 1879 an appropriation was made by congress of $250,000 for the erection, on the
Smithsonian grounds, of a building for the national museum, which is under the charge
of the institution, but has outgrown the accommodations possible in its one edifice; and
of $53,500 for several departments of the general work. The Smithsonian fund, at inter-
est in the U. S. treasury, amounted, Jan. 2, 1880, to $703,894. The distinguished services
of prof. Henry, as the first secretary and director, extended from 1846 to his death in
1878; after which prof. Spencer F. Baird, who from 1850 had been his chosen assistant,
was elected his successor, and now holds the position.

SMOKE-NUISANCE, in London, is punishable with fine. The act applies to every
furnace employed in working engines by steam, and every furnace in any mill, factory,
printing-house, dye-house, distillery, bake-house, etc., which is not constructed so as t
consume its own smoke, or which is so negligently used that the smoke is not consumed.
The penally is from 2 to 5. The statute only applies to the metropolis and to the
river Thames. In Scotland a similar act is not confined to the Scotch metropolis.

Large consumers of fuel arc naturally more anxious about how it can be best burned
economically than about how the escape of smoke into the atmosphere can best be pre-
vented. The two questions are not at all the same, although plans may be devised
which will accomplish both objects at the same time. Thus with ordinary bituminous
coal not only may the volatile hydrocarbons which sometimes yield 20 per cent of the
heating-power pass up the chimney unburned, but nearly two-thirds of the coal may bo


wasted by the conversion of the carbon into carbonic oxide instead of carbonic acid
that is if the carbonic oxide escapes as such and yet no smoke may appear. At the
same time it is the fact that the most complete combustion of the coal insures there
being no smoke.

There is a great difference of opinion even about the apparently simple question of
how the coal should be laid on the furnace bars. The late prof. Macquorn Rankine and
others, reasoning on theoretical grounds, say that the fresh coals should be laid on the
front of the fire; -while Dr. Anderson, late of the Woolwich arsenal, judging from great
practical experience, says that, on the contrary, they should be mainly piled up at the
back of the fire. Mr. Wye Williams, again, whose name is so famous in connection,
with such questions, asserts that the coal is best spread evenly over the furnace bars.

Whether the fuel is heaped at the front, at the back, or spread uniformly over the
fire, the end in view is the same. It is to secure that the volatile hydrocarbons arc
burned, and that the carbon is converted into carbonic acid, and this can only be done
when these gases are conducted over a hot po.rtiou of the fire with a sufficient supply of
air. If the fresh coal is laid on the front, that of a previous charge having been pushed
inward, the coal vapors will of course pass over the thin layer of burning fuel at the
back, and be more or less burned. When, on the other hand, the fuel is kept banked
up at the back (that is at the bridge), and spread evenly over the rest of the grate,
although a little smoke may be given off at first, it would, nevertheless, appear that by
this plan the mass of incandescent fuel at the bridge is yet more effectual in burning
these vapors. The balance of opinion would, however, seem to be in favor of the
method of rapid, thin, and uniform spreading of the coal over the grate, care being
taken that no part of the furnace bars are. left bare.

With regard to the admission of air to the furnace, it is necessary, in order to obtain
the best result, that it be admitted through small orifices, and at such a point or points
where the temperature is sufficiently high : ? or the combustion of the coal vapors, and
that it be so regulated that heat is not uselessly absorbed by an excessive supply. It is
of course also uecessary to have sufficient air passing up between the furnace" bars to
burn the non-volatile coke. In the airangemeut recommended by Mr. Wye Williams
the fire :s fed, as usual, through a door; it slopes downward to the bridge, which rises
much above the fire-bars, so that the flames have to pass over it. The bridge consists of
two parts, the solid masonry or brick-work and a chambered portion behind it, called the
distributor. Into this a tube opens, through which a supply of atmospheric air enters,
and, becoming heated, passes through a number of plates with slits, or with perforations,
into the mixing chamber; here the heated air enters into combustion with the carbon in
the smoke-laden flame, deprives it of that element, and greatly increases the heat by its

Smoke prevention arrangements may be classified as follows: I. Apparatus for the
jegular addition in small quantities and uniform application of the fuel to the fireplace
of the furnace. The chief kinds are: (1) A hopper kept charged with small coal or
slack, and feeding a rapidly rotating horizontal disk. (2) A hopper and rollers to
reduce the size of the coals, and a screw spreader for throwing them on the fire. (3)
An under grate stoker, which feeds a circular furnace by causing ihe fresh coal to pass
from below through a central orifice into the middle of the incandescent fuel. (4) A
hopper and traveling furnace bars. II. Arrangements for the admission of air above as
well as below the furnace bars. This is usually done either by means of air-holes with
slide or slides to cover them; or opening and shutting slits in the furnace door or above
it. Another plan is to have a valve at the further end of tubular flues in the furnace to
regulate the admission of air. In one or two instances a clockwork arrangement has
been introduced for gradually closing the air inlets in the furnace doors after firing.

SMOKE-STAGE, in a steam-vessel, is the group rising above the deck, and comprising
the funnels (q.v ), and the several escape-pipes for the steam, which are beside it. In
ehips-of-war all these are frequently made telescopic, that they may be drawn down out
of danger in action or in a strong headwind.

SMOLENSK, a government of European Russia, bounded on the e. by the govern*
ments of Moscow and Kaluga. Area, 21,554 sq. miles. Pop. '70 l,140.0!r. Smolensk,
which is watered by the Dnieper, Dvina, Gshat, Oka, Iput, etc., is one of the most fcr-f
tile provinces of the empire, and produces great quautiiies of corn, hemp, and flax.
Extensive forests yield splendid timber and mast. The rearing of swine is much fal-
lowed. Manufacturing industry and export trade are both largely expanding.

SHOLENSK. a fortified t. of Russia, capital of the government of the same name, is
picturesquely situated on a range of steep declivities overlooking the river Dnieper, 250
m. w.s.w. of Moscow. It is one of the oldest towns in the empire, having been a place
of note in the 9th c. , is surrounded by massive walls (with 17 towers), and has 3
cathedrals, about 82 churches, and several monasteries, together with a diocesan semin-
ary, a gymnasium, a military school for nobles, hospitals, etc. Smolensk carries on
manufactures of linens, soap, leather, and carpets, and a considerable export trade in
corn and flax. Pop. '67, 22.977. F'"r>lonsk is historically notable as the scene, of a
bloody repulse of the Russians, under Barclay de Tolly and prince Bag-ration, by Napol-
eon, Aug. 17, 1812, when on his march for Moscow.



SMOLLETT, TOBIAS, an eminent British novelist, b. in the year 1721, was descended
from an old jmd distinguished family in Dumbartonshire. His grandfather, sir James
Smollett of Bonhill, was one of the commissaries or consistorial judges of Edinburgh,
and sat in the Scots parliament as representative of his native county. Had the novelist
survived about four more years than the term of his too short life, he would, as heir of
entail, have succeeded to the ancestral estate in the beautiful vale of Leven He lost his
father while very young; but he was well educated, and afterward apprenticed toatur-
gcon in Glasgow. He is said to have wished to enter the army, and being disappointed,
to have avenged hhnself on his grandfather, who thwarted his inclinations, by describing
Bir James under the unamiable character of the old judge in Roderick Random. This is
related by Scott and all the biographers, but it must be wrong; for sir James, the grand-
father, died in 1721, when Tobias was only in his tenth year. The duty of attending to
the education and settlement of the youth would naturally devolve on his widowed
mother and on the laird of Bonhill, his cousin. It is certain, however, that Smollett
inherited no fortune; and in his 18th year, he went to London with a tragedy which he
had written on the assassination of James I. of Scotland, and which he trusted would
lead to distinction, if not wealth. He was grievously disappointed, and was glad to
accept the post of surgeon's-mate on board one of the ships in the unfortunate expedition
to Cartiiagena, in 1741. He soon quitted the service in disgust, although not before he
hud seen enough of naval life and character to be of inestimable value to him as a novel-
ist; and returning to London, he commenced, andforlhe remainder of his life followed,
the profession of an author. He made, indeed, repeated attempts to obtain practice as
a physician, and in 1750, got a diploma of M.D. from Aberdeen; but his hasty irritable
temper and independent spirit, joined to his natural propensity to satire, were fatal to
his hopes. Lveu his literary career was a coast less warfare. In 1748, in his 27th year,
he produced his Roderick Landom, which was read with the utmost avidity, and seemed
at once to place its author very ner.r, if not in the actualuank of Fielding as a novelist.
In 1151 appeared Peregrine Pickle, a more ambitious ar.d not less successful work, and in
1153, 1-trdiiiand Count Fathom, an inferior production, though containing scenes of
striking adventure and eloquent description. Smollett next translated Don Quixote (1755),
in which, it is admitted, he was surpassed by Motteux and Jarvis. He then undorh ok
the editorship of a new tory journal, Tie Critical Renew. which was the most unfortu-
rate of ::!! engagements, as it involved him in tndless quarrels and personalities.
For o:;e article, :;n attack on admiral Knowles. he suffered three months' imprisonment,
and was lined 1CO. In 1758 he published his History of England, 4 vols. quarto a his-
tory from the descent of Julius Ca'sar to the treaty of Aix-la Chapelle in 17^' , but v,hich
was he'!;un and completed in 14 months, realizing for its author a sum of ~,000. Though
superficial and inaccurate, this history has passages of fine animated writing and mas-
terly delineation of character. We next find Smollett involved in political controversy
with Wilkes and olhers, and defending lord Bute's administration; but l;e wanted tact
nnd temper for work of this description, and reaped no laurels as a politician. Another
novel appeared in 17CO-61, Ihe Adventures of Kir l.avr-cdot Gnnrcs; in 17GG two vol-
umes of querulous Trarclsin France and Italy; in 17C9 The Adventure*! fan Atom, a polit-
ical satire unworthy of its author; and in 1771, only a few months before his death, The
E,rpediii<tn of Humphry C: inker, the best of all the novels of Smollett; and in the opinion
of Thackeray, one of the very best in the whole range of imaginative literature. Worn
out with lit emry cares, private misfortunes, anxiety, and ill-heal. h, the novelist retired
to Italy, and died at Leghorn, Oct. 21, 1771. in the' 51st year of his age.

As a novelist, Smollett is distinguished by his broad humor and burlesque, the great
variety of his incidents and characters, and the excellence of his < asy, picturesque style
of narrative. He is often careless, but rarely dull, He does not indulge in digressions,
like Field in<r. and though less of a literary artist than his great English rival, his works
are read with more intense interest. He hnd, in fact, greater imagination and poetical
sensibility. He added largely to our stock of original characters and humorists Strap,
Tom Rmrllnn, Morgan the Welx1<ma. lAxt/il(n;". and Matthew Bramble are still unsur-
passed. Delicacy of taste was denied to both Fielding and Smollett, and perhaps the
latter is the more gross and sensual of the two. But the novelist lived in a coarse r-ge,
nnd possessed an exuberan* fancy. There is a good deal to regret and to condemn;
but to an author who has conferred so much true, lieahhy pleasure and enjoyment oa
countless generations of readers, forgiveness is easily extended, aud is soon lost in


SMORZA TO. or SMOTCZANDO (Ital. dying nw.iv), a musical term, indicating a gradual
diminution in tone, till the sound altogether faded away.

SMUGGLING is the offense of importing or exporting goods prohibited, or without
paying the duties imposed on goods not prohibited. The offense in general leads to for-
feiture of the goods. If goods are imported to defraud the revenue, treble value of the
goods is forfeited. Many of the offenses connected with smuggling are felonies, and
punished with severity under the customs' consolidation act. Where high protective
tariff-! separate the industry of adjoining countries, smugglers are certain to abound; no
prohibitory decrees can keep the goods out. It was in vain that Napoleon fulminated


the Berlin and Milan decrees for closing r.ll continental ports against British shipping;
British goods were landed at Salonica, passed on horseback through Hungary to Vienna,
and thence distributed in all directions. Similarly, French manufactures reached Eng-
land, often most circuitously: some a year in transit byway of Smyrna; others, ma
Archangel, after two years' journey. A vast cost was incurred in Engl'and in maintain-
ing a coast guard and preventive service; but so long as smuggled g6ods could be sold
at much lower prices than those at which they could be lawfully imported, so long

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 137 of 203)