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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would it be absolutely impossible wholly to suppress the traffic. The duties on French
I goods evaded in 1831. by the aid of smuggling, were estimated at 800,000. The true
remedy for smuggling is a free, or, at least, very liberal tariff, without any prohibitive
rates. Since the adoption of free trade by Great Britain, its coast-guard has ceased 'to
have any preventive duties to perform, and has been converted into the far better insti-
tution of a defense for the coasts from foreign foes, a reserve of trained men for the sea-
service, and last, though far from least, a branch of skillful auxiliaries ready to aid any
ship thrown in distress upon the British coast. The leading instance of smuggling, so
far as E*ng!and or Englishmen are concerned, is the great amount of contraband traffic
from Gibraltar into Spain.

SMUGGLING (ante), as a violation of those laws regulating commerce which are
enacted by the U. S. congress under the powers given them in that regard by the con-
stitution, is made a penal offense by the statutes of the general government. The main
provisions of the present law (Rev. Slat., tit. xxxiv., chap. 10), are that the goods which
are attempted to be introduced contrary to the tariff regulations or under false repre-
sentations, shall be seized, and, on condemnation of the court, forfeited and sold, while
the guilty party is liable to a fine of not more than $-1,000 and not less than $">0, and to
imprisonment for not more than tsvo years, or to both. Fines and penalties are also
provided for officers of vessels conniving in smuggling or resisting the revenue officers.
The procedure is in the U. 8. district or circuit court, and is instituted by the district-
attorney. After condemnation and sale, the proceeds minus costs and expenses are dis-
tributed, part going to the informer (if there were any such, distinct from the officers),
part to the government, and part to the custom officers of the port or district. Very
wide discretion and great powers are given, necessarily, to the officers employed in
carrying out these laws. Their right of search extends four leagues from the coast.
They may examine boxes, trunks, papers, letters, stores, warehouses, and all places
where smuggled goods might be concealed. The person of a passenger is not exempt
from search. Upon obtaining an order from the proper court, an officer may compel
importing merchants, or others, to exhibit their books or bills of lading.

SMUT, the popular name of certain small fungi of the section coniomycetes, and group
or family uredinece, parasitical on plants, particularly on grasses, and notable for the
great abundance of dark-colored spores which they throw off. The name smut, although
somewhat variously used, is now very generally limited to the genus ustilarjo, in which
the character just mentioned, of the profusion of dark-colored spores, is very remark-
able. The name smut is often given to usfHarfo segetum, or uredo ser/etum, also called
DUST-BRAND, a species very common and destructive, parasitic on wheat, barley, oats,
and rye (see ERGOT), at the base of the germen and glumes, causing the death of the
inner parts of the flower, and then converting the whole into a sooty dusty mass. At
first, a line mycelium alone is seen, which ere long produces spores. There is no dis-
agreeable smell, as in some of the allied fungi. A remarkable kind of smut, infests
maize, swelling the ears to an enormous size, sometimes even a foot in length. No
remedy or preventive is known for smut. It does not seem to be communicated through
infected grains; but perennial plants attacked by fungi of this kind remain diseased in
subsequent years. Some kinds of smut -attack other parts of plants than those chosen by
uittUngo segetum. The reeds of the fenny districts of England are often much affected
by a species (ustilago typhoides), which much impairs their quality for all purposes, and
has the more remarkable property of greatly affecting the health of the laborers employed
in culling and sorting them, producing not only a sense of oppression, but swelling of
the head, the formation of vesicles, and inflammation of the bowels, besides other symp-
toms, such as are often produced by eantharidcs. Mr. Berkeley says: "The subject
is worth attention, not only as curious in itself, but because it is very possible that, like
the ergot, the fungus may afford a valuable addition to the "pharmacopoeia."

SMYE'NA, one of the most ancient and important cities of Asia Minor, and the only
one of the Greek cities on the western coast which has retained its name and impor-
tance to the present day. The early history of Smyrna is very obscure: varying
accounts represent it oither as originally an Ionian colony, or as having been at first an
^Eolian city, which, by an act of treachery, fell into the hands of Colophonian (Ionian)
exiles, and subsequently, about 700 B.C. , formed part of the great Ionian league. This
earliest city of Smyrna, known among the Greeks as " Old Smyrna," was situated on
the banks of the little river Meles, on the n.e. side of the Hermaean gulf, now the gulf
of Smyrna, and claimed the honor of being the birthplace of Homer; and here, near the,
source of the river, a grotto was shown, in winch he was said to have composed his
poems. This old city of Smyrna was destroyed, we are told, by t!ie Lydian king Alyat-
tes, and the place remained deserted and in ruins till after the Macedonian conquest,


when the city was rebuilt at the distance of between 2 and 3 m. s. of its original site.
Tliis city of "New Smyrna" was founded by Antigonus, and enlarged and embellished
by Lysiniachus; it was laid out with great magnificence, and adorned with several fine
buildings, among which was the llomereum, where the poet was worshiped as a hero.
The city hud an excellent harbor; and from its admirable situation, soon became one of
the finest and most nourishing in the world. In the early history of Christianity,
Smyrna holds a distinguished place as one of the seven churches addressed in the Apoca-
lypse, and as the scene of the labors and martyrdom of its first bishop, Polycarp.
After various vicissitudes during the middle ages, it fell finally into the hands of the
Turks, in whose possession it has since remained the most flourishing city of the

The modern city of Smyrna (Turkish Izmir) occupies the site of New Smyrna, being
built partly on the plain at the head of the gulf, partly on the declivity of a hill, the
an.Ment Mons Pagus, and, from the sea, has an attractive appearance There are some
good quays, and some handsome buildings of stone; but the greater part consists of low
wooden houses, for the most part of one story high; and the streets, with a few excep-
tions, are ill- paved, narrow, crooked, and dirty. The city, however, in these respects
is belter than most other Turkish towns, and improvements have of late years been
made. The pop. is estimated at 150,000; of whom 80,000 are Turks, 40,000 Greeks,
15,000 Jews, 10,000 Armenians, and 5,000 Franks. As is usual in Turkish towns, each
people has its separate quarter. Smyrna contains several Greek, Armenian, Roman
Catholic, and Protestant churches, and about 20 mosques. There are six journals pub-
lished here in five different languages. The harbor is excellent; ships of large burden,
anchor close to the quays; and the trade is most important and extensive. A railway,
81 in. long, constructed mainly with English capital and by English engineers, has been,
recently opened to Aidin, an important inland commercial town, and is now in opera-
tion. Another railway, extending 61 m. inland (to Cassaba), was finished in 1866, and.
afterward extended to" Philadelphia (Alasher). The chief imports are woolen, cotton,
and silk fabrics, iron, tin, lead, copper, steel, zinc, glass, and hardware goods, coffee to
the amount of 6,000,000 Ibs. annually, sugar, spirits, spices, indigo, cochineal, etc. The
exports consist of wool, cotton, silk, carpets, hides, opium, madder, copper, valonia,
olive-oil, drugs, and gums, figs, raisins, and many other articles. In 1874, 2,553 vessels
(of which 355 were British), of 1,375,749 tons, entered and cleared the port; and the
imports for that year amounted to 4,490,000; the exports to 3,940,000. Smyrna is
regularly visited by the ships of the French, Austrian, and Russian steam-navigation
companies, and by traders from Great Britain and other countries. It suffered severely
from fire in the summers of 1841 and 1845, and has been often ravaged by earthquakes
and the plague. The city and its territory are governed by a pasha. Of the ancient
chics, not much remains. Some slight ruins mark the site of Old Smyrna. Of New
Smyrna some remnants of the massive walls on the hill s.e. of the city are still to be
seen; the site of the stadium in which Polycarp is supposed to have suffered martyr-
dom, is pointed out; there are some fragments of the ancient theater, and columns
belonging to a temple; and numberless architectural fragments have been built into the
walls of the Turkish town, or used in the construction of graves in the large Turkish

SMYRNA. GULF OP, an inlet of the ^Egean sea, on the w. coast of Asiatic Turkey, is
so called from the city of Smyrna (q.v.), which stands at its head. It is 40 in. long, is
about 20 m. in greatest breadth, and contains several islands. Its waters are deep, and
it affords good anchorage.

SMYTH, a co. in s.w. Virginia; drained by the three forks of the Holston river;
traversed by the Atlantic, Mississippi and Ohio railroad; about 500 sq.m. ; pop. '80,
12,15912.131 of American birth, 1640 colored, The surface is mountainous and
covered with forests, but the valleys are fertile; wheat, oats, cattle, and pork, are the
staples. Co. seat, Marion.

SMYTH, CHARLES PIAZZI, b. 1820, England; for some time employed in the observ-
atory at the cape of Good Hope, and afterward appointed royal astronomer of Scot-
la.'id. He has lonsr studied the great pyramid of Egypt, which, he maintains, was
built by divine inspiration as a standard of weights and measures. He has advocated
this peculiar theory in several books, such as Our Inheritance in the Great Pyramid
(1864), and Life and Work at the Great Pyramid (1867).

SMYTH, JOHN, 1552-1610; b. England; graduated from Christ's college, Cambridge,
1575; took orders and became a fellow; but joined the Puritans after receiving a rebuke
for advocating a Judaic observance of Sunday. He went to Amsterdam in 1606, became
a Baptist, and was engaged in controversies with Ainsworth and others. He wrote sev-
eral theological and controversial treatises, such as A True Description of the Visible
Church ; The Character of the Beast ; and Declaration of the Faith of the English People
Remaining at Amsterdam.

SMYTH, Wn/MAM HENRY, 1788-1865; b. England; son of a loyalist of the American
revolution, of New Jersey; descended from capt. John Smith; entered the British navy,
1805; served at Cadiz, 1810. He made a hydrographical survey of the coasts of Sicily,

Snail. KQQ


and published Atlas and Descriptive Memoir on Sicily, 1824; made a survey of the coasts
of the Adriatic, 1817, and of the Mediterranean, 1821; post.capt., 1824; rear admiral,
1853. He owned an astronomical observatory at his residence in Bedford, and another
at his place in Cardiff. He was president of the Royal astronomical society, and hydrog-
rapher to the admiralty.

SNAIL, Helix, a genus of gasteropodous mollusks of the family Jielidclas, having gen-
erally a sub-globose, sometimes a depressed, spiral shell; the mouth of the shell more or
less encroached upon by the last whorl but one, strengthened with an internal thickened
rib, its edges more or less reflexed; the foot of the animal long, and pointed behind; the
tentacles four, the lower pair much smaller than the upper; the tongue armed with
many often from 100 to 200 longitudinal rows of teeth. The species are very numer-
ous, more than 1400 having been described; besides fossil species, of which also there
are many. Some of the groups have been constituted into separate genera by recent
authors, but all retain the popular name snail, which is indeed often extended to all the
kelicida. As an instance of the general distribution of snails, it may be noticed that
helix usperm, one of the common garden-snails of Britain, is found very geneially
throughout Europe, great part of Asia and the n. of Africa, and in South America.
Snails feed chiefly on vegetable substances, although they are very indiscriminate in
their appetite, and even devour the dead. of their own kind. The mischief which they
1 do to garden-crops is too well known; and gardeners lay down cabbage-leaves and the
like to attract them, in order that they may be destroyed; any greasy substance increas.
ing the attractiveness of the bait. Snails delight in warm moist weather; iu dry weathe
their chief time of activity is during the night, and they hide themselves by day; but
after rain they come forth at any hour iu quest of food. At the approach of winter, or
in very dry weather, they close the mouth of the shell with a membrane (epiphragm),
formed by the drying of the mucous substance which they secrete, and become inactive
and torpid. Some, as the edible snail (//. pomatia), make a succession of such niem
branes; the outer one of which is also strengthened by a quantity of calcareous matter,
the secretion being at first a white viscid fluid, but quickly hardening like plaster of
Paris. When this is to be removed, a fresh secretion of fluid mucus softens it at the
edges. Snails retreat into crevices for the winter, or into holes which they make in the
earth, and which are roofed over with earth, dead leaves, etc., agglutinated by secreted
mucus. Snails are hermaphrodite, but mutual impregnation takes place, and when they
are about to copulate they excite each other by pricking or even piercing with a sharp,
calcareous, glass-like style, affixed to a peculiar muscular sac which serves for its pro-
trusion, and which is produced by recent secretion, not being found in them on dissec-
tion, except at the season of reproduction. Extraordinary as this circumstance is, it
Las been the subject of much exaggeration, and in works on natural history not of very
old date we read of snails throwing darts (xpicula amo-ris) at each other, all which
appears to be merely fabulous, although it is probable that the calcareous style may be
often broken off in its use. The eggs of snails are round, and enveloped in a skin; they
are generally deposited in little clusters. The eggs of the common garden-snails of
Britain are about the size of peas, and are deposited just under the surface of the soil.
Snails possess in a very high degree the power of repairing injuries, not only of the
shell although the removal of the whole shell is fatal to them but also of the soft
part's. When the tentacles are cut off, they grow again; and even if the head is cut off,
a new head is produced. We do not think it necessary to describe any of the common
British species, as there is nothing of peculiar interest connected with any of them; and
the rarer and smaller species have still less claim to notice. The EDIBLE SNAIL (//. poma-
tia) of the s. of Europe is the only one that deserves to be particularly mentioned It is
found in the chalk and oolite districts of the s. of England, where it is said to have been
introduced from the continent in the 17th c. ; but this is very doubtful. It has a shell
about 2 in. in diameter and 2 in. in height, whitish or pale tawny, with four darker
banns, often not very distinct. It was much esteemed as an article of food by the
ancient Romans, who fattened their snails in inclosures (cocldearia) made for the pur-
pose, feeding them delicately on meal and boiled wine. It is still in much esteem for
the table in various parts of Europe, and is occasionally used in England. Nor is it the
only species so used; the common garden-snails are probably equally good, although
not so large, and "the glassmen at Newcastle once a year have a snail-feast; they gen-
erally collect the snails themselves in the fields and hedges the Sunday before the least-
day." Turton's Britiah Land and Fresh-irnter Shells. Snails of different species i:re also
an article of exportation on a small scale from England to the United States, packed in
old casks, in which they are conveyed very well, fixing themselves one upon another to
the cask, and leaving a'vaeant space in the center. Snails boiled in milk are popularly
regarded as a remedy for diseases of the chest, and for this purpose they are brought to
Covent Garden market. If anv benefit results from the use of them, it is probably due
to their nutritious qualities. Some of the tropical species of helix are very large, and
some have very beautiful shells.

SNAKE, a term synonymous with serpent. The name COMMON SNAKE is very gen-
erally given in England to a species very abundant in most parts of that country, and
throughout Europe from the s. of Scandinavia, to the Mediterranean, although there is


only one doubtful instance of its having been found in Scotland. Its range extends :Uso
over great part of the n. of Asia. This species (natrix torquata or tropidunotus natrix) is
also knowu as the RINGED SNAKE and the GKASS SNAKE. It belongs to the family
colubrtdee, arid to a section of it which some naturalists constitute into the family nat-
ricidiE. It grows to the length of 4 and even a ft., although specimens exceeding 3 ft.
are rare. The female, as in serpents generally, is much larger than the male. The head
is ovate, the muzzle rather narrow, the back part considerably broader than the neck;
the body thickens toward the middle, and again tapers toward the tail, which is about
one-fifth of the entire length, tapering to a rather sharp point; the gape is wide; the
upper p.irt of the head covered with large plates; the scales of the back have an elevated
keel; those of the sides are larger, the keel merely rudimentary; the belly is covered
with broad oblong plates; the under part of the tad has plates arranged in two rows.
The teeth are very small, directed backward, and arranged in two rows on each side of
the jaws. The upper parts are grayish brown, tinged with green; at the back of the
head are two crescent-shaped bright yellow spots, forming a kind of ring or collar;
immediately behind these are two broad black spots, sometimes confluent. Two rows
of small black spots are arranged alternately down the back, and larger ones at the sides;
but these vary much in size and other particulars. The belly is pale lead color, often
marbled with* black. The outer skin is changed at intervals varying according to tuo
weather and other circumstances. Mr. Bjll says: "I have known the skin shed four or
five times during the vear. It is always thrown off by reversing it; so that the transparent
covering of the eyes, 'and that of the scales also, are always found concave in the exuviae.
Previously to this curious circumstance taking place, the whole cuticle becomes some-
what opaque, the eyes are dim, and the animal is evidently blind. It also becomes more
or less inactive, until at length, when the skin is ready to be removed, being everywhere
detached, and the new skin perfectly hard underneath, the animal bursts it at the neck,
and creeping through some dense herbage, or low brushwood, leaves it attached, and
com^s forth in far brighter and clearer colors than before." This snake is partial ^to
damp situations, and often enters water, in whicli it swims with great ease, moving with,
singular gracefulness. It sometimes remains at the bottom for a considerable time. It
sometimes climbs trees, its body, when ascending the stem, being "straight and rigid as a
stick." See SERPENTS. It is very voracious; its food consists of frogs, small birds and
quadrupeds, etc. Its teeth being incapable of tearing, cutting, or masticating food, the
prey is always swallowed entire and living. Mr. Bell heard a frog emit a cry some minutes
after it, had been swallowed by a snake. The snake has no poison-fangs. It has another
kind of defensive armor, in certain glands, which emit a volatile substance 01 most offen-
sive and penetrating odor, which, like that of the skunk, can hardly be removed from the
skin or clothes. No such odor is emitted except in moments of irritation or other passion.
The common snake is oviparous: its eggs usually about fifteen or twenty in number,
whitish, with a parchment-like skin, and united into a string by a glutinous substance
are deposited in moist and warm situations, often in dunghills. The mother is said
sometimes to coil herself around them, but generally leaves them unregarded. This
snake is capable of being tamed, and becomes familiar with those who arc kind to it, while
the approach of a stranger, of a dog or cat, alarms it, and causes an emission of stench.
In winter, it seeks some refuge from severe cold, and becomes lethargic or dormant.
Large numbers of snakes often take refuge in one hole; but seldom scf many as in an
instance recorded by Dr. Carpenter, in which about 1300 were found in an old lime-

Much interest was excited in 1863 by the discovery in England of a species of snake,
eoronelld ladu (see CORONELLA and SERPENTS), previously unobserved in Britain, but
common in the middle and s. of Europe, and sometimes distinguished by the name of
AUSTRIAN SNAKE, sometimes by that of SMOOTH SNAKE, none of the scales being ridged
or keeled, as in the common snake. It inhabits much drier situations than those affected
by the common snake, where it is often found in company with the sand lizard, situa-
tions more resembling those in which the viper is found. 'This simke is also more simi-
lar to the viper in form and appearance than the common snake, and these circumstances
have probably led to its being often mistaken for the viper, and its existence in England
remaining unnoticed so long. It attains a length of about 2ft. ; is of a shining brown color,
ornamented with checkered irregular patches of black; a yellow mark on the back and
sides of the he ,d; the lower parts yellowish, with square black spots. The head is not
flattened, as in the viper, but is narrowed in a similar way toward the neck; there is
much difference in the plates of the head; the yellow mark on the head is a very char-
acteristic, distinction, and the back does not exhibit a broad zigzag pattern, as in the
viper. Unlike the common snake, the coronella Icevis is ovoviviparous, the eggs being
hatched within the mother. For an illustration of the coronelia Icevis, see SERPENTS.


SNAKE-EEL, the popular name of the fishes forming the family ophisnridie of some
naturalists, included by others, with all the eels, in the family murtfnfdsr. and distin-
guished by the want of a tail-fin, and the tail ending in a conical point like that of a
serpent. They are inhabitants of the seas of warm climates. One species, ophisurub
serpcns, is found in the Mediterranean. It attains the length of about 6 ft., and the


thickness of man's arm; is brown above, silvery beneath, and has a slender and pointed

SNAKE RIVER, also called LEWIS'S FORK, is the great southern branch of the

Columbia (q.v.). .


SNAKE-STONES, small round pieces of stone or other hard substance, popularly
believeii lo be efficacious in curing snake-bites. A belief in their efficacy has been long
and very widely diffused, and probably extended to Britain and other western puits of
the world from the east. Small perforated balls and rings of various kinds of stone,
ivory, etc., strung together like beads, were formerly used as snake-stones in Scotland,
being given to cattle to chew when they were bitten by vipers. Of course they could
only be expected to act as a kind of charm. Many of the snake-stones used in India and
the further east seem to be of no greater value. Some of them, however, appear to be
really efficacious, being applied to the wound and absorbing blood from it with the poi-
son before it has entered the system. Remarkable instances are related of speedy cures
thus effected. The snake-stone adheres for a short time to the wound, and thui falls off.
The wounded limb is meanwhile rubbed downward. Two small snake-stones, each the
size of a large pea, brought from India, and which were known to have cured a man
bitten by a cobra, were found by Mr. Quekelt to be composed of some vegetable matter.

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 138 of 203)