Francis Lieber.

Library of universal knowledge. A reprint of the last (1880) Edinburgh and London edition of Chambers' encyclopaedia, with copious additions by American editors (Volume 13) online

. (page 167 of 203)
Online LibraryFrancis LieberLibrary of universal knowledge. A reprint of the last (1880) Edinburgh and London edition of Chambers' encyclopaedia, with copious additions by American editors (Volume 13) → online text (page 167 of 203)
Font size
QR-code for this ebook


drawn out very gradually until it is not thicker than a quill; and, in "drawing it out, the
operator gives it a very slight twist, still leaving it so loose in structure that it will break
with a slight touch; in this state it is called a roving; and it was at this atage that the
spinning-jenny began to operate upon it. The rovings, which were wound as they
were drawn upon large reels, were unwound by the machine, and were stiil further
drawn out and firmly twisted and wound on to spindles or cops, the drawing being regu-
lated by the pressure of the wooden bars of the jenny, which was within reach of the
operator's hand.

The Ihroxlle-macliine, patented by Arkwright in 1769, had for its object the drawing
of the rovings through a succession of pairs of rollers, each pair in advance of the others,
and moving at different rates of speed. The first pair receive the sliver, compress it,
and pass it on to the second pair, which revolve at a greater speed, and thus pull it out to
exactly the number of times greater length that their revolutions exceed those of the
other pair in number it is usually eight times and as the first roving is passed through
a second, third, and sometimes fourth machine, the finished roving is 32 times longer
than the sliver. As the roving issues through the last rollers of eflch machine it ia
received on spools or reels, calculated to hold a given quantity; and these are transferred
to the spinning-frames, which resemble the roving-frames. Here the roving takes the
place of the sliver; and, as it unwinds from the spool, is drawn through successive pairs
of rollers, moving as before at different rates, each succeeding pair faster than the back-
ward ones, so that the roving gets thinner and thinner, until the tenuity is carried as far
as desiderable. It is then carried on to a spindle which revolves with great rapidity;
and, by means of a simple arrangement, is made both to twist the thread and wind it ou.
the spindle ready for the weaver.

This system produces too great a strain upon the thread in its progress to admit of its
being drawn so fine as is wanted for many purposes, and this led to the invention of the
mule-jenny by Crompton (q.v.) in 1779, which has a traveling frame upon which the
pindles are set. This frame is now made long enough to carry hundreds of spindles,
and it gently draws out and twists the thread after it leaves the last pair of rollers; and
when it has reached its limits now several yards, but in Crompton's' time only five feet
it rapidly returns, winding up the spun thread on the spindles as it goes back. These
machines are now applied, with varioxis necessary modifications, to cotton, wool, flax,
silk, and other textile materials, and the effect they have exerted upon our manufactures
is more wonderful than anything in the whole history of commerce. Previous to the inven-
tion of the mule, few spinners could make yarn of 200 hanks to the pound (the hank being
always 840 yards). At the same time, the natives of India were weaving yarn of numbers
ranging between 300 .and 400. Now. however, our manufacturers have reached such extra-
ordinary perfection, that Messrs. I louldsworth of Manchester have succeeded in making
No. 700, which was woven by the French firm Messrs. Thivel & Michon of Tavare, ana
others far too fine to weave, the greatest tenuity reached being 10.000, a pound of
which would reach 4,770 miles. This was made to'test the perfection of the machinery,
but was of no practical value.

The most modern improvements in spinning are in the machines of Messrs. Platt &
Co., of Oldham, which combine all the operations of carding, roving, and spinning in one
machine. These and similar machines are now coming into almost universal use for
cotton and wool.

SPI'NOLA, AMBROSIO. Marquis cle, 1569-1630; b. Italy; served in the Spanish navy,
against the English and Dutch. In 1602 he led a force of 9,000 veterans to the Reta-
il. K. XIII. -40



Spinoza. '70 O

Spiral. Ba

erlands against Maurice of Nassau. Made chief commander cf the Spanish army there;
lie forced Ostend to surrender in 1C04, alter u siege of three years. He continued his op-
erations against Maurice till the truce of 1609, \vhcn he took command of the Spanish
troops iu Germany. He captured JtUich in 1622, and Breda in 1625. He afterward
commanded the Spanish army in Italy.

SPINOZA, BATJUCH (^Benedict), one of the greatest philosophers of modern times,
was born at Amsterdam Nov. 24, 1632. His parents, rich Portuguese Jews, had their
pon diligently instructed in the Bible and its commentaries, and the Talmud. But after
having mastered both, and imbibed the philosophical spirit of such, commentators as
Aben Ezra, he was allowed the more readily that his sickly constitution unfitted him
for a commercial career to devote himself entirely to a life of study. Physical sciences
and the writings of Descartes, to which he turned first of all, very soon drew him away
from the rigid belief and practices of the synagogue ; and Saul Levi Morteira, his Talmud-
ical teacher, who had built the fondest hopes upon the genius of his pupil, was the
first to threaten him with the direst punishment if he did not retract the rank heresies
that he began openly to utter. Spinoza, after a time, entirely withdrew from the com-
munity of his brethren, who formally excommunicated him. A fanatic even attempted
to frighten him by an either real or feigned attack upon him as he left the theater one
night. At that period, the young truth-seeker made the acquaintance of the young and
beautiful daughter of Van den Ende, his master in Greek and Latin, and fell passion-
ately in love with her, but was rejected. From that time forth, philosophy became the
sole aim and object of his life. In accordance with the teaching of the sages of the
Mishna, Spinoza had, apart from his studies, made himself master of a mechanical craft.
He had learned the art of polishing lenses. This now became the means of his subsist-
ence. Besides, he was also an expert in the art of design, and among a number of other
portraits, he drew one of himself in the dress of Masaniello.

When 28 years old he left Amsterdam, and went to Rhynsburg, ncarLeyden, where
he wrote the Abridgment of the Meditations of Descartes, with an appendix the latter be-
ing the first cast, so to say, of his Ethics. The year following he removed to Woorburg,
near the Hague, and shortly afterward, yielding to the solicitations of his, by this
time, numerous friends, he removed to the Hague itself. The elector of the palatinate,
Charles Lewis, next offered him a vacant chair at the university of Heidelberg, with full
"liberty of teaching, "provided he would not say aught to prejudice the established relig-
ion, i.e., Christianity; whereupon Spinoza declined the both lucrative and honorable pro-
fessorship. His small pittance was enough to sa'.isfy his wants. In a similar way, he
refused generous offers made to him by wealthy friends, like Simon de Tries, who in-
tended to bestovy a large sum of money on him. All he could be prevailed upon to ac-
cept was a small annuity of a few hundred florins, the rest he persuaded his generous
friend to bestow upon his (De Vries's) own brother. An offer of a pension, on the con-
dition of his dedicating a work to Louis XIV., he rejected with scorn. His domestic
accounts, found after his death, show that he preferred to live on a few pence a day,
to being indebted to another's bounty. He died, 44 years old, on Feb. 21, 1677.
Throughput his life of study, of abstemiousness, of bodily and mental suffering for his
constitution was undermined no less by consumption and overwork, than his sensitive
mind was wrought upon by the violent severance of all natural ties of affection, to say
nothing of the misery of occasional want and of perpetual persecution no complaint
ever passed his lips. Simplicity and heroic forbearance, coupled with an antique
stoicism and a child-^ike, warm, sympathizing heart, were the principal attributes of him
who was nicknamed epicurean and atheist by his contemporaries. It has well been
said, that no man, perhaps, was more filled with religion than Spinoza, and that to be
an epicure at the rate of twopence-halfpenny a day cannot be a very serious crime.

Plespecting Spinoza's philosophical system, of which we can only give the very faint-
est of outlines here, it must be premised that it developed itself on the basis of Des-
cartes. The latter had inaugurated a new epoch by his " reconstruction " of knowledge.
Dissatisfied both with the dogma and the skepticism around him, he cleared the ground
by first doubting everything, and then laying a new foundation by Cogito, ergo sum (T
think, I therefore am). Spinoza, however, deeply struck both with the reasonings and
conclusions of Descartes, took his " I think therefore I am" merely as a starting-point to
prove more clearly the existence of God than Descartes did. The consciousness of
man's own existence and of his imperfect state are not, he thinks, sufficient to solve the
grand problem. He therefore assumes, first of all, three fundamental tilings, which he
calls respectively substance, attributes, and mode. By substance he understands, like
Descartes, that which needs nothing else to its existence; but, unlike Descartes, he as-
sumed only one such substance God. Yet this term is not to be understood in the
ordinary sense, for Spinoza's God neither thinks nor creates. There is no real dif-
ference, he holds, between mind, as represented by God, and matter, as represented by
nature. They are one, and, according to the light under which they are viewed, may be
called either God or nature. The visible world is not distinct from him. It is only his
Visible manifestation, flowing out of him, who is the last fountain of life and essence,
us a finite from the infinite, variety from unity a unity, however, in which all varieties
merge again. Extension and thought, which, with Descartes, had been two substances,,



Spinoza.
Spiral.

with Spinoza become "attributes;" that which the mind perceives as constituting sub-
stance. Extension is visible thought; thought is invisible extension. The relation be-
tween substance and attributes, Spinoza illustrates by the example of an object
colorless in itself, perhaps seen through yellow or blue spectacles. And this explains
the relation between body and mind, and the complete unity between them. The mind
is the idea of the body i. e., the same thing considered under the attribute of thought.
The modus or accidens is only the varying form of substance. Like the curling waves
of the ocean, they have no independent existence; nay, less than these are they things
of reality; but they are simply the ever- varying shapes of the substance. Substance,
thus, is the only really existing, all-embracing essence, to which belongs everything
perceptible to our senses, and not perceptible. Thus every thought, wish, or feel-
ing is a mode of God's attribute of thought; everything visible is a mode of God's
attribute of extension. God is the "immanent idea," the one and all. "World" does
not exist as world i.e., as an aggregate of single things but is one complex whole
and one peculiar aspect of God's infinite attribute of extension. The variety we behold
in things is a mere product of our faulty conceptions, particularly of, as Spinoza terms
it, our " imagination," which perceives unity as a complex of multiplicity.

On these metaphysical speculations he founds his ethics, which he deduces in a
mathematical form, after the method of Euclid. The chief doctrines are: the absence
of free will in man himself anly a modus dependent on causes without, and not within
him. Will and liberty belong only to God, who is not limited by any other substance.
Good and evil are relative notions, and sin is a mere negative; for nothing can be done
against God's will, and there is no idea of evil in him. Utility alone, in its highest
sense, must determine the good and the evil in our mind. Good, or useful, is that
which leads us to greater reality, which preserves and exalts our existence. Our real
existence is knowledge. Highest knowlege is the knowlege of God. From this arises
the highest delight of the spirit. Happiness is not the reward of virtue, but virtue
itself; and this is to be attained by a diligent following in God's ways. Sin, evil, ne-
gation, etc. , arc merely things that retard and obstruct this supreme happiness.

Spinoza's system, pantheism or atheism, as it has been variously called, appears to
be nothing but the most rigid, most abstract, monotheism that can be conceived by man.
There is only substance, only God nought else. It was not unnatural, however, that
this system should be misunderstood either as materialism or as pantheism, seeing the
word "substance," which, with Spinoza, means "existence," is, in ordinary language,
associated with tiie idea of matter or body. Be this as it may, "this most iniquitous
and blasphemous human invention," as it has been called for 200 years, has become the
acknowledged basis of modern German philosophy; and pious theologians like Schleier-
macher did not hesitate to apply the highest terms of "pious, virtuous, God-intoxi-
cated," to Spinoza, who, we need not add it, never left Judaism, although he left the
synagogue and its human formalities.

His principal works arc Rcnati Descartes Principwrum Philosophic, Pars I. et II.,
more Geometrico Demonstrate (Amsterdam, 1663); Tructatus Theoloyico-politicus (anony-
mous, 1670); the Opera Posthuma, edited in the year of Spinoza's death by Ludwig
Meyer, contain : Ethica Online Oeornetrico Demonstrata, Tractatus Polittcus, Tractatus da
Intcttectus Emendatione, Epistolce, Compendium Grammatices Lingua HebrtetB. Several
minor treatises are lost; but the lately discovered Tractatus de Deo et Ilomine, published
in 1862, is a most valuable addition to our materials for tracing the development of
Spinoza's system. The literature on the Spinozistic philosophy is very copious, es-
pecially in Germany. Spinoza's life has even been made by Auerbach the subject of
two romances. The best editions of Spinoza's works are those of Paulus (1802-43) and
Bruder (1843-46).

SPTRIE'A., a genus of plants of the natural order rosaceo?, and of the s\iborder
s-pircea:, in which the fruit consists of five or fewer capsular carpels distinct from the
calyx, and each containing 1 to 6 seeds. The genus spiraea has one or more follicular,
many-seeded carpels. It contains a large number of species, natives of Europe, Asia,
and America, herbaceous plants and low deciduous shrubs; of the herbaceous species,
two are natives of Britain, DUOPWOKT (8. fVtpendulfi) and MEADOW SWEET or QUEEIT
OF THE MEADOW (S. Ulmaria), both with interruptedly pinnate leaves and flowers in
cymes. Dropwort is a native of dry upland pastures; it is tonic and fragrant; and its
tubers, which are somewhat nutritious, are in Sweden ground and made into bread.
Meadow sweet is well known for the powerful fragrance of its flowers. A fragrant dis-
tilled water is prepared from them. A North American species (8. torrwntosa), called
HAKIMIACK in the United States, is there used as a tonic and astringent. Many of the
shrubby species are frequently planted for ornament.

SPIRAL, in geometry, is the name given to a class of curves which, during their
gradual regression from a point, wind round it repeatedly. Their equations are gener-
ally expressed in terms of polar co-ordinates, and are all necessarily of the form r=f(6),
where never signifies a function of the angle, but the angle itself or a multiple of it.
Several such curves have received distinguishing epithets, either on account of the prop-
erties they possess, or from their inventor; the chief of them are the equable spiral or
the spiral of Archimedes, whose equation is r=a9, and which, commencing at the origin.



Spiral.
Spiritualism.

circles round and regrades from it with unvarying uniformity; the hyperbolic or recipro-
cal spiral (rG=a); the logarithmic or equiangular spiral (r=ab&); which recedes from th
center or origin with a velocity increasing as the distance, and always cuts the radiuji
vector at the same angle ; etc.

SPIEAL VESSELS are those very delicate air-tubes in the cellular tissue of plants which
run uubranched through the different parts of the plant, and whose walls are composed
of fibers spirally or circularly twined. Spiral vessels are either free, when their windings
are unconnected with each other, or net-like, when the windings are involved with each
other in a net-like manner. If the free spaces between the convolutions in the latter are
linear, they form lined vessels ; but if they are point-like, they form punctate or porvse
vessels. Spiral vessels, whose walls are formed of distinct horizontal rings, placed simply
one above another, are called annular vessels. Spiral vessels seldom occur singly, but
are generally united by cells into bundles called vascular bundles. These vascular bun-
dles are scattered in the stems of endogenous plants; but in the stems of exogenous
plants they are arranged in one or more concentric circles. Among cryptogamous
plants, the ferns alone (in the most extensive signification of the term) are provided with
spiral vessels. All plants which have spiral vessels are called vascular plants, in contra-
distinction to cellular plants, whose substance consists of cells only.

Through the operation of what laws the spiral form is assumed by spiral vessels, is still
unknown, although the question has naturally been regarded as having an intimate con-
nection with the tendency to spiral structure manifested in plants, and even in some of
those cryptogamous plants in which no true spiral vessels are found; a tendency which
is observed not only in spiral stems, spiral tendrils, the spiral fibers of the elaters of
jungermannus, and the like, but throughout the vegetable kingdom generally in the
spiral arrangement of leaves and of the organs which are formed by the metamorphosis
of leaves. The whole subject is an extremely difficult one; there has been much specu-
lation about it, but as yet with no satisfactory results.

SPIRE, a very acute pyramidal roof in common use over the towers of churches.
The history of spires is somewhat obscure, but there is no doubt that the earliest exam-
ples of anything of the kind are the pyramidal roofs of the turrets of Norman date.
Those of bt. Peter's, Oxford, and Rochester cathedrals, -are good specimens of circular
and octagonal spires on a small scale. Spires of this early period are much lower thaa
those of later date. The early English style has spires of acute form over the larger
towers. They are generally what are termed broach spires, i.e., the slopes spring from
the cornice of the tower without any parapet, and at the point where the square changes
to the octagon there is -a small set off or separate roof. Sometimes the angles at top of
towers were occupied with pinnacles or sloping masses of masonry, as at Bayeux cathe-
dral, Normandy.

In the decorated style the spires were more enriched, with a parapet and pinnacles at
the top of the tower, crochets on the angles, and enriched windows.

The spires of the perpendicular and flamboyant styles are still more enriched, with
flying buttresses at the angles, etc. They are sometimes perforated, and the sides of the
spire filled entirely with tracery. Such spires are common in Germany, those of Stras-
bourg and Frieburg on the Rhine being very fine examples. As in the later styles gen-
erally, the character and beauty of the spire give place to dexterity in masonry, and
many examples exist of traceried spires more wonderful than beautiful. See GOTHIC
ARCHITECTURE.

Spires are most frequently constructed of stone, but they are also occasionally made
of wood, and covered with lead, copper, slates, or shingles. These are chiefly to be
found in localities where stone is scarce.

SPIRIT, a name of very general application to fluids, mostly of a lighter specific
character than water, and obtained by distillation. Thus, the essential oil of turpentine is
called spirit of turpentine. But in a stricter sense, the term spirit is understood to mean
alcohol (q.v.) in its potable condition, of which there are very numerous varieties, deriv-
ing their special characters from the substances used in their production.

SPIRIT DUCK. See GARROT.

SPIRITO SANTO. See ESPTRITTJ SANTO

SPIRITUALISM. Under the head of ANIMAL, MAGNETISM, an account is given, from
the skeptical point of view, of some of those mysterious phenomena which, under the
name of modern Spiritualism, have recently attracted so much public attention. It is
proposed here to give a more complete account of these phenomena as they appear to
those who hold that they are inexplicable by the commonly received law r s of physics.

That these phenomena in their higher phases as those of trance, healing by touch,
mnd subjection to the thought and will of another mind are intimately allied with those
of mesmerism is obvious to all who have given any careful attention to them. Spirit-
ualists, indeed, affirm that they differ only in this that in the one case the operator is a
mortal, in the other a disembodied human spirit possessing a spiritual body instead of a
physical one. Those persons most readily susceptible to mesmeric influence generally
prove to be the best mediums for spirit manifestation. Wherever mesmerism has
been extensively practiced, it would seem that the ground has thereby -been prepared



*7Q?i Spiral.

Spiritualism.

for the operators in the unseen world ; and indeed human magnetism is not unfrequently
resorted to for this express purpose. Many of the earliest and foremost advocates of
Spiritualism in England have traveled to Spiritualism via mesmerism. As is fully shown
in the correspondence of M. Billault and M. Deleu/e, published in two volumes in 1836,
the magnetists of France anticipated by at least half a c. the revelations of what is now
known as "modern Spiritualism." which was as humble in its origin as other great
movements recorded in history which have so largely influenced mankind.

In the village of Hydesville, New York state, lived Mr. John D. Fox and family,
much respected by their neighbors as honest upright people. The two youngest chil-
dren, Margaret, then twelve years old, and Kate, nine, were staying with their parents.
Soon after they had taken up their residence here, in Dec., 1847, they began to hear
knockings in the house, which toward the end of March increased in loudness and fre-
quency. Mr. Fox and his wife got up night after night, lit a candle, and thoroughly
searched every nook and corner of the house, but discovered nothing. When the raps
came on a door, Mr. Fox would stand ready to open it the moment they were repeated,
but though he opened the door on the instant, he could detect nothing, and no one was
to be seen; nor could he obtain the slightest clue to the cause of these disturbances. But
through all these annoyances Mr. and Mrs. Fox clung to the belief that some natural
explanation of them could be found. Nor did they abandon this hope till the last night
of March, 1848. Wearied out by a succession of sleepless nights, and of fruitless
attempts to penetrate the mystery, the family had retired very early to rest; but scarcely
had the mother seen the children safely in bed, and was retiring to rest herself, when
the children cried out: " Here they are again!" The mother chid them, and laid down.
Thereupon the noises became louder and more startling. Mrs. Fox called in her hus-
band. The night being windy, it suggested to him that it might be the rattling of the
sashes. He tried several, shaking them to hear if they were loose Kate happened to
remark that as often as her father shook a window-sash, the noises seemed to reply.
Turning to where the noise was, she snapped her fingers, and called out: " Here, do as
I do?" The knockings instantly responded. She tried, by silently bringing together
her thumb and forefinger, whether she could still obtain a response. Yes! It tho
mysterious something could see, then, as well as hear! She called her mother: " Only
look, mother," she said, bringing her finger and thumb together as before. And as
often as she repeated the noiseless motion, just so often responded the raps. This at
once arrested the mother's attention. " Count ten," she said; ten strokes were distinctly
given. "How old is my daughter, Margaret?" Twelve strokes responded. "And
Kate?" Nine! "What can all this mean?" was Mrs. Fox's thought. Who was
answering her? Was it only some mysterious echo of her own thought? The answers



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 167 of 203)