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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of tie rivers of England, rises from a chalybeate spring on the eastern side of Pliuiim-
mon, about 11 m. w. of Llanidloes, in Montgomeryshire, North Wales. Flowing east-
ward from its source to Llanidloes, to which town it retains it original British name of
Hafren, it afterward fkvws n.e. to the eastern boundary of Montgomeryshire, then e.s.e.,
past Bridgenorth in Salop, and finally southward through Worcester and Gloucester, in
which last it begins to form its estuary. It is navigable for barges to Welshpool in
Montgomeryshire, 180 m. from its mouth. Its entire length is 210 m., and it drains an
area of more than 6.000 sq. miles. The chief affluents of the Severn are the Terne, and
the upper and hrwer Avon on the e. . and the Teme and Wye on the west. A canal 18^ m.
lon<r, and navigable for vessels of 350 tons, extends from Gloucester to the upper portion
of the estuary of the river, and thus materially shortens the navigation of its lower
course. The Montgomery canal extends from Welshpool to Newton, and other canals
establish communication between the Severn and the Thames, Trent, Mersey, and the
other important rivers of the middle districts of England. The bore, or tidal wave, which
rushes up the Severn with a velocity at times of 14 m. an hour, raises the water 9 ft, in
height at Gloucester, below which e'mbankments have been cbnstructed along the water-
course to prevent inundation. See BRISTOL CHANNEL.


SEVERTJS. L. SEPTIMIUS, Roman emperor, was born April 11, 146 A.D.. near Le^i
Magua, on the n. coast of Africa, of a family of equestrian rank; and. after receiving
an excellent education, removed to Rome, where he became praetor. 178 A. D. He was
subsequently commander of a legion in Gaul, and governor of Gallia Lugdunensis,


Pannonia, and other provinces. After the murder of Pertinax he was proclaimed
emperor, 193 A. D., at Carnutum, and promptly marched upon Rome, where the puppet
Julianus had by purchase obtained the imperial purple. His arrival before Home was
the death-signal for Julianus; and after takiiig vengeance on the murderers of Pertinax,
converting his most formidable rival, Clodius Albinus, into an ally by creating him
Caesar, and distributing an extravagant largess to his soldiers, he marched against
Pescennius Niger, and conquered him at Issus, 195 A.D. A glorious campaign in the
east, and a three years' siege, followed by the capture of Byzantium, were followed by
a desperate struggle with his jealous rival, Clodius Albiuus, whom, after an obstiuat*
conflict at Lyons, in which 150,000 were engaged on each side, he conquered, 197 A.D.
The usual games to the degenerate citizens of Home, and largesses to the troops, fol-
lowed, after which Severus returned to Asia, accompanied by his sons Caracalla and
Geta. met with the most brilliant success in the campaign of 198 A.D. against the Par-
thians, and took and plundered their capital, Ctesiphon. After a war with the Arabs,
in which Severus's usual good fortune deserted him, and a general visit to his various
eastern dominions, he returned to Rome, 202 A.D., and gratified the popular taste by the
exhibition of shows of unparalleled magnificence, also distributing another extravagant
largess to the citizens and praetorians. A rebellion in Britain drew him to that country
in 208 A.D. ; and, at the head of an immense army, he marched, it is said, to the extreme
n. of the island, encountering enormous hardships, to which no less than 50,000 of his
soldiers succumbed, and securing no permanent advantages. To secure to some extent
the natives of s. Britain from the incursions of the Meatse and Caledonians, Severus
commenced the wall which bears his name, and died soon after at York, Feb. 4, 211 A.D.
Severus was an able, vigorous, and just ruler, and a skillful warrior, but totally devoid
of high moral sentiment, a dificiently especially observable in cases where his o\ru
interests were involved.

SEVERUS, WALL OF, a rampart of stone built by the Roman emperor Severus *in
Britain, 208 A.D., between the Tyne and the Solway. Oil the first subjugation of Britain
by the Romans, a line of forts had been constructed by Agricola, extending from the
Forth at Edinburgh to the Clyde at Dumbarton. The emperor Hadrian, on visiting
Britain, 120 A.D., threw up for the protection of the Roman province a wall of turf
extending across the narrowest part of the island, between Tyne and Solway. Twenty
years later Antoninus Pius, whose lieut., Lollius Urbicus, had gained fresh advantages
-over the northern tribes, endeavored to check the inroads of the Caledonians by erect-
ling another rampart of earth between the Forth and Clyde, connecting Agricola's line
- forts. But after a vain struggle of 60 years, the Romans found it necessary to abandon
the whole district between the walls, and Septimius Severus built a rampart of stone
immediately to the n. of the wall of Hadrian. Toward the close of the 4th c. Theo-
dosius, for a brief period, reasserted the Roman dominion over the district between the
walls of Antonine and Severus, which, in honor of the emperor Valens, obtained the
name of Valentia. But this newly-established province was soon lost, and it was not
long before the Romans finally abandoned Britain. Many remains of the Roman walls
are yet to be traced. See Bruce's Roman Wall, 2d ed. 1853.

SEVIER', a co. in s.w. Arkansas, having the territorial line of the Indian territory
for its w. boundary, 750 sq.m. ; pop. '80, 6,192 6,173 of American birth, 1,103 colored.
The Little river forms its s. boundary, and it is drained by that river and its branches,
one of which is its e. border. Its surface is diversified, a large proportion cov&red with
hickory, oak, pine, and osage orange. Its soil is fertile; producing cotton, maize, sweet-
potatoes, tobacco, etc. Its mineral products are lead, limestone, and slate. Co. seat,

SEVIER', a co. in e. Tennessee, having the Great Smoky or Unaka mountains for
its s. boundary, separating it from North Carolina; 450 sq.m.: pop. '80, 15.541 15,532
of American birth, 693 colored. It is drained by the French Broad and Little Pigeon
rivers in the n., the former dividing a ridge of mountnins. The central portion sinks
into valleys and bottom lands of great beauty and fertility. In the hills are ledges of
limestone and beds of iron ore. The surface is well timbered with oak. pine, and sugar-
maple. The soil produces wheat, corn, oats, tobacco, maple sugar, and sorghum.
Large numbers of cattle are raised. Co. seat, Sevierville.

SEVIER', a large co. in Utah, adjoining Colorado, crossed by the Wahsatch moun-
tains; drained by the Sevier, Green, and Grand rivers; pop. '70, 19, none of whom
were of American birth. The surface is table land or plain. The soil is arid. Co.
seat, Richfield.

SEVIER, JOHN, 1745-1815; b. Va.. explored the Holston river, in Tennessee, in
1769; built fort "Watauga and defended it. He participated in Dunmore's expedition
with the rank of capt., and fought in the battle of Point Pleasant. In 1772 he was
delegate to a convention at Halifax, N. C. , member of the assembly, 1777; lieut.col.
In the same year, and in 1779 gained a victory at Boyd's creek, and was a leader at
King's mountain, 1780, receiving, in recognition of his services, a sword and the thanks
of the legislature of North Carolina. He took part in the battle of Muscrove's mills,
and in 1781 fought under Marion, and was made brig. gen. In 1784 governor of Ten-


ncssce, then called Franklin. Tn 1786 ho went to war with the Cherokees; governor
of the newly organized state of Tennessee, 1788-1801 and 1803-9; member of congress,
1S11-15. He died on a mission to the Creek Indians.

SEVIER, LAKE, in s.w. Utah. A considerable body of salt water in Millard co., at

an elevation of 4,600 ft. above the level of the sea; 140 sq.m.; 20 m. in length from n.

\ to s., 10 in. wide. Its position is 120 m. s.w. of Great Salt lake, with no outlet; it is des-
titute of islands; its shores have no trees and few buslies. The Sevier river, its only
tributary, empties into the n. portion. It is in Pauvan valley, a part of the Sevier
desert. It is open only on the n. side, the House range of mountains guarding the w.
border, and the Beaver creek range the eastern. Gulls and other birds which feed on
fish, frequent the mouth of the river, seeking fresh water fish which have come down
through the river, and have died from the effect of the brine. Shrimps and insect larvse
are found in the water. In 1872 the brine was found, on being analyzed, to contain 62.3

z parts in 1000 of chloride of sodium, 13.4 of sulphate of soda, 10.3 of chloride of mag-
nesium, and 0.4 of sulphate of lime. The action of the atmosphere determines its extent;
in dry weather its beaches recede; -moisture in the air has the contrary effect. The water
once occupied most of the Sevier desert, discharging into Salt lake, the channel being
still visible 50 m. n. of the present boundary between the Sevier and Salt lake deserts.
The track of the current is called the Old River bed, where the springs occur only in
intervals of 50 miles. There was a time when the waters of Great Salt and Sevier lakes
united in one large lake called Bonnerville, with outlets through Snake and Columbia
rivers. The shore lines are defined by fresh-water shells, showing that it covered Great
Salt lake, Sevier, and Escahmte deserts, and overflowed into the valleys of Utah, Juab,
Rush, Skull, Preuss, Snake, and Cedar. Its former level was 575 ft. above the level of
Sevier lake in 1872, and 968 ft. above Great Salt lake in 1873, and it was 125 m. wide.

8EVIGNE, MADAME DE, MARIE DE RABCTIN-CHANTAL, was b. at Paris, Feb. 6, 1626.
She was the only daughter of the baron de Chantal, Celse-Benigne de Rabutin, and hi
wife, Marie de Coulauge. She was left early an orphan; and atthe age of six the care
" of her education devolved on her maternal uncle, the abbe de Coulauge, an excellent and
amiable man, who most conscientiously acquitted himself of his charge, and for whom
through life his niece entertained the tenderest affection. She was carefully instructed
in all the knowledge which then appertained to the education of a French gentlewoman ;
by the eminent scholar Menage she was taught Latin, Italian, and Spanish; and M.
Chapelain, another literary notability of the time, also assisted in her culture. At the
age of 18 (Aug. 1, 1644), she was married to the marquis Henri de Sevigne, the repre-
sentative of an ancient house in Brittany. The union was not a happy one. The mar-
quis was "a man of wit and pleasure," of the type of the period; his wit he exhibited
by his happy way of squandering his wife's fortune, and he took his pleasure in neglect
of her, and addiction to other women. After a time, he was killed in a duel (Feb. 5'
1651), by a certain chevalier d'Albret, his rival in a love-affair. Left with a son and
daughter, Sevigne now for a few years retired almost wholly from society, and devoted
herself to their education. In 1654 she returned to Paris, where her beauty, her wit, her
happy social tact and vivacity, concurred, with the charm of her sweet and kindly
nature, to insure her unrivaled success in the brilliant society of the period. Her lovers
were lesion, and among them were numbered some of the most distinguished men of
whom France could then boast, as the prince de Conti, Turenne, Fouquet the superin-
tendent of finance, and others. But they sighed in vain: all offers of marriage she
steadily declined; and from any of those lighter ties, there and then most leniently
looked on if not almost considered comme ilfaut she has left no spot upon her reputa-
tion. For her virtue she must have credit as virtue, and not merely the coldness which

- simulates it; for she was obviously of a warm, eager, even somewhat impulsive nature.
Her numerous and warm friendships, with her absolute devotion to her children, may
have sufficed as food of a heart not unlikely, in lack of these, to have craved a more
perilous diet. Her affection for her daughter in particular, who in 1669 became Madame
de Grignan, was the ruling passion of her life; and to the separation of the mother, over
long periods, from "this infinitely dear child," the world is indebted for by much the

i larger moiety of the collection of letters which has given fame in perpetuity to Madame
de Sevigne. Madame de Grignan was one of the most beautiful and accomplished
women of her time, and every way worthy of th love thus lavished without stint upon
her. If she did not reciprocate its full fervor, that, as the shrewd mother well knew, was
imply in the nature of the case; and not to have demonstrated in return more rapture
than she really felt, ought to count as a point in her favor, rather than reverse-wise as it
has been held to do. If it was the one main grief of Madame de Sevigne to be forced to
live apart from her daughter, the happiness of dying beside her may perhaps
have a little consoled her for it. In 1696, while on a visit to the chateau de Grig-
nan, she was seized with malignant small-pox, and died at the age of 70.

The letters of Madame de Sevigne, on which her fame securely rests, arc charming
in the abandon and easy naive frankness with which they reveal her beautiful nature.
They sparkle with French esprit and spontaneous gaiety of heart; and their writer is
scarce anywhere quite equaled in the delicate./mme with which, in a few careless rapid
words, she flings off a scrap of light narrative, dashes in a little graceful picture, or

Seville. A 7 A


points a dramatic situation. Above all remarkable is the lightly-moved and ever-active
sympathy which keeps her exquisitely en rapport with the interest of whatever may be
passing before her.

SEVILLE, a province of Spain, included under the division of Andalusia; bordering
on the Atlantic to the s. and s.w.; bounded n. by Estremudura, and w. by Portugal;
5,295 sq.rn. ; pop. '70, 515.011. The greater part of the surface is a plain, through which
the Guadalquivir river flows. In the n. are the Morena mountains; the s. is hilly. Most
of the laud is highly fertile; corn, grapes, olives, wheat, and maize are raised in large
quantities. The province was once occupied by the Moors, and their ruined walls and
( utles are still to be seen. Besides the capital Seville, Carmona and Ecija are the chief

SEVILLE' (Span. Semlla, the Hispalis of the Romans), a famous city of Spain, for-
merly capital of the ancient kingdom, and now of the modern province of the same name,
stands on the left bank of the Guadalquivir, 94 m. by railway n.n.e. of Cadiz. The city
is almost circular in shape, is surrounded by Moorish walls, surmounted with 66 (for-
merly 166) towers, and pierced with 15 gates, and is 5 m., or including its 10 suburbs,
10 m. in circumference. Held by the Moors for five centuries, and entirely rebuilt by
them from the materials of former Roman edifices, Seville was long a purely Moorish
city, and the old Moorish houses, which age, in this dry climate, has done little to
destroy, are still the best houses to be seen. Half of the city still preserves its ancient
character; but changes are taking place every year. The narrow tortuous streets that
kept out the sun, with their wide spacious mansions, with ample courts and gardens,
BO perfectly suited to the climate, are giving way to spacious straight streets of small,
hot houses, open to the blaze of noon. The cathedral, one of the largest and finest in
Spain, is an imposing edifice, of which the solemn and grandiose are the distinctive quali-
ties. It was completed in 1519, is 431 ft. long, 315 ft. wide, has 7 aisles, and an organ
with 5,400 pipes. The pavement is in black and white checkered marble. The cathe-
dral is suberbly decorated. Its painted windows are among the finest in Spain, and
it contains paintings by Murillo, Vargas, the Herreras, etc. Attached to the cathedral
is one of the most remarkable towers in the world. It is called the Giralda (i.e. a weather-
cock in the form a statue),' and is in all 350 ft. high. This Moorish tow r er was built in
1196, and was originally only 250 ft. high, the additional 100 ft. being the rich filigree
belfry added in 1568. The pinnacle is crowned by a female figure in bronze, 14 ft.
^ Light, and 2,800 Ibs. in weight, and which veers about with the slightest breeze. From
this great tower the mveddin (q.v.) of Mohammedan days called the faithful to prayers.
The royal residence, the Alcazar (Al-Kasr, house of Caesar), contains several noble halls,
and much delicate ornamentation, that rivals that of the Alhambra. Tlie house in which
Murillo lived and died is still to be seen here. The finest pictures in Seville are to be
Been in the cathedral, the caridad, the museo, and the university. Seville contains 74
churches; but prior to the suppression of monasteries it contained 140. Besides the
university (of four faculties), there are many educational institutions. The city contains
upward of 100 squares. The fabrica de tabacos, where tobacco is made into snuff
and cigars, employs several thousand hands, mostly females. The Plaza de Toros can
accommodate upward of 12,000 spectators. There is regular communication with Cadiz
by river and rail. There are here several royal foundries and factories for arms, and
porcelain and iron and machine works. Weaving, soap-making, and other branches of
manufacture are carried on. Pop. about 118.000.

The Hispal of the Phenicians, the Hispalis of the Romans, was corrupted by the
Moors into Ishbilliah, of which it is supposed the modern name is a modification. It
was a place of great importance in the leter period of Roman dominion; became the
capital of southern Spain during the ascendency of the Vandals and the Goths, when it
was the scene of two notable church councils (590 A.D. and 619 A.D.); and fell into the
hands of the Moors in the 8th c., under whom it rapidly rose to a spendid prosperity,
and reckoned 400,000 inhabitants. In 1026 it became the capital of the Moorish king-
dom ruled by the Abadides, from whom it passed, in 1091, to the Almoiavides, and in
1147 to the Almohades. In 1248 it was taken by Ferdinand III. of Castile, when 300,-
000 Moors left for Grenada and Africa; and from 'this time to the removal of the court to
Valladolid, in the reign of Charles V., Seville was the capital of Spain. The city rose
to its climax of prosperity after the discovery of the new world, when it became the
residence of princely merchants, and the mart of the colonies, but ils trade was after-
ward transferred to Cadiz. In 1810 it was taken and ravaged by Soult. It capitulated
to Esparfero in 1843.

SEVRES, a small t. of France, in the dcp. of Fcine-rt-Oisc. 6 m s.w. of Ff.ris, on the
Paris and Versailles railway. It is celebrated for its manufacture of porcelain wares,
which are unsurpassed for elegance of design and beauty of painting. Painted glass is
also manufactured. The porcelain museum, which was destroyed during the war of
1870, contained a large and curious collection of articles in china and earthenware from
all parts of the globe. Pop. '76, 6,512.

SEVRES, DEUX-, an inland dep. in the w. of France, between the dops. Vienne on
the e. and Vendee on the west. Area, 2,315 sq.m. ; pop. '76, 336.655. The dep. takes
its name from two rivers of the same name, the Sevre-Niortaise, which flows w. into the

m Seville.


sea, and f!ie Sovrc-Nantaise, an affluent of the Loire. It is traversed from s.e. to n.w.
by a chain ofhills, culled in the s.e. the Monts du Poitou, and in the n., the Plateau de
Gatinc. This ridge forms the water-shed between the Loire on the n. and the Charente
on the south. The climate is generally healthy, and the soil, two-thirds of which is
arable, is very fertile. There are numerous iron mines, and good quarries of freestone
and marble. The arrondissements are ISiort, Bressuire, Melle, and Partheuay. Niort
is the capital.

SEWAGE. It is of the first importance to health for houses, both in the town and
r.\ the country, that all tilth should be removed from them as speedily as possible, and
disposed of in such a manner a* to cease to be injurious lo mankind. It may be taken
as a pretty safe general guide, that all mailers which give off a disagreeable small are
dangerous if allowed to remain near our dwellings; nature thus giving us warning of
the presence of something that may do us harm. Many people have thought that if,
by using certain deodorizing materials, they could either fix this effluvium permanently
or for a time, they had surmounted the difficulty; but this is scarcely half a cure, and a
palliative like this is much less advisable that a radical measure of removing the filth by
suspension in water, and rendering of it not only innocuous, but beneficial, by incor-
porating it with the great deodorizer living vegetation. It seems as if nature had
planned all this for us, it' we will only follow her teaching. During the' first two or
three days after sewage is deposited in water, the smell is unpleasant, but not dangerous
to mankind; after that, putrefaction begins, and the gases given off become deleterious.
Here, then, is time for removal, aud a punishment for neglect. Fevers, gangrene,
ophthalmia, and many other diseases, especially among children, are certain to break out
and become malignant if the emanations from such tilth exist in the air around human.
habitations. Until within the last 50 years, privy-pits and cesspools prevailed every where.
In the country the former were generally placed in the garden attached to the house,
and at some distance off, so that there was not much danger attached to them. In thy
towns cesspools existed among the houses, but they were very objectionable and danger-
ous, and constantly neglected. These cesspools were large underground tanks built i:i
brickwork, into which all the sewage from the house was discharged. In them the filth,
accumulated and putrified until it was periodically removed by manual labor. They
acted like an immense brewing vessel sending up deadly vapors which had no escap3,
except back into the house among the inhabitants. The cesspools also frequently leaked, .
and so if any wells were near poisoned the water. When Bramah invented the water-
closet, and a larger supply of water had to be found for towns, the cesspools began to j
overflow at such a rate that a general revision of the whole system became necessary,
and at the same time medical men insisted upon the continuous aud perfect removal
of filth as the only reliable sanitary process of dealing with the matter. A return to tha
use of cesspools in any form would therefore be a step in the wrong direction, aad
would lead to disastrous results.

We may divide the subject as follows: 1. The management of the sewage of cottages;
2. Dwelling-houses and public buildings in the country; 3. Towns; and 4. The utilization
of sewage.

1. Gottages. It is obvious that in the case of single detached cottages expensive
arrangements such as those necessary for water-closets could not be provided, and some
simpler plan must be followed.

It is very objectionable to allow either cesspool or privy-pit, if they can be avoided,
as they are constantly neglected, and overflow into some stream, or poison the wells and
the air. The privy should be placed, wherever that can be managed, on the n. or e.
side, and to the rear of the house, so as not to be between the people and the sun and
softest winds. The whole sewage-matter should be received in a square galvanized iron
pail underneath a seat, which pail can ba removed from the outside, and into which a,
small quantity of house-ashes should be placed, either daily, or as often as the closet is
used. This will quite fix the ammonia. The iron pail must be removed by the cot-
tagers at least once a week, and emptied into their garden. No danger can possibly
arise from this, if strictly followed, and all the sewage-matter is placed to its best pur-
pose. There has not been found any dilh'culty in introducing this system among cot-

2. Dwelling-houses and Public, Buildings in the Country. It would be useless to dis-
cuss a dry-earth system like what has been mentioned anywhere but for outhouses
attached to cottages; the general feelings of the inhabitants would not tolerate it. We
must therefore accept the water-closet as the system universally adopted. In planning
the position of water-closets for a house, the first thing to be "thought of is, that they
shall be if possible on the n. or cool side of the house, and upon exterior walls. If they

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 87 of 203)