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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instrument, and silvered on the lower half only, the upper
half being transparent; E is an eyelet-hole or small tele-
scope. The graduation runs from N to M (on a slip of sil-
ver, platinum, or gold let into the rim), and is so adjusted
that when the movable limb is drawn toward N till the
mirrors A and B are parallel, the index, which is carried at
the foot of the movable limb is opposite zero on the grad-
uation. If we suppose that this zero-point is at N, it, is evi-
dent that the angle between the mirrors is equal to the
angle NAI; and again, if instead of graduating from at
N to 60 at M, which is the proper graduation for the sixth
part of a circle, the graduation be made from to 120,
that is. each half-degree being marked as a degree, and
similarly of its aliquot parts, then the angle NAT, reml
off by the index at I, will show at once the angle between
the incident and finally reflected rays. The mode of using the 'sextant consists in plac-
ing th" eye to the telescope or eyelet hole, and observing one object directly through tiie
unsilvered part of B, and then moving the index till the image
of the other object, reflected from A upon the silvered part of
B. coincides with, or is opposite to the first object, then the
angle, read off at I, gives the angle between the .objects. For
additional accuracy, a vernier is attached to the foot of the
movable limb.

The sextant is capable of very general application, but its
chief use H on board ship to observe the altitude of the sun,
the lunar distances, etc., in order to determine the latitude and
longitude. For this purpose it is necessary to have stained
glasses interposed between the mirrors A and B, to reduce the
sun's brightness. Those glasses (generally three in number) are
hinged on the side AM. so that they may be interposed or not at
pleasure. B is the glass through which the horizon is perceived, and has hence
received the name of the fwrizon-n/tian; while the other mirror, from its being attached
to the index-limb, is called the index-glass.

The sextant is liable to three chief errors of adjustment; 1 if the index-glass be not

FIG. 1.

OO*7 Sextant.

00 Seychelles.

perpendicular to the plane of the instrument; 2 r if the horizon-class be not perpendicular
to tne plane of the instrument; and 3" if, vvlien the mirror*- are parallel (which is the
when a very distant body, such as the sun or moon, is observed directly through B. and
found to coincide with its image in the lower part of B), the index does not point accu-
rately to 0"; this last is called the index-error, and is either allowed for, or is remedied
by means of- a screw, which moves the index in the limb Al, the latter being stationary .
The first two errors arc also frequently remedied by means of >crews working againM a,
spring, but in the best instruments the maker himself fixes the gla.-ses in tneir proper
position. The qmulrunt differs from the sextant only in having its arc the fourth part
of a circle, and being consequently graduated from 0" to lbO L ; the wtuiit contains 4.V
and is graduated from 0' to Co; while the repeatiitg-circ'e, which is a complete circle, i.s
graduated from (T to 720. A common form of the sextant is the " snuff-box" sextant,
which is circular in shape, and as it can be conveniently carried in the pocket, is tho
fo:',n most frequently used by land-surveyors.

The iden of a reflecting instrument, on the principle of the sextant, was first given
by flooke about 1600; but the first instrument deserving the name was invented by .John
Iladley (q.v.) early in the summer of 1?:H). and a second, and much improved form of it.
was made by him a short afterward, llalley, at a meeting of the royal society, claimed
for Newton the priority of invention; and in Oct., 1730, a Philadelphia!!, named God-
frey, also asserted his claim a- the original inventor, but that learned body decided that
Newton's claim was unsupported by even probable evidence, and that Iladley 's and
Godfrey's inventions were both original, but that the second form (which is almost the
the same as the common sextant uowemployed) of ll-.idley's instrument was far superior
to his first form and to Godfrey's.

SEXTON (corrupted from SACRISTAN, q.v.), is a parochial officer in England, whose
du'y is to take care of the things belonging to divine worship. He is usually chosen by
the inhabitants, but often also by the minister or the churchwardens, the mode of
appointment being regulated by the custom of each parish. He sometimes also holds the
oltice of parish-dork. Women have occasionally been appointed sextons, this being one
of the offices which women may fill, and they also have a vote in elections. The oHice
is a freehold office for life, except in the new parishes under church-building acts; the
duty is to keep the church clean, swept, and adorned; to open the pews; to make and
till up the graves; to prevent any disturbance in church. The salary is paid by the
churchwardens, and as to amount depends on custom. In Scotland the beadle performs
similar duties, and is appointed by the heritors.

SEXTUPLE!, in music. When a note is divided into six parts instead of the usual
division into tour as, for instance, a minim into six quavers, or a crotchet in'o six
semiquavers the group is called a sextuplet. and the figure 6 is generally placed above
it. The proper sextuplet is composed of throe groups, 'of two notes each, being, in fact, a

r~y~ ~ 0<r~ i

triplet (q.v.), with each of its notes subdivided into two: Fim tr ^ -* - - *-3.

- ^___ ^_

But a group composed of two successive triplets is sometimes, though not very cor-
rectly, al&o called a sextuplet and written as such, though it is more correct to divide it

into its component two triplets thus: H

SEXTUS EMPIR'ICUS, lived in the first half of the 3d c., and connected himself
with the school of the Empirics. He was a pupil of Herodotus of Tarsus who was
probably contemporary with Galen. Nothing is known concerning his life, except th: t
he was a physician, and of the school of the Empirics; out in his writings his philo-
sophical opinions arc sufficiently clear. His fi.^t work, Ihe celebrated Pi/rrJn>niii:i
Imaginations, is a repository of the doctrines of tue skeptics, hi-; second, in 11 books,
attempts to lefute every item of positive knowledge man lias ever acquired. Loth
works combined furnish the best account extant of ancient skeptical thought and its meth-
ods of assailing all manner of opinions. Though occasionally sinking into mere dispute
about words, Sextus srcnerally hunts down with sharp and persevering pursuit every
idea, real or supposed, and subjects it to skeptical distillations. Skepticism, he says, is
the disposition to doubt of everything beyond mere phenomena, and he adheres rigidly
to his definition. It surpiises thinking men to find that the same problems which. 16
centuries ago, perplexed philosophers, are still tasking the brains and exciting the feel-
ings of their successors, at the present day, and that essentially there is no new skepti-
cism under the sun.

SEYCHELLES COCOA-NUT, or DOUBLE COCOA-XUT, Lodoicea teyrlifUarnm. a palm, of
which the fruit has some resemblance to a cocoa-nut, although it belongs to a different
tribe of palms, being allied to the Palmyra palm. It is found only in the Seychelles
islands; and the fruit, wafted by the winds to the shores of the 'Maldivfe islands, or
found floating in the Indian ocean, was long the subject of many ridiculous fables, and
it etill an object of interest and curiosity, and as such one of the minor articles of coin-

Seychelles. O Q Q


merce. The tree grows to the height of 50 or 60 ft., with a tuft of immense leave*.
The wood and the leaves are used for a variety of purposes, like those of other palms.
The " cabbage" or terminal bud is eaten. The fruit is often a foot or a foot and a half
Jong, in shape like a melon, its outer husk green, the interior near the base divided into
two parts, at first filled with a white sweet jelly, which changes into n whitv horny ker-
nel. The shells are used 1'or making vessels of various kinds, often bcautilully carved
and ornamented.

SEYCHELLES ISLANDS, situated nearly in the center of the Indirn orcan, between
3 40'-5 J 35' s. lat. , and 55 15'-56 O'e. long., a group of more titan 5>u i>!es, resting on
an extensive bank of sand and coral, and forming the rnoet importaiH of the dependen-
cies to the colony of Mauritius. The principal are Mahe, Pntslin, Silhouette, La Digne,
Curieuse, St. Anne, Aux Cerfs, Fregate, Marianne, Longue, and Du ud Est. Malic,
the most considerable and populous of the group, and the t*ent of government, is 18 m.
long, and from 3 to 5 broad. The islands are mountainous, often rising abruptly from
the sea, and are clothed with the most luxuriant verdure: one of tlie peaks, nnmed
mont Blanc, in Mahe, attains an altitude of 3,0(0 feet. The priiicipi.l port is Victoria,
on the n.e. side of the island of Mahe, the houses of which used to be i-.uilt chiefly of
wood; but now coral is universally employed. Coral is growing very rapidly :.ll round
this group of islands. At fort Victoria, where the soundings \\ere recently given at 7
fathoms, the coral has piled itself up to within 2 fathoms of the surface. In tht neigh-
borhood of fort Victoria there is a beautiful church built of coral. Many improvements
have been made also in others of these small islands.

The Seychelles islands were known to the early Portuguese navigators, who bestowed
on them the titles of isles de Mascarenhas; subsequently the French renamed them iles
la Bourdonnais, and finally changed their appellation in honor of the count Herault de
Seychelles. They were first settled by the French in 1756. who commenced the cultiva-
tion of spices, under circumstances so favorable as to induce a belief in a lucrative com-
petition with the more easterly colonies of the Dutch. The immunity of the Seychelles
islands from the hurricanes which periodically visit the neighboring seas rendered them
peculiarly suited for this puipose, which, however, received a severe blow by the sui-
cidal destruction of the spice-plants by the French occupants, to prevent their falling
into the hands of the English in 1778. The cultivation is now checked by insufficiency
of labor. On the cession of Mauritius the Seychelles islands were finally taken posses-
sion of by Great Britain. The islands produce a large quantity of timber suitable for
ghip-building purposes; and the Seychelles cocoa-nut, which is indigenous only in the
Seychelles islands, and the nuts, leaves, etc., of which are applied to a great variety of
domestic purposes by the natives. Sugar is cultivated to a small extent. CM ton
flourishes here, but its cultivation has declined since the abolition of slavery. The
chocolate plant and vanilla are grown, and tortoise-shell is among the articles of com-

The population of the Seychelles islands, as taken at the last census (1871). was
11.082 souls, many of whom are employed in the ship-building yards and factories. See
sir Edward Belcher's Account of Vie Seychelles; Voyage of II. M. IS. Letcn and Barracouta,
by capt. Owen, R.N.

SEYFFARTH, GITSTAV, D.D., PH.D., t> Uebigau, Saxony, 1796; studied at Leipsic
university, vhere he was professor extraordinary of archaeology, 1825-55. Enii<:r:itiiig
to America, he was professor in a Lutheran seminary in St. Louis, Mo., 1855-71. In
1857 he published at New York a Summary of Recent Discorerie* in Biblical Chronology,
Unirerxal History, and Egyptian Archaeology, in English and German. His works in
German and Latin are very numerous.

SEYMOUB, FAMILY OF. This family, whose history is largeiy interwoven with that
r.f England, was originally settled at St. Maur whence its name in Normandy.
Coming over to England, the Seymours obtained lands in Monmouthshire as early as
the beginning of the 13th century. They acquired estates at Hatch Beauchamp, Somer-
setshire, by marrying an heiress of the Beaucbamps early in the 15th century. In 1497
we find the head of the family, sir John Seymour, employed in suppressing the insur-
rection of lord Audley and the Cornish rebels, and subsequently accompanying king
Henry VIII. to his wars in France, and to the field of the cloth of gold. Of the issue
of this worthy knight one daughter became the wife of Henry VIII. , and n. other of
Edward VI. ; one son. ThomaX created lord Seymour of Sudeley, became lord high
admiral of England, and the second husband of Henry's widow (Catherine Parr), and
ended his life on the scaffold, being attainted of high treason. Sir John's eldest son.
Edward, who held many high positions in the court of Henry, was created lord Sey-
mour of Hache, and duke of Somerset in 1546-47. He hud been sent into France by
Henry to settle the disputed question of the border of the English possessions there, and
secured the confidence of the king so far Hiat he was left by him one of his executors
and one of the council of tne young prince Edward. He was subsequently made lord
high treasurer, and eventually "protector and governor of the King nnd his realms."
(See EDWARD VI.) His subsequent fall, after a two years' tenure of his nil but regal
power by the influence of Dudley, earl of Warwick, nnd duke of Northumberland, was
followed by an attainder of his honors, which was not reversed for more thai, a century.


'The eldest son of the protector by his second marriage, being created By Elizabeth earl
of Hertford, married the lady Cuthariue Grey, a grand-niece of Henry VIII.. sister of
the unfortunate lady Jane Grey a marriage which entailed on him a long Imprisonment
and a heavy fine. His grandson, who succeeded him in the earldom of Hertford, was
iil^o sent to prison in the tower of London for marrying the lady Arabella Stuart, cousin
of James I. of England; but subsequently, playing a conspicuous part iu the royal cause
i:i the civil wars, obtained in his own favor a reversal of his ancestor's attainder (see
above), and iu 1060 took his seat in the house of peers as second duke of Somerset,
nit ho ugh the descendants of the first duke, by his first marriage, were then in existence.
Ho died in 1075, and his dueal title passed to a cousin, on whose death it was inherited
by Charles Seymour, known in history as the "proud duke of Somerset," a nobleman,
whose style of living was ostentatious and haughty iti the extreme, and who filled several
high posts in the courts of Charles II., William III., and Anne. He married the heiress
of the Percies, by whom he had a son, Algernon, 7th duke, who was created earl of
Northumberland, with remainder to his son-in-law, sir Hugh Smithson, the ancestor of
the present Percy Hue. On the death of this duke a curious peerage case arose, the title
being claimed by the descendants of the first duke by his first marriage, on the failure
of the younger branch; and the attorney -general having reported in favor of the claim,
sir Edward Seymour took his seat in the house of peers as 8th duke. From him the
present holder of the title is third in direct descent.

SEYMOUR, GEORGE Fox, D.D., b. New York, 1829; graduated at Columbia college,
1850, and at the general theological seminary, Protestant Episcopal, 1854; was a mis-
sionary at Dobbs' Ferry for several years; principal of St. Stephen's college, Annandale,
1830; p;istor of St. John's church, Brooklyn, 1863; elected professor of church history
in the general theological seminary; chosen bishop of Illinois in 1874. but failed of con-
firmation by the general convention; was chosen dean of the seminary in 1875, and
bishop of Springfield, 111., in 1878.

SEYMOUR, HOHATIO, LL.D., b. N. Y., 1810; received an academic education, studied
la-.v, but did not practice. He devoted himself after 1833 to the settlement of the pater-
nal estate; and in 1811 went to the state assembly, to which he was re-elected three
-iines, being speaker in 1845. In 1853 he was elected governor of the state and ag iia
in 183'3, and was earnest in employing his power and influence for the prosecution of
the war for the union, ami especially in suppressing the draft riots in 1863. In 138~3 ho
received the nomination of the democratic party for the presidency, with gen. Francis
P. Blair, jr., as viee president. Tne ticket was defeated by Grant and Colt'ax. Mr.
Seymour has sinee remained iu retirement 0:1 his farm at, Dcerfield, N. Y., near Utica,
although his name was prominently considered for the democratic nomination for presi-
dent, in 1880. He has been president of the national dairymen's association, and of the
prison association of the United States; has devoted much attention to agricultural
questions, and frequently delivered addresses before agricultural bodies. His reputa-
tion is that of a profound statesman and astute politician.

SEYMOUR, THOMAS HAUT, 1803-63; b. Conn.; .studied at the military academy,
Midclletown, Conn. ; practiced law, and was made judge of probate. In 1837 he edited
the Jeffersonian, a democratic newspaper; in 1843 was a member of congress; and on
the breaking out of the Mexican war, volunteered and rose to be maj., and colonel. In
1850-53 he was governor of Connecticut; and 1853-57 minister to Russia. During the
war of the rebellion he was with the south in sympathy, but took no active part.

SEYMOUR. TKUMAN, b. Vt., 1824; graduated at West Point, and served through
the Florida and Mexican wars. He was under maj. Anderson at fort Sumter in 1861;
afterward commanded a brigade under Meade, led a division at the assault on fort Wag-
ner in 1863, commanded an exp"dition to Florida in 1864, and a division of the 6th corps
in the Richmond campaign. He was brevetted maj. gen. in the U. S. army.

SEYHE, LA, a small but rapidly increasing seaport of France, on the shore of the
Mediterranean, in the department of Var, 3 m. s.w. of Toulon. Fishing and navigation
are the chief employments. Pop. '76, 8,152.

8E'ZZE,or SKZZA, a city of southern Italy, in the province of Rome, with 6,600 inhabi-
tants. It is a v\;ry ancient city, an 1 still preserves some remains of a triple wall of
Cyclopean architecture, which surrounded the rock on which it stands.

SFORZA. a celebrated Italian family, which played a most important part in the
affair-; of Italy during the loth and 16th centuries, swayed the destinies of northern
Italy for many years, and allied itself with the first sovereign houses in Europe. Its
founder was a peasant of Cotignola, in the Romagna, by name Ginrnmo, or Mxz/'o
(sometimes combined by historians into Gfacomiiszo) Altendolo (born 1369), who deserted
his trade of wood-cutting to become a " condottiere," and by his intelligence and cour-
age rose to a hi^h position in the bund to which he belonged Count Albcrigo de Bar-
biano, the founder of Italian " condotticrism," bestowed upon him, on account of his
prowess, the name of SFOKZA (Ital. " the forcer"); and such was his reputation among
his comrades, that he speedily found himself the independent leader of a band of con-
dottieri. and offered his services to the king of Naples. Queen Joanna II. made him con-
stable of that kingdom, and in exercise of his office, he chased away the Aragoucse, and


others, who attempted to deprive her of her dominions; but dying soon after (Jan. 4,
1434), he left his devoted followers to the chieftainship of his natural son, FRANCESCO
SFORZA, then 23 years of age, who was as brave and enterprising as himself. Fran-
cesco, as was the custom of the time, sold his sword to the highest bidder, and without
the slightest scruple fought for or against the pope. Milan, Venice, and Florence. He
invented an improved system of tactics, and it soon came to be taken for granted that
victory was certain for the party which he supported. It was thus no great act of con-
descension in the duke of Milan, the haughty Viscouti, to confer upon him the hand of
his daughter Bianca, with Cremona and Pontremoli as a dowry, and the promise of suc-
ceeding to the duchy itself. Meantime, Sforza took the inarch of Ancona from the p6pe
(1434), added to it Pesaro (1443), and by a judicious combination of force and stratagem,
obtained his elevation to the dukedom of Milan (Feb. 26, 1450), after tLe decease of his
father-in-law. He solidly established his authority over all Lombaidy, and several dis-
tricts s. of the Po; acquired the esteem of Louis XL. who gave up to him Savona and
Genoa; and after gaining the universal love of his subjects, died Mar. S, 1466. Though
uninstructed, he possessed considerable eloquence, and loved and protected letters. The
successors to his power possessed few or none of his distinguished talents. His son,
GALEAZZO MAUIA SFORZA (1466-76) was a true tyrant, gloating over the torments of his
victims, and a monster of debauchery, prodigality, and ferocity, without a single redeem-
ing feature in his character. He was assassinated (Dec. 26) at the porch of the cathedral
of Milan. His son GIOVANNI GAL.EAZZO SFORZA (1476-94) succeeded under the regency
of his mother, Bona of Savoy, who held the reins of government with a firm hand. But
she was forced to give up (1480) her able coadjutor, Simonetta, to the vengeance of her
brother-in-law, Lodovico Maria, surnamed "the Moor," from his dark complexion; and
three days after Simonetta's execution, the ambitious Lodovico banished herself, and
assumed the regency. Finding the young duke in his way, Lodovico put him and his
wife, Isabella of Calabria, in prison, and was immediately threatened with attack by
the king of Naples, a danger which he attempted to ward off by giving his daughter,
Bianca, with a dowry of 400,000 ducats, to the emperor Maximilian L, and by sin-ring
up Charles VIII. of France to assert his claims to Naples. Soon afterward, duke Gio-
vanno Galeazzo died, poisoned as some believe, by his uncle, Oct. 20, 1494. LCDOVICO
MARIA (1494-1500) obtained his investiture as duke, and becoming alarmed at the
rapid progress of the French in Italy, he joined the league against them, and was
rewarded for his perfidy by being drivea from his duchy, which was seized by the troops
of Louis XII. (1499). The following year he made an ineffectual attempt to regain pos-
session, was made prisoner, and carried to France, where he died in 1508. He possessed
great talents, combined unfortunately with a low morality, which led him to value
astuteness more than everything else; but his encouragement of letters and of the fine
arts will preserve his name to posterity. His eldest son, MASSIMILIANO SFORZA (1512-
15), regained the duchy of Milan after the reverses suffered by Louis XII., and with the
aid of the Swiss steadily repulsed the various energetic attempts of the French to recover
it; but after the battle of Marignan (1515), he abandoned his risrhts to the French for a
pension of 30,000 ducats, glad to be free from the insolence and exactions of his allies,
and the attacks of his enemies. ' His brother FRANCESCO MARIA SFORZA succeeded
nominally to the Milanese after the battle of Pavia, but he was a mere puppet in the
hands of Charles V.. and on his death, Oct. 24, 1535. and the extinction of the main
line of the house of Sforza, the duchy was quietly swallowed up by Austria. Tin; lords
of Pesaro (extinct in 1515), the counts of Santa-flora in Tuscany, still existing, and the
dukes of Sforza-Cesarini, descend from collateral branches of the family.

SFORZA TO (Ital. forced), in music, often contracted f, a term used to indicate
that the note over or under which it is placed is to be played with strength and emphasis.
A higher degree of emphasis is indicated by sff, or tforzalo a**ai.

SGRAVESAN'DE, WILLEM JAKOB VAN, 1688-1742; b. Holland; educated nt Ley-
den and Leipsic. In 1717 he was appointed professor of astronomy and matlu-matics,
and in 1734 professor of philosophy, at the university of Leyden. His chief works are
Physices Elementa Jfafhematiea (1720); and Pfalowphue Neictonia no& Inntitutinnes (1723).

SHACKLEFORD, a co. in n.w. central Texas; drained by branches of Brazos river;
870 sq.m. ; pop. '80, 2.0371932 of American birth; 256 colored. The surface Is
mostly prairie land and adapted for grazing. Cattle are exported. Go seat, Albany.

SHAD. Alan MI or Alom. a genus of fishes of the family dupcidtf, differing from chipca
(the herring, etc.) in having the upper jaw deeply notched. The teeth are very small,
on the jaws only, and often wanting, at least in the adult fish. The species arc nu-
merous, inhabiting the sea, but some of them ascending rivers like the salmon, and spawn

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 90 of 203)