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Universal pronouncing dictionary of biography and mythology (Volume 2) online

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tronized by the emperor Charles V. He was one
of the chief champions of the Reformation in Spain,
and perished at the stake, by order of the Inquisition,
in 1559.

See PRESCOTT, " History of Philip II.," vol. i. book ii.

Se-sos'tria, [Gr. Sfouorpif,] written also Sesoosla,
a celebrated king of Egypt, also called Rameses, is
supposed to have reigned about 1400 or 1350 B.C. He
was a powerful and warlike monarch. According to
tradition, he conquered Ethiopia, Thrace, and several
countries of Southern Asia. He also made canals in
Egypt, built a great wall from Pelusium to Heliopolis,
and erected several obelisks and temples.

The story of Sesostris comes to us through the Greeks,
and not from Egyptian sources; but there is little doubt
that Rameses II., the Great, is the real Sesoslris.

0<: , e .l KROD ?'l' s , "History;" BUNSEN, "Egypt's Place in Uni-
versal History: "Biographic Universelle."

Sessa, s?s'sl, an Indian mathematician, to whom is
attributed the invention of the game of chess, is sup-
posed to have lived in the eleventh century.

Sessi, ses'see, (ANNA MARIA,) an Italian vocalist,
born at Rome in 1793. She performed with success at
Vienna and other cities of Germany, and assumed, after
her marriage, the name of Neumann-Sessi. Her sister
IMPERATRICE, born at Rome in 1783, also acquired a
high reputation as a vocalist. Died in 1808.

Sestini, s?s-tee'nee, (DoMENiCO,) an eminent Italian
antiquary and traveller, born at Florence about 1750.
Having successively visited Constantinople, the Levant,
Germany, and France, he was appointed in 1814 honor-
ary professor in the University of Pisa. Among big
works on numismatics, which are ranked among the
most valuable of their kind, we may name his "System
of Numismatics," (" Sistema Numismatico," 14 vols.
fol.,) "General Classes of Numismatic Geography, or
Coins of the Cities, Nations, and Kings, in Geographical
Order," (" Classes generales Geographiae Numismaticae,
seu Monetae Urbium, Populorum et Regum, Ordine
Geographico," etc., 1797,) and "Numismatic Letters and
Dissertations," (9 vols., 1813.) He also published a
"Journey from Constantinople to Bucharest," (1794,) a
" Scientific and Antiquarian Voyage through Wallachia,
Transylvania, and Hungary to Vienna," (1815,) and
other works of travels. Sestini was a member of various
learned societies in Europe. Died in 1832.

Seeto, da, dases'to, (CESARE,) an able Italian painter,
called also Cesare Milanese, born at Milan, was a
pupil of Leonardo da Vinci, whom he imitated with
success. Died about 1524.

Set, or Seth, an old Egyptian god, the son or brother
of Osiris, and his mortal enemy and vanquisher. He
was the god of evil, or of night. He was finally cast
out of theabode of the gods by the younger Horus. The
later Egyptians abhorred Set and refused to worship
him, assigning him to the abode of the lost spirits.

Seth, (ANDREW,) a Scottish educator, born at
Edinburgh in 1856. He was educated in German
universities, and subsequently held professorships of
logic and philosophy at Cardiff, St. Andrew's, and
Edinburgh. He wrote several works on philosophy,
also " Man's Place in the Cosmos," (1897,) etc.

Sethos, a name of SESOSTRIS, which see.

Se'thos, King of Egypt, was son of Rameses, and
the father of Rameses the Great, (Sesostris.) He is sup-
posed to have reigned about 1425 B.C., and is said to
have gained victories over several neighbouring nations.
He adorned Egypt with fine monuments, temples, etc.

Settala, sSt-ta'la, [Lat. SF.PTA'LIUS,] (LoDovico,) an
Italian physician, born at Milan about 1550. He pub-
lished several medical works, and was professor at
Milan. Died in 1633. His son MANFREDI, born in
1600, was distinguished for learning and inventive talent
as a mechanician. Died at Milan in 1680.

Settimo, set'te-mo, (RucciERO,) an Italian patriot,
born at Palermo in 1778, inherited a large estate. He
served in the navy, and gained the rank of admiral. He
was one of the chief agents of the revolutionary move-
ment which in 1820 extorted some reforms from the
king. In 1848 he became the chief of the Sicilian in-
surgents, and organized a provisional government. He
was chosen president by the new parliament, which gave
him royal power to appoint ministers, etc. He was very
popular, and was saluted as the father of his country.
On the restoration of the king, Ferdinand II., he retired
to Malta. Died in 1863.

Settle, set't'l, (ELKANAH,) an English dramatic poet,
born at Dunstable in 1648, is noted for having beep
for a time the successful rival of Dryden. Under the
patronage of Wilmot, Earl of Rochester, the enemy of
Dryden, he brought out his tragedies of "Cambyses"
and the " Empress of Morocco," which, though pos-
sessing little merit, were received with great applause.
He was afterwards engaged in a controversy with Dry-
den, who satirized him under the name of " Doeg" in his
"Absalom and Achitophel." He was also introduced
into Pope's "Dunciad." He died in poverty in 1723.

a. e, T, 6, ii, y, long; a, e, 6, same, less prolonged; a, e, I, 6, ii, y, short; a, e, j, 9, obscure; fir, fill, fat; mSt; not; good; m<5on;




Seume, soi'meh or zoi'meh, (JoHANN GOTTFRIED,)
& German poet and miscellaneous writer, born in 1763.
He travelled extensively on foot. Among his works is
"Obolen," (2 vols., 1797.) Died in 1810.

See his Autobiography, " Mem Leben," 1813 : H. DOKING,
" Lebensumrisse von Carl August von Sachsen- Weimar, von Moe-
ser, Falk, Seume," etc., 1840 ; " Nouvelle Biographic Ge^raJe."

Seun-King. See SiUN-KiNG.

Seurre, SUR, (BERNARD GABRIEL,) a French sculptor,
born in Paris in 1795. He gained the grand prize of
Rome in 1818, and was admitted into the Institute in
1852. Among his works is a statue of Napoleon I. for
the Colonne Vendome. Died October 6, 1867.

Seurre, (CHARLES MARIE EMILE,) a sculptor, a
brother of the preceding, was born in Paris in 1797.
He obtained the grand prize in 1824. His master-piece
is a statue of Napoleon I. Died in 1858.

Sevajee or Sivaji, se-va'jee, the founder of the
Mahratta empire in India, was born at Poonah in 1627.
He was ambitious and warlike. By a series of conquests
he made himself master of a large part of Southern
India. About 1670 he was involved in war with Aurung-
Zeb, whose army he defeated. Died in 1680.


Severino, si-vl-ree'no, (MARCO AURELIO,) an emi-
nent Italian physician, born in Calabria in 1580, is said
to have been the principal restorer of surgery in Italy.
He became professor of anatomy and medicine at Na-
ples, and published a number of professional works.
Died in 1656.

See MAGLIARI, "Elogio di M. A. Severino," 1815; "Nouvelle
Biographic Generale."

Sev-er-i'nus, [Fr. SEVERIN, siv'raN',] POPE, was a
native of Rome. He succeeded Honorius I. in 640 A.D.,
and died the same year.

Be-ve'rus, a Gnostic, who lived about 180 A.D. and
founded a heretical sect called Severiani. Their doc-
trines were similar to those of TATIAN, (which see.)

Se-ve'rus, [Fr. SEVERE, sa'vaiR',1 (ALEXANDER,) a
Roman emperor, born in Phoenicia about 205 A.D., was
a son of Gessius Marcianus and Julia Mammaea. In
221 he was adopted by his cousin Elagabalus, then em-
peror, who also gave him the title of Csesar. He was
called M. Aurelius Alexander before his accession to
the throne. Elagabalus soon became jealous, and made
several unsuccessful efforts to destroy Alexander. He
succeeded Elagabalus in March, 222 A.D., and assumed
the name of Severus. During the first nine years he
reigned in peace, and applied himself to the reform of
abuses. The King of Persia having renewed hostilities,
Severus marched across the Euphrates, defeated the
Persians in 232, and returned to Rome. He was pre-
paring to repel an irruption of the Germans, when he
was killed by his mutinous troops in 235 A.D. He was
greatly distinguished for his wisdom, justice, clemency,
and other virtues.

See GIBBON, " Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire :" TILLS-
MONT, " Histoire des Empereurs ;" LAMPRIDIUS, "Alexander

Severus, (ALEXANDRINUS,! a Greek writer of the
fifth century, was the author of "Narratives" and
" Ethopoeiae," or speeches attributed to supposed per-
sons. The latter are contained in Gale's "Rhetores

Severus, (CORNELIUS,) a Roman poet under the
reign of Augustus, was the author of an epic poem 0.1
the " Sicilian War," (" Bellum Siculum,") and an account
of the death of Cicero, (in verse.) A fragment of the
latter is extant.

Severus, [Fr. SEVERE, si'vaiR',J(Luciys SEFFIMIUS,)
a Roman emperor, born at Leptis, in Africa, in 146 A.D.
He was educated at Rome, and, after filling various
offices, became proconsul of Africa. While commander
of the Pannonian legions in Germany, he heard of the
death of Commodus, upon which he hastened to Rome,
and was proclaimed emperor by the army in 193 A.D.
in opposition to Didius Julianus, who was soon after
assassinated. He next marched against Pescennius
Niger, commander of the Syrian legions, who had lately
been proclaimed emperor by his troops. He defeated
Miger at Issus or Cyzicus in 194, after which he waged

war with success against the Parthians. In 197 he
gained a decisive victory over Albinus (a rival claimant
of the throne) near Lyons. He renewed the war against
Parthia in 198, defeated the Parthians, and took Ctesi-
phon, their capital. In 208 he led an army to Britain
to subdue the Caledonians, and built a rampart, called
the wall of Severus, extending across the island. He
died at York in 211 A.D., leaving two sons, Caracalla
and Geta.

See DION CASSIUS, "History of Rome," books xxiv.-xivi. '
GIBBON, "Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire;"

Severus, (SULPICIUS,) [Fr. SULPICE SEVERE, sul'-
pess' sa'vaiR',] a Christian historian, born in Aquitania,
Gaul, about 363 A.D., was the author of" Historia Sacra,"
and a " Life of Saint Martin," in Latin. He has been
styled "the Christian Sallust." Died about 410.

Sevier, se-veer 7 , (AMBROSE H.,) an American Senator,
born in East Tennessee in 1802. He removed to Ar-
kansas at an early age, and was elected to the Senate
of the United States by the legislature of that State
in 1836. In 1848 he resigned his seat in the Senate,
and went on a special mission to Mexico, where he
negotiated a treaty of peace. Died at Little Rock in
December, 1848.

Sevier, (JOHN,) an American Governor, born in Ten-
nessee in 1744. He served with distinction at the battle
of King's Mountain, in 1780. He was elected Governor
of Tennessee in 1796, and again in 1803, and was a mem
ber of Congress from 1811 to 1815. Died in 1815.

Sevigne, de, deh si'ven'yi', (MARIE de Rabutin-
Chantal deh rf bii'tiN' sh&N'tSl',) MADAME, a cle-
brated French writer and beauty, born in Burgundy
about 1626. Left an orphan at an early age, she re-
ceived an excellent education from her maternal uncle,
the Abbe de Coulanges, and learned Latin, Italian, and
Spanish. She was married in 1644 to the dissolute
Marquis de Sevigne\ who was killed in a duel in 1651,
leaving one son and one daughter. She was courted by
Turenne, the Prince of Conti, and the poet Menage, but
declined all overtures for a second marriage. She was
one of the most admired ladies of the circle of the Hotel
de Rambouillet, and was celebrated for her epistolary
talent Her letters display a fertile imagination, a re-
fined sensibility, a graceful and nai've vivacity, and are
much admired for their charming and picturesque style.
She has been pronounced the most admirable letter-
writer that ever lived. Died in 1696. Among the best
editions of her Letters is that of Adolph Regnier, (12
vols., 1862-64.)

See MADAME ACHILLE COMTK, " filoge de Madame de SeVigneV 1
1840; J. A. WALSH, " Vie de Madame de SeVigne," 1842 : WALC-
KBNABR, " Memoires touchant la Vie de Marie de Rabutin- Chantal,"
4 vola., 1842-48; AUBHNAS, '* Histoire de Madame de Se'vljgne','
etc., 1842; SAINTB-BEUVE, " Causeries du Lundi ;" LAMARTINE,
" Memoirs of Celebrated Characters ;" " Edinburgh Review," vol
Uxvi. : " Nouvelle Biographic Generale ;" " Madame de SeVigne"
and her Contemporaries," London, 1841 : " Edinburgh Review'
for October, 1842; "Quarterly Review" for 1864.

Sevin, seh-viN', (FRANCOIS,) a French philologist,
born at Villeneuve-le-Roi in 1682, was a collector of
Oriental manuscripts. Died in 1741.

Sew'all, (HARRIET WINSLOW,) an American poetess,
born at Portland, Maine, in 1819. She wrote but very
little, but one of her hymns, " Why thus Longing ?"
attained a wide popularity. Died in 1889.

Sewall, su'al, JOSEPH,) a clergyman, born in 1688,
was ?. son of Samuel, the chief justice of Massachu-
setts. He preached in Boston for many years. Died
in 1769.

Sewall, (SAMUEL,) a judge, born at Bishop-Stoke,
England, in 1652. He was brought to America in his
childhood. He became a judge in 1692, and chief justice
of the supreme court of Massachusetts in 1718. He is
said to have been eminent for wisdom and learning.
He resigned his office in 1728, and died in 1730.

Sewall, (SAMUEL,) a jurist, born in Boston in 1757,
was a grandson of Joseph Sewall, noticed above. He
was a member of Congress from 1796 to 1800, and was
appointed chief justice of Massachusetts in 1813. Died
at Wiscasset, Maine, in 1814.

Sewall, (STEPHEN,) an American judge, born in
Massachusetts about 1702, was a nephew of Samuel,

eas/5; <;zss; ^hard: gas./; G, H, vi,guttural; N, nasal; y.,trilled; a as*.- th as in this.

xplanations, p. 23.)




(1652-1730.) He became chief justice of the superior
court in 1752. Died in 1760.

Sewall, (STEPHEN,) an American scholar, born at
York, Maine, in 1734. He became professor of Hebrew
at Harvard College about 1765, and published various
works. Died in 1804.

Sew'ard, (ALBERT CHARLES,) an English geolo-
gist, born in 1863. He became lecturer on botany at
Cambridge University in 1890. Among his works are
" Fossil Plants as Tests of Climate," (1892,) etc.

Sew'ard, (ANNA,) an English writer of considerable
reputation in her time, was born at Eyam, in Derbyshire,
in 1747. Her metrical novel entitled "Louisa" (1782)
was very successful, and was followed by a collection of
sonnets, and a "Life of Dr. Darwin," (1804,) in which
she claims to have written the first fifty lines of his
"Botanic Garden." She died in 1809. Her poems
and part of her literary correspondence were, at her
request, published by Sir Walter Scott, (1810.) Her
works possess little merit of any kind, and are now
nearly forgotten.

SewarcT, (THOMAS,) an English poet, the father of
the preceding, was born in 1708. He became canon-
residentiary of Lichfield. Died in 1790.

Seward, (WILLIAM,) an English writer, and friend
of Dr. Johnson, born in London in 1747. He published
" Biographiana," and " Anecdotes of Distinguished Per-
sons." Died in 1799.

Seward, sii'ard or soo'ard, (WILLIAM HENRY,) an
eminent American statesman, born at Florida, Orange
county, New York, on the l6th of May, 1801, was a son
of Samuel S. Seward, M.D. His mother's maiden-
name was Mary Jennings. He was educated at Union
College, Schenectady, which he entered in 1816. His
favourite studies were rhetoric, moral philosophy, and
the ancient classics. He taught school in one of the
Southern States for six months in 1819, and returned to
Union College in 1820. Having studied law under John
Duer and Ogden Hoffman, he was admitted to the bar
in 1822. He became a resident of Auburn, Cayuga
county, in 1823, and married in 1824 Frances Adeline, a
daughter of Judge Elijah Miller. He acquired a high
reputation as a lawyer, and in criminal trials acted
almost exclusively as counsel for the defendant

In 1828 he was president of a State Convention of
young men who favoured the re-election of John Quincy
Adams to the Presidential chair. Soon after this date
he joined the Anti-Masonic party, by which he was
elected to the Senate of New York, in 1830, by a large
majority. In the session of 1832 he made an able speech
in favour of the United States Bank. He became the
leader of the opposition party in his own State, and a
supporter of the national party which afterwards adopted
the name of Whig. In 1833 he crossed the Atlantic,
and made a rapid tour through Great Britain, Ireland,
Holland, Germany, and France. He published some
observations on those countries, in a series of letters.

He was nominated as the Whig candidate for Governor
of New York in 1834, but was defeated by William L.
Marcy. He joined the Protestant Episcopal Church in
1837. In 1838 he was elected Governor of the State by
a majority of 10,000, being the first Whig that was ever
elected to that office. In the exercise of his official
power he favoured internal improvements, reform in the
courts of law and chancery, and the extension of edu-
cation among the people. Among the events of his ad-
ministration was a controversy with the executive of
Virginia, who claimed the surrender of three coloured
seamen charged with abetting a slave to escape from
his master. Governor Seward refused to comply with
this requisition, and argued that no State can force
a requisition on another State, founded on an act
which is only criminal according to its own legislation
but which compared with general standards is humane
and praiseworthy. Through his influence the legislature
repealed the law which permitted a slaveholder, travel
ling with his slaves, to hold them for nine months in
the State of New York.

Mr. Seward supported General Harrison for President
in 1840, and at the same time was re-elected Governor
for two years. He declined to be a candidate in 1842

and resumed the practice of law in the courts of his own
State and in those of the United States. He displayed
much courage and coolness in the defence of Free-
man, a negro who massacred a family near Auburn in
845, and he provoked a violent explosion of popular
ndignation by his effort to prove that Freeman was
nsane. Although his argument failed to convince the
jury, it was confirmed by a post-mortem examination
of the brain of Freeman. In the Presidential election
of 1844 he was an active supporter of Henry Clay, and
opposed the annexation of Texas to the United States.
rle wrote a " Life of John Quincy Adams," (published
n 1849.)

In 1848 he advocated the nomination and election of
General Taylor to the Presidency. In February, 1849,
tfr. Seward was elected by the State legislature to the
Senate of the United States, receiving one hundred and
wenty-one votes against thirty for all others. He soon
Became an intimate friend and favourite counsellor of
President Taylor, and distinguished himself by his firm
resistance to the extension of slavery. In March, 1850,
he made a speech in favour of the admission of Cali-
fornia into the Union, in which occurs his famous phrase
"the higher law." "The Constitution," he said, "de-
votes the national domain to union, to justice, to defence,
to welfare, and to liberty. But there is a higher law
than the Constitution, which regulates our authority
over the domain, and devotes it to the same noble pur-
poses." He opposed the "Compromise Bill" (July,
1850) in an elaborate and eloquent speech, asserting
that " the love of liberty is a public, universal, and un-
dying affection." For his course on the slavery question
he was denounced as a seditious agitator. It was hia
habitual practice never to notice the abusive person-
alities which were often applied to him by his opponents
in the Senate.

In 1852 he voted for General Scott, the Whig candi-
date for President. He constantly opposed the Native
American or Know-Nothing party, which was secretly
organized about 1854, " on a foreign and frivolous issue,"
and he was one of the chief founders of the Republican
party, which was formed about the same period, with
a view to prevent the extension of slavery. He was
re-elected a Senator of the United States in 1855. In
a speech at Rochester in October, 1858, he declared
that the antagonism between freedom and slavery " is
an irrepressible conflict between opposing and endur-
ing forces ;" but this oft-quoted phrase (" irrepressible
conflict") is said to have been first used by Abraham

About this time he predicted that the Democratic
party would be fatally damaged by its support of slavery.
In a memorable speech delivered in the Senate, March
3, 1858, he said, " All parties in this country that have
tolerated the extension of slavery, except one, have
perished for that error already. That last one the
Democratic party is hurrying on irretrievably to the
same fate."

Mr. Seward visited Europe a second time in 1859.
At the Republican Convention which met in 1860 to
nominate a candidate for President, Seward received
one hundred and seventy-three votes on the first ballot,
(more than any other candidate,) two hundred and
thirty-three votes being necessary for a choice. His
failure to obtain the nomination was attributed to the hos-
tility of Horace Greeley.^ During the session of 1860-
61 he made an able spe'ech in the Senate against dis-
union. He was appointed secretary of state in March,
1861. It is generally admitted that he displayed much
ability in the direction of the foreign policy during the
civil war. Among the important acts of his ministry
was the liberation of Mason and Slidell, who were
arrested on board the British steamer Trent in Novem-
ber, 1861, and were demanded by the British govern-
ment. "To his admirable skill, foresight, and good
judgment," says the "North American Review" for
April, 1866, "the country owes its deliverance from
perils and embarrassments such as it never before
encountered. His fairness and good temper have been
more than a match for the plausible insincerity of
Thouvenel and Drouyn de Lhuys and the haughty arro-

a, e, I, o, u, y, long: 4, e, 6, same, less prolonged; a, e, I, 5, u, J, short; a, e, i, 9, obscure; far, fill, fat; m8t; not; good; moon;




gance of Earl Russell. . . . Some of his despatches,
especially that relating to the Trent case, have a world-
wide renown, and there are sentences scattered through
his published volumes which deserve to live forever."
A different and far less favourable view, however, is
taken of his despatches and his policy in a number of
the same periodical published October, 1866.

The invasion of Mexico by the French in 1862 raised
another important subject of diplomacy. In despatches
dated September and October, 1863, Mr. Seward dis-
claimed the right and the disposition to intervene by
force in Mexico. lie persisted in recognizing the
government of Juarez, and after the House of Repre-
sentatives (April, 1864) declared, by a unanimous vote,
against the recognition of the Mexican empire, he
affirmed that this resolution "truly interprets the unani-
mous sentiment of the people." In November, 1865,
he wrote to Mr. Bigelow, the American minister at
Paris, "The United Stales regard the effort to establish
permanently a foreign and imperial government in
Mexico as disallowable and impracticable." The result
of this despatch, and of others of the same import, was
that the FY.ench army was withdrawn about the end
of 1866, and Napoleon III. witnessed the disastrous
and humiliating failure of his costly and ill-'udged

In the spring of 1865 Secretary Seward was thrown
from his carriage with such violence that his arm and
jaw were broken. While he was lying in this crippled
condition, on the I4th of April, 1865, Lewis Payne,
alias Powell, an accomplice of }. Wilkes Booth, pre-
sented himself at the door of his house, rushed past the
porter, broke the skull of Frederick Seward, and in-
flicted with a knife several severe wounds on the neck
and face of the secretary of state. The assassin was
then grasped by Mr. Robinson, so that he failed to effect
his purpose, but stabbed two other men as he ran out
of the house.

Mr. Seward was retained in the office of secretary of
State by President Johnson, and supported his policy in
relation to reconstruction, against the almost unanimous
Sentiment of the Republican party. In August and
September, :866, President Johnson, accompanied by
his secretary of state, made an extensive electioneering
tour, on which occasion Mr. Seward gave great offence
even to the most moderate and impartial of his former
friends. At Niagara, in attempting to answer the charge
that he had deserted his party, he said, in addition to
many other things still more objectionable, "Must I
desert my course, my government, and my country

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Online LibraryJoseph ThomasUniversal pronouncing dictionary of biography and mythology (Volume 2) → online text (page 301 of 425)