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motives. He was then in the eighty-fifth year of his life, the remainder of which was devoted to scientific pursuits and the study of the Scriptures. He died February 25, 1723. His remains were interred, with the requisite honors, under the choir of St. Paul's cathedral; and on his tomb is a monumental inscription. It is as follows:
Hujus Ecclesiae et Urbis Conditor,
Qui vixit Annos ultra nonaginta,
(Beneath is laid the builder of this church and city, who lived above ninety years, not for himself, but for the public good. Reader, if thou seekest his monument, look around.)
The edifices constructed by this architect were principally public, including a royal hunting seat at Winchester, and the modern part of the palace at Hampton court. Some of the most remarkable of his buildings, besides St. Paul's, are the monument on Fish street hill, the theatre at Oxford, the library of Trinity college, Cambridge; the hospitals of Chelsea and Greenwich; the church of St. Stephen's, Walbrook; those of St. Mary-le-Bow, St. Michael, Cornhill, and St. Bride, Fleet-street; and the great campanile of Christ-church, Oxford. Of his character as a man of science, we may accept the testimony of Newton, who, in his Principia, joins the names of Wren, Wallis and Huygens, whom he styles hujus ætatis geometrarum facile principes (the greatest geometricians of the age). As an architect he possessed an inexhaustible fertility of invention, combined with good natural taste and profound knowledge of the principles of his art. His talents were particularly adapted to ecclesiastical architecture; in his palaces and private houses he has sometimes sunk into a heavy monotony, as at Hampton-court and Winchester. The interior of the church of St. Stephen's, Walbrook, which has been considered as his chef-d'œuvre, exhibits a deviation from common forms equally ingenious and beautiful. The monument is grand and simple; and St. Paul's cathedral, notwithstanding the severe criticisms to which it has been subjected, may be fairly reckoned among the most magnificent productions of architectural genius. Sir Christopher Wren's architecture is the perfection of that modern style, which, with forms and modes of construction essentially Gothic, adopts, for
the purposes of decoration, the orders and ornaments of classical antiquity.See Parentalia, or Memoirs of the Family of the Wrens (folio, 1750), published by his grandson, and Elmes's Life of Wren (4to., 1823).
WRIGHT, Joseph, a celebrated English painter, usually styled Wright of Derby, was born in that town, in 1734. In 1751, he was placed under Hudson, the most celebrated portrait painter of the day, although of very moderate talents. He then visited Italy, where he made great advances in his profession, and, in 1755, returned to England. Having resided first at Bath, but afterwards at Derby, employed in portrait painting, at a mature age, he again visited Italy, and, on his return, in 1782, was elected an associate of the royal academy. His later pictures were chiefly landscapes, which are much admired for elegance of outline and judicious management of light and shade. A large landscape, a View of the Head of Ulleswater, stands at the head of his productions of this class; while, in the historical line, the Dead Soldier is sufficient to stamp him a fine painter. He fell a victim to his unwearied attention to his profession, dying of a decline, in 1797.
WRIGHT, Thomas; a captain in the British navy, whose fate has excited much discussion. Having been employed to land the conspirators George Cadoudal (q. v.), Pichegru (q. v.), the Polignacs (q. v.), and others, on the French coast, in the years 1803 and 1804, captain Wright was soon after made prisoner of war; and, on the supposition that his evidence would be useful in procuring the conviction of Pichegru and Cadoudal, he was carried to Paris, and lodged in the Temple. He, however, declared himself ignorant of the plans of the conspirators, asserting that he merely obeyed orders in landing them in France. Reports were spread at the time, and of course believed, that he was put to the torture, by order of Napoleon, to force him to confess, and that Réal (q. v.) and Dubois were the instruments of the emperor in this act. In 1805, his exchange was consented to; but, in November, the Moniteur announced that he had been found dead in prison, having cut his own throat from impatience and despair. The enemies of Napoleon, and particularly the English, on the other hand, loudly charged the death of the prisoner to the emperor, who, as it was pretended, had been induced to commit this foul act to prevent a public exposure of the treatment to which captain
Wright had been subjected in the Temple. Others have imputed the murder to Savary, Fouché and Réal, to whom the same motive-a desire of concealing their conduct towards the prisoner-has been imputed. While at St. Helena, doctor Warden mentioned the subject to Napoleon, and told him that it was pretty generally believed in England, that he had caused captain Wright to be put to death. "Why should I have committed such an act?" replied the emperor. "Of all inen whom I have had in my power, he was the person whom I should have been most desirous to preserve; for, in the trial of the conspirators, which was then going on, Wright was the most important witness, as he had brought the chief conspirator, Pichegru, into the country." Napoleon also declared that Wright perished by his own hand, some time before his death was announced in the Moniteur; and Fouché and Savary agreed in this statement. (See Savory; Otranto, Duke of; and Pichegru.) The trial, however, took place in March, April and May, 1804, and the death of Wright in October, 1805. Savary, in his Memoirs (2 vols., 8vo., London, 1828), has the following remarks on this subject:-"That unfortunate man remained in the Temple till 1805, when he died. So many stories have been told concerning his death, that I, too, was curious to learn the cause of it, when, as minister of police, the sources of information were open to me; and I ascertained that Wright cut his throat in despair, after reading the account of the capitulation of the Austrian general Mack, at Ulm; that is, while the emperor was engaged in the campaign of Austerlitz. Can one, in fact, without alike insulting common sense and glory, admit that this sovereign had attached so much importance to the destruction of a miserable lieutenant of the English navy, as to send, from one of his most glorious fields of battle, the order for his death? It has been added, that it was I who received from him this commission. Now, I never quitted him, for a single day, during the whole campaign, from his departure from Paris till his return. The civil administration of France is in possession of all the papers of the ministry of the police, which must furnish all the information that can be desired respecting that event."
WRINKLES; folds of the skin, occasioned by that organ being too large for the parts it encloses. When, therefore, the parts beneath the skin, in any part of the body, are diminished from any cause,
and the skin itself does not shrink in the same proportion, wrinkles are formed. So, when the skin is too much relaxed, or when it is moved very often, the same result is produced. Hence sickness, age, and the indulgence of violent passions, produce wrinkles. Warm bathing, by relaxing the skin, has the same tendency.
WRIST (carpus). The part of the arm between the fore-arm and hand is admirably calculated to increase the action, and, consequently, the utility of the hand, by giving it various motions, without which, as any one may easily convince himself, it would be a much less efficient instrument of handling, seizing and conveying objects. It is composed of eight small bones in two rows, the motions of which on the fore-arm may be described as those of flexion, extension, adduction, abduction and circumduction. Beasts of prey, which use their fore-paws for seizing their food, are provided with similar instruments of motion in that part; but in those animals, like the horse, &c., in which the fore-feet are merely instruments of locomotion, there is no such machinery for free motion in various directions.
WRIT. A writ is a precept issued by some court or magistrate in the name of the government, the executive branch of the government, or that of the state, or people of the state, intending, in either case, the supreme authority or its representative, addressed to a marshal, sheriff, constable, or other subordinate executive officer, commanding him to do some particular thing. Writs are distinguished into original and judicial, the former being such as a party sues out without any direction of the court in the particular case; the latter, such as are issued in pursuance of a decree, judgment or order of a count. The different descriptions of writs are too numerous to be specified and described in this article. The term writ is, however, not confined to the proceedings in a suit; for there are writs of election, ordering certain officers to be chosen; writs in the nature of a commission, for instance, summoning one to be chief justice (2 Coke's Ins. 40), or to take the degree of serjeant at law; so there are writs of protection, issued, for instance, to secure a person from arrest while he is attending as a party in a suit. In England, writs usually issue in the name of the king; in the U. States, in that of the chief magistrate, or the people, or the government.
Writs of Assistance. (See Adams, John, and Otis, James.)
Writ of Error is a commission to judges of a superior court, by which they are authorized to examine the record upon which a judgment was given in an inferior court, and, on such examination, to affirm or reverse the same according to law.
WRITERS, OF CLERKS TO THE SIGNET; a numerous society of gentlemen of the law in Scotland, who are chiefly employed in civil and criminal trials, before the courts of session and judiciary.
WRITING; the art of expressing, by visible signs or characters described on some material, thoughts, feelings, or musical tones. With modern civilized nations, it signifies more especially the art of representing by certain characters the tones of which our speech consists; that is, of representing ideas by phonetic signs. Metaphorically, it is applied to style and composition, as the instrument of conveyance is often taken for the thing conveyed. Writing, if required by law for certain purposes, means now, in most countries, the expression of ideas by pen and ink, pencil writing being generally considered invalid. The supreme court of Massachusetts has construed the provision, in the constitution of that state, requiring written votes, to include printed votes. This may be in accordance with the spirit of the constitution; but it gives a great latitude to the word writing. The art of writing, especially when reduced to simple phonetic alphabets like ours, has, perhaps, done more than any other invention for the improvement of the human race. It may, like other great blessings, have been attended with some evils; but it has been the most efficient means of raising mankind from barbarism to civilization. Without its aid the experience of each generation would have been almost entirely lost to succeeding ages, and only a faint glimmer of truth could have been discerned through the mists of tradition. For this reason, and because, in the earliest ages, almost all knowledge is concentrated in the caste of priests, it is easily explainable that the art of writing is considered, in the earliest periods of history, as something sacred, and believed to have been brought by the gods to men, or to have proceeded from immediate inspiration, as in the case of the Greek Cadmus. If the art of tilling the ground was deemed so great a blessing that the gods were represented as having taught it to men, how much more must mankind have been inclined to refer the art of writing the great source of civilization
to the same origin, after the slow process of its developement had been forgotten! We have spoken of the probable mode of its developement in the article Hieroglyphics, and will only add here a few remarks, which were promised in that article. The picture-writing of Mexico, dis- ¦ Covered when that country was conquered by the Spaniards, is one of the most interesting monuments of the progress of· civilization, and the developement of the human mind. Spineto, in his Lectures on the Elements of Hieroglyphics and Egyptian Antiquities, describes a specimen of Mexican hieroglyphics, which he saw in the library of the Escurial, and which was imported to Europe by a Mexican, who translated it into Spanish. The title of the book is, History of the Empire of Mexico, with Notes and Explanations. An account of it, taken from Lecture vii, is here subjoined:-"The translation is divided into three parts. The first is a history of the Mexican empire, containing the biography and conquests of not less than eleven kings: the second is a regular roll of the several taxes which each conquered province or town paid to the royal treasury; and the third, a digest of their civil law, the largest branch of which was of their common law, or jus patrium. In each of these pictures every king is represented by different characteristics: the length of his reign is marked by squares round the margin, which, when the reign happens to be extremely long, fill the four sides of the picture. In each square there is a small circle to signify the year-a mark which they repeat according to its number till they reach thirteen, after which they begin over again to count one; and under these small circles there is a kind of hieroglyphio figure, which is repeated in every fourth square. In all the pictures that exhibit the reign of each king, there is a figure which shows the nature of his government, and, therefore, varies according to the circumstances and the events that took place during his reign. In this picture it is a shield or a target, crossed by four lances, which means that this king subdued, by force of arms, four towns of people. They are expressed by four rough drawings of a house, to which a symbol, or hieroglyphic figure, denoting the name of each, has been attached. In the first, we have a tree; in the second, another tree of a different sort; in the third, a kind of basket; in the fourth, a sort of box, with two baskets. These exhibitions I am unable to explain; but they, no
doubt, were perfectly intelligible to the people, and perhaps might have had a reference to the natural productions of the subdued provinces. To mark the beginning of the reign, and the different epochs in which a king performed any of the actions mentioned in the picture, or even his death, they painted the figure of the king, with his characteristic emblem, which denotes his name, opposite to the year in which the event had taken place. Thus, in this picture, the king's name is said to be Acamapichtli, and his figure is repeated twice; opposite, the first square, which marks the beginning of his reign, and opposite, the eighth square, which shows that in the eighth year of his reign he put to death the chiefs of the four towns he had conquered. This circumstance is expressed by four heads placed before him, distinguished by the same hieroglyphical characters which mark the towns or provinces over which they reigned. Across the figure of the king there is a kind of sash, with a knot on his shoulder, which, by its length and breadth, means the number of wives and children he had. In the present instance, it seems not to be deficient in either of these dimensions. I am told that there is another mark to express the quality and number of children, whether male or female; but, to confess my ignorance, I could never discover it, although I have observed all the pictures of the several reigns recorded by this curious piece of history, with all possible attention. To the picture of each reign a second pic ture was invariably attached, which indicated the other actions of the sovereign as a politician, and the other events that had distinguished his government. The whole account given by Purchas is curious and highly amusing. In recording the tribute or taxes which each town had to pay, as it was paid in kind, it seems that the Mexicans had adopted the plan of drawing the figure of the object. Thus, to represent a basket of cacao-meal, or of any other sort of corn, they drew the figure of a basket containing the ears of corn, or the meal extracted from the fruit of that tree or plant. To represent suits of military clothing, armor, or shields, they exhibited their respective figures: the different sorts of mantles, whether of feathers or of other materials, were signified by their respective figures, differently colored. The number of each article was expressed either by circles, each of which signified ten, or by a kind of pine-apple, which meant five, painted at the top of
the basket, or by the side of each individual article; and if their quantity was so great as to amount to a burthen, or a load, this was expressed by another mark, which had the same signification. The like must be said of their paper, their cups, pots of honey, cochineal, wood, planks, beams, timber, loaves of salt, hatchets, lumps of copal, refined and unrefined, shells, wool, stones, canes to make darts, eagles, skins of animals; in short, of every thing which each town had to pay for the maintenance of the state. It would be impossible for me to give a minute account of their civil and religious institutions, which form the third, and by far the largest department, in this most extraordinary picture. Every trade, every office, every employment, is differently delineated. The rites attending the several ceremonies of burial, marriage, and baptism (for they certainly had some sort of baptism), are minutely set down. But, above all, it seems that the education of children, from their infancy to manhood, had attracted the greatest attention of their legislature. The quantity of food, the quality of labor, the different pursuits attached to each distinct age, the various punishments decreed for the different faults, are stated with a precision and clearness which is quite astonishing. The age of the child can always be made out from the number of circles placed above its head; the figure of the mother, and, indeed, of any woman, by her kneeling posture, and sitting on her legs; while the figure of the father, the priest, the teacher, and, indeed, of all men, besides the different attributes which designate the employment, is always represented either standing, or sitting on a low stool, with his knees to his breast." Spineto here introduces, as a specimen, a table, which represents all the following ceremonies of a marriage. "This [the marriage] was generally brought about by an old woman, whom they call Amantesa (that is, a marriage-broker), who was to carry the bride on her back to the house of the bridegroom, at the beginning of the night, accompanied by four women bearing torches of pine-tree. When arrived at the house, the bride and the bridegroom were seated near to the fire on a mat, the woman, as usual, sitting on her legs, the man on a stool. There they were tied together by the corner of their garments; after which they offered to their gods a perfume of copal, two old women and two old men being present as witnesses. This ceremony over, they
were allowed to dine upon two different sorts of meat, and some pulse. Thus, not only the dishes to be used were marked, but also the cup out of which they were to drink. The witnesses were allowed to dine after the newly-married couple, which circumstance is expressed by their being seated at the four corners of the mat, which served for a dining-table. The sign which is added to the mouth of these four witnesses signifies that, before they retired, they had the right to give, and, in fact, they gave, to the married folks good counsel how to behave themselves, that they might live in peace and happiness. The position of one of the women, holding up her right hand, means that the portly matron is already making use of the privilege allowed to give a little exercise to her tongue; while the folded arms of the remaining witnesses prove that they are waiting for their turn. In the punishment of their children, the Mexicans seem to have been ingeniously cruel. Most of the chastisements I find marked down, consist in unmerciful castigations; in driving into the hands, and arms, and legs, and into the body of the culprit, thorns and prickles. Sometimes they singed his head with fire; at other times they tied him down to a board, and threw him into a bog; and occasionally they held the head and nose of the unfortunate child upon the smoke of a particular wood, which they called ari. The crimes for which they inflicted punishments so severe and so cruel are the same with those which are condemned by the laws of the most civilized nations of Europe, and cannot but inspire us with a very favorable, nay, exalted opinion of the moral notions of the Mexicans. They seem even to have gone beyond us for the sake of preserving proper habits of industry and morality among the people; for they not only punished drunkenness with death, but also idleness; for if drunkenness, said they, renders a man capable of committing a crime, idleness exposes him to drinking and to bad company. This law, however, lost its power with men and women as soon as they reached the age of seventy: they were then allowed to pass their lives in idleness, and to get drunk, both in public and in private. The reason assigned for this 'extraordinary regulation is, that, as they could no longer work, and had but a short time to live, the law indulged them with the enjoyment of what seems to have been considered, by the Mexicans, as one of the greatest pleasures of life. Such is
the short account that I can give of this most singular mode of expressing ideas by pictures, which is, I think, an exemplification of the first mode of writing by hieroglyphics. It is, besides, one of the most interesting monuments by which we can arrive at the knowledge of the history of Mexico for it is evident, that from the wisdom of their regulations; from the quantity of taxes, which, as is recorded in these pictures, were levied upon the different towns and nations; from the minuteness of the details ; and from the pictures themselves, which show some knowledge of perspective and drawing, the Mexicans had made no inconsiderable progress in knowledge, in civilization, and in the cultivation of the arts." To this, professor Stuart adds the following observations in his son's (Mr. Isaac Stuart) translation of Greppo's Essay on the Hieroglyphic System, &c. (Boston, 1830). "The whole of the above symbols much more resemble the anaglyphs of the Egyptians than they do the common hieroglyphics, figurative or tropical. That they are totally diverse from phonetic hieroglyphics, need not be said. The combination of so many symbols, some of which have no resemblance, but a merely conventional or imaginary one, is a trait altogether of a nature similar to the predominating quality of the anaglyphs. There is some special interest attached to the subject now before us. In connexion with what has been before said, it shows that three of the most distinguished nations of three different continents, namely, the Chinese in Asia, the Egyptians in Africa, and the Mexicans in America, have all hit on the like expedients to transmit their ideas to posterity. In all these facts, too, we may see the infancy of alphabetic writing, the germ from which this tree sprung, whose leaves are for the healing of the nations." We have pointed out, in the article Hieroglyphics, the mode in which the important step was made from picture-writing to a phonetic alphabet. We would refer the reader, for further information upon this interesting subject, to the eighth and ninth lectures of the above-mentioned work of the marquis Spineto; to which we will add here the remark of professor Stuart, in the translation of Greppo by his son, already cited. He says, “There are some striking resemblances between the Chinese signs employed in writing and the Egyptian hieroglyphics; so striking that some have been led to suppose that one of these nations must be a colony of the other. It is now well known that