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key. It is found throughout the greater part of tropical America. The head and neck are ornamented with brilliant colors. The general color of the plumage is reddish white, with the wings and tail black. This and the preceding species are remarkable for having a comb and fleshy caruncles on the head of the male. Two other small species of vulture are found throughout tropical America, as well as in a great part of the U. States, viz. the turkey buzzard and the carrion crow of the Southern States. The latter is rarely found north of lat. 35°; but the former comes into the Middle States. The plumage of both is black, and they are much
alike. In the towns and villages of the Southern States, they are protected by law as scavengers, and may be seen sunning themselves on the roofs of houses, or sauntering about the streets, as familiarly as domestic poultry. The lammergeyer inhabits only the loftiest mountains of the eastern continent. It approaches, if, indeed, it does not equal, the condor in size. It differs, however, in some points of structure, from the true vultures. There are, besides, several other species of vulture in various parts of the eastern continent.
VYASA. (See Indian Literature.)
W; the twenty-third letter of the English alphabet, representing a sound formed by opening the mouth with a rounding of the lips, and a somewhat strong emission of the breath. It is one of the sounds which the Germans call Blaselaute (breathing sounds). (See F.) The English pronunciation of w is a peculiarity of that language, though some other languages have a sound coming pretty near it, as ou, in the French oui: this, however, is not precisely the same, as the sound of oo is heard in the pronunciation of oui before the sound of our w. In German, w has the sound of our v. Grammarians are not agreed respecting the character of w. Doctor Webster says it is a vowel; others say it is sometimes a vowel, sometimes a consonant, like y. It seems to us that it must be classified with h. The Romans called the h neither a vowel nor a consonant, but simply a breathing: so the w is a breathing, though stronger and somewhat modified. If we consider it, however, as a letter, it is undoubtedly a consonant, as much as h is, and cannot be said to be the same with the Spanish, German and Italian u, though, as stated in the article U, that letter is used to indicate the pronunciation of the English w. The w, being a strong breathing, is nearly related to all aspirated sounds, and through them again to the gutturals, so that we find w and g often interchanged in different languages, as in the words William, Guillaume; Wales, Galles, &c.; and we have heard Spaniards, unable to pro
nounce w, use a g instead of it, and say guee for we. (See G.) W, like other aspirates, often does not belong to the root, but only serves to strengthen the tone; for instance, the Swedish, Danish and Icelandic ord, English word, German wort; the Icelandic and Swedish andra, German wandern, English wander; the Swedish ila, German weilen (to tarry), the root of the English verb to while; the Gothic ourt, Swedish ört, German wurz, the same which is found in the English compounds liver-wort, &c.; the Swedish önska, in German wünschen, in English to wish, and so on. But w is by no means always to be overlooked by the etymologist: it often belongs to the root of words, and in many cases it is an onomatopœia, as in wave. It has this character particularly in German, which has numerous onomatopeias. W is now pronounced by the Germans like our v; but it was not always so pronounced. It had, with the early Germans, a sound composed of u and v, or f, as we may conjecture from a passage of Ottfried, in his preface to the Gospels (he says, Nam interdum tria v σ U, ut puto, quærit in sono, priores duo consonantes, ut mihi videtur, tertium vocali sono manente); and also from the former orthography of the German words Frawe, shawen, &c., now written Frau, schauen. This passage of Ottfried is interesting, as respects the English to. In ancient times, anh was also written before the w in German, as hwil, at present welle (wave), hwelcher, at present welcher (Scotch whilk,
WABASH, a river of Indiana, waters the middle and western part of the state, and flows into the Ohio thirty miles above Cumberland river. It is upwards of 500 miles long, and affords good steam-boat navigation, for most of the year, 150 miles, to Vincennes, and for smaller boats 250 miles farther, to Ouiatan. Very small boats ascend to within eight miles of the Maumee. It receives several large rivers, and meanders through a valley of remarkable fertility. The Little Wabash is one of its principal branches, and unites with it only a few miles from the Ohio. This stream may be rendered navigable, for a long distance, by removing a few obstructions. It is eighty yards wide where it joins the Wabash. It rises in Illinois, about forty miles south-east of the Kaskaskia.
WACH, William Charles, professor of historical painting in Berlin, was born in that city, in 1787. In 1813, he entered the army as a volunteer; but as soon as peace was restored, he returned to painting. From 1815 to 1817, he studied in Paris, under David and Legros. The plastic character of his pieces, and his large masses of shade, show the influence of the French school; but he has carefully avoided its exaggerations. In 1817, he went to Rome, and, in 1819, returned to his country, after having executed, in Italy, several fine paintings. In 1819, he was made a member of the senate of the academy of fine arts at Berlin. Among his paintings are the resurrection of Christ, for the altar of the Protestant church in Moscow, and a symbolic representation of Christianity; also the Muses, in the ceiling of the Berlin the
WACHLER, John Frederic Louis, professor of history in the university of Breslau, was born, in 1767, at Gotha,
studied theology, philology and history. In 1788, he was made professor extraordinarius in Brinteln. In 1801, he was made professor of philosophy in Marburg, and, in 1802, professor ordinarius of theology. In 1805, he went, as professor of history, to Breslau. His writings are numerous: they are on theological, philosophical and historical subjects. Some of the last sort have much merit, though the writer may sometimes fall into indistinct generalities. Among his works are Lehrbuch der Geschichte (1816; 5th ed., 1828); Philomathie (3 vols., 1819-21); Manual of the History of Literature (4 vols., 1822-24); History_of Historical Inquiry and Art, since the Revival of Letters in Europe (Göttingen, 1812-20); Manual of Literary History (1827); his Theological Annals, and New Theological Annals (completed in 1823).
WAD, or WADDING, in gunnery; a stopple of paper, hay, straw, old rope-yarn, or tow, rolled up like a ball, or a short cylinder, and forced into a gun, to keep the powder close in the chamber, or put up close to the shot, to keep it from rolling out.
WAD BLACK. (See Manganese.)
WAFER. (See Cements, and SealingWax.) We only add here, that an antiquarian of the eighteenth century, Mr. Spiess, a German, says that the oldest seal with a red wafer, which he had ever found, is on a letter written at Spire, in 1624, to the government at Bayreuth.
See Beckmann's History of Inventions and Discoveries (London, 1797).—The use of sealing-wax is universally considered more polite than that of wafers, because the latter is easier and less formal, hence more appropriate for the business style.
WAGENAAR, John, historiographer to the city of Amsterdam, where he was born in 1709, and died in 1773, is one of the most distinguished scholars of his country, and, in particular, one of the best historians of Holland. His principal work, De Vaderlandsche Historie vervattende de Geschiedenissen der Vereenigde Nederlanden, or History of the United Netherlands until 1751, was published at Amsterdam, in 21 vols. (1749-60). In 1788, a continuation of this work, from 1776 to 1802, appeared, at Amsterdam, under the title of Vervolg van Wagenaar Vaderlandsche Historie (48 vols.), and, in 1789, volumes 22, 23 and 24, containing the history of the period from 1751 to 1774. His other works are a description of the United Provinces (12 vols., 1739),
and a Description of Amsterdam (3 vols., folio, 1760), and some polemical treatises on theological subjects. WAGERING rance.)
POLICIES. (See Insu
WAGES. The cost of an article is made up of that of the materials consumed, and the compensation for the use of the land, buildings and implements employed, and the labor, skill and superintendence requisite in its production, with interest on these outlays until the product is completed and ready for the market. When we inquire respecting the rate of wages, we are first to consider what extent we give to the term; whether we comprehend the compensation given for skill and industry, of all descriptions, employed in the production, distribution, and even use and consumption, of all sorts of commodities; for wages are paid to a servant who waits at a table, or a coachman who drives a pleasure coach, as well as to a miller, teamster, or seaman, though the former are not, like the latter, employed in giving any additional value to any article by producing or transporting it. If we divide the whole annual value produced in a community into three parts, and assign one to pay rent, another to pay for the use of capital, and a third for wages, taking wages in its most comprehensive sense, as including all that is paid for industry and skill of all descriptions, then the first material consideration is, What is the mass of the products in proportion to the land, capital and labor employed? for the same quantity and quality of land, capital and labor will yield a greater annual product in one community than in another. What is the aggregate mass or fund out of which the dividend is to be made? The aggregate productiveness of England, for instance, will vastly exceed that of Spain in all these particulars; for the lands are made more productive, the labor is more skilfully applied, and the capital is more rapidly carried through the different forms of production, and transported through the different places in its way to that of final consumption; and, consequently, the same capital is more effective, or, in other words, contributes to a greater mass of production in the same time. We institute this inquiry as to the aggregate mass of annual production in comparing the condition of one community with that of another. One community may have twice as great a fund to divide as another, from the same aggregate means of production; and if the distribution is made in
precisely the same proportions among the several interests, the compensation will be twice as great in one case as in the other. This effectiveness of the labor and means of production in a community, is a matter of the most weighty consideration, and goes far in determining the condition of the population. This gives us two modes of comparison, as to the rate of wages in any two communities, the results of which may be very different. If we ask whether labor and skill, taking the whole mass of both, of all descriptions, be better rewarded in England or in Spain, the answer may be, that a greater quantity of corresponding articles goes to compensate the same labor and skill in England, but that a greater proportion of the whole mass of annual products goes to compensate labor and skill in Spain. To make the distinction more plain-a laborer in England may earn a yard of cloth, and one in Spain but half a yard, of the same quality, in a day; so that the English laborer gets absolutely twice as much compensation as the Spanish. But, owing to greater skill and advantages, the English laborer may produce four times as much cloth, or materials for cloth, as the Spanish laborer in the same time. Therefore, though the English laborer gets twice as great a quantity, the Spaniard gets twice as great a proportion of the whole product. The wages of one will accordingly be twice as great as that of the other, and vice versa, according as we make the comparison in one or the other way. The ordinary mode of comparison has reference to the absolute compensation, that is, the quantity of valuable vendible things commanded by the same labor. All laborers want food, clothing and shelter; and he that can command the best for the same labor is the best paid. In making the comparison, we may regard the money that each can earn; but then we must go further, and inquire what the same weight of silver or gold will purchase in each of the two countries. To the man who expends his wages where they are earned, a given amount of silver or gold is valuable only in proportion to the things that he can produce in exchange for it. To all practical purposes, therefore, labor may be higher paid in the U. States at a dollar than in the West Indies at two dollars. It is, therefore, surprising to see economists making comparisons of the money rate of wages in different countries, as if that gave any practical satis
factory result, without also inquiring further what the same money will purchase in each of the two countries. For instance, a laborer at Buenos Ayres can earn an ox in three days, which, in New England, would cost him from one to three months' wages, and in England still more; whereas the English or New England laborer can earn more cloth in the same time than the one at Buenos Ayres, though the money price of wages is highest in the latter place. In all the speculations and treatises upon this subject, we do not know of any full and satisfactory comparison of the real rate of wages, for the corresponding kinds of If we labor, in different countries. limit the inquiry to the same community, we first ask what is the aggregate production, and how great a proportion of the whole annual product goes to labor and skill, and how much to rent and capital. And here we readily perceive a gradual change in the course of the progress of a community; for, in the early stages of improvement, and while the population is comparatively thin, as in the U. States, the rent, and so the value, of lands is low; that is, the holder of a particular piece of cultivated land receives but a small proportion of the annual products; but, as the population thickens, the proprietor of the same tract will receive a greater proportion of the whole products of the same cultivation than his predecessors. Take the instance of the same crop of grass, on the same piece of ground, for a hundred successive years, from the time of felling the forest, until a populous town has grown up in the neighborhood; the wages for cutting and securing the crop will, at first, be one half or three quarters of its value, and will diminish, by degrees, to one fifth or one tenth, and the value and rent of the land will rise accordingly; that is, land becomes comparatively scarce in proportion to the population, and the demand for its use; and all raw products, that is, all products the value of which consists mostly of rent, will rise in comparative value. This may take place, in a great degree, through a whole country, as has been the case in England. But the whole territory does not continue to produce merely the same quantity, since, as the wants and consumption of the community increase, the labor bestowed upon the same area will be increased for the purpose of augmenting the quantity of products, so that the land-owner may, in fact, receive a less quantity, and a less proportion of the prod
ucts, and yet have a higher rent for his
manual labor, requiring very little skill; nor, if we could determine this proportion, would it be practicable to establish it. The law has interposed, in many instances, in different countries, to regulate the price of labor and commodities; but it is now universally admitted that any such interpositions are most usually ineffectual, and always prejudicial. But though positive regulations, in this respect, will never remedy the evils of an unjust distribution, yet a community may be so constituted, and so situated, that the spontaneous operation of internal causes will effect a nearly just apportionment of the rewards of skill and industry among the various classes of the industrious. To ascertain what circumstances will have this operation, we must inquire what class first suffers from an inequality; and we find it to be those who depend wholly on their labor for subsistence. This is the part of the population where misery begins; and thence it spreads and accumulates until it is felt by the whole; for every part of the population will inevitably sympathize, more or less, with every other. It is utterly impossible for any class so to separate itself from the rest as not to be affected, directly or indirectly, by their enjoyments and sufferings. How, then, can the wages of mere labor, requiring very little skill, be sustained at a just rate, so that the laborer shall have his fair proportion of the annual products? This can be done only by diffusing and maintaining good habits, industry and intelligence among the poor class. It should be the policy of every society to make all the influences, moral, political, economical and social, bear, with the greatest possible energy, upon this point. It is not practicable to sustain this class by external helps: when they have once become degraded, it is scarcely possible to renovate and restore them. The true doctrine is that of prevention.
WAGNER, Ernest; a German poet, born in 1768, and died in 1812. His poem, called Wilibald's Views of Life, is celebrated. His complete works were published in 1827 et seq., at Leipsic.
WAGNERITE; a mineral, found in complicated crystals, the primary form of which is an oblique rhombic prism, whose lateral planes incline under angles of 95° 25 and 84° 35'. Lustre vitreous; color several shades of yellow, sometimes nearly orange-yellow, often inclining to gray; streak white; translucent; hardness nearly that of feldspar; specific gravity 3.11. It consists of
It is found in veins of quartz, embraced in clay-slate, and occurs near Werfen, in Salzburg.
WAGONS most probably originated from rude vehicles dragged on cylindrical logs, which must soon have suggested the idea of the axis and solid wheel, even now used in Portugal by the peasants. According to Moses, Egypt was the country where wagons were first used. The Chinese call the inventor Hiene-Yuene. The Greeks attributed the invention to Erichthonius, fourth king of Athens, and say that he used them in consequence of lameness. Wagons with two wheels may have been the first constructed; but Homer mentions four-wheeled wagons, the invention of which was ascribed to the Phrygians. Whoever first conceived the idea of an axis was a most ingenious man; and he who applied it to wheels and wagons has become one of the greatest benefactors of mankind. Much time elapsed before wagons were used for pleasure carriages. The sedan chair and horseback were long preferred. In war, use was sooner made of the wagon. Moses mentions the war-chariots of Pharaoh. Theseus is said to have introduced chariots among the Greeks. The horses were covered with iron scales. At the end of the pole lances were fastened, and at the side and below were scythes. These chariots were driven into the ranks of the enemy. The Greeks, besides, used two-wheeled chariots, each containing two persons, one of whom drove while the other threw spears. The chariots were open behind, and had low wheels. The Romans used them early. In the twelve tables (q. v.) the arcera is mentioned. The Romans gave different names to the wagons, according to the purpose to which they were applied, as carpentum, a two-wheeled vehicle, with a vaulted covering, used particularly by the Roman ladies; carruca, a kind of state coach (q. v.); cisium, essedum, &c. They had also triumphal chariots (currus triumphalis). Wagons are drawn by men or beasts, or propelled by machinery. It is reported that, at the panathena, a galley was moved through the city by internal wheel-work. From the time of Roger Bacon (in the thirteenth century) to our