Page images

velocities of the sail and the wind must both be taken into account; for, if the sail moved before the wind with a speed equal to that of the wind itself, no effect would be produced. The effect will depend on the difference of the velocities, that being the velocity with which the wind strikes the sail. Now, as the obliquity of the sail to the wind should depend on the force with which the wind acts upon it, and as those parts of the sail which are nearer to the centre of motion move more slowly than those which are more remote, it follows that the position of the sail should vary at different distances from the centre of rotation. From the experiments of Mr. Smeaton on this subject (Philosophical Transactions, 1759), it appears that the following positions are the best. Suppose the radius to be divided into six equal parts, and call the first part, beginning from the centre, one, the second two, and so on, the extreme part being six:

[merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][ocr errors][ocr errors][ocr errors][ocr errors][ocr errors][merged small][merged small][ocr errors][ocr errors][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small]

As it is necessary that a windmill should face the wind from whatever point it blows, the whole machine, or a part of it, must be capable of turning horizontally. Som imes the whole mill is made to turn upon a strong vertical post, and is therefore called a post mill; but, more commonly, the roof or head only revolves, carrying with it the windwheel and its shaft, the weight being supported on friction rollers. In order that the wind itself may regulate the position of the mill, a large vane, or weathercock, is placed on the side which is opposite the sails, thus urning them always to the wind. But a large mills the motion is regulated by a small supplementary windwheel, or pair of sails, occupying the place of the vane, and situated at right angles with the principal windwheel. When the windmill is in its proper position, with its shaft parallel to the wind, the supplementary sails do not turn. But when the wind changes, they are immediately brought into action, and, by turning a series of wheelwork, they gradually bring round the head to its proper position. Adjustment of Sails. On account of the inconstant nature of the motion of the

wind, it is necessary to have some provision for accommodating the resistance of the sails to the degree of violence with which the wind blows. This is commonly done by clothing and unclothing the sails; that is, by covering, with canvass or thin boards, a greater or smaller portion of the frame of the sails, according to the force of the wind at different times. A method has been devised for producing the same effect, by altering the obliquity of the sails; and windmills have been so made as to regulate their own adjustment by the force of the wind. If we suppose a windmill, or windwheel, to consist of four arms, and that the sails were connected to these arms at one edge by means of springs, the yielding of these springs would allow the sails to turn back when the wind should blow with violence; and their elasticity would bring them up to the wind whenever its force abated. This effect has been produced by a weight acting on the sails through series of levers. A loose iron rod, passing through the centre of the axle of the windwheel, receives the action of the weight at one end, and communicates it to the sails at the other.

WINDPIPE (trachea); a cartilaginous and membranous canal, through which the air passes into the lungs. Its upper part, called the larynx, is composed of five cartilages, the uppermost of which, called the epiglottis (q. v.), closes the passage to the lungs, when a person is in the act of swallowing. The two front cartilages of the larynx, the thyroides, or Adam's apple, and the annular, which resembles a ring, may be felt directly under the skin. The various cartilages of the larynx are united to each other by elastic fibres, and are enabled, by their several muscles, to dilate or contract the passage, and perform those numerous motions which render the larynx so important as an organ of the voice; for, when the air passes directly into the trachea through a wound, it produces little or no sound. (See Voice.) From the larynx the canal takes the name of trachea, and, after extending as far down as the fourth or fifth vertebra, it divides into two branches, running to the two lobes of the lungs (q. v.), to which they are distributed by an infinite number of branches. The trachea is furnished with muscular fibres. by the contraction or relaxation of when it is enabled to shorten or lengthen itself, and also to dilate or contract the diameter of its bore. The cartilages of the trachea, by keeping it constantly open, afford a

free passage to the air, which we are obliged to be incessantly respiring; and its membranous part, being capable of contraction or dilatation, enables us to receive and expel the air in a greater or less quantity, and with more or less velocity, as may be required in singing and declamation. (See Respiration. For the structure of the windpipe in birds, see Ornithology.) This membranous structure of the trachea posteriorly, seems likewise to assist in the descent of the food by preventing that impediment to its passage down the oesophagus, which might be expected if the cartilages were complete rings.

WIND SAILS, in a ship, are made of the common sail-cloth, and are usually between twenty-five and thirty feet long, according to the size of the ship, and are of the form of a cone ending obtusely. When they are made use of, they are hoisted by ropes to about two thirds or more of their height, with their bases distended circularly, and their apex hanging downwards in the hatchways of the ship. Above each of these, one of the common sails is so disposed that the greatest part of the air, rushing against it, is directed into the wind sail, and conveyed into the body of the ship, to promote ventilation, &c.

WINDERMERE; a celebrated lake in the county of Westmoreland, the most extensive sheet of water in England. It is situated at the foot of the Furness fells, and is distinguished by the variety of beautiful prospects which it exhibits. It is about fifteen miles in length from north to south, and about one broad on an average, though in many places much less. WINDHAM, Sir William. (See Wyndham.)

[ocr errors]

WINDHAM, William. (See Appendix.) WINDOW. In the most ancient eras, the windows of habitations were very small and narrow; and the same remark is true of the castles and other edifices which were constructed during the middle ages. In the painting on the Greek vase which represents Jupiter about to scale the window of Alcmena, the opening is exceedingly small. According to Seneca, those of the baths of Scipio were so small that they merited not the name, and might rather be denominated crevices. As the Romans improved, however, in the elegant arts, this particular was not overlooked; and both their town and country houses were decorated with numerous and ample windows. It was not customary to have

them overlooking the street; and they were, in the majority of instances, confined to the interior court of the house. The ancient temples had not, generally, windows: some exceptions, however, exist to this observation. Before the use of glass became common, which was not till towards the end of the twelfth century, the windows in England seem generally to have been composed of paper, which, properly prepared with oil, forms no contemptible defence against the intrusions of the weather, and is a tolerable medium for the admission of light. In warm climates, as in the West Indies, windows are often quite open, without glass or any translucent medium to admit light while it excludes the air. In Russia, salt is used to clean windows from frost, on account of its effect in liquefying this substance. It is rubbed on the glass with a sponge. In England, windows are one of the articles subjected to taxation.


WINDSOR, the capital of Hants county, Nova Scotia, is situated on the Avon and the St. Croix, just above their junction, forty-five miles north of Halifax. After the Avon receives the St. Croix, it spreads into a wide frith, and afterwards flows into the basin of Minas. The rise of the Avon at Windsor is twenty feet at neap tides, and thirty at spring tides. river at low water is only a brook. Windsor has a fine situation, and contains some of the best land in the province. Its principal commercial business arises from its gypsum. This is carried, in great quantities, to St. John's, in New Brunswick, to be shipped thence to the U States. In 1828, Windsor contained a university, an academy, a court-house, a jail, and houses of worship for Episcopalians, Roman Catholics, Methodists, Presbyterians and Baptists; and 2065 inhabitants. The charter of the university bears date May 12, 1802. The first degrees were conferred in 1807. The number of students is small. The college contains a good library and a valuable philosophical apparatus. The institution is liberally endowed. There is a collegiate school or academy subordinate to the university. This seminary is in a flourishing state.

WINDSOR; a post-town of Windsor county, Vermont, situated on the west bank of the Connecticut, eighteen miles south of Dartmouth college, and sixty-one south of Montpelier; lat. 43° 29′ N.; lon 72° 30′ W.; population in 1820, 2956; in 1830, 3134. It is a pleasant town, and

has considerable manufactures. It contains a state prison and many handsome houses.

WINDSOR, OF NEW WINDSOR; a town in Berkshire, England, situated on the right bank of the Thames, which separates it from Buckinghamshire, twentytwo miles west of London; lat. 51° 28′ N.; population, 7103. It is beautifully situated on the side of a hill, and has many handsome buildings; but its chief ornament is its castle, which it owes to William the Conqueror. (See the next article.) On the south side of the town is Windsor Great Park, well stocked with deer, in which is situated the cottage of George IV. It was formerly fourteen miles in circuit, but has lately been much enlarged. The gardens are spacious and elegant. Windsor forest, fifty-six miles in circuit, was originally formed for the exercise of the chase, a favorite amusement of many of the English sovereigns. Windsor sends two members to parliament.

WINDSOR CASTLE was originally built by William the Conqueror, in the eleventh century, and has been the favorite country residence of the English kings for upwards of 700 years. It stands on a high hill, and commands a beautiful view of the Thames and the surrounding counties. Edward III rebuilt the old castle, and added St. George's chapel; and numerous changes were made by succeeding sovereigns, particularly by Charles II. In 1824, the dilapidated condition of the castle attracted the attention of parliament, and a grant of £300,000 was made for restoring it. Further grants have since been required, and the whole appearance of the building has been much improved by increasing the height of the walls, inserting larger windows, &c. The castle is divided into two wards, the Upper and the Lower, with a round tower between them, called the Middle ward; the whole covering about twelve acres, and forming a hollow square, three of the outer sides of which are surrounded by a magnificent terrace. The inner court is a connected building of three sides, the fourth being formed by the Round tower, or keep. The Lower ward contains the ecclesiastical portions of the edifice, including St. George's chapel. The Upper ward is formed by the round tower on the west, the state apartments, including St. George's hall, on the north, and a range of domestic apartments on the east and north, communicating with the state apartments. The royal apartments on the

north side of the upper court are termed the Star-building, from a star and garter in the middle of the structure. Amongst those shown to the public are the king and queen's guard-chambers, containing a fine armory; the queen's presencechamber, hung with tapestry representing the decapitation of St. Paul; the ballroom, with tapestry depicting the months of the year; the queen's bed-chamber, in which is a state bed; the beauty-room, so called from the portraits of Charles II's beauties, with which it is decorated; the king's dining-room; the king's audiencechamber, embellished with paintings by West; the king's or St. George's chapel, adorned with paintings by Verrio, and carving by Gibbon; and St. George's hall, appropriated to the order of the garter, and containing a representation of the triumph of the Black Prince. St. George's chapel, or the collegiate church of Windsor, is the largest and most elegant of the three royal chapels in England. It was founded by Edward III, but much improved by Edward IV, and afterwards by Henry VII. The interior is built in the form of an ellipsis, and the roof is supported by lofty pillars. On each side of the choir are the stalls of the sovereign and knights of the order of the garter, with their arms, banners, &c.; and in the vaults beneath are interred Henry VI, Edward IV, Henry VIII, his queen Jane Seymour, Charles I, and a daughter of queen Anne. At the east end of St. George's chapel is a royal mausoleum, formerly called Wolsey's' tomb-house, from that cardinal having begun a sumptuous monument here for himself. The monument was left unfinished, and the building fell to decay, till George III formed it into a mausoleum. The remains of George III and his wife, of his sons, George IV, the duke of York' and the duke of Kent, and of the princess Charlotte, with her infant son, are deposited here. Among the recent improvements before alluded to, are the new gateway, called George the Fourth's, consisting of two towers, York and Lancaster, 100 feet high; the Octagon tower, which is higher than any other part of the building, being 120 feet above the level of the terrace; a fine gallery, connecting the Octagon tower with the Star-building, &c.

WINDWARD ISLANDS; one of the divisions of the Caribbean islands, so called in opposition to another division of the same, called the Leeward islands. (q. v.) The Windward islands are Martinique,

St. Lucia, St. Vincent, Grenada, Barbadoes and Tobago. The name is, however, differently applied by different writers. WINDWARD PASSAGE; a name given to a course from the south-east angle of the island of Jamaica, extending 160 leagues, to the north side of Crooked island, in the Bahamas.

WINE; liquor that has become spirituous by fermentation. The invention of wine is involved in the obscurity of fable; but it must be referred to very remote times. The first portion of the fruit of the vine which had been pressed by accident or design, and allowed to remain a short time undisturbed, would be found to have assumed new and surprising properties; and the method of preserving for constant use the beverage thus obtained would soon be learned. The Egyptians attributed the invention to Osiris, the Greeks to Bacchus, and the Latins to Saturn. Wine was in common use, from an early period, among the Hebrews; but the use of it was, for a long time, forbidden in Rome, and, even at a later period, was not allowed to women. The Greeks and Romans poured out libations to the gods upon the ground or table; and the custom of drinking to the health of distinguished persons, or absent friends, also prevailed in both nations. (See Feasts of the Ancients.)—The vine does not thrive except between 35° and 50° of latitude; in higher latitudes, the grape seldom arrives at maturity, and the wine is weak, liable to sour, and destitute of the generous flavor which characterizes that produced in more favorable regions. In warmer climates, the saccharine matter predominates, and a complete decomposition cannot be effected. (See Vine.) The juice of the grape, when newly expressed, and before it has begun to ferment, is called must, and, in common language, sweet wine. It is turbid, has an agreeable and very saccharine taste, and is very laxative. When the must is pressed from the grapes, and put into a proper vessel and place, with a temperature of between 55° and 60°, a gradual fermentation ensues. Bubbles of carbonic acid gas (fixed air) rise to the surface, bringing along with them the skins, stones, and other grosser matters of the grapes, and which form a scum, or soft spongy crust, that covers the whole liquor. After a time, the crust becomes stiff, is broken in pieces by the ascending gas, and falls to the bottom of the liquor. When this takes place, if we would secure a good and generous wine, all sensible

fermentation must be checked. The s done by putting the wine into close vessels, and carrying these into a cellar or other cool place. The wine produced by this first fermentation differs entirely and essentially from the juice of grapes before fermentation. Its sweet and saccharine taste is changed into one that is very different, though still agreeable and somewhat spirituous. It has not the laxative quality of must, but affects the head, and, if taken immoderately, occasions drunkenness; and, when distilled, it yields, instead of the insipid water obtained from must, genuine alcohol. When any liquor undergoes the spirituous fermentation, all its parts seem not to ferment at the same time, otherwise the fermentation would probably be very quickly completed, and the appearances would be much more striking; hence, in a liquor much disposed to fermentation, this motion is more quick and simultaneous than in another liquor less disposed. Experience has shown that a wine, the fermentation of which is very slow, is never good, and, therefore, when the weather is too cold, the fermentation is accelerated by heating the place in which the wine is made. A too hasty and violent fermentation is also hurtful, from the dissipation and loss of some of the spirit. However, we may distinguish, in the ordinary method of making wines of grapes, two periods in the fermentation, the first of which lasts during the appearance of the sensible effects above alluded to, in which the greatest number of fermentable particles ferment. After this first effort of fermentation, these effects sensibly diminish, and ought to be stopped for reasons hereafter to be mentioned. The fermentative motion of the liquor then ceases. heterogeneous parts, that were suspended in the wines by this motion, and render it muddy, are separated, and form a sediment called lees, after which the wine becomes clear. But though the operation is then considered as finished, and the fermentation apparently ceases, it does not really cease; and it ought to be continued in some degree if we would have good wine. In this new wine, a part of the liquor probably remains that has not fermented, and which afterwards ferments, but so very slowly that none of the sensible effects produced in the first fermentation are here perceived. The fermentation, therefore, still continues in the wine, during a longer or shorter time, although in an imperceptible manner; and this is the second period of the


spirituous fermentation, which may be called the imperceptible fermentation. The effects of this fermentation are the gradual increase of the quantity of alcohol, and of the separation of the acid salt, called tartar, from the wine. As the taste of tartar is harsh and disagreeable, it is evident that the wine, which, by means of the insensible fermentation, has acquired more alcohol, and has disengaged itself of the greater part of its tartar, ought to be much better and more agreeable; and for this reason chiefly old wines are universally better than new. But insensible fermentation can only ripen and meliorate the wine if the sensible fermentation have regularly proceeded, and been stopped in due time. We know certainly that, if a sufficient time have not been allowed for the first period of the fermentation, the unfermented matter that remains, being in too large a quantity, will then ferment in the bottles, or close vessels, in which the wine is put, and will occasion effects so much more sensible as the first fermentation shall have been sooner interrupted; hence these wines are always turbid, emit bubbles, and sometimes break the containing vessels, from the large quantities of air disengaged during the fermentation. We have an instance of these effects in the wine of Champagne, and in others of the same kind; the sensible fermentation of which is interrupted, or rather suppressed, that they may have this sparkling quality. It 'is well known that these wines make the corks fly out of the bottles; that they sparkle and froth when they are poured into glasses; and, lastly, that they have a taste much more lively and piquant than wines that do not sparkle; but this sparkling quality, and all the effects depending on it, are only caused by a considerable quantity of carbonic acid gas, which is disengaged during the confined fermentation that the wine has undergone in close vessels. This air, not having an opportunity of escaping, and of being dissipated as fast as it is disengaged, and being interposed betwixt all the parts of the wine, combines, in some measure, with them, and adheres in the same manner as it does to certain mineral waters, in which it produces nearly the same effects. When this air is entirely disengaged from these wines, they no longer sparkle, but lose their brisk taste, and become insipid. Such are the qualities which wine acquires, in time, when its first fermentation has not continued sufficiently long. These qualities are given purposely to

certain wines to indulge taste or caprice; but they are not regarded as suited to daily use. Wines for daily use ought to have undergone so completely the sensible fermentation, that the succeeding fermentation shall be insensible, or, at least, very nearly so. Wine, in which the first fermentation has been too far advanced, is liable to worse inconveniences than that in which the first fermentation has been too quickly suppressed; for every fermentable liquor is, from its nature, in a continual intestine motion, more or less strong, according to circumstances, from the first instant of the spirituous fermentation till it is completely purified; hence from the time of the completion of the spirituous fermentation, or even before the wine begins to undergo the acid or acetous fermentation. This acid fermentation is very slow and insensible, when the wine is included in very close vessels and in a cool place; but it gradually advances, so that in a certain time the wine becomes completely sour. This evil cannot be remedied, because the fermentation may advance, but cannot be reverted. Wine merchants, therefore, when their wines become sour, can only conceal or remove this acidity by alkalies or alkaline earths. But these additions communicate to wine a dark, greenish color, and a taste which, though not acid, is somewhat disagreeable. Besides, calcareous earths accelerate, considerably, the total destruction and putrefaction of the wine. Oxides of lead, having the property of forming with the acid of vinegar a salt of an agreeable saccharine taste, which does not alter the color of the wine, and which, besides, has the advantage of stopping fermentation and putrefaction, might be employed to remedy the acidity of wine, if lead and all its preparations were not pernicious to health, as they occasion most terrible colics, and even death when taken internally. If wine contain oxide of lead, it may be discovered by transmitting through a portion of it, in a wine-glass, a current of sulphureted hydrogen gas, which will cause a glistening, black precipitate of sulphuret of lead. (See Fermentation, and Vinegar.) When the wine has attained a sufficient degree of maturity, it is freed from the lees, by being racked, as it is termed, into a clean cask; and, in order to prevent a renewal of the fermentation, it is subjected to the operation of sulphuring. This process is generally performed by means of sulphur matches, applied to the cask into which the wine is to be racked,

« PreviousContinue »