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ing the temperature of our climate to the
MERCURIALS. (See Advocate.)
METALLIC TRACTORS. (See Perkins.) MIDDLESEX, EARL OF. (See Sackville, Charles.)
MILFOIL. (See Yarrow.)
MILLING. (See Fulling.)
MIRACLES, in the drama. (See Mysteries.) MITCHILL, doctor Samuel Latham, was born in the year 1764, in Queen's county, Long Island, not far from New York. His family were Quakers, and his father was a respectable farmer. For the excellent education, classical as well as otherwise, which he received, he was indebted to his maternal uncle, doctor Samuel Latham, who, perceiving the germs of his talents, adopted him as his son, and gave him every advantage which the best tuition could afford. After the termination of the revolutionary war, young Mitchill, then in his twentieth year, was sent to Edinburgh to attend the courses of its school of medicine. He did not, however, confine himself to the medical lectures, but regularly attended the distinguished professors of natural science and history, and devoted, likewise, a portion of his time to the ancient and modern languages, and even to the elegant arts. Soon after his return, he analysed the springs at Saratoga, which soon after attained great celebrity. In 1792, he was chosen a member of the legislature of his native state, and, shortly afterwards, was appointed professor of chemistry, natural history, and agriculture, in Columbia college. He was the first person in this country to promulgate, in his chemical lectures, the nomenclature of Lavoisier, which he had adopted, although he had been the pupil, at Edinburgh, of the famous doctor Black, who upheld the phlogistic theory. In 1796, he made a memorable mineralogical report to the agricultural society, which is to be found entire in the Medical Repository. To natural history, and especially botany, he was zealously devoted, as appears from the discourse which he delivered at the anniversary of the New York historical society, giving an account of every work and writer that has illustrated the botany of North and South America. In the practice of his profession, doctor Mitchill was highly distinguished. He was a professor of materia medica in the university, the adviser, trustee or attending physician of the New York city hospital, and of a large number of the charitable institutions of that town, and a voluminous writer on matters of medical science. He was the originator of the American Medical Repository, and its presiding editor until the close of the fourteenth volume. Notwithstanding the variety and extent of his professional and scientific labors, he yet found time to
mingle in the bustle of politics. It has already been mentioned that, in 1793, he was a member of the state legislature. In 1797, he was again elected, and was afterwards successively chosen to the seventh, eighth, and ninth congresses; to the national senate; again to the legislature; and, in fine, to the eleventh congress. He was employed in many municipal offices, and in commercial or moneyed institutions, in which he acted as commissioner, or director, or manager. In private life, doctor Mitchill was remarkable for affability and simplicity of manners. He bore with singular equanimity the most unreasonable demands on his time, to which his celebrity exposed him in various ways. He was kind, affectionate and cheerful. When engaged in controversy, he never allowed himself to be carried away by undue excitement: at the same time, he knew how to repel attack, as well by argument as by raillery and sarcasm. He died in 1831, in his sixty-eighth year. MITYLENE. (See Lesbos.) MOORFOWL. (See Grouse.) MOTHER OF PEARL. (See Nacre.) MOUNTAIN LAUREL. (See Kalmia.) MUFFLE. (See Assaying.) MULEJENNY. (See Cotton Manufacture.) MURENA. (See Lamprey.) MURDER. (See Homicide.) MUSCOGEES. (See Creeks.) MUSCOVADO. (See Sugar.) MUSQUASH. (See Muskrat.)
MUTINY, on board of a merchant vessel, was not formerly punishable by death in England; but now, by statute 11 and 12 William III, c. 7, sec. 9, made perpetual by 6 George I, c. 19, it is enacted, that any seaman or mariner, who shall, in any place where the admiral has jurisdiction, lay violent hands on his commander, whereby to hinder him from fighting in defence of the ship and goods committed to his charge, or shall confine his master, or make or endeavor to make a revolt in the ship, shall suffer pains of death, loss of lands, goods and chattels, as pirates, felons and robbers upon the seas have suffered and ought to suffer. Similar offences, such as the running away with the ship, or any barge, boat, ordnance, ammunition, goods, or merchandises, the yielding of them up voluntarily to pirates, the bringing of seducing messages from pirates, enemies, or rebels, the confederating with, or attempting to corrupt, any commander or mariner to yield up or run away with the ship, &c., the turning pirate, or going over to pirates, are, by the same acts, punishable in the
same way. By other statutes, the wilful destruction, casting away, or burning of any ship, with intent to injure the owner, is punishable with death. In case of mutiny, the master is justified in using means sufficient to repress it; and if the death of any of the mutineers ensue, the master is justified, provided the force which he uses be fairly required by the exigency of the occasion; and the master's conduct is not to be scanned too nicely, as it must be borne in mind, that he is generally far removed from all assistance, and that his own safety and that of the ship and cargo chiefly depend upon the due maintenance of his authority. Mutiny in the royal navy is punishable under the provisions of the statute 22 George II, c. 33, which contains the rules or articles of the navy. Among the numerous offences enumerated in that statute, those which partake of the character of mutiny are as follows: the running away with the ship, or any ordnance, ammunition or stores belonging thereto, the making or endeavoring to make any mutinous assembly, the uttering of any words of sedition or mutiny, the concealing of any traitorous or mutinous design, the striking of a superior officer, or drawing or offering to draw or lift up any weapon against him, being in the execution of his office, on any pretence whatsoever, the presuming to quarrel with a superior officer, being in the execution of his office, or the disobeying of any lawful command of a superior officer. All the above offences are punishable with death. With regard to some, and those the least heinous of them, the court-martial has a discretionary power of awarding a less punishment. The behaving with contempt towards a superior officer, being in the execution of his office, the concealing of traitorous or mutinous words spoken by any, to the prejudice of his majesty or government, or the concealing of any words, practice, or design, tending to the hinderance of the service, and not revealing the same to the commanding officer, and the endeavoring to make a disturbance on account of the unwholesomeness of the victuals, or on any other ground, are punishable with such punishment as a court-martial shall think fit to award. Mutiny in the army is punishable under the mutiny act. By this act the king is empowered to make articles of war; i. e. rules or orders for the better government of the army. The mutiny act provides that no offence shall be made punishable with death, except those which are specified therein. These
are, mutiny and sedition; not endeavoring to suppress the same; not giving information of the same to the commanding officer; misbehavior before, the enemy; shamefully abandoning or giving up a post; compelling the commanding officer so to do; leaving one's post before relieved; being found sleeping on one's post; holding correspondence with any rebel or enemy; entering into terms with the same, without the license of his majesty or of the commanding officer; striking or using violence towards a superior officer, being in the execution of his duty; disobeying any lawful command of a superior officer; and deserting. The laws of the U. States for the punishment of mutiny in the army and navy, and on board merchant ships, are very similar to those of England.
MYRIOGRAMME. (See Gramme.)
NASO. (See Ovid.)
NATURAL MAGIC. [The following observations on this subject are from the preface to doctor Brewster's treatise on Natural Magic.] The subject of natural magic is one of great extent as well as of deep interest. In its widest range, it embraces the history of the governments and the superstitions of ancient times; of the means by which they maintained their influence over the human mind; of the assistance which they derived from the arts and the sciences, and from a knowledge of the powers and phenomena of nature. When the tyrants of antiquity were unable or unwilling to found their sovereignty on the affections and interests of their people, they sought to entrench themselves in the strong-holds of supernatural influence, and to rule with the delegated authority of Heaven. The prince, the priest, and the sage, were leagued in a dark conspiracy to deceive and enslave their species; and man, who refused his submission to a being like himself, became the obedient slave of a spiritual despotism, and willingly bound himself in chains when they seemed to have been forged by the gods. This system of imposture was greatly favored by the ignorance of these early ages. The human mind is at all times fond of the marvellous; and the credulity of the individual may be often measured by his own attachment to the truth. When knowl
edge was the property of only one caste, it was by no means difficult to employ it in the subjugation of the great mass of society. An acquaintance with the motions of the heavenly bodies, and the variations in the state of the atmosphere, enabled its possessor to predict astronomical and meteorological phenomena, with a frequency and an accuracy which could not fail to invest him with a divine character. The power of bringing down fire from the heavens, even at times when the electric influence was itself in a state of repose, could be regarded only as a gift from Heaven. The power of rendering the human body insensible to fire was an irresistible instrument of imposture; and in the combinations of chemistry, and the influence of drugs and soporific embrocations on the human frame, the ancient magicians found their most available resources. The secret use which was thus made of scientific discoveries and of remarkable inventions, has, no doubt, prevented many of them from reaching the present times; but though we are very ill informed respecting the progress of the ancients in various departments of the physical sciences, yet we have sufficient evidence that almost every branch of knowledge had contributed its wonders to the magician's budget; and we may even obtain some insight into the scientific acquirements of former ages by a diligent study of their fables and their miracles. The science of acoustics furnished the ancient sorcerers with some of their best deceptions. The imitation of thunder in their subterranean temples could not fail to indicate the presence of a supernatural agent. The golden virgins, whose ravishing voices resounded through the temple of Delphos; the stone from the river Pactolus, whose trumpet notes scared the robber from the treasure which it guarded; the speaking head, which uttered its oracular responses at Lesbos; and the vocal statue of Memnon, which began at the break of day to accost the rising sun,-were all deceptions derived from science, and from a diligent observation of the phenomena of nature. The principles of hydrostatics were equally available in the work of deception. The marvellous fountain which Pliny describes in the island of Andros, as discharging wine for seven days, and water during the rest of the year; the spring of oil which broke out in Rome to welcome the return of Augustus from the Sicilian war; the three empty urns which filled themselves with wine at the
annual feast of Bacchus in the city of Elis; the glass tomb of Belus, which was full of oil, and which, when once emptied by Xerxes, could not again be filled; the weeping statues, and the perpetual lamps of the ancients,-were all the obvious effects of the equilibrium and pressure of fluids. Although we have no direct evidence that the philosophers of antiquity were skilled in mechanics, yet there are indications of their knowledge, by no means equivocal, in the erection of the Egyptian obelisks, and in the transportation of huge masses of stone, and their subsequent elevation to great heights in their temples. The powers which they employed, and the mechanism by which they operated, have been studiously concealed; but their existence may be inferred from results otherwise inexplicable; and the inference derives additional confirmation from the mechanical arrangements which seem to have formed a part of their religious impostures. When, in some of the infamous mysteries of ancient Rome, the unfortunate victims were carried off by the gods, there is reason to believe that they were hurried away by the power of machinery; and when Apollonius, conducted by the Indian sages to the temple of their god, felt the earth rising and falling beneath his feet like the agitated sea, he was, no doubt, placed upon a moving floor capable of imitating the heavings of the waves. The rapid descent of those who consulted the oracle in the cave of Trophonius; the moving tripods which Apollonius saw in the Indian temples; the walking statues at Antium, and in the temple of Hierapolis; and the wooden pigeon of Archytas,-are specimens of the mechanical resources of the ancient magic. But of all the sciences, optics is the most fertile in marvellous expedients. The power of bringing the remotest objects within the very grasp of the observer, and of swelling into gigantic magnitude the almost invisible bodies of the material world, never fails to inspire with astonishment even those who understand the means by which these prodigies are accomplished. The ancients, indeed, were not acquainted with those combinations of lenses and mirrors which constitute the telescope and the microscope; but they must have been familiar with the property of lenses and mirrors to form erect and inverted images of objects. There is reason to think that they employed them to effect the apparition of their gods; and in some of the descriptions of the optical displays
which hallowed their ancient temples, we recognise all the transformations of the modern phantasmagoria. It would be an interesting pursuit to embody the information which history supplies respecting the fables and incantations of the ancient superstitions, and to show how far they can be explained by the scientific knowledge which then prevailed. This task has, to a certain extent, been performed by M. Eusebe Salverte, in a work on the occult sciences, which has recently appeared; but, notwithstanding the ingenuity and learning which it displays, the individual facts are too scanty to support the speculations of the author, and the descriptions are too meagre to satisfy the curiosity of the reader.*
NEFF, Felix; a young Protestant clergyman, who devoted his life to the preaching of the divine word to the scattered inhabitants of the dreary regions called the High Alps of France. He received a tolerable education from the pastor of the village, near Geneva, in which he was born. He learned the trade of a nursery gardener; but his passion for romantic adventure made him enter as a private soldier in the service of Geneva, in 1815. At sixteen, he published a valuable little treatise on the culture of trees. Within two years after he became a soldier, he was made a sergeant of artillery, in consequence of his theoretical and practical knowledge of mathematics. He at length quitted the army to devote himself to theological studies. He first assumed the functions of a pastor-catechist, and was ultimately called to the duties which he was so anxious to undertake, by one of those Independent congregations of England whose ministers are received in the Protestant churches of France. He was ordained in London, in 1823, and, within six months after, was appointed pastor of the department of the High Alps. In order to visit his various flocks, the pastor had to travel from his fixed residence, twelve miles in a western direction, sixty in an eastern, twenty in a southern, and thirty-three in a northern ; and Neff persevered, in all seasons, in passing on foot from one district to another, climbing mountains covered with snow, forcing a way through the valleys,
* We must caution the young reader against some of the views given in M. Salverte's work. In his anxiety to account for every thing miracu
lous by natural causes, he has ascribed to the same origin some of those events, in sacred history, which Christians cannot but regard as the result of divine agency.
choked up by the masses of rocks that were hurled down by the winter's storm, and partaking of the coarse fare and imperfect shelter of the peasant's hut. His first attempt at improving his people was to impart an idea of domestic convenience. Chimneys and windows to their hovels were luxuries to which few of them had aspired, till he taught them how easy it was to make a passage for the smoke, and to procure admittance for the light and air. He next convinced them that warmth might be obtained more wholesomely than by pigging together in stables, from which the muck of the cattle was removed but once during the year. He taught them, also, how to cultivate their lands to advantage, and the proper remedies to be used in cases of sickness. He improved their manners, which had been so savage that the women had not been permitted to sit at table with their husbands or brothers, but stood behind them, and received morsels from their hands. He labored hard to diffuse knowledge among them; and, with a view of providing proper teachers for these isolated tracts, he persuaded a number of young persons to assemble, during the most dreary part of the year, when they could not labor in the fields, and to work hard with him in the attainment of knowledge, which they were afterwards to spread among their neighbors. His unremitting labors finally destroyed his health, and he was obliged to quit the inclement district in which he had accomplished so much good. He lingered for some time in a debilitated state, and at length died at Geneva, April 12, 1829.
NEPHRITIS. (See Kidney.) NEPTUNIAN HYPOTHESIS. (See Geology.)
NEW GUERNSEY. (See Egmont Island.)
OBSTETRICS. (See Midwifery.)
decided of those who assumed arms to resist the arbitrary measures of the mother country. He joined the provincial army at Cambridge, and soon afterwards accompanied Arnold in his long and toilsome march to Canada. At the siege of Quebec, he was wounded, and carried from the engagement. On his return, he was invested with the command of a regiment, and retained it until the conclusion of the war, after which he was promoted to the rank of brigadier. He was a man of great liberality and amiableness of character. He died at Elizabethtown, New Jersey, March 31, 1791.
OIL PLANT. (See Sesamum Orientale.) ONAGER. (See Ballista.) ORCHARD BIRD. (See Oriole.) ORLANDO. (See Roland.) ORNITHORYNCHUS. (See Platypus.) ORR, Hugh, was born January 13, 1717, at Lochwinioch, in the county of Renfrew, Scotland. He was educated a gunsmith and house-lock filer; and at the age of twenty came to America. One year he resided at Easton, Massachusetts, and the next he removed to Bridgewater. There he built a shop, and set up the first trip-hammer in that part of the country, where he was for several years the only maker of edge tools, of which he manufactured many sorts. In 1748, he made five hundred muskets for the province of Massachusetts Bay, and, during the revolutionary war, commenced anew the manufacturing of arms. concert with a French gentleman, he set up a foundery for the casting of cannon. These were cast solid and bored: most of them were iron; a few were brass. A great quantity of cannon-shot was also cast at the same furnace, and, together with the cannon, formed a valuable acquisition to the country at that period. Besides spreading the manufacture of edge tools through various parts of Massachusetts, Rhode Island and Connecticut, Mr. Orr originated the business of exporting flax-seed from the part of the country in which he resided, and probably gave the first impulse to the manufacturing of cotton. For several years, he was elected a senator for the county of Plymouth, and enjoyed the intimacy and confidence of governor Bowdoin. He died in December, 1798, in the eightysecond year of his age. In private life, he was exemplary; and his attachment to his adopted country was pure and ardent.
OSBORN, John, was born at Sandwich, Massachusetts, in 1713, and graduated at Harvard college in 1737, where he was