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THE

BRITISH ENCYCLOPEDIA.

measnre.

ABA

ABA A

The first letter of the alphabet, and one lines, distant from each other at least twice 7 of the tive vowels, is pronounced vari- the diameter of a counter; which, placed on ously; sometimes open, as in the words the lowermost line, signifies 1; on the se. talk, war; and at others close, as in iake, cond, 10; on the third, 100; on the fourth, wake.

1000; and so on. Again, a counter, placed A is also ised, on many occasions, as a in the spaces between the lines, signifies character, mark, or abbreviation. Thus, in only the half of what it would do on the the calendar, it is the first of the dominical next superior line. letters: among logicians, it denotes an uni Abacus pythagoricus, a multiplicationversal affirmative proposition: as a numeral, table, or a table of numbers really cast up, A signified 1 among the Greeks; but among to facilitate operations in arithmetic. the Romans, it denoted 500, and with a Abacus logisticus, is also a kind of multi, dash over it, thus A, 5000. A, ā, or ad, plication-table, in form of a right-angled among physicians, denote ana, or an equal triangle. weight, or quantity, of several ingredients. Abacus harmonicus, among musicians, de

AAM, or HAAM, a liquid measure used notes the arrangement of the keys of a mu. by the Dutch, equal to 288 pints English sical instrument.

ABACUS, Grecian, an oblong frame, over ABACK, in sea language, signifies the which are stretched several brass wires, situation of the sails when their surfaces are strung with little ivory balls, by the various flatted against the mast. They may be arrangements of which all kinds of compubrought aback, either by a sudden change tations are easily made. of wind, or an alteration in the ship's course. Abacus, Chinese, or Shwanpan, consists of They are laid aback to effect an immediate several series of beads strung on brass wires, retreat, withont turning either to the right stretched from the top to the bottom of the or left, to avoid some immediate danger in instrument, and divided in the middle by a a narrow channel, or when she has advanced cross piece from side to side. In the upbeyond her station in the line of battle.

per space every string has two beads, which ABACUS, in architecture, the uppermost are each counted for tive, and in the lowest. member of the capital of a column. See space every string las tive beads, of difArchitecTURE.

ferent values, the first being cumuted as Abacus, among ancient mathematicians, 1, the second as 10, the third as 100, and was a table strewed over with dust, or sand, on which they drew their figures or ABAIT, in sea-language, a term applica schemes.

to any thing situated towards the stern of a Abacus, in arithmetic, an instrument for vessel: thus a thing is said to be abait l'ie facilitating operations by means of connters. fote-mast, or main-mast, when placed he Its form is various ; but that chiefly used tween the fore-mast, or main-mast, and the in Europe is made by drawing parallel stern.

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VOL. I.

ABAFT the beam, denotes the relative parent motion of the heavenly bodies, pro. situation of any object with the ship, when duced by the progressive motion of light the object is placed in any part of that arch and the earth's annual motion in her orbit. of the horizon which is contained between Since light proceeds always in right lines, a line at right angles with the keel, and that when its motion is perfectly undisturbed, if point of the compass, which is directly op a fine tube were placed so as to receive a posite the ship’s course.

ray of light, passing exactly through its axis ABAS, a weight used in Persia for weigh- when at rest, and then, remaining in the ing pearls, being one-eighth part lighter same direction, were moved transversely than the European carat.

with great velocity, it is evident that the ABASED, in heraldry, is said of the side of the tube would strike against the wings of eagles, &c. when the tip looks ray of light in its passage, and that, in order downwards to the point of the shield, or to retain it in the axis, the tube must be inwhen the wings are shut; the natural way clined, in the same manner as if the light, of bearing them being spread.

instead of coming in its actual direction, had ABATE, in law, signifies to break down also a transverse motion in a direction conor destroy, as to abate a noisance, and to trary to that of the tube. The axis of a abate a castle. It means to defeat and telescope, or even of the eye, may be conoverthrow, en account of some error or ex sidered as resembling such a tube, the pasception.

sage of the light through the refracting subABATEMENT, in heraldry, something stances not altering the necessary inclinaadded to a coat of arms, in order to lessen tion of the axis. In various parts of the its true dignity, and point out some imper- earthi's orbit, the aberration of any one star fection or stain in the character of the per must be different in quantity and in direcson who bears it.

tion; it never exceeds 20'' each way, and ABATEMENT, in law, signifies the reject- therefore insensible in common observations. ing a suit, on account of some fault citer It AB and AC (Plate Acoustics, &c. fig. 1,) in the matter, or proceeding. Hence, plea represent the comparative velocity of light in abatement is some exception alleged, and of the earth, in their respective direcand proved, against the plaintiff's writ, de- tions, a telescope must be placed in the diclaration, &c. and praying that the plaint rection BC in order to see the star D, and may abate or cease; which being granted, the star will appear at E. This discovery all writs in the process must begin de noro. was made by Dr. Bradley, in his observa.

ABATOR, in law, one who enters into a tions to determine the annual parallax of the house or lands, void by the death of the last fixed stars, or that which arises from the possessor, before the true heir ; and thereby motion of the earth in its orbit round the keeps him out, till he brings the writ intrusione.

ABERRATION of the planets, is equal to ABDOMEN, in anatomy, the lower part the geocentric motion of the planet, the of the trunk of the body, reaching from the space which it appears to move, as seen thorax to the bottom of the pelvis. See from the earth, during the time that light ANATOMY.

employs in passing from the planet to the ABDOMINALES, in natural history, an earth. Thus with regard to the sun, the order of fishes, having ventral fins placed aberration in longitude is constantly 20", behind the pectoral in the abdomen, and which is the space moved by the earth in the branchia ossiculated. This order com the time 8' 7", which is the time that prehends sixteen genera, viz.

light takes to pass from the sun to the earth. Amia Cobitis Atherina Hence the distance of the planet from the Clipea Esox Cyprinus earth being known, it will be, as the disElops Loricaria Exocoetus tance of the sun is to the distance of the Fistularia Salmo Mugil

planet, so is 8' 7"' to the time of light passPolynemas Teuthis

Silurus

ing from the planet to the earth; then comArgentina

puting the planet's geocentric motion in ABDUCTOR, or ABDUCENT, in ana this time, will give the aberration of the tomy, a name given to several muscles on planet, whether it be in longitude, latitude, account of their serving to withdraw, open, right ascension, or declination. The aberor pull back the parts to which they are ration will be greatest in longitude, and but lised. See ANATOMY.

very small in latitude, because the planets ABERRATION, in astronomy, an ap. deviate very little from the plane of the

sun.

ecliptic. In Mercury it is only 4$", and or a judge, to a criminal accuser to forbear much less in the other planets. The aber any farther prosecution. ration in declination and right ascension de Abolition is also used by ancient civilians pends on the situation of the planet in the and lawyers, for desisting from, or annulling, zodiac. The aberration in longitude, being a legal prosecution; for remitting the equal to the geocentric motion, will be more punishment of a crime; and for cancelling or less, according as that motion may be. or discharging a public debt. It will be least when the planet is station ABOMASUS, ABOMASUM, or ABOMAary; and greatest in the superior planets, sius, in comparative anatomy, names nsed when they are in opposition; but in the in- for the fourth stomach of ruminating beasts, ferior planets the aberration is greatest at

or such as cliew the cud. These have four the time of their superior conjunction. stomachs, the first of which is called renter;

ABERRATION, in optics, a deviation of the second, reticulum ; the third, omasus ; the rays of light, when reflected, whereby and the fourth, abomasus. This last is the they are prevented from meeting in the place where the chyle is formed, and from same point. Aberrations are of two kinds; which the food descends immediately into one arising from the figure of the reflecting

the intestines. body, the other from the different refran ABORTION, in medicine, an untimely gibility of the rays themselves: this last is or premature birth of a fætus, otherwise called the Newtonian aberration, from the called a miscarriage; but if this happen bename of the discoverer.

fore the second month of pregnancy, it is ABETTOR, or ABBETTOR, in law, the only called a false conception. See Mediperson who promotes or procures a crime CINC, Midwifery, &c. to be committed: thus, an abettor of mur ABORTION, in law, if caused by giving der is one who commands or counsels an a potion to, or striking a pregnant woman, other to commit it. An abettor, according

was murder, but now is said to be a great as he is present or absent at the time of misprision only, and not murder, unless the committing the fact, is punishable as a prin child be born alive, and die thereof. cipal or accessary. See AccessARY. ABOUT, in military affairs, a word to

An abettor is the same with one who is express the movement by which a body of deemed art and part, by the law of Scot troops changes its fropt, by facing according land.

to any given word of command. ABEYANCE, in law, is that which is in ABRA, a silver coin of Poland, nearly expectation, remembrance, and intendment equivalent to the English shilling. See Coin. of law. By a principle of law, in every

ABREAST, a sea term, expressing the land there is a fee simple in somebody, or situation of two or more ships, that lie with it is in abeyance; that is, though at present their sides parallel to each other, and their it be in no man, yet it is, in expectancy, be

heads advanced. When the line of battle longing to liim that is next to enjoy the at sea is formed abreast, the whole squadron land. Where no person is seen or known, advances uniformly. Abreast within the ship, in whom the inheritance can vest, it may be denotes on a line with the beam, or by the in abeyance, as in limitation to several per side of any object aboard. sons, and the survivor, and the heirs of such ABRIDGMENT, in law, the shortening a survivor, because it is uncertain who will be count, or declaration: thus, in assize, a man the survivor, yet the freehold cannot, be- is said to abridge bis plaint, and a woman cause there must be a tenant to the præcipe her demand in action of dower, if any land always.

is put therein, which is not in the tenure of ABJURATION, in law, is used for re the defendant; for on a plea of non-tenure, nouncing, disclaiming, and denying the Pre in abatement of the writ, the plaintiff may tender to have any manner of right to the leave out those lands, and pray that the throne of these kingdoms : and that opon oath, tenant may answer to the remainder. The which is required to be taken upon divers reason is, that these writs rim in general, pains and penalties by many statutes, par- and therefore shall be good for the rest. ticularly 1 W. and M. 13 W. III. 1 Anne, ABROMA, in botany, a word signifying 1 Geo. I.

not fit for food, is used in opposition to ABOLITION, in law, denotes the re Theobroma, as a genus of plants belonging pealing any law or statute, and prohibiting to the natural order of Columniferæ, and some custom, ceremony, &c. Sometimes the eighteenth class of Polyadelphia Dode. also it signifies leave granted by the king, candria. There are two species, viz, the

the maple-leaved abroma, which is a tree between the vertex of that diameter and with a straight trunk, yielding a gum when the point where any ordinate or semi-ordicut, and filled with a white pith like the nate to that diameter falls. From this deelder; it flowers from June to October, and tinition it is evident, that there are an infiits fruit ripens in September and October; nite number of variable abscisses in the it is a native of New South Wales and the same curve, as well as an infinite number of Philippine islands, was introduced into Kew ordinates. gardens about 1770, and is a hot-house In the parabola, one ordinate has but one plant, requiring great heat, and much wa abscisse; in an ellipsis, it has two; in an ter:-and Wheler's Abroma, so called by hyperbola, consisting of two parts, it has Koenig, in compliment to Edward Wheler, also two; and in curves of the second and Esq. of the Supreme Council in Bengal; third order, it may have three and four. this is a shrub with a brown bark, a native. See Conic SECTIONS. of the East Indies, and is not known in ABSCISSION, in rhetoric, a figure of Europe. There is but one of the species speech, whereby the speaker stops short in known in Europe, which is propagated with the middle of his discourse : e... one of her us by cuttings. The plant requires a strong age and beauty, to be seen alone, at such an heat, and abundance of water. The seeds hour, with a man of his character. I need rarely arrive at a state fit for propagation. say no more.

ABRUS, in botany, from a Greek word ABSINTHIUM, See ARTEMISIA. signifying soft or delicate, so called from the ABSORBENTS, in the materia medica, extreme tenderness of the leaves, is a genus such medicines as have the power of drying of the natural order of Leguminosæ, and up redundant humours, whether applied to the seventeenth class of Diadelphia Decan- ulcers, or taken inwardly. See MATERIA dria. There is one species, viz. the Abrus Mevica, and PHARMACY. precatorius. It grows naturally in both ABSORBENT vessels, in anatomy, are those Indies, Guinea, and Egypt. It is a peren- which take up any fluid from the surface of nial plant, rising to the height of eight or ten the body, or of any cavity in it, and carry feet. Its leaflets have the taste of liquorice, it into the blood. They are denominated whence it is called, in the West Indies, according to the liquids which they convey, Jamaica wild liquoricc, and used for the same as Lacteals, or Lymphatics ; the former conpurpose. There are two varieties, one with veying chyle, a milky fluid, from the intesa white, and the other with a yellow seed. tines, the latter lymph, a thin pellucid liquor, The seeds are commonly string, and worn from the places whence they take their as ornaments in the countries where the origin. The lymphatics also take up any plant grows wild; and they are frequently Auids that are extravasated, and likewise brought to Europe from Guinea, and the substances rubbed on the skin, as mercury, East and West Indies, and wrought into va and convey them into the circulation. rious forms with other hard seeds and shells. ABSTRACT idea, among logicians, the They are also used for weighing precious idea of some general quality or property commodities, and strung as beads for ro considered simply in itself, without any saries, whence the epithet precatorius. respect to a particular subject: thus, magThey are frequently thrown, with other nitude, equity, &c. are abstract ideas, when West Indian seeds, on the coast of Scotland. we consider them as detached from any This plant was cultivated by Bishop Comp- particular body or person. Various conton, at Fulham, before 1680. It is propa- troversies have been maintained respecting gated by seeds, sown on a good hot-bed in the existence of abstract ideas; but all spring, and previously soaked for twelve or these disputes seem to be merely verbal. fourteen hours in water. When the plants It is certainly impossible to possess an idea are two inches, each of them should be of an animal which shall have no precise transplanted into a separate pot of light colour, figure, magnitude, or the like; but earth, and plunged into hot-beds of tanner's it is an useful artifice of the understanding bark, and shaded from the sun. They will to leave these out in our general reasonings. flower the second year, and sometimes ripen Thus it is that the a, b, c, &c. of the alge. their seeds in England.

braists are usefully applied to denote numABSCESS, in medicine and surgery, an bers, though undoubtedly they are only inflammatory tumour, containing purulent general signs. matter. See SURGERY.

ABUCCO, ABocco, or A BOCCHI, a ABSCISSE, in conic sections, the part weight used in the kingdom of Pegli. of the diameter of a curve line, intercepted ABUNDANT numbers, those whose

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