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ABSURD. STRACT. Or on the writers or the written bouk,
ABSURD'ITY, It is an absurd reply, i. c. a reply
ab surdo, from one deaf, and thereAB
In several ages born, in several parts, STRUSE Weave such agreeing truths ?
ABSURD'NESS. fore ignorant of that to which he
Dryden's Religio Laici. replies.
Cleo. Why that's the way to foole their preparation,
And to conquer their most absurd intents.
Shakespeare's Ant, and Cleo, act v. sc. ii.
that hath eares & can not hyre, handes and can not feele, feete and
can not goe, mouth and canot speake. All whiche absurdities & onBolingbroke's Essay on Human Knowledge.
reasonable folyes appeareth as well in the worshippe of our ymages, As the abstractedness of these speculations concerning human
as in the Paivims ydolles.
Sir T. More's Works, fol. 1557, p. 133.
Those images were all out as grogs, as the shapes in which they did
represent them : Jupiter with a ram's head; Mercury a dogges, Pan
like a goat, Hecate with three heads, one with a beard, another or, rather, as you say, another method of shortening communication
came from Heaven. by artificial substantives : for in this case, one single word stands for
Burton's Anatomy of Melancholy. a whole sentence.
Tooke's Div. Purley, v. ii.
The capital things of nature generally lie out of the beaten paths,
so that even the absurdness of a thing sometimes proves useful.
Lord Bacon's Essays. ponent parts or properties, laying aside or abstracting
Frı. But, signior, I have now found out a great absurditie i' faith.
Rin. What was't?
to the king: a three legg'd prologue, 'twas monstrous !
Beaumont and Fletcher's four plays in one. Triumph of Honour.
His kingdom come. For this we pray in vain,
Unless he does in our affections reign : of particular things. Thus seventy is an abstract num
Absurd it were to wish for such a thing,
And not obedience to his sceptre bring,
Whose yoke is easy, and his burthen light,
His service freedom, and his judgments right.
Waller's Reflections upon the Lord's Prayer.
It was formerly the custom for every great house in England to
keep a tame fool dressed in petticoats, that the heir of the fainily
might have an opportunity of joking upon him, and diverting himself
Spectator, No. 47.
Well may they venture on the mimic's art,
Who play from moru to night a borrow'd part;
With every wild absurdity comply ;.
And view each object with another's eye.
demonstration employed by mathematicians, when they
the contrary is impossible, or leads to an absurdity.
ABSYNTHIUM. See ABSINTHIUM.
ABSYRTUS, in Mythology, a son of Ætes (king of
Colchis) and Hypsea ; and brother of Medea : who
running away with Jason, was pursued by her father;
when, to stop his progress, she tore Absyrtus in pieces,
and scattered his limbs in the way. Some assert that
he was murdered at Colchis, others near Istria; the
place where he was killed has been called Tomos, and
an adjoining river Abysyrtos.
and the lower underthanes.
ABUCCO, Abocco, or Abocui, a weight used in
Pegu. One abucco contains 12 teccalis; two
two pounds five ounces the heavy weight, or three
pounds nine ounces, the light weight of Venice.
ABU. ABUKESO, in Commerce, the same with Aslan
CoR. O you kind Gods! KESO. and Asper; a silver coin, worth from 115 to 120
Cure this great breach in his abused nature
Th' vntun'd and iarring senses, 0 winde vp,
Of this childe-changed father.
Id. Lear, act iv. sc. vü.
And now (forsooth) takes on him to reforme
Some certaine edicts, and some strait decrees,
Over his countries wrongs: and by this face,
This seeming brow of justice, did he winne
The hearts of all that hee did angle for.
id. 1 H. IV. act iv. sc. 3.
God commanded the people to kepe the calendes, and newe moones:
yet not with sutche superstition and abuses, as the people kepte
Jewel's Defence of the Apologie.
Whose hideous shapes were like to feendes of hell,
All shap't according their conditions :
For by those ugly formes weren portray'd,
Which doe that sense besiege with light illusions.
Spenser's Faerie Quene, book i. ch. xi.
True it is, concerning the word of God, whether it be by miseon Derwent, and the Trent, falling into the German ocean, struction of the sense, or by falsification of the words, wittingly to and forming the mouth of the Humber.
endeavour that any thing may seem divine which is not, or any
thing not seem which is, were plainly to abuse, and even to falsify
Hooker's Ecclesiastical Polity.
To ill use, by deception, guile, Legh said, that there was honest devotion in those parts, and not
wards to man's folly.
Strype's Memorial of the Reformation..
Zara. The faithful Selim, and my women, know
The dangers which I tempted to conceal you.
You know how I abus'd the credulous king;
When he receiv'd you as the prince of Fez.
Congreve's Mourning Bride, act ii. sc. 9. proudest triumph standeth in the bringing of a man to the most
Ality. Insomuch, that I can no longer suffer his scurrilous abuse of that thing, y' is of his own nature the best. And therfore
abusiveness to you, no more than his love to me.
Wycherly's Country Wife, act iii. sc.1.
Wretch! that from slander's filth art ever gleaning,
Spite without spite, malice without meaning:
The same abusive, base, abandon'd thing,
When pilliored, or pension’d by a king.
Mason's Epistle to Dr. Shebbeare.
ABUSIVE, in Ecclesiastical Law; is applied to a per-
Surrey. mutation of benefices, without the consent of the bishop,
which is consequently null.
ABUSIR, Busir, or Busiris, a town of Lower
Egypt, on the right bank of the Nile, thirty-eight Were false and foule, and wicked cursednesse.
miles south of Damietta. It is now a place of inferior Chaucer. Fourth booke of Troilus, fol. 181. col. 2.
note, but stands on the site of the ancient BUSIRIS, Ye nobles & commös also of this realm, & specially of ye north
and relạins some few ruins of the temple of Isis;-it partes, not willing any bastard blood to haue ye rule of the land, nor ye abusions before in ye same vsed any loger to continue, haue once gave its name to that branch of the Nile on codišceded & fullye determined to make huble petició vnto ye most which it is situated. prisat prince, ye lord protector. Sir T. More's Works, fol. 1557. p. 63.
ABUSIR, or, The Tower of the Arabians, two for
tified eminences on the coast of Egypt, about 120 miles God of his infinite mercie, has sent vs a newe Josias, by whose
west of Alexandria, which are the first objects obrightuous administracion and godly policie, the lighte of God's word that so many yeares before was here extinct began to shine servable on that coast in sailing from the westward; againe: to the vtter extirpatio of false doctrine, the route and chiefe
and form, therefore, a kind of sea-mark to navigacause of all abusions.
ABUT, r. Sax. Ab: Abuttan, from Boda. The
ABUT'MENT. first outward extremity or boundary Where am I? Faire daylight!
ABUT'TAL. of any thing. ('Tooke.) To be upon I am inightily abus'd; I should cu'n dye with pitty
the outward extremity. To border upon the surface To see another thus.
Shakespeare's Lear, act iv. sc. vii. , of.
}a. Buonos, without bottom.
ABYO, ABUYO, one of the Philippine Islands, in the ABYO.
East Indies, in the possession of Spain, between ABYLA. Whose high, up-reared and abutting fronts,
Myndanao and Luzon, 1220, 15' E. lon. 10° N. lat.
ABYSM', n. s.
Shakespeare's Prol. to H. V. Abyss'. The name and place of the thing granted were ordinarily ex- That which is without bottom; and therefore unfapress’d, as well before as after the conquest; but the particular thomable, endless, unbounded, unlimited. manner of abuttalling with the term itself, arose from the Normans, as appeareth in the Customary of Normandy, cap. 556, where it is
But how is it, said, that declaration must be made par bouts & costes destites terres That this lives in thy minde? What seest thou els saisies, of the abuttals and sides of the said lands seised. Bout sig.
In the dark-backward and abisme of time? nifieth the end of a thing, abbouter to thrust forth the end.
Yf thou remembrest ought ere thou cam’st here,
How thou cam'st here thou maist.
Shakespeare's Temp. act i. sc. 1. land. In Coke, the plaintiff is said to fail in his abut
He makes me angry. tals; that is, in proving how the land is bounded.
And at this time most easie 'tis to doo't :
When my good starres, that were my former guides
Haue empty left their orbes and shot their fires of the Hottentot country, said to be rich in gold mines.
Into th' abisme of hell.-
Id. Ant. & Cl. act iii. sc. 2. of the Dardannelles. It was built by the Milesians,
And him beside sits ugly Barbarisme, with the permission of king Gyges, and famous for the
And brutish Ignorance, ycrept of late bridge of boats which Xerxes here threw across the Out of dredd darkness of the deepe abysme, Hellespont; and for the loves of Leander and Hero. Where being bredd, he light and heaven does hate:
Spenser's Teares of the Muses.—Melpomene. This city was once important, as it commanded the straits, and defended itself with great courage against
To whom Satan turning, boldly: "ye powers Philip of Macedon; but at length the surrender, And spirits of this nethermost abyss,
Chaos and ancient Night, I come no spy, A, M. 3803, was attended with dreadful scenes of
With purpose to explore or to disturb carnage. Liv. 31, c. 18. Lucan. 2, v. 674, &c.
The secrets of your realm.”.
Milton's Paradise Lost, b. ü. Egypt, between Ptolemais and Diospolis Parva, which We may consider that God's providence is inscrutible and contained the palace of Memnon and the celebrated impenetrable to us; a great abyss, too deep for our feeble under
standing to fathom.
Barrow's Sermons. temple of Osiris, built by Osymandes.
Under the empire of Augustus, the town was O the unfathomable abyss of eternity! how are our imaginations reduced to ruins; but to the west of it, in the
lost in the conceptions of it!
present village of El-Berbi, magnificent remains of what is
Stilling fleet's Sermons. supposed to have been the tomb of Osymandes, are
Far in the deep abysses of the main, still found. The entrance is under a portico sixty feet
With boary Nereus, and the watry train,
The mother goddess, from her chyrstal throne in height, and supported by two rows of columns. The
Heard his loud crics, and answered groan for groan. massy character of the edifice, and its hieroglyphics,
Pope's Homer's Iliad, b. xviii. proclaim its Egyptian origin. The tomb itself forms a
Nor second, he that rode sublime kind of entrance to the adjoining temple, which is
Upon the seraph wings of extacy, nearly 300 feet in length, and 150 wide. Remains of
The secrets of the abyss to spy. extensive apartments communicate with each other by
Gray's Progress of Poesy. subterranean passages and staircases, whose walls are
This Prince, who received the name of Ironside from his bardy sculptured with the ancient Egyptian symbols, and valour, possessed courage and abilities sufficient to have prevented many of the idols of ancient and modern India ; his country from sinking into those calamities, but not to raise it amongst which the celebrated Juggernaut and Vishnu from that abyss of misery into which it had already failen.
Hume's England. are conspicuous. An apartment 46 feet long by 22 wide, opens at the bottom of the first hall. Six ABYSS. A controversy has arisen on the subject of square pillars support the roof; and at the angles are a supposed cavern in the centre of the earth, to which the doors of four other chambers, which have been this name has been given. Whether the waters said buried in rubbish by the Arabs in their search for con- to be contained in this immense deep, were deposited cealed treasures. The next hall is 64 feet long by 24 here on the third day of the creation, or retired into it wide. Various colossal figures adorn these apartments, after the deluge, is matter of dispute. Dr. Woodward, which are minutely described by Savary in his Letters and others, suppose this vast collection of waters to on Egypt; the pyramids themselves have not more suc- have been called by Moses “the great deep;' and that over cessfully resisted the ravages of time than these its surface, the terrestrial strata are expanded. The splendid ruins ; which appear still likely to reach re- water is believed to communicate with the ocean, by motest ages.
certain hiatuses or chasms, having one cominon centre; ABYLA (Ptolemy, Mela); one of the pillars of Her- but in such a manner that the surface of the abyss is cules on the African side, called by the Spaniards Sierra not level with that of the ocean, nor yet so distant from de las Monas; opposite to Calpe in Spain, the other the centre as the other, it being restrained and depillar. They are supposed to have been formerly con- pressed by the super-incumbent strata of earth. Wherejoined, but separated by Hercules, and thus to have ever these strata are broken, or porous, the water opened an entrance to the sea now called the Mediter- ascends, and saturates all the interstices of the earth, ranean; the limits according to Pliny, of the labours of stone, or other matter, till it attains the level of the Hercules.
Springs and rivers, and the level maintained in the and Certainty of the Mosaic Deluge. JAMESON's Mine. ABYSS. surfaces of different seas, have been supposed to ralogy, vol.iii. p. 76. Cameran. Dissert. Taur. Act. originate in this abyss : and to the effluvia emitted from Erudit. Supp. tom. vi. Id. 1727, p. 313. Journal des it have been even attributed the diversities of the atmo- Sçarans, tom. Iviii. Memoirs of Literature, vol. vüi. sphere. This theory seems far from being satisfacto- Abyss is more properly used in Antiquity, to denote rily demonstrated ; and by most persons is considered the temple of Proserpine; in which a magnificent fund as rather ingenious than philosophical or correct. of gold' and other riches were supposed to have been Whoever wishes to investigate this curious speculation concealed. more fully, and to acquaint himself with the contro- Abyss, in Heraldry, to denote the centre of an versies it has occasioned, may consult WOODWARD's escutcheon. A thing is said to be borne in abyss, Nat. Hist. of the Earth, with Holloway's Introduction, en abysme, when placed in the middle of the shield, WHiteluRST's Inquiry into the Original Formation of clear from any other bearing: “ He bears azure, a flower the Strata, &c. Cockburn's Inquiry into the Truth delis, in abyss." COLOMBIERE.
ABYSSINIA, Abassia, HabEsII
, or Upper ETH10- phagi; 11. Rhizophagi; 12. Spermatophagi ; 13. ABYSSIPIA, an African kingdom, of very considerable extent, Hylophagi; and, 14. Ophiophagi -all of whom bad NLA
lying between the 7th and 16th degrees N. lat. and the their names from the food they made use of, viz. Extent.
30th and 40th degrees of E. lon. The medial breadth ostriches, locusts, tortoises, fish, bitches milk, eleis about eight degrees of longitude, in lat. 10°, about phants, roots, fruits or seeds, and serpents. 15. The 550 British miles. Ancient writers give the title of Blemmyes, near the borders of Egypt; who, probably Ethiopians to all nations of a black complexion; hence from the shortness of their necks, were said to have the Arabians, and many other Asiatics were so deno- do heads; but eyes, mouths, &c. in their breasts. minated. The Africans in general were divided Their form must have been very extraordinary, if we into the western or Hesperian Ethiopians, and the believe Vopiscus, who gives an account of some of the eastern, situated above Egypt. As the ancients never captives of this nation brought to Rome. 16. The acquired any accurate knowledge of this extensive re- Nobatæ, inhabiting the banks of the Nile, near the gion, it is not surprising that they should differ con- island Elephantine already mentioned, said to have been cerning the situation of the empire of Ethiopia, and removed thither by Oasis, to repress the incursions of assign it such a variety of names; as India, an appel- the Blemmyes. 17. The Troglodytes, by some writers lation which seems also to have been applied to many said to belong to Egypt, and described as little superior distant and unknown nations ; Atlantia and Etheria ; to brutes. 18. The Nubians, of whom little more is and in the most remote times, Cephenia. Its usual ap- known than their name. 19. The Pigmies, by some pellation was Abasene, a word very similar to Abassia, or "supposed to be a tribe of Troglodytes; but by others Abyssinia, its modern names. Persia, Chaldea, Assyria, placed on the African coast of the Red sea.
20. The and other Asiatic countries, were sometimes styled Aualitæ, or Abalitz, of whom we know nothing more Ethiopia ; and all the countries along the coasts of the than that they were situated near the Abalitic gulf. Red sea, were promiscuously denominated India and 21. 'The Asache, a people inhabiting the mountainous Ethiopia. The Jewish names of Ethiopia were Cush parts, and continually employed in hunting elephants.
and Ludim. To one country, however, above the rest, 22. The Macrobii, a powerful nation, remarkable for Situation of the title of Ethiopia Propria was given. It was bounded their longevity; some of them attaining the age of Ethiopia on the north by Egypt, extending to the lesser cataraet 128 years. 23. The Sambri, situated near the city Propria.
of the Nile, and the island of Elephantine; on the of Tenupsis, in Nubia, upon the Nile; of whom it is west by Libya Interior; on the east by the Red sea; reported that all the quadrupeds they had, not exand on the south by unknown parts of Africa.
cepting even the elephants, were destitute of ears. Different More than twenty different nations are described by the 24. The Hylogones, neighbours to the Elephantophagi, nations, writers of antiquity, each as distinguished by some consi- and who were so savage that they had no houses, nor according to derable peculiarity. Their descriptions are evidentlytinc- any other places to sleep in but the tops of trees. the ancients. tured with fable; but as a gratification to the curious,
we shall preserve the principal names which have been Provinces.-Modern Abyssinia, according to Mr. Provinces
ABYSSI- answer the purpose of money. The Habab is also by strangers. This district country is unwholesome, ABYSSI-
used letters from the earliest times. Their language is good horsemen, but make use of no other weapon than
GENERAL APPEARANCE. The aspect of Abyssinia is General Tigre. Tigre is a very wealthy province, bounded on the east by the territories of the Baharnagash; the river Mareb generally wild and magnificent. The mountains are re- appearance.
markable for their elevation, though their precise height
that they exceed the Alps and Pyrenees. Some resemble Sire. Sire is about 25 miles in length, and the same in pyramids and obelisks, while others are flat and square, breadth. Tacazze is its western boundary.
grouped with the utmost irregularity. The country Samnen. Samen is a mountainous province, lying to the abounds also in forests, morasses, deep and beautiful
vallies and rivers. This renders travelling difficult, but particular places 30 broad, though in general much it is also delightful, from the charms of perpetual and
romantic variety narrower. Begender. Begemder is situated to the north-east of Tigre;
The great salt plain, which extends over part of the Salt plain. about 180 miles long and 60 broad; bounded on the
tract between Amphila and Masuah, is one of the west by the river Nile; and comprehending the moun
most extraordinary productions of Abyssinia. It is tainous country of Lasta. Its soldiers are the best in
about four days' journey across.
For half a mile the
salt is soft, but afterwards it becomes hard, like snow Abyssinia : it is said that this province, with Lasta, can furnish 45,000 horsemen. It abounds with iron
partially thawed. For about the depth of two feet it mines, and beautiful cattle. It constitutes the prin
is pure and hard, when it becomes coa:ser and softer. cipal barrier against the incursions of the Galla, who The digging of this salt is rather dangerous, from the notwithstanding their frequent attempts, have never
vicinity of the Galla, who will often attack the persons yet been able to form a settlement in it.
so employed, as well as the caravans which convey the Ambara The mountainous province of Amhara is about 120
salt to Antalo, where they are much welcomed upon
their safe arrival. miles long, and upwards of 40 broad. The men have the reputation of being the handsomest in Abyssinia. MOUNTAINS. The mountains are arranged in three Mountains. This province contains the rock Geshen, once the ridges; the principal elevations, as is usual in such reresidence of the royal family.
gions, being in the middle, and at the same time, the Walaka is situated between the rivers Geshen and most rugged and barren. On the east of the kingdom Samba. In this province the only surviving prince of are the heights of Taranta; toward the centre, the Lathe family of Solomon was preserved, after the massacre malmon, and in the south, the Ganza. Bruce represents by Judith; on which account, great privileges were the Taranta as so bare, that there was no possibility of Taranta. conferred
the inhabitants. This province is pitching a tent; and recourse was accordingly had to remarkable for the monastery of Debra Libanos, where a cave for lodging. The lower part of the mountain the famous saint Tecla Haimanout, the founder of the produces in great plenty, the tree called kolquall, power of the clergy, was bred.
which he found in a state of high perfection. The Gojam
Gojam is bounded on the north by the mountains middle produced olives, which had no fruit; and the
To the east, and beyond the mountains of Amid middle; and they carry along with them two lances,
the south, those of Damot and Gafat, and Dingleber. with a blade about 16 inches in length, and three in Denbea.
Dembea occupies the space bordering the lake of breadth, at the lower part. There is an abundance of that name, from Dingleber below the mountains bound- cattle ; the cows are generally milk white, with dewlaps ing Guesque and Kuara.
down to their knees; their horns wide; and their hair Kuara, to the south of Dembea, is the Macrobii oflike silk. The sheep are black, having hair upon them the ancients. There is, in the lower part of this instead of wool; but remarkable for its lustre and province, a colony of Pagan blacks, named Ganjar; softness. On the top of the mountain is a plain, derived, according to Bruce, from the black slaves who which, at the time of Bruce's visit, was sown with wheat. accompanied the Arabs after the invasion of Mahomet. The air seemed excessively cold, though the barometer The
governor of this country is one of the great was not below 59° in the evening. On the western officers of state: he has kettle-drums of silver, which declivity, the cedars degenerate into shrubs and bushes. he alone has the privilege of beating through the Lamalmon is on the north-west part of the mountains Lamalınon. streets of Gondar,
of Samen, and was ascended by Bruce by a winding Narea, Ras-el-Feel, Tchelga, and other frontier coun- path, scarcely two feet broad, on the brink of a dreadtries, are inhabited by Mahometans, and usually governed ful precipice, and frequently intersected by the beds of