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to'allow copies to be made, and to undertake for their safe custody (Conveyancing Act 1881, s. 9). The term “acknowledgment ” is, in the United States, applied to the certificate of a public officer that an instrument was acknowledged before him to be-the deed or act of the person who executed it.
“ Acknowledgment money ” is the sum paid in some parts of England by copyhold tenants on the death of the lord of the manor.
ACLAND, CHRISTIAN HENRIEI'I‘A CAROLINE (1750-1815), usually called Lady Harriet Acland, was born on the 3rd of January 1750, the daughter of the first earl of Ilchester. In 1770 she married John Dyke Acland, who as a member of parliament. became a vigorous supporter of Lord North’s policy towards the American colonies, and, entering the British army in 1774, served with Burgoyne’s expedition as major in the 20th regiment of foot. Lady Harriet accompanied her husband, and, when he was Wounded at Ticonderoga, nursed him in his tent at the front. In the second battle of Saratoga Major Acland was again badly wounded and subsequently taken prisoner. Lady Harriet was determined to be with him, and underwent great hardship to accomplish her object, proving herself a courageous and devoted wife. A story has been told that being provided with a letter from General Burgoyne to the American general Gates, she went up the Hudson river in an open boat to the enemy’s lines, arriving late in the evening. The American outposts threatened to fire into the boat if its occupants stirred, and Lady Harriet had to wait eight “dark and cold hours," until the sun rose, when she at last received permission to join her husband. Major Acland died in 1778, and Lady Harriet on the erst of July 1815.
ACLAND, SIR HENRY WEN'I'WORTH. BART. (1815—1900), English physician and man of learning, was born near Exeter on the 23rd of August 1815, and was the fourth son of Sir Thomas Dyke Acland (1787—1871). Educated at Harrow and at Christ Church, Oxford, he was elected fellow of All Souls in 1840, and then studied medicine in London and Edinburgh. Returning to Oxford, he was appointed Lee’s reader in anatomy at Christ Church in 1845, and in 18 51 Radcliffe librarian and physician to the Radcliffe infirmary. Seven years later he became regius professor of medicine, a post which he retained till 1894. He was also a curator of the university galleries and of the Bodleian Library, and from 1858 to 1887 he represented his university on the General Medical Council, of which he served as president from 1874 to 1887. He was created a baronet in 1890, and ten years later, on the 16th of October 1900, he died at his house in Broad Street, Oxford. Acland took a leading part in the revival of the Oxford medical school and in introducing the study of natural science into'the university. As Lee’s reader he began to form a collection of anatomical and physiological preparations on the plan of John Hunter, and the establishment of the Oxford University museum, opened in 1861, as a centre for the encouragement of the study of science, especially in relation to medicine, was largely due to his efforts. “ To Henry Acland,” said his lifelong friend, John Ruskin, “physiology was an entrusted gospel of which he was the solitary preacher to the heathen,” but on the other hand his thorough classical training preserved science at Oxford from too abrupt a severance from the humanities. In conjunction with Dean Liddell, he revolutionized the study of art and archaeology, so that the cultivation of these subjects, for which. as Ruskin declared, no one at Oxford cared before that time, began to flourish in the university. Acland was also interested in questions of public health. He served on the royal commission on sanitary laws in England and Wales in 1869, and published a study of the outbreak of cholera at Oxford in 1854, together with various pamphlets on sanitary matters. His memoir on the topography of the Troad, with panoramic plan (1830), was among the fruits of a cruise which he made in the Mediterranean for the sake of his health.
ACME (Gr. &Kw'j, point), the highest point attainable; first used as an English word by Ben Jonson.
ACMI'I‘E. or AEGIRITE, a mineral of the pyroxene (q.v.) group, which may be desczibed as a soda-pyroxene, being essentially a
sodium and ferric metasilicate, NaFe(SiO;),. In its crystallographic characters it is close to ordinary pyroxene (augite and diopside), being monoclinic and having nearly the same angle between the pris matie cleavages. There are, however, important differences in the optical characters: the birefringence of acmite is negative, the pleodlroism is strong and the extinction angle on the plane of symmetry measured to the vertical axis is small (3°—5°). The hardness is 6—6§, and the specific gravity 3-55. Crystals are elongated in the direction of the vertical axis, and are blackish green (aegirite) or dark brown (acmite) in colour. Being isomorphous with augite, crystals intermediate in composition between augite or diopside and aegirite are not uncommon, and these are known as aegirine-augite or aegirinediopside.
Acmite is a characteristic constituent of igneous rocks rich in soda, such as nepheline-syenites, phonolites, &c. It was first discovered as slender crystals, sometimes a foot in length, in the pegmatite veins of the granite of Rundemyr, near Kongsberg in Norway, and was named by F. Stromeyer in 1821 from the Gr. arm, a point, in allusion to the pointed terminations of the crystals. Aegirite (named from Aegir, the Scandinavian sea-god) was described in 183 5 from the elaeolite-syenite of southern Norway. Although exhibiting certain varietal differences, the essential identity of acmite and aegirite has long been established, but the latter and more recent name is perhaps in more general use, especially among petrologists.
ACNE. a skin eruption produced by inflammation of the sebaceous glands and hair follicles, the essential point in the disease being the plugging of the mouths of the sebaceous follicles by a “ comedo," familiarly. known as “ blackhead.” It is now generally acknowledged that the cause of this disease is the organism known as bacillus acnes. It shows itself in the form of red pimples or papules, which may become pustular and be attended with considerable surrounding irritation of the skin. This afiection is likewise most common in early adult life, and occurs on the chest and back as well as on the face, where it may, when of much extent, produce considerable disfigurement. It is apt to persist for months or even years, but usually in time disappears entirely, although slight traces may remain in the form of scars or stains upon the skin. Eruptions of this kind are sometimes produced by the continued internal use of certain drugs, such as the iodide or bromide of potassium. In treating this condition the face should first of all be held over steaming water for several minutes, and then thoroughly bathed. The blackheads should next be removed, not with the finger-nail, but with an inexpensive little instrument known as the “ comedo expressor.” When the more noticeable of the blackheads have been expressed, the face should be firmly rubbed for three or four minutes with a lather made from a special soap composed of sulphur, camphor and balsam of Peru. Any lather remaining on the face at the end of this time should be wiped off with a soft handkerchief. As this treatment might give rise to some irritation of the skin, it should be replaced every fourth night by a simple application of cold cream. Of drugs used internally sulphate of calcium, in pill, fl grain three times a day, is a very useful adjunct to the preceding. The patient should take plenty of exercise in the fresh air, a very simple but nourishing diet, and,if present, constipation and anaemia musube suitably treated.
Rasacea, popularly known as acne rosacea, is a more severe and troublesome disorder, a true dermatitis with no relation to the foregoing, and in most cases secondary to seborrhea of the scalp. It is characterized by great redness of the nose and checks, accompanied by pustular enlargements on the surface of the skin, which produce marked disfigurement. Although often seen in persons who live too freely, it is by no means confined to such, but may arise in connexion with disturbances of the general health, especially of the function of digestion, and in females with menstrual disorders. It is apt to be exceedingly intractable to treatment, which is here too, as in the preceding form, partly local and partly constitutional. Of internal remedies preparations of iodine and of arsenic are sometimes found of service.
ACOEME'I'I (Gr. anoinn-ros, sleepless), an- order of Eastern monks who celebrated the divine service without intermission day or night. This was done by dividing the communities into choirs, which relieved each other by turn in the church. Their first monastery was established on the Euphrates, in the beginning of the 5th century, and soon afterwards one Was founded in Constantinople. Here also, a. 460, was founded by the consular Studius the famous monastery of the Studium, which was put in the hands of the Acoemeti and became their chief house, so that they were sometimes called Studites. At Agaunum (St Maurice in the Valais) a monastery was founded by the Bur~ gundian king Sigismund, in 515, in which the perpetual office was kept up; but it is doubtful whether this had any connexion with the Eastern Acoemeti. .
The Constantinepolitan Acoemeti took a prominent part in the Christological controversies of the 5th and 6th centuries, at first strenuously opposing Acacius, patriarch of Constantinople, in his attempted compromise with the monophysites; but after— wards, in Justinian’s reign, falling under ecclesiastical censure for Nestorian tendencies.
See the article in Dictionary of Christian Anti uities; Wetzer und Welte, Kirchenlexican (2nd ed.); and Herzog- auck, Realms k10(3rd ed.) ; also the general histories of the time. (E. C. .)
ACOLYTE (Gr.éxé)\ou00s, follower), the last of the four minor orders in the Roman Church. As an office it appears to be of local origin, and is entirely unknown in‘the Eastern Church, with the exception of the Armenians who borrowed it from the Wmt. Before the council of Nicaea (325) it was only to be found at Rome and Carthage. When in 251 Pope Cornelius, in a letter to Fabius of Antioch, mentions among the Roman clergy forty-two acolytes, placing them after the subdeacons and before the other minor oflicials (see Eusebius, H ist. Ecc. lib. v. cap. 43), he gives no hint that the oflice' was a new one, but speaks of them as holding an already established position. Their institution has therefore to be sought for at an earlier date than his pontificate. It is possible that the Liber Pontificalis refers to the oflice under the Latin synonym, when it says of Pope Victor (186—197) that he 'made sequentes cleros, a term~sequens~which Pope Gaius (283—29 3) uses in the sense of acolyte. While the office was well known in Rome, there is nothing to prove that it was also an order through which, as to-day, every candidate to the priesthood must ‘pass. The contrary is a fact proved by many monumental inscriptions and authentic statements. Though the office is found at Carthage, and St Cyprian (200?—2 58) makes many references to acolytes, whom he used to carry his letters, this seems to be the only place in Africa where they were known. Tertullian, while speaking of readers and exorcists, says nothing about acolytes; neither does St Augustine. The Irish Church did not know them; and in Spain the council of Toledo (400) makes no mention either of the oflice or of the order. The Statute Ecclesiae Antique (falsely called the Canons of the Fourth Council of Carthage in 397), a Gallican collection, originating in the province of Arles at the beginning of the 6th century, mentions the acolyte, but does not give, as in the case of the other orders, any form for the ordination. The Roman books are silent, and there is no mention of it in the collection known as the Leonine Sacramentary; while in the so-called Gelarian M assbook, which, as we have it, is full of Gallican additions made to St Gregory’s reform, there is the same silence, though in one MS. of the 10th century given by Muratori we find a form for the ordination of an acolyte. While there is frequent mention of the acolyte’s office in the Ordimrs Romani, it is only in the Ordo VIII. (which is not earlier than the 7th century) that we find'the very simple form for admitting an acolyte to his oflice. At the end of the mass the cleric, clad in chasuble and stole and bearing a linen bag on one arm, comes before the pope or bishop and receives a blessing. There is no collation of power or order but a. simple admission to an office. The evidence available, therefore, points to the fact that the acolyte was only a local office and was not a necessary step or order for every candidate. In England, though the ecclesiastical organization came from Rome and was directed by Romans, we find no trace ofi such
an office or order until the time of Ecgbert of York (767), the friend of Alcuin and therefore subject to Gallican influence. The Pontifical known as Ecgbert’s shows that it was then in use both as an office and as an order, and Aelfric (1006) in both his pastoral cpistle and canons mentions the acolyte. The conclusion, then, which seems warranted by the evidence, is that the acolyte was an ofiice only at Rome, and, becoming an order in the Gallican Church, found its way as such into the Roman books at some period before the fusion of the two rites under Charlemagne.
The duties of the acolyte, as given in the Roman Pontifical, are identical with those mentioned in the Statuta Ecclesiae Antique of Arles: “ It is the duty of acolytes to carry the candlesticks, to light the lamps of the church, to administer wine-and water for the Eucharist.” It might seem, from the number fortytwo mentioned by Pope Cornelius, that at Rome the acolytes were divided among the seven ecclesiastical regions of the city; but we have no proof that, at that date, there were six acolytes attached to each region. From the ancient division of the Roman acolytes into Patatini, or those in attendance on the pope at the Latcran palace, Stationarii, or those who served at the churches where there was a “ station,” and Regionarii, or those attached directly to the regions, it would seem that the number forty-two was only the actual number then existing and not an official number. We get a glimpse of their duties from the Ordines Romani. When the pope rode in procession to the station an acolyte, on foot, preceded him, bearing the holy chrism; and at the church seven regionary acolytes with candles went before him in the procession to the altar, while two others, bearing the vessel that contained a pre-consecrated Host, presented it for his adoration. During the mass an acolyte bore the thurible (Ordo VI.) and three assisted at the washing of the hands.‘ At the moment of communion the acolytes received in linen bags the consecrated Hosts to carry to the assisting priests. This ofiice of bearing the sacrament is an ancient one, and is mentioned in the legend of Tarcisius, the Roman acolyte, who was martyred on the Appian Way while carrying the Hosts from the catacombs. The official dress of the acolyte, according to Ordo V., was a close-fitting linen garment (camisia) girt about him, a napkin hanging from the left side, a white tunic, a stole (orarium) and a chasuble (planeta) which he took off when he sang on the steps of the ambane.
At the present day, despite the earnest wish of the council of Trent (Sass. xxiii. cap. 17 d.r.), the acolyte, while remaining an order, has ceased to be essentially a clerical office, since the duties are now performed, almost everywhere, by laymen. The office has been revived, though unofficially, in the Church of England, as a result of the Tractarian movement.
See Morin, Commentarius in sacris Ecclesiae ordinationibus (Antwerp, 1685), ii. p. 209, iii. p. 152; Marténe, De Antiqui: EcCli‘Sitll.’ rilibus (Antwcr , 1739), ii. pp. 47 and 86; Mabillon, illusaeum Italirum II. for the rdines Romani; Muratori, Liturgia Romano Vetus; Cabrol, Dictionnaire d’archéolagic chre'tienne et de litur ie, vol. i. col. 348-536. (E. Tin
ACOMINATUS (Axomm’ros), MICHAEL (c. 1140—1220), Byzantine writer and ecclesiastic, was born at Chonae (the ancient Colossae). At an early age he studied at Constantinople, and about r17 5 was appointed archbishop of Athens. After the capture of Constantinople by the Franks and the establishment of the. Latin empire (1204), he retired to the island of Ceos, where he died. He was a versatile writer, and composed homilies, speeches and poems, which, with his correspondence, throw considerable light upon the miserable condition of Attica and Athens at the time. His memorial to Alexis III. Angelus on the abuses of Byzantine administration, the poetical lament over the degeneracy of Athens and the monodes on his brother Nicetas and Eustathius, archbishop of Thessalonica, deserve special mention.
Edition of his works by S. Lambros (1879—1880) : Migne, Patrologia Gracca, cxl.; see also A. Ellissen, Michael Akominatos (1846), con~ raining several pieces with German translation: F. Gregorovius, Grsrhichte der Stadt A then im Mittetalter, '1. (£889); G. Finlay, History of Greece, iv. pp. 133-134 (1877).
His younger brother NICETAS (Niketas), sometimes called Cnonurras, who accompanied him to Constantinople, took up politics as a career. He held several appointments under the Angelus emperors (amongst them that of “ great logothcte ” or chancellor) and was governor of the “ theme ” of Philippopolis at a critical period. After the fall of Constantinople he fled to Nicaea, where he settled at the court of the emperor Theodorus Lascaris, and devoted himself to literature. He died between 1210 and 1 220. His chief work is his History, in 21 books, of the period from 1180 to‘12o6. In spite of its florid and bombastic style, it is of considerable value as a record (on the whole im-' partial) of events of which he was either an eye—witness '01: had heard at first hand. Its most interesting portion is ithe description of the capture of Constantinople, which should be'read with Villehardouin’s and Paolo Rannusio’s works on the same subject. The little treatise On the Statue: destroyed by the Latins (perhaps, as we have it, altered by a later writer) is of special interest to the archaeologist. His dogmatic work(9naauper 'Opfiofiofiias, Thesaurus Ortlzadoxae F idei), although it is extant in a complete form in MS., has only been published in part. It is one of the chief authorities for the heresies and heretical writers
ACONCAGUA, a small northern province of central Chilc', bounded N. by Coquimbo, E. by Argentina, S. by Santiago and Valparaiso and W. by the Pacific. Its area is officially computed at 5487 sq. in. Pop. (1895) 113,165; (1902, official estimate based on civil registry returns) 1 31,2 55. The province is very mountainous, and is traversed from east to west by the broad valley of the Aconcagua river. The climate is hot and dry, the rainfall being too small to influence climatic conditions. The valleys are highly fertile, and where irrigation is employed large crops are easily raised. Beyond the limits of irrigation the country is semi-barren. Alfalfa and grapes are the principal products, and considerable attention is given to the cultivation of other fruits, such as figs, peaches and melons. The “ Vale of Quillota,” through which the railway passes between Valparaiso and Santiago, is celebrated for its gardens. The Aconcagua river rises on the southern slope of the volcano Aconcagua, flows eastward through a broad valley, or bay in the mountains, and enters the Pacific 12 in. north of Valparaiso. The river has a course of about 200 m., and its waters irrigate the best and most populous part of the province. Two other rivers—the Ligua and Choapa—traverse the province, the latter forming the northern boundary line. The capital is San Felipe, on the Aconcagua river; it had a population of 11,313 in 1895, and anestimated population of 11,660 in 1902. The other chief town is Santa Rosa de los Andes.(est. pop. 6854), which is a principal station on the Transandine branch of the state railway. The only port in the province is Los Vilos, in lat. 32° 8., from which a railway 40 m. long runs north-east to the valley of the Choapa. Another short line connects Cabildo, in the valley of the Ligua, with the state railway.
ACONCIO, GIACOMO (1492—1566?), pioneer of religious toleration, was born at Trent, it is said, on the 7th of September 1492. He was one of the Italians like Peter Martyr and Bernardi'no Ochino who repudiated papal doctrine and ultimately found refuge in England. Like them, his revolt against Romanism took an extremer form than Lutheranism, and after a temporary residence in Switzerland and at Strassburg, he arrived in England soon after Elizabeth’s accession. He had studied law and theology, but his profession was that of an engineer, and in this capacity he found employment with the English government. He was granted an annuity of £60 on the 27th of February 1560. and letters of naturalization on the 8th of October 1561 (Cal. State Papers, Dom. Ser., Addenda, 1547—1566, p. 495), and was for some time occupied with draining Plumstead marshes, for which
object various acts of parliament were passed at this time (Lords' Journals, vol. i., and Commons’ Journals, vol. i., passim). In 1564 he was sent to report on the fortifications of Berwick (Cal. St. Pap. For. Ser. 1564—1565, passim; Acts P.C., 1558—1570, p. 146); his report is now in the Record Office (C.S.P. For., 1564—1565, No. 512).
But his real importance depends upon his contribution‘to the history of religious tole'ration. Before reaching England he had published a treatise on the methods of investigation, De M ethodo, 1206 est, de recte investigandarum tradendarumque Scientiarum ratione (Basel, 1558, 8vo); and his critical spirit placed him outside all the recognized'religious societies of his time. On-hi's arrival in London he had joined the Dutch Reformed Church in Austin Friars, but he was “ infected with Anabaptistical and Arian opinions ” and was excluded from the sacrament by Grindal, bishop of London. The real nature of his heterodoxy 'is revealed-in his Stratagemata Satanac, published in 1565' andv ,translated into various languages. The “ stratagems of Satan ” are the dogmatic creeds which rent the Christian church. Aconcio sought to find theicommon denominator of the various creeds; this was essential doctrine, the rest was immaterial. To arrive at this common basis, he had to reduce dogma to a low level, and his result was generally repudiated. Even Selden. applied to Aconcio the remark ubi bane, m'l melius; ubi male, nemo pcjus. The dedication of such a work to Queen Elizabeth illustrates the tolerance or religious laxity during the early yearsof her reign. Aconcio found another patron in the earl of Leicester, and died about 1566.
AUTHORITIES.—GOII h's Index to Parker Soc. Publ.; Strype's Grindal, pp. 62, 66; ayle's Dictiannaire; G. Tiraboschi, Storia dclla lett. italiana (Florence, 1805—1813); Osterreichisches Biogr. Lexikzm; Nauz'elle biogr. gértérde; Diet. Nat. Biogr. (A. F. P.)
ACONITE (Acouitum), a genus of plants belonging to the natural order Ranunculaceae, the buttercup family, commonly known as aconite, monkshood or wolfsbane, and embracing about 60 species, chiefly natives of the mountainous parts of the northern hemisphere. They are distinguished by having one of the five blue or yellow coloured sepals (the posterior one) in the form of a helmet; hence the English name monkshood. Two of the petals placed under the heed of the calyx are supported on long stalks, and have a hollow spur at their apex, containing honey. They are handsome plants, the tall stem being crowned by racemes of showy flowers. Acom'tum N apcllus, common monkshood, is a doubtful native of Britain, and is of therapeutic and toxicological importance. Its roots have occa— sionally been mistaken for horse-radish. ' The aconite has a short underground stem, from which dark-coloured tapering roots descend. The crown or upper portion of the root gives rise to new plants. When put to the lip, the juice of the aconite root produces a feeling of numbness and tingling. The horse-radish root, which belongs to the natural order Cruciferae, is much longer than that of the aconite, and it is not tapering; its colour is yellowish, and the top of the root has the remains of the leaves on it. ' . Many species of aconite are cultivated in gardens, some having blue and others yellow flowers. Aconitum lycoctonum, wolfsbane, is a yellow-flowered species common on the Alps of Switzerland. The roots of Aconitum fcrox supply the famous Indian (Nepal) poison called bikh, bishor nabee. It contains considerable quantities of the alkaloid pseudaconitine, which is the most deadly poison known. "Acom'tum palmatum yieldsanother of the celebrated bikh poisons. The root of Aronitum luridu'm, of the Himalayas, is said to be as virulent as that of A. ferax or A. Na Pellasi As garden plants the aconites are very ornamental, hardy perennials. They thrive well in any ordinary garden soil, and will grow beneath the shade of trees. They are easily propagated by divisions of the root or by seeds; great care should be taken not to leave pieces of the root about owing to its very poisonous character.
Chemistry—The active principle of Aconilum N aPellus is the alkaloid aconitine, first examined by P. L. Geiger and Hesse (Ann., 1834, 7, p. 267); Alder Wright and A. P. Lufi obtained apoaconitine, aconine and benzoic acid by hydrolysis; while, in 1892, C. Ehrenberg and A. Purfiirst (Journ. Prat. Chem., r892, 4 5, p. 604) observed acetic acid asa hydrolytic product. This, and allied alkaloids, have formed the subject of many investigations by Wyndham Dunstan and his pupils in England, and by Martin Freund and Paul Beck in Berlin. But their constitution is not yet solved, there even being some divergence of opinion as to their empirical formulae. Aconitine (CuHuNOu, according to Dunstan; CanNOu, according to Freund) is a crystalline base, soluble in alcohol, but very sparingly in water; its alcoholic solution is dextrorotatory, but its salts are laevorotatory. When heated it loses water and forms pyraconitine. Hydrolysis gives acetic acid and benzaconine, the chief constituent of the alkaloids picraconitine and napelline; further hydrolysis gives aconine. Pseudaconitine, obtained from Acom'tum ferox, gives on hydrolysis acetic acid and veratrylpseudaconine, the latter of which suffers further hydrolysis to veratric acid and pseudaconine. Japaconitine, obtained from the Japanese aconites, known locally as “ kuza-uzu,” hydrolyses to japbenzaconine, which further breaks down to benzoic acid and japaconine. Other related alkaloids are lycaconitine and myoctonine which occur in wolfsbane, Aconitum lycoctonum. The usual test for solutions of aconitine consists in slight acidulation with acetic acid and addition of potassium permanganate, which causes the formation of a red crystalline precipitate. In 1905, Dunstan and his collaborators discovered two new aconite alkaloids, indaconitine in “ mohri ” (Acanitum chasmanthum, Stapf), and bikhaconitine in “ bikh ” (Aconilum spicatum); he also proposes to classify these alkaloids according to whether they yield benzoic or veratric acid on hydrolysis (Jour. Chem. 806., 1905, 87, pp. 1620, 1650).
From the root of Aconitum N apellus are prepared a liniment and a tincture. The dose of the latter (Brit. Pharmacop.) is of importance as being exceptionally small, for it is not advisable to give more than at most five drops at a time. The official preparation is an ointment which contains one part of the alkaloid in fifty. It must be used with extreme care, and in small quantities, and it must not be used at all where cuts or cracks are present in the skin.
Pharmacology of Aconite and Aconiti;1e.—Aconite first stimulates and later paralyses the nerves of pain, touch and temperature, if applied to the skin, broken or unbroken, or to a mucous membrane; the initial tingling therefore gives place to a longcontinued anaesthetic action. Taken internally aconite acts very notably on the circulation, the respiration and the nervous system. The pulse is slowed, the number of beats per minute being actually reduced, under considerable doses, to forty, or eVen thirty, per minute. The blood-pressure synchronously falls, and the heart is arrested in diastole. Immediately before arrest the heart may beat much faster than normally, though with extreme irregularity, and in the lower animals the auricles may be observed occasionally to miss a beat, as in poisoning by veratrine and colchicurn. The action of aconitine on the circulation is due to an initial stimulation of the cardio-inhibitory centre in the medulla oblongata (at the root of the vagus nerves), and later to a directly toxic influence on the nerve-ganglia and muscular fibres of the heart itself. The fall in blood-pressure is not due to any direct influence on the vessels. The respiration becomes slower owing to a paralytic action on the respiratory centre and, in warm-blooded animals, death is due to this action, the respiration being arrested before the action of the heart. Aconite further depresses the activity of all nerve-terminals, the sensory being affected before the motor. In small doses it therefore tends to relieve pain, if this be present. The activity of the spinal cord is similarly depressed. , The pupil is at first contracted, and afterwards dilated. The cerebrum is totally unaffected by aconite, consciousness and the intelligence remaining normal to the last. The antipyretic action which considerable doses of aconite display is not specific, but is the result of its influence on the circulation and respiration and of its slight diaphoretic action.
‘ Theraflulica—The indications for its employment are limited,
but definite. It is of undoubted value as a local anodyne in sciatica and neuralgia, especially in ordinary facial or trigeminal neuralgia. The best method of application is by rubbing in a small quantity of the aconitine ointment until numbness is felt, but the costliness of this preparation causes the use of the aconite liniment to be commonly resorted to. This should be painted on the affected part with a camel's hair brush dipped in chloroform, which facilitates the absorption of the alkaloid. Aconite is indicated for internal administration whenever it is desirable to depress the action of the heart in the course of a fever. Formerly used in every fever, and even in the septic states that constantly followed surgical operations in the pre-Listerian epoch, aconite is now employed only in the earliest stage of the less serious fevers, such as acute tonsilitis, bronchitis and, notably, laryngitis. The extreme pain and rapid swelling of the vocal cords—with threatened obstruction to the respiration— that characterize acute laryngitis may often be relieved by the sedative action of this drug upon the circulation. In order to reduce the pulse to its normal rate in these cases, without at the same time lessening the power of the heart, the drug must be given in doses of about two minims of the tincture every halfhour and then every hour until the pulse falls to the normal rate. Thereafter the drug must be discontinued. It is probably never right to give aconite in doses much larger than that named. There is one condition of the heart itself in which aconite is sometimes useful. Whilst absolutely contra-indicated in all cases of valvular disease, it is of value in cases of cardiac hypertrophy with over-action. But the practitioner must be assured that neither valvular lesion nor degeneration of the myocardium is present.
Toxicology—In a few minutes after the introduction of a poisonous dose of aconite, marked symptoms supervcne. . The initial signs of poisoning arc referable to the alimentary canal. There is a sensation of burning, tingling and numbness in the mouth, and of burning in the abdomen. Death usually supervenes before a numbing efiect on the intestine can be observed. After about an hour there is severe vomiting. Much motor weakness and cutaneous sensations similar to those above described soon follow. The pulse and respiration steadily fail, death occurring from asphyxia. As in strychnine poisoning, the patient is conscious and clear-minded to the last. The only post~morlcm signs are those of asphyxia. The treatment is to empty the stomach by tube or by a nowdcprcssanl emetic. The physiological antidotes are atropine and digitalin or strophanthin, which should be injected subcutaneously in maximal doses. Alcohol, strychnine and warmth must also be employed.
ACONTIUS (Gr. Akoniios), in Greek legend,,a beautiful youth of the island of Ceos, the hero of a love-story told byCallimachus in a poem now lost, which forms the subject of two of Ovid’s Heroides (xx., xxi.). During the festival of Artemis at Delos, Acontius saw Cydippe, a well-born Athenian maiden of whom he was enamoured, sitting in the temple of the goddess. He wrote on an apple the words, “ I swear by the sacred shrine of the goddess that I will marry you,” and threw it at her feet. She picked it up, and mechanically read the words aloud, which amounted to a solemn undertaking to carry them out. Unaware of this, she treated Acontius with contempt; but, although she was betrothed more than once, she always fell ill before the wedding took place. The Delphic oracle at last declared the cause of her illnesses to be the wrath of the offended goddess; wheres upon her father consented to her marriage with Acontius (Aristaenetus, Epistolae, i. 10; Antoninus Liberalis, M clamorphoses, i., tells the story with different names).
ACORN, the fruit of the oak-tree; a word also used, by analogy with the shape, in nautical language, for a piece of wood keeping the vane on the mast-head. The etymology of the word (earlier akeme, and acharn) is well discussed in the New English Dictionary. It is derived from a word (Goth. akran) which meant “fruit,” originally “ of the unenclosed land,” and so of the most important forest produce, the oak. Chaucer speaks of “ achomes of okes.” By degrees, popular etymology connected the word both with “ corn ” and “ oak-horn,” and the spelling changed accordingly.
ACORUS CALAMUS, sweet-sedge or sweet-flag, a plant of the natural order Araceae, which shares with the Cuckoo Pint (Arum) the representation in Britain of that order of Monocotyledons. The name is derived from aoorus, Gr. fixopos, the classical name for the plant. It was the Calamus aromaticus of the medieval druggists and perhaps of the ancients, though the latter has been referred by some to the Citron grass, Andropogon N ardus. The spice “ Calamus ” or “ Sweet-cane " of the Scriptures, one of the ingredients of the holy anointing oil of the Jews, was perhaps one of the fragrant species of Andropogon. The plant is a herbaceous perennial with a long, branched root-stock creeping through the mud, about } inch thick, with short joints and large brownish leaf-scars. At the ends of the branches are tufts of flat, sword-like, sweet-scented leaves 3 or 4 ft. long and about an inch wide, closely arranged in two rows as in the true Flag (Iris); the tall, flowering stems (scapes), which very much resemble the leaves, hear an apparently lateral, blunt, tapering spike of densely packed, very small flowers. A long leaf (spathe) borne immediately below the spike forms an apparent continuation of the scape, though really a lateral outgrowth from it, the spike of flowers being terminal. The plant has a wide distribution, growing in wet situations in the Himalayas, North America, Siberia and various parts of Europe, including England, and has been naturalized in Scotland and Ireland. Though regarded as a native in most counties of England at the present day, where it is now found thoroughly wild on sides of ditches, ponds and rivers, and very abundantly in some districts, it is probably not indigenous. It seems to have been spread in western and central Europe from about the end of the 16th century by means of botanic gardens. The botanist Clusius (Charles de l’Escluse or Lécluse, 1526—1609) first cultivated it at Vienna from a root received from Asia Minor in 1574, and distributed it to other botanists in central and western Europe, and it was probably introduced into England about 1596 by the herbalist Gerard. It is very readily propagated by means of its branching root-stock. It has an agreeable odour, and has been used medicinally. The starchy matter Contained in its rhizome is associated with a fragrant oil, and it is used as hair-powder. Sir J. E. Smith (Eng. Flora, ii. 158, 2nd ed., 1828) mentions it as a popular remedy in Norfolk for ague. In India it is used as an insectifuge, and is administered in infantile diarrhoea. It is an ingredient in pot-pourri, is employed for flavouring beer and is chewed to clear the voice; and its volatile oil is employed by makers of snuff and aromatic vinegar. The rhizome of Acoru: Calamus is sometimes adulterated with that of Iris Pseudacorus, which, however, is distinguishable by its lack of odour, a stringent taste and dark colour.
ACOSTA, JOSE DE (1539P-1600), Spanish author, was born at Medina del Campo about the year 1 539. He joined the Jesuits in 1551, and in 1571 was sent as a missionary to Peru; he acted as provincial of his order from 1576 to 1581, was appointed theological adviser to the council of Lima in 1582, and in 1583 published a catechism in Quichua and Aymara—the first book printed in Peru. Returning to Spain in 1587, and placing himself at the head of the opposition to Acquaviva, Acosta was imprisoned in 1592—1593; on his submission in 1594 he became superior of the Jesuits at Valladolid, and in 1598 rector of the Jesuit college at Salamanca, where he died on the 15th of F ebruary 1600. His treatise De natura novi orbis libri duo (Salamanca, 1588—1589) may be regarded as the preliminary draft of his celebrated Historic natural y moral de la: Indias (Seville, 1590) which was speedily translated into Italian (1596), French (1597), Dutch (1598), German (1601), Latin (1602) and English (1604). The H istorio is in three sections: books I. and II. deal with generalities; books III. and IV. with the physical geography and natural history of Mexico and Peru; books V., VI. and VII. with the religious and political institutions of the aborigines. Apart from his sophistical defence of Spanish colonial policy, Acosta deserves high praise as an acute and diligent observer whose numerous new and valuable data are set forth in a vivid
style. Among his other publications are Do )rocuranda salute Indonnn libri sex (Salamanca, 1588), De Chrirta revelan tibri norm (Rome, 1590), De temporibus novissimi: Iibri quatuor (Rome, 1590), and three volumes of sermons issued respectively in 1596, 1597 and 1599.
Aurnonrrms.— osé R. Carricido, E! P. 1016 de Acosta y su importancia en la itcratura cientffica “Paula (Madrid, 1899); C. Sommervogel, Bibliothéqua de la Compagm'o de Jésus, Prmilrc Partie (Brussels and Paris, 1890), vol. i., col. 31—42; and Edward Grimston's translation of the Historic reprinted (1880) for the Hakluyt Society with introduction and notes by Sir Clements Markham. (J.
ACOS‘I‘A, URIEL (d. 1647), a Portuguese Jew of noble family, was born at Oporto towards the close of the 16th century. His father being a convert to Christianity, Uriel was brought up in the Roman Catholic faith, and strictly observed the rites of the church till the courseof his inquiries led him, after much painful doubt, to abandon the religion of his youth for Judaism. Passing over to Amsterdam, he was received into the synagogue, having his name changed from Gabriel to Uriel. His wayward disposition found, however, no satisfaction in the Jewish fold. He
' came into conflict with the authorities of the synagogue and was
excommunicated. Unlike Spinoza (who was about fifteen at the time of Acosta’s death), Acosta was not strong enough to stand alone. Wearied by his melancholy isolation, he was driven to seek a return to the Jewish communion. Having recanted his heresies, he was readmitted after an excommunication of fifteen years, but was soon excommunicated asecond time. After seven years of exclusion, he once more sought admission, and, on passing through a humiliating penance. was again received. His vacillating autobiography, Exemplar Humonae Vitae, was published with a “ refutation ” by Limborch in 1687, and republished in 1847. In this brief work Acosta declares his opposition both to Christianity and Judaism, though he speaks with the more bitterness of the latter religion. The only authority which he admits is the lax naturae. Acosta was not an original thinker, but he stands in the direct line of the rational Deists. His history forms the subject of a tale and of a tragedy by Gutzkow. Acosta committed suicide in 1647. The significance of his career has been much exaggerated.
ACOTYLEDONE, the name given by Antoine Laurent de Jussieu in 1789 to the lowest class in his Natural System of Botany, embracing flowerless plants, such as ferns, lycopods, horse-tails, mosses, liverworts, sea-weeds, lichens and fungi. The name is derived from the absence of a seed~leaf or cotyledon. Flowering plants bear a. seed Containing an embryo, with usually one or two cotyledons, or seed-leaves; while in flowerless plants there is no seed and therefore no true cotyledon. The term is synonymous with Cryptogams', by which it was replaced in later systems of classification.
ACOUSTICS (from the Gr. axobew to hear), a title frequently given to the science of sound, that is, to the description and theory of the phenomena which give rise to the sensation of sound (q.v.). The term “ acoustics” might, however, with advantage be reserved for the aspect of the subject more immediately connected with hearing. Thus we may speak appropriately of the acoustic quality of a room or hall, describing it as good or bad acoustically, according as speaking is heard in it easily or with difficulty. When a room has bad acoustic quality we can almost always assign the fault to large smooth surfaces on the walls, floor or ceiling, which reflect or echo the voice of the speaker so that the direct waves sent out by him at any instant are received by a bearer with the waves sent out previously and reflected at these smooth surfaces. The syllables overlap, and the hearing is confused. The acoustic quality of a room may be improved by breaking up the smooth surfaces by curtains or by arrangement of furniture. The echo is then broken up into small waves, none of which may be suflicicntly distinct to interfere with the direct voice. Sometimes a sounding-board over the head of a speaker improves the hearing probably by preventing echo from a smooth wall behind him. A large bare floor is undoubtedly bad for acoustics, for when a room is filled by an audience the hearing is much improved.