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THE KING OF FRANCE HAD FORMERLY THE RIGHT OF APPOINTING ABBOTS OVER TWO HUNDRED AND TWENTY-FIVE MONASTERIES.
THE TROUGH IN WHICH THE ORE IS WASHED IN MINES IS CALLED ABACUS MAJOR.
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were also other inventions similarly denominated; viz. ABACUS PYTHAGORICUS, a multiplication table, invented by Pythagoras; and ABACUS LOGISTICUS, a rectangled triangle, whose sides, forming the right angle, contain all the numbers from 1 to 60, and its area the products of each two of the opposite numbers. This is also called a canon of sexagesimals.
In justice to the present advanced state of science, and at the same time, as a sincere though feeble tribute to the genius of one of the most scientific men of the age, we are bound to notice in this place a most extraordinary automatic invention by Mr. Babbage, (infinitely exceeding the powers of the abacus of ancient arithmeticians,) the object of which is to compute and print the most difficult astronomical or navigation tables, &c., such as could not otherwise be effected without immense intellectual and manual labour. We hear that the machine is not yet quite completed, but the inventor asserts, and his assertions are verified by Sir David Brewster and other eminent men, that not only can the highest operations of arithmetic be performed by this stupendous engine, but it is capable of correcting its own errors, and, when corrected, it can print off the results, independent of human aid! By this it appears that the machine consists of two parts, a calculating, and a printing part, both of which are absolutely necessary to its entire perfection. In explaining his mode of accomplishing such great objects, the inventor observes, "that nearly all tables of numbers which follow any law, however complicated, may be formed, to a greater or less extent, solely by the proper arrangement of the successive addition and subtraction of numbers befitting each table;" and he then proceeds to shew, by a series of tables and explanations, the theory of his art, as well as the mechanical execution required for its performance. The limits of our work, however, are inadequate to give a fair illustration of so skilful a contrivance, but it may be sufficient to lead the enquiring mind to farther investigation. [We may here remark, en passant, that it is to this end that a book of reference, so extensive in its aim as the present, must of necessity be constantly directed. Wherever, by reason of its brevity, or the magnitude of the subject on which it treats, it cannot enter into the necessary details, it may still excite a laudable curiosity for more elaborate information, and thereby lead to its acquirement.] ABATEMENT, in law, signifies the rejecting a suit, on account of some fault either in the matter or proceeding.ABATEMENT, in heraldry, something added to a coat of arms, in order to lessen its true dignity, and point out some imperfec. tion or stain in the character of the person who bears it. In commerce, ABATEMENT means a discount in the price of commodities for money advanced by the buyer, or some other cause.
AB'ATIS, trees cut down and laid with
their branches turned towards the enemy, so as to form a defence for troops stationed behind them.
ABATOR, in law, one who enters into house or lands, void by the death of the last possessor, before the true heir. AB'ATURES, a term, with huntsmen, to denote the sprigs or grass thrown down by the stag in passing by. ABB, or ABB-WOOL, a term used by clothiers for the warp.
AB'BE, a French word, literally meaning an abbot; but the character generally spoken of under the name of abbé has long ceased to be of any official nature. Before the Revolution, the term abbé designated a very numerous body of persons, who had little or no connexion with the church, except the apparent one which they derived from this title, but who followed a course of theological study, in hopes that the king would confer on them a real abbey, that is, a part of the revenues of a monastery. They were engaged in every kind of literary occupation, and exerted an important influence on the character of the country; nor was there scarcely a family of distinction in France wherein an abbé was not found in the capacity of a familiar friend and spiritual adviser. AB'BESS, the superior of a nunnery, or other religious community of women. She has the same authority as an abbot, but cannot exercise any of the spiritual functions. AB'BEY, a religious house governed by a superior, under the title of an abbot or abbess. Abbeys differ in nothing from priories, except that the latter are governed by priors, instead of abbots. The abbeys of England, at their dissolution under Henry VIII., became lay-sees; when no less than 190 were dissolved, the yearly revenue of which has been estimated at 2,853,000l.; an almost incredible sum, con. sidering the value of money in those days. At present, an abbey is, in general, the cathedral or episcopal church of the see or diocese in which it stands.
AB'BOT, was originally the name of every aged monk; but, since the Sth century, it denotes the head of a monastery. In most countries they held a rank next to that of bishop, and had votes in the ecclesiastical councils. At present they are chiefly distinguished into regular and commendatory; the former being real monks or religious, and the latter only seculars or lay-men. These last, notwithstanding that the term commendam seems to signify the contrary, have the perpetual enjoyment of the fruits of their abbeys. Anciently the ceremony of creating an abbot consisted in clothing him with the habit called caculla, or cowl: putting the pastoral staff into his hand, and the shoes called pedales, on his feet; but at present, it is only a simple be nediction. It was because certain abbots and priors in England, in right of their monasteries, held lands of the crown, for which they owed military service, that they obtained the title of LORDS, and were summoned, as barons, to parliament; and
THE IDLE INMATES OF A MONASTERY ARE DESIGNATED ABBEY-LUBBERS.
SOME PROTESTANT CLERGYMEN, IN GERMANY, STILL BEAR THE TITLE OF ABBOT, WITH THE RIGHT OF SITTING IN THE DIET OF THE STATES.
THE ABDUCTOR OCULI IS ONE OF THE MUSCLES ARISING FROM THE ORBIT OF THE EYE, AND IS SOMETIMES CALLED THE SCORNFUL MUSCLE.
BY THE JEWISH LAW, ABDUCTION IS CONSIDERED A CAPITAL OFFENCE.
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from this custom the bishops, in modern adopted the children of others, and brought times, have the same honour.
ABBREVIATION, a contracted manner of writing words so as to retain only the initial letters. Such abbreviations were in common use with the Romans, as they are with us, to save time and space. [For a complete list of those most necessary to be known at present, we refer to "The Treasury of Knowledge."]-ABBREVIA TION, a mathematical term, given to the process by which a fraction is reduced to lower terms.ABBREVIATION, (in musie.) One dash, through the stem of a minim or crotchet, or under a semibreve, converts it into as many quavers as it is equal to in time: two dashes into semiquavers; three into demisemiquavers; and so on. When minims are connected together like quavers, semiquavers, &c., they are to be repeated as many times as if they were really such notes. An oblique dash through the 2nd, 3rd, and 4th lines after an arpeggio, signifies that it is to be repeated; for quavers, a single dash being used; for semiquavers, a double one; and so on.
ABBREVIATORS, officers who assist the vice-chancellor in drawing up the Pope's briefs, and reducing petitions into. proper form, to be converted into bulls.
ABDICATION, properly speaking, is a voluntary resignation of a dignity, particularly a regal one; and if he in whose favour the abdication was made, dies, or declines the offered dignity, the right of the abdicated prince is reverted. Involuntary resignations are, however, also termed abdications, as in the case of Napoleon's abdication at Fontainbleau.
ABDITA'RIUM, or ABDITO'RUM, in archæology, a secret place for hiding or preserving valuables.
ABDOMEN, that part of the body usually called the belly. It contains the viscera more or less immediately connected with digestion, and the kidneys which secrete the urine. By anatomists, the abdomen is divided into three anterior regions, viz. the epigastric, or upper one; the umbilical, or middle one; and the hypogastric, or lower one: there is also one posterior region, called regio lumbaris.
ABDOMINALES, a numerous order of fishes, which have the ventral fins placed behind the pectoral, in the abdomen; as salmon, trout, herrings, carp, sprats, &c. It includes the greatest number of the fresh-water species.
ABDUCTION, the crime of unlawfully taking away, either by force or fraud and persuasion, the person of another, whether of child, wife, ward, heiress, or woman generally. The word abduction is also used in surgery, to express a peculiar fracture of the bones.
ABDUCTOR, in anatomy, a name given to several muscles on account of their serving to open or draw backwards the parts into which they are inserted.
ABELIANS, or A'BELITES, a Christian sect which sprang from the Gnostics. They abstained from matrimony, but
them up in their own principles. ABELMOS'CHUS, the seed of an Egyptian plant, which resembles musk in its perfume, and is used by the Arabians in their coffee. ABERRATION, in astronomy, an ap parent motion of the fixed stars, occasioned by the progressive motion of light.ABERRATION, in optics, the deviation of the rays of light, when reflected by a lens or speculum, whereby they are prevented from meeting in the same point. Aberrations are of two kinds, one arising from the figure of the reflecting body, the other from the unequal refrangibility of the rays themselves. ABEY'ANCE, in law, the expectancy of an estate or possession: thus, if lands be leased from one person for life, with reversion to another for years, the latter estate is in abeyance till the death of the lessee. It is a fixed principle of law, that the feesimple of all lands is in somebody, or else in abeyance. ABJURATION, a forswearing, or renouncing by oath in the old law it signi fied a sworn banishment, or an oath taken to forsake the realm for ever. In its modern, and now more usual signification, it extends to persons, and doctrines, as well as places.
ÁBLACTATION, a sort of ingrafting trees, by leaving the graft on its proper stock, until it be fully incorporated with the new stock. Also, the weaning a child from the breast.
ABLECTI, in ancient Rome, a chosen band of foreign troops, selected from the extraordinarii sociorum.
ABLEG'MINA, in Roman antiquity, choice parts of the entrails of victims, called also proficia, porricia, prosecta, and prosegmina. The ablegmina were sprinkled with flour, and burnt on the altar; the priests pouring some wine on them. AB'LUENTS, diluting medicines, or such as dissolve and carry off impurities from any part of the body. ABLUTION, a religious ceremony of washing the body, still used by the Turks and Mahomedans. It originated in the obvious necessity of practising cleanliness, for the prevention of diseases in hot countries; for which purpose it was made a religious rite; and by an easy transition of idea, the purity of the body was made to typify the purity of the soul: an idea the more rational, as it is perhaps physically certain that outward wretchedness debases the inward mind. ABLUTION, among physicians, is used either for washing the external parts of the body by baths; or deterging the bowels by thin diluting fluids. ABOL'LA, a kind of military garment worn by the Greek and Roman soldiers. ABOMA'SUS, the paunch, or fourth stomach of ruminating animals, in which the process of digestion is completed. Ruminating animals, or such as chew the cud, have four stomachs; the first, is called
THE ROMISH CHURCH RETAINS ABLUTION BEFORE MASS, AND SOMETIMES AFTER.
FORMERLY, FELONS TAKING REFUGE IN A CHURCH MIGHT ESCAPE PUNISHMENT, BY CONFESSING THEIR GUILT AND ABJURING THE REALM.
PERSONS WHO DERIVED THEIR INCOMES FROM IRELAND, AND DID NOT RESIDE THERE SIX MONTHS, WERE FORMERLY TAXED TWENTY PER CENT.
THE MOST ABSORBENT SOILS ARE COMPOSED OF ALUMINOUS EARTHS.
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venter; the second, reticulum; the third,
omasus; and the fourth, abomasus. It is in the abomasus of calves and lambs that the runnet is found, used for curdling milk. ABORI"GENES, a name given to the original or first inhabitants of any country; but more particularly used for the ancient
inhabitants of Latium, when Æneas with his Trojans came into Italy.
ABORTION, in a figurative sense, any production that does not come to maturity, or any design or project which fails before it is properly matured.In medicine, it means a miscarriage, or the foetus brought forth before it is perfectly formed.
ABOUT, the situation of a ship immediately after she has tacked.ABOUT SHIP, an order to the crew to prepare for tacking.
AB'RACADAB'RA, a term of incantation, formerly used as a spell or charm, and worn about the neck as an amulet against several diseases. In order to give it the more virtue, it was to be written as many times as the word contains letters, omitting always the last letter of the former, and so forming a triangle. But charms and incantations have had their day; and abracadabra, if used at all, now serves as a word of jest, like hocus pocus, and other unmeaning gibberish.
ABRA'SION, in medicine, the corroding or wearing of the intestines, by sharp and acrimonious humours, or medicines. ABRAX'AS, or ABRASAX', in church-history, a mystical term expressing the supreme God, under whom the Basilidians supposed 365 dependent deities. It was the principle of the Gnostic hierarchy.-ABRAXAS, or ABRASAX STONES, are very numerous, and represent the human body, with the head of a cock, and the feet of a reptile. The name of Abrasax stone is, in modern times, applied to a variety of gems that exhibit enigmatical compositions, but have not the true characteristics of the Basilidians. AB'RAUM, a kind of red clay used by cabinet-makers to deepen the colour of new mahogany.
ABREAST, side by side, or opposite to; a sea term, applied to two or more ships ranged together.-ABREAST of a place, means directly opposite to it.
ABREUVOIR', a French word for a watering-place, or any place dug for retaining water, as in camps. In architecture, the interstices between two stones to be filled up with mortar or cement are called abreuvoirs.
ABRIDGMENT, the bringing the contents of a book within a short compass. The perfection of an abridgment consists in taking only what is material and substantial, and rejecting all superfluities, whether of sentiment or style: in which light, abridgments must be allowed to be eminently serviceable to all whose occupations prevent them from devoting much time to literary pursuits. ABRIDGMENT, in law, the shortening a count, or declara tion: thus, in assize, a man is said to abridge his plaint, and a woman her de
mand in an action of dower, if any land is
ABSENTEE', a word of modern times,
AB'SOLUTISM, in matters of theology, a doctrine charged on the Calvinists; whereby God is supposed to act from mere pleasure, in regard to the salvation of mankind. Absolutism is the grand obstacle to an union between the Lutherans and Calvinists.
ABSORPTION, the process in animated nature, by which the digested aliments or substances that support the body are carried into the blood. In chemistry, absorption means the conversion of a gaseous fluid into a liquid or solid, on being united with some other solid.
ABSORB'ENTS, calcarious earths, or other medicines which soak up the redundant humours of the body.
ABSORBENT VESSELS, are those which absorb the digested aliment, and carry the new matter, called chyle, into the system. They are either lacteal, or lymphatic. The chyle being white like milk, gives the name lacteal or milky to the vessels through which it is conveyed. The substance contained in the lymphatic vessels is the old and worn-out particles of the system, and such others as may have been received in it from the surfaces of the body: it is perfectly transparent, on which account it is called lymph, giving the name lymphatic to its vessels.The term ABSORBENT VESSELS is also used by some
THE ABSORBENT POWER OF WATER IS A TEST OF THE GOODNESS OF SOIL.
THE TAX ON IRISH ABSENTEES WAS LAID ON AT THE BEGINNING, AND TAKEN OFF ABOUT THE MIDDLE OF THE EIGHTEENTH CENTURY.
TO ENCOURAGE THE FISHERIES, AND THEREBY INCREASE THE NUMBER OF MARINERS, QUEEN ELIZABETH PASSED LAWS IN FAVOUR OF ABSTINENCE.
TOTAL ABSTINENCE ABOVE SEVEN DAYS IS SAID TO BE FATAL TO MAN.
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naturalists for the fibres of the roots of plants, which draw nourishment from the surrounding earth.
ABSTE'MII, a name given to persons who could not partake of the sacrament from their natural aversion to wine.
ABSTERGENTS, medicines proper for cleansing the body from concretions and other impurities, not to be effected by simple abluents. Abstergents are of a saponaceous nature, and therefore very different from mere abluents.
ABSTINENCE, the abstaining or refraining from what is either useful, agreeable, or pernicious; but more especially, from eating and drinking. In the Romish church there are "days of abstinence," as well as "fast days;" the former importing a partial, and the latter, almost a total abstinence from food.
AB'STINENTS, a sect of Christians who appeared in France about the end of the third century, professing celibacy, and abstinence from particular kinds of food, &c.
-The most rigid ABSTINENTS of the present day, are those who, under the whimsical denomination of tee-totallers, (TEAtotallers?) profess to abstain wholly from the use of all liquors stronger than tea or coffee. In the United States, according to a calculation which has appeared, nearly half-a-million belong to the different "temperance societies;" and even their disciples in England, on a general muster-day, are able to make a display of forces sufficiently numerous, we should think, to alarm the proprietors and keepers of those temples of sin called gin-palaces, which rear their unblushing heads in every street in the metropolis, presenting to the mind, when viewed in contrast with the squalid and filthy wretches who support them, a truly appalling picture of moral, mental, and physical degradation. Whatever means may be found most effectual for banishing the detestable vice of drunkenness from civilized life, should most assuredly be promoted, whether it be tee-totalism, the stocks, or the whipping-post; yet we cannot help feeling that there is something bordering upon the ludicrous in these promiscuous assemblages, where "reformed" drunkards, i. e. emaciated old sots, either affecting abstemiousness or having spent all their substance in bacchanalian orgies, set up for apostles of temperance, and descant on their former bibulous propeusities, in order that blushing maidens and innocent youths may have an adequate idea of the enormity of drinking a glass of homemade wine. It should, however be observed that, as among professing Christians some are less strict than others, so among the advocates of the "temperance system," some give much greater latitude than others to the meaning of the term; nay, there are those, we understand, who, so far from insisting on the necessity of tee-totalism, regard it as a wishy-washy doctrine, and are willing to allow their converts a generous glass whenever the wants of the body require one. There appears to be a
wise liberality in this, which induces us to hope their efforts may eventually succeed. AB'STRACT, a concise but general view, or analysis, of some large work; in which sense it differs from an abridgment only as being shorter, and its entering less minutely into particulars; and from an extract, as this last is only a particular view of some part or passage of it.
ABSTRACTION, in logic, that operation of the mind whereby it forms abstract ideas. The faculty of abstraction stands directly opposite to that of compounding. By composition we consider those things together, which, in reality, are not joined together in any one existence. And by abstraction, we consider those things separately and apart, which, in reality do not exist apart. In its passive sense it implies occupation with one's-self to the exclusion of other objects.ABSTRACTION, in chemistry, the process of drawing off by distillation any part of a compound, and returning it again to the residue to be redistilled. ABSTRACTITIOUS, an epithet for the native spirits of aromatic vegetables, in distinction from those produced by fermentation. ABUTMENTS, the extremities of any body adjoining another, as the extremities of a bridge resting on the banks or sides of a river. Also the junctions or meetings of two pieces of timber.
ABYSS', any deep place that is supposed to be bottomless, as the deepest or unfathomable parts of the sea. ACA'CIA, a beautiful shrub, one of the species of which bears rose-coloured flowers. In the materia medica, acacia is the inspissated juice of the pods of the mimosa Nilotica of Linnæus.
ACE'NA, a genus of curious evergreen herbaceous exotics, chiefly from South America and New Holland.
ACADEMICS, certain philosophers who followed the doctrine of Socrates and Plato, as to the uncertainty of knowledge and the incomprehensibility of truth. Academic, in this sense amounts to much the same with Platonist; the difference between them being only in point of time. They who embraced the system of Plato, among the ancients, were called Academici; whereas those who did the same since the restoration of learning, have assumed the denomination of Platonists.
ACADEMY, in Grecian antiquity, a large villa in one of the suburbs of Athens, where the sect of philosophers called Academics held their assemblies. It took its name from Academus, a celebrated Atheuian, who resided there, and became celebrated from its being the place in which Plato taught philosophy.ACADEMY, in the modern acceptation, is a society of persons united for the pursuit of some objects of study and application, as the Royal Academy of Arts of London, and the Royal Academy of Sciences of Berlin. The first academy of science, in modern times, was established at Naples, by Baptista Porta,
ACADEMIES OF THE FINE ARTS ARE THE BEST INCENTIVES TO GENIUS.
ABSTRACTION IS THE GROUND-WORK OF CLASSIFICATION, BY WHICH THINGS ARE ARRANGED IN ORDERS, GENERA, AND SPECIES.
ACANTHOPTERYGIOUS IS THE TERM APPLIED TO THOSE FISHES WHICH HAVE HARD, BONY, AND PRICKLY BACK FINS.
THE ACCELERATION OF THE MOON WAS DISCOVERED BY DR. HALLEY.
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ACALYPHA, a genus of exotic shrubs, natives of North and South America: the calyx of the male flowers consists of four small, roundish, concave, and equal petals, but no corolla; in the female flower the calyx is composed of three leaves, and no corolla.
ACALEPTE (Sea Nettles), third class of Cuvier's Zoophites. The free species (acalepte libera), float on the sea. The hydrostatic (acalepte hydrostatica), are so named from the air bladders or vessels by which means they suspend themselves in the water.
ACANA'CEÆ, a class of plants which are prickly, and bear their flowers and seeds on a kind of head.
ACANTHA, a name given to the prickles of thorny plants. ACANTHA is also used by zoologists for the spines of certain fisies, as those of the echinus marinus, &c. ACANTHA'CEOUS, an epithet given to all the plants of the thistle kind.
ACANTHINE, among the ancients, something belonging to, or resembling the herb acanthus: hence we read of acanthine garments, acanthine woods, &c.
ACANTHOPIS, a genus of venomous serpents, classed by Cuvier with the vipers, but differing from them in many essential characters. They are natives of New Holland, where they live in holes at the roots of trees. Their name is derived from the tail, which is terminated by a little spur. ACANTHOPTERYGII, one of the divisions in the natural order of fishes which Cuvier has established. Its name is sug gested by its spinous fins.
ACANTHOS CELIS, a genus of insects. Order, coleoptera; family, scarabide. ACANTHOCI'NUS, a genus of insects. Order, coleoptera; family, cerambycida. ACANTHURUS (Thorn-tailed or Lancet Fish), a genus of fishes; ninth family of Cuvier's order, with spinous fins; found in the West Indian Seas, and much relished as food.
ACAN THUS, in architecture, an ornament representing the leaves of the acanthus, or herb bear's-breech; principally employed in the Corinthian and Compo site capitals. ACAN'ZII, Turkish light-horse, the avant-guard of the Grand Seignor's army. ACASTA, a genus of shells found in sponge, and never affixed to hard bodies. A'CARUS, in zoology, a numerous genus of insects, comprehending the vermin which infest several animals, and mites in general. ACAT ALEPSY (acatalepsia), among ancient philosophers, the impossibility of comprehending something; uncertainty in science.
ACATERY, an officer of the king's household, designed to be a check between the clerks of the kitchen and the pur
ACATHOL'ICI, the name by which Protestants are distinguished in some Catholic countries, as a term less objectionable than heretics.
ACATIUM. in antiquity, a kind of boat
or pinnace used in military affairs. The acatium was a species of the naves actuariæ.
ACAU'LOSE, or ACAU'LOUS, among botanists, a term used for such plants as have no stem. ACCA'LIA, in Roman antiquity, solemn festivals held in honour of Acca Laurentia, the nurse of Romulus: they were also called Laurentalia.
ACCAPITA'RE, in our old law books, the act of becoming a vassal, or paying homage to some lord. Hence ACCAPITUM signified the money paid by a vassal upon such an occasion. ACCELERATION, in mechanics, the increase of velocity in a moving body. Accelerated motion is that which continually receives fresh accessions of velocity, and is either equally or unequally accelerated. The word is particularly applied to falling bodies tending towards the centre of the earth by the force of gravity.ACCELERATING FORCE, being a sort of centripetal force, is expressed by that velocity, generated in a given time, with which bodies (considered as physical points) move towards the central body attracting them by its absolute force. This accelerating force is greater or less, according to the distance of the centre of the force, in a reciprocal duplicate proportion. The word ACCELE RATION, is also used astronomically, and is applied to the moon, the planets, and fixed
ACCENDENTES, or ACCENSO'RES, in the church of Rome, an inferior rank of ministers, whose business it is to light, snuff, and trim the candles and tapers.
ACCEN DONES, in Roman antiquity, officers in the gladiatorial schools, who excited and animated the combatants during the engagement.
ACCEN'SI, in Roman antiquity, certain supernumerary soldiers, designed to supply the place of those who should be killed, or anywise disabled.-ACCENSI also denoted a kind of inferior officers, appointed to attend the Roman magistrates.
AC'CENT; a modification of the voice in pronouncing certain words or syllables: also, the marks on the words or syllables; as, the acute accent, marked thus ('), the grave accent thus () the circumflex thus (^). This is called grammatical accent, but there is also a rhetorical accent or emphasis, which is designed to give to a sentence distinctness and clearness. In a sentence, therefore, the stress is laid on the most important word, and in a word on the most important syllable. When the accent falis on a vowel, that vowel has its long sound, as in porous; but when it falls on a consonant, the preceding vowel is short, as in potter. Accents also not only give a pleasing variety and beauty to the modulation of the voice, but often serve to ascertain the true meaning of the word.
-In music, accent denotes a certain modulation or warbling of the sounds, to express passions, either naturally by the voice, or artificially by instruments. Every
THE ACCENSI IN THE ROMAN ARMIES FOUGHT WITHOUT ARMOUR.
THE ACCELERATION OF A PLANET, IS THE INCREASE OF ITS REAL DIURNAL MOTION, ABOVE ITS MEAN DIURNAL MOTION.