Part 22

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AMALRIC, one of the leaders in the crusade against the Albigenses, who, when his followers asked him how they were to distinguish heretics from Catholics, answered, "Kill them all; G.o.d will know His own;" _d_.

1225.

AMALTHE'A, the goat that suckled Zeus, one of whose horns became the cornucopia--horn of plenty.

AMA'RA SINHA, a Hindu Buddhist, left a valuable thesaurus of Sanskrit words.

AMA'RI, MICHELE, an Italian patriot, born at Palermo, devoted a great part of his life to the history of Sicily, and took part in its emanc.i.p.ation; was an Orientalist as well; he is famous for throwing light on the true character of the Sicilian Vespers (1806-1889).

AMARYL'LIS, a shepherdess in one of Virgil's pastorals; any young rustic maiden.

AMA'SIA (25), a town in Asia Minor, once the capital of the kings of Pontus.

AMA'SIS, king of Egypt, originally a simple soldier, took part in an insurrection, dethroned the reigning monarch and a.s.sumed the crown, proved an able ruler, and cultivated alliances with Greece; reigned from 570 to 546 B.C.

AMA'TI, a celebrated family of violin-makers; Andrea and Niccolo, brothers, at Cremona, in the 16th and 17th centuries.

AMAt.i.tLAN (10), a town in Guatemala, the inhabitants of which are mainly engaged in the preparation of cochineal.

AMAUROSIS, a weakness or loss of vision, the cause of which was at one time unknown.

AMAZON, a river in S. America and the largest on the globe, its basin nearly equal in extent to the whole of Europe; traverses the continent at its greatest breadth, rises in the Andes about 50 m. from the Pacific, and after a course of 4000 m. falls by a delta into the Atlantic, its waters increased by an immense number of tributaries, 20 of which are above 1000 m. in length, one 2000 m., its mouth 200 m. wide; its current affects the ocean 150 m. out; is navigable 3000 m. up, and by steamers as far as the foot of the Andes.

AMAZONS, a fabulous race of female warriors, who had a queen of their own, and excluded all men from their community; to perpetuate the race, they cohabited with men of the neighbouring nations; slew all the male children they gave birth to, or sent them to their fathers; burnt off the right b.r.e.a.s.t.s of the females, that they might be able to wield the bow in war.

AMBa.s.sADOR, "an honest man sent to lie abroad for the commonwealth"

(_Wotton_).

AMBER, a fossil resin, generally yellow and semi-transparent, derived, it is presumed, from certain extinct coniferous trees; becomes electric by friction, and gives name to electricity, the Greek word for it being _electron_; has been fished up for centuries in the Baltic, and is now used in varnishes and for tobacco pipes.

AMBERGER, a painter of Nurnberg in the 16th century, a disciple of Holbein, his princ.i.p.al work being the history of Joseph in twelve pictures.

AMBERGRIS, an ashy-coloured odorous substance used in perfumery, presumed to be a morbid fragment of the intestines of the spermaceti whale, being often found floating on the ocean which it frequents.

AMBERLEY, LORD, son of Lord John Russell, wrote an "a.n.a.lysis of Religious Belief," which, as merely sceptical, his father took steps to secure the suppression of, without success.

AMBLESIDE, a small market-town near the head of Lake Windermere, in the Wordsworth or so-called Lake District.

AMBLYOPSIS, a small fish without eyes, found in the Mammoth Cave, U.S.

AMBOISE (5), a town on the Loire, 14 m. E. of Tours, with a castle, once the residence of the French kings. The Conspiracy of A., the conspiracy of Conde and the Huguenots in 1560 against Francis II., Catharine de Medici, and the Guises. The Edict of A. (1563) conceded the free exercise of their worship to the Protestants.

AMBOISE, GEORGE DE, CARDINAL, the popular Prime Minister of Louis XII., who, as such, reduced the Public burdens, and as the Pope's legate in France effected a great reform among the religious orders; is said to have died immensely rich (1460-1510).

AMBOYNA (238), with a chief city of the name, the most important of the Moluccas, in the Malay Archipelago, and rich before all in spices; it belongs to the Dutch, who have diligently fostered its capabilities.

AM'BROSE, ST., bishop of Milan, born at Treves, one of the Fathers of the Latin Church, and a zealous opponent of the Arian heresy; as a stern puritan refused to allow Theodosius to enter his church, covered as his hands were with the blood of an infamous ma.s.sacre, and only admitted him to Church privilege after a severe penance of eight months; he improved the Church service, wrote several hymns, which are reckoned his most valuable legacy to the Church; his writings fill two vols. folio. He is the Patron saint of Milan; his attributes are a _scourge_, from his severity; and a _beehive_, from the tradition that a swarm of bees settled on his mouth when an Infant without hurting him (340-397).

Festival, Dec. 7.

AMBRO'SIA, the fragrant food of the G.o.ds of Olympus, fabled to preserve in them and confer on others immortal youth and beauty.

AMELIA, a character in one of Fielding's novels, distinguished for her conjugal affection.

AMENDE HONORABLE, originally a mode of punishment in France which required the offender, stripped to his shirt, and led into court with a rope round his neck held by the public executioner, to beg pardon on his knees of his G.o.d, his king, and his country; now used to denote a satisfactory apology or reparation.

AMERBACH, JOHANN, a celebrated printer in Basel in the 15th century, the first who used the Roman type instead of Gothic and Italian; spared no expense in his art, taking, like a true workman, a pride in it; _d_.

1515.

AMERICA, including both North and South, 9000 m. in length, varies from 3400 m. to 28 m. in breadth, contains 16 millions of sq. m., is larger than Europe and Africa together, but is a good deal smaller than Asia; bounded throughout by the Atlantic on the E. and the Pacific on the W.

AMERICA, BRITISH N., is bounded on the N. by the Arctic Ocean, on the E. by the Atlantic, on the S. by the United States, and on the W. by the Pacific; occupies one-third of the continent, and comprises the Dominion of Canada and Newfoundland.

AMERICA, CENTRAL, extends from Mexico on the north to Panama on the south, and is about six times as large as Ireland; is a plateau with terraces descending to the sea on each side, and rich in all kinds of tropical vegetation; consists of seven political divisions: Guatemala, San Salvador, British Honduras, Honduras, Nicaragua, Mosquitia, and Costa Rica.

AMERICA, NORTH, is 4560 m. in length, contains over 8 millions sq.

m., is less than half the size of Asia, consists of a plain in the centre throughout its length, a high range of mountains, the Rocky, on the W., and a lower range, the Appalachian, on the E., parallel with the coast, which is largely indented with gulfs, bays, and seas; has a magnificent system of rivers, large lakes, the largest in the world, a rich fauna and flora, and an exhaustless wealth of minerals; was discovered by Columbus in 1492, and has now a population of 80 millions, of which a fourth are negroes, aborigines, and half-caste; the divisions are British North America, United States, Mexico, Central American Republics, British Honduras, the West Indian Republics, and the Spanish, British, French, and Dutch West Indies.

AMERICA, RUSSIAN, now called Alaska; belongs by purchase to the United States.

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