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Phytolacca PHYTOLACCA, POKEWEED, or American Night- Towards the north of the city is the mouth of the river Piacenza,
shade, a genus of plant belonging to the decandria Trebbia, famous for the victory which Hannibal ob Piano Piacenza. class. See Botany Index.
tained over the Romans.
tailed description. We shall here, however, notice
and it is remarkable with what promptitude, as well as PIA MATER, a thin membrane which covers the accuracy, the voice of man obeys tbe impulse of the brain, and is in immediate contact with it. Ste Ana- beart. Even a coarse ear is hurt by an error in its TOMY Index.
tone, amounting to what is called a comma; and a li.
of an inch, which must therefore be divided by the most
struments is, to bring them as near as possible to express
The dot F represents a section of the string. ED is of length. This greatly diminishes the fulness, and still fiare
The distance E e is about _d or th of the witz. He flourished in the year 830, when on the
Mod. Unie. means of the pin C, to the horizontal position E d, with were dropping down in the streets, two angels in human
History, in th or oth of an inch of the wire F; but it cannot forms, as the story is told, took up their residence with be so much pressed down as to make the mallet touch Piastus, who was celebrated for his piety and extensive p. 336,& c. the wire. At the same time that the key raises the charity. He had nothing left but a small cask of the mallet by means of the pin C, it also lifts off the damper common liquor of the country, and this he presented to G (a bit of spunge) from the wire. This damper is his new guests, who, charnied with his hospitality, fixed on the end of a little wooden pin G g, connected promised him the crown of Poland. The faith of Piawith the lever g H, which has a vellum hinge at H. stus was equal to his other virtues : be implicitly beThis motion of the damper is caused by the pin I, which lieved the word of his guests, and piously followed their is fixed into the key near to R. These pieces are so ad directions in every particular. He was ordered to disjusted, that the first touch of the key lifts the damper, tribute the liquor out of his little cask to the multiand, immediately after, the pin C acts on the shank of tude: he did so, and found that it was inexhaustible. the mallet. As it acts so near to its centre of motion, The people were astonished; all cried out, " A mirait causes the head D to move briskly through a consider- cle !" and the electors determined to choose a person able arch D d. Being made extremely moveable, and in whose favour Heaven bad so visibly declared : Piavery light, it is thus tossed beyond the horizontal posi- stus was accordingly taken from his shop, and raised to tion E d, and it strikes the wire F, which is now at li the ducal dignity. berty to vibrate up and down, by the previous removal Such is the relation of the canon of Cracow, which of the damper G. Having made its stroke, the mallet differs in many particulars from the account given by falls down again, and rests on the soft substance on the Guagnini, and several other historians. According to pin C. It is of essential importance that this mallet be' them, Piastus bad prepared a small collation, to enterextremely light. Were it heavy, it would have so tain some friends who were assembled at the birth of a much force, after rebounding from the wire, that it child. Two pilgrims, Paul and John, afterwards murwould rebound from the pin C, and again strike the dered at Rome, came about this time to Cracow. They wire. For it will be recollected, that the key is, at this begged charity at the door of the election-hall, and time, down, and the pin C raised as high as possible, so were rudely repulsed; upon which they stumbled on that there is very little room for this rebound. Lessen the house of Piastus, and were kindly received. The ing the momentum of the mallet by making it very
miracle we have mentioned was wrought by them; and
the reader's judgment,
Piastus ashamed of rebelling against a sovereign who devoted related as would be very difficult to credit, were we pot
his whole life to render bis people happy. He remo assured by some modern instances, of the perfection to Pica.
ved the court from Cruswitz, a city which he detest, which that faculty may be carried. At the age of ed, because it was the scene of Popiel's crimes and tra fourteen he was sent by his mother's direction, who was gical end, and fixed his residence at Gnesna, where he desirous that he should assume the clerical functions, to died beloved, esteemed, and even adored by his subjects. Bologna, at that time the principal resort of those who
It is in memory of this excellent prince, that all the studied the pontifical law. After spending two years natives of Poland, who have been since promoted to the there, he became disgusted with this pursuit, although ducal or regal dignity, were called Piastes, in contradi- such was his industry, even at that early age, that he comstinction to the foreigners.
piled an epitome of the pontifical epistles or decretals. Piastus associated his son Ziemovitus with him in the His disposition, however, strongly led him to the pursuit government before his death; a circumstance of much of philosophy, with an eager curiosity to penetrate the benefit to the people.
secrets of nature and science : with this view be travelPIAZZA, in building, popularly called piache, an led over Italy and France, visited the most celebrated Italian name for a portico, or covered walk, supported schools of each, and studied under the most famous by arches.
teachers of both countries. After seven years spent in The word literally signifies a broad open place or this course of instruction, and at the age of twentysquare; whence it also became applied to the walks or three, he went to Rome, and, after the fashion of the porticoes around them.
scholars of that time, brought himself into notice by Essa by PIBROCH, says Dr Beattie *, is a species of tune publicly proposing literary questions for disputation. Der Beattie
, peculiar, I think, to the Highlands and Western isles This sort of challenge was very common in that age, 8-o edit p. 422.
of Scotland. It is performed on a bagpipe, and differs and, when printing was scarcely practised, and the name pole. totally from all other music. Its rytbm is so irregular, of a man of learning less rapidly extended than it is
and its notes, especially in the quick movement, so mix now, was almost the only method that a person of saed and buddled together, that a stranger finds it almost perior attainments had to make himself known. Miimpossible to reconcile his ear to it, so as to perceive randola proposed 900 questions, or as they were called its modulation. Some of these pibrochs, being intend. conclusiones, in dialectics, mathematics, natural philosoed to represent a battle, begin with a grave motion re. phy, and divinity, diawn not only from the stores of the sembling a march, then gradually quicken into the on- Latin and Greek, but from the mysteries of the Heset; run off with noisy confusion and turbulent rapidity, brews and the arcana of the Chaldeans and Arabians. to imitate the conflict and pursuit ; then swell into a lo addition to the endless topics of metaphysics, theofew flourishes of triumphant joy; and perhaps close with logy, and the ordinary subjects of disputation, into the wild and slow wailings of a funeral procession. which he entered very profoundly, the conclusiones in
PICA. See CORVUS, ORNITHOLOGY Index. volved the ancient and obscure philosophy of Pythago
Pica Marina. See HÆMATOPUS, and ALCA, ORNI ras, Trismegistus, and Orpheus ; the doctrines of the
Cabala, or mystic interpretation of the sacred writings, Pica, in Medicine, a depravation of appetite, which according to the Hebrews, taught by Origen and Himakes the patient long for what is unfit for food, or larius ; the extent, uses, and learning of natural magic, incapable of nourishing ; as chalk, ashes, coals, plaster- which was vindicated from the vulgar reproach of imlime, &c. See MEDICINE Index.
piety and necromancy. Seventy-two new physical and Pica, or Pye, had formerly the same sense as ordi- metaphysical dogmata of the author's invention were nal, meaning a table or directory, pointing out the likewise proposed and defended. These propositions, order in which the devotional services appointed for according to the ostentatious practice on these occasions, different occasions were to be performed. According were fixed in the most public places in Rome, and the ly we are told it is derived from ti, a contraction of proposer engaged to defray the expences of any one Tvaš, a table ; and by others from litera picata, a great who should come from a distance for the purpose of disblack letter at the beginning of some new order in the puting with him. This challenge did not bring forprayer. The term was used in a similar sense by offi- ward any disputants, but exposed Mirandola to much cers of civil courts, who called their kalendars or al envy and jealousy, particularly from the professors of phabetical catalogues directing to the names and things science at Rome, who felt the reflection that would be contained in the rolls and records of their courts the cast upon their credit by their declining a competition pyes.
which they durst not encounter. Unable to injure bis Pica, or Picus, John, prince of Mirandola and Con- fame as a scholar, they made a much more dangerous atcordia, was born in the year 1463, under the pontificate tack upon the soundness of his faith ; thirteen questions of Pius II. He was the youngest son of John Francis of were selected, which were charged with the terrible Mirandola, and Julia, a lady of the noble family of Boiard. suspicion of heresy and contempt of the ordinances of Some of the credulous historians of the time bave rela the church; a suspicion very readily listened to by the. ted, that at his birth a globe of fire was seen to rest upon church when directed against great learning, which the his mother's bed, portendin!, say they, by its shape the increasing influence of philosophy and letters began to perfection of his genius, and by its eleinent, the celestial make her watch with extreme jealousy. Mirandola return of his mind. As soon as he was capable of receiv- pelled this attack by publishing his Apologia, or Deing instruction, he was placed by his mother's care fence of the accused Propositions ; which if he did not under the most able masters, and very early distinguisb- effectually clear away the suspicions be had incurred, ed himself by the vigour of his application, and the tended to confirm his enemies in their dread of his learnstrength of his memory; of which such prodigies are ing and powers; and it must be owned that, overlook
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