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PREFACE. Some eighteen months ago I took this brilliant bunch of brain burrs to my esteemed Publisher and with much enthusiasm invited him to spend a lot of money thereon. The Main Stem in the Works informed me that he had his fingers on the public pulse and just as soon as that pulse began to jump and yell for something from my fiery pen he would throw the Silly Syclopedia at it. Then he placed my MS. in the forward turret of his... more...

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Geographical usage confines to the southern part of the island of Great Britain the name commonly given to the great insular power of western Europe. In this restricted sense the present article deals with England, the predominant partner in the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland, both as containing the seat of government and in respect of extent, population and wealth. 1. Topography. England extends from the mouth of the Tweed in... more...

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EDWARDES, SIR HERBERT BENJAMIN (1819-1868), English soldier-statesman in India, was born at Frodesley in Shropshire on the 12th of November 1819. His father was Benjamin Edwardes, rector of Frodesley, and his grandfather Sir John Edwardes, baronet, eighth holder of a title conferred on one of his ancestors by Charles I. in 1644. He was educated at a private school and at King’s College, London. Through the influence of his uncle, Sir Henry... more...

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Medieval Drama While the scattered and persecuted strollers thus kept alive something of the popularity, if not of the loftier traditions, of their art, neither, on the other hand, was there an utter absence of written compositions to bridge the Ecclesiastical and monastic literary drama. gap between ancient and modern dramatic literature. In the midst of the condemnation with which the Christian Church visited the stage, its professors and... more...

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DODWELL, EDWARD (1767-1832), English traveller and writer on archaeology. He belonged to the same family as Henry Dodwell the theologian, and was educated at Trinity College, Cambridge. He travelled from 1801 to 1806 in Greece, and spent the rest of his life for the most part in Italy, at Naples and Rome. He died at Rome on the 13th of May 1832, from the effects of an illness contracted in 1830 during a visit of exploration to the Sabine... more...


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DINARD, a seaside town of north-western France, in the department of Ille-et-Vilaine. The town, which is the chief watering-place of Brittany, is situated on a rocky promontory at the mouth of the Rance opposite St Malo, which is about 1 m. distant. It is a favourite resort of English and Americans as well as of the French, its attractions being the beauty of its situation, the mildness of the climate and the good bathing. It has two casinos and... more...

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DIAMETER (from the Gr. διά, through, μέτρον, measure), in geometry, a line passing through the centre of a circle or conic section and terminated by the curve; the “principal diameters” of the ellipse and hyperbola coincide with the “axes” and are at right angles; “conjugate diameters” are such that each bisects chords parallel to the other. The diameter of a quadric... more...

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DEMIJOHN, a glass bottle or jar with a large round body and narrow neck, encased in wicker-work and provided with handles. The word is also used of an erthenware jar, similarly covered with wicker. The capacity of a demijohn varies from two to twelve gallons, but the common size contains five gallons. According to the New English Dictionary the word is an adaptation of a French Dame Jeanne, or Dame Jane, an application of a personal name to an... more...

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COUCY-LE-CHÂTEAU, a village of northern France, in the department of Aisne, 18 m. W.S.W. of Laon on a branch of the Northern railway. Pop. (1906) 663. It has extensive remains of fortifications of the 13th century, the most remarkable feature of which is the Porte de Laon, a gateway flanked by massive towers and surmounted by a fine apartment. Coucy also has a church of the 15th century, preserving a façade in the Romanesque style.... more...

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COQUELIN, BENOÎT CONSTANT (1841-1909), French actor, known as Coquelin aîné, was born at Boulogne on the 23rd of January 1841. He was originally intended to follow his father’s trade of baker (he was once called un boulanger manqué by a hostile critic), but his love of acting led him to the Conservatoire, where he entered Regnier’s class in 1859. He won the first prize for comedy within a year, and made his... more...