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d to have an antiquity of a thousand years. Rameses and his ladies played checkers. Chess came from India; so did cards. Backgammon is mentioned by Chaucer, Shakespeare, and Bacon as playing the tables, — a name by which it was then known. Back-gear. (Turning.) The set of variable speed gear-wheels in the headstock of acribe the gorgeous counterpanes. The bedsteads had canopies, but we do not read of curtains or testers. The bed, or rather bedstead, of Ware, mentioned by Shakespeare, is still in existence, and is to be seen at one of the inns in that village. It is twelve feet square. Many innovations have been made on the old-fashioned fy during the sixteenth century. The invention is generally ascribed to Henrique Devigne, an artist in the reign of Charles IX., 1571. The game is spoken of by Shakespeare. In 1578, during the reign of William, Prince of Orange, permission was given to some residents of Amsterdam to keep billiard-tables. Up all of us and to
a horizontal bar fixed at right angles to an upright arbor, and the movement was accelerated or retarded by diminishing or increasing the distance of the weights from the arbor. This clock, which had no regulating spring, was the type of the astronomical clocks used by Tycho Brahe (1582), and by many less illustrous but worthy and useful observers, at and about the same date. Clocks were in possession of private persons about 1500, and about the same time watches were introduced. Shakespeare refers to a watch in the play of Twelfth Night, where Malvolio says: — I frown the while, and perchance wind up my watch, or play with some rich Jewel. Mr. Pierce showed me the Queene's [the Portuguese princess, wife of Charles II.] bedchamber, and her holy-water at her head as she sleeps, with a clock by her bedside, wherein a lamp burns that tells her the time of the night at any time. — Pepys's Diary, 1664. The pendulum, which engaged the attention of the Spanish Saracens in the
e wire and acted as a damper. Whether the modes of twanging the strings by a plectrum or quill, in imitation of the action of a harpist, preceded all the devices for striking the string, it is not easy now to determine; but the latter mode, which appears to have originated in the clavichord, has entirely superseded the quill. An early and obsolete predecessor of the piano was the virginal, which had keys and jacks, but only one string to a note. See virginal. It is mentioned by Shakespeare, — Still virginaling Upon his palm Winter's Tale. And also by Gabriel Platte, who, in the succeeding century, describes a dibbling machine as formed of iron pins, — Made to play up and down like virginal jacks. The clavichord, d, is said to have consisted of a range of brass wires placed above the keys, which latter had wires on the rear ends, acting as hammers upon the strings when the keys were struck. A muffling-piece on the string limited the portion involved in th
lass.) (Fr. lunette.) A hole connecting the glass-melting furnace with the arch. Lin′seed-mill. (Lint, Flax.) A mill for grinding flax-seed for oil. See oil-mill. Lin′seed-oil. Oil expressed from flax (lint) seed. Lin′sey. (Fabric.) A country-made fabric, of linen warp and worsted filling, undressed; hence the name linsey-woolsey. Lin′stock. A lint-stock. A gunner's forked staff, to hold a match of lint dipped in a solution of saltpeter. It is referred to by Shakespeare: — And the nimble gunner With linstock now the devilish cannon touches. Henry V. Lint. Raveled or scraped linen reduced to a soft state and used for dressing wounds or ulcers. As formerly prepared, it consisted of scrapings from the surface of old linen cloth, which was drawn beneath a knife, the weft-threads being pushed back from time to time, and the scrapings being obtained from the threads of the warp. A machine has been used for the purpose, the straight, blun
were struck by small pieces of quill affixed to minute springs adjusted in the upper part of the jacks, which were planted in the keys and directed perpendicularly upon the strings. The name is derived from the instrument being deemed suitable for girls, or from its being used in accompanying hymns to the Virgin. o is a triangular virginal from the Syntagma Musicum of Praetorius. The instrument is frequently mentioned in works and inventories of the fifteenth and sixteenth centuries. Shakespeare refers to it. p is a curious drawing of an upright virginal from a collection of pen-and-ink drawings of ancient musical instruments, executed at the latter end of the sixteenth century. The virginal of Mary Queen of Scots was of oak inlaid with cedar and elaborately ornamented with figures of warriors, ladies, and birds. The colors are yet bright. q is the spinet, named from spina, a thorn or quill, the tone being produced by a crow's quill inserted in the tongue of the jack. As desc
a harp, and played by means of hammers and keys. It was one of the precursors of the piano-forte, and was well known to the musical profession and the cultivated classes of society in the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries; how much earlier we do not know. See n, Plate XL. A book of exercises for the virginal, written for Queen Elizabeth, is still extant. The pit-a-pat motion of the fingers, so different to the clawing action of the hands in playing upon the harp, gave occasion to Shakespeare to compare to it the love-taps of his heroine, — Still virginating Upon his palm. This man, whom nothing escaped, made words as he wanted them. A century later Gabriel Platte describes a dibbling-machine as formed of iron pins. Made to play up and down like virginal jacks. After many essays and various changes in movement and application, after the virgina's, manichords, clavichords, harpsichords, and spinets had their day, the piano came forth, beyond all question th
at noon, but the may have had some system of correction for aught we know. See Mahiner's compass. Watches are mentioned in an Italian sonnet of 1490, by Gaspar Visconti: Henry VIII had a watch; the Emperor Charles V. had several of them; Shakespeare refers to one in Twelfth night :— I frown the while; and, perchance, wind up my watch or play with some rich jewel. — Malvolio. Also in the answer of the priest of Olivia:— Since when; my watch hath told me, towards my grave I have the width of ground covered by the 4 pipes is 6 3/4 feet. The area of the surface watered from 1 barrelful in the time mentioned will be over 4 3/4 acres. Wa′ter-ing-pot. Mentioned by Pollux, and much later by Montfaucon, Du Cange, and Shakespeare. Wa′ter-in-ject′or. A form of pump used on steam-boilers. See injector. Wa′ter-laid. (Rope.) Coiled against the sun, that is, over to the left. Cablet. Wa′ter-laid rope. Rope laid up and twisted against the su
Frank Preston Stearns, Cambridge Sketches, Francis J. Child (search)
tter than the Pike County Ballads, a mixture of sentiment and profanity. Then he went on to say: I want my children, when they grow up, to read the classics. My boy will go to college, of course; and he will translate Homer and Virgil, and Horace,--I think very highly of Horace; but the literal meaning is a different thing from understanding the poetry. Then my daughters will learn French and German, and I shall expect them to read Schiller and Goethe, Moliere and Racine, as well as Shakespeare and Milton. After that they can read what they like, but they will have a standard by which to judge other authors. He was afraid that the students wasted too much time in painting play-bills and other similar exercises of ingenuity, which lead to nothing in the end. He gave some excellent advice to a young lady who was about visiting Europe for the first time, who doubted if she could properly appreciate the works of art and other fine things that she would be called upon to admire.
Frank Preston Stearns, Cambridge Sketches, Longfellow (search)
Longfellow It has been estimated that there were four hundred poets in England in the time of Shakespeare, and in the century during which Dante lived Europe fairly swarmed with poets, many of them of high excellence. Frederick II. of Germany and Richard I. of England were both good poets, and were as proud of their verses as they were of their military exploits. Frederick II. may be said to have founded the vernacular in which Dante wrote; and Longfellow rendered into English a poem of Richard's which he composed during his cruel imprisonment in Austria. A knight who could not compose a song and sing it to the guitar was as rare as a modern gentleman of fashion who cannot play golf. When James Russell Lowell resigned the chair of poetry at Harvard no one could be found who could exactly fill his place, and it was much the same at Oxford after Matthew Arnold retired. The difference between then and now would seem to reside in the fact, that poetry is more easily remembe
Frank Preston Stearns, Cambridge Sketches, Lowell (search)
go, like Emerson, to the great fountain-heads of poetry,--to Homer or Dante, Shakespeare or Goethe,--but courted the muse rather among such tributaries as Virgil, Monte would never have been famous but for the Guelph and Ghibeline struggle. Shakespeare's plays are full of war and fighting; and the wars of Napoleon stimulated By73 Lowell was more of a prose-writer than a poet, and his essays on Chaucer, Shakespeare, Milton, and other English poets are the best of their kind, --not brilliantxpressing the inexpressible as Lowell. One could wish that his studies in Shakespeare had been more extended. He treats the subject as if he felt it was too greeenest insight he noticed that the magician Prospero was an impersonation of Shakespeare himself; and George Brandes, the most thoroughgoing of Shakespearean scholar he knew that ideality was as necessary to Cromwell and Canning as it was to Shakespeare and Scott. He was certainly more popular in England than he had ever been
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