Imágenes de páginas

tricts farther west. But among them there are also many
families of Hindustani and Persian origin, who are distin-
guished by their features and the stronger make of the
The Kacharis form the bulk of the population in Kachar,
but they are also found in Asam and Tiperah. They con-
stitute a distinct people, differing in appearance, religion, and
customs from the other inhabitants. The antient religion
of Kachar is different from Brahmanism. It acknowledges
a Supreme Being, or first principle, from which the world
and all that it contains is derived. The manifest powers of
nature are worshipped, or rather, certain spirits who have
authority over them and influence the changes of the
seasons. But in modern times Brahmanism has gained
footing, and is spreading. The Kacharis have a distinct
language, but as it is unwritten, it has been superseded
for all purposes of business by the Bengali for many cen-
turies, so that at present the language is not known by
many of the Kacharis themselves. The Kacharis are in-
dustrious agriculturists.

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order to kill them and carry off their heads. These heads are used in certain ceremonies which are performed at the funerals of their chiefs. In this particular, and also in their features, which approach those of the Chinese and other nations of the Mongol race, they resemble the Garrows, who also, like the Kukis, eat all kinds of animals. But both nations, as well as the Nagas, and the Mugs in Arracan, cannot be induced to take milk or anything made of it, This similarity in customs, and also in their physical character, leads to the conclusion that all these nations belong to the same race of which the Chinese constitute a branch, It is however remarkable that the Garrows are separated from those nations by the Kasias and Kacharis, who differ in the conformation of their bodies, and among whom all the customs just enumerated are unknown. It is nearly certain that the Kukis are cannibals.

Political Divisions and Towns.-That portion of Silhet which forms a part of the British possessions contains the district of Silhet, and the two countries of Jyntea and Kachar, which have lately been annexed to it.

The Kasias, commonly called Cossyas, call themselves 1. Silhet comprehends the whole of the lower and a part Khyee, and inhabit the mountains, which have obtained of the upper plain as far east as the Banca Mountains or their name from this nation. They are an athletic race of the Delaseri river. It seems to contain many small towns, mountaineers, fond of martial appearance, and their repu- and some of considerable extent. The largest is probably tation as warriors is hardly extinct, for their extensive pre- Baniachung, situated in the low plain between the Soorma datory inroads are still remembered in Silhet and Asam. and Brak rivers. It is the residence of the raja of BanjaTheir religion is limited to certain superstitious practices, chung, the greatest land proprietor in Silhet, and is a large and to reverencing and sacrificing to the presiding deities place, containing a great population. The town of Azmeof villages, hills, and similar localities, without the know-rigunj, west of Baniachung, on the banks of the Soorma, is ledge of a universal and all-pervading intelligence. Brah- a place of considerable inland traffic, with a boat-building manism has made some progress among the Kasias, espe- establishment for the construction of native craft, The town cially those of Jyntea, but it has not led to the entire aboli- of Silhet is built on the upper plain, on the banks of the tion of their national superstitions, connected with which Soorma, and is the seat of the local government. Laour, was the practice of human sacrifice. The Khyee language farther west, at the foot of the Garrows Mountains, carries is unwritten, and exhibits no affinity to any of the neigh- on a considerable commerce with the Garrows, who bring bouring languages, some of which, numerous and diver- cotton, wax, and honey, which they exchange for salt and sified as they are, contain various indications of a common some cotton-cloth and brass ornaments. Lime is sent from origin. No great respect is paid by the Kasias to hereditary this place to Calcutta. Pondua, a small fortress, at the chiefs, though their rank is readily admitted, but their in- base of the Kasia Mountains north-north-west of Calcutta, fluence depends more on their personal character and their is the market for the Kasias, who inhabit the western part of power to direct the public assemblies without which nothing the mountain region. They exchange wax, honey, oranges, is determined either in the community collectively or in areca nuts, cassia, and other products of their country, for the several villages. It was reserved to the British govern- cotton stuffs, salt, rice, and other provisions. ment to subdue the martial disposition of this people, and to compel them to discontinue their predatory incursions into Silhet and Asam. Polyandry is said to exist among the Kasias, but if it is still in use, it is far from being general.

The Nagas are another race of mountaineers, consisting of numerous small tribes, which extend from the southern border of the vale of Asam, east of the Kopili river, to the eastern portion of the Tiperah Mountains. On the northeast they appear to be neighbours of the Khamtis. They are generally associated with the Kukis, from whom however they differ essentially in language, customs, and appearance. Though in general tall, well made, and often powerful men, the limbs of the Nagas have not the massive configuration of those of the Kukis and other hill-men. It appears from the features of their face that they belong to the Mongolie race. The Nagas are not a migratory or wandering people, like the hill Kacharis and Kukis, who continually change their locality, and seldom keep their villages more than three years in one spot, whilst the Nagas remain fixed. All their villages are built on the tops of the mountains, and fortified with stockades and a ditch. Like the nations that inhabit the peninsula beyond the Ganges, they eat all kinds of animals, tigers, elephants, hogs, dogs, cats, monkeys, and even serpents. It is certain that the different dialects which are spoken by them differ so much that several tribes living not far from one another can have no intercourse without an interpreter. Several of their tribes are much addicted to plundering. In 1839 some troops were sent by the British against the Angamee Nagas, who inhabit the mountainous country north of the Bura Ail range, and had become very troublesome to the Kacharis who inhabit Upper Kachar.

The Kukis inhabit the Tiperah Mountains. A few families of this race, which are found in Upper Kachar, have been transplanted to that country in modern times. Though short of stature, they seem to be the most powerful of all the mountaineers in that part of the world, and have long been notorious for their attacks on the peaceful inhabitants of the plain, not for the purpose of plundering them, but in

2. Jyntea lies north of the upper plain of Silhet, of which a small portion also belongs to it, and it extends northward to the boundary of Asam, where also a part of the low and flat country was subject to its raja, but the greater portion of this country was in the Kasia Mountains, and the Kasias constituted the principal population of the raja's territory. Eastward it extended to the Kopili, or the boundary of Kachar; and on the west it was separated from the mountains inhabited by the Garrows by two smaller countries, called Koiram and Dulla, whose sovereigns however seem to have been dependent in some degree on the raja of Jyntea, as they now are on the British. Jynteapoor, the capital, is built not far from the southern declivity of the Kasia Mountains in the plain, about 20 miles to the north of the town of Silhet. The convalescent station. of Chirra Punji is in the territories of the raja of Koiram, and that of Nungklao is in those of the raja of Dulla.

3. Kachar, or Kirumbha, extends over the larger part of the upper plain, and the whole of the mountain region which is east of the Kopili and west of the Dooyong. But within these boundaries are the territories of the Tooleram raja, and the country inhabited by the Angamee Naga tribe, which is quite independent, whilst the Tooleram raja is dependent on the British. The country is chiefly inhabited by Kacharis, among whom many Naga tribes are dispersed, and also a number of Kukis, Bengalis, and fugitives from Muneepoor. Kachpoor, the capital, is on the plain between the banks of the Barak river and the base of the Bura Ail range: it is a poor place. East of it, and south of the pass of Haflong, is the village of Oodarbund, which is much resorted to by the Naga tribes, who exchange cotton, ivory, wax, and chillies, for salt, dried fish, conch shells, beads, and brass ornaments. But the chief part of the cotton collected in these parts is brought in boats to Raha Chocky in Asam.

History-Silhet Proper seems always to have been subject to the sovereign of Bengal, and it passed with that pro vince under the dominion of the British; but it does not appear that any portion of the mountain region, or even Lower Kachar, has ever belonged to any sovereign of Hin


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dustan. Some centuries ago however the greater part of | suggested by the shadow thrown upon a wall. Beckmann, these countries was included in the empire of Kamroop, in his paper on Plant Impressions' (Hist. of Inventions, which also extended over the greater part of Asam. This English edit. of 1814, vol. iv., p. 621), observes, in reference empire fell to pieces, and then the kingdoms of Muneepoor, to such productions and profile portraits, If it be true that Kachar, and Jyntea were formed. Continual disputes in the extreme boundaries of all things approach or touch each the reigning families rendered them weak, but the dif- other, one might almost believe that the arts of drawing and ficulties of entering their country with an army secured engraving on copper must have attained nearly to the them against foreign invasion. The English, after taking highest degree of perfection.' At present,' he continues, possession of Bengal, did not pay attention to these coun- 'while we have among us a Tischbein, a Haid, and other tries, considering this frontier sufficiently defended by the great artists, whose portraits of the persons whom they weakness of their neighbours. In 1774 they punished the honour with their pencil or graver are such striking likeKasias of Jyntea for their predatory incursions by taking nesses that they appear to live, we return again to the possession of that country, but restored it to the raja on commencement of the art of drawing, the paltry outline of payment of a fine. The Burmese, taking advantage of dis- a shadow, like the love-sick daughter of Dibutades, and putes in the royal family of Muneepoor, possessed them think we ornament our apartments and books with these selves of that country, and at last (1820) declared it to be a dark and dismal profiles, and that we can discover by them part of their empire, and they soon after sent an army from the talents and disposition of the persons they are supposed Birma, and another from Asam, to the conquest of Kachar. to represent.' The name silhouette has been said to be Upon this the sovereign of that country and the raja of derived from Etienne de Silhouette, French minister of Jyntea placed themselves under the protection of the finance in 1759. It appears that several parsimonious British. During the war with the Burmese, the possession fashions introduced during his administration, in order, by of these countries was obstinately disputed, but by the peace severe economy, to remedy the evils of a war that had just of Yandaboo (1825) they were given up to the British, who terminated, were called, after this minister, à la Silhouette; restored them to their legitimate sovereigns. In 1830 the raja and that the name has continued to be applied to one of of Kachar, Govind Chandra, died, without leaving any issue, them,-the use of profiles in shade. and the East India Company took possession of Kachar. A few years afterwards the raja of Jyntea was deprived of his country on account of his crimes and his cruelty, and since that time both countries have been united to Silhet.

(Walter's Journey across the Pundoa Hills, in Asiatic Researches, vol. xvii.; Pemberton's Report on the Eastern Frontier of British India; MacClelland, On the Difference of Level in Indian Coal-fields, in Journal of the Asiatic Society of Bengal, 1838; Grange's Narrative of an Expedition into the Naga Territory of Assam, in Journal of Asiat. Society of Bengal, 1839; Fisher's Memoir of Sylhet, Kachar, and the adjacent Districts, in Journal of the Asiatic Soc. of Bengal, 1840; Wilson's History of the Burmese War.)

SILHOUETTE, a name frequently applied to the black profile portraits comn.only known simply as profiles or shades. The latter name indicates the origin of this simple class of pictorial representations, they having been probably


Silhouettes are executed in various ways. One of the simplest is that of tracing the outlines of a shadow thrown on a sheet of paper, and then reducing them to the required size, either by the eye or by means of a pantograph. [PANTOGRAPH, vol. xvii., p. 192.] Another mode is tracing the outline upon a glass supported in a suitable position, and either coated with a solution of gum-arabic in water, in order to enable a lead pencil to mark upon it, or covered with a sheet of very thin tracing-paper. The camera-obscura and camera-lucida are also occasionally used for the purpose. A more certain mode of obtaining an accurate outline is by the use of the machine invented for the purpose by Mr. Schmalcalder, and patented by him in 1806. The principle of this machine is very simple, and may be readily understood by the aid of the annexed dagram. ab is an inflexible rod, usually about nine or ten feet long, supported by a ball-and-socket joint at c, in such a manner as to leave the ends free to move in any direction. At the end a, a

tracer, which is tapered off to a fine point, is attached to the rod, so as to form a continuation of it; while at the opposite end, b, a steel point is similarly fixed. The person whose profile is required is seated, in the position indicated in the cut, in a chair having a rest for the back of the head, in order that he may sit perfectly still, while the operator gently passes the side of the tracer, a, over his features. By the intervention of the universal joint at c, a perfectly similar motion is communicated to the steel point at b, although, Owing to the pivot being placed nearer to it than to the other end of the rod, it moves in a path smaller than that of the tracer a. The pivot c being stationary, the steel point at moves in the arc of a circle of which it (the pivot) is the centre, as indicated by the dotted line in the diagram; and therefore, in order to keep the paper always in contact with it, it is fixed on a swinging board, pivoted at d, and constantly pressed against the steel point by means of a weight or spring, with a sufficient degree of force to make it act efficiently. The steel point does not come into immediate contact with the white paper, but with a piece of blacked paper placed over it, the pressure of the point transferring a sufficient quantity of the colour to form a distinct line. This part of the operation resembles that of a manifoldwriter; and, as in that instrument, several copies may be produced simultaneously, by using a number of pieces of white and blacked paper, laid alternately upon the swinging board. The size of the reduced outline drawn on the paper may be regulated by varying the relative proportions of ac and cb; this and several other adjustments being effected by apparatus which it is unnecessary here to detail. By means of a cord eee, held in the hand of the operator, the

swinging board d may be drawn back from the steel point when it is required to move the rod without making a mark upon the paper. As it is desirable to have the tracer a of small diameter, it is usually formed of steel, and carefully tempered, to avoid the risk of breakage. Greater accuracy may be attained by substituting for the tracer a thin wire, tightly stretched in a bow, and adjusted so as to coincide perfectly with the axis of the rod. Some friction may be avoided by using a double-swivel joint, instead of the balland-socket, at c; but whatever kind of pivot be adopted, great care should be taken to have it perfectly accurate, as any defect in it will produce a distorted drawing. When the outline of a profile is obtained by any of the means just described, it requires to be carefully filled in with colour by hand. In some cases, in the use of Schmalcalder's machine, a kind of knife is substituted for the steel point at b, and the profile is thus cut out of a piece of thin black paper placed on the swinging board. This machine may also be used for making reduced copies of drawings or prints, by attaching a suitable tracing-point at a, and fixing the original drawing on a second swinging board in contact with it; the operator guiding the tracing-point over all the outlines that he wishes to copy. Some profilists display considerable talent in cutting silhouettes by hand, with a pair of scissors, out of pieces of black paper, without the assistance of an outline.

Although silhouettes have no claim to the character of works of art, they frequently convey a very good idea of the person represented; and they may be made even elegant in appearance. Some of the best profilists greatly improve the appearance of their silhouettes by adding the principal

markings of the hair and drapery, which, if judiciously done, has a very good effect. Of the great extent to which this kind of portrait has been patronised, some idea may be formed from the fact that Mr. Schmalcalder has made and sold nearly a hundred of his machines.

SILICIUM, or SILICON, the base of the well-known earth Silica or Flint. By some chemists it is regarded as a metal, and hence the termination of its name in um, while others consider it as non-metallic, but more allied to boron, and these adopt the term Silicon.

Sir H. Davy, by acting upon Silica with potassium, arrived at the conclusion that it was an oxide, containing a peculiar inflammable base, to which he gave the name of Silicium; the accuracy of this determination has since been demonstrated by Berzelius.

In Davy's experiments the silica yielded its oxygen directly to the potassium. The process of Berzelius was different: he prepared it more advantageously by passing fluosilicic acid into a solution of potash, evaporating the solution to dryness, and heating the residue nearly to redness; this being then heated with about an equal weight of potassium in a green glass tube, the potassium combines with the oxygen of the silica; the resulting mass is of a brown colour, and is to be washed at first with cold water, and afterwards with hot; then heated to redness; and, lastly, digested in dilute hydrofluoric acid, to separate any adhering silica: the silicon then remains nearly pure.

The properties of silicon are, that it has a dark-brown colour, no lustre, and is a non-conductor of electricity: it is this latter circumstance which has induced many chemists to question or deny the propriety of classing it with the metals. It is insoluble in water, and incombustible in air or in oxygen gas; it neither fuses nor undergoes any other change when heated in the flame of the blow-pipe. Neither the nitric, hydrochloric, sulphuric, nor hydrofluoric acid oxidizes or dissolves it; but a mixture of nitric and hydrofluoric acid dissolves it readily, even cold. When ignited with chlorate of potash, silicon is not acted upon; but if deflagrated with nitrate of potash, the silicon combines with the oxygen of the decomposed acid, and is converted into silica, or silicic acid; and this uniting with the potash of the decomposed nitrate, silicate of potash is formed.

Oxygen and Silicon form only one compound, namely, silica, or silicic acid. It may be obtained artificially, but very inconveniently, in the mode just mentioned, of deflagrating silicon with nitrate of potash. Silica exists very largely in nature; it is indeed probably the most abundant of all substances whatever. Many of the forms under which it occurs are described elsewhere. [QUARTZ.] Rock crystal is silica, nearly or quite pure, and flints or white sand are but slightly intermixed with other bodies. It is artificially obtained in a pure form by fusing crystal, sand, or flints, with about four times their weight of carbonate of soda or carbonate of potash; the resulting fused mass is either silicate of soda or silicate of potash; the latter is a deliquescent substance, and when it has become fluid by exposure to the air, has been long known by the name of liquor of flints; when either of these silicates is treated with hydrochloric acid diluted with water, it combines with the alkali, and with any impurity which the sand or flint might contain, such as lime, alumina, or oxide of iron, and precipitates the silica as a hydrate in the state of a colourless gelatinous mass. It possesses the following properties:When recently precipitated, and while it retains the state of moist hydrate, it is to a certain extent soluble in water, and still more so in acids, and also in solution of potash or soda. When it has been dried, it is an opaque white powder, inodorous, insipid, and gritty, and then with more difficulty soluble in the alkaline solutions, and scarcely at all so in any other acid than the hydrofluoric. It is infusible by the heat of ordinary furnaces, but by the oxy-hydrogen blow-pipe it is more readily fused than lime or magnesia. Its specific gravity is about 2.7.

It consists of

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which it makes with alkalis and earths, to form glass, are considered as salts. Thus with potash it forms silicate of potash; with soda, silicate of soda; and with oxide of lead, silicate of lead; and these are all constituents of glass. China and porcelain, on the other hand, may be regarded as silicates of alumina and magnesia, and mortar is probably a silicate of lime.

It must be evident from what has been stated, that silica is a substance of the utmost importance in many respects; it enters largely into the constitution of minerals, rocks, and fossils, and is employed in the manufacture of glass, porcelain, pottery, bricks, tiles, and mortar.

The compounds which silicon forms with other elements are comparatively unimportant we shall mention only a few of them, and those but briefly.

Chlorine and Silicon may be made to combine by heating the silicon in chlorine gas, or by passing the gas over silicon heated to redness in a porcelain tube; or, according to Oersted, by passing chlorine gas over a red-hot mixture of finely powdered silica and charcoal. Chloride of Silicon is composed of 1 Equivalent of Chlorine 1 Equivalent of Silicon Equivalent




It is a volatile liquid which emits acid fumes; when exposed to moist air, or mixed with water, both are decomposed, and the results are hydrochloric acid and silica. Fluorine and Silicon. [FLUOSILICIC ACID.]

Metals with Silicon.-Some of the metals may be combined with silicon: these compounds, which are not important, are termed Siliciurets. Some varieties of cast-iron contain nearly 8 per cent. of the siliciuret of that metal. SILICULA (in Botany), a kind of fruit. In its structure it resembles the Siliqua [SILIQUA], and differs in nothing but its figure, which is rounded and much shorter, and in the number of its seeds. It is never more than four times as long as broad, and often much shorter. Examples of it may be seen in the whitlow-grass (Draba), in the shepherd's-purse (Capsella), and in the horse-radish.

SI'LIQUA (in Botany), a kind of fruit. It is characterised by having one or two cells, with many seeds, dehiscing by two valves, which separate from a central portion called the replum. It is linear in form and is always superior to the calyx and corolla. The seeds are attached to two placenta, which adhere to the replum, and are opposite to the lobes of the stigma. This position of the seeds, being abnormal, can only be explained in two ways: either this fruit is in reality composed of four carpels, two of which have, during the growth of the pistil, become abortive; or the stigmas must be looked upon as the fusion of two halves, one from each side. The dissepiment of the fruit in this case is most probably a spurious one formed by the projecting placenta. It is sometimes found incomplete, from the edges of the placenta not meeting; it is then said to be fenestrate. This kind of seed-vessel is possessed by a large number of plants belonging to the order Cruciferæ, and examples may be seen in the stock or wall-flower (Cheiranthus), in the ladies' smock (Cardamine), and in the cabbage, turnip, and mustard. The Linnæan class Tetradynamia is divided into two orders, according to the form of its fruit: those plants of the class having a silique are comprised under the order Siliquosa; those having a silicle [SILICULA], under the order Siliculosa.

SI'LIQUA (Megerle), a genus belonging to the Leguminaria, Schum., and consisting of those species of Solen, Auct., which are furnished with an internal rib-Solen radiatus for example. [PYLORIDIANS.]


SILI'STRIA, a sandjak (district) of Bulgaria, in European Turkey, situated between 42° 12′ and 45° 22′ N. lat., and 26° 11′ and 29° 3′ E. long., is one of the most fertile parts of Turkey. This sandjak is bounded on the north by the Danube and Sireth, which separate it from Moldavia and Bessarabia; on the east by the Black Sea; on the south by the sandjaks of Kirk-kilissia and Tchirmen ; and it has on the west Rustchuk and Lower Wallachia. It is crossed in the south by the Balkan, which forms Cape Emineh, at the termination of the mountain-range and by a ramification of less height in a northern direction which terminates on the Black Sea in Cape Calaghriah. From these heights descend the numerous rivers which fertilise the province; the Pravadi, the Buyuk-CamptVOL. XXII.-C

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Chik, the Nadir, and the Aidos flow into the Black | (Ep., iii. 7) seems to us to be correct: Silius wrote with Sea, into which the Danube empties itself on the northern more industry than genius. His poem is in fact a very extremity of the province, after receiving the Dristra, the laboured composition, and the labour is apparent. NumeTaban, and the Karasu. It is chiefly an agricultural rous episodes interrupt the continuity of the narrative. SILISTRIA, or Drystra, the antient name of which is clearness; and he endeavours to make up for force and preSilius falls short of his model, Virgil, in simplicity and Dorostero or Durosterum, in 44° 7′ N. lat. and 27° 12′ E. cision by rhetorical ornament and long-drawn description. long., 155 miles north-north-east of Constantinople, is the Instead of making a picture by a few striking touches, he capital of the sandjak which bears the same name. town is large, and defended by a citadel, which is kept in poor. There are few passages which excite our sympathies. The fills it with detail till the whole is trivial. His invention is good order, and surrounded by double walls and ditches. In short, the poem is a rhetorical history in verse. The city itself is surrounded by ditches from twelve to fif- contemporaries however did not judge so unfavourably of teen feet deep, and defended by strong palisades. The fort him. Martial on several occasions speaks very highly of is situated on the extreme west of the town, which, upon the him, and compares him with Virgil (Ep., iv. 14; vi. 64; vii. whole, is ill built; the streets are narrow and crooked, the 63; 'perpetui nunquam moritura volumina Sili; viii. 66; houses low and dull; even the five mosques and the two ix. 86; xi. 49, 51): he also celebrates his eminence as an public baths partake of the general ugliness. There is how- orator. According to Martial, in an epigram written after ever at the eastern extremity of the town a custom-house in a Silius had enjoyed the consulate, he did not attempt to imibetter style of architecture. The large magazines which surround it contain chiefly corn and flour. As it is a fortress Martial mentions the court of the Centumviri as one of built on the northern frontier, in the neighbourhood of the the places in which he practised: Pliny the younger also tate Virgil till he had acquired distinction as an advocate. Danube, and is principally of a military character, the com- practised in this court. [PLINY.] merce has never been flourishing; and although many merchants have lately settled in Silistria, it is not likely that any greater commercial activity will be the consequence. The population amounts to 20,000, the greater part of whom are Greeks.

The environs of the town are rather pleasant, and the numerous vineyards which border the Danube give them a cheering aspect. There are also ruins, which are said to have formed part of the wall raised by the Greek emperors against the incursions of the barbarians.

Silistria has frequently been the theatre of sharp actions between the Russians and the Turks. It was unsuccessfully besieged by the Russians in 1773, and was again attacked by them in 1779, on which latter occasion they suffered a considerable loss. In 1828 General Rosh was obliged to retreat after besieging the town for some months; but it fell into the hands of the Russians in 1829, when Generals Diebitch and Krassowski took it by assault on the 30th of June.

SI'LIUS ITA'LICUS, CAIUS. The place of this poet's birth is unknown. It has sometimes been stated that the name is derived from Italica (near Seville) in Spain, and that this was the birth-place of himself or of his ancestors. But to this conjecture we must oppose the silence of Martial, who frequently mentions Silius without speaking of his Spanish origin. The name also ought in that case, according to analogy, to be Italicensis. Silius was of an illustrious plebeian family. He studied oratory, in which Cicero was his pattern; and he also aspired to make himself a poet on the model of Virgil. He is said to have possessed himself of a country-house that had belonged to Cicero, and of one that had belonged to Virgil. (Martial, Epig., xi. 48.) In the year A.D. 68, in the last year of the reign of Nero, he was consul with M. Valerius Trachalus Turpilianus; and some time after he was governor of the province of Asia, which he is said to have administered in a creditable manHe was a friend of Vitellius, and appears to be the Silius Italicus who is mentioned by Tacitus (Hist., iii. 65). There was, says Pliny (Ep., iii, 7), a rumour that he had acted the part of an accuser or informer under the reign of Nero; but while he enjoyed the friendship of Vitellius, he conducted himself with prudence. He finally retired to his estate in Campania, where he devoted himself to poetry and philosophy. Silius was fond of objects of art, and he enriched his residence with statues, paintings, and books. When his old age became troubled with infirmities, he hastened his death by starvation, in which he followed the fashion of those times, when suicide was not uncommon. Silius was a Stoic. The time of his death is fixed at A.D. 100, when he is said to have completed his seventy-fifth year. He was married, and had two children. He enjoyed, says Pliny, unmingled happiness to the day of his death, with the exception of the loss of his younger child.


The only extant work of Silius Italicus is an epic poem on the second Punic war, in seventeen books, entitled "Punica.' This poem, which may be called an historical epic, comprises the chief events of the war from the commencement of the siege of Saguntum (i. 268), to the defeat of Hannibal in Africa and the triumph of Scipio Africanus. [SCIPIO.] The materials of Silius seem to be chiefly taken from Polybius and Livy, and the poem has consequently a kind of historical value. riously estimated, but the judgment of the younger Pliny As a work of art, it has been va

death, if we may judge from the silence of subsequent
writers as to them. Sidonius Apollinaris is the only writer
The poems of Silius seem to have been forgotten after his
who mentions them.
Switzerland, which was printed at Rome, 1471, folio. An-
MS. of Silius in the library of the convent of St. Gallen, in
Poggio is said to have discovered a
other MS. was afterwards found at Cologne by Ludwig Carrio,
the loss of the Punica' that Petrarca, as it is said, wrote his
from which the text of Silius was improved. It was to supply
of Silius, which he made use of, and carefully suppressed.
'Africa.' It has been conjectured that Petrarca had a copy
Such conduct would be quite inconsistent with the character
of Petrarca, and one would suppose that a comparison of the
dation for such a statement.
two poems would soon determine whether there is any foun-

ceps is that of Rome already mentioned. There is an edi-
There are numerous editions of Silius. The editio prin-
Ernesti, Leipzig, 1791-2; and by Ruperti, with a preface
by Heyne, Göttingen, 1795-98.
tion by Drakenborch, Utrecht, 1717. and Mitau, 1775; by

There is an English translation by Thomas Ross, London,
de Villebrune, Paris, 1781, 3 vols. 12mo.
1661, 1672, folio; and a French translation by Le Febvre

in 41° 4' N. lat. and 28° 13′ E. long., thirty-two miles west SILIVRI, a seaport of Romania, in European Turkey, of Constantinople, is built in the form of an amphitheatre, on the declivity of a small hill facing the Sea of Marmara. commands a fine prospect of the Sea of Marmara. The top It forms a beautiful object when seen from the sea, and built under the Greek empire. The population is 1500 of the hill is crowned by the ruins of a fort, which was Greeks and 200 Jews. The part of the town below the fort is solely occupied by Turks, who are about 4500. The Turks have several mosques, and a market-place, which is much generally filled with fishing-boats, which furnish the inhaadmired. The harbour admits only small vessels, and is bitants with a plentiful supply of food. The environs of the town are covered with vineyards and corn-fields. The antient name is Selybria, often written Selymbria. (Steph. Byzant., Enλvußpía; Strabo, p. 319, Casaub., Eŋλvßpía.) It was a colony of the Megarians.

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already been described [ВомBуCIDE], and its value when SILK. The manner in which raw silk is produced has wrought and manufactured has also been noticed. [RIBAND.] China was undoubtedly the country in which men first availed themselves of the labours of the silk-worm. Serica (the country of the Seres) was a name by which the Macesilk that came overland from the north of China. The audonian Greeks designated the country which produced the thor of the Periplus of the Erythræan Sea' speaks of silk in Malabar as an article imported from countries farther to the east; from which it may be inferred that the culture of the silk-worm and the manufacture of silk had not been inknown in Europe. troduced even into India four hundred years after silk was Thinæ, the same author observes that both the raw material and manufactured article were obtained there. The In speaking of the country of the of the Persian empire, and extolled for their lustrous beauty 'Median robes,' spoken of by the Greek writers of the period Europe, states that 'the robes which were formerly called pius, long afterwards, when silk had been introduced into and brilliancy, were no doubt silken vestments, as Proco

Median by the Greeks are now called silken.' Aristotle is
the first Greek author who mentions the silk-worm (Nat.
Hist., v. 19); and he states that silk was first spun in the
island of Cos, but the raw material was still an oriental pro-
duct; and Pliny (xi. 22), in commenting on this passage,
states that the silk came from Assyria, and was worked up
by the Greek women: it may be remarked that Assyria was,
like Media, frequently used in an indefinite sense by antient
writers. The probability is that silk was used in Western
Asia before it was known to the Greeks; and that it was in
use among the Greeks long before they knew whence the
substance came or how it was produced. Thus Virgil (Georg.,
ii. 121) supposes that the Seres carded the silk from leaves;
and Dionysius Periegetes also supposed it to be a vegetable
product: thus he says,-

Nor flocks nor herds the distant Seres tend;
But from the flow'rs that in the desert bloom
Tinctur'd with every varying hue, they cull
The glossy down, and card it for the loom.'

and Malta, where the wages of labour have nearly reached their minimum. The subject however has again recently attracted attention in the American Union; and in 1831 a small quantity of raw silk was exported. The production of raw silk is fast extending in British India, and the quality has been for some years gradually improving, There is every prospect of the English market being in time almost exclusively supplied with silk from our Indian possessions; as labour is not only cheaper than in any part of Europe, but three 'crops' of silk may be taken in the year, while from countries west of India, including Turkey, only one can be obtained. In Graham's 'India,' it is said that in the Deccan the mulberry-trees may be deprived of their leaves six times a year, and that six crops of worms may be obtained with ease in the same period. The Chinese method of rearing silk-worms, and their mode of treating the mulberrytree (described in Davis's China, p. 280), were introduced at St. Helena, under the auspices of the East India Company, but on the expiration of their charter the establishment Pausanias gives more precise information respecting the lieved to be better than that of any country in the world. was given up. Some of the silk produced in France is besubstance from which the Seres formed their cloths. They The average price is twenty francs per lb., and the quantity have,' he says, 'a spinning insect, which is kept in build-produced exceeds three million lbs. The Italian silk is ings, and produces a fine-spun thread, which is wrapped also highly esteemed; the quantity produced is estimated at about its feet' (vi. 26). It was not until the sixth century from six to seven million lbs. In Russia Peter the Great that the obscurity which enveloped this subject was cleared formed mulberry plantations, and the rearing of silk-worms up. At this time silk was an article of general use among was strongly encouraged, by the Empress Catharine, and the Romans, and was manufactured for them by the inhaat present those who engage in this business obtain many bitants of Tyre and Berytus in Phoenicia. The Persians monopolised the supply of the raw material, and guarded their many, with the exception of Saxony, the silk-worm is sucimportant privileges. In Bavaria and other parts of Gertrade with so much jealousy, both by land and sea, that cessfully reared as a commercial object; also in Sweden, travellers from or to China were not allowed to traverse the where the silk is said to possess some valuable proPersian dominions; and in the time of Justinian, in conse-perties not found in that produced in a warmer latitude. quence of some interference with the trade, they had en- The last attempt to introduce the silk-worm in the United tirely stopped the importation of silk. The trade in silk Kingdom on a large scale was made in 1835, by a company was in this unsatisfactory state, when two Nestorian monks which commenced its operations by planting 80 acres in the of Persia, who had travelled to China, acquainted Justinian county of Cork with 4000 mulberry-trees; but the design with the mode of producing silk, and undertook to return has been abandoned as far as relates to the United Kingand bring back with them some of the eggs of the silk- dom, and the company has transferred its operations to worm. They were perfectly successful in their expedition, Malta. and a quantity of eggs, secured in a hollow cane, were brought in safety to Constantinople, hatched by the heat of a dunghill, and fed with mulberry-leaves. The monks also taught the subjects of Justinian the art of manufacturing


The breeding of silk-worms in Europe was for six centuries confined to the Greeks of the Lower Empire. In the twelfth century the art was transferred to Sicily; in the thirteenth century the rearing of silk-worms and the manufacture of silk were introduced into Italy, from whence it was successively introduced into Spain and France, and in the fifteenth century the manufacture was established in England.

There are several works devoted to details of the management of silk-worms, one of the best of which is that of Count Dandolo, an Italian nobleman: it has been translated into French. There are also works on the same subject in our own language.

It is said that sixteen yards of gros-de-Naples of ordinary quality, or fourteen yards of a superior description, are manufactured out of 1lb. of reeled silk, to produce which twelve lbs. of cocoons are required. The average weight of a cocoon is from three grains to three grains and a quarter; its average length when reeled off, about three hundred yards. Taking the silk consumed in the United Kingdom in a single year at 5,000,000 lbs. the following are the sta

Raw silk

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12 lbs. of cocoons to 1 lb. of raw silk
30,000 worms to 1 lb. of cocoons, 18,000,000,000 worms.

1 oz. of eggs to 100 lbs. of cocoons

16 lbs. of leaves to 1 lb. of cocoons
100 lbs. of leaves from each tree

600,000 { 96,000,000 {

oz. of

eggs. lbs. of leaves. 9,600,000 trees.

Silk is obtained from the spider, not the cobweb, but the silky thread which the female spins round her eggs has been woven; the silken fibres of the pinna form a strong and beautiful fabric [MYTILIDE]; and some species of moths form cocoons which may be spun as a matter of experiment and curiosity, but not with a view to commercial profit.

James I. was extremely solicitous to promote the breed-tistics of production:ing and rearing of silk-worms in England; and in 1608 issued circular letters, which were addressed to persons of influence throughout the country, recommending the subject to them, and arrangements were made for the distribution of the mulberry in the different counties. Most of the old mulberry-trees found in the neighbourhood of antient mansions at the present day were planted at the above period. The experiment was not successful, in consequence of our climate being unsuited to the silk-worm. James also encouraged the introduction of the silk-worm into the English settlements in America. About a century afterwards (1718) a company was incorporated, which obtained a lease for one hundred and twenty-two years of Chelsea park, where mulberry-trees were extensively planted, and large buildings erected for managing the business of breeding silk-worms. This scheme also failed. An attempt was next made to introduce the silk-worm in the settlements of Georgia and Carolina; the importation of raw silk from these colonies was permitted free of duty, and its production was further encouraged by direct bounties; but the quality of the silk proved indifferent, and after the trade had languished for some time, the hope of deriving any large supply from this quarter was abandoned. About the year 1789 nurseries of mulberry-trees were planted in several states of the American Union; but though the climate is not unfavourable to the rearing of silk-worms, which are found in their natural state in the forests, the high rate of wages is an obstacle to this sort of employment, which is better adapted to the social condition of China, Italy, the South of France,

The quantities of raw, waste, and thrown silk taken for consumption in the United Kingdom in the following periods was as under:

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1765 to 1767 (inclusive)
1785 to 1787
1801 to 1812
1814 to 1822

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1824 to 1835

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1836 to 1840

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Annual average.








The countries from which we imported raw, waste, and thrown silk, in 1839, were as follows:

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