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EXPLANATIONS AND DEFINITIONS OF POPULAR OR COMMON

TERMS IN SCIENCE, LITERATURE, AND THE ARTS, ETC.

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IN GEOGRAPHY AND ASTRONOMY. Geography is the science which describes the earth.

The earth, or globe, is divided into four quarters, to wit, Asia, Africa, Europe, and America; and of these Asia is the eastern, Africa the southern, Europe west of these, and America west of all.

Each of these quarters is called a continent; while Asia, Africa, and Europe make up the eastern hemisphere, and America the western.

Places on the earth are known by their latitude and longitude.

The parallels of latitude are parallel lines running across the earth, from east to west, and at equal distances.

The middle line is the equator or equinoctial line; and latitudes are reckoned north and south from this line in degrees, minutes, and seconds.

A degree is the 360th part of the earth's circumference, and about 691 English miles; a minute is the 60th part of a degree, and a second the 60th part of a minute, &c.

Degrees are marked thus °, minutes', and seconds". The lines of longitude run north and south, and are called meridians; they are also reckoned by degrees, minutes, and seconds, and count the distance east or west from some given point.

The equinoctial line is that part or line of the earth that is at an equal distance (90 degrees) from the north and south poles ; and when the sun is on the equinox, in March and September, the days and nights are equal.

The poles are the northern and southern extremities of the earth, lying directly under the poles in the heavens.

The earth is divided into five imaginary zones or girdles, to wit, the two frigid or frozen zones, one at the north, and the other at the south pole; the two temperate zones next to these ; and the torrid, zone,

in the middle. The torrid zone lies between the tropics; and the tropics are two imaginary circles round the earth, one 23 degrees and 30 minutes north of the equinoctial line, the other the same distance south. The northern one is called the tropic of Cancer, the southern the tropic of Capricorn; and these circles mark the northern and southern limits of the sun, in passing from one to the other of which the variations in the seasons are caused, &c.

The zodiac, so called from a word which signifies living creatures, is an imaginary broad belt in the heavens, within which lie

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twelve constellations, or clusters of stars, that are called the twelve signs of the zodiac, and generally named after living animals.

These twelve signs are known by different marks; and their names, which are Latin, are here given : p Aries, or Ram.

La Libra, or Balance. 8 Taurus, or Bull.

im Scorpio, or Scorpion. Gemini, or Twins. 1 Sagittarius, or Bowman. O Cancer, or Crab-fish. in Capricornus, or Goat. & Leo, the Lion.

man Aquarius, or Waterman. my Virgo, or Virgin. # Pisces, the Fishes.

The twelve signs are also supposed to represent twelve parts of the human body; and a drawing of this representation may be seen in the Almanacs. The following lines, by Dr. Watts, will enable the reader to remember the English names, and the order of the signs of the zodiac:

The Ram, the Bull, the heavenly Twins,
And next the Crab the Lion shines,

The Virgit, and the Scales;
The Scorpion, Archer, and the Goat,
The Man that bears the Water Pot,

And Fish with glittering tails. The ecliptic is that imaginary circle in the middle of the zodiac which crosses the equator at an angle of 23 degrees and 30 minutes, and is that path which the sun describes and never quits while it passes the twelve signs of the zodiac.

Eclipses of the sun are caused by the moon passing between the earth and sun; and they can never happen but at the change of the moon.

An eclipse of the moon is caused by the earth coming between it and the sun; and can never bappen but when the moon is full.

The horizon is the point which bounds our vision. The moon is two hundred and forty thousand miles from the earth; the sun ninety-six millions of miles.

The earth is about eight thousand miles in diameter; the sun is said to be one hundred times larger.

IN THE ARTS, ETC. Electricity. This is a subtle, powerful, unseen agency, or principle, pervading many of the material objects of the universe. It was known to the ancients; but it was reserved for Benjamin Franklin to prove that electricity and lightning are the same thing, He did this by the simple means of drawing down lightning from the clouds with a kite, and then making experiments on it. It was a mighty discovery; and now, what was once regarded with superstitious awe, is made to obey man and minister to his wants. Iron is a good conductor of electricity : and it is now passed along iron rods and made to operate little machines at the end. These machines make marks on paper, which marks are made to represent certain letters. Thus the news can be sent on these wires with the swiftness of lightning; and the means by which this is done is called the magnetic telegraph.

Batteries are machines for producing the electricity; and they have them at each end of the wires.

Steam is the vapour of water. When water is heated, it becomes converted into vapour and expands into a very large volume. This expansion is the force or moving power

which

propels steam-engines.

TERMS USED IN BUSINESS MATTERS, SHIP NEWS, ETC. A steamship is a vessel with sails and also a steam-engine; a steamboat is a vessel without sails, and propelled altogether by steam; a ship is a vessel with sails, propelled by the wind.

Roads are places of anchorage outside the harbour, or in the outer harbour.

Ports are places where vessels sail from or to with freight.

The clearance of a vessel is a paper given at the customhouse, containing the names of the vessel, the master, and the crew, and showing the cargo that is on board, the place where the vessel is owned, the place to which she is going, and the date of her being ready to sail. Every vessel must have one of these, and it is a sort of passport and protection on the ocean.

Custom-house. -Every port into which goods are shipped is called a port of entry; and there is a custom-house, where the papers of the ship are examined and the duties on her goods paid.

Tarifs, Duties, &c. &c.-Governments raise money by taxing imports, and sometimes exports, and these taxes are called tariffs, duties, &c.

Stocks. When the property of any thing is divided into shares, these shares are called stocks.

Thus, if there is a factory with a capital of a hundred thousand dollars, and if the shares are a hundred dollars each, the owners of the shares are called a joint-stock company.

In such companies, the share may be 50 or 100 dollars, or any other sum ; and no one is allowed to own less than a share. If a share is 100 dollars, the man who subscribes 500 dollars has five shares, and generally each share is entitled to one vote. The man, therefore, who has 1000 dollars in the concern, will have ten votes, &c. &c.

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When these shares sell for what they call for, they are said to be at par : thus, if you wished to buy stock in a bank when each share is 100 dollars, and you had to give 100 dollars for each share you bought, you would buy the stock at par; if you got it for less than that, you would get the stock at a discount; if you gave more, the excess would be called a premium.

Insurance Stocks.—" To insure a ship, a house, or any other property, is to promise that if it is destroyed or injured by storm, fire, or other casualty, the value of it shall be paid to the owner. Property is often insured for only part of its value; and the owner who gets insured, pays to the insurer a certain sum, more or less, for his insurance.

The instrument or paper, on which the insurer promises to pay, is called a policy of insurance.

Insurance is generally made by companies of men, who unite and employ their property for this purpose. The whole property or stock thus united, is divided into shares, and these are insurance stocks.

The par value is the original price of the shares; if they rise above this, they are at a premium.

Exchange. If you have money due to you in Philadelphia, and you give one of your neighbours, who is going North, a certificate which will entitle him to receive the money in Philadelphia, this is a bill of exchange; if your neighbour buys it of you, you sell him a bill of exchange.

Now, if North-Carolina money was at a discount in Philadelphia --if, for instance, they would only allow 98 cents on each dollar-it would be a convenience to you to take, instead of money, an order on some one to pay you money in Philadelphia. Hence, in the trade between foreign cities, to save the trouble of carrying specie, there is a considerable business done in the way of buying and selling bills of exchange. If the man on whom the bill is drawn will not pay it, you have that fact certified by an officer whose business it is to do this; and this certificate is called a protest, which protest you send back to the drawer of the bill, who then has to pay you, together with whatever damages you may have sustained.

FOREIGN PHRASES.

Ab initio. From the beginning. Latin.
Ad captan'dum vulgus. To captivate the populace. Latin.
Ad finem. To the end. Latin.
Ad infini'tum. To infinity. Latin.
Ad libitum. At pleasure. Latin.

Ad valo'rem. According to the value. Latin.
A fortio'ri. With stronger reason.

Latin.
A la mode. According to the fushion. French.
Allias. Otherwise. Latin.
Alibi. Elsewhere. Latin.
Alma mater. Benign mother, (the university.) Latin.
Apath'ema. An ecclesiastical curse. Latin.
Anno Dom'ini. In the year of our Lord. Used with reference

to the birth of Christ, and abbreviated into A. D.
A posterio'ri. From the effect to the cause. Latin.
A priori. From the cause to the effect. Latin.
Aqua fortis. Strong water, (nitric acid.) Latin.
Argumen'tum ad hom’inem. An argument to the man. Latin.
Auto da . An act of faith, (the burning of heretics.) Spanish.
Beau ideal (bo i-de'-al). Ideal beauty. French.
Beau monde (bo mond). The gay world. French.
Bona fide. In good faith ; in reality. Latin.
Bonhomie. (bõn-o-mē). Good-nature. French.
Bon mot (bon mo). A good word ; a witticism. French.
Bonus. A consideration for something received. Latin.
Carte Blanche (kärt blansh). A blank sheet of paper. French.
Chacun à son gout (shä-kun ä săn goo). Every one to his taste.

French.
Compos mentis. A man of sound and composed mind. Latin.
Corpus delic'ti. The body of the crime, (the essence of it.) Latin.
Credat Judæ'us Apel'la. Let the circumcised Jew believe it.

Latin.
Con amore.

With love. Italian.
Cui bono? To what (or for whose) good will it tend ? Latin.
Custos morum. The guardian of morality, Latin.
De facto. In fact; in reality. Latin.
De jure. By right; rightfully, (by law.) Latin.
Dei gra'tia. By the favour of God. Latin.
De gus’tibus non est disputandum. There is no disputing about

tastes. Latin.
De mor'tuis nil nisi bonum. Of the dead let nothing be said but
what is favourable. Latin.

Anew. Latin.
Deo juvan'te. With God's assistance. Latin.
Dernier ressort (dern-yā res-sõr).

The last resource.

French Dom'ipus vobis'e

cum. The Lord be with you. Latin.
Double entendre (doobl än-tän'-dr). A double meaning. French.
Dum spiro spero.

Whilst I breathe, I hope. Latin.
Dum vi' vimus viva'mus. Whilst we live, let us live. Latin.
En masse (ong mäs). In a body. French.

De novo.

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