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point, when any spot of ground is covered with only a thin coat of snow, it may be so far cooled, to a certain depth, by the influence of the external air, as not to be capable of dissolving any part of the superincumbent snow. But when the mass of snow is of such a thickness as to protect the surface of the ground from the effects of the atmospherical cold, the mean temperature, which is always above the freezing point, will be sufficient to melt the contiguous surface of snow, and to occasion a constant thaw, which supplies those currents of water that flow at all seasons from the upper and lower glaciers.”
Having endeavoured to explain the causes of the glaciers and their changes, it will be proper to give an idea of their sublimity in the words of M. Bourrit, who appears to have viewed and described them with all that enthusiasm which such splendid objects must have inspired. “To come at this collected mass of ice (Des Bois) we crossed the Arve, and travelling in a tolerable road, passed some villages or hamlets, whose inhabitants behaved with much politeness; they invited us to go in and rest ourselves, apologizing for our reception, and offered us a taste of their honey. After amusing ourselves some time amongst them, we resumed our road, and entered a beautiful wood of lofty firs, inhabited by squirrels. The bottom is a fine sand, left there by the inundations of the Arveron ; it is a very agreeable walk, and exhibits some extraordinary appearances. In proportion as we advanced into this wood, we observed the objects gradually to vanish from our sight; surprised at this circumstance, we were earnest to discover the cause, and our eyes sought in vain for satisfaction, till, having passed through it, the charm ceased. Judge of our astonishment, when we saw before us an enormous mass of ice, twenty times as large as the front of our cathedral of St. Peter, and so constructed, that we have only to change our situation to make it resemble whatever we please. It is a magnificent palace, cased over with the purest crystal : a majestic temple, ornamented with a portico, and columns of several shapes and colours; it has the appearance of a fortress, flanked with towers and bastions to the right and left, and at bottom is a grotto, terminating in a dome of bold construction. This fairy dwelling, this enchanted residence, or cave of fancy, is the source of the Arveron, and of the gold which is found in the Arve. And if we add to all this rich và
riety, the ringing tinkling sound of water dropping from its sides, with the glittering refraction of the solar rays, whilst tints of the most lively green, or blue, or yellow, or violet, have the effect of different compartments, in the several divisions of the grotto, the whole is so theatrically splendid, so completely picturesque, so beyond imagination i. and beautiful, that I can hardly believe the art of man has ever yet produced, nor ever will produce, a building so grand in its construction, or so varied in its ornaments. Desirous of surveying every side of this mass, we crossed the river about four hundred yards from its source, and mounting upon the rocks and ice, approached the vault; but while we were attentively employed in viewing all its parts, astonished at the sportiveness of fancy, we cast our eyes at one considerable member of the pile above us, which was unaccountably supported ; it seemed to hold by almost nothing : our imprudence was too evident, and we hastened to retreat; yet scarcely had we stepped back thirty paces before it broke off all at once, with a prodigious noise, and tumbled, rolling to the very spot where we were standing just before. GLACIS, in fortification, that mass of earth which serves as a parapet to the covered way, sloping easily towards the champaign, or field. The glacis, otherwise called esplanade, is about six feet high, and loses itself by an insensible diminution in the space of ten fathoms. GLADIATORS, persons who fought for the amusement of the public in the arenas of amphitheatres in the city of Rome, and at other places under the dominion of the Romans. The term is derived from their use of the gladius, or sword; and the origin of this horrid custom is said to have been the practice of sacrificing captives to the manes of chiefs killed in battle. It seems, however, more probable, that it arose from the funeral games of antiquity, when the friends of the deceased fought in honour of his memory; an instance of which occurs in the twenty-third book of the Iliad, at the burning of the body of Patroclus. Achilles having ordained every solemn rite usual upon those occasions, Homer adds, “The prizes next are ordered to the field, For the bold champions who the caestus wield.” The leather which composed the caestus being loaded with lead, enabled the combatants to give each other mortal blows, though the hands only were used. Epeus, of gigantic stature, challenged the whole of the Grecian chiefs, who were terrified at his bulk, and Euryalus alone accepted his defiance: the good sense to propose a law, prohibiting all candidates for offices from exhibiting gladiators within two years before they became such. Julius Caesar limited their number in Rome. Augustus ordained that not more than sixty pairs of combatants should fight at one exhibition, and that there ...i be only two of the latter in a year. During the reign of Tiberius it was decreed, that gladiators were not to be brought before the public by persons worth, less than 400,000 sestérces. Constantine the Great had the humanity and courage to abolish the custom, after it had prevailed near six hundred years; but it revived under Constantius Theodosius and Valentinian, and was finally suppressed by the Emperor Honorius. The guilty persons alluded to by Cicero must apply to those slaves whose masters sold them, for disobedience or malpractices, to the Lanistae, who, instructing them in the arts of attack and defence, hired them to any rich man disposed to exhibit them. Had they been entirely confined to this class of people, we might have been less inclined to censure the custom; but when we reflect that honest and courageous soldiers were condemned to undergo the lash of their captors, and afterwards perish by the swords of slaves, or each other, we cannot fail of being astonished that the high-spirited Roman should expose himself to their vengeance, by voluntarily entering the arena, with them, there to meet almost certain death. Strange, however, as it appears, freemen fought for hire under the term of auctorati; and even knights, nobles, and senators, who had wasted their property by extravagance, have deigned to become gladiators. Augustus, offended at their conduct, forbid the senatorian order and knights to enter the lists as such ; but preceding princes, less influenced by a sense of honour, permitted them to act as they pleased. The contagion at length extended to the females of Rome; and, lastiy, dwarfs were taught the use of the sword, and fighting with the women, or each other, furnished a new description of diversion. Kennet classes the various sorts of gladiators under the terms of the Retiarii, the Secutores, the Myrmyllones, the Thracians, the Samnites, the Essedarii, and the Andabatae; the Gladiatores Meridiani fought in the afternoon ; the Gladiatores Fiscales were paid from the Emperor's private treasury; the Gladiatores Postulatitii were men of consummate art in their profession; the Gladiatores
“Him great Tydides urges to contend,
Warm with the hopes of conquest for his friend ;
Officious with the cincture girds him round,
And to his wrists the gloves of death are bound.”
The captives slain on this occasion were not commanded to fight; they had been led to the pile, and died with the sheep, oxen, coursers, and dogs, that their bodies might be burnt by the flames which consumed that of Patroclus:
“Then, last of all, and horrible to tell,
Sad sacrifice twelve Trojan captives
The above quotations positively prove, that the Romans deviated from their predecessors in the practice of this barbarous custom. The Greeks appear to have destroyed their prisoners on a revengeful principle, and despatched them immediately; but the former refined upon cruelty, and would rather purchase captives, or destroy the lives of ill-disposed slaves, than send the ashes of their friends to the urn bloodless, or the spectators of the obsequies home, without the gratification of witnessing wretches cutting each other to death, though not under the influence of previous anger. According to Valerius Maximus, and Lampridius in Heliogabalus, gladiators were first introduced at Rome by M. and D Brutus, at the funeral of their father, in the consulship of Ap. Claudius and M. Fulvius.
The examples of great men, however detestable, ever produce imitators. Hence, though the brothers may have acted from motives of family vanity only, other great personages, perceiving that the people delighted in the sight of blood, determined to gratify then by adopting the custom; which was afterwards extended to public exhibitions given by the priests in the Ludi Sacerdotales, and the magistrates, solely for the amusement of the populace, or perhaps to confirm them in an habitual contempt for wounds and military death.
Thus the family alluded to, introducing perhaps three pair of gladiators to the citizens of Rome, was the means of mul
tiplying their number to an amount which is shocking to humanity; for the subsequent emperors appear to have attempted to excel each other in assembling them at their birth-day celebrations, at triumphs, the consecration of edifices, at their periodical games, and at the rejoicings after great victories. As the dispositions of several of the chief magistrates, who are recorded as having exhibited gladiators, were mild and merciful, it is but fair to suppose, that Julius Cæsar, who produced three hundred and twenty pairs in his edileship, Titus, Trajan, and others, submitted to the custom in compliance with the temper of the people, rather than from any predilection to it in themselves. But there are few permicious practices which do not carry their punishmaent with them. The prevailing frenzy had at length arrived to such an excess, that the gladiators became sufficiently numerous to threaten the safety of the state; as when the Cataline conspiracy raged, an order was issued to disperse the gladiators in different garrisons, that they might not join the disaffected party; yet, although the fears of the government were excited, it doth not appear that any steps were taken to lessen their number, as the Emperor Otho had it in his power long after the above event to enlist two thousand of them to serve against Witellius. The people thus cut off from society, and rendered murderers per force, were fully justified in considering the whole Roman state their enemy; nor was it surprising that they were sometimes willing to revenge themselves upon their oppressors. Spartacus, a gladiator, gave a bold but unavailing example to his brethren, by rushing out of an amphitheatre at Verona, at the head of those collected there for public exhibition, declaring war against the loomans, and assembling so great a force, as to make the citizens of Rome tremble. Similar apprehensions
Catervarii fought in small companies; and the Gladiatores Ordinarii were not particularly distinguished, but fought in a common way. The dress of the Retiarius was a short habit, and a hat tied under the chin. His means of offence were a weapon called a fuscina, and a net. With the latter in his right hand, he endeavoured to entangle his adversary, and with the fuscina in the left he aimed mortal blows at him; but as this description of gladiator was invariably opposed to a Secutor, armed with a scymeter, a buckler, and a helmet, the Retiarius had no means of escape, if he failed in casting his net, except by flight round the arena, during which he adjusted it for a new trial. The best gladiators were Thracians. Those men, with their faulchion and small round shields, possessed more national ferocity and cruelty than any of their opponents. Kennet says, “The original of the Saranite gladiators is given by Livy. The Campanians (says he) bearing a great hatred to the Samnites, they armed a part of their gladiators after the fashion of that country, and called them Samnites. They wore a shield, broad at the top, to defend the breast and shoulders, and growing more narrow towards the bottom, that it might be moved with the greater convenience. They had a sort of belt coming over their breasts, a greave on their left foot, and a crested helmet on their heads.” The Epedarii sometimes engaged from chariots, and at others on foot; and the Andabatae, mounted on horses, fought with a helmet which covered their faces and eyes. The exhibition of gladiators was announced to the public by bills affixed in the public places, sometimes accompanied by paintings of the intended combat, or the most celebrated combatants; and when the time mentioned had arrived, and the people assembled, the gladiators marched slowly round the arena; they were then matched, by persons appointed for that purpose, as equally as possible, and they proceeded to prepare for the contest by fencing with E. swords, &c.; after which the trumpets were sounded, and the battles began in serious earnest. When a severe wound was given, the gladiator who inflicted it, and the people, exclaimed, “He has it.” If that proved decisive, the vanquished person resigned his weapon, and acknowledged himself conquered. But this submission was not alone sufficient to save his life : the people were to decide his fate. He therefore turned to them, and supplicated for mercy, which was granted, or refused, according to their opinion of his skill and courage. Several learned authors have differed as to the exact manner in which the hands and fingers were placed, to express praise or disapprobation on those occasions. According to Juvenal, the bending of the thumbs back authorised the conqueror to kill his adversary as a coward. The Emperor might, however, interfere, if he was present, and save the gladiator; it is supposed, besides, that his entrance at the instant of defeat was favourable to the vanquished party, as far as his life was concerned. The rewards of the victors consisted of money collected from the spectators; and when they happened to be slaves, they received the pileus, or cap, denoting that from that moment they became free ; or the rudis, or wand, which signified their services, as gladiators, were thenceforth dispensed with, whether slaves or freemen. It was customary for the persons thus situated either to become Lanistae, or to suspend their arms in the Temple of IIercules. There are few nations which have not imitated this strange custom, in a greater or less degree, at different periods of their history; and less than a century past there were gladiators in London, who fought and bled, but never killed each other.— Malcolm’s Anecdotes of the Manners and Customs of this great Metropolis contains numerous particulars relating to those modern swords-men, whose exertions were rivalled by several females in the art of boxing and cutting. One of their challenges, from the publication alluded to, will be aproper conclusion to this article. “In Islington Road, on Monday, being the 17th of July, 1727, will be performed a trial of skill by the following combatants: We, Robert Barker and Mary Welsh, from Ireland, having often contaminated our swords in the abdominous corporations of such antogonists as have had the insolence to dispute our skill, do find ourselves once more necessitated to challenge, defy, and invite Mr. Stokes, and his bold Amazonian virago, to meet us on the stage; where we hope to give a satisfaction to the honourable lord of our nation, who has laid a wager of twenty guineas on our heads. They that give the most cuts to have the whole money, and the benefit of the house. And if swords, daggers, quarter-staff, fury, rage, and resolution will prevail, our friends shall not meet with a disappointment.”—
“We, James and Elizabeth Stokes, of the city of London, having already gained an universal approbation by our agility of body, dextrous hands, and courageous hearts, need not preambulate on this occasion, but rather choose to exercise the sword to their sorrow, and corroborate the general opinion of the town, than to follow the custom of our repartee antagonists. This will be the last time of Wis. Stokes performing on the stage. There will be a door on purpose for the reception of the gentlemen, where coaches may drive up to it, and the company come in without being crowded. Attendance will be given at three, and the combatants mount at six. They all fight in the same dresses as before.” GLADIOLUS, in botany, English cornJoag, a genus of the Triandra Monogynia class and order. Natural order of Eusatae. Irides, Jussieu. Essential character: corolla six-parted, irregular, unequal; stigmas three. There are thirty species: these are herbaceous, perennial plants, with a tuberous-coated root; a simple stalk ; the flowers specious, in spikes, with a spathe to each flower. GLAMA, a species of Peruvian camel, with the back even, and the breast gibbose. See CAMELUs. GLANCE, in mineralogy, one of the ores of cobalt, found in beds of mica, in Sweden: its colour is tin-white, it is massive in various forms, and crystallized in cubes and octahedrons; the surface of the crystals is smooth and splendent; it is brittle, and the specific gravity is 6.45. GLAND, in anatomy, a small body formed by the interweaving of vessels of every kind, covered with a membrane, usually provided with an excretory duct, and destined to separate some particular fluid from the mass of blood, or to perfect the lymph. See ANAToMY and Puysiology. The glands have been chemically examined by Fourcroy and others. There are two sets of them: the conglobate, which are small, scattered in the course of the lymphatics: and the conglomerate, such as the liver, kidneys, &c. Fourcroy supposes the first to be composed of gelatine; the composition of the others has not been ascertained.
short, hooked at the end ; nostrils at the base linear and oblique ; feet four toed; toes long, slender, connected at the base by a membrane : tail forked, consisting of twelve feathers. There are three species, of which the principal is P. austriaca; this is about as large as a black-bird, lives on water-insects and on worms; is found in great numbers on the banks of the Rhine in the neighbourhood of Strasburgh, and in innumerable flocks in the deserts of the Caspian Sea ; it is a bird particularly clamorous and restless. See Aves, Plate VII. fig. 5. GLASS, a substance too well known to admit of a definition. It is a compound of the fixed alkalies, or alkaline earths, with silica, brought into complete fusion, and then suddenly congealed. Silica, when mixed with the fixed alkalies, and exposed to a strong heat, readily enters into fusion. In this state the mixture may be moulded into any shape, and if suddenl cooled below the temperature at which it assumes the solid state, it retains the transparency, and those peculiar properties that belong to the substance called glass. Metallic oxides are sometimes added, as well to assist in the fusion, as to communicate certain colours to the mass. If the melted glass be suffered to cool very slowly, the different tendency of the constituent parts to assume solid forms, at certain temperatures, will cause them to separate successively in crystals, as salts held in solution in water assume the form of crystals as the liquid is slowly evaporated. But if the glass be suddenly cooled down to the point of congelation, the constituents have not time to separate in succession, and the glass remains the same homogenous compound as while in a state of fusion. Hence it should seem that the vitreous quality depends entirely, 1. upon the fusibility of the mixture, and 2. on the su'idenness with which it is cooled down to the point of congelation. It was discovered by Sir James Hall, that glass always loses its vitreous state, and assumes that of a stone, if more than a minute or two elapses while it is cooling down from complete fusion to the point at which it congeals. There are several kinds of glass adapted to different uses. The best and most beautiful are the flint and the plate glass. These, when well made, are perfectly transparent and colourless, heavy and brilliant. They are composed of fixed alkali, pure siliceous sand, calcined flints, and litharge in different proportions. The flint glass contains a large quantity of
oxide of lead, which by certain processes is easily separated. The plate glass is poured in the melted state upon a table covered with copper. The plate is cast half an inch thick, or more, and is ground down to a proper degree of thinness, and then polished. Crown-glass, that used for windows, is made without lead, chiefly of fixed alkali fused with siliceous sand, to which is added some black oxide of manganese, which is apt to give the glass a tinge of purple. Bottle-glass is the coarsest and cheapest kind; into this little or no fixed alkali enters the composition. It consists of an alkaline earth combined with alumina and silica. In England it is composed of sand and the refuse of the soap-boiler, which consists of the lime employed in rendering his alkali caustic, and of the earthy matters with which the alkali was contaminated. The most fusible is flint-glass, and the least fusible is bottle-glass. Flint-glass melts at the temperature of 10° Wedgewood; crown glass at 30°; and bottle-glass at 47°. The specific gravity varies between 2.48 and 3.33. Good glass is perfectly transparent, and when cold very brittle, but at a red heat it is one of the most ductile bodies known, and may be drawn into threads so very delicate, as to become almost invisible to the human eye. It is extremely elastic, and one of the most sonorous of bodies. See HARMoxic A. There are but few chemical agents which have any action upon it. Mr. Davy, in one of his lectures delivered in May, 1808, exhibited a method of decomposing it by means of the Voltaic battery: he, however, first reduced it to powder. Fluoric acid, as we have seen, has a great Fo over it, and dissolves it very quick(see Fluoric Acid): so also have the fixed alkalies, when assisted by heat. The continued action of hot water is said to be capable of decomposing glass, which it is thought will fully explain how the siliceous earth was obtained by Boyle and others, when they subjected water to very tedious distillations in glass vessels. It has also been supposed, that the deflagration of the oxygen and hydrogen gases, in the formation of water, has decomposed the glass, which will account for an acid as part of the result. In making glass, the materials are completely fused together, and in this state the hot mixture is called frit. The frit is introduced into large pots made of prepared clay, and exposed to a heat suffici