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of the common law is by no means true: that of the civil law is much more just, namely, that the wife is capable of volition, and of making contracts, as far as her own rights are concerned; and so is the rule as to the conveyance of real estate in some of the U. States; for in Maine, New Hampshire and Massachusetts, although, in general, the lawr supposes a married woman to have no discretion or liberty as to contracting about other things, yet it allows her to release her dower hi her husband's lands, and to convey those which she holds in her own right, by merely joining in the deed with the husband, and without any private examination as to her being under compulsion. In other states, the difficulty is avoided by altering the lawr of dower, and giving it only in the lands of which the husband "dies seized." This is the law of Vermont, Connecticut, N. Carolina, S. Carolina and Tennessee. The civil law being the common law of Louisiana, the wife is there a partner of the husband, and, accordingly, instead of being entitled to dower, she is, on the dissolution of the copartnership, by his decease, entitled to her share of the joint stock. The laws of the other U. States, generally, agree with the English in giving the wife, for dower, a life estate in one third part of the lands and tenements of which the husband was seized, in fee simple or fee tail, during the coverture, or, in some of the states, as before mentioned, at the time of his decease. In some states, as Alabama and Tennessee, the widow has the right to occupy the principal mansion-house of her husband during her life, unless, in the opinion of the court, this wTould be too great a share; and much discretion appears to be given to the court in judging whether this is an excessive proportion of the husband's estate. As to the particular modes of proceeding in assigning or setting off the widow's dower, in England and the different U. States, it would too much extend this article to go into the detail of them. Besides dower, the widow is generally entitled to a greater or smaller portion of her husband's personal property, not, as in case of the dower, merely to receive the income of it for her life, but she has it absolutely. The laws of some of the U. States provide, that lands sold by the sheriff, to pay the debts of the husband, shall be discharged of the wife's dower; in others, it is set off to the creditor, or sold under a judgment obtained by him, subject to this right, and is, accordingly,
set off at a lower appraisement, or sold at a lower price.
Downing Street, Westminster, London; a street from which many important state papers are dated, because here are the offices of the ministers of the foreign and home departments. Business with foreign ministers is generally transacted in Downing street. The two offices are not far from Westminster abbey and Sr. Stephen's, where parliament assembles.
Downs; banks or elevations of sand, which the sea gathers and forms along its shores, and which serve it as a barrier. The term is also applied to large tracts of naked, poor land, on which sheep usually graze.
Downs; a celebrated road for ships, extending six miles along the east coast of Kent, in England, between North and South Foreland, where both the outward and homeward bound ships frequently make some stay, and squadrons of menof-war rendezvous in time of war. It affords excellent anchorage, and is defended by the castles of Deal, Dover and Sandwich, as well as by Goodwin sands.
Doxologt (from 6o£«> praise, glory, and Xoyos, the wrord). This name is given to hymns in praise of the Almighty, distinguished by the title of greater and lesser. Both the doxologies have a place in thchurch of England, the former being repeated after every psalm, and the latter used in the communion service. Doxology the greater, or the angelic hymn, was of great note in the ancient church. It began with the words which the angels sung at our Savior's birth, "Glory be to God on high," &c. It was chiefly used in the communion service, and in private devotions. Doxology the lesser was anciently only a single sentence, without response, in these words—" Glory be to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Ghost, world without $nd; amen." Part of the latter clause, "as it. was in the beginning, is now, and ever shall be," was inserted some time after the first composition. Some read this ancient hymn, "Glory be to the Father, and to the Son, with the Holy Ghost"; others,44 Glory be to the Father, in or bv the Son, and by the Holy Ghost." This difference of expression occasioned no disputes in the church, till the followers of Arius began to make use of the latter as a distinguishin g characteristic of their party, when it was entirely laid aside by the Catholics, and the use of it was sufficient to bring any one. under suspicion of heterodoxy. The doxology was used at the close of every 292
solemn office. The Western church repeated it at the end of every psalm. Many of the prayers were also concluded with it, particularly the solemn thanksgiving or consecration prayer, at the celebration of the eucharist. It was also the ordinary conclusion of the sermons.
Doyen, Gabriel Francois, bom at Paris, in 1726, a pupil of the painter Vanloo. At the age of 20, he gained the first prize for painting. He went to Rome, in 1748, where the works of those painters, who were distinguished for boldness of design and strength of expression, as Annibal Carracci, Pietro di Cortona, Giulio Romano, Polidore, and Michael Angelo, were the particular objects of his study and enthusiastic emulation. After his return to Paris, he remained a long time without employment, occupied solely with his art. He spent two years in the execution of his Virginia, which procured him admission into the academy of painting, in 1758. The picture La Peste dcs Ar dents, for the church of St. Roch, increased his reputation. To give his works more truth, he visited the hospitals, and studied the expression and appearances of the sick and dying. He executed several works for the court. In the beginning of the revolution, Catharine II invited him to Russia, gave him a pension of 1200 rubles, with a residence in one of the palaces, and appointed him professor in the academy of painting at Petersburg. After the death of the empress, Paul II continued to treat him with equal favor. He painted much for the imperial palaces, and died at Petersburg, June 5, 1806.
Drachm (fya^;), the unit of weight and of money among the ancient Greeks, both as a weight and a coin, contained six oboli (dpo\oi), and was itself the 100th part of a mina (/^a), and the 6000th part, of a talent ( 1. According to the cal
culations of Wurm (De Pond. JSTummorumque rat., Stuttgard, 1821), the weight of the Attic drachm is 67.383 grains English Troy weight, and the Attic talent 70 lbs. 6£ oz. The calculation of M. Letronne differs slightly from this. There were several other kinds of drachm and talent in use: those of iEgina were the heaviest, the ^Eginetic talent being equal to 1,0000 Attic drachms; the Euboic talent was nearly the same as the Attic; the Rhodian and Egyptian talents were each about one third of the Attic. Whenever no particular kind is designated, the Attic talent is meant. 2. Tiie principal Grecian coin was the drachm: it was of silver: it was divided, like the weight, into
six oboli (silver). The tetradrachm (of four drachms) was called the stater. Thest* coins differed much in value in different countries in Greece, and in different age^s in the same country. The Attic drachm and stater occur most frequently. Those coined previous to the time of Pericles were worth about 17.05 cents, the talent-* (silver), of course, $1023; the value of the later drachms (during the two centuries before and after the Christian era), was 15.20 cents; of the talents, $912.50. The stater, in the fonner period, was worth 68.2 cents; in the latter, 60.8 cents. Besides these silver coins, there were alsc< the stater of gold, equal in value to 20' drachms, and the talent of gold, which was used sometimes to designate a quantity of gold equal in value, sometimes a quantity of gold equal in iveight, to the silver talent. It sometimes, also, designates a gold coin, weighing six drachms. In the time of Solon, a sheep could be bought for one drachm, an ox for five. In the time of Demosthenes, a fat ox cost 80 drachms, a lamb, 10.
Draco; an arehon and legislator of Athens, about 600 B. C, celebrated for the extraordinary severity of his laws. The slightest offence, such as stealing fruit, and even idleness, he punished with: death, no less than sacrilege, murder or treason. Hence his laws were said to bo written in blood. Nothing was more natu ral than that this rigor should render them odious, and prevent their execution, especially as the people became more civilized and refined. Solon was therefore commissioned to compose a new code. (See Attica.) Tradition relates that Draco, ot his appearance in the theatre at iEgina, where he is said to have carried his laws, was suffocated amidst the applauses of the people, who, according to their custom, threw their garments and caps upon him. He was buried under the theatre.
Dracunculi, in medicine; small, long worms, which breed in the muscular parts of the arms and legs, called Guineaworms, common among the natives of Guinea. The worm is white, round and uniform, resembling white, round tape. It is lodged between the interstices ami membranes of the muscles, where it insinuates itself, sometimes exceeding five ells in length. It occasions no great pain in the beginning; but, at such times as it is ready to go out, the part adjoining to the extremity of the worm, where it attempts its exit, begins to swell, throb, and become inflamed: this generally happens about the ankle, leg, or thigh, and rarely higher.
The countries where this distemper is observed are hot and sultry, subject to great droughts, and the inhabitants make use of stagnating and corrupted water, in which it is very probable that the ova of these animalculae may be contained; for the white people who drink this water are liable to the disease as well as the Negroes.
Drag; a machine consisting of a sharp, square frame of iron, encircled with a net, and commonly used to rake the mud off from the platform or bottom of the docks, or to clean rivers.
Dragging The Anchor; the act of trailing it along the bottom, after it is loosened from the ground, by the effort of the wind or current.
Dragoman; an interpreter, employed in the East, and especially at the Turkish court. The dragoman of the Porte, who is in the service of the court, and through whom the sultan receives the communications of the Christian ambassadors, was formerly a Christian, by birth a Greek, and often attained the rank of a prince [hospodar) of Moldavia or Wallachia.
Dragon; 1. One of the northern constellations. Fable says that Juno translated to the heavens the dragon which kept die golden apples in the chamber of the Hesperides, and was slain by Hercules. 2. The dragon of fable. The fabulous stones of this monster reach back almost as far as history. His form is described as most terrible, and his residence has been assigned to almost all countries, particularly that part of India and Africa that was formerly unknown. His length is represented from 20 to 70 ells. Of the latter sort was the dragon which lived in India, according to iElian, in the time of Alexander the Great, and was venerated as a god. The dragon is described as having no feet, but as crawling like a serpent, his body covered with scales, and his neck, according to some accounts, adorned with a mane. These relations are almost all contradictory, and agree only in this—that the dragon had very acuie senses, especially a piercing vision. His strength was so great that he could easily strangle an elephant. His food consisted of the blood and flesh of all sorts of animals, and of various fruits. Notwithstanding his ferocity, however, the dragon might be confined and tamed, which the old authors represent as having happened in various cases. The animal which gave occasion to these fables is probably no other than the great boa constrictor. (See Boa.) The fabled dragon of the middle ages had four lion's
feet, a long, thick, serpent's tail, and an immense throat, from wrhich streamed flames of fire. Tins dragon played a distinguished part in the ages of chivalry: he is one of those monsters whom it was the business of the heroes of romance to destroy. The idea of the dragon of the middle ages probably grew out of indistinct and exaggerated accounts of the crocodile of the Nile, which were brought to Europe by means of the crusades, and from similar descriptions of the largest land serpents. Even at the present day, the existence of dragons is fully believed in by the inhabitants of certain countries. 3. The researches of modem naturalists have served to explode this and many other fictions connected- with the histoiy of animals; and, at the present day, the curious inquirer, who seeks for the celebrated dragon, will be disappointed in discovering that the animal to which the name properly belongs, is not an untamable and ferocious monster, but an inoffensive lizard, a few inches long, formidable to nothing but the small insects on which it feeds. The love of gain often makes the natives of warm climates guilty of the most ingenious frauds on the credulity of strangers, for whom they prepare, with great art, fictitious animals, which are purchased by the ignorant, as genuine dragons, mermaids, &c. In this way, ill-informed travellers are led occasionally to revive the fable of the existence of the dragon. Two species of dragon-lizard are described by naturalists, but it is most probable that the second is merely a variety of the first (D, volans), which is said to inhabit Asia, Africa, and South America. Length, seldom exceeding 12 inches; body laceitiform; sides furnished with peculiar productions of the skin, supported by internal cartilaginous rays, which, when expanded, enable it to support itself in the air for a few seconds, in springing from branch to branch, among the lofty trees in which it resides; body and wings covered by small scales; back slightly carmatc; throat with the skin produced into a pouch-shaped expansion, which is inflated with air, at the pleasure of the animal. The food consists almost exclusively of insects. Color varied with blackish, brown and whitish. The proportions of the animal are delicate, and it is very active. Dried specimens, preserved in the cabinets of the curious, do not give a good idea of the animal, as the process of drying destroys the proportions; and it is also to be regretted that few engraved figures are commendable for their fidelity. 294
Dragon's Blood; a resinous juice obtained by incision from several different plants, found between the tropics;—from the trunk of thepterocarpus draco, a tree of the natural order leguminosce, growing in die East Indies, which yields Oriental dragon's blood; from the pterocarpus santalinus, inhabiting tropical America, which affords it in less quantity and more impure; from the calamus draco, a palm of the East Indies, from which it is obtained, according to Kampfer, by boiling the fruit; from a dalbergia in Guiana, and a croton in South America; from the drac&na draco, the native country of which is not known with certainty, but is supposed to be Africa. A single tree of this last species, which was introduced into the Canaries at the time of the conquest, acquired enormous dimensions, and has been visited and celebrated by every traveller, but was destroyed by a storm, in 1822. Dragon's blood is obtained, in commerce, in three principal forms—in that of oval masses, of the size of a pigeon's egg, enveloped with leaves of the pandanus; in cylinders, covered with palm leaves; and in irregular masses, marked with impressions of leaves: that in oval masses is the most esteemed. It is often very much adulterated, and other substances are substituted; particularly gum Arabic and gum Senegal, colored with logwood, &c. Several of these substances may be detected by their dissolving in water, while dragon's blood is nearly insoluble ; others require to be submitted to some chemical tests. Madagascar furnishes this resin of a good quality, but so much mixed with foreign substances, that it is little used. Dragon's blood is opaque, of a deep reddish-brown color, brittle, and has a smooth and shining conchoidal fracture; when in thin lamina?, it is sometimes transparent; when burnt, it gives out an odor somewhat analogous to benzoin; its taste is a little astringent; it is soluble in alcohol, and the solution will permanently stain heated marble, for which purpose it is often used, as well as for staining leather and wood. It is also soluble in oil, and enters into the composition of a very brilliant varnish, which is much esteemed by artists. Its quality may be proved by making marks on paper: the best leaves a line red trace, and commands a pretty high price. It was formerly in high repute as a medicine, but at the present time is very little used. An astringent resin, obtained from the eucalyptus resiniftra of New Holland, bears the name of dragon's blood in the English settlements in that country.
Dragot\-shejll, in natural history; a name given to a species of concamerated patella or limpet. It has a top very much bent, and is of an ash-color on the outside, but of an elegant and bright flesh color within. It has been found sticking to the back of a tortoise, as the common limpets do to the sides of rocks, and some have been affixed to large shells of the pinna marina.
Dragoon; a kind of light-horseman, of French origin, trained to fight either iis or out of the line, in a body, or singly, chiefly on horseback, but, if necessary, on foot also. The dragoons were mounted 7 armed and exercised as these objects require. They probably took the name of dragoons from the Roman dracoyiarii, whose lances were adorned with figures of dragons. Experience proving that they did not answer the end designed, they were hardly ever used in infantry service, and now form a useful kind of cavalry, mounted on horses too heavy for the hussars, and too light for the cuirassiers —Dragoonades, dragoon-conversions; i. e. conversions which are compelled by force of arms; forced conversions. Louis XIV, for instance, sent dragoons for this purpose to the Cevennes, in 1684, to chastise the Huguenots.
Drake, sir Francis, a distinguished English navigator, was bom at Tavistock, in Devonshire, 1545, and served as a sailor in a coasting-vessel, which sometimes made voyages to France and Ireland. He gamed the favor of his master, who, on his death, left his vessel to him. Sir John Hawkins, one of his relations, then took him under his care, and, at the age of 18, he served as purser of a ship which traded to Biscay. At 20, he made a voyage to the coast of Guinea; at 22, received the command of a ship, and distinguished himself by his valor in the unfortunate expedition of sir John Hawkins against the Spaniards, in the harbor of Vera Cruz. In this affair, however, he lost all which he possessed. Hereupon he conceived an inveterate hatred against the Spaniards, and projected new expeditions against them. He had no sooner made his plans known in England, than a multitude of adventurers joined him. He now made two cruises to the West Indies, but avoided an engagement with the Spaniards. The result of these voyages, however, was so successful, that ho received the command of two vessels, in 1572, for the purpose of attacking the commercial ports of Spanish America One of them was commanded by his
brother. He captured the cities of Nombre de Dios and Vera Cruz, lying on the eastern coast of the isthmus of Darien, and took a rich booty. After his return, he equipped three frigates at his own expense, with which he served as a volunteer, in an expedition to Ireland, under the command of the earl of Essex, father of queen Elizabeth's favorite. On the death of his protector, he returned to England. Sir Christopher Hatton, vicechamberlain and privy-counsellor of queen Elizabeth, introduced him to this princess. Drake disclosed to her his plan, which was to pass through the straits of Magellan to the South seas, and there to attack the Spaniards. The queen furnished him with means for equipping a fleet of five ships for this purpose. Drake sailed from Plymouth Nov. 13, 1577, and arrived at the straits of Magellan Aug. 20, 1578. Nov. 6, he succeeded in leaving the straits, but was overtaken by a storm the day after, which compelled him to steer to the south. Returning to the extremity of the straits, he called the bay in which he anchored The Parting of Friends, on account of the separation of one of his ships. New storms again drove him to the south. He now found himself between the islands which geographers, in later charts, have laid down as 200 leagues west of America. But Fleurieu has proved that they belong to those numerous islands, as yet but little known, which compose the south-western part of the Archipelago of the Terra del Fuego: he has shown, likewise, that Drake then saw cape Horn, and has, therefore, the honor of the discover}'. November 20, Drake came in sight of the island of Mocha, south of Chile, where he bad appointed a rendezvous for his fleet. As none of his vessels arrived, he continued his course to the north, along the coast of Chile and Peru, in search of Spanish ships, and suitable places for making incursions into the country. When his crew was sufficiently enriched with booty, he followed the coast of North America, to 48° north latitude, hoping to find a passage into the Atlantic. Deceived in his expectations, and compelled by the cold to return to 38°, he named the place where he repaired his vessels New Albion, and took possession of it in the name of queen Elizabeth. Sept. 29, 1579, he directed his course to the Moluccas, and anchored at Ternate, Nov. 4. He narrowly escaped being lost near die Celebes. Nov. 3,1580, he arrived at Plymouth; April 4, 1581, Elizabeth herself went on board Drake's
vessel, then at anchor at Deptford, dined with him, knighted him, and approved of what he had done. In 1585, Drake disturbed the Spaniards anew in the Cape Verd islands, and in die West Indies. In
1587, he commanded a fleet of 30 sail, which burned a part of the celebrated armada in the harbor of Cadiz, and, in
1588, commanded, as vice-admiral, under lord Howard, high-admiral of England, in the conflict with the Spanish armada. A rich galleon surrendered to him at tho mere sound of his name, and he distinguished himself in the pursuit of the enemy. In 1589, he commanded the fleet intended to restore don Antonio to the throne of Portugal. But this enterprise failed on account of a misunderstanding between Drake and the general of the land forces. The war with Spam siili continued. Drake and Hawkins proposed to Elizabeth a new expedition against the Spaniards in the West Indies, which should surpass all that had preceded it. They were willing to bear a part of thr expense, and the queen furnished *hips. The expedition, however, was unfortunate. Nov. 12, 1595, the day of sir John Hawkins's death, Drake's vessel, in staling from die port of Porto Rico, was struck by a cannon-ball, which carried away the chair in which he sat, without doing him any injury. The next day, the Spanish vessels were attacked before Porto Rico with great violence, but without success. He then sailed to the continent, and set fire to Rio de la Hacha and Nombre de Dios; but, having undertaken an expedition against Panama, some days after, which entirely failed, the disappointment threw him into a slow fever, which terminated his life, Dec. 30, 1596,0. S. (Jan. 9, 1597). Among the honorable uses of his wealth must be mentioned his providing Plymouth, with water, which he brought from the distance of 20 miles. To him Europe is indebted for the introduction of the potato. (See The f(arums Voyage of Sir Francis Drake into the South Sea, and hence about the whole Globe of the Earth, London 1600, P2mo., edited by Francis Pretty, who served under Drake.)
Drama (the Greek mipa, from $p<iu>, I act); a class of writings in which the author does not appeal" as such, either reasoning or relating, but persons are represented as acting and speaking, and the course of the story and the feelings of the parties are to be gathered from what they say. In epic poetry, the persons of the poem are also often introduced speaking, but description is the prevailing